Category: SEO

June 5, 2017 / / Google

The highest priority for most website owners is SEO (search engine optimization). This simply means the opportunity for their web pages to be found by their target audience, by appearing on Page 1 of search engine results pages.  However, being found is only the first step.  Most business websites rely on online advertising to sell their products and services. Their goal is to provide compelling and useful information that convinces viewers to either purchase immediately or learn more.

In their pursuit of compelling ads, many end up publishing annoying or intrusive ads that annoy, rather than engage people. read more

February 18, 2016 / / Digital Marketing

My new (desktop) computer has a box at the bottom of the screen that says, “Ask me anything.”  When I activate it, a voice that calls itself Cortana asks what she can do to help.  (I guess I’m old enough to find this kind of creepy!)

There was a time when we optimized websites for search via a keyboard.  At first, Google wasn’t smart enough to understand the context of what we put on our websites – key WORDS ruled.  Stuff enough of them into a website and Google might reward us with Page 1 results.  However, as Google got smarter and more websites were published, well-written, relevant content became more important. But just as we were beginning to get the hang of getting back on Page 1 of Google with a constant flow of well-written content, another curve ball has been thrown. read more

January 1, 2016 / / Advertising

It’s a new year, time to sit down and reflect on business goals and strategies.

Here are 16 suggestions for success in 2016.

  • Verify website is responsive and mobile-friendly.
  • Optimize website monthly.
  • Publish a blog to website (weekly if possible).
  • Send a monthly newsletter.
  • Provide a monthly sales special or promotion.
  • Recognize the importance of online branding and visibility.
  • Reassess offline marketing and advertising efforts.
  • Shift SEO budget to Social efforts.
  • Invest more budget in Social Media.
  • Run Facebook Ads.
  • Publish updates to Social Accounts 1 to 3 times daily.
  • Spend more time on Social Media.
  • Provide Customer Service resources on Social Accounts.
  • Use Social Media to enhance other marketing and advertising efforts.
  • Become a “social” business.
  • Hire a professional Social Marketer to assist with these resolutions.
  • read more

    September 22, 2015 / / SEO

    If you have a business website, you probably want it to show up high on Google’s Search results.  Even more important, you probably want it to attract customers.  Before tearing your hair out trying to optimize your old website, no matter how much you paid for it, it might be time for a new one.  Here are some questions to ask:

    1. Are you mobile-friendly?

    This is probably the most important question you can ask about your website. More people are looking at websites on mobile devices than on desktops.  Google has announced that it may not display non-mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results.  While you could keep the old site and add a separate mobile site, there is a cost involved with the mobile site. You will likely have to pay for a new domain name and a hosting fee.  Fresh content, so important to Google, will be more difficult when you have to update two sites.  Since Google punishes “duplicate content,” there is a risk when adding the same content to a mobile and traditional website.   (Check your website with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test) read more

    September 17, 2015 / / SEO

    I still remember when just putting a website up in a certain category practically guaranteed Page 1 results on Google (and other search engines when they still mattered).  As time went on, I registered my  “brick and mortar” and other local service clients on Local Google and Local Yahoo.  Again, practically guaranteeing first page display – especially in and around our medium-sized city.

    In the beginning, most search engines were obsessed with “key words” and we did whatever it took to get key words into our websites – some of these tactics were later classified as “black hat,” but back then, most of them just seemed clever. read more

    September 14, 2015 / / SEO

    Search Engines have traditionally been our gateway to the Internet.  With so much information out there, we needed portals to help us find what we were looking for.  In the beginning, there were sites like Ask Jeeves, Yahoo and Alta Vista.  Then came Google – and that changed everything!

    Google became THE search engine. That is still true, but today it is only half the story.

    Over 500 New Websites are published every minute

    During the last decade, web pages have exploded to over a billion, and the count continues to grow.  (Every minute over 500 new websites are published.)  With so much information out there, Google had to write a set of rules that helped it decide which websites would be displayed at the top of its search results pages (SERP).  Its rules seemed to change by the minute and keeping up with the many changes in order to remain high on the results pages became a nightmare for most website owners and web developers. read more

    May 13, 2015 / / Advertising

    When our company began publishing websites, there were only about 1 million web pages on the internet – sounded like a lot then. But not when you consider that today there are over 47 billion published web pages. It is easy to see why getting found online is not as easy as it once was.

    But that is only half the story. Customers have changed – or at least their buying habits have.  There was a time when people walked into a store or called a service provider, expecting them to provide the answers to their problems.  Today, by the time any contact is made, most consumers have already done at least some research online.  They may have looked at a few websites, read a few blogs, followed a company on Facebook or Twitter, or (for business to business people) made some connections on LinkedIn. Today we truly are dealing with an educated consumer. read more

    November 6, 2014 / / SEO

    How SEO is done is complicated; what it does is not.

    When the people looking for your products and services find your website near the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) your website is considered “optimized” for the terms that were searched. The trick is to find the words and phrases people will put into the search box to find you.  For example, if you are an attorney and never use the word lawyer in your website text, people who search for lawyer may not find your website. Internet searches have also become more sophisticated. People tend to use phrases and questions to define what they are looking for.  For example someone who needs a Will might search: “Lawyer in Chicago who handles estate law.”  If you are an attorney, and your website never mentions estate law or that you are in Chicago, your competitors will likely end up with this client. read more

    October 6, 2014 / / Google

    People who keep track of things like this have dubbed Google’s newest Panda algorithm tweak Panda 4.1, although Google is quick to note that it has made several adjustments to its Panda 4.0 algorithm, as well as to its other named (and unnamed) algorithms.  They caution people not to assume that any change in search engine rank is due to only one of its algorithm changes.  They also note that ranking web pages on their search engine is a complex, ever-changing endeavor.

    For the uninitiated, the Panda algorithm penalizes content that it believes offers little or no value to users.  What is new about the latest Panda update is that Google has developed new and more sophisticated signals to more accurately detect low-quality content. read more

    August 25, 2014 / / SEO

    The new Google “Pigeon” algorithm is specifically aimed at local “brick and mortar” businesses. In other words, if you have a physical location (even if it is in your home) you need to pay attention.
    For years, Google has helped small businesses by allowing them to add their addresses to Google Maps and to get listed on “Local Google.” When someone searched for businesses like theirs in a specific town or geographic area, (example: drug store in Naperville) their business would likely be listed on top of the first results page.
    In May 2012 Local Google Pages were automatically converted to Google+ Local Pages. This change integrated local pages across all of the Google properties, including Search, Maps and Mobile. This means that companies that have registered their websites with Local Google (and more recently on Local Google+) now enjoy the added benefit of appearing on Google maps, and being listed on mobile searches. Also, because of enhanced GPS capabilities, most of the time you no longer have to enter a city in the search box. Google knows where you are (scary!) This is especially important when searches are done from mobile devices – the results given are for establishments found near the device’s physical location.
    What Google doesn’t know, unless they are told, is that the business exists. If your local business is not showing up on page 1 of Googles SERP or on the map, make sure you are registered with Google.
    Once your business is registered, optimizing it for the new Pigeon update may give you an added “edge” over your competition. Here are a few adjustments you can make to enhance your visibility on Google (and other search engines). read more