How to make cold-call emails work for you

For everybody who attempts it, building up a business can be a daunting task in the early stages. As much as you may think you know, there invariably comes a point when there is something you come across which is totally unfamiliar to you. And it is at this point that, as much as you would like to go it alone, you may well need to ask for help.

Now if you’re lucky you might have a friend who knows everything there is to know about the subject you need advice on. More often than not however, you’ll need to approach someone who is a total stranger, often through a “cold-call email”. So how do you get them onside and persuade them to give you the help you need?

The first rule

Never ever, ever, ever (and yes we mean ever) ask for advice straight off the bat. Just imagine the scene. It’s the weekend, the sun is out, your mowing the lawn, an ice cold beer is waiting for you when you finish. All in all you’re having a pretty great day…

Then, it happens. Who is that man walking up my garden path? Why is he waving at me? Why is he wearing an eye patch and only one shoe? Get the children inside now!

“Can you advise me on the best brand of garden furniture to purchase” he says. What? No, firstly, I don’t have a clue about garden furniture and secondly who are you anyway?

You might not say it, but that is exactly what you would be thinking. Your previously great mood has now dissipated and its all down to this dimwit. You don’t want to help him, you want him to disappear. In fact, you wish you had never met him, and you certainly don’t want to see him around again.

This is the same thing that people, who have no idea who are, will think if you email them, pestering them for advice, no matter how politely you do it.

So if that’s not how you do it, then how do you do it?

In life, the most successful relationships are reciprocal. The same applies to asking for advice through cold-call emails. Sure, you want advice, but what can you offer to the person who can give you the advice you need?

You won’t know what you can offer them unless you know what it is that they do. Therefore, you should research into the background of anyone who you intend to ask for advice. Find out what makes them tick and find out how you can help them. Then, when you contact this person, you should be expressing concern for the issues in which they are interested, and suggesting how you can be of help to them.

A bit of flattery can be useful in starting this dialogue, though be careful not to come across as insincere or fake. Once a dialogue is established, and you have convinced this person that you have something to offer, then you can think about asking them about the help you need.

The key here is that the person you want to ask for help must see that you offer value to them. Otherwise, there is little to no incentive for them to take time out of their schedule to offer you free advice.

Of course, it can never be guaranteed 100% that people will want to sacrifice their time to help you, but by adopting this approach you stand a much better chance than without it.

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Examples of guest post outreach emails

As experts in outreach for content marketing, organic link building and guest posting we thought it would be nice to share a few example templates with you.

Obviously we are not going to tell you if these work or don’t work or indeed if we use any other methods and approaches, we reserve that information for our clients. But if you have anything about you as an SEO then you will gain something from the examples below.

Are you an SEO based around Leeds looking for a new role then click here.

Example subject lines for guest post outreach

Enquiry on behalf of xcompanynamex

Guest post enquiry

Partnership with  xyz

XYZ company name content proposal

Example emails and templates for guest post outreach

Example 1

Hi

I hope this email finds you well. My name is Mark Hall and I’m contacting you today on behalf of xyz. I came across your blog whilst researching influential xyz sites and I think yours is great. I especially like the post ‘ insert post name’ as i wish i had thought of this – insert something like I wish i has had known about that post before xyz happened’

I think your site is excellent and I was wondering if you would be interested in a guest post from us? It would be high quality, original content that is unique to your blog. I also think that is would be beneficial to your readers. Would this be something you be interested in? I could send you over the content to review first?

Hoping to hear from you

Kind regards

Example 2

Hello,

My names Mark and I’m currently blogging for XYZ who are XYZ, I found your blog whilst researching xyz sites and I think its great its really full of useful information. I especially liked the post about xyz.

I have written an article xyz and insert reasons why it would suit the site and why you created it. I think the article would work really well on your site and make a useful resource for xyz so i’d like to offer it for publication on xyz blog.

I look forward to hearing whether you’re interested in my article.

Example 3

Hi there

I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch. My name is Mark Hall, i work for Improve Agency. I currently assiting our client. xyz company supporting them with their online campaigns.

I have an idea for for a guest article that I would like to propose to you which I feel would be of interest to your readership.

” xyz blog post”

Insert the a short bio of the article and reasons why it is of interest.

By way of thanks fo hosting the piece we would be more than happy to offer you xyz either for yourself or for you to use as a giveaway to your users.

If you could let me know if you think this article would be suitable for your site, or if you think this angle could be utlisied in a different way that would be great.

Thanks

Example 4

Dear XYZ site

My name is Mark Hall and I work for xyz the xyz company.

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you via email, but we are currently looking to connect with some of the top influncers and bloggers within the xyz sector such as xyz site.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to learn that a large part of our customers are in fact xyz. for this reason, i thought it made perfect sense to contact you about a partnership with xyz.

As we know that your mission is to xyz, we thought that you would be interested in our insights regarding xyz.

We have already approached xyz sector sites such as companyx and companyy and initiated partnerships to publish great articles, you will find a few examples below.

example link 1

example link 2

I understand that you have no prior relationship with us, but if you would like to discuss this further then you can email me on xxx or call xxx

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How to increase your blog’s SEO

Your blog – whether it’s personal or for your business – is important to you, and like everybody on the internet, you want it to appear higher on search indexes. To make this happen, and increase your chances of being seen by new readers, there are a few simple things you can do to increase its SEO.

In fact, many bloggers don’t think about SEO when they’re publishing, so by taking some of these steps should put you out ahead of the crowd.

The critical part of SEO is getting your site crawled by the major search engines, and making sure they recognise that your site is relevant. You need to make sure that your site is spidered in depth, and that potential search terms are catered for, and many people lose out directly from the headline.

If your blog item headlines don’t vary that much, you are probably already losing out. Vary your headlines – not only for the sake of your readers who’ll surely get bored or confused with similar-looking posts, but also to give greater depth to your web indexing. Make sure you’ve got your key words in the headline without losing too much sense. Your title is important, so don’t miss the opportunity.

Additionally, the same tactic also helps in your item tagging. The same tags over and over don’t help promote your blog’s uniqueness, so keep mixing up your keywords for maximum effect, but keep it as simple as possible.

Another simple way to increase your chances is to make it easy for readers to share your content. Of course, this relies heavily on having compelling content in the first place, but by adding share buttons to the top social media services like Facebook and Twitter, and also to major link aggregators like Reddit or StumbleUpon, you’re putting the opportunity to share the content right into the user’s face. And if your content is shared, it is more likely to rise higher on search rankings.

You can also make your posts more relevant and findable by linking them to other posts on your site. Simply, a short couple of links at the bottom of a post that encourages further reading on similar subjects improves your page rank, and makes your site appear more relevant to search engines. For example, this post would be improved with a couple of links to pages such as “How does web crawling work?” and “Do you have social media sharing buttons“, both increasing internal click-through, but increasing page rank.

These small, very simple steps that can be added in a matter of seconds as you author the blog piece will go a long way to increasing your site’s visibility, and in the long run – your business’s bottom line.

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How the write amazing content

This sentence has five words. Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals–sounds that say listen to this, it is important.

Posted in General SEO Stuff, PR | Leave a comment

How does web crawling work?

Writing and publishing compelling content for your website is not the end of the story when it comes to promoting your business. The major problem – as any businessman knows – is promotion and getting people to notice you exist. While out in the “real world” this involves an advertising budget and carefully crafted campaigns the show potential customers your worth, on the internet it’s a completely different business.

We all know the old advertising cliché that “content is king”, and it remains true to this day. However, the content only remains king on the internet as long as it is seen, and to make sure that’s the case, it has to be picked up by the leading search engines and indexed in such a way that potential customers see your site as high up the results as humanly possible. This means making sure that the search engine web crawlers find your site and index its contents that way you want it to be.

Before a search engine can tell you where a page is, it has to go out and find it. Back in the early days of the internet, it was down to site owners to submit their pages to search engines for indexing, and they’d get round to it – eventually. It didn’t take long for these companies to develop special tools which we call “spiders” which search the web building up lists of the words found on websites. They do this millions of times each day, in order to keep up with the hugely dynamic nature of today’s web.

Spiders start off at popular pages, reading the content and following links that it finds. Eventually it moves on to other sites, doing the same, moving in an organic process from site to site, building up lists of key words. Your site will become one of these pages, indexed into the search engine’s huge list of words, contextualised alongside the pages to which it is linked.

Web spiders are relatively simple programs, and it soon became apparent that they could be tricked by clever use of key words and the seeding of huge numbers of incoming links seeded across the internet. To this end, the big search engines such as Google arm their indexing programs with tools to detect attempts to fool the system and penalise those that they think are operating unfairly.

This is where SEO specialists come in. They know exactly what the likes of Google are looking for, which tactics move a site nearer the top of the index, and which ones are likely to result in a penalty. As Google’s system is a closely guarded secret, and changes often, SEO companies have to stay on their toes and be ready to react when things change.

As long as you remember that web bots are looking at your site all the time, it should be a relatively straightforward process. Keep your keywords up to date, make sure there aren’t any dead links, and ensure that promotional links don’t penalise your ranking. Simple really…

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Do you have social media sharing buttons?

You may not be the kind of person who uses social media, but the part it plays in SEO is becoming more crucial by the days. Hundreds of millions of people use sites like Facebook (1 billion users), Twitter (500 million users) and Google+ (500 Million users) are just the tip of the iceberg where populations use any number of regional sites. Even LinkedIn, the social media site for business professionals, recently passed the 200 million member mark, so there is no excuse not to have a social media strategy in your company.

The point about social media is that once your content is shared by users, it provides an organic lead back to your page. The more links to your content, the more relevant search engines deem your site to be, and the higher the rank. Getting something to go “viral” is the dream of any site owner, but it’s not something that’s going to happen without a bit of work.

And the first thing we always say is this: Have good content. There’s no point expecting your site to capture the attention of web users if it’s not going to catch their attention. Do the best job you can with your web page, because – all said and done – it’s your company’s headed notepaper on the internet.

Once you’ve got the content, promote it! If you’ve got a social media strategy, use it. You might be on Twitter and Facebook, so get your content out there and (we think this is the most important part) engage with your followers. Far too many companies think just having these accounts is enough, without realising that social media is a conversation.

Adding social media buttons to a blog page is simple: Most blogging platforms now allow you to add a simple line of code or install a simple pugin that produces the button that users can click to connect with their social media identities. Most will even automatically add the permalink of your post, and if built into the posting template, it’s a job that needs to be done once and never again (or, at least until a new star social media platform emerges, or one fads from view).

Other sites, require the user to make the effort and post your content. By making this as simple as possible for people who use the likes of Reddit or StumbleUpon, you’ve won half the battle on that front.

The point is that you should expend energy in two areas. The first is in making the best possible content, the second is engaging with social media to get your message out there. If you’re good enough, you’ll soon have enough of a presence and enough traction that any post you make is talked about.

And when people talk about you, the search engines notice.

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New Business Agency

The world of digital marketing is complex, lots of fancy names for lots of different services, to clients we can be one or all of the following;

SEO (search engine optimisation agency)
Online Reputation management Agency
Lead Generation Agency
Design Agency
PR Agency
Development Agency
Creative Agency
Consultants
Content Agency

And the list could go on, but at the end of the day what we really are is a NEW BUSINESS AGENCY, yes we do lots lots of fancy things online, some of it you can’t see other bits look pretty but at the end of the day what drives us and what drives our clients businesses is new business and thats what we do, we gain clients new business using out our wits, skills, experience and charm.

It helps that our team is smaller than most and every single member has the ‘entrepreneurs spirit’ so no unnecessary fixed costs for those people who like to sit behind desks with looooong job titles and push pens, everyone here has to earn their keep.

And its simple, when our clients make money. We make money. To do that you need to generate new business. Thats why we are a new business agency.

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What to expect from Google in 2013

Those pesky folk at Google are changing things, lucky for our happy customer club we already include an array of services and buddle them all up as SEO but for some folk the SEO game just got tougher.

Check out the link below from Matt Cutts, he’s head of webspam over at Google HQ

Matt Cutts what to expect in seo in the coming months

In case anyone is wondering yes I did rel=”nofollow” that link!

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Google Algorithm Changes 2012

Panda 3.9.1 — August 20, 2012
Google rolled out yet another Panda data update, but the impact seemed to be fairly small. Since the Panda 3.0 series ran out of numbers at 3.9, the new update was dubbed 3.9.1.

7-Result SERPs — August 14, 2012
Google made a significant change to the Top 10, limiting it to 7 results for many queries. Our research showed that this change rolled out over a couple of days, finally impacting about 18% of the keywords we tracked.

DMCA Penalty — August 10, 2012
Google announced that they would start penalizing sites with repeat copyright violations, probably via DMCA takedown requests. Timing was stated as “starting next week” (8/13?).
June/July 86-Pack — August 10, 2012
After a summer hiatus, the June and July Search Quality Highlights were rolled out in one mega-post. Major updates included Panda data and algorithm refreshes, an improved rank-ordering function (?), a ranking boost for “trusted sources”, and changes to site clustering.

Panda 3.9 — July 24, 2012
A month after Panda 3.8, Google rolled out a new Panda update. Rankings fluctuated for 5-6 days, although no single day was high enough to stand out. Google claimed ~1% of queries were impacted.

Link Warnings — July 19, 2012
In a repeat of March/April, Google sent out a large number of unnatural link warnings via Google Webmaster Tools. In a complete turn-around, they then announced that these new warnings may not actually represent a serious problem.

Panda 3.8 — June 25, 2012
Google rolled out another Panda data refresh, but this appeared to be data only (no algorithm changes) and had a much smaller impact than Panda 3.7.

Panda 3.7 — June 8, 2012
Google rolled out yet another Panda data update, claiming that less than 1% of queries were affect. Ranking fluctuation data suggested that the impact was substantially higher than previous Panda updates (3.5, 3.6).

May 39-Pack — June 7, 2012
Google released their monthly Search Highlights, with 39 updates in May. Major changes included Penguin improvements, better link-scheme detection, changes to title/snippet rewriting, and updates to Google News.

Penguin 1.1 — May 25, 2012
Google rolled out its first targeted data update after the “Penguin” algorithm update. This confirmed that Penguin data was being processed outside of the main search index, much like Panda data.

Knowledge Graph — May 16, 2012
In a major step toward semantic search, Google started rolling out “Knowledge Graph”, a SERP-integrated display providing supplemental object about certain people, places, and things. Expect to see “knowledge panels” appear on more and more SERPs over time.
April 52-Pack — May 4, 2012
Google published details of 52 updates in April, including changes that were tied to the “Penguin” update. Other highlights included a 15% larger “base” index, improved pagination handling, and a number of updates to sitelinks.

Panda 3.6 — April 27, 2012
Barely a week after Panda 3.5, Google rolled out yet another Panda data update. The implications of this update were unclear, and it seemed that the impact was relatively small.

Penguin — April 24, 2012
After weeks of speculation about an “Over-optimization penalty”, Google finally rolled out the “Webspam Update”, which was soon after dubbed “Penguin.” Penguin adjusted a number of spam factors, including keyword stuffing, and impacted an estimated 3.1% of English queries.

Panda 3.5 — April 19, 2012
In the middle of a busy week for the algorthim, Google quietly rolled out a Panda data update. A mix of changes made the impact difficult to measure, but this appears to have been a fairly routine update with minimal impact.

Parked Domain Bug — April 16, 2012
After a number of webmasters reported ranking shuffles, Google confirmed that a data error had caused some domains to be mistakenly treated as parked domains (and thereby devalued). This was not an intentional algorithm change.

March 50-Pack — April 3, 2012
Google posted another batch of update highlights, covering 50 changes in March. These included confirmation of Panda 3.4, changes to anchor-text “scoring”, updates to image search, and changes to how queries with local intent are interpreted.

Panda 3.4 — March 23, 2012
Google announced another Panda update, this time via Twitter as the update was rolling out. Their public statements estimated that Panda 3.4 impacted about 1.6% of search results.

Search Quality Video — March 12, 2012
This wasn’t an algorithm update, but Google published a rare peek into a search quality meeting. For anyone interested in the algorithm, the video provides a lot of context to both Google’s process and their priorities. It’s also a chance to see Amit Singhal in action.

Panda 3.3 — February 27, 2012
Google rolled out another post-“flux” Panda update, which appeared to be relatively minor. This came just 3 days after the 1-year anniversary of Panda, an unprecedented lifespan for a named update.

February 40-Pack (2) — February 27, 2012
Google published a second set of “search quality highlights” at the end of the month, claiming more than 40 changes in February. Notable changes included multiple image-search updates, multiple freshness updates (including phasing out 2 old bits of the algorithm), and a Panda update.

Venice — February 27, 2012
As part of their monthly update, Google mentioned code-name “Venice”. This local update appeared to more aggressively localize organic results and more tightly integrate local search data. The exact roll-out date was unclear.

February 17-Pack — February 3, 2012
Google released another round of “search quality highlights” (17 in all). Many related to speed, freshness, and spell-checking, but one major announcement was tighter integration of Panda into the main search index.

Ads Above The Fold — January 19, 2012
Google updated their page layout algorithms to devalue sites with too much ad-space above the “fold”. It was previously suspected that a similar factor was in play in Panda. The update had no official name, although it was referenced as “Top Heavy” by some SEOs.

Panda 3.2 — January 18, 2012
Google confirmed a Panda data update, although suggested that the algorithm hadn’t changed. It was unclear how this fit into the “Panda Flux” scheme of more frequent data updates.

Search + Your World — January 10, 2012
Google announced a radical shift in personalization – aggressively pushing Google+ social data and user profiles into SERPs. Google also added a new, prominent toggle button to shut off personalization.

January 30-Pack — January 5, 2012
Google announced 30 changes over the previous month, including image search landing-page quality detection, more relevant site-links, more rich snippets, and related-query improvements. The line between an “algo update” and a “feature” got a bit more blurred.

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how to get the url of a tweet

I recently needed to do this and spent a bit of time scratching my head trying to work it out! So here is a step by guide in how to find the url of any tweet.

1. Sign on to Twitter
2. Post a Tweet
3. Click Profile
4. Locate your Tweet
5. Click on the time stamp link of the tweet. (i.e. about 2 hours ago)
6. This will open up the individual tweet.
7. Copy that URL from the Address bar.

And that is that, easy when you know how eh?

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