Guest Blogging


Guest Blogging is in some corners the new dirty word for link building but if done with tact and restraint it can not only help with SEO but create direct leads for your business. Since Google got into the zoo business and started pushing out the Panda and Penguin updates a few years ago the SEO world has been scrambling to figure out new ways to get links that Google likes. One method has been the Guest Blog where you find another website and give them content to publish that contains a link back to your website. The idea is that good and useful content is being created which Google users find useful when searching for information and Google links that to your website as well as the one it was published on.

The problem is that just as with link building before lazy and nefarious people have made it into a new arms race of how many links can be created quickly and cheaply. This misses the underlying focus of the Guest Blog which is to create relevant and useful content for users.

My suggestion is that if you are going to partake in the Guest Blog method that you keep high standards not only for the content you create but for the websites that you have it published on. This takes more work which I know everyone wants to avoid but compared to digging a ditch its pretty easy stuff. First of all start writing about what you know and why people should pay you for your knowledge. Then search out similar people to what you do and check out their websites for good content. See that they care about what they are putting online and then reach out to them and see if they might be interested in taking a Guest Blog post from you.

The same goes for accepting Guest Blog posts onto your own website. Be very wary of anyone reaching out to you. Make sure they are legitimate and have their own domain name email address as well as good content on their own website. The lazy people are sending out email blasts to anyone and everyone trying to get their poor content and links on as many sites as they can.

You should be highly selective with giving and taking any content online. Instead of thinking mass marketing think individual readers. If you spend 4 hours writing up a couple of articles and then get them on the right websites you should expect to get inquiries from them. As an added bonus you might get more search traffic as well.

Requesting Customer Reviews Online


Ah the once shiny promise of online customer reviews has taken a beating in the last few years. For customers there have been problems with credibility of existing reveiws leading them astray into thinking a business is better or worse than it really is. For businesses there are problems ranging from spiteful former employees to competitors to the review websites filtering real reviews off.

The good, bad, and ugly of the situation is that as a business owner you have to take action and make requesting customer reviews a regular practice at your company. The problem is that you have to be tactful in how you take action. Offering incentives to get customers to write reviews is a good way of getting yourself in trouble with the likes of Yelp and Google. Both companies have policies in place that forbid businesses from incentivising customers to write reviews in exchange for a discount for example.

While you want to ask your happy customers to leave a review you have to be natural. You also want to ask for reviews from people who already write them. You accomplish this by asking them if they use Yelp. If they do great ask them if they have written a review for your business or some other way of being playful about it. You want to avoid making them feel uncomfortable as they may take it out on you in their review. If they dont have a Yelp account move on and see if they have a Google account. There are two reasons you want them to already be a review writer: 1) They have an account setup and you dont have to play tech support walking them through that and 2) If they havent written many reviews on Yelp there is a good chance that their review will be filtered off.

If they dont write reviews online already you should ask them if they will email you a testimonial or better yet grab your video camera and ask them to do a video testimonial that you can put on your website. Keep the video short and simple. No sales pitch, make it honest and from the heart. Try to get decent lighting and audio. Be wary of background noises.

Local Citations and GetListedDOTorg


According to BusinessDictionary.com a local business is: “A company which provides goods or services to a local population. Though most often used when referring to a locally-owned business, the term may also be used to describe a franchise or corporate branch operating within a local area.” The question then is how do you get the local population to find out about you and how to do business with you.

It used to be that people pulled out this huge book with yellow pages and scanned through to the type of business they were looking for and the called you. Then the Internet came along and decimated that business by letting people search from their computers and now their phones for local businesses that can help with their specific needs. The problem is that websites like Google rely on databases of information, some of which are those old books, to provide them with specifics about your business. Like any automated process this can and does create a lot of mistakes causing you to lose business.

Those databases of information are also known as local citations. They include websites like Yelp, Yahoo, CitySearch, and many more. They also include pure data companies like Localeze, Axiom, and Universal Business Listings who sell their data to those other websites including Google. You want to make sure that all of them have the correct information about your business so that when the local population looks for your services they not only find you but they also get the right information.

To find these citations you can do a Google search for your company name, address, and phone number to see what websites are displaying your business information. You can also use a free tool like GetListed.org which will help you focus on the websites that are more important than others.

Its a game of whack a mole if you have been in business a long time and have moved addresses and changed phone numbers. Sometimes it can help to hire someone with experience doing this among other online marketing activities which will help your business grow.

Google Plus Author Rank


Google created Google Plus (Google+) to compete with Facebook from a social networking perspective. To many people Google+ is seen as a failure because it isn’t very different from Facebook. What many people forget is that Google already has a huge platform to plug its social network into that millions of people use every minute: search.

Not surprisingly Google has plugged Google+ into their search platform with the authorship tag. This tag is a simple snippet of HTML code that you put on your website and it then tells Google what author it should associate with that page of content. On the Google+ side you need to add whatever URL’s you contribute content to into the Contribute section of the About page in your Google+ profile.

This not only tells Google who created the content but Google might even show your Google+ profile picture next to the search result at Google.com. This has proven to increase click through rates(CTR) significantly and will help drive more traffic to your business.

Get your authorship tag setup today!