What Businesses Need to Know about Content and SEO

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by Jayson DeMers

This shouldn’t be news to anyone: Content is one of the most important factors a business has to execute properly if it wants to boost search engine visibility and rankings. The point of common confusion lies with how the content should be generated.
What’s challenging is that there are seemingly a million different kinds of content, and the rules for what’s most effective seem to change regularly … and too often, completely without warning.
Mobile content, guest content, and social media content are the three areas of top importance if you hope to increase your site traffic and search engine optimization. So how can these three types of content be created and employed most effectively? What are best practices for combining business content and SEO?
First, SEO is not the only piece of the puzzle
Search engine traffic is one of the biggest ways to get your brand in front of new customers. But there are other ways to attract new traffic, and it needs to start with an analysis of your current traffic sources.
To get a clear picture of where most of your company’s traffic is originating, start with Google Analytics. Check out the overview to see the breakdown of your traffic sources.
It will list the percentage of traffic from each of the following seven sources: direct, referral, paid search, organic search, social media, and email. Failure to address the whole picture with your content strategy (ie, all these sources) leads will hamper your ability to succeed.
Keywords must be chosen and deployed correctly

Before Google got wiser about content marketing strategies, keyword stuffing was a common practice. Material posted on business sites didn’t even make grammatical sense, sometimes, because it was common to use software to automatically generate gibberish which would fool search engines; but keyword-heavy pieces managed to lift their search engine rankings substantially.
More recently, Google has focused its eye on those who attempt to game the system. If you create genuinely useful content through which keywords are sprinkled naturally, however, your rankings will be boosted without any hitches.
Of course, you have to use the correct keywords. Do some research for which keywords you should be optimizing your content for. How do people get to your site? Are they finding what they’re looking for when they do?
Producing quality content when writing may not be your forte can be a challenge. Fortunately, practice helps. According to Betty Bennett, the Director of Content for Vorongo.com, “It’s worth investing in learning how to write quality content for your business. Learning a few simple practices can take your business a long way.”
If you’d rather hire someone to do the writing for you, there are plenty of online services and options.
Social media assists SEO
With the arrival of the Google Hummingbird update, social media has become a more vital piece of the content puzzle than ever. It’s critical for marketers to implement a strong social media strategy that incorporates keywords and content knowledge.
One of the best ways to boost your SEO through social media is to create sharable content. Find a way to build a story with your product or service with value that goes beyond your own commercial goals, and it will more likely be shared.
Another great way to get your content shared is through promotions and giveaways. If your followers have an incentive to share, they will.
People have never been more likely to find a business through social media than they are today. As such, businesses have begun to use social media to share events and promotions.
Potential customers may be more interested in what your Facebook page has to offer than your actual website. Keep this in mind.
Optimize for mobile
Mobile traffic now accounts for 60% of all Internet traffic in the United States. This unprecedented figure has formulated a new priority for content marketers: mobile optimization.
Content is about writing. However, many people who use their mobile devices aren’t expecting to read an essay. For mobile optimization, short, catchy pieces work better.
Don’t underestimate the power of images and videos either, particularly when it comes to mobile traffic.
Obviously, your website should be optimized for mobile usage in terms of web design. Many businesses today are pursuing responsive design. This approach contrasts with the old mobile version/desktop mentality that used to be common practice.
In its place, mobile optimization relies on one site that changes itself for optimal viewing on whatever device gets used — including tablets. If your content is not legible on mobile, you’re bound to be missing out on an enormous amount of traffic, now and into the future.
Feature guest content
One excellent way to reach an audience you previously had no knowledge of (whether we’re talking about its very existence or proper optimization strategies to reach it), is by featuring guest content on your site. By attracting important people in the industry to create content, you bring in fans of those experts’ work. This untapped market will then be exposed to your business.
Depending on whom you choose to feature, you can find guest creators who are affordable and can create useful, interesting content for your site.
Content marketing is an ever-changing field. Luckily, you can keep up with the transformations if you prioritize quality content. Remember the multifaceted nature of your content strategy, and don’t neglect any part of it.
With this attitude, you can make content work for you.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Online Marketing News: Bing Dinged, Billions-o-Bots, Trending Tube

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The Evolution Of SEO

The Evolution Of SEO - Long before Google Penguin came along, there have been many changes in the world of search.  What once worked for ranking no longer does. Take a look back at search and optimization with a look at the evolution of SEO. Digital Information World

Bing Dinged: Facebook Search Results Will No Longer Include Microsoft’s Search Engine - The update to Facebook’s search functionality announced last week, which will allow users to search posts that have been shared with them, claimed a victim in Bing, the search engine from Microsoft, as the social network confirmed that it will no longer include results from Bing in its search results. AllFacebook

Google Mobile Search Now 150 Milliseconds Faster - Google’s speed guru, Ilya Grigorik, announced on Google+ that they’ve made Google mobile search a bit faster, between 100-150 milliseconds faster to be exact. That is about 0.15 seconds faster than yesterday. Search Engine Roundtable

40% of Facebook Accounts For Fortune 100 Companies Are Unauthorized - Social media is under attack — at least according to the latest report from data management solutions provider NextGate. The report, which analyzes more than 30,000 Fortune 100 social media accounts, suggests our most popular networks are particularly vulnerable to social spam and could be the source of the next big data breach. SocialTimes

Brands Will Lose Billions to Bots in 2015 [Study] - According to research by White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers, 11 percent of display ad impressions, 23 percent of video ad impressions, and 52 percent of sourced traffic is fraudulent. ClickZ

REPORT: 30% of Facebook Users Have Unliked or Unfollowed Brands’ Pages - When Facebook users like brands’ pages, that sentiment may not be permanent, as research from GlobalWebIndex indicated that 30 percent of Facebook users between the ages of 16 and 64 have unliked or unfollowed brands, with that figure rising to 38 percent among users aged 16 through 24. AllFacebook

Twitter Users More Loyal to Brands Than Facebook Users - Just 13 percent of respondents to the GlobalWebIndex Brand report say that they have unfollowed a brand on Twitter, compared to 30 percent who have un-Liked a brand Page on Facebook. AllTwitter

New Tools and Insights for Publishers on Facebook - Over the past few months, we’ve listened to publishers around the world to better understand how we can help them connect with people on Facebook. As a result, we’ve created new tools for media publishers, made improvements to Insights, and have added more resources and communication channels for publishers. Facebook

Instagram Is Now Larger Than Twitter With 300 Million Monthly Active Users - Instagram announced a new milestone — less than a year after hitting the 200 million monthly active user mark the photo and video sharing service is now celebrating 300 million monthly active users. Search Engine Journal

Google Launches New AdWords Editor - Google launched AdWords Editor 11, per a livestream announcement by Jerry Dischler, vice president of product management at Google. Search Engine Watch

Google Adds New Features To Keep Up With What’s Trending In Search and On YouTube - Want to know what’s trending in Google search? What about the hottest videos on YouTube at this moment? Now it’s easier than ever to find out. Google announced that as of today you can search for “2014 trends”, or an equivalent search in over 45 different languages, and Google will populate a list of the year’s top trends based on Google Trends data. Search Engine Journal

Twitter Lets Advertisers Target By Wireless Carrier, New Devices - Heated competition in the wireless world has been a boon to Twitter. Now Twitter is tossing more fuel on the fire. Starting now, the social-media company is introducing two new ad features: one that lets advertisers target Twitter users on particular wireless carriers, and another that lets them reach users on new mobile devices. AdAge

From our Online Marketing Community:

On A Marketer and a Journalist Walk Into a Bar: 5 Definitions of Brand Journalism, davearmon, said, “Great use of Church and State street sign for this post. The writing’s not bad either :-)

Social Media Content: Pros, Cons, Examples and Best Practices, Emily Earhart offered, “We all know well, social media plays an important role for generating the traffic for any kind of website. But how social media content is helpful and what is it’s pors and cons, you have explained it well in this article in a simple manner. Thanks for educating us.”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Digital Information World


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Online Marketing News: Bing Dinged, Billions-o-Bots, Trending Tube | http://www.toprankblog.com

December 26th 2014 Online Marketing

SEO Trends That Will Stick Through the New Year

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by Jayson DeMers

SEO is characterized by constant change. Rapid adoption of mobile devices for Internet use is playing a big role in that.
To keep up with the way Google ranks websites and how users look for information, it’s important for your company to implement evolving SEO strategies for 2015. 
Google algorithms
We were introduced to Google Pigeon in 2014, and that had substantial effects on SEO. Google Pigeon adjusted the algorithm the search giant had been using to rank websites to include variables that closely relate to local search results and more relevant information for users.
In addition to the Pigeon updates, Google made 13 other significant algorithm changes in 2014. These involved everything from preventing digital piracy to preventing link manipulation and improving SEO.
You can expect Google to remain vigilant and change its algorithms in further response to the way online users interact in 2015.
Content marketing
SEO and content marketing were virtually identical in 2014. This coming year, marketers may see a division between the two, with content marketing becoming the main driver of rankings.
SEO will likely evolve toward more technical aspects of driving rankings, with greater focus on keyword placement and meta tags. Look for more focus on strategic keyword implementation: Only relevant content will be displayed, and algorithms will be updated to better understand the language browsers are using when they search for content.
Content may turn out to be the most vital element of SEO in 2015. A representative from Magicdust.com.au describes the focus on content as “the only way to take care of clients’ online needs in a meaningful way that has the added bonus of improving search engine rankings.”
Even more than in 2014, businesses will need to focus on providing relevant and meaningful content for users to stay on the search engine map. Using tactics such as link building and keyword-dense content for the sole purpose of driving more traffic to your site will not be rewarded; they may even detract from your site ranking in the future.
Instead, focus on providing quality information for your target market without the aim of improving search engine rankings.
Mobile response
Mobile has been a strong player for SEO in 2014 and will continue to be in 2015. In fact, mobile traffic might exceed traditional web traffic next year.
Mobile integration and responsive web design will be an integral part of your SEO in the near future. Businesses that have skated by with a traditional web presence in the past will be forced to convert to mobile or suffer the consequences in lower rankings and falling traffic. 
Companies will need to rethink websites that can be viewed quickly and easily on an ever-increasing number of mobile devices. Even TVs, watches, and glasses or goggles will be important to factor into your evolving mobile response strategy.
An all-inclusive URL is the best way to approach multimedia viewing. Separate mobile sites can be cumbersome and leave out information a user might expect to have. 
Social media was the buzz of 2014. Campaigns were driven by shares, tweets and retweets, and likes. You can expect to see even more integration of content marketing with social media sites in 2015, as companies use social media to drive SEO strategies.
Next year might also see some Google algorithm adjustments to focus more on social media for website rankings. Twitter and Facebook will remain social media giants, but Google+’s long-term fate remains unclear.
Site speed
The ability of your website to load quickly — that is, in less than 3 seconds — was a hallmark of usability in 2014. Slower websites are likely to be tossed aside because the attention span of the average Internet user is so short.
Navigation should also be part of a comprehensive SEO strategy in 2015. Streamlined navigation will play a more prominent role than page redirections that are cumbersome for users. Optimize your site by designing one-page navigation and scaling down the use of graphics that slow down your site speeds. 
Focus on ROI
While 2014 was dominated by a focus on the keywords in content, 2015 promises greater emphasis on ROI. That’s the only real determining factor in a campaign, after all.
Look for SEO companies and teams to reorient their reports so they concentrate on the financial results of a campaign, rather than an arbitrary rank for number of clicks that may have no impact on the company’s bottom line. 
The Transformation of links
Links were once a big focus of SEO strategies. Building links that generated traffic to a site was a fundamental of SEO in 2014.
Implied links may become more important than direct links in 2015. Implied links mention a brand or cite a reference without directly linking to it. The practice is subtle, but encourages brand searches that are almost 100% meaningful.
A marketer could easily scheme for higher search results with link building, but a brand mention will hardly ever carry a direct agenda. Metrics for measuring implied links will likely join comprehensive SEO strategy in 2015. 
Heading into 2015
There’s a need to reboot, revamp, and rethink old SEO strategies as we approach 2015. Businesses will do well to think first of content and connectivity with users, and user friendliness.
Positive SEO growth will likely come as the result of a focus on online relationships rather than implementing technical and cumbersome strategies. In some ways, a concentration on SEO in the past might even hurt a firm’s SEO in the future.
The year 2015 could see your business penalized for attempting the same tricks that were rewarded in past years. Integrate your SEO with all the other aspects of marketing to see the best, natural results in the coming year.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Online Marketing News: Google Responds To Responsive, A Twitter Minute, Facebook Offers

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Twitter Minute

A Twitter Minute - A minute isn’t that long, is it?  What can take place in just 1 minute?  Find out what goes down on Twitter in just 60 seconds. WhoIsHostingThis?

Report: U.S. Mobile Search Spend Expected To Overtake Desktop Next Year - eMarketer’s lastest estimates encompass PPC and SEO spending on smartphones and tablets. Search Engine Land

Yahoo Will Pass Twitter for Mobile Ad Revenue Share in 2015 - Twitter is expected to carve out a 3.56 percent share of the U.S. mobile ad revenue space in 2014, rising to 3.69 percent next year. AllTwitter

Google: Responsive Design Does Not Rank Better Than Other Mobile Designs - Even though we covered this a couple times, most recently in September, saying responsive design is not a ranking signal, I wanted to cite a different Googler who said Google does not rank responsive design sites better than other mobile configures web sites that comply with their guidelines. Search Engine Roundtable

Bing Ads Updates Campaign Planner Tool For Search Trends, Keyword And Competitive Research - In September, Bing Ads released its Campaign Planner tool, which includes vertical and product trend data, keyword research and competitive insights. This week, the first update to the tool was released. Search Engine Land

Report: Nearly 60% Of Video Shares Worldwide Occur On Facebook - Based on data derived from Unruly’s Viral Video Chart, the report analyzed more than 521 billion video views and tracked global sharing patterns for videos across social networks in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, South East Asia, Sweden, South Korea, UK and the US. Marketing Land

56% of Digital Ads Served Are Never Seen, Says Google - An incredible 56.1% of ads on the internet are not seen by humans, according to new research released today by Google. AdAge

Travel-Related Shares Drive 40% More Engagement Than Other Content [Study] - ShareThis’ new consumer sharing behavior report reveals that travel shares generate more click-backs than other types of content. ClickZ

Facebook 2014 Year in Review - Every day, people discuss the topics and stories that are important to them on Facebook. Today we’re taking a look back at the moments, places and people that moved us in 2014. Facebook

Bing: Content Quality Is A Primary Ranking Factor Made Up Of Authority, Utility & Presentation - Michael Basilyan, Senior Program Manager from the Bing Content Quality Team, shared a nice set of details on the Bing blog about how Bing’s algorithms determine what makes for content quality. Search Engine Land

Facebook Offers New Buying, Video & Targeting Options For Mobile App Ads - Advertisers can now optimize for reach and frequency, target Amazon Fire users and use autoplay video in app install and awareness advertising. Marketing Land

Instagram Tops 300M Users, Adds Verified Badges, Goes After Spammy Accounts - Filter this: Instagram topped the 300 million user mark, co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom revealed in a blog post, in which he also announced that the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network was adding verified badges for celebrities, athletes and brands, as well as deactivating spammy accounts. AllFacebook

From our Online Marketing Community:

In reply to 25 Women Who Rock Social Media – 2014, Doug Sandler commented, “Congrats ladies, amazing accomplishment. Well deserved. You all deserve the spotlight, hard earned and well done!”

SEOcopy  said, “Excellent Top Rank. These women ( a few I follow, admire and see on a daily basis via my social footprint) are very deserving of this wonderful accolade. Bravo!!”

Abigail Harrison mentioned, “Thank you so much Lee for nominating me! And I am honored to have made it on this list with all these amazing women!”

And Lynette Young added, “Wooooooooow. **THANK YOU** What smart and inspiring people! Thanks to Marcy Massura for throwing my hat in the ring, I only hope to continue the work in 2015! (I’ll be keeping my eye out for MY nomination for 2016!!)”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: WhoIsHostingThis?


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Online Marketing News: Google Responds To Responsive, A Twitter Minute, Facebook Offers | http://www.toprankblog.com

December 19th 2014 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: Disney Is Tops, Slingshot Re-slung, Tumblr Gets Growing

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Twitter vs Facebook Preference

SURVEY: If Users Are Forced to Choose Between Facebook and Twitter, Twitter Loses - The good news for Facebook in a recent survey by survey creator Survata is that if regular users of both social network were hypothetically forced to choose between keeping only Facebook or Twitter, every age group but one chose Facebook. The bad news: The one age group that opted for Twitter, albeit by the slimmest of margins, was 13 through 17. AllFacebook

Facebook Updates Trending - People gather on Facebook to talk about what’s happening in the world. In January, we introduced Trending to help people discover timely and relevant conversations about the news that they care about. This week, Facebook brings Trending to mobile and making it easy for people to explore stories from different sources. Facebook

Google+ Makes It Easier To See Your Mentions - Active Google+ users now have a handy new tool — a Mentions tab that displays all + mentions of a personal profile or page. Marketing Land

Yahoo Officially Becomes Default Search Engine For Mozilla US Users - Mozilla on Monday released a new version of its browser, which sees Yahoo as its default search engine for United States customers; finally replacing Google. Today’s release sees an end to ten years of Google as the browser’s default search engine. SocialBarrel

Facebook Adds Relevance Score, Positive and Negative Feedback to Ad Insights - Facebook’s ad insights now have an additional feature: delivery and spend ratings that offer marketers a more detailed look at how their ads are performing. AllFacebook

Adoption of Facebook’s Atlas growing quicker than Google’s DoubleClick - Not long after Facebook re-launched its robust advertising measurement platform Atlas, adoption has boomed. According to Datanyze, more websites added Atlas technology than Google’s DoubleClick in both October and November. Inside Facebook

Tumblr Is Now The Fastest Growing Social Media Platform - A report released today by Global Web Index (GWI) reveals that Tumblr is now the fastest growing social network, with its active user base having grown 120% in the past six months. Search Engine Journal

Re-Slung: Facebook Revamps Slingshot App - Facebook announced a thorough revamp of its Slingshot photo- and video-sharing application, including photo filters, the ability to follow users and automatically see their shots, private photo and video reactions to shots and the option to share shots on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other apps. AllFacebook

Updates to Facebook Search - This week, Facebook is updating Facebook Search to make it easier to find the posts that have been shared with you. Facebook

Bing’s Top Searches In 2014: Kim Kardashian No. 1 Most Searched Celebrity - Listing its top searches for more than 15 different categories, eight of Bing’s top ten celebrity searches were female. Search Engine Land

Report: Mobile Grabbed One-Third Of Global Search Spend In Q3 - A third of all paid search spend went to mobile in the third quarter of 2014, an increase of 180 percent year-over-year. Mobile search volume rose 120 percent. That’s according to Covario’s quarterly analysis, which covers clients in high tech, consumer electronics and retail. Marketing Land

Disneyland Tops Instagram Tagged Locations in 2014 - They’re going to Disneyland: The theme park in Anaheim, Calif., was the top geotagged location on Instagram in 2014. AllFacebook

From our Online Marketing Community:

In response to Our Top 10 Social Media Marketing Posts of 2014, Michael A. Stelzner said, “Hey Lee – It’s great to see that two of our productions made it into your top articles. Thanks again for all the coverage of the report and our conference :)

Niraj Bariya commented, “Hey Brilliant articles ! Social media marketing will be always high and this post really helpful to online marketers !”

And Ian Cleary added, “Hey Lee, it’s always a good day when I get a mention on your blog!!! Thank you, great list!! Ian”

And in reply to 5 Essential Skills for Digital Marketing Consultants, Sandy Mallach offered, “Strategies, goals, tactics. It all sounds so military, and for good reason. It takes all these things to achieve success whether its a military campaign or a marketing campaign, both of which require a lot of heart from the key players, and in both, “to the victor go the spoils”. Sandy @ WorkadoApp”

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Survata


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Online Marketing News: Disney Is Tops, Slingshot Re-slung, Tumblr Gets Growing | http://www.toprankblog.com

December 12th 2014 Online Marketing

Content is not just a platform: Why I left journalism and joined TopRank Marketing

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stack-of-newspapers

[Note from Lee: TopRank has made many advancements in the content marketing space over the past 5-6 years and that leadership has resulted in growth – including the addition of 15 new people to our team in the past 7 months.  Among those new faces is content marketing smartie, James Anderson, our new agency Director of Content Marketing.  

James spent over 9 years as a journalist and editor before moving into the brand publisher space. And now he’s made the full move over to the marketing realm.  You’ll be seeing a lot of James here in the coming days and weeks as he helps me advance the TopRank content marketing machine even further – please make him feel welcome!]

Like a lot of journalists, I have an ‘end of days’ story about why I got out of the business. Thankfully, I’m one of the fortunate ones who was able to get out on my own volition.

In the fall of 2010, I headed up the consolidation of two small-town newspapers, and I was able to see first-hand the changing landscape in the media world. If I hadn’t figured it out already, that moment solidified the need to make a change.

Content Marketing

About that time, I picked up Twitter chatter about this concept of Content Marketing. I learned that brands and agencies were willing to pay English majors like myself to do what they love — mainly, move words around in ways that inspire thought and action. So I dug deep into a couple years’ worth of  Master’s of Business Communications courses and hopped on board a Minneapolis news startup called BringMeTheNews.

For four years I helped brands tell stories through BringMeTheNews’ innovative platform. I dove into brand content and native advertising. I strived to tell sponsored stories that drove higher clicks and engagement than news stories — and when I did, I made sure to let the newsroom know!

Why TopRank?

Throughout the process of helping to grow a startup into a recognized marketing platform, I soaked up everything I could about content marketing. While I did, I met a lot of great people, including my new boss, Lee Odden.

We first met in person at the 2012 Content Marketing World in Ohio and joked about how we’d have to touch base back in Minneapolis. But we didn’t. A year would go by until I’d see Lee again in Cleveland.

Since that first meeting I’ve paid attention to what he and his smart team at TopRank were saying about content marketing, brand journalism and native advertising.

While I loved how BringMeTheNews allowed me to work with sponsored content, I knew there was still one more step I wanted to make. That step was from publisher to agency where the intersection of journalism, brand publishing and content marketing meet.

I had my eyes on TopRank Marketing and how the team was advancing the cause in the content marketing space through their own content as well as with clients like LinkedIn, MarketingProfs and Dell. When the opportunity arose to come aboard as Director of Content Marketing, I jumped.

At the agency level, talk of content is genuinely platform-agnostic. TopRank marketers are focused on attracting, engaging, and converting while truly understanding the relationship between buyers, information, consumption preferences and what will ultimately motivate action.

On day three I have already seen what I was missing in the journalism world. When publishers talk about content, the platform is the destination. At TopRank Marketing, the platform is a means with which to create awesome experiences for customers.

Image: Shutterstock


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2014. |
Content is not just a platform: Why I left journalism and joined TopRank Marketing | http://www.toprankblog.com

December 10th 2014 Online Marketing

The 6 SEO Mistakes Your Business Can’t Afford to Keep Making

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by Jayson DeMers

Have you ever wondered what’s holding your Google rankings and SEO efforts back? Proper SEO is complicated, and making a mistake in your SEO campaign is easy. It’s possible your only roadblocks to higher Google rankings are foolish – yet fixable – mistakes. What are some common SEO don’ts, and how can you fix them?
1. Ignoring Google’s latest rules. It’s difficult to keep up with Google’s changing algorithms. Many inexperienced businesspeople working on SEO strategies are under the mistaken impression that if a strategy works, it will work forever. Google can roll out new changes with little or no advanced notice – and SEO strategies that worked yesterday can cause your rankings to plummet today. 
Optimizing for Google’s latest changes can be difficult, especially if SEO isn’t your area of expertise. SEO is one of the most changeable areas of marketing out there. Failing to account for Google’s latest content rules can cause a previously high ranking page to fall very low in rankings.
2. Linking to the wrong sites. The reason Google refreshes its algorithms frequently is to keep up with businesses who are trying to game their system. Their goal is to provide searchers with quality results. With every new change come new SEO strategies. However, understanding the principle of Google’s algorithm updates doesn’t mean your strategy for beating them will be effective. One example of this is linking to suspicious and low quality sites on your business’s page.
Outbound links are a way to gain credibility for your business, but simply having many outbound links isn’t enough. Your links must lead to quality pages. Too many outbound links to suspicious pages can cause your Google rankings to plummet. When linking, you should focus on quality rather than quantity. Outbound links on your page should be relevant to your industry. Avoid linking to pharmacy, gambling, or adult websites. These are specifically flagged by Google’s algorithms as low quality and undesirable.
3. Too many error pages. Another way linking can create problems for your business’s page is if they are broken. Google will recognize your site as having quality problems if multiple links result in 404 errors. Broken links are a loss of credibility.
Sites naturally accumulate errors as time goes on – especially in outbound links. It’s important to regularly check your site for these errors and update or delete any broken links. Checking for broken links on your site is easy; check your Webmaster Tools and look for any pages under the section entitled “Not Found.”
4. Duplicate or plagiarized copy. It’s fairly common for businesses to take another site’s content and place it on their own page. This is illegal and causes Google rankings to plummet. If your business has a high level of plagiarized copy, Google may completely de-index your site. This is a death sentence for your brand.
Even duplicating content within your own site can lead to consequences. Having multiple pages with exactly the same content can cause several problems for Google. The search engine can’t be sure which version is better to retrieve. Even having the same title or meta description on more than one page can be a problem. Supply your website with unique content and titles. This allows search engines to properly index and retrieve the most relevant pages for a particular search.
5. Optimizing for the wrong keywords. Choosing the right keywords might seem like a no-brainer. Selecting the wrong ones, however, is a common error, and can strike a big blow against your business. Your site should be optimized for keywords matching its purpose and the products it sells – however, the keywords should also be words people actually search for when they need your product or service.
When choosing keywords, it’s best to be as specific as possible. Broader keywords can lead to increased traffic, but low conversion – because people landing on your page don’t actually want your service. There are tools online for choosing solid keywords.
6. Slow page loading. Most people know that SEO requires good keywords and relevant content. However, many are unaware that Google actually ranks pages according to loading speed as well. If your business’s site is slow, your search engine rankings will suffer. Especially when it comes to mobile webpages, it’s easy to accidentally create a slow loading page.
Designing your business’s page according to responsive design principles allows you to omit certain pages from the mobile site. A professional can help you figure out what is causing your business’s page to load slowly.
Spotting and Addressing SEO Mistakes
These SEO mistakes are common. However, if your site is performing poorly, it can be hard to figure out exactly what the problem is. The best solution for all SEO issues is regular SEO auditing. According to Chuck Aikens, CEO of Volume Nine, “Because algorithms and weighted factors shift over time, it’s a good idea to periodically conduct a technical audit of your website to spot unexpected issues that may have cropped up without you knowing it. An SEO audit can analyze your site to determine where problems are and provide the best solution.” Because of the ever-changing ranking factors and the highly technical nature of SEO, it’s important to have a professional conduct a regular SEO site audit.
Don’t let your business suffer as a result of these simple SEO mistakes. If you’ve never had a professional SEO audit, that’s the best place to start. If it’s been a long time since your last one, make a plan to regularly audit your website. It’s an investment not only for the health of your website, but also the relationship you have with your customers and business as a whole.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Online Marketing News: Mobile Ranking Signals, CEOs Wasting Money, Social Customer Service

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Global Social Platform Visits

54% of Facebook Users Login Multiple Times Per Day (Twitter: 34%) - More than half of Facebook active users (54 percent) log into the social network more than once per day, compared to just over one third (34 percent) who do so on Twitter. AllTwitter

Report: 66 Percent Of Email Opens On Mobile, Mostly iOS Devices - Email marketing platform Movable Ink has released its Q3 “Consumer Device Preferences Report.” The report is focused on email engagement and based on statistics captured from across the company’s client base. Marketing Land

Three-Quarters Of Millennials Expect Brands To Be Entertaining - In Facebook’s “Coming of Age on Screens” study, 72% of young millennials from all over the world said that’s what they expect from brands – entertaining content. That’s a lot to live up to. It’s a lot harder to be entertaining on command than it is to be informative but when you hit that sweet spot the returns are insane. Marketing Pilgrim

REPORT: Facebook Ads, Boosted Posts Narrowing Gap on Organic Posts - Marketers on Facebook were already starting to ramp up their paid ads and boosted posts even before the social network announced last Friday that users will see fewer promotional posts from pages in their News Feeds, according to a recent study by Experian Marketing Services. AllFacebook

Google Is Testing Mobile-Friendly Signals In Their Ranking Algorithm - A single line added to Google’s announcement about their mobile-friendly labels rolling out to mobile searchers said that Google is experimenting with using mobile-friendly criteria in their ranking algorithms. Search Engine Roundtable

Only 15% of Workers Share Professional Accomplishments on Social Media - Only 15 percent of workers share workplace successes on their social media accounts, according to a study from LinkedIn and Wakefield Research. This number includes people who shared accomplishments on personal blogs. SocialTimes

STUDY: Local Facebook Pages Are Far More Engaging than Global Pages - Keeping it local is the way to go when it comes to Facebook pages, as a recent study from social media analytics platform Socialbakers found that local pages far outperform global pages in terms of engagement, due to the quality and frequency of localized content. AllFacebook

Less Than 20% of Internet Users Account for 82.4% of Video Shares - Although a small percentage of consumers actively share content on the Internet, those sharers are extremely active and could prove to be valuable targets for marketers. ClickZ

7 in 10 Enterprise CEOs Believe They Are Wasting Money on Marketing Initiatives - Some 35% of CEOs at large organizations believe that their marketing’s sales performance is exceeding expectations, while fewer CMOs (26%) agree, according to a Forbes Insights study [download page] conducted in association with Rocket Fuel and Spencer Stuart. MarketingCharts

Study: Very Few Users Prefer Social Media for Customer Service - About one in four (23 percent) of U.S. internet users have used social media for customer service purposes, but it’s the preferred channel for a very small minority, reveals new data from American Express. AllTwitter

Google: Your Content In Tabs & Click To Expand May Not Be Indexed Or Ranked - Google’s Josh Mueller says content within “click to expand” menus or “tabs” may be “discounted” since Google knows you are hiding it from users. Google may not rank the page for the content within those sections because Google knows users do not see the content by default. Search Engine Roundtable

Forrester Says Marketers Are Wasting Resources on Facebook, Twitter - Because of low reach and engagement on the major social networks, report suggests that brands should build their own communities and leverage other social sites. Marketing Land

From our Online Marketing Community:

In response to Content Marketing Best Practices Report: Creating a Culture of Content, Bia Castro said, “Your definition of culture of content is really impressive. Really good article by the way!!”

On Superhero or Zero Digital Marketing Agencies – How Can You Tell?, Tomer Algrably commented, “Great post lee! one of the way we give back in our business is actually by giving the yearly bonuses, it’s due soon ;)

And SteeveAuston shared, “Its all based on research and experience you can’t tell or judge about the performace of any marketing agency unless you outsource their serivices to know what kind of results they provide :-)

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: AllTwitter


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2014. |
Online Marketing News: Mobile Ranking Signals, CEOs Wasting Money, Social Customer Service | http://www.toprankblog.com

December 5th 2014 Online Marketing

Hey, That Online Marketing Word Cloud Looks Really Familiar!

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online marketing word cloud

In 2008 I wrote a blog post listing top search marketing blogs, each with a Wordle visualization image I created that was embedded from Flickr.

In that list was a word cloud for this, TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog. Apparently the image has been pretty popular as seen in gratuitous duplication from a search on Google above.

TopRankBlog word Cloud

Since the original post 6 years ago, the word cloud image has been generously repurposed by hundreds of websites – including Chief Marketer, Orbit Media Studios and even on our own site in 2009 and 2010.

Just check out this Google image SERP to see what I mean.

word cloud twitter

What’s funny is that I’ve noticed the image on other blog posts for years, but I’ve started to notice people using it as their avatar or background image on social media sites as well.

Did I add a source credit within the image itself? Nope.

Would that have stopped people from copying and using it as their own so many times? Probably not.

At this point do I care? Not really. Although, it’s pretty cool to know that in 2008 the topics we were writing about continue to be popular today.

Is there a lesson in this? Sure – it might be a good idea to add some source text and a URL to your graphics – like I did to the word cloud image above.  That way, if the image you create does get copied all over the web, there’s some kind of signal back to you as the source. If the graphic is proprietary and you have rights to it, then there’s a whole other set of actions you can take when people use your image without permission.

Do you add source text or URLs to the graphics that you publish online?


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© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2014. |
Hey, That Online Marketing Word Cloud Looks Really Familiar! | http://www.toprankblog.com

December 3rd 2014 Online Marketing

Online Marketing News: PageRank Is Dead, Google Gets Anti-Ads, Every Tweet Ever

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10 Marketing Predictions For 2015

10 Marketing Predictions for 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC] - There have been many changes in the digital marketing space over 2014, and that has marketers preparing to revise their strategies as we approach 2015. So what is the future of SEO, social media, content marketing, and mobile marketing?  Find out. Social Media Today

Survey: The 10 Biggest Challenges Facing Social Media Marketers - Assessing the effectiveness of their social media activities is the number one challenge facing social media professionals worldwide, reveals a new study. AllTwitter

Google: Stop Using PageRank As A Metric, We Won’t Be Updating It In The Future - The last Google Toolbar PageRank update was 11 months and 18 days ago, almost a year ago, on December 6, 2013. Google’s John Mueller has told in a video hangout that there probably won’t be PageRank updates in the future. Search Engine Roundtable

STUDY: Average Fortune 100 Brand Has 320 Social Media Accounts - The average Fortune 100 brand has 320 social media accounts, up 80 percent over the past three years, according to a new study from security-as-a-service provider Proofpoint. AllFacebook

Google Launches Tool To Remove Ads From Your Favorite Sites - Google has launched a new tool that will enable publishers do away with Google source ads, while not forcing users to pay before they can access content; sounds interesting don’t you think so? SocialBarrel

YouTube Has More Monthly Visitors Than Facebook, Twitter - What’s the number one social network around the world? Facebook, right? With more than 1.3 billion active users, Mark Zuckerberg’s platform dwarfs Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ combined. But throw YouTube into the mix, and things start to get a little weird. AllTwitter

Twitter Unveils Instant Timeline to Woo New Users - The social network also plans to enhance native video sharing and Direct Messages next year. Twitter has revealed a feature called Instant Timelines, which will let new users see what’s happening on the social network without having to find people to follow. ClickZ

Google Launches Mobile-Friendly Site Testing Tool - Google announced the launch of a mobile-friendly test tool to see if your website passes Google’s criteria for what it consider to be a mobile optimized site. Search Engine Journal

Just 17.9% of Internet Users Account For 80% of Shares: Stats - Almost one in five online users share videos with their social networks more than once a week. This is according to new research published by Unruly, which also reveals that the video ecosystem is becoming increasingly fragmented. Econsultancy

Facebook Launches FB Techwire - Members of the media who cover the technology sector have a new resource, compliments of Facebook, as the social network announced the launch of FB Techwire, which is powered by social content discovery and verification provider Storyful. AllFacebook

Twitter Offers Will Put Digital Coupons Within Tweets - The new feature will enable consumers to sync their debit or credit card with Twitter and redeem coupons online and in physical retail stores. Marketing Land

Now Showing in Twitter Search: Every Tweet Ever Written (March 21, 2006 to Present) - Twitter is now indexing every tweet every published, from Dorsey’s historic first message to that hilarious cat GIF you just posted a few seconds ago. AllTwitter

What were the top online and digital marketing news stories for you this week?

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Infographic: Social Media Today


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Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2014. |
Online Marketing News: PageRank Is Dead, Google Gets Anti-Ads, Every Tweet Ever | http://www.toprankblog.com

November 28th 2014 Online Marketing