What Exactly Do You Do?

“So—what exactly do you do?” the delightful Shelly Kramer asked me when I met her recently face-to-face for the first time, at a Minneapolis internet marketing event.

A common enough question, but it got me thinking: in more than five years and nearly 500 posts about web presence optimization, SEO, SEM, content marketing, social media, and inbound marketing on this blog, I’ve never actually answered that question here.

The Web Presence Optimization Model - WPO

(click to enlarge)

I guess that’s because I’ve always wanted this blog to be about you, the reader, and your need for digital marketing information and guidance. Not a place for me to “sell.”

But I probably should answer that question, and this is particularly good time to do so, as a small agency I do a fair amount of work with recently lost a sizable client–not unhappy by any means, we just helped make them so successful they were acquired by a larger industry player. It happens.

So—I’m a digital marketing consultant who helps B2B clients improve their online visibility and business results through SEO, search and social advertising, content marketing, and social media. All components of the web presence optimization (WPO) model: content strategy and development, optimization and promotion, and actionable analytics.

A few quick notes regarding the client mentioned above: prior to the acquisition, the company’s total website traffic had increased on a year-over-year basis for 11 straight months. Monthly pageviews rose 80% over than time period, and monthly white paper downloads 50%. A weekly industry news roundup I introduced on their blog helped double visits to the “news” category on the company blog in less than a year.

So—if your business could use help in these areas, or you know of someone who could, let’s connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email (tomATtompick.com).

And thanks as always for reading the Webbiquity blog. So, what exactly do you do?

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This One Thing Has Become The New SEO Reputation Management Secret This Year

Guest post by Jon Rognerud.

As a business and/or brand, nothing is more important than maintaining a solid reputation throughout your respective industry.

It is critical to maintain a solid reputation because an increasing number of consumers have started to use it as a way to dictate their purchasing behaviors and decisions.

More and more consumers are now using social media and review websites to make all kinds of purchasing decisions. Therefore, it is imperative, as a business owner or marketer, to focus on improving and maintaining a healthy reputation in the marketplace.

Brand reputation - social media profiles

In this article, I will be going over one of the biggest kept secrets of this year when it comes to managing your reputation online.

What Search Engines Are Looking For?

1) High Authority Domains.

If you are trying to maintain a healthy reputation in the marketplace and on the Internet, you need to focus on leveraging high authority domains that are already built.

Google and other search engines have different criteria that they look for when they are trying to figure out the rankings for different keywords and phrases. However, one of the biggest things that they look for when trying to rank websites is the “strength” that each web property has.

The way that Google calculates these authority and trust indicators is by learning how long the domain has been in existence, how many links are pointing to it, and how many strong websites it is associated with.

This may sound technical and confusing, but there’s some good news here. You cannot change how long your domain has been in existence, but you can impact the strength of domains that your website is linked to.

Therefore, it is always wise to leverage the highest, most trusted domains that you can. You can do this by linking your website to other authority websites in your niche/industry. And, by linking your websites (pages) to established and populated social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube, Pinterest, and more.

But it doesn’t stop there – you have to continually expand content and build incoming links for these properties too. For example, you could reference content pieces from your LinkedIn articles to your Twitter profile, and boost its “trust”, resulting in higher rankings for that web property.

2) Social Proof.

If you consistently get people talking about your business and/or brand on social media and you link these websites to your own brand’s websites, you should be able to better control the overall search results for your company’s brand.

The benefit is that you get more control over the overall reputation of your brand and will allow you to suppress the negative mentions about it in the search engines. And, you have to monitor this conversation continually, and respond to all – either positive, neutral and negative comments or specific mentions.

(Note: For some markets, like financial services industries, FINRA has issued limits on social media use, but each market can leverage social to their benefit when proper strategies are built.)

How do you actually do it?

1) Create Social Media Accounts For Your Brand.

The first thing that you are going to want to do is be sure to create social media accounts for your brand on each of the available social media platforms. Be certain to create them where your customers and prospects visit as well.

It is imperative that you create social media accounts on all of the available and popular social media platforms because each one that you create and manage is going to propel your brand’s website higher in the search engines. These social media accounts will eventually be pushed to the front page of search results if done right.

2) Manage the Social Media Accounts.

It is not enough to simply create the social media accounts. You are also going to need to manage the social media accounts that you create. Search engines look for activity as well as the existence of the social media accounts and overall user engagement. Continually build links across your network of highly trusted websites.

Make sure you are posting relevant content such as; articles, pictures, videos and links. By doing this, not only are you going to be able to attract more people to your website – thus strengthening your brand’s websites rankings but you will also be able to repress negative things being said about your brand/company.

Free tools to get you started

In order to figure out what Internet sites your brand is being discussed in, you could utilize Google Alerts.

By using Google Alerts, you get automatic email notices whenever your brand and/or company is being mentioned online. This allows you to promptly respond or make some sort of corresponding action associated with the mention.

With social mention, you can figure out whenever someone mentioned your brand or company on the Internet, and you can also research in “real-time.”

Be sure to utilize the Google KeyWord Planner Tool, Google Analytics (you can set threshold alerts to be automatically emailed to you) to help improve your brands reputation by creating quality, topical and keyword-based content that your audience is searching for.

To learn more about how the process works, check out this infographic “10 Brand Reputation Success Principles.”

Brand reputation management success principles infographic


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jon RognerudJon Rognerud is a recognized authority on SEO, who has spent more than 20 years creating and managing web and marketing projects from small to large companies, including positions at online giant Yahoo! He also founded Chaosmap.com, a Fortune 500 search marketing company in Los Angeles, California. His latest book, “The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website” from Entrepreneur Press is available in bookstores nationwide. Check out his personal website, http://www.jonrognerud.com to learn more.

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Seven Top Marketing Posts for 7-7

With the 4th of July celebration just behind us in the U.S. and many people still away from the office (mentally if not physically), it seems an opportune time here in the lazy, hazy days of midsummer to take a quick look back at the seven most-read posts of 2015 so far.

7 top marketing blog posts of 2015 so farLooking for advanced Twitter tips? Expert guidance on social media marketing and social PR to maximize brand visibility? What SEO tactics work most effectively in 2015?

You’ll find all that and more here in the top seven posts on Webbiquity so far this year.

7. How to be Twitterific – 39 Expert Twitter Guides and Tips (March 3)

Which advanced practices are most helpful for Twitter marketers? How can brands and individuals make their tweets stand out? Find those answers and many more.

6. 10 Top Marketing Thought Leaders in Social Media (May 21)

If you were asked to name the top thought leaders in marketing today–those you’d definitely advise others to follow on social media–who would be on your list?

5. 27 (of the) Best Social PR Guides and Tips of 2014 (January 6)

In few professions has the emergence of social media been such a double-edged sword as public relations. Here’s how PR pros can help maximize brand visibility.

4. 2015 SEO Checklist [Infographic] (March 17)

As search algorithms have become more sophisticated the practice of SEO has gotten easier to explain yet more challenging to execute. Here’s what to do in 2015.

3. 48 Phenomenal SEO Guides, Tips & Tactics (February 24)

Which SEO tactics are likely to remain effective? What’s most important: on-page optimization, link building or technical SEO? Find those answers and many more.

2. 19 More Outstanding Social Media Marketing Guides (January 13)

What are the best social networks for b2b social media marketing? The best and worst times to post updates? Find those answers and many more here.

And the #1, most-read post of this year so far is…

1. 106 More Amazing Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2014 and 2015 (February 10)

Discover how B2B social media marketing differs in effectiveness from B2C, which network drives half of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs, and more.

Social media marketing stats and facts are a hot topic! Useful for presentations, planning sessions, bar trivia and more. The Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) series will resume next week here.

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21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

Social may be sexy, but search still pays the bills.

As reported below, organic search drives 51% of all visitors to both B2B and  and B2C Web sites, while paid-search drives 10% (and social 5%, on average). 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine.

Image credit: Digital Marketing PhilippinesHow can marketers get the most out of search? The search marketing stats and facts below provide some helpful guidance. Here are four key takeaways from this research:

  • • Do feed the gorilla. Search doesn’t only mean Google, but the elephant in the room can’t be ignored either. While everyone knows Google is the big dog, the magnitude of its dominance still amazes. Google accounted for nearly 40% of all U.S. digital ad spending last year, while Facebook’s share was about 8%; and Google’s advertising revenue is larger than that of the entire U.S. print industry.
  • • Be like Avis. As the company’s iconic slogan went, “When you’re number two, you try harder.” Or rather in the case of organic search, you need to try harder. While it’s great to be #1—the top result still generates nearly one-third of all organic search clicks—the share garnered by results two through four has increased significantly in the last decade. No matter the slot though, the key to getting clicks from any rank below #1 is to craft top-notch meta titles and page descriptions.
  • • Get creative. The top challenges in organic SEO are link building (easy-to-get links no longer have much value) and keyword research (the low-hanging fruit is long gone). To rank well today, use a web presence optimization (WPO) approach in order to earn high-quality links from online publications and industry influencers, and write to “be the best answer” to search queries rather than stuffing content with repetitive phrases.
  • • Open your wallet. Marketers spend a lot of money online; overall, U.S. marketers will spend more than $103 billion on search, display, social media, and email marketing by 2019—but search will remain the largest share of interactive spend (about 44%). And in PPC search ads, 86% of all ad impressions accrue to the top four spots.

For more insights, check out these 21 SEO and search engine marketing stats from top experts including Caroline Nicander Mohr, Laurie Sullivan, Berrie Pelser, Rob Petersen, Melissa Hoffmann, and John A. Lee.

3 General Search and Google Stats and Facts

1. Google estimates that the Internet now contains roughly five million terabytes of data – but the search giant has indexed only 0.04% of it all. (The Wonder of Tech)

2. Integrating PPC and organic SEO efforts results on average in a 25% increase in clicks and a 27% increase in profits over isolated or disconnected efforts. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

3. Google accounted for nearly 40% of all U.S. digital ad spending last year. Facebook’s share was about 8%. (eMarketer)

9 Organic SEO Stats and Facts

4. Lead generation (cited by 61% of corporate marketers) and Web site traffic (57%) are the top SEO objectives for marketers at enterprise companies in 2015. 54% want to improve traffic conversion rates. Just 24% cited attributing sales and revenue to SEO as a top goal. (MediaPost)

5. Organic search drives 51% of all visitors to business-to-business and business-to-consumer Web sites, whereas paid-search drives 10% and social 5%. (MediaPost)

6. Having video on the landing page of your site makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google. (41 Stories)

7. A URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor. (Ber|Art)

8. Ranking near the top of search results is great, but if you want the click, your title and description better be top-notch also. In 2005, searchers spent just under 2 seconds, on average, viewing each listing; in 2014 that has dropped to 1.17 seconds. (MarketingProfs)

9. The top organic result still captures about the same amount of click activity (32.8%) as it did in 2005. However, organic results that are positioned in the 2nd through 4th slots now receive a significantly higher share of clicks than in 2005–63% vs. 48%. (MarketingProfs)

10. 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine. (Biznology)

11. 72% of marketers from enterprises rate search engine optimization (SEO) as successful in achieving marketing objectives like lead generation and increased Web traffic. (MediaPost)

12. The top challenges in SEO are link building (cited by 41% of corporate marketers) and keyword research (39%). (MediaPost)

9 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Facts and Statistics

13. Google’s advertising revenue is larger than that of the entire U.S. print industry. (The Wonder of Tech)

14. 30% of companies outsource their paid search advertising, and 28% do so for display advertising. (MediaPost)

15. Total internet advertising spending is growing 16% per year. Mobile accounts for 11% of the total. (TechCrunch)

16. 61% of CMOs say search engines are an effective marketing channel. (AdWeek)

17. Nearly half of digital marketing budgets are spent on search, with 31% on paid search and 18% on SEO. (MarketingProfs)

18. In PPC search ads, 86% of all ad impressions accrue to the top four spots. (ClickZ)

19. Overall, U.S. marketers will spend more than $103 billion on search, display, social media, and email marketing by 2019 — growing at a 12% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) — but search will remain the largest share of interactive spend. (MediaPost)

20. U.S. spending on search marketing will reach $31.6 billion in 2015. (MediaPost)

21. U.S. spending on paid search and organic optimization will top $45 billion by 2019. (MediaPost)

This was post #3 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

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Five Steps to Implement a Championship Link Building Strategy

Guest post by Jason Parks.

The Stanley Cup is the most coveted trophy in all of professional sports. In order to hoist Lord Stanley at the end of the season, the winning team must have desire, dedication and determination.

The Stanley CupUnfortunately, the search engine optimization field doesn’t have a shiny silver trophy to display for the top performing SEO specialists. Still, the reward for implementing a championship link building strategy can be just as satisfying as winning hockey’s most coveted prize.

There is a reason why television ratings for professional sports’ playoffs skyrocket, compared to the regular season. The product on the field or on the ice is top quality, and the fans always appreciate top-tiered competition.

Search engine specialists need to have a playoff mentality when it comes to their link-building tactics. The content they create needs to be championship quality so users will be eager to read the articles. Just as a hot goalie is key to winning a Stanley Cup, stellar content is the backbone of a championship link-building strategy.

Follow the five steps below and your link building strategy will be poised for a long postseason run. A champion strategy will lead to more links back to your site, which in turn will generate more referral traffic, organic traffic and ultimately more leads and conversions.

Championship link building strategy1. Create a digital PR strategy

All companies should have a digital PR strategy in place to improve their online exposure. This allows your business to earn more web mentions while bringing top stories about your company to light.

Imagine if your favorite hockey player scored a hat-trick, but there was no media outlet on-hand to write about the game. It would be a shame for this tremendous accomplishment to go unnoticed.

This is the equivalent of not having a digital PR strategy for your business. Your company should be able to record and share its many exciting accomplishments as it expands into new territories or donates part of its profits to a local charity.

Signing up for a service like HARO or ProfNet is a great first step to connect with media outlets to share your story. These services provide business experts with perfect opportunities to be quoted in well-known publications.

2. Create an outreach strategy

Businesses need to write down and create a “dream list” of the top ten websites where they would like to contribute content within their industry. By providing articles to a reputable site within your field, it will establish credibility for your company and lead to more online exposure.

For Scarborough East Tennis, a tennis club in Columbus, a site on their “dream list” was TennisNow.com. This tennis site has over 695,000 Facebook fans and includes a readership base of avid tennis fans from all over the world.

Using Site Explorer, the tennis club was able to determine that TennisNow had an Ahrefs Domain Rank of 53, which meant any backlink pointing to their website in the “Author” section would be extremely valuable for their SEO strategy. They were also confident that they could drastically increase their website traffic with solid referral visits.

When creating an outreach strategy, one of the most important components of outreach is the pitch that you intend to make to the site on your dream list. The head tennis pro of Scarborough East Tennis, who happens to be a PTR certified instructor, would write the articles for TennisNow.com and provide “tips and tricks” for recreational players. This strong pitch provided a greater likelihood of the article being picked up by a powerful and reputable site.

By contributing quality content to one of the most well-known tennis sites, Scarborough was able to further solidify itself as an industry expert while achieving amazing referral traffic back to their own site. This relationship could not have been forged without a stellar outreach strategy.

3. Championship Content

In the previous paragraph, we briefly alluded to creating awesome content. Too often, we see generic, boring content created for blogs, which has no potential of being shared.

One of hockey’s most popular blogs is Yahoo’s Puck Daddy. A Zamboni driver was able to contribute a clever article to this extremely popular blog by writing about “Confessions of a Zamboni operator.

This is a perfect example of creating championship caliber content. The article was witty and unique, and because of the blog’s creativity, Gerald Morton was published on one of the most popular hockey blogs out there.

If Gerald’s article linked back to the ice rink where he works at in Vancouver, this would have provided an extremely valuable backlink to the ice rink’s website! Nonetheless, by writing for Puck Daddy, Gerald was able to establish his credibility and expand his readership base.

According to Unbounce, 73% of people prefer to get their information about an organization through a series of articles rather than in a traditional advertisement. This is yet another reason to create championship content, just like Gerald.

4. Consistency

Let’s say you are creating championship-worthy content and have forged relationships with highly respected websites. In order to take your game to the next level, consistency is a huge determinant of your future success.

According to HubSpot, companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website. Creating content regularly and consistently is crucial for generating links. Impact BND states that companies that increase their blogging from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times per month almost double their leads.

Your company needs to start creating championship content on a consistent basis. So much time is spent on the outreach process of creating content for reputable sites; make sure that after the relationship has been established, you continue to create content for them at least on a monthly basis.

A trick to success when it comes to consistency is to schedule a content calendar for all of the articles that you plan on writing. Prior to each month, write the dates, topic ideas and outlets where your content will be published.

The great part about writing content is that it can be done at any hour of the day. For me, I personally enjoy writing early in the mornings before anyone else is in the office. I also like going to coffee shops on the weekend and hashing out new articles.

Find a time where you will be productive in writing your content and follow a content calendar each month to stay on course.A calendar should also be followed for your outreach strategy.

Dedicate a timeslot each day for reaching out to different websites to forge relationships where you can contribute championship-caliber content.

5. Creative Research

It takes creativity and research to find great online outlets where you can contribute your content. The Zamboni driver knew from reading various hockey blogs that Puck Daddy was one of the more popular ones.

A dental practice in Dayton, Ryan Long Dental, reached out to some of the most well known dental blogs, like dentalbuzz.com and brightnow.com. A lawyer in Tampa, Denmon & Denmon, seeked a content partnership with Lawyerist.com.

Make sure to follow various industry leaders on Twitter and take the time to read at least three news and business articles each day. You will be amazed how many different ideas you can get for content just by reading new material. Then make sure to reach out to those sites that you have on your “wish list.”

If you just read a blog about a Zamboni driver and found the content appealing and you are passionate about the field, don’t be shy to reach out to the author. This can potentially lead to contributing content on their website and establishing another solid relationship!

In conclusion, quality content is the backbone to a championship link building strategy. If you are consistent in creating your articles and reaching out to new sites, your search engine optimization strategy will continue to improve.

Don’t forget to implement a digital PR strategy, as this will diversify your backlink profile and bring attention to all of the great activities taking place within your company.

If you follow these five steps to implementing the perfect link building strategy, at the end of the calendar year, your business will be hoisting the Stanley Cup of link building!

Jason Parks is the owner of The Media Captain, a search engine marketing and web design company.

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