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Blog items tagged with "link-building"

A Quick Primer On "The New SEO"

While there are several ways to increase a website's search engine exposure, few SEO programs yield consistent and sustainable results. This is often because the focus of the program is too narrow (i.e. comprised of only on-site SEO or only link building,) or the SEO program is aimless and overreaching (i.e. expecting to rank #1 for a very competitive keyword like “luxury cruises.”) New SEO

The best SEO programs are data-driven and cohesive in that they target attainable keywords and leverage a combination of web marketing and branding strategies. In addition to basic on-site SEO implementations, a comprehensive program would include strategies involving: social media marketing and advertising, content development, public relations and guest blogging, link building, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

What Defines a Solid SEO Program

Good SEO programs go far beyond optimizing pages for keyword relevancy. In fact, a solid SEO program is more comprehensive in that it includes a number of elements.

  • Optimizing Pages - Includes directly modifying or providing suggestions for new page titles, Meta descriptions, page copy, and other SEO-related components of a page.
  • Technical SEO - Focuses on coding the site for fluid crawling and indexing; website optimization for faster load speeds; URL naming, rewrites, and 301 redirects; usage of HTML/XML sitemaps and internal linking; image optimization; Schema markup when applicable.
  • Content Marketing - Developing a content strategy and working with clients to produce new optimized pages, blog posts/articles, press releases, and other forms of content that can be optimized for SEO and shared/distributed across many platforms, particularly social media.
  • Link Building - Generating link popularity using ethical, natural link building strategies. This takes a very mindful approach that should first include a thorough backlink SEO audit before starting.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization - Directly implementing or providing suggestions for conversion funneling, calls-to-action, and helping improve the website's traffic potential to generate leads.
  • Social media - Providing services in social media management, marketing consulting, and advertising (to boost and publicize optimized content for greater SEO potential.)
  • Reporting and tracking - Define specific metrics and variable (i.e. keyword rankings, monthly traffic, conversions, etc.)

Blended SEO Is Winning SEO

There are a number of benefits to leveraging a cohesive SEO strategy that blends social media, content marketing, and SEO. Blended SEO

  • The potential to generate highly-targeted inbound traffic to All-Travel.com directly from social platforms.
  • Pages that earn social signals (i.e. Likes, Tweets, Pins, +1's, etc.) have significantly higher ranking potential for SEO (and links from those pages have greater SEO value to other pages of the website.)
  • Creating and publishing content on a regular basis helps accelerate the crawling and indexing rate of the website (bonus for SEO).
  • Quality content can earn links naturally, in addition influencing domain authority and other SEO-related performance metrics.
  • Leverage SEO-friendly web design services and ensure your site is well-optimized for search.
  • Bolster online brand building efforts.

An overwhelming number of SEO providers will focus their services on generating traffic to your website. But if that traffic does not translate to conversions, then what's the point? And how relevant or meaningful is that traffic?

Embracing the new form of SEO is ultimately the best way to build a prominent web presence and sustainable search engine rankings that yields meaningful results.

Sell Products Online with Our Ecommerce SEO Company: Click Centric SEO

Are you trying to sell products online? Do you have an ecommerce site that needs more traffic?

Ecommerce SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be the perfect solution to drive qualified traffic and customers to your site, and help you sell more products online. Ecommerce SEO Services

In the OIC Group family tree, we have specific branch that can help. Our ecommerce SEO company, Click Centric SEO, was spawned to help online stores increase their organic search visibility. Click Centric SEO provides completely-custom and individually-tailored ecommerce SEO programs for all types of online stores.

Get a Free Ecommerce SEO Assessment

What many online business owners appreciate with Click Centric SEO is how we provide free, no-risk ecommerce SEO assessments for prospective clients. Before making any financial investment with our ecommerce SEO company, you can receive a thorough SEO review and technical analysis of your online store. One of our experts will walk you and your ecommerce team through the information and point out strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to:

Sell More Online

  • establish keyword relevancy by optimizing site content and internal linking.
  • promote greater conversion potential for visiting traffic.
  • structure your online store to be more user-friendly and intuitive.
  • improve your overall search engine visibility.
  • technically enhance your website for more efficient search engine crawling and indexing.

To get started and earn your free ecommerce SEO assessment, contact Click Centric SEO.

Start Selling More Products Online with Our Ecommerce SEO Company

Our ecommerce SEO company has a track record for success helping online stores sell more products online. Spanning from TV retailers to custom tank top providers, Click Centric SEO has helped numerous companies experience success in the online marketplace.

Beyond just ecommerce SEO services, Click Centric SEO also specializes in many other aspects of digital marketing and brand building. Such specialties include: social media marketing and optimization, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising and SEM, content marketing, and email marketing. Click Centric SEO is also capable of putting together unique ecommerce SEO program, such as link building campaigns or website optimization programs.

Whatever your e-retail goals may be, the experts at Click Centric SEO and OIC Group work together to help you sell products online and achieve success.

5 Indicators of Spammy SEO Companies

In today's digital marketplace, there are thousands of SEO companies on the Web. Although each entity will claim to be adept in providing SEO services, only few are truly capable at generating substantial results and sufficient ROI.

In essence, the quality spectrum of SEO companies is incredibly vast. The majority of firms fall on the lower end of that spectrum, and as a result, interested businesses need to be careful who they invest their marketing dollar in. Spammy SEO Companies

There are some clear indictors that red-flag these spammy SEO companies. In this article, we'll highlight five warning signs that you should look for when seeking a credible SEO services provider.

Prides Link Building Service on Numbers (and Not Relevancy Nor Authority)

Many SEO companies advertise link build services in numbers. "We'll build 1,000 links to your website in the first month!" Now does that really seem natural through the eyes of Google?

Crap like that will only hurt your site's SEO potential. Links need to be built strategically and meticulously over time, using relevant and authoritative link sources. Additionally, link building must respect using a diverse and natural blend of anchor text. Unfortunately, only some SEO firms grasp this concept.

Preaches That "Content is King"

In the SEO profession, "content is king" is an overused statement that underlined keyword-rich page copy as the essence to higher search rankings. The fact is content was king when SEO starting gaining momentum. But over the last five years or so, that old adage has evolved.

In today's SEO era, traffic is the new king of search. You can spend countless hours creating content all day, but if it's failing to drive traffic to your website, content is meaningless. That's not say content has no purpose, but rather the context of using content has changed. The forms of content you produce (e.g. engaging videos, podcasts, and infographics) and where you promote that content (social media sites and high-traffic blogs) is what truly results in quality traffic.

Fails to Include Social Media in the Overall Strategy

SEO companies that still consider social media and SEO as mutually exclusive strategies are destined for failure. Social media is beginning to have an immense influence on search rankings, and without a socially-integrated SEO strategy, any decent keyword rankings will be short-lived.

Strong SEO companies will always factor-in Google+, and in most cases Twitter and Facebook. Although there's plenty more options depending on the client (e.g. Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.,) the latter three are essential for SEO.

Neglects Website Usability

It's more than common for SEO companies to only focus on driving traffic without having any care or consideration toward usability and driving conversions. Without a solid website that promotes conversions, traffic potential is far from being fully realized.

Solid SEO firms will have a hand in their client's CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) strategy. This includes fine-tuning the usability of the website, testing different calls-to-action, and setting-up various conversion goals. These types of SEO companies truly respect their clients' investment and overall success, and are role models for future of SEO.

Doesn't Address Technical SEO Issues

Another common situation is an SEO firm that has no clue what technical SEO means. This is the nuts and bolts of website optimization and ensuring a website is in prime SEO condition for crawling and indexing.

Some of the top SEO companies will place a high degree of emphasis on technical SEO elements, such as:

  • making proper use proper mark-up language
  • fixing broken links or mishandled redirects
  • correcting issues of duplicate content
  • minimizing HTML coding errors and warnings
  • building and integrating complete HTML (and XML) sitemaps

Do you have any questions? We probably have the answers. Contact our SEO experts if you'd like to learn more.

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc. In addition to spearheading most of the SEO campaigns here at OIC, he also develops programs for Click Centric SEO, one of the top-ranked ecommerce SEO companies. You can follow with Tyler on Twitter to stay connected with his work.

Guest Blogging: Tips and Tricks for Your SEO Link Building Efforts

Search engine optimization is a house built on shifting sands at best. SEO's and online marketers have to constantly change tactics as they adapt to Google’s ever changing algorithm, and after the major Penguin and Panda updates rolled out there was a major scramble to once again refocus strategies away from spammy, black hat techniques. guest blogging for SEO link building

This has put guest blogging in the spot light as a great link building technique for SEO. However, this also means there is an immense amount of spam now associated with guest posting. In order to combat this and still get posts (and links) on high authority blogs, here are some tips and tricks that I use.

Be Real and Be Persistent

Webmasters and editors receive dozens of guest post submissions every day if they run an authority blog, and the sad truth is that 90% of what they receive is nothing more than bots emailing out thousands of emails or spammy link builders that don’t take the time of day to be personal. They simply find a blog that barely mentions guest posting, paste in their stock email, and usually forget to personalize it in any way.

Even if you take the time to write out a unique email every time, the odds are that you’ll still get lost in the shuffle - so try implementing these strategies into your outreach.

  • Make Jokes: Everyone knows you’re the next Louis C.K., so let your inner stand up shine when you outreach. Granted, you have to pick and choose your moments since not every niche and blog will be open to that kind of thing, but even a flat joke tailored to the site shows that you’re trying and not a bot.
  • Don’t Give Up: If you get a refusal then by all means, thank them for their time and move on. But if you don’t hear back at all then follow up at least two more times before giving up. I like to give the recipient 3-5 days before my first follow up attempt, then another 3-5 days before my last outreach attempt. Once again, on this last one don’t be afraid to try and be funny. “Hello?! Is anyone there?! I’m having flashbacks to 8th grade dances where nobody talked to me!” You’ll find that a surprising amount of people will get back to you after this last ditch outreach attempt with apologies of having not seen or original emails (yeah right).
  • Give Them Something: At this point, most bloggers know what’s up when it comes to guest blogging and link building, so showing a little love can go a long way. It tells the editor that you’re not completely selfish. Tweet and share some of their articles, even link back to a blog post of theirs if you can to get them some link juice too. At the very least, leave an insightful and engaging comment on one of their posts.

Keep the Reader in Mind at All Times

I’ve found that bloggers are more protective of their readers than some cow moose in the spring time. With that in mind, always put the site’s audience and readers in the forefront of your mind while trying to guest blog, especially when it comes to writing the content. Look at the titles already featured on the blog, and read a few too to get a sense of the style and tone of the pieces. Then write something unique to that blog that offers the readers useful information. If you wouldn’t be proud to run the post on your own site, then you shouldn’t be trying to get it on someone else’s to begin with.

Build Local Links

For local businesses, it can be difficult to start building links with guest posts, especially if you’re trying to stay relevant to your niche. However, when you start looking at local link building your “niche” starts to change.

My rule of thumb is that if you’re targeting niche websites to build links to, then go ahead and target national and international websites and focus on your broader keywords. But once you switch your focus from “online marketing” to “online marketing in [LOCATION]” then all of a sudden your niche moves away from “online marketing” and becomes “your location.” This means your target sites become any site that is locally focused, even if it’s a mom blog or catering service.

Of course, it’s best to keep your posts more tailored to your niche in order to keep the relevancy as high as possible. So a post titled “How Stay at Home Moms Can Engage in Online Marketing” might be a better title than your favorite chocolate chip recipe (go ahead and send that recipe over to me).

The Slow Cooker Approach

If you suspect that a site is going to be difficult to get a link on, then don’t try cold calling out of the blue with an email pitch. Take a few weeks (yeah, guest posting is rarely quick) and engage regularly on the site by leaving good comments and interacting with the editor and other readers. When you feel like the editor will recognize your name in their inbox, go ahead and pitch or submit your guest post and follow up like you normally would.

Respond to Comments

Always keeping the readers in mind means not leaving them in the dark; you wrote the article so if they have any questions or comments about it you should be the one to respond to them. Don’t simply get a guest post and then never interact on the site again – this makes it clear to the editor that you only wanted to get links. It’s also important to remember that the webmasters, bloggers, and editors who post your content have the ability to go in and remove your links at any time if they feel slighted.

Another important note, I’ve found plenty of leads for further guest posts on niche related sites by following the people who comment on my posts, then asking them if they’d like an article for their website. They’re already familiar with my writing and know they’ll get good content so that hurdle is out of the way, and they typically have a strong reader base as well which is a huge benefit for any guest post.

A lot of this advice boils down to remembering one simple fact that often gets overlooked: people link to people. Websites are simply a front for people’s interests, businesses, engagements, and whatever else you want on the internet. Remember that it’s not a robot fielding your requests for a guest post, and robots will not be reading the content, people will. Remembering this helps to keep you from acting like a link building machine and keeps you focused on producing great content and earning great links.

 

About the Author:
Thomas McMahon is a link builder who uses guest posting as his primary strategy (along with this dashing headshot). He currently works for Page One Power, a link building company that focuses on long term strategies and results.

Why Your Small Business Needs an Optimized Website

Small Business Website OptimizationEvery year the small business landscape is becoming more and more competitive, especially in major metropolitan areas. With commercial interaction becoming even more digital, the need for a website is imperative to stay afloat.

Most small business marketers realize this need and already own a website. Yet, many fail to acknowledge their website's core purpose. Sure there are the essential contact information and core product or service pages, but more often than not, there’s an untapped opportunity.

Some small business websites are simply out-dated and visually appalling to visitors. Most sites could be locally optimized for great search engine visibility (SEO). Depending on the status of your company's website, an optimized website could offer a game changing marketing opportunity.

What's an Optimized Website?

An optimized website addresses two primary aspects:

  • The mark-up language of a site's code
  • The keyword relevancy of a site's content Building a well optimized website involves a wide array of skill-sets.

The website design and development team must build the site so that the back-end code or (mark-up language) is search engine friendly. This typically involves the use of certain technologies as well as coding techniques. As a result, the website will be crawled and indexed more efficiently. The second fulfillment of an optimized website centers on establishing keyword relevancy in the site's content.

Otherwise known as on-page SEO, this is a process that includes researching the right keywords or search phrases, and creatively blending them in the proper places throughout the website. The requires copywriting and strategy web marketing skills. There are many resources on the web for SEO services, and the on-page component is the primary aspect of optimizing a website.

Benefits of an Optimized Website

Having a professionally optimized website can pay major dividends for your small business. A well developed, keyword optimized website can increase your business's chances of being found in the search results, especially if you utilize the link building resources that a website optimization company can offer.

A polished up website can also serve as prime candidate for Pay Per Click advertising. Local PPC for small businesses is a highly effective means for more website traffic. You can also utilize the potential of blogging. By building an on-site blog, you can write and share compelling articles about your company. This can further lead to more inbound web traffic.

In today's digital age, these are some of the most important considerations for small business marketers. The marketing platforms are changing, and only strong local companies are surviving. Whether it's pursuing a new web design for your small business or considering the options for search engine marketing, there's immense potential to grow your web presence.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

Local SEO Strategies You Can Do In-House

As a local company, reaching out to new customers can be difficult. Gone are the days when most people would turn to the YellowPages to find a local solution to meet their needs. In today's digital age, people are using the Web to seek a reliable local business. This makes building an Internet presence for any virtually any local company a must. That doesn't mean you have to go out and hire a SEO or Internet marketing firm to get the ball rolling. A lot of ways local businesses are found can easily be done in-house. That is, if you have an office assistent, part-time intern, or complete marketing team, you can execute a number of local SEO strategies, in-house.

Local Online Directories

One way local organizations can be found on the Internet is via directories. Most directory listings are trusted sources for information by offering customers reviews and insights about local businesses. Additionally, many popular directories are popping up in the organic search results. So what's more than being found by a person using the actual directory, is being found be person searching Google who sees your directory listing in the search results. Creating a listing on these web directories is simple. However if your business is only listed on only a couple sites, you could be missing out on some good opportunities to get seen by local, in-market searchers.

The Local SEO Value

Each online directory that you submit your business to is one more opportunity to be found on the web. Thus it is very important that you take the time build as many directory listings as possible. In addition to the increased visibility your business can have, creating listings on these sites can have tremendous SEO value. Every individual directory listing is link back to your website. These backlinks signifiy greater authority to your site and can improve your search engine rankings as a result. Also, each directory listing represents a citation that can benefit your company when it comes to local search engine optimization.

The more citations your business has around the web, the better ranking your Google Places page can have. In essence, building citations for Google Places SEO via directories has become the new form of off-page optimization for local businesses. Below we have compiled 30 of the most popular directories for local businesses. It may seem like a lot of work to go out and create a listing for each of these sites. But all in all, the ROI of doing this in-house far exceeds that of hiring a local SEO company.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, a local SEO and organic search marketing expert here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

Google's Penguin

Late last month, Google unveiled a massive algorithm change that effected the search engine rankings of many different sites. The change known as "Penguin" targeted sites that were 'over-optimized,' many of these plummeted as a result. In essence, Google has 'reset the deck' in a effort to clean-up its search engine results.

After facing a lot outsider criticism due to the poorness of its search results, the Google set out to do something about it. The primary reason for Google's results being so bad was mostly attributed to relentless SEO practices. Search engine optimizers worked hard to increase the rankings of sites that offered little to no value to Google users, and many of them were successful at getting these sites to ranking highly on competitive search terms.

In short, frustrated search engine users were quick to bounce when they came upon crummy microsite or SEO "doorway page," and their faith in Google's results diminished.

'Over-Optimized' = Unnatural Backlinks

Google's Matt Cutts and his posse of search engine gurus set out to determine why such terrible sites were appearing at the top of the search results. They pinpointed backlinks, namely 'over-optimized' backlinks, to be the culprit.

So what does having 'over-optimized' backlinks mean?

For the past few years, building backlinks to a site was the best way to increase its authority and search engine rankings. In order to attain a high ranking on a certain keyword phrase, the anchor text of its links needed to include the specific keyword target in which the webpage was set to rank for. So for a webpage optimized for "hair loss treatment," the best links for SEO would be those with the anchor text 'hair loss treatment."

Pretty simple concept that worked like a charm. "Penguin" changed all that by taking an in-depth look at the backlink portfolio of websites. Those websites that had an overwhelming amount of backlinks with exact phrase match anchor text (or anchor text that included the entire keyword target for its respective page) were consider "over-optimized." As a result, those websites fell in Google's search results and the rest is history.

How to Pinpoint 'Over-Optimization' and What to do About It

Over-optimization through Penguin's eyes is an evaluation of site's backlink ratio. That ratio looks at the anchor text of each link pointing to a site and weighs which links are keyword optimized and which appear to be natural. Optimized anchor text will include the exact phrase match of a page's keyword targets, where more natural backlinks will simply be the site's name or the URL of the page (such as "www.hairlosswebsite.com" or "Regrow Your Hair" - the name of the site).

To effectively pinpoint just how over-optimized a website is, one must run a backlink scan using a spidering tool such as SEO SpyGlass. Based on report from that scan, the anchor text of the site's backlinks will need to be thoroughly investigated. If it appears that too much over-optimization is presence, one must 'balance the ratio' with more natural backlinks.

So instead of building links with nothing but exact phrase match anchor text, ethical SEO's must diversify their backlink portfolios. Some strategies for backlink diversification include using:

  • variations of anchor text to include only some keywords, rather than always using exact phrase match (also known as "partial linking" in the ecommerce SEO world)
  • a blend of do-follow backlinks and no-follow backlinks (80:20 is a good ration here). Such no-follow backlinks include forum and blog comment links, which are rather easy to build
  • the domain name or URL of the page being linked to * relevant link sources that have similar content that reflects the backlink and its anchor text

Have you been effected by Penguin? Feed us your thoughts in comments section below.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

The SEO Value of External Blogs

In today's digital age, blogs have become excellent marketing tools. Having a blog for your business can help to increase awareness about your brand or business as well as establish a greater online reputation. However what sparks the interests of many online marketers is the SEO value of building an External blog for their business.

What's an External Blog?

External Blogs for SEOIn essence, an external blog is a dedicated website to publish content. Unlike internal blogs that are a part of business's domain (e.g. www.businessname.com/blog), an external blog is separate domain outside of the company's website (e.g. www.businessblog.com). So what makes an external blog better than an internal blog? The answer to that question centers on the fundamentals of search engine optimization and SEO link building.

Link Building via Blogging

In SEO, external links (otherwise known as "backlinks") directing to a site are like measures of popularity and website credibility to the search engines. A website with several backlinks pointing to its webpages will typically be considered popular, valuable, and trusted, and thus deserving of a top search engine ranking.

The key to remember is that these links are coming from an external source, ideally via relevant content in a blog post or an article. For this reason, managing your own external blog to feed your money site backlinks is one of the most effective strategies for SEO and website optimization. Building optimized backlinks from your own external business blog is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient methods to generate "link popularity" for search engine optimization.

Best Practices Tips

You may be familiar with some of the Google search engine algorithm updates that have recently occurred. In short, Google has been penalizing websites for "over-optimization." That is, sites that have far too many backlinks with exact keyword matching anchor text. As a result, you will want to build links from you blog carefully and in moderation. As tempting as it may be to use targeted keyword phrases in all of your backlink's anchor text, it is wise to mix it up a bit.

For example: let's say you're optimizing your money site for the keyword phrase "Dallas business lawyer." Instead of linking to your website with that exact phrase each time, try using variations like "business attorney in Dallas" or simply "business lawyers," without the geographic modifier. It is also smart to link to your money site using the URL address of the domain (e.g. www.DallasBizLawyers.com) - this will make your SEO link building appear as natural as possible, and will help avoid any risk of "over-optimization" penalties from Google.

The last best practices tip when link building from you external blog is to consider the importance of content relevancy (or "contextual" relevancy of the link). This is another important factor that search engines like Google consider while evaluating the quality of your backlinks.

The practice is simple: only build links that are relevant to the surrounding content. Using the latter example, a link with the anchor text "Dallas business lawyer" should be immersed in blog content all about business law. This contextual relevancy is imperative to ensure that your link building and website optimization efforts are sound.

When you begin developing an external blog for your business, remember to build your blog with a purpose. Have goals for your external blog, and continue to keep the content fresh and focused on specific theme or topic. Blog righteously, my friends.

 

This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing & SEO Peoria IL specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

Visit Tyler on Google+

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653