Two of the most effective and popular online marketing strategies are search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click advertising (PPC). While many business make the unfortunate mistake of perceiving these approaches as mutually exclusive, the reality is that these strategies are most profitable when they are pursued simultaneously. Here are 4 of the most essential reasons why it’s important for your business to appreciate the interdependence, and combine SEO and PPC campaigns:
Just like one forwards their snail mail to a new address after moving homes, it’s important to perform a parallel task when one updates the URL of a webpage. If you’re moving your site to a new domain, then it’s crucial that the redirection is done properly in order to remain accessible to your visitors while preserving your webpage’s SEO value. Put simply, a 301 redirect is a technique which allows you to redirect visitors to your updated webpage while retaining its SEO credit.
Due to its distinct benefits over other content management systems (CMSs), WordPress sites are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes. Its ubiquity, though, comes with a downside—WordPress sites are now a more attractive target for hackers and bots attempting to gain access to your database. In order to protect yourself from these vulnerabilities, it’s important to maintain your website by installing the latest updates on a regular basis.
While many businesses view search engine optimization and paid advertising as diametrically opposed approaches to traffic generation, the truth of the matter is that they can be integrated into a cohesive marketing strategy. When used correctly, SEO and paid advertising can complement each other and help a website draw in targeted traffic. Here are 5 key ways in which the two approaches can be used as part of an effective marketing strategy:
Given the competitive nature of today’s business world, there’s little margin for error when it comes to designing your company’s website. The most fundamental choice you’ll have to make is which CMS (content management system) to use, since that will dictate the day-to-day efficiency of your website. Below we’ll compare and contrast two of the leading CMSs: WordPress vs. Joomla.
Search Engine Optimization
If you’ve been hit by a penalty from Google, you likely need to have your manual spam action revoked. We were able to help our client Frank Murch at Signs for San Diego with his manual penalty recovery (you can read how we did it here).
Manual Spam Action Revoked – Testimonial Video:
To Simon at RemedyOne
I want to thank you for the work done on www.signsforsandiego.com
I talked with 6 or 8 companies, 3 of which I have accounts and business dealings with – none of them knew what was happening. Remedy One took this on, and found the bad links that nobody else could.
RemedyOne resubmitted to Google for reconsideration resulting in success!! My time in “Google jail” ended. This action from Google threatened 7 months of work. Without RemedyOne I would have not been able to solve the problem and would have probably abandoned the site.
Of course Remedy One has modern software tools, and a very methodical approach resulting in abilities that could solve this problem, but other firms had that too. RemedyOne had something infinitely more valuable – They had the expertise, knowledge and aggressiveness to figure out the problem and solve it.
I was asked if I would recommend Remedy One – Absolutely!!
A few weeks ago I was approached by a friend with a problem. His small business, Signs for San Diego, had been hit by a Google Manual Penalty or a Manual Action for unnatural inbound links. My friend, Frank, had no idea how this had happened and had already tried to get help from a couple of other sources by the time he and I spoke, and he was really at his wits’ end. We agreed to help him resolve the issue. Here’s what we did:
Step 1: Find the links
The first step in manual penalty recovery is tracking down your bad links. The problem Frank faced was that he didn’t even know what the supposed spam links were! He’s a pretty technologically knowledgeable guy so he’d looked in Webmaster Tools, but he couldn’t find any suspicious links. Thinking it might have been the links from the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, he disavowed those links.
I didn’t think the Chamber links would be a problem to Google, and thought there must be something else up. We fired up our inbound link research tools we use for our SEO clients, and were shocked to see hundreds of links which hadn’t shown up on Webmaster Tools at all.
Step 2: Decide which links are bad and which are good
We copied the links into a Google Docs spreadsheet and began cataloging which links were good, and which were suspicious. We literally visited each one! Some were questionable, some were definitely legit, and some were obviously spam.
We color-coded the links based on our suspicion of them, and included a column to take notes of our actions and what we did.
It’s important to create your spreadsheet in Google Docs and share it to ‘anyone with link’ – the reason for this will be clear later.
Step 3: Track down bad link owners
Using the contact forms or any email addresses on the suspicious link pages, we sent emails and contacts to the site owners. The text was pretty straightforward – “Hi, we noticed you have a link to [URL] with anchor text [anchor text]. Please remove this link. Thank you.”
One of the site owners actually contacted us very apologetically – his domain was simply parked somewhere and he didn’t realize this domain was being used for this purpose. He provided some details that we used to track down some other links.
In fact, they all seemed to be being produced by one company – a text link spinning company. We called them and asked to be removed from their index.
Step 4: Get the links removed!
The company removed the links almost immediately.
Step 5: If any links are left over, use the disavow tool
In this case, there were almost no other links once we had removed the ones created by the link-spinning company. So it was a pretty simple task to disavow the one or two that we couldn’t get to.
Step 6: Notify Google
We submitted a very apologetic, sincere reconsideration request to Google through Webmaster tools. We included a link to a Google Doc (shared publicly) containing a journal of our efforts, as well as the link to the spreadsheet. It’s important to use Google Docs for this so that the person reviewing your case can actually view the file.
Step 7: Wait and see
After about a week, we were notified that the manual penalty recovery was complete – our manual action had been revoked!
In the old days, the focus was all about stuffing keywords into documents and trying similar techniques to get your sites to the top of the search engines. We’re hearing a lot about how ‘SEO is Dead’ in 2014, but it’s far from dead – it’s just changing. Here are our SEO Tips 2014:
The first step is always your site.
Now more than ever, a well-designed website is key to your success. What’s the point of any traffic to your site if you don’t have a clear, well designed site with a clear call to action for your prospects? The search engines are behaving more like people and less like robots – so embrace that! Make your site stand out.
Optimize for your customers, not for search engine bots
As the search engines get smarter and smarter, the old ‘tricks’ and techniques won’t work. You actually have to present high quality value to your customers – and if you do so, you will be rewarded! In the past, some agencies were less than honest in their techniques of link building and keyword stuffing and so on. Now, it’s much more real. Good content equals value and leads to high rankings.
In this way, SEO will just be a part of your overall online marketing campaign. Your advertising, PR and event marketing campaigns provide value to your prospects, right? So should your online marketing. Focus on the content first and the search ranking will follow.
Remember the long tail
With the arrival of Siri and voice activated searches, exact keyword matches are becoming less relevant, and a more conversational style of searching is the focus. So, use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to research other, more obscure keywords. But above all, write naturally and provide value.
When a user visits your site and stays for a long time, they have a low ‘bounce rate’ – an indicator that your content is interesting for them. You can track this using a service like Google Analytics. A great way to provide this interest and keep people on your site is by producing multimedia content like videos. If your videos express something valuable in a funny or interesting way, you’ll be well on your way to lowering your bounce rate.
Don’t forget the old techniques that work
SEO is changing, and times are different, but the old methods of on-page optimization are still highly valuable. Don’t forget about making properly coded pages with a good structure. A good web design company or SEO services company can help you make sure your website design is set up to take advantage of the new search landscape.
In the years ahead the search engines are only going to get smarter. So, take advantage of this trend by smartening up your marketing materials and content.
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