Can You Rank For What Doesn't Exist?
Recently I had to go back to organic search engine optimization or organic SEO learning and school/research. I always find it good to go back to your fundamentals to re-evaluate if you're missing something. I was told to rank a site for three keyword phrases. Out of the nine words (three words in each keyword phrase), only one of those words existed on the site. That word existed once out of around one million words on the site. Was I wrong in my logic? Had I become 'complacent' in the daily SEO tasks that I missed this capability? Was I truly not as knowledgeable as I thought? This is the journey of my research.
Coffee Shop Organic SEO Checks
We love coffee (and beer), but this article will be all about the coffee and checking on organic SEO results for our clients. We have some great software and team members who know SEO's ins and outs. Our software allows us to sit anywhere globally and get our clients ranked in the towns they want without ever setting foot in those cities and towns. For me, that is in Valparaiso. I always do real-world validation checks for quality control by physically driving to locations to test their organic SEO.
What is TF-IDF in relation to SEO?
Another abbreviation from the land of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. The first place ot start is what does TF-IDF stand for. TF-IDF stands for 'Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency'. This is a technique that came out from Hans Peter Luhn in 1957 came up with the Term Frequency part. In 1972, Karen Spärck Jones, conceived the Inverse Document Frequency (IDF) portion. So, this is nothing new in regard to existence. What is new is how the search engines use this information to help in the calculation and rating of your website pages.
Why Size Matters to SEO Growth
We started our series of organic search engine optimization or organic SEO techniques we're starting with when we wrote about 'FREE Press Releases.' That was indeed the start of what we're doing for each one of our social media management clients. I will discuss what we're doing for over 100 of our clients and over 1,500 pages of content, how it benefits you, and why the search engines will see a considerable boost with this change to help you grow your business.
What is Organic SEO?
As soon as I say, 'organic SEO' or 'organic search engine optimization,' I always get a 'deer in the headlights look.' Many are aware of what paid advertising is or PPC, but what is this 'organic' stuff. Let's look at what organic is and why it should be the foundational element of what you need for your online marketing strategy, even if you use paid advertising.
The WHY and the HOW of UTM Codes for SEO
UTM codes stand for Urchin Tracking Monitor. The name comes from Urchin Tracker which was a web analytics software that served as the base for Google Analytics. These are often used with Google Ads (formally Google AdWords). Marketing in the old days you spent hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on newspaper ads. These ads you often didn’t know the results. Either due to you or your employees not asking how you heard of us or truly thinking the newspaper was making results (e.g. you guessed). Today with technology you often will spend less but demand to know whether the results are working for you. First, you should’ve been asking that question under old school methods but there really was no 100% way of knowing. With UTM codes you can have some pretty accurate methods of how people are reaching you. They also can be used beyond just paid ads if used correctly. We’re going to not only dig into what UTM codes are but how you can use them and how to create them (easily).
SEO Basics: Title Tags
We all see the descriptions in the tabs of our favorite browser. These are title tags and are an essential part of your on-site page SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Often believed to be a beginner SEO technique, these tags are crucial to your optimization and being found. They need to be well thought out and updated to meet the needs of those visiting your site.
Local Search Engine Success
Did you know there is a way to reach your local audience without paid advertising and increase your search results? To do it right you need to do the following ten items to achieve success.
Search Engine Adrenaline Shot
We are hearing this more and more from companies talking with us. They ranked high once and now they are dropping and their competitors are ranking higher. These can be local or national companies organically (e.g. free) ranking higher than they and they think it’s because these corporations are outranking them because they are spending money. The answer is yes but not in the way they are thinking. They are ranking not because they are paying the search engines to rank to get those organic listings. They could be paying for ads but that doesn’t measure into the organic listings. They are paying their employees or a digital marketing company to make them rank that way. Let’s take a look and see what a business owner can do to fix this problem.
Why technology matters with SEO and Social Media
We feel it is great that companies in Northwest Indiana and really all over the United States are looking to streamline and save money. The question comes to where do you automate and have truly in-personal communication and where do you have that personal touch we all enjoy? Technology has a place to help cut costs. No longer do you need to pay $500-$1,000+ for social media digital marketing management. Technology can help keep costs low and increase your brands reach. Let the computer do the heavy lifting that used to take hours to gather information so that you can focus on what matters; the customer. Let’s look at where technology can (and should) be used, where it can (and shouldn’t be), and where you need to still use that 100% personal touch.
Is your entire SEO plan paid marketing?
If your entire marketing plan is paid marketing prepare to continually increase your paid marketing overtime. Paid marketing or pay-per-click is an effective way to reach new areas you weren’t previously in or areas where you want to further grow. Paid marketing though is not where you want your marketing efforts to be spent. You need to be looking at building up the content of your website for organic (e.g. free) marketing. Free marketing doesn’t mean it’s free though. It means you must do things the “old fashioned way” by working for it. You need to be updating your products, your services, and start a blog.
All too often we see businesses making a big mistake when it comes to the search engines beyond ignoring them or just paying to play. They are still thinking the early 2000’s and the internet on how they worked before they could do a lot of 'self thinking'. The search engines have evolved, yet many businesses have not evolved with these changes. Google is a major force recon with when it comes to the search engines and they are not slowing down with their updates. With over 500 updates per year you need to continue to bring you’re 'A' game to make the search engines work for you. Paying for your search engine optimization or SEO is a short-term fix to a long-term problem.
Growth & Transparency
Many of our clients, friends, and even local competitors we’ve been talking to over the past several weeks and they say we seem to be busy. We are and we know why and are going to tell you how we’re doing in one area. That area is search engine optimization and social media. It’s actually technology that gives us our edge. As software developers we think analytically to grow business. We have spent tens of thousands of dollars on tools to help our small business clients rock it. We get tools that work together that give us insights into what the internet is doing. With that information we can dig deeper than most and spot trends months before others start reacting.
What are heatmaps?
Heatmaps are dynamic and interactive reports to visually show you what users are doing not only on your website but in great detail on a given page. A heat map will overlay colors on your website to show where users are clicking, where mouse movements are (e.g. this is considered eye tracking as well!), how far down on a page someone scrolls, percentage of clicks on a given area, and many will even allow you to export the information for deeper dives in analytics software or spreadsheets.
Top 5 SEO Lies
As a company that everything is based on 'no lying' it's always good to cover some of the biggest lies that we know people have been told. Today we're going to cover search engine optimization and the most common lies that we routinely here. Slick talkers will say whatever they can for a sale. Business owners want to get as high on the search engines and when they hear a deal, even one too good to be true, many will jump on board.
What are backlinks?
When it comes to search engine optimization or SEO and you are talking about organic SEO every conversation will eventually cover backlinks and why you need them. Backlinks are a key way to organic search engine success but that doesn't mean they are a good thing. As with everything in life, there are good and bad when it comes to backlinks. backlinks are links from domains outside of your control that link back to one or more pages to your website. backlinks are also referred to as referring links or referring domains.
SEO and how it benefits your website
We talk about the benefits of SEO or search engine optimization with every project we work on. Whether it be a basic brochure site, a site designed for lead generation, a customer support site, or an eCommerce site. You can build the most beautiful site in the world. You can have the greatest content in the world. Only when you let people know it exists will they be able to find you.
Organic SEO vs Pay Per Click vs Doing Nothing
Debate as much as you want regarding organic search engine optimization or SEO versus paid advertising or PPC and you will find out it is a hot topic with people fighting on both sides of the fence that one is better than the other. A third option we see all too much is to be completely lazy and do nothing as you've vested so much money that you expect that money to also be heard by the search engines that you didn't even pay because your site is just 'that great'. The question comes down to which one will work best for your brand, your timeframe, target market, what your budget is, how patient you are, and whether you have truly great content. We've re-written this several times and are going to lay the pros and cons to each.
SEO Best Practices for Your Small Business Website
We believe that small business truly makes our communities grow. They have heart, passion, raise their families, and are 100% committed to our communities. We believe big business is important but will never be as vested in our local community as much as small business. To that end we look for ways to improve small business search engine optimization for small business whether you are in Valparaiso, Merrillville, or in a big city like Chicago. These SEO techniques work for every small business.
Elements to a quality blog post
As part of any good search engine optimization or SEO technique is to provide consistent content to your audience. Consistency comes in many forms when it comes to blog posts When we are sitting in our downtown Valparaiso Indiana office looking out the window and hear the cars drive by in the early morning there are periods of silence. This silence allows us to reflect on the past traffic and think about the traffic that is about to come. Your blog post is similar in that you write a post, publish the post, and then think of the next one. You'll then repeat the process. But what all goes into a quality blog post and how can it help you with your search engine optimization? Well, let's read on and find out.
Power of META Descriptions in the sales cycle
Every page has a brief description outlining what your page is about. This description the normal human will never see on the website itself. You will see it within the search results if the search engine believes your description portrays an accurate representation of your page. Having a poorly crafted description could turn off a wood be customer off while a well-crafted description will not only bring them in wanting to know more but be your first step in the sales process. Let's delve in and learn what the META description is and how it can help you increase your visitor traffic to your website.
Dealing with Negative Customer Reviews
It's time to talk about the pieces of our business that no business owner ever hopes to be discussing. Being prepared though is the first step in this situation. Dealing with your own mistakes, mistakes of employees, mistakes of other customers, misconceptions, missed expectations, and dealing with people that are just unhappy with your services. How you handle these situations will either turn them into an advocate or make them your worse enemy. Let's shoot for your advocate! Whenever we take on a project for our SEO and social media Business Improvement Plan clients we do an onboarding meeting whether on the phone or in-person. We discuss how to deal with negative reviews and remarks. In this article, we are going to talk solely on about the review side but pertains to any negative attributes you receive regarding your products, service, or business.
How can local SEO help me nationally?
As we continue to do a lot of local SEO which accounts for half of our daily work there is a large portion of our clients that sell nationally as well. These clients are already optimized for local search using items like latitude and longitude, local specific words, etc. so the search engines know where they are. Today one asked if they are configured for local SEO how does that help them in the national scene of SEO and if the local SEO optimizations might be hurting or holding them back. Today we look at these questions in a bit more detail.
SEO Keywords are dead
When it comes to the search engines keywords are truly dead. This doesn't mean you should completely forget about them but they should not be as much of a focus as people still put on them. The search engines are a lot smarter today than they were five years ago. If your strategy is about keywords like 'web design Valparaiso Indiana' you are missing the point of what the search engines are doing in today's world. Let's explore why keywords are dead and how you should change your search engine strategy.