Search Engine Optimization

SEO & Popularity Are Connected

When it comes to page ranking, Google wants the sites that are most popular on top, as do users. This doesn’t mean you cannot be moved down in rankings – you can – which means you have to work to be ranked high. If you are popular and well known, you tend to be credible. Because of this, you have worked to earn a high ranking.

With that being said, hoisting yourself up to popularity can be rather difficult. There are factors that Google takes into account regarding popularity, such as the importance of quantity and quality of who is sharing your content. Social shares themselves are really beneficial for your popularity, even though they do not pass PageRank. Because they are good for your popularity, they are in turn good for your SEO efforts.

Another factor in popularity has to do with how your readers are engaging with your site. Google Analytics provides Google with a lot of information on user behavior, which helps to determine how popular websites are. Some components that help determine page popularity include scrolling on a page, the amount of time spent on the site, bookmarking, and copying/pasting information.

Lastly, links to your site will always improve your SEO. Google is starting to become strict on various linking tactics with links that cheat the system and simply do not deserve to be linked. The bots are improving on selecting good, quality links as we move forward, and this will be even more important when it comes to popularity. This is a good point to remember, as Google has made official algorithm changes and announcements claiming they are attempting to credit more veteran sites that are indeed trusted. The take away: build your SEO by remaining a trusted company and work to gain popularity.

Website Dilemma: User Content Versus SEO

 

Both user content and SEO keyword strategies should be used together, yet it can be difficult due to changes that company owners and webmasters must make according to regulations of search engines. These rules and regulations don’t always match up with what readers want to read, so it is important to try to find a healthy balance.

 

In some cases, balance is impossible and you must lean slightly one way. One reason for this is because the Google algorithm bots cannot see visuals the same way that humans are able to. We as humans generally prefer graphs and maps over text, and visuals usually need to be interpreted. A Google bot cannot do this, which is why websites are torn between a text rich in keywords and creating a beautifully appealing graphic. Because of this, both user content and SEO are necessary for success.

 

Break Text Into Points and Subheadings

An important fact is that readers enjoy reading text that is broken into bullet points and subheadings so they can catch certain points they may be looking for. Google claims that companies can write naturally and their keywords should appear naturally. While this may be true, webmasters love adding extra to attempt to boost their SEO even more. They do this by adding keywords into their headings and titles.

 

Site Readers & Visitors Always Come First

Both user content and SEO can work together, it just takes a little more effort. The best solution may be to think about your readers and site visitors as your first priority, and SEO as second. This does not mean you should ignore SEO and keywords! Make sure to be thorough without being overbearing. Also do some test keyword research to check that what you are writing about is something that will appear in rankings.

 

Remember that SEO should never come first. Doing so may put you on a higher page ranking, but it won’t mean anything if the content isn’t engaging your audience! We are experts at creating your site and providing content-writing for you here at 405 Media Group in order to boost rankings!

What Is Being Said About You?

Are you aware of what customers are saying about your company, including the products and the services you provide? The only way to find out your reputation is by searching yourself!

Take control by literally discovering what is being said about you and your business. This is something every business must do often. The truth is that most businesses are unaware of the fact that they have bad reviews online. In order to find out if customers are leaving bad reviews, use Google. Type in your business or your name into the search engine along with negative words or terms such as “scam” “the worst.” The search engine will give you results of pages that associate your business or name with those words. If you do not get any results, then your online reputation does not need saving!
But what happens if you do get results from that search? When you are presented with a bad review, it is completely normal to feel a little hurt, surprised, and upset. After you calm down, you must work to fix the issue by figuring if there is any validity to the review. Was your company experience a crisis? was one of your employee’s having an off day? Or did your customer simply misunderstand a procedure or standard of your company?

Review sites that remain most trusted have a section for the owner of a business to add a comment to the negative post. You should use this section to apologize for what happened. Customers admire when companies admit to their mistakes and thank them, even for a bad review. This helps your upset client feel like their opinion matters and helps potential customers understand that you are a trusted business that truly cares. After apologizing and thanking the reviewer, try to very briefly explain that this rarely happens and/or will never happen again. Your calming words with allow you to seem like you are a reasonable business and the bad review was just a rant. Also consider the fact that using slight humor can defuse the situation and also attract new customers. The most important thing to remember when responding to any review is to let the client know that you are listening and that you do care.

 

Good reviews are also good at working to diffuse the negative reviews. If you currently do not have a way to encourage customer reviews, consider creating one for them. Good reviews work to help your online reputation but also help with your search engine rankings too. A great strategy to use for encouraging customer reviews is through the signature line at the bottom of your emails. This works to remind them to leave a review while also not seeming too desperate. To make it easier for the customer, hyperlink the site into your email signature.

Another great way to develop reviews is to offer an incentive for a review: if they leave a review, they could receive a discount off of their next purchase or visit. This does also involve giving an incentive to those that leave a negative review too. Managing your reputation is a continuous process. If you are providing excellence service, monitoring your online reputation, responding to negative reviews, collecting positive reviews, and have a sense of humor, you are truly well on your way to maintaining a positive reputation.

5 Steps of Keyword Research

Figuring out the best search terms for your SEO efforts is extremely important for you to find so you are able to remain successful on search engines. Without the right search terms, the rest of your SEO efforts have more of a likelihood to fail. Researching the best keywords to use will remove the risk of targeting search terms that do not have search volume or are competitive to the point of being almost impossible to get your search terms onto the first page of Google.

Keyword research is not just about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right ones there. Once you have done your research, you will be able to predict market shifts and conditions, including services that possible customers are looking for and content that web searchers are seeking at the moment.

By doing this, you are creating a large opportunity to understand your audience with a very low investment in terms of cost. This is one of the reasons that SEO offers a high return on investment for advertisers willing to do the work needed in order to succeed in this specific, very popular marketing channel. Let’s walk through the 5 steps of keyword research, according to Search Engine Journal:

  1. Create an initial list of search terms that you think your target audience would use to find your website. A helpful way to determine this is by using your competitor’s website: right-click on their site and view the source code to look for the Meta keywords listed. These are the keywords they have found to be their most important searches in landing on their site and could be good for your starting point, along with any terms you came up with on your own.

  2. Next, take your list of search terms and put them into the Google Keyword tool: http://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool. After you’ve entered the search terms, click on the search button to show a list of related terms and their monthly traffic volumes per term.

  3. Create a document via excel with the search terms found in the Google Keyword Tool. Enter them based on their traffic competition and highest monthly traffic volumes. Choose about five to ten keywords toward the top of the list that you feel are most appropriate for your website.

  4. Next, check out the overall competitiveness of the search terms on your list. Google provides a competition score in the keyword tool, but this only shows the paid search competition and isn’t relevant for SEO. Because of this, you may want to use a tool such as: http://www.webseoanalytics.com/free/seo-tools/keyword-difficulty.php. Target search terms that are only considered low to medium in competition.
  5. After this, enter your search terms into a rank tracking software so you can keep track of your key search terms while also comprehending the activity impacting overall rankings for the search terms you target. Do so by using this tool: http://tools.seobook.com/firefox/rank-checker/.

Finding the correct keywords for targeting your SEO efforts is the first step in getting your page at the top of Google rankings. If you get it right, you will be well on your way to becoming successful on search engines!

Is Your Website Content Dated?

In this day and age, it is really important to have a website, since much consumer activitiy and searching is done on the Internet. While you may have a website developed, your content may be rather outdated. Say you formed your website when you started up your company, and that was about five years ago; or maybe it has been longer. Either way, it is important to routinely view your website and update information, as things are always changing. This may seem rather tedious, but it is often the first impression potential customers have about your company.

Start with fixing the errors on your site. This say seem rather obvious, but you may be surprised at home many websites have simple spelling, typing, and grammatical errors. New visitors will find even the slightest of errors, and that could be the difference between their choice of your services or your competitor’s.

Another way to update your website is through a new blog entry, article, or other content. This should be done at least once or twice a week so you can fill your site up with fresh and valuable information that your customers will want to read. This can also optimize your site and company for search engines.

You can also get some good press from your website, which helps build new leads. You can do this by writing an SEO press release or creating any newsworthy event and let the media know you’ve got news. By taking these simple steps to polish up your website, you can increase your online awareness, get the media talking about you, and build credibility for your customers.

Concentrate On Trust, Not Content

 

One thing to keep in mind when concentrating on content marketing is the idea of developing a sense of trust. You must work to cater the content around you and what makes your business stand out, not revolve around a product or service that you are selling. People tend to buy or go with a company that they like, is familiar, and which they trust.

 

A great advantage that small businesses have over larger corporations is the fact that because they are smaller, the smaller businesses are able to become more personal and relatable with their target audience. In today’s blog post, we will provide you with some great strategies and ideas to become better at content marketing.

 

At this point, you are well aware that social media is a great tool to use, but its main purpose is to direct these viewers to your actual website. Your site is where you answer all of your potential customer’s questions personally and in great detail, which is how you create loyalty.

One of the best ways to get your customers to trust you is by answering their questions in a clear and honest way. If your answer or information you provide comes across more like an advertisement or a sales letter, then you are not doing content marketing. Trust is not built by pushing sales, but by selflessly helping those who need it. Whether you use an approach to inform, entertain, or tell personal stories to your audience, you must not hard sell. Anything other than selling is bound to develop a connection, which will eventually turn into trust.

What will also make you successful in content marketing is to remember that it is simply not about you. It’s not about your company and it’s not about your products or services. It is not about what great work you do in the community, or the ideal location of your business. Once you make it all about you and your company, you lose the trust of your customers, and therefore, future customers.

It is about your customers and THEIR needs! Your customers want to read about what is on their minds, so ALWAYS consider the mindset of your audience. While everything should revolve around the customer’s needs, it is still rather important to have people recognize that you are an active participant, and a team player, then they will treat you as a member of the team. You cannot stop by and share a few things the day before you need those same people to share or promote your information for you. You and your business must commit to your community, and your network depends on you being there for them as much as it depends on them being there for you. In other words, don’t overdo it by constantly posting on social media, but stay involved and engaged consistently. This includes promoting other businesses and establishing relationships, because making friends on social media channels should be done way before you need them, which goes along with the concept of building trust, which is at the heart of marketing for small business success.

Affordable Marketing Tips For You

 

At 405 Media Group, we want to provide you with the best, innovative strategies for your business to succeed. Below are some guiding tips to follow so that your business is top in your industry.

  •  Post videos on your website: videos have been shown to move your ranking on Google keywords searches within approximately 30 minutes of uploading it. Humans are visual creatures, and if you upload a video for your customers, it builds a sense of connection and trust; a personable factor that many businesses do not have. You can make the video yourself or hire a professional for $500 or less in most markets.
  • Provide case studies for your viewers and customers: This practice is rather inexpensive and truly boosts your business’s credibility with happy customer stories. Have customers complete a simple, short phone interview, or create a portal on your website where customers can write their reviews and have them sent to your email. This works for businesses of any and every size and can be done well if you have an employer that has exceptional writing ability.
  • Create a blog and use it to reach out to prospective clients and customers. We use our blog to share information with you that will increase your customer base and polish up your company. We also use it to inform you about the services we provide and implement on a daily basis with our current customers.
  • Add your company to Google Maps/Local. To do this is completely free and important for many reasons. It bring customers to your company when they are in the area, and your business will generally appear high in Google search rankings. By using this tool, customers can also review the company and leave comments, which is great to evaluate your efforts and help understand the customer better.
  • Search forums for new customers. Some forums let you search for people who are interested in your services. When contacting these individuals, also make sure to offer a solution and reply to new or recent topics only.
  • Share information all over the World Wide Web. The best, most inexpensive way to promote a small company. Share a new project you completed, a photo, article, or information that will please your audience on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook. This will help you become better at what you do and inspire those to help people find your company and use your services.
  • Use content curation. People are looking for a specific kind of information specific to your business, and it only costs your time to put all of the content together and thousands of people will come to the site when looking for that specific information.
  • Use online services to grab the attention of media. Every story that features your business is free publicity. You can join for free at HelpaReporterOut.com (HARO) and answer questions about sources posted by reporters from top publications. You can also get the word out to the media by using inexpensive online services such as PRWeb.com. This is a great resource for publicity and improving the awareness of your brand or company.

Keep in mind not every marketing strategy works for every business, but a combination of the strategies above are sure to benefit your company.

Have You Checked Your Reputation Online Recently?

 

 

One of the services we provide at 405 Media Group involves creating and managing your business’s reputation, also known as ORM. This involves more than simply checking for online links, as it’s also about listening to and monitoring your actual presence on the web, and how people feel about your services, products, and company overall. Not only are we looking at the negative feedback and comments about your business, but this is also a great way to find strategies to increase your positive reputation on the Internet. How do we do this? By implementing many different approaches, including SEO on Google, social media platforms, review sites, and blogging.

 

Google is still one of the best ways to initiate your campaign of the positive image you would like to project for your business. Start by searching anything related to your company including your company’s name, products, services. Knowing the results you used for keyword searching is a large component of figuring out where people are complaining and also praising your company on the web. Review channels are also a great tool to use when it comes to monitoring. When brands do not have an online presence but they are listed on a review site such as Yelp with a few negative comments, those negative comments will be displayed on the first page of Google when searching for the company’s name. This can be avoided through establishing yourself and company online, which is what we do here at 405 Media Group.

 

Another aspect of Google is the search engine may not always show what is being said about your business on social media platforms and channels such as Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Searching these sites for any mentions regarding your brand is crucial, as angry customers might not go the extra mile to write an extensive review on review sites, but often vent their anger on their favorite social media platform.

 

Lastly, it is important to maintain and update a blog for your company. Include information about your company’s services, products and customer testimonials – everything that your audience is interested in. We have found great success with the companies we work with and for when it comes to their online presence because of our dedication to their online reputation, and we would be more than happy to help you and your business!

Use Logic to Become Great at SEO

 

Each time Google makes a change in their algorithms or announcing a new set of policies, it is obviously big news across the web, especially in the SEO industry. Knowing and understanding how Google works means that you can better optimize your business’s website to take advantage of that system and improve our search engine ranking, including number of visitors to your site.

 

In order to reap the benefits, you simply cannot just wait around for these announcements. You must be active, driven, and willing to try new strategies with no known outcome. While yes, you and your business may benefit from certain strategies by these announced changes to Google’s algorithm, so will each and every person on the Internet, such as your competition. In order to get ahead of the pack, you must think logically about the things Google might be doing, and you must test the theories you develop. Instead of waiting around for Google to announce their newest update, you should try to guess what that update will entail and be the first to get there. By doing so, your site will benefit from each new development before your competition has even reacted.

 

You may think that testing your theories sounds rather risky – and it is – but in the long run, you will not be damaging yourself or the company. The worst that could happen is that your effort is wasted. If you try things that you honestly believe Google will be looking for in the future, then it is very unlikely that you would get it so unbelievably wrong that you would damage you and your company. Even if it doesn’t pay off now, it may in the future; just be patient. Also, by testing your theories, you can find out what effect your new strategies are having on your ranking and that way you can decide to either stop or continue.

 

For example, Google is very likely to notice miss-spellings and poor grammar. Word processors show us how easy it can be for an algorithm to find bad writing and spelling errors, so it’s safe to believe that Google knows how to do this as well. We also know that Google works to pair its visitors with high quality, well-researched content that preferably comes from recognized brands and established corporations. This obviously makes sense that they would allow spelling errors to hurt rankings, because a large website will articles that are well-researched is unlikely to have spelling errors. It also makes sense that Google may prefer longer articles since they are more likely to have detailed, accurate information.

 

This logic is the same that tells us having a registered trademark for your brand may help, and having a privacy policy on your website may be useful also. This is why smart “webmasters” realized that it would not be long before Google stopped penalizing site for do-follow links to useful external sites, as you are helping Google index other good sites and for pointing your visitors in the direction of useful content in addition to yours.

 

In order to be great at SEO, you must second guess and use your brain to stay a step ahead, not just simply wait for announcements.