I recently have a presentation to my BNI chapter, the Alpharetta Accelerators. We meet each Tuesday from 11:30-1:00 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Each member gets to make an eight minute presentation twice a year.
Here are some of my slides from the presentation which include some great case studies:
Great article by Joshua Odmark Read the whole article here: http://searchengineland.com/top-10-reasons-your-website-should-go-mobile-32566
If you don’t have a mobile site, we can help you with a simple landing page that is touch-to-call, email and SMS text enabled. Here is a sample of our mobile sites: http://seoguruatlanta.com/mobile/ . We also offer more customized sites that include social media, maps and more. Contact us today to get started at 678-520-9925 or jeff@SEOGuruAtlanta.com
Have you ever wondered how many local searches per month are on Google?
The Comscore Search report for June 2012 shows Google had 11.44 billion searches. Google has said about 20% of all search is local, indicating approximately 2,280,000,000 searches in the U.S. on Google were local in nature.
Including all of the search engines and assuming the same percentage of local intent, about 20%, there were 3,424,080,000 billion searches with local intent just in June 2012. With the popularity of mobile devices, the number is growing every month. We have found 15-20% of traffic is from mobile devices, meaning there are about 684,960,000 searches are made using mobile devices each month.
To see if you would show up, Google a keyword about your product or service assuming you have never heard of your company. Try adding a local modifyer, such as “dog trainer Dallas” instead of just “dog trainer” and wee what the results look like.
If you cannot find you company on page 1, getting listed on Google Plus is a good first step. Create a business page and link it to your website. Depending on your niche and how competitive it is, you may need to optimize your site for the search engines and begin a link building and social media campaign to make it to page 1.
SEOGuruAtlanta.com is an Atlanta SEO company helping local businesses and national brands create leadership position online to attract more visitors, more prospects and more customers to their clients websites.
Call for a free website analysis at 678-520-9925 or contact us at jeff@SEOGuruAtlanta.com.
Businesses targeting geographical areas benefit greatly from a listing in Google Maps or Google Places, which has morphed into Google Plus. Many businesses I have worked with have received phone calls from people saying they are “with Google” and their Google listing will expire if they don’t renew, or that they are not listed in Google at all. So how much does a Google maps listing cost? Should you reach for your credit card to pay Google $400 for a listing?
Getting listed in Google Maps is free. Any business can create their listing in Google and it will never expire. The people who claim they are “with Google” don’t really work for Google at all. (If you can get anyone on the phone from Google that’s not in their Adwords department, pat yourself on the back!). They are independent companies attempting to sell a service, but intentionally lead you to believe they are part of Google. They may have some certification from Google, such as an Adwords certified reseller, but they are separate entities.
A client of mine called me and asked if he could conference me into a call he received from somebody claiming to be “with Google”. The person on the line said my client wasn’t listed in Google Maps and he could fix that for $400. When I asked him if we worked for Google, he said he was “with Google”. I asked him again if he worked directly for Google or another company and he finally said he worked for a company other than Google.
I have received many calls from clients after they have been contacted by companies claiming to be “with Google” trying to convince them to pay up to $400 to get listed in Google, even when my clients had active Google Maps listings on the top of page 1 for their target keywords. Fortunately, my clients knew to call me before forking over their hard earned money.
If you are working with an SEO agency, a Google Maps listing should be included with a local SEO package. If you are going it alone or don’t have the budget for organic search rankings and traffic to your website, create the listing yourself. It only takes 15 minutes. Be sure to include all the relevant contact information exactly as it appears on your website.
I trust this post has saved you some money. To get a Free SEO checkup for your website Contact Us today or call 678-520-9925.
Business owners know how vital a top ranked listing in Google Maps can be, it is literally the lifeblood of many local businesses. But many businesses are on the outside looking in wondering how they can get a Google Maps listing with a balloon next to it so local prospects can find them online. They know that if their business showed up in Maps for their target products or services (aka keywords), it would be much easier for potential customers to find them online, call and easily navigate to their place of business.
It seems the Google bots should be all knowing and they should be able to decipher all the information on your website, and sometimes that works great, but it is best to make it easy on Google… and let’s not forget Bing, a partner with both Apple and Facebook. Unfortunately, many business owners we’ve worked with commit one of the biggest mistakes when it comes to Maps which can negatively impact local search results.
So what is the biggest mistakes made by businesses hoping to be listed in Google Maps? Drum roll please… the number one mistake, that is so easily avoidable is…. Variation in business information. Google and Bing are just computers and as they scour the internet they are constantly trying to match data. When data matches, trust is increased. When data does not match, trust level decreases and you may not show up on page 1.
For example, a business might have the following variations showing on their website, local business directory and Google Places or Google Plus Local profile.
1751 Walnut Ave, Suite 125
1751 Walnut Avenue #125
1751 Walnut Avenue, Ste 125
To the human eye, we can easily decipher the address, but computers are not human and the kind of variation shown above can cause your listing to be flagged and moved down the search results page and a more trusted listing is moved up. Run a search on your business and find all the listings with variation, claim them and make all the listings consistent, including company name. Variations in the company name can also be fatal, depending on a number of factors, but let’s make it easy for the search engines. For example, the below are not necessarily the same business listing to a computer:
United Brick Co.
United Brick Corp
United Brick Corp Inc.
Finding all listings and making them consistent is one of the easiest ways to improve your trust with the search engines and move up in the rankings, and it is the first step to getting on page 1. As you can read in a previous blog post, relevant backlinks are another critical component of establishing trust… and lets not forget social media.
Are you wondering how much does a Google Maps listing cost? Actually, they are free. And Google will never call you to sell you a Google listing, only agencies will. But getting just the listing and consistent business information updated is only the beginning. To get in the Maps listing box, sometimes called the “7 box”, can take more than adding your listing and crossing your fingers.
Is Panda 4.0 Penalizing Your Site and Costing You Business?
A slightly concerned client recently sent me an email asking if any of the dire claims in an email he received were true. Most of my clients get these types of emails, I get them and if you have a website you have probably seen something like this in your inbox:
“We were curious to know if you were aware that are a few issues bugging your website. Sorting out these will help you get the best returns out of your website.
We are expert in running promotional online marketing campaign for websites. We have a host of ethical services and techniques, which you can utilize to improve your website’s performance.
They claim to have “ethical techniques”, but marketing isn’t one of them.
We regularly check for coding “issues”, such as broken links, broken code and things like that and the site had none of those issues. Plus the site ranks great for tons of target keywords and is climbing for others so the alleged “coding” issue is not real, but it was a big concern to my client.
The email claims: “Your website is currently not being properly promoted online according to Google’s new guidelines (after latest Google Panda & Penguin update), which is affecting your marketing strategy and goals.”
How could they tell our promotion is not inline with Google’s new guidelines? We track about 25 keywords for this site. The Google Panda 4.0 update rolled out around May 20. As you can see, keyword ranking only imporoved. So the site ranks #1 for two keywords, 5 keywords are in Google’s top 3 and the site ranks in the top 10 for another 13 keywords.
The email also says “Your website may be penalized by Google due to unnatural back links.”, but if that were true rankings would go down, not up. An unnatural link profile would be problematic, so we checked Google Webmaster tools just to be sure and there were no warnings (we have never seen one in our account).
Clearly the site has not been penalized. In fact none of our clients sites have been penalized because we only use “white hat”, cutting edge, Google-friendly SEO techniques. The chart shown is typical for all of our clients.
Another item has to do with “Your presence in social media platform is minimal. This is depriving you of a huge market of prospective referral clients”.
Most local businesses are not social media giants, but the client’s Facebook, Twitter and G+ sites are updated with good content twice per week, far more than any of their competitors, so the site has some social mojo as you can see from the graphic. You can check your own site at http://shareyt.com/SocialCounter.php.
Depending on the type of business, social media may or may not be a good source of traffic. For most local businesses, while social signals are important, social media does not drive nearly as much traffic as search engines like Google Maps and referrals from business listings and web 2.0 sites, all of which we create for our clients. As you can see from the following graphic, social is a tiny fraction of the traffic whereas Organic Search and Referrals drive 65% of the traffic.
Just for fun, I’ve contacted companies who’ve sent similar emails and when I asked them for specifics, they admitted it was just a marketing email and offered to evaluate my website. If you get an email like the one above, keep calm… it is just for marketing purposes. For a real website SEO evaluation, contact us for free, or check with your SEO company.
Google recently released a new feature to show if a site is “mobile friendly”. Google’s new ‘Mobile-friendly’ label that may be included in mobile search results for websites that qualify for it without the website owner doing any additional work. Here is a screen shot of a search result for Mashable.com
Any website owner can check their site using this free tool from Google at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Both mobile optimized sites or fully responsive sites get a thumbs up from Google. Here are two screen shots: one from a site that converts this site to a mobile site, and the other from the fully responsive version on this site.
On April 21, 2015 Google will roll out a big algorithm update giving preference to mobile friendly websites. If your site does not pass the test, contact us today or call 678-520-9925.
As a business owner, you probably get solicitation daily from companies selling advertising opportunities. I’m also guessing you’ve gotten and email like this one:
I’ve responded to emails like this to see what they have to offer. In every case, they actually did not have any data whatsoever about the website I was calling about, but they could have a salesman back to me with a proposal. Notice how the company name and phone number are not included, and a hotmail or gmail account are commonly used. If this was a legitimate business, wouldn’t they include the company name, phone number and website? These guys really belong in the SEO Hall of Shame!
And they offer a “very low price”. Low price was really possible before all the Google Panda and Penguin updates when software like SENuke could blast your site to the top. Those days are long gone. The only way to get to the top of Google is using proven “white hat” SEO, that meands good link building, good content and good on-page SEO, plus social signals.
There is one caveat, it might be possible to get 1st page national rankings for very uncompetitive keywords, but those are the keywords that also generate very little traffic so really, what’s the point? Bragging rights?
If you’d like to get a real SEO and competitive analysis, use our free SEO audit tool and see how your site looks through the eyes of the search engines.
SEO Guru Atlanta, LLC is now offering a Free SEO Audit tool so any website owner can check the SEO of their site. Whether you own a local business or work as a full time SEO for a national or global company, the SEO audit tool can provide some valuable insight into areas that may have been overlooked.
Why use the free SEO audit tool?
With the downloaded report you can begin to make improvements on your site. The better your site is optimized, the better chance you have to be on page 1 of Google for the keywords you are targeting. Some items in the report may not be practical for you to change, such as keywords in the URL. Others may be difficult to change without the help of a web developer, such as too many H1 tags or an image alt tag for a gravitar. But if you start by targeting the items you can control, you will start to see results.
Pay attention to how many backlinks your competitors have because backlinks can be an important factor in search engine ranking. If your competitors have dozens, hundreds or even thousands of backlinks and you have a new site with no backlinks, it could be very difficult to out-rank them in Google, even with perfect on page SEO.
If you find your SEO is lacking and you need help to increase your score, and more importantly, your ranking for keywords your prospects are typing into the Google search bar, contact us. We’re here to help.
SEO can be both local and organic. They are also loaded with service offers from well-known companies. But, the success these businesses have had in other related fields does not necessarily give your company a successful SEO service. Here are the top 6 SEO Services from well-known companies that you should not waste your money and time on.
GoDaddy will submit your website to different search engines, create a site map and give you some keywords for only $2.99 a month. Since there are a lot of companies like you in the United States, this service is not going to do any good for your SEO rankings. Do not waste your money on this kind of services since they are not even close to being a real SEO service.
GoDaddy plan includes that following:
1. Complete SEO for one website
2. One-click submission to Google, Yahoo! And Bing
3. Easy submission to over 100 search engines and directories
4. Google Keyword Generator
5. Suggested Topics Tool
6. Top 10 SEO checklist
7. Keyword sage, Robots.txt file and Robots Meta tag analyser
8. Powerful reports that show you how to move your website up in search results
SEO from a phone book company will not really help you rank your website in Search Engines. It will help but only a little in terms of real SEO services. Yellow Pages has plans starting at $295 per month instead of $3 from GoDaddy. If you want to try any of the two, GoDaddy is a much cheaper choice to waste your money.
Yelp is a business directory website that will allow users to post their business by location and leave reviews to other business directories. This will then attract local searchers to your website and will be used as citation to your website in terms of SEO. The big issue with Yelp is that they filter reviews and only show the worst ones. They do this so that business owners will call them and negotiate a price for them to take out the bad reviews and let the good reviews show up. The Yelp forum also does not allow business owners to respond to lies and worst reviews of other users. Sounds like extortion because it is, don’t be fooled into paying for Yelp.
This business directory company is the same with other of its kind that you are going to pay a lot and receive a little in return. Dex use call tracking numbers to track and show you how many calls you have received from their listings. As you may know, the key component of ranking locally is citations with consistent information on the business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) data. Your listings in their website will also disappear after you are done with their service. With these, Dex is one to steer clear of.
Yext service target toward local SEO which includes submitting your NAP data to 47 directory sites with only one submission. The price is about $500 per year for these 47 listings. If you will use other reputable local SEO, you could get 125 manually build citations for the same price as the first year of Yext. Moreover, number of business owners have reported losing listings, finding there listings locked and finding the wrong NAP data on listings once they no longer subscribe to Yext service. You should hire a company like BrightLocal or WhiteSpark instead of Yext.
As the name of the company suggest, the basic idea of this service is that you submit your keyword and then you pay a certain amount of money each month depending on the rankings of each keywords. If you are not in the top 30, you do not pay at all. Here is an example:
Their service sure is interesting for business owners. But, the idea of getting paid for the rankings will encourage a company to shortcut methods of SEO to help you rank faster and them getting paid sooner. Moreover, if you will read how they will rank you site, they mention on having connections with several publishers. This is the same way as saying that they will submit your links to public blog network, which search engines will mark as spam in time. You can get 500 public blog network links for $20 on some other services.
The lists given above are only a few of the bigger-investment-little-gain SEO companies and services you should watch out for. If you are looking for someone to help you with your SEO, ask around for credentials, examples and references. You should also ask the method they will be using to rank your site. If they will not explain it to you, you should look elsewhere as secrecy is usually for a reason.
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