Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SEO Agencies: How to Find the Right One to Work With

One of the necessary strategies that entrepreneurs need to incorporate into an effective business plan is an efficient marketing strategy. For most businesses, particularly ones that are small and do business locally, there are many ways to get your business in front of local consumers.

Traditional marketing methods such as word of mouth, billboards, print ads, radio, etc. are strategies that entrepreneurs need to consider. Aside from word of mouth marketing that you get from providing a great product or service, when it comes to ROI, the Internet is the most likely source of achieving measurable gains for growth.

For young businesses, getting your company in front of local consumers is absolutely essential, and investing in a local SEO strategy that targets these local consumers who are in the market for what you have to sell can have a huge impact on the financial direction of your business in the long-term.

Finding an SEO agency to work with that will work to earn you maximum exposure in front of these local consumers is the first step. But knowing what traits to look for in an SEO agency that you can trust to deliver the results – while delivering essential gains from your investment – isn’t always that clear.

So, what do you need to consider when making the critical decision on which SEO agency you want to work with to solidify the future of your small business?


Experience and Reputation are Crucial

SEO is a complex undertaking with many layers that come into play to execute properly.  It’s not an investment you want to entrust in an amateur. When sifting through the massive amounts of SEO agencies out there, pinpointing an agency with proven experience and results greatly increases your odds for success.

It’s important to do your background check on each SEO agency, asking for references and examples of past work. Check out their testimonials and search around to see where their current clients are ranking in the results.

If a prospective SEO agency that you’re vetting doesn’t have solid references, sketchy online reviews, and has produced mediocre results for their current clients, it’s probably best to avoid working with that agency.


Expensive Services Doesn’t Mean the Best

When it comes to SEO agencies, your company can absolutely spend as much or as little as it wants on SEO services. Depending on the size/scope of your project, larger SEO agencies can charge monthly retainers in the 5 digit figures. The thing you need to know as a business owner is just because an SEO agency is charging an exorbitant amount to optimize your site, that doesn't necessarily mean that firm is going to provide the best results for your project, particularly when it comes to getting a return for your investment.

The agency that you need to work with shouldn't be a cut rate $100/month firm either. An agency that works on that sort of a budget has “Black Hat SEO” written all over it.

Find your company a reputable SEO agency that has a great track record in achieving results for both rankings and ROI, because in the end even if you're spending $1000/month on your SEO services, if you're making an additional $3000/month in sales because of it, it's well worth your investment.


Be Sure to Ask Questions

When selecting an SEO agency, be sure you get the full picture on what that agency is about, and what methods they utilize to get results for their clients by asking the right questions. Dig deep into their strategies to make sure they don't participate in unethical SEO practices that could get you penalized by the search engines.

Also be sure to determine what deliverables you can expect from your agency, in particular which types of reporting is produced and how often you'll get progress reports, etc. Transparency is a sure sign that your SEO agency is working in your best interests and will be working toward achieving your objectives.

Not all agencies are built equal, and as an entrepreneur/business owner, you need to be certain that you're investing your time, effort, and money into an agency that will deliver results ethically, at the right price, and will help you build your business into what you want it to be.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

PPC Landing Page Optimization

In SEO marketing, there's no faster way to garner more traffic to your company's website than Pay Per Click Advertising. Once a PPC campaign is setup, the playing field is relatively even for small businesses and large corporations alike.

While the promise of more traffic might sound enticing, traffic in itself doesn't really mean anything unless those website visitors become customers. Yes, driving traffic and converting traffic are two entirely separate strategies of SEO marketing. One important aspect of converting more vistors is the setup of your PPC landing page.

Below you'll find 5 key PPC Landing Page Optimization Tips to take into consideration for capturing more leads from your company's paid search campaign.

1.  Make Your PPC Landing Page Headlines Keyword Relevant

Headlines are critical in keeping visitors from surfing away (bouncing off) your PPC landing pages. A page headlines (H1 tag) essentially is the first thing a visitor notices when they land on your PPC landing page. If the visitor doesn't see anything highly relevant to the query they searched, they'll likely bounce off your PPC landing page as quickly as they arrived.

Effective PPC landing page headlines should tell visitors that they came to the right place, whether they are looking for home products, ebooks, or pet shampoos. Conversion-oriented headlines will tell visitors that the action they took in clicking on your PPC ad will lead to the solutions they are looking for.

2. Utilize Keywords as You Would for Organic Search

The most important thing when discussing keyword optimization for both organic SEO marketing and PPC landing page optimization alike is NOT to get out of hand with your keyword usage. In short: Don't keyword stuff!

However, when a PPC landing page is optimized for certain keywords, the probability of a conversion are much higher. Keyword optimizing your PPC landing page can also have a direct impact on the overall Quality Score of your ad (Ad Relevancy) which means you will also be paying less for your clicks..

3. Write Conversion-Oriented Copy

Having conversion-oriented copy is essential for all facets of a PPC campaign. From having persuasive Ad Copy that garners clicks, to a relevant headline that keeps them on the page, the body copy of your PPC landing page should also be written in a convincing tone. A good SEO copywriter can not only write for the search engines, but also can convince users to convert with their use of persuasive copy.

Conversion-oriented content on PPC landing pages should center around what your product or service is and how it provides a solution to the user's problem or need. Content structure should be simple and concise. Providing visitors with readable, understandable, and well-researched content with a strong call to action.

4. Have an Eye Catching PPC Landing Page Design

PPC landing pages with simple bulleted lists are boring. Design your PPC landing pages to be eye catching, easy to navigate, and to drive conversions from website visitors.

5. Always Be Testing!

In SEO Marketing and in PPC landing page optimization, make sure you're always A/B testing.

A/B split testing is a process that is common in SEO marketing on both the paid and organic sides. In a nutshell, A/B testing provides two separate landing page layouts, on-page copy, calls to action, button colors, etc., in order to identify which is more effective for enticing conversions.

If your company is investing in a PPC campaign, make sure you're considering these five PPC Landing Page Optimization strategies to ensure your campaign is performing at its peak.