Showing posts from 2013

How to Navigate Through the SEO Sales Noise

We have several clients who have been bombarded by a barrage of companies promising instant search engine ranking results with top placement for their business.  These clients typically already rank great, but ask us for our advice on dealing with these calls.  With the recent overhaul of Google’s ranking algorithm, here are my top 5 tips on how you can rank in Google organically (for free!) and help you navigate through the sales noise.

1)  Website content is king – your best chance of ranking well is to have focused, easy to read content on your website that gives value to your visitors, clearly describes your service/product and is localized to the area you serve.

2)  Social media is critical – your website should be the center of a “spider web” surrounded by social media activity on several platforms.  Building fans/followers and posting interactive content will be noticed and rewarded by Google.

3)  Understand what your customer is searching for – Keywords are not as important to G…

Hummingbird – Google’s New Search Algorithm

Yep, Google has done it again.  On the 15th anniversary date of the company, the world’s most used search engine announced a new ranking algorithm called “Hummingbird.”  It is designed to give users faster query results and it is focused on useractuallywants versus individual search terms. 

According to Google, this is the most dramatic algorithm change since 2001 and is a complete replacement of the old algorithm.

So what does that mean for your business?  It means that if you are not creating original, deep, subject-relevant content often for your website and your social media channels, you may be falling behind.  The Hummingbird algorithm no longer uses the brute force approach of looking at each individual keyword in a Google search. Instead it looks at the query as a whole to process the meaning behind it.

Hummingbird considers over 200 signals when determining a rank for a website. Traditional SEO practices are not necessarily dead … they are just not as relevant with this alg…

How important is it to be ranked #1 in Google?

Your website rank in Google – How important is it to be #1?
Clients often ask us how important it is for their website to be ranked #1 in Google for their major key words.  We just came across a new study that measures the amount of click throughs for each page rank and we wanted to share this with you.

Online ad network Chitika completed a study in June 2013 tracking the amount of traffic that each Google result page rank achieved.  The results are striking!

The #1 position in a Google search receives 32.5% of the average traffic share

The #2 position receives 17.6%

The #3 position receives 11.4%

The #4 - #10 positions quickly drop below 10%, with the 6-10 positions below 5% each!

Let me translate this with an example.  If you are a printing company in the area, and someone does a Google search for “printing lake of the ozarks”, if you are in the top 3 rankings of page 1, you will have a 61.5% chance that someone will click on your website link.  If you are below this ranking, the …

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Web Designer

Questions you should ask before having your website designed
Asking a series of important questions before contracting with a web design company can help avoid issues down the road.  Getting adequate answers to these questions will help ensure you selecting the best company for your needs.

1)  Can you provide me examples of your work or testimonials from your clients?
If your website designer does not have a sample portfolio to show you or existing clients that you can speak with, then you should consider interviewing another company.

2)  Is there paperwork involved before you start on my website?
Your web designer should present you written documentation of the exact cost and any recurring costs, as well as the length of the contract.  You should also expect a time table for the design of the website, what materials will be required, the feedback process on the design, and other important information.  If it’s not written down, misunderstandings can occur, as well as unwelcome surpr…

4 Free Software Tools to Monitor Your Online Reputation

It's more important than ever to be aware of what consumers are saying about your business. Negative online reviews can cause tremendous damage to your online reputation and sales.

Consumer reviews may include both positive and negative commentary regarding price, customer service, as well as overall quality of their experience with your business.  Positive reviews are fantastic and we'll write an article in the near future about how to acquire more positive reviews online. It's the negative reviews that you need to know about quickly, so you can properly address them before they do harm to your reputation.

1. Google Alerts.
You consider setting up Google alerts for your business name, the names of key team members, and your website address, at a minimum.  Google will then send you email alerting you to any mentions concerning your business, as well as any other alerts you setup.  To set go, to

2. Social Mention.
Social Mention allows you to easily tr…

Your Web Site Address – Protect Yourself & Your Brand

Picking the right domain name (website address) for your business website is an important decision for the small (or large) business owner.  4 things to consider when choosing a domain:

1.  Make it easy to remember.  
Having a long domain or one that is easily misspelled may not be the best way to go.

2.  Make it attractive for search engines.  
Try to work keywords into your domain name, when it makes sense.  For example, if you are a painting company in St Louis, consider something like, if it’s available.

3.  Consider purchasing the .org, .net, .biz, and .co versions, as well.  
This prevents someone from leveraging the hard work you have put in to building your brand.

4.  Always register your domain name under your name
I have worked with many clients over the years that have had difficulty gaining control of their domain name.  If your domain is registered under another person’s name, or a web design company’s name rather than your name, it can cause you signific…

Building an Effective Web Presence through Social Media

Google+ for your Business – The Basics
Google+ Business pages were rolled out 18 months ago and the impact was immediate and effective. Google+ has 500 million registered members and can now make the claim as the second largest social media network.  We recently came across a great article about the basics of setting up and using a Google+ business page and wanted to share some of the high points.  You can view the full article at
Setup Basics
Here are the steps to setup your Google+ Business page:
Create a personal Google account on (free).  Go to and click on the button at the top right that says “Create a Google+ Page”Select the appropriate category for your business under the 5 main categoriesAdd your basic information about your business (Name, Telephone, email, address, website, etc.)Customize your public profile.  Tell your story revolving around the top 10 words that describe yo…

Facebook for Business Revisited

Get Social to Get Found!

Responsive Web Design