SEO

SEO and Keyword Strategy

by Christi on February 8, 2012

SEO New OrleansSEO (search engine optimization) is the next step in our internet marketing strategy. If you are following along as we go through the steps included in the Essential Guide to Internet Marketing, you will remember that the first step was researching keywords. Now that you have identified some good keywords, what should you do with them?

Keywords can help your site get found by search engines and that is what SEO is all about. SEO can be broken down into two categories:

On-page SEO – This refers to the way your content is presented to search engines and how your keywords are used on your site. This is something that you can improve immediately.

Off-page SEO – This refers to the authority your site has on the web. This can take some time to improve.

Even though on-page SEO accounts for less in how search engines rank your site. It is a good idea to correct this first because  it can be improved quickly and keyword placement is an essential part of on-page SEO.

Where should you place your keywords for good on-page SEO?

  1. Page Title – Page titles are the text you see at the top of your browser when you are on a web page. A page title can be edited in your site’s HTML. Be sure to include the keywords for your page in the page title. Your page title should be less than 70 characters and your keywords should be at the first of the title. Each page on your site gives you an opportunity to target different keywords that are relevant to your business and to your site’s visitors.
  2. Meta Description – While your page’s meta description does not directly influence your search engine rankings, it is still a good opportunity to include your keywords to help you attract visitors to your site. Your meta description is a summary of what your page is about. It is not seen on your page, but is shown by search engines when your site is included in search results.
  3. Headings – The text that is included in your headings (those that are surrounded by <Hx> tags in the html code) are seen by search engines as being important. Be sure to include your keywords in your headings.
  4. Images – Images can certainly enhance your visitors’ experience on your website. Images also give you an opportunity to use your keywords. You can use your keywords in your image file names as well as the images’ alt text. Don’t use images excessively because it can slow down the amount of time it takes your page to load which can negatively impact your search results.

As important as keywords are, it is also important that you don’t “keyword stuff.” That is, don’t just fill a page with your keywords. Not only will keyword stuffing make for a bad experience for your visitors, search engines can detect keyword stuffing and it can adversely affect your rankings. Trying to “trick” search engines is not a good SEO strategy.

To get more in-depth information about how to use your keywords effectively for SEO, (both on-page and off-page), download the Essential Guide to Internet Marketing. This guide will give you the essential  steps you need to set up and implement a successful internet marketing strategy.



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Create a Keyword Strategy

by Joe B on February 7, 2012

Why Build a Keyword Strategy?

Today, most people looking to buy a product or service begin the process by using a search engine to find vendors and product information. How do they do this? By using keywords and keyword phrases. You need to make sure that your website is ranking high in the search engines for the keywords that people are using to find companies like yours.

Some things to remember:

  • You have to be on the first or second page of search results or it’s almost like not being there at all.
  • Shorter search phrases are searched for more often and usually more difficult to rank for than longer phrases. For example, more searches occur for “shoes” than for “tennis shoes” and both of those are searched more frequently than “red tennis shoes”. However, if you are selling red tennis shoes, you would probably get better qualified visits (leads) by ranking for “red tennis shoes” as opposed to either “tennis shoes” or “shoes”.

How to Create a Keyword Strategy

1. Create a list of 3-5 keywords relevant to your business.

Think like someone searching for your product.

2. Choose keywords based on difficulty and relevance.

Some very general words such as “marketing” or “business” are very competitive, making it difficult to rank well for them. If you are a small- or medium-sized business, you probably want to choose less competitive keywords, more specifically related to your business (these are commonly referred to as long tail keywords).

You should find a balance between relevance and difficulty. Choose about 5 keywords that match your business well.

Note that these keywords do not have to be perfect at first. You can try out different ones to see which work best for you.

3. Design and optimize your website around your keywords.

Now that you’ve chosen your keywords, you should incorporate them into your website. We will talk more about this tomorrow.

For more information on Keyword Strategies as well as internet marketing, download our “Essential Step-by-Step Guide to Internet Marketing”.




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Three Ways to Improve Your Website in 2012

by Joe B on January 4, 2012

As we start a new year, I thought I would list three ways you could increase the effectiveness of your website by increasing quality visits and conversions.

1) Improve your search engine optimization (SEO) by doing some Keyword Research

SEO is vital to your website being found for the right keywords in online searches. One of the best ways to improve your SEO is to do some Keyword Research.

When doing Keyword Research, you’ll want to research the terms that your potential customers might use to find you.

  • Be careful not to use industry jargon (i.e. technical terms used by those in your industry) unless those are the terms your customers use.
  • The terms your customers use to find you may change over time. For example, what we now call laptop computers have been called portable computers and notebook computers.
  • Your main product or service may change over time.

So update your website to include the right Keywords.

2) Improve your website’s visibility by blogging

One of the best ways to increase quality visits to your website is by blogging. The simple rule is that the more content you have on the web, the better your chances of being found in search results. And there is no better way to increase your content on the web than by blogging. Be sure to include your Keywords in your blog posts and your blog posts’ names.

3) Place Calls to Action on your website

One of the best ways to convert website visitors into leads and customers is through the use of Calls to Action. A Call to Action is simply a directive to the website visitor (e.g. Click Here to download Free eBook). Often a Call to Action will offer the website visitor more information in exchange for their email address. Once you have an email address (a lead), you can set up a nurturing campaign where you send the lead more information about your product or service. (Always have an opt out option in your emails and stop your nurturing campaign if they opt out)

Of course, there are many more ways to improve your website. These are just three to help get you started.




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Keywords and keyword phrases are vital to SEO and getting found on the internet because they are what the search engines use to deliver results. When you have a topic to write about on the internet, you need to do a little keyword research. Think of the words or phrases (keywords and keyword phrases) your target audience might use to search for this topic in search engines. Be sure they are terms your target audience would use. We often see businesses use technical terms when their audience is non-technical laypeople.

Once you have come up with several phrases, use a keyword tool, such as the one in HubSpot or Google, to see if any of your phrases are being used in searches. These tools will also give you ideas for other phrases that are being used. Pick the most relevant phrase to your topic that is getting searched. You usually don’t want the phrase with the most searches, as they are usually very general and you are unlikely to rank for them. Once you have chosen your keyword phrase, sprinkle it throughout your article, use it in your title.

The reason keyword phrases are important is because they are what search engines use to deliver results. All other variables being equal, the more closely your keyword phrase matches someone’s search field, the higher your article will rank in the results.




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content is kingContent Is SEO King

We are constantly telling our clients that blogging is one of the best SEO strategies there is. That’s because search engines love content, fresh relevant content. And the best way to provide fresh relevant content is through relevant keyword rich blog posts.

As we are fond of saying on this blog, your website/blog is like a trotline with every page/post being a hook baited with relevant keywords (Google bait). The more pages/posts you have, the more hooks and Google bait you have. And the more likely you are to show up on a search results page.

Now What

So you’ve got your blog articles out there. Now one of them appears on the first page of someone’s search results and they click, go to and read your blog post. Now what?

What do you want them to do now?

  • Download a White Paper or eBook
  • Fill out a questionnaire
  • Read another article
  • Contact you for a consultation
  • Or something else

Do you have a call to action that is relevant to your post or your business? Without a call to action, many, if not most, people will think nice article and continue searching the web for more information. You need to give them a reason to give you some information about themselves (e.g. name and email address) in return for something such as a white paper related to the blog post. Once you have their name and email information, they become a lead. Now you can use email marketing to nurture these leads and convert them into customers.

Inbound Marketing is a process and not a tactic. This process uses tactics, such as:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Lead Generation (through Calls To Action)
  • Email Marketing
  • Lead Nurturing

to achieve its goal, which is securing customers for your business. Many businesses stop after using the first tactic (SEO), thinking more visitors equals more customers. While that may be true to some extent, to be truly successful, you need to go through the entire process to achieve maximum results.




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For purposes of this post, we will be using the term keywords to refer to words and phrases on a webpage not the words in the “keyword” meta tag.

Marketing Titan says:

Generally, keywords can be defined as a word or words identifying something on a page. More accurately, however, keywords can be defined as the specific terms used by a person to search for something on the internet. In general, you want to identify the phrases being used to search for your product or service and then incorporate those in your Internet marketing.

Keyword Importance

Keywords are important because keywords are what lead people using search engines to your website. So, choosing and using the right keywords on your website is extremely important for higher search engine rankings.

How to Choose Keywords

To choose the right keywords, first analyze your business carefully and think of all the words and phrases that relate to your company, product or service that people may use to find you on the internet. Then, use a keyword tool such as Google’s Keyword Tool to determine which keyword phrases are being searched the most.

After you determine a particular keyword phrase to use on your web page, sprinkle that phrase within the content of that web page. You should not use more than one or two keyword phrases on a web page.

Other places to use your keyword phrase:

  • HTML Page Title
  • Text (content) of the Page
  • Meta Description
  • Meta Keywords
  • ALT Tags
  • URL name

Selecting the wrong keyword phrase or not selecting a keyword phrase at all can cost you dearly in the search engine rankings.




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Marketing Charts recently reported the results of a new “2011 Social Shopping Study” from the e-tailing group, PowerReviews. The results showed that consumers are spending an increasing amount of their shopping time on the internet researching products and services before purchasing them.

importance-of-online-research-to-shopping

According to the data, half (50%) of all consumers spend at least 75% of their total shopping time researching products online. And 15% of all shoppers spend at least 90% of their total shopping time doing online research. Half is more than double the percentage in 2010 when only 21% spent at least 75% of their shopping time conducting online product research.

online-research-info-intensive

The study also showed that one in three (34%) shoppers spends a few days researching information intensive products before making a purchase.

etailing-research-process

According to the study, search engines were the most popular research starting point with 44% looking to search engines first. Another 33% started their search at the retailer’s website.

This study shows the increasing importance of the internet in consumer purchasing decisions. The results would also indicate the potential effectiveness of the inbound marketing process (Get Found, Convert, and Analyze) in attracting new customers.

Are you using inbound marketing to get new customers? If not, would you like to turn your website into a lead generation machine? If so, contact us today and let us show you how.




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I’m What You Are Looking For

by Christi on August 2, 2011

reinveting the wheelHow about that? When you are looking for something online, you find it. That is the simplest, most direct and best website strategy there is. As Seth Godin says, “Many websites say, ‘look at me.’ Your goal ought to be to say, ‘here’s what you were looking for’.”

It really is that simple. When someone finds your business online, it is usually because they were looking for you. Give them what they were looking for! Make your information easy to understand. Make it easy to navigate. Make it attractive. Make it easy to convert by including compelling calls to action. Use a blog to incorporate fresh, interesting, up to date information.

Measure your results. See what is working and what is not working. Get rid of what is not working and improve what is working to make it better.

Don’t try to reinvent the wheel here. What works, works. Do what works.

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.”
~Craig Davis CCO, Worldwide
J. Walter Thompson (world’s 4th largest ad agency)




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Website Strategy: Fresh Content

by Christi on July 29, 2011

Does your business stay the same day in and day out. For most of us, the answer is no. Sure there are some constants such as our phone number and address and main products and services. However, if we never change anything or offer anything new or do something different, we are pretty boring. The same is true for your website. If you put up a website and never change anything, it is pretty boring.

Static, brochure style websites can certainly serve a purpose. They can let people know about you, where you are located, how to reach you and about your products and services. That is what it should do. But, that by itself, is just a little boring. It is also a little boring to search engines as well.

Why not update your site and offer fresh information on a regular basis? You know where this is going, don’t you? Here it is, the easiest, most effective way to regularly offer fresh, up to date information is with . . .  a blog. I know you have heard me say this a thousand times, but until something else comes along that is better, I’ll stick by this. I’ll also restate the stats that back me up. Companies that blog get:

  • 55% more visitors
  • convert 40% more of their visitors into leads
  • have 434% more indexed pages
  • get 97% more inbound links
I’ve even seen businesses that don’t blog very often or blog very inconsistently benefit from a blog. It takes them a lot longer, but they still benefit. Does your business have a blog? Tell me about it and get a free blog analysis.




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Optimize Pictures – Make the Web Faster!

by Christi on July 27, 2011

We are always stressing the importance of optimizing pictures for load speed to all of our website clients as well as our blogging clients. Yes, it is an extra step, and, yes, it takes a little bit more time, but it is a very important step. Why? Because it makes your page load faster which is good for visitors whether they be web spiders or real live people. Optimizing pictures is just one way to speed up page load, but it is also one of the easiest. Google thinks speed is so important, they created a “Make the Web Faster” program and have built tools to help you evaluate the load time of your page and increase the speed.

Sometimes, people get the mistaken idea that optimizing pictures for the web will greatly diminish the quality of the pictures. Let’s look at an example:

My Flowers 1

Picture 1

 

My Flowers 2

Picture 2

Which picture do you think is optimized? The answer is picture 2. There is a slight difference in quality, however, picture one will load much slower. Is there enough difference in the pictures that you would turn off your website visitors with slow pictures just to get that very small amount of extra quality. Actually, I saved the 2nd picture using a medium quality. It could have been saved as high quality and it would have looked even better and, yet, still be optimized. I did this just to show the difference. The picture size is the same, but the file size of the 2nd picture is smaller so, it will load faster. Picture 1 is 291kb, Picture 2 is 29kb.

So, how can you optimize you pictures for speed? You can use tools such as PhotoShop Elements that have a picture optimizer included. This program costs around $80. It is also good for editing pictures for quality. Some versions of Windows include a photo program that you can use to compress file sizes of pictures. If you don’t have a tool available to you for compressing pictures, you can use a free online tool such as the image optimizer at imageoptimizer.net.

Don’t keep your website or blog visitors waiting on slow loading pictures. Oh, and by the way, many of your visitors may now be visiting you on their mobile devise and they definitely don’t want to be kept waiting! Optimize your pictures and help make the web faster.




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