Avoiding Blog Traffic Obsessions

Do you have a web traffic obsession? If you own a website, the answer is probably yes. It’s a common issue nowadays, everyone is so obsessed with gaining as much traffic as possible – it takes over their lives.

The problem is, it’s a justifiable obsession in some ways. After all, being obsessed with web traffic means you’re trying to get more people to view your site. What’s wrong with that? There’s nothing strictly wrong with wanting more web traffic, the problem is that some people take things too far. When you only focus on getting as much traffic as possible, you tend to forget about other elements that could help your website improve.

Speaking of which, here are the dangers of having a web traffic obsession:

You’re Not Thinking About Conversion Rates

P&R Money Please Cinemagraph
“Money please!”

For me, conversion rates are a more important obsession than traffic on its own. A conversion rate looks at how many people visit your site and go on to interact with it in a meaningful way.

How many people visit your website and then register their email address to sign up for a newsletter? How many visit your site and buy a product from your store? If you only care about traffic, you could have lots of people visiting your site but a tiny percentage doing something meaningful. This makes your website ineffective, and you need to focus on designing landing pages to help boost conversion rates and get more out of your site.

You Don’t Focus On Targeted Traffic

Another big issue I have with the web traffic obsession is that people don’t care about the traffic they get. All they want is to see the numbers go up, even if they mean nothing at all.

Talk to any SEO agency which gets results, and they’ll say the secret to success is targeted web traffic. You want people visiting your site that actually care about the contents. This is how you get them to stay on your site for as long as possible.

Otherwise, you end up with impressive traffic figures, but an outrageous bounce rate. Don’t be obsessed with gaining as much traffic as possible, be obsessed with gaining targeted traffic.

You Waste Money On Needless Things

Finally, we have the issue of money and your traffic obsession. When you’re obsessed with traffic, you’ll do anything to see an improvement. As such, you could spend money on things and ideas that just aren’t needed. The main thing that comes to mind is buying backlinks. A lot of people try and buy backlinks to improve their SEO and see an increase in traffic.

Needless to say, this isn’t the right way to generate backlinks, and it could damage your site. But, it’s just a waste of money, you don’t have to do this. There are plenty of other things people spend money on to try and boost their traffic figures when there are other – more affordable – options out there.

To sum up, I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about web traffic. All I’m saying is it’s dangerous to have an obsession with your numbers. Instead, think about conversion rates, think about targeted traffic. Don’t just focus on gaining as much traffic as possible, it won’t make your website any better.  

Going on the outreach offensive to get links & grow online

When aiming to grow your business, you don’t have to always do so physically. In the world of online businesses, what really counts is the power of your outreach. Marketing and advertising are the tools that will get the name and image of your business out there and in front of new customers.

Resources For SEO Outreach

Essentially you have to also treat your online expansion just like as if it were in the real world. Having a plan, and funding the plan are the two most important steps before you can even begin to implement your changes.

You’ve got to realize who your target audience is what other possible routes could you take to bring home increase in clicks that convert to sales. There are always some things that will take precedence over any others that you first have to deal with.

Know your line of attack

Ask yourself why are you choosing to go on an advertisement campaign in the first place. It might be because you simply want to increase the scale of your consumer base, or you’re in fact trying to push a new project which entails a new product and or service.

Highlight what is so different about your business as compared to your closest rivals. Featuring in the advertisement should be some key points that are short, sharp and clearly define your business for what it is.

The key is to find a narrative and stick to it. Making your advertisement campaign memorable means, you cannot change it whenever you like. By having a narrative that is self-assured and essentially a ‘timeless’ message about your business is something that must be created before the implementation process can begin.

Marketing expenditures

Whether you’re marketing through email newsletters or using bandwidth of a professional advertising agency, you will need to fund your operations. Most clients will run your advertisements on their websites per time it is shown and others will simply charge you for the slot and bandwidth itself.

Your campaigns will need to be funded in a stable manner as you simply don’t know how long it will take for your advertisements to catch on and resonate with the audience.

Such websites can tell you more about the benefits of a business loan in contrast to a personal loan. Business loans are more stable and will generally have a higher interest rate in exchange for a larger amount.

Your business model may come into question but as businesses are more in line to create a profit than an individual, companies, and banks are more inclined to increase the amount on offer.

Target a new audience

Part of the excitement about growing online is the fact that you have to reach out to new customers that may have never heard of you. First impressions count, but this may also be determined by the type of audience you’re targeting.

Rather than veering off to new horizons that are completely unconnected, you should focus on consumers that search for and buy similar products and services you offer.

It’s tempting to chart new waters because the pool of customer is larger, but acutely targeting people who search for similarly worded products you’re selling can help you beat off your rivals.

Growing online is something that will take time, but much less effort than if you were to expand your business in the real world.

However, nothing in life is free, and it’s wise to ensure your advertising campaigns are funded for prolonged periods of time as the impact is always unpredictable.

 

Mandatory Marketing Skills You Need For A Successful Blog

No matter the purpose of your blog, a practical and strategic approach is essential for success. This includes your marketing strategy. After all, your blog wants a large readership or traffic. Without an effective marketing plan, you simply won’t have the visitors you need for your blog to be useful. After hours of work developing content, it would be heartbreaking if nobody read any of it.

What is the value of a blog to a business?

You’re providing useful and valuable information to people that are interested in your brand. You’re able to collect data about them at the same time and turn them into potential customers!

  • Prove you’re the expert by having content relevant to your business
  • Capture those people searching for answers who aren’t yet your client

Why is blogging valuable for business

Marketing skills are in abundance in your marketing team, but chances are they’re all a bit too busy to provide your content for you. Blogs for business are still grossly undervalued. When you consider the opportunities a blog offers, you can understand why so many social media and SEO specialists rave about them. 

“Consistency is key in any excellent marketing strategy, especially for a blog. If you want to achieve true success, you cannot let your blogging efforts go untapped for months at a time.

Ideally, you’ll want to blog daily, but if this is not feasible, go for weekly posts with thorough keyword research and you should begin to see phenomenal results in due time.” Christopher Grozdon | DASH-SEO, Austin, TX

The list of benefits goes on and on. You can perform qualitative market research through your blog. Blogs are also perfect for supporting any branding or positioning strategy.

Most importantly, they provide an extra outreach to engage your customers, encouraging comments and feedback.

Oh yes, and they can also convert a lead into a sale!

What Marketing Skills Are Relevant To Blogging?

Now it’s clear to see what can be achieved with a blog, it’s important to discuss the marketing skills you need to ensure its success and return on investment:

How Search Engine Optimization Plays A Role in Blogging

Search engine optimization is just as important for your blog pages as it is for any other sales or corporate page on your business website. In fact, your SEO objectives might dictate the content plan.

How SEO is important to blogging

All blogs need content, and this content should be added to several times a week IF you can actually generate EPIC content.

Fresh content for businesses can be challenging. After all, you want to keep it relevant to your product offering, but this makes topic options quite narrow. Think practical uses, case studies, and fun facts.

Implementing Keyword Strategies

Choosing organic keywords to target is perhaps easier for businesses as there are fewer you would be interested in. They would also be more specific than a general lifestyle blog might be working toward.

It’s worth taking the time for some formal training in SEO strategy so you can learn how to pick the most appropriate keywords. At the moment, long tail keywords are best, but as search algorithms change, you need to keep on top of your SEO from managing sitemaps and meta content to your the topic of the blogs you write.

What would ya say ya do here?

Download The Organic Traffic/Revenue Worksheet

Do you want to know what would happen if you actually do the work to get your site ranking?

Here's a handy worksheet I created for you to download you can use to estimate just how much traffic & revenue your site could potentially capture if it ranked on the first page of Google.

Congratulations!

Part of your SEO training will help you learn to make the most of competitor research. Tools like SEM Rush can give you an inside view of the keywords your competitors are targeting.

A good strategy is evolved from the analysis of all the data available.

This needs to include the most used keywords and the keywords your closest competitors are utilizing. From there, you can make informed decisions, writing content that naturally absorbs the keywords your business needs to target.

How PR Works In The Digital Age

Your business blog is also a great place to reach out to journalists and build up better PR. You can post white papers and case studies here. It’s important to keep your content topical so stay abreast of the news that may affect your customers. Always try to tie in these topical or trending stories with your blog content.

You should also use your blog to help establish you or your company as an industry expert.

The more you post, the bigger your influence. This can help you become an authority-voice on certain topics, and can easily lead journalists in your direction.

Check in with some writers each month to see if there is anything you can help them with. Don’t push a puff piece as a press release though. See if you can shape something fresh to help a journo out with a story requirement.

Your blog is also an ideal place to talk about new product development or changes to your services. Make it a story relevant to a typical reader, rather than just a statement. It must have an angle and a point for reading.

How To Create An Online Branding Strategy

Your content should have a consistent tone of voice. This tone of voice should match the brand perception you’re trying to build. A brand persona relies heavily on all the communication you release.

Making branding part of your blog

That is especially important for your blog. After all, anyone can read your articles. They need to get to know what your brand is about. Think about who your brand appeals to. This needs to match your target customer demographic. How do these people like to be addressed or spoken to?

Blogs are far less formal and far more personable than corporate pages or product pages on your website.

Your content should reflect this. Think of it as social media rather than just another page on your website. So be social! Be more chatty and informal.

Be friendly and welcoming. Be helpful and inquisitive.

You want to engage your visitors and customers. You want to give them help and advice. In return, you hope they will click through to product pages or give you their email address. This isn’t a sales push, though.

Content Marketing Strategy and Planning

Your blog should be a part of your overall marketing strategy and campaign planning. It should also have a marketing strategy and plan of its own. Your objective here is simple.

The most important thing about blogging from a company blog is putting out useful content. So often I see see established brands with uninspiring and content that is useful to no one.

Use your blog to establish your authority on your industry vs putting out generic content and expecting people to care. Evan, Digital Marketing Consultant at Yando.io

Attract the maximum number of people to your site, keep them there for as long as possible! You can measure this with analytics very easily from your own website stats.

A second aim for your site would be to convert that traffic into leads or directly into eCommerce sales.

Map your customer journey from your blog page to the product page that is related to it. Customers should be able to reach further relevant content in a single click.

Any standard blog template can be ideal for this. If you’re building the blog into your existing corporate website, make sure it is mapped out easily for visitors.

Plan out your content strategy

Next, you need to plan your content release. Brainstorm thirty or forty article ideas to get you through the first couple of months. Titles are important here, but for planning purposes numbers might suffice.

Many WordPress plugins offer automated posting to FaceBook and Twitter. Consider a scheduling tool to help you publicize content further.

Don’t Forget to Leverage Social Media

Social media is an essential part of successful blogging. But did you know that other blog sites could be just as useful to you? When you’re writing content articles, you need to include links to other in-depth information.

“Promoting your blog article is the most important, and difficult task when it comes to successful blogging. Lots of people can create great content, but in order for your content to get more visibility than others, you need to promote it successfully.

Using your own network, but also tapping into new ones such as relevant LinkedIn- and Facebook Groups helps. Content is something that can be easily “copied”, but that’s not the case for your promotion strategy”.  Steven Van Vessum – Content King, SEO auditing software

For example you coule pick a couple of blog articles that are relevant to your content and to your audience. While you’re posting those articles to socials, be sure to notify the blogger that you’ve linked to them by @ messaging their profile or even emailing them! This is the first step in building a relationship with an influencer.

Leverage them socials!

Reach out to your followers and friends across all your social media accounts too. Offer promotions that are exclusive to that platform. This can help increase your followers as content is shared.

Photos are important across all the platforms, and images are essential for a successful blog. Use them wisely. Sometimes people share a picture just because they like the picture.

Pinterest is perfect for this. Make sure your pics are eye-catching and offer click-throughs back to your informative blog articles.

Even More Needed Marketing Skills

Your writing skills need to be pretty good if you want to provide much of the content for your business blog. You’ll need in-depth product knowledge and your finger on the pulse for what’s hot. Reaching out on a personal level in a public forum is hard to do.

There is always the risk of negative backlash. Don’t be a Trump.

Adopting your company persona instead of taking such feedback personally is essential. At the end of the day you are representing your business and must maintain professionalism.

Bloggers are very creative individuals with the ability to make what they’re writing about topical and interesting. Perhaps the most important part of the writing process is the title.

It has to be interesting and entice the reader to click through to the content.

It might suggest it can solve a problem that many of your readers should share. Perhaps you’re offering something highly desirable or revealing a secret? Whatever the title, the content must deliver on the expectations you are building.

How To Calculate Your SEO & Blogging ROI

At the end of the day, blogging can easily become a full time job. That level of involvement needs to be worthwhile. Be careful how you choose to measure this return on investment.

Don’t forget that a blog fulfills parts of many different marketing objectives.

You might choose to measure each article that you post. After all, you’re writing each piece of content to meet a distinct objective, aren’t you? If not, why not? Did you calculate how much organic SEO potential is even available?

You want to engage your visitors and customers. You want to give them help and advice. In return, you hope they will click through to product pages or give you their email address. This isn’t a sales push, though.”

A lot of marketers push to their visitors aggressive pop-ups that almost can’t be closed. Based on these techniques they present their success as a higher CR but what they don’t realize are tons of visitors who are disgusted and leave them because of that.
Don’t be the aggresor. Give to your visitors content that rocks and they’ll follow you or leave their contact details voluntarily. Real attention must be deserved and not enforced. Filip Podstavec, Marketing Miner

In terms of brand reach or recognition, this too can be measured with relative ease. A third party survey service, or simply the number of people searching for your brand online will undoubtedly start to increase.

You might choose to partner each article with another campaign in your strategy. How will you balance and measure the impact of each on your key objective? This is up to you – simply detail that choice in your reporting.

You Forgot About Link Building!

Google uses the quality and number of other sites that link to yours as part of it’s algorithm to determine if you deserve to get top rankings for those keywords you identified.

Link building quality over quantity

“When it comes to outreach/link building for blog posts, you must exercise quality over quantity with your content. People aren’t referencing your content just because you’ve written 200 other articles.

They reference your content because it’s high quality and provides facts and data, helpful information and “how tos”, news or other quality information.” Mitchell Abdullah – SEO Manager at Enventys Partners

 

Here’s some resources to develop a killer link building process that works for your niche:

Tailor your posts and linkbait to suit the sites that you want to get the links from. Writing something truly EPIC requires you to first research all similar pieces of content and _then_ author your own.

When done, you want to be able to tell every webmaster “Hey, I have answered exactly what you and all those commentators were asking about”, making the decision giving you that link a total no-brainer. Philip Blomsterberg, Swedish SEO at sökmotoroptimering.se

Use Blogging To Build Your Buisiness

Blogging is and should be a big part of your overall marketing strategy. Don’t push it aside. Results can be seen live and instantaneously making it more measurable than you think. How important is blogging for your business? Have more questions, let me know in the comments I am happy to get into some real discussions!

How to Use Email Marketing to Boost your Business

So. Now that you’ve been reading my blog and cracked SEO to drive traffic to your website, you need to think about how to retain your customers.

Having a great website and products are key parts to the equation but how do you communicate with your potential customers?

I reached out to Erik who is the CEO of MageMail. He also mentors startups with programs such as MassChallenge and Techstars. He geeks out and writes about innovation, ecommerce, emerging tech, leadership, and SaaS here is what he had to contribute:

The humble email!

With 4 billion accounts (and counting), marketers have started to realize the full
potential of email marketing. After all, 90% of internet users in the United States
frequently check their emails, more than social media and no other e-marketing tool can directly land in the inbox of subscribers.

To put it all together we created this useful ‘Email Marketing Cheat Sheet’ full of tips on how to build and implement an effect email strategy for your business.

  • Personalization – Why should you make your emails personal and how to
    segment your lists.
  • Trigger emails – How you can set them up and respond to the actions of
    subscribers or customers. Avoid the spam folder too.
  • Recovery – Using email marketing to re-engage with inactive customers and
    reduce your abandoned cart rates.
  • Mobile friendly -.Some studies indicate that over 50% of emails are viewed
    for the first time on mobile devices. So it’s more important than ever to format
    your emails correctly.
  • Testing – Why testing is critical to the success of your email strategy and how
    to carry out effective tests.

Email Marketing Cheat Sheet Infographic

Email Marketing Cheat Sheet

As we can see, there are a number of innovative ways we can use emails to ram
home the advantage of an efficient SEO strategy. The ROI of $44 for every $1 spent
is higher than any other form of communication including social media.
Here is what a well-organized, personalized email program can do for your business.

  • Reach – Where else can you send to a potential database of 4 billion
    accounts?
  • Subscribers – Most of the time, people sign up to your list because they
    want to hear from you
  • Conversion – On ROI, no other medium beats the email. For engagement
    and establishing trust with customers, email comes out on top too
  • Segmenting your list will give you the ability to personalize emails to by keeping the content relevant to them. You can do this by interest, age and location among many other metrics.

After 45 years, (incredibly, the first ever email was sent in 1971!) the email is still
going strong. Following these tips will help you grow your business. Good luck, star fighter!

 

SEO Without CRO Is Digital Beaurocracy

The world of internet marketing, search engine optimisation and sales is littered with jargon, rules and “best practices”. When we get mired in these expectations we might miss out on our ACTUAL goal of producing revenue and get stuck in the dreary world of digital beaurocracy.

Action without Reward is the heart of beaurocracy.
Endless action & rule following without reward is the heart of beaurocracy.

This means you need to know what success for you means. It’s different for each business & industry.
That’s why the field of conversion rate optimisation is so vital to making SEO worthwhile.

What does CRO mean? What do you need to know about it? How do you do it? These and many more questions are answered in this ultimate guide to conversion rate optimization and SEO.

What is conversion rate optimisation and should you care?

The aim of search engine optimisation is to get visitors to your site but what happens then? A conversion occurs when a visitor to your website takes an action that you want them to take. If there is no option to take an action, you cannot achieve a conversion. The action needs to suit the purpose of your business or enterprise and you get a benefit from it.  Some examples are:

  • Signing up for a newsletter
  • Signing up for a course
  • Downloading an app
  • Making a purchase

This is the outcome that you can measure. It only has two options. They either do it or they don’t.

When you optimise your conversion rate you take steps to make that action more likely to happen. However, it is not always easy to work out how to do that. It is likely to require a structured and systematic approach to the process.

You are also likely to need to improve the performance of your website and this can mean re-examining all of your IT set-up and accessing appropriate IT support for business. A successful website has to be underpinned by efficient IT support that will identify potential problems before they even happen in your organisation.

This puts you in the best position to use your analytics and feedback to improve your conversion rates. It is important that your conversion goals are defined by your enterprise’s unique objectives and needs.

Attracting more traffic to your site may be part of your overall marketing strategy but taking the traffic you already have and making the most of it is what conversion rates are all about.

If you are serious about improving your conversion rate optimization you will not rely on guesswork and gut feelings. It will be based on data and innovation.

The Jargon you need to know

 

A Call to Action (CTA) is nothing to do with the military. It is an element that invites the visitor to do something. If they pop onto your site, read your content and then disappear then they have not been of much use to you. You need to get the most out of every visitor. At the very least, you want them to share your content so a call to action would be text saying ‘Please share’ or ‘Sharing is caring’ and a button that they can use to quickly and easily share a link to your content on social media.

Other versions would be a ‘Buy Now’ button which takes them to your sales page or a ‘Sign Up’ button taking them to a form where they can enter their email details.

You may have read about conversion funnels in marketing articles. This refers to the pathway that a user takes as they travel from being a visitor to your site (the start of the funnel) to becoming a paying customer (the end of the funnel). The purchase that they make is the conversion. A typical description of a conversion funnel would be Home page > search results page > product page > checkout.

Image source

If your SEO is working, you will be getting a lot of visitors to your site but the best way of getting them into your conversion funnel is not always easy to determine. You could use a method that is referred to as A/B or split testing. You try out two versions of your conversion funnel methods to see which works best. This could be different coloured buttons, different calls to action or different images.

Data and conversion rates

There is inevitably some math associated with this process but it is not complicated. You can collect all the data you need by setting up Google Analytics which only takes a few minutes and there are plenty of tutorials to teach you how to use it effectively.

To calculate your conversion rate all you have to do is divide the number of conversions (the number who purchased/subscribed/signed up) by the total number of visitors to your site.

However, that is not the whole picture. You need to establish how your SEO is influencing what people are doing on your site. Is it bringing in visitors who want to be there? Do they like what they see when they get there? Are they staying for a while or they clicking off you site immediately? The figures that you gain from your analysis can inform your SEO strategy going forward.

There are a few key parameters that you need to measure. The first is the bounce rate. This is the percentage of people who leave your site after viewing just one page (the one they landed on). If your bounce rate is high, this is a problem. Perhaps the visitors are not finding what they are looking for or don’t like what they find. You need to rethink your SEO strategy so that you can attract a different type of visitor.

It is also important to be aware of your exit rate for each page on your site. This is the percentage of people who leave after viewing that page. Therefore, if a page has a very high exit rate it may be an indication that it needs some work!

You can learn a lot from the data on how much time visitors spend on your site. This tells you if they are actually reading your content or if they are leaving very quickly. The more time they spend, the more opportunity you have to get them to convert.

It is useful to take a look at the average page views which is one of the engagement metrics that you can use to inform your SEO strategy. It tells you how many pages the average visitor looked at before they left. More page views can mean more engagement and that is good. It means that they are clicking on internal links and entering the conversion funnel. However, you need to be mindful that it can also mean that there is a lack of clarity and direction on your site so they are clicking all over the place because they don’t know how to make a purchase. This is obviously a bad thing!

Why is conversion rate optimisation important?

 

Firstly, there is never any reason to be complacent. You can never sit back and think that your SEO and CRO are working perfectly because your competitors will not be doing that! You need to keep things under review. You need to constantly look for new ideas and innovations in your SEO strategy and in making the conversion process as easy as you can.

Another reason is to do with money. If you are relying on paid advertising, this is going to get more expensive and more competitive as the web becomes more and more crowded. Spending more and more money to attract more and more visitors is not the answer. You need to do extra with the visitors that you get. You must identify and sort out glitches in your conversion funnel so that the process is seamless.

SEO is not about getting any kind of visitor, it is about getting the right kind of visitor. In the same way, CRO is also about getting the ‘right’ kind of converters. Ideally, you want customers who love your product, come back and buy more and tell everyone how amazing you are!

On the plus side, CRO does not cost you anything. It dovetails with your SEO strategy and makes the most of the traffic that you already have. It increases the return on your SEO investment and is a highly cost-effective strategy. If you look at the math of the situation, a great CRO strategy lowers your customer acquisition costs and this maximizes your profits.

The end result is that you have more money to spend on additional acquisition strategies. Only now, they can be highly targeted at the visitors that you know are most likely to convert.

Ultimately, this has the knock-on effect of making you more attractive to affiliates and partners and this is essential to bloggers for whom this is their main income stream. You will earn more and your affiliates will earn more and so everyone is happy.

CRO gives you the edge over your competitors. Your visitors are more likely to find what they are looking for on your site and are therefore less likely to go hunting for it elsewhere.

So, it is not hard to make your SEO work with your CRO to give your business the best chance of success. Make your call to action clear, your conversion funnel seamless and protect your visitor’s security and you will have a winning formula.

Two Methods For Creative Link Building In Boring Industries

So you sell sell insulation for commercial buildings or perhaps you sell heaters that run off that waste oil mechanic shops accumulate…You’re not a startup, you don’t have a super photographic location or service and your clientelle is not even sure what “insta” is unless it’s the black instant coffee they’ve been drinking for the past 4 decades.

We’re Boring SO We Can’t Build Links

Bored finger tapping cinemagraph

You just need a Shakubuku.

Shockabuku
N. Archaic
A swift, spiritual kick to the head that alters your reality forever.

 

You have HUNDREDS of DIFFERENT opportunities for links at your email fingertips.

Practical Example: Links For A Solar Tech Company

First you should think about your nexus of business: Is your solar tech for residential or commercial?

If residential then map out ALL the parralel businesses who are marketing themselves at your same client base.

What are they writing about and how does it cross over to your industry? I.e. Home solar crosses over with home value which is something a Realtor would write about.

Look for a topic you can write a KILLER article that bridges at least one to two other professions, you can then look up the currently ranking article on that topic, see who linked to THAT and email them to see if they’ll link to your bigger better version.

Boom.

I can’t stress enough that it’s ALL about thinking through your non-competing parallel businesses!

Practical Link Building Example: What if I’m The Realtor

Well if you’re a Realtor that means there are these other non-competing professionals in the same “Nexus” who also are trying to marketing themselves: Home stagers, painters, movers, mortgage guys, roofers, home inspectors, tree & landscape guys, renovation & contractors

Every “boring” niche /industryhas people providing services to the same end customer.

Once you have identified that information, then you can start bridging the gaps. Expert roundups, while trite and worn in the SEO space make for excellent link building in boring” industries.

Example: “30 Experts On How To Make Relocation Painless” – drum up 3-5 questions, send emails to those parallel peeps, and when they give their answers SEND THEM A GRAPHIC version for them to post to social or to their blog (or suggest a resource page they have) and just hint at link attribution.

Trust me. This works really well.

Heck, if you don’t want to do it, contact me and I’ll do it for you [for a reasonable rate of course ;)]

You have any unique ideas for boring industries? Share them in the comments, yo!

How Much Of You Goes Into Your Content?

When it comes to producing content for the purpose of SEO, you can’t be boring.

Be Your Weird Self
It’s Okay To Be Your Weird Self!

Well… you can be boring. If you want to write a standard piece of writing, then you can do. “After all,” you’ll tell yourself, “it’s to serve a purpose, isn’t it? The content doesn’t really matter – that’s just the dressing around what really matters, the purpose of attracting people to my site to buy items or a service…”

That’s a nice thought and it might well work. You might be the lucky one, who rises above the fact that content is – and always has been – king. If you don’t produce something worth reading, then it’s effectively a fancy version of Lorem Ipsum. Words just thrown on a page with no specific purpose in mind.

What would ya say ya do here?

The problem is, nine times out of ten, it’s not going to work. Even if your purpose is just to draw people to your site for another reason, it’s still got to… you know… draw people to your site. And no one is going to want to come if they see dull headlines in Google searches and even duller writing if they decide to click through.

That is not SEO. That is dumb.

It makes sense to make whatever you write as good as it can be. There are some people in this world who can write enthralling content about things that have nothing to do with them – and these people tend to be paid very well to do it. For the rest of us, we should stick with the basic principle for all writing: write what you know.

 

So what do you know?

The most simple answer is… you.

This is me!

If nothing else, blogging has proved that people are interested in people. We can’t help ourselves. We like gossip, we like to peek into other people’s lives – we’re all inherently nosey even if we pretend that we’re not.

It makes sense to inject as much of yourself as possible into anything you write. It’s possible to do this without invading your own privacy or putting your life online. Focus on things you have learned, experiences you have had – and then write about them in the abstract. Your readers need to feel that you are a real person, with a real history, which you can at least give the appearance of.

You can still keep a veneer of privacy; don’t include your phone number on your site, but do include your Twitter. No need to give out your home address, but an online P.O. box service could allow people to feel they can touch base with you in a physical sense. There are always ways and means of giving an impression of your life without fully revealing it.

It makes sense to try and engage people with your writing. The more engaged people are with a person, with their personal story, the more likely they are to follow what they do. Or, buy the products they might be selling – why do you think celebrities who know nothing about fragrance have signature perfumes? People are buying as much into the person as they are the fragrance.

4 Tips to Help You Take Your SEO Strategy to the Next Level


Hopefully you already understand the value of SEO and what it can potentially do for your business (if you don’t know, then here’s a method for estimating potential organic traffic from SEO). Not only do the highest ranking pages across the web enjoy the most traffic, they also attract the most sales.

For businesses, high rankings also mean increased revenue because these websites get more clicks. A study done by Chitika found that the first search result for a keyword query gets roughly 33% of the total searches clicks alone.

In addition, roughly 64% of the traffic that a website receives comes from search queries. As a result, putting more effort into your SEO strategy will only help your business grow.

If you are ready to get better results from SEO, you’ll need to use some advanced techniques once you’ve mastered the basics. Here are 4 tips to help you take your SEO strategy to the next level.

Use Data to Target the Right Customers

In the same way that you use Google Keywords Tool for keyword data, you can also learn more about your potential customers by using social media. One way to do this is by using Quora in order to learn more about what your target audience wants and the topics that matter to them most.

First, go to Quora, then enter the primary keyword that you would like to target (e.g., teeth whitening). Then hit the “enter” button.

Then look at the result that has the most answers. These answers can be used to create high quality content that is guaranteed to attract the interest of your target audience.

You can also take advantage of this same technique by searching for answers on forum threads, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups and more. As long as you make sure to answer the question with the content that you create, you will start to see a big difference in your search traffic and ultimately your conversion rate.

Create Better Landing Pages

A well-designed landing page can lead to significant numbers of leads and sales for your business. Unfortunately, many companies do not understand the vital role that well-optimized landing pages play in converting visitors to leads.

According to a study done by MarketingSherpa, roughly 44% of the clicks for B2B companies go to a homepage, not a landing page. While a home page is effective for telling people about your business, landing pages are how you actually start the conversation about your product or service.

If you want to drive conversions, you need to make sure that you have dedicated landing pages for your website and that it includes a headline, followed by SEO copy that is optimized for your keyword phrase and a call to action.

Psst! The real secret to fantastic landing pages is crafting a great call to action.

“A clear call to action gives direction to users and helps you achieve your business goals. Without a clear call to action your website is simply a brochure. Brendan of Gumpshen, a Belfast web design agency

You can also include a persuasive video that explains your proposition in further detail and includes testimonials from recent customers.

Optimize Your Content & Understand How Keywords Relate

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a technique for indexing and retrieval that relies on a mathematical formula to identify the patterns that appear in a paragraph of text. While LSI keywords are NOT a ranking factor that Google looks at when determining the rankings for the pages of your website that type of thinking about how the words that are most relevant to your business relate to each other can lead to better quality content which CAN improve your rankings when you research them with longtail keyword research tools and of course should be considered when planning anchor text for your backlinks.

There are a number of tools on the web that are available to help you uncover LSI keywords for your main keyword phrase. Make sure to include these relevant keywords in your content along with your keyword phrase and make your content sound as natural as possible.

Don’t be tempted to over-optimize for any keyword phrases because it could result in a Google penalty. However, by using them carefully, you can have a major impact on your search engine rankings.

Find Long-tail keywords That Are Easier to Rank for

If you only target the keywords that your competitors are targeting, chances are that you are missing out on a lot of traffic that you could obtain simply by targeting keywords that are easier to rank for.

To figure out what these keywords are, use a keyword tool to analyze the live keyword rankings of your competitors. Live keywords are those keywords that your competitor is currently ranking for. However, these may not be keywords that they continuously target, which is what will give you the advantage.

By attacking your competitors live keyword rankings, you can increase traffic to your website and gain rankings for keywords that your competitors are not actively targeting.

Thanks to Brian Hong of Infintech Designs,a New Orleans based SEO & Web Design company for this article.

 

10 Ways To Make Your Lead Generation Site Convert On The First Visit

Building a high quality site to generate organic traffic then capture and convert the leads you seek may sound pretty straightforward. The reality is most companies don’t go the extra mile needed to effectively do that. Low quality photos, confusing navigation and uninspiring calls to actions are just a few of the reasons visitors leave your site in the blink of an eye. Will they return? Odds are they’ve already found a competitor whose website outsold you.

After analyzing over 300,000 online sales leads, the team at Straight North learned nearly 85 percent of visitors convert on the first visit. The secret, then, to generating leads is building a site that converts quickly. To help you do just that, they’ve created a guide to the 10 factors that play a major part in converting first-time website visitors.

Presentation: 10 Factors That Impact Conversion

Find out why quality photos, easy navigation and irresistible calls to action made the list in the presentation below:

This intriguing conversion guide and it’s  insights were shared with me by Brad Shorr, Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, a Chicago SEO agency that also offers PPC and web design services.  I thought it would be worth sharing with all of you. Let me know if you have any questions or further insights to share on conversion.

SEO Counts For Nothing If You’re Haemorrhaging Customers At The Checkout

The ultimate purpose business isn’t to do great SEO, it’s to sell loads of products. And if your checkout experience on your website isn’t up to snuff, then no matter how highly ranked you are on Google, you’re going to miss out on some fat profits.

 

So what can businesses do to eliminate their checkout woes and not only drive customers to their sites but also get them to actually part with their cash?

Insert A Progress Indicator

When customers have to fill out form after form on your website asking them for card numbers, billing address, home address and their mother’s maiden name, they sometimes get a little worried that the process is never going to end. They wonder how many more pages they have to go through before they can finally convince you to dispatch whatever it is that they want.

This is why many companies are now trying to reassure their customers by including a helpful progress bar that persists throughout the checkout process. To do so, they’re turning to a Magento agency who have the tools to implement these features, making the whole experience of checking out a little less disconcerting for shoppers.

Get Rid Of The Sign-In Barrier

According to Kissmetrics, most customers don’t make it past the first stage of the checkout process. There’s a huge dropoff, they say, right when the transaction process gets under way.

A good way around this is to help a customer login faster by remembering who they are from their email address. It requires some clever programming tricks, but a lot of online stores have figured out how to enable customers to log in if they are returning, without getting them to re-enter their passwords and account details. Experts, like Christian Holst, say that 30 percent of users abandon their shopping carts when asked to register up front.

Match The Checkout With The Feel Of Your Site

If you’ve ever used Google Shopping to find a bargain, you might have found yourself on a less well-known shopping site to complete the purchase. Often in these situations, the price is good, but the checkout experience is a little unnerving. The reason for this is that the look at feel of the checkout area of the site is often very different from that of everything else because the retailer is using a third-party payment solution.

For smaller retailers, it’s much easier and cheaper to use generic checkout solutions from third party providers. But the evidence suggests that customers don’t like this. The transition from the “My Cart” page to the checkout page has to be seamless to retain customer trust. Any minor changes can cause alarm.

Ask For Shipping Information First

Some ecommerce sites jump the gun a little by asking their customers for their billing information first. Customers aren’t all that bothered about where their card is registered, all they care about is where their products are sent.

Of course, billing information is important to retailers, but they should leave requests for this until after the customer has entered shipping information. Retailers who align themselves with their customers’ priorities are better able to meet their needs.

Hopefully these tips will help you better convert your ecommerce visitors, because traffic that doesn’t help the bottom line is wasted marketing budget!