Brand Signals: How Phone Numbers and a Real Address Help With SEO

As anonymous websites and shady SEO tactics clog up Google’s search results, the Mountain View-based company is increasing the level of value it gives to websites with ‘brand signals.’


Brand signals, despite the buzzword-sounding name, are simple indicator that your website is linked to a legitimate, long-term business. In simple terms, brand signals are indicators that your website is here to stay, not just around for short-term SEO.


From small local businesses to online companies, any type of business with its own address, its own phone number, and its own local presence can benefit from brand signals. Enjoy an immediate SEO boost that has lasting long-term visibility benefits.


Just like social signals – Facebook Likes, Twitter followers, and LinkedIn accounts – indicate that your website has a legitimate social presence, brand signals like phone numbers and addresses indicate that your website has a real support presence.


Does your website feature your phone number? If so, is it posted on your website in plain text format so that Google’s indexing bot can read it properly? Is your trading address listed on your website? If so, is it marked with a local pin on Google Maps?


If your website has an ‘about us’ section with company profiles, is it linked to your employees’ LinkedIn profiles? If you have testimonials, are they all from legitimate businesses with a social and maps presence, or anonymous online entities?


Over the last two years, SEO has become less about building links and more about ensuring that your website looks legitimate. Over the next to years, it will become less about looking ‘legitimate,’ and much more about actually being real.


As business addresses, phone numbers, and real staff become more important to Google’s quest for search quality, being one step ahead of the curve and listing all your brand signals now is becoming a far more appealing prospect.

Controlling Your Brand: 3 Simple Reputation Management Tactics

From negative reviews to seedy social media discussions, having your brand show up in Google’s search results isn’t always good. Your online reputation counts for a lot, and ensuring that it remains clean is an important aspect of online marketing.


Because of this, your business should set aside a small budget for fighting online conjecture and needless negative feedback. Apple these three simple reputation management tips to reduce the effects of controversy without spending too much.


  1. 1. Create a company Twitter account


Twitter is one of the most effective online outlets for businesses looking to create a powerful, effective brand. It’s also a service that’s remarkably well optimized for the search engines, with even small accounts ranking for brand name search terms.


If you want to establish your company as the ‘owner’ of its search results page, use a branded Twitter account to make your mark. Twitter accounts rank rapidly, making them the ideal choice for pushing down undesirable search engine results.


  1. 2. Build a LinkedIn page for simple SEO


LinkedIn is a valuable online asset, particularly for business-to-business marketing and lead generation. It’s also a great tool for ‘owning’ your search results. Build out your company’s LinkedIn page to link to employee profiles and group discussions.


An optimized LinkedIn page can improve your company’s search engine visibility, bring in valuable new B2B leads, and give you an extra asset for simple reputation management.


  1. 3. Develop inner pages for deep SEO results


Have you ever noticed that some websites have multiple pages ranked for the same search terms? This is particularly common for brand name searches, where a brand may occupy anywhere from two to five result slots for its own brand name.


The best way to truly conquer your search engine results is to build out a website that’s rich with deep content. Develop inner pages with high quality content that will rank for your brand name, ensuring that your business has ‘clean’ results.

Siri SEO: Is Apple’s Personal Assistant the Latest SEO Target?

Apple’s computerized personal assistant may not be the most inspiring person to communicate with, but it is undeniably popular. The phone-based assistant can be incredibly useful for busy consumers searching for everything from restaurants to retailers. It’s also incredibly valuable for enterprising, innovative SEOs.


In the early days of SEO, all that mattered was a top-ranked website in Google’s then somewhat primitive search index. Over time, rankings in Google Local became more important. Eventually, rankings in Google News, Google Blog Search, and a variety of other services increased in value and received more attention from SEOs.


Today, the next service to reach the SEO tipping point could be Siri. With millions of iPhones sold every single month, getting your business to the top of Siri’s reference list has incredible value. From restaurants to gas stations, being on the top of Siri’s tongue can often mean generating hundreds of extra customers every month.


Just like Google’s search engine values inbound links, Apple’s personal assistant tool values reviews, citations, and feedback. By optimizing your business to achieve high ratings on websites like Yelp and Chowhound, you can increase your visibility when users ask Siri for recommendations on your type of business within your area.


There’s more to Siri than just off-site reviews. Since the application is largely used to pull up local information, having a location listed prominently on your website – and in Apple’s own mapping application – gives you an advantage. Make sure you have a listing in Apple Maps to ensure that Siri knows exactly where to find you.


Just like Google Maps ushered in a new era of local SEO for small businesses, Siri has the potential to be the tipping point for mobile SEO. Score the top spot and you have a valuable piece of digital real estate – the first priority recommendation on a device that attracts an affluent, retail-friendly audience.

Is It Worth Spending Time On Creating Tags And Categories?

Adding tags and categories to blog posts is popular among bloggers. It helps identify articles and group them according to any desired scheme. However, the process can be time consuming, especially for those who want their tags to be truly exhaustive. Techguy from Las Vegas is beginning to wonder if it is really worth the effort just to get a few SEO benefits.

Matt Cutts has his own reservations about tagging posts. He has seen a lot of people get carried away and overdo it. They spend so much time figuring out which tags would work for SEO — sometimes even more than the actual blog. In his view, tags are not necessary if you are only going to repeat words that have already been mentioned within the post anyway. Googlebot will pick up on a phrase even if it was just used once so multiple repetitions are superfluous.

While Matt does not use tags personally, he does see a benefit to having categories. Aside from the organizational advantages, it allows visitors to follow specific feeds and so tailor the content they receive according to their needs.

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Is it worth spending time on creating tags and categories?


Competitive Adwords Keywords: Why They Shouldn’t Be Your SEO Target

Even the least experienced SEO knows that not all keywords produce traffic that’s equally valuable. Given the choice between ‘information about _____’ and ‘buy _____,’ it’s fairly obvious which keyword would be more worthwhile as an SEO target.


Despite this, there’s a lot of value hidden in informational keywords – keywords that lack any direct commercial intent, but indicate a reasonable level of interest. As well as this, there’s a distinct lack of value in the traffic generated by many commercially important keywords.


SEOs have long agreed that the first website listed in the search results receives the bulk of the traffic. Figures range between thirty and fifty percent, but the rule tends to be the first place in the organic results is the place that you want to be.


The dirty little secret of search marketing, however, is that many SEOs can’t achieve even a fraction of this amount of traffic, even with a first place ranking. As Adwords advertisers capitalize on top keywords, earning traffic via SEO becomes very tough.


Because of this, many of the most commercially valuable keywords for advertisers have very limited value for SEOs. After all, when your website occupies the top slot in the organic results but is knocked below the fold by three Adwords ads, it doesn’t quite reach the same level of visibility as it would on a less competitive keyword.


Because of Google’s growing investment in Adwords and its rapidly changing search results design, the SEO top spot just isn’t what it used to be. Crowded by Adwords, a first-place ranking on some search terms is now little more than a consolation prize.


Because of this, targeting competitive keywords that attract a lot of attention from Adwords advertisers shouldn’t be your top priority. Spend some time searching for informational keywords and enjoy the real traffic boost that they can provide.

Hands-Free SEO: How to Build a Website That Attracts Natural Links

Believe it or not, the end goal for most SEOs isn’t just top rankings. While most of us would be happy with a well-ranked website, the end goal of SEO isn’t just rankings, but sustainability. This means a well-ranked resource that attracts natural links.


In an industry renowned for its aggressive link building tactics and less well known for its focus on quality content, it’s easy to see why this concept sounds foreign. It’s no secret that most SEOs focus on links before content, and rankings before quality.


If you can reverse your priorities, however, you’ll gain one of the most valuable SEO assets imaginable: a website that attracts links and improves its own rankings, all on a passive, action-free schedule. In short, a passive, link building, SEO machine.


Sounds like a silly online sales page, doesn’t it? Unlike an piece of software, building something like this requires no technical knowledge. In fact, it doesn’t even require any advanced SEO skills, savvy online marketing abilities, or ‘web knowledge.’


All it takes is focus and ability. The focus to stick to a plan and execute it to the end, and the ability to write immensely compelling content that works like a magnet to attract users to your website. Before Google, it was the standard web formula.


To achieve the end game of SEO, you need to change your mindset. Instead of just focusing on building links and delivering content that’s ‘good enough,’ you need to forget that links even exist, spend more time on content, and try to help people.


In short, you should pretend it’s 1996. Pretend that Google doesn’t exist. Pretend that users willonly find your website through word of mouth. Act like search isn’t your top priority and you’ll quickly find yourself rewarded with natural links.

3 Easy White Hat Link Building Opportunities

Building links to your website doesn’t have to be unethical. If your business wants to increase its PageRank and move up the Google search rankings, it can use a range of free link building strategies to do so.


These three link building strategies are far from the unethical, black hat garbage that you’ll see on most SEO forums. Instead, they’re useful ways to build inbound links to your website that benefit your business and web users as a whole.


  1. 1. Business Directories


Google has been quite vocal about its distaste for mass directories. While most web directories are spam-filled garbage dumps, there are a few industry directories that are beneficial for both your SEO and your customers.


Search for directories that specialize in your industry – for example, marketing and PR or engineering and construction – and submit your website for a free link that’s helpful to potential customers and web users alike.


  1. 2. Industry Bloggers


Bloggers love writing about fresh developments in their industry. If your company is hiring new employees or searching for interns, let your industry’s top bloggers in on the process and you could earn a few great one-way links.


Email bloggers asking if they would be willing to help with your hiring drive. Offer a small commission for finding a good applicant. If they take you up on the offer, you’ll gain both high quality links on great blogs and skilled employees in your industry.


  1. 3. Client Testimonials


Does your business offer a service to clients? If so, are they happy with the service that they’re receiving? If your clients are constantly asking about how to help with your business, give them a great option: build a one-way link to your website.


Instead of asking for testimonials on your own website alone, ask your clients to list your business in the ‘partners’ section of their website. This links will generate both a measurable PageRank boost and an increase in your referral leads.

Creating a Bullet-proof Sales Page

Standard templates abound promising instant success to those who are trying to build their own sales page. Take these with a grain of salt. There is no magic formula for success as each case is different from the next. Sites that promise the moon and the stars are likely in it just to win your dollars and nothing else as any competent online marketer will know that things don’t come quite that easy.


Sales pages can indeed be broken down into individual components but completing each section is never straightforward. As we have seen in our two previous articles, each element has its own unique character and purpose. These must be studied diligently in order to create an effective sales page. To round up our series, we look at five more components which should complete a well-crafted ideal.


An Eye-catching Design


Traditional sales pages were composed of a long copy with a smattering of images. These can still work but the design can use a bit of a touch-up. It is best to retain the simplicity, though, as the primary focus should remain on the copy. Ensure that the layout is clean and that there are no unnecessary elements floating around and distracting the reader. Remember that they must consume the page from start to finish so any distraction must be eliminated.


The page design must be cohesive. Each element must complement the other to create a harmonious look. Consistency is desired, with a logical flow from the introduction to the final sales pitch. Do not mix too many colors or large images together as they could skew the layout and make the page seem sloppy. Aim for an elegant and professional look that would make a favorable first impression. After all, you might not get another chance.


A Compelling Offer


After introducing the company and telling the story behind the product, it is time to make an offer they can’t refuse. List down the product specifications to remind the readers what they will be getting. Then, enumerate the distinct advantages that can be gained by using the product as opposed to its competitors. Emphasize its value to potential owners.


A Guarantee that Erases All Doubts


If the product is a new to the market, then it would be understandable that people would be hesitant to take a chance on it. For all they know, it may not work as intended or it could induce unwanted side effects. Sometimes people are simply not satisfied with the product’s performance. Banish their hesitation by providing a guarantee that reduces the risks on their part. One popular form of this is the 30-day money-back guarantee. Another is a limited lifetime warranty. Just make certain that the scope and limitations are clear to the readers to prevent problems in the future.


An Urgent Call to Action


Near the end of the page is where your powers of persuasion are most required. Here, readers who have gotten to know your company and your product will be asked to make an immediate purchase. Entice them with discounts if they buy now instead of later. That moment is the golden opportunity to create a sale. If people choose to delay their purchase, then the probability of the sale plummets with time. In some cases, readers will instead be asked to download an e-book or subscribe to a newsletter. The latter have higher conversion rates since they are typically free of charge, though they still call for a powerful call to action to get good response.


A Last Hurrah


After the call to action has been made, a bit of follow-up or “last hurrah” can be written in a postscript. This short section is there to motivate doubters to go ahead and take the chance. It must be filled with positive language including a summary of the product benefits, the guarantees, and the advantages of buying right away. All essential details are reiterated for that final push towards immediate action. Do not forget to include this section as it has been found to boost sales dramatically.


Effective sales pages often go through periodic evaluations for fine-tuning. In online marketing, learning simply never stops and the content must change to reflect a better understanding of related strategies and technologies.

3 Components That Enhance Sales Page Messaging

We previously provided you with four of the most basic sales page elements that are used to grab attention and keep the reader hooked. This time we shift our focus on three vital components that help establish the credibility of the brand and the rapport with the audience. Again, these must all blend together well, complementing each other to promote a coherent message.


Provide a History of the Company and the Product


People like hearing stories, especially if they are inspirational or interesting. If these are told in an effective manner, then they could be fantastic tools in selling the product. The key is to make the product and the people behind it easily relatable. Make the readers connect emotionally with the brand and they will become loyal followers. This enhances their status from mere customers to extremely beneficial brand evangelists.


Use the stories to rally support among the readers. Everybody loves a good rag to riches story and tales of overcoming monumental odds on the way to success. They provide inspiration and motivation. They also build trust as the audience will feel like they are in good hands. Give them details that will make them see how much you know about the industry. Tell them your credentials. These will make them listened more attentively to what you have to say. They will also be more likely to purchase the product which you are trying to sell.


Be very careful about what you say, though. Do not embellish for the sake of making a story more thrilling for the readers. The truth has a way of surfacing and if your lies are found out, your business could be ruined. Reputation is one of the most cherished assets of any company or individual. Take good care of yours and you will have the potential for enduring success.


Double-check your facts to ensure that the copy is truthful to the best of your knowledge. Write in an engaging manner but have everything rooted in reality so as to maintain credibility.


Provide Irrefutable Proof


Back up everything you say with proof. With so many products out there, the competition is high and plenty of companies make false claims just to make a sale. People know this and are wary of fakes. Therefore, it would help if you could include laboratory studies and similar sorts of evidence that would erase all doubts from skeptics. These will allow people to lower their guard and shed their fears, increasing their chances of buying from you.


Aside from boosting sales, these proofs will serve to bolster your reputation in the industry. You will become highly regarded as an expert in your field by both consumers and other industry players because they understand that you went through all the necessary steps to get to where you are right now.


Apart from constantly showing what you have to offer, consider telling your readers what they risk losing on if they ignore your product today. This may be a promotional sale or a missed opportunity. Make it clear to them that the only logical conclusion is to purchase the product now to enjoy its benefits immediately. Thus, once they reach the end of the page, they will have no qualms about clicking the “Buy Now” button and completing the transaction.


Provide a Video that Connects with the Audience


Videos are incredibly powerful as they engage people better than most other media. Make a short video that summarizes the highlights of the page. Introduce the company, the product, and yourself if possible. There is nothing quite like seeing a face behind a product to humanize everything and take things to a more personal level. People trust other people, not objects. They will trust the product if they feel that they can trust you.


Be sure to have a professional supervising the production of the video. If you have some background in editing and camerawork, then it may be fine to go DIY. However, nothing beats the polished look of a professionally produced and edited video clip. It simply adds an air of sophistication to the sales page and allows you to target large businesses aside from individual customers.

4 Elements That Set Sales Pages on Fire

Simply put, the job of a sales page is to capture the reader’s imagination. It should enthrall, captivate, and make the product so irresistible that there is no choice but to make a purchase. Of course, this is easier said than done. The page must be composed in just the right way to pull it off, with polished elements blending together in perfect harmony. Each element has a distinct role and all of them contribute towards the attainment of desired results.


Sharpen Your Hook with the Right Headline


The title is the biggest draw for any article. It hints at the topic and tempts people to find out more. A good headline provides just enough detail to tease but not to bore. It promises a rewarding experience should the reader click the link and read the article in full. These are truly great expectations for a string of words, but its position at the head of the post demands that these expectations be met. No matter how good an article is, a bad title will cause people to ignore it.


Think of your readers and the things that tend to catch their interest. A thorough analysis of the intended audience is necessary for fine-tuning so be sure to read up on related research.  Compose the title in such a way as to assure them that the article will cater to their needs. This might take a bit of practice so don’t give up if your first attempts lack the punch they need.


Dazzle Your Audience with a Tantalizing Entrance


Sales pages are similar to news articles in that the opening paragraph needs to grab the reader’s attention. It has to bring about excitement and anticipation so that the reader will buckle down to finish the rest of the article. It also provides a chance to introduce the brand and set the tone for what can be a great business relationship. Make it friendly and use plain English to explain what the product has to offer.


The first paragraph must foster an air or intrigue. This initial push should keep readers on their toes, eager to get more and more information. Don’t reveal too much at this stage as people might leave before reaching the final sales pitch at the bottom.


Prevent Readers from Wandering by Using Subtitles


Sales pages tend to be lengthy by design and, while often necessary, it can cause readers to zone out if all they see is one big mass of text. It is therefore necessary to break things down to manageable chunks and place an appropriate subtitle for each section. People who tend to scan a page before reading it will appreciate the visual breaks as well as the information they provide as these enable them to go further along the article.


Make the subtitles enticing so that people will be raring to read all the sections from start to finish. Anticipate that the audience may be thinking at certain points and assure them at each of their questions will be answered through these subtitles. If you are still unsure how to go about it, then put yourself in the shoes of the readers and think about the ways in which your interest can be kept.




Pictures and illustrations certainly add tremendous visual appeal to any sales page. A long page that is all copy and no image looks a bit dull, whereas one that has a sprinkling of pertinent images is much more attractive. These can also clarify concepts which were discussed in the article and provide readers with detailed views of the product — something that is quite important when you are selling something over the Internet. Additionally, the use of pictures adds credibility to the claims made. They are visual proofs of satisfied customers, before-and-after comparisons, or simply the merchandise itself.


Creating an effective sales page is a challenging task which could take a while to master. It is important to study the basics before anything else and these four elements are exactly that. If you want to get a decent conversion rate, then you have to polish your headline-writing skills, learn to compose engaging introductions, and find out the types of images that work.