7 SEO Myths That No One Should Listen To

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Take note of these SEO myths and change your SEO strategy completely

If you were to Google SEO myths, dozens of results would show up. Does this mean they are all to be absolutely disbelieved and discarded when you are optimizing your own online content? Certainly not! Some SEO tips are less like myths and more like bad practices, while others simply have less impact on page rank than other strategies might. While some myths do contain a measure of truth, there are still plenty of SEO ideas out there that should be stricken from existence to prevent further damage to your marketing efforts.

Myth #1: SEO is dead. No doubt you’ve heard this myth bandied about the water cooler on more than one occasion, and some variation of it has been resurrected to refer to any number of things over the past decade. Despite the claims otherwise, SEO has not died an untimely death or been replaced by content marketing, user experience or mobile-friendly optimization. In fact, those particular aspects work with SEO and contribute to the overall success of search optimization.

Myth #2: Anchor text must have keywords for proper optimization. In truth, it really doesn’t matter what your anchor text says, as long as you don’t use the same anchor text for all your internal links. If anchor text is keyword-rich and appears to be over-optimized to search engines, it could actually hurt your SEO efforts.

Myth #3: Keyword-rich URLs improve page rank. If you’re seeking visible improvement, forget keyword-rich URLs. This myth is often perpetuated simply because humans think it’s easier for other humans to read URLs that look like sentences (and have keywords in them). They don’t make a difference to search engines when indexing pages, and can often only be found in searches that use exact match queries in parentheses.

Myth #4: Social signals do (or don’t) impact search results. Do they? Don’t they? Google denies it, SEO experts claim they’ve proven it and, in the end, no one really knows for sure. While there’s no true rule of thumb here, building out social media marketing plans can’t hurt you and can ultimately bring about more brand awareness.

Myth #5: Canonicalization isn’t really that important, so don’t bother. On the contrary, canonicalizing URLs if your site can be accessed by several different ones is very important for page rank purposes. Otherwise, each individual URL gets its own page value, instead of all the points and popularity going to one dominant URL.

Myth #6: Personalized search results have nullified the power of organic search. While Google does use personalized search results for users based off of browser cookies, the difference in results is negligible. Organic results still trump personal ones, primarily because people don’t continue to search for the same things day after day.

Myth #7: Outbound links are just as important as inbound links. Outbound links have essentially no ranking power when compared to inbound links. This is because they have no authority or value since they are coming from your site. Where they point to is insignificant in terms of your page rank, because you could otherwise attempt to artificially elevate your rank by pointing to dozens of expert and authority sites.
Do your own research and find even more SEO myths that you should stop listening to right now. Use caution, however, and make sure you’re not actually disregarding what could be a valuable piece of advice in favor of public opinion.

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The Art of Training Your Brain to Improve Your Entrepreneurial Focus

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This entrepreneur stays focused by following these six tips

Developing your focus as an entrepreneur can be one of the greatest challenges you’ll ever face starting a business—all the talent, creativity, people skills, and funding in the world can’t help you succeed if you lack concentration. Fortunately, the art of staying focused is a skill, or perhaps a muscle—one any motivated individual can strengthen over time. Here are six ways to do exactly that, and start your path to focused, effective entrepreneurship.

1. Start the Day with Challenges

Though this may seem unnatural, those who start their days with the most difficult tasks have proven time and time again to perform better throughout the day. Perhaps it’s a matter of establishing expectations first thing in the morning, or maybe it’s because you’re more energized at the beginning of the day, or clearing a difficult task could generate a jolt of endorphins. Whatever the mechanism, it works. Getting the difficult tasks out of the way first thing motivates you to stay focused on finishing everything you need to get done.

2. Allocate Time Mindfully

Though you don’t need to schedule every minute of every day, when you spend time on a task (or a break), it pays to be attentive to how much time you are dedicating toward that particular thing. Avoid working aimlessly—anticipate how long it will take you to do certain tasks, then schedule yourself throughout the day so you don’t spend too much time (or get distracted) thanks to your set time limits. When you have a schedule, even a loose ad-hoc one, you’ll find it far easier to ignore distractions and stay on task.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Simply trying to focus for a few minutes each day can make it easier to do so in the future. Studies suggest concentration is somewhat like physical stamina: With regular effort, you can train up to Herculean feats. Try this easy concentration exercise: Set a timer for 10 minutes and slowly count to 100, forward and backward, until the timer runs out. Something as simple as focused counting can help you stay alert and more concentrated throughout the day.

4. Rest and Recharge

The smartest entrepreneurs know the importance of a work-life balance. Working hard all day may sound enticing, but an entrepreneur who tries to focus for eight hours straight will have less done at the end of the day than one who took a few breaks. The trick is to find your best method of relaxing. Maybe you need to take a lap around the office after each call, or step away on one noon break to go for a nice lunch. Experiment and find the right way to resets your focus.

5. Organize Everything

Clutter distracts from focus, so keep your workstation tidy. Few things kill concentration and build frustration faster than hunting for some vital document, a sticky note, or a pen to jot down an important piece of information.

6. Consider Why You Lose Focus

One of the biggest things behind building concentration is noticing when you lose focus and then figuring out what happened. Did you put off tasks or open yourself up to surprises in your schedule? Get sucked into reading emails or browsing Facebook? Wander down the hall to speak with a co-worker? Anything that distracts you from your focus can be overcome, put aside, or avoided. Acknowledge those distractions and make a concerted effort to minimize them.

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The Secret to Building Quality Backlinks Unveiled

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digital marketing, online marketing, SEO, building websites
Source: iStock

Did you know that according to a survey by Moz, approximately 37 percent of online businesses spend an estimated $10,000 to $50,000 per month on link-building alone, deploying tactics like content and outreach, paid links, press releases, and more? While investing such a staggering amount into building backlinks is certain to be successful in one way or another, it simply isn’t necessary anymore. The point of building quality backlinks is for Google to recognize new Web pages as well as to determine how a Web page should rank in the search engine’s results.

Familiarizing yourself with SEO basics, using the right SEO tools, and building a smart SEO strategy can go a long way when it comes to developing high-quality links back to your site. As always, practice smart online etiquette and remember Google’s rules about spamming.

High-Quality Sites

Before you begin your backlink-building journey, it’s important to understand that not all links are created equal. In order to get the most out of your link-building experience, it is essential that you understand the difference between links from high-quality sites and those of lesser quality. While the right inbound links can significantly boost your Google ranking, links from the wrong sites can leave you penalized.

A high-quality site is one that provides relevant, useful information, and is free from common SEO mishaps. In most cases, a high-quality site is linked to by other high-quality websites and contains trustworthy, reliable content that is optimized for search engines without being “over-optimized.” A great way to test the quality of a site is to run it through Moz’s Open Site Explorer and see the site’s number of backlinks, MozRank, and other metrics.

Simple Link-Building Strategies

While you could spend tens of thousands of dollars each month investing in the art of link-building, there are a number of other affordable strategies that can prove to be just as beneficial. The No. 1 thing to keep in mind with link-building is that ALL campaigns should begin with something worth linking to.

  • Create valuable content: The first step toward earning links is to build content that is relevant and garners the attention of your target market. Great content has the ability to be shared across the web, which indirectly and organically builds quality links back to your site.
  • Check link value of sites: As mentioned earlier, Moz’s Open Site Explorer is an incredible tool to check out a site’s link value. Simply search a URL (or download the toolbar for even easier access to data) and see metrics like page authority, spam scores, social stats, inbound links, top pages, and even link opportunities to help you access whether or not you want to be linked on that particular site.
  • Outreach and PR: Bloggers on high-quality sites are a great source to strengthen brand awareness as well as get a link back to your site. Send a personalized email to blogs in your niche and let them know about your products or services that are relevant to their readers. Ask if they might think your product or service is worth sharing, and be sure to include a link.
  • Find unlinked mentions: Setting up Google Alerts and using tools like Buzzsumo or Mention.net are great ways to see when people are talking about your brand. If they mentioned your product or service but didn’t link back to your site, try sending them an email.

Putting these powerful strategies into practice can not only increase the number of high-quality backlinks you receive at virtually no cost to you, but significantly increase your site’s traffic, building both your revenue and your brand.

Sources:

http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/growing-popularity-and-links

https://www.reliablesoft.net/what-is-a-high-quality-web-site-in-the-eyes-of-google/

http://backlinko.com/17-untapped-backlink-sources

http://neilpatel.com/2014/12/30/how-to-build-high-quality-backlinks-in-a-scalable-way/

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Is your Blog Getting Enough Hits? 6 Steps to Help Boost Your Traffic

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blog, blog traffic, boost blog
Source:Christian Schnettelker

According to Hubspot, nearly 40 percent of businesses in the United States use blogs for marketing purposes. That may be because in 2013, 79 percent of businesses that blogged reported a positive ROI for inbound marketing. However, blogging does not automatically guarantee traffic.

A successful blog features amazing content to establish strong readership, but this sometimes isn’t enough to get quality backlinks or traffic. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to not only increase overall traffic, but generate qualified traffic that leads to lifelong customers.

Target Your Content Toward Your Customers

Get in touch with your customers’ interests and create blog posts that appeal to them. Using demographic data, put together buyer personas and use them as guiding principles when planning your editorial calendar. While narrowing your base seems counterintuitive, speaking to your target audience’s interests and pain points will show your blog has merit to people who actually matter—your potential customers.

Vary Your Content

Straight text is not enough. To keep readers interested, mix up your content by adding images, infographics and videos. If you do not have the budget to create your own media, curate content from the web and provide commentary as to why it’s relevant to your customers. Also, include statistics and cite authoritative sources to build your own credibility and to make posts more sharable.

Advertise Your Blog

There are many ways to advertise your blog without spending money. For example, add a link to your blog in your Twitter bio or send out a blog article in an email or newsletter to your current contacts. Your email signature is another great place to add a link to your blog. If you see an active forum that is relevant to your business, join the conversation—but be sure to take the time to add value and build your character in the community before casually linking to relevant posts on your blog. While this can be a useful tactic, be careful. Remain genuine and add value—nobody likes a used car salesman on their forums. Other ways to advertise include posting articles on your professional and personal social networking accounts and sending other websites relevant native content.

Become SEO-Friendly

In 2014, Google fielded more than 6 billion searches daily, and that number is expected to increase significantly in years to come. Before publishing your post, spend five minutes doing keyword research and look for terms that are relevant to the post and have adequate search volume. Use these keywords within the copy (but don’t stuff!) and within meta data. There are many CMSes that allow easy on-page integration through SEO plugins or widgets.

Install Google Analytics

Google Analytics is free to download and is a goldmine of useful information, such as which keywords bring traffic, where visitors are coming from, demographic data, and engagement metrics that can tell you if your content is resonating. Using Google Analytics can help you decide which paths to pursue and which to avoid.

Make and Accept Guest Posts

Pay attention to popular sites and other blogs that contain information similar to yours. Chances are some of your current readers are checking out the same sites, so there is likely an abundance of potential readers lurking there. Research a blog you would like to be featured on and pitch titles that would resonate with its readers. Be sure to accept guest posts on your blog as well, since the guest poster will more than likely promote his or her article on your blog, increasing your traffic even more.

Generating traffic can have a significant impact on the success of your blog—and, in essence, your entire business. Remember, companies that have created successful blogs are 13 times more likely to experience a positive ROI. While promoting your blog can take a substantial amount of effort in the beginning, the payoff is well worth it.

Sources:

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4 Simple Practices That Could Change The Way You Do Business Online

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Online Shopping

Operating your own online business is hard work. You and your employees have likely put a lot of time and effort into making sure your organization thrives, but even the most successful small enterprise has room for improvement.

By taking time to identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as setting goals for the future, you can dramatically change and improve the way you do business. The following are four simple practices that can help you accomplish this.

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