Be Realistic While Being AmbitiousRome wasn't built in a day, but it was built. Your Search Traffic Strategy (STS) should be focused and well planned for realistic growth potential. Starting with a realistic view of keyword development, your strategy should begin focused on conversions and little else. Use keyword tools offered by Google to find the ones that will have the most direct appeal to the most potential visitors in your market. If you are a local business, you should search all terms in a local area instead of looking at broad terms (since those in the Adwords Keyword Tool are based on national stats). For local businesses as well, there is Google Trends. Digging down to local areas to test keyword effectiveness is always suggested. You may also want to verify keyword usage with customer and reader surveys. Poll your readers and those you want to become readers on what terms they find the most engaging. Use this data to build future Search Traffic Strategy plans that will be more effective at pulling in convertible visitors.
Get Your Visitors To The Funnel, Not To The FluffSome marketers are now selling the theory of diverting traffic from your site to your social media and then back... This is absurd and a waste or potential conversions. All of those coaxing you to divert traffic elsewhere when a direct trip to your conversion funnel has fewer steps are asking you to risk conversions to prove their theory (that in many cases is only popular because a bunch of marketers bought into it and replicated it to their other clients). In the end, the shortest distance between your visitors and your conversion funnel, then best. Your keywords should be paired with your target conversions to bring the most qualified visitors to your funnel in the most efficient way possible.
Sell What You SellInstead of dancing around product keywords that have nothing to do with your own, stick to the ones people will use to find you. As long as the product can stand on its own, there is never a need to use fear tactics or subverted sales techniques to push your product Search Traffic. Many times we see the failure of this in scam sites pushing things like Prepper Food Supplies. We've all heard the fear mongering commercials about some guy who knows "a secret about a FEMA plan to cause global chaos"... probably leading to a zombie apocalypse and definitely death by snu snu... Not only are these scams ridiculous in their appeals to those who are willing to eat up pandemonium as fact, they are a giant waste of resources since direct sales methods would likely provide better conversions. In all of those indirect, fear driven ads, they waste mass resources while one direct ad would be able to garner the target purchaser without all of the deception. The only thing gained from those skyscraper, dupe sites are the sheep who are dumb enough to add themselves to these site's mailing lists. Worse, those unskilled enough to allow themselves to end up on these lists will likely lack the financial means of being strong sales candidates. In the end, a simple, and direct sales message would weed out all of the non-purchasing traffic for those who would be willing to convert. In fact, the only reason those clickbank and Newsmax scam feeds are even doable still is that the media still pushes them as well to push up their own affiliate banks.
Only Use Analytic Data To Track Originally Targeted Keywords That ConvertAs stated above, some Chicago and Naperville SEO Companies are all too willing to take credit for "oops" keywords. If you have an SEO Expert bring you additional keywords that you never agreed to before (especially in a spreadsheet looking like it came from Google Webmaster Tools), your red flags should be going up. Many times, struggling SEO Techs will bring thee up to divert from the failure to have clients ranking for the keywords that were to be targeted to begin with. If the keywords can't be cross-referenced to traffic Instead, make a decisive list of keywords to track, and pay little, if any attention to the others without traffic data to legitimize them as useful terms. You will want to ensure that your keywords are ones that convert traffic and sales, and as a result, this will be a criteria needing regular investigation. Again, this is where the scared SEO Tech will bring up ranking for random terms, but be mindful that these terms will need serious scrutiny. When adding additional terms to your watch list, ensure that they produce. Search new keywords in "Google Trends" to see if they have any ranking. This is especially true when you dig down to your local market. If you rank #1 for a term that gets 1 local search per month, then it might not be one worth nurturing. If your SEO Expert tells you that this is a needed term, you may want to look for a more qualified representative. Ultimately, there will be new tools to pick up at every turn along the path, so most importantly, remain teachable. SEO and Search Traffic Strategy are fluid and will require updating methods to adapt to updated measures.
Searchable Content Written For The Readers, Not GoogleRepeating the same phrases and keywords spamming with local pages is a great way to ensure that garnered traffic bounces from your site. Your goal as a business content creator is to inspire readers to become both customers and secondary promoters, you are not to be writing what "Google will enjoy". Inherently, if your content is satisfactory to your readers, describes and informs your product or service and inspires visitors to engage, then Google will already be satisfied and reward your efforts. Well written data will attract both Google and engage site visitors.
Optimizing Content For Visitor InteractionsIt's one thing to get people to read your content, it's another to have them find it important enough to respond with comments or even more important, to share with their Personal Social Networks (PSN). Everyone online has their own, individual PSN. Inspiring visitors to engage your content via their own PSN is the basis for using the facebook comment plugin or commenting widgets like Disqus. With every user that your reader is able to re-engage your content to, your site gets more than just another reader, it gets relevant linking with every interaction.
Traffic Strategy With Quality Page DescriptionsThis is likely the top failure we have seen in the Chicago SEO market. We will have clients come to us with incredibly high listings for quality terms.... and they will have horrid and useless descriptions for their search results (yes, this still happens even with the updates Google has made to results). This is often the direct action of a previous Chicago SEO Company they had managing their site. Descriptions written to please Google are almost certain to discourage real readers. Descriptions and page titles, while important to specific points of an SEO Strategy, can't be the one trick to Search Engine Ranking. Title and Description are the main driving force to bring readers to your overall content; if they don't match, or worse, are redundant and ridiculously written keyword spam bombs, then the readers will have no incentive to actually follow them. Consider signs for rest areas and food along an Interstate; if they don't adequately describe their product, you are less likely to stop unless desperate for a bathroom. If your content is ranking highly, yet the descriptions don't adequately match the search terms, you will only gain the traffic of those are desperate to get off the search. Again, Search Optimized Traffic (SOT) is the main strategy that should be the focus of any business with serious SEO campaigns. Listing high for the purpose of listing high is a strategy that can be a waste of resources. Ensure that your SEO Content and SEO Countermeasures are written to elevate user interaction and the overall conversions.
The Authorship markup was first unveiled by Google in June 2011 and SEO Techs everywhere rejoiced. Its roots can be traced back to the company's Agent Rank patent of 2007. Bill Slawski, an expert on Google's patents, says that the Agent Rank patent is a type of system wherein multiple pieces of content are connected with a digital signature that represents one or more "agents" (authors).
Three years after Google Authorship was launched, the company decided to discontinue the project and SEO's everywhere cried a little. The announcement came from John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools which he posted in Google+. According to Mueller, Google will stop displaying authorship in Google Search. Likewise, it will no longer track data from content with the rel=author markup in SERP rankings.
Google noticed that displaying the authorship information wasn't as useful as the company had thought it would be. At some point, it can even distract from the results. For these reasons, Google decided to axe the Authorship project.
Don't discount Author Rank as a result of this change and the reduced spinets.
According to Search Engine Land:
Google divulged that dropping Google Authorship shouldn't have an impact on how the In-depth articles section works so strong writers' SEO platforms should be intact. Google also explained that the dropping of Google Authorship won’t impact its other efforts to reward authors who perpetually make quality and engaging content. Well, if you read the above portion, you're likely scratching your heads. How is there to be author rank without authorship, when Google has also said that it’s ignoring authorship markup? The answer is that Google has other ways to the author of a quality story, if it wants. In particular, Google is likely to look for visible "bylines" and citations that often appear on news stories and blog posts. These existed before Google Authorship, and they aren't going away. One thing to keep in mind, you will want to ensure that all of your titled work is consolidated under the account name you will want tracked.
Author Rank Is Real — And Continues!
Schmidt was just speculating in his book, not describing anything that was actually happening at Google. From Google itself, there was talk several times last year of making use of Author Rank as a way to identify subject experts and somehow boost them in the search results:
- Google Authority Boost: Google’s Algorithm To Determine Which Site Is A Subject Authority, May 2013
- Google’s Matt Cutts: Someday, Perhaps Ranking Benefits From Using Rel=”Author”, June 2013
- Google Still Working On Promoting Subject-Specific Authorities In Search Results, December 2013
That was still all talk. The first real action came in March of this year. After Amit Singhal, the head of Google Search, said that Author Rank still wasn't being used, the head of Google’s web spam team gave a caveat of where Author Rank was used: for the “In-depth articles” section, when it sometimes appears, of Google’s search results.
If you're a small business owner, you've likely felt some pains because of the tighter lending regulations from banks. Your advertising budgets are already small or non-existent, making advertising even harder now. Fortunately, digital advertising has some low-cost options, allowing small businesses to be able to expand their limited budgets.
Many small businesses have Facebook and Twitter pages, and maybe a few listings in local directories, but that is the extent of their advertising. This is not for lack of interest, however. In a recent study released by market research firm BIA/Kelsey, 40 percent of small and midsized businesses plans to increase digital spending in the next year.
So how can businesses get the best return on investment from digital, internet and social media advertising methods?
It is understandable that companies do not want to put up the cash for traditional outbound marketing techniques, but there are actually a lot of inexpensive (and free) ways to market a business online that are underutilized. If you want to maximize your online presence, look beyond the typical social networks and directories and make use of these options as well:
Register your company with Google’s Places for Business. It's estimated that 97 percent of consumers decide what local businesses to frequent based on an online search? This free service from Google, Places for Business, literally puts you “on the map” so people can find the products or services you offer on a local level. If you do not have an office that is open to the public, you can choose a service area option during signup and hide your physical address. If you have multiple locations, you will want to sign up separately for each spot. Additionally, you will want to be added to several citation sites, to reinforce the Google Places listing. Ensure that the location, phone, and name of your business are the same on each of these sites. Bet results come from consistency.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce. For a small annual fee, you can take advantage of the many networking opportunities your local Chamber of Commerce provides. This is an excellent way to learn about the ways area laws will affect your business operations and also to rub elbows with potential clients. Usually new members get the chance to promote their business on the Chamber’s website or in its newsletter which could lead to a boost in business.
Seek out barter swaps with other local companies. This can take many different forms depending on the resources that you have available to trade. Consider comparable online banner ads or just simply leaving business cards at each other’s physical locations. You may also want to look into exchanging guest blog posts with other area businesses. By linking to each other, you will build up search engine credibility for people searching businesses in your area. There are really no limits here and business swap ideas are free. Try to find companies that make sense with which to trade – for example, a home inspector may find value in a swap relationship with a local Realtor or property management office.
Make a business video. People love to watch videos online, so why not ride that wave? Make a brief video explaining your services or products and post it several places, including your official website and YouTube. Show your expertise in your field with a video that explains what you do and why you are the best at it. People like to put a face with a business name, especially when it comes to local companies, so give them a reason to pick you over the other options.