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Category: Uncategorized

8 SEO Mistakes to Avoid

SEO - Mistakes

All search engine marketers are trying desperately to promote trends

Especially the trends that are aligned with traditional digital marketing. SEO is immensely important to enhance key to improving your website’s visibility, driving more traffic and better conversion rates.

The first thing one can do as an internet marketer is to avoid making mistakes. Following “SEO Best Practices” can be difficult for online marketers. With search engines changing algorithms on a periodic basis, every SEO strategy needs to adapt and adjust with the latest techniques while giving up on age-old practices. Here are some of the prominent mistakes made by SEO experts:

Mistake #1: Not optimizing images with rest of the content

Optimizing images is sometimes not part of the SEO strategy and can be over looked. Adding target keywords to images relevant to the rest of the content helps search engines understand them. A link to the image with just numbers and alphabets in odd positions does not convey anything but some relevant words and numbers would matter. One should incorporate descriptive keywords for every image. Including relevant alt text helps search engines to find images in relevant searches and even the accessibility of the site.

Mistake #2: Keyword stuffing

Nowadays websites contain varied types of content in terms of text. One needs keywords for SEO and use of right keywords is important for getting the right audience. Optimize them carefully to gain popularity in search engines. But keyword stuffing will only ruin your website ranking since cramming a keyword multiple times makes content worthless. Only keywords do not get customers to a website. Also, Google algorithms will get the site blacklisted and also issue a bad ranking.

Relying on large amounts of mediocre content can affect sites. Using specific keywords with strategic placement and relevant content is effective. Creating insightful info about a topic can can attract attention through different channels.

Mistake #3: Not Setting Up Canonicalization

When implementing an SEO strategy, one should make sure that you do not have duplicate content on the site. If there is identical content for online access using different URLs, you need to identify the right page for visitors and implement a canonical to help search engines know that it is not a duplicate version.

Mistake #4: Disregarding Pages by Not Indexing Them

One should not forget indexing pages. Pages that are broken or missing are going to avoid search engine results altogether because pages indicating 404 error are excluded. A high number of 404s leads to an increase in bounce rate and visitors will feel cheated of any information. Search engines crawl websites and rank them and 404 pages interrupt their process. It is important not to have broken links on your site and keep the website active.

Mistake #5: No updates on site

After spending months to create an interactive and attractive website, one should try to keep it dynamic with consistent blog posts or some other content. Companies fail to optimize the site with keywords and just sit back to watch the traffic decrease. Let in some updates that will help your prospects with relevant information and they might convert to leads.

One needs to make a schedule for posting different posts related to your field on a regular basis, and consistency will get you the attention of search engines too.

Mistake #6: Neglecting social media

Neglecting social media is a crime in this day and age. Social media is no longer an optional marketing ploy but a necessity for businesses. By being conversant and relevant on popular social sites like Facebook and Twitter, one can enhance a company’s image and credibility. Sharing your content will lead the search engines and drive potential visitors to your site. Social media following can also boost brand awareness amongst loyalists.

Mistake #7: Lack of internal links

One might think that it is erroneous to link to one’s own content and even think that search engines might read into it and even blacklist the pages. Despite what you may think, internal links to website is great for SEO and helps search engines to crawl to your website. One should focus on the most important pages of any site and strategize posts to link back to those pages. One should find a real connection between pages to do the linking task.

Mistake #8: Failure to measure progress

Improving SEO is like losing weight. One needs to check and measure your progress on a consistent basis. One should know the current standing when you start, and then track the changes. With solid metrics in place, one will know that the SEO practices have been working or not. If you do not think that there has been any progress, then it is preferable to drop it.

Credit: Keval Padia

Dennis Roeder

Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 6: SSL- Redirect to Mobile Redirect-Problem and Solution

 

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect — canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL — secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Content-Driven Redirects

  1. Problem

          Content-driven redirects are not required to display a page. These redirects have been added because mobile and                   desktop versions of a given webpage may not display the same content.Thus, some mobile pages are redirected to                 other locations.

          Bottom-line: Content-driven redirects are more of a design issue rather than a technical issue.

       b. Solution

         The use of content-driven redirects should be avoided if possible.The solution here is to utilize responsive web design.            This will ensure that both website versions (mobile and desktop versions) display the same content with no need for a              content-driven redirect.

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 5: SSL- Redirect to Mobile Redirect-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect — canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL — secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Redirect to mobile version

  1. Problem

            When you have a different web address (url) for your mobile pages than you do for your desktop pages, the mobile                 device must somehow get to the mobile version. The way it does so is through a redirect.

           In other words, the mobile redirect is the method in which your mobile page gets displayed.This redirect only occurs                when a different url is utilized for mobile devices versus the desktop version. This redirect does not happen when a                  responsive web design is employed.

 

       b. Solution

         As previously mentioned, a mobile redirect only occurs when a different url is utilized for mobile devices versus the                  desktop version.

         Using responsive web design or dynamic serving will remedy this issue by eliminating the need for separate urls for the          same website (i.e., mobile v. desktop version).

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 4: SSL-Secure Pages Redirect-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect — canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL — secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

SSL-Secure Pages Redirect

  1. Problem

               Pages that use SSL will often be redirected from the url

              "http://www.example.com" to the secure version of that page at "https://www.example.com"

              This redirect usually occurs when a webmaster uses a site-wide 301 redirect as a simple step to forward all pages to               the secure versions of the page.

       b. Solution

              A redirect exists for SSL sites typically because the webmaster used an "easy fix" of doing a site-wide 301 redirect to               make all traffic forwarded to the secure version of their pages.

             A better option would be to use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) which forces all traffic to use secure pages.                  This means your pages will be more secure and load faster by not using that 301 redirect.

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Topics in Mobile Redirect Issues Part 3: Initial Redirects-Problem and Solution

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

(Reposted from Patrick Sexton, https://varvy.com)

There are four common types of redirects that affect how your users and Google see your mobile pages. Each of them is bad for performance (speed). They include:

       *    Initial redirect — canonical (www.example.com vs example.com)

  • SSL — secure pages redirect
  • Redirect to mobile version
  • Content driven redirects

Initial Redirect (Canonical)

 

  1. Problem

Example: The url "www.example.com" and the url "example.com" are actually two different urls even though they typically will have the same content.

One has the "www" and one does not. Oftentimes webmasters will choose one or the other throughout their site (www or no www).To ensure that pages are always using the same version of the url, a site-wide redirect is typically used.

Thus, when typing "google.com" into a browser, the end-result is "www.google.com".

  1. Solution

This type of redirect was typically implemented for SEO purposes.The common logic was to obtain credit for each link given to a page because some people link to the "www" version and some link to the non-version of a page.

As a webmaster, one must decide if this value even still exists and if so, is it worth the redirect?

Google understands pages and sites much better now than it did when this redirect became a common practice and Google even offers you a way via Webmaster Tools to choose which version you prefer (without the redirect).

Take Home Points:

*Regardless, make sure your site-wide redirects are smartly working with other redirects like ssl.

*Do not redirect users to one version of page just to be redirected again to the secure (ssl) version.

*The way to actually review / update / remove it for most webmasters is to go to their htaccess file and find it:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^domain.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [R=301,NC]

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Online Marketing Strategies to Kick-Start Stagnant Sales

Online Marketing Strategies to Kick-Start Stagnant Sales

“Our sales are stagnant and we need SEO — please help!” This is something that we hear often. While search-engine optimization (SEO) can provide amazing results, they don’t happen overnight. And, oftentimes, a business can’t wait; it needs sales, and fast. Here are three simple online marketing strategies you can start on today that can help you kick-start your stagnant online sales.

 

1. Hit social media hard with paid ads.

Your website is always going to be your most important online marketing asset, but there’s an entire audience that lives exclusively on social media that’s waiting to engage with your brand. 

It is highly suggested that every brand get acquainted with Instagram and Snapchat. Those two social networks are where the majority of the engagement can be found. Facebook remains solid, especially if you are targeting an older demographic, as more parents and grandparents are becoming comfortable with social media, and this is their network of choice. Twitter is currently hit or miss, but I still feel it’s an important social media presence to maintain. Twitter just passed the 10-year mark and needs to make some significant changes to spark growth very soon — it has no choice; it still isn't making money.

Organic social media engagement is great, but like SEO, it takes time. If your sales are slow, use paid social ads to create instant brand awareness and drive wallet-out buyers to your website. Facebook’s targeting options are excellent, and Instagram lets you to take advantage of those same options, allowing you to place your offer directly in front of consumers who are likely to be interested in whatever you are offering.

2. Implement an irresistible exit-offer on your website.

Not all pop-ups are created equal. Some are triggered after visitors have been on a website page for a specific period of time, and yes, this can be intrusive and really irritate them. But, an exit-offer pop-up can greatly improve your conversion rates and sales.

Set it to trigger only when your visitor is about to leave your website. That way, you won’t risk interrupting a potential conversion. Actually, just the opposite will occur, as you will have a 50 percent chance of turning that visitor into a lead or sale. Also, don’t be afraid of upsetting a visitor leaving your website — it’s estimated that 70 to 90 percent of website visitors never return.

Split-test multiple exit offers — exclusive discounts that require an email opt-in and instant coupon codes that offer a discount or additional value like free shipping — perform very well. Even the slightest increase in conversion rates can equal increased revenue for your business.

3. Aggressively grow your email list and reward your subscribers with special offers.

Growing your email list provides your business with several benefits. You are building a marketing asset that allows you to constantly engage with consumers whot have expressed an interest in whatever it is that your business offers. Once you capture an email, there is no additional cost to market to that prospect, aside from your email and CRM software.

If you’re running a pay-per-click campaign, for example, you are paying for every single visitor that clicks through and lands on your website. You could build a highly engaged email list of 10,000 subscribers, and even at a 3 percent click-through rate, a single email would send 300 visitors back to your website.

In order to maintain a responsive list, make sure you are sending out offers that can’t be refused. Exclusive offers, big discounts and giveaway promotions are all click magnets. Split-test multiple delivery times, different templates and layouts — and experiment a lot with your subject lines. I’ve seen open rates shoot through the roof for some campaigns simply when an emoji is included in the subject line. Don’t be afraid to test!

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Posted By 

Pipeline Marketing: A Powerful Tool For Realizing Funnel Potential

Pipeline marketing is a term that many in the marketing industry, even those heavily engaged in digital marketing, are not entirely familiar with.

It may go by other names; math marketing or revenue marketing, for instance, but the idea is the same: using data strategically to critically evaluate the effectiveness of online marketing efforts.

ClosedOpp was a very early adopter of this concept. A small paid search agency founded in 2007 that is breaking new ground in PPC marketing, ClosedOpp has been able to improve lead attribution by integrating all of its clients’ AdWords and Bing data with their CRM records.

The process of pipeline marketing is unique and innovative. ClosedOpp ties paid search data into clients’ Salesforce opportunity and lead records. This provides the ability to track leads from the point they were created, to closure. It also allows marketers to analyze the paths that resulted in the new business wins, to compare paths and to identify best practices to leverage in the future.

Pipeline marketing is a powerful tool to help businesses better understand their customers, how to segment customers into more high-performing groups, and how to identify the sales approaches that achieve the best results. Customer better, how to segment, and how to attribute successful sales approaches.

Rich Norwood, co-founder of ClosedOpp, describes how they developed this approach: “We realized early in 2012 that many digital marketers didn’t trust AdWords conversion data and were looking for a new way to track SEM performance.

We ran countless regressions identifying whether or not there was a correlation between AdWords conversions and Salesforce leads, AdWords conversions and Salesforce opportunities, and AdWords conversions and Salesforce wins. Once we determined there was a low R-squared correlation, we began looking for a better solution for our clients…”

The Power of Pipeline Marketing

The result was the new approach of “pipeline marketing,” which lets businesses focus less on lead gen and more on what they really care about, results. From Bizible’s website: “If your intention is to grow your business, shouldn’t you want to focus on generating customers and revenue, not leads?”

Lead gen, developing new contacts in hopes of increasing sales, has been an important marketing metric for decades. However, as Bizible states, “even as marketing has shifted to digital and analytics systems have been able to capture more complex data and insights, far too many companies are using legacy ways to measure their performance.”

Norwood asks the $64,000 question: “Do the clients care about leads or do they care about opportunities?” It boils down to this: do they want contacts, or do they want customers? Norwood says, “This may throw some people off. However, we’ve… proven that all leads are not created equally, some keywords drive larger opportunities, some keywords convert to opportunity at a much higher conversion rate. This is what Pipeline Marketing and Account-Based Marketing is all about.”

How It Works

The beauty of it all is that pipeline marketing allows marketers to be able to evaluate, in real time, exactly what keywords are driving visitors to their site, where they’re entering and what actions they’re taking. It’s a powerful analysis tool that requires careful consideration up front to realize the full promise of the technique.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Define campaign goals. The first step to embracing this new approach is for businesses to define their campaign goals in detail. And one of the most important goals is, as Norwood explains, to “focus on their sweet spot first. Start with the keywords that are must-targets.”
  2. Determine, specifically, the type of leads you’re looking for and where in the sales funnel you hope to initially engage with these leads. For instance, Norwood asks, “Do [you] want to buy top of funnel leads, leads looking for resources, checklists, and guides? Those leads tend to convert a lot… but [few] convert into opportunity. This can be a great strategy if the company is at scale and already has a successful nurture program. On the other hand, clients may decide it’s best to start with bottom of funnel leads that want a quote and pricing information and to talk with someone from sales.” It’s clear to see that engaging at the bottom of the funnel can yield better, and less expensive to convert, opportunities.
  3. Focus on Cost Per Opportunity. Norwood explains: “Because the opportunity has a high correlation with wins, and pipeline is defined as the total amount for all open opportunities, it makes sense that Cost per Opportunity should be the focus.” Simply put, you’re looking for the best outcome. This should be the main metric you focus on, according to Norwood. What keywords drive the highest ROI? “We need to create pipeline and wins. Period,” he says.
  4. Monitor and measure. Because they are tied in so closely with their clients’ CRM records, ClosedOpp is able to be extremely responsive and nimble, receiving feedback daily about what is and isn’t successful. Shorter timeframes allow quicker course corrections, as well as more rapid expansion of a campaign to leverage big wins.
  5. Adjust, and reap the rewards. Based on the feedback received, marketers are able to adjust their budgets based on real data related to ads, channels, keywords and audiences.

Access to Salesforce records powers the potential of pipeline marketing and provides a unique approach to business development. Norwood says, “[W]e actually measure leads, opportunities, wins, and Average Revenue per Unit (ARPU) daily, in real time. Our access to Salesforce allows us to monitor paid search so that we can see problems before they affect revenue.

We literally have our fingers on the pulse of the company. We often share data with our clients that cause them to pivot their whole strategy or completely redesign their landing pages.”

Pipeline marketing provides the ability to take a very focused, outcome-based approach to campaign analysis Norwood explains: “Our system creates an instant feedback loop between sales and marketing with the simple action of converting a lead to an opportunity and adding the amount to the opportunity.

We see this instantly and take action [often] days before the director of marketing suggests that we do so, because we’re looking at the data in real time and the director of marketing is in meetings.”

The Takeaway

What pipeline marketing boils down to is using your Salesforce records to figure out where your opportunities are coming from. Norwood clarifies: “Traditional PPC companies care about AdWords conversions. We don’t. We care about getting to know what campaigns, ad groups, keywords, landing pages, ads, countries, cities and devices result in opportunities and revenue.” 

Businesses that are able to tie marketing attribution to their CRM can get to market more quickly, spend money more wisely, and out-market their competitors. Pipeline marketing offers a unique competitive advantage, and gives business owners and managers an enormous amount of insight.

When you know where your best customers come from, it makes sense to invest more paid search dollars toward finding them. Pipeline marketing leads the way.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

3 ways to pump up your online marketing with video

3 ways to pump up your online marketing with video

by James F. McClister 

real-estate-agent-marketing-video-youtube-buyer-seller-home

In the 1990s, real estate agents posted ads in the newspaper and slapped their faces on the backs of benches. In the 2000s, agents still put ads in papers and spruced up bus stops with their smiles, but began shifting their operations to the Internet — promoting themselves on websites and, later, social media. In the 2010s, ads in papers and on benches still exist, websites are still a staple and social media has exploded, but in the Internet age agents must continue to diversify their marketing strategies. One crucial medium is video.

Every month, YouTube receives more than 1 billion unique visitors. The platform has offered major exposure for real estate businesses around the globe; in fact, the Australian Real Estate Group reported listings that include a video receive more than 400 percent more inquiries than those without.

But the medium is versatile, and as such, requires a strategic approach. Here are a few ideas for agents looking to harness the power of online video in their marketing:

  1. Serialize – A weekly “top listings” list or a monthly dive into market stats (or any other topic your clients will want to return to on a regular basis) is a great way to establish a branded video product that will continuously engage viewers (and potential clients) with compelling content. Keeping potential clients engaged with regular video content will help you stay top of mind for when viewers are ready to buy or sell.

  2. Establish authority – It isn’t fair, but it’s a reality in the lives of agents that their value is often questioned. People forget to ask the question of “what can you do for me” because, in many ways, they feel they already know the answer — which is to say: nothing the Internet can’t already do. Agents know this to not be the case, but someone whose real estate experience is limited to lackluster showings and HGTV series will have a skewed perception of the profession. Video allows agents to look buyers, sellers and hopefuls in the eye and give them a glimpse of the benefits a helpful, professional agent can provide.

  3. Promote your personality – Video is the perfect way for you to show potential clients your personality in action. It answers the question of “what’s this person like” before the initial meeting, giving them a sense of who you are and how you’ll handle their business.

Contributor
Charles R Juarez Jr

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Is your website ready for Google’s mobile update in May?

It has been widely reported by Search Engine Land, Techcrunch, and others that Google is planning a new update to their algorithm regarding mobile-friendliness.  Mobile web traffic now exceeds traffic from desktop users, so Google is emphasizing how important it is that websites have the ability to display information correctly on mobile devices.

In the spring of 2015, last year Google first prioritized this and will update that original announcement again next month with a new change in their ranking criteria.

What does that mean to website owners and administrators?  Simply, you may lose mobile traffic if your site is not compatible with mobile devices.

Fortunately Google does provide a tool in which you simply type in your url to check your site.You can find it here —-> Google Mobile Checker <—-

Something else that is less critical, but worth paying attention to is AMP — (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Google would also like sites to use their formula for making web pages load faster.  They are emp

You can find all about it at the following link.  —-> AMP <—-

Best of success in all your endeavors.

Jon Lombard – Contributor

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Is your Website ready for the new Google Mobile update?

Like death and taxes, it seems that Google updates are invevitable.  Well here comes another one in May  2016 of which you should be aware. It has been widely reported that mobile users are now in the majority, in terms of total Internet traffic.  Google is again emphasizing mobile-friendliness in an upcoming update. This news has been gaining traction recently as evidenced by the following posts.

Google to boost mobile-friendly algorithm this May

Google’s latest mobile search algorithm update makes having a mobile-friendly site even more important

And from Google itself on it's Webmaster Blog.

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2016/03/continuing-to-make-web-more-mobile.html

Now is the time to act to make sure your webite is mobile friendly.  Google even gives you a link where you can check your website.

Google Mobile compliance checking tool

Here are two plugins you may want to install on your website.

The first will help you solve the first problem of compliance.  The second will help your site load faster on mobile sites, which is important, since mobile users are on the go.  They are extremely impatient, and don't have time to wait for pages to download, they just will go somewhere else.  

Solve your mobile friendliness issues with any of the following plugins  —–> Click here <—-  

AMP is the second, less critical, yet important issue to consider.  This has not really hit the news in a big way, yet, but here is a post from Google that explains in some detail what AMP or (Accelerated Mobile Pages).

Click here —-> Google Accelerated Mobile Pages <——

Here is a good explanation of how to set up AMP for your news site or blog.  

click here —> Set up AMP on your WordPress site <—-

Resolve both these issues on your website now before you lose traffic and visitors from mobile sources.

by John Lombaerde  – Goldfinch Digital Publishing

 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member