SEO Tip: The More Content the Merrier

Everyone knows content is king when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Many times we get a little lazy when it comes to finding good content and link areas of our site to other resources.  In fact, that just helps other sites rank well for these areas and does nothing to help your site.

Rather than linking your news, events, area information, etc to places like the area Chamber of Commerce, spend a few minutes producing a page with unique content in your own words.  Having an about the area with different pages built out for attactions, things to do, etc will give your site more sticky content.  Remember, if  people can't find the content on your site, they are going to leave your site to find what they are looking for.

Make your site more sticky by adding good unique content through a news blog or add pages to your website.  Don't know where you could add pages?  Give us a call 1-866-249-6095 or shoot us an email info@icoastalnet.com and we'd be glad to give you a free evaluation of your website and where we feel you could use improvement.

Tweets DO Affect Search Engine Rankings

With over 140 million active users, Twitter has become one of the most widely used social media outlets for brands and consumers.  It has become known as a platform where many users spend a considerable amount of their time online, yet brands are still scratching their heads trying to understand how to leverage Twitter for positive ROI.

While there are a lot of different benefits that you will see from a successful Twitter campaign, today we will focus on solely on the effects it has on your SEO.  The industry has questioned the value of tweets in rankings for quite some time; but nobody has ever undertaken a meaningful study over a substantial amount of tweets to try and find out the answer; until now.

“Study shows that URLs receive a significant boost in Google rankings when they are shared on Twitter!”

These SEO benefits can help tie social media activity to revenue figures and encourage further investment in the channel.  In fact, the statistics are pretty impressive!  Here are a few of the key findings from this recent study:

  • URLs receive a significant boost in Google rankings when they are shared on Twitter
  • Average rankings are heavily correlated to the number of tweets about each URL
  • The effects of this boost seem to level out at around 50 tweets
  • After 5,000 tweets the average ranking of URLs improves considerably
  • If a URL receives over 7,500 tweets, it almost always ranks inside the top 5 results

Brands need to be encouraging users to retweet links to commercial pages as part of their social media campaigns, in order to take advantage of the increased rankings that this strategy can deliver.

You might ask yourself, how do you get people to mention you and re-tweet your content?  Well, you need to publish content that touches their emotion and facilitates engagement.

  1. Visually Appealing (Images/Videos)
  2. Originality
  3. Quality
  4. Educational
  5. Entertaining
  6. Valuable
  7. Thought-leading
  8. Don’t be a self promoter all the time!

Lean on the ICND Social Media team to come up with this engaging content and promote your corporate webpages on Twitter and other social media outlets.  Call us today to set-up your free social media audit:  910-575-6095

This research was published by Branded3 earlier this week.

Local Search Marketing

With Google stating a mere 20% of their searches have any local relevancy it’s time to cast a broader net and employ local search marketing techniques for your business site. But what exactly does this mean? It means focusing on other local search engines and not just Google and these days there are plenty of them around. Following are the most popular ones you’ll want to focus your local SEO improvements around. Keep in mind that when you rank well with other search engines it will improve your ranking with Google.

local search marketing1.    Facebook.
Make sure your business is listed under Facebook Places and that the information provided is correct. If you haven’t already, building a page for your business is a good local search marketing tool worth utilizing.

2.    LinkedIn. Set up a page for your company and encourage your employees to add profile pages. Linking the two together can improve your ranking.

3.    Twitter. To target local SEO set your company profile’s Location using the city name and state. Enable the “Tweet Location” to be added to your tweets and utilize the Description field.

4.    Foursquare. With the ability to search for businesses the Foursquare site is turning into a strong local search engine for many. Claim your listing on Foursquare and customize it as much as possible.

5.    Pinterest. To optimize for local SEO on this image sharing site include local keywords, link to your business, post relative images, and describe what you’re posting in detail. But local search marketing goes beyond post-and-forget. You need to interact with the Pinterest community by commenting, repining and posting to public boards.

By bringing your business to the forefront on social marketing sites such as these you will see your ranking improve overall.  Social media is no longer limited to friends socializing and sharing photos. More and more people are using them for their search capabilities to obtain information on local businesses in lieu of going to a website.
 

Link Building Timeline

Link Building TimelineOften people ask how long it takes for search engines to notice new links between content on the web, including internal new content links and external backlinks. It would be wonderful if it were in fact instantaneous, but it’s not. There are a few factors involved in what influences the time that it takes for link building to positively affect your search ranking and we’ll address those here.

Impulse links are when you share a link on Facebook, G+ or tweet it to your followers. While we can share links socially, there is no guarantee if and when they will be seen or clicked on. Socially shared links do not have the same impact on organic search results as curated links but over time they do help your rankings.

Curated links are those that are added to your site or on someone else’s site that link back to you — a common link building practice. The search engines do not know when a link is added until one of its crawlers visits that page and crawls it. The frequency with which this happens is based on the history of your site. If the search engines have determined that you only update your site every 6-8 weeks then the crawlers will visit far less frequently than a site that updates daily.

Google analyzes new links to determine if the link is “earned” or not. Not all links that you set up will affect your search rankings. Google has to discern if the links are from trustworthy pages, that they abide by Google’s quality guidelines for link building, and that they are relative to the site overall.
 

Utilizing Social Media As An SEO Tool

social media marketingWith social media marketing already a part of your business strategy there’s power to be harnessed in those social media accounts. Follow these social media SEO strategies if you want to successfully compete against the bigger players.

Put A New Emphasis On Building Relationships & Increasing Followers — Everything you write or share can appear in the search results of your followers, even if they’re not a member of the social media marketing site you shared the link on.

Start Posting Your Articles Immediately On Social Media — Set your articles to automatically post on Google+, LinkedIn, etc. and you’ll get indexed even quicker.

Focus On Shareable Content — Getting someone to share your content gives you access to that user's network.

Ramp Up Your Google+ Presence — You can find yourself as a first-page ranking solely because someone put you in a G+ circle. That’s a benefit no site can afford to ignore.

Get On Pinterest — It sends nearly as much referral traffic to your site as Twitter and much more than YouTube, G+ and LinkedIn combined.

Add +1 Buttons To Everything — +1 is Google's version of the Facebook like button. It's an easy endorsement to enhance social media SEO that you shouldn't miss using.

Use “Rel=author” &  “Rel=me” Tags To Link Your Work To Your Name —
Use "rel=author" in your posts so readers can link to all of your work.

Use A “Pin It” & A StumbleUpon Button On Your Site — Pinterest has great link traction while StumbleUpon is second only to Facebook in terms of referral traffic.
 

Advanced Keyword Research For Improved Keyword Optimization

keyword research and keyword optimizationIt pays to put both time and effort into keyword research since the quality and positioning of your keywords will always result in improved placement within search engine results. Researching will uncover the targeted and profitable keywords and keyword phrases your potential visitors will be using when they discover your competitors.

Search engines are seeking critical keyword elements that are often overlooked when a site is compiled. When you do your keyword research consider using phrases rather than just single keywords to be listed among the most relevant results. Use variations on your keyword and keyword phrases (think like your visitors would). Search engines are also looking for word association within your context so use synonyms that are similar to your keywords. Stemming is another way to build your keyword list. Using suffixes, prefixes and adding pluralizations turns one keyword phrase into many.

Having done your research and compiled a new and robust keyword list is half the battle. Now you have to best utilize those keywords and phrases in a way that will most benefit your site. This is known as keyword optimization. For best results it’s imperative to follow Best SEO Practices when doing so. Practices such as relevant urls and image names, relevant headlines using keywords, applying heading tags (h1, h2, etc.), title tags, meta tags, and cross linking all matter.

Keyword optimization is the route to ranking highly in the search engine results and every page you add to your site should be compiled with optimization in mind.
 

Utilizing Video As An Internet Marketing Tool

Internet marketing with online ivideoWant to be on the cutting edge of Internet marketing? With YouTube being the second largest search engine on the Internet, online video is one of the newest and hottest ways to market your company.

Many people are overwhelmed at the thought of making an online video for their business because they’re camera shy or think it’s more involved than it actually is. It’s actually quite simple and videos don’t have to be very long at all. Most digital cameras can record a video. Many computers come with a video cam installed or you can attach one that can record videos. Or you could use a simple video camera like the Cisco Flip video to record it.

Make a short video of a couple minutes duration promoting something your business does or offers. It’s not necessary to mention all of your services in one video. This is definitely a time when “less is more”. Get creative with it. Be witty. Bring in props. You want to make your online video anything but boring and once you’re comfortable with it, make additional videos. Internet marketing that allows you to be creative is marketing that is going to work wonders for your business and is marketing that you can do yourself. If you don’t have the creative desire or the time, hire the project out. But definitely climb on board with this type of marketing.

What causes this to be such a successful tool for Internet marketing is the use of your keyword phrases. Using them in your video titles, descriptions and tags helps your videos to achieve higher search results. Optimize your “About Me” section and “Channel Description” areas by using your keywords. Set up Playlist Categories titled after the services you offer and other keywords you want your business associated with. Then take your videos to other video sharing sites and post them there as well as on your company's website.

7 Ways to Boost SEO of Your Facebook Pages

Facebook PagesFar too often people will create a Facebook presence for their business without any regard for search engine optimization. Google indexes Facebook Pages on a regular basis just like it does any other website so it’s important to use whatever way you can to boost SEO on these pages. Everything that is necessary when optimizing your website is just as important on your Facebook Pages.

Here are 7 ways to boost SEO of your Facebook Pages:

1. Keep in mind that any gated pages you have (ie, pages requiring a “Like” or “invite” in order to gain access) will not be indexed by Google.

2. Often and consistently use your brand or business name in headings and page tabs.

3. While wall posts are indexed, it’s custom tab titles and “Likes” that hold the most weight and will give you the greatest return.

4. Links from multiple sources help a lot with SEO. Links to custom tabs on your business page will be weighted heavily if they’re from popular and recognized sources.

5. Multimedia posted on your Facebook Pages are an excellent opportunity for SEO enriched titles, descriptions and alt tags.

6. Be sure to put your SEO-rich text where the search engines can see and index it. Keep in mind that any text embedded in an image will not get indexed.

7. Nothing beats well-managed pages. Keep your content fresh, interesting, and engaging to get the most fans and keep search engines coming back.

Google+ Business Pages

One of the leading trends in marketing on the Internet today is managing your online reputation through Google+ Business Pages, a new feature released by Google in October.

Businesses of any size and in all industries should take advantage of the new Google+ Business Pages if for no other reason than for the major SEO benefits. Having a business page on Google+ will increase your company’s web presence far beyond where your website and Facebook will take you. If you think because you use Facebook you’re all set, you should think again! Google+ Business Pages work better than Facebook Profiles in that what you post on Google+ will increasingly appear in Google search results, something Facebook postings for your business will not typically do.

The more you can advertise your business in a positive light on the web – regardless of which social media you select – the better your chance of ranking higher and more frequently in search results. What this means is that better rankings equals more website visitors, which results in more leads, that equates to more sales dollars for you.

While Google+ Business Pages are in the early stages, and no doubt have a few kinks to work through, publishing a page now will have you ahead of this wave of the future. Google is gaining speed and popularity with it’s +1 campaign being introduced.

Give ICND a call today to discuss how you can climb on board with Google+ Business Pages and improve your SEO performance.