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:
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?
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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