The Wordtracker Academy > All Articles (Academy)

Don’t let a bad online reputation ruin your business

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By Michael Burke & Hal MacDermot

For companies, organizations and individuals, an online reputation can be like a high school reputation -- fickle, and sometimes affected by the unscrupulous. On the other hand, a good online reputation helps you get ahead of the competition, and attracts more potential customers.

There’s a lot that you can do to take control and influence your online reputation, including projecting a positive presence that reflect your brand values, engaging your communities, monitoring social media conversations about you, and taking decisive action in case of trouble. Of course, all of this requires having a social media policy in place, and careful, advanced planning. The world of social media turns very fast and if it turns against your company, you need to move fast.

The simple link building technique most SEOs get wrong

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The more ways you can generate quality inbound links to your site, the better. Google has raised the bar and we all need to get the most from the link building work we do. ‘Broken Link Building’ is a white-hat technique that can really be done at scale. Yet it is a technique that is misunderstood and therefore many SEOs are not getting the results they could.

In this article I want to explain where many people go wrong in broken link building and outline a method that is likely to greatly improve results.

Is your business drowning in too much Analytics data?

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Google Analytics provides a wealth of data to any website owner. However, it’s not always easy to find the data that’s most useful to you, so a custom Analytics dashboard can save you time and focus your attention on the details that you really need to think about. Here’s an example of how that can be put into practice.

5 crazy SEO mistakes not to make in WordPress

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There’s a nasty rumor going around that WordPress is beautifully set up for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) “out of the box.” Now don’t get me wrong - I’m a huge fan of WordPress - but the core software does need a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to SEO. Tom Ewer from ManageWP.

Top 12 tools to supercharge your social media

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Social media is undoubtedly becoming more important in search terms. And while Stacey Cavanagh accepts that in terms of a direct influence on rankings social signals are still almost negligible, she believes that search is headed this way, so now’s the time to prepare ...

How safe is your site today? What you need to know about SEO Security Audits.

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It's quite likely that most people haven't heard the term “SEO security audit” before: but that's totally undeserved. The recent Google updates have caused an incredible growth of interest in link audits – but if you think link audits are all you should be doing, and only after getting a warning email from Google, think again.

Top 10 shameful SEO mistakes

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Do you remember the house that Jack built? No, I can’t remember much about the nursery rhyme either, other than it became less about Jack’s house as each of the inhabitants ate one another…

How your visitors (unknowingly) send quality signals to Google

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Since the initial launch of Google's Panda update in 2011, the "Q" word has become commonplace in SEO, copywriting and content marketing circles. We should have been paying attention to quality from the beginning (who wants to be known for publishing junk?). Now, more than ever, it appears Google is looking to our visitors to judge whether our site's pages are worthy of rankings. 

Make the most of Facebook Graph Search as a marketing tool

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Although Facebook’s latest foray into the search game is still in beta and only available to around one million Facebook users, it's only a matter of time until it rolls out to the rest of Facebook’s one billion active monthly users. Marc Purtell explains what it's all about ...

4 ways to expand your hunt for relevant links

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Of course, you want to get links from your own industry. That’s a no-brainer. But links from your own industry aren’t the only links that are relevant. There are many more prospects that could be of interest. Read on to find out more ...

Google Panda update survival guide

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As of 24th Feb 2011, a major update by Google on how it ranks sites has affected 12% of search results and halved many sites’ visitor numbers. Named the Farmer or Panda Update it’s only affecting US Google results as I write but if you’re outside the US it is coming to you soon. Here’s how to find out if you have already been hit, are going to be and what to do about it.

Ugh! Is your site suffering from duplicate content?

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Duplicate content is a really bad thing.

If you have duplicate content on your site, Google doesn’t know which version of your page to rank.

Any links you get will be split between the different versions of the page. So, each of your duplicate pages is likely to rank badly.

And, as we know, badly ranking pages don’t attract traffic.

Is link building dying?

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When Kevin Gibbons took to the stage at London SES, he was quick to remind delegates that links existed before Google. From the earliest days of the internet, people wanted to generate traffic, get leads and promote their websites. Here's a round-up of the link building tips that Kevin Gibbons, Blueglass.com and Paul Madden, Automica.com, provided.

How to create a site structure Google will love

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A well planned site structure improves your chances of ranking well in Google's results. So, today, we’re going to look at how to set up your site’s structure - so that the search engines find our best and most profitable content and your site's visitors have a great experience.

Are these the best WordPress plugins?

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WordPress developers always have a list of WordPress plugins they wouldn't be without. Here's a selection that Julie McNamee keeps seeing in the developer forums (and many she's used herself). Have you used any of them? Do you agree? Have you any to add?

How to recover from a Penguin attack

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In April 2012, Google rolled out a change to its ranking algorithmic. Google Penguin, as it became known, hits sites where it hurts; in their rankings. One year on, many websites haven’t recovered their lost traffic. Yet rehabilitation is possible. James Newhouse, of digital marketing agency Receptional.com is one of the few people with experience of managing a full recovery. Here, he outlines his Penguin recovery strategy.

Are you creating online videos yet?

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Can videos really be used to sell to the general public and clients? Well, Greg Jarboe of SEO PR and Phil Nottingham of Distilled certainly think so, and at London SES 2013 they shared some of their ideas.

Which social media is best for you? [Video]

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Social media is everywhere, just everywhere. There are thousands of different social media channels.

Your business can’t be on all of them. And nor should it be.

In this 7-minute video, you'll discover how to find the best social media channels for your business.

Why social media matters [Video]

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For a long while very few businesses were making money from social media. Recently, though, that has started to change. Today, some online companies are really benefiting from their investment in social marketing. In this 5-minute video Justin Deaville looks at at why social media matters, and how to get a return on your investment.

15 Ways to fix duplicate content & keep Google happy!

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Duplicate web pages can be a problem for many websites. Whether it occurs from re-using manufacturers' descriptions, CMS systems that publish accidental duplicate pages' site content, or even people stealing your content. Duplication can cause problems, and confuse Google.

Rich snippets for idiots. And, er, you.

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Great content is the backbone of great SEO. But great content needs to be appreciated by search engines, not just humans. If your content is text-based, search engines can’t ‘read’ it, they can only match it to search queries. Luckily, there are things you can do to make your content just as readable and fun for users, but actually mean something for search engines. Those things are called 'rich snippets' and here’s how they work.

How to set up Google Analytics

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Whether you’re running the simplest blog or an enormous international ecommerce site, you should be measuring how visitors interact with your website.

There are lots of analytics packages you can use. The most common - perhaps because it's free - is Google Analytics If you're new to analytics, this article will get you kick started. We'll help you install the software on your site. We’ll recommend some important business metrics you should be tracking. And we'll help you set up a keyword dashboard so you can track your traffic.

Yes, YOU really can get quality links (like these)!

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Link building can be a difficult business. And sometimes you can ask yourself if all the trouble is really worth it. In times like that, it’s great to read about what other businesses in your situation have done to win fantastic links. Their experiences - and the benefits they got from link building - can inspire us all.

Free Webinar: Introduction to SEO

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Free online training is available to help you get the most from Wordtracker's Keywords tool. Click below to register for our next scheduled webinar, view a recent one, or read a transcript.

SES London 2013: 214 Top tips and takeaways

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The SES London conference covers both basic and cutting edge SEO, PPC and online marketing. Julie McNamee, Gareth Davies and Justin Deaville collected the best top tips, takeaways and memorable quotes from SES London 2013. Here's what we picked up.

How to shamelessly steal great ideas (and get away with it!)

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The ideas behind this article are not new. I have shamelessly stolen them and not only do I intend to get away with it scot free, but I hope over the course of the next 800 words or so, to persuade you to do the same and steal the very best ideas you can find.

How to optimize your web page [VIDEO]

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In this video, you'll learn how to search engine optimize your web page, so you can rank for the keywords you choose and attract more traffic from Google.

Everything you'll see is practical and straight to the point, so sit back, press play and let's begin!

Customer focused link building

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The most important thing for any business is to satisfy customer needs profitably. In doing so you build a unique knowledge of your customers, an understanding of the problems they face and a pretty good idea of the questions they ask. You answer these customer questions every day and tell people exactly what your products or services do to solve problems for you. This is rich content for link building.

59 lists you really must have to build links

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Compiling lists of all kinds is integral to the work of a link builder. Not only do lists make the job easier, they save a lot of time and ensure you don’t miss easy opportunities. Both Garrett French (the co-author of this article) and I almost build our working lives around lists.

Without this, your entire PPC campaign will fail

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That's it! You're all set! You've got everything in place for your pay per click (PPC) campaign. You've decided which platform to use (AdWords, Facebook, etc.). You've researched all the bidding strategies. For days on end you've agonized over which segments to target your campaign to. Now, finally, you click the magic button to turn your campaign on and … nothing … crickets …

Six reasons why link building is a marketing priority

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Link building is not just important for search engine optimization. In fact link building has multiple benefits that can boost your online profits, yet often get ignored.

In this article, Ken McGaffin describes the six major benefits of link building and give you some tips for each so that you can maximize your return on investment from all those lovely links you’re able to attract.

Venice. Penguin. Panda. Are Google’s changes leaving you behind?

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Google makes about 500 changes a year to its search algorithm. That’s a lot. And, as a result, SEO advice gets out of date very quickly. Many of the SEO tips you’ll read on the internet are either dated or, worse, just plain wrong. So, here are seven of the most recent, significant changes to Google’s search results and how they affect you.

How to set up a WordPress website

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If you’re looking to set up a new business in 2013, it’s essential that you choose an effective content management system, one that makes publishing simple. There are many online publishing platforms to choose from. But, if you’re intending to run a successful business, or create a blog that makes money, then WordPress is almost certainly your best solution.

How to get rid of low value links

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Low quality links to your site can damage it and negatively affect your rankings.

Find out how to get rid of these links quickly and easily using Wordtracker's Link Builder and Bing and Google’s Disavow Links tools.

Why keywords matter (video)

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When you're writing copy for your web pages are you using words that doom you to failure right from the start?

Will your audience even be able to find them?

Making the most of Twitter for small businesses

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If you run a large corporation - Dell, McDonald’s or Coca Cola - social media must seem pretty easy. You have a ton of fans and followers who lap up everything you throw at them (good and bad). You could be a terrible marketer on a large brand and still benefit from social media. But what about those of us running small businesses, or who work on our own? How do we benefit from social media such as Twitter?

Why keywords matter

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Why do some sites get a lot of traffic and others zero? The following article helps to show why this happens.

[Video] Why is SEO crucial to your online success?

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Don't underestimate the importance of SEO. Even in the era of disruptive Google algorithm updates it's still invaluable for getting traffic to your website. This ten minute video outlines six ways that SEO can boost your marketing. Just click to watch.

How to improve your link request success rate

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One of the highlights of London's LinkLove conference in 2012 was Mike King's talk on outreach email analysis (much of it manual) that had been carried out by his company iAcquire on 300,000 outreach emails. Here are some of the tips he passed on on what to incorporate into your link building requests ...

10 free SEO gifts for 2012

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Towards the end of the year, we like to remind you of all the free stuff we have on our website. Here's our list of free tools and guides on keyword research and the like, plus links to our videos and webinar recordings. Let Wordtracker inspire your 2013 web marketing campaigns.

See who links to you with Link Builder

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It's important that you understand what the links going back to your site look like. We call this your backlink profile, and it helps you decide what kind of links to go after, where to get them from and what anchor text to use. This article is a step by step guide to using the Link Builder tool to find this information, and make the informed decisions your business needs.

21 top tips to find trends

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Keeping on top of the 'new' has never been as important as it is now. Thankfully, there are tools out there to help you to identify key trends and here are 20 of the best of them.

There's no place like home (page)

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Your home page is one of the most visited pages on your website. Few people will visit your site without seeing it. But a lot of home pages suck. Read this, and make sure yours doesn’t.

220 SEO tips and tactics from SearchLove 2012

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It's been a bumper year for actionable tips at Distilled's SearchLove London Conference 2012. We've gathered 220 takeaways and tactics on SEO, conversion rate optimization, content and much else besides. And there's a bonus pic at the end.

How to create a sitemap and let Google know where you're at

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A sitemap is like a road map, except, y’know, for sites not roads. It tells Google where it should go, so it can crawl your site more quickly and get more of your great content into the search results. Having a sitemap is great for SEO, and it’s often great for users. But how to go about creating one? Luckily, it’s quite easy.

EdgeRank: Give your Facebook page the edge

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Facebook, now a billion users strong, is a key marketing channels for many businesses. But beyond the fans, likes and posts, how does it actually work? How and why do your posts appear in your customer’s news feeds? And how can you make sure they do?

Get Google to fall in love with you - in 9 steps

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The more often your site gets crawled, the sooner your new content can start appearing in the search results, and bringing in traffic and sales. So here's how, in just nine steps, you can keep Google coming back for more.

Quick-start guide to using Link Builder

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Link Builder allows you to quickly and easily find vast numbers of potential sites to link to you. With this guide you will learn to use powerful features to find, segment and generate contact details for potential sites. This article is an ideal first step into the world of Link Builder.

SEO 911: How to spot a server side emergency

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When a search engine, or indeed a user, clicks a link or types a URL into the browser, a message is sent to the server, where your site lives. How the server responds is crucial to how well your site is received by search engines.

Discover the secrets of a great landing page

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How do you persuade someone to visit your web page? And how do you persuade them to purchase your product or sign up for your newsletter? Landing page optimization is the answer. We have some handy tips to follow and some examples of websites who already know the secrets.

66 tips from BrightonSEO 2012

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The Brighton SEO conference is a meeting of the UK's best online marketers. If you couldn't make it the September 2012 event , we've collected 66 tasty tips and ingenious insights.

How to discover and grow your cash cow keywords

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Choosing which keywords to target is the heart of SEO and PPC. Of the thousands you might target, some will make you more money than others. Now, with Wordtracker Strategizer, it takes minutes to sort through all available data to find the groups of keywords that are going to make you the most money, in the shortest possible time.

Wordtracker video: Day 1 - search engine success starts with keywords

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Welcome to the first in our seven day series on getting the most out of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.

Watch this video and you'll learn:

  • How search engines work
  • How to find relevant keywords quickly and easily
  • How to prioritize those keywords and use them in your website copywriting
  • How to make sure you're getting keywords in your inbound links (an SEO must)

Wordtracker video: Day 2 Keyword Mapping and site structure

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Welcome to the second video in our seven day series on getting the most out of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.

Today, we'll investigate keyword research in more depth. We'll look at how to set up a keyword map that can either mirror an existing website, or help you set up the structure for a new site.

Wordtracker video: Day 3 Titles and descriptions

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Welcome to the third video in our seven day series on getting the most out of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.

In this video we'll look at how to use Wordtracker's tools to help you write keyword-rich titles and descriptions for your web pages.

Wordtracker video: Day 4 Site audits - things you never knew about your site

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Welcome to the fourth video in our seven day series on getting the most out of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.

Every site has SEO errors. But finding and fixing them is easy - with Wordtracker's tools.

In this video you'll learn how to conduct a site audit on your own website to find errors and mistakes that could be interfering with your SEO efforts.

Wordtracker video: Day 5 Keyword Rankings - monitor your progress

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Welcome to the fifth video in our seven day series on getting the most out of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.

Monitoring - and improving - your online marketing efforts is essential. Watch this video and you'll learn how to set up (and interpret) a search engine ranking report in Wordtracker's tools.

You'll discover how to track your site's position in Google's results - and you'll learn how to monitor your competitors.

Wordtracker video: Day 6 Using keywords in linking text

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Welcome to the sixth in our seven-day series on getting the most out of Wordtracker's Keywords tool.

To attract traffic from Google, you'll need to include relevant keywords in your site's links.

Watch this video and you'll discover how to include keywords in your website's internal links.

Link building just got faster!

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Search engines rely on links to tell them which sites are worth ranking and which are not. Simply put, the more links you have from a wide variety of quality sites, the higher your site will rank in Google's results.

Knowing this, it's easy to get carried away, building lots of links while forgetting that quality is much more important than quantity.

We’ve spent the past few months updating and changing Link Builder, so that it’s now easier to find and build quality links. In this post, we’re going to take you through the new features, and how they’ll help your link building.

How to create a lightning fast website

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Usain Bolt may be fast, but in the world of web design, waiting for nine and a half seconds for a page to load puts you firmly in the ‘also ran’ category, and will cost you valuable business online. But how do you check your site speed? And what’s on your site that’s slowing you down?

Get sales fast with PPC

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In this second in a four part series on PPC and Google AdWords, Trace Ronning of WordWatch takes you through the process of setting up your first AdWords campaign.

Upgrade your PPC with these advanced strategies

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You’ve got the basics of pay per click advertising down now, but there’s so much more to experiment with in the process of maximizing your ROI. Trace Ronning in the fourth of his articles on PPC explains ...

Introduction to the Get Links! Video Training Course

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Getting quality links from quality sites can be a time consuming and frustrating process. This new video training course presented by link building experts Ken McGaffin and Garrett French will teach you everything you need to know to get links that will bring traffic to your website for years to come.

A basic guide to redirects

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A common SEO problem is using the wrong type of redirect, the process of taking users from one page to another. Google will follow some types and not others, meaning some will pass the value of the old page to the new page and some will not. This can have a massive effect on your rankings. So to find out what the redirect types are and how to check which you are using then read on.

Everything you need to know about the canonical tag

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The canonical tag is a way to pass value from one page to another without using a redirect. ‘Duplicate content’ has become a widespread issue and is being increasingly targeted by search engines. Prevent the damage it can do to your site with the canonical tag. This article covers the basics on what it is and ways to successfully implement it.

How to get great quality links by guest blogging (and how Link Builder makes it easy)

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At Wordtracker, we live or die by what our customers (you guys) think. That sounds a bit cliché and hack, but it’s also true. We’re a small company and we need to give you what you want and fast. You’ve been asking for better and quicker ways to find sites that might link to yours. So that’s what we’ve done. But why make changes if we don’t talk about them? This is a quick look at how you find the best sites you can blog for. We call this feature ‘Guest Post’ and here’s how it works in the recently updated Link Builder, our link building tool.

Get low hanging, quality links with Link Builder’s Mentions

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Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool is everything you need to make your link building as quick and efficient as possible. And it’s just got even better. In this article in a series of three highlighting how link building just got easier, I’ll be taking a look at ‘mentions’, what they are and how they can help you get some easy links.

Link Builder’s Tags: How they help you get links more quickly

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Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool has had an upgrade of late – making it much much easier to find link prospects - the sites that might link back to you. In our third of three articles highlighting the new features of Link Builder, I’ll be looking at how you can easily collect more detailed information on your prospects and then sell your site more effectively. In short, our new feature called ‘tags’ makes getting links easier. Here’s how.

Building an engaged audience on Twitter

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Now that you know the basics about Twitter and have hopefully crafted a strong profile, we’re going to move into the next phase of your Twitter strategy. In order to share your message and see results, you have to have an audience to share it with. And not just any audience, but one that is going to really care enough to follow your updates!

Getting started with Twitter

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If you’re just getting started with Twitter, or you created a Twitter account long ago and are just beginning to seriously use it for your business, then here is what you need to know to use Twitter today. In this first post in our Twitter series, we’re going to cover creating a strong Twitter profile and common Twitter terminology.

What is PPC?

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In the first of four articles about PPC and Google AdWords, Trace Ronning gives an easy introduction to pay per click advertising.

You can optimize your WordPress blog, it's easy!

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There are over 53 million WordPress blogs out there and that doesn't even include those not hosted on WordPress.com. So how do you make yours stand out from the rest and attract a greater share of the traffic? One way to do that is to optimize your blog. And even if you're not a coder, you can do this. Read on to find out how ...

The HTML every marketer (that’s you) should know

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Computing languages are just like real ones. As human needs change and evolve, so does the language we use to express them. It’s just the same online. There are now a range of languages to build your website with, depending on what you want to do and how fancy you want to be. But the lingua franca, the common language, is HTML and we give some starts in how to code it below ...

How Wordtracker helps copywriters win business

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The role of freelance copywriter has always been tough, and with the economy in the doldrums, it’s triply so. Budgets are being squeezed so businesses are looking to cut back on their costs - such as hiring freelance copywriters.

SEO for new sites

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Where to start with SEO'ing your brand new site? Here's a simple SEO process for planning that site and finding appropriate keyword niches to target.

Tracking response for SEO (Technical SEO for Profit, part 4)

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Whatever your site’s objectives, you need to measure its response rates if you want to know which keywords your SEO should target. Mark Nunney introduces how to use Google Analytics to monitor response and make sure you track response and get the best possible return on investment.

How to spice up your Facebook page

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When it comes to your business’ Facebook page, you will need to pull out all of the stops in order to really dazzle people. In this post, we’re going to look at five things you can do to make your brand shine on Facebook beyond just standard updates.

What's a good level of traffic and competition?

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A frequent question for the Wordtracker support team when using the Keywords tool is “What is the minimum amount of traffic for a keyword I want to target?” or similarly “What is the maximum amount of competition for a keyword to be worth targeting?”. To find out how to work this out read on ...

Strategizer webinar

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Choosing which keywords you optimize your site for is a crucial business decision. You need to get the right data  and analyze it correctly and many businesses don't. We created Strategizer to do just that.

The shortcut guide to launching your site

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Building a website, and a business, is a hard thing to do. Often, businesses and webmasters plan their site, and even start creating it, then flounder. They panic about how the website is going to be received, does it look good or bad.

How to make your blog brilliant

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Writing a blog is a great way of attracting readers, building up brand loyalty and getting much-needed links to your site. But writing content that’s relevant and useful (and actually read) can be tricky and time-consuming. Luckily, our guest blogger, Hilary Pullen, explains how you can make your blog sizzle.

How to do site audits the old fashioned way

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The key to success in SEO, as in life, is to watch what you’re doing. If it’s working, keep doing it and if it’s not, stop. It’s that simple, but with SEO, getting the right data to be able to make that decision is less easy. That’s why we’re here.

Checking your backlink profile

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As with all ranking updates, when Google launched Penguin many previously well-regarded sites lost ranking. The reason? Because Google is now looking at the over-optimization of backlinks. But what does that mean, and what can do about it?

Checking your backlink anchor text profile

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After Penguin, Google’s latest algorithm update, a lot of webmasters have been looking at their ‘backlink profile’. I‘ve written about what this is, and why it matters, in the first in this two-part guide, Checking your backlink profile

In this one, we’ll discuss how to look for potential problems within your backlinks, and what those problems might be. Whether or not you’ve been hit by Penguin this is something worth checking.

How to write a guest post that will dazzle any A-list blogger

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Guest posting is all the rage right now. From getting visibility to getting links everyone knows that guest posting can’t be beaten. But just jumping on the bandwagon will not get you the results you need. Because of the popularity of guest posting the bar has been raised … but I’m about to help you get over that bar. The following five tips will help you create a guest post that will dazzle any A-list blogger … and get you the attention and traffic you deserve.

3 ways to build links through social media

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Social media can play an important role in your online marketing as a way to engage your target audience, but it can also be used in your link building strategy if you know what you’re doing. Here are the main three ways that you can gain additional backlinks to your website and boost your rankings using social media.

Top 5 SEO tips for media owners and journalists

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Most of the information we provide in the academy probably sounds like it’s geared towards merchants – businesses that sell products and services. But it’s not. 95% of what you read here will be as relevant to media owners as it is to online retailers, but here is something that's just for you: a few tips especially for media owners, journalists and anyone else who sells space instead of products.

How to do local SEO

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The web can be a daunting place. There are thousands, if not millions of sites selling what you’re selling. How do you stand out and compete with a limited budget?

SEO checklist - 10 things to check right now

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If you’re new to search engine optimization, or SEO, and frankly, even if you aren't, there’s a lot to take in, a lot to remember. To make sure your bases are covered, here are ten things to check right now. (Start at the top of your web pages and work down.)

SEO for beginners

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SEO (search engine optimization), the industry you’re trying to learn about, is full of impenetrable jargon. And I mean, really full. Even the name is jargon - search engine optimization? When do you ever use that word in real life? Why not just say "improving your search results (ISE)"? I mean, isn’t that what you’re doing?

Why SEO?

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If you’ve got to this article, you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization, SEO, and roughly what it is (and if you haven’t, don’t worry. This is a great place to learn).

A look inside LinkedIn Premium Account features

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Whenever people write about LinkedIn, they mostly focus on the free features of the networks and say that those are all you need. And for most people, a free account will get you great results. But if you’re looking for more, then here are some things you will get with a LinkedIn Premium Account ...

SEO just got easier

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Search engine optimization (SEO) can be the single most cost effective way of attracting traffic and sales to your website. Yet, SEO is constantly changing. It’s difficult for most small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep up. That’s why, today, Wordtracker is making SEO simpler. We’re launching a new version of our Keywords tool that’s got loads of great new features, but is faster and easier to use.

52 Top SEO tips from BrightonSEO 2012

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Wordtracker took a trip to beautiful Brighton on the south coast of England to report on the latest tips and tricks from the search marketing professionals speaking at BrightonSEO. Here's the best of that advice.

How to gain traffic and exposure using LinkedIn Groups and Answers

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In the last article in this series, Kristi Hines mentioned the benefit of using LinkedIn Groups to connect with others to build your network. In this one, she discusses how to use LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers to build your authority, gain exposure, and increase traffic to your website.

So what actually is SEO?

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If you own a website, or your boss does, you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization or SEO. But unless you want to spend a few hours searching on Google, it’s not always obvious what SEO is, why you want it, and how you do it. But now you can relax. Sit back and enjoy the most useful thing you’ve read since Dr Zeuss.

How does Google rank your page?

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When Google ranks your site, it looks for two things - authority and relevancy (relevance for our UK readers). What does this mean? You’re about to find out.

Link building strategies: Blogs

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No matter what industry you’re in there will be bloggers that write about it. They’ll usually have a well-established audience and a good presence on search engines.

Link building strategies: Social media

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There’s a lot of link building opportunity in the big name social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and so on. But there’s also a lot of link building opportunities on less well known niche social media sites.

Wordtracker’s Link Builder tool helps you easily find such sites and keeps them all in one place.

How to measure your Google+ traffic

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Now that you (hopefully) have had your Google+ personal profile and business page set up, you are probably wondering how you can track your Google+ success. Kristi Hines illustrates the ways you can track Google+ and Google+1 button activity in relation to your website.

Link Building Made Simple 2: Measuring your success

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It is of course important to measure the success of your link building campaigns. In this second in a series of six articles in the Link Building Made Simple series, Ken McGaffin shows how you can measure not only your return on investment but also what works and what doesn’t work for your website in your particular market.

SES London 2012 - 173 Tips and takeaways

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The SES London conference covers basic, advanced and cutting edge SEO, PPC and online marketing. Julie McNamee, Justin Deaville and Gareth Davies collected the best top tips, takeaways and memorable quotes from SES London 2012.

Link Building Made Simple 1: Strategy

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Ken McGaffin, in the first of his Link Building Made Simple series of articles, explains how to form a simple strategy that will get your link building campaigns off to a great start.

Introduction to the Link Building Made Simple series

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Links bring your business multiple benefits that will repay your investment many times over and Ken McGaffin has written series of articles on how to build links the best way, very simply. Read his introduction to these articles, and links to the rest in series are at the bottom page.

Link Building Made Simple 6: Promotion

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Creating great content gives you tremendous ammunition for attracting links.

But content without active promotion is likely to turn into a very damp squib. So you must have mechanisms in place that will allow you to easily and repeatably get your message out to as many relevant people as possible.

Link Building Made Simple 5: Content creation

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Planning your content is crucial but it is not just something that you can churn out: it requires time, thought and effort. This fifth in the Link Building Made Simple series presents some ideas on how to produce lots of good content.

Goldilocks SEO [Infographic]

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Aaron Wall is a master SEO, a talented SEO writer and an entertaining iconoclast. His Goldilocks SEO infographic below is a little masterpiece in communication containing more wisdom than most other SEO bloggers put together.

9 ecommerce mistakes and how to avoid them

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With the help of hundreds of eye-tracking study videos and a wealth of firsthand data, Michael Summers and Jim Hudson of Paypal have been able to identify a range of common ecommerce mistakes that can take place on websites.

Wordtracker’s new metrics to beat the competition

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In the new look Keywords tool we’ve included two ways of measuring competition.

For most keywords you’ll see a ‘Competition’ number listed next to the search volume. These work on a 1-100 scale - where 100 means you face lots of competition. If you’re new to keyword research, simply look for keywords with low competition scores.

And if you’re interested in more detail on how we calculate the numbers, Owen Powis explains ...

How to perform a successful SEO site audit

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Wordtracker's Site Audit tool allows you to quickly create detailed reports on a domain. This article looks at what to do with the information contained within the reports. It shows you how to prioritize the obstacles and lay out a framework for creating a strategy, for those sites with large numbers of obstacles.

Link building introduction [VIDEOS]

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In four short and clear videos, Ken McGaffin introduces link building for SEOs and all online marketers explaining why links are important, what a quality link is, what sites need links and what kind of sites you should try and get them from.

Why have a Google Plus personal page?

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Before you jump into creating a Google+ page for your business, you will need a Google+ personal profile. Aside from the ability to create and administer Google+ pages, there are several other great reasons to have a Google+ personal profile. Kristi Hines explains what those reasons are.

Why have a Google Plus business page?

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After reading about all of the advantages of Google+ personal profiles, you might be asking yourself why you would need a Google+ page in addition to your personal profile. While much of the design and functionality of the Google+ page is similar to personal profiles, there are some additional benefits to having a Google+ page. Kristi Hines explains what they are.

Best of Wordtracker 2011

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Use the following best articles (and videos) of 2011 to save time and money on SEO in 2012. You’ll learn about both the established basics of SEO like choosing the right target keywords, quality content and link building; and the visitor behavior-centered SEO of the future.

10 free gifts for 2011

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Towards the end of the year, we like to remind you of all the free stuff we have on our website. Here's a list of our free tools and guides on keyword research and the like, plus links to our videos and webinar recordings, all of which will give you new ideas for your 2012 SEO campaigns. Here's the top ten from 2011.

63 conversion tips from Conversion Conference London

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Over two days in London’s Business Design Center, some of the world’s foremost consultants and speakers on conversion rate optimization gathered for the first major event of its kind in the UK. Gareth Davies was on hand to cover the event and he took away 63 top conversion tips.

How to be an expert SEO

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An expert SEO leaves set processes behind, works fast, intuitively, delivers great results and can reap great rewards. In an edited extract from his new book, SEO for Profit Mark Nunney explains how you can become an expert SEO.

The New SEO

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Although the use of keywords on website pages and in the anchor text of inbound links remains important for SEO, search engines are increasingly using a site’s branding, visitor behavior and social data. This is The New SEO, introduced here by Mark Nunney in an edited extract from his new book, SEO for Profit.

The Google Analytics Problem (and the solution)

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Standard practice for keyword research for SEO is to use Google Analytics to find a site’s most popular keywords, then optimize relevant pages for them. This can work well for small numbers of keywords. But Google Analytics gives you no way of seeing reports for short and long tail variations of multiple keywords. Mike Essex explains how his SEO agency uses Wordtracker Strategizer to solve this problem and find the best keywords to target.

Keyword tracking reports for search engine success

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Tracking your site’s ranks on Google for your target keywords is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO). It allows you to report results, discover the cause of traffic gains and losses; and spot the seeds of future success. Mark Nunney explains why to do it and how.

Content ideas: Read more books

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For both planning the structure of the content of a new website and finding ideas for specific articles and posts, Nick Usborne recommends you buy some books, read and study.

Content ideas: What special day is it today?

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The calendar is packed full of special days from Martin Luther King Day to, er, Talk Like A Pirate Day and Superman's birthday. Nick Usborne shows you how to use special days to make special content your readers will like and share.

Effortless link building (Part 2)

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In Effortless link building (part one), Ken McGaffin showed how finding a single quality news source allows us to quickly and effortlessly build a link building campaign of many thousands of link prospects. In this follow up article, he’ll take that one step further and show how both newbies and more experienced link builders can systematically turn these link prospects into valuable inbound links.

Content ideas: What's hot?

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Nick Usborne recommends you use software to find out what subjects are hot, what's new and what gets shared most on social media. Then create a new page, focusing on a trending topic that is spreading fast.

Getting started with Link Builder: Video 3

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Link Builder provides details of link prospects already sorted into strategy groups such as blogs, news media and trusted sites. Ken McGaffin explains in Video 3 in the series Getting Started with Link Builder how to take advantage of this to sort out your prospects into effective link building campaigns.

Getting Started with Link Builder: Video 2

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Entering up to 10 URLS into the Link Builder tool can deliver thousands of link prospects to help you with your link building campaigns. Ken McGaffin shows how this works in the second in his Getting Started with Link Builder videos.

Effortless link building (Part 1)

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Always be on the look out for new link building opportunities. And some of the best can emerge from your day-to-day business activities. Chatting to a restaurant owner about a bad review on TripAdvisor.com led Ken McGaffin to an interesting site on travel technology. The site was a good prospect in itself but from that single prospect, he quickly built a campaign of many thousands of link prospects.

Why Google Panda slapped quality sites

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Google’s Panda update is aimed at low quality sites like content farms. So why is it hurting so many established high quality content sites? Mark Nunney explains why he thinks this happening, what to do about it and what we can all learn from it.

How to get things done in SEO

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Most business is as simple as trying to get the obvious done by people who’s job it is to do it. Yet it’s still difficult. SEO is more difficult still because you need to get the not-so-obvious done by people who have other jobs to do already. Mark Nunney considers the problem of implementation and has some suggestions to help you get things done in SEO.

How to win with PPC

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There’s a lot of great information available about PPC technique. But having great PPC technique is only half the puzzle. In order to make money using PPC, you need good business techniques, too.

Is this the best link building tool ever?

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A good link building campaign needs to be planned, managed, monitored and reported on. It will use a wide range of strategies with many link prospects for each.

This is a lot of work and Wordtracker's Link Builder tool has been rebuilt to do all these jobs for you. Can all this really be in one tool? Ken McGaffin says it can and here he shows you how.

Automatic SEO ecommerce case study: Tahoe Mountain Sports

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Smart SEO can make your online business more successful by focusing your efforts on the searches (keywords) your buyers are making. This case study shows how Wordtracker Strategizer can save you days of research trying to find those keywords, planning the actions required to target them and reporting your results.

How to be a successful guest blogger

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Guest blogging is receiving a lot of internet marketing buzz at the moment. Pro bloggers are regularly publishing new articles giving guest blogging advice. However this doesn't necessarily make the newbie's job easier as the information is scattered around the web. Worse, at least 80% of posts you read just share how great it is and why you need to try as well.

Keyword research webinar transcript

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What does Wordtracker do? Taking it at its simplest level, Wordtracker and its tools help you find the best keywords for your campaign. The tool is easy to work with and it takes the grind out of keyword research.

The tools give you an easy to read overview of how competitive each keyword is, so that you can make decisions about where your campaign is to go.

Before we go into that too deeply, a couple of basics.

Why article marketing for SEO should target humans

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Using article marketing for SEO you must decide if you’re writing for humans or robots. Author of the Wordtracker Masterclass e-book [Article Marketing: The Write Way to Build More Links](http://www.wordtracker.com/ebooks/article-marketing), Karon Thackston, says first consider your target keywords and then laser focus your articles on humans. Here she explains how to decide which humans to target and how.

Link building strategies

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Professional SEOs will tell you that different types of sites require different approaches to link building. Tailor your link building - and you’ll increase your chances of getting a link.

In the Link Builder tool, we’ve already filtered your prospects and organized them into strategies so you can tailor your link building - and increase your chances of getting a link.

Here is a list of the articles we've featured, based on these strategies, that will help you on your way to create effective, traffic-attracting link building campaigns:

Link building strategies: Already linking

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Link building is about building relationships. And the daftest thing you can do is stop once you've got a link. So pay attention to people who already link to you and see what else you can do together.

Quick guide to Link Builder

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Link building is not only good for search engine rankings, it’s essential. But not all links are equal - some links are excellent, and many others next to useless. It’s quality, not quantity of inbound links that make winners stand out. That’s why link building is the biggest challenge SEOs and website owners face.

13 ways to assess a link prospect

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Assessing the quality of link prospects and sorting them using tools like Link Builder is crucial at every stage of a link building campaign. Get it right and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors: spending time on link prospects will bring you the best business and SEO benefits. But how do you assess the quality of a link prospect? No more mystery in that - Ken McGaffin gives you 13 ways to assess a link prospect.

5 ways video can seriously help your SEO

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Video is SEO friendly, Google-Panda friendly and on Google’s results pages to stay. Google is placing more value on long stays and visitors watching videos stay longer than others. So it's time to start taking video seriously and Gareth Davies details five ways video can seriously help your SEO.

Worst 5 web design mistakes

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Ben Hunt has been crafting websites professionally since 1994, has written two best selling books and now teaches students all over the world how to do better web design. He has put together the top five most common - and most costly - web design mistakes, and he's going to reveal them in a one-off webinar .

WEBINAR: Your Essential Guide to Social Media and SEO Success

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Social media and search marketing are becoming increasingly intertwined. A social media marketing program that fails to optimize content effectively is a waste of your time and effort.

So, how can social media and SEO work together? Join Wordtracker’s in-house SEO expert, Mal Darwen, and Sendible's marketing manager, Johnny Costello, for a powerful webinar looking at simple ways to combine and improve your online presence.

Link building strategies: Trusted sites

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Trusted sites are usually defined as non-profit websites (.org), educational bodies (.edu) and government agencies (.gov). Contrary to popular belief, Google doesn’t treat links from trusted sites any differently from other links. However, just because Google doesn’t treat them any differently, that doesn’t mean that they’re not different.

Link building strategies: Shopping

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Shopping on the web is of course a major activity so the number of sites retailing goods and the number of sites writing, advising and commenting on products and the companies who produce them is huge.

Link building strategies: Directories

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Online directories offer a source of easy links and remain a good first step for many link building campaigns. Yet, many links from directories offer little value. Ken McGaffin outlines his approach to link building with directories.

Six things you have got to know before you build links

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Since 1998 links have been the foundation of Google’s ranking algorithm. But too many people still don't realize that 90% of what they need to do is to get other sites to link to them. Gareth Davies summarizes Patrick Altoft’s recent SES presentation on some basics of link building, including brand v keyword-rich links, competitor analysis, content syndication and replicating competitors’ links.

12 Essential SEO Tips by Dave Naylor

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SEO is about great content and great site architecture ... it’s certainly not about spam and trying to fool Google. From a Dave Naylor SES presentation, Gareth Davies provides 12 essential SEO tips for 2011.

The importance of preparation for link building

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Quality link building needs great ideas for content that others will want to link to. But ‘build it and they will come’ is not enough. You need to first find the sites you want to link to you and build relationships with them. Ken McGaffin shows us how to prepare for link building.

Twitter your business with Mark Shaw

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As Twitter passes its fifth birthday, if you haven’t yet decided to take it seriously for business then it’s time you did. Mark Shaw has just written Twitter Your Business, the perfect book to help you with the job. Here he gives us an introduction to how it’s possible to get one third of your new business from Twitter.

60 takeaways from Think Visibility Leeds

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The latest Think Visibility conference organized by Dom Hodgson, was held this month at Alea Casino in Leeds. Around 150 practitioners of SEO, social media and affiliate marketing met for a one day powerhouse of a conference. With some big name speakers lined up as well as some big name attendees in the audience, Wordtracker sent Gareth Davies along to gather some of the top takeaways from the event.

7 steps to a perfect Pay Per Click campaign

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Pay Per Click can be a little daunting, especially for small businesses who don't know the tactics to use in this type of advertising campaign. PPC expert, Ian Howie, takes us through the seven stages of Pay Per Click, including how to use keyword research to refine your strategy.

SES London 2011: 301 takeaways and top tips

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SES Conference & Expo covers basic, advanced and cutting edge SEO, PPC and online marketing. Mark Nunney, Thomas Baugh, Justin Deaville and Max Holloway have collected the best 301 top tips, takeaways and memorable quotes from SES London 2011.

Original ideas for building content for links

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Link building is a creative process. At least the type of link building that can generate hundreds of editorial links is. Where does the inspiration for such powerful ideas come from? A breakdown on the London Underground gave Ken McGaffin the inspiration for this article – and an opportunity to summarize some of his thoughts on creativity.

PPC training from PPCblog

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If you are considering managing your own PPC campaigns, it is essential you get training and don’t just jump in blind with a budget and a prayer. With that in mind, I am reviewing PPCblog.com, one of the few PPC training resources that has impressed me.

Are Google’s local results costing your site traffic?

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Google now integrates local results (Google Places) into ‘standard’ organic results and it’s going to push your site down and off the page. That means less traffic and response unless you do something about it. Mark Nunney investigates and shows you how to fight back.

Top 10 free SEO and keyword tools and reports from Wordtracker

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Holiday season is a good time to remind you of all the lovely freebies we have on our website. Take a look at our free guides on keyword research, as well as our fantastic tools and videos, which should help you come up with some fresh ideas for your 2011 SEO strategy. Here's our top ten for you to enjoy.

Really really really easy SEO

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More traffic and response with really really really easy SEO (search engine optimization) works by building on your current success - the keywords that already bring response to your site. These keywords are your low-hanging fruit and getting more results from them is child’s play. Mark Nunney explains how to do it.

3 new Google Analytics features that you should be using already

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Analytics is “the science of analysis”. Website analytics tools like Google Analytics and Wordtracker Strategizer provide the ways and means to analyse your website data. However, somewhere along the line, some users and analytics vendors seem to have focused more on data and less on analysis. Ian Howie looks at some new Google Analytics features that are helping to re-address the balance.

13 ways to evaluate link prospects and find quality

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It’s important to look for quality links to your website. A small number of links from quality sites will bring you much more benefit than thousands of links from poor quality sites. But how do you judge what a quality site is and the value of a link from it? Different link builders will have different priorities, but here Ken McGaffin shows us what he looks for when eyeing up a prospect.

Beat the competition with creativity in search engine optimization

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Search engine optimization (SEO) has become more than just a way to create additional revenue from the internet; it has become the primary source of affordable online marketing. Beyond best practices, businesses must now become creative to compete with SEO, and do so in a way that keeps costs low.

Link building FAQs with Ken McGaffin

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What’s the deal with nofollow links? Do they count? Can it hurt your site if you have lots of links from low quality directories? Do your links really have to come from relevant sites? Ken McGaffin answers some of the questions frequently asked in his link building seminars.

Discover your competitors' link building secrets (Link building course part 3)

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Competitor link analysis is much more than finding out who’s linking to your competitors and getting them to link to you. There is a huge amount of useful information you can grab if you just take the time to research carefully.

In this article, the third in the series, Ken McGaffin shows you how to get the most from competitive link analysis and introduces two new features to the Link Builder tool – linking text analysis and linking domain categorization.

MarketingSherpa survey reveals the most effective SEO tactics

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The SEO field is changing rapidly and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest thinking. Research firm MarketingSherpa has surveyed thousands of search marketers to discover today’s most effective SEO tactics. We got a sneaky preview, so we can tell you what's working in SEO - and what's not. By Wordtracker's own Justin Deaville.

How to plan your site structure for maximum traffic (Video)

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In this 13-minute video, Mike Mindel shows you how to plan your site structure for maximum Google traffic.

When you organize your pages - using a structure of category and content pages - both readers and search engines are able to find what they want. As a result, your site looks authoritative, and the search engines will send you more traffic!

So sit back, press play - and find out how you can use keyword research to plan your own website.

 

Discover a profitable niche for a new website (Video)

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In this video, Mike Mindel shows you how to find a profitable niche market for a new website. You’ll learn how to find that gap in the market where searchers' needs are not being met by enough suppliers, so your new product or service can fit right in and compete successfully.

Primarily aimed at those of you at the start of your research process, this time-tested way to find a profitable new niche market will be of use whatever your level of SEO knowledge.

Drive sales and links for SEO through online PR

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The media is full of stories about businesses of all kinds – small, large, innovative, personal, family and multinational. This brings a lot of publicity and sales to the businesses that are featured.

But are you one of those businesses that don’t get any media coverage at all? Do you see your competitors grabbing headlines when you know you could do so much better?

Wordtracker + Google + SEO = Win

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Google keyword research data is impressive, powerful and now available on Wordtracker Keywords Tool. But make sure you verify its search estimates with alternative sources like Wordtracker’s own. Most importantly, use a keyword research process that ensures you find your site’s most profitable keywords. Mark Nunney explains how Wordtracker can help you.

How a Link Building Hero uses a blog to build links, make a living and take lots of holidays

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Andreas Kambanis of the London Cyclist blog didn’t start as a blogging or a cycling expert. But hard and smart work have turned his cycling blog into his main source of income. Andreas is the first subject of a new series of Link Building Heroes and Ken McGaffin, co-author of Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building - How to build links to your website for SEO, traffic and response discovers how Andreas uses quality blog content to build links for SEO and an email list for marketing.

How to make a link request

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So you’ve found some great link prospects. And you’ve created some great reasons why someone should link to you. Now you want to make an approach and craft a great link request. But are your link requests missing the most vital ingredient? Ken McGaffin asks the question and gives the answers.

8 questions to ask of sites that already link to you

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Link building is one of the most difficult parts of search engine optimization and naturally we’re all delighted when we ‘crack it’ and get new links pointing to our site.

Job done. Good links. Let’s move on to the next job.

I don’t think so.

How to make every page a marketing page (and why you should)

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By adding irresistible offers to unmissable positions on (almost) every page, ThinkingManagers.com more than doubled its response rate. Following his previous article Does your marketing stop when your content starts?, Mark Nunney here shows us how to make every page a marketing page.

This article is an edited version of a chapter of Wordtracker’s The Website Content Recipe Book – 21 irresistible content ideas to wow visitors and boost your search engine optimization.

Does your marketing stop when your content starts?

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Your website’s content will get noticed, get read and get customers if you use your headline and first paragraph to let readers know what is in it for them. Here I’ll introduce you to some techniques you can use to make that happen.

This article is an edited version of a chapter of Wordtracker’s The Website Content Recipe Book – 21 irresistible content ideas to wow visitors and boost your search engine optimization.

Find your website’s target markets

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Mark Nunney shows how to start your keyword research for a new site by first finding and then prioritizing your target markets and the keywords associated with them.

A quick guide to Link Builder

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Link building is not only good for search engine rankings, it’s essential. But not all links are equal - some links are excellent, and many others next to useless. It’s quality, not quantity of inbound links that make winners stand out. That’s why link building is the biggest challenge SEOs and website owners face.

The link building mindset

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We all know that one-way links from authority websites are essential if your link building efforts are to be successful. But what does it take to get those authority sites to link to you? Well, you’ll probably guess that it is not easy - quality links don’t materialize from feeble or automated requests. To get those ever so valuable links you’ve got to adopt the right mindset - the principles that show link targets you mean business and that you’re worth linking to.

Here’s my baker’s dozen ...

Using Keywords Part 7: Build keyword rich inbound links

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To rank well in search engine results you need to score well on both ‘on the page’ and ‘off the page’ factors.

‘On the page’ factors are about what is on your own pages and therefore within your own control. ‘Off the page’ factors are the links from external websites to your own, and these are much more difficult to control.

Using Keywords Part 6: Optimize your press releases

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When people consume news offline – in newspapers, magazines and broadcast media – their relationship with the material is usually transitory.

After the day of publication, a newspaper is thrown in the trash can while a broadcast story can fade from memory very quickly.

Using Keywords Part 1: Expand your keyword lists

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The objective of a business website is to attract potential buyers and convert them into paying customers.

Keywords can help you fulfill this objective. Use appropriate keywords on your site and you’ll attract visitors who want to buy the types of products you have to offer.

Link building made easy

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If you’ve been finding out about how to improve your website ranking, then you'll have heard about the power of link building. Search engines like Google rely on inbound links to inform their algorithm of site popularity, authority, and interest. As a result, focusing on link building strategies that can position your site correctly are ideal for generating top rankings. SEO expert Michael Fleischner introduces the link building techniques that work for him.

Link Builder tool definitions

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The Link Builder tool is designed to help you instantly identify your best link prospects - and build a linking campaign that exponentially grows your online presence. And here we explain the different parts of the Link Builder interface.

Testimonials as headlines (Headline writing course part 7)

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In part seven of his nine-part headline writing course, Sean D'Souza shows how using headlines in testimonials can make all the difference when it comes to making them stand out from all the rest.

And he doesn't just put testimonials into headlines. He gives them a twist that might transform the performance of your sales pages. Find the secret in part seven of Sean's nine-part headline writing course

How to construct headlines (Headline writing course part 6)

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Your headlines are the doorways to your site. But if you look at headlines, you’ll find that most websites have headlines that are weak, wimpy and uninviting - they are barriers to entry. In part six of his nine-part headline writing course, Sean D'Souza shows you how to make your headlines prominent, different and free from obstructions.

200 headlines, anyone? (Headline writing course part 5)

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One headline may work 50 times better than the next. But how do you actually know which headline is really going to work? Shouldn’t you be testing? Oh golly, you should be testing, but what if you had just one shot at sending out a sales letter? How could you make that shot really count? Let’s find why most copywriters goof up, and goof up consistently.

99 takeaways and top tips from SES London 2010

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The Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference in London was once again a great success and I've collected no less than 99 tips, ideas, statistics and memorable quotes from various speakers, panelists and a man in the bar.

The power of knew-new (Headline writing course part 3)

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Sean d’Souza explains how to use the power of ‘new’ and ‘knew’ to write intensely powerful headlines. Hint: ‘new’ is including something new and intriguing; ‘knew’ is using the familiar so you’ll be understood. Read on to learn how to weave them together. (This is part three of an 9-part series on writing perfect headlines by the author of "The Secret Life of Testimonials". Find out more about the book and order "The Secret Life of Testimonials" now. Further 'lessons' will be published over the next seven weeks.)

How to SEO at scale with keyword niches

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So single keywords are for losers. And a shift in perspective to 'keyword niches' allows you to work at the scale required to maximize profit. In this article, Mark Nunney pins down the definition of a keyword niche with a look at some real life examples that show how single keywords miss the big picture and keyword niches reveal it.

How too many thoughts ruin headlines (Headline writing course part 2)

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So how do you confuse a reader? Hey, it’s really easy. You remember what we did in Part 1? We put in a clear target, and then we added a specific, right? Well, two’s company. Three’s just bloomin' chaos. You’re just about to find out how to systematically create chaos. So that when you do you can chop, change and get yourself the headline that you really want.

The struggle with headlines (Headline writing course part 1)

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To help you perfect your headline writing, we’re starting an 9-part headline writing course by Sean D’Souza - the legend behind psychotactics.com and The Brain Audit – a system that can increase sales from your website by helping you understand why your customers buy and why they don’t. He also advises how to get excellent testimonials and how to attract a better client in "The Secret Life of Testimonials". Find out more about Sean's book and order "The Secret Life of Testimonials" now.

Adventures in (long tail keyword) Wonderland

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How can a small site with few resources benefit from targeting long tail keywords? And won't such strategies and subsequent tactics get in the way of response?

These questions were raised in comments following our investigation into the long tail of keyword research (and why single keywords are for losers) and I thought I’d use the comments to introduce some practical advice on how to target long tail keywords.

The long tail of keyword research (and why single keywords are for losers)

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In one month, a small website about management and leadership received 95,036 visits from search engines via 44,655 thousand different keywords. That’s a lot of keywords for a little site; and it’s a glimpse into the long tail of keyword research. For most websites, how to make a profit from the long tail is the same as how to make a profit.

Keyword creativity in web design

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Can Bob Arden save his web design business? Will brother Mike's keyword strategy deliver results? Has 2nd in command Laura betrayed Bob? Will Bob, Carl and Larry finally confront their past?

Keyword creativity in web design 4: Big brother is watching you

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The pitch is being run by Larry Mackay, an old buddy that he had fallen out with years ago, and the competing agency is run by a once mutual friend, Carl Carter. Now Mike, his opinionated younger brother, has told him that Laura, his deputy at the agency, is working against him, helping Carl Carter with the pitch.

Keyword creativity in web design 3: Secrets and lies

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After discovering that he's about to become a father for the first time Bob's determined to improve the business, starting with the latest new business pitch, a website re-design for Larry Mackay, an old buddy that he had fallen out with. He's listening to advice from Mike, his opinionated younger brother, particularly about how to bring keyword research into the heart of his web design process. Still, at the back of his mind, he's worrying about Laura, his deputy at the agency, and the secret she hasn't revealed yet.

Is online PR the ultimate link building technique?

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Getting coverage for your business in mainstream media can be hugely beneficial in bringing a swathe of new visitors to your site, and building inbound links from the media and from all the other people who comment on it. In this article, I want to give you guidelines on how you can use publicity in your own business.

10 reasons why journalists will write about your website

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“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift

Opportunities for great free publicity and inbound links are all around us. They arise every day from a host of newspapers, magazines, blogs and online news sites… but we just don’t see them.

Increase sales with Nick Usborne's "Buy" button techniques

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As your final call to action, your "Buy" button is crucial for response yet often generic and uninspiring. Nick Usborne, author of Wordtracker's Writing Kick-Ass Website Sales Copy, explains how to increase response by making your "Buy" button an extension of your headline.

How Brent D Payne increased Tribune sites’ monthly visits by a cool 20 million

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Brent D Payne, as the Tribune Company’s in-house Director of Search Engine Optimization (and bald SEO legend), has managed a 20 million increase in monthly visits to its websites, including the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times. Payne tells Rachelle Money how these spectacular results have been achieved, including using keyword research to help give readers “the news we know they want”.

How to win friends and influence people with social media networking

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To get results on social media sites you need great content with great headlines that will grab readers’ attention, make them want more and pass on a link to others. You will also need a significant network of friends and contacts or to be very nice to someone who has. Lyndon Antcliff is one such connector and here he gives 17 top tips to help you build your own social media network.

SEO made simple with the SEO Blogger Firefox addon

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Calling all you bloggers! Wordtracker have launched a fantastic new tool that will see bloggers writing fully optimized posts without having to leave the page. Andy Mindel (picture left) talks to Rachelle Money about how he came up with SEO Blogger and how it will benefit the blogosphere.

How newspapers plan to make money online

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In Wordtracker's last Online Journalism article I posed the question of whether readers would be prepared to pay for stories online and the response was a very loud NO! But the days of free are numbered and despite the seemingly reticent position of many readers, the momentum is beginning to build towards a variety of pay models such as subscriptions, micropayments or pay walls. We take a look at what newspapers and publishers are doing to get money from online content.

How to maximize your site's response rate with continual optimization

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Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg are the authors of a bunch of books like Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? and Call to Action which got them on the New York Times, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal's best sellers lists. They started their company FutureNowInc.com more than a decade ago and have just launched a new program called OnTarget, a service which monitors your website 24/7, uncovers reasons as to why it's under-performing, and then gives you specific recommendations to help keep your revenue goals on target. The Eisenberg brothers spoke to Rachelle Money about how they came up with the idea.

Writing kick-ass website sales copy

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Some people think writing sales copy for the web is exactly the same as writing for print. Many make the simple mistake of copying and pasting their print-based marketing messages onto their websites, and then scratch their heads wondering why their conversion rates are poor. Wordtracker has teamed up with Nick Usborne, a leading authority on the subject of writing for the web, in a new e-book which shows you how to make the transition from writing print sales copy to online copy and stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Successful online public relations with Greg Jarboe

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How do you generate great online PR? How can keyword research benefit an online PR campaign and what are the things people should avoid? These are just some of the questions we put to Greg Jarboe, President and co-founder of SEO-PR, a search engine optimization and online public relations firm. Greg has written numerous articles for Search Engine Watch and has contributed to Wordtracker's newsletter too, so who better to tell us how online PR really works?

Would you pay to read your newspaper online?

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Newspapers are struggling to find a new business model for their online editions. Some have folded at the challenge and packed up the printing presses while others have thrown up pay walls. The only question editors want the answer to is, are readers prepared to pay for online content?

The bad, good and ugly advice given to journalists on SEO

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How do journalists learn about SEO? Many of them will Google the term to find out what it's all about and how it will impact on their writing skills. When looking at the kind of advice there is for journalists online, it seems clear that many commentators from the journalistic side of the fence misconstrue what SEO is about, while SEOs themselves seem to be clueless about what journalists actually do, and about what writing responsibilities they have.

10 ways to use LinkedIn to find a job

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LinkedIn, 'facebook for business', with over 35 million users, is a serious networking tool for businesses and professionals alike. Here, start up guru, online marketing legend, Twitter superstar, and New York SES keynote speaker, Guy Kawasaki, introduces us to the power of LinkedIn by showing how to use it to find a job.

Say hello at SES London & New York

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If you're attending the Search Engine Strategies Conference (SES) at London or New York then say hello to myself and Shahid Awan, Wordtracker's new search evangelist.

How to Twitter

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Twitter is a powerful (micro)blogging site you can use to spread your message around the globe.

How Hearst magazines increased website traffic by 150% with SEO and Wordtracker

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Since using the Wordtracker keyword research tool Dan Roberts says Hearst Publication's online traffic has grown 150%. Hearst publishes 15 of the world's most popular magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Oprah's O Magazine, and Good Housekeeping as well as five web-only magazines. We talked to Roberts, Senior SEO Analyst for Hearst Publications' Digital Media team. As a former print journalist he knows all too well the challenges of introducing SEO and keyword research to a traditional media platform. And thank goodness he did.

Can SEOs and journalists really be friends?

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Search engine optimization (SEO) makes journalists groan. They bristle at the idea of ‘stuffing keywords’ into their copy while managers who often don’t understand SEO are desperate for the extra traffic good search rankings could bring. But the truth is that there are many parallels between SEO and journalistic writing and that SEO really can be a journalist’s best friend. Rachelle Money explains.

The SEO pro's secret path

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Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should focus on achieving success for the keywords that will deliver the most profit. That seems obvious but how do you find and prioritize those keywords? SEO pro Mark Nunney introduces the process so you can apply it to your own site.

Aaron Wall's SEO book: 50 Kick-Ass Keyword Strategies

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Wordtracker have enlisted the help of one of the most respected SEO experts on the planet, Aaron Wall, to write an exclusive e-book on 50 of the best keyword strategies to use in the quest for online success. Our very own journalist, Rachelle Money caught up with Aaron to ask him more about the book and get some hints about what readers can expect.

Father of link building, Eric Ward, reveals his link building secrets

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You need to actively build links if you want to improve your traffic and get high search engine rankings. But how do you do it? Eric Ward is a master link builder who counts the likes of Amazon, the Discovery Channel and Warner Bros among his list of clients. As a healthy obsessive, there is nothing Ward doesn't know about link building, making him the foremost expert in his field. In our exclusive interview Ward imparts some of his best pearls of wisdom on everything you ever wanted to know about link building.

How to use a tool to build links: Introducing the keyword questions tool

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Creating a useful free tool is a great way to build [links](/academy/linking). To illustrate the point, we’re releasing the free ‘Keyword Questions’ tool for the first time today. We’ll be starting with no links and we’ll update you on how our inbound links are doing. (If you like the tool please link to it). You’ll find it at [Wordtracker Keyword Questions Tool](https://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/keyword-questions/).

Increase your PPC profits with negative keywords

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Use 'negative keywords' and your PPC profits can increase dramatically. This valuable technique tells Google which phrases your ad should not be displayed for. For example, if you're selling brand new 'apple laptops', you don't want your ad to appear when someone searches for 'refurbished apple laptops', so 'refurbished' should be a negative keyword for your campaign.

Boost your marketing campaigns with keyword creativity

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Neil Davidson is a marketing communications consultant and writer with fifteen years experience in advertising and direct marketing. He gives us the low-down on what keyword creativity is and how to use it to boost your advertising and marketing campaigns.

The rules of online marketing in a recession

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Wordtracker Academy asked me, as an experienced internet marketer, if I could offer some perspective on today's business and financial climate. They specifically wanted to know how it impacts internet marketers and others who use the internet to market online.

Wordtracker addresses online retailers

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Ken McGaffin, Chief Marketing Officer of Wordtracker, will address the ECMOD2008 Conference at Earls Court, London, on 1st October 2008. ECMOD is an annual conference and exhibition for executives engaged in the catalogue and home shopping sector.

Are web designers clueless about SEO?

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This week we look at what our newsletter readers thought of Peter Kent's interview with Rachelle Money. The author of Search Engine Optimization for Dummies caused a split between our readers over his comments that web designers were pretty clueless when it came to SEO.

Case study: John Pye and Sons auctioneers and valuers

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In our last newsletter we introduced you to In Good Company Workplaces in New York, a company who gained fantastic media attention by sheer perseverance and good fortune. This time, we want to show you how one company got great press attention after they spotted an opportunity to piggyback the hottest story of the year – the credit crunch.

Carving up Mark Nunney

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Regular readers will know that in the past few newsletters we have published three different articles on our SEO expert Mark Nunney. Believe it or not, all of these articles came from one interview. In this article, I want to show you how you can get as much content for your site from one interview.

Keyword creativity: An online opportunity for ad agencies?

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In 2002, AT&T made a major mistake. As part of the launch of its mobile initiative mLife, the company purchased television advertising during the Super Bowl coverage. Nothing wrong with that – along with the Oscars, it attracts one of the biggest audiences in American television and is seen as a creative showcase for the best in American advertising.

Case study: In good company

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SEO is about the off page factors as well as the on page factors - small businesses usually neglect the former. Getting external sites to write about you, especially top news sites, can do wonders for your inbound links and as a result improve your search engine rankings. Here’s how one company got top rate media coverage.

Chris Garrett Q&A

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Chris Garrett is a professional blogger and co-author of the recently published ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income. Wordtracker's journalist Rachelle Money caught up with Garrett to pick his brains on how to crack the mini industry of blogging.

Web content recipe: Observation

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Every day we make observations, basing important decisions and forming judgments as a result of them. The power of observation is another one of those off the page processes we go through which can determine the content we choose to put online. In the latest chapter of our Web Content Recipe Book we look at how active observational skills can enhance the direction and quality of your website's content. This is taken from Wordtracker's "Web Content Recipe Book"

Interview with Larry Chase, founder of Web Digest For Marketers

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The Web Digest for Marketers has been in existence online for 13 years. At first Larry Chase, founder and editor of the newsletter, had just one topic to cover – online marketing – but as the industry went forth and multiplied, online marketing expanded to cover 52 different niches. Chase's staying power comes from his ability to explore these niches and create great content for his subscribers. Here he tells us everything there is to know about creating longevity through long tail content for newsletters.

Viral marketing insights from WillItBlend.com

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Creating great content means you have to look beyond the norms of written articles and blogs. Extending the possibilities to video can be a valuable and rewarding platform (and it doesn’t have to be expensive either), as the phenomenal success of Blendtec’s Will It Blend? has proven.

Rand Fishkin interview: Social media marketing and viral marketing

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Rand Fishkin is a popular speaker at search engine optimization conferences – not so much for his trademark yellow sneakers – but for his direct and uncompromising advocacy of social media marketing. His strategy is to focus on the ‘linkerati’, the new breed of bloggers whose approval is often the first stage in launching a successful campaign, and he insists the quickest way to kill a viral campaign is by giving it to your public relations department. Fishkin explains his approach and gives top tips on social media marketing.

Online Journalism: An introduction to the blog

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In journalism, the question of how print reconciles itself with the challenges online news has brought is a hotly debated topic. In our new blog on online journalism we will be joining the conversation and looking at what newspapers are doing to grab online readers, but first here's an introduction to what you can expect from the blog.

Web content recipe: How to write a book review

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Generating good content for your website is key to search engine optimization. And writing a review of a book that your audience will find useful is a great strategy. In this article, our own journalist Rachelle Money explains her approach to writing the Microtrends review and gives you a step-by-step guide with some handy tips on how to write your own. This is an extract from Wordtracker's "Web Content Recipe Book"

Can Microtrends tell you where your market is heading?

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A good keyword researcher spots emerging market trends before the rest of us. How do they do it? Not just by doing keyword research, but by keeping tabs on all sorts of published information. One such publication that caught our eye was Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark J Penn, the man who coined the phrase ‘soccer moms’ for Bill Clinton. In his book he draws on years of experience to describe over 240 emerging market trends. It contains enough inspiration and ideas to kick start any online marketing campaign.

Case study: Travel Intelligence

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The web has spawned many great ideas. But great ideas on their own do not create great online businesses. TravelIntelligence.com is a collective of some of the most popular travel writers in Europe and together they have created over 8000 pages of excellent travel writing. But not a single page was optimized and as a result, readership and the business returns it could create had fallen well short of potential. Enter a hard-nosed business brain and an experienced SEO, and things started to change.

50 keywords – 50 first page results on Google

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Vegetarianism continues to power a growing online business market. There are now estimated to be around 12 million vegetarians in the US, and 4 million in the United Kingdom where the total vegetarian food market has been put at £670m per year.

It’s moved from counter-culture to a mainstream way of living, which also means more people are searching for advice and nutritious vegetarian recipes on the web.

Rachelle Money talks to SavvyVegetarian.com, a content rich site that now appears on the first page of Google search results for over 50 keywords.

5 tips to maximize the long tail of local search

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Local search is fast becoming the most exciting search vertical on the web. Recent research by the Kelsey Group reported that 70% of Americans consult the web before making local buying decisions, while 36% of search engine queries now request local results.

By exploring local search, small business owners and marketers can benefit from both direct lead generation and general brand awareness. Brushing up your local keyword research skills is the place to start.

Figuring out the words: The Seth Godin interview

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Our reporter Rachelle Money managed to connect with Seth Godin - probably one of the most famous and prolific modern marketers - in a cab on the way to LA Airport at seven in the morning. Author of ‘Permission Marketing’ and ‘The Idea Virus’, Godin has just published his latest book, ‘Meatball Sundae’ and so he’s a pretty busy man.

Choosing a domain name? Do your keyword research first

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As the ancient Chinese proverb says; “the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” Choosing an appropriate name for your company takes careful thought and picking a domain name for your website is just as important a decision, especially when taking into account how fiercely competitive the world wide web is. Joshua Sloan, director of online marketing for the world’s most popular web host company, 1and1.com explains...

Research and preparation are essential in good web copy

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People expect accuracy in your web writing. Getting things wrong not only damages your credibility, it may get you into hot water with some company’s legal department. Journalists in busy newsrooms have to face this problem every day. How do they cope and what can you learn from them? Our resident journalist explains...

The Weather Channel® creates a storm with web content

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weather.com has over 300 million visitors monthly who want to know how the weather is going to affect them. Whether you want information on how to keep your pets cool in a heatwave, how to drive safely when the roads are icy, or even if you want marine forecasts they’ve got it covered.

There are 15 main content areas on the site, each with its own product manager who have essential keyword research at their fingertips. We talked to search marketing manager, Derek Fulford about his operation.

Building a radio show audience one keyword at a time

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The majority of small businesses are not high flying tech companies or web savvy start ups. They’re largely traditional companies in low tech industries. And that’s the audience Brent Leary and Michael Thomas set out to reach when they launched their radio show, ‘Technology For Business Sake (TFBS)’. And how did they find their audience? Through keyword research, of course.

Park Seed: Sowing the seeds of success on the internet

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Park Seed is a multi-million dollar gardening business that had built its incredible success on print-based catalogs. So starting business on the internet seemed like a leap into the unknown. But there was a link between these different worlds...

Keyword inspiration - Aaron Wall of SEOBook.com shares his secrets

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Keyword research often starts with a seed list - a quick brainstorm of keywords that might be important. The better your keyword seed list, the greater your opportunity to generate a comprehensive keyword portfolio. Aaron Wall, author of SEOBook.com shares his secrets for generating a fantastic seed list every time.

Why keyword research matters

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People describe things in different ways. The words you use in your business may be very different from the words your customers use. For example, Gerry McGovern explains, “low fares” is an airline industry term (121 searches predicted at time of writing); “cheap flights” is a term potential customers will use (8,057 searches predicted per day). Use industry terms instead of customer terms and you will not be found. These three cartoons show what happens:

What is Google Page Rank and how do I measure it?

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Google PageRank is a rough guide from Google to the popularity of your site's pages according to its inbound links. Although quick, it’s crude and often gives the wrong impression so use alongside other metrics. Here's how to find out your site's Google Page Ranks.

How to monitor your SERPs rankings

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To get visitors from search engines, your website's pages need to be listed and seen on page one of Search Engines' Results Pages (SERPs). That means you need to track your sites' SERPs for target keywords. Here’s how.

MumsTheWord.com: Keyword strategy inspires niche business

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Finding a niche business is often the key to online success. Andrew Smith thought that most of the competitors for his new online baby store seemed to ignore the needs of mothers. In this case study Smith focuses his keyword strategy on the needs of mums, not just babies.

Using Keywords Part 2: Optimize your existing content

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The first quick win of doing keyword research should be to optimize your existing content. Do that before you go on to create new content. That means looking again at the content you’ve already created and seeing what improvements you can make that will increase search engine traffic - and sales - from those particular pages.

You’ve got to make sure that you’ve organized your content and that you’ve used important keywords in all the right places.

Using top search keywords in online public relations

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SEO-PR has been offering optimized press release services since March 2003. But, the first time my online public relations firm recommends using top search keywords in headlines and at least the first 100 words of optimized press releases, I can't tell you how frequently new clients are surprised.

Many people mistakenly believe that search engine optimization and online public relations firms can magically optimize a press release - without modifying any release content - by adding invisible meta keywords tags. So, they are shocked, shocked to find that their top search keywords actually need to appear high up in very visible locations.

Three good reasons to target long tail keywords!

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Seasoned professionals in the arena of online marketing know it's clever to use keywords that target potential customers who are "late" in the buying cycle. So, how do you find out what these keywords are? ...and why are they so important?

Not this Saturday

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The last thing Susan Webster wanted to do this morning was to go into the office.

Susan was in the habit of going in every Saturday to plan the week ahead. She liked the silence, and the atmosphere of her oak-paneled office helped her to think.

But after what she’d been through in the last seven days she just couldn’t face it. She was determined to have some time to herself and relax with the weekend papers and a cup – no, make that a large pot – of strong coffee.

Susan had given up her job on Wall Street to become the new CEO of the family firm, Virginia Veg.

Keyword quality and the Wordtracker database

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Search engines get bombarded with automated queries from ranking monitors, popularity analyzers, bid optimizers and other tools. This deluge of non-human activity distorts keyword counts, and if it is not identified and eliminated will leave you with very poor keywords.

Keyword creativity in web design

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"Keyword Creativity" is the process of understanding customer behavior through keyword research and using the insights gained to drive the creative process.

The ultimate keyword primer

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Every aspect of crafting a website-for-profit revolves delicately around carefully chosen and strategically placed keywords. Behind the scenes of every top-ranking sales page lies a company's systematic campaign to win dominance in an escalating battle over specifically targeted keywords. The stakes can be high. Billions of $$ have already been earned and billions more are in the queue waiting to be tapped.

Keyword phrases in linking text

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Often simple things really matter. And the use of keywords in linking text is one of those simple things that turn out to be hugely important. Linking text, sometimes called anchor text, is the clickable text that takes people to another page or resource. You need to choose that text carefully.

How to get links without asking

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Sending out link requests is a time-consuming business. So wouldn't it be wonderful if other sites linked to you without being asked?

Sound impossible? Well, it can be done and here are ten strategies to prove it.

6 powerful ways to find link building targets

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Finding quality sites to target is at the heart of any effective linking strategy. ‘Quality sites’ are not the ones that are easiest to get links from but those that will drive most relevant traffic to your site. In our last newsletter, we looked at how to maximize your link value to make your site more attractive to link targets. In this issue we’ll explore how to find quality link targets.

The perfect link building strategy

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If you’ve gone through all the hard work of a link building campaign, you expect to be rewarded with some impressive links. The reality is that many people are disappointed with the trickle of links and the trickle of traffic that their efforts produce.