Have the latest rules, regulations and Google mandates leaving you baffled? Perhaps you frequently wish that you knew a few SEO tips and tricks that could put your site miles above your competition. Maybe, like millions of other people in business, you’d just like to know more about how Google works. The folks at EverSpark Interactive not only understand, they also teach. Every Wednesday, you can join in on “What’s New In The World of Google,” their free weekly meetup for professionals who want to learn the latest developments in the world of search engines, plus get valuable information on the ever-changing environment of best SEO practice. The meeting is free and open to all.
Please join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 from 8am – 9:30am. You can RSVP on the Meetup.com link below. Can’t make the meeting for some reason? You can always catch up on all of our discussions with our blog recap posts. This is also an excellent way to recap previous discussions you may have attended, and investigate some of the issues covered further. After all, nobody likes taking notes if they don’t have to.
The meetup takes place at EverSpark Interactive’s offices located at:
6 Concourse Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30328
RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/Whats-New-In-the-World-of-Google-Everspark-Interactive/
What’s New This Week:
Transparency & The Power of Educating Your Customers
When it comes to reaching out to your customers through your website, website users appreciate information over sales pitches. This can turn your company from a “truth hoarder” to a “teacher.” This tactic became clear when Marcus Sheridan, a small-time pool company owner in Virginia, started adding content to his website. He decided that he would be come the Wikipedia of pool sites, answering questions from all around the world about pools. Not only did he generate hundreds of pages of educational text for his website, he seemingly stumbled upon a revolutionary marketing strategy. It shook the online world up so hard that he was even featured in the New York Times. River Pools in Virginia became the most trafficked pool site on the web — and has remained there ever since. In this video clip, Marcus Sheridan talks about the in’s and out’s of providing your customers with an educational experience, and how transparency is your new best friend in marketing.
This idea was further underlined by author and CEO and founder of 37Signals and Basecamp, Jason Fried during a talk he did at The Chicago Convergence conference. The idea of marketing by sharing and tending to lean more towards people and brands that have taught you something is a very powerful element to a marketing mix. He used the example of deciding he wanted to be a better cook. He went out and bought cookware and cookbooks, and upon returning home he noticed a very important factor in all of his purchases. Unconsciously, he had chosen products from chefs and other Food Network stars who had taught him something, for example, a Mario Batali cookbook or an Emeril Lagasse pan.
Essentially, instead of trying to “outspend” your competition, an excellent marketing strategy is to “out-teach” them. There is always the fear that if you let people into your “kitchen,” as it were, you’ll be giving your best ideas away to your competition. Instead of worrying about your competition, start sharing and teaching like a chef does. Consumers find it more appealing than those companies who solely rely on traditional marketing channels. One example of this in action is the company Zappos. They talk quite a lot about their customer service and culture, going so far as to put out a book every year that’s written by their employees on what it’s like to work with the company. This type of transparency is well-liked by customers and potential employees alike. Another example is the Michigan deli Zingerman’s, who offer a Zingerman’s University where they teach you how to own, run and operate a successful deli. Information like this is extremely valuable, and exceptionally powerful.
Finding Link Strategies Through Reverse Engineering
Lately EverSpark Principle, Jason Hennessey, has been looking into the web strategies used by the most successful law firms in the country. One of the examples he gave was the law firm of Morgan & Morgan, who appear to be using at least 50 different strategies to gather valuable links back to their site. One of the most valuable of these links comes from Wikipedia. So how did they go about getting this?
First, the law firm found a notable case, for example the now legendary Liebeck v. McDonald’s, better known as The Hot Coffee Case. Although their firm was not personally involved in the case, they wrote a blog post and created a video for it which they were then able to link back under the External Links section on the suit’s Wikipedia Page.
However, if you have never edited a Wikipedia page before, you will need to find someone who is a regular contributor to the site, otherwise your link will more than likely be taken down. One way to do this is to go through Elance to find someone who could post it for you. More than likely you will have to pay a small consulting fee for them to place your relevant links.
Apart from getting a link from Wikipedia, Jason was also able to uncover some tips that could be useful to your site even if you’re not a law firm. If you’re not already engaging in some of these practices, now is the time to start.
Top Linking Tips
1) Get listed on sites that are relevant for your industry. For example, a listing on Superlawyers.com or BestLawyers.com if you are a law firm.
2) Get Avvo.com listings for all the individual lawyers in your firm. You can also do this for other industries with your employees.
3) Post an job advertisement with a link on relevant sites. For example, Lawcrossing.com for legal firms.
6) Use sites such as PRWeb
7) Place informational posts and videos on sites such as EHow.
8) Look into places you can post news and stories, such as Storify.
9) Get listed on DMoz. This is the oldest and most trusted directory on the web, as it is human moderated and edited.
10) Get listed on the Yahoo Directory. It costs about $300, but it is considered a trusted link for Google.
11) Burn your blog feed on Feedburner.
12) Create a profile on Zoominfo.com.
13) Register with Business.com. While this also costs approximately $300 per year, it’s a powerful link to have.
14) Use Emailwire.com for the occasional press release. There is a cost involved, but the reach for your product or service is huge.
15) Get registered with Ezilion.com for regional web directory listings.
16) Use PRLog.org to submit free press releases and connect with journalists.
While this is just the tip of the iceberg, it certainly shows that there are many different ways to get those all-important links. As Jason said during the meeting, “Every SEO strategy is transparent if you have the right tools.” If you’d like to know more about reverse engineering, please have a look at our previous blog post or here for tips, tools and tricks.
How To Get Dofollow Links Backlinks from LinkedIn
It would appear that LinkedIn is now offering a new service for some of their members. While not everyone in the discussion had been invited to try the new WYSIWYG editor on the site, it was speculated that it could be down to the number of contacts you might have, or even if you were a premium member. Essentially, this appears to allow you to treat LinkedIn almost as your own personal blog.
Could be just for premium members. WYSIWYG editor to post material to your LinkedIn. Almost like a blog.
If you haven’t already, you may want to read through Jason’s blog recap on this new addition to LinkedIn. Apparently you’re not only able to add new content to your page, but it would appear that the links you include are dofollow links. It will be interesting to see how this program rolls out to the rest of the site, and how LinkedIn will handle any questionable links that may result in allowing dofollows.
The Value of Subdomains
While most sites would use a subdomain to protect the root domain from any possible penalties from Google due to content, it would appear that LinkedIn is not doing this. In this older video from 2011, Jason explains the importance of using subdomains and how they could possibly help a site recovery from a potential Google penalty.
Do you find yourself answering questions on certain subjects all the time? Think your expertise is worth something? Google Helpouts may be the place for you. This system allows you to connect with real people to get help on all your questions in real time. You pick the expert you’d like to work with and schedule a time. All of the fee transactions, if there are any, are handled through Google, who takes 20% as a fee. You can even set your helpout time to free if you’d like, allowing new customers to connect with you before they even make a purchasing decision. It’s not just helpful for your customers either, it can also be a massive boost to your SEO. For example, a lawn care specialist‘s Helpout page is now ranking at the top of Google’s search results for “lawn care consultation.”
How Do I Research A Domain That I Want To Purchase?
Let’s say you’ve found the perfect domain for your business, and luckily for you it’s up for sale. How do you really know what you’re buying? Should you accidentally purchase a site that has had a penalty attached to it or is loaded with bad backlinks, you could be buying a giant headache instead of a nice new site. Google’s Matt Cutts gives a few tips on what you should look for, ask for and beware of in his video.
For next week…
It’s Adwords week at EverSpark! You can get yourself ready for the meeting by watching this video from Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management for AdWords, discussing new products that help advertisers succeed.
There’s also this blog about boosting your Return On Investment (ROI) by making smart choices with your mobile site design.