Search Engine Marketing

  1. How Using Microdata Can Improve Your Website SEO

    07 Dec 2017 ...  

    How Using Microdata Can Improve Your Website SEOSearch giants Google, Bing and Yahoo announced last summer a rare collaboration to support the use of microdata tagging to generate more relevant and more detailed search results. This offers business owners and other website publishers another opportunity to improve their search engine optimization (SEO) by making a few changes to their websites.

    While microdata may sound like a foreign language initially, fear not. To help you get started, here's a primer on what microdata is, how search engines use it and why it could benefit your website.

    What is microdata?
    Essentially, microdata is one of three code languages designed to provide search-engine spider programs with information about website content. To understand how this works in practice, consider the following example provided by microdata listing website Schema.org:

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  2. Google Launches Program to Help Small Businesses Become More Visible

    05 Dec 2017 ...  

    Google Launches Program to Help Small Businesses Become More Visible

    Do your company’s website, hours and address show up right away when people Google you…or at all? If not, you're missing out on big business and Google wants to help you fix the problem.  

    The tech giant today announced a major new small business initiative called Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. The aim is to help every business in every city in America get discovered across its services.

    To this ambitious end, Google has created a custom website for “virtually every town and city in the U.S.,” 30,000 in all. The sites provide small business owners with step-by-step directions on how to create a Google My Business listing, as well as how to improve the information that shows up about their companies on Google search, Google maps and Google+.

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  3. How to Get Your Podcast Found in iTunes Search

    03 Dec 2017 ...  

    How to Get Your Podcast Found in iTunes Search

    Editor's note: Google isn't the only way for your business to be discovered online. This is the third in a five-part series looking at alternate sources for search.

    Though it can be a great way to promote brands and products, few business owners even think of creating podcasts, which are audio files or video files that are posted online and can be downloaded by others to view or listen to. You can find podcasts to download in online marketplaces such as Apple's iTunes store.

    Take for example the case study shared by Glen Allsopp of the ViperChill blog. In just six days, the first episode of his newly released podcast was downloaded more than 18,000 times, providing tremendous exposure that might've been difficult to achieve using any other advertising medium.

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  4. 6 Essential SEO Strategies to Incorporate in 2016

    26 Nov 2017 ...  

    6 Essential SEO Strategies to Incorporate in 2016

    If you do great work with your search engine optimization (SEO), it could mean a significant amount of revenue for your business. At the same time, however, it is also an ongoing initiative. Once you generate a steady stream of traffic from SEO, you need to constantly be maintaining and improving your SEO in order to keep those rankings you worked so hard for.

    Generally, the two most important items needed to rank well in search engines are links to your website and content — the hard part is creating great content and generating those links. It is also important to note that Google, the largest search engine, has hundreds of ranking factors with some factors having more weight than others.

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  5. 12 Strategies for Promoting Your YouTube Videos

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    12 Strategies for Promoting Your YouTube Videos

    In his book Entrepreneur Magazine's Ultimate Guide to YouTube for Business, marketing and public relations consultant Jason Rich show you how to master the secrets of successful "YouTubers" and put your brand, product or service in front of millions of potential viewers. In this edited excerpt, the author outlines 12 ways you can promote and market your small-business YouTube videos.

    When it comes to marketing and promoting your small-business YouTube videos, follow these 12 basic strategies:

    1. Start by using the tools available directly through YouTube. For example, provide a detailed and accurate title and description to each of your videos, and associate tags (keywords) that are directly relevant.

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  6. Bing vs. Google: Which Search Engine is Best?

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Bing vs. Google: Which Search Engine is Best?

    You might have seen the commercials online or on TV: Bing has been waging a marketing war on Google, claiming that blind users prefer Bing's results over Google's by a 2-to-1 margin.

    But has Microsoft's search engine really advanced enough to pose a credible threat to Google? While you can test the comparison on your own at BingitOn.com, I've identified strengths and weaknesses for both. Either engine may have an edge depending on your personal preferences.

    From social integration to speed to quality, here's a look at how they stack up:

    Google advantage: Provides more relevant information.
    While Bing's recent changes make it a more viable search option, it's still lacking in terms of result quality in response to informative queries.

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  7. How to Boost In-Store Holiday Purchases With Paid Search

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    How to Boost In-Store Holiday Purchases With Paid Search

    If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you may be convinced that running paid search on Bing Ads or Google Adwords might not be right for you, that it only works for an ecommerce website or online retailer. But, I'd encourage you to think again — especially as the holidays approach. New Bing Ads research shows that paid search advertising can make a big impact when it comes to in-store holiday purchases.

    Related: How to Prepare to Dazzle and Delight Your Customers This Upcoming Holiday Season

    That's because search is a key influencer in every step of the buyer's journey — whether customers shop online or in-store. And being there with the right message at the right time for shoppers searching for the right gift can be key to boosting your in-store sales this holiday season.

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  8. SEO 2017: 5 Rock-Solid Strategies to Help You Rank

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    SEO 2017: 5 Rock-Solid Strategies to Help You Rank

    To succeed with SEO in 2017 you need trust. Trust is the core component of Google's relevancy-oriented search. Without trust, you're simply not relevant. Yet, building trust is a double-edged sword and somewhat of a catch-22. For newcomers, especially, gaining visibility without trust has become incredibly difficult.

    However, without visibility, how are people supposed to garner those all-important shares and links to your content? If someone can't discover your article, how are they supposed to engage with it and like it enough to send it to their friends or share it on social media? Clearly, in the beginning, the odds are stacked up against us. But there is a way forward. 

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  9. Link Building: 12 Ways to Get Other Sites to Link to Yours

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Link Building: 12 Ways to Get Other Sites to Link to Yours

    In their book Ultimate Guide to Link Building, link-building experts Eric Ward and Garrett French offer straightforward advice to help you earn a higher search engine ranking and increase the authority and popularity of your site. In this edited excerpt, the authors show you how to craft an email that will get more people to respond to your link requests. 

    Email inboxes are busy, and you need a way to make your email link request stand out from hundreds of others. Here are 12 elements your link requests should contain, followed by the logic behind them. Although these may seem obvious, the overwhelming majority of link requests don't contain them, so adopting these practices will set you apart from the competition for your target's attention.

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  10. Zero Is the New No. 1 (At Least for Google Ranking)

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Zero Is the New No. 1 (At Least for Google Ranking)

    If you’re optimizing your web content for search-engine results pages (SERPs), you might be under the impression that No. 1 is the best you can do.

    But you need to think bigger. Counter to everything you know about every other aspect of business and life, you want to be No. 0. That coveted slot will snag you a featured snippet to go along with your claim to fame at the top of the first page. And it’s the absolute best place to be if you’re trying to rank a web page.

    Related: Your SEO Checklist: 4 Steps to Optimizing Your Website

    What No. 0 looks like.

    If you want to see a featured snippet, just head over to Google and search for the following vital information: “How to cure bacon.” That box at the top of the SERPs is No. 0.  

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  11. Capitalize on Back-to-School Shopping With These 3 Marketing Tips

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Capitalize on Back-to-School Shopping With These 3 Marketing Tips

    The back-to-school scramble is well underway. This very day, moms, dads and college students are scouring the internet for deals on the latest shoes, fashions, dorm furnishings, devices and more. In fact, back-to-school is so big that it contributes to 17 percent of annual retail sales. That’s a $75.8-billion retail opportunity for savvy retailers and small businesses.

    But, if you want to be found ahead of your competitors, you’ve got some marketing homework to do.

    Related: Intelligent Search Drives More Users to Your Business Than Your Website

    As a search evangelist for Microsoft, my job is to help businesses optimize their marketing campaigns. To help get you started, here are some online search and marketing tips that will help your products stand out in the back-to-school retail rush.

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  12. Taking ‘Focus on Users’ Advice Can Kill Your SEO Traffic

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Taking 'Focus on Users' Advice Can Kill Your SEO Traffic

    If you ask Google the best way to do SEO, it will tell you to focus on the user and everything else will follow. Today, SEO is all about creating great, unique content that delights customers.

    Marketers are excited by this news, because from now on they can say goodbye to all the complicated technical SEO stuff. A piece on Entrepreneur.com, "Why Modern SEO Requires Almost No Technical Experience," was widely shared. We now can trust our common sense mentality to "focus on users" in order to drive organic traffic through the roof.

    And while this is half the battle, unfortunately, the road to SEO nirvana is still a long one. Solely following the advice to "focus on users" may very well lead to SEO disasters, because some user experience (UX) changes can create serious technical SEO errors that destroy organic traffic.

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  13. Intelligent Search Drives More Customers to Your Business Than Your Website

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    Intelligent Search Drives More Customers to Your Business Than Your Website

    For decades, business owners have understood that a company’s website is the most important digital property a business has, and that investing in it is the primary way you drive customers from the internet to to your doors. This is no longer true.

    While your website is still very important to your business, a shift in consumer behavior in the last few years has changed this calculation. Company websites are no longer the primary site of online engagement. Search results, including digital maps and listings, are where customers engage with businesses the most, and it’s not even close.

    According to an exclusive study of data retrieved from Yext Analytics of 20,107 business locations’ listings profiles across the search engines, local directories, maps and apps where their brands live, brick-and-mortar-only businesses actually receive 2.7 times as many views of listings on maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems and social networks than they do on their own websites. In some industries this disparity was even higher. In fact, in food service it ranged up to 10 times more impressions in listings than on websites for some.

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  14. 6 Ways to Understand SEO Impacts Sooner

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    6 Ways to Understand SEO Impacts Sooner

    SEO is a great marketing tool for an entrepreneur. It is scalable when you don’t have a big budget — you don’t have to pay for every click as you have to in paid marketing programs. It also has a great brand impact. Users often ascribe leadership status to companies that are top ranked. SEO therefore is a great program that enables entrepreneurs to compete with large companies on equal footing. Imagine being able to do that with television advertising!

    Given that it is such an attractive marketing channel, one would assume that all the business owners would jump on it. That is not the case. In fact SEO remains one of the most under-invested marketing channel among small businesses.

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  15. 5 Tactics That Haven’t Worked For Digital Marketers Until Now

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    5 Tactics That Haven't Worked For Digital Marketers Until Now

    In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, new trends quickly overshadow proven methods of connecting and interacting with consumers. Often, users determine these trends — and it's up to digital marketers to keep pace.

    As user preferences continue to evolve, tactics that didn't work in the past might be worth another look. Here are five examples of strategies that are gaining traction among digital marketers and the audiences they seek.

    1. Mobile marketing.

    Industry watchers have whispered about the transition to a wholly mobile marketplace for some time, but it's never come totally to fruition. Through it all, desktop has maintained its status as king of e-commerce. That worldwide reign could be very close to coming to an end.

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  16. How to Lead Website Visitors to Your Best Content

    24 Nov 2017 ...  

    How to Lead Website Visitors to Your Best Content

    Many website owners focus so much on building a backlink strategy, they fail to create an internal-link strategy. Link-building isn’t an either/or proposition. If you're looking to build a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, it’s a "both/and situation."

    Links add quality and value to your website by:

    • Helping visitors navigate beyond the main menus
    • Enabling the sharing of useful, relevant content that’s deeper in your site than top-level navigation
    • Building paths to guide search engine spiders or bots so they find your content more easily.

    And of course all this has SEO implications: The easier you make it for both humans and search engines to find and navigate your site, the better (and faster) it will rank in search results.

    Internal links: Pathways to site content

    Internal links form pathways to content within your own website. Like paths through a forest, they lead site visitors and search engines to a successful destination. Consider site visitors' movements: While we often imagine that these visitors land on sites from the home page, they can actually enter your website from anywhere: the "About" or "Services" page, a blog post or even your contact information via an online directory. 

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  17. The Beginner’s Guide to Launching a Mobile SEO Campaign

    23 Nov 2017 ...  

    The Beginner's Guide to Launching a Mobile SEO Campaign

    Mobilegeddon was a game-changer. Google tweaked its algorithm in April 2015 to favor mobile-ready websites in searches performed on mobile devices. A little more than a year later, over half of all worldwide searches happen on mobile devices. It’s a big deal in marketing.

    If your site isn't mobile-friendly, you’re waving goodbye to more than half of your potential. Google wants to help with useful links and tools as well as guides designed specifically for content management systems (CMS). It’s good for you, and it’s good for Google.

    A mobile world.

    It’s hard to remember the world before smartphones. They’ve changed everything. According to Morgan Stanley, 91 percent of Americans keep their phones within reach 24/7.

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  18. Is it Valid to Offer SEO Without Result Estimates?

    23 Nov 2017 ...  

    Is it Valid to Offer SEO Without Result Estimates?

    One of the most difficult questions that SEO clients always ask is “How should I expect SEO results?”

    If you have a website, you probably are familiar with spam promises for “achieving the #1 ranking on Google in a month” for whatever keywords from overseas SEO firms. Most of us know that this kind of SEO claim is not ethical. If they are not hoaxes, they can only be achieved with black-hat SEO tactics which are harmful.

    So what about “white hat” SEO?For those unfamiliar, “white-hat” SEO is the SEO approach that drives results by enhancing website quality to deliver a better search experience for users, instead of trying to game the search engines.

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  19. 7 Reasons You Should Stop Managing Your SEO and Hire a Pro

    23 Nov 2017 ...  

    7 Reasons You Should Stop Managing Your SEO and Hire a Pro

    Search engine optimization (SEO) has long been an important strategy for business success, and it’s becoming more relevant. More people are ditching desktops and laptops in favor of mobile-only devices, and conversion rates on smartphones are 15 times higher from searches than as a result of social media recommendations. Need more convincing? Take a look at these statistics:

    • 81 percent of B2B buyers start with a web search, and 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say “they’ll find you” when they’re ready to make a purchase.
    • 78 percent of internet users in the U.S. researched products and services online in 2013, with more than 10.3 billion monthly Google searches.

    SEO can bring a lot of value, so whether you should be managing it yourself is worth some thought. Here are seven compelling reasons to hire a pro.

    1. SEO is not easy.

    Read an article about on-page SEO best practices and you might think you have it all figured out. In reality, an effective SEO strategy covers a lot of ground. There are technical considerations specific to your website, content optimization, user experience and effective backlinking. Not to mention optimization for other emerging rank factors such as RankBrain and social. And what about your local SEO efforts? A professional can recommend and execute the best strategies for each.

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  20. How to Save Your PPC Budget by Using Negative Keywords

    23 Nov 2017 ...  

    How to Save Your PPC Budget by Using Negative Keywords

    Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to go negative. (And, no, I’m not referring to this year’s presidential race). I’m talking about negative keywords: those words and phrases that are essential to ensuring your pay-per-click (PPC) ads are displayed to the right audience.

    Going negative: How to eliminate junk PPC queries

    Here’s what I mean: You run a small business selling hand-blown glassware; you’ve just launched a new line of wine glasses. You bid on “glasses” as a search term.

    Your searcher then Googles a keyword phrase that includes “glasses.” Your ad pops up; the searcher clicks on the ad. Great news, right? Think again: If that searcher is looking for the nearest “glasses repair shop,” for eye glasses, not wine glasses, you’ve just paid money for someone to accidentally click on your ad who has no intention of ever being a customer.

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