Archive for SEO Ranking

Welcome to our guest blogger Andy DeBrunner. He is a social media manager at Godfrey, and has worked with Fortune 100 companies to tackle their social media needs. He was also a contributor to Godfrey’s e-book, “Jumpstart Your B2B Marketing.” Follow him @adebrunner .

Your customers are using social media. That’s no surprise. So is it appropriate for you to join in on the fun and get your business on board? I know what some of you are thinking. “Sure, I know everyone’s using social media, but my company sells products that cost a ton of money and sales can take years to close. I can’t generate a sale, or even a lead, for any of my products using Facebook or Twitter.” If you just said some version of that to yourself, let me reframe the way you might want to think about social media for your business.

All too often, Facebook and Twitter dominate marketing meetings and boardroom conversations about social media, both in B2B and B2C. But social media is far more expansive than just these two behemoth sites. There is almost certainly another platform that will suit your company’s specific needs if neither of “the big two” fit. To shift your social media paradigm, consider the following types of social media outlets and how they might benefit a company with a long or complex sales cycle:

  • Photo-sharing sites. Is your product visual or design-related? Help inspire your customers early in the sales cycle with a photo stream on Flickr or Instagram, a Tumblr blog or maybe even a board on Pinterest.
  • Video-sharing sites. Does your product have killer demonstrations? Would side-by-side product comparisons help close the deal? If so, video sites such as YouTube or Vimeo could be your golden ticket to capture interest early.
  • Message boards. There are message boards for nearly every industry under the sun. If you don’t believe me, check out coffin-talk.net. All you need to do is find out where your target customer goes to ask questions about his/her job and help answer them. This is frequently overlooked, but can be unbelievably successful in finding customers who are ready to buy. The key is to understand the message board’s particular tone before jumping in with a sales pitch.
  • Industry blogs. You are probably already reading a few of these to stay on top of industry trends. Why not reach out to them to see if you can write a guest post as a representative of your company? This is a great way to get exposure to new audiences and another effective tactic for early in the buying cycle. If you’re skeptical, consider that you’re reading an example of this right now. Of course, if there are no great industry blogs, perhaps you could create your own. Nothing says “thought leadership” like creating the best content in your industry.
  • Professional networking sites. There’s nothing wrong with cold calling or e-mail campaigns, but a sales team who isn’t engaged on a professional networking site (let’s be honest, we’re talking about LinkedIn) is missing out on a potentially huge opportunity. There is a right way to use LinkedIn, so be sure your sales team knows what they’re doing before they let loose on their own. If done correctly, LinkedIn can be used to generate leads and nurture them all the way through the sale.
  • Social networking sites. I can’t just ignore this. After all, sites like Facebook and Twitter are quite useful for a lot of companies with long sales cycles, but you need to be smart about how you decide to use your account. Using Facebook and Twitter for customer service or simply as a platform to answer customers’ questions is often a great way to get started, though there are countless other ways to use social networks effectively to hit customers at all points during the sales cycle. Before moving on, I need to mention Google+ too. Recent changes to Google search have made it all but necessary for companies to create a G+ page. As always, research is key, so make sure you go in with a plan if you decide to create a page.
  • Location-based games. If you have trade shows in your marketing mix, location-based games are a great way to engage an audience and capture early leads. Perhaps you could offer deals or contests for people who check in at your booth.
  • Group buying/couponing sites. Group couponing sites have struggled to find their way into B2B, particularly for a complex, expensive sale, so if you have a great idea on how to apply it, I’d love to hear about it!
  • Podcasting. Allured by the idea of owning their own radio show to brand their company, many businesses jumped into podcasting without realizing how difficult it is to create and manage a radio show and quickly gave up. But there are more ways to get involved with podcasting than creating your own show. For example, sponsoring a podcast or volunteering to be a guest interviewee on a popular industry podcast are two “early cycle” ways to take advantage of podcasting without the commitment.
  • Slide-sharing sites. Do you sell to a target who needs to get approvals from an endless line of executives before he/she can sign on the dotted line? Why not create a sharable slide show (or several) that help your customers sell your product up the chain of command. That way, they have the tools they need to make your case when your salespeople can’t be in the room. Done correctly, slide shows can help you generate leads, then help you again to close the business at the end of the cycle.

In the end, social media may or may not be right for your organization for a lot of reasons, but if you think creatively it can often prove to be a valuable part of your overall B2B marketing mix.


Online review sites such as Yelp, Citysearch and Google’s local search make it easy for customers to spread the word about your business.

Some business owners have found these sites to be a great way to attract new customers and help the owners gain insights about their current customers’ expectations and experiences. But other businesses have been damaged by vindictive or fraudulent posts.

Following are some things you can do to make review sites work for you:

  • Set up a complete profile on all the review sites.
  • Actively monitor your listings on the sites.
  • Encourage your customers to write honest reviews and post them in the directories.
  • Make a bid deal out of your positive reviews.
  • Learn how to dispute reviews that are fake or false.
  • Respond to reviews that you can explain or clarify.
  • Mine the sites for insights about your business and about your competitors.
  • Become an active reviewer of the companies you patronize as a consumer.

You can monitor the review sites to see what customers are saying online about your business by subscribing to an RSS feed for your review profiles or by setting up email settings that notify you when a new review or comment has been posted. Consumer reviews can be a terrific source of leads and referrals for small businesses. After all, word of mouth is still the best kind of advertising and the hardest to get.

You can see our Google Place page at 

If you want to learn how we can help you get more leads with this method or you are a busy business owner and want us to manage it for you go to TargetedLocal or call us at 404-530-9564.

Nov
23

3 Local SEO Tips that Give Results

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Do you have a business that would benefit for local promotion? Well, that’s not a problem because all you need do is perform site optimization so you can capture that type of local traffic from search engines. It’s one of the easiest ways to get customers knocking on your door and enhancing your business. In this article we shall be looking into 3 simple local SEO tips that you can use right away to see results.

Local SEO processes are not rocket science, but there are some peculiarities that you have to know if you want to do it right. There is a particular approach used in local SEO, and basically it has to do with using content that is relevant to your business on other websites. There are aggregation services for local listings that search all over the web to find reviews, pictures and any related information about your company. One thing you can easily do is get listed, by URL submission, to infoUSA and Localeze.com. You have to make sure you are treating your customers right and not making the error of treating them wrong. It is unlikely that this is a new piece of information for you, but you will find it even more helpful and important now that there are many review sites and social media platforms where clients can post their thoughts and experiences. Irrespective of whether the news is great or terrible, it will spread fast. Thus, to reduce the likelihood of your customers badmouthing you, you need to make sure that you treat them well. If it is possible you should consider over-delivering so that your clients are very happy. You will be successful with this technique if you try to do the most you can. Local search relies on information about a business gathered from a variety of sites and the profile of the business. Thus, if a client has a problem with you offline they could choose to get in touch with you by posting a negative online review.

If you are trying to rank in the search engines for a particular location, it is often a good idea to have your site hosted by a server from the local area. You will gain more SEO points because the search engines will relate the location of the server to your site. This means that you should check the location of the server before you have your site hosted as this can have a big impact.

If you want to get high converting, localize traffic then local SEO is critical, which this article clearly shows. The biggest benefit local SEO has is that it is easy to rank because you aren’t competing against sites from all over the world.

As a web designer, you should design your websites to give your visitors the greatest ease of use , the best impression and most important of all a welcoming experience. It doesn’t matter if you had the greatest product in the whole world — if your website is poorly done you won’t be able to sell even one copy of it because visitors will be driven off your website by the lousy design.

When I’m talking about a “good design”, I’m not only talking about a good graphical design . A professional web design will be able to point out that there are many components which contribute to a good website design — accessibility design, interface or layout design, user experience design and of course the most straightforward, which is graphic design. Hence, I have highlighted some features of the worst web designs I’ve come across . Hopefully, you will be able to compare that against your own site as a checklist and if anything on your site fits the criteria, you should know it’s high time to take serious action!

1) Background music

Unless you are running a site which promotes a band, a CD or anything related to music, I would really advise you to stay away from putting looping background music onto your site.  It might sound pleasant to you at first, but imagine if you ran a big site with hundreds of pages and every time a visitor browses to another page on your site, the background music starts playing again.  If I were your visitor, I’d just turn off my speakers or leave your site. Moreover, they just add to the visitors burden when viewing your site — users on dial up connections will have to wait longer just to view your site as it is meant to be viewed .

2) Extra large/small text size

As I said, there is more to web design than purely graphics — user accessibility is one big part of it too! You should design the text on your site to be legible and reasonably sized to enable your visitors to read it without straining their eyes. No matter how good the content of your website or your sales copy is, if it’s illegible you won’t be selling anything !

3) Pop-up windows

Pop-up windows are so blatantly used to display advertisements that in my mind, 90% of pop-up windows are not worth my attention so I just close them on instinct every time each one manages to pass through my pop-up blocker (yes, I do have one like many users out there!) and, well, pops up on my screen.  Imagine if you had a very important message to convey and you put it in a pop-up window that gets killed most of the time it appears on a visitor’s screen. Your website loses its function immediately!

In concluding this article, let me remind you that as a webmaster your job is to make sure your website does what it’s meant to do effectively. Don’t let some minor mistakes stop your site from functioning optimally!

picture-2228Welcome my guest writer from webpronews.com; Chris Crum

Leverage More Google Properties For Traffic
It’s not all about traffic. It’s about conversions. But it’s hard to get conversions if you don’t have the traffic, and while Google is one of the best potential sources for traffic, Google has other search engines besides web search that people use all the time, and it will not hurt to rank in them too.



Which engines besides web search do you see big traffic from? Comment.


Conversions are the goal. Visibility is the strategy. Unfortunately, like most strategies, they take effort and paying attention to detail. The web may be taking a huge turn toward social, but search isn’t going anywhere. You need to be found where people are looking.

1. Ranking in YouTube

As you may or may not be aware, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine behind Google. Those businesses using online video are going to want to maximize their YouTube efforts by employing some easy strategies to gain more visibility.

A few tips mentioned a while back at SMX West include:

- An accurate and descriptive title

- Make sure your description is just that – descriptive. It should be accurate and unique, and use complete sentences.

- Descriptive keyword tags

- Avoid keyword stuffing

It’s best not to overlook the social element of YouTube as well. Active participation on the social level will contribute to your views. And let’s also not overlook the fact that YouTube can actually help you rank in Google itself. Other tips discussed at SMX were:

- Use Keyword Rich Descriptions and Tags

- Include the word “Video” in your titles because people do search for it.

- Use a link for the very first thing in your descriptions.

- Make sure and utilize your thumbnails. YouTube pulls these from the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 marks. Make them count.

- Encourage participation by enabling everything.

- use meta data

- use captions and subtitles

- use watermarks

- use Google Maps integration

There is plenty more info about ranking on and with YouTube here, and more tips on how businesses can use YouTube in general from Product Manager Tracy Chan here.

More tips for ranking in YouTube? Please share.

2. Ranking in Google Image Search

Dev Basu at Search Engine Journal has a great post up about leveraging rich media for SEO. He talks about video, presentations, and other things, but he also gives some good tips for images. He notes that one in five searches are image searches, and that alt tags and file name optimization are key. He says, “Other tips to double dip in image SEO include”:

-  Add images to your Google Local Business profile

- Enable Google Image Labeler in your Google Webmaster Tools account.

- Add images to local business citation sources.

- Add images to blog posts or news articles for syndication in Google news.

The following clip has a lot more useful information about Google Image Search:

YouTube Preview Image

More tips for ranking in Google Image Search? Please share.

3. Ranking in Google News

Covering a recent Search Engine Strategies session, Virginia Nussey with Bruce Clay notes, “News page views are up to trillions monthly.” More and more people are getting their news online. That’s why the newspaper industry is struggling. I don’t have the hard numbers, but I’m willing to bet a significant amount of people are getting news from Google News. She pulled away these things to keep in mind for Google News:

- Only indexes articles three days old or less

- Only indexes it once

- Read Google News Help for Publishers

- Google News XML Sitemap and monitor it

- Section names (keywords in News XML Sitemaps)

- Host “most popular” and “breaking news” sections on your site

- Sub-headlines or beginning of article copy is pulled in as Meta description

Google itself posted about some facts and myths pertaining to ranking in Google News searches about a year ago. In the interest of not making this article excruciatingly long (or at least even more so), I will just link to it. But you should definitely read it if you are serious about incorporating Google News into your strategy.

More tips for ranking in Google News? Please share.

4. Ranking in Google Maps/Local Search

While this one may seem fairly obvious, you need to think about terms a local searcher would use to find your business. They’ll most likely use the city and state in their search, so you’ll want your site to be optimized for those as well as business-specific keywords.

CD Store, Nicholasville, KY

For example, if you run a record store in Nicholasville, Kentucky, you’ll want to optimize for phrases like “Record Store, Nicholasville, Kentucky”, “CD Store, Nicholasville, KY”,  “Music, Nicholasville KY”,  and so forth. If your business is located in a small town, you may also want to optimize for the nearest larger city. Ryan Caldwell at Search Engine Journal discusses some other tips like:

- Anchor Text + Authority Matters, But Less

- Local Groupings

There is some good advice in a thread at the Small Business Brief forum, including a post by A.N.Onym who suggests the following tips for ranking in local search:

- have pages, mentioning your area of service

- your phone number

- your physical address

- directions on how to reach your office

- use landmarks (“after you pass the Street A and Street B intersection, you’ll see the Eiffel Tower” that’s three landmarks altogether)

- have links pointing to you from local websites and directories

- have a domain hosted locally (if locality is your primary concern)

- have ccTLD (country-specific domain – google.ca, for instance)

Bill Slawski of SEO By the Sea has a great article about Authority Documents for Google’s Local Search that is a must-read in this category.

More tips for ranking in Google Maps/Local Search? Please share.

5. Ranking in Google Blog Search

Back in ’07, Slawski started a thread in the Cre8asite Forum looking at positive and negative things that can have an affect on your Google Blog Search Rankings. Among the positives he included were:

- Number of RSS subscriptions
- Clicks on SERP post links
- Blogrolls
- number of “high quality” blogrolls the blog is in
- ability for visitors to tag posts
- whether or not people are tagging them
- References to the blog by sources other than blogs
- Pagerank

Some negatives he mentioned:

- if posts come in short bursts or predictable intervals
- if post content differs from feed version
- If content includes a lot of spammy words
- duplicate content
- if posts are the same size
- Link distribution
- If posts mostly link to one site

ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse also looked at Google’s Blog Search patent application and pulled some takeaways from that.

More tips for ranking in Google Blog Search? Please share.

Wrap Up

It’s important to note that results from other Google search engines often turn up in regular Google results, in case you need any extra incentive to pay attention to them. This is part of Google’s Universal Search. There are lots of opportunities to get your site found in Google other than just regular web search. And this is just organic stuff. There are certainly paid search opportunities to think about too.

Which of these do you see the most traffic from? Tell Our Readers.

Got more tips for ranking with these engines? Share your knowledge.

If you finds these tips helpful, please comment to let me know.

Jackie Tulos

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