We get it (and IT!)

Phone: 1300-728-259 or .

Category Archives: SEO

Improve searches with these Google tricks

During the pre-internet era, locating a document or verifying a fact took countless hours, if not days. Now with smartphones and search engines, it takes less than a second to do the same. However, new tech comes new expectations, ones that demand lightning-fast efficiency. We want our information quickly, yet all we give Google Search to work with are a couple of syllables. Enhance the speed as well as the quality of your next search with the following 12 tips:

Get Olympic updates

Get into the spirit of the games by keeping up with the latest medal tally and other interesting news about the 2016 Rio Olympics. Simply type in “rio olympics” and you’ll be greeted with two options:

1. Above the search results, you’ll see a temporary suggestion offering a shortcut on your home screen to quickly look up the latest Olympic news. Ideal if you want to check every now and then.
2. If you prefer immediate notification, simply scroll down a little and click on “Get Olympics updates.” By doing so, notifications will be sent straight to your phone anytime a major event occurs.

Search for exact phrases with quotes

This tip is ideal if you’re looking to locate results that contain a specific phrase. Searching for a phrase in quotes will bring up results that have only the exact words in the same order.

Specify unknown words within quotes

Look up variations of a certain phrase with ease. Simply replace a certain word with an asterisk. It’ll help you determine a song from its lyrics or find the missing words in an incomplete expression.

Utilize the minus sign

Refine search results even further by using the minus sign. That will help filter out results that aren’t of any interest. Figure out what terms you don’t want to see (e.g., Jaguar -car) and refresh your search.

Website keywords

This is similar to the “site:” function that initiates a Google search that sifts through one particular website. For example, if you want to see every time TIME.com is mentioned in Google, use Google site:TIME.com

Go through archives dating back to the mid-1880s

If nostalgia pays you a visit, Google won’t leave you hanging since there’s an option that allows you to search through newspapers from around the world archived centuries ago.

Use “vs” to compare foods

With the myriad of food options available these days, sometimes we just need help deciding. Not sure what to have for dinner? Try typing in “rice vs. quinoa” for a side-by-side nutritional comparison.

Filter search results for recipes

Don’t let dietary restrictions rain on your parade. After looking up your favorite dish, click on Search Tools under the search bar to filter recipes based on ingredients, cook time, and even calories.

DEFINE: the definition

Instead of flicking through dictionaries, save time by entering DEFINE: before any word (slang included). You’ll also see its etymology as well as a graph depicting its linguistic usage over time.

Where is the love?

For those looking to add a little romance into their lives, simply press the mic icon on Google’s search bar and say something sweet like “I love you.” This recently-released love quote generator does all the searching for you. If that doesn’t the stir enough butterflies in your stomach, simply click Try Again below the results bar.

With the right tips, you can save time and locate the needle in today’s virtual haystack with ease. If you still have any questions regarding any of the Google search engine tips mentioned above, don’t hesitate to mail us or give us a call. We are more than happy to accommodate your requests.

5 top trends in SEO and social media

If you’re like us, you’ve always got a finger to the wind when it comes to search engine strategy and internet presence. If you’re not like us, that’s okay too, because we’ve got a breezy little article here to bring you up to speed on 5 of the latest SEO and Social Media trends that are blowing through the ether.

Everyone knows about death and taxes, the two most famous certainties that we must endure. If there were a third, surely it would be that without robust up-to-date search engine optimization (SEO) and social media strategies, your business will fall behind.

And since there’s no time like the present, we’d like to put forth some of the things that your business should consider taking into account this year in order to increase awareness of your brand, drive more traffic to your websites, and ultimately boost conversion rates.

1. Conversational search

With the success of digital assistants like Apple’s Siri, and the relatively recent roll outs of Amazon Echo and Google Home – two virtual helpers for the home – voice recognition is becoming much more prominent. For businesses, this means adapting your site’s content so it’s detectable by spoken phrase searches in addition to simple short keyword searches.

2. Social publishing

There’s tons of content published on social media, but what’s changing is the convenience with which it can be consumed. Users are ever more at ease with the videos and full-length articles dropping into their feeds – and with not having to leave the comfort of their favorite social apps to see them. The new challenge for companies will therefore be to publish high-quality content through social channels first.

3. Real-time customer interaction

Having interesting videos on your social media channels is practically old hat. Nowadays, given our speedy and seemingly omnipresent internet connections and our on-demand expectations, the move is towards live, streaming, “in-the-moment” interplay with customers, which has been shown to capture users’ attention for longer periods of time than recorded video content.

4. Increasing emphasis on apps

Mobile users spend nearly 90% of their time in mobile apps and just 10% on mobile websites. It’s not surprising given their relative ease of use, and this disparity could become even greater as social media platforms continue favoring apps and search engines like Google continue developing a “web of apps” – something that just might mean the end of traditional websites in the mobile environment.

5. More rich answers

“Rich answers” are Google’s attempt to provide search results that are sufficient enough to eliminate the need to click through to a website for more information. Their prevalence is on the rise, which could significantly reduce the amount of visits to your site. But it does provide an opportunity to use “structured markup,” a protocol that allows search engines to display your site’s data in more creative ways.

As always, the fast-moving advance of ways to optimize your internet presence is keeping us on our toes, and these 5 trends will likely make a difference for you in 2016 and beyond.

So if you sense a need to enhance your company’s SEO and Social Media strategies – but you’re not entirely sure about what to do first or how to do it – remember what Benjamin Franklin once said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

We’ve got the knowledge, call us today and start collecting on those dividends right away.

Common SEO tips and mistakes to avoid

Creating an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for your business’s website is a must if you want to establish a solid online presence. While this concept is nothing new, it is often overlooked by businesses. They resort to crude SEO practices that, far from being efficient, actually get their website into hot water with major search engines. With that said, you need to avoid falling victim to these common SEO mistakes.

You skip the keyword brainstorming phase

This is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make in your website creation plan. By not spending time on researching relevant keywords from the start, you are missing out on the opportunity to potentially generate a large amount of traffic. Without a comprehensive keyword list in hand, you will find it hard to add more keywords as your website grows and gains more authority.

Your content has too little or too much text

There’s no fixed formula when it comes to the length of your content – the number of words can vary greatly depending on your audience and the type of your website. The general rule of thumb, however, is to write content that is valuable for your visitors. Make sure your pages only contain relevant information, and don’t try to cram text just to put more copy on the page, because search engines will have a hard time identifying relevant content.

You’re using black-hat SEO techniques

It may be tempting to go after cheap practices that promise quick results, also known as black-hat SEO techniques. These methods include keyword stuffing, hidden keyword text, link buying, and so on. Some of these techniques may actually work, but only in the short run. Search engines are aware of black-hat schemes, and are continuously improving their algorithms to weed out websites that don’t abide by their guidelines to deliver the best user experience. So it’s best to focus your efforts on building a clean and stable SEO strategy.

You’re expecting quick results

Success doesn’t come easy in the SEO world. Ranking high in search results necessitates spending a substantial amount of time and effort. Don’t expect to earn a position on the first page of search engines immediately or overnight, because it will likely take months to see results. Be patient, and focus on creating great content and abiding by SEO best practices.

You’re not using blogging as a strategy

Most businesses don’t really have the chance to update their website often. Why? Because they can’t really update their “About Us” or their service pages as frequently as they would like – so their websites are just going to stand there dormant and outdated. The problem with this is that search engines don’t like inactive sites. If you have a blogging strategy, however, you have the opportunity to add a page, or pages, to your site at least once a month, if not once a week or better yet daily! The more new pages you add to your website, the more chance you have of getting higher rankings, which translates into more traffic and more leads.

Your website has an inefficient structure

Without a good website structure strategy, you’ll have a hard time trying to organize new categories, as well as information and promotional pages. Having a bloated and scattered site structure won’t do you any good when it comes to SEO, because you’ll only make it harder for visitors to navigate around your website.

You’re not going responsive

Search engines are now taking responsiveness into account when determining rankings. A responsive website adapts its page layouts to fit all screen resolutions and sizes, whether it’s being viewed on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. You can greatly enhance the user experience and decrease bounce rates (the percentage of visitors who leave the website after visiting only one page). So if your website is not mobile-friendly, then it’s time to seriously consider a responsive design.

There are so many factors involved in search engine rankings, some of which are beyond your control. The important thing is to avoid making these SEO mistakes, and you’ll be on your way to online success. Want more SEO tips and techniques to add value to your business? Get in touch with our experts today.

Posted in Business Value – ROI, Why MSP Services Matter, General Articles A | Tagged Blogging, Business Value, keywords, responsive, Search Engine Optimization, seo, seo mistakes | Comments closed

Boost your online presence with SEO

BusinessValue_June2_ATechnology has completely changed the way we do business. Gone are the days when customers had to drop by your company to purchase your products and services. Now they can simply visit your website, see what you have to offer, and make an online payment – all in a matter of minutes. But if you want to expand your customer base, your website needs to rank high in search engines, so that it’s easy for potential customers to find you. That means implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies; here’s all you need to know about SEO to increase your online presence.

SEO defined

The practice of SEO has been around just about as long as search engines themselves. SEO is basically a methodology of techniques and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in search engine results. There are a lot of crackpot theories about SEO out there, and you’ll have to sift through them to find the techniques that really work for your business.

There’s a saying in the world of SEO that if you’re not first, you’re last. When it comes to SEO there’s no short cut, and the idea of getting your business website ranked on the first page of Google search results in one day is ludicrous. To make things clearer, we’ve compiled a list of the basic SEO practices business owners tend to overlook.

1. Research keywords
Keywords are key to your online presence. Add the right keywords to your website and your chances of being found are much higher. First, invest time in keyword research. Find out which keywords your customers are using in search engines, and gather all crucial data for SEO purposes, whether it’s search volume, trends, or competition. Make a list of keywords related to your niche. Don’t be tempted to only go after phrases with the highest search volume – they will be very hard to rank for and might be too broad.

2. Create quality content
Based on the researched keywords, generate high quality content with the focus on your readers. Make sure this content reads naturally for human visitors – don’t overdo it by stuffing keywords into your text in the hope of getting high rankings, as most search engines will penalize your website for using this underhand tactic. Good content has relevant keywords in it, but a great one has the keywords while also providing real value to visitors.

3. Place call-to-action buttons
A business website should always have a call-to-action to convert visitors into customers. Make sure you add a call-to-action button to each of your most important pages, whether that means the About Us page, service pages, FAQs, or case studies. Call-to-action buttons may vary. They don’t always have to lead to a contact form; they can be links to other content, incentive offers, free downloads – the list goes on.

4. Create an internal link structure
After you have quality content, you must show the search engines that your site has a page hierarchy. The general rule of thumb is, all your articles should link back to the home page, service pages, and even other articles. Linking internally allows for easier navigation for your visitors, and there’s a good chance they will spend more time on your website, which is good for SEO purposes.

5. Install analytics tools
Tracking your visitors’ behavior on your website is important. Connect your website to analytics tools like Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to gain valuable insight into your website’s statistics. By closely monitoring performance, you can eliminate keywords that aren’t generating you leads, and tweak content that visitors ignore.

SEO is an ongoing process that requires patience and time. These suggestions are meant to set a stronger foundation for your business to expand. If you’re looking for other ways to increase business value, get in touch with us today.

This entry was posted in Business Value – ROI, Why MSP Services Matter, General Articles and tagged  Analytics, Business Value, Content, keywords, link structure, online presence, seo. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Find your website ’s most important pages

164-A_Biz-IntelFind your website ’s most important pages

For businesses that want to track how much traffic their website is receiving, a Google Analytics account is a no-brainer. However, while it’s easy to use this powerful application to measure traffic, how do you know if those visitors are engaged with your website content or just bouncing the second they hit your homepage? Engagement is as important as traffic – follow the four steps below to learn how to track this metric.

How do you measure engagement?

Just because a page receives a large amount of traffic, doesn’t mean it has quality content on it that visitors value. Half of the visitors to your most trafficked blog post or service page can easily bounce within seconds. So to figure out which pages your customers like, you need to measure engagement. And the easiest way to do that is by looking at the amount of time a visitor spends on a page.

Generally speaking, if a visitor is on a page for five minutes or more, they’re likely reading, watching or listening to some form of content you posted. Of course there’s the off chance that maybe he or she took an extended bathroom break after landing on your page or forgot to close it and continued surfing the web in another window. But if a consistent number of visitors are spending several minutes on a given page, you can feel confident that most of them are engaging with the content.

Why does engagement matter?

Simple. The more your visitors engage with your content, the more likely they’ll visit your website again or – even better – become a loyal customer.

You can measure engagement by following these four steps in Google Analytics:

1. Track engagement over a long period of time

We’re not just talking a month or two, but more like years. This will show you which pages are performing best in the long run. To do this, open Google Analytics. Then in the top right corner of the screen, input your date range and then click Apply.

2. Measure all pages

You need to look at time spent on all your pages to see what’s performing best. In the navigation bar to the left of your screen, click on the following in the order below:

  1. Behavior
  2. Site Content
  3. All Pages

3. Compare the average time visitors spend on a page

Under the main graph that displays visitor numbers to your site, you’ll see a search box with the word “advanced” next to it. To the right of that, you’ll see five buttons. Click on the second button from the right – the Comparison button. To be sure you’re clicking on the correct one, hover your mouse over it and the word “comparison” will pop up.

Slightly below the comparison button and to the left, choose Average time on page as your secondary metric.

4. Mind the Green bars

After you’ve followed the above steps, green bars will appear to the right of some of the pages displayed. The higher the bar, the greater amount of time a visitor is spending on a page.

With this data at your disposal, now you can understand what content your customers find valuable – and then focus on creating more of it.

Want to know more about how to gain valuable insights from your business data? Give us a call today.

This entry was posted in Business Intelligence, General Articles and tagged customer, Engagement, Google Analytics, metric,page, website traffic. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

Keywords for successful SEO

Web_May13_CThe Internet is crowded with many different companies offering a wide variety of goods and services. What differentiates each business is the how they use keywords for SEO, or search engine optimization. If you’re not familiar with the term, not to worry, we’ll take a look at what keywords mean, as well as how you can assess their value in relation to your business success.

What exactly are keywords?

A keyword is a word or phrase that you enter into a search engine in order to find pages, or websites that contain relevant content. When you enter these keywords into a search you are typing a Search Query which tells the search engine what you are looking for.

The engine then searches websites, pages, and even video titles that contain these keywords, and displays what it finds in search results. In order to be found by search engines, businesses often incorporate keywords into their content that they think users will search for. The question is, how do you know which keywords to include in your content? The best way to figure this out is through keyword research.

By conducting keyword research, you can predict shifts in demand as well as attract the best visitors to your website. Below are four tips you can use to not only find the best keywords, but also judge their effectiveness and overall value.

4 steps for assessing keyword value:

1. Think and ask

Take a look at your existing content and ask yourself whether or not your keywords are relevant to your website and what you essentially do as a business. Can your customers easily find what they’re looking for? If you’re not sure then the best way to find out is to ask your customers and potential customers. One way is to take a look at common customer requests and questions.

Be sure to also ask yourself whether or not customers would be happy with what they find once they search too; because if not a bumpy road lies ahead. From there, develop a list of what you believe to be the best, or most useful keywords. Be sure to look at this from the customers’ viewpoints, not from your own perspective.

2. Make use of major search engines

Knowing search engines that have already ranked your chosen keywords, like Google and Bing, can give you insight into your competitors and what keywords they use, as well as some idea of how challenging it’s going to be for these keywords to be ranked highly.

Simply visit the major search engines and search for the keywords you identified above. Take a look at the results, specifically the top results. In Google, for example, you may see that the first 3-4 results are actually ads. As a rule of thumb, the more ads you see the more difficult it is to rank in results for those keywords. Experts call this a high value keyword, which usually indicates that conversions are high. This means you will likely need to invest more into your content and overall marketing if you want to rank higher in search results.

3. Invest in Google Adwords

It’s not the end of the world if your website doesn’t rank for specific keywords. It may help to invest in Google Adwords. For example, you can purchase test traffic in Google Adwords to see how well specific keywords convert. Select “exact match” and point the traffic to the relevant page on your website. This add-on tracks impressions and conversion rates over the course of at least 2-300 clicks. The perk: you only pay if people click on your ad.

4. Calculate the exact value of a keyword

Let’s say you ran a search ad for 24 hours on google which generated 6,000 impressions – out of the number of people who saw the add 100 visitors came to your website and four converted, creating a total profit of USD $400. This means that a single visitor is worth USD $4 to your website. In other words, if searches hold steady, you could see a profit boost of up to USD $146,000!

Of course, keyword research takes time, and effort. You will likely not see massive gains by simply researching, but by knowing what works and what doesn’t, and by working to find the best keywords for your business. Looking to learn more about the importance of keywords for SEO? Contact us today.