Keywords #3 Where to Use Your Keywords

Having the right keywords is clearly critical and just as important is how and where you use them. I’ll take them in order.

One of the first and most obvious is what we call “On-page” optimization. This simply means adding your keywords to strategic places in your page code. Not as important as it used to be, but still not to be over looked. There is great debate over what search engines are using what tags and then there is, of course, Google. Their main goal lately seems to be disguising how they rank pages. But, more on this at a later time.

While we are talking about tags, in this case the Description Meta Tag. Most search engines use this for your listing description. Google may, but it may also pull a snippet from your content. It is the first thing a viewer sees when searching and is going to decide if they check you out or not. Again, you can leave it out and the engines will pull the description from your content. Just make sure your content is good.

Next up is your content which is extremely important. Not only what the web site says but how it says it. The best advice I can give you now is write your content for people and conversion not the search engines. You tags titles, paragraph headers should all be relevant but readable and not keyword stuffed. Sure you still need to have the proper words in the proper quantities, but more importantly it has to be good. It needs to compel your viewer emotionally.

Launching and indexing the web site. This is a critical step that most people don’t get. You can’t just put up a web site and wait for the world to find it. There are millions of websites out there with hundreds of thousands new every day, you are going to be waiting awhile. To speed things up you need to list your website with as many relevant indexes and search engines as possible, including Google. The more the better and it will help with rank. They all will ask for keywords and descriptions except Google. Google has its own submission process, but they go read your site and decide what the keywords are. So see above about good relative content.

Next are your socials. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a dozen more. Google puts this toward your “popularity” and now relates directly to Google page rank. Everybody tells you that you need to use the socials, but nobody tells you exactly how. Well, keeping with that tradition I’m not going to here, but I will promise to write more about it in the future. Just know the keywords are important here too and they have to tie in with the keywords on the web site and your listings. Consistency is important. From your page titles to your hash tags there has to be a clear consistency of the keywords and their relevance to the content of your site.

Blogs, great way to generate interest, traffic and back links. You will use keywords for the name of your blog, post heading your search tags and of course the post content.

So, there you have it. The importance of your keywords and where to use them. This will also hold true if you use electronic yellow pages or yellow 360 and similar advertising indexes. The keywords need to be clear, consistent and relevant to what your viewer is searching for.

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Keywords #2, The “Long Tail” of Your Keywords

In the first article of my new keywords and socials series I planted the thought that more hits are not necessarily good hits. And that indeed you may be on the “First Page” but is it the first page of the viewers you want?

I know how people like pictures and I came across an article that uses some simple graphics to really drive the point home. He explains the ‘why” behind using what we call “Long Tail” keywords to narrow your focus and increase conversions.

My first article “How and Why We Select the Keywords We Do” explains a little about the importance of keywords. This guest article explains why you want to refine your keywords as much as possible.

In upcoming articles I will explain how to use your new keywords in everything from optimizing your web site through how to use the socials.
Enjoy the article!

http://www.portent.com/blog/seo/long-tail-seo-101-defined.htm

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Keywords #1 How and Why We Select the Keywords We Do

The objective of the research is to generate, with fair accuracy, a number of terms and phrases that are highly relevant but not obvious to the given input keyword search.

The process of keyword research involves brainstorming and the use of keyword research tools. There are several free ones you can find online. Since many of you are mostly interested in Google Keyword Planner tool. In order to achieve best results with SEO, it is important to pick the most relevant keywords. In our Case we use WebCEO and of course the Google Keyword Planner.

It is a good practice to pick keywords or phrases that have little competition and the highest amount of searches as possible. Keywords and phrases that have little competition will achieve higher rank .The higher the “Average monthly searches” will guarantee that the keyword attracts web traffic.

As with everything “Internet” this method is double edged. The downside is many times keywords that have very little competition get less searches while those that get millions of searches per month are extremely difficult to rank for.

That all said it is important to remember that the search engines are content driven. There are three important things to remember when searching for Keywords.

1. This one is important, Keywords must be relevant to the website. Search engine algorithms have the right and do exclude from search results sites with content not relevant to the keywords or site.

2. Seemingly good Keywords that are highly competitive are less likely to rank in the top.

3. Keywords that show no monthly searches will not generate any traffic therefore rendered useless for search optimization.

Concentrate on finding you audience more than worry about ranking, this helps with conversions too. I suggest my article Quality Hits Verse More Hits … Time to Change Your Thinking. http://www.lonebird.com/asheville_web_design_blog/quality-hits-verse-more-hits-time-to-change-your-thinking/

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Geofencing to Boost Restaurants Sales and Foot Traffic

Geofencing is a digital marketing strategy which basically uses location-based targeting of potential customers to increase sales and foot traffic for a business. The application is most widely used with restaurants and other service-based industries and has known to pay rich dividends to parties who have warmed up quickly to the advantages of geofencing and have subscribed to it for the purposes of marketing and branding.

Geofencing for restaurants

Geofencing as an advertising technology is somewhat new and yet it is already being used by a large number of eateries, food stations, etc. – both individual and chain enterprises. The idea is to send ads and messages to smartphone users when they are within a set range around the particular restaurant. The ads can include many things including the name and a small tablet description of the eatery in question, but also a list of the menus, happy hour specials, special discounts and offers, etc. The owners can hire the services of a mobile marketing firm such as Lone Bird Studio in Asheville NC to incorporate geofencing into their marketing operations. The firm can either build a special branded mobile application for its client or can use the other existing geofencing technologies to help increase sales and traffic of their clients.

No matter what, the idea is to send targeted location-based messages to likely customers and these messages can be keyed the customers’ browsing history, web cookies, or the most popular, the use of a mobile application on their phones. In case of large food chains, this whole operation may also get managed by a central IT operation.

There are also different categories when it comes to geo-fencing. Some of these include social media management, mobile application development, payment systems, etc. So, it is better to have a good knowledge of these separate categories, and what kind of profit you can cull from each of them, before you draw up your geofencing marketing plan. Discuss your requirements and preferences with the digital marketing firm and they would be able to advise you well on these matters.

Some of these firms will also offer to combine digital wallets with a client’s geofencing app. For example, a chain food court owner in Asheville can send location-based messages as well as redeemable digital coupons to their clients in Asheville as well as surrounding towns such as Biltmore Village, Arden, Waynesville, etc.

Mobile apps

Special apps can be designed for geofencing for a client. Some of these apps are cross-platform apps while others may be specially designed for Apple, Android or other mobile platform devices. There are iOS Geotrigger SDK and Android Geotrigger SDK services which provide wrappers around Apple or iOS’s native geofenced areas and Android’s native geofenced areas, respectively.

Other mobile app features which are very popular with the restaurant industry are SMS marketing and mobile ordering options. Applications can be designed for both purposes. SMS or text marketing is especially powerful and meant for existing customers of a restaurant who respond well to the text marketing. You can send special Asheville loyalty discount coupons or request short mobile surveys through SMS marketing apps. Apps which also provide online ordering options through mobile devices have also won a lot of popularity both with the customers and the owners of food places. But the point to be taken away is that this is a new proven method of increasing restaurant traffic and in the end sales.
SOURCES:

https://developers.arcgis.com/en/features/geotrigger-service/https://geoloqi.com/blog/tag/geofencing/

http://rmagazine.com/article/intro-to-geofencing-closing-in-on-mobility/

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Paid Ads Verses Organic Listings When it comes Time to Purchase

As you know we recently ran an informal survey regarding how people use Google.

 
It was sparked when we ran our numbers end of the year number. What we found plays right in to Googles game plan and might be surprising.

 
First, like many companies we spend many hours a week working on out site optimization, this study only includes the website and things like content, on-page markup, blogs, socials etc. Also like many business we run Google AdWords from time to time. What we found out really surprised us and I think it will interest you too.

 
We added up what I spend in man hours and salary working and re-working the optimization of the web site. While we were messing around with the site (big mistake) we decided to run Google AdWords to keep in place.

 
Turns out AdWords costs just a fraction of what was spent on the manual optimization.
So my question is I think, how much weight does a user (potential shopper) put in the difference between an organic listing and a paid ad?

 
If I can maintain a guaranteed top of the page position for a fraction of the cost who cares where the actual organic listing is. Plus, I have the ability to change the ads to fit my needs at will, I can match different ads to target keywords and even geo locations.
Now what I have noticed with my sites is even when we had the organic listing we always did better with the ads (more on this later). So that brings me back to the weight question.

So in my mind:
– I can have guaranteed top positioning for a fraction of the cost.
– I can concentrate on making the site more of a human sales tool rather than make compromises for the search engines.
– Did I mention the savings in time and cost is incredible?
– It gives me some major flexibility.

But it all comes back down to the ‘weight’ question.

My thoughts on that:
– I think Google is the new ‘Yellow Pages’. But by this I mean it adds legitimacy to your business like a yellow page ad did back in the day. Remember the “Find me in the yellow pages” decals on everything. That printed ad separated you it legitimized you. You were a big enough company to buy an ad.

– I think the same is now true with Google. I think it has now evolved to that point, it’s the go to for everything. The paid ad shows that you are a legitimate active business.
– Old phone book statistics show that when shopping people browsed the listings but when it came time to buy the called a display ad.

Query Results:
No remember that this was informal an informal polling.
First question:
As a consumer, do you put more weight in organic listings or the paid ads? Across all the places and groups we queried we received 31 responses.

Organic listing: 18, paid ads: 13

Second question:
As a business owner, if you get the results do you care where the hits come from? Across all the places and groups we queried we received 22 responses.
Care where the hits come from: 4, don’t care: 18
Seems like a contradiction until the last question.

Third Question:
As a consumer, when you are ready to purchase, do you click on an organic listing or a paid ad. This one was interesting because it swung completely opposite question one and we received 21 responses.

 
When it finally came time to make a decision, organic listing: 16, paid ads: 5
To sum it up it seems that people are using the same habits with Google as they used to use with the old Yellow Pages except now their fingers are walking across a keyboards. Bottom line was this, you get more hits with organic listing but you get more sales from the ads.

 
Another interesting side note is that many of the people using Google are not old enough to remember the Yellow Page hay days so maybe it is a behavioral pattern.

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Add New Life to Business cards, Rack cards or Printed Materials

Want to know how? Augmented Reality the new tool in this mobile age to help you get your message out.

What is it and how does it work? Augmented Reality allows you to add a new and interactive layer to objects or scenes that we look at all the time. When someone has a compatible viewer on their device and holds it over your sales materials many wondrous things can happen.

Want to know how? Augmented Reality the new tool in this mobile age to help you get your message out.

What is it and how does it work? Augmented Reality allows you to add a new and interactive layer to objects or scenes that we look at all the time. When someone has a compatible viewer on their device and holds it over your sales materials many wondrous things can happen.

A business or Rack card for example will display an image that seems to hover over the piece allowing you to add hidden discounts, a menu, links to webpages and more. But we are not limited to just flat images like text and pictures. Real estate for example can show a 3D image of the property. You can even rotate it for a complete 3D walk around. Restaurants can use it on menus, it can be used on printed ads and coupons and think of the possibilities for education.

The uses are vast, t-shirts, posters, packaging can all be used to trigger the animation. By using the location services built in to your devices you can use landscape and buildings to bring objects to life and expand information. But it is the near future that will bring Augmented Reality in to its own with wearable technology like Google’s new Glass, Meta Pro, and Vuzix. Heads up displays in automobiles, gaming and training visuals are all in the works, some are here now. The auto industry is already bringing it to the showroom and to your car and navigation systems.

So, no longer is your business card just something you hand out. Now you can turn it into a visual experience. Remember that user involvement increases response and that translates to your bottom line.

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How Google’s New Hummingbird Will Affect Your Website

Every now and then, Google changes the game of search engine optimization and turns the tables around. Some algorithm changes have been beneficial for the webmasters, and some have literally destroyed businesses overnight.

But the fact remains: search engines are getting smarter and more efficient all the time. Typically, their aim is to serve the user who comes there looking for information. They strive to show the most relevant answers to the user’s query at the top of the results, but it doesn’t end there.

Lately (on Google’s 15th birthday, to be precise), they have begun to take a more detailed look into the types of queries the users enter into the search bar. Back in the day, the results simply tried their best to show websites that included query-matching words. Now, the whole search phrase is analyzed in order to discern the meaning of these entered keywords, which enables them to return an even more suitable array of matching websites.

The new algorithm change is conveniently named Hummingbird and is supposed to affect about 90% of all search queries. Previous algorithmic changes named Panda and Penguin were merely an extension of the core engine, so to speak, but Hummingbird attempts to completely rewire the way search queries are interpreted. If you think about it, the user doesn’t really express himself through keywords. They are merely a tool to express the wish; the intention, if you will. And that’s the primary focus of the new algorithmic change.

So what can you do to prepare yourselves for this new innovation? The content now needs to be more relevant than ever – that’s what’s recommended by Asheville search optimization. Not just in terms of keywords mentioned, but as a whole. It needs to solve a problem, satisfy a request and represent a quality piece of information. It needs to be deep. A good rule of thumb is this: only post content you’d be proud to have your real name associated with. That’s the ultimate quality test by far and wide.

Do you have a Google+ profile? Well, now may be a good time to create one and link it with every single piece of content you’ve written (or have legal ownership of) on your website(s). More and more importance is placed upon authorship, and in the future, it’s going to be increasingly more important who (as in ‘what person’) wrote the article, rather than merely where it was posted. And you’re going to have to build some authority and followers around your name, which is something you kind of have to do anyway if you want to be an influencer in your chosen market.

Quality content is getting an increased impact on rankings and all search engine optimization strategies need to take this into account. A person looking for information might type in keywords such as ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘location’ and ‘why’, and your website needs to be designed to be a perfect fit for this. It needs to provide an answer, not just a piece of text with relevant keywords in it.

If you try your best to serve the end-user, search engines will serve you by sending more traffic your way.

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Even Google has to deal with IE

Had to access my Adwords console yesterday but first, I have a new Win 8 workstation so I have never accessed my Management Console with it before. I login fine but soon notice that data and columns were skewed or incomplete.

I click on the handy chat help button for support. The kindly chat box informs me that they are having trouble with Internet Explorer. I shut everything down, logged in with Firefox and all was good.

So as a web developer I have known for years that there are web browsers and then there is IE. For years we have been writing IE fixes to make web features work. It’s just gratifying to know that someone as big as Google has to deal with it too.

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Top 5 Most Important Principles When Optimizing Your Website

Even though Google claims the best way to do search engine optimization is to, well, not do any of it at all, practice has shown that if you want to rank anywhere near the top in search engine results, it’s still a vital part of the process. But it isn’t solely based on hard work: it’s imperative that you know what you’re doing, or hire a reputable SEO expert to do the work for you.

I’m going to list the top 5 most important principles to bear in mind when optimizing your website for search engines. What you should notice that content is very important.

 1. Do your keyword research properly?

 Going after search phrases that nobody is actually searching for is not worth your time, period. Whether you use the default Google Keyword Planner (or a dedicated program) is entirely up to you. Just make sure to set your own search volume criteria and follow it diligently. Don’t get married to a niche if it’s simply too small to be worth it!

 2. Is your on-site SEO done properly?

 As powerful as writing quality content may be, it’s not enough if you’re after a tougher niche. The content posted on your website needs to adhere to some basic guidelines in order to make search engines rank it higher. This might be a bit tricky if you’ve never done it before, but you need to make sure the keyword you’re targeting is mentioned in the article’s title, headers, Meta description and URL. If you don’t know the technicalities of HTML, it might be a better idea to hire an expert to do it for you.

 3. Make sure that the content on your site is unique, researched and well-written.

 Webmasters are slowly starting to realize that content is king. Whether you agree with it or not, the fact of the matter remains the same – you won’t get far with copy-pasted articles or some intelligible junk that some program spat out. Remember, you’re writing for the readers, not the search engines. If you want to form a long-lasting mutually-beneficial relationship with Google, you’d better keep this in mind at all times.

 4. Ensure a steady flow of fresh content.

 Webmasters should post new articles on a regular. Doing this lets search engines know that your website is still alive and gives it a small boost in its rankings due to the freshness of the content provided.

 5. Don’t build backlinks too fast and make sure they’re coming from different websites.

 Don’t fire up your favorite program, load it with a bunch of spun articles and blast the Internet with it. It never really worked particularly well in the past, and as search engine algorithms are gradually becoming smarter and smarter, it’s only going to backfire on you even more in the future. Your website can easily get penalized by doing this, so don’t even think about it! Instead, try to provide quality content to thematically-related sites of high authority in exchange for backlinks. Quality beats quantity every time.

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Asheville Search Optimization: A Complete Web Design

A web design is really much more than a catchy graphic design. To be effective a web project should be broken down in to 3 parts.

The first part and arguably the most valuable is research. The results of this first step will be the guiding light throughout the entire project.  This research also produces the mighty Keyword list. Your designer / Search Engine Optimization (SEO) person will use this list for everything from file names through listing and advertising your website.

The second step is really a two part process which includes the actual design itself and the on-page optimization.  At this stage both are equally important. Optimization is how you are found and design relates to user experience and conversion, both need to work together. The best advice here is to keep these two parts under the same roof.  Search optimization has to be built in to the web design from the beginning.

The final and probably the most over looked part are the listing and indexing of the website. There is much more to the Internet than Google. There are hundreds of indexes and directories many are free some are paid. What you need to know is that many are feeder directories for Google. No doubt Google is the king but you want to list your site everywhere possible. Quality is important so be careful, selective and relevant. Make sure you have all the proper site maps and a robots.txt file.

Now that mobile is the new normal there are new concerns on the design side but the research and the indexing / listing are still, to me, the most important parts of the entire web design project.  When you pick a web designer be sure they cover all three.

 

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