Author: Anna Lewis

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How to Increase The Chance your Content Will Rank Well in Google

As website owners, we all want to create quality content that not only is interesting and engaging to our audiences but often, also serves to promote and ideally sell our affiliates products. Your website can be big business and mean big bucks if you know how to use it.

Ok, so now you might be wondering, is there a way that it is possible to stack the odds in your favor when it comes to ranking on Google? Ranking on search engines is important; when was the last time you visited the second page of a search engine query?

Well, the folks over at Content Refined, a content marketing service seem to think so. Is creating content feeling like a shot in the dark? Are you frustrated with wasting time and money on having articles written that just don’t produce results in terms of ranking in search engines? Below, we share some of Content Refined’s tried and tested strategies on how to increase the chance your content will rank well in Google.

1. Targeted and Relevant Keyword Research, Which Creates Interesting and Engaging Article Titles

Content Refined is a start to finish content marketing service. This means that they will do your keyword research, create titles, write your articles and then edit and publish your articles to optimize them for your website.

Content Refined utilizes a keyword research tool call SECockpit to complete keyword research for their clients. The way Content Refined is different when selecting keywords for your article is that they filter keywords to fit specific sets of data. For Content Refined, that metric is a keyword that is searched at least 500 times per month but has less than a 30% competition score.

The fun doesn’t stop there however. Content Refined will also analyze what other sites are ranking for a given keyword. Even if a keyword is statistically right for use on your site, the team looks at what other sites are ranking for the keyword. This way, they ensure that they aren’t pitting their clients against massive, domain authority sites that they will realistically never be able to outrank.

2. Already Strong Writing Enriched Using MarketMuse To Ensure In-Depth Coverage of A Given Topic

Content Refined only uses native English speaking writers to create their articles. This is a good first step to ensure proper flow and grammar for an article. However, Content Refined goes the extra mile to ensure that not only are the articles interesting with good readability but also that they cover topics in depth. The best way to ensure in-depth coverage of a topic? There is a tool called MarketMuse that Content Refined uses. Users can plug an article title into the program and get back a variety of relevant information about the selected keyword. Not only will MarketMuse produce a list of relevant keywords that should be mentioned or touched upon in the article, but it will also yield the current content score of an article along with the average content scores of competing articles and the overall best content score for a selected keyword from the competition. In addition, MarketMuse will supply its customers with a list of competing articles, so that you can scope out the competition.

Data analysis has shown a moderate to strong correlation between a high MarketMuse score and a good ranking in search engine results.

3. A Statistically Driven Standard That All Articles Ideally Meet

Ideally, Content Refined articles meet a specific benchmark in terms of data and their team believes that articles that fit this criterion are likely to rank on search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

For Content Refined, that standard is a competition score under 30% and a MarketMuse score of over 40. In a real life scenario, this should result in a quality, well-rounded and in-depth article that features an interesting topic with a keyword that isn’t dominated by big, established domain authorities. Content Refined has uncovered that articles that meet this metric have between 80-90% chance of ranking on the first page of a search engine. Combine this with the fact that the service also only uses keywords that are searched at least 500 times a month and you have the opportunity to create some really fantastic, relevant and useful content.

The Content Refined process is based in finding out what people are looking for that isn’t necessarily being extensively or properly covered on the web. The method is to create useful content that is backed up by researched data, instead of using what we call the “spray-and-pray” method, which involves peppering your sites with heaps of articles, some of which may interest your audience and much that may not. The problem with the “spray-and-pray” is that you can end up losing readership if you post too much content that is useless or irrelevant to your audience and “spraying-and-praying” can also end up being very expensive.

To conclude, we all want to make money off our websites; that’s why we have them. However, it can be difficult, time consuming and costly to work out the exact metric for your site. If you are tired of creating content that doesn’t provide predictable results, the tips and tricks of the trade mentioned in this article may be able to help you rank on Google with a higher degree of certainty. Content Refined openly shares their process because they believe knowledge is power and that nobody should be deprived of the ability to create an awesome niche website.

If you don’t have the time to manage all these different tools on top of your singular or multiple websites, you can also take advantage of Content Refined’s start-to-finish content creation process by checking out one of the many available packages here: http://www.contentrefined.com/#prices. With a variety of packages available, you are bound to find something that suits your specific needs.

Original post: How to Increase The Chance your Content Will Rank Well in Google

How to Write an SEO-Friendly Blog Post

Google is perhaps the biggest source of traffic for most blogs and websites.If you don’t optimize your blog posts for search engines, then you’re missing out on high quality blog visitors. On the other hand, if you over optimize or wrongly optimize your blog posts, then your blog might get penalized and lose even its existing traffic. If you optimize your blog post the right way, then it will improve the search engine rankings as well as drive more blog traffic.

Here are 7 steps to write an seo-friendly blog post.

1. Pick a topic
The first step is to pick a topic that is relevant and useful to your readers. If people like your blog post they’ll share your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn and spend more time on your site, without bouncing off quickly. This will send social signals telling search engines that your content is valuable, and rank your blog posts higher.

2. Do keyword research
Once you’ve decided what you want to write about, it’s important to come up with a list of high-traffic keywords that you can target with your blog post. You’ll need to include these keywords at different points of your blog post (described below) when you optimize it.

You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner to get keyword ideas for your topic. Simply type in your blog post topic in Keyword Planner and Google will provide a list of keyword ideas along with their monthly search volume and competition information (low, medium, high).

Pick one high traffic keyword relevant to your topic, as your main target keyword, and 4-5 related long-tail keywords that you’ll include in your post.

3. Write naturally
Before you optimize your blog post, you need to write a great article in the first place. If your content is not good, it won’t rank well, no matter how much you optimize it. So write a blog post naturally, keeping your readers in mind. Will they find it interesting? Will it help your readers? How will they use the information in your post?

This means structuring your content into paragraphs, and using complete sentences.

4. Use headings
Use headings (H1,H2,H3) to break your content into easy-to-understand sections. Headings make it easy for Google to understand the subtopics covered in your blog post and helps improve search engine rankings. Headings also enable readers to quickly scan your post, understand the main points and easily read it.

Generally, the title is displayed in H1 heading, and each subtopic in your post should have its on own sub heading H2. If you need to use H3 sub headings, ensure that they are used after H2.

Use your main target keyword once in your title. Typically, Google shows about 50-60 characters of your Title. So keep your post title within this limit. You can also use your long-tail keywords in some of the sub headings to rank your post for a wide range of keywords and search phrases. However, avoid overusing keywords in headings. Otherwise, you may get penalized for keyword stuffing.

5. Optimize Meta Description
Meta description is the 1-2 lines of text that appears below your blog post title, in search engine results. It helps search engines understand the topic of your blog post, so it’s one of the most factors that affects search rankings.

When you’re adding meta description, you need to provide 1-2 lines of complete and meaningful sentences describing the content of your blog post. Google displays only up to 150 characters of meta description, so ensure that your meta description is within this limit.

Meta description is a great place to include your main target keyword as well as a related long-tail keyword. However, if you try to stuff too many keywords, or use meaningless phrases in it, then Google will simply ignore your description.

Nevertheless, most users look at the title & meta description in search results to decide if they should click the link or not. So ensure that your post title & meta description are not only keyword-rich, but also click worthy.

6. Optimize Images
Images play an important role in SEO – they make your post visually appealing and more likely to be shared. They also make it easier for people to read and understand your post.

Most search engine (including Google) are text-based, and can’t understand images. So you need to add descriptive text, wherever possible, to help search engine understand what your images are about.

When you use an image for your post, ensure that you use descriptive file names. For example, “seo-friendly-blog.jpg” is better than “bsd213.jpg”. If you use multiple images, you can also use long-tail related keywords in their filenames. This will help search engines rank them better.

Similarly, you should also add a keyword-rich ALT tag to your images. ALT tag is basically used to describe your image, and helps search engines understand images better. When you upload your image to WordPress (or other platforms), you’ll see a form with a textbox to enter ALT text. In the above example, you can add something like “how to create seo-friendly blog post” for your image.

7. Add Internal Links
When you write a blog post, ensure that you’re linking to at least 2-3 other articles on your blog. This not only improves SEO score of your blog but boosts the crawlability of those articles.

However, ensure that you’re linking only to relevant articles from your blog. For example, if you’re writing about “how to do SEO” it makes sense to link to posts about “building links” and “doing keyword research”. However, linking to something like “how to install wordpress” is not relevant.

Conclusion
Hopefully, the above tips will help you optimize your blog post to rank better for more keywords and search terms. The trick is to target the right high-traffic keywords, write a super useful & interesting blog post around them, and include those keywords throughout your content. If your blog uses WordPress, then you can use the free Yoast SEO Plugin that allows you to easily optimize your blog post for search engines.

Sreeram Sreenivasan is an entrepreneur & digital marketer who writes for Fedingo Blog about various blogging, marketing & business growth topics.

Original post: How to Write an SEO-Friendly Blog Post

5 Reasons Why You’re Losing Twitter Followers

Twitter is an important resource for promoting a blog or other websites but just like all social media platforms, it’s not a place for endless sales pitches, particularly if you’re seeking to build up organic traffic. Obviously, the more followers you have, the better, but it’s the quality of these followers that really matters. After all, your goal should be to increase the number of engaged followers who pay attention and, preferably, interact, with your tweets. If you find yourself losing engaged followers, it’s probably time to make some drastic changes to your Twitter marketing strategy.
 
#1. You’re Shouting, Not Sharing
 
A major function of Twitter is the retweet, which basically means sharing a tweet from one account on another one. Just like all social networks, Twitter is very much about community-building, and sharing is an important part of that. If all you’re doing is publishing your own tweets, particularly if they’re of a salesy tone, your followers will quickly become disassociated from you.

Twitter marketers who automate their campaigns are at a particularly high risk of being seen as spammers, so it’s always important to retain the human element by sharing and conversing.
 
#2. You’re Using Hashtags Excessively
 
Hashtags have long been a powerful and important function on Twitter to such an extent that other major social networks are also using them. Unfortunately, however, hashtags are often abused by unscrupulous marketers desperately vying for attention by using irrelevant hashtags. It also looks bad and becomes difficult to read if there are loads of hashtags in a single tweet. It is especially important to only use hashtags that are completely relevant to the content of your tweet and to any link you might be sharing.
 
#3. You’re Not Tweeting Enough
 
Twitter is a particularly noisy platform where the average lifespan of a tweet has been found to be around 18 minutes before it gets buried and rarely seen again. As such, it’s important to be regularly active to remain visible, and this is precisely why many marketers automate their tweets. Automation can help a lot, provided you don’t lose your voice to it and, consequently, the human element. Of course, you can also tweet too frequently, but neglecting your profile for weeks or even days can take you right back to square one. After all, many users regularly unfollow inactive accounts.
 
#4. You’re Being Too Salesy
 
This point is closely related to the first one, but it’s extremely important nonetheless, and it’s one of the most common mistakes of all among inexperienced digital marketers. People use Twitter to find interesting content, not to be bombarded with cringeworthy sales-speak like that of a typical estate agent or used-car salesman.

Of course, your goal will be to promote your business, but it’s important to do so in such a way that you have something interesting and/or entertaining to offer. Ideally, you should keep self-promotion down to no more than 10% of your tweets.
 
#5. You’re Not Diversifying Your Content
 
An endless stream of boringly similar tweets is a common sign of a fully automated account of the type that most Twitter users just hate. Diversifying your content will help you reach out to a wider audience, though it is important not to deviate too much from your niche to the extent that you’ll annoy your following.

Most importantly, you should remember to share other people’s content and curate other online content to keep your Twitter feed fresh and full of new perspectives. Oftentimes, people will return the favour by sharing your content. Be sure to share different content formats too, particularly those of the visual kind like infographics.
 
Final Words
 
There are more than 300-million active users on Twitter, and while the figure might not be nearly as close to that of Facebook, it’s important to remember that it’s a very different type of platform. For a start, it’s generally much easier to build up an audience on Twitter without paying for advertising. It’s also easier to stand out, provided you make every effort to share and publish interesting content and reach out to the right people. Building an audience, however, is just one side of the story. Retaining valuable followers, by contrast, requires a consistent and long-term effort.

Vairo is an online entrepreneur and founder of WPWarfare.com. His passion is content marketing, blogging and WordPress in general, which is why he dedicates every spare minute he has to writing, hoping to share an arsenal of practical and useful information with others.

Original post: 5 Reasons Why You’re Losing Twitter Followers

How Technology is Influencing Online Business

Innovation drives the future, and technology is the main catalyst that fuels rapid evolution. High competition to capture profitable markets have pushed entrepreneurs to invest huge sums in developing technologies that baffle all alien life forms. Creative brains have given birth to complex bots and algorithms that interact itself, track, monitor, and analyse trillions of data, all with a persistent ambition to poke and probe the customer, “all to grab their attention”.

Every commercial institution across the world is on a race to equip and adapt with modern technologies that can influence people. Marketing is one in the strand which needs to be addressed. The complexity of analysing and understanding customers lead to the creation of new marketing tool where customers can gauge prices, compare features, customize, ask for a live demo, etc. Advanced robotics and machine learning algorithms evolved to form networks of the cognitive system that helps entrepreneurs to make informed decisions. Yes, we are looking towards a future that will be super ceded by radical breeds of AI enabled technology.

In this article, we will take a succinct overview of how few technologies will influence your online business. Let’s start small rather delve straight to complex technical jargons.

#1 Hyper personalized websites or eCommerce marketplaces

Fundamentally every business is the same regardless of whether it’s offline or online. The biggest change is noted when people start to leverage the unprecedented opportunity that technology accompanied. In a broader sense, new technological advancements started to manifest itself by simplifying people’s life. This main factor persuaded a bunch of tech savvy minions to migrate to comprehensive displays where they stayed for hours, exchanging information and interacting with other minions they find on the platform. Enlightened with the realisation of this incremental shift, where a high populous permeate from offline to online, it became an obligation for businesses to reflect their values in the online realm.

Seth Godin recited that, Don’t find customers for your products, instead find products for your customers. Great words. Over time, everyone’s taste and preferences changes and your customers are no exceptions. The best example is, consider that you’re a business that caters the needs of infants. Your business model started to proliferate and you started to notice a substantial turnover, all of a sudden, out of bloom you realized that you are not able to make repeated sales. The primary investigation revealed that all the sales were made for infants under one category “kids below 2 years old”. A design flaw on the website created the presumption among customers that the business only caters to one category “baby products – kids below 2 years old”. On the contrary, the child was growing and their needs must be met, forcing the parents to leave your business and look for another one that could cater a wider market.

In the above example, the business entity failed to reflect their business values in totality, limiting them to address only a small segment of the whole market. The best practice for the business would be to use technology to plot the customer needs and create an enticing eCommerce website that showcases their business as a whole. A hyper personalised website that sends a strong message, Hey we are a business specialised in delivering high quality service that caters the entire market, Our business to cater your child’s need from infancy till he grows to a charming toddler. Which beguiles the customer to believe, and drive higher customer satisfaction.

#2 IoT – Continuous coordination and collaboration

Internet of Things, a phrase that echoed in our ears for past couple of years, and still we are not acquainted with. IoT is a network of electronic peripherals that are interlinked to a common network, where they share data and collaborate, to gradually learn individual systems and progress along the experience curve to work as a single unit “a smart system”. The main purpose of IoT will be to present a digital economy that enables smart homes, smart offices, etc.

The importance of IoT in business can be highlighted with a simple example, Consider your online business/ eCommerce store is selling T-shirts. With IoT all devices in your office “Garage” will be able to stay connected and share data with each other with a concordant view to make smart decisions, thereby ensuring a seamless flow of operations. Here the system will work as a single unit, learning the operational flow from one department to another and will cognitively make prudent decisions in-case it finds any flaw in the seamless operation. If the AI recognises that the demand for a particular lenin has gone up, then the system coordinates with the concerned department and will discern the reason behind the increasing demand. Once the reason is analysed with data from the planning /forecasting department the AI will make informed decision to source an order or will notify the reason behind its action.

IoT also plays an important role to present a delightful customer experience. Let’s see how IoT will benefit you as a customer. Consider that one of your friends is having his birthday next week. You getting too indulged in the business forgot your mates birthday. How IoT will benefit you is, it will go through different profiles and connections you have and will intimate you about his birthday. The system will recognise it and will intimate you about your friends birthday and will ping you with suggestions, like what present you friend likes the most, or what he was searching two days back (a bit extreme when comes to privacy breach, Who knows the future), what he was presented last year, etc. Keeping you updated, and offering a plethora of opportunities to strengthen relationship. May be the insights you collect will help you to decide which colour he likes and can present him a T-shirt of the same.

#3 In app marketing the best way your lead gets incentivised

The great news is, In app marketing is an amazing way to keep continuous interaction with your customers. OHhh, forgot to mention the challenge. Stats published on BuildFire.com says that out of 100 apps downloaded 33.3% of them are only open once. Shocking information isn’t it. The main reason is that a majority of them (app’s) become obsolete before they hit the market, and the remaining failed to meet the customer expectation.

Most businesses use the strategy of incentivising in app traffic (usually done with virtual money). A hope to tickle with the curiosity, and expecting that the prospect at one point will convert into paying customers. Yes and No. No, because of your service, regardless of what is not adding value to the user. Then there is a high probability that the user may leave when the incentive gets over.

What when the answer is yes? As a user, he finds value in your business and continues with the service. In most cases, the user finds value with the continuous education and lead nurturing the organization rolls out. So, by the time the incentive gets over he is well aware why he should not send your app to the trash.

Release an app, build an enticing microsite, and drive traffic to the microsite. For eg: your website is selling high end mobile peripherals, in that case, use your app to drive targeted traffic to your micro website. You can always brainstorm and come up with some alluring marketing strategies, to attract interested people/ early adopters to stay tuned and be the first one to buy products on the release date. Frequently send reminders, offers, discounts etc through the app. Make sure the visitor will see value in your business model.

#4 Google semantics for prioritising information based on the context

Semantics have paved way for business intelligence systems, International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that by 2020 the amount of data produced from the point of sale system to sensors will reach 4.4 zettabytes. Which comprises a pile of structured and unstructured data. Data, when analysed, gives indepth knowledge about the relationship each data points have with one another, helping us glean compelling opportunities and obtain business benefits. The application of semantics and meta knowledge in the field of IoT has gained worldwide attention.

The future of business is driven by quality, and quality is comprised of deviants. So, how do we evaluate and quantify the reasonings behind an engagement? As a business how do we evaluate sentimental interactions with our business? How could an aircraft manufacturer like Boeing find the intangible reason behind a purchase? Beyond the huge markdown what motivated the airline to consider them over their rival Airbus. Both businesses provide state of the art cutting edge technologies.

With semantics, the entity will be able to deduce the complexity of analysing individual behaviour and will be able to find the reasoning behind a purchase. Semantics give meaning to the whole data available, scrapping intuitions, giving it a clarity, which helps to make precise informed decisions. The aircraft manufacturer can dig deep into data and analyse which variant of their aeroplanes are more preferred my businesses in that region. Why they preferred a 747 over a 737, Is the airline operating long haul services to busy destinations, Have they mentioned any information about their current load factor, How frequently customers mentioned their experience flying in a 747, How customers respond to the airline’s services, social mentions of the aircraft, etc.

What semantics does is, in its core, it will consider all these factors and will use the available bits of information to canvas clarity. With the internet revolution, even the manufacturer will be able to collect, analyse, and suggest the airline, why a 747 will be much better for their business than any other variants.

#5 Automation – To build strong relationship with prospects

With a rapidly evolving digital world, innovation is one strand that we cannot say no to. Why? COMPETITION, a simple but compelling word that exigence the importance of time, making time as one of the scarcest resource available to business. Even with the realisation that there are only 24 hours a day, every entrepreneur is searching for the extra 10 min, which they believe could make a dramatic influence. With technology and innovation, we come to fathom that we are not just a glob that revolves around a bright red hot ball, we are just one among the millions or billions. We are in a course, too busy running around to find the cosmic source which gives birth to the single celled alien that over time transformed into a fully grown sentient with feelings and emotions.

As time is the scarcest resource, we with our hocus pocus created the wonder “automation”. An effective strategy to stay tuned for day to day operations. Technology wants to reduce the distance between people, offering them common platforms where they can continuously interact and exchange information. But what if, you have customers who need your presence halfway across the globe. What in case you need to respond to time bound customer queries? To the least, How will you show your gratitude to a customer who signed up with you late night? The answer lies in this one sentence, Adapt technology and embrace automation. (Note: automation should not be at the cost of compromising your entities value in recognition to a general message. It needs to be a well addressed and a personalized note, reflecting your business values).

Automation needs to be streamlined to that of an efficient marketing machine. Social channels have become one peculiar stop among millennials. Stats published on BrandWatch.com says that there are 2.3 billion social media users, and 91% retail brand uses two or more social channels. This information itself pinpoint the importance why businesses need to stay connected, social media. Social media is an important channel for businesses to stay alive.

Parting Notes:

Technology has changed the way we administer business and wade through our professional life. Don’t take my word for granted. Look around you. You will be able to plot patterns reflecting a transformation, wondering the penetration of technology into our personal lives. Technology is forcing us to showcase an omnichannel presence, making it more mandatory for businesses to keep up with the radical trends and customer shift (channel hopping). Every business needs to incorporate a synergic approach to welcome technology that can productively reduce the distance between organizational values and customers. Once the values converge with the customer’s belief then a business can claim that technology has been used to deliver a purpose.

Original post: How Technology is Influencing Online Business

4 Simple Ideas for Great Blog Video Content

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need Hollywood-esque production value to create great video content for your blog. Frankly speaking some of the best blog video content stems from fairly simple ideas that are properly executed to create compelling content.

If you would like to create great blog video content, here are a few simple ideas that should give you a good place to start:

How-to guides and tutorials

Creating a guide or tutorial that shows viewers how to perform a certain task that they may be interested in or helps them to solve a particular problem is inherently useful. As far as informative content goes it is hard to beat a good guide, and if you get a bit creative you could really make it stand out. At the heart of every good guide is a simple set of step-by-step instructions, and once you figure out what those are the only thing you really need to do is decide on the best way to show the audience how to perform each step. Check out a great site called HowToGeek.com for more examples.

Interviews

Although often overlooked, interviews can be a great type of content. This guy built a whole website just with interviews! Bear in mind you don’t have to interview a ‘celebrity’ – anyone who can speak from a position of authority about the topic or has a unique perspective could make for a great interview. If it isn’t possible to record a face-to-face interview with a subject, you could even record footage from a video call instead.

Personal stories

Telling a story related to your blog’s niche can be a powerful way to foster an emotional response – particularly if the story is inspiring, humorous, touching, or something else of that nature. The video itself can either be a simple vlog, or it could incorporate other elements to help you to ‘show’ certain parts of the story.

Product reviews

Reviews have always been a popular form of blog content – video or otherwise. The advantage of recording product reviews as videos is that you can showcase the product better and pinpoint precise areas of interest to the viewer. As an added benefit product reviews are an excellent way to promote products that you feel are useful.

As you can see none of these ideas are particularly complicated, and most can be recorded with a simple video camera or a video recorder. Not only can it record the footage that you need but it also has a built-in editor that will let you edit and improve the videos that you record.

At the end of the day it doesn’t take dazzling special effects or a spectacular cinematic approach to create great blog video content. Initially you may want to experiment with different types of ideas, so that you can get a feel for what the audience on your blog responds to – and based on the ideas listed above you should already be able to come up with some topics worth pursuing.

Original post: 4 Simple Ideas for Great Blog Video Content

A Novice’s Guide to Understanding the Benefits of SEO for Businesses

I have a small website for my garage business; will SEO be helpful for me?

Will SEO help my e-commerce startup?

I have just outsourced SEO for my website, will I get more leads?

These are some of the questions that cross the minds of newbies going for SEO. To understand how you can benefit from SEO, you’ll have to learn the basics of SEO first & then see how a persisting SEO campaign can boost your business.

So What Is SEO?

It stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to the techniques of bringing your website on the front page of various Search Engines e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
These techniques aim at increasing the quality and volume of traffic to your website with the help of organic search engine results.

Traffic Quality

Although you would love to have any type of visitors (except hackers though) to your site, however, if you are running a garage business and the Google is driving traffic for garbage business, will it be of any use? No. The quality of traffic refers to visitors that are relevant to your website offerings and may lead to some fruitful results.

Volume of Traffic

Once you have the right kind of visitors coming from the search engine, the more the traffic, the better it is.

Organic Traffic

Traffic to your website from inorganic means may give a temporary spike in business, but in the long term, only the organic traffic is the way forward as you won’t have to pay for it.

How SEO Benefits Your Business?

Business owners and managers are constantly looking for ways to enhance their businesses. When the traditional ways of doing business are increasingly becoming costly, the digital ways are cheaper and tend to be more efficient as well.

While having a website is the first step in online business, the sustainability and growth come from persistent SEO campaigns. The benefits of such campaigns are realized in the due course of time. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages:

Increased Traffic:

When your website appears in the top position on search engines, it starts to get a lot of clicks, and this shows in the form of increased traffic. With SEO, the site has keywords that are frequently used by the visitors to find information on the internet or making purchases as well.

Enhanced Usability

All SEO efforts are aimed at making it easier for the website crawlers to navigate and index a website, but simultaneously these efforts make the website more user-friendly as well.

The various on-page efforts which add search-friendly keywords to the site also improve the navigation structure of different inner pages as well. If these efforts make it easy for the search engines to rank your site, they also make it easy to find relevant information on the site.

Increased Branding

It is critical for you that your website can be easily recalled by the relevant users while they are looking for information or buying a product related to you. This easy recall is the result of sustained efforts of SEO to rank the website on the first page of the various search engines.

This branding is done by the search engine optimization and is very much needed in any business. Remember how we tend to trust results that pop up in the top? When more and more pages of your website rank high in the search engine results page the better will be the brand building for your site.

More Effective

When it comes to marketing, there are various channels for it. But these different channels have their costs-benefits. From TV ads to posters to direct marketing, all are focused towards promoting businesses. But the effectiveness of these ways varies. When it comes to SEO, it is de facto the most cost-effective marketing method as it directly targets the visitors looking for the products and services.

SEO is the best inbound strategy as it enhances the experiences of the visitors coming to the website seeking goods and services. The traffic coming to the site as a result of your SEO efforts is more qualified than other marketing methods making it more cost effective than the others.

Round The Clock Marketing

One of the biggest benefits of the search engine optimization is that your site opens a 24*7 marketing channel. Your optimized site ranks on the result page not just for a single day but every day and throughout the year and until you want.

Better ROI

With SEO, you can be assured of the results that can be tracked for relevance and ROI. You can track the improvement in rankings, traffic, and conversions. The analytics provides even the granular information about the geography and the profile of the visitors who have visited the site. In the case of the e-commerce sites, you can track the path that the customers have taken to complete the sale. You can even identify the keywords your customers have chosen to reach the desired product or the service offered. If you have no e-commerce site, you can monitor the form fill-outs and the other things to calculate the effectiveness of the SEO campaign.

Higher SERP Means More Leads & More Business

With essential search engine optimization, higher ranking positions result in more productive results. It means more customers coming from the contact forms, more likes for the information provided by you or increase in the followers for your brand. All in all, it results in more business for you through the organic ways.

In The End

To avail the benefits of SEO, you must:

-Have a visitor friendly website that users find easy to navigate
-Have compelling content which is informative and complete.
-Optimize the website for robots and crawlers for improved indexing and navigation.
-Believe in persistence, as SEO brings in long term benefits than short-term fixes.

Original post: A Novice’s Guide to Understanding the Benefits of SEO for Businesses

How to Unleash Blogging for Better Conversion

Blogging is a free-flowing source of information and people read lots of rich and valuable research. More than three fourths of the digital marketers in the world blog frequently. Content Marketing has become the main source of attracting people to your website and by presenting useful information that help your readers it converts your readers into your subscribers.

Most marketers know that blogs have insane potential to turn your visitors into your customers. But, conversions through blogging thus depends on various other factors other than the content you write.

To convert your blog into a lead magnet there are many components that need to fix for optimizing your blog for better lead generation or conversion.

Create a proper blog structure

First and foremost, you need to create a proper blog structure, which is easy to navigate and provide all the option to subscribe any piece of information. Conversions through blogging depends heavily on your blog structure. The structure of a blog, in turn, is affected by various blog elements like:

Sticky Header: A sticky header will consist of all necessary information about the company services and products, culture, and working methodology. No matter how much you scroll down it will remain with the webpage on the top place. This makes users to find any service related information easily.

Blog Categories: The list of blog categories must be placed right below the header with a subscription on the right side. Giving an easy option for readers to navigate through different category section on your blog will make them to consider the content. That’s how they will subscribe it to get updates on regular basis.

Subscription Option: An easy subscription will always add new contacts to your lead generation sheet. Thus, providing an easy subscription box on the top of your blog post or at the right-side column of your blog homepage is considered most effective. However, you can pull more contacts by showing pop-ups on your blog on different time intervals.

Search Bar: The search bar should be placed just below the category section for the users to look up other pieces of content if they want to.

A blog structure defines the extent of good user experience (UX) and easy navigation and thus must be designed strategically.

Place Call-to-Action (CTA) to boost conversion

A Call-to-Action (CTA) if placed strategically have the potential to turn your blog into a lead generating machine.

Basically, a CTA is the box through which your users can join the readers community and that’s how you’ll be able to collect leads on your blog.

However, the placement of a CTA is based on user behavior. And a personalized CTA works 42% better than an untargeted one since that is created based on user behavior.

By analyzing the different behavior of users on your webpage or blog you can place a CTA in three different styles on your blog, which are as follow:

The Inline CTA is used correctly only if it is placed after ample information that has been given related to the CTA in the blog.

The Sidebar CTA is placed on the side of the blog, which is mainly for gated content subscription or other important events in the industry.

The Bottom CTA is placed after the entire blog post. Once a reader gets finished with post reading then it is a smart way to show him a way to subscribe the information on regular basis.

Isn’t it clever? To analyze different user behavior on your blog you can take help of Hotjar. The heatmap tool will show you different user actions on the different section on your blog. This will help you place CTA strategically on your blog homepage and posts.

Empower engagement on your blog post

Engagement on your blog shows the level of involvement, thus it is always good to interact with your audience. By letting your readers get in touch with your blog post through social network is a popular yet most effective way to engage people with the content. But, to achieve higher engagement level on your blog you need to place social sharing plugins at the right place.

Only 45% of marketers think that their Facebook efforts are effective. This is due to wrong placement of social sharing buttons and social engagement counter. The social sharing buttons can be placed on the sidebar and below the post.

The sidebar social sharing counter should be sticky so that the user gets the opportunity to share the content whenever he feels like without having to search for it.

You can also give an option to share your post on their social networks by placing a social sharing counter at the end of your post.

However, using the Click to Tweet plugin will increase the chances of the article being shared by providing a stat or fact within the post for the user to directly tweet it.

Integrate Optin Forms to collect more leads

Optin forms are the most efficient way to pull readers into your customer’s list.
The optin form needs to be integrated to the blog in a way that it doesn’t pop up before enough information has been provided to the reader.

An optin form must no doubt include the mandatory fields, but it also needs to be as short as possible. The optin form can be integrated in various sections in different styles.

An exit overlay pop up comes up when the user shows an intent to quit the blog page. The time intent pop up turns up after the user has spent certain amount of time on the blog page. The scroll intent CTA pops up after a certain extent of scrolling has been done by the reader. The sticky header and footer CTA pops up are placed in the header and footer respectively.

Optimize the loading speed of your blog

The content and the design of an entire blog page will go down the drain if the blog page doesn’t load fast. More than 40% of people abandon a webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load thus, a webpage must load within or less than 3 seconds.
Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to optimize webpages for mobile devices with quick loading speed. Google AMP has been introduced keeping both speed and mobile first approach in mind. Integrating Google AMP to your website will not only push your page up the SERP but will also make sure than it comes up in a carousel, on top, that only accommodates AMP pages.

Wrapping up

To create a conversion oriented blog, you must fix your blog with above mentioned inbound marketing tips.

These elements and tips must be used keeping your audience in mind. The blog structure, the placement of CTAs, optin forms and social sharing buttons play a huge role in giving the user a good experience on your blog page which in turns boosts ROI easily.

Original post: How to Unleash Blogging for Better Conversion

Why Blogging will Remain an Important Content Marketing Tactic for Businesses in the Future

The popularity of blogging is on the rise. Even though the number of internet users who engaged with blogs on computers in the United States has decreased from 32.58 million in Autumn 2013 to 29.1 million in Spring 2016, it doesn’t mean blogs have become less popular among online users.1

Rather, there has simply been a shift towards using another device when it comes to reading or contributing to blogs. The following graph visualises the increase in number of internet users who read or contributed to blogs on smartphone from Autumn 2013 to Spring 2016.

But why are these numbers important to you as a business owner? According to Statista, the number of bloggers in 2020 will increase to up to 31.7 million in the United States, which shows the potential other people see in blogging as an important channel in which to reach a global audience.

In case you haven’t started blogging yet, think about all the potential readers you could connect with by establishing a blog for your business.

As part of your content marketing strategy, developing a blog for your business can do even more than just increasing your brand awareness, building trust, or driving more traffic to your website.

Keeping the 9 tips from the video in mind, you might also want to consider the following questions before starting your business blog.

WHAT are you going to write about in your blog?
What is your audience interested in? Analyze your customers questions and use them as inspiration for your blog content. Chances are, you already have a couple of good topics to use for your next blog post. Pro tip: write about what you know.

WHO are you creating content for?
Define your target audience and always keep them in mind when searching for a new topic or creating your next blog post.

WHY are you covering this particular topic?
Why is it relevant today and what do you expect your audience to take away from it? Use your blog as a platform to educate, inform and entertain your audience about topics not only related to your products but also focussing on broader topics in your industry. This will help you finding even more engaging subjects to write about and, at the same time, it will help hold your readers’ interest.

WHICH media works best?
For each blog post, what represents your content the best? Be aware of the fact that most blog posts are only scanned by the readers. It’s not a secret that adding visual elements to your posts makes them much more aesthetically appealing and more likely to be read in whole. Pictures, videos, and maps, for instance, can help engage your readers for much longer, thus, increasing the duration of each session on your website.

WHERE will you promote your blog and website?
Choose the media and channel you want use to share it with your audience. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn or Instagram strongly depends on your industry and business. Again, think about what media will suit your audience and content the best.

WHEN will your posts go online?
When you publish your content is another subtle point to consider if you want your blog to succeed. Several sources recommend many different days and times that seem to be best for publishing blog posts. Instead of looking at arbitrary proposals, analyse your industry and see what works best for your individual topics. Remember, frequency is key! Keep up with your work and publish content on a regular basis. Not only will it help your readers know when to expect new content but also creates a structure to follow when planning and scheduling your next topics and posts.

In case you are interested in other relevant topics related to blogging and enhancing your online presence, check out this information about web design gathered by Market Inspector.

Original post: Why Blogging will Remain an Important Content Marketing Tactic for Businesses in the Future

Humanizing Your Brand Through Content Creation

If you want to stand out in today’s busy online marketplace, you need to find a way to make your brand more human. Creating consistent content that is both valuable and engaging is one of the best ways to show consumers that there are real people behind your brand who care about their needs and challenges. Here are some of the top tactics that you can use to humanize your brand through content creation:

1. Establish a unique brand voice.

To differentiate your company from all the other brands in your industry, you should first develop a unique brand voice. Your brand voice allows consumers to understand your company’s personality better. Not to mention, it enables you to create content that is more consistent, which can help with building brand recognition in the marketplace.

One way that you can start to develop your unique brand voice is by imagining your company as a fictional character. If your company was a person, who would it be? Give the character a name, a physical appearance, and some personal qualities. What does it like or dislike? Is it calm or more energetic? The avatar that you develop will help you better understand what type of personality your brand has. Once you have a more defined idea of the character you would like to present to your target market, you can work on developing a distinct voice that communicates that personality.

After you’ve developed your brand voice, it’s important to ensure that the people in your organization who create content all understand this voice. This way, it will carry through all your content assets. Creating a brand guide is one of the best ways to make sure that your team creates content that is consistent with your brand. In your guide, include details about your brand identity, including a style guide for content.

2. Publish content consistently.

Another way that you can humanize your brand is by publishing content consistently. Humans are always in conversation with one another, communicating their ideas and sharing their take on what’s going on around them. If you want to be a part of this conversation and show consumers that there are real people behind your brand, you need to think of content creation as an ongoing process.

Create a content calendar to ensure that your brand is consistently creating and publishing content. Whether you use a simple spreadsheet in Google Docs or choose to utilize a content calendar app or program, there are a few things that you will need to include:

Content Topics – Brainstorm with your team to determine which content topics are most valuable to your target market. Consider what questions consumers might have, challenges consumers face, or what’s new in your industry.

Content Formats – Once you have topics that will be of interest to your audience, you’ll need to identify which formats are best suited for these topics. For instance, is it better to create a blog or a video? Don’t forget that many of content assets can be repurposed later.

Parties Responsible – One of the biggest challenges of publishing content consistently is having enough resources to create a variety of content over time. Be sure that your content calendar makes it clear who is creating which pieces of content.

Publish and Due Dates – Your content calendar should also include due dates and publish dates for each piece of content. Make sure that your due dates allow enough time for review and editing before publication.

Promotional Plan – How do you plan to promote this content after it’s finished? Be sure to include whether the content is gated or not and which organic or paid channels you will be using to publish and share your content. You can promote content on social media, through email, PPC ads, and more. It can help to include a blog update CTA on your site.

It’s best to keep your content calendar to a three-month period. This gives you enough time to plan and get your resources together, but it isn’t planned so far ahead that you can’t respond to important trends or news in your industry. By clearly laying out when you will publish new content, you can help make sure that your content creation is consistent.

3. Tell a story.

Humans are social creatures who want to feel a personal connection. If you want to capture your audience’s attention and build real relationships, you’ll need to do more than just write powerful headlines. Your content needs to tell a story that will help consumers better understand what your brand is all about.

When it comes to brand storytelling, you want to be detailed. It is much harder for people to connect to a story that is abstract. Your stories should be from a specific person’s point of view. They should include lots of rich details that help the consumer better understand and connect with the character(s). Use specific scenarios that the consumer can connect with. For instance, you might discuss a challenge that your consumer faces or doubts that they may have.

Don’t be afraid to tell a story that brings out an emotional reaction. Whether you are aiming to appeal to the consumer’s nostalgia, make them laugh, or make a connection through fear, the more emotional appeal your story has, the better. Through your choice of details and words, you can work to evoke emotions that help consumers better connect with your brand and understand the value of your products and services.

4. Build relationships through social media content.

Creating conversation is an important part of humanizing your brand. While businesses can’t exactly converse with their clients, the people behind the brand can. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide the perfect platform for starting conversations that will help your company build stronger relationships with prospects and customers.

Start by developing social media content that is engaging and invites others to participate. This can be as simple as asking your followers a question on Facebook or developing a fun Twitter survey. You can also develop social media contests that ask your followers and fans to submit their own content. By sharing user-generated content on your own social media pages, you help humanize your brand by showing consumers how your products or services are helping real people.

In addition to creating engaging content, you will also need to engage in conversations on social media with your consumers. Remember, it’s important that your brand voice carries through in all your communications, including social media content. Though social media is a less formal platform, you don’t want to lose sight of your brand personality. For instance, if your company has a brand that speaks in the voice of a young professional, be sure to carry this tone throughout your conversations with consumers on social media platforms.

Using the strategies outlined in this post, you can start creating content that works to humanize your brand. By showing consumers there are real people behind your business, you will be able to differentiate your company and demonstrate what sets you apart from the rest.

Original post: Humanizing Your Brand Through Content Creation

Five Basic Steps for a Successful Blog

Let’s cut to the chase! Below you’ll find the five basic steps you need to make your blog a successful one.

1) Think about who your audience will be

It’s always better to target your blog for a particular audience. You can then focus to write something which could help your audience immensely. For example, if you are well-versed into internet marketing, you should target people who are just new to the world of internet marketing and eager to learn from scratch. But try to choose a niche which is expandable so that you can find more and more topics to write on. Don’t shy away from sharing all your secrets. Write every bit of useful information, you can think of, to make your blog stand out. It’s an old saying that “Knowledge grows, the more you give away”. So give away everything like a good teacher and you will get much more in return in the form of ever growing audience.

2) Engage your readers

Write your content so that it perfectly makes sense to reflect the title of your post. In other words, you should not go off topic while writing, otherwise, users may leave your blog. Also, think of what other topics you can write and link internally from the existing post so that it is highly likely that the user will click on that internal link. This is important to do to engage your reader for a longer period of time on the site. You can also use external links (links given to third party websites) on some texts which need more detailed explanation. This way users can click on the external links to find the required information related to those texts. Whether the users click on external or internal links, both are signs of user engagement and so good for SEO (search engine optimization).

3) Take care of your content

You should be honest in your approach while writing. Simply publishing the duplicate or re-written content is not going to help, as search engines like Google already have the technology to filter out the duplicate content pages from their search results, and so the duplicate content won’t give you any organic traffic . Another important thing is to provide an evidence of whatever you are writing, by referring to the original source in the form of an external link. This is specifically important if your content is based on some research work and requires authenticity. Content based on your imaginations and personal experiences, however, will not need any authenticity. Also, make sure you know about emotional intelligence while writing, else you may face the criticism in the online community.

4) Participate in online communities

So what are online communities? There are numerous other blogs, forums, discussion boards, FAQ sites, like Stack Overflow, where users can interact with each other to discuss their problems and also share their knowledge and experiences. All such platforms are a part of online communities. Just keep flooding your website with content is not going to help much to generate traffic. Just like you link to third party websites from your own blog, other websites should also link to your blog pages so that your blog can rank better in search engines like Google. This is how Google’s technology works to rank different websites in their search results but user experience (as already mentioned in step 2) is more important for Google than getting links.

You should put all the great efforts so that more and more websites or blogs link to your own blog pages. It doesn’t matter which blog page they link. This is only possible when you participate in online communities to popularize your content and then someone could link your content as a good resource for their website or may be out of sympathy if you requested a link to them. Someone may even ask for money to link your website but then paying for links is against Google webmaster guidelines and so that should be avoided.

5) Take care of the technical aspects

Professionalism is very important to impress anyone you want to. Most of the bloggers make use of readymade templates to create their blog using WordPress. This results in a similar kind of design (like other WordPress blogs over the internet) which doesn’t look professional. If you have money to spend, you should not use these open source website creation tools like WordPress.com or Blogger.com and get the blog done from scratch with your desired design from some individual web designer and programmer or some web developer company who does this. You can hire a lot of such web developers on sites like freelance.com and upwork.com.

It’s also possible to create a blog without CMS or publishing tools. The guys from People HR Blog have done that. For every post, they have used a unique graphic or image which is not copied from anywhere. It’s easier to get links for your blog with a professional design and content.

Also, make sure to get your blog done with responsive design so that it is compatible with all the latest devices and browsers. Also, make sure to ask the developer to make the site load faster by eliminating all the errors (if any) as mentioned by PageSpeed Insights tool by Google. Hope that helps.

Original post: Five Basic Steps for a Successful Blog