Archiv für den Autor: Andreas

How using a VPN can benefit SEO

The SEO industry is growing rapidly—estimated to balloon to $79 billion by 2020. Even though you may already be doing great with SEO marketing, you should not ignore the potential benefit of a virtual private network (VPN) on SEO strategies. A VPN is a solution that helps connect two parties on the internet anonymously and using an encrypted network that is private. It is mainly used to protect your online privacy and access content that is not available in a particular zone.

So, how does a VPN benefit SEO? Let’s get started.

Understand local SEO using a VPN

There are many locations that a company might want to target. For example, you can be in Australia and want to target India. However, if you do a quick Google search, it will show local results from Australia—not a specific result for India that you wanted. As an SEO specialist, you may want to know what the people of India are searching for. Moreover, you would also want to know about the competition around those areas. If that’s the case, you should use a VPN.

A VPN can seriously change how you do research about a local market. By using a VPN, you can trick Google into thinking that you are from India (or any region that you are trying to learn about). This also means you can do a local search and learn about the local audience needs and try to understand what queries they are using. All this information can change how you perform in other areas.

Why use a VPN when you can always use targeted ads? Well, first, you need to learn about what the local audience searches for. Clearly, there is an added advantage in knowing local searches. Moreover, you can also see competitors local ads and learn how they are targeting the audience.

Last, but not the least, you can also know how your ads are being served in local areas.

Protect privacy when working

SEO is a competitive market. To succeed, you need always to be ahead of your competitors. This means hiding your steps when you visit your competitors or when you mimic/modify their strategies.

All of this sounds good, but the competitors can easily track your IP and know about you ahead of time. This can lead them to your site which turn will open up the possibility of them copying your strategy. As competition is high, you should always try to hide your steps or at least hide your strategy from the competitors as much as you can.

That’s not the only problem. Google can also track you if they find anything suspicious. They can know if you are buying backlinks—not good.

The solution for all these problems is to use a VPN. It doesn’t matter if you are running a website that is new or old, you should always hide your digital footprint as much as you can. With a VPN, you can do your research and stay hidden at the same time. This will improve your chances to grow in the market.

Do remote SEO work

With the rise in remote work, there is no denying that we need to protect our privacy when working online. Also, as an SEO specialist, you need to have access to the different tools which might be restricted due to the location from which you are trying to access it. For example, China blocks most of the Google services. But if your main focus is SEO, you must have access to Google.

That’s why you should use a VPN to have stress-free access to any tool, website, or service you want. This will improve your productivity, and you won’t have to think twice when working.

Get past the Google’s search query reCAPTCHAs

Working as an SEO specialist, you are always expected to to keep a tab on certain SEO stats and keywords that are relevant to your project. Not only that, but you also need to search for new keywords every now and then. However, Google might flag you for doing too many searches too often. If you are flagged, you will constantly be redirected to Google reCAPTCHAs.

You may also get a different error which might say that there is unusual traffic from this network. Now to proceed further, you need to solve a reCAPTCHA every few searches. This can lead to a loss of productive work. Also, it is no fun to fill reCAPTCHAs all the live long day.

To solve the issue, you must use a VPN. A good VPN can change IP addresses, making you work with a flow. VPNs are also useful in building a blog, and that’s why you will see good blogging guide always encourage new bloggers to use a VPN.

Why should I use a VPN when I can use proxy?

One of the common questions that we receive is why use a VPN when a proxy can be used to the same effect? That’s partially true, but there are many advantages of using a VPN over a proxy. With a VPN, you can:

  • Work faster than with a proxy
  • Change the IP address on the fly
  • Not have to worry about reCAPTCHAs
  • Work with cross-platforms
  • Secure your connection completely
  • Protect your privacy
  • Have a stable and great user experience

What do you think about using VPNs for SEO benefits?


How to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts By Planning Ahead

Collective Wisdom Series Part 1 Planning Ahead Chess Image

Collective Wisdom Series Part 1 Planning Ahead Chess Image

They say two heads are better than one, but we say the more the merrier — especially when it comes to bringing you actionable tips and insights to fuel your digital marketing efforts.

That’s why we’re proud to announce our “Collective Wisdom” series. Throughout the series, we’ll be bringing you insights, tips, and perspectives from some of the top marketing minds to help guide your content marketing strategy. With each entry, you’ll quickly learn proven methods, taking you from the very beginning of the content planning cycle to post-publication amplification and optimization.

Where should we start? At the beginning, of course.

In this piece, we explore the crucial planning stage that essential for content marketing success.

Planning Your Content — Get A Jump Ahead By Stepping Back

Having a solid plan in place is the foundation of any successful content marketing journey. There are several considerations you’ll want to consider before jumping into creation, helping ensure that you have a well-thought-out and meaningful plan from beginning to end already in place.


Tactic 1: Commit to Having a Plan

As the old saying goes, „A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.“ For marketers, that single, first step is committing to developing and documenting your content editorial plan, even if it’s not super sophisticated to begin with.

Unfortunately, some digital marketers often skip this step entirely. And with 32% of marketers staying organized is a top content planning challenge. Documenting a content plan that you can consistently refer back to will most certainly help.

If you don’t know where to start, start with reading the DivvyHQ and TopRank Marketing report, which features marketers Michael Brenner, Tamsen Webster, Carla Johnson, Robert Rose, and others sharing methods for creating proper content calendars and involving team members in the content planning process.

Tactic 2: Build and Ask a List of Sharers Before Publication

You know that once you release your content into the wild, you need to promote it. But do you spend time upfront locking down who could help you spread the word? If not, the upfront effort is worth it. You’ll have a key next step built in your process, rather than scrambling last minute.

Building a list of target sharers is a two-step process:

1) Reviewing your known contacts

2) Researching and qualifying others who would find your content relevant and share-worthy.

When it comes to researching newbies to add to your list, EmailField’s Aman Thakur likes to use BuzzSumo to discover people who have a history of sharing content similar to what you plan to publish, by searching for keywords related to your piece.

Thakur then recommends looking for relevant BuzzSumo articles that have over 200 or so Twitter shares, filtering the list by people, and exporting them to your sharer-contact spreadsheet or document, a technique he outlined for CMI.

BuzzSumo Sharer List Image

Moz contributor Isla McKetta is a fan of using Followerwonk to search through Twitter profile biographies to help build a list of influencers in your niche who may be well-suited to sharing your content, as she details in the Moz guide to content marketing.

Followerwork Twitter Bio Search Image

Tactic 3: Plan Post Reuse In Advance

Actionable Marketing Guide’s Chief Content Officer Heidi Cohen takes the time to plan out content reuse and even the creation of ancillary works. She suggests:

When you write your post, craft related, tailored pieces at the same time. Present a different aspect of the same topic with each piece. Write two complete posts rather than having a single post in two parts.

Consider where your content will be most likely to fill the needs of those viewing it, and how that will best work when it comes time to reuse and rework your initial messaging. Doing this in the planning stage can both save time in the long run, and ensure that content reuse is done in a well-thought-out manner, instead of possibly being forgotten altogether.

Cohen and others recommend fashioning a measured pace for doling out new versions of your initial content over time, each incorporating a new element or perspective on your original content, or perhaps using updated statistical data, all the while considering where new audiences for your work may exist.

Our own Caitlin Burgess also explores the advantages of experimentation and the role of creativity when planning content reuse, in her helpful „A Tasty, Strategic Addition to the Content Marketing Table: ‘Repurposed Content Cobbler‘.“

„If there’s one thing that every content marketer has in spades, it’s a fully stocked content pantry,“ she says. „From white papers and eBooks to blog posts and original or third-party research, all of that robust and niche content has the potential to be sliced, diced, and repurposed into something new and fresh.“

Tactic 4: Use Target Audience Personas to Supercharge Your Content Calendar

Understanding the pain points, needs, and attitudes of your target audience is critical if you want to develop a content strategy that wholly resonates. After all, how can you be the best answer for your audience if you don’t understand what questions they’re asking or what problems they’re trying to solve.

Social Media Today Community Manager Emma Wiltshire knows how important it is to create marketing personas well before launching content. Knowing the search queries you want to show up for and how they align with the needs of your target audience should be fully understood before you begin creating new content.

Audience Personas Image

Tactic 5: Find Your Best Distribution Options

Savvy marketers understand that the job has scarcely begun once they’ve hit publish on a piece of content, and recognize that amplification is crucial. Those who don’t build distribution and sharing into the planning process risk losing out on a key element in the planning cycle.

As Cathy McPhillips, Vice President of Marketing at Content Marketing Institute (CMI), said:

„You spend so much time creating epic content, so why not spend that same amount of time coming up with a plan for distribution and promotion? It can be a down and dirty spreadsheet — fill in dates, audience, messaging, and what you’re trying to achieve.“

But where should you plan to share your content?

Heidi Cohen also recognizes the advantages of finding the best distribution options for your content, and the time to make these decisions is before content has been completed.

Owned, social, and third-party media all have specific uses, and finding out whether your campaign is best suited to using just one or all three is an important step in the content planning process, outlined nicely by Cohen in her “60+ Ways To Maximize Your Content Distribution” guide.

Distribution Network Image

Weigh the value of each publishing platform and channel, and when you’ve chosen those best-suited to your content, it’s helpful to document the plan and share it with all your team-members, so everyone knows what’s expected, including which key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics will be used throughout the lifetime of the campaign to reach your goals.

Don’t Just Wish — Gain A Major Advantage By Planning Ahead

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said: „It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.“ Take her famous advice to heart, and focus your wishes and goals into creating an actionable content plan.

By taking the time to follow these steps — documenting your plan, building a sharer list, incorporating reuse ahead of time, using audience personas, and finding your best distribution options — you’ll gain a major advantage over those who skip over some or all of the planning stage.

When you’re confident in your content planning process, you can move on to the crafting and creation portion of your campaign, and we’ll take a closer look at that stage in the next part of our Collective Wisdom series. Stay tuned!

Ready to learn more? See Lee Odden present the latest best-answer marketing strategies at Pubcon Las Vegas 2018 on October 16 – 18, and MarketingProfs‘ B2B Marketing Forum in San Francisco on November 13 – 16, where Ashley Zeckman will also be sharing her digital marketing insight.

The post How to Boost Your Content Marketing Efforts By Planning Ahead appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.


Political Posters


Mehr Bilder…

Paper Craft Spezialist und Illustrator Ollanski aus Berlin hat sich mit Designer Felix Kosok vom Studio069 aus Frankfurt am Main zusammengetan um eine kleine Serie von editorial Illustrationen zu zaubern, die unter dem Titel “Political Posters” zusammengefasst sind und wohl kaum einer weiteren Erklärung bedürfen.

Bild 1: Just a Game
Bild 2: Glyphosat
Bild 3: Fate
Bild 4: Tangled
Bild 5: German Pragmatism

Felix Kosok

Umsetzung & Fotografie
Oliver Bieräugel


Baidu: Can the search giant hold firm in China’s increasingly competitive mobile market?

Back in May, Search Engine Watch asked me to write a piece about alternatives to Google. This research was enlightening. It gave me another perspective on the search industry across the global context and how it varies from market to market.

This has prompted a series of more in-depth posts which have helped me speculate how search – even within the Google framework – may well evolve over the next few years. My piece on Ecosia looked at the environmental cost of digital activity and suggested that we might see search leaders work to be more transparent about the ecological ramifications of everyday internet activities right down to individual searches. A subsequent piece on DuckDuckGo celebrated the search tool which puts user privacy before sellable ad data – a USP which is all the more valuable as growing numbers of internet users get tired of creepy online tracking and privacy breaches.

Today we look to Baidu – China’s leading search engine.

The ‘Google of China‘

According to Alexa, Baidu is the fourth most popular website globally (behind Google, YouTube and Facebook). StatCounter indicates it currently reaches around 70% of search engine users in its home country. That’s a whopping 448 million people if we base user numbers on the latest CNNIC report.

Baidu’s similarities to Google are plenty. It dates back to the 1990s, boasts a range of digital products and is currently leading the charge in AI development and self-driving cars. But it is arguable that while Google dominates search in the west and looks likely to continue doing so for some time, Baidu’s dominance in China during 2018 has looked somewhat less stable.

Let’s look at why.

China is mobile

By the end of 2017, there were 772 million internet users in China according to CNNIC. To give us some European perspective, that’s more than the whole of our continent. For US audiences, that’s around double the amount of netizens in North America.

The really important fact, however, is that internet use in China is overwhelmingly done on mobile. Again, the CNNIC reports that 97.5% of Chinese internet users are going online via mobile devices.

It is in the mobile context where most searching occurs in China and, crucially, growth is still significant. Between December 2016 and December 2017, mobile search user numbers grew 8.5% and reached 624 million people.

Baidu is losing share

Baidu boasts a perfectly functional mobile search offering, but there have been a number of new companies entering and disrupting the market in recent years. Unsurprisingly, this has caused Baidu to lose share.

Since August 2016, Baidu’s mobile search share has fallen from 87% to 69%. Other well-established domestic search engines Sogou and Haosou are having an impact. But most of this land grab has been won by Shenma, a relative newcomer to China’s search scene. Since being founded in 2014, it has grown to account for 21% of the market.

Shenma: China’s ‘mobile only‘ search option

Shenma’s unique selling point is that it is only available on mobile. But the companies who are behind the tool are certainly very visible across Chinese desktops and laptops too. Alibaba is the umbrella conglomerate under which such brands as Taobao and AliPay sit, while UCWeb is the internet company which owns UC Browser, the third biggest browser in the world.

The influence of both of Shenma’s parent companies is quite obvious when we start to look at the functionality of the service. In the first place, the tool is very geared towards shopping, with app purchases as important to the model as physical products, alongside local search and a unique ‘novel search‘ aimed at users who enjoy reading books on their devices.

Shenma has also been able to leverage the market presence of UC Browser – the search engine included in its mobile offering – and goes some way to explaining the success of the young company in the face of such stiff competition.

Can Baidu respond to Shenma’s advancements?

While Shenma still lags some way behind Baidu in search share, it is clearly doing something right by providing a service which is tailored precisely to the needs of China’s mobile audience, and its growth goes to proving that. In order to respond, Baidu perhaps needs to do more to reverse-engineer its already well-established search tool to be even more mobile-centric. That is, to make it less desktoppy and more geared to on-the-go searching and the capabilities of the mobile devices themselves.

In some ways it is doing this. Recent news from the Baidu Video arm of the company has seen a fresh round of investment totaling $100m. In light of this increased funding, one of the aims now is for the business to become the biggest professional generated content (PGC) video provider in China. Another aim is to develop its short video services, which will further see it appeal to viewers watching this content on mobile devices.

Is Google set to re-enter the fray too?

Shenma isn’t the only threat to Baidu’s hold on the Chinese mobile search market. Google has spent 2018 negotiating with key digital companies based in the country, including a patent cross-licensing agreement with Tencent (owners of QQ and WeChat) and a partnership with e-commerce company

These deals preceded the very recent news that Google is also gearing up to launch a mobile-centric search platform in China which links mobile phone numbers to search terms and plans to adhere to the country’s strict censorship laws. Despite criticism being leveled at the company from some corners, a poll from Weibo indicates that there is a healthy appetite among a majority of Chinese netizens for Google to enter the market since the search giant was banned in 2010.

Perhaps the expectation that Google will return to China with their new partnerships, their mobile-specific tool, and their already leading mobile web browser (Chrome is the most popular browser in the country, as it is worldwide) leaves Baidu little choice but to look elsewhere in their development and evolution. Its plans to push its video offering may suggest this. Mobile video is a growth sector in China too – and their position in that vertical may be more solid.

Another theory may simply be that Baidu is awaiting Google’s return to see how this affects the domestic search market at large. After all, it is likely that the next year or so will not be plain sailing for Shenma either if Google’s mobile search platform arrives and disrupts the market again. One thing is certain, though: mobile search in China is fascinating – and I think it could take some surprising turns in the not too distant future.