seo - article marketing

Top 5 SEO Article Marketing Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Many people who do article marketing for SEO want to get results but often their results do not meet their expectations. Here are, based on my experience, the top 5 SEO article marketing mistakes that you should avoid if you want to really get results with your article submissions.

1. Submitting an article with the same title

The title is very important from an SEO point of view. “5 Article Marketing Blunders” is not the same as “Top 5 SEO Article Marketing Mistakes You Need To Avoid” in the eyes of search engines. And if you want your article to appear unique, this is the first step you need to follow.

Make sure you rewrite your titles in order to have between 5 and 20 different versions of your title. And do not forget to put your keyword in your title. This is a must when you submit an article to both article directories and blog networks.

2. Submitting an article with the same resource box or with the same links (anchor text and URL)

seo - article marketingWhen you submit articles for SEO, the most important part of your article are your links back to the pages you are promoting. If you submit to directories, then the most important part of the article is your resource box, and if you submit to blog networks, it is your anchor text links.

Submitting the same article with the same anchor text link pointing to the same URL is a clear footprint and does not help you make your article appear as unique. What you need to do instead is vary both the URL you are pointing to as well as the anchor text of your links. With one article you can promote several pages, so just take advantage of this possibility. This will give you more links to more pages without more effort on your part.

3. Not submitting enough articles

Both when you submit article to article directories and when you post them on blog networks, you need to consistently submit articles. Promoting one keyword means you will need to submit several or many articles.

Submitting one article to directories and 3 articles to a public blog network like MyArticleNetwork might be enough if your keyword is not competitive. I have reached the number 2 on page one within 2 weeks with such keywords.

But if your keyword has some competition, you might need to submit 5 articles to directories, 10 articles to a public blog network, and 50 posts to a private blog network such as BuildMyRank before you achieve a decent position on page 1.

4. Writing promotional articles or articles that are not spell checked

Some readers or subscribers sometimes ask me why their articles get rejected. Usually they are promoting a product as affiliates and they don’t know why their articles are not accepted. Most of the time, it is because their articles are promotional. And article directories will usually not accept these articles.

What is a promotional article? For an article directory, it is either an article that is salesy (reads like a sales pitch) or an article that mentions a product name or brand in more than one part of the article: title and body, body and resource box, or title and resource box. If you want to ensure that your article is not promotional, just mention the product name in the resource box. For instance, if you are writing about some article writing software, write a general article about the benefits of using such a tool, and then only mention the product name in the resource box.

The second reason why articles may be rejected is because they contain spelling errors or grammatical errors. Make sure your English is grammatically correct (especially if you are like me and English is not your mother tongue); it does not need to be perfect, just correct.

5. Submitting badly spun articles

If you are submitting articles to blog networks, you need to rewrite and spin them. Otherwise, they will have a very low uniqueness and blog owners will not accept them. Moreover, it is crucial from an SEO point of view to submit unique articles. Submitting badly spun articles will do you no good, and you will not get good results with this method.

Many people just put their original article in The Best Spinner and use the automated rewrite function. The problem of doing this is that the outcome is usually pretty poor. Rewriting and spinning does take time if you want to have a quality output, even with a great software program like The Best Spinner.

Need help with your online marketing? Learn more about our search engine optimization services for small business.

website seo

Balancing SEO With Website Usability

Developing your site so that it enhances your visitors’ shopping experience and improves conversion rates does not automatically mean that you have a site that is friendly to the search engines. Similarly developing a site that is search engine friendly doesn’t automatically make it user-friendly. But these things are also not mutually exclusive. You can please both search engines and website visitors.

While search engines are important, keep in mind that your visitors are even more important. When making edits to your site always consider the implications on both your human visitors and the search engines as well. Every change you make will have either a positive, negative or neutral effect on your human visitors and the search engine spider. You need to know ahead of time the effect any particular change will have and use that as a basis for determining if its worthwhile or not.

For a look at some of the least desirable types of changes you can make to your website for improved conversions: Ultimately, if you have to decide between users and spiders err on the side of making your site better for people. Here are the final three paths that you may face with any site change you are looking to make. Of the nine paths, these are your best options overall.

Good for spiders, indifferent for people

Many, many valuable website changes have absolutely zero effect on your human visitors but they are necessary in order to enhance your site’s spiderability, search friendliness and overall ranking ability. Many say that you should only make website changes for visitors, not for search engines, but that’s just not good policy. While many website architectural issues can be justified as being beneficial for site visitors there are still some changes that are flat out necessary that really don’t have much to do with the visitor at all.

If a change is good for search engine spiders and you know it won’t have a negative effect on your visitors then it’s certainly a valuable change to consider. Ultimately, if you can enhance the experience for the spider you’ll be providing better opportunities for your site visitors. But again, just make sure any such change doesn’t have a negative site visitor impact.

Indifferent to spiders, Good for people

Almost universally, if you can make changes to your site that enhance your visitor’s experience while having no negative effect on the search engines you’re in good hands. Addressing things such as visitor usability and trust issues rarely effect the search engines directly but they can go a long way for improving how visitors interact with your site and the persuasion process that gets you the conversions you need.

One should always be looking for changes to make to their site that will improve visitor performance and conversions. The trick is to make sure you balance that with the net effect any change has with the spiders. If you can keep making changes that have little or no overall effect in spiderability and search engine friendliness then by all means, keep making them. Your site is only going to get better.

Good for spiders, good for people

website design and usabilityPleasing visitors should always be your first priority on your website. But when you can please both visitors and search engines simultaneously then you’re in a good spot. Making site changes that have a positive effect in both these areas is the ultimate path, goal and decision that you can make. If only every change that we make to our sites could bring improvement for both search spiders and human visitors. While that’s not always the case these are the types of changes that you should actively be seeking out.

Every change you make to your website has an effect. If possible, it’s best if that effect can be determined before the change is made. Knowing that information will give you an idea if you should move forward or not. But when it comes to predicting the effect of changes, especially those affecting the site visitor, we can’t always be right.

Don’t be afraid to make changes you may be unsure about. But it’s crucial to track what happens next. Even if you are fairly confident of a positive outcome tracking will either confirm what we already knew or point out where our logic was faulty. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact it’s better to try, err and correct than not make any improvements at all. The goal should be to develop a site that is as user friendly and search engine friendly as possible. That’s done through a long-term process of identifying issues, making edits and analyzing the results.

Not every path is a winner and steer clear of those that have a net negative effect. But everything must be weighed. Even within the these tips there are several shades of gray and the overall gain/loss must be considered carefully. Even the smallest gains are often beneficial if they outweigh the negatives. As much as possible, though, keep on the paths that provide the best results and you’ll be on the path to business success.

seo link building

Measuring the Affect of On-page Optimization (SEO) on Your Backlinking Strategy

All the efforts in a professional SEO foundation start with a strong on-page or on-site SEO and ends with off-page techniques including link building and social media networking buzz. In my experience, the stronger on-page optimization you have on a site, the less work you require on link building and other off-site SEO. On-page and Off-page SEO are inversely correlated with each other, so to speak.

I never came across with a formula that can determine how much the strength of one factor affects the other. However, based on plenty of websites I did SEO for or consulted in their SEO foundation, I could develop a basic formula that can give a broader outline of required off-page SEO work based on the present on-page strength of the URL you are targeting. Here is brief of my conclusions with some examples to make it simple.

optimizing your websiteBefore examining the effect of on-page factors on the Search Engine Optimization link building, lets first have a closer look of what it includes. On-page optimization factor is determined based on each keyword you are targeting for a specific URL. The order of priority of presence of this keyword in on-page SEO is as follows:

  • Domain/URL (factor a)
  • Content (factor b)
  • Meta Title (factor c)
  • Meta Description (factor d)
  • Anchor Text (factor e)

In the past there used to be importance of meta keyword as well, but since its misleading to a user as its not visible during a search, Google already excluded it from its indexing factors. Other search engines though still put some value to meta keywords.

So, if you are targeting a keyword for a specific URL and if this keyword is present in all the above five instances, then you already out-beaten a good amount of competition among the similar websites that may not have this keyword present in all five places as mentioned above. This is also a good way to measure SEO competition of a given keyword while preparing your SEO strategy. For example if you are targeting for keyword “weight loss program”, the Google.com will bring you around 92 million sites competing for this keyword. However using the command inURL, inText, inAnchor in the Google, the real competition lowers down to around 1 million sites. What does this exactly mean? This means that these 1 million sites have stronger SEO than 91 million sites having off-page optimization as a constant. This also means that if you do not have “weight loss program” in your domain/URL, meta or content, you will need many folds extra effort in backlinking and off-site optimization to compete with the sites that have this keyword present in the above mentioned five factors.

So generally speaking, if you have fulfilled all five factors during your on-page SEO foundation, it will reduce around 10% of your backlinking effort for each factor that is lacking in your competitor’s site. So if a site lacks all five of these factors, it means that you will need only 50% of the total number of backlinks that site has to appear before it in SERP.

Knowing how to manage your backlinking strategy with the quality of your on-page optimization can help you rank faster and manage your SEO budget. If you would like help with your on-page optimization or developing your backlink strategy schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

strategic inbound marketing

Growing Your Local Business In 2017 With Strategic Inbound Marketing

Well the first quarter of 2017 is already gone along with most of April! Have you had time to take a look at your sales goals for 2017? Are you on track for a great year? If you feel like you’ve fallen short or are more than a little worried about sales, read on. We have some information that can help get you back on track and finishing the year stronger than you imagined.

This article on smallbiztrends.com discussing the Small Business Digital Trends Report is fascinating and also relevant to this topic.

Could your business be among the many that are missing out on new customers by not optimizing their online and social media presence? The Web.com Small Business Digital Trends Report created in collaboration with an Innovation Fellow in the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, Dr. David Ricketts, says that only 17 percent of small business owners are willing to invest in search engine optimization (SEO) in 2017.

“The number one reason why small business owners are online is to attract and engage with new customers, yet our report indicates small business owners may be having a hard time keeping up with the continually changing dynamic of the web,” the Web.com (NASDAQ:WEB) CEO David Brown said in a prepared release on the study.

Brown goes on to say….

In 2017, it is no longer enough for small business owners to be online with just a web site. They need business-specific social media channels that engage customers, they need a search-engine-optimization (SEO) strategy that will get them on the top of search lists, and they need online marketing advice from real people who understand how to stay one step ahead of their competition and customer expectations

invest in local seo

You can continue doing the same marketing that is either just making ends meet or is on a steady decline, or you can take the leap and learn more about online marketing for local business. Unfortunately many local businesses believe that SEO is too expensive and out of their reach. Most SEO program costs are based on the competitiveness of the industry and the targeted region. When a local business attempts to compete on a national level the cost will be much higher for SEO but when the choose to compete on a local level… it becomes much more affordable. And it is the smarter option since most of their customers are going to be local anyway.

The folks at Search Engine Land say it best in regards to local SEO:

Why local SEO?
Before we get into the tips, let me lay the groundwork for why you need to invest in local SEO. People use search engines to find local businesses they want to buy from. This is not just my own opinion; Google’s own research proves it. Here are a few stats the make the point.

– Four in five consumers use search engines to find local information.
– Fifty percent of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34 percent who searched on a computer or tablet did the same.
– Local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches. Eighteen percent of local searches on smartphones lead to a purchase within a day vs. 7 percent of non-local searches.

What does this mean for your business? Not only are people searching locally, they’re taking action when they do! Building a strategy that promotes your business locally will do more than drive website traffic — it will drive sales.

When Local SEO isn’t in the budget, lead generation services can be the next best option. But be careful when choosing a lead generation program for your business. Some companies sell leads for a small fee but they are sharing one lead with 4 to 5 companies. Many of our clients have tried these programs and don’t like them at all. They find that they need to negotiate their fee to compete with the other 4 companies and their close rate is too low.

The best option we believe is “exclusive leads”. Exclusive leads means no more sharing leads and bartering your prices. Yes, sometimes the leads will cost a little more but the close ratio is much higher.

Conclusion:
Doing nothing will leave your business at risk. But taking steps to ensure your business will be secure for a long time to come, is a smart investment. Give us a call and schedule your free 30 minute consultation and learn how these strategic inbound marketing solutions for small business can change your gross sales in 2017. Call (877) 304-7990 Today!

 

SEO marketing strategies

Top Marketing Strategies For 2017 With An SEO Twist

Search engine optimization (SEO) enables your website to excel in a crowded sphere, namely on the web. When people search for certain key words and phrases, you want your content to show up on the search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher the placement, the more likely you’ll be found. And found websites generate more business — plain and simple.

Everything you do with SEO represents a form of marketing or a way to get the word out about your business. The following strategies should be employed to enhance your SEO efforts.

Check your website or blog’s layout. You may be impeding SEO without even knowing it. For instance, if you’re using an old theme without built-in SEO benefits, then you’re making it hard on yourself. Moreover, you’re making it more difficult for customers to find your site. Choose a theme that can be viewed on all sorts of devices — table top computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets. Then, ensure the site makes proper use of heading and meta title tags, uses the correct canonical URL meta range, offers a clean structure, and allows open graph meta tag integration to enhance social media sharing.

Update your site with valuable content. It is important to regularly and consistently update your website with top notch content. The content you share must be original, interesting and unique. It must supply a benefit to the reader, be well written, and offer a call to action. Generally speaking, your updates should be at least 600 words long, include at least one photo with a caption and an “alt tag” and links out to quality sites as well as cross links to internal pages. How often should you update your site? The more often, the better. But at least two or three times per week. This means you may not be able to handle the work alone. In this case an employee may need to curate or write the content. Another option is to hire a freelancer to research, write, edit, acquire photos, link out, link across, and publish each update. Make your web content strategy a centerpiece of your SEO efforts this coming year!

social media marketingMake use of social media. Your website tows the SEO line and your content is fresh. What else can you do to enhance its SEO position? By making use of social media. Social media is the new kid in town at least compared with web search. By means of social media you can reach people where they congregate, much in the same way message boards used to, but in a far bigger way. Facebook is the largest of the lot with more than 1 billion users worldwide. Twitter with a half billion adherents follows. Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn are other social media sites to consider. The best way to make use of social media is to sign up to those sites you intend to use. That means registering, filling out a profile and familiarizing yourself with each site’s content and rules. Then, share your updates on each site and make sure you like and reshare content from others. Build a following and your articles will get noticed. That means people will travel to your website, read what you have shared, and follow your call to action command.
Marketing Strategies

Beyond these three strategies there are other ways to enhance your SEO. Here, you might consider perusing a local seo company like Social Climb to discover professionals who can supply your needs.

seo for local businesses

How can SEO Develop Momentum In Your Organization?

SEO can dramatically impact your business and your website when done correctly. Although if your SEO campaign is managed incorrectly it can have the opposite effect and negatively impact your business.

So what is SEO and why is it so important?

SEO is search engine optimization and sometimes referred to as SEM or search engine marketing. Although the two are a little different you may hear those terms interchanged. Search engines are basically online libraries. Similar to books in the library, the easier a book is to find or the more it is promoted the more it will be checked out and read.

So when we think of SEO in those terms it isn’t too difficult to understand the very basics of what we need to do to rank well in the search engines.

Clear topic – Using headlines that summarize the content to follow tells the search engines what the web page is about. Visually we see the headlines as a larger font, bolded type or different colors. The search engine bots don’t see these changes as easily so we use codes in the text to create “H tags” (larger font).

social media for organic seo rankingsRelevant content – Additionally, our content following the headline should be relevant to the heading. So if our headline is “potty training a puppy” the content should only be about potty training puppies. If you want a page to have multiple topics they should be closely related. So in the above example “potty training a puppy” should not have another topic about “the best food for an aging dog”. Keep your page topics closely related and create different pages for topics that are not closely related. One exception to this rule is if you have for example, a “services” page that summarizes all of the services you offer with a link to pages that provide more detail on each topic.

Website promotion – Just as with a good book, you need to promote your website. When a book hits the best seller list it is more likely to be sought after. Promoting your website comes from the quality and quantity of links pointing to your website. It is really important to understand that quality is more important than quantity of links. Quality links are links from relevant and trusted sites. A coveted link for someone in the home improvement industry would be a link from Bob Villa’s website or another well known, high authority, relevant site. Relevance is extremely important as well. So having a link from webmd.com to a plumber would be of little value. Even though webmd is a high authority link it isn’t relevant to a plumber but would be a coveted link for a doctor. One exception to the relevancy example is for local businesses. Local links are a great addition to your link profile. For example if you’ve sponsored a local kids football team, getting a link from their site to yours would be a good relevant link. So if you live in Omaha and get a non-relevant link from a junior football league in Chicago, it would have little impact on your website quality.

Success breads greater success – Just like a good book that is always checked out, the more traffic (visitors) your website has the more value the search engines place on your website. Of course this does mean that visitors need to stay on your site for a little while and hopefully browse around. When they click on your site, don’t find what they are looking for, and click away quickly it is considered a bounce. Search engines read this signal as “oops! not what you were looking for”. Too many bounces for a specific keyword or phrase will tell the search engines that they need to serve up something different for their customer. The end result for your website is lower rankings.

Word of mouth – Have you ever had a friend tell you about a great book they just read? The same thing goes for your website. Social signals pointing back to your site is interpreted by the search engines as popularity. “So many people are talking about and sharing this content… hmm, it must be good.”

Understanding SEO at a high level will help you begin to understand what you can do to positively impact your website rankings. The greater your website rankings, the more visitors, inquiries and sales your business will have. Get your website ready for 2017 with a quick, easy and free website audit. Find out how the search engines see your website and what you need to do to fix your site for better rankings.

Copywriting for SEO

Quality Copywriting Earns More Customers

You can spend a lot of money building a website with all the bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t have engaging content, no one is going to use it. Whether you own a large eCommerce platform, a small business or blog from the comfort of your home, maintaining the interest of those visiting your website is absolutely crucial. At Social Climb, we’ve discovered an effective balance between poignant copy and strong SEO in order to get people to the websites we build as well as retaining their attention and making their visit memorable enough to return again and again.

SEO — A Balancing Act

Search Engine Optimization is the application of keywords and phrases in conjunction with marketing research processes to highlight the meaning of your webpages, helping to boost your site to the top of the organic search results in which it is highly relevant. Although marketing is key in keeping your website afloat, SEO by itself won’t build or maintain the audience you need to ensure your business’s success. Even if you’re performing well in search results and receive a lot of traffic, your visitors will leave and forget about your site all together if they aren’t engaged or impressed by your content. This is why a healthy balance between SEO and writing copy for human indulgence is vital to the strength of an online company.

blogging for seoWhen visiting a site for the first time, readers quickly determine what your content is about and whether or not it’s applicable to what they need. Long-winded SEO paragraphs or sentences stuffed chock-full of keywords written for GoogleBot are not going to provide a positive outcome for your visitors. Copy written for humans should be specific, easily understood and — due to the rapidity at which people browse — scannable.

At Social Climb, we focus on writing copy and applying SEO as a single, blended procedure. While our talented marketing team are experts at researching the best SEO application for your site’s success, we find a way to apply search-targeted terminology organically into your copy to keep your visitors reading through to the end. People don’t read advertisements; they read what’s interesting to them, which is why it is important to not only think about what’s in it for your organization, but also, what’s in it for your customer?

Tell Your Story

If your business has a story, chances are, you’ll want to tell it. Humans are natural storytellers; we seek tradition and relationships in our everyday interactions. When a co-worker tells an anecdote about their weekend, our brain automatically goes: “That reminds me of the time when I…” Relating our own experiences to stories told by others is how we establish our footing.

So, if you have a story, tell it. Too often are “About Us” pages left scant. This is where people go to learn about you and look for a reason as to why they should choose your company over another. In fact, you want to incorporate philosophy, ideally one that you use to sell your product, and weave it strongly throughout every page of your website. The goal is to comfort as well as earn the trust of your site visitors — a tone that shines through clearly and aids the campaign.

An example of a company with a strong backstory, is the well-known shoe and apparel store TOMS. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes, was inspired by a trip to Argentina to help those in third-world countries. Although his story has grown beyond shoes, their iconic style remains popular and his website contributes much of its space to display what the non-profit is, how it all started and their current efforts to continue that story.

Content Outside The Obvious

more sales with seoHaving good web content doesn’t stop at informational storytelling and SEO. In fact, the way you phrase your error messages, form instructions and page headers can drastically shape your users’ experience through your site as well as build a relationship with customers outside the site using email blasts, newsletters and social media.

Small, seemingly insignificant bits of content need to fit the context of your site and your user’s progress in their journey through it. Notifications such as error messages, 404 page text (when the server cannot find the requested URL) or company guidelines should all be crafted sensitively, with the user’s anticipated mood and expectations carefully taken into consideration for each individual situation. Consider whether your copy should follow a brand persona by making the 404 page consistent with the branding, which has the potential of making a frustrating moment more lighthearted and personable.

A way to continually engage with your customers and potential customers is by keeping in touch through blogs, email, newsletters and social media. At Social Climb, we publish a variety of announcements, business and technical blogs throughout the month to keep our customers engaged and educated. These are great outlets through which to build relationships, not only by continuing to communicate using your business persona but also by earning repeat visitors and links to your website.

Social media in particular is a great medium for you to provide compelling, consistent content that makes your customers feel more comfortable and conversational with a business; above all, news feeds on sites such as Twitter or Facebook are a place for casual conversation. You can then use this engagement on a more personal level to post not only conversational statuses or tweets, but also news articles, blogs or eCommerce promotions, linking customers back to your website.

In a society where we are constantly posting, uploading, tweeting and blogging, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the quantity and inconsistent quality of content these days. We don’t need more copy, we need better copy. Not only can your businesses benefit from eliminating those little grammar and spelling errors that may exist on their site, but you can also improve the user experience by having professional, personable, resonating copy that your visitors can easily locate, relate to and retain.

Social Climb can offer assistance improving existing copy or creating fresh copy for your website. Contact us to learn more about how our services can help you and your customers and we would be happy to help.

How Schema Markup Can Help Your Local Business Rankings

Schema isn’t new in the SEO world but it is new for many small businesses looking to improve their rankings on the search engines. Schema.org developed a revolutionary collaboration between the top search engines that created a way to make it easier to identify and categorize information on a website. Unfortunately, local businesses are far behind in practicing this on their own websites.

using schema for local businessesBefore we dive any further into Schema, let’s get a clear understanding of what it is…

Schema markup is code that is added to your website, which enables the search engines to better understand what your site is about and therefore return better search results for the user. If you’re familiar with rich snippets, you’ll probably know what schema markup is all about.

 

Here’s an example of a query for an event:

schema event markup example

The schema markup told the search engines to display a schedule of upcoming events for the Denver area. If someone is looking for this information it would be very helpful. Basically, schema tells the search engines what the information on your website means, not just what it says.

So, How does this help my local business?

There are many different types of markup that can be added to your website but we will only look at the ones most relevant for a local business.

Geographic Markup

First, you’ll want to make sure the address and phone number match your Google maps listing and that it is correct – You’ll be using this in your markup. Next you’ll need to choose the best category for your business – Schema.org’s local business section has a list of business types. You can include your address, phone, business hours and the types of payments your business accepts

A realtor’s site code would look like this:

 

schema markup geo example

In the example above the only information that is displayed on the website is the the markup info between the “itemprop” and the “span” tags. But for the bots crawling your site, they know that this is a real estate agency, where they are located, and their contact information.

Social Properties

Social media is playing a greater role in ranking our websites than ever before. But not in the way that you may think. Think of social media as a way for people to vote for your business – you can read more about social media in your SEO strategy.

Telling the search engines which social properties are related to your site will help them connect the dots and discover other properties related to your business. The markup for this looks like this:

schema markup example 3

It is especially important to include properties owned by Google like Blogger, YouTube, G+ Page and G+ Profile. Another good source to include are Google’s social Data Hub Partners.

Why is Schema Markup Important for Local Businesses?

In a nutshell…. Schema just flat out helps your website rank better! There are hundreds of markup types from nail salons to medical dosage schedules. When you can help the search engines understand what your site is about, where your business is located and authority sits your business is associated with, you will improve your rankings.

Does my site have schema markup?

If you’ve had someone else make your website and don’t know if schema was incorporated in your websites structure, you can use Google’s schema testing tool. Just login to Google, put your web address in the box and run the test.

Need help adding schema to your website?

Adding schema to your website isn’t as difficult as it may seem. All of that code can seem a little intimidating if you’re not familiar with it. By adding schema to your website, you will improve your rankings and improve the way the search engines use your site information. For help adding schema to your website contact Social Climb – we are always happy to help a small business!

White Hat vs Grey Hat? The SEO Trends

Practically speaking, less than 10% sites on the net are doing 100% pure white hat SEO, that is excluding the sites which are not doing any SEO at all. By saying this I do NOT mean that 90% sites are doing black hat SEO. Well, don’t be confused, here is my explanation.

What is Pure White Hat SEO?

Have you ever thought what is natural SEO? And how Google sees it? Well, in an ideal situation, if a site has unique quality content with great value for a user (either scientific value, information quality, or something exceptionally novel), which is not widely spread on the net, it’s very likely that a reader would like to spread word about this content. Spreading word could be using social media networks, tweeting/re-tweeting it, liking it on Facebook or linking to the writer’s professional using social media for seonetwork on LinkdIn. The other ways of showing appreciation to this unique content or the website is that a user puts a link back to this content/URL on his network of websites. When all this is done, this particular site is getting some good recommendation from users based on their liking and linking to this site, which in turn improves its “authority” in the eyes of search engines, particularly Google. If this is exactly what has happened and the site ranked in top results in its SERP, then this is exactly 100% pure white hat SEO.

This is all the opposite of black Hat SEO. I am sure everyone who knows SEO, knows black hat SEO techniques. Black hat SEO, simply speaking, is any trick you do on your site to mislead either users or the search engines. This could be, for example, using hidden texts on a site by putting white font color on a white background, or doing lot of backlinking by using a “character” as the anchor text to deceive Google and not letting a user feel there are lots of irrelevant linking on that page. It could also be unethical URL redirecting, redirection loop etc. There are many other forms of black hat SEO techniques that you can Google and read in more detail as this topic is not meant to cover black hat techniques and much has already been written on the subject anyway.

Grey Hat SEO

Now, as you have better idea what are real white hat SEO techniques and what is black hat SEO, lets analyze what are latest trends in SEO, and how people are using grey hat SEO. As I said in one of my earlier post, whether it likes or not, Google has no choice except giving proper weight to the number and quality of backlinks to a site as the competition is so tough among thousands of similar websites that its practically impossible for Google to get best top ten results using its other algorithm components, or the content and on-page SEO alone. Google can spot non-ethical link building, bad neighborhood, spammy links sites, irrelevant link building, non-contextual link building, link building using automated software and several other types of link-building techniques that are not pure 100% white hate, but still it’s not possible for a search engine to tell whether the liking of a site and a relevant ethical link was originated by a user who in reality liked that site and buzz the word OR its work of a paid SEO expert who did this link building. Such ethical link building done by an SEO company or an SEO specialist is what I call “grey hat SEO”. I hope you get now where I am coming from.

Seeing the SEO Trends and Google algorithm changes in the past few months, I have a strong small business marketingfeeling that sooner or later Google has to find a way to know which link building is done using SEO expertise and what is 100% natural linkbuilding. One bit of proof to this theory is the recent Caffeine update from Google that makes a correlation sort of thing between your linkbuilding and your popularity on social media networks. Now the question is what should I do as an SEO company or a webmaster to avoid any issues in future Google changes? So here is my answer!

Some Useful tips on 100% pure white hat SEO techniques:

Put the maximum effort on your on-page SEO, and content, written by experienced writers in excellent language, and present scientific stuff.

Develop an authority website keeping in mind as there was no such thing called “back links” so try to think how you can compete with all other websites given zero backlinking competition.

Try posting regular unique content and spread word among your friends and social circle about the effort you are doing with the content so they come and give you a natural SEO boost.

VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t start link building effort right after you finish your website development process. Rather, put the unique content, make your on-page SEO perfect, develop sitemap, create Google webmaster account, submit your site and let search engines crawl it at normal speed and just leave it as is. If you have time, I would recommend no link building effort during the first 3-6 months based on how Google is crawling the site. It’s a bit tricky to know how much Google is giving authority to your site if you are not in first 100 results, but through Google webmaster, and organic traffic to low-competent keywords, you can have an idea of how well your site is doing in Google.

Always start gradually and with Google safe linkbuilding, like social bookmarking and web 2.0 properties and not using the blog networks to avoid any footprints.

Develop a blog on your site and write 400+ words content regularly.

Do some smart internal linking, I would suggest doing it manually than using tag plugins as it gets confusing some times and sometimes it gives a very unnatural internal linking.

Create social media network pages, spread the word and try to put some unique content in them regularly linking back to your site.

Be natural, don’t write for Google, write for your audience.

Lastly, if you need help with your SEO campaign turn to an experienced SEO agency like Social Climb. Make sure the company you choose to work with has many years experience doing SEO. Search engine optimization has changed dramatically over the last 5 years and the agencies that know what they are doing are still in business and thriving. SEO companies come and go, unfortunately the inexperienced are a waste of your money but can also put your website in penalty and fixing it can be an expensive endeavor.

SEO and SEM Marketing

eMarketing Sabotage – Top 10 Things To Kill Your SEM Practices

We at Social Climb find ourselves amazed at the amount of effort people spend trying to fool or manipulate their positioning in search engines. People seem to focus on the shortcuts to success and NOT on their Web site or the true value their content provides to their prospects.

In the spirit of educating online marketers and DIY small business marketers about best practices, we present this list of ten things you can do to sabotage your search engine marketing project in a “New York” second.

1. Invisible (Ghost) Text

You have kept a good secret! Your visitors might not have noticed, but all search engine crawlers have been trained to be on the lookout for this obvious technique, last fashionable circa 1997. The search engines may very well purge all your pages from their index due to deceptive practices.

And, if you are feeling really frisky, you can make this technique even more effective if the invisible text has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the page it sits within.

2. Frames Usage

Search engines are not “frame-friendly”. Once they encounter a pesky frame, they either stop flat in their tracks because the frame doesn’t give them anywhere else to go, or they locate the pages beyond the frames and point people to that locale – which won’t have the frames included with it.

There’s truly no need to use frames and make attempt to justify it by believing it will improve the prospect’s experience.

If your prospects can’t uncover your site or they find slices and slivers of you, how much then have you actually assisted them?

3. Why Be Fresh And Original?

online marketing to grow your businessWhy try to be unique, it’s just too hard anyway? It sounds foolish, but it occurs quite often. If you find something of real interest on another site, just burning a copy and slapping your links on the top does not make you a unique force on the Net. And how many actual shopping sites selling the exact same discounted products are enough for the average Web? In my book, the more sites you mirror, the least effective you will become.

4. Chubby Web Pages (Obesity Kills)

Sites with lots of graphics, animation, Flash and music do pose many disruptive elements with the search engines. Not only can it confuse your prospects, who are looking for obvious information and links, the search engines may not feel you are very relevant because they cannot be sure what to make of your Web site.

If you have a site made up of nothing but heavy graphics and multimedia, not only will you give the search engines zero to index, you may also aggravate any prospect running with a slower connection speed. If nothing else, at the least, use ALT-tags to explain images for text browsers, the hearing impaired and search engines.

5. Redirects, Redirects, And More Redirects

You may be using “redirects” within your Web pages to track clicks for advertising and also to pull together information about your site visitors. Your Web pages may be indexed, but you may not rank well at all. The search engines may not be able to see the correlation that exist between your Web pages because the redirect code often blocks their path, unlike direct text linkage.

6. Lengthy URL’s

Dynamic (ever-changing) e-commerce and shopping Web sites that use parameters and their session ID’s often manifest these difficult URL’s nicely.

If your Web site has lengthy URL’s sprinkled with question marks, percentage signs, Session ID’s, and at least three parameters, you’re degrading your hopes for search engine superiority.

Lengthy URL’s do not look very attractive to individuals searching and the site URL’s contain calls to various databases.

Leading the way for the search crawler directly into your database may quite possibly be a sure-fire way to send them spidering elsewhere.

7. Forgotten about your No Index Tag and Robots.txt?

Have you created a plan to keep all those nasty search bots out? Do you have a robots.txt file living on the root of your site? Does this file contain the following:

User-agent: *disallow /

Or does your Web property have a Meta-tag:

Be extra nice to your Webmaster. He or she may depart from your company in the future and leave this little monster behind for you to find at the end of a needlessly expensive investigation into why the search engines will not make nice with your Web site.

If you are using the special robots protocol, you will not want to forget to remove them altogether if you are going live from a beta testing process.

8. Doorway Pages

Doorway pages (also known as jump pages and bridge pages) and anything that is created specifically for a search engine and does not contain any valuable content or products for your prospect, is not an effective search marketing tool.

If you’re not providing true content, the search engines will discover this and may penalize your entire online site. If you’ve jammed yourself into this hole, you’ll may need to return back to the beginning with a new domain name.

9. Identical Meta-Tags And Titles

You worried over every single unique page of the Web site while developing it, but you didn’t spend a lot of concern that each page should be tagged (or classified) that way.

meta tagsImagine walking into your public library where every single book had the exact same title. What better way to tell a search bot to “take a hike” than showing them that all of your content is exactly the same. You will most likely see fewer of your Web pages indexed and much less traffic than you might otherwise.

Here’s a quick checklist to consider for your Meta-Tags and Titles:

  • Do they deliver a “call to action”?
  • Do they use relevant keywords and phrases?
  • Is your “Title” less than 80 characters?
  • Do they accurately describe what the page is about?
  • Are these consistent with the page?

10. Linking Networks

Did you find a service that’s offering to link thousands of other Web sites to you today? Taking part in these programs may effectively indicate to the search engines that you really do not want their valuable traffic. The quality of these link pages as well as their overall content “value” to a human visitor is very low.

Most search engines do come together in agreement and can severely penalize accordingly. Sites that get marked as link spammers, may be briskly informed that they should find a new domain name and begin all over again.

I advise you to take these lessons in “eMarketing Sabotage” for what they are, guidelines to help you operate your good e-business practice free and clear of the many pitfalls and mistakes of other marketers and improve on your own level of success in conjunction with search engines strategies.

Soon, with a sound plan, a bit of smart work and a solid attention-to-detail approach, your Web pages may rank highest among today’s top search engine results.

Audit your Website and compare it to your competition here: http://socialclimb.org/website-audit-tool/

And don’t forget to bookmark the tool so you can come back to after you’ve made appropriate changes to your website.

Happy Marketing!

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