14 Free Website Tools to Formulate Your Best Marketing Strategy

Free Tools for Your Marketing Strategy
14 Free Website Tools to Create your Best Marketing Strategy

The tools contained in this list are taken from How to Build the Best Marketing Strategy You Can Using Only Free Tools published on Entrepreneur.com on 11th February 2017 and written by Murray Newlands

From the original post, I have compiled the list of free tools, with links, that are recommended to formulate your digital marketing strategy.

   SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

  1. Ubersuggest
  2. SEMrush
  3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
  4. Yoast

    Analytics

  5. Google Analytics
  6. Google Search Console
  7. Google Trends

    Writing, Grammar  & Headline Analysers

  8. Grammarly
  9. Hemingway
  10. CoSchedule Headline Analyser
  11. Writefullapp

    Content Automation

  12. Buffer
  13. Hootsuite
  14. TweetDeck

Save

25 Visual Content Marketing Tools To Engage Your Audience by Tomas Laurinavicius

Today I’m sharing a list of 25 visual content marketing tools to engage your audience. It will help you to enrich the storytelling experience you’re creating.

Desygner is an online design tool that lets you create banners, posters, invitations, Facebook covers, social media posts and more, all for free.

Snappa is on of the easiest graphic design tools you’ll ever use. It allows you to create amazing designs without the help of a graphic designer.

Canva makes it super easy to create graphics that get engagement on social media. There’s plenty of templates for marketers from email headers to blog graphics.

Piktochart is an easy-to-use infographic maker. It will take your visual communication to the next level, without hiring a professional designer.

Prezi makes presentations stand out and get remembered. Unlike static slides, it combines motion, zoom, and spatial relationships to engage your audience and help them remember your message.

Visage is a design and visual content creation tool for content marketers who need to create a lot of visual content.

Curalate is a visual commerce platform that connects content to commerce throughout the customer journey to generate awareness, increase engagement and drive revenue.

Storify gives you the tools to create the best evergreen and live blog stories, uniting traditional storytelling with engaged audiences.

PlaceIt lets you upload images of your product or website and insert them into high-quality photos for free. No Photoshop needed.

Silk is a data publishing platform. It lets anyone create interactive data visualizations, publish websites, and tell interactive stories.

ThingLink lets you create custom interactive images by adding clickable icons to links, video, text, music, other images, you name it.

Pablo by Buffer is a simple yet powerful design tool to help you become a better social media marketer. It’s designed for social sharing and makes it very easy to capture images to share directly to social networks or to add to your social content.

SlideShare is the biggest slide hosting service in the world. While it doesn’t provide creation tools, it’s a perfect place to find inspiration for your visual content or upload your own documents, presentations, infographics and more.

Polarr is free and powerful online photo editor. Simply put it’s the pro photo editor for everyone. From high-precision color tools to advanced clarity and dehaze filters, Polarr brings free pro photo editing tools to your mobile device.

ChartBlocks is an online chart building tool. You can easily design and share a chart in minutes. Import your data, design your chart and then start sharing it.

Infogr.am is the world’s most popular infographics creator. You can easily add graphs, maps, text, and even playable videos without diving deep into a design program.

Datawrapper empowers you to create amazing visualizations in seconds. You can use visuals to reflect numbers-related content by creating engaging presentations and infographics.

InVision is the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration & workflow platform. It’s a great solution for publishing clickable and interactive high-fidelity prototypes in minutes.

Venngage is another great online tool for creating beautiful infographics. To get started choose from hundreds of professional templates for infographics, reports, posters, promotions and social media posts.

Easel.ly lets you create and share visual ideas. You can choose from thousands of reporting, timeline, resume and process templates.

Issuu is the largest collection of free-to-read publications from incredible publishers around the globe. You can publish content such as magazines, catalogs, eBooks and more on this free platform.

Adobe Post empowers you to create stunning social graphics in seconds. A perfect tool for content marketers on the go.

Uberflip is a content experience platform that aggregates all of your content (blog articles, eBooks, videos, white papers, and more) so you can create, manage, and optimize tailored content experiences for every stage of the buyer journey.

Apester is a digital storytelling platform that allows you to create and embed surveys, personality tests, video quizzes and polls into your social posts.

Mapme is one of the most powerful map creators out there. You can easily create, customize, grow and promote your maps. The best part? No coding needed.

What’s your tool of choice?

That’s a big list to choose from. What tools do you use for your visual content marketing needs? Share them by leaving a comment or tweet me @tomaslau.

*This post by Tomas Laurinavicius first appeared on Forbes Tech on 11th May 2016.

 

 

 

The Value of an Audio or Video Transcript

The Value of Audio and Video Transcripts

Today, in May 2016 advancements in technology have progressed very rapidly over the last 10 – 20 years.  Being from a time before computers and mobile phones, I am very glad for the progression of the internet.

For me it has meant I no longer travel out to work in an office transcribing, I can now freelance from home turning recorded audio into a digital Word document or Text file for videos.  It is not easy always writing proposals for transcription work on freelance sites like People Per Hour and Fivesquid.  It’s also not easy requiring to be paid in pounds and not dollars.  Audio or video transcription is usually charged by the audio minute or audio hour.  Some transcription companies charge by the line or page, but for me, it is easier for potential customers to know what they are going to be paying for their audio or video to be transcribed.  Charging by the line or page it is not possible to know what you are going to pay until the audio or video has been transcribed.

Because of advancements in technology, it is there much easier to record speech, seminars, interviews…well just about anything really.  Anything that is recorded that contains speech, or videoed and contains speech can be now transcribed digitally.  It takes a matter of minutes for the transcriptionist to download an audio in mp3 format or a video even in mp4.  They will upload this digital file to their professional software and start producing your transcript.

The value of a transcript

One of the advantages of a transcript giving it value is that you then have a permanent digital record, or if you choose to print the transcript off, you have a permanent hard-copy of the recorded audio.  The audio may get corrupted or accidentally deleted for example, but by having a transcript you will always have the information from the content of that audio or video.

Another valuable aspect of a transcript is that you have something to refer to, make notes on, instead of trying playing and fast forwarding trying to find that certain part of the audio that you are looking for.

You can add a transcript produced in a .txt text file format to your video.  This is an especially economical “do-it-yourself” method of enhancing your video’s search engine optimisation.  Why?  Because the transcript will be keyword rich and full of content that is relevant to you niche because of the nature of the speech contained in that video.  Search engine bots and crawlers have a lot more information from the text transcript that has been uploaded to your video.  It doesn’t have to rely on just a headline and possibly sub-headline, it has a whole transcript to know what your niche subject area is.  Because of the transcript SEO bots will then rank your video higher in search results in your niche.

If you are a mentor or coach, a transcript is something that could be offered as an incentive for potential clients.  They would be able to build up the mentoring or coaching session transcripts as a course for themselves to have and always refer to, for whatever reason they hired your mentoring or coaching services in the first place.

A transcript is a great way to get new blog post ideas from or social media posts.  Say you listened to a great podcast, if you go that podcast transcribed you would always have that knowledge from the podcast to refer to.  It’s certainly easier visually to find a certain part of the audio than playing back and forth.

Meetings that are recorded and then transcribed are a fantastic way of ensuring that what was discussed in the meeting is carried out in full.  No excuses for the participants to say they didn’t make the notes correctly of what they were supposed to be doing.  Everything from that meeting would be in a transcript to enable the better efficiency of duties to be undertaken.

Transcripts are especially helpful for the partially or totally deaf community.  They are so valuable to be able to also understand what was in the webinar, podcast, interview along with everyone else.  A text file added to a video with then automatically produced closed captions.  These can be turned on during any part of the video; very helpful for deaf people.  You may have created a marketing video with a voice over, having the option to have closed captions not only gives the deaf or hard-of-hearing community the opportunity to read what your video has to say, but at the same time it will automatically rank high in Google’s search results because the information gives the crawlers more information, as I described earlier.

Conclusion

Those are just a few examples of the reason why getting your audio or video transcribed is so important and it shouldn’t cost you the earth.  See my infographic 7 questions to ask your prospective freelance transcriptionist.  It’s an infographic to help anyone out there considering using a freelancer.  The aim is to help you filter out the amateurs that could potentially cost you time and money, to hire a professional and get value for money.

Digital transcription is a growing industry, but there are people out there trying to make extra money typing and not really understanding that transcription is a professional skill and art.  It takes many years of touch typing practice to be able to type at the same time as what is being spoken.

Transcripts can take certain formats; a one speaker audio would be set-out in a Word document differently to say an interview with two or three people.  A professional will know from the start of the audio or video how to set out the document, whereas an amateur may not.  If you get a poor, inaccurate transcript then it is going to be pretty useless to you, it will also have been a waste of time and money.

As a freelance transcriptionist working as Virtuadmin Transcription service my rates start at 50p per audio minute for up to 2 speakers in the audio or video.  So an hour’s audio or video would cost you £30 to be transcribed.  What the freelancer charges per audio minute or audio hour is entirely up to them and how they value their skill.  I type at 70-80 words per minute with 98% accuracy and could charge more, but I’m here as a freelancer to be fair in my pricing whilst delivering the most accurate transcript in the best turnaround time possible.

One hour’s audio that is of good clear audio quality, no more than 2 speakers and no background with good speech clarity, would take me approximately 4 hours to transcribe.  So I would advise any potential customers that it would be delivered in 24 hours.  If I have queued audio’s I communicate this straight away to you so that you are not left wondering when to expect your transcript.

I love my job helping anyone and everyone either enhance their SEO for their video or producing a transcript from audio, I really do enjoy listening and typing.  If you would like to get a quote for an audio or video, or even hire my transcription skills directly please click here>>>http://bit.ly/1TqN9j1

Can you think of any other valuable uses for an audio or video transcript?  Please feel free to comment below this post.  Thanks for reading and hope it has helped put the value of a transcript into some sort of perspective.

 

Written by: Virtuadmin

Date: 10th May 2016

 

How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page

The-Perfect-On-Page-SEO-Checklist-for-2016-Infographic-image

 

How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page

This Infographic was created by Neil Patel at Quick Sprout and introduces his Infographic by stating that (when this article was first published in November 2014 to help get your head around Search Engine Optimization) that Google looks at over 200 factors when ranking a website and that was in 2014!

Today Cent Muruganandam has revisited this infographic and broken down each element of the page and explains the function of and how best to optimise it for better SEO rankings.  This is "The Perfect On Page SEO Checklist for 2016" and was published on Business 2 Community on 14th January 2016.

Today we are going to look at on page SEO checklist every website should be taking advantage of; this includes new blogs as well.

After all, who doesn’t crave for Google Gods blessings?

This is an infographic checklist that delivers the message in an elegant way.

This checklist was created by Neil Patel so you know its undoubted quality!

SEO Friendly URL

More weight is given to the first 3 to 5 words of a URL according to Matt Cutts of Google.

Examples of Bad URLs:

YourEscapeFrom9to5.com/?p=3155 (Only Numbers)

YourEscapeFrom9to5.com/how-to-use-stumbleupon-to-drive-traffic-and-marketing-infographic (Too Long)

An Example of a Good URL:

YourEscapeFrom9to5.com/user-experience-tips-infographic (Short and Descriptive)

How to Fix Non SEO Friendly URL

  • Use a plugin like PrettyLink to redirect the old URLs (in WordPress)
  • Update permalink structure (in WordPress)

Title

50 – 60 Characters

Recommended for YouWebcast: Sales Hacks to Close the Deal

Use H1 Tags for the Title (Also use H2 and H3 tags for Subheadings)

Include Target Keywords

Remember, only 512 pixel width of text will be displayed on mobile devices

How to Fix Title Issues

  • Use a plugin like Yoast SEO to investigate title and description issues. Yoast gives traffic light rankings for each post. (for WordPress)

Use Multimedia and Visual Content

 

Use pictures, videos and audio content to your advantage. Each media type has another avenue for promotion. Videos -> YouTube.Multimedia can keep online visitors engaged and reduce your website bounce rate.

Read more at http://www.business2community.com/infographics/perfect-page-seo-checklist-2016-infographic-01428523#ikX4KUvfzx72dtdR.99

Link to Authority Sites

Outgoing links tell search engines like Google what your page is about. The quality of your external links is a signal to Google of the quality of your page.

Internal Linking is the Best Form of Content Marketing

As a rule of thumb, link to your older posts when you publish a new post. Try to include 2 to 3 links in each post. The key is to internally link to posts naturally. Don’t try to sell a shoe that doesn’t fit the customer’s leg.

Use Keyword in the First 100 Words of the Content

Keyword should not only be part of your title and URL; it should also be part of the Meta description and content. The earlier the keyword appears in all of these elements the better.

How to Fix Keyword Issues?

  • Use Yoast SEO to manage keywords and on page SEO elements. (for WordPress)

Use Related Keywords or Similar Words in Your Content

Google uses Latent Semantic Indexing which looks at relative words in the content when ranking websites in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Optimize ALT Tags and Image File Names

ALT tags tell search engines what the image is about. If your image name is ‘image1’ or ‘pic2’ it is useless from a search engine perspective. As a rule of thumb always make the ALT tag descriptive and include keywords. Remember, there is less competition in Google image search and you have a chance of being displayed as one of the images found for a user’s search term.

Website Speed Matters!

If you are stuck in traffic in a slow-moving lane, what do you do? Put the indicator and move to the next lane. What will happen if your website is slow? No indicator, just less traffic. We live in a fast-moving world so test your website speed every once in a while (monthly is a good idea) to make sure your visitors are not lost.

How to Improve Website Speed?

  • Glad you asked. Here is an infographic with 16 tips to improve a website’s loading time.
  • You can also implement a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to boost loading times. CDN sounds complicated but it is easy to implement. If you are on a budget try CloudFlare CDN which is free.

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/glass-time-watch-business-medium.jpg.jpg

website-speed-matters-image

Leverage Social Sharing Correctly

Use floating social share buttons. They are easy to use, always visible and a constant reminder to the user. Encourage users to share your content. Use hashtags when you post content in social media and share valuable content from others.

Content Length is Strength

Produce long form content that is useful to the viewer. This post not only tells what the on page SEO elements to focus on but also tells you how to fix them. The content length is determined by whatever it takes to get the message across. Some SEO’s will tell you to only write long post content that is 1,500 to 5,000 words.

Mobile Responsive Website is a Must

The number of mobile devices is growing rapidly; so is the number of people using their smart phones to browse the web. A mobile responsive website resizes its web pages based on the device type the user is on. Remember, social media usage on mobile devices is on the high and you don’t want to be losing out.

How to Make your Website Responsive?

  • Hire a web developer
  • Use a responsive theme (for WordPress)

Wrapping it up

A new website or blog will take time to build up its domain authority (DA) and backlinks. One good habit to get into early is to always focus on, SEO elements on the page as this does not depend on domain authority, domain age or backlinks. On page SEO elements are crucial for search engine traffic and rankings.

If you like this essential on page SEO checklist, then share it!

30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

www.virtuadmin.uk
30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

Do you ever wonder how the best content marketers get so much done in such little time?

Sure, they have a team of people helping out, but that’s not all.

They use tools that help them plan content, manage content, and improve the performance of their websites.

These tools save content marketers hours of time and provide valuable information that you just can’t find with a Google search.

The following are 30 of the best content marketing tools available, including the tools we use for our business and our clients.

Content Planning Tools

1. SEMRush

semrush

 

What it does: SEMRush tracks over 95,000,000 keywords and over 56,000,000 domains to provide a complete competitive analysis of websites in your industry. You can find out how they rank for keywords and get an estimate of their traffic.

What it costs: Starts at $69.95 per month.

2. Ahrefs Content Explorer

Ahrefs_Content_Explorer

What it does: A simple tool that helps you find the most shared content for any topic.

What it costs: Free with limited searches; plans start at $79 per month.

3. Google Trends

google_trends

(Source)

What it does: Helps you find trends based on topics, location, and other variables. You can see historical trends and trends happening in real-time.

What it costs: Free

4. Content Strategy Helper Tool

Content_Strategy_Helper_Tool

What it does: This tool consolidates trending news from across the internet to provide inspiration for content topics.

What it costs: Free

5. BuzzSumo

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What it does: BuzzSumo lets you find what content performs best for any topic or competitor website.

What it costs: Free with limited data; plans start at $99 per month

6. Tweak Your Biz Title Generator

tweak_your_biz_title_generator

What it does: Type in your topic, hit enter, and then this tool spits out hundreds of share-worthy blog titles for you to choose from.

What it costs: Free

7. Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator

inbound_now_blog_title_idea_generator

(Source)

What it does: This tool is slightly different than the previous one. It randomly shows you a blog title idea where you can fill in your topic. You keep clicking to see more ideas, until you find the one that grabs your attention.

What it costs: Free

Content Management Tools

9. HubSpot

hubspot-4

What it does: HubSpot is the best end-to-end Inbound Marketing platform that allows you to manage your blog, social media, email marketing, list segmentation, lead generation and scoring, landing pages, and more.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $200 per month

8. DivvyHQ

divvy_hq

What it does: DivvyHQ is an entire platform that helps you plan, schedule, and publish content, as well as manage the entire workflow.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $1,000 per month

10. Kapost

kapost

What it does: Kapost is a content management framework that allows you to create content, distribute it on social media, and view analytics.

What it costs: Plans start at $1,000 per month

11. Siege Media Content Marketing Checklist

siege_media_checklist

What it does: This is a helpful checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you can to create the best piece of content.

What it costs: Free

12. WordPress Editorial Calendar

wordress_editorial_calendar

What it does: Allows you to easily manage your blog posts with a drag-and-drop interface and schedule publishing.

What it costs: Free

13. Trello

trello

What it does: Trello is a visual-based organization tool that allows you to manage separate projects or “boards” at once.

What it costs: Free

15. Google Drive

google_drive

What it does: Google drive is a cloud storage software that allows you to create and collaborate on word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings.

What it costs: Free

14. Evernote

evernote

What it does: Evernote is like Trello and Google Drive combined.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $24.99 per year

Tools to Improve Your Content Marketing

16. Inkybee

inkybee

(Source)

What it does: Provides insights about websites to help you identify influencers for outreach and PR.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $79 per month

17. BuzzStream

buzzstream

What it does: Research influencers, manage your relationships, and conduct outreach that’s personalized and efficient.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $29 per month

18. SocialOomph

socialoomph

(Source)

What it does: Allows you to schedule social media posts, track keywords, manage multiple accounts, and more.

What it costs: 7-day free trial; plans start at $6.97 every two weeks

19. Outbrain

outbrain

What it does: A service that lists your blog posts under “relevant articles” or “promoted stories” on major websites such as CNN, TechCrunch, and ESPN.

What it costs: Minimum daily budget of $10

20. GetResponse

getresponse

What it does: It’s a more advanced version of Aweber or MailChimp for email marketing.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $12.75 per month

Measuring Progress and Tracking Metrics

21. Google Analytics

google_analytics

What it does: Measures your web traffic and provides insights into traffic sources, demographics, user behavior, and more.

What it costs: Free with premium options for big websites

22. Advanced Web Ranking

advanced_web_ranking

What it does: Provides SEO audits, tracks rankings, keyword research, content optimization, and more.

What it costs: Licenses start at $199

23. Moz

moz

What it does: Moz is a comprehensive tool that provides analytics, competitor research, and tracking for a variety of metrics.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $99 per month

24. Share Tally

share_tally

What it does: You type in a URL and this tool shows you where it’s been shared and how many times.

What it costs: Free

25. ShareMetric Chrome Extension

sharemetrics

What it does: A Chrome extension that compiles link data and organic search visibility from several popular marketing tools.

What it costs: Free on Google Chrome

Tools to Increase Conversions

26. OptimizePress

optimizepress

What it does: Allows you to easily build landing pages to drive sales of your product or service.

What it costs: Packages start at $97

27. Visual Website Optimizer

visual_website_optimizer

What it does: Run split tests, track user behavior, and optimize pages with minimal technical knowledge.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $49 per month

28. Optimizely

optimizely

What it does: A simple tool for running A/B tests and tracking user behavior without using code.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $17 per month

29. Crazy Egg

Crazy-Egg-Heatmap

What it does: Creates heat maps of your website that let you visually analyze user behavior.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $9 per month

30. Leadin

leadin

What it does: A free tool from HubSpot that lets you track user behaviors, convert visitors into email subscribers or leads, and provides detailed contact information.

What it costs: Free

Bob Ruffolo

Bob Ruffolo

Bob is the founder and CEO of IMPACT, an agency he formed in 2009 to help people and their organizations succeed by changing the way they market themselves online. Since its founding, IMPACT has achieved its status as one of HubSpot’s first Platinum Partners in less than 2 years, and secured its place as one of the top inbound marketing agencies in the country.

Follow Bob: Bob Ruffolo on Twitter Bob Ruffolo on Linkedin Bob Ruffolo on Google+

9 Link Building Resources That’ll Increase Your Search Rankings by Neil Patel

Question: Which would you rather have — more organic traffic or better rankings?

It’s a trick question for most of us — we’d actually rather have both. That’s because both you and I know they can make a huge difference in our businesses.

As you probably already know, Google tends to rank pages higher in search results based on the authority of that page. In modern SEO, links build up the page’s authority and improve its SEO value.

Recent data estimates that the link popularity of a specific page accounts for 22.33% of the components of Google’s ranking algorithm.

What if you could access the most updated resources that’ll help you build the right links? What difference would that make in your investment, considering that about 37% of business owners spend between $10,000 and $50,000 per month on link building?

Over the years, I’ve come to understand that building links with useful content is easier than most people think.

If you can develop and document your strategy, you’ll ultimately generate more authority links for your pages. Both content marketing and link building are like those interconnected steel rings magicians use — the ones that can’t be separated.

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In this in-depth post, I’ll show you 9 link building resources that you can tap into any time you want to get backlinks.

Download a PDF version of this 9 link building resources that’ll increase your search ranking.

These resources provide scalable link-earning techniques, tips and best practices that are proven to work. When you implement them, your rankings and site traffic will both improve.

1. Broken Link Building Bible (source)

All links are created equal, right? Actually, no.

Link building used to be easy. You could set up a few PBN (private blog network) sites and get a bunch of links that’d push your organic rankings to the top. But does it still work?

The honest guys says you shouldn’t do it. Ditch the idea of a PBN. Sooner or later, Google will catch up with you and push your rankings to page 107, or de-index your pages altogether.

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Instead, to get links that’ll actually improve your search listings, increase your traffic, and get you a higher click-through rate (CTR), you need to study the Broken Link Building Bible.

Broken link building is a white-hat and scalable tactic for getting the right kind of links.

At its core, it’s a content-focused strategy. You simply find dead (or broken) links, analyze the page for relevance, create more valuable content to replace the broken content. This helps site owners, editors and webmasters improve their site user experience by replacing broken links with a link to your page.

With the right approach, you can create an effective backlink campaign and automate broken link building, which will continually build momentum for your site.

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As you go through the Broken Link Building Bible, you’ll discover why broken link building is perhaps the most effective white-hat link building strategy in years.

However, understand this: Your success at getting the right links will entirely depend on how willing you are to research and analyze or audit different websites.Broken link building is all about making an impact. It’s about helping webmasters and making the web a better place.

Webmasters are always happy to fix broken links – if they find them. They know there’s a relationship between Google rankings and links but on big sites, finding broken links isn’t easy.

image49

A dead link — that is, a link that no longer works — doesn’t do the user or the site any good. In fact, too many broken links can have a negative effect on a site.

Having too many broken links on a page is a sign of a neglected or abandoned site. The Google Search Quality Raters General Guidelines view broken links as one of the ways to measure a homepage’s quality.

According to Moz, broken link building is a strategy that constructively addresses many of the competing interests in our industry: content vs. links, link earning vs. link building, inbound vs. outbound, etc.

2. Advanced Guide to Link Building (source)

I’ve had my fair share of SEO struggles. I struggled to get other sites to link to my posts. I struggled to keep up with Google updates. I struggled to reach the expected quantity and quality of links necessary to rank highly in Google.

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Those struggles taught me that achieving success online takes time. You have to be patient, and you’ve also got to create content that’ll help people get closer to achieving their goals.

One of the best steps I’ve taken since I started blogging is the creation of The Advanced Guide to Link Building, which I shared with the digital marketing world for free.

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If you’ve struggled the way I did in the beginning to build the kind of links that Google loves, you should study this guide. It’ll show you:

  • How to go about finding and getting those “perfect links”
  • The right way to create epic content that’ll help you build relationships with the leaders in your industry
  • How to identify and approach the authority sites you can get links from in just a few minutes
  • The hidden secrets to getting hard-to-come-by .edu and .gov backlinks
  • The step-by-step method of link-building outreach, which walks you through the process of initiating and building a relationship with influencers and pro bloggers

3. Using Educational Linkbait to Get Valuable .Edu Links (source)

This resource was written way back in 2011, but it’s been consistently updated to match modern SEO best practices. It’s not your typical long-form post — it’s pretty short, actually — but it’ll show you:

  • Why educational links matter
  • How to create content that attracts .edu links
  • How to build relationships that help you get these links

Link building has evolved significantly since 2011. Lots of tactics that used to work have since fizzled out — e.g., article directories, duplicate or barely-rewritten content, etc.

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But educational sites have remained a viable source of high-quality links for any site.

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Incoming links from educational websites are often perceived as the most powerful links you can get. And getting a bunch of these links can skyrocket your search rankings.

It’s true that .edu links aren’t the only kind of powerful incoming links. There’s no proof that Google rates them universally higher than all other kinds of links. John Mu, a webmaster trends analyst at Google Zürich, clarified the issue:

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However, educational backlinks are powerful — just like links from any other high-authority domain would be.

Educational backlinks are hard to get. According to Felix Tarcomnicu,

The harder it is to get a backlink, the more value it will have.

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Sites with .edu domains typically have high authority as they’ve been around for a long time and have many trusted quality sites linking to them.

That’s why many of these sites are viewed as authoritative by Google. Therefore, getting links from these authority top-level domains improves search performance.

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Wordstream’s guide on using editorial linkbait to get .edu links is a must-read. It uses anecdotes to explain the relevance of educational links and show how you can create .edu link bait.

Link bait is simply content on your site that other sites link to willingly, because the content solves a problem.

When people link to your content page on their own initiative, it means you’ve created a linkable asset. The intersection between link bait and linkable asset is your sweet spot for converting your prospects into customers.

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It can be a blog post, a viral podcast, an infographic, or a helpful ebook.

How to get educational backlinks: High quality links make the difference. After Google launched Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithm updates, quality became the defining factor of a link, as opposed to quantity.

So it’s no longer a question of how many links you need to rank. The challenge that most SEOs and site owners face is actually getting these quality links (e.g., .edu links).

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The vast majority of educational sites from top universities and colleges don’t accept guest posts. The ones that do accept guest articles are stricter than you can imagine. You can’t just write any post you want and get them to publish it.

So guest blogging is perhaps not the best or most effective way to get .edu links. But there are other ways that are proven to work.You can use advanced search modifiers to find education sites in Google. Your goal is to narrow your results down to educational results pages. Some of the search strings you can use are:

a).  site:.edu – shows you search results containing educational result sites only

b).  site:.edu “blog” – returns search results for educational blogs only

c).  site:.edu “forums” – if you want to participate in an educational discussion board

d).  site:.edu “comments” – for educational blogs with comments sections

e).   site:.edu “log in / create account” – returns .edu blog extensions that allow you to sign up as a user, for the purpose of commenting or other kinds of participation

f).   site:.edu inurl:blog “seo” – for educational blogs that understand SEO and would be interested in learning more about search engines

Let’s try one of the search strings:

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As you can see, the search results contain educational sites only. But it’d be difficult to get links from those sites. It’s much easier to get a link from a blog than a static web page.

So let’s drill down our search to focus on blogs:

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These results are more specific to educational blogs related to marketing. So if your site is related to sales or marketing, those educational blogs are your targets.

Broken link building is the easiest way to get your links from educational portals. All you’ve got to do is find dead links on these blogs, and suggest better content — your own — to replace it.

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Broken link building works. For example, Michael Chibuzor, founder of contentmarketingup.com, generated 27 links from .edu domains in 90 days.

Brian Dean has taught broken link building, and his students are seeing great results. Recently, one of his students, Emil Shour, set out to rank for his most profitable keyword.

He leveraged the skyscraper technique, and created an in-depth, long-form article in the employee wellness niche, entitled “121 Employee Wellness Program Ideas for Your Office.”

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Richard researched industry blogs that are relevant to employee management, found broken links, and sent outreach emails to all of them.

By doing this, Richard was able to push his post into a number #1 ranking and generated $100,000 in revenue. Richard also boosted his organic traffic by 348% in just 7 days.

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So how do you find dead links on educational blogs that you can capitalize on to get incoming links?

It’s easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible. Here are the step-by-step instructions:i).   First step: Go to Google and search for educational resource pages. These pages contain lists of links to external sites and contents.

This time, let’s find educational resources for small businesses.

The search string I used is “site:edu “resources” + blogs + small business

And here’s the results screenshot:

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You can see that the search results are relevant to small businesses only. This makes them viable.

ii).   Second step: Choose one of the resources and click on it. Here’s the page, with all the resources:

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Some of the out-going links on this page may be dead, but you can’t tell just by looking. And clicking on all of them one by one will take lots of time.

Instead, use a tool designed for checking dead links …

iii).  Third step: Go to deadlinkchecker.com. Copy the resource page address as it appears on the browser.

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Then paste the site address into the search bar and click the “check” button:

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Out of the 142 out-going links analyzed by the dead link checker tool, 8 of them are dead. Those are the links that return any of these error messages: 404 not found, 400 bad request, -1 not found, etc.

Next, prepare your content. Remember that since you’re concerned about small business, your content needs to be relevant to that topic. Otherwise, it might be difficult to convince the blog editor or administrator to swap out the dead link for your page.

iv).   Step four: Send a personalized outreach email. I’ve received several outreach emails that are obviously form letters. Sometimes, the exact same email I receive went out to 10 or more other bloggers.

Don’t do that. Instead, personalize your email subject lines when reaching out to educational blogs. This is key to better email open rates.

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Often,these people are academics, and any slight error or hint of deception will result in your email being deleted without being read.

To “personalize” means that you give it a personal touch. If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, address them by their first name.

Not everyone understands how to write persuasive emails to site owners and bloggers. If that’s you, don’t worry. Just use the email templates below and add the person’s name, if you know it.

When using any email template, keep these things in mind:

  • Write lowercase subject lines – I do this all the time because I want the email to seem casual as if it’s from a friend, not a robot.
  • Be creative – emails that are boring and lack emotional appeal won’t get opened or responded to.
  • Personalize – you have to include the person’s name and the website name in the email so it doesn’t come off as spammy.

Here’s a broken link email template you can model:

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If you didn’t find any dead links on your targeted educational resource page, don’t give up. Instead of sending a broken link email, you can simply send a basic link request email.

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If broken link building seems like a lot of work, or too difficult to tackle, there are other tactics that I’ve personally used to get .edu authority links:

  • Blog comments
  • Create a case study that’s relevant to the subject matter
  • Blogger recognition
  • Leveraging alumni news
  • Local resource pages
  • University discounts
  • Improve a section of a site
  • etc.

You can learn how to apply all these link earning tactics in Chapter 5 of the Advanced Guide To Link Building.

4. Linking Out Instead of Link Building to Rank in Google (source)

This helpful resource shows you why linking out is a strategy, not a tactic — because when you link out, you also get these benefits:

  • Enhanced awareness for your site and brand
  • Opportunities for other sites to link back to your page
  • Search engine awareness that you have a timely and useful resource
  • More helpful information for your readers

And so on…

Developing a link building strategy isn’t a cakewalk. Heck, even SEO experts  sometimes fail at link building.

Outbound links or links that point to external web pages from your own site can actually impact your blog authority. Just make sure the pages your links point to are relevant, useful, and have good standing with Google.

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At the heart of effective link building is the concept of giving.

In other words, you link to other sites, pages and case studies willingly.

Linking out instead of link building to rank in Google” is a helpful resource that doesn’t contain the traditional advice. Rather, it capitalizes on the principle of reciprocity.

According to Wikipedia, “reciprocity is a social rule that says we should repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. That is, people give back the kind of treatment they have received from you.”

For example, if you’re writing a guide to SEO, you should link out to authority sites that have addressed the topic before. As much as you can, link out to pages with high page authority – it’ll have a dramatic impact on your search performance and online visibility.

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Reciprocity is one of the most vital of Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion. We humans are basically hard-wired to pay back our debts, help those who offered us a helping hand, and generally treat others as they’ve treated us.

I’ve applied the principle of reciprocity to grow QuickSprout to over 700,000 monthly visitors, and generated tens of thousands of quality backlinks. I give away tremendous value in my content.

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When I write a post, I link out to anywhere from 5 to 20 external web pages that contain helpful and relevant content.

I don’t claim to know it all – that’s why I bring other expert’s view into my post. And it’s helped me earn more links and increase revenue since 2007.

Here’s one of my recent posts on neilpatel.com. I linked out to more than 20 external web pages that offer additional information to my readers.

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Linking out to relevant pages not only earns you editorial links, but it also improves your search rankings. A survey of major newspaper on the web found that those who link out tend to outperform others who don’t on several performance metrics.

Check popular sites like Digg, Reddit, Twitter & Tumblr – they all link out excessively, and yet they still get millions of visitors coming back again and again.

If you’re worried that linking out will harm your rankings, do you have any proof of that?

I’ll keep looking, but so far I haven’t seen any proof that linking out to relevant and informative sites/pages that users will benefit from actually hurts long-term rankings and revenue.

5. Low Hanging Fruit: Linkbuilding with Screaming Frog (source)

To a large extent, valuable content makes it a lot easier to convince webmasters to link to you. According to MarketingSherpa, “53% of businesses view content creation as the single most effective SEO technique.”

There are lots of opportunities to grow your site, if you just study your Google Webmasters Tools data and pinpoint the links coming in to your site.

Go to Traffic > Links to Your Site:

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Next, go to “More”:

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Finally, download latest links (limit is 100,000):

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Getting the right links may seem difficult, especially when you’re not producing enough content.

But if you consider the impact those links will have on your search rankings, you’ll invest in content creation and promotion.

The old way of creating content and expecting customers to just show up is no longer feasible. You need to spend about 70% of your time and resources on promotion – that’s the new and better way.

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Low Hanging Fruit: Link Building with Screaming Frog” is an in-depth post that reveals opportunities for getting the right links using Screaming Frog, a premium SEO tool for link reclamation and link analysis.

Screaming Frog is invaluable for architecture research. You can also use it to initiate relationships with bloggers and reporters, among other things.

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The tool can analyze your links and show you ways to pass more SEO value to your web pages.

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Knowing when to increase your link building efforts or slow down with that mission is critical. This is the whole essence of link velocity, which measures the rate at which other sites link to you.

There’s no single rule on how fast you should get links to your site. SEOs have differing opinions, but Google hasn’t said one way or the other.

The best approach is to create more content and increase your site authority. Content growth can solve your link velocity problems.

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For example, it doesn’t matter how many links Moz.com or HubSpot.com generate this week; Google won’t view those links as manipulative, because both sites have good authority and thousands of pages already.

6. Your Link Reclamation Sucks Like Irene’s Dyson (source)

Link reclamation is the easiest way to earn editorial links to your pages, from referring sites that mentioned your brand but didn’t link to you.

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Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, there are three sources of links you need to reclaim:

i).  Brand mentions: This means aspects of your brand such as your site, events, courses, etc. Other sites could be mentioning your site, without linking to it. Brand mentions are the future of link building. Through link reclamation, you can request actual links be added to mentions that already exist.

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ii).   Product mentions: Several sites, media portals, and discussion boards could be mentioning your product without linking to your sales page or homepage,

If you’ve got a great product, I can almost guarantee that you can reclaim 10 or more unclaimed links today. You can use the Rank Tank’s brand unlinked mentions finder tool to find these product mentions across the web.

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iii).   Personnel mentions: What about your team, your name, your nickname, or a professional title?

All of these provide another opportunity to reclaim unlinked personnel mentions and boost your search rankings.

If you want to dominate social media and claim brand mentions easily, by building relationships with social media power users, site owners, and bloggers, this guide — “Your Link Reclamation Sucks Like Irene’s Dyson” — will help you.

In an earlier Whiteboard Friday video, Ross Hudgens showed that that you can reclaim links from brand misspellings, brand monitoring, moving links to primary domain, etc.

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7.  Ultimate Guide to Link Building (source)

Without a doubt, links connect the web together. Links exist because there are websites, pages and portals that need to share information with users.

Who links to your site, and how they link to it are more important to Google than virtually any other Google ranking factor. Data from Searchmetrics suggests that the number of backlinks is the third most important factor in the UK Google ranking factors.

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In this book, Ultimate Guide To Link Building, Eric Ward shows you:

  • How to build links
  • How to gain authority and credibility for your website
  • How to increase your site traffic and rankings

Ward teaches with a deep understanding of link profiles, what makes them good, and how to maximize the quality of links that point to your site.

Ward uses illustrated case studies, expert interviews, and helpful resources in this book to drive his message home. You’ll find that getting backlinks can actually be fun, once you master the art of networking with bloggers.

Using some of the outlined whitehat backlink techniques, Dom Wells, founder of Human Proof Designs, built 59 quality links to his new site in 10 weeks.

And Inflow used email outreach (a tactic for connecting with site owners and getting them to reference and link to your page) to gain 96 links from 43 domains.

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8.  Link Building for Startups – Find Unlinked Brand Mentions at Scale (source)

Most startups waste time trying to get the right links when there’s a far more accessible opportunity right under their noses.

More links will improve your search performance, increase leads to your business and increase your revenue. If you don’t get links to your site, your search rankings, traffic and leads will suffer. And your startup will fail.

If you’re a startup entrepreneur, you’ll agree with me that you need to contend with a lot of competition.

According to Club Z, about 80% of startups fail to see projected return on investment, mostly due to a lack of planning and experience.

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Before you can drive targeted visitors from Google, and benefit from your site, you need to build quality links to your pages.

Guest blogging is a viable and free way to do just that. As you contribute to industry blogs, you can speed up your rate of getting links by simultaneously reclaiming your brand mentions.

For example, I could cite your domain name (e.g., dodocase.com) without linking to it. Before someone can visit that site, they’d have to copy and paste it into their browser, or look for it via a search engine.

But if the domain name was hyperlinked, when someone clicks on it, they’ll visit the startup site.

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If you’ve been consistently creating fresh and useful content and promoting your site through social media, there’s no doubt that other sites are mentioning your brand name. Don’t let these mentions be a waste; reclaim them.

And that’s exactly what you can learn from “Link Building for Startups – Find Unlinked Brand Mentions at Scale.”

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9.  How to Get Links on Resources Pages (source)

One of the most effective methods I use for getting links is through resources pages. With this tactic, Startup Company Lawyer got a link on the resources page of Johnson Cornell University.

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Although contextual links are desirable and powerful, you still need to diversify, because if all your links appear within the content, may not seem natural.

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I am a firm believer that there’s no single one-size-fits-all approach to link diversity ratios.

Depending on the domain authority and page authority of referring pages and their IP diversities, Google can use these factors to gauge and pass value to your links.

Different niches require different approaches to getting links. For example, building links to a niche site (e.g., a site focused on a specific topic or product) is a delicate process, because you’ve got to be mindful of the site – making sure they’re relevant even if they’re not too popular.

But for an authority site, it doesn’t matter where you get your links from. It could be from an entirely unrelated web page, but provided your site has some authority Google will likely not view this as spammy.

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How to Get Links on Resources Pages” is a helpful guide that gives you vital information on how to get the right links by capitalizing on resources pages – pages with plenty of linked-to resources (e.g., blogs, books, papers, resource works, images).

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Matthew Barby used the resource linking tactic to find link building opportunities for the travel blog he created with a group of friends, MeltedStories.com.

He got 15 new links from the sites he contacted, generated a decent amount of traffic, and grew his blog.

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Conclusion

At the heart of every link building campaign is email outreach. Whether you’re involved in guest blogging, broken link building, social media networking, or blog sponsorship, you need to connect with people.

However, you can’t simply blast scripted emails to hundreds of people and wonder why only a handful of them read it and replied to you. So you also need to learn how to write high-converting emails.

Get personal. Your target audience wants to connect with you on a personal level.

That’s the quickest way you can build a loyal audience, get referral traffic, improve your search traffic, increase your email subscribers and grow your sales.

As usual, your comment is appreciated. Which of these resources have read, and what lessons can you take home and implement on your blog?

 

Source: 9 Link Building Resources That’ll Increase Your Search Rankings

16 Best Free WordPress Plugins You Must Use in 2016

WordPress Plugins
16 of THE Best Free WordPress Plugins by Ayo Isaiah

With all the WordPress plugins readily available, it can be hard to find the best ones. This article shares 16 of the best free WordPress plugins.

However, it can also be difficult to sort out the great ones from the bad ones, so we are giving you a list of the best plugins that you must have in the most essential categories. We also list an alternative for many of the categories.

All the plugins considered here are free and can be installed on your website within a few moments.

WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most revered SEO plugin for WordPress. Takes care of Title tags, XML sitemaps, meta descriptions, focus keyword and much more.

wordpress-plugins-yoast

Alternative: All in One SEO Pack is another highly recommended plugin with over 1 million active installs. Provides advanced SEO for WP e-commerce websites, Google Analytics support, title optimization and much more.

There are plenty of social sharing plugins, but if you are looking for one that just works and supports a big array of social networks, then the Floating Social Bar is what you need. It adds the essential sharing options to your WordPress website without slowing it down.

wordpress-plugins-floating-social-bar

Alternatives

  • Shareaholic – Highly customisable and supports Share and Follow buttons for several social media platforms. Also adds a “Related Posts” feature if you need it.
  • Sharify – Adds beautiful and responsive sharing buttons to your website. Also comes with built-in caching support to reduce server load.

Contact Form 7 has to be the best in this category. It is easy to install, setup and use. It also allows you to add multiple forms to your website with AJAX and CAPTCHA support.

wordpress_plugins_gravity-forms-alternatives-contact-form-7

Alternatives

  • Ninja Forms – Neat form plugin with a drag and drop interface for easy creation of forms. Functionality can be extended using premium plugins.
  • Pirate Forms – Comes with built-in widget and shortcode support.

Updraft Plus is highly recommended to back up your site. You can back up to multiple locations, split backups or schedule automatic backups. Many more features are included as well.

wordpress-plugins-updraft-plus

Alternatives

  • BackWPUp – Comes with multi-site support and allows you to make your backups in several formats (such as zip, tar.gz, etc.).
  • BackUpWordPress – Highly rated on the WordPress repository.

Sucuri Security offers a wealth of security options such as Security Activity Monitoring, Malware Scanning, Blacklist Monitoring, and Security Hardening. It is probably the best plugin for monitoring your site without slowing it down.

wordpress-plugins-sucuri-security

Alternatives

  • WordFence Security – Offers two-factor authentication, integrity checking and real-time blocking of known attackers among other useful features.
  • All in One WP Security and Firewall – Gives your site a “Security score” based on the options you have activated on your website and helps you improve on that score.

The page builder plugin is useful if you are not technical and need to create custom layout for particular pages. Page Builder by SiteOrigin is the most advanced free page builder plugin for WordPress. Period.

wordpress-plugins-pagebuilder

There are a few plugins in this category.

WP Smush helps you to reduce your image size (by stripping unnecessary information from your images without quality loss) and make sure your site loads faster. Alternative to this include EWWW Image Optimizer and Kraken Image Optimizer

wordpress-plugins-wp-smush

Regenerate Thumbnails is another image optimization plugin that helps you regenerate thumbnail sizes for image attachments after you altered thumbnail dimensions.

BJ Lazy Load does not optimize your images. In fact, it hides all your images and only loads them as the user scrolls through the page. This plugin can help you save bandwidth and make sure your website loads fast. BJ Lazy Load supports responsive images as well as iframe (such as Youtube embed, etc.).

Yuzo – Related Posts is highly recommended as it can display related posts to your stories with different features of text and image size. Best of all, it doesn’t slow down the site.

wordpress-plugins-yarpp

Alternatives

Notable mention: Many consider Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) to be the best post related plugin with one of the most complete algorithms to find related posts. The con is that it can be very resource-intensive for a heavy site, and that’s why we don’t rever to it as the best here.

Caching your site is the best way to make sure your site loads fast and the server does not go down when there is a sudden spike in traffic. W3 Total Cache is probably the most advanced (and free) caching plugin available for WordPress.

wordpress-plugins-w3-cache

Alternative

  • WP Super Cache is the next most well-known caching plugin after W3 Total Cache. If you just need a simple caching mechanism, then WP Super Cache is strongly recommended over W3 total cache
  • Broken Link Checker – Monitors the links in your posts and notifies you if there are any broken links.
  • Edit Flow – Improves organization of your website’s contributors and offers a calender to view scheduled content.
  • WP Mail SMTP – Reconfigures the native WordPress mail function to use SMTP and make sure all your outgoing emails reaches their destination.
  • JetPack – Brings the best parts of WordPress.com to self-hosted WordPress. Highly recommended, though it can be overly bloated.
  • Askimet – Prevents comment spam on your website.

Have you got other favourite WordPress plugins that you just cannot do without? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Source: 16 Best Free WordPress Plugins You Must Use in 2016

Do You Use Your Website Search to Help Your SEO?

The secret of how SEO and Website Search go together.
Do You Use Your Website Search to Help Your SEO? by Mike Moran

I do lots of SEO projects. Not so typically, I also do a lot of website search projects. But I hardly ever do them for the same clients. One reason is that IT people typically run website search while marketers typically manage SEO. But the few clients I work with that do SEO and website search together have discovered the secret I am about to share with you.

As Google and every other search engine has made it more and more difficult to know which keywords searchers use to find your pages, you need to go after more and more data. One of the richest and easiest sources of data is website search.

You control your own website search, so no one can take the data away. Website search engines find only your own pages, so you don’t have to wade through tons of irrelevant keywords to find the ones that pertain to your content. And those search engines also give you linkage between what searchers are looking for and which pages from your site come up. Those choices might not match Google’s choices, but they are better than nothing,

But the biggest reason to mine your website search data for keywords is the simplest. These are a list of words that your customers think you actually have content for.

Even when they are wrong and you have no content for a keyword, even that is instructive, because your customer thought you should have content. Perhaps these are gaps in your content that you need to fill.

Now, when you look at your website search keywords, you do have to make a few adjustments. While a Google searcher might search for quicken loans, when they arrive at quicken.com, they might search for merely loans. Expect searchers to use fewer of your brand names (and especially not your company name) when they are on your website–it already sets that context.

If you aren’t looking at website search keywords to drive SEO targets, you are missing one of the most obvious places to look.
[This article first appeared on Business 2 Community on 4th January 2016]

Source: Do You Use Your Website Search to Help Your SEO?

Planning For SEO Success In 2016

No-Hype SEO: A Realistic Formula To Making SEO Work For Your Business, Part 1

SEO- A realistic Formula
Looking to simplify your SEO efforts? Columnist Daniel Faggella has a simple formula for putting together an SEO regimen that will achieve results.

on December 29, 2015

SEO (search engine optimization) has come a long way.

After experiencing the “wrath of Google” years ago, some marketers have exited the SEO game and opted instead to use paid traffic to generate their leads and prospects. However, when done correctly (and ethically), there is no match for the longevity, consistency and quality of the lead flow you’ll experience from SEO. Today, I want to offer you an insider’s view of how to do this well.

All of my businesses are built entirely on organic SEO, and if I were to stop doing everything today, they would continue to experience high-quality lead flow consistently for many months to come. This just isn’t the case with paid traffic. Of course, the best marketing systems utilize both organic and paid traffic.

In this article, I’ll give you my thoughts on a time-tested and proven strategy for creating your SEO regimen.

Principles & Basics

All marketing is built on the notion of “desire” — i.e., you want something (whether it’s clothes, food, information, better abs or something else), and some business comes along with marketing promises to fulfill that desire.

In his book, “Breakthrough Advertising,” the late (and great) Eugene Schwartz stated that marketing could not (and should not) create mass desire, but that “it can only take the hopes, dreams, fears and desires that already exist in the hearts of millions of people, and focus those already existing desires onto a particular product.”

This is true. Great marketing, whether it be paid advertising or organic (SEO), is built on this principle. In the old days, the only way to tap into this mass-market desire was to show up in front of where the market happened to be (TV, newspaper or another medium).

This was (and is) both expensive and risky. If you pay large amounts of money to run an advertisement on TV, and you misdiagnose the desire of the market, you will not make any money.

Simply spending money on advertising doesn’t guarantee earning a return on that advertising.

Organic marketing, like SEO, provides you the opportunity to reverse this formula. Rather than needing to go out to where your market is located, you can attract your market, causing them to come to you.

This has changed everything: You can now put together marketing that fulfills the desires of your market very cheaply (or for free) without risking too much if you should misdiagnose or otherwise get it wrong.

SEO: The Self-Funded, Self-Regulating Lead Generator

Here’s a simple formula that will help you wrap your brain around SEO:

(B1 + B2 = DP), DP ≅ Your Organic Strategy = $$$

(Belief + Behavior = Decision Patterns), Decision Patterns Your Organic Strategy = Sales

The first “B” is belief. The second “B” is behavior. The belief and the behavior are always correlated; together, they make up the “Decision Patterns” of your prospects, (Tune into this interview with Artillery Marketing founder Douglas Burdett for more on determining buyer persona.) I’m going to get deeper into this in a bit.

When the “Decision Patterns” of your prospects are congruent with your organic strategy, your SEO kicks into hyperdrive, and you start seeing serious traction.

There are really four levels to your organic (SEO) strategy:

  • High Level (search terms, PPC terms).
  • Top of Funnel (indirect content).
  • Blog Level (relevant blog topics and lead generation tools).
  • Back-end (marketing automation and database marketing).

Today, we’re going to outline the first two levels, and in Part 2 of this series, we’ll tackle the last two levels.

Attractional SEO: Getting People To Come To You

The first level is “High Level.”

Instead of going out to set up shop in front of where the market is located, the internet allows you to build marketing assets that will “pull” your prospects towards your business. This starts with the Top Level of your SEO strategy: determining the terms specific to your offering and your market.

Many refer to these as “PPC Terms” because they are the terms your prospects are putting into Google when looking for a solution. (If you’re a little rusty on your PPC definitions, this article fromPPC Hero provides a succinct glossary.)

We do this by outlining the belief and the likely behavior of your market. For instance, if you are an online marketing consultant who serves affluent businesses in Boston, you might come up with this list:

  • Email marketing consultant Boston.
  • Digital marketing agency.
  • Experienced InfusionSoft consultant.
  • Landing page optimization expert.

This is your master list, but it’s only the top level. Remember, there is a correlation between the things people are looking for and the behavior they perform. This means your search terms will be divided into different levels of quality, which we’ll get into later.

The second level is your “Top Of Funnel.”

The top of funnel is the area of indirect interest. For instance, using the same scenario as above, you might come up with this list of “Top Of Funnel” terms:

  • How To Make Better Email Newsletters.
  • How To Create Profitable AutoResponder Series.
  • Compare InfusionSoft to Hubspot.
  • Case Study of Email Marketing for E-commerce Business.

These are all going to attract people who are interested in your specific offering, and you can use these to create the “building blocks” of your SEO strategy. Webinars, white papers, free reports and other such “opt-in” devices can be created from these “Top Of Funnel” terms.

Next week, as we get into the second two levels, I’ll show you how to connect all of these levels together into a seamless regimen. Before then, here is your homework:

Create your list of “PPC Terms,” and, from there, your list of “Top Of Funnel” devices. Like a car on a long road trip, these two lists will act as your map and your guide when we start creating blog content and database marketing material to monetize your SEO system.

Tune in next week for Part 2 on making SEO work and generating more traffic for your business.

 

 

37+ Tips on How to Build a Content Marketing Machine

The Key Concepts of Content Marketing
The Key Concepts of Content Marketing

Back when I started my career in SEO, content marketing didn’t exist—at  least not in the  way it exists now.

We used strategies to boost traction and traffic to websites through the  creation of great  content—it was content marketing before the term even  existed. And it worked.

I’ve carried the lessons with me ever since. And I’d love to share them all with  you—  everything I’ve used to successfully help hundreds of companies  benefit from content  marketing over the past five years.

Here are 37+ tips and resources you can use to build a fine-tuned content  marketing machine from the ground up.

The Key Concepts of Content Marketing

In 2009, I founded a company called Single Grain. It started as a part-time consulting gig but very quickly grew into a powerhouse digital marketing agency. In the early years, we were successful because we were able to help businesses of all sizes–including a few Fortune 500 companies—gain more traction online by implementing what we referred to then as link-building strategies.

via 37+ Tips on How to Build a Content Marketing Machine.