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How to Convey the Marketing Value of SEO to Clients & Corporate Execs.

As a professional of SEO, you are fully aware of your work's value. But not all your clients or prospects will fully grasp the necessaries that make SEO successful. SEO

This can be attributed, in part, to the fact that it is challenging to prove return on investment (ROI) for the money spent on SEO by an individual or an organization. This does not mean that it is impossible.

Tracking ROI on SEO efforts is of great importance, and especially so for you as a professional in the field. This is because you will need this data to justify your value to the client. You will also need this data to justify the expenses incurred on SEO to their management.

SEO is less attractive to many businesses as compared to activities that more readily produce hard ROI statistics. Due to this fact, SEO is one of the first things to be dropped by a business in favor of other marketing activities with more "tangible benefits". This can however be combated through the following efforts.

Use Numbers To Defend Your Position

Making use of hard data is ideal when proving the worth of SEO to a business. You can use the following steps to streamline the process:

1. Measure the number of leads.
2. Measure the revenue.
3. Measure the revenue per lead.

The revenue per lead can be calculated by dividing the aggregate amount of revenue by the aggregate number of leads.

A Few Key Points On Leads

It is important to note that visits to a page do not necessarily translate to leads. They can, but do not always. Tracking visits to a page will provide a general idea of the overall activity, but of more importance is tracking the events or goals. They are more useful when mapping SEO back to revenue.

SEO strategyThe concept of events and goals in the context of Google Analytics can bewilder many company executives. Turn this to your advantage by educating your clients about them. Explain to them what they mean and why they are of significance to the business.

Explain clearly the meaning of events and goals as follows:

- Events: An event is a specific action that a visitor engages in while interacting with a website. It may involve clicking on a link, downloading assets or information. Each event is an indication of some sort of engagement by the visitor, identifying more qualified prospects from the overall number of visitors to the website. It is thus more beneficial to track events rather that just tracking page views.

- Goals: A goal is the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve. In relation to visits to a website, there are four crucial goals that a business should track. First, visits to specific URLs such as the confirmation page should be tracked. Second, the duration of time a visitor spends on a site. Thirdly, the total number of pages on a website viewed in the length of one visit. The fourth should be the number of events as mentioned earlier.

Tracking the events and goals will give you and your client greater insight into the customer and prospect behavior than tracking the number of visitors to the site could ever achieve. These metrics could also directly tie into the revenue stream data.

Set Up Yourself And Your Clients For Success

It is very important to set the stage from the beginning in order to accurately measure the ROI of your SEO efforts. Ensure that you and your clients expectations are aligned to avoid unpleasant (and sometimes unnecessary) experiences.

You are once again provided with an opportunity to showcase your talents by demonstrating your expertise and presenting it to your clients. Teaching your clients more will empower them and as a result make them more loyal to you.

There are three important points that you should establish with new clients.

1. Patience is crucial to SEO success

However great instant gratification might be, it is not what SEO is about. Clients may not want to hear this, but they have to be made to understand. SEO can be beneficial in the long run and will thus boost its value greatly.

Getting a website ranked via SEO may not reflect on revenues for some time. It is crucial that your clients understand this and exercise patience for a bit longer before the results start showing.

2. Measuring ROI measure SEO

In addition to revenue per lead, number of events and goals, other measurements should be used to track the success of a SEO strategy. Such measures include the removal of Google penalties. In addition, some metrics can not be directly tracked to revenue.

3. Setting up Analytics

If your clients have not set up their analytics to properly track conversions, the picture painted by the analytics may be incorrect. Coordinate with your clients to ensure that all analytics are capable of capturing and showing you what you need to know. These concepts need to be established at the beginning to ensure that the relationship with your client is healthy and profitable.

What SEO is About

SEO is not just about getting leads, it's about getting the right leads. It's also about accuracy in tracking this leads to help you make adjustments to activities as needed and help clients calculate the ROI for SEO.

The Value of Local SEO for Your Peoria Marketing Strategy

According to Google, 97% of customers search online to find local businesses in their neighborhoods and communities. For local businesses in Peoria, this means growing your online presence is more important now, than ever before. Local Search Results

One way of doing this is by implementing a local SEO in your Peoria marketing strategy. Since anything and everything can be found online, competition (even in Peoria, IL) is tough, and will only continue to increase as time goes on. This is why a local SEO strategy is massive game changer for small to medium sized businesses.

As a local business in Peoria, your marketing budget might not be that great. But given the ambiguity and lack of analytics offered by traditional forms of marketing and advertising, SEO is no brainer. At as little as a few hundred dollars per month, you can increase your business's search engine rankings and start experiencing an influx of web traffic. In addition, you'll be able to track and assess how the SEO strategy is working, and thus calculate the true ROI of your expenditure.

Drive Local, In-market Traffic to Your Site

Local SEO drives relevant, in-market traffic to your website, which could easily turn into paying customers. Because search engine users who search local or geo-modified keywords (like "dry cleaners in Peoria,") they are often seeking an immediate solutions to their needs. Being on the top of page 1 in Google's search results will help to drive those leads to your local business.

Consumers use the Internet to find items such as appliances, services, restaurants and more, right in their local neighborhoods. For example, it would benefit a local custom cabinet-maker in Peoria to focus their marketing efforts on local SEO in Peoria, and optimize their website accordingly. If someone is searching online for custom cabinets in Peoria, search engines will provide the most relevant and authoritative websites. The local custom cabinet maker can make their presence known with the right approach to local SEO.

Integrating Local SEO in Your Marketing Plan

The local search feature will populate businesses meeting the specific search criteria. This allows the customer to choose from a number of businesses in their community, instead of selecting a business located several miles away. As you see, a local marketing strategy not only benefits businesses by ensuring they show up in local search results, it benefits the consumer by returning the most relevant search results first.

Aside from the obvious benefits of driving targeted traffic to your website with a local marketing strategy, another perk is mobile users can easily find your business while on the go and conveniently get your business phone number & directions. Also a local marketing strategy creates a customized search experience which improves the customer search experience.

By optimizing your website for your city and surrounding areas, you give your business an edge over local competitors, get more quality leads and create authority within your community.  When done correctly using the right resources, optimizing your business website for local SEO in Peoria brings added value to your business and should be part of any solid website optimization plan.

Video SEO: If You're Not Doing It, You're Missing Out

The power of SEO for businesses that want to reach their targeted consumers is undeniable, and the methodologies that respectable SEO companies should use to help their clients achieve their goals is similarly certain.

One aspect of search engine marketing that often goes overlooked by even the most ethical search engine optimization companies is the usage of Video marketing or Video SEO as part of their clients' strategy.

Why is Video SEO Important?

Statistically, attention span statistics found that around 17 percent of internet users with scour an article or webpage full of text for an average of 4 seconds. But when the same people landed on a video regarding the same subject, they were willing to spend 2.7 minutes watching that video.

With that statistic in mind, it's no surprise that Dr. JamesMcQuivey of Forrester Research says that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a one-minute video contains 1.8 million words.

Over the years, the SEO industry has seen an influx of videos ranking highly in the organic search results. This is referred to as “blended search results," where Google produces multiple types of results for search queries on the search engine results page alongside the normal paid and organic listings. The blended results might include images, news, and of course videos.

video seo

Aside from the great visibility and traffic potential that videos can acquire from the search results, another reason to SEO your videos is the brand personalization that you can establish with viewers. You can easily give your company a “face" that establishes a higher level of credibility and trust, which should lead to higher rates of conversion.

So how do you get your video to rank high on the search engine results page?

Video Optimization Elements

What some companies don't know about video marketing is much like their websites, videos can be optimized for the organic search results.

Google and other search engine still scour the Internet's popular video sites such as YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo, etc., for video content. To properly optimize your video for organic search, there are several elements that need to be keyword optimized including:

  • The actual video file name
  • The title of the video
  • The video description fields
  • The video transcript files
  • The tags associated with the video

optimize videos for seo

A video sitemap is also a necessity for any video SEO strategy. Video materials that are mapped well are more visible to search engine spiders compared to those that don't have a sitemap.

The sitemap will tell Google about all the pertinent meta data (that you've already keyword optimized) regarding the video. Google has a sitemap generator that will produce your video sitemap that you can submit to your webmaster tools. Video sharing sites such as Youtube and Vimeo also offer sitemap tools for users.

Video SEO has a huge potential as a content marketing strategy for companies online. If your company hasn't yet added video to your ongoing SEO strategy, you're missing out on a huge opportunity.

 

About the Author

This video SEO article was contributed by organic SEO consultant Chris J. Everett of Captivate Search Marketing, an Internet marketing firm serving Atlanta, GA and Jacksonville, FL. To learn more about Captivate Search Marketing or Chris' services, Connect with Chris 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.

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.

#HoneYourImage

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).

#ExpandYourReach

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.

#Diversify

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.

#BeTransparent

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).

#TheWrap

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+

Is PPC Advertising is Right for Your Local Business?

Pay Per Click advertising may have a reputation as a costly and overly-competitive endeavor.

Sure, that might be the case if you are bidding on popular keywords that cost over $3 per click.

However, Pay Per Click advertising actually offers extraordinary control and flexibility over who sees your ads, and under what keywords they use to trigger them. This can be huge for local business.

The fact of the matter is, PPC advertising can be momentous game-changer for all types of companies. The trick is knowing the right keywords to bid for, as well as knowing the minor (yet significant) intricacies of setting-up a paid search campaign.

In this post, we are going to breakdown some of the advantages and techniques to using Pay Per Click advertising for your local business.

The Advantages of PPC Advertising for Local Businesses

For local businesses, PPC advertising can be HUGE for a local company's marketing efforts. In short, Google AdWords enables advertisers to set campaigns so that their ads are only triggered to users in certain geographic regions.

Let us give you a prime example: A bike shop wants to promote its niche inventory of road bikes, namely 'Orbea bikes' being one of the keyword targets. The bike shop, located in Traverse City, MI, can roll-out a some ads for this particular keyword that are only shown to search engine users in the northern Michigan region, or within a specified radius of Traverse City.

Assessing the PPC Playing Field

Determining if PPC advertising is right for your business requires some keyword assessment and competitive analysis. First you must pinpoint the keywords that the most relevant to your company and what your business has to offer. In addition, you must assess the cost per click (CPC) of each keyword to evaluate whether or not the investment is worth the website traffic.

Once you have some keywords that are relevant and within your budget, you must search those keywords to get an idea of how competitive they are in the search results. If you are only interested in local traffic, the size of your market will have a major influence on your decision. For instance, notice the paid listings above for "chiropractors."

This search was set so that we were looking for chiropractics in "Boston," a large metropolitan area. As a result, the local competition for this keyword is fierce, and we may want to do some more research before rolling out an Pay Per Click ad.

Social Momentum in Search

Notice in the image of the 'Orbea bikes' ad above the social integration of Google+, "Jason Whittaker +1'd this page." This nice little ad enhancement is an example of how Google is infusing its social media platform (Google+) in the search results.

These little social icons are also popping up in the organic results. For local companies, this holds even more marketing importance. At the end of May, Google ditched its 'Google Places' pages (often shown in the search results for locally-oriented keyword searches) for a new format called Google+ Local pages. Google+ Local pages are designed for local businesses, and are somewhat like a hybrid of Google Places pages and Facebook brand pages. This is because Google+ Local pages are associated with both social (Google+) and search.

As a result of these big changes by Google, righteous businesses can capitalize on building cohesive Internet marketing campaigns that involve social media, SEO, and Pay Per Click advertising. Building a successful campaign takes research and analysis of your business, its market, and your competition. In some cases, PPC advertising may not be in the best interest of your business, and SEO and web optimization is the best route.

Nonetheless, the emergence of Google+ must not go overlooked. So whether you're pursuing organic SEO to increase your rank, or seeking immediate search engine exposure via ecommerce PPC advertising, keep the social top of mind, because it's definitely a primary focus for Google.

 

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

Visit Tyler on Google+

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653