All Things Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Internet Marketing

I’m Set to Speak at STC Atlanta’s April Chapter Meeting!

Speaking Appearances Mar 26, 2014 No Comments

STC Atlanta LogoNOTE: The Venue of this Meeting has Changed to:

IBM Security Systems facility
6303 Barfield Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30328

One of the fun things I get to do as an SEO consultant is I’m often invited to present/speak to local groups, classes, or at events around the metro Atlanta area.

A few months back I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of students about using social media effectively while job seeking during Georgia Highlands College’s Passport to Success program.

Last week, I accepted an invitation to speak at STC Atlanta’s chapter meeting on April 15, 2014, in which I’ll be presenting on “Optimization and Getting Your Work Found in Google,” to this professional association for technical communicators.

During this hour-long presentation I’ll discuss:

  • the basics of how search engines work
  • optimizing HTML documents, PDFs, and videos for better organic search visibility
  • the importance of a website’s content structure and topical authority

I will also be fielding questions related to search and technical communication from the group during the presentation.

Want to Attend the Presentation?

If you’d like to attend the presentation, refreshments begin at 6:30pm, and the presentation will start at 7:00pm at the IBM Security Systems facility 6303 Barfield Road NE Atlanta, Georgia 30328. The presentation is free for STC Chapter Members and is $10 for non-members. All proceeds go to the chapter, as I’m volunteering my time for this presentation.

I hope to see you there!

Want me to Speak at Your Event?

As a consultant and small business owner (not to mention husband and father!), my time is very limited, but I do enjoy presenting to groups on SEO/search related topics and would invite you to contact me if you’re interested in having me speak at your event.

Don’t Underestimate the Inbound Value of Longtail Keywords

Inbound Marketing Mar 03, 2014 No Comments

Longtail Keywords for SEOWhen you’re building an SEO campaign for your website, there are a variety of tactics that you can engage in in order to drive higher levels of inbound traffic.

While many SEO marketers hone in on the keywords that have the highest search volumes as a way to generate inbound traffic, failure to recognize the value of longer phrases, less trafficked phrases (longtail keywords) to generate traffic can take away a world of opportunity.

Longtail keywords give you the ability to get more specific with your user’s searches, essentially widening your net to reel in those all-important page views and potential customer interactions.

What Are Longtail Keywords?

There are two types of keywords that you should pay attention to when you are building a campaign for inbound marketing. There are “head” terms, which are popular and frequently searched for, but are oftentimes more generic, as well as Longtail keywords that allow you to make your search terms more specific. For example, using a term like “sofas” would be a head term, but “compare prices of La-Z-Boy sofas” would be a longtail keyword. Longtail keywords are typically three words or longer.

Why Use Longtail Keywords?

In a word? Opportunity.

While many marketers generally go for head terms and more generic keywords, these are often much more competitive to rank for – and often times not as valuable for driving conversions. Longtail keywords are less competitive to rank for in organic searches, making them a great value for any online marketing campaign.

The return on investment can also be seen when setting up pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, as longtail keywords are less expensive to bid for on the whole. Lastly, when a customer is searching with a longtail keyword, they’re usually more likely to be looking to purchase and are oftentimes more easy to convert into a sale.

How to Find Quality Longtail Keywords

Start by trying to think as someone who would be searching for your product or service. What kind of terms would they use to search? 

From there, there are several research tools available to help you identify quality longtail keywords for your SEO campaign. Among them are:

Another creative way to identify quality longtail keywords is to start typing your keywords into Google’s search bar, which will serve up suggested searches for you that may be relevant to your company’s product or service.

Longtail Keywords for Inbound Traffic

How Do You Use Longtail Keywords To Generate Inbound Traffic?

Content Cluster for Keyword Relevancy StrengtheningAfter you’ve discovered the longtail keywords that you want to add to your campaigns, it’s important that you develop high quality content for your website revolving around these longtail phrases that will help you generate the maximum amount of inbound traffic.

You can do this by building out a cluster of pages that are highly related within your website’s hierarchy that strengthens your keyword relevancy for core keywords by utilizing the longtails on your cluster pages.

(i.e.: Tattoo Removal, Does Tattoo Removal Hurt?, Tattoo Removal for Dark Skin, How Does Tattoo Removal Work?)

Another great way to target longtail keyword phrases is by utilizing these phrases in your blog posts. Focusing on well-written, SEO friendly, high-value blog posts can lead to tons of high quality traffic that helps solve a problem, need for your readers, and in turn builds up your credibility with them (which makes them more likely to buy from YOU.)

So, before you look at jumping into the PPC bidding wars or targeting the same highly competitive keywords that everyone else is going after, take some time to consider how these longtail keywords can offer up a huge amount of value when it comes to inbound traffic and sales conversion.

Empower Your 2014 Atlanta SEO Strategy With These Essential Resources

Local SEO Jan 09, 2014 2 Comments

Local Atlanta SEO Tips for 2014Whether your business is in retail, healthcare, or consulting, Atlanta has competitive search markets for countless industries and professions. To get your Atlanta SEO strategy flowing in the right direction, it’s important to have your resources in a row.

In this gem, you’ll be treated with a wealth of tips and resources to empower your local SEO strategy in 2014. So bookmark this page and use it as a guide to inspire the creative process behind your company’s Atlanta SEO strategy.

Local SEO Gold Worth Digging Into

So you want some local SEO goodies that will take your Atlanta business to the next level in local search? Of course you do!

Below are a few great resources worth checking out. We’ve broken them down into on-page SEO and off-page SEO resources, the primary subsets of a standard local SEO process.

On-page SEO Resources

Technical SEO

Understanding Schema is extremely essential in building an authoritative local search presence in 2014. Schema.org is something you or your webmaster needs to study and understand for technical SEO. In short, using Schema enables you to better communicate what your website is all about to search engines, and thus empowers your business’s ranking potential. It’s a bit code-heavy, but it’s definitely something you do not want to neglect.

SEO Copywriting & Content Optimization

Beyond the technical SEO aspects of your website, the visible and more creatively-influence content is equally important. Establishing proper keyword relevancy with on-page optimization and SEO copywriting is important to lay the foundation of a well optimized website. Visit the SEO Copywriting Blog at OrganicSEOCopywriters.com for a wealth of resources to help you learn the best practices of SEO copywriting.

Also, check out the SEO Copywriting eBook by CopyBlogger.com. Polish-up your SEO copywriting craft a bit further with this phenomenal resource by one of the most reputable sources for on-site optimization.

Off-page SEO Resources

Get Listed, for Links & Citations

The most authoritative businesses in Atlanta who are dominating their local search markets are often times listed on many local directories. To ensure your SEO efforts are up to par, check out the Best Local Directories for SEO at LocalSEOGuide.com. This is your local SEO laundry list of directories you should strive to get your business on (when appropriate.)

Another great resource to find and ensure the accuracy of your business’s directory listings is GetListed.org. Powered by Moz.com, one of the most credible websites for local SEO enlightenment is GetListed.org. Just plug n’ play and you’re on your way to finding the righteous path to SEO success.

Also a fantastic tool (and ongoing program if you have the money to invest in it) is Yext.com. With Yext, you can add your business (or verify its accuracy) on over 30 of the top local directories. This platform can save hours and hours of manual labor. Even if you can’t afford Yext, it’s still worth doing the free scan to see where you business needs improvements.

Get Social with Google+

Dive into this great read titled 10 Guaranteed Ways to Get More Google+ Page Followers from Hubspot. A major contributor to your Atlanta SEO rankings is local business’ reviews on Google+. Gather more followers on this emerging social media platform and increase you’re business’s potential for more reviews.

Ranking Rejuvenation

Have you been around the SEO block a few times? Perhaps to the point where your site might be at risk of over-optimization? Plug-in your domain at Pixel Groove’s Google Sandbox and Penalty Checker Tool where you can determine if you site has been flagged. Here you can determine if you need to rethink your link building strategies and how to re-approach off-page SEO.

Well there you have it folks – a solid list of weapons you can’t incorporate in your Atlanta SEO arsenal. Stayed tuned for more great SEO wisdom and insights.

I’ll Be Presenting at Georgia Highlands College

Speaking Appearances Sep 24, 2013 Comments Off

Georgia Highlands College LogoI’ve recently accepted an invitation to speak to a group of college students at Georgia Highlands College about using Social Media (LinkedIn in specific) to help these students find jobs after they graduate.

The presentation will be a part of Georgia Highland College’s Passport to success program – a 4 day career preparation program that gives students tips on brushing up their resumes, how to dress/prepare for job interviews, etc.

The presentation I’ll be giving to the students will be instructing them how to keep clean Social Media profiles that recruiters and HR professionals will be scouring before they decide who to interview/hire. I’ll also discuss how to use LinkedIn as an effective networking tool to reach out to recruiters and hiring managers who are looking for qualified candidates to fill positions within their organizations.

The Passport to Success fair runs from October 7-10, 2013, and I’ll be presenting at GHC’s Paulding Campus in Hiram, Georgia on October 9.  I’m looking forward to fielding some great questions and to building some relationships with local college students!

5 Must-Have Tools for DIY SEO

DIY SEO Jul 31, 2013 3 Comments

I’ve noticed a trend in my consulting business of late that more and more businesses are interested in my SEO coaching services rather than a full-on SEO program.

Hiring an SEO coach to complement the DIY SEO efforts can be ideal for some businesses that have a marketing staff with technically savvy employees.
DIY SEO helps keep costs down over hiring a professional SEO consultant to manage your entire campaign, so long as you’re able to efficiently manage the SEO process in-house.

That said, I’ve put together this list of 5 must-have tools for DIY SEO, should you choose to keep your SEO efforts in-house.

Google Adwords Keyword Planner

If you’re conducting a DIY SEO campaign, you’re most likely already in-tune with who your potential customers are and what they might be searching for to find you online.

That said, the first task to address in DIY SEO after you’ve identified your target audience and come up with a rough draft site map of your website is to conduct keyword research around your business’ products or services.

A great tool to conduct this keyword research is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. It’s free of charge easy to use.

Then simply start typing in relevant keyword phrases at the top of the page, and click on the “Search” button to get  a list of suggested keywords to target and what their monthly search volumes are.

DIY SEO Adwords Keyword Planner

An SEO Friendly Content Management System

Most companies don’t have a full time development staff to manage their website content updates, so it’s more than likely your marketing team will need a dynamic website that’s built on an SEO friendly content management system (CMS) in order to make site updates.

It’s important to make sure that the CMS platform your company chooses to build its website on is fully equipped with everything you need in order to execute your DIY SEO strategy. If you’re using WordPress, you need to make sure you have a reputable SEO plugin such as the Yoast WordPress SEO pack or the All-in-One SEO pack. Both of these SEO plugins give DIY SEOers the ability to manage the essential on-site SEO elements for DIY SEO including Meta Titles and Descriptions, SEO Friendly URLs, Canonical URLs, etc.

You could also choose another SEO friendly CMS such as Exponent CMS, which is my personal favorite, that has each of these SEO friendly features self-contained within the system.

Google Analytics

Another great free tool provided by Google is the Google Analytics, which allows you to continually monitor you website’s traffic to help you identify trends and traffic sources. For those who are conducting a DIY SEO campaign, Google Analytics is essential for tracking the organic search traffic that comes to your website from your DIY SEO efforts.

In addition, you can set up Goal Conversions that tracks important visitor conversion activity such as an online sale, a contact form submission or an email newsletter signup. Staying on top of your website’s analytics can give you the information you need to make any necessary tweaks to your DIY SEO plan and to track its progress over time.

Webmaster Tools

Webmaster Tools are an essential configuration resource for DIY SEO that you’ll need to effectively manage how your website is indexed by the search engines. Once you’ve verified ownership and installed webmaster tools onto your website, you can get access to a bevy of information of how Google sees the overall health of your website.

You can get information on crawling errors and Robots.txt notifications that a search engine spider encounters, as well as get a better picture on what relevancy your website has on certain keywords and the traffic/impressions that you’ve garnered from them.

You can also submit XML sitemaps for your website that tell Google about each page on your website, how often they’re updated, etc. Webmaster Tools also allows you to request that certain pages be removed from the search index.

Moz.com Pro Tools Suite

No I’m not a paid endorser of Moz.com’s Pro Tools, but I’ve found them to be a great resource for a variety of on-site and off-site SEO metrics, and if you’re doing a DIY SEO campaign, I highly recommend you subscribe to them.

Yes, there is a cost to the Moz.com Tools, starting at $99/month for up to 5 campaigns, but I’ve found the insight they provide to be well worth the cost.

There are multiple features to the Moz.com Pro Tools, which include:

  • keyword ranking and organic traffic data reports that run once a week
  • a letter grading (A to F) on the effectiveness of the on-site SEO that you’ve done for certain keywords on a page by page basis
  • crawl diagnostics that identify critical errors, warnings, and notifications that you need to be aware of on your website that might hinder your DIY SEO efforts
  • competitive link analysis that allows you to compare your website’s link profile authority with up to 3 of your competitors
  • the Open Site Explorer tool which allows you to analyze your back link profile, as well as the link profiles of your competitors
  • a social dashboard that tracks social engagement such as Retweets, Fans, Likes and Traffic

If you’re going to take on the task of planning an executing a DIY SEO campaign, make sure you’re well equipped with helpful tools that can assist you along the way.

Website Optimization: Ways To Make Your Website More Interactive

Web Design Apr 10, 2013 No Comments

Make Website More InteractiveOne of the primary challenges that businesses face in online marketing is keeping their existing customers engaged with their brand, as well as being able to interact with potential new customers who visit their websites.

Below we list several website optimization methods that can help make your website more interactive for users to help your business achieve this level of engagement with site visitors.

Produce Content Worth Reading

The most beneficial strategy you implement to make your website more interactive is to develop content that is worthy of interaction.

No matter what format you post your content, whether that be in the form of a sharable video or in a blog post that allows commenting from users, if the content isn’t valuable or interesting to a user, they won’t be compelled to interact by leaving a comment, liking your posts, or sharing your content with others.

Integrate Social Media Elements

Make Website More Interactive: Social Media SharingIntegrating social media elements into your website design is an excellent way to make your website more interactive.

Make Website More Interactive: Login with Facebook or TwitterAmong the social media elements you can implement to make your site more interactive for users are social sharing icons so your site visitors can easily share your exceptional blog posts, videos, web pages easily with their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest contacts.

Integrating other social media elements such as your Facebook or Twitter feeds, so that your social media pages are easily accessible, or integrating “Sign in with Twitter” or “Sign in with Facebook” login options also makes your website more interactive – and socially relevant.

Provide Incentives to Your Site Visitors

Keeping your site visitors engaged by offering incentives to keep coming back to your website is a great way to make your site more interactive for users.

Offering them discounts on services, awarding random giveaways for liking or sharing your content, providing coupons or free information when they sign up for your company eNewsletter or a free eBook are all excellent ways to make your site more interactive for users.

Make it Easy to Contact You

Make Website More Interactive: Contact Form Call to ActionThis might be a simple suggestion, but it goes a long way for the overall effectiveness of your website for users. Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • how easy it is to find your company’s phone number or email address?
  • is there an easily accessible contact form allowing users to get more information about your products or services?
  • does your website offer a live chat feature for users to immediately interact with someone in your organization who can get them the information they’re looking for?

If the answers to these questions aren’t positive, you’ve got room to improve when it comes to making your website more interactive for users.

These website optimization strategies are just the tip of the iceberg when making your website more interactive. If you’d like to learn more about optimizing your company website or effective website design strategies, contact me today for a free consultation.

5 Questions to Ask Your Prospective SEO Consultant

Search Engine Marketing Jan 08, 2013 1 Comment

In small business, every decision is a major one. Hiring the wrong employee, choosing the wrong vendor, or spending your marketing dollars in the wrong place can set you back dramatically.

For small businesses that see great opportunity to expand their client base online, choosing a competent search engine optimization (SEO) consultant to make their investment is essential.

SEO is the process of building a website’s relevance, credibility and authority with the search engines. These three objectives work to develop higher natural rankings (and in turn more search traffic) for the website when users search for specific keywords. Small businesses often times work with SEO consultants to help them achieve these  objectives, but not all of them end up achieving their ultimate goal.

Why, you ask? Because not all SEO consultants are built equal. The truth is, some folks out there who market themselves as “SEO experts” simply just throw up smoke screens (and excuses) in front of their clients until the money runs out.

If your small business is in the market for a competent SEO consultant to help execute a small business SEO strategy, here are 5 questions you should consider asking them to help qualify their competence:

1) Do You Guarantee No. 1 Rankings?

This question will quickly quickly help you determine whether the SEO consultant is worthy of your trust. The fact is, No SEO consultant can guarantee natural rankings because they aren’t the ones who own the search engines! If you run into a consultant who promises you No. 1 rankings, you might want to think twice about their credibility and whether or not you want to do business with them.

2) How Do You Build Rankings For Your Clients?

SEO isn’t brain surgery. Be wary of SEO consultants who overuse SEO jargon and a mess of other technical terms to explain how they execute their clients’ SEO programs. Yes, SEO is a practice that is based on a multitude of different factors, but it can easily be explained in layman’s terms.
Make sure that the SEO consultant covers both on-site and off-site strategies that they utilize. Among the topics your SEO consultant will discuss are:

  • Keyword research and competitive analysis
  • Meta tag optimization and optimization of on-page content
  • Off-site strategies such as Content Marketing, Social Media, Blogging, etc.

Be sure they don’t subscribe to any automated SEO linking networks to help build rankings for their clients – these programs to far more harm than good.

3) How Important is it that I get Involved with Social Media?

Nowadays if your Internet marketing strategy doesn’t include social media, your strategy isn’t living up to its full potential. Social media signals and social sharing is a part of how Google ranks your website’s content. The more it’s shared, Liked, Tweeted, and +1ed, the better the opportunity it will have to rank toward the top of the search results.

Social media also affords businesses an opportunity to increase the awareness of their brand with both prospective and existing customers. Keeping consumers engaged with your brand through social media by asking them questions, giving away freebies, Re-Tweeting them or giving them a mention helps to build trust, long-term brand loyalty, and keeps your company Top of Mind. While this doesn’t pertain entirely to SEO, the consultant should be aware of the power of social media can have for small businesses in growing their online presence.

4) Can You Provide Examples of Your Work?

This question’s purpose is multifaceted. First, it helps you determine the quality of work that the SEO consultant has produced for other clients, including how competitive the keywords were they achieved rankings for and what industries they’ve performed SEO for before.

Secondly, the answer of this question can give you a better idea of the typical caliber of client the SEO consultant works with and what the consultant’s fees might be to take on your project.

5) What Reporting Should I Expect and How Often?

Staying on top of the overall performance of your campaign is a must – especially for small businesses. Knowing where your marketing dollars are being invested and what you’re getting in return for that investment is an important expectation to have when selecting your SEO consultant.
Among the reporting you should expect from your consultant are:

  • Website traffic reports segmenting Direct, Organic and Paid search referrals
  • Ranking reports for your targeted keywords for the three major search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing)
  • Link Building/Content Marketing reports: What articles where submitted and where.
  • Citation Building Reports: What local business directories were claimed, optimized, etc. for the time period.
  • An analysis of the performance and suggestions moving forward.

The frequency of these reports might vary from report to report. Some of these reports could be delivered on a weekly basis (Traffic, Keyword Rankings), while others might be delivered on a monthly basis. Be sure your SEO consultant has a well-structured reporting system to keep you well informed on the performance of your campaign.

These five questions will go a long way in helping your small business determine which small business SEO consultant is the most qualified to take on your project! If there is any way I can be of help to you in your SEO endeavors, feel free to drop me a line!

5 Great Platforms for Article Marketing SEO

Organic SEO Nov 26, 2012 1 Comment

Despite what some search engine optimizers might believe about the value of article marketing as a viable resource for SEO campaigns, it is clear to me that articles definitely hold significant value. It was really a knee-jerk reaction for SEOs to discredit the use of article marketing for off-site optimization in a post-Penguin landscape.

I can see why some of the SEOs (that got penalized by Penguin) believe in this negative stigma for articles, but the way SEOs were using articles (spam) prior to Penguin and the way articles should be utilized now is the main reason why I still see the inherent value of article marketing.

The key to the value of articles nowadays is the same key to any content that is produced in a post-Penguin world. Content needs have value!

Well-written and well-optimized articles still have great value for organic/natural search, and for multiple reasons. If an article has value it can have one or multiple benefits, including:

  • Becoming link bait for users who enjoy the content (authority)
  • Providing contextually relevant content for carefully thought-out back links to your money pages (relevancy)
  • Your article being shared with other users (viral content)

Again, the key to article marketing in today’s SEO landscape is developing high quality content that is both interesting and valuable to readers.

So if you think you’re up to the task of crafting this level of exceptional content for article marketing, here are my 5 favorite article marketing platforms that you should give a try.

Ezine Articles

Ezine was the first article marketing platform I ever tried out. At first I was a little put off by Ezine’s slow-to-publish ways after submitting my article content, but after awhile I really saw the value in Ezine because they CARE about the articles they publish. They have a rigorous quality assurance process that takes several days (for basic memberships) to get through once you’ve submitted your article for publishing, going through three separate reviews before it’s allowed to be published on the site.

Ezine is a very popular article marketing platform with nearly 460,000 authors who contribute great content to the site, of which I am one of. As an expert author you’re allowed up to two links in your author profile per article that you submit, which is nice for contextually relevant link building.

Squidoo

Squidoo is my favorite platform for article/content marketing because it is highly interactive and allows for multiple forms of content within one “lens.” With Squidoo, you’re able to upload images and videos that complement your text articles to give the reader a more visual experience. Squidoo has several built in modules that allow you to expand on your text content by adding link lists, social media, news feeds and ecommerce product feeds (Amazon, etc.) to your lenses to further your user’s understanding (and enjoyment) of your content.

Squidoo also has built in social sharing icons, as well as a community of users who are able to like your content and leave comments about it which obviously shows the value of your content. Coincidentally, some of the most powerful links back to my website come from Squidoo because of the high PageRank that the lenses are able to achieve. This is a great platform!

Tumblr

Tumblr is an interactive blogging platform that is great for creating your own blogs to post and share your articles on. Tumblr is totally free and is a network of nearly 77 million blogs (of which I run and post on several.)

The nice thing about Tumblr from an article marketing perspective is that it’s also a social type of network that allows users to subscribe to other Tumblr users’ blogs so they can follow each of their latest posts. Users can also re-blog your content on their blogs which is great for more social sharing and visibility among users.

Go Articles

Go Articles is another free article marketing site that allows you to submit your content. I don’t particularly care for the user side interface of Go Articles for submitting your article posts (I find it clunky and sort of a pain) but this platform does have some advantages.

In a post-Penguin world, having a highly diverse back link profile is critical, and with Go Articles you’re allowed up to 3 links per article, but any links you put in the body of your articles is assigned a “no-follow” tag. This is good for diversity, but if you’re going to spend the time creating great content, you at least want one good “do-follow” link for your efforts, which Go Articles allows you to insert in your author bio information.

Guest Blogs

Because most websites don’t want ho-hum content posted on their websites, guest blogging has always been a great way to generate high-quality traffic to your site. With the need for contextual relevancy when generating back links, seeking out other websites relevant to your industry to contribute your content to has become essential for building authority for your website.

The other website likes it because they’re getting well-written and valuable content for free. Search Marketers like it because it increases brand awareness and gets you a free relevant back link (or two) to your site. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.

If your SEO consultant tells you that articles no longer have value in helping you achieve top rankings, they were the ones looking for short cuts to get them. Articles are absolutely relevant for SEO today so long as they have something of value for the readers. Marketing great content is the future of SEO. Those who don’t “buy in” will soon be weeded out.

Elements of a Well-Rounded Inbound Marketing Strategy

Inbound Marketing Nov 12, 2012 1 Comment

Integrated Internet MarketingAll business owners know that marketing plays an essential role in the overall growth and sustainability of their companies. Marketing works to attract new customers and also to retain existing ones.

For marketing professionals, there are two different fundamental practices for marketing to consumers – Outbound marketing and inbound marketing.

Outbound marketing strategies include many old-hat channels of reaching consumers by pushing out direct mail pieces, radio, TV and billboard advertising, or cold calling to attract sales.

Inbound marketing is the new-school ideology of reaching consumers through Internet marketing channels such as SEO, email marketing, social media, content marketing, and other strategies that work to drive inbound traffic to your website.

The role of an inbound marketing agency is to help their clients:

  1. Get found by consumers who are searching for what they have to offer
  2. Convert users into leads and sales
  3. Analyze the inbound marketing strategy to identify ways to improve performance metrics

Below I outline the core elements that your inbound marketing consultant will utilize to promote a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy that will drive traffic to your website, increase conversions and improve client acquisition.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of building relevancy, credibility, and authority for your web pages by optimizing them for targeted keyword phrases. SEO uses a mixture of on-site and off-site techniques from developing optimized content on your site to promoting your content off-site through a variety of social media, blogging and content marketing initiatives that help build links, promotes credibility and increases your overall authority on the subject. When executed properly, SEO is a highly effective means of inbound marketing because it increases traffic to your website. SEO is also highly effective for increasing conversions, with a rate of nearly 15% conversion as compared to a conversion rate of just 1.7% for traditional outbound marketing strategies.

Content Marketing

At the core of any successful inbound marketing campaign is exceptional web content. Developing a content marketing strategy that effectively communicates your business’ brand through a multi-channeled approach helps to shape an inbound marketing strategy built for success. Crafting exquisite content that is interesting to read, listen or watch and has value to web users is the essential ingredient for a successful content marketing strategy. Keeping a diversified approach to content marketing by using videos, podcasts, blogs, articles, whitepapers, and infographics helps your brand reach a wide range of Internet users who may be interested in what you have to offer. According to HubSpot, companies that participate in blogging 15 or more times per month receive 5x more inbound web traffic than businesses that do not.

Social Media Marketing

Among the most effective inbound marketing strategies for companies and marketers today is social media marketing. Businesses can connect and engage targeted consumers who are interested in their product offerings, as well as promote retention of existing clients through various social media platforms. Among the channels that businesses should consider utilizing to communicate their brand (as well as promote their content) are Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Each of these platforms has a unique audience that your business can speak to, offering discounts and other promotions that build inbound traffic (and sales) and increase overall satisfaction and client retention.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an inbound marketing strategy that offers companies a measurable, scalable and cost-effective means of communicating their brand to targeted consumers. Email marketing provides a medium for promotion of your web content to drive more inbound traffic to your website. It also offers a means for promoting your company’s products and services, as well as any specials or discounts that your targeted consumers might be interested in. With email marketing you can increase traffic and brand impressions that lead to more sales and growth of your client base.

Website Conversion Optimization

One of the most overlooked aspects of inbound marketing is optimizing your website so it captures more conversions (leads or sales.) In inbound marketing, you can drive as much highly qualified traffic as you want using social media, SEO, email marketing or content marketing, but if those efforts don’t lead to conversions, you’re wasting your money. Be sure to work with an inbound marketing agency that understands the intricacies of driving more conversions. Among the website optimization techniques that your inbound marketing consultant might utilize are stronger calls to action, special on-site offers to visitors, custom landing pages focused on conversion, and simple navigation structure to promote easy access to web content.

Web Analytics

When your company invests in an inbound marketing campaign, it’s important to continually measure the performance of your campaign on an ongoing basis. Doing this analysis allows you to identify potential shortfalls in your campaign that can be improved. It also allows you to identify additional avenues that your company should be using as part of its inbound marketing strategy. The overall growth and performance of your campaign hinges on this analysis process.

A well-rounded inbound marketing campaign can pay huge dividends for your company by increasing inbound traffic and generating more leads and sales. To learn more about developing a successful inbound marketing campaign, contact me today for a consultation.

Local Organic SEO Campaign Strategies

Organic SEO Oct 15, 2012 12 Comments

Local Organic SEO ServicesTo rank well in the local organic search results, your web pages need to be highly relevant to local searchers. To accomplish the rankings you desire, you can optimize your website for organic search, a process known as local organic search engine optimization (SEO.)

Achieving top local organic results is a time consuming process, but when executed correctly, local organic SEO campaigns can pay huge dividends for local businesses with an influx of highly qualified search traffic from local consumers.

So how does organic SEO for local search work?

Essentially local organic SEO works by increasing the overall relevancy of your website’s content for targeted keywords that users are searching for. In addition, a significant amount of ongoing off-site work must be done to help build the overall popularity and trust for your website with the search engines and with users.

These two processes work together to boost your website’s ranking in the local organic search results and to boost the amount of search traffic your website receives from local consumers. Even though the organic SEO process takes time, it also provides incredible return on investment because of the high trust that you’ve built with users and the search engines that leads to sustainable rankings.

Below are some ways that your local SEO strategist will work to boost the relevancy and rankings of your website with a local organic search campaign.

Locally-Focused Keyword Research

Keyword ResearchAny successful local SEO campaign starts with in-depth keyword research using a variety of tools. During the keyword research phase of your campaign, your local SEO company will uncover the most relevant keyword targets that will be the most beneficial for ongoing success. During this process, your local SEO consultant will analyze what your local competitors are doing and then turn to a research tool such as the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to search for suggested keyword terms.

In local SEO, keyword research is highly specific, as most targeted keywords will utilize a geo-modifier to narrow down the target audience. For example, if your company offers pest control services in Atlanta, Georgia, then your keyword targets would probably include such geo-specific terms as “Atlanta Pest Control” or “Pest Control Atlanta GA.”

Highly Creative, Highly Optimized SEO Copywriting

SEO CopywritingOnce your local SEO strategist has uncovered your targeted keyword terms, they’ll turn things over to a professional SEO copywriter who will create well-optimized copy for each of your web pages. A seasoned SEO copywriter knows the ins and outs of best practices for content structure on a page. He’ll use your targeted keyword phrases in your web page header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) and he’ll also use just the right amount of targeted keyword inclusion throughout the body content of your web pages.

Professional local SEO copywriters will also be able to hand craft geo-focused Meta Tags for each of your web pages including your Title, Keywords and Description tags which tell the search engines what your web pages are about. These keyword phrases also light up in Bold type on the search engine results page (SERP) for users when they search for your terms, which lets users know that your page has got the information they’re looking for.

Local Content Marketing & Link Building Initiatives

Once the initial on-site work is done for your local organic SEO campaign, your SEO consultant will then need to devise a diverse and effective content marketing strategy to promote your website through a variety of local channels. Creating diverse content that people want to read is essential for a successful local search strategy nowadays. Such content that your SEO strategist can produce are SEO press releases, blogs and other article marketing ventures, video production and optimization, creative infographics or audio podcasts that can be distributed through various channels.

They key for your content marketing strategy is producing awesome content and then sharing it so users can find it. Particularly for local organic SEO benefits, sharing your content on local websites in your region is greatly beneficial. It helps build credibility and trust with the search engines, and increases the chances of a local consumer seeing (and sharing) your content. Sharing your content on social media is also critically important. Getting the word out through social media greatly increases the chances of your content going viral and users linking to your content from their social media profiles and/or websites, thus further boosting your ranking potential.

Optimize Your Google+ Local Page

Google+ LocalYour Google+ Local business page is just another great opportunity for you to capture valuable real estate in the local organic search results. With more and more local results showing up on the SERP, Google’s free listings for local businesses (Google+ Local) are a very important ingredient for a comprehensive local search strategy.

To optimize your Google+ Local page, you must first claim and verify ownership of the listing. From there, you can fill out all of your pertinent business information including your hours of operation, website address and a description of your products/services. From there, getting Google+ users to leave reviews about their experiences about doing business with your company is another essential element for optimizing your page to increase its relevancy to local organic search.

These are just a few of the key strategies you can use to boost your company’s rankings in the local search results. To find out more about local SEO, contact me today for a free consultation.