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30th
JUN

Some Ways Understand SEO Impacts Sooner

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

SEO is a great marketing tool for an entrepreneur.It is scalable when you don’t have a big budget — you don’t have to pay for every click as you have to in paid marketing programs.It also has a great brand impact.Users often ascribe leadership status to companies that are topranked. SEO therefore is a great program that enables entrepreneurs to compete with large companies on equal footing.Imagine being able to do that with television advertising!The reason for this neglect is manifold.SEO is unknown, uncertain and takes time.It can be somewhat technical and it takes consistent ongoing investment over a period of time to do a SEO program well.

Not enough knowledge
Companies describe SEO like a ‘black box’ — full of uncertainty.Although businesses have a general sense of important things that factor into improved SEO that matter — e.g.link building,content, social media channels/platforms, user experience, and so on — what they are missing is a clear strategy showing how much each matters so they can prioritize for faster results.Entrepreneurs want to achieve results quickly and the SEO as a channel requires a steady build up over time to be successful.Businesses would be more willing to invest the time if there was a degree of certainty about results which unfortunately has been traditionally absent.The solution is a structured SEO program backed by analytics.In working with many companies on SEO programs, we have found that the companies that succeed have a structured approach to SEO backed by strong analytics and measurement framework.

Here is a few step structured SEO framework to drive a successful SEO program

1.Understand your target users’ search behavior

Most buying decisions in both B2C and B2B arenas start with buyers researching on the web.Understand the terms they use in different stages of the purchase journey.The search terms around researching the space maybe different from the terms buyers use as they get closer to making the decision.So map all the terms in various stages of the journey.

2.Prioritize the search terms
You are unlikely to win at everything.Create a prioritization matrix using three factors-
*Relevance to your product or service
*Search volumes
*Competition

3.Create a roadmap
Create a roadmap for the SEO which takes a cascading search term approach.Focus on ranking on easier, longer string of searches which may have lower volumes before eventually getting the high volume, highly competitive major industry terms.

4.Identify the goals
The goals should include ranks, traffic and business outcomes like sales or leads.Higher ranks on search engines should drive more traffic and if you are focused on relevant keywords, you should have higher outcomes (like sales or applications).

5.Map out an action plan
Get your ducks in a row.For the search terms that you want to rank for, get all your efforts to work together.
*Technical clean up: If your site is not crawlable, all your efforts will be in vain. Put the basic technical fixes to ensure site crawlability
*On-page optimization: Work on your site to ensure that you are addressing the search needs articulated by users while searching
*Off-Page optimization: Ensure that your PR effort, other sites that talk about you and your social media effort aligns to the area that you want to be dominant in.

6.Measure and course correct
Have a monthly report (don’t be more frequent- some ranking movements are just noise) to track rankings, traffic and outcomes.Look at whereyou are and what competition is doing.Course correct as you go along.There are tools that can help you understand the impact of specific SEO tactics- use them for ongoing SEO prioritization.SEO takes ongoing consistent effort.

Source:Entrepreneur

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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29th
JUN

Choosing the Right SEO Agency

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Getting a startup website off the ground is the necessary first step to solving the visibility puzzle.With nearly every company these days putting heavy focus on online aspect of business, it’s becoming increasingly competitive to get a new brand in front of as many eyes as possible.

Here are three tips to keep in mind when choosing an agency.

1.Gauge the portfolio before reaching out
If you look at the website of an SEO agency, you will most likely find a number of case studies or a list of businesses they’ve worked with in the past.Even though there are certain reasons for some clients to remain private, many have no problem with putting their link on an agency’s website.After all, it’s free publicity.Looking at an agency’s portfolio helps you understand what types of businesses it serves.Look for patterns related to your niche.For instance, if you are a law office and you see the agency has worked with a number of other firms, it shows they are experienced within your industry and know what it takes to see fruitful results.

2.Examine and develop your goals
Once you’ve identified a number of potential agencies, you need to have a firm direction written up before making contact.What exactly do you want an SEO strategy to accomplish?Typically, such goals might be to increase exposure, boost leads or gain more conversions.Keep in mind, SEO is not a field where you generally see results overnight.In most cases, it’s a slow process that requires consistent effort.As important as you overarching goals are, you need to have a clear roadmap developed with reasonable KPIs to judge your success rate.Without it, an SEOagency will find it much harder to help you.

3.Conduct a background check
When you are looking at the testimonials on an agency’s website, they will most likely be the most outstanding success stories.While these are always good for reference, you need more to judge a company.The stories you want to hear are those from the average clients.What was their experience with the company?If you can, try to get a hold of at least three businesses that have used the agency’s services.In addition to asking about the end results, you will want to get a feel for the day-to-day interactions.Choosing an SEO team is similar to hiring a new employee.You need to consider third-party opinions to get a better impression of whether there might be a good fit for you.

Don’t fall in love
Choosing a company to do your online marketing is an extremely important task.As many experts will tell you, the search engines are constantly changing, and it takes a keen eye to stay on top of the trends.One of the most important things to keep in mind is not to fall in love.Thelast thing you want to do is jump the gun and choose an SEO agency that ends up wasting your time and money.

Source:Entrepreneur

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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28th
JUN

WordPress SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), WordPress is one of the best platforms.So if you’re thinking about building a website with SEO in mind from the start, you probably want to go with WordPress.But that doesn’t mean it will be easy.Avoid these WordPress SEO mistakes and you’ll be on your way to more visibility in the SERPs.

1.You Don’t Set Your Time Zone
Whenever you have a new WordPress website, one of the most overlooked options is selecting your time zone under Settings > General.If you ever set your site to schedule posts to publish at a certain time, you’ll have a rude awakening when you find your article wasn’t published at the right time.If you don’t set your time zone correctly, this might happen to you, so be sure to make this adjustment to ensure your blog is producing timely content.

2.You Don’t Set Goals in Google Analytics
You could increase organic traffic to 10 million pageviews a month, but if those visitors don’t buy your products, invest in your service, or perform actions that make you money, you’re going to be in trouble.Whenever anybody performs an action that leads to revenue, like joining an email list or becoming a customer,redirect them to a congratulations page (yourwebsite.com/congratulations).You can then use Google Analytics goals to measure how many people landed on those pages as well as how many of those visitors came from organic search.

3.You Don’t Add Open Graph Social Meta Data
Although social signals don’t have a big impact on ranking, there’s no debate that social media can help bring people to your website.So you want as many people to click on your content as possible.That means making your content look its best when it’s shared on social networks.So you need to make sure you have open graph data activated for Facebook and Twitter Cards activated for Twitter.

4.You Didn’t Create and Submit Your XML Sitemap
An XML sitemap is pretty much a big list of every post, page, and piece of media on your website.It’s what you submit to Google through the Search Console to tell them everything on your site you want indexed.You can create your sitemap using the Yoast SEO plugin as well, under SEO > XML Sitemaps.Just make sure you’ve enabled it, and you can view your sitemap using the link below.

5.You Didn’t Set Permalinks to Post Name
Google loves to give people content that’s user-friendly.That means even your permalinks are going to play a small part in how your pages rank (and in their click-through rate).Under Settings > Permalinks, always be sure to select an option where the permalink will include some of the keywords included in the post (usually in the H1 tag).The easiest way to do this is to simply select Post name and call it a day.

6.You Didn’t Link to Your Homepage From Your Footer
This is an easy one.It’s surprising that so many people forget this!Everybody has the name of their website or business in their footer, so why not link it to your homepage from this anchor text!This will help with your internal linking strategy as well as help Google recognizeyour site through branded anchor text.

7.You Don’t Publish Content Regularly
Publishing more content gives people a reason to regularly visit your site.This also will help you rank for more keywords, which means more opportunities to gain visibility in Google’s organic search results and attract more clicks and traffic.Google wants to reward sites that publish great content that satisfies users.If you aren’t publishing content regularly, then less people will visit your site and Google will crawl your site less often.

8.You Don’t Update Content Regularly
Google will notice this and could de-value that piece of content if it doesn’t appear to be providing value to searchers.That’s why it’s important to regularly review the old content on your site and make sure it’s up-to-date.Ensure that the content is relevant to people today and that you care enough about visitors to update your content.(You can check for these types of pages by checking your analytics for pages with low time on site and high bounce rates.)

9.You Don’t Check for Broken Links
To automate this process, simply install Broken Link Checker.You’ll receive emails when links are broken and you can go in and fix them in real-time.

10.You Don’t Implement Simple Schema Markup
While this doesn’t negatively affect rankings, it may have a huge influence on your click-through rate in Google search.Even implementing simple star rating schema markup to show Google searchers how your website’s visitors like your content could entice people to click on your result instead of a competitor’s who ranks better than you because of the 5-star rating.

Summary
If you want to build a website and grow traffic using SEO, WordPress is a great way to go! Just make sure you avoid these common pitfalls and stick to best practices.If you can do those two things, you’ll start to see positive results soon.If your website isn’t ranking as well as you’d like, check that you aren’t making any of these common WordPress SEO mistakes.A thorough review should solve any issues given a bit of time.

Source:Searchenginejournal

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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27th
JUN

Small Business SEO: Your Questions Answered

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Being a small business is tough.Many businesses fail in the first year, and many more will not make it to the five-year mark.But even established businesses can fail if they are unable to adapt to changing times.Marketing is difficult — digital marketing even more so.And the black-box nature of SEO can make it the most difficult form of marketing your business.Yet when done well, there is little that can compete with strong, organic search engine visibility to promote your small business.Organic listings build trust with local customers, and all the best business relationships are built on a foundation of trust.In this article, I want to look at SEO as a marketing tactic specifically for small businesses.I will share everything we have learned working on hundreds of small business SEO projects.My intention is to arm you, as a business owner, with the knowledge and power to make the right decisions when implementing an SEO strategy — whether you choose to do some or all of the SEO work yourself, employ an in-house SEO or outsource the work to an SEO agency.

What on earth is SEO?
The answer to all of these is yes.And much more.SEO is a complex, layered discipline.There are different types of SEO and many factors that can influence your SEO.An experienced SEO consultant will help you identify the type of SEO that is important for your business.This will be influenced by the industry you’re in,the geography in which you operate, and your SEO strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.A helpful way to look at this is to consider that a search engine is just a referral engine — a tool that provides the best answers to users’questions.For your small business to truly succeed in this search landscape, you must do everything in your power to be the best result. Whatever your prospective customers need to make a decision, be driven to provide it.This has the benefit of helping you convert more clicks to customers as well, so this is a sensible all-around approach.SEO can be complicated. So understanding your current situation andmarketplace is key to making the right decisions.And fortunately, for smaller businesses we can often strip away much of the complexity, and the conversation ends up being about content, links and website design.

Is SEO right for your small business?
Search engines are a key way in which we all now look for products and services.So, in the majority of cases, search is a great way to get in front of potential customers.This is not to say that it is the right marketing approach for every business at any given time.

The following should be considered:
*Budget:You may not have the budget to compete with established competitors.
*Speed:SEO can take a long time to deliver results, especially in competitive markets.
*Competition from ads:Ads now occupy a lot of screen space.
*Big competitors:Some search terms are dominated by titans, and it can be hard to compete.

So, while organic search visibility is always desirable, it should not be relied upon solely, especially if you need results fast and have a long way to go.Typically,other methods like PPC advertising can deliver fast results while you start running the SEO turtle race.So, you may not rank quickly with SEO, but the sooner you start investing in your SEO strategy, the sooner you can benefit from this highly popular marketing channel.

How to choose an SEO providerThe following questions can provide a good starting point to generate a discussion with potential SEO companies. Certainly,understanding these questions and potential answers make you a more educated buyer and as such will help ensure your SEO company becomes a secret weapon rather than a wooden leg!

1.How will you improve our SEO?
This is purposely an open question.You are trying to get a feel for the strategy that the SEO company will follow.We would like to see mention of technical audits and fixes, on-page optimization, local SEO, page speed optimization, mobile optimization, content optimization, keyword research and most likely some form of link and authority building.

2.What type of SEO work do you specialize in?
SEO has many moving parts. Technical. Local. National. Organic. Content. Links and authority. Many smaller agencies focus only on small parts, so ask the question to be sure this agency is a good fit for your requirements.

3.What specific jobs will you work on each month?
We would expect the agency to detail an initial three-month process that involves technical audits and fixes, on-page optimization, content creation, content optimization and link building.

4.What strategies do you use to build links and authority for a site?
This is an important question.We are looking for an understanding of how the web and page rank works.We want natural links.Typically, we would want to see some form of content created (or promoted) to build links to a content piece.Some form of guest posts for exposure.Possibly some digital PR.

5.Do you adhere to all of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines?
Leading on from link schemes, we can ask about Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.Again, this shows you are an informed buyer, and many a low quality company will run a mile when you ask this question (which is exactly what you want).

6.Can you provide case studies or examples of similar companies you have helped?
It is always good to get some examples of similar companies that the business has helped.You want an example of how the provider took someone (ideally in a similar industry) from the position you are in now to a position of strength.

7.What metrics do you measure to track progress?
You want to know which metrics the company will use to track success.Keyword rankings are the baseline here, but ideally, we want to see a more robust set of SEO KPIs.For small business SEO, you likely can’t expect too much, but I am fond of total organic search traffic — the total number of pages receiving organic search traffic.

8.Do you have contracts or a minimum term?
You certainly don’t want long contracts for unproven providers.If there are contracts, then you want a get-out clause after three months, when you will have a better measure of the company.

9.How & what will you report to us each month?
The quality of reporting will depend on the budget to some extent, but you will be wanting reports on the visibility of tracked keywords, improvements in results for tracked keywords, work completed (including all links) and work planned for next month.

10.How often do you review progress?
Here we want to know what will be reviewed, and when.After six months with a good provider, you will likely be in a far improved position. Hence, you want to know how the strategy will change.I would be looking for either three-monthly or six-monthly reviews here.

Can you do SEO yourself?
At least some of it.If you have been running a website, then you are likely doing some SEO yourself already.However, a professional will do a better job and generate improved results more quickly.Certainly, there are some good resources out there if you want to have a go, and I recommend for all small business owners to at least have a look.Even if you only do the reading and don’t attempt to perform any SEO yourself, you’ll still be a better-educated buyer.The key takeaway is there are elements of SEO you can do yourself, but a skilled consultant or agency will get you better results in less time.

SEO-friendly small business websites
The usual suspect platforms like WordPress and Magento can work well here, depending on your business requirements.Certainly, selfprovisioning platforms like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace are starting to show real promise as well for creating SEO-friendly sites without a huge learning curve or massive costs.

Small business SEO tools
If you are going to have a go yourself, then there are some tools you can use to help provide information on what you can easily optimize.Many of the big tools will have a monthly fee, and before long, putting a toolset together could cost as much as a reasonably priced SEO provider, so you have to take that into consideration.

*Screaming Frog — SEO Spider:This really is the SEO Swiss Army knife, and it will give you intel on broken links, page titles, meta descriptions, URLs and so much more.The tool is free for up to 500 pages, so most small businesses should have no costs here.However, at only £149 for the year, it comes in way cheaper than any of the typical SEO tools.

*Moz.com:Moz builds on the crawling tool of Screaming Frog and presents issues in a prioritized format.There are also other tools to dokeyword research, rank tracking and link analysis.Moz.com is a well-rounded SEO toolset.It certainly won’t do the SEO for you, but it does a really good job of pointing you in the right direction.Moz Pro has a 30-day free trial, so you can likely get in to make some improvements to your site and get out without generating any costs.

*Google Search Console:This one is free and provides diagnostic information direct from the horse’s mouth.It won’t rank your site for you, but it will help you identify potential areas for improvement.

*Ubersuggest:Ubersuggest is a powerful keyword research tool that taps into the myriad search suggestions to help you identify a broader range of keywords you can target.

*Answer The Public:Answer the Public again uses keyword search data, but it uses where, which, who, what, when and why prefixes to provide commonly asked questions.This is very powerful for identifying the questions your prospective customers have so that you can target them with content.

Source:Searchengineland

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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23rd
JUN

You Need to Know About Referrer Policy

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

If you’re running WordPress, did you notice a recent change in your analytics where more traffic is being attributed to direct traffic or a no referral bucket?When WordPress updated to 4.7.4,the text editor TinyMCE also updated, and this is where the problem actually lies.

Noopener
TinyMCE should have left the security fix alone after adding noopener, and in a newer release they did remove noreferrer.The noopener tag is meant to close a security issue with target=”_blank” called reverse tabnabbing, which grants partial access to the previous page via the window.opener object. Basically, it can prevent a phishing attack by not allowing access to the window.opener object.With access, a simple phishing attack could change the window.

Noreferrer
Noreferrer is meant to strip the HTTP referrer header (technically the “referer header” because of an old misspelling) and is intended to not pass this value between pages. The referrer header is meant to pass information about the previous web page to the new web page, so if I go from Page A to Page B, then the URL from Page A will be passed in the header, and I will know that the traffic came from Page A.

Nofollow
A lot of people confused “noopener noreferrer” with “nofollow.” Many forums and Q&A sites mistook these tags to indicate links weren’t passing value, as is the case with nofollow links, but that’s simply not true.Noopener noreferrer will not have any impact on your SEO, but noreferrer will create problems with your analytics.By stripping the referral value, the traffic from these links will be misattributed — instead of showing as referral traffic, they will be attributed as “direct”in Google Analytics.

A primer on Referrer Policy
Referrer Policy is used to determine what information is sent along with the requests.Many people know, for instance, that the referral value is stripped when going from a page using HTTPS to a page using the HTTP protocol, but did you know that’s because this is the default setting for the Referrer Policy if nothing is specified?Technically, this is “no-referrerwhendowngrade,” which means it will strip the referral when downgrading to an insecure request like switching from HTTPS to HTTP.You don’t have to use the default setting, though.In the case of the WordPress example we looked at earlier, noreferrer was added to the rel element on links set to open in a new window.This caused enough of an issue by itself,but there are many other ways that the Referral Policy can be set, including at a page level, which can wreak havoc on your analytics.

Referrer Policies
Referrer Policy isn’t just for removing the referral value; it’s for giving you control of the value.One of the things often missed whenmoving from HTTP to HTTPS is setting a referrer policy.Most people accept as fact that you lose the referral value when going from an HTTPS website to an HTTP website, but you don’t have to lose the referral value on downgrade requests if letting insecure websites know that you sent them traffic is important to your business model.

Referrer Policy options

*No-referrer — No referrer information is sent.

*No-referrer-when-downgrade — This is the default behavior if no policy is specified.It always passes the full path and will pass a value from HTTPS > HTTPS but not HTTPS > HTTP.

*Origin — Sends the domain but not the full path.

*Origin-when-cross-origin — Sends the full path when on the same domain, but only the domain when passing to another website.

*Same-origin — Sends the full path if it’s the same domain, but strips the value if going to another website.

*Strict-origin — Sends the domain for HTTPS > HTTPS and HTTP > HTTP, but not HTTPS > HTTP.

*Strict-origin-when-cross-origin — Sends the full path if on the same domain and from one secure page to another, sends the domain if going from HTTPS on one domain to another domain, and doesn’t pass if going from a secure domain to an insecure domain.

*Unsafe-url — Sends the full path.

Source:Searchengineland

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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22nd
JUN

SEO create Budget Efficiencies in Paid Search Campaigns

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Oftentimes I’m asked, “Why should I invest in paid media when I already rank in position one for many organic search results?” Well, to answer that simply,investing simultaneously in PPC and SEO can and will result in an incremental rise in your brand’s bottom line.And we have the data to prove it.The main synergy between the two lies in monitoring two factors: advertising spend and rankings.Whether your goal is to lower cost per click (CPC) or increase total traffic,SERP (search engine results page) position can inform how we manage paid search ads.At our agency (ZOG Digital), our teams work without silos and integrate performance data regularly.In analyzing a few accounts further as a sample set, we began to identify a correlation larger than previously understood between ad CTR (click-through rate), organic CTR and cost per click for the keywords.

SEO and paid search need to work together
Optimal online marketing campaigns all come down to the key performance indicators.Once an SEO campaign begins, it can take time to set in and see results.Paid search’s core strength is that it allows for short-term performance with better visibility on specific queries.What bindsthem together is visibility on a SERP — with the right tools, marketers can influence position against competing results.It’s no secret that SEO is more sustainable long-term, but it can take a long time before results are realized.A PPC (pay-per-click) tactic can help to offset limited SEO results at the early stages of an SEO campaign; it also informs keyword and content strategies for organic keyword targeting and content development.With well-informed and properly implemented optimizations, organic positions will rise.

Improve CTR and decrease CPC
At ZOG Digital, we see a clear performance increase when brands employ both PPC and SEO.For example, after evaluating our book of business, we found that accounts implementing both PPC and SEO strategies saw a higher click-through rate for both organic and paid search efforts — as well as lower cost per click in paid search. Specifically, we organized the data by keywords — we have keywords with active search ads, keywords with search optimizations (organic rankings) and keywords with both active tactics.In analyzing this drop in CPC, we found that nearly all paid keywords with an organic presence had a higher Quality Score than paid keywords without an organic presence.This could occur as a result of higher CTRs from greater SERP exposure and/or richer content.It could also result from keyword relevance gained from landing pages optimized for organic search.Regardless of why PPC quality score is higher for overlapping keywords, the justification exists to apply a keyword strategy that incorporates both paid and organic tactics.An incremental increase in CTR and reduced CPCs can certainly be beneficial, but as search marketing practitioners, the natural tendency is to do something with this data and improve performance even further.We’ve found that one of the most effective paid+organic optimizations comes from adjusting bids and ad positions based on organic visibility.This isn’t an optimization practice that can be applied to all overlapping keywords, but with some data filtering and testing, CPC costs can be reduced further.

Monitor SERP competitors closely
But it’s not enough to just monitor and synchronize your work for an account.You have to track your competitors, too.Without direct access to their analytics or ad platforms, you’ll never have a clear picture of what they’re doing, but you can estimate by manually monitoring the SERP with specific insight reports, and by using third-party tools.Within AdWords, you can access the auction insights report.This report allows you to evaluate domains that are currently bidding on specific keywords.It provides a snapshot of your competitive landscape.You can also use the Domain vs.Domain tool within SEMrush to analyze competitors’search engine presence and backlinks.If you need to use this tool to get more granular, you can map out a SERP footprint to have an analysis on more specific competitors.

Final thoughts

When used together, SEO and PPC move from two channels into one to help achieve clear outcomes:more qualified traffic and budgetaryefficiency. As with any search marketing initiative,regular testing is required, but the results will exceed the effort, and the insights gained will help marketers consider search opportunities in new ways.

Source:Searchengineland

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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21st
JUN

The Role of Traditional Public Relations in SEO

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

If you’re doing search engine optimization (SEO) properly today, then a significant portion of your effort will overlap with traditionalpublic relations (PR).This is because over the last few years, Google has minimized the effects of easily gameable ranking signals and refined their algorithm to better represent user experience.In other words, websites that satisfy their users tend to rank better than those that do not. Inbound links are still a critical component of any SEO campaign, but the easy link-building tactics of the past have been wiped off the board,largely thanks to Google’s Penguin update(s).This includes buying links,guest blogging at scale, embedding links in plugins or themes and more.The only type remaining as valuable and effective over the long term are the proverbial Holy Grail of link building: natural editorial links from high-traffic, authoritative websites.

Effective link building requires outreach, and that requires you to truly understand what motivates people — contributors and/or editors in this case.You have to introduce yourself, frame your pitch and demonstrate how you’ll make their job easier all in a couple of hundred words. That’s no easy task, which is why most people do it so poorly.But once you master that skill, it produces tremendous leverage for your link-building efforts.When you’re featured in a major publication like Forbes, Entrepreneur or Fast Company, you tend to get noticed bycontributors at other major publications, which makes it a lot easier to pitch them to be featured in the publications they work for as well.Increased exposure typically equals other publications wanting to cover you, too, resulting in even more exposure and links. It’s a powerful cycle.This works on the concept of social proof, which basically means that people see you as trustworthy and authoritative because they perceive others they already trust as seeing you that way.The evolution of search algorithms has resulted in link building and public relations becoming incredibly similar today.In the past, link building was simply about building links.It didn’t matter if they came from obscure little blogs with zero traffic or from media powerhouses with millions of visitors.Obviously, links from authoritative websites have always been preferred, but the goal for most link builders has always been to simply acquire more links to move the needle in terms of organic ranking.Google’s algorithm updates over the last few years —especially in regard to Penguin,RankBrain and their growing use of artificial intelligence — have helped them move away from ranking websites based primarily on the volume of links, and instead base rankings on quality, user intent and user experience

Making PR work for you
So now the million-dollar question: How do we get people talking about us?The first thing you need to do is find a newsworthy angle to your story.In order to do this, you’ll need to look at it from an outsider’s perspective, because frankly, no one cares about you yet.Contributors are typically juggling dozens of deadlines while engaging with their audience on social media and keeping up with the content in their industry — so your self-serving pitch will get moved to the trash folder with the dozens of others they receive every day.

A few examples that might be newsworthy for a real estate agent could include:

*If a contributor recently wrote a story about falling home prices in the area, you could pitch them on interviewing you about inexpensivehome improvement projects that have the biggest impact on how much a home sells for.

*If you’re a veteran of the US military and a real estate agent who specializes in working with fellow veterans (riches are in the niches, right?), then you could pitch a story about what veterans should expect when purchasing their first home as a civilian.(This transition is something that only a veteran can truly understand.)

Depending on the circumstances of your story, you may need to pitch a contributor cold.This will usually be the most difficult and leastlikely way to get you the coverage you’re looking for compared to the results you’ll achieve after you have an established relationship.That’s why I recommend being proactive and engaging with them long before you need anything.You do that by first compiling a list of contributors in your niche who produce content that is valuable to your target market.Next, follow their work.When they share something that you find particularly valuable or useful, share it with your audience; when possible,link to their work from your own articles.Over time, you’ll get to a point where they will welcome your pitches — so long as they provide value to their audience.It’s important to remember to treat them like humans, not objectives, because they will see right through that, and it will hurt both your personal and company brand.If you can’t do that, be a decent person and don’t waste their time.You should also include your phone number because they might prefer to simply call you rather than go back and forth over email.But it’s not over once they publish your story, because you’re not like all the other self-absorbed marketers out there, right? So your next step is to share it on social media, link to it from relevant websites that you manage, include it in your social media share rotation going forward, and then continue engaging with that contributor and sharing their other content whenever it seems useful for your audience.Link building today is a lot more like traditional public relations in that it is all about quality — in terms of publications, people and exposure, rather than just the volume of links.Approach it with that mindset, put in the necessary work that most others won’t, and you’ll enjoy the results that they can only dream about.

Source:Searchengineland

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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20th
JUN

Your SEM Efforts When You are Hitting a Wall

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Below are a few strategies to break through the SEM wall and grow your account in an effective yet efficient manner.

Use Dynamic Search Ads for query mining
This is an obvious one, but many folks forget or tend to not use DSAs as they fear them going rogue and eating up spend without performing. First off, what are DSAs?DSAs are a campaign type in Google that allows Google to crawl your site, matches ads in real time to shoppers, and directs them to the landing page most relevant to their query.Essentially, the goal I would recommend with DSAs is not to have that campaign as a volume driver but to leverage it for query mining.Cast a wide net, see what matches up and performs, then graduate those to keywords in your other campaigns where you can have more control over optimization, ad copy, and performance.

Use RLSA to expand keyword options
The great thing about RLSA is the fact that users who have visited your site are already familiar with you, your brand, and your overall offering.With this in mind,you can create a campaign leveraging more broad, upper-funnel terms that you would normally deem to risky or wouldn’t expect to convert.In addition, you can even include terms that you feel are somewhat relevant but may have been tested and paused for poor performance.Layering on RLSA audiences makes the same keywords less risky given that the audiences are already familiar with your brand – the goal is to get back in front of them, convince them to come back to your site, and convert.

A couple of additional tips on how to be more strategic with this strategy as you begin to test and expand:
*Segment different audience types based on their interaction with your website to see how each performs (e.g. researchers, high intent, add to carts, etc.).

*If you get significant traffic on your site and have fairly large audience list segments, you may actually want to create separate broad RLSA campaigns per audience segment.

Pair a token analysis with broad match expansion

We’re all familiar with doing keyword expansions, whether that involves poring over search query reports to find converting terms orleveragingcompetitor keyword tools.A note on tokens if you’re not familiar with them: Tokens are basically the different stems in the keyword(essentially, you break up the keyword into its individual words).For example, ‘Photography ecommerce website’ contains the tokens: photography, ecommerce, website.Download your last 3-6 months of performance data across your keywords.Break down your keywords to their various tokens, and aggregate the data for each token.(You’ll want to look at Impressions, Clicks, Conversions, CPA, or Revenue/ROI.)Abonus to the token analysis is that it can also help with efficiency efforts; if you notice bleeding or poor-performing tokens, add them to your negative keyword list and free up budget better spent elsewhere.These three strategies should help you push past the SEM wall – but you don’t necessarily need to wait for a performance plateau to use them.

Source:Searchenginewatch

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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19th
JUN

Use Semantic SEO for Higher Rankings

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

What is Semantic SEO?
Semantic SEO is the process of building more meaning into the words you use in your content.Doing so gives more depth to your content and provides more value.Google loves to send searchers to pages where they will find exactly what they’re looking for.

What does semantic SEO really translate to?
*More chances to obtain a variety of keyword rankings.
*An opportunity to rank for a longer period of time.

How to Write Content Using Semantic SEO
Semantic SEO involves figuring out the deeper meaning of why someone is searching for content and strategically placing those elements within your content piece.You can figure out these building blocks to create your content using hints Google provides within the SERPs.Google’s “related to search” and the “people also ask” sections are windows of opportunity.The deeper meaning of queries will help position your site to sustain the fluctuations of organic search.The search algorithm is also trying to anticipate the next query, so thinking like the search engine will help you understand what you have to do.

Start With Traditional Methods of Keyword Research
You can use any keyword research tool you’re comfortable with.I use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool.Pick a topic relevant to your business or website and build from there.

My keyword research process looks like this:
*Broad term: plumbing pipes
*Expanded term: residential plumbing pipes (service offered)

Once you decide to build your content around the topic of residential plumbing pipes, you then have to figure out how to construct the content piece, keeping semantic SEO in mind.

How to Extract Semantic Information From Google
Start by searching for [residential plumbing pipe] on Google.

What do you see?
Use the information on Google’s SERPs to create the building blocks of a post.Start from the bottom by using the “searches related to” section.

There are a handful of ideas here you can use to construct the full content piece:
*What a PEX plumbing pipe is.
*What plumbing pipe types are out there and their uses.
*Whether new homes need different pipes. What about older homes?
*About the material.
*Which pipes are best for their water supply.

Semantic SEO Helps You Earn Featured Snippets
Using the SERPs to create content is valuable because it gives you direction.It can even help you rank above Position 1.Featured snippets aren’t new to SERPs and neither is the “People also ask” section. These sections are interesting because they are part of the new concept of “position zero”.While it is always amazing to get the top position in organic search, now there’s ample opportunity to appear before number one.

The Value of Semantic SEO
To paint an even clearer picture, let’s look back at what I said about using the SERPs to your advantage when creating content.When you click on the blue links within the field of related searches, they will generate a completely different search results page.Clicking on [plumbing pipe types and uses] within the related searches box to be sent to the new SERP.

The value here is obvious:
The post can afford to lose keyword rankings for one of these search queries and still sustain a good amount of its organic traffic in the long run.We can’t control whether our content ranks for our targeted keyword, but we can strategize to attack the SERPs with a series of different keyword targets.The post was intended to rank for the query [plumbing pipes].It has since lost its ability to do so within organic search results.But the post has so much depth that it still retains its traffic and continues to grow over time.

Conclusion

Offering value, building relevancy, and thinking about the new problems your customers will face is what will separate your post from all the other ones over a longer period of time.

Source:Searchenginejournal

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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16th
JUN

Protect Your Site From Negative SEO

Posted by peterzmijewski | Filed under Seo Techniques

Negative SEO is real.It is possible to damage, if not destroy, a site through the use of malicious backlinks and aggressive backlink spamming.Negative SEO is a legitimate danger that can result in lost organic search visibility and revenue.But it is possible to defend against negative SEO.

What is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO is the practice of implementing black hat SEO techniques on another site.Usually,an SEO attack is unleashed by a disgruntled competitor and his or her minions with the goal of reducing that site’s rankings.Most SEOs are happy to play by the rules.We publish our content, we promote ourselves on social media, and we roll with the punches every time Google updates their algorithm.But sometimes — not often, mind you — you get on the wrong side of someone who doesn’t share your scruples.They play dirty. They might try to bog down your website with hundreds of spammy links, flood Yelp with fake reviews, or just hack your website outright.

1.Perform Regular Link Audits
Regular link audits are good practice for any business, but they can save your bacon if you’re ever the victim of a negative SEO attack.Monitoring your link profile growth is hands down the best way to spot suspicious activity before it spirals out of control.Your links might also suffer if you’ve been hacked. Perhaps the attacker has altered your content to include spammy links or modified your links to redirect to theirs.These attacks are insidious and can be difficult to spot,and the only way to safeguard your website is to perform regular website audits.It’s crucial that you monitor your link profile growth carefully so you can catch an attack before it costs you too much.Use link auditing software or perform a manual audit to check on your backlink health.If you are a victim of link farm spamming, let Google know and disavow the links ASAP.

2.Keep an Eye on Your Site Speed
Site speed is a key ranking factor.If your website is becoming sluggish and you have no idea why you should use crawling software to look for anything suspicious.If you can’t find anything and there’s still a problem, you might be the victim of forceful crawling.Forceful crawling causes a heavy server load, which means your site will slow down and might even crash.

3.Search for Scraped Content
Content marketing has been the name of the game these last few years, but not everyone is equally creative when it comes to content creation.Consequently, scraping has become all too frequent.Scraping is the process of lifting content from your website and copying it verbatim to other websites.Usually, the attacker will claim it as their own in an attempt to beef up their thin content, but sometimes they’ll combine it with a link farm attack to spam your site.Scraping has serious consequences.If the copied content gets indexed before your content then your page might be devalued, and your site might fall in rank as a result.

4.Monitor Google My Business
You work hard to build up your brand reputation and win customers.Negative reviews hurt, but you usually often use them as learning experiences on how to improve.Unless you’ve made a big public PR plunder recently, a whole slew of negative reviews might be a sign that someone is trying to flood your site with fake reviews.If you don’t act fast, these can seriously damage your reputation.

5.Watch Your Keywords’ CTR
This began to have an effect on their rankings — user experience is an important signal, and this looked like bad UX.What was actually happening was that someone had programmed a bot to target certainkeywords, land on competitor sites, and then bounce, which created a false SERP bounce rate.

6.Check Your SERP Ranking
You probably don’t need to be told to check your SERP ranking from time to time, but just in case,here’s a compelling reason why you should:A drop in rank might be the result of malicious intent.They used Google’s URL removal tool to remove Followerwonk from the web, and within 2-3 hours all Followerwonk URLs had practically disappeared from Google SERPs.For a full overview of your site’s performance, use rank tracking software to monitor your visibility.If you notice sudden drops, check your website’s crawl stats in Google Search Console and make sure your robots.txt is still set up properly.

7.Upgrade Your Security
Negative SEO might not be all that common, but cyber attacks are on the rise year after year.Make sure your software is up to date, you apply all security patches to your software, and your CMS software is equipped with powerful encryption to protect your users.Cyber attacks aren’t technically negative SEO, but they will have an impact on your SEO.Google flags compromised sites with a “this site may be hacked” line into your search listing,which will definitely warn traffic away.

Conclusion
Negative SEO is rare.Most of the time, Google is good at catching problematic linking behavior and curtailing it before it has an impact on your SERPs.That said, clever people are continuously trying to find ways to game the system.

Source:Searchenginejournal

Peter Zmijewski is the founder and CEO at KeywordSpy.His expert knowledge on Internet Marketing practices and techniques has earned him the title “Internet Marketing Guru“ He is also an innovator, investor and entrepreneur widely recognized by the top players in the industry.

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