SEO Week Day #4: White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO

As we near the end of SEO Week, it’s imperative that we take the time to talk about strategies that should be avoided in an SEO campaign. These strategies, called Black Hat SEO,  are basically used to cut corners and trick search engines into giving a website a higher ranking than it deserves. Those who use these techniques only see a temporary gain, as search engines are constantly updating software to catch Black Hat techniques, and usually appoint people to manually check to see if websites are using these underhanded tactics. Consequently, if search engines find that you are using these techniques, they will most likely ban you from their search engine results altogether.

The terms Black Hat and White Hat comes from old Wild West movies, in which the heroes would wear white hats and the villains would wear black hats. Marketers and SEO experts, in turn, use these terms to describe tactics that naturally help black-hat-seo-strategiessearch engines recognize quality websites vs. tactics that attempt to manipulate and exploit software limitations by search engines to get a ranking that it wouldn’t normally have ranked. The general rule is to avoid, above all, any practice that relies on tricking search engines and distorting search results. You do not want to risk the potential banning and loss of prospective customers for a temporary gain in search results ranking.

As discussed in our earlier blog on link building, a common black hat practice is the use of link farms, which are websites created for the sole purpose of providing links to other sites. Using these sites for SEO purposes are ultimately a waste of time. Due to the low quality and the fact that they are typically computer generated sites, search engines automatically give them a low authority rating, so links from them to your site wouldn’t give you a high ranking based on them. Another technique to avoid is duplicating content. This is similar to link farms and also involves a type of plagiarism. Users employsay-no-to-black-hat-seo-1030x745 this technique because original content requires a large amount of time and effort, so they duplicate content they’ve already written or use content from other websites and republish it. Search engines have gotten pretty good at sniffing out duplicated content and will hand out stiff penalties to sites that utilize it. Something else to avoid is a tactic referred to as cloaking. This involves sending different content to search engines that what is provided to visitors on your site. People typically do this because they want search engines to rank them for a certain keyword, but that keyword has little to nothing to do with their business or website. Search engines usually detect this by having users manually go to a website to check the content, and this is one of the main ways to get your site banned from search engine results.

Search engines typically use computer software to analyze content, so a black hat technique that is often used is having hidden text on a web page. This is text that has the same color as the background on a page, so that site visitors can’t see it, but search engine software can. Another black hat SEO technique to avoid is gateway pages. This is when a site has a page that ranks well with search engines, but will reroute a user to another page. This not only is frowned upon by search engines, but will also hinder your credibility with prospective customers, who most likely will not enjoy being redirected to a page that doesn’t have the information they were searching for.

All in all, a great SEO campaign, and a great way to avoid all of these tactics, is creating a site with content that leaves people wanting more from you and your business. If your goal is to rank high in search engine results, then the key is using honest methods to get there. A great rule of thumb is to ask yourself “Is anything I’m doing an attempt to trick search engines or my customers?” If the answer is yes, then immediately stop, and reevaluate your approach.

AdLo Marketing Group

http://www.adlomarketing.com

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SEO Week Day #3: All About LINKS!!!

An important part of SEO, one that most people never account for, is the factor of links into building an effective SEO campaign. Links are an important two-way street to a website, with search engines analyzing the amount of credibility your site has, as well as how many credible sites have links to your website. Before we delve any further into links though, we first must discuss how search engines rank websites.

Google, the worldwide leader in search engines, uses a common algorithm when deciphering which websites are placed higher than others on results pages. This algorithm is simply called PageRank™, named for the use of the algorithm and for its developer, Google’s co founder, Larry Page. PageRank™ is fairly simple in how it works, and is based off of work done at Stanford University. At Stanford, the authority, or credibility, of an academic paper is largely based by how many other papers reference and cite it. Furthermore, if a paper is cited by another paper that itself is heavily cited, then that paper will have more authority than a paper that has less significant citations. So the number of citations isn’t the only important thing, the authority of the page citing it is also heavily weighed. In essence, this algorithm is used by Google in the same fashion, with more authority being given to websites that are linked to by other websites, that are themselves ranked heavily.

For instance, let’s use our photography website example from our earlier blog on keywords. Let’s say you’ve started your photography website and have inserted all of the important keywords in the headers and general content. If your website is just published online, search engines like Google won’t give it that much credibility or authority because no other websites are linking to it. Basically search enginesLink-Building1 have no clue whether your site has high quality or not. Now let’s say one of your clients gets a picture taken by you to be featured in a major magazine or online blog and they link it to your website. Then your authority will raise significantly because most major magazines are high authority websites themselves. The higher the websites that link to you, the higher significance your website will have in the eyes of search engines. And the greatest way to get the best websites to link to you, is by creating incredible content that sparks interest.

When getting links, the best way is create content and naturally be found by high authority websites. Another method that is used is contacting bloggers in your industry and requesting that they check your website out and provide links on their postings. You should definitely avoid spams and link farms, which are sites that aren’t real, and only exist to create links to other websites. Search engines assign low value to these sites and with prevalent use can cause your website to be banned by some search engines. Also, links that are designed through anchor text are considered high value by search engines. Anchor text is content that is clickable and leads the user to a specific website. When linking through anchor text, it’s always optimal to have the text contain keywords that are attributed to you website.

Ultimately, links are very important to the success of any SEO campaign. Ultimately when getting links for your website, make sure that the links are from high authority websites, not from spam sites or link farms, and to make sure your content are interesting enough to create enough buzz about your business and website. For more information on link building for your SEO campaign, check out: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/growing-popularity-and-links

Thanks for checking out our blog! Stay Tuned as we continue SEO Week tomorrow, when we discuss what to avoid in building an SEO campaign. See you soon!

– AdLo Marketing Group

http://www.adlomarketing.com

SEO Week Day #2: Finding Your Keywords

Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the process of enhancing a website’s visibility in search engine results. The more “authority” a page has, or the higher it ranks in search engines, the more probable it is that a user will click on that website. SEO affects natural or organic search results, while Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, affects paid, or sponsored, results. Overall, SEO can seem like an overwhelming machine of moving parts that needs to be constantly managed, but during this week we’ll break down the main components and make them easier to understand and hopefully, more conquerable.

Before you can master the art of SEO, you have to first understand how search engines work. Search engines analyze the words and phrases that users type into them, commonly known as keywords, and matches those with websites that best associate with them. Search engines constantly and meticulously review and analyze websites and compare those in keywordssimilar industries to determine which website deserves a higher ranking in search engine results. There are various factors that
are considered in determining a site’s ranking, but the first factor is what determining what keywords best associate with your business. To effectively determine this, first put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What would you type if you were searching for a product that your business offered? This step gets you in the mentality of keyword searching. Next, go to Google Keyword Planner and see how many average users search for your keywords per month. This will give you an amazing insight into which keywords are more searched, and a breakdown into geographical areas that search certain keywords the most.

After researching the most effective keywords for your business, the next step in incorporating those into your website, which will give search engines a more probable chance of finding your site and associating it with the correct searchers. keywords2When inserting keywords into your site, there are things to keep in mind. First, remember that search engines don’t analyze websites as a whole, they break down and rank each page based on keywords associated with it. So, if your site has multiple pages that cover different topics associated with your business, it’s best to incorporate keywords best associated with that page. For instance, if you own a photography business, and one of the pages of your site discusses common photography prices and what you charge, you should optimize that page to “photography prices” or “photography costs”. Each page should have a description that shows up in search engines and keywords that best associate with it. Keywords should show in headers and titles, as well as general content, and show flow naturally in your website.

Finding the right keywords and associating them into your website is the best way to start a successful SEO campaign. Making sure that those keywords accurately associate with your business and reflects the natural essence of your site, is the most effective way to build a reputable SEO campaign. Remember, the best way to successfully use SEO for your website and business, is to ultimately create amazing content that will spark an interest in your prospects, and naturally gain interest and let search engines do the rest!

Stay tuned for future posts this week in our SEO Week blogs, where we will discuss link building, effective tracking, and what NOT to do in SEO. Until next time!

– AdLo Marketing Group

http://www.adlomarketing.com

Marketing 101: “What Are You Doing to Promote Your Brand?”

developing a strategic marketing plan is crucial to the success of any business
developing a strategic marketing plan is crucial to the success of any business

Marketing is by far one of the most important things you will ever do for your brand. When you think about it, your business is mainly composed of two factors: offering a quality product/service to your customers, and getting customers through the door. You could have the most innovative product out, or offer the highest quality service at the lowest price, but if no one knows you exist then you probably won’t be in business that long. In our last blog, we went over the type of mindset you should have when thinking of an effective marketing strategy. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would you like to see? What attracts you as a customer? That thought is the basis for successfully promoting your product, service, or business. Spam, pressure tactics, and outdated marketing practices are rarely the way to go to effectively get yourself out there.

When you plan and develop a strategy for marketing your business, you first must decide whether you’ll be utilizing Inbound or Outbound Marketing. Outbound Marketing is the most traditional method that is widely known and used. Normally, when an entrepreneur thinks of marketing, their first ideas are part of outbound marketing. This method is best defined as simply going after your customers directly. Commercials, flyers, brochures, TV and radio ads, email blasts, cold calls, and D2D/B2B sales are all part of Outbound Marketing. Inbound Marketing, in contrast, is the method in which you focus on bringing customers in, rather than going out and getting their attention. This method is focused primarily online, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and blogging. The focus of Inbound Marketing is to make your business easier to find online, and producing interesting content that naturally raises the interest in prospective customers. Inbound Marketing is progressively becoming the more popular approach, with more businesses opting to earn the attention of customers rather than interrupting their daily lives. Choosing whether to use Inbound or Outbound Marketing, or elements of both, all depends on your business type and ultimately, your personal preference.

An effective marketing strategy ultimately revolves around the ability to relate to your customers. Making sure your tactics evolve with the shopping and buying habits of your customers is key to increasing your visibility and your customer base. With the wide popularity and usefulness of the internet, businesses have seen a major shift in their customers, and the most successful ones made sure to transition their business online with their customers. In upcoming posts, we’ll discuss creating a significant online footprint and how to get your prospects to notice you over the web! Stay tuned!

www.adlomarketing.com

Marketing 101: “None of your success will work unless you do.”

“None of your success will work unless you do.”

That quote has been ingrained in my mind since I started AdLo in 2009. When I made the decision to invest my time, resources, and finances into my dream, I, like so many entrepreneurs, had no earthly idea where to start and how to reach out to grow my business. I felt as if I was drowning in a sea of marketing conundrums. And to make matters worse, my entire business model was marketing for other businesses! I knew all of the strategies, techniques, and tools that one would learn from working 80+ hour work weeks in the rigorous world of sales and marketing. But as I started to build the company, I very quickly found out that to effectively grow a business, the main ingredient required was one four letter word: WORK.

There are various ways to market and promote a product or service, most of which will be covered in later blogs, but I figured, with this being AdLo’s first official marketing blog, one thing has to be made clear- if you make that giant leap into entrepreneurship, that ever so risky step into relying on yourself to make a paycheck, no matter what innovative marketing strategies you implement, if you’re not prepared to work ten times as hard for twice as long as you did at your job, your chances for success are already dwindling.

Continue reading Marketing 101: “None of your success will work unless you do.”