Boosting SEO With Online Reviews

Most marketers tend to think of search engine optimization (SEO) as being all about content creation. That notion isn’t a bad one – you generally will have to write articles, pages, and reports if you want to rank highly on Google – but it isn’t the end of the story. In fact, you can attract visitors to your website using content you haven’t even created yourself.

Don’t worry, we aren’t about to advise you to scrape or copy ideas from your competitors. Instead, we want you to think about the different ways you could use online reviews to boost your SEO efforts. 

SEO and online reputation management (reviews) are often thought of as being completely separate things, but that isn’t the way Google and the other search engines see it. Reviews are valuable buyer-driven content that searchers like. They tend to show up in search previews, meaning they can be seen by potential customers before they ever visit your website or profile. And, reviews demonstrate engagement and authority, which gain more weight every time Google updates its algorithm.

You probably already knew online reviews were important for your business, of course, but if you’re like a lot of the new clients who come to us you might have imagined the quality and quantity of your online reviews were out of your control. That’s simply not the case. Here are some things you can do to boost your SEO campaigns, and your bottom line, using customer feedback…

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Why You Shouldn’t Do SEO Without Social (or Vice Versa)

When social media marketing started taking off, some business owners sought it as a way to replace search engine optimization (SEO). With a few tweets and posts, they imagined they might be able to break away from the competitive and sometimes-grueling cycle of generating and promoting content.

Lately, we have seen the opposite happening: that some small and medium-sized companies are ignoring their social profiles to get back to the more proven strategy of turning search visitors into customers. 

We think that’s a mistake. While SEO might be a more direct route to growing your bottom line, social media marketing still has its place. In fact, we don’t think you should invest time and money in search without also paying attention to your social accounts. Let’s look at why.

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The 5 Stages of SEO Effectiveness

Business owners tend to think about search engine optimization (SEO) in terms of it either “working” or “not working.” That is, they believe you either dominate on Google or can’t be found anywhere in the first twenty pages of the search listings.

It’s understandable that someone looking at SEO from the outside might take this view, especially if you aren’t used to getting traffic from search engines. However, the reality is most marketers move through a progression of SEO effectiveness until they either stop trying or run into a competitor who was working harder than they are.

To give you a sense of what that progression looks like, let’s look at the five typical stages of a profitable SEO campaign…

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Why you Probably Aren’t Ranking on Google

Amongst business owners and marketing executives, search engine optimization (or SEO) is like a professional sport. Although most decision-makers haven’t done much content writing or technical HTML work, they stay up-to-date on the latest trends and ranking on Google algorithm shifts. They become armchair quarterbacks of search marketing.

That’s generally a good thing. Anyone who has a vested interest in helping their business grow should know what SEO and ranking on Google are all about. However, there is a downside to the intense interest they have and search. Namely that new clients come to companies like ours looking for complicated answers to simple problems.

The details of the search engine optimization campaign are important. However, they only come into play once you cover the basics. To help illustrate what we mean, let’s look at a few Google ranking factors… 

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4 Incredibly Easy Ways to Use Your Company’s Social Media Accounts

Amazing as it might seem, we sometimes meet with business owners and marketing managers who tell us they don’t have the time or patience for social media marketing. They are either overwhelmed with other tasks, or don’t see a clear benefit to engaging customers and prospects through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

We can understand this line of thinking. For one thing, most of the people we work with don’t have a lot of free time. And for another, it is harder to use social media to create instant leads than it is to generate business from search engine optimization or pay-per-click ads.

However, that doesn’t mean social media marketing has to be overwhelming, or that it won’t pay off. To help you understand why let’s look at four simple and effective ways you can use your business social media profiles every week…

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5 Reasons Not to Move Your Website to a DIY Template

You’ve seen the ads on TV and online that promise that you can create a brand-new website in under an hour for one amazingly low monthly fee. Sounds like a great way to upgrade your business web presence, doesn’t it? Sign up to make your own DIY templated website and visitors will instantly come to your website. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

Unfortunately, the bargain probably isn’t all it’s promised up to be.

Don’t get us wrong: DIY website templates certainly have their place. If you are a solo-preneur or the owner of a startup with no budget, then crafting your DIY website is better than not having one. However, if you have an established company, or want to build one, then these services aren’t going to be a good solution.

To help you understand why their low fees for web design and hosting don’t translate into real value, let’s look at five reasons you shouldn’t move your website to a DIY template…

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Should You be Worried About WordPress Security?

WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, with an estimated 172 million websites running on the platform. It’s not hard to see why web designers, business owners, and marketers love it so much—it’s free, flexible, and perfect for promoting content through Google. And, with tens of thousands of plugins available for customization, you can use WordPress to build virtually any kind of web presence you need.

However, that popularity and versatility also come with a small downside: hackers often target WordPress. The sheer number of companies using WordPress encourages them to look for weaknesses that can be exploited again and again.

Does that mean you should be worried about WordPress security? The best answer is probably a mixture of “yes” and “no.” On one hand, you should definitely be thinking about ways to keep your website safe. But on the other hand, it doesn’t mean you have to continually fret over the idea that thieves are going to steal data, mess with your pages, or install malicious software.

If our double-sided answer seems a little confusing, let us explain… Continue reading “Should You be Worried About WordPress Security?”

Are You Following an Old Approach to SEO?

Most business owners understand how important search engine optimization (or SEO) is to generating leads and sales from a website. Unfortunately, many are following old tips and best practices that no longer do them much good.

These include stuffing keywords on pages, buying junk links from overseas vendors, and using awkward phrases in marketing copy as a way to draw attention from search spiders. Not only are these techniques outdated, but they can actually work against you and keep customers away from your website, because Google will see them and consider your website to be a low-quality result.

If you worry that you might be following an approach to SEO that no longer works, here are a few things you should know going into 2019…

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The Biggest Trend Driving Online Marketing in 2019 and Beyond

This is the time of year when business owners (not to mention those of us in the web design community) naturally tend to look ahead and think about what a new year might mean for the world of online marketing. That’s certainly the case now, as we are fielding more questions than ever about what to expect in 2019.

There are never certain answers to these questions, of course, simply because technology moves quickly and no one can predict the future. However, from our point of view it’s easy to see that the biggest trend to pay attention to is the one that is already taking place right in front of our very eyes. In fact, it’s so significant that it’s easy to take the associated changes for granted.

We are talking, in this case, about the shift towards mobile web usage.

No matter where you look people are on their phones and tablets. Statistics back up what our eyes see, with mobile web usage approaching 60% of all Internet traffic in 2018. There’s no reason to think mobile web users won’t make up and even bigger percentage of the online market in coming years.

Smart marketers are taking big steps to adjust. Here are some of the tools we are using to help our clients to be ready for the continued growth of mobile computing in 2019 and beyond…

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How to Make Complex Website Development Projects Simpler

Taking on complex web development projects—websites with hundreds of pages, unique apps, and digitized content—can be daunting. Not only are there the normal technical and creative aspects to get past, but the sheer volume of the work can present logistical challenges. Additionally, big web design jobs usually have multiple personalities involved at the decision-making level.

Given all of these factors, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a lot of complex web development jobs tend to take longer than expected and go well beyond their initial budgets.

That certainly doesn’t have to be the case, though. Today, we want to outline a handful of steps you can take—in conjunction with your web design and development partner—to make complex web design projects simpler, smoother, and more efficient…

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