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Outreaching is seen by many as the most laborious task of SEO. Long, repetitive and often confusing, it is an unenviable role that leaves many scratching their heads. However, it is a role that’s only as difficult as your lack of efficiency makes it and there are also a few handy tips that can set you off a long way as an SEO outreacher. Here is some outreaching advice for dummies.

You Don’t Always Need Their Email

Many newbie SEOs come under the assumption that the best means to contact a prospective link is through email. This is an insubstantial myth. Email is a rather effective way of communicating, but so are social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and – albeit to a much lesser extent – Google+.

Finding someone’s email address can also be rather difficult as many businesspersons are purposely intent on hiding such information from public online view. It is effectively much easier to find Facebooks and Twitters, and these days, people are just as likely to respond via these means.

Some Great Free Software

Many newbie SEOs have to work with extremely tight budgets and sometimes even, empty pockets. They therefore feel reluctant to pay money for linkbuilding softwares designed to help make their job somewhat easier.

There is some great free linkbuilding software that these people can instead resort to, such as Outreachr, Link Exchange Finder Pro and Blog Comment Finder Pro. In fact, an Outreachr campaign can even be more effective than that of those with a bigger name and costing money.

Rinse Twitter

SEOs of all levels should be absolutely rinsing Twitter for linkbuilding opportunities. Use Twitter to search for blogs needing content, by searching Guestpost or Guestblog along with the relevant keyword.

As previously mentioned, Twitter can also be a good way to build relationships with prospective clients. Ensure that this relationship seems as natural as possible, and therefore refrain from sending any spammed messages to your followers or prospective partners.

Furthermore, make sure you reply to Tweets quickly.

The internet’s most prominent social media networks are in practice a web of potential business contacts and even customers. Facebook claims just under a billion active users while Twitter boasts 175 million users. Twitter and Facebook should be treated as an SEO’s best friends and rinsed to the maximum, in order for you to get the most out of your business. Failing to do so is pure folly.

Michael Richardson is a British SEO and freelance writer.

SEO vs PPC boxing gloves

There are two main branches of search engine marketing –

  • Organic SEO – the practice of getting a site to rank highly in the search engine results pages (SERPs) by optimizing its content for targeted keywords, increasing its presence in social networks, and getting other relevant sites to link back to it.
  • PPC (pay-per-click) Advertising – the practice of paying to have contextual ads displayed within the “Sponsored Results” section of search engine results.

Although many bloggers and marketers have tried to draw comparisons between the two, attempting to deem one better than the other, the fact is they both have a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. So how do you know which one would yield the best results in your situation?

It really comes down to your budget, advertising objectives, and time restraints.

Long-Term Standings vs. Instant Gratification

Organic SEO can require a lot of persistence and patience; there are no guaranteed timeframes and there is always a possibility that you simply won’t be able to rank in the #1 spot for the keywords you’re going after. However, when done consistently and properly, organic SEO can position your site at the top of the SERPs for years to come, with very little ongoing investments required. The permanent benefits offered by SEO can lead to an exceptional long-term ROI that can’t be achieved through any other online or offline marketing channel. After depositing funds into a PPC account and configuring the campaign settings all you have to do is let it run and you’ll have traffic coming to the site at a measurable pace within the same day. However, once the campaign stops running there are no residual rewards.

Control and Analysis

Adjusting a PPC campaign is as simple as analysing stats and changing a few preferences in the campaign configuration. You can measure the results of changes instantaneously and react accordingly because everything that is happening is transparent in real time. On the other hand, changing course in an organic SEO campaign requires a lot of research and patience. Extracting useful interpretations from monthly traffic reports is much more difficult than comparing two ad copies to see which one creates a higher click-through rate (CTR). Furthermore, the effects of changes in on-site optimization or off-site linking do not truly become apparent for at least a few weeks to a few months.

What Situation Are You In?

If you’re running a campaign that is time-sensitive and you need to boost traffic levels as soon as possible to capitalize on a current industry trend, PPC advertising would be the most suitable solution. You only pay when someone clicks on your ads, and you have the tools needed to measure conversion rates and increase your ROI in the short-term. If you are looking for a way to build long-term presence in your industry and advertise your site at a lower cost over a longer period of time, organic SEO would be more ideal.

Author Bio: Lance Schommer is a search engine marketing expert with expertise in PPC data analysis and organic SEO. He currently blogs for IronMonk Solutions, a New York-based SEM firm that specializes in content distribution, social networking, and SEO.

Setting up any business is a risk, which is why so many choose not to take the plunge. It is well known that it involves long hours, heavy financial input and strong will to get a new venture off the ground.

Online businesses differ from businesses with an actual commercial property; you could argue that without commercial rents to pay for and shop displays and the general regulations involved in commercial businesses, that an online business is risk free. However what exactly are the risks involved and how can they be overcome?

Poor sales…

This can be a risk for all businesses no matter if based online or a business with premises, the solution to each is also similar. An online business must step back and assess why sales are poor. Your traffic could be healthy, yet no visitors make the step to make a purchase.

Firstly invest in some user testing for your site. This is a great way to quickly establish if there are any problems. It is also affordable, and you can set the user challenges such as find product X and add it to your basket, and they can then provide you with feedback on their experience on your site.

It could be the case a simple error is affecting sales. It has been known that basket errors or menu errors have prevented customers from making a purchase, so you might in fact find you have a small site error such as a broken link that actually prevents any sales. It could however be the case that your site is poorly laid out, the navigations are difficult to manage or your product photography is not sufficient enough. Whatever the reason may be, getting site feedback can help you isolate these problems so you can then address them.

Set up costs…

Websites can be expensive to design and develop. While template sites such as WordPress are free in some cases and a fantastic option, those who wish to develop a substantial e-commerce site, could find the set up costs high.

It is worth contacting a wide range of website development companies to gain a clear idea of quotes. Be completely clear what you want from the start listing features such as a blog, online shop, company profile page, contact page etc, anything you want to include on your site, so you gain quotes for an identical job. You can then choose an affordable, reputable company.

Don’t forget to look at past clients work to assess the work of your potential website development company, it is your business at stake.

Poor traffic…

Traffic is a must if you expect any sales. Traffic can be drawn into a site through social media. Social media profile pages should be set up for your business and developed so that people are aware of your products and company.

Also consider factors to optimise your site such as a blog which will allow you to place more content on your site to attract a wider range of Google searches.

Always consider making your site Google friendly so you are included and ranked highly in searches relating to your company. Google favours unique content, so each product description and page must include fresh, and unique text from any other site, copied and pasted text might be fast, but your traffic will suffer. Google also loves updated sites, this is where your regular blog posts also become useful, not only are you adding content, but you are indicating to Google that your site is updated with fresh, interesting content.

Consider your keywords and insert them naturally throughout your site and begin some link building to rank higher in searches. There are some fantastic business SEO guide which can help you learn the basics of SEO which can hugely impact that success of your business.

Security risks…

Security should be high on your agenda if you are an e-commerce site. Make sure your checkout system has all the security measures in place and let your customers know you site is secure by displaying the payment secure logos to reassure them. Your hosting company must also be secure, thoroughly research a good company to host your site as your business information and customer details are passed to and from your customers computer to the server, so the connection must be secure.

Unique selling point…

There are many online businesses to compete against, and many are a small click away. With this being the case customers can be fickle and hard to seduce. Make sure your site is and looks reputable, trustworthy, and more of all has something unique so you stand out. Customers only have your products and presentation to judge from, so make sure everything is faultless and you capture those sales.

For example top clothing site ASOS, really stands out for its video catwalk feature, each garment is worn by a model walking down a catwalk, which is then filmed. This removes any doubt from a customer’s mind, they can see very clearly what the product looks like and how it sits on the body, which leads to better sales figures.

Overall really think about your website rather than setting it live and assuming the hard work is done. Make it the best it can be so there is no reason why somebody wouldn’t want to purchase from you.

About the author: Kirsten works for hosting rating and review site whoishostingthis.com. They specialise in helping businesses find the perfect hosting package for them by allowing them to compare companies based on reviews from real customers.

This is a quick thank you for helping the team here at Marketing By Web make it to 2000 Facebook Fans (in fact we smashed it by hitting 2034 today! Thank you) – and as promised we’ve made the donation today for £150 to the NSPCC.

We’re really proud of you all for helping us make our donation to such a worthy cause.  Thank you all for your help!

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Moving DomainChange is good – right? That’s what everyone seems to say. ‘Mix it up a little’, ‘do something different’ and ‘make a fresh start’ are all phrases that we hear on a regular basis. With change being painted in such a positive light, it is no wonder that many websites owners decide to revamp their web address from time to time.

Now, changing your web address can be exciting, especially if you’re changing it to something completely different altogether. Sometimes, it’s just a simple transition from a .co.uk to a .com (just like we’ve done recently), but for the darn right adventurous out there you may choose to change the whole URL.

Whatever you decide, the question you’ll all be asking is:

How will changing my address affect the SERP’s and my rankings?

If you’re not asking that question, then give yourself a gentle slap. This is a fundamental question to ask, because, quite frankly, if you fail to take the appropriate steps then your hard SEO work will be blown away quicker than a toupee on a windy day. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at what you need to do to ensure your SEO remains intact.

Don’t let those Webmasters wonder

Before you can even think of launching your new site to the eagerly waiting world, you have to let those Webmasters know that you’re changing the address of your site. If you don’t let them know, then they won’t be able to index your site.

In Google’s Webmaster Tools, you can simply use the ‘Change of Address’ section under Site Configuration to let them know about the change. To do this, however, you’ll have to add your new site to your Webmaster Tools account and then verify it as you would any other site. Oh, and you can march Google off on a site crawling mission too by using the ‘Fetch as Google’ tool, found in the Health section. Of course, you’ll need to be an admin, but that goes without saying!

Be remarkable with redirects

Switching DomainTo preserve your wonderful SEO and those priceless rankings you need to put in a little effort on your part. You’ll have to use a 301 Redirect to permanently redirect your old site to your new site. However, you have to put your hard working head on and dump your lazy streak for this task.

Although it is possible for you to perform a single redirect that directs all of the traffic from your old site to the home page of your new site, you need to avoid this easy-way-out like it was the zombie apocalypse.

Why, you ask?

Because Google clearly states that doing this will affect your rankings. Also, if you really love your customers, then you should be giving them an easy ride and enjoyable experience when coming through to your site.

The least you can do is direct them to the page they want to visit. If your brand spanking site decides to adopt fresh pages and content, then be kind and direct your visitors to the most appropriate page with similar content to that on your old site. That way, Google and your visitors will be happy, and if they’re happy, you should be too!

Ask your hosting company if they can help – ours were able to redivert every link from the .co.uk to the .com to preserve the rankings!

Sitemaps and external links

Ok, so you’ve informed the webmasters, you’ve painstakingly redirected all of your pages according to Google’s specifications, and you’re wondering what else you have to do to keep that page 1 position you’ve battled relentlessly to have.

Well, the good news is that the above steps should have reduced your SEO damage to nothing more than a slight bump or bruise. However, you can be a superstar site mover by submitting a new XML sitemap with all the URL’s of your latest site.

You can also maintain that superstar status by checking your external links, and asking the webmasters of all the sites that link to yours to update their links so that they point to your new site. Of course, this isn’t always a practical move, and a redirect can work fine if you haven’t got the time, resources, or patience to contact everyone who’s ever linked to you. At the very least, go through and start editing all the links you do have access to, such as Twitter, Facebook and all other online profiles you have.

…And finally

Transferring DomainBefore we round this post up and save you from search ranking suicide, there are a couple of final points to address. First, you should keep control of your old domain for 6 months to prevent too much confusion and allow for a smooth transition across to your new domain. Ideally we suggest keeping control of it permanently for branding purposes!

Secondly, if you are moving because of redesign or rebranding, then you should move your site before you decide to launch your beautiful redesign. This doesn’t really impact your SEO too heavily, but it will help your users get accustomed to your new site and reduce bounce rates. As beautiful as change can be; too much can scare the life out of people from time to time.

If you’ve done all that then give yourself a pat on the back. You should now see your new site proudly sitting in its rightful place in the SERP’s. Good luck with your move!



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