Small Business Content Marketing: Is it Worth It?

As a small business with limited time and resources, you may be wondering if content marketing is really worth it? With larger companies that have greater funds and more employees, it may seem like an easier question for them to answer. But all companies, both large and small, can reap the benefits of content marketing, especially when new content is created consistently and promoted effectively.

For small businesses, your content will reflect your niche and will be a key driver for how prospective clients will find you online. Your content marketing strategy needs to focus on your target audience, the keywords those potential clients are using, the type of content you will create and how often, and how you will track your effectiveness (i.e. conversion tracking, etc.). These efforts will be worth your while when you see your traffic and sales increase.

Qseeker can help you create a content marketing and overall search engine marketing plan to drive the right customers to your small business online. If you have any questions, please contact Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

Cultivate an Inbound Marketing Strategy Targeted towards Customers Who Want to Find You

If you own a business, then you are probably familiar with “outbound marketing.” But is it providing the biggest marketing bang for the buck? It employs traditional marketing tactics that include print advertising, direct mail, sales calls, commercials and billboards. Although some of these strategies can be effective in the long run, these advertisements are often seen by many people who have no interest in your products or services, making it a costly effort. With “inbound marketing” however, marketing efforts focused on strategies such as keyword-optimized content, social media, blogging, search engine optimization and paid advertisements will organically attract those who are searching online for your product or service. As written in the article Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing – What’s Best for 2017?, “According to the article, SEO-generated inbound leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. Why? Inbound leads are coming from people who initiated a call or navigated to a website. They’re actively shopping and intend to make a purchase.”

As mentioned in our previous post here, now is the time to think about how you want to spend your marketing dollars in 2017. Qseeker can help you cultivate an inbound marketing effort focused on the customers who want to find you, providing you a greater return on your investment. Call Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

Google’s mobile-first index: Is your website ready?

I think most of us would confess to using our smartphones as our go-to devices for web searching and browsing. Given the on-the-go nature of our lives, our mobile phones are always with us and easily accessible. For this reason, at Qseeker we understand the importance of optimizing clients’ websites for search engines across both desktop AND mobile versions. Recently, news broke that Google has started testing its mobile-first index for search engine rankings, which means Google plans to first look at the mobile version of a website and then turn to the desktop version if a mobile one does not exist.

As Barry Schwartz notes in his article Google begins mobile-first indexing, using mobile content for all search rankings on Search Engine Land, Google is currently indexing the desktop version of websites even though there are more daily mobile searches than desktop searches. According to Google, using mobile-first indexing will “make our results more useful.” Schwartz also lists some of Google’s recommendations to prepare for the upcoming change.

Is your website optimized for mobile-first indexing? If not contact us today, 617-816-2969.

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.

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.

 

The Lessons from Google’s Employee 59

I just finished the book by Douglas Edwards. I Feel Lucky The Confessions of Google’s Employee Number 59. The Lesson for me that stood out in Doug’s book is that you need to pay attention to quality and opportunity. It is both an irreverant and thoughtful look at the early days of Google up until it went public. Doug worked in marketing at Google and was one of the few non-engineers back when Google was a start-up until it became public. His book accounts how oftentimes he was swimming upstream against the tide of Google (really Larry Page) and then Marissa Mayer. Granted you only get to  hear his side of the story and not that it is unflattering of other Googlers, it just seems that they were so smart and driven to create the best product and were the most ambitious that nothing really could stop them. Doug recounts that with admiration. Also you get the real feeling that it is Larry Page that was the visionary behind Google (without taking anything away from Sergei Brin.) Those in the SEO space will get an interesting behind the scenes look at Matt Cutts and some of his adventures in search quality. It’s a great read and there was a great quote that really sums up the secret to Google.  “If we can’t win on quality we don’t deserve to win at all.” – Larry Page

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

How to “Sell” Your Legal Services without Selling Out

In the past, individuals would often contact a lawyer using more traditional methods, such as yellow pages, referrals and word of mouth.  Now rather than location being listed in a phone book, law firms need to reach out and be proactive in obtaining new clients.  In a competitive marketplace law firms are coming to terms with the necessity of “selling” their services.  While it is a hard idea for many to grasp, it is a reality for successful practices.  When some think of selling, they picture television advertisements and over-the-top advertising strategies, which may seem out of place if it is not your style.  You need to be proud and confident about your services, and in some cases, shout it from the rooftops. Read more.

Using Google+ to Increase Your Web Presence

Since its launch in 2011, Google+ has very quickly become the new social networking juggernaut and a key part of any social media marketing plan.  As of the 4th quarter of 2012, Google+ had over 343 million users and has become the second most popular social network after Facebook.  With the numbers rising so quickly and it’s convenient integration with Google-based applications like Gmail and YouTube, Google+ could give Facebook a run for its money.  For businesses especially, Google+ is essential because it plays a huge role in search engine optimization (SEO).  At the end of the day, it comes down to the simple fact that a Google+ page can make your business show up higher in Google search results.

When creating a Google+ page for your business, one of the first things to consider is one of the simplest.  A Google+ business page allows you the space to provide an “Introduction” to you company’s services on your “About” page. While this may seem pretty straightforward, it also presents a unique opportunity to increase your web presence and improve your SEO. Including relevant SEO keywords in your Introduction will also boost your presence in Google search results. By including links to a variety of content on your company’s website, you can guide followers to key features, directing potential customers and clients to all that you have to offer.

Google+ also offers you the opportunity to connect with other Google+ users who may be beneficial to your business. While you can also organize your own connections in various circles, it is also important to engage with circles within your industry – staying apprised to the latest trends and joining relevant conversations.  This virtual networking can do wonders for increasing your online visibility and promoting your brand and the quality of your circles.

One of the main things that sets Google+ apart from the rest of the social media pack is “Google+ Authorship.”  Through the use of this feature, which attributes web content to its source and an authentic tie to a legitimate Google account, you can become seen as a knowledgeable and trusted resource on your field.  It’s easy to use and offers additional SEO benefits while also promoting your brand.  With an author photograph next to your content, your business will become highly visible in a sea of search results.  Google+ Authorship increases brand awareness while putting a face to the company name.

Who to Trust? Social Media or Search Engines?

Google. Bing. Lycos. Go.com. Anyone growing up in the computer age is familiar with the concept of the internet search engine. With the growth of social media, however, what is the more trusted source for news and information? The recently released 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer indicates that while the overall trust in media is up 5% compared to 2012, no one source stands out as being highly trusted more than another.

Search engines and traditional media topped the list with 58% of those surveyed saying those are their trusted sources for news and information whereas social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) only came in at 41%. However, with only 58% claiming trust in search engines, it seems as though the general public has not been entirely wooed by any one search site as being the most reliable or trustworthy.

http://searchengineland.com/search-engines-more-trusted-than-social-media-for-news-information-study-148914