SEO Philippines| SEO Hacker Blog SEO Hacker is an SEO Services Company and SEO Blog in the Philippines Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:30:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Five Sure Ways to Increase Your Email Open Rates Wed, 27 Aug 2014 12:30:04 +0000 Increase Email Open Rates

Email marketing works, that’s for sure. You won’t get tons of emails everyday if companies didn’t find it effective. In fact, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than social media.

Yet, you fail to see its beauty; you think that doing it is only a waste of time. Why? Because your open rate is low – perhaps too low that you don’t consider trying it again.

In this article, I’ll enumerate 5 sure ways for your email to be noticed, opened and your message to reach the right people.

1. Start it with a good subject line.

33% of email recipients open email based on subject line. Subject line is basically what your readers will first see. You need to make it catchy, and at the same time, in line with your real message, because your real goal is not just to have your email opened, but to make your readers engage with you.

Best email subject lines are short, descriptive, and provide readers with a reason to explore message further.
In an email subject line study conducted by MailChimp, they found that their old recommendation which is to keep it simple and to the point still stands.


Avoid words such as “free” because they tend to trigger spam filters, and “help”, “percent off” and “reminder” because they negatively affect open rates.

2. Personalize your emails by conducting surveys.

You can use Qeryz to put up a short survey in your website. You can ask for their needs, views, and opinions, and these information will help you come up with great newsletter, these will also serve as a guide for you to improve your products, services and even your marketing strategies.

On the other hand, you can also use your email as the actual survey form. Email your audience about customer satisfactory levels, potential product ideas, interests and needs – encourage customer engagement.

3. Manage your list.

Checking and managing your email list will improve your open rates. Don’t make it a habit to send emails to inactive subscribers, or email addresses that do not exist at all. It’s important that email recipients know who you are and expect to receive emails from you, or else they will treat your email as spam.

43% of email recipients click the spam button based on the ‘from’ name or email address.

  • Include a checkbox in your email that encourage readers to opt in to your mailing list. This will help you get the right people – those who are really interested with you.
  • Ask email subscribers to confirm their email address before you add them to the list to avoid sending emails to those who aren’t interested with what you’re offering. This will also show them that you respect your subscribers.

4. Set expectation.

Setting expectation will not just increase your open rates but will also keep your readers from following your newsletter. When you include something to your email that should be expected from you, chances are they will keep subscribed, wait for your next letter, and read when it arrives.

Inform your readers on what type of emails you will be sending, and how often it will be.

5. Remind your subscribers why they subscribed to you.

Your users are probably signed up to tons of products and services, and it’s not impossible for them to forget about you. It’s helpful to include a line of text in your email, reminding why they signed up for your newsletter, and then give a short overview of your products or services.

Red Marble

A message from Ramit Sethi, author of the New York Times bestseller “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”, changed how Zapier handle their email marketing strategy.

“When you’re sending out an email, please refresh everyone as to what you actually do.” –Ramit Sethi

End note:

Email marketing isn’t dead. You just have to develop your strategies. Include all these key takeaways and tell me how your open rate is performing.

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Co-citation vs Co-occurrence: An Overview Tue, 19 Aug 2014 01:45:46 +0000 Citation

Two new topics within the SEO community has centered on “Co-Citation” and “Co-occurrence”. Often discussed together, these concepts are similar in a lot of ways yet still very much distinct and different from each other. What is without question though is that the two concepts will be at the forefront of the next wave of changes in Google’s search engine strategy, with all algorithm updates giving center-space to both co-citation and co-occurrence.

Co-citation and co-occurence are the first real steps taken by Google towards what I have chosen to call a “nolinks” approach – an approach where backlinks are completely dismissed as a ranking factor. Russian search engine Yandex is already practicing the method for their top money keywords – they were simply forced to cause the high influx of spam. Google has been testing as well, but according to Google’s Matt Cutts the results were far, far less than good. Well, now let’s get going explaining these two terms.

What is co-occurrence?

Co-occurrence is a concept which refers to the common presence, frequency of occurrence, and close proximity of similar keywords present across several websites. Co-occurrence may include keywords that are similar to each other and based on the same topic, but are not exactly the same.

The idea of co-occurrence was born out of the observation that search engines throw out what they consider to be “relevant answers” to a query that is submitted by the user. So, when a website has a certain number of keywords for which the webmaster wishes to rank for, the search engines will seek out the site and display it on their results when the keywords of the site become “relevant”. After last year’s Hummingbird update, the focus of SEO specialists have been redirected to rank for concepts, ideas, questions and answers rather than specific keywords.

Amit Singhal of Google made a succinct verbal painting saying:

The future of search is to become that Star Trek computer, that perfect loyal assistant, that is there by my side whenever I need her.


The trick to co-occurrence is that it is not fully dependent on links. Just great content with mentions of the keywords or the key phrases on the web pages can bring a website into prominence, even if it barely has any links at all. Besides the “relevance” of the keywords in search queries, co-occurrence is also said to occur when two or more search queries are made with similar terms. This is especially true if the terms are searched for consecutively.

Let’s consider an example. If a user looks for a term, say, “Ford Pinto Craigslist” and also looks for “used Ford Pinto car for sale”, Google starts interlinking the two terms, concluding that used Ford Pinto on Craigslist are what people look for when they search for Ford Pinto that are for sale. If a lot of people use these queries, then the link between the two queries is only enhanced and become related, even when used in different contexts by different search terms. In other words, a co-occurrence have occured.

The idea is not exactly new. Co-occurrence was first introduced by the Google Caffeine update 5 years ago. Matt Cutts correctly described the concept of co-occurrence then, without actually mentioning it by name, stating that Caffeine “allows easier annotation of the information stored with documents, and subsequently can unlock the potential of better ranking in the future with those additional signals.”

This was among the earliest acceptances of the fact that Google search technology, which had so far been based completely on links and link building, had been changing, and how important it was for SEO experts and analysts to get themselves acclimatized to these new concepts.

Finally, with co-occurrence being put on the fast track to approval by Google, its importance to SEO analysts will only increase greatly in the near and foreseeable future when it is expected to reach a high degree of sophistication, allowing Google to throw up far more relevant results.


The source site mentions all three sites – A, B and C, which is why all four are related. A and B has a higher relation since they appear closer to each other and may also be more closely related to the source since they are both found in the beginning of the text.

What is Co-citation?

Co-citation occurs when a website is mentioned, but not necessarily linked, by two different sources.
The term was first used in an SEO context by Moz founder Rand Fishkin, and it’s quite simple to understand. Google was based on the concept of linking one website to another, with sites that have a lot of backlinks rising up high on the SERPs.

Co-citation is a major change on that, as it requires a website to be cited or mentioned by two different sources without the compulsion of having a hyperlink involved. As more websites mention or refer to a particular site – not necessarily linking to it – its authority is established and it may rank more prominently in the SERPs. Also, co-citation happens even though the reference to the website is purely incidental or indirect.

Using Co-citation is one of the oldest tricks in the book for Blackhatters trying to fly under the radar. I remember how, as far back as 10-15 years ago, when people packed their (spammy) doorway pages with links to government authorities, universities, etc. just to avoid quick detection. Since Black Hat SEO is a short term game, you know that you could get wiped from the index at any given day, but with these kinds of tactics, you can expect your site to late a whole lot longer.


In fact, I see the same happening a lot today, and the trick is the same, but with great and relevant content that links out to different kinds of authority sites. You can also benefit by linking out in the same way celebrities benefit by constantly mentioning other stars in order to expand their fanbase. If you can rub shoulders with thought leaders of your niche, you establish yourself as a significant member of the elite.


Co-citation is also called by many observers as “link building without links”. There are two main ways in which two different sites are connected in a co-citation relationship.

  • They should share a common mention of the same site without having to link to it.
  • They should discuss a common or a similar topic. Now, this doesn’t mean that they should be using the exact same keywords. The keywords have to be similar, not an exact match – just as in co-occurrence, which has been discussed earlier.

To iterate, what co-citation does is to provide a signal to the Google algorithm that the mutually mentioned site is relevant and important. This now means that all the three websites, the one that is being mentioned and the two that mention it, are now symbiotically interrelated.

Few people have regarded “mentions” as a ranking factor, but it indeed is. Similarly, nofollow links will give your site cred even if no actual link juice is being transferred. This is yet another subject which I will get back to in a future article.

The significance of co-citation to search technology is that it serves as a possible replacement to anchor texts. While SEO analyst Bill Slawski was of the opinion that in spite of the increasing importance of co-citation, SEO analysts shouldn’t merely depend on it as anchor texts are still the deciding factor that is used by Google to judge its relevance.

Fact is, more SEOs are making serious studies of co-citation and co-occurrence due to the fact that Google has several times declared the diminishing value of exact keyword anchors. While yours truly hasn’t seen any significant change with regards to it at all, I am surely keeping it in mind while working.

There are many who appreciate co-citation as being the best thing to have happened to Google for a long time. One of which are those building “brands” that are now able to make an association without any hyper aggressive promotion – particularly since no links are needed for it.

What co-citation really does is to somewhat ”decrease” the importance of SEO techniques. A site may be ranking higher on Google by purely concentrating on creating great content that causes the site to be referred to by other websites.

Now, creating great content in order to get backlinks isn’t really new, but we all know that the adage “content is king” isn’t really effective by itself. The same goes for the principle of “build it and they will come” isn’t either, but the point is, they will certainly become more relevant when such strategies are practiced.

Ranking higher with a no links co-citation/occurrence approach will mean that newer or lesser known sites with excellent content may get the chance to rank high even if they don’t have a fulltime SEO/link builder working for them.

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__WPEX_MAIN__ Tue, 12 Aug 2014 03:10:07 +0000 Annoyed by Long forms

I’ve been receiving a lot of questions from companies asking why they don’t seem to get the right revenue that they should be earning even after creating a website and producing compelling content.

So I was thrilled to do research about other factors that may hinder businesses from reaching its full potential, and ended up with a great study, “The Value of Social Login” conducted by Blue Research.

As a business owner, you work hard to develop your website – from designing, uploading compelling blog entries, to putting up forum pages because you know that these efforts would encourage users to engage more, which means better conversion rate.

But do you know that it’s not just the design or the content that will encourage your audience to come back to your website over and over again?

User registration also plays a huge role in business’ success. According to the study conducted by Blue Research, four out of five, or 86% of users feel bothered when they’re prompted to create new accounts on websites, and this percentage is growing over the years.

Users hate long registration forms

I know companies are keen on getting profile data of consumers, and that makes a long registration form with over 20 questions seems like the best solution, but is it user-friendly?

Long Form


Come to think of it, most of your customers are probably busy. They don’t have all the time in the world to fill up forms. It’s also annoying that some websites make it a requirement to type in personal information before customers can access something. This pushes them to transfer to a different site that don’t demand answering long forms and still offer the same benefits.

Another thing that holds users back from registering another account is the so-called “password fatigue”.

Password fatigue according to Macmillan Dictionary is the tiredness and frustration caused by having to remember a large number of passwords for electronically-controlled activities.

How many times do you have to register online and input different usernames and passwords?

Ninety two percent (92%) left a website login page instead of resetting or recovering login information.

The worst thing about this is that most companies think that the traditional registration process will help them get the accurate data, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, 88% of users admit that they gave incorrect information or left forms incomplete when creating a new account.

You’re losing a big chunk of your success just because of a simple form. Sad but true.

Users prefer social login

In the same study, seventy seven percent (77%) of respondents agreed that websites should offer social logins, and sixty percent (60%) of them agreed that companies offering social login are more up-to-date and innovative. Sixty five percent (65%) of consumers return to a website that automatically welcomes them through social login.

Here are great examples:

Mailchimp Social Login

Pinterest Sign Up

This creates a personalized experience, and may lead to better traffic and referrals, which will eventually result to better revenue.

Other advantages of social login according to Social Media Examiner:

  • Rapid signup/user adoption: People won’t need to type a thing, they’ll simply grant your system access to their existing credentials.
  • Photo integration: Social networks allow you to import the photograph of the user into your system immediately.
  • Email contact: Many social networks allow you to pull in contact details from the user (such as an email address), making it very easy to allow you to communicate with users.
  • Spam reduction: Because social networks authenticate individuals and generally don’t allow multiple accounts, the likelihood of false identities and spammers is significantly decreased.

The good thing about social login is that it doesn’t just make it easier for customers to register and log in to a site, but it also helps companies get access to a more accurate profile data that can be used to personalize user experience.


We’re always trying to look at the bigger picture when optimizing our websites, or when we’re finding ways to better profit from it, leaving the small things go unnoticed. What we don’t know is that even the simple things like user registration and login can affect what your business could be in the future.

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__WPEX_MAIN__ Fri, 08 Aug 2014 18:46:23 +0000 Data Driven

Everybody loves data. That much we know. Take the Moz top 10 for example – they always make it a point to put at least around 2 data driven entries in their top 10 list every month. It’s actually what makes the Moz top 10 so interesting – there’s always that data driven case study to chew on. This entry is a study on how data driven entries perform as powerful linkbaits.

Let’s face it. There are numerous how-to’s and tutorials out there that it’s too difficult to keep track. With one quick search, you can have the top 10 menu of how-to’s right in Google’s search engine results page. It’s unlikely that all 10 of them will fail you in what you need to achieve.

Do we need another how-to? Do we need another tutorial?


Will it get linked to?

Not likely.

Case Study vs How-to’s

Let’s take a look at two comparisons I did with two of Moz’s top 10 lists. One of them is a case study and the comparison is a how-to entry.

“Is Google Panda 4.0 the Topical Authority Content Update of 2014? – Uber Case Study” vs “Email List-Building From the Experts: How to Grow a Massive Email List”

Case Study vs How to And

“How Creating a Sense of Urgency Helped Me Increase Sales By 332%” vs “How to Scale Yourself and Get More Done Than You Thought Possible”

Case Study vs How to 2

I took a look at their link over time chart and found it interesting to note that the case studies got at least 100% more links than the how-to entries. Now you may be arguing that these have a lot of different factors altogether such as their already established followers / readers, their other funnels of traffic, their reader types, and so on and so forth. However for this study’s purposes, let’s keep it simple: they all come from Moz top 10 and what we’re really trying to look at is how many links each entry got in the same amount of time.

Links Over Time

These data charts were taken and measured for the month of June, July and August:

Cognitive SEO’s case study got 269 backlinks in a month and plateaued a little over that.

Google Panda 4.0 Case Study

While Buffer’s How-to only got 106 links.Email List Building How to

ConversionXL’s entry got a whopping 1,567 links. The chart is mighty different as it spiked somewhere, plateaued and then maintained a slow decline. Still, you can’t beat 1,567 links in just the month of June.

Creating Urgency Case Study

While the comparison entry – Zapier’s how to scale yourself post – got only 481 links, did not plateau and then maintained a slow decline.

How to Scale YourselfThis is not to say that one entry was better than the other. Actually, all entries are well worth your time and attention. I especially loved Zapier’s entry but it got a lot less links than ConversionXL’s.

I think the big reason why data drive entries work so well is because people love to learn from other people’s mistakes, experiences… and data. Instead of directly reading how to do it, it’s much more interesting to see how it flew before even trying to do it.

Knowing my Traffic

I ran a Qeryz microsurvey here in SEO Hacker and got interesting responses about people’s preference of entries to check out here in our blog. Note that our readers are mostly new to advanced in the SEO world.

It’s a 3-part questionnaire and it goes like this:

Question 1

Qeryz Survey 1

 Question 2 Qeryz Survey 2Question 3

Qeryz Survey 3

Not surprisingly, majority of the people who answered our microsurvey are Professional and Freelance SEO Specialists.

SEO Hacker ReadersAnd these are the types of entries they prefer to read in our blog:

Types of Entries

Yes people still look for tutorials and how-to’s and that’s very important. These people who do look for these kinds of entries are usually beginners. People who are new to the field. There’s link value in them but not as much as those who are advanced.

People who are advanced in SEO consequently prefer to read case studies because when you know the fundamentals, then there’s that need to know the case-to-case basis problems and solutions. Case studies provides that kind of knowledge – and often times with data to back it up.

It’s interesting to note that out of all the people who voted for data-driven entries, 33.33% of them are professional SEO Specialists. And when asked why, they answered with statements like:

Data evaluates whether your content is great, your audience is engaging or not

SEO comes down to data. I love numbers!

Case studies are the best ways to learn from other people’s experience.

‘Nuff said.

Case studies are tough. Data gathering is tough. And that’s why putting them all together to make a cohesive entry with an actionable standpoint is no less than wizardry. That’s what people prefer nowadays. Transparency, data, analysis, case studies – these things make for a powerful linkbait.

Perhaps it’s time to start making one of your own?

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Five Things I Love About SEMrush Thu, 31 Jul 2014 04:14:29 +0000 SEMrush

As SEO specialists you don’t just formulate strategies and execute them; a big part of the process is to track and understand how your website is performing. Are your keywords generating more leads, or they only make your sites unorganized? Are you targeting the right audience? How are your competitors doing?

You wouldn’t know the answers if you just look on your website and come up with techniques, and ways to improve your  business.You need to know where exactly you need improvements, and how to do it.

Good thing there is a tool that can help you with that – SEMrush.

SEMrush is an online SEO tool for taking a look at a domain’s position in search, as well as the keywords where it’s ranking for, and other related keywords that might generate more traffic. This article will be focused on the things that I love about this tool.

1. Gives you a quick overview of your site’s performance

It is important that before you analyse competitors performance, you know how you’re doing yourself. SEMrush tool will give you an overview screen where you will see your traffic growth, keywords rankings, even the locations where your keywords are performing well.

You can also change the date ranges so that you will see your progress even over the last few years.

Secrets to Successful Link Building

Best part: I like that you can easily pull data and you won’t have to wait another day to see results, and it’s pretty accurate – we need accuracy when monitoring our rankings.

2. Helps you analyse your competitors

It’s not the first time that I’ve tried tools where you can spy on your competitors, but I find this tool the most accurate and easy to understand.

In here you will see your competitors’:

  • Keywords – top keywords that your competitors are ranking for
  • Position – ranking of keywords in SERP
  • Volume – estimated monthly traffic of those keywords
  • CPC – the average price of a click if advertised based on those keywords
  • URL – web page generating traffic
  • Traffic – average percentage
  • Costs % – estimated price of the given keyword in Google AdWords for the specified period
  • Competitive density – density of advertisers using the given term for their ads. One means the highest competition
  • Results – the number of URLs displayed in organic search results for the given keyword
  • Trend – the interest of searchers in the given keyword during the last 12 months
  • SERP source – a snapshot of the search engine results page for the given keyword

Secrets to Successful Link Building
These factors will be the basis for your analysis.

3. Checks any domain/ website’s performance

Here’s what I like about this tool. Unlike with other tools where you have to create campaign before you can see an overview of a website statistics, in here you can just put any domains that you want and get results in a blink of an eye.

This feature can help you study your competitors, your competitor’s competitors, and your clients’ websites without the need to create campaign.

4. Compare date ranges

SEMrush has a feature where you can compare your performance from specific dates to another dates, and you can do the same thing with your competitors. With this feature you will be able to see the keywords that are performing well and might still work in the future. You can also check the keywords that are effective for your competitors so you can either use them, or come up with list of keywords that might be more effective for you.

Secrets to Successful Link Building

5. Real time reports

You’ll get a real time report of how your keywords are performing, and you can compare it with your competitors.

Overall, SEMrush is a perfect tool for SEO specialists, and website owners, but just like any other tools out there, it only acts as a guide for you to better analyse your website. Grab the 14 days free pro account, or you may check their pricing.

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