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How to Use Internal Linking to Boost Your SEO Rankings

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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.

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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.

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How to Create a Mobile-Friendly Website for Your Visitors

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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!

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How to Put Together a Homepage that Converts

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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

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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

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The Dos & Don’ts of Outsourcing Content

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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.

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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.

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