Easy Content Weekly: October 22, 2011

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Well this has been an interesting weekend and a little quiet, given Alice’s surprising announcement to her list the other day.

If you missed it, Alice has been doing some soul-searching on the future of Contentrix. As you may know she is heavily involved with the PLR and ghostwriting side of her business, so she was wondering if it was time to pass the site onto someone else.

In that announcement, she wanted to ensure current customers and clients that they would have full access to their products, so there was no need to worry about that.

If you have any issues or questions, you are most welcome to contact the support center here. They are always happy to give you a hand.

Let’s Look at Contentrix’s History

Before we get into this week’s update, I thought it would be interesting to see a few Contentrix “facts” from its short history on the web.

  • Launched on July 27, 2009.
  • Served 530 individual students through its educational products.
  • Played host to 295, 219 visitors
  • Published 467 posts with 1859 comments

Whatever Alice has planned for Contentrix’s future, we look forward to many more.

Now let’s talk about this week’s updates… [Read more...]

How to Optimize Content for Local Search


While talking to a number of locally-based online businesses and consultants who help local business, the subject of local search has comes up now and then.

Certainly, SEO can be competitive, but when it comes to getting content to rank well locally, your competition just shrank immensely.

Consider trying to rank well for “soy candles” vs. “soy candles Burlington Wyoming”.  Or if you’re simply trying to appear in listings from a certain country (ex. appearing in “pages from Egypt” when a user is using google.com.eg.  Certainly it’s easier to rank well when you’re more specific. Of course, the search numbers for the location-based phrases and countries are lower, but it’s much more targeted and will likely bring in better results.

So how do you get content to rank well for local search terms? Here are a few things you can do:

Google Webmaster Geotargeting Tool - To Specify Relevant Country

Google has a special feature lets you indicate for which country your content is most relevant. Previously, Google was only able to make assumptions based on the location of your server, domain extension and other factors, but now they have a tool that allows you to specify for whom your content is for.

In your Google Webmaster Tools account, use the Geotargeting tool to let Google know what areas your content is relevant for. If you haven’t already added and verified your website, you will have to do that first. Once your site is verified, click it and choose “Site configuration” in the left menu.

In the Site Configuration menu, choose “Settings”:

There you can choose your country from the drop-down menu and click save.

This is an important first step, but here are more factors that help geotarget your website.

Domain Name

Country specific top-level-domains (TLD) give search engines big clues as to which country your site is most relevant for. However, it’s not totally necessary, so if you’re worried about the .com domain you’re using, it doesn’t mean you need to scrap everything and start again.

Some country TLDs include .us for USA, .ca for Canada, .uk for the United Kingdom, etc.

You can also go further if you want to target your domain for a state or province. For example ny.us for websites from New York, USA or .bc.ca for websites from British Columbia, Canada.

Web Host

As mentioned earlier, the location of your server can provide clues about where your website is from and helps return your website for that country. According to Google, if you specify your geographic target in Google Webmaster Tools, that should be enough, but if geotargeting is very important to you in search overall, it might be an idea to ensure your website’s servers are located in your country.

Website Directory Names

Many website target different countries with their information. For example, a retail store that is located in different countries of the world. Many of these companies choose country-specific domain names, but you can also use descriptive directory names to target your content.

For example, if you have a bookkeeping website that provides specific tax information for different countries, you could set up your information into directories like this:

mybookkeepingsite.com/usa/ or mybookkeepingsite.com/us/
mybookkeepingsite.com/canada/ or mybookkeepingsite.com/ca/

Now so far we’ve talked about targeting to a country or state/province, but what about being more specific? How are you going to rank well for your city or town? Here’s what else you should do:

Add Your Website to Google Places

You’ve probably noticed that when you look for a type of business in your area or if you search using your GPS-enabled phone, Google returns it’s “Places” results. Local businesses should register their businesses for better visibility.

To add a website go to this Google Places page. You have to log into your Google account and then choose your country and enter the business phone number.

Then you’ll be asked to enter information about your business and website.

Follow the instructions through each step and submit your listing. You’ll be able to enter things like office hours, areas served, payments accepted and more. You can even add photos and videos.

Add Your Website Bing Listings

Bing also serves local listings and you can add your through the Bing Business Portal, but note the service is only available in the United States at the moment. For other countries, it seems to pull data from Yellow Pages and possibly other location-based sites.

Add Your Website to Yahoo Local Listings

And of course, Yahoo has their own version of Local Listings (USA only). You can choose a free basic listing or pay for an enhanced one. Yahoo Local Listings are available for other countries, but they have a different website set up for each country.

Online Yellow Pages

Many search results are fed by online Yellow Pages, so a listing may help a site rank well for location. The Yellow Pages keep their listings separated by country, so you may have to search for the appropriate site to submit your website to. You can find a list of Yellow Pages on Wikipedia.

Now don’t forget your on-page factors too. They can have big impact as well.

Add Your Business Address

Add your business address to all the relevant pages of the website. Use the full address, if appropriate, so the most specific information as possible is provided.

Optimize Title and Headline Tags for the Search Term + Location

Make sure your title tag and headline tags include the search term and location you want to be found for. Use a different search term for each page to maximize your keyword targets.

Relevant Content

And of course, the content on each page should be relevant and useful. Don’t stuff keywords, but talk about the service, product or other information you are providing.

A little initial work is involved, but it’s really not too complicated. And once it’s set up and working well, it’ll keep sending targeted traffic to you.

Your Content Publishing Machine

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If you’ve ever struggled to keep publishing content and making it work for you on a regular basis, this post is for you. This is a topic we promised to share with our All Custom Content subscribers and I’m republishing the information for you here.

Dictionary.com defines the word “machine” as:

“An apparatus consisting of interrelated parts with separate functions, used in the performance of some kind of work…”

Well, to keep publishing content regularly to grow your traffic, expand your influence and boost your sales, you have to treat the process like a machine.

If you’ve ever just tried to wing it when it came to your content publishing, you may have found you had very inconsistent output and results. Unless you’re very disciplined (and you may very well be), it’s difficult to stay motivated and on track.

So let’s look at this machine idea and think about the people who help us as the “interrelated parts with separate functions”. Ok, that may sound a bit morbid, but we know they are still flesh and blood humans and we’re just going for analogy here. ;-)… [Read more...]

Building Backlinks in a Post-Panda World

Deux pandas
photo credit: chapoirier

Panda 2.0 and even what some webmasters call Panda 2.5 has been rolled out, changing the search engine landscape dramatically.

Websites like eHow and EzineArticles are suffering, while higher quality content sites are rising to the top.

In this landscape, many of the lower quality backlinking techniques that webmasters and bloggers have been using for a long time are now much, much less effective. These techniques include:

  • Article Marketing
  • Profile Links
  • Blog Commenting
  • Forum Links
  • Forum Signature Links
  • Squidoo, Hubpages, etc
  • Two & Three Way Linking, Link Wheels

In short, most “easy” ways of getting backlinks no longer work nearly as well as they used to. So how does one build good backlinks that Google loves in the post-panda update world?

[Read more...]

Easy Content Weekly: October 15, 2011

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Welcome back for another issue of Easy Content Weekly. We hope that you’ve been enjoying the weekly wrap ups to make sure you don’t miss anything in our little content marketing world.

Before we get into this week’s content updates, there is just 1 spot left in the Profit Priorities Boot Camp for this month. So if you want it, you’d better get it.

By the way, if you joined in the last week and already submitted your questionnaire, an update has been posted via support ticket. If you haven’t received the response, please log into the support center to get your update.

Now let’s see what’s new this week… [Read more...]

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