Archive for the ‘Local Search Marketing’ Category

Managing Reviews for Local Businesses

March 17, 2008

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

  

Descriptions – Not Just an Afterthought!

February 21, 2008

Most of our labor is spent writing wonderful content for our website.  No doubt it’s worth the effort.  Sometimes we spend so much time on the content that we forget just how important writing an enticing description can be.  Search Engine Optimization has many facets and certainly meeting all the requirments of the Google algorithm is a daunting task.  But don’t run out of speed after you’ve spent all the time on content and designing your site. 

Without an enticing description, all the best content in the world will be worthless if visitors who view the SERP’s aren’t enticed to click though to your site.  So if you’ve achieved first page rankings, but aren’t seeing an increase in traffic, review your descriptions and make them irresistable. The following examples were displayed on the first page of the SERP’s for the keyword phrase “cell phones”.    Looking at the first example would encourage me to click on it.  After all many individuals looking for a cell phone are overwhelmed with the choices and sometimes complexity of types of cell phones and cell phone plans.  Hopefully by clicking on this, they’re going to make the process easy and painless. The second example seemed a bit silly to me.  Doesn’t everyone already know how prevelant cell phones are and what they’re used for?  Do I need to know more about that?  When I clicked on it I found a lot of text about information I already knew about and a ton of links to sites that sold everything from ring tones to phone accessories.  If I want to purchase a cell phone this site certainly wouldn’t ring by bell (no pun intended!) 

Compare Cell Phones AND Save Money With Cell Phone Plans!
If you’ve never bought a cell phone over the Internet before, you’re in for a sweet surprise. Shopping for cell phones is fast and headache-free
Cell phones help you keep in touch.
Everyone has their own cell phone these days. Cellphones make it possible to keep in contact even outside your house

 
Hints for Writing Enticing Descriptions: 

  1. What will the visitor find when they click through.  Make sure the page that appears matches the description.
  2. Is there anything unique about your site or business that would encourage visitors to visit your site?
  3. Determine what the primary keyword is for the page and use it in the description.  Remember use the keyword near the beginning of the sentence and make sure it reads well for the visitor.
  4. Be brief,  but descriptive, remember people scan quickly today!  Don’t use any unnecessary words.
  5. Don’t use words like biggest, best, they’re meaningless to your visitors.
  6. Review the description, if you’ve rewritten it and still aren’t seeing an increase in traffic, continue to adjust it.

Need help with descriptions or increasing traffic to your site, contact Top SEO Marketing today to manage your entire Search Engine Optimization campaign.  Our business is to drive business to your website on the Local, Regional and National level.

Rebecca Ratliff
VP of Local Search Marketing
Top SEO Marketing
www.topseomarketing.com
 

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

Search Engine Spiders, Let em BITE!

February 5, 2008

 For the do-it yourself types, there is one aspect of search engine optimization that is not for the faint of heart.  Real spiders have a tendency to be feared by many.  However if your site is not search engine spider friendly, they may come to visit but not stay.  IN this instance spiders aren’t to be feared. The only fear is if they come and don’t stay and take a bite.  Search engine spiders that encounter impediments to accessing the pages of your site, results in the pages of your site not being crawled or indexed.    Analysis of your website to ensure the search engine spiders are able to access all the pages on your site, takes an understanding of the structure and mechanics of your website.   Here are just a few of the considerations:

· Is the code compliant with WC3 standards?
· Is your site predominantly flash?
· Does the site have bloated code that could slow down or stall the spiders
· Has the robot.txt code been added to every page and is it setup to guide the    spiders properly
· Is the navigational structure of the site set up so the spiders can easily locate all the pages on the site no matter how deep?
· Are your navigational buttons images?
· Which pages have been crawled and how often?
· Which search engines have crawled your site?

So if you’ve spent a lot of time designing a website with great content and you think it’s going to be really appealing to your audience, your site must be found by the search engine spiders.  Let Top SEO Marketing handle the technical aspects of your website to ensure the spiders find your site friendly and inviting.  As part of a complete Search Engine Optimization campaign we’ll review your entire site and ensure that all search engine spider impediments have been removed.  Don’t let technical issues keep you from being bit by the spiders, in this case not getting bit can hurt you.  At Top SEO Marketing our business is getting you business by driving traffic to your website. 

Rebecca Ratliff
VP of Local Search Marketing
Top SEO Marketing
 

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

The Tail of Search, Do we Really Need it? « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

January 28, 2008

The Tail of Search, Do we Really Need it? « Top SEO Marketing, Inc.

The Tail of Search, Do we Really Need it?

January 28, 2008

Search Engine Optimization encompasses many aspects to successfully get good rankings in the major search engines and drive traffic to your site.  Often clients are most interested in the primary or core keywords resulting from a competitive keyword analysis.  Achieving good rankings in the 3 majors:  Google, Yahoo and MSN should be the primary focus of a search engine optimization campaign.  Traffic generated by those core keywords is critical to a successful campaign.  However what about the tail of search keywords, are they really important?  Let’s look at a few key aspects of both core keywords and tail of search keywords.

Tail of Search Keywords

· Generally come from a more targeted audience
· Have fewer competitive pages and typically rank faster than primary keywords
· Are used closer to the buying phase of the search
· Generates less traffic than a primary keyword
· Results in a higher conversion rate

Core Keywords

· Generally come from a broad audience
· Have many competitive pages and take longer to achieve good rankings
· Are used primarily toward the beginning of search
· Generates significant amounts of traffic
· Conversion rates are typically lower due to the broad audience

OK, so it’s pretty simple to realize by looking at the above lists, that the attributes of core keywords and tail of search keywords are complimentary.  So the answer to the question is, yes you do need tail of search keywords.  However, to have a successful search engine optimization campaign, it should include both core keywords and tail of search keywords.  At Top SEO Marketing, the search engine optimization is fully managed which includes a focus on both core and tail of search keywords.  We offer National, Regional and Local Search Engine Campaigns.  Our business is generating new business for you, by driving traffic to your web site.

Rebecca Ratliff
VP of Local Search Marketing
Top SEO Marketing
www.topseomarketing.com

Local Search Marketing Advantage

January 26, 2008
Say you are a small business owner who wants their web site to appear in their area of business locally.   You get most of your business from referrals, but it sure would be nice to have some presence within your town.  How do you go about getting your site established in the local search engines?  What do you do in order to take advantage of local search marketing?
First, you will need to examine your website.  Does it have good content or is it just flash or photos?  Content that describes your business, where you do business at (city, zip code, landmark locations – i.e. across from the courthouse on the square) are important.
Ask yourself what most people searching for your services is looking for when they search online.  What would you type into a search box to find a good dentist near where you live?  You’d want to know that they take great care to avoid pain and you’d want to know that they accept your insurance.  You should mention what type of dentistry you specialize in, or if you have a specialty, like children’s dentist.
People also want to know something about you.  So you want to make sure you have a page that talks about the dentist, maybe include a picture.
What people want to know is that other patients of yours had good experiences.   Solicit patient reviews of your services and ask them if they mind if you include it on your website.
The pages you have shouldn’t take a lot of time, we’re talking about 250 – 500 words max per page.  A big item to include as well is a page showing easy to find driving directions and a Google map.  Local search is all about geo-targeting, so be sure to have a page that includes how to find you, where you’re located as well as your physical address prominently displayed on every page.
When you have the opportunity to write in a title tag, make sure you also include your city or town.  Dentist – South Bend Indiana – for an example.
In your description (the part that actually shows up under your URL) make sure you clearly state Dentist Office, South Bend IN that believes in a pain free experience and has the patients to back that up!  Or something that gets people’s attention…it is your 30 second commercial, so make the most of it.
If you follow these fairly easy guidelines submission for local search marketing is also easy.  Google Maps, Yahoo Local and MSN Live are the main locations you want to be listed in.
I don’t want to get cross ways with the internet yellow pages, but my advice is to go with the free listing first and if you feel that a premium listing is justified, you can always add that later.  I would also stay away from smaller directories.  You will end up getting more junk email from them than real customers.
Jessica Faltot
President
Top SEO Marketing, Inc.
Driving Business Results through Search Optimization and Local Search Marketing

Search Engine Marketing Analyzing Competitors

January 21, 2008

Search Engine Marketing – Analyzing Your Competitors

Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing to be successful encompasses many aspects.  Early in a Search engine campaign assessing your competitors is a great place to start.  This post gives some general ideas on different aspects of your competitors to look at.  The competitive review can actually be quite extensive, this is just a brief look at a few.

Top Competitors

After determining what the primary keywords will be for your campaign or website do a search in Google to see which companies are in the top ten.  Review some of these sites to see which ones are most similar with respect to the goods and services they offer.  Once you’ve selected three to five companies, here are a few things specifically to look at.

Page Rank

Page rank is Google’s methodology which encompasses an algorithm that determines the rank of a page based on incoming links and the quality of the referring  web-page.  The ranking from 0 – 10 is a relative measurement of the relevance of a web-page based on the keywords entered in the search.  If you haven’t set up your toolbar yet with the Google page rank, you can add it from here:

 http://toolbar.google.com/T4/index_pack_xp.html
 Click on “Install Google Toolbar”. 

This will allow you at a glance to see the current page rank for the website your visiting.  If most of the top competitors average a page rank of 8, this is an indication of what it might take from a page rank perspective to get ranked well in Google.  Improving you page rank involves not just links but those that are high in quality and relevance.

Links

Knowing the number of inbound links to a site will give an indication of what it might take to rank well in the search engines.  Here are some great tools for checking information regarding the inbound links to a site.

Inbound links from Google, Yahoo and MSN.
http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/link-popularity/

Shows who’s linking to a particular site:
In the search box type:
link:http://www.yoursite.com

Keyword Ideas

Reviewing top competing sites for the types of keywords they’re using is always beneficial.  Usually you’ll find keywords that you hadn’t considered yet. However doing your own keyword research is a must. Only you know what is important and what the goals and objectives of your site are.  

Traffic Trends

One of the best sites today for looking at traffic trends is www.compete.com.  They have many tools to allow you to compare multiple sites at a time.  See just how well the competitor sites you picked are actually doing by looking at traffic trends. 

Summary

Search Engine Marketing is not an exact science and completing a competitive review can mean much more that the brief list above.  For a start at reviewing your competitors, give them a try.

At Top SEO Marketing each campaign starts with keyword analysis and a competitive review.  Our business is to bring you business at the Local, Regional and National level, utilizing proven Search Engine Optimization techniques.  To learn more about Top SEO Marketing visit our website at www.topseomarketing.com

Rebecca Ratliff
VP of Local Search
Top Seo Marketing 

Consumers Turn To Search For Local Business Listings

January 9, 2008

According to the newly published report, “Why Search Matters to Local Business” from WebVisible, Inc., the importance and reason why small businesses should pay attention to local search marketing becomes clear.  People who are looking for a local merchant, vendor, service are no turning to search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Ask.  In fact, according to this report – search engines are the go to place when for consumers trying to locate a local business from which to buy.

Every small business owner who attempts online marketing should first do their homework.  Look up the report and  see what 2,000 Internet Users had to say: “search engines are used by 73% of consumers when seeking local products and services — more than any other media type. ”

What does this do to your advertising dollars spent in more traditional media areas?  It reduces the opportunity to find local business, find consumers who are in the buying cycle. 

You can find a free copy of this report at Web Visible.com .