Why SEO Isn’t Dead

Why SEO Isnt Dead

Search engine optimization has been an element of online marketing for nearly two decades since its earliest beginnings in the mid 90s. The technique has changed significantly over time but it has never completely lost its relevance. Even though some in the marketing world may believe that SEO is dead, it has simply evolved.

In a sense, the old way of doing SEO is over because so much about search engine optimization has changed. The earlier formula of simply optimizing H1s and meta tags is not enough to increase search rank. Now there is no one formula for getting results from SEO; instead there are different approaches that work differently for every business.

There have never been any guarantees that certain SEO practices will work immediately to increase search rank. If someone is unable to get results from traditional SEO then they might write it off as ineffective and assume that SEO is dead. The reality is that SEO works but you simply have to evolve with it as it continues to change.

How SEO has Changed

While in the past certain tweaks such as adding keywords to title tags may have worked to increase rank, there is now a lot more to consider. When Google Panda was released, it caused SEO to change significantly. The emphasis now is on creating a high quality experience for users through great content instead of “spammy” content for the sake of SEO.

Even though content needs to focus more on a positive user experience, that content still needs to be optimized and that is where SEO still maintains its relevance. SEO keywords can still be used effectively within the right content to get better results. Content needs to be seen by the largest possible audience and SEO can play a major role in helping that happen.

Old practices like title tag keywords have actually been found recently be much less effective than previously thought. A study discovered that the correlation between a keywords in a title tag and the ranking of that keyword was actually very minimal. Since Google has gotten better at understanding the context of a page keyword targeting doesn’t need to be nearly as explicit as it was in the past.

Now businesses working with SEO often benefit from more longer form content because it naturally includes terms that describe the topic and will be noted by Google. These terms that are related to the topic are now known as entities and are just as important as keywords once were in SEO. Businesses can now go beyond traditional keyword research into entity research to find more terms to be included in content.

Social Media and SEO

More businesses are focusing their marketing strategies on social media as it continues to expand its influence through different sites like Facebook and Instagram. SEO can helpful for social media marketing by boosting the rank of links to social media pages and ensuring that users will be led to those pages. People also use social media channels to search for things and search engine optimization can be useful in affecting these types of searches.

One thing to remember about SEO is that optimizing content can take on many different forms and does not have to follow what is traditionally thought of as SEO. Every business will still need to take efforts to ensure that their high quality content is seen by an audience online.

As SEO continues to evolve and change, people will always use it differently to reach the ultimate goal of boosting traffic. As long as people are able to get these results in new ways, SEO will continue to live on as a viable choice for marketing.

5 SEO Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

5 SEO Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make

The strategies for search engine optimization have changed significantly over the past few years as SEO continues to evolve from its more traditional forms. SEO can still be a powerful way to boost traffic and bring users closer to making a purchase on your site. Because SEO is always shifting, it is important to stay on top of what the most successful modern practices are every year.

If you use SEO incorrectly you might not get the kind of results you are looking for and end up frustrated. Some practices may even be harmful in the long run so you should review what strategies are currently the norm. Here are some of the most common SEO mistakes to avoid making.

  1. Using the Wrong Keywords

You are not optimizing for the right keywords then most of your SEO efforts will be in vain. If you focus on generic or global keywords instead of more focused and localized words then you won’t be attracting the right kind of visitors to your site. Long-tail keywords usually work best because people that type very specific phrases are more often looking to buy something.

More generic keywords might attract people that just browsing, are not interested in what you offer or are not looking to make a purchase. Broad keywords can also have a lot more competition making it harder to boost your rank. Do some keyword research first or use an SEO company that specializes in finding keywords to start a more effective campaign.

2. Not Using Unique Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

In addition to having the right keywords you also need to focus on title tags and meta descriptions that are the most effective. If all of your pages have similar titles then it can be damaging to your SEO strategy. You need unique titles that are optimized and include specific keywords that are related to the content on the page.

Meta descriptions can also be useful for SEO because they appear within search results. A meta description should be persuasive and act as a sales pitch for your page. Each page throughout your site should include a meta description with some relevant keywords that will entice people to click on your link in search results.

3. Focusing on Quantity instead of Quality Links

Links are important in SEO but if you have a high number of bad links then you are only causing more harm than good. The quality of links is important when search engines are evaluating them for your ranking. One link from a popular blog will boost your rank more than hundreds of lesser quality links.

SEO Los Angeles strategies will get the most results from links that are relevant to your website and come from trusted sources rather than spammy sites.

4. Creating Unrelated Content

One of the problems that people experience with SEO is the tendency to produce content that isn’t directly related to your keywords. This happens when people want to rank for a certain keyword but are not effective at focusing the text on that topic. Google is looking for content that is the most relevant for search terms users type in and if your doesn’t answer the search specifically then your rank on the search engine results page will suffer.

5.Not Optimizing for Mobile

People use their smartphones for searches more than ever and it is a huge missed opportunity not to invest in a mobile friendly site. The quality of your website, especially how it performs on a mobile phone can be very crucial for your search rank. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, Google and other search engines will recognize it which can negatively affect your rating.

5 Ways to Incorporate Off-Page SEO

5 Ways to Incorporate Off-Page SEO

When people develop an SEO strategy they usually focus all their energy toward on page tactics within their own website to increase search rank. Creating content for the site, optimizing the speed, internal linking and all the other ways we make our website more search friendly is considered on-page SEO. However, off-page SEO can be equally useful in increasing your site’s search engine rank.

Off-page SEO is any kind of technique beyond website design that promotes your site and helps make you more visible online. Here are 5 off-page SEO strategies that can be helpful to incorporate into your overall SEO plan.

  1. Link Building

Probably one of the most popular off-page SEO strategies is link building because it is one of the most effective tools to increase search rank. By building more external links to your website you can increase your page’s relevance and start to bypass your competition. If someone else links to your website it tells search engines that you offer useful information and your page qualifies as an authority.

Link building has to be accomplished legitimately because if you try to trick search engines with artificial links to your site you could be penalized and your rank will suffer. You should make an effort to build natural links by publishing interesting and useful content that other sites will be more likely to reference by linking to you. You can always boost your links by contacting other people or sites that might find your content relevant and ask them to link to you.

  1. Social Media Presence and Marketing

While your main concern is always the ranking of your company web page, you can help manage your online reputation and build traffic to your main page through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It is more important than ever to have a strong presence on social media because it helps people learn more about your brand and interact with you directly.

Having a good social media presence means being as responsive as possible to people and engaging with them as much as you can. You can answer people’s questions and get them involved so that they become loyal customers and spread the word about your company. You should try to be proactive on social media and post interesting content on a regular basis so that you generate more engagement all the time.

  1. Forums and Discussion Boards

Getting involved in forums that are related to your site’s niche can help create more interest and discussion about your brand. Find the right forums online and get involved within the community by replying to threads, answering people’s questions and offering useful advice. This will all help build up your reputation as an expert within your company’s niche.

Make sure to also use “Do-Follow” forums so you can include a link to your site within your signature and help to boost your backlinks. You can get more quality links to your site while getting engaged on discussion boards so that people know more about your company. If you are regularly active on a few discussion boards you will start to see more traffic on your site.

  1. Blogging and Social Bookmarking

If you already have a blog on your site it is important to make sure it is always updated with new and varied types of content including video, photos and articles. You can start to promote your blog by submitting it to blog directories that are related to your niche as well as to blog search engines. You can post comments on other blogs and include your link in the comment section so that people will check out your blog as well.

You can submit your content to bookmarking sites like reddit, stumbleupon, scoop.it and delicious to help promote your blog. The content on these sites is updated very frequently which is great for ranking on search engines. If you use social bookmarking carefully and handle the tags properly you can greatly increase traffic to your site.

  1. Local Listings and Reviews

If you are a local business within a certain niche you might benefit from listing your company in local directories. Using local listings is a way to avoid facing huge competition and instead narrowing it down to your city or area. If you list your site locally search engines can easily view your website and crawl the content.

You can reach a more targeted audience by submitting to sites like Google Maps and Yelp which will show customers where you are located and include a brief introduction to your business. Your website will show up when people search for your niche in your local area. You can also encourage people to review you on yelp which will give you more validity in the eyes of search engines

How to Deal with Search Rank Fluctuations

HowToDealwithSearchRankFluctuations

If you are involved in an SEO marketing strategy then you are probably concerned with your website’s rank and check it on a regular basis. Your rank helps you determine if your SEO efforts are working and tells you how your website is fairing in a specific marketing. It is common for your rank to switch back and forth between a few numbers in the same range but if it is fluctuating all over the place then this can be a problem.

In order for your SEO rankings to work well there has to be some type of consistency. It can be frustrating for business owners to see their search results page rise one day and then have trouble locating it just a week later with the same keywords. Ranking fluctuations are a part of Google’s algorithm so it is important to do all you can to protect your page rankings.

What Causes Fluctuations

Before you can learn how to minimize rank fluctuations, you need to understand why they happen. There a few different factors that can go into causing a rank change but they tend to occur more often on pages that are lower down on the results page. Higher ranking pages might have smaller fluctuations but they also happen more often.

One of the reasons fluctuations occur is due to search engine algorithm updates which can cause your rank to increase or drop for a few weeks temporarily. Sometimes smaller updates go unannounced so you might not understand why your rank changed. Updating your own content and making major changes can also cause your rank to fluctuate as search engines crawl your new content.

If your website is having certain technical issues it also might affect your search rank and cause it to fluctuate. If you have implemented new strategies or incorporated some complicated code which is slowing down your site speed it could drop your rank due to lack of accessibility to crawlers. Other changes such as new inbound link strategies can cause a fluctuation because of the sudden influx of links which will cause your rank to rise dramatically.

How to React to Fluctuations

When you experience a serious fluctuation in your search engine ranking, you should avoid panicking and making more changes right away to combat the fluctuation. Since the rank drop may be due to recent changes to your site, going back and changing more tactics will not help the situation in the long run. Instead you can decide to wait and see if any negative fluctuation will bounce back on its own once it has adjusted to recent changes.

If you are really concerned about your site’s fluctuations it can also be a good idea to watch your competitors’ sites and see if they are experiencing similar changes in their rank. If this is the case then it might be due to the search terms being used. You should always make sure that keywords and tags are placed properly in order to help the situation.

Internal Linking and Site Speed

To help avoid rank fluctuations there are a few strategies that can allow you to keep a more consistently rising rank overall. One tactic is to use internal linking to help leverage keyword targeting in your own site. You should try to diversify and avoid using rich anchor text to prevent rank changes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your site speed is included in Google’s search ranking algorithm. This has to do with the user experience because if a site loads too slowly, people are more likely to close your site and move onto something else. Always make sure that your site is loading quickly and efficiently to avoid any problems with your ranking.

Link Building Strategies

If you build a lot of links too quickly, search engines will recognize your site as gaining links at an unnatural rate especially when they are only to one page. This type of link building will set off red flags and might lead to even more ranking drops in the end.

A better strategy is to build links to a variety of different pages without using any rich anchor text. Using links to different pages can help stabilize and ultimately increase your search rankings without setting of any red flags. This type of link building will contribute to the authority of your site as a whole and boost your keywords at a site wide level.

Any time you notice search rank fluctuations, you can wait it out before making any changes or eventually start using more careful strategies to ensure that your page has a consistent rank. Being cautious about the strategies you use and keeping your page up to date can help you prevent any further fluctuations and allow your rank to steadily rise.

Ways To Do Marketing Via Google

Ways To Do Marketing Via GoogleGoogle has been one of the biggest search engines around the world for awhile now. Everyday, millions of people around the world use the search engine to find websites and anything else they are looking for by putting keywords into the search bar and browsing the results. Many people rely on Google and other search engines on a day to day basis for shopping, communication, research, entertainment, and may others. Google uses an algorithm to present results each time a keyword is searched. This makes the search engine a powerful marketing tool. Here are a few ways that a business can market on Google.

Google AdWords

The Google ad word is one of the most exceptional tools through which you can do keyword research and find which keyword is most competitive and how many people have searched the keyword in a day, week, month or year. You can view all the statistics on Google AdWords that helps guide your marketing decisions. A business can run an advertisement campaign on Google through which your website will appear on top when anyone searches a specific keyword. This will cost some money, but it will encourage sales and increase exposure for your business. It is a good Google marketing technique.

SEO Vs. PPC

This commonly heard term in the marketing world stands for search engine optimization. It is the process that Google uses to get a website on the top search results organically. You do not need to pay anything to Google, but you have to continue to do search engine optimization of the website throughout the process to get on top. It is one of the greatest Google marketing techniques to build a brand reputation among the people.  Through the webmaster tool, you can manage SEO and analyze each of your page’s reputations in the eyes of Google.

Google Plus

Google Plus has been introduced recently but it hasn’t quite caught on like other social media websites. But you can still make your business page here for the sake of search engine optimization.

Ads on Google

You can also run an ad campaign through the ad word. In this ad campaign, you need to put images of your brand’s products and services to appear on other websites. This is so that when someone is browsing any other website, your banner will appear. It is one of the effective Google marketing techniques that can boost sales.

Tips For Doing Video SEO Online

Tips For Doing Video SEO OnlineVideo SEO is increasing in popularity because now many people prefer to quickly watch videos online instead of reading text on a website. Therefore, if anyone wants to let the people know about their website, product, or service they can present the information in a visually engaging way with a short video. Video SEO works by posting content on the front page of a website so that visitors can easily understand the main concept of the brand or business. There are also various video hosting sites that allow users to start an account and upload their videos for free or for a low monthly fee. A business can easily begin to take advantage of video SEO by incorporating visual content into their website or social media accounts.

As views of a specific video increase on a website, the more popular the content becomes on the video website channel. There are many video websites like YouTube, Dailymotion, Metacafe, Google Videos, Vimeo, and others that give users the opportunity to post their unique work and gain followers. Here are a few tips for doing video SEO with sites like these:

High definition video

Be sure to shoot with a good quality camera with enough lighting for your subject. A professional looking video will not only be fun and engaging, it will also look good.  If you upload low quality videos then followers will not take interest in watching the video.

Title of video

The title of the video should be interesting, unique, and relevant. Your followers should understand what they’re watching and what information you’re trying to convey.

Content of video

When it comes to the subject of your video, it should be authentic and informative. You should only use original content so that viewers take interest and your brand stands out from the others. Don’t be afraid to change things up and keep experimenting with new approaches.

Meta tag

This is one of the important things that you should to do when uploading a video. Meta tags make search engines able to recognize the videos and based on keywords, make them visible in searches. So always using highly competitive keywords so that your video has a better chance of appearing in the top search results.

Link your video

While uploading the video, hosting sites give the option to put in a website link. So if you want to promote your company, you can put the link along with the video so that user can be redirected to your website.

These tips for creating and using video SEO online will help promote your videos and brand. Choose a popular video site like Vimeo or Youtube to get more exposure and followers for your content.

How to work with a search marketing company or consultant

I thought this topic would be relavant to our customers as well as others out there that work with a search marketing company or consultant. I recently spoke to one of our paid search and search engine optimization (SEO) customers today and discovered some interesting data. The orginal intent of the call was to followup on a new 800 number to better track the calls coming through. The customer went on to discuss what keywords are most effective for their paid search and SEO campaigins. This customer surveys all potential customers to find out what search engine they found them on, what keyword was specifically used to find them, and what state they’re calling from. With these 3 pieces of data we were able to make adjustments in real time to their paid search campaign. The SEO campaign does not have this flexibility but when it’s time to renew thier SEO campaign we can add some of these words to their campagin. So make sure to keep your search marketing company up to date on what’s working for you. The more information you can provide, the better the company or consultant will be able to fine tune the search marketing campaign. This could be done through a weekly phone call or a weekly email. If you’re not already tracking this information, start today. It’s your money so you might as well get the best value out of your marketing spend.

Here’s a list of some helpful things you can do yourself to get the most out of your search marketing campaign:

  • Track site traffic through free Google Analytics
  • Use free Google Webmaster Tools (You might need some help from a webmaster to get this initially setup)
  • Track your data on a spread sheet (what search engines you were found on, what words, was it organic or a paid search ad?, etc.)
  • Stay in touch with your search marketing company on a weekly basis
  • Stay current with search marketing trends by reading blogs like ours and one or all of these: Search Engine Land, Search Engine Guide, or SEOMoz (I currently subscribe to these and 6 others through Google Reader which is a nice way to feed all of these sites into one reader.
  • Request your paid search log-ins for Google, Yahoo, and MSN and log-in yourself to see what’s working and what words are being advertised. Some search marketing companies will not give this information out and provide generic reports. At emarketed we give access to your accounts if you request this information. You can login and run all types of reports to find out what’s working and what’s not.

Well that’s it for now. I will post more tips to this post in the future so stay tuned. Please also feel free to comment if you have some ideas that can help.

Google SEO Starter Guide

Google just released a great SEO starter guilde that I have skimmed through and plan to tackle in the next week. It covers the basics and is coming from the mouth of Google so the information has to be in line with their standards. I think this will be helpful to anyone new to SEO or if you’re trying to do search engine optimization (SEO) yourself. The information here will be helpful across all of the major search engines. I’ll post a blog after I’ve reviewed and give an unbiased review. It’s a 22-page PDF that covers some of the following:

  • Page Titles
  • Meta Tag Descriptions
  • Site Navigation
  • Creating Quality Copy
  • Anchor Text (Links)
  • Heading Tags
  • Image Optimization
  • Robot.txt files

Please post a comment if you get a chance to review this.

How to Search Video

Just watched this video and thought it would be helpful to post here. It’s pretty basic but a lot of people out there using search engines don’t nessasarily know that you can use these methods to search to help narrow down your search results. The video teaches you how to do this in non technical jargon.
Enjoy! Let me know your thoughts.

Web Search Strategies in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.