Schemes To Build Links For Your Online Business Website


Link building is still the foundation of today’s search engine optimization efforts, as these have the strongest relation with search rankings of all the features utilized by Google in its central ranking process.

However, one of the issues for small online businesses is the difficulty to form quality links. Lacking knowledge with up-to-date SEO practices, lots of smaller firms still go for the infamous strategies to build links. You see, search engines will still crack down on link connections, funded anchor placements and other shady methods to building links.

For that reason, it is best to avoid these “old school” techniques and focus your attention on significant, influential links that draw in real traffic.

1. Work with niche-specific influencers

These influencers have networks with readers that bypass the “business atmosphere” and form meaningful relations. You can institute content partnerships with influencers who serve pertinent content to your objective audience.

For example, you can be a consistent contributor to their web blogs and occasionally linking out to your own landing pages. Customers are more likely to trust these links over one or two funded posts.

2. Influence local partnerships

If your target audience is in one specific area, then establishing partnerships with local organizations can be a chance to get backlinks from their web pages. Target the locally owned businesses as opposed to huge corporations. You can also duplicate the first link-building approach by contributing to some local blogs.

3. Seek out business mentions

Finding business mentions that do not contain links on resource pages and mediums is a convenient and economical way to build links. In addition to utilizing the brand name when trying to reveal backlink openings, use other related keywords that would be registered on the page as well as your business name to focus your search.

4. The resource page

Depending on your geographical location, you can generate a local resource page that consists of valuable information for small businesses in your area. You can partner up with other local experts to produce abundant resource pages; the determinations put into these pages will eventually pay off once they capture the attention of the people.

5. Generate premium content

If you want to acquire backlinks from the most important publications and finest industry blogs, you must create premium content. Premium content consists of:

• e-books

• podcasts

• infographics

• white papers

• in-depth blog posts

• resource pages

• case studies

• co-created guest posts

While premium content marketing pieces need more time to accomplish; they are more likely to be linked to, than any typical blog post.

Associating with other businesses that are not direct competitors can save you some expenses while providing all partners with a chance to draw in authority links.

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Discovering the Middle Ground For Web Design


Web design is a lot like the world of fashion. There will always be brave and enchanting new ideas that won’t essentially click with the common public. Then there are also some people who perhaps need a little improvement to their wardrobe.

It’s a march to certain improvements that one can’t truly appreciate until they have the time to look. Nowadays people tend to criticize the “stitched” borders and glossy Web buttons as if we ourselves never thought that it was pretty cool back in early 2000s. It was the start of web design at the time, so it was quite understandable.

Every so often, people despise the cheesy web design trend that was popular before. The upsurge of flat designs is a direct uprising against the skeuomorphic design that invaded the web in the last couple of years.

However, flat designs are now an ideal way to make any website look ultra-modern and minimalistic but over the last few years, it has already been quite overused by people.

You can assume to discover a middle ground for web design this year; amongst the overly-streamlined flat design you can see in most web pages today, as well as the overly-recognizable skeuomorphic design.

Lots of web designers are directing to Google’s Material Design as the connection between the two trends; even the famous Facebook is experimenting with it.

Web design trends, like most trends, come and go. We can all think of how cool it was way back early 2000s to have a Flash home page.

In the end, whether it’s a refined upgrade to your website or a promising new trend; it’s the client experience that will matter the most.

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Modernly Functional Navigation For Your Website


Not all things about creating a website design have to be significantly thought-provoking and interesting.

One good example is your site’s navigation. The clients use the navigation in order to reach specific contents; so basically, it is the highway to your products and ideas. An ideal highway leaves no room for guesswork. It should contain obvious and clear signs to let people know where to go.

Here are some tips on making the most out of your site’s navigation:

Keep It On Top

This one is particularly important when it comes to your navigation. If you want your content to be easily found, you’d best generate a well-maintained method to do it. Keep your essential navigation at the top, where it’s normally placed since the beginning of the Internet.

Constant technology progression results in new conventions, and with nearly a decade of using smartphones, placing your menu to the right or left portion is already an acceptable way to arrange a site.

An added bonus of fitting the menus on the right or left corner of the page is that it helps make the transition from web to mobile even faster for the customers.

The Drop Downs

Drop downs menus made sense a few years ago when the main navigation utilizes only point, click and hover to get from place to place on the web.

But nowadays, as the desktop and mobile web becomes closer to each other, it’s time to ditch the traditional navigation. Your site should already be optimized for mobile devices, so why construct another “hover” feature? A simple and organized menu should serve both your mobile and desktop users in the same way.

Call It What It Really Is

Your navigation is not the place to reveal your entire creative writing skills. A category called “Well-regarded Equipment” may satisfy your marketing department, but it’s not going to help your clients know what to make of it. It’s best to simply label it with “Products”.

The same is true for other areas of navigation such as the “Contact Us”, some sites refer to it as “My Account” or “Hit Us Up” but it shouldn’t be named anything other than the simple and clear choice.

By keeping your navigation categories straight-forward and easy to access, you can guarantee your clients to go precisely where they need to.

Web Design Methods


Practical Ways to Kick-start The SEO Before A Site Launch


A lot of people may think that they can’t do SEO until the site is officially live, but experts says that there are numerous things you can implement in advance to guarantee a smooth sailing site launch.

Every so often, website owners fail to do a pre-launch SEO which may result into a poor site index. Rather than rising up in the rankings, their site is being overlooked by Google and the other relevant search engines and eventually, hidden deep in the search results.

So here are some concrete and practical ways to kick-start your SEO before officially launching your site:

1. Generate a “coming soon” page and enhance the basics

Making a solid and optimized “coming soon” webpage should be on top of your priority list as you work on your new site. There are tons of reasons why this is essential:

1. Search engines offer older sites more authority. Don’t forget that it takes time to get ranked by the search engines, so start building your site index with a ‘coming soon’ page.

2. The ‘coming soon’ page is a basis of leads. Include a strong motivation during this phase in order to attract the visitors to fill out a lead form. It could be done by providing something like an introduction video of your brand, a PDF guide, an entry in a giveaway and/or a comprehensive infographic in exchange.

3. This specific page can help sharpen up your brand. Show all of the necessary information on your page using your brand’s voice. Utilize some high-quality images on the page as well.

4. Start connecting with the users, even without a full functioning website. Link your ‘coming soon’ page to your brand’s social media accounts. Use the increasing social media circle to generate buzz about the new site and its content. Let everybody know that something great is coming soon.

5. Make it easier for press to connect with you. Put up a media kit on your ‘coming soon’ page. This media kit should be eye-catching and easy to access. It should also consist of all the basic information about your business.

Your press kit should consist of:

• logos that can be downloaded and utilized

• A brief summary of media coverage to date

• FAQ section, bios for you and your main staff

• The company overview and mission statement

• Contact information both for you and your business

Update the kit regularly. Not only will this guarantee that it is more complete, but it will also lead the search engines to see additional content.

2. Build all your social media profiles

It is critical to start constructing your social media community before your site officially launches.

By charming your audience on related social media platforms and sharing great content, you are nurturing trust in your business and broadening your brand’s reputation.

Be sure to have complete profiles on all the big platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+) as well as in other platforms that speaks to your target audience.

Link each of your social media profile to your ‘coming soon’ page. This makes it simple for people to keep track of any updates about the site launch by just clicking a button.

3. Construct all your pages, and be sure that they are optimized

You need numerous pages within your site, and each of them must be properly optimized. Be sure to include high-authority content that your target guests will utilize on each page.

Remember to make use of essential keywords; specifically long-tail keywords (as your site will not immediately rank for large terms yet), on each page and in page titles. You want to ensure you’ve generated a couple of well-optimized pages for every possible aspect of your brand before the launch.

4. Guest blog to build links to your domain

Guest blogging does not necessarily mean spammy promotion of your business. It’s about creating some of your best work to share with the viewers of websites that you have a high regard for.

When this is done properly, guest blogging is a fast and powerful way to produce great traffic to your site. It also lets you build your brand’s integrity and in time, become an influencer.

Search for some of the best guest blogging prospects by examining the sites in your niche and find out what types of guest posts would they like to see. You can simply search for “write for us” or “guest blogging opportunities” along with your niche keyword.

5. Sign up on the leading search engines

These leading sites include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Yelp

• Google +

• Bing Places

• Best of the Web

The Checklist

There are numerous things you can do prior to the site launch but generally, these are some of the things you should build upon:

• Build a media kit

• Create a “coming soon” page

• Sign up for some niche directories

• Make YouTube videos if necessary

• Pay for pre-launch advertorials, if possible

• Guest blogging to various popular and relevant sites

• Start constructing send out updates and email newsletter

• Optimize all your pages on the back end before your site launch

• Send your products to leading bloggers to review before the launch

Post-launch: Be sure to use metrics to closely monitor results

Immediately after the launch of your site, you must closely monitor the traffic for it is absolutely crucial to your brand’s success. This is the time where you must measure your results with metrics and test some strategies. Be sure to stay on top of it.

Watch out for things like these:

• Increasing 404 errors

• losses in keyword ranking

• Unusual slopes and gaps in traffic, also the general trends

• Abnormally slow pages on the site that may be getting overlooked in the indexing process

Make sure you have a great site launch approach. This will be the time to actually push your limits. One of the most horrible things you can do is launch an un-optimized website. After all, how many websites do you think are being launched in a year?

You want your site to stand out from the crowd, and to do it right, you need to have an incredibly optimized site. If you are still new to these online schemes, be sure to work with someone who has already gained a lot of experience regarding this matter.
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5 Best Web Design Tips For A Great Website


Decent web design with its exceptional appearance, overall feel and functionality, is what brings a website to life. It’s one the main reasons why visitors want to browse around and even bookmark the site for future visits, although, there is still a lot to consider when putting up a website.

To begin with, there are specific aspects such as the company’s brand, the appearance, image compression, color schemes to be used, browser compatibility and functionality, mobile compatibility, screen resolution, website architecture and site navigation. Then there are other things you have you deal with like the search engine optimization, hosting requirements, e-commerce, content management, coding and the like. All these elements should be combined together into one unified website design.

Here are some of the best Web Design tips you could utilize in order to achieve a website that would suit your brand’s vision and advocacy.

1. Captivating Layout Design

An eye-catching layout design can easily draw the attention of the guests and sustains it. This is what keeps the people exploring further into the site. A captivating site layout needs to have good basic design principles such as:

• A stable header and logo

• A seamless placement of the web elements

• A reliable navigation elements between web pages

• A great contrast between the text and the background

• A good balance between text and images as well as the white space on each web page

Website page layouts may contain columns, blocks, grids, Flash, CSS designs and/or CSS + JavaScript as their groundwork, but the finest layouts use a custom-made structure with fantastic features that appealingly showcase the web content.

2. Balanced Use of Graphics, Colours, and Multimedia

Web design can go utterly confusing when uncoordinated colours are being displayed and too many interactive features are used at once. On the other hand, a harmonious web page uses a maximum of three to four colours and utilizes text colours that contrast well with the website’s background theme colour.

Animated images and graphics can further improve the content rather than confuse the visitors. They should also be optimized so they won’t slow down the site’s functionality. Multimedia is used sensibly to boost the site and serve a well-defined purpose. Audio and video, as well as Flash files, should be visibly displayed and include necessary captions.

3. Well Structured Content

Although the overall look and feel of the website design welcome the visitors, it is the great content that keeps them hanging around. A web design can look fantastic, but unless it provides content in an engaging manner, it is considered meaningless.

Tips to attain superb web content would include:

• Accessible content with minimal clicks

• A systematized and stable presentation of content

• Consistent use of the font colours, sizes and hyperlink colours

• Use of neat fonts and limiting the font style to a maximum of two

• Presenting text in a comprehensive fashion (use big and catchy headings with brief paragraphs to entice the readers)

Content should be briefly presented using a consistent design that makes use of white space very well. The use of emphasized keywords will also offer visitors with quick access to the info they seek. The general content presentation also boosts the site’s search engine optimization (SEO).

4. Quick, Easy and Error-Free Navigation System

Without the necessary navigation and ease of accessibility, a web design is just a plain page. Navigation serves as a map, guiding the visitors throughout the site based on their preference.

Best use of web design navigation begins with making sure that all navigation hyperlinks function properly. Websites should contain:

• Great navigation system

• Visibly labelled main navigation links

• Use of navigation aids (such as breadcrumb navigation and sitemap)

• Provide text links in the footer section when utilizing Flash or images for the main navigation

Your site should have easy navigation with chic design by incorporating links back to some other pages on the site. You could also incorporate social networks by neatly placing some widgets and links.

5. Great Overall Functionality

A seamless website contains all of the previously mentioned factors, with an addition of adequate functionality. Functionality relates to how the site functions across all computer operating systems, browsers, as well as on mobile devices. It must function flawlessly while looking great on older and recent versions of browsers.

Overall functionality involves:

• Consistent design

• Good use of colour scheme and page logo

• Useful pull-down menus and neat navigation text to avoid confusion

• Refined functionality in showing feature services and overviews.

All elements should work effortlessly and visitors should find it easy to move around the website.

Go check out our portfolio to see our sample works.
Web Design


Developing Your Strategy in Content Marketing


Have you always wanted to create a strategy in content marketing? Worry not, for you have come to the right place. Before we begin, there is one vital difference you should fully understand: A strategy in content marketing is NOT similar to a “content strategy”.

While some people frequently use the two terms interchangeably, Robert Rose clarifies the dissimilarity of the two:

Content marketing strategy: The content marketers draw in people and improve the bigger story that an organization conveys. Their emphasis is utilizing different methods in order to engage an audience. They’re using content to drive profitable behavior.

Content strategy: In contrast, content strategy explores more of the “creation, publication, and governance of useful, usable content.” Content strategy helps you on how to manage content as an advantage.


Must I create a strategy for content marketing?

Definitely yes! Not only do you need to have a strategy, but you also need to document it. Those people with a documented strategy in content marketing:

• Feel considerably less challenged with each part of content marketing

• Are more likely to consider themselves as proficient at content marketing

• Usually consider themselves more efficient in their use of all social media channels and content marketing strategies

• Were capable of spending bigger percentage of their advertising budget on content marketing


What to include in my content marketing strategy?

Think of the “content marketing strategy” as a framework for your business and your client’s requests, as well as a comprehensive plan on how you will utilize the content to properly address them.

While there are no absolute “templates” for creating a proper content marketing strategy; each aspect should be exclusive to the business that created it. Although, there are quite a few components that they usually consist of:

1. The innovation of content marketing: By relaying your reasons for generating content, the possible threats involved, as well as your idea of what victory would look like; you are much more likely to attain exclusive support for your scheme — and to acquire a consent to make mistakes from time to time as you discover what works best for your line of business.

2. The business strategy for content marketing: This one contains the unique value you are considering to offer through your content, the vital objectives you have for your content program, and the specifics of your business model. It should also summarize the opportunities, as well as the obstacles you may come across as you implement your plan.

3. The audience and content plans: This is the part where you define the target audiences for whom you will produce the necessary content, as you should be able to outline their needs. You may also want to plan out the type of content you can deliver through their buyer’s journey so as to assist them closer to their goals.

4. The brand story: In this phase, you should distinguish your content marketing in terms of the specific messages and ideas you want to convey, how those messages vary from the competition, and how you perceive the development once you have shared them with your target audience.

5. The channel plan: This must consist of the platforms you will eventually use in order to voice out your story; the conditions, objectives and methods for each one; and how you will associate them so that they generate an interconnected concept.

Must I convey the content marketing strategy with other departments in the company?

It may be favourable to offer everyone in your organization an access to the content marketing strategy, even those who may not be openly involved in the development of the content marketing.

This is mainly vital with enormous organizations, as it can help reduce replicated efforts, keep different departments on the same page, and guarantee that everyone is functioning toward the same content goals.

How you convey your strategy depends on the culture and structure of your organization. In some circumstances, it may be suitable to share the complete documentation; but in other situations, it may make more sense to generate targeted outlines for certain shareholders based on how your strategy will influence their individual roles.

To sum things up, consider the following factors:
How can you utilize the values of content marketing to “sell” the content marketing through your organization? What do the people care about the most? These factors should help you conclude which components of your strategy are most suitable to share with each department.

Must I update my content marketing strategy? How often?

Their may be some aspects of your strategy that should remain even as your content marketing program changes and develops; specifically, your business goals and mission.

In reality, these two things are definitely essential that you may want to place them on a wall somewhere, so you can keep them in view every time you are working on your content.

Nevertheless, other parts of your content marketing strategy will benefit from being periodically updated and revised. To make sure that your content marketing program remains on track, think about revisiting your core topics, channel strategy and team procedures on a yearly basis, or more regularly if your program is still in progress.
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data driven story

Five Important Narratives in Writing Data-Driven Stories

An obvious growing interest is being shown in data-driven stories where they refer to its growing trend as the next big thing in the world of content marketing. They also acknowledge that this growing trend will also reshape both content and advertising.

Although some people think that data-enhanced storytelling is just new in data journalism, the truth is, this form of journalism has been around since the mid-1800s. It is even recorded that the first data-driven stories that were recorded were in 1860.

These days, the current interest about data-driven stories underlies in the increased access to large datasets and convenient data analysis tools. The combination of the two is helping set up a new trend for journalists and writers in discovering and telling new stories regarding data research.

MLA is also fuelling this new breed of journalism as we look for these hidden stories inside social data. We mostly look for new breakthroughs into content marketing, and how particular content gets boosted via linking and sharing. To help you understand what data-driven stories are and how it can help you, here are five core narratives:


Understanding Data Driven Stories

According to Wikipedia, data-driven journalism is a form of analyzing and filtering large data sets so that they create a news story. The formula is to bring to light insights from the analysis of large data sets to show stories that may be hidden. Data-driven journalism lets journalists find hidden or possible new angles to a story.

The process of finding new stories includes finding and filtering data, analysis, and visualization, and telling the story. Charts and images as a form of visualization are often an essential part of storytelling.

It Is Not That Easy to Create Data Driven Stories

data driven storiesSome think that creating data-driven stories are quick and easy to make. Although data analysis is far different from telling stories from journalists who brave to cover dangerous war zones. It is also true that some writers create quick and cheap stories through giving out simple polls just to say it is a form of a data-driven journalism.

However, data-driven stories should be 80 percent hard work, 10 percent great ideas and to percent output. The same on how MLA works. Our process is to analyze different data without knowing if there will be significant insights that tell a story. To create a relative story, a large amount of time will be spent in gathering, filtering and cleaning the data. This will also be followed by running particular types of analysis, going beyond possible difficulties and test theories that can provide more datasets.

MLA is also known for analyzing datasets of millions of articles. We mostly look for insights and at times, we spend days, weeks and even months to uncover anything that has a value in the story. We may at times not find a story that is news worthy, but if we do, the discovery is rewarding since we are able to find new insights and hidden stories that only we could have found in a data.

Data Driven Stories are Mostly Unique

One of the best assets of data-driven stories is that they are mostly created telling unique stories. They can show new trends and interactions that can make people find interest to a new issue. This does not mean though that you will need new data to create an original research. For instance, in the famous MoneyBall story, there was a lot of data available to Peter Brand at that time. To make his data unique, he changed his analysis and research. These days, widely available datasets and a range of tools can be used to help analyse the data.

It would be to your advantage if you have access to a unique data set. Here at MLA Web Design, our main business is to crawl and collect very big data sets since most of these companies have such unique data. As these businesses have data that is also necessary to industry and growth, they will have available sales data, market intelligence and issues regarding data from your support desk. The available data that you might think that is just common may indeed provide insights that can help your audience.

Five Important Data-Driven Stories

Trends. There are many different stories that can be trending. Mostly these stories centres on what are popular and falling over time. But, there are also trends that are flat that can become a major story. A good example of trends is the increasing or decreasing number of smartphones. Once you find a trend, the next question is why its story is increasing or falling? So the trend itself is not the whole story, which could prompt a new investigation.

Rank order or league tables. For instance, this could be an area which gathered a lot of crime rates or a politician that is getting the most social coverage.

Comparisons. This is how one company is comparing its performance over another. For instance, we can find a comparison between Twitter’s failure to grow its active users and how Facebook is performing better than Twitter. This story has also been taken by many different publications.

Relationships. Investigating relationships between data can be difficult, especially if you are comparing the relationship of one factor to another factor. But, with the advances in machine learning, we may be able to gather more data driven stories.

To look at the relationships between the two sets of data, it is necessary to keep in mind that the connection is not the same as the cause but it can still allow areas for more studies. Another way to explore relationships is to build a more in-depth predictive linear regression models. There are still a lot of tools that can allow you to use advanced techniques like the use of machine learning.

Machine learning uses algorithms that can get data and create predictions. In nature, you can create a model from data inputs that will allow algorithms to create its data-driven predictions. Machine learning is a growing trend where we can expect more activity.

Surprising data. This is data that challenge or support something that readers may view as correct or surprising.

Tips in Creating Data-driven Stories

1. Begin with an idea. All news begin with an idea. Once you find a good story, search for data that can confirm your ideas or probably oppose your ideas. Make certain that you will focus on an interesting standpoint that will capture your audience.

2. Verify your facts. If you create a mistake about an inaccurate data you have posted, you may soon get calls about it. Inaccurate data mostly get scrutinized on the Internet so it is important to check the facts and be careful about how you write your story. Make sure that you can verity your facts to support the flow of your story.

3. Provide at least two key highlights. Since your data will need supporting statistics, you will need to highlight at least two key statistics as the main focus of your research. This way your readers will be able to remember your story more, instead of placing a couple of statistics most would not understand.

4. Use of visuals and tables. It is most suitable to use charts and graphics when writing data driven stories. Trends mostly work well with line charts. You can also use tables to highlight data as well.

5. Make it human. Make sure that that the data driven story you are creating can be understandable by those who will read it. Even if it is a story about you, a client or a colleague, the data should be in a matter of writing that people can comprehend. While economics is the perfect way to predict human behaviour which most people don’t care about, data-driven stories should focus on things people think and care about.

6. Provide insights and guidance. Think of ways on how to improve your story based on the analysis provided. Analyze how other people will also view your story and if another person writes it, would they be giving the same data as you are giving? If you can analyze your story this way, then you may be able to create a good story as it tells you that your insights are making you create better decisions.

Visit MLA Web Designs now or call us at +44 (0)203 823 9033 to inquire about our products and services.

Content Marketing