Black hat SEO attempts to improve rankings in ways that are disapproved of by the search engines, or involve deception. One black hat technique uses text that is hidden, either as text colored similar to the background, in an invisible div, or positioned off screen. Another method gives a different page depending on whether the page is being requested by a human visitor or a search engine, a technique known as cloaking. Another category sometimes used is grey hat SEO. This is in between black hat and white hat approaches, where the methods employed avoid the site being penalized, but do not act in producing the best content for users. Grey hat SEO is entirely focused on improving search engine rankings.
It's clear that online marketing is no simple task. And the reason why we've landed in this world of "expert" internet marketers who are constantly cheerleading their offers to help us reach visibility and penetrate the masses is because of the layer of obscurity that's been afforded to us in part thanks to one key player: Google. Google's shrouded algorithms that cloud over 200+ ranking factors in a simple and easy-to-use interface has confounded businesses for well over a decade now.
One way to connect with customers is by posting tutorials relevant to your line of work. While it may seem as though you will be giving away your secrets, you’ll actually establish yourself as a subject matter expert, leading viewers to want to learn more about your business. A salon could offer styling tips, for instance, and a marketing firm could do a series on building your brand using the latest social media site.
The question isn’t whether to use video in your marketing strategy, it’s how. Marketers are faced with so many distribution channels, and it seems the game is always changing. How can marketers keep up? First, YouTube surpassed the popularity of live television, and now the big, flashy report is that Facebook has 4 billion video views each day and may be stealing YouTube’s throne right out from under the video site.
Backlinks are the fundamental structure of the Internet and are a quality signal to search engines that your content is valuable and that people appreciate what you offer. The key to leveraging this signal to increase your page’s ranking is producing high-quality content and getting it in front of the people who are likely to link to it. Follow the best practices, and use the tools available to you to get the most out of your backlink building and optimization efforts.
My favorite tool to spy on my competitors' backlinks is called Monitor Backlinks. It allows you to add your four most important competitors. From then on, you get a weekly report containing all the new links they have earned. Inside the tool, you get more insights about these links and can sort them by their value and other SEO metrics. A useful feature is that all the links my own website already has are highlighted in green, as in the screenshot below.
Promotional videos can foster trust as well. Some consumers are still skeptical about buying products and services on the internet because they fear fraud and cheating. But effective marketing videos present your products in a conversational form. That creates a sense of individual approach which is why 57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online.
But I'm not talking about any kind of link building. I'm talking about organic link building by getting out there and creating insatiable "anchor content" on your website, then linking to that content with equally-great content that's created on authority sites like Medium, Quora, LinkedIn and other publishing platforms. It's not easy by any measure. Google is far more wary of newcomers these days than it once used to be.
Search engine marketing (SEM), on the other hand, costs money but can deliver very rapid results. Your website must be optimized to make sales or at least drive a customer to get in touch so you can make a sale. Start-ups should approach SEM with care. Make sure you completely understand how much money you have exposed at any one time. Don’t get carried away with the lure of quick victories. Start slow, and evaluate your results.
Quality content is more likely to get shared. By staying away from creating "thin" content and focusing more on content that cites sources, is lengthy and it reaches unique insights, you'll be able to gain Google's trust over time. Remember, this happens as a component of time. Google knows you can't just go out there and create massive amounts of content in a few days. If you try to spin content or duplicate it in any fashion, you'll suffer a Google penalty and your visibility will be stifled.
As you know, other social media sites also offer a video experience, including Vine, Instagram, and Twitter. These sites are perfect for even shorter content, since Vine videos can only be 6 seconds long, while Instagram Twitter videos can be around 15 to 20 seconds. This may sound scary, but short video lengths force marketers to practice the art of brevity; if the content isn’t fundamental to your message, what’s it doing in there? The human attention span is considered to be only 8 seconds long, so you can look at it this way: your short videos are bound to hold most people’s attention til the end!
One of the earliest adopters of Internet marketing in the world of Fortune 500 companies was the Coca-Cola Corporation. Today, this huge purveyor of soft drinks has one of the strongest online portfolios in the world. More than 12,000 websites link to the Coca-Cola homepage, which itself is a stunning display of Internet savvy. Their homepage alone sports an auto-updating social network column, an embedded video, a unique piece of advertising art, frequently rotating copy, an opt-in user registration tab, tie-in branding with pop culture properties, and even a link to the company's career opportunities page. Despite how busy that sounds, the Coca-Cola homepage is clean and easy to read. It is a triumph of Internet marketing for its confidence, personality, and professionalism.
The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines, Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. Although social media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, search engines are the primary method of navigation for most Internet users. This is true whether your site provides content, services, products, information, or just about anything else.