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Link Building is a Slow and Steady Science

rainbow-gold-150x150I will admit it, I’ve become a little obsessed….  I have been looking at options on a daily basis and almost by the hour for different ways to assist in many different levels of Link building.   I feel like a MAD SCIENTIST digging and studying the best options in development and results.. At the end of the day does it really matter what we have LOOKED FOR or what we have actually developed?  Google does not see that we have emailed our buddies asking for link exchanges, only that the link is there and proper or NOT… Results and relevance!

However, this is EXACTLY what it takes to build QUALITY.  Quality links, quality content, substantial ranking improvements… TIME and patience…

Google is changing the game all of the time, so link building that worked last year or maybe even last month is just not ok…..

Here are some tips I have gathered in order to build an effective link building campaign:

Directory Links:

SEOMOZ offers a HUGE list of both tracking tools and direct links to the resources for the submission of your business to the directory..

Press Releases:

Be real careful not to fall into the same trap most do and begin spinning your stuff out of control. Keep it unique and submit your press to reputable resources. PR Web, for example, has many different pricing options and they help with moderation for those that want to get their word out but lack the skill set of a professional writer.

If you’re feeling frisky, there are AUTO LINK CAMPAIGNS out there.  But you run the risk upon using that they will beat you up and load you down with garbage links that will cost you more to get rid of than it did to get them! The old saying “ if it sounds too good to be true; IT IS” rings true.

So again, patience and consistency is the name of the game.  If you’re digging for the ever elusive golden link pile that will rocket your site to the stars, you’re better off following the rainbow to the pot of gold with the little Green Guy…

Do you have a Pot Of Gold? Natural Link Building Tips?

Labor Day in the Internet Marketing World

For many, Labor Day marks the end or the start of many things….  To most children’s disappointment, it ends the pool season and marks the real start of school.  For some it indicates the start of football season, cooler weather, the end of weekend barbeques and wearing white ( for people who pay attention to that sort of thing ).  In the world of internet marketing, it marks the start of a different ‘season’ of traffic.  A lot of people use a completely different strategy in the their SEO efforts and Adwords accounts that they wait to launch over the long Labor Day weekend.  Being aware of the seasonal spikes in traffic that are associated with the product your website provides is a good thing to keep up with.

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With the start of school and upcoming season for holiday travel, ski trips, cooler weather gear and the like; you might want to start thinking about a few new ways to capitalize on that market.  Here are a few tips for keeping your traffic up and optimal:

  1. If possible, start tuning your content efforts and blogging topics to the interests of the people who are active online during the season….  ‘I’m thankful for ________’, ‘Prices So Low It’s Spooky’, ‘Deck the Halls with _____’…..  See the pattern?  All of those titles evoke the thought of a certain time of year and the types of products that go with it.
  2. Add new content that keeps up with current events and trends.  If there’s a new term peaking that is at all related to the product you offer, it’s time to start campaigning for attention around it.  You can do this by opening up a certain page of your site to commission based affiliate offers.  Let’s say you have a website that offers sports memorabilia> think tailgating season>think beer.  Perhaps partner up with a company that offers team themed koozies, beer coolers or a kegerator.  Marketing for a kegerator helps you associate with a term that is searched 14,800 times!
  3. Launch new types of online marketing efforts.  If your traffic generally starts to dip during the cooler weather seasons, consider ramping up newsletter, email marketing, press release and blogging efforts.  The key is to keep your website and what it offers fresh in the minds of past, current and potential customers.
  4. Lastly,but certainly not least; we highly recommend partnering up with ( if you haven’t already ) the expert SEO Services team at APT!  We can help explore different ways to maximize your target audience and your ROI.

We hope you enjoy this last hurrah of all things summer! Happy Labor Day from the Absolute Placement Today team!

SEO Explained

This past weekend I had the great fortune of getting to go to Denver, CO for some business.  I also got to get out and play.  It was in my play time that I was made aware of the lack of understanding the general public has for what SEO actually is….  still.  I used to get the glassy eyed, I don’t know what you’re talking about looks back when I first started in this business.  But I guess I just thought that everyone had sort of ‘caught up’.  Turns out I was wrong. So, I thought I would take a time out to explain it on our fabulous SEO Services blog!  What better place than that, huh?

female_teacher_or_professor_at_chalkboard_with_pointer__welcome_back_to_school_0521-1005-1515-4012_SMU-150x150SEO Explained in Non Techy Speak:

  • SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization.  There are many different search engines, but the main three are Google, Bing and Yahoo.  Optimize, by definition, is to make as perfect or efficient as possible.  So, we optimize sites for the search engines….  This means we try to get a site to the top of the first page of organic or non paid search results. This takes a lot of behind the scenes work on our part or the site owner’s.
  • A website is launched on the internet and of course is looking for lots of traffic, purchases of product x, requests for more information or overall ‘conversions’. A conversion can be something as simple as filling out a newsletter form to a bigger gesture like booking your next family vacation.
  •  There are many steps a site must take to be successful online.  First of all, it needs to be found.  So, the owner or operator usually seeks out someone specializing in SEO Services ( if they’re smart ) to help them get going.  From there, the SEO provider goes in and figures out how to best optimize the site for success.  This means the product and site are evaluated, keywords that are associated with the product offered are targeted and the site gets an overhaul to make it marketable to both search engines and consumers with those goals in mind.
  • Still don’t get it?  Here’s the explanation I give when people ask me what I do.  If you do a Google search for Braces, it’s my job to make my client’s site come up first.

I hope that helps some of you better understand just what the heck an “SEO” does!  What job do you have that you constantly explain?

Patience is a (SEO) Virtue

SEO is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve encountered in my experience as a SEO professional who still think that long lasting, traffic increasing,  revenue generating organic rankings can be achieved overnight.  Perhaps it’s because there are some in the world of SEO Services who still, despite all the evidence to the contrary, promise this very thing just to get the account.  These ‘salesmen’ capitalize on the client’s request of results right this very minute!  Which, to be long lasting and effective is almost always impossible with true ‘white hat’ practices.

Turtle-Slow-Small-150x150Your Rush for Results Could Land You in Hot Water

And here’s a huge red flag- If your site goes from non existent to topping out in all the search engine rankings within 30 days, beware.  I’m working on an account right now that had this very thing happen.  They were in the top 3 for all of the terms they were targeting, it was great; life was awesome and then BAM!  They dropped back to page 5.  ( Which, in my opinion, was a mercy placing that isn’t often offered by the Google gods. )  They could have easily been pushed back to page 200 for what we found.  They quit with the ‘SEO’ they were working with at the time and came to us seeking help.  Here’s what we found:  hundreds and hundreds of links that were obviously built by a machine.  Links to pornographic sites, completely irrelevant, horribly placed and mismanaged links.  While they did have the anchor text that the site is targeting, they hurt them in the long run.  The truth is, if you do something shady to gain rankings; Google WILL figure it out.  Even if they ‘reward’ you for it at first.  Then, you have some making up to do.  BIG TIME. Google becomes your jealous and distrusting girlfriend and the links you build become highly suspect.  You have to work hard to earn the trust back and to regain a good working relationship with the search engines.

That’s not saying you won’t gain results from link building.  It is arguably the most important element of good SEO.   Just not the ‘dumpster’ type of link building that a lot of companies engage in.  If it’s not relevant to your product or site or page from which you’re trying to link; it will more than likely hurt you.

They’re Experts for a Reason

Still think you can get really quick results that last from your SEO Services company?  Here are some thoughts on the virtues of patience from some of the experts:

Tom Bates, owner and founder of Absolute Placement Today says, “Quick and easy doesn’t always get it done.  If it did, you’d find do it yourself SEO Services kits in the aisles of your local Walmart.”

Internet Marketing Consultant, Dave Conklin gave his two cents as well: “While SEO requires patience to get going, the snowball effect that takes place over time is so well worth the time and investment.  As your site continues to grow, you’ll generate more and more revenue and/or leads from more and more keywords.”

The gist is this: If you’re looking for really quick results in Organic web placement to be the foundation of your website success, you’re already failing.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Just ask the tortoise.

 

 

 

Fun! Easy! Popular! – Social Media Marketing Tips

I had the pleasure of getting to attend the latest AMA meeting ( American Marketing Association ) and pick up a few pointers from one of the best in the business.  Chris Forbes, co-author of Guerilla Marketing for Non Profits, shared his vast knowledge of all things Social Media in regards to successful marketing campaigns to a group of about 55 members of the AMA.   While Chris normally promotes things of the non profit sector and political nature; there was a point he made that sticks out in my mind.

election2-150x150Fun!  Easy!  Popular! – It’s such a simple concept, that I almost feel like it could go without saying.  However, there’s a reason marketing people like me have the jobs we do.  Because concepts such as, Fun!  Easy!  Popular! are tough for a lot of companies to grasp.  So, how does this apply to you?  Well, I think that the majority of today’s successful campaigns in any facet- whether it be tv commercials, print ads, online marketing to name a few; are capturing the very essence of this ‘simple’ concept.

How can you apply this to your company’s marketing efforts?  Ask yourself what the best commercial is that you have seen lately.  Why does it stand out?  Did it make you laugh?  What was the product?  Sometimes in marketing of the Social Media sort, companies get too wrapped up in an overload of ‘helpful’ information.  While the intentions are good, your target audience may feel overwhelmed.  So, lighten it up a bit!  Make your tweets fun, if not downright hilarious.  Talk about things that are mainstream today to build up your following.  And don’t make people think too hard or read too much.  If you’re trying to build up a Facebook Fan Page following, consider a fun contest of some sort.  Give a good prize that is desirable to your target demographic to the winner.  Overall, people respond better to things they are interested in or that humor them.  Everyone has that one person they follow on Twitter who is a steady stream of boring statistics and information.  Don’t be them!  Engage your audience with humorous blog posts.  Share a little bit of the human side of yourself.

Remember, when it comes to marketing on search engines like Google; it really is a popularity contest.  Google is the high school and you’re running for class president!  Be charming, funny, informative and give back to people.  It will get you everywhere!

Tip: Keywords Make or Break Your Blog Posts

You know how important keywords are to your overall site optimization.  What you may not know is the importance they play in making your blog posts get found and indexed.  Here are 2 simple tips to follow to get the biggest SEO boost out of any blog post:

1. Identify Your Keywords: This is ALWAYS the first step of SEO. It may go without saying that the more general a keyword is, the more difficult it will be to gain organic recognition ( for example “credit repair” would be more difficult to rank for than “fix my credit report Texas” ).   Some businesses make the mistake of guessing at what the keyword phrases are that they should target.   Google’s Keyword Tool can help you show you the competitiveness of specific keywords.   A professional SEO Services provider can supply you with a keyword silo to focus your topics of blogging on as well.

2. Optimizing Your Blog Content for Your Keywords: The most important places to include keywords on any page of your site are in the page title, the URL, and the H1 (Header) tags.  And if you can throw in a link or two that is titled the same as your target phrase and points to the main page of the site you’re promoting; that’s always a plus.

Ten of the Best Business Fails of All Time

I got to have a good laugh putting together my list of the 10 Best Business Flops of all time.  Some you may remember, and others you’ve never heard of…. for good reason.

10.  Cosmo Magazine Yogurt

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Is yogurt sexy?  Um, no.  Apparently the general public didn’t think so as the product was cancelled after only 18 months. Proving that Cosmo is great at sexy magazines, bad at sexy food.

9.  Thirsty Dog! and Thirsty Cat! Bottled Water for Pets

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Flavors like ‘Tangy Fish’ and ‘Crispy Beef’ left consumers retching in the PetCo aisles.  Needless to say, it never really caught on. I guess the idea was little far FETCHED.

8.  Atkins Diet

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Remember when we’d go out to eat and order a 1/2 lb. burger with two kinds of cheese and bacon and then wrap it in lettuce leaves instead of a bun?  ‘But there’s no bread!’  Yeah….   Turns out eating a lot of fat and calories isn’t healthy….  Insult to injury?  Dr. Atkins’ leaked coroner’s report following his death revealed the cause was a heart attack- shocker!- and that he weighed 258 pounds.

7.  Windows 98 Pre Release Blue Screen

Bill Gates was set to show off the new, unreleased Windows 98 program at a press event.  Much to his surprise, audiences got a front row seat to a big blue screen as the program crashed on the spot.  Gates laughed it off and was quoted as saying, “That must be why we’re not shipping Windows 98 yet.”  Oops.  Oh, well.  He’s still Bill Gates.

6.  Look of Buttermilk and Touch of Yogurt Shampoos by Clairol

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Who wants sticky, yogurty hair that looks and smells like buttermilk?  Oh, no one?  Apparently.  Clairol’s launch of these dairy inspired products failed miserably in the late 80’s.  It’s a good thing they were already a household name with several successful products that kept them from being tanked by the failure.

5.  Harley Davidson Perfume and Cologne

harley-davidson-cologne-by-harley-davidson-3-4-oz-eau-de-toilette-spray-men

Eau de motor oil?  Unimaginably, Harley Davidson perfume and cologne was shunned by its almost cult like followers.  The brand has successfully branched out into clothing, shoes and accessories, but flopped like a fish when they ventured into fragrance.  Yet, Justin Bieber’s perfume is a top seller right now.  Sweaty prepubescence is the scent of the week!

4.  The Cleveland Indians 10 Cent Beer Night

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This idea conceived out of an effort to boost game attendance during the 1974 baseball season was actually a huge success- a little too successful.  On June 4, the stadium promoted it’s ‘Unlimited 10 Cent Beer Night‘ and the fans came out in droves.  With tension high after a series against the Texas Rangers, fans grew a little more disgruntled as the alcohol flowed and riots ensued.  Players fought with players, players fought with fans and chaos was the theme of the night.  Having scheduled three more of these promotional nights for the season, the club decided to put a cap on it at 4 beers per person.

3.  New Coke

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In 1985, when CocaCola started feeling the heat from ‘other’ cola companies; it decided to launch a new product.  New Coke was born and the company even abandoned its long standing and successful classic CocaCola brand and formula.  Consumers revolted and the company was forced to go back to its roots.  Lesson learned?  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

2.  The McDonald’s ‘I’d Hit It’ Campaign

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Morgan Spurlock’s movie “Super Size Me” educated people about the content and effects of eating a lot of McDonald’s on a regular basis.  The company noticed a big enough drop in sales to feel they needed to appeal to the younger generation again.  Their idea?  Incorporate some slang into their marketing campaigns.  After all, they’d had huge success with getting main stream pop star, Justin Timberlake to sing their new jingle.  Why not take it one step further?  In 2005, the ‘I’d Hit It’ campaign was born.  Ick!  Even the most devoted McDonald’s fan does not, in fact, want to defile their quarter pounder with cheese. That’s a McDon’t.

1.  The Titanic

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We all know the story.  I know!  I went there…  Don’t worry, your heart will go on.

What’s the best business fail that you can remember?

Google’s Panda and What it Means for your Rankings – Hint: It Might Not be Good

When I think of a panda bear, I think of a cute and cuddly, sweet little animal.  Not so much with Google’s Panda Filter….  You may have noticed a hit or a boost in your organic placement last week.  Well, that’s because Google completed it’s Panda 2.3 Update.  The goal?  Google is quoted as saying, ” this update incorporates some new signals that help differentiate between higher- and lower-quality sites.”  They additionally added: “As a result, some sites are ranking higher after this most recent update.”

kungfupandaSo, what does that mean to you?  It means that if your site suffered a hit, you need to be working hard to fix the issue before the next Panda Update.  The schedule so far has been an update every 4 – 5 weeks.  Which means you can count on roughly a month in between Panda filter updates to get things right on your site.  What this also means is that if your site had some issues causing it to take a tumble in the SERPs ( Search Engine Results Pages ), your efforts to repair weak links and spammy text are not going to be recognized until the next time Google’s Panda Update runs.

What the heck is a Google update?!

Google’s website rankings are based on the algorithms it uses to determine a site’s function, purpose and relativity to what the site is telling Google it’s about.

Where does Google get this information?

Google finds this information through several channels.  Contributing factors include both on site and off site optimization efforts.  This includes a site’s metatags ( the code for a page of a site ), incoming links, on page text, press releases and more.  All the things that a SEO Services company like Absolute Placement Today can manage for you.

If your site is consistently falling in ranking, it could be the result of poor  or non existent search engine optimization.  If you hired someone, or took it upon yourself, to build as many links as possible without being discretionary in the relativity of the link’s location, anchor text and placement; chances are you’ve lost some ground as well.

Your best bet is to team up with an experienced SEO services provider to help analyze and fix the issues before the next update occurs.  SEO professionals benefit your business by bringing results producing strategies and techniques to the table that you may not know about.  When it comes to choosing the right partner, proceed with caution though as not all SEO services companies are equal.  See: 8 Signs Your SEO Service Company is a Rip Off

Is Any Publicity Good Publicity? – Online Reputation Tip of the Day: Stop Talking!

angrykanyeA lot of people operate by the theory that all publicity is good publicity.  However, there are tons of recent examples that rip this thought to shreds.  I’m betting the publicists ( if they chose to keep their jobs ) for people like Mel Gibson, Kanye West  and Representative Anthony Weiner ( that might always make me giggle a little ) are charging triple overtime to repair the damage done by the press that their clients have received as of late.

I’d imagine their first tip is STOP TALKING!  This can also go for online reputation management.  If you find your business on the receiving end of some bad press that ends up online, you need to team up with a professional Seo Services team to help.  One single event or bad review, bad product or ill advised rebuttal can have lasting negative implications on your reputation for years to come.

Toyota has been making some of the most popular cars on the market for almost 75 years.  In 2010, their recall of 8 million cars has severely damaged the reputation they’d built up for the better part of 7 DECADES.  In the earlier stages of the recall and in an attempt at some reputation damage control, they launched a series of commercials addressing the issues, apologizing and assuring the public of their dedication to safety standards and commitment to quality vehicles.  Then, they didn’t talk about it anymore.  Which is smart, in my opinion, and a good move on the part of their PR department.  The hope is that their long standing, relatively good reputation will resurface. Now their marketing efforts lie in promoting the safety and quality of their new vehicles and only addressing the recall issues when they  are forced to.

Will it work?  It did, in a sense, for the likes of Britney Spears and McDonald’s ( see: Supersize Me )….  Don’t leave your comeback in the hands of fate.  If your business’ name has suffered due to ineffective marketing efforts or failed reputation management from your current SEO services provider, contact us.  Absolute Placement Today works with their clients to create, manage and promote their online business.

8 Signs Your SEO Services Company is a Rip Off

stock-photo-identity-theft-in-progress-thief-running-away-with-a-sackful-of-credit-cards-and-personal-28627222Search engines are the most common and powerful driver of traffic and potential customers to a website.  By now, most business owners know the importance of teaming up with an SEO services provider to gain the type of rankings and results they need for success online. There are a ton of choices out there when it comes to companies or individuals who promise their expertise in search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that will maximize your return and gain your site better rankings in  the search engines.  Take your time finding the right fit for your company and needs.  Good SEO takes time, effort, dedication and communication on both the part of the website owner and the firm they hire.  A lot of companies find themselves the victim of huge promises with little result.  Optimization of your site is too important a factor in your success to be left to an amateur.

Here are 8 Signs that your Current SEO Services Need a Revamp:

Promises of Immediate Top Ranking for Competitive Keyword Terms –

There really just is no way to make such a guarantee unless there are some black hat SEO practices taking place.  In that case, you should RUN, not walk your way right out their office.  And take your money with you.

Sending Unqualified and Unrelated Traffic to your Site and Claiming Success-

If you sell food storage containers, there is no reason you should rank for under the bed rolling clothing storage boxes.

Putting up Content that is Overridden with Random Keywords-

What doesn’t read well to you, won’t read well to your potential customers either.

Claiming that Optimization is Complete by Redoing the Metadata –

There are a lot more steps to optimizing a site than simply plugging keyword phrases into your metatags.  There needs to be some on page tweeking as well as off site SEO efforts and numerous other steps.

Doing a One Time Overhaul with No Ongoing Maintenance Efforts –

This. Will. Not. Work.

Claiming that the Links Built are ‘Proprietary’ Information –

You should have the right to see where your site is linked, what each link looks like and how it’s relevant to your site.

No Reporting-

If you’re not getting a monthly update, bimonthly or even quarterly report showing what’s been accomplished and what’s up next; you’re getting duped.

Less Frequent or Non Existent Communication –

The SEO services provider that you choose works for and with you.  If you don’t have the direct number to your account manager or they don’t return your calls or emails within a 24 hour period; it’s time to move on.  You, your money and your company deserve more than that.

Those are just some of the signs that should raise some red flags for you.  Don’t waste your money with a company that isn’t doing the job you’re paying them to do.

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Thank you for considering Absolute as your affordable SEO company. I know you have several options in SEO Services for your website placement and hope you let us earn your business. I promise to be part of your project and to treat it as if it were my own. After all, "IT IS". Though Absolute does reserve the right to decline your website project, we look forward to hearing from you.

Tom Bates | President | Google+