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.

Optimize Your Location for SEO Success Before Expanding to Neighboring Markets

local_seoAt Qseeker, most companies that we work with want to focus their SEO efforts on a localized search area, and for good reason. Local SEO is key to successfully targeting markets and clients for businesses working in a certain area on the map. Sometimes, however, it is tempting for companies to want to expand their search engine marketing efforts immediately to neighboring towns and cities to maximize istock-528632096their client base. Although this strategy known as local content silos can be effective, it is important to make sure that you are first competitive and successful in your own “back yard”, as emphasized in this recent article in Search Engine Land. Optimize your proximity and location first, which will help boost your relevance and authority in the search engines. If expanding to other neighboring towns is your long-term goal, this will help set you up for success.

If you are interested in optimizing your local search engine optimization efforts or have 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.

Now On Tap, Google

What’s on tap for Google? Glad you asked. No, it’s not the craft beer Google employees gulp down during happy hour. It’s the Google Now On Tap feature on the Android smartphone. Here’s how it works: Tap and hold the phone’s Home button and that will bring up Google Now Cards, no matter if you’re using your mobile browser or in an app. Google provides specific examples. Example one is let’s say you’re reading an email with movie title X in it. If you tap and hold the Home button that will bring up the Google Now Card about the movie. Links would include the movie’s IMDB profile, YouTube video or trailer, and more.

Another example is let’s say your friend wants to meet you at a restaurant. He texts you the info with the restaurant name within the text. You would tap and hold the Home button, and that would bring up review sites of the restaurant, such as OpenTable. In other words, when you tap and hold the Home button, you, the user, are telling Google you need help with something. Interestingly enough, Google also reports that if you tap on a picture, information will be brought up. However, it’s unclear whether this can be done straight from the photo or via the Home button.

And if you don’t want to access the Google Now Cards, you can also say “Okay Google” to ask a question from your phone as well. The thought behind Now On Tap has three elements: understanding context, providing answers, and helping users take action. Time will tell if users like Now On Tap, which will be released on the Android system later this year.

At Qseeker, we are happy to help your website be more accessible in Google’s new feature, 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

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?

 

 

Qlegal Founder Talks Legal Marketing at Suffolk Law

This past February, Founder and President of Qlegal, Francis McGovern, spoke at Suffolk University Law School in Boston about the importance of marketing and search engine optimization in the legal profession.

Offered by the Center for Advanced Legal Studies, McGovern’s session was part of a day-long offering titled “Jumpstarting Your Practice: A Roadmap for Success.”  McGovern took part in a panel titled “Finding Clients, Working with Clients, Keeping Clients,” which was moderated by Eric J. Parker, who is currently on the board of the school.  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.