The Main Type Of Organic Searches That Are Performed

Local Search, Broad Search

In this blog I am going to cover the different types of searches that are performed on Google. Keyword & phrase searches can be broken into three main categories and they are the following:

Broad
Auto repair, auto shop, car service

City + Niche (Local)
Your city + transmission repair, brake service, car engine repair

Long-tail Keywords (City + Specifics)
City + fast break repair, quick oil change, best auto shop for brake service

Broad keywords are typically searched when people don’t really know what they are looking for. This is important to know because that means they are not ready to buy a product or service. When someone searches for broad keywords it typically means they are in the research stage.

Local searches (City + Niche) are ideal keywords phrases to optimize your website for.  The people performing local searches typically know what they want and are more willing to buy a product or service.

When you rank for these keywords you will also rank for very broad terms as long as Google knows where the person performing the search is located.  Which Google almost always does because they know everything.

The only down side in targeting local keywords is they are more difficult to rank for because there are a ton of people competing for the same keywords. When targeting these keywords just know it will take some time before you begin appearing higher in the search.

Long-tail keywords are searched when people know exactly what they are looking for, or at least they think they do.  People who find you using these types of searches will take up less of your time, be a stronger lead, and be more willing to purchase your services.

Even better, the more specific you are the faster and easier it will be to rank for those keywords. Many businesses ignore these keywords which make them ideal for anyone who is launching a new website.

This doesn’t mean you should target “Yodeling Orlando car mechanic” because you likely won’t get any business.  You need to target profitable keywords so put serious thought into them. When in doubt refer to the google keyword tool.

Now that you know the basics I need to warn you. Make sure you abide by Google’s polices. This means no keyword stuffing, no unethical link building, and do not over optimize your site. Remember when I said Google knows everything? They have things called robots that crawl your website periodically and they will know if you are trying to cheat the system. If you are caught, they will penalize your website.

Facebook Instant Articles: A New Marketing Obstacle

Some major changes are about to be made to Facebook and your news feed. Over the course of the next month, the social media giant will begin incorporating “Instant Articles”. This new feature will allow people to view an article without actually leaving Facebook’s website. Rather than waiting for the new page to load after clinking the link to an article, the Instant Article will appear without any load time. A video promoting this new feature is on Facebook’s website.

 

There’s no denying that this new feature looks awesome. Viewing articles from your mobile device without any load time and with the new image viewing technology (shown in the video) will make the experience far more enjoyable. From an SEO standpoint; however, this new feature could prove to be harmful to businesses posting content to their company Facebook pages. Many fear that without any inbound links from Facebook, overall referral traffic will skydive and directly impact their rankings in Google.

http://instantarticles.fb.com/

Another cause for much concern is that the link will no longer redirect viewers to a company page where they could transition into qualified sales leads and move deeper into the buyer process. Instead, the viewer will simply read the content without even leaving Facebook and get right back to his or her news feed afterwards. Facebook gets a great end of the bargain with this change. Content producers provide the content while Facebook gets the site visitors before and after the article is read.

 

According to Kipp Bodnar of Hubspot.com, “Maintaining control of your content is key to driving long-term, sustainable business growth.” With Instant Articles, it seems like we are losing the full control of our content. Facebook is too popular of a social network to abandon completely. Maintaining brand exposure is enough reason to deal with these frustrating changes. But there is no denying that this new feature will have a negative impact on referral traffic and possibly take away from generating leads via your website.

 

One bright spot is that clicks on the articles do in fact count towards the publisher’s site traffic. Those numbers will not be negatively impacted. The lack of inbound links from Facebook on the other hand, will most likely detract from your sites authority in Google. Yet another obstacle that marketers will have to overcome thanks to Facebook’s ever-changing platform.

The Number One Tip for Every Direct Marketing Professional (not what you’d expect!)

Drumroll please.

 

My number one marketing tip…make sure you have the right tools in place! Modern day marketers are expected to be responsible for a wide range of strategies and tactics, and the only way to make sure you are being efficient and effective is to know what tools are out there to help with each area. This list is by no means meant to be inclusive, but it should give you an idea of just how many resources (both paid and free) are available out there.

 

1. General SEO

(Raven Tools, Moz Suite, Majestic SEO, Ahrefs)

 

2. Technical SEO

(Screaming Frog, Xenu, Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster, Schema Creator)

 

3. CRO

(Clicktale, Visual Website Optimizer, Inspectlet, CrazyEgg, Unbounce, UsabilityHub)

 

4. Social

(Buffer, Sprout Social, Hootsuite)

 

5. Keyword Tools

(Wordstream, Ubersuggest, Keyword Planner, Google Trends, Wordtracker)

 

6. Email

(Streamsend, Mailchimp, ExactTarget, Constant Contact, Sendgrid)

 

7. Customer Feedback

(Survey Monkey, Qualaroo, SurveyGizmo, Google Forms)

 

8. Automation

(Marketo, Hubspot, Net-Results, Pardot, Silverpop, Infusionsoft)

 

9. Mobile

(Localytics, Flurry, Appboy, Appfigures)

 

10. Personalization

(Monetate, Demandbase)

 

11. Data & Analytics

(Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Geckoboard)

 

12. PPC Advertising

(Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Linkedin Ads)

 

13. Retargeting

(Adroll, Retargeter, Perfect Audience)

 

14. Content Marketing

(MyBlogGuest, StumbleUpon Paid, Contently, Scribe, Feedly)

 

15. CRM

(SugarCRM, Salesforce, Sage CRM)

 

16. PR

(Buzzstream, Vocus, HARO, PRNewswire)

 

17. Organization

(Trello, Google Drive, Dropbox, Basecamp, AtTask)

 

18. Customer Support

(Uservoice, Freshdesk, Zendesk, Happyfox)

 

19. Competitive Research

(Compete, SEMrush, SpyFu, iSpionage, Mixrank, TrackMaven)

 

20. Local SEO

(Bright Local, GetListed, Yext, Whitespark)

 

21. Chrome Extensions

(Scraper for Chrome, Moz Bar, Link Clump, Awesome Screenshot, Similar Sites)

 

22. Brand and Social Monitoring

(Google Alerts, Topsy, Social Mention, Mention)

 

23. Miscellaneous

(SenderScore, Wayback Machine, Prezi, Uberflip, Copyscape, IFTTT, Boomerang)

 

24. Bonus Tip – To get insight into some of the tools other companies are using, you can use BuiltWith. This will identify (most) of the technologies your competitors, favorite websites, and Fortune 500 companies are using.

 

25. Bonus Tip 2 – Many of the paid services mentioned in the blog post will offer a free trial – some even without a credit card. Make sure to take advantage of these trial opportunities!

 

Knowing the tools, what role each plays, which are in your budget, as well as which one(s) are right for your business can take a lot of time. It’s something that we definitely recommend every marketer take the time to research – it makes a world of difference!

 

So you have any favorite tools you don’t see on this list? Share in the comments below.

As always…happy marketing!

10 steps to SEO website success. Things change in the SEO world frequently and what works today may not work tomorrow. Take a look at what you can do now to start.

The Ultimate Website Audit Guide – 10 Steps to SEO Success

 

When I am doing an audit for a client or even as a favor to a friend there are guidelines I like to follow to help me identify weaknesses, strengths, and potential issues more quickly and efficiently. Honestly, I have almost even begun to like auditing websites thanks to this tried and true method…almost.

 

1) Look For The Redirects

Does a site redirect its duplicate content? For example I would be checking to make sure that all pages on http://customerrave.com redirected to http://www.customerrave.com. If they are not 301 redirected, then I will be looking for the use of a rel=”canonical” tag on those pages. If I find neither of these things – then at least I know what my first suggestion is going to be!

 

2) Check for Page Titles, Meta Tags, H Tags & Alt Tags

During this step I want to make sure that every page is using unique page titles and meta tags…while intelligently making use of all H tags and alt tags. Once again, if this is not being done, it’s another quick and easy fix that can lead to better rankings.

 

3) Check for Broken Links

When auditing a site, checking for broken links is near the top of my priority list. With access to applications and software like Google/Bing Webmaster Tools and SEOMoz checking for broken links is a breeze. After identifying the broken links, I simply fix them…end of story… unless of course there are 1,000’s of broken links. That usually signals much larger issues (that I will cover in step 9).

 

4) Scan for Duplicate Content

While this step is not always practical for large sites with 10,000+ pages, I at least like to start by using different methods to navigate to the same page. For example, in a personalized invitation site I might search by both “occasion” and “product type” to reach the same product. Once there I will check to see if the URL is consistent no matter how the page is reached. There are also numerous tools that can be used to check for duplicate content.

 

5) Examine Link Profile

One of the most important factors of any site audit – the link profile will give you a good picture of what a site is doing right and wrong in the world of online marketing. I usually check the total number of links, number of unique linking domains, distribution of links to the domain, no follow vs. follow links, and the distribution of the various types of links. This step is very time consuming – but it gives me a great picture of where a site may be lacking in terms of inbound links. Tools like OpenSiteExplorer are also great for looking at the authority of each inbound link at other unique characteristics like MozRank and MozTrust.

 

6) Keyword Analysis – Are they realistic?

This is one of the most important steps of any site audit. Some SEO ignorant sites simply choose to target the wrong keywords. You can be optimized from here to the moon and still not see any returns from certain keywords. Most of the time unrealistic keywords are either: too difficult to rank for, or do not have enough search volume to justify the resources spent in optimizing for them.

 

7) Check Site on Different Browsers

This step is much easier when you have access to an analytics platform. Simply pull up site usage statistics by browser to identify which browsers are underperforming. After identifying potential issues, simply view your site in the aforementioned browsers to see where the problems lie. Tools like Browserstack are also helpful for identifying trouble areas.

 

8) Level of Indexation

One of the most overlooked statistics, depth of indexation, can play a significant role in the total amount of traffic. If a page isn’t indexed, you’re simply not going to rank for it. If certain pages are not indexed I try resubmitting sitemaps to Google and Bing Webmaster Tools. If the pages still are not indexed I look at what the problems could be. Are they too deep within the navigation? Perhaps there are duplicate content issues? I try fixing any obvious issues…if none can be found I will suggest to start building off site links to that page, as well as increase internal linking.

 

9) Site Architecture, URL Structure and Internal Navigation/Linking

This is often the most difficult part of any SEO audit to fix. Problems with information architecture and URL structure can require drastic website reorganization which can often affect conversion rates. This is not something to be taken lightly. But if a problem is identified it needs to be fixed. Remember to have a good game plan when implementing these changes, and test as much as possible before making the switch. 301 redirects will most likely be needed – especially when making your URLs friendlier and less dynamic. Make sure you have a good plan in place so that you do not lose any link value your pages may have.

 

10) Usability and the Obvious

These are the things often missed in a website audit. Things like “about us”, “FAQ” and other essential pages can be overlooked; though they often contribute just as much to the bottom line as any other pages on a site. Even things like the checkout page should be examined. I once made a recommendation to initiate a credit card option at checkout (other than only PayPal, which by the way takes most major credit cards) and conversion rates have increased 350% ever since. The main concept here is to take a step back and look at the website objectively as if it is brand new to you. Sometimes people who are too close to a site can miss the obvious…

 

But remember…even the best SEO website audits are useless unless the findings are expressed in a clear and realistic action plan. These 10 steps to SEO website audit success should be performed periodically and not just once a year or less. Things change in the SEO world frequently and what works today may not work tomorrow. Just remember to keep your content fresh and your methods fresher.