Monday, December 9, 2013

9 Easy SEO tips

Search engine optimization can be a tricky, tricky business since things are constantly changing. Google likes to change the rules on doing SEO and normal people do as well by changing what they search and how they do it. So how do you know if you're doing SEO that is quality and will be noticed by the search engines?

  1. Put your keyword in your domain. When you obtain a domain name, make sure that your keyword is in your domain name; search engines like to see this. 
  2. Put your keyword in after your URL. This is the part of the URL that comes after your domain such as instead of keeping it generic. Why does this matter? It matters because you have to allow search engines to know what pages are talking about before they get past the URL. 
  3. Put keywords in your title tags, Meta descriptions, H1 tags, and web copy. When you have title tags on your site (which you have to have!), meta descriptions, H1s, and web copy, make sure you place your keyword(s) in there. You want the search engines to find things they like when they view your site. They like to see keywords. However, do not do keyword stuffing; this is when you stuff your content with keywords so much that it is overwhelming for search engines. 
  4. Don't forget to optimize images on your site. When search engines crawl through your site, they will know if you have images; if the search engine can't determine what the image is, it will not care about the images. Make sure every image is optimized with a description. 
  5. Build internal links. Your website will have more than one page and your blog will have more than one post; with these different pages and posts, make sure you create links between them. Have links on pages that connect to other pages or posts and vice versa. Search engines like to see that you have "alternate routes" on the highway that is your website. 
  6. Make your site known to search engines. Just creating your site means nothing. You have to submit it to search engines! Submit your site to directories as well. 
  7. Make your site easy to navigate. Search engines and people hate sites that take 10 years to navigate. If your site is not so easy that a new visitor can figure it out instantly, then your site will not get much traffic. 
  8. Have good content. Your site needs to have content that is appropriate for your topics and that there is enough of it. Make sure your content is not copied or you will face big penalties from search engines. 
  9. Get on social media. Have a company FB business page, twitter, YouTube,Yelp, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, blog, etc. Now, which ones you choose matters to reach your target audience so do your research. Chances are Facebook and Twitter are going to reach everyone but as far as what else to add, that's where research will help you. 
Just so you know, if your business has a brick & mortar, then add Google Maps to your site. Search engines and people love seeing this on your site. 

Integraphix is a leading Chicago Marketing, Advertising and Creative Agency creating strong brand identity and marketing strategies with our unique mix of advertising, graphic design, web design, and internet marketing expertise. We give free consultations. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Importance of Website Audits

If you do search engine optimization, then you have a website. Since you have a website, you should look at how it is doing and how SEO is affecting your website. How do you do this? There are two programs that you should have (in addition to others but we will focus on two) that can tell you how
your website is doing.

Using these two tools below will help you truly analyze how your website is performing and how it can be made better or if you have done everything right. If you want your website to be successful and not get penalized by search engines, then you are going to have to do website audits on your site. Admittedly, doing one can be scary, especially if you haven't done them before, because you may find that you have a lot to fix. These are not only helpful and necessary if you do SEO but also if you do web design because you want to know what to do during your designing so your site or your client's site perform well; if they perform well because of a great design, you will look good, real good.

The first program that you should have if you do SEO, whether for your own site or someone else's, is Website Auditor in the SEO Powersuite package. What does Website Auditor do? This tool looks through an entire website and shows all the structural parts of the website which includes things like the pages, site errors, validation, and much more. You can see things like your Google Page Rank, Alexa rating, where links are from/where they're going, any site problems, warnings/red flags, anything you want and need to know about your website.

The second program you should utilize is Google Analytics. This will give you measurements of how many people are visiting your site, where they are from, how long they look at your site, how many pages, how they found your site, etc. Anything you need to know about who looks at your site, you can find out.

If you are looking for a search engine optimization company, hire Integraphix - a Chicago marketing company.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why Should I Do Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is a marketing aspect that many people do not consider when trying to increase their brand awareness. The truth is, search engine optimization is something that the majority of small companies need to utilize if they wish to gain notoriety in the small business world. Search
engine optimization is not the newest form of internet marketing but is certainly not the oldest; due to this factor, there are still companies who can be skeptical about why they should utilize these services.

But what are some concrete reasons for why a small company should do SEO? There are a few reasons.

  1. The first reason small companies should do SEO is because of how many people ignore the paid search results. According to 2013 data, studies showed that approximately 94 percent of people ignored the paid search results and opted for the organic search results. Why is this the case? Well people tend to trust referrals from friends and those they know; despite not truly knowing the people who also like the organic links that you see, it is as if you do. See, the mind recognizes the popularity of the organic results and the fact that those links are ranked so well because they are genuinely good and have earned their place in line. When we see the paid links, we generally recognize they were bought and did not earn their place there; consequently, we do not trust that the paid links are genuinely helpful. They might be complete garbage but are only there because that company laid out the money for top spot. 
    1. Think of it this way, do you trust a commercial or your best friend's referral when learning about a product? While you might trust both, you will most likely trust your friend's words more since you know they are not being paid to endorse or speak well of the product; they genuinely like it and want to tell you about it because they think you will like it as well. 
  2. The second reason for SEO is because of how many people do not go past the first page of results on a search engine. When people search for something on the internet, they know that the best links come up first. When someone is searching for a helpful link, they will scan the first page in-depth, but fewer than 30 percent of people actually go to the second page. After unsuccessfully finding the link they want, most people will simply try a variation of their original search until they get something that is suitable. 
  3. The third reason for SEO is due to the fact that small companies who do no sort of SEO do not rank well with search engines. If you read the first two reasons, you will see why this is a problem. A search engine will not rank your site well if it does not see the effort to appear as a good site, essentially. 

As a Chicago marketing company, Integraphix Inc. knows all about internet marketing and especially about SEO. If you are considering SEO for your business, give us a call at 847-537-0067, visit our site,  or email us at We give free consultations and are a full-service Chicago marketing firm.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Big Changes Coming to Google for SEO

So, there are plenty of changes coming to the search engine optimization world, Google will be releasing an update to Penguin. This one is called *drum roll* Penguin 2.0! Shocker. BUT, it is important for you to know what this means so your site does not get hit, or if you're an SEO consulting company, then your clients' sites. Google promises that this update will be a real trouble-maker.

A big deal with this change is the update's ability to shake down all the SEO on the internet and crack down on any spammy and poor quality links. What this means is that you will have to check your site's links by performing an audit. Even if you think your links are good, do not assume, do an audit on your site's backlinks and links. Avoid links that are attached to SEO inspired sites, like backlink farm sites, and things of the like. Also try to avoid links with contrived anchor text, or anchor text that has been beaten to death.

What you will want to do is to build a list of all the backlinks you have for your site on the internet, you can do this by using SEO SpyGlass. Next, look to see what links you have that are still active and what links you have that are dead, remove the dead ones. Third, look for any questionable links that are tied to your site, ditch them ASAP; check for the domain IP, domain age, Google page rank, Alexa rank, and external links. Fourth, look for links with suspicious anchor text because this kind of goes along with the notion of questionable backlinks and using overly optimized keywords/anchor text. Fifth, look for any poor backlinks to your site with your own eye, maybe the SpyGlass missed something. And lastly, Talk to webmasters about removing the bad links.

This blog will hopefully help you avoid poor rankings due to poor back links but there is more you can do, for a complete run down, do a Google search of the new update and see for yourself. We will make it through this update!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Don't Rush to Change Keywords

If you do search engine optimization, you know about keywords. Keywords are your backbone for search engine optimization. They are what get you noticed by the world on the internet. Keywords are the things that people type into the search engines and why your material on the internet and your website become relevant to the people using those keywords. The only problem is that many people are eager to change the keywords and try to be innovative.

The thing about keywords is that they have to establish themselves in reference to your website. So, for example, you use "Dentist in Chicagoland" as a keyword for your dentist office, this keyword has to become associated with your website, according to the search engines. If you change your keywords too often, then the search engines don't like it and your rankings will suffer.

Keywords can stick around for a few months or even longer so you don't really have to worry about them having a short expiration date, they aren't like milk. Think of them more like juice.

If you do not know how to choose a keyword, well there is a science to that. Keywords are often 2-3 words long. one word phrases are called short-tail keywords and they make up less than 30% of searches on the web. Phrases longer than 3 words are called long-tail keywords and make up gets fewer uses with each additional word. The longer and more precise the keywords are, the sooner you will get increased traffic. It is easier to optimize a site and rank for a unique phrase with little competition. The longer and more precise your keyword is, the fewer visitors you will get, but the more targeted your traffic is. The narrower the search term you target, the greater part of visitors convert to actual customers.

When choosing keywords, you want to make a list of keywords to choose from. They must pertain to what you offer or sell. To help you, you can use the Google Keyword Planner tool. You can use more general keywords or more specific like "Chicago Instrument Shop". What makes it more specific is the addition of "Chicago".

How do you pick the best keywords? Good question. You will need to calculate the Keyword Efficiency Index, or KEI. This index show you how good a keyword is for bringing traffic to your site. You will want keywords with high KEI. There are three components to KEI and they are: relevance ( how closely your keyword is related to what you offer to your customers. You can rank the relevance in terms of excellent, good, or poor). Another component of KEI is the search volume (this is how many queries are made for a keyword per month). The third component is competition (how many websites try to rank for this keyword- generally, all sites that have the same keyword as you are your online competition. The fewer websites that are optimized for the same keyword, the better KEI).

As a Chicago marketing company, we do all sorts of internet marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, blogs, web design, and more. We know all about keywords and how they work and how to use them to someone's advantage.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Updating Your Keywords

Successful search engine optimization is about having keywords. Keywords are what connect your website to what people search on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

While finding the perfect keyword is important to the success of your search engine optimization it is more important to understand why you use the keywords you choose. An SEO consultant agency or internet marketing agency will know the importance of why certain keywords win over other keywords. One reason is because you want keywords that have lower competition while having higher amounts of searches. More importantly, an internet marketing firm will know that the keywords will speak to the company's target markets.

In addition to knowing why it is important to know the right keywords to choose for your search engine optimization marketing but it also what are your next set of keywords? The tricky thing about keywords is that after a while, they become less effective. If you know anything about marketing , then you know that consumers change their minds all. the. time. It is frustrating. Consequently, while certain keywords will work for a while, you will have to change them after a few months because people are no longer searching for those words as much as they used to.

Keywords are a cornerstone to successful and search engine optimization . Do it right and you're golden. The only trick is this, you won't always do it right.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Why You Should Do Social Media Marketing

Why do social media marketing for your business? Is it even worth it? It is definitely something to look into if you want to grow your small business or if you want to build brand loyalty with your consumers. Here's the thing though, you want to grow your small business and you want to build brand loyalty with consumers. Social media has done a lot in the business world and done things that we did not even know were possible.

One way social media has impacted marketing, especially internet marketing is that it has enabled quick interaction between consumers and businesses. For example, Coca-Cola has a twitter account for Doc Pemberton, inventor of Coke, and when people tweet at him, he will respond and interact; of course their other twitters will do the same, but it is just cool to see. Other brand's twitter accounts interact. The reason this is so great is because it makes consumers feel like they are noticed by their favorite brands and can actually have their voice be heard. Being able to talk with a company is like talking to a friend; you are much more loyal and genuine with a friend than you are with a stranger.

A second way social media marketing has impacted internet marketing is by enabling companies to announce news much faster than they were able to in the past. For example, say a company want to announce a new promo opportunity or something like a logo change, they can do it via social media in a few minutes; in the past, they would have to rely more on traditional media and public relations to do this work.

A third way that social media has impacted marketing is by allowing companies to go places that they were not able to go before. I don't mean that they can establish offices in geographic locations that they couldn't before but rather get involved in things they couldn't before, or at least with as much ease. For example, MLB was able to post pictures on Instagram during the home run derby when in the days prior to social media, they couldn't post their own pictures of the home run derby as the derby was going on; not that there were rules against it, but uploading pictures to the computer and then to the internet took a lot longer than simply hitting a single button on Instagram.

Overall, social media has had a huge impact on marketing and has so many benefits to it; if your business is not in on the social media buzz, you can be missing sales and exposure.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Valuable Internal Optimization Tips

As a Chicago Marketing Company we stress the value of Search Engine Optimization. If you want web traffic from search engines there are certain areas of your website that must be optimized.

Title Tags – Title tags are shown up as the title in search results and on browser windows. Our Chicago Marketing team has found that title tags are the most important place to insert your keywords on your website. A strong title tag should contain between 65-70 characters or less. It is important to choose keywords for your title tags that correspond with the content on the page.

H1 Tags – Search engines have been attracted to h1 tags for years. Our Chicago Marketing Company has found that some websites don’t even utilize H1 tags! Many search engine optimization experts have found that H1 tags are one of the most important factors of internal optimization. You are only hurting your website by not including H1 tags.

URL – The key to any web page is it’s URL. Within your website you will have different pages designated to separate web URL’s. Our web designers in Chicago always name particular page’s slug according to what the page and content is about. Example: entails information regarding our Chicago Internet Marketing services.

Image Tags – Our creative agency has found that images are often ignored when it comes to search engine optimization. It is very important that all of your images on your website are saved according to your keywords to help increase web traffic. Make sure that all of your images on your website are given logical and readable names. An image saved as “logo.jpg”says nothing to search engines. Saving an image as “Chicago-web-design-company-logo.jpg” will help your website for search engine optimization purposes. Uploading images to your website saved as keywords will definitely help increase your rankings and ultimately increase your web traffic.

Content – When creating web content for your website, it is very important to include a variety of keywords. As a Chicago Marketing Company, we recommend you use at least 4-5 keywords on each of your pages. If your site is legitimate and you are targeting the right audience, your keywords should fall into the copy naturally. It is important to understand that the more content you put on your site, the better off you are in terms of search engine optimization.

Without a solid foundation of internal optimization on your website, you cannot grasp the full potential of search engine optimization. For a FREE Marketing Analysis of your website, contact Integraphix: 847-537-0067. Our Chicago Marketing Company consists of our creative team specialists that have the knowledge and experience on  how to increase interest with search engines.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why Your Company Needs a Blog

Yes, we have decided that we are going to 'blog' about 'blogging' today.  If you constantly find yourself putting off starting up a blog for your company, you should get started as soon as possible.  There are about a million good reasons why a company should have a blog and as a Chicago SEO company, we cannot stress a blog's importance enough.  If you have been putting it off, here's why you should get started today:

1- A blog is essential to boost your SEO: As a Chicago SEO company, we constantly tell our customers how effective a blog is for boosting their website's SEO rankings.  Search engine crawlers love, love, love fresh, brand new content being added to a website on a constant basis.  Sticking a blog right on your website will give you the ability to add that fresh content every time you post something new.  Postings give you a chance to utilize keywords and show search engines that you are actively using and updating your website.  When we do web design for a client we typically create a built in blog right on the client's website.  We suggest having multiple blogs if you can keep up with it.  The more blogs your company has that link back to your company's website, the better off you are in the world of search engine optimization. A blog, whether your blog is through blogger or you are using a blog on your website, gives you a great place to add links back to your website, which is also a great way (if not the best way) to boost SEO rankings.

2- A blog is a great place to show that you are the expert in your industry: Refine your list of potential blog topics and stick to talking about topics related to your company's industry.  Say you own a coffee shop, then topics that you should blog about should all surround the industry you belong to.  Keeping it relevant will help search engine's crawlers identify who your business is and what you do and will give you a chance to become the expert in your industry.  Your blog gives you a special place to show what you know and impress potential customers.  

3- A blog is a great way to interact with potential and current customers: A blog is a great place to spearhead conversations with your potential and current customers.  Your blog will keep your customers informed and has the ability to help you reel in potential customers.  Just like your social media profiles, blogging is another great way to bring the social aspect to your business.

4- Your blog will help you build your brand: Blogging is a simple way of helping you establish your brand.  Blogging gives you the ability to make your brand more personal and drive more traffic to your company's website, which in turn helps you build your brand.  Perhaps lots of people begin reading your company blog, then great!  Put on your sales hat and lead those blog readers back to your company's website.  That gives your company all the more potential to get that brand exposure you have been craving.

5- Blogging will help keep yourself and your customers in the loop:  Since your company blog should take on topics related to your industry, it can serve as a learning tool not only for your readers and customers, but also for yourself.  A great way to stay current with the latest industry trends is to blog about it.  Your blog could also serve as a vehicle for communicating the latest company news almost like a company newsletter.

Looking for tips on creating a company blog?  We'd be happy to discuss blogging with you.  Feel free to comment below or contact us.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tips for Writing Better Content: The Before, During and After Phases

As an SEO firm in Chicago we’re always talking SEO and we’re always talking about the importance of content.  When it comes to search engine optimization, we’re always saying, “Content is king” and we mean it.  When it comes to creating an SEO strategy there is no better way to boost rankings then to put out great content.  If you’re not working with an SEO company and are trying to do search engine optimization yourself then you need to be prepared to put on your writer hat.  If you’re not the best writer then take note of our tips for writing better content:

Before you begin writing do the following:

1- Identify your goal beforehand: What is the goal of the content you are producing?  Identifying what you are looking for from your reader will help you be able to write better content.  Decide what is you want to say and what is you want your reader to know.  What are you looking to accomplish with your content?  Have your goal in mind beforehand and your content will instantly be more successful.

2- Consider your reader: Get in the mindset of your target audience and readers.  Consider what they know about your content’s topic and what they don’t know.  Break things down that may be confusing for them so you don’t lose them.  Explain things in a way that you are on their level rather than being above them.  Think about what they may want to know about your topic and how you can help them learn your topic better, after all you are writing for search engines AND readers.

3- What’s the hook?: Every and any piece of content you put out should have a hook, which is how you draw readers in. Your hook may be a news hook, an attack hook, a humor hook or an ego hook, but whatever kind of hook you choose needs to draw readers into your content. Your hook should be woven throughout your content or writing piece.  

While you are writing:

1- Create an outline:  In order to write better content (especially if you’re not a writer) consider making an outline first.  An outline will help you weed out material you need not include and will help you better organize your content and your thoughts.  Even seasoned writers will outline content from time to time.  Outlining should become your first step in the writing process.  Once you have a great outline, writing the rest of your content will become a breeze since you’ve outlined the points you need to hit with your content.  Just go down your outline and begin writing, the organization will be there.

2- Just write!:  If you find yourself constantly editing your thoughts as you write, stop immediately!  The writing and editing process are two entirely different parts of the content-creating process. As a rule, write first and edit later.  Get as much down as you can and leave all of your thoughts on the page until you get to the editing process. If you created your outline like we mentioned in tip #1, then you have probably already been able to weed out the useless, cluttered information and have organized your thoughts, so don’t be so critical of your writing.  Keep what you have and re-read it later.

3- Make it easy to read: Content built for web is different than any other type of content.  People reading online are typically scanning, rather than doing any type of deep reading, so you want your online content to convey your message quickly and concisely.  You want your reader to be able to scan your content and be able to take away the crux of your message very quickly. 

4- Be engaging: If you want people to read your content, then you must be engaging.  Make them want to read what you put out.  One of the best ways to be engaging as a writer is to use your own voice.  You have to give readers a little bit of you. Write like your content matters to you, as it should.  If you want people to care about what you write, you have to care about what you write, so let your personality shine through in your writing. 

After you are finished writing:

1- Edit time: Now is the time to begin the editing process.  Do a thorough re-read and see if any sentences should be omitted or altered.  While outlining helps you get your thoughts organized, editing should help you double check that your writing is organized the way you want it to be.  Spell check, spell check and spell check again! 

2- Read it out loud: Read your writing out loud and see how it sounds to you.  If parts of your writing sound off, make a note of it and go back to it and figure out the issue.  It could be awkward phrasing or perhaps there is a better word you could be using to describing something.  Either way, reading out loud is another form of editing that every writer should utilize. 

3- Have a co-worker or friend read your content: If you want to make sure your content is sounding its best, consider having a co-worker or friend read your writing to proofread it and let you know what they think.  Be open to questions, comments, criticisms and opinions as all four will only make you a better writer.  

Questions or comments on writing better content for search engine optimization purposes?  Feel free to comment below or contact us.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Social Bookmarking and SEO

When it comes to search engine optimization there are a million little external things you can be doing to improve your website's rankings.  Submitting to local directories, backlinking, blogging, using social media regularly, and social bookmarking all aid in helping your website to rank highly for your chosen keywords.  If you have yet to dive into social bookmarking as one of your external SEO tactics our SEO specialists suggest you give it a chance, and here's why:

Social bookmarking provides fast indexing

Social bookmarking is one of the quickest ways to get your website found and indexed by search engines.  Search engine crawlers quite regularly index the popular social bookmarking sites, which will boost your chances of being indexed by the search engines.  Social bookmarking gives you and your website the changes to be found a lot faster, which is a good draw. Social bookmarking allows you to put your keywords to good use only helping your SEO rankings.

Social bookmarking gives you the opportunity to drive some serious traffic

If you are putting out great, relevant content you can expect some great web traffic from social bookmarking.  If you're looking to drive some serious traffic to your website just remember that quality content really does go a long way.  The more social bookmarking sites you submit to the more opportunities you have to draw traffic back to your website.  Attracting your target audience has never been easier.

Social bookmarking makes online branding easy

Social bookmarking gives you a great space to create more links back to your website, but also make your business more personable.  Social bookmarking sites can become great personalized spaces for you and your business allowing you to get some brand recognition.

What Social Bookmarking Sites Should You Use?

Just like the ones displayed up above in the picture, there are a plethora of social bookmarking sites that you can utilize to help you start your social bookmarking and improve your rankings.  As an SEO Firm in Chicago we suggest using as many as you can keep up with.  A few of the main social bookmarking sites that we suggest using for search engine optimization purposes include Digg, Reddit, Fark, Blinklist, Stumbleupon, and  We rely on a mix of those when doing search engine optimization for clients.  Some social bookmarking sites give you the option to do a trial, so test a few out if you can and see how they work before committing to using one.

Comments or questions on doing social bookmarking to help improve your search engine rankings, feel free to leave us a comment below or contact us.