Working the Web Just Got Easier

By Carl Weiss

Everyone knows that Google is the most popular search engine in the world, dominating more than 80% of the search market. As such, businesses large and small move heaven and earth in search of the elusive goal of being on page one. The problem is that with more than 240 million websites online and an additional 130,000 sites being spawned daily, trying to obtain and maintain page one results is harder than ever. Today’s marketing experts in the know approach Google with its favorite food, SEM (a.k.a. Search Engine Multimedia Marketing). So today’s blog is intended to show you what it takes to please the 800 lb. gorilla in the room named Google.


On-Page SEO is no longer the only game in town. Ten years ago, all it took to create a page one result on the search engine of your choice was to have your site expertly optimized. Before such icons as YouTub, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and all the rest of the web 2.0 crowd, on-page SEO was the only game in town. Back then most website owners took a set it and forget attitude when it came to web design. Once a site was up and optimized, there wasn’t all that much that you had to do to maintain your web presence. While you still need to have your website optimized to rank highly on the search engines today, on-page SEO is only a small part of what search engine spiders rate when they visit your site. Today, off-page content is even more important than on-page optimization. Read on.


Blogging for Business 


Though you wouldn’t know it to look at the blogosphere today, the world’s first Internet blog was written sometime back in 1997. Two years later three friends who founded a San Francisco start-up called Pyra Labs created a tool called Blogger "more or less on a whim." This company was later acquired by Google in 2003 and is currently one of the dominant blogging portals online. (The other being WordPress.) The reason I bring this up is due to the fact that blogging is one of the quickest ways to jump onto page one of Google. To be effective, the content has to be impeccably written and relevant, and the text and title needs to be optimized.

blogging
blogging (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)
How do you optimize a blog? The same way you optimize a website. By taking the time to include pertinent keywords in your title and body text. By making sure that your blog is properly crafted and edited. Don’t expect a four paragraph entry to gain any ground with Google. Think sufficient article length.

Also, you need to blog, blog and blog again. Submitting a blog once in a blue moon is not going to get the job done. If you want to play the game to win you need to submit a blog every week. It also helps tremendously if your readers comment on and pass along your blogs on their social networks. (This one factor alone is one of the holy grails of SEO. Succeed at this and the gorilla will reward you.)

Social Posts 


Here is another medium where the race goes to the swift. Having a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account means nothing if you don’t feed it on a regular basis. And by regular, I mean daily. You also need to link your social sites to your homepage so that people can find them. Last but not least, you need to actively work to build your following. Sound like a tall order? Not if you manage your networks properly. This means setting a specific time to post to your nets. It also means not over posting. Once of the quickest ways to get unfriended is to harass your audience by posting every hour on the hour. And don’t forget to provide your followers with that they want. Useful, informative, entertaining, concise content that solves a problem or saves time and/or money. No one joins a social network to be sold to. If you want your marketing message to be heard think word of mouth. Have your best customers tell your story in their posts and your message will spread like wildfire. One last note: Some social sites are favored by Google, specifically those that are searchable, such as Twitter and Google+.

Videos 


Want a way to put all of the above mentioned points of contact on your search engine marketing list on steroids? Embed or link a video. Want a way to jump onto Google Page One without a website? Create a YouTube channel and start cranking out videos.

Many of your competitors are weak when it comes to this side of the equation. Most businesses are lucky if they have a video or two on their site. This is what is known as an opportunity. Not only does Google love videos (Why do you think they bought YouTube?), but they only broadcast one or two videos on page 1 of most searches. If you want to take the high ground, start creating and posting YouTube videos at least twice per month. You’ll thank me later for this.


Online Plagiarism by Greg Passuntino
Online Plagiarism by Greg Passuntino (Photo credit: bixentro)

Reviews and Recommendations 


What good does blogging and video production do if hardly anyone reads or watches them? It’s kind of like preaching to the choir. Plus, it does little to help you rise in the rankings. So here is what you need to do to put the pedal to the metal when it comes to generating reviews, recommendations and distribution. First you need to ask your customers, friends, associates and affiliated businesses to read and pass on your blogs and social posts. You also need them to write reviews of any site that allows them, such as Google, LinkedIn and Merchant Circle, just to name a few. When it comes to encouraging customers, it’s easier than you think. If you have ever asked for and received a testimonial, then you can request a review or recommendation. The first thing you need to do is create an email that provides them with the exact address. If they have to hunt to post you can forget about it. You may also wish to include an incentive, such as 10% off your next order. It’s that important. When it comes to motivating friends and affiliates, the best approach is the old, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Whatever it takes, this part of the SEM equation is vital to your success online.

No Paid Links
No Paid Links (Photo credit: ivanpw)

Links 

This is just another indication of how much of a popularity contest SEM has become. Not only do you need to generate content and have it distributed, but you also need to create both one-way and backlinks that show the search engines how popular your site really is. To generate links, you’ll need to once again reach into your bag of tricks and start working your business and online connections. Don’t forget to add links to your site on all your blogs, social networks and videos. Cultivate relationships with other bloggers, authors and article posts. Remember, if you only generate two links per week, at the end of the year you will have more than 100. This will put you on the map and in the game.

Does all of this sound like a lot of work? Well it is if you are trying to go it alone. That’s why you need to get organized and recruit some blog buddies who can act as a sounding board and contribute to the cause. You can also outsource some or even all of the tasks involved. If you are great at social but can’t write a blog to save your life, hire a pro. They are not as costly to you as being stuck on page 6 of Google. There are also Search Engine Marketing clubs such as http://clubwcubed.com that can provide you with training, copywriting and people power to help keep you on top of your SEM game.

The bottom line is: if you want the gorilla to feed you, then you have to feed the gorilla on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than a cranky ape. So keep feeding him that SEM banana and Google will keep you smiling!  

If you would like to find more articles like this type in your key phrase in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.





Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.

Related articles

No comments:

Post a Comment