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5 Tips For An Effective Content Strategy

shutterstock_126540911Do you have an effective content strategy for your website? Customized marketing content continues to exponentially grow in its ability to influence targeted visitors. The strategy used to develop that content has become critical. Here are five solid tips for you to start developing your own effective content strategy:

  1. It’s About Value

How much value does your content actually provide? Effective content today must provide two specific types of value to the targeted visitor to be effective: It must have perceived value, or communicate what it can do for that targeted visitor, and it must have real value, or be something that the targeted visitor can use in some way right now, at this very moment.

Your product or service must be able to deliver on the perceived value you’ve communicated. To develop this value and then deliver it, you’re must understand what your targeted visitors are needing. How can you find that out? A good way to start is to ask questions or research similar products or services so that you can gather the data you need to create effective, valuable content. Why take these efforts? Because 90% of targeted visitors find a customized content experience to be useful.

  1. It’s About Relationships

Why do people shop at the same hardware store for 20 years, even though they could save money by going to a big box retailer and get the exact same product? Because they’ve formed a relationship with that store and that has created a brand loyalty. The content that you publish holds the same quality as a potential customer walking into a store for the first time. It must work to: Relate to the customers wants or needs, be friendly and engaging, and be clear and concise.

Using your content to expect a sale will make a targeted visitor bounce quickly and permanently. By changing the expectation of your content towards a relationship-building outcome instead of a sales outcome, you’ll find that more repeat business may just come your way.

  1. It’s About Choosing the Right Platform

What exactly do you want your content to achieve? Who exactly is your target audience going to be? For many domains today, the right medium is the blog. Blogs have the ability to effectively reach over 80% of the world’s population that is currently on the internet. Just throwing out some text onto a blog isn’t good enough, however – blog posts that have graphics incorporated with them get nearly double the amount of hits as their non-graphic counterparts.

Why is blogging so critical? It is because of the organic nature of a targeted visitor finding your blog, reading the information, and finding value in it. Outbound marketing leads close at about a 2% rate. Organic leads close at nearly a 15% rate. That’s why having the right platform for your content is a critical component to any effective strategy. Blogs help a website index 4 times the amount of pages than sites without blogs and give a site double the amount of indexed links.

  1. It’s About Being Interesting

Social media is an easy way to help create those relationships that can lead to business opportunities, but you can’t develop a social media presence without interesting content. Any effective content strategy must incorporate how posts are utilized on social media. One of the top three reasons why people choose to follow or like companies on social sites is because they have information that is interesting to them. Asking people to share or like this information helps spread the content to more people, build a customer base, and further brand awareness.

  1. It’s About Feedback

Having content that sounds awesome and a website that looks cool just doesn’t cut it any more. You’ve got to continually adapt and grow your content based on how visitors are interacting with it. A good place to start is by using analytics to examine traffic patterns on the site. This way you can begin to understand what is working with your content… and what is not. Polls and surveys about your content can also give you a picture of how your targeted visitors are perceiving your content. With feedback, you can evolve your content strategy to continually meet changing needs, and that will make you effective.

What Does Your Content Say About You?

Your content will make or break you. It can either communicate to your targeted visitors that you have a tremendous value to offer them… or it can communicate that what you have is worthless. Using these tips, you can develop an effective content strategy that will help to grow your brand, engage your visitors, and develop new lines of revenue that can help you thrive. Just remember – what works today may not work tomorrow.

4 Reasons Why Press Releases Are Still An SEO Best Friend, Despite What Everyone Else Says

press_releaseIvy Lee wrote and distributed the first press release in 1904, and for the 90 years that followed, we watched it become an efficient way of publicizing a brand and maximizing exposure.

Then we rolled out the red carpet for the age of the Internet, and like everything else, SEO’s seemed to exploit an otherwise effective form of marketing for better search rankings.

The thing about Internet press release syndications that had certain SEO’s over the moon was it was easy to obtain a large amount of back links, albeit low quality, with exact-match anchor text in just a few minutes.

The result?

Your site skyrocketed to the top of the SERP.

Enter Matt Cutts, the “Commissioner of Major League SEO”—

After all, exploiting good marketing avenues for search engine rankings is as part and parcel of SEO as steroids are part and parcel of major league baseball in the past decade, right?

The good news is that Matt Cutts is cleaning up the sport, and he’s bringing his little black and white friends with him to help.

His aim?

To force SEO into the realm of real marketing, no matter what resistance stands in his way. Which is exactly why now, more than ever, a press release is enormously valuable to an SEO, despite what everyone else thinks.

The only question you should be asking yourself when it comes to press releases is whether or not you’re a good marketer!

So how does an SEO squeeze real value out of a press release?

Forget about back links, anchor text, keyword density, title tags, image alt tags, and everything else you were taught about SEO, and become a good marketer.

This article demystifies the lampooning press releases have taken over the past year so we can finally put to rest this unproductive discussion.

And I’ll show you real proof of why press releases should be a part of every SEO’s bag of tricks.
Read More…

Why You Need Google Plus In Your SEO Strategy

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When thinking about using social media for SEO strategies, what are the first sites that come to mind? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? For many, Google+ isn’t even considered to be part of the equation. It is unfortunate that it is often forgotten or ignored because the people and businesses who are making the greatest impact on their SEO right now are those who are making G+ a top priority in their strategies.

Here’s Why You Should Be On Google Plus Right Now

There’s a higher level of engagement: People who primarily use Google + are doing so because they can compartmentalize how they engage with people. Some circles have family and friends, others have shared interests, while still others are about business relationships. You don’t have to be a “friend” or a “follower” to be in a circle with someone, which means you have the ability to get a higher level of engagement from a larger base of people who may be interested in what you have to offer.

There’s more indexing: Google + indexes almost everything that you put on your page. Even the description of yourself, your business, or your products/services can be indexed! With proper SEO coverage over your keywords, and especially with long tail keywords, you can create a massive amount of data that will be found valuable, ranked highly, and give you an added level of exposure.

There’s more +1 opportunities: Though Google sort of denies that sites/posts/pages that have high levels of +1s aren’t ranked higher than others, you can’t deny the social engagement that the +1 box can bring. Higher levels of social engagement generally help to rank pages better, which gives you extra exposure. According to some data, almost 90% of all clicks occur in the top 3 search results that are given – if that means a post of yours from G+ gets a high rank, that visitor may very well go from your post to your primary webpage.

There’s more authorship opportunities: If there’s one thing that search engines love, it’s information that is cross-linked to other information that has authorship data to it. Think of it like writing a huge term paper for school – every time you reference specific data or quotations, you would cite a source, right? Content with verified authorship actually tends to have a higher CTR than information that has no authorship or unverified authorship.

There’s more influence over personalized search results: Do a lot of people have you in circles? If so, then when they are searching for something that is related to the content, products, or services that you produce, you’ll actually have more appearances in their searches. Why? Because search engines appear to be moving toward a system that is geared toward a mixture of quality information and unique user preferences. If you produce quality data and people are engaging with you, then you’re creating a solid SEO foundation.

It’s Easy To Get Started!

If you want to dominate your niche in today’s SEO world, there are too many advantages to be gained from Google Plus to simply ignore it. It only takes a few minutes to get started with your own profile if you’re not on that platform yet. As with any social network, the key to getting people to engage with you is to engage with them first. Don’t be afraid to join circles, create quality information, and chat with people who have a similar interest in what you’ve got to offer. SEO and Google Plus – that really is a winning combination!

Blogging: Its Impact on SEO

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So you have heard it over and over again – “Google loves content! Content is King!” But what does it REALLY mean? The short version is this: You better be blogging, because your competitors are! But you don’t know the best practices for a blog? Lucky for you, I wrote this post!

Let’s start with the blog itself. Your best SEO benefit will come from having the blog as part of your website, and not a separate site connected to it. By having the blog on on your site, you will be adding unique and relevant content to the site, and Google will see this. The more frequently that content is added, the more Google will revisit your site and index that content. This is why you can post something on Craigslist or eBay, and then immediately do a Google search and actually find it already indexed. If your site is in WordPress, the blog can be very easily added.

The two main factors in writing an actual blog post are Content and Frequency. Your blog posts should primarily focus on the variety of products and/or services your business offers. These pages can be optimized for the particular topic, and will also show up in the SERP’s for you. Don’t be afraid, however, to write a post from time to time that simply shows your personal side, especially if you have a smaller business. Ever heard the expression, “People buy from people they like and trust”? Showing people your personal side from time to time, especially if it is humorous, will get your visitors to like you and trust you.

As far as frequency, it has been shown that the more you blog, the better, plain and simple. Hubspot.com data shows that businesses that blog every day are 80% more like to attract new customers online than businesses that don’t blog at all. If you only blog weekly, the daily bloggers have a 15% advantage over you. This infographic illustrates these numbers.

Why Your SEO Will Struggle Without Social Media

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When drafting up a solid online marketing plan, SEO and social media should be seen as going “hand in hand.”  In order to see major results from these marketing efforts results, you have to incorporate one with the other.  Read on to learn more about the true importance of social media in your SEO marketing plan!

Concentrate on Content

It’s not about purchasing thousands of Twitter followers or Facebook likes.  Both SEO and social media will never prove themselves successful if they have terrible content to work with.  It’s about starting with great content aimed at grabbing readers’ attention; plus, not going overboard with distracting keyword density. Through valuable, reader-friendly content, you’ll encourage readers to sign up for e-mail newsletters or purchase your digital products.

Why Your Social Media Presence Matters

Along with blog posts and articles, tweets, Facebook posts, Google+ page content and YouTube videos are also a part of your online content collection.  Social media is one of the leading sources for promoting that content online, but it’s features can also factor into your SEO rankings as well!

Google examines your social media activity when calculating a search engine ranking.  Whenever your business is mentioned, retweeted, shared and liked on social media, it makes those search engines notice you a whole lot more.

It’s easy to see why people purchase more likes and followers with these added seo ranking requirements, but inauthentic followers won’t turn, or convert, into buyers and loyal readers.  Furthermore, they won’t continue to retweet your message, mention your service or share your content because they’re not your target audience.  It’s important to take the time to grow these efforts organically.

The Google+ Experiment

It’s never too late to get serious about social media’s role in your SEO plan.  A great way to get started is through Google+.  Not only is it Google’s social networking tool, but it can also be a fantastic vehicle for successful SEO.

Google is the web’s search engine giant.  One of the major perks of using their own social networking platform is that Google+ profiles and pages can achieve a better page rank than other social media pages.

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