How to Choose the Best Blogging Platform for You

When choosing the best blogging platform it is a good idea to consider your requirements. Blogs started out simply as a way to share an online journal, but now many have expanded beyond this initially limited remit. Today, blogs can be stripped of all their blog-like appearance and replaced with a page-based structure that resembles any regular website.

Here is a brief rundown of the top contenders when looking for a suitable blogging platform.

CMS-comparison

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is part of the WP blogging network where a significant percentage of websites are hosted using WordPress technology. WordPress.com offers a more restricted environment for users. The individual registers their sub-domain mywebsitename.wordpress.com, the site will cover all hosting costs, and it is completely free.

The downsides of using WordPress.com include that usually no advertising is accepted and only a limited list of WordPress plugins (which extend the functionality of a website) can be used. Therefore, this option offers a lack of flexibility, but comes with free hosting, a sub-domain, and fewer hassles. For small, non-commercial websites, WordPress.com can be ideal. It is also possible to move across to WordPress.org later without too much difficulty.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is a “self-hosted” blogging network which means that the user must sign-up online for a web hosting account (like one from HostGator, GoDaddy, etc.), buy their own domain, and then get WordPress installed on the hosting account. As such, the WordPress.org option is not ideal for beginners.

With this WordPress option, it is possible to monetize the website to make money from it, include advertising, install any WordPress plugins or WordPress themes (which changes the appearance of the website) without interference from the people behind WordPress.

The WordPress platform is robust, scalable and proven over time.

Choosing an Effective WordPress Design Firm

For people who choose to go the WordPress.org route with a self-hosted blog, they have the option of either picking a pre-made theme or having one designed for them by a professional WordPress designer. A website design directory can be useful to sift through the choices for a designer. Check out this website design directory to get some ideas.

Blogger

Blogger, owned by Google, is a free platform to create simple blogs. These are good for true beginners and perhaps children who just want to play around with a website without getting technical. The blog is associated with a Google account which may or may not hold appeal.

Google is quite careful about what content is acceptable and will happily ban a website and remove it for breaching their Blogger terms and conditions. There are also some restrictions on what monetization and other extras can be included when using Blogger.

Drupal

Drupal is more of a specialist open-source blogging platform that is more focused on content management. Creating e-commerce sites is popular with users of Drupal, especially when adding in a full-blown shopping cart system. Forums and corporate sites also sometimes use Drupal.

There are many free or inexpensive options so choosing more than one blogging platform isn’t a problem. It is possible to try a couple to see which ones will suit you best and then get started.

3 Things You Need To Know About SEO in 2015

3 Things You Need To Know About SEO in 2015

In every year since the Internet was first created, it has continued to rapidly expand to more users with more devices to access it with. Now with the New Year in its first month, it would seem logical that the same change is ahead for 2015. Considering that SEO is a dynamic field, it’s no surprise that best practices are constantly evolving and changing each year.

In 2015, companies can expect some shifts from the “go to” SEO practices of previous years, consequently affecting the overall SEO strategy. Below are three things that will gain importance and require action in the coming year.

1. Mobile SEO will be even more important

The increased use of mobile phones has continued on an upward trend for years and that movement is not projected to stop anytime in the near future. During 2015, in fact, it is predicted that the volume of mobile traffic will overtake the volume of normal web traffic. Even with these projections, many companies don’t take advantage of the opportunity to reach their customers and followers through mobile devices, but instead persist on normal web traffic as being the only route.

Creating a mobile website and SEO strategy does not have to greatly differ from your current SEO plans, but it does require some adjustments, especially in design and ease of use. Businesses will need to focus on changes that enhance mobile use such as creating a responsive design, having a mobile sitemap and optimizing embedded images and videos. By remembering that mobile phones are the future of internet access, your company can get ahead of the game by connecting with your consumers on their phones sooner rather than later.

2. Social media takes over

The dominance of social media in 2015 is not something that comes as a surprise. Similar to smartphones, social media has been on the rise for years. The number of Facebook users has increased to more than 1.5 billion since its creation a decade ago and new platforms are popping up on a regular basis. Whether your company seeks a more professional network or a network to post their most recent video creation, there is a social media platform that can be optimized.

One important trend for social media in 2015 is the necessity to be present in a real-time context. Consumers have become accustomed to having information and communication available to them when and where they want it.  The implication for companies is to utilize online analytics tools to continuously tweak SEO and other online marketing campaigns according to the real-time data it receives.

One final trend to keep in mind for social media is the growing importance of videos in the online space. A recent survey showed that customers are 64-85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video promotion. As a result, the amount of video SEO increased 57% in 2014 and is expected in increase even more in 2015.

3. Content is king

Every professional who works in a digital marketing company knows the uphill battle of staying up-to-date with the latest Google algorithm. In 2015, Google is expected to reduce the value of links and keywords and increase the importance of the content itself. Websites and pages will be indexed and ranked based on what it thinks your site means rather than what links you include.

To increase the reach of your high quality content and continue to improve your SEO, it is important to connect to your social media presence, email campaigns and other marketing initiatives at your company. Email marketing is one of the most well provenmediums for reaching a large number of clients in a targeted manner. With the overload of real-time data consumers will be processing on social media and online, it will be extremely important to send a well-designed email with personalized content as well.

When it comes to content, it is important to remember that it doesn’t all have to be new content. Small and large businesses alike are working to optimize and update existing content that had a big impact on traffic and leads. By focusing on what worked in the past, the company is well positioned to continue the success into the future.

Mobile SEO and a continued presence on social media are two staples of 2015. If there is one major trend to keep in mind, however, it is the importance of content in the SEO landscape. To get the best results, know the magic equation set by Google but don’t live or die by it! Everything you do should work towards providing excellent content to your users and not be focused on outsmarting Google. In 2015, it is predicted to value good content over than keywords and linking, a win-win situation for your company’s SEO and your customer’s experience.

Top Trends of Website Design for 2015 That Impact SEO

Top Trends of Website Design for 2015 That Impact SEO

Are you going to start building a website? If yes, then ask a few questions from yourself before creation that on which technique/approach (user experience, fantastic design or SEO optimization), should I need to focus primarily?

However, the mind-blowing design and animation will augment the visitors’ retention, but think about the objective and realize that beautifully-designed website is not an end to attain maximum possibilities.

Ignoring SEO can cut down the success of a site at point of time, so don’t limit your business possibilities, especially when you want to make it reputed. So, give your best endeavors to utilize the designing features and make your website optimized according to the trendy SEO strategies. You can take help from SEO specialist and create a fruitful bridge between SEO and design of site to bring back it on the track of success. But, always avoid impending design, which can hurt your site and its optimization negatively.      

Some Website Designing Trends That Hurt SEO

1. Mobile Optimization

Mobile Optimization Example

Google has been started flagging up those websites that are improperly optimized across mobile and smart handheld devices. If you randomly pick any mobile device to open any non mobile-optimized website via the most popular search engine named Google, then it redirects you to the default homepage and Google will warn you that site cannot run properly on this device. This wondering result can compel the users to leave the webpage. Google has made the things simple and tie the mobile websites with parent URL to provide you better user experience. Additional take care is required and you are susceptible to matching content, especially when you search mobile-only sites.   

2. Parallax Design

Parallax site example

Among the modern website design trends, parallax design is the prevalent one these days, so you cannot deny continuously rising parallax scrolling effects. But, it is drastically impacting SEO. Obviously, it raises an alarm bell from SEO perspectives as the worth of whole website is considered by the keywords that are spread out across one URL.

In short, parallax design adopts the scrolling effects, which appears fine, but truth is just opposite and it is executed poorly. Furthermore, it affects UX in negative way.

3. Fixed navigation & UX Design

Fixed Navigation example

Another major trend of website design for 2015 is UX design & fixed navigation. This is not only due to the reason that Google gives preference to flashy user interfaces. Without an effective UX design, it is really tough to come back the users on a site. Compelling content and flawless keyword research does not work unless your site provides intuitive user experience. So, bring the modern SEO rules and apply them adeptly into the websites to make it search engine optimized.

Due to the inclusion of difficult things and bad user experience, your potential niche can say goodbye to you. Hence, avoid the usage of fixed navigation, which leads your site towards the low search ranking. The fixed positioning and stumbling block do not support completely to distinct mobile browsers, so it might cause while running through small mobile devices.

4. Animations, Images & Effects

Animation in Websites Example

The demand of users is changing rapidly and now everyone wants engaging visual experience. With the modern technologies, the scale of the website designing has also widened, which provides more rooms & opportunities to developers to include images, effects and animations and make the site appealing. The websites overloaded with graphics can offer terrible experience to the users on different mobile devices like smartphone, iPads, tablets, etc. Trouble with the use of heavy images and large amount of content is almost these rely on AJAX loading content, which is not being indexed by Google. However, search engines have brought advancements in script understanding, but why to take risk for the site.

5. Off-screen Navigation

UX and Off screen example

Same with the fixed navigation and UX issues, off-screen navigation also hurts SEO. You will see a “hamburger” symbol, when it comes into play that are used to showcase & hide the mobile nav menu. Like fixed navigation, it directly impacts page ranking. Sometimes, this approach creates confusion, because many visitors don’t understand hamburger symbol and they surprise to see such things. Due to which, users can leave the page and go somewhere else.

6. Single Page site

single page example

One of the most trendy approaches, single page website design is consistently killing SEO, because with these sites, you can focus only on 1 or 2 keywords. And, if you endeavor to optimize the page of your site more, then the content available on same page might turn into worthless on-page SEO. Google is smarter than you to judge, so don’t try to make it fool, because it may impact your site and harm it. If you try to cheat Google, then the possibilities to dock you are more.

Conclusion:

The implementation of all above-mentioned mistakes can result as the major mistake, which might break the growth of a site rapidly. So, regardless of doing such things while designing a website, take an ultimate step in order, which will turn your site into worthy and most popularly searched design.

What’s the Difference Between a Content Marketer, Growth Hacker and SEO?

What’s the Difference Between a Content Marketer, Growth Hacker and SEO?

Are you suffering from identity crisis? The outside world doesn’t care for our latest buzzwords or hip job titles.

In many cases the same people offer content marketing, growth hacking and search engine optimization services.

Here are some differences and common aspects potential clients might want to compare before paying for them.

 

WTF is content marketing anyway and why do I need it?

Content marketing might seem like the most obvious of the three disciplines mentioned above. That might be even one of the main reasons for its growing success over the recent years. After all the term is pretty self-explanatory.

Both words, content and marketing are well known ones you don’t need to explain. A content marketer will most probably create and promote content for you. The only question remaining is why?

Why would someone want to create and promote content?

After all most website and business owners aren’t really into publishing. Instead most business people on the Web either offer products or services online. Content is none of the two. Content is neither a product (unless you’re from Hollywood or something similar) nor is it a service (unless you are a writer, photographer etc.).

Does a plumber need content marketing? This is a really good question I seldom see answered.

Content marketing is taken for granted these days it seems. There is no need to question it anymore. The plumber example is a good one because most businesses out there are in so called “boring” industries which are not sexy like architecture, design or photography. Can content marketing help the average small business people too?

Before I answer this question let’s introduce the other two, the growth hacker and the search engine optimizer.

 

Why do I need to hack for growth and is it illegal?

Growth hacking sounds dangerous! You might laugh know as a hipster living with his Mac but for 99% of people hacking is illegal and done by criminals. Like everything menacing there is a certain amount of coolness radiating from it.

A marketer is considered a sleazy sales-person in a shiny suite and with a fake smile by the majority out there. Instead you might prefer to style yourself as a hacker. You’re not a computer hacker who steals passwords though. You hack (for) growth!

Yes, indeed, there is a need for growth hacking these days. It’s not born solely from the wish to be cool. Marketing is a discipline rooted in the past. It’s closely related to advertising and sales, both of whom have a very bad rep on the Web.

Nobody wants to see ads or get sold to online. Unless of course the ads are funny and spread virally or we are already looking for a product. That’s the exception though. In all other cases advertising and sales suck for the majority of Internet users. Most ads are simply annoying. Overselling on social media is obnoxious. Also they do not work for businesses either.

Here’s comes the growth hacker. S/he focuses on technology not persuasion or downright annoyance. The growth hacker uses technology to build a spreading mechanism into the product or service you offer itself. It’s a profession for the digital world where self-replicating memes are not the domain of linguists but are a phenomenon of the masses.

In capitalism a thriving economy relies on growth. This may be controversial by now (as we already outgrow the resources the earth has) but it still works like that. On the Web growth is only limited by technology and human resources. Nobody cares for all the energy Google’s server farms use up.

Growth hackers are mostly preoccupied with helping start-up entrepreneurs

to create products and services that grow super-fast until they reach critical mass and can be monetized (or sold off). Such start-ups often have millions in venture capital and can afford to spend money with earning it fr years in a row.

Does the average business owner need a growth hacker? I’m afraid not really but s/he can learn a lot from such a person.

 

Why does someone optimize search engines and what is SEO, a Korean musician?

While SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been around since 1997 it’s still the most underrated and misunderstood online discipline I can imagine. The large majority of people neither know what the acronym means nor can explain the discipline as such even in case they already came across it.

SEO is the largest enigma on the Web and most business people liken it to black magic.

Roughly 18 years after its inception SEO is more about Google pleasing than anything else it seems to me. I’ve called myself an SEO for a decade but I’m increasingly confused about it myself. Do I really still want to be considered a spammer? This what most people still think of SEO. In some cases they are even right. After all who wants to risk getting affected by unnatural links, negative SEO, HTML and other sexually transmitted diseases?

While the SEO practitioner is adding content to sites as well plus is also preoccupied with growth s/he focuses on reaching people by way of search engines (mostly Google). S/he optimizes and improves all aspects of an online business ideally.

SEO for Google is of course an ever shrinking market as Google shows increasingly more ads, its own products and third party content instead of search results. Optimizing websites for the remaining real estate in search results is a bit like fighting with the Last of the Mohicans.

It’s possible but it’s harder every day. I witness more and more website owners giving up and trying to buy their way to the top of Google using advertising these days. With Google’s search traffic monopoly there is not much choice anymore it seems.

SEO is still useful but compared content marketing and growth hacking it’s impact becomes smaller these days.

The reason is simple. Google aggressively pushed ads, their own services and scraped content from third parties in “search results”. There is less space for organic search results each year. In contrast Google earns money by using your content and that’s why they demand people to create content for them.

 

Which discipline is best for me and my business?

As you might already fathom all three approaches to online popularization have their pros and cons. None of the strategies is a one size fits all solution for all kinds of businesses. Generally

Publishing oriented business can benefit from content marketing most. Of course all types of businesses can benefit but some need heavy investments and a change of the whole business culture to be able to compete.

  • In case you already have a lot of content online or an paper and you publish regularly it’s a welcome addition to plan, distribute and promote your content assets strategically.
  • In case you don’t publish yet and your website or overall web presence focuses strictly on the image aspects of your business solely displaying promotional material made by third parties you have a problem.

You’d need to establish a whole new workflow and team to take care of the content strategy and its implementation. What doesn’t work is to tell your existing employees to write, photograph, film and promote their work by themselves.

The average small business with fewer than a few dozens employees won’t be able to cope with the demand of ongoing publishing.

The costs of outsourcing such ongoing activity to an outside agency are also not to be understated. Quality content is costly and with content marketing being en vogue the costs for it rises as content creators who know their trade are few and far in-between.

In most cases brands try to buy into audiences such content creators already have. Sponsorships of teenage Vine video creators are such an example.

Growth hacking is best suited for technology based start-ups that sell online software

or short webware. It also works fine for those who specialize on apps and other mobile technology enhancements. Growth hacking for the plumber might be useless or downright harmful. Imagine a growth hack that leads to hundreds of new customers over night. It’s similar to what happened when small business embraced Groupon. Some of them got overrun and lost money actually while gaining lots of negative reviews.

Likewise low quality SEO can harm your bottom line quickly. Some people tried it and then assumed that all SEO is actually bad. While its still possible to optimize sites with no content (sales copy or product descriptions are not content strictly speaking) it’s a major disadvantage. Ideally there is content already or you create content for an SEO campaign.

While content marketing focuses rather on content by itself employing numerous tactics to spread it SEO still attempts to gain an audience by way of Google. SEO practitioners will also promote content on social media etc. but they will do so in order to get links. These will make their clients rank on Google.

Small businesses that sell a practical product or service in their niche without being overtly sexy or spectacular can benefit from SEO the most.

They won’t be able to implement a working content strategy while growth-hacking wouldn’t work for them simply because they need revenue right away not years later. Especially so called local SEO can help.

Ten Ideas to Improve Your Social Media Influence

Ten Ideas to Improve Your Social Media Influence

The best thing about social media is people listen to you because they want to. It could either mean they are interested in your products or services or they want to hear what you have to say. You are not forcing your messages on them, unlike adverts on television, radio or a newspaper. So the question now is how do you increase your social media followers and have meaningful engagements with them.

If you want to grow your influence, you will have to nurture your followers. One way to do it is by establishing yourself as an expert in your business. You do not have to be a social media professional to do this.

Note that social media influence is not a one-time thing. It is almost like growing a plant. Just like how a plant needs constant care and inputs like water, fertiliser, weeding and cutting, social media also needs constant care. It is a long process because social media influence can only be built over time. Here are some tried and tested tips to help you build your social media influence. Some of these tips are geared towards companies but most are generic and can be used by anyone to improve his or her social media influence.

Launch conversations

many different colored speech bubbles as a social network symbol

To add new followers and to keep old ones from leaving, you have to spend time to know people. It can be as simple as asking them how their day was. Note that to become popular on social media, you have to have followers. So start building your gang. Add friends, add your peers from the industry, add people who are interested in what you have to offer. Keep a blog. Comment on other people’s posts. Be accessible to your followers. Have real interactions with them and don’t just post what you did or are going to do.

Have contests, events and post news

Hands Holding Contest in the Sky

People have a natural tendency to reach out to others. Call it empathy if you will. They want to celebrate with you and get involved in what you do. You can reach out to them by holding contests, regular events. Encourage them to get involved. Share the latest developments at your company or in your life with them.

Use hashtags to build contacts

Hashtag Notification Concept

Keywords and hashtags have become a popular tool to reach out to people on social media sites. Take full advantage of these. Learn new ways of using them by observing how other people are using them. Just be discerning. You can and should post original content but do not forget that other people also have interesting things to share. You can curate some posts and share them on your page. But do not overload your followers with posts. Be creative but be careful about what you post.

Find something you are good at and promote it

Vector Promotion Concept - Flat Icon

Being a generalist is a good idea because it gives you the freedom to post everything and anything. But if you are running a niche business, you cannot afford to be a generalist. Find some specific topics that resonate with what you do and create posts on that. Become an expert on a subject and eventually people may come to trust you on that subject.

Keep an eye out for trends

Image of businesswoman looking in telescope standing atop of roc

Pay attention to what people are talking about. If you think you can contribute on that topic, do it. Having conversations on popular topics in your niche is a good way to reach out to people and add followers. Try using the Ahrefs Content Explorer tool, this will help you find the most shared content in your niche, easily and quickly.

Use social media measurement sites

Measure social media on black ruler

Don’t you want to know how your social media activities are panning out? One way to find out, is to sign up with social media measurement websites such as Klout or Kred. They are easy to use (there are instructions on their website) and once you have signed on, you will get good insights on what you are doing right and what is not working.

Ask your audience for specific inputs

Group of People Standing Holding Audience Letter

Have you just launched a new product or service? Do you want inputs on a specific issue? Why not ask your followers what they think? People are usually happy to share advice. The other benefit is, it will increase your engagement with your followers and add more people to your community.

Note high influencers in your posts

Influence Concept.

Image credit: sam2172 / BigStock

When you give compliments on posts written by others (on your wall) or just mention a high influencers name, some of their sheen will rub off on you. The way to do this on Twitter is by adding @ before the influencer’s name. On Facebook and Google+, you can add + in front of the name. It will also increase your social influence.

Nurture relationships with high influencers in your niche

Valentine Heart in Man and Woman Hands over Nature Green Sunny B

You are not the only one working in your niche. There will be others and some of them might be more influential than you. Try to nurture connections with these people and they may even mention you in their posts or share your content. Also another way to find influencers in your niche also use the Ahrefs Content Explorer tool to find what content is hot in your industry to who is writing it to what is content is working.

Connect offline and through other channels

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 13.52.32

Your conversations do not have to be limited to social media networks. How about conducting a podcast? You can also host chats on Google Hangout. There are many other ways to comment with people. You can also take part in radio interviews, post videos on YouTube and these will help you build your social media influence.

There are many more ways to increase your social media influence. Look at what other people are going right and try to adopt those techniques to improve your influence on social media.

Your Polluted URLs Stink: A Guide to Cleaning up the Mess

Your Polluted URLs Stink: A Guide to Cleaning up the Mess

Marketers love to add all kind of crap parameters to your Internet addresses (URLs). Especially

third party marketing tools like Buffer pollute your URLs

  • until they look really ugly
  • damage the user experience
  • and literally stink.

Why and how to clean up the mess others have left in the browser address bar.

 

O as in Optimization vs M as in Marketing – What’s the difference?

Over the years the difference between marketers and optimizers has been growing. While social media marketers (SMM) prefer to buy data on people from the likes of Facebook and then bombard them with personalized ads based on their private preferences social media optimizers (SMO) increasingly focused on supplying social media users with amazing content that enriches their lives and makes them happy.

Search Engine Optimizers craft and optimize pillar content so that it spreads far and wide and consequently earns a lot of incoming links through that engagement.

In contrast Search Engine Marketers (SEM) or PPC (Pay Per Click) marketers focus on buying Google Ads and counting the ROI (Return On Investment) of it by any means possible so they can prove their worth.

In many cases both roles have been performed by the same people many of whom are my friends. Recently there’s a growing conflict of interest between the two approaches though. One of the best ways to show that is how marketers damage the user experience and thwart social media as well as search engine optimization best practices of clean URLs.

 

Web dev best practices overthrown by marketers

For years it has been widely known among professionals ranging from web development to usability to information architecture that short, clean and self-explanatory file names and URLs are the way to go on the Web.

URL parameters have been a bane of the past stemming from the early days of clumsy content management systems that wouldn’t work without adding lots of cryptic digits and characters to clean Web addresses.

For

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • UX (User Experience)
  • IA (Information Architecture)

etc.

a URL like this is the best:

https://blog.ahrefs.com/url-clean-up/

It’s short clean, readable and contains keywords and most importantly tells you where you are (on the blog of Ahrefs.com, reading the clean URLs article).

Sadly automated social media marketing tools like Buffer will make something like that out of that URL without asking the blogger or website owner for permission:

https://blog.ahrefs.com/url-clean-up/?utm_content=buffer7d676&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Yes, they will just add more characters to your Internet address than it has originally. Also please note how they insert two ads into your URL advertising their own service (Buffer) through it.

Adding insult to injury they insert a whole website address, here Twitter.com

to it so that some people, especially only viewing the by now very long URL partially – might mistake their whereabouts. Why does the address bar say I’m on Twitter.com? I wanted to go to the Ahrefs blog!

 

Is adding something to unsuspecting webmasters’ URL really that harmful?

Of course I do exaggerate a bit. One or two of these things by itself wouldn’t do a lot of harm. Personally I love to tell people that I have send them visitors. So I sometimes add parameters like ?via=seo2.us/ebook to my outgoing links.

Note how I do something of value for those webmasters first (linking to them and sending them visitors) and only tell them about it by using one single parameter and a short URL in order not to mess up their original one too much.

You might argue that all of this is irrelevant as long as the Website is still found using such a “polluted” URL but even that isn’t as safe as you might think. Recently I witnessed the following scenario on a popular marketing blog:

visiting a blog post by using a Buffer polluted URL (with all those redundant parameters) I couldn’t see any content.

The page started with the comment section. So I tested the URL without the parameters and guess what happened? The blog article was visible. Could that be a mistake of my own?

I just assumed that it was only a temporary glitch and looked up the polluted URL version again, yet here there was still no content. I reported it to the author of the post (who only read it a few hours later and got angry at me because he couldn’t replicate it).

It might have been a glitch lasting an hour or two but you see what happens. Even an old school Internet user like I am starts wondering and looking at the strange address. Average users are even more likely to be confused.

 

Google doesn’t care for the people

Google’s growing disregard for SEO practitioners has also increasingly contributed to the URL mess. In their market leading Google Analytics software they make webmasters add random parameters without considering the side-effects of polluted URLs mentioned above.

With more than half of websites globally using GA this issue is only getting worse especially given the enormous pressure to prove the ROI of any marketing discipline and beyond. You can even measure the ROI of your mom by now. Just kidding, but it’s close.

Like Buffer Google wants to prove the value of its ads by showing their customers that and how many people have clicked them

while in reality half of them remain unseen not even to mention widespread clickfraud. Thus adding parameters which are useless from the user point of view but lucrative from the marketing point of view will be more common in future.

Unless you don’t care that you leave users confused (just think of such an URL in a message sent to somebody in plain text) you want to protect yourself against this type of URL hijacking.

For my own purposes I created a very simple JavaScript years ago. I even mentioned it here on Ahrefs a while ago in another context. I had to take it down because it was vulnerable to SPAM bot attacks on WordPress.

 

How to clean up parameter polluted URLs?

So after the recent case of a hidden content glitch by way of URL pollution I decided to search for a more sophisticated solution. I’ve found one albeit one that is not very popular yet. The post detailing has barely been noticed on the Web it seems. Yet, the issues affects billions of websites and should be addressed (no pun intended here).

In many cases website owners do not want to remove or clean up all parameters from their URLs.

Some of them might be useful or needed for their blog or site to work properly. On my personal site over at onreact.com I simply remove all parameters no matter what as I know that my site which I coded myself) works perfectly without them. I just cut them off and redirect to the clean URL again:

//Preventing URL spoofing and polluting
var url = location.href;
var p = url.indexOf("?");
if (p >= 1)
{
  url = url.slice(0,p);
  self.location.replace(url);
}

As mentioned above this will suffice for static sites that don’t use parameters but might backfire for WordPress users.

 

Tracking campaign and fixing URLs after the act

Assuming that you’re both a marketer and an optimizer as in reality most often the case (I’m a notable exception as I don’t sell ads) you do not want to cripple Google Analytics you probably use on your site as well.

You can also first track your campaign and then still fix your URLs.

This is what the following script by Jason Weathered and Henrik Nyh does. It adds a simple JavaScript function to your Google Analytics code to remove the unwanted parameters once they have been counted by GA:

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXX-X']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
_gaq.push(function() {
  var newPath = location.pathname + location.search.replace(/[?&]utm_[^?&]+/g, "").replace(/^&/, "?") + location.hash;
  if (history.replaceState) history.replaceState(null, '', newPath);
});


(function() {
  var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
  ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
  var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

 

Put it between the script-tags. This piece of code has been around in the wild since 2011/2013 (the updated version) so you can rest assured that it doesn’t do anything malicious.

You have to replace your original Google Analytics tracking code on your site/blog with the one above, of course changing the UA-XXXXX-X part to your actual account number over at Google Analytics. I use the script on my SEO 2.0 blog and it removes the parameters flawlessly.

How to Identify the Right Content to Share on Social Media

How to Identify the Right Content to Share on Social Media

Content curation has emerged as a powerful way of generating relevant information for achieving better engagement with your social media audience. It is different from content marketing because curation is the process of discovering content relevant to your audience and sharing it in an organised way through your social media platforms.

Role of content curation in social media management

Content Marketing

Content curation is a part of your overall marketing strategy. It is not a separate aspect of branding, but ties well into your comprehensive marketing plan.

  • Content curation can help you provide better information through context. You can shares snippets from a post and add your ideas to it. You can also share it and present your own extensive views on the subject to establish yourself as an expert on certain topics.
  • Content curation helps you feed your audience’s curiosity through great content. It makes social media management easy as the content you can share with your audience is ready for you in the way you want to present it.
  • Content curation helps you use videos, images and text for variation on a single topic and you can also use themes to organize your content and present it to your audience.
  • Content curation adds another dimension to your social media marketing plans. It helps you flesh out your content strategy and expand it further. Now even if you do not have original content to share, you can curate information that sits well with your audience and generate the same buzz you expect when you share original information with them. The idea is the same – to engage with your audience and strengthen your social media marketing plans.

Content curation sounds simple. After all it is only about finding content for your audience that might be meaningful to them and sharing it with them. However, how do you identify relevant content from a sea of content on the web and share the same in an organised way?

Here are some ways to identify the right content to share on your social media platforms.

First identify your content marketing needs

Content Marketing

Posting content just for the sake of feeding something to your audience means missing the point of content marketing completely. If you know your audience’s tastes well, your job is half done. Whatever content you share on social media, it should meet these criteria:

  1. It must be relevant to your business/brand in some way.
  2. It must be meaningful to your audience in some way.
  3. It must be from a trusted source.

Now use these pointers to find the content on the web that can lead to greater audience engagement for you. The idea is to be specific and not posting content on social media haphazardly. Just because a story is interesting/funny/hilarious doesn’t necessarily make it right for your social accounts. Content curation requires as much diligent as creating original content to share on social media to engage with your audience or drive your business.

Know what you share

Share Sharing Social Media Networking Online Download Concept

When you are looking for quality content to share on social media don’t just go by the title or snippets and share it. Take your time to read through or at least glance through the entire text to know the tone and information presented in it. Or else you could post a story that seems relevant to your audience because of the title, but its context or focus could be entirely different.

Use content curation tools to find quality content

Content curation tools can make life easy for you by discovering and collecting the right content for you. Research the right content curation tool/s for you and use them to find the suitable content to share with your audience. Office Desk with Tools and Notes About Digital MarketingThese days many curation tools help find popular content on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Through them you can find great content on the same platform. However, just as it is important to post the right content, it is equally important to use the right tools to curate your content. Some common tools to find content with minimum amount of time are Google News, Facebook Trends and RSS. However, now many new content curation tools are available through which you can further simplify the task of content curation and gather more information about the stories you want to share.

Content Explorer by Ahrefs can help you find top-shared content related to any topic. It lists the news from top-ranked to low-ranked based on your keywords, mentions its source, and tells you the number of times it has been shared on popular social media platforms. Further, you can sort the list by date, also specify languages and include/exclude certain domain names. Using this tool is easy and you can identify popular topics based on your keywords or phrases and share the ones you find relevant on your social media accounts.

How To Get More Search Traffic by Spying on Your Clients’ Competitors

How To Get More Search Traffic by Spying on Your Clients’ Competitors

Sometimes, the key to boosting your clients’ search rankings isn’t about outsmarting the competition; it’s about imitating what they’re doing and doing it better.

A little spying on your clients’ competitors can give you a lot of actionable ideas on how to get more search traffic for your client.

1. Research The Inbound Links Of The Competition

By using tools like Site Explorer to analyze the competition’s inbound links, you can understand both their strategy and their audience.

For example:

  • Links from industry blogs. Your clients’ competitors might be boosting search rankings by guest posting on high-quality blogs or wooing influencers from these blogs. They might exchange free samples or even pay influencers for reviews and links to their pages.
  • Links from the media. Your clients’ competitors could be reaching out to people in the media as a link-building strategy. They might do this through direct PR outreach or through sites like HARO.com, which connect businesses with journalists.
  • Links from social sharing. If you see lots of inbound links from social networks, your clients’ competitors might be masters of social sharing.

Just put the domain name of your competitor into the Site Explorer and pick the “domain” option for the drop down menu:

This will give you an overview of that site’s link profile:

02-ahrefs-incoming-backlinks

If you then go to “INBOUND LINKS > Links” section, you’ll get the full list of links pointing to this domain and you’ll be able to export them for a more detailed look:

03-export-links-ahrefs

In addition to giving you insight into their link-building strategies, inbound links can tell you a lot about the competition’s audience.

If many links come from people in specific demographic categories, or if inbound recommendations cluster within a particular geographic area, it’s likely that your clients’ competitors are targeting those specific markets.

Click on some of these links, particularly reviews, and see what the audience says about your clients’ competition. If reviewers complain about the competition’s products, use the information to tweak your SEO strategy.

For example: if your client owns a restaurant, and reviewers complain that your client’s chief competitor doesn’t offer good seafood dishes, your client might gain some leverage by trying to rank for keyword phrases like “best seafood restaurant.”

Also, if the competition’s unhappy reviewers come from a specific geographic area, use local SEO tactics to target those customers.

2. Investigate Their Keywords

One of the best ways to improve SEO is to discover keywords that your clients’ competitors aren’t using.

Google’s Keyword Tool can tell you which keywords are most common and competitive, but it can’t give you keyword ideas that the competition hasn’t thought of yet.

To develop new ideas for keywords, try some of these online tools:

  • Q&A forums. The questions asked on forums, like Quora and Yahoo Answers, are the same questions people type into Google’s search field.
  • eHow and Wikihow. These “how to” sites are built around Google searches, such as “how to fix a leaky faucet.”
  • Google autocomplete. Start typing in a search related to your client’s business and see what suggested searches auto-generated by Google. Also, check the “Searches related to” section at the bottom of the search results page.

Browse competitors’ websites and read their content, recording the keyword phrases that they’re using in a notebook or spreadsheet.

If they’re low-competition keywords, incorporate them into your client’s content. If they’re highly competitive, look for different keyword ranking opportunities.

3. Spy on Their Social Media Pages

Social media shares by themselves don’t improve your client’s link profile. However, a link shared in a tweet could cause a blogger to write about your client’s content and link back to it. In that case, your client’s link profile does improve.

Also, if referrals and increased awareness from social media sends traffic to your client’s website, higher traffic and query volume will improve your client’s search rankings.

Take a look at what your clients’ competitors are doing with their social networks:

  • Analyze how they post. Review their posts, along with the content they share, to see what their audience likes most. If they’re using images with every shared link or capitalizing on certain hashtags to get their content shared, try mimicking those strategies.
  • Check out their followers. Find common characteristics within their audience, including demographics, occupation, location, and interests.
  • Note when they post. If your clients’ competitors get more engagement when they post at certain times of day, suggest that your clients change their posting schedule to boost sharing.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

Start with simple strategies that are just a little better than what your clients’ competitors are doing — better inbound links, better keywords, and better social media sharing. You’ll be surprised how much these small changes will boost your clients’ search engine referrals.

Removing Forum Signature Backlinks Led To Increase In Search Traffic

Case Study: Removing Forum Signature Backlinks Led To Increase In Search Traffic

A couple of months ago, I started receiving hundreds of unexpected dofollow backlinks from the profile signature of a forum I was participating to.

I did not really care until I decided to clean them up. I noticed a rise in search result impressions, as reported in Google Webmaster Tools.

Why You Should Watch Your Backlinks Closely

Last year, I was working on the development of an ethical content exchange platform called Ligatures.net. I decided to register to several SEO forums, hoping I could include a link in my profile signature here and there.

One of them was WebsiteBabble. So, I joined it and added a backlink to my site in my profile. I carried on participating to the forum and created a total of about 50 posts.

From time to time, I was checking my backlinks using both Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) and Ahrefs.

Once you have registered your website in GWT, a subset of links to your website is progressively displayed in the Search Traffic > Links To Your Site menu.

01-webmaster tools screenshot

GWT provides good feedback, but it does not provide as much statistics asAhrefs Site Explorer.

For example, it does not break down link counts into dofollow and nofollow. It does not provide a graph of the backlink count too.

Such information is available from Ahrefs simply by entering the URL of your website in the Site Explorer.

Within days, I noticed a huge increase in dofollow backlinks at Ahrefs:

02-ahrefs graph screenshot

From less than 50 backlinks, I reached 600 within 3 months, most of them coming from WebsiteBabble.

Surprisingly, GWT only reported less than a fifth of them.

I was a bit worried about such backlinks, but decided to deal with this issue later. I was also wondering whether I would get some benefits too.

GWT was reporting around 16 impressions per day then, which is a very low number. However, I did not expect more since my site did not have much content and since it was in a very competitive niche. I was still working on my platform.

Around mid-November, I posted a couple of articles on my site. I was expecting the number of impressions to rise, but nothing happened. I was wondering whether I was suffering from an algorithmic penalty since I there was no manual penalty in GWT.

I resorted to ask questions about forum profile backlinks in two SEO forums: V7N and WebsiteBabble. I received the following answers:

  • “If you encounter issues, remove some keywords from the signature;”
  • “If you only have forum backlinks, it can hurt your rankings;”
  • “We have more than 20 000 backlinks from forums and we are still ranking on top 3 positions;”
  • “There is no manual penalty for this, but your IP address may be blacklisted;”
  • “Forum signature links will be slaughtered with the next Penguin update;”
  • “If you get a link to your site from your lawful and honest participation in a web forum, you do not have anything to be concerned about, even if you use a custom anchor text.”

About the “forum signature links being slaughtered with the next Penguin update” comment – it did not happen.

But in my case, there was a significant volume of links created automatically in a short period of time. I did not stuff my signature with keywords and a large part of my links were coming from the same source (i.e., a big skew).

Google’s Policies On Forum Profile Backlinks

Here’s what Google says:

  • Forum profile links should not be optimized with keywords or they would be considered unnatural;
  • Creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of [their] guidelines;
  • Automatic link generation can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.

My links were created automatically and they were not editorially placed, but I had some control on it.

Yet, 600 links for 50 posts was obviously not a normal ratio. I could not find more official information and was left without clear-cut answers to my questions.

Removing Forum Signature Backlinks

In early December, I decided to remove my dofollow link from my WebsiteBabble profile.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to set a nofollow attribute, otherwise, I would have tried it. I used plain text instead.

The number of links reported in GWT and Ahrefs started to decline. I did not see any positive impact on impressions until the beginning of January. By the beginning of February, I noticed an average of about 30 impressions per day. I had reached a plateau.

image02

In the meantime, I had not modified the content of my website or performed any other actions that could have impacted this metric. An upward trend in search result impressions clearly began once search engines had removed about 60% of my profile signature backlinks.

Conclusions

In the Google Webmaster Help videos, John Muller has often repeated the following:

  • Google removes the value of unnatural links, they don’t pass PageRank;
  • In competitive niches, you need to show a lot of strong signals to beat existing competition;
  • Algorithms do not have metrics and signals for new websites, so they make early estimations;
  • Backlinks are taken into account to compute trust;
  • The ratio of good content versus bad content is influencing ranking;
  • Algorithms automatically pick up changes made on web pages;
  • A lot of positive signals can override a couple of negative signals.

Since my website was new and did not have much content and backlinks, it is very likely that algorithms did not really know whether they could trust my content or not.

In addition, getting hundreds of unnatural links from the same source surely did not help building trust. However, after I fixed this issue, algorithms changed their mind. It seems like first impressions matter, but they are not fatal.

Those who claim had 20 000 forum profile backlinks, while still ranking, could probably rank even better if they removed these. A lot of forum profile backlinks does have a negative impact.

How To Get More Search Traffic With Long Tail Keywords

How To Get More Search Traffic With Long Tail Keywords

One of the best ways to get traffic to your website without spending extra money is through keyword research.

More specifically, targeting the right “long tail keywords” with your content can make all the difference when it comes to the amount of traffic you get from the search engines.

Not sure exactly what that means?

No problem.

Here is a practical guide to how keyword research can bring you more free (organic) traffic than you’ve thought possible.

Keyword Research Basics

Let’s briefly set the stage for this topic. When we talk about a “keyword” we are talking about any search term that gets searched in Google (or another search engine.)

Some keywords get searched all the time. For example “how to lose weight” is searched about 110,000 times per month in the US according to Google’s Keyword Planner.

On the flip side, on any given day 15% of Google searches are things that have never been searched before. That’s about 500 million searches per day that are brand new to Google.

Somewhere in between these super competitive keywords and these very obscure, never-before-searched keywords are what we call “long tail keywords.”

Long Tail Keywords Explained

Long tail keywords tend to be more specific searches that are typically searched less often, by people who are about to make a buying decision.

In our earlier example, “how to lose weight” is not a long tail keyword. However, as that person learns more about their weight loss options and becomes more informed, they will often start searching for more detailed, specific things about weight loss.

Perhaps they’ll search for things like:

  • “does P90X work?”
  • “low carb diet grocery list”
  • “lose weight without running”

These are examples of long tail keywords. What we’ve found is that by targeting the right long tail keywords on your website, you can start increasing traffic and more importantly, draw in people who are very targeted for your business.

How To Get Traffic With Long Tail Keywords

Once you’ve setup your website, you need to start adding content such as new pages and blog posts to your site.

But the question is “posts about what?”

This is where keyword research and focusing on the right long tail keywords comes into play. If you’re just starting a site in the nutrition space, your chances of ranking on page 1 of Google for “how to lose weight” are similar to your odds of winning the lottery without buying a ticket.

Unfortunately this is where a lot of new site owners mess up. They see that this phrase gets searched 110,000 times per month and think that’s what they should focus on.

The better approach is to focus on ranking a bunch of pages for related long tail keywords that may only get searched 5,000, 500, or even 50 times per month.

Here is how you can start:

Check The Keywords That Your Competitors Rank For

Before we talk about brainstorming keyword ideas on your own, why not start with what is already working for sites similar to yours?

One of the beautiful things about tools like Ahrefs is the ability to do a little spying on your competition.

Sticking to our nutrition example, find another health site that you’d consider “competition” or maybe just a site you’d admire.

Then, simply search that competitors domain in Ahrefs to get started. I’m going to start by analyzing “dietdoctor.com” to see what I come up with:

Once I click on “search links,” I’ll then see the main overview of their site including the total number of backlinks and the domain rank:

Ahrefs-Main-Dashboard

Next, I’m going to click on “Top Pages” near the top of the left-hand navigation. What “Top Pages” does is show you what their most popular pages are, based on the social sharing and the number of backlinks to that page.

Here are the top pages for dietdoctor.com:

Ahrefs-Top-Pages

With a quick scan, I can see pages about “LCHF” (low carb high fat), Paleo diets, saturated fat, and lower blood sugar.

As you spot some of these keywords, jot them down so you can use them later to find even more related ideas. These are great idea starters for finding more long tail keywords because you know they are topics that other people like to share and link back to.

Bonus Tip:

Besides “idea starters,” you should also be looking for opportunities to directly “one-up” your competition.

For instance, you may find a page that does really well for a competitor, but you know that you could make something better. Let’s say the Diet Doctor’s page about LCHF for beginners is short, and not all that special.

You could put together a more thorough, better looking beginners guide to LCHF.

The great thing is, you can again use Ahrefs to quickly find out exactly where all of the Diet Doctor’s 6,000+ links to that page are coming from and reach out to those sites about your newer, better resource on this same topic.

Let me show you the steps to follow.

Step #1:

From the “Top Pages” screen, make sure you click on the “backlinks” link at the top so you can see the detailed link results. (See image below)

Step #2:

Click on the number of total backlinks, in this case I am going to click on “6,667” to see the links to the LCHF page.

Top-Pages-Backlinks-Ahrefs

Step #3:

Next, you’ll see a huge list of pages that are linking directly to the Diet Doctor’s LCHF page. Start at the top and work your way down, since Ahrefs sorts by putting the highest ranked pages at the top.

Here is a portion of the 6,667 links to my competitor’s page:

Ahrefs-Backlink-list

Step #4:

Click on the URL of the site linking to the Diet Doctor, and get a feel for the context of the link. Perhaps it is a list of resources on LCHF diets, which is great news for you. Once your LCHF page is complete, you can then go to the “contact” page of that website and let them know about a new, fantastic addition to their list!

Step #5:

Remember that for larger lists, like this one with over 6,000 links, you can click the “export” button at the top of the list and save this for later. This will allow you to keep track of your outreach in a spreadsheet and make notes on who you’ve contacted, and what responses you’ve received.

While this process can be time consuming, it is time well spent because you are using intelligent outreach. After all, every one of these sites has already linked to a page just like yours, so sending them a quick heads up about your similar resource makes a lot of sense.

Brian Dean calls this the Skyscraper Technique and it’s a great way to get buzz and backlinks – particularly for a new website trying to make a splash.

“They Ask, You Answer” – Keyword Brainstorming Technique

“They ask, you answer” is a phrase that I’ve borrowed from Marcus Sheridan. Marcus applied the concepts we’re talking about to his small, failing pool company and completely turned things around.

Marcus talks a lot about simply listening to your customers, and taking on the mindset of a teacher and not a salesman.

“They ask, you answer” simply means to start by brainstorming and writing down all the questions you get from customers and prospective customers on a daily basis.

The idea is that if they’ve asked you that question, other people are asking the same question in Google.

So take every question that you’ve heard, and make each one it’s own blog post on your website. If other staff members contribute, this could easily give you 50 – 100 content ideas to start with.

Find The Keywords That People Are Actually Searching For

Once you’ve done all the questions you know, it’s time to start finding other keyword ideas based on the data that is available to you.

As I mentioned earlier, Google makes the average search volume of any keyword readily available, but just knowing how often something is searched is only half the battle.

The other half is being able to analyze your competition.

Ideally, you want to find keywords that have lower quality competition in the top 10 results of Google. After all, if you can’t get to the first page then you are practically invisible.

If you are struggling to come up with other keyword ideas, here are some simple steps to follow:

Step #1:

Look for forums in your niche. This can be done by searching Google for “Your Niche + Forum.” Although forums aren’t cutting edge, they are full of active discussions from people in your industry. Simply scan the list of topics or “threads” and write down any interesting keywords or topics you see.

Step #2:

Search top selling products and Kindle books on Amazon for your industry. I particularly like looking at the top Kindle books in my categories of interest because the titles are often full of keywords that I can use.

Here is an example when I look for Kindle books about nutrition:

Kindlebooks

There are over 26,000 results, but just from the very first one I see “clean eating” and “healthy snacks” as a couple of interesting keyword ideas to explore. Write down all of the eye-catching keywords you see.

Step #3:

Once you’ve got a list of “starter keywords,” it’s time to get even more ideas for similar long tail keywords. We do this by using our own software, Long Tail Pro.

I start by adding a few keywords I found in my searching, such as “clean eating,” “healthy snacks,” etc. and then let the software generate a bunch of similar ideas.

Long-Tail-Pro-Keyword-Generator

Step #4:

Finally, look through the list of generated keywords and click on any of them that seem relevant to your business. By clicking on the keyword, you’re able to quickly analyze the current top 10 results in Google for that keyword.

This gives you an indication of the strength of those results and lets you know how difficult it might be for you to get into the top 10 yourself.

Shown below is a look at the competition for the keyword “low carb diet grocery list” which came up when I generated keywords from my list of starter keywords shown above.

LTP-Low-Carb-Diet-Analysis

If you need further detail, here is an article where I go deeper into the step by step process we follow to discover new keyword ideas and then analyze them in Long Tail Pro.

In short, you are looking for results from low quality, low authority sites that aren’t doing a very good job of targeting the keyword. These are the “low hanging fruit” of your niche and give you an easier path to start pulling in organic traffic.

Once you’ve done the research, here’s how you bring it to life on your website:

How To Target Longtail Keywords in Your Content

Let’s continue with our earlier example in the nutrition space. I used “low carb diet grocery list” as an example of a long tail keyword and as it turns out, it actually fits our criteria rather nicely.

After plugging it into our tool (shown above), I see that it gets searched 260 times per month and Long Tail Pro is telling us that the competitiveness rating is 26 (on a scale of 1 – 100), which means it is pretty low.

Now that I have a good keyword, I’d next go into my management tool (WordPress, Squarespace, etc.) to create a new page/post on this topic.

When I do, I’m going to use my exact keyword in both my page title and the heading that goes on the page.

This is important in helping Google understand what your page is about, and in this case we are focused on a very specific phrase that we hope to rank for. If you are a WordPress user, consider the Yoast SEO plug-in which will make sure you are putting your keyword in all the right places.

While “keyword stuffing” is a bad idea, you do want to use your keyword again in the heading of your page, and maybe a couple of times in the content of your page as it makes sense.

Remember that your focus should be on providing value to your human visitors first and foremost.

From here it’s important to create the best darn low carb grocery list you can. Make sure that when you compare your page to the others in the top 10 currently that you are making the best resource and deserve to rank #1!

Once you’ve added your content, simply publish your content to make it live. However, don’t expect to shoot up the rankings overnight!

In fact, it may take months in some cases for a newer site to start ranking well in the search engines. Be patient and understand that it’s normal. You’re best bet is to “rinse and repeat.”

Keep finding low competition keywords and adding pages or blog posts that zero in on that very topic.

A Word Of Caution on Content

Finding the best long tail keyword in the world isn’t going to help if your content is mediocre. The same goes with using Ahrefs for the “skyscraper technique” described above.

You have to deliver great content.

Here’s a quick list of other “on-page” factors that you should consider when creating your content. Stick to these basics and you’ll be on your way to the top.

Take Action!

We covered a lot, so let’s summarize an action plan so you can start growing:

  1. Analyze your top competitors in Ahrefs to see their “Top Pages”
  2. Jot down competitor keywords you notice, and look for any “skyscraper” opportunities to one-up their popular content
  3. Make a running list of questions you hear about your business
  4. Answer those questions on your website, one question per page/post
  5. Find other keyword ideas to target (using keyword tool like Long Tail Pro)
  6. Create content that is laser-focused on your keyword, and is of high quality to the end user.
  7. Rinse and repeat. Remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint.

If you can do those 7 things I’m confident you’ll see success. I’ve done it personally and I’ve seen other businesses do it time and time again with fantastic results!