Does Size Matter? How to Outrank the Biggest Brands on Search Listings

David-Vs-Goliath

David versus Goliath. Muggsy Bogues versus Shaq. The little guy beating the big guy.

The true underdog story–it stands the test of time. But can it apply to your business?

Lucky for you, when it comes to perfect SEO, size doesn’t matter and bigger isn’t always better.

There are zillions of examples where small businesses outrank big brand names on Google, with minimal effort — attracting an influx of NEW customers and boosting their profits in the process.

Google itself is one of the most prominent— “outranking” and sending AltaVista, Lycos and alike into oblivion.

So if you think you don’t have a cat in hell’s chance of outranking the major players, think again. 

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SEO Tips to Make the Mobile Crowd LOVE Your Website 

iphone search

I am addicted to smartphone browsing. It’s simple, it’s convenient and I can do it anywhere.

And apparently, I’m not alone. According to recent statistics, mobile visits represented 18.4 percent of website traffic in the final quarter of 2012. The figure went up to almost 27 percent one year later.

Are you doing enough to attract these people to your website?

Mobile SEO differs from traditional search engine optimization—so you need a different approach. But that’s okay, because you’re about to learn everything you’ll need to make the mobile crowd love your site.

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How To Remove Bad Links And Recover Your Rankings

Remove Bad Links And Recover From A Penalty

Sheer terror and alarm.

That’s what I felt like the first time I got a penalty.

It was back in my early days of SEO and I made some stupid decisions on what strategies and tactics to employ.

Sure, I shot up in rankings pretty quickly, but that glory quickly turned into dust when I got penalized.

It seems easier than ever to find yourself in the cross-hairs of Google’s webspam team.

SEO strategies and tactics we took for granted are no longer viable.

So, if you do get penalized, how do you recover? Can you even recover rankings?

Yes, you can.

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Jedi-Mind Tricks For Beating Your Long Tail Competitors

Jedi mind tricks for SEO wins and long tails

The days of casting a wide-net to trawl for any ol’ fish in the search ocean are long gone.

You could liken the latest SEO strategies with using very particular flies for fly fishing, that are designed to attract particular fish in a particular river.

Obviously, with the seemingly exponential rise in the pursuit of the long tail keywords, competition for that traffic catch is pretty fierce, too.

Everyone is probably going after the same, or similar, group of visitors — and the focus is on uncovering profitable long tails versus just any old 3-word combination.

You know, the kind that are not pursued by everyone just yet, and while not yielding a large volume of traffic, they’re channeling profitable visitors to your site.

As data-driven as you need to be about trying to capture the segment of searchers that you want to convert, you should add a heavy dose of agility to the mix as well.

Why?

Because search terms, keywords, patterns of search, news, trends, habits all conspire to one day elevate a search term to the Google stratosphere, only to within a few weeks or months almost disappear completely.

Keeping up with changes in search trends and keywords — being pro-active — can be hard to do though.

This is where SEO sometimes seems like a very reactive strategy for attracting traffic. You’re always seeing what people have already searched for, in the past (however immediate it may still be).

Wouldn’t it be nice to not always have to play catch-up with search phrases and words?

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The Best Keyword Research Tool

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Photo: el cajon yacht club

The best keyword research tool ultimately is a matter of discussion because there are some variables. For example, the user, the product or service, and the marketing approach. The user is noteworthy because a sophisticated tool may not be useful for a beginner. A tool with limits but simple user interface may yield much better results.

The product or service is a variable particularly to the extent that histories exist or do not. One bases predictive analysis on precedent and market information. However, some products or services may be unique and share few characteristics with representative market instances, or comparisons. The market approach is a vital consideration. Top search rankings are typical advertiser goals. However, some research predicts that results may be better in other positions, and this is particularly true when analytics focus on top vs. other, and top vs. other conversions.

The best keyword research tool will depend on your needs but here is a good collection of some of the best keyword research tools available:

  1. Google Keyword Planner
    Accessed by an AdWords account, it yields meaningful statistics including monthly searches, and average cost per click. For a given keyword, it suggests a large volume of useful synonyms and variations. With Google’s recent updates this tool isn’t as powerful now as it once was.
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  3. Bing Keyword Research
    Part of its Webmaster Tools, Bing’s free Keyword Research Tool provides up to 6 months historical data of keyword searches.
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  5. Moz Keyword Analysis
    Keyword Analysis Tool (paid) is part of Moz premium membership plan. Handles up to 20 keyword entries and displays monthly volume and website rankings.
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  7. WordStream
    WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool has a trillion keyword database. It can identify the most profitable long-tail keywords for a business.
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  9. SEMrush
    Using keywords, this premium service helps discover competitor’s keywords in search, by a competitor’s domain or by searching for competitors.
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  11. Ubersuggest
    This free service takes any keyword and returns a deep list of alphabetical entries. Increase the results by adding variations at the end of the keywords.
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  13. FreshKey
    This premium Software provides new keyword suggestions, synonyms, and variations sorted by popularity. To increase the numbers of results simply add a letter to the end of a suggestion or word root and new lists appear.
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  15. YouTube Keyword Tool
    An odd addition to the list of best keyword research tools, however, globally, YouTube is the second largest search engine. It can drive traffic from a video to a site. One can optimize video content to get the highest possible rankings. The youtube.com keyword tool and research highly viewed topics to enhance video content.
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  17. HitTail
    HitTail works around “not provided” by automatically importing your Google keywords on a daily or weekly basis, giving you full access to this critical marketing data. If you’re like most of us, “not provided” keywords now account for most of your traffic, crippling your content marketing and SEO efforts. HitTail gets back this data. Pricing for HitTail starts at $9.95/month, but you will need at least 1500 unique visitors per month for it to work. Try it free for 21 days here.

How To Guest Post in a Way That Drives Traffic And Thrills Google

SEO: Guest Posting Guidelines

The execution squad of guest blogging has been racking up a number of hits lately.

The first “big” hit was on BuildMyRank

Then MyBlogGuest

And now PostJoint, despite doing their best to tell everyone they’re different.

Then you have Matt Cutts writing blog posts on how guest blogging and posting is dead:

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

Matt Cutts, Head of Google Webspam team

So, it seems like it’s yet another Search Engine Optimization tactic to discard into the dung pile in the folklore of history…

Or is it?

Could there be a way of doing guest posting and guest blogging that’s not spammy, but instead offers value to your visitors and ultimately your site, too?

Here are two words to calm your anxious and terrified SEO heart:

Yes, absolutely.

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How To Promote Your Content For Massive Traffic And Juicy SEO Wins

Promote Content For Traffic Juice And SEO Benefits

If you thought your SEO job begins and ends with some backlinks and on-site optimization, you’ve probably realized one thing…

SEO is unpredictable these days.

I think we can all agree that it’s getting trickier to get by with only doing the basic SEO activities we’ve all come to use (and abuse).

And I keep harping on this, but it’s still true: We’re only doing SEO to get traffic and visitors.

So, if that’s the ultimate goal, then why not focus on the marketing aspects that, in the end, gives us those visitors?

The good news is that if you do, SEO benefits often follow.

And since Google is hellbent on destroying those who deploy scalable link schemes and tactics, why not seek out links in an indirect manner?

The “freshness” factor of the Google algorithm is being abused left and right, so you could still chase after loopholes if you want to.

But let’s play a longer game that will still yield us traffic and rankings in the long run, and “Google Proof” our work.

Let’s toil in the vineyard of content promotion so we can reap the fruits of our labor.

I’ve put together a list of 6 traffic strategies that still work and essentially taps into existing buckets of traffic, helping you circumvent that long, hard road to page 1.

Let’s do this…

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SEO (As You Once Knew It) Is Dead, Let’s Go Viral Instead

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Figuring out what could go viral seems like an exercise in futility.

How much is engineered and how much is just pure, dumb luck?

And this is often not taken into consideration: is your target visitor likely to share, and are there millions of them?

What I mean is this: if you’re trying to share content (and get ranked) for retired dog food distributors, would they share content about “Attention Dog Food Distributors: You Were Giving Out Cat Food All Along”?

Maybe.

Does it have value for people outside of the dog food industry? Possibly.

But that’s the key: the visitors you’re trying to get in front of, are they a large enough group, and is your content appealing enough to a wider audience?

A post about “Graphene research points to environmentally friendly steel” is not likely to be shared by your grandma on Facebook (but if so, that’s a kick-ass grandmother you’ve got!)

See my point?

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Finding Keywords for Your Website

The best way to increase traffic to your website is target keywords or phrases within the content on your site. However, not just any keywords or phrases are going to help you bring in site visitors that advertisers crave and eCommerce sites need to drive sales. Where can you find great suggestions for your site?

Ask Other SEOs About Keywords for Your Website

There are plenty of professionals who will perform a keyword audit for your site. This audit will track the words and phrases that visitors use to find your site when they come from search engines. A professional SEO can also analyze data from social media to help you determine which words or phrases are being used the most in relation to your site.

Google Has a Free Keyword Suggestion Tool

Google has a free tool that will help analyze keywords for your website. Although the data available on these tools are more restrictive than in the past, it is still a good way to find keywords that are going to help you find relevant and targeted traffic. If you choose to pay for advertising to drive traffic to your site, you may want to use these tools to help you select words and phrases that will help your advertisement attract the right visitors.

Is Your Site Looking to Attract Local Visitors?

If your site is looking to attract local traffic, it may be best to optimize for local keywords. For example, a dentist in New York should target dentist in New York as a keyphrase. When looking for local goods and services, most people tend to type in the exact location plus the good or service being searched for. Therefore, it may be best to try to optimize for your specific community as opposed to a large city that may be nearby.

There are a variety of ways that you can find keywords for your website. However, the best way to determine the success or failure of particular keywords is to target for them and look at the statistics that you get. That will tell you if you are on the right track or if you need to adjust your target words or phrases to meet your goal.

Another option for finding longtail keywords to target is HitTail. If you have at least 1500 unique visitors each month, shortcut the keyword search process by letting HitTail do the work for you. Try it free for 21 days here.

Keyword Suggestions: Two Ways to Find Them

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Photo: vasco_solutions

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the buzzword of the day for aspiring bloggers and web site designers. Many tout it as the key to driving website traffic, using suggested keywords to draw viewers that are more likely to stick around and make repeat visits. Whether you are a new blogger or a veteran looking to boost your hits, the most important part of any SEO-based blog approach is identifying the right keywords.

Two Ways to Find Keywords

There are two main types of keyword tools that you can use to get keyword suggestions for improving site traffic. One allows you to type in a possible keyword of your own and generates suggestions based on that information, while the other type looks at your existing traffic and creates a computer-generated list of possibilities.

Using Your Own Keyword

If your blog has a special focus that you intend to keep, you may already know some of the keywords that drive people to your blog. A plumbing company’s blog, for example, may have made good use of single keywords like “plumbing,” “plumbers,” and “broken sinks.” With a keyword tool like WordTracker or Google Keyword Planner, you can input those current keywords into a search engine that will then give you more specific keyword suggestions, such as “professional plumbers” or “plumbers Chicago.” Expanding to include these enhanced keywords or keyphrases into your blog helps your website continue to climb search engine rankings as more and more people stumble across it in their searches.

Generating Keyword Suggestions from Current Traffic

Maybe you don’t want to just expand on current keywords, or maybe you want to reach out to new demographics you think you might be able to target. At that point, you might want to look at a keyword tool like HitTail. This tool looks at your current site’s traffic and discovers the most profitable or potentially profitable keyword suggestions that are already being used organically but are currently underperforming for your site. The organic nature of the keywords here is one of the most beneficial aspects of the app, as it lets you avoid unnatural keyword stuffing by focusing on what your site is already doing well.

This method works best for websites that have a decent amount of visitors each month and a lot of content available — if there’s no existing data to analyze, it’s not going to be much help. If you have at least 1500 unique visitors each month, shortcut the analysis process by letting HitTail do the heavy lifting for you. Try it free for 21 days here.