SEO Isn’t Magic – It’s Hard Work!

seo isn't magic, it's hard workI’m an in-house SEO at a large organization; often times I’m asked to “SEO a page” after it’s been designed and published.  Now, at first glance, you may not see anything wrong with that statement, but to me it shakes me at my core!

Why you ask?  Well, because good SEO is an ingrained activity that touches so many different aspects of a business – everything from Customer Service, Marketing, & Design to Writing & Social Engagement.  A common misconception from clients and even internal business partners is that SEO’s can do something to a page that all of a sudden makes it appear in Google.  I wish it was that easy!  In reality, SEO is hard work and it’s getting everyone to work together as a team.  At 630 Marketing, we try to make it as easy for business owners, but it still requires a strong partnership with them.  To me, SEO is ultimately a reflection of 5 things (listed below).  By no means is this a complete list (and it’s not ordered) – it’s just the main pillars that I tend to look at:

1. Content.

  • What message are you trying to get across?
  • Are you addressing a need?
  • Is your content well written and focused on the user?
  • Have you done keyword research and are there ways add in target key phrases in a non spammy way?

2. Site Architecture.

  • Is it easy for a user to navigate throughout your site?
  • Can you improve on the overall design?
  • Can a “bot” access the pages, or are there roadblocks?
  • Do your pages load slowly?
  • Do you have duplicate pages on your site? <– you’d be surprised how often this happens.

3. Promotion.

  • How are you currently promoting your site, both online and offline?
  • Are you leveraging your current network (affiliations, organizations, charities, school)?
  • What opportunities can you do to increase exposure (i.e. networking groups)?

4. Social.

  • Are you engaging with your customers through the vast social sphere?
  • Are there opportunities to build up your network?

5. Post Transaction.

  • What are you doing to delight your customers after the sale?
  • Do you customers love you product/service?  If so, what are you doing to capture their delight? How are you marketing it to others?  If they’re not delighted, what can you do better?

 

Hope this information helps! If you have any questions or thoughts, just let us know.  630 Marketing offers Internet marketing solutions for small businesses at a very affordable price.

SEO Tip For Bloggers (rel=author setup)

A little over a year ago, Google released their “authorship program”, which gives authors an opportunity to enhance their Google search results listings by displaying a profile picture next to the result (example below)

You’ve probably seen people’s pictures in Search Results before.  Did it attract you to click on the link? If you’re like me, it does.

So, if you’re a blogger, then why do would you want your profile picture to show up?  Well, your picture = more clicks.  Your profile picture will make you stand out from the crowd while adding credibility to your post.  If you’re interested on how you can have your profile picture show up, just follow these steps:

Step 1. Create a Google Account

  • Or log into your existing one

Step 2. Create a Google Plus profile

  • Or log into your existing one
  • If you don’t have one, Go Here
  • Fill out your information (make sure to add your picture)

Step 3. Connect G+ To Your Blog:

  • Go to your G+ profile
  • Click “edit” (to edit your G+ profile)
  • Click on your About section
  • Scroll down & click on the “contributor” section
  • Add the URL to your Blog.

Step 4. Connect Your Blog To G+:

  • Log into your blog’s CMS (ex. WordPress)
  • Add the following code in the <head> section of the pages you’d like your profile picture to show up for: <link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/123445“/>.  The section in Red would be your URL, I just made this one up as an example.

Step 5. Confirm it’s working:

  • Go to the rich snippet tester (here)
  • Type in your URL….does the preview show your profile picture?

Step 6. Wait.

  • It can take a month or 2 for your picture to start showing up.
Hope this information helps! If you have any questions or thoughts, just let us know.  630 Marketing offers Internet marketing solutions for small businesses at a very affordable price.

 

EMD Update – What Is It? Should I Be Worried?

What was the EMD Update?

On September 28th, Matt Cutts (Google’s head of Spam) tweeted that they made an algo change that “will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.” He also said that “new exact-match domain (EMD) algo affects .6% of English-US queries to a noticeable degree. Unrelated to Panda/Penguin”.

So, what does this mean?

If you’re using an exact match domain (ex. keyword.com) AND if you have low quality content on the site, then you may see a ranking decrease. However, say for example you have an exact match domain (ex. keyword.com) and the content is a) unique and substantive and b) the subject supports the keyword you’re using, then your site should not be effected. It’s in Google’s (and the users) best interest to reduce the amount of spam – this algo change is one way of doing just that.  It used to be the case (and I can attest to it) that buying an exact match domain, in a fairly non-competitive market would quickly get you on the first page of Google, regardless of the quality of content. Those days are likely gone – and may have some SEO companies that heavily relied on this tactic, a bit worried.

Is it OK to still use an exact match domain?

Yup – absolutely. If you’re in the beginning stages of starting a business and are contemplating a business name, one consideration is to include a “keyword” within the name. For example, “Charlotte Roofers Co.” or “Pete’s Plumbing Service”. From an SEO standpoint, having an EMD can still give you an added benefit in the long run because you can develop a link profile (naturally) with keyword rich anchor text. When picking domain names, the advice I always give is to pick something that a) most represents your company and b) is something that you feel comfortable using for a long time.

Implications of EMD?

In my opinion, keyword rich domains will not get the immediate ranking benefit – for the keyword being used in the domain – that they once could have received.  In other words, exact match domains are not as strong as a ranking signal as it once was. Google has been aware of the “unwarranted” ranking that some  EMD’s would get.  In fact a couple years ago Matt Cutts said that he would take a look at the issue – 2 years later, it looks like they finally did.

Hope this information helps! If you have any questions or thoughts, just let us know!  Just as a reminder – 630 Marketing offers internet marketing solutions for small businesses at a very affordable price!