Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

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7 Trends for Successful Digital Marketing (Infographic)

There’s a lot going on in digital marketing lately. For your small business to compete successfully, you need to be aware of and respond to current trends and changes in internet marketing and digital marketing more broadly. Here are the 7 top trends to be aware of:

  • SEO
  • Social media
  • Video
  • Email marketing
  • Paid advertising
  • Lead generation
  • Content marketing

Below is an excellent overview of the most important trends in digital marketing you need to watch. Thanks to the folks at Serpwatch for all their hard work on this.

7 trends in digital marketing for small businesses to be aware of.

How to Drive More Readers to Your Blog Posts

There are lots of ways to attract readers to your blog.None of us writes a blog just to admire our own words of wisdom. We write it to provide information, to bolster our credibility, to illustrate our expertise, to attract new customers … the reasons are many and varied. But they all share the common factor that we want readers.

 

Attracting Readers

Just creating and writing a blog is not a guarantee that it will attract readers.  There are many things readers may find attractive: humor, images, pithy writing, helpful information, insightful analysis, compelling content and more. But if no one knows about your blog, no one will read it.  Just like a website without SEO, it may end up being like a Billboard in the Woods.

Where Do You Get Exposure?

There are a bunch of places to seek visibility for your blog posts. BlogPros.com recently listed 50 of them. Let’s highlight some of the best ones for a small business blog.

  • Social Media Sites
  • Social Bookmarking Sites
  • Article Directories
    • These no longer provide link juice to your blog posts like they once did, but they can still drive traffic to your posts. Here are a couple of the best:
    • Blog Engage
    • EZine Articles
  • Personal Resources
  • Paid Advertising
    • Pay Per Click ads can get expensive, and many businesses spend thousands of dollars a month on them. But they can also help on a much smaller scale for small businesses. These are the top two:
    • Google AdWords
    • Facebook Ads
  • Specialized Sites
    • Google AdWordsBusiness2Community is a great place to automatically syndicate your blog.These are similar to blog directories and bookmarking sites, but are more narrowly focused. Here are a few examples:
    • Business2Community for business related content
    • BizSugar for content related to small businesses
    • DesignFloat for material related to web design
    • DeviantArt for the art and design community
    • Inbound.org for marketing related content
    • MySpace for music and entertainment related content

Tell us about your success (or lack of it) with these. Is there a technique you’ve found that’s not listed here? Please tell us about it in the comments below.

Need help with your visibility? Rank Magic can help!

Do You Write Compelling Subject Lines?

Click Bait?

You need to write attention grabbing headlines!Your web page or blog post or newsletter may be astoundingly helpful or surprisingly informative, great fun to read and generally a gem that your target market really needs to know about and read. But if your subject line isn’t good “click bait”  — something that will make it impossible to pass up without clicking on it  —  no one will know.

You need to grab them with the subject line. In an email newsletter, it’s the subject of the email. In a social media post it’s the headline you give the post or the first few words of the post. On a web page  it’s the page title that will show up in search results. And in a blog post it’s also the page title, but that often duplicates the primary headline of the post.

Dierdre Rienzo wrote a helpful piece at MarketItWrite about how to analyze your prospective subject lines for their likelihood of attracting clicks.

The Value of Good Examples

One thing I’ve often found helpful, especially when a headline or subject line seems beyond my grasp, is to look at some examples.

Info Marketing Blog reprinted 100 great advertising headlines with a brief discussion of each. Review them and you’ll get a sense of what elements go into a real compelling, click bait subject line.

The Financial Brand has s helpful set of rules for creating a killer subject line, even though their focus is financial.

From an advertising perspective, Crazy Egg has a list of nine steps to follow to create a compelling subject line or headline.

If you don’t get enough inspiration from these sources, try searching in Google, Yahoo or Bing for headline ideas or how to write a headline. There are some great ideas to get you through that writer’s block.

BTW, if you found this helpful, please share it with friends: Like it or tweet it withthe buttons above and =1 it with the button below.

 

Can You Really Get Links By Email Requests?

Relevant incoming links may count as much as 40% toward top rankings in Google.

But just sitting back and waiting for them to happen by accident isn’t a meaningful action plan. One potentially fruitful approach is to find relevant websites and send them an email asking them to link to you.

Email link requests have gotten a bad name.

Most website owners with any degree of visibility on the web get link request emails. Most often these are poorly written and come from off-shore mass link builders. They’re pretty easy to identify and most people just delete them as spam. That’s one reason that at Rank Magic we follow up email link requests with a phone call (almost no one else does that!).

According to Website Magazine,

Direct link requests get a bad wrap as they are used (and often used poorly) by those that either don’t care or don’t know any better (believing inbound link volume outweighs inbound link quality – which it doesn’t). It should not have to be said but know that email link requests do not typically work when they are misdirected or provide no immediate or long term benefit to those providing the link.

But there are things you can do to increase the positive response to your link request emails.

Follow a few simple suggestions from this Website Magazine article and you should see your email link request success rate improve.

Why Doesn’t Your Newsletter Get Read?

You do have an email newsletter, right?

Sending out a periodic email newsletter can help draw customers and prospects in to important pages on your website or to relevant blog posts. But how many read them?

How many recipients open your email newsletters?Very often statistics from your email newsletter host will show that a relatively small percentage of readers actually click on any links to your website or blog. In fact, you’re likely to find that lots of recipients don’t even open your newsletter. (Some may view it in preview mode and unless they click on something that doesn’t count as an open. But still, a low open rate indicates a problem.)

Mistina Picciano of Market It WriteMistina Picciano of MarketItWrite offers 8 tips to make sure people read your newsletter. If you have a low open rate, focus on her tip #2: Use subjects that say “read me”. A compelling subject line to your email will get people to open them. That’s a subject we at Rank Magic discovered late in the game. For years our monthly newsletters had a subject line something like Rank Magic SEO Newsletter for April. Does that make you want to stop and read it? I didn’t think so. Last month’s newsletter hinted at some of the content inside with this subject line: Disappearing Rankings | SEO Myths | Google on Article & Social Media Marketing. A bit better, but not as compelling as it could have been. A better subject line might have been Why Did My Rankings Disappear? or perhaps Don’t Believe These Dangerous SEO Myths!.

Better newsletter subjects is something we need to work on, and chances are it’s something you need to work on, too.