Five Pro Tips For Successful Outreach

Posted on by in Guest Posts, Linkbuilding

Successful Outreach is something that can be of tremendous value to your site or blog and be so for a great length of time. But it’s not something that comes easy. After all, everyone is Outreaching. And in the end, success comes down to who can Outreach more effectively and more efficiently.

Outreach can be hard work and often it can appear that you’re not making much ground. But the reality is, so long as you’re implementing effective Outreach, the results and rewards will come. And the good news is, each successful Outreach campaign builds upon the next. The more sites and blogs you reach, the further your reach becomes.

But what is effective Outreach?

In this article I will deliver Five tips to keep in mind when engaging in Outreach that will help make your efforts that much more effective and efficient.

Be Patient – Possibly the number one thing to remember. Yes, you would like to contact a site or blog and ask for a link or mention and have them give it to you immediately. But the fact is, it’s not going to happen. Remember, you’re wanting to build a relationship, one that will benefit both you and the target of your Outreach, not just today but for years to come. Building a genuine relationship takes time but the rewards are worth it. So don’t become frustrated and don’t become pushy. Let the relationship develop and let it reward you as it grows.

Be Sincere – Don’t just spam accounts with form emails or make glib mentions of articles on Twitter or forums. Read their work and offer genuine comments. Make a contribution and offer them an insight or present a question that will encourage them to open in a dialogue with you. You don’t just want to be noticed. You want them to notice you as the person behind your site or blog, someone they will want to build a relationship with. In other words, be genuine and be yourself.

Be Generous – Don’t be stingy. Promote the work of the blogs or sites you want to reach out to. It’s an easy, genuine and effective way of getting their attention. You’d be surprised how many will respond to you and it’s an great way of starting a dialogue. It’s a public display of approval of their work. And who doesn’t like a compliment? Also don’t be afraid to promote the work of rival blogs. Have faith in the quality of your work. The blog might be a rival, but if you feel your work is superior to theirs, then any link or mention exchange is going to be of greater value to you than them in the long run.

Be Consistent – Invest a set amount of time every day to do Outreach. Even if it’s only an hour Don’t just pile a lot of work into a week or few days and then leave it for a week or so. That’s not an efficient Outreach strategy. You need to be consistent and engage with those you are reaching out to regularly. That doesn’t mean interacting with them every day, but you do need to do Outreach every day, building on existing relationships or seeking out new ones. Not only is it the most effective way of maintaining and developing these burgeoning relationships, but by applying yourself to the task each day, you’ll find you learn more about what works for you and what doesn’t. In effect, you become better at Outreach.

Be Realistic – Yes, you would love to get a mention or a link from a high powered Twitter account or blog. And if you have quality content, it’s something that you should definitely aspire to. But no matter how good your work is, a high power account isn’t going to take any notice of you until you’ve built up your profile. So aim for those Twitter accounts or blogs with a similar reach as yourself. If you have 300 followers on Twitter, engage with accounts with between 200 and 1,000 followers and as you engage with these accounts, you’ll soon see your followers rising. Surf the crowd and soon enough you’ll have enough followers to get yourself noticed by the bigger accounts.

This is a guest post by Andrew Brocker, blogger at BettingExpert.com

How-To Guide for Reaching U.S. and Latin American Hispanic Markets

Posted on by in Guest Posts, Organic SEO

If you are looking for niche markets that are largely untapped, look no further than the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets. To be able to dominate in these markets, being well-versed in search engine optimization, or SEO, especially if trying to capture the attention of Hispanics. The Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets have some similarities as far as demographics go; they are still two very distinct markets and should be treated as such.

A combination of methods can be used – either local SEO or by a more regional approach – but the main differences between English and Spanish SEO need to be considered for these markets. Below we will attempt to define each in order to help you develop a strategy that will work best for you.

1. Hispanics Who Reside in U.S. and Latin America and the Differences Between Them

Look at the Hispanics who reside only in the United States versus those who live in Latin America and it’s easy to see that main differences between the two. Economy and culture are two of the main differences between the two locations and the strategy for targeting the two demographics will be dependent on them. For example, Hispanics in the United States fall into two categories: immigrants or offspring of immigrants and have thus been somewhat Americanized, even while holding on to their own culture.

What does this mean? For the Hispanics being targeted living in the United States, copy that would promote self-improvement or choices in education would be appropriate, while copy for a culture that is centered more around family would be appropriate for Hispanics living in Latin America.

2. The Difference Between Regional and Local Aspects of Reaching Hispanics Online

When considering the Hispanics that need to be reached online, it’s important to consider local aspects (specific cities and states) like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and regional aspects (a general geographic area) like the Midwest.

By approaching SEO in this manner, you are able to pinpoint the best strategy for reaching the targeted Hispanics living both in the United States and Latin America – which allows greater control and ultimately higher success.

3. The Importance of Language in the United States and Latin America

Cultural and location differences have been discussed, but it is important not to overlook language barriers when considering the Hispanic demographic, both in the United States and Latin America – particularly when dealing when trying to reach this demographic through ads and web content.

The Geoscape 2010 Census Report states that there are more than 50 million Hispanic residents in the United States, of which 60% are bi-Lingual while 40% of whom are dependent on either English or Spanish.

The following is an excerpt from a presentation by César M. Melgoza, founder and CEO, Geoscape, at Versailles Breakfast Club on Oct. 08, 2010: “Will the 2010 Census Results Change the Way Businesses Market to America?”

A combination of content in both languages might sound like a good idea when trying to reach this segment, and in many cases it is. But in many other cases it may not be necessary at all. It depends entirely on the specific Hispanics online you’re trying to target.

Generally speaking, if you are targeting an English-dominant group such as the younger Hispanic audience from the United States, you should target it mainly with English-based ads and website content, since they will be more likely to speak English and relatively less likely to speak Spanish. On the other hand, if you are targeting Spanish dominant U.S. Hispanics or first residents of Latin America, you should almost always use Spanish.

Between those two ends of the continuum are the bi-linguals, whether English-preferred, English & Spanish or Spanish-preferred. When trying to connect with these sub-segments, you may want to use a combination of English and Spanish content to capture the entire spectrum.

To sum up everything we’ve covered, the three areas discussed are the areas that every marketer worth their salt should consider when trying to target the Hispanic market – whether in the United States or in Latin America. How specific the marketing effort put forth will determine how much time will be needed to understand the targeted audience and how much money has been allotted to these efforts.

So, what did you think of this post? Post a comment (good or bad) and if you liked it, please tweet or email about it!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sebastian Aroca is an entrepreneur and a customer centric professional. He co-founded Hispanic Market Advisors, a company that offers Spanish SEO and English to Spanish translation services. Sebastian has over 10 years of professional experience managing regional customer programs and client acquisition strategies in the areas of sales and marketing communications, primarily for the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American & Caribbean markets.

Content is King!

Posted on by in Guest Posts, SEO Industry

Note from MOGmartin: this guest post was written by Jim Magary of Boomient Consulting, a digital marketing firm focused on SEO, web development, and high-quality web content.

Some great news came down this week from Google, where they announced that they were going to take steps to decrease the amount of “content farm” content in their search results.

For those who don’t know what a content farm is, they are companies who produce up to thousands of pieces of content each day to put on the web.  This content tends to be produced as cheaply as possible, written expressly for the purposes of trying to rank in the search engines for particular keywords, and not produced with the best interests of the site visitor in mind.

We’ve all seen these search results… generic and unhelpful articles on a particular topic, surrounded by ads for products related to our search.  Google has determined that this type of low-quality content is not serving its users either, and they are correct. But the challenge remains how to identify low-quality content versus high-quality content, when neither one can overtly be called Spam.

As someone who works in the SEO field, I spend a lot of time attempting to drive search visitors towards particular content, so I’m sensitive to any industry practices that evaluate content for quality, as I wouldn’t want my content to be unfairly de-indexed by the search engines. However, believing myself to be a decent content writer, who produces and supports well researched, high-quality content on the web, I am in favor of Google doing everything they can do to cut down on crappy content-farm webpages, so their announcement comes as a breath of fresh air.

In the past few years, the Web has gotten to the point where regular users are adding content at an astonishing rate, and Google reports that they have over 1 trillion pages in their index. It’s almost like they’ve done too good of a job indexing the web, because now search results are littered with spam sites and other junk, which may be minimally qualifying in terms of addressing a search query, but don’t come anywhere close to professional writing.

It’s true that what may be spam to one person could be considered a truly satisfying meal to another, but any cursory scan of Web results will reveal content that has obviously been produced purely for SEO purposes, and where reasonable people would agree that it is not worth reading.  Many of these articles are too short, poorly written, and serve only as a driver to the numerous ads that appear on the page.  Coming across this content in the search results does not serve the average Google user, who is usually looking for something authoritative, credible, and professionally produced.

The issue lies with the fact that many of the best content producers simply don’t know enough about SEO, leaving their sites devoid of such common SEO tactics such as putting a keyword in the title tag, or optimizing the first hundred words of body copy to include a key phrase.  They are being outfoxed by marketers who are increasingly savvy about reverse engineering Google’s algorithm to favor their webpages. Google is good at what they do, but they still organize results based on quantitatively measurable factors, which makes it difficult to introduce “quality” as an algorithmic component.

But the news from Matt Cutts & Co. is encouraging. Here are a few things that Google is doing, or will be tackling soon, according to the recent post:

  • Algorithm changes to eliminate “low-quality” sites
  • Redesigned document-level classifier to make it harder for spam content to rank well
  • Improved ability to detect hacked sites
  • Upcoming changes to crack down on “scraping” sites, which simply use content from other sites and don’t offer much else
  • New extension for Chrome allowing users to report spam sites on their own

For the SEO community, the mystery is still how Google will actually identify low-quality sites. Once this becomes more clear, marketers will, of course, react to it, as they do with every algorithmic change they can detect. However, the most likely effect is going to be higher-quality content, which costs more to produce, and that will put many of these shadier marketers out of business.  This bodes well for good sites and ethical SEO consultants looking to promote true, quality content.

The fact that Google’s algorithm is open to reverse engineering of any sort is the whole reason that the SEO industry exists, but the fact that they have not yet isolated the “quality angle” of search results is why bottom-feeders like content farms are able to game the system with relative ease.  If Google ever perfects search, the practice of SEO will gain much-needed credibility, because it will be harder to do, and therefore will be populated with individuals who are both intelligent marketers and authoritative content producers. To me, this sounds much better than the current status quo.

I hope Google cracks this nut soon.  I’m looking forward to a web content industry focused on things like journalism, research, credibility, usefulness, and newsworthiness, not to mention good spelling and grammar. These are the things I like to see when I search the web, and I’m sure I’m not alone.  If content is King, then quality should be Queen.

Jim Magary is the founder of Boomient Consulting, a digital marketing firm focused on SEO, web development, and high-quality web content.

Creating The Right SEO Strategy

Posted on by in Guest Posts, Organic SEO

Note from MOGmartin: this is a guest post by Jon Quinton (@jonquinton1 on twitter) of Go Search Marketing.

About Jon: I run my own small consulting company ‘Go Search Marketing’, and work with a variation of clients from local business through to niche ecommerce sites.

Creating The Right SEO Strategy

Coming up with an effective SEO strategy and ongoing plan is key to the success of your website. When I first delved into the world of SEO I was definitely guilty of just ‘jumping in’ and not spending too much time planning. This was down to experimenting with various techniques more than anything else, and it soon became apparent that strategising my approach was vital.

I thought it might make a useful and interesting blog post to share a few things that I do to create a plan specific to the website in question. I personally feel that there is definitely an element of gut feeling and intuition involved, but all of this comes based on data and research. There are also many more things I check than can be discussed in one single post, but here are a few things that I always make sure I cover.

What Does ‘Strategy’ Mean To Me?

Whenever I start an SEO strategy there a few things that I always keep asking myself; what are the needs and goals of the website in question, and what’s going on in the market?

To me, an SEO plan should be answer the needs of the website in question and the market it relates to.

Keyword Research

Aim: Find a direction

With any project, this is always my first step. Until I conduct even the most basic amount of keyword research, I feel somewhat in the dark. I usually start off by simply entering a load of relevant keywords into Google’s keyword tool to try and get an overall idea of what’s going on. This is a really easy and effective way of comparing a large set of keywords and trying to suss out a direction to start going in. This information all gets exported into a spreadsheet for use later down the line.

After a while of doing this I’ll start to build up an idea of certain ‘hotspots’ and opportunities to start looking into further. I’ve recently started using SEOgadgets keyword tool to get more of a ‘visualised’ overview, and also to start sorting the keywords into categories. Not only is this really useful for me to see, it’s also a great way to start organising your data into a presentable and understandable format for clients.

Open Site Explorer

To really get into the ‘nitty gritty’ I’ll use the SEOmoz keyword difficulty tool. This allows me to start judging how tricky it’s going to be to rank for certain keywords. I’m constantly comparing different keywords against each other in an effort to keep building an even stronger picture of the market, from which I can then base my recommendations.

Competitor Analysis

Aim: Get the ideas flowing

Looking at websites that are currently enjoying success in your market is a great way of getting some ideas going. I’m not saying copy other people’s work, more look at what they are doing for a bit of inspiration. On another note, it’s vital to know what the competitions doing in order to compete effectively, and keep up with them in the long run.

I usually look into how well optimised their sites are, how active are they in social media, where are their links coming from, are their links natural or have they been manually link building? This can all be very useful stuff when you’re trying to prioritise your SEO tasks.

SEOmoz’s linkscape tool comes is very useful for this, and I’ll normally make use of it by looking through competitors back links to try and see if I can spot opportunities or areas that I should probably be focusing on. Even without a particular goal in mind, just manually looking through these links will create a really good image of what’s going on. It might be quite a laborious task, but in my mind it’s well worth the time.

Website Audit

Aim: Unearthing any potential problems

Every project is different, and every job will present its own unique challenges and potential issues. However, even if someone contacts me asking for help with link building only, I will always insist on a site audit even if it’s at a basic level. There’s no point in going out spending time getting great links into a website only to find nothing happens because it’s an absolute mess. I believe that would be a slight disservice to the client, I’m sure you’ll agree!

XENU link sleuth

(Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a great way of delving into a website)

Depending on what arises from looking into the website, the first step in any SEO plan of mine is to get the website into a good shape. The aim of doing a site audit is to find out if there are any SEO issues, and also to find out what can be improved. From this I can then create an easy to follow task sheet with a prioritised list of recommendations.

Going forwards, you will also be able to effectively uncover areas for future development and build that into your long term plan.

Budget/Time Constraints

Aim: Time to get realistic

Perhaps this should have been my first point, because there’s no point in putting together the most detailed and world conquering SEO plan if the client can’t afford to action any of it. To provide real value to the client, any strategy has to be realistic. One of the first things I’ll ask a prospective client is how much they can afford to spend on SEO. With that in mind I can then create a plan that can actually be put into action.

If money’s tight then I might start to suggest that the client themselves take on various tasks, but the most important thing for me in this instance is to prioritise the most important tasks.

On the flip side to this, I can’t afford to work for free and I don’t want to end up doing way more work than I’m getting paid to do. This is where having a solid strategy not only helps the client and the overall success of the campaign, it should also serve to protect you and make it clear what can be expected from you.

I hope you’ve found this post useful, please leave some comments to discuss things further or feel free to get in touch with a tweet or two: @jonquinton1

The 4 Most Overlooked On-Page Factors for SEO

Posted on by in Guest Posts, Organic SEO

Note from MOGmartin, this is a guest post by Sam Page:

Sam Page is the in-house SEO Manager for Southwest Equipment in Lewisville, TX. He started working online in 2006 with his own website and has carefully developed his skills in SEO over the last 4 years. He specializes in e-commerce and sales websites. Follow him on facebook.

So, you think you have your website perfectly optimized? Perfect keyword density, great internal link structure, title tags & meta tags nailed, plus perfectly placed landing pages, huh? Those are great things to do, but like everything in SEO, you can refine your page and come even closer to the ideal search engine algorithm buster.

1. Google Caffeine introduced an emphasis on loading speed. With the internet needing to be faster and faster, the quicker your site can load, the better. There are several things a person can do to speed up their loading times. This includes fixing broken links, adjusting images, editing flash or java, streamlining your landing page layout, and checking to make sure your host isn’t slowing you down (most common with shared hosting). Should this be your first priority? Probably not, Matt Cutts mentioned that this affects only 1% of search queries. Speed up your site; Google did.

2. Be careful with your bold text. While it’s important to implement bold text, I don’t recommend using it outside of a citation or heading. I come across pages all the time with keywords in bold and can’t help but think it looks like Spam.  If it looks over-optimized to me, it will to Google. I am very sure the staff of spam fighters at Google have already addressed this issue. I still believe the best way to organize your site is by keeping it  more formal and using the h1, h2, h3… tags.

3. Don’t forget about social networking or bookmarking. You want to integrate your entire social network as seamlessly as possible. This may not necessarily impact on-page optimization, but it will affect the professional appearance of your site. Just like having a blog on your site to keep your content fresh, I believe that in the next year or two, social media will bring relevance and freshness to your site. Google is ranking with cues from Twitter and Facebook, and Bing / Yahoo is also utilizing Facebook  ‘likes’ into their search algorithm.

4. Keep your content FRESH. Want to know how to beat some very important sites in the SERP’s? Be one of the first to report a news story or update and you will likely be on your way to the top. Last night, I was listening to Joe Laratro speak about a site that had beaten major sites like The New York Times and ESPN because they were one of the first to post a story about the officiating of the NY Jets vs. NE Patriots game. He also mentioned that Google drastically moved them up because of how quickly and timely they wrote the story. To Google, authority and timeliness are king. Sure, you can write a story, but it may not be picked up by Google very fast, right? Wrong. You can submit that link to Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz to get it indexed much quicker. Sometimes, you’ll even get your tweets included in the Google SERP’s.

Utilize these tools and cut your website from a different cloth. If you are in a highly competitive market, these tips are absolutely necessary to ranking well and converting traffic.

Top 6 Free SEO Tools

Posted on by in Guest Posts, SEO Tools

Note from MOGmartin:
this is a guest post provided by Matt from Trellian, the company behind addme.com.

Top 6 Free SEO Tools

Search engine optimization involves various processes and tasks. In fact, website optimizers have to juggle links, anchor text, keywords and crawlers all at the same time. While the optimization process can’t be totally automated, there are free SEO tools that can make the work easier.

The number of SEO tools in the World Wide Web is overwhelming, and many of them are offered absolutely free. To make the right choices, here’s a detailed list of the best free SEO tools. These tools vary in the way they are being used.

These free SEO tools are designed for various purposes, but are nonetheless needed in the entire optimization process.

1. AddMe.com (No surprises here)

A search engine submission program, AddMe is one of the many free SEO tools that submit your URL to search engines so that Internet users can find you online.

It’s perfectly fine to be listed by the major search engines only, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. However, if you want a wider online audience, try this search engine submission tool.

One good thing about AddMe is that it submits websites to 20 different search engines. With such free SEO tools, you don’t have to go to each end every search engine to enhance your online presence.

After the search engine submission tool submits your site’s keywords, description and URL, you will begin to receive website traffic. Just note that it may take time for all search engines to include your site in their listings.

2. Google Analytics/Google Webmaster Console

One of the most popular free SEO tools, Google Analytics provides comprehensive information and detailed reports about your website. Among these reports are your site’s traffic behavior, funnel data and content visitation among others.

Analytics can also be considered another one of those website promotion tools. It lets you see which parts of your website are generating clicks and leads, as well as the parts to work on to improve website promotion. Tools like the Google Webmaster Console also provide similar information, such as crawling speed, crawling rate and how Google “sees” your backlinks among others.

3. Firefox with the Web Developer Extension

Firefox is a very flexible Web browser. It provides a wealth of useful extensions, including free SEO tools. The Web Developer extension lets you easily remove a site’s javascript components and cascading styles. It also allows you to look at a webpage’s external links. Perhaps the best part about the extension is that you can add your own website promotion tools and other SEO applications to the menu.

4. KeywordDiscovery

Another one of the free SEO tools that simplifies keyword research, KeywordDiscovery can generate top 100 keywords that can help improve your site’s rankings. You simply type in a seed keyword on the tool’s search term suggestion tool, and you get comprehensive keyword data gathered from more than 180 search engines.

5. SEO for Firefox

Other free SEO tools out there can’t match the amount of information this Firefox tool provides. This program gathers data on a particular page, along with information regarding a search engine.

Unlike most free SEO tools, SEO for Firefox allows you to directly export information from the SERPs to CSV. Also, the tool gives relevant information, such as page rank, domain age, cache data, backlinks in Yahoo, number of cached pages and number of .edu links among others.

6. Google PageRank Checker

Google’s PageRank Checker is one of the free SEO tools that are useful for just about anyone who has a site. It ranks a website according to how popular Google thinks it is. The highest score is 10 and the lowest is one. Furthermore, the ranking is based on the value of the links that lead to your site. The higher a link’s value, the better your site’s page rank.

A combination of these free SEO and website promotion tools is a great idea, especially if you’re serious about your business and search engine optimization efforts. These tools are totally free, so don’t hesitate to try them all out.

Choosing an SEO Company

Posted on by in Guest Posts

This is a Guest Post by aClickAhead, and was not written by MOGmartin.
If you are interested in guest posting, send me a message!

Do you want to improve you positioning in the search engines? Do you want to get more traffic to your website? Are you looking to increase your sales? What you need is some good search engine optimisation or SEO done to your website. What if you don’t have the first clue on where to begin? SEO can be a long and daughting task for the newbies and it can take a long time to get success. Don’t worry with a professional SEO company, all this can be done for you. All you need to do is sit back and relax and wait for the extra traffic to come in.

But is it that simple? How do you know if the SEO Company can get you the results you are looking for? Do the offer any kind of guarantee for positioning? Can they get you to the top for keywords that will actually be of use to your business and not keywords that you wouldn’t search for your self? Well, these are all things to look at when you are looking for an SEO company to work for you.

Reputable SEO firstly will have a good position in the search engines for their own website, after all, if they can’t even do it for themselves, what makes you think they can do it for you? Secondly, have a look at some of the results they have achieved. Have they got some sites to the top of the search engines for really competitive keywords? Thirdly, what exactly are you paying for? Too many companies will offer a contract to work on some particular keywords, but how do you know you will get to the top of the search engines at the end of it. If they offer a money back guarantee, look closely at this, and if after one year they haven’t got you anywhere, will they refund the complete balance you have paid them?

In the end the bottom line is SEO takes some time. Not, 6 months or one year but a couple of months. If you don’t see fast visible results in the first few months, chances are the SEO company you are using are not working to their maximum efficiency and it is time to find somebody that can to it for you. Time is money in business and most companies do not know where they will be in one year, let alone still waiting for those prime positioning, this is an impossible business model to accommodate.

Also the keywords that are optimised with SEO are paramount. You need keywords that will generate the most traffic. It is not coincidence that it is also these keywords that are probably the most competitive. Does your SEO Company have the knowledge to take the competitive keywords? Or are they fobbing you off with alternatives that are “achievable”. Don’t be fooled by some SEO jargon talking you in to different keywords. Bottom line is, if you do travel insurance you want to be top for that keyword, not “airplane winter travel insurance” that in their right mind would look for that?

Aya Wilkinson is the team leader of the writers of aClickAhead, the only SEO Company offering page one listings for the most popular keywords in your industry, and you can benefit her experiences as a leading SEO Expert