Category Archives for "SEO"

local seo in 2015 - chaosmap digital

7 Reasons You Should Implement Local SEO in 2015

As a business owner and marketer, you (probably) know that SEO (search engine optimization) is an ideal marketing strategy.

Especially when implemented correctly.

Research shows that the requirement for business owners to implement SEO strategies will increase in 2015.

These owners can benefit from smart and appropriate local SEO techniques, which in turn can lead to an increase in their customer base. While there are many reasons for a business owner to implement local SEO, in this article, we’ll discuss seven of the best reasons to start optimizing for your local market.

1. Mobile Search is Growing

The mobile market is booming.

This has led to an increase in mobile search.

People use their mobile devices to look for businesses like yours. Almost 70 percent of mobile users use mobile search to locate businesses in their local area. Of those people, about 94 percent will visit the local business within the next 24 hours. Mobile search users are focused on finding fast solutions to problems.

If a person is at the top of the search results, in mobile search, they are more likely to be the website the person clicks on. That means they are more likely to see an increase in mobile search customers. By focusing on local SEO strategies, your business can be the one they find when looking for a product or service on their mobile device.

2. Your Competition May Already Be Using These Strategies

With increased competition in the marketplace, many businesses can see that it is becoming harder to meet marketing and sales goals.

Each business owner needs to look at what their competition is doing (but don’t copy outright…be different!). If your competition is ranking well with the search engines, then they are gaining customers, which means you may be losing business.

Remember, it’s not just new customers who look online for products and services. Your old customers may also be searching. If your competition has good reviews and a nice website, they may be able to lure your customers away. In order to keep your old customers and gain new ones, it’s imperative that you stay ahead of the competition. Local SEO can help.

3. You Need Local Customers, Looking for Local Businesses

Google’s core focus is on the user (and selling clicks). In order to provide better service to their customers, the searchers, Google tries to make sure they get the information they’re looking for. When a person in California is looking for information about a plumber, dentist or financial services expert, they do not want the result to show a business in New York for example. They want a business they can call who can provide them with the product or service they need.

As a local business, you want local customers to find you. You don’t want your listing to show up for people in another state. You can’t serve these customers, so it’s a waste of time. Since Google wants to connect the local business and customer, it’s important for the business to ensure that Google knows where they are and the areas they serve. This is done with local SEO.

4. Local Searchers Converts Better

We are living in an inter-connected, global economy.

However, most local businesses only serve local customers. By focusing on the local customer, a business can significantly increase their lead to sale ratio when and if their marketing and sales funnels are built out correctly, and tracked. (dashboards)

5. Local SEO and Social Media Engagement Can Increase Rankings and Your Customer Base

Social media is an important additional marketing strategy that can help a business increase customer loyalty and assist in customer service. Social media engagement can also help a business with their search engine ranking. Search engines are taking “social signals” into view even more in 2015.

A business should use social media to emphasize their local brand by providing helpful information and engaging with their customer base. Building a strong local following will help the business when it comes to local SEO. If you implement local SEO, you’ll get a double benefit from your social interaction.  A combination of organic work for search engines and social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube – coupled with social ads can and will have a big impact for your brand.

Tweetable: “Write for users, not search engines”
Tweet:

6. Local SEO Reviews Can Improve Ranking And Bring In New Customers

Before trying a new service or product, many people look at reviews. This is especially true when people are searching for restaurants, for example. Reviews can build a business’ online reputation.

Reviews, when combined with local SEO can increase the number of people who choose your business over the competition. Since local ratings and reviews can show in search results, it’s important for a business to have positive ratings. When a business has both high reviews and a high ranking, people are more likely to click on their link for more information.

7. Local SEO Can Help Serve the Local Community

When using local SEO, a person brings attention to their business as well as their community. In large cities, a small community or city center can get lost among all of the others. When a business uses local SEO, they can bring attention to their local community.

This can help bring dollars to your business, as well as other local businesses in the community. If more businesses in the area use these strategies, then it could help boost the community’s economy.

There are many reasons you may have for implementing local SEO for your business. When deciding what strategies to use for your business in 2015, remember that local SEO does not just benefit you and your business, but also the community as a whole.

new website with seo in mind

7 Essentials To Consider Before Starting SEO

Search engine optimization can be a positive channel for any ambitious business owner to achieve an unfair advantage ahead of their competitors in Google.

This post was created to help new website owners understand the beginning elements of successful SEO campaign building.

The reason why many people have problems achieving specific rankings is that they do not what Google wants and what to do when.  They hear “content & links”, but there are so many changes, search filters and penalties being applied almost daily.

Furthermore, there is an underground community that is dedicated to “Black Hat SEO”.  It can be VERY EFFECTIVE; but the results are short lived and it’s highly risky for good business.  It’s like fast food – it tastes good now, but will leave that “why did I eat that?” feeling afterwards.  Here are some great tips to give you long-lasting results on your website.

#1 – Creating “Shareable” Content is Very Important

According to Moz, a URL’s number of “Google +1’s” for a webpage plays a sizable part in determining its rankings.  Google’s algorithm is becoming less of a mathematical problem and more of a result of human interaction.  Therefore, when you create content, you want to make sure that it has these three elements:

  1. Catchy
  2. Easy to read
  3. Informative/Relevant

Try to think outside the box.  Instead of just making a “How-To” article, create an interesting graphic, audio and a video version to go along with it. Then, distribute those assets into relevant channels. (iTunes, YouTube, Pinterest for example).

#2 – How Your Traffic Interacts with Your Website Does Matter

In Moz’s 2013 ranking factors, user experience does play a key role.  User experience with your website includes things such as:

  • Page loading speed
  • Bounce Rate (How quickly are users leaving your website)

If users are going to your website, and hitting the back button within seconds – there is evidence that Google will factor this into their rankings for your website.

Create a website that informs and sells.

#3 – Consider Domain Keywords But Balance With Brand

You may be thinking, “What should my domain name be?”  Just several years ago, many search engine optimization experts were making keyword “sniper sites” in which a domain name was purchased and a mini-site was created to focus on that keyword.  This lead to many SEOs purchasing hundreds of domain names, loading them up with “basic” content, so that they could rank easily for many different keywords. They would also start to link these sites together and after Google discovered these link networks, they would be penalized or filtered as “low-value”.

Google has come after that strategy and it’s not effective now. If you are looking to be creative with domain names, a great tool to use is BustAName.com – this can help you find a catchy brandable name, instead of one for SEO purposes.

#4 – How Important is Domain Age?

Many people who are just getting into the SEO game believe that they are at a major disadvantage because their domain age isn’t that old.  However, if Google sees that the quality of your website is high – that will override domain age.  If your domain is wet behind the ears – just focus on on-page factors such as content quality, loading speed, making content easily shareable, etc. If you are offering value and creating relationships – everything tends to work in your favor.

Matt Cutts (head of webspam at Google) on Domain Age: “The difference between a domain that’s six months old verses one year old is really not that big at all.”

#5 – Domain Registration 

If a business owner plans on creating a successful business (why not?) – then it is important that they make a significant commitment. If you can make at least a 5 year commitment in terms of domain registration or more, it is likely you will receive some extra brownie points. Clearly, starting a business is more than paying your dues via a domain name, so consider getting a mentor or coach to help you on that side as well.

A Google Patent of 2005 states: “Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than one year.”

Obviously, Google looks at this data. Even though the significance of it is unknown, consider it.

#6 – Private Registration

Some websites like Namecheap and GoDaddy offer private registration. Why is this ‘bad practice’? If you are a webmaster who is using multiple websites for online malpractice – then there’s a chance that you will want to hide your registration identity.  Be completely transparent and decline the option to stay hidden.  If you do not want your addressed displayed on WhoIs – then get a P.O Box.

#7 – LSI, Keyword Density, Content Length

Let’s go over these three terms with regards to content quality and why they are significant to search engines.

  • Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – This is not something should be over-analyzing; however, it is important to know.  Based on synonymous words or phrases – these can increase your website’s perceived quality and you are less likely to be caught for spamming and/or over-optimization. A natural approach and inclusion of related terms is good practice.
  • Keyword Density – While this may not be as important as it once was, a natural inclusing of keywords and phrases helps.  Review competitor sites and do a baseline analysis for your market. Apply as necessary.
  • Content Length – The average length for content on the top of Google was about 2,000 words per webpage.  Longer content tends to get shared more.

Keep these factors in mind when you are starting your new SEO campaigns. Make sure that your website is search engine friendly, doesn’t contain any spider blocks, has a good architecture and provides value – so that people will share and link to it.  Authority and trust building is just as important online as off.

Get started today!

How To Use SEO For Your B2B and Small Business in 2013 (WEBINAR VIDEO)

In a recent webinar series with our friends at LogMyCalls, we covered some key SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies you might implement for your business this year.

We covered 5 important topics:

  1. The SEO process (What works today + myths/trends)
  2. Keyword strategies (How to get the “best” keywords for rankings/traffic)
  3. Social implication (How to leverage social signals for search engines)
  4. Content strategies (What you can do now)
  5. Small business optimization (Automation and lead management)

(The webinar replay is available below).

Continue reading

How Does Google Show My Profile Picture In Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)?

This year we saw an increased battle of the social networks, fighting for attention and engagement. That’s not going to stop in 2013.

However, one of the players, while not known for their social platform, are heavily vested in terms of dollars, research, data, people and time – and with a corporate mandate to make it the “go-to” social network. We are talking about Google. (Note: Facebook is the one to beat, but many think it will never happen.)

Before we continue, let’s make this clear: “Google is a search engine – first and foremost. Facebook is a social network, and is not a search engine (yet)”.  This is important, because users behave differently in the two environments. The outcomes are not typically the same either. Business owners wanting more quality leads can attest to that. Looking at your friends BBQ pictures from last weekend, is much different than actively searching for items for a BBQ you want to purchase, for example.

To combat this idea of Google “just” being a search engine, they have introduced the Google Authorship Program, where authors can be linked to their Google+ Profile.

Furthermore, social signals are being used as ranking factors now, and the Author Rank (AR) algorithm is now live and well. In fact, if you are focusing only on Page Rank, you were off from the beginning. Focus on AR instead for 2013, and you’ll see a faster and bigger impact for clicks and branding opportunities.

The AR ranking factors are shown below:

Author Rank Algo Factors – Mike Arnesen

As with the over 200+ factors that go into the Google Algorithm, Author Rank has its set of variables:

  • Google+ Engagement Levels
  • Average PR
  • Authority of publishing sites
  • +1s /shares per post
  • # of circlers (friends that find your content compelling)
  • Posting frequency
  • Outside authority indicators
  • Comments per post
  • Relative authority on Non-Google social networks (“the others”)

The basics of search is changing to include powerful indicators from the Google+ social network. While some may feel this is self-serving (to Google), it’s expected. How can we drive more “stickiness” to our own Google Search Products, using Google+ and social interaction? (asked Google Execs).

While the above points are somewhat technical in nature, you really do not need to worry too much about them. Just consider implementing the Authorship (rel=author/rel=me) features for right now (below).

“We hope to use [author] information and any information as a ranking signal at Google.  So in this case, we want to get information on credibility of authors from all kinds of sources and eventually use that in ranking.” – Google

You have probably seen the profile pictures in search results by now (screenshot below). Once a search query has been entered, a picture is shown next to the Google search engine results. This is in essence the picture from your Google+ profile. The entire listing in results can be optimized too. Think of this as the expanded, new & improved “snippet” display. Click-through rates will be improved if you do this right. It’s an opportunity for you to “advertise” your business using factors YOU control, most of the time.

Google Authorship Example (rel=author)

So, you should follow 4 simple steps to get yours displayed too (it’s fairly quick, and goes live within days):

  • Create a Google+ account (free) and visit authorship page
  • Insert code rel=”author” to reference your link/content/posts to your Google+ profile
  • Check the “contributor” portion of your Google+ profile. Add the URLs (domains) to the ones you write for
  • Verify it working with the rich snippets tool

This is an important way for your business to get more visibility. And, you’ll see your profile listed next to the search engine results in Google.

How Search Engines Work (Infographic)

If you are a business that is just starting out, you’ve been around for a while, or simply looking to grow to the next level — this post is for you.

Without a steady growth of potential prospects coming to your business (online or off) – you are facing a slow death. And, with rising expenses, office, staff, equipment overhead – you need a way to cover yourself.

Enter the search engines.

The beauty of search engines is that they can send visitors who are actively looking for you. You may choose several different strategies, from Paid (PPC) to Non-Paid (Organic SEO). However, most folks don’t visit your website and buy on the first touchpoint. You need to develop a user experience and a sales/marketing funnel to build trust, nurture the relationship over time. However, that’s for another post.

We want to know how search engines work.

Here is a simple informational graphic that explains how search engines work:

How Search Engines Work

This represents many nights, days and years of work in the search technology field and breaks down how Google treats incoming requests (queries) specifically.

They start with the user first. (That should be your strategy as well). Then ask – are they searching for information only (in research mode), are they entering web addresses directly (known brand/URL), or are they more transaction or eCommerce based (compare/buy)? What keywords/phrases cover that market? Make sure they are included on designated pages – and in content and HTML (code).

You should do this next:

For your visitors and market place, understand and ask what they are commonly looking for? (do your keyword research and competitive research first).

Build out a plan for how you can serve them with relevant content and offers.

Make sure that you follow this graphic to see if your pages are serving the search engines as the final step. You can speak to your webmaster about the technical stuff.

Your job is to serve your audience, and match content to keywords and the audience – as well as building a reputation in social circles (Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc).