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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.

Usability

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.

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 could 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 All-Travel.com 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.
  • 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.

Google Local SEO Strategies for Medical Professionals

Search Engine Optimization is one of the most effective and fruitful strategies to attract more traffic to your website and generate more leads. Most marketing-proactive medical professionals have realized the significance of Google local SEO. However, when it comes to ever-changing practice of search engine optimization, there are always new techniques, resources, and strategies made available.

In this post, we discuss a few unique SEO strategies, elements, and resources that will help set course for successful Google local SEO strategy for your medical practice.

Google SEO surgeons

Clean-up Citations

Conducting a citation audit is extremely important for your medical website. You need to focus on ensuring your business' citation profile (mentions of contact details on other websites) is completely accurate and consistent. The name, address, and phone number (NAP, or "citation") of your business, on all listings throughout the web (Yelp, Facebook, Yahoo, etc.) must be aligned.

This a Google ranking signal for the local listings associated with Google Maps. So if you're a plastic surgeon in San Francisco, you'll want to ensure your citations are clean and plentiful. An easy way to check is to scan your business at Yext.com. If find the services of Yext to be of value, here at OIC Group we are a Yext reseller and can offer you an affordable monthly subscription, so hit us up!

Invest in Local Directories 

When it comes to local SEO for surgeons and medical practices, getting listed on local directories is one of the most important steps you can take to jump start your efforts. While you could use Yext, you can also go out and find opportunities to build trusted directory listings on the web. A great place to start is the Moz Local tool.

In addition to getting a citation from local directory listings, you business also often times gets a backlink to your website. If you don't already know, backlinks are vital to determining

a site's authority, keyword relevancy, and overall ranking potential. Although most local directories provide a NoFollow backlink (which is less powerful than a DoFollow,) having a number of NoFollow backlinks helps to naturalize your backlink profile (particularly if you're engaged in more aggressive link building strategies.)

Also scout for health and medical directories for high quality listings. Sometimes paying for a listing or membership (which gets you a great listing) is well worth it, especially if the site is closely aligned with your practice (i.e. plastic surgery or chiropractic). Generating citations and backlinks from more trusted and exclusive directories will work magic for you local SEO program.

Produce Long-form Content

Medical Practice SEO Google ListingsTo truly position your medical practice as an authority brand in the surgical services it offers, producing completely original content that's valuable to your target patients. Informative, educational, evergreen content (particularly long-from copy) defines your credibility and expertise, all while serving as a powerful marketing tool for both SEO and social media.

Choose topics or think of common questions that patients ask you about certain surgical procedures. Perhaps if specialize in breast surgery, you could share your opinion about some of the better types of breast implants that are available. Likewise, a rhinoplasty surgeon could educate curious readers on the entire surgical procedure and how to properly prepare.

There's a lot that goes into a successful SEO program, especially if you're a medical practitioner located in a competitive metro market. Certainly there are more things you can invest in, such as link building, but these are few strategies that your competitors may or may not be employing. For surgery specialists, be sure to check out our exclusive solutions in Google local SEO for plastic surgeons at the website OptimizedSurgeons.com.

On-page SEO Guide: Optimizing for Google Organic & Google Local

Attaining top search engine ranking in the Google organic search listings is different from that of reaching a high placement in Google's local listings (which are accompanied by the map and red pins.) Traverse City SEO

In this article, we delve in the basic SEO best practices of optimizing a website for each of these search engine listings, helping you to double your business's search engine exposure at the top of Google.

In short order, organic search optimization takes deeper on-page SEO, while ensuring your website is properly optimize to rank in the Google Local Listings is a little easier. Below we go into detail about the general on-page SEO techniques to cover both.

 

Organic Search Optimization

Optimizing a website for high rankings in Google's organic search listings involves a number of different components. The nice thing about on-page SEO for organic search optimization is that the 80/20 rule applies. In essence, there are a few things you can do to make a big difference.organic google local

An important piece of the SEO puzzle is proper keyword inclusion. In other words, you need to mention your primary keyword target in the right places on the page. These include:

  • Meta Title, or Page Title, which you will appear as your listings main headline link in the Google search results. It's SEO best practice to keep your Meta title under 70 characters
  • Meta Description, which is the summary of that page that appears in Google's search results below the main headline link. Include your keyword target here but avoid a lengthy Meta description that exceeds 155 characters
  • Headers are a great place to establish keyword relevancy on the page. Mention your keyword in a Header 1 and Header 2, but try to be creative about it
  • Page Copy below your headers is also an important place to mention your keyword targets. Shoot to include the keyword at least 2-3 times and try to have at least 200-300 words of copy for each page

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to on-page organic SEO techniques. Other concepts and strategies worth researching are strategic internal links, HTML and XML sitemaps, Schema, optimized images, and website optimization or technical SEO. You can explore some of these advanced components at Top of Mind's SEO Guide.

Google Local Optimization

Google Local ListingsMaking sure that a website is well-optimized for the Google local listings (shown with the Google map) is a straightforward process.

  • First and foremost, ensure that your business's name, address, and phone number (also called "NAP" or a "citation") is mentioned accurately on all pages of the website.
  • Next, head on over to Google+, and claim and submit the verification process for your company's Google+ Local page. Also be sure to populate your the Google+ Local page as completely as possible
  • Lastly, add a link to your business' Google+ Local page on your website to seal the deal

Similar to the processes involved in organic search optimization above, there are other on-page SEO techniques that can help boost your Google local listing's ranking. Some of these techniques include, but are not limited to, creating and uploading a KML file, integrating LocalBusiness Schema markup, citation auditing, etc.)

For the first step of the Google local optimization process, it's critical that the NAP information is completely accurate and consistent across all other web properties that your business owns (i.e. Facebook page, Yellowpages profile, LinkedIn profile, Yelp page, etc.)

For advanced local SEO consulting and techniques on how to further optimize your company's web presence, contact OIC Group today.

SEO Insights for a Successful Strategy in 2015

Although Google continues to tighten-up rankings algorithm as it rolls-out the latest Penguin 3.0 update, the grand scheme of SEO has never been more predictable. For smart SEO's, it is now easier than ever to understand and gauge exactly what it takes to get a website ranked at the top.

SEO 2015Here at OIC Group, we've been on the forefront of SEO best practices for the last few years. Our methodology and resources have adapted significantly over that time, and righteously so, as the success stories we're helping clients create have been as plentiful as ever.

If you're going into 2015 with SEO as a means to drive traffic to your website, then this article is for you. Below we share some powerful SEO insights that can help you actualize a successful strategy for the new year.

Become an Authority: Carve a Niche Within a Niche

There are a couple ways you can view this. If you run a local business, you'll want to strive toward being the local authority for the products and services that you have to offer. If the local market is a little saturated or presents some tough competition, perhaps focus on one or two specific products/services as the core of your company. For instance, if you offer well water services, maybe you should make well drilling the primary core of your business.

If you're business targets a wider market (and thus contends with many other related businesses,) then you need to carve a very fine niche. For example, a few months ago OIC Group created a niche SEO company targeting surgeons (www.OptimizedSurgeons.com). Some might think that a company that provides SEO services specifically for surgeons is pretty darn niche. However, we have gotten even more targeted and carved a niche within a niche. That is, we focus our business model and its resources on providing SEO services for surgeons who provide breast augmentation, implants, and other related cosmetic surgeries?

This approach enables us to provide premium quality SEO programs that deliver outstanding results. Further, we can attract breast surgeon prospects with highly-targeted Facebook ads. In essence, we can target surgery professionals with specific credentials and affiliations, and serve them ads that say "Could You Handle 3-5 Breast Implant Patients per Month?" Carving a niche within a niche is a win-win for SEO and Internet marketing.

Develop a Content Strategy: Be a Problem Solver, Solution Provider, Educator, and/or Inspiration

A couple years ago, developing a content strategy would go hand-in-hand with SEO and keyword targets. For instance, if we were targeting a keyword like "computer repair shop," then we might create content around topics like "5 Questions to Ask a Computer Repair Shop Before Hiring Them." These keyword-focused articles would help to establish greater keyword relevancy.

While the latter approach does still work, the focus should go beyond just keywords. Instead, focus on creating content that offers value and meaning to your target audience. The objective is induce reactions like "hmmmm, interesting" and "ah ha!" These reactions are what build faith and credibility in your business while prompting your audience to like, share, tweet, +1, or pin your content (attributing it with social signals - a growing factor in Google's search engine algorithm.)

Step-up Your Social Presence

Social media is emerging more and more in the SEO scene, as social signals (Likes, +1's, Shares, Pins, Tweets, and Re-Tweets) serve as a sound mechanism for Google to valuate legit content. Social signals are becoming increasingly vital for SEO, and many smart businesses are developing and expanding their social presence.

The underlying challenge for most SEO's and web marketers is accumulating a sufficient number of followers to engage a sufficient level of interaction (to naturally earn social signals.) Facebook and Twitter both offer advertising solutions which provide a means to earn greater exposure and more followers. But doing it naturally is tough. Regardless, some level of investment (whether it be money, time, or effort in actualizing a viral-driven content strategy) will be required.

To become more popular naturally, we suggest making a list of some of the top influencers in your market. You can leverage influencers to help spread awareness of your content, or perhaps see if they're interested in a guest blogging relationship. This in itself is not easy, so go embrace this idea with a what's in it for them mentality.

For more specific and actionable insights for your 2015 SEO strategy, contact us to inquire about a free, no-obligation audit of your website.

OIC's Newest Project Focuses on Organic SEO for Plastic Surgeons

OIC Group, Inc. has recently raised the curtains on a new website project. The new project is dedicated to providing highly-specialized organic SEO for plastic surgeons and related medical practitioners.

Optimized Surgeon SEOThe website is www.OptimizedSurgeons.com, and the purpose is to develop a well-optimized website that caters to the SEO needs of plastic surgeons. The new project runs parallel to OIC's efforts in building an authoritative network of blogs and websites geared for link generation - many of which are related to health, medical, surgical topics.

In short, Optimized Surgeons is a unique brand that's focal to providing search marketing and SEO for surgeons. Not only is the market vast for quality SEO services, but the opportunities available for surgeons are plentiful.

Practice Focused SEO for Surgeons

Many individuals are using Google and other search engines to find surgeons for breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, cardiovascular surgery, and so on. In other words, no longer are individuals searching Google for "Grand Rapids surgeon," but they're getting more specific by searching long-tails like "breast augmentation surgeons in Michigan".

Plastic Surgeon SEOThis presents a valuable opportunity for surgeons to capitalize on SEO. A surgeon who can rank at the top of the search results for their surgical specialty and geographic area can define his or her practice as the authority.

For instance, breast surgery is a common category that only select surgeons offer. If a surgeon in Grand Rapids chooses to invest in an SEO program with Optimized Surgeons, they can attain top keyword rankings for many different keywords that reflect their offering, like "breast implants Grand Rapids" or "breast augmentation Grand Rapids, MI".

As a result, this particular surgeon in Grand Rapids can acquire many valuable leads and potential new patients. This begs the question to any medical professional: what value to does SEO and web marketing have to my practice?

If a new patient yields over $4k for your practice, then a $750/month SEO program would be an obvious marketing investment. But beyond the rankings achieved from organic SEO, Optimized Surgeons can help clients realize much more with their marketing investment.

Building More Than Just Rankings, Optimized Surgeons Builds Brands

Through the use of other web marketing channels like social media and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, Optimized Surgeons can also be considered a digital branding firm. Together, these elements not help to supplement plastic surgeon SEO programs, but they help define the local online brand for their client's surgical practice. The value gained from such comprehensive programs help build the reputation and credibility of one's surgical practice for years.

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.

Web Presence Management: A New Outlook on Internet Marketing

Have you heard the new buzzword web presence management? It is getting tossed around like frisbee and it's becoming quite the bee's knees in the web marketing arena. And for good reason.

If you're savvy with Internet marketing, then you'll love the idea of web presence management. In a nutshell, web presence management is a more holistic way to look at a company's image on the web. The concept couples digital brand building and marketing into one cohesive approach. But what exactly is the "approach" to web presence management? web presence management cloud

Well, it's different for each company. To effectively manage a company's web presence, it's best to first look at the various touchpoints, or online marketing and advertising channels a brand is engaged in. After defining these touchpoints, a company can then focus on optimizing and creating synergy through each channel by managing the brand's entire web presence as a whole.

How exactly do you do that?

Below we provide a very basic framework of how you can shift your mindset from doing Internet marketing to optimizing and managing your brand's web presence.

Look at the Relationship Between SEO, Social Media, & Content Marketing

Really smart Internet marketers are well aware of the commonalities and correlations between SEO, social media, and content marketing. Because each of these pillars helps to support one another, it's best NOT to view them as mutually exclusive.

Sure, you need to focus on each component individually (at times) like:

  • SEO - optimizing your website, producing keyword relevant content, and generating links
  • Social Media - establishing a presence on relevant social networks, sharing content, and growing your audience
  • Content Marketing - producing relevant and valuable content and marketing it toward your target audience

However, when you view these components through the scope of web presence management, you can start to create cohesive strategies that bring positive impact to SEO, social media, and content marketing as one unit.

For example...

Let's pretend we're managing the web presence of an online business that makes and sells kale chips (baked kale snacks, if you will.)

Starting with the most basic, SEO, we'll want to ensure our website performs optimally (both technically for search engines and for user experience.) Additionally, we'll want to ensure our website is keyword relevant on terms related to "kale chips." The link generation, which is the tricky part, can be done manually (which we'd then call "link building,") but we can also generate links by earning them.

This is where the social media and content marketing comes into picture.

Leveraging Brilliant Content & Social Media to Earn Authority for SEO

Producing brilliant, viral-worthy content doesn't happen in one swoop. The best content that goes viral is not only well researched, but takes time to produce. For our kale chips brand, we want to create a video - something that will really resonate with our audience, grab their attention, and compel them to share the video with their friends.

Fast forward a few weeks ahead: our creative team put together a hilarious video about kale chips. Not only is video very funny, but it puts our kale chips in the spotlight as a new healthy snack. Thing of this video as the fuel that will ignite our brand's web presence.

After writing a little teaser copy and publishing the video on our site's blog, it's time to let it rip. We share the video on our social media accounts (and we have invest some money in Facebook and Twitter advertising just to give a little boost.)

Within a few days, the video has earned thousands of Likes, Shares, +1's, Tweets, Re-Tweets, and so on. The fire has ignited and we now have 1,420 new followers on Facebook, and several hundred new people added us in their circles. Beautiful.

Even better are the links we earned from all the health-nut bloggers who published write-ups about our kale chips after discovering our video and brand. Boom! Our keyword rankings for "kale chips" jumped from #76 in Google to #9.

Now are you seeing how the holistic approach of web presence management makes sense?

Never Stop Exploring

As the slogan for uber-authoritative brand The North Face "Never Stop Exploring," you need to keep this top of mind for any and all forms of Internet marketing. For our kale chips brand, our creative team is working with graphic artists to create an infographic that compares "Kale Chips vs. Potato Chips" - another humorous content marketing ploy that generate more social signals and followers, as well as links for SEO.

So, my friend, with relentless creativity, the right content production resources, and web presence, what's stopping you from becoming the authority figure in your niche? And with the latter resources, who needs to build links for SEO?

With creative a team that embraces "web presence management", the possibilities are endless.

Will Backlinks Soon Lose Their SEO Value?

When it comes to Google's search engine algorithm, it's not uncommon for certain ranking factors to lose their value over the years. With respect to the practice of crafty SEO companies, Google must consistently refurbish is ranking mechanism to provide optimal quality results.

Yes, you know what we're talking about here. Links.

There's no question that links (aka "backlinks" or "inbound links") are a huge ranking factor in Google. But with new variables (e.g. social signals,) over time, it's anticipated that links may lose their SEO value?

Well, will they? Matt Cutts explains how Google plans to interpret and value links when ranking websites in the search results.

In his vague response, links will most definitely retain their value for quite some time. However, as many SEO professionals are well aware, the nature of (and natural appearance) a site's backlink portfolio will ultimately determine its SEO success and ranking sustainability.

So, my friends, how does your site's backlink portfolio look? Are you scared?

Let's run a quick backlink audit on your site and let you know. It's free. So do it. Hit us up!

Five 10-Minute Tasks to Jump Start Your Company's Peoria SEO Strategy

local seo peoria ilAre you somewhat familiar with SEO, but not sure where to begin? If so, then this blog post is for you.

Whether you're a self-employed professional or a marketing manager for a large firm here in central Illinois, SEO can offer immense marketing value to all types of organizations.

SEO is not as technical as it may seem. In fact, it's often more creative and right brained than it is technical and left brained.

There are some simple yet highly effective ways to ignite your company's Peoria SEO strategy; and many of these tasks take less than 10-minutes to complete. When executed correctly, these quick tasks can offer incredible value to your company's overall marketing efforts, in addition to SEO and higher keyword rankings.

1. Claim & Optimize Your Company's Google+ Local Page

Peoria Google Plus PINOne of the first things you should do for your company is claim and optimize its Google+ Local page. Aside from the website, the Google+ Local page is the secondary foundation of your company's web presence (and greatly impacts your local Peoria SEO strategy.)

Hop on over to plus.google.com and do a quick search for your company's name. If you see a page for your company, claim it so you can begin populating the page to it's fullest potential. For specific information on how to do this, check out this blog post that explains the simple process.

2. Make Your Primary Pages Keyword Relevant

An important step to "optimizing" your company's website is to ensure certain pages are keyword relevant (i.e. the homepage and select product/service pages.) This simple process centers on including your keywords in all the right places.

For example, lets say we're doing SEO for local computer repair shop in Peoria. We'll want to include the company's primary keyword targets in the homepage's page title, meta description, and page copy. As a general rule of thumb, we keep the page title concise and under 70 characters, and the meta description under 155. This is simply SEO best practices and ensures all of the text shows in Google's search results without being cut off.

For the page copy, there's no need to butcher the text with heavy keyword usage. By simply mentioning the keywords a few times throughout the page, we'll establish sufficient keyword relevancy.

Apply the latter techniques to all pages on your company's website with SEO value. The homepage happens to be the most important and should be optimized for your the golden (primary) keyword target of interest.

3. Ensure Your NAP (Citation) is Complete & Accurate

Also known as a citation, the NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) of your business is a critical element of local SEO that defines the tangible legitimacy of your company. It's important to ensure that your company's NAP is entirely accurate and complete.

Additionally, it's equally important that the NAP is mentioned in text-based form (not in an image) so that search engine spiders can crawl, index, and compare the NAP with other citations of your business mentioned throughout the web. A site-wide header or footer is a perfect place to put the NAP.

4. Create a HTML Sitemap (and Link to it Site-wide)

From a technical, non-user perspective, the HTML sitemap is often acclaimed the second most important page of a website (with the homepage being tops.) Unfortunately, many company's fail to create an HTML sitemap, and those who do often do not link to it properly. sitemap peoria seo tips

Building an HTML sitemap is pretty simply. It's essentially an index page that contains links to all pages of your website. You can create one manually if you have the right resources and direction, or you can use tools like XML-Sitemaps.com to generate one for you.

Once you have created a sufficient sitemap, it's important that you link to it on all pages of your website. Like the company's NAP, the perfect location for a sitemap link is in a header or footer.

5. Jump Start Link Generation & Create a Yext Account

citations local seo peoria

Aside from the first task of claiming and optimizing your company's Google+ Local page, most of the work we've done thus far is considered on-site SEO. However, a large majority of the SEO juice needed to rank highly in Google comes from off-site elements, primarily links pointing to your company's website.

Link generation is an ongoing process that's approached in many different ways. For local companies, directories are a great source of links (and citations). In a competitive marketspace, getting listed on directories is imperative to be a contender.

You can go out and build directory listings manually, or you can use services like Yext to do all of the work for you. We suggest you choose the latter and invest in a Yext account. That, or contact us and we can include your business on our "Agency" Yext account for a sweet deal.

So, What Are You Waiting For?!

Keep in mind that most of these tasks you can do yourself with the capability to edit the content of your website.

After you have completed these simple tasks, you can explore various resources to further empower your site's authority and SEO value. Many of these resources take place off from your actual website, but will further help increase the credibility (and traffic) to your website.

If you need help or want further direction, we offer free SEO assessments for qualified Peoria companies, in addition to ongoing SEO consulting and service programs.

About the Author:

Tyler Tafelsky is the SEO and Internet marketing manager here at OIC Group, Inc.. Tyler offers over 5 years of experience in the SEO profession and has handled a wide range of search marketing campaigns on both a global and local level. You can contact him directly via email at tyler (at) oicgroup.net or you can connect with Tyler on Google+.

 

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

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653