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What’s the best way to promote a small business? How do you get the word out about your business on a shoestring budget? Whether you are a small business or a startup looking for low-cost, effective solutions to publicize about your products and services, here are some quite inexpensive strategies that you can use to advertise your small business.

How to Advertise Your Small Business on a Budget

1. SEO your company website

We can bet that about 80% of your target customers might be Googling. Hence, you can’t overlook getting listed up in the right place where your customers are looking for you.

So get your site geared up tow show up online on Google as well as on mobile devices. Find out the marketable keywords related to your products and services and optimize your page to get listed on Google in those keywords.

cheap ways to market a business

2. Create a Facebook Page for your business

With about a whopping 1.6 billion users (that’s a third of the entire number of people on the planet!), Facebook is the place to establish a presence on in if you are looking for growth! You can start a Facebook page and use it to post photos, offers and discounts about your products and services. This way you also get to advertise without paying a single penny as well as connect with your customers.

3. Try Sponsored Ads on Facebook

Once you have crossed the threshold of getting a significantly large number of likes on your Facebook Page or if you know that your posts are creating a good interaction among the audience, you can try using Facebook’s paid features. Depending on your goal, whether it’s getting more number of likes or more website clicks, you can boost your posts or pages using paid options to reach a large number of people. The catch is that you get to choose the target region and the type of audience you want to show your ads to.

4. Invest in Google AdWords or PPC Ads

Paid Ads on Google which are created using Google AdWords can be a great way to show up online instantly in the keywords that people regularly use in search. Since it involves setting up a bid rate and managing your budget full time, it’s suggested that you outsource it to PPC Experts who are qualified and trained to maintain multiple accounts in different niche.

cheap ways to advertise your small business online: Google Adwords

5. Start a company blog and promote your business using great content

I don’t think I even need to say this, but I might get guilty if I didn’t mention the importance of some kickass content! If you yourself are able to create it, it would be great! (Free is, of course, great, right?) If writing isn’t your cup of tea, you can always consider the influential bloggers in your niche and contact them. Everyone loves Top 10 lists, Best Practices, Tips, Do’s and Don’ts. Here’s the ultimate content marketing checklist I created, so you can get started. We have also published the 10 quick editing tips to create awesome content, which can turn any garbage to gold.

cheap ways to advertise your small business: Blogs

6. Take advantage of Press Releases

If your business does something that’s worthy of showing up in the news, never hesitate to report it in a press release. It can be your best media reference online and also generate publicity for your business at very minimal costs, with no fuss. There are dozens of press release websites online that you can take advantage of, including PRLog and Newswire.

cheap ways to advertising small businesses: press releases

7. Shoot your own videos and start a YouTube channel

You won’t believe how mind-bogglingly huge YouTube is! It’s got over a billion users online (one-third of the world!) and every minute, more than 100 hours of videos are getting uploaded in here. For some of us, YouTube is that platform where we can watch movies on a holiday, how-to guides, reviews of new gadgets and smartphones or even watch normal people unboxing and reviewing them. So if you can shoot awesome instructional and “how-to” videos or create simple Vlogs relevant to your business offerings, you can market yourself without spending big bucks. Hire a film student to do it for you or you can even shoot it with an old iPhone. It doesn’t have to be a DSLR camera itself.

cheap ways to advertise small businesses: videos

8. Promote your business on Twitter

Did you know that this micro-blogging giant has about 350,000 Tweets being sent out every minute? So not having a business profile on Twitter could be one huge mistake. Tweet, tweet and tweet about your products, new arrivals, offers discounts or simply about what made your day awesome. Give your favourite customer a mention and thank him for being so awesome with a 140 character message. That could be one sure fire way to getting a dedicated number of followers who could be your potential customers.

cheap ways to advertise your small businesses

9. Get locally listed

As the stats mention, local searches lead 50% of the mobile visitors to visit shops in a day. And 68% of the people use the “Get Directions” or “Call” buttons shown on local listings on Google. Many of us drive down the road to your shop using the directions as shown by Google Maps. So, make sure you get listed locally on Google as well as on the local online directories like Yahoo! Local, Foursquare and so on.

cheap ways to advertise your small businesses: get locally listed

10. Repurpose your blog content into Infographics, Videos and Slideshare posts

Recycle your blog posts and convert them into an eBook. Or transform your blog posts into infographics and Slideshare posts. Since picture-based posts are proved to have 600 times more engagement than text posts, infographics have even beat videos to be the most shared content on the internet. As for Slideshare, it’s known as the “YouTube of PowerPoint slides”. So you can transform your long form content into sales assets with slides in here. Besides another fun way to transform your content is by making a video tutorial about your products, DIYs and video reviews.

11. Get branded through Instagram and Pinterest

Pinterest is now the second social networking site in terms of growth, which is about 57%. Most of the Pinners in Pinterest are into art and craft and 88% of them are proven to buy the stuff based on the pins they see. Boasting billions of pins, this is where you as a business must showcase your products, especially if they involve food and drink, art and craft, home décor, DIYs, fashion, technology, cars, holidays and events. Same goes for Instagram, that’s booming with about 400 million users, 75% of which are located outside of US.

cheap ways to advertise your small business

12. Use LinkedIn Ads to get linked up

With over 400 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is another professional network you should be having your profile in addition to Google, Facebook and Twitter. If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with business users. LinkedIn Ads allow you to target your audience with characteristics like geography, demographics, job title, location or the LinkedIn groups they belong to. Being able to design an ad copy that’s tailored to the type of audience you are targeting, can help you achieve higher conversion rates and hence, better ROI.

cheap ways to advertise your small business

13. Design Flyers and Distribute them

Get help from that creative, designer friend of yours and create compelling-looking flyers and get them printed at an inexpensive rate. Distribute them to the people walking nearby your shop doors, give them away to apartment complexes, your friends, fix them on as many cars and other vehicles as possible or just throw them around the street!

cheap ways to advertise a business

14. Email Marketing

Emails are a very cost-effective system to advertise your business, especially when you are adding a new product line or a service to your existing business. It can also be used to invite people to come shopping especially by sending them promotional offers or coupon codes. Build an in-house mailing list of your existing customers or from your Facebook and Twitter followers. Communicate with them by sending them out emails once or twice a month. Anything more than that could put you on the spam list.

cheap ways to advertise a small business

15. Online Contests

If you can cough up some money for a prize, you can get a large number of participants to follow you. They could be your potential leads! Organize online contests which centre on your product or services. Having a tight budget? Don’t worry, you don’t need to give super expensive prizes. Two tickets to a movie or a sporting event, a makeup kit or some back-to-school gear supplies like some fancy backpacks, markers or an art set could be attractive enough for getting a lot of participation.

cheap ways to market a small business

16. Create Surveys

You can create interesting polls and surveys asking people to vote what they like best about your products, what motivated them to buy it. Offer them a discount or a coupon on completing the survey (as given by Kentucky Fried Chicken). You can also use these surveys to understand where they work, their age group and their income scale. You can also use the information to formulate your marketing campaign and also build a valuable email list of your potential leads.

cheap ways to market a small business

17. Vehicle Advertising

Go for a magnetic sign on your car or van, especially on the back of your vehicle. It is a very visible form of small business advertising. As your vehicle goes down the road, certain customers may copy down the address and phone number from it as they drive nearby.

cheap ways to market a small business

18. Bench/Bus Stop Advertising

Transit advertising can help you reach a massive part of your target audience. Get into an agreement with the local transport service to know more about the possibilities of advertising in benches and bus stops.

cheap ways to market a business

19. Ask your customers to review you

Online reviews on sites like Yelp and Google can make or mar your business. If you are confident that your customers are satisfied, ask them to rate you and submit a review. As you receive more of the 4 to 5-star ratings on reviews online, you will be the business that everyone wants to buy from. It’s a powerful tool to increase your credibility and trust among people about your business.

cheap ways to market a business

 

20. Collaborate and Cross-Promote

Expand your marketing outreach and surge your advertising power by joining forces with another business, that’s not your competitor. Get together and sponsor events together. This way you get to meet new people and expand your customer base. Add social media contests to the mix along with advertising your business quite a bit on each other’s websites too.

cheap ways to market a business

21. Offer coupons and giveaways

Once in a while, especially when it’s a festive season, send out coupons or promotional codes via emails, flyers and let people know that you are giving them some massive discount they need to make use of immediately. This sense of urgency can create a huge sales rush, so be prepared. Giveaways can also be announced especially for those loyal buyers or consumers of your products and services. You can organise a giveaway for people who make the biggest purchase or for people who sign up for your services in a given time limit. Online giveaways can be an awesome way to promote your site.

cheap ways to market a business

Conclusion

To conclude, advertising is all about finding out where your customers are hanging out and reaching out to them then and there. Every niche has got an opportunity to promote its business online. The key is finding out that appropriate mix that works fruitfully for you and channelling your resources optimally for it.

Have more ideas to promote or advertise your small business on a shoestring budget?

Do you have an idea that we missed out here? Let us know about it in the comments below.

As announced by Google on its official blog, they are rolling out a new penalty update from January 10, 2017. This new algorithm update will punish those mobile sites that irritatingly pop up interstitials in front of the user trying to browse the site.

Google had previously rolled out an update on September 2015 targeting mobile interstitials that ask users to install a new app. Ever since Google had been focusing its research on the user experience due to interstitials in general.

Google mentioned this new algorithm change will rank the pages with interstitials way too lower than they did once ago. Google’s new update is actually a replacement of the penalty for mobile app interstitials rolled out in September, last year.

But that’s not it! Google says they are committed to “helping users find the content they are looking for”. So it will be tackling those intrusive interstitials by giving them negative rankings in search results. According to Google, these pages “provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible.” So after January 10, 2017, pages where the content is not easily accessible (that is, content which is present on the page and able to be indexed, but not viewable by a user due to an intrusive mobile interstitial) will have its rankings pushed down on search results.

Clearly speaking, Google won’t be negatively listing all sorts of mobile interstitials.

Sites that will be affected by the new Google Update

Here are some examples of non-accessible content pages with interstitials that Google will be punishing:

  • Sites that pop up a new window (the interstitial) that covers the entire content when a user immediately gets on the site from search results to view it
  • Sites that display a compelling, standalone interstitial that a user has to accept or forcefully dismiss
  • Sites that use a layout where the top portion seems to be a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneathGoogle Update Penalty for Sites with Intrusive Mobile Interstitials

But not all interstitials would be punished, as Google says. There are sites would not be affected by the Google’s new algorithm change.

Sites that won’t be penalized under the new Google Update

Examples of sites that wouldn’t get affected by Google’s new ranking signal:

  • Sites that show interstitial as part of a legal obligation, such as for age verification or cookie usage
  • Sites that show login dialog boxes, under which lies content that’s not indexable publicly. This is in regards to sites that contain private information that could be in the form of an email or the unindexable content behind a paywall
  • Sites that use a reasonable amount of screen space to display banner ads, which can easily be removed by clicking it.

new google update: sites with interstitials that won't be affected by this update

This new Google update comes across as an incredibly great news for mobile users and webmasters, who found such popups annoying.

Once again, Google has announced that content and the intent of a search query will still be a major ranking signal, whatsoever. And this new signal would be one among the hundreds of signals used to gauge whether the site is worthy of being included in search results. The good part is there is plenty of time for webmasters to gear up and see if their sites have got “intrusive interstitials” and remove them.

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Whether you are a bestselling novelist or a small online blogger, you have got to edit your work. Your first draft is always a garbage of your thoughts disorganized and points that are uncertainly stated. Ever since writing dawned, it started with chaos and was restructured to end in order. Editing is such an important part of writing that you should be dedicating a big chunk of your writing time. While you go through your first draft, you need to check if your content is the best you have to offer and whether it’s got a flow or a rhythm going on in it.

Every writer creates a piece of content with a goal. For most of us, saving time while also polishing our writings is the main goal. Here are ten quick editing tips just to help you achieve this goal of presenting your best work in no time.

Write Awesome with these 10 Quick Editing Tips

So you have just finished writing your first draft and now it’s time to edit before you hit that “publish” button. But before you edit, I suggest you run away and leave off that piece you have been writing. If you were to do it all in just one sitting, you are committing the big blunder of letting all the errors fool your eyes into believing they don’t exist. Talk about ghosts in your content! When it’s time, wear those horn-rimmed eyeglasses and use these quick editing tips to make sure that you have hit the right notes and end up with the perfect final piece of content.

quick editing tips to create the best content

Tip #1 Skim the cream off your content

People read quickly these days and skim your content as much as possible without going over each and every word. So why not make it easy for your audience by keeping your content crisp, brief and fat-free? For your readers’ sake, don’t add so much fat into content by dragging out your sentences. Break up your content into bullet points with interesting benefit-driven sub-headers.

Take a look at these sentences and see the difference when reading them without the bolded words.

  • Every single person should read.
  • But the real issue here is people have a short attention span.
  • You are going to have to keep your writing short and brief.

Don’t you feel that these sentences are better off with the bolded words?

Tip #2 Use commas only wherever needed

In the English language, there are lots of rules to be followed when using punctuation. Even the usage of the little comma is subject to so many rules and regulations. Don’t over-complicate commas by putting them here and there like mayo on your sandwiches! The idea is to read your sentences out loud and if you feel that a certain sentence is longer than ordinary, break it up with a comma. Alternately, use commas on those spots you feel that the reader is going to stop reading.

Tip #3 Remove Empty Filler Words

The use of phrases like “here is”, “it takes” and “there is” takes the focus from the nouns in a sentence. They require other filler words to combine with them like who, how and when. Such phrases also stretch your sentences longer than necessary.

If your sentences contain a lot of these phrases, then it’s time to rewrite them.

Here are some examples so you can teach yourself to rectify them:

  • It’s fun to read- Reading is fun
  • There are many people who love to read- Many people read
  • Here are some DIY ideas for you to try- Some DIY ideas for you to try are

If you have already given a little description on the subject, then it’s okay to use words like “here”, “it” and “there”. For instance: I love being an SEO Analyst. It’s a great profession.

Tip #4 Replace weak verbs with strong ones

Certain words can reduce the impact of what we are implying. Look out for those words and replace them with strong, powerful verbs. It can drive home the point you are stating through your content, besides making it interesting.

Certain examples:

  • She had gone from Greece to Rome- She traveled from Greece to Rome
  • Dominos is giving out coupons- Dominos offers coupons
  • Make out a plan- Create a plan

Tip #5 Use Powerful Adjectives

Avoid using so much of “really” and “very” when you are describing something. Many people use “very good”, “really bad” to emphasize something while speaking. It looks good when you speak but when you write it down on paper, you get to see the difference. Words like “very” and “really” sound inadequate and are so much less of an intensifier than they ought to be. Keep in mind your reader’s time is precious. It pays not to waste his time by being as concise as possible. Get straight to the point with confidence using power words.

  • Really bad- Dreadful
  • Really good- Exceptional, Marvelous
  • Very Huge- Enormous, Tremendous
  • Very impressive- Catchy

Example: 5 Marvelous Benefits of Data Entry Service Outsourcing

When you use power words, remember to deliver your readers something that’s in pace with those adjectives. Don’t charge up your audience’s expectations and then give them some mediocre content to read. I gotta tell you, it’s a crime!

Tip #6 Use contractions

Contractions make your writing sound more friendly, conversational and informal. You don’t want your reader thinking that he’s reading a newspaper or a textbook. Examples of contractions are it’s, I’m, you’re, gonna, wasn’t, haven’t and so on. They are easy to pronounce and make your post easy to comprehend. So do me a favor and use as many contractions as you can in your post and connect better with your readers.

Tip #7 Remove those unwanted ings in your posts

“I am writing about…”, “She was running to…”, or “We are thinking about…” When you see so many ings in your copy, think twice about whether they are really needed or not- simply because you probably don’t.

You can get rid of an “ing” and say “I write about…”, “She ran to…”, or “We thought about…”. This gets your copy clear and easy to read.

Tip #8 Use Bullet points that match up

Talking about breaking up sentences, you might be doing it with bullet points. Bullet points state points quick and clear (like a bullet!) without much fuss. They are popular for breaking up long content and making your copy more readable. When using bullet points, make sure it matches up to the blog post title as well as the surrounding content. Many of the writers do the mistake of creating bullet points that are completely different and totally not related to each other.

For example, in a post that’s titled “5 Mistakes that could ruin your interview”, here’s a bullet point that actually goes along:

  • Forgetting to prepare a formal introduction

Here’s one that doesn’t go along with the title (because it’s not actually an error- you are suggesting what is to be done, not the mistake):

  • Prepare a formal introduction

If you are writing a post with a title that goes “5 Tips for Instant Success at Job Interviews”, you should be laying out “tips” in your bullet points.

Another quick tip for bullet points is keeping them symmetrical as possible. If your first bullet point finishes in a line, make the rest of them finish in a line. It’s good to the eyes and hence, easy for the reader.

Tip #9 Unpack longer sentences

A simple guide to writing better is to use one idea in a sentence. Long sentences make your writing a drag. Hunt for those long sentences in your copy and fix them as follows:

  • Eliminate unnecessary words
  • When you see a comma, think twice about whether it could be a full stop
  • If you see the words “which” and “that”, think if you can start a new sentence
  • Rewrite and rephrase

Tip #10 Track your mistakes while editing

As a final piece of advice, keep track of the mistakes you make. It can be a spelling mistake too. Certain words are hard to spell correctly. For example, I tend to add an after onward. So when I edit my posts, I keep an eye out for onward so I can make sure I was not butchered again. When you keep a list of your writing mistakes, it becomes an important reference resource. It just helps the task of editing in future a lot easier and is a sure fire way of not making the same mistakes over and over again.

In Conclusion

Grammar is something you might hate right now. But a good writing that encompasses good grammar earns so much respect and credibility from its readers. (Personally, bad grammar is my pet peeve!)

If you care about your readers, you must edit your copy and proofread it over and over again. Tweet it!

It’s key to making your content marketing strategy work out great for the long term. Have more editing tips that worked out for your content? I would love to hear it over your comments.

It’s key to making your content marketing strategy work out great for the long term. Have more editing tips that worked out for your content? I would love to hear it over your comments.

Crawling, Fetching, GoogleBots, Sitemaps, Alt Tags, etc, etc! SEO seems to be a game of making search engines find you, getting them to display your website on top so you get more business. SEO is perceived as an online marketing tool that is way too technical because it addresses issues relating to the website’s structure. For all we know, SEO is all about creating and linking to unique, high-quality content for search engines with all the right keywords!

How far is it possible to take a website using SEO? Above the surface, this depends on what strategies you capable of implementing and the techniques you use to “defeat” your competitors on your way to Google’s top but beneath it all, pull back the curtains and you will see, human psychology is behind all the show.

Yes, SEO is psychology. Why do we optimize sites for good content? Why should we use great images on the website? Why do we need a faster page loading speed? All because you want the user to feel inspired and click on to your website and buy your product. Your website is your sales person- the marketer and you (an SEO professional) are behind the show, analyzing the visitor’s mentality- what he needs, why he was turned off from your site and how you can sell him what the company’s got to offer.

Why SEO needs a psychological approach to it

Understanding the User Mentality

SEO has a technical side which anyone can learn easily in no time. But the best SEOs look beyond the technicalities of a website. They not only look at the website that’s in front of them, but they also look at them from a visitor’s point of view. They don’t just think about HTML tags and techie stuff relating to the site, they look at the UX (user experience) on the site. They are always figuring about what the customer wants out of the site and they are working on achieving that.

The best SEOs treat a website like a living entity that people want to befriend to, which is why taking a psychological approach is necessary for making the website run smoothly like clockwork.

Besides, how well are you able to probe into the minds of users? Especially if you had to enter a market you never knew? Well, any sort of marketing depends on this approach.

Search engines have their algorithms and rules as they want to serve the purpose of helping users find the best of the right information. We SEOs follow these search engine optimization techniques because we want the traffic to come to our website or blog. The biggest mistake that’s happening to all of us is forgetting what our audience have in their minds. Don’t just make your site or blog blindly according to the Google algorithms and updates without caring about what a user thinks when he/she visits your site. Even Google has emphasized the importance of considering the visitors when building your site. So, SEO needs a psychological approach to it if you think of your target audience in the process.

The parts of SEO that’s influenced by psychological thinking

1.Content Creation & Curation

We all know content marketing has been the most talked about hashtag on twitter these days. Content marketing involves the creation of high-quality content, getting quality links and promoting it on social media.

SEO needs a psychological approach

Your content should answer all the questions that a visitor might be wanting answers to.

Users like content that is answering all the questions they have in their minds all in one spot. It’s one way to make the user come back again to your site. Say, you have a page that talks about a product with just brief information like product features in bullet points. Or you have a web page that has got a product information with features, user reviews, and testimonials. Which page is the one you as a visitor would like? Of course, the second page that has got a detailed information with features, other users’ reviews and so on. This is also what people are looking for.

Providing information in a simple and convincing manner works as a boon to forming the right content marketing strategy. As users get convinced by what’s there on your site, it magically reduces bounce rates. They keep returning back to your site as you have made it easy for them to figure out what they want. This tells Google that your page is something that users want and hence, they bring your site rankings up.

2. Communication with your visitors

We all dislike people who appear to have selfish interests and behavior. Psychologically, we close doors at people who try to make us accept their opinions in a feisty and pushy manner. But we love people who are willing to share something great with us. We can never get enough of people who give us something in benefit and motivate us. It’s just the same for your website.

Rather than trying to aggressively sell your product on your site, invite them to buy your offerings by giving them some sort of valuable tip, a buying advice or presenting some great opportunities that a user doesn’t even know about or hasn’t heard of.

3. Engaging Colors and Graphics on your website

As Neil Patel, the world’s most famous content marketer states, “Color is 85% of the reason you purchased a product”. What’s the color scheme you have chosen for your site? Are your color scheme and the site design turning off visitors from your site?

It’s a proven fact that colors send various signals to the brain and trigger various emotions inside you. Choosing colors for your site can be tricky. But it should be appealing and engaging to your traffic. Women are more inclined towards softer and brighter colors like red, green or purple. Men, on the other hand, tend to go for basic colors like black and blue. If you are selling cosmetics and beauty products on your site, you need to use colors that women are likely to go for. It would be a huge mistake to use black and blue for that website!

4. Keywords must be generated based on what your target audience is using

These days, we use the Google Keyword Planner Tool, UberSuggest and the like to do a keyword search and find out the long tail keywords we must be using on our sites. Using such internet marketing tools is commendable as you need to know which are the keywords that could get you a higher ranking in search results.

But are those the keywords that your target audience is typing into a search to find you? Find out more about keywords that potential customers are using rather than relying solely on the above-mentioned tools.

5. Headlines Optimization: Is it catchy and amazing?

The use of power words like weird, incredible, secret, surprising, mysterious, bizarre, essential, strange, outrageous and so on, can make a huge difference to how people perceive your website among search results. The best headline is the one which uses this formula:

Adjective+ Keyword+ Promise = Killer Headline

For example, instead of a headline that says, “How to Start a Website”, consider a great headline like, “5 Quick Ways to Start a Website Easily”. In the second one, the headline not only appears catchy but you are also providing value and benefits in 5 ways. This is how you influence your visitors to click on to your site from the search.

Do you agree with the fact that SEO needs a psychological approach?

As you see above SEO is not just about creating good quality content, building links and getting it found online. That can result in leads but if you want conversions, that depends on studying your visitor’s mind and applying it to almost every element on the website. Do you believe in the fact that SEO is now influenced by psychology? Share it in the comments below.

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I don’t know how I should begin, but let me tell you, Pokemon has been one of my favorite and most watched cartoons in my childhood. I still recall not studying for my examinations and watching Pokemon even the day before the exams. It was essentially a story of two children Ash and Misty. Ash is set upon a journey to become the world’s largest Pokemon trainer and he has to face lots of challenges in the form of contests between other Pokemon trainers. Each Pokemon trainer has a monster (called the Pokemon) you can command for the match. These monsters were contained in balls, which its trainer could catch and throw out for a match. I could go all day talking about Pokemon cartoon episodes, but right now I have to stop my nostalgia trips to my 90s childhood.

Because today we are looking at what lessons have the launch of Pokemon Go has given us all. Pokemon Go has become so viral in the digital media. People have become so addicted to this game now. By now, it has been downloaded billions of times in the US alone making Pokemon Go the most mobile game in the US history! And by the time, I am writing this, the world has already witnessed the rash of problems happening all due to Pokemon Go, including death! The craze for Pokemon Go has indeed raised so much safety concerns already. That’s the height of people’s madness for the game.

What is the Pokemon Go?

If you don’t know already, the game of Pokemon Go requires people (the Pokemon trainer) catching imaginary monsters into their virtual balls, using the GPS on their phones. The camera turns the place where you are standing into a virtual ground where you can hunt for these iconic monsters. The best part is, you are rewarded for walking so long until your phone vibrates, indicating that a Pokemon is somewhere around. As soon as you find and catch the Pokemon, you are rewarded with game points. As you score a certain amount of game points, you pass various levels in the game. When you have collected so many monsters in your virtual ball, you can play tournaments with people having the same levels of yours. The game changes the local places and buildings into virtual Pokemon gyms to train their monsters and PokeStops, which people must physically visit to stock up accessories for their Pokemon monsters. These locations have been determined by location data gathered by Nintendo in the research period.

Even though Pokemon Go has not been released in India officially, people have been downloading APK versions available online to play it. So what’s this big deal of Pokemon Go? Why has the fame for just a niche mobile app skyrocketed so hugely? We haven’t even see TV ads of the Pokemon Go launch yet. As we all know, Pokemon Go became so viral through the Internet.

What are the marketing lessons to learn from Pokemon Go Strategy?

The launch of Pokemon Go, a game that seemed to be made for children has already made huge impacts on business. It’s also going to dramatically change the way businesses do marketing in future. Here’s a catch of we can learn from Pokemon Go’s astounding marketing strategy.

1. Social media can turbocharge a brand’s popularity to amazing proportions.

Pokemon Go is the perfect example of viral marketing. For the last few weeks, when scrolling through our Facebook or Twitter feeds, if you looked on both sides, Pokemon Go has been the most talked about stuff. Even on the days leading up to the launch, no one had seen ads showing up anywhere other than on social media. Pokemon Go was a fire spread by the digital word-of-mouth on social media. Nintendo, the marketers of Pokemon Go had just sent out tweets about the game’s launch in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. Over time, they have got mentions in 6.6 million tweets.

2. You don’t need a big fat budget for an ad campaign

As you see, Nintendo just used the social platform to send tweets about their launch. The marketers of Pokemon Go didn’t even turn to invest in visual advertising on TV. What matters here the most is that you connect well with people. That can be done by using social media as part of your marketing strategy. This proves that marketing is not necessarily associated with a weighty ad campaign.

3. Re-purposing content to match the modern trendsmarketing-lessons-to-learn-from-pokemon-go-man

The 90s cartoon content of Pokemon Go was re-purposed according to the latest technology and as per the tastes of the modern market. They have cleverly used the concept of augmented reality that’s becoming a trend of modern gaming apps. Nintendo, the marketers of Pokemon Go, could have used totally different assets but it chose to use the old assets, that people love so much and built a game based on it. After all, what’s better than the much loved Pokemon monsters coming into real life, right? Nintendo sought to use the brand it had established among the 90s generation and sought to use the passion they had to ignite its sales.

4. Targeting the audience at the perfect timing

Nintendo sought to launch the Pokemon Go game before the summer holidays, which meant that it was targeting the kids, teenagers and young people who would be leaving home for their vacations. It’s because they realized that these youngsters will be more likely to get caught into the hype.

5. Making use of the mobile platform

Nintendo was a reluctant company when it came to smartphone gaming apps. But right now, they have changed the entire concept of the mobile platform. Before the access of augmented reality required several gaming devices to be physically worn on our body. But Nintendo has made it possible without them. As stated online by people playing Pokemon Go, the app makes uses of the places of interest such as the churches, malls and so. These places of interest are used as PokeStops and Pokemon gyms. This means late night walks or sudden trips here for training your monster in these gyms.

This has opened doors to vast opportunities for marketers. Malls and shopping centers can lure a huge influx of people simply by putting a “Pokemon” sign on their front doors. This would make lots of people visit these places in search of an iconic monster in the building. Perhaps one of these days, coffee shops and restaurants will be serving Pokemon inspired drinks and dishes. And you could get you a discount if you show the game on the phone to them.

6. Branding is everything

Have you heard of Ingress, another game similar to Pokemon Go that’s based on augmented reality? Well, Ingress was introduced in 2013 and it had more in-depth features that Pokemon Go. But it never became a success hit as the Pokemon Go.

Why? Because Pokemon Go was a brand that was engraved into people’s minds 20 years ago. The brand which Pokemon has established in its customers nostalgically as well as on other terms, is the main reason why it sells. This shows that businesses with good branding strategies can have loyal customers anywhere around, even after a long stretch of time.

7. Incentives increase audience engagement

The Pokemon Go is based on a reward system at each stage of the game. A person gets certain game points as a reward for catching a Pokemon monster. A player also gets reward points for the distance he walks in order to find the Pokemon. It is also kind of good because it increases the physical activity of the user! This type of reward system has boosted engagement like never before and as you know, people find it hard to get unhooked from their phones when they start playing this game. Currently, it is claimed that in the US and the countries where the game was launched, people are spending lesser time on Facebook and other social media.

What else could change because of Pokemon Go?Marketing Lessons to learn from Pokemon Go

By brainstorming the latest developments in technology, identifying customer mindsets and branding, Nintendo has made the app that’s going to set even more records in the upcoming future. Even though the game promises to increase outdoor activity and bringing people of different cultures together, Pokemon Go has opened the gate to so many opportunities for businesses. Pokemon Go has already made a huge momentum in the news, social media and in many people’s lives.

Pokemon Go features the use of augmented reality. Before long, marketers will be using the augmented reality spaces to advertise and sell their products. So that could mean a significant advancement in digital marketing and finding out new strategies for this huge untapped platform.

Are you ready to play the game and collect your Pokemon? Off to catch ’em all!

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In today’s world of fierce competition among every business, you can survive only if digital marketing is part of your marketing campaigns. The biggest problem most of us faces is not knowing where to start when trying to enter the digital or internet realm of marketing. For helping you out, here are the awesome qualities of a successful digital marketer, that are more like practices, which can help you in formulating the best internet marketing strategy.

qualities of a digital marketer

1.Having Definite and Clear Campaign Goals

You can’t get more business and riches just by crossing your fingers and walking through hoping. You need a well-laid plan to make all that happen. The first task you need to do is to create a well-defined, clear plan when formulating your digital marketing strategy. You can create a plan which specifies the sales, leads, conversions and the number of page views you want to achieve by the end of a quarter, 6 months to a year. It can be anything that makes some sort of impact on the business and that which is measurable.

If there is no prior planning, you won’t have a clear way to measure these impacts, and it will be really difficult for you to create an effective online strategy. Once you have established what your goals clearly are, then you can create a road map of the various digital marketing strategies you want to use, to achieving that goal. For example, if it’s brand awareness and generating new sales, content marketing is the best way to go.

qualities of a successful digital marketer : Goalkeeping

I strongly believe that defining your goals well is the best way to start anything, let alone your digital marketing strategies. If you want to change directions later, you can always change and redefine your goals too later. But always start with real goals rather than a digital marketing strategy itself.

2. The Hunger to Learn More and be updated

A successful digital marketer is always curious to know more. You a digital marter is curiousneed to have the thirst to get more knowledge about the new concepts in digital marketing as well as have a creative desire to experiment them. This is required to find out what works best for your site.

Besides that, certain SEO tactics which work today can be declared spam tomorrow. If you want to know all these, it’s important to stay up-to-date with evolving SEO trends in the industry. Besides the challenger, innovative spirit and innate curiosity helps to enhance the skill set of you, as a digital marketer.

qualities of a successful digital marketer: he is curious and flexible to change

3. Having a customer-centric approach

The best digital marketer is one that puts himself into the shoes of a customer. Only then is it possible to identify what it is your customer wants. While creating a piece of content or building an ad, ask yourself what you would like to read or see on it. Instead of thinking qualities of a successful digital marketer - he is customer centrichow to get an increase in sales, ask yourself what would “wow” or delight you as a customer. Yes, having a customer-centric mindset is as easy as asking various questions. Identifying the WOW factor can help your approach and your strategies to be more customer-centric.

There are other ways to be customer-centric and that’s involving your customers itself. They are the greatest resources you can have for planning a successful digital marketing strategy. Analyze what moved them to make a purchase. Regularly ask feedback for their experiences on your site or with the products and services they have availed from your business. Pick on your customer’s brains as to what they are really looking for in the industry and incorporate their ideas into your strategies.

4. Being active on social networking platforms

Social media has now changed the SEO game. Social media is the new turbocharger that soars your content’s ranking on search engines. Google+ was created by Google to track the social signals emitted out of sharing and to weave the effects of these signals into search.qualities of a digital marketer: he is social media oriented

An efficient digital marketing professional uses social media to not only share great content but also to engage the audience. Tweets, retweets, facebook likes and interaction like these on social media accelerates the discovery of great content. It’s also a great practice integrating your website with Twitter cards and Facebook’s Open Graphs that uses Twitter’s and Facebook’s own meta tags for social promotions.

5. Marketing for the mobile screen

Mobile phones are where most of your audience will be. A successful digital marketer has certain policies for mobile marketing. Conveying your messages to where people are, is a basic part of an online marketing strategy. Mobile friendly and responsive web pages which are viewable without panning and zooming is a must for your website. Apps for shopping that have a “wallet” function and exclusive offers on apps can ensure a constant relationship with your customer.

qualities pf a digital marketer - mobile marketing

Mobile Marketing through apps

To promote your brand and for generating new leads, you can advertise your business on various apps. Ultimately, not building your online marketing strategy revolving around mobile phones will make them a big flop.

6. Selecting and targeting the right audience

Of course, there is no use of constructing a digital marketing strategy if your content is not shown in front of the right audience. One of the best qualities of a successful digital marketer is selecting the audience he needs and targeting them. A customer-centric mindset helps you to find out the type of customers you are looking for.qualities of a successful digital marketer - choosing the target audience

After you have identified who your customers are, find the channels which they use and hangout often. These channels can be YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. And then direct your resources to all these target channels. The more you know your customers, the more trouble-free and easy it gets to do these.

7. Keeping track of everything

This brings us back to the first point. Now that you have clear campaign goals, it’s easy to measure your progress. Analyze where you have reached in terms of sales. Many people commit the grave mistake of just measuring the increase in sales.

But don’t just focus on the increase in sales and page views, get in sync with your customer’s mindsets. Find out what really led them to revisit or make the purchase. Find out those points on the landing page that led you to achieve that goal. Hence, one of the awesome qualities of a successful digital marketer is keeping track of everything.

What are your ideal qualities of a successful digital marketer?

Passion and the zest for learning more contribute to building a successful digital marketing career. Are there any more qualities that made you or someone a successful digital marketer? Share it in the comments section below!

If you start working as an SEO Analyst at a company or if you receive inquiries to create and implement an SEO campaign on a company’s website when you work as a freelancer, the first step you need to take is doing a website analysis also known as SEO Audit for the company’s website and make a report/proposal on your findings. A website analysis shows the position of the website initially before starting the SEO campaign and it can be used to compare later.

How to do a website analysis prior to an SEO campaign

As a matter of fact, an SEO website analysis report also saves the headache both for the SEO Analyst and the company requesting the campaign because an SEO Audit report shows the areas which can take time and also be used to monitor the progress of the SEO campaign.

When doing a website analysis, there are four most important universal tasks to be done:

  • =>Reporting on the current state of the website- as regards to its visibility on Google, the achievements, the type of inquiries it must be receiving at present.
  • =>Check the age of site as well as how it performed in the previous years.
  • =>An internal analysis of the site
  • =>Preparing the final report

Pointing out recommendations in your report will help the company take full advantage of the internet marketing potential.

Here I give you the ultimate, most comprehensive guide to performing SEO Audits/ conducting a website analysis prior to formulating an SEO campaign. Since I want to educate all the beginners as well as point out new insights to the experts both together, this post is going to be a detailed one but I assure you the long read will be worth it!

In this post, I will be discussing all the bits and fragments of a website that’s to be analyzed during an SEO Audit, the contents of a website analysis report and I will be giving you the bonus of telling you which SEO tools you can use to analyze the various aspects of the website- something I guess no SEO blogs have been informing you about.

Part 1 of Website Analysis for SEO- Checking a website’s overall performance in Google

As part of doing a website’s SEO Analysis, you need to check a website’s performance in Google. It shows your website’s position and ranking on Google, as well as the factors contributing to such rankings.

1.Google Visibility: Obviously the first and foremost chore is checking the site’s visibility on Google, the number of the site’s pages indexed on Google. There is a very easy command for this and it’s site:example.com. Note down the number of pages the site has in total and compare it with all the pages indexed on Google. Also check the site’s ranking for the related keywords on Google.

no. of pages indexed

2.URL Analysis: A website’s URL must contain a small description about the web page in four to five words. If the URL is not optimized, the search engine bots can have a hard time figuring out what your site is about and which category/area your site belongs to.

URL Analysis

The URL should summarize something about the web page

3. Meta Description Tags: Analyze the meta description tag for each page on the website. A meta description is shown as the rich snippet on Google upon the lists returned to a related search query done by the user. You need to check whether the meta description includes the right keywords as well as entices the visitors to click on to the site.

Meta Description tag analysis

Check if the meta description tag is different for each page

4. Title tags and Headings: Is the webpage title and headings containing all the marketable keywords? I say, marketable keywords, because there is no use targeting keywords that have a high search volume or a click through rate. They won’t or will generate very less enquiries. The use of marketable keywords is necessary considering that the ultimate goal of formulating an SEO campaign is to generate more business and expand one’s market. Record whether the <H1>, <H2>, <H3> and <H4> tags are optimized for the best marketable keywords.

alexa rankings in SEO5. Checking global rankings of the website: Alexa.com gives you the global ranking of your website in terms of users visiting your website. Though it’s not an accurate way of measuring traffic, it gives you an insight into the position of the website among all the other websites in the world. It also displays the country wise rankings for your website. It is a simple tool to know the bounce rate of your site and the average time visitor spends on your site.

The best feature is that the Alexa Site Overview shows the top 5 search keywords which are sending traffic to your site. This can be really useful to optimize your site’s content incorporating these keywords.

top keywords from search engines sending traffic to a website

Keywords that send traffic to softloom.com

6. Page Authority and Domain Authority: This is important to find out the trust value of the website as far as Google is concerned. Page Authority is an indicator of how a webpage ranks in Google while Domain authority points out how your site domain ranks in Google.

Page Authority and Domain Authority as shown on Moz Open Site Explorer

Page Authority and Domain Authority as shown on Moz Open Site Explorer

7. Check Spam Score: Many websites have gotten links from low authority or spammy directories, contributing to bringing down their Page Authority, or increasing their spam score. Finding out spam score is necessary to eliminate all the bad links pointing at the website. The Moz Open Site Explorer tool works best to show these. You can also attach a screenshot like the one below supporting your stats.

check spam score

Spam score as shown in Moz OSE

8. Bounce Rate:Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors clicking on the close or back button of their browser when they come across a website. The bounce rate is to be reported while doing a website analysis. It can be found out via Alexa.com or through the site’s Google Analytics profile, if you are granted the access. While reporting the bounce rate, you should also analyze and state what can be done to decrease- maybe increasing the page loading speed might help or maybe a rearrangement of content is required.

The bounce rate, average daily page views, average time spent on the website daily

The bounce rate, average daily page views, average time spent on the website daily as shown on Alexa Site Info

9. Incoming links from other sites: Analyzing the number of links coming to your website as well as the competitors’ websites is necessary to know the amount of work that’s to be done as part of the SEO campaign for the site.

  • Using Link checkers/tools online: There are lots of backlink checker tools like Ahrefs tool, the Moz Open Site Explorer which shows the links pointing to your site.
  • Using SEO commands: Alternately if you use the link:command example.com on Google, you will get a list of sites having links to the webpage concerned. But Google just shows a few links. So it’s really good to use Yahoo for this purpose as it lists out all possible links. The command has a minor difference and it goes like this linkdomain:example.com.
  • How to know if a website has got bad links? The spam score in Moz Open Site explorer can indirectly state the number of spam links you have got. For example, if it is getting displayed in orange, you have 3 bad links. If you’ve got a red spam score, then it means you have got more than 6 bad links. In this case, the only option is to manually analyze each and every linking site, find all the sites with a bad spam score and use the Disavow tool to remove them.
Backlink analysis of a website

Backlinks Analysis for Softloom as shown on SEMRush.com

10. Reputation Analysis: So you have got a certain number of links from different domains to your site. But what is the anchor text that’s having the hyperlink in them? In SEO, it’s very important you get links with the relevant anchor text and with this, the surrounding content quality also matters.

Reputation Analysis- Anchor text analysis

Reputation Analysis- Finding out the anchor texts with which a website is linked to.

How to find these anchor texts? To find out the anchor text of every link coming to your site, you can use the SEMRush Backlink Analysis tool. If you are signed in, you can see all the backlinks to your site, classified as links coming from domain and root domain and most significantly the anchor text which gave the link.

11. Social Media Profile: This states the company’s outreach on social media platforms. The number of +1’s on Google+ profile, the amount of likes on the company’s Facebook page as well as the twitter followers all indicate a company’s social media presence and as we all know, social signals matter a lot in improving a site’s rankings.

Part 2 of Website Analysis- The website age and its performance in the past

Even if knowing the age of website has no significance of its own, it can work wonders to make impressions on your employers. It can also help you know when the site was started and the keywords and headings used on the site’s content previously.

Suppose you get an enquiry wherein the owner of the website tells you that he was receiving a lot of enquiries/having higher conversion rate before, going through the previous version of the website can make you understand the keywords which led to conversion.After that you can formulate optimized content strategies for the website.

How to check the age of a website? If you have installed the SEOBook toolbar on your Mozilla Firefox browser, click on the “Archive.org site age”  button when you are on the site. Alternately, you can go to http://web.archive.org/web/*/example.com, from your browser and a data which looks like a calendar appears. If you click on the dates marked in blue, you can get a screenshot of the site as on the date. So, the catch is to go to the oldest date available by clicking on the year and then the first date marked in blue. There, you get the oldest, the first version of your website! Interesting, right?

Part 3 of Website Analysis- A complete internal analysis for the website

A complete internal analysis of the website is mandatory if the company is planning to go for an SEO campaign. A website’s internal analysis reveals the underlying errors in its design and structure. One of the best tool to analyze all the internal aspects of a website is the GTMetrix tool. Besides offering a detailed comprehensive overview of the website’s structure, it has a grading system that gives you scores on the various aspects of the website. It also gives you suggestions as to how you can optimize or fix certain issues like page speed. Here is a sample analysis report from GTmetrix.com for Softloom IT Solutions.

Internal analysis of website for SEO purposes

The comprehensive internal analysis report for Softloom from GTmetrix.com

1.Number of Requests made: A website is built up of a number of files. More the number of files, higher will be the number of requests made to the server by the browser program. When there are a large number of requests to be made, it affects the page loading speed and this can be a big turn off to the visitor trying to access your website. Note the number of requests to be made to the website’s server and make recommendations on how you can combine similar files and java scripts.

The Waterfall: You can view the waterfall diagram of your site on clicking the “waterfall” tab on the menu below the scores. This can also be viewed on another website analysis website which is the Pingdom Website Speed Test tool. The waterfall shows the number of requests made by a browser to the server and the time taken for each request in a cascading form. The length/height of the waterfall indicates the number of requests and the width denotes the time taken for the request to receive a response that’s to be downloaded on the browser.

This is the waterfall diagram for Softloom's website as shown in GTMetrix Tool

This is the waterfall diagram for Softloom’s website as shown in GTMetrix Tool

2. Page loading speed and time: GTMetrix gives a clean summary of your website’s loading speed in Google and Yahoo browsers in the form of PageSpeed and YSlow scores respectively. Below you can see all the reasons and options listed below neatly. You can click on each of the options and work on the suggestions given.

3. Leverage Browser Caching: To leverage your browser’s caching means that you can control and specify the time period in which the browsers should store and keep the images, CSS and Javascripts locally. It’s done to reduce loading time in the users’ browsers.

Leverage Browser caching gives the user many advantages like saving data because already a certain amount of the website data is stored in the browser’s cache the first time he visits the page. For the website owner, the advantage leverage browser caching gives is that it doesn’t send the user away from visiting his site as the page loads with great speed and less time.

How leverage browser caching is done?
Go to Google and search for “leverage browser cache htaccess code“. You will find many pages which have the code. It should look like something below. Copy the code and paste it to the file having the .htacess code of your website. You can ask the site’s developer to do the same for you.

Leverage browser caching code for speeding up page loading time

5. G Zip Compression: The G Zip compression code helps you transfer files easily. Just like you compress files into a ZIP for easy transfer on your computer, websites can also use the G Zip compression code for doing the task of transferring the files from the server to the user’s browser easily. The advantage of this code is that compresses the many files on the server into a ZIP file and then after the ZIP file has been transferred to the user’s browser, the Zip file is extracted and uncondensed and displayed on the browser in the original form. All these happens at a speedy rate and the user doesn’t get to know them.

How to enable G Zip Compression? Google “G Zip compression htaccess code“. Out of any of the webpages mentioning the code, copy the code and paste it to the file having the .htacess code of your website. You can ask the site’s developer to do the same for you.

6.Keep Alive: Just like the G Zip and leverage browser caching codes, the Keep Alive code, if added in the .htacess file for your website, it helps in achieving faster page loading speed. The Keep Alive code is used to allow a persistent connection between the server and web browser. Usually, every time a new request is made for each file on the server, a new TCP connection has to be established. With Keep Alive, just one TCP connection is required to send requests for all the files altogether.

How to enable Keep Alive? Google “Keep Alive htaccess code“. Copy the code from any of the webpages having the code and paste it to the file containing the .htaccess code of the website. Again, if you are not familiar doing this for your website, seek help from the developer who has developed the website. It is rather better not trying to break your website  for this.

7. Serve Scaled Images: If you have a low score against this point, you need to resize all the images on the website and place them in the appropriate sections of your website.

8. Optimize Image: Having a defined image size that’s optimized both in terms of resolution and is very important for a website, especially when it comes to page loading speed. The “Optimize Image” option in GTMetrix.com not only tells you which images you need to fix on the site, but also provides you with the optimized image samples which you can download and save for use in you site.

9. Defer Parsing of JavaScript: Parsing (analyzing and breaking the code into parts and reading their applicability) of JavaScript is done when the browser loads a webpage. If your site has too many JavaScript lines, then it can impact the page loading speed by slowing it done. So the best solution is to defer parsing of JavaScript for the website by adding the “defer” attribute in the JavaScript code. Another option is to load all the java scripts at the bottom of the HTML page.

10. Combine images using CSS Sprite: If your website has got a lot of images to handle, it can slow down the page loading speed. Combining all the images of the site in a CSS Sprite can reduce page loading time as well as enable data savings for the user. If you have a low score against this option, considering writing a good CSS Sprite for the website concerned. You can seek the aid of the website’s developer for this.

11. Minify JavaScript and CSS: This score indicates unnecessary characters in the JavaScript and CSS of the website, which can slow down page loading speed. If your score for this option is low, they also give recommendations on the unnecessary characters that are to be removed.

12. Check for Broken links: Broken links or links to a page that do not exist/ has been removed can reduce crawlability of the webpage. If your site has broken links or links to other sites having broken links, Google bots will hesitate to crawl across your webpage.

13. Creating a customized 404 Page: If a person comes against a 404 Page Not Found error when surfing your website, he usually just clicks on the close/back button of his browser. It’s unsure as to whether he will come back to your site or not and chances are he will not visit your website forever! So creating a custom 404 page is mandatory if you want to keep your user on the website itself.

Certain tips to be noted while creating the custom 404 Page are:

  • Maintain the same navigation and menus as the rest of the site.
  • Inform the visitor that the Page they are looking for is not found.
  • Include suggestions for browsing any other pages of the website.
  • A search tab can also be included.

13. Content Delivery Network(CDN): CDNs or Content Delivery Network is a worldwide distribution network of proxy servers. The way a CDN works is simple. For example, if you have a website hosted in New York, people in New York and nearby states can load the site faster than the people far away, say India.

CDNs eliminate this difference by storing the website’s data files in its servers which are located in different countries and these are called POP servers (point of presence). So when a person is loading the site from US or India or the UAE, he/she can load the site in more or less the same time because they don’t need to travel all the way to the website’s origin server. Rather they can go back and forth from their browsers to the POP server. CDNs can store content, videos and images.

CDN benefits for your website: Besides playing a huge role in optimizing page speed, CDNs ensure safety as your site as it stores all the website files in its temporary cache which users can access, even if there is an Internet malfunction. It also prevents the site from crashing as the CDNs divide the page load time among the different geographically located servers.

14. XML Sitemap: Having an XML site map for the website enables better crawling by the Google bots. Check if the website has a sitemap and if it doesn’t, make recommendations for the same in the report. One can generate a sitemap from many of the XML sitemap generators available online.

15. Mobile optimization: Being mobile optimized has never been more important before ever after Google made it compulsory through the officially announced Mobilegeddon update on May 12, 2016. Websites which are not mobile optimized won’t show up in mobile search results.

  • =>Check if the website is able to be viewed easily on mobile devices without zoom.
  • =>Also check the server’s responding time for the website- it tells you about the page loading speed on mobile devices.

Part 4 of Website Analysis- Presenting the Website Analysis/ SEO Audit Report

The last and most important step is making a report on the website’s SEO Analysis. A well presented SEO Report is key to getting hired or convincing your boss that you are one smart SEO Analyst!

Make sure you support all the facts and findings in your report with appropriate screenshots. Also make recommendations or suggestions as to what you will be doing to improve the site’s performance as well as its rankings. So here I give you brief list of contents that form part of a brilliantly prepared SEO Website Analysis Report:

1.Your company profile: Name of your company(or your name), title of the report as well as the date on which you created the report.

2.The profile of the company you are reporting for: Name of the company, URL of the company’s website, Webpage title.

3.Page Authority and Domain Authority

4. Google Visibility: Number of pages indexed on Google.

5. Alexa Rankings

6. Bounce Rates

7. Daily Page Views

8. Average time spent on site

9. Links Analysis: Number of backlinks to the website, the number of domains and root domains

10. Reputation Analysis: The anchor text of the backlinks coming into the website.

11. Internal Analysis: PageSpeed score, YSlow score, Page Load Time, Total Page Size, Requests, Broken Links if any

12. Page Speed Improvement recommendations: Leverage browser caching, G Zip compression, CDNs, scaling and optimizing images, custom 404 not found error page, defer parsing of JavaScript, whichever is applicable

13. SEO Recommendations: Optimizing the URL, title tags, headings and meta tags of the website; adding Alt tags for images on the company’s website, XML sitemap generation for easy crawl-ability by Google bots, mobile optimization of the website, creating a company page on the social media sites if not done yet.

An SEO audit report comprising all these ingredients is sure to impress the person reading it if it’s presented in a simple but catchy design. Don’t forget to add screenshots wherever required. A picture speaks 1000 times better.

SEO Tools for conducting a Website Analysis/ SEO Audit Tools

1. SEO commands: To show number of pages indexed on Google- site:example.com; To show all the sites linking to the company’s website- For Google- link:example.com, On Yahoo: linkdomain:example.com

2. For showing Page Authority and Domain Authority: Moz Open Site Explorer, Smallseotools Page Authority Checker, SmallSeoTools Domain Authority checker

3. Backlinks Analysis: SEMRush, Moz Open Site Explorer, Ahrefs backlink checker, Nibbler analysis, Woorank

4. Reputation Analysis: SEMRush, Google Webmaster Tools (Available only if you have access to company’s google profile: Dashboard>Search Traffic>Links to your site)

5. Site Age check: The SEOBook toolbar extension for Firefox browsers(downloadable after registering with the site), Internet Archive website

6. Alexa Ranking: Alexa Site overview for your website

7. Bounce Rates, Page Views and average time spent: Alexa Site Overview, Google Analytics (available only if you have access to company’s google profile)

8. Mobile optimization check: Google Page Speed Insights, Varvy Mobile SEO tool

9. Internal analysis of website (page speed, loading time): GTMetrix.com, Google PageSpeed Insights

I hope my post has helped you with conducting an effective website analysis as an SEO professional. Why not let me know in the comments section? If you have any doubts, leave me a reply and I promise to answer your queries swiftly!

For more awesome SEO tips and website analysis posts, stay tuned to our blogs!

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WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SEO IN IT FIELD

The role of seo in it field

Do you know about what is the role of seo? The SEO is Search Engine Optimization. The Search Engine Optimization is the process  of improving the visibility of a website on organic (“natural” or UN-paid) search engine result pages (SERPs), by incorporating search engine friendly elements into a website. The role of seo,  is a successful search engine optimization campaign will have, as part of the improvements, carefully select, relevant, keywords which the on-page optimization will be designed to make prominent for search engine algorithms. The SEO is broken down into two basic area. There are  given below:

  1. On page Optimization: The process of website optimization that includes adding key word to your web page and linking your web pages together with keyword optimized links.
  2. Off page Optimization:  SEO is the term used to describe a set of process that aim in optimizing a website for Search Engine. SEO is important not only for getting high quality visitors but it is also a way to increase the creditability of a website and expand brand awareness.

The Role of SEO in Your business

The role of seo in business

Now a days competitive market SEO is more important than ever. Search engines serve millions of users per day looking for answers to their questions or for solutions to their problems.  If you have a web site, blog or online store, SEO can help your business grow and meet the business objectives. The role of seo, is also important for the smooth running of a big web site. Web sites with more than one author can benefit from SEO in a direct and indirect way. Their direct benefit is increase in search engine traffic and their indirect benefit is having a common framework (checklists) to use before publishing content on the site.

SEO & Social Media Promotion

The role of seoSEO is also good for the social promotion of your web site. People who find your web site by searching Google or Yahoo are more likely to promote it on Face book, Twitter, Google+ or other social media channels. Every organization has different roles, and the roles may have different responsibilities, but this gives some idea of the ways you might persuade different people that they can contribute to and benefit from SEO. Feel free to use the comments to share any particular advice you have for explaining & promoting SEO internally. If you have any particular objections that come up, do mention them and we’ll see if we can come up with suitable responses.

 

 

 

 

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Google Algorithm Updates

Google Algorithm Updates are the steps that google uses to upgrade their search results to deliver quality and more targeted results for users.  Google uses numerous other criteria that change periodically to deliver more relevant results as well as to prevent people from gaming the system. The word “algorithm” refers to the logic-based, step-by-step procedure for solving a particular problem. In the case of a search engine, the problem is “how to find the most relevant webpages for this particular set of keywords”. The algorithm is how Google finds, ranks, and returns the relevant results”.

Google has had numerous algorithm changes, many of Google Algorithm Updates  have names and multiple versions, including Boston, Caffeine, Cassandra, Dominic, Esmerelda, Fritz, Florida, Austin, Brandy, Allegra, Bourbon, Gilligan, Jagger, Big Daddy, Buffy, Dewey, Panda and Penguin. In 2013, the Hummingbird algorithm was a major change in order to deliver more targeted results for users.

Google Algorithm Updates

 

Before going deep into important algorithm updations of google, lets go through history of google.

History of Google

Google was started in March 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they where  Ph.D. students at Stanford University,California. The conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page. Then new technology called pagerank was introduced. It determined a website’s relevance by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages, that linked back to the original site. It was first named as ‘backrub’ because the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a site. They changed the name to Google, originating from a misspelling of the word “googol”. Googol is the number one followed by one hundred zeros. Google’s original homepage had a simple design.google homepageWhy  Google Algorithm Updates was started?

Initially very little was needed to fully optimize a site. All we have to do is optimize the  page content. The inverse relationship between query position and weight, simply boiled up by putting  one’s important keywords higher on the HTML tag hierarchy. This was relatively simple algorithm. So webmasters quickly discovered tricks to vastly boost their SERP. They started practicing link keyword stuffing on page content. As a result, google removed these sites from its index. They started to practice this to punish disingenuous webmasters looking to cheat the system. Each year Google changes its search algorithm about 500-600 times.

Some important Google Algorithm Updates

  • Google Panda Update
  • Google Penguin Update
  • Google Pirate Update
  • Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update
  • Google Hummingbird
  • Rank Brain Updation
  • Google Payday Update
  • Google Pigeon Update
  • Google Mobile Friendly Update

Google Panda Update

Google’s Panda Update is a search filter introduced in February 2011. It is also called farmer update. It meant to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. Poor quality contents are those with

  • Shallow content (not enough content to be useful).
  • Poorly written content.
  • Content copied from other sites.
  • Content that’s not useful.

Panda is updated time to time in a monthly basis. Site once hit can be escaped if they have done appropriate changes to the content. The sites once escaped could also be caught. Latest Panda updation was the 30th updation on july 2015. Panda 4.2 affected 2-3% queries.

google panda

Google Penguin Update

Google Penguin is a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012. This Google Algorithm Updates is to catch sites deemed to be spamming its search results. This  includes

  • paid links,
  • asking for a link,
  • negotiating link exchanges,
  • automating link creation ,
  • buying links or obtaining them through link networks .

google penguin

Some reasons why your site get affected by penguin are

*  Anchor text over optimization

*  Low quality backlinks

*  Link relevance

*  Outbound link quality

*  Keyword stuffing

*  Websites with virus or spam warning

*  Hidden links and Hidden texts

The last official Penguin update, Penguin 3.0 happened on October 17.  The simplest recovery is to extract the link list associated with his website. Through the webmaster tools “latest links” and remove the links that fall into an unnatural pattern.

Google Pirate Update

Google’s Pirate Update is a filter introduced in August 2012. Designed to prevent sites with many copyright infringement reports, as filed through Google’s DMCA system, from ranking well in Google’s listings.   Many sites experienced more than a 96% drop in search visibility.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act was signed into law by then-president Bill Clinton on October 1998. The law makes it a criminal offense to produce and distribute anything that is protected by digital rights management (DRM).

Take a look at daily traffic loss from several major pirate sites.

pirate

Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update

The EMD Update is for “Exact Match Domain”.  Exact match domains mean domains that match exactly for the search query. It is a filter Google launched in September 2012 to prevent poor quality sites from ranking. Simply because they had words that match search terms in their domain names. When a fresh EMD Update happens, sites that have improved their content may regain good rankings. New sites with poor content  or those previously missed by EMD  may get caught. In addition, “false positives” may get released.

Google Hummingbird Update

Hummingbird is the name of the new search platform that Google is using as of September 2013. Its meaning is “precise and fast” and is designed to better focus on the meaning behind the words. Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. Google Hummingbird is designed to apply the meaning technology to billions of pages from across the web, in addition to Knowledge Graph facts, which may bring back better results.

hummingbird

Rank Brain

Rank Brain is an artificial intelligence (AI) program used to help process Google search queries. Rank Brain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities, called vectors,  that the computer can understand. If Rank Brain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result. According to Google it’s the third most important factor in determining the results that appear in your search queries.

rank brain

 

Google Payday loan

Google launched the Google Payday Loan algorithm to filter out lower quality websites. They were using a variety of spam techniques to boost their rankings for heavily trafficked search keyword queries. This update, which was designed to combat specific search queries that tend to have a high number of extremely spam results was launched in June 11, 2013. The algorithm impacted roughly 0.3% of the U.S. queries, but Matt said it went as high as 4% for Turkish queries where Web spam is typically higher.

payday

Google Pigeon Update

Launched on July 24, 2014 for U.S. English result. The Pigeon Update is a new algorithm to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results. Google stated that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters. This is quite useful for the user and the local business.

pigeon

Google Mobile-Friendly Update (Mobilegeddon)

On April 21 2015, Google released a significant new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that’s designed to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in Google’s mobile search results. In order for a site to be considered mobile-friendly,

*   Its text has to be readable without tapping and  zooming.

*   tap targets need to be spaced out appropriately.

*   The page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.

mobile friendly

Google algorithm updates from Kavya V K

 

Off Page SEO

off page seo

Off page SEO refers to the techniques that can be taken out side of a website,  to improve it’s position in  search engine results page (SERPs). Off-Page SEO includes not only link building but also social media promotion, bookmarking, etc. It also done with promotion works of a website. It is a best way to get more website traffic.

Before learning more about Off-Page SEO, we have to know little about SEO and it’s types.

SEO

types of seoSEO (search engine optimization) is a method of changing the rank of a web page or a website in search engine results using keywords or phrases. Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. It is an approach of techniques to increase the amount of visitors to a website. Two types of SEO:

  • On Page SEO
  • Off Page SEO

On Page SEO:

Here optimizing your website and making changes on title, meta tags, site structure, site content, solving canonicalization problem, managingrobots.txt etc. It provides good contents, keywords & putting them into correct places, giving appropriate title to all pages, etc.

Now back to our discussion, Off Page SEO.

We all are know Off Page SEO is important as much as On Page SEO. Then The Question is… Why Off Page SEO is important ?

off page seo importance

When we search about anything on search engines, they give us the best results for our search. For getting this best results, search engines find a lot of techniques including on and off page seo. Through Off Page SEO, mainly we got back links. Each link is a reference for search engines about that site. It is more likely to have mentions on social media ( Facebook likes, tweets, Pins, +1’s etc. ) and it is more likely to be bookmarked and shared among communities of like-minded users. References means, a very good indication on how the World (other websites and users) value the particular website.

Off Page SEO have lots of benefits. Some of them are:

 

  • Increase in Rankings : by getting more back links, website will rank higher position in SERPs. Through this website gets more traffic also.
  • Increase in Page Ranks : Page Rank indicates the importance of a website in the eyes of Google.  We know that, Page Rank values between 0 – 10. That’s why Google gives more relevant results to the searcher.
  • More Exposure : By getting higher ranks means great exposure. While getting in the top position (a website), it gets more links, more visits, more social media mentions, impressions, etc.

Now we can move to off page seo techniques.,

LINK BUILDING

It is a popular Off Page SEO method. We mainly build a link for getting a good position in search engines. Search engines like Google treats a link from another website to your site as a confidence. By making links from other sites, it means your site is trust worthy and Google considers it as a vote for your site. For example if someone likes this page and references it from his/her website or blog, then this is like telling search engines that this page has good information.

link building

Link building is good, by getting Good Quality link is better for your site. Which means getting so many link from with or without trustworthy is not a good method. All links are not equal, One link from a high authority site is much better than many links from a bunch of low authority sites.

Try to avoid artificial link building methods, like buying and selling of links, use of automatic programmes to create links to your site, etc. These techniques are all considered as ‘Black Hat‘ method by Google, which will be punishable to your site.

Most popular link building methods are:

DIRECTORY SUBMISSION :

directory submission

Now a days, submission of website to a directory is a common method in SEO. Purpose of directory submission is to get back links. It is purely based on how effectively we are selecting those directories and how efficiently we are choosing the category for submission. Submit your websites to the topmost quality directories like DMOZ, Yahoo Directory, etc.

Nowadays many web directories may offer paid listings but don’t go for it. That sites may not be trustworthy.

LINK BAITING :

Link Baiting is used to get many in-bound links pointed to your site. It is the practice of crafting content that is designed to get other content producers to link to it. Suppose you have copied/published another website’s news or content in your blog/website. Don’t forget to place their website link as a reference. Do it for others and, if your content is trustworthy, let others do it for you. This is another way to increase your link popularity.

link baiting

Examples of link bait, include breaking news, striking images, controversy, humor, educational material and applications. If your content has value for readers, they are likely to share the link.

CROSS-LINKING :

Cross linking is the process of linking between two sites. (Sites may or may not be owned by the same person). It allows users to reference sites with content similar to that which they are already viewing, and may be of further interest to them. Link to internal pages within your site wherever necessary (Internal Linking).  Through this you can increase your link popularity. Which is another major factor of Google Page Rank algorithm.

cross linking example

Also try to get a content link from websites/blogs that are related to your site theme. Try getting a link from within their site content using a targeted keyword as anchor text. Very good example for Cross Linking is Wikipedia. These types of links have more weight from a search engine point of view.

LINK EXCHANGE :

link exchangeExchange links with service-related websites (this is commonly termed as Thematic Link Exchange) that can help increase your link popularity, which is a major factor of Google’s Page Rank algorithm. Beware of Black-Hats while doing exchanges. For example, I could link your website from mine and you could do the same.

ARTICLE DIRECTORIES :

An article directory is a website with collections of articles written about different subjects. By publishing your articles on an article directory you could get a link (or 2) back to your website. Some article directories accepted only unique content while other directories accepted anything from spin articles to already published articles. Sometimes article directories are referred to as content farms, which are websites created to produce mass content.

SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION :

Submit your website to the most popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Altavista, Alexa, Alltheweb, Lycos, Excite, etc., to get listed for free.

FORUM SIGNATURES :

Many people where commenting on forums for the sole purpose of getting a link back to their website (they included the links in their signature). It is a great way to build back links for your site. Search for the forums that is suitable to your topic.

COMMENT LINK:

The same concept as forum signatures where you comment on some other website or blog in order to get a link back. Even worse, instead of using your real name you could use keywords so instead of writing ‘comment by safna’,  you wrote ‘comment by How to lose weight’ or anything similar. Try to comment on relevant website which is suitable to your website topic. Otherwise it will become black hat method.

BLACK HAT SEO

 Black hat SEO doesn’t obey search engine guidelines.  Its Techniques and SEO strategies focus only on search engines. That is, black hat seo doesn’t focus on human audience. Some examples of black hat SEO techniques include keyword stuffing, invisible text, doorway pages, adding unrelated keywords to the page content or page swapping (changing the webpage entirely after it has been ranked by search engines). Black hat SEO can possibly result in your Web site being banned from a search engine. Google has become very intelligent in recognizing black hat seo. With the introduction of Panda and Penguine they have managed to solve the problem and protect their search engine from spammers.

Some Techniques of Black Hat SEO :

blackhat seo techniques

  • Cloaking: 

Here content presented to the user is entirely different from the content presented to Search Engine Spider.

  • Duplicate Content :

It involves copying contents from one website and posting it on another website.

  • Comment Spamming :

Some website owners leave poor comments on every blog post or any other area which will get a link back to their website. We are already said about how to get a back link through comment.

  • Link Spam :

A way of getting link to the site from unrelated and low quality sites. Link building is an easy way to manipulate the search engine algorithm and many spammers take the advantage of this by building link network which leads to the creation of black hat seo.

  • Article Submission :

Submit contents to many article directories which is low quality.

  • Directory Submission :

Paying to submit your website to thousands of low quality directories.

  • Hidden Text :

Creating text or links which is the same color of the background of the site.

  • Keyword Stuffing :

It involves overloading a page with keywords beyond what might be expected for meaningful content.

Disadvantages of Black Hat SEO –

blackhat

  1. If Google detects website of link spamming, link farming, keyword stuffing, or any other illegal activities, it can ban your website from their search portal.
  2. Temporary high ranking switches to low ranking.
  3. Quality of the website goes bad.
  4. Permanently banned from search engines.

Difference Between Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO

 

black white hat seo

To “FOLLOW” or “NOFOLLOW”

Nofollow is an attribute that can be added to links to discourage Comment Spam. Webmasters gives a way to link to a website without passing any ‘link juice’ (for example in the case of ads), search engines introduced what is known as the “nofollow” link. This is a special tag you can add to a link. Example: <a href=http://www.anysite.com rel=”nofollow”>Any Site</a>) that tells search engines not to count the particular link as a ‘vote’ to the referenced website. Now you can link other websites from yours without taking the risk of being caught for selling or exchanging links.

Now we have to know ‘what is a good link’?

First you should understand that link building is not only focused for quantity but for quality too. In other words it doesn’t matter how many links are pointing to your website but it is more important from where these links are coming. For example a link from a normal blog does not have the same weight as a link from New York Times or a link from Matt Cutts blog (head of Google Quality team) is not the same as a link from my blog.

SOCIAL MEDIA

social mediaSocial media is part of ‘off-site SEO’ and it’s also a form of link building. It should be noted that almost all of the links you get from social media sites are “nofollow” but this does not mean that they do not have any value. Try to become a member of the most popular social networking sites like Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, Linked In, Ecademy, etc., and create a profile of your own. By doing this you can extend your network online, get connect with your friends, share things with each other, and promote your company/website to build an online reputation. You have to show your active participation on a regular basis. When you get involved with social networking sites you are stepping away from your website and putting your self into internet’s vast community. It gives more opportunity to interact with customers, etc. Likes and Shares also boost the visibility of your site.

  • twitter buttonAdd a TWITTER button to your website, so that visitors are able to tweet your content and share it with their followers. Create your own Twitter account and notify your followers about interesting contents, product updates, etc. In Tweets use hash tag with keywords easily found in Twitter Search.
  • facebookFacebook may have good impact on your rankings. Add a Facebook Like Button to your website. Create a Facebook page and engage your readers in sharing and discussing your post, photos and videos.

 

  • google plusMake sure your website has a Google+ page and make sure you’re sharing your content via this. It’s very likely that Google uses its own social channel as a signified for ranking content higher when it’s shared via the channel and achieved a certain number of +1s. If you take time to grow your audience on Google+ it will simply increase the possibility of +1s and therefore strengthen that signal.
  • etc .

BLOGGING

bloggingThis is one of the most powerful ways to promote your company/website online. Write a blog of your own for your company/website and include lots of unique content. Be precise in what you’re trying to convey for the users in your blog entry and promote your blog in blog directories and blog search engines.

blogYou can also promote your blog/website by posting comments in other service-related blogs which allow links in the comments section that are crawl-able by the search engines (these blogs are commonly identified as Do-Follow Blogs). If you’re not very good at writing content for blog posts, hire a guest blogger for your blog and ask him/her to write precise and unique content so that your blog can gain more credit from a search engine point of view. Never become a part of black hat method.

SOCIAL BOOKMARKING

Social Bookmarking is yet another powerful way of promoting your website, but nowadays most people are spamming social bookmarking sites without knowing how to use them. Social bookmarking is a way to bookmark our favorite web pages online to read them anytime and anywhere if we are connected with the internet.

social bookmarking

Do some social bookmarking in popular bookmarking sites like Delicious, StumbleUpon, Propeller, etc. You should be very careful while doing this and you must properly handle the tags which are very essential to broadcast your news on a wide area network. The web pages we bookmarked at social bookmarking sites is considered as a quality back link in the eyes of search engines. This may increase your website traffic based on how effectively you have participated.

PHOTO SHARING

Publish/share your website product pictures and make them public. Let your friends see them and comment on them too, which will help drive traffic towards your website. Do this in major photo sharing websites like Flickr, Picasa, Photo Bucket, etc.

VIDEO PROMOTIONS

Like with photo sharing, you can publish/share your product videos, expert opinions, and reviews of your product and make them public in YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, etc.

LOCAL LISTINGS & YELLOW PAGES

Instead of going global and facing huge competition, make your website local so that search engines can easily view your website and fetch the content. This will help you to reach a targeted audience. Submit your website to Google Local, Maps, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Super pages, Hotfrog, etc.

Now we can conclude like this,

Off page SEO is as important as on-page SEO. If you want your SEO campaigns to be successful you have to do both. When thinking about link building don’t take the easy way, try hard to get links from authorized sites. The more difficult is to get a link, the more value it has. In the past you could easily get thousands of links and rank higher but nowadays you have to do more than that. Because getting so many links from irrelevant sites may cause your site banned from search engines. Making a great website using all your efforts through white hat method and promote it in correct way. Quality Links follows you without any black hat method.

Here I discuss only some off page seo methods. You can give your suggestions and methods here. Am waiting..