Top Google Ranking Factors in 2014

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, SEO

Have Your SERP Rank Higher Organically with Top Google Ranking Factors

Increasing your rank on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is the best way to generate free traffic to a website. This means that if you want a high organic ranking in Google’s SERP you need to demystify its algorithm. With about 200 Google ranking factors and the volatility of Google’s algorithm, landing on the top of the list can be difficult. Here are 15 ranking factors to get your website rolling.

Domain Factors

1. Domain name with keyword. The keyword in the domain may not have the same impact as it did before, but it is still important. Using the keyword at the start of the URL is considered better than putting it in the middle or at the end of the domain name.

2. The age of the domain. A difference between six-months and a one-year old domain isn’t very significant. If the difference, however, is longer than 6 months, Google tends to rank older domains higher.

Page-level Factors

3. Title tag with the keyword at the start. Next to content, the title tag is the page’s most vital SEO signal. Get your site performing better by using the keyword as the first word in the title tag.

4. Use of keyword frequent enough without going overboard. The repeated use of keyword is another relevancy signal. Make sure that it will not be abused, though, as it can also hurt the page.

5. Longer, relevant content. Google doesn’t like short and insignificant content. Get Google’s approval with content of 1000 words or longer.

6. URL with the keyword. The use of keyword in URL, important in relevancy signal, also helps the page rank better especially with long tail phrases and when used at the start.

Site-level Factors

7. Valuable content with distinctive insights. If you want Google to improve your SERP, make sure the content is fresh, relevant and brings something new and important to the table.

8. Usable site. Well-designed and constructed sites can make it more appealing to Google. A usable site also loads faster and is easier to navigate.

9. Google loves video content. Google owns YouTube and therefore loves it when there are videos in the content.

Backlink Factors

10. Links to authority sites. Boost organic ranking through outgoing or outbound links to sites considered as leaders in the market.

11. Enough contextual links. These are the links found in the content, particularly in the inner pages. Make these links looking natural (not spammy) to get Google’s attention.

12. Links at the start of content. The location of links matter. Put them at the beginning for them to carry more impact.

Social Signals

13. Relevancy using social media. Getting the content shared, liked, re-tweeted, pinned, voted and weighed +1 in various social media are signals of the content’s social engagement and popularity.

Brand Signals

14. Simple but strong brand name. The anchor text for the brand will rank better if it is simple, but carries a strong brand signal.

On-site and Off-page Webspam Factors

15. Offensive Panda and Penguin penalties. Don’t let Panda and Penguin Updates annihilate your site. Avoid penalties by putting up high-quality content

It is virtually impossible to tackle all 200 Google ranking factors at one time. Start smart with these 15 factors to attain higher organic ranking and benefit from free traffic.

 

Do you know how much your “Free” Giveaway costs you?

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Advertising, Blog

Know How Much Your “Free” Giveaway Costs

Giving away “freebies” is one of the popular ways for many businesses to encourage future sales. Whether your company is big or small, hosting a website or blog that offers giveaways is a powerful and effective marketing strategy to increase traffic, create awareness and attract more customers.

No matter how worn out the concept is, getting something free usually excites most people, except perhaps the marketers who need to deal with the cost. Knowing the real costs, involving time and money, to create and ship the free products can help the marketer obtain an accurate picture of how much time and money will be needed once free marketing promotion has been launched.

Costs to Calculate for Your “Free” Giveaway Content

Marketers usually employ three types of promotions for free giveaways: sweepstakes, free contest, and lottery. The biggest places where freebies can work their way into people’s consciousness is by gathering email addresses. In most cases, customers are offered free eBook, video series, webinar or email series, report, or e-course in exchange for their email address and other contact information.

These marketing strategies can provide great results, but they’re not free for your company. Unless you’re an expert in multi-tasking, you have to hire people to help create and set up an efficient freebie mechanism. At the minimum, here’s what you need to spend for to deliver the free stuff to your audience. 

  • Web Content – Your product or service must be presented in a well-written content to make it highly interesting to the target audience. Unless you’re a professional writer, you need to pay someone to write or document the content you’re producing.
  • Squeeze Page or Landing Page – Although you can find free software to download, you may need to acquire a costly one or hire designers to create more professional lead page that will captivate viewers.
  • Production and Shipping Costs – While you’re offering something free, you’re paying for its production and spending money to deliver the hard product to certain destinations.
  • Marketing Funnel Hard Costs – Setting up webinars or email auto responders are accompanied by at least a minimum monthly cost. Although you can opt for lower-priced services, you audience is limited based on your selected plan.
  • Advertising – The surest way to put your website on top of search engine list is to through advertising. Are you financially prepared to pay for ads to broaden your audience?

The word “free” always entices customers and prospects successfully. Many marketers use freebies to build their business because freebies offer a two-fold advantage. First, customers may find the value of your product or service and continue to purchase it. Second, the freebie may psychologically convince your prospects to purchase from you.

However, the word “freebie” rarely applies to marketers, due to some hidden costs that marketers neglect to factor in when they offer products and services free. Make sure to do your math and count the cost of “free” to avoid being on the losing end after the campaign.

 

How Google My Business Can Help Your Small Business

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, Social Media

How Google My Business Can Make Small Business Perform Better
 
Google has a new offering, Google My Business, that is designed to simplify and improve Google web visibility for small business owners. This one-stop page is a convenient hub for small, local businesses to administer their presence on various Google products, from Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+. Whereas before, small businesses had to struggle in managing information using separate services, now Google My Business enables users to have their presence felt from a single dashboard.
 
Multiple Google Services in One Place
 
The new platform consists of powerful Google tools that can help you update your business information in one place. When you initially log into Google My Business, the first thing to notice is how Google has populated your account using previous data and information you’ve fed into the other Google services. You’ll have the chance to edit that data easily when you need to refresh your web content.
 
When you work on the dashboard, you can get valuable help from the following Google services available in the page.
 
Google+ Shares: Next to Facebook, Google+ is the second largest social networking site that performs basic functions and identity service. It allows millions of users to interact socially with Google+’s enhanced properties by sharing text, photos, links, status, and videos. 
 
Google Insights: This valuable tool enables you to identify the search terms that are increasing in popularity by typing in the right keyword. Google Insights help you to compare search volume patterns across different regions, categories, and properties so you create a relevant content suited to your target audience or type of business.
 
Customer Reviews: Google gives each business a rating. Based on the rating, you can manage your reviews and view related reviews your competitors are getting around the web.
 
Google Analytics: This tool tracks traffic and updates you with conversations happening on your website. The information is displayed via infographics that allows you to see the amount of visits made on your website and see the degree of influence your webpage creates.
 
Google Hangouts: Go and join in a Hangout with the click of a button. You’ll get the party rolling by holding conversations, adding photos, or by making a group video call.
 
With the ease at how the new platform can be managed, Google envisions more businesses will take advantage of the features to increase customer engagement, encourage more reviews, and track performance.
 
Can this be the End of Google+?
 
Google My Business provides a two-prong benefit for both Google and small businesses. Google gets more paid advertising, while small businesses stand to gain increased visibility and connection with potential customers. However, it is still too early to say what lies ahead for Google+
 
In the meantime, you can take advantage of the latest tools Google offers to help your business connect with more customers. Consider this move as a change of address where there are more chances for your business to show up in search engines when Google users happen to encode the right keywords. 
 

Want more social media clicks?

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, Social Media

Optimize Social Media Posts and Watch Clicks Grow
 
It is true that social media can do quite a bit for your website. It is also a reality, that your posts can get lost in the shuffle  before your target audience gets the chance to read them. For your content to survive slipping away and getting buried beneath the updates of others, need to learn a few tips and tricks about social media marketing.
 
To do this, you must learn to optimize your social media posts and set them upfor engagement through shares, likes, re-tweets, comments, and follows. These three ways that can help you optimize your social media for more clicks. 
 
• Talk to your audience and ask for clicks. It is easy to ask, particularly if your content delivers value to your audience. All it takes is a little push to get them going where you want them to go or clicking what you want them to click. Enable the social sharing on your landing pages and make the process easier for them. 
 
• Give them a strong call-to-action (CTA). How do you nudge your page visitors to click, go further down the page or explore the other pages of your site? Give them a valuable content that will answer a concern and show them and give them an irresistible and clear CTA. “Buy Now” and “Click Here” are  overused they likely to be ignored rather than clicked. Instead ask them to click “Get a copy of a free report” or “Subscribe now for updated news on product X.” 
 
• Use visually appealing imageries. You can’t underestimate the importance of creative imagery in capturing the attention and interest of your audience. “Content is king,” but you must attract site visitors and keep them there for a few seconds to understand what your site has to offer. Sparking interest is more easily achieved with an engaging visual. Why do you think Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook are grabbing a lot of attention? It is because images rule! 
 
There are a host of other tips and tricks to optimize your social media posts. Use simple images that are scaled for mobile devices as these are read by about 80 to 85 percent of target audiences in Facebook. Use short URLs when posting tweets; an impressive number of re-tweets are generated by Bit.ly, which makes it imperative that you shorten URLs in Twitter. For Pinterest, go for red or multiple colors (pink and dark green). If you want twice as many repins, red and orange are your colors, since multiple colors can increase likes and repins threefold. You can use a hashtag (#) on Instagram and Vine posts, add tags and a catchy title your YouTube videos, and get a great-looking theme on your Tumblr posts. 
 
To optimize your posts and make readers click them, it is important to know and use the dynamics of your social networks. The effort will all be worth it your posts will engage your target audience, build your brand and increase leads and conversions. 
 
 

The 9 Best Social Media Tools

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, Social Media

Figuring out what works well to enhance social marketing is not easy. It is incredibly time consuming to manage several different tasks from blogging to marketing and advertising. Social media tools can help simplify your job. However, it is often tricky to choose which among the various social media tools can meet your needs. Oftentimes it’s a good idea to try a few of them, but you can also take a cue from social media mavens when it comes to the best tools that can fast track your job.

Take a look at these 9 hottest social media tools recommended for use by the pros.

1. Tweetdeck – An excellent tool that covers your basic Twitter needs, Tweetdeck is ideal for beginners who are just navigating through messaging. The one “deck” feature makes it easier to see the ongoing online interactions at a glance.

2. SharedCount – If you want to get quick information about your website’s social influence SharedCount is a nice little social media tool to provide you with accurate snap shot. The tool tells the number of shares, likes, etc. that in turn give you an idea how your content is performing.

3. TweetReach –The right Twitter tool to help you monitor the status of your tweets, TweetReach provides data on the actual impact and influence of your social media discussions. This social media tool identifies who your followers are so you can target the right people to share and promote your online content.

4. LikeAlyzer – This free Facebook analysis tool has stats and insights to help you measure the potential and success of Facebook pages. By evaluating activities and dialogues, you can explore more possibilities to ensure business success.

5. Klout – Despite its image as one of the most controversial social media tools, Klout is popular for its scoring system that measures your Twitter influence. This tool is a good way to monitor your product based on how it influences people. Using the generated score, you can adjust your posts to your audience’s preferences to boost your engagement rate.

6. Social Mention – This free listening tool is popular among social media enthusiasts for its ability to provide more in-depth data analysis and measure brand influence in terms of audience strength, sentiment, passion and reach. A daily email sent to you documents all the information.

7. IFTTT –This automation app allows users to do a wide range of activities and connect to more than 90 channels like Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Instagram, etc. With IFTTT, users can connect together by creating and sharing conditional statements called “Recipes”.

8. Buffer – Buffer is a social media tool that automatically adds your post at optimal times when it can be reached by more audience. This Twitter tool can be installed as browser extension for Firefox, Safari or Chrome to enable you to tweet anytime.

9. Hootsuite – Hootsuite is a free social media management tool that covers multiple social networks like Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google+ Pages, in one convenient dashboard. It provides weekly analytics reports with superb team management facility ideal for social media accounts with several administrators

The pros have spoken. Check out which social media tool is a good fit for your needs.