1 Minute Marketing: SEO isn’t Dead — It’s Just Different

1 Minute Marketing: SEO isn’t Dead — It’s Just Different

Search Engine Optimization isn't deadThe push-and-pull between Google and businesses is a delicate dance. Google’s stated goal is to provide the best, local search results for its users so that people can find what they are looking for, whether it’s the score of the game last night or the weekend weather forecast for Eureka, CA.

Every individual business and brand, on the other hand, want people to find them specifically. Some people try to game the system using what are called “black hat tactics” to illegitimately get ahead. That’s why SEO strategies keep changing. Google tries to weed out the websites that use such tactics, updating its algorithm regularly to better define what makes content worthy of its users.

This means, however, brands that follow the rules using “white hat” tactics must keep up on the latest local search strategies to stay ahead and not accidentally be penalized by new rules intended to punish charlatans.

Google keeps the specifics of its algorithm a closely guarded secret, but here’s what we do know:

  • The content on your website must be put together well. No typos or broken links.
  • Every page should have an image with the metatag information filled out (it’s what tells the search engine what an image is).
  • Break up content with heading, subheadings, and lists to improve readability.
  • Incorporate keywords sparingly. The search terms you think your best prospects will use to locate your brand should be incorporated into the content of every page. Keep in mind they need to be worked in naturally.
  • Include location specific keywords to improve your brand’s local search rank.
  • Keyword phrases can be broken up in a sentence. For example: “Implementing local search strategies will make it easier for customers to find your Eureka CA business.”

Google’s algorithm is pushing brands to produce valuable content and to act as authorities in their specific niches. How are you incorporating new SEO strategies for your brand?

Strategic eMarketing would be happy to review your brand’s SEO status and to work with you to improve your rankings through better content and SEO strategies. Contact us today to learn more.

Business Resource Spotlight: Humboldt Lemonade Day

Business Resource Spotlight: Humboldt Lemonade Day

Humboldt Lemonade DayEvery business starts because someone has a vision and the entrepreneurial spark to pull all the resources together to make it happen. Humboldt Lemonade Day fosters that spark in our community’s youth.

Lemonade stands will pop up throughout Humboldt County on Saturday, June 7, and the kids behind the counters will have created a budget, set profit goals, and learned other business basics to get their first small enterprises started. But these young entrepreneurs need the help of those who have experienced the business world firsthand.

Humboldt businesses and brands can become business partners to support the event by paying $100, offering a location to host a stand, and being creative to help these kids market their business. You won’t be responsible for setup, cleanup, supervising, or planning. What you do receive in return is well worth the effort:

  • Recognition as a Lemonade Day sponsor in promotional material
  • Ad in the North Coast Journal pull-out map of Lemonade Day Stands
  • “Lemonade Day Stand Here” sticker for your business window

The Arcata Economic Development Center and the Decade of Difference are what make this national program possible in Humboldt County. To get involved, visit http://humboldt.lemonadeday.org/.

Client Spotlight: The Jacobsen

Client Spotlight: The Jacobsen

The Jacobsen Publishing CompanyFrom its origins in 1865, the Jacobsen Publishing Company has been providing reliable daily stock market advice to brokers, traders, buyers, and sellers. The company concentrates its activities on animal and vegetable commodities ranging from biodiesel fuels and vegetable oils to grain futures and animal hides.

This vast accumulation of knowledge and techniques gives the Jacobsen a significant advantage over more generalized publications. Historical events are vital for accurate market forecasting. Combined with the Jacobson’s reputation for unbiased reporting, this background has enabled the company to run ahead of the pack when it comes to market data accumulation.

The company devotes most of its energy to its price guide, giving investors up-to-the-minute access to the information they need. That guide is the result of careful market scrutiny coupled with sophisticated systems analysis. The Jacobsen recognizes that any flaws in the guide will lead to mistrust from investors. Integrity and accuracy have served as the hallmarks of the Jacobsen Publishing Company for nearly a century and a half.

The publication is a summary of daily bids, offers, and trades. To confirm the company’s objectivity, the editors never personally trade within the markets they cover. This enables readers to comfortably form an opinion of a purchase or sale without fear of outside influence.

The Jacobsen – Bringing Transparency to Opaque Markets.

Content Development: Hummingbird Google Update -– Small, But Mighty

Content Development: Hummingbird Google Update -– Small, But Mighty

Google Hummingbird UpdateGoogle loves animals. The dominant search engine’s last three major algorithm updates have been Panda in 2011, Penguin in 2012, and Hummingbird in late 2013. Actually, Panda is named after the technician who developed it, but the animal angle is more fun.

To make a very long story very short, Panda primarily dealt with spam and Penguin revised the appropriate ways to acquire backlinks.

Hummingbird is an entirely different breed, on several levels. Arguably, the most impacting update from Google since 2001, Hummingbird uses the company’s extensive Knowledge Graph to anticipate the intent of a search term.

Before this change, if you wanted to find an SEO company in Eureka, California, for example, you might enter something like, “search engine optimization eureka ca.” The results that would appear on the first SERP (search engine results page) would heavily factor in website pages that contained that exact phrase with a prescribed number of occurrences. This applied equally to national and local search marketing.

SEO Strategies Post Hummingbird

What Google is now attempting to accomplish is to interpret the phrase that users input and return results based upon what it “senses” is most appropriate. And, in Google’s eyes the most appropriate results will be those websites that provide relevant, quality content regardless of whether or not there are any exact match keywords. Expect a website with multiple pages of well-conceived copy to rise above those obviously written around specific keywords.

Much of Google’s reasoning has to do with the fact that we are now using our voices for search rather than always typing the term. This tends to lead to lengthier and more varied terms with more specific results.

So, Why Bother with Keyword Analysis?

That is not to say that keyword research is in any way dead. You still must know the phrases and terms that people are using to find your products and services. It’s just that now synonyms will work equally well. No longer do you need to be concerned with whether you use terms such as car or automobile; bike or bicycle; search engine optimization or SEO.

Google’s Keyword Planner is a terrific, free way to conduct effective keyword analysis. It offers a great deal of versatility that was lacking with the previous Keyword Tool. The only snag is that you now must have an AdWords account set up to use it. No problem; it is fast and easy to do the set up. You do not have to actually use AdWords to get access to the Keyword Planner and the time spent setting it up is worthwhile if you do nothing more than run keyword analysis.

This Is Good News, Right?

Yes, it is. The fact that the search engines now can better connect an intended search with quality results means that your well-researched and interesting content has a better chance of landing on the first page, without having to conform to prescribed rules. However, it also means that if you had great results in the past and find your website now bumped from the first to the fifth page, you may need some professional help to regain that position. You most definitely need quality content.

Product Spotlight: Social Media Marketing

Product Spotlight: Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing

Your brand needs a presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Google Places, Google+, Foursquare, Yelp, LinkedIn and Twitter because this is where you can be a part of the conversations your target market is already having. You have an opportunity to provide marketing content that adds value to your audience and a high ROI to you.

People Don’t Buy Products — They Buy Brands

How a customer feels about a brand and what they think it represents informs almost every purchasing decision. The top social media marketing strategies are more about listening and responding than talking (though there is plenty of talking, too). Value-added content paired with a responsive social media presence strengthens the relationship between your brand and your target market.

But social media doesn’t stand alone. Optimal plans incorporate local search strategies, focus on developing a consistent brand image, and plan for marketing campaigns on individual social sites.

Let Strategic eMarketing manage your brand’s social media marketing and you accomplish two things:

  • You will relieve yourself (or your staff) of the constant pressure of having to keep up with the minute-to-minute updates of your company’s Facebook page. Not to mention that you are likely to be caught off guard when social media sites change the layout of their profiles like Twitter just did. It might normally mean more work for you, but not when Strategic eMarketing is managing this aspect of your marketing strategies.
  • The reach of your brand will improve with the well-written, consistent, and media rich content that Strategic eMarketing offers.

Your social media pages can’t be allowed to linger any longer. Jumpstart your social media marketing and call Strategic eMarketing for a consultation today at 707-506-6138.