Saturday, 9 July 2011

Google vs People

Reader Relationship Optimization vs Search Engine Optimization
In a follow up to our Getting To Know Google series, we really need to understand how to balance SEO with marketing to real, living, breathing people who have real problems.

We've got a LOT of info to get through:
  • Why it's important to build a relationship with your readers
  • Your readers are actually people not customers (the money is a by-product of your good service)
  • The REAL purpose of SEO
  • What Google looks for when it assesses your webpage(s)
  • How to use SEO effectively to bond with your readers
  • What a quality backlinks to establish your page rank and increase traffic
  • How to optimize you webpage and reader relationship with the proper use of keywords
  • Finding a balance between SEO and reader relationship and how they work hand in hand 
One of the common mistakes many new Internet Marketers make is they don't understand how to find the right balance between building a relationship with their reader and using SEO techniques. They make the error of writing for Google. I've said it before...

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME GOOGLE BOUGHT ANYTHING FROM YOU?

In fact, SEO and reader relationship should work hand in hand. When we examined the core principles of Google in the last two posts in this series, we learned that Google built an empire based on giving relevant results to users, the way Google critiques our webpages and how our webpages are labeled according to the type of "user experience" that Google perceives the page as having.

When we examine the techniques of SEO, when we really break it down, the real purpose is not about page rank (that's a by-product) but all about giving visitors a "great user experience."


SEO IS important. It really is the difference between getting ranked and getting spanked...

BUT!

Building a relationship with your readers is also a top priority because that's what makes the difference between a visitor and a customer. RRO (Reader Relationship Optimization) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have a symbiotic relationship with each other and you really cannot become master of one without understanding the other.

TARGETING YOUR PEOPLE (NICHE)
What do the majority of users search the Internet for? There are many people who love shopping...but they hate being sold to. More often than not, the average user does not get online with the sole purpose of buying something, they are looking for information. So how do sell to someone who doesn't want to be sold to?

By teaching them. This is perfect because you probably don't have a lot experience with marketing. But you sure have a lot of experience teaching, especially if you are a parent.

When you are targeting a niche, you're keywords and long tail keywords need to flow naturally throughout your articles or blogs. RRO is a two way, give-take relationship. Your goal is to give your readers something valuable and highly sought after. Accurate information.

In return, they click through and but whatever it is you're promoting. Give your readers informative, interesting, relevant information and they will have every reason to return. This leads to return visitors.The average buyer has to be exposed to something about 8 times before making their purchase. You want them to be exposed those 8 times on your site.

If you haven't yet built a website (it is a mammoth task) then you need to go and start a blog at Blogger or  Wordpress. They are free, easy and an important stepping stone in your business. (Make no mistake, you are building a business from the ground up - not stumbling across an untapped, never ending source of easy income)

Then you need to go back to the content sites you have been submitting articles to and link them all together. Your readers should be able to find one of them in the search engines and either click through to the sales page via an affiliate link or visit more of your articles for more information.

Your article in the content sites (Squidoo.com HubPages.com EzineArticles.com etc) should direct traffic to your site. You are creating a funnel which in it's simplest form looks like this

User searches for info with Google >>>User finds your article at Squidoo >>>User clicks through to your
  • website >>>then the sales page
  • blog >>>then the sales page
  • or sales page via an affiliate link
Make sense? You are establishing yourself as the authority in your niche. Over time, as you grow into a fine young Internet Marketer and you understand how the system works a little better, you can replace the sales page with a squeeze page - in exchange for a free eBook or signing up for your newsletter, visitors are squeezed out of their email address. You will then have an opportunity to learn all about Email Marketing - there's something to look forward too!

Email Marketing is highly effective and an essential element for so many businesses that are making the big bucks. If people have signed up for your mailing list, then you already know what interests them - you offer them more valuable info in their newsletter as well as another affiliate link. Clever, huh? Let's get back to basics.

I like to use the example of a magazine when I teach people how to target their niche. Magazines contain highly effective and targeted information. You would never buy that mag again if you opened it to find a 800 word article about why you can't live without some product or service.



The marketing strategies employed in magazines work and they build a loyal following of die hard, repeat customers. When you are finished here, go grab a magazine and reverse engineer it. Every single word on every single page has been phased that way for a purpose. Every picture, every poll, every advert has a purpose. Study it. Learn from it. Duplicate it in your own Internet Marketing ventures.

TARGETING GOOGLE & SEARCH ENGINES (SEO)
There are two things that you can do to get noticed by Google and both require work. Sorry. It's just the way it is. New Internet Marketers have an unfortunate habit of looking for shortcuts. Eventually, after multiple failures, one of two things will happen. They either quit and crawl back to their day job with their tail between their legs.

Or...

They go back to the forums (or blogs like this one) and read all those posts that they skipped over the first time. The posts about SEO, backlinks and quality content. They realize that methods actually WORK--it's not some loophole or some cutting edge plugin or system. It's tried and true, proven methods that have been around for decades...because they work.


Backlinks

Right there in the middle - that's where you want to be!
Google scans the web each day by following the links we make.
When a webpage has many links pointing to it, it means that it is
an important and influential page and therefore finds
favor from Google.
Firstly, why do we need backlinks? What are they? How do they work? Much like the strands of web pictured here, backlinks determine the status of your webpage. When Google sees a site has many links pointing towards it, it must be a pretty darn influential site.

When backlinks are accompanied by relevant information (quality content) then Google will
shine it's glorious light on that webpage by means of a great page rank.

A great page rank means free organic traffic which leads to more traffic. More traffic doesn't always mean more people converting into paying customers...but it sure helps.

Backlinks aren't solely for Google's benefit. Backlinking in social area's of the net (forums, Facebook etc) also help to drive traffic to your webpages. There is a somewhat hazy line between creating a backlink and spamming somebody elses  blog--do be careful to leave a great and relevant pearl of wisdom with your link that encourages the reader to clickthrough and discourages the moderator to mark it as spam.

I don't really fancy myself as a Jane of all trades so to speak. Once was a time when I would build my backlinks personally (I am after all an artist--I like to get my hands dirty) and now I'm thrilled to bits to know that I have other people doing it for me. By other people, I mean Social Monkee - totally free (it's even free to upgrade). They go ahead and publish 25 backlinks for me each time I submit an article or post. That's me. What about you? What system do have in place for creating traffic driving and page rank boosting backlinks. If you don't have one, make one.

KEYWORDS
For optimum results, you should use your keyword in the first sentence or two or your article. I have a peeve about people who open their articles with that question...

"Are you looking for ways to [keyword]?"

It seems like pointless keyword stuffing to me however it is an effective use of SEO skills. Get creative - two things encourage people to click through more than any other. Curiosity and humor. There are better ways to get you keyword in there without resorting to a pointless question. Think outside the square. You don't even need to...
  • When you're looking for ways to [keyword] it is absolutely, positively essentially vital that you understand this.... (okay, that's a exaggeration but you get my point)
  • If you have ever had to search for ways to [keyword] then you would know how difficult it is to...
  • Understanding the concept of how to [keyword] is essential to your success...
  • Never let anyone tell you that if you want to [keyword] then you should do XYZ...
  • If you're trying to [keyword] then you can forget it because unless you understand the concept behind [keyword] then you don't stand a chance.
 See what I mean about senseless keyword stuffing? Get creative.

Throughout your article, the keywords should flow naturally. Depending on who you ask, you should use your keyword no less than every 200 words - again, it should read naturally. Bullet points can be an effective way to get your keywords out there. For example:

The best diets plans will show you:
  • How to lose weight safely
  • How to lose weight quickly
  • How to keep the weight off
  • Exercises that will help you lose weight effectively
  • Why you should avoid fads when you're trying to lose weight, and
  • How making some simple changes to your diet will make you lose weight faster than you thought possible.
When appropriate, you should also use your keywords as the anchor text to create the backlinks to your blog or website as well as your affiliate links to the sales page of the product you are promoting.


QUALITY CONTENT
When I talk about "quality" I don't necessarily mean that you need to be a world class author but I do mean that it needs to be relevant, informative, helpful and engaging. Think back to you magazines - that's quality content.

Content is King. It's a common comment that gets thrown around a lot online, but what does it mean? Why do we need it? We need content so that Google knows what our site/blog is all about. We also need content to expose our products to readers as much as is sensibly possible. The more content you have, the more likely one of those pages is going to be found in the SERPs (Search Engine Page Results)

FINDING A BALANCE 
BETWEEN SEO AND SERVING THE PEOPLE
As an Affiliate Marketer, a Blog Marketer or a Webmaster your goal is to create a relationship built on trust with your readers. This trust leads to sales and repeat customers.You can only accomplish this by means of quality and relevant content. In the first post of the Getting To Know Google series, I discussed that Google crawls the 3 billion odd webpages and assesses each and every one of them according to the "User Experience."

SEO is important but it's vital that you understand the whole purpose of SEO. Why does Google respond so well to SEO? What unchanging core belief does Google have that it values some sites over others? 

The vast majority of SEO techniques is to better the user experience. Show Google that you have something to offer people and an easy to navigate site that is well maintained and you will bask in the glorious light of Googles favor. 

And so concludes the worlds longest post. Good for you for reading it all!

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