Web Optimization

Creating Quality Content in 2019 (For Search Engines and People)

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Posted by jchamp86

Think back to the last question you typed into Google. Did you find a blog post on the search engine result page that attracted your attention? Did you find the content on the page helpful? Did the page offer a relevant next step to continue learning and engaging with your brand?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then the author who wrote this piece of content did their job very well: They created a piece of content that fulfilled your intent. In 2019, that’s what search engines like Google care about — solving for their searcher’s intent. 

Read on to learn how to solve for searcher intent to create successful, quality content that makes people (and Google) happy.

Effective content comes with a blueprint

Before we dive in, you may be asking yourself: “How do I solve for searcher intent?”

You can start by creating an experience for website visitors that tells a practical story. That story should educate and inspire them to make a transformation and put their interests and needs above your bottom line. Yes, you want to inform your visitors, but doing that alone is not enough. To really help them transform, you need to make their experience a meaningful one, and that means you need to help them apply what they’re learning. When done correctly this builds trust, and if someone trusts you they’re more likely to do business with you when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. This is effective content.

Luckily, all effective content like this has a blueprint. You may not easily see it, but it’s there, and it’s meant to help you, the reader, through your journey to making a well-informed, confident decision— whatever that decision may be.

When getting started with creating blog content, you want readers to easily comprehend what it is you’re trying to tell them. If your content is too complicated and unengaging, then chances are readers will abandon it and go elsewhere. There are thousands of blog posts being published every minute, so it’s safe to say you’re not the only resource out there competing for attention.

Let’s review 10 tips that will help you start drafting a successful blueprint for your next blog post.

1. Choose a topic to write about

At a high level, write educational content.

I’m not saying you can’t write about your business when it makes sense, but in order to attract someone to your blog, you need to answer the questions and problems that they’re searching for answers to. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience (aka buyer personas):

What will they be searching for? What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them?

Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you’re coming up with a topic for your blog post.

And when it comes to a topic, make sure to write about your industry, not yourself. Remember, you’re trying to attract strangers to your blog who have never heard of your company before — so they’re not going to find you through search engines if you’re just blogging about yourself. You have the rest of your website to provide that information.

If you’re looking for a place to start with creating content that’ll positively impact your audience, then ask your co-workers from other teams like sales and services for some ideas. Here are a few questions that you could ask and they could answer:

What are the most frequently asked questions you hear? What do our prospects and customers need help with? What do you wish people knew about our industry? What are industry bloggers, social media, and even our competitors talking about?

Before you write anything, you need to pick a topic to write about. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you provide running shoes, then it might be a good idea to write about the topic of running. Expand off of this topic — in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to “best running shoes for marathons” or “lifetime of running shoes.”


2. Do keyword research

Keywords are the words and phrases typed into search engines. They’re the topics that people are trying to learn more about. Which keywords do your buyer personas use? Which are associated with your industry?

If you’re looking for a place to get started when doing keyword research, then check out Moz’s Keyword Explorer. Keyword Explorer is a time-saving keyword research tool that helps you find profitable keywords and organize work.

Optimizing your blog posts for keywords is not about incorporating as many keywords into your posts as possible. Nowadays, this actually hurts your search engine optimization because search engines consider this keyword stuffing.

Mention your keyword at a normal cadence throughout the body of your post and in the headers when it makes sense. That means including your keywords in your copy but only in a natural, reader-friendly way. Don’t go overboard, though, at the risk of being penalized for keyword stuffing.

Whenever you create content, your priority should be to educate and inspire your audience, not how many times you can include a specific keyword on the page. Instead of writing the same words over and over, write synonyms of it to keep it fresh and readable. For example, digital nomad is a topic I write about often, but instead of repeating that keyword, I change it up with synonyms like “remote worker.”


3. Form a long-tail keyword

A good rule of thumb is to focus on one long-tail keyword per blog post. A long-tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that contains three or more words. It often contains a head term, which is a more generic search term, one or two words in length. The head terms you choose should align with the topics that you want your business and website to be known for and build authority around. For example, if you want your business to be known for SEO terminology like “featured snippets,” then a blog post on “How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets” is a great example of a long-tail keyword in support of this topic.

And why should you focus on long-tail keywords for blog post titles? These longer, often question-based keywords keep your post focused on the specific goals of your audience. Website visitors searching long-tail terms are more likely to read the whole post, and then seek more information from you. In other words, you’ll attract the right type of traffic to your website.

If you’re brainstorming ideas to write about, there’s a good chance you’ll create a long list of ideas for topics you can cover and posts you can create. This will help create a longer-term blogging strategy, making a list of topics that support a specific conversion. For example, if you have an ebook or guide that you want to create and promote, then consider making a list of blog ideas that support this guide’s content. This way, if someone finds your blog post and finds the content helpful, that increases the chances of them wanting to click a call-to-action, aka CTA, to access a relevant offer.

If you’re looking for assistance with blog ideas, then check out HubSpot’s blog ideas generator. This free tool will help jump-start your creative process.

4. Expand long-tail keyword into a working title

Think about how you read things online. You read the title first before you commit. It needs to catch your interest, especially since it’s the first thing that will catch a reader’s attention.

Start by creating a working title for your blog post.

A working title is something to “work” off of as you begin to write your post. Start here to narrow your topic down and focus on one angle. A broad term, like “social media,” could breed multiple blog post ideas. A working title, like “top social media channels for live video in 2019” is now long-tail and specific.

Once you finish the piece, you’ll come back to this title and refine it to be more aligned with the direction you ended up taking in the post.

For almost every piece of content, come up with at least 5–10 different titles. Make it a rule that you spend a minimum of five minutes of brainstorming titles. And once you make a list, send to a co-worker to get their opinion.

Also, make the value of the post clear in the title. Your title should help readers and search engines understand what your post is about. Set the right expectations — what is the reader going to get out of your blog post? What information is covered? What format is the blog post going to take?

In this example, the blog post title explicitly tells you that you’ll be reading about how to create an infographic. Not only that, but it sets the expectations that it only takes an hour to do, and there’s also free templates included. You know exactly what you’re going to get from this blog post — how it’s valuable to you and how much information it contains.

When it comes to the art of the perfect blog post title, HubSpot did some research and looked at how our own titles have performed. Here are the consistent principles that were found:

The ideal blog post title length is 60 characters.Headlines between 8 and 12 words are shared most often on Twitter.Headlines between 12 and 14 words are liked most often on Facebook.

HubSpot also found that headlines ending with a bracketed clarification — like the earlier example with “15 free infographic templates” in brackets at the end of the post — performed 38% better than titles without that clarification.

If you’re having trouble trimming down the length of a title, run it through Moz’s Title Tag Preview Tool to see how the title will appear on a search engine results page. Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, you can expect about 90 percent of your titles to display properly.

Title too long? That’s okay! Make sure to create a title for your reader first. When you have a lengthy headline, it’s a good idea to put your primary keyword (aka the head term) at the beginning of the title since it might get cut off toward the end on a search engine results page. In this example, the title got caught off, but the focus keyword, “data visualization,” is at the front.


5. Shorten your URL

The URL doesn’t have to match the title of the blog exactly. Instead, make it a best practice to shorten the URL without losing context to what the page is about. For example, notice how the URL of this blog post is shorter than the title. This way, Moz can update the content over time without updating the URL.

Here’s a pro tip: Don’t include numbers in your URL, like year or steps. This way, if you update the content in the future, you won’t have to update the URL. Updating the URL creates a 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. Making updates to URLs hurts your SEO, and you don’t want that.

6. Optimize image alt-text

Search engines don’t just look for images. Rather, they look for images with alt-text. Because search engines can’t “see” images the same way humans can, an image’s alt-text tells them what an image is about – which ultimately helps those images rank in the image section of search engine results. Consider optimizing your images with different descriptive variations of your long-tail keyword.


7. Create a compelling meta description

Your meta description is meant to give search engines and readers information about your blog post’s content. The maximum suggested length of a meta description is 150–160 characters. Anything longer than that will most likely be cut off.

While meta descriptions might not directly impact your SEO, keep in mind that copy matters a great deal for clickthrough rates because it satisfies certain readers’ intent. The more engaging, and the more context you include that backs up your title tag, the better. In addition to being reader-friendly (compelling and relevant), your meta description should include a variation of your long-tail keyword for which you’re optimizing the post around. But keep in mind that a search engine may not choose to use your meta description as the descriptive text in search results. Search engines are funny that way.

8. Insert links strategically throughout your blog post

As you attract more and more visitors to your blog, that increased traffic means an increased opportunity to build a relationship, gain trust, and generate more leads and eventually customers.

Let’s review some best practices when it comes to using links effectively in your blog posts.

First, link to external content when it’s helpful or supports a stat or claim you’re making.

It takes a lot of work to attract someone to your site and gain their trust. The last thing you want to do is send them off your site unless it’s something that supports your content. I’m not saying you shouldn’t link to content that’s not your own, but just do so thoughtfully and make sure it provides value.

Here’s a pro tip: When linking to external websites, consider having that content open in a new window. This way, you’re being helpful without redirecting people off of your site.

Next, link to other helpful blog posts on your site.

If you find yourself typing a sentence or paragraph that can be explained in more detail on another blog post, then link to it. This helps in two ways: It solves for the reader, allowing and encouraging them to continue bingeing your content; and it solves for the search engine as it communicates to them that there’s a cluster of related content on your site. And if search engines deem your cluster of web content around a specific topic as a credible source, then that can help boost your visibility on the search engines.

Which brings me to my last point: Link to important content on your site that supports conversions.

When it comes to deciding on where to insert CTAs on your blog posts, here are four places to consider. Let’s review each.

First, consider inserting a CTA after the first few paragraphs. To avoid looking too pushy too soon, try including a passive CTA through hyperlinked text as opposed to using an image. It’s important to include these passive CTAs near the top, as you can’t always count on your visitor reading your entire post to take the next step. Think about it: Do you read to the end of every blog post that you click on? Probably not.

HubSpot performs CTA tests all the time. From image and text CTAs to placement of the CTAs, we’re always looking for ways to improve clickthrough rate. Interestingly enough, we found that text CTAs near the top of blogs posts produce the highest clickthrough rates— something you might want to keep in mind and test on your blog posts.

I recommend linking to pillar pages with CTAs at the top of the page as the content is not gated, meaning you’re not forcing someone to give you their email address just yet in exchange for something. Instead, you can lead with educational content, which solves for your reader first. Plus, your educational site pages should support one, if not multiple, conversions so that you can help the reader through their journey accordingly while gaining their trust along the way.

Next, include an image or text CTA near the most relevant content in the body of the post. The best time to support a conversion is just after educating someone. For example, Townsend Security, a full-service data security provider, included an image CTA to a relevant podcast download in this blog post. Notice how the CTA content is similar to the content it’s paired with.

Next, include an image CTA at the end of each post. If someone reads your post to the end, then you want to offer them a helpful next step. This is a CTA at the end of a post titled “Data Visualization 101: How to Choose the Right Chart or Graph for Your Data,” and at the bottom, there’s a CTA for an ebook on how to present data people can’t ignore. When it comes to image CTAs at the end of blog posts, I recommend linking these to a relevant landing page with a form.

Another option, which brings me to the last CTA placement, is a pop-up form that the reader sees as they scroll down the page. This is a great way to have your offer stick around so that the reader can’t just scroll past it.

If you really want to engage your users and have a helpful conversation, then consider offering live chat or a chatbot. A chatbot is a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface.

Most bots follow a set of rules programmed by a human via a bot-building platform. It’s as simple as ordering a list of if-then statements and writing canned responses, often without needing to know a line of code. The benefit? A bot will guide you, the visitor, through the various options available and help you get from point A to point B quickly. Behind the curtain, the bot is leading you through a series of dependent questions to collect the necessary information to understand your intent, and then deliver the right content to satisfy your needs.


9. Include other forms of media to keep your visitors engaged

I always save the best for last. If you want to keep people engaged, then offer other forms of media like a quiz or video.

Adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times. This is especially helpful if you include a video near the top of the page. Why? Because if people take the time to watch your video, then it’ll reduce bounce rate. Your website’s bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on one of your website pages, then leave. They don’t click on anything else. They just get to one of your pages, then leave quickly. Having a low bounce rate is a strong indicator to Google that people find value in your content. And if Google thinks your content provides value, then that can lead to first page rankings for the topics you want to show up for. For example, this page ranks #1 on Google for a list of high-volume terms related to a truck camper.

When you click through to the page, you’ll notice there’s a YouTube video embedded at the top that’s 4 minutes and 13 seconds long. In most cases, the majority of people who visit your site — 79% to be exact — would rather watch a video to learn, than read text on a page. That’s exactly why I included a video at the top of this page to engage the visitor with video content first. In case you’re curious, the average time a visitor spends on this page is five minutes.

Moz has been optimizing their content with video effectively since 2007 with their Whiteboard Friday segment. What I love most about Moz’s Whiteboard Friday series is how they transcribe the content underneath each video — very smart and efficient. For example, the below Whiteboard Friday segment video is eight minutes and two seconds long, which equates to 1,477 words.

This might be something to keep in mind if your business creates video content, and wants to find a way to maximize your content output.

10. Work with industry thought leaders to create a compelling story

Even if you’re not a subject matter expert on a specific topic, that doesn’t mean you can’t create something memorable… And I don’t mean just regurgitating what’s already being said online. If you did that, then you’d just be creating noise, and not adding anything new to the conversation.

Instead, when performing research look for people who author content on a given topic and put your journalist hat on. What do you find interesting about their content? Is there anything you think would be helpful to dig into deeper? Asking questions like this could lead to a new angle for a blog post idea — adding something new to the conversation.

Once you find a few thought leaders, consider connecting with them to see if you can collaborate on a piece of content. By talking to the people you want your blog posts to speak to, you’re able to find out exactly what is on their minds, what they want to know, what they are concerned about, how they feel on pressing issues and all sorts of other important-to-them topics that may make for brilliant blog posts.

Conclusion

And that’s it! 10 tips you can use to create the next blueprint for. Keep these tips in mind when creating and optimizing your blog posts, as it will ensure you’re getting the most out of your business blogging efforts.

If you’re feeling inspired and want to get started on your next blog post, then check out this helpful resource to learn a few more tips and tricks.

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!

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Press Marketing

10 Big Companies Setting Great Environmental Examples

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By Aaron Viles

Last year, world leaders satisfied in Paris to hash out an international environment offer to suppress greenhouse gases and prepare nations and neighborhoods from the inescapable effects of environment modification, made so by decades-long feet-dragging and hesitation to act.

While these public services are crucial to eliminating environment modification, similarly crucial are the voluntary actions taken by the economic sector that have a direct favorable impact and program by example that environmental management and service success need not be at chances.

Of course, this list is focused entirely on ecological factors to consider, and is provided without evaluation of a business’s treatment of employees, either locally or in abroad factories. More ecological groups understand the intersectionality of motions to support the environment and employees, and I would be remiss if I stopped working to point out that amazing brand-new work.

Here are 10 business that have actually taken huge actions to attend to a host of ecological concerns, from waste and contamination to environment modification and logging:

.1. Panasonic.

When you consider green services, Japanese electronic devices business Panasonic most likely isn’’ t the very first business to pop into your head. In 2014, Fortune discovered that Panasonic suffered the biggest understanding space in between the actions the business’s taken and what individuals believe it’s done.

Sustainability is a crucial part of the business’’ s business citizenship activities and has actually affected whatever from energy-saving production enhancements to the adoption of recycling-oriented production.

One of the coolest methods Panasonic is strolling the walk is with its brand-new North American head office. Historically situated in rural Secaucus, NJ, the business relocated to a prime area in downtown Newark in 2013. The relocation was hailed as a crucial method to rejuvenate the having a hard time city, however for Panasonic, it satisfied a sustainability objective.

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The business constructed a brand-new LEED accredited tower (gold outsides, platinum interiors) simply obstructs from Newark Penn Station, an essential transit node for both local and regional transit. This connection and transit availability has actually resulted in an almost 50 percent drop in the variety of employees travelling to work by vehicle alone from 88 to 36 percent. Panasonic’s VP for business interactions approximates that the relocation has actually taken 500 cars and trucks off the roadway every day.

.2. New Belgium Brewing Company.

Brewing beer can have a great deal of ecological drawbacks, from the energy needed to superheat mash to the disposal of invested grain and other waste. Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Company, the third-largest craft brewery in the United States, is showing that you wear’’ t requirement to hurt the environmentto succeed.

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Being environmentally friendly becomes part of the business ’ s culture and brand name, and it’’ s made an amazing variety of ecological financial investments. Photovoltaic panel assist power the bottling plant; an anaerobic digester procedures commercial wastewater into energy to power the developing procedure; company-issued bikes assist workers navigate the 50-acre brewery website.

Beyond its operations, New Belgium has actually taken a political stand on sustainability too. It was the twentieth business—– and the very first brewery—– to sign up with Ceres’ ’ Business for Innovative Climate &&Energy Policy union in 2011. Today, 19 breweries have actually signed up with to sign the Brewery Climate Declaration in assistance of lowering carbon contamination.

.3. Walmart.

At very first blush, you might balk at the addition of Walmart on this list about environmentally-friendly business. The mega-retailer has actually made some essential sustainable options that, thanks to its big market share, can have substantial ripple impacts.

Walmart’’ s 2014 choice to stock items from natural provider Wild Oats amassed attention and appreciation for broadening access to natural foods at more economical costs. That followed a 2013 upgrade to its chemicals policy, which concentrated on both enhancing active ingredient disclosure and changing 10 dangerous chemicals with more secure options. Even previously, Walmart dedicated to solely offering sustainable seafood.

In addition to the direct effect of increasing sales of natural foods (since April 2015, Wild Oats natural items were offered in more than 3,800 Walmart shops) and minimizing sales of items with harmful chemicals, these policies all straight effect Walmart’’ s providers’. Walmart ’ s assistance of natural food buoys the market and develops more need and sales chances for natural farmers. The business’’ s chemical policy supplies a strong reward for providers to abide by more stringent requirements or danger losing access to Walmart consumers.

.4. Apple.

Apple has a track record for being cutting edge, a track record that holds when it concerns going green. Apple’’ s $ 848 million energy handle a solar farm in California made it possible for the business to power all its operations with renewable resource. A couple of months later on it devoted to getting 100 percent of its paper product packaging from sustainable sources to safeguard the world’’ s staying virgin forests.

Like Panasonic, it too has actually bought methods to assist staff members minimize their commute emissions, with 10,000 staff members utilizing the business’’ s transit aid and 2,700 carpooling in commuter buses.

Apple’’ s rejection of environment denialism can’’ t go unmentioned. In 2009, the business loudly and openly give up the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its position on environment modification. Its 2015 Environmental Responsibility Report opens with the line: ““ We put on ’ t wish to discuss environment modification. We wish to stop it.” ” This vibrant position from a globally-renowned business assists boost assistance for environment action and sustainable company practices.

.5. Ikea.

In June 2015, Ikea revealed it would invest €€ 1 billion in sustainability efforts, consisting of purchasing renewable resource to power its workplaces and shops, and executing sustainable production. As The Telegraph mentions , ““ The figure overshadows the quantities promised by some nations to the UN Green Climate Fund. Germany, among the greatest donors, promised €€ 750m.”

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This is simply the most recent action in a long history of environment-friendly financial investments the Swedish furnishings giant has actually made. The setup of roof solar to power the business’’ s brand-new St. Louis, MO, shop is the 42nd such setup in the United States, and the business has actually likewise gone into the property solar market.

In addition to structures, Ikea has actually greened a number of the items it offers. It presented a vegan variation of its popular Swedish meatballs, a nod to opposers of the ecologically extensive meat market. In September 2015, Ikea revealed its strategy to offer just qualified seafood. That exact same month was the very first that 100 percent of its cotton was sustainably sourced from farmers who utilize less water, chemicals, and fertilizers. All that’’ s simply the pointer of the business ’ s green efforts.

. 6. IBM.

IBM has actually been a leader in sustainability for years, a status acknowledged in 2013 by the European Union Code of Conduct for Data Centers. In 2015, the business revealed dedications to continue its tradition through decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels, while all at once getting 20 percent of its international electrical power from eco-friendly sources over the very same timespan.

Perhaps more remarkable is the business’’ s acknowledgment of its impact over its supply chain. With 18,000 providers in more than 90 nations, IBM’’ s efforts to instill sustainability—– consisting of the 2010 requirement that all providers have an ecological management program which they openly report their development—– have big causal sequences.

.7. Unilever.

Unilever has actually likewise been admired for its sustainability dedications, most just recently by being leading ranked in the 2015 Climate Survey amongst business for dealing with environment concerns, drawn from actions from 624 sustainability professionals from 69 nations. More than 20 percent of participants stated the business was the top factor to environment option.

In addition to strong assistance amongst senior management, Unilever has actually been an outspoken supporter about the value of suppressing logging. In 2010, the business dedicated to accomplish absolutely no net logging in 10 years, suggesting for each acre of forest cleared, an equivalent acreage needs to be replanted. Unilever’’ s CEO has actually called logging the ““ most immediate environment obstacle.””

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The business is currently surpassing its targets. Since 2012, all of its palm oil originated from sustainable sources, 3 years ahead of schedule, through the purchase of GreenPalm certificates, a balanced out program for business utilizing palm oil. Instead of stop there, Unilever has actually pressed forward to trace all its palm oil to sustainable sources. Since 2014, 58 percent of the business’s palm oil was traceable, consisting of 98 percent that was sourced for its European Foods company.

.8. Chipotle.

Although Chipotle has had its share of bad PR of late due to food contamination, the fast-food leviathan should have a great deal of credit for making ethical sourcing not just cool, however lucrative. Chipotle launched its ““ Food with Integrity ” declaration in 2001, that includes sourcing veggies from healthy soil and meats from farms where animals are cured and pasture-raised humanely.

When push concerned push, the business showed it wanted to drop pork carnitas from the menu on one-third of its dining establishments instead of compromise on its dedication to accountable husbandry. Chipotle even more triggered a stir in 2014 when it eliminated all genetically-modified items from its foods, showing a dedication to biodiversity and natural items.

Most significantly though, Chipotle has actually done all this while making a great deal of cash. Even while pork remained off menus, Chipotle published a billion-dollar profits quarter in Q1 of 2015. Even a more current slip in Q3 was not credited to ecologically-responsible sourcing, however to other expenses increasing. The clear takeaway is that sustainability and earnings require not be at chances—– an engaging counterargument to the typical problems about the result of ecological stewardship on the economy.

.9. Biogen.

Massachusetts-based Biogen has a remarkable streak running, recording the leading area for biotechnology companies on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2 years in a row, and being called the greenest business on the planet by Newsweek in 2015. One huge contributing element was reaching functional carbon neutrality, the outcome of a multiyear effort to decrease emissions.

The business’s financial investments consisted of whatever from energy effectiveness enhancements in its centers to collaborating with providers around accomplishing ecological objectives. This follows ending up being practically zero-waste in 2012 (98 percent of all waste is diverted), accomplished through both minimizing preliminary functional waste and discovering innovative methods to garden compost and recycle the waste it does produce.

Rather than resting on its laurels, Biogen set brand-new vibrant sustainability targets, consisting of lowering both greenhouse gas emissions and water usage by 80 percent by 2020, compared to a 2006 standard. It’s likewise taking on that last 2 percent of waste that makes it to land fills and purchasing LEED-certified centers. Don’’ t be shocked to continue seeing Biogen leading lists in years to come.

.10. ChicoBag.

Though ChicoBag, a maker of multiple-use grocery bags and other items, is not as big as the business mentioned above, I would be remiss not to acknowledge a minimum of one business that isn’’ t simply making green enhancements to its organisation, however whose real profitable design is a green effort.

Plastic bags are an especially perilous ecological danger, adding to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, hurting wildlife that unsuspectingly take in little pieces of it, and cluttering our stunning landscape for the centuries they require to decay. Plastic bag restrictions have actually grown in appeal as more residents and customers see the damage of these inefficient containers.

ChicoBag supplies an alternative and earns money doing it. In line with its organisation, the business doesn’’ t usage what it calls the ““–Big 4 ” – single-use plastic bags, single-use water bottles, single-use cups and polystyrene takeout containers–– and has an aggressive, mission-oriented zero-waste program. In 2014, B Corporation made ChicoBag an honoree for Best for the World Environment.

Even small companies can make a distinction by carrying out sustainable organisation practices. To learn more, checked out ” How Green Is Your Business?”

.About the Author.

Post by: Aaron Viles

Aaron Viles is a Senior Grassroots Organizer for Care2. He deals with person authors on The Petition Site to develop petitions that will win concrete success for animals, the environment, and other progressive causes. Prior to Care2 he invested years working within the non-profit ecological advocacy field. Aaron developed his craft while working for Gulf Restoration Network, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Faithful America. He started his profession with Green Corps, the field school for ecological arranging. When not in front of a screen or on a teleconference, Aaron can be discovered doting on his children, pedaling intensely to stay up to date with the peloton, and working as a volunteer leader for the Sierra Club, Dogwood Alliance, and his church.

Company: Care2.Site: www.thepetitionsite.com

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Social Media Marketing

Ultimate List of Link Building Strategies for eCommerce

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eCommerce link building strategies are those strategies you create in order to get links to and from your online store. Which makes link building an essential part of a winning DIY SEO strategy for online sellers and involves the practice of getting third-party links on other pages, blogs and/or content.

Why is this so important? Because it helps boost SEO scores and ultimately improves your organic traffic over time. A perfect DIY SEO strategy should include link strategies that generate a variety of link types.

Let’s break them down.

Link Types for eCommerce Link Building Strategies

There are three main types of links winning eCommerce link building strategies should include.

Backlinks

These are links to your content, pages and/or site from other domains. Your aim is to have as many links from reputable sites as possible, while ensuring they are relevant to the content (and anchor text) being linked to. Backlinking is also the quickest link building strategy you have at your disposal in terms of effectiveness and results.

Internal Links

These are links inputting into your content to other content pages on your site. In eCommerce terms, this could mean adding links in new posts to previous posts and making sure you have related content, adding related or upsell product links to checkout or product pages, or having FAQ and policy page links on various pages.

Outbound Links

These are links to other domains that you add to your site. There are two types of outbound links: dofollow and nofollow. Dofollow links are outbound links you include, where you haven’t edited the settings of the links. Nofollow links are those links you tell Google to ignore in order to protect you from questionable websites you are linking to.

You should be using nofollow codes if you’ve loaded sponsored content, preventing any irrelevancy issues, if you have linked to or from business directory sites or if the domain of the content you are linking to has a lot of spam content.

Now that we know what types of links your strategy includes, you may be asking, But why does this work?

The short answer is because link building creates trust, relevancy and authority. Let’s look at how link building improves these critical elements of SEO basics.

How Link Building Builds Trust

The higher your Google TrustRank score is, the better your SERP placement will be. This is because rankings are influenced by how much a search engine trusts your brand domains based on the trustworthiness of your site and links. Linking out to authority sites and having authority sites linking to your store means higher trust signal measurements (Google determining that your links and content are trustworthy) and improved rankings. You can learn about Google’s TrustRank in this Backlinko guide.

How Link Building Creates Relevancy

Links to your content and product pages and/or websites to internet pages covering relevant content. In other words, the relevancy of links plays a role in your store’s relevancy, which helps with SEO rankings. Let’s say you are a winning online fashion brand; you would want to aim to secure links on fashion blogs or influencer accounts.

How Link Building Forges Authority

The higher the authority of the page, domain or link, the better your SEO results will be. Google measures the three types of SEO authority separately, and therefore you would aim to link domains, content and pages that score higher in this area than you.

If you want your links to work for you, capitalizing on these three elements to drive traffic, you want to ensure you don’t forget your link signal basics. Link signals refers to anchor text, TrustRank, link similarities and ensuring that you are continuously adding new links (of all types) to your site to keep your eCommerce store relevant and popular in the eyes of Google.

Now that you know what link building can do for you in terms of SEO, let’s look at leading link building strategies for eCommerce to add to your DIY SEO arsenal – ultimately growing your organic eCommerce traffic enough to continually increase sales long term.

Strategy 1: Get Serious About Your eCommerce Blog

Even with the many advantages that blog content offers, so many online stores put eCommerce blog creation and management at the bottom of their to-do and budget allocation lists. To give you an idea, only 62% of the top apparel stores we looked at in a previous post have an active blog, press page or subdomain.

But unless you’re making millions in revenue and have enough traffic (said no store owner ever), ignoring the ROIs of blog content is a mistake. One study proved that brands posting 16+ blogs per month were ensured to generate over three times more traffic; with those stats, what have you got to lose?

Having an eCommerce blog chock-a-block full of highly relevant content is a key component for an SEO strategy. Not to mention helping establish you as an authority or influencer in your niche. However, another advantage of having a blog is increasing your outbound links to relevant content within your niche while also allowing you the opportunity to create share-worthy content that other content creators will link to.

Here are our top tips to help you gain more links from your eCommerce blog linking strategy.

Add value with your content. This ensures that you are not only giving your potential customers the information they want but also ups your chances of other websites linking back to your content. Here’s an example of a good blog content strategy from Tattly:

ecommerce blog example tattly

Include evergreen content. This is content that remains relevant by having a long shelf-life. This includes how-to guides, buying guides, big case studies (we will get to that in more detail later) and infographics. For example, how-to style guides were found to increase guest blog acquisition by 40%.

Be consistent. You want to continuously create and post new content – whether that is once a month or eight times a month. The trick is to concentrate on quality over quantity. So start slowly and build yourself up.

Don’t hard-sell. It’s tempting for brands to treat every bit of content as a sales pitch. But sales pitch content won’t get the links you want or establish you as a trustworthy, relevant brand. Instead, you want to direct traffic to your product pages from the content – not use your content as an advertorial.

Create share-worthy content. The more shareable your content is, the better. This means testing and using a variety of content such as listicles (list articles), guides and original video embed content. This will also have the added benefit of keeping your readers interested by mixing it up.

Link to other content. Remember that your blog content has huge inbound link potential. This is not only a must for link building strategies but will also add value to your readers by giving additional information and tips as well as improve your overall SEO by keeping traffic on your site for longer.
Create case studies or do your own research. Another way of generating backlinks to your site is with unique case studies, research blog posts or web content pages. In an extensive Buzzsumo blog content study that analyzed over a million posts, they found that as much as half of those blog posts only got eight shares. They also found that as much as 70% of the analyzed posts were never linked to. However, it was proved that original research and associated report content has a much higher backlink rate.

Strategy 2: Show Off Your Expertise and Become a Niche Influencer

Once you begin to establish your brand as an expert through your high-value content, you want to spread that expertise around the web. Reaching out to popular blogs within your niche with guest post ideas is a link building strategy must. Guest posts not only establish you as an influencer to that site’s readers but offer high-value eCommerce link building opportunities.

So how do you build a guest blog strategy? Here is a step-by-step guide.

Step 1

Use Google search autocomplete and reverse image search, Twitter trend search, your competitors’ backlinks, and blog research tools such as AllTop.com and Buzzsumo to find content and site opportunities.

Step 2

You want to research the target reader, types of content they post, and product of each guest post opportunity. This will ensure your topic and brand would be relevant for their online publication and narrow down your list. You also want to check what their guest post application.

Step 3

Although you can submit a completed blog directly to these possible guest post opportunities, you may want to approach them with possible topics first. You can do this while requesting their guest post guidelines, as it will ensure you create something they are more likely to accept. Remember: every blog will have their own quality and publication rules, and writing for that format increases your chances of being accepted.

Strategy 3: Capitalize on the Power of Video

Video is the king of content and social engagement. It can also help increase backlinks when using video in a variety of ways to drive traffic to your online store. This doesn’t just mean posting engaging video to your blog and Facebook. It also enables you to use the power of the number one video platform, YouTube. Creating evergreen content, like informative how-to guides, could get you more video embeds to other websites in your niche.

Here are three simple ways that you can use video content to promote backlinks:

Comment on other relevant videos with relevant links. But you want to be careful here, and not spam posts. Only post if you have some value to add to the content and only include links in response to questions that are highly relevant.

Create accounts on various video sharing sites and share content regularly.

Create link partnerships with organic video sharers. When other blogs and influencers link to your YouTube videos, you can follow up and contact them regarding inserting a link to your store in the post.

Additionally, placing video content on your site has huge SEO advantages. Video content increases the time a site visitor will spend on your page while contributing to page quality and relevance.

Strategy 4: Engage and Socialize

Your social platforms are your backlink bread and butter, so to speak. This means creating social profiles with relevant online store links, as well as including links in your profiles and cover image descriptions. You also want to add links to your contact page from the ‘about’ sections or profiles of your social accounts. This, of course, is the bare minimum and isn’t limited to social media.

Forums like Quora and Reddit have great traffic opportunities. Despite links being nofollow links, it’s important that you have a variety of links (dofollow and nofollow), which signals authenticity to Google – and these forums offer that in a big way. In short: follow or not, well-placed links can drive a lot of eCommerce traffic.

Plus, they allow you to engage with users who are asking specific questions related to your niche and give you a platform to show off as an expert. By including links (that are relevant) in blog content, product pages or helpful guides, you are showing off your niche authority to not only the person who asks but the millions of site visitors that access the question.

Strategy 5: Turn Mentions into High-Value Backlinks

If an influencer, blogger or brand mentions your brand in their content, it can be a considerable backlink opportunity for you. Approaching these people who have already mentioned your brand with a request to add a link with the mention, can pay off.

But how do you find out who has mentioned your brand? There are a bunch of tools out there, but our favorite is Mention. Mention has a free trial and then starts at just $25 per month. Additionally, don’t forget Google Alerts (free) will also help you find brand mentions.

mention eCommerce tool

Before you make your request, you want to make sure that your brand is indeed mentioned and that it’s mentioned in a positive light. You also want to ensure that the site that is linking to your brand is reputable. The latter is very important to ensure links are working for you, not against you.

In the case of an unwelcome backlink, you will want to contact the site’s webmaster and ask that your link be removed, or if you have exhausted all options, use Google’s Disavow Tool – but more on that later.

Google Disavow Tool

Strategy 6: Partner With Influencers

Another important link building strategy for online sellers goes hand in hand with influencer marketing. By teaming up with influencers across various content streams to highlight specific products, you can create valuable backlinks to specific product pages.

Influencers provide a good way for you to generate better natural backlinks for your online store. The added bonus here is that influencer mentions also help build brand awareness and include content reach and engagement while also improving your SEO standing. Ultimately, enabling you to reach new potential shoppers within niche segments.

However, you want to find high-authority domains that are relevant to your site. Why? According to Moz, the quality and authority of sites that link to you are among the top search engine ranking factors.

site ranking factors

Image via Moz

Influencers can be bloggers, social media influencers (such as Instagram influencers and YouTube stars), celebrities, industry experts, thought leaders and popular brand blogs.

Strategy 7: Build a Winning Brand Ambassador Community Program

Another way to create your own influencer channels – and links – is by building a brand ambassador program. The advantage of this is having brand-lovers posting about your brand across various sites and platforms on your behalf. What you want is to incentivize your loyal shoppers to share product page links and drive traffic, while engaging directly to segments of users who fit your ideal target shopper. Think of it as UGC and micro-influencing on steroids, while racking up your dofollow and nofollow links.

If you’re just starting out and can’t afford to invest in programs like Glam Guru’s awesome affiliate program, there are ways you can encourage organic brand ambassadors by ensuring your online business offers the best service. Basically, you want to under-promise and over-deliver with every aspect of your business. Here are a few ways to get started:

Ensure your customer service is top-notch
Be upfront and honest
Encourage feedback
Personalize their shopping experience
Create loyalty programs
Offer rewards
Give surprise free goodies
Communicate well throughout the buying process

You also want to invest in creating an active review and UGC collection strategy as these also help with your eCommerce link building strategies. An organic rave review of your brand or interesting story about your product has a lot of potential for being used in blog content. And bonus: it improves your branding, reach and conversion potential, too.

Strategy 8: Strategic Deep Linking

As we mentioned earlier, you want a variety of links (not just your online store and/or blog home pages). You want to include links to specific product pages, categories and specific blog content pages, known as deep links. You want to use deep links in your internal, outbound and backlink strategies.

So, what are the advantages of deep linking strategies?

They improve SERP rankings for your whole site (not just your homepage), ensure Google sees your online store authority as natural, and of course create conversion opportunities from higher ranked pages.

And what pages should I be deep linking? You want to be selective and start with pages already getting good traffic. Here are some tips on how you can use deep links:

When creating and submitting guest posts, instead of linking to your home page, link to a specific store or blog post pages that you have chosen for your deep links.
Share your specific blog posts and content and category pages to as many places as possible, including all the places mentioned – i.e. have influencers and/or mentions going to your select page links instead of just your homepage.
Use specific, relevant page links in your comments and forum engagements as well as on content sharing sites like AuthorStream and Slideshare.

Strategy 9: Leverage Popularity and Viral Appeal

As we discussed above, reviewing and choosing product page links for eCommerce linking strategies is very effective. An excellent way to do this is by leveraging popular, newsworthy products. Or products that are unique enough to have viral potential within your segments. A good example of this is an online t-shirt store that has been making the rounds on social media and trending topic blogs like Bored Panda.

viral product examples

The online store The Man Who Has it All has ‘his’ and ‘hers’ Ts that are now internet famous and getting backlinks from all sorts of places, including this blog. I’ve seen their Facebook posts shared to a number of groups I am a part of, and the organic engagement has been crazy. A great example of a perfect (word of mouth marketing) storm.

Now, not all your products will go viral in such a big way. However, if you have a unique spin on something ordinary, like this brand, you have a lot of backlink (and sales) opportunities in your niche. You can still make a stir in your segments without aiming to reach everyone everywhere.

And it’s not just products that can go virtual. Using your influence to link to worthy causes, sponsored events or charities, or running unique promotions and campaigns can have a great effect. An inspirational example of this is REI’s OptOutside campaign, which they run on Black Friday.

Strategy 10: Upgrade Your UX

If you want your pages to be linked to, you want them to be link-worthy. This means you may need to upgrade your online store to help generate more shares and links. There are a lot of ways you can tweak your eCommerce UX. However, you want to concentrate on your deep link pages first. This means ensuring your product and category pages are not only sharable but link-worthy. To promote this organically, your product/category pages should be:

Unique and in the voice of your brand
Optimized for SEO and shoppers
Well-designed and free of mistakes

product page example

Strategy 11: Spy On Your Competitors

One of the best ways to find backlink opportunities is by looking at your competitors. With tools like Moz’s Open Site Explorer or Ahrefs’ Link Inspect, you can ‘borrow’ your closest competitor’s backlinking strategy and find untapped opportunities for yourself. Here’s an in-depth guide from Neil Patel on how to use competitor links to boost your domain authority.

Strategy 12: Fix Broken Links

Remember we mentioned how important it is to track your backlinks and use the Google Disavow Tool when necessary? Fixing broken links should also be part of your link management practices. To do this, you should be checking them regularly to ensure they are not damaging your link building strategy efforts. Finding and requesting broken links can be a consuming task. For this, we highly recommend a tool like Ahrefs to streamline your search.

And what to do when you find a broken or spammy link you want removed? Here’s how to disavow links using Ahrefs and Google Webmaster Tools to get you started.

With these 12 eCommerce link building strategies, you’re well on your way to better ranking, reach and more eCommerce traffic!

Have DIY SEO questions? Post them in the comments below and our traffic gurus will assist.

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