Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Do You Follow Google’s Rules On Guest Posts?

Google’s view of guest blog posts has come up in industry conversation several times this week. Webmasters and marketers have long engaged in the practice in writing articles for third-party sites as a content marketing strategy. Some have taken it to higher extremes of “SEO,” but regardless of how hard your pushing for a boost in PR from these articles, you might want to consider what Google has been saying about the matter.

As far as I can tell this week’s conversation started with an article at HisWebMarketing.com by Marie Haynes, and now Google’s Matt Cutts has been talking about it in a new interview with Eric Enge. (more…)

Google Discusses Its New Official Link Rules

Google has some new rules for the kinds of links it allows (or doesn’t allow, rather). The concepts are actually not exactly new, but Google has updated its official documentation to reflect its views of certain kinds of links.

As you may know, one of the things Google says in its Quality Guidelines to avoid is participation in link schemes. Google has updated the link schemes page, as Search Engine Land (tipped by Menaseh) recently reported. (more…)

Is Outsourcing Your Content Marketing Evil?

More than ever small businesses are using some form of content marketing to promote themselves. I’ve been beating this drum for a number of years and it’s taking hold in a big way.

In a survey conducted earlier this year by BusinessBolts.com, 74% of small businesses surveyed said they were using content marketing. And the tactic must be paying off, because three-quarters of small businesses also said they planned to do more content marketing this year than last—and just 4% said they had no plans to do any content marketing at all. (source: eMarketer)

But here’s the rub. It’s tough getting all this content done and it’s become a major point of friction for marketing departments big and small.

Another nugget from this same survey stood out for me – 61% surveyed said they created all of their written content on their own and never outsource.

We outsource entire departments these days – accounting, customer service, hr, tech support – so why not content creation? In fact, some marketers I’ve spoken with think this notion is not only unacceptable, it’s somehow wrong.

I believe that outsourcing content creation is an essential marketing tactic, particularly for small business.

Now, outsourcing is not the same as abdication.

Employing virtual resources to gain the greatest leverage possible is how you compete today, pure and simple.

If, however, you want to outsource anything in an effective manner you’ve got to do the work to create systems, processes and routines that ensure a high quality collaboration experience and a high quality end product.

Again, you can delegate certain elements of content creation, but you can never abdicate inbound content creation to a hired gun.

You need to maintain tight control on themes, voice, message and specific topic needs.

When you do decide to get some help from outside services or individuals here’s how I recommend you proceed.
Create a list of proposed titles for blog posts or articles and briefly describe the context of the article. This list should come from an annual editorial plan based on key topics or themes for your business. (Think SEO!)
Find a service like Zerys, InboundWriter or Blog Mutt and locate a couple potential writers to give a try.
When you receive your articles, don’t just cut and paste them, take the time to go over and edit for specifics, tone, voice and that personal touch.
If you find a particular writer that seems to work well for you, you may decide to set up a routine – so many blog posts per month, for example.
Then you can go about focusing on creating perhaps one very thorough post on your own each week. (The writing process, research and need to explain something in writing will benefit you in the long run so I never advocate total outsourcing of writing.)

Supplementing or building wider content reach using virtual contributors is a very smart small business play but you need to manage the process just as you would any important element of your business.

I’ve started a list of content outsource services and hope you’ll add your favorites to the list.

About John Jantsch
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, award winning social media publisher and author Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine. He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing System and Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network that trains and licenses small business marketing consultants around the world.
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10 Clear Ways to Help People Find Your Site

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is the process in which you rearrange your site to get a higher ranking in the search engines, thus making it possible for more people to find your site. There are many things you can do to optimize your site for more exposure in the search engines. There are also many things you should not do because you and your site could be penalized. (more…)

Link Building and Content: The Right Combo for Getting Found Online

In a recent interview, Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting asked Google’s Matt Cutts a question that weighs heavily on the minds of today’s SEO professionals: “Is link building illegal?”

Google’s algorithm changes over the past few years have scared many a webmaster into believing that backlinks could be detrimental to his or her site.  No longer the basic SEO staple it once was, link-building has instead developed a reputation as risky behavior that Google is poised to punish.
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Is SEO Still Standard Operating Procedure?

Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, has been bandied about since the inception of the internet as if it were the holy grail of online success. But what is SEO really? More importantly, what has it become? Is it simply a matter of optimizing your website? Or, has it grown to include a number of other parameters? My answer to these questions may surprise you. SEO is no longer just one thing. It has grown to mean so much more.
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How to Use Google Better

Even though more Web users search with Google than any other search engine, many have yet to take full advantage of the power of the tool at their disposal.

From finding a quick answer to just about any question, query or calculation you encounter to more easily finding relevant results in Web links, read on to learn how to get more from your Google search experience.
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Google Discusses Its New Official Link Rules

Google has some new rules for the kinds of links it allows (or doesn’t allow, rather). The concepts are actually not exactly new, but Google has updated its official documentation to reflect its views of certain kinds of links.

As you may know, one of the things Google says in its Quality Guidelines to avoid is participation in link schemes. Google has updated the link schemes page, as Search Engine Land (tipped by Menaseh) recently reported

(more…)

Does an Underperforming Ecommerce Site Require a New Website Design?

This is a very common reason to get a new website and can be a completely wasted opportunity to improve your business. Changes are clearly needed if your website is under-performing but you first need to find why it’s happening. If your ecommerce takings have suddenly slumped it might have nothing to do with the design and functionality of your website.

Poor customer service and brand image might be deterring customers from even going to your website. A seasonal change like great beach weather might mean less people in general are shopping online. In this instance Google Analytics can provide the answer for you. If you compare the amount of customers visiting your site to a previous period where the website was performing adequately you will hopefully have a better idea of the slumps cause.

Google Analytics Screen Shot

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How Do You Make People Trust Your Web Content?

If you want people to buy from you, they have to trust you.  After all, when’s the last time you spent your hard-earned money on a product that was being pushed by someone who struck you as less-than-upfront?

On the Web, though, you can’t just sit down and give your customers a chance to get to know you face-to-face.  The only chance you have to earn their trust is through your content.
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