During the evolution of Internet marketing, we’ve seen countless strategies to increase web traffic come and go.
Companies have invested marketing dollars into SEO, PPC, Social media among other Internet marketing strategies and it’s often wondered which strategy is the best.
While that depends largely on the company’s industry, target audiences, definition of conversions and overall Internet marketing objectives, perhaps the most compelling answer that question is “all of them.”
Having an integrated approach to Internet marketing is the best strategy for maximizing exposure through all Internet marketing channels from paid and organic search to social media and email marketing. This approach is called Integrated Internet Marketing.
What is Integrated Internet Marketing?
In an integrated Internet marketing campaign, your company participates in several forms of online marketing that work together in a synergistic relationship to reach targeted consumers on all platforms. Communicating a cohesive and consistent message for your brand through integrated Internet marketing can have an exponential benefit for your campaign’s success.
Among the strategies that your company would include in an integrated Internet marketing campaign are:
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The first cog in a successful integrated Internet marketing strategy is organic search engine optimization.
Because organic search results are based on the relevancy and authority of your web page for the specific keyword phrase being searched by a user, organic search engine optimization is an essential strategy for your online presence.
When your web page shows up high on page one for a searcher’s targeted keyword query, you’ve just told the user that you’re a highly relevant and trusted source for what they’re looking for. While organic SEO campaigns take time to see a payoff, the sustainable results they provide offer excellent ROI.
Paid Search Marketing (PPC Advertising)
Paid search campaigns (aka Pay Per Click or PPC Advertising) is an incredibly powerful way to instantly reach targeted consumers who are searching for what you have to offer.
Unlike organic search, which takes time to build top rankings for the more competitive keywords, paid search is instantaneous in its approach. As soon as you setup your paid search campaign and activate it, your ads will start showing up near the top (or down the right side) of the search results.
One of the most appealing things to marketers about paid search is being able to pay ONLY when someone clicks on your ad, and its high level of targeting down to the geographic area and the exact keywords you want to go after. Paid search is also a great prequel to organic search, allowing you to analyze which keywords are the most converted and most profitable prior to you optimizing your web pages for organic search.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has emerged as one of the top Internet marketing strategies today. Participating in social media channels such as Twitter, Google+ and Facebook allows businesses to connect with their customers to increase brand visibility.
Social Media marketing is also an excellent way to promote your content and draw in customers with special offers and promotions that help boost brand loyalty.
Social media also has an impact on organic search with Google now including social media signals into its highly sophisticated algorithm, thus increasing its importance for your integrated Internet marketing campaign.
Email marketing is an excellent cost-efficient way to communicate your brand message with your customers.
Much like social media, email marketing allows you to engage with your customers on your products and services, offer them special deals and promotions and increase impressions for your brand to targeted consumers.
Email marketing also benefits your content marketing strategy, providing another avenue to channel your content through to get it in front of users.
The livelihood of your Integrated Internet marketing strategy hinges on great content.
Developing a cohesive content marketing strategy that promotes your company’s brand message throughout a variety of different channels is a crucial aspect for multiple facets of your Integrated Internet marketing strategy.
Content marketing can play into your organic search, social media and email marketing campaigns, driving higher rankings, more shares and social visibility, and increasing exposure of your content by promoting it through email.
When developing a content marketing strategy, the most important ingredient is creating awesome, interesting, share-able content that readers will enjoy. Diversifying your content by producing blogs, articles, whitepapers, videos, podcasts, etc., ensures you’re reaching a diverse range of Internet users.
Integrated Internet Marketing in Summation
You may find success investing in one or two of these Internet marketing strategies. But if your company is committed to succeeding in the online marketplace, tapping each of these avenues by investing in an integrated Internet marketing strategy can result in higher brand awareness, increased traffic and long-term customer loyalty.
Please feel free to give your perspective on Integrated Internet marketing in the comments section below!
Historically speaking, search engine optimization (SEO) companies have spent countless hours building inbound links for their clients to help them develop higher natural search rankings.
It’s no secret that link building has forever been (and remains today) an essential strategy for achieving higher rankings, but one aspect about linking that often goes overlooked is the SEO value of linking to outside sources from your own website.
It’s a natural tendency for SEOs (and companies that do their own SEO in-house) to focus 100 percent on self-serving inbound and internal (cross-linking) linking, but the truth of the matter is it’s beneficial to include outbound links to other sites for a variety of reasons that benefit your SEO strategy.
Here are some things you’ll want to consider when thinking about whether to use outbound links in your web content:
Outbound Links Provide Further Resources for Site Visitors
No matter what your company would like to think, there are certainly other knowledgeable and reputable voices within your industry that could further educate your site visitors on subjects posted about on your site.
If you give readers the information they’re looking for on your site, and then further that by providing links to websites that support or supplement your content to enhance the visitor’s experience, you’ve gained a follower who will be a repeat visitor to your site. It’s also far more likely that the user will share your content socially, which has a significant impact on how well your content ranks organically.
It Boosts Your Credibility With Visitors (and Google!)
As mentioned above, providing your site visitors with outbound links to other resources has an impact on their user experience and your site’s credibility with them.
Moreover, outbound links to reputable, high-quality resources are also crawled and factored in by Google to determine the overall value (and rankings) for your web pages. The more legit you are, the more legit you appear to Google, and the better off you’re going to be organically speaking.
Be Mindful of Where You’re Linking To
The Internet is truly a living, evolving landscape. Things change – ALL the time. So if you’re providing outbound links to build more credibility for your organic SEO efforts, you’ll definitely want to check up on those links from time to time to see if they’re still relevant.
Check and make sure the web page you’ve provided a link to is still operational and still has the same topical content that made you link to it in the first place. Also be mindful about the reputation that the website you’ve linked to has. Make sure they’re not facing any penalties from the search engines, and that they aren’t linking to adult or gambling websites, as that can negatively impact the credibility you’re trying to build for your site.
Outbound linking is a powerful on many levels from improving the value of your website for users and helping them to get the information they’re searching for, but also has a direct impact on how well your site is valued (and ranked) by the search engines.
Over the years, article marketing has played a significant role for websites undergoing organic search optimization campaigns.
With recent changes in Google search, most SEOs are pushing social media as the be all, end all to SEO and are writing off article marketing as a viable resource for building rankings and driving qualified traffic to their clients’ websites.
The fact of the matter is, writing articles is still a highly effective means of achieving rankings. When done properly, articles contain useful information that can obtain high authority (PageRank or PR) just like any other web page out there can.
If your article is valuable, people are more inclined to link to your article, thus boosting your Page Rank and creating an excellent resource for building backlinks for organic search benefits.
As we’ve noted before, because of Google’s recent changes, link building from contextually relevant sources such as articles or blogs related to your industry or topic is critically important to organic search success – especially when those articles have gained an authoritative PageRank.
Write With a Purpose and a Focus
Don’t just write an article for the sake of writing an article. Write the article with a purpose. Provide educational information in your article about the topic that you’re covering. This information provides value to readers on your specific topic and makes you an authoritative voice on your subject matter.
Focus is the second key to writing a valuable article. Articles should be narrowly focused on one or two closely related topics within your industry. This method also provides a higher rate of contextual relevancy for the article, as well as future articles that are produced on related topics. For example, if your company provides organic SEO services, then producing articles about organic search engine optimization topics surrounding small businesses and local markets would be the most contextually relevant article topics with the most value for your organic search rankings.
When you offer readers excellent and informative content that speaks about niche topics and includes valuable takeaway information, your articles can produce amazing advantages for your Internet marketing strategy.
Speak to Your Readers
Before you jump into writing your article, take some time to plot out the information you want to present to your readers and do so from their point of view. What information is the most helpful to them as they read your article?
If you are an Atlanta Realtor, think about what article topics would most benefit your audience. Articles about the local real estate market or tips on how to sell your home might be helpful to consumers who are looking for a qualified realtor.
Always be thinking of what information is the most beneficial to your target audience and develop articles that have valuable information and takeaway points that help build trust with your readers and authority as a go-to source for your industry.
Discover the Value of Articles
Don’t believe SEOs who tell you that articles aren’t valuable anymore. Articles can certainly provide many benefits to your organic SEO strategy, including:
Building authoritative back links to your website
Increase brand visibility by writing valuable content that ranks well in the search results
- Create more inbound search traffic to your website
- Building authority and trust with consumers as an expert in your industry
The Google Adwords Keyword Tool (now known as the Adwords Keyword Planner) is an excellent resource for determining what keywords and keyword phrases to target for your pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign, and as well as for organic search engine optimization strategies.
For the sake of this blog post, we’ll focus on conducting keyword research for PPC campaigns. When conducting keyword research for PPC, the Google Adwords Keyword Tool interface is pretty intuitive overall.
You simply type in the keyword phrase you think might best suit your target audience and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool provides search volume of your keyword – and a list of similar or related keywords – based on either Broad, Exact or Phrase match.
In the left hand column of the Adwords Keyword Tool, you can filter which type of match you’d like to see search volume for for the specific keywords you’re researching.
So what’s the difference between Broad, Exact and Phrase match on the Google Adwords Keyword Tool?
Here’s a quick breakdown of what these terms mean and how they apply to targeting keywords for your PPC advertising campaign:
The Adwords Keyword Tool will always default you to Broad match.
Broad match keyword volumes take into consideration not only the exact keyword that you’ve typed into the Adwords Keyword Tool, but also relevant variations of your keyword as well.
It also applies for Keyword variations with synonyms, singular and plural forms, misspellings, and phrases containing your targeted keywords.
For example, a Broad match term for the keyword phrase “Custom Window Blinds” would also trigger your ad to display for the closely related keywords such as “Discount Window Blinds” or “Types of Window Blinds.”
If you don’t optimize your PPC campaign correctly, setting up broad matching terms can be potentially detrimental to the success of your campaign. If you’re not trying to attract customers who are searching for “Discount Window Blinds” because your company offers more high-end Custom Window Blinds, having your ad display when someone searches “Discount Window Blinds” on a Broad match is money out of your pocket.
If you are using Broad match for your PPC campaign, be sure to eliminate keywords that don’t apply to your business with the Negative Keywords section on the Adwords Dashboard.
Exact phrase match is just as it sounds. Your PPC ad will display ONLY when a user searches EXACTLY the keyword phrase that you’re targeting.
So if you’re targeting the keyword phrase “Woodworking in Atlanta” your PPC ad will ONLY display if someone searches for “Woodworking in Atlanta.” Your ad will NOT trigger to display for such keyword phrases as “Atlanta Woodworking” or “Custom Woodworking Atlanta.”
You can identify Exact match keywords by the brackets surrounding the keywords in the Adwords Keyword Tool interface.
Because of the precision that Exact phrase match has, you’ll notice that the volumes of the keywords on the Adwords Keyword Tool have significantly decreased as opposed to the Broad match. The Exact match filter is highly beneficial for conducting keyword research for organic SEO strategies because you get an accurate assessment of what the exact volumes are for keywords that you want to rank on organically.
The final match type that you’ll see when conducting keyword research for on the Adwords Keyword Tool is Phrase match.
You can identify a Phrase match by the quotation marks the keywords have around them. In Phrase match, your PPC advertisements will display when someone conducts a search that includes the keyword phrase that you’ve targeted.
For example, if you’re targeting the keyword phrase “Motorcycle Jackets” with Phrase match, your PPC advertisement will display on related keyword variations such as “Motorcycle Jackets for Men” and “Leather Motorcycle Jackets.” Your ad will not trigger, however on keywords such as “Motorcycle Leather Jackets” or “Jackets for Motorcycles.”
We hope you’ve found this blog post to be helpful as you conduct some of your own keyword research to determine what keywords you might want to target for your organic or PPC advertising campaign. If you have any questions about PPC or need help managing your PPC campaign, contact us today!
When it comes to publishing contextual content like articles, ebooks, and blog posts, Squidoo dominates. Squidoo is a community-based content sharing network where users can create “lenses”.
A lens is basically a page that offers information, advice, news, recipes, how-to’s, opinions, or just about anything that has a respectable topic of focus. So what makes Squidoo so bad ass? Well, if you’re into content marketing, Squidoo offers a number of great benefits. So let’s dive into five of them right now.
Optimal Content Control
The nice thing about Squidoo is the lack of limitations for content creation. Anyone can exploit their creativity and produce a lens based on virtually any topic. Some ideas for Squidoo lenses attract a lot more attention than others, so be sure to keep your target audience in mind when mapping out the presentation and structure of your content. There’s also tremendous control in using Squidoo’s editing platform. Based on a module system, you can add text blocks, images, polls, link lists, and so on. This provides optimal control in how you create your lens.
Immense Topical Flexibility
Parallel to the amount of control Squidoo offers is the amount of flexibility. Users can take advantage of many different features. Some of these include the integration of Amazon.com and eBay.com product feeds, Google News and RSS feeds, social media marketing, Flickr photos and other forms of rich media like videos. The degree of flexibility in using Squidoo surpasses most other platforms for content marketing. As a result, your lens can offer more than just content. You can provide your visitors with an experience.
Link Building for SEO
Squidoo is without question one of the top content marketing platforms for SEO. Anyone who understands a bit about SEO and website optimization knows the importance of earning or building backlinks. Squidoo enables users to build contextual links in the copy of lenses, as well as make ‘link lists’ using one the modules. The allowance of links is a huge benefit for organic search engine optimization. Furthermore, Squidoo has no limitations to the amount of links you build, nor the anchor text you use. In essence, you can build as many optimized links as you desire.
Note: As of April 2013, Squidoo decided to nofollow all outbound links from its users’ lenses. While this makes any and all links built for SEO purposes no longer pass PageRank, that doesn’t mean you should lose sight of the inbound traffic benefit you can get from the Squidoo community users who are reading your great content. Even then, if your content is good enough, it can earn natural links from the blogs/websites of the Squidoo community users.
So long as you do not use certain verbiage that is sensitive to Squidoo’s policies, your lens can be published immediately. This timeliness is huge for all types of users, especially SEO’s and marketers who like to have their content crawled and indexed as soon as possible. In the instance that you do use sensitive verbiage (we have found the terms “backlinks” and “link building” will trigger the alarm), you can request a manually review of your lens. Acceptance might take up to a week, so be patient if this happens.
Substantial Community Base
A lot of people love Squidoo, not only as a publishing platform, but also as a social community. Because Squidoo has such a significant community base, individuals are more likely to stumble upon your lenses compared to other content publishing platforms. This also underscores the importance of proper tagging. In short, be relentless when tagging you lenses. In addition to your lenses being found by other Squidoo members, you lenses have great potential to be found in the search engine results.
If you lens has a distinct keyword focus or theme (and if your lens earns link popularity from other sources), it can become a powerful, well-ranking page with a substantial search engine authority. Furthermore, any links you have built in your lens can become stronger and more authoritative for your SEO efforts. For this reason, it is wise to create lenses that offer valuable content, even if the sole purpose of your lens is to build links for SEO.
Are you using Squidoo for content marketing or SEO? What do you like about it? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Google recently made a change to it’s highly complex search ranking algorithm that affected numerous online websites. The latest Google update, coined the “Penguin” update occurred on the April 24, 2012.
The Penguin update was designed to stop spam websites and websites that utilized spam link tactics to achieve high rankings from doing just that in Google’s SERP (search engine results page). Websites that employed SEO companies that utilized these spam linking tactics to acquire link popularity were drastically penalized by the update.
The Google Penguin update has left some SEO companies scrambling to figure out how to react to the update in hopes of regaining the search rankings they previously acquired from the spam linking strategies.
It is never easy to recover from an algorithm change, but there are several things that can be done to get your website back on the right track to achieving the high rankings that were taken away via the Penguin update penalization.
The first step in recovering from the Penguin update is to get rid of unrelated links on your site. It is recommended that you only have links that are related to exactly what you have to offer on your site. Make sure that at least 20% of the links in your site are from related and credible websites.
If your website accepts guest blog posts, insist on backlinks by guest posts on relevant websites or after providing great content: Some of the sites hit by the Google Penguin update had a history of backlink buying. If spam-type sites have links to your site on their websites, chances are that the Google Penguin update has hit your website and your rankings may have plummeted. To recover from the update, contact the Web masters of such websites and ask them to pull your links down. Fight the temptation of buying backlinks in the future.
Don’t over-optimize backlinks to your website. It’s important to fight the temptation of linking only your keywords back to your website. Make sure your backlinks have a good mix of anchor text such as linking your domain name or your company name back to your website.
One of the primary reasons why some sites were hit hard by the latest Penguin update is because they had hundreds of identical optimized anchor text links pointing towards their website. This makes Google think that your links are potentially spammy in nature. If your target keyword is ‘organic SEO services’, use several anchor text variations like ‘SEO service provider’ and ‘SEO service U.S.’
Limit the number of your ads and focus on navigation: One thing that is identical in all spam websites is lack of focus on navigation. Most spam sites are also characterized by having many ads.
If your website is focused on search engines, you could recover from the Google Penguin update by focusing on users. It is suggested that you cut back on the ads and make the pages easy to navigate through the use of such tactics as internal linking and sitemaps.
Use contextual links only: You could recover from Google Penguin update by removing any non-related sponsored links that are stuffed in a sidebar and in your footers. Replace these with links in the body of the content (contextual links).
In sum, if you’re scrambling to recover from plummeting search rankings because of the Google Penguin update, it’s important to avoid over optimization and insist that your search marketing company uses White Hat SEO techniques only if you want your website optimization to have a chance at recovery.
According to a recent SEMPO Search Engine Marketing Report, 90% of businesses currently use some form of paid organic search engine optimization to increase the profitability of their Website. While this number has remained constant over the last three years, 52% of those businesses plan to spend more on SEO marketing in 2010 than in 2009. In other words, SEO works; and when done properly, it continues to work.
However, while the total company numbers have remained the same, the environment in which their SEO is being done has changed – and will change again before the end of the year. Such is the nature of the Internet, and such is the reason that every business would do well to create and monitor a timeline of SEO activities.
This starts with simply keeping a linear recording of when SEO changes were implemented for a company by a provider. As the market changes, it is important to know what was done to the strategy and when.
Using Website Analytics companies must also look at three other areas of interest over time:
- Keyword rankings
- Number of Indexed pages
Keyword rankings are always of high importance. While it is essential to track high-value keywords to the site, also plot lower-valued ones as well in order to determine if changes in ranking are search-engine or trend based. As well, a provider should periodically query a search engine in order to determine how many of their client’s Web pages are being indexed, and how quickly. Lastly, inbound and outbound site links need to be monitored to understand the flow of traffic.
A company would do well to select an SEO company that can not only design strategies for the “now”, but that also records and uses SEO data to predict and adapt to future trends.
Video SEO – Taking a Look at What Makes It Successful
Traditional search engine optimization techniques have focused on the optimization of keywords and written page content in order to generate first-page rankings with major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
This was in large part because search engines were unable and unwilling to index videos and video feeds, making it effectively unsearchable and useless.
Now, many providers including Google have begun to heavily index video content in order to create what are known as “Blended Search Results” when a search is conducted.
Blended Search Results are just as they sound – a blend of content types that will hopefully provide the user with the information they are looking for.
This is evident in the way videos are displayed in Google results – if there is a relevant video attached to the keywords entered, the video will be displayed as the first or second search result.
- Usable, indexed videos are still a rare commodity on the Web.
- In order to create effective and balanced search results, relevant videos are almost always displayed as the first result.
- Video titles are given heavy weighting in keyword searches.
What this means is that a properly placed and indexed video is 53 times more likely to find a spot on the first page, at least according to a study conducted by Forrester research. Providers that only use traditional, text-based organic SEO techniques are cutting their clients out of a rare opportunity of how to get more traffic to their websites and – to strike at the world of video SEO before the market is cluttered.
While videos abound – YouTube is the easy example – very few of these are properly indexed by search engines. This means that a company can make significant inroads in search engine optimization rankings by submitting keyword-relevant videos and ensuring that they are properly submitted to search engine sites.
This is best done by a dedicated SEO company, one that can ensure that not only does a video’s title and URL contain keyword-rich terminology, but that both a permalink of the video in addition to a feed are established and submitted. In addition, a professional and client-focused SEO team can help to ensure that links to the videos redirect users to the company’s website, rather than that of the video provider, and can assist in developing thumbnail video stills that best capture the visual essence of the company’s preferred keywords.
First-page search engine results don’t come from a haphazard submission of text, and while video is a new and powerful tool in SEO campaigns, it must be properly managed by an experienced SEO consultant in order to reap the maximum benefit for a company.