Dear Client: I love you. I really do! But please, for the love of all that is good and holy, will you stop obsessing over search engine rankings? I get it, you hired me to perform Search Engine Optimization on your website. Why do we optimize for search engines? For rankings, right? Well, no, not anymore. It's been almost a decade since the SEO industry began it's turn toward a fuller website marking experience, looking beyond search engine rankings as a metric of success, and instead looking at business growth, conversion rates, and return on investment. Rankings are a traffic delivery mechanism. Traffic can be hit or miss. Not all traffic is targeted. We see it all the time, clients like you are looking for rankings for your industry terms. But, quite often the time and effort needed to rank these favorite phrases holds no value compared to the conversions it delivers. That means, the ROI just isn't there. Instead of focusing on these "pet" terms, and potentially wasting … [Read more...] about Dear Client: I Love You, But Will You PLEASE Stop Obsessing Over Your Search Engine Rankings?
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When it comes to Web marketing strategies, sometimes it's difficult to know where to start. A question we hear often is: Should I start marketing my website with search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC)? The response from our three in-house experts was unanimous! You need both. Here's why... Stoney (@StoneyD): While both SEO and PPC results are displayed on the same search results page, they operate very differently (and independently) from each other. PPC can be set up much quicker and get results sooner than SEO can. But don't let that make you think you'll "instantly" get ROI out of it. PPC takes optimization before profits are secure. SEO, on the other hand takes along longer to work. My suggestion is, if you can afford it, get started on PPC right away to start bringing in profits sooner. While the PPC campaign improves, be working on the optimization of your website, targeting keywords, building links, growing your social base and improving conversions. Craig … [Read more...] about Q&A: With Online Marketing, Should I Start with SEO or PPC?
In looking over my past few columns, I worried my commentary had drifted perhaps a bit too much to the negative side of the link building milieu (always wanted to write a sentence with the word milieu in it). So, as a Yin to that Yang, here are several reasons why, after fourteen years, I still love link building. First, I love link building for a very selfish reason. It pays the bills. To not admit that would be a lie. Second, I love link building because the web continues to be an ever growing mass of fantastic content created by some very bright people, and that content deserves to be found. I’ve been lucky in that I started link building so long ago, I had to seek out links from sites that were the most likely to be visited by people with an interest in the subject matter of the site. I couldn’t pursue links based on what some search engine thought, because, well, there were no search engines. So I focused on library sites, school sites, local and federal government … [Read more...] about Why After 14 Years I Still Love Link Building
Are you about to start your first blog? Maybe you’ve just got going, or you’re a few months in. You’re worried that you’ve missed something important – or you feel like you’re not seeing the success you should. That may well be the case…but I’ve got you covered. Like every blogger, I’ve made a few mistakes. I’ve had my share of frustrations, wasted time, and wasted money. Like all successful bloggers, I kept going! It could’ve been easier, though – and I want to share some of my lessons learned so that you will succeed even faster than me. Here’s what I wish I’d known before I started my first blog. There’s a lot of info in this article, with plenty of practical, actionable steps for you to take, so I’ve split this post into four main parts: Part 1: Getting Your Blog Set Up Right Part 2: Focusing Your Blogging Efforts Part 3: Making Your Blog Run Smoothly Part 4: Having the Right Mindset … [Read more...] about Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
I really don’t like BuzzFeed. I’m scornful of viralnova. I feel more than annoyed by the supposed feel-good site, Upworthy. Every time I see a post from these sites in my Facebook news feed (which is much more often than I’d like) I have a virtual vomit build-up inside my mouth. With headlines like, “All The Science Reasons Redheads Do That Redhead Thing They Redhead Do So Well” (*eyeroll*) and “Clear Your Next 10 Minutes Because This Video Could Change How Happy You Are With Your Entire Week”, it’s clickbait in its purest form. And my au contraire nature naturally rebels. I resist the urge to click on those headlines (thankfully that part is easy!). But I can’t help feeling they’re tricking millions of people to (gladly) click and share. There must be a way to make this white hat, no? Headline Writing History I’m a scholar of the Jakob Nielsen school of usability. As a blogger, I use the Yoast SEO plugin and fill in the … [Read more...] about How to Write Headlines Google Will Love & You and I Will Click, Read, and Share