Posts tagged Power

Tapping the Unknown Power of Google RLSA by @neilpatel

Savvy marketers know that retargeting can be a huge source of leads and conversions. Retargeting is designed to bring back those bounced visitor and abandoned shopping cart. Retargeting is nothing new in the paid search world, but Google’s entrance to the market is relatively recent. Now, around one year after the launch of Google AdWords Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), we’re finally seeing how effective, strategic, and powerful Google’s approach to retargeting is. I wrote this article because I want to alert you to RLSA’s potential, and share some power tips for improving targeted traffic to your site. RLSA: The Next Frontier? […]

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Unleashing the Power of Syndicated Content in Your Content Marketing Efforts by @neilpatel

So, you’re doing content marketing. Things are going great. You’re publishing blogs, infographics, videos, stuff like that. Now, you’re ready for the big leagues. You want to take it to the next level by growing your audience and attracting a wider swath of the Internet community. So, how do you do that? One of the ways you do so is called content syndication. Syndicated content can help you grow your brand, your identity, your product, and your business. In this article, I’m going to share how you can unleash the power of syndicated content in your marketing efforts. To organize […]

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The Hidden Power of Nofollow Links

Posted by nicoleckohler

A few years ago, while I was still on the client side of things, I received an email from a blogger I was working with. As part of our fledgling link building program, my company had been sending out free products in exchange for a review and link to our site. Oldest trick in the book, right? However, the blogger’s email threw me off: she told me her policy was to nofollow links, and asked if this would be all right.

“Uh, sure,” I eloquently responded, having absolutely no idea what she was talking about, “just as long as there’s a link!” I then scrambled to look up just what in the heck a nofollow link was, and roughly five minutes later started cursing at my monitor. We’d just invested thirty bucks in a completely useless link!

While that may have been my viewpoint back then, my opinion on nofollow links has changed. Obviously, for those of us who are trying to earn links for our clients, receiving a nofollow link can feel like a slap in the face. But
these links have hidden powers that make them just as important as followed ones.

Here’s why nofollow links are more powerful than you might think.

Links build awareness

A link has a few different connotations these days. It could mean, “this is an article that supports my viewpoint, and you might benefit by reading it, too.” It could mean, “I do a lot of shopping here, and I think you should look at their cute dresses.” Or it could simply mean, “I like cat videos!” But at its very core,
a link is designed to create awareness of something on a different page.

When you’re out there trying to make people aware of your business, links are hugely important. SEO companies now offer link building services
because businesses realize how important they are. So to that busy CEO who sees his or her website traffic dipping, and believes that links will give them a way to get back on top, a successful link building campaign is going to be really desirable.

That busy CEO is probably going to flip out if you say “well, we got 50 new links this month, and 40 of them were nofollow.” But it’s important that neither you nor the CEO (nor their marketing team) discredit the power of a nofollow link. Links still build awareness,
as long as they are seen. They don’t have to be followed. They probably don’t even have to be clicked! They just have to be visible.

How many times a day do you see someone you follow tweet a link to an article with an interesting headline? Let’s say the article is really well written, and is on a site you don’t currently follow. So you add them to your feed reader. A week later, you think “oh, you know, that post I read is really relevant to this blog post I’m working on now!” So you link to it in your post. This accomplishes two things: one, it probably negates that original nofollow link from Twitter (more on that shortly), and two, it has made both you
and your followers aware of that site.

Links lead to profit

A nofollow link can also
directly lead to someone spending money on your company’s products or services. If you consistently create awareness and engage with people, those nofollow links may earn you way more than domain authority. Don’t believe me? Here’s the story of how I became a paying Buffer customer.

A few months ago, I saw a tweet with a link to
this case study about how Buffer responded to being hacked. I had no idea what Buffer was, but it gave me an idea for a blog post. After I wrote my post, I followed Buffer on Twitter. I engaged with them a few times (for example, mentioning them after my post went up), and they engaged right back.

Over the next few weeks, I visited the Buffer blog when they tweeted links to new posts, learned about their company, and admired the heck out of their content marketing skills. I’d say it was at about the two month mark that I decided to actually give them a try. A month later, I upgraded to the Awesome plan and began using it daily to manage not only
my accounts, but also our agency’s accounts.

To recap, this is how it all went down:

  1. I became aware of Buffer through someone else’s Twitter link
  2. I followed Buffer on Twitter
  3. I engaged with their content
  4. I tried, subscribed, and ended up forking over $10 a month (well worth it!)

This was all because of a single nofollow link. Over the course of three months, my general awareness turned into lifetime value for Buffer. That one nofollow link
directly led to profit.

You can make an equation out of this:

a + e = p

Awareness + engagement = profit. By becoming aware of Buffer, and having opportunities to engage regularly with them, I converted into a paying customer. This all happened because of social media, and all those links you see on social media are nofollow. (Who said there’s no ROI in Twitter?!)

Links lead to more links

A few years ago,
Joshua Unseth wrote a post for YouMoz explaining how a single nofollow link earned him a second link that was followed, increased his traffic, and boosted his article to the top of the SERPs for a specific phrase. His post, titled “The Importance of nofollow Links,” has a really great conclusion that stresses the importance of even a single link:

To put it into context, of the people that came to the article as a direct or indirect result of the nofollow, ~1% made a comment on the article itself, and ~2% blogged about it – actually, if you count this article, then the results were blogged about by 3% of the visitors.

While I don’t think that these numbers would hold on a site with more viewers, I think that they represent the way in which content ends up going viral. In the end, ALL IT TAKES IS ONE LINK, and its follow status doesn’t seem to make a difference.

I couldn’t say it any better! What Joshua wrote still holds true today – and in fact may be even truer, considering how many of us use Twitter to amplify messages and blog posts we enjoy, or rely on a feed reader to provide us with interesting content that we want to share on our websites.

Here’s a real-life example of the potential power of a single nofollow link. Back in March, we published two maps showing the
ISP landscape in the United States, and how the potential Comcast buyout of Time-Warner would affect it. The post was picked up by the Amazing_Maps Twitter account, which has more than 160,000 followers.

This was a nofollow link, obviously, as were the retweets that followed.

Two days later, we made it to the front page of the Huffington Post.

After HuffPo picked up the story, the maps spread to several other websites, most of which had followed links back to our blog post or homepage. But even if those links
hadn’t been followed, we still would have created new awareness of WebpageFX, our blog, and the work we do.

Like Joshua said: it only takes one. One link can lead to many.

How to make the most of your nofollow links

“Okay, Nicole,” I can hear you skeptics saying, “I’m on board. nofollow links are powerful. Magical, even. But you don’t see any of
my tweets getting picked up by HuffPo.”

Well, food for thought: we’ve published hundreds of blog posts, and only one of them led to a Twitter link (not ours) that led to HuffPo. Success on the Internet is all about being at the right place with the right content at the right time, and with all of the blogs, websites, and companies vying for attention, your chance at getting noticed is lower than low.

Here are some ways that you can make the most of your nofollow links, whether they’re on social media, someone’s blog, or elsewhere.

Motivate viewers to click your link. This might mean testing headlines, trying different tweets, or coming right out and saying, “look, if you click this, this cool thing will happen.” For example, Buffer found that one tweet earned a blog post 100% more clicks than another, just because they changed the language surrounding the link.

Increase your audience. Want more people to see, click, and act on your nofollow link? Get a bigger audience. This may be as simple as following industry figureheads who are likely to follow you back, directly asking for shares, or sharing your post multiple times. Try emailing people of authority and asking (nicely) for them to check out your content. If it’s really good, it may earn you a share.

Another trick: if you write blog posts or product content that references someone else, make sure they know about it. It may seem like you’re just trying to stroke their ego, but
it works. If someone wrote a blog post about me, heck yeah I’d tweet the link out to everybody I knew! (Unless it was bad. Then I’d just cry.)

Ensure your link is relevant. This, in my opinion, is one of the most important aspects of a nofollow link. So many links on social media go unclicked simply because the content isn’t relevant to them. This one is hard to control, because it’s pretty difficult to know when your audience is going to be in the mood for your blog posts vs. photos of puppies, but you can still get ahead by thinking very carefully about what you share, when, and why.

Make sure your content is relevant, too. Okay, so your link got clicked. Great! But your bounce rate is at 99%. Not great. You can write the best headline in the world, but if the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is empty, nobody’s going to stick around. Avoid misleading headlines, unfulfilling content, or just plain marketing to the wrong people.

This is honestly the biggest flaw of the ISP map I linked above. Lots of people checked out the maps, and even visited our blog to see the rest of the study, but then they left. Probably 99% of our visitors to that post have no idea who WebpageFX is and what we do. That doesn’t mean the content was bad, but it just wasn’t relevant to the kind of audience we want to attract (that is, potential clients).

Optimize your landing pages. What do you want someone to do after they visit your link? What’s the next step for this visitor? Keep them around a little longer. Use a related posts plugin to provide some additional reading, or try a service like snip.ly to suggest relevant content or links.

Don’t complain. If someone gives you a link and it’s nofollow, please don’t storm into their inbox with guns blazing. Maybe they just don’t know you well enough to follow your links yet. If you’re cool about it, the second link they give you may be a followed one. And even if it isn’t, you’re still getting exposure out of it, right?

A nofollow link isn’t the end of the world

As SEO professionals, I know we’re all aiming for followed links that pass a lot of “juice” to the websites of our clients. If we all had our way, earning links would be easy, every link would be followed, and Google would never, ever penalize websites for having too many links, or too many links of a certain type. We would all have millions of dollars, and would spend our days on the beach drinking fancy cocktails. Unfortunately… that’s just not the way things are.

Honestly, a nofollow link isn’t the end of the world, either for you or for a client. These links are valuable, and important for anyone trying to build their brand online. As I’ve shown, they hold significant power, and more than you might expect.

Instead of focusing on whether or not a link is followed, we should do our best to get those links in front of the right people at the right time, crafting content beyond the link that motivates conversions. As it is for everything in SEO, obtaining links is all about balance: the balance between followed and not followed, “juicy” links and dry ones.

In my case, that nofollow link I talked about at the beginning of this post went live, the blogger was happy with her product, and the review she wrote was fantastic. It led to a fairly high amount of clicks through to our site… and what do you know, even a few purchases. Seeing was believing for me, and now I’m an advocate of earning links in general – not just the followed ones.

Image Credit: Public domain images from Pixabay (links, beach); cat screencap from Maru’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/mugumogu); Twitter & snip.ly screencaps I took; Buffer blog (source linked in post)

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LinkedIn Releases Report: LinkedIn Users Have More Buying Power Compared To Other Networks by @mattsouthern

LinkedIn released a report today, stating that their research proves there is an opportunity for businesses to leverage the buying power of professionals on the LinkedIn network. Professionals are consumers too, and LinkedIn’s Patty Cox says some of the most influential consumers are on the LinkedIn network. She goes on to call these professional consumers, “Prosumers”, and states: Research demonstrates these individuals are an attractive audience for marketers, with more buying power than members on other social platforms and strong influence across many product and service categories. According to LinkedIn’s research, Prosumers are 152% more likely to be active in […]

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The power of an SEO website – Zawya (registration)


Zawya (registration)
The power of an SEO website
Zawya (registration)
Over the last decade, the number of businesses adopting SEO techniques to increase productivity has multiplied. While traditional forms of advertising still offer a worthwhile outcome, the power of the Internet is steadily dominating. Because of this
30 Best SEO Reseller Agencies in Switzerland Announced by switzerland PR Web (press release)
Best Enterprise SEO Firms Coming Soon to 10 Best SEOIntercooler
topseos-canada.com Publishes Rankings of 10 Best Integrated SEO & PPC Virtual-Strategy Magazine (press release)
DigitalJournal.com -IT Business Net
all 52 news articles »

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[STUDY] Webmasters and Online Marketers are Missing Out on the Power of Schema.org

Launched by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and recently adopted by Yandex, Schema.org is an initiative to standardize a set of […]

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The Power of Imperfect Starts: How Good Do You Really Need to Be to Get Started?

When you have a goal — whether it’s starting a business or eating healthier or traveling the world […]

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James Clear

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he uses behavior science to help you master your habits and improve your health.

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Why No One Trusts Facebook To Power The Future

In the coming years, one billion more people will gain access to the Internet thanks to drones and satellites hovering in the stratosphere.

And soon, we’ll be able to sit down with friends in foreign countries and immerse ourselves in experiences never previously thought possible, simply by slipping on a pair of virtual reality goggles

These aren’t just gaseous hypotheticals touted by Silicon Valley startups, but efforts led by one company, whose mission is to make the world more open and connected. If one company actually pulled off all of these accomplishments, it might seem like people would fall in love with it—but once you know it’s Facebook, you might feel differently. And you’re not alone. 

Facebook has a perception problem, which is largely driven by the fact it controls huge amounts of data and uses people as fodder for advertising. Facebook has been embroiled in numerous privacy controversies over the years, and was built from the ground up by a kid who basically double-crossed his Harvard colleagues to pull it off in the first place. 

These days, Facebook appears to be growing up by taking billion-dollar bets on future technology hits like WhatsApp and Oculus in order to expedite its own puberty. 

Its billion-dollar moves in recent weeks point to a new Facebook, one that takes risks investing in technologies that have not yet borne fruit, but could easily be the “next big thing” in tech. One such investment, the $2 billion acquisition of Oculus, left many people scratching their heads as to why a social network would pick up a technology that arguably makes people less social, since Oculus is all about immersive gaming. At least the WhatsApp purchase makes a little more sense strategy-wise, even if the $19 billion deal was bad for users.

So begins Facebook’s transition from a simple social network to a full-fledged technology company that rivals Google, moonshot for moonshot.

Companies need to keep things fresh in order to make us want them, but Facebook, like Barney Stintson from How I Met Your Mother, just can’t shake its ultimately flawed nature and gain the trust of consumers. 

The Ultimate Data Hoard

If you think you’re in control of your personal information, think again.

Perhaps the largest driver of skepticism towards Facebook is the level of control it gives users—which is arguably limited. Sure, you can edit your profile so other people can’t see your personal information, but Facebook can, and it uses your data to serve advertisers

Keep in mind: This is information you provided just once in the last 10 years—for instance, when you first registered your account and offered up your favorite movies, TV shows and books—is now given tangentially to advertisers or companies wanting a piece of your pocketbook.

Not even your Likes can control what you see in your news feed anymore. Page updates from brands, celebrities, or small businesses that you subscribed to with a “Like” are omitted from your News Feed when page owners refuse to pay. Your Like was once good enough to keep an update on your News Feed, but now the company is cutting the flow of traffic and limiting status views by updating its algorithms—a move many people think is unfair, if not shiesty. 

It’s not just Page posts taking a hit, audience-wise—even your own posts could be seen by fewer people if Facebook deems them “low-quality.”

To help eliminate links it doesn’t consider “news” like Upworthy or ViralNova, Facebook tweaked its algorithm to show fewer low-quality posts in favor of more newsworthy material, like stories from The New York Times. Of course, most people appreciate this move since click-bait links can get truly annoying, but it’s concerning that Facebook has so much control over the firehose of information you put in front of your eyes every single day. 

Facebook owns virtually all the aspects of the social experience—photos (Instagram), status updates (Facebook), location services (Places)—but it has also become your social identity thanks to Facebook Login, which allows it to integrate with almost everything else on the Internet. This means if you’re not spending time on Facebook, you’re using Facebook to spend time online elsewhere.

It’s this corporate control of traffic that leads to frustration from those that believe Facebook owns too much, and that working with Facebook is like smacking the indie community hard across the face.

In a sense, people are stuck. They initially trusted a company with their data and information, and in return, those people feel—often justifiably—that they’re being taken advantage of. When the time comes for someone to abandon Facebook, whether over privacy concerns or frustration with the company, Facebook intentionally makes it hard to leave.

Even if you delete your account, your ghost remains. Your email address is still tied to a Facebook account and your face is still recognizably tagged as you, even if the account it’s associated with has vanished. In this way, Facebook is almost like any other cable company—even when you die, Facebook can still make money off you. And that’s not behavior fit for a company that’s poised to take over the future. 

Leveling Up 

Facebook missed the boat on mobile, and its much-maligned Android application interface Facebook Home was a major failure. Though Home was a small step into hardware, it was one users clearly didn’t want.

Now Facebook is dreaming bigger. With recent acquisitions like Oculus and drone maker Titan Aerospace, the company is looking to expand outside of its social shell and be taken seriously as a technology company and moonshot manufacturer. 

Facebook’s well-known slogan “move fast and break things” is regularly applied to new products and features—undoubtedly a large part of Home’s initial failure. The company is ready to try again, this time with technologies and applications that consumers aren’t yet familiar with. But this has created more questions than answers in the eyes of users and investors. And that’s not good for a company with an existing perception problem like Facebook.

People see Facebook moving fast and breaking things to serve its own purposes, not for the benefit of the Internet, or in the case of Oculus, the benefit of dedicated fans.

Facebook isn’t leaving the social realm, at least not yet. It’s still relying on the flagship website to power its larger plans, particularly Internet.org, which aims to bring the next billion people online

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants a Facebook that connects the world, becoming a convenient way for people to find one another, and a gateway for Internet connectivity in developing countries. 

Zuckerberg announced last week how he plans to bring the Internet.org initiative into fruition—and it sounds like a plan straight out of a sci-fi novel. The company is putting its newly-acquired drones to work, powering the Internet in communities that don’t yet have it, which is being accompanied by other technologies like lasers and satellites to distribute the connectivity in largely-populated areas.

When Zuckerberg first announced Internet.org, he initially threw shade at Google’s similar Project Loon, which attempts to connect the world via Wi-Fi balloons.

“Drones have more endurance than balloons while also being able to have their location precisely controlled,” he wrote in a white paper explaining the project. Of course regardless of the method, with more people online, Facebook will control more data and information, and have a larger pool of people to use for advertising.

To gain more users—and keep the ones it has—Facebook needs to change. But when Facebook’s CEO starts talking about drones and lasers powering the Internet, despite the company’s history of reckless privacy policies, it immediately sets off red flags for users.

Facebook Is Growing Up

Last October, when Facebook finally admitted teenagers were abandoning the network for other hot services like Snapchat and Tumblr, the Internet heaved a collective, “Told you so!” 

But teens aren’t the future for Facebook. Zuckerberg’s company has ambitions that go beyond selfies. It can’t remain the same forever, especially if it wants to stay relevant in the ever-changing technological landscape.

Facebook wants to build the Internet’s future infrastructure. It wants to be a part of the technology of that power the next billion people’s online experiences ten more years down the road. Zuckerberg has personally tried to bolster his raw perception with his $1 salary—a symbolic gesture, sure, but nothing Steve Jobs or Bill Gates hadn’t done before.

To build and control the future it wants, it will have to “be more cool” and ease up on its control of users. Facebook has many exciting projects, but it won’t have an audience left unless it addresses its perception problem. Trust is paramount, especially on the Internet, and people need to know that Facebook is making things to improve the human experience, not just spending billions to make even more billions off our personal information. 

Facebook has a great opportunity to improve its image with its exciting multi-billion dollar acquisitions. Prove to us you don’t just care about money, Facebook, and perhaps we’ll all realize how much you really have grown in the last 10 years. 

Lead image by Madeleine Weiss for ReadWrite; Oculus Rift photo by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite; drone photo courtesy of Titan Aerospace

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The Power of Amazon Search by @andynathan

I reached number one on an Amazon Best Sellers list without doing a thing. Well, I wrote the book, but I did pretty much no marketing. That was the moment I realized the power of Amazon search as a tool for not only getting people to buy my book, but also as a way to […]

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Andy Nathan

Andy Nathan helps entrepreneurs go from dreams to success with his weekly Start Up Gap show. Discover some of the tools you can use to be successful with our free 101 Online Tools: Tools You Need To Succeed.

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3 PPC Power Plays: Monday Mornings, Luxury Hotels & Online Education

Plenty of changes have been made on both Google and Bing Ads in the last year as a result of enhanced campaigns. With a long list distractions and optimization ideas, let’s focus on three simple tactics which can drive quick wins.

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