Keyword Research Tips

Good overview of keyword research here. Too many people neglect the usefulness of thinking through important terms and keywords in their web site’s content or blog posts. If you ask a Googler how to rank better in their search engine, they’ll tell you to “write great content.” That’s true but deliberately thinking about your “main ideas” and including those terms in your content also helps that aspect of discovery marketing.

The one pushback I have is the need for landing pages focused on particular keywords… that was certainly true a few years ago, but recent Google algorithm changes have made that pretty much a waste of time and resources if the landing pages are being created with the direct purpose of keyword rankings…

Keyword research is the first step in the SEO copywriting process and an essential part of any SEO strategy. Before you write your website content you need to think about which search terms you want to be found for and this means getting inside people’s heads to find out which words they use when searching. Then you can use these exact terms in your content so that you start ranking for them. This is keyword research and this ultimate guide will take you through the many steps involved.

Source: Keyword research for SEO: the ultimate guide • Yoast

What is Local SEO?

Here’s a good read on the thinking behind “local SEO” and how to implement some of the strategies on your website. We do this for a number of clients when we build or revise their sites, particularly churches and nonprofits (and small businesses) who really depend on local search traffic in fundraising or awareness campaigns.

Local SEO is about how to optimize your website to rank better for a local audience. A website gives you the opportunity to target the entire (online) world. But if the target audience for your business is actually located in or near the city you have your office or shop, you’ll need to practice at least some local SEO as well. You need to optimize for your city name, optimize your address details. In short: you need to optimize so people know where you are located and are able to find you offline (if required). In this post, we will try to explain what local SEO is, so you can optimize your local site as well!

Source: What is local SEO? • SEO for beginners • Yoast

“How can I get on the first page of a Google Result?”

SEO still matters as a part of your marketing mix. This helps, though…

Google has introduced infinite scrolling to mobile search results pages.

Where there used to be page numbers at the bottom of SERPs there is now a “more results” button. Tapping on the button will trigger more search results to load within the same page.

Source: Google Switches to Infinite Scrolling Mobile Search Results – Search Engine Journal

Why Some Services Cost More Than Others (Education)

“Holistic local SEO campaigns are the best for providing long-term value because the results won’t disappear immediately if you stop working with the agency. They also offer an element of education that you could argue is the most valuable of all.

While these services can seem a bit costly, they’re worth their price in every aspect. They’re highly targeted campaigns run by thoughtful local SEO technicians who know how to focus on getting results. The investment into these campaigns typically ranges from $899 to $ 1,999 per month depending on the company, their specific offerings and the business’s overall goals.”

Source: Why costs for local SEO campaigns vary

We work with a number of businesses, organizations, and even churches on what can be defined as “holistic” SEO programs to increase their site’s effectiveness at reaching desired potential customers or interactions at the local level.

There are some great “automated” services where you can “set it and forget it” and pay a monthly fee to do your search optimization as the article points out (Moz Local, Synup, Yext etc). We’ve steered a few of our clients in that direction given their budget, goals, or scope of demographics. The same goes with building a site… there are great solutions such as Squarespace or even WordPress.com for building your own website on the cheap, and sometimes that’s a better solution (I’d stay away from Wix or Weebly because of the way those site generators perform in Google searches, but that’s just me).

However, if you want the real trifecta of successful results, you have to hire an expert (which is what we do):

  1. Education from Expert Consultations (most important)
  2. Focus on Real Results for Long Term
  3. Customization for Your Specific Goals

You simply can’t get that with DIY programs.

I often see advertisements for website builders or newsletter delivery solutions or business card designers / makers that promise “ease of use” and “success” for small businesses or organizations working on shoestring budgets. It’s tempting to consider using those, especially when you are starting out or looking to make the jump to the next plateau. Sometimes, that’s a wise move. More often than not, you realize a few months into your endeavors that it would have been better to “hire an agency” or an expert to help you both clarify your goals as well as implement a site or newsletter or business card design that is both professional and custom to your needs.

Don’t discount the education component of marketing. I don’t expect my clients to run out and pass a Google Search Exam after a few months or years, but nothing makes me happier than when a client understands the value of their marketing investment and starts brainstorming with our team or even wants to learn more about how web design really works.

I’m a teacher at heart, I guess.

Card Cataloging and What Comes After Google

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I was always in the 900’s as a kid and teenager…

000 – General works, Computer science and Information
100 – Philosophy and psychology
200 – Religion
300 – Social sciences
400 – Language
500 – Pure Science
600 – Technology
700 – Arts & recreation
800 – Literature
900 – History & geography

Then I got to Yale and they used the Library of Congress system and I was all sorts of messed up for a few months.

And now we have Google. Better?

In some ways yes, in some ways no. Cataloging knowledge has been a human pursuit since the beginnings of writing in Sumeria. I wonder if we will keep turning that over to the algorithms or if whatever some kid in a basement is working on now that will eventually replace Google will return us to human curated cataloging of knowledge?

Mobilegeddon for Websites

Honestly, most of the sites that are going to be adversely affected by Google’s algorithm change to favor mobile-friendly sites don’t rank well already.

I see it everyday in my work with churches and non-profits whose sites date back to 2006 or 2007 and are mostly using static designs or a host that charges extra for mobile-friendliness. They don’t rank well in Google and want to know why.

So, do your due diligence and you’ll be fine…

THE timing is awkward, to say the least. On April 21st Google, the world’s biggest online-search engine, will start implementing another major overhaul of its mobile-search algorithm. This is likely to penalise many websites, which is why some have called the change “mobilegeddon”. This comes less than a week after the European Union accused the firm’s search engine of systematically giving favourable treatment to Google Shopping, its price-comparison service.

via Google: Mobilegeddon | The Economist.