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