Blog SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies

7 Low-Hanging Fruits That Any #SEO Can Fix

SEOs have a tough job. They’re expected to swoosh into a site, save the day, boost the traffic, raise rankings, and make the company prosper.

The problem is, SEOs have their hands tied on so many issues. What should the SEO do, for example, if the site isn’t responsive? Or the site was made in 1999 and needs to be updated? Or the server keeps breaking? Or any other number of problems that he or she can’t fix?

Most SEOs aren’t able to fix every problem on the site. Why not? It’s not because they lack skill. Often, the issue involves the buy-in of developers, the approval of executives, or implementation from third-party vendors.

How does an SEO even get their job done?

Thankfully, there are things most SEOs should be able to do. The low-hanging fruits of SEO are easy to spot, easy to fix, and can make an instant impact on a website.

Regardless of skills and regardless of experience, there are things you can do. If you’re an SEO looking for some easy fixes and quick tasks that will boost rankings, look no further than these seven low-hanging fruits.

1. Adjust Your Title Tags

Title tags are the most important on-page SEO element. Moz explains, “this element is critical to both user experience and search engine optimization.”

If a site’s title tags aren’t optimized, then the site will not do well in the SERPs, period.

The title tag is located in the site’s header and looks like this:

<title>Example Title</title>

The problem with title tags is that many times, developers or website designers will put some stock text here without considering its SEO ramifications. You, as the SEO, will need to remedy this.

Here are the rules for optimizing title tags:

Make Your Title 50-60 Characters Long

If the title tag is too long, it will be truncated in the SERPs. If it’s too short, you’re not making full use of the tag’s SEO potential.

To make sure that your title tag is a good length, use Moz’s title tag tool. It displays an example of how your title tag will appear in the SERPs.

Use a Longtail Keyword in the Title

In order for it to be optimized, the title tag needs to contain a keyword. Focus on one longtail keyword per page.

A longtail keyword is usually a phrase that contains some descriptive words.

Be sure not to stuff the title tag with keywords. Doing so is a spam signal for Google. If Google’s algorithm suspects you’re keyword stuffing, they may devalue your site in the SERPs.

Place Your Target Longtail Keyword Toward the Beginning of the Title

I recommend putting the title tag at the front of the title.

I make this recommendation two reasons. First, the search engines will identify it as one of the most important keywords on the page. Second, users will see the keyword in the SERPs. When they identify the page tag as relevant based on the keyword in the title, they are more likely to click on it.

My title tags are usually the name of my blog post. For example, below, you’ll see that the title tag is simply, “How to Build 100 Quality Links Without Writing Fresh Content.”

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

This title itself is a long tail keyword phrase, and will help my site to be ranked in a relevant and appropriate way.

Place Your Business Name at the End of the Title Tag, Separated by a Vertical Line (|)

If you prefer, you can place your business name in the title tag. Remember, however, that your business name is not that important for SEO.

Why not? Unless something is severely wrong with your site, it’s going to rank for branded or navigational searches. That’s not what you need to optimize for. Instead, you want to optimize the site for organic longtail keywords.

Often, putting the brand name in the title tag is a waste of space. If you choose to include it, however, do so at the end of the tag, separate with a vertical line, like this —

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

Title tag optimization is a first order of business for any SEO. Here is a helpful process to follow:

  • Identify a unique long tail keyword for every page on the site.
  • Adjust every title tag to include the assigned keyword.
  • If the site has thousands of pages, focus on the most important pages first — main navigational pages, top traffic pages, etc.

Once your titles are fully optimized, you’ll experience a noticeable increase in traffic and ranking.

2. Create Optimized H1s

The H1 tag is the bit of HTML code that identifies a major heading in your content.

H1s are one of the most common SEO elements. They’ve been in use for years, and every SEO knows about their usefulness and power.

However, I’ve been surprised at how many websites lack this core feature. Even if a page does contain an H1, it may not be fully optimized.

Here are the common problems that I’ve noticed surrounding H1s.

  • Multiple H1s. If a page has more than one H1, it could be diluting the SEO power. More H1s is not better. Each page should have a single H1.
  • Short H1s. Sometimes, the H1 consists of a single word. If the H1 is only one word, it’s not fully utilizing the SEO potential.
  • Duplicate H1s. Google does not look favorably upon duplicate content — i.e., sections of text that are the same from one page to another.
  • Very long H1s. Although short H1s are problematic, so are long ones. Make sure that your H1s do not exceed 70 characters.

One of the most useful tools for analyzing a site’s H1 tags is Screaming Frog. Using Screaming Frog, you can identify the following:

  • Which pages do not have an H1.
  • Which pages have duplicate H1s.
  • Which pages have H1s that exceed 70 characters.
  • Which pages have multiple H1s.

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

The tool also allows you to examine each H1 in detail:

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

Adjusting a website’s H1s is a relatively easy task. Once you know what you’re looking for, and how to fix it, you can instantly improve a site’s SEO power.

3. Add More Content

Google loves content — lots of it. The more content you have on your website, the better your pages will rank.

In one study of top ranked pages and content length, serpIQ discovered a strong correlation between lots of content and top-ranked pages.

Adding content is time-consuming, yes, but doing so will instantly ramp up your rankings.

Today’s web searchers expect great information, high-quality content, and plenty of it. Don’t simply throw content on your pages. Take the time to curate high-quality content that addresses the user’s needs and solves their problems.

4. Add Alt Tags to Images

An image’s alt tag is the meta text that describes that image.

Sometimes, a CMS will automatically assign an alt tag to images, but it’s usually not optimized. Something like “IMG-DSC1908183” is not a good alt tag.

This alt tag from Slate Magazine is an example of a well-optimized tag:

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

Obviously, you should also optimize the image title. Often, however, optimizing the title is harder to do. You should optimize image titles while you’re creating the page.

Optimization alt tags is much simpler and straightforward. Simply go into the image attributes or source code and change the tag.

Again, a tool like Screaming Frog allows you to identify how your site’s alt tags look.

5. Add Internal Links for Crawlability

Every website needs to be crawlable. What this means is that the search engines can easily access your website, visit every page, and index all the content.

What’s the best way to improve crawlability? There is a variety of structural ways to improve crawlability:

  • Intuitive site navigation
  • XML sitemap
  • HTML sitemap

These are excellent tactics that you should implement. One of the best ways to enhance crawlability, however, is by building internal links. 

Internal links are simply a link from one page of content on your site to another to help guide the user. There’s no complex science to internal linking. All you have to do is create a text link from page A to page B.

I’m not referring here to navigational links such as the header or footer. Those are a given. The links I’m referring to are text links, like this one.

The link in the SEL article below links to another article on SEL:

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

How do you do it? Simply go into the existing content on your website, and create text links from one page to another.

Although there are no hard-and-fast rules about internal linking, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t optimize the anchor text.
  • Don’t link to the homepage.
  • Don’t link to the “about” page.
  • Link to deep, internal, content-rich pages.
  • Add 2-4 internal links per page.

6. Improve Content Readability

Today, SEO is more about usability than it is about tips and tricks.

For this reason, you should make every effort to make your content easy to view, easy to read, and easy to digest.

How do you do this? It’s not hard.

  • Use headings
  • Use bullets
  • Use lists
  • Use paragraphs

By making your content more readable, it will be more user-friendly, and therefore, better for search engines.

How easy is it to read this text?

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ


Compare that wall of text with this page:

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

The example above has clear headings (H3s), short paragraphs, plenty of white space, and centered images. It’s a well-organized page, and is eminently readable.

How hard is it to make your pages readable like this? It’s not hard at all. Breaking up your content, organizing it, and adding headings or lists where appropriate is all it takes.

7. Adjust and Optimize Meta Descriptions

A meta description is a brief description of the page’s content. It is located in the site’s metadata, and visible in the SERPs:

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

Meta descriptions don’t directly impact search rankings. But they do impact search rankings in a very real indirect way.

What do I mean by this? Let’s compare meta descriptions with the title tag. The title tag is a powerful component of the site’s search optimization. But the meta description? Not so much. It is not a built-in component of the ranking algorithm, and hasn’t been for many years.

7 Low-Hanging Fruits that any SEO can Fix | SEJ

Is it worth it then? Should you go to the trouble of creating meta descriptions for your website?

Absolutely. Here’s why.

A site’s meta descriptions are visible in the SERPs. As such, they impact whether or not and how quickly a user will click on the page.

It’s not just the technical elements of a site’s SEO that matter. What also matters? It matters what the user does when they see your site in the SERPs.

Do they click on your SERP entry (click-through rate)?

Do they dwell on your page (dwell time)?

These user metrics are critical for SEO. What impacts those metrics?

Part of the way to impact these rankings is to create a well-written, compelling, accurate, and engaging meta description.

For the amount of results you get from a SERP, the effort is well worth it. Simply revise your meta descriptions to make them the right length, to make them relevant to the content, and to make them appealing to the user


Full SEO optimization is a complex endeavor. But these simple techniques are easy, quick, and powerful.

These are the first things you should do to optimize your website for maximum performance. Within several weeks, your site will gain rank, increase traffic, raise your organic visits, and become more successful.

What are the quickest and easiest SEO fixes that you’ve discovered?

By Neil Patel Seo tips.

Blog SEO Costa Rica SEO tips

This Month in Social Media: Updates from September 2015

September was a busy month in the social media world, particularly for Facebook and Instagram.

The rumored “Dislike” button coming to Facebook has garnered a lot of buzz, as has their new 360-degree video experience. Instagram continues to reach new milestones in addition to rolling out enhanced advertising features and new photo layouts.

Google+’s influence continues to decline as Google announced Google+ links and reviews will no longer be included in search results. In more uplighting social news surrounding Google, they are said to be partnering with Twitter on an ‘instant articles’ solution tailored to mobile users.

Learn about these updates and more in our monthly social roundup:


The long discussed and often rumored Facebook ‘dislike’ button is officially on the way.

Facebook announced live streaming will now be available to any public figure or journalist with a verified profile.

Facebook debuted several updates to Pages that are designed to help business owners better engage with their audience on mobile devices. Page owners can now add call-to-action buttons on mobile as well as add new sections, such as Shop and Services.

Facebook began rolling out 360-degree videos in News Feed. This means publishers can now upload 360 video to Facebook allowing users to look around an experience the video as though you were there.


Google+ links and reviews are no longer being included in search results, even in searches for specific business names.


Just nine months after celebrating 300 million users, the company is reporting 400 million monthly active users — 75% of whom live outside the United States.

As of September 30th, self-serve advertising will be available to all Instagram users. In addition, Instagram will make its advertising platform available to countries around the world.

Instagram has announced a set of improvements to its direct messaging feature, which included threaded conversations and enhanced emojis.

Instagram announced that – in addition to square posts – you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on their platform.


The number of monthly active Pinterest users has reportedly doubled over the past 18 months, with 45% of new users residing outside the US.


Google and Twitter are working together on their own ‘instant articles’ solution, which is said to aid in the distribution of content to mobile devices.

By Debbie Miller SEO Tips.

Blog SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies SEO tips

How to Build Links Using Data-Driven Content & Blogger Outreach

For digital marketers, content marketing and link building are vital for each and every one of our campaigns. Some of the challenges we face during these campaigns are getting links to our content, developing content that people want to share, or simply finding the time to build links to our content.

Here’s the thing. If you have an incredible content marketing plan in place and effectively reach out to influential bloggers in your industry, you’ll also earn those backlinks. That’s not saying it won’t take some time and effort on your end – it will.

What I am saying is that you can get smarter about how you go about link building by earning links through quality content and blogger outreach.


What is Link Building?

The most basic definition for link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your website. When it comes to SEO, link building is important because search engines rely on links to discover new web pages and determine how and where a page will rank in search results. Without links, you can’t get ranked on a search engine like Google. And if your site isn’t found, then no one is going to notice the content you are working so hard to produce.

Additionally, link building can also assist with building your brand through:

  • Authority signal buildingEarning links from reputable and relevant industry websites or social media channels will help position your brand as a leading authority figure.
  • Branding, influencing, and positioning your company: Again, quality links can help position your brand in the minds of your customers by proving you are a trusted leader in your industry.

Content marketing and link building can work hand-in-hand because links are actually the byproduct of great content marketing. For example, if you’re involved with digital marketing and publish a blog post or infographic regarding a recent study, your initial plan wasn’t to obtain links.

It was to produce and share something valuable for your audience. The content, because it’s so incredible that it could rank itself, will be shared by industry leaders and publications. That one piece of content could then earn you a couple of quality links, which in turn boosts your credibility and helps attract more links or signals.

What Link Building is Not

Because link building has been effective in the past in helping websites achieve higher rankings on search engines, it was only a matter of time before people began manipulating the system. Google has since cracked down on these link schemes by penalizing websites who have bought links or participated in extensive link exchanges.

If you want to acquire links, and don’t want to face the wrath of Google, keep in mind that link building is about earning links and not taking a shortcut by trying to obtain links just for the purpose of gaining links by:

  • Article distribution sites: Google’s Matt Cutts has recommended not uploading your content onto article distribution sites.
  • Guest blogging networks: Guest blogging is a great way to expand your brand and gain exposure, however, using a guest blogging network for links could put you in the dog house with Google.
  • Link wheels: This is an artificial way to build links through a circular pattern of links.
  • Private blog networks: Google has also been targeting PBNs and considers the content on these sites spam.
  • Mass link swapping: Google will penalize you if you partake in an excessive amount of link exchanges.
  • Link injections: Being sneaky and trying to hide a link to your website is a big no-no.

How to Build Links

One of the most effective ways to build links is by having what I call a “link magnet” on your site. Let’s say you run an e-commerce site. What kind of link magnets could you have on your site that would normally just contain product pages?

Here are a couple of ideas for content that attracts links:

  • Daily blog posts
  • Resource centers
  • Galleries
  • Reviews
  • Comparisons
  • White papers or Ebooks
  • Infographics

An example of a brand that has accomplished this is outdoor clothing brand Patagonia brand. When the company first launched, it’s website contained content like guides, maps, and contributed stories that focused on outdoor adventures. The other half of the site simply featured product pages.

This was a great way to for an e-commerce site to tap into the lifestyle of its customers by creating content that they would like.

Not all types of pages of can attract links, though. For example, product listings, product categories, boring press releases, and ‘about’ pages are typically not the types of content that people will link to. If you’re a publisher or blogger and you receive an email from someone asking for a link to a press release or product page, your response should immediately be “no”, since these types of pages normally don’t receive natural links.

Keyword Research and Data Tools

Realizing you need to create content that hooks your audience is one thing. Creating the exact type of content they are looking for is another. That’s why before you begin creating any sort of content, you should do your due diligence and understand what exactly it is your audience is looking for.

SEO Tools

You can achieve that by using the following powerful keyword research and data tools to generate content ideas and reach out to influencers.


Google has plenty of tools for marketers, like AdWords, but you can conduct a simple search query to discover popular search results in your industry. Since Google is the most visited website in the world, you’ve probably seen this in action hundreds of times before. For example, if you began typing in “New York” Google will autocomplete the rest with suggestions like “New York Times” or “New York Company.” These suggestions are based on actual searches and how people search Google. Search results can also vary from your search history and your location.

You can do a simple Google search to discover what your audience is searching for. Knowing this allows you to create content that suits their needs.


This is one the best tools you can use for conducting keyword research. With SEMRush, you’re not only able to do keyword research for your marketing campaign, you can also see your competitors’ best keywords. This tool also tracks changes in position for domains, helps you advertise locally, discover new publishers to work with, and analyzes backlinks.


You may have written the greatest blog post of all-time. But what good is it if it isn’t seen by the right people? That’s where BuzzSumo comes in. BuzzSumo is an easy-to-use tool that gives you the ability to see which content is performing in a particular niche with information like Facebook or Twitter shares.

This information can be used to develop content ideas. However, BuzzSumo should also be used to connect with influencers. There’s an influencers tab that gives you information like Page Authority, Domain Authority, and Twitter followers.


Majestic is another popular tool for marketers. Unlike some of these other tools mentioned, Majestic focuses on link building by providing information on backlinks. You can use it to identify the top pages that link to your site, the top pages on your site, and your backlink history. You can also use it to discover the same information for your competitors.


Here’s an extremely easy-to-use, and free tool, to track URL or social media shares. Just enter a domain name and that’s it. You quickly have the amount of Facebook likes, shares, and comments, as well as the number of tweets, LinkedIn shares, Pinterest pins, and stumbles on StumbleUpon.


Building relationships is crucial for both content marketing and link building. BuzzStream makes establishing and maintaining meaningful relationships with influencers and authority figures a breeze. You can use this tool to discover relevant contact information, social profiles, and site information for influencers so that you can begin to reach out them.

Putting Keyword Research and Data Tools to Use: A Travel Link Building Scenario

You have these amazing tools at your fingertips. Let’s see how you can put them into your link building and content marketing campaigns.

Google Word Suggest

Let’s say you run a hotel or travel agency and you’re looking to bring in visitors to the Las Vegas area or rank for Las Vegas tourism. During your research, you discover that in 2012, 11% of visitors to Vegas brought minors with them, meaning that parents are beginning to bring their children to Vegas. That’s a 150% increase within the last decade!

The first place where you can start when building content is with Google. As mentioned earlier, Google Word Suggest is an incredible resource because there is plenty of free data based on queries that actual people are searching for. For example, you do a search query for “the best places for kids in Las Vegas.” One of the top results that appears is “best places for toddlers in Las Vegas,” which inspires you to do a little more digging to get some content ideas.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 8.51.27 AM

One of the most interesting findings you’ll come across is that Google provides content-based results if you were searching for “best hotels Las Vegas hotels for families. You’ll come across sites like, TripAdvisor, and MiniTime that mention the most kid-friendly hotels in Vegas, but not links to the hotels directly.

This gives you the opportunity to compete or do some outreach with these publications if you produce similar content. Keep in mind, this also clues you into the fact that if you’re a hotel, Caesar’s Palace, for example, your blog’s content may not rank as high as the sites listed above on Google, there is potential to reach out to those blogs or websites.

Google will also provide you with plenty of content ideas and even headlines because when you search for “things to do with kids in Las Vegas,”, the top results that turn up will be “top 10 things for kids to do in Las Vegas,” “things for teens to do in Las Vegas,” “shows for kids in Las Vegas,” “adventuredome,” and “things for kids to do in Las Vegas free.”

This can guide you into creating content people are searching for and can be used to prove to publications that people are searching for this content.

Dig Deeper With More Data

Thanks to Google, you have some content ideas, are aware of what type of content that people are searching for, and the websites or blogs that you could potentially reach out to. You can use SEMRush to track rankings and consolidate search behavior. For example, you can use SEMRush’s Phrase Match Report to identify similar Google search queries and related keywords.

For example, during your Google Word Suggest, you noticed that families were searching for aquariums in Vegas. We can dig a little deeper with SEMRush and discover that the related searches are “shark reef aquarium at mandalay bay las vegas” and “silverton aquarium las vegas.” Essentially, SEMRush is putting together content ideas for us. You could write a blog post like “Top Aquariums For Families To Visit in Las Vegas”.

SEM Rush Data Example

Data Driven Ideation

You have all this amazing data in front of you that includes:

  • The kind of content that Google is serving
  • The sites Google is serving
  • The relevant topic matter people are searching for
  • How Google is classifying that topic matter

What are you going to do next with it? You can begin to put together ideas for your content by creating an ideation outline with the data that you have.

For the Las Vegas hotel or travel agency, your ideation outline begins with ‘Things Kids Love in Vegas.’ Since you know that kids love aquariums you could generate content ideas based around:

  • ‘Top 10 Aquariums in Las Vegas’
  • ‘Top 5 Kids Attractions in Vegas Only Locals Know About’
  • ‘Best Kids Destinations off the Vegas Strip’
  • ‘Las Vegas: The New Disneyland for Families’

You can then take those ideas and develop it accordingly. For example, you could create an infographic entitled ‘Las Vegas: The New Disneyland for Families’ that you host on your own site. You could create the following supportive content around that infographic:

  • ‘Top 10 Aquariums in Las Vegas’ – listicle
  • ‘Top 5 Kids Attractions in Vegas Only Locals Know About’ – blog post
  • ‘Best Kids Destinations off the Vegas Strip’ – blog post

You can either host this content onto your own blog or place it onto another website. Remember, when developing a content strategy that you can use to acquire links it has the ability the rank because that’s the content people are searching for and what publications are getting traffic from. Building links to a piece of content that doesn’t rank pretty much defeats the purpose of link building and content marketing.

If you’re able to get your content placed on a high authority site like aHuffington Post you’ll increase your chances of receiving links from a smaller sites who are linking back to the content that was placed on the influential site.

Working With Publishers

You did your research. You have content ideas. Now you need to determine the sites that you want to work with. You can search on Google for travel sites that are discussing the same content that you’re producing. Here’s the problem. Those sites are getting hit by other bloggers and websites with the same idea; obtaining links.

By using SEMRush, you have a list of sites that rank for queries, which you can export to an Excel files, and upload that file onto Majestic. Majestic SEO will take those sites, actually 300 sites at a time, will list those links and provide information like topical trust flow, number of backlinks pointing back to the site, and even metrics like trust authority.

You can figure out that there more than 1,000 links pointing back to Mandalay Bay’s website. While it may be difficult to earn a link from Mandalay Bay, you can reach out to those 1,000 websites instead. Chances are, that being included in those sites will be a number of influencers and high-quality websites for you to reach out.

You can also use BuzzSumo to discover high-ranking sites. With BuzzSumo you enter the same search queries, like “las vegas aquariums, and you’ll have access to relevant blog posts, the authors of the blog post, and the amount of social shares that they have received. You can also sort the various types of content that the author publishes. If you have that awesome infographic, you can then just search for authors or websites that publish only infographics.

If you don’t have BuzzSumo, you could go back to Google and do a search on Google News for “travel infographics” to identify travel sites that feature that type of content.

Travel Infographics

Competitive Intel

Uncovering influencers and publications that are relevant to your content is definitely effective. But, you also need to see what your competitors are up.

You notice that one of your competitors, Travelmath, just released an excellent infographic. You can where their infographic was picked up so that you can get in touch with those publications to see if they’ll pick up your infographic. Even if it isn’t the exact type of infographic, it’s still in the same genre so these are relevant websites.

Using Majestic, you can see where the backlinks for Travelmath’s infographic came from. What’s appealing about using this tool is that you not only can see where the backlinks came from, you can see the amount of backlinks coming from those domains. For example, you’ll notice that links from the site has 189 different links pointing to that one article. With that information, you know which sites have relevant content and can help you obtain more links. While getting published on a major publication is always a goal, getting an infographic published on can save yourself a lot of hard work by earning hundreds of quality backlinks from just one publisher.

Majestic Competitive Intel

Next up you’ll want to use SharedCount. SharedCount is similar to BuzzSumo, except that it’s free. With this tool, you could do a little more research on the articles published on SharedCount will show the amount of Facebook likes, shares, comments, tweets, Google +1s, Pinterest Pins, and LinkedIn shares. Why’s this important? Because if this content is being shared socially it’s getting noticed by influencers, which means you’ll be getting a backlink from their blog or website.

SharedCount Backlinks

Data pulling can be a lot to digest. But, doing this information can steer you in the right direction for content creation and outreach. To sum this up, here’s a brief recap of how these tools can all work together:

  • Google: Can be used to identify what people are searching for.
  • SEMRush: Locate quantifiable and exportable data regarding search trends, search volume, and where sites rank for keywords.
  • BuzzSumo: Should be used to find influencers.
  • Majestic: Allows you to run bulk links on pages ranking for the terms that you identified on SEMRush.
  • SharedCount: You can export the information from Majestic to locate social sharing numbers.

There’s one final tool that can be useful for reaching out to influencers, and that’s BuzzStream. Basically, BuzzStream is used to find and manage relationships with influencers by letting you know how to contact authors on social media and see where their content has been published. You can then store that influencer to keep tabs on them. That may sound a bit on the creepy stalker side, but it you see that the influencer is out of town on a vacation for the next week, then you know that now is not the best time to pitch them your content idea.

Besides searching for specific influencers, you can also use BuzzStream for investigating certain websites. BuzzStream will provide info like editors and bloggers so that you know how you need to contact when making your pitch. Since building links so all about building links, it’s probably a better plan to engage with a blogger or editor directly instead of just emailing the generic editor or info email address. BuzzStream can provide that individuals contact information so that you can reach out them personally.

Buzzstream Kelsey

When reaching out to influencers, always remember that these contacts should be cherished and respected. Skip the mass emails and send them a personalized email instead. That shows how much you do value that relationship, and that you actually know who they are. It’s not only a sign of respect when making a warm introduce, you’ll most likely get back a stronger response.

You’ve made the warm introduction, but how can you successfully leverage those relationships with publishers. You can also invite to become a part of the ideation process. Maybe you could have the author co-write an industry White Paper with you. This not only leverages the publisher, it also gets you both exposure to a new audience and the chance to earn some quality links.

Case Study

All of this may sound great in theory, but does it actually work? Yes. And, here’s a top secret case study from an actual client to support that claim:

Client Goals

  • Position our client as a national leader in denim amongst 16 to 25-year-old market
  • Capitalize on customization of clothing; distressing
  • Drive traffic to blog and site for informational and transactional goals
  • Dominate organic search queries


  • In-depth blog post on distressing denim [much more in depth than competition]
  • Infographic visualizing How To’s and DIY Tips [subtle product placement]
  • Infograms for social distribution on client social channels [and 3rd party]
  • Material for client customer email list [post sale informational tips]

Outreach Targets

  • Fashion influencers
  • College style influencers
  • Denim loyalists
  • Industry sites that have covered client initiatives in past
  • Influencers who have covered competition posts or similar content

Campaign Results

  • 10,000+ Facebook Likes
  • 450+ Facebook Shares
  • 2,500+ Other Signals from Social Sites
  • 25+ Unique Links [High Trust Flow]
  • 500+ Co-Citation Links
  • 25,000+ Referrals per month from Organic Search


Link building is now all about earning links, and not through black hat practices—at least if you want to prevent getting penalized by Google. If you create quality content that people want to view and share, links will come back to you naturally. You should also personally get in touch with publishers and influencers in your industry to attract additional links. Both methods are a safe and proven way to not only build links, but also build your brand into an established, authority figure.

By Loren Baker SEO Tips.

Blog SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies

7 Great Ways to Advertise on YouTube

Videos have become one of the most important components of the online user experience. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube per minute and this number is only going to increase due to the growing number of online devices with video capabilities and the successful user engagement videos create.

Being able to generate sales or leads through YouTube should be an essential item in every marketer’s toolbox for several reasons:

  • It is cheaper to get more visibility compared to other advertising tools
  • It helps increase brand recognition while still targeting relevant users
  • It integrates with many traffic sources since it allows the use of remarketing

Before getting into several ways to advertise on YouTube, we are going to have a quick look at how advertising on YouTube works in the first place.

Advertisers can choose among two ad formats to advertise on YouTube:

  1. Video Ads
  2. Banner Ads

Read on for the instructions for banners and the seven ways to advertise on YouTube:

Using Video Ads to Advertise on YouTube

Using video ads is done through the use of a Google AdWords Account. You first need to log in your Google AdWords account.

If you have never created a video campaign or are looking to create a new one, click on “+ Campaign” and “Video”:

advertise on youtube

The next step in the creation of a video campaign is to actually link your YouTube Channel to AdWords for videos. This will give you additional data on the performance of your campaigns.

In order to link YouTube to AdWords, click on the settings wheel in the top right corner and click on “Linked accounts.” You will then have a number of options including YouTube. When you click on “View details” below the YouTube paragraph, AdWords will guide you through the account linking process.

advertise on youtube

Any video campaign you create will show up in the campaign tab. Here is an example of a video remarketing campaign:

advertise on youtube 3

If you are creating a video you want to use as an ad, here are some best practices.

Video Creation Best Practices

  1. Create a video that directly addresses your audience
  2. Say the most important thing in the first 5 seconds
  3. Keep the video short (around 30 seconds maximum) and easy to understand
  4. Use a professional voiceover to maximize results
  5. Create at least two variations of the video to test what generates better results
  6. Add call-to-action overlays

Using Banner Ads to Advertise on YouTube Videos

This is an extremely powerful tool to increase brand awareness. To get started, you need to create a display campaign:

advertise on youtube 4

You will then be able to choose the campaign type based on your marketing objective:

advertise on youtube 5

The next step is to select the proper targeting once your campaigns have been set up. Targeting is located in the display section of the campaign menu:

advertise on youtube 6

You should then add (or specific video and channels) as a targeted placement and you will be all set.

Banner Creation Best Practices:

  1. Include a call to action
  2. Use colors that contrast to stand out
  3. Don’t include too much text
  4. Test the use of people as opposed to text only
  5. Create banners that reflect your brand

7 Ways to Advertise on YouTube

Now that it’s clear how to get started with YouTube ads, it is time to discuss the target methods you can use in your campaigns:

1. Placements

Placement targeting allows advertisers to pick specific videos they would like to appear on. The main advantage of placements targeting are:

  • You can pick highly relevant videos
  • You spend money only where you have a higher chance to convert
  • You will be able to control bids on the placements that are likely to make the difference for you

This method also holds many disadvantages:

  • Volume might be small
  • CPCs are higher due to a lower amount of available impressions
  • The campaign will be difficult to scale up

2. Topics

Each person has different topics of interest and being able to target those topics allows you to target a relevant audience while generating volume.

The main advantages of topics targeting are:

  • Large impression availability
  • Targeted, but not too narrow
  • Good CPC compared to placements targeting

The main disadvantages are:

  • Lower conversion rate than placements targeting
  • It doesn’t guarantee websites talking about your topics will be relevant to your business
  • It might be too broad for items targeting specific niches

3. Contextual

Contextual targeting works with keywords and helps identify pages whose context fits the context of your keywords. Picking the right keywords becomes key to the success of this campaign type.

The advantages of a keyword driven display campaign are:

  • It allows you to target contexts relevant to your business
  • It is a good way to scale up campaigns at a low CPC

The main disadvantages are:

  • It might not convert very well at first
  • It needs a lot of negative placements to make sure the campaign doesn’t invest money on bad websites.

4. Remarketing

This is one of the most effective ways to target people on YouTube since it is based on targeting people who have already visited your website without converting.

Remarketing is extremely powerful and its main advantages are:

  • High conversion rates
  • Extremely relevant to the users
  • It can be customized based on users’ behaviors on the site

Remarketing doesn’t have many disadvantages:

  • You need to make sure not to target irrelevant users, such as people who bounced right away from your site
  • It might become too invasive if it has no caps on impressions

5. Interests

Interests can be found in the same place where you add a remarketing list:

advertise on youtube 8

Interests include:

  • Affinity audiences: This option allows you to target large groups of people based on their long-term interests
  • In-market audiences: This option targets people who are actively shopping in the market for your products or services

The main advantages of interest targeting are:

  • Possibility to reach out to a large number of targeted users
  • Lower risk to target irrelevant users
  • It focuses on the user behavior and not only on page content

The main disadvantages are:

  • It might still target audiences that aren’t relevant enough

6. Demographics

This target option speaks for itself. It allows you to target users based on age and gender. Additionally, Google introduced an additional targeting layer which consists of targeting a parental status. Here is what the end result looks like:

advertise on youtube 7

Demographic targeting has a few powerful advantages:

  • It helps exclude people who aren’t relevant to a business
  • It allows you to customize bids by age, gender, and parental status

The main disadvantages are:

  • It general and targets too many irrelevant users for businesses that don’t aim to the masses
  • If you get a lot of traffic from “unknown” users, you won’t be able to optimize based on performance and you will be running blind

7. Combination of Targeting Methods

This is certainly one of the most interesting targeting options since it allows you to take the best of each targeting method and reduces targeting disadvantages, since different methods compensate for the flaws of others.

The best practice is to combine two to three targeting options, but no more, to avoid limiting your audience too much.


With the ever-increasing demand for video, you can never know too many ways to get your ads in front of the right audience. However, not every business has videos ready to go and banners are a great way to get started with YouTube. Try these tips to increase sales and brand awareness.

Remember to combine different targeting options and continually test what works best.

What do you think? Please share your recommendations and thoughts in the comments below.

By Rocco Baldassarre SEO Tips.

Blog SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies

This Month In #ContentMarketing: September 2015

So, what happened in the wonderful world of content marketing this month? For one, we are finally moving into the fall season, which means it is time (maybe even past time!) to start implementing your holiday season content marketing plan.

Pumpkin spice latte anyone?

I also attended Content Marketing World in Cleveland, which is a fantastic event hosted by Content Marketing Institute. If you didn’t make it to this awesome event, I wrote a few recap posts on SEJ you should check out.
this month in #contentmarketing fall

(Editor’s note: SEJ received a press pass in exchange for providing coverage of CMWorld)

Besides getting ready for the holiday season, and eating all the pumpkin spice, here are a few other things you shouldn’t miss out from the past month.

(As always, this list is totally subjective and in no particular order.)

Bigger, Braver, Bolder Content Marketing: 3 Examples from the Cutting-Room Floor of My Latest Presentation by Ann Handley

This article by Ann addresses a topic that is often overlooked – what to takeout of content you produce. Sure, you should add first-hand accounts and examples to create what she calls “bigger, braver, bolder” content, but what you leave out of your content can be just as important as what you put in.

Ann walks us through three examples she removed from her Content Marketing World presentation and why she chose to remove them. If you struggle to develop clean, streamlined content, this is a great read. Plus, Ann is hilarious.

10 Ideas for Finding Blogging Inspiration by Larry Alton

Stuck on what to write for your blog? This article on ProBlogger provides a few unusual places you can look for inspiration for your next blog. From paying to other blogs in your industry to farming your mistakes for content ideas, this article is a good kick off point for anyone who is stuck on what to write. And we all end up there at some point!

Why a Washington Post Editor Left to Work With Starbucks by Clare McDermott

My favorite keynote from Content Marketing World was Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a former Washington Post war correspondent who recently left the newspaper to work with coffee super-brand Starbucks. Which seems like a really odd career change, especially for someone who actually enjoyed their job as a journalist. This is an interview with him on the same topic he spoke about at CMW, and is really worth a read.

His interview was originally published in COO, CMI’s print magazine, and he goes on to explain why he left The Washington Post, how working on a book with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz changed the way he looked at the brand, and how other brands can use Starbucks’ method of telling real, honest stories – without looking like they are trying too hard.

This isn’t an article about how to use stories to spread your brand as much is it is about how sometimes telling interesting stories and being a good citizen can create an authentic movement.

3 Marketing Metrics for Savvy Content Marketers by Michael Peggs

This article, from Convince and Convert, addresses an area many content marketers chose to ignore – metrics. Sure, you are creating content you think is awesome, but what do the numbers look like? And, do those numbers even matter?

In this post, Michael Peggs discusses three different metrics you should be paying attention to if you want to make sure your content in performing well. In addition to telling you which metrics you should be looking at, he also explains why they matter and how you can use those numbers to guide your strategy.

If you are overwhelmed by all the available metrics and what they mean, this article is a great starting point.

Why King Content Has Been Overthrown by Context by Marie Huitsing

Is the King dead? In this article, Marie Huitsing says the old “Content is King” phrase has met its match – in context. While there are plenty of dead/not dead arguments out there, this post makes a pretty valid point: Making sure we are creating the type of content our audience wants and putting it in the places they are ready to read it is more important than just creating content.

She then goes on to break down the attribution model, which can often start offline or with PPC ads – which might not be on many content marketers radar.

Did I miss any other awesome posts from the last month? Please share you favorites in the comment section!

By Danielle Antosz SEO Tips

Blog SEO Costa Rica SEO Strategies

Growth Lessons from Twitter, HubSpot, and PayPal

Some call it growth hacking. Others call it optimization. But what we’re all talking about, really, is crazy smart, innovative, results-driven, product-focused marketing that has an outsized impact on your company’s growth and bottom line.

In certain circles, the term of art is traction. Traction is what separates fledgling startups from international brands and it’s the name of a one-day, one-track event that brought dozens of founders and growth champions from tech giants like Twitter, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Hootsuite, Marketo, HubSpot, and PlentyofFish to Vancouver last month.

The day was filled with actionable insights and examples of how small tests, tweaks, and tactics can make or break your business. Here are some of our key takeaways.

Product Comes First

In many companies, product and marketing are viewed and operated as distinct departments. But one of the prevalent themes of the day was that yourproduct is actually your most important marketing asset.

Indeed, Markus Frind, founder and CEO of dating site PlentyofFish made the crowd gasp when he said that by the time he hired his first employee (and started to build out his marketing team), he already had a hit product with 15 million users and $10 million in revenue!

Neil Patel, co-founder of KissMetrics and CrazyEgg, pointed out that conversion optimization is actually a lot like dating; you need to give people a chance to get to know you before you ask for their hand in marriage. He suggested letting potential customers play around with your product before they have to sign up.

Selina Tobaccowala, President & CTO of SurveyMonkey, said something similar:

The more you can get people using features of the product before they have to upgrade, the better for conversions.

But Tobaccowala also cautioned against pulling the old bait and switch. If you put a paid feature in people’s hands, let them know the price tag before they spend time with something they can’t afford.

Ryan Holmes, the founder and CEO of social relationship platform Hootsuite, insisted that the only reason Hootsuite outlasted or surpassed early competitors like Seesmic and TweetDeck is that it invested in product rather than advertising and PR.

Now that they’re the industry leader, HootSuite has built its marketing around the product – and the role it plays in people’s lives. Here’s how Holmes sees his role:

As CEO or founder your job is tell the story of your product and get people excited about it.

Find the Metric that Matters

If there’s anything that distinguishes growth-minded marketers it’s a steadfast belief in the power of numbers. As Aaron Ginn, Head of Growth at online retailer Everlane (and formerly of StumbleUpon) put it, a growth hacker is:

Someone who emphasizes data over opinions.

We know that data is big these days (especially “big data”) but that’s precisely the problem: Data is big. There’s a ton of it. And it can be intimidating and unwieldy.

That’s why, before staring into the abyss of analytics, you need to identify the metrics that really matter to your business.

Dinesh Thiru, VP Marketing at online education marketplace Udemy, said that his two main metrics are revenue and student happiness. While user growth is also important, Udemy learned that you have to look at both the quantity and quality of users you’re acquiring. Some users “monetize better than others” and so focusing on actual purchases helps keep Udemy honest.

In terms of tracking student happiness, Thiru said he looks at Udemy’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures how likely users are to recommend the company to friends or colleagues. Interestingly, Thiru found that users who reported a higher NPS also had a higher lifetime value. In this way, Udemy’s two key metrics reinforce each other nicely.

Allen Lau, the founder and CEO of online writing community Wattpad, said that at his company’s primary metric is monthly active users. This is something Wattpad’s investors insisted the company focus on instead of making money. That said, more recently Wattpad has begun to zero in on advertising as its core business model and so the monthly users metrics now seems less like a vanity metric and more revenue-oriented after all.

Retention is Not an Afterthought

If you have poor retention, nothing else matters.

That’s a quote from Brian Balfour, VP Growth at HubSpot. It may seem dramatic, but we’ve all heard the adage that it’s easier to market to existing customers than new ones and without retention, traction just isn’t possible.

Balfour enumerated a few reasons retention is so important:

  • As you increase retention, you increase lifetime value and can afford a higher cost per acquisition (CPA) – allowing you to spend more at the top of the funnel
  • As you increase retention, you increase virality (your longtime customers become advocates on your behalf) and eventually decrease CPA
  • As you increase retention, you increase upgrade rates and decrease payback periods (meaning more money in the bank)

The key to retention in the first week after sign-up, according to Balfour, is to get users to experience your core value as quickly as possible through better onboarding, clearer messaging, and tailoring the user experience to new customers.

Growth Lessons from Twitter, HubSpot, and PayPal | SEJ

For example, HubSpot was looking to increase adoption of its new email tool, Sidekick. The first step was to understand why users were churning in the first week. A majority of people reported that they just didn’t understand the product or have time to figure it out.

Growth Lessons from Twitter, HubSpot, and PayPal | SEJ

By separating the new user experience from the core application, encouraging users to sign up with their work email addresses (where they were more likely to see the product’s value) and improving their educational content, they were able to significantly reduce churn.

It Takes a Community

Retention, of course, isn’t just about great user experience or clever email marketing. The key to keeping your customers for the long haul is to empower them to become more than customers.

Here’s the recipe for sustainable growth that Phil Fernandez, Marketo’s CEO, shared:

  1. Acquire new customers
  2. Grow lifetime value
  3. Build brand advocates

Growth Lessons from Twitter, HubSpot, and PayPal | SEJ

Fernandez said businesses need to think about how they’re creating a “shared purpose” with everyone in their “ecosystem,” meaning customers, employees, and partners.

In other words, you need to build a community.

Part of this comes down to great customer support. Patrick Llewellyn, CEO of Australian design marketplace 99designs, said that establishing a customer support center in San Francisco early on was one of the keys to the company’s remarkable growth; customers would actually call them up just to validate that they were legit.

Another big piece of the puzzle is partnerships. Bastian Lehmann, CEO of online food delivery service Postmates, talked about building a “three-sided marketplace” that has allowed his company to monetize through three different streams:

  • Customers, who pay a delivery fee
  • Couriers – Postmates has been able to negotiate competitive rates for things like insurance and gear that they resell to delivery staff
  • Merchants – now that they have scale (and leverage), they can ask businesses, who they previously ignored, for a cut

Likewise, companies like Uber, PayPal, and Dropbox have thrived off of old school referral programs. HootSuite’s Holmes boasted that partners have made hundreds of thousands of dollars off their ecosystem.

Bottom line: Give people a reason to love you and an incentive to spread that love and your boss (or investors or heirs) will love you too.

Mobile is Kind of a Big Deal

Markus Frind, the plainspoken PlentyOfFish CEO, said something else that took the audience’s breath away at the very end of the day. He said that 90% of his site’s traffic is now mobile, which has led him to question whether they even need to support a desktop website anymore (!).

That’s a staggering statement from a tech founder. And he wasn’t the only one who emphasized just how important mobile has become as a lever for growth.

Sameer Dholakia, CEO of email delivery service SendGrid, pointed out that savvy marketers want to be able to run their campaigns across all channels.

Since your mobile users are the same people as your desktop users, you want to make sure the experience you’re giving them on mobile is complementary. It should reinforce the goals of the larger campaign while catering to their needs and intentions at that particular moment, on whatever device they’re using.

The trick is to make the lives of mobile users as easy possible. That means reducing the amount of friction between them and your conversion goal. As Dinkar Jain, Senior Product Manager at Twitter put it, “mobile users rarely want to do anything fancy.”

Alexander Peh, Head of Mobile at PayPal Canada, pointed out that something as simple as entering an email and password on a mobile device can be a “pain in the ass” because you’re forced to keep switching between numbers, letters and symbols on a tiny keyboard. Peh said that when they replaced the email and password requirement with a phone number and 4-digit pin on mobile, usage skyrocketed.

For more detailed advice on how to optimize your pages and campaigns for mobile users, check out this handy article.

More Learnings

The day was packed with too many awesome tips and insights to squeeze into this article (that, and I’m getting hungry) so why don’t I just let you peer into my notebook yourself?

By Dan Levy SEO Tips.

Blog SEO Costa Rica SEO tips

How a Social Media Audit Can Improve Web Traffic By 300%

According to Shareaholic’s “Social Media Traffic Report,” the web’s top eight social platforms – including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube – drove 31.24% of overall traffic in December 2014, up from 22.71% just one year earlier.

So what does that mean for your business? If you’re not actively participating in social media marketing, you’re missing out on a major share of your potential website traffic.

Shareaholic’s data comes from the program’s network of “300,000+ websites reaching a global audience of more than 400 million unique monthly visitors.” Simply put, their data – and the implications of their conclusions in general – represent a huge amount of traffic.

If the number of social media referral visitors your site is currently capturing is underperforming, taking the steps below can easily improve your traffic by 300% – if not much more.

How a Social Media Audit Can Improve Web Traffic | SEJ

Step #1 – Document Your Presence

Before you can evaluate how your social media marketing campaigns are performing, you need to thoroughly document where you are and why. Use a spreadsheet to record the following information:

  • The platforms you have a presence on
  • The URL of your profile
  • Who has access to these accounts
  • How many fans or followers you have
  • When you last updated your profile
  • What types of content you share
  • How engaged your followers are
  • Whether you’re running paid promotions on the same network

This might sound like a simple process, but remember to also include profiles you’ve abandoned, as well as those that employees or other followers may have set up in your name. One outcome from your audit may be to have these extraneous profiles shut down in order to create a more cohesive presence online.

Step #2 – Understand Your Space

Now that you know what your social footprint looks like, it’s time to look at what your competitors are up to. Repeat the process above for both your top five competitors and the top five thought leaders in your industry.

You may not be able to answer all of the questions – for example, it may be difficult to tell where your competitors are running paid ads – but gather as much information as you can. Your goal here should be seeing how others in your space are succeeding to help you jumpstart your own social media marketing efforts.

Step #3 – Identify Key Metrics

As you evaluate both your presence and the profiles of others in your industry, a plan for your future social media campaigns should be taking shape in your head. But before you jump into campaign strategy, take a second to think about the metrics you’ll use to determine whether or not your future efforts are successful.

The specific metrics you’ll want to track will depend on how social media fits into your overall marketing mix, but could include any of the following:

  • Website referral traffic
  • New followers
  • Leads generated (or sales made)
  • Follower engagement (as measured by shares, likes, retweets, comments, etc.)
  • Blog engagement
  • Brand awareness
  • Brand mentions
  • Brand sentiment

If you’re new to social media metrics tracking, don’t overwhelm yourself by monitoring all of these and more. Pick the 2-3 that are most important for your organization, then identify the tools needed to track their progress. Metrics, like new followers captured or engagement rates, are easy to track, while others like leads generated or sales made will require more complex tools and strategies.

Step #4 – Set Goals

Once you’ve chosen your target metrics, your next step should be to set the goals you’ll use to determine whether or not your efforts are on track. There are a few different strategies you can use to set them:

Set Goals Based on Past Performance

One of the easiest ways to set your social media marketing goals is to base them off of how your campaigns have performed in the past. As an example, suppose that your last campaign generated 25% more referral traffic for your website. If you have even higher hopes for your next campaign, you could set a goal of increasing your new website visitors by 30%.

Set Goals Based on Competitors’ Performance

Alternatively, look to your competitors’ performance to set your benchmarks. Say your top competitor has 25,000 Facebook followers, while your page has only attracted 20,000. Your goal, then, could be to earn at least 5,000 more followers throughout the course of your next campaign (or multiple subsequent campaigns).

Set Goals Based on ROI

Another option is to set your social media marketing goals based on the ROI you hope to achieve. This is especially relevant when paying for ads, but the costs of your unpaid social networking activities in terms of time and overhead shouldn’t go unaccounted for either. An example of this type of goal would be driving an extra $5.00 in revenue for every $1.00 spent on paid social ads.

In addition to Google Analytics and analytics from your social accounts, there are also a ton of other tools that can and should be used to track goals and progress. For example, one of my favorite new tools for measuring how followers are interacting and engaging with content on my website is

These are just a few of the different ways you can create social media marketing goals; not a comprehensive list. Consider the types of metrics you’ve chosen, as well as what your organization needs to get out of your campaigns to consider them successful, as you build your goals.

Step #5 – Repeat Your Audit Regularly

Don’t just write your goals down and forget about them. Make them a central part of your campaign activities. Review them regularly to ensure your progress is on track, and complete the entire audit process periodically (at least quarterly) to see if goals are being met or if changes need to be made.

In addition to tracking progress using analytics from your social accounts, you should also be using other tools to measure and track success on your website itself. Google Analytics is a must-have in order to do this, but there are a lot of other great tools that can also help paint a complete picture.

Time spent auditing your campaigns and monitoring your progress toward your goals may seem as if it’d be better spent on marketing activities, but trust me – it’s just as important. If you want to achieve big goals – like increasing your web traffic from social media by 300% or more – building a roadmap to help guide your efforts is critically important.

Does your company carry out regular social media audits? If so, share any tips or tricks you’ve learned from the process by leaving a comment below.

By Sujan Patel SEO Tips