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Alternative Ways  to Drive Traffic to your Site (aside from Blogging)

4 Alternative Ways to Drive Traffic to your Site (aside from Blogging)

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Alternative Ways  to Drive Traffic to your Site (aside from Blogging)

There’s a truth that every online content marketer has to face: you can’t depend on blogging all the time. There has to be a buffer between blog articles every now and then to relieve your writers off of their workload, and it also offers new things for readers to see aside from text-based posts.

But it needs to be not just a buffer – it also needs to be able to bring traffic to your lead generation sites and landing pages. Meaning, it has to be insightful enough for prospects to treat it the way they treat blog articles, and it should bring them to the same lead generation funnel.

Here are four alternatives to blogging that you can use as suggested by Jayson Demers, Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing company:

1. Design an infographic. Well-produced infographics often have a higher probability of going viral than text-based content, as people enjoy sharing data portrayed in a visual format.

Whatever path you choose, make sure your infographic has compelling data, provides a strong storytelling element (or theme) and targets a specific demographic (usually your audience). Conducting customer surveys is a popular method of gathering data for infographics.

2. Produce a YouTube video. YouTube is the second most popular search engine next to Google. It’s also owned by Google, and Google gives priority to its videos within search results. You can shoot a short video (one to three minutes) with your iPhone, upload it to YouTube and promote it across your social media channels.

Keep in mind, just like infographics, your video should be compelling and useful to your audience. Think about producing tutorials, a customer success story or be an expert in your field by answering a question.

3. Create a slideshow. Because images are so popular online and they get indexed by search engines, slideshows are great for SEO. And they don’t require much writing — a title and a brief description for each image.

It is important to note that for slideshows to really resonate with your audience the content has to lend itself to images. So a post on “10 most popular buzzwords” probably would not make sense for this format.

4. Request reviews. Rather than writing content, how about getting your customers to write content for you? User-generated content is a fantastic tool for SEO and all you have to do is ask for it. Plus, it may help with social, as people like to share their content with their followers. You can publish feedback on a testimonials web page, and if you run an ecommerce site, you can ask for product reviews.

Source: Bring Traffic to Your Site With These 4 Blogging Alternatives

Will Google’s NoFollow Link Policy Kill Your SEO? Not if you follow these tips

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Will Google’s NoFollow Link Policy Kill Your SEO - Not if you follow these tips

At one point or another, marketing teams resort to using techniques that are generally frowned upon by the online community. It will probably take a long time until the marketing realm is totally rid of these so-called “black hat” strategies, but Google is determined in its crusade against stopping it once and for all.

One of these resolutions is the recent requirement of nofollow tags in links from other websites.

The modus operandi

One of the traditional, overused tactics in SEO is to try and get as many backlinks from authority websites as possible. This is because those websites regarded as having high PR can influence the “linkers” in terms of authority, thus boosting their chances of getting a high rank. This happens despite of Google’s insistence that PageRank be treated as the strongest factor in SERP rankings.

This activity also poses a dilemma for websites in their fear that Google may suspect them as a “link seller”. But now, Google requires links to include the rel=”nofollow” tag to stop passing on authority “credit” to other sites, and to thus avoid being penalized.

 So when do you need to use a nofollow link?

If your site supports paid links, you need to use nofollow in order to keep these links from giving credit to other sites. Also, if your site has a comment section that you don’t always monitor, using nofollow links prevents commenters from getting credit from you, as well as posting bad links that could hurt your SERP rankings. This also applies to content posts that other people may contribute on your business blog.

Nofollow is also helpful when embedding media (such as infographics) or widgets that you obtained from other sites. The thing is, you don’t want Google to think that you’re endorsing those sources, so you need to make sure credit is not passed on to them.

Obviously, you also wouldn’t want to boost the authority of your competitors, so you need to make sure you attach a nofollow tag when linking to a site that most probably belongs in the same industry as yours.

There is nothing to fear so long as you stick by the rules

Google’s intentions are, at the end of the day, for everyone’s welfare. It may be a hurdle to our current marketing situation, especially to those who have been accustomed to using their own strategies, but it’s healthier to compete in leveled field rather than allowing a few to get ahead by not following the rules.

2014: The Top 5 SEO and Online Marketing Trends

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2014 - The Top 5 SEO and Online Marketing Trends_DONE

With everything that has happened in 2013, we can pretty much tell what to expect in the coming new year, especially in the realm of SEO and online marketing. Identifying these trends is important for a business so that it could prepare itself for possible adjustments and be in the know on what will drive success as a new chapter unfolds.

In an article contributed to Forbes.com, Cheryl Conner, a business communication author and speaker from Salt lake City, shares her foresight on what 5 things will dictate the online marketing world in 2014:

1. The ever-changing Google

Since February 2011, Google has released 25 updates that affect its website content quality algorithm known as Panda. In 2013, the Panda algorithm logic was merged with the main Google algorithm, so updates for the Panda algorithm have ceased. These updates may seem daunting, but they actually level the playing field and give web marketers the opportunity to step in and make their sites more competitive in the context of Google’s new rules.

2. Optimization for multi-screen, smartphone & tablet use

In June 2013, Neilson reported that of mobile phone users in the U.S. 61% of them now use smart phones. That is a 10% increase since early 2012. The study “Why We Don’t Buy: Consumer Attitudes on Shopping Cart Abandonment,” by Bronto Software and Magento said that 54% of people who buy online daily or weekly own a tablet and 64%  own a smartphone.

3. Local search competition on search engines

20% of searches on Google are related to location. According to comScore, 56% of mobile phone users use their browser for local searches, raising the importance still further for small and local businesses to establish themselves online. As demand for local search results rises, so does supply.

4. There are more users in HTML 5 compatible environments than in Flash

HTML 5 is important as it allows for dynamic and interactive content like FLASH, but is compatible a across multiple devices, browsers, and screens. Soon, the need to have multiple technologies for your company’s ads and creative on content will all merge into HTML 5, saving development cost and time to execution. FLASH will still be compatible with regular desktop browsers, but HTML 5 content will soon be compatible with every browser on every device.

5. Pinterest usage soars

At 27,223,000 unique U.S. visitors in 2011, Pinterest has experienced exponential growth. As of July 2013, Pinterest grew to 70 million subscribers with 50 million of those in the U.S. Twenty one million of these are believed to be “active” users, meaning that the accounts have been used at least once in the month the study was conducted and were not newly registered. The moral of the story is this: Pinterest users are active users. If the growth rate of Pinterest continues on this track, it may ultimately overtake Twitter in total number of user accounts.

 

5 Link Building strategies to reinforce your SEO strength

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5 Link Building strategies to reinforce your SEO strength

Are you still using outdated link-building techniques such as automated directory submissions or “10,000 links for $10″ package purchases? If yes, chances are, you’re not doing well with your SEO since Google has already made those activities virtually useless.

The digital marketing scene has already evolved thanks to the release of the Panda and Penguin algorithms. But the essence of building backlinks is still pretty much alive, it’s just that traditional methods no longer fit the bill. Now, marketers have no choice but to rely on more instinctive actions plans to update their link building campaigns:

1.Guest posting – This technique hits two birds with one stone; not only that it introduces your content to a new audience, it will also provide you an avenue to position at least one backlink pointed at your website. All you need to do is figure out which blogs you need to guest post on, how often, and what kind of content you can share.

2.Venture with infographics – Do you have a talented digital graphic artist in your team? Try creating useful infographics. People like to seek and share them, mostly because it’s easier to grasp and pleasing to the eye. Come up with a unique concept and produce an infographic twice a week. Every time that someone references it on a site, new links would be created for you.

3.Link-building over email – Google is constantly making rounds in cyberspace, cracking down on links found in blog sidebars and footers. Instead of being an outlaw, why not develop an “in-content” link? These are the ones that are in the content body of the referring site’s pages. What you could do is to try emailing potential linking websites and request that your link be placed on a relevant page of content.

4.Viral content – If you could come up with content that is highly-valuable, highly-shareable and at the same time highly-entertaining, then you don’t need to extend your reach to your audience – they would be the ones to market it among themselves. Even without your direct participation, a multitude of backlinks would arise every time someone shares your viral content.

5. Breaking down competitor links – Tools like Majestic SEO (free plans are available) and Open Site Explorer from SEOmoz (free plan available, paid plans start at $99 a month) can allow you to view the websites that are linking back to your competitors’ websites. It can give you insights on potential sources and useful strategies that are prevalent in the market.

Redefining Lead Generation With SEO Marketing

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Redefining Lead Generation with SEO

 

Having a hard time generating qualified sales leads? That is to be expected. With the world economy still feeling the after-effects of the financial meltdown in the United States and Europe (and there is no denying that everyone still feels it), finding prospects can be pretty difficult at this point. Still, that is no reason to just sulk around, mope about your fate, or perhaps do a dozen other unproductive things in your office. Rather, this should be an opportunity for new lead generation tactics. That is where interest in search engine optimization (SEO)  marketing take off. And believe me, there are a lot of interested people here.

 

This form of marketing works by improving the standing a website, or group of websites, in internet search pages. This is a rather subtle operation, and results will definitely take longer than telemarketing, but it does present some interesting possibilities. Think of SEO as a form of support in the general marketing campaign. You have to admit that generating B2B leads using old channels is hard. Right now, sales is slow. But your priority is to keep your business visible in the internet. As long as you are there, it would be easy to promote your business to potential buyers. So how will you start on this?

 

  1. Remember to research your market well. Analyze what keywords they are most likely to use and incorporate that in your over-all SEO marketing campaign.
  2. In SEO marketing, your aim is to provide information, not to sell. The selling part can be done later. What is important is that you engage the interest of prospects, prove that you are an industry authority, and that you and your company can be relied on in the future.
  3. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are great mediums to engage prospects and customers in conversation. This will help increase your presence in the online community. Just keep in mind that your aim here is simply to have a conversation at this point.
  4. Try hosting a webinar or a video conference with interested prospects and attendees. This will help cement your reputation as an industry expert, as well as put an edge over your competitors. You will need the help of appointment setting specialists on this.
  5. Be active blogging and article contributions. In this way, you can promote your own business through other online channels. It would be a good boost to your reputation as well.

 

Once you have established your presence in the Internet, and search engine results appear to be favorable, then it is the time for you to engage in a more aggressive sales campaign. Seek your from your network interested prospects in the United Kingdom. Once they express willingness to talk business with you, now is the time for you to give them a telemarketing call. And it will be an easier job, since it will no longer be a cold call anymore.

 

Of course, if you have a hard time negotiating and doing business with prospects on the phone, it would be a good idea to work with a professional lead generation agency, then.

 

Top Three SEO Tactics To Avoid (Wait, Is SEO Still Relevant Anyway?)

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Top Three SEO Tactics To Avoid (Wait, Is SEO Still Relevant Anyway?)

Search Engine optimization (SEO) was the buzzword of years long ago, like, 17 years ago. One might think that because it’s been around for so long everyone knows how to leverage it for their personal use and drive hordes of potential sales leads to their website. Although there have been a few successful stories, SEO is still a science of such fluid structure that even now marketers are having difficulty taming it.

When it first gained popularity, everyone who was anyone adopted it as an online marketing strategy. Then Google released the Panda update and everyone’s efforts went back to zero. Now that almighty Google is promoting value-rich content, has SEO become a thing of the distant past? With today’s digital marketing terrain, is SEO still optimal for promoting your website?

SEO is still very much relevant, although is has taken a considerable step backwards to make room for other digital marketing strategies such as social media, email and especially content marketing. Good SEO cannot exist without equally good content, as is highlighted by Google’s algorithm. Sales leads are driven towards your site by these relevant, well-researched, reliable and authentic content.

Whether you are still using these top 3 detrimental SEO tactics or plan to use them in the future – DON’T:

  1. Keyword Stuffing. The number one no-no for SEO and considered as spamming. Relevant content discusses topics using more than one word, so do yourself a favor and try to expand your own blogging vocabulary. Also, readers (i.e. sales leads) generally abandon a site the moment they read the same word used more than three times in a sentence.
  2. Reciprocal links and link farms. Almighty Google hates it. Period.
  3. Spreading articles through article marketing directories. These artificial link generating sites provide little benefit for your website. It’s much better to share your articles with topic-related websites that help promote your authority about your chosen keywords.

The moral of this story is that there is no holy grail for lead generation marketing. Each and every effective marketing strategy is the result of careful research and implementation where ROI is measured by carefully defined statistics. The main purpose of optimizing one’s website is  still sales leads generation, so whether your digital marketing makes use of this age-old marketing model, as long as it’s not broken and is doing its purpose, there is no need to abandon it just to join the current fad.