Online Marketing in 2018
2018 is now upon us and the web is still steamrolling as the best place for online marketing. Since Internet marketing and can make or break a business, I have come up with a plan that can be used to avoid pitfalls and generate useful leads.
The 7 topics of Internet marketing discussion are SEO, SEM, content marketing, social media, ppc, Google Business Listings and Structured Data Markup. Since every website will receive traffic from various sources at different rates, I have put forward a list of the top places where you can make a presence and attract visitors and friends.
SEO is the short hand term for search engine optimization. Most people online know the meaning of seo and tend to have a wanting to rank high organically with the search engines. With proper coding, text, images, links and document structure, this can be a pretty straightforward procedure from the start. But, it can be tricky and patience is required.
Although the ultimate outcome cannot be achieved overnight, you can acquire excellent results relatively quickly. It helps to have strong writing, coding and reporting skills in order to have an edge of the competition.
When pages are built to gain organic traction, you must remember to test for local terms to hit the desired audience. For example, a recent survey explained that 17% of people searching don’t use a local term. It also explains that 21% of youth do and a whopping 63% of older searchers do add a local term. Keep that in mind; especially if your market is an older audience, or maybe someone who prefers using a local modifier as the results without one are often irrelevant.
SEO just not mean just pleasing Google. For example, in Canada you can find estimates that ~21% of searchers use Yahoo and another 9% use Bing; which are both owned by Microsoft. Essentially, the combination can be attributed to almost 30% of web surfers. This may be slightly less than half of the queries that Google receives, but they do cater more to SEO techniques like content writing and proper coding than does Google.
Therefore, always make Yahoo and Bing a high priority because they will grade your documents an ‘A’ like a teacher while Google can make it very hard to show up and conquer the established competition. Even though that is just the way it is, your efforts will be rewarded from them too, although a different process.
SEM and PPC
Search engine marketing and pay per click advertising can be implemented immediately in various forms. Typically, they are paid ads which are displayed when someone browses the web using specific keywords.
The ads can be used to display broad matches, phrase matches and exact matches. In addition, you can add negative keywords like free so that when people search for ‘tacos in Anaheim’ they will find you, but when they search for ‘free tacos in Anaheim’ they will not.
In rural areas, Adwords and Bing Ads are typically much more affordable and it is cost efficient to get to the top and stay there.
Asides from traditional search ads, joining paid directory websites and others listings can bring in referral traffic too.
In general, I see online content marketing as a writer’s dream, and the most common source of marketing weakness in most websites. For whatever reason, whether it reminds someone of those dreaded University papers or a high school dropout that hated writing anything down, people just tend to want to avoid doing this and it looks as though they would rather save their writing bursts for social media where social wording is natural, short and sweet.
Since content marketing works well in all search engines; especially Yahoo and Bing which seems to make coding and content a priority, one should use this method to grab the bull by the horns and go to uncharted territory.
But, this method does not best as a marathon, rather than a short sprint. As a site is updated regularly, search engines will take notice. You will likely find that other pages and your site as a whole will show traffic increases that resemble a hot trading stock. Take away the momentum and it can drop the other direction.
Thus, creating content regularly is a key. In fact, once or twice a week is not overdoing it.
Social media is a great place to build awareness. Again, there are some tricks to making social media be effective. Posts should be published often, and local ads and posts can be boosted from time to time as a mixture of organic and paid advertising will get the word out; especially if people follow your page.
Google Business Listing
For any established business or new business, building a Google business listing should be automatic.
Structured Data Markup Helper
Adding Structured Data Markup to your websites can allow for alternative presentations when your site is crawled; such as displaying future events. There are various formats that can be used to display your results, but one stands out; JSON-LD. JSON-LD is a simple snippet of JSON that can be added inside script tags. The two links below can be used to create and test the markup.
I am not sure what got into me one week, but, I sure had Fiverr fever. At the time, I was focusing on SEO and decided to see what five bucks would buy me. After reading various blogs and forums, I obviously did not expect much since more reviews were on the negative side. But, curiosity got the better of me, so I pulled out that credit card and made many back to back payments. I bought some PR 8 and PR 9 backlinks links, 150 edu backlinks and two SEO reports.
If you are still reading, you may wondering, how did things go? Well, the advertised handmade made links looked almost authentic, but not quite. The links were the same in all sources and looked machine generated, aside from the link address. I though he was using some auto mechanisms for slamming out so many $5 specials. But, they were ok.
The large volume .edu links were horrible; everything from not looking natural to a spinner that had no idea what it was talking about. After seeing the result, I only hoped my ranking would not be jeopardized. Never again would I use that service, even if I was paid to do so.
Fiverr SEO Reports
I did pay $10 for 2 SEO reports from top sellers and recommended vendors. One vendor, who had ranked well gave me an excel file that looked like it was made very quickly with Google Adwords, then, added a few columns based on the output. This was a waste and nothing that I do not do often myself. Another $5 down the tube.
Let Ther Be Light
However, I did find one vendor that provided a good detailed report. All I had to do was give them 1-3 keywords. They sent me a report of my website and the main competitors. This was done with decent software which can be moderately costly. I would certainly use this vendor again, unless there came a time when I wanted to pay $70 / month for similar software that analyzed my website and the competition. So, if you will need less than 15 reports a month, this can be a very valuable service since you obtain good results.
Google Crawl Page Quickly
If you have a new page that you want crawled you can speed up the process using Google Webmaster Tools. At one time, a typical webmaster may have built a static or dynamic web page, or blog post and wondered how long it will take for Google to crawl the page. Often, it can be just a matter of days; especially if you are adding fresh content on a regular basis.
However, if you use Google’s webmaster tools, you can have that page indexed within minute(s). The simple steps for doing this are shown below. All you need to do is login to Webmaster Tools before performing the following sequence of events.
Once you have logged in to Webmaster Tools, you click the website link. In this case, the link is fullstackwebstudio.com/locations/coding-blog.
After the next page opens, you select ‘Crawl’ > ‘Fetch as Google’.
Finally, you add the url into the input box and select ‘Fetch’. After you select ‘Fetch’, you click the ‘Submit to Index’ button that is displayed after you select ‘Fetch’. Once you have done that, select the radio button “Crawl only this URL” and click ‘Go’.
At this point, you can begin to browse Google for your new web page.
How To Add Your Image To Google Search Pages
Adding your image to web page search results can really help your page stand out from the rest. The search results with your images will look similar to a video search result, except you will have a small 50px x 50px thumbnail image next to your article instead of a youtube video thumbnail. If visitors have liked your content, they would more than likely select your result from the results since they would recognize your image.
The sequence below explains how to add your image to Google Search results. All you need is a gmail account to login to Google profiles. Then, you can modify your settings and be ready to go.
1) Open the Google Profiles page
2) Login with a gmail account.
3) Add an image at least 250 x 250 pixels. The image should look at 50px x 50px since that image will show up on your web pages.
4) Set the image as profile photo.
5) Fill in sex and birthdate, if necessary and upgrade.
6) Select continue and Finish.
7) Go to Google +
8) Click on your image.
9) Select ‘Edit Profile’.
10) Select ‘Contributor to’
11) Select ‘Add custom link’.
12) Add a label and a url and save. Add various urls if you want.
13) SElect ‘Done Editing’.
14) Get your Google+ id from the url.
15) Add the following codes to your web pages or blog posts.
<a href=”https://profiles.google.com/google+_id_goes_here” rel=”me”>Google+ Profile</a>
<a href=”http://www.example.com/myblog/” rel=”author”>About Author</a>
16) Wait for Google to update your web pages with the new image(s).
My Google+ Profile | Kent Elchuk
Google Keywords Analysis
Although driving traffic to your website is a collection of crafting good text, good page titles and good linking, much consideration should also go to positioning location per traffic of keyword. For example, assume you write a powerful article that will show up in Google’s search results for specific keywords. Now, ask yourself the question: What are the odds of someone reading or scanning through 20 titles to find me? Then, ask yourself, “Would I get more desired traffic designing a search scheme for less searched keywording; like Italian Restaurant in Vancouver vs Restaurant in Vancouver?”.
Since different keywords will create different user responses, you must understand your user and learn how to write for that user. This process will take trial, error and changing text. As time goes on, adding specific keywords and fresh, grammatically correct written articles can seem to create a rather predictable outcome.
But, if you want the user to return you better be a company for which he wants to do business or maintain a website that is a worthwhile bookmark.
Directories and SEO
Directories can be a fantastic format for search engine optimization. Directories can be custom pages with / without Google mapping, or pre-made scripts integrated into a website. Directories allow you to add listings that will dynamically generate page titles and custom text; just like a simple web page. If the directory is a unique fit into your website; such as construction ‘Do It Yourself’ web site with contractor listings, the relevant entries could be a reason for web surfers to bookmark your site. As a general rule; a bigger, better informative site receives better, more targeted traffic.
There are many, many directories available for a fee, or for free. Some are stand-alone scripts while others are extensions, modules or plugins for content management systems. Thje scripts come in various server-side languages using a database like php/mysql or apsx.net / msSQL.
Many directories have a backend that will keep track of web hits. On the other hand, the database may have a column in a table which tracks web hits. Analyzing traffic from a time to time will demonstrate how your directory traffic is functioning.
SEO and Writing
This article is intended to clear up a few details regarding SEO. The plan of SEO attack can be different for small and big websites. For example, for small websites with limited pages, the influencing factors are a good domain name, good page titles, proper keywording and content, proper text tagging(like h1, h2) good link structure(incoming and outgoing) and sitemap. For large websites, many of the same rules apply, but a plan is must also be implemented starting at the home page. Then, the development process must be considered; such as blogs, forums and custom pages. There is much more to consider, but this is a place to start.
As mentioned above, the plan of attack is outlined. The results will be be limited since the site does not expand.
Large websites really hold much more power than small websites. With more pages, much more internal linking can take place and many more keywords can link together. For example, this website(less than 1 year old) has only one dominant author and its overall Internet traffic ranking is often much better than many other web development / seo companies with a team. Why? Because one technical writer can outdo a team.
Why? Well, here is some history. Before the web had blossomed, our blogger had began as a writer using a desktop computer running DOS. With intentions and determination to being a published writer, practice was the key ingredient. To make a long story short, it took about 3, 40,000 word books with text, images and perfect grammar before writing perfect copyedited material was possible. Until that time, organizing paragraphs, cutting and pasting sentences into the appropriate spot and making sure the text flowed was quite time consuming.
Alternatively, I believe a good creative writer from University is the closest thing to someone who is qualified as a blogger. Although they may lack some tricks about tags and writing text, they have a better chance to do what really counts…producing thousands of good words per day.
By comparison, if I wrote this article when I was starting to write(after 3 years of University and passing English ECT) it would have taken the better part of a frustrating day. This approximate 500-word article took about 15 minutes to write, edit typos and publish. It is not perfect, but Google will index it very quickly(without a sitemap) and search engines will find new, copyrighted material. At 500-words in 15 minutes, 1500 words an hour is possible with bathroom and coffee breaks. In three hours that could be the equivalent of a 5000 word term paper for a 4th year final.
Does this help reinforce some more truths about SEO? I am just trying to help explain the truth since it could be hard to see the bigger picture, especially if many SEO companies are annoying spammers who seem to focus on ‘Trix’ rather than truth.
In today’s era, so much focus regarding SEO is about magical techniques, Google algorithms, etc. But, such little focus is about getting the words to the page.
All in all, I believe a skilled writer is sitting in a much better position to create SEO content than a staff with inadequate writers that knows SEO. You can look around and it seems obvious that many people entering web design, web development and SEO are not skilled writers, but, rather more focussed on assembling a website.
As a person who has experience in web design, web development, SEO, blogging, technical writing, I can honestly say that being a decent web content writer is no easier than being a good web developer. Being a good web designer is the easiest of the three. Take that comparison lightly since I am just speaking from experience.
Tabs and SEO
You see tabs everywhere, especially large websites like MSN and Yahoo Sports. Normally upon clicking, tabs allow websites to display content within a particular module. The benefit of tabs is that the page can hold much more content than a page without tabs.
Many modules and tabs can display any dynamic content; from text to video. Many such open source scripts are available for static html/css sites to content management systems. If the code is available to use and modify, the site admin should look at it to make sure it is optimized and minified so that performance optimization is given a high priority.
Blogging and SEO
Blogging is about the simplest and fastest way to create new pages for a never-ending Search Engine Optimization(SEO) program. The hard part is being a good writer or blogger for which propper grammer is used with words that flow continuously.
With blogs and blogging platforms, new pages can automatically create new pages with the desired titles. Since Google has standards, and learning those standards is not rocket science, starting an seo program today for tomorrow’s future is always a good idea and satisfying as you watch a website blossom.
With blogging, you can create new articles with titles, keywords, descriptions and various tags (h1, h2, b).
MORE IS BETTER APPROACH
The more is better approach is a method for which you do your best to write relevant content for a specific audience. It is a very simple procedure to get people to your website. For those who shun writing, you can always have someone else write it for you.
1) You do your best to write perfect editorial copy with appropriate tags and title the first time. You want it perfect, but the odd typo won’t be the end of the world. But, too many typos will look amateur. Then, you can add the content to a sitemap, but often, Google will pick it up soon enough without revising the sitemap.
2) Instead of focussing on the past, you go forward. This means you keep writing new articles. Google likes sites that update with new content on a regular basis. Also, you may find writing 2 pages on a similar topic attracts more traffic than 1 revised article. You can attempt to see how popular keywords are using various tools, but at times it can seem like a lottery to see how well pages rank. Being on the first page or near the top is always satisfying. In some cases, there is not a pure recognizable formula. But experience shows that writing more articles that are similar to others in content and linked together, will pull each other up as will an anchor link from a website using the same text as an article title.
Patience is always a key too. A website that gets stronger and stronger with good internal linking and plenty of updated content can show newly indexed pages within days. It seems harder to build from the beginning rather than building with a solid foundation. For example, a new site with the same content may not rank as high as a 3 year old site using the same content.
3) Read the stats. It is not uncommon for a 150-450 word article to attract 6-25 unique visitors a months. This translates into 72-300 unique vistors for one article per year. With an article a day which is like writing a small book, the numbers could be near 25,000-131,000 unique visitors. These numbers are very rough, but it gives the idea regarding expansion.
What all this means is that the web is still owned by those who can write. Although the technical aspects of SEO are always changing and play a significant role, text has always been the key ingredient to organic Google search queries. Without text nothing shows up in the organic search. Although the web has many people mesmorized, hypnotized, or whatever, writing is still something that hinders SEO since it is a completely different creative activity than web design, web development and software development.
Need a technical writer?
Generally speaking, writing more words allows for more phrases to be picked up by the search engines. Often enough, these phrases can exist in the content without being listed in the title. However, keywords and phrases in the title will get better rankings than those that are nested in the content.
In a nutshell, more is not always better in the article itself, but more articles is always better. The simplest way to achieve this is to have a blog or a content management system with all sorts of categories, sections and content.
Even though small articles and blog posts can be very effective, quality will always count. People are not dumb. If they are smart enough or have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to read, they will normally know the difference between the good writing and the bad. Also, your writing on your website will be a maker or breaker for repeat visitors.