4 Cost-effective SEO tools by Logan Lenz

Which are the ones that are worth your time?

When it comes to anything that involves business, achieving the right amount of long term profits is the primary goal. Making some fast cash here and there is always a good thing, although they say that there’s no shortcut to success, yet it allow you to have a constant cash flow and peace of mind. SEO is the process of optimizing your website in the best possible way for a particular term. Using SEO tools can save your time and money. However, most of the tools are too expensive for the digital startups and the small business firms. So, if you’re a startup, here are some cost-effective SEO tools that can have a beneficial impact on your business.

1.      SERPS.com: This tool is available at a price of $48 per month and this is perhaps the dearest among the other tools mentioned in the list. Nevertheless, this is being mentioned first because it is used quite often. The most extraordinary feature of this tool is the SEO correlation testing feature. This is built to allow you to test the tactics and strategies that are actually enhancing your rankings and those that aren’t. The SERPS.com actually gets to the heart of what data marketing is all about. If you’re someone who has still not used tools to recognize and evaluate the connection between your attempts and consequences, you’re perhaps not utilizing the tools in the right manner.

2.      SheerSEO: This is yet another all-rounder tool available at various pricing options, ranging from $7 to $40 a month. This particular tool tracks search engine rankings and imports Google Analytics data. This SEO tools even includes an alarmingly large and helpful collections of tools in accordance with its price tag. Among them, one of the most noteworthy is the blog view request tool. That tool can be leveraged to create a message and send it to the bloggers, requesting them to review your site.

3.      Search Enabler: This is a tool that has its pro version available at $49 and the Starter version at $15. Although it doesn’t have any standout features, yet there are some well-acclaimed benefits. The web analysis tool audits your domain for errors and also looks for areas of improvement. The link analyzer tracks the links along with the links of three other competitors. This tool may lack Page Rank information but it allows you to discover anchor text and also amplify the spread of no-follow and do-follow links.

4.      UpCity: This is more of an educational resource and less of an SEO tool. All the small business organizations looking for doing SEO for themselves can reap benefits from this tool as it guides them through the entire process, assists them in selecting keywords and offers some of the nascent tracking features as well.

In a nutshell, you don’t require breaking your bank to place your safe hands on the best SEO tools. The above mentioned list comprises of the best price search engine marketing tools in the market. Purchase the one that is tailored to meet your needs. 

The 5 Best Ways to Start Your Digital Marketing Campaign by Logan Lenz

In this digital age, it seems obvious that digital marketing is the perfect way to market your business, and its use varies from best edge medical marketing to model railway marketing. Most people can use digital marketing in some way, but what is the best approach to it. After all, there are more ways to use the internet to market a company now than ever before. Here are the most popular ways to use marketing on the internet to encourage people to use your business.

Affiliate Marketing

A simple but effective way to market your company is to use another business to do it for you. Affiliate marketing allows you to advertise on another company’s website. This is a low cost way to start some digital marketing, though you will need to pay the host site a percentage of your profit in return for being allowed on their website. Depending on your affiliate, you could see a tremendous return, and could eventually even host others on your website.

SEO

SEO is an important part of any digital marketing strategy, but is not one that the customers actually meet face to face. SEO is the way that your business’ website will be found on an internet search. A good SEO strategy will see you rank highly, but without one, it is hit and miss as to whether you will be seen at all.

Social Media

Social media is a way to engage with customers to try and build a trust that will be passed on to other users through likes and links to your site. This is an ever expanding marketing opportunity, which is shown in the figures from Statista.com, which shows that 73% of the U.S. population has a social media profile. That is a huge potential customer base for any company.

Banner Advertising

Also known as Display advertising, this is a form of advertising that you will see every day on the sites you visit (even if you pay little attention). A graphic display is shown on a web page, email, or messaging application, and will simply sit there waiting to be clicked. The placing of these advertisements is vital, and that is why you will see adverts for travel insurance sitting on a webpage about skiing, or an advert for slimming pills on a dating page. More often a simple display, these adverts can also come in the form of audio or video clips or a short animation. Not only will they (hopefully) bring you new custom, they are also a great way for your business to become a more visible presence on the net

E-mail

E-mail marketing is a very hit and miss affair that needs a lot more research than you may imagine. Firstly, you will need a database of email addresses to work with, and though you may want to write your own marketing email, it will need to be constructed in such a way as to encourage reading rather than a quick delete. There is also the problem that people receive many emails these days, and that even those that circumvent the spam folder will be discarded without reading. However, this type of marketing does work, and is a brilliant way to encourage return business from customers you already have.

An eclectic approach to digital marketing is probably the best idea, and some of these ideas will be better suited to a specific need, such as marketing at low cost, than others. The truth is, you are probably better off consulting a specialist and taking it from there, but at least you can now go for your consultation with some digital marketing knowledge under your belt.

What Should You Do if Windows Restore Fails by Logan Lenz

If your Windows computer hasn't been working quite right, you may consider trying to use Windows System Restore to get things back to normal. Basically, System Restore will roll back your system files, as well as your registry information and your program files, to a prior state, before the computer started exhibiting problems. The process will also replace damaged or corrupt files to allow your computer to start running like new again.

But sometimes System Restore doesn't work as expected because of things like malware or viruses. What should you do if you receive error messages or the process doesn't actually fix the problems you're experiencing? Continue reading to learn more.

Choose a Different Restore Point

If the restore point that you used the first time you tried out System Restore didn't work for you, try an even earlier restore point to try to get away from the problem that's causing your computer to work slowly or incorrectly. You can also try out this technique if you're seeing an error message when you attempt to use System Restore. Just be sure that you choose a date prior to when you started experiencing problems with your computer.

Use Your Computer in Safe Mode

Another thing you can do is use Safe Mode to avoid background services that could prevent System Restore from working properly. This is important to know because certain applications, such as antivirus programs or other services that run in the background of your computer while it's on, could interfere with the System Restore process. For example, your antivirus program might be attempting to protect system files from System Restore's replacement strategy. But if you boot your computer up in Safe Mode, Windows won't load third-party drivers or startup applications that would otherwise prevent System Restore from doing its job.

Try Reinstalling Windows

Another technique you can try when all else fails is completely reinstalling Windows. Start by backing up all of the data that's on your computer, as everything will be wiped from your hard drive during the reinstallation process.

Once you've backed up your data, you can try activating a recovery partition by simply pressing a specific key when you're booting up your computer. Your manual will tell you what key to press, and it will also provide you with other important instructions.

In the event that your computer doesn't have restore partitions, you'll need to use your restore discs instead, so simply pop these into the disc drive, restart your computer, and follow any prompts that appear.

If you've upgraded Windows or installed it yourself, use the installer disc to restart your computer and reinstall the operating system.

Before doing anything to get your computer running back to normal, including performing a System Restore, remember to back up all of your data. It's also a good idea to check out the recovery products from companies like starxsoft.com so you can recover files, such as photos, that would otherwise be damaged or lost. Once you get the hang of navigating System Restore, your computer should be repaired in no time.

Web Design Tips That Are Useful For Startups by Logan Lenz

There are so many start-ups that appeared in the past few months and most of the modern companies that appear will need some sort of online presence. It is quite important to end up with a site that looks exactly as you want it and that would highlight the core values that a start-up has at the moment when it is launched. Unfortunately, in an attempt to come up with something great, companies end up working with designers that do not know much about start-up Sydney web design. You do need to think about some facts when you create a site for your new start-up. The tips below can help you out.

The User Interface Needs To Be Simple

Although counter-intuitive for many, the site of a start-up needs to be really simple. That is especially the case when referring to the interface that the user sees/uses. All the features that the visitors want should be included like navigation icon, logo and functionality. More focus has to be put on:

  • Headlines need to always be visible and larger as this is the most important thing for the visitor.
  • Always avoid a sign-up process as much as possible or any forced action that would be too time-consuming.

Focus On 2 Brand Colors

So many start-up sites out there are built around too many colors. This is a huge mistake. Take a look at the really popular brand sites like Twitter and Facebook. You will quickly figure out the fact that the entire site is basically made out of various shades of one color. This is something that makes the site highly attractive. The same strategy should be used by the start-up site designer so that no distraction would appear for the user.

Consistent Font Use

Font consistency is much more important than what you may believe at the moment. Every single professional out there will tell you that you need to be careful and that you should never use too many fonts. When you do that, the site ends up looking dirty and inconsistent. Content appearance should be clean and consistent. You can do this by being highly consistent in the fonts that you use for the start-up website.

All Content Has To Be Readable

In an attempt to make everything more attractive, the site can end up with content that is not at all readable. That is something that you have to avoid at all costs. For instance, using light blue writing on a white background is not a good idea even if you use light blue in your company logo. Always categorize content with the use of bullet points, sub-headlines and headlines.

Experiment

It is important that you do not start your online experience with just one site version. You can always test different dashboard interfaces and landing pages. If you are always focused on main home page content it will bring in great results but do experiment so that you can see what works and what does not work. 

SEO and Web Design: Two Sides of the Same Coin by Logan Lenz

Technology is advancing and the way users interact with the Internet continues to change, which continually redefines user best practices. As the years bring further advances in web design, we can expect more options. As at now, there are three top design trends: HTML5, responsive design and parallax design.

Each design pattern comes with its upsides and downsides, but the matter of greatest concern focuses on level of accessibility and effect of new site architecture. You probably know by now that designs that work are those implemented with the end user in mind – these also enhance SEO rankings.

This article works the greater details of considering the SEO and the end user even while implementing otherwise technical aspects of the website. These include practical steps for SEOs to consider when implementing design techniques in order to provide the best user experience.

Parallax design

This involves placing all content of a website in a single continuous page. It is great in elevating the story-telling aspect of a business’s story. Parallax design leads to some improvement in the conversion rates mostly because website interaction becomes easier for the end user.

However, parallax introduces unique challenges to SEO professionals. Essentially, all you have to work with is a single page in an entire website. This makes it harder to take advantage of a variety of search terms and apply the most common SEO practices known to increase traffic. You can overcome this by implementing parallax design to a smaller extent – so that there are multiple pages, or incorporating a few parallax-designed pages into your official site structure.

Responsive design

Undoubtedly, Google’s favorite, responsive design makes a website accessible across multiple devices and introduces a host of user advantages since the website optimizes automatically for the size of screen on which the website accessed.

Apart from benefits related to user experience, responsive design does not interfere with the main SEO capabilities of a website. For instance, having a single URL for the mobile and desktop sites helps you to take advantage of increased inbound link equity.

This means that your back link profile would perform better, now that you don’t have to drive links to two different URLs that are essentially the same. However, the single URL could limit your abilities with regard to keyword targeting, especially where there is a different set for desktop and mobile searches.

HTML5

This came latest and exploded as the ‘next big thing’ in the world of web design, but its implementation presents unique SEO challenges. Designs in HTML5 are interactive, inspirational and all-round amazing, but unless the coding is done very carefully, Google would be able to read nothing in the site.

Another challenge of HTML5 is that most of its aesthetically pleasing elements require extensive use of JavaScript, which search engine crawlers have trouble deciphering. However, users can circumvent this by having static content for bots to crawl and give the site its appropriate index in SERPs. This however is something that many SEO specialists neglect to ensure.

Sometimes less is more

In a world where content is king, it can be difficult to fathom circumstances in which it’s better to have less content. Sometimes, though, you need to provide consumers with fewer choices to enable them reach decisions faster. The same applies to web design and SEO techniques.

For instance, providing an abundance of choice in form of menus and submenus may cause the audience to disconnect from being too overwhelmed to make meaningful decisions. Rather, offer a few of the most important menu items and necessary submenu items, which effectively guide users to the right choices. This contributes to both better web design and SEO.

Google implemented a few changes, including the Hummingbird update, which means that having too many topic-based subcategories could be worse for SEO. This goes against the grain of past SEO best practices, since more content provides more chances for optimization hence ranking. However, today, it’s time to establish a balance and determine whether your audience is better off with less content.

The cognitive dissonance theory in web design

This theory postulates that people have the drive to create consistency and hence control through the reduction of dissonance between expectations and reality. Where they are unable to do this effectively, users are simply likely to shun that which they feel they have no control over.

In web design, having a website that is not easily navigable or one with too many options can make a user leave rather than attempt to make sense of the overly complex environment. For the best web experience and hence better SEO, user experience as well as their data needs should drive web design decisions.

SEO professional should also be keen to ensure that cognitive dissonance does not occur during keyword optimization for landing pages. Choose keywords according to those that would match the user expectations for the landing page.

Both users and professionals stand to benefit from the implementation of webpages/sites that do not overwhelm or under-deliver to users.

Author bio

Michael Bentos is an experienced digital marketer and part of the team at ParadoxSEO.com - the powerful platform that makes SEO simple. He has been practicing SEO UK for more than a decade now. You can connect him via linked-in.

Can You Damage Your Competitor By Getting Them ‘Bad Neighborhood Links’? by Logan Lenz

Negative SEO is the process of actively trying to ruin your competitors’ rankings, and you can do this in several ways. The most common though is sending paid, spammy links their way. Of course, this practice is one you do not want to engage in, but it’s important to be knowledgeable just in case someone launches such an attack against your site. After all, not everyone practices white-hat SEO.

Suppose you wanted to ruin your competitor’s link profile by getting an automated service to send them 10,000 links to some dubious low-authority blogs in Russia for instance. How would this action affect your competitor? How would it affect you if your competitor tried to do the same for you? This article will cover the incidence of main competitor spamming, why it isn’t very prevalent as well as how site owners can protect themselves.

Paid links as a weapon

The short answer to whether a business can use paid links to ruin a competitor is ‘almost never’. However, nothing in the world of SEO is as simple as that. While Google cannot yet perfectly identify spamming, it’s extremely difficult to bring down white hat, high ranking sites on SERPs.

Google has an almost perfect algorithm when it comes to deciphering link intent. While we may not know exactly how, it’s conceivable that the online footprint of site owners/webmasters who buy links to boost their link profiles and ranking are significantly different from sites that have competitors directing spammy links at them. These patterns are evident in search/usage behavior as well as link footprints on sites belonging to the same owners.

White-hat sites that are almost immune to spamming include sites whose content is original and owner-generated, they are relevant for users, have editorial links as the main source of external links and generally have no signs of dubious link-building attempts. Conversely, sites with unoriginal content that is clearly intended for SEO and not users, sites with low quality and/or paid links as a result of poor linking practices are not as protected from competitor link spamming.

As with all Google algorithms, nothing can be said for sure. However, evidence points to the fact that Google evaluates a series of factors to assign link intent. In fact, there are less than five verifiable instances of Google-bowling (pointing bad links to a site to make it drop in rankings) in the last decade.

Why Google-bowling may not work

Many SEO professionals have suggested that Google allows sites to achieve a specific “bar of trust” over time. Once achieved, any negative links would be devalued, but would not result in ranking decline or penalties. There’s no clear evidence for it, but it would explain why Google-bowling doesn’t work over 99% of the time.

Site owners who involve themselves in this practice will only end up losing money. In addition, such a strategy would likely work against site rankings for targeted keywords, instead of harming sites that have worked their way to SERP top results using white-hat SEO.

How you can defend yourself

There’s no real way to prevent a competitor from targeting your site; you cannot control someone else’s actions. However, the best line of defense may be to ensure your own techniques are above reproach. This means no outright black-hat SEO, treading lightly with gray-hat techniques and of course don’t launch negative campaigns on your competition, especially because this does little more than to enrich spammers.

Many site owners, SEO professionals and webmasters are worried about having spammy links directed at their sites. Almost every site on the web has been targeted in this way at one point or other. That being said, it’s still important to keep an eye on your link profile, especially if you have had a history of unnatural link building in the past.

If you notice questionable but well-optimized links from scrapper sites offering pharmaceutical, legal, real estate or financial products and services, don’t panic. The very fact that you exist means that you’ll attract such links, and search engines won’t be so quick to punish you, even if you’re still a newbie.

Red flags are only raised when your own link acquisition and growth marketing techniques are seem like they’re made up of a deliberate, incentive-based link network i.e. well optimized anchor text, links from sidebars and footers which have irrelevant content but optimized anchor tests directed at internal site pages.

In this case, you want to create and submit a detailed spam report using your site’s verified Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) account. Make it absolutely clear that you are not in any way connected to such links, so that Google does not assume you generated, paid for or otherwise endorsed such links. However, you will seldom need to do this, unless you lean towards the more cautious side.

Should I launch a paid link campaign against my competitors?

Obviously not, the money will be far better spent on your preferred charity. However, such a campaign will more likely help your competitor than hurt them, since it triggers a kind of protective shield by Google around them.

Instead of proactively trying to bring another site down, invest towards improving your own site using white-hat techniques like public relations, editorial content and social media efforts among others.

Where rubber meets the road, unless you have had link penalties as a result of unnatural link-building yourself, there’s nothing to fear from negative SEO. 

Why the Need for Web Development by Logan Lenz

The online world has literally changed the face of marketing system. You can now advertise and sell your products over the internet and also gain feedback from the clients. However, the competition is just too high. The website representing your company should consist of varied features such as RSS feeds, mailing list subscription, and search tools and so on. This is where web development steps in as a perfect guide in communicating the brand value of your business with the help of specialized software tools.

The software tools also known as scripts are of two types-

·         Server-side scripts- These tools are implemented on the computer where the website is located.  The most widespread web development technologies for server-side scripting include Perl, ASP.NET and PHP.

·         Client-side scripts- Such scripts are executed on the customer’s computer only when the page is fully loaded from the server. A special feature here is that there is no requirement for extra page refreshment.  These tools are developed with the aid of advanced application frameworks such as Adobe Flash, VBScript, JavaScript, SilverLight and so on.

A number of web development companies have come up over the past few years. You really need to choose the best provider in order to ensure apt and smooth functioning of your website. How can this be done? Simply follow the steps as mentioned below

1.      Research- First and foremost it is essential to gain considerable amount of knowledge about the varied IT companies. Here, you need to know about the history of the companies and find answers to important questions- What kind of clients they have dealt with? What are the packages on offer? Do they provide special services? What about the costing?

2.      Hire the services of an expert- Once you have selected the right company after thorough research, you need to make sure that the most efficient web designer is recruited for completion of your task. Only an experienced designer will understand your particular requirements and thus, bring necessary changes on to your website. Such fruitful changes become appealing to the viewers of your website.

3.      Continuous interaction- it is equally important to be in constant touch with your service provider. You need to engage in a healthy conversation and enquire about the total staff of the company, the overall pricing system and most importantly, the deadlines.

4.      Updated software- When it comes to web development services software, different providers uses different software platforms. You need to make sure that your provider is using the latest software.

Simply go though these 4 easy and efficient steps and you will definitely catch hold of the best web development company. The services provided by the professionals are of high quality and you get the best results within the deadline. Moreover, your website starts receiving traffic and search engine listings within a short period of time that too in the most effective manner. So what are you waiting for? Grab hold of the best service provider today and expand your market reach. 

How To Keep Fans Following Your Page by Logan Lenz

As the online presence has become a necessity for businesses to keep up in the ever-changing technological world, more and more companies are creating social media pages and blogs to share content with their followers. With so many online presences, it is often hard to keep fans engaged with your content. You can find everything about content marketing and how to keep fans involved below.

Photos First

Fans always engage more with visually appealing content, so make sure to include photos on most, if not all, of your posts. It also helps to catch the eyes of potential followers, while a paragraph of text can seem overwhelming and may deter new fans. When you add new images, be sure to optimize them for the social media site where you plan to use them so they will be easy to view in both web and mobile versions of the site. Be sure to upload photos directly instead of linking to them since larger photos get more likes and shares.

Ask Questions

Instead of posting a statement, end your post with a question that will help engage your fans. You may ask about a favorite memory with a product, such as when Skittles asked fans to share the first time they ever opened a pack. Skittles received over 5000 responses to this question. A few tips that can help improve the responses include keeping questions simple and relating them to lifestyles of people who might use your product. You can also peruse your other posts to look for topics of conversation that might lend question ideas.

Share Content of Fans

When it comes to social media, people love to see their own content shared on the page of their favorite brand. With their permission, use photos that fans enter in your contests or captions created by followers on your page. You can also cross-promote these real-life examples on other social media sites to help more people see the new posts. When you engage a fan on your corporate page, you can open the door to creating a lifelong fan.

Request Feedback 

One of the most common ways to ask for feedback on a specific issue is to offer a “like or share” option. For example, Walmart recently shared a post that requested fans like the photo if they planned to ride a bike to work, or share it if they plan to participate in a carpool to lessen their environmental impacts. This can help provoke thoughts with your fans and help keep them engaged when they vote. It also is an easy way to get a large number of people to share your post.

Hashtags

flickr.jpg

Image via Flickr by Ron Mader

Hashtags are the newest way to group content and allow users to search. Use common terms that make it easier for fans to find specific posts they want to read or share. You can also search for hashtags that your fans use to describe your product or service, then use those hashtags to keep the conversation alive.

Online and social media marketing are great tools to build brand awareness without having to spend a lot of money.