Archive for SEO – Page 2

Smart Business Blog Linking:
Top 25 Content Marketing Blogs

Blog-LinkingIf your business blog needs to get inbound links, here’s a prime example of how to do it. Pay attention to this tactic, it’s easy, it’s smart blog marketing and a great way to get other blogs linking to you, thereby improving your search rankings.

I’ve talked about creating your own Top 10 lists before, and it still makes sense, even more so given the way SEO works today.

Recently our blog here, showed up on a list of the Top 25 Must-Read Content Marketing Blogs. Well, we’re listed as #24, but hey! Who cares?

Author Jennifer Barry, who writes for Hubspot as well, says on the blog:

“The marketing industry is diverse and ever changing, and one of the easiest ways to stay on top is to read the most relevant and pertinent blogs. There are thousands of marketing blogs out there that focus on different aspects of the marketing industry from optimization, conversion, advertising, and content.” Read More→

Top 4 SEO Tips for Small Business Blogs on a Shoestring Budget

Shoestring-Budget-SEOThe Search Engine Optimization landscape has changed dramatically over the last couple of years. One of the side-effects of these changes has been the fact that many low-cost SEO tactics have lost their effectiveness and power.

Consequently, a lot of small businesses and professionals today are struggling to achieve their SEO goals on a restricted budget. After all, for small companies, hiring an expensive agency is often not feasible. Having said that, there are still a lot of smart yet pocket-friendly SEO tips that businesses can implement on a shoestring budget.

Here are 4 top SEO tips for small businesses on a shoestring budget:

Contribute to High Authority Blogs in Your Niche

Aim your energies at quality blogs. This will help you to develop referral traffic, cultivate thought leadership, and garner authoritative and quality links. Of course, you’ll only be able to do that if you generate remarkable content that offers actionable information.Here are a few strategies that can help you identify quality blogs:

a) Create an account on platforms like myblogguest, etc. These platforms create a meeting point for bloggers and blog owners looking for guest blogs, so you can easily identify quality opportunities.

b) Download the Google Chrome PR plugin. It will let you see the PageRank of every blog you visit instantly. While PR is not the sole indicator of a blog’s quality, PR 2+ blogs that show regular updates and host quality posts, can be good prospects.

c) Run a Google search for potential high authority blogs by using the niche areas you want to blog about with the keyword “guest blogs”. For example, let’s you want to write posts about e-cigarettes, your search query could be “E-cigarette guest blogs”, “quit smoking guest blogs”, etc.

Publish Quality Content on Blogs by Content Curating and Accumulating Content

Content curation is the act of collecting, discovering and offering digital content that surrounds some specific subject matter.Content is the most effective SEO tool there can be, if used right. But, the major problem that a large number of business owners or bloggers face is the lack of quality blog content. Luckily, there are gazillion resources available that can be used to generate interesting content ideas.That’s where content curation comes in. Simply put, content curation involves:

a) Researching and putting together top blogs on a subject.

b) Quoting important paragraphs from the blogs, and giving them proper citations and credit.

c) Adding your own spin, or interpretation to what’s already been published.

Conduct Competitive Link Analysis Using Free Tools

One of the things that helps your website rank higher is the number of links from other reliable and reputable website that link back to your website. There are two ways you can do this, either get someone to do it for you or do it on your own.

Look for websites that are linking back to your competitor’s website. You may use Open Site Explorer, to do this. With OSE’s free services, you may not be able to get all the data, but you’ll still be able to gather information to get started with your own link building activities.If you can stretch your budget a little, you may as well opt for paid membership for detailed information about your competitors link-building activities. There are lot’s of tools like, SEOSpyGlass, Majestic SEO, etc, that you can use.

Use External Proficiency and Expertise Tactically

Before engaging in a complete retainer based relationship with an agency, seek out the following kind of arrangements:

a) Monthly consultancy: Some SEO agencies or consultants do sell hourly consultations, which is a very smart way to garner some useful insights for a lesser fee.

b) DIY SEO audits: You may use free tools like Seoptimer, WooRank, Goingup, etc to do a review/audit for your website, so that you can identify the areas that need improvement. Then hire contractors and assign them specific tasks suggested by the tool, and implement the changes that require minimal technical expertise in-house.

c) Use free SEO tools to keep track of your performance: Free versions of tools like Ranking Checker by, SEO Analyzer by or SEO for Firefox by, can all be of great help.

When it comes to budgeting, you have to make a choice between investing time or money. For small businesses, these cost-effective SEO tips make a lot of sense, however, if you adopt them you have to be prepared for some time investment, especially if you plan to implement all of them in-house. Good Luck!

Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to write on your blog too please contact

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Guest Blogging: Just How Important Is It?

Guest-BloggingHaving guest bloggers post content for your blog can be a great tool to get more readers to visit your site. Typically, guest blogging involves a good deal of cross-promotion, which can be beneficial for all parties involved. Guest blogging has recently become much more common, likely because bloggers are seeing the good things that can come to their blog when they invite others to share.

A guest blogging relationship can be as basic or as involved as you and your guest blogger would prefer. You may just want to invite one or two writers to write posts that are their take on content that you typically share. You may want to consider a long term relationship with one or more guest bloggers, trading posts with them on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Many bloggers who are willing to contribute to your blog are likely to want you to reciprocate. Again, this can be beneficial for everyone, because interlinking between the two blogs/sites can help your search engine and page ranking.

So how do you find guest bloggers? You can start out simply. Think about some of your favorite blogs to read. Do any of them publish content that is directly related to your business, or that could fit in with your posts? Chances are you can probably think of at least a few blogs like this immediately. Consider emailing the blog’s author and inquire about a guest post or blog swap. However, when you write the email, you need to make sure you write a compelling email offer, one that is personal.  You will receive a better response if you do so.  Read More→

Scribd: Just Another Document Sharing Site?

Scribd--Just Another Document Sharing SiteI may be a late bloomer, but I just discovered Scribd. I found it when I was doing research for my webinar series, Social Media KISS (Keep it Simple and Serene) for Authors.

It is the most popular document sharing site available, with over 50,000 uploads each day. Yes, that number is correct. This is key for those of us that use content marketing online to get found, get known and get clients. Pay attention to what I’m going to tell you…

Scribd clearly has established its authority and web presence. The high online activity makes Scribd ideal for content marketing purposes.

OK, here’s the question: why would you want to market through a site that is based on sharing documents? Document sharing is a great way to promote brand awareness, bring eyeballs to your content & marketing collateral and increase link building (and we love link building.)

Most of my clients have flyers, press releases, articles, etc. and why not share this content as I did with this Mother’s Day brunch menu and and for another client’s article on hospital safety for Alzheimer patients.

If you have all of your marketing materials just sitting on your computer and not getting out into internet land, then you are just wasting space. Today, most of us operate our business and personal life online.  Using Scribd makes uploading all of your documents a simple task.

Reasons to love Scribd: Read More→

Oscar Wilde: Advice on Better Blogging

OscarWildeYou know that your blog is a key part of your search strategy, but do you know how to get the most out of it?  What would Oscar Wilde advise for better blogging?

Thousands of blog guides exist, but do they really help or just cloud the issue further?

This is what you need to know when it comes writing to a better blog, one that’s really readable.

  • There’s no such thing as ‘blog style.’ However, the easier it is to read the better. Break it up, make it easy for the reader. That means short, sharp paragraphs and the same with sentences. If a paragraph is more than five lines, you’ve gone too far.
  • People don’t want to read blogs. At least, not ones that have no value. Put your point across early on, and they’ll read the rest of it.
  • The key to achieving a better blog, whether you measure that by how many people read it, share it on social media, or comment on it, is to make everything as clear and as simple as possible.

Cut It Out

Oscar Wilde once said that you should never use a long word if there is a short one available that means the same thing. Read More→

SEO: 3 Things Journalists and Bloggers Can Learn

Blog-Definition-by-StuartMilesFrom what I see, many bloggers aren’t using hyperlinks when they publish blog posts. Worse, in some cases, they aren’t teaching writers about this in online writing courses. I just attended a week-long writer’s conference in San Miguel. and although there were a few workshops on blogging and online creative non-fiction writing, not one word about keywords or linking!

I could be wrong, of course, because I didn’t sit through the only two courses on social media and blogging basics. But everywhere I attended (there were three courses per day over four days), even opening paragraphs ignored this online basic fact of life: When publishing online, your content must be optimized for search engine indexing.

Granted, this was a course for fiction and non-fiction publications and writers. But if the experts aren’t teaching search engine basics to writers, where will they learn it? For sure, most journals are all published online.

Here’s the thing: when you follow the basic common sense rules for getting your article found online, it’s also good structure for making sense to the readers. Here’s why, reviewing three basics of search engine optimization and how it applies for both getting found and getting read: Read More→

5 Reasons to Hire a Content Marketing Writer for Your Business

Content Marketing-Hire-Writer-for-your-businessContent is king.Bill Gates said it, so it must be true.

Gates uttered this one-liner way back in 1996, but the flurry of updates to Google search algorithms during 2012 has ensured that his words still resonate.

Most businesses (be they blog owners, start-ups, or established brands) now know that if they want a competitive advantage, they have to keep information-hungry customers in a ready supply of fresh, relevant, and interesting content. Depending on the type of the business, content might also be expected to be awe-inspiring. No pressure, of course.

One of the biggest problems with content is finding someone to write it. Even if you’re a great writer, or have people on staff who are, it takes time and skill to craft an article, blog or newsletter appropriate for both your audience of potential customers and the search engines.

Could the answer be to outsource the writing to a freelancer?

Let’s consider the benefits of doing so: Read More→

Tips for Better Blog Outreach and Blog Marketing

helpfultipsHow can you make the most of your blog marketing and outreach? Here are some helpful tips so that your business blog attracts more readers, and you get found, get known, and get clients.

Small business owners know that a well-formulated blog with consistently fresh content can improve brand image, customer interaction and overall revenue. Blogs are so powerful, in fact, that their Web pages are prime real estate for outside companies that are hoping to improve page rank of their own.

In fact, a key tactic for SEO ranking is the practice of guest blogging with links back to the author’s site.

Back linking programs are becoming a standard operation of business blogs in all industries and of all sizes. The pro for blog owners is quality content written by someone else. The obvious benefit to outside companies is the ability to add a link to increase their own online credibility.

But such practices are not without peril. If you are thinking about allowing other writers in your blogging space, but unsure of how to maintain creative control and authority, follow these steps for the best outcomes in back linking and blogger outreach programs:

  • Agree to terms upfront. You put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that your blog accurately represents you and your brand image. Though an outside company may have good intentions, it does not have your vision or know your blogging goals. Take the time to explain who your audience is, what types of posts do well with readers and what topics are completely off limits. If your blog is about B2B technology, make sure outside bloggers do not send you posts about B2C topics. Come up with a regular deadline and a workflow. Read More→

My Business Website: Content for Customers… or SEO?

Should my business website focus on keywords and getting search engine results? Or quality content for customers?

Perhaps a more important question is “How do I make the most of each of my web pages so that my business and I get found, get known, and get clients?”

The challenge:

You want to make sure that your business website is fresh, attractive and informative. People visiting your website want to see something that piques their curiosity in you and your products and services.

Or put another way, you want to satisfy readers who ask: “What are you going to do for me that will… (Fill in the blank).”

Always keep that ideal customer in mind when crafting your message. The content must be relevant, new and, of course, SEO “friendly.” This last requirement can seem the most daunting, especially for non-technical professionals who are less familiar with websites and online content marketing.

The “SEO Friendly” site:

For good SEO results, each page needs to be both keyword-rich and current. That means pages are updated frequently with good (relevant) content that is keyword-rich and unique, and appeals to what customers seek. You need to make your keywords obvious.

Do not use a template or basic page format and tweak the content. Search engines will not know which page to rank for what keywords. Similarly formatted content can easily be classified as duplicate content and you risk being penalized or ignored by the search engines. Read More→

How Blog Readers Find You – A Diagram

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  a business blog is the best way to get found online, the best way to connect with potential clients, and the pathway to turning readers into clients.

So, what’s your favorite excuse for not blogging for your business?

I keep hearing the same reasons, over and over.

Top 3 Excuses for Not Blogging:

  • “I don’t have time to blog.”
  • “My clients aren’t surfing the Web reading blogs.”
  • “Oh, that means I’ve got to write about my business every week?”

There are over a billion people connected to the Internet. I’m willing to bet my lunch money that quite a few of them fall into the category of “your ideal clients.”

It’s not likely they go online looking for you, your business or your blog. I’m not saying that. But they do go to search engines and they type in questions with keywords.

And they do go to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Here’s what this looks like, how readers find your blog, in this Smart Draw diagram I did:

How Readers Find Your Business Blog

Read More→