Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another SEO Scandal! playing dirty with SEO

Marketing Company in Chicago

I am personally surprised that companies are still doing this since Google appears to be cracking down on black-hat SEO practices. Integraphix prides itself on being a Chicago SEO Company, that only practices ethical SEO. The fact that Google is penalizing such huge companies make them look better in the public's eyes though. Go Google. Now the story.

Google, Inc has penalized after the website retailer skirted important Google policies that strictly prohibit companies from artificially boosting their ranking on Google's search engines. Overstock's website had, until recently, ranked near the top of results for a TON of common keyword searches such as 'Vacuum cleaner', and 'Laptop Computers'. Now, if you search for these terms, Overstock is showing up on page six or worse, severely hurting their chances of being clicked on by a user. According to Overstock, they had encouraged the websites of colleges and universities to post links to pages so that students and faculty could get discounts (nice right?). Backlinks are important but to use unethical SEO on such a huge company... bad idea.

Overstock's CEO said in a statement, "Google has made clear that they believe these links should not factor into their search algorithm. We understand Google's position and have made the appropriate chances to remain within Google's guidelines."

Experts say educational (.edu) sites rarely, if ever, link to commercial (.com) sites so a website can surge to the top if this is done en mass. Google wouldn't discuss the nature of the incident in detail, and only cited a policy against discussing specific websites. A google spokesman says 'Google's goal is to deliver the most relevant content possible, but attempts to game Google's ranking goes on 24 hours a day, every single day."

Many companies, including Integraphix, use a variety of techniques to try to enhance their positions in search results. The process is search engine optimization, or SEO. Appearing high in search rankings is a big part of failure or success in the online business world. Some companies hire SEO services (like Integraphix, a Chicago Marketing Company and Chicago SEO company) to boost their rankings too.

Overstock's whoops is the second move by Google in two weeks against a large retailer (JCPenneys) for violating Google guidelines. Make sure you're practicing ethical SEO people! In Overstock's case, they were offering discounts of 10% to students and faculty. The retailer claimed they weren't aware that this was being done, and hadn't authorized them. Also, a spokeswoman for JC Penney has terminated it's relationship with the SEO consultant they were employing.

The penalizing came after a competitor complained to Google about Overstock's backlinking scheme. Overstock, which is based in Salt Lake City, was founded in 1999 and is known for discount merchandise. Last month alone it had 10 million unique visitors. Just saying, in my opinion, that number might have been influenced by the numerous TV commercials, though I'm guessing their hits are going to go down.

:: Integraphix, a Chicago SEO Company and Chicago Internet Marketing Company

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Search Engine Optimization and Chicago Website Design

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your website visible and more attractive to search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Google and its fellow SERPS regularly scan and archive millions of websites so people can find relevant content easily. Any Marketing Company worth their salt will incorporate SEO into your website design. It will be a much easier transition into your monthly SEO efforts than if your Chicago Marketing Company had to edit a large portion of your website content and tagging. Ask your web designer if they can build your SEO into the design of your website. This cost less money in the long run.

Getting a custom website design may be more affordable than you think! Integraphix can help you build a website that will look professional, help you build your business and, most importantly, a website that can be found with our special brand of Search Engine Optimization. Give us a call today if you're in need of a custom website or internet marketing.

- Integraphix, a Chicago Marketing Company
Serving the Chicagoland area for over 20 years and specializing in Graphic Design, Web Design, Internet Marketing and web Development.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

JC Penney SEO Fiasco

New York Times author, David Segal, recently published "The Dirty Little Secrets of Search" that describes how and their marketing company utilized black-hat SEO tactics to rank high in Google for several keywords. JC Penney's SEO Firm unfortunately engaged in what's known as 'anchor-text-based paid links' which are stated plainly in Google's terms of services as being a strict NO NO. We all know that paid links are great for rankings but they can come back to haunt you and your website in the future. And we all know that some SEO firms continue to use this tactic even though they know the consequences.

The article is completely valid in sense that black-hat SEO is a horrid practice, should deter this type of search engine optimization. But blanketing the whole profession and making us look like a bunch of blog spammers is not cool! We at Integraphix, a White Hat SEO and Internet Marketing Company, give the author credit for quoting Google as stating, "[Google] draws a pretty thick line between techniques it considers deceptive and ‘white hat’ approaches, which are offered by hundreds of consulting firms and are legitimate ways to increase a site’s visibility.

After reading Mr. Segal's article though, the uneducated are going to be quite disgusted and turned off with the SEO profession and strategic manipulation of the search engines and this I think is quite unfair.

1. There are Good and Bad Firms EVERYWHERE!

Black Hat SEO
Just because JCPenney decided to do it the wrong way, doesn't mean that every SEO Firm in the world is marketing their clients this way. There are many a credible, trustworthy and ethical SEO company that doesn't violate Google or any other Search Engine's rules. My own company, Integraphix, is an example of a Marketing Company in Chicago that provides white-hat SEO which doesn't violate rules and provides organic optimization.  JCPenney gives SEO a bad name, but Kesha gives a bad name to music and Michael Vick gives athletes a bad name. The main point is - there are bad eggs everywhere, and a blanket bad name shouldn't be said about an industry.

2. You have the right to question your SEO Company!
An SEO company with nothing to hide will hide nothing. Of course there are going to be details that you don't understand, but your Marketing Company should be able to present examples of what they've done for others. Understand that there are aspects of SEO strategy that companies classify as 'proprietary information' and will not give out less their strategy is stolen, but other than that, they should be open.

We're not trying to pat ourselves on the back, but Integraphix has always and will always provide white hat, effective SEO services to our clients and we abide by all search engine rules. There are no shortcuts, and there are no skeezy manipulations. No paid links. No link farms. No unethical SEO! But whether you use us or not, make sure your company is not risking the future of your website rankings and that you're leaving your financial future into the hands of real professionals.

Integraphix, a Chicago Marketing Company

~ Integraphix, a Chicago SEO Company

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chicago SEO Company

Do you like what you've been reading? Visit our Google Maps page or visit our website to see what we offer!

Our Website - Integraphix - Check us out!!

If you've got SEO, Internet marketing, or Website Optimization needs - give us a call!
847.537.0067 for a free marketing analysis. 
If you're more of an emailer - contact us here!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

You need to use SEO to be found online!

Is your company using SEO to get found on the internet? If not, then you're letting clients slip through your fingers. For every business or individual it is very important that they promote their products in the right way. It means that they should follow a proper way to make their products or services available to their target marketing around the world. If we talk about the different veins of marketing, then nothing can be better than Internet Marketing. The level of penetration it offers is simply untouchable. Internet marketing is not only an excellent way to market ones products, but it is also one of the cheapest ways. Both small businesses and big organizations uses internet as their prime mode of marketing. It is especially beneficial for the small businesses. Since they cannot spend much behind the marketing of their product or services, therefore internet provides them an easy and inexpensive way to promote their products and services.

There are many ways to increase the popularity of a business through internet marketing. The most important aspect of internet marketing is the SEO feature. SEO means search engine optimization. SEO helps you to increase the popularity of your website. It is quite obvious that more popular is your website, deeper will be your reach. Once your website becomes popular, it will become quite easy for you to stay updated with the latest offerings, which obviously means growth of your business.Before you opt for going to an seo expert, you need to understand that how the SEO helps in the growth of your business.First of all, you have to survive in this highly competitive world. It is quite possible that your competitors are following the SEO approach to promote their business.

So, to survive in the competition, you need to be equipped with this new weapon. It will definitely help you to survive in the competition at least.Web traffic is very important for the popularity of your website. More than 90% of the website traffic originates from the search queries and 80% of traffic comes through 3 major search engines namely Google, Yahoo and Bing. So, it is very necessary that you must be equipped with the SEO tools to make your website visible to the search spiders. It will help your website to get noticed, and will place it higher in the search ranking. Higher ranking in search engine means greater popularity and wider reach, which will definitely help you to increase your sales and expand your customer base as well. 

An expert Chicago SEO company can rightly guide you through these things.So for these reasons, it is quite necessary even for the small companies to get equipped with the SEO tools. The rate, at which penetration of internet is increasing, makes us to believe that internet marketing is surely going to leave behind the other channels of marketing. Therefore it is better to consult an SEO expert to provide a boost to your business. There are numerous SEO expert companies around the world. But you should always go for the good and reputed ones. If you want any information about SEO, you can check the website at Chicago Marketing Company.

Twitter for SEO and Link Building

The very popular social networking and micro-blogging website Twitter is hot buzz right now. All for good reason. Twitter has a very unique platform that allows both social media and SEO (search engine optimization) - two of the most explosive trends in internet marketing - to marry and come together. They even support each other.

Twitter has many more useful attributes that the ability to let users broadcast what they're eating for breakfast or what outfit they picked out. It you use it properly and use Twitter's best practices, you CAN improve your link building campaign performance.

Now we'll look at the numerous ways that you can use Twitter for link building.

1. Engage your followers.
Using the search tool to find the people who are relevant to your business and start tweeting! Share @mentions, send them @replies, retweet their tweets and links. This all points towards the goal of getting them to link back to you or getting them to say - hey thanks for spreading the word. It sounds like a ton of work, time, and effort, but it cuts down on you having to post to blogs, finding relevant sites to post to and writing articles.

2. Get more followers.
Without going into too much detail about how to get more Twitter followers (that's an entirely new blog post for later), we'll say that the more followers you have, the more people see your tweets, the more likely your links are to be reposted and talked about! That also means that people start seeing you as an authority in your field and respect your opinion.

3. Are your tweets "retweetable"?
Why is this important to be retweetable? It helps you gain popularity. It also helps others who dont follow you to FIND you. Another important note about being 'retweetable' - make sure you are #tagging your posts so they can be searched by users. If you are making your tweets searchable and retweetable, you will be seen more often by more people. These people may even post a link to your website on their own website if you're posting relevant content.

4. Join Twitter Directories
A Twitter directory brings businesses and consumers together without lifting a finger really. Tweetfind can also help get your customers and prospects to follow you on Twitter. It's also another backlink  to your website or blog. Plus it's free!

5. Don't Tweet a link to everything!!
Followers won't click on your name anymore if all you do is post the same links to your website over and over. You're asking for people to unfollow you. It's called SOCIAL media for a reason - that means don't talk about yourself all the time. Promote other people and other ideas. It makes you look smart! Be respectable, interesting, compelling, and friendly. If you do share a link - make sure it's something your followers will actually want to look at.

Now go out into the Twitter Social Media world and Tweet!

Google Buzz and You

It's inevitable that an Internet Marketing and SEO Company - even ours - is thinking about Google Buzz and trying to come up with ways it will effect the future of SEO. Anything released by Google is going to effect the web. It's therefore inevitable that Google Buzz will affect the social media world - but what about your website's SEO efforts?

If you are not aware of Google Buzz - here is Google's official Buzz Video of the essentials:

The Good Things?
The Google Buzz recommendation feature is going to affect SEO the most. Google is saying that Buzz ''recommends interesting posts and weeds out ones the user is likely to skip over." It's Page Rank within Google Buzz - it will be very interesting to see if Google ends up funneling everything through their social media searches. They are highly likely to do this if you ask me. The main purpose of Google - or their mission to be more exact - is to organize the World Wide Web (old right?) and its masses of content into relevancy. There's absolutely no plausible reason that Google wouldn't push it's highly rated content within Buzz.

What does this mean for you and SEO?
It means that Buzz is just another means of making content go viral - with widespread effects. Buzz is already attached to Gmail and Googles millions of users including TwitterFlickr, etc. Because of this centralized nature, a relevant and keyword heavy post is going to get a lot more screentime than a non-relevant post. This means SEO articles and blog posts are going to get a huge boost. It's just another form of search engine optimization, but not based on backlinks and meta tags. It will be focused on how many users and readers are 'liking' and sharing your content. Big news for the Chicago marketing company industry.

This means that quality content is going to be driving rankings. It's the way it should be, and Black Hat SEO techniques are going to go by the wayside and make room for ethical seo practices. The more your content is shared, liked, commented on and seen by readers, the more 'buzz' you're going to get and your Page Rank is inevitably going to rise. If Buzz gets connected to social search on Google, then your highly rated piece of content is going to be right up there on page 1. Score!

Market to your Current Clients!

One of your most important business assets is your customer list. You have established a level of trust with current clients, making it easier to get more business from them. But notice that I said easiernot effortless. You must make the commitment to market your business to your current customers in order for them to decide to purchase from you again.

Marketing to your current customers has two valuable results: It boosts your sales and builds client loyalty.

Maintaining meaningful contact with customers is important to your marketing success. It keeps you in the forefront of their minds so that when they are ready to buy, or when their colleagues need a referral, they think of you, your business, your product or your service.

So where do you start?

Know your customers. First you need to know your customers. Names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses are obvious pieces of information you must gather. What have they purchased from you in the past and what is the average dollar amount of those purchases? By integrating your  business or internet marketing systems with other internal systems such as accounting, point-of sale, and customer relationship management systems, you can track what they purchased in the past and project what they may need in the future. Additionally, information regarding individual customer buying preferences, favorite radio stations and magazines, sports team loyalties and other data are extremely helpful in marketing to your current customers. So capture as much information as possible in a system that allows you to access it easily.

Meaningful contact. Use the information you have about current customers to send them relevant messages to keep them coming back. What messages are relevant? The answer may be different for each customer but the key is to use the data that you have gathered to respond to their specific product and service needs. Every customer has a distinctive combination of preferences, interests and demands that make them unique. The closer you come to addressing those needs in your communications, the greater the likelihood that you will get additional business from those customers.

Build loyalty. Another way to market to your current customers is via a rewards-based customer loyalty program. One of the best-known and longest running loyalty programs is the airlines’ frequent flyer program. The theory behind these programs is that customers will want to spend more money with your company in anticipation of earning their rewards. Your business will benefit most from a loyalty program that entices repeat purchases from customers and encourages them to tell others about your product or service. An added benefit to loyalty programs is that they give you the opportunity to gather additional information about your customers’ buying preferences and specific needs, allowing you to further target your business and internet marketing efforts.

For more marketing tips follow our blog! Chicago Marketing Company
If your business needs Graphic DesignWeb Design, or Internet Marketing, give us a call! 847-537-0067