Posts Tagged ‘Jacksonville SEO’
If you were pressed for an answer, what would you suppose the most common online marketing mistake is? If you’re like most of the business owners we work with, you might think of spending too much or too little, writing ads that don’t speak to your unique selling proposition, or maybe even pricing your products and services the wrong way.
These are all decent guesses, and maybe half-correct. That’s because the biggest mistake in online marketing is making any mistake over and over again.
How do you stop yourself from repeating costly errors? By evaluating the effectiveness of what you’re doing in a subjective way. In other words, by studying the numbers behind your business website. A lot of business owners can talk about the number of visitors their website is receiving, or how many sales they’ve been making, but getting a good understanding of your online business requires a deeper look than that.
Here are three easy to use and understand metrics you definitely want to keep an eye on:
The numbers of visitors coming from certain sources or advertising campaigns. Often, it isn’t possible to tell that a certain message is or isn’t responding to a segment of your market until you take a closer look at your traffic sources. Viewing these with a critical eye could show you where you need to tweak your offers or benefit statements.
Your most popular pages. In many cases, business owners see this kind of data as simply “the products and prices that customers respond to most.” That’s a starting point, but high numbers of views in your frequently asked questions or shipping policies, for example, could indicate that buyers have concerns about how quickly they’ll receive their order. This is only a simple example, but it’s representative of the kind of trend you should be looking for.
Parts of your site where visitors exit. This is even more important, since they can help you to identify parts of your site that aren’t fully optimized for conversions, or that buyers are responding to. If potential customers are leaving you at any point other than the one that brings them closer to buying from you, then it’s costing you money.
There is any number of mistakes with your content or marketing message that you can inadvertently make on your business website. The real mistake, however, is to keep reproducing errors by failing to study the numbers closely enough. Need help studying those numbers? Let Design Extensions help, and we’ll do what we do best so that you can do what you do best.
As search engine optimization concerns go, business website hosting is usually pretty far down the list. After all, Google, Yahoo, and Bing care what’s on your site and who they can see linking to it rather than the server it lives on… don’t they?
While it’s true that your on-page SEO and inbound linking strategy is likely to have the biggest direct effect on your search engine position, your choice for web hosting may factor into the mix more than you think. Here are three reasons finding the right post could affect your search engine rankings:
A good hosting plan will load your site quickly and keep it online. All other things being equal, the major search engines seem to prefer websites that load quickly for users. They also place a preference on sites that don’t experience a lot of downtime. In other words, Google and the other engines don’t want to send searchers to a destination that’s likely to frustrate them, or not be there when they need it – both good reasons to choose a quality business website hosting plan.
Your business website could share server space with a blacklisted site. If another webmaster or business owner has been using the same server as you, and using it to spam people or run a shady online company, then there’s a small chance that you could be penalized for their indiscretions. Keeping good company, and staying in the right neighborhoods, is important to your SEO campaign.
Having the right hosting company makes it easy to add new content. The easier it is for you to go into your site’s file manager or CMS, the fewer reasons you’ll have to put it off. You want it to be a simple process to update and optimize the content on your pages, which is an area where a good business website hosting plan can be worth its weight in gold. Fresh content is the cornerstone of any sustainable SEO plan, so choose a hosting plan with that in mind.
Finding a business website hosting provider might not be your first SEO consideration, but it’s one that matters more than you might think. Given that the top spots on Google are more competitive than ever, doesn’t it make sense to have every possible advantage on your side?
With all of the different ways Design Extensions can help your business be seen, isn’t it about time to give us a call?
In the minds of a lot of new business owners and online marketers, the search engine optimization process goes something like this: decide to move forward or pay an SEO specialist, get some great content and links, and then watch your business make you millions overnight.
That’s a great thing to think about, but it overlooks some of the most common and important steps along the way. That’s because great SEO isn’t always as straightforward as it seems, and it’s not only about bringing traffic to your website – it’s about making your business more visible and profitable in the most efficient ways possible.
With that in mind, here are three parts of a successful search engine optimization plan that are often overlooked:
Planning. Sure, you want more traffic – but what kind of traffic? You might think you know what your best potential customers are likely to search before they find you, but first impressions aren’t always the best ones. It takes a lot of research and planning to figure out which search terms are preferred by buyers, rather than information-gatherers, along with the fastest ways to outpace your competition.
Conversion optimization. As we mentioned, gaining traffic is only half the battle; for it to have any effect on your bottom line, you need to persuade all of those wonderful prospects to actually do something. That’s where conversion optimization comes into play. Whether you receive one visitor to your business website each day or one thousand, your pages have to convince them to take the next step.
Adjustments to your plan. Over time, your search engine optimization goals are going to change. This might be because you discover new keywords and phrases, because your company has grown and changed its focus, or even because you’re trying to appeal to a different kind of buyer. Regardless of the reason, making adjustments – and getting more efficient at every step of the way – is a prerequisite for finding true and lasting success in SEO.
If you hadn’t thought about any of these parts of your SEO campaign, you’re certainly not alone. Why not work with a web design and search engine optimization team that knows what it takes to find bottom-line success and can help lead you in the right direction?
Design Extensions has a range of products to help you with your Search Engine Optimization needs, and we’d love to hear from you.
When Google’s recent “Panda” update was released, and then later digested by search engine optimization experts, two groups emerged: those who were pleased to see that the world’s largest search engine was cracking down on junk articles and duplicate content, and those who wondered how to begin the slow process of climbing back up the rankings from the bottom.
Hopefully, your business web design team put you in a position to be in the first group, and you’re now enjoying some prime search engine real estate.
Whether you were or weren’t, however, there’s one thing that has become clear: Google and the other major search companies are having to go farther than ever to determine which sites are legitimate and which ones aren’t. As part of that process, they aren’t just ignoring certain types of links and content – it seems like they are actively targeting low-quality sources of content, along with the businesses they link to.
In other words, if you’re trying to get the most out of your search engine optimization campaign, then it might be time to find some new friends for your website to link to and from. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
Scrutinize your link building strategy. Have you been purchasing links, or getting them from copied or spun articles? If so, stop now before you do even more damage to your website.
Don’t give links for no reason. It can be tough to say no to friends and colleagues, but if another website isn’t closely related to yours, then think carefully before giving a link – it could cause the search engines to have second thoughts about your site.
Or ask for unrelated links. In the same way, don’t just ask anyone for a link to your site. Only request one if it makes sense to assume that some of their readers might want to check out your content.
Focus on your customers. Speaking of content, think less about what search engine spiders might be looking for and more about what actual humans want to find on your pages. It’s a much better long-term strategy, both for SEO and your profitability.
Google and the other major search engines have no choice but to pay attention to the company you keep online. Don’t give them reason to think less of your business website by giving or taking low-quality links.
Design Extensions can help screen links, and will work with other businesses to get you the link-backs that convert to new customers.
As online marketing tools go, search engine optimization isn’t exactly a groundbreaking topic. Not only are there literally hundreds of books and seminars available on the subject, but many businesses rely on it as their main method of attracting new customers. So why is it, then, that SEO remains such an underused option amongst smaller companies that could use it most efficiently?
Because they think they don’t need it.
In dozens of consultations, I have met with business owners, marketing managers, and executives who listen to me talk about all the reasons they need to begin a search engine strategy, nod politely, and then change the subject. If pressed, they patiently explain search engine optimization might be great, but it isn’t for them – they don’t sell anything online, and all their customers are coming through the front door.
But really, that’s the ultimate case of missing the forest for the trees. Increasingly, searchers aren’t just going online to find the lowest prices for books, do their banking, and download music; these days, they’re also making Google, Yahoo, and Bing their first stops when it comes to finding local retailers to do business with.
Incorporating local search engine tactics into your marketing plan isn’t a strategy to get ahead anymore; it’s something you have to do just to stay in the game. Here are three things you should know about local SEO:
Local searches are becoming more popular. Not only are Internet connections available everywhere from coffee shops to public libraries, but the major search engines have spotted the potential and are competing with the Yellow Pages and other directories head on. With tools like Google maps, it only makes sense for shoppers to go online and get instant, specific, up-to-date information rather than digging through kitchen shelves to find last year’s printed volumes.
Ignoring Local SEO is probably costing you money. Even if you aren’t that concerned about losing existing customers – and you should be – consider this: you might not just be missing out on new business. Often, potential customers who have heard about your store or have driven by your location will look for you on line before they visit in person. It’s important that they be able to find you in search engines, especially if they can’t remember the name of your company.
Searchers make more profitable customers. One thing lots of marketers who aren’t used to finding customers online overlook is that, by doing the right kinds of search engine optimization, you can do a much better job of pinpointing your ideal customer than you could through other forms of advertising or promotion. Emphasizing the right key words and phrases doesn’t just bring you more web visitors – it brings you whatever kind you focus on.
Is your website ready? It has been possible, up until recently, for certain kinds of retail businesses to get by without a strong web or search engine presence. With the Internet taking an even larger share of people’s attention, however, not to mention the spread of iPhone’s, Droids, and other Internet-ready mobile devices, those days are behind us. If your business can’t be found on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, then the chances are good that in a few years no one is going to be able to it find anywhere else, either.
(Republished from our recent article in the St. Augustine Women’s Journal)
Small business owners tend to think that search engine optimization – like most other forms of marketing – can be an uphill struggle against industry behemoths, and they’re right… up to a point. It’s certainly true that pouring all kinds of money and personnel into an SEO effort can give you a huge advantage.
But that doesn’t change the fact that smaller companies have a big advantage on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Why? The answer has everything to do with efficiency. Fortune 500 Companies, and even their medium-sized counterparts, have to cast a wide net. For them, a dozen extra sales – even really good ones – doesn’t make too much of a difference, and so they have to concentrate on the high-traffic, high-competition areas.
While there isn’t any reason smaller marketers can’t compete and win in those same keyword groups (that’s the beauty of online business), the truth is that the easiest sales (and the ones with the higher profit margins) are found elsewhere… in more specific, lower-volume keyword markets where a lot of the bigger retailers don’t bother showing up.
For an easy way to understand what I mean, imagine that you have a company that sells air conditioners. You could use “air conditioners” as your main keyphrase, or “Jacksonville energy efficient residential air conditioners.” Sure, the first one is likely to get more traffic, but which search term is more likely to find a buyer? And how much competition will there be?
Search engines give small businesses a huge advantage – if they compete in the right places.
(This is being republished from our original submission to Valacious Magazine in St. Augustine, Florida)