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Is There Still Money To Be Made With SEO?

Posted by Jennifer Dawson on Fri, Jun, 15, 2018 @ 09:06 AM

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Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

 

SEO has been at the forefront of the marketing sphere and web development for many years now. Some business owners have started to question the relevance and effectiveness of investing in either in-house SEO experts or outsourcing SEO tactics to an external agency. However, the Internet is still the fastest, easiest way to reach audiences, and there is still plenty of money to be made by employing strategic SEO practices.

In fact, so many companies in the U.S. have recognized the value in SEO, that leading annual SEO spending has increased steadily every year over the past decade - from $11.44 billion in 2008 to $72.02 billion in 2018. Even though digital marketing strategies like social media are now the hot topic of marketing teams, start-ups and small business owners recognize the massive value in cutting-edge SEO practices. On average, Google processes 40,000 search inquiries per second—adding up to 3.5 billion searches every single day. Clearly, your ideal audience’s online experience will likely begin and end based on your website or brand’s SEO, making it more important now to your profitability than ever before.

How SEO Has Shifted in the Past Few Years

Focusing on SEO best practices is essential for boosting your overall profitability, but the way you approach SEO must reflect the most up-to-date standards in order to make money. In the past, it was enough to simply publish webpages with the knowledge that it would build back-end visibility in organic search engines queries, leading to new paying customers and leads. Now, major search engines like Google have become more strategic in ranking websites so as to reduce the amount of regurgitated, fake or false content.

Just as the search engines have become increasingly strategic, your business must also delegate SEO tactics to experts that are aware of the best practices of this year. Though it is exciting that the Internet is always evolving, this means that marketers and SEO experts must stay on top of their game and be sure to incorporate the latest trends, software, and processes to their strategies in order to rake in the big bucks. The SEO practices that worked in 2016 simply do not work anymore—it is no longer about generating as much web content as possible. Instead, being in touch with current trends—such as creating long-form, keyword-rich content that can be disseminated through various inbound strategies—is critical to your company’s SEO, profitability, and overall web presence.

What Your SEO Strategy Must Now Encompass

To remain current and increase your sales, there are several updates to SEO best practices that you must be aware of. One is Google’s mobile-first indexing, which began in 2016 and continues today. Google’s mobile-first index allows Google to give content that performs best on mobile devices a higher ranking. Page load speed is therefore extremely important, so be sure to check your image sizes and browser caching before you send out content online.

Another change to SEO is that you can no longer rely entirely on back links to boost your rating on search engines. Instead, optimizing your content should be the foundation of your strategy for link building. Return links are simply not as important anymore as unique, idea-driven content is. If you have engaging content to share, chances are this content will be noticed by industry leaders—who may even share the content themselves, adding real value to your brand.

Although the best practices for SEO has shifted in recent years, it is still a highly relevant and paying technique for business owners and marketing teams to take into consideration in order to grow a company’s visibility and brand online.

Tags: SEO

The Rising Role of Email Analytics in Events Management

Posted by Jennifer Dawson on Fri, Jun, 08, 2018 @ 08:06 AM

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Photo by Slim Emcee (UG) the poet Truth_From_Africa_Photography on Unsplash

 

Big data is shaking up the business world, with revenue expected to quadruple from $33.5 billion in 2017 to around $134 billion in 2021. Despite this, most of this revenue comes from IT and tech companies, with traditional businesses struggling to wrap their heads around the analytics. If your company is in events management, then you need to start using big data to inform decisions if you wish to get ahead of the competition. Your Google SEO plan should begin with email, since this is the most effective way to advertise events services. You can improve results by investing in big data and crunching the numbers to help boost profits.

 

Emailing the Right People

Marketing experts agree that email has the greatest return on investment, ahead of social media marketing. When selling your events services, you are more likely to receive a customer through their email inbox than by taking out a paid Google or Facebook ad. However, you need to analyze the market trends in order to ensure you are reaching the right people.

 

Only a subsection of people will be interested in the events that you can provide, so don’t waste your time emailing everyone. Check the data to see which kind of people are opening your emails. The chances are, it is people who already previously expressed an interest in your service. Analysing the data allows you to pinpoint your market and target your emails more narrowly.

 

Beating the Spam Filter

Another factor big data analysis can reveal is whether your emails are getting through. You could be putting together a brilliant events newsletter with all your best offers and sending them to interested parties, but they may fall at the last hurdle and end up in the junk folder. You can adjust your marketing strategy to determine what increases delivery success rates. If you specialize in weddings, you’ll need a different strategy to a business which organizes festivals.

 

Emails should generally only be sent to potential customers who actively opted in to your services. The newsletter should then have an easy, one-click unsubscribe option. This will help the algorithms to view your email as not spam. Giving the option for users to opt out ensures you are targeting your emails more efficiently towards people interested in the events you offer.

 

Studying Action Rates

Finally, analytics will allow you to see your action rate statistics. Are you aware of how many emails it takes to get a click onto your website? Big data will tell you this. It will also reveal how changing a marketing strategy affects results.

 

For instance, you may find that scheduling your emails to go out in the spring is more effective for advertising weddings, but won’t be clicked on by people looking for events around the winter olympics. You can also view how other factors affect action rate. Perhaps some subject lines work better than others or including special offers at the top is more appealing than having it hidden in the text.

 

Events management is a changing industry and it needs to keep up with the tech giants. Big data suppliers and analytics tools are out there to help anyone with a digital marketing team. Use email for the greatest return on investment and use analytics to effectively target the right people and increase the chance of events business succeeding.

 

Likewise you need to deliver a great customer experience so consider what trade show decorators you will use to communicate a consistent brand message.

Tags: keywords, SEO, email

Are You On Track With Your 2018 SEO Plan?

Posted by Jennifer Dawson on Mon, May, 28, 2018 @ 17:05 PM

 

It's no surprise that Google will remain the top referrer to websites in 2018 and with a referring rate as much as 5 times that of its nearest competitor, it’s vital to website owners to stay on top of trends. 2018 is bound to throw out a few interesting tricks and if you’ve missed out so far, here’s how to do a quick catch up on SEO trends.

Voice assistants are here to stay

Companies such as Google, Apple, and Samsung have spent millions on research and development to streamline the voice search technology.  For advertisers, harnessing the power of voice assistants is critical for survival. When they do this, it will inevitably lead to greater traffic which has a higher chance of generating more sales. SEO is critical in order to rank higher and the strategy should be more aligned to voice search as opposed to the typed search options. A few tweaks and changes to the search phrases combined with carefully placed snippets will play a big role in ranking higher in 2018.

Use Google changes to your advantage

Quite a lot of buzz is happening around mobile indexing and with good reason. Google has found that too many high-ranking websites aren't mobile-friendly. This is not something that sits well with the search engine giant, as many users have embraced mobile technology for their day-to-day internet browsing. Mobile users have overtaken desktop users in terms of internet usage, which is why there is the high focus on getting mobile ranking right. Although this new measure is still in the testing phase, website owners should jump on the opportunity to increase their accessibility in order not to miss out. Another new feature that’s getting a major overhaul is the Google News feature, which will be far more aligned with the search terms. Those who wish to rank there will need to do in-depth keyword analysis as old tricks will no longer fly with ranking.

They do store customer data after all

For years Google assured consumers that they only use the search data for research and training purposes but now that search data populates user intention fields. It takes the information it has on the user and defines the search results according to past responses. This means that two different people entering the same search terms may land up on different choices, based on their previous searches.

The recurring themes for 2018, which website owners should already be on top of, include embracing technology and providing an organic solution to customer searches. Ranking will be far more difficult to achieve if the SEO strategy takes a cookie-cutter approach as customer’s natural requests are used to define the searches, instead of just stand-alone keywords.

Tags: SEO

SEO "Best Practices" Today

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, May, 12, 2016 @ 07:05 AM

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Great presentation by Phil Frost, Founder of Main Street ROI (@mainstreetroi), "SEO is Dead: 5 Rules for Winning in the New World of Search."

Given the changes in SEO, and all of the rumors about what you should and shouldn't do, I thought it would be useful to share the thoughts of an SEO professional.

Phil suggests approaching SEO the same way you should approach content marketing - be transparent and provide information of value. Do not try to fool Google. Help Google provide information of value.

Phil reviewed Google's four major updates:

  1. Panda rooted out websites that provided poor user exeperiences (UX), poor design, and poor navigation.
  2. Penguin removed over optimized websites where users were trying to beat Google's algorithm by key word stuffing.
  3. Google+ used social media signals to improve search results by ranking sites based on social media credibility.
  4. Hummingbird interprets the context of a search and provide semantic updates.

As long as you're trying to provide information of value to users, Google updates are an opportunity to improve the performance of your site in search results.

Three things Phil recommends avoiding in order to avoid being penalized by Google:

  1. Over-optimized web pages
    1. Write naturally for your customer do not write for search engines.
    2. Do not stuff keywords on a page.
    3. Aim for 500+ words per page.
    4. Provide information of value.
  2. Self-created links
    1. Do not buy links - you will be penalized.
    2. Do not add links to irrelevant sites.
    3. Do not use the same anchor text on all, or most of, your links.
    4. Focus on sharing information of value to get links.
  3. Unnecessary "SEO" webpages
    1. Do not create multiple pages for similar keywords (e.g. plurals or similar intent).
    2. One page per keyword or theme.

Three predictions for 2016:

  1. Google will continue to fight manipulative SEO tactics.
  2. Local and mobile search will increase in importance; as such, your site needs to be mobile optimized.
  3. Social signals will become more important.

SEO is about partnering with Google to help users.

SEO should resemble and reflect real world relationships where you share information of value with people so they are talking about you and sharing your information with others, as well as providing positive reviews about your products and services.

Here are Phil's five rules:

  1. Research keywords.
    1. Use the Google keyword planner tool to look for long tail keywords.
    2. Look for search volume greater than zero.
    3. Look for words that reflect "buying intent" versus "research intent."
    4. Ask yourself if you really deserve to be ranked number one - do you actually offer the product or service you are promoting?
  2. Website relevance.
    1. Match your message to the market.
    2. Think in terms of target personas.
    3. Pick one page per target keyword and similar phrases.
    4. Use the target keyword in the title, headers, and body copy. Google looks at "titles" of a website like the chapters in a book.
    5. Create the webpage you'd want to find based on what you typed into Google (i.e. long-tail keywords).
  3. Website reputation.
    1. What's your "real world" reputation?
    2. Make sure the websites you're associated with are credible.
    3. Your friends say good things about you in social media.
    4. Focus on attracting links - do not buy or create them.
  4. SEO revenue.
    1. Write for your customers.
    2. Have social proof.
    3. Have clear calls-to-action.
    4. Do your keyword research to find words that generate sales.
    5. Use Google Analytics to track SEO traffic, leads, and sales.
  5. Responsibility.
    1. Identify who is going to be responsible for SEO on a day-to-day basis.
    2. Do not "set and forget" SEO. It must be managed on a daily or weekly basis.
    3. Delegate SEO work only after you understand.

Tactics for getting ranked in 30 days or less:

  1. Piggyback SEO
    1. Piggyback on high authroity websites like YouTube, PRWeb and Webwire
    2. Publish content with keywords in the title.
  2. Local SEO via Google and local listing (20% of searches are local; 40% of mobile searches are local; 97% search for local businesses)
    1. Research = Google Keyword Tool
    2. Relevance = keywords in you profile on local listing sites and relevant online directories
    3. Reputation = citations and reviews

Create a  "search console" (formerly webmaster tools) account in Google to receive alerts if your site is hacked and get advice from Google on the next steps to take to get your ranking back. 

Stay abreast of SEO changes for long term success and don't try to game the system. Establish a set of best practices for sharing information of value and you will be following the SEO "best practices" of the times.

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Tags: SEO, keywords