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Blogs by date "02/01/13"

How Web Presence Optimization is Reshaping SEO & Internet Marketing

Web Presence OptimizationA new buzzword in the Internet marketing is becoming increasingly popular. That word is "web presence optimization," and it's redefining the SEO and Internet marketing industry.

The definition of web presence optimization is a comprehensive strategy of optimizing all relevant touch points in an effort to help grow and sustain a better online brand.

SEO Evolved

Unlike traditional SEO practices that solely concentrate on keyword optimization, link popularity, and better rankings, web presence optimization blends other elements that are evolving the standards of SEO.

Now to be successful in SEO, many channels overlap in their core purpose and objective. For example, social indictors (or "signals") such as Google +1's, Facebook Likes, and Tweets can influence a pages ranking in the search results.

Furthermore, great content that integrates Google Authorship is more likely to be rank-able asset over a simple webpage trying to sell a product or services

As a result, social media, content marketing, and SEO are all interconnected in some way. This marriage has evolved the focus of search engine optimization into what we call "web presence optimization."

Other Elements of Web Presence Optimization

In addition to SEO, social and content marketing, there's more to achieving a powerful web presence. This includes marketing channels and touch points like:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising - another medium to maximize your brand's search engine visibility for profitable keywords
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) - the interactive content and calls-to-action on your website that drives conversions
  • Mobile Optimization - ensuring your brand's web presence is well-suited for mobile visitors

If you're seeking services for SEO and Internet marketing, this new buzzword is your leverage to pinpoint the right provider for these services. Ideally, a good SEO will incorporate social media and content marketing into their mix, (whether or not they've heard about web presence optimization.)

For the consultants, experts, and agencies who offer SEO and Internet marketing, this should your insight to evolve your optimization service programs. You'll look awfully smart and savvy when you say "SEO is really evolving. In essence, we're now optimizing brands' entire web presence, beyond search."

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky has over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession. He offers a wealth of expertise in the Internet marketing industry and stays well abreast the latest changes in the profession. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net or Follow Tyler on Google+.

The Driving Force Behind Google Local SEO is Citations

When it comes to off-page SEO (which makes up a majority of Google's ranking algorithm,) it's all about building and earning links to a webpage.

However, what most businesses fail to realize about off-page SEO is that citations are essential to uplift rankings in the Google Local Search results.

Although links might be more influential in Google’s organic search algorithm, citations are the bee's knees to rank higher in the local results (the listings accompanied by the Google map with little red pins.)

A citation is simply a mention or reference of your business's name or contact information somewhere on the web. A few examples of where you can find quality citations include:

  • social listings, such as LinkedIn or Google+ Local
  • Yellow Pages directory listings
  • review site listings, such as Yelp or Manta
  • local chamber of commerce
  • other web directory listings, such as Superpages

Citations can have a momentous impact on a business's local SEO rankings. Even when there's no link included with a citation, Google still recognizes the mention of your business and factors-in the search engine value as a result.

Why Citations are Critical for Local SEO

Local companies that rack-up tons of citations on other websites can spike their Google local search ranking. Some of the primary reasons why Google values quality citation are:

  • Community Value – Citations show that your business is a part of community on the web. In a sense, you're establishing legitimacy with Google by proving your business is real and engaged on various other websites.
  • Validity & Legitimacy – Citations are sign of validity, which is arguably the main reason why Google’s local search algorithm factors-in citations.
  • Niche Industries & Professions – Citations are ideal for businesses in a smaller industries or professions. Google recognizes the source of your business's citations. So if you're chiropractic business has listings on chiropractor directory sites, the value only increases.

Discovering opportunities to build citations is now always easy, and going about building them can seem like a monotonous task. Fortunately we've compiled a nice list of resources for you to use. Dedicate a block of time in your day to build 1 or 2 citations of these websites. In time, you can see your Google Local Search ranking increase for the keywords that drive quality traffic to your website.

Before you start building citations, you should ensure that you have properly set-up a Google Plus Local page for you business. This is the foundation and will help magnify the impact of your citation building efforts.

How to Set-Up Your Google+ Local Page for Optimal SEO Performance

Local businesses can gain some serious marketing momentum by properly setting-up a Google Plus Local page.

The process is rather simple with the right guidance. By establishing a local business page on Google Plus, you can help increase your company's ranking in the Google local search results (example shown in the image to your right.)

In this article, I will guide you through the simple steps of setting-up (and slightly optimizing) a Google Plus Local page for your business. Let's get started.

1. Claim Your Google Plus Page

Before you immediately create a new page for your business, check to see if there's an existing, un-claimed page. To do this, perform a search on Google Plus for the name and geographic location of your business.

Once you've submitted your search, use the drop-down option to select "People and Pages." From the search results, you should be able to spot your business's page, if it exists. If you do see your business page, click into the page and look toward the bottom for the option to "Manage this page."

 

If you do not see a page for your business, you'll need to create a new one. This option is near the bottom left of the Google Plus menu bar, under "More."

From the "Pages" menu, you can select to create a new page. When creating a new page, it's important that you choose "Local Business" as the type of page.

2. Edit Your Business's Information

Whether you have an existing Google Plus Local page or are creating a new one, you'll definitely want to tune-up the business's information.

The "Business Name" field should be a given; however if your business has multiple locations under one name, you'll want to distinguish its specific location in this field. For our example with "Nerds on Call," a residential computer repair company in central Illinois, there are five locations. As a result, we add a 'clean pipe' after the business name, followed by the location for that specific page.

In this case, we use "Nerds on Call | Peru, IL" as the business name to differentiate this page from the others. The business address is one of the most important elements on the page. And if you're claiming an already existing Google Plus Local page for your business, then chances are the address info might be slightly off.

Make sure that address is spot-on verbatim with that of your business's website. This alignment is critical to ensure your business is legitimate through the eyes of Google (and can influence your Google Local search ranking as a result.)

In our scenario of claiming an already existing page, Google had the street name slightly incorrect. We changed it from "Illinois 251" to the correct street of "State Route 251."

The rest of the fields are pretty straight-forward. Just be sure that everything is accurate and aligned with you company's website.

In the description field, you'll want to write concise summary of what your business offers and/or specializes in. You may also want to add a call-to-action link to help facilitate leads from the page's description.


3. Submit PIN Verification Request

Next you'll want to submit a postcard verification request to your business. This option is near the bottom right of the Google Plus Local page.

When you submit verification request, Google will send a postcard to your business's address with a PIN.

Once received (typically within a week,) you'll want to return back to your company's Google Plus Local page and submit the PIN to complete the verification process.

4. Link to Your Google Plus Page from Your Website

This last step is the icing on the cake. Near the bottom right of the Google Plus Local page, you'll see the option to "Link Your Website - Help people discover your page."

By including this link on your business's website (to its Google Plus page,) it further validates this page and helps its overall search engine authority for SEO.

The "rel=publisher" snippet in the link's URL tells Google that your company's website is the publisher for any content stemming from the site. If you publish blog posts from your website, you'll want to attribute the author of each blog post with a link to his or her personal Google Plus profile page.

In the author's link, include the "rel=author" snippet in the URL (see my Google Plus author link at the bottom for an example.) This establishes the ever-powerful Google Authorship for the blog post and will further accelerate its search engine value.

Using the "publisher" and "author" snippets in these links can help get your content crawled and indexed much faster. Additionally, you can generate the "rich snippet" author image in Google's search results (shown below.) This will make your blog post stand-out from the clutter and help increase your content's click-through rate in the search listings.

5. BONUS! Build Some Citations to Increase Your Ranking!

Building citations is an ongoing effort of creating business profiles and directory listings on various other websites. Check out this blog post for quality sources to build citations.

Having citations on other credible website is a sign of legitimacy to Google. When Google crawls these other listings, it will compare the name, address, and phone number of you business with that of its website and Google Plus Local page. When all things jive, your ranking can increase. In essence, this is the practice of “link building” for Google Local SEO, or in a more progressive sense, Goolge Plus Local optimization.

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky has over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession. Starting his career as a copywriting for an international SEO firm and now the Internet marketing manager here at OIC, Tyler offers a wealth of expertise in the search marketing industry. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net or Follow him on Google Plus.

The Evolution of SEO is Google Authorship

If you're under the impression that SEO is all about keywords and website optimization, then you have some serious catching-up to do.

In its very essence, SEO is evolving into what is more like REAL marketing.

That is, SEO is less of technical mystery of 'optimizing a website,' but rather a creative process of producing exceptional content that gains favor from a target audience.

Evidence in the SEO Evolution

Now when you search a keyword phrase in Google, it's almost guaranteed that you'll find an article/blog post, video, graphic, or some form of content that's not necessarily trying to sell you something.

This SEO evolution is simply Google's way of cleaning-up its search results. You see, some SEO's have really dirtied-up Google search results by optimizing crappy content with sketchy, keyword-focused practices. The fact that their content still ranks is purely fortune (because Google's Webspam Team is pretty stellar at placing good content atop the organic search results.)

Over the last year, over-optimized pages have bombed and fresh, quality pages are seeing top search placement. If you pay attention, you'll see that many listings are accompanied by images of authors and a Google+ link denoting how many people in are in their circles ("social authority," if you will.)

The Essence to a Successful Adaptation

To adapt to the evolving standards, SEO providers need to change their ways, extensively. As an organic SEO expert myself, this presents a challenge in many ways.

In short, SEO experts need to work with their clients to produce amazing, audience-focused content.

Becoming less of a provided service, the new frontier of SEO is a team effort of establishing achievable goals and assigning responsibilities both internally (client) and externally (SEO "provider.")

Enter: Google Authorship

Now when I develop SEO strategies for clients, I place a high degree of emphasis on Authorship. That is, I visualize my client's search traffic deriving from a high ranking article with the client's picture right next to the listing.

In most scenarios, the client is the most knowledgeable about their target search market, as well as the in's and the out's of their business. The teamwork in SEO stems from collaborating to create exceptional content that's properly optimized and published in the right places.

It's what Google likes, right? What better way to turn a curious Google searcher into a lead than enlightening them with your words of wisdom? That's called content marketing, and it's redefining the best practices of SEO.

Establishing Google Authorship is pretty simple, and it can have a tremendous impact on a company's SEO strategy.

I encourage your to check out this blog post to understand the importance of Authorship and preparing for AuthorRank.

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky has over five years of experience as an organic SEO professional. Starting as a copywriting for an international SEO firm and now the Internet marketing manager here at OIC, Tyler offers a wealth of knowledge in the search marketing industry. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net or Follow him on Google+.

Why Marketing Should Not Be An Afterthought for Small Businesses

Almost every small business owner is faced with the important question: "how much should we invest in marketing?"

While in some cases capital may be limited, a business's marketing budget should never hinge on what funds are left over after other expenses are taken care of.

Many new business owners and entrepreneurs make the mistake of waiting until their business is profitable before investing in marketing. Delaying this essential element is only counterintuitive and detrimental to a business.

The fact of the matter is, if your business is not generating sufficient revenue, how will it ever afford marketing?

Conversely, if your small business is failing to generate revenue, then a lack of marketing expenditure could be the reason why.

The Righteous Path to Small Business Success

Right from the start, it's critical that marketing is included in you company's business plan. This is particularly essential for start-ups.

Strategize and develop relevant, brand-supported materials that will bolster your business's marketing efforts. Such materials may include business cards and brochures, signage, and a website. All of this should be included in your business's financial projections and overall budget.

You should also determine exactly how your small business will establish a marketing budget.

Allocate a Marketing Budget for Your Small Business 

One common approach is to allocate a percentage of your projected annual revenue as a baseline. This percentage will vary depending on the type of business, size, geographic market, and industry conditions - in addition to whether your business in brand new or established.

In most cases, larger businesses will allocate a smaller percentage for marketing. For example, Walmart has an annual marketing budget of about $2 billion, which accounts for less than 1 percent of its gross revenue.

For small businesses that earn less than $5 million per year, between 8-10 percent of annual revenue should be invested in marketing. Launching a new businesses, expansion, or product may even call for more. In these situations, it's not uncommon to invest up to 20 percent in marketing.

In addition to creating a marketing budget, determining how to spend your business's marketing budget can be even more challenging. It is important to write a well-defined marketing plan that includes specific activities and initiatives. It's equally important to know how you plan to track these activities.

With time, you can refine your small business marketing plan and budget to maximize profitability and overall success.

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is an Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc. He works with a number of small businesses in developing digital marketing campaigns.

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
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Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653