Search Engine Optimization for Local Businesses

Posts by dr.cocks

Landing pages – design or technical skills?

By in Long Haul SEO | 0 comments

  Its fun putting a web designer and an SEO expert in a room together and watch them argue about landing pages. Web designers are all about the look and user experience for landing pages , while they argue that SEO is a series of Chris Angel type tricks and focuses strictly on numbers. SEO guys feel that landing page designers are all dope-smoking hippies that just want landing pages to look pretty. Many believe the two ideas can’t work together to create a great looking, great performing landing page, but that is simply not true. Both SEO and design are important elements for every landing page and should be embraced by marketers to create a successful landing page or website. Every landing page needs gripping headlines, copy, and images to grab prospects attention, but if you haven’t done a great job optimized the copy, page title, and headlines to get users to your site, your design for nothing. Likewise, if your site is all optimized but you don’t have quality content and great design then users won’t stick around to check your message. Clients deserve a compelling experience without cramming pages full of keywords or making things one big image that's supposed to wow people into action. Make the two work together by choosing quality over quantity. When you hire someone to build landing pages, make sure that they ask questions about BOTH your business goals AND about your brand to determine imagery and also SEO elements....

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Why Guest Blogging is SEO Gold

By in Long Haul SEO, Stuff You Should Know | 0 comments

Guest Blogging For SEO Defined Have you have visited blogs before and maybe noticed when an article has been posted by a "guest blogger," instead of by the main person who usually runs the site?  If a site allows guest bloggers, what’s it mean to you in the world of SEO, local search or building your brand? The SEO Value is one aspect of guest blogging, but getting your name out there as an “expert in your field” will help you build your actual brand. For instance, if someone is checking your wedding planning service out online after you gave them a proposal for a wedding for 400 , wouldn't it be great to have a bunch of “expert” articles, all written by your company on multiple industry-related blogs showing up? (P.S… You do actually know that 74% of all potential customers check out service companies online by typing in their names before giving them any money -  just something to keep in mind).   How to post as a guest blog on others' sites: The SEO benefits you get from posting a guest blog on others' sites will help you in lots of different ways. Not only do you get back links to your own site (which, again, boosts your search engine rankings), but you will also be able to reach potential new clients. Let’s face it, it is unlikely that the few regular readers on your website and the regular readers on the website where you are guest blogging overlap completely - which means there will be plenty of readers on the new site who would never have heard of you, and would never have visited your blog, if you hadn't done your awesome new guest post! When you start creating guest blogs on others' sites, and you do it regularly, bloggers might actually start to reach out to you for expert articles (that of course have a link to your site)! Sometimes, even if a site does not have a specific "Guest blogger" policy and you really want to be on the site, start following the blog and making good comments.  Eventually they may reach out to you to get more involved. There are even sites...

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5 Ways Clients Screw Up Their Own SEO

By in Long Haul SEO, Stuff You Should Know | 0 comments

One the biggest issues in getting a website to rank well and make money for a client, can be the client themselves. Yes, I said it.  I know the client is always right… unless they are hurting themselves.  It’s hard to watch a well-meaning client get in their own way and not know it. I want to help them understand what they should do (and not do) to make sure that they get the most out of their money if they hire a seo firm, whether in Tampa for local seo or not. Choosing the right keywords One of the most basic mistakes that I see clients make when working with an seo company, or even  doing their own search engine optimization, is selecting  the wrong keywords. It is easy to become mesmerized  by massive projected traffic numbers in Google instead of focusing on the real number that matters to a business – sales. I have seen this happen constantly, and it never gets any easier to watch. Let me set this up for you. Here is a “pretend” conversation after the SEO company has done initial keyword research and recommended the appropriate keywords to the client: Client: “I want to target keywords A, B & C.” SEO Company: “While the research does show that those will bring traffic, we don’t feel those are the right keywords to target for sales for your specific business category.” Client: “I know my industry better than you ever will and those are the keywords I need to show up for, because my competitor is using those.” SEO Company: “Okay.” …After months of work that has resulted in top rankings for the client’s selected keywords: Client: “I’m not seeing a good enough return on my investment with you to justify continuing with you guys. My sales never increased considerably and it’s not enough to cover my monthly spending with you, let alone make money. You have been working on this for several months now and I don’t get how search engine optimization has helped me at all.” SEO Company: “Well, we moved your site to the top rankings for the keywords you asked for and your traffic has increased, but maybe we should...

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Local Restaurant SEO Fail

By in SEO Fail, Stuff You Should Know | 0 comments

OK, so you have a restaurant… In our industry, there are some truths to restaurant local search marketing: Restaurants are among the most searched for local businesses on the Web. Restaurants consistently have Web sites that are both invisible to local search engines and are worthless for potential customers at the same time. Do you see how those two things don’t go well together? Well, unfortunately most restaurants don’t and consistently have a common thread: They’re painful to even look at. They turn off users, are invisible to the local search engines, and the experience they create makes me want to skip a meal. If you’re a restaurant owner in the year 2011, help customers and the search engines by following a few local search engine optimization basics for restaurants. Yes, I know your life is about making delicious meals, but that awesome food is going to sit if no one can find it.   Below are some simple search engine optimization concepts your restaurant Web site should follow:   Lose the Flash. First, don’t set anything on auto-play.  It is 2011 and local search users now control their destinies and also don’t find clicking on a button that hard. We are also likely going to click off your site immediately when the loud music starts playing on our computer at work. Don’t let a web designer talk you into doing something that will only help their portfolio. Everything is moving, everything does something, and users aren’t quite sure what to do. Worse yet, because this designer went for flashy magic instead of readable HTML, all the search engines get is an empty page and doesn’t show up on those iPhones carried by hungry people with money. Sure, cool is nice, but not when it sacrifices the entire experience and your ability to be found by hungry searchers. Café Whatever’s site may win a local restaurant web site award,  but we’d settle for them just making it easy. Provide Location Info/ Map To Your Business Want customers to be able to find you? You want to give the search engines clear signals as to where you’re located and what neighborhoods you’re associated with? Excellent.  Then stop hiding and put...

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SEO Image Optimization

By in Stuff You Should Know | 0 comments

Pro search engine optimizers give much greater attention to image search visibility today. Image search optimization is especially interesting to website owners or publishers with a particularly visual product (for example, art galleries, clothes designers, or furniture manufacturers). Everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words. There are a number of factors that influence image positioning. Print out the below check list and be sure you’ve done all you can to have your images well optimized. Your image should be an inherent part of a page and share the same theme. I.e. the page’s title, headings, body text must tell visitors the same story that the image tells. Create an Images folder on your server to save all your pictures there. Make sure search engine crawlers are allowed to index it. Use descriptive keywords in your image files’ names. Separate words in the file names with a hyphen, not an underscore. Provide a small description of an image in the alt attribute of the img tag, but do not fill the alt attribute with tons of keywords, even if they are relevant. Think of also using a short image title with keywords in them. Place the keyword-rich text in the body around the image that describes it. If the image constitutes a link, its anchor text is quite powerful in terms of optimization for high image-search rankings. On the other hand, if you have other pages of your site linking to the page with important images, create keyword-rich link anchor texts to such pages with images. Use high resolution images, if available. Provide different resolutions of images. Avoid putting a 'click to see larger image' link inside of a JavaScript link. Scripts may cause difficulties in the link indexing. Check how your image looks in thumbnail size. Stronger contrast is needed to better discern an image, which might lead to more people clicking on and linking to the image. Save photos as .JPG files, and other graphic image types as .GIF. Search engines tend to interpret a GIF image as a standard graphic image with 256 colors, while JPGs as photos with millions of colors. Re-upload your pictures from time to time, since image freshness is a contextual...

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