Thursday, January 26, 2012

Writing Blog Posts for your Existing and Returning Customers

When you run a corporate blog sometimes it’s difficult to come up with interesting topics on a regular basis. There are a few options like creating a series, how to posts and evergreen content, but in this article I’d like to tackle another option: blogging to your existing customers, and turning them into return/repeat customers.

If you are selling products or services, chances are you good you probably have 10 – 20 questions your customers ask about how to use products, correctly, better or more effectively. Typically most companies create an FAQ where they answer all of these questions on one page. While this does work it’s not an optimal solution from an SEO traffic perspective.
  1. Unless your questions and answers are very short, ideally you want to create a single page optimized for each question, this gives you the ability to create narrowly focussed posts around specific keyword phrases that will rank better and drive more traffic. Bear in mind this is something of a balancing act, and you may find these posts don’t get enough traffic on their own and have to be combined, so there is some experimentation, trial and error involved.
  2. The next thing you need to consider is targeting and writing your posts using the same natural language, phrases,and queries that your consumers use, and not using your own internal company terminology.
  3. Once you’ve got the basic questions covered, you can expand showing them how to use your products in new ways they never thought off, how to take advantage of advanced features, and use little known aspects of your products. You can even look for opportunities to tie into social media asking customers to submit pictures of their products in use.
  4. One last option to consider is optimizing for some of your competitions keywords. Bear in mind SEO for your competition is not without consequences and not for the faint of heart, so think about it before you decide to start down that path.
The key lesson from these examples is don’t blog just to get new customers; blog to reach and help your existing customers. If you do it correctly they will stay repeat customers and pass along their experiences with their family and friends, and share them on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

So what are the takeaways from this post:
  • Look at your popular customer service questions and inquiries and look for ways to create optimized posts around those topics
  • Use natural language and phrases your customers use, avoid internal terminology and marketing language
  • Look for opportunities to show advanced or little known features
  • Make your customers smarter this turns them into brand advocates
  • While there is some danger optimizing for your competitions branded keywords, it can sometimes work to your advantage

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Web Pages: Optimize Them All!

For those that don't truly understand SEO, optimizing the home page of a website is as far as they go. This demonstrates a lack of understanding in how Google indexes pages and how users come across content across the internet. Lesson 1: Google indexes Web-PAGES, not Web-SITES. Each pages is their own island, and each can have its own optimized content and purpose without compromising the overall optimization efforts.

For small website owners, this isn't a huge problem. For large e-commerce websites or elaborate websites, this can be a terrifying endeavor. Optimizing a website from top to bottom, all the way from the title tags to the tweaked javascript can take quite a while (keyword research, content writing, creating meta data, assigning title tags, naming images and alt tags, etc.). Those with a 5 page site (and shame on you) are in the clear. Those websites with 1000+ pages are going to have to implement changes over a longer period of time, but it IS worth the effort.

Here are a few tips to make sure your entire website and all its many pages gets optimized properly.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

SEO Myth Busting 2012

10 years ago, Search Engine Optimization was spam. People who knew very little about the practice could manipulate the search engines with very little effort and huge results. Nowadays, it's much more difficult and takes more than simple trickery to get results. The following myths, however prevalent in the current SEO scene, need some busting, by yours truly, Integraphix.

Myth One: Search Engines don't "see" Images

While this is correct that the actual image itself can't be seen by search engines, applying appropriate tags to the image can benefit your image search capabilities and on-page optimization efforts. While not a huge benefit, Alt Text and Image Filenames does make a difference and should be included in your SEO strategy.

Myth Two: An SEO Can 'Fix' Your Website after it's Built

The simple fact is, if your website is not designed and built around search engine optimization the first time around, it will be more difficult and more expensive to optimize your website for search engines after it's designed. Most web designers don't know what's important for SEO unless they've researched it on their own and can seriously screw up a site's optimization. Optimizing a site that hasn't seen the hand of an SEO can need some serious changes including code changes, CSS changes, and a complete reworking of internal structure.

Myth Three: Google is the SEO God

While Google is very important, there are two other major search engines out there that have their own set of rules to abide by. If Google said it, it may not necessarily work on other search engines. Take all the rules into account, test a bit and see which one works best. Google may not be the end all be all of SEO techniques.

Myth Four: No-Follow Links Don't Count

Actually, Google, Bing and Yahoo all look upon an unbalanced Do-Follow/No-Follow links as spam. If you've got too many Do-follow links, the Search Engines may actually punish you rather than give you rankings. Try to keep a healthy balance of no-follow/do-follow links to keep your link profile healthy and natural.

Myth Five: Internal Linking Doesn't Matter

The main issue we find when optimizing a client's website is that their previous SEO Firm hasn't paid attention to internal page authority techniques. Internal linking is one of those techniques. Linking to your interior pages via the receiving page's keywords creates authority within the interior pages of your website. This can improve your interior page's PR Rank and even the search engine rankings of your interior pages. Not taking advantage of this can be severely detrimental to your website's on-page and overall website optimization.

For more SEO Tips such as How to use Tumblr for SEO and What does Do-follow mean subscribe to our RSS feed via your favorite feed reader! Have any other myths you want busted? Let us know in the comments!

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Importance of Link Building

Chicago SEO :: Chicago Internet Marketing :: Internet Marketing Agency :: SEO Consultants

When it comes to Google and other internet Search Engine giants, the more links to have, the higher rankings you'll have. It's much like a popularity contest, and the more you have. It's quite the vicious cycle and all the search engines are the same.

The way Search Engines like Bing, Yahoo and Google judge this popularity is by the number of different websites that are connecting or linking to you. They know that if a great number of websites will link to you, then you must have something important or relevant to say; this will, over time, boost your rankings.

This is why Search Engine Optimization should focus on getting you quality back-links from several different websites. You'll find several ways to do this and may places and opportunities to create a back-link, and try to use several of them. Creating backlinks from several different websites will give you a greater chance of success than buying a pack of links from one website.