47.3 % of Brands Plan to Invest More in Local for 2013

It might be too early to start thinking about your online marketing budget for next year… but think again! According to Balihoo’s study of nearly 400 national US brands, 47.3 % of them plan to invest more in local marketing in 2013 from what they spent in 2012.

Although all the companies surveyed had an annual revenue of at least $100 million, it can also be a strong indicator of trends that small businesses are going to follow in the years to come. Take a look:

A surprising find was that “Other Social Media” was the top digital tactic for 2012 with Facebook second and SEO third. For 2013, marketers plan to add mobile, local blogs and customer reviews to the marketing mix.

The bigger a business is, the more likely it is that they’ll use different digital tactics in 2013. And that makes sense… especially in the volatile world of organic search nowadays, it’s important to not put all your eggs in once basket and diversify.

Here are some more helpful articles related to local and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about local marketing for your small business:

Google Introduces Targeting Improvements To Help More Marketers “Get Local” For Holidays
U.S. Mobile Local Ad Revenue Will Reach $5.8 Billion by 2016
Why Big Brands Are Going Local In 2013

Takeaways From Google’s Penguin Update

penguinYet another “surprise” for SEOs?

Google’s Penguin Update officially launched on April 24 and the overall consensus is that it’s the worst update yet.  The official word from Google is that this update is an “important algorithm change targeted at webspam” that is meant to “reward high-quality sites”. Then why exactly are so many people so upset?

As you can see from the influx of comments in related forum threads and news articles, webmasters are NOT happy with this update. The story is similar – sites with #1 rankings for months (or even years), have all of a sudden taken a drastic drop or have even disappeared. The infuriating thing is that many people are finding that spam sites, sites that haven’t been updated for years or even plain un-optimized sites are now out ranking their site. How exactly is this “rewarding” high quality content?

SEOs aside, looking at the user experience is not a pretty picture either. Imagine that you’re looking for affordable or cheap auto insurance, only to find spam at the top results. When Penguin first rolled out, some users pointed out how people would have to scroll past a couple pages before getting to a reputable, brand name auto insurance company. They argue that this update isn’t aimed completely at spam (since it is still prevalent in SERPs) but any site that is remotely optimized. Whether this is true or not, is a different story. Even one that we may not fully understand since Google hasn’t officially made a response to these reactions.

This is only day 3 after the update rollout, so we can hopefully see the changes settle down and smooth out. Whether it’s all just a coincidence or theory, Google is finding themselves in controversial waters, so get ready to read more about Google’s evil ways. Many people are commenting about Google’s motives and after reading about all the businesses that have been affected, it isn’t hard to see things from a different light. Perhaps, Google is trying to prepare their algorithm to take into account more social factors (especially Google Plus profiles.) This may make sense if you’re up to speed with the Facebook search engine news. Others feel that Google is putting less revelency into their organic search so that businesses will turn to paid ads. After all, this is where Google makes over 90% of their overall revenue…

On the less pessimistic side, the Google engineers are probably (and hopefully) taking all this feedback into consideration as they tweak the update or make note for the next update. We can’t expect algorithm changes to roll out so seamlessly and it’s important to remember that there will be some winners and losers with each new wave. It’s too early to tell how things will end up as results may take awhile to settle down, but definitely expect something to happen soon!

SEO Content: How Much is Too Much?

Do you need to add more SEO content to your website? And how much and how often is it needed?

More, More, More

These are difficult questions to answer without knowing more details. The important thing to remember is that since Google’s Panda Updates, your site’s quality is becoming more important. That’s right, quality over quantity. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone with half a brain, but  you’d still be surprised at how many clients are firm in wanting to add 10+ pages/blogs per day!

Who Comes First in Optimization
Think about it… if you’re adding that much content a day, how much of it is actually good, useful and meant for actual human beings? All along, SEO consultants and other experts have told us to build sites for people first and then optimize for search engines.

This isn’t a new concept.

What to Do with New/Old Pages
Instead of focusing on adding more pages and looking at a set amount of pages per month, it’s time to shift your focus. Sure, this strategy is more time consuming and requires more critical thinking, but it is a move that will be well worth it in the end. By looking at your Google Analytics account, Page Rank, or whatever measurements you’d like to use, you can make a list of effective pages on your site. These pages will rank well for relevant terms and have strong staying power in search engine ranking reports.

As much as you don’t like to admit, there are some pages that aren’t receiving as much attention… or the attention that they deserve. Don’t delete these pages and feel like you have to start over. In fact, the age of these pages can work to your advantage once you rework the content and re optimize.

While continuously adding mountains of content may seem like an easy and logical thing to do, it’s better to take a break sometimes. Re optimization is a complex process and there’s no shame in asking for help. Contact us on any questions and find out how we can help!