Looking back at some of the SEO news that took place in 2013, we have created a list of SEO tips for what not to do in the coming year. These are:
* Don't buy into the idea that any inbound link is good thing. Secondly, don't subscribe to the pitches that promise thousands of inbound links within hours or days.
For proof, look at JC Penney's link buying fiasco in early 2011. In that one, JC Penney hired a firm to create links from any and all sources possible. Plumbing sites linked to pages about dresses, construction sites linked to pages about women's shoes and the list went on from there. Google brought hammer down once the scheme came to light and the company was suddenly faced with pages that were buried and a PR nightmare.
* Don't pump out low quality and/or duplicate content. Google's Panda/Farmer algorithm update targeted both of these types of content which didn't have too much of an effect on most sites but effectively wiped out those that had built rankings on low quality and duplicate content.
* Don't be tempted by black hat SEO - It's going to be harder to get away with and getting discovered is never a good thing. Just ask Overstock to see how their plan to buy .edu links worked out. Like JC Penney, the scheme came to light and Overstock paid for it in falling rankings and PR problems.
Generally speaking, trying to manipulate rankings or trick the search engines is not going to end well. Following these SEO tips, earn your rankings honestly and you'll be rewarded. You'll also sleep better.
Local search marketing has become the best and most cost effective way for businesses to reach out to targeted customers in their geographical area. As consumers have abandoned old staples such as the Yellow Pages, they have gravitated towards local search on the web in order to make decisions on where to shop, dine, and buy.
The true beauty of local search marketing is that a typical business' competition for search engine rankings is limited to the targeted region, city, county, etc. This means that front page exposure on the search engines is both a possibility and a reality for businesses, regardless of their size or available manpower.
Assuming you already have a website up and running, the first thing to do on your local search marketing task list is to claim your listings at Google Places, Yahoo Local, Bing, and Yelp. There are more sites where you may want to claim your listings but these are the major players in the game. Upon your arrival at these sites you may find that there is already a listing for your company but you'll still need to claim the listing in order to make modifications and add information to the site. In addition to general information, these sites allow for pictures, video, coupons and promotions.
Next, make sure to place your company's address as well as a local phones number on each page. This reinforces your local positioning with both the search engines and visitors on your site. If you're not using the footer on your site's pages, the address and phone number can be placed there.
Congratulations! You have completed two of the major steps to launch your local search marketing.
There is no place that describes "Survival of the Fittest" better than the web. Much like any competitive environment, those that execute on the web survive while those that don't, well, don't. If you're serious about developing a presence for your site, you are going to have to adapt to what the fittest entities on the web are doing to both survive and thrive.
While it may sound a little (or a lot) Darwinian, the websites that adapt and execute the best are the ones that succeed. While site design plays a big role in the game, the defining issue always comes down to the execution of web marketing strategies. These strategies are always multi-faceted depending on the type of business but still fall generally along the same lines.
The crux of successful web marketing lies in two areas; developing quality content both on and off the site and building inbound links to the site. The quality of published content, while it can play a role in the search engines' algorithms, is pointed more toward developing credibility and trust with readers.
In terms of what the search engines look for, inbound links play one of the most significant roles. These links rely on quality content to survive and are considered as "votes of approval" from the originating site, which links out because it deems the receiving site as both worthy and relevant. Because these links are considered by the search engines as objective third party referrals, their weight plays a significant role in how pages fare on search engine results pages.
By combining these two characteristics, quality content and inbound links, your website can win the battle of the "survival of the fittest".
The Gervais Group, a recognized leader in the execution of web development, internet marketing and reputation management strategies, is pleased to announce that it will be presenting two informative sessions covering the best practices in social media for businesses during Nationwide Marketing Group's "Prime Time" conference and trade show, which starts on March 3rd and runs through March 6th, 2013 in Las Vegas. The presentations, titled "Establish your R.E.I.G.N. over Social Media" will provide insight and information on how companies can successfully Reach out to their target market, Engage with customers, Interact, Get feedback, and Note progress.
Topics will include:
• An Introduction to Social Media – This discussion will cover how social media works, popular misconceptions, benefits, and risks of participating on social media platforms.
• How to Develop and Execute a Customized Social Media Strategy – This section of the presentation will help businesses in their preparation, building and execution of strategies that can build their brand, improve rankings on search engine results pages, engage with new and existing customers, and more.
• Metrics and Tools to Measure Social Media Initiatives – Information presented here will provide insights on the ways in which companies can keep their finger on the pulse of their social media initiatives.
• The next opportunities in social media – The presentation will close with a discussion of the ongoing evolution of social media and where the next opportunities for businesses will arise.
The Gervais Group, founded in 2001 and a strategic partner of the Nationwide Marketing Group, has built its industry leading reputation by delivering cost-effective and result oriented internet marketing solutions for companies across the full spectrum of business. Strategies are customized to each client company based on industry, products/services, related keywords, and a host of additional factors. Initiatives typically target the optimization of rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs), participation across a variety of social media platforms, distribution of high value content, and website design.
Nationwide Marketing Group's PrimeTime! Conference is held semi-annually and is attended by thousands of business owners, vendors, and dealers from across the country seeking updates on best practices, the latest industry trends, and networking. Nationwide Marketing Group members now total over 3,000 in number and generate an aggregate of $12 billion in revenues annually.
Said Jason Gervais, Senior Project Manager of the Gervais Group, "The entire team at Gervais Group is very excited about our participation with Nationwide Marketing Group at the PrimeTime event in Las Vegas". He added, "Being asked by Nationwide to speak at the event is quite an honor and we are looking forward to presenting high value information that can take the social media initiatives of those in attendance to the next level".
Presentations by the Gervais Group at the conference are scheduled for Monday, March 4th from 7:30am to 8:45am and Tuesday, March 5th from 9:00am to 10:15.
- Responsive web design – Internet access in general and visits to your site specifically via mobile devices will increase steadily as computing moves toward always-on tablets and smart phones. Responsive design architecture will allow your site to deliver a positive experience for mobile users whether the interface occurs through a large monitor or a small iPhone screen. Because the search engines are also interested in an optimized user experience, dynamic sites with responsive web design architecture will be rewarded with higher search rankings.
- Optimizing for Google’s new search paradigm – In the third quarter of 2013, Google switched out its existing algorithm for determining search rankings for a new one. One of the biggest changes implemented in the Hummingbird update, in terms of SEO strategies, was the shift of focus from specific keywords to the full context of search terms. The change was fomented by the increasing use of questions by mobile device users as search terms, primarily through voice commands. Successful SEO strategies will now have to optimize for longer phrases that answer questions about their products rather than building campaigns based around keywords that drive traffic. One of the biggest opportunities presented by this change is that companies that can define the most common questions asked just before purchases can position themselves on results pages at exactly the time when consumers are ready to buy.
- Social media is not a plug and play channel – Facebook and Twitter have been long standing default choices for businesses seeking social media exposure, but both platforms present challenges in terms of generating revenues. Before dedicating resources to these platforms, look for “social shopping” sites like Wanelo and Poshmark and/or networks that are dedicated to specific interests that include your products and services. These smaller sites can put your business in a position where it is communicating with a receptive audience versus one that is more interested in sharing pictures of food and cats.
The Gervais Group, an industry leader in the provision and execution of results-based strategies in search engine optimization (SEO), web design, and e-commerce, is pleased to announce its return to Las Vegas to participate in Nationwide Marketing Group’s bi-annual “Prime Time!” buying show and members’ conference. The event, which takes place at The Venetian, begins on Sunday March 9th and runs through Wednesday, March 12th, 2014.
Headquartered in Atlanta Georgia since its founding in 2001, the Gervais Group has been designing and implementing comprehensive web-based strategies for the members of Nationwide Marketing Group since earning preferred provider status in 2012. These customized strategies encompass all aspects of marketing and selling products and services on the web while simultaneously driving targeted consumers to clients’ physical storefronts as well.
Nationwide Marketing Group’s core services are designed to benefit a membership that is made up of independent store owners specializing in appliances, furniture, consumer electronics, custom installation, and rent to own programs. One of the key benefits delivered by Nationwide Marketing Group, which is the largest group of its kind in North America, is the inclusion of its members in specialized buying groups which facilitates product discounts and rebates based on aggregated purchase orders. The aggregation of members’ purchase orders results in pricing and volume-based rebates that are competitive with those of national franchises.
Jason Gervais, the Senior Project Manager of the Gervais Group, said, “Nationwide Marketing Group’s ‘Primetime!’ conferences offer a bounty of information to its membership ranging from intelligence on the latest models across a broad scope of products to the best practices in web-based operations.” He seconded, “These events enable us to keep members current with the constant changes on the web, such as the opportunities presented by rise of mobile device access and responsive web design, both of which can enhance ecommerce efforts.”
The Gervais Group, which was founded in 2001, has been designated as a preferred service provider for Nationwide Marketing Group’s members since 2012. As a recognized leader in the delivery of customized ecommerce solutions, the company develops cost-effective strategies that drive sales while also enhancing the brand of each of their client-companies.
- Keyword-centric SEO strategies – Strategies that focused on traffic generated by selected keywords are becoming extinct as the sophistication of the new algorithm enables the return of results based on the context and nuance of search terms in their entirety.
- Keyword-centric pages on web sites – Web pages that have been created with content that is purposed to match keywords used for searches will see their search rankings fall, due to their being seen as delivering an inferior user experience than the pages that provide answers to specific queries.
- Writing for your target market, not for search bots – The new algorithm has reduced/eliminated the rewards for mechanically formulated content while shifting the focus to delivering information that results in an optimal experience for people.
- Consistently creating on and off-site content that delivers value – Valuable content answers questions and/or solves problems. The consistent production of informative content will broaden the number of queries that can be answered on your site’s pages as well as your other online assets such as blogs and social media platforms.
- Developing content that generates natural links – The process of link building is now one of producing selected high level content rather than distributing masses of spun or low quality articles. Authoritative and professionally written content can motivate sites to link to your web pages and produce high quality social signals through sharing, re-posting and other forms of engagement.