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10 Local SEO Marketing Tips from Local SEO Experts By Alex
While overall search engine rankings have a huge impact on your business and its profits, don’t overlook the importance of local rankings.
According to research conducted by Google, local searches entered into a smartphone led 50% of those searches to shop in a local store. This happened on the same day they conducted the search.
With numbers like those, you can’t afford to ignore local SEO. To help you master it, we’ve culled the top 10 tips from local SEO experts. We’re sharing them with you in this awesome article.
Tip 1: Make Sure You’ve Filled Out Your Listing On Google Maps
If your business isn’t searchable on Google Maps, local SEO experts agree that people won’t just lose interest trying to find your location. Many people won’t even know your business exists at all.
Make sure you’ve submitted your website to Google Maps and that you’ve claimed your listing there. When filling it out, always give complete information.
But don’t stop there. Upload photos of your business to make it easier for customers to recognize, and so you can be sure you’re putting your best “face” forward online.
Tip 2: Don’t Forget About Online Reviews
Local SEO experts agree: online reviews can make or break your business.
In fact, 88% of shoppers trust online reviews just as much as they do recommendations from their friends and family members.
You don’t necessarily need to pay people to write positive reviews for your business. You do need to make sure you include customer testimonials on your website, that you’ve signed up for local review services, and that you’re encouraging your shoppers to leave you reviews online or offering discounts or rewards to those that do.
Tip 3: Do Your Keyword Searches
While creating engaging and original content that visitors to your website will actually want to read – and bookmark – you still need to use relevant keywords to make sure your target market can easily find your website!
Keywords, local SEO experts agree, are hugely important when it comes to boosting your site’s ranking. They often can be tailored to better click with (no pun intended) local commonly-typed phrases and popular searches.
So, you know that keywords are essential, but how and where to find them?
If you’ve decided not to yet hire professional SEO services to help, look into using free keyword generation tools. Especially popular are services such as Blumenthal’s free keyword category tool.
This tool allows you to enter your type of business and then peruse all the synonyms pulled for you by the local Google database.
Remember – no keyword stuffing! If you’re struggling, consider hiring a content writer to help you seamlessly incorporate keywords into your web content.
Tip 4: Create Targeted Location Pages
Even at the local level, you’ll find that your business serves some areas, districts, and even neighborhoods more than it does others.
Local SEO experts agree that once you’ve figured out where in your region you seem to be consistently doing the most amount of business, you’ll need to target those locations specifically.
Doing this will boost your site in the rankings of these specific successful locations. To help speed up this process, be sure to include the location you’re targeting in the URL tag, as well as the title tag. Don’t forget to include that location when you’re writing your content!
Think of this as your location keyword strategy. Remember that there’s no limit to the number of exact locations you can pinpoint here.
Tip 5: Make Sure You’ve Clearly Listed Your Business’s Name, Address, And Location – In Multiple Places
We’re not just talking about registering with several listing services or in ad copy.
Remember: not everyone is accessing your company’s website for the first time at its homepage. They’re coming to your site from a variety of links and search engine results.
Sure, while sometimes, they do land on your home page, it’s not a guarantee. You’ll lose valuable conversion opportunities, especially at the local level, if you’re not clearly placing your name, address, and phone number (we’d even venture to say you should add your store/company hours to the mix) in the header or footer of every internal page of your website.
If you have multiple locations, the same rules apply. Make sure you’ve also verified that your NAP is equally accessible and visible on your mobile sites, as well as within any apps you’ve developed as a part of your business.
There’s nothing more frustrating to a customer than taking the time to read about all the wonderful offers a company has to offer – and then being completely unable to find the location. Don’t make customers do they work to find yours: they won’t.
Tip 6: Get In Touch With Local Media
We’re not just talking about print ads. Much of local business success depends on name and brand recognition just as it does on word of mouth.
Use local SEO experts, content writers, and other creators to help you publish your articles, create content that is shareable, well-written, and optimized for local markets and media.
Don’t pay more for digital ad space in giant online newspapers. Instead, target the local publications, tv shows, and even other popular blogs and websites in your area.
Even better? Scour the popular social media accounts in your area, and ask popular users to do a collaborative sponsored post about your business.
Tip 7: Make Sure Your Website Is Optimized For Customer Satisfaction
Especially at the local level, when users have dozens of other options literally at their fingertips, local SEO experts agree that the accessibility, loading speed, intuitiveness, and even design appearance are all factors you need to pay attention to.
If your page doesn’t load fast, they’re likely to click over to your competitor’s. Especially for local businesses, who may not be able to compete with the price points of larger chains, customer satisfaction is what keeps people in your stores – and the same goes for your website.
If it’s not optimized for their use, why should they do business with you?
Tip 8: Don’t Overlook Direct Data
Direct Data is a process that individual companies go through in order to gain a higher ranking factor – and it’s something that local SEO experts already know is super important.
Basically, local companies will give more detailed data about themselves with the goal of improving their site’s ranking. Plus, these pieces of data appear directly in the search listing of your business – think of them like a micro-second elevator pitch.
If users share their locations with search engines, direct data can help make sure your name comes up at the top of the list of best places in the area. If you’re a restaurant, direct data gives customers info like whether or not you deliver, your opening times, if you’re vegetarian, and what the price point of your restaurant is.
Tip 9: Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly
Remember: not every search happens in a web browser on a computer or laptop.
In fact, Google reports that in over 10 countries, mobile searches have already outpaced desktop ones – and that number is rising every day.
Your website’s ability to be accessed online is now a part of your Google Ranking Factor, and keep in mind too, that you’ll need to build up your presence on mobile apps that can help local consumers find your stores or learn about your services.
Plus, local SEO experts know that mobile access means you can offer in-store, same-day deals to local customers in banner ads or through automatic downloads – a great incentive to get people in your store as soon as possible.
Tip 10: Don’t Ignore Voice Search
In addition to mobile searches, more and more people are using voice searches to find the local products and services they need. If they’re driving, then think of them as “already on the way” to your store!
So how can you gain access to voice searches? Think about it: we write and speak in different ways – what keywords work for web-entered text searches won’t be the same in voice searches.
Either research or ask your team to compile voice search keywords and phrases – and make sure you’re equally considered follow-up questions that are far more common in voice searches than in online ones (where users just have the option to open up another browser tab or click a link.)
Now You’re The Local SEO Expert!
We know you’ve enjoyed these great tips, and that you’re more than ready to start implementing them into your content marketing strategy. If you’re looking for more SEO tips and tricks, check out our blog.
If you’re ready to hire local SEO experts that can make a big impact on both your local and global search engine rankings, contact us to get an SEO audit and to learn more about what our team can do to help you grow your website and your overall business.
Amazon offers a number of ways through which online retailers can sell inventory, but choosing which program to use to sell on Amazon can be a challenge.
Keep in mind that managing accounts on Amazon takes time and knowledge on the part of the seller. Amazon has particular requirements for its Marketplace and a considerable amount of time and knowledge are necessary to manage these campaigns.
Still interested? Keep reading to learn how to list on the Amazon Marketplace and place ads on Amazon.
Jump to a Section
What is the Amazon Marketplace?
How to Sell on Amazon
Amazon FBA Facts
Cost to Sell on Amazon
Advertising on Amazon
1. What is the Amazon Marketplace?
The Amazon Marketplace is one of the most well-known marketing channels for online retailers. To list products on the Amazon Marketplace, sellers are required to set up an account, and send Amazon a product feed.
As seen in the example below, Marketplace listings are the seller results that appear when a query is typed into the search box.
The Amazon Marketplace program does not link shoppers to a merchant’s site, as all transactions are performed on Amazon.com.
2. How Should I Sell on Amazon?
Below are the major ways you can sell on Amazon, and some qualifications to help you decide which selling option is best for your online store.
Get Our List of Top Amazon Seller Mistakes
Sell TO Amazon
Selling to Amazon is an invite only program. Selling directly to Amazon grants Amazon ownership of your inventory, which they will market and sell to shoppers on Amazon.com.
How it works: Merchants or manufacturers sell their inventory (e.g. hats) to Amazon at wholesale rates. Once those items have been sent to Amazon, the seller is done with the products. Amazon pays for the inventory directly to the seller and maintains ownership of the products.
Amazon sells those products on the Marketplace (as Amazon) – choosing their own price and shipping options.
Benefits of Selling to Amazon
Selling to Amazon is an available option for manufacturers and virtually eliminates direct seller work including marketing, advertising, and even pricing.
Other benefits of Selling to Amazon include:
Avoid hassle of handling pricing, shipping and other logistics for product sales
Display and detail page functionality only available to Amazon (e.g.: subscribe n save)
Manufacturer Central inventory projection tools not available in Seller Central
Sell ON Amazon
A popular option for selling with Amazon is selling on Amazon.com. Today more than half of total sales on Amazon come from third-party sellers.
How it Works: Sellers list their products on the Amazon Marketplace, and sell items as 3rd party sellers.
Selling on Amazon is generally more work than selling to Amazon, but is also comes with greater levels of control and the potential for higher margins. Sellers on the Marketplace control shipping, prices and optionally fulfillment.
Sellers who sell on the Amazon Marketplace have different fulfillment options to choose from. Sellers can choose whether they want to handle fulfillment or let Amazon sort, package and ship products through their own fulfillment centers.
As a third party seller selling on the Amazon Marketplace you have the option to use Amazon’s fulfillment services:
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) – Sellers leverage Amazon’s fulfillment for products sold on the Amazon Marketplace
Or sell using your own fulfillment (FBM) – Sellers handle fulfillment for their products sold on the Amazon Marketplace
Amazon charges sellers to sell on the Amazon Marketplace based on what program they choose to sell through, and how much they sell.
FREE GUIDE: The Guide to Fulfillment by Amazon
Benefits of Selling on Amazon.com
Increase Exposure – Leverage millions of unique monthly visitors to get more people to your online store.
Leverage Marketplace Benefits- Amazon’s Marketplace is a shopping destination that is known for reliability, ease of online shopping and selection. Listing on the Marketplace allows sellers to capitalize on that branding.
Find New Customers- The Amazon Marketplace is huge. Sellers gain exposure to new and varied shoppers through the Marketplace- many of which would never encounter your online store otherwise.
Increase Sales- Shoppers on Amazon have come to the Marketplace with the explicit intent to purchase, or at the very least are looking to browse. Online search, advertising and other forms of online exposure do not guarantee that same bottom of the funnel-audience. Bottom Line- people on Amazon are more likely to buy.
Here is an overview of some of the features for each way you can sell on Amazon:
Sell ON Amazon vs. Sell TO Amazon?
Which program you choose to use to sell on Amazon depends on your store, fulfillment abilities, ROI goals, and many other variables.
Vendors who sell to Amazon avoid some headache with logistics, but are limited with their scope and ability to market products. Selling on Amazon is an option which is more suited to sellers who would sell to Amazon but want to take advantage of more exposure and other benefits of the Amazon Marketplace.
Switching from Selling to Amazon TO Selling ON Amazon
If you are already selling on Amazon and are considering selling to Amazon, consider some of the elements below:
Amazon FBA payments come in after 2 weeks, Amazon vendors often have to wait 90 days for payment
Selling to Amazon requires you set up an EDI
Vendors who sell to Amazon can sell in bulk (more revenue), but that often results in 20%-30% less revenue than your normal selling price
Vendors often lose the ability to control market price as Amazon will dictate price on the Marketplace and affect your MSRP.
Vendors run the risk of getting replaced by new ‘knock off’ vendors
Amazon dictates what they purchase from vendors, instead of FBA purchases driving shipments to Amazon
Here is a breakdown of some of the major considerations between selling to and on Amazon:
3. Should I Use Fulfillment by Amazon?
There are millions of third party sellers on the Amazon Marketplace worldwide, generating more than 50% of Amazon’s total sales.
If you sell on Amazon, or are looking to sell on Amazon as a third party seller, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether to use Fullfillment by Amazon (FBA) or to handle your fulfillment in house (or by a service).
Using FBA can significantly impact your sales and fulfillment efficiency, but FBA may not be a good choice for your online store.
What isFulfillment by Amazon(FBA)?
Fulfillment by Amazon, often referred to as FBA is a fulfillment choice for sellers on Amazon which allots fulfillment for sellers products to Amazon.
Amazon sells its own inventory on the marketplace alongside products from outside sellers. When a product from a third party merchant is purchased on Amazon, who ships that item depends on the fulfillment method selected by the retailer.
Check out Amazon’s explanation of how Fulfillment by Amazon works:
Merchants who choose to participate in FBA hand off fulfillment- packaging, sorting and shipping to Amazon. Amazon has more than 80 fulfillment centers in the US which handle fulfillment- both for itself and third party sellers.
Note: FBA is a fulfillment option which sellers can choose for any or all of their products. Sellers vary on the number of products they choose to fulfill (if any) using FBA, depending on their margins, product category, and related seller variables.
Why should I Use Fulfillment by Amazon?
Fulfillment by Amazon is a good option for merchants who are looking to increase shipping time and reduce time and money allotted to fulfillment.
Other FBA benefits for Amazon sellers include:
Less Business Operations– FBA eliminates fulfillment shipping efforts for sellers. Instead handling warehouse management & packaging (handling shipping, picking) and those associated fees, retailers can pass off those task to Amazon
Amazon Prime: Amazon Prime customers purchase more, and more frequently than traditional Amazon shoppers.
Using FBA increases product discover-ability as FBA products feature Prime shipping, and appear for Prime filtered searches.
Prime users and purchasers increase seasonally, and can add a boost around the holiday. Last Q4 more than 1 million people signed up for Amazon Prime in one week.
Conversions are more likely on detail pages that are prime eligible, which can increase sales for products you sell using FBA.
Customer Service & Returns: Amazon handles customer service and returns with FBA orders, which is a perk for sellers who aren’t customer service specialists.
Shipping Speed: For online shoppers, FBA means quicker shipping rates, Amazon Prime eligible shipping, as well as 24/7 Customer Service and delivery tracking through Amazon. FBA products are shipped from Amazon, so they process faster and ship faster than products sent directly from the retailer. Amazon emphasizes customer service, so shoppers can rely on helpful assistance.
Buy Box Share: FBA impacts key factors in Buy Box share variables including shipping and seller rating. FBA is a good way to boost your chances of getting a share of the buy box for products where shipping or other Buy Box eligibility requirements might be hard to achieve.
Amazon Branding: FBA is fulfillment by Amazon. Amazon has worked hard to curate a brand around customer service and ease of online shopping. FBA aligns your store with that branding and lends that reputation to your store.
How Much Does FBA Cost?
Selling on Amazon charges a percent of total sale profits. In addition to those fees, FBA charges fees based on:
Pick & pack
Storage costs (sq ft.)
For some sellers, FBA seems like an expensive option, but keep in mind FBA encompasses fees for all of fulfillment- costs including warehousing and shipping. Use Amazon’s Revenue Calculator to scope out whether your products will be profitable using FBA.
FBA Cost Considerations
Amazon Fulfillment impacts your margin for individual products, which arguably limits profitability. However, with the increase of total sale volume and exposure, FBA is likely a good investment for your online store. For example, you may make less money overall on a particular product such as a waterbottle, but you are likely to sell more waterbottles overall for a larger holistic profit.
Remember you’re not forced to use the FBA option for all of your products, so take the time to calculate which products are profitable to fulfill with FBA.
FBA may not be an option for your store depending on the competition surrounding your products, what products you sell, where your business is located, your margins, and other related variables.
FBA and Commingling
FBA products are sold by third-party merchants and need to be labeled and shipped to Amazon warehouses before Amazon can handling fulfillment using FBA. Amazon offers two labeling options for FBA, both which come with variables which may affect your profitability and time.
FBA Labeled Inventory- Require an individual label for each product sent to Amazon for FBA.
Stickerless/ Commingled FBA Inventory- Allow merchants to exclude an FBA label. Amazon will use product identifiers (e.g UPC) to group your products with similar commingled inventory.
Commingled Inventory requires less work with labeling, but groups your products with other sellers for faster shipping. Commingling issues can arise with damaged packaging and commingling fraud.
Consider both options and your products when choosing FBA labeling methods. Also, keep in mind you may want to choose one label method for a portion of your products.
Fulfillment by Amazon is a convenient fulfillment option which allows Amazon sellers to leverage Amazon’s resources to increase marketplace sales. Determine what your store budget, margin, and profitability is for Amazon as a whole and for specific products before deciding to leverage Fulfillment by Amazon.
4. What is the Cost to Sell on Amazon?
Amazon sellers can choose between a Professional or Individual selling plan. Individual sellers pay $0.99 for each item sold on Amazon, in addition to variable closing fees ranging from $0.45 to $1.35. Professional sellers pay variable closing fees and referral fee percentages ranging from 6% to 25% (an average of 13%). Professional sellers also pay $39.99 per month, but are exempt from the $0.99 per item fee.
Referral fees and variable closing fees are subtracted from the overall sale (including selling price, shipping and other charges such as gift wrap).
Note: Merchants who pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99 to be a Pro Merchant Subscriber DO NOT have to pay the Amazon Marketplace $0.99 per item fee (good for merchants selling well over 40 products a month). If you sell more than 40 products a month then the Professional Seller Program is a no-brainer.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of those fees:
Amazon selling fees for a professional seller include:
Monthly subscription fee of $39.99
Referral fees on each item sold (varies by category – see full list below)
Variable closing fees (varies by category – see full list below)
Amazon selling fees for an individual seller include:
No monthly subscription fee
USD$ 0.99 fee for each item sold
Variable closing fees (varies by category – see full list below)
Other fees, such as shipping and gift wrap, are paid for by the customer. Here’s an example of those Amazon selling fees in action:
Amazon Selling Fees: Referral Fees Breakdown
The Amazon Marketplace Referral Fee is essentially a percentage of your total item price (and gift wrap charges if applicable) that Amazon collects based on its CPA model.
For example, if you sell an automotive accessory on the marketplace for $85.99, Amazon will keep $10.32 (12%) of that revenue as referral fees.
Here’s how much Amazon will take out of your individual product sales for different product types:
Amazon Kindle – 15%
Automotive Parts and Accessories (not including Tires & Wheels) – 12%
Tires & Wheels – 10%
Baby Products (not including Baby Apparel) – 15%
Books – 15%
Cameras and Photos – 8%
Consumer Electronics – 8%
Electronics Accessories – 15% for items under $100 (item price + gift wrap charge); 8% for over $100; minimum referral fee of $1.00
Entertainment Collectibles – 20% for items under $100 (item price + gift wrap charge); 10% for items $100-$1000; 6% for items greater than $1000; minimum referral fee of $1.00
Home & Garden Products (including Lawn & Garden, Pool Supplies, and Pet Supplies) – 15%
Industrial & Scientific Products (including Food Service and Janitorial & Sanitation) – 12%
Kindle Accessories – 25%
Music – 15%
Office Products – 15%
Personal Computers – 6%
Shoes, Handbags, and Sunglasses – 15%
Software & Computer Games – 15%
Sporting Goods – 15%
Sports Collectibles – 20% for items under $100 (item price + gift wrap charge); 10% for items $100-$1000; 6% for items greater than $1000; minimum referral fee of $1.00
Tools & Home Improvement Items – 12%
Toys – 15%
Unlocked Cell Phones – 8%
Videos, DVDs, and Blu-Rays – 15%
Video games – 15%
Video game consoles – 8%
Watches – 15%
Any other products – 15%
Note: The minimum $1.00 referral fee for electronic accessories, entertainment collectibles, and sports collectibles are void for merchants that pay the $0.99/ sold item fee (non-Pro Merchant Subscribers).
The Amazon Marketplace variable closing fees are fixed for media products and vary for non-media products. These fees pertain to the shipping details of your sold product.
Let’s take a look at the rates:
Amazon Variable Closing Fees for Media:
*For domestic standard shipping, domestic expedited, and international shipping, except where indicated.
Books – $1.35
Music – $1.35
Software & Computer Games – $1.35 for domestic standard and expedited shipping; N/A for international
Videos & DVDs – $1.35
Video Games – $1.35 for domestic standard and expedited shipping; N/A for international
Video Game consoles – $1.35 for domestic standard and expedited shipping; N/A for international
Amazon Variable Fees for Non-Media Products:
Domestic Standard Shipping: $0.45 + $0.05/lb
Domestic Expedited: $0.65 + $0.10/lb
Amazon Selling Fees for a Sold Book [Example]:
Now that you know the Amazon selling fee structure, let’s look at an Amazon fee example. Imagine you’re a book merchant who just sold Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for $15.99. Suppose the customer paid $3.99 for shipping and NO gift wrapping. Assuming that you’re not a Pro Merchant subscriber, here’s how Amazon will deposit your revenue:
Don’t let these fees scare you.
Amazon is a major source of traffic for online retailers and is competitive with other marketplace rates. Being aware of and understanding the Amazon selling fee structure is the first step on your way to managing a Marketplace campaign effectively.
Use our Amazon Seller Fee calculator to determine just how much you’ll pay to sell on Amazon.
5. How Do I Advertise on Amazon?
Amazon has expanded the reach of its Amazon’s Sponsored Products program- an advertising outlet for Amazon sellers which increases visibility for Buy Box items.
Amazon Sponsored Products has been an Amazon ad option which boosts visibility on the Amazon marketplace since 2012, but this year Amazon updated the program (login required) with Campaign Manager features including automatic targeting, easier Seller Central usability, and most notably more visibility on Amazon search and product pages.
Amazon Sponsored Products elevates Marketplace seller products that are Buy Box eligible on search and product pages with an additional cost per click fee.
Amazon Sponsored Products highlights product ads for Amazon Buy Box eligible products on Amazon search.
Sponsored Products Ads can populate at the bottom of Amazon search results:
Or alongside Amazon SERPs:
And on detail pages:
Amazon Sponsored Products ad placements on are only available for products which are winning the Buy Box– and lead directly to the product detail page where your product is featured.
Frequently compared to Google AdWords ads for its keyword ad population, Sponsored Products populate on search and product pages based on seller determined keywords and max bid per click metrics.
Amazon uses keywords, bids and search relevancy to display ads.
With Google’s Automatic targeting update (09/2014), sellers can skip the process of selecting keywords. However, Automatic Targeting removes the higher level of control associated with Manual Targeting, which should be considered if you choose to utilize Automatic Targeting.
Amazon Sponsored Products Eligibility
Compared to Amazon Product Ads, Amazon Sponsored Products setup is much if you can vs. how you can. That is, Amazon Sponsored Products are only available for sellers who are Sponsored Products eligible.
Sellers looking to boost product visibility on Amazon with Sponsored Products must choose products which are Buy Box eligible. In addition, Sponsored Products is only available in 6 countries and across 30 categories currently.
Amazon Sponsored Products Best Practices
The major benefit of Sponsored Products for Amazon sellers is gaining visibility on Amazon’s competitive and product dense marketplace. With that in mind, its key sellers leveraging Sponsored Products to optimize existing product information on Amazon. Consistently audit and optimize your product information with Buy Box variables in mind (e.g. product price, image, shipping,etc.)
Continue to work to achieve a higher Buy Box share for individual products and more products across your inventory. Specifically, try and get increased Buy Box ownership for your top selling items.
Sponsored Products run based on your daily budget and ad bids- audit your campaign strategy regularly for higher ROI and to avoid clicks which aren’t converting.
Just like AdWords ads on Google search, Sponsored Products are limited in how much real estate they occupy on Amazon. Refine the variables which do appear (product image, title, price, star rating, etc.) to get the most out of your ads.
Consider your online store variables – what you sell, your margins, advertising budget, etc. alongside the variables for selling on the Amazon Marketplace, through Amazon Sponsored Products.
Remember no advertising campaign or sales channel is a substitute for consistent elbow grease, competitive pricing, and quality product.
Today, I wanted to make a review of the new software deal, InVideo. You can watch the video to decide to take the deal or skip it for other software 🙂
InVideo is an all in one software can create Storytelling version or short version for your advertisement videos.
I already use the Clipman for the video advertisement, but this software does not allow me to customize the video.
With the InVideo software, you can customize the texts, colors, images, adding stickers, etc. Their library is not sufficient for all elements, but it gives some basics which will be "ok" create a short video.
InVideo team announced that they would add some more great features in a few days.
In my video, I tried to cover many features as possible, so I did some fast forward the video to make it as short as possible. I understand that some part is not clear enough, so please leave a comment right below if you want to share anything about this video.
Why and how blog comments can still benefit your marketing and SEO
While blogging is a fantastic way to share information about your business and industry, to educate your audience and build trust, it’s a one-way street. You’re the only one doing the talking. But when you allow comments you’re no longer just broadcasting but encouraging a two-way dialogue with your readers.
But of course maintaining a comment section takes time and resources. It’s not uncommon for popular bloggers to spend hours addressing comments, hours that they could use to craft another post, or handle other tasks to promote their blog further. Then there’s the issue of spam, which can have a negative impact on your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts.
So do blog comments still matter or help in any way, especially now that there are so many social media platforms available to discuss a piece of content?
It depends on your goals. Many businesses have chosen to take the conversation to social media and remove blog comments, like we did, because they have a big following and believe more people can join in the conversation this way.
But if you’re a small business just getting started online, and you’re only now taking the steps to grow your social media following, having a comments section on your blog is encouraged and can prove to be beneficial to your business. Here’s why…
Here are just a few reasons why having a comments section on your blog can benefit your marketing efforts:
Direct interaction with your audience
When people don’t have access to a human aspect, they find it easier to dismiss a blog as just a brand or a faceless entity that doesn’t care. The blog comments section gives you the unique opportunity to do a little PR by appearing reachable and human.
Also, having a comments section where you interact with people shows that your blog is not a one-way street, where you blast your content out to them and you’re unwilling to hear from your readers. This is particularly important if you’re trying to build your blog traffic.
When you see a blog post with a good number of comments, it usually indicates a certain authority. But authority isn’t built just by publishing a great blog post and having lots of comments from your readers. You can build it further by replying to comments and interacting with your readers. So read the comments you receive and answer questions and concerns, and add to the conversation to show the world you know you’re knowledgeable and an expert in your field.
The enjoyment of being a regular
A coffee shop that I go to almost daily knows what I’m going to order before I order it. I love that. It’s one of the great things about being a regular.
So your comments section is where the regulars gather. After some time, they’ll get to know each other and your blog. They can help turn your blog from being just a blog, or a sequential posting of articles, into a conversation that happens every time you post new content. So think of the blog comments section as the coffee house of the web, where you introduce the topic of conversation, and then regulars start discussing it.
Makes conversations easier to follow
Allowing social media to be the primary platform for conversation on your content may bring some interaction, but it’ll likely be for a short time. That’s because conversation on social media fades away as the news feeds change.
What’s more, a conversation happening in many different places becomes fragmented, diluted, and difficult to follow. Different people might be saying interesting things about your content on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, but you don’t always know about it. It’s frustrating.
So, a comments section makes it easier for readers who find your blog content to follow along and make sense of how the conversation goes.
Of course, you also have other options that can help bring that “outside” conversation back onto your own blog. Many blogs use comment systems like Disqus or Livefyre that help tie your blog’s comments into that social pulse.
You don’t own your presence on social networks like Twitter or Facebook. These platforms come and go, but your blog is forever. If all conversation on your content is happening on social networks, what will you do in the event these data silos move on and all that great content is lost?
Stands as social proof of your blog
If you see a blog post with lots of comments, you’ll probably be curious to know what people are talking about. Furthermore, you’ll be more likely to join in when there are plenty more in the conversation. This is social proof: when we see a crowd, we think there must be something good happening there. So if you have a comments section, make sure to do your best to encourage people to jump in as comments help encourage more comments.
If you’re looking for new content ideas for your blog, the comments section is a good place for idea generation. It’s a group of people batting ideas around. So use the additional tips, advice and questions from your readers to create a new interesting blog post (or two or three).
But comments aren’t just beneficial for your marketing efforts. They can also help boost your SEO efforts.
You already know that Google loves quality content. That doesn’t just refer to the content you produce, but also to the ones your readers produce – in this case, comments.
Google’s John Mueller confirmed Google views comments as part of a page’s content, also adding that comments are a positive signal when they’re insightful and add to the conversation:
In a Hangout in 2014, John Mueller said great comments can be a positive thing for a website.
“That’s something where we essentially try to treat these comments as part of your content. So if these comments bring useful information in addition to the content that you’ve provided also on these pages, then that could be a really good addition to your website. It could really increase the value of your website overall. If the comments show that there’s a really engaged community behind there that encourages new users when they go to these pages to also comment, to go back directly to these pages, to recommend these pages to their friends, that could also be a really good thing.”
So if you’re getting good comments, they not only add to the quality content on your page, they also show user engagement and can reflect how popular and authoritative your site really is.
And here’s another SEO benefit to consider: if a reader leaves a good comment, they’re more likely to come back and revisit your blog to read new comments, or even visit other pages on your blog and website. Plus, those who leave a comment are also more likely to link to your page so others can read their comment too. This is also a good way to earn links.
Be careful, comments can get spammy
Just like you ensure your blog posts are high quality and bring value to the conversation, you should also do the same with the comments you receive. Why? Because while great comments can boost a site in the search results, poor quality comments can have a negative impact on your website.
Let’s explain. It’s not just Google that values and rewards great content (or punishes low-quality one), but also your users. If they see lots of auto-approved spam content selling pharmaceuticals and get rich quick scams, they will perceive your blog (and your site, by extension) as being low quality, even if the blog post might be very high quality. But if the comments are interesting, useful and add value to the conversation, users are more likely to stick around and join the discussion.
So make sure you’re constantly reviewing comments and not approving low quality or spammy ones.
Keep your software up-to-date and pay extra attention to important security updates. You don’t want spammers taking advantage of security issues or vulnerabilities in the older versions.
Add a CAPTCHA like reCAPTCHA that requires users to confirm they’re human beings and not an automated script.
Close old and inactive comment threads. If you have posts with lots of comments but people are no longer adding new comments, you might consider disabling any new comments for that post to prevent spammers from abusing it.
Moderate all comments. You should review all comments before they go live. Now, if you have a popular blog and think you don’t have time to review all comments, you could at least require moderating for comments with links to ensure no spam gets through.
Blacklist spammy or inappropriate terms like phrases related to the pharmaceutical industry.
Use the “nofollow” attribute for links in the comment field. This will prevent spammers from targeting your site. There are blogging sites (such as Blogger) that automatically add this attribute to any posted comment.
If you’re blogging for business, know that real value results from a community dialogue that leads to loyal, emotional connection. You can’t achieve that if you’re preventing your audience from interacting with you, and each other, on your blog.
Now, if you fear the issue of comments, look at moderating the low-quality ones instead of removing them altogether.
DIBZ, Find the link building opportunities, SEO agency must have link building software
<For this video, I will use the Amazon Polly again because my baby sings the song now>
Today, I wanted to share with you about the software deal, DIBZ.
Before I was reading their free ebook, I did not know why I would need to purchase DIBZ. DIBZ is the web-based software to find the best link building opportunities. This software will not create automatic backlinks, but for the SEO agencies will need DIBZ for finding the right contents and domain authorities possibly to build the links for the right SEO methods.
It's a bit confusing, right? I highly recommend reading their free ebook, "101 Questions." This ebook is about 55 pages, IT IS A SUPER COOL EBOOK.
You will be learning so much more in this ebook for SEO terms and some strategies. I read it all and I printed them in the paper to use as my dictionary 😀
I hope you find DIBZ is needed for your business and learn the SEO tactics.
(Please watch the video to learn about what you will get with the software)