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Disappointed with Your SEO? Join the club…

April 13, 2008

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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SEO and Web Design « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

April 10, 2008

SEO and Web Design « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

SEO and Web Design

April 10, 2008

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.

Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

February 29, 2008

Yahoo! Search Assist

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Local Search Marketing « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

February 18, 2008

Go Local Young Man – A look at the benefits and pitfalls of being one of the first to mine this rich new online market. Local Search Marketing « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

Go Local Young Man – Local Search Marketing That Is.

February 18, 2008

The buzz for once is deserved.  Those small businesses who can take advantage of local search engine marketing or put their business in the top local search engines will share a disproportionate amount of the opportunity.  If and this is a big if…they aren’t taken advantage of first.

We work with clients who have encountered what I term, “useless spending” online because they didn’t do their homework first.  The one word that came out of the first local search marketing symposium was “confusion”.  Everyone thinks they know the magic formula.  Everyone thinks that they can influence the market. But how many of them are truly aware of the reality small business owners go through trying to survive.

Sure I believe that only a handful of people come home from work, see the big books on their doorstep and shout, “Yippee!  The new Yellow Pages are here.  Thank goodness now I can find the name and number of a good landscaper, or whomever.”

I think reality is that most people have gotten so spoiled by the ease, comfort and information on the internet that its only natural to turn to Google or Yahoo Local to find a local plumber, landscaper, dentist or perhaps specialty clothing store in the neighborhood.

Even the TV ads are conveying this when they ask the “guru” about search engines and he answers, “we will place your ad in all the top search engines.”  Isn’t that next to admitting that online search engines are the place to really drive business locally?

Reality check, again.  Small business owners do not have deep pockets.  Small business owners need to be wary of those companies soliciting their local search business with promises of being featured in ads, promoted through obscure directories, or the promise to be on page 1 of Google within 24 hours, fine print spelling out that it’s really pay-per-click.  A few hundred bucks can be a big strain on a small business budget and the local search market can be confusing…now is the time to go Local but better to go into after doing some homework or don’t go at all.

Take a look at Google’s keyword tool if you are interested in PPC advertising for search engine marketing.  There are many other tools but this will get you started in the right direction.  For optimization via organic search, Top SEO Marketing has a number of programs customized for small business.

 Jessica Faltot
President
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
www.topseomarketing.com
214-288-0853

Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

February 5, 2008

Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

Taming the PPC Monster with Organic Search « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

February 5, 2008

Taming the PPC Monster with Organic Search « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

Taming the PPC Monster with Organic Search

February 5, 2008
 Talked with someone last year whose part-time sideline with a web business had finally grown to allow him to quit his “real job” and begin working full-time with his online business.  This is a dream that I found many people share, but few truly experience so I had a great deal of admiration for his efforts.  (If you doubt that many people want this, just watch late at night infomercials and you’ll be amazed at how many there are on “work at home” or “get rich online”!  In fact, the one I watch during Christmas, the guy earned $17,000 his first month!  Unbelievable!  I was getting all caught up in it when suddenly I realized what other people who were not as savvy online as I am, must think!  Or better yet, do a search for get rich with online business in Google and see what comes up, it will amaze you.  Loved this one domain name www.21butrich.com)
Back to the search engine marketing story – Last year we discussed what organic search engine marketing might do for his business.  On one hand, I truly believed we could make a significant impact but on the other hand, I felt that “sticker shock” was a real possibility and maybe it might be best if he went ahead with his plans to advertise with only pay per click for awhile. It’s not that we are expensive, but if you don’t understand the market – he was very smart and it seemed that it might be best to let him experience a bit on his own first.
Now fast forward a year later.  In one year, he had become expert at managing his own pay-per-click campaigns.  He understood his market a lot better than last year and was successfully growing his business.  After reviewing his recent reports, I did some research to determine the impact today of an “organic search marketing” campaign, utilizing some of the most successful keyword terms.  I could see where last year his spend had been approximately $500.00/month on PPC and over the course of several months grew to around $1100/mo.  Several months ago it had jumped to $2200/mo.  No doubt this would continue to work, as long as he continued to feed the ppc monster that he had created.  His ROI was good, but not as good as what we were looking at providing him without the constant concern that it would cost him more every month.
Once a business does launch, there are certain things that need to happen.  Time needs to expand to around 36 hours a day in order to do everything we need to do.  Barring that, we have to look at adding employees to help us manage our business.  But in order to do that, you need a good baseline foundation of business in place.  One that is not going to require constant monitoring by you – control spending and drive down your cost per customer.  That’s where organic search comes into play.  Now he doesn’t have sticker shock over our managed search engine marketing services.  He can begin to pay attention to the additional  business issues and opportunities that come his way, while enjoying a sustainable sales channel via organic search engines driving the right, targeted business to his site without it costing him for every click.
Targeted traffic, increased income while driving the price of new client acquisitions down and not having to worry about continually feeding the PPC monster – but rather taming it to use when it is most advantageous for his business – without losing business when it runs out of budget or reaches a daily limit.
Both pay per click and organic SEO have a place in businesses media mix.  Laying a long term foundation (SEO) while taking advantage of the users out there today who are looking for your product.  This is also good for local search marketing as well, in order to get your site the attention it needs.
Jessica Faltot
President
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
www.topseomarketing.com
Dallas  Texas
Specializing in Driving Business Results with SEO | RSEO | Local Search Marketing

Search Engine Optimization – The Tortoise and the Hare

February 3, 2008

 Organic Search Marketing company

In search engine marketing there are two distinct schools of thought.   The story about the tortise and the hare has some amazing similarities to search engine marketing.

First the hare:  Instant success!!!  Don’t we all want that?  Your company has paid its dues…you have a great product – you have a great service.   You know that all you need to do is get your message out there.  About eight years ago, I owned a web design company and talking with business owners it was not uncommon to hear them say that they knew they needed a www or a “dot com” but most did not fully appreciate or see the potential only a few years down the road.

Today with search engine marketing the hare quickly decides which avenue is best for his company, saying:

  • Pay Per Click can put me on page 1 of Google tomorrow!!!
  • Pay per click can make my business an overnight success!
  • I will be betting on hundreds of keyword combinations that will ensure my success!
  • I control the budget, and don’t pay until I get a prospect who clicks on my ad! What a deal.  I’ll be moving product by tomorrow night!
  • Pay Per Click is definitely the way I win the race!  Search engine optimization is way behind.

The Tortoise on the other hand, after pondering the pay per click path finally decides to run the optimization path in the race. 

  • Likes the long term results better and feels that it will result in more quality traffic than just a PPC campaign.
  • With Organic Search Marketing there is more control over your marketing spend budget.  You know how much it is going to cost.
  • More users like to click on the “organic” results than sponsored links.
  • While time is money, a good organic optimization company can minimize the downtime while targeting keywords that will rank faster. 
  • Organic search engine rankings will help the Tortoise gain credibility over the hare – as more often than not – the Tortoise will appear in multiple variations of important keyword phrases while the Hare may wind up running out of budget money by the middle of the month.
  • Finding a company like Top SEO Marketing (a shameless plug) makes organic marketing easy because they do all the work.

Which one is right for you?  Are both of them right, if used for multiple purposes?  Absolutely.  One is not better than the other – but sometimes the solution depends on the situation.  If you have a new product launch – pay per click may be the best solution.  If you are building a business and wanting a long term solution in place – working for you every day without costing additional cash – then organic search marketing may be the answer.  You can also research the benefits of local search marketing or geo-targeted “regional search marketing” to find the right combination.

Whatever you decide, thorough investigation will ensure that you don’t make the wrong and costly decision that could cost you the race!