Directory Maximizer

How to Use Your Blog to Generate Traffic, Leads and Sales

Leave a Comment  

So blogging is not working for you. That makes you one of the thousands of people who blog but fail to find success in what they are doing- lead generation in the online world of today.

blog

This begs the question…why?

In effect, there are 3 reasons why blogging is not working as an inbound marketing tactic for a huge percentage of businesses (assuming you are doing everything else right- creating quality content and doing good networking).

1. Content Saturation Index

In marketing, Content Saturation Index (CSI) is explained as follows: The more content an industry/niche has written about it, the harder it is for a blog to make headway and find success in that field. Conversely, when an industry has very little written about it, it is not hard for someone to rise above the noise because there is no noise. Any keyword phrase you might want to target to generate organic traffic will most probably be up for the taking.

2. Terrible Blog Titles

When it comes to blogging, one of the most important practices is to always make sure that your blog posts have the most accurate, sexy and SEO-optimized titles. Always start with a working title that you then modify to make sure 1) it sets the right expectations, 2) it pops, for example, by using strong phrases or having some fun with alliteration and 3) it is optimized for SEO without compromising clarity.

3. Poor Targeting of Specific Industries

Let’s take the example of 3 blog posts with the titles:

– Blog post 1: How to lose weight?

– Blog post 2: How to lose 10 lbs.?

– Blog post 3: How to lose 10 lbs. in 14 days or less?

These blog posts go from good to better to best in terms of targeting. Up until a few years ago, blog post 1 would have done fine in the weight loss industry but with more and more blogs popping up daily, lead generation is incredibly tough in this saturated industry and industry targeting is very necessary for marketers.

How to Generate Leads using Blogging

1.Write Useful Content

More often than not, marketers create content just for the sake of it. With increasing pressure from the ominous search engine giant, Google, to constantly create unique and quality content, marketers sometimes fail to realize that, at the end of the day, their job description is to generate leads and unless they are creating content to that end, any content they create is basically…useless. People love Hubspot’s blog because it constantly produces quality content that marketers can read and use. You need to do the same. You need to create content that empowers your readers: it needs to either solve a problem or teach them how to do something new.

Read more

5 Easy Ways to Get Ranked in Google Places

Leave a Comment  

As a local business owner, one of your priorities is (should be) to establish a concrete online presence. Since Google is the #1 go-to resource for people looking for specific local services, you owe it to your business to be top-ranked for your keywords. SEO is time consuming, and can be expensive, but you see many of your rivals showing up, seemingly effortlessly, in the top 5 results, through Google Places! This article is about not making it too easy for your competitors, and to be among the top results too.

Google-places-for-business

1. Setup a Well-worded, Attractive Profile

This should be a no-brainer. Get a Google Account and setup your business page. If you don’t have a Places page, you’re leaving a lot of customers on the table – both web based and mobile based. Google places a lot of emphasis on Google Places pages for local search results. It doesn’t take much time and is easy to set up.

Make sure you add keywords to your business description – don’t stuff them in! Instead, write an engaging description that incorporates your keywords.

2. Get Listed. Get Cited

Now that you’ve got your page up and running, it’s important to give it authority and credibility. Credibility comes from being mentioned by “giants” in your area – if Yelp or TripAdvisor is talking about your business, then it must be good. Make sure if they list your description, contact information, or any other data, it must match exactly to the data you’ve provided in your Google Places Page.

This will boost your organic search engine rankings tremendously. You need to strongly encourage satisfied customers to rate your page on Google Places, and rave about your business on Yelp, CitySearch and other authority websites.

You need to ensure that all your listed information is accurate and matches your Google Places Page exactly.

3. Link Building Done Right

Most webmasters are comfortable in this familiar territory. Like most content, link building to your page is a surefire technique to get ranked high on Google. We would like to add a caveat – not every type of link will help. Concentrate on building links from “local pages” and social signals – they count enormously toward pushing up your Page in Google Places. Your links should mention your business name, URL and phone numbers to be more relevant to your website. The best places to get links would be bloggers, other local business websites and listing directories. Quantity helps, but make sure you build your links in an organic, spaced out time interval, instead of all at once.

Read more

Don’t Click Back! Don’t Let Your Visitors Click Away Either

Leave a Comment  

Ask any experienced webmaster and they will all confirm the same thing – no matter how many eyeballs or visitors you get to your webpage, chances are that if it isn’t aesthetically designed, 90% of them will simply bounce off, never to be seen again.

designing-a-great-website

As a website owner, it is your job to make sure your website is extra sticky – people should be compelled to stay on your website, reading article after article – that’s one unifying feature of some of the best websites in the world. Your websites need to be optimized for Conversion-Centered Design – people are emotionally affected by your words, and can’t help but click on the links you want them to click on. The following tips will help you create the best design possible and to complement it with the greatest content you can.

Headlines that jump out of the page

Everyone knows headlines can be very powerful. The easiest example is probably right now littered over your Facebook feeds – where content frequently goes viral just because the writers title it with a hyperbolic, emotionally engaging headline. While we do not advise that the greatest value in your website should be the headline itself (typical of viral articles with great headlines and dead content) – it should take a leaf out of their books.

Engaging, unique headlines will provide a good gauge for your readers to get an idea about your article even before they read it. Remember to optimize your titles with your keywords to provide an additional punch. When your title appears in the SERPs, a well written headline will boost click-throughs to your website.

Make it easy to read

Everybody loves easy-to-digest content. Lists, videos, and small articles get more “stickiness” than long, thick blocks of texts. This age, unfortunately or fortunately, is the age of low attention span – make sure your content is organized and broken into neat sections and lists to ensure maximum retention of your visitors’ attentions. People “scan” – they don’t read. Often they will ignore most of the article and skip to the part that is most relevant to them – make sure it can be found easily!

It’s great practice to break your texts into small blocks and generously use subheadings, lists, infographics and other visuals that complement readability.

Write good content

Don’t write for search engines! This is an easy trap to fall into – but there are very few things that are more of a turn off than keyword stuffed text. Write for your readers – they are the ones who will hit the Like, Share and Retweet buttons – which will in turn help you get ranked. Insert your Keywords where they feel natural. Humor is a great technique to get your point across and increase the “viral-ness” of your content.

Read more

4 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Local SEO Campaign

1 Comment  

Although there are a lot of articles on the subject, local search marketing can be quite tricky. What I would like to share in this article are 4 things that while fairly simple, tend to be overlooked by many business owners or their search engine marketing team.

local-seo

1. Local Data Aggregators

TripAdvisor, Google +, Yelp. Are you optimizing your business listings correctly?

No? You should!

Yes? You shouldn’t stop there!

With Google + having a strong influence in the search engines, I don’t think I even have to say why your listing there should be optimized (okay fine, I just did!). People use Yelp and TripAdvisor all the time, so search crawlers are hanging out there too to see what’s up with your business.

However, some businesses just stop here – and they shouldn’t! Google doesn’t take into account citations from just these 3 places! It crawls 1000s of websites to do so!

Make sure to submit your data on websites that have dedicated “local” pages. A good place to start is on these 4 influential data aggregators: NeustarLocaleze, InfoUSA, Acxiom, and Factual.

Why bother? Well, here is a good way to think of it: If your business is in it for the long-run and is “legit”, you will want it to be found in as many places as possible. This includes offline and online spots. A “dodgy” overnight “business” might run a few PPC or CPM ads, but a legitimate business will take the time to build increase its presence in other ways too. And if 100s of local aggregators mention you, chances are, your business is legit and valuable.

2. 10 Stores = 10 Pages, or Something Like That

This is advice straight from Matt Cutts. Literally, he has a post on his blog titled: “SEO Advice: Make a web page for each store location”.

It’s not a long article, but for those of you who just want the main takeaway, here it is:

Don’t hind your store location information behind a form or a POST. Create a unique, easily crawlable URL for each store. Also have an HTML sitemap of the stores’ web pages if you can. He also acknowledges that this might not be ideal for ALL businesses, so he proposes this solution as well:

“If you have a relatively small number of stores, you could have a single page that links to all your stores. If you have a lot of stores, you could have a web page for each (say) state that links to all stores in that state.”

Oh, and if you really want to maximize your chances of getting ranked higher, then by all means, optimize these pages for mobile too. It should not be a surprise that people are very likely to look for your store location on the go.

Read more

6 Methods to Find a Website’s Contact Information

Leave a Comment  

You want to contact the guy (or girl, or guys) behind a website. Maybe it’s for a link placement request, a link removal request, an inquiry about advertising on the website, or to JV on a new project. Sometimes it’s easy. You just need to go to the website’s “Contact Us” section. If they don’t have one, you can try to find their Whois information. Sometimes this doesn’t work. You get a horrible “DomainsByProxy” listed as contact info. That’s when the webmaster has decided to make his contact information private to keep spammers away. The thing is, it keeps you away as well!

Website-contact-InformationThis article gives you 6 other ways that can help you get the contact information you are after; so read away!

1. Whois History

I’m talking about the Whois History tool offered by DomainTools.com. It’s basically like any other Whois finder, except that this tool gives you an actual history of the Whois.

This comes in handy when a website’s owner registers his domain “normally”, but then makes it private at a later date. It will show up in that tool.

2. BuzzStream

BuzzStream gathers every contact detail in one place. Whois information, email address, phone number, web contact forms, associated Twitter IDs, Facebook, Google Plus accounts, Pinterest, actual address, etc.

It’s especially useful if you are just gathering the information of multiple websites for later use.

3. SpyOnWeb.com

This one makes me feel like Batman. If you are not into DC Comics, maybe Detective Conan or Sherlock Holmes will resonate more. Anyway, the point is, I feel like a real detective! Why? Because this tool scouts the web for footprints to link several websites together – this makes it easier for you to find a webmaster’s contact information.

So, what kind of footprints does it scout for? Analytics ID, AdSense ID, IP address, nameservers. If 1 AdSense ID is used on multiple websites, this tool will show you just that. You can probably find the contact info of the webmaster on on of his other website (where maybe he has a Contact page or where his Whois info is not hidden).

Read more