Monday, 26 August 2013

Why Business Needs Local SEO?

For the past few months, I was struggling to get my restaurant business in Denver, Colorado on the initial pages of Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing. I finally found a solution to all my difficulties - Local SEO. I contacted a professional SEO company offering local SEO services. After evaluating my business and its visibility issues, the SEO team offered me with an SEO package that included a wide range of strategies designed to enhance the search engine page ranking of my website and drive more traffic and sales. Let's look at how these strategies worked to promote my business.

Local Business Listing Sites: Local SEO makes use of local business listing sites (e.g. Yellow Pages, Yahoo, Google, Bing etc) that target geo targeted terms, for optimizing local search results. The SEO Company provided strategies that helped increase the ranking of my local business listing on these sites. Now, when someone searches for Denver-specific data relating to my business, the information on my business that is stored on all these sites appears as a top search result.

With improved online visibility, I found that more local customers have started to visit my website, which is working to promote my brand. My SEO service provider took care to choose only local listing sites authorized by Google for promoting my small business.

Back linking:  Local SEO services include building inbound links to a business website. In keeping with Google's latest Penguin update, my SEO service provider took care to build backlinks to my website from reliable websites with content relevant to my business. I understood that relevancy was important because the search engines identify keywords on the basis of the backlinks. Another significant factor is link speed or the speed at which backlinks are created. The SEO team built backlinks slowly and systematically, as any unnatural speed could make Google look at my links as spam. In addition, they also employed tactics such as social bookmarking, article and forum submissions and other off-page activities. Keyword variations, branded text, and other strategies were adopted to improve results.

Social Media Promotion: They also used effective social media optimization strategies to drive target audience to my website. They built my business profile on popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and more and created posts in them which helped draw local customers to my website. They spread the posts via 'Share' or 'Like' buttons. As search engines, particularly Google, show search results from social media sites (Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and more) these profiles are also helping to drive more organic traffic to my site. The SEO team also promoted my business by creating videos and images of my restaurant and sharing them through YouTube and Pinterest.

Social media marketing involves the maximum utilization of marketing potential with the features (paid advertising facility, contests, business pages in the case of Google+, and more) in social media sites. In my experience, focusing on a particular social media site for marketing purposes (Facebook Marketing, Twitter Marketing) is the best way to promote your business online.

Online Advertising

Pay per Click advertising (paying money to search engines to display your website on top search results) is observed as a powerful way to promote business online due to easy implementation, high ROI and better traceability. The SEO team provided my business with PPC advertising services, also known as geo-targeted PPC. The advertising was focused on the Denver area, which resulted in more local customers visiting my website. Both open-ended keywords and focused keywords were used in my geo-targeted PPC.

The local SEO services provided by the SEO Company help to attract more local customers to my website and helped in the online promotion of my restaurant - something which I definitely couldn’t have achieved on my own.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

SEO Strategies after Penguin 2.0

Now that Penguin 2.0 has been rolled out, online marketers are ardently analyzing its impact on search engine optimization (SEO) tactics. Penguin 2.0 features a new generation of algorithms, goes much deeper than former updates and impacts even smaller areas quite significantly. The main aim of this update is to penalize spam websites and ensure that only high value websites achieve top search results rankings. Penguin 2.0 has affected around 2.3% of English US search results.

Matt Cutts states four main issues that Penguin 2.0 will tackle:


Like former algorithmic updates, Penguin 2.0 highlights the significance of quality content. Matt Cutts says that if you have high quality content, then no need to worry about the different changes that the new algorithm has made. Ensuring you have original, informative website content, articles, blogs, product descriptions and press releases are necessary to enhance your SERP. So what this update prompts is the growth of a content strategy for both on-site and off-site optimization.

Industry Authority

The new update has the ability to detect authority in the particular area. So if you are a physician with authority in your space, your website would rank higher in search engines. Google’s search engine algorithms will help your website if it provides visitors with information on their issues, attracts links from other authoritative sites or publishers, gets a lot of attention on social networking sites like Google Plus, and has a decent way of converting traffic to sales. Normally spammy sites will be automatically demoted.
  • Author Rank - Google created Author Rank to identify and trace the identity of genuine authors across the web. What you need to do is set up a Google+ account and have authorship markup implemented. Participation in Google+ allows Google to evaluate and rank you based on the content you are sharing, your audience size and quality, the number of +1s, and so on.
  • Rich Snippets - Snippets help users to identify whether the search result from a particular website is appropriate to their search. Your Google ranking depends on rich snippets in its search results. Gain more authority with an author rich snippet that allows your name and picture to come up along in search results related to your content. 
Consider these factors seriously while optimizing your content for Penguin 2.0.


Google has imposed stronger measures to deal with advertorials that violate its quality guidelines. Penguin 2.0 will target any site that pays for coverage or advertisements. These advertorials will not flow PageRank. This simply means that you cannot improve your ranking by purchasing authority. This could seem a threat to link building for search engine optimization. But, the fact is that the new algorithmic update supports natural link building.

Link Profile

Clean up your link profile if you don’t want to be hit by Penguin 2.0.
  • Link Value - Links from bad neighborhoods that use unethical techniques can affect your website’s ranking. Reliable guest blogging ensures that the links are acquired from reputable sites. Publishing original content with your link in it is a high value backlink.
  • Link Velocity - Penguin 2.0 penalizes link spammers. Keep an eye on the rate at which your website acquires links.
  • Link Relevancy - Building links from sites that are not related to your industry will affect your rankings in a Penguin 2.0 environment.
Build the Right SEO Strategy

Google is also planning a variety of additional quality signals for sites that close to border zone of being affected by the Panda algorithm. This is expected to soften the effects for sites with some quality that were previously affected, says Cutts.

Penguin 2.0 update has given a new meaning to search engine optimization though Cutts has made it clear that the new algorithmic change targets web spam, and not SEO. However, the right search engine optimization strategy can help your website. Consult a professional SEO company providing affordable SEO packages that can boost your natural search engine ranking in the face of these changing algorithms.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Google Plus Marketing Strategies

Google Plus is better known to be a corporate account providing the facility to share company information among a wide circle and encourage followers. It allows business owners to connect their businesses with customers and attract more traffic to their websites, which will finally lead to more conversions.

The whole process of utilizing Google+ facilities to increase the traffic to a business website is termed as Google Plus Marketing. The most popular strategy to enhance Google Plus Marketing is to link your website with Google + page, either by generating a relevant Google + profile or mentioning about the website in the post. Other than that, there are quite a lot of strategies that encourage successful social media marketing with Google Plus. Let’s look at the best ones among them.

Widen your Circles and Use Google Plus Ripples

Arrange your Google + connections into various groups using ‘Circles’ feature so that you can share posts with specific groups from which you can receive maximum traffic. You can sort connections into Circles of family, friends, social media, news and much more. Ripples is a Google Plus feature which can show up the entire circles of shares with a openly shared post and help you connect with the most important influencers in your business field.

Submit Posts Consistently and Optimize for SEO

Post relevant content consistently to increase the PageRank for your posts. Higher PageRank will drive more traffic to Google+ posts and then to your blog or website. Write original content and use the right keywords throughout your posts for gaining a better place in search results. Add suitable images to your post for increasing the reliability of the content. Approach a professional SEO company and employ search engine optimization on your entire content to make it more competent.

Promote Interactive Google + Posts

An interactive Google+ post will have the facilities of call-to-action button and deep linking. Call-to-action button helps customers to take relevant action based on the product or service described in the post. For example, if you add the call-to-action label ‘Buy’, then it will allow the customers to explore the ways to buy the product. Obviously, it will drive attention of more customers to your post and finally to your business website. Deep linking can direct the clicks received for interactive posts to Google + app installed in mobile devices so that it can drive traffic from mobile users too. Interactive posts also include ‘Share’ button for sharing the posts among circles.

Use Google + Huddle and Hangouts

If you have added your clientele into your Google + circles, you can communicate with them more effectively using Huddle and Hangouts. Customer feedback is also an important factor in any business. Huddle provides group chat facility by which you can keep in touch with your customers and access their feedback. Hangouts provide you with video conferencing and group conversation facility which is an effective communication tool for social media marketing.

Adding +1 Button to Your Websites

If you add Google’s +1 Button to your business websites, it will give you a chance to recommend the content in those sites to friends and followers in your Google + account. Log into your Google Plus account and you click the ‘g+1’ button, now  you can see a window with a text field to enter the e-mail address or Google Circles or Groups and ‘Share’ button. You can add the circles by clicking on the desired group. Like this, your business website can draw audience attention towards the website.

Create a Business Page on Google +

Google + Business Page is the latest feature released by Google + only for entrepreneurs. If you already have a Google + account, you can create a business page after choosing relevant items from five categories such as Local Business or Place, Product or Brand, Company, Institution or Organization, Arts, Entertainment or Sports and Others. Once you fill in this crucial information, you can customize the page by adding photo and tagline.

Google business page can give your business an identity and the details you have entered earlier will help your page come up in top search results during location specific search, product specific search and more. This will drive traffic to your page and slowly to your business website. Other from that, it contains the facilities such as Ripples, Hangouts and +1 Button which open new possibilities of social media marketing.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Google Analytics Updates to Goals

It is very significant to evaluate how people communicate with your website so as to check conversions, leads and user behavior. Google Analytics provides three types of tracking tools for understanding these interactions − E-commerce tracking, Event tracking and Goal tracking. E-commerce tracking is used to measure performance of your sales, while event tracking is used to evaluate a user’s behavior or actions on-site.

However, in addition to sales and user behavior, you need to measure if a visitor performed an action that could affect your bottom line. Conversion results when visitor performs a desired action such as submitting an online form. If you have an ecommerce site, your goal is achieved when a purchase is completed. Google Goals allows you to measure such interactions including media plays, social connections, the amount of time spent on a screen, newsletter sign-ups, or a minimum purchase value. You can set up individual goals to track each activity. Whenever a goal is converted, it is logged into Google Analytics account. You can find out how much the conversion affects your business by assigning a monetary value to each goal. The conversion rates in Goal reports can help you to improve your SEO efforts and marketing strategies.

Google has now announced several updates to Goals to make it easier for you to measure and track all these activities in a much better way with a new set-up flow, new templates, and new verification capabilities.

Setting-Up Goals

The steps for setting up Goals are same in new set-up procedure like going to Admin->Profiles->Goals. The only difference is with the presentation with new visuals making it easier to complete the steps.

Introducing Templates

Google has now added new templates to make goal set up easier than before. 20 new Industry Categories have been added to Google Analytics. The templates are organized into four business objectives, such as Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry and Engagement. You can choose the industry category based on your business from the property settings. When you select a template, it will pre-fill the set-up flow with values specific to your industry. Users can also create custom goals.

You can choose any of these objectives according to the purpose of your goal. However, a ‘Revenue’ goal may not always imply a direct sale. It could be a completed checkout for an online payment or the successful submission of a lead such as appointment scheduling, depending on your business model.

The new templates can help you to add actionable goals more quickly. They also make it easier to find goals that can actually fulfill your business objectives.

Verify Goals

Once Goals have been created, it allows you to check your Goal set up before saving it with a verify option provided at the end of set up flow as shown as below.

On clicking ‘Verify this Goal’ you can see what the conversion rate would have been for past seven days if this goal had been set up. Feedback is instantly available so that you can decide whether to create that goal by clicking the ‘Create Goal’ button or modify the Goal configuration you are considering.

The significance of this update is that you can measure the goals from the moment you define them. This was not so in the past. If you had made a mistake while defining a goal and if someone converted it, there was no way available to measure it. Now, you can test your goal setup based on data over the past week. You know that your goal has to be redefined if the goal was converted but your verification does not indicate this. This preview is available for newly created goals.

Goals Overview Report

The Goals Overview Report available under ‘Conversions’ section makes us understand how often a goal conversion does happen. Google Analytics has added more features to examine correlations between goals or visualize each goal’s performance over a period of time. You can examine the relationships between goals as shown below:

This type of analysis can provide you with a comprehensive view of user interactions and helps you use your marketing resources more effectively.

In addition to Goals overview report, you can look at Mutli-Channel Funnel reports. It now includes off-site interactions that a visitor may have had with your business before completing an online goal.

Analyzing conversion goals is important to find the traffic sources that are actually driving revenue. With more accurate measures of conversion rates, you can adopt the right online marketing strategies to maximize your Return on Investment (ROI). A professional SEO company can provide you with effective conversion optimization services and make a difference to your conversion rates with Goals.