Unicorns, Sasquatch, and Old-Timey SEO – Debunking Myths

How many terrible websites, spammy directories, and link-building schemes have been launched in the pursuit of “getting on the first page on Google”?

Yes, the quest for search engine optimization (SEO) has lead the unwary down some pretty shady paths, and that unfortunate trend doesn’t seem to be letting up.

While we’ll leave any belief in mythical creatures to you, there are some myths about SEO we just couldn’t stand to see perpetuated one day longer. First, why we can’t afford to ignore SEO…

Why We Still Need SEO

The truth is, your website does need Google and other search engines to like you, so SEO is still important. Although social media, email, links from other websites and direct traffic may account for a large amount of your website traffic, most established websites get more than half their traffic from search engine referrals. There’s a reason “Google” has become a verb. As in, “Google it.” It’s the default go to for most searchers. Social search may be growing, but nobody says, “Twitter it” – yet.

The Good News About Today’s …

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On-Page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Guide – What to Do with Keywords

Search engine optimization, or “SEO” is a buzz phrase just about everyone knows, but very few understand. One of the most immediate means of optimizing your site for search engines, and one of the best means in your control is to create quality content on a regular basis. Utilizing some very basic on-page SEO tactics will give you an edge in the search engines, too. Surely your hard work deserves every chance possible to be seen, read and appreciated, no? We use WordPress with the “WordPress SEO by Yoast” and “Zemanta” plugins.

SEO Starts with Keywords

Have your keyword list in hand? Good. Haven’t gotten that far yet? We have just the thing for you. Download our Keyword Research eBook, and plan a few quiet hours for your research. Your customer’s needs and questions, as well as the help you can offer and information you can provide will help you come up with your topic. Now, look at your keyword list for applicable words to focus. Got them? Good!

How to Use Keywords for Good On-Page Search Engine Optimization

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Keyword Research - Why it's worth your time

Why Should I Do Keyword Research?

How did you find this article today? Unless you saw it on a social network, chances are, you entered a keyword search like, “Why should I do keyword research?” into Google.  You’re in good company. Google estimates that last year, there were an average of five BILLION daily web searches on its search engine alone. How can you take advantage of at least a fraction of those searches to get people to YOUR website or social media profiles?

You need good quality content, you need to share it on social platforms, and you need to make sure you use the correct keywords when doing so. Rather than just guessing which keywords will work well for your business, take a couple of hours to make sure you’re targeting the right ones. This will help you:

Save money on GoogleAdWords and Facebook advertising. Get more visitors to your website from Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest and more.

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keyword research with Keyword Planner

Find Low Competition High Volume Keywords Using Google Keyword Planner

The best keywords are those with many monthly searches (people want information on that keyword) and low competition (there aren’t many sources out there, so you have a better chance of being found when you use that keyword). The new Keyword Planner from Google can help you find them!

Google AdWords Keyword Planner recently replaced Google’s Keyword Tool. A new feature is a keyword “wizard” tool that supplies keyword suggestions based upon your URL, your product or service or your business category. But, you may not want to start your keyword research over again – you might just want some related keywords with a high volume of searches and a low level of competition. After all, your original keyword list can grow stale and some numbers, as you know, have a way of changing over time!

To use Keyword Planner for your own keyword research,  set up a Google AdWords account and go to Tools and Analysis > Keyword Planner. Choose “Search for keyword and ad group ideas.” Enter your keyword in …

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Five #SEO tips that will get your site closer to the top

Five Easy Ways to Improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Today

Who Should Read This: Business owners who want website traffic without spending a lot of money on paid search.

Everyone wants to be #1 on Google, but if you’ve been marketing your business online for any length of time, you know that isn’t as easy as it sounds! Measuring how well you’re doing with your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the first step to moving up in the rankings and increasing website traffic to your site, but we’ll go beyond and help you put your new-found knowledge to work.

1. Identify Your Keywords and Rankings

First, perform keyword research for your site, or hire someone to do it for you (it takes a few hours or around $250). Keep those keywords handy and use them in your website pages, ads and blog posts.

Google makes it difficult to see all the search terms that bring visitors to your site. So many are displayed as “unknown” that you may have to infer from your most popular pages the search terms that are working for …

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Measure the success of your website with #analytics - Don't play pin the tail on the donkey with your marketing!

Measure and Improve the Success of Your Website with Analytics – It’s Easy!

If you’re not using analytics to measure your website’s success and to inform your online marketing strategy, you’re playing the online marketing version of pin the tail on the donkey – aimlessly drifting about, hoping something will stick, and in the right place! Everything you do, everywhere on the web, should be with the aim of driving visitors to your website and landing pages. To that end, it’s time to get comfortable with analytics.

If your website isn’t already using Google Analytics, HubSpot, or some other software to measure your results, get in touch with your website manager and ask them to set it up before you go any further. All set? Good.

What do all those Numbers Mean?

It can be tempting to just pick one number, maybe unique visitors or pageviews and just compare that month to month. However, if you do that you’re missing out on a lot of valuable data that can help you see how you’re doing and, even more importantly, how to improve. Let’s look at eight major metrics, what to aim for, what they …

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SEO - Search Engine Optimization - with an arrow pointing up. 4 Tips to Boost SEO using Social Media

Social Media Tips to Increase SEO

In a previous blog post we established that the best marketing plans use both social and SEO as marketing tools. Strategic use of social media platforms can be a complement to SEO. So stop wasting time deciding which is superior and resolve to combine the power of social with SEO. These tips will kick your company’s SEO into top gear.

1. SEO and Social Media URLs

URLS, handles, and user names brand our company.  Confusion associated with business identity will hinder growth, so keep your social media URLs (website address), handles, and user names, as uniform as possible.

A custom URL helps to optimize your spot in organic search – crucial to SEO. Not all social media platforms let you customize your URL. While Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest allow for customization, Twitter derives your account URL by default from your handle. Be familiar with each platform’s options and realize the impact it has on SEO.

If possible, your company’s URL, user names and handles should contain your business …

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SEO marketing table - Social Media - The Perfect Compliment to SEO

Social Media and SEO – Together, at Last!

Remember the song “Why Can’t we be Friends?” by War? Well, it’s a perfect theme song for the social media – SEO relationship. In recent years, there have been many articles arguing the value of one over the other. “SEO is Dead.” “Why SEO will always beat Social,” and on and on.

The truth is, you don’t need to take sides. Successful marketers see the benefit of using social media as a complement to SEO. When social media joins forces with SEO, it can spell wonderful things for your company. Check out our illustrated explanation of how Google+, specifically, can boost your search engine rankings.

How Social Media Complements SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) and social media serve very different, but equally important functions in marketing your business. Let me explain. Remember that kid in grade school? The guy who liked crunching numbers and problem solving? Of course you do. That guy is SEO personified.

SEO is made up of algorithms – complex mathematical formulas used by search …

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Learn to love keyword research in 7 simple steps

Keyword Research in Seven Simple Steps (Updated for Keyword Planner)

Choosing which keywords to use for your website, blog, or other online marketing can seem like a complete mystery. I know it has been to me for years. No more!

Like it or not, keyword research is a must for any business with an online presence.  Not only will it influence your choice of domain name, your content and your social updates, but it will help you get to know your customers better, as well. Let’s learn to love keyword research together, shall we?

#1 Stop Guessing Which Keywords You Should Use

If you are, for example, and independent pharmacy in Wilmington, NC you may think that your best keywords are “pharmacy”, or even “pharmacy NC”, and that would be nice to dominate in search for those who are logged in and see local results. However, that Google search returns 200 MILLION results, and in my results, local results rule.

If you sell boots, you might think you want to rank #1 for “boots”, but do you really?  Someone searching for “boots” is more likely to be browsing than ready …

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How to Get Your Facebook Updates Seen – Understanding Edge Rank

Because of  its growing popularity and ease of use, more businesses have a Facebook page than ever before. The result is a very competitive market, where your posts can get quickly pushed down the newsfeed (or never even displayed at all). So how can you get more from your Facebook page and stand out from other businesses?

Increase Your EdgeRank

This is key in being competitive with your social media page. What is EdgeRank? Put simply it’s the name Facebook has given the algorithm which they use to determine what appears in their users’ news feeds.

Still sound a bit complicated? Basically, every interaction you have with Facebook creates a piece of content known as an Edge. These interactions include: Status updates, Photos uploaded and shared, likes, even songs we listen to on Spotify. If you get right down to it, the news feed isn’t really a feed of news.  It’s actually a chart of the most ‘important’ Edges as determined by the Edge Rank Algorithm. The more “weight” the Edge the more often it will result in the news feed.

This is key to small businesses …

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