All posts by Madeleine Brent

How to Have Marketing Success on LinkedIn

By | Marketing | No Comments

Most business owners utilize social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn but the majority are not using these outlets properly, especially the site LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking website designed specifically for businesses, helping them form strong relationships with other corporations via the internet.

LinkedIn-Global-penetration_LinkedInHowever, many business owners miss out on all the benefits LinkedIn has to offer by using it improperly. In this article, we’ll outline some of the ways you can use LinkedIn to help your business reach its full marketing potential.

  1. Make your profile page professional yet interesting.

You want to make sure your profile page is professional without being boring. This can be achieved through a few simple steps. First, make sure you pick a good profile picture. It should be a picture of only you, smiling, and with a silvery or red background. Next, you need to select a background picture for your page. You’ll have a little more freedom with this picture. You should pick a fun picture that represents you and your brand well. The worst thing you can do for your background picture is pick something boring or generic.

CZLJKT_LinkedIn_Geaorge-Clooney_600Lastly, to help guarantee more people notice your profile, you need to have as much relevant info as possible listed in your header and career windows. These keywords will show up when people search for them on the site’s search engine and will help more people find your page.

  1. Fill your profile with engaging content.

Of course, one of the most important aspects of your profile is your personal experience and career section. When filling in these sections, try not to focus too much on your current employer, but rather your past accomplishments and training. Remember, your personal LinkedIn page should be more about you than the company you work for. Also, one way to make your profile more interesting is through the addition of visual content. Adding things like pictures or videos will make your profile more attractive to viewers and keep them engaged on your page for a longer period of time.

Marketing yourself well to other business owners will, as a result, attract more people to your business page. This will in turn lead to an increase in website traffic which should ultimately result in a boost in profits.

How to Improve Internal Linking for SEO using Internal PageRank

By | SEO | No Comments

Not many people realize the impact that internal links (i.e. a link to the Contact page of your website found on your homepage) have on a website’s search rankings. The way your site is set up plays a vital role in how it is crawled by search engines and ultimately how it ranks in comparison to your competitors.

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To fully appreciate how internal links affect your website, you first need to understand the different types of internal links and how they relate to the tool PageRank.

First, the two types of internal links are: 1) The internal links used to navigate your website. 2) The internal links that appear in content found throughout your site. These links usually lead to other websites.

Strict-Internal-Linking-For-SEO-800x449In this article we’re focusing on links that fall into the first category. It is important to understand the necessity of having well-organized internal links so that users can browse through your site without any issues. This can be done by utilizing tools such as Bruce Clay’s silo architecture as a guideline to help ensure your site is user-friendly. Once you feel your site is well-organized you can begin using internal PageRank to improve your site’s search rankings.

PageRank is one of the many algorithms used by Google to help rank websites in the search results. However, Internal PageRank is a calculation utilized by many SEO’s to make sure there are no issues with a site’s architecture.

pagerank-network-exampleYou can conduct an Internal PageRank examination by using a couple simple tools that are free to download. First, you must crawl your website using Screaming Frog or a similar tool. This allows you to get CSV list of all of your site’s internal links which you will then use to create a network and compute your site’s Internal PageRank. Next, you must download and install the tool called R if you haven’t done so already. You’ll then use the tool R along with your Screaming Frog list to conduct your Internal PageRank checkup to ensure there are no problems with your site’s architecture.

Using these two tools you’ll be able to identify and correct any complications with your internal linking. Fixing issues with your internal links will not only improve your SEO but will also help your site rank better in the various search engines.

Making the Switch from HTTP to HTTPS

By | Search Engine Watch | No Comments

Although there are multiple benefits from switching your site over from HTTP to HTTPS, surprisingly there are still a number of website owners who have yet to do so. One of the more obvious perks of having a secure site is the added ranking benefit from Google. Google has stressed multiple times the importance of having a secure site and has even stated that they will index secure sites over unsecure ones. However, despite this fact, less than 0.1% of websites are secure. This statistic is shocking to say the least, especially when it is so easy for sites to make the switch. There are various services available such as Let’s Encrypt that offer free certificates to websites.

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However, even if your site is secure, it does not mean that it is unprotected. Your website will still be vulnerable to various attacks and hacks if you’re not careful. So what exactly are the benefits of switching over to HTTPS? Google explains how switching over to HTTPS can offer three layers of protection. The first, encryption, ensures “that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can ‘listen’ to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages or steal their information.” Secondly, it offers data integrity which means that “data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected”. And thirdly it provides authentication which “proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits”. This means, that although your site would still be vulnerable to potential attacks, users would be able to access it securely.

Another added benefit from switching over to HTTPS is that you’ll then be able to more easily convert your site to an HTTP/2 format. HTTP/2 is a new update that is highly valuable to all websites. If you haven’t already started making the transition from HTTP to HTTPS and ultimately on to HTTP/2 you need to start doing so right away. By allowing your site to remain at HTTP you are severely hindering your site’s web traffic and ranking potential. Our advice? Start making the switch today!

Google’s Quality Rating Guideline Takeaways

By | Search Engine Watch, SEO | No Comments

The idea of reading through the 157 pages of Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines can seem daunting to say the least. Trying to gather information from said guidelines to help improve your website’s search engine optimization can be even more difficult. Luckily, you won’t have to analyze all 157 pages of the guidelines as our digital marketing experts in Indianapolis have combed through Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines to provide our readers with its most important information regarding SEO strategies.

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First, user satisfaction should be your main concern. This means you should no longer be obsessing over having a large amount of interesting content on your site. Yes, content is still important, but according to the Quality Rating Guidelines, the most important aspect of your site is overall user experience. Google wants to ensure that users are satisfied with the information you provide on your site and that they are able to easily find the material they were looking for.

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Another important factor stressed by Google in its guidelines is having a good online reputation. When Google assesses your website, any awards or reviews your site has received from other websites will be taken into consideration. This goes back to the overall user experience mentioned above.

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Google wants to know that people are satisfied with your site and the services or products you offer. Therefore, having positive reviews from other businesses or satisfied customers is crucial if you want your site to have a high quality rating.

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Google also emphasizes how important it is for websites to be mobile friendly. More and more people are opting to search the web from their phones or tablets rather than from their computers. That being said, having a mobile site that is complicated or confusing for users to navigate will severely hurt your Google ranking. Try to simplify your site by making tasks easy for users to complete. For example, if you are asking them to fill out their information to get in contact with your business, don’t require a lot of information and only ask questions that are necessary. Bottom line: if you want your website to get a positive rating, then make sure it is completely mobile friendly!

We hope the information provided above helps you as you navigate the world of SEO and make the necessary adjustments to your site to ensure a high quality rating!

Google Announces Top 3 Search Ranking Factors

By | Search Engine Watch, SEO | No Comments

The majority of the time SEO experts are left guessing as to what factors are used the most in Google’s ranking algorithm. However, thanks to a Q&A session with Andrey Lipattsev, one of Google’s Search Quality Senior Strategists, we now know the top 3 search ranking factors. These factors are RankBrain, Links, and Content. This probably isn’t shocking news for most digital marketers but it is helpful to get reassurance that the backlinks and content you’ve created for your site are being recognized and taken into consideration when ranking your webpage in Google.

Links and content have always been two of the most important aspects of good search engine optimization practices and the Q&A session mentioned above simply reaffirms that knowledge. RankBrain, however, is a new development that is still being researched by many SEOs. Because little is known about this new ranking feature, we are left to guess as to how it will affect SEO in general. What we do know is that RankBrain is a machine learning algorithm that helps better rank webpages in Google. Its purpose is to get the most relevant pages to the top of the search results, helping Google users find the information they are looking for faster. This means that competition for the top Google spots is going to get increasingly difficult as RankBrain weeds out any less than satisfactory webpages.

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That being said, even though we now know the top three search ranking factors for Google, not much should change for SEOs. It is still important for digital marketers to focus on getting good backlinks by utilizing tools such as private blog networks as well as creating lots of informative and interesting content for their sites. However, it is now more important than ever that webmasters are ensuring a positive user experience for anyone who visits their website. This means that all SEOs need to make sure their sites are easy to navigate, and are filled with useful information that will lead to overall user satisfaction. Having a high user rating will boost your page’s relevancy and should benefit you as RankBrain assesses your site and helps decide where it should rank on Google.

Google Local Business Cards and Their Effect on Your Business

By | Local SEO | No Comments

Google recently released a new feature called Google Local Business Cards. Basically, this feature allows local businesses to post content directly to the search results page in Google. When your business pops up on Google search pages your Google Local Business Cards will show up right under your website link, drawing the attention of potential customers. This is especially beneficial in the case of local business category queries, when a customer is searching for a general category but has not yet decided which business to purchase from.

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For example, if a potential customer is looking for a photo booth rental service in the Indianapolis area, and they search for “photo booth rental Indianapolis”, a number of local businesses will pop up. However, the business with the content posted under their website link will draw the attention of clients away from other sites and toward the business that is utilizing Google Local Business Cards.

 

A side note: the content found under the site link is almost always content submitted by the business itself, and is most often drawn from social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. This fact further emphasizes the importance of local businesses posting interesting and informative content on both their website and various other outlets. Additionally, if you area not already taking advantage of social media sites such as Facebook or SEO tools such as private blog networks, I highly recommend you start doing so as soon as possible.

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So what does this new addition of Google Local Business Cards mean for local business SEO? Fortunately, as long as you or your digital marketing agency know how to create interesting content for you site, this feature should greatly boost website traffic. However, non-local business sites such as e-commerce sites and service area businesses will likely suffer as attention is drawn away from their links.

It is important to note that Google Local Business Cards are experimental and could be temporary but local businesses should still take full advantage of this new feature while they can.

Your Site has Been Hit with a Google Penalty..Now What?

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

First off, don’t freak out. No matter what happened to your website, its not the end of the world and almost every problem you encounter can be fixed with a little hard work. Once you’ve noticed the issue with your site, it’s time to identify the source of the problem. You need to determine if your site has been put under manual action or if it was penalized due to a change in the Google algorithm.

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Check under the Search Traffic/Manual Actions section of your Google account to see if your site has been hit with a manual action. If not, then you can assume that the problem occurred as a result of a change in the algorithm. Thankfully, if your site’s issue is algorithmic that means that many people are experiencing the same problems. If that’s the case, my advice would be to first assess how big the setback is by checking your Google analytics then look on websites such as Moz to gather more information regarding the update. After you’ve done your research and are well informed about the update that took place and how it affected your site it is time to do some damage control.

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First, you need to make sure your site is still showing up in Google when someone searches for major keywords. If not, then fixing the problem might take longer than you originally thought. Next, you need to re-evaluate your search engine optimization strategies both past and present and make sure you haven’t utilized any questionable digital marketing tactics that may have lead to the penalization.

After you’ve reviewed your SEO strategies it’s time to take a look at your website itself. Google is placing more and more value on the content and overall user experience of your site when ranking pages and having an out of date webpage or spammy content can severely hinder your website’s ranking ability. Make sure your site has a solid structure and is filled with good quality content.

Once you’ve taken the steps above and are completely aware of the problems that have occurred its time to take the steps necessary to eliminate the issues and ensure they don’t happen again. Make sure your SEO agency as well as everyone else that was involved is mindful of the penalization so they can avoid any future setbacks.

2016 SEO Predictions

By | SEO | No Comments

While 2015 was a fairly uneventful year for search engine optimization, speculations have been made that 2016 will be quite lively in regards to digital marketing. Our offices in Indianapolis have gathered predictions made by some of the top SEO experts and complied them in a list below. Hopefully the information we’ve gathered will help you as you prepare for this year and plan your SEO strategies. Only time will tell if the digital marketing geniuses were right!

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First, as content-driven SEO becomes increasingly popular it is likely that the field will shift, making technical SEO work less desirable. Digital marketing companies will have to make the appropriate adjustments in order to keep up with the search engine optimization changes. It is reasonable to assume that SEO companies will have to focus their strategies towards content-driven search engine optimization and begin utilizing outlets such as private blog networks if they don’t already do so.

Next, we believe that brands will begin to shift their focus off of Google search boxes and onto other search websites. Other web portals will become more popular as companies try to climb rankings on sites such as WebMD or Walmart, depending on their product and target audience.

Additionally, it can be assumed that social media sites such as Facebook will continue to adjust their algorithm to focus more on internal search, once again requiring digital marketers to update their tactics to ensure high rankings. Gone are the days where searches lead only to external content!

Regardless of the changes that may or may not take place in the world of SEO for 2016, it is important for SEO experts to stay updated on the latest developments taking place. Websites such as Google are constantly revising their algorithms and the way they rank webpages and it is vital for digital marketers to be aware of these shifts before or as soon as they take place. Ensure success for your clients and their websites by staying in the loop and consistently checking site such as Moz to keep yourself ahead of the ever changing world of SEO.

How to Assess Your Site’s Content?

By | Content Marketing | No Comments

Not all content is created equal, everyone involved in search engine optimization knows that. But how do you determine what kind of content is the most profitable for your website?

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We’ve provided you with our three most helpful tips to refer to when analyzing your SEO content and selecting the best kind of content to include on your site.

  1. Do your research.

You may think you have a good idea for content creation, but before you start creating said content it’s important you do a little research. Examine various search engines to see if your content idea has already been published and who is searching for it.

  1. Assess your current content.

The main goal of content creation is to not only attract customers to your site but also to persuade them into purchasing your goods or services. It’s very beneficial for webmasters to examine content they’ve already published to see what potential customers liked and didn’t like and how they interacted with the content. One way to do this is by utilizing the conversion funnel option found in Google Analytics.

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You can use this tool to see how users are navigating through your site and from what page they are exiting. If there is a particular page that is causing a large number of people to leave your site, you should analyze this page in order to determine the cause of so many exits.  Another helpful statistic to look at when determining the performance of certain content is the bounce rate. If a page on your website has a high bounce rate percentage, then some changes probably need to be made.

  1. Find out what your customers want.

The quickest way to figure out what kind of content will attract the most clients is by asking your customers themselves. There are plenty of ways to gather information from your customers without having to contact them individually. The simplest and possibly most effective way to do this is through a customer survey.

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You can use a tool such as SurveyMonkey to email past clients and provide them with a simple online survey. You could also put a survey up on your site, providing customers with a simple one click answer.

Assessing content is one of the best ways to determine the type of content that is the most valuable to your site. We hope you are able to use the advice provided above to better select the most lucrative content and improve your site’s SEO.

Increase Your SEO Success with the Help of Automation

By | SEO Strategies | No Comments

It’s the start of the new year and people everywhere are setting goals they wish to accomplish in the months ahead. Why not try rethinking your strategies and goals for your search engine optimization business as well? Far too many SEO workers waste time doing routine tasks when they could be developing new strategies and getting ahead in the SEO world. One way to save yourself time and money is through the use of automation.

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Utilize computers in the best way possible by allowing them to do some of the less pressing work for you. That way you have more time to focus your efforts on creating plans and strategies, which is something a computer can’t do for you. Below we’ve listed a few suggestions to help you get started as you brainstorm ideas while make the switch to a more automated system:

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Try taking advantage of software that creates reports for your site. One mistake that many SEO newbies make is they waste the majority of their time doing mundane tasks and end up hindering their profitability. Instead of spending your time creating reports, analyzing them and creating strategies in response to the information gathered, utilize a tool such as the Google Analytics Spreadsheet add-on. By using tools like this one, you’ll have more time to focus your energy on improving your digital marketing strategies and creating new ways to boost your SEO.

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Two other ways you can add more automation to your SEO and save time and energy are through either automating the data gathering or the ad populating. You can automate the data gathering pretty easily using import.io without having to worry about coding.

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You can also automate populating ads by avoiding having to manually update your AdWords account through the use of AdWords scripts.

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No matter what aspect of digital marketing you choose to automate, your main focus should be trying to free yourself from time-consuming tasks so that you can concentrate on the more important work regarding SEO. The world of search engine optimization is always changing, and successful digital marketers will constantly be updating their strategies in order to ensure success for their sites.