Increase your Google Search Rankings: 5 Expert SEO Tips

Increase your Google Search Rankings - 5 Expert SEO Tips

Online visibility is a powerful asset that a business could possess.  It opens up endless possibilities for prospects to stumble upon a company that could solve their problems and provide their needs. Unfortunately, Google exists to make sure that every business would have a fair share of searchability and advertising reach.

Lead generation through search engine optimization may sound like a techie’s dream job, but even small businesses with just enough resources can tap this channel to increase their sales opportunities. All they need to do is to listen to experts.

On that note, featured below is an excerpt from an article by Brandon Gaille, CEO of the internet marketing company ByReputation.com, which specializes in SEO, social media, reputation management, video production, and web design. According to his website, BrandonGaille.com, Brandon is a serial entrepreneur that has founded five multi-million dollar companies. He is widely known as one of the top marketing minds in the United States.

From BrandonGaille.com:

5 SEO Tips

1. Linking Strategies
First is to use linking strategies that work today. There are so many existing linking strategies nowadays that can be used to improve its performance. However, it is very important to follow the three steps in securing the best linking strategy for SEO operation. Step number one, build high quality links. Having one high quality link is much better than possessing thousands of poor quality links. This step will help websites improve their rankings. Step number two, diversify the links. Diversifying links is very important in maintaining a strong bond with a powerful search engine.

2. Domain Authority
Second tip for effective search engine optimization is to acquire an aged domain or authority website. Top performing sites nowadays in the SEO landscape are those that are connected to authority websites existing in search engine for several years. It will be better for web developers to invest in authority websites while planning to start a new site to ensure a good start in the middle of the competition.

3. Use the Right Keywords
Third secret advanced information to apply in search engine optimization operations is the proper use of keywords. Keywords are considered as building blocks for SEO. Keywords should always appear in the titles and subheadings of a certain page. Meta descriptions for each keyword are also important for SEO.

It is also good if SEO will always use keyword variations, but be careful, overused keywords are not attractive to use in a website.

4. Give Great Content
Fourth tip is to make sure that the products of SEO will provide great content for a website. In order to achieve this, there must be originality in the whole content. Have some important links coming from authority websites and provide contents for the product that are very relevant to the assigned topic.

5. Watch Your Competition
The last tip is to keep an eye on the competition. Try to evaluate the SEO strategies of other competitors and learn from them. Securing regular updates about SEO is very useful in gaining higher quality of services and rankings.

Read the full article plus a great infographic at http://brandongaille.com/5-keys-to-increasing-your-google-search-rankings/

SEO and Social Media Marketing: A Winning Combo for SMBs?

SEO and Social Media Marketing- A Winning Combo for SMBs

From a logical standpoint, it’s difficult to see SEO and social media marketing in the same boat. Search marketing is more inclined towards keywords and algorithm, while social is, well, social.

But apparently, these two can be integrated to make the most out of content creation, distribution and discovery, particularly for small to midsized businesses (SMBs) that aspire to increase their online presence.

According to an Ascend2 report:

  • The most effective SEO tactics for top performers are creating original content (55% vs. 33%), updating website content (43% vs. 42%) and keyword management (42% vs. 29%).
  • The most difficult SEO tactics for those with inferior strategies are external link building (40%), creating original content (40%), keyword management (35%) and social media integration (34%).
  • The most useful metrics for tracking and analyzing SEO performance, across the board, are conversion rate, website visitor traffic and trends, engagement, and search rankings by keyword.

It’s clear that SEO and social media integration is a must. However, it’s also one of the most difficult challenges for businesses to overcome. If you’re looking to increase conversion rate, engagement and improve your overall SEO efforts, consider taking these 4 steps towards a more social media integrated SEO strategy as outlined by Erica Bell, social media specialist, in a Business.com post:

  1. Identify themes in SEO performance and social media engagement. Dig in to your analytics for what keywords and phrases are doing well in driving social media and search engine traffic. Look for where overlaps take place and pay attention to any current trends or themes taking place.
  2. Define your keywords and cross-apply insights. Google Analytics, your webmaster tools, and any social insights you have can help you define what keywords your business should be focusing on right now and in the near future. Those trends and themes you identified in the first step can help you determine what words to go after for search engine and social media optimization.
  3. Develop an SEO and social sharing optimized content strategy. Your content marketing strategy, from production to distribution, needs to consider both the SEO value and the social engagement potential of piece. Don’t neglect either area.
  4. Ensure your optimized content can be found and easily socially shared. Each piece of content that your produce for SEO should be able to be easily shared. Include social widgets and buttons so your audience, readers and website visitors can share your content with a click.

Read the full post at http://www.business.com/blog/integrating-seo-and-social-for-greater-smb-success/

Understanding the Digital Surge in SG

Understanding the Digital Surge in Singapore

I  wrote an article for Singapore Business Review about understanding the digital surge in Singapore. For the past years, Singapore has not only grown in economy but has embraced technology for business and pleasure. Here is a part of my article.

A relatively small concrete jungle like Singapore is bound to be closely escorted with technological rise, and that’s for a couple of reasons, one of them is public behavior. The list of leisure activities only bounces around going to the mall, primarily for movies, food and shopping, hence a big slice of public goings-on is attributed to going online and the use of mobile gadgets.

Smartphone usage in Singapore is swelling at breakneck speed, and amazingly, distribution is consistent among all age groups – yes, including older netizens. It’s becoming so big that the market share is customized differently for the country, and its marketing potential is gradually overwhelming the industry.

Everyone knows how big the Smartphone scene in Singapore is, but taking a look at the actual numbers, a lot of you can still get mesmerized. Do the math:

Singapore 2012 population – 5,312,400
Number of internet users – 3,971,318 (That’s a whopping 75%)

Now, couple that with:
Singapore smartphone penetration rate (Q1 2013) – 71.7%
(Ranks 4th worldwide, behind only UAE, South Korea and Saudi Arabia)

The fact that the Singapore public, extremely active online, is among the top smartphone users in the world is a huge thing for marketers. The advertising and sales value of this phenomenon is unprecedented especially coming from a seemingly undersized territory, but the country is relentless – its Smartphone ecosystem has been growing increasingly vibrant over the last few years, which most noticeably peaked last year.

 

Read the whole post here: http://sbr.com.sg/information-technology/commentary/deciphering-big-digital-surge-in-singapore

 

3 Email Tips for the Struggling B2B Lead Generation Marketer

3 Email Tips for the Struggling B2B Lead Generation Marketer

Not all marketers are successful at using email for lead generation.

While many books, articles, and blog posts have been written on how to effectively use this strategy to achieve marketing goals, little attention has been paid to the importance of being better at receiving and processing email.

Here are some tips to help you process email more competently, save precious marketing time, and lower the office hassle:

1. Don’t let email be in command of you

The inherent instant gratification of clearing your inbox provides a brief feeling of accomplishment, but it’s really not productive. Doing email is just one part of work. Determine how much time you want to spend in your inbox on a given day, and don’t exceed it.

When you first open your inbox in the morning, star/flag emails that must be dealt with today, but make sure to focus on your top priorities first before diving into your inbox.

Dedicate 30-minute blocks every two hours to staying on top of email. If you need more time, make it 45-minute blocks, but it’s critical to not let your Inbox control you.

2. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize

When you do make it to your Inbox, it’s key to remember that not all emails are created equal. Most email clients give each email the same amount of real estate on the screen, making it hard for our brain to be discriminating, creating a tendency to give each email the same amount of attention upfront.

In reality, not all emails are created equal. Some need to be read and responded to right away (important and urgent priorities). Some can wait until later (important but not urgent priorities). Others should be archived or deleted in bulk.

Yes, some emails will never be responded to, and that’s OK in the world of limited time and resources. Start with your top opportunities, and make sure you dedicate enough time to them. Even if you don’t get to the smaller stuff, you’ll feel great that you went after your top leads and gave them your best.

3. Be decisive

When checking your email, decide what to do with each email immediately:

  • Respond if it’s absolutely necessary or takes less than two minutes.
  • Delete it.
  • Archive it.
  • Defer it and respond later.

Promoting your SEO Content? Here are 4 Things to Consider

Promoting your SEO Content - Here are 4 Things to Consider

If you’re an SEO marketer, you’re more than likely inclined to give your content an extra push. You probably don’t want to settle with using great content that can be used for natural link-building. If B2B lead generation is in your blood, you would want to broaden your horizons a bit more.

To do that, you need to promote your content more effectively. Here are four simple tips:

1. Target the right audience

As a B2B lead generation marketer, you would want to create content that is attention-grabbing and relevant, but you also want to come up with something that will interest as wide an audience as possible within your target market. And it goes without saying that the broader the interest, the more links you can create. Of course, those links are likely to be good in quality if your content is relevant to your website and your business.

2. Publish it properly

One of the easiest opportunities is getting people who are already visiting and engaged with your website to share your content. Make sure you give your content the best ‘push’ possible by promoting and publishing it in the right places:

  • Via your blog.
  • Via an existing page the SEO performance of which you want to improve.
  • Via a new page created specifically for it.

3. Use social media

Social media shouldn’t even be a discussion; it’s an essential tool if your objective is to gain a good amount of publicity and exposure. It’s as easy as tying up all your content efforts with all the popular social networking sites available, particularly the giants: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. Don’t worry about measuring the ROI or getting a firm grasp on results; just focus on maintaining an active online presence and the fruits will bear itself.

4. Reach out to influencers

A business’s power to use influencers to reach its target market ties in with social media. All you need to do is identify who’s influential in your subject area (usually those with lots of followers and friends) and get in touch. If they share your content, you’ll be able to reach more people, simple as that.

The good thing about influencers is that once they ‘tag’ you along, you’ll be temporarily using their influence as a means to reach a wide market, but the credibility and trust that go along with it are permanent.

No Email Love? Revive your B2B Email Marketing Campaign

No Email Love - Revive your B2B Email Marketing Campaign

Every day, billions of emails swim across the vast information highway right above our heads and inside the fiber-optic cables below the ground. For marketers, it’s a battlefield, and sometimes we tend to forget about the competition and become contented with mediocre emails.

And then we wonder why we never get good responses from prospects.

In order to gain attention, emails need to stand out from a barrage of other marketing mails. If your current email format is outdated and uninviting, you may need to consider total alterations and see how significantly it affects prospect responses.

Consider these things as starting points in breathing life back into your terminally ill email marketing campaign:

  • Be concise and crunchy. Get rid of wordy paragraphs and tall tales. Emphasize only the important things, based on the target audience and how your company is viewed by the industry. Ditch the parts that readers would normally skip.
  • Dazzle from the onset. Your reader must be hooked into reading your email even after just a few lines, just like evoking a feeling when they’ve just received a letter from a dear friend. Keep it relaxed and try not to sound too official.
  • Urge interaction.  Ask questions. Make them share opinions. Allow them to participate in polls. Your email doesn’t have to be a one way street. Giving them something that encourages them to respond obviously increases your chances of click-throughs and conversions.
  • Deliver what is promised. If the email says “Get a Free Demo” and clicking a button would route them to a page where they have to fill-out an enormous form, make sure you follow-through with what was offered. Do not lure them into lead-capture traps without giving them something to take away.
  • Don’t put too much links. While links can do help in shortening an email, putting unnecessary URLs or other external addresses can also smear its overall appearance. Only provide links to useful content, such as industry information, subscription pages, or social media connections.
  • Follow-up quick. You don’t have to wait for a couple of days to check on the progress of an email campaign. Create a follow-up system that monitors on a regular basis the development of responses and to normalize an already-established line of communication. This ensures that no opportunity goes by un-grabbed. 

Want to enhance your SEO? Google+ to the Rescue!

Want to enhance your SEO - Google+ to the Rescue

Coming out of the shadows of Facebook and Twitter, Google+ seems to have promised itself a rare distinction as not just a social media site, but a tool for online marketing altogether.

This is obviously because Google+ is the brainchild of the people who gave the gift of Google to the world, so that makes it a highly useful instrument in SEO, plus all the benefits of your run-of-the-mill social network, to establish a powerful lead generation machine. Imagine the power of gaining good ranks and maintaining a solid social presence at the same time.

Google+ itself describes its service as connecting social, communication and people designed to build your website’s ability to rank higher on search. If you’re a business blogger using this site, you can associate your content to your own authorship, as provided by your Google+ profile.

Optimize your profile. Google provides every chance for you to perk up your page by providing all the necessary details (much like Facebook), and also the ones essential for back links, such as website URLs, business bios and descriptions. In Google+, readers almost automatically associate the post to its author, and that’s why you’ve got to hit your mark in terms of making your profile credible. You can even ask Google to verify your page to raise your credibility.

Social extensions. Fortunately, Google+ is not an exclusive platform. The search engine would easily associate your business website to your Google+ page once you add the badge or the “+1” button directly on your content page. You can use the snippet of the code for your page and connect it to your Adwords campaign as well as to your social extensions.

Post high-quality content – consistently. The site is basically the integration of content creation and social media identities, but of course, since it is Google-based, the quality of content is still the determining factor to search rankings. The more you consistently provide them relevant information, the more people are likely to follow you and assist you in getting your desired spot.

Stir up the buzz. To make it into a real game, you have to find ways to make your posts engaging to other people. Share your thoughts in comments sections of other Google+ profiles and especially your own. Sparking up these interactions give more weight to your efforts to be recognized by search engines.

Your B2B Content should be Audience-Centered and here’s why

Your B2B Content should be Audience-Centered and here’s why

Conjuring, developing, and creating high-quality content is a lot of work, and most of the time, the difficult part lies on making sure it will be compelling enough to elicit an audience response. That’s how lead generation works; but the machine will not run without kick-starting it first.

And in content lies the key.

But looking at it closely, isn’t it that the answer to this problem a bit obvious? If the purpose of content is to draw a response from the audience, then content should be focused on them – and them alone. In setting a rat trap, you use cheese, because rats love cheese.

Who is your audience, anyway?

To be able to cater to their needs you must first draw a clear picture of who your target market would be. Using modern marketing tools and basing it from your own lead generation experience, you should be able to define your audience and incorporate that into a strategy.

But aside from knowing who they are, you should also know what they want and what they do about it.  What is their buying behavior? What kind of information would they want to get from a content piece? What factors help them in making a commitment or a purchase?

Next, you have to know where they are. Before, marketers just develop content and wait for people to stumble upon it, but now, technology has given us ways to track their online activities. Which sites do they usually hang out at? What social networking site is popular among them? Where do they go for reviews? Where do they voice out their questions and opinions?

Expand your reach

Distribution channels help marketers spread the word and specifically target an audience. It could be a major hub like Huffington Post or a small niche blog that regularly hosts a multitude of prospects. Choose one that fits your content writing style, coverage and intent.

Enhancing your reach capabilities may take some time, especially for bloggers who have just started to go out of their cocoons. For a strong momentum builder, experts suggest a healthy venture with paid efforts, and sometimes even contributing content can take you places.

With Google’s new Hummingbird update, the emphasis on strong content has become stronger than ever. Marketers who refuse to create audience-centered content will eventually find themselves in cyber oblivion.

Building an Engaged Social Media Community to Boost Lead Generation

Building an Engaged Social Media Community to Boost Lead Generation

Some business marketers opt to buy their audience instead of growing them from the ground up. While both methods have relatively similar results in terms of numbers, the latter is more inclined towards engagement – that is, growing a community that genuinely supports your brand image not because they have to but because they want to.

It’s more rewarding to see people respond to and share your content, and in turn increasing your odds at generating high-quality leads. To achieve this, you should know where to get your “seeds” and plant them in the right places:

Start with familiar people

The good thing about today’s social media is that it gives you the functionality to search for people you know by connecting your address book or other social networking platforms. Tapping these personal and professional relationships can give you a good kick-start.

Let them know you’re “in” – use official badges

The top social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, all have official follow buttons/badges provided for its users. Using these items lets new visitors know that you’re in the social media loop and it will enhance the chances of connection and sharing. It also gives them the convenience of logging in to your site using their social media accounts so they don’t have to fill out empty fields.

Make your business signature more “socialized”

In the olden days, signatures only bore the name, contact details, email address, job position and name of company. But this is the age of social media. Your signature should also include social media accounts (use buttons for a neater look) and while you’re at it, throw in your blog site link.

Get the team involved

Chances are your colleagues and other team members have social media profiles of their own, and they have no problem disclosing their affiliation with your company. Why not ask them to link back to your site pages or blog posts? Better yet, get them all on LinkedIn so the impact is multiplied.

Respond to your audience

The goal is to maintain presence on social media as much as possible, but you’ve got to have reason each time you appear. It could be that you’re posting a daily blog item, or you’re giving shout-outs and updates. Another good reason is when you’re responding to their queries and reactions. Each time your reply comes up, other people would see your account and link back to other posts and site pages.

Create social media-friendly content

Not all content are suitable for social media. There has to be an element of being viral, thought-provoking and visually appealing. Most people are drawn into fan pages and communities because of content, above anything else.

The 4 E’s of a Holistic B2B Content Piece

The 4 E’s of a Holistic B2B Content Piece

In today’s age of accessible information, there’s really no such thing as bad content. That is to say, the meat of the content is not the problem itself, it’s just that there are certain elements that are not present, things that could have otherwise made it more complete – in other words, holistic.

It’s important that your content delivers a complete package for it to be able to compel readers to view your business as a source of quality insight, as well as for them to think about doing business with you. For your content to achieve that level of completeness, it should be:

Educational

After reading your post, watching your video, or interacting with your surveys, polls and other engagements, your audience must be able to say that they have learned something, not only about facts and figures, but also about concepts, realities, commentaries and reactions. The worst thing they could ask themselves after spending time with your content is “What was that all about?”

Empowering

Content should be actionable. This does not only pertain to your prospects being motivated to summon enough trust and allow your business to be part of theirs. Empowerment should also be endowed in a way that they begin to realize things they couldn’t have envisioned before, and that they become willing to take more risks than they’ve ever imagined. Your content should be able to provide them that inspiration.

Entertaining

Okay, so you don’t have a lot of facts to share or figures to analyze. But you have a great story to tell. That alone, should be enough to spark interest, if you know how to present it effectively. Entertainment in content is knowing how to touch a reader’s soft spots and leaving an impression after the experience. Wouldn’t you want your reader to enjoy your content and comment something like “That was fun”?

Encompassing

Once you’ve secured that the previous elements are present in your content, now it’s time to do a reality check: is your content relevant? Sometimes, no matter how educational, empowering, or entertaining a piece is, it still wouldn’t satisfy people because of its lack of applicability to their current situations. They must be able to absorb your message in the context that is relevant to them at the present time, and that’s the only way they could regard your content as “significant”. That element will seal the deal and compel your readers to proceed to the next level.

Destroy your brand’s online reputation in 6 (preventable) ways

Destroy your brand’s online reputation in 6 (preventable) ways

Every day, people swarm into your blog or website to check your content, and they make all sorts of commitments: creating an account, signing up for newsletters, or even making a purchase. But sometimes there is also what we call a “close call”, where a reader is just about ready to make a commitment – but at the last second that person had a change of heart. Forever.

PSY-chosis: K-Pop can Teach Marketers how to go Viral

Now as a marketer, how would you know what could have caused that? What did the reader see that made him turn away for good? Most of the time, there’s really no way for you to know for sure (unless that person provides feedback). The only safety measure you could use is to inspect your site for possible flaws that, without your knowledge, have been ruining your brand’s name for quite some time now.

Cheap content – If you’re writing for Google instead of your prospects, it could be why you don’t have good conversion rates despite of a good SEO ranking. Truth is, traditional SEO has become so old-fashioned that people would run away fast the moment they see it. They know and appreciate when a write-up is meant to solve problems, to teach or provide valuable insight.

Not doing what you say you will – Scenario: a newly-registered customer specifically opted out on any email newsletters or updates, but your system goes ahead and sends stuff anyway. Result: reputation permanently damaged. If they can’t rely on you on a simple detail like this, why would they trust you with their business?

Appalling sales tactics – Face it: no one wants to play the fool. Deceiving or misleading people are irreversible name-destroyers and there’s no value in doing them. Don’t use fake testimonials. Don’t say the stock is running low when it really isn’t. Don’t indicate that it’s free if you’re planning to charge them in the end. Don’t risk losing thousands of prospects by making money out of deceiving 10 people.

Getting into online fights – While it could probably give you certain publicity, the long-term effect is more injurious. Engaging in this type of behavior would only reduce your brand to a lower level each time.

Making your site an ad billboard – Business owners pay good money to make sure their website visitors could focus on and absorb their product, while you drive your own visitors away by plastering unattractive ads on your landing page. And for what, a few bucks in ad revenue?

Ignoring typos and photo fails – While you’re thinking “It’s not that important to waste energy on proofreading or creating quality images”, your readers are thinking, “ This company couldn’t even bother correcting a simple misspelling or installing Photoshop; there’s no way I’m using their service”.

Social Media Management: 3 ways to uncover and boost ROI

Social Media Management - 3 ways to uncover and boost ROI

survey from Manta, a business community site, gathered insights from more than 1,200 SMBs and found out that among those who invested on social media for their marketing campaigns in 2012, only 40 percent saw a return on their investment.

This might be a mystery to some people who are constantly witnessing the power of social media in their daily marketing activities. If it’s so powerful, why can’t they see their investment blossom? This phenomenon could might as well add to the growing myth that social media is indeed a non-ROI venture.

It is, however, still a myth.

The truth is, social media can ensure ROI; you only need to take necessary steps to see to it that you’re getting the most of your time and money.

Be very strategic. According to Mana Ionescu, president of Lightspan Digital in Chicago, many small businesses waste several hours a day in coming up with a perfect tweet or Facebook post. To save time and energy, she suggests creating sort of a “daily task manager” to organize specific tasks during the day, such as scheduling photo posts or retweeting certain relevant posts. Managing the tasks will make up for lost time and also makes it easier to track. Being strategic is working smarter, not harder.

Provide a clear action path. One of the reasons why companies don’t see ROI is the fact that the social media process is often incomplete. When people check out you content on social networking sites, they have to be directed to a specific path that leads to conversion. Without it, the very purpose of social media marketing is defeated. After reading your article, what’s next? After seeing your tweet, what’s next? If they don’t clearly see your call-to-action buttons, they stop at being mere readers and not potential customers.

Give away free stuff only when it makes sense. Freebies are not supposed to be acts of goodwill; you don’t give stuff away just for kicks. There should be a defined goal in that process. Encourage a trade between you and your recipients by asking for information in exchange of the goods. If you don’t see the benefit of giving a free product to a low-chance prospect, don’t bother. Instead, exert your energy on figuring out what would make that person become a customer, and base your freebies on those needs.