Weekend Wrap 13 – Content Secret Sauce, Link Building Golden Rules, Killer SEO Insights

This week we have plenty of great content marketing posts to share from some of the top authorities in this niche, more on link building and the golden rules post Penguin,  some fantastic insights from many of the big names in SEO that presented at  the recent SearchLove event in London, and your chance to learn from the Company that gets most everything right with some tips from the Apple copywriters, and the blurred lines of social media where white, grey and black hats show the good, the bad and the ugly.

We had so many beautiful sunsets over Muriwai Beach this week it was hard to decide on the best one!
West Coast New Zealand Sunset

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

This one gives a comprehensive evaluation of what makes great content. It slips into the SEO section instead of the content marketing one because it covers some of the technical needs to keep your content good for search engines (and it’s from Search Engine Land) Nice informative post!

 

Link building is certainly generating a lot of debate in the wake of the Penguin update. Google has sent a very clear message that it does not want to see any manipulation of its results. Most pieces you read take the moral high ground as if the writer has never tested other strategies in the past. This post actually tells it how it is. Everyone wants better results but what are the risks involved?

 

What sort of insights would you expect from analysis of a billion dollars worth of Adwords spend? This insightful post looks at who is spending the big bucks and what sort of return they are getting. It also looks at the role of SEO vs paid search. Good stuff!

 

Search industry conferences always deliver a massive amount of useful information. Thanks to Wordtracker for this blow by blow summary of the key learnings from the recent SearchLove event in London. Many of the really big names in SEO presented here so put aside a few minutes to absorb some of the insights.

Weekend Wrap 5 – Google Leaks, Link Building Fears And Kicking Ass Online!

We kick off the Weekend Wrap with some secret insider information leaked from Google followed by how SEO hasn’t really changed much in 16 years (sort of), post Penguin webmaster fears of natural links, moments of truth on how shoppers buy, heavyweight blogs to bookmark and follow and a whole lot more from the week gone by.

Enjoy the posts…

This weeks’ photo – between putting the Weekend Wrap together we found a bit of time to get some dead trees taken down (between rain showers). Many thanks to our nephew Marcus! (that’s Marcus in the photo)

 

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Google Search Quality Raters Instructions Gain New “Page Quality” Guidelines

Rarer than hen’s teeth! A leaked internal Google instruction manual for their human page quality reviewers.  Wow!  You don’t often get this sort of inside information.

The Only SEO Strategy That Works (Cutting Through The Bullsh*t)

The Google algorithm created back in 1996 is still basically the same as the algorithm that functions today! (kind of!)  So have the SEO experts just complicated things?  An excellent post showing how SEO works, no tricks, no subterfuge, but a clear no-nonsense breakdown of how to do it – don’t miss this one.

The Hidden Cost Of Cheap SEO & Social Media Labor

Second post from Search Engine Land this week however this one is too good to leave out.  How often have you heard the saying “you get what you pay for?”  This is a great summary of what can happen if you are miserly with your SEO and social media budget.  What really happens if you say yes to one of the daily cheap SEO offers that avoid the spam folder in your email?

Fear Of Google Ironically Has People Considering Making Natural Links Unnatural

Google has caused ‘fear and loathing’ among webmasters with its messages about links.  This panic has led to many webmasters requesting to have links removed from sites that they would otherwise find valuable, fearing that Google will not like them and hurt their rankings. This post looks at another symptom of Post Penguin Panic Syndrome! (PPPS)
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Weekend Wrap 4 – SEO Myths, WordPress Guide, Link Building Resources

This week we’ve got a real mixed bag… some fantastic link building resources, going evergreen with your content, the myths around Google hating or loving your website, the most amazing WordPress guide for small businesses and how to deal with procrastination!

Enjoy the posts…

This weeks’ photo – finished off the week with a Friday Wrap and a crisp white wine – Marsanne/Viognier/Chardonnay from the Languedoc region.

 

SEO/Search Engine Optimisation

79 Link Building Resources for 2012

As most of you will know there have been a lot of changes in the link building world and this very informative post is right up to date and contains all the link building strategies you could ever get your hands on.  Read on to see… what works and what doesn’t in the ever changing world of links.

How to Maximize your Evergreen Content to Fuel Business Sales and Marketing

Evergreen content doesn’t rely on current trends but is an informational or reference material that never goes out of date.  In this very comprehensive post you can learn to create robust evergreen content to influence your online marketing campaign and drive consistent web traffic for a long time.

SEO Basics: When Your Domain & Homepage Are Not The Same

Are you forwarding visitors from your domain name to your homepage using 302 Temporary Redirects?  If so, you are throwing away valuable link authority!  This post takes you through the process of best practices when domains and homepages are not the same.

6 SEO Myths that Stop You from Ranking in Google (Hint: There’s No Magic Involved)

Contrary to what some people believe, Google doesn’t know or care what colour your eyes are!  The only thing they really care about is providing quality content for their users and if Google likes you, you will get traffic and rankings – simple as that!  Or is it…
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Weekend Wrap 3 – SEO Site Audits, Bad Google, Scrapers, Social Ecommerce

This week we found some astonishing data about the huge gap between paid and organic clicks, Google behaving badly (again), how to prevent people stealing your content and what to do about it when they do, why you should be thinking about your audience as five year olds and much more.

Enjoy the posts…

Photograph this week is our doberman Cooper on Muriwai Beach, West Coast, New Zealand – one of our favourite daily walks.

SEO /Search Engine Optimisation

PPC accounts for just 6% of total search clicks [infographic]

You could be very surprised at the results this infographic reveals involving 28 million people in the UK  (June 2012 research) which shows stats for paid vs. organic search!  Very interesting… particularly around gender and age… worth a look!  Figures like this show just how important SEO is – Adwords consultants will disagree I’m sure!

How to Conduct a Technical SEO Site Audit

In our Weekend Wrap #1 we gave you ‘How to conduct an On Page SEO Audit’ – you can now advance to the next step and conduct a Technical Site Audit with this thorough post which includes a checklist of items to watch for.  Bear in mind, if the pages on your site can’t be crawled, then they definitely can’t be indexed by search engines.

Rank Modifying Spammers

Aaron Wall exposes more tricky (bad) behaviour by Google!  Is Google toying with you before sending your site plummeting to the target rank?  Are there any webmasters still under the illusion that Google is the SEO’s friend or has that club diminished to zero?  Read on…

Google Is Smarter Than You

This post cautions SEOs as to how they should view Google’s changes and to think deeply about how they deploy their decisions.  Why?  Because Google is smarter than most of you…. (read the interesting comments)
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Weekend Wrap – SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing Highlights

Every week we come across a huge amount of amazing content from the rapidly changing world of Social Media, the almost daily upheavals of SEO and the incredible creativity of the Web’s Content Marketing Strategists.

We find the very best posts for you on a weekly basis to save you time and filter out the noise on the web so you can get the best and most up to date information for your business.

We welcome you to call in on a weekly basis and see the valuable goodies the week brings.

First up though – a pic of our old Magnolia tree reminding us that Spring is not far away with its beautiful pink buds.

Enjoy the posts below…

Magnolia tree in flower – Muriwai Beach

Here are a selection of the best articles we have found from top bloggers, marketers, social media strategists and search engine optimisation specialists.

SEO / Search Engine Optimisation

Nine Articles for Serious WordPress Publishers

If you’re a WordPress fan (or not) you won’t want to miss these nine articles showing the value of an online platform that does convert!

How to Conduct an On-Page SEO Site Audit

It’s one of the first steps any good SEO consultant will do before beginning a project and this detailed post talks you through the crucial steps of a site audit.

Google Will Penalize Sites Repeatedly Accused Of Copyright Infringement

Beware the latest penalty from Google that could see your site taking a dive in search results and find out why it’s dubbed “The Emanuel Update.”

How Google Finds Unnatural Links to Your Website

Are you keeping the right company?  When it comes to Links Google has warned us… hang around in the wrong neighbourhood and you will surely get into trouble!
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Social Media Marketing Experts Or Amateurs?

Why should you care about social media?

The rapid rise in social media over the last few years has given business owners some pretty exciting tools to connect with their customers.  Social media presents huge opportunities for dialogue in a global market where discussion, sharing information and exchanging ideas contributes to building better and longer lasting relationships with customers.

Who can you trust?

It has also produced a whole new wave of ‘social media marketing experts’ (SMME) or ‘social media managers’ (SMM) willing to be the voice of your business and take control of your social media strategy.

Social media manager with gag

While some SMM’s will prove themselves adept in managing your business campaigns with social cohesion, it still remains intangible for them to become the ‘voice’ of your business.  There has been a lot of debate over this as business owners scream long and loud “You’re crazy if you think I have time to twitter all day”.

With changes in the Internet happening at the speed of light, finding a SMM today is an interesting proposition. There is no code to follow so you need to be sure when casting your eye around to fill this role that you ask the right questions to ensure you get the right answers.  It is essential you confirm they are fully up to date with the increasing speed of changes in the social media landscape…

Beware the amateurs and the damage they can do!

Take a look at how this ‘voice’ of the business went seriously wrong:

You may be willing to hand over the “voice” and reputation of your business to a SMM company who knows nothing about your business.  Within a matter of hours your business is  let loose in the hands of some rookie sitting somewhere in a room full of thirty or forty people in their early 20’s working on commission and claiming to be versed and trained in the art of social media – its bollocks!

Is it a good idea to outsource social media?

How they can even start to get a handle on how your business or any other business operates is beyond me when you are one of hundreds of companies being offered a monthly package with a ‘one size fits all plan.’   You don’t have to look far on any of the social media platforms to recognise some of the accounts they handle and what a dismal job they are doing.

It may seem like an easy option to hand over the tricky job of understanding and using social media to a SMM company.  However, at best you will be ignored, at worst you will effectively damage your online brand and reputation by looking inept!

So… back to square one then?

You can’t afford to ignore the mighty social media giants because you don’t understand how social media works or because you won’t invest the time to learn this stuff.
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Marketing With Twitter! It’s Not All About ROI

Twitter marketing is about giving and sharing information2012 will be the year for businesses of all sizes to seriously acknowledge social media.

Business owners now have an exceptionally powerful and proven marketing tool to add to their portfolio – Twitter!

As we all know Twitter is one of the largest social networks in the world and if you take the time to create and shape a strategy that integrates with your other marketing methods you will certainly reap the benefits.

To understand how marketing with Twitter brings business success can be a daunting prospect if you are not familiar with the nuances of Twitter and it definitely pays to get it right.

Unfortunately most companies are missing out on this opportunity simply because they have not taken the time to understand how Twitter can work for their business.

In his book  “The Tao of Twitter” Mark Schaefer says “I have studied, observed and written about hundreds of different success stories through Twitter and the social web and they all have one common formula running through them.  This is truly the path, the way, the Tao of Twitter.”  

He goes on to describe the business benefits of Twitter as being created through three elements  – one of these is “Authentic Helpfulness.”

In the case studies below I demonstrate how all of these connections have occurred through ‘authentic helpfulness’.

In all cases there was never a pitch for business and no sales page to convert leads.

The connections were made through the genuine desire to offer valuable information to educate and help other business owners understand how they too can reach out to find potential business and partnerships using social media.

As Schaefer says “Content is the new currency of the social web and sharing valuable information is the catalyst to forming new relationships and business partnerships”.
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Tactical Twitter Techniques To Drive Engagement With Influencers

Who are the influencers in your industry niche?

How do you find them on Twitter?

How do you begin to engage with them on Twitter?

There are a number of techniques which can be highly effective in finding and beginning conversations with the influential Twitter users who you would like to build a relationship with.

Twitter for social media But first of all there is an extremely important point to be aware of…

Stop pitching!

Yes, if you want to be taken at all seriously in social media circles then you MUST stop the hard sell!

It is the first thing that will turn off the engagement tap for any users – not just influential ones. You have heard a thousand times that social media is where you build relationships, give value, join conversations… and I am telling you this is 100% the reality!

There has been a very powerful shift away from the pitch and it probably has a lot to do with consumers drowning in advertising messages, some overt and some covert. People hate being sold to and they particularly hate being sold to in a social or community space.

Next up – how is your online image?

Pay attention to how you look! What is your image like? Is it really cool to use the image of you with the wrestling mask on?… or your dog?… or an image you pinched off Google?…

Use a really good image! Not a posed photographer’s studio shot, but a warm, interesting human photo of you!

The most powerful short message about yourself is your bio!
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Wake-Up Call for Brick and Mortar Businesses – Social Media Marketing Does Work!

Brick and mortar businesses need a wake-up call – for their own sake!  Many are taking a long time to figure out that marketing has taken a giant leap into a completely new social arena which has not only transformed the way we live our lives but also the way we conduct our businesses.

And for those of you who think social media is just for the young ones, think again.

Social media for businessesUsers in the category “aged 55 and over” are increasingly connecting with companies through social media.

Agreed, it has taken mature web users a few years to embrace social networking, but they are now becoming the fastest growing segment of users on Facebook and Twitter.  The interesting fact is that they are also developing social media habits that have previously been the domain of younger adults and that is – connecting with brands.   Statistics show that in November 2010, the mature audience (over 50’s) had actually begun to close the gap – and by April 2011 up to nearly half of them were connecting with brands.
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10 Facebook Mistakes That Will Get You Unliked, Unfriended, Blocked, Reported And Even Banned!

Everyone is on Facebook, right?

Now over half a billion users are on Facebook which means that if Facebook was a country it would be the third largest country in the world…

Impressive isn’t it!

And everyone knows that Facebook is an endless source of leads, traffic, and anything else you could possibly want.

This is the main problem – so many people throw themselves at Facebook with a frenzied “market at everything that moves” approach which is doomed to failure.

Social Media MistakesSo here I have compiled 10 Facebook mistakes which will not only annoy many, many Facebook users but will no doubt get your butt kicked off the platform if you persist!

Facebook Mistake #One

When you accept a friend request follow up by posting a link to your “get rich quick” business opportunity on the new friend’s wall! This is a classic and it happens over and over again. Why would you even think someone would be happy to have you post a great big fat advertisement on a wall which most people try to make reflect who they are and what they do…

Facebook Mistake #Two

Comment on a thread where people are having a conversation by adding something that is completely unrelated followed by a link to your iPad giveaway, business opportunity or whatever. Now everyone will of course appreciate you doing this… Think of it like being at a party having a really interesting conversation with someone and a complete stranger walks up and interrupts with “I made $17,341 in just three days last week! Find out how you can too!” Hmmmm….
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Social Search! What Is It And How Does It Affect Twitter Business Use?

Using Twitter Or Facebook For Business?

Well, they have been working on the concept of Social Search for some time now (they being both Google and Bing)!

And, now, finally it is here…

And the repercussions for online marketing are massive.

The advent of Social Search has blasted the importance of Facebook and Twitter into the stratosphere!

Take a look at this video from Google to see how this works: Google’s New Social Search Video Here

I have been banging on for a long time now about how important marketing with social media is for any business and I have also been quite clear on a couple of very important points.

Is your business ready?

Numbers in social media are important!

It is not all about ego either – the more potential people you can communicate with and send information to the more potential customers and business people you can build relationships with.

Let’s not forget though that social media marketing is not about pitching the whole time. It is about sharing quality content with in-depth analysis, opinions, researched articles as well as sharing things that interest you in order to build a full picture of who you are and what you are about.

It is about being grateful when some other social media user shares your content with their friends or followers.

And it is about knowing how often to speak – does the thought of following someone who has tweeted 60,000 times terrify you too? Unfollow quickly!
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