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The provider of affordable website hosting presents - 8 Essential Factors for Strong Brand Equity

Communication skills, including writing, speaking and listening to and with customers, supply chain members, employees and other stakeholders, are the most important factors in building brand equity.

Brand equity is the premium value that buyers assign to a known brand name, above and beyond the generic features and benefits it offers.

All brand managers strive to achieve brand equity by going beyond necessary levels of customer service, value, reliability or some other attribute that simply ensures parity in a competitive marketplace.

Brands build equity by becoming memorable and readily distinguishable and by developing unique personalities. Marketing campaigns, including mass media and online content creation, can facilitate the creation of brand equity.

Brand equity translates to growing profitability, strong repeat sales and increasing market share. In addition, brand equity also offers the intrinsic characteristic of brand leverage, meaning that consumers assign positive aspects of the brand image to other products carrying the brand name.

The following eight components are needed to develop strong brand equity. Each component relies on the availability and use of strategic thinking and strong communication skills.  

Strategy

A brand must have clearly defined objectives and tactics to achieve its strategy. The branding strategy defines the business a brand conducts, as well as how the brand will enter the market, gain market share and maintain a competitive position among its target market.    

All brands have a life cycle that includes an introduction, growth, maturity and decline stages. However, the duration and lifetime of a brand is influenced by the strength of its strategy.

The longevity of a brand rests on its ability to communicate accurately and professionally; behave ethically; collaborate with employees, intermediaries and final customers; deliver valued differentiation; and create an emotional connection, while capitalizing on the turbulence of the marketing environment.

The soundest brand strategies operate as communication tools that integrate and direct the components of the marketing mix, including questions related to product, place, price, and promotion. Therefore, branding strategies must be simple and easy to understand and communicate.

Communication

Walk into any business and you find workers creating e-mail messages, making presentations, reading trade journals, writing reports and talking on phones. A brand’s success depends on people communicating and working together to accomplish shared objectives. 

Through effective communication, groups of people interact clearly and professionally with suppliers, retailers, government agencies and customers to achieve a common goal. Therefore, a brand must consist of competent writers, speakers and listeners who can facilitate the transition from concept to production, distribution and sales.

Marketing demands that brands be successful communicators that generate compelling content in a language the market understands. Branding also requires the development of a consistent image and style. A brand’s image consists of its logo, color palette, typeface, tagline and common layout.

Whether you undertake branding in a small business or a global conglomerate with thousands of employees, multilingual writing and speaking skills will help you find investors, promote your product, and manage your employees. Strong communication is so critical in branding that it influences each of the remaining factors. 

Awareness

A brand may offer exceptional features and benefits, but unless the marketplace is aware of them, the brand will never generate sales. Awareness relies on strong content marketing strategy to build brand awareness.

It begins by identifying the best online channels for promoting a brand message, establishing engagement goals, developing engaging promotional materials, and measuring the success of the promotional efforts.

Reputation

A brand’s reputation can be built or destroyed online, in person or in print.

When a customer has a negative experience, the situation may be aggravated when that customer writes an online review and the company mishandles the situation with a savage rebuke.

Reputation can also be tarnished when someone representing a brand either by telephone or in person displays disturbing or unprofessional body language or verbal transgressions. Finally, reputation can be harmed through the use of offensive language, incorrect terminology or poor writing skills.

Prior to the Internet, developing a brand reputation, trust and credibility was much more difficult. Today’s world of social media and online business reviews can bring instant fandom or wreak destruction overnight.

When someone types your business’s name into a search engine, your company website should be the first listing they see. Good online reputation management ensures that your brand dominates the first page results with listings you control.

These should include your website, social profiles, entries for Google Places, and news stories. A Wikipedia page and review sites should also be listed in first page results. Monitor the review sites closely to ensure your data is correct. Brand reputation is directly influenced by the quality of your professional communication and relationship management. Your ability to represent your brand positively and handle negative feedback is essential to a positive brand image.

Legal and Ethical Decision-making

Business ethics has become an increasing concern among business leaders. Today ethical awareness and training is widespread. Many businesses have amended their mission statements to include ethical behavior.

With harsher punishments being handed down to businesses, employees recognize that they cannot lie, make false claims, stretch the truth or make half-truth claims. Ethics is such an important subject that rules for ethical behavior must be upheld in communication.

Collaboration

Success relies on collaborating in cross-functional work teams. Many writing projects require collaboration among engineers, marketers, sales representatives, compliance officials and external stakeholders.

Common types of collaboration projects include sales proposals, employee manuals, training handbooks, websites, and marketing collateral and financial reports that require input from multiple departments and disciplines.

Since the increasing complexity of the workplace makes it impossible for one person to have the time and expertise to create detailed documents, business communicators require skills in teamwork.

Value

Value can be thought of as the customer’s desire and utility for a particular product or brand. Powerful brands develop strategic advantages by positively articulating significant points of differentiation in their value proposition.

By differentiating the marketing mix to do a better job meeting customers’ needs, the firm builds a competitive advantage.

When this happens, target customers view the firm’s position in the market as uniquely suited to their preferences and needs. Because everyone in the firm is clear about the position it wants to achieve with customers, the product, promotion, and other marketing mix decisions can be blended better to achieve the desired objectives.

Emotional Bond

In a purely competitive marketplace, a considerable level of parity exists when competing products offer similar levels of reliability, customer service, innovation and price.

Even as brands adopt new features, competitors are quick to adopt them. However, brand success often rests on softer features other than rational comparisons; thus purchase decisions become emotional choices.

The strongest brands have established emotional capital that integrates into their marketing strategies. Emotional capital is built when people choose brands for personal reasons, such as association, sense of belonging or self-expression. Strong brands induce passion, strong sensations and exhilaration. Furthermore, strong brands are trusted and consumers are faithful to them.

Infograpgic source: http://www.24hourtranslation.com/strategies-building-strong-brand-equity.html

Brand equity is the value that makes one brand more preferable than another competing brand. While there are different opinions on the factors that influence brand equity, four commonly mentioned factors are characterized in terms of innovation, exceptional customer experience, transparent values and strong market leadership.

The post 8 Essential Factors for Strong Brand Equity appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | 8 Essential Factors for Strong Brand Equity | 2 May 2016, 6:09 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - You Have Been Doing Content Research Wrong… Now Do It Right!

Alright, so the title of this post might be a little clickbaity for my tastes. But I stand behind the statement: you are probably researching your articles the "wrong" way. Or, you are at least probably not going it as efficiently as you could be… which could be detrimental to both the results of your work, and your overall productivity.

The Stages Of Article Research

Unlike academic research, which we all learn in school and often get bogged down in, online content research is pretty simple. Unfortunately it is that simplicity that can often lead to mistakes, or just bare facts that don’t hold as much detail as our readers could use.

Instead of doing the usual source citation, you should break your research down into two stages. The first is the research you do before, and the second is the research you do during the article writing process.

Pre-Research

Before you write is the pre-research, as in pre-writing. This is where you are going to find your general facts that will support your post. This is also where you are going to draw your primary sources, which will be linked through the body of your content.

I always prefer to follow the 3x rule. You want to find three times as many sources as you will use, and pair them against one another. You keep finding sources in batches of three until you are able to verify each against one another.

This is a simple way to ensure you are finding non-biased, verifiable facts, and not baseless opinions. With misinformation running rampant thanks to lazy bloggers and social media, this is a very important process.

You don’t want to become one of those bloggers posting factual inaccuracies like they are gospel truth. Not only does this add to a serious problem in online content creation, but it impacts your authority. We all know how important that authority is to the growth of a brand.

Your article is going to be broken into sections and subheadings. These will steer your research in many ways giving you more ideas which angles and problems to cover. SERPstat is a great tool letting you research niche questions:

All of these questions may become subheadings of your future article (or inspire follow-up articles). You can export them in Excel and sort them into "existing content", "currently working on" and "future articles".

Supporting Research

Next, you have the research you do while you are creating your post. These are supporting details related to the above citations you have found. It is also where you will narrow down the links you intend to embed, if you don’t choose all three supporting posts.

This part is much simpler, and it more about giving readers additional information to follow. Sometimes I just provide a small masterlist of links for more data if the reader chooses, so I can focus more the quality of the content.

6 Tools To Make Research a Breeze

First Site Guide has a neat guide on how to brainstorm, research and creat different types of content. And here are a few tools to help out:

Google Drive Research Box – I use Google Drive for pretty much everything, including writing and backing up posts. I find it much more manageable than other cloud services. One of the features I love best is the research box. You highlight a keyword or phrase, and right click. It will have an option to research the highlighted section. This brings up a side box with related sources, which you can view right in your screen. Because it uses Google results you have to be just as selective as you would be from a straight search, but it is much more convenient. Freemind – This is a great tool if you are dealing with a large post that is going to have a lot of involved research. Breaking the task down into simpler, smaller parts is a tried and true tactic. Freemind is a mindmapper tool that lets you do that. You can plan out the entire post, including linking sources so everything you need ends up in one place. All using a template that lets you easily move, edit and reformat before you ever get to the writing process. Bulk Suggest Tool – You may be wondering what an SEO tool is doing here. After all, this is about researching for articles, not for marketing. I would argue that they are technically in the same vein, but that isn’t why I included it. I have used this bulk keyword suggestion app to create lists of related key phrases I may not have thought of. This helps me to broaden my research based on what people have published or searched for online. So I may end up with sources I never would have found, because I wasn’t using the right combination of keywords. Digital Research Tool (DiRT)  – This is a fantastic masterlist of tools aimed at scholars, especially those in the social science and humanities. However, I think it is a great place for bloggers to find research tools they need for any number of purposes. They are broken down into categories, which you can select on the front page. You are then taken to the tool that is best for the job at hand. It is the best collection of research redirects I have ever found, and much more efficient than trying to keep track of everything on your own. Quora – Normally I would avoid social media like the plague when it comes to research. There is just too much garbage floating around, and opinion outweighs facts and logic at almost all times. But I will make an exception for Quora. In spite the fact that it is a platform that is very easy to abuse, it is full of genuine experts with backed up information. It requires you to offer well thought out answers, and to provide a source or reason for your knowledge. I go there all the time to find great links to scholarly articles, studies, website tools, or to get first hand soundbites from major players in the industry that know about topics first hand. MyBlogU – Speaking of experts, MyBlogU is another great place to find them. I usually go here for expert quotes as part of the secondary research process (finding backup information and supporting details). It is an easy way to add further gravity to something you have already officially cited, straight from the mouths of the people who know best.

Do you have a research tool to put on the list? Let us know in the comments!

The post You Have Been Doing Content Research Wrong… Now Do It Right! appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | You Have Been Doing Content Research Wrong… Now Do It Right! | 24 Apr 2016, 1:33 am

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - What Does Google’s Travel Update Mean For The Industry?

Google Introduces A New Travel Update, But Will It Affect SEO?

Changes to Google’s destination search has got the travel industry in a spin, but does it really affect the way we do SEO?

It seems as though a week cannot pass by without another report about a major change at Google that has the potential to shake up the establishment. At first glance, the latest in a long line of such announcements looks set to hit a bunch of travel related sites right where it hurts most, in the pocket. But is that really going to be the case? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are The Changes?

Late in January 2016, Google announced changes to the way its mobile search interface would look with regard to travel information. Dubbed as Trip Planning, searchers looking for info on terms such as ‘where to go in Mexico’ or ‘Mexican destination’ will now be served with Google-controlled content rather than the standard organic results of old.

This is triggered by a knowledge-graph result that summarises relevant information into neat little boxes listed above the normal search results. The fear is that this new addition to the now four-year old knowledge-graph that everyone has grown used to will further demote organic placements whilst promoting sites that Google want to receive clicks – namely AdSense paid search material.

Will This Harm User Experience?

The jury is still out on this one, but the majority seem to be swaying towards an enhanced UX rather than an unwanted nuisance for those looking to make a straightforward search. For digital publishers, however, the response is likely to be a little different, but it’s not as much of an attack on the little man as it may first appear.

Who’ll Be Affected?

As we touched upon above, it’s likely to hurt the big players in the travel industry rather than the smaller travel blogs out there. Sites such as Lonely Planet, Yelp, Trip Advisor, huge news corporations and the larger travel sites are likely to be worst hit by these changes. These brands have totally dominated the destination search market for a long, long time, and this shake up is going to come as somewhat of a shock.

For those with smaller sites, however, the impact is likely to be minimal at worst. Think about it, if you’re not already ranking for top-tier keyword terms such as ‘where to go in Thailand’, what have you got to lose?

Travel companies and airlines may see a change in number of referrals coming from Google and this could hit profits. Some airlines and package holiday companies work very hard behind the scenes on complex digital marketing campaigns that help improve their search positions. This change has the potential to turn the industry on its head. In January 2014 we reported how one Google update saw Expedia dramatically lose traffic from Google. However, a drop of traffic from Google of around 25% was not enough to cause a major drop in revenue, and Expedia share prices continued to rise.

What Does This Mean For Google?

Naturally, Google is on to a winner with this move as more clicks on paid advertising means more money for the company. The change will also make Google’s other products more prominent too, pushing the likes of Google Maps and YouTube to the fore every time someone searches for these short-tail terms.

Until the changes have full rolled out we cannot really predict the long-term effects, but once again, Google is controlling how we obtain information from the Internet, and to some extent, who will win and who will lose.

The post What Does Google’s Travel Update Mean For The Industry? appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | What Does Google’s Travel Update Mean For The Industry? | 18 Apr 2016, 4:30 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - How To Get Your Website Up To Speed With AMP

Google aims to speed up mobile Internet access. How AMP websites speed up the loading of web pages to reflect increased mobile use of the Internet. The factors to be aware of when creating AMP pages.

Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is, as its name suggests, designed to improve web searches conducted on mobile devices by making pages load faster. With more and more people using their mobiles to access the Internet, Google wants to make sure the ‘mobile web experience’ is a good one.

Before the unveiling of AMP in October 2015, Google released a significant algorithm update focussing on a given website’s ‘mobile friendliness’ in terms of loading and rendering; this plays a large part in determining how high it ranks in search results. AMP takes this a step further for the search giant, and competes with other mobile web options such as Apple News and Facebook’s Instant Articles.

What is AMP?

AMP isn’t simply an app or business partnership in the way that Instant Articles or Apple News are; it’s a whole new way of creating web pages and effectively changes the mobile web. In effect, it is said to be changing the way the web is constructed by marginalising some technologies and advancing others.

Some web technologies that slow page loading down, such as JavaScript, are tightly controlled with AMP pages – a ‘library’ of JavaScript available from Google is the only type that can be used to create AMP pages, for example.

The general aim is to remove the ‘slow’ parts of the overall HTML. The result (at least so far) is plainer looking web pages, and some critics say it’s like looking at web pages from over twelve years ago.

This has an implication for advertising as most ads are created from third party web tools.

Open source

AMP is open source so publishers don’t have to use it, but due to Google’s dominance in Internet search it’s likely that AMP pages will rank well (at least for mobile friendliness). Consequently, web designers creating sites where organic search is important could well find themselves compelled to create AMP versions of web pages.

Creating your AMP pages

In effect, you or your web designer will be designing two versions of many of the web pages on your sites – some of the pages will be AMP with non-AMP pages running ‘side by side’. Because of the JavaScript restrictions and other constraints, forms, on-page comments and other features commonly used on web pages will be tightly controlled.

Site templates to accommodate AMP restrictions will likely need rewriting, and multimedia will have to conform to certain criteria of height and widths amongst others using AMP specific tools. For example, when embedding a YouTube video, a specific AMP YouTube component has to be used.

You’ll also need to modify the original non-AMP version of your pages to allow Google and other technologies supporting AMP to detect the Amp version of the page.

Google have said that it won’t automatically rank AMP pages higher than non-AMP ones, but has made no secret of its policy of rewarding faster loading pages with potentially higher rankings.

Caching

Another way AMP loads pages faster is by Google caching them – they ‘serve’ the page to the searcher from their servers rather than the website host’s. This is optional; a website’s AMP pages don’t have to be cached by Google.

The effect on advertising

How will ads be affected? Since virtually all ads are created using third party web tools, then not only the ads but much of the analytics has to be put to one side with AMP pages. While no ad network provided JavaScript can be run within an AMP page, a separate frame is loaded containing the ads and the creator’s JavaScript.

So far, only five advertising networks – four of which are owned by Google, AOL and Amazon – are supported, although any network can join. Presumably, so long as certain guidelines are met.

Overall

While faster page loading for an increasing part of web search – mobile – is a good thing, it’s argued that a technology company such as Google is taking yet more power from web publishers. The idea that it may be a case of having to follow a certain way is considered by some to be a throwback to the time when Microsoft dominated the browser market with Explorer.

The post How To Get Your Website Up To Speed With AMP appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | How To Get Your Website Up To Speed With AMP | 6 Apr 2016, 3:57 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Has Your Social Media Content Been Stolen? Legal Tips on What to Do Next

Editor’s note: In the light of big news coming up of Facebook pioneering war against social media identity theft, we thought this piece by SEOchat contributor was very timely. Enjoy!

Social media has become the top way for brands to increase awareness of what they’re doing, from promoting new products to interacting with customers. Experts encourage entrepreneurs to regularly post high-quality content in the hopes followers will share it across their own networks.

This means spending hours developing insightful updates, linking to your own great blog posts, and sourcing images from stock photo sites.

After putting all of this work into your content creation efforts, it can be even more disturbing to find your information posted on another site. It may even be a competing business’s blog or an industry magazine. Even if the site credits you as the author of the work, using your content without compensating you for it is a violation.

“There are several situations where social media content can be stolen,” says Robert May, founding attorney at The May Firm. “Increasingly publications are using social media posts as part of their news stories, as seen here. When they get permission first, it isn’t a problem.

Unfortunately, less professional sites fail to get that permission. Sometimes a site uses an original photo or copies a blog post that has been linked on social media. In more extreme instances, a business owner may find a fake account has been set up using his own name and likeness.”

Whatever the type of theft, it’s important to act quickly to make sure the content is removed. Here are a few steps you should take if you find your social media content has been stolen. Step One: Make Contact

Before doing anything, send a friendly email politely asking that the content be removed. Don’t use forceful language in this initial contact. Simply state the action you would like to have taken as a result of the letter. If you want the content removed, ask politely that they do so within a certain number of business days.

If you are agreeable to being compensated for your content, state the price and offer removing the content as an alternative. Hopefully the offender will remove the content and send a letter of apology for the inconvenience. If not, wait the stated number of days before taking further action. If the content was posted on a site by an employee of an organization, take your complaint further up the chain before checking into outside options. Step Two: Check the Terms of Service

While you’re waiting, carefully review the terms of service on the social media site where your content was originally posted. Facebook allows you to report copyright infringements using this tool, while Twitter’s tool is here.

Both are products of the Digital Millennial Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1996 to protect copyright holders from online theft. You may also want to check into the policies of the website where the content is posted, since they’ll have their own copyright infringement notification procedures. DMCA Takedown Notice

In addition to the tools offered on various social media sites, copyright holders can also have content taken down using a DMCA Takedown Notice. You’ll need to determine the Internet Service Provider hosting the site where the content is posted and direct your letter there.

After an investigation, you’ll often find that the content is removed without having to wait for the person who posted it to respond. DMCA charges for the service through its site, but you can craft a letter for free using the instructions provided on the National Press Photographers Association site. Contact an Attorney

When other recourse has failed to bring action, it’s time to seek legal assistance. Although attorneys will charge an hourly fee to help with copyright infringement, often content can be removed through a cease and desist letter. Such a letter packs a heavy punch when it comes from a law office.

If for some reason that letter doesn’t achieve results, however, an attorney can go through the courts to have a cease and desist order placed on the content, which requires that it be removed.

Having your content stolen can feel like a violation. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to let offenders know that you won’t allow your photos and text to be used for free. By having tools in place to use in the event your content is stolen, you’ll be prepared to take action if it ever happens.

The post Has Your Social Media Content Been Stolen? Legal Tips on What to Do Next appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | Has Your Social Media Content Been Stolen? Legal Tips on What to Do Next | 31 Mar 2016, 4:35 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - How Infographics Can Improve Your SEO!

In the highly visual business world of today, the infographic (or infographics) that you use can make the difference between your online visibility and the stagnation of your marketing efforts.

Here are just a few of the ways in which using the right infographic(s) improves your search engine optimization (SEO) endeavors.

Danny Todd (a.k.a. “Cleveland SEO Guy”) defines infographics this way, “Infographics are cleverly illustrated, colorful, easy-to-read, and often vertically-oriented images, showing charts, graphs, figures, and other useful information.

Chances are that you’ve seen a few in the last week. Though written content should be the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy, don’t underutilize infographics. They have their advantages.”

Quick Observations of an Effective Infographic

Let’s take a look at the infographic to the left, to get us going on the topic of infographics. It is called the “Top 5 Male Athlete Hairstyles (Infographic)” and it is an infographic by the team at Men’s Hairstyles Club.

What can we learn by looking at this infographic? Infographics can be made to share any message or topic. I mean, would you have thought of hairstyles for men? Infographics can be long and vertical. (They can also be wide and horizontal!) In other words, infographics can come in many sizes and shapes. Infographics tend to include text and additional images (and sometimes statistics or how-to steps, like this one does).

Benefits of Infographics (to SEO Endeavors)

So, what is the big deal with the SEO benefit(s)? Glad you asked! That is what we are presenting in the rest of this article!

And, it includes some expert tips from those “in the know.”

Benefit 1: Make the ranking process easier. Get your page listed in the “image search” of search engines. You don’t have to be limited to only the default text search.

The Google image search is just as powerful as the text search, and people will be able to find you on two lists instead of just one.

The image database is generally smaller (as compared to text search), meaning that you automatically put yourself in a better position by even using images in the first place. If the images are relevant, you have an even better chance at doing well in the search engine(s).

Let’s not forget about Bing image search. After all, there is not only “one” game in town when it comes to searching the web.

According to Janette Speyer (Partner at Web Success Team and Hot Ice Media), “If you use Google, you have the option to search for images. Once you put alt tags, keywords, and titles on your infographics, your blog will be more easily found [in the image search].

If your blog gets very little traffic, you have the advantage of [using] the images (infographics) to make up for it.” Hopefully, this moves you up to where you need to be in the ranking! Benefit 2: Benefit by social interaction (and the resulting SEO ranking). Gain visual recognition with your potential viewer. This leads to interaction which leads to better rankings.

As a part of that interaction, give the audience (people) something to talk about, which is the name of the game for a really well-constructed infographic.

According to David Leonhardt (President, THGM Writers), “SEO is highly dependent on the perceptions of online ‘publishers.’

By publishers, I mean anybody from the New York Times to my uncle, when he posts to Facebook. Every time a company is mentioned in an article or in a tweet, it helps the SEO effort. Infographics give people something to talk about, or from an SEO perspective, a reason to talk about you.”

The major search engines are constantly determining the relevance of your content by the human reaction to it. Pictures ensure that more people interact with the content.

This is simply a fact because people react and interact with media. (Remember the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?”)

On the topic of social sharing and delivering the message, Danny Todd says, “For one, they stand out amidst a sea of text. Website visitors can quickly differentiate between an ordinary picture and an infographic.

Using them just often enough keeps things interesting. They also make it easy to compress and simplify what might otherwise be exceedingly complex information, reducing extraneous details and distilling the crucial facts into an easy-to-understand format.

If your infographics are relevant and informative (as all your content should be), they’re likely to be shared on social media.”

The human interaction (and reaction) pushes your content up in the search engine listings. It also gives you more organic click-throughs, a statistic that will help your ranking improve even more, in the long run. Benefit 3: Gain the ability to use more tags. Pictures can have tags just as easily as any other content. This option helps those of you who want to raise the count of a certain keyword on your webpage without turning what could have been an excellent article into a keyword-soaked piece of worthless dribble. How? Include infographics!

By doing this (including an infographic), you may then use the tags that are inherent in the picture as another excuse to put the keyword on your page. Google and the other major search engines will recognize this as a valid use of your keyword and associate your page more readily with it. The more easily that your page connects with a keyword, the higher your search ranking goes.

Helpful Tips from the Experts When asking our Expert Panel what else they would recommend, regarding infographics (beyond just SEO), they gave us the following tips. Keep It Simple (Content)

According to David Leonhardt, “Keep it simple. If you want people to talk about you, give them something simple that they will understand.

Don’t try to create the longest Infographic of the ‘Everything about…[such and such]’ variety. Assemble a few pieces of interesting data that are tightly related, to form a single idea.”

Keep It Easy (Production)

David Leonhardt continues, “The design does not have to be fancy, either. My most successful Infographic ever was made in a simple table format that I had whipped up on Fiverr. It will never win a beauty contest, and just might be in line to enter an ugly contest (but it looks better on Slideshare).

The key to its success is that the idea is simple and captivating, and people have been sharing it ever since.”

Gain Exposure for Your Brand

According to Danny Todd, “Content marketing with infographics has grown rapidly in recent times, with little sign that readers are growing tired of them. The ability to condense a lot of information into a simple graphic makes them easy to follow, but the infographics can still impart well-researched knowledge.

For the content creator, an infographic can spread across the web, providing branding and SEO benefits that can last long into the future. Businesses that ignored the trend will be wondering whether they should get started with infographics now. Read more…”

Janette Speyer offers this tip: “I also share my images on authority websites like Instagram, Pinterest, and more. This gives me more opportunities to be found. The ultimate goal is for people to see my blog, right? Any way you can post or syndicate those images will increase your chances of being seen.”

Expert Panel

Wondering who these experts are? Wanting to find them so that you can follow them on social media and learn more amazing tips?

Well, you’ve arrived at the right place. Here is a short listing of their biographies and social media links, for your convenience. This was made easier through the use of the wonderful online tool, MyBlogU. Thanks, MyBlogU!

David Leonhardt (President, THGM Writers)

Infographics have never been central to my SEO efforts. But I have created (well, supervised the creation of) at least a dozen Infographics in my day.

These have covered fields as diverse as tech, housing, and fertility. Done properly, Infographics can be an effective form of content marketing.

Twitter: twitter.com/amabaie LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/davidleonhardt Website: thgmwriters.com

Danny Todd (a.k.a. the Cleveland SEO Guy)

I am known as the Cleveland SEO Guy. I started in the SEO business in the 1990s when it was a far less complicated industry. Over the years, I’ve formed relationships with some of the leading SEO experts in the business.

In doing so, I’ve learned SEO secrets that very few in the SEO services business actually know. This is why I consistently rank sites in the top 10 results on Google for competitive terms, while some of my competitors struggle to achieve top 100 listings.

Twitter: twitter.com/clevelandseoguy LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/the-cleveland-seo-guy Website: clevelandseoguy.com

Janette Speyer (Graphic Artist)

I started my career as a graphic artist. In early 2000, I merged my business into the digital space. At that time graphics were not searchable, so we avoided them like the plague. As more social media platforms made their way into the world, images became not only a must but a necessity.

I took to adding infographics to my blogs for those that wanted just a quick visual of what I was writing about at the time. I developed many graphics and used social media to bring more traffic to my website. The images boosted my traffic by a good thirty percent (30%).

Twitter: twitter.com/websuccess LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/web-success-team Website: hoticemedia.com

Conclusion In short, use infographics whenever you can in your presentations online. You gain credibility with your audience and with the major search engines! Your content is more easily found, and you will improve your overall online marketing ROI (return-on-investment) simply by formatting your research in this way.

The post How Infographics Can Improve Your SEO! appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | How Infographics Can Improve Your SEO! | 30 Mar 2016, 3:54 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - 15 Famous Bloggers Share Their Best SEO Helpers

How to make your blog successful? Of course, quality content and the blogger who runs this blog. But we should include our own set of tools and services that help you stand out. I am, as a blogger, always searching for valuable tools that can make my job much easier.

I decided to ask 15 famous bloggers about their favorite tools and I am interested to share their lists of tools with you here.

Vick Parchani

Vick Parchani is a marketing specialist and founder of Magicdust Pty Ltd. You can contact him at Twiiter @ magicdust.

Here is the answer: Moz Pro tools For ranking – Rank Watch For back link analysis – Ahrefs Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider is a co-founder of blogger outreach software NinjaOutreach and manages his own blog called as Selfmadebusinessman about a successful online business. You can find him at Twitter @ SelfMadeBM.

Here is the answer:

The must have tools I use to manage my campaigns are NinjaOutreach, Google Docs, and HootSuite.

Sue Anne Dunlevie

Sue Anne Dunlevie is a website owner of Successful Blogging and a blogger who helps beginning bloggers make money online and get a success online with their blog. You can connect with her at Twitter @ SueAnneDunlevie.

Here is the answer:

I’m a huge follower of Backlinko.com and have taken Brian’s "SEO That Works" course and wrote up my own case study here on how I increase my traffic by 300%.

I also build quality links with fellow bloggers through blogger outreach. And I make sure to do on-page SEO tactics like this infographic explains.

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is a founder of TechTricksWorld and has been blogging since 2010. You can find him at Twitter @ atishranjan.

Here is the response:

When it comes to SEO helpers, I mean SEO tools, I am very selective in this regard because we cannot trust each and every tool that we find on internet.

Here are 3 SEO Helpers of Atish:

Long Tail Pro (LTP): I don’t see any other tool for keyword research when I have LTP. It is more than amazing to do extensive keyword research and beating the competition. I use LTP every day. Ahrefs: When it comes to link analysis of a site, I cannot find any tool better than Ahrefs. I use it to analyze my own blog’s links, and even I use it for analyzing the competitors’ sites as well. SE Ranking: I have been using SE Ranking for more than 6 months now, and I am very much impressed with its reporting. I mainly use it to keep a track of the keywords ranking of my blogs. I have just set the keywords and search engines, and I get updates in my email in the form of a PDF file with detailed report. Razvan Gavrilas

Razvan Gavrilas is the Founder & Chief Architect of cognitiveSEO & BrandMentions, tools to help you monitor, research and improve your digital marketing. Razvan has over 15 years of internet marketing experience and has improved the digital marketing strategy for both small businesses and large enterprises. You can find him at Twitter @ razvan_gavrilas.

Here is the response:

" One of our strategies at cognitiveSEO is to publish amazing content on our blog and on others.

To do this correctly, it’s important to understand what type of content works in our niche at a specific moment in time. One technique I use to generate ideas is to track the fresh content that appears on the web. Let’s take the example of "content marketing". I track this topic on a weekly basis.

I focus on the most shared posts.  Using this method I can understand what the market is looking for at a specific moment in time. This method helps me to generate new & relevant content ideas.

One I identified the successful content I try to create better & remarkable content on the identified subtopic. For tracking fresh topic mentions I use Brand Mentions. ( it’s great for tracking our brands mentions also ). After I publish the new post I track it’s efficiency over time. I use sharedcount.com for tracking the shares of all my posts (most useful on guest posting where you do not have access to traffic data). This can be automated using Google Sheets and their API in order to extract the counts every-time you look into the sheet. It’s also important to do A/B testing to increase visitor satisfaction and decrease bounce rates. For this I use Marketizator.

For Twitter outreach I use ContentMarketer.io. It’s helpful when I have to outreach to more than 10 people because the manual process is time consuming.

The last but not the least: I massively use cognitiveSEO ( eating my own dog food ) to track the evolution of the link profile, the rankings and the content on our site. I stay up to date with critical SEO issues that might appear for our sites with the email alerts that the system generates."

Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, copywriter, content marketer and business blogger of Kikolani.  She helps creating high-quality blog content, ebooks and web copy for your business. You can connect with her at Twitter @ kikolani.

Here is the answer:

I’m loving Impactana lately! It’s the fastest way to find the most popular content for outreach purposes in terms of social popularity, link authority, and traffic. It also helps when I’m looking for great places for my ghostwriting clients to guest posts as I can assure them they are truly authoritative sites all around.

Simon Kloostra

Simon Kloostra is a web designer, SEO specialist and website owner of Joomla SEO. He provides SEO Audits for Joomla sites. You can contact him at Twitter@ simonkloostra.

Here is the answer:

My favourite tool is the Search Analytics part of Google Search Console, as it already helped me discover keyword opportunities that I would never have thought of myself. Sorting the tool on Impressions often brings up very interesting keywords that you already rank for without actual clicks yet. Some simple improvements on the page or metadescription can already significantly increase CTR then.

Another great tool I like is Onpage.org. I often perform technical SEO audits for clients and Onpage really helps me to find the most serious issues around this. Of course I also still use Screaming Frog SEO Spider for this, like almost anyone in the SEO field.

As an overall SEO tool I like SEMRush, as it helps me find information about keywords, but also quick domain overviews, while they also offer Technical SEO Audits and Rank tracking.

For dedicated rank tracking I also recommend SEranking, as it tracks rankings very accurately in multiple search engines on a daily basis. Especially the option to re-check on request is very nice for projects that I am focussing on.

Adam Connell

Adam Connell is the founder of Blogging Wizard and a marketing director at UK Linkology. You can find him at Twitter @ adamjayc.

Here is the answer:

SEMrush – This tool manages a lot of different tasks, but it’s competitor research functionality is excellent. It tells you exactly which keywords your competitors are ranking for. BuzzStream – If you want to manage outreach campaigns, this tool will do it. It’s perfect for teams or individuals. Strangely, I find it works equally well as a CRM and it fits my workflow better than any other regular CRM tool. Ahrefs – Backlinks are still a big part of SEO. With Ahrefs you can do a lot more than finding which backlinks are pointing to a website/specific page. There’s now a big cross over between SEMrush, but I still prefer Ahrefs for checking backlinks & SEMrush for site auditing & keyword research. Jordan Kasteler

Jordan Kasteler is a digital marketing strategist, social media marketer, speaker and blogger of Jordan Kasteler site. You can connect him at Twitter @jordankasteler.

Here is the answer:

SEMRush – for organic ranking history SpyFu – for Paid Ad intel Majestic – for link Intel Linkdex – for client reporting Screaming Frog – for site crawl intel URL Profiler – for various site intel BuzzSumo – for social share and influencer intel Wayne Barker

Wayne Barker is the head of Boom Online and specialist at SEO, analytics and link building. You can connect him at Twitter @ wayneb77.

Here is the answer:

Day to Day

Liquid Planner – this is where we keep all clients work organised across the entire company. It goes that little but further than basecamp or asana, it helps us track time and keep clients on budget and staff at the right levels of work. Trello – we use this for more specific campaign management, that might be a content calendar or tracking technical changes to a site. Buzzstream  – organising contacts for outreach is a mammoth task and Buzzstream is the bees knees for this. Advanced Web Ranking – despite what you may have heard rank tracking is still super important and AWR has it nailed. In the last year that have added loads of features that make it essential including research functionality similar to SEMrush.

More recent additions:

Botify – this is like Screaming Frog on speed in the cloud. Incredible software for identifying and isolating technical issues. You can crawl on set dates and compare crawls. You can set up segments for each of your sites so that you can identify problems in certain areas. Brilliant. Sistrix – the original visibility tool and one that we have only recently added to our toolbox. Quickly becoming essential for finding canonicalisation issues, ranking issues, market visibility, competitor research and pitching. Joe Williams

Joe Williams is the founder and Chief SEO Trainer for Zen Optimise. You can connect him at Twitter @zenoptimise.

Here is the answer:

Technical

Google Analytics and Google Search Console: ideally these should be linked together and this helps in identifying the "low hanging fruit" keywords which you already rank in the first two pages but not in the top three positions. Screaming SEO Spider: great for doing a technical SEO audit. Although I find the Inlinks and Levels particularly useful as you get an idea of how link juice is flowing around a website. Yoast SEO WordPress plugin: if you use WordPress it just makes your SEO life easier and it has many feature updates enhancing it further.

Keywords

Semrush: I’ve been a long time fan and have written an in-depth Semrush review before. I love the competitor keyword research it offers and if you can afford the Guru package, the historical keyword ranking data can be a god send for diagnosing SEO penalties for client work. Positionly: a keyword ranking tool. It’s not the cheapest or most expensive but it has a good level of features while maintaining an Apple like level of simplicity.  Google Keyword Planner: if I could only have one tool for keyword research, it would have to be this tool. You have to think creatively to get the most out of it and not just rely on keyword ideas from a few seed keywords.

Content and Social

Buzzsumo: with so many backlink analysis tools it surprising one wasn’t created for content and social shares earlier. This tool is great for researching successful content marketing campaigns and identifying key influencers in your industry.   Buffer: a simple but effective free way of sharing content with your social followers. IFTTT: it’s great for social media and content marketers because it can post, save and do lots of clever things with content on all of the major social platforms.

Backlinks

Open Site Explorer: more aimed at beginners and intermediate level SEOs but I often find myself using it for light backlink analysis research because it’s so easy and quick to use. I also find its Page Authority and Domain Authority generally pretty accurate and useful. Majestic SEO: if I need to go more in-depth for backlink analysis, this is my go to tool. Ahrefs: much more than just a backlink analysis tool these days but close on Majestic’s heels as one. I don’t believe there will ever be an all in one SEO tool that is great at everything, but Ahrefs is trying to to prove me wrong and is having some pretty good success in doing so. Definitely one to keep an eye on if you’re not already. Brittany Berger

Brittany Berger is the Content and PR Manager at Mention. You can connect here on Twitter at@bberg1010.

Here is the answer:

My favorite tool for managing campaigns is BuzzStream. At least for me, the hardest part of the campaign is keeping track of everything once we’re in the thick of it. Keeping straight who’s responded, who hasn’t, who said ‘no,’ who we need to follow up with, etc.

So our content team uses it as a CRM/contact manager for all marketing outreach – from linkbuilding to planning webinars. Since it’s built for marketers, it has features specifically for tracking SEO and content, which is really nice, and a Chrome plugin makes it really convenient.

Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson is a well-known entrepreneur and online marketer with nearly 20 years of experience and runs his own blogs like Blogging and Zac Jonson.

Here is the answer:

Three must have tools that I use for nearly all campaigns and websites are:

LongTailPro – Great for quick reports on keywords I might not already be targeting, while also keeping an eye on the competition. SEMRush – A wide range of tools underneath one platform. Great for picking out keyword movement, keeping an eye on the competition and also for running SEO site audits. MonitorBacklinks – Another advanced tool for keeping your competition under the microscope and seeing where they are creating new backlinks. Also good for your own link management as well. Chris Evans

Chris Evans is a trained SEO and marketer who blogs for a living. He runs his marketing website Passiveresidualincomeideas.

Here is the answer:

My two main tools that I use on daily basis are Jaaxy and Scrapebox, they cover all my SEO and research needs. On occasion I use Google Trends to see what ideas are proving to be popular in my chosen niche – always full of good ideas if you are hitting writer’s block. 

I don’t opt to use any of the ‘online’ autoresponders as they tend to be a little bit too fussy these days with links etc. Instead I have been using Atomic Mail Sender run off my own SMTP server over the last year and I can’t find any complaint with it!

For social media campaigns I always use Buffer – for such a small monthly fee you can’t really go wrong and once again, they have never let me down. 

And finally WordPress – all my sites are built on this website builder. The choice of themes and plugins are second to none in my book. 

That’s it really! That’s all I need to run my online businesses successfully. I do also use the more typical services like Google Analytics and Adsense but I didn’t think it was worth mentioning them ( everyone uses them! ) 

Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is a digital marketing specialist, speaker and the co-founder of  E2MSolutions.com or MoveoApps.com.

Here is the answer: Ahrefs.com – I use their site explorer quite often to analyze backlinks profile of any website. Moz Tools – All the tools by Moz are fantastic and I do use Open Site Explorer, Moz Analytics, Fresh Web Explorer and Followerwonk on a regular basis. They all help in easing my analysis and data research process for different types of work I do. AdvancedWebRanking.com – This is my go-to resource to track rankings of all the campaigns I look after. Very user friendly and I’m in love with their interface. BrandWatch.com – This helps me staying updated with all of my personal mentions on the web and the mentions about my companies as well.

These are my top four tools but at E2M we use multiple tools to execute our clients’ campaigns smoothly. I wrote a post about it which can be found here.

Conclusion

There you have it! This is quite a huge post with the best helpers used by SEO experts. I want to thank everyone who helped to create this list of awesome SEO tools.

Let’s quickly review the best SEO tools according to the recommendations of our professionals.

Now your turn.  Do you find any SEO tools helpful? Could you recommend anything better? Please, feel free to share your point of view below.

The post 15 Famous Bloggers Share Their Best SEO Helpers appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | 15 Famous Bloggers Share Their Best SEO Helpers | 17 Mar 2016, 1:30 pm

The provider of affordable website hosting presents - Google Boosts AMP News Pages – Are You Ready For Stage 2?

AMP Is Now Live For News Stories

Accelerated mobile pages have now been launched in Google mobile search results for news items. Prepare for stage 2 by creating AMP pages for your own site.

Google has surprised the industry by launching AMP in its search results a day earlier than expected. Accelerated Mobile Pages are now visible in some of the news listings when conducting a mobile search. This means that if you go to Google Mobile and type in a popular news story that you’re searching for, then you will see a handful of headline suggestions and some will have AMP written next to them. This is the indicator for a page that is written in AMP.

Impatient Mobile Users

Google reports that 40% of mobile users will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. As the average mobile page takes 8 seconds, this is clearly a problem for the impatient mobile user of today and for site owners who are trying to attract their attention.

What Are Accelerated Mobile Pages?

The open source AMP project was designed by Google to counteract this problem. So far the search engine has gained backing from platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest, analytics tools providers and advertising networks. The purpose of AMP is to provide users with incredibly fast-loading mobile pages to enhance usability. The pages are designed using AMP which is a stripped down form of HTML.

Only certain elements of basic coding can be featured on an AMP page – anything too sophisticated such as forms or Javascript are not allowed as they will force the page load speed to lag. AMP pages are also heavily cached which removes the need for Google to fetch them. This is to provide the reader with a better user experience which is based on pure readability and speed of information delivery.

AMP and Social Networks

Google has been working with social networks such as Twitter and Pinterest as it acknowledges the shift in the way users rely on these types of platforms to point them to interesting links. By conducting trials on social platforms Google has been able to see the benefit of how AMP will work in the user’s real world. The platforms have reported incredible success with Pinterest seeing AMP pages loading four times faster than a standard mobile page.

AMP Rollout

The rollout so far has been focussed on news related stories, as they are primarily pages which are for reading rather than using interactively. However, stage 2 of the AMP rollout is likely to be upon us soon, so it is best that businesses prepare themselves by creating some AMP pages for their site.

Ideally, a company should create an AMP version of every page on their existing site, although this may not always be workable. The best way to do this largely depends on the type of site that is running. Those with a CMS system such as WordPress would be advised to download a plugin to do the hard work for them. Others can consult the official AMP site which provides plenty of information on how to write the strict but lightweight AMP code and then validate it using Google Chrome. Essentially you can write a page and the tool will highlight any errors on the page which will prevent it from working correctly. 

Business owners would be wise to start making the transition to AMP immediately. When Google does launch stage 2 of its rollout programme for AMP, those sites who are prepared will see the benefits from the outset.

The post Google Boosts AMP News Pages – Are You Ready For Stage 2? appeared first on SEO Chat.

Source: SEO Chat | Google Boosts AMP News Pages – Are You Ready For Stage 2? | 14 Mar 2016, 6:49 pm

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