Monday, December 29, 2014

What SEOs and Social Marketers Can Learn from NASA

NASA teaches us a lot of stuff, such as the effects of various science experiments in space and other really cool & interesting phenomenon; however, they have also taught us "creatives" a thing or two about our own domain.

The days leading up to a campaign can be petrifying. You wait for the time when everything is going as you planned it to; social media marketing posts all the way up to online ads, everything has to be perfect and your results are ideal. The launch is set to happen.

This launch is what NASA infamously refers to as "liftoff", our Chicago SEO team says "infamous" because the line, "We have lift off" is known by 99.99999999% of humans on the planet, probably. As creatives, we are always wanting to believe that our work is so necessary to planet survival that the work has to be done right now and that the world is watching as it happens. This level of pressure can make it so we don't recall the tips we've learned along the way.

Marketers are not the only people to understand this pressure, remember, NASA has the task of getting a huge rocket ship into space. They want people to know the level of pressure they have.

Now and then, NASA invites social media influencers to a program called NASA Social, in which the influencers attend a launch and document the whole thing. Here are some of the things that can be learned from seeing the launch of a spaceship, such as Orion.

  1. Make your brand loyalists and all stakeholders a priority. Yes, brand loyalists are under the "stakeholder" umbrella. Now, with each step of the launch, NASA Social gives attendees the same level of exposure as the press. They can meet with NASA leaders and go inside building where the spacecraft is being built, etc. By giving the social influencers this level of access, NASA is going above and beyond for their brand fans. 
  2. Get help when needed. There are few journeys one can make solo. However, the journey of going into space and leaving the atmosphere is not one of those journeys. NASA calls in lots of help, including the U.S. Navy and its own employees. As humans, we like to try and do things ourselves instead of calling in help. 
  3. If conditions are not optimal, wait. Do you ever see a space launch during a hurricane? No. We don't even see them happen during a thunderstorm. Why? Well, these less than optimal conditions are not going to increase the chances of a successful launch, which are already hard to get. NASA waits as long as it needs to for perfect conditions to execute the launch. 
  4. Test and retest. NASA runs multiple tests on things they do, especially when it comes to launches. They never say, "Well, this will be the first launch for this aircraft. We've never seen what it can do or tested for any flaws. But we have some eager astronauts and we'd hate to say 'No'". By the time the launch arrives, they know everything because the tests have informed them of the necessary info. Can mistakes still happen? Yes. 
  5. Think big. NASA has shown several interviews about Orion, the ship destined for Mars. Why Mars? Well, we've been to the Moon and the ISS plenty of times, Mars has yet to be conquered by anything more than a satellite (We see you, Rover). 
NASA has a lot of intelligence behind it, much like a successful marketing campaign

As a Chicago SEO company, we strive to know the latest and best techniques and help clients gain exposure and heightened success. Do you want to hire a creative marketing agency that knows what will work for your company because it looks at you as unique and not cookie-cutter? Then talk to Integraphix

Monday, December 22, 2014

Local SEO in 2015: Maps & Review Sites are Key

When you want to do great internet marketing and search engine optimization, for your business, you have to look at optimizing and promotion beyond your website. In regards to a local business, this means considering maps and review sites.

If you only do internal SEO, then you are missing out on some serious promotion for your site. When Google released the Pigeon update back in July 2014, it put more emphasis on local SEO. Directory/review sites such as Yelp now have the possibility of ranking above a business's website.

Do a search for "bakery in [your local city]". You will have to go past map listings and then, likely some Yelp or other review site listings, THEN you will find some websites.

So what can you do to rank well? 

Set up your Google My Business account. List your site and make sure all information is 100% correct. You can create a listing or claim ownership of an existing one. This is a free service and will help a lot.

Utilize Yelp. Yelp gets a lot of flack for "fake reviews. Any review site will (and does) have fake reviews on the site. Guaranteed. However, it is a great place to have your business listed and get good reviews because it can really help with Google rankings. Make sure to claim your business on Yelp.

Optimize any and all listings. Claim your listings. Verify information. Add photos, hours of operation, contact info, vanity URL, and other important information. Our Chicago SEO company makes sure this is done for all clients because it helps so much.

Gather some reviews and testimonials. Have people give you reviews (don't buy them or ask your family members) but when you have a customer, ask them to fill out a review. Also, ask around for some testimonials. You won't want to ask for reviews on sites, as that is often frowned upon.

Engage with people. On social media and review sites, talk to people. Respond to them. The more talking going on and the more traffic, the better it is for your site. This also shows people that your site is human-owned and run, not by robots. As a social media marketing firm, we can tell you that there is a massive difference in popularity and success of companies's online presence between those that are robotic vs. human.

Does your business need to be noticed on the web? Contact Integraphix and see how we can help you! Talk with our digital marketing team about search engine marketing and social media.

Monday, December 15, 2014

5 SEO Trends to Look Forward to in 2015

If you are hearing that "SEO is dead" then you are wrong, my amigo. While search engine optimization is constantly changing, it is far from dead. SEO is a beautiful mix of SEO techniques, content marketing, and social media marketing

In the coming year, we can expect to see several things happen, when it comes to SEO. 
  1. Better semantic search. When Google released its Hummingbird update in September of 2013, it was a rebuild of the algorithm to favor semantic search. Semantic search attempts to understand why someone searches for something via analyzing possible meanings and intent. Hummingbird looks at each word of the query to hopefully grasp the whole meaning. 
    1. This means more conversational style queries will be made. Instead of searching solely for, "Chicago SEO firm", we might search for, "Who is the best SEO firm in Chicago?This also means more long tail keywords. So, instead of keywords that are only one or two words, keywords will be more in the range of 3-6 words. 
    2. LSI keywords- LSI keywords are "latent semantic indexing" keywords, which means that they utilize synonyms and plurals of your main keywords.
  2. SEO for mobile search.  According to Google, half of searches made by someone on a smartphone are made with the intent of making an in-store purchase. However, not every mobile search has local intent:
    1. 17 percent of mobile searches are in the store but complete the sale online. 
    2. 44 percent research online & complete the sale online. 
    3. Over 75 percent happen at home or work. 
    4. 17 percent are done while in motion. 
    5. 81 percent of smartphone owners research products on their smartphones. 
    6. 50 percent of smartphone owners purchase via their phones. 
    7. 66 percent of all the time in 2014 that was spend with online retail was done so via smartphones instead of computers. 
      1. Mobile search is growing; by the end of 2015, mobile search is expected to be more powerful than computer. Everyone has a personal computer right in their pocket, these days. 
        1. 43 percent of US adults use their phones & tablets as primary search tools. 
        2. 46 percent of adults don't use their laptops or desktops for pre-purchase research. 
        3. 33 percent of online shoppers used their phones & tablets for the whole purchase process. 
        4. 58 percent of US adults researched prices of prices of a product while in-store for that item. 
  3. Social signals will lose power. While retweets, shares, and +1s have power in rankings, their power is not what we likely believe them to be. The confusion here is that there is a difference between correlation and causation. While a high ranking social media profile may have lots of these social signals, it may be something on the page (something deeper) that is causing the page to rank well. Some studies have shown that when a company gains 100 Google+ followers, they tend to increase in rankings by 14 percent. 
    1. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are high authority sites, this means that your company's profile on these sites can outrank your website. As a Chicago SEO firm, we have seen this actually happen, many times. 
  4. Earned links will be even more important. Earned links are in contrast to paid links. Earned links are going out and placing your links places, writing blogs, and social media. Paid links are a sure-fire way to get your site penalized. 
    1. This means that content marketing is still king. 
  5. Getting brand mentions and citations. A citation is mentioning your business name, address, and number on a website that is not your own website. There are three types of citations to recognize:
    1. Local- Local businesses such as dentists, attorneys, restaurants  being listed in places like internet Yellow Pages, Yelp, Google Business, Google+ , etc. 
    2. Industry- Being listed with industry-specific citations. 
    3. Niche- Get brand mentions and citations on industry websites that appeal to their target markets. 
To be successful in local SEO and SEO as a whole, an SEO company needs to be able to see ahead. If your business wants to be found on the internet, then hire an SEO company that knows what to look for. Talk with Integraphix

Monday, December 8, 2014

Google Breaks Unwritten Rule of "No Updates Around Holiday Season"

Since Google released its Florida update in 2003, they have kept an unofficial rule that they would not release any big updates like Panda or Penguin around the holiday season. However, that run ended this year with a series of Penguin updates.

The first round of Penguin was released October 17, 2014; however, since then, Google has released four more updates. On Nov. 27, Dec 2, 5, and 6, the world saw updates from Google for its Penguin filter. The releases in December have not officially been mentioned by Google but publisher reports make it pretty clear.

The Google Penguin update is Google's filter on spam. When a website is slammed by the update, it has to clean up its spam and wait until the next Penguin update is released to have a chance at freedom. If the site did what it was supposed to, then Google will lift the penalties.

In the past, Google has blatantly mentioned their path for avoiding releases like these at this time of year, however, someone decided that the move would be abolished… at least in 2014.

This certainly can have a scare on those who are not confident in the SEO abilities but there are no reasons to be afraid as long as you use common sense, make sure you stay on top of what is known about "Google approved" practices, and you take care of things.

Do you want to be ranked on Google with search engine optimization? Then chat with Integraphix and see how our white-hat SEO techniques are going to help your business be seen on the web. 

We are a Chicago SEO firm and have Los Angeles SEO firm, New York SEO company, Phoenix SEO company, and Charlotte SEO firm offices.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Square Has Made Big Splashes in Mobile Payment World & They Impact Business

Mobile payments are really gaining some footing here with marketers in 2014 and expectedly in 2015. With moves such as Apple Pay and partnerships with payment companies, mobile payment options are showing the business world they are worth taking a look at.

How does this relate to SEOSquare is becoming a main competitor for keywords such as mobile payment and digital money.

A leader in the mobile payment world, Square, is leading the charge and make a serious name for itself. What has the company done in the past few weeks to be so dangerous?

Square helped create vanishing money. No, not like a robbery but rather money transfers via Snapchat. Square partnered with Snapchat to launch mobile payments, called "Snapcash", which lets users keep debit card info within the app so they can send money between friends. As to the popularity of this feature, we are not sure since it launched very recently and understandably, there is skepticism about the safety with users.

Becoming buddies with Apple. In the past, it was seen that Square and Apple would be competitors since Apple Pay requires different payment systems than Square; however, that alleged feud has turned into a friendship. However, Dorsey, of Square, wants to build a payment device that can house all kinds of payment in one.

Going back to school, er, old school. One thing that is holding up the immense takeoff of mobile payments is the habit of swiping a card that consumers are still used to. Due to this, Square has decided to let its merchant clients sell gift cards to consumers; for only $1.50, merchants can customize gift cards to sell to their consumers. Why gift cards? Well, gift cards are still an incredibly lucrative option for businesses to invest in.

While Square may not be doing search engine optimization for keywords such as "mobile payment" or  "digital payments", they are certainly known for them and rank well for them, regardless. If you want to be known for words and phrases like Square is for those words and phrases, then hire Integraphix-- a digital marketing firm and be remembered!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Organic SEO & Paid Links (PPC)

There seems to be a stigma that organic SEO and paid links, or PPC, are enemies. Some may believe that these two search engine marketing techniques would clearly be rivals, they are actually teammates.

In order to understand this concept, for the novices out there, let's talk about what these two are, first.

Organic search engine optimization: Organic SEO is the usage of blogs, articles, inbound links, and other "natural/free" means to appease Google and get ranked for keywords. This route takes much longer to succeed at than PPC. As long as you are doing good SEO, you stay in good rankings.

PPC: You pay search engines, such as Google, to put your site on the f
irst page. You get on the first page right away.  You stay in good rankings until your daily budget runs out.

So seeing how they might be enemies seems logical, natural vs. purchased success. However, if you really want to get seen on the web, your tactic should be to use both. See, organic SEO takes time to get going, anywhere between 2-6 months before you see anything (depending on a variety of factors). In the meantime, while that builds up, you can do PPC and be on the first page while your sustaining rankings come to fruition.

Do you want to be on the first page of Google, Yahoo, or Bing? Then hire Integraphix to be your SEO firm! We work with both organic SEO and paid links.

Monday, November 17, 2014

How to & Why You Should Set Up Goals on Google Analytics

Directing more organic search traffic to your website is the main goal of your search engine optimization, but driving more to your site only really matters if it is the right kind of traffic. The right traffic matters because it is what will convert the web traffic into customers!

Remember, the first time someone goes to your site, they are likely not ready to convert; a web visitor might need a few visits to your site before they decide if they want to
buy from your or not.

There are a lot of micro-conversions you can keep track of to see how well you are converting your web traffic. One way to track the micro-conversions is to set up goals in your Google Analytics account. Setting up goals allows you to measure how well visitors complete actions that you want to measure. Want to see how many web visitors click on your "contact" page? This is something you can measure with goals.

Analyzing and tracking your goals will allow you to see the quality of your organic SEO visitors versus the quality of the direct traffic, social referrals, etc. You can see which of these traffic sources has been giving you the best conversion rate.

Don't be surprised if the organic search traffic is the smallest traffic source your site has. That is rather common.

Viewing this data will enable you to show your boss just how valuable SEO is. Due to info like this, a client might just decide to increase their search engine marketing budget! One can hope, right?

Our Chicago SEO firm always makes sure to set up goals in Analytics because it allows our SEO specialists to view info that cannot be seen otherwise. It just makes sense.

Does your SEO company set up goals for you? Or, if you do your own, do you set up goals? Maybe it is time to discuss this tactic with an SEO firm that knows how to do it and get you data you need to win the SEO battle. Contact Integraphix about our SEO services and get noticed on the web!

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to Do Well in Local SEO in 2015

Can you believe we are almost done with 2014? Crazy! I just started writing 2014 on checks without having to remember the year… No, I kid, but it is funny how fast time flies.

That being said, it is time to consider the things we have to do in 2015 to dominate local SEO and get noticed in local web searches. One of the big things to do is take a long, hard look at your website and make a checklist of these "bad SEO practices" and then fix what is not right.

  • No content on the home page. If your home page is barren, then you need to add content to it. Consumers and search engines want to know what your site is about, so not having content on your home page is hurting that conclusion, even if you only have a slider/banner photos. As a Chicago SEO firm, we can tell you that having a banner or slider is nice on your home page but there needs to be more than that. 
  • Having a few sentences on your pages. Each page of a website needs at least 400 words, if not more. Those consumers and websites need to know that your site is useful and full of relevant info. 
  • Spam keywords. If you have a paragraph listed on your website that is simply keywords, that is not going to be helping you one bit. Sprinkle those keywords throughout your content! It is just great SEO
  • Bad title tags. Your title tags need to be set up a certain way --> relevant keyword | page or another relevant keyword | company (don't italicize the title tags, though). They should be between 50-60 characters, so don't put a sentence as your title tag or a long, keyword-packed description up there. 
Those things will really be good for optimizing your site, if you want to make it great for local searches, then add in your city/state to those things. Put your city (and maybe state if it's a small city) in your title tags, H1 headers, content, alt tags, and URLs. 

Optimizing your site can take some time and effort. We understand not every business, big or small, can take the time to do this or they just don't know how. If you fit into one of those two labels, then contact Integraphix, a Chicago SEO company 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to Create Blog Post Titles That Are Attractive

When it comes to blogs, having a post title that gets people to read your post can be a little difficult when you are not an experienced writer. On average, 8/10 people who see your blog will only read your title and then move on; only 20 percent of the people who read your post title will stick around to read your whole blog.

As an SEO firm, we write lots of blogs and yes, we do employ these techniques.

So how do you get people to find your title intriguing enough to care to read the whole blog? Consider these tips:

  • Use lists. "5 Ways to…" Use a number to get the person to understand how long the post is (they are usually easier to read) and give a good solution. Also, try to keep the number towards the beginning of the post. 
  • Unique info. When you have information that no one else has, that is great. For example: "Lessons you have never heard before…" or something to that effect. 
  • Give solutions to problems. "How to fix this problem with easy solutions". 
If you are going to put keywords in your post, which is a good idea, make sure to insert them naturally. Don't put keywords in your titles and shove them in there awkwardly. One great way to accomplish this is to have a keyword in mind when you create that sentence or perhaps the post as a whole. 

A main thing to remember with titles is to keep it short and sweet (K.I.S.S.). You don't want to have a blog title that is as long as the post itself. Everything in moderation. 

Writing a good blog can be difficult. However, every business needs a blog for many reasons (authority, fresh content on the site, etc). If your business does not have the skill or the time to write a blog, then contact Integraphix and talk with one of our professional copywriters

Monday, October 20, 2014

Benefits of Google+ for SEO & How It Impacts Search Results

Considering getting more use out of your search engine optimization? Great! Wondering how you can do that? Well, one way is through using Google+. Google+ offers people opportunities for their business that cannot be found elsewhere.

For one thing, it makes sense that it will do some work for your SEO; think about it, Google owns Google+ and they essentially run the internet. Google+ is described as a unification of all that Google has to offer but with a social layer on top; due to this, the social media platform is a major factor in your SEO, in addition to your social media marketing. So how exactly does the platform work its way into SEO?

Social signals. When you share things on Google+, it can be shared and +1'd (it's like a Facebook "like"). Google sees the credibility from others and takes that into account. These social signals account for 7 out of 8 ranking factors in search results. Search results like to display what is popular and resourceful, having good content on Google+ is a great way to achieve this.

Pagerank. One way search engines review material to index and rank is by sending out crawlers that scan the internet and review information. When you post things on Google+, it is scanned and indexed  very quickly and the better the content is, the more it helps your profile's PageRank; any Google+ profile is treated like a real website by Google. Just a tip for novices, the higher your PageRank (PR), the better.

Web Influence. The more you are in Google+ circles (they're like networks), the more you influence the search results of the people who have you in their circles.

Google+ Local. A major tool of Google+ focuses on businesses and their locations, this comes in handy when someone searches, "BBQ near Houston" and guess what, YOU'RE A BBQ PLACE NEAR HOUSTON! These pages are similar to Facebook business pages but have more features and connections for businesses and users. You get much more visibility, more engagement with consumers, better access to consumers, better PR, and better integration with Google Maps.

Don't believe us? Then just try it for yourself! Need help? Then contact Integraphix, we are a SEO firm and social media marketing firm that's been around for one 20 years! Speak with one of our specialists today and get noticed on Google.

Monday, October 13, 2014

9 SEO Questions You Are Embarrassed to Ask

There are questions we are sometimes too embarrassed to ask about a subject in fear that if we do ask them, we will be ridiculed. Here we have 9 questions that some of us are just too embarrassed to ask about search engine optimization

  1. Should my domain have keywords? While this seems like a good idea, the answer is no. Your domain should be easy to remember and true to your business name. Your shoe store, "Joe's Shoes for Less" might have the domain name, "" rather than "". See what I mean?
  2. What is the right amount of keywords per page? This is a great one to ask, actually! You don't want to be convicted of keyword stuffing. White hat SEO techniques are what get you ranked and one of those is optimizing your text without over-optimizing it. When you read other posts about this topic, you might find that they giv
    e a percentage for keywords to text; overall, use them when you need to and don't over do it. It's like salt, a moderate amount goes a long way. Our marketing specialists will often use one every 100 words or so; so, in a 500 word post, they use five or six keywords. 
  3. What about links within text? Only include these when necessary was well. If you are referencing something and there is a link to it, then connect it. Of course, always in moderation. 
  4. What is a robots.txt? This is a nifty page that gives search engine crawlers about the pages that a company's site indexes. Simply go to 
  5. What is the difference between indexed text and crawled text? When you publish content on your site, search engines will crawl the content and if they can, they will index it; think of indexing like filing. The content that is not indexed is not indexed because of prohibitions or it is not optimized. 
  6. Why do I need alt text? Alt text allows search engines to know what is in an image. Also, if your image doesn't load, web visitors can read the alt text and know what should be there. A properly optimized site will feature alt text. 
  7. How long does SEO take to be effective? This depends on many factors such as the competitiveness of your industry, the keywords you choose, how much you spend on SEO, etc. It often takes a few months for your site to be completely noticed by search engines, then another few months to get rankings, at least ones better than the 100th page of Google. 
  8. Inbound links vs internal links? Inbound links are links from other websites pointing back to your own; internal links are links on your site pointing to other pages within your site. 
  9. What are meta descriptions? Meta descriptions are the bits of text that appear below your page and link in a search engine results page. It explains what is in the page. 
Feel better now that you know the answers to these questions? I know I sure do! Whew! If you want your site to rank well on Google, then you need to know this information. Contact Integraphix for help with other SEO questions or SEO services

Monday, October 6, 2014

How Does Your Timing Impact Your SEO?

So you've written a great blog for SEO and now you published it… the next step is to gain that massive rush of web visitors because of the post, right? Yes. However, what do you do when they don't arrive?

Well, my friend, it might have to do with the timing of your post. Yes, this does include at what time of day you hit "Publish" but it is also more than that.

1. Publish when your target audience will see it. Your target audience will have times of day when they will be more active online and thus, will see your post. In general, the weekday morning will be a better time for people to catch blog posts but that is not standard for all demographics. It depends on the sort of lives they lead, the work they do, the time zone they're in/you're in, etc. Content marketing is about having good content and displaying it when people will see it most.

2. Should you pay for promoted posts? When you post your blogs, it is always a good idea to share the link to them and promote them on your social media accounts. Some believe that you should also dabble with paid posts so more people see them. This can be a good move if your demographic allows it to be but it can also be a waste of money. If your post is happening on a time that is more dead for readers, then deciding on the timing of a paid post might come in handy (in addition to organic finds).

3. Utilizing your network of peers. You just wrote a blog about something and you mentioned some influencers in your industry. A great idea is to mention to
them that they can be found in your latest blog post; however, it can be ruined when you don't remember to do this until the last minute. Remember to give them a heads up! "Hey, I'm writing a blog in a couple days and you'll be in it." You know, something along those lines.

4. Backlinks. The timing of your backlinks will make a big splash or flop too.  This is not when you put in a backlinks according to a clock but how frequently you put them in your post. For one thing, a reader will not like it as much but neither will search engine optimization crawlers. If you put too many links in the post, then you run the risk of stuffing, which is no good.

The idea of running a good blog can be too much for some. Just take a deep breath and relax. If you have a blog and need assistance making it better, then contact Integraphix. We have excellent professional copywriters who can assist you.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Best Way to Help Your SEO

When it comes to having good SEO, you need to have this one thing down or else your search engine optimization will suffer greatly.

What is that one thing? CONTENT. Content, my friends. As an SEO firm, we operate offices across the country and one thing we can tell you is that people all over love to see good content. Of course, good content doesn't just soothe the soul of humans, it also soothes the souls of the search engines.

You have to write great content! This is the heart of your SEO efforts. What is great content? It is content that helps people, is captivating, relatable, interesting, and even sales-oriented. Great content shows your customers why they need your services and how you can better their lives. It gets people to realize they have a connection with your brand. Sure, you can write about your cat and how he is adorable but that will not work for your flooring site.

You have to write unique content. This means no copying what other people write. One, that's plagiarism. Two, if you avoid that, it just looks tacky. Do your own research and find out what people want to read and write about that. Write stuff that is not on other sites or other pages of your site. As an SEO company, we can't stress this enough. People hate it. Search engines hate it.

Post new content frequently. Your site should have new content added to it on a regular basis. A site that adds new content is seen as more credible than static sites. Your rankings will see great improvements if you do this. Search engine rankings are sometimes hard to achieve, you want to do all you can to get them!

Need help creating great content? Then contact Integraphix who has a whole team of talented marketing specialists who write specifically for SEO purposes.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Why Optimize Images for the Web

In order for your website to rank well on the internet, it has to be optimized. One aspect of websites that have to be optimized are the images. When images are not optimized, that hurts the chances of being ranked well on search results.

Search engines like it when every part of your website is optimized; however, even just in regards to the images, when they are optimized, they are much more likely to be pulled up in the images tab on search results.

What does it mean to optimize images? There are 5 parts to an image that have to be optimized.

  1. Alt tag
  2. File name
  3. File size
  4. Caption
What do these do? Why should they matter? Well… 
  1. The alt tag is what the search engines read to find out what the image is. Since they don't have eyes to see what an image looks like, they go by words. No alt tag? Search engines will have no idea what the image is, they like to know. This is a great text alternative when browsers are not able to render an image correctly. It will add lots of SEO value to your site. Using plain English is a good idea here.  
  2. File name is what the image is labeled when saved. Why does this matter? Well, it is more information for the search engines to pull when a search is made. An image named "liow20u09508.jpg" will mean nothing when someone searches for a "Ford Mustang 2014", however, an image named, "2014-red-ford-mustang.jpg" will do you good. 
  3. The file size does indeed matter. Why? Well, if your file is too large, then the image will take lots of time to load (load times impact SEO rankings). Make the image a small file size.  
  4. The caption is more information for the search engine and is also good for human viewers. People will read this to find out what is going on in an image and this means less bounce rate (that impacts rankings). 
Don't know how to optimize your images? Then contact Integraphix, a Chicago SEO firm that services the whole country! Our marketing specialists have in-depth SEO knowledge and can help get your site properly optimized. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Do Keywords Still Matter in SEO?

Keywords still matter in the world of Search engine optimization. Keywords are just as important to successful SEO now as they always have been. When it comes to content marketing, if you do not use keywords, then your content is not optimized; if your content is not optimized, then it is not easily findable.

There are people who think that the usage of keywords is outdated, keywords are still used by search engines to categorize content that they index. The search engines, especially Google, search for keywords in many aspects of content (we will discuss this in a bit). As search behaviors change, search engines rely on keywords more and more to find relevant information. For example, a major new search technique is "conversational search"; this type of search is like, "Where is the nearest dry cleaner?" This is in contrast of traditional search queries like, "Dry cleaner in C
hicago" etc.

Keywords will not improve your page rank. There are other factors that websites have to adhere to in order to get good rankings; a keyword helps your page be categorized after being indexed, like we previously mentioned.

So where do keywords need to be in content? 

  • URL
  • Title of content
  • Document name
  • H1, H2, H3 headings
  • image names
  • Image ALT tags
  • Image captions
  • Meta description tags (despite claims to the contrary)
Whether you are using written content for SEO or just to have another tool for marketing, make sure you use keywords. Great SEO means being found on the internet, so make sure you have quality SEO done. To get the best SEO techniques, then hire an SEO firm. Contact Integraphix for SEO services! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Search Engines

Search engine optimization is a great way to get your business noticed on the internet, especially for the smaller guys in the business world. The problem is that many people have not heard of SEO or do not know how SEO works and how it can help them.

In order to help people get an understanding of SEO and how it works, let's go through the basics. If you have heard of SEO or have no idea what it is, this blog is for you!

  • How do search engines function? Search engines build an index of every single web page available on the internet by using "crawlers". When you type in a query into a search engine, the crawlers follow links via "href" or "src" to find the page or image relevant to your search. They base their relevancy on several factors. 
  • I've heard of SEO and terms like Black-hat SEO & White-hat SEO? Yes, there are two kinds of search engine optimization available, one is good & the other is bad. White-hat SEO is the SEO that is the good one, you might have guessed. This type of SEO abides by the "SEO laws" set in place by search engines, mostly Google. The results are more long-term and are not hated by the internet community. Black-hat SEO is SEO that is the more sneaky, "illegal", and sleazy method of the two. Using black-hat SEO will get you penalized, maybe banned from the internet. 
  • What are examples of Black-hat SEO?  
    • Keyword stuffing: packing lots of keywords into pages. This is a no-no. You want keywords in content but not too much. 
    • Cloaking: this is giving separate content that you give to web users. 
    • Hidden text: hiding text that is keyword-rich in the background or off-screen. A common way for this is to make the text the same color as the background. 
    • Doorway pages: pages created especially for crawlers. 
  • Which factors will affect the rankings for my webpages? There are hundreds of
    factors that are used to determine how relevant your pages are to things; of those factors, these are the most important:
    • Backlinks: these are links on other sites that track back to yours. The more of these your site has, the better. 
    • On-page factors: the page's title, formatting, good content, images, optimized images, optimized title tags, headers, etc. 
    • The age of your domain: the older, the better. 
    • Frequency of updates: the more you update the page, the better. This can be done with posts, refreshing existing content, etc. 
  • I've heard of Google Panda & Penguin. What are they? These are updates to Google's algorithm that determine search rankings. Panda improves the rankings of high-quality sites and Penguin punishes the bad websites, like ones that use Black-hat SEO. 
  • Why doesn't my site show up on Google when I search my keywords? One of the most FAQs on SEO. Check to see if your site has been indexed on Google by doing: Site not indexed? You might need to work on the site's authority, publish good content, and do good backlinks. 
  • Can pages protected by passwords be indexed? No, the search engine crawlers will be blocked. 
  • Does traffic affect my ranking? No. The traffic that makes its way to your site is not a factor that impacts ranking. Sites that get lots of traffic get that from good SEO or because they're just that well known. 
  • My search results differ from my friend. Why? This is because of search personalization, which is based on search history. Your history is tracked via cookies and your Google+ profile. You can disable this if you'd like. 
  • When should I see results? This is hard to say because it depends on things like how well your site is optimized, the amount and quality of your SEO, etc. It can take weeks or even months to see results. Think of it like a train; it takes a long time to get chugging but once it does, it lasts. Therefore, do not get upset or frazzled when it doesn't work right away, be patient. 
Want to do SEO for your business? Then hire a Chicago SEO company to do it for you. As a Chicago marketing company, Integraphix has worked with SEO since it started. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

How To Run a Social Media Program That's Effective

Social media has become one of the leading efforts for marketing for just about every company. Think about it, when you hear about a company, one of the first things we do these days is check them out on social media. However, when you have a social media program that is not working, is it actually harming your company? Is your company wasting time and possibly money?

So how does you company run a social media program that is worthwhile?

  • Think strategy- Do not go at social media like you do a gym membership right after New Year's. You know what I mean, we get super excited and say we'll do it right. What really happens is we go in blind, get overwhelmed by the lack of immediate success, then we get out of there, never to return. You have a much better chance of being successful if you plan out your routine. Do not just choose the platforms you want to use because you like them and are comfortable with them; think of which ones your consumers use the most. Think about what you're going to post and when. 
  • Think about the content- This is often something that is overlooked and it does not make sense why that's the case. When a company is not able to have a solid content game going, they miss their chances and their potential consumers. Make content that is relevant to your audience, relevant to the times, and makes you sound like an expert. 
  • Remember, it takes time- Just like the unmotivated gym-goer after a week of their new resolution, getting fit takes time and so does successful social media. The heavy lifting is when you are designing and installing the processes towards your social media. 
Of course, if you would rather have a Chicago SEO firm handle your social media marketing, then contact Integraphix

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

5 Ways SEO Can Help a Small Business

A good product or service that is appealing and can sell itself is something that every company wants. However, not even when your company has a product or service that is fantastic, it doesn't always get noticed by itself, without doing much promotion. For those products, there are several marketing tactics that a business can use to promote; one of those tactics is search engine optimization. A marketing strategy like SEO is great for any company, no matter what the size is; small companies of less than ten employees experience the same benefit as a company of 500+ employees, recognition and traffic to the site.

More than 3/4s of online shoppers use search engines to guide their decisions on where to purchase an item online; this means that if your site is not utilizing SEO, then it is missing a large segment of shoppers in the marketplace. When you are a large business, getting recognized is how your business continues to gain sales; when you are an entrepreneur or small business, it is how you survive. Here, we have 5 ways that SEO can help an entrepreneur and small business.

  1. Reputation management. When your business is getting started, any amount of negative reviews, press, or other information can make a huge dent. If you are on the attack, being proactive, then you are able to put good news out there and create the first impression on your terms. 
  2. Figure out what they are searching for. In SEO, you use keywords to allow search engines to pick up on your online content; when the search engines connect the keywords with you, you are posted as a result to those terms when people use them in searches. If someone searches for "Chicago tshirt company" and that's a keyword you use, then you have a greater chance of being seen by the searcher. It helps you understand what your consumers are looking for and how much they look for those things. 
  3. Traffic to your site increases. When you do search engine optimization then you allow more people to see your site, thus, more people will go to it. A large company can get away with less SEO than a small one since they have a larger consumer base to know of and talk about their site/business. Getting this traffic to your site is free and can generate some real sales. 
  4. Social media. Using social media is a great aspect of SEO because it can allow your business real time customer service, news, and promotion. You can create great links to other businesses and people in the community. The more your name appears on the internet, the better your SEO will be. 
  5. Credibility. When you are shown on the internet and as an expert, then your credibility (ethos) will be given a higher rating by consumers. When a company earns the trust of a consumer, the brand loyalty is what can create long-term sales. 
If you want an SEO company that can help your business get noticed, then contact Integraphix. We are a Chicago marketing company

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How are SEO and PPC Different?

There are two kinds of ways to get your site to be seen on Google, one is search engine optimization, or SEO, and the other is pay-per-click, or PPC. These two formats of promoting your site on the internet search engines are both similar to each other however they are different and in big ways.

How are SEO and PPC different?

  • Where they are placed on search engines
  • The potential for traffic
  • Cost to rank 
  • The involvement your site has
  1. The first difference, where they are displayed, is the biggest difference that anyone can notice and not just those of us who work with SEO and PPC. See how at the top of the image, the first link has the "Ad" marker? These are links that were paid to be there and thus, are PPC. The links on the right side of the page have this too. In the past, Google had the PPC links where in yellow boxes but they have very much reduced the yellow and replaced it with the "Ad" icon. The links that do not have the "Ad" marker next to them are organic links; they are placed there as the result of good search engine optimization
  2. Another big difference, the potential for traffic, is a bigger deal for those who work with these two formats as well as those who utilize them. Yes, you get to the first page of Google faster with PPC, however, most people do not actually click on the PPC links. Why? Well, ask yourself the question (if you don't). Likely, your answer has something to do with the fact that the paid ones are not as credible; they are only there because they were paid to be there & didn't earn their place. It's like the guy at work who is management because his dad owns the company, not because he worked hard, you know? Internet users are 5x more likely to click on an organic link. 
  3. The third difference, the cost, depends on several factors. Google and Yahoo! manage their PPC costs differently. Yahoo! does it purely on ranking; if you give lots of money, then you'll have a higher ranking. With Google, it depends on your market, competition, etc. They both set up budgets for you and each time someone clicks on your link, that cost per click is deducted from your budget, likely a daily budget. 
  4. The fourth and final difference, involvement of your site, is a big deal too. When it comes to PPC, you do not have to really work on getting your site ready; the more clicks you want, the more money you spend on it. When it comes to search engine optimization, you have to optimize your site to get it working. This means having lots of content, title tags, image tags/descriptions, H1/H2/H3 tags, keywords mixed into the content, images, etc. If your site is not optimized when you decide to do SEO, then you'll have your prep work to do. 
If you are interested in doing SEO, then contact Integraphix - an SEO company. If you want to first see how SEO could help you, we can do a free website analysis. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Why Content Matters with SEO

Content in search engine optimization is not just something you do, it is the thing you do. Everything about SEO revolves around the content. There are several things to consider when talking about content for SEO but we will focus on the big three: keywords, quality, and freshness.

The Hummingbird update that happened was a big change for the search algorithm that Google put into place. There is more focus on keywords now than ever before once the Hummingbird update came; keywords are to be in the titles of things, meta tags, in the paragraphs, your keyword density, etc. However, in regards to keywords, more emphasis is now on what the article is about and how you are using the keywords within all the content.

In the past, Google studied the search trends around the world and realized they had to improve identifications among synonyms and concept grouping. What does this mean? It means you should have both synonyms that are related to your main keywords as well as keywords directly related to the topic. This has changed search engine marketing strategy for every internet marketing firm in Chicago, New York, San Franciso, etc.

What about the article quality? You now have to write articles that are longer and are much more meaningful. Back in the day, you could get away with articles that were only 250 words but now, that minimum has doubled. A lot of websites have seen themselves get hit by Google because they had too little content. Ideally, webpages of 300, 400, 500+ words do well, even some sites with 1500 word articles do well. The most important thing is how well your articles are written; Google likes to see how well your stuff is written since that impacts its search quality.

Fresh content is a big, big deal. If you are unable to create content from your own mind, then you will need some extra help; having content that you did not make up is not only plagiarism but it will also get you hit by the big ol' Google. Online marketing has a focus on creating fresh, fun content for audiences and for good reason. Write on things that other people are not covering, or if they are, take a new spin on it. Always putting up new content to your site will help you quite a bit!

If you are looking for a Chicago marketing company that can help with your SEO needs, then contact Integraphix

Monday, March 31, 2014

5 Reasons Why Your Company Needs to do SEO

Search engine optimization is a tool for businesses that can get their name in front of web users whenever they search for things related to that business. However, there are some people who believe it is not worth the time, effort, or money. So why should you not believe those people but rather invest in SEO?

  1. SEO works. Unless your company is a huge company that has throngs of followers and can have people visiting your website because it simply exists, then your company needs SEO to show people your website exists and that they should go to it. When you are a small to medium sized company, you will see that people will not find your website unless you do SEO. If you sign up for Google Analytics without SEO, check out what your Google Analytics says after just a month or two of doing SEO, you'll see a difference. With SEO, your link can appear as the first link under the paid links (Google Adwords), people trust the organic links (where yours will be) over the paid links. 
  2. It will work for a long time. Looking at how search engines function and continue to change, it has been shown that search engine optimization will not stop being a worthy investment anytime soon. As long as there are keywords and links on the internet, SEO will be a force on the internet. It will also work for a long time since SEO is like a train; it takes a little bit of time and effort to gain traction and chug along but once it does, it goes for a while. 
  3. It is cost efficient. Compared to the cost of other kinds of marketing, including internet marketing, paying for SEO is much more efficient since the pricing is lower yet your results last longer. 
  4. People use the internet for research. When someone is looking to install a home sprinkler system so their lawns get consistent watering, they are going to look for a company on the internet that services their areas. When they see your organic link up there and think, "Hmm, I'll check them out" guess what, they will check your site out! Once they do and they decide you're a worthy company to contact or not, they'll make the next move. Of course, you'd have never gotten the chance if you didn't do SEO. 
  5. The competition is doing SEO too. If you have competitors, which you do, then you will be outshined if they are doing SEO and you are not. They will be in a position to be seen by the internet and your site won't even be listed on the internet, according to search engines. 
Putting time and effort into organic SEO is a worthy venture for any company that is of small, medium, or even large stature. Very few companies are able to have a dominating presence on the internet without any SEO assistance. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Why Use Google Analytics

If your company does search engine optimization then you should be using Google Analytics. Now, this post is not a push or plug for Google but rather helpful advice for how you can understand if your SEO is working, how well, and what you can do to make it better.

When you use the analytics, you can see how many people visited your site for a specific period of time , how long they visited for, how many pages they viewed, how many got to your site through organic means or through directly putting your URL into their web browser. These are great tools to see how how well your SEO is working.

However, another great reason to actually analyze your efforts is to see how people are getting to your website. Are they getting to your site through the keywords that you have been using? If so, which ones? These are questions that get answered if you use Analytics.

Are people getting to your site via computer or are they looking at it through a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet? If they are using mobile devices more, then your site will have to be mobile-responsive so mobile users are able to view your site effectively; otherwise, they may scoot away from your site quickly, raising your bounce rate.

Are people in the area your targeting with your SEO looking at your site? You can find that out with a look at your analytics.

The bottom line is that if you are going to do search engine optimization, then it would be foolish to not monitor that and see how things are working out. Blindly hoping the efforts are paying off could be a waste of time and money.

Monday, January 27, 2014

3 Things That Can Harm Your SEO

SEO has a lot of components to it and each one is essentially as important as the other parts because they all contribute important aspects to successful SEO efforts. If you do not do all of the different components currently, your SEO will suffer. However, there are three things that harm your SEO without you really even realizing it. Well, until you read this blog post.

  1. Not having fresh content. Not having fresh content when you write things like blogs and articles, as well as your website content, means that search engines will not like you. If you don't have original content, then that means you copied it from somewhere else and that is plagiarism and a big no-no to search engines. What will happen? You will be penalized by either have bad rankings and even getting your website blocked. Believe it or not, copying content you wrote but for something else counts too; did you have a great article that you think would make for a wonderful blog post as well? Well, you can reuse it but you'd better change the words and rewrite it or you'll be in some trouble. Trust someone in the search engine optimization business who does blogging, search engines know when you do this. 
  2. Having a slow loading site. People expect websites to load in less than a second. So what if your website takes 5 seconds to load, or worse, 10 seconds? In the grand scheme of things, waiting 10 seconds for something like the internet to load and getting upset is ludicrous, but it is what it is. So how does a slow website harm your SEO? Well, the point of SEO is to get your website more exposure and get more people to visit your website; if your site takes too long to load, people give up on it and leave. People giving up on your site does not accomplish the goal of SEO; in fact, it raises your bounce rate which can harm your ranking chances. 
  3. Poor navigation of the website. This can harm your SEO because if a search engine crawler has trouble moving around your site, it will not send a favorable report back to Google, Yahoo, whoever, and it will not look good for you. Also, if people have trouble, navigating your site, they won't return and that won't be good for you either. 
Take a look at these three things when analyzing your site and its promotion. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Integraphix - a Chicago marketing company and we'll be glad to help you out.