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July 14 2014

eugene126

Eco Friendly Pool Design | Modern Pool Designs by Shoreline Pools

Gone are the days when backyard pools ate up the yard and took over the land. In fact, so many of today’s pool designs are about blending harmoniously with natural surroundings. After all, water is such a beautiful natural element; it should be utilized to its fullest splendor. If you’ve been thinking about putting in a backyard pool, but you’re not happy with the way pool construction can sometimes impose on nature’s balance, you’ll be glad to know there’s a whole new world of pool designs that seek to create peaceful synthesis of your living space with the world around it. More than ever, modern pool construction and design are taking on the environmentally unfriendly pools of the past, and the result is a whole new alliance between your home and the world that surrounds it.


July 12 2014

eugene126

YouTube and SEO

YouTube has grown to be the world’s second largest search engine. The site gets over 30 million unique visitors in one day. Videos are not that difficult to create with today’s wave of technology and it only takes a few seconds to have them up and running on the site. There are some specific ways that YouTube can be optimized for SEO. Businesses are quickly finding out that they can use YouTube to increase their visibility and their rankings with YouTube. Here are a few ways to make the most of it.


July 11 2014

eugene126

What Exactly is Negative SEO? | Top Seo Blog

One of the most noticeable indications that a site has been attacked with negative SEO is a sudden drop in ranking. Most times, a site is ranking consistently for a long period of time and then it just suddenly seems to drop out of radar. Usually, at the same time, there is a sudden spike in the number of links that are coming in to the site. When someone makes an aggressive attempt at a negative SEO campaign, it won’t take years – it’s more likely to be accomplished in just a few weeks’ time. Many times a webmaster finally realizes there is a problem when they see a huge growth in low-quality links coming to their site.


eugene126

Google Plus and SEO | Common SEO Questions

In many cases, bloggers as well as content marketers can use their Google+ profile so that they establish authorship and all their content is sort of grouped together. By staying in a particular niche and providing high quality content that is relevant to specific categories, search engines will be able to identify an author as an authority inside that niche. In order to establish authorship in a niche it is essential to produce relevant, high quality content. Google+ is designed to improve the overall user experience by integrating content across social networks. But this requires that content always be relevant and accurate as well as kept up to date in order to be interesting to readers. Google has offered four basic tips for using Google+ for SEO purposes. These tips are essential for establishing authorship in a particular field or industry.


July 10 2014

eugene126

SEO Expert in NJ - Moshe Zchut - Professional SEO Experts

Moshe Zchut is the co-founder and co-owner of NetLZ  and serves as the CEO. This company is based in New Jersey and specializes in web marketing and SEO optimization. This is meant to increase the internet traffic to the client’s site. NetLZ was started by Mr. Zchut over 10 years ago. He was concerned with the quality of the web marketing services available. The foundation and structure of NetLZ is built upon providing high quality web marketing to clientele.
eugene126

Digital Marketing for Professionals - Professional SEO Experts

Digital Marketing for doctors  is generally much different than the plans that other industries use.  Your website must look good as well as be friendly toward the patient. The visitors to the site are most likely searching for someone to provide them information that has to do with their specific needs.  Digital marketing for professional websites must take into account many factors such as web design, local SEO best practices and reputation management.  These days professionals such as doctors need to be active on social media but doctors also must be careful that their social media is professional and does not harm their reputation, while at the same time providing services to current and future clients.
eugene126

What is Over Optimization? | Common SEO Questions

Having a solid SEO strategy is very important to getting a website in the top rankings in search engine result pages. An adept SEO specialist has many tools to use in order to accomplish this task effectively. In his repertoire there are on-page strategies as well as off-page strategies that can all work together to help a site be more visible to the search engines. While these can be effective, the old saying “too much of a good thing” is a possibility. Over optimizing a site can have an adverse effect on its ranking. Actually, when a site is over optimized it is very likely that it will trigger penalties and these can cause the site to drop significantly in rank, or be totally eliminated. It’s important to find the right balance in using SEO strategies without overdoing it.


eugene126

SEO for Pinterest

Over the last few years there has been remarkable growth in the world of technology. We have all witnessed the world become more mobile and much more social via online connections. Pretty much everyone is tethered to an electronic device ranging from a Smartphone to various types of tablets or ereaders. There is not likely any point in the day that the internet cannot be connected to in one way or another by most people. With this growth of technological interest and increased abilities to be more mobile, has come increased activity on social networks. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social platforms that seems to continue to attract a wide audience. There are a variety of ways to use SEO for Pinterest.

 

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is somewhat similar to StumbleUpon or Reddit. It could be considered to be a sort of virtual bulletin board.  Pinterest users collect images or videos of things that are of interest to them in one way or another and then they “pin” them to the board. The focus is not so much on your own collection as it is on discovering and sharing other user’s content. Pinterest has a visual element that is why it has captured the interest of so many individuals and businesses alike. It can be used to share ideas and businesses can share ideas, images or designs in a way that is similar to a catalog. Customers can indicate the products that they like and then endorse it by pinning the images to their own walls.

 

 

Who uses Pinterest?

Pinterest is hanging in there in the top three social networks and the site has an average of 1.36 million users per day. Nearly one third of Pinterest users have an annual household income of $100,000 or more.  As the leading social photo pinboard it has gained the attention of many top retailers. Women make up the majority of Pinterest users and over half are mothers. About one third of the users are between the ages of 25 and 34.

 

Why is Pinterest good for business?

About one fourth of the Fortune Global 100 companies now have Pinterest accounts. Almost half of the members on Pinterest agree that they use Pinterest to interact with the retailers and brands they preferred, this is much higher than those who use Facebook to interact with businesses and brands. Some reports have indicated that nearly 70% of consumers who visit Pinterest found an item that they purchased or at least wanted to purchase. And consumers who were interviewed stated that they use Pinterest as a place to get inspiration on what types of items to buy as well as using the platform to keep up with the things they like to collect or plan to purchase at a later date.

 

Why Pinterest is good for SEO

The primary goal of an SEO campaign is to attain a higher ranking in the SERPs. Pinterest can be a great way to boost traffic. Every pin on Pinterest has its own link that can take an interested party back to your site. But it is important to note that links from Pinterest are “nofollow” so they do not really help boost your site’s SEO but they can be beneficial for increasing traffic. Pinterest also has their own search which makes it very possible for your content to rank in the top of Pinterest when there is a search entered. You may not get on the front page of Google results overnight; but ranking on the first pages of Pinterest is very possible with some solid work. Bing already uses pins in their image searches which also gives businesses a little extra boost when it comes to ranking on Bing’s first page. Of course, we all know how Google likes to see fresh content so the higher quality, frequently shared and pinned content on your site can have Google notice and crawl your site more often.

 

How to use Pinterest for SEO

For those who are interested in using Pinterest as part of a marketing campaign there are a lot of possibilities. 70% of the users who get on Pinterest are looking for inspiration on what they should buy. By putting your products on Pinterest you are utilizing a great opportunity for getting your products in front of an audience who wants and needs them. It’s just important that you get them noticed and to do that you’ll want to use the Pinterest search box. Pins and Pinboards should be optimized for the top keywords. This can also get Pinterest boards seen in some of the other search engines result pages. Digital marketing experts have several suggestions for optimizing a Pinterest account, Pinboards and pins for SEO.

 

Optimizing Pinterest for SEO

There are a lot of different SEO strategies that are applicable to Pinterest. And actually, many of the same SEO best practices that are used on other websites are useable on Pinterest as well, even though they may be slightly adapted. Here are some of the key ways to use SEO strategies for Pinterest.

 

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Selecting a Username – There’s nothing tricky about this strategy. Simply choose a username for Pinterest that is to the point and straightforward. Notice that the field where you will indicate the company name does not have a limit on characters, but the username requires that you use no more than 15 characters. If the company name does not fit inside this limitation, then choose something keyword conscious and something that is easily and readily associated with the business.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Optimize the “About” Section for the Pinterest Account – You are allowed 200 characters to describe the business. It is important to use descriptive words that are keyword related. However, remember to keep it succinct, simple and very specific. Don’t forget to add the website URL in the appropriate field as well.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Pinboard Names – When selecting names for Pinboards it is important to be conscious of the specifics of your business and your primary keywords. Try to use as specific of a name as is reasonable when naming Pinboards. For instance, if you are an interior designer, they instead of using something general such as “for the home,” you will want to use something like “wallpaper design” or “modern kitchens.” This will help when a user is searching for specifics and it will help de-clutter the board names.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Pin Descriptions – In terms of text-based content, the biggest opportunity you will have on Pinterest is in the description areas of each individual pin. You are given 500 characters to use. The more popular items that were re-pinned or commented on had descriptions that ranged from 200 to 310 words. This area can be very beneficial so don’t be afraid to use it to describe pins in detail. You may add links to original products or content, add instructions for product care or usage. This is a great field to use relevant keywords and relatable text along with easy to follow links.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Alt Text and Descriptive File Names – It’s important to note that Pinterest is a highly visually based platform so it is important to use interesting imagery that is named and formatted correctly as it can significantly influence the success of the boards as well as each individual pin. Do not make the mistake of using a default name to upload images as they will not likely show up in any search. Also make sure that if an image is pinned from our site, it should have clear alt text with it. The rule of thumb here is to use naming conventions that consumers can easily identify with. If you are pinning a product that has a basically unknown name, rename it using a keyword term that is likely to be used for a search.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Keep it Fresh – One of the essential elements of successful SEO best practices is fresh content. It’s no different on Pinterest. In terms of pinning new content, you should be a regular on the site. Pinning fresh content is one way to keep your audience engaged and helps keep them interested.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·        <!--[endif]-->Speak the Language of Your Customers – Remember when you are optimizing Pinterest that you want to use language that your target audience and consumers are likely to use. You have to remember to be relevant to their everyday life so that you can give them what they are looking for. To do this you should use the language that they are likely to use if they are searching for your products or services. This helps them find you easier. This means that instead of just pinning your items or specialties, pin some items that are centered on things that will also interest the consumers. You do not want your boards to appear to be just marketing or advertisements. That’s a huge turnoff for most consumers. If you are marketing a particular item then create boards that are related to the item. If you sell leather products create some boards which discuss how to care for leather items, how to store them or what is fashionable. Diversify your boards with relevant information in order to keep your audience coming back for more information.

July 07 2014

What is Negative SEO?

Negative SEO

Negative SEO

Even though many do not understand it, negative SEO is a real threat. In its widest definition, negative SEO is any malicious action a person takes in order to harm another site’s ranking. If we think about it terms of the Penguin update, it typically means that someone has launched some sort of effort that is an attempt to make another’s link profile look really bad. In most cases, what this means is that a site has received numerous low-quality links or links from a huge number of domains that are typically not even relevant. These link based attacks on a site can be rather tricky and in a lot of cases they are very difficult to deal with.

Signs of Negative SEO

One of the most noticeable indications that a site has been attacked with negative SEO is a sudden drop in ranking. Most times, a site is ranking consistently for a long period of time and then it just suddenly seems to drop out of radar. Usually, at the same time, there is a sudden spike in the number of links that are coming in to the site. When someone makes an aggressive attempt at a negative SEO campaign, it won’t take years – it’s more likely to be accomplished in just a few weeks’ time. Many times a webmaster finally realizes there is a problem when they see a huge growth in low-quality links coming to their site.

How to Combat Negative SEO

There are a few tools that can help keep a website ahead of the negative SEO game. These include:

  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Open Site Explorer
  • Majestic SEO
  • Bing Webmaster Tools

These have to be signed up for; they will not just automatically protect a site from an attack or damage. It is important to remember that the number of links to a site can have sudden spikes that alone are not reason to be concerned. When there is a malicious attack on a site, there will typically be a spike in the number of links – but the links will be very low quality and irrelevant. Malicious links are what a webmaster needs to keep an eye out for. There are also times when there is a spike in malicious links but the impact ends up being temporary. Sometimes, these are removed quickly or easily discounted and there is no harm, no foul. Once the links go away, so does the problem. That does not make it fun for the short term, but it’s important to not make such a big stink as to get Google’s attention so that they devalue the links. It can be very difficult finding just the right balance.

Checking out Links

There are many times when a webmaster spots a lot of unexplained links that are of low quality that seem to have just shown up on their site. Sadly enough there are numerous cases where these are actually a result of some poor SEO strategies. If it is something that you did or someone you hired did by mistake or by not following SEO best practices, it might be something that can easily be undone. If you hire an outside company that is supposed to be building links for your site, then make sure to obtain records of what they have done. Monitor link builders very closely and insist that all links be carefully tracked.

Can negative SEO be prevented?

Anyone who has malicious intent and is willing to spend money and time to cause damage is likely to be successful in their attempts. Most of the time, it is really not cost effective to try and monitor links constantly or building up all sorts of defenses. So what can be done to prevent these types of attacks? It is very likely that the best defense is to maintain a very clean and authoritative link profile. Google looks at the pattern as well as the history of links on a site and when a site is very strong and contains high quality and relevant links then a short term attack is not going to be as damaging. Sites that are the most vulnerable are brand new ones or sites that have been engaging in building low quality links. If most of your links are not relevant and are low quality it will not take too much for a competitor to launch an effective negative SEO campaign against you. By staying on top of your link building strategies and keeping your own site clean, you’ll have the best strategy for defeating a negative SEO campaign from the start.

Rules for Guest Posting

It is very likely that content will always be king; the web revolves around content. However, just producing any old content is not going to cut it in today’s competitive world. SEO and content are connected since it takes SEO best practices to get content seen; and it takes quality content to enhance an SEO campaign. With all the changes that go on with search engine algorithms one requirement that does not change is the need for high quality content. Blogs are one of the most effective platforms for posting high quality content, and part of hosting a blog is obtaining guest posts from contributors who are relevant to the niche. As an established industry expert contributing guest posts to blogs that are industry related can be a great strategy to get you noticed. There are a lot of popular blogs which get inundated with requests offering guest posts every day. No matter which end of the equation you find yourself on, it is very important to know the attributes of a high quality guest post and what one should contain. Here are a few tips about guest posts to help explain the features of a great guest post.

Industry or Niche Relevance

In order for guest blog posts to be effective and noticeable, it is imperative that they be inside a particular niche or industry or at least relevant in some way. For instance, if you are a painting contractor, you might guest post for blogs pertaining to home improvement, interior or exterior painting, interior design or home remodeling. It is also possible to post on blogs that discuss areas that are pertinent to contractors such as hiring an accountant, financial planning or organizing a work crew. But blogs that are totally irrelevant should be avoided. It is better to make a post on a smaller blog that is relevant to your own niche or industry than to be on a larger blog which is not industry related.

Guest Blogging does not Equate to Article Submission

Guest blogging is totally white hat SEO when it is done properly but if it is done poorly, it is basically the same as spam. The problem with article directories is that the quality began to suffer as contributors began to write just keyword content and not pieces that were of interest to the readers. A poorly managed blog that contains less than quality posts is nothing more than an article directory which carries no weight in the world of SEO. It’s important to approach guest posting with the understanding that you are not just submitting an article, but instead you are writing purposeful content that is relevant and useful for the readers. Make sure to check the spelling and grammar and that the format is aligned properly. You will also want to make sure any links you use are not only relevant and work properly. If you are creating a guest post remember that your responsibility is to contribute content that will add value to the blog as well as to the readers.

Dealing with Blog Owners

Bloggers can receive numerous requests, present something to them that is worth their time. Always be respectful of their blog and their audience. Before guest posting do sufficient research so that you can present clear ideas that contribute to the quality of their blog. Once you have presented them with a relevant post, ask for feedback. Basically, just practice good manners when dealing with blog owners. Be polite, warm and friendly. Think of it like staying in someone else’s house and offer them due respect – it’s their space not yours. The online community is all about establishing and building relationships. If you offer a guest post and then walk away with no further contact you are basically sending the message that you have no interest in a relationship but were only looking for the exposure and the links. This is why it is important to follow up with at least a simple thank you note. This simple act of gratitude can lead to becoming a regular contributor which is beneficial for both parties. When applicable, you may also request that they submit a guest post on your blog as well.

July 01 2014

SEO for Twitter

Twitter

Twitter

In the quest for visibility, Twitter can be a very effective tool. It can be easy to think about how short a tweet is when compared to other forms of online content; but think about how far a simple tweet can reach. Digital marketing specialists are intent on capitalizing on how far one can reach when it comes to SEO best practices. Twitter is one of the “big three” when it comes to social networks and their popularity. It’s a very active site and it is important to know how SEO works for Twitter. Here are a few points that can be very helpful for optimizing Twitter.

Choose a Creative and Effective Name

Your username is how you are going to be identified on Twitter so choosing it is a very important step. A username has to be simple enough for Tweeters to be able to recall and it should be associated with you or your business. It is a good idea for it to be as close as possible to the name of a primary website or a person’s actual name. By choosing these types of terms for a Twitter username you’ll facilitate indexing by search engines and give followers an easy way to remember your information. Embedding keywords in a Twitter username can be an effective SEO tool.

Make Retweets Easy

Remember that one single tweet is worth more than just the 140 characters it took to create it. No one is real certain why Twitter creators settled on 140 characters for a tweet – but this is all anyone gets in order to express their views. The power of a tweet is not the number of characters, but in the message which is being re-tweeted. If all the characters are used up a re-tweeter has to edit the original message or truncate it in order to save space. These are not beneficial for the original tweet-er. In order to make it easier for followers to retweet try to use 100 characters if possible. This allows others to retweet a message without any complicated issues.

Use Those Hashtags!

Being creative with hashtags is one thing, using them extensively is quite another. When using hashtags, you will want to do a search to see what items are trending. By using hashtags that are in accordance with the latest and most popular news you can run alongside the current trends. Developing and revealing your own hashtag campaign can be very beneficial for an SEO campaign. But these are many times only as popular as the business itself.

Tweet with Keywords

It’s important to use keywords in tweets. Of course there is the limitation of having only 140 characters again, so use keywords early in the tweet to give it a better chance of being ranked with the search engines. It can be very tricky to use keywords in tweets, but innovative thinking will pay off in the long run.  A good rule of thumb for creating tweets is to aim at finding the proper balance between keywords and solid content. With some ingenuity you’ll be able to provide a solid message and include relevant keywords.

Maximize your Bio

Don’t overlook or underestimate the power of your profile or bio on Twitter. Don’t leave any of it incomplete. Maximize it as best as you can and try to make what you fill in on the bio relevant to your primary website if at all possible. You will want to link it to a relevant page that is going to be useful when it comes to conversions instead of just automatically linking it back to the home page of your site. Your bio should be eye-catching as well as informative. It should be keyword rich and at least have some keywords which apply to your particular industry or area of expertise. The bio is sort of like the heart of a Twitter account so it’s important to make the best of it. Use it to represent your business appropriately. It’s a good way to help create brand awareness.

Creating Backlinks

Twitter is a great platform to use to direct users to your content. Bloggers have been using Twitter for years to drive traffic to blogs. It is certainly a good platform for sharing links. There are some link shorteners which help with the space issues.

The Rise and Fall of Guest Posting

Posting Blogs

Guest Blogging

There can be many advantages and benefits from guest posting. The positive effects of guest blogging include things like earning generic links which are valuable and helping to establish authority in a particular field or niche. Contributing guest posts has had a pretty long and favorable run on many counts, but expert predictions indicate that it is highly likely that they may be next on Google’s list of areas to crack down on. Most of the changes made to Google’s algorithm have to do with cleaning up the web by penalizing spammy practices or those that are along those lines. It is very practical to assume that Google will soon present some way to help clean up guest posts. Just like some of the other areas that have been addressed recently, Google will attempt to get rid of many of the poor quality guest posters.

Is it worth the link?

Submitting guest posts has been part of SEO campaigns for many years and it is likely that they will remain after the changes are made. Think about how links used to be so valuable and it the more the better. Guest posting has somewhat been treated this same way across the marketing scene. However, just like links, more is not better if it’s not quality. But guest posting has been viewed much the same way. It’s an easy trap to fall into. You get the opportunity to share your knowledge, skills or expertise with an audience via another site’s blog and realize that you got a couple of links from the well read blog’s post. It’s easy to start thinking that if you can do more guest posts you can get more links. This in itself may be true and boosting traffic leads to more conversions, right?

Problem with Guest Posting

The trouble comes in when you are trying to gather more sites so you can provide more guest posts. Finding quality sites can be very difficult and it is equally as difficult to continue to provide ideas since they all want content that is totally unique. From there it is easy to start looking at some of the not-so-great blogs or sites just to get a few links. Before you know it, you are producing a lot of content, but it’s not high quality nor does it add value to blogs or readers. You may indeed be seeing a lot of links, but you have no idea about the quality, relevance or authority of the links. Then one day you get slapped by Penguin or perhaps the new algorithm designed to clean up guest posts. Now you find all these links are not necessarily the best links to have so you have to go through the long drawn out process of disavowing each and every one. This can take literally years to accomplish – if ever. All of the SEO work and effort you’ve put into your own site has just been wasted.

The Perfect Remedy to Guest Posts

In order to protect your own interest, the quality of your site and your SEO efforts, you can put your energy into areas that are much more effective than the guest post. Doesn’t it make a lot more sense to post your unique, high quality content on your own blog or website? Think about it a little bit – when you provide guest posts for other sites, they are getting all the attention – not you. They are getting all the links – not you. Why not get your own links and your own traffic by providing your high quality content for your own site?

Should you ever guest post?

There are still some valid ways to provide effective guest posts. For instance, when you want to reach an entirely new audience and you can connect with them through guest posting on another site – that’s great. Another reason to guest post is to help establish a relationship with other companies. Guest posts can be a great test to see if you and another company have any areas where you share the same audience or not. If you find you share an overlapping audience, you may pursue a joint venture such as making an investment or working on a project or product together. Guest posts should be strategic and purposeful for all parties involved, not simply thrown out there in an attempt to gain more links.

June 27 2014

What is Over Optimizing for SEO?

SEO

HTML

Having a solid SEO strategy is very important to getting a website in the top rankings in search engine result pages. An adept SEO specialist has many tools to use in order to accomplish this task effectively. In his repertoire there are on-page strategies as well as off-page strategies that can all work together to help a site be more visible to the search engines. While these can be effective, the old saying “too much of a good thing” is a possibility. Over optimizing a site can have an adverse effect on its ranking. Actually, when a site is over optimized it is very likely that it will trigger penalties and these can cause the site to drop significantly in rank, or be totally eliminated. It’s important to find the right balance in using SEO strategies without overdoing it.

 

Over Optimizing On-page SEO

On-page optimization is referring to the SEO strategies that are used on the website such asMetatags and keyword usage. These are commonly accepted as legitimate strategies but there are instances when they can be over used. If you optimize every single page on your site in exactly the same way search engines will notice it. It is important to include keywords in your content, but they must appear naturally and in context. A black hat SEO tactic is to over stuff keywords but rather than helping a site rank, this practice will probably get it penalized. When creating on-page or on-site content make sure that keywords are used naturally. It is worthwhile to remember that Google is looking for high quality content and is getting better at finding it while isolating poorly written content. Write for humans, not search engines. Over the last few months, the importance of keywords has undergone a transformation. Search engines are not merely looking for specific keywords that are strategically placed in the site’s content; they are looking for high quality, relevant content that is designed to benefit the reader.

 

Over Optimizing Off-page SEO

Off-page optimization strategies take place off the site itself and serve the purpose of improving the site’s ranking in the SERPs. Back linking is an off-page strategy that has recently undergone a lot of change as well; at least in the way the search engines view them and count them toward a site’s ranking in the SERPs. It is very important to be careful about the types of links you have coming to a site. More is not necessarily better and in many cases having too many of the wrong types of links, or irrelevant links will probably get the site penalized. IF you use anchor text off-site to provide “generic” links back to the site, it may be okay but avoid the erroneous practice of using the same anchor text for every link.

 

Penalties for Over Optimization

Google already announced that they will penalize a site that is overly optimized. Over applying any strategy is never a good idea and even if it works out great at first, it will end up penalizing the site later on. When Google refers to over optimizing they mean people going to the extreme and using all sorts of loopholes or shortcuts that give them a better ranking. One way to look at it is if you are using any SEO strategy to optimize a site that is not beneficial to the user experience, you are just inviting a penalty. Google offers some reasonable ways to optimize a site and these include:

  • Creating a site that is very crawl-able
  • Designing the site to be easy for navigation
  • Speeding up the time it takes for a  page to load
  • Creating content that is easier to be read

 

Avoiding Over Optimizing Penalties

In order to avoid penalties for over optimizing a site it is important to review the site periodically to make sure that it continues to comply with the guidelines set forth by search engines. If you ever wonder about a particular practice and how ethical it is, seek the advice of an SEO professional. It can be very confusing with the constant changes to the algorithm. One thing to remember is that trying to recover from a penalty is much more costly in terms of time and hassle than using the right strategies which are not going to get you penalized.

SEO for LinkedIn

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

LinkedIn is a social media network with a slightly different slant. It is not designed for social activities such as posting family photos or keeping up with the latest news on friends. LinkedIn is a professional networking site where both employees and employers can connect to expand businesses and careers. LinkedIn has about 225 million members and more than 3 million different company profiles. Nearly 90% of all Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn for recruitment on a regular basis. There are many companies which trust LinkedIn to help them find talent while those searching for jobs advertise their skills through their profiles. There are many advantages for those who optimize their LinkedIn accounts. For one thing, LinkedIn has its own internal search algorithms and by optimizing your account you can be ahead of the professional networking game. Secondly, when a LinkedIn account is optimized it makes it easier for outside businesses to find it. Here are some of the primary SEO strategies that are necessary for optimization. 

A Completed Profile

Make sure to fill out the profile totally, don’t leave anything out of any of the fields. This will help improve the position in search engine results when a search is entered. A profile that is completely filled out offers many more opportunities for search engines to find related keywords that are contained in the profile. LinkedIn provides a very helpful tracker in the profile that alerts users to what percentage of the fields have been completed and which specific areas are still in need of information. Do not leave any field blank, fill out each one with the appropriate information.

Include Keywords in Profile Fields

Use keywords related to your business in the profile as you are filling it out. These are not necessarily the long tail keywords or phrases that you use for SEO on your site; they are keywords which a potential employer or client might use to find you or your business. In the way of an example, if a business uses “New Jersey Interior Decorating services” for a long tail keyword for their site, shorten it on LinkedIn. A business owner or contractor might use “NJ Interior Decorating” instead. When filling out profile fields, make sure to focus on the primary keywords that are likely to be used in a search.

Customized URL

When someone sets up a LinkedIn account they are assigned a numeric profile name and URL. It can be very difficult for others to remember a series of numbers or letters that do not make a lot of sense. When given the option, change it to a business name or your own name. If these are already taken, try something that is relatable to yourself or your business. The goal is to use a URL that will be easily identified as one that you own.

Content is Still King

Even on LinkedIn, content is king. On this professional network, it’s important to be very selective with the content that is shared. Content should include things like a comprehensive history of a career or business. Use keywords in titles for content shared on the network. Just like other online forms of content, it needs to be relevant to those who may read it and to your business as well.

Participate in Groups

There are a lot of advantages to being active in the groups on LinkedIn. First of all it is important to remember that even though the site is geared to professionals, it is still a “social” network. It’s important to do more than just set up a catchy profile. Just like other social media sites action and interaction on a regular basis is required. Groups are a great way to create new contacts and they are easy to join. Simply use your own industry keywords to search LinkedIn and you’ll be led right to numerous groups which are related. Many groups require that you request to join while others have an open-join policy. Choose only as many groups as you can realistically participate in on a regular basis. Remember that just joining a group is not necessarily going to help search rankings; it’s important that you are actively engaging in groups on a regular basis.

June 24 2014

Directories Do not Work!

Directory submissions used to be a valid, white hat SEO strategy. The goal of a directory was to offer a site on which content could be placed and then linked back to another website. Essentially, it was at that time a good way to get lots of inbound links which made it perfect for SEO purposes. However, with the recent updates to the Google algorithm, specifically the Penguin update, a once popular and legitimate practice has become black hat.

How time changes things

With the advancement of Google’s algorithm the way links are weighted in determining a site’s ranking has drastically changed. There was a day when the more links you had to your site, the better the chance that your site would be ranked. But with the most recent changes, Google now looks for links that are relevant and from high quality sites. This means that having any old links no matter how many, is not white hat SEO. When a link is made between two websites, it’s like a vote informing Google that the site is worth visiting. But through the use of directories, essentially the website owner is “voting” for their own site. This created a mess with links and is one of the reasons why Google made these algorithmic changes to begin with. Even if your site received links from a directory, they are no longer considered high quality or relevant. Sites with low quality links are likely to receive penalties which are counterproductive for search engine optimization purposes.

What is a directory?

An article directory is a site where users post short articles and a bio. The article itself usually contains no anchor text, but the author is allowed to put a limited number of links in their author bio. In most cases, they can include up to 3 links. The article is uploaded with two goals in mind. The author wants to publicize their site, hence the links in their bio; and they hope someone will like the article enough to publish it on their own site. This leads to multiple problems. First of all, the content on these types of sites is typically lacking when it comes to quality. They tend to lean more toward being “spammy” according to Google’s own Matt Cutts. Besides providing links that have no relevancy, duplicate content scattered across the web is not beneficial. Even though this practice worked great for SEO purposes just a few years ago, it is not a recommended practice today. And it certainly is not an effective way of building links that are beneficial. Cutts goes so far as to say that these practices simply are not recommended for building links.

What to do with directory Links

The website owner or SEO specialist is responsible to make sure that all inbound links to a site are legitimate. Checking inbound links should be a regular practice to ensure the quality of links to the site. Inbound links on a site can be pulled up from a Google Webmaster Tools Account. There are also some paid alternatives such as Moz that offers programs which can pull up links on a site. Using multiple programs can help ensure that all the inbound links are found. Once you have the list of links, go through them and analyze each one. Hopefully, there are a few sites that you’ll recognize as “good” such as a site you have been a guest blogger for or commenting on regularly. These are precisely the high quality links Google is looking for. The ones that are not from sources which are immediately recognized are the ones which need further investigating.

Creating Legitimate Links

Google has been pushing site owners to gain their links naturally, or organically. And they are penalizing sites which use link building tactics such as using directories. There are some good ways to earn valuable and relevant links. There is really no need to request links today or to use spammy methods to obtain them. It is ideal to create good content that engages site visitors and gives them something of value that they want to share with someone else. Good, shareable content can generate high quality links like what Google is looking for today.

 

June 23 2014

SEO for Doctors

SEO for Doctors

SEO for Doctors

In today’s competitive online market it is imperative to be on top of your game. Every professional including doctors should have a website by now and offer ways to connect with their clientele. Understanding SEO best practices and marketing strategies can be somewhat confusing but it is well worth the effort. In reality, in order to preserve the health of their practice, SEO strategies are essential. Having a web presence is essential for today’s physician but it is also important to employ effective SEO strategies in order for the site to be seen by consumers who will be benefited by the doctor’s services. There are three critical SEO strategies that doctors should be aware of.

The Need of Local SEO

A physician typically has a local office which they work out of even if they are associated with multiple local hospitals. Most of their clients are going to come from the immediate region around their office and for this reason local SEO is a must. It’s useful to get the site seen by consumers in the immediate area who can use medical services. Doctors provide services to those who live in the area and so using geo tags is essential when developing site content. In other words, it is far more valuable to an SEO campaign to use the term “rheumatology specialist inNew Jersey” than to just use the term “arthritis.” Besides just using geo specific content on a website, there are other local SEO strategies which can target persons within a specific region. The site’sMeta information should include geo tags as well. And it is also important to identify the office in local search engine’s directories. The point is to get the doctor’s office to show up in local search results.

Using a Blog for SEO

Asking if you really need a blog or not is pretty much like asking if you really need to exercise for your health. Like exercise, SEO is not something that you do one time and reap the benefit for the rest of your life. SEO is an ongoing process which incorporates various strategies into an effective campaign which is aimed at reaching your potential audience. Search engines are constantly watching for fresh content and there are different keywords that are “hot” each month. For the physician, a blog is the perfect solution to many problems. It offers search engines fresh content on a regular basis and offers consumers answers to their medical questions. Blogging is an effective way to keep your site in the sight of search engine crawlers without having to rewrite websites. Having an informative blog that interests users can help net you lots of inbound links to your site for your specific keywords.

Medical SEO and Social Media

Social signals are one of the fastest growing trends in the search world today. For healthcare marketing, social signals can play a large role in SEO success. Search engines continue to place higher value on social content. This means that content which gets shared, liked, commented on, talked about, linked to retweeted and +1’s is likely to wind up in search results more frequently. Whenever a user takes action on your content through a social media platform, it helps your site move toward the top rankings in search results. This means that patients will be able to find your offices more easily when they enter a search for a local doctor. Social platforms are busy places and it can seem difficult to get your voice heard and shared. However, it’s really easier than one might think. There are many more doctors who are active on Facebook and other social sites today. In order for doctors to be “connected” with their clients, it is important for them to actively participate in at least two social sites for professional purposes. Doctors can make use of social media to help drive traffic to their sites which in turn improves their ranking in the SERPS – the goal of an SEO campaign. Doctors should use social media sites to their fullest potential starting with having optimized profiles on each social site. After that it’s all about creating fresh content and interacting on a regular basis with potential clients. This can mean anything from answering simple questions about a procedure to writing full texts dealing with pertinent health issues. Connecting with an audience is essential for effective SEO.

June 20 2014

Branding Tips and Trends

Creating a Brand

Brand Stamp

Whether you are talking digital marketing or traditional marketing there is a basic concept that should shape marketing efforts. This concept is basically that you go where your audience can see you. For instance, if you are selling something like custom hunting bows you are not likely to advertise in Vogue magazine. Even the novice can recognize that the audience you want to reach with information about bows is not likely to purchase a Vogue magazine; or definitely would not be looking for information about a bow in Vogue or Good Housekeeping. A marketing platform is selected based on the primary audience it entertains in traditional marketing, and likewise the process for choosing social media platforms and online channels should be focused on where the target audience is likely to spend their time online. While Facebook is the largest social platform, sheer number of users is not necessarily an indication that any marketing efforts would be successful. A business is much more likely to convert on sites where the audience is more engaged with the brand. Instead of focusing solely on the size of the community, it is important to consider the demographics of the users of an online platform and target the communities where conversions are most likely to occur.

 

Choosing Social Media Based on Objectives

While it is very important to know where your particular audience is to be located online, it is also important to know what your specific goals are and what you hope to achieve through social media efforts. Different social platforms can help you achieve different goals. It is typically useful to use a combination of different social sites in order to achieve all or most of your goals. Goals generally fall within these four areas:

 

Branding Tips for Social Media Platforms

Social Media sites trump some traditional marketing strategies. For instance, how many times have you misplaced a business card for someone you needed to contact later? By using social media you have everything you need to contact a person; and your business information and all its details are literally at their fingertips. Using social media platforms as part of a branding campaign can mean that you are easier to find and much easier for individuals and potential clients to find and communicate with. Branding essentially makes a business a lot easier to find as well as connect with. There are some tips that are essential and applicable across the various social media platforms.

 

1. Keep it Fresh – It is not productive to set up a profile on a social site and then walk away and forget about it. It’s very important to keep all the business information up to date on a profile. It should always be relevant and have the most current information available.

 

2. Consistency Counts – If you are looking to become the “go to” person in your particular field of expertise it is very important to be consistent. Even though each social site will have its unique way of sharing content with consumers and keeping them updated or connecting with them, your information across all the platforms should remain consistent. Your bio or profile should be the same on every platform. It does not have to be word for word to keep some freshness to it – but it all should essentially share the same thing. Your bio should include who you are, what you do, where you are located, and why you are the best business to fill the needs of consumers.

 

3. Profile Pictures – In some instances, depending on the company a logo might be used for the profile picture. However, using an actual image of key personnel can help build rapport and trust with an audience. Use the same profile photo on all the social platforms so that consumers will have just one image to identify with and it will make you easily recognized across all the platforms. Since a thumbnail is small, use a photo that contains a simple headshot instead of a full body view. This is actually very important with Google+ Authorship since your photo will not even be visible if it’s anything other than just a clean head shot.

June 19 2014

Social Media Trends

Social Media Networks

Social Media Networks

Social media has almost taken over the world! It may sound a bit exaggerated, but in reality it’s almost accurate. Most individuals have multiple social media accounts and are active on them on a daily basis. Businesses are using them more frequently in branding and marketing strategies. With the increased use of social media and the way it is become a standard part of everyone’s day it is certain that the trends this year are for businesses to develop more marketing campaigns which incorporate a variety of social media platforms. Some of the trends that took off in 2013 are bound to continue to increase and some new trends are likely to take off this year. There are a few trends in 2014 that are probably going to continue to be essential parts of business marketing plans.

Mainstreaming Mobile

In today’s online climate every single website needs to be optimized for mobile users. With increased mobile access and use of mobile devices having a responsive design is a must for today’s business. Consumers are increasingly interacting with businesses through the use of mobile devices – it’s more than the wave of the future it’s right now and every savvy business will discuss developing a responsive design and its importance with digital marketing experts to ensure that their websites are adequate for today’s competitive mobile market.

Impact of Niche Sites

Some of the larger, more popular sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter can make it a little more difficult to be found organically. However, niche sites are going to become one of the fastest growing and competitive trends this year. The trend in niche sites is that they will begin to prove much more valuable than ever when it comes to getting in front of customers. Niche sites are not only targeted, they are also a platform which can be used for a very affordable solution when it comes to advertising.

New Business Generation by Blogging

One thing that is not likely to change any time soon is the use of quality content for generating leads. Blogging is an excellent platform on which to post fresh, new content on a regular basis. Every business needs a blog from the smallest to the largest. It will be very surprising if we do not see an increased amount of blogging this year.

Growth of Google+

Google+ took off initially and then slowed down slightly after becoming one of the top ten social sites. Most people didn’t understand the real benefits of Google+ and so it was sort of misused or misunderstood at first. Most thought of it as another Facebook, which it is not. But as individuals and businesses continue to uncover its importance, we are going to see an increased presence of Google+ in 2014. We will probably even see a lot of businesses making a shift from the Facebook scene to Google+.

Growth of Image-centric Sites

There are already several sites which are based solely around images. Pinterest and Instagram are the two giants in this arena although they are followed closely by some quickly growing sites. The next year or so it is highly reasonable to expect to see these sites become more active. Even though there is not likely to be a decline in the use of textual content, incorporating images into content is on the rise.

Sharing Increases in Importance

Over the last few years as social media sites have evolved sharing has become something everyone does. The trend is for sharing to accelerate drastically over the next few months. This is actually good news for SEO specialists and digital marketing experts. User generated content and social sharing are effective ways to increase a customer base and communicate with consumers.

More Video Usage

Online users are paying more attention to videos than ever before. Of course, one factor which has impacted this trend is the increased use of mobile devices. People seem to like to view videos on mobile devices and would rather watch a video about a business rather than read about it on a mobile device. Video platforms are becoming more reliable and brands are gaining ground when it comes to being able to monetize video content. Digital marketing experts can capitalize on the use of videos by continuing to create high quality videos for brands that are very engaging as well as entertaining.

June 17 2014

How to Target the Right Geo Location

Geo-targeting is continuously gaining in importance, especially for the small business. Once a business website is set up and published online it is seen by people all around the world. But for those who run local businesses, local traffic is really what is of the utmost importance. It is certainly necessary to have a website for a small business today. It’s the first place someone goes when they are looking for any type of service, especially a local business that can offer the service or product that they need. When a search is entered by someone needing local services they want to know some specifics like where you are located, the hours of business and the types of services that the business has to offer.  Some of the most recent stats indicate that the bulk of consumer spending happens within just a few miles of their residence. This is what makes geo-targeting so important for today’s businesses.

 

Beyond the Website

When a user enters a query looking for a local business and they see that there is a high quality website containing pertinent information it will help them see the legitimacy and reliability of the business. Running a website is essential, but in order to capitalize on local consumers which are the driving financial force behind local businesses, it’s important to go beyond the website. If the website is not being marketed to local users, valuable traffic may be missing. Geo-targeting allows a business to target users that are located in a specific geographic region.

 

Geo-targeting Strategies

Geo-targeting is the means that is used to advertise the services of a business to a local consumer base or customers that are located inside a specific geographical region. There are several different ways to reach out to a specific region or area. There are numerous strategies that can be used by businesses that need to target consumers in a specific locale. According to some studies, about 80% of consumers who do searches online are looking for a local business. Knowing how to use geo-targeting strategies is essential for a business to be profitable and successful.

 

Create a Geo-Ready Site

In many cases, someone who is searching for a local business will be using a mobile device. In order to ensure that you keep this traffic it is imperative to have a website that is mobile friendly and that is fully accessible from a Smartphone or tablet. This can be solved by using a responsive website design. In many cases, a user who enters a query looking for a local service will also enter the type of business as well as the city and zip code. In some instances, they will enter a county as well. This is where SEO best practices come into play. Website designs that are optimized for search engines will have the name and local address of a business on the site. This makes it easier for the search engines to find.

 

Optimizing for Local Search Engines

Over the last few years, the search engines have continued to work on their local search features. This is partly due to the rise in use of mobile devices and the greater mobility of users. Google Maps has a feature which allows a map to be embedded into the search results. This gives local businesses brand new opportunities and gives them new means for gaining organic, local traffic. Usually, when a search query is entered into the major search engines like Google,MSNand Yahoo!, the user receives a list of organic search results.

 

How to take advantage of Geo-targeted SEO Strategies

There are ways to maximize local search efforts. For instance, websites should always be hosted in the same region as the business is located. Even though keywords do not carry the weight they used to, they do carry some and help the search engines identify general topics. It is still beneficial to use geo-targeted keywords. Take full advantage of Google Places and always claim your business on maps and other online business directories. Create local citations by using the business’ address or phone number where appropriate. Geo-targeting can help get a business of any size in the top positions of the SERPs.

June 16 2014

How Write Website Content for Humans Not Search Engines

Keeping up with all the trends in SEO best practices can be difficult. It can seem like change is the only thing that remains constant in the online world. We know that the search engines are updating their algorithms for search rankings constantly. This just makes the SEO specialist need to stay up on the most current changes in order to maintain SEO best practices. It also offers protection from getting those dreaded penalties. Content is one of the areas that has been a top for several years. We know that there have been many changes in the way that the search engine looks at content and how it measures in the algorithms. There was a day when content, any content was good. But some of the most current trends in the ways the search engines look at content has some scratching their heads. It’s not okay to just put up content for the sake of having content on a site. It needs to meet certain criteria. Content has a distinct purpose and it’s not so the search spiders can “read” it. Content must be high quality and written for the human readers not computers.

 

Writing for Search Engines Secondly

It is very important to remember that a web site’s content is primarily for the humans; but you do want to keep the search engines in mind even though you are not writing content for them. Even though keywords do not work like they used to, it is still important to use the right terms and phrases in your content. Of course it must first make sense to the reader, but this allows the search engines to categorize the content and rightly identify the topic. The best advice concerning web content and the search engines is to totally forget that you are writing for SEO purposes. Web content should not be tailored around a specific keyword it should be centered around what your readers are looking for and needing on a particular topic. The search engines are looking for high quality content that is relevant to a topic. You want to create content that keywords fit nicely into rather than trying to fit your content around your keywords.

 

How do humans search?

An online search is really all about questions and answers and helping people find solutions to problems. When someone starts a search by typing in a word, phrase or concept into a search query they are looking for content that specifically answers their questions. All of the content on a site should be focused on answering questions for internet users and helping solve problems through providing correct and relevant information on a topic. Google is getting pretty good at doing what they do and they are still actively working to provide users and consumers with answers to their questions; hence all the changes. Older methods, even white hat SEO strategies are exactly that – old. Now it’s all about rewarding site visitors and potential customers with content that is meaningful, informative and relevant. The search engines will not penalize a site for this type of high quality content and the site will be rewarded for offering content to visitors that offer them real value.

 

Writing Content for the Right Audiences

Can content help increase your search rank? Yes, and it certainly won’t hurt it. High quality, informative and engaging content can help increase the number of visits you have to your site. Happy visitors are much more likely to convert than those who find irrelevant content. It is highly likely that a site will rank higher when the content is written to enhance the humans that visit it rather than please the search engines. Remember that a search engine cannot make a purchase on your site, but a human can. In order to increase a site’s conversion rates it is very important to know who it is you are trying to reach and exactly what they are looking for by visiting your site. Once you do a little research to determine the needs of your target audience, reach out to them with valuable content that is designed to meet their needs. This will help you establish trusting relationships with your clientele. When you write content that is relevant and useful, it will help pull in consumers which will help increase conversion rates as well as the site’s ranking in SERPs.

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