How To Solve the Mysteries of Link Relevancy

, October 21, 2014
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mysteries of link relevancy
 

One of the most important parts of building strong links to a website is identifying authoritative and attainable link targets.

For more seasoned SEO professionals, it’s already obvious you want links from a website that has high domain authority, great usability and its own robust inbound links that are not in jeopardy of attracting a manual penalty from Google. However, what is often forgotten is that websites that link to your own need to be relevant.

So, what constitutes a relevant website? A lot of SEO specialists try and make educated guesses about relevancy that are only right some of the time.

A great way to deal with this issue is to understand the keyword rankings of websites whose topic focus might not be initially clear. While a tool like SEMrush is powerful for understanding what keywords your website ranks for and where your competitors rank, it can also be used to solve the issue of unclear topic relevancy from potentially helpful websites. (more…)

ICYMI: Halloween, Google Analytics & AdWords Credit

, October 20, 2014
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Last week on the blog, we featured articles on search and social targeting during the Halloween season, GA basics for small business owners (and mistakes to avoid) and how to get a bonus AdWords credit.

Did you miss any of these stories on the blog? Check them out after the jump. (more…)

6 Holiday Paid Search Strategies to Put In Place Now

, October 20, 2014
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6 Tips for Holiday PPC
 

If you haven’t started putting your holiday strategy together, you are already behind.

It might not even be Halloween yet — but many stores, like Target, already have Christmas decorations out there. And when retailers are advertising in store, it’s time to start crafting your online holiday campaigns.

Below are six key strategies to get started, so you’ll be ready for the holidays. (more…)

SEMrush Twitter Chat #2: Content Marketing

, October 20, 2014
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Did you take part in SEMrush’s recent Twitter chat? It was a lot of fun! Our guest expert Adam Connell, along with BuzzSumo and thousands of active participants gave so many content marketing tips, we had to share this treasure trove of information with you!

Enjoy the recap! Follow us on Twitter and use #SEMrushchat for our next Twitter chat. (more…)

How to Conduct & Create Content from Expert Interviews

, October 20, 2014
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Most of you know me as an SEO, but in a former life, I was a book author. Yep. I have 11 books published by some big publishers, mostly biographies. So, you can imagine how perfect it is for someone like me to know that SEO is driven by killer content. Yay!

This is one thing my company does for SEO clients. We produce great content and spew it all over the Web. I’m talking unique content, of course. No more than one article in one place. So, the process is rather expensive, but the results for my long-term clients have been outstanding. We’ve been testing this system and theory for four years now, and have had some pretty stellar results. (more…)

Food for Thought Friday: Copyblogger, Yahoo & Instagram

, October 17, 2014
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This week, we’re highlighting articles on Copyblogger’s decision to delete their Facebook, Yahoo’s plans for content marketing and Tumblr, and tips on how to improve your Instagram page.

the new LinkedIn “Who’s Viewed Your Page” update, using Google Keyword Planner for pet blogging and designing content remarketing campaigns that get results.

Check out the three posts we highlighted. Did they resonate with you? Let us know in the comments! (more…)

How Businesses in “Boring Niches” Can Rule Social Media

, October 17, 2014
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Do you know what a velologist is? You probably don’t.

Well, it’s a person who collects expired auto tax discs. It’s a left field hobby to say the least, though one with a moderate following. And one that goes to showcase that “boring” is subjective.

Simply put, one man’s car disc collection is another man’s Ferrari collection. This is the point marketers need to make when talking to businesses in “boring” industries. (more…)

Search Engine Marketing Tips for Niche Businesses

, October 16, 2014
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If you have an e-commerce business selling specialty products, finding and attracting your target audience to your website can be tricky. Factors driving your customers’ motivations might include product features, exclusivity, convenience, customer service and/or a cause associated with your offerings (such as going green or fair trade).

Since it’s an e-commerce business, it’s best to choose from the many online marketing opportunities that can drive those interested in what you’re selling directly to your website, so you can entice them into becoming happy, loyal customers. The technology is already there; you simply have to start participating, monitor performance and change as needed.

It can be very effective to focus on a few select channels, which will be manageable and get the most ROI. (more…)

3 Ways to Improve Your Website’s Search Ranking Potential

, October 16, 2014
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Search engines are constantly updating their search algorithms to remove unnecessary elements (e.g. links) caused by unnatural practices of SEOs and to provide better results for their users.

Understanding how Google works, what they want to achieve and also learning from all patents could help you become a better marketer for your website or for your client’s website.

Improving your site’s search ranking potential is not an easy thing to do. You have to consistently seek more knowledge from high-quality search marketing blogs and apply those methodologies to your own website.

However, you don’t need to complicate things when you do testing for your website or client’s site. There are many basic methods you can practice immediately to get some good results for your brand.

In this post, I’d like to share simple, yet often forgotten techniques to improve a site’s search ranking potential.

Let’s get started. (more…)

How to Get Bonus AdWords Credit Thanks to Google

, October 16, 2014
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How to Get Bonus AdWords Credit
 

Wouldn’t it be great if Google would add just a bit extra to your AdWords account every time you topped it up? A little bonus every month could help you sharpen up your campaigns and possibly even give you the edge over competitors. Maybe a little extra would let you test new campaign ideas that you might otherwise struggle to justify.

Well, the good news is I’m going to share a way to do just that. The bad news is that I’m going to talk a little about conversion rates first. (No reading ahead… I’ll be watching!) (more…)

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What Are They Thinking? 7 Techniques to Decrypt Search Intent

, September 22, 2014
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What would you rather have — 100 visitors a month from a keyword that converts at 50 percent, or 1,000 visitors a month from a keyword that converts at 1 percent?

Unless you don’t actually like orders (or whatever the goal of your conversions are), you’d pick the keyword with the higher conversion rate and the smaller search volume. Fifty beats 10 any day of the week.

But ironically, most of the keyword research that’s been done over the years has focused largely on search volume, with more advanced SEOs also checking search competition. We have assumed, almost unconsciously, that most of the conversion happens on our landing pages or in our checkout carts. We’ve generally thought of keywords only in terms of search volume and competitiveness. But that’s not the whole story.

Each search query is not just empty words. It holds an elusive but critical intent behind it, and that “search intent” contributes to conversion rate. In this sense, search intent is basically the user’s aim. The query is their arrow, and hopefully your offer (or opt-in, or download) is the target.

Search Intent Conversion
 

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Twitter’s Buy Button: A New Phase of E-Commerce?

, September 22, 2014
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Some rely on Twitter as their main source of news; others check their overnight followers before they’ve even finished their Cornflakes in the morning. Whatever way you look at it, social media is fast encroaching into every part of our lives.

Never one to miss out, Twitter has taken this trend one step further by introducing a new “Buy” button to its list of features. Currently in the testing phase, the move is apparently one to bolster its position as an e-commerce platform. Allowing users to effectively cut out the middle man, it will now be possible to make a purchase directly from the social media network.

buy-now-button
 

Teaming up with online payments service, Stripe, this is not Twitter’s first foray into the world of e-commerce, forming partnerships in the past with both Starbucks and American Express. Its new Buy button however, symbolizes a bigger step, and arguably a more thought-out one too. This being said, it’s not without its concerns. (more…)

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
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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…)

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