Content Marketing and Social Media Nexus Benefiting Brands

SEO, as we know it, is a B2B process. Nobody goes to a retail outlet expecting to buy an SEO package. The buyers and sellers are both businesses. True, DIY SEO has been a phenomenon for a while, but nine out of ten clients are still interested in hiring a company or, at least, freelancers.

Content marketing and B2B

Content marketing has been encircling the B2B vertical for a while. The circle is yet to complete, and will complete over time. Maybe this year itself because content marketing now allows quality scaling, which is essential to gauge ROI outcomes for a B2B campaign.

Search engine optimizers taking note of this are excluding the unnecessary marketing workarounds from their SEO packages.

Is it helping them? The answer is yes. See below yourself:

B2B Content Marketing Infographic

Figure 1

Source

Figure 1 shows buyers are becoming better informed about what a digital marketer can offer. Yesteryear’s marketers often deliberately kept them in the dark. The reason? If clients figured out web directory submission or social bookmarking won’t help in ranking, they’d have stopped paying for those a long time back.

The interaction between two equally informed individuals is a productive interaction. Content marketing is creating the space for such interactions in the B2B domain.

Social media for B2B

Now, let’s discuss the importance of social media for B2B.

B2B brands were earlier hesitant about using social media for marketing. But the mindset has now changed. A research done by Accenture Digital and SAP Hybris shows B2B clients crave for personalized engagement just like their B2C counterparts. Because social media accounts for the majority of engagement, not making their campaigns social can stop B2B marketers from reaping the benefits.

For anyone who might doubt this, see below:

B2B Social Marketing

Figure 2

Source

Figure 2 is an infographic created with the help of several case study findings. The infographic shows social media has the potential to dominate the B2B marketplace, similar to the B2C marketplace.

Content social nexus

In the last two paragraphs, we’ve discussed content and social media separately. It’s time we link them up to get the most out of a social campaign. There’s an overlapping area where social media and content influence each other.

You see status update, pics, videos, slides, messages, pinboards, etc. All these are content. A microblog is content. A picture qualifies as content. An explainer video is content. No matter what social marketing strategy you apply, content always has to be its part and parcel.

Basically, social media is like a photo frame. Content circulating across social channels is the photo that fits the frame.

Content customization

Customizing content so it suits a variety of leads is a leading trend that we can observe in the B2B industry. Customization of content owes to factors like the social channel, the brand’s reputation, the niche the brand belongs in, etc.

If the channel is Pinterest, then the content should be a pinboard with beautiful pictures on it. For LinkedIn, the content is an insightful blog, published on LinkedIn Pulse.

Thought leadership

Social media allows you to flaunt your expertise and create a thought leadership position for yourself, so others in the industry value your thoughts and look at you as an influencer. But again, social media alone cannot get you going. You need the social media-content-nexus to achieve the stature.

LinkedIn and Slideshare

The two are among the platforms that help you in the pursuit of thought leadership. Through blogging, you can connect with leading industry figures on LinkedIn. Articles on LinkedIn Pulse can trigger a remarkable level of engagement.

See the image below:

LinkedIn Pulse Article

Figure 3

Figure 3 show an enormous level of engagement in a blog published on LinkedIn. The post got over 2 million views, 27K likes and more than 7K comments. The author Dave Kerpen sends out the message to influencers in his industry that he’s a thought leader.

In 2013, Forbes published an article explaining why Slideshare is the quiet giant of B2B marketing. Sadly, the article brought little change; B2B marketers and advertisers continued to under-utilize this platform. Slideshare adds a social quotient to otherwise boring white papers. Some saw it as the resurgence of white paper when the content format was losing value.

The slides have .ppt extension. You can create them using Microsoft PowerPoint or OpenOffice Impress (If you are on Linux). The content has to be crisp, concise yet informative. Slideshare gets more than 3 billion views every month with 10 million+ presentations, which can give brands visibility and create engagement, so they build a thought leadership position for themselves.

Evolution of B2B

Social media and content are two formidable allies, and together they can drive visibility and exposure to a brand, which finally lead to sales. As new experiments will take place involving content marketing and social media, branding will evolve, forcing marketers to devise new strategies.

What do you think of the article? Would you connect your social media strategies with content marketing? Let us know in the comment section

 

How to Build Quality Backlinks for Your Website?

Link building is the very basic of any SEO campaign. Though calculating quality of the backlinks is not new but ever since the Google Penguin update has come, the importance of the quality links is the most shouted thing in SEO. So it is the right time to educate you on the quality aspect of the links that will leave an impact on the search engine ranking.

Let us discuss the three main factors that you should consider while building your backlinks for your website and here they are:

  1. Relevance
  2. Authority
  3. Exact Match Anchor & Link Location

Relevance:

Links from a high PageRank webpage used to be considered as the quality link once. But today it is all about on-topic and contextual links. Though contextual relevancy is not a new concept but this time Google has added it to their ranking algorithm as a prime factor. The penguin update has made it clear that the on-topic domain level links are going to stay forever.

The off-topic domain links are not that bad and pass the link juice. Though it is a part of your diverse link pattern. But it hurts when you got a major part of your backlinks from irrelevant websites. This triggers red flag.

So you need to be careful while building links. Your focus should be on thematic and on-topic links. For example, if your website is about “travel”, you must build backlinks from similar travel niche websites.

Exact Match Anchor and Link Location

Anchor text is the clickable text when clicked guides the user to a landing page linked in the text. Anchor text plays an important role in the overall keyword ranking of a website. But using the same anchor text again and again can destroy all your effort.

At the current scenario, you need to make sure all your links look natural, but too many exact match anchor links contradict it. So all you need to diversify your anchors. The brand name anchor text not only helps to build a solid brand reputation for your business online but also you can diversify the anchor and avoid the penalty for over optimization of the keywords. Along with brand name anchor, you should use naked urls, domain name, and long phrase keywords to link back your website.

Link Location: Again link location is also very essential for your success. Almost all the search engines love contextual links i.e link surrounded by relevant content. Sidewide Links though do not hurt much, but it is always good to play safe and avoid such links.

Authority:

Authority links are an absolute requirement for ranking in the search engines. Basically links form established websites are considered as authority links.

What is an authority link?

Authority is a subjective concept and there is no specific guideline that differentiates authority site to non-authority site. PAGERANK is what Google uses to represent the authority of a webpage through a number between 0 and 10. The sites having highest authority are assigned 10 and the lower ones with 0.

There are also many other tools that you can use to find out the authority of a website, such as moz tool, alexa tool, compete rank etc

backlink building

16 ways to build links to your website:

  • Contextual links are best. Submit Guest Post to Other Blogs.
  • Find relevant blog post to comment on. Though it does not carry much SEO value but do-follow blog comment helps in overall backlink building.
  • Find relevant Forums and Link to Your Blog Posts.
  • Go for submitting your website into top social bookmarkeing sites.
  • Join Question answer sites.
  • Join discuss boards and share your website. Quora is one such discussion board.
  • Join blogging communities and share your blog posts.
  • Interlink your blog posts
  • Exchange links with other blogger but keep it natural.
  • Send your to blog directories and blog feeds to RSS directories
  • Share your blog in to social media site.
  • Share your articles in stumbleupon, delicious, digg and redit
  • Distribute press-release about important updates from your blog.
  • Create Plugings, themes etc and share for free
  • Create PDFs and PPTs and share them
  • Use web 2.0 sites for promoting your blog
  • Write quality and conversional posts for your blog
  • Write news related posts and try to be one of the first people to write it.
  • Sponsor blogging contest and you will get a lot of backlinks from this.

Bottom line

This is very simple, for building quality links all you need to understand the links first. Make sure you really invest time and the best effort to make all your links look natural. Obviously you have to adjust your strength and do what works the best.

Google Panda is Now Included in the Ranking Algorithm

Google Panda Ranking Algorithm

Google Panda is no longer a separate algorithm, used by Google exclusively for the purpose of elevating or decreasing a site’s ranking. Reports are to and fro that Panda has been officially encapsulated by Google’s ranking algorithm.

Jennifer Slegg reported this yesterday. This is what a spokesperson from Google told her:

Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals.”

Google’s Gary Illyes corroborated this report in his tweet. The Panda 4.2 was released by Google in July, 2015. After analyzing it, experts held that it’s a continuous update, meaning it will keep affecting a site’s ranking.

There have been a number of Panda updates so far. Panda 4.2 seems to be the last on the list.

Relevant questions

Some questions remain unanswered. Last thing we knew about Panda 4.2 was that it’s continuous, and takes several months to completely roll out.

Will Google’s ranking algorithm receive updates real time from now? Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land dismissed this possibility by saying he’s come across a massive update today and received the confirmation from Google that it was a core ranking algorithm update, which Google rolled over the weekend. The time of the consolidation is currently unknown.

Schwartz speculated the time to be late 2015. He initially couldn’t show any telling evidence in support of his view that the update is not real time, but later got a statement from Gary Illyes. This makes sense because the update being incredibly slow made webmasters suspicious about its nature. Some of them opined it’s a part of the core ranking algorithm, and that’s why taking so much time for rollout.

Takeaways for digital marketers

So far, Google used to evaluate onsite content quality separately with Panda. But now onwards, it’d be one of the parameters for ranking. I consider this as the parameterization of content quality.

We’ll keep our eyes open and our ears sharp. If there’s any update on this, we’ll share it here with you.

Image Credit: http://www.searchengineland.com

5 Content Marketing Tips to Start Off the New Year

5 Content Marketing Tips 2016

2016 is unfolding itself under the SEO industry’s watch. The digital marketing pundits have predicted a slew of trends for this year. It’s too early for us to have our say, but there’s no harm in speculating.

Here are some of the trends that we, at Digitalvani, think might end up being the best practices for this year.

Blogs with podcasts

Content marketers have been whining for long that large piles of texts, produced by them go unread. We’ve earlier explained that a reader’s indifference owes to the fact that he didn’t find any value in a post. That’s hard to digest, but the truth.

Adding podcasts to blog posts might change this as it might draw the interest of visitors. Make the podcasts informative by adding something new that the post is not covering. Don’t forget to add an introduction and a closing note.

Since podcasts are episodic, you are indirectly informing your readers that you’ll share more information with them in the future. They may come back and increase your site’s repeat visitor count.

Scale your content

Imagine there’s a scale of 1 to 10, how much will you assign to your post?

What do you say? You let readers decide that?

Well, in 2016, you need to decide it yourself. Last year, it was all about quality content. But in 2016, Google might change the very definition of quality.

Google may bring a metric system this year, to weigh up the content quality using unknown variables. The algorithms will not be disclosed to you, meaning you’d have to gauge the content quality yourself. Think of the parameters, which may prompt Google to elevate or demean your content. Is it informativeness? Is it the style? The lingo? Or the phrasing? Or all these factors combined?

Numbered title

This copywriting secret is no longer a secret. There’s a saying in cricket, “catches win matches”. Replace “catches” with “titles” and “matches” with “articles,” and it’ll still be meaningful. In short, titles get articles read. A title that has numbers in it further increases the possibility of an article getting read.

Akin to ordinary readers, search engines also seem to prefer numbered titles. I searched on Google with “how to burn belly fat,” and the following was what Google displayed:

Numbered Title

As you can see, not only the organic result, but among the paid results too, numbered titles were given preference.

Perhaps this bias is because of such titles giving readers a clear indication of the content that the articles contain. When you frame your titles this way, make sure the content is in sync with the titles. Put numbered sub-headings and discuss the motifs under those sub-headings.

UI is real

And not restricted to design, front end development and stuff. Content has a lot to do with user interface, chiefly because user experience has lately become a decisive element in determining a site’s ranking.

It’s a bit tricky to fathom how user experience revolves around content, more so, how Google gets hints of what experience a user receives by reading which content. None of us has the answer, but the old school comment and share thing along with some new techniques might yield a favorable outcome for you.

The workaround, therefore, are creating content that triggers enough comments and shares. Besides, work on the site’s loading speed, the font family, the platform independence (all too easy courtesy to responsive design) and natural looking organic links.

Careful with linking

The outdated link building strategies are on their deathbeds. Digital marketers have been following other strategies, which are comparatively safe. In 2016, they might have to do away with some of them. One of them is the you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-your-back-esque consensual link building.

In February 2015, Google’s John Mueller defined unnatural links by saying, “If you’re making it easy for other people to link to your site, then that’s absolutely fine. On the other hand, if you’re trying to trick people into linking to your site or doing some kind of link scheme like, ‘You link to me and I’ll link to you,’ then that’s something that we treat as an unnatural link.” So link up only when it’s essential and looks natural all the way.

If you are inserting a link in your post, make sure the landing page matches your site’s theme. Hyperlink an LSI keyword instead of a campaign keyword. By doing this, you inform Google you are not soliciting your site; this is in tune with what the new-age marketers hold – the less you promote your site, the better.

For now

Follow these strategies for now, until we get new leads from industry experts or the search engine giant proactively shares something new with us. Then we’ll devise new sets of content strategies.

What do you think of the 5 tips shared here? Would you follow these tips? Do you have any tip of your own? Share with us by posting a comment below.

 

4 Digital Marketing Techniques That Are Proven To Succeed

Digital marketing has taken the world by storm. Nowadays, more people are shying away from the traditional techniques and focusing on digital. So, I thought it would be good to bring you four digital marketing techniques that are proven to succeed:

Digital Marketing Techniques

SEO

You’ve probably seen one of my previous articles titled ‘What is SEO?’ where I go into detail about this technique. If you haven’t, then make sure you follow the link and check it out. Bearing that in mind, I don’t need to go into lots of detail on the matter here. Basically, SEO is about improving the organic search engine performance of your website. The focus is firmly set on getting your site as high up the search rankings as possible. The higher you are, the more traffic you’ll get. One of the best marketing techniques out there, and one that’s fairly cost-effective too.

PPC Marketing/Advertising

PPC (Pay Per Click) is one of the hottest marketing techniques around. It’s a proven way for someone to boost their website’s search ranking in an instant. PPC deals with manipulating your sites performance in the paid search rankings. These are the sponsored links you see right at the top and on the side of search results. Typically, they’re the first things that people will see when they search for something. So, you can understand why you’d want your site to appear in the paid results. PPC revolves around bidding for keywords using the Google Adwords service. You bid for relevant keywords and, if you win, your site will appear in the sponsored links section. There are plenty of Adwords PPC campaign management services around to help you get everything set up and sorted. Over the course of 2015, more and more businesses used PPC as it had proven success rates.

Social Media Marketing

It comes as no surprise that social media marketing makes my list. For those following marketing trends, you’ll know social media is a big one. Businesses all over the world are using social media to promote their business and reel in the customers. It’s effective because you can engage with consumers and talk about your company freely. Plus, you can have a bit of fun too and get noticed by a large audience.

Online Adverts

Advertising has always been a proven way of promoting your business and getting it out there. We have newspaper ads, TV ads, billboards ads, etc. Now, we have online ads too! Every website you click on will display some adverts around the page. You can pay money to get your adverts shown on thousands of websites on the web. The best thing is, there are things called ‘tailored ads’. If your business has a tailored advert, it will only be seen by people that are interested in what you offer. If you sell trainers and someone’s been searching for new trainers, then they’ll see your advert on lots of sites. It’s absolutely perfect!

There you have it, four digital marketing techniques that are proven to succeed. I recommend giving them a try if you have something that needs to be promoted!

15 Digital Marketing Resolutions for 2016

When it comes to your digital marketing, you can’t anymore afford to fall into the same bad practices that you have in year 2015 due to the increasingly competitive landscape. You will need to cultivate the best marketing strategy and be consistent in 2016.

digital markeitng resolution for 2016

It’s important for you to take the time to look deep at your analytics and social engagement with your customers and see what had worked and what did not.

Marketers today are getting increasingly savvy and motivated to beat the competition. Below is a list 15 Digital Marketing Resolutions for 2016.

#1 – Optimize you webpage content for humans first, and then for search engines.

#2 – Provide the best user experience for your visitors.

#3 – Digital marketing is not one dimensional communication but always 2 ways communication.

#4 – Use data driven decisions to make important strategies for your digital marketing.

#5 – Use a better content marketing strategy to help your clientele solve the problems.

#6 – Do start with a well developed content strategy for targeted audience.

#7 – Identify the position of your brand value and where you want to be.

#8 – Create engaging and communicating content for users.

#9 – Manage your online reputation.

#10 – Clean up your local listings.

#11 – Try one new marketing tactic and test it.

#12 – Spend more time with your competitors and steal their links.

#13 – Get organized with your digital content for both on-line and off-line presence.

#14 – Test out remarketing to reach existing customers

#15- Use social media promotion and advertising to reach new audience with stunning visuals for better conversion.

Well, depending on the specific cases the above mentioned digital marketing strategy, some of these resolutions may not be a fit for you all.

So, I would love to hear what some of your digital marketing resolutions are for any special cases. Feel free to share the same through your comments.

HTTP vs HTTPS – SEO Advantages of HTTPS

Have you ever noticed the green padlock icon in the address bar of your web browser while browsing any website?? That is the visually indication of that a HTTPS connection is in effect. A web address without a green padlock is a HTTP connection.

For website owners….

No matter what you prefer—being a website owner you need to provide extra security for all the personal detail that users share with your website like credit card details, online bank details etc.

A good online browsing experience involves the additional security you provide to your customers that cannot be decrypted by hackers.

That is what Google is looking for – provide a secure browsing experience for the web users. Hence favors the websites that are more concern about the security in the World Wide Web.

In order to understand how to achieve this and better understand why Google favors secured websites, it’s important to first understand the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

This article explains the details about the two options: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Security (HTTPS) 

What is HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)?

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (http) is an application layer protocol for transmitting and receiving information across the Internet. The main focus here is to transfer the data speedily from one place to another but it does not care about the security of the data that is transmitted. This data transmitting through HTTP protocol can be easily hacked if someone breaks into your internet connection.

Basically the HTTP is used for connecting plain html pages where the website does not ask for any confidential information (such as credit card information etc.).

What is HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure)?

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP. Here the protocol works with additional layer of security to data. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. That means when we send or receive any data through the network connection the data get another layer of encryption which make it tough for the hackers to de-encrypt the data in any case if they break into the connect between your computer and internet. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms where we share the personal information.

http-vs-https

That is why HTTPS really offers the best of both worlds: Caring about what the user sees visually, but also having an extra layer of security when moving the data from one place to another in the internet.

HTTPS pages generally use two types secure protocols to encrypt data transmission – Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS). SSL and TLS are protocols for managing the secure communications between a web server and a web browser; it works by encrypting data such as credit card numbers, passwords, logins, etc. Banks and online merchants use SSL to maintain the security of their websites.

If you sell products or services directly from your site and allow electronic payment methods then it is a good idea to have SSL; it inculcates self-assurance in your customers by making them feel secure to use their debit or credit cards on your website.

What is a HTTPS certificate?

When you ask for a HTTPS connection to a web server or a webpage in the internet, the initial process starts with the website that sends the SSL certificate to your web browser. The certificate contains a public key to begin the secure connection between the send and receive point that initiates the ‘SSL handshake’. The SSL handshake involves the generation of shared secrets to establish a uniquely secure connection between your personal computer and the website.

https-browsers

When a trusted SSL Digital Certificate is used during a HTTPS connection, users will see a padlock icon in the browser address bar. When an Extended Validation Certificate is installed on a web site, the address bar will turn green.

Why Is an SSL Certificate Required?

All communications sent over through regular HTTP connections are just done in plain text, so any one manages to break into the connection between your browser and the internet will able to read your data. With a HTTPS connection, all communications are securely encrypted. This means that even if somebody managed to break into the connection, they would not be able decrypt any of the data which passes between you and the website.

The major benefits of a HTTPS certificate are:

  • Customer information, like log in ids, passwords, bank information, credit card numbers, is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hacker easily
  • HTTPS is a ranking factor in search engine optimization process.
  • Visitors can verify you are a registered business and that you own the domain hence trust you and complete purchases

SEO Advantages of Switching to HTTPS

HTTPS is important as it helps reduce the chances of “hackers snooping or trying to seize and access your customers’ data” as it moves between the internet server and your computer or vice versa.

With HTTPS it can be guaranteed that the site will encrypt their information for that extra level of security.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google prefers sites that are trusted and certified.

Considering the benefits of HTTPS and to make the internet a secure place Google has announced that going HTTPS — adding a SSL certificate on your site — will give you a ranking boost.

Google has also updated Google Webmaster Tools to better handle HTTPS sites and the reporting on them.

If your website is already serving on HTTPS, you can test its security level and configuration with the Qualys Lab tool.

Where to buy an SSL Certificate?

There are lots of SSL certificate providers available in the market, but I suggest you SSL2BUY for buying an SSL certificate for your website.SSL2BUY is an authorized re-seller of leading certificate authorities like GeoTrust, Comodo, Thawte, AlphaSSL, RapidSSL, GlobalSign and Symantec.

They claims to provide cheapest same value certificates than certificate authorities. All certificates from SSL2BUY supports up to 256 bit encryption with more than 99% browser recognition as well you will get some additional advantages like free 24*7 tech and installation support, fast issuance times and not any additional charge for certificate reissues.

Note for You

HTTPS is not only good for security reasons but also for a better SEO strategy to stay blessed by Google. Apart from helping you website rank better, it also builds the trust among your visitors regarding the security of their personal data they share with your website.

When looking at the issue and considering the future of what Google is likely to do with HTTPS, I recommend to go for HTTPS, as soon as possible to keep up with Google.