10 Best Keyword Research Tools and Their Top Feature

What Is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is a process utilized by PPC, SEO, Content, and Marketing professionals to help reveal commonly used keywords and phrases, searched by people, to maximize the effectiveness of their web content.

Writing quality content on topics that will interest your target audience is great. Using the right words – keywords or keyphrases – helps your audience find this content.

Once you choose your keywords, you’ll want to use them as naturally as possible, making an effort to get them into the headline, subheadings, and the first paragraph of your post.

keyword-research

How Do You Choose Keywords?

The quick way to choose your keywords is to think about the words your ideal visitor is likely to use to find content like yours, use them, and then check back in 4 months to a year to see what the results have been like.

The smart way, however – that is why you’re here, right? – is to use a suite of the best tools on the web. Many of the following resources will do wonders for your campaign free of charge.

1. Find keyword ideas with Google’s Keyword Planner

2. Spot keyword trends with Google Trends

3. Uncover long-tail keywords KeywordTool.io

4. Turn keywords into topics with Answer the Public

5. Score Ranking Potential with the Moz Keyword Explorer

6. Analyze PPC Competition with Spyfu

7. Analyze organic competitors with SEMRush

8. Audit the Search Engine Results Page with SERP Checker

9. Discover Related Keywords with LSI Graph

10. And Finally, One Keyword Tool with it All? Try KWFinder

 

While keyword research might seem to be slowing things down, it’s actually fast-tracking your strategy by focusing you on the keywords that are important to your business. They will also suggest how much work will be involved and who you will be competing with.

Whether you need a keyword generator or a tool to help you analyze your SEO strategy, you’ll find something to suit every need in this list. Give them a try, experiment, and run with the blend that works best for you.

What Is The Difference Between SEO and PPC?

The main difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) is that traffic coming from SEO (organic) is free while traffic generated from PPC is not free (as the name implies you have to pay a cost per click).

This is also the reason why you may sometimes see the terms organic search engine listings and paid search engine listings (or Paid Search Advertising – PSA).

Both SEO and PPC are part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which is one of the tools you can use as part of your overall Internet Marketing campaign.

I will try to explain the other major differences between the two by using the following parameters: position in search results, cost, traffic potential, conversion and ease of use.

Organic Traffic vs. Paid Search Advertising

Position in Search Results

adwords vs seo

As you can see from the screenshot above you can expect to find PPC Ads above the organic results and on the bottom.

Where exactly your ad will appear depends on a number of factors (i.e. the keywords you are targeting, keywords in your ad copy, keywords in your landing page and many more) but it’s either on top or below the organic results.

Organic results can only appear in the middle of the page. Whether your listing will appear in the top positions or first pages this depends on how optimized your web site is both in terms of on-site and off-site SEO.

  • SEO: You can get first page positions if your web site is optimized for search engines
  • PPC: You can get your ad on the first page by paying a higher cost per click (CPC)

Cost

I have mentioned above that SEO traffic is free and PPC is paid and while this is absolutely true, you should understand that it needs a lot of effort and hard work to get free traffic from search engines.

The competition is high for almost every keyword you can search and you really need to have a high quality web site and a great SEO plan to get one of the top 5 positions.

There are no shortcuts despite what some “SEO” companies are trying to sell you.  If you are not familiar how search engines work or don’t know anything about SEO then the best way to get search engine traffic is to hire an SEO expert to do the work you.

On the other hand, Pay Per Click cost depends on a number of other factors.

If we take for example the cost per click of advertising with the most popular PPC system, Google Adwords, then it depends on the popularity of the keyword, on the number of advertisers who want to use the particular keyword, the number of related web sites that have ad positions for the particular keyword and many more.

If it sounds a bit complicated then it probably is, despite the efforts made by Google to make the whole system easier to use.

The good news with PPC is that you only pay for the clicks your ad receives and not for the views.

In addition, you can determine in advance your daily budget and pay no more than that and you can calculate an estimate of what is the average cost per click for the keywords you want to target.

As you can see from the screenshot below the Google Keyword tool (which is part of Google Adwords) gives you an estimate for the CPC (cost per click) for each keyword.

Cost Per Click - Google Keyword Tool

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  • SEO: Cost of SEO is indirect. You cannot pay to get to the first page but you may have to pay for SEO services if you cannot do SEO yourself.
  • PPC:  You pay only when people click on your ad.  You can use the Google keyword tool to calculate how much you can pay.

Traffic potential

Which method can bring more traffic to your web site, SEO or PPC?

SEO (organic traffic) is more than PPC traffic so if you can manage to rank your web site for the keywords you want, you will get much more traffic than paying for those keywords.

This is because when you are in one of the top 5 positions (according to statistics the majority of search traffic visits one of the top 5 web sites) you can expect to have a continuous flow of traffic 24×7 without having to pay anything (the actual volume of traffic depends on how popular a keyword is).

So, if you compare traffic and cost of first page positions for SEO traffic and PPC traffic, organic traffic is better. There are some studies suggesting that PPC ads get more clicks than organic but this also translates to a bigger cost.

If on the other hand it is very difficult to get first page positions for a keyword then paying for traffic may be your only option since second and third page positions will probably bring 0 or very little traffic.

  • SEO: Organic traffic is continuous as long as you are ranking in one of the top positions.
  • PPC: PPC ads can get more clicks but this means that you pay more.

Conversion

Which visitor is more likely to convert (i.e. make a purchase, register to a newsletter and in general response to call for action), someone coming from PPC Ads or from organic search?

If your ads are highly targeted and optimized then a visitor from PPC is more likely to convert than a visitor coming from search.

The reason is that a web page can rank for different keywords (other than those initially intended) so the search visitor may not be looking exactly for the content (or product) presented in the particular page.

On the other hand if you run a successful PPC campaign then you will only get clicks from visitors who are interested 100% in your content or products.

  • SEO: SEO traffic is better than other forms of traffic (i.e. social media) but in terms of conversion is not as good as PPC traffic.
  • PPC: Highly optimized keywords will generate more conversions but will cost more

Ease of use

Neither SEO nor PPC is easy to do if you don’t have the necessary knowledge and experience.

SEO is a process that takes a lot of time and effort. It may take months or even years to rank for specific terms or not rank at all!

If you are new to SEO, take a look at our comprehensive SEO Tutorial to get an idea of what SEO is all about.

On the hand, in order to get some good results with PPC and Adwords you either have to take a course or hire a PPC expert to help you or you will lose a few hundred dollars before you understand how it works.

The bottom line: PPC first and then SEO

The bottom line is that you need to use both PPC and SEO as part of your Internet Marketing campaign.

PPC can bring you faster results so you can run a PPC campaign and test which keywords convert better and then try with SEO to rank for those keywords.

Use PPC when you have a high converting product and use SEO when you have a limited budget to spend on advertising.

SEO may take time but the results are (under some conditions) long lasting while with PPC when you stop paying for clicks, traffic will also stop.

How to Increase Blog Traffic with Facebook and Instagram

Here at Volume Nine, we try out best to live healthily (though we all enjoy the occasional pizza lunch). So when Vitamin World – a wellness and nutritional supplement company – approached us to boost their website traffic through social media content amplification, we jumped at the opportunity.

The Goals

The three goals that aligned with the customer journey were:

  1. Increase traffic and visits to their blog, measured by website sessions to the blog from social media blog amplification campaigns.
  2. Boost brand credibility and authority, measured by shares and engagement with content from social media blog amplification campaigns.
  3. Reach new relevant audiences and get them familiar with the brand, measured by new users to the website and the reach/impression of audiences not connected to Vitamin World.

The Strategy

With a thriving industry and a fun brand, we knew we could strike marketing gold if the message got in front of the right people. So we relied on Facebook’s robust targeting capabilities to create our successful campaign.  Our core strategies were:

Create and target custom audiences on Facebook and Instagram

To craft highly targeted audiences to drive engagement, we used data from several sources:

  • Blog categories – We created segment audiences using interests, behaviors, and demographics based on Vitamin World’s blog categories and topics.
  • Behavior on website – We examined user behavior on the website, including visits to certain product/category pages, cart abandonments, and previous purchases, to segment audience.
  • Competitor audience – Another audience included users that were not already connected to Vitamin World, but they interacted with competitors and were qualified potential new customers.
  • Existing customers – The final segment audiences came from Vitamin World’s existing customer e-mail lists.

vitamin world case study sample audiences

Craft blog ad sets for Facebook and Instagram

Below are examples of the different formats for the amplified content/ads that showed up in user’s Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds. Each was promoted to different custom audiences we created that were relevant to the content & objective of that blog. We used different copy and messaging in each ad to speak to the desires of the targeted audience.

vitamin world facebook instagram case study

The Results

Goal #1) Increase traffic and visits to blog

vitamin world case study results

Goal #2) Boost brand credibility and authority

vitamin world case study results

Goal #3) Reach new relevant audiences and familiarize them with the brand

vitamin world case study results

Bonus results

  • Built the audience at the top of the funnel by bringing new users to the site and tracking their actions using the Facebook Pixel.
  • Brought users to the middle of the funnel with content that established Vitamin World as a trustworthy source of information in the industry.
  • 606 users initiated checkout on the website after clicking through one of the blog post ads.
  • 102 users used the ‘Store Locator’ on the website after clicking through one of the blog posts ads.
  • 40 users made a purchase on the website after clicking through one of the blog post ads.

Looking for natural supplements to boost your health? Visit Vitamin World today to shop their range of vitamins, supplements, proteins, and more.

5 Ways to Boost Travel Marketing with Content

It’s 2017; millennials are now the highest-spending generation. Travel organizations need to capture this group’s attention in order to capture their business.

And while blindly arriving at a destination and winging it used to be the norm, Millennials are interested in authentic travel experiences; ones that typically require some research and digging. So being able to stand out online is crucial for any hotel, sightseeing tour, government travel board, or adventure company.

Here are a few ways to leverage content on your website for increased brand awareness, trust, and bookings.

Mobile First

We talk about this a lot at V9, but it’s the world in which we currently live. More and more consumers are researching and making purchases on mobile devices, but it’s not enough to simply be responsive. You’ve got to create a mobile content experience that captures your audience.

This mobile content experience includes photos, videos, purposeful formatting, and easy to access social channels. This does not include intrusive popups, excessive gated content, or required user signups.

Recognize the Three Stages

Dreaming of Colorado

There are three understood stages in planning a trip to a destination:

  • Dreaming
  • Planning
  • Going

Having content to support these three different stages of lookers is important and will result in better conversions. Let’s dive into each stage and see the type of content that fits best, as well as examples of brands #killinit.

The Dreamers

I’m dreaming of my Colorado vacation that’s taking place sometime next year. Am I looking for hotels and reservations? Nope. I’m getting excited, finding things to share, and dreaming of the possibilities that await in Colorado.

The kind of content that supports this stage is visual and aspirational. It includes stories, videos, photography, wild adventures, and user-generated content.

Example: 5 Hidden Lakes in Colorado You Never Knew Existed

Purpose of content: Brand awareness

The Planners

Okay, my Colorado trip is coming up! Time to start filling in my week with things to do, restaurants to try, and weed shops to visit. I’m doing a lot of research while I’m at work, sending links to my girlfriends, and deciding what neighborhood I want to stay in.

The type of content that supports this stage is relatable and achievable. It includes lists (so many lists), itinerary, and event listings.

Example5 Best Aspen Adventure Hikes

Purpose of content: Social engagement, email signups, price checking, consideration

The Goers

Time to book. I know what neighborhood I want, the dates I’m going, and what I want to get out of my travel experience. There are some last-minute content needs which include things like useful information, getting there, and comparisons. The type of content is informative and shows the value of your service.

ExampleGetting to Aspen, Snowmass Village, Directions

Purpose of content: Book it!

These three stages need to be spoken to differently. Each should have a unique call to action or next step. Each may be presented in a different tone. This personal messaging targets the right person in the right stage and will convince them to convert more than a single, blanketed message.

Whip out a Camera

Colorado

You can talk about the stunning views to your heart’s content, but showing is more important than ever–through photography and video.

You don’t need a high production budget. Strapping a GoPro to your head and throwing yourself off a mountain can be just as effective as a camera crew. It depends on your audience and the type of content you’re producing.

Use the Pixel

Once you’ve initially captured a user in the dreaming or planning phase, you need to reintroduce your brand; keep yourself top of mind. Luckily, with Facebook’s Pixel, it’s very easy to do.

Facebook’s Pixel allows you to retarget on Facebook and Instagram. As long as you’re utilizing SEO best practices in your content, readers can find your blog or content hub. Once there, you have their information and can continue to serve that user content and ads. It’s a continuous, complete circle of marketing.

How to Choose the Right Hashtags When Promoting Blog Content

Writing and promoting blog posts is an essential part of any inbound marketing strategy. Without content, you won’t attract visits from search. And without promoting, you won’t gain the traction you need for your post to shine. But how do you promote the content after all? How do you determine the messaging to use for social and who to target?

This post will walk through how to choose the right hashtags when promoting your blog content.

You Just Finished Your Blog Post. Now What?

Before promoting your content, you need to find out who the major players and thought leaders are in your industry, and incorporate some of the hashtags that are frequently used. Using hashtags that resonate with specific industries and audiences is how you make sure the right eyeballs are seeing your content. After all, you never know who in your industry might find your article helpful and give you a share or retweet.

Finding Specific or Alternative Hashtags

When promoting a piece of content, you need to look for trending hashtags in your industry. Tools like www.hashtagify.me and www.tagboard.com show you popular industry hashtags, related hashtags, how many people are using a given hashtag, and more. They’re great tools for identifying keywords and hashtags that you may have never even thought about, and it can be powerful to see the search volume of a given hashtag.

Just doing a quick search on http://www.hashtagify.me for “Inbound,” you can see how the tool shows related hashtags to use.

Use Hashtags That Can Be Used Across Multiple Social Platforms

  • Facebook
  • twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

When promoting your content, think about what hashtags can be used across platforms. Hashtags were created as a way to expand the reach and create awareness to new audiences, and similar to a brand’s slogan or tagline, social promotion should include consistent hashtags on every platform.

Conclusion

Finding and using hashtags is far from an exact science. At the end of the day, be sure you’re getting in front of the people in your industry and are using hashtags that make sense—but feel free to experiment and brainstorm new hashtags too. It’s important to use at least one relevant industry hashtag when promoting your blog post, but have fun with it and see what works with your audience and followers.

How to Find Competitors’ Keywords?

Performing competitor keyword research is one of the best ways to boost your search optimization game. If you can figure out your competitor’s keywords, you can use that insight to guide your own SEO strategy and potentially gain a competitive edge in the search results.

What is Competitor Keyword Research?

When we talk about a competitor’s keywords, we’re typically referring to both the keywords that your competitor ranks well for in search results, as well as the keywords your competitor is targeting but has failed to rank well for. Both categories can inform your SEO keyword strategy.

4 Ways to Use Competitor Keyword Research:

  1. Steal your competitor’s keywords to compete for rankings in the same search results.
  2. Find and begin targeting keywords that have not yet been targeted by competitors.
  3. Discover broad terms used by your target market that you hadn’t thought of yourself.
  4. Find out why your competitor’s website ranks above yours for broad keywords.

How to Find Competitors’ Keywords 

Before searching for a convenient tool that generates a list of competitor keywords with a few clicks, stop. Competitor keyword research just isn’t that simple. You’ll have to do a little manual digging to compile a list of your competitor’s keywords.

Don’t let the effort required discourage you though. While there isn’t a single one-click tool to perform competitor keyword research, there are a few different tools available to smooth out and speed up your research process.

Top 3 Tools for Figuring Out Your Competitors’ Keywords:

1. The HTML Page Source of Your Competitor’s Website

In your Internet browser, go to your competitor’s website and choose a page to look for keywords in. Then, right-click on the page to open the “page source”. A window should pop up displaying the HTML source code of the page. Look in the code for the keywords in the title tag, the meta description, the optional keywords tag, and any image title tags or alt tags. (Not all websites use the keywords tag, but it’s worth checking.)

2. Screaming Frog Spider

Use the Screaming Frog Spider software to perform a simple SEO audit on your competitor’s site. Just download the software to your PC and use it to crawl your competitor’s website the way a search engine does. You’ll get lots of information on the website, including meta data, image alt text, anchor text, heading text, and much more. All of these components point to the keywords your competitor is targeting. Go crazy with competitor keyword research using Screaming Frog.

3. Google Keyword Planner Tool

All you need is a free Google account to access the free Google Keyword Planner Tool in the Google AdWords interface.

  • Log into AdWords, navigate to the Keyword Planner, and locate the “Find new keywords” option.

  • Then, select “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”.

  • Once you’ve opened the form, click on the text field under “Your landing page” and enter your competitor’s URL, and then click “Get ideas”.

  • Google will now take a moment to crawl that URL and generate a list of keywords related to both the page and the website as a whole.

  • When Google finishes and displays your results, click the “Keyword ideas” tab below the graph to see your list of competitor keywords.

More Tools for Competitor Keyword Research

Different online tools will provide a list of your competitor’s PPC keywords (for AdWords, Bing Ads, etc.) with just a quick search. The top search tools are SpyFu (free or premium), SEMRush (free or premium), and the Google AdWords’ Opportunities tab (free) in the AdWords interface. Additional tools are listed below.

Taking Advantage of Competitor Keyword Research

If this sounds like too much of a chore or you’re not sure what to do with your competitor’s keywords once you’ve discovered them, Volume Nine can help you make the most out of the research process. Contact us today with questions, or leave your thoughts below in the comment section. And if you have any other ways to perform competitor keyword research, please share them!

How To Success Content Marketing campaign

There are countless KPIs to measure when determining content marketing success. Social shares, traffic, time on page, and conversion assistance all play a part in figuring out whether your content strategy is working.

But there are a few not-so-obvious metrics that we like to measure as well. The following data gives us insight into what is working, how it’s working, and whether it’s contributing to our conversion goals.

Mobile, Tablet & Desktop Breakdown

This view helps you understand what types of devices your readers are using and whether you are providing an adequate experience for mobile and tablet users.  A lot of mobile traffic? Make sure your post is broken up, easy to consume, and loads quickly.

Most Popular Articles (Pageviews)

These are the most popular articles; they receive the most page views. People can land on these or navigate to them from other articles or pages on the site.

Top Traffic Drivers (Visits)

These are articles that generate landing page traffic through organic, paid, social, and email. This helps you understand which articles are driving traffic to your site; this might be different from page views.

Articles That Attract New Users

These are articles that attract new readers to your blog. These also may be different than the top traffic drivers. New users are crucial to expand and grow your brand. What type of content is attracting them?

On the flip side, tracking what posts are attracting returning visitors is also helpful. What kind of content does your main customer base resonate with? This content should be used for loyalty and evangelism.

Posts That Drive Engaged Visits

This view allows you to look at articles that generate engaged visits with a high number of pageviews, long visit durations, or a significant amount of time on site. If you can determine which articles resonate with your users, you can create more articles on similar topics.

Posts with Goal Conversions

If you have goal tracking or e-commerce enabled in your Google Analytics, you can determine which posts drive conversions. If someone lands on a blog post and then buys something, fills out a lead form, or signs up for your monthly newsletter, this is where you can really show the value of your content. The type of goal you track will depend on your business.

Blog Visits by Channel

This allows you to understand how people are finding your articles and determine which channels are producing the most visits. Use a pie chart view to create a visual breakdown of which channels drive traffic to your articles.

Things going well on social media but lacking in organic? You may need to go back to the basics of long-tail keyword research and re-vamp your SEO tactics.

Top Blog Posts via Organic

These are the articles with great SEO that generate organic visits. Review these to understand which articles Google thinks is great so you can create more.

We like to look at sessions driven versus new users to understand whether these articles are attracting potential new customers or whether these are people that are returning to the site because they like reading your content.

Top Blog Posts via Social

This is an indicator of the effectiveness of your social content marketing efforts. It can tell you whether your social audience really cares about your content and is actually clicking through to read your articles.

Top Paid or Boosted Blog Posts

This allows you to look at the articles you’re paying to promote on Facebook, Outbrain, or Google PPC.  You can look at new users, user site engagement, and conversions as an indicator for whether you are getting value from paid clicks.

All of these ways to measure content marketing success work together; no single metric should be considered without anther. For more tips on measuring success, Mail Us sumitdekavadiya@gmail.com

6 Super Easy SEO Tips and Tricks For Beginners

You want to rank on the first page of Google and you have heard that SEO helps. But you don’t know where or how to start? 
You are in the right place – I’m here to help.
 
Search engine optimisation or SEO is a core element of the digital marketing mix. As marketers we use many techniques to achieve first page rankings in search engines.
 
But in this blog, I will share 6 SEO tips and tricks you can use to optimise your website to achieve first page rankings.

What SEO Tips and Tricks will I share?

To keep it simple, I will share my best SEO tips and tricks for on-page optimisation. This will help you improve every single page of your website to rank better in search engines.
 
I have summarised it all into a visually compelling PDF for you to download.
6 SEO Tips and Tricks Download
Before I tell you the recipe for a perfectly SEO optimised web page. Let’s start with some definitions so you’re on the right track from the get-go.

What is search engine optimisation?

There are many definitions of SEO out there but I like how Moz define it:
 
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”
 
This definition is simple and the goal of every SEO project is to increase qualified traffic through organic search.
 
SEO involves a three stage process:
  • Technical SEO
  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO
 
It’s important to mention that SEO isn’t a set and forget technique. It is a long-term strategy that needs to constant work and improvements.
 
Search engines algorithm changes are rapid and you need to stay up to date.

What is On-Page SEO?

I mentioned my SEO tips and tricks are all about on-page optimisation. But what exactly does this mean?
 
Digital marketing institute summarise it up as:
 
“On-page SEO involves refining the content and structure of your website. In turn, it will be indexed and ranked by search engines using keywords, new content, meta tags and other site reports.”
 
Simply, it’s making sure all the elements you control on your website are easy for search engines to understand. But don’t compromise on user experience
 
Ok – Let’s reveal the 6 super easy SEO tips and tricks I promised!

1 – Page Title

Page title or title tag is the HTML element that names a page on your website. This page title is then displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline.

This headline is important for SEO and user experience. Writing a great headline is also crucial for social sharing. To write an effective page title there a several best practices you need to follow:

  1. Your page title must be unique. Two pages shouldn’t ever have the same title.
  2. Do your keyword research. Include high search volume, relevant keywords in your page titles.
  3. Aim for 65 characters or else search engines will cut off some of your title. This can confuse searchers.
  4. For structuring your page title it is best to lead with the keywords or phrase that you want the page to rank for. Followed by your brand name.

Ok, I’ll use this blog post as an example. In doing keyword research for an SEO related post I discovered “seo tips and tricks”. The keyword had decent search volume and low competition.

So I started out with this keyword and wrote the title tag. Here is an example from the SERPs:

seo tips and tricks example

2 – Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions appear below the page title and describe the content of the page. They are not important for ranking in search engines. But they play a big role in getting high click-through-rates (CTR) in the SERPs.

A compelling and structured meta description will see a much higher CTR than auto generated meta descriptions. Random text from the page will appear if you don’t specify your meta description.

Best practices to follow with meta descriptions include:

  1. Compelling, unique copy.
  2. Avoid getting cut off and keep them under 160 characters.
  3. Make sure they include your focus keyword
  4. Include a call to action or value proposition for clicking through.

A perfect example from The Iconic and online clothing retailer. It describes what we will see when clicking through followed by “free shipping” value add.

seo tips and tricks example iconic

3 – URL Structure

URL structure is an important indicator to Google of relevancy. Make sure that you are defining your own URL structure and not letting it be auto generated.

But a simple rule to follow is the more readable for human beings the better. There are a few best practices to follow with URL structure:

  1. Contain the target keyword.
  2. Be short. Short URLs get a much higher CTR.
  3. Use hyphens (-) between words to make it easy to read.
  4. Use “breadcrumb structure”, which helps the user better understand the path and relevance.  For example, http://www.example.com/clothing/mens/t-shirts

While this example is an Ad and not SEO. MJ Bale still structures their URL very well showing us the logic of where we are clicking through to.

seo tips and tricks example MJ Bale

4 – Heading and image tags

To put it in plain terms, heading tags are different sized headings on a page. But in more technical HTML language they have a top-down hierarchy <h1> to <h6>.

Heading tags help Google and users understand the main content of the page. They will help you rank but aren’t a major factor. Best practices to follow:

  1. Only use one <h1> tag per page. If you use WordPress this is “Heading 1” in the drop down. And it’s similar with most content management systems.
  2. Avoid duplication of <h1> tags.
  3. Include your focus keyword.
  4. Use <h2> or <h3> to break up content.

See below the example from this blog post. My first heading is <h1> contains focus keyword, followed by <h2>.

seo tips and tricks example DMF

The other important tag is image alt tags. People with accessibility issues or computers that can’t load images. And in fact search engines. They need Image alt text because they can’t see they image.

Image alt text is a short description of what the image is. Best practice for image alt tags include:

  • Store images on your website in one place.
  • Give images a relevant filename.
  • Include the images and locations in XML sitemap (This is technical SEO, read more here)
  • Use descriptive short sentences. Contain keywords if possible.

Here is another example from this post:

Image alt text example

5 – Anchor Text

Anchor text is clickable hyperlinked text. This is often underlined and blue. Like this link to Digital Marketing Freak Homepage.

SEO-friendly anchor text is concise and relevant to the page you link to. Best practices you should follow:

  1. Be concise
  2. Don’t use click or click here
  3. Use keywords that describe that page you’re linking to.
  4. Don’t use too many links

Below is an example of an anchor text link – see Moz in orange.

anchor text example moz

6 – Page Content

The final SEO tips and tricks section for today. Page content is what your visitors are there for! Thus search engines rate it to be very important.

For SEO page content you should focus on two things. First, it must meet a demand to be great content. Second, it must be linkable meaning others find it so useful that they link to the content.

Best practices to follow:

  1. Quality content over quantity
  2. Longer form content ranks better (aim for at least 400 words).
  3. Content must be unique, search engines don’t rank duplicate content.
  4. Contain target keyword. But don’t keyword stuff – search engines are getting smarter and can interpret what content is about.

Summary

Well there it is my 6 super easy SEO tips and tricks – hope you enjoyed them. To run back through it real quick.

On-page SEO is optimising the web pages on your site with the goal to rank higher in SERPs. To do this we optimise the:

  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • URL
  • Heading and image tags
  • Anchor text
  • Page content

If you follow these seo tips and tricks you will be on your way to perfectly optimised web pages.

Remember SEO changes at lightning speeds so these tips could be outdated in a year’s time. I will be sure to update this blog if anything changes.

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on search engine news.

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Top Digital Marketing Conferences of 2017

2017 promises to be a big year for digital marketing. From social media to PPC and all things in between, digital marketing is ever-growing and shifting. Stay up on the trends and changes by attending one of these top digital marketing conferences of 2017.

MozCon

Tickets

  • Focus: Digital Marketing – multifaceted
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • Venue: The Washington State Convention Center
  • Cost: Between $850 – $1,400
  • Date: July 19, 2017
  • Organizer: MOZ

ClickZ Live

Tickets

  • Focus: Digital Marketing tips & tools
  • Location: New York City
  • Venue: New York Marriott Marquis
  • Cost: Not Provided
  • Date: April 11-13, 2017
  • Organizer: ClickZ Group Limited

Digital Summit Atlanta

Tickets

  • Focus: Digital Marketing – multi faceted
  • Location: Atlanta
  • Date: May, 2017
  • Organizer: Digital Summit

Adobe Summit

Tickets 

  • Focus: Digital Marketing – multi faceted
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Venue: The Venetian | The Palazzo
  • Cost: $1,300 – $1,900
  • Date: March 19-23, 2017
  • Organizer: Adobe

Search Marketing Expo West

HeroConf

Tickets

  • Focus: PPC
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Venue: JW Marriott Los Angeles
  • Cost: $1,300 – $3,050
  • Date: April 18-20, 2017
  • Organizer: Hanapin Marketing

Engage Conference – PDX

Tickets

  • Focus: Digital Marketing – multi faceted
  • Location: Portland, Oregon
  • Venue: Sentinel Hotel
  • Cost: $450 – $780
  • Date: March 9, 2017
  • Organizer: SEMpdx

Social Media Marketing World

Tickets 

  • Focus: Social Media
  • Location: San Diego
  • Venue: San Diego Convention Center
  • Cost: $1,010 – $1,600
  • Date: March 22-24, 2017
  • Organizer: Social Media Examiner

Content Marketing World

Tickets

  • Focus – Content Marketing
  • Location – Cleveland, Ohio
  • Venue – Huntington Convention center of Cleveland
  • Cost – $895 – $1495
  • Date – September 5-8, 2017
  • Organizer – Content Marketing Institute

Napa Summit

Tickets

  • Focus – SEO & SEM
  • Location – Napa Valley, Calfornia
  • Venue – Charles Krug Winery & Vineyard
  • Cost – $695 – $895
  • Date – March 30-31, 2017
  • Organizer – BLUSH Digital

These are our picks for the top 8 conferences in 2017. Are you attending any other conference in 2017?

10 Mistakes that B2B Companies Make that Kill Your SEO Program

You’re a B2B business and you want to build your brand, thought leadership & ultimately drive some leads online. Then some kid out of college or over paid consultant told you the answer to all your problems is SEO. So you found some keywords, wrote some content and your traffic graph looks like this:

mistakes-b2b-companies-make-that-kill-your-seo-program-volume-nine-seo

Trust me, I get it.

I’ve spent a lot of time working with B2B companies on digital strategy (I also run V9’s marketing, so I’m in the trenches with you), and realized there are a few pitfalls that we all seem to fall into.

So…if your traffic graph isn’t getting that lovely up & to the right trend you are looking for, here are the 10 most common mistakes B2Bs make that are killing your SEO program…

1. You’re focusing on high level messaging.

 

For example V9 isn’t a “strategic optimization consulting firm that helps connect your brand to the ecosphere of potential” – we’re an SEO company. Get it?

Agencies, marketers and consultants alike often focus on being experts and simply need to take a step back. Instead, they should focus on plain speak, simplifying their language and good authorization. One great tip I like to share is to speak to the company’s customers. Ask them what the company is good at and listen to the common language responses for inspiration. Bottom line: Simplify, people!

2. You think the purpose of your website it to talk about your company.

 

Wrong! The purpose of your website is to get your users to the information they care about. If the bulk of a website’s content discusses the company’s history, achievements and contact details, you’ve got some work to do. We especially see this a lot with manufacturing businesses – you’ve got to dig deep and give informational content about your products & services, and tips for your audience.

Try shifting the focus to what the company can do for the customers and what services are offered. Setting up a blog on the website is a great way to provide useful, ongoing content to the company’s audience.

3. Your content is all about what you aspire to be, not what you actually are.

 

Startups are especially fond of trying to boil the ocean all at once and offer everything to everybody. They’re in hyper growth mode and basically are in a “we could do that” frame of mind. From an SEO and marketing perspective, it’s more helpful to focus on a niche and promote what you’re actually good at doing and building from there.

Here’s a quick tip: Keep in mind, SEO rankings won’t typically support things that a business doesn’t actually do. Use a program like SEMRush to see what Google thinks the business is good at, then tweak your messaging from there.

4. You’re ignoring your mobile audience.

 

This is an especially big sin for service based B2Bs. We have a tendency to think that if you don’t have any mobile traffic, that you don’t need to worry about mobile when it comes to developing their website. I won’t cram a bunch of relevant mobile usage stats down your throat (but just know there are a ton and I totally could). However, I will say that if you don’t have a mobile friendly site & aren’t getting mobile traffic, it isn’t because you don’t have customers searching on mobile, it’s because Google is unlikely to rank you in mobile search (I know, shocking).

Also, even if you aren’t focused on mobile, you are likely focused on email. And remember, when you send out an email and it’s being opened & clicked through on a mobile device (which the majority are), the email landing page needs to be mobile friendly or your email ROI will plummet.

5. Your blog is not on your website.

 

Having an off-site blog or separate thought leadership website is all too common for some businesses, especially in the financial services industry. Having a blog on a company’s website actually strengthens the brand, is critical for SEO and brings users into the top of the sales funnel by offering them tips, how-to information or more insight into what a company does. Honestly, I could probably write an entire book on the benefits of onsite blogging for SEO…so suffice it to say, it’s helpful.

Tip: Make sure your blog lives on a subdirectory, e.g. website.com/blog & ideally each post should be under that director (so /blog/awesomepost ) – this makes it easier to track your blog performance in Google Analytics.

6. You’re not tracking conversions and looking at the analytics.

Companies that don’t generate a lot of business leads online tend to overlook the numbers. To me, the importance of a conversion tract in analytics is not only to see what’s converting and how traffic is doing. Google has now started doing multi-channel attribution which means that they will follow the journey that leads to filling out a web form.

A business can learn a lot by seeing where a possible customer leaves the website, and when they finally do submit a name and email on a form. It’s really, really helpful to know how different channels are participating and driving that lead (and by the way this something marketers clamored-for for years..so it’s kinda a big deal).

mistakes-b2b-kill-your-seo-program-volume-nine-seo

7. You’re putting out low quality content.

 

Years ago there used to be this idea that churning out mass amounts of content was the best thing you could do for your website. Thankfully, Google prefers quality over quantity these days. The old mindset, quite honestly, is a complete waste of money and it’s a real obstruction for SEO programs. Focus on relevant, well-crafted articles that are sharable and insightful. Period.

8. You’re not giving enough away to your audience.

 

Many B2Bs worry about giving away what’s in their secret sauce, and then nobody will hire them to do what they do. That’s an outdated way to think of online marketing. Instead businesses should focus on giving as much helpful information as possible, and they will receive positive feedback and future customers in return.

The most powerful content programs give tips, trends, industry news, how-tos, advice, lists of tools, etc.

9. You think the IT department can handle SEO.

 

We see this happen a lot. Since the IT department handles the back end of the website, it’s easy to ask them to also handle the SEO, rather than turning to the marketing department. Remember, your website is a marketing platform. An IT person might be really good at fixing technical problems on the site, but that doesn’t mean they will be effective at driving your online marketing strategy. In fact, most IT guys & developers don’t have a marketing background and probably aren’t who you want to rely your marketing strategy on.

10. You post duplicate or licensed content.

 

When a company is trying to grow fast, it’s tempting to buy canned content. Unfortunately, when you do that the uniqueness of your website goes down the drain. Often these articles link back to news aggregates and draw readers away from the businesses website — which means you’re sending potential customers away! Instead, focus on producing original content to rank higher in Google.

Do you see yourself making any of these mistakes? I’d love to hear about your greatest challenges when it comes to implementing an SEO program – let me know if I missed a big one!