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What is SEO?

Publié le par SEO

What is SEO?

You’ve probably heard of SEO before. But what the heck does it mean. You might even know that it stands for Search Engine Optimization, but that doesn’t help so much.

So what is SEO anyway?

According to Wikipedia:

  • “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results — often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results.”

Also, if you're more of a visual person, there's a great YouTube video called "What is SEO" and it can help explain everything to you in less than 2 minutes.

SEO is all about getting your website to appear number 1 in search listings for a person's search in Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

The way a person goes about it is through keywords and links. If your webpage contains the keyword a user is searching for and has a lot of high-quality links pointing to it, you'll rank much higher than sites that don't.

SEO is much more complicated than that though. Experts have said that there are over 200 factors that go into how Google and others rank websites, so getting a command over the most significant will give you an up on your competition.

Things like having multimedia on your site, longer content, and how long a person stays on your site all contribute to how well you’ll do in Google.

What business owners need to know, is that SEO is the future of marketing. It’s been around for well over a decade and is constantly changing to keep up with the way search engines modify their algorithms.

If your website is not search engine optimized, there’s a high likelihood that your website is a proverbial paperweight that gets little to no traffic.

You probably paid a good sum of money to have your website professionally designed. The least you can do, is invest in getting it to the top of Google!

It’s crucial to understand that SEO can change your website from a landing page for people who have your business card into a money making machine.

If you rank on page 1 for keywords in your industry that people are searching for, you’re company will get the clicks, the calls, and sales - not your competition.

That’s the power of SEO in 2016.

The next time your marketing team tells to to advertise in the local paper or to put up a billboard, say, “No.”

When was the last time you actually made serious money from a billboard that no one pays attention?

If you’re considering SEO, make it happen. Contact a company in your niche that has good reviews and comes highly recommended by friends and colleagues. Make sure to ask for references of prior clients and do your homework.

Ask them some hard hitting questions about what they plan to do to get you on Page 1 and how to monetize your traffic. If the SEO company can’t answer those questions, move on to another one that can.

Now that you know what SEO is, investigate it a bit and seriously start considering implementing it or hiring someone to do it for you.

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Why Social Media Matters

Publié le par SEO

Why Social Media Matters

Growing your social media presence can be extremely challenging. But it’s vital if you want to get more traffic to your blog.

In the beginning, be sure to only start with one social media platform and become an expert in that one platform.

Don’t spread yourself too thin. Experts say its better to be active and engaged on one outlet than to have dead accounts on 5 or more.

This means you need to choose a platform that will be best for your audience and then become a real pro at that particular platform.

For example, if you are a designer, you might want to choose Pinterest or Instagram. Afterward, you’ll want to garner as many followers as you can and post often.

By building one solid community of engaged followers where you post content they actually want to consume and interact with, you will begin to drive highly targeted traffic to your site.

In a way, social media marketing is like playing Risk, the board game. If you spread your troops too thin, you’ll easily get conquered. However, if you slowly build up your forces in one country (for us one social media account), you’ll easily be able to conquer more territory.

After you’ve built a community on one, it’s time to move on to another. If you choose Twitter, be sure to follow only the people who you think will end up using your services or buying your products.

After all, the goal is to drive traffic to your site and successfully convert that traffic into customers or buyers.

Be sure to post pictures along with your Tweets. Doing that can boost engagement tremendously and really gives you an opportunity to get Retweets.

Facebook can be difficult to leverage. You’ll need to probably utilize Facebook Ads to get people to like your page and see your posts. While it might seem like an attractive platform to start with. In reality, it should be your second or third due to difficulty to master.

Regardless of what platform you choose to use, remember that being active on social media is essential to getting more business to your site.

It also can help improve your SEO. After all, social shares are becoming more and more important to Google as a sign of trustworthiness and some even argue relevance.

If you want to go after professionals, LinkedIn is your best bet. You can make connections with people in your line of work and try to even build referral networks. Try to post content on LinkedIn too.

If you do that enough, you’ll likely become an authority in your field and more prominent. If people like what they read, they’ll reach out to you for guidance, assistance, and offer you opportunities.

Sometimes one post on LinkedIn can land you a brand new client or even a job if you need it.

Social media in 2016 is growing faster than anyone could ever have anticipated. If your business is not on it, you’re missing out tons of sales, tons of clients, and - most importantly - tons of money.

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Local SEO: Everything You Need to Know

Publié le par SEO

Local SEO: Everything You Need to Know

If you own a brick and mortar store, you need to dominate the local search results in Google.

To do this you need to leverage the power of Page 1 real estate, business citations, and link building.

Think about it: you might have the best website in the world, but if no one is going to it because it is buried on Page 4 of Google, it's as if you never made the site at all!

So let's dive right it...

The first thing you're going to want to do is set up Google My Business and get your site in Bing Places.

Google my business allows you to occupy tons of space on the right hand side of Google and Bing Places works the exact same way on Bing.

Make sure to fill out all of the information and form fields are field out completely. Do your best to upload high-quality images, your logo, and to use an attracting description for your company.

After you’ve done this for both Google My Business and Bing Places, they will ask you to verify your business.

To do that, they’ll send you a postcard in the mail with a unique code that you will have to enter. They do this to make sure that your brick and mortar location is legitimate.

With both of these under your belt, it’s time to set up some local business listings. Hop over to sites like Yellow Pages and Yelp. Claim and verify your business in these directories. Be careful though! Do not create multiple listings. It’s confusing for searchers and Google doesn’t like it either.

Fill out these profiles as accurately and completely as possible and be consistent across all of them.

Your company’s goal should be to claim and verify at least 10 of these. Then, do your best to get reviews from them from pleased customers and/or clients. It violates Yelp’s terms of service to directly ask for a positive review, but many other listings don’t mind if you do.

For any listing that prohibits direct solicitation, simply remind your satisfied customer that you have a profile there. It might even be allowed to tell them, “We always appreciate honest feedback.” (Find out from Yelp though before doing anything like that.)

At this point you should have 10 business directory listings (AKA business citations) with several positive reviews along with a Google My Business account and Bing Places account.

Now it’s time to try to get 5 star reviews directly from your Google My Business account. The more 5 star reviews you have, the higher up in Google’s local listings you will be.

Lastly, try to build some links to your directory listings. This will give them much needed oomph that could even propel them to Page 1 of Google for your company name. Imagine blanketing the first page of Google with your website and all of these business citations? That’s powerful, especially if your customers and/or clients want to research you.

This is only the beginning of what goes into a local SEO campaign, but it should be enough to get you on your way and help you begin to rank higher for local keywords.

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The Keys to SEO

Publié le par SEO

The Keys to SEO

Professional SEO companies usually follow the best online marketing tips they can find when doing work for their clients.

Most of the conventional wisdom out there is to create high-quality content and earn links from high-authority websites if you want to generate high page rankings.

They also tell you to make sure to have highly original content, attention grabbing headlines, and to sprinkle your keywords throughout the body of the content.

Don't forget about email outreach when it comes to garnering backlinks. Sometimes all you need to do is find the right person or company and send them a quick email with your content.

When you do, tell them you created a resource that their audience would love, and it might even be worth a mention on their site.

No need to ask or beg for a link. If your content is good enough and you reached out to the right person, you’ll probably get a link.

Local SEO can also be crucial. Make sure to be on directories like Yellow Pages or Yelp and get positive reviews on them.

Make sure to build a sitemap too. Without one, Google won’t be able to find and index your site as easily. So this piece can be super crucial.

If you’re wondering what types of links to build, try to get links from people in your niche who would appreciate your blog or website. Make content that is helpful too. People don’t want to be sold, they want to be informed.

So if you keep them in the loop and give them what they want, they’ll trust you more. It also builds trust and makes you come across better.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid marketing-type language in the body of your content. Feel free to use a call to action at the end or lead people toward contacting you, but in-text advertising is usually frowned upon. Tons of websites do it, but not many are successful with it.

SEO is a big frontier and it’s here to stay. Learn it well, and you’ll succeed big time in building your brand, growing your business, and getting more customers.

Ignore it, and you’ll soon see just how much money you’ll lose and how many customers you’ll be missing. Don’t be foolish and start discovering how important SEO is to businesses.

SEO is constantly changing and evolving, so you need to keep your finger on its pulse and ride the way of new ideas. Yesterdays quick win, is today’s Google penalty, so don’t blow it!

Find webinars online, read articles to help you out, take a class on Lynda, etc. Do whatever it takes to learn the ropes, educate yourself, and become an SEO pro today.

You’ll thank us later. That’s all for now, but stay tuned for future posts on how you can better do SEO for yourself and become the online marketer you always wanted to be.

We’ll try to update this blog relatively frequently, so please check back often. Looking forward to helping you!

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