Food for Thought Friday: Content, Jargon & AdWords

, October 24, 2014
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This week, we’re highlighting articles on content marketing (and why it will never go out of style), a case study on how cutting down industry jargon literally paid off and AdWords competition.

Check out the three posts we highlighted. Let us know what you think in the comments!  (more…)

5 Reasons to Embrace SEO Themes

, October 24, 2014
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5 reasons to embrace SEO themes
 

First, there were keywords (usually one or two), then there were long-tail keywords, and now there are search engine optimization “themes” — which some SEO gurus say is just another way of saying quality long-tail keywords.

What does it all mean, and why should you care if you’re not in the SEO game? The reality is every person and every business with an online presence needs to know and care about SEO. It’s not optional.

SEO and local SEO (LSEO) are a set of best practices that dictate your ranking when someone searches for your keyword(s) or themes. For example, if you offer guitar lessons in Ashland, your potential clients are probably querying something like “Ashland guitar lessons.” The quality of your SEO determines where you are on search results for that hit — and research shows few people will look beyond the first few results.

Themes are a potential game changer, and yet SEO gurus are digging in their heels. Here’s why it’s smart to embrace them early. (more…)

Identify Who Will Survive & Thrive in Your Customer Jungle

, October 24, 2014
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Any architectural structure is in danger of collapsing without a solid foundation. The same goes for your customer retention strategy. With a fragile foundation, it will soon start to shake.

A deep understanding of customers is the foundation of your customer retention, and you’ll lay this foundation with customer data analysis.

Let me explain this further with an analogy. (more…)

There’s More to Search than Google

, October 24, 2014
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I guess if a search engine can give you the answer to life, universe and everything; you pretty much don’t need to go anywhere else, right?

the number 42
 

It’s no wonder then that Google has maintained its vice-like grip on search market shares. The latest ComScore numbers show 67.6 percent of the search market is dominated by Google. Bing puts in a valiant act, while Yahoo — post-divorce from Bing’s search engine — is on a downward death spiral.

Before we get to a life beyond Google, let’s first revisit how Google works. This will help us appreciate the need for substitutes and their value. (more…)

How To Maximize Your Blog’s Most Popular Pages

, October 23, 2014
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I’ve been meaning to clean up some of the most popular pages on my blog, and getting the opportunity to write for SEMrush was the perfect excuse to really dig deep and see what I should do!

Oftentimes we have “darling pages” that we really want to rank well. But generally, your most popular pages traffic-wise come out of left field, and your job is to make sure you capitalize on your good fortune.

I write a lot on my blog and am often confused about what becomes popular and ranks highly. (But who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth if Google chooses to send a bunch of traffic my way?)

Two of the best pages on my site for keyword traffic are:

1) Customer Demographics: What Are Important Customer Demographics
2) 100 Great Twitter Tweet Examples

I know this by looking at my Google Analytics (Behavior > Site Content > All Pages).

google-analytics-top-pages
 

As you can see, there are a couple of other pages that get more traffic, but honestly I think that messing with those would be a mistake. The best opportunities I have right now are to fix some of the problems I currently have on each of the two target pages. (more…)

Manage Your Marketing Campaigns: My Top 5 Picks

, October 23, 2014
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5 picks for project management software
 

I’ll never forget when I first got started in SEO in 2008. I manufactured a lead by responding to an ad on Craigslist, went and had a meeting with him, and sold him on a $1,750/month SEO contract.

It was my first one ever. I thought I was going to be off to the races.

Though it didn’t quite happen as fast as I would have hoped, eventually, I was up to around 10 campaigns. I had another person helping me by then, but things were getting confusing.

We decided to adopt a spreadsheet to try and track and organize things. That worked for a little while, but then we added a contractor so I could focus more on growth.

Things were slipping through the cracks, and I was left with no idea what was getting done and what wasn’t getting done. It was basically on the team to remember.

We know how that goes. So we set out to find some “project” management tools. (more…)

Your Guide to the SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Tool

, October 23, 2014
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Any experienced digital marketer will tell you keyword research is at the foundation of everything: Choosing keywords for organic SEO, using keywords for content titles, choosing keywords for PPC campaigns, using keywords for persona and psychographic research, and much more. The current landscape for paid tools is limited in the types of data they provide, and almost always rely on Google AdWords data.

The SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Tool offers marketers an alternative. Forget wasting time and money optimizing for the wrong keywords because the research was incorrect. Now you can review over 100 keywords at a time, quickly see the site’s ranking and get an aggregate score so you can figure out if and whether you can compete.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to master the SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Tool.
(more…)

Increased Conversion Rates With Custom Remarketing Lists

, October 22, 2014
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Showing your ads to users who already visited your website is a very effective way to maximize your conversion rate. However, you need to make sure to optimize your traffic to show your ads to the most qualified segments of users to be able to increase profits.

Here are five questions you should ask yourself while building custom remarketing lists. (more…)

How to Use SEMrush to Get a Job

, October 22, 2014
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resume

Are you grinding at the résumé submission table? Writing cover letter after cover letter catered to the job you’re applying for, and getting absolutely nowhere?

Getting an interview these days is hard, with hundreds of people applying for the same job. The reality is no employer will read every single résumé.

Instead, employers dump them into a folder, where a program known as “résumé filtering system” searches the documents based on keywords. Sound familiar? The only difference here is Panda is not an issue.

However, you should use keywords within sentences to attract the employer. For example, let’s say you’re about to apply for a job as an Administration Officer. The employer might very likely be looking for keywords such as: Microsoft Office, Time Management, Answering the Phone, Filing, Meetings, Calendars, Learn and Develop, one-to-two years.

Of course this all depends on what keywords the employer looks for, and it might not be mentioned in the job advertisement. This is where SEMrush becomes a gold mine! You can discover all possible keywords your future employer might use by placing a keyword inside SEMrush. Here’s how. (more…)

3 Musts for a Modern SEO Strategy

, October 21, 2014
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3 Musts for modern SEO

SEO is an ever-evolving field. Just when you think you’ve got the rules down, along comes a whole new set in response to the latest Google algorithms or mobile search trends or web design principles. Trying to keep up with all these changes can frustrate any online marketer.

But the good news is the fundamentals of SEO are fairly constant — so if you’ve been following SEO best practices, you’re already ahead of the game. To update your strategy for the latest SEO rules, there are three areas you should focus on:

  • Content
  • Social
  • Analytics

Here’s how you can integrate these three important segments into a modern SEO strategy that will help you gain a high ranking in organic search and a tangible return on your investment. (more…)

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To-Do List to Rank for the Holidays

, September 25, 2014
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To-Do List to Rank for the Holidays

It’s not often I begin my writing by begging, but today I’m going to make an exception.

Please, please, please don’t contact me (or any other SEO for that matter) saying, “I really need to rank for the holidays.” Here’s the long and the short of it — if you don’t already have a very strong foundation or a budget for paid search, you’re not going to rank in the next couple months. Here’s who can:

1. Sites that already rank well but need a bit of a bump, and
2. Sites in extremely low competition sectors

So if you don’t have a good foundation, a phrase like “blue widgets” is out, but a phrase like “1-inch blue widgets for whatever they’re for” just might be possible.

OK, so we’ve set the expectations. As an SEO, it’s good to keep the bar realistically low (nobody has ever complained to me when things ranked better or faster than predicted). But if I told you you could rank for anything you wanted by the holidays — I’d be lying. Heck, I’d be lying if I said that now about the 2015 holidays.

So let’s put a to-do list together. (more…)

How to Turn Dead Links into Off-Page SEO Assets

, September 26, 2014
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For brands implementing an off-page search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, one of the most logical places to start is by finding and fixing any broken links that already exist.

Broken links most commonly occur when a business launches a new website without creating a 301 redirect for each and every previous webpage. When this happens, users who click the link get a 404 error and the SEO equity that was tied to the link is lost.

Reclaiming the dead links will recapture the off-page SEO equity, helping improve search engine rankings for the target page and brand overall. Here’s how you can do this for your website.

Whitespark 404 page
(more…)

How to Optimize Your Site for Semantic Search

, September 30, 2014
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how to optimize for semantic search

The way we search for information online is changing rapidly.

In the early days of SEO, the majority of searches consisted of broken sentence fragments, like “free payday loans” or “best pizza New York.” As a result, most websites were optimized to target specific keywords. This was how Google would decide which content was the most relevant to a specific search query.

However, now that Google is capable of understanding the context of those keywords, search is becoming more interactive and conversational. As Google continues on its trajectory toward semantic search, things get a little bit more difficult from an SEO perspective.

Semantic search provides a more personalized search experience by determining the intent and contextual meaning behind a search query. Google is able to do this by incorporating a variety of factors, such as user location, daily/weekly trends, synonyms, vernacular and other natural language elements.

In this article, I’ll discuss how SEOs and online marketers can optimize their online presence to reap the benefits of semantic search. (more…)

How Do You Recover From a Failed Blog?

, October 1, 2014
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How Do You Recover from a Failed Blog?

Common advice for success online is to establish and run a blog. In response, businesses create a quick blog and fill it with the basic topics that come to mind.

After a few weeks, maybe a few months, the business owner looks to their site and sees little in the way of tangible results. The blog appears to be a waste of effort. The few marginal sales it brings in aren’t worth the investment of keeping it up to date. The blog is deemed a failure and left to die.

This is a dangerous situation. A business without a blog can still be a reputable business. A business with a failed blog is a business that looks like it doesn’t care to see things through.

Thankfully, it’s possible to revive a failed blog and use it to thrive. You just need to know why the blog failed and how to fix it. There are two main categories for blog failure: a natural death or an artificial penalty. (more…)

Webinar: Conduct Traffic-Generating Keyword Research

, October 1, 2014
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Jon Rognerud Headshot

Join SEMrush and Jon Rognerud for a free webinar!

In “The 7 Easy Steps to Fast, Traffic-Generating Keyword Research That Rocks!” you’ll learn a proven method to get more traffic for your website with keyword research that works. Learn the “right” keywords and develop a content framework that helps both your SEO and paid search strategies.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, October 9, at 2 p.m. (EST).

Attendees at this live webinar will also be entered into a random drawing. Prizes range from a copy of Jon’s book, “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website,” to a Kindle Fire HD 6 Tablet.

Continue reading after the jump for webinar and contest details, and a free chapter of Jon’s book. (more…)

What is the Future of Search?

, October 2, 2014
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Yes, I understand. We’re always trying to figure that out. We zig and Google zags and all that. It’s exhausting! But regarding the future of mobile search, Google put forth some solid information in the Developer blog this month that will be highly useful to anyone developing Android apps for the mobile market.Google Developer's Blog logo

Apparently, Google is working harder every day to perfect mobile search, specifically app search. Having had both Android and iPhone, I can honestly say that Google Play is easier to navigate than iPhone apps. And, this makes sense. Google, after all, started out as a Web search engine and crushed the competition. We all know it.

(more…)

Infographic: What Inc. 5000 Companies Spend On AdWords

, October 3, 2014
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Upcoming Webinar: Cutting-Edge Tactics To Spy On Your PPC Competition

PPC Nation
 

Hanapin Marketing and SEMrush have partnered together to create a new infographic.

Using Inc. Magazine’s article on the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in America and SEMrush data, Hanapin — the company behind the popular PPC Hero digital advertising blog and HeroConf — documented the annual PPC spend per company.

To view the results and see the top PPC spenders per industry, continue after the jump. (more…)

Food for Thought Friday: PPC Nation & SMX East

, October 3, 2014
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SMX East and a whole lot of money spent on AdWords; these two topics were big in the office this week.

Did you attend SMX? Let us know what you thought. And to see our infographic on AdWords spends — PPC Nation — with Hanapin Marketing, continue after the jump. (more…)

ICYMI: Semantic Search, Failed Blogs & Inc. 5000

, October 6, 2014
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Last week on the blog, we featured articles on semantic search, how to recover from a failed blog and our infographic with Hanapin Marketing on AdWords spend.

Did you miss any of these stories on the blog? Here’s a quick recap. (more…)

Google News Box: More Than Traditional News Websites

, October 7, 2014
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The next time you make a query on Google, take another look at the search results.

As Danny Sullivan and Barry Schwartz have pointed out, Google has changed the wording of and content within its news box.

Discussions at Reddit, blog posts, videos and more from non-news sites may turn up,” Danny wrote. Even some results with colorful language, as noted in his post.

I decided to test out the new feature. I went to Google and chose to query the suggested question: What does a total lunar eclipse look like?

Google search for lunar eclipse
 
(more…)

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