Google AMP bad for mobile SEO

The power of the web lies in its decentralization nature , it lies with its edge nodes, Google AMP is claiming dictatorship and taking our web freedom away.

Google AMP is not good for mobile SEO
Google AMP

What is Google AMP?

According to the Wikipedia The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP) is an online publishing format, created by Google as a competitor to Facebook’s Instant Articles, that is similar to HTML and optimized for mobile web browsing. Using special code, AMP-HTML is intended to help webpages load rapidly when clicked in the Google search results pages

AMP requires web developers to use a narrow set of web technologies to create pages. An example will be not allowing most JavaScript tags, this itself will cause the page to load faster. Also AMP pages are being served off of their own servers when they show up in the Google AMP result page

While most content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have their own plugins for generating AMP pages, most other websites achieve this by composing AMP pages at a separate subpage like yoursite.com/yourpage/amp

Benefits of using AMP

Wired says Google gives special treatment to the AMP optimized webpages like news and will have them show up at the top of the mobile search results. With its AMP search results, Google is amassing content on its own servers and keeping readers on Google.

What is the catch?

Besides having the AMP pages hosted on Google, if a AMP link is shared, it will have Google.COM as the domain and not the actual website. In other words, Google doesn’t let your AMP page content to show up in results unless AMP page is hosted on google. This is changing the search engine optimization methods for mobile pages from links and indexing to the AMP pages being hosted on Google

 

What do critics say?

There has been a lot of mixed AMP review : While companies like ABC, CNN, Fox News and Time Inc are huge supporters and implementer of AMP on their websites, from a speed perspective, Others like The Register has been a big critic : “Google’s AMP is bad – bad in a potentially web-destroying way. Google AMP is bad news for how the web is built, it’s bad news for publishers of credible online content, and it’s bad news for consumers of that content. It is only good for one party: Google. Google, and possibly, purveyors of fake news.”

There is currently no way to find the canonical link to the page without guessing what the original URL is. This usually involves removing either a .amp or ?amp=1 from the URL to get to the actual page. Make no mistake. AMP is about lock-in for Google. AMP is meant to keep publishers tied to Google. Clicking on an AMP link feels like you never even leave the search page, and links to AMP content are displayed prominently in Google’s news carousel. This is their response to similar formats from both Facebook and Apple, both of which are designed to keep users within their respective ecosystems. However, Google’s implementation of AMP is more broad and far reaching than the Apple and Facebook equivalents. Google’s implementation of AMP is on the open web and isn’t limited to just an app like Facebook or Apple.

Security and Privacy Concerns

The AMP HTML Specification states that all AMP HTML pages must load a JavaScript file from https://cdn.ampproject.org/. If you already run Google Analytics on your pages you probably don’t care that you’re loading yet another black-box JS file from Google. But sites that load absolutely nothing from external sources should understand the privacy and security implications that come along with running JavaScript that you don’t control. For something that is supposedly considered an open standard, requiring JavaScript and then forcing users to load that JavaScript from an external source should give any privacy conscious site pause.

 

Conclusion

While AMP is a part of the web but it is not the same thing as web. It can help webpages to load faster while increase their SEO ranking on the google but the ultimate decision is yours. Is speed everything we should consider in making such a move? I don’t believe so.

The Seven Factors Behind Link Optimization

Introduction to Link Optimization

The links to your website reflect a lot of information back onto your site. This greatly affects your website ranking. Link optimization is important to have as a part of your seo plan. This post will discuss the seven ways links to your website affect your search engine results ranking, as well as the importance of link optimization.

How links affect your search engine ranking
The seven factors of link optimization.

Anchor text

Anchor text is important for on page and off page optimization. It is very potent information for search engines. A website without crawlable information for the search engine to find will look for the anchor text leading to your site. Backlinks are important for getting a website higher up on search results. However it’s important to note where these come from. Backlink indexers are a great way to see where your site is being linked. Allowing you to determine how it reflects back onto the site.

Authority

Site authority is based first on topical relevance, and next on how respected the source is. Depending upon the authority of the site, having a link placed there could positively or negatively affect your search engine ranking.  A site with high authority linking to your site would increase the credibility of your site. This signals to the search engine that your site is reputable and deserving of a higher placement on the search results. It would take much website search engine marketing to get onto a high authority site without being respectable already.

Trust

How easily spammers are able to infiltrate a site determines how trustworthy the site is. A heavily spammed site linking to your site can damage your search engine ranking. However, a link from a trusted website will bring your site higher on the results page. Evaluating the trust of the website involves looking into sites that link to the site. If other trusted websites link to a site that in turn links to your site, then your site is more likely to be considered trustworthy.

Relevance

It’s important to be on sites that discuss relevant information. Websites that discuss the same topic as your site and link to your site are worth more than links from random sites. Sites that are topically relevant reinforces to the search engine what your site is about and makes it easier for the search engine to classify your site as being within a specific genre.

Temporal factors

Search engines keep track of when links pop up to your website. They look at whether they all appeared simultaneously or over a period of time. Search engines also notice if links to your site disappear, how quickly they appeared (or disappeared), and the authority of the site that they appear on. For the sake of website optimisation  and getting linked from sites, it’s important to have links to your site that are timely and steady. Search engines look out for sites that buy links and it definitely leads to a negative effect on the search engine results page.

Context and Relevance

The best search engine algorithm will compare the context and relevance of the links to your site among links. Search engines determine whether all the links on the linking site are of high authority and relevant to your site. Depending on the authority and trustworthiness  of the other links on the site, it could mean a higher or lower ranking on the search engine results page. The search engine also looks at the placement of the link on the site. Links in the body of the content are typically better than those placed to the side or bottom. Being a part of another site’s seo content, as a high authority website, signals to search engines that your website is trustworthy. Additionally, this will increase your placement on the results page.

Source diversity

As any seo guide would say,  a diversity of domains increases your spot on the search engine results page. In contrast, it is typically detrimental to have all of the links to your site from the same owner. Search engines like real, organic, trustworthy links from multiple domains.

What is the take away?

Link optimization should be an important part of your SEO strategy. Closely  monitoring your links will help optimize your search ranking. Search engine ranking tools are a good way to monitor how your website is competing against other sites. They can also help you move forward with an seo plan. The old adage,  “that you’re only as good as the company you keep,” rings true for websites as well.

 

Guide: How to Optimize Your Reddit Link Building Strategy for the Best SEO

How to Optimize Your Reddit Link Building SEO Strategy

Getting traffic from Reddit to your site is considered to be one of the holy grails in marketing and SEO circles. Why? Redditors are so passionate about the topics they read on the site, Reddit link building tends to drive up traffic up like crazy when they become popular. It’s also considered to be “the front page of the internet” and posts users make there can even appear on Google news.

This is a small guide to optimizing your link building strategy around Reddit and getting the most out of your efforts. We’ll present the basics of Reddit, how to choose the right communities (or “subreddits” to target your SEO and end with link building ideas to help bolster your strategies.

A Quick Tutorial on How Reddit Link Building Works

Reddit started in 2005 as a social news aggregation site and pioneered the whole voting system for comment threads. People join reddit and become “redditors” and follow their favorite topics, centered around “subreddits” found on the site, usually stylized as /r/subreddit-name.

While some subreddits are more popular than others, when the community is active, it draws in millions of viewers each day as people submit posts and article links and those submissions get upvoted (similar to a “like” on Facebook or a “+1” on Google Plus), or downvoted. Naturally, like in capitalism, the best ideas tend to rise to the top, while the best ones turn viral and get shared around on other social networks.

The passionate nature of Reddit users tends to make subreddits hostile to self-promotion. In other words, if your SEO strategy for Reddit to plan on posting a link to your product and say, “Hey, buy my awesome product!” you will likely get downvoted or even “shadowbanned” (banned from using the platform but not being alerting that you were).

Though links you post on Reddit won’t help your Google PageRank because they always include a “nofollow” in the URL, they will help with RankBrain’s algorithms, improving how Google views your content.

Here’s another guide on the basics of using Reddit from Mashable.

Now, let’s get in to how to get started with using Reddit the right way in building your SEO content marketing strategy and getting that passionate Reddit crowd generating traffic to your website.

 

Step 1: Become a Redditor (the Right Way)

First, in order to submit to Reddit, you’ll need an account. It’s free and easy to sign up. There’s a huge consideration when doing so, however. What will your username be? Generally, the worst name you could use is your business name. That’s because Reddit is a community of users, not businesses.

When people post to Reddit, they expect to see individuals do so. So if your company is Acme Corp, we recommend against “acmecorp” or “acme” as your username. Instead, a marketing idea is to  use your real name, or a combination of your name and your company name, such as “tony-acme” or “tony-acmecorp.” The transparency in your username will go a long ways on Reddit in the steps to come.

Step 2: Identify the Right Subreddits to Target for Reddit Link Building

There’s a ton of subreddits out there. Many of them are low-quality, low-traffic ones that people create (because anyone can start a subreddit!). The best way to find popular subreddits for your topic is just to search on Reddit itself. For example, if Acme Corp makes fireworks, they could search “rockets” in the Reddit sidebar and see which subreddits come up. In this case, “Firecrackers, Cakes, Mortars and More!” seems to be a popular subreddit with 1,123 subscribers and a history of 6 years.

Step 3: Read Content for a While Before Contributing

This is known as “lurking,” although marketing researchers would call it “listening.” Go in to your subreddits you chose to follow and see what kinds of posts and topics rise to the top. Are they posted by vendors asking for customers? Probably not. The best content is organic, interesting, and applicable to the subreddit. After a week or two of checking in on your subreddits each day, you’ll get a great idea of what you can post.

Step 4: Submit Your Post for Reddit Link Building

On Reddit you can only submit one of two types of content:

  1. A text post, such as a rant, a question, or a story
  2. A link

You can use both or a combination of both in your link building strategy. You can start by posting a link to your blog post, asking people for feedback on your blog post, or following up on someone’s comment that your blog post helps to answer.

Step 5: Help with Upvoting (and How it Helps Your Reddit Link Building)

Make sure to submit your link to Reddit with the UTM code from your Google Analytics account so you can then track the traffic coming to your site from your Reddit post. You want a unique code each time you post a different link so you can differentiate between the links as you view your Google Analytics metrics. You can generate UTM codes on the fly using Google’s free tool here.

The better your post or submission ranks on Google, the more likely it is to get more upvotes on Reddit, and vice versa. As you share your Reddit post on other social networks, such as Twitter or Google Plus, and as those get retweeted and +1’ed, you will eventually drive more and more traffic to your Reddit post.

One last piece of advice here for your Reddit link building strategy: Don’t ask for upvotes! This is known as the “cardinal rule” of Reddit. The more you ask for upvotes, the more you get downvoted.

Reddit Link Building & Content Marketing Ideas

Here’s a short list of ideas to get started on your link building using Reddit:

  • Submit links to your blog posts as you post them
  • Use Google Analytics tracking codes to monitor your traffic coming to your site from Reddit
  • Submit posts to relevant subreddits asking for feedback on your blog posts
  • Answer other Redditor’s comments and include a link to your post (if it’s applicable)

That’s it! We hope this SEO guide for using Reddit will result in plenty of upvotes, traffic, and customers for you. Let us know in the comments below how your Reddit marketing campaigns work out after following this guide. Please feel free to ask us questions, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Utah SEO Class blog.

How to Connect with a Marketing Influencer in your Niche

Market Influencer China

 

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How will you become the center of attention?  To be seen as important and to have people admire them and in social media terms “become a follower” Continue reading

YouTube subs – Social Media Influencer Marketing

Social Media Influencers & Your YouTube Channel

In the world of online marketing, the right link from the right site is the best way to improve your visibility in search engine results pages. But is this true when marketing YouTube channels? The purpose of this article is to document some research, tips, and food for thought regarding how to target the appropriate influencers, and how to go about getting their attention. Ultimately, I hope to answer a question of how to get more people to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Should I seek a mention from PewDiePie, who has the most subscribers on YouTube, or are more traditional methods of promotion more effective?

Why Subscribers?

There are really two ways to go about making money on YouTube. Many are aware of the massive impact viral videos can have. But, those who actually make YouTube videos for a living rarely, if ever, see a singular video actually attain this massive number of views. By seeking out subscribers YouTubers are able to develop a more reliable stream of income and eventually get paid sponsorships on their channels, as they become influencers themselves. Sponsorship deals are far more lucrative than the YouTube ad revenue that google shares with creators.

How to get YouTube Subscribers?

We are going to consider the trends surrounding two YouTube creators who have experienced significant growth in the past few years, and try to identify the key drivers that helped each of them gain subs. Each creator primarily distributes their content via YouTube, and could both be classified as niche musicians. The reason that I have selected these two is that I initially heard of both creators because of the same influencer, Philip DeFranco of YouTube, and I know that they have had more main-stream mentions as well, that we can compare against.

Social Media Influencers for Kawehi

The first creator is the Hawaiian-born, Kawehi, known for several viral videos. Utilizing a looping machine, a few instruments, beat-boxing and vocals she is a one-woman band who as of this writing has gathered over 170,000 subscribers to her YouTube Channel
Kawehi Subscribers according to social Blade
Source
Using SocialBlade I pulled Kawehi‘s statistics from YouTube subscriber count for the past four years. I identified 4 major events to analyze using her subscriber count over time. After comparing the timing of those strong up ticks and google results for pages crawled at about that time I have concluded the following:

Start Date Most Recent Video at the Time Most Likely Source of Traffic
3/21/2014  Heart-Shaped Box – Nirvana (covered by Kawehi)  Appearance on Esquire
9/1/2014  Anthem – By Kawehi  Appearance on Huffington Post
4/19/2014  I’m Only Happy When It Rains By Garbage (cover by Kawehi)  Shout-out on Official Garbage Facebook page
3/21/2014  (Not Another Lame) Fight Song By Kawehi  Organic Video Impact

Although the influencer I was investigating, Philip DeFranco, mentioned her very shortly after the date subscriber count started rising, it seems that his mention was impacted by other sources that reported on the story earlier, and that most subscribers gained are because of those who broke the news. It is difficult to say for certain how the news outlets first caught wind of the stories each time they broke, and the role other social media influencers may have played in that. Additionally, looking at the data the news outlets seem to be associated with an immediate spike on the day the news article is posted while other influencers, such as the band Garbage who was covered in the video, seem to have their impact spread out over several days and even weeks.

One of the reasons that I chose Kawehi was that I know she also made an appearance in a Super Bowl Commercial on February 7th, 2016, as well as an in-depth commercial that was aired afterwards where she went into detail about how intel processors helped her make her music. What should have been a major source of interest for an up and coming artist is completely invisible on the time-line.

Social Media Influencers for Hot Dad

The second creator is another solo act, Hot Dad. Hot Dad has been described as someone who loves creating new theme-songs for people and businesses who never asked for them. As of this writing he has 60,000 subscribers.

Hot Dad YouTube channel Subscribers According to Social Blade

Source

Hot Dad has a far less interesting curve compared to Kawehi. Additionally, researching for an influencer for the smaller jumps in subscribers is encumbered by unrelated content, due to creator having a far less unique name.

For our purposes, I know that he has received a shout out from Philip DeFranco, on November 20th 2016, in response to Hot Dad’s Video, “YouTube Star Philip DeFranco Has Song Written About Him (?!)“. He also made a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, on January 18th 2017. The question now is which influencer has had more impact when it comes to gaining subscribers for Hot Dad?

According to the data, 24,408 new subscribers started following on November 17th, and another 10,490 subscribers where picked on between November 20th & 21st. What’s particularly interesting here is that the bulk of the subscribers came not because of action the influencer made, but before the influencer had even acknowledge the video that was clearly targeting him. The influencer happily accepting this significantly increased the impact, but overall less than the content simply being discovered, likely by fans of DeFranco.

His appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show gained him 115 subscribers on the day of airing, almost 100 times fewer subscribers compared to DeFranco. Over the next few days he lost 102 subscribers. The appearance arguably hurt his channel!

Conclusion

Though hardly enough data to draw any universal conclusions, there are some very interesting things discovered in this dive. The first is, what would be considered a major influencer marketing win, was repeatedly inferior to a far less popular influencer. Many people are aware of how Jimmy Fallon has helped create several viral video sensations, but seeking out someone who is more connected with the social media platform seems far more effective. Interestingly, getting mentioned in news outlets was still the most impactful way to get more subscribers on YouTube. A successful YouTube strategy seems to be a healthy combination of learning how to create viral videos, and building relationships with others in the YouTube Community.<

Link Building for SEO

Build Links to Improve Rankings

You’ve invested considerable time in creating a website, developing amazing content, and are ready to relax while the traffic rushes in. Well, not quite. To rise in the search rankings and boost your site’s performance, there may be a missing link, or rather – links! Link building is the practice of marketing your site to acquire links from other sites, and it is a critical piece of the SEO puzzle.

Search engines use links to crawl and index the web, navigating between pages using their interconnected links. As part of this process, pages are evaluated for how well they should rank for relevant keywords in the search engine results. It’s not just a page’s content that matters; according to The Art of SEO, “links remain the single largest factor in determining search rankings.”

Understanding Backlinks

Links to your page act as a digital endorsement from other websites – they demonstrate your site has a level of trustworthiness and relevance. Additionally, these inbound links, or backlinks, determine how often and how deep search engines crawl the site. The more external links you have directed to your page, the higher your chances of ranking well in the results. However, not all links are created equally. Link value is determined by several factors. These include a site’s PageRank, anchor text, relevance, authority, and trust. Unsurprisingly, a backlink is more meaningful and valuable when it comes from a high-quality website.

Link Equity a.k.a. Link Juice

The value that is passed between links from one webpage to another is called link equity – also commonly known as link juice. This link juice is a signal used by search engines to rank pages. Assuming it is relevant and high quality, the more link juice flowing to your website, the better. Let’s consider an example with your website along with your top competitor’s website.  Your website has backlinks from five external sources and your competitor’s site has backlinks from three sources. All else equal, your site will rank higher due to the link juice it’s receiving from more external sites. Link Juice

Scenario 1: You win!

Still, it’s important to note that link juice is a finite resource. If those five websites that link to your site also link to other websites, you receive a reduced percentage of those sites’ link juice. In this case, if the three websites linking to your competitor’s page don’t link anywhere else, your competitor may rank higher due to the percentage of link juice it’s receiving.

Link Juice

 

Scenario 2: Better luck next time…

 

How to Develop a Link Building Campaign

You may be wondering how to start building links for SEO. Here are five steps for developing a link building campaign:

  1. RESEARCH & EVALUATION The first step in a link building campaign is to research and evaluate potential websites that may link to your page. Identify the different types of sites that might link to your site – media outlets, blogs, universities and colleges, related interest sites, and even sites that currently link to your competitors. While you won’t have access to these sites’ analytics, you can still generally assess the value these links may provide. To do this, review the homepage’s PageRank, perceived authority, relevance to your website, and existing number of outbound links on the linking page. Target the most valuable sites that are likely to be interested in you as well as link to your site. Don’t forget to leverage existing business relationships for links as well. Get listed as a preferred/recommended vendor, be referenced in case studies, and engage on social media.
  2. COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS Use online SEO tools to generate a list of sites that link to your competitors’ pages. Once you have this information, look at their most valuable links to better understand their link building strategy and to find opportunities for your page. Perhaps they’ve found success partnering with bloggers, received media attention for their products/services, or received links from authoritative and trustworthy government sites. While these ideas can provide inspiration, avoid replicating your competitors’ tactics exactly. Do not build all your links from the exact same sources. Rather than sharing link juice, explore ways to differentiate yourself using their tactics as a frame of reference. Be sure to update your list of potential sites to receive backlinks from.
  3. REVIEW DIGITAL ASSETS Now it’s time for some self-reflection. Evaluate the existing content on your website and map out what new content you could create – especially with your wish list of sites to build high value backlinks from in mind. Again, the key is differentiation. To stand out and attract high quality links, you’ll need to create unique and engaging content that is relevant to your audience. Write a blog or article or create compelling images, infographics, and/or videos. Try to offer valuable references or resources, or develop unique widgets or tools. Create sharable and engaging social media content, or earn attention from bloggers and media outlets. Generating relevant, timely, and engaging content can be a challenge on short notice. Keep a running list of content ideas for future development. Also, watch for trends on social media to capitalize on. Always look for inspiration based on what your target audience and potential backlink sources are engaging with.
  4. LINK PROFILE ANALYSIS To effectively build links for SEO purposes, you must know what links you already have. You must also know how you rank for certain keywords compared to competitors. This will help determine what new links you need as well as influence your content development strategy. Moz outlined various types of links to consider. These include links to your homepage, links to deep pages, links containing your brand/company name, and links containing the keywords you’re targeting.
  5. CONTACTING POTENTIAL LINKERS After completing these steps, strategize how to best connect with your target list of potential backlink sources. Direct methods of link marketing include email, social media messaging, blogger networking, and in-person networking events. Indirect methods of link marketing involve presenting exceptional and sharable content that inspires readers to naturally link to your page. These can also be supplemented by public relations, mentions of your company in news feeds, speaking at conferences/events, and running social media campaigns.

Link building for SEO purposes is essential to the success of your website. It should be an ongoing process of evaluation and modification. Now you have the tools to develop and execute a strategy to increase your site’s performance and ranking. Prepare to watch your traffic increase – if you link build it, they will come!

How can I Maximize my SEO ROI?

Maximizing SEO ROI

The business world is “dog-eat-dog”. As competition for mind share, customers, market share, and profits continue to grow, creating a quality online presence becomes paramount. While many SBOs have a rudimentary knowledge of what SEO is, some might be asking themselves, how do I begin implementing SEO, and how do I maximize my SEO ROI?

There are Various SEO Tools

Most small businesses and startups have very limited capital with which to work, and need to capitalize quickly on the investments they make. If this is the case for your company, one suggestion is to learn SEO yourself. There are various SEO tools available online, which can help cash-strapped organizations achieve their website marketing goals. SEO courses such as Coursera can help you to master SEO tools and strategies for cheap. By consulting with SEO experts through an online course, you may be able to acquire the knowledge necessary to achieve the rankings you’d like without contracting an expensive SEO agency.

The SEO Calculator and Google’s Keyword Planner

In addition to online courses, an SEO calculator can be useful. This resource can be beneficial for defining search engine optimization pricing directly for specific business, and analyzing the efficiency of selected keywords and other campaign parameters. Compact reports provide information such as competitor keywords and can help you identify your required amount of link mass. Google’s Keyword Planner also provides excellent information regarding search trends, keyword search volumes, and can help you set up your search campaigns up for success by identifying opportunities for you.

SEO Specialists

While there are many online tools available, quality SEO books can also help to master the art of search engine optimization. For me, reading “The Art of SEO” by Eric Enge, Stephan Spencer, and Jesse C. Stricchiola has helped improve my knowledge of search engines drastically, and allowed me to better understand the strategic planning required to capitalize on SEO. SEO specialists and authors who have published their work are usually some of the best and most knowledgeable resources to learn from.

Online Marketing Companies

For some small businesses, personal research is not enough. In order to extract the full value from SEO, some companies find that contracting with a well-respected online marketing agency is necessary. By contracting with an SEO company in your area, it is likely you will find an online marketing company dedicated to walking you though your industry’s best-practices and guiding your website SEO every step of the way. While this option is likely to be much more expensive, relying on experts who work with SEO every single day can be comforting as you try to build your business.

SEO Strategy

Regardless of how you implement SEO into your online business, including all of the elements of SEO strategy into your plans from the beginning will help ensure that you maximize your SEO ROI. Some of these include understanding what your organization is trying to promote in the first place, and who the exact target market is. Other details which must be accounted for involve how you wish to structure your website (including site content assets). You should also have a good grasp of how you want to brand your company, your editorial resources, and what your competitive landscape looks like. Additionally, it is vital that you factor in the ease with which the content and site structure can be modified by understanding  your CMS and web development teams thoroughly.

Achieve the ROI Improvements you Desire

Ultimately, a company that seeks a high ROI from SEO must increase online visibility, drive targeted traffic, and measure the performance of that traffic to determine whether or not overall business objectives are being achieved. The various tools, resources, and suggestions listed above provide an excellent start for this. So whether you are just beginning your quest to implement SEO best practices, or you’ve been working at it for years, continuing your efforts through personal research, contracting with qualified partners, and simply outlining your initial SEO strategy better by accounting for key marketing elements will allow you to realize the ROI improvements you desire.

 

How to Maximize SEO ROI

Building Audiences Through Social Media

Building audiences through social media

When building an online presence, visibility is crucial. After all, to be successful, your service, product, or brand needs to be seen. There are multiple strategies for online content marketing, but we will focus on one method in particular, building audiences through social media followers.  According to Nathan Chan, guest writer for Entrepreneur.com, “No matter what stage your startup is in, you’ll want to start or continue to grow your social media audience. The more people you can reach on social media organically and through advertising, the better your launch and your on-going sales will be.”

Social media platforms provide a network of individuals that can be targeted and turned into followers. Make sure your social profiles and pages are strong and they contain all of the pertinent details people would want to know about your business. According to Quicksprout.com, when marketing online you need to build a community that gives you permission to market to them; “Eventually, your community will include potential readers and people that know your potential readers. The people that know your potential readers are influencers that can share and broadcast your messages.”

Getting Started

When beginning your online marketing strategy, create your own social media business page. For example, a Facebook for Business page. This helps present a professional front and keeps your personal account separated from your professional account.  Don’t forget to use friend-finding features offered on most social media sites. Use your personal friend list to start reaching out to everyone you know. Let them know you’re starting a business and you would greatly appreciate their help in spreading the word. As Quickspout.com says, “Most people are willing to help out a friend.”

Social Media Accounts

Make sure to link all of your social media accounts. Nathan Chan suggests to cross-promote your social accounts. Ask audience members to connect with you on anther platform. Look for opportunities to link one social account to another. Offering easy “click share to” buttons is a great way to encourage people to share your content on other platforms. The point of social media is to be social! Building audiences through social media means you can’t hesitate to interact with your followers. Try answering or asking questions or participate in Facebook Groups or LinkedIn discussions.

Target Audience

The next step is to understand who your target audience is and which social media platforms they gravitate towards. This will help you determine on which channels to focus your energy. For example, professional or technical readers may use LinkedIn, rather than Facebook, but younger generations may learn towards Snapchat or Twitter. You can use analytics to determine which social media networks lead to the best traffic.

Network

Next, find other brands or companies that aren’t in direct competition with you and are related to your industry or field . Begin interacting with them once you have complimentary companies identified. Giving “likes,” sharing their applicable quality content and making unobtrusive comments can help with your own reputation and give you access to individuals who may be interested in your field or business. According to Forbes, follow like-minded people in the business. Surrounding yourself with a network of people that value your brand and expertise, allows you to become an influencer among them.

As you get to know other businesses, a partnership may be a possibility. Publishing guest content can increase your exposure and credibility, with the goal of increasing your own audience. If you’re a newcomer to the field, offer to do a joint collaboration with an established complementary business.

Social Media Ads

Now that you’re on the way to establishing an audience and building credibility, your next step is social media ads. Depending on which social network you are focusing on, advertising with social media can be done in different ways. For example, marketing on Facebook by using targeted Facebook ads is a great way to ensure your ads are going to your target customer. When a social media advertising campaign is promoted to the right group of individuals, paid social media advertising is a direct way to grow your audience.

Facebook sponsored ads are a way to get your content promoted through clicks to website. An eye-catching title and interesting content in a well targeted sponsored story can provide substantial ROI in terms of either sales or interest.  Quicksprout.com states, “Paying for clicks and traffic on social media can be a great option to market… with paid social, you have the opportunity to pay for traffic and clicks right away. And if you do well to target your target audience on the right channels you can build your audience with advertising to supplement your organic efforts.”

Hashtags

One can’t discuss building audiences through social media without discussing the hashtag.   Hashtags are used on almost all social media sites to make it easier for users to find content that interests them. When combined with creative content, a hashtag can lead new audience members to your business. Hashtags need to be relevant and specific. According to Meighan O’Toole, “If you want to build community, increase your reach, find new followers, network, and improve engagement, hashtags are your answer… another great use of hashtags is creating a personal hashtag to gather your work into your own pool.”

Content

Another trick that is often overlooked is re-purposing content. When first starting out, you’re focusing on posting quality content. The problem is, your audience may still be relatively small. Once your community grows and you have a well-established audience, that is an ideal time to re-post previous content. Don’t feel like you have to just copy and paste, but you can get creative! Quicksprout suggests turning older posts into infographics, videos, or slideshow presentations.

Building audiences through social media can be time consuming.  The authors of The Art of SEO state, “You can create the world’s greatest content, but if no one ever sees it, you will not have accomplished anything useful. You have to get exposure for it, and one way to do that is to build a loyal following of people who learn to love your content.”

Advanced SEO: Co-Occurrence & Co-Citation

Who Cares about Co-Occurrence and Co-Citation?

The science of search engine optimization contains many arcane concepts. Furthermore, as Google continues to alter its algorithm, the list of concepts grows longer. In this post, we will discuss two concepts with similar names but with very distinct functions: Co-Occurrence and Co-Citation. Using these two concepts in your SEO efforts is very easy, but have big pay-offs.

What is Co-Occurrence?

An example sentence with co-occurrence.
Google’s algorithm now takes note of which keywords commonly appear together in sentences. This phenomenon is known as Co-Occurrence

The concept of Co-Occurrence began as just a theory of SEO pioneer Rand Fishkin. In 2012, Fishkin noticed that there were web pages regularly ranking in the top three without ever having the keyword they ranked for within their content. As he described the situation in his own words:

“For the query “cell phone ratings,” coming in at number four is a web page on ConsumerReports.com without the words “cell phone” or the word “ratings.” Actually, I do think they have the word “rating,” and they might have the word “phone.” But it’s in the text. It’s not even in the title. Really remarkable that they’re ranking so well for such a competitive query.

Number two, “manufacturing directory.” Again, another very competitive phrase, and ThomasNet is ranking number three without mentioning any of these terms, without seeming to try and target that phrase at all.

Number three, “backlink analysis,” where Open Site Explorer, SEOmoz’s own tool ranks number two, and yet not in the title. It’s not anywhere on the page. Neither of these words are anywhere on the page. In the snippet, Google is actually using some text from another article that they found that mentions backlink analysis.”

With this in mind, consider the above image. The underlined text on the left represents the text which co-occurs with the underlined text on the right, which would represent a brand or any other search term. To further demonstrate how this works we will go through more examples.

Co-Occurrence Examples

If on several pages across the internet there are mentions of “Snapple” and  “the best tea beverage on the market” within their content, then an organic search for “what is the best tea beverage on the market?” would hypothetically result in Snapple ranking high.

Similarly, if several bloggers are writing content talking about how the “Golden State Warriors” are the “best team in history” in the “NBA”, an organic search of “what is the best NBA team in history?” would result with Golden State’s page ranking high.

How to Use Co-Occurrence

The best way to use Co-Occurrence in your SEO strategy is to just write great content which people will want to talk about and share. Great content shared amongst friends on social media will create the natural Co-Occurrence which will help boost your page past what your coding could do on its own. For this reason, it is important to do a regular co-occurrence analysis on the internet to see what subjects are commonly being paired together, that you might be part of this trend.

What is Co-Citation?

A diagram of Co-Citation
The concept of Co-Citation is that the various sites linked to a certain page must have some relation to one-another.

Co-citation is another advanced SEO concept which uses others’ content to boost your page’s ranking. It is well known that page-links play a large role in a website’s Google ranking, but the concept of Co-Citation delves deeper into the subject.

The reasoning behind Co-Citation is that good websites will link to other good websites, creating a veritable “good neighborhood“, just as bad websites will link to other bad websites creating its own “bad neighborhood“. Thus a web-designer must take care when linking to other sites, or seeking inbound links, as associating with a “neighborhood” of bad websites will reflect poorly on one’s ranking. Furthermore, the reasoning behind Co-Citation is that linking to high-quality sites provides for a better user experience.

Co-Citation Examples

If you are a plumbing supply company and you link to spammy, poorly-optimized plumbing blogs (assuming such things exist), Google can only assume that your website is of a similar repute.

Similarly, if you are a sewing blog that links to poorly-optimized sewing-supplies eCommerce stores, you are also culpable, and Google cannot rank you higher.

How to Use Co-Citation

In practice, you can incorporate the concept of Co-Citation by researching webistes before deciding to link to them or to seek links from them. If your potential partners do not provide good user experiences, Google will recognize this, and penalize your site if you decide to link to them. (Hint: Check to see if a page optimizes its images. This is a quick audit of a site’s seriousness.)