Measure SEOSEO: Competition is Never Static | Search Positions Forever Change!

Not all search engine optimization (SEO) is the same! What’s necessary for success depends on a presentation of value, visibility with qualified people and how much competition there is.

Rank in search results may require a large number of on and off-website signals or, in some cases, just enough. And while the competition is never ever static and search positions are forever changing, it is only measurement and analysis that will determine whether or not an effort is working.

In fact, only measurement and analysis can show what is necessary for success in the future. If you are not analyzing, you are simply not doing SEO!

What Should SEO Cost?

There’s also a lot of confusion surrounding the cost of SEO; what’s necessary for a particular brand with specific targets and how much it should cost can be all over the map. If a firm is going through the painstaking and costly process of recruiting inbound links from (safe) websites, for instance, it can help a campaign to succeed. But is that signal necessary?

For instance, with a locally targeted business where the active competition (for target keywords) is minimal, there may not be a need to pursue back-links as a part of the effort; thereby, the cost necessary to succeed may be less. 

It’s why we recommend a fundamental set of SEO signals, to start. Set realistic goals, jump in and then measure the resulting data! Build fundamental on and off-website signals in order to establish a well rounded visible presence and then begin to measure what stems from it.

It takes time, maybe a few months, but some times the fundamental signals are all that is necessary. It’s also possible analysis will determine more signals are indeed necessary, but either way, it is better to build then waste in an environment where the things that work are forever changing. 


What Does A Fundamental SEO Program Include?

  1. Keyword Research For Target Subjects
  2. Search Optimized Website Pages, optimized for those target keywords
  3. Google My Business Tools Setup, Verification, and Optimization
  4. Claimed And Optimized Search & Directory Listings
  5. Standards For Maximizing Positive Client Reviews 
  6. Keyword Search Rank Tracking Software 
  7. Traffic Analytics Setup
  8. Track, Measure and Analyze Traffic Data
  9. Allow Analysis To Determine Whether Or Not Signals Must Be Added
    1. Blogging
    2. Geographic targeting
    3. Social Media Campaigns
    4. Links Build Campaign
    5. Alternative Content
    6. Structured Data
    7. And more

With SEO or, for that matter, any form of marketing & advertising – there is a risk; a business may succeed right out of the gates, but the resulting measurement will always determine why or what is necessary to reach the desired result… and even how to grow from there. The point being, “you cannot grow what you do not measure!” 

faking google reviews The Power Of Client Reviews

Are you a business owner that doesn’t do much advertising? Maybe you rely on a word of mouth method? If so, be sure and leverage the raw power of customer reviews. Do it not only to demonstrate a local presence in a way that mimics good old word of mouth, but because search engines like Google will reward it!

For example, what could be better for business than a prospective client seeing others singing your praise out in the open? 80% of consumers say they research a business, product or brand online before purchasing. 90% say online reviews influence their buying decisions. So go to Google.com and type in the name of your business plus town & state. It’s likely results will include your Google Listing on the right sidebar, including if you haven’t created one. If not already, you can get control of it by verifying your Google Listing.

Google Listing reviews play a significant role in local search engine rankings (i.e. website content ranks better when reviews reinforce the brand). Folks, if you’re not set up to ask for good client reviews you are missing a huge opportunity!

Faking Reviews Qualifies as False Advertising by Law

There’s one small catch with reviews, and that is they should be real! Reviews should come from people who have actually visited the business, used the product or experienced the service. A business owner may consider paying someone to generate false reviews and there are certainly companies offering to generate them; however, business owner be aware that other business owners have been prosecuted for it.

September 2013 NY Attorney General Schneiderman announced that 19 companies, some local businesses and some SEO and/or marketing firms, would pay fines of up to $350,000 for their role in soliciting and writing fake online reviews. It’s known as Astroturfing, and it qualifies under the law as false advertising! Here’s part of what Schneiderman had to say in a press release:

“Consumers rely on reviews from their peers to make daily purchasing decisions on anything from food and clothing to recreation and sightseeing. This investigation into large-scale, intentional deceit across the Internet tells us that we should approach online reviews with caution. And companies that continue to engage in these practices should take note: “Astroturfing” is the 21st century’s version of false advertising, and prosecutors have many tools at their disposal to put an end to it.”

Online reviews are deemed so powerful and necessary for any business (small or large) that the act of writing or having fake reviews written for a company resulted in legal action. In fact, it culminated in multiple companies paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.


How Can Your Business Get More Good Reviews?

If you’re going to stand by the trusted word of mouth advertising strategy – you may still need to get into the digital age. To do so develop and execute a plan that targets satisfied customers and asks them to write a review for your business online. Here are some tips:

1)     Create an email template to send to a satisfied client after they leave your business.  The template should thank them for their patronage and ask them to leave an online review.

2)     Make it easy for them. Set up a reviews page, from it provide a direct link to your Google+ local account where they can easily leave the review. Don’t expect people to fish around online trying to find it. If you don’t know how to find it, ask us.

3)     Develop a way to follow up with customers to see if they leave a review or send a gentle reminder to do so. Consider creating a spreadsheet to help you track this. Again, if you need help do not hesitate to ask.

4)     Set a goal for yourself to obtain a certain amount of reviews each month. You can track this in the spreadsheet.

5)     And don’t forget, there are a series of other Local SEO factors that (combined with good Reviews) can really make things explode for your business!

Online reviews musts become a component of your local SEO strategy along with locally targeted content development, social media management, consistent off- website listing citations and more. If you need help with a plan give us a call at 732-722-5915.


About Kinetic Knowledge

Based in Monmouth County, NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full service digital marketing agency offering custom website design, SEO, social media management, and more.

 

RELATED POSTS ON REVIEWS:

  1. WHY GATHERING REVIEWS MUST BE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
  2. HOW CAN A BUSINESS DEAL WITH A NEGATIVE REVIEW?  

 

Qualified Consumers Search ‘Long Tail Keywords’

 

long tail keywords for business leads

Competition is fierce in the digital world, including for local businesses trying to rank services for their local area in search results. Today, we want to present a strategy most of the competition will fail to execute. It is called the ‘long tail of search’ and it requires optimizing content more specifically.

‘Long tail keywords’ involve targeting less obvious and more specific search keywords & phrases in pages & content. These keywords will have fewer consumer searches … but they will also have less competition. For the business properly optimized, being visible to the most highly qualified consumer will not only become possible but likely.

The ‘Long tail’ is about being there when the person who looks a little harder and who is a little more specific when they want something you offer … is searching!

‘Long Tail Keywords’ Explained

 

long tail seo theoryThe Long Tail theory was originally explored by Chris Anderson in his Oct 2004 Wired Magazine article describing how the web might influence getting new business. Anderson, Editor of Wired Magazine at the time, later authored his best selling book ‘The Long Tail’ to better detail his theory.

As it applies to better search engine optimization and to marketing – the idea with ‘The Long Tail’ is to be visible for as many keyword variations of one’s core business focus as is possible.

Proven below this theory shows that, while a business may generate less search discovery per ‘long tail’ keyword (i.e. 3 Bedroom Condo Greenwich Village) than it will for the most competitive keywords (i.e. New York City Condo), the collective impact on actual business of those ‘long tail’ variations might outperform that of the most obviously targeted. Again, the more specific the search term is (or keywords are) the less competitive it likely is in search results. The assumption being that most business competition has either only focused on the most obvious keyword searches or that they are not bothering to optimize content at all. The assumption is also that there are consumer leads out there searching much more specifically than most people.

An SEO strategy placing focus on ‘long tail’ keywords is one capable of not only capturing more total traffic but also better more highly qualified traffic. This is NOT meant to suggest a business should give up targeting the obvious searches (i.e. New York City Real Estate). On the contrary, the argument is to target more … less competitive … terms (i.e. 3 Bedroom Condo Greenwich Village) in the search engine result pages. It can mean being visible when extremely qualified people, demonstrated by their specific effort, search. Search visibility is undoubtedly one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies there is; however, solely pursuing the most competitive search topics limits a marketer to the most competitive searches.

Analysis Supports Long Tail Keyword SEO Strategy


Research shows that people do search more specifically.
To demonstrate the ‘Long Tail’ theory here is traffic analytic data drawn (in 2007) from a ‘publish lots of content coverage Vail CO Real Estate Agency’ client of ours. This agency had broad keyword indexing for both the most sought after (and then also the not so sought after) targets. Their pages and blog posts focused on being indexed for everything going on in the area & community as it relates to local Real Estate. We examined one month of data to demonstrate ‘long tail’ search discovery success for this (will remain anonymous) agency in Vail, CO.

the long tail keywords SEO and leadsA. Total ‘Short Tail’ search discovery equaled 190/ 1,015 searches bringing new visitors to a website = 19%

  • Short Tail being the town’s name and state plus the words 1) property, 2) real estate, 3) home or 4) homes

 

B. Total ‘Long Tail’ search discovery equaled 825/1,015= 81%

      • Long Tail being as many variations relating to obvious local searches as is possible

a.) different areas of the town were equal to 130 total searchers arriving on website
b.) condominium complexes equal to 299 total searchers
c.) new developments equal to 89 total searchers
d.) local clubs equal to 101 total searchers
e.) local business news or info equal to 27 total searchers
f.)  listings or specific local streets equal to 32 total searchers
g.) local builder-developer news equal to 56 total searchers

h.) random/ miscellaneous news equal to 91 total searchers … hey, they blog about what’s going on locally a lot! 

 

Albeit anonymous, the data above demonstrates ‘Long Tail theorysuccess based upon discovery for less targeted keyword variations; that discovery amounting to 81% of the overall search traffic and 435% more visitors than what the short tail of search delivered. That’s a lot of traffic and a lot of potential for highly qualified leads!

We’d argue the Agency is not only a cost-effective marketer but one that is capturing the most highly qualified eyeballs!


About Kinetic Knowledge NJ Digital Marketing Services 

 

Based in Monmouth County NJ, Kinetic Knowledge is a full-service digital marketing firm offering SEO, website design & managed host service, social media, graphic design, content and more. We advocate local SEO strategies, particularly the targeting of ‘Long Tail’ keywords in on and off-website content, so contact us here or give a call to learn more about ‘Long Tail’ strategies at 732-722-5915.

Local SEO and Your Business

local seo business growthA solid local SEO (search engine optimization) strategy might be your missing ingredient when it comes driving more leads and growing your business.

Local SEO is the strategy and process of optimizing sites and pages with the intent of appearing in organic search results from people seeking out local information.

By optimizing your web presence, you are giving your local business a chance to experience widespread, organic visibility within search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

The best part?

The consumers behind those searches are the most highly qualified potential leads you will ever hear from. Why? They are already looking for what you offer.

Let’s breakdown what you need to know about local SEO for your small to medium sized business.

The Basics of SEO

A successful SEO strategy includes a combination of:

  • content creation, authoritative + subject-specific pages
  • in-page optimization (structure for search engine consumption)
  • off-page optimization (citations and trusted links)
  • analysis + research (what is working / what needs more work)

The truth is that achieving competitive SEO is neither basic nor simple, and it is always a moving target.

While some information is disclosed, nobody knows exactly what search engines are looking for day to day. What we do know is that extensive analysis, quality content and recognition of that content lead to long-term results.

Local SEO Keyword Research

Once you have a website set up with all the fundamentals in place, your next step is keyword research.

In a way, this is the most important part. You need to take the time to find out exactly what your potential customers are searching for before you can begin trying to rank for those searches.

You can begin by using general knowledge to compile a “common sense” list of terms that relate to your business and the issues you solve. For local SEO, you’ll want to add specific towns and counties to your keyword targets.

For example, if you run a coffee shop, instead of choosing the keyword target “best dark roast”, you’ll instead use “best dark roast in austin texas”. 

Content is King

The content within your website including service pages, blog posts, etc are where your keyword research begins to take action. Honestly, we cannot recommend an investment in good content enough; competitive SEO is content driven.

The way search engines identify what your website is about is by ‘crawling’ and seeing keyword consistencies in your pages, especially those that match consumer searches.

Equally important, we recommend highly useful, unique, subject-focused content for every page on your site! You want users to appreciate your content enough to react.

Reactions like sharing, bookmarking or links serve as signals to search engines that users are having a positive experience. We recommend the careful addition of images as well as video embed, a sure-fire way to support more and better indexing.

The goal is to create content with the intention of helping the reader while also making it as easy as possible for search engine algorithms to understand what it is about and where they should place it.

Link Structure

This is where a lot of people get tripped up. You cannot control who links to your pages, and you should never try to manufacture links!

Only highly trusted links matter. Sure, it’s good to accumulate links to your website from outside sources like directory listings, social media accounts, other websites & blogs, BUT ONLY so long as the links are from sites that have trust!

Is a random blog trusted? Maybe, maybe not. Is a directory listing or an official association website trusted? It’s likely!

Something many people don’t seem to know is that linking to different pages in our own websites is a good practice. Good, so long as it’s done to improve user experience. It can tell a search engine that pages you have linked add value for users. And adding the links in descriptive text only supports.

You should certainly add links back to your pages from all of your social network accounts. Your Google listings also offer posting – definitely a quality source for back-links!

Reviews Are Your Competitive Advantage

Having numerous positive reviews show up alongside your business in search results is invaluable. For many searchers, you will have an immediate sense of authority and trust.

Your plan in place to increase reviews should include the following:

  • identify satisfied clients and ask for their reviews
  • plan to help them when necessary, possibly with instructions
  • send follow up requests
  • setup alerts for all reviews in order to be informed
  • get informed on dealing with any negative reviews

You Cannot Grow What You Do Not Measure

Once you begin implementing your local SEO strategy, you will need to track and analyze your results!

Through this consistent process, you will be able to see what’s working and what isn’t, and then adjust as necessary.

Your SEO analysis plan should consist of the following:

  • setup reliable keywords ranking software, analyze
  • setup website traffic and search analytics software, analyze
  • setup off- website traffic and search analytics software, analyze
  • report on successes, report on action items where needed for improvement
  • have a plan for updating under-performing keywords and pages

Is Local SEO worth your time?

SEO is a time-intensive process that is not only worth the effort, it is a necessity if you plan on competing in the digital marketing world.

Local SEO success requires the pursuit of a seemingly endless number of paths needed to connect a prospective lead and the appealing local answer to a search.

At Kinetic Knowledge, we have helped hundreds of local businesses increase traffic, visibility, and leads through our Fundamental SEO services.

If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of a solid, well-executed local SEO strategy but don’t have the time or desire to learn and implement these practices, contact us today to find out how we can help!