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Posts Tagged ‘seo’

Blogging Beyond the Basics: What Makes Your Company Great?

Do you think your company doesn’t have enough to say to merit having a blog? That means you’re probably overlooking what makes your company unique. You should know the things that set you apart from competitors, and you should blog about them.

Let’s consider a hypothetical plumbing company. Conventional thinking may suggest that there isn’t much for a local plumber to regularly blog about. You, as the owner of this imaginary plumbing company, assume that after building a website highlighting your services, there’s nothing more to say. After all, how much can you write about snaking a shower drain or fixing a leaky kitchen faucet? It’s true, there might not be a need to regularly write about the services you offer, but you can share more about who you are as a company.

If you’re a local business serving customers in your immediate area, you should use your website to highlight what makes you a strong part of your community. Do you support a local charity? Or sponsor a little league team? If so, write about it! By sharing this information with customers, you give them a better sense of your company beyond the nuts and bolts of your basic services.

When a customer searches for a plumber, they’ll know what they need. They need someone who can fix a broken toilet, and it’s safe to assume that every plumber in their area is capable of handling this task. When they find ten local plumbers, how do they go about choosing which one to call?

They’d probably first consider price, but you’re hopefully already competitive in that regard. Next, they might look at customer reviews. You should ideally be set for this as well, displaying numerous positive reviews from previous customers. So assuming you’ve covered the basic minimum customer expectations of competitive prices and trusted quality, you’ll want something extra to set you apart from all of the other local plumbers who also meet those basic expectations. A great way to do that is to reveal your company’s personality beyond the basics.

Every blog post you write is an opportunity to show customers what makes your company great. Don’t overlook such any opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors. Think about what makes your company more than the basic services you provide. Once you know what that is, share it with your customers.

The Difference in SEO in 2014

You know what will be the biggest SEO trend in 2014?

Integrity.

At this point, it’s unavoidable. If you want your site to rank well, you’ll need integrity.

Recent changes to Google’s algorithm like Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird have put a premium on providing useful content to users in honest ways. You can no longer sneak a useless site to the top of the SERPs with keyword stuffing and link schemes. Gone are the days of black-hat SEO, and it’s about time.

Remember how obnoxious it was to see a site rank higher than yours because someone used black-hat techniques? Ever get annoyed when someone disparaged the SEO industry as a whole because of a few bad apples? Thanks to the recent algorithm changes, there are new restrictions to prevent shady tactics.

Some view the restrictions negatively. The many changes have made some of the easy (black-hat) techniques not only ineffectual but damaging to SERP rankings. But there’s a positive way to look at it. With shady tactics now proving harmful to search rankings, there is no reason to spend your time and energy employing them. And having that extra time and energy is good, because ranking higher in SERPs now requires more work and thoughtfulness than ever before.

As search engines get better at delivering what customers want, websites will have to get better at providing the valuable content that gets delivered. This means you can’t get away with keyword stuffing or link schemes to artificially boost your site’s rankings. Now that cheap tricks won’t help rankings, the true cream will rise to the top. And if you want to be at the top, you need to provide valuable content that customers want. It’s that simple.

There are no more tricks, and for that we should be grateful. With such frivolous distractions eliminated by Google’s updates, we can now focus on the hard work of providing quality content to our customers.

Having reflected on and reacted to the major industry updates of the past years, let’s look forward to 2014: when hard work and integrity will yield superior results.

Siri Says What? Voice Search and SEO

Voice search is changing the way that people search on the internet, and thus changing the game for SEO. Before technologies like Siri and voice command, people would search by entering specific keywords or keyword phrases into a search engine. Now, because of voice search, there is a shift from queries focused on precise keywords to a more relaxed and conversational language.

For example, if you are searching for a hair salon via voice command you might say “Where can I find a good hair salon?” But if you were doing a typed search on Google you would probably search something like “Hair Salon Chicago.”

This shift from a keyword search to a more conversational search means that the way that search engines interpret queries will be changing in the near future.

What does this shift mean from an SEO standpoint? SEOs will now have to find ways to have their information delivered when a conversational voice search is used, while still optimizing for regular keyword searches as well. This shift isn’t a negative as so much a different way of searching. Voice queries are very user friendly and normally produce search results more quickly.

Another change that will result from more voice searches will be that users do not need webpages to get the information that they need. Sometimes when we ask Siri or our voice command a question, they respond right back to us without opening a webpage. SEOs will have to find ways to still send traffic to their website when a voice command query is given.

Marketers as well will now have to track their results not just from clicks on a website but how many times a certain keyword or result comes up from a voice command question.

Another change in SEO that will occur as a result in voice commands is the length of query searches.  When someone is speaking out loud what they wish to search they aren’t thinking about precise keywords. Rather they are using their thought process and saying what comes to mind. This is typically results in a lengthy query. Therefore, search engines are going to have to change their algorithms to accommodate for these extra words that usually appear in a more conversational query search.

Source: Search Engine Journal

Content Marketing Tips to Keep Your Traffic Moving

Content is king right now. While there is still something to be said for link building (only the strong survive), expanding the content to your website, and making sure that content is worthwhile, is the way to go. In truth, your SEO efforts should have a blend of various strategies. Everything in moderation. But no doubt that adding great content that your users will care about on regular basis will only benefit your website’s value.

The DO’s in creating excellent content

Start building up your website –

  • Go through all of the content on your website and make sure that it lines up with the goals and purpose of why you created your website
  • Create a blog! This is very important in order to receive more backlinks, more indexed pages and in the end more traffic. Make sure to update your blog frequently.
  • Create a team or assign someone to keep the blog up-to-date. Have this team look over not only your blog but all of the content on your website
  • Use different content models such as comics, newsletters, infographics, webinar, open discussions, podcasts throughout your website
  • Include social media buttons at the end of your articles to make it easier for your readers to repost your content. Use only your 3 main social media platforms as buttons; having any more can be overwhelming to the reader.
  • Check your meta description tags and make sure they are compelling for people that are clicking through the SERPs

The DONT’s in creating content

  • Do not post repeated, meaningless, duplicate and boring content. Readers will not be interested and your articles will not be shared.
  • Make sure that your content relates to the overall purpose of your website

Create content that stands out                

  • Have a clear purpose in mind when writing content – Ask yourself: who is your audience, what are they looking for by reading your content, how can you assist your audience, and what your business is looking to get out of the content that you are writing
  • Create a strategy for the content that you display. Define the general theme or direction that you want your content to go in.
  • Decide how you wish to create, distribute, and maintain your content over time.
  • Create a performance metric to measure the success of your content marketing

Main nuggets of wisdom –

  • The main goals in content marketing is to build trust with your audience and create a lasting following with them
  • Think of your audience
  • Educate and help your readers with your content

 

Effective SEO: Creating A Successful Video PinBoard on Pinterest

Gears have shifted within the last year, and the name of the SEO game is content. What are all of the ways we can generate useful or interesting content for potential customers, followers, friends, etc. Today in our Effective SEO update, we talk about Pinterest. Specifically, we talk about the value of adding video to your Pinterest board and how creating a diverse and engaging board can lead to more interactions with the people following you.

Many people that use Pinterest don’t even know that they can pin videos to their boards and believe it or not videos can be one of the most effective way to get other Pinterest users to see and share your content. Most of the people that browse on Pinterest do so while doing other things. Social media users are generally considered passive users for that reason, and it takes a lot to keep their attention. Videos are an excellent way to do this. By creating video pinboards, you’re more likely to hold a user’s attention for more than just a minute or two. Once a user likes your content and spends more than a few minutes with it, they’ll be more likely to click through to your site or share your content with other like-minded individuals.

Pinning Videos to Existing Boards

If you’re already using Pinterest and have created boards that you add to on a regular basis, consider adding a video the next time you want to add content to a board. Videos can attract people that already have an interest in your content or a specific board to come back and look at your content again. In some cases, you may find that people who have already commented on your boards or shared them will do so again if you add video content.

Picking Video Content to Pin to Existing Boards

While the video content you add doesn’t have to be yours, it should of course be related to the board that you’re pinning it on however, the video content you add to an existing pinboard really doesn’t have to have a ton of value. That means that if you have a pinboard about “How to take care of Dachshund’s”, for example, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with adding a short YouTube video of dachshund puppies playing in the park or running after a ball. That video doesn’t really contribute anything to the quality of your content, but it doesn’t take away from your real quality information, either. In fact, pinning a video could get more people to check out the quality content on the rest of the board. After all, who doesn’t want to watch cute puppies playing in the park or chasing after a ball on a summer day? People that do watch your video may share your other content and check out your other boards as well.

Creating Pinboards Exclusively for Videos

Adding video to your existing pin boards isn’t the only option when it comes to putting video content on Pinterest. While that may be helpful for some Pinterest users, others may find that making a new pin board or two exclusively for certain types of videos will be best for them. For example, a pin board dedicated exclusively to funny viral videos may be a big hit, and on that particular board, there’s really no room for anything except video content. Pinboards created exclusively for video can hold a Pinterest user’s attention for a much longer period of time than a simple photo pin board – no matter how elaborate that photo pin board is. Users that are looking at videos are also much more engaged because they require them to look and listen.

When a user is watching one of your videos, they’re actively engaging with your content. When a user is just looking at a photo, they could be doing a hundred other things at the same time. In fact, many passive users of Pinterest probably watch television, listen to music or talk with friends or family members at the same time. Even if you create memorable content, a user that isn’t fully engaged is likely to forget about it as soon as they open up a new tab in the browser or turn their computer off.

Make Sure Your Video Content is Enticing

The video content you pin to your boards should have something about it, at least to your target audience, which makes it nearly irresistible. Cute puppies for pet lovers, beautifully decorated cakes for foodies – the content doesn’t matter as long as you know there are people out there that simply can’t resist clicking it. By creating content that’s immediately enticing to people you’ll get a lot more likes and repins.

Today’s guest post in Effective SEO comes to us from frequent contributor Marcela De Vivo. Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in the L.A. area. She’s written hundreds of articles ranging on topics from optimizing SEO to designing safe spaces for children.

Interested in writing for the Evolving Interactive Guest Blog? Check out the details and contact us at the Guest Blog page.

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