Archive for SEO

Changes in the Plan

I am putting together a marketing plan for a new website for a customer I have had for years. His products are offered by a lot of companies and competes with sites like zappos.com. He has always done well in search, but over the last year or so has started slipping. Partly due to site issues but partly due to not staying current in changes to search.

When we talk , we talk about titles and text on pages and text links. He does have a blog but it is not used often and does not really push any boundaries. The readers digest version of a blog I call it. He is using both Facebook and Twitter. And does spend time on that. We do PPC although if we just look at sales the only PPC that is a great value are shopping feeds.

And while our conversations these days  includes 301 redirects and optimization and sitemaps,  all must haves for moving a site. We have not yet had the real conversation about changes in SEO, sales and the Internet. That is coming tomorrow. My list of marketing projects all begin with the same message be authentic, add to the online conversation, engage, get reviews, talk, have value. As an SEO person I am having to steer clients directly into the social world. He is being talked about on Reddit. We need to be there and answer. We need to engage Facebook users more, Google + users,  we need a newsletter that is shareable, work on blog posts that say something different about a new product. it takes a lot of energy to do this kind of marketing, but it makes a huge difference in search, plus social media has its own merit in getting the word out about you, your company, and your ideals. At his suggestion we are talking about the culture of his customers, that is a great lead in to all of the places we must be to engage them, and how will we engage them.   No more hiding behind titles and meta descriptions. It is not that they don’t matter, they still do, but it is that they don’t matter as much as they used too.  It is time to work, and work harder than doing keyword research.  But if I can get him to buy in, and I suspect he will he is an incredible business man,  I can see the profits  from here.

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Using your Footer

If you are working on the SEO for your website, look at your footer. Is it the best it can
be? Does it have your address and phone number if you want to be found for
local search? Does it tell people what your company does in a few short words?
Since your footer is on every page it can help your site with the relevance
factor for search. Don’t do keyword stuffing or anything that is designed just
for engines, but do look at it from the visitor point of view. Does it give
enough information? Can it be better? If it is good for people it will be good
for engines.

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Willamette Innovators SEO Hotseat

I was asked to be a part of the Willamette Innovators SEO hot seat on February 9th. It was a great crowd. Very interesting mix of people, and the energy was great. There were two other amazing marketers on the panel. Dan Sullivan, from San Diego based Gravity SEO – http://www.gravityim.com and Michael Michael Arnesen, from Portland based SwellPath – http://www.swellpath.com.
It went into overtime and in reality could have gone on for hours. It was lead by those great guys, Jason Prothero and Loyan Roylance from Proworks in Corvalis.

For anyone in Corvallis, you may want to look into this group. It seemed an out of the ordinary networking group.

SEO Hotseat in Corvallis

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Earning a Ranking

Like all good marketing companies we read a lot of articles and blogs from people in our industry. The other day I read an article comparing black hat SEO and white hat. It was all the usual remarks about black hat techniques jeopardizing the client’s site and white hat SEO taking a long time. But then he said something that caught my attention. He said websites have to earn their placement in search engines. And I realized that is exactly where we are most helpful to clients; we help them grow their site in all the ways that help earn that ranking.

One day I am on the phone talking about the importance of reviews with a longstanding client and the next day I am discussing keyword research and adding titles and text links to a new client’s site.

There is no magic with search engine ranking nor are there any quick turnarounds. You can’t optimize a site and then walk away saying done. Even if it is done perfectly, you will always see something you can add or subtract. You can’t pay to have a zillion links to your site and check search engine marketing off your list. You can’t get a Facebook page and twitter account and start promoting your page and expect great placement, nor can you add 50 articles about your topic and call it a day. All of this things play a role in your placement in engines. And all of these things, and several hundred more are a part of earning your search engine ranking.

A good SEO campaign is really never ending. Each month we look at a client’s site from all angles. And we identify and build out those areas where we see the site is the weakest. One month we will look at it as a user. And ask how can we make it clearer how to navigate the site, or does this text really say enough about the product to make me want to buy it?
What is the bounce rate for that page? Another month we may be figuring out why the Google shopping feed is not getting as many sales as last year or how to grow their fans in Facebook. It is all part of Internet marketing and it is all part of SEO.

Our clients get harassed by online companies loudly offering one of these services as if it will solve their problem and they will suddenly have great placement and great sales. We just sigh and say no that will not happen, let’s get back to work. Because that is what it takes to make a site show up well in engines and stay there. Plain, simple, continuous work. As unglamorous as that sounds.

But if you come across an online offer to lose weight immediately with some new product I just have to buy, send it on to me, please. I just know there is an easy way out there I just haven’t found it yet.

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Social Media And Google Search

Search Engine Optimizers and Social Media Experts alike have been saying for some time now, that it appears that Social Media influences Google placement. Now we have confirmation of that from Matt Cutts the face of Google. And surprise, surprise it mimics their algorithium for Page Rank. Quantity is not enough you must look at quality, and you must be a trusted source. So building business followers in both Facebook and Twitter must make sense and be related to what you do. Using good common sense with Google has always been a rule of thumb for us and now that continues into social media.

Listen to the specifics in this video from Matt Cutts .

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One Suggestion For Getting Higher Google Rankings

http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/marketing/article/the-little-known-secret-to-getting-page-1-google-rankings-steve-strauss
Want Page 1 search engine result rankings? Of course you do; we all do. Well, what if I were to tell you of a little known way that profoundly increases your odds of getting a Page 1 search engine result – might that be of interest?

I thought so.

The answer is video. But not just any old video. It has to be search engine optimized video. Properly post that, and according to a recent study by Forrester Research, you stand a 53 times better chance of getting a Page 1 Google ranking.

Yes, I know, the holy grail.

By now I’m sure you know all about search engine optimization – keywords and key phrases and incoming links and all the rest. The problem is, so does everyone else. That means that getting Google to think that your page is more valuable, more deserving of a high ranking than other pages, is harder than ever, despite all of your fancy SEO work.

That is where SEO video comes in.

What I am not talking about is simply putting a video on your homepage or some other desirable page. And similarly, I am not talking about submitting a video to YouTube and then embedding a YouTube player on your site. Neither of those will generate great Google results for your site because

1. They are not search engine optimized, and

2. Videos using YouTube result in click-throughs results for YouTube, even though the videos are re-posted on your site

But what will work – the magic bullet if you will – is video SEO. Video SEO is the process of using SEO tools with your video and then submitting the SEO videos themselves (not just the pages where the videos reside) to the various search engines.

Here is why video SEO is such an incredible Page 1 generator: First, search engines like Google are increasingly using “blended” search results – articles, video, pictures, and other forms of content. So video inherently gets more play because there is less competition for video results. And that is the second, and more important, reason. Because there is so much less of it, and because only very little of all online video is properly submitted with SEO, there is a disproportionate bias towards properly submitted SEO video.

You end up being a big fish in a very small pond.

So here is what you do:

1. Create some great video for your site. Note: Research indicates that if you have video on your homepage, up to 80% of your visitors will click that first, so it better be good!

2. Post it prominently throughout your site.

3. SEO it and submit it. Here’s the trick, and it is two-fold. First, you must optimize the video for search engines. That means key words and phrases must be used in the file name, in the captions, etc. Second, once posted on your site, you must then submit the video itself using XML tools to Google and the other search engines.

I know that last part may sound a little intimidating, but it need not be. There are some great online services that will submit the videos for you. For example, one I like a lot is Fliqz.com. Fliqz will, easily and affordably, index your pages and video, and properly submit them to the various search engines.

The upshot is that your videos and video pages should end up at or near the top of any default search results, the “Web” results, and not just the video results.

In fact, according to Fliqz, by using their “SearchSuccess” tools, “more than two-thirds of all videos submitted produce a first-page Google search result, and up to 25 percent have resulted in a number one Google ranking.”

Well, what are you waiting for?

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Holiday Video for Marketers and SEO Fans Everywhere….

Christmas is here, bringing good cheer- so I am sharing this clever, delightful video from the genius staff at Hubspot Marketing. Enjoy:

If Marketers Went Caroling, What Would They Sing?

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Optimizing a Site

When ranking a site for a keyword, search engines look at a number of “on page factors”.

  • Titles
  • meta descriptions
  • Headings
  • Keywords on the page
  • Text links
  • Alt tags
  • How many internal pages link to the site
  • How are the pages before the page and after the page optimized
  • How relevant to the keyword is the page and the site

All of these factors have an influence on placement and in the hands of a good search engine optimizer can be combined in some mixture of art and science to achieve great results.

When we begin an optimization job we often start at the back of a site and work our way to the front so we can see recurring patterns on the site. Because the search engines do not do well with nuance and alternative meanings it is important to look at each page and see that it is clear to the engines. Are the important ideas in a heading tag? Are their text links to other relevant pages in the site?

We go through a site several times over the course of an optimization process in order to be sure all of the on page factors are placed where they need to be and that the page is clear to engines and visitors. We are checking to be sure the title matches the text on the page, and the meta description is not only enticing to viewers but contains a keyword phrase or two.

Many times a very important page is buried deep in the site. It can be difficult for people to find it as well as engines. We make sure that page is linked from the front page and from every relevant page within the site. We want Google to find it easily. If a page is linked from the front page Google ranks it as more important than one found as a link on page three.

Then we go through the whole site again looking for any opportunity left on the site. Successfully optimizing a site is a process of continuing to change, wait, measure and change again.
But it is a lovely thing when it finally all comes together.

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