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Friday, June 07, 2019

Given all the changes in search engine optimization over the last year, it's extremely important to stay on top of the latest trends, Google algorithm changes, and impact of content optimization on the ever changing world of search results.

Here are 5 key SEO trends that you should be aware of when working through your content and optimization strategy.

1. Mobile Optimization. Ever since Google's "mobile first" update, it's important to think mobile...first. For example, how does your website perform on a mobile device?  Not just from a look and feel perspective but also from a usability perspective. This is one of the most important factors impacting consumer behavior today.

2. Google My Business.  Google runs the largest business directory in the universe. I'm talking about Google My Business. If your company isn't already listed and verified, do that today. But don't stop there - keeping your online profile updated is the key to local optimization success. Continually ad photos of your business and services that you offer.

3. Answering Questions. Google has migrated from simply giving you a link to actually answering a user's query on the first page of search results. Are you orienting your content into a question and answer format?  If you do, you'll be rewarded. Sometimes you may even be listed in position zero.  Position zero is the very first listing in search results before other sites are listed. If you can answer a user's query and format it properly, you can command the most organic traffic.

4. Analytics. Data and analytics are here to stay. Thanks to Google Analytics and endless marketing technology available today, sometimes for free, you can use behavioral data to improve results. Many people are still not taking advantage of analytics to drive their decision making. Data can be incredibly valuable when thinking about ways to optimize your website, social media, and content.

5. Content is King. Are you producing targeted content for your prospects and customers on a regular basis?  Google is still favoring sites that offer meaningful and engaging content. As you created content, amplify it through social media and email marketing. Spread the word. Let others know that you have something of quality to share.

These 5 trends will help you work through your content and optimization strategy in a meaningful way. Pay attention and apply these to ensure top search results and more importantly an engaged audience. 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

This post will tell you EXACTLY how to get the most from influencers on Social Media and get right into the heart of the industry, which you operate. 

And the best part, it works for ANY industry.

I’ll tell you how to create an article, also known as a web asset, which allows you to promote to influencers in your niche.

Then I show you how to get their attention, by promoting on the increasingly over-crowded, social media platforms.

I also give you a few tips on how to make sure your article provides a great user experience.
So let’s get going…

Creating a web asset (a unique article in the form of a list)

Step 1: Plan an article on your blog

The first thing you need, to start generating traffic to your website, is a blog post that provides information to help your target market with challenges they face.

For this strategy, your article is going to be a ‘listicle’. That’s simply an article in the form of a list.

You will want to include a minimum of 40 items in your listicle. So, do some keyword research and pick a subject that’s wide enough.

Here’s a few examples:
·         42 Must Have Business Analysis Books
·         43 Outstanding Quotes from Business Experts
·         45 Amazing Recipes from the best cake bloggers

So, you could simply create a list of books that relate to your industry and include the authors.

Alternatively, you could find recipes that have already been tried and tested by bloggers with influence. And reference their recipe page.

After creating a shortlist of keywords, find the influencers you want to mention in your post and make a note of each one.

When you have decided on a minimum of 40 influencers and their content you want to reference, you want to do a bit more digging.

Find their contact details:
-      --Twitter Profile (Personal and business)
-      -- Facebook Website Page
-      --LinkedIn Profile
-      -- Instagram
-      -- Email address (if available)

You might not get all these details but try to get the details of at least 2 social platforms.

Then, you’re ready for step 2.

Step 2: Create the article that lists your industry influencers

This should be easy, but I have a few tips to get you going.

Firstly, it’s hugely important to create a fantastic user experience to keep visitors on your site after landing from the search engines or from social channels.

And there’s a couple of things you can do to achieve this.

     1. Design a visual, easy-to-follow table for the page in a logical order so that people can look down the table at their own leisure and find what they might be looking for.
2   2. Add sort buttons to the top of the table so that your readers can view the list in any order they want.
3. Also, make sure you write a brief introduction above the table, so you have some content on the page. That way, you’ll be more likely to rank in the search engines.
4. Finally, you could even add in a hook, which leads the visitor to another one of your articles. That will reduce your bounce rate.

The most important part of the listicle is that you have the names of influencers who are on social media, this can be either Twitter, Facebook or even LinkedIn. Just make sure that they have a nice number of followers.

Here’s an example of what your table might look like:

You can see the full table and article here if you want to take a look.

Step 3: Optimize the article for SEO (search engine traffic)

Google is now showing rich snippets, as the top result, more and more often. And lists are no exception.

So, one of the other benefits of listing items in an article is that they often show up in the rich snippets.

Here’s an example:

When you search for best coffee beans in Google, there’s a list of different options that have come from a blog.

However, there’s few things you need to do in the code so that the page is optimized.

Such as using <li> and <o> or <ul> or <table> tags.  Teaching html is outside the scope of this post, so if you’re unsure, find someone who knows.

Now you’ve created your list and identified important influencers, it’s time for the most important part of blogging - start promoting your new article.

Here’s how…

Promoting your new asset – one tweet every day

This step is essential if you want to grow your website. Many digital marketing specialists say:

“Content is KING!”

I say….

Content is good but promotion is the true KING. So, here’s how you can massively leverage the visibility of your new post.

Step 4: Schedule one tweet per day

You probably know this but whenever you mention someone in your tweet or share, that person receives an immediate notification saying you just mentioned them.

This is gold dust for marketers. It’s practically free advertising.

Here’s the strategy you need to implement.

Remember the list of influencers you created at the start. It’s now time to use it.

I’ll explain using Twitter but you can recreate this strategy using any of the social platforms.
Write a tweet that mentions and thanks every one of the influencers that you mentioned in your post. Tell them they’ve been added to the list. And thank them for their contribution, include their personal twitter handle.

Here’s a preview of one I created for 42 influencers in the Business Analysis niche. Notice that I provide both a link back to the article and a direct mention of the author of each of the books.

The reason you do this is because the author will be notified and may retweet your tweet to their thousands of followers. That will give you loads more recognition AND traffic to your blog – BOOM!

Step 5: Email the influencers

Doing this can get you involved with the influencers just that little bit more, but you may find it difficult to get hold of their email addresses. However, if you do find contact details, don’t be afraid to drop them an email.

All you need to do is write out an email to the influencers and request a collaboration.
Here’s an example email.

Hey [Influencer Name]
I hope you don’t mind but I’ve added your book to my list of Must have Business Analysis Books.


I wondered if you’d be interested in mentioning my list on your website.
I’d be happy to write some lead in text for you if you’re interested.
I would love to hear from you.


So, there you have it, a few steps that will take you immediately towards getting recognised in your industry after setting up a business or blog.

And I guess, the morale of the story is, that you need to promote other people before they will promote you and your business.

OnlineGrowth Guru SEO is a digital company in Manchester, UK. They specialize is growing clients websites using different promotion strategies.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

How To Win At Mobile Marketing

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Companies today are experiencing some form of a crisis when it comes to their investment in mobile, from retail to media apps. But don't be fooled by all the apps you see being sold in the App Store. Brands are struggling with mobile.
One reason is that they’re not really organized properly to address the mobile revolution. For many businesses operating in the mobile space, something still feels off.

And despite the early momentum, there’s plenty of evidence today that there’s low app adoption and consumer satisfaction. In fact, based on a recent study, 24 percent of people have no problem dropping your app after just one use.
But with more and more time spent is being spent on mobile and in apps, how can this be?
You’ve likely heard talk about a phenomenon known as the "mobile engagement crisis" where brands are failing to innovate quickly enough to meet customers’ expectations. We’re in it, people, and for brands, the struggle is real.

Here lies the problem

It’s not the viability of mobile you should be worried about, but rather the execution and implementation of mobile as a strategy. The lack of standards and toolkits for all stages of maturity is a major part of the problem.
This crisis manifests differently from company to company, but its acuteness is often revealed by analyzing the organizational structure surrounding mobile.

The rise of the cross-functional mobile team

I’ve started noticing a pattern emerging in enterprise organizations around the creation of cross-functional mobile teams to help drive growth in mobile. These teams are the mobile evolution of the “growth” team, designed to be full-stack players capable of developing and marketing a product.
According to an analysis of our entire customer base, companies with cross-functional mobile teams outperformed those without such groups when it comes to monthly active users (MAUs). In fact, only the brands with cross-functional mobile teams showed a positive year-over-year growth in MAUs for their apps. Pretty impressive that what’s going on under the roof of a company can have such an impact.
In fact, most of the time, the mere existence of a cross-functional mobile team is a good indicator that a company has achieved a certain level of mobile maturity. It’s not about the actual team itself, but rather the behaviors and principles that the cross-functional structure enables that reveals maturity and drives performance — such as shared KPIs, easy access to development teams and focused alignment on user engagement strategies.

What’s next for mobile?

Tackling mobile has proven challenging for even the best consumer companies. Some of the top things that should be considered are how mobile fits into the overall customer journey across all channels and how user data is combined and shared across the organization.
Brands looking to increase confidence in their mobile strategy should start by looking at their organizational structure and think through whether it’s driving both the desired behaviors and results. That’s just step one.
Companies should also reflect on the types of conversations and debates happening internally around mobile and use them as an indicator for just how far along they are. Are you debating the value of mobile overall to the business? Have you moved on to considering the best way to engage customers and how to organize around that? Or are you at a more advanced stage, seeking to optimize that engagement and looking for additional levers you can pull to add fuel to the fire?
Before blaming it all on millennials or even different departments, think deeply about how your organizational structure is affecting your desired mobile outcomes. Building confidence takes time, but take comfort in knowing that there are places you can start to move the needle before completely hitting reset.
About the Author - Lou Orfanos @loutwit
Lou leads the product organization at Localytics, where he is responsible for the company’s product vision and evangelizing app marketing and analytics to the start-up community. Prior to Localytics, Lou was VP of Product for at LogMeIn, where he helped build it into one of the world’s fastest growing collaboration products. Prior to LogMeIn, he held various product, sales and marketing leadership roles at Monitor, a leading strategy consultancy, and Extraprise, a boutique technology services firm. Lou holds a B.S. in Marketing from Bentley University.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Local Marketing for Professionals

Thursday, June 29, 2017

There are so many professionals out there looking for guidance on how best to market their services - but simply don't know who to start.  When thinking about a local marketing strategy for your professional services firm, knowing where to start can be one of the toughest parts.  In this post I'll share some key areas that local businesses, specifically professionals like Dentists, Doctors, and Attorney's should consider when promoting their business locally.

The first step is focusing on your Google My Business profile.  Google maintains the largest local directory on the planet and there are tons of professionals that either don't know how to verify their listing or simply don't understand the positive impact of having a verified Google My Business account.  When users search for a local professional, your profile will appear in search results and serve as a huge billboard promoting your practice. These listings also include a link to your website, hours of operation, and reviews.

The second step is to optimize your own website.  With the advent of do-it-yourself website builders like GoDaddy, Wix, and WordPress, making your own website doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. You can easily find a freelancer who can quickly and easily develop a good looking website for your firm. Make sure it is easy to navigate, is optimized from a search engine optimization perspective, and gives users an easy way to get in touch with you to set an appointment.

The third step is to think about local search directories.  Local directory services like Lizard Local can help to optimize your business information and distribute across large, powerful local directories like Yelp - improving exposure and helping to build your online reputation.  Professionals that invest the time and effort in expanding their online brand not only grow their practices faster, but increase retention among existing patients and customers.

The final step for increasing you local presence is to "keep it local".  Work with your community and encourage online coverage for your office.  For example, a number of my customers do free screenings or provide a day of free legal advice. This type of promotion can easily be picked up online from local newspapers and radio stations. These connections bode well from a local optimization standpoint and help you increase your reputation.

Don't make local optimization harder than it needs to be.  If you create, optimize, and verify your Google My Business profile, you'll be ahead of about 80% of businesses who fail to see the value in the verification process.  Once you've set up your Google profile, optimize your own website and then begin promoting it using local online directories.  And lastly, start making local connections that can help you and your business rise above the crowd.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Malvertising is a word that has been bouncing around the internet for a while now. It refers to an increasingly common type of online hack, which involves infected links hidden in advertisements online.

However, many marketers fail to realize the significance of this seemingly simple and common hack. In reality, if you aren't versed in the risks and security elements around malvertising, then it's possible that all of your future campaigns could be affected – and not in a positive way. 

Here's the basic scoop that will allow you a good understanding of this nasty type of malware and keep you and your work safe in the future.

What Is Malvertising?

Simply put, malvertising is what is says on the tin: malicious advertising. It takes the visual form of an advert for a website or service that, when clicked, will redirect your computer to criminal servers. From here, there may be a virus which finds its way into your computer or a malicious hacker on the other end trying to farm your bank details.

While some cases of malware, such as the classic porn pop-up, are easy to spot as they seem obviously out of place, some are not so blatant. Often, cybercriminals will use legitimate channels to ensure their advert is placed on a website. Because the infected code is so well camouflaged, site owners and visitors will regularly not be aware there's even a problem until it's too late and the damage has been done.

Malvertising and Me

For bloggers, marketers and small businesses, being aware of the potential effect malvertising could have on your online endeavors is essential. While many of us find ourselves procrastinating when working and clicking on obscure links to quench our boredom, this simple practice could secure your role as a victim of malvertising.

Here's why you don't want that to happen: once malware has accessed your computer, particularly when gaining entry unnoticed, it can cause havoc in your files. A worst-case scenario could include important work documents corrupting or even sensitive customer and client information finding its way into the public domain.

 As well as the frustration and stress required to put right these situations, there's even the possibility of financial loss. This could be via the infiltration of your bank details or through having to pay compensation to a business affiliate whose data you also lost during the attack.

Malvertising & Marketing

Unfortunately, it's not just in terms of our own personal security that malvertising can become a nuisance. If you're running any type of online marketing, promotion or sales campaign then it's also imperative that you take steps to secure yourself from one of these ads jumping on your operation and causing problems for both yourself and your customers.

The main reason for this is to protect the face of your brand. Online reputation is a powerfulthing and companies who fail to properly harness the power of an expansive and positive online presence very often fall short. So when a customer is alerted to potential malware on your website and they subsequently avoid your domain and company like the plague, this is bad news for business. Once the message spreads, it could be enough to bring down your whole brand.

How To Stay Safe

Fortunately, there are several layers of protection and security practices you can apply to every element of your internet use to ensure that all your hard work doesn't become insignificant thanks to a full-blown malvertising attack. These few steps will take you on your way to securing yourself from any significant problems, both with your personal systems and your visible marketing campaigns.

·         Be stringent with clicking. By far the best way to avoid contracting a virus from a malvertising link is not to click on it. When surfing the internet, be sure only to click on trusted sources.
·         Pick the right security suite. There are many great antivirus packages out there that will give you strong automatic protection from infections trying to enter your computer. Picking the right one for your needs is essential so be sure to do some research. 

·         Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). To avoid third-party injections of malicious malvertising code on websites that you run, be sure to use a VPN when away from your office to stop remote hackers gaining access to your admin panel. SecureThoughts provides VPN reviews if you want more information on this. 

·         Employ website specific security. There are several great plugins available, particularly if you have built your site with WordPress. These will provide dedicated antivirus protection and will alert you to suspicious code. 

It's true that malvertising is on the rise and there is a significant threat to all those who use the internet to promote or share content. However, it most certainly isn't anywhere near a doomsday situation just yet. By employing these simple strategies, you can markedly reduce your chance of contracting malware or hosting it on your website or blog.

Have you encountered malvertising while working on your own projects? How did it affect you? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments below.

About the Author: Caroline is a technology blogger and internet security expert who has their fair share of marketing experience. She knows how closely connected security and promotion can be and wants to share all she knows to help make the internet a safer place! 

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