14 Free Website Tools to Formulate 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… Continue reading 14 Free Website Tools to Formulate Your Best Marketing Strategy

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

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… Continue reading The Value of an Audio or Video Transcript

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… Continue reading How to Structure a Perfect SEO Optimized Page

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

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

 

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

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

(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

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

What it costs: Free

5. BuzzSumo

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

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

(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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(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

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

(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

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

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

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

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

What it costs: Licenses start at $199

23. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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:

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.

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.

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.

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).

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:

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:

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.

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.”

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.

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:

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:

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.

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

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

Next, go to “More”:

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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 for 2016

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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

 

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.

 

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 revert 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.

 

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.

 

This post was first published on MakeTechEaiserwww.maketecheasier.com on 4th January 2016 

Do You Use Your Website Search to Help Your SEO?

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

Marcus Miller on December 28, 2015 A 2015 study by Smart Insights showed that 50 percent of businesses doing digital marketing had no form of digital marketing plan or strategy. They were doing digital marketing, yet there were no clearly defined objectives or goals. Does this seem a little crazy to you? In our experience helping… Continue reading Planning For SEO Success In 2016

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

Daniel Faggella 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… Continue reading No-Hype SEO: A Realistic Formula To Making SEO Work For Your Business, Part 1

37+ Tips on How to Build a Content Marketing Machine

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.

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