9 Steps to Improve Google Ranking & Get More Web Traffic

Implementing the steps to improve Google ranking for a Website is quite a complicated dance — and it’s a dance that many Web entrepreneurs are obsessed about learning!

If you want to attract more sales leads online, you might want to learn the steps to increase page rank for your site, too. Copy Clique has enjoyed helping get other sites higher on the search results pages, so I’d like to share some of the SEO tactics it involves with you.

Here are the 9 SEO techniques, best practices and steps I’ll be implementing to increase page rank for this — the new and improved CopyClique.com . . . But first, a confession: I covet a top search engine ranking on Google.

When I Google our primary keywords (e.g., copywriting service, web content writer, content service, writers freelance, etc.) and don’t see Copy Clique on the first page of search results . . .  let’s just say I feel a tad anxious!

Why do I (and countless others) want a top search engine ranking on Google so badly? Well, it’s the best free advertising online! Let’s face it, the vast majority of online searches originate on Google, and most times we rarely look past the 2nd page of search results.

So, if several thousand potential customers are Googling for what you and I sell each month, that’s a lot of good sales leads we’re missing if our web pages are “buried.” Being on Page 1 or 2 of Google, Yahoo! or  Bing for your keywords is simply smart marketing. Once one achieves this Holy Grail of Internet marketing, your time and money against other forms of advertising can be substantially reduced.

 

With a new year around the bend, I’ve resolved to do the following proven 9 SEO techniques to increase Copy Clique’s search engine visibility:

 

  • I’m building a link wheel of satellite minisites, all linking into Copy Clique. This is one of the hottest SEO strategies that we help clients with, yet I’ve yet to fully build out our own. 🙁
  • I’m getting our Google Sitemap established so that Google will read and index everything on Copy Clique. I know this also will help our readers navigate the site more easily, too.
  • I’ll be refining the data in the head section of this site, ensuring that our meta data — each Web page’s keywords and site description — are in sync and distinctive.
  • Similarly, I’ll double-check that our keywords are included in the Web page titles and sub headers as (coded at the H1 and H2 levels). I know that Google’s bots look for and give preference to terms that are bold and italicized. My previous aesthetics decisions to ignore this fact haven’t helped increase page rank for certain pages on this site.
  • How about this one: The article writer you’re reading needs her own article writer! It’s a little nuts how many SEO article marketing pieces we’ve ghostwritten for others, but run out of time to get it done for our own business. That’s about to change! Creating more backlinks through article marketing is great way to improve Google ranking as well as get more Web traffic.
  • I already do a good deal of competitive research in our niche, but I’m going to do more. If you’ve not invested time in this, here are a few of my favorite “homework” exercises you might try . . .
    1. Using Google (and Yahoo! and Bing!) type your keywords and see which sites in your category have garnered top search engine results status. Visit those sites, make mental notes and compare.
    2. Using Alexa.com, type in your top competitors’ URLs. You’ll be shown your competitors’ top keywords, the number of inbound links leading to their site, and more. Think about how to get links from some of those sites pointing to your site.
  • It’s not sufficient to just have our front page and one or two others with the modest page rank we’ve garnered thus far. Now comes the work of getting the rest of our Web pages listed higher on Google. One way to do this is to get other strong sites linking to other Web pages here. (This is where the link wheel I previously mentioned will play a role.)
  • There’s also the work of more cross-linking that must be done, i.e., linking various pages on this site to others on this site. This should help push some of the page ranking to other Web pages here. It, of course, should also help you, dear readers, find other related content on the site.
  • Now that I have Google Analytics set up for this site, I’ll definitely be studying this information to better understand which sites are referring the most traffic, and for which keywords. In fact, just today I discovered a new keyword phrase that many have clicked to find this site: improve Google ranking. So there you are . . . this has been what I’ve had to say about that!

Google “Panda” Eats Shoots and Leaves (Quality Content)

I’ve always viewed every blogger’s need to constantly update their blog as needing to feed the Google monster. Well, it’s time for an animal remix! That’s because Google’s search algorithm recently declared itself a BEAR — specifically, a hungry “panda” with a palate for gourmet fare! (I.e., quality content.)

When it comes to your blog content, here’s how to make Google Panda your new best friend — not something that eats shoots & leaves all over your website . . .

 

Why Placate Google Panda?

Google wants to see higher quality content on websites and blogs. They created Panda to weed out content farms, those backlinking systems that game the search engines, to increase visibility on the search results pages.

So, Panda uses more stringent criteria to assess the quality of everyone’s web pages. (Panda seems a bit like Watson, the IBM computer who beat the shoot out those two lowly human “Jeopardy” champs.)

But many SEO experts believe the new algorithm evaluates web pages too harshly:  All across the Internet, certain high-ranking sites experienced a shocking drop in the amount to traffic they receive from Google, thanks to the Panda effect.

Needless to say, many web publishers feel bamboozled. Many folk have worked very hard for years to accumulate backlinks “endorsing” their sites.

And many of them feel strongly that their content quality is up to par. Yet, it seems that Panda disagrees with something about these sites. Just what is the BIGGEST question.

 

Panda’s Finicky Taste Buds

Big G is always secretive about the exact formula it uses to valuate web content. But it seems that with Panda, every piece of content is judged by:

  • Your information quality (this seems to be the most important and elusive code to crack);
  • Quality backlinks leading into your page(s);
  • The presence of duplicate content that some other site seems to own; and
  • Possibly the balance of ads vs. content on your website.

If your site became entangled in Panda’s gnarly net and lost rankings juice in the search results, there are “site clean up” steps you can take.

Apparently, many web publishers have been scrambling to do this. For more information on how to Panda-proof your site, read these helpful blog posts:

  • At Digital Inspiration, the site owner provides a step-by-step of the site tweaks and restructuring he undertook to get his Google traffic back on track.
  • Search Engine Watch provides a good guide of issues you might need to address, to ward off Panda’s paws.
  • Visit the forum at Google Webmaster Central to read countless complaints and pleas for Google to restore a site’s search page rankings.

 

But Here’s Why We LOVE Panda 

Copy Clique strives to deliver quality content, and this content strategy seems to have paid off. Our style of content writing and SEO copywriting (discussed here: improve Google ranking) seems to be appreciated by Panda: Copy Clique currently holds first-page positions on the Google search results pages for at least three of our targeted keyword phrases!

content writing report. We hope it proves helpful and welcome an opportunity to personally work with you improve your copy for Google ranking success.

P.S. If you’d like a Free Website Copy Review, we’d love to hear from you!

9 Blogging for Business Tips & Tools

Blogging for business is among the best marketing tactics any company, consultant or entrepreneur can deploy. If you currently have a website that needs more small business SEO firepower, it will work harder when blog publishing is added to the mix.

Your business will become more visible on the search engines, more capable of attracting quality traffic and sales leads.Small Business SEO

Whether you’re new at blogging for business or simply seek ways to make your existing blog work harder, try these best practices and tools to increase your online sales.

 

Tips & Tools

  • Devise a Content Strategy

Blogging for business involves publishing useful insights relative to the products or services you offer. You’re a subject matter expert who generously shares your knowledge to help your target audience.

So, what do they likely want to learn? Take inventory of everything you know about what you sell. (Note: You might eventually expand on some of these by creating an e-course, special report or slide presentation.)

  • Make a List of Blog Topics

Use the above to inspire your initial list of blog topics, but don’t stop there! Additional ideas for blog content can be derived from a number of sources.

Think of business conversations you’ve had, and even business challenges you’ve had to surmount. Surf the Internet to glean ideas from other blogs and forums.

TV shows and industry magazines can inspire ways to present your ideas more creatively and memorably. After brainstorming, refine your list to the topics you feel most enthusiastic about sharing.

  • Create an Editorial Calendar

It isn’t easy to regularly update a blog, so do some advance work: brainstorm your editorial calendar at least a month or two out.

Get others in your company to share or alternate responsibility for creating blog posts. Blogging for business can become too time-consuming for one person.

If you’re a solo entrepreneur, get a good freelance writer to help. You can invite guest bloggers to contribute to your site, too.

  • Conduct Keyword Research

Along with publishing relevant topics, effective use of keywords is the lifeblood of any business blogging effort. How well you write your keywords into various blog posts heavily influences how much more traffic your site will attract.

Use this free Google tool to identify (and periodically update) your targeted keyword phrases: Google Keyword Tool.

Choose relevant keywords that have moderately-high to very high search volume each month. This is a powerful small business SEO tool, one well worth bookmarking!

  • Decide a Context for Using Keywords in Blog Posts

The number of times you write a keyword into each blog article matters. This keyword repetition tells the search engines bots what you’re writing about the most.

Your commitment to using (but not abusing) your chosen keywords helps search engines prioritize your blog conversation.

You’ll rank higher on the search results pages for the phrases you write the most. This means that more people doing searches for these terms will discover your site.

  • Keyword Writing Rule of Thumb

When blogging for business, focus on repeating no more than two of your chosen terms per blog entry. (You “can” use more than 2 keywords per article, but it makes the writing process more laborious.)

Blog traffic magic is unleashed when you repeat your keywords: in the title, several times in the text, as subheadings, and as a link to other pages on your site.

Ensure that your keywords amount to 2 – 5% of your total word count. The longer the article, the more opportunities you have to (sensibly) repeat your keywords.

  • Respond to Blog Traffic Patterns

Google also makes available another free tool that will assist your small business SEO goals. Establish a free Google Analytics account.

This provides you a daily list of search terms that your blog visitors typed into Google to find your site.

Where you notice strong demand for certain topics, strategize some new content around it. And consider improving any low-traffic posts you notice.

  • Create Good Inbound Links

This bit of small business SEO insight is worth its weight in gold . . . The more “quality” links that lead to your blog posts, the more visible they’ll become on search engines.

So get out there, create several links leading to your blog entries. Ways to do this: comment on sites related to your blog topic; place your blog links in forums you participate in; social bookmark your blog entries; link to your blog posts from social media sites; create SEO press releases that link to your posts.

  • Content Is King

The more blog content you publish, the more opportunities you create for potential customers to discover your products or services.

This is why the Internet marketing community loves the motto Content Is King. This, indeed, is why blogging is such a powerful small business SEO tool.

Said another way, increase the frequency of updating your blog to increase your site traffic and sales leads.

 

Verdict

Implement these 9 blogging practices to build your small business SEO muscle. You’ll realize more quality inbound traffic to you website and increase your conversion rates, too.

This is how blogging for business triggers more requests for information, downloads, and email registrations. It’s an effective way to become more discoverable online and connect with many new customers.

Do you have blogging for business tips to share? Leave a comment letting us know what works!

Secrets to Online Press Release Writing, Distribution

Good news for publicity seekers! The old guard gates between a small business with news, the media, and the public no longer exist. The Internet makes it easy to get the word out about anything. You only need to learn

1) About writing for the Web, and

2) Where to upload an online press release for good exposure.

 

What’s Special About Online Press Releases?

There’s no longer a need for a small business to beg the media to devote airtime or print space. If you choose to do special follow-ups with selected media, that’s smart.

But there’s a benefit in simply getting your news visible to online consumers. And the backlink you get from the best press release distribution sites help your Web page rise on search engines, too.

 

Online Press Release Writing Tips

The basics of online press release writing aren’t much different from traditional (i.e., paper) press release writing. You still need to explain The Five Ws: who, what, when, where, and why…

But when writing for the web, you need to ensure the search engines robots for Google, etc. understand who to show your press release to.

So, how well you apply search engine optimized writing techniques impacts whether only a few people can find your press release on Google vs. tons of people…

  • Keyword Research

When writing for the web, a press release needs careful keyword planning. Use the free Google Keyword Tool to choose the best keyword phrases related to your topic. You’ll need to write these phrases liberally throughout your online press release.

  • Keyword Placement

Where in the document you write your keywords and how often you repeat them matter a lot. Use your chosen keyword phrases in your press release title; within the first two sentences; in every subsequent paragraph; and near the very end.

  • Keyword Density

A typical online press release runs about 400 to 600 words. That’s a page to a page and a half long. This length gives you ample space to repeat two, maybe three keywords many times. Strive to make every paragraph contain two of your three keywords.

  • Write For Human Ears

Edit your press release at least twice. Make sure it “sounds” smooth to the human ear. Break those super-long sentences in two. Remove one or two keyword uses if the writing starts to sound … forced and robotic.

  • Format Your Document

Better organize your press release by creating a bullet-point list, if appropriate. Also insert three or four sub-headers between paragraphs, wherever you have a subject change. In the sub-headers, use one of your keywords.

  • Create Anchor Links

Craft your online press releases to include anchor links leading to your website (or your client’s website). Up until recently, this meant turning your EXACT keyword or phrase into a clickable link. But now, search engines welcome anchor links with extra words in them, for better context.

  • Include Multimedia

Many online releases include a logo, eye-catching photos, and videos. Use keywords when describing each media element. This helps get your news and business even more search engine attention.

 

Press Release Distribution Services

Press release distribution helps a small business create buzz and drives much more traffic to your website. So, once your press release is polished, upload it to sites where many people will see it.

For a small business on a budget, a best practice is to use more than one distribution site. There are many free distribution services, but only a few are worth your time. Upload to at least three press release distribution sites, including some of these:

  • PRweb

With packages starting at $80, PRweb is one of the best-value press release distribution services. Press releases are indexed quickly by the search engines.

Your news is shared with several thousand journalists and consumers who subscribe. Plus many website publishers reprint these press releases as content, potentially giving you many additional backlinks.

  • MyPRGenie 

Create a social media newsroom (SMNR) and upload all of your press releases, videos, and photos. This press release delivery system gives small business owners and marketers access to a half-million journalists.

It’s also a small business networking platform. Offers free and paid membership starting at $150 per release.

  • MyNewsDesk 

A free news exchange site, MyNewsDesk is where many journalists and bloggers search for sources when pulling together all kinds of stories.

Create a great social media newsroom here and chances are your small business may fit within some journalists’ stories.

  • PitchEngine 

This “social media release” (SMR) service allows you to easily share your news release and multimedia with social media fans and journalists.

Moreover, PitchEngine aggregates all of your press releases and distributes them via RSS to anyone who subscribes.

An add-on service allows you to create a Newsroom for Facebook featuring your “pitches.” Pricing starts at $29 per press release.

 

This concludes Part 2 of our five-part series for newbie Web marketers. You can read Part 1 here: Marketing a Business Online – Get a Website.

So, what’s your hottest press release writing tip? Do you have a favorite press release distribution site not mentioned here? Tell us in your comment — we want to know!

Is Content Curation Just Reinventing the Wheel?

Content is still king, even when it’s repackaged. In this case, it’s content curation, a word too new to be found in any dictionary. Yet, content curation continues to rise in popularity, considered an art by Internet marketing strategists.

Like an executive in charge of selecting art for a gallery, the content curator’s mission is to discover, showcase and share a “best of the Internet” collection in a niche. I like where the strategy’s going these days. Perhaps you do (or will), too.

Top brands and digital marketers who champion content curation consider it the future of the Web. It’s a response to the glut of content online, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, a billion websites, and more.

Not even Google can prune the overgrowth of articles, videos, and links. For that, we still need a taste-discriminating human.

 

Content Curation: A New Art or Copycat?

Content Curation ExamplesServing “the best of” to a captive audience isn’t exactly new. That’s the goal of most bloggers, for example.

And if you’re sharing links via social media, aren’t you curating? One might also ask, aren’t these sites similar to Seth Godin’s popular Squidoo lenses? I certainly think so. Everything old is new again.

But admittedly, the look and feel is different now. There are many new-ish services competing to offer digital publishers a cooler looking site on which to curate niche news. The energy is different from Squidoo in terms of reach, design, relevance, and presentation.

Scoop.It, Storify, Tumblr, and Pinterest are among the popular platforms for publishing curated content. Some seem more supportive than others in terms of helping you find great videos, podcasts, tweets, etc. to quickly add.

Some are free, others charge a small monthly fee. Services such as Curata charge about $1,300 per month because of the top-shelf tools and support they provide.

 

Curating Content – It’s Similar to Newspaper Publishing

Like publishing a newspaper, content curation involves consistently gathering what’s hot and presenting it in one place.

Travel, fine art, bokeh photography, search engine optimization, social media, immigration — you name the topic, there’s likely someone curating quality content around it. It’s a great alternative to blogging, or an addition to build upon an existing blog.

If you’re marketing a business online, content curation may be worth exploring. Here’s how you can benefit from it. You can:

  • Save time as opposed to blogging (creating most content yourself)
  • Gain recognition as an industry or niche leader
  • Occasionally post your own, self-created content, blended within all the rest
  • Become more discoverable by target customers, prospects and influencers
  • Keep prospects engaged with fresh, daily content
  • Potentially monetize your site, via private memberships, sponsorships, and/or great opportunities

 

Great Content Curation Examples

  • Cultural curator Maria Popova publishes Brain Pickings, a smorgasbord of creative ideas, insights, and inspirations. With an archive dating back to 2007, Brain Pickings has perfected a storytelling formula for every topic examined. The common thread is always culture, but from a million fascinating angles.
  • Robin Good publishes several curation sites using Scoop.it. I subscribe to this excellent one, Google Farmer Panda Update. I gain enormous value from each piece that Robin includes.
  • With over 11,000 followers, Andrew Hsu runs 15 “virtual pinboards” at Pinterest.com. My favorite is his Graphics pinboard.

 

Best Practices for Curating Content

The March 2011 issue of Psychology Today published an excellent article about this marketing trend, asking Is Content Curation the New Black? Here’s what seems to be the secret sauce for success:

Impeccable, quality content. Leverage your natural expertise to discern and re-post only the best content. Successful digital curators perpetuate a certain “vibe”— one that entices people to subscribe to their feed for updates. The best at it exude an air of cool.

Give context to what you’re sharing. Again, part of the point is to save time versus full-on blogging. But a best practice is to include a few intro paragraphs about what you’re sharing, who’s behind it, or some other interesting tidbit. Create a brief narrative of some sort to accompany each piece, even if it’s only a few sentences.

A well-curated niche or industry site tells a story. Every piece you clip and share should be an essential component in the story. This gives a curated site resonance and high value. Approach content curation as if perfecting a novel.

Stay focused on your theme. Proponents of curating content warn against simply reposting content you like. Which is what I do on Tumblr, when updating What Is Content Marketing? If I see a wonderful but non-related video or photo, I post it! Still, I have 300 subscribers and growing.

Are you curating content? If so, which platform are you publishing on? What’s your technique for finding great content to aggregate and share?