Why Your Business Needs SEO

Today, it would be a huge surprise if you were to run out of ways to advertise your business and give it more exposure. There are so many different forms of communication with customers. There is television, the newspapers, email, radio advertising, forums and more. The single biggest resource in the world, though, is search. If you have heard of search engine optimization before, welcome to the place where you finally make a choice that will see your business booming.

Every day, people search for things on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. Each of these processes billions of searches each day. Right now, the market that you want to reach with your business products and services is probably searching for these exact services on one of these search engines. By using best SEO practices, you place your website at the top of the search results for these searches. This, in turn, boosts your traffic by a huge amount. So why exactly do you need SEO so badly for your business?

1. Searching is popular!

Every day, every person with internet access uses Google at least once during the day. In fact, Google says that 4 out of every 5 people use their search engine to find out about companies in the local area. As more people start using search engines to find information every day, you will begin to see an influx in the number of hits you get on your website when you use SEO to place yourself on these results pages.

2. SEO is cost friendly

Newspapers, TV, and magazines are great for advertising and reaching out to your client base or target market. However, they are also very costly. Even worse: you have to pay a premium rate every month or week for the advertising to be kept running. If you don’t, you will see the traffic to your company petering out as soon as it stops. SEO is cheap because you only have to pay the SEO consultant’s fee and then watch the profits roll in.

3. Targeted traffic is the best kind

When you advertise using a medium like TV or the radio, you don’t know who you are reaching out to. It is a case of throwing a handful of pebbles at a target and hoping that one of them hits the target. This is so broad it can be more of a loss for you than a profitable venture. With SEO, you set up landing pages on your website that are based on the terms that the consumer searched for. For example, someone looking for “best mens winter shoes” would be directed to a page on your site listing the best winter footwear for men. This provides you with a highly specific traffic for your pages.

4. You gain the upper hand

Remember that SEO isn’t exclusive to you. Even though you aren’t doing it, you can be sure that the competition is. Most small business owners know exactly how useful SEO is, and probably have SEO in place on their sites right now. If you do it too and do it better, you gain the upper edge in the rat race that is the industry.

As you probably know already, search engines are well on their way to becoming an integral part of life on the internet. Whether it is on mobile phones or computers, people are out there searching right now. You should make the leap into SEO and turn your business into a recipient of the many benefits of the practice today. It is cheap, reliable, and very profitable when done right!

Call today and let’s talk about some first steps to improve your SEO ranking 513-317-3049.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner – DIY keyword research

google-keyword-planner

So many of you are startups with limited budgets to hire professionals to do your keyword research. Here is a quick video to help you do your own discovery of keywords and the bonus is it will help you with blog topics too!! Discover the free tool known as Google Keyword Planner, hidden in the Adwords area.

Come back and share your discoveries.

 

 

Post-Penguin Linkbuilding Tactics

Marketing-Ideas-GirlIn many ways, the Google Penguin update really tossed up a lot of what the internet marketing world thought they knew about SEO. Many old linkbuilding tactics, such as buying .edu links, mass blog comment posting or article directory submissions not only lost value, but could actually come back and hurt your rankings.

Today, the search engine game has more and more become about getting real, genuine backlinks back to your website. Low quality backlinks have lost massive value, while high quality backlinks are gaining more weight.

In addition, Google is placing more emphasis on person to person relationships. In other words, social media relationships are beginning to play more of a part in search engine rankings.

It’s safe to assume that Google Penguin won’t be Google’s last big tossup. As search engine technology and especially the AI technology that was developed for Panda evolve, we can expect more big changes to roll out. More likely than not, these changes will further deemphasize low quality linking and prop up high quality linking even more.

So in the post-panda world, what can you do to build more backlinks and build your rankings? Read on.

#1) Guest Blogging

One fantastic way to build links to any website is to write guest blogs. What’s amazing about guest blogging is that not only do you get high quality links back to your website, but you also get to put your content right in front of real people in your industry.

There are a few different ways to write guest blogs. The easiest way is to head over to MyBlogGuest.com and find other blogs in your industry who want your content.

This is fantastic for links, but most high quality, high traffic blogs won’t be advertising for guest posts this way.

Instead, you need to approach them directly. Try to build a relationship with them by commenting on their blogs and interacting with them over Twitter. Build high quality content on your own website.

Then, when you think you can provide something of value to their audience, send them a message directly with your proposal.


#2) Genuine Web 2.0 Links

Another great source of links is genuine Web 2.0 properties. These include Squidoo, Hubpages or any other kinds of websites where you can create your own content and have it distributed to a real community of people.

The key to creating these kinds of Web 2.0 properties is to create high quality pages. A lot of marketers simply spam Squidoo or other similar sites with low quality content. This doesn’t work.

Instead, you need to create high quality content that actually gets voted for on these sites. On Hubpages for example, you want to create pages that actually get a high Hubscore.

When you create a high quality Web 2.0 property, people will comment on it, interact with it and link to it. Google will often rank the page highly. Any links you point to your site from that property will be hugely beneficial to your site.


#3) Help a Reporter Out

One of the best ways to get in contact with reporters who need stories is Help a Reporter Out (HARO.) This is a free site where reporters who need sources go to post what they need.

Sign up for their newsletter. Anytime a reporter requests a source in your area of expertise, contact them. Get in touch and let them pick your brains about the topic.

This benefits you in a few ways. First, they’ll often link to your website right then and there. Make sure you ask them to make the link active, as often newspapers will just write your site in text without linking.

Second however, you build a relationship with that journalist. If you keep doing this, you’ll soon have a small rolodex of press people who’re in your debt. When you next launch a creative or edgy product, you can get in touch with them and manufacture your own press blitz.


#4) Contact Your Commenters

If you run a blog, discussion board or website that has any kind of social interaction, chances are other people who also have websites are going to contact you.

Whenever you receive a comment from someone who says they love your site, get in touch with them. See if you can arrange some sort of backlink deal with them.

These people already love your content. Getting them to agree to have you write a guest post or even give a free link back to you on a relevant page shouldn’t be too difficult.


#5) Build Real Relationships

Go to conferences and cultivate real, genuine relationships. Meet people face to face and engender goodwill.

A lot of people will link to you if they like you and you ask. In fact, for many high profile individuals that’s the only way you can get them to link back to you.

People with massive twitter followings or blog followings are very rarely going to link to you if you just ask them out of the blue. They don’t know you and receive a dozen such requests every day.

On the other hand, if you meet them in person, have a good conversation and develop a rapport, there’s a very good chance they’ll do you that favor. That’s how you get the PR5 and PR6 backlinks – Through real personal relationships.

#6) Social Bookmarking Websites

Getting your content to the front of a social bookmarking website like Reddit, Digg or StumbleUpon is a fantastic way to drive tons and tons of traffic your way. If you’re making this a genuine goal of yours, make sure your server is setup to handle the traffic.

If you do manage to get your post ranked highly on a social bookmarking site, you’ll see tens of thousands of people flooding into your website. Don’t be alarmed if the bounce rate is much higher than usual or the time on site much lower. The quality of traffic from these sites tends to be lower, as people on these sites click many links in a short period of time.

The real value you’ll get from getting on the front of a social bookmarking site is through the links you’ll build. If you land on the front of reddit, you’re going to get dozens or even hundreds of backlinks in a matter of hours or days. These will help your rankings for the rest of your site’s life.


#7) Build a Strong Social Media Presence

Google is paying more and more attention to social media. Already Google +1s carry a ton of weight. If someone +1s any of your content, there’s a great chance that your site will be popping up very often in the search results.

Create a popular fan page. Be active on Twitter. Get Google +1s. If you’re not already active on social media, now is the time. The time for webmasters to “wait and see if it matters” is over.

Experts have said it. Web stats have said it. Users have said it and now the search engines are saying it: Social media matters. Today, not only will it drive visitors, but it’ll drive rankings as well.

Social media links might not matter in the traditional PageRank passing sense, but having a strong social media presence will still certainly help your rankings.


#8) Do an Interview

Find experts in your niche and interview them about the subject.

When you do this, the expert will often link to you. Other people will link to you. It’ll be fantastic for search rankings, for twitter, for Facebook, for your email list and for building traction all around.

Again, the key to getting people to agree to be interviewed is to build personal relationships. Either that, or build relationships with key networkers who can introduce you to other influential people.

#9) Start a Video Series

Videos are a fantastic way to both get new visitors and improve your relationship with your old ones.

Start a video series and publish it regularly. Get people in the habit of receiving content from you. People who love your content will watch and share your videos regularly. Keyword optimize your videos and there’s a great chance that you’ll rank highly on Google or YouTube.


These are nine linkbuilding tactics you can use today to generate real, genuine links that post-penguin Google will love. What’s more is that these linkbuilding tactics will most likely survive the next Google update, and the one after that. These links aren’t built on quick-fix solutions, but actually get you real endorsements from real people. Give it a try and come back and tell us of your success.

Spyfu.com Online Keyword and Ad Research System

SpyFu is a highly advanced online keyword and ad spy system.

They build their own database of ads through a search engine spider that regularly crawls and indexes all the ads. They do this several times a month, so you can easily go back and see exactly what ads your competitors are using and what keywords they’re targeting.

Here’s how to use SpyFu to do competitive ad & keyword research.

Step 1: Type in Your Keyword

Start by typing in the keyword you want to research.


Step 2: Review the Basic Stats

SpyFu will start out giving you the basic stats for that keyword. These stats include the estimated CPC, the number of clicks per day, the estimated cost per day if you advertised, the number of people currently advertising for the keyword, the search volume and the number of search results.


 

Step 3: Quick Ads

If you scroll down a bit, you’ll be able to see a screenfull of ads that SpyFu has recorded. These are basically just a handful of ads that are currently running, regardless of who the advertiser is or when the ad was put up. Think of it as the quick view of ads; you can dig a lot deeper later on.


 

Step 4: Organic Results

Below the paid results are the organic results. Though most people use SpyFu for their paid keyword tracking, SpyFu does also track organic results.


 

Step 5: Historical Ad View

SpyFu allows you to see what your competitors wrote in their ads both today and in previous months. Just click the colored ads on the left and the ad will be displayed on the right.


 

Step 6: Competitors Also Bought …

If you’re interested in one keyword, chances are you’ll also be interested in what other keywords your competitors are bidding on. SpyFu can tell you.


 

Step 7: Research a Specific Competitor

What if you wanted to research a specific competitor instead of a keyword? SpyFu allows you to see all the keywords they’re bidding on, as well as their active ads and ad history.

Just type the competitor’s URL into the search box to get started.


 

Step 8: View Detailed Backdated Ads

On the competitor’s page, SpyFu will show you all your competitors’ previous ads. This will give you a good idea of what they’ve experimented with, what they found didn’t work and what they found works best so far.


Again, just click on a colored box to see the ad.

Step 9: What Keywords They’re Buying

SpyFu will also give you a detailed list of what keywords your competitors are buying. This can be a quick and simple way of discovering a ton of profitable keywords.


 

Step 10: Who Are Their Competitors?

In addition to keywords and ads, SpyFu can also tell you who’s bidding against your competitor. In other words, SpyFu makes it easy to scout out the terrain to see who all the players in the industry and keyword space are.


 

Step 11: See Overlapping Keywords

If two or more of your competitors are targeting the same keywords, chances are they’re making money with their keywords. That’s especially true if you see them running those keywords for several months.

To check for keyword target overlaps between competitors, click “Kombat” in the top navigation bar.


 

Choose the overlapping area and SpyFu will display the overlapping keywords.


 

Step 12: SmartSearch

SpyFu also has a capability known as SmartSearch. Essentially SmartSearch is like a built in keyword research tool that can display search volume, CPC and other relevant information.

To access SmartSearch, click “Keyword SmartSearch” in the top navigation bar.


 

Type in the keyword(s) you want to research. SpyFu will then display the data they have for those keywords.


 

It’s that easy! SpyFu allows you to spy on your competitors in unprecedented depth. You can see their ads, their ad history, their keyword targets and what all their competitors are doing as well.

SEM Rush Keyword Research Tool

SEM Rush is a competitive intelligence tool that provides data on keywords, competitors and ads for both organic and paid traffic. It has both a paid side and a free side.

Here’s how to use SEM Rush to research keywords and ads.

Step 1: Type in Your Competitor’s Domain

Start by typing in the domain of the person or company you’d like to spy on.


Step 2: Choose the Country

One of SEM Rush’s unique features is its ability to research data from many different countries. You can select the country you want to see results for at the top.


Step 3: Organic Keyword Results

The first thing you’ll see is SEM Rush’s data on your competitor’s organic keyword results.


 

Step 4: Paid Keyword Results

SEM Rush will give you a list of keywords they’re bidding on. They’ll also tell you the search volume, CPC and competition levels for those keywords, along with what position your competitor is in.


 

Step 5: Organic Competitors

SEM Rush gives you detailed information about the domain’s competitors in the organic search results. It’ll let you know what keywords they have in common, what keywords they’re bidding on and more.


 

Step 6: Competitor Analysis

Who are the main competitors of the domain you typed in? How much traffic are they getting from their ads? How much are they spending? What keywords are they ranked for?

SEM Rush gives you all this data in their competitor panel.


 

Step 7: Ad Spy

Want to see what ads your competitors are running? Just punch in their domain in SEM Rush and you’ll be able to see the exact ad text of their ads.


 

Step 8: Detailed Reports

If you want to see more details about keywords, ads, competitors or anything else, just click the appropriate link in the “Reports” section on the left.


 

For example, this is what the detailed Ads Keywords report looks like.


 

Step 9: Keyword Searches

Apart from doing competitive analysis on specific domains, SEM Rush can also do research on specific keywords. Just type a keyword into the search bar.

SEM Rush will start by giving you basic data, such as the volume, CPC and overall trends.


 

Below that will be much more detail about long tail keywords, including volume and CPCs for a long list of keywords you might be interested in.


 

That’s how to use SEM Rush to research your competitors and explore new keywords. Using SEM Rush, you can get ideas for new ad copy, figure out potentially profitable keywords and automate a lot of research that would take a long time by hand.

SEO:: Competitive Keyword Research Process

Doing competitive research is much more about having a good process than having the right tools. Having good tools can help you get the job done faster, but knowing how to use the tools is what’s really important.

Here’s a proven keyword research process for finding keywords that are already working for your competitors. This will give you a serious shortcut in the whole testing curve. You’ll still have to do a bit of testing yourself, but you’ll know for certain that you’re starting with a base keyword list that’s working for other people already.

Step 1: Compile a Base Keyword List

Start by compiling a basic keyword list. These aren’t necessarily keywords you’ll actually bid on, but are keywords you’ll use to find all the competitors you want to spy on.

To come up with more ideas, use the Google Keyword Tool to find keywords that are related to yours. Also, try typing in your competitors’ URLs into the Google Keyword Tool to see what their base keywords are.


Make sure you get a wide range of different worded keywords. In other words, instead of “teach English” and “teach English overseas,” try to get a variety of foundation-level keywords: “Teach English,” “English Tutoring,” “Become an English Teacher,” “TEFL,” etc. Don’t just get the longtail keywords of one keyword.

Step 2: Compile a Competitor List

Go into Google and type in each of the keywords you found one by one. Copy and paste the top organic and AdWords results into a spreadsheet.


Rinse and repeat this process for each and every keyword you compiled in Step 1. By the end of this process, you should have a spreadsheet with at least 20 to 40 domains of your main competitors.


 

Step 3: Enter Domains Into a Keyword Research Tool

Take the domain and type it into a competitive keyword research tool like SpyFu, Keyword Spy or SEM Rush.

 

Step 4: Record the Keywords

Take the keywords and enter them into a separate tab in your spreadsheet.


 

Make sure you filter out any keywords that aren’t completely relevant for what you’re selling. Don’t just copy and paste your competitor’s keyword lists without thinking it through.


 

Step 5: Rinse and Repeat

Keep doing this process for every single one of the domains you recorded in the beginning. Enter all 20 to 40 of these domains into the keyword research tool and record the keywords in your spreadsheet.

Once you’re done, you should have a keyword list of several hundred entries. Remove the duplicates and you have a good starting point.


Also consider repeating the whole process with another keyword research tool to get different keywords. Different tools will generate different lists.

7 Competitive Keyword Research Tips

1. Repeat this process every 2 months.

Competitor change, as do keywords. Something that’s working this month might stop working the next. New keywords might be found that your competitors are making money on.

The best way to stay on top of the market is to repeat the keyword research process every 2 months or so.

2. Start with ROI, then go for volume.

It’s much better to start with a handful of keywords that you think will convert, than to start with a huge keyword list.

Once you’ve discovered all the keywords that your competitors are using, pick just a handful to test with first.

Pick the keywords that are most relevant to your business and the keywords that signify someone is close to buying.

3. Use Exact & Phrase Match

Using exact match and phrase match allows you to get the highest possible ROI in the beginning. Again, this allows you to target specifically the people who are in the mindset you want to target.

The goal is to make sure that you actually have a profitable group of keywords and product before you spend a lot of money. Once you know you’re profitable, you can lower your standards so you get more volume at a lower ROI.

4. Notice What People Are Not Targeting

In addition to paying attention to what your competitors are targeting, pay attention to what they’re not targeting.

Chances are basic tools like the Google Keyword Tool are going to give you a whole bunch of keywords that in reality aren’t being used by your competitors. This is a great signal that these keywords probably aren’t profitable.

5. Think Outside the Box

Don’t just use keyword tools to come up with keywords. Also use your own knowledge of the market and your customer’s mentality.

Think up all the things that people might type into the search engines if they were in the right mindset to buy your product. Check to see if they have volume. If they do, run with it.

Going outside the box is often one of the best and most profitable ways to find keywords.

6. Pay Attention to Strange Keywords

If during your keyword research you come across strange keywords or keywords that you haven’t thought of yourself, pay attention.

Often time’s this can point to a kind of keyword, mindset or sub-market that you haven’t even thought about targeting yet. It can open a whole different dimension of keywords.

7. Don’t Forget Competitor Names as Keywords

Finally, remember that brand names and competitor names are often the best keywords you can target. You can’t use trademarked names in your ads, but you’re free to bid on them.
Using the information in this report, you’ll be able to compile a comprehensive list of all the keywords your competitors are using. From that list, you can pull the best keywords for your business to come up with a killer ad campaign.

Top 10 SEO Information Sources

SEO? Every online business owner wants their share of free search engine traffic. The problem is, it seems like the search engine process is changing every minute or two. Thankfully, there are a number of resources to turn to when you need current SEO information. Here are 10 of the best ones.

Site #1: SEOmoz

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http://www.seomoz.org/blog

SEOmoz is actually the developer of search engine optimization software, but they also happen to have a very informative and well-read blog. Content is provided by a variety of writers and the comments are often just as informative as the posts. Definitely a must for the RSS feed.

Site #2: SEO Book

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http://www.seobook.com

Known to tell it like it is and even ruffle a few feathers, Aaron Wall has never shied away from providing advice, even when it hurts. Aaron’s posts are always very detailed and offer proof, just about every step of the way.

Site #3: Search Engine Watch

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http://searchenginewatch.com

This extremely information rich website is updated multiple times daily. It can be a little overwhelming to keep up, but if you’re looking for the latest news, you’ll likely find it here. Not for the beginner.

Site #4: Search Engine Land

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http://searchengineland.com

Search Engine Land was created by Danny Sullivan, a journalist who has been covering search engines for over 11 years. They run a very active blog and host several in-person events throughout the year.

Site #5: Search Engine Journal

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http://www.searchenginejournal.com

Another very active site with the latest search engine news and advice. With many guest contributors there is always plenty of variety and thorough coverage of a wide variety of topics.

Site #6: Michael Gray

seo

http://www.wolf-howl.com

Known as “Graywolf,” Michale Gray knows his search engines. His site is not updated as frequently as some of the online search engine magazine sites, but the advice is powerful.

Site #7: Matt Cutts

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http://www.mattcutts.com/blog

Matt is the head of the Google Search Quality team and is one of the few people who answers public questions about Google online. However, anything he posts or says comes with a disclaimer that he is speaking personally and not for Google. His blog isn’t updated too frequently, but following him on Twitter and Google+ can prove quite useful.

Site #8: Nick Stamoulis – Search Engine Optimization Journal

seo

http://www.searchengineoptimizationjournal.com

Not to be confused with Search Engine Journal, this one-man blog by Nick Stamoulis. He’s the head of his own SEO company and shares useful information with the readers of his blog.

Site #9: Rae Hoffman-Dolan – Sugarrae

seo

http://www.sugarrae.com

Now the Sugarrae website is not actually an SEO site. It’s intended to be an affiliate marketing blog and sadly, she doesn’t update it all that often. However, that’s because she is very busy with actually working on websites for her own company and her clients. If you’ve ever heard Rae speak or read an interview, you know she knows what she’s talking about.

Site #10: SEO by the Sea

seo

http://www.seobythesea.com

SEO by the Sea is quite a technical blog created by Bill Slawski. According to Bill, “The SEO by the Sea blog keeps an eye on information directly from the search engines such as patent filings and whitepapers, to share some of the assumptions and processes behind how search engines work, how they rank web pages, and whether or not they might have some surprises for us in the future.”

 

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