One month from today marks what will be the biggest online shopping day of the year, perhaps of all-time (it was last year). Retailers everywhere are now scrambling to fine-tune their website marketing plan to pull consumers in their direction this coming December 1 (2014). Cyber Monday is coming and if you are an online retailer you are looking at a tremendous opportunity to start the Holiday season with an unprecedented one-day online revenue injection. However, your competition is thinking the same thing. Get a head start on them by following the six-step plan below.
6 Ways to Prepare Your Website and Online Marketing Plan for Cyber Monday
Understanding how to optimize your local business’ website to capture local search will be instrumental to your online success more than ever before next year. While such a statement may seem obvious far too many local sites are optimized for general search, bringing in unqualified traffic that is located nowhere near their place of businesses. Your SEO strategy needs to be more concentrated, focused, and customized to the unique behaviors of your region. By going through this ten point list, and applying the advice found within each item, you’ll be prepared to party like it’s already 2015 while your local competition scrambles to set their SEO resolutions three months from now.
10 Things to Do to Make Sure Your Local Business Website is Ready for SEO in 2015
Whether you are starting a brand new website for your business or have taken the big step to finally optimize the one you have for search engine marketing success, it all begins with one thing – your keywords. Nothing confuses a business owner with a website more than the concept of keyword targeting. Nothing causes miscommunication and disagreement quite like the final selection of these strings of words. Small and medium businesses often have grandiose aspirations for certain phrases with even grander expectations of ROI yet do not quite understand what it takes to climb to the top of a search engine results page using these words. Because of this many opportunities are missed and opportunity costs are lost. However steadfast methods exist that can give way to clear decisions and identification of a path that can lead qualified customers to your website today, while setting the stage for growth in the future. This article serves as your guide to choosing the right keywords for your website and SEO.
6 Things to Help You Decide Which Keywords You Should Target for Your Website’s Search Engine Marketing Strategy
I’m putting myself at risk by writing this article but someone needs to speak up. Someone needs to protect the innocent. You see, there’s an underworld out there, a gangland roamed by search engine marketers looking to prey on the unsuspecting small and medium businesses who hope to improve their website performance. Sometimes you can spot them a mile away, but too often they arrive with a nice tie and a big toothy grin, promising to take you to the promised land of Google Page One. They use fancy technical lingo to trick you into thinking that their explanations are over your head, and that you should simply trust them. They show you what you believe to be immediate results to get you hooked, which causes you to open your wallet further. A year later your website is left on blocks in the back alley of search engine results pages (SERPs) with no new customers or ROI to show for any of it, and no clear path back to where you began.
Today I’m uncovering the tactics used by the slickest of the SEO mafioso, the ones that often slide under the radar, the ones most SEOs won’t tell you about. I may have to watch my rear while walking down dark streets for the next few months. I may have to sit with my back facing the entrance of every Starbucks that I sit down at to write this blog. But it doesn’t matter, I have a responsibility to you, the business owner, above all other concerns. You may call me a martyr one day of you wish (savior has a nice ring to it too) but all that I ask is that you heed the advice below and watch out for the SEO mafia in your neighborhood.
Outdoor, or billboard, advertising has been around for as long as the roadsides where which they stand. It represents a North American institution in marketing in the same manner as the Yellow Pages do, and that is not necessarily a good thing. You see, it is this legacy that keeps businesses in a dangerous comfort zone. They understand outdoor advertising and they see big brands up there all of the time. They know that they can spend X dollars in exchange for Y amount of public traffic (pedestrian/auto) for Z period of time. It’s simple and comforting because their grandfathers and grandmothers have been doing it for decades. But is it still effective and relevant to today’s consumer?
Many of you may be struggling with the decision to transition your marketing budget from billboard advertising to online marketing, in particular towards organic search. Whether you are a small business owner looking to get the most out of your limited resources or a marketing director pitching for a budget to accommodate search engine optimization (SEO), the following article will help.
Comparing Outdoor Billboard Advertising to the Benefits of Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Last week I posted an article about how to get natural backlinks to your website by proactively identifying target sites and customizing your content for them. However to keep things succinct I had to leave out one of the most effective natural link building strategies that I’ve used for clients to date – reviewing other businesses.
Many of you have been so focused on receiving online reviews yourselves that you could have never anticipated this strategy. The suggestion alone appears to make no sense. You’re not Yelp, TripAdvisor, or any other inherent curator of online business reviews. You own a business. You depend on reviews. I must be pulling your leg, right? Read more on Review a Business to Get them to Link to Your Site→
Google has sent a very clear message with every move they have made over the last few months – websites that refuse to update frequently with content useful and relevant to their scope of business will turn up MIA on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Sure they’ve been not-so-subtly hinting at this for years, but many websites continued to dominate search for keywords based upon past domain authority and old school SEO tactics, and thus didn’t take Google’s warnings all that serious. But now Google has turned its product into a Weapon of Mass Destruction for any website that doesn’t deliver what the citizens of the world wide web demand – content. Are you still in doubt? Think that the threats are empty? Perhaps it’s time to look at the facts of what’s occurred in the second half of 2013.
4 Facts Proving Google is Taking a No Tolerance Policy for Those that Won’t Deliver Content
Hummingbird is coming for your website – is your content semantically sweet enough?
Google celebrated its 15th birthday last week by giving us all the gift of a new algorithm. No, I don’t refer to an update to Penguin or Panda which strikes fear into the hearts and minds of website managers everywhere. Google may be a sadistic bastard but even they wouldn’t hammer your site’s rank on its birthday. Instead they introduced the sweetly named Hummingbird which actually fluttered its way into our lives unnoticed over a month before it was officially announced. So does that mean Hummingbird isn’t that impactful? Not at all. It may be the biggest algorithm release since Google was a toddler.
Below I address the importance of Hummingbird, what to expect with its arrival, and advice on how to prepare your website marketing strategy.
What You Need to Know about the Google Hummingbird Algorithm
Bringing your typewriter to Starbucks to blog is one indicator (“look at me!” says Hipster…)
Encouraging clients to maintain a weekly blog is the one tip that all intelligible SEO consultants will recommend. Many clients give it a shot but are quickly discouraged one month into it because they didn’t immediately catapult to Google Page One and subsequently sell 1000 widgets (or whatever their product/service offering is) because of their efforts. Putting aside the fact that maintaining a blog is only a part of the solution to improving one’s website SEO, the reason that 99% of blogosphere activity is completely ineffective in improving search rank for a website where the blog is hosted is from poor execution.
I have no intention of putting an end to blog bashing by those business owners claiming that blogs are a waste of time in their website marketing campaign – let them rant (offline apparently). Instead, I’m here to offer a few easy to follow tips on how you, the open minded brand manager, can change your current blogging strategy and ultimately improve your search engine results, traffic, and customer acquisition opportunity.
Command Cartman-esque authority for your brand by follow these 6 steps below
Businesses achieving online success in both organic traffic and customer conversions can attribute that success to one key element – authority. Establishing online authority amongst others (competitors) in your industry means customers will find your website, and come to your website, first when seeking a product/service. Your brand can become synonymous with your industry within your locale. Unlike the days of PRT (print, radio, and television) or even current PPC (pay per click) strategy you can establish this reputation without digging deep into your pockets. It all comes down to content management and following the guideline I’ve provided below.