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Awesome tools for SEO Competitor analysis

For any internet marketer, knowing what your competitors are doing online is very important. Without a strategy, any SEO or digital marketing campaign cannot get the
results desired from it, and the very basis of this strategy lies in knowing what works in you
market or niche. You do not just need to know what your competitors are doing- but also what they are
trying to do.

If you notice a competitor’s content is ranking higher than yours, create content on similar subjects. It’s important to always be watching to gain insights. But how? Here are tips to help you devise a strategy to get an edge over your competitors:

User Experience

How user friendly is their website? Was it easy to find in search results? Where does it rank? How is the loading time? Does it clearly tell you what their business does and what/ where to take action?

Content

For SEO this is a big one,  is the content regularly updated, is it  relevant? What kinds of content seems to have the most engagement? Do they have a blog? A resource page? How does it compare to the kind of content you are posting? Is it meaningful and grammatically correct? Is it branded?

Lead Generation

What lead generation tactics are they using? Look for call to action links and buttons and how often they appear. Is it easy to find their contact us page?

 

Running a competitive website audit can help improve your website, content and SEO dramatically. Take the first step

 

Tips to Increase Your Online Visibility and Branding

A well-built website is only a piece of your online visibility. Every minute, thousands of new websites are being created, and staying ahead of them to reach your target audience is important.

Learn how to market and promote your website using SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a big factor in what drives your website to the top of the search results. Users will be able to see your website more frequently, and this will help boost the awareness regarding your business and services. Appearing frequently in search results increases the visits and clicks to your website, thus generating higher traffic.  SEO is not just about search engines- but about making your website visible through all digital platforms.

Here are 3 tips to get your content ahead of the curve:

1.) Plan your holiday campaigns, from landing pages to promotions this is the busiest and best time of year to convert visitors on your site. The earlier you post and publish this content the faster search engines will begin ranking your pages in search.

2.) Get blogging, effective content makes all the difference

3.) Optimize your pages, take a look at Google’s Quality Guidelines and see if your content is committing any errors

With SEO, you can transform your online presence. Using the right analytics tools, you can know what your customers are looking for, where specific demands are greater and understand demographics to guide your marketing. Don’t have enough time? Let our SEO and content teams help!

 

5 Essential Tips for a Successful SEO

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We live in an age where time is money, and no business can now afford to send sales reps and make visits to acquire new clients and service new ones. This where the internet has come in to make things easier, offering business owners access to the largest customer base in the world, all at the click of a button. Though the last part made it sound easy- the reality is a little different.

With more companies coming up and joining the competition every day, is getting even more cutthroat as time passes. Regardless of all that, SEO or Search Engine Optimization is still the one thing that provides you the best returns on the investments you make for marketing. Almost every internet user ‘Googles’ before making a purchase, so making your business visible there is extremely important. If you too are thinking of making the use of SEO, or are planning to do so in the future, then knowing this 5 essential tips will help you quite a bit.

Tip 1: Work with a local SEO service provider

The internet has brought us closer to people in the farthest corners of the world, helping us communicate with them in real time. Because of this, you may be tempted to chose an SEO provider regardless of its location. With all the wonderful things that the internet offers, it also comes with the scam and fraud artists. This is why you should have a local provider; one you can meet in person. Your local SEO expert needs to understand your business, and you need to understand the company/person you are paying too.

Tip 2: Avoid providers that outsource it overseas

It is quite a common practice for companies to outsource their SEO work overseas. In case you find out that a potential SEO provider is doing that- then you will be better of searching for a better provider. Going with such an SEO provider will only cost you more, and will not able to deliver the best results.

Tip 3: Have an SEO strategy custom-made for your business

An SEO strategy is the result of vast amount of planning and complex analysis. Do not chose an SEO plan off the shelf, and if you do, then do not expect any results from it. There is no one-sized approach that works for everyone when it comes to SEO. Any reputable provider will offer you a custom-designed service for your business.

Tip 4: Get regular progress reports

These progress reports from your provider will help you know the work that was done, the results obtained from it and how it affected your website’s rank. Review these reports every time you get them to ensure that progress is being made to achieve your business goals.

Tip 5: Stay safe

Selecting the right SEO provider may not be an easy task. The most successful of strategies also take time to yield results, and this is what fraudsters make use of to cheat in the online world. Beware of companies that charge too less for SEO services. The company could be using tactics that would end your site up in a ban by Google. Following a few simple rules such as these as you look for an SEO provider will keep you safe and help you move closer towards achieving your goals.

 

Is Your SEO Company Working to Get Around the New Google Results Page?

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The biggest challenge that comes with SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the ever-changing algorithms and methodologies that Google employs to calculate page-rank. How Google evaluates the ranking for its search results and what it does with them changes quite frequently, and if you have an SEO firm working for you, it is important that they stay up to date with it all. This will help them incorporate any new changes that Google makes, ensuring that your SEO strategy is always updated for delivering the best possible returns.

The latest change that Google has made is to modify their results page, which has sent SEO professionals all over working to hold on their present positions and improve their visibility- for they do not want to drop page numbers just because of this change. When you drop a page in terms of Google, it means that your ranking has dropped. SEO companies are fighting to better their clients’ rankings to keep them on the same page or help them climb higher. This change is making them work even harder.

The biggest change that Google has made to the search page is taken off advertising from the right-hand side of the page, and placed 4 ads on top of the organic results. For those who are using paid advertisements, this is a change worth noticing- for the number of ads that there are has now been reduced. If you use only SEO and yield your results organically, then you will notice that though the ranking remains unaffected, the number of organic results pages has now been reduced from 11 to 7- a considerable difference by any standards.

Monitor Your Progress
Regular monitoring of your progress will help you know where your website is in terms of search results. Type in various keywords related to your website and check where your site comes up. In case there is no change, or your site drops in ranking, then it is a sign that your SEO Company is not doing enough to stay updated with the latest changes, for this is what could be affecting your rank. At times, though this may not be the SEO Company’s fault, you should still consider it as quickly as possible, since your competitors may not be facing the same situation.

Keep a check on your budget
If you are using PPC advertising, then staying within our budget is critical. The package that your SEO Company provides should include everything that you may need to move up the ranks, and must come with regular reporting to help you know as to what they are doing as they take your money.

Quality Content is a Must
As your company grows and your SEO strategy becomes even more competitive, quality content may be neglected. However, never reduce the efforts and budget that you have allocated for generating quality content. This will help you stay a leading choice for your clients as well as Google’s search results.

With just these few simple things taken into consideration, you will be better able to know as to what your SEO company is doing right and where it needs to improve.

Can Any Inbound Linking Hurt My Ranking?

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The answer is simple – inbound linking cannot hurt your search ranking. How is this known for certain? Well, for one, if inbound were to hurt your rank, your competitors would continually link to your site from link farms. Such a scenario is beyond your control. For this reason, Google cannot penalize your site for any inbound linking.

On the other hand, you can be penalized for illegitimate external linking. It is highly advised that you not link to any website or group of sites that may be involved in shady or unethical search practices. Doing so could result in being black-listed by Google, ultimately ruining your SEO strategy. Avoid this situation at all costs and ensure that all external links point to trusted and reliable sources.

Having been involved in the internet industry for a large part of my working life, I have spent a lot of time researching and browsing the internet and reading websites, mainly for client design research, but also for occasional personal use. The one thing that I find most disappointing, is the apparent lack of thought going into website creation and it’s purpose, which in turn creates a missed opportunity for many e-businesses to become successful.

My personal perspective on e-businesses and their websites, is that if they don’t take pride in their websites and show to their customers a passion for what they do, chances are, they won’t take pride in their products, and the passion for providing good customer service will also be missing.

What you must remember, is that your web site is a direct reflection of you and your business. The appearance of your site is the most important factor in determining your potential success rate. In short, if your site doesn’t look professional or pleasing to the eyes at first glance, the majority of people will assume your products and/or services to be of similar poor standard.

At the other end of the scale, you could fall into the trap of going overboard with the design and over complicate things with incorporating high costing flashy graphics. You may end up with a great looking and highly aesthetic web site, but the danger with this is that your site may prove unreliable and at times may take too long to load. There is nothing worse for a customer than trying to visit a slow loading site, and most will close the browser window in complete frustration. As i’m sure you will be able to work out, this will ultimately cost you business.

The other major consideration (if not the most important) when designing a website is your content. Not just links, but content with passion, relativity, and understanding to the customer. When someone is searching for something in particular and they visit your web site, they’re visiting for a reason. Your site has something they want, Whether this be your product, service, and/or information. If they are unable to obtain what they’re looking for, they move on to the next site and so on. To be able to get your visitors to stay and look around your website, you must give them a reason to. Providing them with quality content will achieve this goal.

There have been countless other lists and articles on the subject of website designing mistakes, but I have compiled my own list, from a designer’s perspective, of some pitfalls to look out for when considering either designing a website or purchasing a template. Remember that the simple, clear, informative and well designed sites are the most successful. If you are a current e-business and your sales aren’t what you had hoped, consider the above and take some time to look openly and honestly at your site. Spending money on improving your website is a much better investment than throwing money away on trying to advertise and market a site that just isn’t good enough to sell your product or services.

If you are looking for a template or a custom designed website, be aware of the above and be prepared to ask your chosen designer or template provider questions to ensure that your hard earned money doesn’t go to waste on an inferior design, which contains any of the above. Asking questions won’t cost you a penny, and in doing so could actually save you a lot of money over the long term. Getting your website right first time is vital in terms of saving money and time. The earlier your website is up and running properly, the quicker you will be able to reap the rewards of a successful e-business.

The prime mistake Newbies make is to put their website name into the Anchor Text. Unless your website contains your keywords this is a waste of a perfectly good link. Remember that Google puts a very big importance on those Anchor texts and they should always use your keywords.

The second mistake is trying to put every single keyword into your anchor text and give that to everyone. There are two mistakes with this technique. 1.) Google assigns weight to each word in anchor text so if there are a lot of filler words (common in long sentences), they will “dilute” your target words.

According to two recent surveys, conducted by Forrester Research and Gartner Group, ecommerce sites are losing $1.1 to $1.3 billion in revenue each year due to customers click- away caused by slow loading sites. If a page takes too long to load, your potential customer will not wait. Ultimately costing you business.

Make sure you include proper META tags in the HTML of each page of your web site. META tags are HTML code that enable the search engines to determine what keywords are relevant to a specific site. About 80 percent of all web site traffic originates from the eight major search engines. It would be a good idea to make sure you’ve done your homework and fully understand how to optimize your web pages prior to designing your site. This will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. For further information on META tags read the tutorial entitled, “Building Your Site.”

Be cautious when selecting your background and text colors. Busy backgrounds make text difficult to read and draw the attention away from the text. Always be consistent with your background theme on each page of your site. Your site should be nicely organized and uniform throughout. Keep in mind, colors affect your mood and will have an affect on your visitors as well. Bright colors such as yellow and orange, cause you to become more cheerful or happy, while colors such as blue and purple have a calming effect. Dark colors such as brown and black have a depressing effect. A good rule of thumb would be to use colors based upon the type of effect you’re trying to achieve.

Your main page should specifically let your visitors know exactly what you’re offering. How many times have you visited a site and never figured out exactly what they were selling? If your potential customer can’t find your product or service, they definitely won’t waste a lot of time looking for it. They’ll go on to the next site and probably never return. They’re visiting your site for a specific purpose. They want something your site offers. Whether it is information, a product or service.

Design your site to be easily navigated. Place your navigation links together at the top, bottom, left or right side of the page. Use tables to neatly align your links. If you are planning on using graphic buttons to navigate your site, keep in mind that with each graphic you add to your page, it will take that much longer for your page to load. If you only have a handful of navigational links, using graphic buttons will be fine. If you have over six links, it would be wise to simply use text links to keep your load time down.

If you must use frames, use them sparingly. Frames, if not properly used, can make your site look unprofessional. Avoid making your visitors have to scroll from side to side to view your content. This can be very irritating and cause your visitors to leave. If you must use frames, offer your visitors a choice. Frames verses No Frames. Try to keep the number of clicks required to get from your main page to any other page on your site down to four. Keep in mind, your visitors may enter your site from pages other than your main. Always have good navigational links on every page and place your company logo on each page.

Design a quality e-book to give to your visitors. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. If you can create a web page, you can create an e-book. The focus of your e-book should compliment your web site. Simply write about your passion. If your passion is sales, then you could share some of your knowledge and experience by designing your e-book to provide a complete sales training guide. If your passion is home based business, you could write an e-book about how to start your own home based business. If you’re writing about your true passion then you shouldn’t have any trouble coming up with something to write about. For further information on e-books, read the article entitled, “How to Create an E-book and Drive Massive Traffic to Your Site by Giving It Away.”

Having been involved in the internet industry for a large part of my working life, I have spent a lot of time researching and browsing the internet and reading websites, mainly for client design research, but also for occasional personal use. The one thing that I find most disappointing, is the apparent lack of thought going into website creation and it’s purpose, which in turn creates a missed opportunity for many e-businesses to become successful.

Is Search Engine Submission Necessary?

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Is Search Engine Submission Necessary?

The simple answer is no – search engine submission isn’t necessary. The majority of search engines nowadays (most notably Google) crawl and index pages by following links. Using that logic, a single inbound link from any already-indexed page will identify your page to the engine. Subsequently, if that page links to other pages within your site, they will also be indexed… and so on.

For this reason, inbound linking is very important. In fact, acquiring back-links may be the most important of SEO. In theory though, a website owner shouldn’t have to ’scout’ or ‘hunt’ for links. If the presented content is of interest, useful, and/or important, there is a natural tendency among web users to link to information. This is the basis for the Google PageRank algorithm.

With all due respect, submitting your site to the search engines can’t hurt. Plus, it only entails about 5 minutes of added work assuming you only submit to the big guys. And once is enough… you don’t need to submit your site more than once. It doesn’t help or get your site crawled any quicker or more often.

It should be noted that submitting your site to Google, Yahoo, MSN, and many others doesn’t cost a fee. Many SEO companies assert that you need to pay to be indexed. This isn’t the case and I would stay away from these companies. They are money hungry and aren’t looking out for your best interest.

Would you ever consider going on a vacation across the country without bringing a map? It is hard enough to find your way in some places with a map. How hard would it be if you tried this adventure without one? Yet, this is exactly what people do every single day in the online world. They tried to build their own businesses online without having a roadmap to success. Then, after months or years of just wandering around online, they give up in frustration and quit. They walk away saying that the Internet doesn’t work for them. The reason it didn’t work is that they didn’t pick up a map and follow it!

You don’t have to end up lost in the online shuffle. Below I will give you ten steps to help you map out your course and get you started in the right direction. It isn’t everything that you need to know by any stretch of the imagination, but it will give you a basic foundation to build upon.

Consider it your beginner’s map to Internet marketing profits.

Choose a targeted market

The biggest mistake most people make when starting a business is that they choose a product and then try to find people who want to buy it. If that is the direction you are starting from on your journey, then you are going the opposite direction from your destination. Wise businesses operate from a different concept. They pick a market first, and then they pick a product those people are searching for. In other words, instead of trying to find leads to sell their product to, they find targeted leads and then ask them what they are wanting to buy.

Don’t even consider starting a business until you know exactly where you are going to get your leads from. Think targeted customers first. Then, you can come up with a product for those individuals. Would you rather have 1,000 hits a day at your site of a general audience OR 10 hits a day of people who are desperate and willing to pay any price to buy your products? If you are smart, you will choose the people who are ready to buy!

Develop a Product

Next, you need to develop a product or service for this market. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon of affiliate programs when you come to this step. There are three major ways to selling a product online:

a. You create your own exclusive product.

This is the best opportunity you have. If you develop your own product, you can pick it’s price, sell reprint rights to others, set up an affiliate program, etc. Don’t tell me you can’t do this. Tens of thousands of innovative entrepreneurs have used their own information products to get their careers started. You can to.

Throughout your life, I am sure that there is something you have learned that you can share in a How-To product. Maybe you know someone else who has the right knowledge for a How-To product and you could offer to help them create a product if you both shared the rights to it. Don’t just jump past this opportunity and say it can’t be done.

b. You buy the rights to a product or you JV for an offline product.

You can buy the rights to successful products for $500 – $20,000. If someone else has created a product that you know your targeted market is interested in, offer them a large up-front fee for the rights to it. This way you can get your own product and never have to pay a penny in royalties. You can also search through magazines your targeted market reads and look for products people are selling. Then, give them a call and ask for the exclusive Internet rights to their product for a certain percentage of the profits or an up-front fee.

c. You join an affiliate program.

If you are just starting out online, this can be a good choice. You do have to keep in mind though that it doesn’t offer quite the profit potential that creating your own product or obtaining rights to one has.When choosing an affiliate program, make sure that it is something your targeted market cannot be without. They absolutely have to have it. Also pay special attention to the profits you receive from each sale.

If you are only be paid 5% commissions on the sales of $10 books, you will only be making 50 cents per customer. It would take 2,000 customers just to product $1,000 in profits. You cannot make money like this online! Look for higher priced products and higher commissions…especially commissions in the 25% or higher range.

Create a USP

Create a Unique Selling Position for your product or service. Too many companies are just trying to be me-too companies online. You cannot be just like the next guy and expect to make a profit in a global economy. Just going to the next guy’s web site to order is too easy for your customers.

You have to create a Uniqueness to your product or offer. What can you offer that no one else can? Can you offer better guarantees, better customer service, more technical support, faster shipping, or lower prices. Think of something that will set you apart from all of your online competitors and tell in complete detail what it is.

Pick a Domain Name and Hosting Service

The next step is to pick a domain name that describes your company, USP, and offer. Try to keep them as short and descriptive about your business as possible. Avoid using dashes or misspellings of your product. Both of these things will cause people to leave out part of your domain if they type it in. Someone else will be getting free traffic that you worked hard to obtain.

For hosting, I personally choose to use Virtualis since they have the Fastest customer service and technical support in the industry. Test them out. They will respond to you within the hour…anytime 24 hours a day. No other company I have ever been with has even come close!

 Develop a Customer Friendly Site

The next step in the process is to develop your web site and put it up for the world to see. If you are planning to own a full-time Internet business, I recommend that you learn how to design the site yourself using one of dozens of programs which are readily available at any software store.

You will save so much money if you can do the work yourself on just the editing alone as your site grows. If your main business is offline and you are just adding a secondary income, then you may want to consider having a professional do your site for you.

When designing your site, keep the customer in mind always. Provide order forms for online credit card orders. Make all of the links easy to understand. Try to keep your site simple. Think like a customer, not the business owner.

Your customers are not nearly as interested in your business as you are. Make sure to put the benefits of your site and your USP right on top of the site. More than half of the web surfers never drop down past the first screen full of information. So, you have to give them the information they need as quickly as possible. The rules for any type of business are Benefits, Benefits, and more Benefits.

Offer a Freebie

One of the major keys to developing traffic and sales at your site is to always offer some type of freebie as a drawing factor. For example, I offer dozens of free reports, weather reports, news, and more. My greatest drawing factor throughout the past 8 months though has been the two free e-books which we offer on our site to people who subscribe to this newsletter.

You need to come up with a freebie no matter what type of business you are in. Create a free report and give it away. Add in a message board or some other type of CGI program on your site. Give a free demo of your software. Create something that you can give away for free on your site to draw in the visitors.

Start Your Own Opt-In List

Almost every full-time Internet marketer I know has developed their own Opt-in email list of some type. For most of them, it is a weekly newsletter they send out by email. For others, it may be a Tip of the Day. Other people might just have a list that they send out important updates to.

No matter what you choose to do, odds will be on your side if you concentrate on building a list of loyal email subscribers. Very rarely do customers purchase from you the first time they visit your site. Most of them will get on your list, hang out for a few weeks or months, and then they buy from you. They have to get to know you before they are willing to spend their money with you.

I have found that the most effective leads come from offline advertising. For example, you could purchase ads in a popular targeted magazine for your business. You could also purchase a postcard in one of the card decks. Start up a co-op and get 10 other people to advertise with you and run your own ads for free. Offline leads which come to your site often turn out to contain a much higher percentage of buyers than any of the online advertising methods.
Once you put our short 10 step outline together you have a basic map to creating your own Internet success story. You wouldn’t consider going on a trip without a map. So don’t try to go it alone online without a map.
Terry Dean’s Brand New Fr-e eBook, “10 Quick and Easy Ways to Increase Profits to ANY Web Site Overnight!” Reveals More Time Tested Proven Internet Marketing Secrets Than 99% of the Paid Products Available…Showing You Step-By-Step How to Increase Your Traffic, Drop Your Expenses, and Drive Your Profits Through the Roof