Is Your Online Marketing Strategy Stale?

Things online change quickly. Two years ago, Google changed its search engine algorithm and left businesses scrambling to regain their place in search results. More recently, SERP stopped showing author photos and videos. Why? Because they stopped standing out distinctly from other search results. Everybody caught on and implemented the same strategy. And LinkedIn now allows users to post blogs on their profile. (If it hasn’t rolled out to you yet, it will. Hold tight!)

online marketing strategy
If your online marketing strategy doesn’t stay current, your company will be left behind, missing traffic and losing business. Here are four ways to update your online marketing to keep up with the times.

Traffic > Links

linkbuilding

Gone are the days when search engine optimization was based on the number of links to your site. Why? Because Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines strive to provide the best search results possible. Links from article directories, blog comments, link wheels and foreign links just aren’t natural.

In the past links were king, but let’s be honest. You don’t really care about links; you want traffic to your website. Traffic is what brings leads that convert into customers! The only people who read article directories were other people using article directories to get links. Those links didn’t provide traffic. You want real, natural links not manufactured ones.

So how do you go about getting natural links? I’ll tell you. You produce high quality content that people will want to like, share and comment on. Then you market that content in newsletters, on social media and in other strategic places that will bring traffic.

A great way to get traffic is to be quoted or cited on another site. Sites like HARO, PitchRate and ReporterConnect give you the opportunity to share your expertise in exchange for a link back to your site. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Focus on educating potential clients about why they need your product or services rather than on acquiring links. Traffic is better than links.

Podcasts: Voice Your Expertise

podcastYour website is optimized. You have a blog that’s updated regularly with high quality content. You’re active on social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn. You focus on getting traffic rather than links to your website. Think you’ve maximized your online marketing opportunities? Think again.

If you’re not doing a podcast, you’re missing out on an entirely different audience of potential customers. Just like there are some people who prefer talk radio to hip-hop or jazz, there are some Internet users who prefer podcasts to social media. You don’t want to leave them for your competitor to find. Set up regular podcasts.

Because podcasts are a different medium than blog posts or video, you can use the same content on your podcast that you used on your video. No sense reinventing the wheel. (I’ll talk more about this content creation strategy in a future post. Be on the lookout!)

Email Laws: Don’t Be an Accidental Spammer

You know those opt-in forms you use on your website to obtain email addresses for your list? (If you don’t have them, you should!) They’re a great marketing tool and help significantly with automation. However, laws in places like Canada require explicit permission to send emails. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the opt-in forms, but it does mean you need to add another step in your automation process to ask permission before putting those folks on your email list.

Nobody likes spammers. Don’t be one. Stay current with Internet laws anywhere you may have customers.

Mobile Marketing

mobile marketing

Quick survey. How many of you are reading this on your phone or tablet right now? Statistically speaking that number is pretty high. Is your website designed to be seen on mobile devices? If people can’t see the entire width of the page without scrolling, they’ll get frustrated and leave. When they leave, you’ve lost a potential customer.

There is a difference between being mobile friendly (like a blog) and mobile designed. For example, is your website designed so that a visitor can click to call? If you’re a local business, is there map integration to help customers find you on the go?

As smartphones get smarter and smarter, your website will need to change to accommodate the number of mobile visitors. Choosing not to change or adapt will be detrimental to your business in the long run, if not the short run.

Need Help?

Not sure how to implement the necessary updates to your online marketing? Can’t seem to keep up with all the latest changes? Let us help with web design, content creation or traffic. The ROI and time saved will make you glad you did.

Be a Backlinks Expert – Top Links Tracking Tools You Should Test (and Use)

 

links

 

In many ways, links are the lifeblood of the internet. Links send people from one site to another. Links determine your search engine rankings. Links allow you to endorse other sites and allow other sites to endorse you.

Having good link tracking tools will allow you to make sure your link are working, to see who’s linking to you and to track how any clicks your links are generating.

A lot of these things are things that you can check yourself, by hand. Using the right tools however allows you to save a lot of time and get more accurate results.

 

Tool #1: Majestic SEO

4-MajesticSEO

Site: http://www.majesticSEO.com

Majestic SEO is a link research tool that can tell you what sites are linking back to your site. Tools like Majestic SEO have become increasingly important as Yahoo’s old site explorer data gets older and older.

Unlike previous backlink tracking tools, Majestic SEO doesn’t use data from any other search engine. Instead, they’ve built their own web spider / crawler that goes and finds link data on its own. This is one of the best possible ways of finding who’s linking to you.

 

Tool #2: Open Site Explorer

5-Open-Site-Explorer

Site: http://www.opensiteexplorer.com

Open Site Explorer (OSE) has their own web spider that goes out and builds their own composite of the web that they use to generate backlink data.

There are a couple differences between OSE and Majestic SEO.

First, OSE has what’s called Page and Domain Authority. These work much like PageRank should in the real world. Increases in Page and Domain authority are exponential, meaning it’s much easier to go from 20 to 30 than 60 to 70.

OSE’s authority rankings are updated regularly, unlike PageRank. PageRank is updated more or less at Google’s whim, which could be every 3 months or it could be over a year. OSE’s page and domain authority are updated a lot more regularly, which can give you a better sense of your site’s authority than PageRank can.

You’ll generally notice fewer results with OSE than Majestic SEO. For discovering the maximum number of links, OSE isn’t as good as Majestic SEO. However, to get real data on which links are valuable and which ones aren’t, OSE is far better.

Tool #3: Bitly

bitly10

Site: http://www.bit.ly

Bitly is one of the most popular link shorteners on the web. Because of its “.ly” extension, the actual TLD is actually only three characters long. As a result, links on Bitly’s service are extremely short, which makes it ideal for Twitter and other social networking sites.

One feature that Bitly brings to the table is click tracking. Every time someone clicks on your Bitly link, it’ll track that click. This allows you to track your visitors and the popularity of each link.

Best of all? Bitly is 100% free.

Tool #4: Goo.gl

3-Goo-gl

Site: http://www.goo.gl

Goo.gl is Google’s link shortener. It works a lot like Bitly. You can shorten your links, as well as track all your clicks through Google’s system. Whether you use Bitly or Goo.gl is largely a matter of personal preference.

 

Tool #5: Link Assistant

6-Link-Assistant

Site: http://www.link-assistant.com

Link Assistant is a tool that’ll help you both find new linking partners and track your backlinks. You can use Link Assistant to locate potential link partners through a number of different methods. It can find partners by keyword, by websites, by scraping a forum, etc.

Once someone agrees to link to you, Link Assistant can then help you verify whether or not the link is up and monitor the link to make sure it’s still up a few months down the line.

The basic version of Link Assistant is free.

Tool #6: Backlink Watch

7-Backlink-Watch

Site: http://www.backlinkwatch.com

Backlink Watch is a simple and easy way to find people who’re linking back to your website. Just type the domain or page URL that you want to lookup in Backlink Watch and it’ll generate a long list of sites that linked to your page.

There are no subscriptions and no fees. You don’t get just partial results. It’s just a 100% free tool to help you find the people who’re linking to you.

Tool #7: Broken Link Checker

8-Broken-Link-Check

Site: http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com

Broken link checker allows you to type in a domain name to quickly check to see if that domain is linking to any broken links. Linking to broken links is not only bad for your user experience, but bad for SEO as well. Google figures that anyone who’s linking to broken sites probably isn’t all that credible.

Instead of checking your links by hand, using a tool link Broken Link Checker makes finding broken links a whole lot easier.

Tool #8: Linkchecker Submit Express

9-Linkchecker-Submit-Express

Site: http://linkchecker.submitexpress.com

Much like Backlink checker, Linkchecker will scan a website for all its links and make sure that none of them are broken.

What’s great about Linkchecker is that you can watch its progress in real time. It scans both internal and external links. It also scans images, to make sure that you aren’t linking to any pictures that don’t exist anymore.

Tool #9: SEO Status, SEO Quake

10-SEO-Status

Site: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bjgpmafbkgcchdjehdpnfgfgbdfahapa

SEO Status and SEO Quake are both plugins for Chrome and Firefox that can tell you the Alexa ranking and the Google PageRank of any page that you’re on.

This can allow you to quickly get stats on any page you’re on, whether it’s your own website or someone else’s website. It’ll help you quickly evaluate a page to determine whether or not it’s worth trying to get a link from them.

It can also help you gauge how authoritative a certain page on your website is in Google’s eyes. That’ll help you figure out how well that page is doing and whether it warrants more effort to try to get that page to rank.

These are 9 link tracking tools on the web, from URL shorteners to rotators to browser plugins to backlink checkers. What other tools do you use for checking backlinks?