Disappointed with Your SEO? Join the club…

April 13, 2008 by

There was a commercial that ran several years ago.  A group of people bunched around the computer screen as their web site finally went live.  Everyone was concentrating on the visitor counter and a cheer went up when the first couple of visitors were counted.  The counter went up to 15 then 20 and there was a good deal of backslapping all around.  Apparently a well optimized site with the orders for products starting to come in steadily…then suddenly there was this burst of visitors and the orders were skyrocketing one hundred, two hundred, several thousand…

The merriment stopped.  The group looked at each other.  They had problems processing that many orders.  No one had ever planned for such overwhelming success.  Fade out to brand advertising how they could handle that volume of orders.

Within 60 seconds, that commercial did more to set up the wrong expectations for SEO than any other commercial I know.  Talking with a web developer and host provider this week, he talked about how many of his clients are disappointed after a week being online that they’re site is not on page one of Google.

Those of us who have been in the search engine optimization business know this story all too well.  Pay up with PPC (pay-per-click) to get on page 1 of Google and/or begin to optimize the site for a long term steady march to the top of the organic rankings.

Many times I find that PPC companies out there deride the efforts of SEO companies for taking the slow steady approach and advocating such to our clients.  I suppose that’s due to a few SEO type companies out there pitching an unrealistic scenario or over-promising results for a too good to be true price.  In fact last week the word came out about another web design/seo company – Internet Advancement – that over-promised and under-performed but this time may have to pay up to $450,000 in restitution! 

The argument on the net right now is how we need standards.  Yes we need companies practicing good business standards, but its tough to establish a firm set of standards when the dynamics of good SEO changes.  I agree that company’s advertising services as SEO companies need to step up and deliver good value and good business ethics.  In fact, web design companies and all internet related businesses should follow commonly accepted practices for good business.  Eventually the company’s who do not, go out of business, but at what expense to the hopes and dreams of those huddled around the computer screen waiting for those orders to fall from the cyber-sky?

Setting expectations is one of the most significant and decent things SEO companies can do for potential clients.  Not all businesses ranked on page one pull in the big bucks – especially if they rank on only one keyword term or phrase.  It takes a lot more effort than just gaining rankings in order to build a successful online marketing campaign.  Content, call to action and a focused effort to build a web site into a useful, socially accepted site is a good start, but let’s be realistic when we go out there and meet with clients.  They are not going to see an amazing increase in business overnight.  The good news is that they we can and do help them build a sustainable revenue stream with search engine optimization (more accurate with web site optimization) with time and effort.

Jessica Faltot
President
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
Driving Business Results
www.topseomarketing.com

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Keywords – Don’t be to quick to change

April 10, 2008 by

When we look at our website performance and rankings, sometimes we feel that we need to keep changing out our keywords and re-optimizing our sites. If good keyword research was done before Search Engine Optimization and you are not seeing any improvement in traffic or rankings for your keywords, then content may be where you need to go next. Having your site re-optimized around the same keywords will not do any good. You need to look at your content and make sure it is including your keywords that you performed optimization on already. Some SEO companies will change out the keywords to words people have usedto find your site. This will make your numbers look good for awhile, but it really is not giving you the best SEO service. Anyone can see what is used to bring traffic today, but the trick is to find keywords that drive valuable traffic to your site that turns into conversions.

Michelle Smith

Director of Campaigns

Top SEO Marketing Inc.

SEO and Web Design « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

April 10, 2008 by

SEO and Web Design « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

SEO and Web Design

April 10, 2008 by

When organizing content for a web site and trying to determine what web pages should be included – keep in mind several different things that will be good not only for the visitors but for search engine optimization.

Write informative content that is to the point and written more like an executive summary.  Tell visitors what they can expect to find, and tell them in a way that’s easy for them to click through to the information that they are most interested in.  
Step back from your web site for a minute and see if you have defined what it is you would like your web site to produce in the way of business. These questions might help you get started:

  • – Is it an information site?
  • – Is your site an e-commerce site where visitors buy something immediately?
  • – What is the overall intent of the web site?
  • – How well does your content match your intentions?
  • – Who is your intended target market?
  • – Are you addressing consumer needs or trying to fit the consumer into your needs?
  • – Executing Your Web Site’s plan
  • – Does it have the look and feel as your print advertising, e-mailers or other advertising?
You have less than a minute to convey who you are, what you do and what benefit can be gained by visiting your site. Do you have what they are looking for? Start with the headline.

Keep it Above The Fold
 Above the fold, means that the average visitor to your web site will not scroll down beyond the information contained on their screen.  On every page, you should get your message out in the first paragraph.  Hopefully in bullet form with a clear heading that conveys the message you want conveyed.  “XYZ Is Dedicated to Helping People who suffer from….” as a header. 
Open the paragraph with the follow up…XYZ will benefit those seeking information, product, services etc…in the following areas:  then bullet points of the areas and make each bullet point to it’s own page.   Or XYZ has helped people looking for: same bullet points outlining the areas that follow the content on your site.

Sub Pages after the home page should be organized per topic.  Do not try to cram everything on one web page called, services.   Seperate out the topics and focus each page on a particular service or product area.  Use the navigation to make sure that visitors know where they are and where they came from and how to get back.

I see business owners all the time with web sites that have only a few pages with multiple topics.  Part of the problem is that web designers charged by the page, thereby limiting the business content and creating an impression that is chaotic and confusing. 

Do not worry about how many pages you have, since pages online are not real pieces of paper…and people will appreciate not having to use tons of paper because they printed a page only to discover that other issues are all crammed on that one page.

Content is good.  As a matter of fact, content is king.  The more content the better so that search engines can really mine a lot of good information out of your site.  It equals greater breadth of rankings as opposed to being found in one area only if you already know the site exists.  For instance…typing into the search box the name of your organization or its URL does not necessarily spell success in rankings on search engines.  You want search density or to be ranked and found by people looking for the type of information product or service that you offer on your web site.

A Call To Action
Put yourself in the position of the visitor to your new web site.  What would you like them to do once they visit your site?  Each page should have a clear call to action.  If your goal is to have visitors call into your office, then prominently include a phone number and benefit/suggestion that they call in for more information or a free evaluation etc.  If your goal is to have them move to the page explaining your program – then you should develop content that moves them in that direction.
A call to action can be anything from:
  • – signing up for a newsletter,
  • – buying a product
  • – filling out a form
  • – requesting a white paper
  • – calling your business. 
Make sure you define what it is that you want visitors to do – as this will help you measure your success.  If you can keep some of these things in mind, your business web site is on its way to becoming a usable site for visitors.
 

 

Jessica Faltot
President
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
Driving Business Results
www.topseomarketing.com
Specializing in search engine optimization (organic search), regional search marketing and local search marketing.

Search Engine Spiders – The Basics

March 24, 2008 by

The average user of the internet is familiar with which search engines they use for searches.  However most people often wonder how Google, Yahoo or any of the search engines go about determining which websites get presented on the results page.  Here is a brief overview of how it works including a bit of information on Search Engine Optimization

Spidering websites

Every search engine, such as Google, has spiders that literally crawl all the websites in the internet.  As they crawl a website they look at content only.  So for example, if your website is all flash, the spiders may find your site but leave immediately.  Without content they have nothing to crawl.   The spiders have actually over time gotten quite smart.  They pick up on specific keywords and by crawling all of the content will hopefully gain an insight into what the main theme of your site is.

Indexing websites

After they crawl a website, the information in then put in an index or database.  The information resides in this index and is ready to be utilized if certain keywords pertaining to the subject matter are used in a search.   How they get ranked will be discussed in a moment.

Does every page of a site get spidered and indexed?

How effectively the site is crawled and ultimately indexed depends on many factors.  Let’s say the architectural design of your site is poor.  Google’s spider may only crawl a few pages because it gets stalled or blocked from continuing.  Maybe the site is missing the robot.txt information in your HTML code.   Maybe there have been black hat techniques used on your site that look like spam.  And the list goes on and on….

How are sites ranked?

Just because the spiders have crawled a website doesn’t mean it will rank well.  Google alone has an algorithm with over 200 variables that are utilized when determining how to rank which sites and in which order.   In addition, each of these 200 variables is weighted differently based on importance.  Over time the variables may change and/or the weighting of the variables may change.

How to achieve good rankings

Ok here’s my plug, but with the little information shared above, optimizing your own site isn’t for the faint of heart.  Actually we’re just talking about rankings; we haven’t even begun to talk about traffic or conversions.  So we truly are at the beginning of the story when it comes to search engine optimization.  If you’re interested in gaining new customers or new business, contact Top SEO Marketing today.  Our business is to drive business to your site at the Local, Regional and National levels.  Let us take the headache out of optimizing your website.

Rebecca Ratliff
Top SEO Marketing

Blogs, should you do it for your company?

March 20, 2008 by

Typical marketing is usually one-way but blogging can allow you to have a conversation with others including your customer.
It is a great way to keep up with the news about your industry services and products and to get yourself thinking about different topics surrounding your business.
By opening your blog up for comments you can listen to these comments which will also give you new ideas for products to offer and also provide good feedback on ideas you may want to try.
You can use a Search Engine Optimization Company to help set up and create your Blog for your Web Site. Increase your presence in the Search Engines through creating a Blog. Let your search marketing company help in providing new content and information for the Search Engine’s customers. This will give more relevance to your web site, which in turn equate to better rankings in search engine placement.
Maintaining your blog and updating new and useful information to your customer can also allow you to establish yourself as an expert resource on the products and services that you offer. So, get out there and start blogging!

Michelle Smith

Top SEO Marketing Inc.

Managing Reviews for Local Businesses

March 17, 2008 by

Top SEO Marketing is a Search Engine Optimization company that specializes in optimization at the Local, Regional and National level.  Learn why utilizing a Search Engine Optimization company for managing a local campaign and reviews is so important.  Local search engines and local directories often provide users the ability to write reviews.  Great reviews can be a wonderful boost to attract new clients or customers.  However, what do you do if you receive reviews that are not flattering or just not true?

With both Yahoo and Goggle you can submit a request to have the review removed.  Here’s the catch, often times the review is only removed if it violates their guidelines.  Typically those guidelines focus on inappropriate language, offensive materials and a list of whatever they deem inappropriate.  So if you’ve received a review that does not violate their guidelines but certainly is a negative review that could hurt your business, what can you do? 

There are several options.

1.        Contact the reviewer and try to resolve the issue.   If successful, they may now refer others to your business and you may get them to either remove their review or add an additional review that discusses the satisfactory resolution to the problem.

2.       Type in your own review in response to the negative review.  There are times when you have done everything correctly.   There are those that will write negative reviews unfairly anyway.  Your only choice may be to put in your views on the situation.

3.       If the negative review is valid,  it may be time to review your business practices or policies/procedures.  Sometimes a negative review can provide an opportunity to improve your business practices and as a result gain new business and help maintain existing business.

Top SEO Marketing provides Search Engine Optimization at the Local, Regional and National level.  We can complete a local search campaign for your business to attract clients in your local area.  Let us also help you manage bad reviews or bad press by monitoring your presence on line.  Often time businesses receive a bad review and are totally unaware that it even exists.  Let us improve your presence locally and assist you in managing your business reputation on line.  Visit our website at Top SEO Marketing.

Rebecca Ratliff
Vice President of Local Search
Top SEO Marketing

  

Your customer is your audience on-line

March 13, 2008 by

I was talking to a friend last night about his web site. We were discussing – what is it that you are trying to sell  or what services are you trying to offer? That is the first thing you need to ask yourself before you start any search engine marketing work on your site. When someone walks into a store they are able to quickly see what you have to offer, well the same needs to be portrayed on your web site. Your web site must capture the audience’s attention right away and give them a sense of what you offer. Your site must have good information that portrays those offerings. You should not ever create web pages just for search engine rankings, because they are not going to use your services or buy your products. A Search Engine Marketing Firm can concentrate on the back end  SEO Services allowing you to work on keeping your true customers in mind by giving them value in your content throughout your site. Remember to keep your content original and informative that will meet the customer’s search engine queries and bring you business.

Michelle Smith

Top SEO Marketing

Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

February 29, 2008 by

Yahoo! Search Assist

Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

Keywords, keeping up with the Search Engines

February 27, 2008 by

Yahoo has recently released Yahoo! Search Assist. When the user types in the Search Box, Yahoo! Search Assist anticipates what they’re looking for and offers additional suggestions on the original typed search word. So in other words, they are defining new keyword terms that may apply to what the user is looking for. One of the benefits in using a Search Engine Marketing Company is that they continually perform the research needed to keep your keywords up to date with the Search Engine’s keywords used most to help customers easily find what they are looking for. Search Engine Optimization includes keyword research but also includes keeping up with the ever changing Search Engines to be sure the customer always receives the attention needed to keep and improve rankings for their web sites.

Michelle Smith

Top SEO Marketing Inc.