Tag Archives: SEO

Online Reputation Management and It’s Importance in 2017

Online business is woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. Most people do not visit bricks and mortar stores anymore. Therefore, for any business or personal brand, most people will get a sense of your reputation through the internet. Thankfully, a firm or a person can do online reputation management so that whatever people find on the internet does not damage, or better yet, enhances their reputation. Managing your reputation online in this day and age is not a choice one has to make, but a necessity and here is why:

Search Engine Results

Over 90%of those who search for anything on Google will not go beyond the first page. Therefore, your reputation is key to potential customers even finding you in the first place. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the strongest online marketing strategies you can utilize. You want your reputation to work in your favor and to accomplish that you have to be proactive. You have to be willing to take steps that will help you rank higher in search engine results. It will lead to more traffic on your site or page which will lead to more business or a stronger online presence.

More Social Media Traffic

Social media is the most powerful tool for online advertising ever created. You can reach millions of people using a single Facebook page. More social media traffic almost invariably leads to a higher conversion rates i.e. conversion of potential customers to paying and loyal customers. Online reputation management involves managing your influence across all social media platforms. As of 2016, it is likely that 80% of the business you conduct will have come to you through social media, in one way or another. Social media also offers the chance to interact with people so that you can improve your reputation further or repair a damaged one.

Developing a Brand

There is no greater use of online reputation management (ORM) than pushing a distinct brand. What people associate with your name or business name is your brand. If you are trying to create a certain type of brand, ensuring that what find about you online is exactly what you want will go a long way in securing your brand. However, this is no easy task. You can only do so much such as offer impeccable customer service or be yourself. Other things are beyond your control such as the reviews you get on Yelp. Avoiding negative influences is a big step in setting up a brand.

Damage Control

No matter how much you try to keep your reputation squeaky clean, a reputation that is too perfect raises a red flag. Moreover, something bad that is beyond your control is bound to happen at one point or another. Online reputation management will help a lot with damage control. You will be able to curb the negative spread of news about your brand before it all goes too far. You can do much to keep it from getting worse, and if you do a god job, you could even turn it around. It will take time, but that is the power of ORM and its vital use.


Online reputation management gives a brand owner whether a company or a person the chance to see what others think about the brand. Monitoring such feedback presents the brand owner with an incredible opportunity to take corrective action or to improve the goods or services offered. As part of online reputation management, monitoring suggestions is vital. You can take such reviews into consideration and take steps to provide customers with what they want. Such swift reactivity is crucial in online business.

Sales and Profitability

The ultimate measure of the effectiveness of your online reputation management will be the number of sales and the profitability of your online business. In the case of a personal brand, the reach you have should be the measure. All the steps taken to improve your reputation lead to this goal. Therefore, online reputation management that is done well will lead to more revenue and eventually larger profits. Given that in a capitalist society profit is the ultimate end, online reputation management should be taken very seriously. It could prove the difference between the sustainability and the demise of your business.

Online Reputation Management

Conversion Rate Optimization – It’s Importance in 2015

I can already see it now. The term “Conversion Optimization” being used across the board by SEOs in 2015 as Google continues to alter the natural search landscape and make it more “difficult” to rank pages overall.

The truth is, most competent SEOs have done Conversion Optimization for a while now(see Moz’s tagged section for CRO)and it really is part of the day-to-day SEO operations.

It’s our job as SEOs to make sure that not only can a web page rank for various terms, but how well do those visitors convert (filling out forms, buying products, etc.) once they land on the actual page.

What is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the scientific practice of utilizing site data and creating/optimizing tactics for increasing the conversion of visitors and increasing the chances that they turn into subscribers or customers.

CRO’s importance continues to grow as businesses work to target visitors online due to the understanding that SEO/Pay-Per-Click Advertising is valuable to the success of the overall business.

What’s involved with Conversion Optimization?

When it comes to the online presence of a business, conversion rate optimization should be a continued effort as programs/product/content is released onto the website. As a business, having a “purchase funnel” for a visitor is the key.

Often times, people already have a funnel in place when it comes to doing business over the phone/in person (Introduction > Sales Pitch > Sign Up > Profit). This practical funnel can and should be used on a website as well (Landing Page / Product > Get a Quote > Profit). Of course, these examples are high-level, but this kind of thought process is essential in the success of a business. Refer to the image below if you need to visual the high-level funnel!

Example Sales Funnel

Developing and utilizing the sales funnel is the base of conversion optimization. This funnel not only provides segments that can be ported and used in Google Analytics, you’re able to easily show potential pain points when it comes to the conversion process as a whole.

From the analyzation of this funnel, you can then dictate what needs created / tested / re-optimized on your website, which can help you identify the best route to make sure customers convert.

While this may be true to an all-channel ideal, Search Engine Optimization benefits from this practice as well, and should be utilized even more considering the traffic source of the natural search channel.

CRO is more than just the sales funnel, it’s about customer experience

The other foundational piece to all of this is the understanding that providing an excellent customer experience first and foremost, will help retain and benefit customers in the long run. Running A/B tests and ensuring that you are providing your customers exactly what they are looking for is the hardest step for businesses to understand.

The optimization of customer experience is considered “the new SEO,” and many businesses are just catching up to the idea that SEO is the new SEO. For that fact alone, understanding that the customer experience and SEO goes hand in hand sets yourself up ahead of the pack.

At the end of the day, it’s essential to establish sales KPIs and a funnel that is realistic to your business. Once the sales funnel is in place, coupling it with SEO will help your business see a growth in sales, sessions and leads!

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!

As an SEO, What Scares You?

As I was reading throughout the dozens of site I cruise daily. I came across an interesting comment from a reader within one of the dozen “x amount of SEO changes that will happen in 2014” articles.

It wasn’t so much what did you think would change in 2014, but what are you afraid of in 2014 when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. The more I thought about the question, the more I became more enamored with how instantaneous the question was it was but how much of an impact it could make.

We’re more or less playing by Google’s rules when it comes to optimizing a website. I don’t have a specific fear when it comes to SEO. After all, we’ve already come to realize that we must deal with “term not provided” change. Which for me, turned out for the better.

The more I think about the question, the more I keep circling back to an obvious answer for most people related to the web design and SEO field. The fear of falling behind.

It’s that fear of being caught off-guard by something and putting you further back than you were before. Search engine optimization is always about pushing forward. Serving new and informative content, finding ways to entice people to link to your website, learning new tactics that aren’t utilized by everyone in the competitive market near you, but what happens when you become the person that always feels like they’re trying to catch up?

That is the fear I have on a daily basis, and it’s that fear that causes me to constantly read, research, and most importantly; try when it comes to practicing search engine optimization. The changes that come from Google are always going to be there.

Sure, I would consider myself in a place that’s following the front-runners. However I’d consider myself a more learned early adaptor. I’m willing to learn new code or try things that could help put me ahead of the pack.

I’ve been doing SEO and website optimization for the better part of 7 years. I’ve seen and done a lot of things that I’m not proud of in the early days of SEO, but have continued to adapt and survive during even the harshest of environmental changes with SEO. I just couldn’t fathom the day I couldn’t do it any more.

So instead of what you think is going to happen in 2014 with SEO. What do you fear the most about it?

What scares you about the future of SEO?

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.


Google’s Matt Cutts: No More PageRank Updates In 2013

Something that I stopped following a long time ago seems to be making news in the SEO world. Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts said on Matt Cutts Twitter Response that Google won’t be pushing out a new Google Toolbar PageRank update this year.

Neils Bosh posed the question on Twitter if we should expect an update to PageRank before 2014. Matt Cutts responded, “I would be surprised if that happened.”

To be honest, I stopped looking at PageRank almost two years ago. It became a tool that was used to gimmick linkers into thinking that a website was worth linking to. It was never to be considered the end all be all to a site’s worth, and unfortuantely a lot of people made it that way because Google valued heavily on that statistic. Although a few years ago that changed, and people still believed that it continued to show strength/trust of a site even though Google made it a much smaller factor over time.

So is this the end of Google PageRank? I think so, if they’re going to stop updating it, by nature it becomes less reliable with how your site’s trust factor is perceived with Google. The one thing that I do disagree with is that if they’re not going to update it, it should be wiped from all sites on within their index. Especially if a PR5 website is spamming while a PR0 site is doing everything Cutts asks for, yet a person who relies on PageRank will simply overlook it based on value.

It all again goes back to putting the focus on your site, it’s quality, and how well users interact with the information that you have to display. I suppose that’s always going to be the typical response and we might as well get used to it.

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.