So you’re ready to get a new website. Great!
Here are some things you will need to consider so that we can build you a great-looking website that is search-engine and user friendly. Continue reading
Here are some things you will need to consider so that we can build you a great-looking website that is search-engine and user friendly. Continue reading
Depending on the industry your website operates in and the content on your site, there might be hundreds of keywords that you could target with your onsite SEO. Best practice dictates that you only target 2-5 keywords per page, which means you’ll have to get picky. Even if your keyword research was on the right track, you might miss the mark when it comes time to choosing the most appropriate keywords for your site and your SEO goals. One of the most common keyword research mistakes I see is that site owners don’t choose keywords that are specific enough for their website. They are still in the right ballpark, but they didn’t take it all the way and are missing out on valuable SEO opportunities.
Let’s say your company offers B2B lead generation services. Obviously, keywords like “lead generation,” “b2b lead generation” and “lead generation company” are going to be incorporated into your site on various pages. However, these keywords are so broad that you might run into a few issues in your quest to improve your organic SEO. First and foremost, the broader the keyword the larger a search volume it will have, which means more companies are competing for that keyword. This makes it much harder to rank well in the search engines.
Secondly, broad keywords like “lead generation,” while they could potentially drive a lot of traffic to your site, they might not be sending the RIGHT traffic to your site. What kind of lead gen services does your company actually offer? Live telephone leads? Online leads? Do you specialize in a particular niche like real estate or finance? Those broad keywords might accurately reflect your business, but chances are there are quite a few long tail keywords that are even more appropriate.
Why is it so important to target those long tail keywords? Site owners often ask me why they should target a keyword that only gets 250 searches a month when they could target one that gets 2,500 searches. The answer is simple—those long tail keywords are going to bring a more targeted visitor to your site. Someone searching for “lead generation” could be looking for a multitude of things and might not be ready to buy anytime soon. Broad keywords are typically used when visitors are still in their research mode and are “shopping around.” However, if someone found your website after searching for “b2b live lead phone transfers,” chances are they know exactly what they are looking for and are looking to make a purchasing decision soon. You might only get 10 visitors each month by targeting “b2b live lead phone transfers,” but they are a much more targeted and highly qualified visitor.
Would you rather get more visitors or more qualified leads? The keywords you target are going to dictate the kind of searchers that find your site. By incorporating long tail keywords into your site you’ll get better traffic, not just more. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can only target keywords with a large search volume. While it is important to incorporate broad keywords into your site’s content, don’t forget to add those long tail keywords!
Writing by Brick Marketing
If people are looking for a local business these days, they don’t turn to the Yellow Pages. They head for the search engines and type in the service, product, or kind of establishment that they are looking for in addition to the location that they are in. While the search engines continue to improve their personalized results and often can guess where someone is located, a typical searcher will still type in “hairstylist in X location” or “X location hairstylist”. If your website isn’t optimized for local search, it won’t be found in the search engines, and you will lose out on business to competitors. Here are 4 guidelines for local business owners to remember when optimizing a website:
Want to show off something about your business? Video is a great way to do it.
Aside from the common advice about, make it high quality, think twice before doing your own commercials, etc., the best way to put a video on your site is by using YouTube as embedded content. Not only is it guaranteed to have the broadest compatibility, but it is also another part of a great marketing plan.
Read more about YouTube marketing for small businesses at Mashable:
6 Best Practices for Small Business YouTube Marketing
site-image can help you get social with email marketing and facebook social campaigns from Constant Contact.
You can do-it-yourself or we can design your email templates, edit your content, create Facebook “Like” campaigns and more.
We are here to help you get social!
Read more about tools, websites, and services for social media marketing.
Developing a Social Media Strategy That Works, by Brick Marketing Blog
While businesses know that they need to have a social media presence, they often struggle with using the medium. It’s hard to measure ROI, and with no hard data, it’s difficult to justify the time and resources. Social media is a long term strategy that helps to build brand awareness and online visibility over time. Businesses truly need to understand the nature of social media before implementing a strategy.
Here are 5 important guidelines to follow:
Join the Right Networks
Obviously there are the big social networking giants like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ but there are also hundreds of smaller social networking sites, some of which cater to a specific niche. And you can’t forget about social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or Digg. It can be overwhelming. The key is to be active on the social networks that your target audience is actually using. Do some research. If you find that one or two networks consume the majority of your target audience’s time, then you know where to spend yours.
Social media will only be beneficial if you dedicate time to it every day. Merely setting up an account and having an “if I build it, they will come” mentality won’t get you very far. It’s important to build up your social media following and this takes an effort on your part.
Have a Conversation
Social media should not be used like traditional advertising. It’s not another place to sell. Social media is about being, you guessed it- social! Interact with fans and followers. As long as you are willing to listen, they will be willing to provide valuable feedback that can improve your business.
Share Content and Links
In order to get social media followers to take action, you need to get them over to your website. Include links in your posts that will drive traffic. Sometimes you just need to tell your followers what you want them to do in order for them to do it. Include call to actions and links to valuable information. You can’t assume that they will go finding it themselves.
The more people that see your content, the better. Social media is meant for sharing. While it’s important to share your own content, a goal should be to get followers to share it as well. This will increase your visibility and reach and improve your social signals for SEO purposes. Make it easy for people to share by including share buttons on all of your blog posts and other published content.
Sometimes it seems like almost anything can be done in “3 easy steps” these days. Losing weight, building a business, earning extra income, getting over an ex, and the list goes on and on. SEO can also be categorized as a 3 step program, but it certainly isn’t easy. In order to find SEO success, all three steps must be carried out efficiently. No one step is more important than the other.
Step #1- Research
Like any marketing campaign, you need a good research-based foundation. Just “winging it” never works out well. For starters, you need to understand your audience and their behaviors both online and off. An SEO campaign is built to attract search engine spiders, but the search engines are only the messengers of information to the target audience. If you aren’t sending the right message you can’t expect the campaign to result in increased traffic or visitors to your site. In order to get a better understanding of how your target audience searches, you must do keyword research. Targeting the wrong keywords in an SEO campaign will result in missing out on potential clients or customers. You also need to have an accurate understanding of who your competition is in the online space based on geographic and business size factors. Find out what your competitors are doing online. Remember, just because they are doing it doesn’t mean that you should too, but it may provide some good insights.
Step #2- On-Site Optimization
Once keyword research has been done for every page of a website, it’s time to incorporate these keywords naturally into the content on the page and the meta tags. Read each page of content and add keywords where they fit. Don’t just stuff them in there in a way that doesn’t make sense. The title tag is the clickable link that should describe what is on the page in 70 characters or less. The meta tag description also describes what is on the page, but you have a little more real estate to work with since the description can be up to 150 characters. The description is the snippet that is seen underneath the title on a search engine results page so it should persuade a person to click on the link. The H1 tag, or headline, is the first crawlable text on the page. If the page includes images, use image tags, since the search engines can’t “see” the image. Each meta tag that is used on the page should be unique. For example, the title tag and meta description tag shouldn’t be the same.
Step #3- Link Building
A well optimized site isn’t enough to get search engine spider recognition these days. The search engines rank sites well that are trusted and a good indicator of trust is the number of inbound links that the site has. Link building is an ongoing campaign to build brand visibility and improve a link portfolio over time. In order to build links, you need to create content that can be linked to. Types of content to create include articles, blog posts, blog comments, social media posts, videos, press releases, and online profiles. As time goes on your content will get noticed by target audience members. If it’s any good (which it must be!), it will be linked to naturally by others.
by Nick Stamoulis, Search Engine Optimization Journal
Quick, which is more important to your SEO—keyword research or site content? It’s actually a bit of trick question. Keyword research and site content actually work together to create a well-optimized site. Conducting keyword research won’t do much good if your site is full of low quality content. Meanwhile, great content needs some help appealing to the search spiders, which is where having the right keywords comes in handy. One without the other means your SEO if off-balance, like a table with one short leg. But when it comes to writing content and conducting keyword research, which tactic deserves priority seating?
On-site optimization starts with having great content.
The main reason you need to make sure your content is in good shape BEFORE you start conducting your keyword research is because you will select your keywords based on your site content. Search engines rank individual pages, not your site as a whole. This means that each page needs to be optimized for itself by choosing the keywords that most accurately reflect the content.
If you were to do it the other way around, trying to write content that fits your pre-selected keywords, you end up writing for the search engines and not for humans. That is probably one of the worst SEO mistakes you can make! Content should always be written for a human reader. Writing content around your keywords might make your site read disjointed or haphazard, as well as seem like you are trying to stuff keywords in as frequently as you can.
You should also write your content first because you don’t always know exactly how each webpage is going to develop. You may find it beneficial to add new pages while condensing or deleting others. Choosing your keywords first may limit your creativity and effect the overall flow of your site.
When you weave your keywords into existing content, the key is to do so naturally. You’re aiming for 2-5 unique keywords per page, but that doesn’t mean you have to force them all in. Depending on the page’s content, certain keywords may make more sense or flow better than others. That’s fine! You don’t want to stick keywords in haphazardly where they don’t belong. For instance, a Boston-area Thai restaurant should be targeting “Boston Thai restaurant” and “Thai restaurant Boston.” These are two different keywords with two different search results. However, the restaurant owner may find he uses “Boston Thai restaurant” more frequently because it works better with the existing content.
“Content is king” is a popular SEO mantra for a reason. Keywords won’t help make a bad piece of content good.
Content published on U.S. Government websites is public domain and can be used as content for your website. A good place to start is at the Small Business Administration site. Oh, and there are are many helpful pages there to help your business as well.
Search engine optimization (SEO) as defined on wikipedia.org is:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher on the page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines. (read the full article)
Search engine optimizaation (SEM) as defined on wikipedia.org is:
Search engine marketing, (SEM), is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. Search engine optimization (SEO) “optimizes” website content to achieve a higher ranking in search results, for example, by incorporating specific keywords or links associated with the website. Depending on the context, SEM can be an umbrella term for various means of marketing a website including SEO, or it may contrast with SEO, focusing on just paid components. (read the full article)
When developing a new website, site-image included SEO using client-provided keywords and real-world search testing. Well-written content and well-placed keywords are of primary importance to good SEO. (Read more posts about SEO.) We also recommend Google Analytics for all websites so our clients can monitor their traffic and conversion results and then request keyword and text changes to improve search rankings.
For clients with serious search ranking needs, we recommend hiring a search engine marketing firm; site-image does not recommend any particular firm, however.
One of the most frequent requests regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to not just improve a site’s ranking but get it near the top of the first search page. Here is a quote from Google’s Webmaster Tools about Search Results:
When a user enters a query, our machines search the index for matching pages and return the results we believe are the most relevant to the user. Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the PageRank for a given page. PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. In simple terms, each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site’s PageRank. Not all links are equal: Google works hard to improve the user experience by identifying spam links and other practices that negatively impact search results. The best types of links are those that are given based on the quality of your content.
Google uses over 200 factors to determine your page relevancy!
It can all be overwhelming, but here are a few important things to work towards:
There are many more guidelines/resources available from Google Webmaster Tools Guidelines page.
There is also a large industry out there that does nothing but SEO. But buyer beware. Many can improve your page rank for a usually hefty price. if you sign up for SEO, get their promises in writing and read the fine print.