The four pillars of an effective SEO strategy

SEO can be complicated — in many cases, overcomplicated. How many ranking factors are involved in generating strong organic search results? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? Two hundred?
A quick search for “SEO ranking factors” will give you all of these answers and myriad others. There is a lot of information out there. And the reality is, while there are likely hundreds of variables working together to determine final placement, much of what is suggested is guesswork. And certainly, not all ranking factors are relevant to every business.
Point being, it is easy to get lost down an algorithmic rabbit hole. It’s information overload out there, and you can spend all your time on a research hamster wheel and achieve very little.
In this article, I want to simplify things and outline the four main areas you should be focusing on with your SEO. Really, when it comes down to it, SEO is actually pretty simple at a strategic level.
The four pillars of

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10 ways to generate links with online influencers

You may be thinking that no one wants to share your content, but the opposite is actually true: Because they post so often, online influencers are always looking for interesting content to share. All you have to do it research, create and position the right content opportunities to influencers so they will want to start working with you.
If you’re not sure what angle your organization should take to work with online influencers, consider the following angles: unique content sharing, product promotion, sponsorships and relationship building.
You’ll also want to be sure you are familiar with the FTC Guidelines surrounding influencer disclosures, as well as Google’s guidelines on the issues.
Produce unique content
Producing fresh content that is engaging and interesting to your target audience is what entices industry influencers to share. In addition to “how-to” posts, consider creating studies and long-form content and developing discussions that push industry issues. Because content is so competitive, it’s crucial to take an angle

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How to conduct an SEO content audit

Google has thrown a ton of changes at marketers over the last few years. From major algorithm updates to voice search, all of these changes follow Google’s ultimate goal of creating the best search experience for its users.
The upshot is that it’s not enough to develop and optimize website content for just search engines anymore. As better language processing has become a major focus for improving search results, your brand’s site content is no longer speaking to search engines alone, but to actual people.
To appeal to both people and search engines, brands must evaluate their site content through an audit process to discover what may (or may not) be working and determine where to improve. A website content audit is the cornerstone of your entire content strategy.
When done right, a content audit helps to determine whether your website content is relevant to not only your brand goals and marketing objectives, but also to the customer’s needs. Audits

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Top 6 tips for SEO for SaaS

As with many industries, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses face unique tSEO challenges and opportunities. 
Before I started Marketing Mojo, I spent many years as an SEO in the technology industry. The last position I had before starting my agency was working for an online survey company, WebSurveyor, that was a competitor to Survey Monkey.
Based on this experience and what I’ve seen since, I want to share six of my top search engine optimization tips for SaaS companies.
1. Lead generation or SEO?
One of the bigger questions that SaaS companies (as well as many B2B companies) face when approaching content optimization is the question of gating content for lead generation or leaving it open for SEO benefits.
If you choose to gate content for lead generation, you’ll likely want to block search engines from indexing that content directly. Otherwise, you risk visitors finding your content via Google or Bing and bypassing the lead generation form altogether, which may hinder your lead generation goals.
For example,

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Designing content for the mobile-first index

Face it: You’re not a literary author, and people aren’t hanging on to every word you write. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have comprehensive information on a web page, but users also don’t want to scroll forever — especially on mobile.
Content on mobile needs to make it easier for users to get to the main points without cutting out the content, as users might want to dig into the details more at times. More than ever, the structure of your content is important, and your content needs to be navigable, skimmable and digestible.
Table of contents
A table of contents is a great way to show how you have organized your content, and combined with HTML bookmarks, it allows users to quickly jump to sections of a page that may interest them. For instance, my table of contents for this article would be:
Table of contents
HTML headings
Expandable content
Tabs
Filters
Summary, highlights, TL;DR
Bullet points or lists
Bold or italic text
Highlight important points
What

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16 common on-site SEO mistakes you might be making right now

SEO is more than inbound marketing. There’s massive overlap, but there’s a technical side to SEO that sometimes gets neglected, especially by casual followers of the industry.
As somebody who spends a great deal of time looking at sites searching for opportunities to optimize, I notice patterns that creep up often: technical mistakes that show up again and again.
Let’s go over these mistakes. If my experience is anything to go by, odds are high you’re making at least one of them.
1. Nofollowing your own URLs
There comes a time in every SEO’s life when they need to keep a page hidden from the search results — to prevent duplicate content issues, to hide member areas, to keep thin content pages out of the index, to hide archives and internal search result pages, during an A/B test and so on. This is perfectly innocent, perfectly noble and perfectly necessary. However…
… do not use the “nofollow” tag to accomplish this!
The “nofollow”

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3 reasons SEO belongs at the beginning of a project, not the end

Too many marketers still bring SEO in at the end of a content marketing project. They finish a blog post or finalize a new marketing campaign, and at the end of the line, SEO comes in to find related keywords and plug them into content.
Unfortunately, this approach is outdated and completely ineffective.
Robust, modern SEO research can decipher who your real audience is online, where visitors are in the buyer’s journey, what information they’re looking for, and what content format they prefer. These insights lead to more effective content strategies.
But if SEO is only given a voice at the end of the line, it’s too late to utilize the insights it provides. To fully enjoy the benefits — and optimize every piece of content — SEO must be a foundational part of every project from the beginning.
1. Keywords should help determine content, not decorate it
Most online experiences start with keywords — so marketers should, too.
There are a lot

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Got amazing content but no leads? 5 ways to rethink your paid strategy

In the digital marketing world, there is an overabundance of content about content marketing. If you’re marketing a business, the promise of consistent, top-of-funnel organic traffic growth from content marketing is extremely promising!
So you digest content about creating content, open your blog subdomain and check the proverbial check boxes for SEO optimization, keyword targeting, and a strategic call-to-action to generate leads. Maybe you even outsource the design to take it to the next level.
What happens when you press publish? It’s like a ceremonial ribbon-cutting: People might show up, but they’re really just friends of the person holding the big scissors or passive onlookers who were walking by when they saw someone with large scissors.
That’s what creating good content can feel like. You put in a bunch of upfront work that feels worthy of a great launch party, only to realize you didn’t invest nearly enough in the next step: distribution.
More often, the next step turns into complaining that “content marketing is

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Developing content for the customer journey

Ten years ago, referring to content on a page as “SEO content” was often appropriate. Keyword density was still a strong factor for ranking page content, and SEO professionals struggled with achieving SEO objectives while still providing an engaging content experience for the customer.
Today, I still occasionally hear content requested and/or developed by my team referred to as “SEO content.” While it is easy to be offended, the fact is that there was a time in SEO where content quality was not our top priority, so we must own our past. Certainly Google, Bing, and Yahoo share part of the blame, as we were simply playing the hand we were dealt at the time.
Google has since reshuffled the deck, and the hand we are dealt today requires that our content compete at a quality level. Now when I hear someone refer to content as “SEO content,” I take a deep breath, and I begin my education process. The process

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8 major Google ranking signals in 2017

 

It’s no secret that Google’s ranking algorithm is made up of over 200 components, or “signals.” And while the list is impressive, it can get daunting if you’re a just regular human with 24 hours in a day.
Luckily, SEO isn’t about getting every tiny thing right; it’s about getting your priorities right. Below, we’ve put up a list of top eight rankings factors, based on the industry studies by SearchMetrics, Backlinko and SEO PowerSuite. Read on to find what they are, and how to optimize your site for each.
Backlinks
Surprise, surprise, right? In 2017, backlinks continue to be the strongest indication of authority to Google. Let’s look at the things that can make or break yours.
1. Link score
How does Google turn the abstract concept of “backlinks” into a quantifiable ranking signal? In several patents, Google explains that this is done by calculating a “link score.” The score is made up by every incoming link’s individual quality score (aka

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