click-finders.com now listed iin Alltop.comClick-finders is proud to announce that we are now listed on Alltop.com!  We are the newest addition to the SEO page and can be found listed here at www.seo.alltop.com.  We are very honored and humbled to be included in this list of distinguished and successful bloggers and SEO community members.  What is Alltop?  Great question.  Here is how they describe what they do (read the full version here at Alltop About Page):

“The purpose of Alltop is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in “all the topics” that interest you. You may wonder how Alltop is different from a search engine. A search engine is good to answer a question like, “How many people live in China?” However, it has a much harder time answering the question, “What’s happening in China?” That’s the kind of question that we answer.

We do this by collecting the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic. We group these collections — “aggregations” — into individual web pages. Then we display the five most recent headlines of the information sources as well as their first paragraph. Our topics run from adoption to zoology with photography, food, science, religion, celebrities, fashion, gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, Macintosh, and hundreds of other subjects along the way.”

Alltop is arguably the premier news/blog aggregation site on the internet.  The stringent review and acceptance policies on their site are notorious for weeding out recreational and hobby bloggers and news sites meaning that only the most relevant, active and on-topic blogs/news sites are included in their lists.  There have been countless articles written on “How to Get Listed on Alltop”.  No matter what though, the one thing that remains true to be considered for Alltop is simply this…

“Provide relevant, informative articles on a regular basis as it applies to your chosen topic or profession.” 

That is the best way to get listed on Alltop.  The next article on this topic will be “How to get to the TOP of Alltop”.  I’ll share it with you all….once I figure it out!

click-finders.com officially accepted into the Alltop.com Directory

 Thanks for reading!  If you enjoyed this article please share it with any of the multiple social media share widgets on this blog (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Social Bookmarking).  Also, please feel free to comment below.  We openly welcome any and all feedback, especially from other internet professionals!

 Click-finders.com is a full service internet marketing company that offers a full range of services including Affordable SEO Services, PPC Adword Campaigns, Social Media Marketing, Web Development and more!  Contact us today for a FREE no obligation SEO Analysis of your website and find out today, what it’s going to take to rank high in the search engines!

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How to Increase your website traffic by 55%

Increase your traffic, backlinks and authority!

It’s no secret that click-finders.com strongly encourages and promotes blogging.  If you follow this blog at all, or even if it is your first time here, it should not take you long to see that we not only believe it, we live it for our own Search Engine Optimization (SEO) program.  Blogging is the single most efficient and cost effective way to add unique and fresh content to your web site.  The search engines love when you put up fresh and unique content on a regular basis.  When they see you adding new content on a regular basis, they “crawl” your site more often and index your pages faster.  This may not be all that important for the next blog post your write and publish, but what if you want to add a new product or service to your website?  Sure would be nice if that new webpage got crawled and indexed within one week (or in some cases one day) wouldn’t it?  In the most extreme cases of sites that do not add content on a regular basis, it can take up to 90 days for your new webpage to be indexed.  That does not work very well if you are trying to run a summer special and your new page goes live on June 1st.

“Creating fresh, unique content on a regular basis via a blog is the single most cost effective and efficient solution to ensuring that the search engines are crawling your site and indexing your site on a regular basis”

How much can this simple yet effective help your web site?  I’m glad you asked.  Let’s look at some data from an industry leader on inbound marketing, Hubspot.com.  Hubspot ran a study a few years ago and compared over 1500 websites.  In that study they looked at each website in detail and paid particular attention to the number of visitors each site had over a given period, the number of pages indexed by the search engines in total and the number of one-way, inbound links (backlinks) from other web sites (a key factor for SEO).  Here is what they found;

Websites that Blog on a regular basis have, on average, about 55% more visitors – Blogs not only bring in more traffic, they actively engage readers with an opportunity to participate in the conversation (via comments and social media sharing).  This means your readers are on your site for a longer period of time, thus increasing your chances of conversion.  Blogs also help establish your expertise in the industry niche you are competing in.  Do not underestimate the power of the written word and how people see you after reading an article of yours online.  You can also gain further credibility by having other, highly visible and known experts validate your work by commenting on your blog in agreement.  So make sure you post relevant and accurate information always.

Blog more to increase your traffic

 

Websites that Blog on a regular basis have, on average, about 97% more inbound links Blogs are great backlink attractors.  When you write awesome content, people want to share that with their friends, their family and their industry connections.  They do that by postings links all over the internet that lead others right back to your web site.  And guess what?  That’s right…the search engines love backlinks from relevant sites.  The more you links you have from other sites, the more authority and trust you are assigned by the search engines.  Great blog articles are the one the best “link-baits” out there and there are yours for the making.

 Get more backlinks with blogging

 

Websites that Blog on a regular basis have, on average, about 434% more indexed pages – Blogs are great content generators.  Every single blog post you write and publish establishes another [.html] page for the search engines to crawl and index.  Some blog platforms will even create a separate [.html] page for every comment made on your blog!  That can have a huge impact on your ability to generate fresh, unique content on your web site over a long and sustained period of time.  And we all know how much the search engines love new content right?

add content to your site

 

So what are you waiting for….go to www.wordpress.com (or your own favorite blogging platform) and download, install and use the best content generation tool avialable.  Use it often and use it well, and you could see reults even better than these!

Did you like this post?  Please feel free to comment on it!  You can also share it, bookmark it and Google+ it.  There are several toolbars around the post so you can share it on your favorite site.


 

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Blogging for business - 7 easy steps

How to blog for business!

If you follow this blog (or even if you are a first time reader) it doesn’t take much to realize that we believe in and encourage all businesses to blog.  Blogging is the most cost effective, efficient and least technical solution a business can implement to add fresh, unique content to your web site on a regular basis.  Content, by its very definition, is simply some form of substantive information, usually in the form of text or the written word, that explains more about your web site, your products or your services.  Adding fresh content is important for SEO because the search engines love fresh, unique content.  The more content that you provide, the more value the search engines place on your site and the more frequently your site will be crawled and indexed.  So if you want your site crawled often and indexed fast when you post a new product or service, you need to be adding fresh content as often as possible.  Okay, so now that you are ready to add content, let’s make sure it’s added the best way possible, so that the search engines can easily find and index it. 

“Setting up and running a business blog is paramount for success in today’s online marketing and search engine world.  Not having one is akin to not having a FAX machine in the 1980’s.”

First, you have to select a blogging platform.  There are many to choose from and yes…they are each different and have their pros and cons.  I personally use the WordPress platform.  I find it gives me the flexibility and control that the other platforms do not.  I also like the plug-ins.  Things like SEO plug-ins, social media plug-ins, scalability, database management and back-up and many, many more!  The choice is yours though so make sure you choose wisely.  It is after all, the platform you will be presenting your company to the world with [no pressure though…haha].  Okay so you have a good platform, have it installed on your domain and you’re ready to go….now what?  Now is the hard part!  The content creation.  Here are some basic tips to help you get started;

  • Be Conversational in your blogging – Yes you may very well have the technical solution to the replacement space craft for the space shuttle, you have all the documents, drawings, slide-rules and calculations, however….who on earth wants to read just that?  Do your best to take that technical data and turn it into a conversation that engages and enlightens your target audience.  Keep it as conversational and light possible.  I try to do this by bringing personal experiences into my writing.  It does not always work 100% of time, but when it does, it works like magic! 
  • Share your knowledge – Without stepping into the realm of being overly technical (see item #1), be sure to bring something to the table that people (your target audience) are actually interested in and want to learn more about.  Don’t be shy either, share your best stuff always.  People like, share and refer friends to AWESOME resources online.  Make sure your blog is full of awesome information written in an awesome format, surrounded by some awesome graphics and others will link to it (great for SEO!) and share it all over the internet.  Write mediocre material and share miniscule tidbits of information and people will not share that.  In fact, they won’t even come back to see what’s new.  Bottom line…write and share AWESOME material and it will get shared.
  • Be the expert – No matter what you do, please make sure you post information that is valid.  This is especially true if you are writing a highly technical blog.  Remember, your credibility is on the line.  If you lose that, you have nothing left to build on.  So do whatever you have to do in order to make sure the information you are putting out is valid.  Read other well respected and followed bloggers, authors and industry experts to gain insight and inspiration.  Do not however, plagiarize anything.  It could cost you all of your credibility and actually hurt you in the search engine rankings.
  • Be organized – Before you write your first article, sit down and write a list of 100 topics that you can or want to blog about (update this list often).  Pick an idea from that list and then jot down some notes about.  List 5-10 bullet points you want to cover or expand on.  Jot some notes down that tie it all together and wraps it up nicely in your conclusion.  The more you practice this, the easier it becomes.  Writing every month, every week or lord forbid….every day is not easy.  Being organized and structured helps the creative juices to flow because you already have a content generation formula, all you need is the idea!
  • Select relevant topics – This should be a no brainer for most, but I guess its worth a mention.  Make sure you pick topics that are of interest to your target audience.  For example, if you are writing a blog about Shipboard Navigation Technological Advances, you probably want to stay away from writing about your 2 year olds birthday party last Saturday.  Unless of course her birthday party was held on the bridge of a brand new U.S. Navy Air Craft Carrier while getting underway and leaving her home port for the first time ever.
  • Promote your blog – by all means you need to promote your blog!  Writing a blog and then not promoting it is about as effective as putting up a web site and not marketing it.  Its fine if you never want visitors.  But if you do want traffic, comments, engaging interaction and possible conversions (into $ALE$), then you absolutely, positively, 100% have to promote your blog.  No one else is going to do it for you!  There are two previous articles I have written that can help you promote your blog if you are not sure where to begin.  They are 8.5 More Ways to promote Your Blog and 12.5 Ways to Promote Your Blog
  • Measure your results – Always measure your promotions and responses.  Do it however you want, but measuring response and making course corrections is essential to your blogging  success.  I gauge post success by the feedback I get in emails, text messages, PM’s, IM’s, ReTweets and blog comments.  I categorize each one and tally them in the end and track trends, surges, topics and responses.  It was amazing to see the changes in my writing style, frequency, performance and responses when I started tracking the information to this level.  I highly encourage every blogger to do the same!

So there it is…7 easy steps to successful blogging for business.  I hope you enjoyed this information, got something out of it and please, feel free to add anything else you may want to contribute in the comments below.  Have any of these worked for you?  Worked against you?  Have you used other techniques?  If so what?


 

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7 Steps to Creating Effective SEO Content

Share your knowledge with the world!

It may seem like common sense to most internet  professionals, however, some people still just don’t get it or may be very new to internet marketing so I thought we’d cover some basics in this one.  As the search engines tweak and change the algorithms (sometimes almost daily) searching for that ever elusive “perfect set” of returns for each and every SERP, they are actually getting smarter and better at finding quality content.  What does that mean to you?  It means you had better be creating good quality content that someone wants to read.  It also means that the content you create needs to be created in an organized and logical manner that triggers a positive search engine response.   You have heard it before, the whole “content is king” battle cry from SEO’s all over the world.  The fact remains though, that organic search engine optimization is based on the premise of quality content that has been properly formatted within the Google Webmaster Guidelines and is found to have value to readers who then share that information with others.

“Creating effective SEO content is not difficult.  It does however require some basic SEO knowledge and skills and some good old fashioned elbow grease to get the work done. “

Follow these simple steps and you will be well on your way to creating a very useful and SEO friendly web site that is content rich and ready to be found on the internet.

Step 1 – Develop an idea structure that solves a problem that is related to your niche market.  Whatever your business market is, there is always someone who is trying to learn more, read more and grow.  You are the “expert” so what are you waiting for…share that knowledge and help someone else learn. 

Step 2 – Take the idea from step one and write about it.  Solve the problem.  Tell your readers how you do it.  Don’t worry about trade secrets or whether or not you will be giving the farm away.  The people who read the information and want to do it on their own are going to do that anyway, with or without your written word.  You have to share your knowledge in order to gain credibility and establish yourself as an industry expert.  Believe me, buyers today are very well educated and when they do research on you as a potential vendor, they need to know you that you are an expert and you can handle their requirements.  Your Blog, Forums or web site are the perfect way to let them know you are qualified.

Step 3 – Keyword research.  So you have an idea and you have put pen to paper for a first draft.  Good.  Now it’s time to make sure you optimize the writing with some keywords that will give you the results you want.  There are lots of keyword research tools out there.  Some free, some not.  Find one that works for you and make sure you put the time in and do it right.  Find a list of related keywords that is not the most competitive, but still has a fair amount of Global and Local searches each month.  Then go back and sprinkle them into your article where and when it makes sense.  WARNING:  Do Not Keyword Stuff, SPAM, Hide Text or do other “black hat” SEO techniques.  The risk just ain’t worth the results.

Step 4 – HTML Tags and Coding.  This is where SEO can get a little technical so I will just say that you do need to use your selected keywords throughout your content and HTML meta tags (Title tags, description and Headers).  Follow the Google webmaster guidelines for your tags and you will be fine.   HINT: There are character limits you need to follow so be careful.

Step 5 – Fresh content.  Now that you know “how” to create effective content you need to be creating it on a regular basis.  It’s okay if it’s only once a week.  Just as long as the content generation is consistent.  Your readers will begin to expect whatever frequency you fall into.  If you start off posting daily, that’s what they will expect and when you don’t post for 2 or even 3 days, they will wonder off and might not return.  It may be better to post once a week in the beginning and build your readership on that frequency and then increase posting frequency later, as you can.

Step 6 – Link Building/Baiting.  Make sure you make it easy for your readers to link to you.  Widgets, and gadgets are great ways to build back-links.  If you can develop them on your own (or pay someone) then you should definitely be doing that.  Otherwise just make sure that your content is link friendly.  By that I mean that you can build a quick HTML link box (copy this code to share box), make sure your URL strings are clean and are not cluttered with a hundred or so unrecognizable characters that don’t make any sense.

Step 7 – Integrate Social Media sharing to your content.  You did all of this hard work, developed this wonderful, value packed content, now give your readers a way to share it!  Integrate Twitter, FaceBook and any other social media bookmarking sites and tools into your content creation method.  In today’s world, it is imperative that you give your readers a way to share this content.  Not only are the search engines already indexing the social media platforms, but there is case after case of social media sharing taking a good site and catapulting it to levels of viral sharing that we all dream of. So no matter what…make sure you give readers a way to share your content!

Like we talked about above, always put your best content up for your readers and don’t worry about giving the farm away.  Kary Rogney is a pretty well known social media guru who practices what he preaches.  This is what he says about sharing content;

Well there it is, the 7 steps to creating effective SEO content.  Whether you hire a professional to do this work for you or you go about it yourself, you now have the basics of what it takes to develop the content you need.  So good luck and start creating that content!


 

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Top 8 WordPress Plugins you must have

Top 8 WordPress Plugins

Disclaimer:  I make no representations here or otherwise about compatibility of plug-ins with versions of WordPress.  It is up to you to determine whether or not a particular version of a plug-in is suitable for use with your blog.  Also – These are our personal favorites.  You may feel free to add others below in the comment section.  You may also comment on these if you don’t like them, however, again…they are our favs, not yours, so don’t take it too personal ;-)!

It’s no secret that all of us here at click-finders.com absolutely love the WordPress blogging platform!  It simply is the best, all around, easy to use blog available today.  What makes it so great?  Here’s a short  list:

It’s FREE

There are over 100 FREE Templates to use

It’s very customizable

It’s very Search Engine Friendly

It provides for seamless integration into your existing site

And lastly….there are 100’s (if not thousands) of plug-ins to help make your blogging life easier, more efficient and downright enjoyable! 

Hands down, my number one question from other bloggers is “Mike, what are your favorite plug-ins for WordPress?”.  So here they are in no particular order.

WordPress Database Backup – Speaks for itself.  There are many database backups out there.  Make sure you install one that backs up everything you need it too.

Google XML SiteMaps – An absolute necessity if you want Google to properly index and crawl your blog.  This plug-in makes it all as easy a few clicks and then automatically rebuilds and resubmits your site map on each new post!  Could it be any easier?

All In One SEO Pack – Essential tool for making sure your posts are search engine friendly.  Each post is scrutinized and optimized by Title, Description and Keywords.  You set them all and then choose whether or not to use SEO on every post.

Cbnet Ping Optimizer – Pinging the search engines and blog services is paramount if you want to promote your blog and build a following.  This nifty little plug-in takes care of this task for you.  All you have to do is the sites you want to be pinged on each post and this little baby does the rest.  The best part is, if you have to go back and tweak a post, it will not re-ping the services again.  Pinging them too much can get you banned.  Hit me up on my email if you want my active ping list!

Subscribe 2 – Nice little email subscription service for your readers.  Let’s them sign up via email for a notice every time you make a new post.

Social Media Plug-ins – You have to have….let me say that again….YOU HAVE TO HAVE social media integrated into your blog nowadays.  The search engines look for it and your readers will demand it.  Make it easy for them to share your work.  Here are a couple of the ones I use.  There are many though, so make sure you select the ones you like and work for your blog.

                Tweetmeme

                Simple Twitter Widget

                Facebook Likes It

                Addthis Social Bookmarking (with FREE analytics)

Akismet – Anti-spam plug-in for comment section and trackbacks.  Very nice and easy to use interface and I find that it cuts down like 99% of all spam.  A must for anyone promoting your site actively, because once the spammers find it, you will be flooded with spam comments and links.

SMU Manual Do-Follow – A must have for SEO 2.0 enthusiasts.  The part about this plug-in I like is that I can assign parameters for do-follow (3 approved posts before do-follow status) or I can do 100% manual do-follow activation.  Either way, the choice is always mine.

As you can see…these are just a few.  I am sure that there are lot’s more (and maybe better ones) than the ones I listed here.  If you know of any, please feel free to share them in the comments section!  Until then…Happy Blogging to you all ! ! !


 

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