Archive for ‘SEO’

February 4th, 2014

Adding an Image to a Social Post Increases Engagement 200% [INFOGRAPHIC]

Image- Sales Growth Button

Have you reached the landmark of 1000 Likes or 1000 Twitter followers? If you have, then you might have noticed an impact on your search engine rankings. If not, then you might want to incorporate some of the techniques mentioned by our friends at Quick Sprout in the following infographic.

Here are the key points they make:

  • Google and Bing have started to take into account social signals to determine a website’s ranking
  • Google and Bing look at Tweets, Tweeter’s authority, Facebook shares and likes, and Google+’s
  • According to Shrushti.com, the social signals even make a difference for low-competition keywords and pages with duplicate content
  • According to Moz.com, Tweets from power users may influence short-term rankings for certain keywords
  • Examples of Social Signals increasing the rankings: 1) 100 Google+ Followers = 14.63%, 2) 300 Google +1 votes = 9.44% 3) 70 Facebook shares & 50 likes = 6.9%, 4) 50 tweets = 2.88%
  • Best time to get more social shares includes posting on Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday at 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, or 6PM.
  • Adding an image to your social positing is likely to increase engagement by 200%
  • Social users are 21% more likely to engage with a question
  • Asking your social followers for a vote will increase the likelihood of them liking your URL by 400%.
  • Throwing a contents for social users is likely to help your social engagement by 39%
  • How to and list posts tend to get 47% more social shares

Ready for more? Great. Enjoy! Here’s the full infographic:

Image- Infographic- How Social Signals Impact Rankings

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Archive for ‘SEO’

December 12th, 2013

Forget Everything You’ve Learned About SEO and do This One Thing Instead

Image of SEO

Most businesses spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve their search rankings. After all, studies have shown that 75% of people searching on Google don’t scroll past the first page.

Given that, you can imagine the excitement a client of 60 Second Communications felt when our efforts moved him from the fourth page of Google to the first page of Google.

That act alone increased the eyeballs seeing his business by 90%.

Imagine the impact on your business if you increased the number of people who were exposed to your website by 90%. It would be profound. This, of course, begs the question — how did we do it?

Image of Google Ranking

 

The Death of Black Hat SEO Techniques

In the early says of SEO, technical wizards found ways to game the system in order to improve their rankings. One of the most innovative was to place white type on a white background with all of the keywords stuffed onto the page.

To the reader, they didn’t see anything because the white type was lost on the white background. But to the search engines, they saw it as a page filled with keywords relating to the business. The result? They drove a lot of traffic to those sites.

Of course, that didn’t last for long because … well, in that scenario, you’re working against Google, which is never a good thing.

All this brought us to the next chapter in the story, which was…

The Birth (and Ultimately the Death) of White Hat SEO Techniques

Not long ago, I wrote a post called The Truth About SEO That Nobody Else Will Tell You. The post has a ton of information in it which is worth checking out, but one of the key points is that, after a certain point, focusing on SEO tactics is less important than focusing on SEO strategy. (Side note: That’s a concept I first came across in an excellent article by Jayson DeMers in Search Engine Journal.)

What does that mean? It means that, once you’ve got the basics down — stuff like alt tags, URL structure, keywords and whatnot — then you should focus less on Google and more on your readers.

I call this the Golden Rule of SEO:

Image of Golden Rule of SEO

That’s not to say you shouldn’t focus on the basics of SEO. Instead, it’s to say that once you have the basics covered, you should stop worrying about Google and start worrying about your reader. If you do that, then your readers will 1) come back, and 2) share what you’ve written with others.

And guess what? When readers come back and when they share your posts, Google notices. What happens when Google notices? Your search engine rankings improve.

Action Steps for You

What steps should you take based on this post? Here are some thoughts.

  1. Hire an SEO Specialist: Despite what I’ve written above, I’m not against SEO firms. In fact, we work with several experts in this arena all the time. What I’m saying is that after you get the fundamentals in place with an SEO expert, you should move on to step 2.
  2. Survey Your Readers: We do an annual survey at 60 Second Marketer to find out what our readers like and don’t like about the blog. This helps us stay in a constant mode of improvement. It also gives us ideas on what our readers want us to write about.
  3. Track Your Results: We track the results of each and every post you read on the 60 Second Marketer. In other words, we watch what gets shared and what doesn’t get shared. The results help us improve the posts we write in the future.
  4. Ask Your Readers to Share: As mentioned, Google (and Bing and Yahoo) notice when content gets shared. Given that, it never hurts to encourage them to share your posts. After all, you’re providing them free tools and techniques. It shouldn’t be too much trouble to ask them to share the post with their friends, ya know?

Thanks for stopping by. See you again soon!

Image of Social Sharing

 

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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Archive for ‘SEO’

October 31st, 2013

Is a Slow Website Killing Your Business? 5 Ways to Speed it Up Today.

Image of Google Tools

A study conducted by Google indicates that if consumers have to wait more than 400 milliseconds for a site to begin loading, they’ll click away and go to a competitor. This is very different from data a few years ago that indicated consumers would wait several seconds for a site to begin loading. Today, if they have to wait 1/4 to 1/2 a second, they grow impatient and move on.

This is a challenge for many businesses since websites have continued to grow more complex with videos, maps and other interactive devices. The fact that more and more people are visiting sites from smartphones and tablets only compounds the problem. We took a look at our site’s load time a few months ago and have a few suggestions on how you can improve the performance of your site.

5 Ways You Can Increase the Load Time of Your Site

Here are a few things we did recently with the 60 Second Marketer website in order to improve our website performance:

  1. Test Your Speed: First, visit Pingdom.com to see how fast your site loads. (In the good old days, Pingdom had their website speed tool smack-dab in the middle of their home page, but now they’ve buried it. Fear not, we’ve uncovered it for you — you’ll find it here.)
  2. Get Rid of Unnecessary Plugins: If you have a WordPress site, you’ve probably added a bunch of plugins over the years. Each plugin slows your site down, so it’s a good idea to eliminate as many as you can. We went from 18 plugins down to 9 which improved our load time by 37%.
  3. Optimize Images: We also added a plugin called WP-SmushIt which reduces image sizes for the graphics you have on your site. By keeping the size of your graphics to a minimum, you’ll improve how quickly it loads.
  4. Use a Content Distribution Network (CDN): A CDN speeds up your website by storing versions of your website in various places around the globe. That way, when someone in London tries to access your site, the site is served up from Amsterdam instead of Phoenix. This improves the load time speed and makes your visitors very happy indeed. We’ve heard good things about MaxCDN and plan on using them once we’ve implemented step #5.
  5. Switch Your Web Hosting Provider: We’re planning on navigating our website over to Synthesis for both security reasons and because of some speed issues we’re having with our current host. We’ve heard good things about Synthesis. Stay tuned as we make the change — we’ll let you know if what we heard is accurate.

There are several dozen other things you can do to improve the speed of your website. We didn’t have time to discuss them all here, but the ones outlined above should get you started. Good luck. And let us know what your experience has been on this topic — we’d love to hear from you!

 

Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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Archive for ‘SEO’

August 18th, 2013

The Truth About SEO That Nobody Else Will Tell You

The Truth About SEO Chart

Last week, I uploaded a post called The Truth About Content Marketing That Nobody Else Will Tell You and it proved to be a popular (and controversial) post. I always appreciate it when our community gives me feedback, so I thought I’d continue the series with a new post called The Truth About SEO That Nobody Else Will Tell You.

This post isn’t intended to trash the use of proper SEO techniques on your website. Nor do I intend to trash the legitimate SEO companies that exist out there. It’s simply intended to help you understand how to spend your money on SEO, assuming you’re going to spend any money at all.

But First, a Little Background About Search Engines

As you probably know, Google, Bing, Yahoo and others have search engine spiders that crawl virtually every website on the planet. The job for these spiders is to “read” and analyze a website and to provide information back to the parent company so they can calculate how the website should be ranked on its search engines.

The result is that when you type in the word “Lincoln,” the search engine serves you articles about President Lincoln that (hopefully) you’ll find interesting. (It’s worth noting that the search engines also take your online behavior into consideration when serving up articles. That way, if you’re an old car buff, when you type in “Lincoln” you get information about the automobiles, but if you’re a history buff, you get information about the President.)

Enter The World of Search Engine Optimization

Once businesspeople like you started realizing that search engines were the primary way people found their blogs, the science of Search Engine Optimization was born. White Hat SEO firms used legitimate, approved techniques to structure your website so that it was appealing to Google, Bing and Yahoo. But at the same time, Black Hat SEO firms came in and tried to teach people how to game the system. In other words, they used tricks to fool the search engines into ranking their websites higher than their competitor’s websites.

This didn’t make the search engines happy, so Google, Bing and Yahoo worked hard to figure out ways to identify the companies using White Hat techniques and the companies using Black Hat techniques. Over the past several years, the search engines have done an excellent job rewarding businesses that use White Hat techniques and penalizing businesses that use Black Hat techniques. It hasn’t been perfect, since there are still businesses that successfully game the system, but it’s been better than nothing.

Which leads me to a key point…

Don’t Try to Game the System

There are some Black Hat SEO experts pretending to be White Hat SEO experts who will try to use sketchy techniques to improve your results on Google. It’s your responsibility to understand SEO well enough so that when your SEO firm makes a suggestion or a recommendation, you can distinguish between a Black Hat trick or a legitimate White Hat technique.

For the record, 95% of the SEO practitioners I know are White Hat and I suspect you’ll find the same ratio. So, the odds are pretty good that if you’re working with a professional outfit, they’re only going to be providing you with White Hat techniques.

So, now that you know the difference between White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO, let’s talk about the big news, which is this:

You Can Spend a Lot of Time Trying to Improve Your SEO and You’ll Just be Wasting Your Money

Don’t get me wrong, setting up your website so it’s SEO-friendly is important. In fact, it’s critical. But assuming your website is structured properly and you’re using all of the fundamental SEO techniques that most people use, your return on investment will drop dramatically the more you spend.

Let’s re-visit the chart at the top of this post which highlights the potential investment you can make in SEO along with your return on investment.

The Truth About SEO Chart

As you can see, once you’ve gotten the basics taken care of, your ROI starts to diminish. In other words, once you’ve gotten the fundamentals out of the way, you’ll have to invest significantly more to continue to make progress on the SEO front.

Think of it this way. If you build a car from the ground up and invest $20,000 to get four wheels, an engine and a body, you can count on a car that can reach speeds of, say, 130 miles per hour. But if you want to get your car to reach NASCAR-like speeds of 220 miles per hour, you’re going to have to invest $400,000 or more.

In other words, in order to generate a 75% improvement in performance, you’d have to increase your investment by 1000%

See how it works?

Of course, if you’re Dell or Cannon or HP, your investment in SEO is worth it because you’re a multi-billion dollar corporation that relies heavily on SEO to drive visits to your website. But if you’re a firm with less than $100 million in revenue, then spending vast amounts of money on SEO doesn’t make sense.

The chart below illustrates the point — if your company is like 85% of all businesses in the U.S. and generates less than $100 million in revenue, then your spending on SEO should fall into Zone 1. But if you’re a large company with more than $100 million in revenue, then spending 1000% more to generate a 75% increase in performance just might make sense.

Investment in SEO

Is the Science of SEO Dying? Well, Yes, it Kind of is

The game of SEO has changed significantly recently. After Google updated their algorithm (again) with Penguin 2.0, the old-school techniques of managing your keyword density and alt tags have decreased in importance.

Today, Google Authorship, social signals and quality of content are more important than keyword density and alt tags. In fact, moving forward, there are several items you should spend your time and money on. I’ve included them below (Side Note: This list was inspired by an excellent article by Jayson DeMers on Search Engine Journal):

  1. Keep the Quality High: The days of quantity over quality are over. Search engines don’t respond as well to a bunch of short, low-quality posts. Instead, they respond to longer, in-depth posts (like this one, hopefully)
  2. Vary Your Content: If every single one of the posts on the 60 Second Marketer were written by me and only offered my point-of-view, you’d probably get bored after a while. (I know my wife does, anyway.) So be sure to mix up your content with different authors, videos, infographics and other techniques. That’s good for your visitors. And what’s good for your visitors is ultimately good for your SEO.
  3. Use Google Authorship: By linking your Google+ profile to the articles you post, you’ll improve the click-through rates of the search results. Want to learn how to use Google Authorship? Check out this article on the Google+ website.
  4. Manage Your Link Text: According to Jayson DeMers, “Experts estimate that if more than 30% of your anchor text is identical, it’s easy to see that you’re actively building links in a way that might be manipulative. Instead, now and going forward, it’s more important to think about linking from an organic perspective.” In other words, if your link text is all the same, Google sees it as gaming the system. Instead, link text should be more natural. The example Jayson uses in his article is that a post about Twitter marketing might have “Twitter Marketing,” “Marketing on Twitter,” “Twitter for Business,” and “Social Media Marketing on Twitter” as the organic anchor text pointing to the article. That’s a signal to Google that the link text is natural and organic instead of something manufactured by link farms or Black Hat SEO types.
  5. Great Design is Important: Our team at 60 Second Communications is working with a client on ways to improve their website design so that users come in for a visit and stick around. One of the techniques (used on the 60 Second Marketer home page) is to keep things clean and simple. I could go on for a long time writing about website design, but I’ll save that for another day. That said, if you’re looking for inspiration for your website, just watch what Apple, Google and other companies from the Bay Area do with their websites. All design in the U.S. originates in California, so just watch what they do and be inspired by it.
  6. Social Sharing is More Important Than Old SEO Techniques: Google is interested in quality and one of the best ways to tell if something is worth reading is to see if a post gets shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social platforms. So, if you want to get on Google’s radar screen, encourage your readers to share your posts via social media. That’s an important social signal that has a good amount of impact on the Google search results. (Speaking of social sharing, if you like what you’re reading here, feel free to share it by clicking one of the social sharing buttons on the left. Perhaps your friends would enjoy the post, too.)
  7. Mobile Performance is Growing Increasingly Important: When I wrote Go Mobile with Jeanne Hopkins, one of the key pieces of information we shared was that up to half of your website visits will happen via tablet or smartphone. Having a mobile site is critical to your future success, but using other mobile techniques to drive people to your site is also important. (For more on that topic, read 50 Insanely Simple Ways to Grow Your Revenues with Mobile on the 60 Second Marketer blog.)

There’s a lot to digest here, so I hope you either print this out or bookmark it for later reading. But one of the key points made by Jason DeMers (who, by the way, might disagree with some of my points-of-view above) is this: Your SEO should be less about tactics and more about strategy.

In other words, SEO isn’t just about executing a series of White Hat (or Black Hat) techniques. Instead, it’s about thinking strategically about what content is most interesting and relevant to your reader. Assuming you’ve got the fundamentals of SEO all worked into your website, then it would be better to spend your time and money on great content (that gets shared by your readers) than it would be to spend your time and money on sketchy techniques that are designed to game the system.

We’ve covered a lot here and I’m sure there are points you agree with or disagree with. Feel free to share your comments below. And, assuming you like what you’ve read here, feel free to share the post using the social sharing buttons on the left.
Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with well-known brands and organizations. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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Archive for ‘SEO’

January 10th, 2013

How to Use Google to Grow Your Small- to Mid-Sized Business

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Are you interested in using Google to drive more visitors to your business? If so, then you’ll enjoy our new episode of On Air with Jamie Turner where we interview Michelle Scruggs from Google and discuss ways small- to mid-sized businesses can use Google to grow their sales and revenues.

Michelle covered a lot of ground in her interview, including some of these tips and techniques:

  • Understanding Paid vs. Organic: One of the great things about Google is that you can use organic search to build visibility for your business for free. The more helpful and engaging your website, the higher it shows up in the rankings, so it’s a good idea to keep the content fresh and interesting. Alternatively, you might be interested in using paid search to drive traffic to your site. Paid search doesn’t always require a huge investment, which makes it perfect for businesses that have to watch every penny.
  • Getting Started in Mobile: What’s the best way to get started in mobile? Michelle recommends visiting¬†TheMobilePlaybook.com, a website created by Google to help businesses like yours get started in mobile. As with all things Google, the site is clean, easy-to-navigate and packed with useful tips and tools.
  • Local Extensions: Have you ever conducted a search from your smartphone and noticed the small “Directions” and “Call” links at the bottom of the search listings? Those are called Local Extensions and Michelle talks about how to use those to drive traffic to your business in the interview below.
  • No Minimums: One of the best things about Google is that it doesn’t require a huge budget to run a Google Adwords campaign. In fact, there are no minimums, so if you just want to spend $5 or $10 a day, that works out fine.
  • Google Places and Google Offers: Michelle talks about Google Places and Google Offers in her interview, both of which are insanely easy to use and implement. If you’re a small, local business, you can use both these tools to drive more customers to your organization. Best of all, it doesn’t require a huge budget to get started.

We’ll be doing more episodes of On Air with Jamie Turner (which can also be seen on our YouTube channel), so stay tuned. For now, enjoy the segment below with Michelle Scruggs from Google.

Special thanks to ARKE+threesquared marketing communications for graciously providing the video production on this episode of On Air with Jamie Turner.

 

Jamie Turner is the Founder of the 60 Second Marketer and co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile.He is also a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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