Site Optimized, But Not Seeing a Return on My Investment

So, your website has been optimized and you’re not seeing a return on your investment.  You’re frustrated and are upset with your internet marketing company. I get it and have seen it from both sides.

Sometimes a small business will hire someone without an seo and internet marketing background, who just isn’t able to get the job done. Other times, you hire a company with proven experience, yet things just aren’t happening.  Why?

Ask yourself.

  • Is your seo company bookmarking your blogs and posting on Facebook and Twitter.  [Tip Facebook and Twitter posts shouldn't just spit out content about your business. Create a relationship with your followers.]
  • Are they link building, and I don’t mean hiring link farms. My suggestions is always slow and steady wins the race. [Example,  if you sell cars and you have worked with a company in the past, a simple call asking for a link is the way to go. Then keep going from there.]
  • What is your online advertising budget. The amount of work an seo company needs to perform is often misunderstood by the company hiring them.  Writing one blog from scratch can take a couple hours, especially if they are left to do all the research and writing on their own. Any good seo company will work within your budget, but if your budget is small, you will need to provide them with content to keep things rolling efficiently.
  • Am I in a highly competitive field?  You need to make sure things are set up right in order to compete. If you believe your site is properly optimized and your social media presence is solid, then ask yourself, is my competition doing any form of traditional advertising?  Are they on tv, radio, or billboard advertising. If they are, that may be something to consider.
  • Have you tried Google AdWords. While your site is being indexed, you may want to consider beginning an AdWords campaign. You need to be careful and you need to know your industry. I’d stay away from the display network as that would eat up your budget. Again, take it slow and do your research.

These are just a few tips to check out if you’re not seeing a quality return on your investment. You can always sit down with your seo company and share your concerns. You could also hire a new company to give you an overview of your website.  A little advice into what’s the best direction could save you a lot of money down the road.

Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.

Basic SEO Advice – The Core

Buffalo SEO Company Shares the SEO Basics

In the martial arts we learn the importance of the basics. You must have a strong foundation and continue to go back and work on that foundation. The same goes for search engine optimization.

So, what are the SEO basics?

SEO basics include keyword research, analyzing your competition, writing good content, tagging your site, link building and reviewing your analytics.

Keyword Research – An important part of search engine optimization is keyword research. You can use Google’s keyword tool and others on the web to determine the words people are typing into the search engines for your particular products or services.

Analyzing Your Competition – Competitive analysis is another investigative part of search engine optimization. Check out your competitors’ websites and compare their rankings to yours and review their keywords and placement on the search engines. You can then put together a game plan with the keyword research you have done and take advantage of their weaknesses.

Good content. Good content doesn’t mean you stuff your pages full of keyword phrases. You need to write for your audience in a way that makes sense and draws them in. Once you have written what you feel is good content, go back and tweak it. Add keywords where appropriate or simply rearrange a sentence here or there.

Custom Website Tagging. In addition to adding good content to your website, you need to pay attention to your title, description and keyword tags throughout your website. Although people argue that you only need to focus on the title tag, I feel you should focus on all of them. Just do it right to begin with.

Link Building – There are so many ways to build links: press releases, blog posts, social media, bookmarking and more. A great way to start is to create a blog. Not just to have one, but a blog you will be interested in contributing to. From there you can link to your website, social media sites and other blogs. WordPress is great and you can link to and will get links from other bloggers.

Website Analytics – Website analytics is a tracking system that collects data from visitors to your website. This data will help you learn more about where your visitors come from, what keywords they are really using to find you, what pages did they visit, how long did they stay and whether they converted into a sale or lead. 

The basics are the core of SEO. No one said it was easy. SEO takes hard work and focus, but I know you can do it! Our Buffalo SEO Company can help you if you need it.

In the meantime, have fun with it. In the end, your hard work will pay off.

Have a wonderful day.

Why Is SEO So Important and Where Do I Begin?

Simply put, if you want people to find you on the web, your sites need to be optimized. By sites I mean, in addition to your website, you should optimize your blogs, Facebook posts, Tweets, etc.

Search engine optimization (“SEO”) isn’t about just throwing up title tags and adding some keywords to your site. SEO is much more involved than many people realize.

I believe the key to quality SEO includes competitive analysis and keyword research. Having your site optimized does you little good if the keywords you have chosen aren’t being used by your potential customers.

You also need to know what your competition is up to. How are their rankings? What are they focusing on? Are they blogging? If so, what are they blogging about? Are they on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? Make sure you are not just playing follow the leader. You need to have your own thoughts and ideas.

If you are unsure where to start, have a brainstorming session. Sit down by yourself or with others and just open the door to ideas. Throw it all out there. Once you have some exciting avenues you want to tackle, start doing some research.

Google keyword tool is a great place to get a grasp of the value of the keywords you are targeting. You may even find some hidden jewels with low competition and high search volume.

Type your chosen keywords in Google and see who comes up. Understand your competitors online may be a completely different cast of characters than you are used to. Review their sites and you will get a good idea of what they are thinking and may also shed some light on areas you can focus on for your own site.

Once you’ve done your research, start writing. Just write from your gut and keep those keywords on hand to reference. You don’t want to overload your content with keywords. Just be natural and it will flow together.

Have fun and if you need help, we are an experienced Buffalo SEO Company and will be happy to help.

Using SEO Jargon Could Lose That Client

One thing small business owners have shared with me is the fact that they understand what I am talking about. That’s really important and exciting to me.  It should be important to you as well.

As a Buffalo internet marketer, I believe in explaining my seo and internet marketing strategy in a way that isn’t just a bunch of seo jargon they don’t understand.

Keep it simple stupid.  No disrepect here, but if you use the KISS moto, you may not always impress the CEO of a company, but Mr. Johnson, who just opened that hardware store, will certainly appreciate it.

Know your audience.  If you are trying to reach small business owners on their level, just be real.

  • You don’t have to talk about the analytics, refer to it as the traffic reports.
  • Don’t just throw at them that their ROI will increase.  Explain that by investing money in their online marketing, they will get more business.
  • Don’t just say you want to optimize their site.  Explain it to them.  Search engine optimization is the process of getting your website ranking high on the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Make sense?

On the other hand, I have spoken with small business owners who really know their way around seo and internet marketing, which is cool.  In that case, you can put your seo hat on and talk the talk.

Just remember, the whole point of being an internet marketer is to try to help people understand why seo and internet marketing is so important.  Don’t lose them trying to impress yourself.

Free King Size Chocolate Chip Cookie – Yummy

I’m sorry for the tease, but now that I’ve got your attention, let me explain.

The point of this heading is simply to get your attention. That is exactly what you want to do for your business and a good internet marketing company will help you get your message out there.

If I was looking for baked goods and ran across “Free King Size Chocolate Chip Cookie  Yummy”, you can be sure I would click on it.  That’s the 1st step.

Now that you’ve got them on your site, don’t lose them! They clicked on the link because they want a free king size cookie.  Don’t make it impossible for them to qualify to get it.

I’m not saying lose money on the deal, but make the draw something that is within reason.  Keep it simple. A good internet marketing company will not only help you get the traffic you want, but they will also work with you to help you make sure the deal is sweet, too.

Once they land on your page, make the offer clear. Example: “With every order of $30 or more, you will get one of our King Size Chocolate Chip Smiley Face Cookies, Free”.

Woo Hoo!  Dude, I’m there.  I want that cookie!  Where do I order? Can I order more King Size Chocolate Chip Smiley Face Cookies?  Do you have smaller smiley face cookies? Yes, of course (the answer should be).

Your landing page should have good content for search engine optimization, as well as a great photo and video.  Also important, make it easy for them to place an order. The goal is to ultimately sell those King Size Chocolate Chip Smiley Face Cookies!

I have so many ideas to sell these cookies, but unfortunately, I’m on chocolate chip overload. It’s only 9 a.m., but I have a hankerin’ for chocolate chip cookies.  Want one?

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Buffalo SEO Company – Embrace Learning – Pay it Forward

As a Buffalo SEO Company, I feel we not only have the obligation to provide exceptional service to our clients, but we need to share our knowledge along the way.

Embrace learning and pay it forward.  By attending webinars and reading as much as you can online, you not only make yourself more valuable, but you make your clients more valuable as well.

People want to learn, and if you take the time to share with them the best practices for them to be successful, they will appreciate it, and in turn, they will embrace learning.

The better educated my clients are, the more successful they will become.  In addition, they will take an active role in their internet marketing and seo practices. Pretty cool.

Fuel the Web is not only a Buffalo SEO Company, but we are a Buffalo Web Design Company as well. We believe in doing things the right way and are excited with each knock on our door. If you need a new website or your website optimized, we are here to help you.

Make a Change SEO Style – Try a Career as an Internet Marketer

Many internet marketers had to learn by being thrown into the arena.  In my case, I didn’t have a marketing background at all, I just knew a lot about the industry I work for.  That’s a good place to start.

If you find yourself at a dead end in your career, but know a lot about the field you are currently in, then use your experience and try internet marketing.  Making the transition into internet marketing may not be as far fetched as you may think.

Search engine optimization is one place you can being with.  Learn what seo is all about and then add other aspects of search marketing. I would recommend attending as many webinars as you can.  Many are FREE. Ding Ding Ding. You can simply search on Google for Free Seo Webinars, or Free Internet Marketing Webinars, etc.  If you are able to attend a seminar or workshop, they are very helpful, but pick a good one. I would recommend High Rankings with Jill Whelan.  This will give you a great overview on what seo is all about and its best practices.  You can’t go wrong.

Internet marketing is not for the lazy at heart.  If you think you can make a transition into internet marketing and sit on your tushie eating bon bon’s, then think again.  However, if you have a good work ethic and are ambitious, then I would highly recommend a career as an internet marketer.

Take Care All!

What is an Internet Marketing Specialist?

Many people in the Buffalo community are just learning the jargon surrounding internet marketing.  I’m sure this is the case in other cities as well. I am often asked, “what exactly is an internet marketing specialist?” Well I’m here to help you understand the difference between someone who claims to be one and someone who actually is an internet marketing specialist.

I have attended meetings as both an observer and internet marketing consultant and I can tell you that there are some companies out there that are so full of bologna, they should own a deli. As soon as I start asking questions, it is unbelievable how quiet a room can get. It’s pretty cool actually.

A true internet marketing specialist will sit down with you to discuss what your current game plan is and will discuss what is and is not working.  They will discuss with you the traffic reports (analytics) connected with your website, online phone book traffic, and other directories you may pay to be listed with.  Please note, analytics is the key to knowing whether a marketing strategy is or is not working. If your present internet marketing company isn’t sharing that information with you, I would question them and get your traffic reports as soon as possible.

Finally, after analyzing all the data, doing some competitive research and listening to your needs, the internet marketing company or person you have selected will sit down with you and discuss your options.

As a Buffalo SEO and internet marketing specialist, I believe 100% in being honest with my clients.  I explain to my clients that search engine optimization (“SEO”) is a process which takes some time. Search marketing includes blogging, social media, press releases, SEO, PPC and more.  An good internet marketing specialist will help you understand these various avenues and help you develop a presence in each or a portion depending on your needs.

A few red flags to look for:

1. If a company is trying to convince you to begin a pay per click (“PPC”) campaign, but not willing or unable to provide you with the keyword research surrounding the keywords they are recommending.

2. If the company doesn’t explain to you what the pros and cons of content marketing are. Content marketing places your ads on various websites across the web and the cost can ad up quickly. Often times, the clicks result in people bouncing off immediately, which isn’t going to help you.  It may not be in your best interest to use content marketing.

3. If a company is trying to get you to list in their directory, but is either unwilling or unable to provide you with the traffic reports and various information related to the importance of that page or category.

4. If a company says to you that they can get you ranked number 1 in the organic listings on various search engines. Don’t buy into it.  It takes time and effort to increase your rankings across the web.  There is no guarantee you will be number 1.

Hope this helps some of you who are interested in learning what an internet marketing specialist is and how we can help you.

With So Much Competition, How Can I Complete?

With so much competition on the web, many people wonder how they can compete on the web. I’m here to tell you, you can make a difference.

We have missed the point of what this country is all about.  With hard work, you can make a difference.  Even if it’s just one little babystep at a time. If you sit back and hope that the magic fairy is going to catapult you ahead of the competition, well then I certainly hope you are a patient person.

I’m here to tell you that you can make an impact on the web and can compete with big companies.

Let me share a story with you.  I began jogging a couple years ago and could hardly breathe.  I thought I was in decent shape, but I could barely get around the block without gasping for air.  After a couple of months, I was able to get myself up to about 3 miles.  Pretty cool.  Well, I then started having knee problems and had to stop jogging.  Instead of grabbing a bag potato chips (which actually sounds pretty good), I decided to start riding a bike, which I enjoy pain free and continue to see the benefits.

There is a point.  Search marketing follows the same concept.  When you start off, often times, your website is out of shape.  As time goes on you see steady improvements.  Some times along the way, you may hit a road block or plateu. When that happens, it’s time to look for other options.

Many people are looking for instant gratification. I am a getter done kind of person and learned that putting the right pieces of the puzzle together can pay off.  Here’s what I suggest:

1.  Ask an experienced search marketer to look at your website.  They will be able to tell you what areas you should focus on (i.e. tagging, keyword placement, etc.). If you don’t have a website yet, I would suggest you find a web design company that also understands search engine optimization.

2.  Start blogging.  You can make an impact relatively quickly. I would suggest you just be yourself.

3.  Start participating in the social media arena. Start a Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn account to begin with.

If it sounds like a lot of work, well, it is.  For seo people like me, however, it’s exciting to watch your hard work make a difference for the people who have hired you to help them.  The biggest impact comes when people get involved in their own business and don’t expect an outside company to do everything for them.  A hands-on approach is important.

If you are focused and make steady changes or additions to your seo and search marketing strategy, you can always make a difference and an impact for your business.  You can compete with big business.

If you have questions or need help along the way, just ask.  I am happy to help.

How to Choose an SEO Company

Not all SEO companies are the same. So what do you need to watch out for?

Well, first of all, any SEO company who guarantees they can get you top organic placement on the search engines is full of bologna and should be a red flag.

As I’ve mentioned before, search engine optimization is about hard work and focus, not tricks and the magic fairy.  I personally don’t appreciate companies who blow smoke up my skirt, do you?  The bottomline to rankings on the search engines boils down to algorithms, but we’ll get into that another time.

Many SEO companies offer you the moon.  Be careful what you buy into.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

SEO or Pay Per Click?

Pay per click campaigns are great for quick results. Basically, you bid a certain amount per click and based on your bid and ad copy (and other factors), you get listed in the sponsored section on the search engines.  I do caution that you need to really keep an eye on things and check your conversion and click through rates or you can spend a lot of money rather quickly. The point is not how much money you spend, but that it’s producing results. So when looking for a search marketing company, I always appreciate when they come to me with some research done. Then I can compare it to my own research.

When a company starts asking me what the important keywords are, it’s a red flag.  Don’t get me wrong, you need to work together, but if they haven’t at least taken the time to do some of their own research, then to me it’s often a sign of  them either digging for information, or not being hungry enough to get you results. Many times they are looking to just glide along. Also, if they throw around that they can get you listed number 1 for some amazing keyword, that’s great, but ask yourself if this keyword is really significant. Testing and research are the only ways to find out what keywords are right for your website.

Natural rankings are gained through search engine optimization (“SEO”). SEO takes time and results do not happen overnight. I do believe, however,  trying to gain high rankings through natural (organic) listings is your best investment.  A good SEO company will work with you to determine what your needs and goals are and they will research your keywords and your competition.  Watch out for companies who promise you the moon, or who focus on one or two keywords.  Every single page of your website should be optimized and the keywords should be consistent with that page.  You don’t just want a company slapping keywords up there, just to make a buck.

So What’s the Bottom Line?

Don’t be afraid to do your homework.  This is your money and your business we’re talking about.  Ask the tough questions, such as how do you do your keyword research, what has your success been for others, can I have some references, and so on.

Here’s something I always do.  Ask your potential SEO company if they guarantee top placement on the search engines.  If they say yes, move on to the next company.  We all make mistakes when hiring people to helps us, whether it’s landscaping, home building or SEO.  The point, however, is to learn and make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again.

Over the years, I have learned to go with my gut.  Again, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. My goal here is to help you along the way to hopefully avoid some questionable practices.

In closing, you want to choose a search marketing company that not only helps you with your search engine optimization, but will also sit down with you and discuss an overall search marketing strategy.  Pay per click, seo, blogging, social media…each one of these can play an important part in the success of your business. Take it slow. You don’t need to give them an answer immediately.

Be smart. Do your homework and ask questions.

Have a great day.