4 Indirect Ways to Improve Your Search Rankings


I know you want it…


More organic search traffic.


Who doesn’t want free, high quality traffic, that comes in month after month?


That’s why SEO is such a big deal and one of the main topics I focus on-here, on Quick Sprout.


I believe that most marketers should be dedicating a significant portion of their time and resources towards SEO.


There are many things you can do that have a direct impact on your search traffic.


However, there is more to marketing than just SEO, and you probably know that.


The thing is, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.


Just because some of your marketing isn’t specifically done to improve search traffic, that doesn’t mean that it can’t.


And this type of situation is more common than you might think.


In this post, I’ll go over four ways that can indirectly improve your search rankings.


This means that the primary benefit of these marketing techniques is not to improve search traffic, but there’s a good chance that, if done right, they might help you with your search traffic too. 


1. Following up with customers leads to extra benefits


This is a great place to start because there doesn’t seem to be an obvious connection to SEO.


But I assure you there is.


Getting feedback from your customers is always a great idea, but it can eat up a lot of time.


Some businesses figure they don’t have the resources to follow up continuously with customers and would rather dedicate them all to sales/marketing channels such as SEO.


However, if you get customer feedback and use it correctly, it can lead to some great backlinks in a few different ways.


Here’s the simple 2-step process you’ll need to follow:


Step #1 – Contact customers immediately after the sale: You have very few opportunities to open up communication with customers without annoying them.


After the sale is one of them.


Once someone purchases something from you, they’re usually excited to hear from you and possibly want reassurance that everything went well.


Send them an email that confirms their order and lets them know whom to contact if they need help.


Step #2 – Follow up after they’ve had time to use your product: The more important part, when it comes to potential SEO benefits, is to follow up with customers again.


Once they’ve used the product, they can tell you if they’ve had any problems or complaints. This is the main reason why you’d want to follow up-these issues are important to address if you want to retain happy customers.


In addition, ask for their feedback on their experience.


If someone says that they’re thrilled, that’s great. Then you should ask them to share their experience with others. Since they enjoyed your product or service so much, you’ll get a high percentage of these customers willing to help you out.


You have a few options that can help with SEO.


If you’d like to ask for a simple favor, ask them to leave a review on a big review site in your niche. For most niches, this will include sites such as Yelp and Yellow Pages.


Let’s look at an example of a search for a carpenter in New York:




The top result is a Yelp business page, while the second result is Yelp’s internal search results for carpenters (another search listings page).


The second is most interesting here:




This page orders businesses based on several factors, e.g., the number of reviews they have and how positive the reviews are (in addition to price).


As long as you fall into the default filters, the more good reviews you have, the higher your profile will appear.


Why does this matter for SEO?


Because the more prominent (higher) a link is on a page, the more weight it has.


This page has a lot of search engine authority (that’s why it can rank at #2), and it passes that authority mostly to the top profiles that it links to.


Those profiles all have links back to their corresponding websites, which, of course, improves those websites’ search authority.


Not only will reviews get you more direct business on these review sites, but that extra link power can help your rankings in search engines. Not by a ton, but by enough that you will notice it after a while.


The second option, which is best for high priced products, is to create a case study of the results your customer got.


Brian Dean at Backlinko does it all the time, both for his readers and actual customers:




Case studies are typically really easy to promote, and they can get a ton of traffic and links.


I’ve created an extensive guide to creating effective case studies that you should read if you take this approach.


2. Get out of your shell and go to events


Just about every industry has several conferences throughout the year. No doubt you can find a few local events to attend if you wanted to.


Now, conferences can be a huge waste of time, but they can also be incredibly valuable.


Obviously, you go primarily to learn, but a huge secondary result can be the relationships you come back with.


Events are a great way to meet other people in your industry and explore opportunities to work together.


But guess what else happens?


When you email them down the line, asking them to check out your latest piece of content, most will be happy to read it and give feedback.


What’s even better is that if they have a chance to link to it within their own content, they usually do. These links can have a big impact on your search rankings if you make several connections per event.


Finally, even if your connections don’t manage their content, they can introduce you to the content manager for their business. You can explore collaboration opportunities or offer to create guest posts for them (which will give you more links to your site).


All of these potential benefits are important if you have to convince your boss that it’s worth sending you to conferences.


Finding conferences is easy: I won’t spend much time on this, but I’ll show you quickly how to find conferences.


Start by Googling:


(industry) conferences (year)


You could also try “events” instead of conferences:




Typically, you’ll find a roundup of all the best events, often multiple.


Each of these results will give you a listing of events, separated by date, location, and audience:




I recommend going through more than one list so that you don’t miss any good ones.


Remember that conferences can be either worthless or extremely valuable. The difference depends on how you spend your time at them.


That’s why I wrote the Beginner’s Guide to Conferences in the past. Give it a quick read.


3. Hire the best help you can get


If you’re truly creating “epic” content, chances are that you’re not doing everything on your own.


In most cases, you’re hiring freelance writers and designers to help fill in any gaps in your skillset.


Obviously, if you’re hiring the best freelancers you can afford, it’s because you primarily want to create great content.


That kind of content is the easiest to get to rank.


However, the very act of hiring freelancers will make it easier.


Let me explain…


Type #1 – Writers: Whether you hire a freelancer or offer them an attractive opportunity to collaborate, these relationships will often get you some extra high-quality backlinks.


A good set of examples are my ultimate guides (sidebar of Quick Sprout). For these guides, I teamed up with experts in each of the subjects.


I had some help from Kathryn Aragon writing The Advanced Guide to Content Marketing, for example:




When someone helps create a piece of content of that quality, they, of course, want to show it off.




By talking about it and linking to it.


It makes them look great to say they wrote or co-wrote an amazing piece of content.


Because of this, I didn’t have to ask Kathryn to link to the guide; she’s mentioned it dozens of times in her posts on other sites and social media (linking to it most of the time):




Essentially, your writer will help you with the content promotion.


Type #2 – Designers: More commonly, marketers hire freelance designers to help create images for content.


The exact same principle applies here:


If you hire a freelancer to create something great, they will want to show it off in their portfolio, leading to great backlinks for your content.


Continuing with the example of my guides, I needed professional help to design them.


My designer had accounts on sites such as Behance and Dribbble, both of which are authoritative sites in the design niche.


Of course, they shared the images with links to those guides:




Those links are the indirect benefit of working with great freelancers.


4. User experience optimization is a great use of your time


Creating a great user experience on your site and with your products is valuable for many reasons.


Typically, the main motivation for working on improving your users’ experience has to do with the conversion rate. It’s a good reason.


What most don’t consider is that this often inadvertently plays a big role in improving search rankings.


There are a few reasons why, but most applicable here is the concept of pogo sticking.




Basically, if a Google user clicks on your page but then goes right back to the search results for another, it indicates to Google that your content didn’t satisfy the user.


Conversely, if most users stop on your page, you did a good job and are rewarded with better search rankings.


If you improve the user experience of your website, you’ll usually end up increasing the number of visitors that you fully satisfy, decreasing pogo sticking. This can indirectly improve your rankings.


User experience is extremely complicated, but there are three common factors we can focus on and look at the ways they affect pogo sticking.


Factor #1 – page load speed: Studies have shown that people will not wait for pages to load.




Even a fraction of a second can affect 5-10% of people who will leave before they even see your content.


Ideally, you want your pages to load in less than 2 seconds.


You can test page load speed by using the Quick Sprout tool or a tool such as GTmetrix.




Improving page load speed will have a huge effect on pogo sticking, but it’s also a direct ranking factor confirmed by Google.


It’s not a huge one, but factoring both of these aspects together, speed can make a big difference in rankings.


Searchmetrics found a huge correlation between a quick load time and the top Google positions:




Factor #2 – clutter: One thing that makes a big difference in user experience is the amount of clutter on the page.


Most people are looking for one specific thing, so everything that’s unrelated on the page only serves as a distraction.




Compare that to a site like Medium, where the content is essentially the only thing on the page:




It’s no surprise that Medium posts rank well in Google. When a user clicks through, they easily find exactly what they’re looking for, leading to less pogo sticking.


Try to declutter your layouts as much as possible, taking out anything that your visitors don’t need to see.


Factor #3 – site architecture: Site architecture refers to the way all the different pages of your website are organized in relation to each other.


For our purposes, good site architecture essentially means you have organized internal linking.


Here’s what a good structure looks like:




Everything is organized into topical silos.


When search engines crawl the site, it will be easier for them to determine the relevancy of your pages, which often leads to better rankings.




By all means, you should spend a lot of time and resources directly on SEO.


However, you can still focus on other areas of your business while also getting SEO benefits.


I’ve shown you four great business practices that accomplish valuable things plus give you indirect improvements to your search rankings.


I encourage you to incorporate as many of these as you can, without fearing that you’re neglecting your SEO work.


If you have any questions about the subject of this post, let me know in a comment below.




from Quick Sprout https://www.quicksprout.com/2016/03/30/4-indirect-ways-to-improve-your-search-rankings/


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Filed under: Digital Marketing Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Online Strategy, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO Strategy, SEO Tips


Here’s how March Madness has played out on Twitter so far



It all led up to this: The Final Four is Saturday, the national championship is Monday night, and by Tuesday morning, another March Madness will be in the books.


But we before we look ahead, let’s look backTwitter gave Mashable an early look at some of the most popular moments of the 2016 NCAA Tournament so far. From buzzer-beating shots to Final Four fans, they’re a fun way to relive a pair of action-packed weekends. 


Twitter (the company) says these were the four most-viewed video tweets by the @marchmadness account on Twitter (the social network) during the tournament so far.  Read more…


More about Social Media, Basketball, Entertainment, Twitter, and March Madness



Quora’s first acquisition is Arab Spring instigator’s Q&A site Parlio

Parlio “Ex-con” isn’t normally something you find on a founder’s resume. But Google employee Wael Ghonim went to jail for sparking the Egyptian Revolution. Now he might be wearing some golden handcuffs instead, as his startup Parlio just became Quora’s first acquisition.


Parlio’s goal was to spread knowledge – a similar objective to Quora. But rather than… Read More

Discount store to withdraw scales after being branded ‘pro-anorexia’



LONDON – British bargain shop B&M Bargains has said it will urge a supplier to remove a slogan after sets of “novelty” weighing scales were branded pro-anorexic on Facebook.


The scales – which contain the slogan “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” – were spotted by Rachel May Shevlin, who posted a photo of the offending product and called on people to complain.


Her post gained more than 5,000 likes and 2,000 shares, prompting B&M Bargains to respond to mounting pressure.


“How lovely to see the phrase I said to my teenage/young adult self that also led to me calling myself a ‘fat, disgusting waste of oxygen’ often before self-harming just because I had dinner, sold in their shops ON FRICKIN SCALES so other impressionable young minds can suffer the same self hatred,” wrote Shevlin on Facebook.  Read more…


More about Uk, Social Media, Fitness, Health, and Lifestyle



Truly Awesome Tactics to Gain Traffic from Twitter

Posted by nikkielizabethdemere


Here’s a crazy statistic. On average, Twitter sees 500 million tweets per day. Out of all of the interactions people have with these tweets, 92% of them involve clicking links.


For some of us, getting in on that action feels as easy as chatting with a barista at the local coffee shop. For others, getting website traffic from Twitter may as well be alchemy. That’s okay, since it actually is possible to turn Tweets into gold. I promise.




If your target audience is on Twitter – this is the primary caveat – Twitter marketing is the best way to increase targeted traffic to your website.


The. Best. I don’t use those words lightly. There are two reasons: 1) Twitter attracts almost everybody, which makes finding a large audience for your niche (however small it is) easy; and 2) Twitter, along with helpful tools like Tribeboost, can help you find people in your audience.


The secondary caveat is this: Twitter marketing only works if you use Twitter the right way. It’s amazing to me that people are still Tweeting about what they ate for lunch in 2016. Sometimes those posts are fun, too – don’t get me wrong – but you can do better.


Reviewing the basics


First, let’s review the basics of how Twitter works within the context of your overall content marketing strategy.




Twitter, like all social media platforms, amplifies the high quality content you create for your site. I confess, the above image is overly simplistic. After all, your content isn’t limited to blog posts. Those are part of a larger strategy where blog posts support high-value offerings like ebooks and webinars. My point is this: It all starts with strong content.


Here’s a secret: Not all of the content you post on Twitter has to be your own. In fact, it shouldn’t be.


My personal strategy is to share the best of the best of everything I read and see around the web. Sometimes that’s my own content. Often, it’s someone else’s. But before we get into why this practice works, let’s discuss two fundamental tools that are going to make this all so much easier: Tribeboost and Buffer.


Twitter marketing made easier


I use Tribeboost (paid tool) and Buffer myself and recommend them to everyone, even though they can cost a little money. The benefits far outweigh the costs, even for startups and small businesses.


Tribeboost uses keywords chosen by you to find your niche audience on Twitter using keywords, mentions, and hashtags. Then they narrow down that list based on user biography, location, and influence. Tribeboost automatically sets your account to follow the cream of the crop. Because these people are carefully selected, the follow-back rate is relatively high.


Of course, you could spend hours using Twitter’s search feature to find these people yourself, but is that really how you want to spend your time? I love Twitter, but I’d rather use that time to find high-value content to share with my followers and chat about it with them.


Buffer is a social media scheduling tool that lets you bank your curated content ahead of time, then automatically deploys it at peak times. Just don’t bank time-sensitive posts, though, or you could find yourself celebrating a beautiful, sunny day in the middle of a hurricane.


Note: Buffer recently acquired Respondly, a social media customer service tool, sweetening the deal for businesses looking to delight their customers in real time.


Having the right tools is surely helpful, but there is no guarantee that they will ultimately boost traffic from Twitter to your site. Implementing the following Twitter marketing tactics, however, will ensure your tweets drive more traffic to your site.


Tactic #1: Be visual


So many businesses fail to take full advantage of posting images. When you want to generate traffic, settling for stock photography is a mistake. Everybody does it, which means you won’t be able to catch anyone’s attention. The right image is not only worth a thousand words, it’s well worth a thousand page views – but only if it’s fresh, informative, and intriguing. You’ll gain far more shares if you use your image to illustrate a how-to post or to tell a story. Try using Picmonkey or Piktochart to make an infographic, or Visage to create a thought-provoking graph.


Tactic #2: Be authentic


Don’t simply share and retweet the same content everyone else is sharing. You’ll never build traffic to your site that way, and you certainly won’t build a reputation for innovative thinking. Share content that is unique and that truly represents your values and interests. That way, you’ll connect with others who share your values and interests. They’ll become your biggest fans.


Tactic #3: Be direct


You want shares? You want links? You want people to read your latest post because it’s the best thing you’ve written this year? Then it’s okay to ask, just not all the time. You’ll be amazed at how many people are willing to show their appreciation of your work by sharing it (but only if you ask them to nicely).


Tactic #4: Pique curiosity


Use Twitter to build up to the release of your latest ebook or that amazing cornerstone piece of content. But don’t just Tweet teasers that something is coming. Use this as an exercise in benefits-driven copy.


For instance, I love this benefits statement I saw for an upcoming ebook: “How would you like to be collected, amused, and tough, even when jerky people hurt your feelings?” I’d want to buy that ebook, wouldn’t you?


Tactic #5: Go minimalistic


Less is more, and on Twitter, fewer characters translate to more interactions. Tweets under 100 characters have a 21% higher interaction rate.


Tactic #6: Use storytelling


You might only have 140 characters and a kick-ass image, but you can do a lot that in terms of storytelling.




Spend time making every character count. If you want to motivate people to leave Twitter to visit your blog, then you’ll have to lure them there with a compelling headline.


Tactic #7: Tweet often


I schedule upwards of 30-50 tweets per day using Buffer, and I make sure each post is interesting and innovative. That’s my style; it may not be yours. Maybe your style is to chat with people. Maybe it’s to post jokes and funny memes. Whatever it is, post often, and post only your best.


Tactic #8: Share helpful, actionable content


This is the kind of content that gets shared. Joanna Wiebe is the master of this, with regular Tweets like “We assessed 100s of webinar invitations – use this to write your email invites: bit.ly/1oku5aP .” Her Twitter feed reads like a copywriter’s swipe file. It’s that useful and actionable.


Many businesses and entrepreneurs fear that they’ll “give it away for free” if they post their best material online, but this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Posting your hardest-won wisdom, your brightest ideas, and your very best tricks is how you win trust and build a reputation for your expertise. Posting fluff, on the other hand, is how you lose trust.


Also, If you get enough shares on Twitter, your article will likely be featured in Buzzsumo, Nuzzel, and Pocket – leading to even more shares.


Tactic #9: Make friends and share their content


I’ve made real friends on Twitter. I’ve met life-changing mentors on Twitter. I’ve even met quite a few clients on Twitter. That’s not accidental. I purposefully seek out people whose ideas I admire and then naturally share their content. When your admiration is sincere, chances are the people you admire will share your posts in return, introducing you to a whole new audience.






If there’s one overarching theme to using Twitter to effectively drive (targeted) traffic to your website, it’s this: Quality wins.


And quantity, too; but mostly quality. Just like any form of marketing, the object of the game is to connect with the right people and give them what they want. Twitter makes the first half of the equation easy. But that second part? The part that makes it all work? That’s up to you.


Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!



from Moz User Generated Blog https://moz.com/ugc/truly-awesome-tactics-to-gain-traffic-from-twitter


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Filed under: Digital Marketing Strategy, Marketing Strategy, Online Strategy, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, SEO Strategy, SEO Tips

A rant about why Snapchat 2.0 is no disappearing teen fad

Snapchat 2.0 Ignore Snapchat at your own peril. It’s a lot more than sexts and ephemeral photos. Today’s Chat 2.0 update makes Snapchat a competitor to your phone itself. What started as an app for horny high school kids has blossomed into the most vibrant communication platform on the market. Watch my video rant above to see why Snapchat suddenly got a lot more important, see a demo of the… Read More

Pinterest makes DIY easier with new How-to Pins



Pinterest is making moves to keep more people and brands on the site. The company introduced on Tuesday a new feature called How-to Pins, allowing companies to create and share pins with DIY instructions.


The feature, which is a new take on its existing Rich Pins feature for brands, populates step-by-step instructions right within a pin across various categories, including food, fitness, home projects and beauty.


However, regular users can’t make How-to Pins themselves and can only repost ones made by Pinterest’s brand partners


To launch the How-to Pin effort, Pinterest worked with more than 25 brands and organizations to provide how-to content for the site, such as Home Depot, Cosmopolitan, Delish and more. Read more…


More about Social Media, Pinterest, and Tech