SEO is NOT dead.

Let me say this loud and clear one last time, SEO is NOT dead. SEO has changed, for sure, but it is still very often going to give you the best bang for your online marketing buck. Think about it.…  there are an average of over 40,000 search queries on Google every SECOND. That’s 1.2 TRILLION searches annually. (source www.internetlivestats.com) Some percentage of those people are searching for YOUR business. You just need to get in front of them and convert them into customers. It’s just that simple.

There are over 40,000 #search queries on #Google every SECOND. Click To Tweet

Jayson Demers, a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, apparently agrees. Jason says that there are five reasons you need to invest in an SEO campaign right now. I concur.

  1. Return On Investment.

SEO does require a financial investment and that stops many businesses right in their tracks. The key is to not to only look at what you will spend but what you will get in return. Your company will receive a range of benefits from brand visibility to actual sales. If an SEO program is executed effectively you will find that the longer you invest, the greater return you will see and, ultimately, the greater the sales.

The greater #SEO investment, the greater #ROI & the greater #sales. Click To Tweet
  1. The Age of UX

There’s no more “black hat” manipulation of the search engines. Those days are long gone. This is a time of true SEO, what we call Search Experience Optimization. Giving users the information and experience they are searching for is what it’s all about. What a great opportunity for businesses! As the search engines improve their ability to meet the needs of users, our job in executing an SEO program is to provide the best content and user experience. Remember, no longer are users just sitting at their desktops. Today’s users are on the go and a good Search Experience Optimization program MUST include tactics for optimizing mobile content.

#SEO programs must include tactics for optimizing #mobile #content. Click To Tweet
  1. The ROI Snowball

We see the work we do in our Search Experience Optimization program ultimately having amplified returns. The more we build, structure and layer our content, the more we link, the more we build the social presence of our clients, the more they benefit in the end. Their domain authority grows, their brand visibility increases and we see traffic and social following multiply as a result. It’s like a snowball rolling down a big hill, growing both in size and speed!

#ROI for #SEO snowballs over time. Click To Tweet
  1. If You Are Not Moving Forward You Are Moving Backward

Competition is competition. You need to be where the customers are. Don’t wait to implement an Search Experience Optimization program while your competitors implement SEO strategies and scoop up the sales. Every day between now and when you get started with your SEO program is another day for your competitor’s brand to get visibility and their site to get ranked for high volume keywords.

If you are not moving forward, you are moving backward. Click To Tweet
  1. Just Go

This is not a case of “go big or go home”, just go. It is costing you more money every day you think about implementing an SEO program then it would if you just identified a budget you can live with and got in the game. Starting small is just fine but do start. As you see results, you can expand the program for deeper penetration, to encompass a larger basket of related keywords or go after a wider geographic area.

With #seo don’t worry about “go big or go home”, just go. Click To Tweet

While some people shop for headstones to bury SEO, our team is getting even more aggressive. We see nothing but opportunity with Search Experience Optimization. In the end, businesses NEED to be where the customers are. Customers are online. Customers are searching. It’s time to roll up your sleeves, implement a digital marketing strategy and compete. Long live SEO… Search Experience Optimization!

A Little Bird Told Me – 5 Reasons to Tweet

little-birdie

There’s a thin red line between social media use and networking. Sometimes the two merge into a perfect harmony of conversation and resolution. Other times (perhaps too often), it’s just cat pictures and quirky quotes.

But it’s important as a brand (especially in this fast pace tech world) to stay relevant, open, and in touch.

Rather than seeing Twitter as a pandemonium of Millennials and socially starving individuals, recognize it for its true worth. A valuable resource that keeps you in touch with the people that matter most…your clients.

#Brands must stay relevant, open, and in touch. Click To Tweet

1. Know Your Customer

It seems like most people are tired of big box companies. Often times it feels like you’re just another account number and a payment. The little guppy swimming in a world of sharks.

But is that necessarily true? Is that true of your company?

Not if you don’t want it to be.

Using Twitter effectively can open the gates to a world of individuals seeking your services and hopefully feeling a tad bit more real in a system built on taking, but not really giving back.

So here’s you chance to converse with the little guy. Or in other words…the people who really make your company run. Plus you can keep them up-to-date on all your new and exciting happenings including product offerings and company news.

In fact, according to twitter.com, 85% of followers feel more connected to businesses they follow.

85% of followers feel more connected to #businesses they follow. #twitter @twitter #socialmedia Click To Tweet

This, of course, requires for you to be a more entrenched in a social media site you may not necessarily see as vital to your success. But remember.

Word of mouth is a force of nature – even in cyber space. So…

Word of mouth is a force of nature. Click To Tweet

2. Listen to Your Customer

We’ve all had bad customer experiences. Sometimes it’s not worth the hassle to make a scene. Sometimes it is.

Except in today’s world, why yell in front of 15 people when you can reach millions?

Twitter is the perfect platform to express this discontentment (or happiness). It’s also the perfect opportunity to learn about your customer experiences and to let your customer know that you are listening to them.

And as we all hopefully know. Relationships are a two-way road. It’s a give and take symbiosis. And you should…

3. Interact With Your Customer

Hopefully you’ve noticed the logical progression of this list.

Our 24-hour society means that customers are looking for answers when they need it. Not when it’s convenient to you. Want to lose a customer? Make it as difficult as you can for them to solve their issues.

Want to improve on your customer’s experience and gain some trust. Make yourself available on a platform like Twitter and prove that you really are there when they need it.

This sort of interaction builds confidence in your ability to provide solutions in real-world time.

Who doesn’t like a trustworthy friend? Build on these relationships by jumping into Twitter chats. Be a part of the conversation.

4. One Good Turn Deserves Another

Twitter will boost your online presence. But why stop at that? Why not use  it to see what’s going on in your industry and how you measure up? Why not use it to see what customers are saying about your competition?

Twitter is a great platform to help keep you in the know and give you a competitive edge. Without spending any money, you can keep a close eye on all the key players, news and interaction. Businesses of all sizes are taking advantage of this potential.

Are you?

5. Learning the Game

The reality is that we live in an ever-changing technological world. Myspace is, dare I say, ancient history at this point.

Yet that doesn’t mean that its creation, pinnacle, and eventual descent are irrelevant. It just means that there is always an opportunity to learn the give and take of this wave.

Sure, keeping to the same routine day in and day out may work for you. But if your customers are changing their habits new opportunities to connect with them will evolve. Shouldn’t that the best reason to continually reevaluate and change your social media strategy?

Evolving customer #socialmedia habits create new opportunities for #businesses to connect. Click To Tweet

Twitter really is a great tool if you’re willing to dig beyond the surface chatter. It’s fast. It’s user friendly. And it’s a powerful business tool when you take the time for it.

It’s all true.…a little birdie told me.

#Twitter is a powerful #business tool. #socialmedia #marketing Click To Tweet

The Revolution Will Now Be Optimized

Search Experience Optimization is the new SEO. Click To Tweet

With the advancement of technology, the Internet, and search engines, companies have sought to provide end-users an optimal experience that meets consumer demand.  Where as marketing companies could previously get away with manipulating search engine systems to their advantage (regardless of their actual performance), Google, Bing, and various other search engines have began to upgrade their algorithms to ensure that results match up with actual quality.

So what does this mean for the user?

Well for starters, search results will provide internet-goers with websites that meet certain “favorable” criteria including: site speed, mobile optimization, site structure, content, and a plethora of other subtle advantages that consumers seek.

As for the marketers and website owners?

It boils down to providing meaningful full site integration, quality content, and appealing visual structure.

Quality Content Answers Questions

Of course website analytics, Google trends and keyword data are valuable to the marketer.  But the reality is that the web is about the consumer.  Meaning that your success lies much more in the satisfaction of the site purveyor over automated systems that analyze data points.  This doesn’t mean that analytics don’t hold the same level of importance as previously considered, but rather that content should validate the data and not the other way around.

As the search process evolves, so must the marketer, search engine, and website.  Long gone are the days of general searches, keyword density, and meta descriptions.

This generation of common web users are much more aware of the importance of specific key words and details.  In fact, search engines are beginning to recognize the value of semantics and are distinguishing a website’s ability to answer a specific question over a general statement.  This variation in website content means that marketers need to stop banking on keyword density and instead need to focus on providing customers with meaningful quality content.

“Mobalization”

A clean mobile user experience has gone from good to have to must have for the search engines. Click To Tweet

Changes in search engine algorithms are improving the visibility of websites optimized for mobile viewing.  These seemingly “catastrophic” changes have essentially upped-the-ante for major corporations who had been lax on improving this aspect of their websites.  This has also allowed small businesses to improve their online presence – assuming of course that they were a head of the curve and already mobile ready.

For a marketer, this means approaching design for a given website with a “less is more” mentality.  As mobile Internet users won’t have the same sort of tech specs on their devices in comparison to a traditional desktop, websites have to be developed with the understanding that an overly visual stimulating site can lead to unnecessarily long loading times.

This is a big no-no for user experience.

Baring in mind that simplicity will go a long way in website mobilization should hopefully ease the transition in providing a quality site for mobile users.

When it comes to #webdesign, less is more. Click To Tweet

Social Butterfly

The interconnectedness of the world is way too large at this point in time to ignore and with the use of social media web sites at an all time high, it’s almost impossible to not recognize the importance of social listening.

The intent shouldn’t be to simply increase your customer count by using these various platforms, but you should instead focus on social media signals that your website and business are creating positive user experiences.  The reality is that people will post about anything and everything, so you want to make sure when your name comes up it’s for a good reason.

And if it’s not?

Well, that’s an opportunity to utilize these various social media platforms to make sure your customers feel like their voice is being heard.  This should hopefully lead to more interaction and a better overall user experience.

A World of Data

So your organization has successfully hit the three previously mentioned markers.  Now work behind the scenes to leverage the data.  There are a variety of platforms that can be utilized to effectively understand your metrics and develop an ever-evolving plan.

Google Analytics is a valuable (and free) tool, but it can be complex and overwhelming. If you’re open to the idea of having this data analyzed by a third party, there a numerous companies like Cobalt Digital Marketing eager to assist you – all you have to do is a little research to make sure their skill sets, experience and track record match your needs.

Metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, pages per visit, return visitor rates, on page analytics and conversions should help guide the evolution of your website to improve user experience.  It’s an ongoing process of evaluation, testing and re-adjusting.

Of course with the frequent (and seemingly limitless) changes in technology, staying up-to-date in the SEO world and news is going to be a major aspect of the game.  But evolution is a good thing and ultimately leads to optimal changes. Subscribe here to get more industry news and commentary from Cobalt Digital Marketing direct to your inbox.