Instead, in this instance, we started at wireframe stage, plopping in keywords and meta tags. Of course, the site really needed those things, and although it launched technically “optimized”, it wasn’t enough to provide a better product than our top competitor(s). A product that people want to visit, revisit, email to friends, share on social networks, and link to more than our competitors. It wasn’t even enough to move up in the rankings.
Think of it this way: The more specific your content, the more specific the needs of your audience are -- and the more likely you'll convert this traffic into leads. This is how Google finds value in the websites it crawls; the pages that dig into the interworkings of a general topic are seen as the best answer to a person's query, and will rank higher.
Great article, Brian. Like that you’re finally talking about Domain Authority (DA). It’s essential to make skyscraper technique work as well. Also, a great pointer on comments as I have personally seen articles perform well because of comments. Do you recommend closing the comments as well a few days after the article is published? Kinda like Copyblogger does now.
I’ve just taken the SEO role at my agency full time and, whilst it can be difficult at times, I am liking the challenge. I wonder if you had any suggestions when it came to finding “opportunity keywords” for term/subjects that don’t necessarily have massive search volumes associated to them? I use a few tools and utilise Google’s related terms already, but wondered if there were any tricks for finding new markets?

Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.
iii) List of questions in one email without the answers. Then, you can set up an Email Automation for those who click through your newsletter, to receive another email afterward, with the answers to the challenges. (Because, on Moosend’s platform, email automation sequences only “cost” you one credit per subscriber, regardless of the emails in the sequence.)
Make this the year that you truly get to know your users. Work hard to deliver the information they’re looking for. To learn how others are approaching their SEO goals, you can access over 70 data points and trends from over 3,400 marketers around the world. Dive deeper into HubSpot's survey data by clicking the download button on the banner below. 
Keep focusing on your website’s technical infrastructure. This is essential to delivering a great user experience and lays the groundwork for your SEO efforts. This means things like site accessibility, speed, information architecture, and overall site functionality, and also content that includes proper structured data, internal linking, and other markup to ensure that Google yields richer search results on your behalf. According to HubSpot Research, page speed and mobile optimization are the most utilized tactics for SEO.
You might be doing all the right things to generate leads -- landing pages, gated content, contests, and more. The problem might be that the design or copy itself isn't driving the engagement you need. A/B test (also known as "split test") different aspects of your list-building campaigns with different versions of the same content. This includes the call-to-action text, the color of the gated offer, the time of day you're posting to social media, and even where on your website these signup forms are placed. Sometimes a small change can drive hundreds more conversions.
Why not? When you skimp on tools, you hinder your marketing from getting better. So, regardless of whether you choose these specific tools or not, make it your goal to find tools that you use regularly. Better tools are equivalent to better marketing. Whatever the tool you choose, make sure that you understand it well and that it makes a measurable improvement on your marketing efforts.
I second Rand's comment!  Congrats on moving from the corporate world to the independent consultant.  This is my goal for the near future.  I too have been testing the waters of independent consulting, but it doesn't quite pay the bills yet!  Sometimes I feel like I should find a mentor who has been where I am now and is where I want to go.  Perhaps i'll find a few in this community over time!

Does your page load quickly, or is it slow to appear? How does the loading time of your page compare to the loading time of another page? What is the actual speed your page loads at? Use this tool to analyze how long your page takes to load at a variety of connection speeds, to view what components of your page take the longest amount of time to load, and see a full breakdown of every component of your page. Also, use our cool "compare two pages" function to load your page side by side with another!
The fundamentals of SEO haven’t changed much over the years, but the problems to solve are constantly changing. Historically, we’ve had to create content that meets the needs of both our audience and search algorithms, and the two didn’t always align. Now, with major advancements in Google’s ability to process natural language, most recently through the BERT update, you can focus more on what the user wants — there is less of a tradeoff between pleasing the algorithm and the user. They generally want the same thing. 
Include social sharing buttons and an "Email to a Friend" button in your marketing emails. That way, you'll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a "Subscribe" CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.
This is honestly more than a post, Brian: it’s a treasure. I have already bookmarked it! The backlinks work pretty well for me: I started a travel blog 90 days ago and I’m glad that I could reach a DA of 12. I think that I’m gonna try the (shall I call it like this since I have a travel blog?) “Off the beaten path keyword” next. I already have an idea after reading your article, so I ‘ll try to write about it and implement ypur techniques.
To help marketers save time and get more done, we've rounded up our top 99 online marketing tools for small businesses and big businesses alike. This huge list of marketing tools includes (almost!) every tool you’ll ever need to master (almost!) every aspect of a digital marketing campaign, from PPC and SEO to social to content and email marketing. Some tools are very specific, whereas others offer robust, diverse functionality. Some are free, others are not. Either way, you can check out the whole list, or skip to the section on the online marketing strategy you’re most interested in:

This SEO tool will check any Web page's header tags. Use our header checker to find any page's status code to ensure that your URLs are returning the appropriate status codes and redirects are working properly. A surprising number of indexing and ranking problems come from erroneous redirects, so it's crucial to be sure that all of the HTTP status codes are correct.

Dedicate some time to brainstorm all the different ways you can attract inbound links to your website. Start small –- maybe share your links with other local businesses in exchange for links to their sites. Write a few blog posts and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Consider approaching other bloggers for guest blogging opportunities through which you can link back to your website.
Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email list in order to leave comments, and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list. 
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