1-866-930-0367


Why Every Website SEO Company Needs To Master Public Relations

If you intend to do any serious amount of business with your website, SEO is only one small part of what you need to succeed in today’s internet business environment. Having backlinks used to be the be-all and end-all of SEO, but with last year’s Google update codenamed Panda, lots of things changed — and each successive update Google performs, from increasing the number of secure searches to punishing content mills, only pushes SEO further into the realm of PR.

Here’s what I mean. It used to be that you could outsource a few dozen 250-word articles to your friends in Bangalore, get them spun into a dozen articles each by some other friends in Calcutta, and post your 144 articles to 144 different article directories to get 144 unique backlinks with controllable anchor text and LSI — and it would matter. Not anymore.

Panda has killed thin-content pages — especially those on weak websites (like almost any article directory that’s not on the Top Ten Article Directories list.) You can still do that whole process, and it’s even gotten cheaper and quicker as automation software and outsourcing quality has improved; it just won’t actually bump your traffic much at all. If you want to see improvement in your rankings, you have to play to Panda’s demands — and that means real content on quality websites that pass legitimate juice through your backlinks.

So how does that force organic SEO and public relations to join hands? Simple — if you’re creating fat content, people will read it. If your content is looking like it has being written in the Bangalore, people are going to associate that level of quality and knowledge with your company forever. You never know which piece of content will be the one that a given surfer will find and use as his first impression of your company — and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

In other words, every ‘fat’ backlink you post needs to be something you would proud to have your customers see. And that means hiring an SEO company that knows a little something about PR.

How Will Secure Search Change Small Business SEO?

Google has started redirecting people who log into their Google accounts before searching to a new, more secure form of Google search. The difference is a small as an s: it’s https://www.google.com instead of http://www.google.com — but the effects the change has on the searching process are profound to everything except the searcher.

If you run a search on the new secure Google, you won’t notice any difference at all — but the owners and users of first- and third-party applications ranging from Google Analytics to Market Samurai will. Those applications take information from Google’s database of searches and use them to tell various people about your Google searches. The new secure search prevents those applications from ever getting your data.

If you’ve got Analytics, for example, and someone uses Google to get to your site, you’ll learn that they did so — but you won’t get to see what search term they used to get there. If you use Market Samurai, you won’t see the missing data, but the data that you don’t see will be incomplete — because whatever small percentage of people that are using the secure search don’t have their data counted by MSam’s keyword research module.

So what does this have to do with small business SEO? Pretty simple: even if all your doing is basic local internet marketing, you still need to know which keywords to target. As secure searches become more and more common (and Google has said outright that this is one of their goals!), obtaining the information you need to properly target keywords is going to get more and more difficult.

That said, this isn’t something that should be blown out of proportion. To a degree, local internet marketing isn’t ever that hard — if you sell martial arts supplies to a small down like Aptos, CA, the keywords “sparring equipment Aptos” or “Aptos ninja gear” are always going to be safe bets. It’s only for the long-tail keywords, particularly pay-per-click marketing long-tail keywords, that will really suffer — making PPC an even worse bet for small businesses than it is today.

Mobile Websites 101

There are over 2.5 billion mobile phone users in the world and the numbers are quickly increasing.  Additionally, many of them are applying internet access to their phones, making it easy for them to browse online while on the go.  For this reason, website owners are reconfiguring their settings to fit the standards of mobile devices.  Some phones, such as iPhones, have the capacity to upload any site, whether it is reconfigured or not. But most every other phone, particularly older versions, do not support the capacity of a regular website. Small screens require smaller space.  By decreasing the size of your site to fit 20MB, you will become accessible and viewable to any mobile website user.

To further understand what is needed to make your website mobile-accessible, you may want to first access your website from a cell phone and analyze what you see. Does it even load? Can you view important information on your website? What can be accessed on the site and what is missing? Many websites have flash features that do not work on phones at all.  In order to make the site mobile ready, you may have to remove this feature completely and replace it with something else. The main thing to keep in mind is the user and what is most important that they view on your site.

Here are 5 essential steps to keep in mind when altering your website:

  1. 1. Trim Down Content- Mobile phones do not have the same capacity as regular computers when it comes to uploading content. Therefore, it is important to trim down unnecessary content. Depending on what your company is selling or promoting, you need to decide what the most important features are and alter your site around these features. If you own a restaurant, for example, you may want to stick with the most essential information such as contact information, a map and directions to the restaurant, a menu and maybe any special promotions you are having. By doing this, you are not only making your site mobile ready but are also developing the key selling features of your site. Your clients will have an easier time accessing the important information from your site and will not waste time searching through useless pages.
  2. Immerse Content into Single Columns- Because phone screens are smaller than monitors, having multiple columns can often confuse and frustrate a user.  Having a single column that the user can scroll up and down on is much more practical.  They will find all the information they need easily and won’t find themselves spending minutes just to scroll through a page.
  3. Prioritize Your Content- While a regular website can easily spread their content all over a web page, mobile phones are harder to sift through. It’s important to prioritize your content, offering the most important features at the top or bottom of the page so that they are easily found by users.  For example, if you are selling brand apparel, it may be best to add a search browser or a drop down menu at the top or bottom of the page. That way users can just type in or search through categories to find what they are looking for. All information such as text and photos will then be placed in the middle of the page. The main idea is to make the site as user-friendly as possible.
  4. Customize Text Entry For Mobile Users- Typing on a mobile phone can be a lot trickier than typing on a standard keyboard.  Often times, users will make grammatical mistakes and take up lots of time typing in information.  This is why adding features that will require less typing are best.  Program “My Account” settings on your mobile site that will enable clients to simply type in their information one time and access it whenever they want.  This is especially handy when they are purchasing from your site! Also, instead of requiring a password to be entered to access a site, maybe install a pin feature that only requires numbers. Another big feature that is offered on mobile phones are inbuilt functionalities that will enable the user to access addresses and maps, make calls by simply clicking on a number and find the nearest restaurant, hospital, etc. of their choice.
  5. Design For Touch screen & Non-Touch screen- While it is key to fit as much important information as possible into your mobile site, it is also important to bear in mind the accessibility of certain features on the site.  Because touch screen users browse a site with their fingers, clicking on things can be a clumsy challenge.  If you make crucial links too small, it can be a challenge for them to access the link.  Make sure to make links a bit larger and easier to read and access.

Quick Links Like Forum Posting Or Slow Links like Article Writing and Distribution?

Last week, we mentioned a divide between two different kinds of links in the SEO world. Since then, we’ve gotten several Emails from interested readers who wanted us to explore that difference in a little bit more detail. Here goes.

Quick Links
The first category of backlinks are the ‘quick links’ — links that take very little creativity, time, or even expertise to generate. These are links like the ones you get from forum posting, social bookmarking, RSS aggregation, directory submission, and blog commenting.

The goal of a quick link is to get a backlink pointing from a unique root domain that you’re not already linked to — all other elements of the backlink are secondary. It’s nice if you can control your anchor text, your link context, your LSI, and all of that — but it’s not necessary. The simple fact that there’s a new root domain on your list of “root domains that are linked to my page” is the goal.

You can get quick links from almost anywhere — even most SEO-ignorant stay-at-home moms can be trained in the art of quick link building in a matter of hours. The important attributes of a quick-linker are a long attention span, an immunity to boredom, and a resistance to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Slow Links
The second group are the ‘slow links’ — links that get built at the rate of two per hour instead of twenty per hour. These links take a spark of creativity, because they need content in order to be built. Article writing and distribution, press releases, Web 2.0 properties, guest blog posts, and marketing videos are all slow links.

The thing about slow links is that they’re like the Swiss army knives of SEO: they do everything, and they do it all pretty well. A well-written slow link will give you:

  • * A backlink — and usually one with decent authority and juice behind it.
  • * A landing page from which potential customers can find you.
  • * A public work that you can point to as evidence of your expertise and use as a tool to build your reputation.
  • * A piece of content that other people might backlink to voluntarily, widening your sales funnel even further.

In the end, the best SEO strategies probably involve a bit of both kinds of links. Focus too much on quick links and you’ll lose to someone with a better reputation. Focus too much on slow links and someone with a mountain of quick links will outrank you. A divided approach is the best answer for most companies.

5 Common SEO Myths

Let’s face is, the world is filled with myths and the internet is no different! Most of these myths are relatively harmless, but problems arise when people actually believe and act upon them.  The Search Engine Optimization industry has a bountiful amount of myths that often get many people in trouble because they take them to be true.  Not only are they seen all over the web, but businesses actually feed these myths to innocent bystanders in hopes of making some extra money.  The key is to be knowledgeable about what the industry is really about and what realistic expectations you should have. This is especially important if you are planning on signing up with an SEO company. By doing your homework, you can save yourself lots of time and ultimately, lots of money.  To get you started, here are 5 very common SEO myths you should avoid at all costs!

  1. 1. SEO Guarantees a #1 Spot- If a company is guaranteeing a #1 spot on Google or any search engine for a key phrase or website name, run in the other direction!  SEO fluctuates constantly and is such a competitive industry that there is no way anyone can guarantee a #1 placement.  Period.
  2. 2. SEO Works Instantly- SEO does not work instantly. Again, if any company is dishing this myth out to you, be wary.  SEO is a very involved and time-consuming process.  Not only does it take time for webmasters to develop the code and optimize your website, but you must allow the search engines time to index your site and decide where your website will rank on their SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages.)
  3. 3. SEO Is a One Time Deal- This is a very common notion that many website owners seem to have.  Once they have applied SEO to their website, they think they are set for life.  This is simply not true.  SEO is one of those tactics that needs constant updating and supervision.  This may seem like a hassle, but honestly, it is worth it if you want your website to rank.
  4. 4. SEO Can Be Done By yourself- Sure, anything can be self-taught!  However, SEO is not something you can learn overnight… or even in a month.  The tactics are so in depth and they are in constant transformation and fluctuation.  In other words, what is pertinent one day, may not be important the next.  Therefore, it will probably be far more time efficient to hire a professional SEO to do the work for you.  It may seem costly, but you must realize that you are paying for quality! If you want something done right the first time, it’s best to hire an expert.
  5. 5. Search Engine Submissions Work- Nope! Don’t waste your money or time trying to submit your website to search engines because SEO doesn’t work this way. Search Engines want you to put in the hard work it takes to get ranked, so trying to pay them off isn’t going to buy you much. If a company is trying to sell you this tactic, tell them no thanks!

How To Handle Angry Clients

Whether you are in the SEO industry or any other industry, there will always be frustrated or angry clients to deal with.  Some are reasonable and others are irrational, but either way, you must deal with them in a professional and courteous manner.  This is important not only because it is part of owning a business, but because your clients are pretty much the essential aspect of that business.  Without them, your business will most definitely fall apart. Therefore, keeping them nice and happy should be your top priority! If you do encounter an angry client, here are five essential steps to resolving the issue and establishing peace.

  1. Keep Cool- Sure, it is human nature to get angry when someone is hostile toward you. But when it comes to customers, you must always remember that they are always right- even when they aren’t.  Therefore, no matter what the client says to you, you must always keep your composure.  Do not fight back but instead, respond in a confident and composed demeanor.  Express no hostility!
  2. Listen & Acknowledge- Again, the client wants to always feel as if they are in the right.  After all, they are the ones spending money on your business.  It is important to let the client express their concerns and comments- so let them vent! Listen to what they have to say and acknowledge where you are at fault.  This makes the client feel as if they have valid points and more importantly, that you are on their side.
  3. Ask Questions- After you have heard the client out, ask questions that are relevant to their concerns.  How can you better help them? What moves should you make to adjust to their needs? In essence; what will make them happy?
  4. Agree on a Solution- This is important! Here you will establish what you promise to do for them.  Come to an agreement on what changes are necessary to keep them as a client.  Remember, make sure that they are happy with the solutions you are offering.
  5. Go Above and Beyond- Once a solution is agreed upon by you and the client, you are not only going to meet that goal, but go above and beyond that.  This tells the customer that you are willing to go the extra mile for them and that they are a true priority.  Honestly, this tactic should be used with all clients you encounter, whether they are angry or not!

How a Sitemap Can Save Your Website

When it comes to promoting your business, your clients are the main people you need to worry about impressing.  However, this also means that in order to get to your client, you must first learn effective advertisement mediums. On the internet, your biggest hurdle will be with the search engines.  So many people use search engines to look for products and services they need, that advertising yourself on a search engine is now almost a necessity.  Therefore, truly understanding the best way to get noticed on a search engine is imperative to your business.  Almost every day, new developments are popping up in the search engine optimization world and sitemaps are only one of them.  A sitemap is now becoming a fantastic way for search engines to crawl your site without missing any of the pages within your site.  This results in better rankings for your website!

But what is a sitemap? Simply put, a sitemap is a map used to guide your visitors on what is available to them on your website. But more importantly than that, the sitemap is an XML file specifically designed by webmasters to inform search engines which pages on their website are available for them to crawl.  The crawlers simply pick up all the URLs listed on the sitemap and are able to easily extract information about each webpage with the information linked within the sitemap. Typically, search engines will crawl a website and are guided from page to page by links. This is effective but often times, they can miss pages and links may lead them away from your site. However, search engines that accept sitemaps are able to crawl websites with much more ease and in being directed by the sitemap, do not miss any pages within the site.

How does this help you? Well, the more pages that are crawled and indexed by search engines, the higher visibility you have online.  This means that all pages on your website will be picked up and become viewable to people browsing online.  By optimizing each of the pages on your website to the greatest capacity, your site will rank highly on search engines.  The ultimate goal is to be on the first page on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.  Of course, a sitemap is only one of the many steps necessary to optimize yourself effectively online.  By combining this with all other SEO factors, you will be on the way to developing a profitable online marketing campaign.

Improving Customer Service On Your Website

While building and optimizing your site are important factors that contribute to the development of your business, they will mean nothing if you do not have a loyal and satisfied customer base.  This goes beyond simply attracting potential clients- it’s about keeping your current clients happy! This may seem obvious to the average business owner, but outstanding customer service can be one of those factors that seems to fall through the cracks because you are too busy focusing on other aspects of the business. Honestly, dissatisfied clients can be far more harmful than you think, especially online. The internet gives them the uncanny power to make your mistakes public and believe me, people research and read negative reviews! So, to avoid these sort of disasters altogether, simply follow the guidelines listed below. Not only will they appreciate your attention to their needs, but they will be far more willing to continue to be your clients for many years to come.

  • Provide Contact Information This is probably the most important aspect of customer service. How will clients be able to bring problems and concerns to your attention if they can’t get a hold of you? Always provide a contact page on your website.  You can either have a number, email and address listed or you may provide a contact request where clients can fill in their information along with their comments and concerns.
  • FAQs Page This is very helpful to your clients and especially to visitors.  With a “Facts & Questions” page, you are able to tackle the most frequently asked questions about your products and services.  To find out what these questions are, create an email specifically designed for this.  You will be able to easily track what customers are most concerned with and save them and yourself lots of time.
  • Email Updates- This is a fantastic way to promote your business. All you need from the client is an email address!  With email updates you can easily spread the word about special promotions, new products and/or services and ways for them to save.  Your customer will be reminded of what you have to offer to them and will also always appreciate a good deal.
  • Take the Initiative- It is up to you to give clients the best service they deserve.  However, you don’t have to read their minds to figure it out.  Sending out a survey for them to take can easily give you an idea of what is working and isn’t working with your business. This also makes the client feel appreciated and listened to. They want to know that their opinion matters!