Using Content Marketing As An Online Business Strategy

Content marketing is a buzzword that you’ll often hear about in marketing circles, but it’s much more than a passing phase when it comes to marketing your business on the Internet. It’s a powerful approach to marketing your business on the web without having to worry about the search engines penalizing you for unnatural links or artificially inflating your rankings. Basically, when you create good content and market it towards your consumers, search engines reward you with a prime spot in their rankings.

The great thing about content marketing is that you aren’t stuck doing one thing; you can create videos, articles, press releases, social media campaigns and infographics to draw customers to your website, so you can tailor your content to be relevant to what consumers in your industry are searching for. This relevancy means that your content will convert into sales, so oftentimes, your marketing efforts go further than traditional marketing methods.

Content marketing has a couple major advantages over traditional marketing:

Inbound Traffic

According to the experts at Stodzy Internet Marketing, content marketing is a great way to drive interested consumers to content that you control; this inbound traffic is a powerful way to promote your expertise, niche or selling proposition. If you create engaging content with the proper calls to action, potential customers will share it with their friends and family, and this drives potential consumers to your website without costing you an extra penny.

Brand Awareness Through Engagement

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to create content that engages your audience; when you do this, it fuels a personal relationship between you and your customers, and they start associating your brand with high-quality and relevant products. When you build trust like this, you attract people to your business, and they are much more likely to work with you instead of your competition.

When you establish yourself as knowledgeable, you build your brand, and people remember this when it comes time to buy something that you specialize in. So remember, quality and relevance are paramount; any content that you publish is a reflection of your business.

Create Natural Link Popularity

Search engines love useful information, and that’s why they often penalize businesses that manipulate links to increase their rankings. When you create useful content that people share naturally, it tends to attract a lot of attention, and people give your site the natural links that search engines love. These links mean that your rankings will skyrocket, and you will have a very low chance of being penalized by the search engines in the future.

Content marketing is a safe way to increase your rankings, and that’s why so many people use it on websites that they can’t afford to lose. When you create content for marketing purposes, think of it as a representation of your business. If you create creative and relevant content, people will link to it, and that drives traffic, builds brand awareness and increases your popularity online.

The Dark Underbelly of Social Media: Do You Know the Threats?

Social media has become an integral part of search engine optimization. Though it’s hard to hear it straight from Google, it’s quite apparent that social signals have become a major factor in ranking ever since they’ve rolled out algorithm updates like Penguin and Panda.

Due to the big hits caused from these updates, it’s common to find advice pointing individuals toward the use of social media to improve brand awareness, community interaction, and (in theory) the chance to increase search rankings through these social signals and mentions.

But lurking in the underbelly of the social media landscape are threats that present a far greater danger than we could have ever imagined.

Social, Reputation, and the Game Changer

In 2013, the Twitter feed of the Associated Press was hacked. A single tweet went out before the account was suspended. This tweet mentioned that the president had been injured by an explosion at the White House. Though completely false, this caused a massive ripple. The S&P dropped 0.9% which resulted in over $130 billion in stock value to plummet and vanish within seconds.

Consider your role as a search engine optimization professional.

No amount of keyword optimization, content production, and advertising could keep up with the spread of disinformation such as that of the Associated Press event.

What we’re dealing with here is a fundamental shift in how people absorb information. It comes to us so rapidly that users of the platforms react before they understand.

It means that the game has changed.

Placing all effort into optimizing a website isn’t good enough in these social times. One has to wonder what the point of a high ranking website if below it are countless negative reviews, status updates sharing disinformation, and YouTube videos belittling the brand.

Social media, albeit an amazing tool for connecting with others, has also unleashed a beast that can destroy reputations as easily as they are formed.

The Growing Problem within Social Media

The allure of social media is that it’s available on free platforms to anyone willing to give it a try. A good majority of individuals use it sincerely to communicate with friends, family, and connections but there are those that use it maliciously to attack brands, destroy reputations, and exploit individuals.

The following are just a few examples of how social media (and its users) have been conned:

·  It’s cheap and easy to buy fake followers. It doesn’t matter that they’re not real because their only purpose is to inflate the follower count. Individuals (and companies) do this to create a false sense of popularity. People, after all, are more likely to follow celebrity-type individuals than those with only a few. By exploiting the numbers a brand/individual may then use their power of influence (granted to them through this false sense of popularity) to push disinformation, mediocre products, or stir trouble with others.

·  The proliferation of short URL’s have led to a host of security issues. These links may disguise malicious files, web pages, or scripts which could exploit those clicking through the seemingly safe link.

·  Parody accounts, though some funny, can be misinterpreted and thought to be the person or brand they represent. One wrong update and suddenly the individual/brand needs to go into full PR mode explaining it was not from the official channels but by then it’s often too late, it’s spread too quickly, and the damage has been done.

To protect themselves from these problems, it’s now recommended web users invest in tools to prevent and thwart social network security threats through virus detection, guards against identity theft, safe search, and more.

Welcome to the Social (Engineered) Future

The use of social media will continue to grow with each passing year and with it will come those that choose to use the medium as a purpose of malicious intent. It could be an individual vindictive about another which results in slander. It could be disinformation about a brand which sends them into free fall. It could be a full-out attack which causes a total loss of control and downward spiral into chaos.

Social media, ultimately, is good but lurking in the underbelly are some very dangerous threats.

Think twice before you post. Ensure passwords are robust. Create a strategy to handle false reports. Your reputation is on the line. SEO can only do so much in terms of keeping you at the top of the listings but it will soon be social media which determines whether that effort is put to good use … or to waste.

Conversation Starters for Enhancing Facebook Engagement

How is your Facebook page doing lately? Does it seem to be lacking a little interaction from your fans?  No comments and likes on any of the content you are posting? Well it’s time to shake things up, generate some interests and get your fans engaged against or you’ll lose them forever! If you don’t keep them excited they will look for other business that seem to offer more and are more interesting to follow. This doesn’t mean you should stop using Facebook as a away to promote your business and letting your customers know what special offers you have running. But it just shouldn’t be all you post about. People also want to get to know your business philosophy and what the company’s goals are. Most people are on Facebook for an emotional connection and they originally liked your page because they felt that from your business. So gentle reminders on why they first liked you to begin with are important now and then.

There are many way to enhance your customer engagement but do not go out and buy fake likes under any circumstances. These are all zombie fans and will not show any signs of interaction. All it does is increase the costs of promoting your business on Facebook. For more information about what not to do if you wish to increase your Facebook engagement view this article by Constant Contact. Buying likes should have been first on the list.

Besides posting status updates pushing sales and promotions there should be stuff that your fans find funny and interesting. This will help with engage and shares. Which helps promote your business to new people. People like to be heard, so ask for your fan’s opinion now and again. To create interest for your page you can try the conversation starters below and give your page a breath of fresh air and get your fans talking again!

Funny or Motivational Quotes Help!

A good quote never goes astray. Everyone needs a boost every now and then and something motivational or funny can really help lift someone’s mood. It may be just what your fans needed to wake up to or that afternoon encouragement. Funny things also have a tendency to be shared more. Quotes can help with reminding your fans why they liked you and also deters them from un-liking your page.

When your fans share your posts it also will help your page build more fans and get more likes. You can buy likes to help maintain your online image but it really does nothing for page engagement or activity. It is important to have an active account and also encourage your fans to like and share your page and content.

Hosting Contests Creates Engagement

Hosting a contest can be a great way to encourage activity on your page again. Before doing so, make sure you read over the rules and regulations with hosting a contest on Facebook. You can do some research and find some good tips for  running a successful Facebook contest and make the most of it. See what the expert say and avoid any mistakes that others have committed when running a contest for the first time.

Images and Video Links Encourages Shares

Another good conversation starter is an interesting or funny video or photo (this concept truly also applies with Instagram and increases engagement). Many people like to be the first person to share something funny with theirs friends. So next time you see something interesting post it on your page with a link so your fans can share the fun as well.

Using quirky images can be another way to promote Facebook engagement. Post half an image and have your fans guess what it is of can get people talking. You can also try posting a funny image and getting your followers to come up with a funny caption.

It is important to have an active Facebook page, to keep your fans interested and sharing your business. This is the whole point of social media and can be used as a great marketing tool. There are many other ways to encourage activity from your followers but if you are having a hard time you can try the three suggestions above.

DIY SEO: Why You Should Think Twice

The term “professional SEO” is thrown around quite often. In fact, I’d venture to assume that there are quite a few people that stay relatively up-to-date on current tactics and news by reading a few SEO blogs. But being able to read about SEO does not make one an expert. In fact, if this were all it took, then we’d be swimming in SEOs and Google just wouldn’t have a clue what to do in order to make rankings “fair” anymore.

Due to the advent of everyone assuming they are indeed SEO professionals, you see more and more people opting to take the do-it-yourself (DIY) route to search engine optimization. Most fail miserably, and here’s why.

You don’t have the experience. While reading SEO blogs and paying for a membership to an SEO forum or two might make you more knowledgeable than most casual followers of this niche, it does not make you a professional SEO. A professional SEO has seen it all, done it all, and knows just what to do when certain situations arise. While we don’t have the answers to everything, we have certainly seen enough to be able to advise a client on their best course of action for specific goals. The casual SEO? More than likely, he’ll have a general strategy that he assumes works for everyone and every type of goal. This isn’t the case.

You don’t have the budget. SEO tools like Moz or Raven cost money. Outsourcing costs money. Generating content costs money. Following up with clients and publishers… you guessed it, costs money. The average SEO has time, but he doesn’t necessarily have the budget he needs to get all of this done. With more time than money, you’ll find yourself wanting to do all of these things using free tools and doing the manual labor yourself. This leads to less effective SEO, and severely limits how much work you can actually do over the course of the day. I mean, you’re not a full-time SEO, right? So that means you’ll probably have a business to run on top of trying to do the work of someone who does this all day, every day.

You’re a one trick pony. SEO is all about links… or on-page optimization… or content… or social media… or local search… or mobile… you’ve heard all of these in the past, but the truth is that modern SEO is a mixture of all of these disciplines, and more. While you might be great at one of these things, chances are that you aren’t even average when you start to mix them all together.

You lack the relationships. Agencies that specialize in SEO and link building have existing publisher relationships in place to ensure that you’re getting the best links for the money. Links are great, but optimally placed links are even better and chances are that without a lot of time, an outreach department, or a significant budget to pay someone, you can’t get your links placed in some of the same locations that professional SEOs do.

Now, I know that there are some business owners and entrepreneurs out there that can definitely handle their own SEO, but the fact remains that most cannot. It’s okay not to be good at everything, and sometimes – especially with something as integral to the future of your business as SEO – it pays to hire an expert.

How Google Hummingbird Changes SEO Strategy

Another update to SEO guidelines has caught the attention of webmasters who want to ensure they are following Google’s authority with precision, in order to get the best search rankings. Every now and then Google updates its algorithm of about 200 factors that determine these rankings. The search giant loves to give funny names to these updates such as “Panda,” “Penguin” and now “Hummingbird.” But SEO-conscious webmasters tend to not see the humor in these names and take these updates very seriously. Hummingbird marks a different kind of update, though. It’s one that issues more help than punishment, at least on the surface, by considering the context of queries rather than the words that make up queries.

Hummingbird’s High Flying Innovation

Traditionally if you entered “how to fix a broken record” in any search engine, you might get results as diverse as “record breaking champions” to “vinyl record repair kits” to “research criminal records.” But Google knew it couldn’t let this nonsense continue since its goal is not to waste people’s time, it’s to actually help users find what they want as quickly as possible. Hummingbird attempts to figure out the context of what you’re really asking rather than spitting out ridiculous riddles based on keywords. In other words, the new algorithm is much smarter at communication. Speed and accuracy reflect the true nature of a Hummingbird, which is how the update got its name.

The new algorithm entered search consciousness in August 2013. Google’s goal is to answer user questions instead of taking them on a wild goose chase through irrelevant links. To test this update you might ask Google an easy question such as “where is America?” If you see all relevant links, then you know that Hummingbird is working for you. Then try a more sophisticated question such as “what are the odds of winning the lottery?” This test will help you determine whether or not Hummingbird can help you resolve inquiries, as well as help you determine where content holes exist that allow you to feed knowledge from your web pages to the search engine and get credit for specific niches.

The Pattern of Updates

Google has followed a clear path through all its algorithmic updates to refine searches and give the best rankings to the most relevant links. Both Panda and Penguin operated as warriors to eliminate the evils of spam, duplicate content, harmful sites and weak content surrounded by ads. Hummingbird is a continuation of a development from a few years ago called conversational search, a precursor to semantic search. The brilliance of conversational search using Chrome is that it comes with a microphone next to the search box and has a voice recognition feature. Instead of typing in the question you can ask the question using your voice. Google then replies with its voice, opening up a conversation.

Historically, Google did not really answer our questions. It merely gave us guesses as to what the answers might be. Mixed in with those guesses were websites that mirrored some of the keywords we were looking for that may have sidetracked us, which gave SEO an extra dimension of people finding your website by chance, all because it was somewhere in the same ballpark. That’s changing, though, as the tech company is moving toward providing Information Cards that give direct answers, almost like Wikipedia summaries. It could mean that users will have their questions answered before ever stumbling upon your website by accident.

Scalping Information

The Information Card is generated from a Knowledge Graph that scalps information from our websites, without any regard to who owns the intellectual property. Google’s history has been to serve users, not necessarily websites, except for those that advertise with its AdWords platform, which makes up the bulk of the search engine’s revenue. Chances are it will continue to provide links for its advertisers, but what about websites that offer deeper content than advertisers or Information Cards? Even if Google were to abandon the SEO-driven community that helped build it into the internet’s biggest super power, it could open the door for competitors to outsmart Hummingbird with something better: search engines run by human curators who recommend the best websites.

This article was written by author and blogger Chase Sagum. Chase covers Organic Internet Marketing at his blog ChaseSagum.com.

5 Strategies to Help Small, Local Businesses Increase Inbound Links

Running a small business is a dicey game. It is by no means without its rewards; you get to be your own boss and manage your operation as you see fit, and every success is attributable to your hard work. But you also have to contend with limited funding most of the time, as well as the responsibility of wearing many hats. Even if you’re familiar with the industry that you choose to enter, you’ll still have to handle all manner of tasks that you might not be cut out for, such as accounting, sales, and marketing, just for example. And in this day and age, it simply won’t do to ignore the potential value of an online presence, even if you’re only a small, local business. Nearly everyone looks online these days rather than using the Yellow Pages, so if you don’t build a website and start to optimize, chances are good that consumers will never find you. As part of the package, you’ll want to find ways to get inbound links that direct interested parties toward your website. Here are just a few ways to secure the virtual arrows that will point people your way.

  1. Killer content. In a post-Penguin world, content is of the utmost importance anyway when it comes to optimization. Google’s current algorithm is designed to ensure that the websites getting top placement for searches are actually providing the engaging and informative content users expect, rather than the keyword-stuffed articles of old that were meant to bring in traffic while delivering little value for visitors. But there’s an even better reason for providing stellar content than sating Google’s search bots: you want to impress those who come to your site. When you provide the value that consumers are seeking via your websites, blog, social media, and so on, you increase the opportunities for sharing, and this will help to increase the inbound links you seek.
  2. Easy-to-share items. Massive blocks of text may be the most comprehensive means of delivering information, but they are in no way the most efficient, nor are they particularly attractive. The long and short of it is that you need to provide bite-sized snippets of information that are easy to share if you want to encourage visitors to spread your content to contacts online. By creating self-contained content through graphics, infographics, and videos, for example, you can offer customers the easy-to-share content they crave. And embedded links will lead straight back to you.
  3. Social media profiles. Social media plays a major role in sharing, so you really can’t afford to let it fall by the wayside. That said, you must treat your profiles like any other professional venue. Despite the fact that they are terribly casual, social media outlets provide you with an opportunity to reach out and connect with prospective customers. But they also give you a way to offer sharable content, and that’s where your inbound links will start to multiply.
  4. Participate in the online community. There’s a lot to be said for networking, especially in the online arena. So sign up for forums, comment on blogs, and see if you can get some patronage and collaboration going within your virtual community of peers. Participation can go a long way towards netting you additional links.
  5. PPC services. You might not be keen on the idea of paying for links, but when you run a small business you’re either expending time or money, and most of your time must be devoted to your operations. Luckily, there are some strategies for building a web of inbound links that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. And pay-per-click services may qualify. Getting listed with directories is another good option for the business on a budget.

3 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Site on Customer Service Alone

1. User Friendly

If someone comes across your website and doesn’t find it to be user friendly, they can simply find another site similar to yours that they like better. Make your site user friendly by offering the following:

a. Quick Load time: Create an updated browser that offers fast load time so your internet users aren’t left feeling frustrated as they wait for pictures to load. How can you reduce your websites load time? Easy—just have fewer and smaller images. Images take more time to load than text and although valuable, they need to be uploaded correctly.

b. Mobile Availability: Having a mobile version of your website will allow your customers to view your site no matter where they are: school, work, traveling, or out to dinner!

c. Online Payment: If your company is involved in retail, be sure to allow online payments. This cannot be emphasized enough when it comes to customer service because if customers can’t purchase their stuff online they won’t want to come back to your site.

2. Online Surveys and Representatives

Online surveys are a great way to show your customers that you care. They allow customers to give honest feedback in a setting that won’t modify their true feelings about your business or product. If customers know that their online surveys are being read, documented, and considered they will feel validated in a way that will make them wanting to come back for more.

It may sound overrated but having online representatives available to answer questions 24/7 will let your clients know that you want them to feel like their concerns are being heard and their questions are being answered. Whatever customers have to do in order to never be put on hold by another customer service representative again, they will do.

Another great thing about online representatives is that they have virtually all the answers literally at their fingertips. So no customer’s questions will go unanswered!

3. Social Media

Nothing is worse than a company that doesn’t address their customers concerns. Engage with your clients on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Not only will additional links to directly answer customers’ questions boost your company’s SEO but it is also a great way for individual questions to be answered; when answering customers’ questions be sure to link them back to your company’s site in order to answer their questions. Social media is also a great way for conversations to be sparked amongst you and your customers—leading to relationship and link building!

 

Jake Magleby has written extensively about effective marketing, sales, and financing strategies to help small business owners succeed in the fast-paced and ever-changing business world. He also has an interest in education and development.

5 Social Media Must-Have’s for SEO

When it comes to various approaches to online marketing, there’s no doubt that SEO and search marketing offers a sound avenue to earn quality inbound traffic and pre-qualified conversions.

Last year’s SEO techniques are long gone, and now, social media is playing a pivotal role in determining the authority and rankings of webpages. As a result, social media marketing is a must-have for any SEO strategy.

In this article, I will share with you five social media must-have’s for SEO. These elements are essential to utilizing social media for the greatest advantage to your SEO strategy.

1. A Thoroughly Populated “About” Section

Including accurate and detailed information about your business is critical. Of course having your keywords on the page can help it’s ranking potential, but only do this naturally and if it makes logical sense from a user’s perspective.

The primary needs in this section is your company’s “NAP” – name, address, and phone number.

NAP, in other words, is a “citation” of your business. If your SEO strategy is locally-focused, the more citations you have throughout the web, the greater trust and authority Google sees in your company. So in a sense, citations are like backlinks; however they’re aimed specifically to rank businesses in the Google local search results (which are accompanied by the map with red pins.)

Social media sites happen to be excellent sources for citations. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and Yelp (which is more of a directory) hold strong as the top social sites for citations.

2. A Vanity URL

Vanity URL’s are most common on Facebook, but they’re also starting pop on Google+. These are URL’s that reflect the name (or keyword targets) of a business. So instead of www.facebook.com/4928349, a vanity URL would be something like www.facebook.com/AtlantaAutoRepairCenter.

To obtain a vanity URL on Facebook, you need to earn at least 25 likes on your page. It’s much more challenging on Google+. You must be quite the online celebrity, influencer, industry authority figure, or niche “baller,” as I’d like to say. Not only does this vanity URL signify greater search engine authority for your web presence, but a popular Facebook or Google+ page can rank on its own (with the help of a keyword-relevant vanity URL [and maybe a few backlinks.])

3. A Persona & Voice

The content that you share, as well as the way in which you present it, defines the voice and persona of your brand. This is the psychological element that has an immense role in how social media users perceive your company. Additionally, this determines how intriguing and like-able your brand, and thus the degree of social authority your company can earn.

Do define your brand’s persona and establish its voice, think from the perspective of your target audience. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What does my target audience want to hear from my brand on social media sites?
  • How should I establish my social voice to reflect my brand image? (Be an educator, problem solver, idea provider, or solution provider?)
  • What forms of content (both topic and medium) does my target audience find most engaging?

It’s important to keep top of mind that you’re not actively selling to your social media audience. Rather, you’re arousing their interests in something they desire to observe and absorb.

4. An Audience

This is perhaps the most important must-have to make the most of your social media presence. Building an audience is not always easy, and takes some diligence and patience.

The key to building an audience is to share awesome, valuable, and high-relevant content. This to earn the respect and trust of your target audience members, as well as encourage them to share your post (and thus expose your brand to new potential followers.)

Building an audience can also be accelerated by reaching out and sharing posts from other brands and influencers. Try re-tweeting a tweet from an authority figure, or sharing a Facebook post from industry influencer. In essence, interacting and building relationships is what it’s all about.

Lastly, Google+ has communities which are great places to make your web presence known amongst like-minded individuals. Here you can interact with people who have related interests to that of your brand.

5. A Google+ Page

That’s right, I am favoring Google. It’s only a matter of time before the marriage between Google+ and Google search gets stronger. Google Places has already started infusing elements of Google+ with more socially-integrated reviews and personalized search results.

Having a Google+ presence is imperative for your SEO strategy. Why? Because the more people who encircle you Google+ page, the greater control (“authority”) you’ll have over their search results. It’s Google’s grand scheme behind “Search plus Your World” – tailor-made search results influenced by a user’s social engagements on Google+.

Much of the activity and effort put forth on Google+ can be synonymous with Facebook. Start getting active on Google+ and growing your network. The SEO benefits may seem subtle now, but will surely spike in a matter of time.

 

About the guest author: Tyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO and Internet marketing analyst for Click Centric SEO Company, a professional provider of ecommerce SEO, PPC advertising, social media, and content marketing services. Tyler offers over five years of experience in the web marketing profession and is a strong advocate for socially-influenced SEO programs.

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

5 Bare Essentials of SEO-friendly Web Design

Having web design that’s SEO-friendly is critical in today’s digital marketplace. Many online marketing experts will agree that what’s the point of having a website if no one can find it via search?

As more and more business realize the potential of SEO and search marketing, the importance of an SEO-friendly website design reigns even stronger.

In this article, I will share with you five essential elements that define a SEO-friendly web design. Keep in mind that these are the essentials, and that more technical considerations can be applied to further enhance the SEO potential of a website.

Develop a Seamless HTML Coding Structure

Although the HTML coding structure of a website is more on the development end, it’s a technical component that also overlaps into the general web design category. The HTML back-end of a website influences how fast a website loads (impacting usability and human interaction,) as well as how efficient a website can be crawled and indexed by search engine spiders (impacting SEO).

As a result, it’s important that the HTML coding structure of your website is optimized for faster load speeds. This is particularly important if your website is custom developed with certain media elements or complex linking and navigation. If you’re using a content management system (or “CMS,”) opt for SEO-friendly CMS platforms like WordPress or Exponent. These CMS options have been developed so that the HTML coding structure is well-suited for fluid crawling and indexing.

Optimize Robust Media Files

Parallel to having a seamless HTML back-end, there are a few common media files that can be quite heavy in terms of file size. Robust media files can slow down the load speed (and sometimes the crawl-ability) of a website.

When creating a SEO-friendly web design, it’s important to optimize (or shrink) the file size of heavy media files, such as large images, videos, or audio files. In addition to optimizing media files for faster website load speeds, you can also keyword optimize these media elements for greater SEO value. This includes naming the file with respect to your keywords, as well as populating file’s properties to be SEO-friendly.

Build a Complete HTML Sitemap

Most SEO experts consider the HTML sitemap to be the second most important page on a website (next to the homepage.) However, it’s not uncommon for web designers to neglect building a complete sitemap.

The sitemap is like the index to your website. And although it’s not a common reference for visitors, the HTML sitemap serves as a roadmap for search engine spiders. In short, sitemaps define all of the pages on a website that should be crawled and indexed. For this reason, it’s absolutely essential to include this important page on your website.

Integrate Website Calls-to-Action (or “CTA’s”)

It is imperative that your website has calls-to-action on the primary pages which users engage with. CTA’s are designed to promote conversions after a visitor has landed on your website. The idea is draw the attention of a visitor to the CTA with some kind of incentive and thus promote desirable action.

Integrating CTA’s in your web design takes SEO one step further. This practice is known as Conversion Rate Optimization or “CRO.” In essence, a CRO strategy is equally as important as a SEO strategy. By including short submission forms, clickable banners and buttons, and CTA’s on your website, you maximize the value of your visitor traffic.

Include a Header & Footer

This might seem like rudimentary web design practices, but it’s surprising to see how many websites out there are missing a header and/or footer. These web design elements are very important for SEO in that they typically withhold the website’s most important links – such links that should be included site-wide (on all pages.)

The footer is the most common web design element that gets forgotten about. This area is crucial, for it acts as a mini-sitemap. Here you can link the pages of your website that carry the greatest SEO value. One of these pages should most definitely be the HTML sitemap.

 

About the guest authorTyler Tafelsky is the lead SEO and Internet marketing analyst for Click Centric SEO Company, a professional provider of ecommerce SEO, PPC advertising, social media, and content marketing services. Tyler offers over five years of experience in the web marketing profession and is a strong advocate for socially-influenced SEO programs.

SEO in 2013: Will AuthorRank Play a Huge Role?

For years together, Google’s Page Rank has been on the forefront of search engine optimization to classify sites based on authority. The higher your page rank in Google, the higher is your authority and crawl rate by search engines. In the upcoming year 2013, Google has decided to include a new quality metric that will take the limelight in search engine ranking algorithm and that is none other than AuthorRank. From 2013, I am sure that you will be hearing a lot of buzz about AuthorRank. Let’s dig deep into it.website or blog.

What is an AuthorRank?

AuthorRank is nothing but a measurement of the authority of your website or blog author over the internet. The main intention is to provide the search engine spiders with the nest and the most engaging websites. It is perhaps an enormous accent being directed to customer engagement, website trust and an escalating dilution of external links being one of the major decisive factors in website organic rankings. In fact, Google is not going to replace PageRank with AuthorRank, instead it will use both these metrics to enhance relevancy of results and promote posts of authors with greater influence.

AuthorRank: Is it worth considering?

Definitely it is a big thing to bank upon. AuthorRank is an important factor for judging your content’s quality. It makes it easier for the users to find the work of specific writers and Google leverages its ability to use authors as an element for ranking pages and sites. When it comes to social media, the number of likes, shares and tweets are increasing and is related to the reputation of the authors as well. So AuthorRank is undoubtedly worth considering.

How does it work?

The presence of different linking schemes has made low quality sites to get high page rank without a valuable content structure. Every author’s online activities such as social networking, blogging, participating in forums and debates and other content activities will be measured and evaluated by Google. The more an author writes on a topic and the more social engagement by that author, the higher “grade” in Google’s eyes for that topic. To put in simple terms,

  • Create a quality content on your site and on third party sites that people want to share.
  • Allow the users of Google Plus to share and validate content on your site.
  • Use author markup (i.e.) rel=”me” and rel=”author” wherever you write to link your content and your author page to your Google+ profile

How is AuthorRank Calculated?

Authors will be ranked based on the engagement factors of the content they generate. Some of the main factors that are about to be considered are:

  • PageRank of the author’s content
  • Comments on social networks
  • Social endorsements such as tweets, shares and likes
  • Connections with other high author rank authors
  • The quality and relevancy of inbound links
  • Number of Google+ circles an author is in
  • Level of on-site engagement of author’s content
  • Real world authority indicators such as published works on Google Books or Google Scholar

How will it be implemented?

Google has decided to take into account the PageRank of the author’s content. The above mentioned factors are then combined with AuthorRank to deliver the best possible results to the online surfers. AuthorRank for sure is going to bring the top most relevant websites with good quality content and so those who were using black hat and spam link building techniques can never rise again.

How to build your AuthorRank?

Building your AuthorRank is not a difficult task and is quite different from that of building your authority. Certain promising ways to build your AuthorRank are:

  • Get down with Google Authorship
  • Create a killer content
  • Start socializing your content with other reputable bloggers
  • Connect with webmasters on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc
  • Share your content on social media
  • Get in the circles of well known bloggers
  • Start guest posting on high authority sites
  • Comment on high authority sites
  • Submit your content to directories
  • Promote your author hub
  • Daily checklist to improve your AuthorRank

This is all about AuthorRank that is about to have an upper hand in 2013. So what are you waiting for? Start building your AuthorRank today and no doubt, that’s going to be your imminent brand tomorrow.

 

About the guest author: Alfred is tech savvy who loves to write more about digital marketing trends. He writes for Dot Com Infoway, providing Internet marketing solutions for online business.

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