Google Speaks: “Backlink Relevancy Is A Big Win In Terms Of Search Quality”


Did you see the Matt Cutts video today?  If you don’t know who Matt is, he is Google’s head of search spam, so he is “the man” on this topic.  To the surprise of many, Matt confirmed, or reaffirmed, the significance of backlinks for “search quality”.  Translating “Matt speak”, that means backlinks still matter. Continue reading Google Speaks: “Backlink Relevancy Is A Big Win In Terms Of Search Quality”

SEO Presentation at BNI

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:
seo guru atlanta bni presentation



SEO Guru Agenda

what motivates me

SEO Guru motivation

SEO Quantifiable Results

SEO Guru Keywork Rank Tracking

measuring website traffic

Call tracking with SEO

Use Call Tracking to measure SEO results

Form submittal tracking for SEO

seo project management

SEO Guru Atlanta Reviews

Good SEO referrals


Book a 15 minute strategy session with me today to discuss the best way to get results for your business





Is Blue Nile Hurting Your Engagement Ring Business?

If you are a brick and mortar jewelry store, is Blue Nile hurting your diamond engagement ring business?  Would you like to know about the strategy, what they are doing, how much money they are spending, where they are advertising and what you should do about it to save your business?  If so, then this blog post is for you because I am about to pull the curtain back so you can see why and how is hurting your business.

1) Who is Blue Nile, Inc.?

Much of the information provided in this section comes from the 10K report found at  They are publicly traded on the Nasdaq as NILE.

As of January 3, 2016, they employed 335 full-time employees and 17 part-time employees and stated “We believe that we will influence the shift to purchasing jewelry online by providing more compelling reasons to buy from us through enhancements in the online user experience”.

Blue Nile 10K report

2) Their Competitive Advantage

If you have inventory in your store, has a competitive advantage  in that their “exclusive diamond supplier relationships allow us to display suppliers’ diamond inventories on the Blue Nile website for sale to consumers without holding the diamonds in our inventory until the products are ordered by customers.”

The report further states:  “We generally purchase diamonds on a “just in time” basis from our suppliers when a customer places an order for a specific diamond. We then assemble the diamond with a ring, pendant or earring setting from our inventory into customized diamond jewelry according to our customer’s specifications. The finished jewelry is delivered to the customer generally within three to seven business days from the order date and within one business day for diamonds held on consignment in our fulfillment facilities.”

If a customer is in a hurry, three to seven business days may be too long to wait and the advantage may shift back to the brick and mortar retailer.  But if the customer has plenty of time to plan the proposal, three to seven days may not be an issue.

3) What is Their Target Category?

BlueNile publicly states:  “Our merchandise consists of engagement and non-engagement products. The engagement product category includes gold or platinum engagement rings with a diamond center stone and loose diamonds. Our non-engagement product category includes rings, wedding bands, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, gifts and accessories containing precious metals, diamonds, gemstones, or pearls. Our core business is the engagement category.”  If you’re engagement ring sales have slowed over the last year, it could be because is attracting and engaging (no pun intended) your prospects before they walk into your store.

For the engagement ring market, the primary demographic is 25-35 years old and about 55% male.  In our informal survey, the sales funnel nearly always consisted of Pinterest (do you have Pinterest account?), sometimes Facebook and nearly always Google.

4)  Who Does See as Competitors?

While correctly identifies a number of possible competitors, at the top of the list is independent jewelry stores.  They may be as as worried about you as you are of them.  If I were, I would be concerned that brick and mortar retailers would make some kind of counter-move to woo potential engagement ring customers into the local stores where the rings and diamonds can be seen, touched and sized before the prospect logs onto the website.

5)  What Are the Threats to Their Business?

In the 10K report, lists the following as threats to their business:

> Concerns about buying luxury products such as diamonds and fine jewelry online without a physical storefront, face-to-face
interaction with sales personnel and the ability to physically handle and examine products;
> Delivery time associated with Internet orders;
> If Google changes its algorithms or if competition increases for advertisements on Google, we may be unable to cost-effectively drive qualified consumers to our website.

While these are some legitimate concerns, they have still enjoyed success and have made a huge impact on the American market for engagement rings.  In their drive to capture more market share, the Cost Per Click in Google adwords has increase significantly in the last 24 months, and as other online retailers enter the market, such as, the cost will continue to increase.  This may be a “last man standing” contest similar to what we saw when Amazon first entered the market.

6) How Big Is Blue Nile?
Net sales in the U.S. increased by 1.5% to $398.2 million for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2016 compared with $392.4 million for the fiscal year ended January 4, 2015 .  That’s a big number, nearly $400 million.

7) How Much Does Blue Nile Spend on Marketing?

blue nile monthly adwords spend

Marketing expenses for the fiscal years ended January 3, 2016, January 4, 2015 and December 29, 2013 was approximately $27.1 million, $25.0 million and $24.3 million, respectively. With a marketing budget of $25 million for print, radio, paid online ads and organic search engine rankings. So in 2016, their budget was about $2.25 million per month.  You can see from the chart above, which is from, is getting about 100,000 visitors per month.

8) What is Their Marketing Strategy? has started as a pure online retailer, but they have opened a couple of physical locations.  Their main online strategies include search engine optimization, online videos, online display advertising, affiliate programs, direct online marketing, e-mail marketing, social networking/advertising and public relations.

9) Target Cities

What cities is targeting with search engine optimization (SEO)?  The sitemap on their website shows they are targeting 10 cities with SEO.  Here is a screenshot of their site map found at

blue nile sitemap

As you can see, the top geo-targeted keywords are?

Atlanta Engagement Rings

Boston Engagement Rings

Chicago Engagement Rings

Dallas Engagement Rings

Houston Engagement Rings

Los Angeles Engagement Rings

New York Engagement Rings

Philadelphia Engagement Rings

San Francisco Engagement Rings

Washington, D.C. Engagement Rings

So if you’re in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco or Washington, DC, is coming after your business by getting ranked for your “city + engagement rings”.

When clicking over the page itself, the on-page optimization is very apparent. Even though BlueNile does not have a physical presence in any of these cities (as of the writing of this blog post), they are trying to show up in the local search results ahead of the local retailers, and then drive the visitors to their main shopping pages.  If BlueNile is showing before the local brick and mortar diamond stores, they may be capturing visitors that would have otherwise visited a local store.

blue nile on page seo for local business

on page seo blue nile

philadelphie strategy by


10)  Going Mobile offers a great mobile experience.  How is the user experience on the mobile version of your website?  If it’s not up to the standards of a user who is mostly on their smart phone, age 25-35, then the mobile version of your website may have a high bounce rate… and those users may bounce over to

11) What Should You Do? has a very large budget for paid ads and the CPC continues to increase.  With the CPC getting into the $10-12 ranges, how many clicks can you afford?  And those are just clicks. has a whole staff of programmers optimizing the user experience to maximize the conversion rate of those clicks.  If you do not know your conversion rate in terms of phone calls, contact form submittals or walk-ins, Adwords can get very expensive.

Here is a basic strategy to combat the big online retailers:

Optimize your site for Google Maps and Local Search.  To compete with and, local retailers must come up first in the local search results, especially Google Maps.  While many in the 25-35 target demographic look to websites like Pinterest to get ideas and inspiration, they nearly always go to Google to find either local or online retailers.

google maps optimization

Get ranked in the top 3 for Google Maps in your city so you show up in the local maps results.  While there are a lot of elements to this, having a complete Google My Business page is a good start.

Review the mobile experience.  Up to 70% of users will be on smart phones, so if your site does not provide an exceptional user experience on mobile, visitors will click off your site.  Do you know about AMP (accelerated mobile pages)?

Set up your sales funnel for your target demographic, including:

– Pinterest

– Facebook

– Google

Optimize for conversions to drive prospects to contact you or visit your store.  Most local diamond stores do not have an ecommerce site like, and that is perfectly fine. is set up as a shopping experience, whereas your site should entice prospects to contact you and visit your store.  Optimizing a site for conversions is critical because there is not use driving visitors to your site if they are not impressed enough to call you, fill out a form, schedule an appointment or visit.

Measure results in several ways:

Google Analytics is a free tool from Google you can install on your site to measure visitors to your site and the source, such as organic search traffic, social media sites, direct traffic and paid traffic, such as Google Adwords.

Call tracking is critical to measuring conversions.  Some prospects will drive directly to your store, some will fill out a web form and some will call.  Set up separate call tracking numbers for Adwords if you are running paid ads, print ads or doing other advertising.  That way you can tell how many calls you are getting from each source and determine the best place to spend your money.  We like making decisions on data, not guesswork.

Keyword ranking is another key metric to track.  While ranking for a particular keyword or set of keywords does not necessarily translate into more business, ranking for the right keywords usually has a direct correlation to visitors to a website and it is easy to measure progress in moving up the search engines to the top of page 1.  There are a number of free or cheap tools you can use, such as or

Website form completion, such as a “Contact Us” or “Schedule An Appointment” form.

Make adjustments based on data:

> If your keyword ranking is not improving, check your site using a SEO Audit Tool to help diagnose problems with your site.  Also check Google Webmaster Tools for messages and warnings about broken links, etc.  We have found clients had their site set to “no index”, which is an obvious problem.

> Check your bounce rate in Google Analytics.  Very low bounce rates are below 30%, but if your bounce rate is much more than 50%, users are not having a good experience on your site and are leaving after a single page visit.  This goes back to Optimizing for Conversions.  Make changes and then see how the bounce rate is affected.

measure your bounce rate

Fair Warning:  We are often contacted by companies who hired a SEO agency or individual to get their site ranked for a certain keyword, but the site does not get ranked because all the links are built with the same anchor text.  So beware of agencies that simply outsource the link building (although they may not tell you that is what they are doing) and have no idea what is really being done.  If you end up with a bad backlink profile, your site may never make it past page two and you may end up submitting multiple “disavow” files to Google Webmaster Tools (now called the Search Console) and finally creating a new site on a new domain.

Unless you have deep enough pockets to keep up with the cost of competing with and in Google Adwords, the best long term strategy is to be ranked as one of the top 3 businesses for “engagement rings” in your target market, such as Philadelphia, Houston, Chicago, Boston, or any one of the cities targeted by BlueNile. As you are making your way to the top of Google, be sure to measure your results and make adjustments.

If you would like to discuss how to successfully attract and engage new clients online, and have a steady flow of new customers on auto-pilot, contact us, call us at 678-520-9925 or schedule a no-obligation 15 minute consultation on my calendar.








How To Get More Reviews For Your Business

Did you know that 90% of users search for business reviews and positive reviews help them in their purchasing decision? Not only that, negative reviews almost ensure they will never buy from you. Buying positive reviews is illegal according to US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). And most online companies have negative reviews. So how do you filter negative reviews and push more positive reviews?

Introducing our Review Widget, which will generate more positive reviews on Google and Yelp for your business. This will help not only your Local SEO, but also attract new business. The best part is, you can filter negative reviews from the back end. So if someone leaves a positive review, you request them to post the review on Google or Yelp. If the review is negative, we don’t ask them to post the review to third party sites and handle the customer in a way that it does not become a bigger issue.

This review widget on the website will look like this

review widget to get more reviews

Quick Features of Our Review Widget Tool

– Get genuine reviews on Google & Yelp

– Positive reviews get featured on your website

– Filter negative reviews

– Absolutely FREE for our client

– Completely customizable

– Designed for mobile and tablets so users can access it from anywhere

– More reviews means improved local SEO rankings

– Improved brand reputation to help you build better relationships with your customers

Next Step:  Just contact us or call 678-520-9925 to start benefitting from our Review Widget.


seo-guru-atlanta services

Contact us or call 678-520-9925 today to get started!


SEO for Cumming, GA Businesses

If you see a “top of page 1” ranking in Google for a business in Cumming, GA, chances are they’ve hired SEO Guru Atlanta. Whether you see the top ranked plumber, HVAC company or attorney, just to name a few, there is a good chance we’ve helped get them there. We’re the best SEO company in Cumming and love to help other local business grow through our online marketing strategies.

Traditional SEO has morphed into a comprehensive online marketing strategy. With all the Google algorithm updates in recent years, page one rankings can no longer be achieved with one or two old-school SEO tactics. While good keyword research and on-page optimization are still a critical part of getting to the top of page 1, they are only a part of the equation, which is why we provide a comprehensive online marketing strategy to ensure our client’s success.

We still have new clients who relied on out-dated tactics, such as keyword stuffing, but Google has even read the meta keyword tag for many years. And we have new clients who’ve seen their rankings plummet after a Google update due to unethical link-building by their old SEO company. Even if you have been penalized by Google, or have just seen a drop in your rankings, don’t panic! We can help, and if you’re like the rest of our clients, it’s not your fault.

Have you seen blog posts articles that says “SEO is dead”? Sorry, but that’s simply not true. Our phone and our client’s phones ring daily from the great results we provide. So maybe traditional old-school keyword stuffing and spam link building SEO is dead, but getting to the top of Google for the keywords your prospects are searching for online still gets the phone to ring.

Contact us today about our comprehensive online marketing strategies that include:

– Keyword research

– On-page SEO

– Content creation

– Content curation

– Content syndication

– Press release creation and distribution

– Coupon distribution

– Newsletters

– Email marketing

– Social Media campaigns

– Social sharing

– YouTube video marketing

– Call tracking

– Form submittal tracking

Simply fill out our Contact Us form or call 678-520-9925 and get started today.

Top 10 Reasons for Having a Mobile Website

Great article by Joshua Odmark. Read the whole article here:

Here is the summary:

– Google has a separate index for mobile content.
– Your regular website is not going to cut it on mobile devices.
– 1/5 of Americans access the mobile web each day (that’s 20% !).
– Mobile web will overtake the desktop within 5 years.
– $1.6 billion purchased from mobile devices in 2009.
– 93% of U.S. adults own a cell phone (most are now or will be smart phones).
– 5% of the top 500 online retailers have a mobile website/iPhone app.
– Mobile advertising spending will surpass $6.5 billion in 2012.
– Users average 13 hours online per week, up from 7 in 2002.
– There are an estimated 2 billion cell phones worldwide.

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: We also offer more customized sites that include social media, maps and more. Contact us today to get started at 678-520-9925 or

How Many Local Searches Per Month on Google?

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.

google traffics

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 modifier, such as “dog trainer Dallas” instead of just “dog trainer” and see 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.

About  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

How Much Does A Google Maps Listing Cost?

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.

google maps listings

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.

Learn more about Jeff Tormey  Check me out on Google Plus.