add more authority to writing

5 Ways to Add More Authority To Your Writing

In today’s blog post we have Dave Schneider of NinjaOutreach telling us about 5 ways to add more authority to your writing. He provides some great tips on how you can do it to increase trust in your content and even grow your business.


Correct me if I’m wrong, but nobody is writing for people not to believe them, right?

We all want to write with authority.

The more we write with authority, the more people trust us.

The more people trust us, the more value our writing has, because more people will take action as they read it.

And, from a business perspective, the more that people trust us, the more they are inclined to buy from us.

As such, there are in innumerable number of reasons to want to add authority to our writing.

So how do we do it?

Do we use bigger words so that we can sound smarter?

Perhaps that might work for some audiences, but in most cases people turn to blogs as opposed to books because they tend to be more to the point and digestible.

While I would not advise using bigger words in your writing just for the sake of it, I do have a few tactics that you can start using today to improve the authority of your writing.

Reference Data

Did you know that 93% of blog posts do not reference any data?

Okay, that was a made up statistic.

Had it been true though it would have been a lot more compelling than saying something to the effect of “most blog posts do not reference any data”.

The fact of the matter is that finding and referencing data is easier than ever before.

Simply think of a statistic that would support your point, Google it, find a relevant article, and reference it in your post by linking to.

It’s that simple.

For example, in a recent post I wrote about why most blogs don’t make any money, I might start off with the following references.

A blog is born every half a second.

And yet 81% of blogs never make more than $100.

Instead of just saying most laws don’t make any money, I have data which shows just how many blogs as well as how few of them are making any money at all.

Cite An Expert

An expert is like a living data point.

Although they may not be able to provide you with something like 53% of blog posts are over 1000 words, they will provide you with a compelling opinion on a topic.

An extreme example of this is a round of post, for example here’s one that I wrote called 39 Successful Entrepreneurs Share Their First EVER Sale.

In this post I cited 39 experts to get an understanding of how they made them for sale online.

But a much simpler way might be to just grab a few quotes or even a tweet from another individual.

Not only does it further validate your argument, but it also shows your audience that you put in effort to do actual research for your post.

Lastly, don’t restrict a reference simply to your blog post, as they have a place everywhere. A perfect example of this is on the homepage of BackLinko, where Brian cites Neil Patel from QuickSprout

doubled my traffic in 2 weeks

If you’re struggling to build relationships with influencers, try these 5 unconventional influencer marketing methods.

Incorporate Awesome Design

One of the core things that I believe is lacking from most blogs is awesome design.

Honestly, I get it.

Firstly most of us do not have the web design skills to really put together an amazing image to accompany our article.

And even if we did, who has the time.

The alternative is to hire a designer, but that can be expensive, even if it is outsourced.

And again, who has the time to think ahead and get images in advance of writing an article!

But the truth is that blogs that have awesome design immediately convey a sense of authority.

55% of visitors spend less than 15 seconds on your website.

Now, in those 15 seconds do we think that people are spending a lot of time reading or looking?

My guess is that most of those people are simply looking around, deciding whether or not the blog/website conveys enough authority to make it worth reading.

After all, anyone who has been blogging for some time can spot a custom image, and we know how much work that requires.

Just look at Brian’s blog BackLinko, every post is filled with custom images:

how to rank for any keyword

And yes, I realize I’ve already referenced him twice in this article, but the fact is the man has awesome design.

And you should too.

Here are some places to implement custom images:

And the great thing about design is that you can use it over and over.

For example, on NinjaOutreach, our blogger average software, we have this banner that we use for giveaways.

ninja outreach giveaway

We are trying to run giveaways once a month, and now we have an awesome looking banner to do so.

The lesson here is that if you are struggling to improve the design of your blog, start with the things that will benefit you for a long time and which rarely change.

Make Yourself A Case Study

Depending on your niche that can be quite a lot of fake it until you make it.

Basically, a lot of people who like to talk the talk, but are they really walking the walk?

I’ve certainly had my suspicion over the years of people who are writing about things they knew very little about. For example, people in the make money online niche, who actually don’t make any money online at all (or at best do so by telling other people how to do it).

To this day, this is still a problem in many niches.

One way to overcome this is through a live case study.

This is where you make a public announcement to your audience that you will be undertaking a project, and then you revealed the results to them live as they happen.

An example is Jon Haver’s Authority Website Case Study.

And even if you don’t want it to be live, you can still write about something that took place, and simply provide the data as you have it.

Either way, you’ll will be placing yourself well above all the other people who are not practicing what they preach.

Increase The Length Of Your Articles

This is probably going to sound very gimmicky, much like when I said you should use bigger words.

But it’s not meant to be.

In my personal experience, the articles that I see which tend to do the best are very long and in-depth.

It is just very difficult to put together a very authoritative in research article in a few hundred words.

That might be different if you are simply telling a story or providing some sort of opinion and you are not intending to write a strong authority piece.

But more often than not, your article should be in-depth.

And for those people who don’t believe this, we have another data backed article

SerpIQ studied search results rank based on content length. Here’s what they found:

average content length of top 10 results

The higher the Google SERP position, the more content the page has. Notice that every one of these first page results has content exceeding 2,000 words.

Conclusion

Anyone can start a blog, there are no barriers to entry.

But authority is something that you have to earn.

And honestly, that is a good thing, because the rewards of having authority are tremendous.

Dave SchneiderDavid Schneider is the Content Director at NinjaOutreach an all in one Influencer Outreach software for marketers. He blogs about business at SelfMadeBusinessman. You can also find him on twitter @ninjaoutreach

 

don't be evil the documentary

Don’t Let Google Get Away With This

 

On October 4 of 2013, Google released the updated version of their algorithm which included their fifth confirmed release of the “Penguin” update. Google called it “Penguin 2.1”. This update was far more punitive than the previous updates and decimated businesses. Some lost everything. They went from having lots of traffic to none overnight within a few hours on a Friday afternoon.

Businesses everywhere live or die by their listing in Google including lawyers, dentists, home renovation companies and even one person house cleaners. Their listing means more leads and more customers. But what happens when Google takes this away from them? Google can control whether a business lives or dies with an algorithm change. Not only does this effect the owners or management of a small business, but the employees as well.

No Way Out For Over a Year

After the “Penguin” update in October of 2013, Google didn’t run the update for over a year. Those businesses that were affected by the update were left wondering what they had to do to recover without any answer from Google. Essentially, they were punished for a year without Google giving them any chance to fix what they did wrong. Some didn’t recover after the update in 2014 because they had no idea what they had to do in order to get out of the penalty. They didn’t take the steps necessary likely because they had no idea what the steps were. It wasn’t like Google gave step-by-step instructions on how to fix it or even some sort of assurance that this would help. We came up with a solution for businesses that came to us after being penalized that helped them recover in as little as 10 days (ask us how if you disappeared – click here). But imagine the thousands of businesses that didn’t have that solution.

Some businesses were forced to buy Google Adwords (pay-per-click) ads in order to be found in search results again so that they could acquire new leads. This can be incredibly expensive if you consider that keywords like “dui lawyer phoenix” cost as much as $190 per click. No wonder Google’s ad revenue in 2013 was over 50 billion US dollars. They hypocrisy is that Google tells us that businesses shouldn’t buy links to get on the first page of their search results yet Google sells those links each day.

Negative SEO – Thanks Google

This punitive strategy has also spawned negative SEO. Now your listing on the first page of Google’s search results can disappear because of strategies that someone else is doing to you. That means that someone can partake in activities that will have your site’s rankings drop or have your site vanish from search results. Don’t be fooled to think that it’s only somebody in a dark room at their computer creating links from bad sites to link at your site. There are companies partaking in negative SEO to hurt their competitors. I can confirm that it’s a fact as we have and are being attacked by negative SEO. (I’ll have more about this in a future post.)

Taking a Stand

Google has been making changes to their algorithm and search results pages for the past three years in order to aggressively attack websites that don’t conform to their standards. Now there is somebody trying to do something about this. Josh Bachynski, a well known SEO expert who writes about ethics and SEO is making a documentary to show Google’s treatment of these small businesses and how they have affected people’s lives. He’s created a teaser video (below) and also wrote an outstanding long post questioning Google’s ethics (or lack there of) at The Moral Concept. As Josh states in his teaser video:

“There is a war between websites and search engines. Between democracy and monopoly. Between Google and you.”

Josh is looking for businesses affected by the Google algorithm updates and would like to hear from them in order to make his documentary. We can stop Google and hold them to their motto of “don’t be evil.”

For more information about Josh’s documentary and contributing, visit “Don’t Be Evil, the Documentary.

The State of Small Business in 2013 (Info-graphic)

Want to know what small business will look like in 2013? AWeber surveyed over 3,000 small business owners from around the globe.


Data and infographic by AWeber

Google’s Most Expensive Keywords – Nov. 2012

For those of you who do cost-per-click (CPC) advertising with Google in their Adwords program, have you ever wondered what the most expensive keywords are? Some of our clients have told us that they’ve paid as high as $8 per click for certain keywords. That seems relatively cheap compared to the list of Google’s Top 10 Most Expensive Keywords as of November 2012.

  1. mesothelioma settlement
    CPC: $142.67
  2. mesothelioma asbestos attorney
    CPC: $121.68
  3. asbestos attorney
    CPC: $117.23
  4. asbestos law firms
    CPC: $106.77
  5. sell annuity payment
    CPC: $95.16
  6. annuity settlements
    CPC: $92.36
  7. structured annuity settlement
    CPC: $92.36
  8. auto donation
    CPC: $84.51
  9. virtual data rooms
    CPC: $79.59
  10. donating a used car
    CPC: $79.35

The top four are for class action lawsuits with the potential to make lawyers a lot of money. Therefore, they are not too concerned about paying over $100 per click. Numbers 8 and 10 are quite intriguing as I had no idea donating a used car could be that profitable to someone that they’d paid around $80 per click.

If you’re looking for help with your cost-per-click advertising, if you would like to do Search Engine Optimization to avoid having CPC advertising or if you would like to do both, contact us at Hurricane Web Design and we can help.

Common SEO Campaign Misunderstandings

SEO with an arrow showing growthSearch Engine Optimization is a critical piece of any company’s online marketing strategy or campaign, however many fall into the pitfalls of promises made by fly-by-night “experts”, promises that simply cannot be made or kept by anyone. It’s important that we give our clients the best search engine optimization service in Vancouver, and have provided an excerpt from an article to help shine some light onto a particular myth regarding placement.

“SEO Lies, Myths & Misconceptions

By Justin Downey

SEO Myth: Search Engine Optimization’s Goal is Top Placement

This myth is as wide-spread as it is inaccurate. Search Engine Optimization’s goal is to make a site more “findable.” At JDM, we call it “Search Engine Visibility”. On average, website’s only receive 6% to 7% of their traffic from commercial search engines. A site that has undergone Search Engine Optimization should shoot for that number to increase to 10% to 30%—at best. It’s important to note that SEO is based on visibility and relevancy. That is, how well a search engine spider can read the site and index it as well as targeting search queries (keywords) that are of maximum relevancy to the site. In other words, if the site doesn’t receive the top placement you want, don’t just blame SEO—blame the content.” [ read more ]

While ranking first overall is great, getting to rank near the top can be just as beneficial. Simply put, SEO is an important piece of any companies marketing success, but that success cannot be determined by being ranked first overall. It’s important to ensure that the content you are providing is rich and provides value, keeping clients coming back on a regular basis and generating more business.

7 risky mistruths that an SEO content creator may tell you

SEO content creationWith the latest changes in Google’s algorithm, it’s now more important than ever to have high quality content for Search Engine Optimization. It’s always a struggle for a number of our clients to supply good content that is not copied from another source online. Google and other search engines can now check your content to see if it is duplicate content. If it is duplicated, they’ll pretty much not give you any credit for it and it’s almost impossible to get that page to rank on the first page of Google. Even worse, Google may even penalize your site for having duplicate or poor content.

7 Dangerous Lies Your SEO Content Writer is Telling You

by Nicole BeckettSiteProNews

Far too many of the content writers out there can’t actually write! As a result, they prey on people like you – hoping you’ll believe their promises and never notice that they don’t actually have any talent. Sadly, the odds are high that you’ve been lied to by an SEO content writer. Heck, you may have been told several lies!

There are some real doozies being told out there, but these 7 are the most common – and they’re also the most damaging to your business…[read more]

As with any service or product your purchase, it’s always good to get references before hiring an SEO content writer. We’ve seen a lot of very bad content. We had one piece of content on how SEO can benefit a personal injury lawyer sent to us for approval that said “Therefore, by making good use of SEO, lawyers can easily attract lots of clients ideal for the plummeting of their businesses.” Plummeting? I had to re-read three times to make sure that was correct.

Do your own research before hiring a content writer who understands how to write for Search Engine Optimization.

7 ways to tell when a search engine optimization company is lying

7 search engine optimization liesNobody wants to call somebody else a liar. But, there are a number of things some SEO companies or freelancers will tell you that aren’t really the truth when it comes to getting your website to rank well in search engines. These include meta tags, search engine submissions, guaranteed search engine ranking (I just love how they claim they can guarantee this), that it’s highly technical, it will be inexpensive, the SEO company’s website doesn’t rank and cold calling. Have a look at the full list and descriptions from the link below.

7 SEO Lies: How to know when the SEO is lying

by Mark Aaron Murnahan – awebguy.com

I was taught that it is not nice to call somebody a liar, but if you hear these things from a search engine optimizer, there is a good chance they are lying to you. They are either lying about the facts, or lying that they know the job of SEO. In either case, it is unreliable information that can cost companies a lot of money and can have some disastrous results.

[Read More]

I know I’ve said this before, but avoid all SEO companies that make guarantees about ranking in the first position. Nobody but Google can make such guarantee. One of these companies may get you to the first position, but it’s likely for a keyword phrase that isn’t searched for very often. Therefore, making it much easier to rank as there is little competition.

Although, I do somewhat disagree that cold calling and emailing about SEO is a lie. A lot of people don’t understand what search engine optimization is and how it can help their business. If a business doesn’t know what it is, why would they be searching for it. By cold calling and emailing potential clients, it gives us the opportunity to explain what it is and how it works. If you’d like to know more about SEO, give Hurricane Web Design a call at 604-477-1996 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page.

 

5 Tips to Avoid SEO Scams

SEO salesperson with fingers crossed behind backIn the many years we’ve been doing search engine optimization, we’ve heard of many scams and claims from other SEO companies. The one we hear the most is offering first position guarantees. Nobody can guarantee you the first position for your keyword phrase! Only Google can guarantee you the first position. Below is a great post with tips to help you pick a good search engine optimization company for your business

5 SEO Scams You Should Avoid at All Cost!

by Wong Chendong – basicblogtips.com

Good SEO can make you a ton of money, and it’s a fact that if you know what you’re doing with it, you’ll be getting a whole lot of awesome, free traffic to your sites for as long as you’d like.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people out there that will promise you who-knows-what, take your money and deliver nothing but frustration.

[Read More]

Always ask for testimonials/reviews from clients from whichever SEO company you choose. If they are actually doing a good job for their clients, they’d be happy to provide them to you. Make sure you get email addresses and phone numbers from these clients so that you can contact them yourself.

Also, try to avoid contracts with search engine optimization companies. We never ask for contracts and we only ask for a 30 day termination notice. If we’re not doing a good job for our clients, we don’t want them to feel as though they are stuck with us.

Give Hurricane Web Design a call at 604-477-1996 if you have any questions regarding SEO for your business.

Social Signals – The New Search Engine Optimization

social signals for search engine optimization - seoWe are all familiar with the idiom that word of mouth is generally thought to be the best form of advertising. People are more likely to shop in a store that has been recommended by a friend over any other form of marketing. However, up until recently internet search engines have not fully capitalized on this phenomenon. Now, search engines like Google use Social Signals as a part of their algorithm to determine how high your website will rank in search results. If you are looking to do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your business website, you have to make sure your site is generating positive social signals.

United Breaks Guitars – The Power of Online Word of Mouth

On March 31, 2008, musician Dave Carroll was on a United flight destined from Halifax to Omaha, Nebraska. While the plane was on the tarmac, Dave saw the luggage handlers tossing guitar cases to the ground while they finished loading the other luggage, supposedly keeping the guitars separate to have the luggage bay loaded more efficiently. Concerned, Dave checked his guitar upon retrieving it in Omaha. Indeed, his $3,500 Taylor guitar had suffered a broken neck. When he tried to make a claim for the amount, United refused, saying that Carroll had not submitted the claim within the allotted 24 hour period.

Dave Carroll decided he would play the part of Academy award winning documentarian Michael Moore. He created a music video that he published to YouTube on July 6, 2008 entitled “United Breaks Guitars”. Ironic to the United allotted claim period, within 24 hours his video had 150,000 views. By July 9, that number had increased to 500,000. On the same day, United’s stock dropped 10%, costing stockholders around $180 million in value.

Social Signals Impact On Search Engine Optimization and your Business

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr – the list of social sites online are now endless. People are connecting with others and figuratively shaking hands with one another around the globe. Strangers that have never met each other physically (though they may be neighbours) are talking, and much of it is about what they have experienced at a restaurant nearby, or the hotel they stayed at while visiting North America from Europe, or the dentist who stayed late one night to help a concerned parent when their child broke a tooth, or… you get the picture.

This online community is a gold mine to search engines. You’ve undoubtedly seen symbols like Google’s “+1” and the “Like Us On Facebook!” plea on websites. When a website (maybe yours) is linked to a positive review on Facebook or Google+, the value of that review is much higher than what can be garnered by a search engine crawling your site. When looking to rank a site, it is now important that a site that has many positive comments, reviews and mentions on social media sites will see themselves higher in the search engine rankings than a site without.

What does this mean to the average business like yours? Simply this – managing social signals has become a necessity for you and your website’s search engine optimization. Whether you try to keep it in-house through hiring someone to manage these social signals or subcontracting it out to another company, it is imperative for business to listen and appeal to the online community. If not, someone else might sing a song on YouTube called “Bob’s Diner Spit In My Soup” or, even worse, there might be no discussion about Bob’s Diner at all. And Bob may find himself out of business.

James Blackburn is president of Canada West Internet Marketing based out of Edmonton, AB.

Five Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Website

mobile website designIf you are the decision maker for marketing your business, then there’s no question you recognize just how necessary it is that you have a strong presence on the web. There are many ways to create this presence, from social media websites to blog sites, and you need to have a presence on all of them. One of the current, most effective means of taking complete advantage of the Internet’s marketing potential is by having a mobile site. A mobile website is exactly what it seems to be – a website specifically produced to be accessed on mobile devices. So, why does your company need to have a mobile website if its conventional web site is doing quite well?

Here are 5 convincing reasons why you need a mobile site:

Visual beauty

You may be wondering why everyone can’t view your conventional site on their mobile devices. The reality is, they can. The additional reality is that your conventional website simply does not look that good on a mobile device. Do this: access your website and reduce the view on your computer’s web browser by zooming out till you have to squint to read the content on the page. I think you would agree, this is not a good viewing experience, is it?

The statistics

The numbers don’t lie. Simply put, there are more people today who utilize their mobile devices to access the web than they do their desktop computer or laptop computers. Additionally, a lot of people who are on the Internet today ONLY do so through their mobile devices. Can your business afford not to meet this significantly big sector of the market?

The cost of data transfer

A significant number of mobile customers must pay data transfer charges. Conventional websites have much more data than mobile websites, and therefore can cost people a great deal of money to view your website. Ask yourself this: how many customers are willing to have to pay you in order to have you market to them?

Navigation

As mentioned before, conventional websites are a great deal smaller on those small mobile device displays. This means that visitors to your website need to do a great deal of scrolling in order to view the whole page… and let’s be honest, website visitors would rather not work in order to view a web page. Likewise, it’s almost impossible to tap navigation buttons on such a small display when the website hasn’t been enhanced for mobile devices.

Today’s audience on the web

The truth is that a lot of people, including your potential clients, access the web by means of a mobile device. This also means that a lot of people utilize their mobile devices for a great number of things – shopping, searching, entertainment, and a whole lot more – plus these are all features you could include in your mobile site to widen your reach and increase your client base.

As you may see, there are a number of excellent reasons to design a mobile web site for your business as quickly as you can. The mobile website experts at Hurricane Web Design can help you create a mobile site for your business. Feel free to contact us at 604-477-1996 or email us at questions@hurricanewebdesign.com.