Archive for SEO

How to monitor your SEO results

Results reflect the quality of SEO work that has been done. The most obvious result is organic ranking on page one of Google without having to use paid ads. However, there are some tools available on the internet that you can use for free to check the ranking performance of your site in search engines throughout the process.

1. Rankchecker
Rankchecker is a freemium service that allows you to check the standing of your site for specific keywords. All you need to do is register for a free account and you will then be able to check up to 5 keywords. It also gives you suggestions and warnings about things that you need to improve on in your site.

2. Google Analytics
If you have good SEO, your website will appear in the top pages of search engines. When that happens, traffic or the volume of users visiting your website will also increase. Google Analytics gives you the ability to track the traffic and also enables you to filter the data to see where the traffic came from, what device was used, how long the user stayed in your page and if the user came from a search engine or just typed your website’s URL directly. (Note: when you participate in Wordflirt’s maintenance program, you will receive monthly website traffic reports).

3. Google Webmaster tools
You can use this tool to test if your website can be crawled or is visible to bots used by search engines. It also checks if you have a sitemap available and flags any errors in your website like missing titles, invalid links and even spammy content.

It is important that you track the progress or any improvements in your site’s ranking. Numbers do not lie. Using the tools that we mentioned above gives you an overview and provides the data necessary to formulate a good judgment as to whether you or the company that you are working with has built an effective SEO campaign.

Read more about Wordflirt’s San Jose SEO.

Skill sets of a good SEO professional or company

There are a couple of technical SEO skill sets that you need to look for when choosing the company that you will be working with or you will be trusting to do the SEO of your website. These SEO skill sets are:

1. Content writing

Everyone who knows SEO knows that quality content is very important. Search engines, like Google, are very strict when it comes to the quality of content that a website has. If Google sees that your content is spammy, duplicated or over stuffed with the keywords that you are targeting, your website will rank lower in its SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Creating SEO friendly content requires creativity, grammar, vocabulary and a high understanding of how search engines read a website’s content.

2.  Creativity

Not everyone has the talent for creativity. One of the things that makes content writing tricky is the ability to write content in such a way that it’s natural or conversational but still has the targeted keywords. The content also has to be long enough without repeating key phrases over and over.

3.  Understanding of Website Analytics

Some search engines provide tools for you to see how your website is doing in terms of traffic and the specifics of where the traffic is coming from. The ability to understand the data from these tools is important to SEO because it is one of the indicators that will show if the SEO strategies that have been implemented is effective or not. Good SEO work means that your website should rank higher in search pages which then translates to better traffic coming to your site.

4.  Search Engine Algorithm knowledge

Knowing how search engines run things is crucial, because this could make or break all the work that has been done to your website. If a company or person that you are working with has no idea regarding how search engines operate or what its algorithm does, it might do more harm than good to your website. A good example: Google has put many systems in place to generate search results. It has a system that checks for content that has been over saturated with keywords and another system that checks the code of your web page follows proper HTML markup. In the event that you get flagged by one of these systems, you may get penalized by making your website rank lower.

5. Communication

Good communication is important in any project, business or partnership. Most, if not all, business owners want to get updated on the progress of projects that they are doing especially if it costs money. Some digital marketing firms out there will keep you in the dark about what they are doing to your website and will only communicate if you send them an email first. Sometimes, it may come to a point that contacting them will be a nightmare once you have already paid for the project. With Wordflirt’s SEO team, you can be sure that we will proactively send you updates.

We believe that skills are measured by output. Anyone can just say that they are the best at what they do but when you ask them the hard questions or the specifics of the field that they will either avoid your question or just make up “facts” to make you believe that they know what they are talking about.

Finding the right partner to do SEO can be difficult. There are many companies out there that offer the business and will promise you unrealistic results when it comes to SEO. Some companies may promise to get you to rank on page 1. Search results vary depending on many factors like location, search history and many more so if someone tells you that they can get you to rank 1 no matter what, that’s a red flag!

Wordflirt provides service in many different areas so whether you need Los Angeles or San Jose SEO services you can be assured that you get the best results with realistic targets and up to date strategies.

Characteristics of a good SEO company

How do you go about finding a trustworthy SEO expert for your site?

As a business owner, you know very well that trust is very important in any partnerships or business relationships. There are many SEO firms out there and you need to be very careful in choosing the right one to do business with.

We will talk about the technical skillsets below, but they really need to have some soft skills, because SEO, done properly, is not an overnight solution which then lasts forever – there is monitoring, reporting, and tweaking as things change.

Important attributes include:

  • Are realistic as to what’s really possible for your rankings? For example, if you are trying to rank #1 for the keyword “online MBA” in two months, it’s just not possible, as companies and universities have been working on this for years with a ton of money and resources behind them. They should be able to evaluate and analyze the competitive nature of your keywords and recommend a realistic timeframe and budget to get you ranked.
  • Communicate to you regularly on the status. This can be either weekly or monthly depending upon how often you want to monitor your rankings. Start of with at least once per month. See below for what you should be monitoring.
  • Speaking of communications, they should have at least a couple of blogs on their site about SEO, what it takes, etc., to educate you on not only what they do, but on what SEO really means. If they can coherently write about it, chances are they’ll be able to coherently communicate with you.
  • Understand what your needs are. It may take only a slight increase in traffic to sell a few more of your items to make a big difference in the revenue of your business. Here is one place where you must understand the Lifetime Value of your clients so you know how much to spend and how often. We’ll have more on that in another SEO post.
  • Have a grasp on the difference between strategy and tactics, and communicate with you on that difference. Basically, the strategy is a long-term goal and should not change much, but the tactics are short-term and can change depending upon what works to accomplish the strategy.

Why do you need SEO

The Power of SEO

First, it’s important to understand what SEO is. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s part methodology and part art that allows Google’s algorithms, or any other search engine, to find you and classify your website on the internet. Where you show up on a search based on your keywords (page one or page 1000), is called your “rank”.

Second, understand that Google is interested in delivering search results that are accurate and provide the best user experience. They want you to always use their search engine, which means going to Google.com whenever you run a search. This allows them to show you ads for which they get paid.

Getting your website ranked high organically (which means free to you without paying for ads) is very important for your business IF you want to get more leads and traffic without spending your time prospecting.

The easier you make it for Google to find your site and categorize it properly, the more accurate their results will be. The idea is that accurate search results mean the people that find you will be closer to your ideal client.

Also, as you’re out-and-about building relationships with people, some will forget your name but remember your business, or vice-versa, or may only remember parts of each. They will then “Google” you, and hopefully you’ll come up in their results. Proper SEO can help maximize your off-line networking, as well as your on-line network presence.

The highest ranked websites have additional opportunities for business growth. Advertisers, affiliates, and other partners will view your site as a high value, and may request to pay you for advertising or selling their products to your viewers (banner ads and affiliate programs). This creates a mutually beneficial relationship for your industry partners, with very little effort on your part (once your site is ranked, of course!).

Therefore, it’s really important to rank your website high. But how high?

According to this study from a few years ago (https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/study/2276184/no-1-position-in-google-gets-33-of-search-traffic-study) , there’s a dramatic drop-off as you move down the list. And that 92% of all traffic from the average search is confined to page 1.

The Reality of SEO

Over the years, there have been many theories and solutions, both ethical (whitehat) and unethical (blackhat) which have come and gone. Some methods have remained solid and reliable. Others have garnered the dreaded “Google Slap” for poor practice or unsupported tactics. Google’s utmost concern is the quality of their search results, so SEO companies that rely on spammy links and crummy content, are no longer ranking.

A truly ethical, long-lasting SEO campaign will achieve high ranking on the search engines within a specific period of time, then only require tweaking when Google changes their algorithm. Many SEO companies will have you believe that you need to be with them forever in order to keep your ranking, however that is just not true or fair to you, the business owner. Yes, it can take a long time to rank your site, depending upon how competitive your keywords are. No, you don’t need to employ an SEO team forever.

Interested to learn more about SEO? Read our San Jose SEO post to know more.

The Two Main Benefits of Social Media for Business

The Obvious and The Optimized

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People often ask me why they should put their business on social media. Although this question is being asked less as time goes by, it is still something that many business leaders don’t understand.

More often, they say they KNOW they should be on social media, but they often don’t know WHY. Here are the main two reasons why you need to be on social media and it may not be what you think.

The Obvious

Marketing. This is the most common reason why business leaders think they “get” social media, but it can be deceptive. Yes, you have the potential to reach not only current customers, but potential customers as well. When you create engaging content that appeals to your target audience, over time, you can grow that audience to become loyal customers. The key phrase being “over time” – nothing happens over night with this type of marketing (unless you use paid advertising), but it can eventually be a valued means of marketing you, your company and your products/services. In this day and age if you’re NOT on social media when your potential customers look for you, you may not get that call, that visit, that sale. Therefore, every business should use social media to market themselves as a component of their overall marketing plan.

The Optimized

Social Media Optimization (SMO). To me, this is the most powerful benefit of social media. Let me back up a bit and discuss an often-confusing topic: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

When a potential customer looks something up on a search engine such as Google or Yahoo, they attempt to describe what they are looking for with words and phrases. These are called “keywords”. The search engine responds with pages and pages of information that it thinks the searcher wants. What appears on page one of the search is often what the searcher needs, therefore, they may not click to pages 2+.

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Your goal, therefore, is to be on page one of the search results. This is complicated, competitive and difficult for the average business to attempt without using a professional SEO expert.

However, did you know that every time you post a link back to your business website on any of the social platforms, you’re sending a “social signal” from a HIGH authority site to your site?

A high authority website is similar to a popularity contest. Social media sites are really popular because they get A LOT of daily visits and the visitors create constant content on a wide range of topics and interests. Therefore, these large sites are usually far more popular than your site.

Be the Cool Kid…er…Website

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When you post a link to your website on the popular site, Google thinks you may be getting “cooler” and might actually consider you as popular too if you hang out with the popular sites more. We WANT Google to think you’re popular, because we want YOUR site to sit in the front seat of Google’s search results, aka, the first page.

With consistent posting using your keywords, and links back to your website, gradually you will become one of the cool kids. Above all, Google loves quality, so it has a way to see what you post, acknowledge your link, and if someone clicks through to your website, you step up your own authority. Complicated? Yes. But very doable.

Finally, the social media sites also have popularity contests. As you develop your audience you gain popularity, thus the venues such as Facebook, begin to show your content to more viewers. That is why your content needs to be consistent, relevant, peppered with your keywords, and engaging. Oh. And let’s not forget that link back to your own website when appropriate.

It’s important to understand that using social media for your business is not just posting all about you. Become an authority in your industry and share information that enriches, educates and engages your audience for best results, whether you’re using it for marketing or SMO.

Why Your Business Needs an Internet Marketing Team

Do YOU have a strong, integrated and STRATEGIC Internet Marketing strategy?

Watch our short (less than 5 min!) video to learn why it is critical for small to mid-sized businesses to have a well thought out and well executed on-line marketing strategy.

As you can see, it’s no longer an option to rely on direct mail, yellow page ads or even Yelp to bring you new customers. Your complete strategy should include the following:

  • A Modern, clean, responsive and easy to navigate website that converts visitors into new customers
  • A strong social media presence with regular content which builds YOUR authority and trust, and also leads your target audience back to your website (SEO)
  • A sound and trustworthy SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy to rank you on page 1 of Google for your keywords
  • A mobile website that helps you rank on Google when people search for you using a mobile device.
  • Listing in hundreds of local directories to boost your SEO
  • Integrated email marketing to complement your on-line and off-line advertising, allowing you to grow relationships with your current and target customers.
  • Use of powerful tools such as LinkedIn InMails and Google+ email to reach your ideal, targeted customer for lead generation and business growth
  • Strategic, laser focused Facebook advertising to reach customers in the ideal demographic for your business
  • Video production and marketing to get favored by Google and drive more traffic to your website.

Are You Overwhelmed?

You’re not alone. Most businesses do not have a single one of these strategies successfully working for them. The reason is because as a business owner or CEO, you are already busy engaging in what you do best – the heart of your business.

Our on-line marketing team can get you the results you need using proven, Internet strategies.

Make an appointment to discuss YOUR digital strategy. Click here for our on-line calendar.

Have you Heard of “Mobilegeddon?”

What is “Mobilegeddon”?

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There has been a big build up and a lot of hype about what web masters are calling “mobilegeddon” – have you heard of it? Well, it hit yesterday and it’s important that business owners understand what it could do to help or hurt their business.

The fact is, Google announced weeks ago that it was making a HUGE change to it’s mobile search algorithm. In the past, you may have heard of “Panda” and “Penguin” – up until now, these were considered the biggest changes to how Google ranks websites when a user searches for something. The change today, is being said to be an even GREATER change to search and your business could be affected.

One of the things that has caught the attention of web masters, is the fact that Google announced it BEFORE it made the changes, giving website owners an opportunity to be prepared when the changes hit. It is unprecedented for Google to let the world know in advance, which only confirms how big of a deal this algorithm change is.

What is the Change?

When users search for something on a mobile device, Google will now give a priority to “mobile-friendly” sites. In other words, websites that look good on smartphones and tablets.

Why is Google Doing this?!

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  • User Experience – Google wants their users to have a great experience when they search on mobile devices. If a website is not optimized to work and function great on mobile, it will lose some value in search results
  • The Facts – last year mobile searches bypassed desktop searches and it’s growing daily. Currently 70% of people that own a smartphone say they use the search feature.

 

How Does This Affect Your Business?

It’s important to understand that this doesn’t eliminate your website from mobile searches altogether. It is one – albeit a big one – factor that Google uses to rank search results.

Here are a couple of possible scenarios:

  1. Your website is mobile-friendly, so it has now bumped up in the search results on Google. You are beating out your competitors that are NOT mobile-friendly. You’re getting more customers and business is great!
  2. Your website is NOT mobile-friendly and you have been dropped in the search results to pages lower than you were before. Your competitors are mobile-friendly and they are getting more business. You’ve noticed a slowdown in your customers and business is starting to suffer.

How can You fix Your Website?

If your site is not mobile-optimized, don’t panic! These changes are not going to hit all at once and it’s not like your website will be lost in the search ethers! Here are some options that we offer:Our Business Optimizer will provide you with a budget-friendly, Responsive website. Your site will look good on every size device. Check it out here.

If you need a more robust option, a WordPress website may be right for you. We make sure that all of our WordPress sites are fully responsive. Check out our portfolio here.

We can help you so that your website looks modern, beautiful AND mobile-friendly!

 

What SEO can do for Your Business

People often get confused about what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can really do for them. The bottom line is, if you’re not on the first page of Google, someone else is getting YOUR clients. You could be missing out on thousands of dollars per month!

At Wordflirt, we can get you on the first page of Google search for your keywords. We have a safe, time-tested, effective system that has been proven time and time again. Here is an example of one doctor who has ranked on page one multiple times. This is our system – check it out!

So let me ask you – what would being ranked on page one of Google mean to YOUR pocket?