Posts by AndrewF

The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategies

The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategies

The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategies

Why you need to be on LinkedIn for your B2B business

If you own a B2B business, you need to be on linkedIn, here’s why.

 

Every single second you spent reading this line, there is one new account being created on LinkedIn.

It is a rapidly growing platform that has huge potential, potential to bring you more customers.

You might think why do I need LinkedIn? I’m not looking for a job, I’m not looking for someone to work for me either.

Here’s the point that you miss, realized how you said job and work automatically when you mention LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is widely viewed as a platform for jobs, for professionals. When you’re running a B2B business, who’s your customer? Other businesses of course and people in those other businesses ARE professionals.

Professionals who most probably has their own LinkedIn account.

Forget Facebook, forget Twitter, LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than either of those platforms.

What’s more, those leads will be the kind of people you want. People in a business or in a position where they can say, hey there’s this product I saw on LinkedIn that might be useful for our company. Leads that can actually convert.

50% of LinkedIn members are the decision makers of their company. They hold the power and is at the position where they can actually buy your product or service for company use.

If this can’t convince you enough I have more stats coming in.

LinkedIn generated leads for 59% of B2B marketers and not only that, 38% of them also generated revenue.

Marketers are saying they got real leads, real customers and real revenue from LinkedIn.

You can get em too.

How to get on LinkedIn and get those leads coming in

If you already have a LinkedIn account, that’s great! You already nailed the first step.

Make sure you set up a personal profile that is up to date.

Now I’m sure LinkedIn will guide you through all the jazz. Adding a profile picture, adding your alma mater, adding connections et cetera.

Those are all good, follow all those steps to make your profile look like someone living and breathing and EAGER is actually behind the profile. Don’t look like a half-finished profile that probably hasn’t been logging in since the day it was created, we don’t want that, no one wants that.

Having a personal account is not enough, it is only the very first step. What you need to set up next is your company account.

Set up your company page. After following all the guidance from LinkedIn in filling up your business profile, here are some extra tips.

1. USE KEYWORDS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR PROFILES

You need keywords in your company profile. Now now, keyword is not some fancy SEO magic that can only be accomplished by gathering moondust and phoenix feather in the cauldron and stir it anti-clockwise for 3 and a half circles.

What is your business?

Where is your business?

How can you help your customers?

Answer those 3 questions, and you get your keywords. Think of it from your customer’s point of view, what will they type into the search bar when they want to find your business?

Make sure you answered these 3 questions in the first TEN ish lines, cause that’s how much everyone can see without expanding the box. Also while you’re at it, make sure they will want to expand that box, because that is where they can see the link to your company homepage.

LinkedIn only shows the first ten-ish lines before clicking on expanding, so fit in your important stuff there.

Pretty much like Facebook, you can publish posts on your company page.

Use keyword driven, and relevant content that addresses the pain points of your targeted audiences.

 

Use tools like LSIGraph to get keywords that can fit in naturally to your profile.

2. ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS TO REACH MORE POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

Now that you have your business page on LinkedIn, you can and should go ahead follow the company page.

Not only that, you can also connect to your company page by adding it in your Experience tap saying this is the company you’re currently working for.

Here is one important tip to get a wider connections web. Ask all your employees or co-workers to follow these two steps. That is follow the company page and list it as your current employer.

What this does is, you’re basically amplifying your existence on the platform.

Every employee is a connection to your business, and every one of them has their own connections that will be looking at your employee’s profile page and see that oh, ok this is the company he or she is working at.

They might be curious and click it and be lead to your company page. Again, they might look at the page and think, well, this seems like a nice company that has useful and professionals posts that can help my own professional life, and they might click follow.

You see, by simply having someone list your company in their profile, they are endorsing you to their own connections. On the other end, you’re endorsing them too, you’re telling everyone on the platform that this is your employee.

Add your company to your experience tab and encourage your employees to do the same to amplify your business network.

So, people who are interested in your business, they might be intimidated to just go ahead and interact with you directly, they might find one of your employees and look at their profile first.

You want to be building a network, a map where people has an easy access to find you, your business, or anyone who works for you.

3. LINK TO YOUR WEBSITE AND CONTENTS TO INCREASE EXPOSURE

The most important part of your business’s online presence is probably your website homepage. Link that on your LinkedIn business profile.

Don’t forget to boost your LinkedIn page on your company website too. Create a little follow button to encourage your visitors to go ahead and follow your LinkedIn page.

If your company website runs a blog, link those blog posts on your LinkedIn page too.

Post a little sneak peek on your post then link them back to your blog for the full thing. Or if you like, create original content to post on your LinkedIn page, then link them back to some related blog posts for further reading.

The thing is, treat your company page, not like a homepage, you already got your website for that. Instead, you want to treat it like a landing page and a navigation page.

Consistently update your company page and link out to your website for more valuable articles or informational pieces. That way you can broaden your exposure while maintaining an active page at the same time.

Bring your content marketing right into your LinkedIn page

When someone logged into LinkedIn, they’re logging in as a professional. Not a mom checking out how her son is doing at the college town, but as a career woman, eager for some professional advice or leader insights on an industrial problem.

 

Your content works for you even when youre not, and LinkedIn is a great platform to let your content work.

LinkedIn is a platform for professionals, that’s why we have decided that you need a LinkedIn presence for your B2B business at the first place right?

So how can you translate this into your content marketing strategies?

One rule, keep it professional.

On LinkedIn, more than any other place, you need to post contents that are focused, informative and insightful. You may crack a joke and use a meme on Twitter, but please refrain on LinkedIn.

1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE AND TARGETED PERSONA

I know we talked about how 50% of LinkedIn members are positioned high enough to be decision makers in their company. But in smaller companies, the line may be blurred.

Professionals holding different positions in the company have different concerns when they’re looking for purchasing a B2B service or product.

Many transactions, in fact, most in B2B, don’t have a single buyer. For that reason, one piece of content might do a great job of reaching one person, while not performing well with other decision makers. This is why we need an overlapping persona analysis when building out content. — Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz, Moz

What you need to do is this, think hard and long on who you want to be targeting. In your industry, your niche, who will be the one making the decision on a purchase? What will be their concern?

You need to address their concerns, from the developer’s to the board member’s, and tell them the exact outcome that concerns them IF they buy your product.

This is why, when you’re planning a buyer persona you also need to check for overlapping personas. You want to be able to appeal to, and impress these people of different levels that they need your product and how it will benefit the company as a whole.

2. USE LONG FORM CONTENTS

Professionals are so busy all the time, why would they want to read my thousand words content? They won’t if it’s irrelevant.

The thing is, they are professionals, they already know a lot about what they need to know.

But, stay with me, if you can tell them MORE about something they already know, you’ll be getting their attention. And things like that can’t be done in a hundred words.

So long form contents, in this case, is really more in depth and detailed contents. Case studies are especially always a welcomed sight.

New data and new case studies are the kinds of long-form content that provide values to someone who is already a veteran in a field.

What’s more, your own service and own product is the perfect tool to create such kind of long-form contents.

That way, you’re killing two birds with one stone by creating valuable long-form content and showcasing your product at the same time.

3. CREATE MEDIA RICH POSTS

Posts with images have six times the engagement compared to a post made up of only text, while posts with video got 3 times the links compared to your good old text post.

There’s nothing wrong with text posts, I’m saying you can make them even better by sprinkling in an image here and there.

Images can actually be useful in a couple of ways. Use an image to summarize the points, draw attention to a certain point, evoke emotions, present data and more.

The most important role of images when you’re creating an in-depth, long-form content is really to show the readers, how things are.

 

Link your audience to the post back at your website and attract them using images.

Especially when you’re making a case study, showing them directly what happened is the most straightforward way to showcase your project.

Your readers will also be more interested in looking at the situation first hand instead of trying to imagine what it’s like by piecing together the words you’re weaving.

Reaching your audience on LinkedIn

Now that you know why you need to be on LinkedIn for your B2B content marketing, you know what kind of content you need to make it work, the most important question is, how can you reach all those powerful LinkedIn users and turn them into leads and finally convert them into customers?

Now let’s start with the first step, looking for those who fit into your targeted persona.

1. LOOK FOR YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS DIRECTLY

One strength of LinkedIn is how their search bar functions, you can filter your search by location, companies they have served, or currently employed, the industry they’re working in, and their profile language.

And that’s only for a free profile if you upgrade to one of their premium plans you can further filter your search to look for those who fit your targeted persona the most, like what positions they held in their company.

No other social sites let you search for users this way, this is a powerful tool for you to identify your potential leads.

LinkedIn has a search filter system that is perfect to look for your potential customers.

Once you have found them, them as in your potential leads, you can ask to connect with them directly.

Your connections are automatically served their connections, which in this case, your posts on their LinkedIn homepage.

Some people don’t welcome connecting with people they don’t know though, so here comes the second way.

2. JOIN GROUPS TO ESTABLISH YOURSELF AND MAKE CONNECTIONS

There are hundreds of groups on LinkedIn where conversations and discussions go on for days.

Find groups that are relevant to your business and start mingling with other members to establish yourself and build a bigger network.

Look for groups specific of your niche, and don’t just join any groups, you want to make sure they are active groups, where the members are actually checking in and engaging with each other.

Join one, or a few, if you’d like. Join their conversations, mingle with the other members. Now you can start filtering members who has the potential to be your prospects.

Since you’re active in the same group as them and have probably interacted with them a couple of times, they are more willing to accept your invitation to connect.

Voila…

Now, you have your optimized profiles, you have your optimized content, and your prospects in your connection. Paired with a consistent update and effort you can start seeing those leads trickling in.

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Platform Analysis: Breaking Down The Social Media Big Six

We did the research on the 6 most popular social media platforms so you don’t have to!
Read the detailed overview.
Match it to the type of business you’re running.
Discover which fits best!

 

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Image SEO: alt tag and title tag optimization

Image SEO: alt tag and title tag optimization

 

Adding images to your articles encourages people to read them, and well-chosen images can also back up your message and get you a good ranking in image search results. But you should always remember to give your images good alt attributes: alt text strengthens the message of your articles with search engine spiders and improves the accessibility of your website. This article explains all about alt tags and title tags and why you should optimize them.

Note: the term “alt tag” is a commonly used abbreviation of what’s actually an alt attribute on an img tag. The alt tag of any image on your site should describe what’s on it. Screen readers for the blind and visually impaired will read out this text and therefore make your image accessible.

What are alt tags and title tags?

This is a complete HTML image tag:

<img src=“image.jpg” alt=“image description” title=“image tooltip”>

The alt and title attributes of an image are commonly referred to as alt tag or alt text and title tag – even though they’re not technically tags. The alt text describes what’s on the image and the function of the image on the page. So if you are using an image as a button to buy product X, the alt text should say: “button to buy product X.”

The alt tag is used by screen readers, which are browsers used by blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what is on the image. The title attribute is shown as a tooltip when you hover over the element, so in the case of an image button, the image title could contain an extra call-to-action, like “Buy product X now for $19!”, although this is not a best practice.

Each image should have an alt text, not just for SEO purposes but also because blind and visually impaired people won’t otherwise know what the image is about, but a title attribute is not required. What’s more, most of the time it doesn’t make sense to add it. They are only available to mouse (or other pointing devices) users and the only one case where the title attribute is required for accessibility is on <iframe> and <frame> tags.

If the information conveyed by the title attribute is relevant, consider making it available somewhere else, in plain text and if it’s not relevant, consider removing the title attribute entirely.

But what if an image doesn’t have a purpose?

If you have images in your design that are purely there for design reasons, you’re doing it wrong, as those images should be in your CSS and not in your HTML. If you really can’t change these images, give them an empty alt attribute, like so:

<img src=”image.png” alt=””>

The empty alt attribute makes sure that screen readers skip over the image.

alt text and SEO

Google’s article about images has a heading “Use descriptive alt text”. This is no coincidence because Google places a relatively high value on alt text to determine not only what is on the image but also how it relates to the surrounding text. This is why, in our Yoast SEO content analysis, we have a feature that specifically checks that you have at least one image with an alt tag that contains your focus keyphrase.

Yoast SEO checks for images and their alt text in your posts:We’re definitely not saying you should spam your focus keyphrase into every alt tag. You need good, high quality, related images for your posts, where it makes sense to have the focus keyword in the alt text. Here’s Google’s advice on choosing a good alt text:

When choosing alt text, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page. Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.

If your image is of a specific product, include both the full product name and the product ID in the alt tag so that it can be more easily found. In general: if a keyphrase could be useful for finding something that is on the image, include it in the alt tag if you can. Also, don’t forget to change the image file name to be something actually describing what’s on it.

alt and title attributes in WordPress

When you upload an image to WordPress, you can set a title and an alt attribute. By default, it uses the image filename in the title attribute, which, if you don’t enter an alt attribute, it copies to the alt attribute. While this is better than writing nothing, it’s pretty poor practice. You really need to take the time to craft a proper alt text for every image you add to a post — users and search engines will thank you for it. The interface makes it easy: click an image, hit the edit button, and you’ll see this:There’s no excuse for not doing this right, other than laziness. Your (image) SEO will truly benefit if you get these tiny details right. Visually challenged users will also like you all the more for it.

Read more about image SEO?

We have a very popular (and longer) article about Image SEO. That post goes into a ton of different ways to optimize images but is relatively lacking in detail when it comes to alt and title tags — think of this as an add-on to that article. I recommend reading it when you’re done here.

Read more: Optimizing images for SEO »

The post Image SEO: alt tag and title tag optimization appeared first on Yoast.

 

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It’s Not Too Late To Localize Your Black Friday SEO Strategy

It’s Not Too Late To Localize Your Black Friday SEO Strategy

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are very important because, for most retailers, Black Friday is one of the biggest revenue generators of the year, but it’s surprising (except perhaps to most SEOs) how many of them neglect the basics. If you fall into that category, you still have a few days to try to turn that lemon into lemonade with some very simple updates to your site.

If you search for “black friday sale near me” you will likely see a Local Pack like this:

Notice how Google calls out that these sites mention black friday sales, deals, etc.

While most retailers likely already have a Black Friday Sale page and mention it on their home page, two out of the three sites above, Macy’s and Walmart, also mention Black Friday on their store location pages. For example:

Macy’s Black Friday:
https://l.macys.com/stoneridge-shopping-center-in-pleasanton-ca

Walmart Black Friday:
https://www.walmart.com/store/2161/pleasanton-ca/details 

While Kohl’s shows that you don’t need the location pages to be optimized for Black Friday to rank for these queries, updating your location pages to target Black Friday & Cyber Monday queries in both the title tag and in the body copy should likely improve your chances of appearing in localized Black Friday SERPs.

Even if your site is in code freeze, you (hopefully) should be able to make these updates and maybe next week you’ll find yourself with more than just some leftover turkey…

The post It’s Not Too Late To Localize Your Black Friday SEO Strategy appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

 

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Avoid these site structure mistakes!

If you take your SEO – and users – seriously, you’ll be working on a kick-ass site structure. But, setting up a decent site structure can be difficult. Maintaining a solid site structure when your site is growing, is even harder. It’s easy to overlook something or make a mistake. In this post, I will share 5 common site structure mistakes people often make. Make sure to avoid all of these!

Don’t know where to start improving your site’s structure? Our brand new site structure training will help you! You can currently get the course for $129!

Get the Yoast Site structure training now »Only $149 $129 (ex VAT)
#1 Hiding your cornerstones

Your most important articles – your cornerstones – shouldn’t be hidden away. Cornerstone articles are the articles that you’re most proud of; that most clearly reflect the mission of your website. But some people forget to link to their most precious articles. That’s not good: if an article receives no or few internal links, search engines will find it less easily (as search engines follow links). Google will regard articles with few internal links as less important, and rank them accordingly.

Solution: link to your cornerstones

Ideally, you should be able to navigate to your cornerstone articles in one or two clicks from the homepage. Make sure they’re visible for your visitors, so people can easily find them.

Most importantly, link to those cornerstone articles. Don’t forget to mention them in your other blog posts! Our internal linking tool can help you to remember your cornerstones at all times.

#2 No breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are important for both the user experience and the SEO of your website. And yet, some people do not use them. Breadcrumbs show how the current page fits into the structure of your site, which allows your users to easily navigate your site. Breadcrumbs also allow search engines to determine the structure of your site without difficulty.

Solution: add those breadcrumbs

No excuses here! Just add those breadcrumbs. Yoast SEO can help you do that!

#3 HUGE categories

Categories should be relatively similar in size. But, without noticing, people can sometimes write about one subject way more often than about another. As a result, one category can slowly grow much larger than other categories. When one category is significantly larger than other ones, your site becomes unbalanced. You’ll have a hard time ranking with blog posts within a very large category.

Solution: split categories

If you’ve created a huge category, split it in two (or three). To keep categories from growing too large, check the size of your categories every now and then, especially if you write a lot of blog posts.

#4 Using too many tags

Don’t create too many tags. Some people want to make tags very specific. But if every post receives yet another new unique tag, you’re not adding structure, because posts don’t become grouped or linked. So, that’s pretty much useless.

Solution: use tags in moderation

Make sure that tags are used more than once or twice, and that tags group articles together that really belong together. You should also ensure that visitors can find the tags somewhere, preferably at the bottom of your article. Tags are useful for your visitors (and not just for Google) to read more about the same topic.

Read more: Using category and tag pages for SEO »

#5 Not visualizing your site structure

A final site structure mistake people make is forgetting to visualize their site’s structure. Visitors want to be able to find stuff on your website with ease. The main categories of your blog should all have a place in the menu on your homepage. But don’t create too many categories, or your menu will get cluttered. A menu should give a clear overview and reflect the structure of your site. Ideally, the menu helps visitors understand how your website is structured.

Solution: dive into UX

To create a good and clear overview of your site, you should dive into those aspects of User eXperience (UX) that could use improving on your site. Think about what your visitors are looking for and how you could help them to navigate through your website. You could, for instance, start with reading our blog posts about User eXperience (UX).

Fix your site structure mistakes!

Site structure is an essential aspect of an SEO strategy. The structure of your website shows Google what articles and pages are most important. With your site’s structure, you can influence which articles will rank highest in the search engines. So, it’s important to do it right. Especially if you’re adding a lot of content, the structure of your site could be changing quickly. Try to stay on top! And if your site’s structure is starting to look good, you can check for other common SEO mistakes as well.

Did we forget a site structure mistake that you encounter often? Please share it with us in the comments!

Keep reading: Site structure: the ultimate guide »

The post Avoid these site structure mistakes! appeared first on Yoast.

 

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Ways to improve your link building

With the right strategy in place, link building can be a hugely effective way of building strong authority to increase longer term, sustainable organic visibility. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to find yourself returning to old, outdated methods. With so many different approaches to link building, it’s important to take a step back and look at the bigger picture to make the greatest impact.

There are a variety of link building tactics that don’t require a huge amount of resource or expense, so whether you’re working for an agency or in-house, dust away the cobwebs that are plaguing your strategy and step up. Below are just a few ways you can improve your approach to link building.

Don’t forget the basics

The first step is not to forget the basics, it’s so easy to forget these – particularly when you’re constantly being served with ‘inspirational content’ that promises to be the best and only method you’ll ever need. Revisiting old, unlinked brand mentions and fixing broken links can have a huge impact, particularly when from a strong authority site.

Immerse yourself in the brand

If you are working with an agency, having a ‘brand immersion’ or ‘discovery day’ can be incredibly useful if you approach it correctly. Start out with a full list of everything you’d want to know about a client, their product or brand – and pretty much interrogate them.

A client of ours recently said he’d been running his business for so long he assumed everyone knew everything he did about their business and products, when in fact they were probably only conveying 10% of their USPs digitally. If a client holds their cards close to their chest, a brand immersion day is an opportunity to get a grasp on who they are as a brand and how they work.

Even better, this is a chance to meet with their PR representatives and see how you can work together to make the best of each other’s work. There may be things you uncover that can be used as an asset, things that they would never consider telling you proactively. For example, new product launches or an existing relationship with a site that you’ve been trying to crack for months.

Future-proof your strategy

If only one thing is certain in life, it’s that Google will continually change its algorithm. Unfortunately, we can’t predict the future and may spend a long time securing a link, only for it to suddenly have no value.

Bend fate in your favor by thinking about the bigger picture, and developing strategies that are built solely on authenticity. Build good solid links from authoritative websites. Be real and genuine, provide value in your content and insights. Always drawback to why you’re building links, whether it’s for the brand awareness they could build, to the referrals they could bring.

Monitor your own backlink profile

Monitoring your own backlink profile is a vital part of growing it, and is surprisingly something a lot of link-builders put to the bottom of their to-do list. It’s essential to see which new sites are linking to you, so you can build that relationship and contribute more great content or insights.

Second to this, a lot of sites will link to you but won’t tell you, so it’s crucial to keep on top of this. It’s also vital to see which sites stop linking to you, as there will be opportunity to try and get that link back, or try and build a relationship with that site.

Relationships over anything else

Having a good relationship with a site or influencer is almost as important as how good a piece of content is. Follow them on Twitter, comment on their activity, be a familiar face and a name that is regularly in touch with pitches and ideas. You will find that they start coming directly to you for content and ideas – instead of the other way round.

Keep a close eye on the competition

Monitoring your competitors’ activity is a very cost and time-effective way of identifying new sites to contact, new content opportunities and outreach methods to use. Using competitor links for your own gains are always fruitful and don’t require a lot of time or creativity

To make things even easier, it’s something you can automate by setting up Google Alerts or backlink alerts and reports on tools like SEMRush. Competitors are always acquiring new links, so this is something that should be continually monitored.

Don’t be afraid of a nofollow link

As mentioned above, we should be focused on the bigger picture and future-proofing link building strategies. Sometimes this means getting a nofollow link or an unlinked citation now and again. Some sites have a policy, some sites do nofollow links automatically. If a citation is genuinely driving traffic and brand awareness, then the fact that it’s a nofollow or unlinked shouldn’t be troubling you too much.

Most link building tactics fall under the category of ‘quick-wins’, and the results can have a huge impact on your site’s authority and brand awareness. Fundamentally, staying wary of the latest link building developments is key, as an outdated strategy can distill your wider SEO strategy and hold back the success of your site.

 

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