It's my pleasure to be taking over the continuation of this weekly series since its creator, Lauren Brown , headed down under - to Australia , that is. While she's out throwing boomerangs and hanging out with kangaroos, I'll be sharing with you the most popular inbound marketing articles every week.
This week's top article on InboundMarketing.com was written by SEO guru Rand Fishkin , who shares his top five SEO advice pet peeves and encourages readers to contribute their two cents. The recommendations he finds flawed sound good in theory, but he asks us to think about them a little deeper, and think logically ...
Some of the advice Rand disagrees with (and his suggestions) :
- Focus copywriting on keywords and content structure to please search engines (You should also focus on the humans reading your content.)
- Strictly follow the "never link to someone who has linked to you" recommendation (There are times when reciprocal linking is okay.)
- Make your H1 heading different from your title tag, which is good from an SEO standpoint (It's also bad from a usability standpoint.)
- Spam reporting your competitors will come back and bite you in the butt. (There are ethics involved here. Stand up for what you believe in, whether it means reporting or staying quiet.)
- Search engines rank older websites higher than newer websites. (Older doesn't - and shouldn't in search engines - always mean better.)
Lesson: Don't believe everything you hear. Question (SEO) authority.
Although it's always nice to have the support of mother dearest, Darren's article expands upon a previous article of his that explored the myth, "all you need to do to is write great content on a blog for it to get readers." Sure, writing great content will keep readers coming back to your blog, but you have to get them there in the first place.
Darren therefore covers 9 ways to ‘seed' your content (rather than ‘forcing' it upon readers) to promote your blog and grow its readership beyond your immediate family. These tips should never all be used to promote a single article, but they include tweeting it, updating your Facebook status, pitching it to another blogger, pitching it to another Twitter user, sharing a link in an email or forum signature, bookmarking it, linking to it in a guest post, making it ‘sharable' and linking to it in a newsletter. And one final word of advice from Darren - being persistent and forming relationships is key to making the above tips work.
Lesson: If you seed it, they will come (but there must be something good there first).
Chris aims to answer his most often-asked question by businesses interested in marketing within the social media sphere: "Where do you start?" He highlights 6 basic building blocks of social media for a business, but also warns that companies should know their boundaries and proceed at their own pace.
In a nutshell, Chris advises to:
- Start by listening to what people are saying, not with how you can talk.
- Make your website a two-way place where information can be started by someone and responded to by another (hint: a blog). Social media is a two-way street.
- Determine where your customers are (social networks, forums, etc.), follow them there, listen, then participate.
- Participate in other communities where people might be talking about your products/services, but be wary.
- Take advantage of email marketing. It's not dead.
- Take a look into what's coming next, like mobile trends and beyond!
Lesson(s): Take baby steps. Think before you speak. Dip your toes in the water. (You get the picture.)
Suzanne's article seeks to help small businesses rank in search engines for highly searched terms. While it may seem nearly impossible for small businesses to rank on page 1 of the Google results for these terms, she discusses the helpful alternative of utilizing longtail keywords, which is a great way to rank for terms that do not necessarily have high search volume but will bring targeted traffic. Once you start developing authority by ranking for longtail keywords based around the core, highly searched terms you're ultimately looking to rank for, your core keyword will start ranking higher as well.
Suzanne concludes her article with 7 steps to improve core keyword rankings, which include such steps as modifying your website, searching keywords, and researching and reviewing your content.
Lesson: There is more than one way to solve a problem.
Remember when not everyone used email and some people considered it unessential to business? Can you imagine considering email unessential today? The people who do are laughed at. In Paul Dunay's article, he replaces "email" with "social media." In a couple of years from now, will people laugh at your company for being uninvolved with social media?
Paul's article is a warning to companies that social media is not a trend that will fade away, just like email didn't. If your company doesn't start participating and engaging in social media, he warns that it may become the butt of an industry joke.
Lesson: Don't get left behind. Stay on top of the latest business and marketing tools.Photo by Marco Bellucci