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How To Conduct an Intelligent Competitive Analysis for SEO Success

What’s the reason my competitor ranks high on Google than me? What’s missing in my SEO efforts?

These are few questions that linger when ranking high in organic SERPs is important for the health of your company.SEO analysis

In this post, we will provide you tips that will give you head start to find the answers to all these questions via a list of criteria that are vital when carrying out competitive SEO analysis. It’s the best approach for fresh, industry-specific, new strategies to boost your organic search rankings. You can also apply this criteria for development of your website to build a really strong foundation even before it is launched.

Now let’s have a close look at important competitive analysis SEO criteria:

Web Page Layout and Site Structure

Since Google released its page layout algorithm, it has affected four percent of search queries, and many websites now place high importance on page layout for SEO. For example, websites with good SERP position tend to have few above-the-fold ads. High ranked websites also use CSS grid systems and responsive design to enrich their user experience on the website on mobile devices.

Website structure is not limited to visual layout, but vital factors such as navigational structure, URL structure and internal linking structure. So list out all these page criteria and then compare your website to your competitor’s to find more on how well you’re doing.


Google gives higher ranking to websites that ensure rich user experience. If your competitor’s website has elements of usability that may affect their search rankings, this can be a good way to benchmark your website and somehow improve upon it.

You need to consider the following aspects of usability:

site nav

  • Cross browser compatibility
  • Page load time
  • Custom 404 pages
  • URL structure
  • Broken links
  • Trust elements on the site
  • Call-to-action characteristics
  • User-friendly navigation
  • Typography

Realizing some of these elements are missing your website can offer great opportunities for SEO. This may be as simple as fixing a few broken links, or more substantial, such as investing in mobile website design services in Peoria.

Test the Technology Used to Build the WebsiteWeb Design Code

Learn more about the CMS used or the web development platform your competitor’s website are built with. Many website platforms do a great job of optimizing most on-page SEO factors. Other technical elements, like hosting server, also have good effect on SEO to a certain extent. If website hosting server is unreliable, then user site experience is affected thus affecting overall Google SERP ranking as well.

Also, when web servers have quick access to a robust cloud infrastructure, website speed is increased, which also boosts SERP. Although this area of SEO is important, it's also highly-technical and requires proper training and expertise to execute effectively.

Check for Robots.Txt File and XML SitemapSEO sitemap

Check if your competitor has a robot.txt file and XML sitemap on their website. If there’s no sitemap this way you can have a close look at the robots.txt file. A well organized website will list their sitemap(s) in their robot.txt file as well.

These SEO elements help in efficient and fast indexing of a site. Though websites can be indexed even without them due to improved algorithms, but it’s best to provide information to the search engine bots. These elements are especially vital when doing SEO for ecommerce companies.

Keyword Consistency

Check how frequently and consistently keywords are used on your competitor’s site compared to your own. Are their target keywords placed on main on-page elements, such as title, headers, description, and image alt attributes. The keyword density tool from SEO Book is a nice resource for this part of the competitive analysis.

Backlink and Traffic Analysis

Your competitors may be building links at many places. So discovering niche sites from your competitor’s back linking profile can be helpful, as this can help you get higher search rankings. An advanced competitor’s review will show you list of authoritative links that point to your site. Our SEO team prefers Majestic as the go-to tool for backlinks analysis. This is a huge aspect of analyzing competitors, and it's a good way to determine who the best plastic surgery SEO companies are.

Content Analysis

There are many content based criteria that can help compare websites; the keyword density, the length of the content, grammar and language, images and videos, navigation, headings, whether the blog is associated with websites and how often it is updated, presence of promotional offers and social media connections.

Check number of ads displayed on the site, and also compare text-to-html ratio of their content as well. Also analyze the structure of the content used in metal descriptions and meta titles throughout the site. These are still vital aspects of today's SEO best practices.

Top-Ranking Keywords

Check keyword your competitor’s website ranks for. Research the:

  • Volume of searches for the keywords.
  • Top ranking keywords.
  • Number of short-tail and long-tail keywords.
  • SERP position for sets of ranking keywords.
  • Number of location-specific keywords.
  • Ad positioning on major search engines for top-ranking keywords.

Measure Social Media Reach

This is an important criteria that will provide you deeper insight into why your competition ranks higher than you in SERPs. Social signals contribute to any website ranking, especially when it comes to Google+ and Google local 3-pack SEO So check social media sites of your competition, their number of followers/fans, their level of engagement and number of times they interact with their followers.

These are the main criteria that you need to consider for competitive SEO analysis of your website. Once you get hold of comparative study data, determine all factors that are missing or can be improved, and then start implementing changes based on what might have most impact. This can lay a strong foundation for building a long-lasting and fantastic website structure.

A Quick Primer On "The New SEO"

While there are several ways to increase a website's search engine exposure, few SEO programs yield consistent and sustainable results. This is often because the focus of the program is too narrow (i.e. comprised of only on-site SEO or only link building,) or the SEO program is aimless and overreaching (i.e. expecting to rank #1 for a very competitive keyword like “luxury cruises.”) New SEO

The best SEO programs are data-driven and cohesive in that they target attainable keywords and leverage a combination of web marketing and branding strategies. In addition to basic on-site SEO implementations, a comprehensive program would include strategies involving: social media marketing and advertising, content development, public relations and guest blogging, link building, and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

What Defines a Solid SEO Program

Good SEO programs go far beyond optimizing pages for keyword relevancy. In fact, a solid SEO program is more comprehensive in that it includes a number of elements.

  • Optimizing Pages - Includes directly modifying or providing suggestions for new page titles, Meta descriptions, page copy, and other SEO-related components of a page.
  • Technical SEO - Focuses on coding the site for fluid crawling and indexing; website optimization for faster load speeds; URL naming, rewrites, and 301 redirects; usage of HTML/XML sitemaps and internal linking; image optimization; Schema markup when applicable.
  • Content Marketing - Developing a content strategy and working with clients to produce new optimized pages, blog posts/articles, press releases, and other forms of content that can be optimized for SEO and shared/distributed across many platforms, particularly social media.
  • Link Building - Generating link popularity using ethical, natural link building strategies. This takes a very mindful approach that should first include a thorough backlink SEO audit before starting.
  • Conversion Rate Optimization - Directly implementing or providing suggestions for conversion funneling, calls-to-action, and helping improve the website's traffic potential to generate leads.
  • Social media - Providing services in social media management, marketing consulting, and advertising (to boost and publicize optimized content for greater SEO potential.)
  • Reporting and tracking - Define specific metrics and variable (i.e. keyword rankings, monthly traffic, conversions, etc.)

Blended SEO Is Winning SEO

There are a number of benefits to leveraging a cohesive SEO strategy that blends social media, content marketing, and SEO. Blended SEO

  • The potential to generate highly-targeted inbound traffic to directly from social platforms.
  • Pages that earn social signals (i.e. Likes, Tweets, Pins, +1's, etc.) have significantly higher ranking potential for SEO (and links from those pages have greater SEO value to other pages of the website.)
  • Creating and publishing content on a regular basis helps accelerate the crawling and indexing rate of the website (bonus for SEO).
  • Quality content can earn links naturally, in addition influencing domain authority and other SEO-related performance metrics.
  • Leverage SEO-friendly web design services and ensure your site is well-optimized for search.
  • Bolster online brand building efforts.

An overwhelming number of SEO providers will focus their services on generating traffic to your website. But if that traffic does not translate to conversions, then what's the point? And how relevant or meaningful is that traffic?

Embracing the new form of SEO is ultimately the best way to build a prominent web presence and sustainable search engine rankings that yields meaningful results.

5 Tips to Improve Website Optimization via Google Webmaster Tools

Spanning from SEOs to website developers, many different specialists utilize Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) for website optimization. But before we dive into "GWT", what truly defines "website optimization?"

Many believe website optimization is synonymous with SEO, specifically on-page SEO. But the process of optimizing a website can go much deeper than that.

A complete website optimization campaign will also emphasize website performance (both from a technical and usability perspective) that extends far beyond attaining top rankings in Google. Such considerations will center on how well Google bots access, crawl, and index a website, as well as how a website is interpreted.

So, to embark on your journey into the perplexing platform known as Google Webmaster Tools, let's dive into 5 ways to improve your website optimization efforts using some its features.

Content Keywords: Understanding the Contextual (Keyword) Relevancy of Your Site

Under Google Index, click into content keywords. Here you can get a view of how Google perceives your site from a contextual standpoint. That is, the keywords shown in the list reflect the terms for which your site is most relevant.

This will help you assess how well your on-page SEO efforts are working. If your keyword is "discount luggage sets" but you're lacking relevancy on the word "discount", then perhaps you should create more content (or tweak existing) pages so that they include the word "discount" more frequently in the Page Titles, Meta description, and/or page copy.

HTML Improvements: Essential Insights for Website Optimization

HTML Improvements is a powerful tool for both SEO and website optimization. Found under Search Appearance, HTML Improvements in Google Webmaster Tools will tell you the specific ULRs for your website that have issues with the Page Titles and Meta Descriptions (two very critical elements for SEO.)

Specifically, here you will want to pinpoint any pages on your site that have duplicate Page Titles and Meta Descriptions. Duplication of these content elements will diminish the SEO value of the conflicting pages. And if one of these pages is a 'money page' in which you're trying to get ranking, then it's imperative that you make it unique.

Structured Data: Assessing Effectiveness of Markup

If you're using any structured data markup on your site (i.e. Google Authorship) Structured Data (also found under Search Appearance) will help you determine how effectively it's being applied. If you are using, structured data markup, Google Webmaster Tools will show the specific type of structured data that Google was able to identify on your site. You can also view the specific URLs that contain each type of structured data.

Structured Data Markup Helper: Tag Your Pages for Markup

Interested in structured data markup, but not exactly sure where to begin? Well, the Structured Data Markup Helper tool (under Other Resources) can help with that. In essence, this too enables you tag your site pages with specific markup, given the nature of each page (i.e. article, product, local business.) This will enhance the page's Google search listing with certain rich snippets.

The best part about the Structured Data Markup Helper tool is that you are not required to perform any HTML changes specifically to the website. Through the tool, you can easily highlight and tag the essential data on the page to integrate the necessary markup.

Sitemaps: Optimizing How Your Site Communicates With Google Bots

The Sitemaps section of GWT allows you to view the different types of sitemaps in which you have on your site. In addition to the HTML sitemap, the other important sitemap to have is the XML sitemap. XML sitemaps should be updated and uploaded regularly to your site, especially as fresh content and new pages are added.

In Sitemaps (found under Crawl), you can submit updated XML sitemaps. This will notify Google bots that your site has been revised and is ready for a fresh crawl. Not only does this help accelerate the SEO process, but for website optimization, you can assess data (i.e number of pages indexed vs. number of pages submitted) to ensure your site is being properly crawled and indexed.

If you (or your SEO provider) is not using Google Webmaster Tools, then it's about time to start. It's a powerful platform that offers a wealth of insights as to how well your site is performing from both a technical and contextual perspective.

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group. Tyler is highly engaged in various aspects of SEO, social media, and content marketing. Feel free to email him directly at Tyler(at) or follow him on Twitter.

5 Indicators of Spammy SEO Companies

In today's digital marketplace, there are thousands of SEO companies on the Web. Although each entity will claim to be adept in providing SEO services, only few are truly capable at generating substantial results and sufficient ROI.

In essence, the quality spectrum of SEO companies is incredibly vast. The majority of firms fall on the lower end of that spectrum, and as a result, interested businesses need to be careful who they invest their marketing dollar in. Spammy SEO Companies

There are some clear indictors that red-flag these spammy SEO companies. In this article, we'll highlight five warning signs that you should look for when seeking a credible SEO services provider.

Prides Link Building Service on Numbers (and Not Relevancy Nor Authority)

Many SEO companies advertise link build services in numbers. "We'll build 1,000 links to your website in the first month!" Now does that really seem natural through the eyes of Google?

Crap like that will only hurt your site's SEO potential. Links need to be built strategically and meticulously over time, using relevant and authoritative link sources. Additionally, link building must respect using a diverse and natural blend of anchor text. Unfortunately, only some SEO firms grasp this concept.

Preaches That "Content is King"

In the SEO profession, "content is king" is an overused statement that underlined keyword-rich page copy as the essence to higher search rankings. The fact is content was king when SEO starting gaining momentum. But over the last five years or so, that old adage has evolved.

In today's SEO era, traffic is the new king of search. You can spend countless hours creating content all day, but if it's failing to drive traffic to your website, content is meaningless. That's not say content has no purpose, but rather the context of using content has changed. The forms of content you produce (e.g. engaging videos, podcasts, and infographics) and where you promote that content (social media sites and high-traffic blogs) is what truly results in quality traffic.

Fails to Include Social Media in the Overall Strategy

SEO companies that still consider social media and SEO as mutually exclusive strategies are destined for failure. Social media is beginning to have an immense influence on search rankings, and without a socially-integrated SEO strategy, any decent keyword rankings will be short-lived.

Strong SEO companies will always factor-in Google+, and in most cases Twitter and Facebook. Although there's plenty more options depending on the client (e.g. Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.,) the latter three are essential for SEO.

Neglects Website Usability

It's more than common for SEO companies to only focus on driving traffic without having any care or consideration toward usability and driving conversions. Without a solid website that promotes conversions, traffic potential is far from being fully realized.

Solid SEO firms will have a hand in their client's CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) strategy. This includes fine-tuning the usability of the website, testing different calls-to-action, and setting-up various conversion goals. These types of SEO companies truly respect their clients' investment and overall success, and are role models for future of SEO.

Doesn't Address Technical SEO Issues

Another common situation is an SEO firm that has no clue what technical SEO means. This is the nuts and bolts of website optimization and ensuring a website is in prime SEO condition for crawling and indexing.

Some of the top SEO companies will place a high degree of emphasis on technical SEO elements, such as:

  • making proper use proper mark-up language
  • fixing broken links or mishandled redirects
  • correcting issues of duplicate content
  • minimizing HTML coding errors and warnings
  • building and integrating complete HTML (and XML) sitemaps

Do you have any questions? We probably have the answers. Contact our SEO experts if you'd like to learn more.

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc. In addition to spearheading most of the SEO campaigns here at OIC, he also develops programs for Click Centric SEO, one of the top-ranked ecommerce SEO companies. You can follow with Tyler on Twitter to stay connected with his work.

The Cornerstones to Building a Successful Blog

Building a blog, whether for business or personal interests, has become more prevalent than ever.

A blog serves as the voice of your brand. It enables you to communicate your value, purpose, and insights to the world.

Successful Blogging

However, the entire world is not listening, nor willing to read your blog.

The fact of the matter is, only a very fine and narrow audience is interested in what you have to say. Being mindful of this fact is the first cornerstone to building a successful blog.

In the rest of this article, I will share with you the remaining cornerstones to creating an effective and successful blog that actually gets read by your target audience.

Focus Your Blog on a Specific Niche Topic

Too often, businesses and individuals create blogs about general topics of interest. Although you may have many different things that you want to say, too much topical overlap will diminish the degree of audience loyalty and attraction your blog could potentially have.

Take a moment to specify the niche in which you or your business is most proficient. Additionally, define the characteristics that reflect your target audience. What types of articles will they find most interesting (and keep them coming back for more?)

For example, let's say you're thinking about building a blog about cooking and sharing recipes. (Yeah, so does else everyone else with culinary aspirations.)

Instead, think about the qualities that will make your cooking blog very unique and interesting to a specific target audience. Can you focus on a specific cuisine, such as Thai recipes or plant-based nutrition? Furthermore, can you center your blog on "cooking channel" theme that entails weekly, 5-minute YouTube videos? Successful Blog Content

Start brainstorming how you can focus your blog on a very fine niche while retaining your passion and willingness to share your ideas. Your true audience will appreciate it, and remain loyal for the long-term.

Diversify Your Blog's Content

To reiterate the example in the last cornerstone - what forms of media and content can you integrate beyond text-based articles?

The best blogs are loaded with rich media, such as quality images, graphics, and videos. These forms of content offer a higher level of audience engagement. As a result, visitors are more inclined to share your blog posts, in addition to becoming loyal visitors themselves.

Think about ways in which you can diversify your blog's content within you technical capabilities. Not everyone has access to video recording equipment, so be honest and real with respect to your resources.

Be a Social Butterfly with Your Blog's Brand

Just a like a business, your blog also has a brand and voice of its own. To magnify your blog's voice to its fullest potential, it's paramount to be active on social media.

Successful Blogging Tips

Three of the most essential social media platforms are Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. These social networks have the highest volume of users with widespread interests.

If your blog is image intensive, then you may want to include Pinterest. If your blog is video intensive, then you definitely want to have a YouTube channel.

As more and more people share, like, +1, pin, or Tweet about your blog, the greater value your content will have. Not only does this make your content more prominently exposed on social media sites, but these "social signals" can empower your content's SEO potential.

In conclusion, you want to build your blog around a very focal topic. This will make it easier to generate quality traffic to your blog, as well as build a loyal audience both naturally and on social media.

By respecting these cornerstones of blog creation, you'll be well on your way to developing a successful web presence.


About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group. Tyler is highly engaged in social media, organic SEO, and content marketing. You can email him directly at Tyler(at) or follow him on Twitter.

Strategy Insights for SEO in 2013

Search engine optimization (SEO) is rapidly evolving. The fact of the matter is, Google is not a big fan of SEO's. This is primarily because the core function of SEO is to manipulate Google's search results for the benefit of clients, or the SEO practitioners themselves. As a result of this cunning manipulation, the quality of Google's search results has diminished.

So Google continuously changes its search engine algorithm for quality control and to keep the impact of SEO subtle and maintained. But aside from the more minute algorithm changes that occur on a frequent basis, Google is striving for a greater evolution of its search results that will significantly impact the roles of SEO's and search marketers.

In a nutshell, the big changes for SEO are already present. It will be the onset of 2013 when they really start realizing their full potential.

So what are these big changes that are evolving Google search? The momentous changes center on social engagement (namely via Google Plus) and the profound impact real social interactions will have on SEO.

SEO is NOT Dead. It's Becoming More Social

Have you heard of this catchy buzzword floating around: "SEOcial?"

That weird little word, in its very essence, underscores the new form of search engine optimization. Instead of optimizing a website's content for keywords, SEOcial is all about optimizing your content (articles, webpages, blog posts, videos, etc.) for social engagement.

Awesome and engaging content that gains the likes, tweets and +1's of the masses is what will win the SEO game in 2013.

Not to say some of the more old-school SEO practices of keyword optimization and link popularity will be entirely dead - these techniques just wont be as powerful as the latter social media signals and natural sharing of exceptional content.

How to Prepare Your 2013 SEO Strategy

In short, the brands that produce top-notch content, and share it persistently with the right audiences, will achieve better positioning in the organic search results. In a sense, SEO is becoming more like actual marketing in that the focus has shifted from gaining the respect of Google (via keywords and links) to gaining the respect of people (via relevant, awesome content and social engagement).

Creating Amazing Content That Gets Ranked

Your 2013 SEO strategy will center on the development of superior content. To get your creative juices flowing you should be asking yourself:

  • "What types of content (e.g. videos, articles, etc.) would my target audience find engaging?"
  • "What social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Google Plus, etc.) does my audience participate on?"
  • "What topics of interest (e.g. Tutorials, Reviews, etc.) are relevant to both my brand's offering and my target audience?"

The answers to these questions will build the foundation for your SEO content strategy.

Partner With Insiders to Produce Killer Content

The inspiration and insights needed to create killer content will be best gathered by the people who are knowledgeable and passionate in the brand. By teaming up with insiders, you or your content creators can learn, incubate, and develop superb ideas that promote profound results.

If you're doing SEO for your own business, insiders are the people of your company that know the in's and out's of your USP's, products/services, and target market. If you're doing SEO for clients, the insiders will be the clients themselves and their marketing personnel.

Again, SEO is becoming more like real marketing. Think of the content you create as a marketing and advertising tool that spreads brand awareness. As that awareness grows, so will your brand's social authority (which can have a direct impact on SEO.)

Diversify Your Content Portfolio

There are many forms of content that you can produce to engage with your target audience. Spanning from videos to podcasts, infographics to articles, there's a lot of ways you can communicate and promote engagement.

You can even take one form of content, such as an article, and re-purpose it into another form, such as a video. In the SEO profession, we call this spinning. Spinning content is typically frowned-upon because it's generally seen as an effort of spinning the same article several times to generate greater link popularity. However, spinning your work into entirely new forms will help make the most of your resources while diversifying your content portfolio.

The Last Word

As you have learned, the best practices of SEO in 2013 will emphasize great content and engaging your target audience with that content. Just look at Google's search results. Local organic listings with Google Maps (heavily based on the social media network Google Plus) are dominant. Additionally, the types of content that you see ranking are videos, articles and blog posts - which are all enhanced with a little picture of the author (authorship rich snippets.)

There's still plenty of time to start planning your 2013 SEO strategy. I hope these insights will focus your intentions on the righteous path of creating a well-optimized web presence.

About the Author:
Tyler Tafelsky is the Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc. He offers over 5 years of experience in the SEO profession and handles a spectrum of campaigns on both a global and local level.

Tyler is well-adept in the latest changes of Google and advocates Google Plus and other social mediums as an integral component to any organic search marketing (SEO) campaign. You can contact him directly via email at or you can connect with Tyler on Google Plus.



Tips to Become More Popular in the Google+ Community

With competition among like-minded businesses as high as ever these days, companies live and die by how effective they get their brand out on the web. Being active on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ is becoming more important as SEO algorithms continue to respect social media signals more and more.

In this post, I’ll show a few tips on how to earn more Google+ followers, the trickiest and most important social media platform to conquer.


Inviting people to add you or your business to their circles is certainly the first step to gaining a following. The next being inviting people you don’t know. But when people get to your page and find nothing of value, they will not be returning. Promote your page only when it is ready to be promoted. Ensuring your Google+ page is well populated before reaching out is the smartest strategy you can take.

Load your page with content and posts so visitors won’t lose interest when they find a vanilla page. And as always, building up your image on the other social media giants always helps, (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn).


Blogging about your page not only gives readers an in-depth look into what your business is all about, but it’s a way of putting your page out there to be shared. If people find worth in what you’re blogging about, there’s a good chance they’ll share it with contacts of similar interest.
Google Plus Followers Tips in Peoria IL
On the web, it’s paramount to post only relevant content that has purpose and value - not just something you personally found interesting. Take a moment to think about the content you're posting, along with your presentation. Valuable, highly-relevant content is what leads to viral sharing, which in turn will skyrocket your following.


Not only is providing valuable content a must, but posting visually diverse content can hook visitors of varying expectations (and attention-spans). Posting and sharing all types of content is a sure way of appealing to a broad range of visitors.

Diversify your content by posting various forms of rich media. If you’re trying to explain some form of data or statistic, develop a graphic. Also consider the impact of posting videos or more interactive text-based content like how-to lists and tips. Even try engaging with followers and visitors by asking questions and requesting feedback. Every creative effort you attempt can pay dividends in the long run.


Google+ has this feature called ‘Direct Connect,’ which enables your page to be found on organic search results. The searcher then has the option to follow you directly from the page results. Direct Connect is currently only available to select businesses and will continue to add pages algorithmically.

‘Hangout on Air’ is another nifty feature which lets up to 10 people participate in a chat, with an unlimited number watching. This means an exclusive group of industry professionals can broadcast a live web seminar where thousands and thousands of people watch. The potential with this kind of social networking is endless. Hangout on Air can potentially give a face to businesses who may be suffering from stale content and image.

Direct Connect will slowly become less exclusive to businesses. But in the meantime making yourself eligible is paramount. To make yourself eligible for Direct Connect you need to add a badge (six different ones to choose from). Once you put the badge code on your page you have become eligible for Direct Connect. In order to become added, you need to be active with links and posting content regularly (the usual SEO stuff).


There are, of course many tactics involved in attracting new Google+ followers. But these are the basic steps, where if done right, will definitely help develop a hardy cluster toward your business’ page. The rules are changing but the game is still the same. Posting valuable content improves your overall web presence and gives yourself a solid chance to rank among the best.

This blog post was contributed by Kyle Blasco.
Connect with Kyle on Google+

Why Articles Are Still Righteous for SEO

For those who think articles are big waste of time for SEO, it's time to get real. An online article, just like any webpage, can have authority. Also like any good webpage, a good article is typically filled with valuable content.

As a result of that valuable content, people link to the article and it earns PageRank (or "PR" - the primary measure of webpage authority.) In the SEO profession, we call this "link bait." We all know that backlinks are sources of higher keyword rankings.

Authoritative, contextually relevant articles are a great addition to any website's backlink portfolio. What exactly do I mean by that? It's really quite simple.

Value & Relevancy are Key

To offer value in your content you have inform or educate your readers. In doing so, you must very specific in how you communicate your ideas. That is, focus on a narrow topic and reveal all goods that you can (or find appropriate.) Focusing on a very specific topic correlates to being very relevant.

Contextual relevancy is simply content that highlights a similar theme with that of what a business is offering. So if your business provides ecommerce software (and your SEO keyword targets center on 'ecommerce software,') then the most contextually relevant articles will be about ecommerce software. This concept is significant to ensure the backlinks in your articles offer the most value. To reiterate, the main idea is offer something of value about a narrow topic or niche.

When you produce superb content that offers a specific audience valuable takeaways, your articles can offer many advantages beyond SEO. This is why the articles you see ranking highly in the search results are about "tips" and "strategies." In a sense, the more you give, the more you gain.

Organize Your Ideas

Before you get to writing, take some time to organize your ideas. If you're a lawyer, you probably already plan to produce articles about your legal practice and areas of specialty. Think about your approach from the reader's point of view.

If you specialize in criminal defense law, what types of articles are going to hit home with your audience? Perhaps map out a few potential articles about 'how to fight a DUI' or 'steps to take when faced with drug charges.'

What kind of information is your target market (or a potential client) seeking? Being an educator will not only up the value of your articles (authority,) but will position you or your brand as knowledgeable, trustworthy resource. Instilling such advocacy can result in quality leads (especially if you articles rank in the search results.)

Write On!

So who's to say solid articles are no good for SEO?

Like blogging and other forms of content marketing, awesome articles can:

  • gain authority, which passes along to any backlinks in your articles.
  • rank in the search engine results, maximizing your marketing exposure.
  • inbound traffic to your website and position your business are reputable and trustworthy.

And lastly, (with respect to changes in Google's search that target overly-optimized websites) article backlinks can help to make your off-page SEO efforts appear more natural. Having a diverse backlink portfolio is key in today's SEO best practices, and articles are great contribution to achieve just that.


This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of SEO Specialists here at OIC Group, Inc. Visit Tyler on Google+

Conversion Optimization and What You Need to Know

Unlike SEO and Pay Per Click advertising that simple direct traffic to a website, conversion optimization goes one step further. Also commonly referred to as conversion rate optimization (for its focus in improving the conversion rate of a website), conversion optimization centers on post-click user activity and behavior. That is, the desired action a user takes after he or she lands on a webpage (primarily from the search engine results.)

So what exactly do you need to know about conversion optimization? A few things.

Conversion optimization is a big deal in today's website marketing arena. The definition of a 'well-optimized website' has evolved into more than just a site that's been strategically infused with keywords. Now, a well-optimized site is one that has a professionally planned conversional funnel, or a pre-meditated path that users will take once they land on a page, in addition to all of the necessary SEO elements involved.

Conversion Optimization is a lot Like SEO

Similarly to SEO, conversion optimization is not a hit-and-run project. Rather, it's ongoing process of testing, evaluating, and fine-tuning. The leaders of the optimization profession will do more than simply tune-up landing pages or implement A/B tests on different webpage variations. True conversion optimizers will roll-up their sleeves and uncover valuable insights based on user behavior. The force behind conversion optimization is information.

Website analytics are the source for such valuable data, and knowing how make sense of key on-site statistics is imperative. Approaches like segmentation analysis and assessing navigation pathways become even more essential. In both conversion optimization and search engine optimization, content reigns king.

Sure, website design and technicalities may seem significant (and they are,) but don't let these aspects overshadow what truly matters - meaningful experiences and valuable propositions. In world of SEO, success in these can earn you links. In conversion optimization, these elements result in paying customers. You dig?

Why Design and Technical Expertise Matter

Conversion optimization demands constant testing of various page concepts. Whether for SEO or PPC optimization, the conversion funnel must be well-planned, constantly analyzed, and respectfully modified.

The elements of a conversion funnel, although still focused on content will often hinge on the help of a creative website designer or code-friendly web developer. Flipping call-to-actions based on eye tracking studies or adding different visuals to a page are just a few examples.

In essence, the advantages of conversion optimization derive from offering something valuable as an incentive to convert. This is why strategic web marketing experience, coupled with creative and technical experience, can make for an effective website optimization team.

If you are search engine marketing efforts are becoming stagnant, perhaps it’s not matter of search engine visibility or getting traffic to your website. Rather, it could be matter of optimizing your website for great conversion potential.


This article written by Tyler Tafelsky, one of our Internet marketing specialists here at OIC Group, Inc.

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

Mailing Address:
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Peoria, IL 61653