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Getting Ranked In Local Search Results

 

How To Get Ranked High In Local Search Results

Getting Ranked In Local Search Results In NJ | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJGetting ranked locally in search results is a common concern for marketers. And knowing that Google often favors popular businesses with the most chatter in a given area only becomes an advantage when something is done about it.

Although modern companies have an ability to market nationally and even globally, the average consumer still shops locally whenever possible. It’s why Google looks at several locally specific signals when forming their search results, particularly when the search is from a mobile device. Needless to say, the business with a well executed local SEO plan will have those consumers calling & walking through the door!

How exactly do you build a strong local presence online? Here are the signals that interest Google most to support visibility with the locally motivated consumer.

Top Signals Needed To Rank Locally

  1. Create Quality Content > Can’t hammer the tables enough on this: one of the biggest mistakes a company can make is NOT investing in content. Content should been regarded as the basis for an online presence and any competitive advantage a business can gain online. Unless it’s useful (including the use of highly searched keywords), assume neither search engines nor people will ever care. This is not just content on a website; a thorough strategy also includes publishing locally relevant content to a Google My Business page and other social media channels as well. Better yet, BLOG! Publish it on a website and then push that content out into social networks & listings. Google is hungry for new content and it will look to all of these areas, not only the website, to get it! See > Website Content: Your No 1 Competitive Advantage!
  2. Pursue Good Reviews > Live unsolicited reviews matter BIG, especially on a Google Plus listing page! And because 9 out of 10 people won’t ever think to give one, a business must have a strategy in place to go and ask for those good reviews.  Per Mary Bowling from Moz“No one wants to get awful or even so-so service if they can choose to use a business that has a history of making its customers very happy, instead. Whether people think you’re doing a stellar job or a stinky one, there’s no way to hide from your reputation anymore. Prospective buyers can now see the collective history of a business’s ability to keep its customers happy 24 hours a day via online reviews.” And while many business owners fear reviews because they feel as if they might get a bad one, the truth of the matter is no one can stop or control reviews. So actively chasing good reviews is not only obvious, but serves as the hedge against if anything bad ever does show up. Have a look at “What If You Get A Negative Review?and always know that consumers look for people’s experiences in the form of reviews.
  3. Be Mobile Friendly > If you’re following this so far, Google is particularly interested in serving up local search results when the search comes from a mobile device. What’s more, they intend to give their user the best search experience possible. So we need to be sure our content is friendly to anyone, anytime and on any device ( e.g. phone, tablet, PC )… or Google isn’t likely to help any consumers find it. Sure you’re focused on delivering a higher level of content quality, but if visitors are forced to pull, pan, and scroll on their mobile devices than it’s not what Google considers a good experience. For more on Google’s mobile- friendly stance check out Mobile Website Design | Responsive Website Design.
  4. Google Plus Matters > Simply put, Google favors its own listings platform known as ‘Google My Business’. So get a Google Plus page registered, verified and set up with all the important information possible. Have it linking back to a website often, for a greater depth of information, and use anchor text links in highly targeted keywords! And, whenever possible, drive those good reviews to this same Google Plus page.
  5. Search & Directory Listings Also Matter > Search engines crawl search and directory listing websites as a highly weighted locally based business ( yours!) reference. What’s sometimes referred to as “direct data” in the search engine results pages (SERPs) demonstrates that companies are providing detailed information about themselves in many places. They do it in order to find visibility any way possible. It’s these granular pieces of information we see on business listings and in search engine results data that prove the value of “direct data”. For instance if we searched for a Annandale NJ Home Inspections Company, we will probably be provided with location, phone number, work hours and other details consumers want quickly up top of a local search result. This extra data improves visibility, important for local businesses, and also serve as reference and even a link for primary website content too. For a simple way to deal with it all, see Search And Directory Listings SEO Management Plan .
  6. Have A Social ( Network ) Voice > Acknowledged widely as a signal Google uses to recognize & rank a company highly is a social voice. Online discussions can spread virally, allowing visibility to reach farther than what was previously possible via traditional media. And search engine monitor these signals! The more activity a business generates, the more prominently it can find itself placed in search results. And because of this, a social media presence should be managed wisely! Perceptions created online with positive timely useful information can also last far longer than those created by word of mouth. With new social platforms, services, and trends emerging constantly, keeping up can be a daunting task. If its too much, consider hiring a social media service to help devise a ‘stay current strategy’ that maximizes a social voice’s potential.

And again, this is about local areas to your business. It’s not going to solve a nationally driven competitive presence, but local is also less competitive. Frankly, if you don’t have these firing than you’re not taking your local visibility to ( B to C or B to B ) consumers who want your service seriously. It can seem like a lot, but we will genuinely attest to regular lead activity for clients leveraging what you see in the above here! And we certainly provide highly qualified competitively priced options. If nothing else, we’re happy to answer questions so that you’re informed.

The Content Optimization Checklist!

How To Search Optimize Website Pages | The Content Optimization Checklist!

How To Best Optimize Website Pages | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJwhen it comes to Google and SEO there is a bit of a misconception we want to address. While many business owners worry about ranking their website, in reality Google is ranking content & web pages AND NOT necessarily just websites. In other words, we must carefully build unique useful content within a website that people need. Google strives to identify content people will appreciate, so taking this approach is exactly how to optimize a web presence!

We generally recommend that each website page have 1-2 focus keywords that its content centers around, but to focus on the topic itself. Definitely use synonyms and other ‘like- keywords’ that people would search; don’t ever keyword stuff and keep a clear content topic focus on each and every page. Make sure that alternative media (e.g. picture, video) is described via file names & alt tags that also remain consistent with those target keywords. Base meta titles, meta descriptions and headers around those keywords too! To better detail what one must consider for leading content optimization try our checklist!

The On Page Content SEO Checklist

Search engine optimization can be all about small modifications to parts of a website, like content and pages. Individually these changes may seem incremental, however combined
they can create a noticeable impact on both site user experience and performance in organic search engine results.

I. CREATE ACCURATE SUCCINCT PAGE TITLES

a.) What is the page title or <title> tag?
> Pages are HTML documents and an HTML page’s title should become <title> tag of the page and it should be placed within the <head> tag of an HTML document
> WordPress, for instance, automatically (unless overwritten) acquires a published title as the <title> tag in the <head> tag of an HTML document
b. ) SEO Support:
> Use titles that make the topic of the entire page’s content crystal clear
> Use titles that both tell a user and also a search engines what the page is all about
> Good titles will be used in search results and often draw attention to themselves competitively versus the crowd
c.) What NOT to do:
> Don’t choose a title with no relation to the content on a page
> Don’t ever use vague titles
> Don’t use a title that’s duplicated on all of a site’s pages or even a lot of pages
> Don’t use extremely lengthy titles, be succinct
> Do not ever keyword stuff unneeded keywords in title tag, certainly not if you ever want humans to care

II. LEVERAGE THE META <DESCRIPTION> TAG

a.) What is the meta <description> tag?
> While a page’s meta <title> tag may be a succinct descriptive phrase, a page’s meta <description> tag is a sentence, maybe two, or even a short paragraph with more information about a page’s purpose
> While a meta <description> tag won’t influence how a page ranks, it may be used as a snippet in search results
b. ) SEO Support:
> Descriptions volunteer a more descriptive snippet about the page to search engines to use in their search results
> If the search engine uses it, the description tag can further differentiate the result and hopefully entice searchers to choose the page amidst all the others present
c.) What NOT to do:
> Don’t write a description tag that has no relation to the content on the page
> Don’t use generic descriptions like “This is a web page”, only a relevant summary here
> Don’t simply fill the description with keywords because it won’t appeal to searchrs in a search result set, it will only turn them off
> Don’t copy and paste the content of the document into the description meta tag

III. CREATE SIMPLE DESCRIPTIVE PAGE URLS

a.) What is the page URL?
> While the domain might be www.kineticknowledge.com, the descriptive page URL should be www.kineticknowledge.com/business-association-member/
b. ) SEO Support:
> Using relevant keywords can support both users and search engines with good information about the page versus a generic group of random numbers, letters and symbols that tells them nothing
> It also keeps a site more organized based upon topics it contains
> It supports easier crawling of the page documents by search engines
> It supports easier, maybe “friendlier” URLs for other people that want to link to the content from the site or social network
> URLs are displayed in search results, so just like titles & descriptions page URLs may also support with searchers
c.) What NOT to do:
> Don’t use long URLs with unnecessary parameters
> Don’t choose generic titles like “page50.html”
> Don’t keyword stuff
> Don’t use words that have no relation to the content in the pages

IV. CREATE USEFUL INTERESTING CONTENT

a.) What is useful content?
> Content that someone somewhere actually wants or needs
b. ) SEO Support:
> Always use words a user would search
> Know that users who know a lot about the topic might search different keywords than someone who is less knowledgeable, so find a good mix of keyword phrases and use them
> Know that Google’s algorithm strives to identify & reward quality content, while demoting lesser quality or even spammy content
> Contrary to some reports, it’s not the word count so much as it is usefulness … and user reaction in ways like time spent will demonstrate this
c.) What NOT to do:
> Avoid sloppy text with spelling and grammatical errors
> Don’t dump copy on varying topics onto one page without paragraph, subheading, or layout separation
> Don’t copy existing content
> Don’t duplicate or near-duplicate versions of one page across an entire site
> Don’t dump or stuff unnecessary keywords because search engines demote it and it can annoy users
> Don’t cloak or deceptively hide text from users that displays to search engines

 V. LEVERAGE USER- FRIENDLY PAGE NAVIGATION

a.) What is page navigation?
> website page(s) navigation are descriptive titles, maybe image or graphics, that help visitors quickly find the content they want via a click & embedded link to the content
b. ) SEO Support:
> Navigation helps search engines understand what content a site’s owner thinks is important
> An XML Sitemap file makes it much easier for Google to discover and crawl all of a site’s pages
> Places emphasis on an easy user experience, a users activity on site with pages can be a signal to search engines the page is high quality
c.) What NOT to do:
> Don’t create complex navigation like, for instance, linking every page on the site to every other page on the site
> Don’t solely have navigation based upon on a drop-down menu
> And don’t solely have navigation based upon images or graphics

VI. USE (IN THE BODY OF) CONTENT HEADING TAGS

a.) What is an in- content heading tag?
> Heading tags (not to be confused with the <head> HTML tag in a documents HTML code) are used for structure on pages to users
> There are six heading tag sizes, beginning with <h1>, the most important, and ending with <h6>, the least important
b. ) SEO Support:
> Use heading tags as a visual cue to users that coming text is important, for emphasis on what follows to help them understand and care about the content underneath the heading text
> Use heading sizes in a hierarchical order to show search engines emphasis and structure
> Use the most relevant keywords in header tags, emphasis on keywords in pagestructure draws the interest of both users and search engines
c.) What NOT to do:
> Do not place text in heading tags that is not useful in defining the structure of the page
> Do not erratically move from one heading tag size to another
> Do not excessively use heading tags throughout a page
> Do not use a heading tag as a styling technique, only for structure

VII. USE ANCHOR TEXT IN CONTENT

a.) What is anchor text?
> It is the text that appears highlighted on a page to suggest there is a hypertext link behind it, a link that will open a supportive web page with more related information
b. ) SEO Support:
> By optimizing anchor text with keywords that link to related useful pages, we can support our readers with an even greater depth of useful information
> By optimizing anchor text with keywords that link to related pages, we can support search engine bots to better understand the content of our site including based upon the anchorkeywords we use
> It’s not necessary to raise any odds we will lose the person, have the link open another browser,
> Link to useful pages in- site and in the most target keywords, but be sure to also mix in other useful off- site domains too
c.) What NOT to do:
> Don’t use anchor text like “read here”, it serves no SEO advange or value with search engines
> Do not ever anchor text link to content that has no relation to the content of the page itself
> Be succinct, don’t use long anchor text
> don’t hide links from people, to try and game search engines … they know the trick

VIII. OPTIMIZE IMAGE MEDIA FILES

a.) What is an image media file?
> Pictures and graphics
b. ) SEO Support:
> Give images a distinct filename, to specifically describe it in ways a search engine can see
> Give images a descriptive “alt” tag attribute, descriptive text a search engine can see
> Use supported filetypes such as JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP image formats
c.) What NOT to do:
> Do not use generic filenames like “1.jpg”
> Do not allow the solution you save images with to name the image with random collections of symbols, numbers and letters
> Keep filenames succinct
> Do not keyword stuff or use text that is long and spammy

Be assured that SEO is like a living organism, it must be fed in many ways. The competition is always coming, so search indexes re- rank pages based upon as many as 200 different signals. A search engine’s business works best when they are satisfying searchers. To satisfy people’s search activity, and alert the engines to this end, create useful pages full of signals that make it easier for these same search engines to facilitate the connection. Content must be useful; good information improves the likelihood people will spend time with and also share out into their personal networks. Time spent, likes, plus ones, shares, book marks, back links from other sites (albeit this is less valued than it once was) are just some of the important signals a search engine uses to measure & rank pages. Make no mistake, Search Engine Optimization is time consuming work. Yet, unbeknownst to many in the competitive set, it all starts & relies with the content itself. Leverage our “On Page Content SEO Checklist” and it’s possible 75- 80% of what’s needed to rise above is covered!

RELATED INFO:

Kinetic Knowledge specializes in SEO and is here to help you increase your rankings and digital exposure SO contact us today!

SEO Before Or After My New Website Build?

Why Consider SEO When Building A Website?

Consider SEO From The Start Of A Website | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJ

Creating a website is often an exciting time for a business. The website its’ brand representative online from the design aesthetics, imagery and tone of the copy to the very graphic elements, colors and font.

Done right a website is also a marketing priority! And that means visibility in Search Engines is equally, if not more, important. Competing for various keywords is very much like a living organism, it must be fed in many many ways AND day to day. However, it must all start somewhere. To become competitive requires planning a fundamental on- page(s) SEO strategy from day one in development! With no on- page plan, any chance for ongoing competitive SEO is lost … and it’s going to be an even bigger more expensive challenge later!

SEO And User Experience

Again, a well structured website is important both for the user experience and for search engine indexing. While a website should be pleasing to the eye, there are several other important marketing considerations required in order for it to be successful. These consideration will be killers later, when not planned from the start:

  • Content > search engines crawl pages for keywords, are all pages structured well with proper keyword placement & meta data, yet not stuffed to a degree the user will suffer!
  • Mobile Responsive > user experience is priority number one with search engines, people search with their phones, so a website MUST be mobile- friendly!
  • Internal Links & Navigation > search engines don’t only count links from other sites, they like relevant content that offer the visitor useful links between supporting pages!
  • General Navigation > search engines measure how long visitors stay, how many pages they visit, so a visitor must find it easy navigate to all the information they may want!
  • Host & Load Speeds > search engines measure it, so a host must serve visitor experience with fast page load times!
  • Security > search engines also crawl pages for malware in order to protect their searching surfers, as well as look for secure socket layers when there’s shopping involved!

What To Optimize Before Site Launch

Newer and better competition will always come, so SEO is never static and certainly an ongoing process. But the groundwork must be laid in order to prepare a site for search engine crawling & keyword indexing. Here are some things that need optimization before site launch.

  • Using Keywords In URLs – Search engines focus heavily on keywords and indexing them via their page URLs. They also consider those used in the URL itself! Make sure page URLs help to describe what each page has to offer. Fix this after the fact, your page starts all over and what was indexed is lost! 
  • Title and Meta Data – Much easier and less damaging to change after he fact than URLs, you must still consider the time it takes to index competitively. It’s why you want to try and be sure your keywords are available to search engines early and in the clearest possible fashion. Keep your page and meta titles straightforward, easy to identify and and easy to consume!
  • Responsive Design – Simply stated, your website must be mobile friendly! It is no small project to convert an existing site to a mobile friendly site. Therefore, why not start from the beginning with a mobile friendly website design!?
  • Optimize Photos and Videos – Using properly tagged graphics, photos and video supports the aesthetics of the website, but is also an important part of an SEO strategy. Using the right file names & alt tags will not only generate more indexing and search engine visibility for content, but optimal photo sizes also support page loads speed! 
  • Create Link Structures For The Crawl – Your link structure needs to make sense, a path that can be followed by search engines. In other words, content must flow in a logical manner.
  • Social Sharing > Social voice matters and the search engines ability to measure how often a page has been shared by visitors on the page via social icons with share counts makes their job much easier!
  • Measurement Software – And don’t rule out supporting software, like day to day keyword rank measurement and fundamental page SEO grading solutions.

Not planning SEO with a design & development project may cause a business to miss out on important ranking opportunities. At Kinetic Knowledge we can help to guide the process of both building a new, or converting an existing, website into a new mobile, user and search engine friendly design.

How To Determine A PPC Advertising Budget?

Pay Per Click Budget For A NEW Advertiser

how to determine ppc advertising budget | Kinetic KnowledgeFor NEW advertisers it can challenging to set up a pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign, not to mention determine a beginning budget. There’s certainly a learning curve and, while there are reliable methods PPC is a dynamic bidding marketplace with no simple or exact way to determine the perfect launch budget. In order to get started there’s some risk. we’re going to need to commit, test and measure!

What To Include In Our PPC Budget?

Defining spend includes more than fees paid out to the PPC platform provider (i.e. Google). In addition to the actual cost of the clicks, let’s also assume that short of doing creative work ourselves we will need to set aside budget for 1) daily PPC platform management PLUS ( if needed ) 2) any creative ad and landing page design work.

How Much Should We Bid On A Keyword?

The amount to bid on a keyword depends on a comfort level when starting out. Industry is the biggest factor in deciding how much that click (lead) is worth. Real Estate or even a Moving Company, for examples, will usually pay a hefty price for a click because when that lead converts profit can be large. Best to stay within that comfort zone and then, as the data rolls in, adjust. Quickly we will see where the performing keywords at a particular bid price ARE, ARE NOT and THEN HOW TO BEST ADJUST BIDS accordingly. Carefully consider a maximum bid per keyword from the start. If we sell hats and make $100 per hat sold, and website history tells us 1 in 10 visitors buy THEN a *maximum bid* > EQUALS the break even point < would be $10. We, of course, want to set max’ bids far below ‘break even’ . That is, assuming, we want make money.

MUST Use Keyword Tools!

There are several tools out there to help us find the right keywords and estimated cost per click for each. Arguably, the most effective choice is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. And good news, it’s a free solution! Enter a keyword (=phrase) and it offers related keyword suggestions, historical data on how the keywords perform, suggested bid prices and it also helps to gauge competition. Given the list it can help us develop, the tool allows us to generally determine what keywords are worth chasing or bidding.

Keyword Selection Is Key!

Beating a dead horse here (maybe), but the choice of keywords is the most crucial factor in the success of a PPC campaign. Industry type and location are obvious when developing the right set of keywords (= key phrases) to bid upon. Like it or not, cost is going to be driven by competitive forces. The higher the cost of a product or service the higher (likely) cost of the keyword bid needed to be visible for a click. And the bidders / bid prices will change day to day. We need to find the keywords that are most likely to result in clicks and conversions, including AT OR BELOW our maximum bid price per keyword. Keyword choice (including bid, and bid too low = less exposure) is what will get our brand & service in front of consumers with intent … at the right time!

What Is Our Geographical PPC Target?

For the local business, a first PPC advertising campaign is not the time to target new areas. If we do our business in NY, consider a start with NY (if not the town or county in NY) modified searches. For local businesses who only deal in a certain geographical areas, like home inspectors for example who have to factor travel into their costs, it is easier to target geographically. Even so, you may want to start with one town or county and build up from there. There are tools available that will limit who sees the ads, based upon their location. Unless they search based upon our targeted area (NY), for instance a person in SC who searches ‘Orange County NY Real Estate Agent’, they won’t see the ads and waste click money. Again: test, measure and patience are required!

Set Goals! 

It’s also important to prioritize GOALS! What do we want to get out of this campaign? Is it more leads? Sales? Traffic? Email subscribers? Let’s look at these, and a few more factors that will play a part in each unique businesses budget strategy.

How Do We Do It: How Many Clicks Should We Budget For?

While hypothetical, we need to start somewhere and here’s a method that will help. Understanding not every business owner will have all the numbers, everything can be estimated.

  • Keywords: Let’s say that (using our research tool) we choose 100 keywords that combined have a projected search volume of 400 per day, locally. Let’s say the estimated average cost per click for these keywords is $4.
  • Potential Searches: Multiply that volume (=400) by 30 days (= avg. month) and we have 12,000 potential searches in the coming month.
    • Click Reality/Potential Clicks: There are people out there who, no matter what, will NOT click ads. It’s reality so rule them out! Let’s be realistic and say 1/3 of the 12,000 searches will consider Ads. That leaves us 4,000 searches or potential clicks.
  • Estimated Actual Clicks: Let’s say 10% of these people will click our ads when searching. That’s 400 clicks to budget for in that 30 day period (10% X 4,000).
  • Estimated Cost Of Click Budget: If we have determined the average cost per click is $4, than our cost for the month is going to be $1,600 (400X$4).
  • Added Costs/Total Budgeted Cost: Unless managing the daily bidding marketplace and all it’s variables is possible alone, let’s add about $250 in management fees (per campaign) bringing monthly projected cost budget to $1,850. We may factor in creative, but the search network is text- based and a need for ads or landing pages will vary greatly from business to business. What’s more (depending), it may be a one time or a very infrequent cost… so let’s leave it at $1,850.

Estimate Project Budget Versus Gross Sales = Profit Goals

Still hypothetical, projecting a sales GOAL will also help us to compare where we want to be versus actual results at the end of the month so that we can adjust month over month accordingly.

  • Historical Estimates: Let’s say that historically the percentage of leads that convert from a website (or a website landing page) visit into a sale is 10%. Let’s say the average revenue generated per sale is $200.
  • Estimated PPC Gross Revs: 10% close rate (x) 400 clicks (x) $200 avg. revenue per sale = $8,000.00.
  • Targeted PPC Profit: Subtract monthly costs of $1,850 from $8,000.00 and there’s profit of $6,150.00 per month.
    • Summarized: Less any creative costs, $6,150 may be worth doing … and if so, it’s here we begin!
  • Return  On Investment (ROI), or for our purposes Return On Ad Spend (ROAS), is another useful metric: Using this example it would be calculated by the standard formula (Profit – Cost)/Cost = ROAS OR $6,150-$1,850/ $1,850 = 2.3 OR 230% … which is certainly worth doing!

Other PPC Variables

  • We can also set a daily PPC budget, to further control overall cost. Just note that it will influence how often we have ads in front of the qualified searching people each day.
  • Our bid per keyword will, of course, play a huge roll in the specific position our ads get (top to bottom) relative to the competition. By looking at daily data, including specific ‘per keyword’ data, we will see a pattern develop and recognize what keywords perform best and when.
  • With PPC there’s daily management, as each day and time can have it’s own market of bidders. With limited space and high competition, the daily bid price we need to succeed is going to move.

What About Facebook Advertising?

With Facebook advertising, we can set a budget and pay based on impressions. Or, we can pay per click. On Facebook, just like with Google or Bing, being strategic with bidding can make or break the campaign. Once we have worked through the creative part of designing a Facebook ad, we will receive a suggested bid range from Facebook. When just starting out with Facebook ads we may want to stick to the low end of this range. Once we cans see what the click through rate actually is, we can then adjust bids. For example if we have a very low click through rate then we will need to bid higher. If we have a high click through rate then we can probably back down the amount on bidding. Each day, week, or month we can look at data and optimize from there. We may also need to adjust bids to reach more of the target audience. We can have a high performing ad, but still not reach the amount of the target audience we’d like. Facebook provides detailed real time analytics to help in this process.

We can certainly help. Our NJ Facebook Advertising Programs are designed with unique goals in mind.

PPC Services | Kinetic KnowledgeDon’t Do It All Yourself

There are tons of constantly changing, fluid pieces to the puzzle of PPC advertising. It is time consuming, and at times can be overwhelming. As a business owner you do not need to tackle this yourself. Hire a trusted company to handle the leg work for you. At Kinetic Knowledge we work with you to determine your goals and find your PPC advertising sweet spot. Check out our NJ Pay Per Click Advertising Programs