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link building Archives - STRYDE

Unlinked Branded Mentions – The Link Builders Gold Mine

By | Link Building | No Comments

Whether you’re an SEO guru or a website owner looking to expand, link building is key to establishing the authority you need to build your site. More “authoritative” sources that you have linked to your site means more awareness of your brand on the web. With an ever-growing abundance of information on the internet,  It’s important for you be aware of the reach of your own brand and to know how to channel it to your favor.

You’re already being talked about.

If you or a client has a brand presence on the web, no matter the size, your brand is somewhere being mentioned. Unlinked brand mentions are plain-text mentions of your brand, without an actual link to redirect internet users to your site. Use these tips to find and convert these mentions to active links to your site and build your brand’s authority on the web.

Start Digging

You know you’re out there somewhere, now here are some tools to find out exactly where your brand is being mentioned.

Google Alerts– allows you to enter a search query you wish to monitor and receive daily email updates of the latest relevant Google results, that being news, web, etc. Using this tool, you can monitor content about your own brand and customize your search results via the “manage your alerts” tab. Advance your search results by searching for popular, relevant products and executive names.

Fresh Web Explorer– is a tool by Moz analytics which allows users to research and compare mentions and links, using the Freshscape Index. With this tool, Moz subscribers have access to over 3 Million RSS feeds and over 64 Million URLs.

Ahrefs– is a backlink checker but also features a tool called, “mentions tracker,” which allows you to search your brand and shows the results of where your brand is being mentioned on the web.  From there, you are able to filter through the social media sites and reach out to the sites where you may be able to build a link.

Mention.net– is a media monitoring tool that allows you to search your brand, as well as relevant “expressions” or keywords to reach out to more places where your site is being mentioned. It also features a “sources” tab where you can filter through social media and search for web results only, where actual links can be created.

Reach Out

You see that you’ve already produced content that has gained you a mention on another site. Now, be proactive about taking your credit for it, politely of course.

The way to acquire a link to your site is by sending a polite request to the website owner, webmaster, or editor.  Asking for links can be a bit of a delicate process, however. Many owners don’t like the idea of directing traffic away from their site. Show the person in charge that you would like to be properly mentioned, without ruffling their feathers too much. Consider your audience and which approach might best suit you.

Update Records

While browsing the site with the mention, check to see if any of the information mentioned about your brand is incorrect or out of date. If so, politely ask to have the information updated with your URL link. This is a most direct and more surface level approach.

Add Suggestions

This deeper-level approach can be a little dicey, but has the potential to be most effective. Examine the site where your brand is mentioned and offer a suggestion of a content correction that could be made. Don’t address anything too petty so as not to offend and do emphasize the value and relevance of the content, while mentioning how you would like to link it to your page. This tactic will grab the attention of the reader and you may be able to build a partnership out of this one.

Overcome Fears

You can aim to throw the common fear of “directing traffic away from the site” out the window by suggesting that the editor builds the link to open in a new window. This way, you may avoid an automatic “no” and retain the reader’s interest in your request.

Converting plain-text mentions to linked mentions is an excellent way to promote your brand and build your authority. The information is already out there. Now, your task is to find it, using tools such as those mentioned above, along with your politeness and persuasion to get the link.

Stryde’s Top Ten Posts of 2013

By | Blogging | No Comments

This past year has been a great first year for Stryde. We’ve provided numerous marketing posts throughout the year, and in case you missed any, here’s a list of our top 10 posts from 2013.

1. Ten Books Every Digital Marketer MUST Read

This early summer post offers 10 books that every digital marketer should read to help them better understand the digital marketing landscape and become the best asset they can to their team and company.

Click this link if you want to check this post out: http://www.stryde.com/ten-books-every-digital-marketer-must-read/

2. How To Use Google Keyword Tool & Google Trends For Keyword Research

This article goes over two great tools that are used to help you discover keyword opportunities and how to best use them for your business.

Click here if you want to read more about this topic: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-use-google-keyword-tool-google-trends-for-keyword-research/

3. The Ultimate List of SEO Tools

In this post, we go over SEO tools every digital marketer should know and use. We go over tools in three different areas: keyword research, SEO analysis and link building.

Follow this link if you want to learn more: http://www.stryde.com/the-ultimate-list-of-seo-tools/

4. Five Things You MUST Do To Have A Successful, Thriving Online Business

Learning the five components of running a successful and thriving online business that will help you stand out from your competitors is what you’ll find in this post.

Click on this link to find out more: http://www.stryde.com/four-things-you-must-have-to-have-a-successful-thriving-online-business/

5. Five Ways To Tell Google What Your Website Is About

Here you’ll be told about five different elements that help your website make a strong case to the search engines that it’s relevant for specific keywords. These elements will also help you rank higher and generate more traffic to your website.

Click here to read this whole article: http://www.stryde.com/five-ways-to-tell-google-what-your-website-is-about/

6. How To Effectively Perform Link Prospecting & Outreach via BuzzStream

BuzzStream is a great platform for digital marketers looking to generate good quality links and outreach and is a way to build on relationships you make out of those. We offer a list of resources to help you learn about this tool and how to properly use it.

Check out this post by clicking on this link: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-effecitvely-perform-link-prospecting-outreach-via-buzzstream/

7. Understanding The Different Types of Anchor Text & How To Use Them

In this post we define what anchor text is, give you four types of anchor text and tell how to use them.

Click this link if you’re interested in learning more about this topic: http://www.stryde.com/understanding-different-types-anchor-text-use/

8. 25 Online Marketing Tools We’re Thankful For This Year

This was a Thanksgiving post where we listed 25 online marketing tools that we are thankful for and that we at Stryde use on a daily basis to help with our job and our clients.

If you want to know more, click this link: http://www.stryde.com/online-marketing-tools-thankful-year/

9. Guest Blogging As We Know It Is Dying! Evolve or Move On!

In this post the current guest blogging strategies being used are discussed and why they’re making guest blogging a less effective tactic. We then list and discuss six future guest blogging strategies that are sure to make you successful.

If you’re interested in this topic, click on this link to read the piece: http://www.stryde.com/guest-blogging-as-we-know-it-is-dying-evolve-or-move-on/

10. How To Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio

This piece teaches you how to better protect yourself from algorithm updates and about five types of links that should be considered when wanting to diversify your link portfolio.

Click on this link to read this entire article: http://www.stryde.com/how-to-diversify-your-backlink-portfolio/

We’re really looking forward to 2014 and continuing to add value to the online marketing community through our blog.

Why All Start Ups Need To Be Proactive About Reputation Management

By | Reputation Management | No Comments

I’ve met with a few companies lately who are concerned about their online reputation, and rightfully so! These companies have had a few customers with not so positive experiences with their brand and have not held back online. Over time, these negative blog posts and reviews have crept up and rank very well for most variations of their brand names, ultimately tarnishing great brands and causing them to lose revenue on a regular basis.

These companies are not new, in fact, both have been around for over twenty years. If only they had been proactive about owning the first and second pages of the SERPs, they might not have this problem right now. Because of this, I decided a post was in order, directed at companies less than a few years old.

Start ups, big and small I demand your attention for a few minutes. I promise that the content in the post will change the way you build your brand online and will help protect you in the case that a few of your customers decide to flame you online. So let’s talk reputation management and what it is…

What Is Reputation Management?

In a nutshell, reputation management is working to push negative results off of the first page of the SERPs for your brand name or even high profile employees that work for your company.

About 99% of the time, reputation management is an afterthought… something that is only put into action once your company has bad reviews online. And let’s face it, you can’t please every single customer, all of the time. Customers are going to have bad experiences and as they become more tech savvy, they aren’t afraid to call you to the carpet.

So what do you need to do? You need to be proactive about your reputation management instead of reactive. Let’s get into the details.

You Need A Proactive Strategy

First and foremost, you need a proactive reputation management strategy. It’s not enough to say, we need to do this and hope it gets done. You need to sit down and map out a strategy to get it done! This is what your strategy should include:

  • Timeline – Reputation management won’t happen over night. You need to determine how long it will take you to create the assets and how long it will take you to help them become authoritative in the eyes of the search engines. You’re probably looking at a minimum of six months to get this done.
  • Number of SERPs – This is how many search engine results pages you want to fill up with content about your brand or high profile employee. Most companies are fine with one SERP, others want two or three. Remember that the more SERPs you want to fill up, the longer it will take you, so plan accordingly.
  • Assets – These are the sites you are going to create about your brand or your high profile employee.

Once you have each of these plotted out, it’s time to execute.

Assets

One of the most common questions I receive about assets is which sites should be considered for a reputation management campaign. Here are some of my favorites in no particular order:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Crunchbase
  • Slideshare
  • Manta
  • WordPress.com
  • Blogger.com
  • Personal Website (www.yourname.com)
  • Wikipedia
  • Quora
  • Yelp

And the list can go on and on…

One think you’ll need to consider is the fact that the search engines not only like unique content for each of these assets, but also different types of content. In most cases, if you have five or six blogs about your company, only a few of them will make it to the first page because of the diversity factor.

Content Generation

Once you pick your assets, you then need a strategy to build them out. Remember, you don’t want too many “written content only” sites, so be smart about it.

When putting together a reputation management campaign, proactive or reactive, I might execute the following:

  • Build and transcribe an infographic for a blog on WordPress.com
  • Slice up the infographic and add it to a PowerPoint presentation and add it to Slideshare.net
  • Take the sliced up graphics and add them to Pinterest or Flickr
  • Share the post on WordPress.com and the PowerPoint on Slideshare across the big four (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn)

This is called content repurposing and helps you maximize your efforts and budget!

More than anything, make sure that your content is unique and on different topics, again… think diversity!

Mini Marketing Campaigns

Lastly, you will need to put in place mini marketing campaigns for each of the assets you are working to fill up the SERPs. In most cases, you won’t be able to “just build out the assets” with unique content and expect them to pop. They will need some off site promotion to gain social shares and backlinks.

Be careful to not secure links from the same sources to each of these sites. The search engines will see right through this and your plan will backfire. I’m not saying that if Facebook has a place to add your Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and personal website URLs to not add them… definitely take the links, but you’ll want diversify your links and shares as much as possible.

As you can clearly see, being proactive is an extremely time intensive process, which is why most companies don’t take the time to do it. I can promise you that if you put forth the effort and invest time and budget toward these initiatives, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress in the future.

Ten Books Every Digital Marketer MUST Read

By | Digital Marketing | No Comments

reading a bookIn the digital marketing space, you are required to read a lot. If you don’t, you most likely don’t know your stuff and aren’t abreast current strategies and industry changes. Personally, I mostly read blog posts, however, I’ve also read several books over the last year which have helped me to gain a better understanding of the digital marketing landscape and have helped me to become a better marketer all around. In today’s post, I’d like to talk about ten books that I believe every digital marketer needs to read to help become a better asset to their organization and team.

(Note: I know there are going to be haters… there always are, who say that digital marketing changes too fast to glean anything from paperback books. To that I say, I’ve been doing this long enough to know that the foundational principles never change and you are wrong. So take your negativity and hating elsewhere.)

Marketing In The Age of Google – Vanessa Fox

Marketing in the age of Google focuses on helping you understand how marketing has changed over the last decade and what your business can do to gain more visibility in the search engines and help you connect with those seeking out your products and services.

UnMarketing – Scott Stratton

UnMarketing’s tag line is stop marketing, start UnMarketing which ultimately leads into discussions on listening to potential customers needs and engaging with them so that when they are ready to purchase what you have to offer, their logical choice is you.

Search Engine Optimization Secrets – Danny Dover

In short, Search Engine Optimization Secrets is pretty much the only book that SEO’s will ever need to understand how the search engines work and how to properly optimize a website. I have referenced this book hundreds of times over the last few years and is worth its weight in gold.

Web Analytics 2.0 – Avinash Kaushik

You can’t be a marketer without understanding website visitor and customer behavior, which is where Web Analytics 2.0 comes into play. If you claim to be a digital marketer and don’t know analytics, you need to stop claiming to be a digital marketer 🙂 In this book, Avinash runs through the basics of analytics as well as goes deep into advanced principles, metrics, and data to help you become an analytics whiz!

Content Strategy For The Web – Kristina Halvorson & Melissa Rach

BEST BOOK I’VE READ THIS YEAR!!! – Content strategy for the web was written for the marketer who wants to leverage content to build and grow their business. This book simply lays out what content strategy is, how to build a solid strategy, how to make smarter decisions about your content, and how to execute a strategy that drives real business value.

Ultimate Guide To Link Building – Garrett French & Eric Ward

SECOND BEST BOOK I’VE READ THIS YEAR!!! – If you’re an SEO, you’ve definitely been affected by the latest Google Algorithm updates and need to update your linking strategies. Well, Garret and Eric have just done it for you and all you have to do is read their book. This book shows you how to deploy a link building campaign that will help you attract quality links, drive more traffic, and dramatically boost your search rank.

Accelerate! – Arnie Kuenn

Accellerate is a fantastic book that provides its readers with a clear understanding of what it takes to develop and execute a powerful content marketing strategy, no matter how big or small your organization is. Arnie is a stud and I absolutely loved this book!

Optimize – Lee Odden

Optimize was written to provide all marketers a practical approach to integrating search, social, and content to boost your relevance and visibility online so that your potential customers can find you and engage with you. This book offers insight into customer centric strategies that in my opinion, will stand the test of time.

The Now Revolution – Jay Baer & Amber Naslund

The Now Revolution was a fantastic book to help marketers understand that real-time communication and social media have changed the way we do business. If you want to learn how to adapt your organization to meet the expectations of today’s customer, then this book is for you!

Real-Time Marketing & PR – David Meerman Scott

This is the first book of David Meerman Scott’s that I have read and definitely won’t be the last. Real-time marketing and PR helps you understand how to launch effective real-time communications in an “always on” world and generate a new stream of customers through this method of communication.

So there you have it. It’s probably time you get reading, don’t you think? What are some of your favorite books on digital marketing? If I’ve missed any that you really enjoy, please drop them in the comments section below.

How To Diversify Your Backlink Portfolio For Better SEO

By | SEO | One Comment

diversified link portfolioLast week I was consulting with a small business here in Salt Lake and the business owner asked me what it meant to diversify a link portfolio and how one might go about it.

This is an excellent question and one that many business owners are probably asking themselves, especially after the roll out of Penguin 2.0 early last week.

The problem with SEO is that marketers have always tried to game the system and build certain types of links that deliver big results with the least amount of work. When I first got started with SEO, you could build thousands of directory links and rank in the top three positions in the SERPs within a few weeks. A few years later, it was article marketing websites, and a few years after that, it was blog networks like LinkVana, BuildMyRank, and SEOLinkVine.

What this has led to was a lot of websites building a few different types of links for a very long time and when the algorithm updates discount or ignore those links altogether, those sites are in a world of hurt. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been right there in the thick of it and have had my share of sites go through these same issues (this is not a holier than thou post), what I can tell you is, going through this has caused me to be a smarter marketer, especially when it comes to diversifying my backlinks and my marketing strategies altogether (SEO, Social, PPC, Email, Etc.).

In today’s post I want to talk about how to better protect yourself from future algorithm updates and five types of links you should consider acquiring when trying to diversify your link portfolio.

Content Driven Links

I wanted to start out by talking about links driven by high quality content that’s interesting and share worthy. One of the easiest ways to future proof your website from algorithm updates, but hardest to execute, is to create the kind of content your target audience is in dire need of and get them to share and link to it. This can be done by creating infographics, ebooks, white papers, checklists, and other items of great value. It can also be done by becoming a thought leader and blogging (freely giving away your knowledge and expertise) on a regular basis.

Creating this kind of content generates the signals the search engines are looking for and are really hard to replicate by the competition. There will always be a group of individuals who link to and share your content that won’t for your competition.

Local Links

I am always amazed by the number of companies I consult with that have never though to get links from websites in their region. Chances are, there are chambers and other organizations you belong to that you can get a link from. There are also good chances that there are different events that you can sponsor or charities you can donate to that will get you a link. I love Wil Reynolds idea of creating scholarships (you should do this for local Universities) and use that for generate links for your business.

Some other ideas to help you generate links from websites in your region is to comment on local blogs, guest blog on local, niche blogs, and provide testimonials to local businesses that you love. You can read more about these in this post by Matt Green over on the Moz blog.

Business Profiles

One high impact link strategy that many businesses overlook is setting up your business in all of the major business directories online. Most marketers do this to help with their maps optimization, you know, citation building and aligning your name, address, and phone number, but forget that these trusted directories also provide links back to your website.

I like to start with some of the bigger, more trusted sites, like those found on GetListed.org. These include Best of The Web, City Search, Four Square, Hot Frog, Super Pages, Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Here.com. I’ll tell you what, if Moz recommends these sites, you should have profiles on them… TODAY!

Partners & Vendors

Another way to get some awesome links that help to round out your link portfolio is to leverage any partnerships or vendors for links. A lot of companies are scared to even ask because they are afraid it is going to damage their relationship with them. I’m here to tell you, it’s not! In fact, it often times strengthens the relationship. If you are willing, you might also add a link to them on your website. Yes, this is a reciprocal link, but in this particular situation, it is perfectly normal to link back and forth and you won’t be penalized for it. So don’t even go there in the comments 🙂

Guest Blogging

Lastly, and I saved this one for last because it is a tactic that is severely abused, is to do some guest blogging. To do guest blogging the right way, you will want to identify a handful of high quality, high visibility blogs in your niche and build a relationship with the blog owners. After becoming friends, you should work to get some of your best content published on their websites. These links will stand the test of time, low quality, “anyone can get them” guest posts will not. So be smart about it.

There are lots of other fantastic ways to build links that will help diversify your link portfolio, however, I’d start with these. If you’d like to chat about other link strategies not listed here, please do so in the comments section below.

Five Things You MUST Do To Have A Successful, Thriving Online Business

By | Business | One Comment

growing online businessDespite popular belief, purchasing a domain name and putting up a website does not mean you have an online business. Heck… even after you start to generate some traffic to the site and start to get some sales, I would say that you still don’t have an online business. If this sounds like you, don’t get angry, it’s okay, you’re just like millions of other people trying to do the same thing. Except you’re different… you want a real online business and have what it takes to to build one. In today’s post, I want to talk about the five components of running a successful and thriving online business and help you truly be different from everyone else.

Treat Your Online Business Like A Real Business

The first thing you need to do when getting started is to treat your online business like a real business. No business owner in their right mind would only put 1-2 hours per day into their business and expect it to be successful. They work 10-12 hour per day and often times work late into the night after their spouse and children go to sleep. This is one of the biggest problems when it comes to running an online business, mostly because people think they can work their full-time job and invest very little each day into a “side project” and get a big return on their efforts. It’s just not going to happen.

Instead, you need to put some real hours into your business. If you need to work a day job to make ends meet, hire some interns to help during the day and then burn the midnight oil after it’s lights out for your family. At the end of the day, you will get what you put into it, so do it right. You’ll thank me later 🙂

Diversify Your Website Traffic

The second thing you need to do when running an online business is to diversify the traffic coming to your website. Too many online businesses put all their eggs into the SEO basket and when Google makes massive tweaks to their algorithm and their traffic dries up, it devastates their business. I’ve even seen some clients cancel their agreements because they were forced to close their doors after years of bad SEO.

So what does diversified traffic mean? Is it two sources of traffic? Three sources? Sure, but that’s not going to be good enough either. If you want to build an online business that thrives for years to come, you need to get less dependent on traffic coming from the search engines and get more traffic from as many sources as possible. You should be building backlinks that provide referral traffic, you should be participating in social media, you should be repurposing content and sending it out to SlideShare and YouTube, and so forth. That way if Google slaps you and takes away your traffic, your business can survive.

Understand Your Target Market

The third thing you need to do to build a successful online business is to completely understand your target market/buyer personas and understand each and every one of their needs. This should be done through very thorough research of your customers or potential customers. It’s not enough to just do some online marketing, drive some traffic, and hope they buy your product or service. Understand them and deliver what meets their needs.

Meet All of The Needs of Your Customers

The fourth thing goes hand in hand with understanding your target market and that is meeting all of the needs of your customers. Not just one, not just two, but ALL of them. So what does this mean exactly? Let’s take a company who sells iPhone cases as our example. Chances are good that people purchasing iPhone cases will probably need screen protectors and car chargers as well. Instead of your customer purchasing a case from you and then going elsewhere to purchase the screen protector and car charger, you should offer all of it on your website and work to increase the order amount from each customer. In essence, we are trying to increase the lifetime value of each customer, which will impact your bottom line dramatically. This may mean that you have to go out and get more product or it may mean that you have to create some partnerships with other businesses who offer complementary products and services. Regardless of the situation and how much work it will require of you, you need to put in the time to do so. Again,  you’ll thank me later 🙂

Always Be Testing

The last thing you need to be doing is testing every element of your website to increase the number of conversions or transactions. With all of the tools on the market, conversion testing is easy and if you’ve never done any testing before, you should be able to dramatically improve your conversion rate with a few tweaks. You should be testing calls to action, form length, content placement and so forth.

As you can clearly see, running a successful and thriving online business is tough and requires a lot of work. That’s why so many people try and fail. What else do you feel is necessary to grow an online business. Please share with us in the comments section below.

Five Outside The Box Link Building Strategies You Can Implement Today!

By | SEO | One Comment

linksBuilding links solely through directories, articles, and guest blog posts is the archaic way of building links and if not supplemented with higher quality, natural links, you are going to find yourself struggling to compete in the search engines in a hurry.

Not only that, but building links like those mentioned above is extremely boring and you will find yourself and your team getting burned out quickly if you don’t put together some creative link strategies.

In today’s post, I’m going to address five “outside the box” ways to not only build links, but attract links, which is FAR more important. Let’s jump right in…

Interview Experts

One of the best ways to attract links to your website is to interview experts and post their responses on your blog. I’ve done this countless times, both in this industry, and in others and it works amazingly well.

So how do you get links when you interview an expert? Most of the time the expert either has a personal website, a company website, or both. Once you interview them, you can ask them to link to your piece, better yet, give them a unique piece of content (guest post) for them to post on their site announcing the interview. You can also ask them to share the content with their network of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.

I have found that 99% of the time, those individuals who I interview will at least share it on Facebook and Twitter, sending boat loads of traffic to my post. This also leads to more shares and links from those who find your post interesting. I’m telling you, this is a MONEY strategy!

Digital Assets

Another great way to attract links to your web site is by putting together digital assets like infographics, micrographics, whitepapers, eBooks, Etc. Infographics are great because they help make complex data easy to understand and when you do this, people like to link to them.

The key to generating links from your digital assets is to ask for the link back. In the case of an infographic, you should provide an embed code at the bottom of the post where people can quickly copy and paste it into one of their blog posts.

Lastly, you should put some promotion around each digital asset you put together. If you need help with some promotion strategies, check out this fantastic post.

Sponsor An Event

A very simple way to generate links to your website is to sponsor an event. Events like industry conferences, ALWAYS list each sponsor and in most cases, link back to their websites.

Another perk of sponsoring an event is that you are usually provided a free pass and if interesting enough, you can go and take advantage of what’s being discussed. To me, this is a win-win!

One thing you need to keep in mind is that sometimes, your link will be taken down in the future, which means that you will often times have to keep sponsoring their events. If you are a small company, this can get costly, so I’d look to sponsor on time events in hopes that the link will stay live for a long time.

Assist A Non-Profit

I absolutely love helping non-profits because it is an amazing way to give back to others. In our industry, we can give away services and consulting to help non-profits better optimize their websites for the search engines. I’ve found that in most cases, helping a non-profit will get you a link, so don’t discount this strategy.

The best part about this link strategy is that it doesn’t require any cash. If you have some excess capacity or product lying around, you can help a non-profit. Just make sure that your offer is “no strings attached” meaning, it won’t the non-profit money in the end. It needs to truly be free to them.

Give Away Valuable Stuff

Wanna know what people love more than free stuff? Free stuff that is actually valuable to them! One company that is doing this extremely well right now is Signs.com. The digital marketing team over there have come up with some awesome giveaways like their Spring Cling giveaway and their alphabet wall decal giveaway that they are promoting through several external websites. These giveaways are not only helping them attract new links, but also generating visibility through social media, which is huge for their business.

The trick here is taking some time to truly understand who your target audience is and what they would like for free. If you find the right people and give away the right things, you will get massive visibility!

So there you have it… Five “outside the box” link strategies that you can start implementing today. What other unique link strategies are you using to attract links? Please share with us in the comments section below.

The Ultimate List of SEO Tools

By | SEO | No Comments

toolsToday’s post is going to be the first of our “list of tools” posts, today’s, specifically targeting the very best SEO tools on the market. At Stryde, we use a ton of these tools to not only help us be more efficient when taking care of our clients, but we use them to help improve the quality of our work and create a better customer experience.

In this post we are going to cover three different areas, keyword research, SEO analysis, and link building. Let’s jump in.

Keyword Research Tools

Google Analytics – If you have a history in Analytics, it can be a fantastic tool to gather new keyword opportunities for an SEO campaign. You can review your keyword traffic from the search engines as well as site search queries to understand what keywords your visitors are using to find you that you might not be optimized for.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool – One of the oldest keyword research tools out there, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool allows you to search for keywords and be delivered dozens of related search queries that you can optimize your website for.

Bing Keyword Tool (Bing Webmaster Tools) – Very similar to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you can login to your Bing Webmaster Tools account and see keyword demand and related keywords from Bing’s index.

Soovle – Soovle is a fun keyword research tool that allows you to enter a keyword and see related keywords across many different sites including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube.

Google Trends – Google Trends isn’t necessarily a keyword discovery tool, but a tool to use after you have your keywords, to understand if the demand is growing or shrinking over a period of time.

SEO Analysis Tools

Ahrefs – Ahrefs, in my opinion, is one of the best off-page analysis tools you can find on the market. Ahrefs can be used to understand both linking and social trends over time, both for your website and your competitors.

Raven Site Auditor – Raven’s new website crawler is one of the finest SEO analysis tools on the market. Just set it and forget it and it will provide you with a thorough review of your website and what needs to be fixed.

Google Webmaster Tools – Google Webmaster Tools helps you understand EXACTLY how Google views your website and if there are any problems wit it.

Bing Webmaster Tools – Bing Webmaster Tools helps you understand EXACTLY how Bing views your website and if there are any problems with it.

FireBug – I told myself I wan’t going to include any browser add-ons in this post, but FireBug is the exception. FireBug is used to take a deeper look at elements of a web page to understand how they were coded and to uncover any issues with the code.

Internet Marketing Ninjas Header Checker – Header checkers are used see which response code your web server is returning for a requested URL. This is very handy when trying to understand redirects 404 errors.

Copyscape – In short, Copyscape is a plagiarism checker. Use it to identify if your website content has been scraped and used externally or if your writers and bloggers are stealing content externally to add to your website.

Link Building Tools

TalkWalker – TalkWalker is a fabulous replacement to Google Alerts and allows you to monitor the web for mentions of your brand or your competitors brand names. This helps uncover linking opportunities where sites mentioned your brand but didn’t provide a link as well as keeping tabs on websites that mention your competitors so you can go out and build relationships with them as well.

BuzzStream – BuzzStream is a great tool to not only manage your link building activities, but to help you manage your prospecting and outreach activities as well. Check out this post I wrote about BuzzStream last week.

Citation Labs – Citation Labs is an up and coming, but powerful tool set created by Garrett French. With his tools you can easily identify broken link opportunities and do hard core prospecting that can be dumped into BuzzStream for management.

MyBlogGuest – MyBlogGuest is a great resource to uncover guest blogging opportunities. As I mentioned in a post last week, you need to be careful about taking any opportunity from them, but you can find some real gems in there.

BloggerLinkUp – BloggerLinkUp is a weekly email newsletter put together by Cathy Stucker that puts guest blogging opportunities right into your inbox. As with MyBlogGuest, there’s a lot of garbage in there, but you can find some great opportunities as well.

Zemanta – Zemanta is an awesome tool to help get your images and your content linked to from other blogs running their plugin.

Removem – A different kind of link tool that is becoming more popular is a link removal tool. Removem is just that! If you’ve been building crappy links to your site and have gotten an unnatural link notice, you’ll want to find a tool like Removem to make link removal easier and more scalable.

Google + Advanced Search Queries – Advanced search queries are a great way to uncover linking opportunities and here’s a nice post by Rand at Moz that gives you a ton of these queries to start using today.

So there you go… some tools you’re probably familiar with and some you might not be. Do you have any other SEO tools you’d like to add to the list? If so, please feel free to add in the comments below.

How To Effecitvely Perform Link Prospecting & Outreach via BuzzStream

By | SEO | No Comments

buzzstream-toolAs we’ve learned over the years, any half decent digital marketer has to change his or her strategies and tactics as the algorithms change, and they’ve changed a lot recently. Some of the biggest changes in the algorithms have targeted low quality links and put more emphasis on higher quality, more natural linking strategies.

The problem is, generating quality links takes a lot of manual work. In the process, you have to prospect, build relationships, often times build content or something else of value, and secure the link. The good news is, there is a tool called BuzzStream that helps digital marketers be a little more efficient when going through the process.

I first heard about BuzzStream when I was on a phone call with Garrett French running through demo of his new tool set, CitationLabs. A few months later, I was able to visit founder, Paul May and have dinner with him a few of his employees in Austin, TX. Since then, I’ve been sold on their product and their dedication to customer satisfaction as they’ve bent over backwards to ensure I’ve had a great experience and am getting maximum value out of their tool.

Since BuzzStream has been around for a while now, there are countless reviews and tutorials on how to use the platform to help scale your high quality link acquisition. I also learned a hard lesson last week when introducing my new team to the tool. I learned that although I am quite efficient at using the tool, I am terrible at teaching someone else how to use it. Go figure 🙂 Because of this, I’ve compiled a list of the best resources on how to use the tool to prospect and perform outreach. So take a few minutes, go to the bathroom, grab a beverage, and spend ample time running through them. When you are done, you will be a BuzzStream pro! I promise!

 Setting Up BuzzStream

Link Prospecting (Specifically For BuzzStream)

General Link Prospecting Posts

Link Outreach (Specifically For BuzzStream)

General Link Outreach Posts

So there you have it. You should be a BuzzStream power user now. Congratulations! So, what do you think about the tool? Please feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section below.

Guest Blogging As We Know It Is Dying! Evolve or Move On!

By | SEO | 8 Comments

guest blogging tips

There… I said it… Guest blogging as we know it is dying a slow and painful death and digital marketers either aren’t happy about it, or don’t see it coming yet (which is sad).

This post is probably going to upset some people, however, it needs to be said and marketers either need to make adjustments to their current strategies or move on to other link acquisition strategies and tactics that are sustainable.

So, what do I mean by guest blogging as we know it? Let me explain.

Current Guest Blogging Strategies

The problem with SEO is that it’s a long term strategy and companies engaging in SEO are looking for the best way to scale their efforts without spending a fortune doing so. In the past, this has led to businesses and agencies building thousands of directory links and articles, which eventually were targeted and devalued by the search engines. Well, the same goes for guest blogging.

Over the last few years, companies and agencies have worked extremely hard to scale these efforts, but while doing so have cut corners and made it a less effective tactic for the rest of us. It’s gotten so scalable and borderline commoditized, that there are several companies who’ve popped up over the last year or so who only do quick and dirty guest blogging fulfillment for businesses and agencies. Not good… not good at all.

So, what kind of corners are being cut that make guest blogging a less effective tactic? Here’s a few:

  • Writing generic, garbage content that helps no one.
  • Posting generic, garbage content on sites that are full of other generic, garbage content.
  • Writing non formatted, four paragraph, four hundred word posts that look exactly the same as all other guest posts you’ve written.
  • Adding no links in the post except two back to your or your clients site in the author bio.
  • Adding no imagery or videos.
  • Taking any opportunity you dig up through the [“insert your topic here” intitle:write for us] advanced search query.
  • Not taking the time to proof read your generic, garbage content.
  • Not taking the time to promote it socially.
  • And the list can go on and on 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, even though these tactics are pure garbage, they do still help improve rankings in the search engines (today), however, they will not bring sustainable results and when the next major algorithm update rolls out, it will be all for naught.

So what should you be doing different? Let’s talk about that next.

Future Guest Blogging Strategies

As I don’t have a keen ability to see into the future like some self proclaimed “digital marketing gurus”, I’ve been doing this long enough that I can make some fairly reasonable predictions on how to salvage this tactic and squeeze as much value out of them as possible. There are six specific areas of focus that I’d like to call your attention to.

First, don’t take any guest blogging opportunity you drum up through advanced search queries or through communities like MyBlogGuest. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ann and she has a ton of great opportunities in there, but there’s also a lot of crap, so be careful. Be selective and seek out opportunities to publish posts on the best blogs you can find. The best opportunities and the most powerful links will come from the sites that don’t actively allow guest bloggers to post. If you invest the time and build a quality relationship, you can get them, but you have to be patient and persistent. Remember, one link from a site like this is far more valuable then a dozen links from crappy blogs.

Second, when you have some decent opportunities, write your very best content for them. You owe it to them for allowing you to post on their site. Don’t just horde all of your best content for your own blog, give it away as well. I promise, you’ll thank me later!

Third, when writing your content make sure to do your research and work in some internal links from the blog you are posting on. This shows the blog owner that you truly care about their blog, their readers, and your quality. You should also work in external links to relevant resources besides your or your clients website. Trust me, two links in an author bio is a dead giveaway of a crappy post only being used to “take” from someone else. Give as much as you take!

Fourth, format your post by adding heading tags, bullets, and add images and video where it makes sense. I will also recommend taking some time to design custom graphics for these posts. You don’t have to spend hours designing them, but I can promise that a little effort goes a long way with both the site owner and their readers.

Fifth, put your stamp of approval on your post by associating your name and your face with your blog posts by adding authorship markup.

Sixth, remember three paragraphs ago when I said give as much as you take? After you get your content posted, make sure you take sufficient time to promote it socially. You should do this from both your personal account and your company account. If you are too embarrassed to share because of the content or the site it is found on, it’s probably not worth your time to post there.

So there you have it, the future of guest blogging. What do you think? Spot on? Way out in left field? I’d love your comments and feedback, so please share them below.

Image credit: Social Media Revolver