Directory Maximizer

How to Use Internal Linking to Boost Your SEO Rankings

Leave a Comment  

Search engine optimization or SEO is a complex process that includes many different elements. This process was once much simpler, but because of the frequent search engine algorithm updates more and more people are starting to look for professional help. When someone mentions SEO or takes a closer look at some SEO company offers, they will notice that most services are focused on link building especially on backlinks or external links.

internal-linking-seo

Although these links are very important, the fact is that the updates we have mentioned before are usually focused on these links and it is very hard to find a good strategy related to external links. On the other hand, there is one element that is not much affected by these changes and has significant effect on the ranking, but yet for some reason this element is often forgotten or left out. We are talking about internal links.

Internal links are links that direct users to another part of the website or on a new page that is part of the same domain (website). These links are very helpful for the users because they enable them to find what they are looking for fast. In addition, internal links can be very helpful for those who want to improve search engine rankings. In other words, with a proper internal link strategy you can expect longer visits and better rankings.

Where and How Can We Use Internal Links?

1. Use Your Footer

Many website owners don’t pay much attention to the footer although this area can be very useful when it comes to attracting organic search traffic. The website footer is much more than a place where you place a copyright notice and basic info about the creator of the website. This place should be used to improve user experience and assist users who are looking for fast access to the wanted information.

2. Use your Sidebar

If you want to start a successful SEO campaign, you should know that every element of a website can be used for better ranking. The sidebar is another element that can make a difference in your website’s success. Many people use the sidebar to place links or icons that actually direct people from their website to another place – affiliate links, ads, buttons to their social media profiles etc.

Read more

How to Create a Mobile-Friendly Website for Your Visitors

Leave a Comment  

Let’s start this post with a little exercise. Using a mobile device, access your website.

mobile-friendly-website

What do you see?

  • Can you access the pages easily?
  • Can you read the pages easily?
  • Can you find all the important information?
  • Is it hard to use?

Here is the deal: the desktop version of a website might look great but unless it’s mobile-friendly, it might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device, requiring the user to constantly pinch and zoom to consume content. This can lead to a frustrating user experience and subsequently the visitors abandon the site for greener pastures in the form of your competitor’s mobile-friendly site, which is readable and therefore immediately usable.

Did you know that, in the United States, 94% of people use their smartphone to search for local information? Even more interesting is the fact that 77% of mobile searches occur at places where desktop computers are available, namely at home and at work. The translation of these statistics is simple: Whether you are selling products to people or you are running a business blog to build trust and authority among your potential buyers, mobile is critical to your business and your website needs to provide a good experience for users, whether they are using their desktop computer to access it or their mobile devices.

But how can you optimize a website to look good and offer users a full mobile experience?

1. Make your Website Easy to Use for Customers

If you are a large men’s athletic footwear store, your goal is to make it easy for potential customers to complete certain tasks. For example, you may want customers to:

  • Pick your site from the SERPs after searching for shoes or men’s athletic footwear to buy
  • Browse through your selection of products
  • Check out your blog posts and product reviews
  • Get your local address
  • And ultimately purchase some men’s sneakers or men’s tennis shoes

Outline these tasks and design your website so it streamlines the process for users and help them complete these tasks through a minimum number of user interactions. At the end of the day, designing a site to be mobile-friendly is based on the principle of prioritization. Once you know the most important tasks your customers perform on mobile, your site should be designed to support these tasks and support ease of use too. The quality of a mobile site matters!

Read more

How to Put Together a Homepage that Converts

Leave a Comment  

Here is the deal: If you own a website that you use to build authority amongst your customers and/or drive sales, the first impression you make matters. This makes your website’s homepage one of the most important (if not the most important) page on your website. The need to get its design right stems from two considerations:

  • A website’s homepage is where most of a website’s traffic lands that you hope to convert into leads and sales
  • Once a visitor lands on your homepage, the first impression is formed and you probably won’t get a second chance to make a first impression

puzzle-pieces__1424929956_103.16.200.222

But what makes a great looking homepage that also converts as much of the traffic it receives as possible?

1. A good homepage clearly answers the questions of who you are and what you’re offering

Unless you are a company or brand with as much reach and impact as Coca-Cola or say Nike, your homepage needs to clearly answer the questions of who you are and what you do. The reason for this lies in the fact that you need to assure visitors who land on your website that they are in the right place and do so very early on so they don’t bounce. 

2. It resonates with the target audience

Your homepage also needs to resonate with your target audience in being fairly narrowly focused and communicating with people using the right language. Take a look at these two homepages:

Both are brilliant in that they use clear heads and subheads with no use of jargon and the content avoids corporate Gobbledygook.

3. It looks great

This one is a no-brainer. A website’s homepage should be designed to impress. The challenge it seems is for businesses to keep it simple. After all, what you want to do here is to provide a good and memorable user experience for visitors but not reinvent the wheel per se. To that end, choose a simple layout and the right color scheme. Include the critical elements that make a good homepage such as:

  • A headline
  • A sub-headline
  • Benefits
  • Your primary CTAs
  • Features
  • Customer proof
  • Success indicators
  • Navigation
  • Supporting images
  • Content offer
  • Links to useful resources
  • And secondary CTAs

Read more

The Dos & Don’ts of Outsourcing Content

Leave a Comment  

For some time now, consumers have become quite adept at shutting out the world of traditional marketing. For example:

  • We skip television advertising
  • We ignore magazine advertising
  • And we stay clear of banners or buttons on websites

Obviously, traditional marketing is a lot less effective today than it used to be and it’s becoming more so by the minute introducing a need for marketers to find better ways to get through to potential consumers.

outsourcing-content

Enter content marketing!

By definition, content marketing is the strategy of producing and publishing content to:

  1. Build trust and authority among customers
  2. Build relationships and a community around your brand
  3. Become established as a thought leader in your industry
  4. And drive profitable customer action

Quality content is today at the core of most forms of marketing including social media marketing, search marketing, PR and PPC. The challenge it seems is to be able to generate an unending stream of fresh, unique and valuable content.

And let’s face it, that’s a big task! Therefore, the need to produce enough content and the need to produce engaging content that gets read and shared often drives marketers to outsource their content writing as a solution to problem of limited time and resources to get the task done in-house. The key to success is to know the dos and don’ts of outsourcing content.

1. Do Your Due Diligence

When outsourcing content, the first task is to know where to look for writers. The world is full of great writers and a few well-known sites where they hang out include Elance, oDesk and People Per Hour. The challenge is to find a reputable writer and that’s not going to happen if you accept the cheapest bids. In addition to writers on freelance sites, students also make good writers. An example of this is UK-based Studentgems, which can be more expensive than Elance but the writers are more enthusiastic and talented. As with most aspects of marketing, when looking for a writer, research is key to making a good and informed decision.

2. Make Sure They do their Due Diligence

So you did your research and found a few potentially good writers with the writing skills you need. Next up is making contact with them. Beware of any writer who doesn’t ask smart questions about the scope of your content marketing strategy. If they don’t collect necessary information, they will most certainly fail to meet your expectations.

3. Be Specific about Your Instructions

But you also need to be specific about the information you give to your writers. As a rule of thumb, the more specific the instructions, the better the copy they’ll produce. So don’t be afraid to arrange a Skype call for any small detail or linking out to a competitor’s website. This can make a difference in making sure your writer is on the same page as you from the very beginning. You also need to be specific about your SEO requirements including the keywords you are targeting.

Read more

A Guide to Understanding What Bounce Rate is & How to Lower it

Leave a Comment  

According to Google, bounce rate is a website metric indicative of the percentage of sessions in which people leave your site after interacting with the entrance page. Most often, when you own a website, you want visitors to somehow “convert” either by clicking through to buy something, fill out a form or read more. If your website has a high bounce rate, this could mean one of three things:

  • Either your website has design and/or usability issues
  • Or you are attracting the wrong kind of traffic
  • Or you attracting exactly the right kind of traffic and users are finding the information they need on the entrance page itself and ergo have no reason to click through to the other pages of your website

bounce-rate-optimization

In truth, a number of factors can contribute to a high bounce rate. These include:

1. Your website has only one page

If your website only has one page, analytics software such as Google Analytics do not register multiple page views unless the page is reloaded several times. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for single-page sites to acquire high bounce rates.

2. Your web tracking code setup is not working

For a multiple-page site, a high bounce rate could be indicative that the Google Analytics tracking code on your website has not been implemented correctly. To make sure you are collecting data, you will need to review the set up.

3. Site design

If all your website pages bear the tracking code and your site’s bounce rate is still high, the problem could lie in the design of your website. A few things to consider include:

  • Redesigning your landing pages
  • Optimizing the pages so they attract the right kind of visitors
  • Changing your target keywords around to better reflect page content
  • And optimizing your website with a fresh and unending stream of quality content

4. User behavior

Last but not the least, sometimes a high bounce rate has nothing to do with your website and everything to do with user behavior. For example, if a user bookmarks a page of your website and returns to it several times over the next couple of weeks, each session is considered a bounce.

How to improve your bounce rate

Because both the design of your website and its Google Analytics set up can have an impact on your bounce rate, improving this website metric is contingent upon making certain very specific changes that will be as individual as your business itself. The key to success is to analyze specific data and consequently adjust factors that are contributing to your bounce rate. To name a few:

1. Attract the right kinds of visitors

To reduce a website’s bounce rate, a valuable approach is to optimize the pages so they correlate better with search terms. The process starts with choosing the right keywords to target and maintaining top rankings up the SERPs for those keywords. Also consider creating multiple landing pages, each with unique content created around a branded term and aimed at different types of visitors.

Read more

The Smart Way to Approach Link Building in 2015

Leave a Comment  

For Google and the other search engines crawling the web, links are the streets between pages, an analysis of which reveals how they are related to one another and in what ways. Since the late 1990s, link building has had an application in SEO whereby links are treated as votes in the nuanced evaluation of websites and pages. Till date, link-related factors represent a large portion of the complex algorithms search engines use to rank pages but algorithm updates including Google Penguin has transformed link building into an art.

link_building

Indeed, through a website’s link profile, the search engines analyze not only the popularity of the site and its pages but also other metrics such as trust, spam and authority. Link building remains an important task for good rankings up the SERPs and traffic success but you can no longer participate in link schemes or buy links to achieve your SEO goals. These black hat techniques used to work previously but these days, they are a surefire way of getting your rankings to drop into oblivion following severe penalties. Instead, you need to acquire links to your website pages legitimately. To that end:

1. Create Content Worth Linking To

When it comes to SEO, the key to inspire natural linking and viral sharing is to create great content worth linking to. People won’t link to you unless your content is compelling, leveraging aspects of usefulness, information dissemination and/or humor.

To create content that readers will want to share through links, take the time to research what your audience wants and look for content gaps. You can also create content around topics that people are already talking about on the social networks and elsewhere on the web. For this job, some tools such as BuzzSumo are excellent.

Equally important, when people think content, they often think written content. Other forms of quality content include infographics, videos, PDF guides and images. In essence, think of the content you create as linkable assets that you will use to connect with people, either to solve their problems or entertain them.

Read more

Knowing the Difference Between Content Marketing And Copywriting

Leave a Comment  

To many brands and businesses, content marketing and copywriting is one and the same thing. This is not completely crazy because, indeed, a couple of shared aspects underpin them both including:

  1. The skills of an experienced writer
  2. The art and science of influencing the purchasing decisions of prospective buyers

Those are the similarities between the two. Now the difference between content marketing and copywriting lies in the purpose of writing and the way in which the literature seeks to influence the readers.

CopywritingAndContentMarketing-min

In content marketing, information is produced and published to:

  1. Build trust and authority among your customers
  2. Build relationships and a community around your brand
  3. Become recognized as a thought leader in your industry

Therefore, as a content marketer, you need to generate an unending stream of interesting, unique, and valuable content – a mix of multiple content types including blog posts, videos, podcasts, webinars, infographics, newsletters and others.

In copywriting, you want the readers to take a specific action, whether it’s buying a product, visiting your local store or following your company’s page on Facebook. In a way, copywriting is content writing in a more attractive and enticing form. The information is structured so that it grabs the attention of the readers immediately. Copywriting is used for things such as landing pages, direct mail campaigns, sales pages and infomercials.

About Copywriting

If you are creating a landing page or sales advertisement, poor copywriting can cause the downfall of even the best marketing campaign. To be effective, copywriting needs to be striking, compelling and optimized for the search engines. It may not always seem like it but there is a lot more to copywriting than a powerful sales message and a flashy headline. Some attributes of good copywriting include:

  • An attractive headline to grab the attention of readers
  • The headline also needs to be clever and offer reader benefits
  • If you are writing content for a landing page or sales copy, stick to simple language
  • Avoid long words, complex sentence structures and too many technical jargons
  • The content needs to benefit the reader
  • It also needs to inspire trust and authority
  • Avoid being pompous and do not exaggerate with your claims
  • The content should have a clear call to action

In any marketing campaign, copywriting is important to achieve your sales objectives. It’s straightforward advertising and it tells potential buyers why they want to buy a specific product or take an action like visiting a social media profile. It’s also totally acceptable to set a shameless metaphor hook. For example, if you were a restaurant, your copywriting would include photos of your food and words aimed at making people drool. And sometimes the success of an ad campaign comes down to a just one punchy line that paints a powerful picture. Don’t we all remember lines like:

Have a Coke and a smile.” – Coca Cola

About Content Marketing

In contrast to copywriting, content marketing is commercially neutral. The content produced is aimed at educating readers and providing solutions to their problems. Ergo, you subtly influence their thought-process and make them more prone to buy from you after establishing your authority in the industry and inspiring trust.

Read more