The Power of the Niche

At Qseeker we believe in the importance of the niche, that by understanding your very specific target market, you can succeed. You may feel that your small business and website is at an SEO disadvantage when competing with bigger sites, but there are strategies you can use to get more targeted and niche search engine traffic that the bigger sites just can’t do. On the SEO blog Moz.com, Rand Fishkin’s article, How Can Small Businesses/Websites Compete with Big Players in SEO?, describes just how small businesses and websites can use their smaller size to their advantage in their SEO efforts.

Fishkin goes on to explain that both the large sites and small sites have their own respective advantages, and that smaller businesses can be just as competitive in their search engine marketing if they focus on specific niches. For example, big sites tend to have better domain authority, quantity and diversity of external links, trustworthiness, financial resources and the ability to invest if and when something is a big priority. For smaller sites, they have the benefit of being able to switch directions and priority quickly due to less and smaller teams, the ability to be more creative, have a specific focus, and build their business around a particular niche.

To remain competitive, Fishkin lays out 5 ways small businesses can thrive and grow. First, focus on keywords that bigger sites are not or cannot compete on. This will require some analysis of specific target markets that you can specialize in. Also, build up your authority, trust and brand for your specific areas, which includes targeting content that is more indirect and does not take the same path to conversion as your larger competitors. Once you have targeted your specific keywords, strive to be the best resource by focusing more energy in those areas and developing more content than your larger competitors ever would. Lastly, build more direct and stronger relationships with those that will help boost your authenticity, trust and niche appeal.

Use your smaller size and website to your advantage and discover the SEO opportunities that you may be overlooking. Qseeker can help you do just that.

What Makes a Quality Search Experience?

The user experience is of the utmost importance to Google. All the fancy, old ways of trying to trick Google through keywording and the use of content farms don’t work anymore. Google now ranks websites on the user experience and how user friendly the website comes across. The actual content of the website matters the most.

The user experience is subjective, especially when purchasing an item on a commerce site. For example, let’s say users type the keyword phrase “ballet slippers” in a Google search. When your site pops up in the search and they click on it, each user has a different need. For example, one user may be a mother who is searching for affordable ballet slippers for her child. But your site only has adult slippers, so the mother bounces back to Google quickly. Another example is a user who is looking for discounted, adult slippers, but you only carry top-of-the-line, expensive slippers. Again, the user bounces off your site. This proves that everyone has different needs; therefore, how does Google determine a quality search experience?

As SearchEngineLand.com says, the determining element is this: “You should treat the percentage of people that are satisfied with their visit to your page—and how that compares with the percent satisfaction people have with pages competing with you in the SERPs—as a ranking factor.” Basically, Google’s main priority is money. That probably doesn’t shock you. Imagine this: if Google keeps sending users to a commerce website they don’t like and they never buy, Google isn’t making money. Anything that impacts usage and revenue is vital for Google and its dominance on the web, hence why it puts so much emphasis on it. Google tracks when a user has a short click to a website, or when the user stays on the site for a second and bounces back to the Google search. Vice-versa, Google also tracks when a user stays on a page and doesn’t return to the search. Additionally, design is a major determining factor as well. The website design must show trust, privacy when purchasing or submitting information, and product specification.

At Qseeker.com, we are happy to help your website move up in the search engine rankings, and the best part is, we will do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content creation, and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to make your website mobile friendly, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

How to Make a Website Mobile Friendly

Why is it so important to make a website mobile-friendly? You may look at your website and say, “it looks just fine.” However, it’s now crucial that your website is mobile friendly, because Google will begin to judge a website’s search engine ranking on its mobile friendliness. This change will occur in April 2015. The first step to making your website mobile friendly is to take the Mobile-Friendly Test provided by Google. Type the name of your web page’s URL into the search browser and click on Analyze. If your site is mobile friendly, then you are set. If your site is not mobile friendly, there may be several reasons why. Common reasons are the text is too small to read, the links are too close together, or the mobile viewport is not set, for example.

Further examine the Mobile-Friendly Test and see how Googlebot views your website’s homepage on a smartphone. For example, the analysis may say something like this: “This page uses 22 resources which are blocked by robots.txt.” You will see how a smartphone user views your homepage. The text may appear very small and certain important parts of the page may not show up on the screen. Nowadays, with so many other options, users will move on to the next website—or even worse, your competitor’s site—if your website looks unprofessional or is impossible to read. Your next step is to fix all of these issues by making the website mobile friendly.

The analysis should show what platform your website uses. For instance, if you use WordPress, Google provides a guide for how to fix your issues in WordPress specifically. Either you or your developer can use this guide to make your website mobile friendly. The same goes with other common platforms. If you are using WordPress, for instance, it may simply require a switch or upgrade of your website’s theme and voila, your website is now mobile friendly. Often, though, issues are more complicated than that and a developer or expert is necessary to take your website into the realm of mobile friendliness.

If the latter sentence describes you, a business owner who wants a high search engine ranking, but you don’t have the technical knowhow, please contact us at Qseeker.com. We are happy to discuss the options of making your website mobile friendly, and the best part is, we will do it for you. We’ve had years of expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and creation and management of websites, especially in regard to top search results in Google. If you’d like to make your website mobile friendly, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

SEO Lessons from The Lean Start-up – When to Pivot or Persevere with your SEO Strategy

Earlier in the year I read The Lean Start-up by Eric Ries – The idea is that there is a scientific approach to start-ups and getting the results you want. Ries presents the idea of pivoting or persevering, changing when the fundamentals of the start-up don’t work or staying the course when they do. Do you scrap it? Change it or keep going?

One of the main points in the book is that you need to get a product / service out there in its most basic form so that customers can react and engage with it so you learn the basic principle of whether there is a market for the product beyond your own exceptions and instincts. Does this product / business deserve to exist and can it support itself?

I beleive that this idea lends itself perfect to SEO. If you are not getting results in a given niche for your site – then you might need to address fundamentals. In a way this is one of very the foundations of SEO. Change is constant whether it is a Google Update, a new advance in technology, or a new competitor – you need to be both proactive and reactive. You need to keep moving the needle upwards for your business and change instantly if you don’t or if you can’t.

If you are having problems with your SEO results – please contact me today to discuss whether you should pivot or persevere.
Francis McGovern
617-816-2969

Why Ongoing SEO for Clients Never Ends

One of the things that a client needs to understand about SEO is that the playing field is not level.  It’s something that must be communicated about expectations and results. Trust is built when you are honest about results and predictions come true and you do the work. If you don’t obtain results in a reasonable (client’s expectations) time-frame, then your time with the client is over. If you build and deliver results, you get the privilege of working with the client. The more work done, the greater the results for the client. Most clients know and begin to learn that the more they do on their sites compared to their competition, the better they will fare. I like to make the analogy of SEO and online marketing as a race, and if they stand stand still, how can they compete or even finish ahead of the competition?

 

 

In the Plex – Short Note on a Great Book

This is another great book about Google. It’s a really well written take on Google from Steven Levy. It’s long and in-depth but reads really well. Levy is an excellent writer. There is some great info on how Google was founded and the challenges, new products and people, and the search engine’s leadership. Steven Levy does a really interesting job at explaining the history and different phases of Google’s growth and development, from the China challenges to social networking. Google is really about smart people and how they have pushed quality to new limits and possibilities.

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (and 3.3 Million Retweets)

It’s the feeling in the pit of your stomach as you climb the rollercoaster track. It’s the neurotransmitters that dance around your body when you meet a love interest for the very first time. It’s all the commercials you watch before Oscar Sunday and Ellen DeGeneres’ conviction when she tells 47 million viewers that she is about to produce the most retweeted photo of all time.

That feeling is anticipation, a major key to happiness and a vital tool in successful marketing.

Like many celebrities, DeGeneres spent the weeks leading up to The Oscars promoting the award ceremony and engaging potential viewers on social media. Once the event went live she told a few well-timed jokes, as hosts tend to do, and made her big announcement. DeGeneres informed America that on this night she would generate the most retweeted photo of all time. She repeated this idea throughout the three hour broadcast, molding the doubters into believers and the believers into supporters.

The hype that DeGeneres created caused the likes of Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Bradley Copper, and Julia Roberts to join in on the group selfie. Cooper turned the Samsung Galaxy horizontally, pushed a button, and all of the sudden the dream became a reality. The photo immediately went viral on Twitter, boasting nearly three and a half million retweets. In just under one hour, the record previously held by Barack Obama’s account, had been broken.

DeGeneres’ achievement is a crucial lesson for all leaders, business owners, and visionaries. Successful marketing is all about building excitement, creating a buzz, and attracting outside support. If you have that great idea, and you have the support of your followers then there’s no telling just how much success you can anticipate.

Are You Feeling Lucky?

By nature we are all curious creatures. From a young age we find ourselves asking “Why?” as we attempt to make sense of the world around us.  A great question may leave us pondering the universe; it may puzzle or enchant us.  In law, it can be powerful tool when it comes to a cross-examination, a deposition, or even an initial interaction. But did you know that as of this past September, asking the right questions can improve your business like never before?

Well, you better believe it. Because on September 26th, 2013, on the eve of its Quinceañera, Google launched a new search algorithm called the Hummingbird. Named for the speed and accuracy of the small bird, the Hummingbird is meant to be ‘a more human way to interact with users and provide a more direct answer’ (according to Wikipedia).

The new algorithm, which impacts the results of 90% of searches, relies heavily on questions and conversational topics, unlike the old model which focused on keywords. How this works is Google looks at your search as a combination of words, allowing it to process your query like never before.

As one Entrepreneur article suggests, the goal is to provide results that actually answer the question at hand. It seems that the days of trial and error may finally be behind us. If you want something from Google, all you have to do is ask. 

So how can understanding Google’s Hummingbird model improve the online visibility for your law practice?

One of the best ways to improve online visibility for your law practice is to ask all of the right questions! This means optimize your website, start a blog, and set up a Q&A section that your clients can use as a point of reference. Once you start updating regularly and cross-promoting on social media, you will see the difference it makes.

Not only does actively posting strong, original content help your website pop up in search engines, but doing so empowers your client to get informed before your preliminary phone conversation.  It’s a win-win situation.

If you are determined to be one step ahead of your competition, take advantage of your communication skills, set up a compelling blog with original content, and use the new Google Hummingbird model to ensure that you’re the lawyer everybody’s asking about.

And if you don’t have time to do it, then it’s a good thing you’ve found the experts that do. Qlegal will tailor a strategy with your individual needs in mind to help you capitalize on the many clients already searching for you and your services today.

For SEO, blog, website, and marketing inquiries you can also email Lia Gurin directly at lia.gurin@qlegal.com

The Quality of Your Lunch

A recent study from the California staffing firm OfficeTeam, took a look at how American workers eat lunch. The survey was conducted by interviewing over 400 workers in the US. The goal was to understand the eating habits of US workers. Read more.

 

What do you like?

Have you ever asked your clients and customers, what it is they like about working with you? “What do I do really well?” “What do you like about working with me?” You might get some important information,  something about why people buy from you in the first place and then why they stay with you and keep coming back. If you are brave you might also ask a tough question like what are the things they don’t like. This might give you the info you need to improve and to make things better. What’s not good can be better and what’s good can be great. Finding out these answers are the key ingredients in getting better and meeting the challenge of Quality in your marketing.