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Q: How Many Links Should you Build in 2014? A: All of Them

but link building is hardGo find whoever told you that link building is dead in 2014 and slap them in the face. Seriously, I mean it! There is still value in building meaningful, high-quality links to your website.

Google’s recent penalties against crappy links is a good thing, it makes good link building more valuable. What’s an easy way to tell if a link is high quality? If it’s easy to get, most likely it’s crap. Building quality links has always been hard and nothing has changed that.

In my recent article on Search Engine Journal, I share what five things to look at to tell the quality of a link and why social links matter. You can always find some fun, out-of-the-box ways to go about link building, and find some unique linking opportunities to take advantage of. The bottom line is whether you’re getting a link on blog or website or being shared on social media, your content better be something that is worthy of being linked to.

How many links should you try to build for your website in 2014? All of them.

How to Get Search Engine Rankings in 2014

How to Get Rankings in 1999Continue Reading

Web Marketing Trends to Watch in 2014

trends and direction of web marketing 2014If there is one constant in the web marketing industry, it’s change! There’s no doubt heading into the new year that search engines will tweak the way they rank the web, new social media platforms will surface, and Google will make changes to its products. What’s a web marketer to do? Stay on top of trends and use brains and experience to determine which trends are fads, which ones will stick and where those trends might lead in the future.

As members of the PPM Pit Crew, we’re constantly watching trends throughout the year to make strategic moves for the success of our clients. Here are some of the trends we’ll be watching as we start 2014 in the areas of SEO, content marketing, social media, PPC and analytics.Continue Reading

Experience: Does Your SEO Company Have What It Takes?

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” 
John Dewey

SEO Experience MattersAs an experienced sales rep, I came into the SEO world a relatively short while ago. Although I understand the art of selling and often have the ability to read people like a book, learning to sell SEO and web marketing services was like drinking from the proverbial fire hose. I quickly learned that what one company defined as SEO, might mean something totally different to the next. So I set out to determine what sets the leaders apart from the rest. Specifically, I wanted to see if there was one single attribute that was consistent among outstanding firms. I decided that this one factor was experience.Continue Reading

“It’s All About the Visitors,” Is All But a Big Fat Freaking Lie

fingers crossed

Google talks about focusing your site only on visitors, then requires us to do things that don’t directly benefit them. [tweet]

While the SEO community is busy manipulating websites to outperform more worthy sites to rank in Google, Google has spent the last 15+ years tweaking their algorithm to prevent these dastardly manipulations from corrupting their search results.

At least that’s how some people view the work SEOs perform.

Much of the web marketing community would disagree with my opening statement, as do I, but it persists due to a lot of so-called “SEO” providers out there looking for a quick buck at the expense of their unsuspecting clients. Although that statement does seem to be what Google often thinks of our industry as a whole as well.

Google talks a lot about focusing your site on your visitors and not doing things to the site specifically for search engine rankings. Then they ask require us to do things to our website that neither benefits our visitors, nor benefits the website.Continue Reading

[Video] The Importance of Social Media in Search Rankings

In the past two months I’ve had the opportunity to speak at two large industry conferences, Pubcon and SMX Social Media Marketing. A recurring theme at both conferences was the impact of social media–social signals to be exact–on search rankings. As social media matures, the search engines are finding social proof increasingly valuable in determining the worth of content and websites. Traditional search engine optimization techniques, while still valid and necessary, can’t go it alone. Marketers who aren’t developing integrated quality social media, content and SEO strategies may soon lose their edge in search rankings.Continue Reading

Yeah, But… I Already Rank For My Company Name

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

Every now and then we get a call from a prospect who seems to want to try to talk themselves out of buying SEO. We call them “Yeah, Butters.” And if you’ve been following this series, you understand why.

One of the common objections we hear is, “But we already rank for our company name, so why do I need SEO?”

There are a couple dynamics at play here. One, you’re probably seeing personalized results, not necessarily what the rest of the world sees. And two, because… and this is important here… UNLESS YOU’RE A WELL-KNOWN BRAND, NOBODY IS SEARCHING FOR YOUR COMPANY NAME!!! [tweet]Continue Reading

SEO is a Partnership, Not a Solo Endeavor

SEO Requires Teamwork

Where do the lines of responsibility of SEOs and their clients fall? Is the SEO solely responsible for the success or failure of the SEO client? Is the client responsible for anything? Or is there reasonable argument that they both can be held responsible?

A couple years ago I wrote out an SEO’s Bill of Rights as well as an SEO Client’s Bill of Rights. Both articles are worth a read as they lay out some of the expectations that both SEOs and their clients should be able to agree to. But I wanted to extend that conversation a bit, especially in light of the recent news of an SEO company getting sued for lack of results and engaging in spammy practices.Continue Reading

Seeding Infographics with Tumblr

This guest post was written by Ryan O’Connor.

Today I’d like to talk about a strategy and platform that I don’t see getting much attention in the SEO world, Tumblr. I’m going to talk specifically about how I promote infographics on Tumblr, but the same principles can be used for articles, contests and other promotional strategies.

When I “seed” an infographic my goal is to push it out to multiple channels (social media, blogs, news sites, forums, etc.) in a timely manner that increases the chance of it naturally spreading on its own and gaining additional exposure.

For this strategy, no platform has been more effective for me than Tumblr.

First, let’s get out of the way the fact that links from Tumblr subdomain blogs aren’t going to have the same SEO impact as links from sites hosted on their own domain.

What Tumblr can do though, so long as you get in front of the right audience, is increase the overall reach of your infographic.Continue Reading

Assembling the Big SEO Puzzle One Small Piece at a Time

I’ve always said that SEO is really about baby steps. While there are almost always some easy big wins when dealing with a site’s architecture, for the most part, successful SEO is a combination of hundreds of different things.

Pieces of the SEO success puzzleOn algorithmic signals alone, there are over 200 that factor into how a page ranks. That number may or may not include local and mobile signals. Then add on top of that usability and conversion optimization, you’re easily looking at several hundred individual issues that can, and often do, effect how your site performs against your competitors.

Can you optimize for all of these signals overnight? In a week? Over the course of a month? Generally, no. It takes years. And that’s assuming all the issues are static, but they are not. They evolve, change, disappear and new issues appear on a regular basis. Some of the signals are page specific, some are site-wide, and others are entirely off the page where the SEO has little, if any control.Continue Reading