In April 2011 Google's Panda update gave a huge boost to bloggers and webmasters who rely on content rather than code for their traffic. Google now penalizes websites with thin or duplicate content by dropping them down its search rankings. After Panda all the SEO tricks in the world can't compensate for poor content.
Google wants happy users who find interesting, trustworthy websites every time they use its search. It has declared war on regurgitated, paraphrased and stolen content. Websites with shallow, uninteresting text that is only there to contain keywords are dropping out of the charts faster than disco records in 1979. Having unique content is no longer enough. Your text now has to be both original and engaging.
Google based its Panda update on the results of tests where people rated the value and trustworthiness of thousands of websites. It discovered that websites with well-written, original text and few adverts were the most...
Customers know more about your business today than ever before. The internet is covered in reviews, opinions and customer reflections for every type of business. Your customers will search the internet for information about you before they set foot in your store, you need to make sure the information they find online doesn't stop them from doing so.
Visit Google and search for your business. Google will often pull up a bunch of information about you, including your street address, price range, a map, reviews and all sorts of other bits and pieces. Look a little further and you'll find there are customer opinions from all sorts of sites, providing opinions about your products, website, customer service, location and just about every other aspect of your business. Beyond those are reviews from newspapers and other media outlets.
The first step towards managing your reviews is offline. You need to do is provide a great customer experience at both your physical...
Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have forever changed the way we interact with one another. Those social media sites have also changed the way companies interact with their customers and how those firms market their products and services. As a matter of fact, many companies who were early adopters of the Twitter model are already reaping the benefits in the form of increased sales and enhanced brand visibility.
Just consider some of the many advantages of setting up a Twitter account to market and promote your business.
You can use Twitter to provide up to the minute information about what your company is doing, including current promotions and product demonstrations.
Twitter can be used to reward your followers with product discounts, coupons and other special offers.
Twitter will allow you to keep your followers informed on what is going on in your industry as a whole, as well as what is happening...
To get a better understanding of how to create viral content, it's helpful to understand a few terms. Here's a basic glossary of viral content types you should consider for online marketing and SEO efforts.
Creating controversy isn't for the weak-willed, but it's a great way to engage readers and get them to spread ideas far and wide. Before publishing controversial content, think through how you'll defend yourself to those who disagree. Prepare to be called every name in the book. And, get ready for a massive influx of organic visitors to your site as the conversation takes on a life of its own.
To create controversial content that goes viral, consider ideas you feel passionate about that are outside the mainstream of your niche. Recall arguments with co-workers or competitors. Choose controversy that's fresh and exciting, not the same old thing you can read all over the Internet. Just make sure you're correct in...
There are numerous SEO strategies and tips available to web publishers, but that doesn't mean a web publisher has to incorporate all of them. There is such a thing as over-optimizing a website – pushing it over the edge. When this happens, the website could lose ranking rather than gain it. While strategies abound, the best advice may be "Keep it simple, baby."
Consider the basics by doing just enough to push it to the edge without forcing it into the muck and mire of bad SEO practices. Bad SEO practices include keyword stuffing, link-building from unrelated sites, as well as link-building too quickly, and link farming. Other bad practices include adding poor quality content that relies only on keywords to lure the search engines, as well as duplicated content. Using tricks like hidden text and doorway pages will push the site back in the rankings. Spamming hundreds of directories all at once is also a big no-no in terms of SEO. These...
Next time your Google search results show you something unexpected, don't blame your typing. It's probably Google doing what it does best – showing you the information it thinks you want to know. The more obscure your keywords, the more likely the ubiquitous search engine is to "improve" your search term, often frustrating your intent and arousing your temper.
Google Suggest, launched in 2008, originally featured suggested spelling correction, auto-suggestion for commonly used words and real-time query completion. Since 2009, with the arrival of increasingly "intelligent" algorithms, spelling correction has been automatic, with the option to display results for the original search term. As the Official Google blog considerately puts it:
"When we have high confidence that your query was misspelled, we go a step further than asking 'Did you mean …?' thus saving you a click."
Online entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes. For many people those mistakes are plentiful. With one mistake after another, they continue to spend good money after bad. Here are a few things to avoid and consider when starting an online business. The best lessons are found in cliches.
Diving in Feet First or Sweat Equity
Before investing money in your idea for an online business, research well to evaluate the market. Don't dive in feet first. Many people don't study the market enough before setting up their online presence. Their minimal efforts fail to bring readership and revenue to their sites. Research every aspect of your online business from picking a domain name to studying the market potential and learning top-notch search engine optimization. It's important to set up a workable business plan. Some mistakes that occur early on are not easy to repair. There are numerous places to ask for help or to get answers to questions. People...
People make a big fuss about a website's traffic, or how many "hits" a site gets. People rarely mention an important metric that can make hits irrelevant. It's called a bounce rate. A "bounce" happens when someone visits a website but leaves without ever seeing a second page. They're essentially saying, "I came, it stank, I left."
Bounce rates are measured as percentages. They reflect how many visitors bounce compared to the total number of visitors. So if a website has a 75% bounce rate, it means that for every 100 people who visit, 75 will never get past the first page they see. They "bounce" off the site, and on to better things. Two competing sites might get exactly the same amount of traffic, but if website A has a much lower bounce rate than website B, it has a clear advantage.
Know Your Bounce Rates
A website's bounce rate is one of its baseline metrics, and it's measured by just...
Setting up a new blog is exciting, but many new blog owners are disappointed when their new sites receive little traffic. The problem is that your new blog is not alone on the Internet. Every single day sees thousands of new blogs, and it is easy for your own words to be lost among all that clutter.
If you do not want your new blog to be buried under the weight of all those competing sites, you need to take steps to improve your traffic and get your words noticed. The most important part of building a great blog is to update it regularly, but there are some other strategies you can use as well.
Turn on the RSS Feeds
Blogging sites and web design software allow you to put an RSS feed button on your blog. If you do not see this button right away, contact the blog publisher or search the help function within the software to find it. Simply using the RSS feed button on your blog can increase your traffic, boost the number of comments you receive and increase the odds that...
With every New Year, new challenges await online marketers. Though many online marketers understand this, 2011 seemed to bring in thousands of brand-new online marketers, and they may not fully understand the challenges that await them in 2012.
By understanding these challenges now, new online marketers will be better equipped to handle the New Year. Moreover, it gives them an advantage over their competition. Here are a few challenges they should expect to face.
Competition is healthy, but it is also dangerous to your own business. With more people moving their business online, the competition will be great. Therefore, online marketers need to refine their strategy to account for the competition they will face. Even if you believe that you are in an unpopulated niche, you can expect to have competition in 2012.
One thing you can do to prepare for your competition is to get a head start on your various campaigns, such as your...