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Tuesday, June 02, 2020

I've been getting a lot of questions about search engine optimization for today's small and medium sized businesses. As a marketer, you may be asking, "What should I be focusing on"? In this post I'll be sharing my findings form working with dozens of firms across numerous industries.

Search Engine Optimization is both Technical and Content Based.

It should be no surprise that SEO is more than just a fast loading website. The technical aspects of SEO have become more complicated but not impossible to manage. Recently, we added a free website audit to the Big Fin SEO website to help clients with technical SEO.
What we are discovering is that many clients haven't addressed the basic blocking and tackling associated with technical SEO which has expanded beyond keyword research and meta data to a page by page analysis of keyword specificity and performance. 

Google continues to evolve and utilize natural language programming. What that means is that in addition to machines evaluating all of the technical aspects of SEO, they are also using artificial intelligence to understand the level of engage users have or will have with a given page focused on a particular topic.

This is forcing SEO's to take a fresh look at technical search optimization from both the perspective of the individual as well as search engines like Google. The end result is a more elegant search experience that benefits everyone involved.

SEO Still Depends on Quality Content

seo firm website optimization
When focusing on content, a key aspect of any search engine optimization program, the definition has expanded greatly. We used to think about content as a well written article. Now, what we're finding is a shift from authored content to a search-centric approach. What do I mean by search centric? 

Users are going to their preferred search engine to find products, answers to questions, and learn about a particular topic. SEO's who write content in a manner that is easily used by search engines to address the needs of their audience are winning the day. 

This means question and answer boxes, featured snippets, and other formats are being used to present information in real time using a format that is easily digestible. We see this as accelerated mobile pages are gaining popularity and more of the search results are dominated by non-traditional formats.

How to Better Optimize Your Pages

From our perspective, optimizing a webpage today has more to do with desired formats than what keyword you're trying to optimize for. What I mean by that is it's always best to do a search for the keyword phrases you're targeting and see how Google is providing the information to searchers. 

If results are a combination of featured snippets, videos, and answer boxes, the trend is your friend. Think about formatting your content to match the result types already being shown. Don't be stubborn, follow the manner in which content is currently being shown to searchers.  By adopting the current content format, and evolving with it, you can being to reap the rewards of a well thought through optimization program.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

3 Ways to Improve Your Local SEO

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

If you're a local business, you have to do what you can to get noticed online. About 80% of all mobile searches are focused on returning local business results. If you're not listed, you're not attracting new customers.

Here are 3 important ways to optimize your business for local search according to Big Fin SEO.

1. Google My Business. Make no mistake about it. Google My Business is the largest and most important local directory on the world wide web. So why have so many companies not spent more time verifying and optimizing their listing? By taking the time to verify your business address through phone or postcard, you take an important step towards increasing your online exposure.

Once your listing is verified, the next step is thoroughly complete your listing. This includes your basic business information like address and hours. Additionally, take the time to enter your key products and services with as much detail as possible. The next step is to add photos to your Google My Business Listing. Photos and maps get the most engagement among all possible content.

The final step is to update your listing with regular posts. Content should include updates about your business, highlights of new products or services you're offering and even and information that's important for your customers to know.

2. Yelp and Other Apps. In addition to Google My Business, there are other directories and applications where your business should be listed. For example, Yelp is a major resource for people searching for restaurants, shops, and other retailers. If you sell direct to consumers, consider listing your business in Yelp. If using the free listing, be sure to add as much information as you can about your business and use the same information provided to Google My Business.

Yelp also offers additional options such as an enhanced listing that allows you to eliminate competitors from search results pages and more. Consider an enhanced listing or advertising to drive more traffic to your business.

Lastly, consider other top tier directories, especially local ones, that potential customers may use. In addition to the benefit of being listed, many of these local directories will link to your website, providing valuable inbound links that can improve your rankings.

3. Share Valuable Content. Whether you're producing content via a blog or social media, developing engagement around your brand is essential. Google is placing more and more value on content that engages customers and answers important questions. Through a comprehensive content strategy, you can create interest in your business and what you offer.

The most successful local businesses are not only seen as vendors but resources for consumers. How can you be of service to your audience? If you're a restaurant, are you providing recipes, information about food preparation, the latest fundraiser at your store?  Think about your audience and the type of information they want to receive. Work with a freelancer or social media manager to produce value-added content on a regular basis.

BONUS: One additional thing to consider is Google's move to mobile-first indexing. Don't underestimate the value of mobile. Most importantly, make sure your website is optimized for mobile search. If you're looking for website development or local search engine optimization, it's important to focus on mobile which comprises the majority of online searches.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Given all the changes in search engine optimization over the last year, it's extremely important to stay on top of the latest trends, Google algorithm changes, and impact of content optimization on the ever changing world of search results.

Here are 5 key SEO trends that you should be aware of when working through your content and optimization strategy.

1. Mobile Optimization. Ever since Google's "mobile first" update, it's important to think mobile...first. For example, how does your website perform on a mobile device?  Not just from a look and feel perspective but also from a usability perspective. This is one of the most important factors impacting consumer behavior today.

2. Google My Business.  Google runs the largest business directory in the universe. I'm talking about Google My Business. If your company isn't already listed and verified, do that today. But don't stop there - keeping your online profile updated is the key to local optimization success. Continually ad photos of your business and services that you offer.

3. Answering Questions. Google has migrated from simply giving you a link to actually answering a user's query on the first page of search results. Are you orienting your content into a question and answer format?  If you do, you'll be rewarded. Sometimes you may even be listed in position zero.  Position zero is the very first listing in search results before other sites are listed. If you can answer a user's query and format it properly, you can command the most organic traffic.

4. Analytics. Data and analytics are here to stay. Thanks to Google Analytics and endless marketing technology available today, sometimes for free, you can use behavioral data to improve results. Many people are still not taking advantage of analytics to drive their decision making. Data can be incredibly valuable when thinking about ways to optimize your website, social media, and content.

5. Content is King. Are you producing targeted content for your prospects and customers on a regular basis?  Google is still favoring sites that offer meaningful and engaging content. As you created content, amplify it through social media and email marketing. Spread the word. Let others know that you have something of quality to share.

These 5 trends will help you work through your content and optimization strategy in a meaningful way. Pay attention and apply these to ensure top search results and more importantly an engaged audience. 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

This post will tell you EXACTLY how to get the most from influencers on Social Media and get right into the heart of the industry, which you operate. 

And the best part, it works for ANY industry.

I’ll tell you how to create an article, also known as a web asset, which allows you to promote to influencers in your niche.

Then I show you how to get their attention, by promoting on the increasingly over-crowded, social media platforms.

I also give you a few tips on how to make sure your article provides a great user experience.
So let’s get going…

Creating a web asset (a unique article in the form of a list)

Step 1: Plan an article on your blog

The first thing you need, to start generating traffic to your website, is a blog post that provides information to help your target market with challenges they face.

For this strategy, your article is going to be a ‘listicle’. That’s simply an article in the form of a list.

You will want to include a minimum of 40 items in your listicle. So, do some keyword research and pick a subject that’s wide enough.

Here’s a few examples:
·         42 Must Have Business Analysis Books
·         43 Outstanding Quotes from Business Experts
·         45 Amazing Recipes from the best cake bloggers

So, you could simply create a list of books that relate to your industry and include the authors.

Alternatively, you could find recipes that have already been tried and tested by bloggers with influence. And reference their recipe page.

After creating a shortlist of keywords, find the influencers you want to mention in your post and make a note of each one.

When you have decided on a minimum of 40 influencers and their content you want to reference, you want to do a bit more digging.

Find their contact details:
-      --Twitter Profile (Personal and business)
-      -- Facebook Website Page
-      --LinkedIn Profile
-      -- Instagram
-      -- Email address (if available)

You might not get all these details but try to get the details of at least 2 social platforms.

Then, you’re ready for step 2.

Step 2: Create the article that lists your industry influencers

This should be easy, but I have a few tips to get you going.

Firstly, it’s hugely important to create a fantastic user experience to keep visitors on your site after landing from the search engines or from social channels.

And there’s a couple of things you can do to achieve this.

     1. Design a visual, easy-to-follow table for the page in a logical order so that people can look down the table at their own leisure and find what they might be looking for.
2   2. Add sort buttons to the top of the table so that your readers can view the list in any order they want.
3. Also, make sure you write a brief introduction above the table, so you have some content on the page. That way, you’ll be more likely to rank in the search engines.
4. Finally, you could even add in a hook, which leads the visitor to another one of your articles. That will reduce your bounce rate.

The most important part of the listicle is that you have the names of influencers who are on social media, this can be either Twitter, Facebook or even LinkedIn. Just make sure that they have a nice number of followers.

Here’s an example of what your table might look like:

You can see the full table and article here if you want to take a look.

Step 3: Optimize the article for SEO (search engine traffic)

Google is now showing rich snippets, as the top result, more and more often. And lists are no exception.

So, one of the other benefits of listing items in an article is that they often show up in the rich snippets.

Here’s an example:

When you search for best coffee beans in Google, there’s a list of different options that have come from a blog.

However, there’s few things you need to do in the code so that the page is optimized.

Such as using <li> and <o> or <ul> or <table> tags.  Teaching html is outside the scope of this post, so if you’re unsure, find someone who knows.

Now you’ve created your list and identified important influencers, it’s time for the most important part of blogging - start promoting your new article.

Here’s how…

Promoting your new asset – one tweet every day

This step is essential if you want to grow your website. Many digital marketing specialists say:

“Content is KING!”

I say….

Content is good but promotion is the true KING. So, here’s how you can massively leverage the visibility of your new post.

Step 4: Schedule one tweet per day

You probably know this but whenever you mention someone in your tweet or share, that person receives an immediate notification saying you just mentioned them.

This is gold dust for marketers. It’s practically free advertising.

Here’s the strategy you need to implement.

Remember the list of influencers you created at the start. It’s now time to use it.

I’ll explain using Twitter but you can recreate this strategy using any of the social platforms.
Write a tweet that mentions and thanks every one of the influencers that you mentioned in your post. Tell them they’ve been added to the list. And thank them for their contribution, include their personal twitter handle.

Here’s a preview of one I created for 42 influencers in the Business Analysis niche. Notice that I provide both a link back to the article and a direct mention of the author of each of the books.

The reason you do this is because the author will be notified and may retweet your tweet to their thousands of followers. That will give you loads more recognition AND traffic to your blog – BOOM!

Step 5: Email the influencers

Doing this can get you involved with the influencers just that little bit more, but you may find it difficult to get hold of their email addresses. However, if you do find contact details, don’t be afraid to drop them an email.

All you need to do is write out an email to the influencers and request a collaboration.
Here’s an example email.

Hey [Influencer Name]
I hope you don’t mind but I’ve added your book to my list of Must have Business Analysis Books.


I wondered if you’d be interested in mentioning my list on your website.
I’d be happy to write some lead in text for you if you’re interested.
I would love to hear from you.


So, there you have it, a few steps that will take you immediately towards getting recognised in your industry after setting up a business or blog.

And I guess, the morale of the story is, that you need to promote other people before they will promote you and your business.

OnlineGrowth Guru SEO is a digital company in Manchester, UK. They specialize is growing clients websites using different promotion strategies.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

How To Win At Mobile Marketing

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Companies today are experiencing some form of a crisis when it comes to their investment in mobile, from retail to media apps. But don't be fooled by all the apps you see being sold in the App Store. Brands are struggling with mobile.
One reason is that they’re not really organized properly to address the mobile revolution. For many businesses operating in the mobile space, something still feels off.

And despite the early momentum, there’s plenty of evidence today that there’s low app adoption and consumer satisfaction. In fact, based on a recent study, 24 percent of people have no problem dropping your app after just one use.
But with more and more time spent is being spent on mobile and in apps, how can this be?
You’ve likely heard talk about a phenomenon known as the "mobile engagement crisis" where brands are failing to innovate quickly enough to meet customers’ expectations. We’re in it, people, and for brands, the struggle is real.

Here lies the problem

It’s not the viability of mobile you should be worried about, but rather the execution and implementation of mobile as a strategy. The lack of standards and toolkits for all stages of maturity is a major part of the problem.
This crisis manifests differently from company to company, but its acuteness is often revealed by analyzing the organizational structure surrounding mobile.

The rise of the cross-functional mobile team

I’ve started noticing a pattern emerging in enterprise organizations around the creation of cross-functional mobile teams to help drive growth in mobile. These teams are the mobile evolution of the “growth” team, designed to be full-stack players capable of developing and marketing a product.
According to an analysis of our entire customer base, companies with cross-functional mobile teams outperformed those without such groups when it comes to monthly active users (MAUs). In fact, only the brands with cross-functional mobile teams showed a positive year-over-year growth in MAUs for their apps. Pretty impressive that what’s going on under the roof of a company can have such an impact.
In fact, most of the time, the mere existence of a cross-functional mobile team is a good indicator that a company has achieved a certain level of mobile maturity. It’s not about the actual team itself, but rather the behaviors and principles that the cross-functional structure enables that reveals maturity and drives performance — such as shared KPIs, easy access to development teams and focused alignment on user engagement strategies.

What’s next for mobile?

Tackling mobile has proven challenging for even the best consumer companies. Some of the top things that should be considered are how mobile fits into the overall customer journey across all channels and how user data is combined and shared across the organization.
Brands looking to increase confidence in their mobile strategy should start by looking at their organizational structure and think through whether it’s driving both the desired behaviors and results. That’s just step one.
Companies should also reflect on the types of conversations and debates happening internally around mobile and use them as an indicator for just how far along they are. Are you debating the value of mobile overall to the business? Have you moved on to considering the best way to engage customers and how to organize around that? Or are you at a more advanced stage, seeking to optimize that engagement and looking for additional levers you can pull to add fuel to the fire?
Before blaming it all on millennials or even different departments, think deeply about how your organizational structure is affecting your desired mobile outcomes. Building confidence takes time, but take comfort in knowing that there are places you can start to move the needle before completely hitting reset.
About the Author - Lou Orfanos @loutwit
Lou leads the product organization at Localytics, where he is responsible for the company’s product vision and evangelizing app marketing and analytics to the start-up community. Prior to Localytics, Lou was VP of Product for at LogMeIn, where he helped build it into one of the world’s fastest growing collaboration products. Prior to LogMeIn, he held various product, sales and marketing leadership roles at Monitor, a leading strategy consultancy, and Extraprise, a boutique technology services firm. Lou holds a B.S. in Marketing from Bentley University.

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