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Category: SEO

There are 5 posts published under SEO.

SEO Is Not Dead, but Most SEOs Are

I am tired of hearing about how SEO is dead. When I read an article from someone telling me that SEO is dead, I immediately think, “That guy is just lazy.” 


Why? Well, SEO is clearly not dead. The search engines control the bulk of the world’s web traffic, and they are continuing to grow. Not only are they continuing to grow, they are getting better at what they do. So why on earth would any SEO ever say that “SEO is dead”? I will tell you why.

Most SEOs are just lazy. Think about it. The first search engine was created in 1993, which makes search engines only a 21-year-old industry. For 18 out of those 21 years, search engine optimizers have used many of the same techniques. Google started going after spammers after the “Panda” algorithm update in 2011. Before the update, many SEOs were using spammy automation to boost search results for clients, and their own sites for that matter. Many of these SEOs never moved from this practice because they are stuck in their ways. They would still prefer to try to fly under the radar and continue to push spam because it is the easier way, regardless of the fact that it will hurt their client’s rankings. They do not know anything different and they do not care to stay updated and learn. They just want “easy money”. Well, “easy money” does not exist in SEO anymore.


As a search engine optimizer, one of the most difficult tasks is to stay up to speed with the goings-on in the industry. This is an essential part of the job. When Google makes a major algorithm change, you need to start reading and studying client data so that you can adapt in order to continue to please Google for your customers. So what do SEOs need to do?


Set Phasers To “Learn.”


Now if you are an SEO and you are reading this, do not be insulted. Consider this a call to action. If you are not an SEO, you need to learn this stuff. A great way to start is by reading articles and subscribing to various SEO resources such as MOZ and Search Engine Land. Next, you want to make sure you are tracking all of your keywords and traffic data. A system for noting marketing strategies and changes you make on sites really is an essential tool as this allows you to learn from your own work by correlating your changes in traffic or keyword results. This is just as important as the reading, so stay as detailed as possible.


Tweak Your Brain.


Many often find themselves having difficulty adapting to all the updates and changes because they have been in a robotic state of mind. Let’s face it, much of our existence is based around numbers and data. After a while, it is easy to think of site visitors as just numbers. We need to expand the way we think and remember they are real people. Ask yourself questions like, “How else can I market to this demographic?” or, “How do these people think?” Once you start asking these questions, you can start to profile your markets and expand the way you think about marketing. After you do this, you are ready for the next step.


Smack A Wookie.


Did you like that tag line? This paragraph has nothing to do with smacking wookies, but it does have to do with being creative. You want to be creative when it comes to your marketing. Come up with your own strategies for marketing and avoid copying every strategy you read. A good way to tap into your creativity is to learn how to use Google trend. Google trends can tell you what the hot topics are on the web right now. If you find that your market is similar to one of these topics in any way, you will likely be able to push some good content out on the topic to drive traffic. Avoid spamming at all costs. Look for authorities in your niche and provide valuable content.


You Are Not Fake Ham.


Whatever you do, just do not spam. Make sure you are always providing value to your audience. Write excellent and original content. Once again, be creative. You are not just marketing to machines; you are marketing to real people. Push your content out to all social media platforms, especially Google Plus because that is the only one that really matters for SEO purposes. You are going to want to make sure you become a verified Google author so that you can start gaining author rank. This influences your rankings and will become a more substantial ranking factor in the near future. When you team SEO tools with hard work, you create a result that will have your clients thanking you for years to come.


How Solid Web Builders and Design can Help Boost Your Brand

You may not be aware of this, but crafty marketing and advertising campaigns are not the only means with which you can boost your brand. And you may be surprised by this, but a solidly planned-out web design could mean the difference between a website with high page ranking and large traffic volume, and a website with a low page rank and negligible traffic. In fact, over 70% of large marketing agencies report that they use website optimization on a design and content level to bolster their marketing efforts.


A common misconception with novice webmasters is that a uniquely designed, attention-grabbing website is always preferable to a clean, more intuitive user interface, building on the premise that a website is the online embodiment of a given brand, and, thus, should leave a lasting impression on its visitors (and potential customers).


Though there is merit to this assumption, an over-designed, overly-complicated user interface can not only encumber user navigation, but could also prohibit search engine web crawlers from properly indexing your website, thus decreasing your page ranking and potential traffic to your site.


How can you avoid this conundrum?


  • As previously mentioned, a uniquely designed website may be visually appealing, but may cause some of your site’s pages to remain unindexed. A Clean, intuitive user interface will ensure that both your visitors and the various search engine web crawlers can properly navigate or index (as is the case with web crawlers) your website. Also, recent statisticss report that 40% of visitors will leave a website if it does not load in 3 seconds, so make sure that your site does not involve too many design elements that are heavy on the page load.


  • Keep your content separate from your design elements (i.e. pictures, promo blocks, banners. Your search engine’s crawler cannot index content that is embedded into design elements. Consequently, if you want said content to be indexed, make sure that it also appears separately on the site’s page.


  • If you’re using Flash or Javascript-generated content, create an additional, separate HTML-only version of your website, complete with a properly planned and constructed sitemap, in order to ensure that each and every page, or link, on your site is properly indexed by the search engine’s crawler.


  • Make sure that your website is mobile compatible, as 44% of mobile users claim that they have difficulty in navigating websites via their mobile devices, and 48% of all users claim that, if they happen upon a mobile site that isn’t working, it speaks volumes about the business in question.


  • Finally, if you are using one of the top website builders to build your very own business website, then take advantage of the service’s offered SEO and marketing tools, including search engine directory submissions, advertising credits, traffic tracking and analytic tools. These features are offered to you for a reason and have a proven record when it comes to increasing your site’s traffic.

Tips to Build your Social Media SEO Strategy

Social media is now playing a major role in SEO as search engines are turning to social signals as important criteria for ranking a site. Factors such as how well your brand is engaging your audience, shares, likes, and re-posts of your content are all important to establishing your brand as a trusted source.


Search engines like Google take into account if you are posting quality content that people are interacting with, including the frequency of shares and the authority of those sharing. Even mentions of your brand will be important to an effective SEO strategy that includes social media. Mentions on social media tell search engines that you are an authority figure, your content is authentic, and you are engaging your audience effectively.


So how can you use social media to increase your visibility in search results? The truth is, you don’t have to spend hours a day on social networks to achieve this. You can establish a social presence and increase your brand’s engagement and mentions while doing it in less time than you thought possible. Here are our suggestions on the best social networks for SEO and driving traffic.


Get on Google+


There’s no shortage of articles detailing the SEO benefits of Google+. This network is now one of the top ranking pages for brands in Google search results. It’s worth setting up your business page if haven’t yet already, and spending at least 10-15 minutes per day on the social network. After Page Authority, search engines are highly correlating Google +1s more than any other factor, including Facebook shares, and even keyword usage. If you want to take full advantage of Google+ to optimize your site for search, keep the following in mind to optimize your posts.


  • Remember the first 45-50 characters of your Google+ post will appear as the “title tag”.

  • Each of your Google+ post has its own URL

  • Don’t be afraid to create longer posts, as Google+ posts allows more complex posts and some studies even show a strong relationship between longer posts and higher rankings.


Pin Your Way to the Top


Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks and can be a major referrer of traffic to your site if properly maintained. Unlike most social media channels, Pinterest has the ability to drive non-assisted conversions for your site. Here are some tips to optimize your pinning.


  • Hashtags in your pins’ descriptions will help anchor the pins to a specific subject and make them easier to discover.

  • Always include reference links back to your site in your pins’ descriptions. Make sure you are including a full link, as Pinterest is known to mark pins containing shortened URLs as spam.

  • Make sure you have a “Pin-It” button from Pinterest on your website to ensure your visitors can also do some pinning for you.


Make More Time for Twitter


With one of the largest, most widespread userbases, Twitter offers brands incredible SEO potential. Tweets and re-tweets are extremely powerful social signals, so when your content is shared by many of your followers, the ranking of your content will increase. Here are a few lesser known tips for optimizing your Twitter presence.


  • If you haven’t tried promoted tweets yet, now is your chance to get your content in front of a larger audience and offer them incentives to follow you.

  • Millions of messages are tweeted everyday, so if you want your brand to be heard, you need to find the right times to tweet. There are many free tools out there that can alert you when a topic is trending so you can get in on the conversation.

  • Make your Twitter bio count. Search engines view Twitter bios as a summary and index them constantly. Be sure to include your target keyword phrase and describe your business in an interesting way.


Social media is now critical to your online presence as a business or organization. This new approach to getting search engine attention does work if you focus on dynamic content that will engage your audience and encourage them to share. By providing value and being of value to your audience, social media is one of the best long-term ways to get your brand found in search results.


Why Are You on Facebook? Your social media plan should be fluid and nuanced

Social activity is fluid and nuanced – your social media plan should be, too. Harness social behavior by knowing the difference between brand advocacy and brand outreach


Ask a marketer why they’re on Facebook, and chances are, you’ll hear some variation of, “I need to be where my customers are.” That’s fair and not incorrect. Social media marketers do need to be responsive to the splintering of interest that’s manifested through the myriad of social channels that have emerged. But, the Web is a big place. For every share that happens on Facebook, two more are happening across the web.


Everyone knows that the social Web is more than just a set of destinations. But the flow of brand dollars to individual social channels tells a different story. Billions have been spent building and maintaining brand pages, buying sponsored tweets and the like. That’s fine if you’re trying to build brand advocacy by getting your most rabid fans to pass your message along, but it’s not the most effective way to reach new customers.


To reach the largest possible pool of potential new customers, brands should look across the entirety of sharing and social activity that occurs web-wide and catch people while they’re in the awareness and consideration phase. These are the folks that have specific brand attributes in mind, but haven’t yet settled on anything in particular. They haven’t said, “I’m eating at Wendy’s today.” Instead, they’ve shared content related to eating on the go, value-dining options, hamburger recipes, or any number of other topics adjacent to the brand. And they’re the audience of receptive folks you can tap with brand outreach by keeping the following points in mind.


Your brand isn’t one-dimensional – it’s comprised of many different aspirational values and attributes – and the ways people arrive at it are not one-dimensional. Your biggest fans are not talking about you all the time. But that doesn’t mean they’re not sharing and considering the benefits you offer that lead them to your brand. So take a close look at how specific content engages users: how and where it gets shared and what kind of response and engagement that drives between the user and their social connections. People share different content in different ways and with different motivations on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, etc. – and don’t forget that a large amount of all sharing still occurs through the private channel of email.


How and what people share isn’t one-size-fits-all. So how my friend shares content and how I share content are vastly different, as are the channels we decide to use depending on type of content. People’s sharing behavior is nuanced and fluid, and it differs depending on the topic they’re sharing around. If I’m considering lunch options, I’m more likely to do that in a public forum like Facebook or Twitter. If I’m considering insurance plans, I might choose to share about that in a different fashion. Advertisers should recognize that and build their media plans accordingly.


Throughout the customer life-cycle, different actions are appropriate by the brand with regard to its customers. In the research & consideration phase, content created or sponsored by brands is educational or aspirational. Once a consumer is in-market, the experience should be about specific offers that induce purchase.  Brands can drive clicks to specific sites, offer opportunities to sign-up for newsletters as well as deliver coupons.  Post-purchase, the communication should shift to the customer’s product experience, offering support and ongoing engagement opportunities through social channels like Facebook, Twitter, etc.


The kind of advocacy you see brands seeking on Facebook is distinct from the much larger volume of activity around people sharing thoughts and ideas that aren’t brand-specific. So understand what people are sharing in and around your brand attributes, engage them sooner with brand outreach and be there with your customers as they move from one stage of the customer life-cycle to the next.


Jennifer Hyman is SVP of Marketing at ShareThis, the company that connects audiences to publishers and advertisers through sharing.


Don’t Get Left Behind: Why You Need A Google+ Business page


Editor’s Note: CitizenTekk publishes startups and experts. When we were introduced to Mark Collins, we thought nothing more could be said on the topic of SEO. But apparently, we were wrong. Here’s how to master Google’s recent changes with search ranking. 


Don’t get left behind. Google’s shift from Google Places for Business to Google Plus Business pages is in full swing, as Google+ goes after Linked In and Facebook with one shot.


An estimated 80 million local businesses have the older Google Places for Business listing, that they will need to upgrade to a Google+ Business page to capitalize on the rapidly growing social media aspect that a Google+ profile now offers. (Basically, the existing Google Places for Business page automatically migrates into the Google Plus Local section of the Google+ user’s account profile, upon request. The Google+ Local page is now your local listing, in lieu of the old Google Places page).


Even though the Google Local page allows you to collect +1’s, you still need to create your Google+ business page so you can post content. Also, the business page offers more enhancements like a background profile picture instead of the default Google map, while offering a more glitzy look and feel a well.


Recipe change

It is common knowledge that Google has shifted it’s search algorithm to favor Google+ in local search. The primacy of Google+ is apparent when you combine it with the other web services owned by Google. So, another part of the formula is to use the Google-owned family of sites. You should create a YouTube video, a blog and upload pics to Panoramio with keyword tags and links back to your site. Then, add these as content posts in your Google+ page as well. Result? Your video or blog post will often rank on page one in local search, along with your website, if you follow the rest of the formula.


Content SEO vs SMB SEO

Even if you have a great content SEO campaign going for a national presence, there are advantages to establishing a good old fashioned local web presence. Here’s the gist of the recipe for getting to the top of Google search in your local area:


-Lock down your Google, Yahoo and Bing local business listings through their verification process. This is a commonly overlooked basic step, search engine submission to other sites like and AOL are also recommended.


-Directories, directories, directories


Add your  N.A.P. (name address profile) to as many local business directories as you have the time and energy to do. While backlinks are less relevant in regard to higher level content SEO, they are still a key to driving your site to Google page one search, locally.


Adding your site to Merchant Circle,, Yelp, CitySearch, HotFrog, to and to at least 50 of the hundreds of other local directories is recommended, and worth your time. You must be very careful that your N.A.P. is EXACTLY the same everywhere. For example, your phone number, street address, business name and URL must be matched character by character to be counted in Google’s algorithm. Misspelled or differently typed and spaced listings will not show up.


Finally, some of the larger, established directories are becoming content portals in their own right, so they also offer another venue to post, links articles and content as part of a global campaign.


Google +1 content


Create the basic social media profiles like Google+, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and FourSquare with your N.A.P., then make sure you do posts regularly with a backlink to your site. (Using a free HootSuite  account allows you to blast one post to up to 5 social media accounts). Also, an enhanced Google+ business page allows you to now collect +1’s, which has adds another indirect boost to search rank as +1’s are a way for Google+ plus users to share and recommend your content.


SMB counts


SEO for SMB (Small to Medium sized Business) is it’s own, often overlooked SEO category. Yet creating a dominant local web presence is an inexpensive, yet effective way to increase web traffic, contribute to your overall content strategy, and most important, it could connect you to national clients in your own backyard.


Mark Collins is President of, and specializes in Local Web Presence and Google+ Local SEO Marketing for national firms, small to medium sized businesses and professionals. He enjoys writing web content, developing online media strategy and helping clients define their specific marketing niche and message.