Tag Archives: Search Engine Optimization

Internet Marketing For Small Business Tips

Every site owner thinks it’s more complicated than it is to market themselves online. In reality, it’s super simple to get these 5 internet marketing for small business tips right in order to set yourselves up for success, and possibly get ahead of the competitor within the internet marketing front.

Sure, when it comes to applying SEO techniques to your website, there’s more complicated strategies and tactics that can be used. That’s where SEO consultants like myself would come in, however these fundamental SEO and internet marketing for small business tips are what I ended up spending a majority of my time on, simply because the small business owner didn’t understand to apply these helpful tips in the first place.

Internet Marketing for Small Business Tips

Write about your services

Too many times to count have I seen this fundamental tip completely missed when it comes to adding information about the services the business provides. I cringe when I see a service page that has a list of services performed and nothing more. It’s not service specific either, hair salons, construction companies, healthcare professionals ALL do this incorrectly.

In order to have a better chance of being found on Google, you must create more pages to your site. The more pages your website has, the more opportunity it has to be found by people searching for specific terms.

A few simple tips come from this recommendation as well;

  1. Each service should have it’s own web page.
  2. Each service page should have 300-500 words of content discussing the service, areas of support, anything relevant that the customer may search for
  3. If possible, pages should have testimonials / before and after shots of projects / something captivating that could convince a person to hire you

Get social!

Another fundamental thing that is often considered a missed opportunity. At this point, for local SEO purposes every single business should have a Google+ Business Page, Facebook Page, and a Twitter profile. Those three social media sites can have the ability to help your website, but also give people an outlet to write about your business(good or bad). What a better way to get the temperature of your business over time, or use it to push out services/daily specials you may have.

While it’s true that a lot of this is common knowledge, it is frustrating as a consumer when you can’t find anything about a particular company online. In this day and age, it’s almost alarming to not see something about a company within the social media sphere, which is why it’s astounding that it still isn’t an accepted practice when owning a business.

Utilize business directories

No, I’m not condoning the practice of submitting your website to every single directory you come across on the internet. In fact, employing that tactic can actually hurt your site than help it. Specifically what I’m talking about, is finding local directories in your area that you can trust, using the website Moz Local.

Moz Local is a free tool for providing you their own healthy directory of websites that are considered signals to ranking for local searches. The goal of your business citations within each directory should be correct. Every detail from address to phone number should be the same across all sites. Doing this allows Google to make the connection and consider these local citations to your business. Local citations are good for business.

Manage your reputation

Remember the advice above to create a social media presence for your business? Once you have established that presence online, you’re going to need someone to manage the accounts, be in charge of the day to day posting, and be able to effectively handle a positive or negative situation online. Bad reviews are going to happen, the ability to respond to a bad review will effectively help you in the long run for when people search your business. They’re going to see that negative review, but they’re also going to see how you handled that negative review. Nothing like turning a negative into a positive right?

These few internet marketing for small business tips can immediately help you wrangle in your internet marketing skills for your small business instantly. It’s not always about taking the short way out, and a lot of the times small business owners are looking for that route.

Of course these internet marketing for small business tips are easy to grasp, but can take time and patience to perfect. However, even the novice of people looking to help their own business online can make an impact with a bit of research and practice. When it comes to the Optimization of your website, it’s not always about showing up in the rankings higher than everyone else. Rankings will come, by doing these kind of optimizations. The more people that visit your website, they more chances to convert, and optimizing for those experiences can have a more profound benefit that just your rankings. It can help; ROI, reputability of your company and brand awareness.

The factors that get improved with these kinds of simple internet marketing for small business tips help immediately and in the long run of your business success. Feel free to leave a comment or send me a message if you have any questions, I’m always willing to offer advice!

Advanced Segments, SEO, and You!

Being able to analyze your website’s data with Google Analytics is awesome. For one, it’s free. The second thing, while many use it for just baseline reporting, it can be used for much more than that. Especially when it comes to using it for Search Engine Optimization purposes. Google Analytics enables you to view advanced segments of your data quickly to analyze the most important information to you.

Google Analytics advanced segments could be considered the light in a dark tunnel of data. It gives you exactly what you need to deep dive into the data and give real engaging results that can help you take your website optimization to the next level.

I’ll go through the top five advanced segments that can immediately make an impact when analyzing your website data for seo purposes.

Google Analytics Advanced Segments

Organic Image Traffic

Have an image-rich website and want to accurately see the kind of traffic that is coming from image searches to your site? This segment enables you to view search traffic coming from Google Images separately from all organic search to find out how well images are doing, or if you could potentially tap into the success of an already popular image.

advanced segments






Link to Google Analytics advanced segment: http://goo.gl/xwVpge

First Interaction using Organic Search

This advanced segment can help you discover just how many people are visiting your site through organic search as their first interaction. More than likely, you will find this segment useful when breaking down a report for someone who’s only interested in increasing the natural search side of a website. Filter it out so you can see just how much of an impact your website makes in the organic stratosphere.

First Interaction







Link to Google Analytics advanced segment: http://goo.gl/6iPDlC

Any Interaction using Organic Search

While this is similar to the advanced segment above. This segment breaks out all of your visitors who have visited your site through organic search at least once(new and returning) in their history of visiting your site.

any interaction







Link to Google Analytics advanced segment: http://goo.gl/6P1oKC

Specific Page as the First Interaction

Placing a special importance on a page within your website? Want to see how many people visit your blog? With this Google Analytics advanced segment you can make that happen. This segment is great for determining the positive or negative value of a page and determining if it needs more work. This is great for determining what visitors visited your site through a specific page as their first interaction.

specfic page







Link to Google Analytics advanced segment: http://goo.gl/HzzULb

Depth of Organic Visits

This advanced segment can be used to see how engaging your website is from an organic search perspective. The idea is to keep people on your site as long as possible before converting. The more engaging content you have, the more likely you can keep people interested. This segment really can be an eye opener at just how much is needed to continue to optimize your site for search(it was for me anyways!).

Visit Depth







Link to Google Analytics advanced segment: http://goo.gl/kp56Zy

So there’s five advanced segments that can easily get you started in diving deeper into your website. All of these can be used for increasing the value of your website and analyzing the potential workflow needed to further optimize your website!

I’ve listed my five to get even the basic users started, what are yours? If you have any valuable advanced segments that you use with Google Analytics, feel free to comment below!

5 Local SEO Tips You Shouldn’t Pay For

Sometimes the answer is hitting you right in the face, especially when it comes to doing local seo on your business’s website. Having gained experience doing local seo in the Pittsburgh area, it’s starting to really become clear that businesses tend to miss the things right in front of them. They’re hoping for a huge influx of visits from all over the US looking to buy their products.

Local SEO TipsSure, giving them the benefit of the doubt and after some quick institutionalization, the main goal then shifts to nailing down the local aspect and focusing on leads and conversions that are more conducive to their business.

With the introduction of Google Hummingbird, locality searches and the use of semantic search have grown even more important to being found within your local business area. Read on to see how these changes can improve your online presence with little to no tech effort involved.

The unreal thing, is that people charge you for these local seo tips that you’re about to read. These selling points are often spoken about and considered too technical for a business owner like yourself to understand. It’s simply not true, and the management aspect is the most time-consuming part.

It’s understood that owning a business is hard and time-consuming, but it’s either hundreds of dollars a month to pay for someone to manage your site/social media, or 15 minutes a day/week to keep everything up to date.

Just remember, nobody knows your business or market better than you do. You have the inside track to what sells and what’s popular in the industry; leverage it online to build a local presence!

Local SEO Tips You Shouldn’t Pay For

1) Get your business on Google (https://www.google.com/business/placesforbusiness/).

This should be the first thing you do. Register and verify your business ASAP. Don’t pay for someone to manage something that takes 10 minutes to do, and you can instantly verify the business with a number directly with the business landline.

The benefit of doing this allows you to edit the business information and giving you the ability to add pictures/video as well as your website. This is key with the new Hummingbird Algorithm. People using searches like “nearest service station” will then be able to see your business location correctly with very important present.

UPDATE 10/16/2013

If you have an adroid device, Google just released the Places For Business app. It will be eventually coming to iOS but for now it’s Android only. Take charge of your business listing right from your android phone. It’s got a whole slew of features available. Get it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.bizbuilder

Update your business information, including hours, address, contact information, photos and description. 

  • Keep your customers in the know by posting updates and photos
  • Respond to comments and +1’s on your posts
  • Learn how customers find and interact with your business with insights
  • Manage multiple business locations from one app 

2) Get a Google+ Business Page (http://www.google.com/+/business/).

Don’t take this local seo tips post as an all-encompassing love fest for all things Google. Don’t get me wrong though, with a majority of the searches done there, anything they have to offer that could be valuable to your business should be used. It’s also another thing that takes a solid 15-20 minutes to do.

The key here though, is that once it’s active start using it to push new products. I know everyone uses Facebook and Twitter, but really incorporate it into your posting strategy. It’s beneficial for reviews/pictures/videos/customer outreach. These are the kinds of things that can really give an extra boost to your business as well as brand.

3) Control your information.

There are multiple places where your local citations can be placed. Register with as many directories as you can and fix the information so it displays correctly. Having these sites displaying the same information that your website does builds a very strong causation. Sites like localeze and infoUSA can help you set up a uniform look across the web.

Google then relates everything together in a citation format, boosting your local online presence. This then leads to my next suggestion.

4) Phone numbers and addresses on each page.

Make sure this one is followed strictly. Make sure that every page on your website has the most up to day contact information available. Avoid using 800 numbers if you’re local specific. While they’re nice, they don’t build any local relevance like your local number would.

5) Get reviews good or bad.

Any and all reviews should be asked to be put online. Make sure this becomes on of your closing points as you complete a service. If you’re willingly asking people to put their reviews online, it helps build a greater idea of what you’re business is about. It also helps if there’s a negative review. Who wouldn’t want the ability to make it right and see that solution grow for anyone who could be searching your business. Be rewarded for the services you offer and show people you’re willing to go the extra mile for someone who had a negative experience.

Local search can go much deeper. However these 5 tips are simple, and quick to adopt for your business. Having the ability to control everything right at your fingertips is beneficial in the long run, and for the cheaper “local SEO” options in the Pittsburgh area, these are the most common things that will likely be sold to you.

Of course you’re going to take the local seo options if you feel that you’re truly out in the cold when it comes to technology, but I’ve seen some pretty savvy business owners take these local seo tips and make them their own and have success in their own way.


How Many Visits Are You Getting From Google SERPS?

Ranking well in the Google SERPS isn’t the end all be all label for success when it comes to SEO. As an SEO Consultant, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “Just get me to a high position for this keyword, and I’ll be happy!” What does that high position mean for your keyword? How many click through visits are you getting from that Google SERP? Is that keyword even worth targeting?

A lot of the times, recommended keywords from the business owner aren’t worth targeting, the keyword research that is done will usually tell a different story, and will often shock the business owner who thought his keyword phrase was a sure hit.

What does a high ranking Google SERP mean though? Especially if you’re targeting the wrong keywords, it could mean nothing. Optify.com released a study on SERP’s and their click through rates that has become a sworn document of mine recently. This particular study breaks down each position on page one of the Google SERPS and estimates a percentage of click’s you’re going to received from position 1 through 10.

Not only does this provide a reasonable expectation on the work it will take to rank for a keyword, but will also help weed out the keywords that may be more trouble than they’re worth.

Google SERPS Click Through Chart

Google SERP Click Through Rates


This kind of chart creates a very good estimate in an SEO’s mind about just how many clicks a particular keyword can expect when it rankings for a certain position.

Example: “Keyword Stuff” Has an average monthly search of 22,000. We can expect to rank at spot 4 after all the optimization we do to a web page. So looking at the chart, we can estimate that 6% of 22,000 would actually click through to your website. The equation would be .06 x 22,000 = 1320 total expected visits if we attained position 4 in the Google SERPS.

Breaking it down to the simplest form can really alert someone to the keywords that they want to show up for. If you’re looking at a keyword that has less than 200 visits average, are you really that excited to have any posting after the position 6 spot? If you held position 6, would you really be happy with 7.8 visits a month (.0399 x 200)?

It is true of course, that ranking for all of these keywords does build up to an ever increasing number, but you should be thinking bigger when it comes to main pages, while focusing on long-tail keywords for lesser pages of your website.

Good Content…Does It Really Trump SEO Efforts?

I’ve been thinking about this for the past few weeks when it comes to content creation, and the constant preaching that Matt Cutts does when he discusses the value of creating good content. Cutts main concept is that good content trumps SEO efforts.

“Even if you do brain-dead stupid things and shoot yourself in the foot, but have good content, we still want to return it,” says Cutts. In fact, Cutts says that Google tries to make it so that sites “don’t have to do SEO.” – Cutts discussing how even the best HTML website still gets beat out by having good code.

At this point, the more I read and the more I look into websites, it seems that social signals have the ability to trump SEO for a limited time. However, that immediate impact is then replaced over time with the value of good SEO.

If having well written content was the end all case of being seen, then backlinks would be less important and we wouldn’t have to worry about having those important links pointing back to our site to stay number one or even on the first page for that matter. That being said, we know backlinks are still very important in the eyes of Google. While most of the discussion points come from Cutts saying that having good content can still be better than having an accurately coded and clean SEO site structure, to me that’s yet to be seen.

Body ContentIf having good content were the case, I wouldn’t have seen a site that had limited spun content rank number one for a certain keyword just by having back links and a ton of fake social media accounts give likes and shares. In the past few weeks, that site has dropped in the rankings but it trumped the thought that content was king.

What that site had however, was a boost in backlinks to the page it was ranking for, and all kinds of social signals pointing to that page. Regardless of the content that was on it, it still ranked number 1 for the span of a month based on the virility of the website using external factors. Depending on the keyword ranking, that one month could bring in more leads than anything else they do and it far outweighs the penalty that’s going to come. Especially if the site owners follow the route of buying a new domain and doing the same thing the next time to organically rank number one.

Content, SEO, and Social Media must work together

Now I’m not saying that content isn’t king, because it most certainly is. What I’m saying, is that even as much as Cutts wants to ignore it, SEO is still the queen, and social media is the prince. Without good content, it doesn’t go far in social media. However, with mediocre to bad content, you can still rank number one or even within the top five important spots on the first page by power of SEO.

The part where good content shines with SEO is if that content is helping you convert, which is something that mediocre content won’t do, even on its best day. The point of all of this is that it’s not just one or the other; they all have to be on point to create a long last effect in the rankings. Good content only gets you so far, just like good SEO does. Having both SEO and content working together along with the involvement of Social Media, can take you and your website to the next level.

SEJ Article: Tread Carefully If You Hear Any Of These From An SEO Agency

Everyone once in a while I come across a gem that’s worth mentioning here and giving a back link to. It’s rare that I find anything really quality on Search Engine Journal anymore. I’ve often looked elsewhere for up to date news, but a post about looking for an SEO Agency this morning caught my eye and I thought it was worth summarizing here.

Tread Carefully If You Hear Any Of These From An SEO Agency

I really want to take a few of their titles and really expand and give my thoughts on them and really looking out for yourself when it comes to picking an SEO Agency. You can never be too safe when it comes to choosing the correct agency, and all of their suggestions hit home when it comes to keeping yourself protected among the sharks out there.

Number & Quality Of Links

SEJ Wrote:

One of the first aspects most clients like to get their head around is the link building side to SEO. Most agencies will try to educate the client to understand exactly what the agency will do for their website. If you notice that they are slightly reserved when it comes to their link building techniques, this is your first Red Flag.

I see both sides of this argument. In one way, the SEO Agency should be honest when it comes to their linking practices, and in another they should be reserved because SEO is an absolute cut throat business when it comes to competition. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “well company x does it this way,” giving a rough outline of how the company has success in link building and strategy.

Another thing however, is that reserved or not the SEJ article hit it on the head. Make sure any SEO Agency that you potentially deal with is saying the right things about the kinds of links they should be going after.

Owning Content & Links

SEJ Wrote:

This has only happened to a small amount of clients, but they had paid for a year’s worth of SEO agency and they had stuck out the contract and reaped the benefits; however when they left the agency, their traffic and sales suffered. They didn’t know what had happened and when they came to us, we realised that the previous agency had taken down all the guest posts and links they had got throughout the year.

Wholeheartedly agree with this and I’ve actually seen it happen. Especially if the business in questions pays for links from a source. Those links are then removed when the payments are stopped, leaving the client dead in the water. It’s an issue of why buying links is a failure for most small businesses.

An SEO Agency That Guarantees Of Sales or Traffic

SEJ Wrote:

If they mention guarantees of traffic or sales start running because it is impossible to guarantee anything in the SEO world. They might forecast some targets, but it is very hard to guarantee anything because some changes Google might make are out of your hands. Forecasts are great, but Guarantees are BAD.

I went ahead and emphasized the bad because this is something that I literally can’t repeat or preach enough. Sadly however, this is another thing that I’m familiar with in the industry. Any time either the salesperson or the SEO him/herself gets caught up saying that they can offer x amount of visits or leads in a certain time is setting themselves up for a failure and will do nothing but frustrate the business owner in the end.

The article has more points worth reading. It really drives the point home in the fact that there are shady SEO Agencies out there looking to just make a quick buck. Always research and prepare questions when you’re looking for an SEO or Internet Marketer.

Link Building Through Relationships

Every SEO has the ability to create tons of content for the people searching for it, and the search engines who need to rank it. In fact, I think that’s the easiest part of doing Search Engine Optimization…link building? Not so much.

The hardest part, is finding credible links to get back links from, and getting those credible sites to even give you a mention. This is the struggle that I’ve decided to work with over the next few weeks/months/forever. I’ve really got to do a better job for myself in becoming more social on sites like Twitter/Google+/LinkedIn to really try and set up a solid connection between SEO’s and myself. Link building is about being social, credible, and willing to reach out and connect with people who share the same values as you do.

More or less, I’d love to create professional relationships with people near me in the industry and then through those created relationships follow through with an agreed upon link building program. Let’s face it, and it’s something that’s debated time and time again, that backlinks still very much matter for SEO and link building is essential. No matter how much people want to get away from them, they’re going to be with us for a while longer, and while content is “king,” Google is still looking for credible sites to display that information from.

The method most used, is looking for directories and just putting your link there and being done with. I have no interest in creating this kind of action. I want to solely use relationships and Social Media to build links with friends, while working to create necessary content worth linking with them.

Also, as a quick tip in for new products. Open Site Explorer just released their “newly-discovered” back links section using the Twitter index. It’s fantastically awesome and a good way to see your Social Media link building exercise come to life.