Content Marketing – Top Five Ways To Make It Work For Small Business

What is Content Marketing?

Also known as inbound marketing, content marketing is about creating a website that is a click and link magnet. It’s about generating high quality content that draws in users and inspires them to share, once they do, the results tend to snowball. So how does small business create great content marketing materials?

1. Great Content Marketing is Specific

The internet is jam packed with information; your goal is to draw in traffic by answering very specific questions very, very well. If your website is about work from home job opportunities, don’t just optimise a static page for “work from home jobs”, create a series of blog articles targeting specific questions that your potential buyers may have – answer them succinctly and with plenty of original information:

  • How do I know if a work from home job is legitimate?
  • What can I claim back on tax if I work from home?
  • What do I need to do to start a work from home accounting business?
  • What insurance do I need to work from home?

2. Great Content Marketing is Relevant

Find out what your potential customers like to read and write for them. It’s not always about marketing your business, it’s about connecting with the audience. If your work from home site has a high percentage of young mothers, consider their interests and build a bridge to your marketing message:

  • Top 5 ways to distract young kids when you’ve got deadlines to complete
  • Work/life balance when you work from home with pre-school aged children
  • “Why mummy is always in the office” – How to explain your work from home business to young children

3. Use long tail keywords and share buttons

SEO is not dead, it just makes a catchy title so everyone is using it. SEO will never be dead because Google will always be a computer. Although search engines upgrade the way they see content, they will always need to “see content” so be sure to use common sense, standard SEO tactics when writing for search engines. This includes a highly relevant long tail keyword for every piece of content, proper meta tag optimisation and on page SEO and solid interlinking between articles for easy navigation and to ensure long term indexing.

Make sure it is simple to share your content through social channels by not only embedding all social media buttons but also by giving clear, simple instructions to readers to use them: Did you find this content useful? We’d love your share or +1 – click here now. Something so simple can now make a huge impact on search results.

4. Be your brand

Do your clients like to read funny content? Informative content? Persuasive content? Whatever it is that they want is the foundation of your branding. If you’re trying to be an authoritative and trusted source of information – and that’s why your users want – choose a “voice” to reflect that. Highly professional brands should write in third person, brands based on service should write in first. Informative articles should be completely free of colloquial language, sales information and of course, spelling and grammatical errors. Informal, friendly, empathetic articles can be in first person and have blatant branding information wrapped in a warm and fuzzy personal story.

5. Content Marketing Says it Right

Content marketing is about creating the best piece of content for the job. In most cases, this takes the form of articles, white papers, ebooks and web copywriting, but sometimes infographics, video content, web seminars, games and social media apps says it better than the same old article. Create richer media sources when:

  • There are already ample articles on the topic
  • There are complex concepts to communicate
  • There are complex numbers or statistics to communicate
  • The concept has a series of instructions to communicate
  • The audience prefers to watch than to read
  • Your product is visually exciting
  • You are attempting to brand yourself

Content marketing will change the way we see the internet, will lift our expectations of websites and make webmasters work harder for our likes and links. The beauty of content marketing for small business is, anyone who knows their stuff can do it well.

 

About the guest author: Dana Flannery is a professional writer and content marketer at Talk About Creative, an Australian based Website Marketing firm. She believes Content Marketing is the new small business SEO – and yet some small business owners aren’t even sure what it is.

Is Your Blog Benefiting from Social Media?

Blogging and social media go hand in hand. So, it’s worthwhile to do a reality check from time to time to make sure that you are taking advantage of all social aspects of promoting your blog.

When it comes to blogging, the familiar phrase “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t ring true. Anyone can create a blog for absolutely free. But the success of your blog will firstly hinge on your topic and writing ability and secondly on how well you are able to connect with potential readers in social media.

Here are three important points to consider when syncing your blog with social media:

  1. Make sure your social media icons are visible at the top of your blog. It needs to be as simple as possible for readers to connect with you through social media. There is a very slim chance that readers will take the time to search for you specifically on Twitter or Facebook if you don’t have an icon displayed on your blog. You have to make it easy for your readers to find you in social media if you want them to connect.
  2. Create your own Facebook page. Facebook gives you the opportunity to connect as an individual, but if you have a blog that you are trying to promote, you should also have your own Facebook fan page. You can automatically sync your blog to publish each new post on Facebook, where it can be liked and circulated throughout your friends. With the new changes made to Facebook, other users who are not in your Facebook circle will be more likely to see your blog link if one of your Facebook fans likes it.
  3. Consider Pinterest. Pinterest is the newest social media pin board that is all the rage for bloggers hoping to draw traffic to their blog. The best way to use this new social media channel is to pin attractive photos from your blog onto personalized boards that are relevant to your blog niche. If your blog has captivating, attractive pictures related to what is most popular on Pinterest – travel, food, design, accessories, etc. – then other Pinterest users will be likely to repin your pictures and visit your blog as a result.

And last but not least, stick with it. At first, getting your blog established in social media may feel like you are fighting an uphill battle, but every moment spent creating a following is worthwhile. But it will take time. Don’t give up; continue to reach out to readers to create relationships, and you’ll be rewarded with more traffic to your blog.

 

About the guest author: Bethany Ramos is a full-time freelance writer that specializes in Internet marketing and SEO. For the best selection of folding chairs and folding tables, please visit Best-folding-tables-and-chairs.com.

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

Did You Choose The Right Partner?

This blog is about technology and blogging and stuff like that. Therefore choosing right partner doesn’t seem to fit into scheme of things. I think some kind of explanation is in order! I am talking about choosing the rights hosting partner. You might now cry aloud and say that a host is a host, why make a fuss about it? Let me explain why you must make a fuss about it.

Superior User Experience

You write so that others can read and enjoy what you have written. If users or visitors experience a great feeling, your job is done. However between you and your customer/visitor there are many layers of ifs and buts. The server on which you have hosted your blog plays a huge role in this experience.

Where Is Your Server?

If your server is in Timbuktu and visitors come from Australia, the data on your server has to travel thousands of miles to reach them. This takes time (even if it’s traveling at the speed of light). This causes deterioration or degradation in user experience. The pages download slower and visitors may not like to wait for this to happen. As a result you will lose followers. Relationships on the net are quite nebulous and small things make a big difference. I would recommend that server on which your blog is hosted is near your dear ones – your viewers and visitors. How many of you have ever tried to find out where your servers are located?

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Food

Your good old host may be putting up your blog with a thousand others. This would obviously spoil your party. Imagine a thousand cars packed on a single highway. As a result your blog would be reduced to crawling pace. Users will suffer and so would you. As a blog owner you cannot afford to have a server of your own. You have to compromise and live with others. Meanwhile make sure that your host guarantees minimum speed and performance. A few websites on your server may actually hog the entire communication network. Your host must ensure that this does not happen. If you are aware of these issues you can ask few questions and get a better deal from your host.

Who Is Your Neighbor?

If all the blogs and websites on your servers are doing legitimate business, things would be fine. But unfortunately there are always a few rotten eggs in any basket. These eggs are blacklisted by Google and as a result all other eggs suffer. You must therefore ensure that there are no rotten eggs on your server. There are ways to find out which eggs are rotten. Report the matter to your host ( who may not be aware of this issue) and get things rectified.

Conclusion

Your hosting partner has a big role to play in the scheme of things. Make sure that you are not sleeping with the enemy.

 

About the guest author: Sarah Lamb loves to write on technology and blogging. She likes to explain small things to bloggers which make a big difference. Nowadays she is promoting coupon for webhostingpad  and promotion code for register.com, two money saving coupons and promotion codes worth a look.

This is a unique article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

Key Benefits of Local Search Marketing

Don’t setting for being a little fish in a big pond

Consider the following statistics from Search Marketing Expo 2012:

  • 73% of all internet search activity is for local products or services
  • 42% of consumers claim to use local search to find what they want
  • 80% of those who search local end with a phone call or in-person visit to the business

If you have a small business, you already know that your potential customers are using the Internet before consulting the telephone book or local business directory. If you’re already advertising online, via a website or online ad banner, you might be already reaping the profits of local search. However, if you aren’t, you could be giving your local business competition a clear advantage. To get the attention that your small business needs to survive, local search marketing is a must for these reasons:

1. People prefer to shop online, but buy from other people

For instance, I, like most people prefer to shop online, but I also like to buy in person from local shop owners that I’m familiar with over the cold transaction of internet shopping. I prefer to look up the business online and do my research that way, but after I know they have the product or service that I want, I like to go to their location and physically look their stock to make my final purchase. That means if you have a local online presence you will be found by those doing that initial research that will follow up with a visit to your business.

2. Domination of your search terms

By dominating keywords and phrases for your niche target market, not only will you outrank your competition in the search engine results—you’re success may completely push them out of the search results altogether. For instance, that way whenever an interested customer seeks your niche search term (i.e., “massage therapist Houston”) you will be the only result that is served up for pages.

3. Search marketing will be your most loyal employee—ever!

One of the greatest things about using local search marketing as your prime advertising is that this is a department that doesn’t pack up and leave the office at 5PM or even 7PM. Online marketing will be working for you 24/7, for 365 days of the year. How’s that for loyalty?

4. Think of it as an investment in your company

Like real estate investment, local search marketing is a true company asset. The web property you create will grow bigger and stronger month after month, and year upon year as your high page rank value grows.

5. Target your local customer market

The true beauty of local search marketing is that is targets a relevant customer base within close proximity to your business by localizing the keywords you use on your website. It’s really a matter of narrowing down your keywords so that your geographical address is captured in the keyword search and leads local shoppers right to your website (i.e., “baby clothes in Tampa). By narrowing down and localizing your keywords in this way (as part of your website SEO strategy) your web page will be featured within the top search results.

6. You have the “local” edge

Think of it this way; if you try to rank for “cake decorating” with no geographical reference in the search results you’ll be vying against cake decorators from Japan all the way to Alaska (and frustrating customers I might add). However, if you choose to localize your search by using “cake decorating Staten Island” suddenly you’re only serving a particular geographical area and your chances of being found by relevant customers are much, much better.

 

About the guest author: Caeden M MacGregor is a staff writer for Prestige Marketing, a company that focuses on PPC in Vancouver. Caeden has written for numerous blogs on a variety of topics ranging from guest blogging to landing page optimization.

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Top 6 Tips to Launch a Successful Blog with a Bang

About 77% of the Internet users read blogs regularly, according to the Universal McCann. Out of this 77%, 197 million blog readers belong to the US. This was detailed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a 2011 presentation on Understanding Citizen Journalism Using Social Media. With such a huge online audience, blogs have become a great means for promoting products and services. However, in order to post an attention-grabbing blog that also promotes your business, learn a few tips on how to launch a new blog post.

Strategizing Successful Launch of a New Blog Post

Here are the guaranteed hit tips for launching a new blog post which attracts more traffic:

1. Determine the purpose of launching a new blog

If the purpose of writing a blog is to drive traffic towards a website that wishes to promote its car loan services, try and talk about something related to the cars. Create connection between the content that leads the reader to click on the internal links to the blog archive and eventually the website you wish to promote. Additionally, target a niche audience, which means, if you wish to promote handbags, talk about ‘how women can benefit from the purchase of handbags’ somewhere in the blog. This will help you attract the attention of women more than attracting untargeted visits on blog who have no interest in purchasing handbags.

2. Choosing the topic/title

In order to increase the viewership of the blog, choose a topic which is current and popular. Additionally, research on the Internet and find a popular topic. However, you must write a creative blog on whatever topic you choose. Focus on making the title attention-grabbing, clear and descriptive at the same time. After all, the title will ensure the first impression about your blog.

3. Assembling the content

In order to have your new blog post a successful launch, assimilate accurate and valuable content for it. You do not want to get sued by other bloggers for copying content just when you are ready to launch your own blog.

4. Market it

Even before posting the blog, top bloggers increase their online activity in order to get the attention of a pool of audience. You can consider reading other’s blogs and articles or partake in online discussion rooms. On the other hand, leave a link to your blog on a few Q&A sites that you indulge in after you have launched the new blog post.

5. Connect with the readers

Allow your readers/visitors to post comments on the blog. This will certainly increase the popularity of your blog posts. However, keep an option of RSS subscription on your website beforehand, to help visitors get updates on new blog posts.

6. Social networking

Do not wait until the day of the launch to announce your entry to the world of blogging. With the help of the most popular social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, you can start posting pre-launch content, small posts and headlines, talking about the areas are you will be working on through your blog posts. Let people know well in advance that you are about to come up with a fantastic blog on a particular topic. This will create eagerness among people in your circle to read your ‘much talked about’ blog.

Successful launch of a new blog can boost your traffic greatly. Business owners can use the above mentioned blog launching tips to help their prospective customers land on their websites.

 

About the guest author: Aliya Martin is a full time professional blogger who has experience of writing SEO optimized or causal blogs on an array of topics. In her free time, she reads about luxury as well as sports cars and other car related news. Her favorite possession is her new Ford Mondeo.

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

The Common Pitfalls and Pain Points When Using a VPN

Though there is a lot of buzz about the need for a good, reliable VPN service and its accompanying advantages, it pays to know that there are also a few common pitfalls that one needs to be wary of. Any technology will always have advantages as well as some disadvantages and understanding these limitations will only help you to put the technology in a position where it can function effectively rather than abusing its functions beyond what was originally designed.

In the case of VPN service providers and the service itself, here are some of the limitations, areas to watch out for, and potential hiccups of using VPN that one has to be aware of right at the outset before you even sign up to a specific service:

  • Despite the effort of VPN providers to make VPN as simple as possible, the system still requires an intrinsic understanding of public network security issues, installation and configuration requirements, device compatibility, and technical information on data security, anonymity, and tunneling procedures in order to make an informed decision on which provider is best. Without this information, it is not hard to imagine how people end up second-guessing which brand is better simply from the ads they see on the web or from equally uninformed reviews by other clients who also have limited knowledge of VPN.
  • Regardless of how good your chosen VPN provider is, it does not completely hold the fate to your data security. A big fraction of the service reliability and performance of a VPN provider is dependent on your ISP. You need to make sure that your ISP supports the protocols that you need to run via your VPN provider. Without doing this, you are essentially paying for a service that adds no value to you because you will not be able to run your preferred VPN protocols.
  • Technical glitches generally occur when you try to match VPN solutions of different vendors resulting in poor quality of performance. Therefore, it is a bad idea to try to apply VPN solutions from across multiple brands. Simply put, when you are using IAPS, you should work within the framework of IAPS systems. When you try to apply best practices from Hidemyass to IAPS networks, it will only result to technical difficulties that will worsen your VPN’s performance.
  • VPN links do not offer end-to-end throughput guarantees sometimes resulting in packet loss. At times, packets are delivered in an out-of-order, fragmented manner. Watch out for this pitfall because it is the most common reason for bad data transfer results. If the recipient is getting fragmented data, your VPN is most likely to blame.
  • The VPN server first links to a POP on the public network system before connecting to a remote server to form a private tunnel. When it first makes the connection to a POP, sometimes unsolicited data enters the tunnel exposing your data to attacks. A quick remedy is to close all your web browser tabs while loading the VPN connection. Do not launch any sensitive application or send confidential data unless you are sure that the tunnel is secure.
  • Bandwidth transmission is difficult to guarantee specially in case of inbound traffic. Even if you signed up for unlimited bandwidth services, it is not inconceivable to think that you are getting less than “unlimited” service because of incoming traffic limitations.
  • Use of VPN increases reconnection time for dial-in users. In case of L2TP VPN protocols, the user has to go through two authentication process; one at the POP level and the other at server gateway level. This is important for security but delays your connection time. Again, the solution is to not launch any application unless you are sure that the authentication process is completed and that the tunnel is secure.
  • Due to the complexity of setting up a VPN tunnel and the accompanying network issues, there can be some problematic issues pertaining to data security. In many cases, VPN providers put the blame on the ISP. To avoid this, check back with your ISP for compatibility before deciding to purchase a specific package from a provider.
  • A long list of connectivity problems can arise with VPN. At the most basic level, overhead will increase for dial-in users. The process of encrypting data will also affect and slow down the performance of your system. Authentication latencies, poor PPP and IP compression performance and modem compressibility are other areas that might cause your network to stall. With VPN, expect to see a drop-off in how well your network is performing because the extra steps almost always slow down data transmission.
  • Multimedia applications like video conferencing sometimes do not perform efficiently.
  • In a VPN network two-way calling capability is not possible. The recipient has to also be connected to the same VPN service for two-way calls to work.

Taking all of these into consideration, the advantages of using a VPN services still significantly outweigh the cited limitations and pain points. A good paid VPN like IAPS, Hidemyass, PureVPN, or ExpressVPN will help you limit the problems not to mention provide round-the-clock customer support to assist you in troubleshooting connectivity problems. These are the brands to trust if you want to effectively juggle the benefits and sensitive areas for VPN services.

 

About the guest author: Sam typically writes about VPN services. If you are looking for more information on the best VPN service, you can visit the author’s blog for extensive information on VPN UK and other useful guides.

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

Is Mobile Marketing for Everyone?

Mobile MarketingThere is so much of chatter about mobile marketing that I am led to believe that it’s a cure for all evils. Many internet experts also claim that without mobile marketing you are zilch or a nobody. Are these claims true or exaggerated?  I suspect that the truth lies elsewhere.

Mobile marketing embraced by the top fortune 500 companies

It has been reported that 69% of top fortune 500 companies have embraced mobile marketing. If you look closer, you will find that what they mean by mobile marketing is merely putting up a website which is mobile compliant. Users can view their websites from any device – iPhone, iPad, Android device, mobiles and other hand held appliances. Usually, compatibility issues have been neglected to the extent that I have to use a magnifying device to view web pages on my mobile. Instead of straining my eye and forced to buy reading glasses, I wait for a suitable time to watch these websites on my 21” computer screen. Anyway where is the hurry to watch these sites on my mobile?

From the look of it, not many organizations are deriving sufficient benefit from going mobile. You may argue that this is only a precursor to big things happening in future. Maybe you are right.

Pesky creatures like mobile applications

This is where the real action lies. People and companies are falling over each other to provide mobile applications which you can download and watch in leisure. If you are a mobile application developer I wish you luck because you are sure to rake in the moolah. However, as far as the companies themselves are concerned I have a word of caution. Please do your arithmetic, I mean 2+2=1, kind of stuff before spending your money on applications. The only popular applications are for kids, like games and stuff, which hardy make for a great marketing campaign, unless you are into selling stuff for kids. Moreover, at the present technological state, mobile applications are difficult to use anyway.

Horses for courses

You have to understand that Mobile marketing is not for every product or service. For example, if I am looking for Candida symptoms I will unlikely to pick up my mobile and look for answers. Creating a mobile compatible website for Candida signs and symptoms would therefore be pointless. It’s the same for insurance and other products. Where does mobile marketing step in? If you are offering special discounts and schemes for existing clients, you can create a suitable mobile marketing campaign. What this means is that your clients would get to know about your schemes instantly, wherever they are. This is the kind of campaign which I would run for my customers. Unfortunately, internet marketers are not yet savvy enough to tailor such kind of promotions – it’s just herd mentality which is driving mobile marketers.

Conclusion

Mobile marketing has a place in overall scheme of things. However this technology is yet to mature. Meanwhile intelligent and smart marketers will find ways to use mobile marketing to their advantage.

 

About the guest author: Sarah Lamb loves to write on various aspects of online marketing. She also promotes several businesses online and  ecandida.com  is one of them. You will find more information on it here at threelac.

This is a unique article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

3 Reasons You Need to Customize Your Social Media Sites

(And how to avoid some common mistakes)

Need might be a little strong, but customizing your various social mediums the right way will increase interest in your updates, draw in more followers and ultimately increase sales, which is the goal of course.

“Great, first they told me I had to get Facebook and Twitter, and then they told me I had to update them, now I need to hire a team of designers to make it look pretty. What happened to taking out an ad in the local paper and being done with it?”

I know, trust me even for people who work with social media every day the evolving nature of it can get dizzying. Believe it or not this is easier than taking out an ad in the local paper, faster, free, and you probably don’t need a team of designers unless your really want something complex. Here’s why it’s a great idea to customize all of your social media sites; Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, whatever else you have going on:

  1. It looks pretty – “What kind of generic advice is that?” No really, it matters. Not necessarily “pretty” but something to remember. There’s more to it than that though. Let’s think about the psychology of your average customer. Too many designers and business owners make the fatal social media mistake of thinking their average customer or even new potential customers wantto follow them. As if they’ve been surfing the net for hours to find you and now they are overcome with a sense of euphoric awe upon gazing at your landing page—that you’ve graced them with your presence is enough. Sorry, but chances are they are there because they want something now, or something somewhere caught that split second of interest it took to click a link, and you have less than a split second to keep them there.With that in mind, here are the most important elements to keep in mind while making your social media sites pretty:
    • Don’t make them wait for a video to load. If you have a video, audio or anything else that takes time let them choose to hit play. Sensory terrorism might be putting it strongly, but basically people don’t like it when you trap them there with a video they never asked to see or audio they don’t want to hear.
    • Make sure everything about your page draws attention to your call to action, whether the call to action is to buy something or just follow you on Twitter or “Like” you on Facebook. The design should draw the eye there and the text should be drawing them to it amidst benefits and descriptions.
    • Keep it simple and free of clutter.
    • Now within those rules you can create something specific to your product and service that is memorable and intriguing.
  2. Get leads – Most social mediums give visitors the option of following you, which is cool, but a custom page can do more. Always offer the option of entering an email so that you can contact them. If possible give them a reason to give you an email as well, a promotion is helpful. “Why isn’t the Like button enough, or whatever the case?” Sometimes it is, but chances are you are getting quite a few visitors who don’t want daily updates about you cluttering up the area they talk to friends and family but they would not object to you having their email with an opt out option. Now you are giving them control. People like having control. So always include an opt-in option on your custom social media page.
  3. Branding – It is sort of part of making it pretty, but more. Here’s the cold hard fact that a lot of businesses don’t want to hear. The vast, vast majority of people are not looking for what you are selling at this very moment. Worse, there is absolutely nothing you can do about that fact. You can’t hypnotize them, you can’t steal their credit card and make them buy, you can’t hold their kitten ransom until they do buy… what you can do is make sure they remember who your are for when they do want what you are selling. This requires time, an intriguing and unique message and design and a consistent message across all mediums. You cannot have a consistent and memorable message with a generic social media page, it has to be custom and it has to fit in with everything else you do.

 

About the guest author: Jeff Gross is a marketing and SEO expert based out of Long Island, New York. He is founder of iIntentio, a Long Island Web Design firm. If you would like to find out more please visit www.iIntentio.com.

This is a unique article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

Sharing is Caring…When You Click-Through

Look at your Facebook feed, or Twitter, for that matter—at any given moment, your friends, family, acquaintances, and co-workers are sharing links to current magazine articles, hilarious cat VHS video rips, even photos from the Christmas office party. Chances are, you click on some or most of them; but the social media stream is swift and always flowing; you’re going to miss a few or at least bypass a couple in the interest of some level of productivity. Clicking links is the rough modern equivalent of conference calling with your friends; in this way, you’re keeping up on the latest interesting topics to you, your family, and your friends.

In the dark ages of the pre-social media era, if you weren’t receiving it as an unwieldy e-mail attachment, you’d actually have to search for that kind of content, or spend a long afternoon clicking through links until a random URL finally scratched the sweet spot. Now, we’re spoon-fed high-value, personalized content all the time through social signals—be it a tweet, reshare, or playlist. The way we’re being fed social content isn’t being ignored, as social signals are increasingly becoming more valued as an important ranking factor on SERPs. Like Erica says over at the SEOmoz blog, “In the long-run, personalized results are going to be easier for Google and provide more relevant results for users, which will keep users coming back for more.”

However, search engines may not be directly measuring “shares”, which is where the click-through retains importance. When you click-through, you’re creating a measurable instance of web traffic—when a thousand click-throughs happen, rapid-fire, it is likely there is a social signal at work behind the scenes. Though the share itself may not be measured, the traffic-source, and in-turn the social network, is definitely noticed. This isn’t to say that links themselves aren’t still valuable, just that social signals are gaining value in lieu of links as a source of traffic. Brad Neelan notes that, “The weighting of social signals, particularly those from Google Plus sources, will be a major factor that can be used to serve more relevant information to its users.”

From a digital PR standpoint, this is a net positive. A social signal generates traffic, and the traffic generates value, regardless of whether the original signal was organic interest, a brand sharing a link, or a viral trend. And that value is going to continue to increase, especially now that as the blog Submit In Me states, “the major search engine algorithmic shifts are leveraging on social signals in ranking a product, service, page or a site.” However, it’s getting the click-through that still matters most, meaning the priority should still lie in providing unique, valuable content. This lends value to both ends of the process, providing the consumer with more quality content, while creating a more meaningful business environment for any company.

Incorporating Social Media API’s and tracking all of the data necessary is a big job for small business owners.  Scraping Topsy, and counting tweets through SEO Moz’s API’s can get a little technical for the average Mid-Market webmaster.  Investing in a custom CMS can provide solutions to the drudgery and difficulty of these sorts of tasks.  It’s either that, or bootstrap it!

 

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.

Should You Target Long-tail or Generic Keywords in your SEO Campaign?

There is great debate amongst SEO’s about whether to target large generic keywords or long tail keywords. Return on investment is the main concern for both SEO’s and their clients so it is therefore important to target the keywords which will make the most revenue. By having return on investment this not only has good implications for the growth of the company, it also may increase the SEO spend that the client has.

The Beginning

Searchers who are surfing the internet for generic information will more than likely start their search with a generic keyword e.g. running shoes. At this point the user does not know what type of running shoe they want, what brand to buy and what price they would like to buy it for. It is therefore useful to have top level categories on your website that will catch this traffic and show the user a top level overview of your generic products in stock that shows all options e.g. brand.

The Buying State

Once a user has decided what type of products they like the look of, many searchers will then start looking around on different websites to find the best price. This is often the stage where users will type the exact name of the product i.e. the long-term keyword, into Google e.g. Nike Shox NZ iD running shoes. The search results will then show the user all the pages that rank for this long term keyword.

At this point the user is in what we call a ‘buying state’. They know what they want to buy and are close to purchasing it when they find a price they are happy with.

We can see by this example why long tail keywords will convert more easily due to the users being in a buying state of mind at that point in their search. Not only are long term keywords better in terms of conversion rate (if your price is right), they are also easier to rank for. It is important to stress that even though you may rank well for these long tail keywords, if your landing page is irrelevant or your products are expensive you will inevitably struggle to convert the user.

Which is Best?

Google Analytics will tell you which keywords are sending traffic to your site and will also tell you which keywords are converting into sales. Look at the keywords that converted in comparison to where they rank in Google and see if there is any correlation between the two. You can then look further down the list of long tail keywords which are not converting so well but do rank well and discover that there is something undesirable about price or the landing pages that are turning people off from purchasing. These could easily be weaknesses that you can turn around into quick wins very quickly.

Long tail keyword strategies will work for companies that do not necessarily have a strong brand in the first instance. Short tail keywords can convert more easily as customers will have brand trust with that particular seller.

It is recommended to have bigger keywords in your sights however by starting from the ground up targeting the long tail keywords will help keep your SEO campaign afloat whilst you build links in a natural fashion towards the larger generic keywords.

 

About the guest author: Emma Welsby is an SEO Consultant at I-COM, an internet marketing agency specialising in offering Web Design/Development, PPC, Social Media Marketing and SEO services in Manchester, England.

This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.