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Being Local Does Not Mean You Can Ignore SEO

Being Local Does Not Mean You Can Ignore SEO

Local businesses for good reason find themselves on the outside when it comes to the big technology movements. We are talking about actually being able to implement the technology, not being informed or aware of it. Budgetary constraints and having the in-house expertise to implement SEO and other marketing strategies are not always possible. Unfortunately, staying competitive is not a luxury. The Not So Obvious Businesses must stay focused on their industry and their products if they are going to stay in business. The problem is technology has become such an integral part of business it is often impossible the extricate one from the other. SEO is one of those technologies, even though many people see it more as a tool. Being able to have a high Google ranking is just as essential for local and national businesses for generating sales. Oddly, what local businesses need to do to improve or maintain their Google ranking is relatively simple and is low cost. Looking Good Improving the quality of the images on your web site is one of the first things that can help you avoid dropping in rank. Improve the ones you currently have, and if that is not possible then add new images of considerably higher quality. But not just any random images but those that will be useful and relevant to your customers. This is what Google’s new search algorithm is looking for – quality over quantity that is focused on the user. Do not limit yourself to

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Using the Press Release as a SEO-Marketing Strategy Wrinkle

Using the Press Release as a SEO-Marketing Strategy Wrinkle

Press releases have been the mainstay of many companies for decades. There are multiple advantages to using a press release, including the announcement of new products and disseminating information about management changes to company shareholders. In the constant evolution of the Internet and recent focus on search engine optimization (SEO) the press release is being viewed as having limited value. The issue is not whether the press release should be a component of a marketing strategy, but should it be. If one point can be made about how the press release should be used in collaboration with SEO strategies, it is that SEO is not yet a fully blown marketing strategy. Whether it can be remains to be seen. For the present time, SEO supports the press release – not vice-versa. On the other hand, excluding SEO as an integral part of a marketing strategy is unwise at the very least. Small businesses often will overuse the press release, diluting its value to the company. Strategic use of the press release is important to companies who are gaining momentum. While every company event does not warrant the use of a press release, most company events need to be included in SEO for use by shareholders and investors. The time and resources spent preparing and issuing minimally important press releases is better off spent making sure the company’s major events are easily found. In favor of SEO, the issue of content marketing cannot be ignored. By its basic format a press

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SEO Design – Web Pages Are People Too

SEO Design – Web Pages Are People Too

If you are involved with SEO (search engine optimization) at all, you have heard something about web page design and how it relates to the ranking of your web site. Terms such as “user-friendly” and “search engine friendly” are used to instruct those who deal directly with web page design that the most important criterion in optimizing a page from an SEO perspective is that the page is friendly. Wait. Is the design supposed to be people friendly or search engine friendly? The best answer to this question is wrapped in another question: Who is a web page actually written for? No more wrappings are necessary. Web pages are written and designed with people in mind to convey information about a subject in text or visual form. As important as search engines and SEO has become over the last few years, web pages are not meant for computers to “read” or understand. The vaunted search engine has shifted the focus from people to machines when it comes to web page design. If this answer does not satisfy you because for many people and businesses, the bottom line is not elegant design but the bottom line – profit. There are many nice looking web sites that do not generate one cent of income or profit for the owner. Taking a hard line from a business perspective and directing people to landing pages and calls-to-action is the road to travel because where there is an Internet road there is almost certainly to

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SEO and Unrealistic Expectations

SEO and Unrealistic Expectations

One of the hottest topics of the Internet for people who have existing businesses on the WWW or are looking to get their hands in the global marketplace is SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making performance adjustments toy our web pages and web site through better design and content to increase your ranking on Google or other search engines. The reason it is such a hot topic is because search ranking is critical to generate traffic to your website. The higher your ranking for a given search by a user, the more likely your site will attract visitors, or traffic. SEO has received much praise for its ability to increase the ranking of websites and result in significantly increased sales or certain companies. Even though Google continues to change its algorithm to sidestep attempts by webmasters to “rig the system” in their favor, companies are spending millions of dollars on optimizing their websites. What is separate from the SEO efforts is the actual return on these efforts, called conversion optimization. To put it simply, SEO can bring the traffic to your door but that does not always translate into a sale. High conversion rates are the real goal of SEO. The problem is that businesses that invest heavily in SEO and see no significant results often fault the SEO process. Before jumping the gun, it is important to understand that while SEO may be the problem, it is equally possible that there are other, more

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Has Google Changed or Have We Changed Google?

Has Google Changed or Have We Changed Google?

In the early days of SEO, companies and webmasters spent oodles of time finding ways to manipulate Google’s search engine to move up the ladder and find themselves number one in the rankings. Those were effective and profitable strategies back in those early days. Since then, Google has changed it algorithm several times and made web sites change their design and content if they were going to be relevant on Google. The result has been a better user experience and a more accurate ranking of web sites. Throughout this process, websites and search engine competition has had to keep up with Google, as Google became more localized and personalized with its search results. Ads and other result-related links now appear along with the search query and results. SEO has not lost its roots in its primary function of finding subject related matter, but it also has expanded its functionality to evaluating a web site’s content and relevance in the world of social media. Yet these latest optimizations are the result of user demands for better search results and relevant content. Keywords have expanded to key phrases. Links that once were intended to send the user to related sites now backlink to authoritative sites where information can be validated by the user. Google itself has become an information portal of sorts. From the perspective of marketing, the evolution of the Google search engine resulted in brand oriented marketing strategies that combined the best page content with the best SEO strategy. Searching

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Doing SEO Differently the Same Way

Doing SEO Differently the Same Way

There is a double-edged sword that goes with implementing SEO either with a new website or as part of an ongoing strategy with an existing website. As a business owner trying to stay relevant in the global marketplace, you have to pay attention to what your competitors are doing in the world of SEO. On the other hand, you cannot spend so much time analyzing the competition that you ignore your own business. The two edges are copying what competitors are doing and trying to decide when to integrate SEO in your own company’s marketing strategy. It is a mistake to believe that SEO is a single, solitary solution to your marketing problems. If we first look at the competition edge, we can see both success stories and situations where SEO simply has failed to make an impact on the company’s bottom line. Regardless of where you choose to look, thinking about using a competitor’s website design or SEO strategy is a formula for creating more problems than solutions. The reason is that your company is your company, not theirs. Selling similar products or being in the same industry are simply classifications, not approaches to doing business. You may have the same general target audience in common, but your specific segment and approach are likely to be entirely different. SEO is not a one-size-fits-all solution for any company. The other edge is deciding when to integrate SEO into your marketing strategy. Looking once again at the competition, it may seem

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A Short Course on Local Business SEO

A Short Course on Local Business SEO

Just because you have a local business does not mean that you should ignore the possibilities of how search engine optimization (SEO) for your site can increase your customer base and profitability. The reason is that according to a study by Lawyernomics, about one-third of potential clients use the Internet to search for a lawyer. This percentage is roughly the same for other local industries such as chiropractors and dentists. That means that your Internet presence, particularly among the top three search engines – Google, Yahoo!, and Bing – is critical for new business to discover you. The problem is that for a smaller, local business to spend the     time learning how to improve their SEO presence requires a   significant amount of time best spent taking care of existing customers. Each search engine has a set of rules called an algorithm which determines the rank where each web site appears when a search is performed. The lower the ranking, the less likely it is for a potential client to find your business. Ask yourself how many pages of search results you read before you either choose one or move on to a different search. Your customers act in the same manner, for the most part.  What this leaves the local business owner is a choice between  leaving SEO an unmanaged function of the business or to hire in  a professional to regularly update and maintain your web site,  especially in the area of SEO. Because SEO is

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Become A Social Media Maven

Become A Social Media Maven

You probably intuitively understand that social media can play a huge role in the success of your business.  What you may not know is what, specifically to do in the social media sphere to get the most out of your social media presences.  Don’t worry, just below we’ll show you how to become a social media rock star. Engage! It doesn’t matter whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or any of the others, social media is well…social.  That means it’s not about you using it as your own personal soapbox to sell your wares.  Rather, it’s about relationships.  It’s about creating opportunities for conversations.  If you’re not having conversations with your customers, potential customers and future customers, then you’re missing the fundamental point of social media, and that needs to change. Timing Do you know what the optimal time for posting updates to your social media accounts is?  If you don’t, then you need to, because posting at update at four in the morning when nobody’s awake to see it won’t help you.  By the time your customers get up, your entry is already off their news feed.  Post updates between noon and 6pm. Don’t Use A Shotgun Approach Don’t overwhelm your staff or yourself.  There are only so many hours in the day, so don’t try to develop a presence on every social network in existence.  Identify the ones that are most relevant to the niche or industry you’re working in, and stick with those. Get Personal & Be Personable

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Are Your Headlines Awful? Is It Costing Your Business?

Are Your Headlines Awful?  Is It Costing Your Business?

When writing a piece of content for your blog or someone else’s, far and away the most important component of the entire piece is the headline.  Why?  Because 8 out of 10 people will read your headline and nothing else.  Only 2 people in 10 will bother with the rest of what you wrote.  The reason?  Most people just don’t spend enough time on their headlines.  They’re not compelling and they don’t “pop.”  If they don’t pop, they’re not going to compel the reader to bother with the rest, no matter how good you think it is. This is a classic case in point for why quality is always more important than quality.  It frankly doesn’t matter if you’ve got a thousand blog posts, if nobody’s reading what you have to say.  You could save a lot of time by writing less and saying more with the blog posts you do write.  The next logical question then, is how do you go about creating compelling headlines. There’s no one “right way,” but if you’re mystified as to how or where to begin, then one excellent way to get better at it is to browse big, popular sites and look at what they’re doing.  Pay attention to how their headlines are put together.  You’ll start to see some trends very quickly.  Most are provocative.  Most ask a question (see above) that hints at providing the answer to it in the body of the piece. Another source for great headline instruction is

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Gamify Your Website

Gamify Your Website

Gamification is a term that hasn’t quite hit the mainstream yet, but it will.  It’s one of the most powerful tools you can use in the running of your business.  Why?  Simply put, people like games.  If you had a choice between standing in line all afternoon at the DMV or playing a game, which would you prefer?  Too often, business sites tend to resemble the line at the DMV, and that’s a shame, because with just a little bit of creativity, you can leave your visitors with a whole different experience. Crew – A Case Study Crew is a company that builds apps for handheld devices.  Their URL is here: http://howmuchtomakeanapp.com/.  Now, it is true, they could have simply put a “Request a Quote” form on their page and been done with it.  They probably would have gotten some business using that approach, but you need only click the link and visit their site to see the power of gamification at work. The first thing to note is the URL.  It contains the question that is on the minds of people who, for whatever reason, want to have an app built.  The big thing they’re concerned about is “How much is this going to cost me?” The problem with the form based approach is that it’s passive.  They fill out the form, click the “Submit” button, and then are told some flavor of, “We’ll get back to you.”  That’s no fun.  They want information and they want it right now. 

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