Thursday, October 25, 2012

Large Market Internet Marketing

Atlanta Internet Marketing Challenges

Published on by: James H. Hobson

You may be wondering why we take the subject of major market internet marketing and choose to focus on Atlanta internet marketing. The answer is that the Atlanta market has some challenges that are unlike what you may encounter in many other major cities and metro areas. If you can be successful doing internet marketing in Atlanta then most other areas are relatively easy.

Meet the Unique Atlanta Marketplace

Atlanta is described as being the hub of a massive metropolitan area that encompasses approximately 16 Georgia counties and includes over 5,000,000 people. Obviously there are numerous incorporated cities within this area, and long established communities within each city or town.

Atlanta is THE crown jewel of the South and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, and this is where the complexity begins. Unlike most major cities where most of the population was born, raised and has remained in the same city, Atlanta has a very large percentage of people from other states and countries. This means that large segments of the population lack detailed knowledge of the metro area.

Even for long time area businesses like The Varsity, Fox Theater or Johnny's Hideaway the newcomers don't know your name, where you are or that your business exists. For any business that wants more customers in Atlanta, the best way to find them is through strategic internet marketing services.

Where Does A Business Start?

The very first thing a business needs to do is to determine the radius from which they can draw or service customers. Next the business needs to analyze the circumference and gray out the areas where land use or demographics indicate the area is less likely to generate customers. For service businesses with trucks spread out across Atlanta this process may be useful to some degree but is not as critical.

Connecting With Your Target Audience

When you have identified the communities or area you need to cover the real work is ready to begin. Atlanta area customers are in the higher plateus of internet savvy consumers. This sounds easy to handle but you have to consider what they really means for your internet marketing srategy. Where are these customers online and how are they searching?

Websites? You have to be prepared to engage consumers with a traditional website and you need a website designed for mobile users. Many Atlanta businesses find that half of people searching for their type of business are on a mobile platform. If you don;t have a mobile website design you could lose a LOT of new business.

Placements and Visibility? It's important to know that your potential customers can come to your business through any of a number of online marketing channels. Yes, most will say "Ie found you online" or "I went to your website" but what does this really mean? Let's say the user does the typical Google search to find a business. The search results page comes up with a mixed bag of links (choices). You need to make it impossible for the online consumer to not find you. This means having top organic ranking from traditional search engine marketing, top local search placemetns from local seo work, and high visibility elsewhere by using viseo content, articles, listing s on directory sites, PPC advertising and the increasingly important social media world.

Not all of these are appropriate for every business. And for the channels that are appropriate, each has its own relative value. To get the most from your internet marketing budget you need to engage one of the leading Atlanta internet marketing companies. Don't rely on advertising sales reps, freelancers or companies that have miserable online visibility for your internet marketing needs.

Your Online Marketing Strategy

When you wrok with a professional internet marketing company you can expect to get objective advice on what really works, how long before you see results, how much it may cost and learn the fine points of of developing your online marketing strategy.

Major markets represent a huge opportunity to get more customers and watch your business grow. The key to true success is finding a company that can use every dollar of your budget in the mosr cost effective manner, and that has the smarts and flexibility to adjust as needed throughout their engagement with your company.

Interetsed in Learning More?

Certainly we would like an opportunity to speak with you, however you need to speak to several companies to find one that you like and that has the experience you need. Take a few minutes to read other articles on this blog on how to select an SEO company and related topics for Atlanta internet marketing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

How To Improve Website Ranking

SEO Tips and Essentials for 2013

Published on by: James H. Hobson

In 2012 Google's two algorithm bombshells were Panda and Penguin. There were numerous other algorithm changes to adjust and refine search results. Visit this link to see the major Google algorithm changes in 2012. As of this week they addeed the "Top Heavy" penalty and the "Exact Match Domain" penalty. Before 2013 arrives we strongly recommend that website owners make a critical assessment of all of their SEO practices for the past two years, and take a hard look at their SEO providers current understanding of best practices.

Revamp your website with best SEO practices for 2013.

Out With The Old, In With The New

The Old: Outdated and Harmful SEO

There is a strong possibility that your company website has at least minor associations with outdated or harmful SEO practices. There are "gray hat SEO" practices that are now going to cause ranking losses, and other practices (of any shade) will lose their influence on search engine results pages (SERPs).

You have a very real problem if you have received a message from Google that is similar to the following:

"Dear site owner or webmaster of http://www._____________________/, We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes. We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results."

The fourth quarter of 2012 is a good time to make a top to bottom review of your site to do a comprehensive SEO overhaul. You definitely want to be proactive in avoiding search engine's algorithm based penalties, and certainly prevent manual actions taken by Google. Proactive website SEO maintenance can only help your site, and will almost certainly mitigate having a gut wrenching surprise drop in rankings.

The New: Ethical and Sustainable SEO

On-Page SEO things to look at are your page titles and descriptions which should be unique to each page, alt tags and title attributes which should be written to help the user and not for keyword stuffing, eliminate sitewide footer links, use a canonical meta tag, limit outbound links, keep ads below the fold on your pages, correct spelling errors, don't use h-tags in a spammy manner, make sure your page load times are ultra fast, use an XML site map, add Schema markup when applicable, eliminate low quality or near duplicate content pages, and focus on branding in your messaging.

There are very specific requirements, standards and implementation methods for all of the aforementioned items. Google searches for any of these topics will lead you to pages with more detailed information.

Visit the W3C website and use their FREE website validator tool.

Another great way to get an evaluation of how well your website desginer has performed is to check your website for technical errors. Because things like the Google code for the +1 button and publisher attribute do not validate, your website probably will not validate.

Even with such unavoidable issues, your website should have no more than 6-8 errors or warnings. You should correct as many deficiencies as possible.

Stepping Up Your Game

You can make substantial forward progress by rebuilding your site as HTML5 complaint and get superb enhancements by utilizing CSS3 in your design. An HTML5 site with CSS3 delievrs better performance and alleviates some code deficiencies associated with older doc types. The really top tier website designers offer responsive website designs that resize to fit various browsers using a liquid or elastic layout. Can your web designer do this?

Related SEO Considerations

You need to have these tools in place and use them to improve your SEO efforts. Google Analytics provides key user metrics and can provide valuable insights on ways to improve your website. Webmaster Tools enables you to verify your site, confirm technical settings and manage your site within Google standards. If your current SEO provider has not done this for you it's time to find a new SEO company.

If you're uncertain about the state of your website's SEO feel free to leave a question or comment. We welcome phone inquiries about any SEO matters.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Types of Search Engine Marketing - Part II

Why Social Media Business Pages Matter

Published on by: James H. Hobson

This article is Part II in a series on the Types of Search Engine Marketing. This series will continue until the end of 2012, and will cover the different types and aspects of search engine marketing techniques and services.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Services

Social Media used to be considered the fluffiest form of search engine marketing. Almost every business we know stated at one time or another, "our customers are not on there". This position considers only the potential for a lead or direct sale. What was missing is the realization that social media marketing builds brand recognition and loyalty, can directly impact SEO, and it DOES generate leads!

In 2012, social media signals became a key element of Google's search engine algorithm. Social media is also a signature part of strategic inbound marketing services. Any business who clings to the notion that social media is not important is making a big mistake in their marketing efforts.

Social Media Business Pages

It is a fact that your business needs to establish social media business pages. Your company should have a social media presence that includes well structured business pages with graphics, complete profiles and links, and maintained with fresh content.

At a minimum, your company need social media business pages on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Other social media sites and pages may be useful, and should be selected based on your type of business and customer profile. Sites like Pinterest, Foursquare, and social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit or Stumbleupon are worth considering. The amount of time to create each business page and provide all important information probably averages about one hour. When available this business page setup should include the creation of custom profile images and page main images.

Social Media and Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing intertwines social media marketing, SEO and content marketing to drive traffic, generate leads and build branding. The role of social media is to allow a business to interact with potential customers in a non-sales fashion, present user friendly information and position the product or service for first-in-mind consideration.

Social media builds brand recognition, and serves as a nice channel to distribute links to articles, mention promotions and specials and educate consumers. Adding social media icons and links to your website is a strategic online marketing tactic.

Social Media and Your Website

Because social signals are part of Google's algorithm you need to link your website and your social media pages. Additionally you need to utilize content and calls to action (CTA) that drive traffic between these sites.

To learn more about why social media business pages matter you can visit our website or do some Google searches for social media and inbound marketing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Inbound Marketing - Content Marketing Benefits

How Content Marketing Can Help You

Published on by: James H. Hobson

The art of content marketing is perhaps the most valuable way to improve your SEO results in 2013. Content marketing requires the development of high quality user focused content, and strategic curation and publishing methods. Content marketing can deliver measurable improvements in organic rankings and bring forth other benefits.

Three Reasons To Use Content Marketing

Content Marketing builds branding, generates website traffic and nurtures prospects into leads.

Increase Social Signals

Social Signals are an important part of search engine algorithms. Nothing improves social signals more than providing content that users enjoy and want to read and share. Obviously not every business can create that great video that becomes a viral juggernaut but steady improvement in social signals means better SEO results.

When you post your content on social media sites a specific goal should be to generate (as appropriate) a Share, +1, Retweet, LIKE, Pin, or similar interaction. It is icing on the cake if you are added to a new Google+ Circle or get a new Follower on your social media business pages.

Earn More Links to Your Website

People link to websites, information and content that they like. Whether it is white papers, articles, videos, press releases or other informative content you can provide the content to which people will link.

The people who find your content, and certainly those that link to it, are almost certain to be considered relevant to your business thus these links pass the legitimacy test. Sharing your content increases the possibility of gaining even more links, and increasing site traffic, and further developing your brand.

Develop Your Brand

Business owners often fail to understand or appreciate the true value of branding. Branding should be valued as a key element of the marketing strategy for any size business. Branding goes beyond having a recognizaable logo. Branding encompasses every aspect of how people view and feel about your company.

Content marketing, even for a relatively unknown company, introduces your business to prospects and creates that all important first impression. Both prospects and customers that are engaged with trustworthy and valuable information will embrace your company. Ultimately, through a consistent delivery of high quality content, your brand will become a "first in mind supplier" when an engaged consumer needs your type of service or product.

Content Marketing Challenges

Because of the known benefits of professional content marketing, internet marketing companies and SEO companies are working to use this new approach. The challenge for most is that they lack adequate understanding of the proper methods and they lack the resources to make it happen. Content marketing requires more than the average website company or freelancer can grasp or provide. For content marketing success you must know how the pieces fit together!

Effective content marketing requires a thorough understanding of how the pieces fit together.

Examples of resources are third party software to facilitate and expedite the processes. Personnel resources you need are internet marketing analysts, professional copy writers and social media experts. Content marketing failures result from trying to post low quality content to social media sites and using spammy promotions.

Professional content marketing requires strategic planning and implementation, as well as a deep understanding of how all of the pieces fit together. When it is properly managed content marketing delivers incredibly good benefits.

Top 10 SEO Mistakes in 2013

Is Your SEO Company Competent?

Published on by: James H. Hobson

Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is as relevant and useful as ever. What you need to know is that the best SEO practices for 2013 will be substantially different than in 2012 or before. Search engine algorithms changed dramatically in 2012 and the older ways of SEO can now cause extreme ranking losses. It is vital for every business owner to know the Top 10 SEO Mistakes in 2013.

Who Does Your SEO Work?

Get answers to the new best SEO practices in 2013.

The issue of who does your SEO work, and their level of expertise has never been more important than now. To cite an example, in 2012 Google sent almost 1,000,000 notices to website owners concerning bad SEO that was going to harm their rankings. These messages were sent to only website owners using Webmaster Tools, so obviously these types of problems are very widespread.

You need to learn how to evaluate your SEO provider to avoid search engine problems and confirm that only good, safe SEO work is being done on your website.

A Top 10 List of SEO Mistakes in 2013

There are far more than 10 items that can harm your SEO efforts. Many of these are very technical issues, and some have generally been out of practice for many years. Our top ten list includes issues that are common to do-it-yourself types and the average web design company or freelancer. Here are our Top 10 Bad SEO Practices:

  • Ignoring Webmaster Tools: Google Webmaster Tools is a free product and an invaluable tool for helping you to manage your website in a Google friendly way. If your SEO company has failed to implement this for you they are not worth whatever you are paying them. Being able to affect page settings, verify your site on Google, and measure key performance metrics are very important. You need to be using Google Webmaster Tools.
  • Chaotic Site Architecture: Many websites are created without adequate strategic site architecture planning. Your site should have a logical page flow (navigation). Top level pages should be more general with lower level pages providing more and specific details. Intrasite, page-to-page, linking should be limited to related content. A content silo methodology is often a very good strategy. In 2013 you should eliminate low quality pages (use 301's!) and add richer content.
  • Using Low Quality Content: If your site has very little content, text that is more sales pitch than factual information, has spelling or grammar errors, or is poorly structured your site is going to suffer ranking losses. Your site should use well structured content that informs users. Use shorter statements and don't engage in keyword stuffing or blatant attempts to affect search engines.
  • Using Duplicate Content: Under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act your site can be totally banned in search engines if you hav palgiarized content. Even innocent instances of duplicate content can cause multi-page ranking losses. An example of innocent duplicate content is very common on e-commerce sites. Iamgine every dealer of a product uses same product description provided by the manufacturer - this is duplicate content in the eyes of a search engine. Plagiarism was not committed but nonetheless the site gets penalized. You can visit Copyscape to see if your website pages have duplicate content issues.
  • Keeping Sitewide Links: You should immediately eliminate sitewide links! Obviously this does not apply to your site navigation, although navigation link structure is another important aspect of SEO work. The types of sitewide links to drop are the redundant links often found in website footers or sidebars. Social media links may get a pass if you use them above the footer and the socail media pages are actively maintained.
  • Long Page Load Times: Page load times have become another key factor in search engine algorithms. This matter is complicated by the need to load quickly on both desktop PC's and mobile devices. Eliminating Flash content, optimizing image files and streamlining code are easy ways to reduce page load times. Creating a mobile website design is strongly recommended because mobile use in many areas represents over 30% of searches.
  • Bad Inbound Linking: Bad link building is perhaps the number one problem with ranking problems today. Link building needs to be very controlled and paced with an eye on domain diversity, link velocity and natural anchor text. Any SEO company using blog wheels, link farms, mass link building services and article spinning is on a path to extreme and perhaps permanent ranking losses. If your SEO provider is continuing to stress link building as a top tactic you need to drop them without delay!
  • Too Many Outbound Links: Google looks at your outbound link quantity and evaluates the sites to which you link. You should not use Adsense on your site, link to affilliate programs or any type of spammy, low quality content sites. Any outbound links should go to only sites with definite value for your site visitor.
  • Bad Page Titles and Descriptions: First, each page needs a unique page title and description. Your title tage should be 70 characters or less, and your description tag should be 150 characters or less. Keyword stuffing is an absolute no-no.
  • Ignoring Social Media: Search engine algorithms now measure social signals when ranking websites. Social media has become a critical tool for brand development, content marketing and lead generation. Business owners who say "our customers are not on social media" are missing the big picture and lack proper understanding on SEO in 2013. At a minimum you need business pages on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. It is absolutely critical to create complete pages and integrate them into your online footprint.

The Benfefits of Better SEO

Improving on-page SEO will improve your search engine rankings. Higher rankings means more traffic. Improving your content improves user engagement and icrease on-page conversions. All of this means that applying new best SEO practices will improve your lead generation and branding. Inversely, allowing your website ranking to plummet will relegate your website to virtually an online brochure that few people will see.

SEO has changed and internet useage continues to climb. To improve your situation, make certain that you are not making mistakes in your SEO work, and get in touch with a SEO company to make your site ready for 2013.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hire SEO Expert - What Really Matters

How To Hire SEO Services in Baton Rouge

Published on by: James H. Hobson

Whether your customers are local or spread across a wide geographical area you can increase your sales when you hire an SEO expert. Before you hire SEO services it is very important to understand that effective SEO requires a strong skillset. Almost every website company claims to provide SEO but few actually know SEO best practices.

Risks of Hiring Bad SEO Services

How To Hire SEO Experts and Hire SEO Services

If you make a bad decision when you hire SEO services it can cause long lasting and even permanent ranking losses. Poor SEO work, whether intentional or simply done from ignorance of best practices, now carries a high risk of search engine penalties. If you engage an unskilled person or company for SEO you are gambling with your sales.

Is A Local Company Better?

It is extremely important to hire a SEO company that is in the United States, and that does their SEO work in-house. In cities with populations under 1,000,000 it is always a very big challenge to find a very good SEO company. SEO companies in small markets simply don't have top notch talent and rarely have had to perfect their skills by competing against other top SEO companies.

Your chosen SEO company does need to be able to understand your business, types of customers and be able to relate to your marketing area. Ideally they would be willing to sometimes come to your location for a personal meeting, and certainly be able to provide convenient forms of communication.

For top SEO, results are the top priority, location is not. Through phone and email communications, SEO reports and seeing ranking results you will be able to assess how well your SEO company is serving your business.

Finding A True SEO Expert

When you speak with someone who knows more than you do, and tehy have a convincng tone, you can easily begine to view them as somewhat of an expert. The SEO and internet marketing industry is packed with people who espouse unfounded claims, ill-advised practices and mislead clients. We believe that you need to know how to evaluate and hire SEO experts.

Experience matters to some degree but can be misleading. Because SEO changes so much, SEO experience that is over 3 years old does not mean a lot for being able to do current SEO best practices. Ask questions about on-page and off-page techniques. Ask to see live examples of client rankings. Definitely ask about tier inhouse team, tools and processes. If they use outsource services, rely on free keyword tools and can't explain their SEO process then they are one of the places to avoid.

Local Search SEO

For the traditional brick and mortar store it is important to hire a company that understands local SEO. This means how to properly create and customize local search listings and business pages. How to create local search citations and how to improve local search rankings. Local search SEO requires techniques that are unlike what you need for organic SEO.

How well developed is your local search presence? Local search services such as TigerSEO Marketing offer a free local search evaluation and a phone consultation to discuss how to improve your local search presence.

Organic SEO

Is your site ranked well on Google? Organic SEO services improve your search engine rankings for specific search phrases. Organic SEO techniques must evolve in order to keep up with changes to search engine algorithms. In 2012 alone, Google Panda and Penguin algorith updates caused significant turmoil in search engine rankings. SEO companies using sketchy or outdated practices caused their clients to lose a LOT of business, and are finding it nearly impossible to help their clients recover.

These black-hat and novice SEO people rely on meta tags, keyword stuffing, cloaking, doorway pages, exact match URL's, blog wheels, link farms and other bad practices to get their clients ranked on search engines. These bits of trickery did work for a while but their use ultimately generated very negative outcomes.

Even the manner in which white-hat SEO is applied has changed. The proper ways to manage character counts, partial match, latent semantic indexing, content stucturing and off-page techniques have become substantially different in 2012. Companies that upgrade their SEO in 2013 are going to take a lead in search result rankings.

SEO services, and internet marketing services, have become much more sophisticated and complex. To get the best possible results, and mitigate chances of penalties from bad SEO work, you should abandon the notion that a hiring a local SEO company is necessarily better. If you want top tier results, you need to find top tier practitioners - wherever they are located.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Types of Search Engine Marketing

Internet Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

Published on by: James H. Hobson

One of the most common discussions we have with new clients centers around the types of search engine marketing. Business owners and managers have been introduced to numerous terms yet often do not understand what each entails or how it is applied. Our discussions frequently delve into what types of search engine marketing are outdated and the trends in search engine marketing.

Inbound Marketing Infographic created by Smart Insights

For the next few months we will publish article which compare different types and aspects of search engine marketing techniques and services.

What Is Search Engine Marketing?

The term search egngine marketing is one of the oldest phrases used to describe the techniques and methods used to promote a product or service on search engines. Search engine marketing covers most any form of internet advertising, public relations, branding or other action wich has the specific purpose of positioniong information in front of potential customers.

About Internet Marketing

The term internet marketing is effectively the same as search engine marketing. An arguable distinction is that where search engine marketing focuses on how to position content online, internet marketing includes other activities required for online marketing. Internet marketing can include website design and development, especially concerning activities to better engage site visitors and increase conversion actions. Internet marketing applies core marketing principles and has earned a top priority in a company's overall marketing mix.

About Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a new and refined form of search engine marketing. Inbound marketing is designed to engage prospective customers early in the buying process and nurture the prospect engagement to create a warm lead. Inbound marketing is also very effective in brand development and in building brand loyalty.

A typical search engine marketing approach is too often simply spreading advertising funds across a wide array of services. Inbound marketing is a strategic approach to coordinate the development of SEO, social media and content marketing to create a somewhat monolithic initiative. Unlike search engine marketing, inbound marketing requires a deep understanding of how to develop and leverage each element, and an ability to create the necessary deliverables for each.

How To Hire The Right Company

The very first thing to do is to find a company that is ranked well for inbound marketing. Review their websites and look for a company that offers a more personalized style for client interaction and support. Develop a rapport with their representative and ask about their services, examples of their work and always ask about their inhouse capabilities. An example of why this matters is the fact that you cannot get quality copywriting from foreign outsourcing or untrained writers.

About Expected Results

Internet marketing remains a viable way to achieve online success. Using any of the established methods to promote your business website remains logical. Inbound marketing, because of its strategic characteristics, can provide better lead generation, search engine ranking and visibility, brand development and shelf life of information published online.

For more information you can call our company, or spend time doing some Google searches. If you prefer visual learning you should see some of these inbound marketing inforgraphics.

We invite you to post questions, or to request articles that cover any area of search engine marketing. We will consider all reasonable requests and write articles for the subjects which seem to be of greater interest.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

SEO Trends Continue To Drive Professionalism

2013 SEO Best Practices Will Be Better Than Ever

Published on by: James H. Hobson

The 2012 algorithm changes have proven to be very effective in driving SEO best practices to more professinal levels. As we move into 2013 it is safe to say that effective SEO results will be the result of refined and more professional practices than ever before.

Rethink and Rebuild Your SEO in 2013

SEO 2012 vs SEO 2013

At the beginning of 2012 there was a plethora of websites that continued to hold high organic rankings that were achieved with spammy and black-hat techniques. By the end of the first quarter of 2012 Google implemented algorithm changes that forever obliterated vast areas of black-hat SEO. As Google continues to make algorithm changes it is important to rethink and rebuild your SEO structure.

2012 Google Algorithm Changes

In 2012 Google launched an initiative to improve search engine results pages by knocking out sites that have used black-hat SEO techniques. The 2012 algorithm changes included the bombshells known as Panda an Penguin, the DMCA penalty, link warnings and a number of lesser algorithm adjustments. These changes penalized sites that were deemd to be specifically involved in buying links, using link wheels, using plagiarized copy or content, and having low quality site content.

Transitioning To Better SEO

Sites that experienced profound ranking losses during 2012 will require significant hours to amend algorithm based problems and resolve manual actions taken by Google. For other sites, even those not affected by the 2012 changes, it is a good idea to make certain modifications as SEO preventative maintenance.

Changes we recommend are eliminating site-wide links, removing pages with low quality content, use htaccess 301 redirects for dead pages, create unique titles and descriptions for each page, minimize the number of outbound links, modify text content to avoid any signs of keyword stuffing, and update your XML sitemap. Pay attention to your link velocity, anchor text and diversity of domain sources.

Additional SEO tips are creating social media business pages and linking to them from your website, include some video content, and avoid using any "miracle SEO services". Certainly you should terminate any and all relationships with black-hat SEO people, and not use article spinning software or buy backlinks.

Vetting Your SEO Provider

To protect your site from algorithm driven ranking losses we recommend vetting your SEO provider. It is absolutely critical to know that your SEO company has a sound understanding of current best SEO practices, and knows how to make the changes that will keep your site in a competitive position. In all fairness, if your site has been negatively affected it may not be the fault of a prior SEO provider and not your current SEO provider. In this case, what matters is having an SEO company that can accurately assess the root causes and is capable of making the necessary corrective actions.

Branding Beats Spam

Google appreciates fair and legitimate marketing that builds branding and serves to inform potential customers. Spammy e-marketing techniques are the pathway to failure. Build your brand reputation with high quality content that informs buyers on features, benefits and factual data. Keep the sales pitch to a minumum.

As Google continues to improve their algorithms you will see significant improvements within the SEO industry. The poor SEO people may remain able to make a good sales pitch but their inability to achieve first page rankings for their clients will set them apart from the true SEO professionals.

Our SEO Tool Recommendations For 2013

The Best Search Engine Tools In 2013

Published on by: James H. Hobson

SEO discussions seem to always include mentions of "the best SEO tools". I think it is safe to say that people tend to assign "best" to whatever works for them. Accordingly, the term best is very ambiguous thus it would be a mistake to immediately embrace such casual proclamations. This article is intended to provide some insight on how to find good, useful SEO tools.

Atlanta SEO Requires Using The Best SEO Practices and Best SEO Tools

Trust Only The REAL SEO Experts

My personal belief is that less than 25% of online SEO tips are original and of high value. Anyone trying to learn about SEO should be skeptical when watching SEO videos on Youtube, reading forum posts and spun articles, and being hit with SEO software ads. Regular contributors such as Rand Fishkin and his Whiteboard Friday are the types of people and SEO resources to follow.

The best SEO tool is a mind that has a well developed understanding of SEO. Simply knowing what to do is dangerous. You need to know what to do, when to do it, and why it is so. This means taking time to understand search engines, algorithms, coding, content development, and commit to continued education.

Local SEO Tools

Due to the importance of local search listings to many businesses we need to include some information on local SEO tools. A good free local SEO tool is Brandify. With Brandify you get a decent evaluation of your local search presence, tips on improving local search, and a progressive scoring to evaluate your work.

Signing up for paid services such as Whitespark or BrightLocal can be useful. These services can help you to evaluate local ranking for specific keywords, find quality citations, and conduct local search competitor information. A lesser known but respectable tool is DIYSEO which offers a free trial and paid subscription services.

Organic SEO Tools

SEO Keyword Research Tools

All good SEO programs include front-end keyword research efforts. If you fail to identify the exact and relevant terms, and then determine which have the higher search volumes your SEO work is doomed to mediocrity or failure.

A list of the best SEO tools includes SEOmoz and Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO, SEMRush, SpyFu, and Market Samurai. Google Keyword Tool and the Microsoft SEO Toolkit are other SEO tools to consider. For links to these sites you can check the footer of our main SEO information page. If you are serious about doing quality SEO work, you should be prepared to invest at least $300 a month for paid services.

Creative SEO Tools

If you are a creative person with good instinctive skills, observation skills and can read trends there are some other tools to consider. Google Analytics can provide interesting information on how users find your site, thus "showing" how they are not finding your site. Sites which provide search trend information can provide you with timely information on how to reach qualified traffic.

Evaluating SEO Tools

The first tip here is to ignore any "Fast and Easy SEO Results" software, programs or services. There are no shortcuts in proper and ethical SEO work. Services that are recommended by SEO experts such as Jill Whalen, Rand Fishkin Wil Reynolds, Bruce Clay and other top tier practitioners will lead you in the right direction. When you develop a shortlist of services, begin to evaluate the breadth of the services, compare the volume of accounts and information you can manage, and compare service fees. Don't be discouraged by rates of $70-$149 a month because a quality service will truly enable you to be very successful.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Inbound Marketing and Content Curation 2013

What Is Content Curation

Published on by: James H. Hobson

Broadly defined, content curation is the process of discovering, organizing and presenting web based information about a particular subject or topic. Content curation is somewhat different than content marketing. Content marketing is essentially creating and publishing online various types of content. Content curation gathers multiple, related pieces of content marketing efforts to create a mini-pool of information.

Content curation is not a sketchy black-hat SEO trick although there will be those that try to use it as such. The true and proper use for content curation is to inform the reader and persuade them to take a particular action or make a preferred decision. Obviously the content should be very light on the sales pitch and heavy on the features, benefits and factual data.

Sources For Content Curation

For anyone interested in content curation it will quickly become obvious that finding information is not a problem. A great feature about content curation is that you are not violating copyrights or plagiarizing content but simply sharing it.

Common sources of content for curating are RSS feeds, blog articles, video content, unique website pages, whitepapers and news articles. Using a news aggregator or a free tool like Google Alerts can somewhat automate the process of finding valuable content.

Content curation in 2012 is a polished form of what many people have done for years. Finding and sharing information via Twitter or social bookmarking sites are the old school ways. Being able to gather related information and present it in a portfolio of sorts is much better.

Content Curation Best Practices 2013

Content curation has really begun to find a place in 2012. Moving forward, content curation in 2013 will definitely be an instrumental tactic for SEO and building brand awareness. Online marketing professionals will be able to develop an authority presence by curating mass content of high quality. They will also be able to develop branding by curating content about a single subject, from a single source (company). The latter approach is building a Content Curation Silo.

Content curation should be designed to support other areas of your internet marketing plan. Cross linking your content curation silos with social media pages will help to get your information in front of somewhat qualified prospects. Using sites like Twitter can get your information in front of new prospects.

Content Curation Tips In 2013

The first order of business is to determine the topics, subjects and areas where you want to engage customers or other internet users. The next step is to identify authority sources for high quality (non-spam) content that fit within your niche. Ideally you will try to mix new content with previously curated content to develop a seasoned content portfolio.

Content Curation Etiquette

We would be remiss in writing this article if we failed to mention basic rules of etiquette for content curation. It is good form to always provide due credit to the content author or publisher, and retain or add links to the original source.

Monday, October 1, 2012

SEO Copywriting Tips

SEO Copywriting Tips For Websites & Articles

Published on by: James H. Hobson

SEO Copywriting begins with knowing your audience and purpose for writing.
How to write search engine friendly, optimized content seems to baffle a large number of people. Ths article has been written to provide SEO copywriting tips for website text content, and inbound marketing services for content marketing such as optimized articles.

SEO Copywriting Basics

The most important thing to know and understand about SEO copywriting is that your content needs to focus more on the user and less on search engines. If you focus on search engine algorithms you will write quirky content that is anything but natural language. The final copy needs to be informative, persuasive and yet have the characteristics that algorithms will embrace.

It is very important to also understand where your copy will be used and its intended purpose. The best SEO copywriting services use a layered approach to develop high performance content. The layers of defining requirements, organizing information, writing text and adding SEO touches are basics. Even when using these basics there remains different ways to apply your SEO copywriting skills.

Use Keyword Research For Quality Traffic

If you are writing copy for a website you should focus on engaging site visitors, and generating qualifie leads. This form of SEO copywriting is geared towards increasing quality traffic.

Keyword Research using professional SEO software (not free SEO tools) is essential to your success. From the perspective of the sales process or sales funnel your keyword research can be clustered. Segregating terms in this manner will help you to develop appropriate content for your website. In some situations you may want to develop separate pages to serve each of these steps in the process.

Use Trending Topics For Increasing Traffic

Some SEO copywriting, such as articles and blog posts, are done to increase website traffic and build branding. In these situations it is important to get your message and company in front of as many eyes as possible.

Search Term Trend Research is the best thing you can do for this purpose. Using professional SEO tools you can identify hot topics and search phrases related to your business. Writing content about these subjects and posting it online while the subject is hot can increase website traffic. Because blog articles and posts generally have a short shelf life the trendy element is nothing about which you should worry. And building good content will help your long term SEO organic results.

Block Level SEO

Just as you should have learned in grade school, how you structure your content does matter. again, don't worry about the search engines, just use basic composition techniques. Determine your article or page title, develop sub-titles (headings) and then develop content for each paragraph. Your paragraphs should be related and stay on topic. Don't obsess with outdated concepts such as keyword density and stuffing. Write in a natural manner and avoid long sentences.

Special SEO Copywriting Tips

Any content that you develop needs a few simple touches to maximize its SEO potential. Be sure to make each paragraph heading an appropriate heading tag, add a phot or two and use descriptive "alt tags". If oit makes sense, link the images to a target page. Limit the number of outbound links to no more than two or three.

With deliberate thought and well organized information you can learn to write SEO copy for websites and articles. Remember that the purpose of your writing is to inform the reader. Quality content is read, shared and appreciated by people and search engines. Write well and prosper!