Growing Google Plus Circles For Local SEO – Part 1

By April

One of the most common questions I get asked by SEOs concerns how to use Google Plus for local SEO. While there are many ways that G+ can benefit any SEO campaign, one of the easiest and quickest to produce results is to build and grow your Circles. So what are Circles?

Google Circles give us the ability to segment our connections within Google Plus. With Circles, we can create targeted groups based on interest, profession, location, or any other criteria we choose.

This is important because, once we have developed a targeted Circle, we can share posts, updates, messages, offers, and promotions to a very specific audience; an audience that is most likely interested in what we’re sharing with them (so long as we have grouped them together properly).

So why would we do this for local SEO and how?

In Part 1 of this two-part post, we’ll talk about the why… Consider the following example:

You just landed a new SEO client. Let’s say it's an HVAC repair contractor in Atlanta Georgia who has little to no online presence. Your job is to properly optimize the website, begin an SEO campaign, and get it to rank for the search terms that will provide leads for the business. Pretty standard stuff.

As part of your SEO campaign, you set up a Google My Business (formerly G+ Local) account properly, which ties their website to G+ and Google Maps.

The next step is to begin a content marketing campaign so you can begin building brand awareness and, let’s be honest, inbound links too. This content is generated using the client’s blog and typically consists of helpful information that ties back into what the business offer; posts such as “3 Steps to Reduce Your Cooling Bills This Summer”, “How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?”, or “Proper Heat Pump Maintenance Will Reduce the Need for Air Conditioning Repair”.

As long as you have set up the proper content syndication channels, this content marketing strategy will begin to build links, generate some traffic to the site and, over time, improve the search rankings.

Sounds great, right? But it’s currently the Dog Days of Summer and your client wants to capitalize on all of those [poor] people who have air conditioning units that aren’t working and are searching for “air conditioning repair”, “hvac repair”, etc. The client wants results NOW (like yesterday!) and doesn’t want to wait 30 to 60 to 90 days to see the SEO results you promised to provide (sound familiar?).

So what’s an SEO to do?

Well, we all know we have other options like ranking YouTube videos, or para-sites and citations like FB pages and Yelp listings. But even those take a little bit of time to rank and some extra link building work.

And of course there is always Adwords (yuck!) But unless you figured that into your initial proposal, the client probably isn’t going to like it when you go back and ask for more money.

So that leads us to Google Plus. If done correctly, G+ can provide nearly instant results. I’ll repeat that:

GOOGLE PLUS CAN PROVIDE NEARLY INSTANT RESULTS

If you have properly built up your client’s Circle base, you can literally hand deliver your clients posts, messages, specials, and offers right to potential clients, overnight.

You see, when you +1 or share a post or a web page with G+, you can choose which circles you want to share it with. When you select “Your Circles” it shares with everyone in every one of your circles.

When you select “Extended Circles”, it will share to the circle you chose, plus everyone in that circles’ circles. This can get a bit confusing, but I will clear this up in part 2 of this post.

When you select specific circles, the share will only post to those specific circles.

So in our hypothetical example of the HVAC Repair client, let’s say we had built an “Atlanta” circle that contained hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of G+ members that had “Atlanta” mentioned somewhere in their profile. More on HOW to do this in part 2…

So when you published the post mentioned above, titled “Proper Heat Pump Maintenance Will Reduce the Need for Air Conditioning Repair”, you chose to share that post with the “Atlanta” circle.

This INSTANTLY delivers this post to everyone in that entire circle! Each person and business in the “Atlanta” circle will now have a G+ notification about “Proper Heat Pump Maintenance Will Reduce the Need for Air Conditioning Repair”. So anyone that needs air conditioning service will have been notified of your client’s existence and the service he/she provides (and since we’re marketers we already know to include a clear call-to-action in the post, of course). Pretty powerful, huh?

I know, I know. I can hear some of you already saying “but that’ll only produce leads if the people that receive the notification actually need air conditioning service at that exact moment”. You would be correct. It is a “fleeting” notification that may very well generate a few leads but unless someone actually needed those services at that very moment, they would probably quickly dismiss the post and never think of it again.

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Unless…

What if your share shows up in the search results the next time any of those people were searching? That would be incredibly useful, wouldn’t it? In fact, if you shared all of the client’s posts and had properly SEOed them, then any time anyone from within that “Atlanta” circle searched for any related HVAC term, your client’s posts would show up. Here is an example of a similar result:

Private results in Google search results

Search results example

 

Now this is assuming that the searcher hadn’t opted to “Hide private results”. But considering that probably about 95% of all Google users (that’s a statistic I just made up) don’t even know what “Private results” are, much less how to turn them off, you’re pretty safe to assume that they will see recommendations from people who have circled them.

Google private results option

 

One caveat to this, however, is that for “recommended results” to show in the searchers' results, they will have needed to have circled the sharer back. So there is a bit of a “catch” to this. But alas, there are ways to obtain a high “circle back” ratio that we will delve into in part two of this post.

And remember earlier when I mentioned “extended circles”? This sneaky little function allows us to “back door” our messages to even more people, even if we’re not directly connected/circled.

So for now, just think about how these concepts can be used for evil good and the potential it has. And by-the-way, I will also be sharing how you can do this sort of thing without having to build each and every one of your clients’ circles; a much more efficient and smarter way to do it, where you keep ALL of the power (“I giveth and I can taketh away”).

Until part two…

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How Can You Be Everywhere Online?

By April

When it comes to internet marketing, it all comes down to Awareness and Presence.

So How can you be everywhere at once?

You know that pretty much everyone that visits a website or surfs around the web is constantly being hammered with ads, banners, videos, etc. Hell! Even YouTube has become an ads-serving platform (and boy are those video ads annoying!).

How can you be everywhere at once

And you know that media companies and big conglomerates are pouring millions of dollars, month after month, to make their online campaigns work. So these questions come to mind:

  1. How can you compete with and outrank them?
  2. How can you, without spending millions in advertising, get to the same position and even win terrain over their marketing efforts?

It is not impossible or as difficult as you might think!

At Semantic Mastery, we are all about Awareness and Presence. In fact, we dedicate ourselves to creating a sort of “Omnipresence” to our clients. That being said, you can become the go-to authority in your niche if you follow some simple but vital strategies to position your brand, your name and create an immediate link between them, what you do and what you represent.

So let’s get to it:

Make Google Your Buddy

You must make Google your friend to be successful

Many might think that climbing to the top spots in Google has to do with magic and witchcraft. But since the latest Google algorithm updates, the playing field has been leveled, and Google has shown an enormous weakness for some websites, making these “types” of websites easier to rank and much faster than the average website (and I’ll show you how tap into this weakness and use it to your benefit).

Also, Google is showing an increasing Narcissism, since it will rank anything that belongs to Google’s kingdom (including, but not limited to: YouTube Videos, Google Plus Profiles, Blogger Blogs, Google Sites, etc.) on the first page.

Best of all, these platforms are completely free and ready for your to make use of them! But let’s continue on what you need to do before giving you more specific steps.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage.

You must use social media to your advantage

Not so long ago, having a website was more than enough to attract new clients and to be “The Cool Guy of the Block”. But with so many new sites being created each and every day, those days are long gone. Now, you need to approach your Online marketing efforts from a traffic point of view. No traffic = No sales. No Sales = Useless Webpage.

Social Media Platforms are a topic in and of themselves, but for the time being (and directly related to the step before), you must use social platforms to broaden your reach. If you haven’t registered your Google Plus Profile, Facebook Page, Twitter Profile and WordPress Blog, with your Brand and Niche on them, stop everything else you are doing and get those done!

This will also help with what I already mentioned, since all of the platforms have access to Google's weak spots (also known as loopholes), and you can rank these and get traffic flowing from them to your website.

Have an “Omnipresent” Approach

Last but not least, the approach to your internet marketing efforts must be “Anything and Everything” instead of “Either / Or”. By this I mean that if you are given the choice of managing your webpage or your WordPress.com blog, why should you have to choose? Use them both!

That’s exactly what you learn in our IFTTT course: how to manage multiple properties (several dozens at a time in fact) that talk about you without you having to write the same article over and over but in a different way and shoot the same video multiple times – pretty powerful, and time saving, huh?

You want to draw traffic from all over the place, using as many platforms as possible. A huge mistake made by some internet marketing newbies or affiliate marketers is to think in terms of just one website, just one profile, just one post, etc. That usually means that whenever Google decides to rock the boat a little and take a closer look at your website, it could be catastrophic for your business. And any business that depends solely on Google to generate traffic and sales is not a business; it becomes an entirely different concept dependent on Google's whims.

You Must Take Action to Succeed
YOU MUST TAKE ACTION IF YOU ARE GOING TO SUCCEED.

Action Steps:

  • If you haven’t done so, have your website assessed and optimized by an SEO expert.
  • Get a Social Media profile on all of the following websites:
  1. Blogger
  2. Google Plus
  3. Facebook
  4. Twitter
  5. WordPress
  6. Tumblr
  7. Blog.com
  8. Diigo
  9. Delicious
  10. StumbleUpon
  11. Storify
  12. Scoop.it
  13. Pinterest
  14. Instagram

Note* – The websites listed above are only a few of the ones used in our IFTTT training series.

  • Start making value added posts on your websites, using videos, pictures and other rich media.
  • Share them on all of your newly opened profiles.
  • Take a look at what your competition is doing and emulate them.
  • Track your visitors and ranking positions in Google (you can do this via Google Webmasters and Google Analytics).

But the best action step and the best investment for your business is to sign up for our exclusive training where we will show you how all of this is put together this for maximum effect, and much more!


Content for Visitor to Lead to Sale Conversion

By April

Is the Idea that Content is King in Today's IM World a Valid One?

Is the idea that content is king valid?
We have been fed the idea that you need quality, unique, relevant content that's updated regularly in order to achieve high ranking in SERPs. But what constitutes “quality, unique, relevant content that's updated regularly”?

How much should I write then? Is 800 words enough? …how about 1000? …the more the merrier, right? …how about a book on the subject?

You can eliminate “updated regularly” if you have a blog that you post to with some type of frequency. But the previous question remains and a better question arises: “Who determines the quality, uniqueness and relevancy of content on a website”? And just how much content is enough to be considered quality? Great questions, but they're a bit off track

Until a software program (Google Bot for instance) is able to think objectively, it cannot be relied on to determine with exactness if a website has high quality content with the necessary uniqueness and relevance. Instead, other signals or metrics are relied on to determine whether such lofty standards are met by any website.

So, the idea that content really does matter is valid, but it matters only as long as your visitors are held on page by your content!

are you sure length of content doesn't matter

Are you sure or did you just make that up?

Think about it… Google places a great deal of weight on three particular metrics which can be seen in Analytics:

  1. Pages / Session
  2. Avg. Session Duration
  3. Bounce Rate

All three of these metrics are directly tied to how long a visitor remained on a website. If these metrics did not matter in the ranking algorithm, others would take their place.

We can then infer from these metrics that quality, unique, relevant, regularly updated content has to do with visitor engagement rather than how long your article is. You can write ten thousand words, but it won't do you any good if no one stays on your page long enough to read it! And it won't make a bit of difference if your audience does not take action while reading your content.

It's all about giving your audience what it came looking for on your website, and you can use different types of content to do this, including but not limited to:

  • Written content
  • Video
  • Pictures
  • PDFs
  • Infographics
  • Memes
  • Audio

(There are at least 15 types of content according to Neil Patel)

In his blog, Neil “encourages you to think of content not in terms of types but ideas.” He says that the form of the content is secondary to the idea being formulated.

When content is approached from this perspective, there is really no limit to what you can do. You can even come up with your own type of content…. but do it to engage your visitors instead of working to satisfy a bot!

Here's a quick infographic on how to make a website visitor and search engine friendly:

how to make a website visitor and search engine friendly

 

You don't have to be a graphic artist to be able to convey your ideas. Besides, a quality infographic from artists such as the guys over at Visual.ly starts at around $1k. If you have a quality graphic designer on your team, then you need to make good use of those talents.

The point is to make your content as compelling, powerful and visually appealing as possible. Your content should deliver your message to your audience in such a way that your audience will listen, learn, share and (most important of all) convert from a visitor to a lead, and from a lead to a sale.

So formulate a plan, meaning that you have to take that vague idea inside your head and give it form. Once your idea has form, find the best way to deliver it to your audience!

Think about and formulate your idea, make a plan and then take action. How you do it is up to you and the audience you're trying to deliver your message to since it's your audience who will determine if your content gives them the information they were searching for in the first place.


Semantic Mastery Meeting 06-26-2014

By cpi1

[svp]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwrmf6QXkFU[/svp]
This is the recording of Semantic Mastery Meeting for 06-25. On this issue:

– GSA Broken Linkbuilding Pyramid.
– GSA Mass Blasting to Authority Domains and YouTube Videos.
– Live Examples of Blanketing.
– Anchor Text Penalization Recovery and Emulation.
– Slideshare + Authorship
– Google Authorship Verification Hacks.

Copyright Semantic Mastery 2014. All Rights Reserved.

https://www.semanticmastery.com


Visitor To Lead Sale Process – Semantic Mastery Training

By April

Visit https://semanticmastery.com/news-and-media/ for the rest of the transcript:

For those who have little or no experience with the visitor-to-lead-to-sale process, why is it so important?

Okay, so let's say you finally have all your ducks in a row and you're starting to draw traffic to your website.

Do you know how much traffic is enough for your money/client site to be profitable?

That's a good question… why don't you tell me more about this?

For many of us, the problem is that we concentrate so much of our effort and resources on ranking our money/client sites that might overlook or we might not devote enough time on thinking about what happens once a visitor lands on our website.

So, the visitor lands on the website, fills out the form, and goes into our sales funnel, right?

That's a loaded question because the answer is yes and no. Yes, in a fantasy world where everything goes just the way we want it to, someone goes to a search engine page, conducts a search, clicks on our website, lands on our page, and fills out the contact form.

But we don't live in a fantasy world. So that's not how it happens.

How does the process take place?

There are several components in this intricate process, and we can speak volumes about each one since there is no single factor which we can say is more important than the other. We build each component so that everything works as a unit.

During our training, we will break down the different components and talk about each one. However, in the end, if one of the components is broken, the entire process is broken. It could very well come down to the mental attitude of the person answering the phone for you or your client.

Why does the mental attitude of the person answering the phone matter?

It matters because studies have shown that people can “sense” mental attitude and perhaps even body language through the phone. If you have a person who doesn't really want to be there answering the phone, the person on the other end can pick that up and will probably end up elsewhere.

As they say, the devil is in the details!

Okay, can you give us more details?

Yes, of course, let me give you some basic numbers to think about:

You have followed our training, and you are finally getting steady traffic on your website. Let's say you're getting 30 visits per day, on average.
This means approximately 900 visitors per month, but do you know your bounce rate?

If your money/client site has an 80% bounce rate, then you have 180 people who actually interacted with your website or web page in some kind of way.

What this means is that you actually have 6 people per day who might have taken the sort of action on the site (not necessarily converting from visitor to lead) but interacting with the website.

The obvious question here is “what's the visitor to lead conversion rate?” Am I right?

Yes, absolutely… This is a “must know” in this process. The average conversion rate for a retail/ecommerce website is ONLY 3%. If a website isn't optimized for visitor to lead conversion, it's probably around 1%, and likely much lower.

But we'll pick 2% for our purposes (yes, it's arbitrary), which is the mid-point between 1% and 3%.

Simple math tells me that 180 x 2% = 3.6; meaning that 3.6 people took the action you wanted on the website, but this is not the number of people who actually purchased your product or service!

So now this goes further down the sales funnel and closing leads?

Right again! You have to be aware of every single step in your visitor-to-lead-to-sale process.

Let's say your closing rate is only 10%. This means that you are going to have to wait 3 months to make your first sale (on average), or you're going to make a sale and then you'll have to wait 3 months to make another, again, on average. And even if your closing rate is at 30%, you are only going to make 1 sale per month.

That won't make anyone's money/client site profitable!

It is not going to be profitable, and it will make for a very angry customer or it will lead to your financial ruin. You cannot work with numbers such as those and expect to survive in a cutthroat business such as the web.

So what can our students expect in this training series?

In this series, we will go from very basic concepts to intricate ideas that will make any website perform much better and make a lot more money!
For example, we will cover writing ad copy.

 


Semantic Mastery Training Overview

By April

Semantic Mastery Training Overviewhttps://semanticmastery.com

1. What is Semantic Mastery all about?

As an SEO professional servicing clients or even maintaining your own web properties, it's difficult to test all of the theories, software, and services available. It's difficult because:

One — It's time consuming and we're usually busy working on client properties or managing our own sites.

Two — It's risky to try new ideas and services without knowing for certain if they're safe. In other words, you don't want to test something on a site that is already doing well because it could end up causing more harm than good.

So that leaves us in a catch 22 situation. We want to test new ideas and strategies but usually don't have the time to properly setup test environments for each of these.

That's where Semantic Mastery comes in. We are a team of web professionals that have come together to provide real world case studies where we test all of these things and document the entire process.

2. What are we going to be sharing with our members to help them be better SEO agents?

Well our case studies are huge in that we provide all of the testing on our own web properties.

Let's put it like this, we all get marketed to all the time with new training offers, magic button software, and services promising that they're the last you'll ever need.

They all claim to be must haves and have very convincing pitches.

So what we do is, select the most promising of all of these and put them to the test.

For example, we may be testing a backlinking strategy, software, or service. In this case, we would setup several web properties and try to make them relatively identical. Then we test each of these methods on separate sites and document the process so that we can share the results and let our members decide for themselves which products and/or services they want to use based on those test results.

This way we are doing the testing and taking the chances, not you. We will be conducting these tests for both local and national terms so that no matter what line of business you're in, we'll have case studies that apply to you and your clients.

3. Tell me some of the high end products we will be testing and reviewing?

Our goal is to test most of the higher end training products. You know, the ones that require an investment. This is a priority for us because we know how expensive these courses can be and it would be nice to see some third party neutral reviews prior to shelling out hundreds and or thousands of dollars.

We won't be testing all of the WSO's and Forum Special Offers that come out. There are just too many. However when some of them come around that are promoted heavily and get a lot of attention, we will test those.

And we will also be conducting regular surveys of our members to see which training products they would like to see tested and reviewed.

The same goes for software and outsourcing services. We will be testing most of the major software and services and anything new that comes along that gets a lot of hype. And again, we will be testing additional stuff that our member's want to see tested when the demand is high enough.

In addition to the regular case studies we conduct, we will also be holding bi-weekly group coaching webinars for our members. These will consist of many things including:

– Additional training that we feel is important
– Q&A with our members
– Cover changes in SEO as they happen
– Live site analysis, etc…

And as if that wasn't enough, we'll also be adding training modules to the member's area as we develop new methods that produce positive results.

4. If someone wants to find out more, what do they need to do?

Go to our website and opt-in to be notified of our launch date. We will be offering a special launch price at first so you don't want to miss out on that. We're looking to go live in a month so be sure to get on our notification list.

https://semanticmastery.com


How To SEO: Local SEO Training | Semantic Mastery

By April


Local SEO Training – https://semanticmastery.com
– Semantic Mastery

1. How does Local SEO differ from national or even international SEO?

Local SEO is optimizing for search queries and terms with local intent. Generally these types of searches are performed when someone is searching for a local business. For example, take out Chinese food, or plumbing contractor. Most people will also include the city name, known as the geographic modifier, to the query but that isn't always the case. And Google has gotten really good at determining where the search is being performed, either through your IP location or, in the case of mobile devices, where you're physically located at the time of the search. This is different than national or global SEO since the searches have a different intent.

2. What are some things you can do with Local SEO that you can't do or won't work in National SEO?

There are many sections to a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) depending on the search term. When it comes to local searches, there are 3 main sections: Ads, Organic, and Maps (with the occasional Carousel that appears at the top of the page commonly seen when searching for restaurants) The ads (A.K.A. AdWords) appear first, then usually 1 — 3 organic listings, and then the maps, followed by the remaining organic listings.

With local, you want to optimize to be placed in the maps listings. You know, the results with pins next to them, usually in a “7 Pack” and lettered A — G. Obviously you need a physical location to be ranked in the maps section.

Interestingly, when you search from a mobile device, the maps listings usually come up right after the ads with maybe an occasional single organic listing between them. This is important since more than 50% of searches are now done on mobile devices. This is why the best place to be is the maps section if you're a local business.

Something else that's unique to local SEO is citations. Citations are places where a business can list their NAP or Name, Address, & Phone Number. This includes local and national business directories as well as industry or niche specific directories. These citations are one of the primary ranking factors for maps listings. Some of the better known citation sources would be Yelp, Yellowpages, Angie's List, etc.

3. Would you say local SEO is somehow easier?

It's different. Similar, but still has its own challenges. In a way I would say yes, it can be easier but that truly depends on the market. Some industries are incredibly competitive even on a local level. For example, attorneys. They spend big bucks to be ranked at the top for their respective cities. But generally speaking, you can expect to see results from a local SEO campaign long before you'd see any for a national SEO campaign.

4. How can Semantic Mastery help SEO agents do local SEO better?

We provide training for all types of SEO including social and local optimization. Since I got my start in local and still much of my business is in the local realm, I stay on top of what works. We have methods that we use that can actually “blanket” a SERP with a client's listings. Not just their website, but also their citations, YT videos, Hangouts, web 2.0's, and social profiles like FB pages and LinkedIn company Pages. In our training, we show how to do this for clients for total market domination. It really is very powerful.

And with the new semantic web, there are ways to markup content using semantic markup such as Schema.org and RDFa that can really help a business to rank. These are some of the many things we cover in the member's training.

Join the Membership Today!


How To SEO: Social Signals as a Ranking Factor | Semantic Mastery

By April

How To SEO: Social Signals as a Ranking Factor – Semantic Mastery

In this Hangout, we talk about social signals and their impact on SEO and search engine rankings. There has been a lot of debate about this topic and we want to add our two cents to the discussion.

Can social signals alone rank a site in Google search? Yes AND no…

In tests we have conducted, buying spam social signals (unrelated and/or from a non-interested crowd) to a well optimized post did not provide any SEO benefit.

But when we have targeted the proper audience with the same type of post and with the same level of optimization, we were able to rank the post. This is because it wasn't just social signals that the post accrued. It also gained social links. Organic social links.

There is most certainly a difference. And when you combine natural (organic) social links with corresponding social signals (likes, +1's, Retweets, etc), you also get targeted traffic to the post, which is also a positive ranking signal.

So the short answer is: IT DEPENDS. You can't rank with SPAM social signals alone. But with targeted social signals, you most certainly can, but this is due in large part because of the natural links that will be created as a result.

Another positive effect that this social signals can have is the transfer of Domain Authority. Since most social media platforms have perfect (100) or near perfect Domain Authority, DA for your target property will increase. We have seen brand new sites increase from DA of 1 to a DA of 20+ in 30 days from just social signals alone!

Join the Membership Today!


How To SEO: YouTube & Hangouts SEO & Silo Structure

By April

This week in the Semantic Mastery series we take a look at how YouTube fits into and plays its part in the Semantic Web or Web 3.0 as perhaps it's better known.

Our expert is Semantic Mastery Supremo Bradley Benner who tells me there's a lot more to YouTube than just videos.

So on that note, we're going to dig deep into Google Hangouts and ranking them as well as YouTube Silo Structures.

https://semanticmastery.com