How to Create a Local SEO Strategy for your Small Business

A successful and effective SEO (search engine optimization) strategy is essential for any online-based businesses or blog. Whether you own a big company or you’re still starting a small one, having enough knowledge on how SEO works is a must. You should also learn the proper SEO strategies that will help you build a stronger presence for your small business.

To get things started, here are some of the most effective SEO strategies for local businesses.

Get the right keywords

Because of the new Google Penguin update, internet marketers and bloggers should be more cautious about keyword stuffing and creating anchor texts. That puts the keyword issue on top of this list. Instead of sticking to the keywords you know, it’s also advisable to discover ideal keywords for your business niche. There are tons of softwares and sites out there than can help you with this.

More visitiors equals more feedbacks

The more your buzz your business generates, the better your ranking on search engines. That also means that your small business can grow big in no time. Allowing your viewers and clients to participate in surveys and to provide feedbacks will show the search engines that many individuals are genuinely interested in your business. This can be done by creating your own surveys and having a feedback tab on your site. You can also utilize the following sites:

  • qype.co.uk
  • yelp.com
  • angieslist.com

Stay close to quality links

Another SEO strategy that can effectively enhance your ranking in search engines would be to stay close to quality links. You can start from being in touch with sites related to your business niche and the next thing you know, quality links and a wide array of connections are tying in with your business.

Pay per click advertising

For small businesses, local pay per click advertising is one effective and effortless SEO strategy. Because a small business is likely to cater local customers, this is one way for the customers to find you instead of having it the other way around. Worry not because there are sites that expose advertisements in a wider scope. This means you can go for international clients as well once your company grows.

Create Compelling Content

Search engines are way too in love with lists. Whether that’s the top 10 product reviews you received or perhaps a how-to list for a certain project, it’s sure is worth it to create those. This way, search engines will be more attracted to your content.

Building your own website is indeed a great idea, but knowing how to do is faster is better. These SEO strategies may sound simple but each of this strategy plays a great role towards having a successful online business. Whether you’re a simple blogger or the head of a company, there will always be enough space for you in the virtual world.

How to Get Your Websites Indexed Faster

As a business owner or a blogger, you should be able to build a strong reputation not only in the niche of your site but also in the entire internet world. This way, more and more people will have an interest to your site and your product. This reputation can be gained by providing your readers high quality content from time to time.

However, you should also ensure that you really have readers. This is where the indexing comes in. A high index means more readers, so how can you get that likable index?

Ping, ping, and ping some more

Pinging your website is somewhat like sending an alert message to directories and search engines. This should be done whenever you have a new write-up or article post. Although search engines always conduct their own new post hunting, there is no assurance that they will find yours. To ping your website means to assure that your new posts will be seen these search engines. Such tools that you can use are as follows:

  • Pingmylink.com
  • Pingoat.com
  • Pingler.com
  • Feedshark.branbliss.com
  • Pingomatic.com

Make social media your new best friend

The next step towards a faster indexing would be to use social media sites. Having Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn buttons on your site won’t only make it look more attractive. More to that it will also help search engines locate your site faster. This is because search engines are now giving more value to these social links. You can also incorporate your Facebook business account to your personal account.

The deeper the links, the better

After linking your websites to your social media sites and using Ping tools, you’re all set for the next step – building deeper links. Instead of creating backlinks leading to your homepage, you should also create backlinks leading to various posts on your site. This will make it easier for search engines to spot your new posts and index your site faster. Here are deeper link building techniques you can apply:

  • Add the link of the latest post to your social media profiles
  • Build accounts on web2. 0 sites and post high quality content
  • Add post links (instead of homepage links) to your forum posts

Focus on authority blogs

High domain authority blogs are known to have thousands and millions of followers. Moreover, it would be wise to focus on such blogs and get in touch with other bloggers. You never know, perhaps they’ll in love your post and will link back to you. The trick here would be to add a link to all your posts. Whether that’s a comment or a fresh post, having a link will give others the chance to know more about what you’re really talking about.

This may appear like a brief guide for anything promising big results. Indeed it is short, and indeed it is effective. Indexing on search engines may be a big challenge at first but once you get the hang of it, everything else follows.

How “NOT TO” Build Back links

One of the most essential SEO strategies for building your website’s search engine rankings is by building back links. But what makes back links so important in helping you rank higher in search results? Consider each back link as a tiny vote that gives your website credibility. And the more quality back links you have, the better your search engine results.

So why not simply build thousands of back links and have these all pointing back to your website? This might have worked in the past but with Google’s introduction of the Panda and Penguin Update, website’s that employed this strategy were penalized and slid down the search engine rankings.

You’ve probably read dozens of times on how to build quality back links. But knowing what strategies don’t work will keep you out of trouble. So before you build anymore back links, below is a list of “how not to build back links.”

Over Optimizing Keywords for your Anchor Text

Keywords play an important role in helping search engine crawlers locate relevant content and websites. However, this SEO strategy has changed since Google’s Penguin update. Keyword stuffing or over optimizing your keyword for anchor text is now being penalized by Google.

A simple way of checking if you’re over using some of your keywords is by checking your anchor text profile. If a great percentage of your back links are coming from a single or a few keywords then you’re guilty of over optimizing your anchor texts.

Diversity is the name of the game and new anchor text ideas include naked URLs, brand name or generic text (click here, this website, here).

Using Article Submission Sites

Article submissions sites were an easy way of generating hundreds of back links. All you have to do is to submit one article to hundreds of article sites and place an anchor text going back to your website. Google seems to have gotten notice of this and has implement changes on how much value these back links give. The result is that websites with this type of links have seen their search rankings drop considerably.

Paid Links

This is quite an expensive way to pull your rankings down. First you’re shelling out some hard-earned dollars while dragging your search engine rank. Google has made great strides in identifying paid sites and qualifying the type of back links these give. Getting back links from high quality sites may be difficult but one way of determining the quality of a link is how difficult it is to get them.

Link Exchanges

This is a matter of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Why not get the back link numbers going and spreading the benefit by asking fellow webmasters for link exchanges. Some even make the mistake of exchanging links with websites that are not related to their niche.  Make your back linking strategy more natural. Ask your fellow webmasters if they would allow guest posts. Provide quality content in exchange for a link.

Creating Social Profiles

If you’re searching for another easy way of generating back links for your website then creating dozens of social profiles and providing a link pointing to your website is for you. There is quite a number of software that easily creates hundreds of profiles making this a whole lot faster. But again with Google’s latest Penguin update all links from this strategy only drags your search rankings down. And the worst part of all, you have to remove all these links sometimes manually to avoid being penalized.

 

 

How to Bounce Back from Google’s Penguin Update

Many websites still find themselves reeling from Google’s Penguin Update. It seems that Google has again managed to shake the SEO landscape penalizing websites with what they perceive as bad linking practices. Months after Google released its Penguin Update, websites are still finding themselves at the short end of the stick losing valuable traffic. Let’s face it, when Big G speaks everybody listens. So if you find yourself continuously slipping from the search engine ladder, here are a few tips to get you back on your feet.

Analyze your Inbound Link Profile

The first thing to do is to study if you’re latest drop in traffic is due to Google’s Penguin update. If this sudden drop started on April 24 or the date of Google’s update then there’s a high probability that this could be attributed to Penguin. Most of the changes to Google’s algorithm deal with links and anchor text being used in these links. You could do this by studying your inbound link profile.

Your inbound link profile displays just how you use your anchor texts. Whilst in the past it was good practice to have 40 to 50 percent of your anchor text to contain target keywords, some experts recommend that you cut this percentage into the single digit mark. It seems that the ideal inbound link profile should display a more diverse use of anchor texts. This includes using brand name, naked URLs, links to internal pages, and generic text (click here, visit this website, etc).

Some of the surrounding discussions deal with over optimization. It seems that Google penalizes websites when certain anchor texts make a huge percentage of a website’s inbound link profile. The result is that the amount of juice that these exact phrase anchor texts drops down, hence negatively affecting the website’s search engine results.

Identify Bad Links

After analyzing your inbound link profile it is now time to identify what anchor texts are currently over- optimized. If you find yourself with your keywords taking a huge majority of your anchor texts then your recent drop in ranking is being caused by this. A simple way to do this is to use Open Site Explorer. This tool helps you analyze your inbound link profile. Search for the anchor text tab which displays the top anchor texts being used and how many of your links use these. Do a simple computation to determine the number of times each of this is being used.

Your main focus is to get a majority if your links using brand names, generic text, naked URLs. The trend towards using these types of anchor texts is fairly new. And most websites including yours would definitely display a higher percentage of anchor texts leaning towards exact matching keywords.

The amount of work to be done depends on how over-optimized your anchor texts are. There are two basic strategies to fixing this. The first is by eliminating or decreasing the number of links coming from highly optimized anchor text. The second is by building new links using the next anchor texts. Your focus would depend on the number of links currently in your website’s profile. If you believe that creating new links would be a faster way to even out the percentages then focus on link building.

Removing Links

This might not be as simple as it seems. It requires you to engage with webmasters and ask them to remove your links. This could have been done years ago and requires webmasters to scroll down posts and articles to remove your links. You should remember that the webmaster has nothing to gain from this. So be extra courteous when communicating with these websites. You might also have lost their contact information but simple finding their contact us page or looking them up with “whois.net” could give you the information you need.

Creating a New Link Building Campaign

When you’ve done everything in reducing the number of links from over-optimized keywords then it’s time to engage in a new link building campaign. The best strategy to do this is to diversify where you get your links from and of course focus on the recommended types of anchor texts.

  • Branded Anchors
  • Naked URLs
  • Universal Anchors

It is not only where you submit your guest posts or the type of anchor texts you use that determine the quality of links. You should also focus on the content’s quality. Develop a content strategy that helps engage readers and generate better traffic to these posts. This in turn increases the link’s quality.

How to Reduce Spam Comments – Seven Simple Steps

 

 

If you are using WordPress as your blog’s content management platform, there is a good chance that you are regularly bombarded with irritating spam comments. Spam comment is a very serious problem especially for very serious bloggers.

Thankfully, there are ways on how you can eliminate or (at least) reduce spam comments on your WordPress blog. Below are seven simple ways you could do this.

Use third party commenting like Disqus or even social networking sites

Third party commenting systems like Disqus and even commenting through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter is a good way to ensure that the comments you are getting are from real people and not from spam bots.

Install a ReCAPTCHA plug-in on your blog

Installing a ReCAPTCHA plug-in on your blog is another simple yet effective way of reducing spam comments. ReCAPTCHA is a type of challenge response in which a commenter is required to type a code known as CAPTCHA code before being allowed to post his comments.

Close the comment threads on old blog posts

Closing the comment threads on old blog posts, preferably blog posts that are over 100 days old, can also prevent the spread of spam comments on your blog. Needless to say, many spam robots these days opt to post spam comments in older threads, hoping that the blogger will look pass on it.

Use the spam-catching filter Akismet

Using a spam-catching filter like Akismet is a tried and tested method of preventing spam comments on a typical WordPress blog. Akismet basically filters the comments posted on your blog and track-back spam comments.

Download and install the Not a Spammer plug-in

Not a Spammer is a popular plug-in that can help bloggers in reducing and filtering out spam comments. It works like a CAPTCHA code – only simpler. Instead of typing a code, a commenter is asked to simply click on a check box to validate his comment.

Allow commenting only for registered blog visitors

Another thing that you can do to reduce spam comments is to allow commenting privileges only to registered blog visitors. Most popular blog communities use this type of technique to prevent spam comments so why not try it?

Comment moderation for the first time commenter

Comment moderation for the first time commenter or even for every comment posted on your blog is also an effective way of reducing spam comments. The only downside of this is that the conversations on your blog’s comment threads are somewhat derailed or halted.

How to Make Money Online – 4 Guaranteed Ways

The internet has provided many enterprising individuals and businesses numerous opportunities to make money online. But the percentage of people actually making money from an online business remains to be low.

Many people are tricked into believing marketing “gurus” that preach easy ways to make money online. However, the secret to a successful online business is to find one that works with your expertise. So the next time you’re contemplating of starting your online money making campaign, here are four guaranteed ways to make money online.

Blogging

Personal blogs have come a long way from being mere sites that provide people a personal medium for expressing their thoughts. But some of the most successful personal blogs have commanded thousands of followers making them an attractive place for marketing and advertising.

Paid guest posts for example command a high premium where advertisers pay for reviews of their products. Maximize your sites real estate by offering it as advertising space for links or banners. The more authority you command, the higher price you could demand from potential advertisers.

Making money through blogging may seem simple but this can also be the most time consuming of all the strategies mentioned. Building credibility takes time and is not for the impatient. However, blogging could also be the most rewarding if not the most entertaining way of making money online.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another online money making method that is quite easy to maintain. All this requires is to find a popular product and promote it. You can earn by receiving a commission each time a product is sold.

A great place to find these products is by visiting clickbank.com. This gives you a list of products that you could easily market. A simple research could also give you a list of popular products that you could start your affiliate marketing campaign.

Aside from creating a website you could also build an email list where you could offer these products by providing discounts or including a link to the product.

Niche Marketing

This could be the most lucrative ways of making money online. The concept is simple. Look for a specific niche and research everything you could learn about it.

Niche marketing is all about finding a small target market looking for a specific product. You could start with a broader niche like clothes for example and then focus on summer clothing. The advantage of using this strategy is you could focus your marketing efforts on a small target rather than slugging it out with bigger competitors.

Niche Marketing Guideline:

Research your niche market

Find the best keyword

Build a simple website

Build your customer base

Start an Online Store

Rather than setting up a brick and mortar store, why not create a virtual store and sell your products online. The benefits are quite obvious, cheaper overhead costs, you could setup shop almost everywhere and you have a wider customer base.

The cost of creating an online store may pale in comparison to setting up a physical store. But it still requires a reasonable investment for starting your online store. The first thing is to look for a location which in this case is finding the perfect domain for your shop. Keyword research is crucial. It helps you determine what keywords should be included in your domain in order to come up with better search results.

Another place you should invest in is hiring a professional website developer. This guarantees that all product descriptions and payment methods are working properly.

 

How to Keep your SEO Strategy on Track – SEO Myths Debunked

Every webmaster knows the importance of creating an effective SEO strategy for building organic traffic to their site. But this could be a very difficult concept especially for people just starting their website.

Building an effective SEO campaign can be time consuming and when you’re focusing your efforts on strategies that have no real value then that’s time sent down the drain.

Domain Age

For link builders targeting websites which have been up for years is a good gauge for determining the quality of a website. The simple logic is that the older a website gets, the better its search engine rankings. Domain Age is but a bit of the SEO puzzle. This is so small that focusing your efforts on other strategies is a better alternative than just waiting for your website to put some years.

This could be frustrating for new webmasters who are left to think that the only way they could compete with more established websites is to rack in more years. A website’s overall quality is not determined by its age, but it is the combination of quality content and links that play a huge role in making a website an authority in its niche.

Tags, Tags and more Tags

I think most webmasters will be found guilty of this. We all know how easy it could be use keywords for tags and have it sprinkled all over the website. Most of us would place this on every place possible hoping Google’s search engine spiders would eventually find these and have our website get a nice SEO boost.

Meta Tags is another easy place to use keywords on your posts. We’ve all heard how optimizing our Meta Tags by placing our target keywords can be useful for helping us land in search results better. This might not hurt your website at first. But after using the same keywords for your tags over and over again you might find yourself being penalized for keyword stuffing.

One rule of thumb when it comes to quality SEO strategies is that the harder it is to employ, the better its quality in the eyes of Google.

Keyword Domains

The first steps that any new webmaster does when creating a site is to choose a domain name. Most of us for example would research our target keywords and find ways on how we could use it on our domain names. However, most of these keyword domains have already been taken. We are left with combining two or three keywords just to come up with an entirely original domain name.

Fresh Content

Another thing that most new webmasters find themselves doing is constantly posting new content on their site. We find ourselves pressured to post two or three articles a day just to keep our content updated. Again, there must be a balance between keeping our content fresh and relevant.

We must always make it a point to keep our readers and visitors engaged. This could only be done by posting useful and informative articles. When you are left to choose between posting daily content and weekly quality updates, choose the latter.

Article Marketing

Link building will always be an important aspect of any SEO strategy. Article marketing has long been a proven method of creating links back to your website. But with Google’s latest updates, the quality of this links has been subsequently downgraded. This has left many websites reeling from poor search results and some have even been penalized.

Again, the problem with this strategy is the relative ease of submitting poor quality articles stuffed with keywords all pointing back to your site.

 

 

 

How to Effectively Build your Personal Brand

 

 

Personal branding may be an unfamiliar concept to new webmasters. But this is certainly one of the important building blocks to future online success. It’s far easier to create a personal brand for a new website compared to establishing it when the website has been up for years. Established websites for example have to re-assess their marketing strategy in order to come up with a personal brand that reflects their business.

Personal branding allows businesses and professionals to market themselves to potential partners, employers and increase their customer base. It is an advertising campaign designed to showcase your strengths and conceal your weaknesses.

Create your Personal Brand and Stick with it

Your personal brand should reflect your business or professional skills. If you’re marketing yourself as a home improvement expert for example then you should project an image of a professional with prior experience in the subject. Ask important questions like how do you want to be perceived by potential customers or readers?

Create a Professional Resume Highlighting your Experience and Education

You could post this information on your “About Us” section. This is a page that many new webmasters often neglect. New visitors often click on the “About Us” page just to get a glimpse of the people behind the website. How can you trust the information located on the website if you don’t have an idea of the people who wrote or created it. This might contain a few sentences or a few paragraphs but be sure to check every detail, craft a personal message that best describes you and your business.

Use Professional Photos

Images are worth a thousand words and a professional looking photo speaks volumes about you and your business. Whether an image you would use on your “About Us” page or your business page at Facebook, a professional photo leaves a better impression and helps create an aura of authority.

Utilizing the Power of Social Media

Social media has gone a long way from just being websites or applications that connect friends and families. With billions of social media users worldwide, it has become a powerful medium for advertising and marketing. A healthy social media strategy helps you connect to more people and potential customers. This helps you get the word to more people faster and more efficiently.

Connect with other Professionals using Linkedln

Linkedln is the fastest way to connect with like-minded peers. It has become one of the most popular professional networking sites today. Create hundreds of connections by actively searching and joining networks.

Invest in your Website and Personal Brand

Just like any business, learn to invest in your online business. Simple investments include buying a personal domain and a professional WordPress theme. This allows you greater flexibility and a more robust platform for marketing yourself online.

Be Aggressive and Make Yourself Available

Mediocrity is a word not found in any success book. Make yourself visible as possible and reach out to people. This is important especially if your building your brand or at the early stages of your online business. Utilize the power of social media to effective create an online presence. SEO strategies are designed to bring organic traffic but its benefits may not be felt during the early stages of your online business.

 

 

How to tell if your SEO is working for you

how to tell is your seo is working for youThere’s no point in sinking thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours of time into anything without being able to measure if it’s working.

This is especially true for Search Engine Optimisation.

Because there is no right or wrong way to do SEO, it means all you can ever do is try something out and see if it works.

If it does, great. Keep going.

If it doesn’t, you need to stop and refocus your energy.

But how do you tell if it’s working?

There’s really only true test: Check your Search Engine Ranking Positions (SERPs)

If you’re building links to a page and it’s not increasing your SERPs, then the link building you’re doing simply isn’t working and you need to find a new SEO strategy.

Tracking your SERPs used to be as simple as Googling a word and then seeing where your site ranked.

With all the advancements in search algorithms, those easy days are gone.

Now, every time you search for a word in Google, it takes into account a whole raft of different factors that effect your SERPs like:

- Location
- Search history
- Google plus likes
- Previous clicks
- And even your YouTube history!

All these additions have been added in to make your search results more closely match the kinds of sites you’re looking for. But in the process, they’ve made it very difficult to get an objective picture of whether or not your SEO work is paying off.

But there is a way around it.

There are services available that are able to get clear and objective SERPs, despite all these additions to the search algorithm’s. They use a combination of anonymous internet browsing and special filters from locations all around the world, to make sure they get an untainted snap shot of where you site stands.

The one I use and recommend is MicroSiteMasters.com

They have a really easy to use dashboard, very accurate reporting updated at least once per day, and they have a special plan that allows you to track 10 keywords for free.

You can check out just how simple it is to use and start measuring just how much of an impact your Search Engine Optimisation is having today.

Get your free plan here: MicroSiteMasters.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Increase Email Conversions and Leads

For online marketers, collecting a list of potential customers can be a difficult task. Marketing strategies include the use of opt-ins or social media in an effort to generate a client email list. But building an email list is just half of the puzzle. Keeping them subscribed to your emails however, is another thing altogether.

An effective email marketing strategy increases your customer base and improves lead conversion. If you’re still in the dark why your email marketing strategy is going nowhere, then here are a few tips on how to increase email conversion and develop more leads.

Tip 1 Keep Content on Topic

If you’re planning to give discounts then this would be an exception. Stick to the plan. There must have been a good reason why people subscribed to your email list. Keep your emails within the limits of the products or topics contained in your website. This ensures that your subscribers get the exact information they want. Just imagine their reaction after receiving an email that talks about shoes when your website is all about home improvement.  If you’re planning to pitch a new product for example, introduce it on your website first before telling it on your email.

Tip 2 Setting the Voice

Your first sentences determine the voice of your email. This gives you the opportunity to give readers an overview of what the email is all about. Place yourself in your customer’s shoes, would you spend 5 minutes of your time reading an email only to find out that you were not interested in the offer.

Giving your customers an overview of the email’s content gives them the option to opt out. You might not have landed a sale but it makes it easier for them to read your next email.

Tip 3 Responding to Comments or emails

Communication is a two way street. And responding to your customer’s emails makes them feel that there’s a person behind those messages. Customer feedback is also an excellent way of getting another perspective. It gives you an idea on what your customer thinks about your product and helps you plan a better way of selling it. This helps you create a healthy relationship with your potential customers, loyalty that could turn into profits.

Tip 4 Personal Branding

We should be able to connect our emails with our products or services. Effective personal branding helps people remember and associate each email with your business. Treat each email like a well crafted message. This helps you convey an image of professionalism, great for improving your personal reputation.

Tip 5 Tracking your Progress

Keep track of popular products and services and try shifting your marketing efforts towards these. There is a lot of email marketing software that provides these services. This gives you the option of monitoring if people are reading your emails or clicking links. Simple marketing software for example gives you an idea on what works and what is effective.