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Planning A Professional SEO Campaign

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SEO Campaign

Guest post by Fadi Azba

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is not a one-time thing. It is an ongoing effort that requires immense attention and hands-on level of involvement.

The entire process begins with careful planning. In order to have a successful SEO campaign, you need to have a good set of SEO plans as well.

Keyword Research

One of the very first things you need to do when you are starting an SEO campaign is figuring out the keywords you will be targeting.

Whether you are using the best SEO services in the country or you want to do your own SEO campaign, targeting the right keywords will help improve the final results greatly.

You can start by finding main keywords to base your SEO campaign on. Once the main keywords are determined, you can start finding derivatives and add location information to the campaign.

For example, targeting keywords such as “home renovation” means you can also target a more specific set of keywords like “home renovation service Alberta”.

It is important to target local keywords, particularly if your main market segments are area-specific. Paired with a country-specific domain name (i.e. .ca or .us) and a country-specific data centre, you can really boost your SEO campaign greatly.

Formulating Your Strategy

The next step is to actually formulate your SEO strategy. First, determine the kind of SEO tools you want to use. Don’t forget to incorporate social media into your efforts; sites such as Twitter and Facebook are great sources of direct traffic and backlinks.

You should also set targets and aim to achieve them. This is especially important if you are working with an SEO agency. Be realistic; you can’t always be at the top of the search results, but you can appear on the first page of the search results almost consistently.

Prepare great content to support your SEO campaign. You can write guest posts, post articles on other SEO intensive websites and update your own Articles section regularly for maximum SEO performance.

You don’t have to do everything yourself. There are a lot of freelancers and SEO agencies that can help you produce great content at affordable rates.

Implement Your Strategy Consistently

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, SEO is about consistency. You cannot expect to be at the top of search results without updating your site regularly, or posting new content on sites with good SEO performance. You also need to maintain good social media presence throughout the campaign.

This is where having an experienced SEO agency can really help. You don’t have to spend as much time maintaining the campaign and can instead focus on improving your site.

Coupled with the fact that today’s best SEO services are very affordable, and you have the perfect solution for running an optimal campaign.

With a good SEO plan in hand, you will have no trouble achieving the objectives you are aiming for. Don’t forget to evaluate your SEO campaign regularly and make changes to the plan as needed. Keep up with the market and stay ahead of the SEO game.

About The Author
Fadi Azba is an experienced entrepreneur and the founder of BlueHat Marketing, a leading Canadian digital marketing firm. Throughout his years of cutting-edge work in the digital marketing, web design and tech start-up fields, he has successfully developed multiple business ventures and become an authority on search engine marketing and optimization.

Where Can You Get Quality Back Links In 2015?

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SEO 2015I’m often asked to do SEO for someone’s site, Facebook page, You Tube video, (which I make for clients as well), and I get asked to build back links to it, or I suggest that back links are needed to rank.

However, the methods I used to use to rank a site on Google are not the same as the ones I use now, and in fact may actually be detrimental.

In this post, I’ll explain what I used to do, or what was the generally accepted way to build back links and get a good ranking, and how that’s changed as of 2015, after the Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird algorithm updates.

What Used To Work Five Years Ago

The things which used to work for SEO five years ago, or even two years ago, are not the same as what works today, although some of those things may still work, and it’s not entirely clear where the line is.

Back links are still important these days, and the quantity is still counted, but the quality and relevance of the links is much more important, and it has to appear natural, and not like an attempt to manipulate the system, or it may work in reverse.

Google has said in the past that they would never punish websites for having too many back links, as this would simply allow a competitor to do reverse SEO on a site to push it out of a search, but they actually have done that, and have been doing that for a while now.

There are new SEO companies springing up that you can pay to ruin the rankings of your competitor’s site, using the same spam link building techniques that they used to use effectively, five years ago.

What am I talking about? Here’s a list of the things that you might have been told to do back then, to get good rankings.

  • Build links from directories, manually, or with software
  • Submit spun or syndicated (copied) articles to auto-approve sites
  • Make links from social bookmarking sites
  • Submit your RSS feed to multiple sites
  • Build free blogs on Blogger, WordPress.com, Weebly, etc
  • Buy links from blogs on blog networks like Build My Rank
  • Submit press releases
  • Do guest posts on any site that will publish it
  • Buy home page back links
  • Post multiple blog comments, perhaps using Xrumer software
  • Post content regularly on your site, even using software to pull other people’s content off the net
  • Make sure to use your keywords thoroughly throughout the page, as about 2-5% of the text and fill your title and description with your keywords

So that’s pretty much a list of what not to do. I can’t stress enough that if you do these things, or hire an SEO who has not changed their approach to SEO, in all likelihood, it will permanently damage your rankings so much, your site will never recover.

Some of these things do work, but the approach needed is not a push button, quick and easy one, it takes hard work, manually making quality content, and seeking only the highest quality, authority links.

What Works In 2015 And Beyond To Get Good Rankings

SEO trendsSo, without saying I know exactly what works and what doesn’t, I have figured a few things out, and heard from experts what does work in the current SEO climate, and bare in mind it is always changing.

The odds are that this page may end up ranking somewhere on the search I’m aiming for, simply because I didn’t bother to make any links to it, except from social media.

Could it really be that simple? No, it’s not simple at all, but Matt Cutts from Google has told web masters to stop focusing on building back links, and to concentrate on making high quality content on their sites.

The idea is that if you make enough good stuff on your site, people will link to you naturally, and from relevant blogs, and as your readership goes up, the social media activity will as well, because people want to share high quality content with their connections.

I don’t spend as much time blogging on this site as I used to, because I have clients who are paying me to blog for them, on secondary sites I built for them, which are linking to their main site.

I also make You Tube videos, Facebook pages, Google Plus pages, and pages on other authority sites which are already ranking well, which means it’s easy to rank with a little bit of help.

Anyway, here’s what I think works well for SEO in 2015:

  • High quality content and lots of it
  • Pages of over 1,000 words, photos, videos, etc
  • Easy to navigate site that is about a particular topic
  • Blog on website so you can publish fresh content at least weekly
  • Social media engagement, tweets, shares, mentions on social media, likes on company Facebook page, Google Plus shares, all natural looking
  • Links from relevant, high quality, authority, natural looking places, looks like they did it, without being paid
  • Guest posts may work, it just depends on the site
  • Directory links may help, if they’re from quality sites

As you can see, there’s a lot of focus on on-page optimization, less focus on the quantity of back links, and more on the quality, of every aspect of what you’re doing.

Social media engagement is right up there, Google has even come right out and said that they are paying more attention to social signals, although the links from social media sites are still no follow, which means they don’t pass on page rank.

Page rank is a massively out of date measurement which really has no correlation with rankings, but people are still offering the same services that have been around since five years ago, so be aware of that.

Links from .edu sites are still good, if they’re real links, made by a university web master to your site because it’s helpful, and you can’t just pay someone to do that, or if you can, it’s likely it’s been spammed to death, and will actually cause lower rankings.

If you have any questions, or would like to hire me to do an SEO assessment of your site, or to do anything to with internet marketing, social media marketing or SEO generally, content production, ad management, etc, get in contact with me, there’s a form in the sidebar.

Thanks for reading.

SEO Content After The Recent Google Updates

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Recent Google updatesThe SEO landscape is changing rapidly and nowhere is this more evident than in the field of content.

As Google continues to refine its algorithms, placing a greater influence on the quality and relevancy of content and links, SEOs must change and adapt to stay ahead of the curve.

Martin Harrison of article writing service Copify discusses some of the recent changes and what they mean for SEO content in 2014 and beyond.

Your content needs to earn links

Gone are the days of being able to pay for the placement of content and reaping the benefits.

Guest blogging, seen by many SEOs as the holy grail of link building has recently been targeted by Google in a crackdown and it appears to be going the way of directories and article directories as an obsolete form of link building.

If you are buying links and Google hasn’t yet cracked down on you, it is only a matter of time before it well.

Today, if you want to be successful at SEO, you need to invest significant time and budget into strong, editorially- sound content that will be naturally linked to, or published on other websites.

Think outside of the box

Article marketing as an SEO tactic has been dead for many years now, yet many SEOs are still producing generic, low-level filler content that hardly pushes the boundaries in terms of imagination.

Today, you need to focus on producing new and innovative forms of content, that are clever and interesting enough to be mentioned and linked to by other people.

Mahi Fx’s You Vs. John Paulson is a great example of how to do this well.

Don’t be a ‘vanilla’ brand

Brands with no personality don’t get exposure. Those that are brave enough to post controversial material will increasingly benefit.

UK bookmaker Paddy Power is a good example of this. The brand famously posts shocking and often offensive material on its social media accounts, a deliberate strategy which is paying dividends.

Their Marketing Director went as far as to say that they are actually disappointed if we don’t get complaints.

You don’t have to be downright offensive, but it does pay to push the boundaries.

Plan ahead

Create a content calendar which features content targeting the key periods in your trading calendar and targeted content for these events. If you are a retail business, this could for example be ‘Top gift ideas for Easter/Thanksgiving/Christmas’ etc.

Planning for this content should ensure that you have the content created prior to the event so you have the time to effectively promote it and take advantage of the subsequent traffic it drives to your site.

Use what you already have

Before you embark on a major content production spree, audit all of your existing content, including web pages, blog posts and any other material that may be of use or interest to people. Make sure that this is evergreen (still relevant today) and put in place a plan to promote this content.

Forget about keywords

The days of ‘keyword density’ are well and truly over now. Mention your targeted phrases in your meta data and header tags where appropriate, but don’t stuff them into the copy in the hope that it will help the page to rank, it won’t.

Answer questions

Google’s Hummingbird update reflects the fact that users are changing the way that they search. Queries are now more likely to be based on questions such as ‘where is the best seafood restaurant in Miami’ rather than generic keywords like ‘restaurants Miami’.

SEOs will win in 2014 and beyond by exploring the potential questions their audience will have and presenting them with the answers.

Sort out authorship

Google Authorship is becoming increasingly common in the SERPs, with more and more results displaying the author’s profile picture next to results.

Linking your site to your Google Plus profile takes just a few minutes and could improve both your rankings and your click-through rate.

Research into the impact of authorship on rankings have been mixed, and it is perhaps a little early to establish whether or not establishing authorship has positive impact.

One thing is for sure, however, with the search giant looking to promote Google Plus and with pages that have authorship having visual prominence over those which don’t, it’s unlikely to do your site any harm.

Budget for promotion

SEOs are increasingly realising that simply producing great content is no longer enough to guarantee success.

Unless you are working with a brand with a huge existing following, you will need to put in place a plan for the promotion of your content through social media and paid promotion.

You need to spend on promoting your content as well as producing it if you want to see any real traction look into platforms like Outbrain and Sponsored Tweets.

Where Is Localised Search Headed In 2014?

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Local Search

Guest post by Brianna Flierl

If you’re a small business owner with a largely local clientele, I’m sure you’d like to know the answer to this question.

The fact is, local SEO is constantly evolving, and new web development tools and landmark updates to search engine algorithms are the root of this.

The way things are going, there’ll be some definite changes to the way we search for a good restaurant or a top-rated auto mechanic.

Like any entrepreneur, your main goal is to profit from your venture. In this technological era, that means adopting a contemporary marketing strategy.

To make this work, you need to get a feel for the direction search is heading to in relation to your local website or social media pages.

Are you ready to see some predictions? Read on!

  • G+ is becoming more integrated into the overall Google search experience. This year, expect to see all of this company’s products merging, held together by Google authorship. So, start ramping up your engagement on the said social network.
  • The value of structured data markup schema for websites will increase. Make sure to “clearly” mark out the following for Google crawlers:
  • Business address
  •  Featured products
  • Consumer reviews
  • There will be a wider roll out of Google Carousel on all local categories, which could have a significant effect on rankings for branded keywords.
  • There will be more focus on social media integration and diversification. Twitter and Facebook are not the only platforms out there to use in promoting local businesses. Entrepreneurs must learn to broaden their horizon and explore the possibility of marketing on mobile apps.
  • In the past, Google has made it clear that users want to see local results for many queries. Both large companies and small businesses should optimise specific elements to obtain better rankings on local SERPS. See the list below:
  • Content
  • Citations
  • Links
  • Offline marketing tactics

Do you own a store in Devon or Bristol, or any other local business in England? You might want to consider engaging the services of a company offering local SEO services in the UK.

  • With the recent launch of Hummingbird, you’ll also need to start investing in better content for your website. This move will help you become more visible on search results pages.
  • Video marketing is also another technique that should be adopted. The web is moving towards a more visual space where videos, images and infographics reign supreme. If you want your brand to remain relevant, take the multimedia route.
  • 2014 could very well mean the end of fake reviews. Online users are now a sophisticated bunch; they can see through testimonials masquerading as publicity tools. Offer quality products and great customer service, and the five star ratings will come pouring in.
  • The number of mobile searches will continue to grow every day. This means more and more consumers are comfortable with purchasing from their tablets or smartphones. Now is definitely the time to create a mobile-optimised website that’s user-friendly to facilitate more conversions.
  • Natural language search will also be big in 2014. Logical queries will take the place of cryptic keywords so it’s important that you consider these when planning your optimisation strategy.

Author Bio:
Brianna Flierl is a freelance writer for Localised Search, a company that offers local SEO services in the UK. With over 25 years of combined experience in the industry, it specialises in creating bespoke local search optimisation strategies for clients.