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SEO is not dead. That’s the good news! But it’s not the only game in town. Content marketing strategies and CRO, or conversion rate optimisation, has to play a role in an integrated approach. It encompasses creating visibility, attracting people to your site, engaging them there with relevant content, and prompting them to complete a desired call to action. As part of an overall strategy, here are a few ways that you can boost your conversion rate?

Start with your Ads

Make sure your ad copy aligns with your offerings – and that when people click through and land on your site, they get the information they expect. Searchers don’t want to feel as though you’ve “fooled” them or made false claims just to get them there. Further, if your ad features Model XYZ soccer shoes, your landing page needs to also feature – you guessed it – XYZ soccer shoes. Otherwise, you risk people bouncing right out because they haven’t found what they wanted immediately.

Use Negative Keywords

This is where going negative produces positive results, including reducing cost and boosting your return on investment. This is a technique by which you exclude certain search parameters or keywords. So, for example, if you sell custom glasses (as in wine glasses), then you don’t want your ads showing up for people searching for eyeglasses. You can exclude keyword terms related to eyeglasses. This enables you to reach the audience you need – and the ones who are most likely to click through and take action.

Try a Special Offer

If sales fit into your business model, consider a promotion. While we want customers who buy any time, all the time, many shoppers are conditioned to wait for sales. So why not leverage them, if appropriate? You could try free shipping, a discount on a product, or a discount on an overall purchase.

Make Sure Your Contact Information is Clear

This allows interested parties to reach you via email or phone, and it also underscores your credibility. A physical location, phone number, and/or live chat options indicate to visitors that you’re “real.” Considering offering additional proof with social media buttons, testimonials, and trust seals.

Craft Exceptional Headlines

The first, and sometimes, the only part of your page visitors read: make sure that they are well-crafted, clear, concise, and optimised with targeted keywords. The right headlines can help boost your conversion rates and keep people engaged in your site longer.

Take these relatively easy steps today to see an uptick in your conversion rates.



So you want to be a blogger?  If you want to do so successfully, you will want to avoid the common mistakes made by others.  Learn from those who have come before you and steer clear of these actions.

Duplicating Content Having trouble coming up with new topics to write about within your area of specialty?  If so, it is a good idea to do some research.  Read articles, watch videos, find blogs dedicated to the topic and explore the conversations that are occurring in the comments beneath.  This will surely serve as inspiration and prevent the common mistake of remaking the same post over and over again.

Plagiarism Please, don’t do it!  Use your own expertise to create something new, relevant and likely to help you in your search engine standing.  New content leads to organic growth, plagiarism is worthless and harmful to the industry.

Purchasing Search Engine Standing You should not need to invest your hard earned capital to get the backlinks that will ultimately improve your SEO.  In fact, the practice of buying links can ultimately hurt your online presence.  Google isn’t perfect, but the system was not built by fools.  The algorithms are able to recognize trends and those that point to foul play can get your company black listed by the largest search engine on the Web.

Becoming Consumed with Keywords Yes, they are important, but when they begin to take precedence over the content, trouble will brew.  While the saturation of keywords may lead to more site visitors, it means little if the conversion rate plummets.  Good content is what will make a person linger and encourage him or her to return.

Ignoring the Importance of the Title It shouldn’t be a last thought, because it is the first thing that the reader sees.  A title should be engaging.  It should make it clear what the blog post is about without giving away too much.  There should be an element of curiosity intertwined that draws the eye to the body of text.  Furthermore, the title is the perfect place to cleverly weave in a keyword.

With the right approach blogging can be fun; it can be a release and a way to express that which you are most passionate about.  Don’t lose the passion because you are caught up in the numbers.  Remember, above all else, content counts and that is your job as a blogger – create excellent, worthwhile, relevant content.

Clean Up Messy URLs

Holding A Dot Com IIISometimes, it’s the little details that make a big difference, and SEO is no exception. A solid URL, for instance, may seem like an afterthought. In fact, it can be a critical part of your SEO efforts. If you have “messy” URLs, it’s time to clean up your act.

What is a Messy URL?

If it’s not easy for a human to read, it’s messy. Take a look at this fake URL as an example:

This tells you nothing about the content. Messy URLs pose a few other problems as well.

  • They make it difficult (but not impossible) for search engines to properly index your site – and if your site isn’t indexed, you don’t make a showing in the SERPs, and if you don’t make a showing in the SERPs…you get the idea.
  • They are difficult for people to remember, meaning they won’t navigate to this page, or your site, directly. There are exponentially more opportunities to misspell and mistype these URLs.
  • They’re…messy. They don’t have a clean, crisp look – and that can reduce your credibility with both search engines and browsers.

Cleaning Up

When possible, use a strategically-selected keyword in your URL.


It should explain what users will find on the page. Add a 301 redirect on the old URL to avoid any problems, and in the future, make sure to use clean URLs.



Site owners have been moving to mobile access in droves, and with good reason. Statistically speaking, mobile viewers are the only significant part of the population, and leaving them out of the equation just isn’t a good idea these days. Going mobile, though, isn’t just a matter of clicking here and there. It takes some real work to convert your site to a mobile friendly browsing popularity machine, and there’s a good chance you’re going to encounter a few obstacles along the way.

One of the biggest mobile conversion obstacles you may come across is screens size factor. Keep in mind that mobile design no longer just means a tiny smartphone screen instead, your site must respond to those looking at it on a smartphone, those looking at it on a tablet, and those who view it on a tablet in landscape mode. Ensuring it looks great no matter what the screen size is an absolute must.

Your images are another huge conversion obstacle. Images are supposed to automatically resize, but that doesn’t always work well. An image that looks great on a 24 inch screen doesn’t always look fantastic on that same 4 inch smartphone. What’s more, though, is that those images can affect your load times across various devices. The smaller resolution images load faster and look good on small screens, but on the larger display, it may look ineffective.

One other note you may want to make before you start converting is that simply testing isn’t enough with mobile conversion. You have to test in different browsers, across different platforms, and even across real world devices. There are no shortcuts when it comes to looking at how things might work out on a customer’s device.

As you move toward mobile, your best bet is always to go mobile first, designing for those smaller screens before you think about anything else. Mobile is essential, but don’t expect it to be trouble-free.


Enabling keepalive is a way to help your browser and server communicate more efficiently. Instead of having to open multiple connections for a webpage, you can keep one connection open, allowing content to be delivered more quickly. So, how do you do it?

In your requests, the headers appear after the request or response line. To enable keepalive, you have to add an HTTP header. What you’re doing is tell your server that the connection should stay open. If you have access to your webserver config file, it’s easy enough to go in and see what your header says. If you see, “connection: close,” then you know that keepalive is disabled. Changing it to “connection: keep-alive” will remedy that.

If you do not have access to the config file, then you can change the header using .htaccess. This is just a text file that you can create and save in the web directory. When you’ve created or opened .htaccess, add:

<ifModule mod_headers.c> Header set Connection keep-alive </ifModule>

You’ve enabled keepalive, and your page should see some improvements in speed. Just a word of caution: changing your .htaccess file can cause a domino effect on your website, so before you add your new header, make sure you make a copy.

Woman using computer

Pay-per-click advertising can help businesses rank for keyword terms that they may not be able to organically; it is often used in conjunction with SEO techniques, and while you’re waiting for those efforts to “kick in” and start producing results, PPC can provide a stream of revenue faster. You can geo-target your audience, and you can boost the efficacy of both paid and organic search marketing. The benefits of PPC are many, and it remains a relevant and effective tool for businesses. One of the keys is making sure your managing costs. Calculating your maximum bid is important and can help give you an edge.

Your PPC bid depends on a variety of factors. Obviously, for more popular, competitive keywords, the bid needs to be higher. Knowing the maximum price you’re willing to pay will help you keep costs in check.

  • Track how many customers you acquire via PPC, what product category they purchase, and how much they spend. So say you have acquired 300 new football shoe customers and they collectively spent £39,440. The average spending is £132.
  • Next, find the average profit per football shoe customer. If, for instance, your profit margin is 10 percent for shoes, you simply multiple £132 (your average spend) x .10(the profit margin). The average profit is £13.2.
  • Now, track how many clicks it took to acquire your 300 new customers. Let’s say it took 6000 clicks. We divide 6000 by 300. This results in 20. So it takes 20 clicks per month to generate one conversion.
  • One customer is worth £13.2 over 12 months. Divide £13.2 by the number of clicks required for a conversion, or 20. This is £0.66.

£0.66 is your maximum bid. When you can secure keywords at a lower rate, you can make a profit. These numbers are completely arbitrary and serve only to walk you through the calculation. Plug in your own figures and see what you can come up with to guide your bidding decisions.

Internet's universe...There are thousands of devices on which people browse the web. Can they access and view your site, regardless of whether they are on a laptop, an iPhone 5 or a Galaxy S4 Mini? That’s the question. As we turn to our devices more and more, we need sites that respond and provide optimal experiences. Responsive web design allows us to do that. A site will respond as effectively to our 4 inch phone screen as it does to our 15 inch desktop screen. Last time, we talked about fluid grids, one of the building blocks of responsive web design. Now we’ll turn out attention to media queries, another essential element of a responsive website.

To quickly recap, a fluid grid enables elements of a website to adjust proportionally to screen sizes. The second element is CSS3 media queries. These allow you to collect data from site visitors and use that to “respond” to CSS styles. It determines which style will be used based on the dimensions of the viewing device (among other criteria, such as resolution).

Let’s put this into action. Say we want to target tablets with a maximum screen resolution of 560 px (such as a tablet). Our media query would look like this:

<link rel=”stylesheet” media=”screen and (min-width:320px) and (max-width:480px)” href=”css/mobile.css” />

Or, if you are writing it directly in a stylesheet:

1 @media screen and (min-width:320px) and (max-width:480px){
3 /*Style Declarations For This Width Range */
5 }

Because you want your site to be responsive to a wide variety of devices, you will enable various pixel increments, such as 480, 600, 768, 992, and 1382. As with implementing fluid grids, there are tools that can help you develop media queries for responsive web design. These include:

  •  Bootstrap.
  • The Responsive Calculator.
  • Adapt.JS.
  • Rock Hammer.
  • Skeleton.

These tools make it easier to implement responsive web design.Fluid grids and media queries are central to this mission, and tools, like Bootstrap, offer a solution for building both into your website. Responsive web design ensures users can view your site regardless of device; if you’re not responsive, you need to get on it!

Broken ChainEvery website owner should applaud Google’s ongoing efforts to rid the world of spam, low-quality content, and poorly designed websites. Theoretically. In reality, though, some very good sites can get caught up in the search giant’s many algorithm updates. Because Google is the gateway to your website, getting knocked out of the SERPs can have a devastating effect. One area that Google is targeting with both algorithmic updates and manual penalties is links. Many people feel that the penalties imposed by Google are so severe that it is best to abandon your site and start over. That, too, can have negative effects. What can you do to reclaim your good name – and your good rank?

There are two types of link “penalty” that can impact your site:

  • Algorithmic. The Penguin Update targeted, among other things, link schemes. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team tweeted that “Certainly links are a primary area to monitor.” These penalties are delivered algorithmically. That is, they are not subjective.  Google’s algorithm reads signals, and, for whatever reason, your site is sending a signal that external links are “unnatural.”  Sites affected will experience a precipitous drop in traffic and ranking for formerly strong keywords.
  • Manual. These penalties are assessed by a human when it is believed that a site is trying to manipulate search rankings by creating unnatural links. Google sends a notice, beginning, “We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s webmaster guidelines.”

Let’s back up for a moment. If Penguin has affected your site, it is not a “penalty,” per se. Links are a ranking factor, and if Google’s bots detect “bad” links, it is factored into your rank. It can be factored quite heavily too! But there is good news. An algorithmic “penalty” is easier to overcome. Sites can conduct a thorough link audit and worked to remove poor-quality links. The Link Disavow tool can be a site-saver.

Here’s what you do:

  • After your link audit, use the Link Disavow tool to tell Google that specific links to your site should not be used to determine your ranking. It is like saying of the obnoxious guests at your party, “We don’t know those people; we don’t associate with them!”
  • Wait for Google to process your request. This is frustrating as it is just a waiting game now. According to Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineLand, “Even if you’ve cleaned up your links with disavow, you have to wait until the Penguin Update is run again before you’ll see an impact.”

Waiting is difficult, but if you have disavowed and/or cleaned troublesome links, you will start to see a change for the better.

What about manual penalties, you ask? That can be a trickier process. Anything involving humans tends to be more complicated, doesn’t it?  Look for our upcoming whitepaper on removing Google penalties for “unnatural links.” You do not have to go to the extreme of abandoning your site to reclaim your reputation with Google.

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Social Media Branding Tips

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