Tag Archives: search engines

Top 5 Qualities of Your Ideal SEO Consultant

You’ve done your research and you can’t wait to get your Internet marketing campaign rolling. At this time, you already have clear goals of what you’d like your online campaign to achieve for your business. You’re in the market for a brilliant SEO consultant who can execute your plans, help you achieve your objective, and give you ROI.

With enough initial information, you’ll be able to tell the scam-SEO services from the legitimate SEO consultancy firms. Choosing the best firm for you is the critical step.

All good SEO companies offer the same basic services. It’s the quality of relationship they build with you and your business that adds value to their technical know-how. Below are the 5 most important qualities that your chosen SEO consultant must have before you sign up.

1.    Must be willing to learn about your business

After a short introduction of your business, it is always a good sign that the SEO consultant immediately asks a series of questions about your market and shows a keen interest on your business and marketing objectives.

A brilliant SEO consultant knows that his optimization efforts begin and end with your consumer. The more he gets to know your niche market, the better the solutions he can offer your business.

2.    Must know the value of market research and data analysis

Your SEO consultant should be able to appreciate the value of market research and to translate consumer insights into optimization tools.

Successful keywords and high-value traffic depends on how well you sift through research information and how well your SEO consultant can apply your data to actual optimization.

3.    Must put content quality before website aesthetics

You SEO consultant may not be a very good writer, and this is fine as long as he can tell whether or not a piece of article is written for optimization or not. For him, the most important elements of your content should be:
·    Natural integration of keywords
·    Keyword density
·    Absence of duplicate content elsewhere in the web
·    Relevance
·    Tone, choice of words, and writing style

4.    Must know the rules, terms, and agreements of the top search engines

A good consultant must always have your website’s best interest as his top priority. Make sure that he does not even think of suggesting black hat SEO or other unethical methods.

He must be aware and updated of the top search engines’ rules and terms of agreements. He must make sure that you won’t accidentally do something that would result to having your website banned and blacklisted.

This requirement should extend to his knowledge of social bookmarking websites, PR sites, top blogs, and forums. Make sure that he does not risk your credibility in any way.

5.    Must be able to give you regular reports and suggest fresh ideas

Optimizing for the Internet is a continuous process. The only way to know what to do next and what else you can do is to study reports. Be sensitive to statistics and all the factors that cause fluctuations—don’t be misled by either positive or negative spikes.

Creativity is very welcome in the SEO arena. Encourage your SEO consultant to put fresh ideas on the table. An important mark of a great SEO consultant is if he can handle constructive criticism and take on the challenge of giving better options.

 

Is Your SEM Consultant the Best One for You?

1.    He must know your business like it’s his own
One must know the problem to be able to give successful solutions. Your SEM consultant must show genuine interest in all aspects of your business, even those that “don’t have anything to do with marketing”.

Often, the most creative solutions are inspired by something trivial—like a particular segment in the production line or an interesting detail from the company’s history.

An effective SEM consultant should also be naturally interested to get to know how your frontline team works and how the team feels about your company. This way, he can assess if the problem needs an internal online marketing solution or an external search engine marketing solution.

It is vital that your SEM consultant understands your brand essence and your company values. If he consistently recommends “a shorter, faster way” of doing things, you might want to check if his methods are legitimate. The best search engines do not tolerate unethical SEM practices and they can—and will—penalize you if you go that route.

2.    He must know your niche market like he knows his TV remote
After agreeing on a specific market to pursue, your SEM consultant must work with you to get to know your market. The basic factors towards understanding a market include knowing:
·    How they use products in your category
·    What attitude they have towards your product, your competitors and other products/details that could be related to your brand, such as type of packaging (tube versus sachet)
·    What image of your brand and your competitors they have in their minds—to guide you towards communicating effectively

3.    He must help you make sense of research results

Besides market research, it is also important to do keyword research to help you determine the type of content that your website will offer. Your marketing consultant must be able to help you interpret the data (in this case, the list of potential keywords for your niche), and weed out the ones that you can maximize.

It is recommended to conduct periodic research and analysis with your SEM consultant. Successful marketing through any medium relies on how well you translate market understanding to communication materials.

In the case of search engine marketing, the success of your website relies heavily on your choice of keywords to optimize for. Keywords, like most elements of marketing, are not static. They evolve with your market. It is your responsibility to make sure that your SEM consultant stays on top of your changing market and recommend content revisions accordingly.
4.    He must be able to listen well
A good SEM consultant must be able to listen to you and your niche. He must be able to balance the needs of both market and brand. He must not take sides because the satisfaction of the market relies on how well a brand keeps its promise while the success of a brand relies on how well it satisfies the market.

The work of a good SEM consultant is to be able to help create a venue where your market can get to know your brand better and where the brand can tell your market how else it can address their needs.
 

Google Advertising: Maximizing by Practical Training

Simplicity and functionality
Google successfully maintains its position as one of the Big 3 search engines because it helps advertisers market their websites. Google has a host of online software, all with easy-to-learn interface and friendly reports that are easy to understand.

However easy it might be to use Google’s advertising tools separately, it is a different matter if you seriously want to maximize the roster of free advertising software. It takes more than reading online tutorials and relevant forums to figure out the perfect combination to exactly address your search engine marketing needs.

Using is simple, but maximizing takes skill
Google’s advertising tools can be used independently from each other. Each one boasts of a fantastic interface that makes it easy for anyone to use. Learning to use these tools takes between 2 to 7 days—the same for generating reports.

On the other hand, learning how to integrate one tool with another requires more skill and a deeper understanding of what each of Google’s advertising tools can do for you.

Choosing which services you really need
More than advanced technical skills, higher logic is also required if you wish to maximize Google’s advertising tools. There are a lot of services with specific goals. If you want to go for integration, it is recommended that you figure out exactly what kind of help you need and determine the corresponding Google advertising tool to address your needs.

It would also be wise to think from the perspective of your niche market. After all, it is their clicks that you’re trying to attract. It won’t hurt if you allocate more time to execute a proper market research. Get to know their browsing habits, how they perceive your brand, how you fare with your competitors, and which keywords to optimize for. In the long run, keeping on top of market changes will become a breeze for you. This will significantly reduce mistakes, shorten test periods, and save you a lot of money.

Measurements and analyses help keep your ROI in check
Setting your Google ads in place and determining all the tools you need don’t mean that the work is done. The challenge of online marketing is the need for constant monitoring so that you’re quick to adapt to the changes that happen to your niche.

Most advertising services offered by Google follow the pay-per-click business model. This is both effective and cost-efficient as long as you do it right. Meaning, you only pay for the clicks that will add to your bottom line. Most ads are keyword-dependent, an element that mirrors exactly how your market thinks and feels. Little changes that happen to the market have significant effects to your keyword list. Use the reports you get from Google for free to keep up and tweak your campaign accordingly.

Search engine rankings change in a matter of seconds without warning. You can’t afford to lose your hard-earned spot. It’s always better to maintain than to rebuild everything.

Do You Use Keywords Properly in Your Website?

1. Know your market’s language
At this point, you might already have a list of keywords that you want to optimize for. These keywords could be general terms commonly used to describe your product or your category. You might be thinking that the more general the terms are, the more ground you’ll cover and the more traffic you’ll get.

It could be true that you’re getting high traffic because of generic keywords. However, have you checked how many of these translate to sales? Do they even belong to your target market?

The better you know your market’s language, the better keywords you’ll come up with. Generic keywords attract a generic audience. On the other hand, niche keywords attract your niche market. These people are the ones who will contribute to your bottom line, if you do everything else right.

Find out how your niche talks about your product and others that belong to your category. Visit related blogs, forums, and social bookmarking websites. Participate as much as you can to get more detailed information on how people use and react to certain words.

2. Optimize for words and phrases
After coming up with the list of niche keywords, you can begin to optimize your online content. You can combine the keywords in your list to form niche keyword phrases that more advanced searches use.

For example, an individual interested in owning a dog will initially search for dog for sale. The more information he finds online, the more specific his searches will become. Eventually, his search bar input could become pedigree Yorkshire Terriers with papers. Hence, you need to optimize for both words and phrases.

Although you won’t be able to read people’s minds, being prepared will require very little adjustments in the long run, as opposed to a keyword overhaul every time the market shifts.

3. Strategically place your keywords
Having a niche keyword list also helps you naturally integrate the keywords into your content. It is important that in every article you post, you maintain a conversational tone. Your market does not want to read page after page of sales pitches. They want something informative and relevant. If you can make it naturally entertaining, even better.

It is integral that your keywords appear on your title or headline, the first and the last sentences of your content. Within the body, it would help search engine spiders if you put keywords in bold or italics.

4. Check your keyword density
Keyword density measures the frequency of your keywords relative to the number of non-keywords in your content. The acceptable percentage is 3% to 8% and anything beyond that will be considered spamming by most search engines.

There are free tools online that you can use to compute for your content’s keyword density before publication.

5. Update your keywords
No matter how specific your market is, changes will still occur. The only way for your content to be consistently relevant is if you stay on top of the changes that happen to your niche market.

Regularly come up with a qualitative market research that can give you valuable consumer insight. Keep in mind tip number 1, so that your keywords will always be specific to your niche.

Blog Flipping: 5 Tips to Maximize Profits

A lot of big companies have come to realize the power of blogging and what it can contribute to their bottom line. Despite this realization, a lot of companies still find it difficult to come up with their own blogs due to a lot of factors, including lack of time, lack of budget, and zero patience to learn something from scratch.

All these corporate hindrances have given rise to another Web 2.0 business—Blog Flipping.

Blog Flipping allows good bloggers to make blogs for sale. Companies are attracted to these blogs because after purchasing a functioning blog, all they have to do is update content—which they could also choose to outsource. If you want to catch the Blog Flipping wave, here are 5 things to keep in mind so that you can maximize your profits.

1. Pick a topic and stick to it
Take a look at the different industries, and zero in on the field where blogs are scarce. Next, pick an industry focus you want to blog about, and stick to that focus. This will make it easier for you to identify the best keywords for SEO. A blog with a focus fares well in search engines, because Google, MSN, and Yahoo appreciate good web content.

2. Develop focused and optimized content
Now that you’ve chosen a category to focus on, it’s time to start writing. You have to do a little studying to know more about the industry you’ve chosen. Internet users and search engines can tell if you know what you’re talking about. Moreover, blogs get ranked according to how relevant they are to the viewing public.

Your content should reflect expertise in at least one aspect of the industry you’ve chosen. Make sure that you regularly update your content so that your blog remains relevant and informative.

3. Study the audience you want your blog to attract
Make it your mission to know the target market of the business you aim to sell your blog to. This allows you to come up with better blog entries, the kind that really speaks to your market. Research on the way they talk and what jargon they use. Most importantly, know what’s important to them, and that’s what you write about.

Remember that you’re not just selling a blog with stuff in it. You can demand a higher price if the blog you’ve created comes with a following that is profitable for the interested company.

4. Build relationships with top-ranking blogs
On top of an instant blog community, you can still charge more if your blog comes with approval from other top-ranking blogs. These blogs rank high and stay on top because people already consider them authority figures. Getting their approval will rub off a little of their clout onto your blog.

Read what these blogs have to say, and learn how people react to each post. You’ll definitely get tips on how to write better and ultimately, how to attract more of the right people.

5. Auction off your work
The moment you appear on the first page of Google for the keywords your prospective clients optimized for, it’s time to auction off your blog. Make sure that bidders understand the value of the readership and the industry credibility that already come with your blog.

5 Things to Do While Waiting to Rank in Google

1. Rank in MSN
It requires the same optimization basics to optimize for the 3 biggest search engines. Maximize the SEO that you’ve already done with your website for Google.

While everybody—including your competition—is waiting for his website to rank in Google, it is a good idea to submit your website to MSN. The MSN marketplace isn’t as crowded as Google’s so it takes less than half the time to rank high. Although the bulk of your market remains loyal to Google, you shouldn’t alienate the handful who exclusively use MSN or those who use MSN with Google.

2. Visit top-ranking forums
Use this time to immerse yourself with your niche. Forums that host topics relevant to your website content can give you a lot of information—consumer insight, market trends, and even new niche vocabulary.

Participating in forums is an accurate way of gauging market behavior so that you can immediately tweak your website content to help speed things up with Google and for you to maintain your top position with MSN.

Moreover, being genuinely helpful and interested in what others have to say will surely up your credibility. Eventually, when you include specific links with your forum posts, people will feel better about taking a peek and giving the rest of your website a chance.

3. Visit credible blogs
Apart from forums, top-ranking blogs are also a rich source of market information. These blogs rank high due to the credibility that they already posses. If you can leave appropriate comments, do so. This shows how much interest you have for the topic, and like in the forums, you can eventually leave links when you’ve established your credibility.

The goal is to have these blogs link to your site, and you can do them a favor and have your site link to these blogs.

4. Start your own social bookmarking account
Social bookmarking has proven itself to be an important component of successful Internet marketing. Social bookmarking websites allow the public to share websites that they think are relevant or fun.

More than bookmarking your own websites, having your own social bookmarking account gives you control over which sites to share. When you’ve built a solid network, you can then start introducing your website gradually, until others bookmark them. This way, you won’t break any rules that could result to your account and your website being banned from the bookmarks.

5. Continue updating your content
Updated content is just as important as optimized content. You have to be consistently relevant and fresh to attract more search hits. Not only does this speed things up between you and Google, it also shows your niche how dedicated you are to helping them out and giving them information.

Being updated also helps you maintain a good relationship with your link network that includes blogs and other websites. Fresh content also ensures visibility in social bookmarking websites. Make sure you check for spelling and grammar errors before you publish any of your content

5 Blogging Tips: Turning Occasional Readers into Loyal Readers

If you’re blogging for profit or if your blog is part of an Internet marketing campaign, then your primary goal is to get the attention of your desired market and maintain your hold on this base.

The Internet is a highly pervasive medium that demands users to divide their attention. Websites and blogs all want a slice of the pie, making it a challenging landscape. Here are 5 tips to help get you a foot in the door, and to follow through with a maintenance strategy once you’re in.

1. Regularly update your blog content
Regular content updates show dedication and knowledge in your field. People have no need for obsolete information, this is why updates are important—they give people reason to check out your blog regularly.

Regular updates also keep you on top of the latest niche keywords. Your updates are useless if you don’t optimize for the right keywords, because you’ll hardly turn up in search engines.

2. Give readers something to look forward to
On top of your regular content updates, you can conduct special promos that your readers can look forward to. You can have simple Q&A contests or offer small prizes for your readers to contribute content.

Once a month is ideal. However it still boils down to how much you can spend on prizes and what type of games and contests your readers respond the best to. Make sure that whatever you come up with still ties in with your blog’s focus. Keep in mind that you can use your readers’ entries as a source of fresh insights and ideas.

3. Keep in touch with all your readers
This shouldn’t be hard to do if you make it a point to respond to every comment made. Of course, you can choose to respond collectively, but be careful to acknowledge everyone—or no one at all.

Replying to your readers’ comments makes them feel like there’s an actual person behind the blog (well, you’re REALLY a person anyway), and that they’re being listened to. Thank them for their comments whether positive or otherwise. Take criticism constructively and promise that you’re making continuous improvements.

4. Feed the growing community in your blog
Keeping in touch with your readers can be made easier if you use your blog as a community that houses them. You can even create a mailing list exclusive for your blog’s readers. This encourages them to discuss your blog posts and other related topics.

As your community grows, you can think of hosting get-togethers for your readers maybe once or twice a year. This way, people can put faces to online names. You can enlist the help of social networking sites like Facebook. These sites can help you manage communities by creating group and fan pages, making event and content update announcements easier.

5. Listen to your readers
When readers leave comments that applaud or complain about something, it is a good idea to acknowledge them and reply appropriately. You can thank them for complements, and you can apologize for mistakes or promise to consider suggestions.

You don’t have to apply each suggestion made. However, it is wise to consider them because your readers are life of your blog.

3 Strategies for Social Bookmarking

Adding social bookmarking to your online marketing mix can be a little tricky. Like search engines, social bookmarking websites have rules that users need to follow. For most social bookmarking sites, one of the most important rules is not allowing users to use the social bookmarking site as a means to promote one particular web page or website.

This rule is often implemented to keep the mission of social bookmarking sites intact: the goal to create a community that enables an individual to share informative or entertaining resources online that are relevant to his social bookmarking network. The great thing about this rule is that it controls spamming. On the other hand, it could result to a website being banned from the bookmarks, whether or not it belongs to the user that keeps bookmarking the site.

Don’t get stuck with the idea that social bookmarking is dangerous and detrimental. When done right and according to the rules, you’d be able to reap the benefits of niche traffic streaming into your web pages.

Below are 3 strategies to help you get your web pages bookmarked.

1. Create quality web page content
Before even attempting to bookmark your own pages, ask yourself if your content is worth reading, let alone be presented for worldwide consumption. Even if the anti-spamming law doesn’t exist, people will still not visit your site when they find out that it’s a waste of time.

Coming up with good content doesn’t mean talking about your brand non-stop. It means connecting with your niche and figuring out what their issues are and what’s important to them. Find a problem that your brand can solve. Every time you create content, keep your niche in mind. Give them a reason to come to you.

2. Share your knowledge through blogs and other websites
After bookmarking a handful of your best web pages, it’s time to have others find you worthy and bookmark you. A good strategy for this is to guest-write for blogs that talk about your category. Not only does this up your credibility, it also opens another Pandora’s Box of your niche. If the content you submit is good, then you will be bookmarked. Just make sure you leave a URL that leads readers to your related web page.

In relation to expanding your reach through other’s blogs and websites, it is a good idea to bookmark the websites and blogs where you contributed. This encourages the entire community to pay it forward and bookmark you.

3. Share your knowledge through forums
Joining different forums also helps increase your chances to be bookmarked while adding to your credibility. Make sure you join topics that are related to your brand or category. Pay attention to peoples’ questions and pick out issues that only your brand can solve. Reply to these posts with helpful tips. If people respond well to your contributions, you can eventually add links to relevant pages from your website.

Check back regularly for follow-up questions and other opportunities to make your brand shine. Make as many friends as you can and if they request you to add them up as your social bookmarking friend, happily oblige!