10 Signs It’s Time to Hire An SEO Agency

SEO agency

Even as digital marketing has taken over the marketing world, nearly a quarter of all businesses still aren’t using social media or SEO. Without an intelligently structured marketing strategy, companies could be wasting time or valuable advertising dollars.

If you’re not actively optimizing your website for search engines (SEO = Search Engine Optimization), you may need to hire an SEO agency to help ensure you get a return on your website and marketing investment.

Search engine results are becoming the primary way consumers find out about businesses. Even a longstanding business with talented staff and good customer service can’t hope to compete with peer companies that are investing properly in SEO. 

If you’re not appearing at the top of the search engine result pages (SERP) or if you are not seeing your digital marketing dollars convert to sales, your online strategy might be trashed. 

Here are 10 signs that it’s time to call an SEO agency to solve your problems.

1. You Aren’t Consistent With Both On-Site And Off-Site SEO

Your SEO strategy is more than just installing a plugin to your website.

SEO is technical and should include optimization of your website pages (“on” your website) and your backlink profile (which is “off-site”).

To make matters worse SEO is ever-changing so you HAVE to stay on top of it. 

“The most attractive website in the world won’t provide a return on your investment if it can’t be found.”

Sadly SEO isn’t something you can learn, or perform on the weekend between yard work and the football game.

Your work must be accurate, consistent and plentiful.

It will involve knowledge of WordPress or HTML programming, SEO best practices, apps to support your work and analytics, fresh website content, social media promotion, a network of local and relative directories plus blogger outreach. If you can’t dedicate regular time each month to perform these task properly, hire someone to help before you lose too much business.

And you will miss business if your website is the industry’s best-kept secret.

2. You Got An SEO Penalty!

Search engine optimization has rules. Google will punish companies that break the rules in an attempt to fluff their rankings… even if it was unintentional.

Penalties will mean that Google will artificially lower your rankings until you fix the issue.

Learn from your mistakes and avoid incurring Google penalties for duplicate content, keyword stuffing and “black hat SEO”. Black hat is the industry term for cheating and Google will make you pay dearly if you try a tactic that you heard was the “key to great SEO”. 

Don’t worry. If you get penalized, you will get an email in your Google Search Console inbox. if you don’t know how to find your inbox, you’re already toast 😉

3. You’re Only Focused On Content

So we are on the same page… hiring an SEO agency will help you improve your content marketing strategy and results greatly. But pumping our content does not equal good SEO or increased website traffic.

Your content must be informational and helpful to your target audience. Topics must be created with great care to ensure you will be viewed as a trusted source and that your content will be consumed (read, watched, heard etc.).

SEO agencies have software that can blow your mind. They can provide you with topics people are searching for, how often the topic is searched and the details about those searching. Their software can show you the most read and most shared articles.

Want to know which of your competitors have the best online profiles and what type of audience they are targeting?

Trust us, this is only the beginning. It gets borderline creepy, but information is power. If you want your website to attract the most traffic in your space… create the best content; produce it in the form your audience likes to consume (copy, audio, video, ebook, on and on) and promote it properly. 

4. You Don’t Have Time Or Skills For SEO

Not every talented business owner has the technical skills for SEO or the time to develop them. You’ll need to know basic elements of web design, development, mobile optimization, backlinking, conversion rate optimization, copy readability, metadata and more.

You can do it…it just takes time.

While juggling the rest of your business affairs, be careful not to invest too much time and effort on something that you could outsource to a professional.

There is only one You.

If you want to improve your search engine results without having to take a basic web design class in your copious free time, it might be worthwhile to call in the pros.

5. You Can’t Prioritize SEO

A major factor in inbound and content marketing is SEO. It’s become a priority for almost every company and in order to remain competitive, you must have content creation and distribution prioritized.

Be honest. This might not be possible with your workload.

Your marketing department might already have their hands full.

If this is the case, it’s time to call an SEO professional and let them take the wheel.

6. You’re Not Getting Results

Even a business that has taken the time and effort to follow all of the so-called “experts” regarding optimizing their web presence can fail to produce results.

Sometimes it’s important to know when to stop wasting valuable resources. If your marketing investment is not providing a measurable and definitive ROI (return on your investment). Get help now.  

7. SEO is Changing Too Fast For You

Perhaps your budget only allows you to spend one week a year looking at your SEO status. Meanwhile, Google is changing their algorithm every 12 hours.

That means you could have missed out on 600 change cycles since the last time you restructured your own SEO.

If you don’t have the time to devote to this, you shouldn’t give in and let your rankings suffer. Hiring someone who is an expert in SEO can check in with you on a monthly basis or more often if you think that would help.

8. You Know That You Might Be Subject To Problems

If you run the kind of site that has had problems with spammers attacking your message boards and comments, you know you need SEO help.

Companies that allow customers to post content can be abused to improve spammers’ own results. That duplicated content or spammy posting can damage your search rankings.

Having an SEO expert to consult can help you avoid these issues. They can help to spam-proof your site and ensure that posters aren’t leaving duplicate content behind.

9. You’ve Skimped On Local SEO

Every local business has to know something about local SEO. Your SEO rankings shouldn’t be compared to huge international firms or companies located 10,000 miles away. Google knows this too.

In order to meet your customers where they are and end up in local search results, you need to be targeting locally. If you’ve been spending your time trying to market against the biggest companies in the world, you’re wasting advertising dollars.

Hiring an SEO agency can help you get think globally and act locally.

10. Your Keywords Aren’t Working

Depending on the field you’re working in, your keywords might be too general or not giving you the results you want. Banging your head against the wall won’t get you there. Calling an SEO agency will.

SEO experts know the way to help improve your keywords to get you the search results you want.

Hire An SEO Agency And Focus On Your Business

Calling an SEO expert isn’t an act of throwing in the towel.

It’s the exact opposite.

Your priority needs to be delighting your customers.

If you’re still trying to figure out what type of agency to hire, contact us for a free, no sales pitch consultation and tips for finding the right one.

 
 
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How to Use On Site and Off Site SEO for Lead Generation

off site seoLooking to bring in more eyes to your website?

Then you probably know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how its goal is to rank your site higher in major search engines like Google and Yahoo. But do you know the difference between on site and off site SEO?

On site SEO is the process of using mechanisms on your website to try to bring in more internet users. Off site, on the other hand, is attempting to do the same through tools not found right on your site.

Using both can lead to better SEO results and lead generation than you’ve ever experienced. Avoiding one or using them together poorly can derail your SEO efforts.

Here’s how to use both for lead generation.

Content is Key On Site

When people talk about SEO, the conversation often centers on how to get people to your website. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the importance of what’s already there.

If you have perfect SEO strategies without the content to back it up, people will leave your website as soon as they arrived. The truth is, it’s impossible to have perfect SEO without engaging and meaningful content on your website.

Think about someone coming to your website and enjoying what they see. They might come back or pass along the page that interests them–that’s potentially ten more page views from one person alone.

Plus, you need to shape your content around any SEO efforts you make. That starts with keywords.

For Keywords, Think like the Searcher

The concept of a keyword is simple: using words that are being searched for all over the internet. The internet user plugs in a term that’s heavily featured on your website, and voila! Your website pops up.

The truth is a bit stickier. Let’s say you run a fictional smoothie shop where the specialty is fresh-blueberry smoothies. You have a gut instinct that those smoothies will draw in more clients, so they should be a focus of your website.

So, you create content focused on “fresh-blueberry smoothies.” What are your prospects of drawing in a big audience of people searching that term?

Not great. It’s not that people don’t want fresh fruit smoothies. The issue is that you need to put yourself in the shoes of the searcher.

When we search term on Google, for example, we try to be as efficient as possible. “Fresh” in this example is a detail that’s great for your product, but not necessarily in the mind of someone who hasn’t yet tried your delicacy. It’s more likely someone might search “blueberry smoothie.”

Centering your SEO content around that term will likely bring better results. That’s why, when picking keywords, it’s important to meet your next customer somewhere between the most descriptive term possible and its most searched version.

Tag it Up

Tags are the goofy cousins of keywords, made famous by the hashtags of twitter. But despite how funny twitter can be, tags have an important and real impact on your on site SEO.

Tags work in a way that’s similar to the function of keywords. By tagging a post with certain terms and phrases, you can cast a net on the internet fishing for searches interest in your content.

But there are a few caveats. Like keywords, you should try to think about what internet users are really interested in. If you can match your tag with a future client’s interests, you’ll start generating more leads in no time.

Be wary, though: if you start to add a huge number of tags to any post on your website, it’ll start to dominate your headspace and seem obnoxious to a reader. So, #trytobeefficient with your tags.

Now let’s move off site.

For Off Site SEO, Social Media is Key

There are well over a billion users on Facebook. When you take Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter into consideration, it’s pretty simple to assume that your page visitors are all over social media.

That’s why it’s important for you to have a presence on some of the various platforms. People will look to your page for general information and updates. Through your social media presence, you can constantly direct people back to your website.

That doesn’t mean you need to dedicate your whole work day to scrolling through boring Facebook posts. You just need to establish a presence for yourself to gain a bit more exposure.

Enter the World of Advertisement

Organic page visits are an important part of your off site seo. You want people to naturally end up coming across your website.

But lead generation through SEO can also happen in a more controlled way through online advertising. Pay per click advertising is one route that’s often beneficial for websites like yours.

In that context, your ads go up on another website, often in the sidebar. You’re not charged until someone clicks on that ad, which directs them to your website.

In that way, it’s a cost-effective twist in your off site seo strategy. It’s another muscle you can flex to help boost the number of eyeballs on your content.

Make Human Connections

Forget the numbers and tags and keywords for a second–you need to be a person. Even in the world of SEO, it’s important you know friends and peers.

Those contacts can be organic and powerful off site leads back to your website. It’s like advertising, but better.

When respected people in your field write blog posts and link to your website, their audience will be drawn to your website. That means you are getting interested and informed people coming to your website–a more valuable client than just any other page view.

It’s the best kind of connection you can have.

It’s Time to Generate Leads

With this knowledge, you’re prepared to make a positive dent in the world of lead generation. If you dedicate real time and effort to on and off site seo, you’ll start to see the results, quickly. Plus, you’ll have time left to focus on your product or service or content.

There’s no reason to feel left out of the party now, even in a world of over a billion websites. Your website deserves a spot.

Looking for more ways to improve your rank? Reach out to our team for a free consultation.

What are you waiting for? Go for it!

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What Are The Best SEO Services for Small Business Success?

SEO Services

Virtually every effective marketing strategy in 2017 includes having a proper internet presence. It’s just the way the world works. The problem is, there aren’t enough quality SEO services for small business proprietors out there.

There is a common misconception that SEO only serves large clients, at the expense of the small businesses that really need the help.

The marketplace is intensely competitive. In order to stand out and make waves, a small business needs to employ an expert SEO company. This way, they can use distinct marketing techniques to get ahead in ways that their competition may not be aware of.

Here is a comprehensive list of the most effective SEO services for small business owners:

Competitive Website Analysis

As stated before, the business world in the internet marketing age is extremely cutthroat and competitive. Small businesses without the necessary skillset can get lost in the fray.

There is no harm in assessing the SEO strength of your competitor’s website. They may be employing strategies that would be useful for your business.

You can also take advantage of weaknesses in your competitor’s SEO strategy. If they haven’t done adequate research, seize the opportunity to build a well-rounded strategy.

For example, a common weakness among businesses, especially small and locally owned businesses, is lackluster content. Many business owners assume that as long as their website adheres to commonly accepted SEO parameters, they will stand out.

But the reality is that good content trumps all. Creative, relevant content allows your website to soar high and above the competition. If your competitors do not have the strongest content, you can fill the void in your industry and become a resource for your consumers.

The more people that trust your website, the more that will visit, and the more concrete leads you will be able to generate. For small businesses, word-of-mouth marketing is a crucial asset, and it can sometimes be even more valuable than internet marketing.

But you have to build your marketing presence to get there. That’s where competitive analysis can be invaluable.

Keyword Research

Proper keyword research is the heart and soul of any SEO strategy. It’s probably the most important of the SEO services for small business owners. You should generate keywords based on your business and the services you provide.

For example, if you are a moving business, you want to be able to rank for a keyword like “moving company in (your city)”.

It’s important to rank for a diverse type and amount of keywords so that you aren’t following the exact same guidelines as your competition. Otherwise, it will be hard to stand out. You should try to rank for short keywords and long-tail keywords.

Longer keywords and phrases give you a better chance of ranking for the exact words that a potential customer would type into a search engine.

There are companies that can do keyword research for you. They will most likely use Google’s SEO analytics to determine what keyword list would suit your company.

It’s crucial that your keyword list covers those words that are common in your industry while also diving into a niche that may not be as widely utilized.

If you are marketing a product, you can use keywords to target a demographic that your competitors may not have tried to target. It’s all about doing your research and staying ahead of the curve.

Link Building

Having a number of high-quality links to other websites on your website can be a very quick and effective way to rise up the search engine ranks.

Within your content, link to credible sources or related websites that may be able to supplement information for your customers.

Do not link to competitors, rather, link to people, websites, and companies in charge of leading the conversation in your industry. The key is to build links to websites that will make your website look better.

You want to enhance your content with links, not steer your audience away from your product or service. You will be rewarded by Google’s search engine algorithm if you have employed high-quality links.

If you have a website that ranks highly while also providing your audience with good content, others in your industry may want to link to your websites.

The more of these relationships you have, the more visibility you will have and the better off you will be.

Optimization

Once you have the knowledge to build a great website in accordance with SEO standards, you have to be able to implement them.

For example, you cannot make the mistake of over-saturating your website with keywords. Not only will the quality of your website suffer, but you will likely not rank as high as you might think.

An optimized website features all the image tags, meta descriptions, and metadata that will take your website to the next level. There are set rules to optimization that can reap high rewards when followed.

But the important thing to remember is that if you have a good website with good content that follows SEO rules, you will have a leg up over many others in your field.

Optimization is key for long-term success in online marketing. But without good content, it doesn’t really matter how high you are ranked. If your website is poor, you will lose credibility. But an excellent website is only the first step.

SEO Services for Small Business Success Mean Little Without Accurate Reporting

For a small business, an effective website works like a sales pitch. It’s a chance to showcase your product or service in a tasteful way.

Because of this, you want to make sure that as many people can see your website as possible. Utilizing these SEO services for small business success listed above are key.

But once you have implemented them, you should have a system in place to track your progress. It’s important to periodically conduct an SEO audit, just to make sure that your website is performing correctly and steadily generating leads.

Click on our social sharing buttons to share this post and continue the conversation or get started! Request a free SEO audit or consultation.

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

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Here is How SEO Audits Can Jump Start Your Lead Generation

SEO Audits

SEO Audits can be more than technical– they can seriously improve the user experience, resulting in more conversions. Here’s the inside scoop on how:

Our SEO leader, Carl Lefever knows running a well-functioning website on your own (especially if you aren’t a web designer), is difficult

…period.

Sure the topic is a tough one but having a lead generating website to give your small business a leg up is also an necessity in this day and age.

It doesn’t have to be quite so difficult. There are a TON of resources out there to help optimize your business website and market your firm.

When it comes to online marketing, you can’t dismiss the SEO auditing process and expect to be successful.

A proper SEO auditing strategy could uncover the exact adjustments your site needs to improve functionality…and focusing on enhancing the user’s experience can seriously boost much-needed traffic.

Are you ready to learn more about SEO audits and your website? You’ll end up reaping the benefits of SEO audits before you know it!

SEO Audits and the User Experience

SEO audits the UX The process of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) audit is sorta like having a really great proofreader go over your entire website. SEO audits are performed via marketing services or through SEO audit software.

Standard SEO audits are usually broken down into three groups.

  • Technical Audit

The technical aspect of SEO audit includes SEO tactics, caching, checking databases, hosting, and mobile compatibility.

  • Content Audit

Content checks for SEO audits include proper link use, meta data, customer engagement, website usability, and conversions.

  • Link Audit

Links are important within SEO auditing. Things like link analysis, history, click patterns, and internal navigation are often included in an SEO audit.

A very, very basic analysis will begin with a technical audit and only focus on factors like missing links or 404 error messages. A more extensive SEO audit will include improving the experience for the customer.

Customers are obviously living people with emotional responses to everything, including the purchase of a product or service. Performing a well-rounded SEO audit that concentrates on technical website function as well as emotional connections with consumers will benefit you greatly.

The Benefits of SEO Audits

There are a ton of benefits to SEO audits.

  • Your website will get a serious transformation.

An audit will evaluate the content and technical performance of your website. You’ll have an opportunity to see what needs improvement and what doesn’t, and improve the structure you already have.

  • Search Engine Optimization Will Improve

SEO is key when it comes to marketing. By going through an SEO audit, you’ll have the chance to check for missed opportunities and excesses of keyword stuffing or bad links.

  • Conversions Will Start Happening

One of the best benefits of SEO audits is increased conversion. You’re finally going to be able to evaluate how well your website performs when it comes to generating leads and you’ll also be able to spot weaknesses in your landing pages.

Conduct a Basic Assessment

Before diving into a full blown SEO audit, it helps to perform a content assessment. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be super tech savvy to perform this assessment. Let’s break it down into a couple questions you should ask yourself, shall we?

  • How good is My Website Content?

As a company owner, it helps to put yourself in your customers’ position. When you view your website, pretend you are an individual visiting for the very first time.

Were you satisfied with the information provided to you? Was the content easy to read? Did all of my questions about a product, hours of operation, etc. get answered by content on the site?

Website content should be entertaining, written well, and thorough. Don’t stuff fluff into your content. Consumers want their questions answered and their need for information satisfied, and that is your website’s job.

If you’re not the greatest writer on the planet, consider hiring a freelance writer or blogger to create readable and concise content for your website.

  • Is there some SEO action happening?

Search engine optimization is really important. Check your analytics to review how well keywords are generating traffic. Check to see if you have an adequate amount of keywords within URLs and page titles.

Decide if a website audit is right for you.

If you’re satisfied with the state of your website and the traffic you’re getting, you may not need an SEO audit. However, if you are desiring a greater amount of traffic, an SEO audit will provide you with the information you need to optimize your website to increase your organic search traffic.

Are you ready to get started? Request a free SEO audit or consultation.

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

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Combine PPC and SEO for Your Best Results Yet

 

PPC and SEO

We’re taking a deep dive into why PPC and SEO are a match made in heaven. Read on for the search knowledge you need to jump start your marketing campaigns.

Okay. You have your website live, your products uploaded, and tons of blogs to make your website Google friendly. But nothing great has happened yet.

Sure, SEO is important and landing your site on Google’s first page results is essential if you want more sales, engagement, or any other call to action you are hoping for. But why not combine it with another, equally effective method? 

What is PPC?

Since we are sure you know what SEO is, let’s explain briefly what PPC marketing is. Long story short, PPC is an advertising model through which advertisers pay an online source to run their ads and direct traffic to their websites. The way advertisers pay for this service is actually in the name of this marketing model– yes, PPC stands for Pay Per Click.

When talking about PPC, many publishers automatically think Google Ads. However, since it’s 2016, every popular website or platform with millions of users (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.) allows you to publish your online ads.

 

benefits of combining PPC and SEOThe Benefits of combining PPC and SEO:

  • PPC and SEO can exponentially boost your exposure and make your product or service popular to online users.
  • Your conversions will increase so much you will not even believe it.
  • You can lead searchers to the content that you choose and you will not just let them click on that bad Glassdoor review that shows up first on Google (everyone has them).
  • More visits lead to a more involved audience. How will someone like your Facebook Page or follow you on Twitter when they haven’t even gone to your website yet?
  • And, last but not least, investing money on advertising, makes a company feel more legitimate. sorry to say, but it does.

Yes, you’ve guessed it right. Both PPC and SEO help your website shine and gain more visitors. Additionally, it can help “webpreneurs” promote their products/services and achieve more sales. After all, it’s a material world we live in, right?

Now, that we’ve finished the theory class, let’s take a look at four different ways to combine PPC and SEO to make your life easier and your income bigger.

PPC and SEO Keywords Matter

And, maybe, they matter the absolute most. One way to monitor what people really need these days is by visiting the Google Trends website and take a look at “what is hot right now.”

However, since you are running a business there is another, quicker and more effective way to help you understand what your audience really needs from you. Your website’s search bar. Yes, if you don’t have one, you ‘d better add one right now. Right this second.

This way you will know what content would be wiser to promote the most on PPC marketing and what SEO modifications you have to make in order to ensure these products are found first on Google results.

In other words, this way you will allow your own visitors and the keywords they use to provide you with the focus keywords you’ll need to keep in mind.

Very clever, huh?

Your Website Also Matters

Having a website is not even enough when you are entering the world of digital entrepreneurship. You have to create a website that both looks amazing and is modified for PPC and SEO purposes as well.

For example, according to Google, an important factor that the most popular search engine is looking for when deciding where each page is going to show up on results, is the website’s loading speed.

Is your website fast enough? Do you need to make some small modifications to meet the standards that Google has set? In addition, and again, according to Google, PPC rates vary and among these parameters is your page’s load speed.

Why pay 5 cents per click when you can have the same results with just 2?

Extra tip: Please make sure your website looks beautiful and easy to navigate in. You’ve got your visitor’s attention. Now, all you have to do is to provide them with a reason to stick around.

Test Performance

We know, the word “performance” may sound intimidating to any Internet marketing newcomer. But, to be honest it’s much easier than it seems. Monitoring performance requires you keeping your eyes open and see what your audience is all about.

An easy way to monitor your website’s performance is by promoting via PPC marketing different products, product categories or services to different kinds of people. Targeting specific demographic profiles is one of the most important tricks a marketer has to keep in mind.

You might be promoting your products to 25-year-old women who live in Minnesota, but no matter how niche this audience might seem, it will help you get your products’ appeal on them. If it turns out to be a mistake and this audience is not that right for you, you can just keep experimenting.

Makes sense, right?

So, after promoting anything you want to promote to different kinds of consumers, you will understand what each audience needs or what audience your website speaks to the best.

This way you will have the ability to make some more modifications in order to make your page SEO friendly and reach the people who will engage the most.

Target Different Keywords

Yes, you guessed it right. You can (and you should) target different keywords for PPC campaigns and for SEO purposes.

In fact, since some keywords are more expensive than others, you can target the cheap ones via PPC and work your SEO magic on the costly ones. This will save you some money but still help you succeed.

After this primer, you’re ready to jump start your search marketing with some PPC and SEO action!

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Why Your Great Website Design is Not Paying Off

SEO packages and website design

There’s no point in having a gorgeous website design if nobody’s visiting.

Design is good, but it’s converting traffic that will bring the ROI you crave. 

Creating a website that is elegant, user-friendly, full of great content, and converts leads into customers can be very difficult and expensive.

As a result, businesses will shy away from the right sized SEO program to save some money. “I mean, we built it and they will come right?”

Um, no.

Are investments to make your website search engine optimized (on-site SEO) really necessary? Shouldn’t a great looking and functioning website be enough to draw in potential clients?

The truth is, SEO packages are just as important for a website as the design itself. Read on to discover why SEO packages are so important and worth the investment.

What are SEO Packages & How do I Pick the Right One?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the process of bringing traffic to a website by increasing the site’s visibility in search engine results. Websites can improve SEO by maintaining high quality and unique content and by indexing pages correctly.

Search engines rank websites based on various criteria, such as blog article length, site reputation, page titles, keywords, and so forth. They catalog all of these details for every website.

There are also algorithms that take some of those criteria and rank various websites that both meet the search terms, as well as their algorithm for website quality.

SEO is a way to ensure that your website receives a high ranking from a search engine’s algorithm and is one of the top search results when a potential client searches for your products and/or services that your business offers.

To further complicate things, search engine companies like Google will change their algorithms often to ensure that websites aren’t cheating the system by catering their website specifically to the algorithm. Search engines want their users to find the content they’re looking for, not just websites that are good at SEO.

If your website isn’t good at SEO and doesn’t stay on top of it, then you will not receive the traffic you need to grow. Businesses, in order to be successful in this age of algorithms, must work hard to ensure that their websites are popping up in the search results.

If your content isn’t showing up organically in search results, you may have to rely on paid ads to drive traffic. Thats not a huge problem but most business owners prefer to have a large portion of their traffic being driven by non paid advertisement for obvious reasons. 

Unless a potential client has a flyer, business card, or brochure with your web address listed on it, most people are going to find your website using a search engine.  SEO will make sure your website shows up in those search engines.

Have a website and not sure if it is optimized for search engines? Consider an SEO Audit to ensure your website is fully optimized.

Why isn’t Great Website Design Enough?

Let’s say you’re an architect. You’ve built a beautiful house that is perfectly proportioned, has lots of natural light, flows well, and is comfortable.

Now you need to find a buyer for your home to get the return on your investment. The issue, however, is that you’ve placed your entire budget into materials and construction of the house and cannot afford a real estate agent. Despite the fact that you’ve placed a “For Sale” sign in the yard, you haven’t received any phone calls expressing interest…

See where this is going? A beautiful, well-designed website is great. But if your potential target lead is unable to find your website, or is even unaware that it exists, how will you be able to win that lead and convert them into a client?

Search engines are easy and reliable. All of us use them on a daily basis for most of our internet activity. There are so many websites that we would be lost without a guide. Only after your website is found can you impress them with the great design and content.

So a vibrant SEO package customized for the amount of traffic you need to reach revenue numbers is what your marketing plan needs. 

SEO packagesSEO Packages: Transforming Your Site Content Into Growth

It is just as important to win over (convert) the client once they do visit your site.

Most SEO packages will include a full assessment of your website’s user-friendliness. If your website design is beautiful but impedes visitors from finding the content they’re seeking, then the design isn’t user-friendly.

The aim of an SEO on-site analysis is to ensure that your visitors are arriving at the content, and then being converted by your “call-to-action” to paying customers.

A great SEO company will know how to use the website design and content to your advantage.

There may be a few tweaks to the wording, page titles, or the internal and external links on your site. Ultimately, though, your company’s brand and message should stay the same.

Until organic search traffic from SEO efforts dominate the website’s search traffic, your marketing plan could also include PPC (or pay-per-click) consulting. That is, understanding your website’s potential for growth through the use of PPC advertising. Then, you could capture a dominant share of the online search traffic and transform your business rather than go for steady growth!

SEO is Just as Important as Website Design

While your website’s design may seem like the most important priority when turning your website into a lead generation monster, it’s just not the case. 

Your company will benefit hugely from the proper sized SEO package, which will allow you to capture a larger share of the online search traffic. 

About MarketCrest: We are a firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult and Get Content & SEO Help NOW! 

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How to Increase Traffic Leads And Sales Using Keyword Optimization

More inbound traffic means more leads – and this means more conversions. Here’s a step-by-step guide on why and how optimizing for keywords will increase sales.

Who wants more inbound traffic, more leads, and more sales?

If you raised your hand, then you’ll definitely want to read on and learn how to use keyword optimization to get more business.

You may have heard rumors from internet marketing circles and forums that keywords are dead. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. And even better, we’re going to tell you which type of phrases and queries to target, and how to properly optimize your website and pages for these keywords.

Don’t worry if this sounds Greek to you. All will be revealed if you keep reading.

Keywords Still Matter!

When Google released the Hummingbird update in 2013, many optimization practices were rendered obsolete (like keyword stuffing and measuring keyword density). This update changed the way Google ranks websites, shifting from away from keywords in favor of the quality and relevance of the content provided.

BUT – the update didn’t render keywords obsolete. Matter of fact, they’re still part of Google’s over 200 ranking factors.

Sure, keyword density doesn’t count for anything anymore. And keyword stuffing can get your site penalized. But, the placement of keywords is still important.

We’re going to look at how to optimize a page using proper keyword placement and best practices. But, before diving into that, a brief discussion about the different types of search queries is a must if you want to gain more business through keyword optimization.

Types Of Search Queries: What Are They? And, Why Are They Important?

Entrepreneurs and small business owners new to search engine marketing often focus too much on search volume when researching and targeting keywords.

Make no mistake: search volume is important. And, if you can find a keyword with high search volume and low competition, you’re off to a hot start! Should your website rank for it, an upswing in traffic is almost guaranteed.

But, will the traffic convert into sales?

The answer depends on the content of the ranking page and the search query. If the two don’t match, converting visitors into subscribers or customers may prove difficult.

Now, there are three types of search queries:

  • Navigational: Searches performed to find a website. Example: “Pennsylvania official website”
  • Informational: Searches performed to research info. Example: “how to research keywords”
  • Transactional: Searches performed to buy something. Example: “best smartphone $500”

If the goal is to increase qualified leads and boost sales, keywords with transactional intent should be the target.

Let’s say you are a computer and hardware reseller, and you want to get more gaming graphics cards out of the shelf.

A transactional phrase with high commercial intent like “best gaming graphics card” is a good target. Whoever is searching for the phrase is more likely to buy than a user searching for an informational phrase like “what is a GPU.”

Other potential targets include:

  • Buy gaming graphics card
  • Gaming graphics card reviews
  • Gaming graphics card deals
  • Gaming graphics card discounts
  • Gaming graphics card under $200

So, pay attention to search volume but don’t neglect the type of search query and commercial intent of a keyword.

Start With On-Page SEO

We now have a clearer idea of which type of keywords to target if you want to get more high-quality traffic and generate sales.

Let’s get to the optimization part!

On-page SEO is always the starting point when you want to rank for a keyword. And, unlike external elements like backlinks (more on this later), on-page optimization relies on elements that you can control.

Here are some keyword placement and optimization best practices to always keep in mind:

  • Page URL: Yes, having keywords in the URL is still a good thing. And not just for optimization purposes. Microsoft’s research showed that URLs are one of the elements a searcher considers when deciding which website to click.
  • Page Title: Include the target keyword or a slightly tweaked variation to maintain a natural flow. Make it compelling to catch the attention of users, and keep the title under 55 characters so Google displays it in full.
  • Page Description: The description should accurately describe the content of the page and have the target phrase and other closely related terms. About 155 characters is a good benchmark for length. And of course, you want a clear and convincing description so users are persuaded to click.
  • Content: The content should be logical (what the user expects) and comprehensive while using the main phrase and related terms in a natural way. Don’t sacrifice grammar and readability just so you can include an exact keyword. And lastly, no keyword stuffing!

Now, there’s more to on-page SEO than placing the right words at the right places. If you want to learn more about other on-page SEO strategies you can employ today, check out this infographic which shows the 16 factors that Google and users love… and read the full Keyword Optimization article from our partner Carl Lefever here.

 

 

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Why You’re Failing at Content Marketing

failing at content marketing

Content marketing is vital for any brand that wants to promote itself online. You need a content marketing strategy if you want your efforts to be fruitful. However, even with a strategy in place, you might find that your content marketing isn’t seeing the success you want it to. Are you failing at content marketing?

If you think you MIGHT BE failing at content marketing, there could be multiple reasons for it.

People often approach their content strategy in a disorganized manner. They don’t think about it in-depth.

There are many techniques you should think about. They will ensure your content strategy involves high-quality content on a consistent basis.

Here’s why you’re failing at content marketing and how to fix it.

You Aren’t Publishing Consistently

If you want to create a successful content marketing campaign, you have to be consistent. This applies to the frequency of your publishing and the quality of your content. Are you currently publishing only sporadically, when you can find the time?

This isn’t the best approach to take if you want your content to take off. You need to have new content available on a regular basis if you want to attract attention. You’ll have more to share and more information that’s helpful to your customers.

By publishing regularly, you can keep your website up to date and search-engine friendly. Plus, your social media posts will be more diverse. You also need to maintain consistent high quality in all of your content.

Your Content Is Too Short

How long is long enough for the articles that you publish? Many people choose a short 500 words per post. Some even decide on even shorter posts and publish them frequently.

However, longer content is often the best choice for a winning content marketing strategy.

There are several reasons to publish long-form content instead of sticking to shorter pieces. To begin with, people like reading longer articles. You can get more in-depth on the topic you’re covering and provide more information.

Search engines also like longer content and view it favorably over shorter pieces. Articles of at least 1000 words are a better choice than those of 500 words or fewer.

Your Content Needs to Be More Unique

How do you come up with ideas for your content? If you search for the topics you cover, can you find hundreds of similar articles? Perhaps you even rewrite content to make it suitable for your brand.

If you want people to share your content, it needs to be unique. It’s boring if it’s just like all the other content on similar topics. You don’t have to avoid writing about anything in particular. There are many subjects people have written about before that you can give your own twist.

But your content shouldn’t look almost identical to other pieces. It’s better for search engines and for people if it’s fresh and presents a new angle.

Don’t pump out boring content if you don’t have anything to say.

You Are Not Repurposing Your Content

Do you repurpose your content? If you don’t, you should be.

You might begin by publishing your content on your own website. But you can use it in a number of ways to spread it far and wide. For example, you should consider publishing your content on LinkedIn. This will allow you to reach a professional audience of people from your industry.

You can also repurpose content by turning it into different forms. Some people prefer visual content. Your blog posts could contain information that would make a great infographic. You could also make your content downloadable by turning it into a PDF guide or even a course.

Repurposing your content helps you make the most of it across a range of channels.

You’re Not Using High-quality Copywriters

Writing your own content can be a good idea if you have the time and the skills. But there’s a lot more to writing quality content than many people think. You might have some good ideas, but it takes a lot of work to turn an idea into a great piece of content. Perhaps you can bang something out in half an hour, but will it really be as good as you need it to be?

If you run a business or a website, you have a lot of other things to do. Not everybody is able to produce the high-quality content they need on a regular basis.

If you want to ensure you can publish consistently, you should access quality copywriters. You can pass on the responsibility of writing your content to someone else. They have the skills and knowledge to help you.

 

promote the best content marketingYou Aren’t Using Paid Social Media Promotion

You’ve published your content, and not you just have to sit back and wait for the clicks and shares, right?

If you’re wondering why not one is coming to look at your content, you need to get sharing it yourself.

Don’t rely on people discovering it on their own.

You should be using social media promotion especially. Make sure you’re using appropriate channels for your brand. It could be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.

Sharing using free methods will help you reach your followers and their followers.

However, if you want to expand your reach you need to use paid promotion. You can do this on a range of platforms to reach out to people in the right demographic.

You Don’t Pay Attention to SEO

Remember that SEO is important for your content, even if you’re sharing via social media channels. You still want your content to be discoverable on search engines and for your website to have a good reputation.

If you’re not thinking about SEO when you choose topics and create your content, you’re missing out. It’s important to be up to date with the latest SEO content writing tactics. To make sure you’re following the rules, using copywriters to do all the hard work will help.

Don’t let your content marketing strategy be a failure. Publish high-quality content and promote it in the right places to make the most of your campaign.

About MarketCrest:

MarketCrest is a Marketing & Consulting Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. MarketCrest provides Content Marketing, Marketing Automation and CRM solutions, and services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.

 

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What Is SEM And Is It Right For Us?

SEM what is it white

Attracting visitors to your site is absolutely necessary, but it’s harder to do than you might think. As search marketing becomes more and more widespread, your competition is increasing every day. What’s more, small companies have different challenges than big companies—and it isn’t easy for either one.

When someone types a word into a search engine, sees a page listed from your site, and clicks through to visit your site, you have attracted a searcher. If you do nothing at all, searchers might still find your site. To maximize the number of searchers coming to your site, however, you must take specific actions to attract visitors to your site, otherwise you risk invisibility. This is what SEM (SEO & PPC) is all about—overcoming invisibility.

What is SEM?

The process of search marketing is called SEM (search engine marketing). Essentially there are two different types of search with which marketers are concerned. These types of search are unpaid search and paid search, often called pay-per-click (PPC).

The process of paying for search involves paying for advertising that show up on the top or the side (and sometimes the bottom) of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This type of search marketing is called paid search because the advertiser pays the website hosting the advertising money every time someone clicks on an advertisement.

Display advertising has been around for ages, so why has a newcomer such as paid search been outselling it since 2003? For the same reason that cowboys wear spurs: because they work. Paid search is thought to be more like direct-response advertising than display is, and direct-response advertising is thought to work.

Search advertisers believe that customers who see their ad soon after they have evidenced interest by searching for some topic will be more responsive. They regard seeing a display ad as a passive experience, often devoid of intent or even interest.

What are the Benefits of SEM?

  1. SEM connects qualified leads directly with your business.
  2. Strategy changes based on results are much easier to put into action, businesses are able to stretch money further when digital marketing is working effectively.
  3. Any size business can see revenue increases for a fraction of traditional advertising budgets.
  4. Search engine marketing is a more scalable way to reach customers than outbound marketing.
  5. Results are easy to track and thus measure ROI.

What is SEO?

The unpaid type of search is known as organic or natural search and the process of getting ranked “naturally” is known as search engine optimization (SEO). This SEO process involves an understanding of what is known as a search algorithm. An algorithm helps the search engine decide which pages come closest to which queries on the Internet.

The natural or organic search results show up below and to the left side of the advertisements on the search engine results page. One of the latest developments is that Hummingbird has made it more difficult for smaller companies to show up in search results because of an increased emphasis on corporate branding.

Increasingly you might see results from larger companies because they have a stronger brand. Another change is the emphasis on ‘semantic’ or ‘conversational’ search. However, the basic principles of SEO remain in tact.

There are many factors that result in ranking high in natural search and while the basic principles remain fairly constant it is important to stay abreast of algorithm changes across all platforms. The basic idea behind organic search for a company is still what has been emphasized is that you must have a good idea of who the company is to choose the right keywords for web landing pages and therefore to be found by search engines when users are looking for your type of product or service.

Increasingly, especially if you are logged in to your Gmail account while searching, you will see results in search that are specific to you; no longer will everyone see the same results but you will see results dependent upon your most recent searches. The content on the site is emphasized more and more frequently and it is less important to have lots of inbound links and more important to have relevant ones.

For organic search, a number of other factors are important in terms of rankings. People typically do not go beyond that first page for search results so it is important to rank highly. In addition to keywords mentioned above, other important factors are the content on the site and the authority on the site.

Authority is established through inbound and outbound links to the site, suggesting that the information is relevant to a number of users. Authority is also established by the type of site. Those sites that are associated with educational institutions (.edu) often rank highly in organic search because of their domain authority.

What are the Benefits of SEO?

  1. The ability to bring in a significant volume of consumers on a wide range of search terms at a highly effective cost per visit.
  2. Increased traffic to your website helps to build brand awareness.
  3. SEO leads have a nearly 15% close rate, while outbound leads have only 1.7% close rate (Search Engine Journal).
  4. As more and more people visit your site, you’ll be able to refine your sales process and increase your conversion rate.
  5. SEO for mobile is under-utilized, due to the number of sites not being optimized for mobile devices and the search engines becoming increasingly aware of this. An effectively planned and implemented mobile SEO campaigns can be one of your most important business drivers.
  6. The more prominent your website is, the less prominent your competitors’ websites will be, as there are a limited number of spaces on that first page; therefore your share of voice is increased.

Why SEM?

Readiness to buy is one of the most basic reasons to spend your scarce marketing budget on search: 89% of those online use search engines to look for information about brands and products. Lest you think that not enough people are online for search marketing to be worth your while, note that total Internet users passed the seven billion mark worldwide in 2012.

As simple as it sounds, your customers are online, and they use search to buy. Make no mistake, your site must be found by these searchers who are ready to buy. Contact us to learn more about attracting visitors and converting them to leads.

About MarketCrest:

MarketCrest is a Marketing & Consulting Services firm focused exclusively on strategies that drive revenue growth. Simply put, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance.

MarketCrest provides SEM (SEO & PPC) and Content Marketing Services for clients. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult with a marketing strategist.

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Is It SEO verses Content Marketing ?

SEO & Content Marketing

Photo Credit: Josue Avila

This is another one of our all-time favorite posts. Neil is a beast and we had to share it with you:

Why SEO Is Actually All About Content Marketing

There’s a bit of confusion over SEO and content marketing. The confusion comes over how SEO and content marketing fit together. Do they fit together? Are they at odds with each other? If so, is it possible to force them together?

In a previous post, I explained why SEO and content marketing are like PB&J. They go together. They just fit. They work well together.

Now, I want to share exactly why that is — why SEO is actually all about content marketing, and vice versa.

Before I share the why of this article, let me be clear about the what — the problem I’m addressing.

The Problem: SEO and content marketing are not integrated.
The crux of the problem is that SEO and content marketing are separated, as if they were two very different things. The truth is, however, that they go together, overlap, cohere, blend.

Some people think that content marketing eliminates the need for SEO.

How can “content marketing overtake SEO completely” when the only way to successful content marketing is to have SEO? How can you tear the two apart like that?

Thankfully, there are voices of reason in the cacophony of confusion (e.g., the smallbusiness.yahoo article above). Careful marketers have observed the disconnect, and are trying to point out that SEO and content marketing go together.

Yet the mistake persists. One of the popular articles that makes this mistake comes from an article in The Guardian, which states: “It looks like Google has tired of its old friend SEO and is instead cosying-up to the new kid on the block, content marketing” [sic].

It’s a cute analogy, but it’s simply not accurate. It’s not as if SEO and content marketing are two different people. To borrow the same metaphor, SEO and content marketing are actually two personalities of the same person.

The problem, then, lies in the disconnect between SEO and content marketing.

It’s time to bring the two back together. This is the only way you’ll be successful in both your SEO and your content marketing.”

KISSmetrics and blogs at Quick Sprout.

About Us: MarketCrest is a firm focused exclusively on Marketing & Sales Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult.

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