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Do-It-Yourself SEO tips from a SEO Consultant

When thinking about what advice to give my clients as a SEO Consultant, I’m focused on giving advice that can hopefully educate them and teach them something about the Search engine optimization process.

The same applies to Social Media Strategy. By teaching them and educating them whilst working through a site optimization, I want to enable them to be able to apply the ideas themselves in a latter setting.

In other words, not just give the man a fish, but also teach him how to fish so he can go fishing himself next time he sees something worth optimizing.

Here are some of the recurring themes that you will want to keep in mind as you try to optimize your own web site for Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Yandex and any of the other major search engines.

Learn SEO from a SEO Consultant

Learn SEO and social media strategy

SEO Do-it-yourself Tip 1: Watch your competitors closely

You need to think like a sniper in Marine warfare. A good sniper keeps careful track of his enemies’ positions and their movement. When they move at last, he wants to already be a step ahead.

If you’re running an commerce store on Shopify, focused on, say, men’s clothes, well, you have a ton of competitors.

That’s not all negative. On the plus side, you have a ton of SEO case-studies. You want to figure out which of this subgroup of competitors is doing best in your niche, and then examine their tactics closely.

Then turn around and implement the same tactics yourself. Are they getting media coverage by contacting press and showcasing unique products? Well, you start doing exactly that. Do this, and you’ll likely see an outsize boost in your results.

SEO Do-it-yourself Tip 2: Don’t just produce content. Spend even more time on promotion

Along with blogging, you’ll typically want a solid social media strategy that could involve Facebook, Twitter and Vine. With every blog post, you create related content and promote it on these or other social media networks, and drive some traffic back to your main content.

I also suggest reaching out to bloggers in a variety of fields, and impressing them with your content so you can get editorial links. Also promote content actively to your email list and personal network. Some of your own friends who work in the space could benefit from tips that you release in your content. Share widely, and share generously.

SEO Do-it-yourself Tip 3: Self Education is the key to becoming a better SEO 

Like many entrepreneurs and business-people, you might have very little time to focus on search engine optimization, but the fact remains that you do need to invest in your own education. This will yield rewards in the long run.

Good SEO knowledge and staying up-to-date with effective techniques can grow your business so much faster than just focusing on “operations”, all those other things you do in order to run your business.

Carve out an hour or two each week, preferably each day, to learn some good SEO tips and other information.

Practice SEO, Become Better at SEO

Practise SEO, Become Better at SEO

SEO Do-it-yourself Tip 4: Good SEO is practical SEO

That said about learning search engine optimization techniques, you’ll want to experiment with the new techniques you learn. This is the only surefire way to reinforce the learning, and on the pure alpha side, to reap the benefits of all your newly-acquired knowledge.

Keep your mind sharp, and your practice even sharper, through constantly putting into practice all your newfangled knowledge.

SEO practice makes you better

SEO practice makes you better

What do you think of these do-it-yourself SEO tips? Post in the comments below or reach out to me on email: seotomahawk@gmail.com

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3 Keys to Growth Hacking

As an entrepreneur, I’ve been growing this blog as well as an ecommerce site for face masks, beauty products and other projects I do for clients.

You can check out some of my previous pieces on this blog on the topics of how to succeed as an entrepreneur, SEO and social media strategy.

One challenge I’ve come across and which a lot of readers might be trying to solve is: how do you grow significant amounts of traffic to your site in a short amount of time?

It’s a real challenge, especially for a busy entrepreneur. That’s why I offer growth-hacking and SEO consulting so readers can have a knowledgeable SEO Consultant to help.

growth-hacking

While each business is different and you need to be creative, these are 3 key foundations I’d pay attention to if you’re growth hacking your product or website:

Growth Hacking Key #1: Release a flood of Useful Content targeted at your target market.

This is absolutely key.

You want to commit to a regular publishing schedule.

I know, I know, I can imagine some busy reader protesting: “How do I find time to publish content, let alone USEFUL content?”

Think of it as an investment into your business. In past you’d hire a salesman to peddle your wares door to door.

Now you let your content do the engagement with potential customers for you. Your words are the salesmen of the internet.

Publish sound, useful content, and your target market will start taking notice, and reaching out for your help and to use your products.

Growth Hacking Key #2: Share your content WIDELY

Publishing great content is only the beginning.

To be a competent growth hacker, you need to get in the sharing mindset.

Yes, that means you need to cold-email people and others in your niche, and share all your new content with anyone who will listen.

You never know, the right share can result in a high-profile link and grow your audience in a huge way.

Many people have not been trained in this way. You just need to treat your content like how you’d react in the early days of the internet when you came across a funny Facebook post. Back then you shared it with everyone of your Facebook friends

Growth Hacking Key #3: Be Smart and Measure Your Progress

I prefer to use an Analytics tool like Google Analytics to figure out how the market is responding to my actions.

That way I can see how my audience is growing, or, possibly, shrinking.

Then I analyze what I did before my audience increased significantly.

This is like a basic form of A/B Testing. You can also run a bunch of more complex analytics tests.

What channels did most new traffic come from?

At what times of the day did you post the most popular content?

What sort of content is converting best?

Is your bounce rate going up or down?

Growth Hacking on the Metal Gears on Black Background.

Growth Hacking on the Metal Gears on Black Background.

 

Keep in mind to always check your stats and query them for information that can lead you to make helpful optimizations for your growth hacking strategy.

These are just some of the keys to growth hacking. What have you found to be useful or worked for you? Leave a comment below. And as always, if you need to chat with me, drop me a line: seotomahawk@gmail.com

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The 5 Career-Changing Books Used By The Smartest of the Bunch Entrepreneurs

I want to recommend you a book that will change your entire outlook.

But first, I’m assuming you are an entrepreneur, as this 5-book punch will only really have the desired effect on an entrepreneur’s thought process and his/her career progress. These are move-fast books for move-fast people, and not suitable for a traditional 9-to-5 mainstream kind of lifestyle and thought process. If you are in that category, these books might waste your time.

Secondly, get ready to increase your personal effectiveness by 5 times or more the next 3 months alone, and much more over the next 20 years.

Third, don’t read any of these books if you can’t read them all. That has the dangerous effect, like a powerful medicine, that if you take it part-way and stop, you’ll miss the full process of transformation, your old state will return with more power from resisting this strong injection, and you’ll wind up lost in a state far worse than ever before. I don’t want that kind of responsibility over anyone’s career. So read ALL the books, if any.

Why These 5 Books?

As an entrepreneur who has survived recessions and started multiple businesses from scratch, I’ve distilled them from more than a thousand other books that have had some good impact on my thinking, and

I selected for that true entrepreneurial essence that, refined like a gold elixir, and concentrated like a fine liquor, will spark an entrepreneurial storm in your own life. This is a favor to you, just because, well, you’re an entrepreneur, right?

If you apply all the insights you learn in these books, you’ll be writing me a million dollar check this time next year, and saying: “your stupid book recommendations made a difference!”

Does the order I read in matter?

Absolutely! Nothing will ruin you quite like the right medicine taken in the wrong sequence.

#1: The Lab where we put your new mind together

The Power of One, by Bryce Courtenay

I bet the old boy never thought he’d wind up penning one of the top 10 entrepreneurial novels out there, but this scrappy story of a young boy growing up on a farm in Apartheid days in South Africa vaults your thought process into an entrepreneurial state of mind. I won’t spoil the process and the story by telling you what to expect. And if you can put this book down once you start reading it, then you’re probably not a good reader, and one hopes you still have entrepreneurial DNA. If this book sparks something within you, that’s good. That’s your entrepreneurial mind coming together, and you’re sensitized to the possibilities of taking the world by storm. Lacking that, as an entrepreneur, you might as well fold and call it a day.

powerofone

#2: Master your internal weaknesses at the RoundTable of Wall Street, where money never sleeps

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefevre

In which a farm boy cuts his teeth on capitalism and dominates the market through psychology and a cool hand.

Loved by traders, and reviled by critics, this saga chronicles the indelible rise and adventure of a major force in the field of finance and the stock market, Jesse Livermore, a titan whose very word was said to move the markets.

Read and lauded by perhaps 70% of the top 30 traders on Wall Street, there are true psychology secrets, and grit to be learned in this ancient tome. Choice quote from the book:

“To learn that a man can make foolish plays for no reason whatever was a valuable lesson. It cost me millions to learn that another dangerous enemy to a trader is his susceptibility to the urgings of a magnetic personality when plausibly expressed by a brilliant mind. It has always seemed to me, however, that I might have learned my lesson quite as well if the cost had been only one million. But Fate does not always let you fix the tuition fee. She delivers the educational wallop and presents her own bill, knowing you have to pay it, no matter what the amount may be. Having learned what folly I was capable of, I closed that particular incident.” — Jesse Livermore

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#3: The Little Secret that can make you a millionaire

The 21 Success Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires, by Brian Tracy

A real kick in the pants of a book. Brief, cuts to the chase and bam! Forget the gurus and the “experts”. This book is so powerful you’ll want to skip all the other three books above and “cut to the chase”. DONT! You’ll only be cheating yourself if you do. Your mind is not ready if you do, and you’ll have only yourself to blame when the results don’t come.

5 Books every entrepreneur should read

#4: How to Start and Run A Profitable Business and Take Over the World

The Millionaire FastLane, by MJ DeMarco

Gosh, you’ve come far now from the lab so long ago where we made your mind. Now apply it to starting and growing a wildly profitable business using nothing but pure grit and mindset, and a relentless focus on hard work and selling skills.

If you skip this book and the last one, you are going to miss out on how a successful entrepreneur does the things from day 1 that will, in the course of time, massively place him on the path to relentless business and sales success, and how the financial and other rewards of entrepreneurship inevitably follow. So do yourself a favor, curl up on a couch and read both these books cover to cover. Without the actual knowledge of how to start and grow a profitable business the right way, you are going to dither and struggle and won’t get anywhere, like the other 90% of would-be successful entrepreneurs.

The Art of Entrepreneurship

#5: The Elixir of Powerful Legacy and World-Domination: The Secret Behind World-Changing Brands like Ford, Apple, Nike, Berkshire-Hathaway and the Entrepreneur Master-Minds that started them

Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim, PhD(INSEAD Business School) and Renee Mauborgne, PhD(INSEAD Business School)

Here’s what the Harvard Business Review(best known for cold, non-excitable, pour-cold-water-on-your-party analyses) said about this mastermind volume, and it’s nothing less than that:

“So powerful is blue ocean strategy, in fact, that a blue ocean strategic move can create brand equity that lasts for decades.” — HBR

They are literally tripping over themselves, and I don’t blame them.

It hardly needs a qualifier. Only the smartest minds will bother reading this book, the top 1%.

Just as an example, this book is assigned reading at top 10 Business Schools and MBA programs in the entire world, including, with links to the assigned material:

MIT Sloan School of Business,

New York University Stern School of Business,

INSEAD Business School,

Harvard Business School

Carnegie Mellon University Heinz School of Business

The ideas of the Blue Ocean Strategy are such a huge deal, that INSEAD, rated inside the Top 4 MBA Programs in the world in 2015, has a whole Institute dedicated to its study and research, the INSEAD BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY INSTITUTE

Get it from me folks: This is the secret sauce that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are using to dominate the world, and leave you and all the other entrepreneurs and their brands way, way, and boy I mean way behind. And they are willing to hire armies of MBA grads who cut their teeth learning this secret sauce. Don’t say I didn’t tell ya, all that long ago!

If you want to create a world-changing institution that people will still be talking about, potentially centuries after you’re dead, rather than a mere company that makes you and your workers cash, this is the tome you had better not miss.

And these particular professors have combined years of research and academic work to deliver the goods.

Blue Ocean Strategy for Entrepreneurs

The smartest entrepreneurs are applying this research as fast as they can, all over the world:

The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success

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10 Top Things I Learned About Digital Marketing , Content Marketing, SEO and PPC in 2015

Digital marketing is in a state of flux today. Brands are unsure what to do to set themselves apart with all the proliferation of tools and techniques on the market.

Are you a digital marketer? Are you trying to grow your brand’s reach on social media? Below, I summarize some of the very best tips on digital marketing from my research and experiences in 2015.

I had some good experience on a blog of mine at HackishWord in 2014. The blog was an attempt to curate some of the funny and useful content from the web, trying to generate traffic so I could make a killing off traffic numbers, ads and product referrals.

I did not quite take over the world, but my link-building efforts have continued to bring in traffic into 2015, even when I abandoned the effort and focused on building other products.

To take advantage of search engines like Google today, you will need to adapt your approach to SEO. In a word, you need “rich content” more than ever before.

A link-builder in 2015 is still going to contribute a lot of value to an online marketing team. He or she just needs to be armed with a prolific Content-Production team that can put out impressive stuff as fast as the link builder can find linkers interested in linking to it.

Digital Marketing

www.laba.ws

1: SEO still works, sort of

Some SEOs say link building is dead. Here’s what you need to know. Link building is definitely not dead. Build as many legitimate links as you can. Google is still paying attention to links. I figured this out from my experiences and what other people’s experiences has proven to me. I mean, how could they not? Links are here to stay. The reason why Wikipedia has so many other sites linking to it is because it genuinely holds a treasure-trove of legitimate content, and even if Google were to stop ranking them, all that mind-share that Wikipedia has is not going to go away.

Get a clue? Yes, you too can be the next Wikipedia. Note what this does not mean. I’m not saying go chasing link farms. But if posting great, on-topic content in your industry is going to induce thousands of other sites to link to you, do all you can to chase those opportunities.

2. PPC is big now, and will only get bigger

The gains from SEO and “free” traffic can make a big difference to the profitability of businesses that have small marketing budgets. With heightened competition in the marketplace, time-saving solutions like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads and other paid acquisition PPC channels are proving their genius more and more.

If you’re in charge of a digital marketing campaign in 2015’s market, you should ideally have some budget allocated to PPC and not rely on organic traffic alone. This gambit can jump-start your marketing, with massive results for your brand or business.

3. Data analytics is more critical than ever

The funny thing about analytics is that few organizations have an appropriate handle on the analytics that would benefit their business the most. Imagine a brand focused on impressions and what the numbers say about their impressions, when really they should be focusing on less quantitative and more qualitative data about the perception of value that their brand has with their target market. My advice is: think outside the box and don’t parrot the same analytics as everyone else. Just because it works for Samsung doesn’t mean it’s going to work for Sam’s Super Electronics.

4. Most data analytics is not up to snuff. There will be a revolution in the market

The tools marketers use are rather clunky, our approaches sometimes pedestrian and immature, especially so in the digital context. Take Google Analytics, for instance. The whole ecosystem is still so clunky and unwieldy that better and simpler analytics tools and approaches are going to rise and replace the old stuff. You can just take a look at the masses of data analytics startups now starting up to get a measure of the scale of this revolution that is waiting in the wings. Where some good value could be added would be in trying to do something orders of magnitudes better than the current state of the art, and that’s where a lot of these efforts will most likely fail.

5. Marketers need to see beyond the hype and focus on essentials

Focus on essentials to stay on track. When you’ve got 50+ social media channels with a vast mind-share, and each with a different mode of engagement, a different approach to talking to your market, and a plethora of off-topic data and slightly-relevant information flooding your analytics, it’s no wonder many brands and marketing teams are kind of adrift in the new marketing landscape. So what are you going to do? You need to know what makes your brand tick. What are the key marketing essentials your brand needs to reach the right people? And now might be the best time to bring on board strategic marketers who can pilot a marketing product through the murky waters of digital in 2015 and beyond.

6. Story-Telling Is Still Hard, and What Brands Should Be Focusing On

Listen, marketing in 2015 is hard, if it was easy, every business left and right would be thriving and finding its right market at the press of a button. And there’s a ton of tools all selling buttons that promise to deliver that exact utopia, but that day is not here yet. Until that happens, you need to get your hands on the digital marketing talent most suited to your products and market focus, and you need a sensible approach to the market. But most of all, you need to become good at telling stories that resonate with your audience, and coming up with innovative ways to deliver those stories.

7. Content Promotion, done right, can make or break a product

Don’t just make content. If you make a million-dollar video promo of your brand and product, and no-one ever sees that video, guess what? That’s a million dollars down the drain! So, before you make and produce content, always think: Promotion! Promotion! Promotion!

To promote content, you need a vast digital footprint, so invest in that, if that means partnerships with publishing channels, promotion of your own publishing channels, unscalable things like building relationships on social media, maybe you need to scale your team up so you can do unscalable things. Just make sure your efforts leave you in a place where you can promote to millions.

8. Social media is good for engaging customers and fans, but innovations are needed to monetize your online fanbase

A lot of companies and brands have discovered that just investing in social media alone without thinking about how you monetize your online fanbase can be a costly proposition. What does this mean for you as a marketer? It means you can’t just be social, bring your business and financial goals to the wine-and-dine. Send people to carefully thought-out landing pages, makes sales pitches to appropriate leads, in other words, do the actual hard work of selling to your fanbase, don’t just leave it to chance.

9. All brands and market segments are not created equal

This is huge, and took me a while to discover. There are brands and sections of the market you absolutely don’t want to be a part of. And there are market segments where anything from a dead cow to a Ferrari will sell, sometimes surprisingly. So people that get market and segmentation and strategy will have a leg up on the hordes who take whatever the market gives them unquestioningly. If you’re not getting the results you want from the market, go back and examine the fundamentals. Are your target customers there? Is the value to the end customer there? Who is doing the buying? Why are they not buying? Do they buy a similar product, at a similar price point? What are their objections to your value proposition? Maybe try a different market segment, or a different market altogether!

10. Try a lot of different approaches, there’s such a huge opportunity in digital marketing that Gun-Slinging experimenters are bound to hit upon a successful approach sooner than the slow and careful Method People.

That’s the science and un-science of it! In marketing, you’ve got to be ready to experiment, sometimes with wildly off-road and off-the-books techniques. I mean, dead cows and Ferraris? Yeah, unless you try something different, you’re never going to know. And if you don’t know, then you don’t know.

The market is going to reward those who dare to try bold new approaches, and who experiment and tinker with marketing approaches in a multitude of different ways.