The Blog

The Ultimate List of 33 Traffic Sources

Posted Thursday, August 28th, 2014 in Affiliate Marketing, Content Marketing, Link Building, Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing by .

lookAs digital marketers, it's easy for us to get wrapped up in a specific method of attracting visitors.

While this kind of tunnel vision can help us become experts at one particular tactic, it can also blind us to all of the other opportunities made available to us.

Realizing this, I decided to put together a comprehensive list of places to get traffic on the web. Needless to say it doesn't contain everything (since that would literally be the entire web), but this covers most of the kinds of places you can use to pick up visits.

I've divided the list into "free" and paid traffic sources, with an emphasis on the unpaid channels. Let's take a look. (more…)

How Can You Tell If What You're Writing Is Resonating With Your Audience?

Posted Monday, August 25th, 2014 in Content Marketing by .

boredIf you don’t know what you’re doing, measuring reader engagement can be one of the most difficult tasks you’ll ever face as a writer. How can you tell if people are interested in what you have to say, or if they’re simply bored to tears?  How can know that what you’re writing has actually reached your readers, and isn’t simply falling on deaf ears?

Although there’s no singular factor you can point to and say “this is how I can tell people like my content,” there are nevertheless a number of metrics you can track to give you some idea of whether or not what you’re writing is resonating with your users. Paying attention to each of these metrics is vital to ensuring you’re publishing effective content; if your content is ineffective, they’re also vital to working out just what you’re doing wrong. (more…)

A Secret Path to Low Competition Keywords That Matter

Posted Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

secret pathYou want to rank, right?

If you're like most bloggers, small businesses, or SEO agencies, chasing competitive keywords is a waste of time.

You need to find queries you actually stand a chance of turning up in search results for, and that means finding low competition topics to cover.

So here's the problem. Most of the advice out there about how to actually accomplish this is terrible (at least in isolation). Advice like this:

  • Check how many search results Google lists for your exact keyword phrase (and throw in "allintitle," "intitle," "inanchor," or "inurl" if you like)
  • Use a keyword tool that automatically analyzes the SERPs to identify those perfect keywords with just the right combination of traffic and low competition
  • Analyze the competitors on the front page based on the number of backlinks, whether or not they are using keywords in the title and subheadings, their toolbar PageRank, etc.

Now, when I say this advice is "terrible," I'm not saying that you should never do any of this. Instead, what I'm saying is this:

That is not a strategy for finding low competition keywords.

That is a strategy for wasting time by checking keyword after keyword for months until you randomly discover one that works. In the case of the keyword tools designed to help you find low competition keywords, guess what? All the other SEOs are using the same tools, and they're eventually going to find the same low competition keywords, and swamp you with them.

Want to learn what it really takes to find low competition keywords that actually matter?

Read on. (more…)

How Can You Tell How Many Pieces Per Week You Should Produce?

Posted Monday, August 18th, 2014 in Content Marketing by .

calenderToday, we’re going to address what may well be one of the most common questions in blogging. It relates to quantity. In essence, how can you tell if you’re writing too much (or if you aren’t writing enough)?

On the surface, the answer to that question seems fairly cut-and-dry: write as much as you can without causing the quality of your writing to fall off. That could be several pieces a week, or it could be one or two pieces a month. Easy; right?

Not really.

The truth is a little more complicated, and if you ask six different bloggers, you’re liable to receive six different answers. There are some who will swear you should be writing at least two to four articles per week, with half going to your blog and the other half as guest posts. Others will insist that you should throw yourself into your work right at the beginning, working until you’ve got at least a hundred or so articles on your website – at which point it’s time for link building. Still more will maintain that you shouldn’t bother worrying about quantity, and just write.

Who's right? (more…)

Can SEO Without Backlinks Work?

Posted Thursday, August 14th, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

links no moreThe relationship between SEOs and links has been an interesting one.

It seems that, almost overnight, the industry has gone from believing that links are "the most important ranking factor" (there is no such thing) to believing that links are a "spammy SEO tactic," and that you should instead be focusing your attention on "social media metrics" (which don't directly impact rankings at all), or whatever the latest fad is.

Can you really make SEO work without building backlinks?

The answer should be enlightening for many in this industry. (more…)

Why the NoIndex Tag is GOOD for SEO (If You're Careful)

Posted Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

wrong wayIf you're having trouble getting into the search results, the very first thing you should do is check your pages for the NoIndex tag.

It looks like this:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

This code tells search engines that they shouldn't show a page in their search results. More often than you might expect, webmasters have the noindex tag on their pages without even realizing it, because it came with one of their themes, or because of some other misunderstanding.

So, if you want a page to show up in search results, make sure you ARE NOT using the NoIndex tag.


The NoIndex tag can be GOOD for SEO.

Yes, you read that right.

While you need to be very careful with how you use it, the NoIndex tag plays an important part in search engine optimization, and you would be wise to understand it, rather than simply assuming that it's always a bad idea to use it. (more…)

Does Google Lie? 3 Examples

Posted Monday, August 11th, 2014 in Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Optimization by .

conspiracy nutAs I've mentioned before, sections of the SEO industry have quite the conspiracy theory streak.

Some of the more skeptically-minded voices in the industry, such as Aaron Wall, have very legitimate criticisms to aim at Google, even if I don't always agree.

Others, in particular the anonymous internet forum trolls, bear more resemblance to the stark raving mad man standing on a street corner with a "The End is Nigh" sign dangling from his neck.

Of the criticisms thrown at Google by the SEO industry, one of the most common seems to be that "they are LIARS intentionally misleading SEOs so that they can put more money in their pockets (and Barry Schwartz, Rand Fishkin, and Danny Sullivan are all PAID SHILLS!!!!!!!111).

I've even seen the odd article or forum post here or there claiming that Google is in bed with Obama.

While I can't help but laugh at most criticisms of this form, a smart SEO does keep Google's motives and incentives in mind as they devise a strategy.

So, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the public record, and see if I could find any examples of Google outright lying.

Here's what I found. (more…)

How the Noscript Tag Impacts SEO (Hint: Be Very Careful)

Posted Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 in Search Engine Optimization by .

javaIn case you didn't know, Google isn't great at indexing the content in Javascript and Flash files.

While it's true that Google now indexes this content (yes, even Javascript and CSS), you can't count on it to understand it as well as static HTML content.

Some SEOs advise using the noscript tag, an HTML tag that displays alternative content to users who don't have javascript enabled. Is this good advice?

The answer is, as you'll hear from me frequently, yes and no.

Noscript tags can be very helpful for your SEO in many circumstances. Unfortunately, when they are used incorrectly, they can also be downright devastating.

Read on to find out how noscript tags influence SEO, how to implement them properly, and how they can do tremendous damage if used incorrectly. (more…)

July Resource Round-up: The Best of SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing

Posted Monday, August 4th, 2014 in Resource Roundups by .

reading with HCAWhile sites like BuzzSumo have made it incredibly easy to find the most shared content each month, the most viral articles generally come from a few specific industry sites and authors. Each month, we try to dig a little deeper and find not only the most popular content, but also the best articles from a variety of different writers. Here's our favorite  SEO, social media, and content marketing articles from June to enjoy when you have a free moment. If you're looking for the same great content the rest of the year, join us on Twitter, Google +, or Facebook. Enjoy!


Google Rewrites Quality Rating Guide – What SEOs Need to Know

Google has completely rewritten the Quality Ratings Guideline, the resource that their team of quality raters uses to rate websites for Google. This one is a brand new version, rewritten from the ground up, so it isn’t just a refresh of the old one.

The Evolution of SEO

Digital marketing technology is rather like high fashion — trends that were acceptable and even widely emulated suddenly find themselves hopelessly passé without even a hint of warning.


Write How You Speak: The Importance Of Having A Voice In your Articles

Posted Monday, August 4th, 2014 in Content Marketing, Marketing Strategy by .

speak up

Technology has brought about a fundamental change in how we communicate.

That’s no surprise, of course. Thanks to the Internet, our world is more connected than it’s ever been; direct communication with just about anyone in the world is often a few keystrokes away. The advent of Smartphone technology and social media further means that we’re potentially in constant contact with every one of our friends and acquaintances.

It’s not just our personal relationships that we’ve constant access to, either. Modern web users are constantly being bombarded with information from all sides. Over here, there’s someone who wants to sell them a product. Over there waits a con artist who’s trying to phish out their personal information. Here, there’s a hundred different weblogs delivering the same basic message. There, we’ve got thousands of different personalities vying for their attention.

All this together has led to something known as information overload. Web users today are under constant assault by wave after wave of content. The end result of this is that they’ve grown quite skilled at filtering out anything which doesn’t immediately interest them as noise. Anything – and anyone – that bores them is passed over. (more…)

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