I just posted this curation on my blog and wanted to also share it here:

link-buildingWithout a doubt, the most frequent post request I’ve had on this site is a post about link building. I rarely take requests, simply because people rarely know what they really want until you give it to them, but this time things are a little different.

First of all, I have been studying SEO day and night since I was 16 (almost 5 years ago) and I’ve ranked on the first page of Google for some of the most competitive keyphrases in the world. Therefore, I like to think I know quite a bit about the topic and can provide some insights in this space.

For those of you who don’t know why links are important, let me just say that if you want to get traffic from the major search engines, they’re crucial. Links from other sites to your site are basically a ‘vote’ that tell search engines you are trusted and you are a good resource for whatever your content is about.

A large percentage of my income to affiliate sites is from traffic via Google, and the difference between ranking 2nd and ranking 1st can literally be thousands of dollars extra on my bottom line.

SEO is generally divided into two parts: on-site optimisation and off-site optimisation. On-site is changes you make to the actual code of your website to help with rankings. In my guide on WordPress SEO I gave a lot of tips on this that you can also apply to sites that aren’t running the CMS.

Today we’re going to look at the off-site side of things, which is building links.

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73% Lose Trust in Brands Due to Inaccurate Local Business Listings [Survey]

When an online local listing for a business is incorrect, who’s to blame? The business owner? The search engine? The competition?

Regardless of fault, the majority of people (73 percent) say they lose trust in the local business when it happens. And 67 percent say the same if they get lost due to faulty location information. This, according to recent survey data released by Placeable.

Losing Trust in the Brand

“It is vital that multi-location businesses preserve customer trust by ensuring absolute accuracy in their online location information. Anything less makes the business vulnerable to a constant, ongoing erosion of its brand,” Placeable said in its report. “Brands that fail to ensure the accuracy of search engine location data run the risk of not only missing out on new customers, but jeopardizing their relationships with existing customers as well.”

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5 Ways to Stay Productive and Focused All Day, Every Day

It’s hard to imagine actually doing all of this, but I am sure the results are great, even only partially adopting such a diligent routine.  (Originally curated here.)

My holding company owns four businesses: Tusk Strategies runs multi-jurisdictional campaigns for big companies and institutions, Tusk Ventures works with pre-IPO startups in regulated industries in return for equity, Ivory Gaming manages casinos, and Kronos Archives builds high-end, bespoke digital archives.

English: The New York Times building in New Yo...

The New York Times building in New York, NY across from the Port Authority. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We also have a family foundation, Tusk Montgomery Philanthropies, that runs and funds campaigns to pass anti-hunger legislation and invests in startups combating hunger.

So how do we actually make the trains run on time? A lot of people keep asking me that, so here’s an outline of how we do it. Hopefully some of these tips will work for you, too:

1. The morning routine

I believe a strict morning routine is critical to having a productive day. Here’s mine:

  •  I wake up at 5 a.m. You think better in the morning.
  • I read four newspapers (The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and New York Daily News).
  • I meditate (badly, but it does stimulate my subconscious and help me come up with ideas).
  • I pray (I’m not sure it matters if you have a religion or even believe in God; praying is a good way to think about the people you love).
  • I write in a gratitude journal.
  • I make a smoothie (for me, it’s ginger kombucha, apple cider vinegar, Greek yogurt, spinach, blueberries, turmeric, cinnamon, coconut oil, protein powder, oats, and flaxseed).
  • I take vitamins and supplements (multi, D, B, omega).
  • I plank, stretch, and foam roll.
  • I work out (weights three times a week with a trainer, step mill twice on my own).
  • And then I get dressed (working in tech usually exempts me from having to shave or put on a suit, so that helps).

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How to Use Infographics to Boost SEO and Build Links

If you’ve been immersed in the online marketing world for a while now, you probably remember the days when search engine optimization (SEO) meant nothing more than stuffing your content with a whole bunch of keywords. All you had to do was repeat a key word or phrase and voilà, you were on page 1 of Google.

Thankfully, those days are long gone. Most successful online marketers are well aware of the fact that building spammy backlinks, stuffing content with keywords, excessive tagging and any intent to game the system will get them nowhere when it comes to finding favor in the eyes of Google.

Today, one of the best ways to climb up Google’s SEO ladder is to produce high-quality, unique content that will attract a good amount of high-quality links. This is why link-building through original and informative infographics is still as important today as it was when infographics first burst onto the digital marketing scene.
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Originally curated here.

YouTube Reaches More 18-49 Year Olds Than Top 10 Primetime TV Shows

YouTube held its annual Brandcast event last week as part of the Digital Content NewFronts, giving the online video industry an exclusive peek into what’s trending, and making big waves on the platform. There were a ton of product announcements, critical data, and quotable quotations to share, so after bringing you up to speed on what you may have missed at the fifth annual Brandcast in New York, I will examine the trends in the digital video marketing business and pose half a dozen questions that video marketers need to ask their company or their clients to gauge if they need to change their online video strategy.

YouTube 2016: New Statistics and Data 

A ton of research was released by YouTube last week. Here are just some of the highlights:

  • YouTube reaches more US 18-49 year-olds during prime time than the top 10 TV shows combined.
  • Brands that advertise on YouTube rather TV during prime time reach 56% more of this age group.
  • The number of hours spent watching YouTube on TV screens more than doubled YOY in Q4 2015
  • YouTube announced that the top rated YouTube Kids app has exceeded over 10 billion views in a year.
  • Among US teens, 8 of the top 10 most popular and influential celebrities are YouTube stars.
  • Over 800 additional YouTube creators surpassed one million subscribers.
  • 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers say their views of a brand or company have been influenced by a creator.

Article Curated Orginally Here.

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Low Absences = More Referrals

bni-podcast-1400-150x150It’s been my experience as a long-time member of Business Networks International, that there is a high level of push-back from members to all the BNI “rules.”  One, in particular, that seems to get the most attention is the attendance policy.

In my own experience, I’ve found that the most successful BNI chapters pay the closest attention to the BNI guidelines.

Dr. Misner addresses this topic in a recent podcast.

A long time ago a BNI chapter came to Dr. Misner and said they didn’t think attendance made any difference to the amount of referrals passed. They proposed to increase their attendance, track referrals, and demonstrate that there was no difference.

By the second quarter of this experiment, absenteeism dropped by 71% to .6 absences per member per quarter. Membership went up 50%, and referrals went up 62%.

BNI printed the results of the experiment. Dr. Misner got a call from a member who didn’t believe the results. He proposed to have his chapter track absences and referrals for a year. In their first quarter, they had a 53% drop in absenteeism and a 9% increase in referrals. The second quarter, they had a 58% drop in absenteeism, a 55% increase in members, and a 71% increase in referrals. In the third quarter, their membership increased by 90% and their referrals increased 164%. By that time, the chapter leadership was convinced.

If your chapter has high absenteeism, what’s in it for you and the other members in better attendance is more referrals.

Listen to Podcast Here

A car does a back flip on a mountain of snow

Here’s something that you definitely won’t want to try at home.

French daredevil Guerlain Chicherit, 34, spent four years training for the stunt that he performed without an audience for the first time in case anything went wrong. Using his specially-built Mini Countryman, the stunt driver then did it again last night in front of a roaring crowd at Tignes in the French Alps.
This is the heart-stopping moment a champion rally driver became the first person to perform a 360-degree backflip in a car.

French daredevil Guerlain Chicherit, 34, sped towards a 25ft high ramp in his specially built Mini Countryman at an exact 37mph.

He then hit the quarter-pipe and took off, soaring 75ft into the air and flipping his car a full 360 degrees backwards.
The professional stunt driver then landed rear wheels first on other side of the specially-made snow ramp the French ski resort of Tignes, in the Alps.

Link to original video and full description

How to Engage Your Email Subscribers From the Moment They Sign Up

20150302172951-bossDoes email marketing still work in today’s spam-ridden environment?  Check out the following exerpt and InfoGraphic by Kim LaChance Shandrow, Entrepreuner Staff Writer, for ideas, tips and answers:

You know what they say about first impressions. They’re a one-shot deal. Your initial outreach to people who subscribe to your email marketing campaign is no exception. The opportunity knocks once in an inbox. If you don’t hit your first email to new subscribers out of the park, it’s likely the “unsubscribe” graveyard for you.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all way to guarantee that your email list subscribers will stick around long after opting in, there are a few smart steps you can take — in your very first email to them — to boost the chances that they do. And we’re not talking the lazy, generic “Thanks for subscribing. Here, have this coupon.” approach. You have dig deeper.

Crafting and sending an effective welcome email involves several carefully executed steps. From tweaking the wording of your subject line to avoiding spam trigger words, from writing persuasive body copy to hitting “send” at just the right moment, there’s a lot you can do to develop an engaging, high-impact first email. Doing so helps to start your relationship with fresh subscribers off on the right foot, and, ideally, for the long haul.

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If you are using emails in your prospecting and are not getting 90% open rates and 50% response rates, you may need an improved system and some suggestions.

On Mark Helton’s webinar session tomorrow, he will explain his 3X4 prospecting method, including the exact templates that make up his successful marketing approach.