Category Archives: Online Marketing

Optimizing Your E-Commerce Site

seo-ecommerceAs the holidays fast approach, those with e-commerce websites understand the importance of attracting as many customers as possible – especially during this potentially lucrative season. Proper, well-planned, and professionally executed SEO is crucial to a website’s success especially with so many recent changes to Google’s algorithms. To stay relevant to consumers, consider the following tips for successfully connecting with consumers during this holiday season:

*Keep the keyword usage varied, relevant, and – above all – natural. Choose a rich variety of keywords and keyword phrases and use them where they make sense within your content. Forcing the use of keywords will only do more harm to your SEO efforts than good. Always keep well-written, relevant, and informative content in the foremost of your organic SEO efforts. This is what your customers want and there’s no point in getting them to your site if – failing to find what they want – they don’t stick around. Keywords should be integrated into content; not the other way around.

*Make it regional. It’s important to know your audience and the overall region you serve. If it’s possible to localize your website then definitely do so – using local keyword phrases. In this way you can optimize your position for local searches.

*Keep connected through social media. It’s important to make sure your website has icons/links to your social media pages. Stay connected to your audience through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and more.

*Work with professionals who can guide your internet marketing. By aligning yourself with a professional web marketing team, you can ensure that someone always has your back in the face of algorithm changes, shifts in your business, and more.

 

Google’s New Keyword Planner Tool – What It Means for You

google-keyword-planner1Oh, that tricky Google…the three big changes to the internet’s primary search engine has meant big changes for website marketing strategies. First, there was the switch over to the engine’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, and their recent move to encrypted keyword searches (see our last blog post); but it doesn’t stop there. Now we have Google Keyword Planner which replaces Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool. So how does it work? And what does it mean for SEO practices and online marketing overall?

Let’s face it, the AdWords Keyword Tool was primary to a lot of SEO campaigns in terms of planning. This free tool allowed website marketers to conduct comprehensive keyword research and determine which keywords and phrases produced significant search volume, and which were the most competitive.

At the end of August, however, Google replaced its enormously popular Keyword Tool with their new Keyword Planner – a tool that is available to those with an AdWords account. While the new tool at first glance seems geared towards pay per click campaigns only, there is still some functionality present for organic SEO campaigns. You can use the tool as long as you have an AdWords account – which is free to create; and there are a few benefits including a much more advanced ability to search keywords on a local level – down to the tiniest geographic region, the option to search more than 100 keywords at a time (a limit imposed by the old Keyword Tool), the ability to search combination of words from multiple lists, and the option to filter out words that have less than a particular volume, as set by you.

Users, of course, also cite some downsides such as the fact that you are now only able to select Exact Match data (instead of Broad, Phrase, or Exact), and the disappearance of the ability to extract search data from where it originated – mobile device, desktop, tablet.

All in all, we’re still able to use Google’s keyword planning tool in whatever its form – it will, as with all of these new changes, just take some getting used to.

Keywords and Hummingbird – a New Relationship in SEO

google_hummingbird-580x334The basis of any SEO campaign – as it has been for some time – rests in well-chosen keywords; those phrases by which search engine users, and potential customers, will seek out the particular goods and services that you offer. Up until now, keywords and keyword phrases were short and concise, used as the proverbial trail of breadcrumbs to lead your target audience straight to your website – and bring others along with them in the process by way of higher page rankings on the search engines and increased brand awareness.

Now, with the recent launch of Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, there’s a definite change on the horizon for keywords as they relate to SEO and online marketing. In short, one of the most notable purposes of Hummingbird is to better manage what is called “conversational queries” – in other words, better interpreting the meaning of a user’s search rather than focusing only on the keywords that they use. That’s because search engine users today – especially those who are conducting their search on their mobile device – are more likely to search for something through a phrase or question rather than just a keyword (i.e., where can I find…, how do I…., what are the best Italian restaurants in…, etc.)

This will put increased focus on a website’s content – which must be rich and relevant. And while it may contain keywords, the content should not just be a vehicle for the delivery of keywords. In fact, keywords themselves need to be used in various ways throughout your content – including the use of similar keywords, different spellings, and within more conversational phrases.

As with anything else, it will take some time to see how Hummingbird will ultimately change the SEO process, but as long as you’re willing to stay flexible and always vigilant, you can make the adjustments necessary to maintain page rank and increase web traffic.

Fluctuating SEO Results; Sticking with the Program

google-penguin-seo-tipsMarketing of any kind comes with its own brand of commitment. You need to be able to roll with the punches and stick with the program – consistency is essential and in the case of online marketing, consistency means staying on track with the end goal in mind. Those who are currently involved in a SEO campaign in an effort to increase their website traffic have definitely been called upon to have more patience than usual at this particular time. As the full scope of Google’s Penguin 2.0 shakes out, many websites are experiencing a drop in rankings for keywords that have – up until now – been very successful. However, rather than abandoning a SEO program altogether, now is the time for websites to take stock of the things they are doing well, make the adjustments necessary to continue to thrive, and ride the wave because, after all, such ups and downs are inherent in online marketing.

So what do you do?

Fix what’s broken. If your site has been penalized in the face of Penguin or Panda updates, then you should first find out what has been impacted on your site and do what you can to fix it specifically.

Look closely. Work with your  team to go through your site page by page to make sure that everything is up to date and user/search engine friendly.

Stay connected. Don’t ignore social media; use it for all its worth to build awareness and increase website traffic.

Maintain your voice. Continue to make sure that your content is written for visitors – not just as a vehicle in which to plug keywords. In the end, authenticity is what will continue to bolster a website’s rankings and gain the site the website traffic it deserves.

First and foremost, there is no better example of why having a professional SEO team on your side is so important. A professional online marketing firm captains the ship; it is their role to manage the details of your SEO campaign, adjust your course if needed, and monitor your results on an ongoing basis.

Viral Marketing and SEO

viral-marketingIn this ever technological world – where we are all interconnected by our computers and various other devices, we often hear – in reference to some new piece of media circulating the internet – that something has “gone viral.” What we all know this to mean is that this particular subject has raised such interest that its popularity has spread like a virus – with great swiftness and widespread reach. We’ve all experienced the video posted online that goes from virtual anonymity to millions of views within just a few days or the memes that get passed from person to person through social media. It happens that quickly. So for those whose interests lie in branding their company, they know viral marketing can’t be ignored.

Of course, not everyone will get millions of hits on YouTube from their video or widespread attention for their eBook or customized image, but – truly – when it comes to increasing web traffic even a small to medium buzz among a target audience can have a huge impact.

How does this work? In two ways. For one, if you craft a message that is appropriate to your audience and can be easily accessed and viewed by said audience, you’ve already made significant headway in your online marketing efforts.

Secondly, nothing – absolutely nothing – that is connected to you should be online without being optimized. SEO applies to everything. That means that ebooks should contain your chosen keywords, games/images/etc. should always link back to your business, and any video you post should include a link to your business in the video description and include your keywords in the tag section; finally, you should always add the video to your Google+ and Google Places listing.

Everything that you touch online should have your business’s unique fingerprint on it. In this way you can continue to increase your web traffic, grow your brand, and grow your business.