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How to Balance free and premium content with SEO

For several years, websites that keep their main content behind paywalls have mixed results with organic search. There are several SEOs and business owners who forget that Google is not only about keywords and technical structure, rather it’s about providing a satisfying search experience for the user. Google has no interest in sending users to a website where the content mentioned is behind a pay gateway. This would certainly be a poor user experience, especially if similar content is provided on several other websites. Now this is not true for all instances, but there are often brands who built up a strong presence.

The Paid Content Problem

Google says that strict paywalls pose problems, as they want to provide the user with a positive search experience. The reason behind all this is that it offers free content as well as premium, allowing users from organic search and social media to sample a substantial amount of their high-quality content for free.

Post Excerpts for Free Users

There are many people who tend to forget that Google’s main objective is user experience. A lot of top content websites provide excerpts and snippets to free users. This is quite normal if your competitors are using similar. However, if they are offering more than this, then you need to do so as well. When Google assess a page’s content, it looks for both main content and supplemental content. According to survey it is seen that websites focusing on monetization, rather than user value saw an impact on rankings.

First Click Free

The concept of First click free was introduced by Google so that users who are coming from organic search could see an article, usually behind a paywall for free and then subsequent clicks onsite to other articles and pieces of content trigger the paywall. Google originally limited a user to five free clicks peer day, but this has since become three due to publisher pushback.

Guest Posting

Tips You Must Follow Before Accepting Guest Post

Guest Posting can be an extremely valuable marketing approach. For most, guest posting is all about publishing your content on various other websites. However, there is a big opportunity when you allow others to guest post on your website.

Accepting guest posts is a great way to grow your blog without having to put in a lot of efforts. Guest posters will share their content when it is published and will subsequently promote your blog. This is a free marketing strategy, which can lead to more social media shares and hopefully links to your site. Usually, websites accept guest posts to add spice and attitude to the blog.
But accepting guest posts is not an easy task and requires a lot of efforts. Therefore, here are a few things one must follow before accepting guest posts:

1. Make sure to Figure out your Goals

Publishing guest posts on your blog are sure to bring in new visitors to your website. But the important question that you need to keep in mind is that what are the extra goals for these extra visitors?

1. Do you want these visitors to subscribe to your email?
2. What is your ultimate goal? Whether to increase your conversions or your click through rate?
3. Do you want more social media followers?

Whatever your goal might be, it is important that you put in some thought into it before you allow people to start guest posting on your website. It will then prepare your website to best utilize the extra traffic that you need to meet your specific goals. The biggest mistake companies make is to run towards this approach hoping to reap out all the benefits and often times their website is unprepared and they end up actually missing out on opportunities. If you want people to sign-up for your email list, then make sure to include a contact form and at times even a sign up form on the first page of your website so that no one misses it. If you want to increase your conversion rate, then consider running a sale or promotion around the same time when you publish your first guest post. Make sure to set a few goals, prepare your site and then let your guests do the marketing for you.

2. Create Guest Posting Guidelines

Once your blog is open to guest posts you are sure to get a lot of inquiries about your expectations for the posts. You can easily save some time and address these questions by posting a guidelines page. This will also let visitors know that you are open to guest posts and will encourage them to contact you. Also make sure to include information about how long you want the posts to be made, some of the possible topics that you are interested in, your preferred style of writing and any incentives you might be willing to offer. You can also optimize your websites guidelines page by including keywords like “guest post guidelines” or “write for us.”

3. Highlight your Stats

It is quite obvious that no one is going to write for you for free, so make sure you explain in detail why it is worth for them to choose you above the various others. Statistics should be readily available mentioning how many monthly visits your site attracts, the audience demographics or how many people are signed up for your website, email list, etc. The bloggers might also be interested to know how many twitter followers you have or what your following looks like on LinkedIn and Facebook. While they have access to some of this information without your help, it will look good if you can immediately answer their questions with some stats. If all your stats are not in great numbers, then try to focus on the ones that are good in numbers and can flaunt easily.

4. Plan well in advance for promoting Guest Posts

Another important thing that guest posters might be wondering about is how you plan to promote their post after they are done writing it. It is as important for your success to have a plan in mind as it is for theirs. If social media is a big part of your marketing plan, then emphasize on it. Share how often you usually tweet new posts, or how many shares you get when you post content on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you usually share your posts through a newsletter or email list then explain that to your guests. You should promote guest posts exactly the same way you promote your own content. Remember, the more you promote the post, the more others will be motivated to do the same, and this will result in increased traffic for your website. In addition to this to have more attraction, have an idea of where you will put in your author’s bio. Guest posters should submit a good-looking photo and detailed author bio and they want this information displayed significantly somewhere on your website.

5. Make sure the content on your Home Page is the best one that you have to Offer

This has more to do with you than with your guests. Think carefully about what message you want to send to all the new visitors. What is the first thing that visitors are going to see when they arrive on your page? Is it representative of your brand and your company? If not, then it is time for a revision. If a visitor reads one post and ends up on your site, they might be motivated to read more. Make sure the articles they see first are some of your best work, and it does not hurt to feature a few with engaging headlines.

There are many benefits to allowing guest posts on your website and a few of them are:

  • It is a free content for your blog.
  • You have the chance to highlight a different opinion on a topic.
  • You will receive increased social media exposure.

Just make sure that you are prepared to accept guest posts. Keep in mind that there are plenty of other great blogs looking forward to attract guest writers. Following these five tips will help make sure your blog looks professional and stands out as one of the best in the industry.

Content Syndication

Syndication – A Key to Publishing Great Content Online

Although syndication is an effective way to rehash existing blog material, if done improperly, it may bring the Google wrath upon you. So how can you use syndication judiciously? In this article, we’ll give a run-up of strategies that you can use to publish great content online using syndication.

What is Syndication?

Syndication is the process of publishing one blog on multiple places. To a newbie, syndication may look an awfully lot like duplicate content. However, there’s a minute difference between the two. While duplicate content is all about copy, pasting. Syndication uses certain precautionary measures that protect the content from getting dinged by search engines.

Syndicating the Content: Right Way

Syndicating content the right way requires inserting tags that alert Google about the blog. Here are the three effective strategies you may use on your next blog to ensure that your content is syndicated safely and effectively:

  1. Writing a recap or prelude: One of the safest and easiest ways to syndicate content to your website is to write recaps. Your recap or prelude needs to contain the name, the platform on which the content was originally publish and some filler text.
  2. Use Cross-Domain Canonical Tag: As fancy as the name may sound, Cross-Domain Canonical Tag is essential for your write-up. By using this tag, you signal Google about the original source of the content.
  3. Use No-Index Meta Tags: No-index meta tags specify the spiders to keep the original copy of the content, but exclude the syndicated copy from its index. It acts as a linking-pin between the source and the current piece.

Apart from these three tips, always finish your post with a call-to-action text, and there you have it. An awesome, great piece of syndicated content that won’t bear any wrath from Google!

Content Marketing Strategies That Can Help You Recuperate From Penguin

Content Marketing Strategies That Can Help You Recuperate From Penguin

When asked about recovering from Google penalties, the first thing that comes to mind is removing negative links. Same is considered useful for recuperating from Penguin, which may not be a penalty technically but its effect are no less than one. Now, if you ask an SEO guy like me who has tried to help numerous clients to bounce back from penalties, than link removal does help in the recovery process, but it will not suffice. This is because removal of links can also have an adverse effect of website ranking as well.

So, what should one do? Well by promoting the website with link building techniques that focus on branding and referral traffic you can really augment your website.

Here are some content marketing strategies that can not only help in Penguin recovery, but can also take your business to a new level.

  • Creation and marketing of linkable assets: This involves creating anything to garner the interest of your audience, like useful, interactive and relatable blogs, whitepapers, slide presentations, infographics, content guides etc.
  • Link attainment: You should acquire links from significant resources so that it brings referral traffic, makes your outreach emails, encouraging email subscriptions.
  • Give bonuses, discounts and giveaways: You can attract visitors by interesting giveaways, but make sure to use third party tool like Rafflecopter to avoid being penalized for “link scheme”.
  • Invite significant people for guest posting: Apart from getting links by guest posting, you can go the other way round and invite influential people who have a different target audience than yours.
  • Use brand names when linking instead of anchor text: You should use your brand name, or highlight the part that shows your perspective. Anchor text can make you vulnerable to Penguin hits.
  • Use PRs to promote your business: Using press to propagate your message across your audience is an amazing way to promote your business.

Using these content marketing and SEO strategies, you can ensure that Penguin updates won’t affect you much!

How to Increase the Profitability of Your Content

You must have noticed that the current SEO trends indicate that social and more appealing content attracts more customers. Therefore more popular your content is, better will be your position in the SEO. Many website owners have mastered this art and have attained better position in SEO; but still there are many who are struggling to find their way. When we talked to the one of the members of SEO team of Brainwork Technologies, he untied few important knots. He said if you are the owner of a website which is more focused on content rather than product or services; it makes more sense to try increase the popularity and thus increase the profitability. At the same time you cannot afford to lose the value of your content. He suggested few methods to increase popularity of your content pages.

  • Accessible placement of top content:

Firstly you need to find the content pages that are driving the most conversions and their locations on your site. If the traffic is following the organic search result that means the visitors who visit homepage of your site may not come across these content pages. Therefore for increasing the profit by increasing page hits, you should make accessible placement of these content pages on your site. You can add an extra tab or separate link on the homepage to increase page hits.

  • Shuffling content to accessible pages:

This is the exact opposite of the method discussed above. Either you can place your content on accessible pages or you can make content pages accessible by any way. Shifting your top content to accessible pages will change the structure of your site in positive sense. Now many more readers can read your top content and that will increase page hits.

  • Internal liking:

Adding internal links of your top content pages will also help you to increase the conversions. You can add internal links wherever it is relevant, at right content and also at right context. Placing irrelevant internal links may also spoil your efforts of increasing profit.

  • User Tests:

Some website owners may find this method useful; but some may not. You may need to spend some extra money to test users’ behavior and turning their focus to your desired pages is also a tricky task. There are different applications available for such tests.

  • Using A/B Tool:

This is the most commonly used way to increase the profitability of your content. Here you can try various structures and layouts that are catching more and more traffic and then you can decide the perfect layout, structure and content getting desired conversions.

He concluded saying, you may start trying these various methods to increase the profitability of your content and may end up having creating your own unique method which could be the blend of various methods; so keep trying to develop your own benchmark. All the very best!!!

Why is Content Part of a Smart SEO Strategy?

“To please Google with your SEO, forget about SEO”, said Andre Weyher (an ex-Google Webspam team member). Does it ring bell in your ears?

Smart SEO professionals capture the essence by reading between the lines. A strategic SEO campaign is about maintaining the right balance between conventional and contemporary strategies. Content is key for the success and failure of any strategy. So, you should pay attention to it.

The Age-old Fight: Quality vs. Quantity

Your site should focus on publishing informative posts which add to the knowledge base of visiting audience members. The focus should be to create one post covering all aspects instead of four different ones talking about the same thing, more or less.

The popularity of infographics and video posts has changed the way people used to read online-based content. The bottom line is to make them participate either by asking them to spend some time on the site or share the content with others. There is nothing to talk about quantity as it does not take the discussion in a progressive direction.

We cannot undermine the importance of creating weekly or monthly posts knowing how important it is to promote relevant keywords and link-building strategy consistently. The biggest revelation made in the SEO sector is that you cannot rely on them to drive traffic to your site entirely. They make a part of it and there are other things to be paid attention to.

Social signals coming from multiple sources, and coming from different sections lends a massive appeal factor. It would be foolish to pitch for the idea that social signals are secondary to links.

Optimize Content to Optimize Keywords

You cannot write a blog post based on certain keywords, unless you’re planning to fail. The best practice is that you should look to write a post which presents something new to learn from or talks about the most neglected aspects of it. A post written with a limited purpose to highlight keywords and create links is doomed to fail, sooner or later.

Your site should serve as a platform where visitors can learn or share something based on the quality of information shared with them.

Quality content vs. Quantity SEO team dilemma solved?

SEO Content Writing

The term Search Engine Optimization or SEO has emerged relatively in recent times but it soon evolved into a billion dollar concept. In internet marketing, SEO is considered as a key in getting more ‘hits’ to your website. SEO works on the aspects of understanding or knowing of how search engine works, the search term or keyword that people usually search for and the preference of search engines by internet users. How frequently your site appears in the users’ search and how would you be able to attract more visitors for your website will only be dependent on SEO. In simple terms it is the process influencing the visibility of a website. There are two main tactics for SEO viz. Quality content and Quantity content. Quality content vs. Quantity content on website is a never-ending debatable issue. One school of thought suggests that quality content is more important whereas another suggests that quantity content is the key; so which approach yields better results? Well, if you want to find out, put yourself in the shoes of the audience.

Quality content and Quantity content both have their own benefits. Let’s take a look:

Benefits of Quality content

  • In the algorithm of search engine, quality content is blessed.
  • As we say if the product is good, the stock will be sellout. Similarly quality content that provides value to your audience help builds a long term relationship with them.
  • Having powerful incoming links which are part of the quality content plays a crucial role in SEO.
  • If you don’t have quality content; you will end up losing out in search engine results.

Benefits of Quantity content:

  • Quantitative content reflects more keywords that will increase the opportunity of having a higher ranking in search engine results and obviously getting more audience.
  • Search engines always welcome more pages on your website as long as they are unique and authentic which bears value.
  • Regular quantitative updates over the period of time on your website are always targeted by search engine and also by the audience. Although updating hundreds of pages is a time consuming activity, one needs to do it rigorously for being on the top of the search result listing.

Both approaches have their own merits which makes it a tough decision to choose one over the other. Adopting a hybrid approach while exploiting benefits from both, would be a wise decision. Both these approaches of SEO bear fruits in one way or other; but you need to keep in mind –

“The success of a page should be measured by one criteria: Does the visitor do what you want them to do?” by Aaron Wall

Now the ball is in your court, whether you choose quality, quantity or a hybrid approach, as consistent and coherent efforts will help you in making your website a success.

An Effective Travel Review Can Help A Reader Decide

The catch on travel reviews can revolve around different formats and tones, depending on where they are to be published. Therefore, it is best to know the purpose of writing a travel review, before beginning to pen down one. It is not always necessary to use decorative words repeatedly; instead swapping in some synonyms will make the write up more readable and non-repetitive. Travel reviews, which are presented effectively, can help others plan the trip personally. The same being informative, entertaining, and effective is crucial. In addition, the information mentioned must be apt and not exaggerated. It is believed, that no person can write a travel review better, then people who have visited the place.

Just few tips that can help in turning a “travel review” into a “well-written travel review” are written below. Thought it might help!

  • When travelling to any place, its best to carry a diary or notepad along, which can help in writing names of places, restaurants, and even food items that a person thinks, must go in the review.
  • A writer, who is successful in creating a virtual picture in the minds of readers, has the work done at its best.
  • Being honest is important, as finally people will also read this, who have visited the place before. In addition, one who travels after reading your review must have accurate info; suffice to help the person explore the place.
  • Best time to travel, places to visit, places to stay; prices (if possible), are few things that must be a part of any travel review.
  • The facts mentioned (if any), must be double-checked.
  • Adding pictures can help the article turn more appealing, as any picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Writers must make use of the map capsule, which adds utility and visual pizzazz to a review.
  • Adding history of the place, details about location can help in supporting the writer’s personal opinion.
  • It is best to mention about anything that is necessary to carry, when travelling to the place, which may help one from facing troubles later.

A travel review, if presented as the place actually is, can be helpful to any person thinking about visiting the place. Excessive use of jargons and exaggerated tones must be avoided, to finally keep it simple, original, and true to its real sense.

Tips for Writing an eBook

Writing an eBook is a great way to monetize ones’ blog or website. It is a good means of earning passive income, which can generate revenue for years to come down the line. Of course it’s crucial to know how to market the same and how to effectively use the affiliate programs. The task can seem daunting, especially when writing ones first eBook. Plenty of questions emerge- will the eBook sell? Will the writer be able to produce something of quality and which is likeable? Will the marketing seem effective? Or just simply, where to begin?

E-books are inexpensive and are distributed globally with easy access through the internet. So, if thinking of adding to your monetary gains, here are a few tips on writing an eBook.

  • Choosing a topic is often the most crucial step, which must relate to one’s area of expertise. This can help the writer in building a reputation, while venturing into something which is actually their cup of tea and not foreign to them.
  • The target audience or end readers are people whom the person should keep in mind while writing. The writer must try to promote his/her competence and expertise to the ideal or targeted readers. Writing information that can click with readers is important. Creating an eBook, which is specific, can actually bring in a good response. Also, quality should never be overlooked, while trying to make up for the quantity.
  • A book’s cover says a lot about its content, so try writing an interesting title as it’s the headline that keeps the readers glued and pushes them to read what’s inside. A title that is laconic, exciting, clear and interesting can persuade prospective readers to buy or download the eBook.
  • Length of an eBook depends on the purpose for which the same is being used.
  • Writing what comes to ones’ mind and brainstorming is a good idea that can help in creating an idea about how the whole eBook would appear. It’s best to scribble them down, as soon as the idea strikes in one’s mind.
  • No reader likes reading an eBook that contains errors of any sort, its best to check and recheck the content over and over again to ensure no errors stay in.
  • There are numerous eBooks on web, so after the book is finished, the person must think about innovative ways to make the same “available” to potential readers.
  • One can use the instant reach of social media and other such platforms to promote their book and to make people download the same in increasing numbers.

Writing anything, even an eBook, is a work in development for writers, whether new or experienced. So, write, get feedback and write more. Writing what is ‘right’ and ‘enough’ can help in creating an awesome eBook that will be ready for the world before even one knows about it.

Points to Note When Writing Technical Reviews

In a world where technology plays a central role, one can find vast information related to different software platforms, mechanical or electrical appliances, mobile applications, embedded technology, as well as hardware components, available in print media or electronic media. Resources such as manuals, reports, instruction guides, or web pages offer a convenient platform for users to make themselves familiar with the technology, and get a deeper understanding of its concept and application. Technical writing is a specialized form of documenting information that one finds useful in everyday life. Whether purchasing a new mobile phone or an appliance such as printer or optical mouse, users refer to the documentation available in the form of CD or booklet, to look for instructions.

Reviewing content or web pages related to technological subjects or topics is important to ensure that any inaccuracies or mistakes are identified and corrected before they reach the audience. A field of writing that has its distinct style and form; it can be useful to keep a few points in mind, when assessing such technical documents.

  • Understanding the topic or subject discussed

It is essential to have an in-depth understanding of the subject or technology, which can help in evaluating the document in an objective manner. This can help in planning and developing a suitable summary.

  • Be specific in suggesting improvements

It is important to comprehend that reviews are equally important to authors as well as audience. Hence, giving details about the areas which require improvement, as well as clarifying the how it can be enhanced can prove to be helpful.

  • Tone of the review is significant

Presenting the assessment of the technical article or report in a diplomatic manner is extremely important, while giving focus on the ideas and views related to the content.

  • Sharing ideas for improvements

Such reviews can also be used as opportunities for sharing new ideas or concepts about the technology or subject. Including information about the latest version of the software available, or an advanced feature offered by any electronic equipment can make the assessment more comprehensive and interactive.

Evaluation of papers, reports, or documents related to technology can be subjected to different types of analysis, such as peer-to-peer, editorial, as well as technical analysis by field experts or SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). Each category of assessment has its own benefits, and can prove to be beneficial in improving the overall quality of the document.

Peer-to-peer assessment, as the name suggests, are carried out by other writers of the same profile. Editorial evaluations are done by editors and managers, and the process includes analyzing the sentence formation, grammatical and typographical accuracy, and correcting them. The assessment carried out by SMEs or project leads is targeted at ensuring that the information included in the document is correct, and that any product specifications or technological data is accurate.