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Author Archives: Annalisa Hilliard

XML Sitemaps: GPS for Search Engines

XML Sitemaps

Getting lost in today’s GPS reliant society is a real challenge, but I recently did just that. I went on a road trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio. No, it wasn’t to visit Dave Chapelle. Knowing how easy it is to plug an address into Google maps on my phone, I didn’t find it necessary to take the AAA map my parents got me when I came to Ohio in 2001. Big mistake.

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Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

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Starbucks SEO Audit Shows How You Can Overcome Big Brand Goliaths

Starkbucks SEO Audit

Many small-to-medium sized businesses have the tendency to believe they can’t compete with their industry’s Goliat’s when it comes to organic search. While large companies do tend to have more resources, web marketing is a vast landscape. Even Fortune 500 companies, like Starbucks, have additional opportunities to optimize their website and improve the overall user experience, increase conversions and boost search performance.

I chose Starbucks for this audit because they’ve successfully built international brand recognition, to the extent that “Starbucks” is practically synonymous with coffee. Even still, as you’ll see, they have an imperfect campaign. The areas in which Starbucks is lacking are the areas where other, smaller companies can take advantage and grow their online presence, with the real possibility of overcoming “the giant” and gaining a competitive advantage online.

The only way to close the gap is to act, so grab your slingshot!

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Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

Follow Annalisa:

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

Follow Annalisa:

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Final Lap: Winning Web Marketing Reads–June 2014

A Weekly Review of Web Marketing ArticlesIt’s hard to keep up on the latest thought leadership, ideas, trends and news in the web marketing industry, which is why we bring you the Final Lap. Each member of Pole Position Marketing Pit Crew, and the office alter ego, Max Speed, bring you their winning article to help your business. Topics include SEO, paid search, usability, link building, local search, content marketing, social media and other areas of marketing and business. Plus, you’ll find articles that have earned “honorable mentions” and are also worth a read. Enjoy and feel free to comment with your winning articles. Continue Reading

Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

Follow Annalisa:

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Final Lap: Winning Web Marketing Reads–May 2014

A Weekly Review of Web Marketing ArticlesIt’s hard to keep up on the latest thought leadership, ideas, trends and news in the web marketing industry, which is why we bring you the Final Lap. Each member of Pole Position Marketing Pit Crew, and the office alter ego, Max Speed, bring you their winning article to help your business.

Topics include SEO, paid search, usability, link building, local search, content marketing, social media and other areas of marketing and business. Plus, you’ll find articles that have earned “honorable mentions” and are also worth a read. Enjoy and feel free to comment with your winning articles. Continue Reading

Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

Follow Annalisa:

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Final Lap: Winning Web Marketing Reads–April 2014

A Weekly Review of Web Marketing ArticlesIt’s hard to keep up on the latest thought leadership, ideas, trends and news in the web marketing industry, which is why we bring you the Final Lap. Each member of Pole Position Marketing Pit Crew, and the office alter ego, Max Speed, bring you their winning article to help your business.

Topics include SEO, paid search, usability, link building, local search, content marketing, social media and other areas of marketing and business. Plus, you’ll find articles that have earned “honorable mentions” and are also worth a read. Enjoy and feel free to comment with your winning articles. Continue Reading

Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

Follow Annalisa:

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Why Link Building Secrets Are Still Worth Revealing #linksecrets

link building secrets revealed coverLinks. Can’t live with ’em; can’t live without ’em—at least that’s what it seems, right?

2013 was a wild ride for link building. Lots of changes happened last year, changes that appear to make link building irrelevant. Is link building really dead in 2014?

Link building keeps evolving, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer an effective strategy in helping you achieve your web marketing goals. Actually, quite the opposite. The ability to adapt your marketing approach to the changing online landscape is in direct correlation with whether your business thrives. Metamorphosis equals survival.

This is the second edition (third overall) of Link Building Secrets Revealed that I’ve been involved with. Maybe I’m partial, but I feel this is our best LBSR to date. I’d say “third time’s the charm,” but I don’t want to negate the first two.

It’s interesting to observe how the contributions have changed over time. In the first and second LBSR, the contributions were heavily tactic based. However, this 2014 edition of Link Building Secrets Revealed contains a well-rounded mix of tactics, strategies and tips, which include employing a broader and more integrated scope of web marketing disciplines. I believe this is an accurate reflection of how the true value of link building relies on the accompaniment of social media, SEO and content. Link building is less of the stand-alone powerhouse that it used to be. Continue Reading

Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

Follow Annalisa:

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Top 10 Reasons Why Automation Is Risky For Links

Building Links Should Be Personalized

Simply put, automating your link building efforts is not best practice. In this post I’m going to give you the top 10 reasons it’s a risk not worth taking, with the goal of convincing you never to pay someone to get you a $#!^ load of links.

I’ve never been a daily consumer of the Late Show with David Letterman, but I appreciate the shows regular Top 10 segment. This segment began as Letterman mocking People magazine’s lists. If you’ve ever glanced at People magazine, you know the lists I’m talking about (Worst Dressed, Sexiest Celebs, Most Beautiful People, etc.).

There have been a slue of “lists” posts in our industry over the years, here are a few that I’ve enjoyed recently: Continue Reading

Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

Follow Annalisa:

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Evaluating A Link’s Worth [Infographic]

Let’s say you’ve been given charge of implementing a link building campaign. You’ve read innumerable posts over the last several years regarding the demise of low-quality link building, in which, big brands like JCPenney have been given penalty for such practices. This is a misjudgment you’ll easily steer clear of because you’re fully aware of the mantra, quality trumps quantity.

You’re likely in the know about what link building strategies the experts are using. If you aren’t, I recommend this groomed list of link building interviews. Looking for a one-stop-shop to learn what the link pros are up to? Check out the annual, Link Building with the Experts interview that Rae Hoffman’s been putting together since 2007. Continue Reading

Annalisa Hilliard

Annalisa specializes in SEO at Pole Position Marketing. Annalisa enjoys cycling, running and most other participatory sports. She is also a craft beer and coffee zealot. She resides in North Canton, Ohio but Pittsburgh, PA will always be her home. Read Annalisa's full bio.

Follow Annalisa:

Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 

Yeah, But…I Can Get a $#!^ Load of Links on the Cheap

Yeah, But... It's time to bring your business up to speed

I’ve never experienced the perils involved in owning a business. Unless you count being the daughter of a car dealership owner. I know there’s a lot of pride, resources and soul poured into making a company thrive. The owner/owners are under a lot of pressure to perform daily tasks in a sustainable way, while still chasing opportunities for growth.

Every penny has to be accounted for and even more so for small businesses. It’s not surprising the amount of time and due diligence that goes into deciding whether or not to invest in a product or service. But all too often it can come down to the price tag of the product or service, right? In this post, I’ll tell you why a $#!^ load of links may be just that, and I’ll also explain what it really takes to build quality, beneficial links to your website.

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