Category Archives: SEO Expert

Search Engine Optimization and You – Driving Qualified Traffic

There’s a massive amount of information on the Internet on absolutely everything, the downside of this of course is the (seemingly) even larger amounts of mis-information. This holds true in any industry, but when it comes to the topic of search engine optimization, it often seems that it’s not so much the fact and fiction mixed up. It’s more akin to the information being tossed in a blender and spread in a mess.

The most antagonizing part of all of the information out there, is that people who partake of what makes the most sense to them, claims to make them experts in the field. It’s from these same sources that the newest experts don’t even learn how to properly 301 a website, or are unable to tell the difference between paid links and paid advertisements.  Some of the latest crop have seemed to be of the belief that building websites to rank for obscure long tail terms, is the same skill as being able to rank a client for their desired and preferred terms.

The whole idea about marketing your business is about driving qualified visitors to your website, where hopefully your SEO company has advised you on how to build your site to facilitate conversions. Whether it’s convincing visitors to sign up for your news letter, or to buy your product, or sign up for your discussion forums, the idea of pushing and marketing your site is to increase your bottom line, what ever it may be.  Say for example your business is in making shoes, and your website has a built in shopping cart so your customers can buy custom footwear direct. Along comes the newest ‘expert’ in SEO and builds your site around a long tail search along the lines of ‘custom designed walking equipment’. You may shake your head an scoff at the idea, but it happens, and happens far too often.

No, this doesn’t mean that long tail searches are dead in any way, there are users out there who don’t use the Google Instant feature, or simply type out their entire query. But the point of my description was to drive home the idea that search engine optimization isn’t about tricking the search engines, isn’t about spamming on blog comments and posts and it isn’t about tricking visitors into visiting your website. It’s about driving qualified traffic to your site with the decision to purchase your product, or sign up for your newsletter or become involved in your community. Real SEO performed by the real SEO experts drives measurable, qualified traffic to your website to make your bottom line better.

Online Branding Cost vs Return

When discussing with clients, both current and prospective, about the costs entailed with their SEO campaign, there’s almost always a measure of shock and or disbelief at the bottom line. Being that it’s a marketing industry at it’s base, and other marketing campaigns yield little to no tangible results, SEO offers a break down that can be examined.

You can determine if you’re attracting the proper type of visitor. Are your keywords effective, is your content driving your search rankings to help you climb to, and maintain a commanding position on the SERPs? Or are you only receiving immediate bounces to your site because you’re appearing on the wrong results pages? SEO when performed properly, and maintained rigorously on an ongoing basis, can give you these answers.

As for the costs associated to get the results you want, just like in any industry you get what you pay for. There are bucketfuls of “experts” out there who will do your websites SEO for you for $200-$400, but what will that really get you? Just like when you need maintenance done on your car or home, if you’re not a qualified professional to do the work, you pay for the services you require. Now say for instance, instead of having a contractor repair your basement foundation, you get your neighbor who you’ve seen mix concrete help you, imagine the recourse you have available when your basement walls begin to crack, leak and sag again.

Just as it is with the “experts” out there, when you’ve noticed that the $200 you’ve paid doesn’t deliver you any measurable, or quality results, there’s only one person to blame. Nickle and dime spending when it comes to your online branding and marketing has to leave the train of thought, you get what you pay for.

Another Google Car

At what lengths do you go, to save yourself or your business some cash? Where do you decide to trim your budget. Production? Acquisition? Marketing? Development? Depending on your niche and business model there are many more to add to the list I’d wager. So when it comes right down to it and you need to find some money, where do you trim, all too often the budget cuts fall on the marketing angle. And the first place that gets the shaft, is online marketing more than not.

The argument usually heard is that it’s not tangible, you can’t track any results or gains with it. The internet is a virtual world of switches, capacitors and electrical connections, so in a touchable tangible sense it’s not “real”. The numbers however, the web is full of numbers which are very easily countable. That machine you use on your desk at the office and at home everyday is, at it’s core, an overgrown calculator. Traffic, sales, visitors and unique first time viewers are all metrics easily tracked by the software that expert SEOs use to demonstrate to clients that what we do works like gang busters.

And a question that we are asked time and time again is: “Why should I retain you on a contract if the guy down the street says he can do the same for me for only $300?” And since people keep asking, the simplest and honest to god answer is maintenance. See, the internet never sleeps, never rests and is always changing. Google, the king of search and search marketing is the same. Always changing the algorithm, making it faster, smarter and it can throw the entire results page into disarray when they make a number of changes at once. Retaining your position on the SERPs in the midst of these changes is why we’re the best. And it’s why we can command the costs required for the care we give to your online marketplace. Now, if you’re still unsatisfied that this is the case, a simple analogy for you in easy to understand terms.

Your website is a car and Google is it’s engine. The internet are the roads you travel endlessly. Knowing you need a tune up (SEO) you look for a mechanic to tend to your car, and decide to settle for the budget variety to save a few dollars and settle in for a rest. Waking up, you find out that your Google engine has decided that it doesn’t like unleaded fuel anymore and instead wants diesel. So back to your mechanic who tells you ‘Sorry, I don’t know what I need to do to work with diesel’. And instead of driving your way to the top, you’re stuck, stranded on the side of the road with a stalled site (car), and work done on your engine that no longer works.

If you need to save some budget dollars and decide to focus on marketing, then trim your budget in the old, untraceable metrics like television, radio, newspapers and billboards. Playing catch up on the web is an exponentially more difficult game the longer you wait Winnipeg, time to get a move on.

New Google Results

It’s not a new trend that Google is always tweaking the way their search works, or how the results are displayed. And they’ve made another change live, which drives home the importance of being certain your website is optimized.

Normally when you conduct a search on Google, the results you’ll receive are a mix of the most relevant websites which contain your terms. Occasionally, when it was applicable, the same website may show up twice, if the algorithm deemed it applied. This recent change however, can return up to 4 results from the same website with shorter descriptive text in the results. The remaining results on the page will be the other varied relevant websites. Now why should this concern someone working on climbing the SERPs? Well, when you perform a search, the results page you’ll see contains the top 10 results. And if 4 of those top 10 are from the same website, odds are you may not have even made page one. The change is recent with Google, and if you’re ranking 5 and less on page one of their results, if your not diligent with your SEO you may soon find yourself on page two!

Page one of the Google SERPs is a difficult nut to crack, and with this recent change it’s added another level of finesse which has to be used as your site is optimized. When interested small business owners reach out to the SEO experts, it’s often they balk a little when they learn what the actual cost is to hire a professional; but if you think a pro is expensive, try hiring an amateur. Search engine optimization is the best return on investment in the online market place, so what is it worth to you to be found.

The Rebirth of SEO

The world wide web is growing everyday, with any and all sorts of content which you can imagine. Google, the largest, most widely used search engine globally, has the leading edge in the speed of searching, and delivering the web to each individual users needs. billions upon billions of pages viewed, indexed, and ready to serve.

The introduction of Google Instant, the displaying of search results while you type your search terms, should have come as no surprise. In terms of speed and reliability, it’s definitely faster (if only by a few seconds at times) than finishing a well formed query. Through their closed testing, one of Googles statements pertaining to longer searchs versus shorter, longer is not always better. Whether you type in 1 word and receive a viable, useable result, or use a 4-5 word query which returns the same result, it’s the few seconds here and there, which can end up meaning big on the bottom line. Both as an online business, and as an online consumer.

There’s been the calls of Google Instant being the death of SEO, and/or the end of SEM. When in fact it will be much the opposite. The introduction of instant search will help seperate the wheat from the chaff in the search business. It became a popular niche if you will, for anyone and everyone to become an SEO expert overnight by long tail optimizing for people online. It began to devalue the true worth of the real experts, those of us who can drive our clients campaigns to page 1 with three and less terms. Honing your skills and knowledge to be razor sharp in adapting to the algorithmic shifts as necessary, to maintain rankings, and continually build upon it’s success, and improve.

Google Instant isn’t the end of SEO, it’s not the death of SEM. It’s a new birth, the reset button on the industry that’s been long overdue. As the brands and businesses who targetted only long tail terms scratch their heads and wonder where their traffic has been trickling off to, and while the garage and Twitter based “SEO experts” struggle, the leaders in the industry can rest easy. Knowing that our ability, our knowledge, and our skills will rank our clients on Page 1.. Google Instant search or not.

SEO spells success, Canada finally gets it.

So Canada finally gets it, SEO I mean, they must do as CTV has covered a story about it. A guy in Ottawa has even started a club, WOW only 10 years after the rest of the world. He says

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) can make or break your online business and personal web activities”.

What it means is how to set things up so that people can find you when they do an online search and 90% of the time that is a Google search. It is the difference between showing up on the first page of results or the 10th page.

Well I never.

He follows with “It’s website combat our there,” “You have to battle to get people to find you rather than your competition.” His top two pieces of advice: “Be sure your site is focused on your firms key facts; don’t try to do too many things so it’s easy for people to find what they need. Second, do something that is going to wow people within 30 seconds of arriving on your home page.”

Obviously he’s been reading blogs and visiting the tech shows and listen to people at search engine land and the likes, I bet he’s even bought the SEO Book.

The story finishes with the statement, Be Google-friendly as Google gives more and more weight to mentions on social sites or how many times your material is on Twitter. He says the new web world is the “Klondike gold rush of 2010, yet 95% of the people I talk to have no idea of how much search activity is passing them by.” Google has more than 200 million visitors every day.

To be honest, crap like this totally pisses me off, just another dink jumping on the bandwagon trying to promote a new marketing club, get speeches and take easy dollars.

How many people do you hear talking, blogging and writing about SEO? shitloads.

How many of these individuals or company’s actually rank on the search engines for what they do and talk about? not many. Deeeeerrrrrr!

Search engines like Google and the others are great for doing due diligence, if these so called marketing and seo experts are as good as they tell everyone, surely they will be at the top of the search engines right?

Lets see SEO World Expert

The SEO Secret

So you start with some content, add a dash of keywords and images (with proper code of course). A few linked pages, some good meta data and top it off with a title and voila! SEO recipe is complete, or is it? Is it really so simple as it seems? Not really, no, and even Microsoft has admitted as much.

Google, Bing, and Yahoo all have the same fundamental goal; deliver the most relevant results to a query for a user. Google however, has that extra ingredient, that spice in the cake which you just can’t put your finger on, which threw it into top spot and has allowed it to become fully entrenched in the position. Bing and Yahoo, while not inherently inferior in their core purpose, just are in the end missing that secret ingredient.

To paraphrase Steve Ballmer :

“..there are certainly some things. I would love it if advertisers would share with us their experience on Google, and we could, if that was allowed to be shared in the right way, with the right algorithmic support, there are certainly things that we could do to help those advertisers on Bing, and we’d be happy to do, and probably offer the advertiser a better value. But there are some things that Google still holds as its proprietary data that makes that tough..”

In the same intervew, Ballmer also admitted that yes, they do want to be number one in search, because you never begin something with the idea to be number two. But that they’re focusing on their long term goals in that aspect with Yahoo.

With no plans to attempt to acquire Twitter or Facebook, Ballmer also said that Bing is happy in it’s long term partnerships with the social media giants. Going so far as to say :

“.. great partnership, a company that is doing, I think, a very nice job, very much wants to be an independent company, so we continue to work the partnership with them (Facebook), and we’re pleased to have extended our search relationship with them a number of years into the future.”

Not happy on being number 2, can’t change it because of that secret ingredient, and unable/unwilling to make the leap via acquisition. Bing is a fine search engine, colorful, interactive and such, but it’s still (admittedly) behind it’s quicker, more efficient leader; Google.

Fun tip: In reading online, I’ve noticed every now and then that an “SEO Expert” will optimize your site for “whichever search engine you wish to be visible on” Be number one and all that jazz. It doesn’t work that way, Google, Bing, and Yahoo are similar enough to a degree, that properly optimizing, will get you listed on all of the SERPs. The only way to be found on a single search engine, is via AdWords and such. Beware advertising resellers in the guise of true SEO’s.

Keeping it Simple

Some relatively simple steps are often the best ones which make the most difference. Using the example of a long distance runner, you wouldn’t buy heavy clothing, or cheap shoes in order to be your best, you’d wear efficient clothing and lightweight, well balanced and cushioned shoes to be your best. Simple steps, yes, but necessary none the less to a runner. Keeping it simple is a key to any endeavor, no matter how large or small. With this principle in mind, a couple of simple, no nonsense tips to always bear in mind when it comes to your website.

What will people type to want to find your site-You have your website, and you want to be able to be found online. Try using the simplest terms in order to define your site, and it’s purpose, and you can go from there. You have a gardening shop? Use that on your site instead of calling yourself an arboretum and botanical garden store. It may sound large and spectacular, but it won’t help your being found any.

Title tags matter, description tag matters-The title of your pages does make a difference. It’s often your first impression to those who find your site through Google. The description tag is what provides the brief little blurb found underneath the link to your website on the SERPs.

Using Adwords doesn’t give you a better placement-Using a Google Adwords account does not give you any better ranking in the organic search listings; those in the center of the page. The Adwords which you purchase, have their own listing, to the right, or on top of the page. To be found highly placed in the organic listings, often requires the skills of an SEO expert.

Only a couple of very, very simple tips, but should be always in mind when building a new website for yourself, or your business.

Right, and Wrong SEO

SEO Experts unite? It seems everywhere online there’s courses, quizzes, training webinars, downloadable ebooks, the list is extensive. Things, are getting out of hand. Search engine optimization isn’t even remotely a light read over lunch, or a 2 day training course, or a handful of quizzes which magically “certify” you as an expert.

Now I’m not saying that all of the aforementioned methods are just snake oil in a jar, designed to take your money and run. For the most part, they will teach you best practices when you build a website and add to it, but if your plan was building a new site, why wouldn’t you already have an idea of what you wanted and how to implement it? And if you had no idea how to implement, there are web design shops out there which can help direct you as to what needs to be done, based on your needs.

Would you honestly trust your optimization efforts, to the SEO expert who actually writes a home improvement blog (yes they exist)? SEO is as old as Google, from when they first started building their index with the first pages. It’s not fly by night, it’s not short term, it’s not quick fix, and it’s not something everyone can do.

Fresh Traffic Group – SEO Services Experts

Search engine optimization experts, Fresh Traffic, has an entire toolbox of SEO services in which to assess, and address any and all of your websites woes. An initial consultation by Fresh would look somewhat like the following:

1) Initial breakdown of your website: We’ll deconstruct your site, and decide from a look at some key points as to whether or not your site is hindrance or not to your efforts. If, worst case scenario, your website is an issue, we have a team at Fresh which is trained in building sites with search optimization in mind.

2) Content: We’ll work over your content with you, pointing out solid phrases and determine your keywords with you. After our due diligence, we’ll work with you to mold your content, pictures, text, etc, until you become a prime authority in your niche.

3) The Fresh edge: Where the real work comes in, the team here at Fresh will monitor your site, using in house technology and methodology will address issues which may rear their head to try and stop your inevitable climb in rankings.

The team at Fresh Traffic, has been in the SEO biz well before SEO (search engine optimization) was a buzz word in the advertising field. Google was a dream in a Stanford basement, and Internet Explorer ruled the Internet browsing world. Fast forward 15 years, SEO is on the lips of every intelligent marketer, Firefox, Opera, Safari, are all synonymous with browsing, and Google is getting ready to take over even more of the world with their promises of their foray into the telecommunications market.

Where will we be in another 15 years? Drinking water from the moon perhaps? One thing is for certain, the world *will be* online, in an ever increasing desire for knowledge. And Fresh Traffic will be there, ever at the forefront of search, whether it’s real time, or semantic, Bing, Google, or what ever new engine should decide to come take a bite of the cash cow that is online marketing; Fresh will be there.