How To Tell If Your SEO Campaign Is Working

What Do You Mean “Working”?

Using the term “Working” while addressing if your search engine optimization (SEO) is effective can come across as being rather vague. In this respect, you will need to define what a “working” campaign would be for your business. This will include:

Deciding Your Goals

What are you looking to accomplish with this SEO campaign? Is it merely for monetary gains and heavier online traffic? Are you looking for more brand exposure?

There are many questions you should ask yourself before jumping into a possible SEO campaign. Once you know what you are looking to accomplish, you can focus on the best process to reach this outcome.

Gauging Pace

SEO is a long-term strategy, focused more on staying power rather than fast hits that sputter out like an everyday fad. Consider the speed of your growth and the time you have already invested as variables when you ration your results and success. Expect to see few results at the outset of your campaign, a sudden explosion, and then to have your results level out.

Expectations

You get what you give when it comes to online advertising and SEO usage. If you cobble together a sub-par un-optimized blog do not expect for your company to take off flying. Have a well-thought-out plan of attack, research your topics, see what trending keywords blend with what you are advertising, and make sure your posts are written and proofread to produce a well formulated and enticing read.

Measurements to Consider

These are the type of metrics that are measured to account for your online ranking:

Keyword Rankings – weighs your search engine rankings for targeted keywords and analyzes changes in that ranking over time.

Inbound Links – a hyperlink on a third-party web page that points to a web page on your website. These are important for SEO because search engines see multiple and relevant inbound links to a page as a sign that the content on the page is useful.

Organic Traffic – this is the number of people who visit your site after finding it in search engines. This tells you not only how much traffic you are generating organically.

Referral Traffic – Google’s method of reporting visits that came to your site from sources outside of its search engine. When someone clicks on a hyperlink to go to a new page on a different website, this is measured as a referral visit to the target site.

Online Growth & What To Expect

The First Month – you either will not see any or very little in the way of growth. It will take time to see the increase take effect.

The First Year – you should start seeing more meaningful results after the first six months or so. After a year you should see a significant expanse from where you were, and possibly break a positive on return on investment.

Keep Improving – you will see your ranking progression start to level off, as will your site’s traffic. You will have to make sure you are continuing improvements to sustain those results. Make sure you are aware of new algorithm updates, which will force you to make some changes to your strategy.

SEO & First Page Real Estate

Have you Seen the First Page of Google Lately?

The first page of Google is getting a little long. On a recent survey of the term ‘plumber’, there are now 23 objects you can click on before you can reach page two or any of the ‘did you mean’ options.

Of those 23 options:

  • 6 are AdWords
  • 3 are Sponsored Google Services
  • 3 are Default Local Listings by Zip Code
  • 1 is an in-set Snippet from Wikipedia
  • 10 are SEO-Based Links

Being on the first page doesn’t even guarantee you’re the first option someone chooses anymore. You have to scroll down a whole page length to even reach the organic SEO options.

Even then you are beginning to deal with a serious problem when you have to realize that ranking for Plumber doesn’t even guarantee you’re the first business listed through SEO thanks to directories surging to the top of the search results.

But despite this bizarre layout of the new first page, there is still hope for SEO after all. SEO isn’t gone, but it does need to be upgraded.

There’s Room in Google For SEO

Google’s response here is evident. SEO is still important; it’s just not as important as it was before. With many different directories, local listings, social media outlets and more offering up as many options to finding local businesses like Google, it’s time that Google needs to grow and adapt.

SEO choices are still there, but there are many tertiary services that Google cannot allow to take dominance because it is both a threat to their platform and an undermining of the work that many businesses put into their own markets.

Of the top ten SEO results from before, 3 are directories or review sites, 1 is Wikipedia, 1 is a nationwide plumbing service, and 4 of them are genuine local businesses to me that are trying to rank in the city alone.

This makes the outlook for mainline SEO seem bleak, but surely longtail keywords will suffice, right?

Of the top ten SEO results from before, 3 are directories or review sites, 1 is Wikipedia, 1 is a nationwide plumbing service, and 4 of them are genuine local businesses to me that are trying to rank in the city alone.

5 Directories or Review sites (With Yelp twice, of all places), 1 Nationwide Plumbing Services, and four local businesses.

The same amount of ads are there, but there is no rich snippet from Wikipedia about what a plumber is.

While the prospects might not be as hot as they should be, there are still 4-5 very valuable spots that people should be vying for all the time. But we can’t forget the fact that SEO is now below the fold on Google.

Regarding SEO, there is no more getting to the first page of google. There is only getting to the second page of the first page of Google.

There’s Room in Google For Everything Else

Now that the first page has been rented out to the highest bidders on Google, we can begin to determine the three different avenues that they are opening up for SEO alternatives.

AdWords

Everyone is familiar with AdWords. Come up with great copy, place it on a fantastic landing page and you pay less than the worse pages out there and are launched to the top of Google so people looking for that service may find you.

Google Maps

Every business needs to register to be on Google Maps. This lets you appear in the search results as a brick-and-mortar establishment complete with a complementary Google Site and review system.

Google Services

Finally, and this seems to be the newest section on the market. Google Services. For many of you who have experience with Google Shopping and are used to seeing little squares of visual real estate, this is aimed predominately at Services that feature reviews and a little bit of rich text.

The biggest difference between Google Services and Google Shopping is that it will redirect you to a page to isolate the services you would need the trade for.

For example, you can see that it will ask you if you need a drain unclogged or a sewer line snaked and other similar services with which it will redirect you to the best suitable plumber based on your location, their reviews, and the services they offer, complete through a built-out Google Site (associated with a Google Maps page.)

What Does This Mean for the Future of Google and SEO?

SEO is and never was bad; it was simply broken. SEO is all about creating a page that Google’s Bots will think is most suitable for a human reader. This often led to unsavory measures with which people would try to artificially rank instead of suiting the needs of the reader themselves.

But now, through their popularity and first-page presence, Google knows what readers want. When readers are looking for services and shopping, they go to these third-party sites like Yelp, Home Advisor, and even Facebook to try and find authentic reviews and representations of what a business is.

Google is adapting its platform to what people want. Taking the best elements of its competitors and incorporating it to their first page while still catering to and accommodating people who have been trying to please Google every step of the way.

The future of SEO isn’t simply written copy. It’s an all-inclusive, all-encompassing marketing effort that will use every measure of SEO and online presence necessary to provide an honest and reasonable communication to the prospective clients.

Addendum: Since the writing of this blog and now, Google has made changes to their Meta Description rules. Previously Search Results only showed ~160 Characters with their placement; now they are currently showing ~320. Whether or not this in direct response to qualms similar to those we expressed in this article or not is unclear. However, this is a big win for organic results which are now gifted a bit more real estate on the first page.

The Future of Local SEO

Here at Social Agency, we are always researching new ways to improve our client’s businesses. While we offer on-site SEO as well as social media management, there is a service we offer that drastically increases local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is how your business is optimized to compete in the local market. Many enterprises are simply brick-and-mortar locations without an online presence. While this is great for bringing in foot traffic, there is an ocean of untapped customers that remains inaccessible.

Local SEO takes this business and makes them present on the search engines. While on-page optimization and a website geared towards local SEO is helpful, the future of local SEO is with Google MyBusiness.

Google MyBusiness

“Google MyBusiness Local Listing is the main platform for a businesses’ Maps, Search and G+. We provide Google page optimization for exposure of your company brand. If your company information ( n.a.p ) and services are relevant to what people are searching you will have traffic on your Google listing.”Danny Gonzalez, Head of Brand Management Department

What makes Google MyBusiness so great is the fact that it puts you on the first page of Google when people search locally. With more than 70% of users making mobile searches, everyone is looking for places nearby. The Google MyBusiness pages place you on Google Maps and feature sidebar listing on a desktop.

Our Google MyBusiness service streamlines the validation process for you. By working closely with Google, we establish your business to Google’s guidelines. From there we optimize your MyBusiness listing to appear ahead of competitor’s regarding keyword relevancy.

Additionally, we confirm that all of your business information is 100% correct so that no miscommunications occur between customers and businesses.

How the Process Works

  1. We contact you and validate the on-hand business information.

    We use your phone to complete the process with a 6-digit pin code sent as a text or call.

  2. Next, complete a 2-step phone verification to ensure your companies information is secure on Google.
  3. While we are optimizing your page, Google will now need verification that the address provided is yours.

    The best way to validate your location is with a postcard that takes 10-14 Business days to arrive at your location.

    Once you receive the postcard, you need to call or e-mail us the code within the card so we can get your page live on Google.

  4. Once we have received the 6-digit code, your page is validated and your listing can finish development.
  5. Once we have the validated information and code, we can get you up-and-running with Google MyBusiness!

Additionally, we will customize your page and it will show up on Google Maps and you will receive a Google+ Page as well.

Brand Management

A separate service we offer is known as Brand Management. We are often asked what the difference between Brand Management and Google MyBusiness is, the answer is simple.

Google MyBusiness

“We take the optimized profile for your MyBusiness page and we put it on over 70 different listings websites.”Danny Gonzalez

When people want to sign up for Brand Management, they are getting the chance to dominate the local market on 70 different websites from Angie’s List to the Yellow Pages.

Social Agency

If you own a small business and are either unlisted or struggling with local SEO, contact us. We have been advocates for internet marketing for several years and constantly work our hardest to get our clients to the top of the search results.

8 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Site!

Having your own website is liberating. You have a place that people can go to that explains what your company or service is all about. With that, you now have entered into the unchecked arena that is the online search results.

With all of these competitors and similar sites, it might seem impossible to increase traffic to your site. But if there’s anything we know how to do at Social Agency it’s just that!

Firstly, there are several things that you can do to increase the traffic to your site. Anything and everything can be optimized on a site and yet they often aren’t. Because of this, we have broken up our list into things you can do on the page and off!

1. On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization has everything to do with what the viewer can see. From content to image sizes, it can be optimized for user experience and search engines alike. The following tools are great ways to judge and determine what makes a great page: Google Pagespeed Insights and Pingdom to determine page-speed and image sizes, and we will use the Yoast plugin for content optimization.

For the sake of on-page studies, we will use aventurabrakesandauto.com

2. Pagespeed Insights

Here we see that it gives us two tabs to work with, Mobile and Desktop. On mobile, we have a warning light because our JavaScript and CSS are causing blockages with the render speed of the content.

Then the tool tells us to minify JavaScript and CSS, optimize images, and leverage browser caching. Plus, they each have these little handy ‘how-to-fix’ buttons which are great for thorough answers.

Moving over to the Desktop portion. We ranked high with an 85/100 and are receiving similar reasons for problematic loading speed. JavaScript, CSS, browser caching and the same moments.

Having a fast-loading website can increase your search engine and decrease bounce rates and with all of the answers conveniently on this page, it makes it much easier for appealing to search engines.

3. Pingdom Tools

Another site that you can use is Pingdom! Which has a very similar style, but much more thorough answers? Here you can see a similar performance grade but a lower overall score. This is because Pingdom judges based on the page itself and not how it works with search engines.

At the bottom of the page, you can see a much more detailed readout as to what is causing problems on your page. You can see where the page completely failed, and what parts of the site are taking so long to load and why. This is much more detailed in its responses and can lead to a little more…. Insight.

4. Yoast

Yoast is a great tool used for on-page optimization. It allows you to manage the content and the images on your page. It offers a red, yellow, and green light system that shows when content needs a little more optimization and where you can improve.

It judges your content based on the usage of headings, titles, linking, keyword density, meta tags and much more. It is also a powerful sitemap generator and redirect tool.

While this program is incredibly useful for SEO and content creation, it is also a hotly debated topic. Some people believe that some of the features such as outbound linking don’t carry as much weight as Yoast says it does.

5. Off the Page

Now that we’ve optimized and increased traffic on the page with useful tools such as PageSpeed Insights and Yoast. It’s time to work on problems on the off-page. These are known primarily through Backlinks and Social Media.

6. Backlinks

In the world of SEO, backlinks are key. Achieving backlinks is the biggest hurdle for most websites. While there is no plug-in or easy way to generate backlinks, they are still highly important.

Backlinks are when another website links out to your website as an aspect of authority. That website is saying that ‘this (your) website knows their stuff.’ Google sees this as sites understanding information.

Backlinks can be achieved through being the authority on a matter, hiring bloggers to write about your site, creating well funneled internal linking, and infographic backlinking. These are just a few of the most traditional ways, but anytime you can get a backlink means you are improving the strength of your website on the search engines.

7. Social Media

Similar to Backlinking, having social media linked to your page can significantly improve your page’s authority. First of all, when we perform a Google search for the keyword ‘Social Media’, half of the page is dedicated to the Google + page of Social Agency, within that half-page includes linking to our Facebook as well. Out of the top ten results, one goes to our website; three go to our social media via Yelp, Facebook, and Instagram.

Social Media undoubtedly has a positive effect on your website’s authority, but that doesn’t mean you can just make a page and then leave it alone. We recommend at least three posts/tweets a week to show that you are active and promoting you as a brand.

Atop that, local rankings are greatly improved through the Google Location pages. You can improve a number of people search for you based on location-based relevance, which is incredibly important.

8. Social Agency

Owning your website is a huge undertaking, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Bringing your business to the online marketplace is a competition. Fighting for your search engine rankings and relevance in social media is an everyday struggle.

But with Social Agency, we offer services that guarantee results. Our Social Media Marketers, Content writers, and Brand Managers ensure that your site and social media will be optimized for your future clients.

10 Reasons why SEO is Vital for your Business

SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization, is an absolute necessity for the growth of your business. By creating a website and optimizing it for search engines, you can be more retrievable in the online marketplace than if you didn’t have it at all

While some people like to claim that SEO is dead, the fact is that it has never been more alive than at this very moment! A recent study by Nielsen confirms that smartphones are dominating the market for people aged 18 to 34 and more.

Fewer people are moving to the internet for their source of attention. So with phones and computers destroying television, there is less focus on television ads, and there are more of a focus on the internet.

What better way to get your name in the sky than with Search Engine Optimization?

Ten Reasons Why SEO is Vital

  1. Increase your Online Presence
  2. Boost Traffic to Your Site
  3. Increase Sales (In eCommerce Sites)
  4. Beat your Competitors (Who are already using SEO)
  5. Pays for Itself (Based on ROI)
  6. Vital for an Efficient and Effective Website!
  7. Increases the credibility of your Site
  8. Builds your Company as a Brand!
  9. Trackable Results!
  10. SEO Can Beat Paid Traffic

Wait, Really?!

A study from Moz, from 2008, shows that overall organic traffic can produce 5 to 6 times as many clicks to a website than PPC campaigns.

While this doesn’t imply the same thing for conversion rates, since PPC had 1.5x the conversion rate than organic, it did raise an interesting question for this. When you combine the cost of SEO v.s. The Cost of PPC, SEO costs 1/8th the cost of PPC.

Over time, which one is going to be more useful to use. PPC, while able to generate immediate traffic and leads, will not create a lasting page with authority in the search results.

SEO However will increase your Google rankings and keep you there regardless of the top ‘Ad’ spot. The only way to stay at the top of the search results is to fight for your spot there.

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