Of all the Internet marketing strategies in use today, search engine optimization is the battle-tested method of achieving top most rankings in the search engines. Many commercial websites engage in SEO strategies to further expand their website’s visibility.
These techniques can help them to rank high in search results and thus provide better chances to attract customers and generate higher sales of their products. However, to register high rankings in the organic search results, there are various both on-site and off-site SEO strategies that work to help build authority and trust with the search engines on selected keyword phrases. To enable you to get closer to your goal of being ranked in the top 10, here are several SEO tips that can help:
Social Media is the best platform for your website’s promotion. Social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. are the best way to gain traffic to your site. Through the sharing buttons like Facebook ads, twitter ads, and Bing ads, your readers or audience will be able to share your posts with others. I personally use GetSocial.io plugin, it’s simple and elegant, but there are others like Sumome, ShareThis plugins that other sites use.
As a WordPress user, using Yoast SEO Premium or All in One SEO Pack allows you to preview what your post will look like when shared on Facebook. We have a similar preview for Twitter. Both previews also have edit fields below them.
Adding a WP to Buffer plugin and having a Buffer account can help automate your sharing process as soon as you post an article from your site. By using Yoast or All in One SEO you can visually see what your post will look like. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to add hashtags if you want to automate your posts to social media sites. You would want to use Revive Network Plugin. Want to share just the titles of your posts? Or include a hashtag, or mention a @username, or some completely custom additional text? Revive Social plugins allows you to do that, along with custom sharing, and track every clicks.
This will boost your blog’s traffic. Not only social networking site but social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc. are also very useful for your off page SEO. You will get immense traffic from these sites as well as a quality backlink which will increase your site’s Google page rank.
It is a practice to most SEO experts to first research on the best keywords which you can incorporate into your site to make them more optimized for local search. You must determine the most popular keywords being used by internet users when searching the products your website is also catering. You must also try to use those keywords and search for them using the popular search engines and then take note of the sites that will rank high in the search results. Get to know your competitors and determine the strategies that helped them to achieve high ranking in search results. All these can give you clearer ideas on what strategies will be most appropriate for you to use.
If you have a brick and mortar store, a good local SEO strategy is also to include local keywords in your website. This is to gain better chances for your site to appear in search results when a potential customer is using more specific keywords like a product with a corresponding location.
Dive deeper into local keyword strategy and use street names as well as social platforms like Yelp or Foursquare. Internet users who are interested in buying a particular product will use keywords pertaining to a product in a specific local area.
Yoast Plugin does an analysis of your article and provide helpful tips on how to optimize each article.
I believe that the last part of Yoast Analysis “You’ve never used this focus keyword before” is a great feature to have. You might write about the same topic in your niche, but understanding and discovering different keywords, both long and short tail keywords can help you maximize your SERP (Search engine results page).
While Yoast is an awesome tool to use, they do not provide keywords so you will need to use a different tool like SemRush.
You can type in your domain url down below (You will need to purchase SemRush to use this tool)
But you can add alt text to your images. This will increase your image search visibility when people use Google > Images:
The title or the image name is not enough. Make it a habit of adding alt text to each image you upload via WordPress.
If you are using WordPress, you can simplify your approach with automation using Yoast Plugin (picture above)
All in one SEO Pack, either free or pro version is not as automated like Yoast. However, habit of finding the right keyword, and writing the actual description can be helpful. If you are a control freak like me, you might want to add them manually versus automating the process. The difference between free and the pro version is the updates, the pro version is always one version higher than the free pack.
Practice changing the headings for each sub heading can help your reader visually consume your content, as well as help Google process it’s information and better read your content.
Video marketing is the trend nowadays. Bloggers are using videos to make their posts (especially tutorial) easier to understand; they promote their videos to grab some extra traffic to their blog. You can also use video marketing for off page optimization of your blogs; there are many sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe, etc. on which you can promote your video posts. By these sites, you can get massive traffic to your blog with a backlink.
The URLs of your website should also keep your targeted keywords in mind. Optimized search engine friendly URLs work to support your optimized web copy and meta tags by including the same targeted keyword phrases in the URL string. If your web page has the same targeted keywords in the Meta tags, in the body copy and in the URL, that all combines to make your web page highly relevant to the keyword phrase being targeted for your organic search campaign.
Google sees hyphens as word separators while underscores aren’t recognized. Consider using punctuation in your URLs. The URL http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to us than http://www.example.com/greendress.html. We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.
Once your website is well-optimized for organic SEO, the next step you should take is starting a content marketing campaign that helps to build links to your website. Building links to your web pages help build authority for your web page on the particular topic it discusses. The best way to garner these links is by blogging and article writing, as well as distributing other content to other websites like videos and press releases that help to build your online footprint and to help build links back to your site. This off-site content marketing strategy is a crucial cog in achieving long-term organic SEO success.
Link bait is content on your website that other sites link to because they want to, not because you ask them to. It is also an effective off page SEO strategy. The key to link baiting is quality articles. Whenever you write a quality post, then people will love to talk about your content and probably provide a backlink for the particular post. The quality of article content matters most, hence you have to write interesting and valuable posts that attract others, this make them share your post with their readers. This will increase your website ranking.
Local SEO strategies can surely help you to compete with your local business rivals efficiently. Internet users who are searching for websites which are offering the products that they would like to purchase would definitely search for it locally. For sure, they would prefer to buy those products in websites which physical address is near their place. To be able to get indexed by popular search engines, it is a wise idea to incorporate your business’ physical address to your website, web page titles, headings or contents. In this way, your website will have greater chances to appear in the local search results.
If your primary focus in an online business, focus on specific-detailed-pinpoint keywords to target specific niche. If you plan on selling an “email marketing course”, instead of trying to rank that specific keyword, ask yourself why your course can help your prospect.
“Last chance to revive your email marketing”
“Email marketing using only facebook lead gen”
Play around with different keywords that you can easily rank for.
The New Year is a great time to make some changes, and starting a business is one of them. If you are like most people, business idea generation is the biggest hurdle to achieving this goal. How do I choose the best idea? What is the best industry to invest in? Will the idea lead to a successful business? How do I plan and launch the business? Where can I get some unique ideas to invest in? These are some of the questions that this article seeks to answer.
Every successful business started with a simple idea which was molded and built to become the successful brands we know today. World’s richest entrepreneurs including Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the late Steve jobs of Apple and Zuckerberg are all products of simple ideas, so how are these ideas generated?
If you were not paid to do what you are doing, would you do it? If you can answer these questions, then you have yourself an idea. Besides, if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. Starting a business from your passion not only gives you the stamina to start and scale, but the drive to keep going when things are thick.
Apple Inc. is a classic example of an empire build from a hobby. After dropping out of college, Steve Jobs poured his heart in designing the first personal computers with color graphics designed mainly for beginners. The venture received amazing reception from computer users and created the business empire Apple Inc. However, founding Apple was not the highlight of Steve’s life, but being fired from the company he started. His burning passion for designing computers led him to start another company NeXt to continue doing what he loved. NeXt became another success story in Steve’s life and another chance for him to return to Apple as the CEO after NeXt was acquired by Apple.
This explains why a hobby is one of the best business idea generation sources. With a hobby, you don’t need a college degree, nor a million dollars in the bank, nor a luxurious office in the right neighborhood. All you need is right within you, your talents, your interests, your hobby and you are ready to take on the world.
Look around at changing trends in the society. What is happening around you? Are people becoming more anti-social, busy or simply lazy? Lori Cheek is one success story who started a business from observing that the society is becoming busier, and people have less time to interact and date. She started an online dating app Cheek’d which is fast revolutionizing the industry.
Lori Cheek’s story is unique since she understood the challenges of online dating and used them to create a product. Cheek’d app connects people in real time, implying that people get a chance to meet in person the first time, and continue the conversation online. The app notifies the users if someone meeting their criteria is within 30 feet thus can meet in person. The concept has enabled many people to meet and build relationships and gave Lori Cheek a chance to feature in the reality TV show Shark Tank though she was turned down by all the sharks.
Thus, look at the dynamics of the society, for instance, one of the biggest challenges in the US today is obesity, what idea can you generate from that? Think of insecurity, divorce, the plight of immigrants, teenage pregnancies, terrorism, unemployment, what ideas can you generate from this? Remember, the social problem is just a starting point; the idea lies in developing a solution to the problem.
Think of the challenges that you encounter as you go about your day. Think of challenges when making breakfast, when taking your kids to school, at work, taking care of your parents or even at your favorite eating joint. The story of Sheila Lirio Marcello is one that many American working mothers can relate to. Trying to strike a balance between a demanding career, family and parents is a hard nut to crack and this situation that led Sheila to create care.com. The trouble that she went through while trying to find care for her sick father and her two boys gave her an idea to create the website which helps families find care such as child care, seniors care, pet care, special needs care, and even housekeeping.
Today, her company has more than 9 million users operating in over 16 countries. Her story is a revelation that your challenges are not unique to you, there are millions of people facing similar challenges and are willing to pay for it. What frustrates you? Is it finding an apartment? Finding a good book to read? Moving stuff from one location to another? Or even the price of common household things. What can you do about it? There lies an idea right there.
Look at the products you use on a daily basis, do you think something can be done to make them better? Value addition as a source of business idea works best by improving existing products and services. King .C Gillette created the brand Gillette through value addition. Prior to launching the product, the only way one could shave was after sharpening the straight razor edge. King. C.Gillette felt the process was tedious and thus there was a need to add value to it, thus created a portable razor that was later adopted by P&G.
Today, Gillette is one of the oldest products that is used worldwide. Hence, look at weaknesses in your hair products, kitchen households, clothing, housekeeping, pet care or even beauty products. What can be done to make them more effective, safer, or last longer?
Traveling is not only a business idea generation source but one of the best ways to rejuvenate. In fact, if you want to live a more fulfilling life, experts recommend buying experiences as opposed to products and traveling is one of such experiences. However, don’t travel for the fun of it, but use the opportunity to look at products and services in your destination.
When Derek Beech and Collins Verdicchio took a trip to South America, they conceived an idea that led to Sumaq Alpaca Rugs. The North America -based company designs rugs using fiber from South-America which is considered to be softer. In order to appeal to the American market, Sumaq Alpaca Rugs were adjusted to suit the taste and style of local households, thus created a successful company. Thus, while traveling look at the hotels, businesses, products, meals, websites, or even clothing.
Note down something about all the things you see, which can be turned to ideas and explore them using the guidelines in the next section of this article.
Idea generation is just the first step of building a business. Unless an idea is implemented, it remains as just that, an idea. Thus, research on an idea is as important as generating the idea. The question that you are seeking to answer here is can the idea be turned into a business? Here is how to research on your idea
Regardless of the source of your idea, it must solve a problem. Having a great product is good, but until it can solve a problem, it will not add value to your life of that of your customers. Thus, you need to identify the problem that you need to solve and specifically how your product can solve the problem. Success lies at the point where your idea meets the problems of your target customers, anything outside that is a recipe for failure.
When generating ideas, it is easy to let your mind go wild and this might lead conceiving non-existent problems. When Maxwell House designed ready to drink coffee, the idea was to make customers enjoy coffee instantly without having to make to make one at home. However, how many people actually hate making a fresh hot coffee? Thus, the idea was great but was meant to fix a non-existent problem.
In any case, many households find brewing coffee a family tradition that gives them a chance to bond, why is that a problem? Thus, ensure your idea is not fixing a non-existent problem. It helps to talk to family and friends about your potential product, their opinion can give you glue on whether or not proceed with implementation.
So you have identified customer’s need, and designed a product or service but there is an existing solution to the problem. Why would customers find your solution better? When researching on your idea, look at all the existing products, and continue implementing your idea after establishing that you can offer a better solution to the existing one.
Classic example of this concept is yahoo and Gmail. Both products were designed to solve a need to communicate, however, Google’s Gmail succeeded by offering a better solution which includes email categorization into primary and promotion categories. Thus, ensure your solution is superior to existing solutions.
Your idea should lead to a product that is scalable or can be expanded. If your idea leads to a product that can serve your family members only, then that is not the best one to implement. A good idea should lead to a product or service that can grow, from family and friends to country level and even global markets. If your product targets a specific clientele, it should be scalable across many places.
Having conceived the idea, and conducting research, the next step is planning to invest in it. Planning strategies is all about determining where you want to go, and laying down the “how’s” to getting there. So how do you do it?
Here, look at all the aspects that are likely to affect the implementation of your idea. Look at the opportunities, competitors, economic viability, target market, the size of the market, political atmosphere. The best way to handle this is by having a detailed and comprehensive business plan. Details on writing a winning business plan will be covered in later sections in this series.
You don’t operate in a vacuum, thus talk to other stakeholders in the industry. This includes professionals with knowledge and skills in the sector, target customers, competitors and other players. After obtaining the feedback, make necessary changes to your idea to make is more realistic, practical and customer oriented.
If your idea leads to a product, develop a prototype of your desired product. This is to ensure that you don’t waste time and money on a product that might not meet your desired needs. If your idea leads to a service, you can offer free services to a small group of people including friends and family before launching it to the target market.
Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression, thus plan to create an impressive first impression. Launching strategies are many and they range from offering free samples, a PR exercise or sponsoring an event. Advertising and marketing are important when launching your product.
Niche is a special area of demand for a product or service.
Basically, an opportunity to buy or sell a particular product catered to a specific industry.
If your niche is in fitness. You would want to sell fitness equipments, supplements, workout trainings, recipes, and etc. If you are a Niche Marketer, you are providing a product or service and selling it to the people who are most interested in that particular product or service. Not to the general population.
There are big niches and micro niches. Computers are a big, general niche, which caters to almost every single person in the world. What differentiate a niche and a niche marketer is knowing who to sell it to, to get the maximum results.
One of the things that make niche marketing so attractive to sellers is that their advertising budgets go further. It costs less to advertise to a particular demographic audience and not to a broader market.
If you are interested in being a niche Master, check out my book on Niche Master
Niche marketing must be designed to meet the unique needs of the targeted audience. You must tailer your product to meet those wants and not just their needs.
If you are selling dog training courses. You might want to target those who have puppies. They are most likely people who recently got their new pups and wanting to learn everything on how they can train their new puppy. If you generalize and promote your product to every single person who has a dog or a puppy, you might not get the optimal results. Being specific is the best way to being a Master.
If you written an e-book that will explain how to start and succeed at an online business, those who are looking for that information are your niche market. Those who are happy doing what they are doing are not interested at all.
Niche marketing is very effective and cost efficient way to advertise and sell specific products or services to specific audience or, hopefully, buyers of that product or service.