At its most basic level, search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of enhancing and promoting a website in an effort to boost the number of visitors coming through from the search engines. The majority of your visitors are expected to arrive via the popular search engines and SEO configuration helps to boost visibility when users search for your particular product or brand.
SEO comes in many forms, and there are relevant factors such as the words used on your page or the way other websites link to you: in some cases SEO simply means the designing and structuring of a website in a way that search engines can understand.
But in addition to discovering specific phrases and terms for the engines and building proper links, SEO isn’t just focused on the engines; it’s also about making sure the sites are better for people.
If you’re trying to figure out the whole SEO thing but find yourself more confused, don’t stress, you’re not alone. Hopefully we can help you to understand SEO better and how it will result in more profits for your business.
Why Does My Site Need SEO?
As we mentioned earlier, the majority of web traffic originates from a search query in the search engines.
What makes search engines so unique is the fact that they can provide targeted traffic, which means that you can directly draw in people who are specifically looking for what you offer. Once you understand that search engines are the roadway that facilitates all this, and learn how to make sure your site is found by popular search engines, you won’t miss out on the many marketing opportunities made possible by search.
A search query is the phrase a user types into a search box in order to find information about something, so your website needs to be configured in a way that its anchor text aligns with relevant search queries. For example if your website sells wedding dresses then it would be very important to make sure your website gets displayed on the search results when someone types in a query relating to wedding dresses.
When site owners invest in SEO, it leads to an impressive return on investment. It really does have the potential to significantly boost your rate of return when compared to other forms of promotion and marketing.
Is it true that search engines can’t “see” my website without SEO?
Modern search engines are pretty sophisticated and use advanced algorithms to search for sites when queried but they still need assistance in order to crawl the web more deeply and provide users with the best results for each query. Remember that while there are proven SEO strategies to make sure your site gets thousands of visitors every month, the wrong SEO can get your site buried deep in the search results where no user will ever come across it.
Aside from making sure content is available to search engines, good SEO also enhances site rankings in order to make sure content is placed only where common searches will locate it. You might have noticed how competitive SEO marketing is, and companies that invest in SEO will have a huge advantage over their peers.
How do I do SEO for myself?
SEO is fairly complex but once you understand the basics, it makes a huge difference. There is a lot of information about SEO available on the Internet and it can be accessed for free.
Depending on the time you have for learning this information and the type and complexity of your website, you may find you need an expert to handle things more smoothly. There are hundreds of experienced firms such as ours out there practicing SEO. We assist many local businesses just like yours and will be delighted to provide an SEO solution for your business.
How much time should I invest in learning SEO?
If you are serious about improving your search rankings and be familiar with SEO then it would be advisable to put in time and effort into it. There are three main factors you need to pay attention to:
• On the page SEO
• Off the page SEO
As you will learn, within each group exist subgroups and each of these subgroups contains individualized SEO factors that you as a site owner should pay attention to.
Effective SEO factors have to work in combination. No single factor will be successful so it wouldn’t make sense to focus on creating a great HTML title if the content on the page is low quality. Likewise having hundreds of links can boost rankings significantly but that only works if they are quality links. Establishing multiple factors can increase the chances of success just as negative factors make it harder to achieve success.
On the page ranking factors
On-page search ranking factors are those types of factors that fall under the publisher’s control. Consider the type of content you publish, perhaps you provide a number of HTML clues that make it easier for people and the search engines to ‘see’ your website, and perhaps you’ve spent time creating effective site architecture to help the search engines. All these factors fall under on-page rankings and are within your control.
Off the page ranking factors
These are the factors that publishers do not directly control. A long time ago search engine developers learned that relying entirely on publisher controlled signals wouldn’t work so in order to yield the best results they had to gain more control. For example, some publishers may try to make themselves appear more relevant that they actually are.
Due to the high number of web pages in existence, search engines cannot rely on ‘on the page’ clues. The engines need to go through more signals in order to yield the perfect result for any specific search.
Violations and penalties
Understand that search engines want publishers to perform SEO on their pages because it can improve their search results. Major search engines such as Google provide assistance in the form of simple guidelines, videos and how-to posts as a way to encourage good SEO practice and make it easier for their users to find your site.
But despite all of this training, some publishers still engage in “black hat” techniques as a way to get to the front of the line and for this they get punished. Engaging in spam or black hat SEO tricks can get your pages penalized and the ranking dropped; in some cases the website can get banned from the search engine entirely.
These violations are basically little tricks that web developers use to exploit search engines into giving a higher ranking, usually by manipulating the search engine’s understanding of true authority and relevancy.
It sounds very confusing. I need time to think about it.
Although it sounds daunting at first it can be learnt, but most businesses simply don’t have the time to do this as they are too busy running their businesses. However, we need to stress that businesses can’t afford to snooze when it comes to perfecting their SEO strategy. This is not meant to scare your into action, it is just a simple fact. It needs to be done if you want your business to stay ahead of the competition.
However, because if it so important we can understand if a business is sometimes reluctant to hire an outside company to handle their SEO strategy. You might not want to give up direct control of this critical component of digital marketing, or you may be looking to reduce your costs.
However, there are even more compelling reasons you should outsource your SEO rather than keep it in-house (or even worse, decide not to do it altogether). Outsourcing has five main advantages that make it an appealing option for businesses:
1. No More Waiting
When it comes to running a business, there are a lot of items that take priority over SEO on your to-do list. Due to its complexity and ever-changing nature, many businesses put SEO off until the company has the time and resources to handle it properly. But the longer you wait to handle it, the further you’ll fall behind your competitors. They will be getting the sales that might otherwise have gone to you. Outsourcing SEO can help push up the timetable without sacrificing other projects.
2. Keeping up With SEO’s Constant Evolution
Unfortunately, SEO isn’t something you can just set and forget. Google makes hundreds of changes to its algorithm each year and if your company lacks the resources to stay on top of it, then it will prove ineffective or even damaging in the long run.
For example, when Google changed its algorithm to crack down on SEO tricks focused on short-term results, one company lost 20 percent of its search visibility overnight. If it had hired experts to follow these announced changes and implement above-the-board SEO strategies, the company could have maintained its search market share and even used the algorithm change to its advantage.
3. Making More Money
Perhaps like many businesses, you worry that paying someone else to do something for you is going to end up costing more money than just handling it internally. In reality, it’s different for each company.
To put things in perspective, what are the costs of doing it on your own, and what are the results you expect? Where are you positioned in search engines today, and what is that ranking costing you in new sales?
While it may cost more in the short term to hire externally, the ROI from increased traffic will often put you ahead.
4. Gaining Built-in Expertise
While your company may have employees who know their way around SEO, it’s unlikely that they’re as experienced and knowledgeable as people whose companies like ours do it for a living. SEO agencies have clients in diverse markets, with deeper and wider exposure to the impacts of algorithm changes and other search-centric issues. They’re also paid to stay on top of every change and trend in the search business. Spending your resources training employees to be experts internally, rather than outsourcing, can waste both time and money.
5. Focusing on the Big Picture
How can good SEO benefit your business? By letting someone else handle the details of SEO, it frees you up to concentrate on the results and how they can contribute to the growth of your business. SEO agencies live and die by the results they return, so their goal is to deliver the results you want so they can stay in business.
While you still might decide to handle SEO internally, it’s important to consider both options and choose the approach that works best for your business. Assess where you are in the SEO game, and determine whether you need help.
Do you have technical SEO issues? Are you suffering from content issues? Do you have a bad backlink profile? Is the way your website is set up actually harming your SEO?
You may not have the answers to these kinds of questions yet, but you can start to wrap your head around the problems you might have by hiring a partner to audit your strategy. This is also a good way to vet an SEO agency without committing to anything for an extended period. You need to know that the company understands your business and knows what kind of results you want.
How Not to Harm Your Rankings and Lose Sales
Remember, SEO is not a short-term game. You have to be in it for the long haul. That is why we are so keen to work with you. Our focus is on strategy, not on quick results and easy guarantees that is offered by other companies, which actually harm your ranking in the long term. We can help put you ahead of your competitors, both online and off. Don’t put it off. Act today. We look forward to working with you.
With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s a great time to take advantage of some targeting with your email marketing campaigns. Even if you’re so lazy that you simply write “Happy Holidays!” in the signature, it would behoove you to make some effort to bring your customers into the “spending” mind frame that the holiday season always denotes.
Five Ho-Ho-Holiday Email Tips that Will Sleigh Them!
With that said, here are some simple and not-so simple adjustments, additions and marketing strategies you can add to your email marketing campaigns this holiday season to capture a little bit of that holiday magic…right in your wallet.
1. Use Holiday Language. Did you see how clever our h2 subtitle was? Okay, maybe it is too cutesy for what you are doing, but don’t be afraid to throw in some “tasty savings” or “stuffed with deals” type language for Thanksgiving sales. Go as far or as subtle as you want, but remember: most people enjoy the holidays and are put in a better mood by people who are enjoying them too!
2. Offer Big Discounts. You already know how much people love to spend during the holidays, but they love to save even more. Use a big deal to get them onto the site and then offer package deals or side items to even out your profits. Remember, the point here is to get the emails open, the click-thrus up and not only give them a deal, but raise your brand or website’s awareness. Even if you break even on a deal, the fact that the customer will remember you in the future and possibly open more emails or buy more products makes the initial investment worth it. Chalk it up to cost of acquisition.
3. Early Bird Specials. Every year we see Target, Walmart and Toys R Us competing with each other on opening hours. Now, we’re to the point where Black Friday sales start on Thanksgiving or even before. The bottom line is that there are no more limitations. Your “Pre-Pre Black Friday Blowout” could be a great way to get traffic to your site. Having an opt-in will allow only those who want to received early bird specials, to receive them, leaving the core of your list unbothered and thus, unsubscribes down.
4. Get Creative. Holidays are all about reindeer games and having fun, so play along with your list. Have a holiday trivia contest where the first ten people to answer correctly on your site get 10% off or a free gift. Keep the games light, airy, holiday-themed and reward incentive. You want people to play along and have fun, but you also don’t want to pester them and have them hit the unsubscribe.
5. Real Time Emails. A great email marketing campaign that is underused is the hourly deals. While this won’t really work year-round, it’s perfect for Black Friday and Cyber Monday because people are constantly checking in for updates on emails. You can either have an opt-in (which would compartmentalize and further qualify your list) or have real-time content that you can update in the body of the email as soon as the customer opens it.
As you can see, holiday email marketing is a fine line to walk between taking advantage of the willingness of your list to get more emails and not bombarding them with so many that you tick them off.
So you’ve got your business up and running, whether that means freelance consulting, promoting affiliate products, or running a monetized online community, things are on the up and up. However, you know there’s lots of other, more established competitors in your spaceâ€¦ so how do you stand out and convince customers that switching to you is a no-brainer? Well, here are a few proven ways to overdeliver in the digital age.
1. Collect feedback.
With the amount of survey tools out there, or the ability to, you know, send an email message, it’s incredibly important that you start listening to what your customers are saying. Early on, this can be as simple as asking them in a post-sale or ideally post-service email what they thought of your service, and if they have anything they would improve.
This serves two purposes: First, it’s going to help you identify people who are really keen on your brand or product, and who might be good candidates to become your affiliates, etc. Starting out, you might just let them know that if they enjoyed working with you, you’d love to send some kind of reward their way if they find a few people to refer to you. These gifts don’t have to be anything expensive, but the gesture is often appreciated and the potential to help you grow is huge.
2. Have a personality.
Seriously, for the same reason people vote for political candidates based on how they look, or how they generally “feel” about them, interactions and perception go a long way in purchase decisions. Plus, this is actually something you have a huge advantage at over your larger rivals: When a company has 37 different support agents to help with their massive customerbase, they can’t offer the same kind of repeat interactions or treatment that you can as an individual. Smart companies on the rise use the technique of overdelivering in the personalization and customer support department to win clients from their competitors. It’s not a bad strategy for entrepreneurs and online marketers, etiher.
3. Connect with them via social media as a person, not a brand.
This is an interesting one. Now more than ever, people like to know who they’re doing business with, because they can. Social media has greatly raised expectations of interaction and transparency, to the point that even massive brands make sure they have a presence actively chat with those who mention them.
As an individual entrepreneur, you have the unique opportunity to let people know the person who wants to do business with them. This goes hand in hand with point number two about having a personality. Let people Snapchat with you in your off-hours, post Instagram pictures of your work days as they progress. The Facebook page for your freelancing or brand can be a place that people not only get to know you better through written posts, but when you can foster community through asking discussion questions and special offers.
Remember that your biggest weakness, being small and up against long-standing competition, is also your biggest asset, because it makes you more agile than anyone else (and your clients will remember that).
Not to sound bigoted, but let’s just face the facts: some customers are more valuable than others. There! I said it! More specifically, customers who can be classified as “early adopters,” especially in the realm of digital technology, are major players in the success or failure of a 21st century business and/or product. Early adopters are so important because they’re often also your influences; they run blogs, Youtube channels, and everything they say has triple or quadruple-digit retweets on twitter. Get on the good side of an early adopter, and they can bring with them hundreds or thousands of average users. In some writings on the adoption curve and life cycle of new products in our day and age, early adopters are touted as those who can guide a new business across the “chasm.” The chasm is the period of uncertainty where it is uncertain whether a product will make the jump from something a few people try out to a technology that is adopted and integrated by the majority.
Today, we’re going to talk about how you can help your products and businesses be as attractive to early adopters as possible, and how you can best leverage that attention.
1) Find a genuine need. Depending on where you’re at, this might be advice coming too late, but the first step to getting your product into the hands of eager early adopters is to make sure you’re filling a genuine need. People have “cool” ideas all the time, but that doesn’t mean they’re ideas that will come to be known as “needed.” Sometimes, however, your big idea can simply be an improvement of another system (think: Facebook usurping Myspace), however the barrier to entry with these ideas is higher because your product has to be so good it entices people to drop something they’ve grown accustom to.
2) Have a proper incentive system. Don’t just offer to give people free products, give something above and beyond that. For example, you might take a note from the gaming industry: Often times, these companies will offer their early adopters exclusive titles for their profiles or unique character looks called “skins” that won’t be available ever again after the initial testing or adopting period. Think about what rewards could be relevant to your audience in the same way. Maybe you’re launching a mobile ecommerce platform and you offer “veteran seller” badges or other marks of credibility to those who sign up and start using your site within the first 3 months, etc.
3) Communication will make or break you. The world we market in today is one of two-way communication. Social media. You know, that kind of thing. You should be regularly reaching out to and interacting with your potential early adopter audiences through the channels that they use most. Beyond recruitment, this also expands to post-adoption feedback and support. Early adopters will likely be using these channels to either get in touch with you directly or to broadcast their opinions about your product or service. Either way, you should be monitoring social and traditional channels all the time to respond in a timely, appropriate way.
Email marketing is a bit of an odd duck: As other marketing channels have seen a distinct rise and fall in the face of social media and new communications technologies, email marketing still remains effective. In fact, despite all of our new ways to communicate, people still retain the use of their email for daily use. Receiving invoices, communicating with customers, etc.; sure, other platforms have sprung up for these communications, but none are as ubiquitous as email. That said, email marketing has aged, and therefore it has changed. Getting your emails opened, then read, then obeyed, is no easy task. It was hard in the beginning, and it’s super hard now that everyone and their mother is used to receiving promotional emails. Let’s take a look at how your emails can be the exception to the rule in a “no open” world.
Give before you take: Many marketers have gotten a lot smarter about this now, but it wasn’t always the case, and there are still many who fall flat on their face when balancing their value. Think about the reasons you follow the accounts you do on twitter. Think about which emails you open when they slide into your inbox. They’re the ones that are important to you, not the ones that sell and annoy you the most. Your customers are just like you, so make sure you’re building trust and value through emails that really offer something, before you every ask for any action(s) in return.
Avoid subject line cliches: This is the most controversial piece of advice here. Most people these days are used to the types of subject line formulas that have traditionally performed well, and haven’t realized that their effectiveness is dying down. Consider simply summarizing your subject lines in a way that makes them sound like they’re from a genuine person. Companies now more than ever perform better when viewed as individuals or collectives of individuals rather than businesses.
Keep it short: How many of you have received emails from some marketer whose email list you opted which are pages long? How many of you read them to the end? How many of you send these types of emails yourself? If you want an email to be a sales letter, keep it short, visual, and enticing, then use a CTA to get people to click out of an email and onto one of your pages where you have more control. People are turned off when they expect a helpful message and are greeted with a 9 paragraph sales letter in email form.
Get feedback: One really can’t stress enough how valuable it is to hear back from your customers directly about how you’re doing and how they interact with your brand or your product. The assumptions you make may not be helping you at all, so it’s important that you reach out and invite feedback; you may just find that a slight tweak to your sales funnel could address something that is currently a huge conversion killer for your customers. This could take the form of either a personal email message or a survey.
Did you know we have our own email marketing system available?
We have no list limit (we don’t charge you for building your list)
Emails sent via Amazon (this helps to boost delivery of your emails)
First 10,000 emails per month are included FREE – (after this you can buy more for just $5 per 1,000 sent)
For a limited time we have a discount available to our loyal followers. This drops the price to just $15.00 per month.
To use this offer just use the coupon ode:
Join now and we will also create a high converting exit popup specifically made for your site to help get youmore subscribers!
You can check out our mail system at: