If there's one thing I've learned from traveling, it's to always pack a jacket. Even if it's the middle of the summer and you're traveling to Arizona, bring that jacket. There will most likely be a moment where you wished you had it.
I recently wrote a Squidoo lens about this very topic, including a few other travel tips I started living by. Traveling can be enjoyable. You just have to learn from past misfortunes.
So check out My #1 Travel Tip.
Nice Guys May Finish Last, But They'll Have the Most Friends
We just read an awesome post written by SEOBook's
It's Like Making Smores Without the Hershey's Bar
Marketing can have a lot of ingredients: TV, radio, Yellow Pages, PPC, social media, sponsored events. Every local business on the planet has an almost endless amount of marketing resources at their fingertips. But there's one thing that has the potential to make those resources more potent and worthwhile, and that's SEO (search engine optimization).
Moving forward with any aspect of marketing without utilizing SEO is like making smores without the Hershey's bar. You can use all the marshmallows you want. You can use another brand of chocolate. You can dip those things in melted fudge, sprinkles, and ice cream, but it won't match what it could be with that Hershey's bar. Proper search engine optimization takes your other marketing activities and builds upon them in the most user-friendly ways.
An inbound Internet marketing blog called Hubspot Blog came out with an article about 15 things people absolutely hate about your website. Some of these things are pretty obvious to anyone with design background (or common sense). Others may have you saying, "I don't think so."
Everybody has their own tastes and preferences when it comes to website design and optimization. Whatever your personal opinions may be, here is the list.
Now it's obvious that we ourselves are guilty of some of these things. We use a contact form instead of contact information because this website is simply used for informational purposes only while our actual website is under construction. We're not perfect. Big whoop.
But most of these are valid points. We don't like pop-up ads. We can't stand content that makes absolutely no sense because of how keyword-driven it is. Stock photography is a joke. Bad animation can cause seizures. Again, you may not agree. That's fine. Just try and remember a few things on this list when designing a website.
Most of the world still uses the term "SEO" instead of "inbound marketing." To be clear, we still use the term "SEO" as well. It's easy. It's short. It's not going away any time soon. What we do is still SEO.
The reason we are comparing SEO with inbound marketing isn't to bash SEO at all. We simply want to discuss the ideology behind the new and old ways of doing things. Inbound marketing is just the term we use to define the new way of influencing (not manipulating) search engine rankings.
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
You probably wouldn't disagree with us when we say that you'd much rather have a warm batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies instead of a bag of Chips Ahoy! from the super market. Why? The smell that fills every room, the gooeyness that demands your attention, and that taste of chocolatey perfection; it's absolutely irresistible, especially with a cold glass of milk.
This has everything to do with inbound marketing. SEO used to be all about conveyer belt, "Chips Ahoy!" techniques like paying an offshore resource to build links on free link farms and directories, run articles through article spinning software, and auto-generate posts on social networks and blogging platforms. Google, the #1 source for immediate answers on every topic imaginable, won't tolerate such practices anymore. Instead, they rely on genuine, "homemade" human interaction.
Everybody Used to Love Penguins
Google's new Penguin update to its ranking algorithm has upset a lot of webmasters. All of a sudden, their rankings dropped, and they didn't know why. It's kind of obvious now. They were attacked by a giant penguin, and you just cannot win against a giant penguin.
Google has placed its primary focus on human to human interactions when it comes to ranking high in the search results pages (SERP's). That human to human interaction is pretty much the definition of inbound marketing. Whether you're tweaking a web page's meta title, posting a link to Facebook, uploading an image to Pinterest, or writing an article on Squidoo, it is insanely critical to make things readable, likeable, and shareable for whatever audience you're aiming for.
Dump the link farms. Trash the article spinners. Cut off any tool or method you have used in the past to manipulate search engine rankings. The only way you're not manipulating Google is if your eye is centered on building a relationship with your consumers. As we have always said, if it's user-friendly, it's search engine-friendly. If you're handing people homemade chocolate chip cookies rather than a bag of Chips Ahoy!, you'll become Google's best friend.