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2018-08-18 20:18:06| Search Engine Guide Blog

by Jayson DeMers You might be a professional agency trying to figure out the best way to offer your SEO services, or an amateur comparing SEO firms to one another in an effort to find the best deal. Either way, it pays to know what to look for in an SEO package--and what's included in a service package that can get you the ideal results. Package Basics Take a look at any existing, reputable agency's SEO program, and you'll see a few hallmarks in common: Onsite optimization. For starters, an agency should be capable of making onsite fixes that ensure your site is indexed properly. As Digital Monopoly explains it, "Onsite optimization involves optimizing on-page factors such as your page titles and content to be more relevant for your target keywords. It also entails addressing any technical issues that could be hurting your rankings." Content creation. Content and SEO are two sides of the same coin. Every agency should have a plan for how to produce onsite content regularly. Link building. External links are the only way to boost your domain authority reliably. There are many potential strategies to use here, but every agency should at least have a plan to build links pointing to your site. In the words of WordStream, "links are a signal to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation. Therefore, sites with more backlinks tend to earn higher rankings." Reporting. Whether it's automated or guided by an account representative, every package should also include some kind of SEO reporting, so clients can see the progress and health of the campaign. These are absolute musts. They're the fundamentals of any SEO program, and if even one of them is missing, you probably won't see very good results. Of course, you can supplement any missing piece with work of your own or the work of another agency, but all these variables need to be in play if you're going to be successful. Extra Perks These are extra perks that may be nice to have, but aren't strictly necessary to have a sustainable SEO campaign: Keyword research. Clients can do their own keyword research, but it's often helpful for the agency to step in and make live recommendations--especially if those keywords are going to go through changes in the future. Website monitoring. Some agencies actively monitor their clients' websites, noting extreme changes in traffic, or proactively taking care of outages. Reputation management and local SEO. Local SEO requires a slightly different process, but not all agencies are willing to do it. Local SEO tactics are also tied into online reputation management, which can help you boost the power of your brand. Conversion optimization. Your inbound traffic is only valuable if and when it converts. That's why some agencies use conversion optimization strategies to boost your onsite conversion rate. PPC and peripheral strategies. Some agencies also like to include other marketing and advertising strategies as part of a complementary, comprehensive package; for example, they might offer PPC ad management, or design work. These aren't the limits of the perks that you can offer, but they are some of the most common. Variables Within each of the categories offered above, you'll also need to account for variables, including: Volume and frequency. You're producing onsite content posts, but how many are you producing? Most agencies will offer different packages based on these numbers, such as one per month, one per week, or three per week. Quality and dedication. You may also find different levels of quality or dedication. For example, low-level packages may have content written by non-native English speakers, or you may not have access to a dedicated account representative. Price. Of course, the more intensive a package is, the more it's going to cost. High-quality, high-volume packages are going to be on the high end of the spectrum. If you're a prospective client, you'll need to compare packages between providers to figure out what's truly fair. Personalization. Most agencies allow at least some degree of personalization. If a client asks, they may be willing to hybridize elements of two of their most popular packages, or come up with a new kind of package on the fly. Choosing the Best Package If you're looking to choose the right package for your brand, the best thing you can do is talk to an account rep from a reputable SEO agency. They'll be able to help you assess your needs, and may have a recommendation for which plan will serve you best. If you're an agency looking to offer a range of different options, use these core fundamentals and variables to generate three or four main packages (with room for clients to experiment, or mix and match). You don't want too many options, or clients will only get confused and frustrated. In either scenario, this doesn't have to be a permanent choice. Pick what seems to fit right now and be open to making a change in the future, when you have more experience and information to work with. Be sure and visit our small business news site.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2018-08-15 21:27:58| Search Engine Guide Blog

by Robert Clough The SEO vs PPC debate rages strong. Some advice out there swears that SEO is the way to go while others claim that PPC is where's it's at. But is one really better than the other? Find out here. With the average small business set to spend around $75,000 this year on digital marketing, it's essential that you choose the right path forward. When debating in the world of SEO vs PPC, you need to ask the right questions to know which is right for you and your company. Here are 5 questions to ask about your company before you choose between the two. 1. What Can You Afford? When you're deciding between SEO and PPC, a lot of your decision making comes down to affordability. The benefit of SEO is that you can do a lot of the work on your own and it costs very little. The upside of PPC is that you can set it up in just a few minutes and let the revenue roll in. The issues arise is when you're not an expert at either one. If you're a novice at SEO, you'll use keywords that aren't adequate, tactics that are deployed incorrectly or make a lot of mistakes. If you don't know what you're doing with PPC, you could set yourself up to start hemorrhaging profit on clicks that yield nothing for you. When funds are an issue or if you're a new company, you should choose SEO over PPC. If you're a big company with your keywords and search terms sorted out, PPC will save you more time. The difference can be boiled down to whether you're cash poor or time poor. 2. What's Your Staffing Situation? If you're a new company with few staff members handling everything, you could be struggling to juggle multiple roles. If your new business is starting at an easy pace and you're not worried about taking your time, you could handle SEO from a DIY perspective. If you've got an entire department devoted to marketing and staff working on digital marketing, SEO might be a worthwhile option. For companies who are outsourcing their web services, you might have an option to simply tick a box and have SEO services added. If you're outsourcing, you're certainly going to get the perspective of experts. Staffing can be a challenge and for some companies, it's their biggest expense. However, it might be cheaper to have someone on staff to manage your web presence and SEO than to risk a giant PPC bill that gets you nowhere. If your ads aren't being seen by the people who need to see them, then that's money wasted and flushed down the drain. 3. Do You Know Your Audience? One of the biggest differences between PPC and SEO is how well you have to know your audience. When you're running ads, customers know what they're getting into when they click them. They don't have illusions that they're just casually browsing the internet on a Tuesday night and reading articles. They've clicked an ad because they know what they want. However, if you work with SEO, you get the chance to really pitch your products. Through the course of your blog, you can be speaking to customers who are out browsing for the answer to a common question. You'll come up in search results for questions about products and services like yours and you'll get clicks from people who are really paying attention. SEO is a great tactic if you have the time and energy to put into researching strong keywords and creating good content. With PPC, you set the target and let the ad provider handle all the work. 4. Do You Have Time To Blog? The best way to make an impact on SEO is to create a blog. When people use a search engine, they're either looking for a specific product or the answer to a question. A blog allows you to capture both audiences by answering that question and then offering your products as the solution they're looking for. Within your blog and all of the metadata on it, you can be placing your keywords and keyword phrases. With due diligence in your research, you'll be able to target potential customers with accuracy beyond what you ever imagined. PPC does some of this work for you. Instead of having to attract clients to your website, you can go to the websites that potential clients are already on. Instead of chasing them down or luring them in, you can pay the site or the ad provider and have them track down the clientele. 5. Are You In The Midst of Growth? For businesses that are in a big moment of growth, the difference between PPC and SEO can be critical. If your staff doesn't have the time to work on and massage your SEO image, you could fall behind your competitors quickly. If there's shuffling, it could be hard to keep adjusting your SEO. For companies that are in the middle of a big moment of growth with many things uncertain, you need to ensure that there's always money coming in. Your PPC implementation will keep the money and clients coming in while you work on everything else. If you need all hands on deck, you can't have people tracking down information or copy for a blog that isn't making you money yet. You're better off buying an ad and then adjusting your strategy once you're all settled in. If you want both SEO and PPC to be part of a more robust marketing plan, take the time to read more. SEO vs PPC Doesn't Have To Be a War In the end, the SEO vs PPC battle is artificial. You can actually implement both at your company. While it might take more work to manage the two, you could be hitting your customers over the head from all sides with the right combination. If you're still in the phase where you're learning about SEO, check out our guide to learn more. Be sure and visit our small business news site.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2018-08-15 20:03:31| Search Engine Guide Blog

by Robert Clough Real estate is a competitive business, which is why it isn't enough just to have a real estate website anymore. Your site needs to be optimized to ensure local homebuyers can find you when they search for realtors in your area. Here are 10 tips that'll improve your SEO game and make it easier for your site to be found. With your realtor license in hand, it's time to establish a beautiful real estate website. It's very rare for a business to excel these days without a modern, professional, and high-performing website. So, as you work hard to create killer content for each of your web pages and establish an all-important blog, we'd like to share some important SEO tips with you. These ten tips will pull your newly designed website out from the shadows and into some of the highest ranking slots on Google's search engine results. Ready to be famous? 1. Make Your Real Estate Website Your #1 Priority In a world where Google dictates everything-SEO, it's important not to skimp on your website. One of the factors Google considers is site speed. So, you want a well-designed, modern looking website that also performs well. That means response time must be fast and all your beautiful images and videos can't slow down processing time. A real estate WordPress website is a great place to start. WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for a reason. They make web design easy, even for someone with no experience. 2. Focus On Your Keywords Any website or blog will do well to take time and figure out the best keywords for their industry. Then, those keywords can be organically intertwined into various site pages and the company blog. However, with a real estate website, it's important to focus your keywords on the local market. Potential clients are likely to type in hyper-focused search terms, such as "Seattle homes for sale" or "Seattle real estate agent." So, you want to focus on those longtail keywords that are going to pack the most punch. 3. Create a Killer Blog Think of all the great HGTV shows we tune into every night. The content available for a real estate blog is endless. You can cover everything from staging, to organization tips, to the latest paint trends, to the tiny house movement, and on and on. Take advantage of such a powerful niche and create a killer blog. In fact, turn your blog into an industry resource. Incorporate an interesting photo or two in every post. And, most importantly, incorporate the proper keywords into each and every article. 4. Guest Post Where Possible Who better to call themselves an industry expert than you? You're a trained realtor working hard to put people into the homes of their dreams. If you're able to share your knowledge with high-traffic sites that post a lot of realty-related content, those posts are going to get back to you. Guest post on sites that allow you to incorporate your byline at the bottom of each article or, even better, include a small call-to-action at the bottom of each of your information-packed articles. It's just another way to build your brand as an industry expert. 5. Work On Your Backlinks Backlinks are important on your company website and in all those guest post blogs. Think of them like the close relative to keywords. Proper keywords throughout your site are meant to make you pop on Google. Proper backlinks throughout your site and other published materials are meant to draw readers in, link by link. Once they land on your page, they'll be blown away by your expert web design and compelling content. 6. Be a Social Media Butterfly Guess what you should do every time you create a new blog post? Share it on all your social media platforms! Facebook continues to tout the highest number of users with an estimated two billion per month. Instagram, however, is hot on Facebook's tail, so you want to establish a business account there, too. And, of course, anyone who's anyone takes to Twitter when they have something to say. The thing about realtors is that their profession lends itself particularly well to Instagram. An image-based platform is ideal. Think about all those before and after photos. Think about all those post-staging photos that will glisten and gleam, and garner all kinds of Instagram likes. 7. Get Mobile Does your website perform as quickly and efficiently on your cell phone as your laptop? While Google wants those desktop versions to load fast, it also wants that same site to load on everyone's cell phone. If you think about it, we do most of our online searching and reading on our cell phones. So, it makes sense that you'd want potential leads and clients to be able to enjoy your website on their cell phones, too. To see if your site is mobile optimized, start with Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to see if all your pages are performing up to Google's standards. 8. Set up Google My Business While we're on the subject, let's continue on with the Google gods. Take a look at the Google 3-pack. This incorporates your business data into Google My Business, Google Maps, and Google+. Have you ever searched for a company and found their information difficult to find? It was probably a bit of a turn-off to have to hunt down a store's phone number or business hours. On the other hand, when a quick Google search pops up with a store's address, hours of operation, phone number, and link to the address on Google maps, everybody wins. 9. Optimize Your Video Content Professional video content will make you stand tall above the crowd. And, again, you're in a prime line of work to take advantage of this fact. Virtual tours are the name of the game in the world of real estate. But, you can also upload open house videos, neighborhood tours, and listing videos i.e. "10 New Houses on The Market Today." You're well-positioned to churn out video content with ease, given your line of work. So, be sure to optimize that. You can post these videos on your blog, share them on social media and, best of all, upload them to your YouTube channel. 10. Hire a Real Estate SEO Expert Once the budget allows, it'll be worth your while to hire a contract SEO expert. This is merely a short-term relationship that's going to allow you to clean up your SEO endeavors and run through these SEO tips with you. Together, you'll be able to see what's working, what's not working, and what needs a little bit more focus. Then, the sky's the limit, as you pull in all kinds of new leads. Successful SEO Journey Here at Search Engine Guide, we strive to make SEO mastery possible. Feel free to take advantage of our keyword research and link building tools to boost your company's presence. When you're ready, you can even advance into the world of search engine marketing to boost your real estate website and become more visible in your local community. It's absolutely possible and we wish you tremendous success along your SEO journey! Be sure and visit our small business news site.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2018-08-14 23:47:07| Search Engine Guide Blog

by Robert Clough Web Woes: 8 Reasons Why You Need a Website Revamp Web design is becoming increasingly important to the success of web site because of SEO reasons and customers simply demand more. Click here to get 8 reasons why you need a website revamp. The world is around us is changing at an accelerating pace. Car models change every year. Clothing labels release new designs every season. Technology is at the forefront of the changing trends. The digital world is moving forward at a rapid pace. To stay relevant and in touch, your company needs to keep up with the changing times. A website revamp should be the first thing you look at. Whether you're an artist or a zoologist, you need a presence on the internet to be fully productive. Your website is your first point of contact with the world at large, and you must be up to date or be left behind. Here are eight good reasons why you should revamp your website: 1. Mobile Friendliness If you often get comments like, "Your website won't load on my phone!", it's time to go back to the drawing board. These days, users tend to access the internet on their mobile devices. If your website isn't configured to be accessible via those devices, you are missing out on a large user base. Your website should be accessible across a wide range of devices and platforms. Learn more about good web design and how to make your site mobile responsive. 2. Branding Considerations Branding is king in business. Is your brand message on point? Visitors to your site should understand what your business is about and what they can expect. Your strategy when you started your business has probably changed. Your website should reflect this. Your website should be up-to-date. Make it easy-to-read and communicate your message clearly and concisely. Choose words carefully and vet out anything that seems unnecessary. Less is more. Your brand strategy changes with time. You need to update the branding message and mission statement too. 3. Interactivity What experience do you want visitors to have on your website? Are they able to post comments and messages? Interactive websites give visitors the feeling of being involved and valued. They also keep you in touch with what visitors expect and help you change with the times. The customer is king. What they experience on your site will determine what happens to your business. Visitors to your site want to feel appreciated. Having a real-time interactive experience make them feel valued and appreciated. Give users a variety of options and make it possible for them to communicate with you. Ask them to rate their experience and make suggestions. This also helps the business owner adjust accordingly. 4. Design Trends If your website is more than 4 years old, it's time to think about revamping it. 4 years is a very long time in today's digital world. Some features that were cutting-edge just last year might not work now, or slow down loading times. Research and innovation continue to develop new trends. An outdated website can be a big liability to your business. Websites need constant updates and maintenance to stay competitive. Is your Content Management System efficient and up-to-date? Most high-end stores revamp their storefronts annually. Your website is your online storefront and should be treated as such. Nobody is likely to shop in a store that is dark and dusty, with surly, unhelpful staff. Products are piled haphazardly on the shelves and price tags obscured or missing. Checkout counters are located at the back and the barcode scanner doesn't work. You get the picture. Make sure your website is attractive, up-to-date and functional. 5. SEO Functionality and Security Your website MUST be SEO optimized. There are no two ways about it. Where are you on Google? If you can't be found on the first page of a search, you might as well not exist. It's a site eat site world out there and more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon every day. Your digital footprint must be as large as possible. An annual audit on Google Analytics is good practice. Security is vital. Google is now ranking websites without SSL Certification lower in search results. Users want to know that they are safe when visiting your site. SEO needs to be on your list of things to do when revamping your site. Your team needs to make sure the site is prepped for Google's crawlers. 6. Looks Are Everything While it's relatively easy to create your own website, it may be wiser to in invest in professional design. The saying in business is: Cheap is Expensive. Keeping up with the latest trends is vital in today's hyper-competitive world. Investing in a professionally designed and maintained site is vital for your business. 7. User-friendliness Your website should be easy to use and understand. A site that takes ages to load and confusing language and/or links will turn visitors off. This could cause you to lose business or contacts. Keeping it clear, simple and friendly improves visitor experience and builds your business. Update information and links constantly. Pages that take more than 3 seconds to load are a turn-off and could lead visitors to bounce to a competitor. Make your site easy to understand and navigate. Visitors are unlikely to return to a site where they've had a bad experience. 8. Revamp or Die or "Keeping Up With the Joneses." A good way to rank your website is to check out what the competition is up to. Check out their site's content and functionality. Have they added a shopping cart to their site? Is their SEO better? More pictures? Do the same! If it seems to work for others, why shouldn't it work for you? The opposite also applies; if their website is cluttered and confusing, simplify yours. Don't make a carbon copy, of course, but take what seems to work and improve on it. Aim to always outshine your competitors. Do You Need A Website Revamp? Your website is your online ambassador. It represents you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and should perform the job it was intended for. It could be a fun site that you use to communicate with your friends and family or a business page. Regardless, if your site's a little dated, you need to consider a website revamp. Does it serve its purpose? In these digital times, what you put on the internet makes all the difference to your business. A good, professional design must be a top consideration in decision making. Our newsletter helps break down how to create a great site that's up-to-date and SEO optimized. In the long run, your website should be visible, attractive and useful. Be sure and visit our small business news site.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2018-08-14 22:23:49| Search Engine Guide Blog

by Robert Clough 5 Inexpensive Ways to Generate Leads for Your Business Would you like to attract more potential customers and close more deals, without spending a fortune on marketing? You're in the right place! Check out this list of 5 genius ways to generate leads for your business. While the amount varies between industries, on average, companies are spending way too much on lead generation. With all the products and services guaranteeing to help you generate leads and build your audience, it's hard to know what works. Thankfully there are some inexpensive ways to get the job done. Here are 5 ways you should be generating leads that you're sure to be able to turn into customers. 1. Be Mobile Ready As mobile browsing has definitely surpassed desktop browsing, it's essential for you to be ready to be seen everywhere on mobile devices. Your first step is to make sure your site looks great and loads quickly on mobile devices and tablets. If you're still in the process of designing your site or you're in the middle of a redesign, take a "mobile first" approach. Making sure that your site looks good on mobile devices first will make it much easier to make it look good on desktops than trying to work in the other direction. Next, you need to invest in promoting your site in more meaningful ways. Buy ad space on applications and sites that your customers use the most. With targeted and calculated ad buying, you can make sure that the leads you generate are relevant to the clients who see them. Use keywords that are specific and meaningful to your audience. 2. Get To Know Local SEO Make sure that you're targeting your local audience as well. Get an understanding of local SEO. Search engine keywords that help search engines to connect your most local clients to you will generate better leads. When you search for "pizza", you're more likely to get connected to pizzerias near where you're searching from than to the history of pizza. That's because search engines know that when people want products and services, they want them ASAP. Local SEO means that you'll be using the name of your city, your neighborhood, or your geographical region all over your site. When you use local SEO, you can build a strong and dedicated client base. As most businesses try to compete with the biggest names in the industry, they often overlook the local market. They are trying to steal leads away from publicly traded businesses with billions in dollars in annual sales. That leaves smaller enterprises or local clients to feel underserved. Most people would rather have one local provider of products and services who they know personally than save a dollar for a national brand they know nothing about. When you build a local following, you rush people through your sales funnel through word of mouth and a sincere connection. 3. Get Twitter Leads Twitter is more than a place for reading news and responding to customer complaints. It can also be a source of leads and a way for your clients to spread the word. There are data analytics tools that can help you to investigate who your followers are so that you can pitch to them more accurately. They can also tell you which times your followers are most likely to tweet so you can be sure that every tweet has an audience. When you are able to whittle down the details of your niche, you can save time and effort from trying to pitch to the wrong audience. You can also find influencers who people look to for tips on products and services in your industry. Reaching out to them will help to amplify your lead generation tactics. If you're interested in taking advantage of social media lead generation, check out this resource to read more. 4. Take Advantage of Databases If you haven't created a database of potential customers and leads, you need to tap into someone else's. Services like data.com can help you to identify leads. The potential leads for your business are out there waiting to be found. You need to use a service that can give you provide relevant and up to date contact information. Whether you're on the consumer side of things or working in the B2B space, you need to cut down on the time it takes to identify leads. If most of your energy is in spent trying to find leads to connect with, you're not using your time and resources wisely. If you can get an extensive set of data, you could see your sales ride a serious spike. Imagine cutting down on 25% of the work you do to find leads and devoting that time to ushering prospects through your sales funnel. 5. Start Blogging When people use search engines, they're often either looking for the answer to a question or for one specific product. When you write a blog, you can capture both types of clients at the same time. Each blog post can help to solve a problem and offer your products and services as the specific solution to that problem. Blogging gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience and talk about the advantages of using your products. It's rare that you get the opportunity to generate leads based on the details fo what makes your products and services so great. With a blog, you can devote the time to digging into the details with your leads already invested in the information. With a blog, you can also end up getting listed multiple times on the first page of search engine results. It will take some time to build that following, but with strong keyword research and powerful calls to action embedded on each page, you'll be generating leads fast. Commenting on other blogs and guest blogging is a way to increase the impact of blogging on your business. You can go into forums where people are curious about products and services related to your business and offer real solutions via links to your own blog. Don't Trust Promises To Generate Leads Very few companies can truly deliver on the promise to generate leads. Even if they can, it's hard to know if those leads will be valuable. Following the tactics above, you'll be able to filter out the noise and focus on people who truly want your products and services. If you want to target conversions better with long-tail writing, check out our latest guide. Be sure and visit our small business news site.


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

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