Link building continues to remain an effective tool to improve a website’s search ranking. Make sure, however, that you earn every link the right way with hard work and creativity. Stay away from so-called SEO experts who use black hat techniques for link building. If you think it would help, you can even join a SEO training course to learn the white hat techniques of link building. Here are three link building strategies for small business.
1. Partner with local companies
Look for SMBs in your locality and try to convince them to put a link back to your website. Make sure it’s a win-win for both parties. For instance, you may want to sponsor one of their upcoming events. In exchange, they may want to place a link on their event page back to your website.
2. Contribute to influencer sites in your niche
Find out websites or blogs that regularly post relevant content for your target audience. Now try to build a partnership with these sites. You can contribute blog posts to those sites on a weekly or monthly basis. This gives you a chance to put a link of your website on the influencer site. That way, you can drive more traffic to your website and earn quality links in the process.
3. Leverage the Skyscraper technique
This link building technique was discovered by Brian Dean from Backlinko. In this technique, you first need to find out the top performing content in your niche. Then you need to create an improved version of the top performing content. Finally, you need to contact an influencer website in your niche and request them to feature and promote your content on their site. This process may be a little time-consuming, but the results are worth your time and effort. You can seek professional help from an SEO expert for the job.
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As a small business owner, you may feel bogged down seeing the level of competition in the online space. There are many big players that are already selling what you are planning to sell. They, of course, have some advantages in SEO as well. From domain authority to link diversity and credibility, they seem to have the upper hand in every department.
Thankfully, SEO no longer focuses only on how long you’ve been in the business, your content volumes and how many inbound links you have. The focus has shifted to whether or not your website is useful and relevant to the users. This gives everyone a level playing field – no matter the size of their business. You can join an SEO training course to know more about this. Here are some useful tips on how a small business can compete with the giant players in SEO.
Focus on a niche
It is easier to improve your website ranking when your focus on a particular niche. The idea is to present your business as an expert in the niche. For instance, if your business provides interior design services, you may want to focus on office renovation or home renovation. By directing your SEO efforts towards a certain niche, you’ll be able to strengthen your online visibility faster.
Use hyper-focused keywords
Another good idea would be to choose keywords that big players probably would never choose. For instance, large businesses usually focus more on generic keywords and less on specific, hyper-focused keywords. This is because more people search with generic keywords, but the competition level is also high. This is why SEO experts often recommend using more specific, long tail keywords.
Target local audience
Some people always prefer buying from a local vendor. Even when they are searching online, they may look for a service provider in their city or town. You can capitalize on this opportunity by targeting your SEO efforts towards the local audience.
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Content marketing is a proven way to boost a website’s search ranking, but the best practices for content marketing keep changing to fall in line with the ever-changing search engine algorithm. To get the best results from your content marketing efforts, you should have a strategy. Your SEO consultant can help you in this. But before you hire SEO services, it would be a good idea to learn a few tips on how to build an effective content marketing strategy.
First things first, consider why you want to do content marketing. For instance, you may want to increase signups or improve your brand reputation. Setting your goal will help you plan accordingly. Some other examples of concrete goals could be earning more back links, increasing customer retention or customer loyalty.
Define your audience
The importance of knowing your audience cannot be stressed enough. You should do everything possible to know how your target audience behaves when they search for a product or service online. To that end, you can keep a watch on their social networking habit, what content they read or share, what they like, dislike, tweet or re-tweet.
Decide on content types
What types of content you should create, depend on your goals and target audience. For instance, if your goal is to improve brand reputation, you should create useful blogs, case studies, tutorials and testimonials. When you are trying to earn back links, you should create guest posts and email newsletters.
Create a content execution plan
You should also plan how frequently you want to post new content and how you want to create the content. For instance, if you are blogging, decide whether you want to post a new blog daily, weekly or monthly. Do you want to write the posts yourself or engage an experienced writer for the job?
Finally, you should have the right tools to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns.
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The importance of choosing the right keywords for your SEO campaign cannot be stressed enough. After all, the entire search algorithm revolves around keywords or key phrases. When you hire an SEO service, the first thing they do is keyword research.
At its core, keywords are nothing but words and phrases that users use to search for a product or service online. There are many different types of keywords, but SEO consultants usually stress on using mainly three types. Here’s a look at the three most important types of keywords for SEO success.
1. Generic keyword
This type of keyword targets a broad category of products or services. Examples of generic keywords could be ‘men’s t-shirts’ and ‘SEO services’. These terms do not mention specific details. For instance, the keyword ‘men’s t-shirt’ covers all types of men’s t-shirts, including printed shirts, cotton shirts and designer shirts. Owing to the broad area that they cover, ranking for a generic keyword could be really difficult. However, if you can rank with generic keywords, you are likely to drive heavy traffic to your website from the search results.
2. Broad match keyword
These keywords are more specific and are much less competitive than generic keywords. Visitors who find your website through these keywords are more likely to buy from you, because they know what exactly they are looking for. Examples of broad match keywords are ‘Blue t-shirts for men’ and ‘SEO services in Singapore’.
3. Long tail keywords
This type of keyword phrases use the exact sentence that someone types when searching for a product or service online. For instance, one can write, ‘What are the different types of blue t-shirts available for men?’ Now this whole sentence can be used as a long-tail keyword.
For best results, you should use a combination of the three types of keywords mentioned above.
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Every business, irrespective of their size and target audience, needs a strong online presence. However, SEO for B2B needs a different approach than SEO for B2C requires. This is mainly because B2B firms often have multiple decision makers and their products or services are usually more expensive than B2C products or services. As a marketer, you can expect a longer sales cycle in B2B. Also, B2B customers require more convincing. If you have no idea how to optimize your B2B business for search engines, you can seek professional help from an SEO expert. Alternatively, you can join an SEO training course and do your own SEO. Here are some useful tips for B2B SEO.
Use Google My Business listing
When you search for a particular company online, you may find its details, including name of business, address, map, and operating hours on the right hand side of your search results page. This means that the company you’re looking for is listed in Google My Business. You too can list the details of your company in the Google My Business page. This not only helps your customers find you online, but also helps improve your search ranking.
Add a FAQ page
The FAQ page of your company website is a chance for you to answer the frequently asked questions about your business. More importantly, you can insert long tail keyword phrases naturally into this page, which would help improve your SEO.
Use responsive designs
Most B2B customers today make online searches on their mobile devices. You should make your website mobile-friendly, so that they can easily browse your products and services online.
Provide useful content
In addition to how-to articles and top lists, you can consider posting white papers and case studies on your website. Allow interested readers to download the content from your site. This is a great way keep your B2B prospects engaged.
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If you are planning to seek professional help for SEO, you are not alone. Businesses of every size need a strong online presence today, and most of them are turning to SEO for best results. Unfortunately, not all of them get the desired results despite spending a lot of time and money on SEO services. The reason why only a few people get success with SEO is because only a few actually know the secret sauce to SEO success. In this article, we are going to reveal some of the secrets that no SEO consultant will tell you.
1. Post updated content
Most search engines, including Google, prefer updated content. You should keep updating your content frequently. In other words, make sure you’re providing the latest information to your readers. Neither your human readers not search bots prefer outdated content.
2. Quality content is not enough
Great content cannot help improve your search ranking until you take the necessary steps to make the content visible in the online space. For instance, you should post your content to the top publication channels and use the top networks to promote them.
3. Do your best and leave the rest
SEO is a vast subject. No one knows it inside out. Google’s algorithm changes almost every day, with no announcements made for most of the changes. So it is nearly impossible for an SEO consultant to know everything about how search engines rank websites. All you can do is to keep yourself updated. Do the best you can do and leave the rest. Results are never guaranteed.
4. Link building is not dead
Contrary to a popular misconception, link building still works. And links are still an important ranking factor. While experts recommend focusing more on naturally earning links, you may sometimes deliberately try to attract links from quality sites, bloggers and marketers. Generating quality content for the purpose of link building could be an effective SEO strategy.
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More than 80 percent of the consumers research online before making a purchase, according to a recent report by Forbes Magazine. Clearly, businesses of every size needs to take the necessary steps for boosting their online presence. Still, some small business owners are reluctant to invest in online marketing, because they think the cost would be high. But the fact is; internet marketing could be more affordable than traditionl marketing. To get the best benefits of online marketing, however, you should keep updated with the ever changing search engine algorithm and trends. If you are new to this field, you can hire an SEO expert or join an SEO training course. Here are some useful online marketing tips for small businesses.
When the purpose is to improve your online presence, there is no alternative to blogging. The more you post useful blog articles, the better would be your chance of getting noticed. However, for best results, you should ensure both freqency and quality of content. If you want to write your blog articles yourself, consider following SEO best practices for blog writing. Otherwise, you can hire an experienced copywriter for the job. In either case, your focus should be on creating informative content that the redears find very useful. You can try creatung simple how-to articles, top 10 lists, and tips on intereting topics in your indusry. Make sure you indentify and use the right keywords in each blog post.
Social media marketing
Using social media to engage with your existing and prospective customers is a proven way to boost your online ranking. Almost every business use this technique nowadays. However, not all businesses know how to use this marketing tool effectively. Instead of using the routine techniques social media advertising, try something new. Consider adding a personal touch to your social media massages. For instance, when responding to a question on your Facebook or Twitter account, you can mention the name of the customer. You can also send personalized marketing massages to CEOs of companies you want to do business with, for more effective B2B marketing.
Another very effective online marketing channel is email marketing. If used wisely, this marketing tool can get you more business than you could even think of. For best results, consider targeting a niche audience, with highly useful content. For instance, if you are targeting shipping industry professionals, consider sending newsletters, shipping news, and blogs written by shipping industry experts. Also, do not include a sales pitch in every email.
Ideally, your first few emails should not have any sales pitch at all. You first need to earn the trust of your readers. Once they are convinced that you’re trying to help them, without expecting anything in return – you can then gradually introduce your brand and use a call to action.
Finally, you should not ignore the importance of search engine optimization. An SEO expert can help optimize your website with the right keywords. They use a range of techniques, including keyword research and link building to help boost your overall search ranking.
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When someone conducts a search on Google, they get hundreds of search results almost instantly. Have you ever wondered how this mechanism works? Actually, Google has its own algorithm to determine what pages should appear in the first page of search results. It’s okay if you do not want to dig deeper into the technicalities, but there’s no harm in knowing some interesting facts about Google’s algorithm. Whether you are an SEO expert or simply pursuing a SEO training course, here are 5 interesting things to know about the search giant and its algorithm.
1. Google Dance is not actually a dance form
In the early last decade, Google used to make sudden changes in its search rankings every month. These sudden changes had a name – Google Dance. If you thought Google Dance is a kind of dance, now you know it’s not. Back then, the search engine would often name the sudden changes by location as well, for instance, Florida Dance and Boston Dance. However, Google has stopped making such sudden updates (read Google Dance) every month since 2003.
2. PageRank got its name from Larry Page
You thought PageRank is a way of determining the quality and relevance of a website. You are right, but it has nothing to do with its naming. In fact PageRank was named after one of Google’s co-founder – Larry Page.
3. The original name of Google’s algorithm has never changed since 2013
Yes, you read it right! Hummingbird is the official name of Google’s algorithm since 2013. Meanwhile, the search giant has made several major updates by the names – Penguin updates, Panda updates, and Pigeon updates. But, make no mistake; they are just the names of the updates – not the original name. Hummingbird continues to remain the original name of Google algorithm, even today. Some experts say Hummingbird is a perfect name for Google’s algorithm, because it is a combination of numerous ingredients to make searching on Google faster and more accurate like the bird itself.
4. Google updates its algorithm 500-600 times a year
Surprising but true! Google is very quick to respond to any changes in the way people search online. In order to adjust to the ever-changing search behavior of people, the search engine now makes up to 600 updates every year. However, most of these updates are so minor that even SEO experts would not know about them. It is true that the frequency of Google updates has increased considerably over the past few years. One of the major reasons for this is that more and more people now are searching on mobile devices. Also, the number of users is growing fast.
5. There is no story behind every name
Names of Google algorithm updates do not always have a story behind them. Some were named after famous engineers or Google employees, while others have no specific reason for naming as such. However, most of the names of Google algorithm updates, including Panda updates and Caffeine, were named by Google itself.
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As ranking with text-based content getting competitive, many marketers today are trying to market with videos. For most of them, YouTube is the place to upload their videos. However, ranking your videos on YouTube is no longer a walk in the park. With more than 100 hours of video content being uploaded every minute, YouTube now is the second largest search engine in the world, after Google. Just creating and uploading a video on YouTube is not going to help you get noticed. You can hire an SEO consultant to boost your YouTube SEO. If, however, you do not want to hire SEO service at the moment, you can follow the below tips to optimize your videos for YouTube.
Use the right keyword
When someone searches for a video on YouTube, they still have to use a keyword or key phrase. There is no other way. That means keywords are important. You should find the right keyword and optimize your video with it. One rule of thumb is to look for keywords that provide top video results not only on YouTube but also on Google. For instance, if your key phrase is ‘how to make pancakes’, check whether you get video results when you search Google with that key phrase. That way, you are using a keyword that will provide you traffic from Google search as well. Also, use Google Keyword Planner to check whether the keyword provides at least 500 monthly searches.
Add effective title and tags
The right title and tags make your content more easily searchable. Make sure that you use your keyword once in the title. Ideally, your title should have five words. It is always a good idea to put the keyword at the beginning of your title, if possible. When it comes to tags, consider using all related tags, so that your video not only ranks higher on YouTube searches, but also shows up more often in YouTube’s sidebar suggestions.
Write an SEO-optimized description
This is another very important tool to boost your YouTube SEO. The description is basically an introduction to your video. You should write what the video is about. Try to be specific and use bullet pointers, if possible. Keep the length about 250 words and do not forget to include keywords, ideally twice in the content. It is always a good idea to include a keyword once in the first paragraph and once anywhere in the rest of the text. It is also important to include a call-to-action at the end of your description.
Make a great video
Just optimizing your video of YouTube is not enough. You should focus on the quality of your video content. The content should be useful for the viewers. You can seek professional help for video creation, if required. This is important because YouTube puts a lot of value of the ‘watch time’. If your video has a lot of views, but poor watch time – it may still fail to impress the search engine. Views are how many times people visited your page, while watch-time is whether a visitor has actually watched your video till the end.
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The days of writing content for search bots are over. Now you need to post original content for human readers, even when your real intention is to boost your SEO. If you are planning to create content for SEO, you should keep yourself updated with the latest SEO rules. Often, when people hire SEO services, they depend on them for everything related to SEO, including SEO copywriting. The problem is; not all SEO agencies have a dedicated team for creating good content. Before hiring an SEO consultant or agency, check whether they have expertise in writing SEO copy. One good idea would be to read some of the content on their website. If you are not sure what makes a copy SEO-friendly, read here about the five elements of good SEO copy.
1. Originality of content
Search engines penalize websites that post copied or duplicate content. And if you think original content is anything that passes the Copyscape, think again! It is not only about copying words. If you steal an idea, it is still considered as plagiarism. Even rephrased content may be considered as copied content. All you need is original ideas expressed in simple, easy-to-read sentences.
2. Strong headlines
The main headline of your copy should have something to capture the attention of your audience. Studies show that a strong headline helps attract more readers to you content. If possible, use keywords in your headline so that the search bots can easily find them for relevant audience. Another good idea would be use sub headings in your post. It not only helps make your post readable, but boosts your SEO.
3. Effective titles and descriptions
Many people, even some experts, do not know the importance of creating great meta titles and descriptions. Often, these descriptions encourage readers to click on a search result. There are different character limits for titles and descriptions. You should follow that. Try to make full use of the space provided. You can even insert keywords in your title and description. One common mistake people make is that they provide a lame description of the post.
Instead, you should try and attract the attention of your prospects with something interesting. For instance, you can start with a question or state a problem and then say how the below page can help resolve the problem – all within the space provided.
4. Content that adds value
Even though you are writing for SEO, you should make your content useful for human readers. If the copy does not add value to your readers, they’ll reject it right away, no matter whether your website ranks higher in search results. So your focus should be on creating useful content.
Stirring a little emotion to your content helps make your readers think the way you want them to think. It is also called persuasive writing. You are not just presenting facts, but telling a story. And what better way to connect with someone emotionally than by telling a story? If your copy tells a story, it will easily engage your readers and encourage them to take actions. You can add a call to action at the end. It works well to turn your readers to your subscribers or your prospects to your customers.
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