Freelance SEO, Online Marketing and Branding

I offer freelance SEO, Internet Marketing, Internet Branding, PPC, Display Advertising. Internet marketing optimization starts from the design of a site. To construct a great content-rich website takes planning. A competent designer uses online architectural design principles, carefully combining information delivery and intuitive navigation to satisfy the visitor's needs (why they visited) while accomplishing their own business goals for fame or fortune (why the website was created).

Having proper site architecture is vital to online internet marketing of a site that will attract and also satisfy visitors. Simply put, designing an award winning website is not enough. Your site needs to be placed in front of potential visitors or they will not know you exist.

My Internet marketing optimization services includes the integration of focused traffic-generation tactics that are vital to the success of your site. Without smart marketing, any great website will fail. I focuses specifically on how to succeed at Internet marketing optimization through website design, search engine placement, pay-per-click, search engine marketing, submission, analytics, conversion optimization and social media and branding programs.

 I help you achieve high traffic to your website that converts to revenue.

Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to placement, everyone knows that organic Search Engine Optimization is the key to obtaining visitors for very little cost. In fact, SEO services are absolutely vital to your search engine marketing success. As a result, every company wants to have the top search engine ranking for their targeted keywords. This page teaches a proven Search Engine Optimization methodology for "How To Improve Your Ranking through Search Engine Optimization" that should allow you to improve your site quickly and effectively.

Pay Per Click 
While organic Search Engine Optimization generates traffic, it is not "instantaneous." Utilizing search engine marketing programs such as pay per click (PPC), traffic can be received in a matter of days instead of months. As a result, every business should have a PPC program for their targeted keywords. This page discusses a proven PPC methodology that should allow you to increase traffic to your site quickly and effectively. We discuss the entire PPC process on this page, and provide a complete step-by-step description of their use. Likewise, our PPC Company services page describes ways that we can assist you with complex search engine advertising projects.

Web Analytics
Web Analytics is critical to improving the measurable results of any website promotion program. You need to understand where traffic comes from, where they go, and more importantly the return on their investment (ROI) or you are simply wasting your money. The issue is that there are a great many Analytics tools on the market, and few actually provide competent guidance in how to use the data to achieve your internet marketing goals.

Conversion Rate Optimization
The ultimate goal of business is positive performance of the bottom line. Conversions have a direct correlation to the bottom line as completions of a business's goals, including sales and leads. Conversions can also be defined as less-immediate brand wins including sign-ups to a mailing list, catalog or newsletter, and steps along a purchase-oriented conversion path that may lead to brand loyalty, recommendations to friends and future sales. A business's website is a powerful tool for gaining conversions, and a website can be engineered to encourage conversions, from high-level site architecture to details as small as the color of a button. Through testing, analytics and tools that uncover visitors' paths, focal points and clicks on a site, conversion rate optimization will improve a site's ability to turn visitors into customers

 Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the Web's largest growth sectors, in terms of time spent and individuals engaged on various social networking sites. Social media is also the most interactive online arena, allowing users to comment, share and build upon conversations, ideas and media. For businesses, that means social media is a channel that can't be overlooked. Each social media platform offers users and businesses unique benefits of participation depending on the platforms common usage, participation and advertising or promotional opportunities. A well-designed SMM strategy identifies those social media platforms that offer the best return on investment for a particular, whether by community building, branding and visibility, or ad-driven website visits or sales. Furthermore, SMM is used to monitor a business's online reputation, ensuring a positive presence supported by constructive conversation

SEO Web Design / Architechture
Web design and SEO design are different. Many offer services to create a pretty website using Flash, AJAX and a Content Management System. But most designers, and most CMS systems, make production cars. If you want to race and if you want to finish number one, then you need a race car. Race cars require blueprinted designs, handcrafted tuning, and a skilled team of engineers. Only then can they compete in a real race. A race car will almost always beat a production car and search engine placement is not much different - the best will win. The only way to win in the search engines is to design your site for the purpose of competing. A properly designed website will succeed with both your customers and the search engines. Our SEO Web Design section discusses design concepts and implementation techniques as well as our design-related search engine optimization services. Our Siloing Architecture services page describes ways that we can assist you with complex projects. read What is SEO (Search engines Optimization)?

What is SEO (Search engines Optimization)?

1) What is SEO? 

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It basically refers to the process of getting traffic to your site through search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. It’s all about promoting your brand, product or services organically.

SEO

Search engine optimization is the term used to describe a set of processes that aim in optimizing a website for search engines. SEO is important not only for getting high quality visitors but it is also a way to increase the credibility of a website and to expand brand awareness.

Search engines are using complex algorithms to determine which pages to include in their index and the order they show these pages in the search results. SEO is the way to ‘speak’ to search engines in a language they can understand and provide them with more details about a website.

SEO has two major components, On Page and off page SEO.

On Page SEO

Search engines OptimizationOn Page SEO refers to settings you can apply on the website so that it is optimized for search engines. The most important on Page SEO Tips are:
  • Optimized titles and descriptions
  • Proper URL Structures
  • User friendly navigation (breadcrumbs, user sitemaps)
  • Optimized internal links
  • Text Formatting (use of h1,h2,bold etc)
  • Image optimization (image size, proper image names, use of ALT tag)
  • User friendly 404 pages
  • Fast loading pages
  • Google Authorship verification for all pages
  • Top quality fresh content (This is always the most important SEO factor!)
  • External links (no broken links or links to ‘bad’ sites)
  • You can find out more details about all the above tips in the SEO Tips for beginners article.
Off Page SEO
  • Unlike On- page SEO, off-page SEO refers to activities outside the boundaries of the webpage. The most important are:
  • Link Building
  • Social Media
  • Social bookmarking
  • We will look at these in detail below but first let me explain about the importance and benefits of off-page SEO.

Why is Off-Page SEO important?

Search engines have been trying for decades to find a way to return the best results to the searcher. To do that, they take into account the on-site SEO factors (described above), some other quality factors and off-page SEO.

Off page SEO gives them a very good indication on how the World (other websites and users) perceive the particular website. A web site that is useful is more likely to have references (links) from other websites; it is more likely to have mentions on social media (Facebook likes, tweets, Pins, +1’s etc.) and it is more likely to be bookmarked and shared among communities of like-minded users.

What are the benefits of ‘off-site SEO’ to website owners?


Off Page SEOA successful off-site SEO strategy will generate the following benefits to website owners:

Increase in rankings – The website will rank higher in the SERPs and this also means more traffic.

Increase in Page Rank – Page rank is a number between 0 and 10 which indicates the importance of a website in the eyes of Google. It is the system invented by Larry Page (one of Google’s founders) and one of the reasons that Google was so successful in showing the most relevant results to the searcher.  Page rank today is only one out of the 250 factors that Google is using to rank websites.

More exposure – Higher rankings also means greater exposure because when a website ranks in the top positions: it gets more links, more visits and more social media mentions. It’s like a never ending sequence of events where one thing leads to another and then to another etc read continue

SEO Link Building


 Link Building

Link building is the most popular off-Page SEO method.  Basically by building external links to your website, you are trying to gather as many ‘votes’ as you can so that you can bypass your competitors and rank higher. For example if someone likes this article and references it from his/her website or blog, then this is like telling search engines that this page has good information.

Over the years webmasters were trying to build links to their websites so that they rank higher and they ‘invented’ a number of ways to increase link count. The most popular ways were:

Link BuildingBlog Directories – something like yellow pages but each entry was a link back to a website

Forum Signatures – Many people where commenting on forums for the sole purpose of getting a link back to their website (they included the links in their signature)

Comment link – The same concept as forum signatures where you comment on some other website or blog in order to get a link back. Even worse, instead of using your real name you could use keywords so instead of writing ‘comment by Alex Chris’,  you wrote ‘comment by How to lose weight’ or anything similar.

Article Directories – By publishing your articles on an article directory you could get a link (or 2) back to your website. Some article directories accepted only unique content while other directories accepted anything from spin articles to already published articles.

Shared Content Directories – Websites like hubpages and infobarrel allowed you to publish content and in return you could add a couple of links pointing to your websites.

Link exchange schemes – Instead of trying to publish content you could get in touch with other webmasters and exchange links. In other words I could link your website from mine and you could do the same. In some cases you could even do more complicated exchanges by doing a 3-way link, in other words I link to your website from my website but you link to my website from a different website.

Notice that I used the past tense to describe all the above methods because not only they do not work today, you should not even try them because you are more likely to get a penalty rather than an increase in rankings (especially when it comes to Google).read continue


known as seo techniques

The birth of black hat SEO

Link building was an easy way to manipulate the search engine algorithms and many spammers tried to take advantage of this by building link networks which gradually lead to the creation of what is generally known as black hat SEO.

Google has become very intelligent in recognizing black hat techniques and with the introduction of Panda and Penguin they have managed to solve the problem and protect their search engine from spammers. Of course there are still exceptions but they are doing advances in every new release of their ranking algorithm and very soon none of these tricks will work.

To “follow” or “nofollow”

In addition to the above and in order to give webmasters a way to link to a website without passing any ‘link juice’ (for example in the case of ads), search engines introduced what is known as the “nofollow” link. This is a special tag you can add to a link (for example: “<a href=http://www.somesite.com rel=”nofollow”>Some Site</a>) that tells search engines not to count the particular link as a ‘vote’ to the referenced website.

This was done so that you can link other websites from yours without taking the risk of being caught for selling or exchanging links.

As a rule of thumb, you should add the nofollow tag on all your external links (within your pages) that go to websites you cannot trust 100%, to ALL your comment links, to ALL your blogroll links and to ALL banner ad links.

What is a good link?

So, if the above links are not useful, what is a good link?
First you should understand that link building it’s not only a matter of quantity but it is a matter of quality as well. In other words it no longer matters how many links are pointing to your website but it is more important from where these links are coming. For example a link from a normal blog does not have the same weight as a link from New York Times or a link from Matt Cutts blog (head of Google Quality team) is not the same as a link from my blog.

The obvious question is how to you get these links?

If you ask Google they will tell you that any links pointing to your website has to be natural links. Natural links are exactly what their name implies. A website owner or blogger likes another website or blog and naturally adds a link to his/her blog.

Does this happen in reality or is it another myth?

It certainly does but you have to try really hard to get to this point. Take for example this blog, there are many incoming links because other webmasters find the content interesting and I also link to other sites in my articles because I find their content interesting and want to inform my readers about it. This is natural link building where a link has more value from the readers’ point of you rather than the search engine point of view. The best way to attract links is to publish content (text, images, videos, infographics etc) that other people would like to link.

If natural links are what I have just described above, in which category do all other links belong?

They belong in the category of artificial links and by adopting such techniques you increase the risk for getting a manual or algorithmic penalty by Google.

Is guest blogging a valid way to build links?

Guest posting can be a valid way to get links back to your website provided that you don’t do it just for links and that you don’t overdo it. You can read these 2 articles to get a complete picture as to when to accept guest posts on your blog and when to guest post on other blogs.

Social Media

Social media is part of ‘off-site SEO’ and if you think about it, it’s also a form of link building. It should be noted that almost all of the links you get from social media sites are “nofollow” but this does not mean that they do not have any value.

Social Media mentions are gaining ground as ranking factors and proper configuration of social media profiles can also boost SEO.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is not as popular as it used to be in the past but it is still a good way to get traffic to your website. Depending on your niche you can find web sites like reddit.com, digg.com, stumbleupon.com, scoop.it and delicious.com (to name a few) to promote your content.

2) What's the difference between organic vs. paid results?



Organic results are the results that come by performing manual SEO* i.e. building an authority in the eyes of search engines and then getting the output whereas Paid results are when you initiate the campaign through some budget, possible examples are Google Adwords.

3) What are Meta descriptions and do they still matter?

A Meta description is a Meta tag used in the head of the code that is basically shown in the search engine results to user. It still matters a lot as more the compelling statements you write, the better will be the CTR (Click through Rate) for the website.

4) Should I optimize my domain name to include keywords?
The primary domain should not be having any keywords as it’s not good for the overall optimization process and will hurt your site badly because of the EMD (Exact Match Domain) as well. So, it’s good to have the keywords separate from the primary domain.

5) How do I know when I’m using the right number of keywords on a page?

You simply can’t give a number for that because it’s not the right way to strategize your SEO campaign on the number of keywords on a page. Neither, there should be a target set for Keyword Density, your content should always be user centric and should focus on terms like user friendliness and readability so that the user benefit and thus will result in a healthy SEO campaign.

6) What’s the difference between internal and inbound links?

Internal links are the links on your website that take the user from one page to another page via an anchor tag whereas Inbound links are the links coming from other website’s to your website.

7) How many internal links do I need on each page of content?

There aren’t any minimum or maximum number of internal links defined anywhere but your web page should have only desired number of links that help user navigate through the different pages.

8) Do I need to know code to do SEO myself? 

You do not require a thorough understanding of the code to do the SEO at the basic level but at the advanced level you need to have the basic understanding of HTML.

9) What is robots.txt?

A robots file allows you to allow or disallow a particular search engine to crawl the website. This file lies in the root directory of the website.

10) What is the sitemap.xml file? 

A sitemap.xml file helps the search engines to quickly crawl your website and understand the navigation and structure of the website, i.e. a quick reference or an index for your site.

11) What is the difference between indexed and crawling?

Search engines crawl through the content of the website and index them according to certain guidelines and relevancy needs of the user. It is not necessary that search engines index every part of your web page, certain things that do not get crawled at all are iframes, JS and more.

12) How can I see what pages are indexed? 

Just type in site:www.DOMAINNAME.com in the search box and hit enter, you will get to see the number of pages indexed right at the top.


13) Why do you need alt text on your images? 

The search engine bots are text only readers, they cannot see images, and therefore the ALT text comes into the picture by giving a reference to what the image is all about. Important keywords can be used in the ALT text to enhance the SEO campaign.

14) How long does it take to see results from SEO? 

There are certain factors that can let you know the timeliness:
a) Quality of Content
b) Number of inbound links
c) Number of no follow links
d) Frequency with which content is updated
e) Frequency with which your site gets crawled

Conclusion

Off-page SEO is as important as on-site SEO. If you want your SEO campaigns to be successful you have to do both. When thinking about link building don’t take the easy way, but try to get links from hard-to-get places. The more difficult is to get a link, the more value it has.

In the past you could easily get thousands of links and rank higher but nowadays you have to do more than that.  My advice is to forget about link building all together and put all your efforts in making a great website, promote it correctly and everything else will follow.


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Digital Marketing Strategy

Digital marketing is one of the few exciting industries where the demand for skilled professionals is higher than the supply. A key aspect of digital marketing is the creation and implementation of your digital marketing strategies.

The Diploma in Digital Strategy and Planning introduces you to digital communications, and helps you to develop a measured and well-considered strategy and coherent plan for your organization, that will stand up to the rigor and scrutiny of board-level decision making.


The Digital Marketing Institute ethos is to take digital knowledge direct from industry leaders; they design and teach our formalized, accredited syllabus so you learn real skills that will drive your career forward in digital marketing.

The Professional Diploma in Strategy and Planning is aimed at anyone involved with planning a digital strategy for their organization, or who is likely to be involved in this area in the future and would like a comprehensive understanding of the field.

As the digital marketing landscape continues to grow at a rapid pace, marketers are faced with new challenges and opportunities within this digital age.

The Digital Marketing Course is an initiative designed to educate students in the area of  Digital Marketing.


Students that plan to undertake the Google Online Marketing Challenge are encouraged to complete the Digital Marketing Course, as the skills learned in this course will help shape your advertising goals and strategy for the Google Online Marketing Challenge.

Over the last few years, customers have been spending an increasing amount of time on digital platforms. The smart phone revolution in the recent years has meant that customers are in a digital mode 24*7 and in touch with all the happenings of the outside world through social media channels and numerous other digital applications. Given this scenario, it is only natural for brands to allocate a bigger chunk of their marketing budgets to digital marketing. Brands can now reach their customers on digital marketing channels at a fraction of cost that they spend on traditional marketing channels. A digital marketing channel also gives a brand the ability to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign and thus optimize their marketing spends. This is not always possible in the traditional media channels.

With brands always on the lookout for innovative ways to design their Digital marketing platform, there are now many digital agencies looking to offer their services in Display Advertising, Search Engine Marketing, Social media marketing and Analytics. Both the brands and the agencies need employees who understand digital as a medium and can come up with new ideas to provide value to their clients. This is where a course on Digital marketing is essential. Designed by MICA faculty, this course aims to provide a holistic understanding of various Digital marketing channels that will help the participants design effective Digital marketing campaigns for their brands read continue

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is an impulsive, erratic, and volatile industry. The moment you catch the tiger by the tail, there’s a new tiger whose fugacious tail requires catching.

Keeping up with a changeable industry seems like a fool’s errand. Where is the balance between chasing capricious trends, on the one hand, and ossifying into a Luddite on the other?
Thankfully, there is an in between — a balance. If you can identify current trends, settle on an actionable strategy, and take measurable movement forward, you’re bound to succeed. I’ve identified X such strategies that you should keep in mind over the next few months, if not the next few years of digital marketing.



1.  Stop relying on Google.

Don’t misinterpret this point. I’m not saying that Google is not on its way out. After more than a decade of domination, however, it may be on the decline. Up-and-comers like Duck Go aren’t anywhere near dethroning Google GOOGLE +0.68%. What their rise indicates is that consumers want alternatives — a choice not to depend on Google if they don’t have to.

Marketers should take heed. Google is one basket, but it doesn’t deserve all your marketing eggs. Search engine optimization is important, but a searcher can accomplish her goal through more means than just Google.

I advise digital marketers to rely less on Google, and engage more direct forms of interacting with their target market.

2.  Mobile. Just mobile.

I wanted to say that “mobile dominates,” but that line is so utterly cliché, that I had to state it differently.

The importance of mobile search, mobile optimization, mobile conversions, and mobile ubiquity cannot be overstated. Mobile devices and our collective addiction to them are fixtures of the modern marketing era.

This article is not the place to wax verbose on the importance of mobile. Instead, my intent is to remind you that mobile is the method of the masses, and should, therefore, be a priority of the marketers.

3. Social conversion is coming.

Enough has been said about the power of social networks. Not quite enough as been said about the importance of social conversions. For ecommerce and lead generation sites, social provides a growing opportunity to improve conversion rates and gain new conversion channels.



4. New payment methods are on the rise.

With the advent of EVM credit cards (October 2015), the public is in for a new experience when it comes to payment methods. These changes will have a ripple effect on online payment and e-commerce sites.

Privacy issues are a mainstream concern and it’s up to digital marketers to lead the way in reassuring, educating, and coaching customers through the transition.

5. Paid advertising is here to stay.

Whether you like it or not, you’re going to need to pay for advertising spots. I agree with marketers who claim, “PPC is dying,” but I also see the advent of alternative forms of paid advertising taking its place.

Consider BizTalk for instance. Although they provide “organic video ads,” they are still ads. And they still cost money. Rising methods of organic/paid advertising are entering into the marketing methods of some brands, signaling a growing trend.

6. Marketing automation becomes de rigueur.

Marketing automation is nothing new. It is, however, bigger than ever. Marketing automation is now easy and affordable enough for any marketer with a budget to do it. Once upon a not-so-far-away time, the only organizations doing automation were big companies with world-recognized brand names.

Now, marketing automation is nearly a requirement for any business that wants to stay on top

7. Content creators are more necessary than ever.



Ever since Web 2.0, the writing profession has had a heyday. Anyone and everyone could become a publisher. Anyone who had a voice could also have a platform on the web.

Now? Some content experts moan that there is too much content out there. Or is there? Content, often referred to as “king” is so essential to digital marketing that it can’t be dismissed as a “trend.” While individual publishers may be overextending themselves by publishing too much, there will always be content. It will always be important.

Therefore, there will always be the need for great content creators, including writers, developers, video producers, pod casters, and speakers. Loretta Staple foot said it well in her Visual.ly article:  “The need for quality content will spotlight the importance of professional writers.”

I know from experience that great writers are hard to find.  But it’s no longer enough simply to find a “great writer.” You need to find a writer who knows your niche. The world’s greatest writing skills don’t count for much unless the writer possesses knowledge, ideally experiential knowledge, of his or her subject matter.

8. The algorithm will change. And change again.

The search algorithm will change. It will infuriate you, delight you, confuse you, and disappoint you. But it will change.

I’m referring, of course, to Google’s search algorithm, the almighty search machine that decides which content ranks highest in the search engine results page (SERPs). Today, however, we need to consider Facebook’s algorithm, Bing’s algorithm, and even the mashup of Twitter and Google’s algorithm.

9. Conversion optimization has high ROI.

If CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is not in your 2015 budget, I suggest you take a look at the possibility of introducing it. Conversion rate optimization is the process of maximizing the number of site visitors who convert or make a purchase.

By thoroughly understanding users and split testing changes on a website, marketers can determine what elements of a website or landing page will produce the highest number of conversions.

The process pays off. Instead of paying big bucks for ad placements and organic traffic, marketers can instead funnel more of their existing traffic into sales.

10. Growth hacking will continue to evolve.

In my opinion, one of the most fascinating trends in 2015 is the continued evolution of growth hacking. Growth hacking will continue to demonstrate its indomitable power in the face of unlikely odds.

Conclusion

This list of online trends might sound intimidating. In spite of your fears, go boldly forward. Wrapped up in success is always the risk of failure.
I would never advise closing your eyes and jumping headfirst into a trend. The digital marketing space is too fickle for that.



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