Backlinks and why you need them?

Published by in SEO on January 1st, 2018


Ever wonder if you site is indexed by a search engine? Or, how many backlinks do I have on my website? Well, you’re not alone. I see a lot of questions on various SEO forums ask that very same question. Did you know that you can find the answer to this questions by simply typing up the following in the search engine box – (see image below)



So, what are backlinks and why are they important? There are 2 types of links – Internal and external links. Both these links are valuable as they add great SEO value to promote a blog article or a site page.


Internal Links are hyperlinks that points to another page on the same website. These type of links are useful for three reasons:

  • Allow users to navigate a website
  • Establish information hierarchy for the given website
  • Spread link juice (ranking power)


External Links are hyperlinks that point to another website. These hyperlinks provide additional information to readers, or they may be links from your website to an offer. These type of links are useful for the following reasons:

  • Build visibility
  • Helps readership
  • Drives traffic back to your site when you provide quality hyperlinks


What are considered good backlinks? A link from a retail site or from a highly trafficked blog site. As a rule, you should try to build links with authoritative, relavent and high quality sites. High quality, relevant links are much stronger than links from low quality, unrelated sites.

Blog directory listings are an easy opportunity for high-quality backlinks, available for anyone running a blog. A handful of large authority blog directories accept site submissions and syndicate content—an opportunity to build referral traffic. Simply ensure that you have a base level content to start with and then submit your site.

Here are a handful of high-quality blog directories accepting submissions:

Backlinks boost your authority. The more Google’s automated processes “respect” your authority, the higher your website’s ranking in relevant in search results. A high-quality backlink tells search engine crawlers that your presence online is the real deal.

A good rule of thumb is to include internal and external links in your blog content. Internal link influences user engagement metrics, including time spent on website, page views per session, and conversion rate. Valuable external links help improve authority of your website, by providing a viewer with references. Both internal and external can boost your positions in SERPs and bring additional organic traffic for free.

Get Google to Index Your New site or Blog

Published by in SEO on April 17th, 2017

Before we get started on a few good tips on how to attract Googlebots to your site, let’s start with what a Googlebot is along with the difference between indexing and crawling.

A Googlebot is a piece of code referred as a bot that Google sends off to collect information about a document on the web so that it can be added to Google’s searchable index. Google has programmed this in a way to be flexible, so lets say I have a blog and I post once a month, after a while these Bots learns my pattern and only visit my blog page once a month, if I post content on a regular basis, these Google bots will come and fetch my page sooner.

Crawling is a process by which Google discovers new and updated pages that get added to their index. Google uses specialized software, called web crawlers that find and retrieve websites automatically. These crawlers are also referred as bot’s, or spiders. These bots go to sites that have joined Google’s Webmaster tools and take a snapshot of a page along with some data and store it in a database.

Assuming you’ve just created a new website or written a blog, there are 2 ways this can happen – one, wait until Google sends its bots to crawl and index your page or two or initiate a google crawl on your own. The Fetch as Google tool enables you to test how Google crawls or renders a URL on your site (See Image below). You can use Fetch as Google to see whether Googlebot can access a page on your site, how it renders the page, and whether any page resources (such as images or scripts) are blocked to Googlebot.


This tool simulates a crawl and render execution as done in Google’s normal crawling and rendering process, and is useful for debugging crawl issues on your site.

Submitting to index is highly recommended as it helps webmasters for Googlebots crawls your site pages and index immediately. This process helps by advancing your site and relevant pages on SERP.

Boosting SEO through a Site Audit

seo-auditIf your website isn’t producing the results you want, it’s time for an audit to figure out what’s going wrong – or right.

A technical and content-focused site review should be your first step. Websites are dynamic and organic, hence they are constantly being changed and updated. The teams responsible for content creation come and go, as do the people responsible for the programming and maintenance. Over time search engines can also change their rules on what is or isn’t acceptable. The following information can assist you in understanding some of the elements that are examined during SEO (search engine optimization) audits.


SEO Audit is one of the most important aspects of any natural search campaign. To check if the website is optimized for search engines you’ll need to review the following factors:


The content posted on your website is important to your site’s organic search, and all of it should be optimized to help with it’s search engine ranking. If you’re a small business in San Francisco, then you will want to make sure your site’s content is optimized for local SEO to make it easier for potential customers to find it. An audit should look for duplicate metadata and duplicate content that could hurt your site’s performance.

Search engines reward well-organized content, subject, and sections. Directories and sub-directories should all be structured to have related content. Evaluate your content for frequent use of appropriate keywords and key phrases. They should be used throughout every page, including headlines, subheadings and copy.


Useful images can be extremely effective. They make the content easier to read and are attractive to social media websites. Do keep in mind that images can work against SEO if they increase the loading time of a page. It is also important to check the optimization of the images posted on your website. Images should use <ALT> text in their image descriptions, and all the images on your site should be compressed to help make the site load faster for all browsers.


Although a backlink analysis isn’t always done in a SEO audit, it should be included because backlinks are a great organic search tool. There is nothing more frustrating to searchers than clicking a link to an article or a website only to find out that the link doesn’t work.

Page speed

The faster, the better! Google’s PageSpeed Insights analyzes content on a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster

If you are trying to increase your company’s online presence, it is important to have some understanding of SEO, even if a company manages it for you. Understanding SEO audits and how they help improve your website’s organic search will help potential customers find the products or services you offer. The two- fold process of combining stellar content with optimized SEO is the underlying success factor for growing a successful online presence.

Account Based Marketing (ABM) – Simplified

ABM1Is ABM a facade or the next big thing? Today most marketers are focusing on account based or vertical marketing so it’s important to understand what ABM really is. Account based marketing, also known as vertical marketing, is a strategic approach to personalized marketing efforts specific to a vertical or prospects you wish to convert into customers.

B2M marketers that cast a wide net hoping to attract a prospect is a thing of the past. Marketers need to now identify their target accounts, build content specific for problems they wish to solve, and then position their offer. Is it tricky? Not really; marketers adopt ABM to identify key prospects and then tailor customized programs and messages for their sales team.

The process begins with creating a target account list of prospects who are likely to buy or likely to receive great value from your product. This list may be ranked in order of priority, urgency, or interest.

Let’s simplify this with a few examples. As a marketer you’re tasked to create demand for a cyber security product focused towards a health care and a finance market. You start this process by building a strategy–geography, company size, and narrow down on who you’re targeting – business decision makers or technical decision makers. Once the strategy is crafted you then identify the collateral you’d like to  leverage and tailor it to the audience you’re focusing on. In our example, we are focusing on healthcare and finance. For health care, your content can be focused on safeguarding patient medical records and you’ll most likely target a technical decision making audience who may be responsible for protecting patient data from cyber criminals. For finance, your content could be focused on today’s challenges consisting of data breaches and fraud. Content, landing pages, and sales enablement tools will all have to be vertically focused engaging prospects to acquire their trust and confidence in your ability to solve their and their customer’s problems.

Vajre, co-founder and CMO of Terminus, recommends that marketers deliver content that is aligned to the buyer’s stage, persona and channel. Great pieces of content include:

  • e-Books (for practitioners)
  • Webinars (for learners)
  • Infographics (for influencers)
  • Blog posts (for decision makers)
  • SlideShare (for thought leaders)

In essence, account-based marketing means you send prospects something they care about. Now go build your ABM strategy.

Understanding Search Impression Share


Google defines “Impression share is a metric that represents the percentage of times that your ads are shown out of the total available impressions for which your ads were eligible to appear. Eligibility is based on your current ads’ targeting, match types, and bids.”

SO what does this really mean?

In a nutshell, if there were 100 searches for the term you are searching for in broad, phrase or exact match, and your ad showed up 80 out of the 100 times, your impression share is 80%. If you ran out of budget that day, you most likely missed those last 20 impressions.

Lets simply this a bit more – Lets assume the online advertising space as a large delicious extra topping pizza pie. You, along with your competitors are each trying to grab the biggest slice of that pie. By tracking your impression share metrics, you’re keeping tabs on the size of your slice compared to the whole. The farther your reach to grab more of these slices the more you’re able to keep for yourself. So, now lets get into how do you actually grab a lot more slices.

Keyword Budget

If you bid low for your keywords, you risk that your ads will not appear on the first page, which may lead to missed opportunities for impressions, clicks, and even conversions. Ensuring that your bids are high enough that your ads are appearing in a competitive position will greatly improve your chances of capturing impressions and clicks, and generating traffic to your site.

As a general rule of thumb, Google will stop displaying your ads for the day once your daily budget is exhausted. If your campaigns have a low daily budget, and that budget limit is reached early in the day, your ads will not be shown later in the day.

Match type

Every ad on the network is populated by a keyword or a query that’s typed in a search bar. These keywords are associated with corresponding Ads that then display them to the user. They are several different match types and each match type usually has a different bid associated with it.

E.g. for a single search query “buy new tires”, this will trigger an impression for “new tires” and “buy new tires” and +tires +new and +buy +new +tires (plus others). Only one of these three keywords will get the impression, but broad match impression share calculation applies the impression to all three keywords.

The above would give a 33% impression share, even if you appeared on 100% of all instances of that search.

An exact match example can be a query with a brand, for example: [Goodyear tires], this will trigger ads with matching the brand Goodyear tires. This will give a 100% impression share since your brand Goodyear tires matched exact to the query.

Impression share can really give you an indication on how you can act on an under-performing set of keywords. Whether it is increasing your daily bids or budget, improving the quality of your ad copy and keywords, you’ll have plenty of options for improvement before considering pausing a keyword.

Reconnect, Re-engage and Recycle Cold Leads in Pardot

cold-to-hot_535597063c21f_w1500A percentage of leads that were once considered MQL’s don’t really turn out to be qualified initially; however, adding these leads to a nurturing program can be beneficial to move them through a sales funnel. Before adding all your cold leads to a nurturing campaign, its always best practice to weed out the cold ones that will never convert. This is possible through list segmentation in Pardot

At go2markets, things are no different. Visitors to go2markets get scored on an actions they take while visiting a website. For example, the number of pages they visit, forms they complete and the information they provide on these forms.  Their score is computed based on a numeric value assigned for each page visit, form fill or a download. This is reported under the prospects profile below content (see image 2)
cold leads_pardot_image1

(Image 2)



Grading can be assigned to these visitor based on the fields they’ve entered on a form; such as their first and last name, email address, phone number, company name and their country.  The combination of these grades and scores in Pardot can help identify leads that have turned cold and can be nurtured.

To do this, we can create a segmentation list in Pardot by creating a rule by first selecting Segmentation -> Profile and build a list of prospects that have a higher grade and score. In this example, we can build a list of prospects that have scored a D+ and scored a 3500 and above.  This step is important because you don’t want prospects that have graded F or scored below 3500 since those leads are not going to convert based on the information they’ve provided on their form fills.

Our first engagement medium would be by building an email campaign for this segmented list with a value proposition including features and benefits. Relevant content would have a much greater chance at being read, responded to and shared. If these cold leads don’t opt out, then they can be added to a drip program that would receive timely emails and newsletters.

A second medium would be by reengaging with these leads through a webinar. The intimate nature of a webinar will allow these cold leads to get a better chance of getting warmed up.


I believe identifying these leads initially through a segmentation rule in Pardot, and building an engaging email and a webinar campaign could be very beneficial to reconnect with leads that were once considered cold.

Cookies: Not the chocolate chip kind!

website_cookieEver wonder how an advertisement appear on a web browser after you’ve visited a website, or perhaps how websites remember your preference from visit to visit? The answers is “cookies”

A cookie is a small piece of text code sent to your browser by a website you visit. It contains information about your visit. The browser stores this data and pulls it out the next time you visit the site to make the next trip easier and more personalized. Additionally, cookies can be used to customize your browsing experience, or to deliver ads targeted to you.

Let’s review an example – You are in the market for a Michael’s Kors wrist watch and you visit, you spend a few minutes clicking away and find the one you like, but the price is not something you’d like to pay. You soon close your session and visit a different site. Now you start seeing advertisements of the watch you were seeing earlier at Macy’s is not stalking you instead wants you back and purchase that wrist watch online. This is called as remarketing – what did was place a cookie and recorded your preference.


Are they different types of cookies?

Yes, session cookies that are stored in your computer’s memory during a user’s browsing session are automatically deleted from the users computer when the browser is closed.

Session cookies are never written on your hard drive and they do not collect any information from the users computer. They expire as soon as the session ends and are not accessible.


Permanent, persistent, or stored cookies

Permanent and persistent cookies are stored on your computer and are not deleted when the browser is closed. Permanent cookies can retain user preferences for a particular web site, allowing those preferences to be used in future browsing sessions. Permanent cookies are used to identify individual users, so they may be used by web sites to analyze users’ surfing behavior by storing clicks, page views, product selections/views and shopping cart abandonment. They are usually configured to keep track of users for a prolonged period of time, in some cases many years.

Some users prefer to block cookies, which is why most browsers give you the ability to manage cookies to suit your tastes. You can set up rules to manage cookies on a site-by-site basis, giving you greater control over your privacy. What this means is that you can choose which sites you trust and allow websites to cookies you for those sites thus blocking cookies from everyone else.



We marketers love capturing user data on product views, cart abandonment and return prospects that convert and become customers. Online advertising gives us the ability to target and retarget our ideal prospects. Through remarketing we serve ads based on our prospects prior engagement. Each action that’s taken online draws a sharper and more useful profile of our prospect. Delete your cookies and you’re a lot less valuable to us.


Understanding Call to Action Buttons

call_to_actionCalls to actions are a vital part of all websites. Over the years, those action buttons, urging website visitors to act on a website, and disclose the visitor interest have moved from basic “click here for more info” or “Call Us Now” buttons to those that are designed to complete an online ecommerce acquisition.

The most significant change has been the adaption of calls to action across all types of marketing collateral.  Website visitors are usually more reactive rather than proactive. They respond to your Call to Action only if you tell them to click on the link or tell them to respond to another one of your requests thus making calls to action a fundamental part of the lead-generation and lead-nurturing process.

A call to action should not be limited to ecommerce pages. Instead, every website should have an objective it wants users to complete whether it is filling in a contact form, signup for a newsletter or download a free trail. Your value proposition should be conveyed through the message on your website/ landing page and the urgency for a visitor to take action through the button you provide.

Calls to Action of the Past No Longer Work

What once worked for calls to action, fails to impress today. That could be because of increased competition and the shorter attention spans of Internet users, or because of the constant need for innovative designs and ideas that help companies retain visitors on their sites for longer durations.

A button that reads “Enter Your Email Address for Updates” is obsolete in the current business environment, where the focus is on providing value to a visitor at every step and gradually winning their trust. Unless visitors will get something in return, leaving their email addresses on a company website offers them no value and, hence, fails to make them act.

“Contact Us” buttons have also lost their relevance now that contact pages offer website visitors multiple options for getting in touch with the company—via phone, chat, email, or social media. In fact, most companies have a Contact Us page that is listed in the navigation or on the footer of their website.

Call to action phrases use action verbs, like:

  • Sign-up
  • Register
  • Subscribe
  • Buy
  • Donate
  • Urgency Phrases:

Time sensitive words or deadlines should be included alongside the action verb to create a sense of urgency:

  •     Offer expires on Labor Day.
  •     Limited time offer.
  •     Act now before supplies run out.
  •     Respond before August 31st to enroll at this special price.


The objective of a marketing professional is to engage his audience through content, build a value proposition, create an urgency for his audience to convert by clicking on a call to action and cycle them through a sales pipeline. A call to action can be considered pivotal especially since it’s the last step between defining a site visitor to a marketing qualified lead or a sales conversion.

Setting up Goals in Google Analytics

set goalsA Goal represents a completed activity; called a conversion, A conversion can be a specific page a prospects lands on or an action that is recorded. Examples of goals could be one clicking on an About Me page or looking up a contact Us or making a purchase (for an commerce site)

Defining Goals is a fundamental component of any digital marketing plan. Having a properly configured goal allows Google Analytics to provide you with critical information, such as the number of conversions and the conversion value for your site. Without this information, it’s almost impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of your online business and marketing campaigns.

Goals are limited to 20 per reporting view. To create a call, you’ll have to login to your analytics account. Once logged in, you’ll select admin and create your goal



Once in your Admin view, you would select Goals


Once in your goal menu, you would select +New Goal


How Goals work

Goals are configured at the view level. Goals can be applied to specific pages where a triggered action is placed. A Goal can be set to trigger a user’s visit, pages they view in a session, how long they stay on your site or app, and the events/ button clicks they trigger while they are there.

Every Goal can have a monetary value, so you can see how much that conversion is worth to your business. Using values for Goals lets you focus on the highest value conversions, such as transactions with a minimum purchase amount.

When a visitor to your site performs an action defined as a Goal, Google Analytics records that as a conversion. That conversion data is then made available in a number of special-purpose reports, which are described below.

When you set up a Goal, you have the option of assigning a monetary amount to the conversion. Each time the Goal is completed by a user, this amount is recorded and then added together and seen in your reports as the Goal Value.

Every action a user takes can be translated into a dollar amount. One way to help determine what a Goal value should be is to evaluate how often the users who complete the Goal become customers. In my example, I added a $5 value to every visitor that clicks on the “About Me” page.


Goals types

Goals fall into one of 5 types, listed in the table below:

The real benefit of setting up Goals within your Google Analytics is having the ability to prove that digital marketing investments are paying off. These Goals provide you with insight on how to improve your efforts. Getting 15 new leads each month from your website is great, but unless you understand what assisted the conversion. Goal conversions are a primary metric for measuring how well your site is fulfilling business objectives.


Understanding Lead Scoring

Lead scoreLead scoring is a method of assigning a value to prospects against a scale based on specific criteria. The resulting score is used to determine which leads is sales ready or simply going to be nurtured until they are ready to buy. The higher the value, the more likely the prospect is actively engaged in the buying process.

Listed below are a few mediums where leads are generated –

  • Paid Search
  • Organic Search
  • Events
  • Syndication
  • Aggregation

Lead scoring provides us with intelligence on leads that are ready to buy, ones that need to be nurtured, and the ones to ignore. By categorizing or scoring leads you can make the call as to how they should be targeted and whether they need to be approached by your sales team or your marketing team.

Lead scoring is nothing new, but up until recently automation  tools have been used to remove any or all guesswork. These systems take into account behavior (whitepaper downloads, email opens/clicks, website visits, form fills, etc) and personal attributes (job title, geography). The objective for a marketer is that he/she attributes a score based on an action a prospect takes and assign these leads to either a sales ready lead campaign or a nurture one.

Sales is usually concerned with leads that are sales ready – those that are in the buying process. Marketing focuses on leads that are in the sweet spot but are not ready to buy, but can be nurtured until they are ready to buy.

Lead scoring is a collaborative effort that involves at least three areas of the business: Sales, Marketing and Sales Operations. There is some required planning that needs to take place that will cover responsibilities, terminology, processes, systems, accountability and reporting. It is absolutely critical that the head of Sales and Marketing be actively engaged in lead scoring for a successful implementation and smooth execution that will increase productivity, revenue and profitability.

A well thought out demand creation plan requires a great deal of time, people and program dollars and to maximize Marketing ROI it is critical to systematize lead scoring and lead nurturing.