Search Engine Marketing
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
A lot of people, including myself, are not very eager to whip out their wallets and purchase things online. I guess it might all stem back from the early days when the whole persona about the Internet was that everything was supposed to be free. Ironically, I still feel that way today. But, when it comes things that I really need, I do feel less reluctant to make those purchases. Majority of the time though, my aim is to find what I need online for free.
There are a lot of different programs available for researching keywords. You can find many of these programs for sale, stocked in the virtual shelves of ClickBank. While others can be found by searching Google and various blogs and websites. In the past, I have purchased and used a few of these different programs including Micro Niche Finder and Keyword Elite. These paid programs do work, and they do serve their purpose.
But, what about the people who don’t like to purchase software? Times are tough, a lot of people might not have money to invest into software. Believe me, I have been there myself. Sadly, too many times for my own taste. The great news is that there are ways to research keywords without buying software. Amusingly, the method I want to share with you is actually my preferred method, above and beyond using paid software.
I use –and if you’ve been reading my articles for awhile you already know– Google AdWords to research keywords. The program is intended for business owners, entrepreneurs, and individuals who want to instantly promote their products, services, and general advertisements to highly targeted audiences. As you may know, the program allows for people to bid on the keywords they want to rank for. Within that, there are tools that offer people ways to find keywords that have certain levels of popularity and competition.
Now for me, I am an online publisher who builds various blogs and websites for the purpose of targeting researched keywords for profit. I build helpful sites that provide information based on these topics and monetize the content with AdSense ads. My goal is to discover keywords that yield a high level of profit, while also having a manageable level of competition. In other words, there’s no point in building a site that triggers low paying ads, and it’s not worth my time building sites that fails to gain top ten rankings in the SERPS. And that’s where the Google AdWords program kicks in.
That said, I encourage you to stay tuned because in my next few articles, I am going to show you exactly how to effectively research keywords using two free tools available within the “Opportunities” section of Google AdWords (the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator) and two advanced search tools (related searches and wonder wheel) found on the left sidebar in the SERPS. Sorry to hype it up, but I think it’s best that we do this in bite site and managable pieces. So again, I invite you to stay tuned in. One of the best ways to do that is by subscribing to our blog.
Friday, March 12th, 2010
I’m a believer in getting as much from your old content as possible. I routinely read through old blog posts I’ve written to see if they warrant a follow up post or to find ideas in the comments for a completely new post. This helps me get more mileage from every piece of content I write.
Another way to get more from your old blog posts is to spin them into new articles for article marketing purposes. I still believe article marketing is a great way to increase your search engine presence, build more backlinks, and to position yourself as an expert in your industry. But, of course, you need content to be an effective article marketer. That’s where your old blog posts come in handy.
Here are 4 simple steps to take when spinning an old blog post into a new article.
- Find an older post that performed well—Since your articles will be targeting the same basic audience as your blog, you should try to find older posts that were popular with your readers. Look for posts that attracted a lot of comments and got a decent amount of ReTweets. This ensures you’ll write an article that readers will be interested in.
- Create an outline based on the post—The biggest mistake you can make when spinning an old blog post is to rewrite it a line at a time. Sure, this will help you avoid duplicate content, but it will likely turn into a second-rate version of the original post. Instead of taking this approach, I recommend making an outline based on the old post. Write down the main points of the old post, add any new points you can think of, and create an outline for a new article. Try switching up the format to make sure it’s completely different from the original (for example, turn a list post into a how to article).
- Write according to the outline, not the old post—Once you’ve created an outline, stick to it. Just go ahead and close out the old blog post altogether so you don’t feel compelled to make your new version so similar to the old post. This way, your new article will have a life of its own, even though it’s based on an old piece of content.
- Double check to ensure there’s no duplicate copy—If you’ve followed these steps precisely, you shouldn’t have any issues with duplicate content. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so feel free to double check your new content with Copyscape or another duplicate content tool.
Have you ever spun an old blog post into an article for marketing? How did you do it? Share your best tips by leaving a comment.
Friday, March 5th, 2010
Does your business cater to local customers? If so, it’s important that you localize your website so that customers in your area can easily find you when they’re looking for your products and services.
Thankfully, increasing your local presence is actually pretty easy. You just have to incorporate these search marketing tips and tricks, and you’ll soon be dominating the competition.
- Use location-based keywords—This is SEO 101 really, but I still see a lot of people mess it up. Let’s say you’re a roofing contractor that offers service to the Houston area. Rather than just using “roofing contractor” or “metal roofing contractor” as your keywords, you should be using keywords like “Houston roofing contractor” or “metal roofing contractor in Houston.” This increases your chances of ranking well for localized searches, and it eliminates irrelevant traffic from visitors from other cities you don’t service.
- Get listed in local directories—No matter where you’re located, you’ll find several online directories specific to your city and state. Some will be general business directories, and others will be devoted to your niche (e.g. Houston contractors directory). Getting listed in these directories improves your presence in the local market, and it helps you gain more quality backlinks to your website. If you can’t find local listings, check your competition’s backlinks. Chances are they’ll be listed in the directories you need.
- Get a Google Maps listing—Creating a Google Maps listing can help your website turn up above the fold in the search results, getting your more traffic and more conversions. Here’s a really good post you should read about ranking for your local keywords in Google Maps.
- Put your address on each page of your website—I’ve always been an advocate of putting your contact information on each page of your website because it: 1)Makes you appear more legitimate and trustworthy with your visitors and 2) Helps Google pinpoint your location for improved local search rankings.
- Guest post and comment on local blogs—Find blogs that target the local community, and become an active member on them. You can start by commenting regularly on each new blog post. Make sure your comments further the conversation, and never use comments as a means to promote your company. You can also ask to become a guest blogger on these local blogs, helping you reach out to the local community.
- Find local online networks to join—Between LinkedIn, Facebook, Yahoo, and message boards, you can find plenty of relevant local groups online to join. Posting regularly in these groups will increase your local visibility, and it’ll help you earn the trust of potential customers as you build relationships with them online.
Do you localize your search marketing efforts? Which tips would you add to this list?
Monday, January 18th, 2010
As Alice Schroeder explains at the end of her book, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, although Warren Buffett is best known for being the second richest person in the world, “above all, he would describe himself as a teacher.”
From sharing his thoughts with small groups at cocktail parties to spreading his wisdom to the entire world through his annual shareholder letters, Schroeder shows throughout her book that Warren has always prided himself on teaching others.
Although he is most highly sought for his investing advice, the wisdom Warren has shared over the decades can easily be applied outside of the world of finance. Because of this, I want to share the following twenty quotes from Warren Buffett, and how they can be applied directly to your job as an Internet marketer:
1) “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Quote #1 is so powerful that it requires no explanation.
2) “In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield.”
Quote #2 addresses the fact that while anyone can look back and analyze what happened in the Internet marketing world during the last three years, it takes a lot more focus and work to gain any worthwhile insights into what is going to happen during the next three years.
3) “Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”
4) “It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”
Quotes #3 & #4 emphasis the importance of not only focusing on doing what you’re best at, but of also working with people who are as talented and passionate with their own specialized set of skills.
5) “Risk can be greatly reduced by concentrating on only a few holdings.”
6) “An investor should act as though he had a lifetime decision card with just twenty punches on it.”
7) “Much success can be attributed to inactivity. Most investors cannot resist the temptation to constantly buy and sell.”
Quotes #5-7 addresses a major issue within the Internet marketing community. While forums are filled with threads discussing how to make tons of money by creating a site that makes $1 a day, and then replicating the process thousands of times, the truth is that the people who are most successful online are those who focus all of their attention and effort on just a handful of sites.
Friday, December 18th, 2009
Because it’s one of the older search marketing strategies, article marketing tends to get overlooked sometimes. However, I still believe effective article marketing is useful for increasing your search engine presence, building authority, growing your email list, and driving targeted traffic to your website. But you’ll never enjoy the benefits of article marketing if you make these common mistakes.
Mistake #1: Publishing high quantities of low-quality content
When you think of article marketing, you probably think about submitting hundreds of articles to different directories throughout the web. And while quantity is certainly an important part of article marketing, so too is quality. All you have to do is check out any article directory, and you’ll see just how many people are overlooking the importance of submitting quality content.
See, it’s not enough just to clog up space in the search engines; you need to take advantage of these rankings by driving traffic from your articles to specific landing pages on your website. That will never happen if your article is poorly written. Worse yet, a slew of low-quality articles can cause others to view you as a spammer, and that’s a difficult reputation to shake.
Mistake #2: Not using keyword-rich anchor text
One of the main reasons we use article marketing is to build back links to our website. To take full advantage of this, you should be using keyword-rich anchor text in all of your links in the article. This increases the targeted page’s relevance for the keyword in the anchor text, and it can be useful in driving quality traffic to the page. Always make sure you link properly according to the directory’s linking guidelines.
Mistake #3: Misuse of author resource box
The author resource box can be used to give readers a call to action as well as to build your credibility. I’ve already written a post on this subject, so be sure to read these tips on writing an author’s resource box for article marketing.
Mistake #4: Being overly self-promotional
Sure, the goal of any article marketing campaign is to increase your online presence and to generate more leads and sales. However, this doesn’t mean your articles should be poorly-disguised advertisements for your products and services. Articles should be written to educate readers by providing them with quality insight and your expertise. Focus on giving readers tips they can use rather than trying to push your products or services on them.
Mistake #5: Ignoring rules of the directory
Every article submission directory has its own rules for writing and submitting content. These rules include minimum word counts, maximum number of allowed links, and overall quality of content. Always be sure to read these guidelines before submitting an article. Failure to do so will get your article rejected, and it could lead to your account being suspended from the website.
Which article marketing mistakes would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the replies.