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.

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.)

Importance of Keyword Research for SEO

Why perform Keyword Research

Any business planning to build its first, 5th, or 100th SEO strategy must begin thinking about how customers will find its product or service online. The company must begin by identifying keywords consumers will search online when looking for the product. This is called keyword research. Leaders of a business may ask, why perform keyword research? The answer is simple, if the keyword research and analysis part of the SEO plan is skipped, there might as well not be a plan at all. Performing keyword research for SEO will ensure high value keywords are identified that increase company exposure to the market.

How to execute

Once a business has learned the importance of keywords, it must ask how to perform keyword research. There are many keyword research tools available online for free. Here are a few of the popular ones: Google trends, ubersuggest, Adwords (need access), or simply type a query in the search bar and refrain from clicking search. It is important to make sure an organized keyword research process is followed. Here are a few important steps to follow:

  1. List the products/services the company sells. This will be the head term keyword list
  2. Use the tools listed to input the list created
  3. Export all variations of the original keywords
  4. Input all keyword into the Adwords keyword planner to determine estimated monthly volume.
  5. Sort through and eliminate keywords irrelevant to business or that have no search volume (note: low volume keywords aren’t always bad to have. These can still generate customers)
  6. Add keywords to site content where relevant
  7. Repeat

The list created may contain 50 keywords, or 1000+. Regardless of how many it includes, sorting the keywords into category buckets is a good idea to ensure everything is covered that is needed. This is also a good practice because it may help identify keywords that aren’t applicable to the business. It can also expose opportunity to research new keywords outside of the products or services sold by the business. When reviewing each keyword bucket, try to identify the long tail keywords within the list and determine if they are a good fit. A long tail keyword will be more specific and typically include multiple words or a short phrase. These keywords can be high value and shouldn’t be left out of an SEO strategy. On the other hand, some long tail keywords may not generate enough impressions to make it worth including. Long tail keyword research should not be brushed aside. It takes additional time and may increase the keyword research cost if paying by the hour, but it is worth the value gained. It will put a business ahead of those that quickly throw together a site and SEO strategy.

How often should this process be used

Finding and targeting high value keywords for the business is an ongoing process. A keyword that performs well today may act much different in six months. This brings up an important question, how often should a business perform keyword research? The answer is all the time. Whether it is a detailed dive into the industry or simply paying attention to Google or Bing’s suggestions when typing a query, always knowing how consumers are searching for the product will keep the business ahead of competition. Keeping up with algorithm changes and improvements to search is becoming increasingly important and highly relevant to the keyword research process. Focusing on how the search engine values the keyword and utilizes it is becoming as important as knowing what the users are searching. It’s near impossible to know what Google thinks of a keyword, but by keeping up on its latest releases and deeply analyzing what happens when a search occurs, businesses can stay ahead of the game.

Whats next

After all keywords have been identified and added to the content and all other relevant places, understanding how they perform in the real world becomes very important. Using keyword analytics tools such as Google Analytics will help you understand how people are getting to the site, their behavior when on site, and what actions are made. Over time trends will begin to appear leading to optimizations. This can also help assist in the continual process of researching new keywords. If impression or session volume shifts to a different category of keyword, this may be a sign that it is time to research new keywords around the shifting trend.

It’s important to reiterate that a successful SEO strategy requires constant attention to the market and ensuring the site is always utilizing high value keywords. The research process is ongoing and how successful the business is at it will play a huge role in gaining a competitive advantage over competition in the digital space.

Instagram and Social Media Marketing

The advent of Instagram and social media platforms has given businesses new ways to market and communicate.  Seo and social media marketing through outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine (RIP), and Instagram allow businesses to explore creative ways of finding new customers. They can engage with current customers, new ones, and retaining current ones.

Instagram-social-media-marketing

 

It is hard to determine which are the best social media sites for seo. Each business has different target markets and methods of doing their seo on social media.

Community manager became a new position when companies realized the value in interacting with potential and current customers on social media platforms.

As of April 2017, Instagram had over 700 million users worldwide.  This makes Instagram one of the largest social networks out there. One in which interacting with other people is a key element.  While managing The CowShare Organic Beef Company, I realized that Instagram was the company’s primary source of income.  Similar to performing an organic search using Google, Instagram has hashtags.  You must upload a good image, the right message, and the appropriate hashtags. This will land more followers to your account.

Interacting with clients through direct message and via the comment sections generated more success.  Being a social media influencer in the beef industry brought the company around 50 or more followers per day. This factor directly impacted and was reflected in our revenue. Another way to optimize social media is to follow people that are relevant to a particular industry.  Liking other people’s images will at one point get their attention and will potentially produce a follow back or a sell.

Instagram

 

Instagram Partnerships with other businesses that generate a lot of momentum and traffic is a wise strategy. The CowShare partnered with other beef companies in the country.

Instagram-social-media-marketing
How can social media help our business grow

Local influencers, grillers, restaurants and more.  As part of the deal other companies would advertise The CowShare on their Instagram page, an example of social media advertising. The Cowshare also organized raffles and different types of contests.  The keywords used in the hashtag were very important because that can always drive new traffic to a site.

Each Bio on Instagram should also contain a backlink to the account’s main site. It should also contain keywords that represent a company’s branding strategy.

A social media strategy on Instagram should always include the most popular list of words in that industry. It also should include the most popular words in the platform that day.

Many people ask “why is social media good?” One reason is that the account holder can get near-instant feedback from other people.  This gives a business a better chance to communicate directly with the customer.  This is why many brands are relying more on social media than on their own websites. 

Facebook

Facebook is another great way to promote and engage with customers.  Companies that have a Facebook Page should use it to leverage the capacity and reach of this platform.  The site itself has its own search engine that is being used more and more.  Seo for Facebook business page will drive traffic in the platform.  This company gives a business the ability to do customer service, to sell, and to redirect people to the business’ website.

Facebook ads marketing is another option to utilize keywords and redirects to your own site.  Back in 2010, a friend of mine and fellow BYU Idaho graduate wanted to work for the OECD organization in Paris.  For regular Joes like he and I it would be impossible to get a job at such an elite organization. My initial thought was the Adidas slogan “Impossible is Nothing.”

I created a Facebook ad that targeted employees of that organization. The ad linked directly into a Blogspot site that had my friend’s resume.  Little by little this Facebook marketing plan began to work.  Not only were people in France seeing the Blogspot site. Also visitors from the specific Paris neighborhood where the organization was located came and stayed in it over 30 seconds.  A month and $50 later, my friend got an email requesting an interview.  Facebook as a marketing tool and as an innovative way to land a job actually worked.

YouTube

This platform will also generate high quality leads. YouTube video SEO best practices include using a name of the video that will also attract Google searches.  An account has the possibility to promote products from their own YouTube page. They also have the opportunity to work with influencers who can promote the businesses. To track ROI and other ratios, an account holder can create a coupon code for those who watch a video or for the influencers.

Another best practice is creating a YouTube thumbnail image. This thumbnail image can be designed as clickbait. It is important to make it attractive and clear. In this way when the image appears either in YouTube or in Google, people will want to click on it.  The video description boxes can be utilized to embed product links. This links will direct to a target website, and tags can be added when uploading a video.

Use Keyword Planner to choose keywords for your titles. Google and YouTube will index those keywords. Then they will drive traffic if the words are relevant enough to what is being searched for.

Twitter

Twitter is more of an instant platform.  Though Google is not indexing tweets,  Bing is actually indexing twitter, so Bing is a great space in which to build SEO.  For a Twitter user to become more relevant, a best practices is to create good, sharable content.  Engage the target audience and create calls to action.  Always use links from your website so people can navigate to it.  Use hashtags and “Like” other people’s tweets.  Retweets should add something to the original tweet.  You can also do search by specific words and you can interact with those people. The key is to build a good reputation and followers.  A good bio in your twitter profile with the right keywords can make you come up on a search in Bing.  A good profile picture and cover image and go a long way in this platform.

Memes: The Freshest Google Trend for SEO

Memes : Meme of Leonardo DiCaprio toasting saying, "CHEERS, MEMES FOR EVERYONE"

Memes for Everyone

“Memes, in the way we recognize them, are a popular internet trend, in which an image is paired with a clever phrase, to create a relatable or funny situation,” according to the authors of the book, The Art of SEO. New memes will often be a twist on a popular meme. Brand Managers want to increase website traffic and improve search engine ranking. Memes provide one way in which they may accomplish this.

Why Create a Meme?

There are multiple reasons for businesses, organizations, and bloggers to create memes. The main reason being to provide additional content and enhance ongoing branding.  Additionally, creating memes is easy and practically free, they produce emotions, are easily shareable, and may improve search engine ranking.

Additional Reasons

1)   Easy to create. The actual process to generate a meme is easy. In fact, a meme generator app can create a new meme in seconds.

2)   Practically free to create. The main cost in creating a meme, is time. Therefore, any business can afford it. While there may be a small cost incurred if using a stock photo, this will be minimal. A smart-phone may also be used to take and upload an image directly to a meme generator for creation. This makes using memes especially ideal for small business owners, and bloggers on a tight budget.

3)   Produce emotion. Memes are often humorous, shocking, or thought provoking. Tapping into emotions helps to create a lasting image that is easily recalled. This will greatly improve branding. Funny images tend to be the most popular right now. There are even funny memes about the marketing process and creating memes. However, remember they don’t have to be funny to make an impact.

4)   Sharing  is quick and easy. Memes are easily shared with friends through social media. In the age of smart phones, where everyone is seeking ‘likes’ on Facebook, or ‘pins’ on Pinterest, this provide easy marketing and link building opportunities for companies.

5)   Improve search engine ranking. Additionally, memes are a great way to improve a company’s Google ranking by increasing site traffic. This applies to large corporations, small businesses, whether old or new.

Improve Search Engine Ranking

In the world of target marketing, companies that create iconic memes, have the opportunity to do more than just give their consumers a laugh, in fact, the best ones will create a connection and be shared.  Sharing memes will help create multiple backlinks for a website. Backlinks can improve Google rankings. Jason DeMers, states, “I feel a new trend may ignore length entirely, focusing on providing as much information as possible in the smallest possible space—dense content—to appeal to readers.” Memes provide a way to share content quickly, often in an entertaining and memorable way.

Build Backlinks

As mentioned previously, one goal of creating a meme, should be to increase site traffic and provide link building opportunities. Therefore, it is important that articles and websites allow memes to be easily shared by online influencers of the target market. Make this easy to do by, “visibly including references (and the link) to the appropriate pages on your site within the core components of your meme.” (Art of SEO, 2016)

Moz on Memes and Backlinks:

“Beyond social networks, it is crucial to use traditional outreach, like email and blogs, to build solid backlinks,” according to Takeshi Young of Moz.

Create Valuable, Viral Memes

It isn’t enough to just slap a funny phrase on a famous photo, post it to social media, and then sit back, relax, go on vacation, lay on the beach, and cross one’s fingers and toes in the hopes that the image will go viral. Creating memes that are relevant and add value to a company, is essential.

Just Meme’ing’ around:

Meme of a guy in his mid-thirties smiling, wearing Mickey Mouse Ears. The Text on the image reads, "I JUST MADE A MEME, I'M GOING TO DISNEYLAND"Meme of a woman sunbathing on the beach, facing the ocean, in a bikini, wearing a straw sunhat, below that image is another image of a different woman, smiling, laying sideways on a couch, with a sunhat, made from tinfoil, she's wearing a sweater, holding a clear plastic cup and smiling. The text on the top image reads: "What I think my meme looks like", and the text on the bottom image reads, "What my meme actually looks like"

‘Create a Meme’ Tips:

1)    Identify the target audience. To generate memes that are humorous and attractive to your target audience, first determine the demographics of the audience. Research is imperative for this step.

2)   Stalk the competition. Search to see what memes are trending, not only within the industry, but within the pop culture at large. Consider ways in which to change the most popular memes to fit the product/service of your business, while also appealing to your audience. Memes that are a novel twist on the familiar, will garner more attention, as will those that are increasing in popularity, but haven’t reached their ‘tipping point’ yet. have a better chance of capturing an audience and going viral, when iterated upon.

3)   Try, try and try again. Use a meme creator or tool to generate multiple drafts. Switch up background images and mix up word choice. Keep wording short and to the point. Word choice is crucial to creating humor and staying memorable.

4)   Use video. Memes don’t have to be static images. Gifs are images with movement, that repeat in a never-ending loop. While not all gifs are memes, a meme can be a gif. Searching YouTube, is a great way to find examples of video memes. Back in 2009, Mashable shared a few examples of the most popular video memes to date.

Viral Memes

It is unlikely that a meme will automatically go viral to millions, simply by posting it. However, there are outlets to increase the odds. Social media sites, already being used by the business, are a great place to start. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn are just a few social media networks that an organization could use to share their best memes

Troubleshoot

Lastly, before tossing a meme to the masses, in hopes that it goes viral, test it out on a few individuals closely connected to the business as well as small groups of the target audience. This is a time to fine-tune and trouble shoot. Visual content marketing can be very compelling and memorable. Therefore, if used improperly or if inadvertently offensive, it may lead to negative branding. The last thing a business needs are offensive images going viral.

Meme of Britney Spears, who looks angry as she is about to bash in a car window with a closed green umbrella. The text across the bottom of the image reads: "DON'T MAKE A MEME OF BRITNEY"

Memejacking

Consider copyright laws. Memejacking is taking an already popular meme and twisting it to relate it to something different than it was initially intended. As a result, businesses and Bloggers must take caution. Copyright laws do not directly state that altering a meme is a violation. However, if the meme includes a copyright image, and is being used for commercial purposes, or to turn a profit, this could be an open door for a lawsuit.  Businesses should seek legal advice, because it is difficult to know what is and isn’t legal.  Furthermore, it is advisable to receive written permission from the original meme creator and possibly pay a licensing fee. Paying to legally use stock photos, provides additional protection. Finally, using a meme generator app that offers approved images is another way to be protected from potential lawsuits.

Meme of Jerry McGuire on the phone with the text, "YOU WANT TO USE MY MEME? SHOW ME THE MONEY!"

How to Effectively Utilize Meme Marketing

What is a Meme?

Memes have become a growing trend within society; due to this increase in popularity, companies have started utilizing memes within their marketing campaigns, both digitally and physically. What is a meme you ask? According to lifewire, “a ‘meme’ is a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea.” The most commonly used types of memes include clever phrases that are on meme images. There is almost always a humor element associated with memes, which creates an atmosphere for users to feel as though they are all in on the same joke.

One of the most popular memes that initiated the era of integrating memes into marketing campaigns is the Dos Equis meme— this meme was created from the popular Dos Equis commercial that was released in the spring of 2010. Dos Equis memes typically have meme photos of the Most Interesting Man (Jonathan Goldsmith) sitting at a table looking tan and dapper with a saying that includes the following saying: “I don’t always drink beer, But, when I do, I drink Dos Equis” Since the launch of this advertising campaign, the world has created memes that utilize the popular Dos Equis line, but replace the italicized verbiage with everyday situations relating to work, school, parenting, etc. Meme advertising is often overlooked when marketers are developing their online marketing strategy. When users overlook meme advertising, they put themselves at a disadvantage. Memes capture the attention of a niche target audience related to specific products and/or markets. A creative business meme can have a positive impact on a company’s relevance within the marketplace and competitive landscape.

Meme
Dos Equis Meme

Why Don’t Users Utilize Memes?

I think one of the biggest reasons why companies do not utilize memes within their advertising strategy is that people have the perception that it’s hard to create memes. Surprisingly, there are several free websites and tools available for users to create a meme. Most meme generating websites make the process of how to make a meme fast and simple. Users can choose from already available meme examples or create their own meme from the beginning by using their own desired image with customizable text boxes. I was surprised by how easy it was to make your own memes (see interesting meme below).

Types of Memes

There are various types of memes that users can utilize besides photos and images; users can utilize twitter memes, physical memes, and even video memes. It’s important to ensure your memes are easy for users to link their relevant websites to as this will increase search ranking for your website and/or where your meme is located.

It’s hard to image how to create a meme within Twitter’s 140 character limit, but surprisingly, every hashtag is considered a meme! The most popular hashtags that are utilized within any given day are housed on a “Trends” panel on the website or on a tab within the mobile app. Twitter has made popular hashtags and trending topics easy to access, which allows for optimum exposure to your Twitter page. Also note that it is vital to include your website within the Twitter biography/description as it guides users to your website if they click on a hashtag that is associated with your Twitter handle. The hashtag has also expanded into other popular social media platforms; users have the ability to broaden their Facebook business and expand their Instagram followers by utilizing the popular hashtag symbol. Twitter is a useful tool for users to take advantage of to better understand which hashtags and memes are trending at any given time.

Physical memes are also becoming more popular within social media platforms; a physical meme is created through body movements or unique gestures. An example of a physical meme is the famous “twerking” dance move. This body movement became a viral physical meme in 2013 and is still practiced today. Physical memes are a low cost advertising alternative and are typically captured through videos and/or photos.

Implementing a Meme Marketing Strategy

Now that we’ve discussed the different types of memes that can be utilized within your digital marketing strategy, it is important to understand the intended target audience before a meme advertising strategy is implemented. There are several items to consider—should your sales meme strategy be more humor-based or simply focus on your company’s brands, products, and tag line? This is a strategic process that requires extensive pre-planning and successful execution. If executed effectively, memes can create a positive avenue for advertising and growing brand awareness. Memes that generate a positive impact will increase brand awareness through linking and page ranking within popular search engines. Memes have been utilized within the digital space as a tool to attract online influencers. Online influencers utilize influence marketing, which is defined as a “new form of marketing that utilizes the social influence of certain individuals (celebrities, bloggers, thought leaders, etc.) to impact consumer behavior.” The concept of influence marketing has become extremely prevalent within social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

If a meme strategy is executed poorly, the user, company, and/or product will be portrayed in a negative light. The most recent Harvard meme scandal is an accurate depiction of an offensive meme strategy that had a negative impact on 10 recently accepted Harvard students. It is important to consider potential ramifications of a meme advertising strategy—the strategy must avoid offensive, explicit, or inappropriate content.

I hope this has provided you with insight into the importance of utilizing meme advertising within your digital marketing strategy. This avenue is a cheap, simple, and potentially humorous way to increase brand awareness while engaging your target market. Meme marketing allows companies and users to place themselves at a competitive advantage within their marketplace. It is crucial that the digital marketing plan is thoughtfully pre-planned and executed successfully in order to reap the maximum benefits on your website.

 

The importance of SEO Planning

A guide to SEO Planning

Planning

To make a strong SEO strategy it takes a lot of effort. One of the most important aspects of SEO is SEO Planning.  Planning ensures you have an effective method of reaching your target audience. It also influences the best web traffic. Companies would be wise to develop a strong game plan and road map for their website development. Moz.com outlines an 8 step process for proper planning that will help guide companies on who are trying to improve their web presence.

Moz.com

The Moz.com article explains the first and perhaps the most important step in SEO strategy development.  The step is  defining your target audience.  Developers and SEO teams need to know this is a SEO marketing plan. When they know they will treat it as important as other marketing plans.  When a marketer is creating content it is imperative they understand their target market. Furthermore, they should develop content that applies, it is not any different for a SEO content developer.  Many SEO experts would agree the next step in a successful plan is to perform targeted keyword discovery.

Keyword Discovery

Website optimization starts with a strong keyword discovery.  In this discovery process one can utilize Keyword planners to ensure their keywords fit their target audience. Doing so can  truly optimize website promotion.   Taking full advantage of their website keywords developers can utilize a strong plan. This plan will attract their target audience.  Bringing in the right audience will show improvement in search engine rankings.  The 8 step process for SEO strategy is a great guide for understanding a basic frame work for getting the most out of an SEO plan.   One would be wise to utilize multiple avenues to uncover the best process for developing SEO strategy.

Ultimate SEO planning Checklist

One great piece of advice the Content Marketing Institute laid out in The Ultimate SEO Checklist is that SEO and Content marketing partners need to see each other as a team not as competitors.  When developing and creating SEO strategy and SEO plans the partnership of the content marketers is essential.  If in the SEO planning a company doesn’t include the SEO team or Content Marketers they risk an unified message. Not having a unified message can fail to to capture target audiences.   Also they could miss out on perfecting their keyword optimization.  Considering the target audience and how to use keyword optimization is vital to driving web traffic.   Once the teams are working together on the SEO Plan it is time to optimize content.

Target Audiences

Optimizing content or optimizing keywords is a never ending battle and is explained by Kevin Cain in “How to Optimize Content When you Don’t Know Jack About SEO”.  Target Audiences and Keywords are moving targets.  It takes never ending SEO planning and auditing. This ensures a SEO team is producing relevant content.   Cain had the following to say about optimizing content through keyword optimization.

“At its most basic, SEO is about tinkering with your content to make it attractive to search engines. One way of doing this is by selecting the right keyword… and then using it throughout what you write.”

SEO Planning
SEO Planning

In short, SEO planning is never ending but a crucial aspect of content marketing. If a company is developing content properly they will take full advantage of keyword planning.  Additionally companies will ensure those keywords attract their target audience.  Success all comes down to SEO planning and sticking to the plan.

SEO planning issues can be summed up in a great phrase from SEOWorks.com, are you failing to plan or planning to fail?  This question helps with introspection for any company struggling with SEO planning.  Many companies think they are doing a great job with SEO planning, but it may not be the case.  Hiring a developer is not always the answer.

Can you trust your developers?

SEO developers can easily miss important issues when trying to implement an SEO plan.  Not being able to fully trust a website developer means  Danger. Companies need to know simple things to look for when auditing their website’s optimization. When Performing website audits to ensure the SEO planning is working there are tools companies may utilize. These tools give a quick view of website optimization.  One tool developers may find useful when SEO planning could be SEOquake.  SEOquake  gives quick views of website analysis, most importantly it shows weaknesses that need to be addressed. Finding the right tool can assist any SEO planning team to identify mistakes and content development errors.

SEOworks.com offers seven steps to effectively executing SEO planning strategy.  The first step they recommend in SEO planning is to have a strong initial analysis.  Additionally, one can find the other steps in the link provided.

 SEO planning consultants and Keyword Optimization:

“During an analysis… the consultant can see firsthand the strengths and weaknesses of the current technical infrastructure… What keywords have been targeted previously, the on-page content, the link building profile and competitor analysis.”

There are numerous things to look for in SEO planning.  The key is the company has to take the time to look.  SEO planning is a wise investment. In time marketing teams will come to realize this fact.

The following is about the second step of the SEO planning recommendations from SEOworks.com. It says that developers and SEO planning teams need to give their recommendation on improvement.  These recommendations suggest opportunities for improvement, for instance keyword optimization, and how to target new traffic.

SEO planning never stops

After receiving the recommendations from the developers the SEO planning team should improve keywords and implement changes on the site.  The changes implemented will be bench marked if a strong SEO plan is in place. The SEO planning team is the team to benchmarks their starting position. Bench-marking allows the team to  track their Progress. Bench-marking shows how well the changes have been impacting site traffic.  Lastly, SEO planning teams need to continually review their sites. Constant auditing ensures readiness to adapt. Teams are adapting to the ever changing demand of the consumers.  The development of an SEO plan does not mean the hard work is complete.  What this means is Development of plans indicates SEO planners are on the right track.

Did I mention, SEO never ends?

SEO planning is a never ending battle, Never neglected it!  The SEO planning team and the content marketing team Are responsible for plan fulfillment. When companies stays focused on their SEO plan they will potentially to see increase in web visibility and bottom line.

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What is Content Marketing?

 The Rundown

So you’ve got the basics of SEO down, you know all about keywords, PPC, organic search, and you may even be proficient in google AdWords. But you still aren’t getting the results you want to see with traffic on your site. While all of these aspects are important parts of SEO and online marketing, for best results it all needs to come together in what we call effective content marketing. Content marketing, sometimes referred to as inbound marketing is essentially the act of creating strong content on your site, then sharing it effectively to gain traffic to your site.

Not to be confused with digital marketing or social media marketing, it goes beyond one aspect of online presence. Content marketing helps build your online presence, personality, and brand online. All of this needs to be defined in an effective content marketing strategy, one aspect of a content marketing plan

The Details of Content Marketing

You may be thinking at this point that this is just a rehash of an online marketing or SEO plan. It’s not. Without a strong content strategy you may as well be posting your company in the yellow pages, because about the same amount of people will see it. There are entire content agencies dedicated to content advertising and creation. Combining all marketing, PR, and content together should be done to create a stronger presence and more organized strategy yes, but they are not one in the same. An article defining content marketing published on Forbes states content marketing is making your information valuable, something that people want to seek out. Think of the websites that look like they were a high school tech project, with no links, no menus, no images, etc. Those are bad examples of content marketing. Just creating a site is not enough in today’s competitive world to create an online presence. In order to make your information, and thereby your company valuable, you must have a strong content marketing platform.

The Why

Content Marketing Strategy
Content Marketing Tips

This brings us to the ultimate topic then, what is content marketing. We know the philosophy behind it now, but what does it consist of? There are more types than possible to count, which is great when working on content curation, but can be difficult to get the ball rolling. Think of it as a way to network online, what you do to network yourself in person, is what you can do to network your company online. Things like guest posts on other’s blogs, having people-preferably experts or someone related to your brand-post on your website, plug-ins, links, podcasts, are all good examples of content marketing. You are essentially looking for anything that gives your audience something to seek. Creating a podcast, or a video, or even a social media post are all effective content marketing.

The Who

Marketing social aspects of your brand is key in creating a relationship with your audience. Depending on your brand personality there are ways to do this. Let’s say for example you are trying to reach an audience of 15 year old outdoor enthusiasts. The best way to reach them is not going to be through reviews of outdoor activities nearby, it’s going to be through videos on Instagram and Facebook, memes or pictures of someone doing something entertaining in relation to the-outdoors. The key in these situations is to make sure it is also relevant to your company and brand. A strong example of content marketing can be found here, from American Express.  I know, American Express of all places? They have created a connection with their customer through this open forum. This has allowed them to reach their customer in a way that makes the customer come to them. This is what content marketing is all about.

The How

Once the lightbulb has gone off about what is content marketing, let’s discuss the how of content marketing. As previously mentioned it is again all about strategy. You can’t just start creating videos, memes, and posting on everyone’s sights, that looks desperate and disorganized. As with all strategy, the approach must answer what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Are you wanting to gain user traffic, educate those on your site about who you are, or something else entirely? The created content must geared in one general direction. The strategy can include multiple types of content marketing, in fact it should, but it must all have the same theme. This Marketing strategy should above all speak to your audience.

Content marketing is all about being creative with what you have. It allows you to really think outside the box and help develop a strong brand personality. Some ways to effectively accomplish this are with competitive analysis-where are you able to place yourself in the market that will net you the most gain. Social media research-what is already being published in your market and how can you capitalize. And as always with SEO and online marketing, keyword research and search engine search. It is imperative not to forget those are always at the forefront of effective online marketing.

It is also important to remember you know your company. Create a team to brainstorm and develop ideas of how they would want to be told about your company. Finding experts in the field and utilizing them as assets is key, and sometimes that is you. And finally, measuring engagement. All of this will be for naught if you have no way to track and determine customer engagement. Placing sharing buttons on content, curating and developing links to your site, comments in forums, are all ways to measure engagement.

The End

Where does this leave you? By now you should understand what content marketing is, and have at least a fuzzy idea of how to generate it on your site. Once you spent time developing a strategy you will be able to implement this onto your site(s). If this is to be done effectively it must be done aggressively, the company is announcing who they are, make it count. This is going to be an ever changing, dynamic part of your business. It is important to remember this is not a one-time implementation. Strategic review of what is working and what is not is important. Create a culture that is always looking for new ideas and parts of your business that your consumer would find important. Remember, always think like your consumer! If you can effectively execute this aspect of business it will open many doors for your company.

Develop an SEO Plan Based on Competition

Develop SEO Plan Based on Competition

To Build an SEO Plan, Analyze a Competitor for SEO Strategy

An SEO Plan is essential to any startup looking to compete with the competition.  A startup is like David and the competition like Goliath. David needs a plan before walking out on the battlefield.   The startup David cannot expect to write an SEO plan off the cuff, or think it up on the fly.  A competitive plan requires some methodical research at the very beginning.  A pre-existing website will allow the small David access to some great data mining for putting an SEO Plan together.   But, the David needs to understand how the competition’s website is built in comparison to his own.  If David does not have an existing website, he can still mine valuable data for an SEO Plan.  He can analyze a Goliath competitor for an SEO strategy!  So before building an SEO Plan, build the plan about how to analyze SEO competition, and continue to modify that plan as the company finds competitor SEO weaknesses.

Analyzing the competition is not something new; it has been around for centuries across all types of industries.  Many organizations have written about this topic, including Forbes, which has written about how to analyze competition for SEO strategy.  After analyzing the competition, David will understand how his competitor’s product/services, but specifically how to better compete.  Granted, an established competitor may feel like a David vs. Goliath, but that story itself shows that an SEO niche or an SEO weakness can be found.  The company may not need to take down Goliath completely, but gaining a foothold can spell a great fortune.

Suggested Steps on How to Start the SEO Competitor Research

1 – First Understand the SEO Competition Website before Building SEO Plan

Start by just browsing the competitor website. Take notes on what is done well, what is done poorly.  Not only will analyzing the competition yield helpful notes for the company website, but the company will learn SEO strategies to avoid as well.  Things to note may be the appearance ease of navigation ease of checkout (if applicable), colors, content, pictures, URLs, and especially links.  While this does not have a lot of data, understanding this feel of a website will help when the data mining starts.

2 – Analyze the Competition for SEO Weaknesses and Strengths

Time for competitor SEO analysis. Many sites exist for such analysis, but Majestic is a great SEO tool. Other tools to beat the SEO competition include SEMRush, SEOQuake, and Spyfu among many others.  These tools will give insights on the number of backlinks, keyword densities, what appears to be the keywords or target words, images details, how many pages are on the site, etc.  The tools will even point out SEO weaknesses such as a bad Meta descriptions, lack of HTML Headings, images without the ALT references, and more.  Glean as much as possible from this SEO analysis.  Some weaknesses may be glaring, or they may be harder to find.  With these weaknesses in mind, the small startup David is starting to fill his sling with rocks.  Those rocks include understanding the type of links the needed to compete, keywords, URL names, heading tags, image ALT descriptions, etc.

3 – Based on the Data from the Analysis,  Identify Keyword Niches Not Used by the Competition

Next, use the data from the competitor research to begin optimizing the company’s SEO Plan. The established competition will most likely dominate simple keyword searches: the single-, two-, and three-word phrases for the industry; the startup needs to exploit the weaknesses in some long-tail search phrases.  Based upon the keywords from the competitors, write out 10 or 15 possible search terms that the competitors are not currently using or are under utilizing.

Now feed these into SEO tools such as Google AdWords, or KeywordDiscovery.  These sites will help in several ways: 1) provide additional search terms/phrases not previously considered, 2) show if competition is already high for the search terms (i.e. how hard will it be to rank with that phrase), 3) possible click-through-rate for the search term, and much more.  The company can hone in on the SEO niche that will allow the company to raise to the top of the search engine.

With targeted keywords in mind, the company can build a beautiful website that will rank for long-tail searches that puts the company closer to users that want to purchase something.  Remember, general search terms could just be informational, but as someone creates longer phrases such as “How to Analyze Competition for SEO Strategy”, that person is very interested in that topic and may be very close to pulling the trigger on spending money and funneling those funds to the company!  Search volume may not be as high as the competition, but the quality of the clicks may be much higher.

4 – Using Data from the Competitor Research, Build an SEO Plan to Beat the Competition

Armed with knowledge about the competition, the company can now begin developing an SEO Plan based on competition. The company SEO Plan can exploit weaknesses, build on competitor excellence, and provide additional direction on the type of content to include on the site.    The company needs include the following in the plan based on the research:

  • SEO Strategy in URL with Keywords

Create a map for the URLs and how to connect multiple pages.  Decide on keyword rich URL names that capitalize on the keyword strategy previously researched.

  • Don’t Replicate Competitor SEO Weaknesses

A small startup must be smart and ensure the simple stuff that the SEO competition missed will not be replicated: images have keyword rich ALT tags, HTML headings are prevalent, Meta tag descriptions are keyword rich and meet the appropriate character length, robot.txt file is correctly implemented, any page redirects are appropriately handled, etc.

  • Build an SEO Plan Based on the SEO Strategy from the Competitor Analysis

Most importantly when building an SEO Plan to beat the competition, build the content.  Content must keep users on the site and matche the SEO strategy determined through the competitor analysis.  If the identified keywords are not properly included on the website, search rankings will suffer.  A competitor may have left an SEO niche in their armor.  Any David needs to exploit the niche by throwing the stones through it.  Build good content, compelling content, based on the keyword phrases.  The company has to include the single, two-, and three-word phrases, but the long-tail is where the small David can exploit the Goliath SEO weaknesses in the market place.

Building an SEO Plan is not Easy, but it is Necessary to Succeed

Building an SEO Plan is hard work.  The analysis of competitors can be tedious and long, but it will yield great fruit.  The steps above may seem too simplistic and easy.  But the deeper any company mines the data, the better the chance that company has at identifying weaknesses in the competition and creating a competitive SEO strategy.

Sarting with competitor SEO analysis will help young startup David’s without a lot of knowledge on SEO.  Such SEO analysis will decrease the SEO learning curve, increase the understanding of how to compete in SEO, and help build the bones of an SEO Plan.  There is no sense in starting this journey without identifying a starting point or an idea of the competition .  Even seasoned SEO professionals should start developing an SEO Plan based on the competition.  Knowledge is power.  The little startup David understands that knowing where and how to start the battle against Goliath is essential  for victory.

Creating a SEO Friendly Website

 

SEO Friendly Website

When creating a SEO friendly website it is helpful to know that a search engine will be impacted by everything on the webpage. With having a SEO friendly website someone would typically think that SEO would be Search Engine Optimization but to build a website that truly creates a memorable experience and is compatible with search engines SEO should or could be stated as Site Experience Optimization.

Building and improving your Site Experience Optimization is important to sustainable growth. With that the site needs to be able to evolve as there is a new age of SEO. According to a Forbes article that SEO is also becoming search experience optimization. SEO is expanding and becoming better that it is becoming harder to be gamed but necessary to still do the following things so that the website is SEO efficient. post will share following steps but your site needs to be relevant and an enjoyable experience for users.

Domain, URLs and Crawable Links

The domain name and URLs are two basic parts to creating a SEO friendly website. Make the domain name unique for better search results by doing this it will help the website be different but it is important to own other relevant domain names that the website is not confused with other websites. When deciding on available domain names only choose dot com available domains. Keep it as short as possible and easy to remember. When picking the right URLs it needs to describe the content and also keep it short just as the domain name. Static URLs improve SEO by connecting search results with relevant URLs.

Search engines use website links to see what other sites might link together or be similar. Some websites are created that aren’t crawable or limit spider accessibility but it needs to be able to link structures and pages. If websites do limit crawl abilities it impacts the page’s opportunity to be indexed in search engines. There are tools to help see how the webpage where is the PageRank, one of those tools is Screaming Frog. Screaming Frog runs reports to see how many outgoing links there are per page.

Indexable content, Structure and Achitecture

According to this Moz.com article to perform better in search engine results the most important thing to do is have the site content be in HTML text format. Going along with indexable content, when using images and videos on the website put titles and descriptions with the videos. Adding text to images for search results enables search engines to find and utilize in search results. Be sure that image or videos are relevant to the content on the page. Doing this will impact search results as well.

The more content that is on the website can increase the opportunity for search engines to find the website. Not only content but how its structured will impact SEO. What is structured data and how does it impact SEO? If the website has category structuring it will be able to crawl the website to find snippets to display in the search results. The category structuring will impact the user search experience and SEO by having navigation that helps the user.

Flat vs deep architecture will impact SEO by creating or having less clicks. It is decisive to have a flat architecture so that the user has less clicks to get to the desired page. Web crawlers favor flat web pages to find the content but having too much on a single page can work against SEO as well. It is significant to keep things simple where possible for a better SEO friendly website. Flat architecture will also help users navigate the webpage which creates a SEO friendly website as well.

Mobile Friendliness

Now is the time to become mobile friendly and embrace it 110%. This is critical to create a positive user experience. Mobile devices are becoming a priority browsing experience so it is critical to create the website a seamless experience. Doing this will help users navigate on the web or mobile web. With more users having mobile experiences if the website is a pleasant experience on a mobile device consumers will stay longer which will create a longer dwell time. This dwell time helps lower bounce rate and Google loves high dwell time. To continue to find success it is key to optimize a better mobile experience.

Cleaning up for a SEO Friendly Website

It is crucial to have relevant information and an up to date website. Most importantly having the site updated helps search engines find the site.  By cleaning up your website you remove errors and duplicates. This is not to say that linking is impacted because everything is connected and browse-able. These links will only connect to pages based on relevance and semantic worth and the links need to be standardized for SEO.

Cleaning up is simply keeping the content fresh, how do you keep the site content fresh? It can be from creating a blog, having a news section on your website and having videos or pictures. Google bots can see by the inception date if the content is fresh. The below image is a way to see that fresh content gets a better fresh score and over time fresh content becomes old. That being said some older documents might be more favorable than a newer document.

Content Fresh Score helps the site to be a SEO Friendly Website
Newer or updated content get a better fresh score

In conclusion the main takeaway to build a SEO friendly website is to build your site in the way that search engines will be able to utilize the content. The website needs to be readable and that starts at the structure of the website. The webpage needs to be linkable and crawable for search engines. There are other factors to increase a SEO friendly website but these will improve it. The website needs to be memorable for the user and for search engines. For a SEO friendly website the search engine needs to be a factor with the customer. SEO success happens when you have a search engine-friendly website.