The Pitfalls of SEO

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Getting to the top of the Google rankings can be extremely difficult, especially in a competitive market. But, it is possible if you optimize your website in the right way. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is so ubiquitous at this point that it’s very meaning has become lost in the shuffle. This leads to much confusion about how a business should optimize its website. This causes two problems for business owners: You either have to hire an SEO firm. Finding a good one can take a lot of expensive trial and error. You need to learn how to do SEO by yourself. This can take years, and the rules of the game constantly change. If you’re not a marketer or computer genius, mastering it alone is near impossible. You can make your digital marketing life much easier by knowing what to look for when hiring an SEO firm. If you’ve handed your site over to a pro, but aren’t getting results, see if they’re making any of these mistakes: 5 Common SEO Mistakes for Business Websites Entering duplicate material on your site’s pages or blogs – identifying duplicate content is essential because most of the search engines do not accept duplicate material. This will crush your ranking. There are tons of solid tools and software available to check for duplicate content. Using bad backlinks – links to unrelated pages or directories; or to spam websites- spam links coming into your site is a sure-fire way to kill your rankings. Over-Optimization of required keywords – Although putting your target keywords as much as possible can be a good idea, blatantly over-optimizing will hurt your SEO strategy. Make sure your text sounds natural, and you aren’t stuffing in keywords to please Google. If a human would have trouble reading your text, Google will penalize…

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5 Best Ways to Promote Your New Business Online

By | Content, Digital, Marketing, Website | No Comments

Starting a new business? You already know that a website is essential, but how else can you promote your new business online? The reality is, if you don’t have a huge budget for pay-per-click ads in the beginning, you’re going to need to rely on organic marketing methods. These can take time. If you work them to their full potential, you’ll gain traction and the web traffic will start to trickle in. At that point, you can use some of your profits to invest in pay-per-click advertising. Until then, utilize these 5 proven ways to get your new business noticed online: Make a Stand-Out Website Just about every business has a website today. But, most of them are terrible. If you want to dominate your competitors, make sure that you build a website that helps you stand out from the crowd. Do your market research. A site aimed a tweeners buying Bluetooth earbuds should look and function differently than one aimed at seniors looking to re-finish their bathrooms. But, no matter who your audience is, make sure your site is clean, packed with good content, and is easy to navigate. No matter how web-savvy the user, if they can’t find your product page, you aren’t going to sell anything. Establish Your Social Media Pages While Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and slew of other social media sites grow in reach, Facebook is still the king of social media marketing. Their “boosted” post feature angered a lot of small business owners who went from reaching hundreds or thousands of customers with each post, to needing to pay between $5 and $1000 per post to be seen. But, as the program has aged, many businesses have utilized the power of boosted posts to reach deep, defined, niche audiences. Combined with its pay per click…

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4 Ways Make Social Media Marketing Less Overwhelming

By | Digital, Marketing, Social Media, Website | No Comments

For a small or medium business, using social media marketing can become overwhelming and frustrating. There are multiple platforms to choose from and some are clearly not right for your business. Figuring out return on investment can be tough, since most social media marketing doesn’t operate on a dollars-in v. dollars-out model. Converting likes into sales can be a multi-step process, and is best viewed in the long term. If you are unsure of how to get your social media marketing on track, check out these 4 tips. They’ll help you get started, or if you’re already going but find your efforts going in circle, these can help right the ship. 4 Ways Make Social Media Marketing Editorial schedule If you are using typical social media marketing and networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest or twitter, you need to plan, carefully, what type of content you are posting. Keeping a simple schedule of what was posted, where & when & what type of content, is key. If you have a social media team, have them keep track of this – anything from spreadsheets to old-fashioned notebooks are fine for tracking content flow on social media. Scheduling not only helps you keep track of potential ROI, but it will help you re-purpose content, using it multiple times on multiple sites (even changed slightly), which breathes new life into your content marketing and ensures that all content is exposed to the maximum audience. Simplify If you are overwhelmed, it is a sign that too much is going on. It is important to simplify. When in doubt, back off, check your content schedule and start again. Stats What is measurable can be improved and measuring metrics on social media can be tricky. Luckily Facebook offers excellent info in their “insights” section and it helps…

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Getting Your New Website Ranked

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Promoting your new business website can be a daunting task and having your product or service found by potential clients is the number one priority of new businesses. There can be no cash flow, no earnings, and no profits without customers. Getting your website listed online is key to establishing a new customer base and brining in a steady flow of leads. Getting Your New Business Website Listed Organic Search Results Organic search simply means a website being found through a non-paid search. If you type “pizza delivery Philadelphia” into google and wait, you’ll find 7 – 10 listings. The listings are ranked by google in order of importance to the customer and need. Dominating organic search through search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge undertaking. It works best when left to a professional. There are a number of things you can do to get the ball rolling: Index Your Website Check whether your website domain or URLs is listed on the Google by visiting google.com/addurl. If your site’s URL is not already listed, add it to Google. Many platforms, like WordPress, do this automatically for you, but it’s best to always check. This can speed up how fast Google finds out that your business exists. Optimize Content The next step is adding some relevant content to your website in order to make it more search-friendly. You should add text, images and video to your site. Focus on the keywords that people might use to search your products or services. The more relevant your website content is, the higher it will be listed in search results. Optimizing it can be tricky but to start, just provide valuable information about your product or service, as well as ways to contact your or order from your website. Paid Search If you want more…

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4 Ways to Improve Your YouTube Rankings

By | Content, Creative, SEO, Uncategorized, Website | No Comments

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. only Google beats YouTube on the number of searches that occur on the platform each day. Many brands focus on optimizing their YouTube rankings, and the businesses that are respecting this search engine, are seeing double digit rewards. Retaliate1st has a team of video content marketers, that can help you dominate YouTube. Here are our 4 key recommendations on improving your rankings. 4 Ways to Improve Your YouTube Rankings Upload a Lot of Great Content This seems obvious, but the number one step to getting your videos ranked on YouTube is to post great videos. We’re not talking about going “viral.” That occurs more from luck than planning, as it’s impossible to predict what will grab the public’s attention enough to cause a video to go viral. Instead, you should focus on putting out informative, entertaining videos that will be useful to your customers. They can be funny. They can be straight-info. They can be a combination. Just don’t make them boring, or worse, uninformative. Beef-Up Your Profile Make sure that your YouTube profile is not an afterthought. Load it with info about your company, and most importantly, how you can help your potential customers (viewers). You should use this area to link to your other social media platforms, your website, blogs, and anywhere else your company has a presence. Load your videos, and break them down into playlists. IF you are familiar with SEO or website building, you’ll recognize the concept of creating “silos” of content. Playlists are an easy way to silo (categorize) your videos. This helps your viewers find relevant videos, and helps your page rank because it is easier for YouTube to index your content. Choose Your Keywords Carefully It’s amazing to watch a business agonize over which…

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3 Key On-Page SEO Ranking Factors

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On-page SEO factors are fast becoming underrated and undervalued. But, their importance is actually increasing. If you implement these three factors on your site, you’ll leapfrog your completion. Let them deplete their budget on excessive link buying and the latest fads while you strengthen your on-site SEO and dominate them. 3 Key On-Page SEO Ranking Factors Title Tags All of your SEO efforts are wasted if you don’t have good title tags. If you’ve outsourced the building of your site, or its digital marketing, do a quick search of your title tags to make sure they’re strong enough to grab Google’s attention. Do your titles sound natural? Do they describe what your service or product is about? If you’re a local business, do they let potential customers know where you’re located? A huge problem with small businesses is that when they farm out the building of their sites, the SEO firms either mis-title their pages, giving them generic names, or they only put effort into the site’s homepage. Every page, every article, every blog must have a strong title if you want to rise to the top of the rankings and stay there. A good way to start is to make sure the keyword of that page is in the title. Selling smart phone covers in San Diego? Start with: “Smart phone covers stores in San Diego” In general, the closer the keyword is to the beginning of your title, the more weight it will carry. But, make it sound natural. You can build content, and great titles, many times over by repurposing Content Better content means better rankings. And, good content meets Google’s criteria for being: Uniquely valuable (pages that would be described by 80%+ of your visitors as being useful and high quality) Sharable (remarkable videos, pictures, and…

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Building Your Brand With Content

By | Content, Digital, Marketing, SEO, Website | No Comments

Content is like water, marketers need it to survive. It is the life-force of all modern marketing engines, especially those that rely on in-bound traffic. Having built many high-speed content engines, we recommend building your brand strategy, content plan and then following these tips to optimize your content. 2 Ways To Build Your Brand With Content Focus on the Customer Just like in sales, if you want to gain and keep your customer’s attention, you need to focus on them. While many businesses are now utilizing content marketing, most miss the mark by using their content to talk only about themselves. Yes, you can use articles, videos, podcasts, pictures, and social media to tell your customers how great you are, how many awards your business has won, and how highly rated you are. But, you have to bend that info back, and let them know how all of that will benefit them. Storytelling Telling stories is one of the oldest ways to hold someone’s attention. In sales and business, it’s no different. In fact, good storytelling in your content marketing can build your brand and increase leads and sales. Tying in with focus on the customer, using stories about people “just like them” helps cement your brand as a solution in their mind. So, rather than simply cutting-and-pasting a review from a client, use that testimonial to create a story. Content Options What’s more compelling: “This service is great. 5-Stars.” – Mrs. Jones, Westchester, NY Or “Water was bursting out of the pipes, the water heater was rattling, and a small flood was forming in the basement. As if that wasn’t bad enough, when Mrs. Jones called us, she was in near-tears as she watched countless memories stored in irreplaceable photo albums float away.  We were able to get to…

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Building Stronger SERP Rankings with Interlinking

By | Digital, Marketing, Mobile, SEO | No Comments

SERP rankings are key for driving in organic traffic for any business. To improve the SERP ranking you can use many in-bound SEO efforts and can do many on-site elements to get the traffic boost you desire. Retaliate1st are SEO experts and here we list a few of our quick wins to get your position on the SERP rankings closer to the top of Google and Bing. 4 Ways To Build Stronger SERP Rankings with Interlinking Link to Your Homepage This seems obvious, but many sites get this wrong. It’s common among small business websites, especially as one travels farther from the home page. Many unscropul0us designers and SEO frims simply do not take the time to build links into the deep content (and yes, your site, no matter how small your business is, should have a deep roster of content and pages). A “Home” button on your main menus is a start. Putting a link to your homepage in your site’s logo is a great way to make sure that all pages, no matter how deep, lead back home. Studies show that even non tech savvy site users understand that clicking on a company’s logo will take them to the home page. It’s a solid beacon of light when your visitors get lost. Link Back to Categories Page This is easiest to do if you have a WordPress site, but many other platforms do the same. Any blog or page should be filed into a category. Then, when you post the content, it is automatically linked to its category. It’s just another layer of connecting things and making sure that Google can crawl your site easily. Link to Similar Content On WordPress, there are plugins that will automatically link you to 1 – 5 similar articles on your site. These…

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4 Ways to Fight a Fake Negative Review

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No matter how small the area, how small the client base, or how small the business, before long, someone will post a negative review about you. Now, large companies expect this. Because of the sheer number of reviewers, they can withstand some a negative review. However even one negative review can sink a small, medium, new, or local business. What’s worse, often those negatives are fake. They come not from dissatisfied customers, but from competing businesses or former employees. Sites like Yelp, despite their endless videos and text detailing their mysterious algorithm for ferreting out fakes, do little to police this problem. This means that anyone with a wi-fi connection can, in a few keystrokes, cost you tens of thousands of dollars. News sites like the Huffington Post, the NY Times, The Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal have helped expose another disturbing aspect of online reviews. All have cited instances where bad reviews were posted before a business had even opened! This happens more frequently in highly competitive industries (restaurants, home improvement contractors, tech gear, etc.) Don’t let a negative review sink your business. Here’s how you can fight back: The Pen is Mightier Getting angry and ranting online is a big no-no. It will only make you look worse. But, posting a sane, measured, well-written response on your website, blog, Google, Facebook, and in-response to the negative (if the review site allows replies) allows you to swing public opinion back in your favor. Don’t be afraid to flood the few negatives with positive articles, blogs, videos, and reviews from your happy customers. This is the best, fastest, and most effective way to drown even the most virulent of phone negatives. You’ll have to be consistent when doing this. It may take time, but if you continually hit back with positivity, you…

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3 Tips for Hiring the Best Freelancers

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Growing your business is hard and it is expensive. Sometimes hiring staff can be a huge expense. This is why many start-ups begin to hire the best freelancers for roles, to get the work done. Freelancers allow for talent to perform tasks at a low cost and with a minimal commitment. Here the team at Retaliate1st lay out our tips for hiring the best freelancers. 3 Tips for Hiring the Best Freelancers Shop Around The reality is that no matter how good a freelancer looks on paper, you won’t know how good they are until they do work for you. When you find potential candidates, start them off with small tasks with a clear deadline and expectations. Handing them the responsibility of redesigning the company website without having seen how they handle instructions, time-pressures, or setbacks is asking for disaster. Learn to Communicate Your Needs Most freelancers are honest, hardworking people eager to do great work for your business. But, if you are incapable of communicating what you want, in exact terms, frustration will strike. Remember that not all freelancers are native English speakers. Until you can ascertain their fluency, keep sentences short, use bullet points, and avoid idiomatic language. Do you want 3 three article so a few? Do you want the graphic to be 650 x 350 pixels, or around the size of a 5×7 picture? Language concerns aside, being clear cuts down on the time you spend managing freelancers. Tell them what to do, on the first try, and you’ll have less back-and-forth. Remember, you’re hiring them to cut down on your workload by assigning them tasks that free you up to do more important things. Freelancer Payments Split Payment This is just good business. Pay half up front, half upon completion. If you find freelancers willing…

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