Quick SEO – Tip Leveraging your sales team for SEO

Do you have members of your sales organization that specialize? Do they know a particular  product or service inside and out? Is there a certain type of deal that they are hunting down? They are doing everything they can to prospect and cultivate new leads. Everyday they may find nuggets of what customers want, what questions they have, what concerns they have. This is powerful information that can be used on your website. These customer insights can help uncover new keywords that could translate into a major deal. So ask your sales team to generate new keywords. No one has a better pulse on your customers.

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.

Online Marketing: A Must for Small Businesses in 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, businesses are not only reflecting on the past year but also looking ahead to 2017, including analyzing their yearly budgets. In
particular, small businesses have more limited financial resources and need to be smart and efficient with their dollars. Every small business will have a marketing budget, and there is evidence and positive benefits why they should focus more of their dollars on online marketing in 2017.

A recent article on Search Engine Land, Why SMBs should spend more of their budget on online marketing in 2017, lists a few top reasons why online marketing should be given more focus in the marketing budgets of small businesses. First, as traditional advertising spend is falling, online marketing spend continues to rise. For your small business, this means that your competitors are most likely spending more on search engine optimization and search engine marketing because customers are increasingly searching online for products and services. Second, online marketing has a host of benefits, including a higher return on investment, being able to immediately track metrics to provide ongoing feedback, and the low cost of channels such as social media that can reach a larger audience than traditional means. Lastly, the article references a recent study of small businesses, and the results support the trend towards the need for a larger online marketing budget to gain a greater search engine presence and, in turn, more customers.

Contact Qseeker to help you understand how your small business can experience a higher return on investment when you focus on online marketing. Call Francis McGovern at 617-816-2969 for more information.

(image courtesy of jphotostyle.com)

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.

SEO Isn’t Dead, It’s Just More Competitive as The Paying Field Shrinks The Organic Playing Field

Last year Priceline.com CEO Paul Hennessy raised several eyebrows when at the end of a speech he said that in terms of Google, it is a “paid world.” In other words, in the Google searches, the results that appear first are paid advertisements, or those advertisers who pay Google. Organic content is being shoved down in the search results. However, Hennessey did not agree that Google is a monopoly; instead, he announced, “As far as SEO [Search Engine Optimization] is, my view on that is it’s more of a desktop thought because as the devices get smaller and smaller and smaller, the number of choices from an SEO perspective on mobile decline dramatically.”

Meanwhile, Hennessy’s fellow cohorts share a similar sentiment with the CEO of Gogobot saying that “SEO is dying” and the managing director at Trivago claiming that the importance of SEO is diminishing. Trivago is well known in the industry to have built its model on SEO. So where does that leave SEO in general?

Francis McGovern, CEO of Qseeker, agrees and contends that SEO is becoming more competitive. To ensure that quality, organic content reaches the top page of Google, a business must employ a strategic and lasting SEO campaign. SEO is an art that requires endurance, knowhow and strategy. And in regard to niche markets, such as in travel, SEO is more competitive but flourishing especially when the “paying field” shrinks the organic playing field.

For example, if a small business owner runs safari trips to Kenya, that is a niche travel market. The owner has a good chance of being on the first page of Google…if he employs the correct SEO practices. Then he can dominate this niche. Also, in regard to travel products, if a business owner markets a backpacker’s backpack that is lightweight and perfect for traveling in Western Europe in particular, that is also a niche. Travelers searching for this type of backpack could easily find the company in a Google search, but you really need to be targeting very specific terms across a niche and be out producing competitors to position at the top.

As Travis Katz, founder and CEO of Gogobot, reports on Skift.com, “Google knows what they are doing constitutes a bad user experience. Their own data tell them so. In fact, in 2012, they rolled out a penalty to punish sites with too many ads above the fold…So what do they do on their own site? Tons of ads, no visible content.” What Katz discusses is true: users want quality, organic search results. That is why SEO is so vital still to niche markets.

At Qseeker.com, we enjoy helping niche businesses with SEO strategy and implementation. 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 incorporate SEO practices into your niche business, please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

 

The Importance of a Social Media Stream

A social media stream is vital to increasing and maintaining business. You may be asking yourself, what is a social media stream? It is a combination of all the places you post on social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Having this stream of constant updates is important because it connects your business with prospective clients and keeps you in contact with current clients. And it keeps your network of social sites fresh with content. So users can take the pulse of your business.

For example, if you own a brewery, you may use a hashtag on Twitter that has to do with beer brewing. That same hashtag may be used on Instagram, and some of the same followers may follow your business in both places. Hence you are creating a social media stream.

What makes a social media stream successful and effective is the consistency of each post or article on a social media site. For instance, if you are posting a well-written, well-thought-out article or post on Facebook, you want to maintain the same level on LinkedIn. The same rule applies to photos and videos, which should look clear and professional, even at the amateur level. Another successful element is timeliness. In this age of constant movement, no one cares what happened yesterday. Your followers want to know what is happening now, today, and in the future. Using the previous example of the brewery, it is vital that events are promoted on your social media stream and in consistent and different ways. For instance, on Instagram, you could post a photo of an upcoming, exciting new beer, while on Twitter you could quickly mention a beer quote. In both posts, you can link to the upcoming event, thus promoting it on your stream.

A recipe for success is to link to other resources that have interest and value. If you see a great article in a major online newspaper or website or you find a great video, link to it on your social media stream. For example, if you find a relevant and well-done article on the Huffington Post about breweries creating jobs, you can link to it on LinkedIn and add your own thoughts in the initial post.

Another aspect of the social media stream is that it helps to optimize your business’s website for key terms. The social sites are technically pages on popular websites and the links back to you main site can help with certain terms. This way, if someone catches or follows your social media stream, she or he can look up your website using key terms and find your business. If someone does a search for “IPA brewery Madison Wisconsin,” your brewery could come up on the first page of Google if you’ve optimized your website correctly. In turn, this is not only helping your business, it is helping the customer find what she or he is searching for. Then when the potential customer reaches your website, you can help her or him by telling your story with great content, a consistent social media stream, and updated events.

At Qseeker.com, we are happy to help optimize your website with key terms, and run a social media stream. 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 get  more mobile friendly, and have it produce more leads then please contact us at 617-816-2969 or use our contact form.

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.

SEO, Local Search Rules in 2015

What Google and other search engines are ranking as important is old school. In other words, the world of SEO is morphing a bit yet again. The Pigeon update really shook things up, and the result is search engines are going back to traditional web-ranking factors to determine local search rankings. This means website content is crucial for local businesses to be found in searches. If this describes you, it may be time to change your strategy.

Let’s talk about the way you post on your blog. Do you post just to have content? If so, this practice could be potentially damaging. Instead, you should have a purpose to each post and have a subject that engages your local audience. For instance, if you own a local roofing company and want more clients, there are a plethora of subjects to write about, and it’s best to keep them seasonal. For example, the crippling amount of snow some parts of the Northeast have received this winter is severely damaging roofs. It is causing ice damming and roof leakages. You can write one blog about ice damming, perhaps giving advice on how to avoid it, signs that you have it, and when to call you, the experience roofer. Another blog post could be about roof leakages, what may be causing them, and when to contact you, the roofing expert.

That leads to the next step of defining your audience. Think about your target audience and who you would like to reach. For instance, using the aforementioned roofer example, big apartment buildings may do contracts with roofers and that may be a boon for your business. Therefore, you would want to target property management companies who handle buildings and complexes. Or maybe you would like to target the individual homeowner, and thus she has a more DIY style of using a roof rake to clear snow before she calls in a roofer. This would call for two different types of advice: the property management company is looking for quality and experience in maintenance and problem-solving, while the homeowner is seeking advice online first and then calling a roofer when she knows she can’t solve the problem.

You also have to think about your company’s voice that is used in the blog. The voice can be a more relaxed, layman’s type of style, or it can be very professional. These days some blogs opt for creative-type voices that use humor or wit, or even talk about provocative topics, depending on the business. Either way, you have to think about the best voice for your business and maintain it on your blog. Your audience will appreciate a consistent voice, since it will know what to expect. If you choose to hire a professional writer, make sure she has references and clips, and that her voice is right for your company.

This blog was inspired by an article on Search Engine Land