Building an online presence is crucial to the success of any contemporary business. From a website to social media, the modern business must create a solid web presence to keep up with today’s most common method of new business acquisition: the Internet.

Search engines are certainly the most popular method for potential new customers to find local businesses, and Google is chief among them. Millions of business owners now look to Google My Business, the analytics and social media software developed to influence Google search results, to attract and retain customers.

Google My Business aims to frequently improve the properties it offers to users, and has continued its usefulness with several recent developments, including new insights, accelerated mobile pages (AMPs), and an “explore interests” feature, among others.

Key features of the new insights tool tell a business owner whether his or her listing is being viewed through Google Search or Google Maps and whether customers view the listing by searching for the business name (specific search) or by a category or related keyword (general search). An additional update removes Google Plus statistics from the insights panels.

Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) optimize web content for mobile devices. They remove unnecessary resources, which in turn allows a mobile browser to provide a more fluid user experience. Google has announced that AMPs will be immigrating to Google’s main search results, thus increasing a company’s chances of acquiring organic traffic (versus traffic acquired from paid advertising).

Google’s projected “Explore Interests” feature would allow Google users to browse categories which appeal to them, such as music, shopping, food and drink, or sports. This feature can help drive more traffic to your company’s website by offering readers the relevant content in which they show interest.

A screenshot posted by the Android Police in its blog shows the test stage of the new feature:google my business adds explore interests feature

Search engines are an essential tool for businesses in today’s modern marketplace, and utilizing Google as a means to increase traffic, and therefore sales, is a good business practice. Although a well-rounded web presence is critical for the success of today’s business, but it can be overwhelming and sometimes difficult to navigate. The Public Relations and Marketing Group offers expert web development, marketing, advertising, public relations and social media management solutions to help your company compete in a 21st-century marketplace.  To learn more or for a free consultation, please contact us at 631-207-1057, or visit our website at www.theprmg.com.


Mobile-First Marketing

Last month’s Google Performance Summit in San Francisco, CA, revealed a number of changes to Google’s AdWords and Analytics tools. Some of the highlights of Google’s summit included the development of “Promoted Pins” in Google Maps, changes in ad bidding and a new appearance for ads in search results. All of these developments reveal that Google is moving forward into the mobile-first era while continuing to handle trillions of searches every year.

Google announced that its Maps service will soon include a new generation of localized ads, as well as “promoted pins” featuring local businesses. They note, “Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to location,” revealing that “people’s online and offline worlds are colliding.” Since locally-based mobile searches are growing, this is a tremendous opportunity for organizations to integrate their advertisements into the stream of their followers’ lives and to show them that they are located nearby.

Changes to AdWords bidding will now allow customization based on the platform of choice – desktop, tablet, or mobile. Again this change is driven by Google’s commitment to pursue a “mobile-first” approach to advertising. The increased customization capabilities for AdWords bidding will allow businesses to optimize their marketing for whichever platform drives the greatest response and, ultimately, to reach customers more effectively.

Finally, the “mobile-first” approach to advertising has led Google to reformat the way search results appear to favor mobile platforms. This follows Google’s decision earlier this spring to remove right-hand ads from desktop search results. Expanded-text ads and new responsiveness features in mobile displays further contribute to the versatility and appeal of Google’s world-leading ads program.

Google has published some very helpful information about how mobile searches connect customers to physical businesses. Of course, Google’s search and advertising capabilities have revolutionized the face of marketing in the digital age, and their shift toward a “mobile-first” approach means they are continuing to have influence in this area. The call for professionals in this ever-changing media environment is clear: as Google notes, “accounting for mobile and designing for mobile-first are two very different things.” Mobile advertising and search capabilities offer a promising way to bridge the gap between cyberspace and physical space, as the content users see online pushes them to visit physical locations.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) is a full-service public relations, marketing and digital advertising agency. A Certified Google Partner, PRMG is dedicated to helping organizations and professionals drive client outreach through strategies like mobile-first marketing. If you are interested in any of the services we offer, please contact us at info@thePRMG.com or 631-207-1057 for a free consultation.


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These days, it’s not enough to have a beautiful, user-friendly website. It’s also important to consider the site’s existence on, and interaction with, search engines. Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to initiate and funnel traffic to your website, and a well-performing website utilizes the right combination of on-page, on-site and off-site optimization strategies.

 

On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization ensures the optimal mix and frequency of well-researched keyword phrases. This typically consists of measuring relevancy across items such as: page title tags, meta descriptions, header (h1, h2) tags, image alt tags, link title attributes and paragraph text on a single web page. On-page optimization also focuses on including keyword phrases in the right locations of a web page. Search engines will prioritize the importance of a keyword phrase that’s physically higher up on the page and tagged correctly, and give that particular phrase more weight when categorizing and ranking your website in organic search results.

On-Site Optimization

On-site optimization focuses on the importance of relevancy across many pages of a website, or the entire site. An example of this would be a website for an accountant where all topics, including practice areas, blog pages, articles etc., focus on accounting-related issues, like taxation, filing, bookkeeping, or anything relevant to the business. Typical on-site optimization strategies include a rich link structure that connects keywords or phrases to other related pages that may more clearly define the specified keyword phrase. Ensuring that the anchor text used in a hyperlink is rich with keywords that clearly define what the subject of the destination page is about gives a search engine a better idea as to what the overall site’s theme and category are. A good example of this would be avoiding a phrase like “click here” as a means to link to another page.

Other on-site strategies would include having a current XML sitemap to help search engines crawl and identify the location of all of your website pages without missing any, using schema markup to better translate information about your organization to search engines (location, hours, type of business), identifying and removing duplicate content to avoid penalties, and using DRY (don’t repeat yourself), lean, compressed (minified) code so that your site loads quickly, giving visitors an optimal experience.

Off-Site Optimization

Off-site optimization techniques primarily focus on aspects that can increase the visibility of a website in organic search results by way of factors that are external to the website itself. This would include social media strategies set to drive traffic and inbound links, obtaining backlinks by use of credible online directories, and ensuring that URLs, address listings, and phone numbers are precise and accurate across all locations on the web. Also, writing compelling, original, quality content — like press releases or blogs that authoritative sites like news sites and thought-leading blogs may want to link to — can help increase your organic search rankings.

A healthy combination of on-page, on-site and off-site optimization is the best approach to increasing visibility for your website. The Public Relations and Marketing Group is both knowledgeable and experienced in creating successful optimization and marketing strategies for websites. Call now for a consultation: 631-207-1057 or email us at: info@theprmg.com.


Bloggers from the public relations and marketing groupBy now, most bloggers are familiar with the phrase “content is king,” and while there really is no substitute for good content, many bloggers are simply not getting the audience their content merits.  A lack of knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques is the main reason for low readership on well-written and frequently updated blogs. But even those who are not tech-savvy can optimize their blogs by improving the quality, images, tags and links (assuming you are using a user friendly website such as WordPress, Drupal or CMS). Continue reading


SEO Analysis

In today’s digital world, search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! have become powerful tools that play a large role in the success or failure of many companies. Ranking high in search engine results can help a business gain market share and strengthen their brand. When a business appears on the first page of search results for key terms, whether the consumer is actively searching for the business or not, it can directly result in leads and sales. The consumer will start to identify with the brand and build perceptions of the company just by seeing them at the top of the page. Having low results in search engine queries can hurt your business as much as good results can help. No matter the circumstances, all businesses should be on the first page for a certain term, such as their company or CEO’s name.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website so that it appears higher in search engine results. Improving such results can be a lengthy process that requires much effort. In order to improve results, one needs to pay close attention to key performance indicators associated with SEO. Tools such as Google Analytics allow developers of a website to track metrics vital to a website’s SEO success. However, none of these statistics will help if one does not truly understand them. Below are nine metrics and terms that one needs to know in order to improve their SEO: Continue reading


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Google+ and your business

Businesses tend to think about Google+ as just another social network, similar to Facebook or Twitter.  While this is basically true, Google+’s influence extends beyond social networking, and ignoring its presence can cause your business to fall behind.

So what exactly makes Google+ so valuable to businesses?

Google+ is guaranteed to have an effect on your search engine ranking

Google+ users receive a bump in Google search engine ranking simply by keeping an active Google+ account, providing fresh content and engaging with other users. A number of studies, such as the one done by Search Metrics*, show a powerful correlation between search rankings and the number of Google +1’s (equivalent to Facebook’s “Like” button).

Simply put, +1s will create a followed link back to your post, causing organic link building, which is an important part of any SEO strategy. In addition, +1s indicate to Google that your website has been vouched for by a third party, giving you another boost in the search ranking process.

Continue reading


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With over 343 million users, Google+ is rapidly changing the landscape of social media, web searching and search engine optimization (SEO). As Google continues to dominate the search engine market, Google+ profiles personalize search results through authorship and social searching techniques. By understanding how Google+ affects web searching through tools such as rel= “author” and Search plus Your World, you can use Google+ to become a leader in your industry and maximize your website’s potential.

Authorship: Rel=“author”
Web searchers use Google to find credible online sources. As a result, Google has emphasized authorship and given higher rankings to web authors with frequently updated, original content. With the rel=“author” tag, you can claim authorship of your content and build your own credibility by linking your Google+ profile to your website or blog posts in Google search results. If your website is properly tagged with rel=“author,” your name and Google+ profile picture will appear next to your website listing when it appears in Google’s search results. Through this, you put a name and a face to your website or blog posts, while also catching the attention of Google searchers. By clicking on your name or your picture, the user will be directed to your Google+ profile and have the option to “follow” you. Most importantly, rel=“author” establishes your credibility and if searchers have visited your website before or liked a post you have written, they are more likely to visit your site or blog again when they see your profile picture and name pop up next to the search entry. Depending on whether you are writing for your own blog, as part of a guest blog, or under a larger group, the ways in which to implement this authorship tag will differ.

Social Searching: Search plus Your World
Search plus Your World is a form of social searching that gives personalized results, based on the circles and contacts in your Google+ profile. Social searching incentivizes both businesses and individuals to remain active on Google+ and make as many connections as possible to maximize the possibility of placement in search results. For example, if you own an ice cream shop and are connected to Joe on Google+, then it is highly likely that your shop will appear in Joe’s Google search results for “ice cream shop.” Likewise, if your best friend, with whom you are connected on Google+, just posted pictures from her vacation to London on her profile, you may find her pictures popping up on Google if you do an image search for Big Ben or Buckingham Palace. Social searching levels the playing field of search engine optimization and places more emphasis on personal relationships than domain authority or other SEO techniques, so it is necessary to engage with followers on Google+ and continually develop new relationships to stay relevant. As of now, the Search plus Your World feature is strictly limited to Google+, and contacts from other social networks like Twitter and Facebook will not appear in the search results.

We predict that Google’s attempt to integrate social media with web searching will have an enormous impact on SEO and basic web searching. As Google continues to alter search algorithms to include social and personal features, it will focus on relationships through social media and increase the chances of appearing in search results without using other SEO strategies. Google may also tap into other social networks like Twitter and Facebook to develop even more personalized results. Overall, we recommend that you use Google+ to develop your online brand and credibility through authorship tags and forge new relationships through social searching to increase traffic to your website and blog posts.

If you have any questions or are interested in developing your social media and search engine optimization strategy, contact 1-855-PRMG-123 or info@theprmg.com.


google penguin 2.0In May, Google rolled out its newest search engine update, the infamous Penguin 2.0. Since 2011, Google has released several algorithm updates known as Google Panda and Google Penguin to ensure that the highest quality websites are ranked highest in Google’s search engine, and spammers are penalized. Continuing this trend, the goal of Penguin 2.0 has been to optimize the Google experience for searchers and ensure honesty and transparency in Search Engine Optimization.

The Google Panda and Google Penguin updates targeted “thin sites,” which have little original content and rely more on advertising and duplicate content to maintain a ranking in Google’s search engine. More specifically, the Penguin 2.0 update targets webspam, which usually occurs in the form of keyword stuffing and backlinks from disreputable websites rather than relevant and high-quality sources. Penguin 2.0 penalizes these “black hat practices” by lowering the websites’ rankings on Google and thus decreasing traffic to the sites. So far, Penguin 2.0 has had a significant impact on 2.3% of all English-language websites, and webmasters are taking notice.

Unlike the previous versions of Panda and Penguin, Penguin 2.0 changed Google’s algorithm rather than just refresh it, meaning that these are changes that are here to stay. Keyword stuffing, high volumes of spammy backlinks, and low-quality content are no longer effective methods of Search Engine Optimization and will, in fact, be punished. This means that SEO cannot take any shortcuts and must be built on quality, transparency, and honesty.

In order to follow these three principles, we recommend that you plan a long-term, rather than a short-term, approach to your Search Engine Optimization. Most importantly, make your site an authority in its area by creating and frequently updating high-quality content directed to your specific audience

To avoid sounding like webspam, don’t pad your website with the same keywords and phrases. Instead, use natural variations of words and phrases relevant to your site’s topic. If the content is original and of high quality, the keywords and audience will naturally come and the site will be higher in Google’s search results (blogs are a good way to continuously post high-quality new content and generate repeat visitors).

In regards to link-building, focus on quality rather than quantity, and ensure that the only backlinks to your site come from reputable sources, such as Google, YouTube, and social media sites.  This may require you to consistently update your anti-spam practices and follow relevant tech news.

Over time, these tools will help you build your online brand and engage with your audience in a direct and honest way. By taking this simple, transparent approach, you can increase your website’s ranking on Google, drive more traffic to your site, and avoid the wrath of Penguin 2.0.

If you are interested in creating a new website or optimizing an existing site, contact us at 1-855-PRMG-123 or email info@theprmg.com.


typing2

Anyone can create a blog but at the end of the day, the question is whether or not your blog is getting results and generating leads for your business. If the answer is no, you may be committing one of the following blogging sins. This article will provide an overview of five common mistakes businesses make when blogging, including not understanding their target audience, not providing any contact information, inconsistent updating, bad writing and not including multimedia.

For those who are new to blogging, read our article, “Should My Business Have a Blog?.”

  1. Not Understanding Your Target Audience — One of the most common blogging mistakes is when a business doesn’t understand the needs of their audience. The key to successful blogging is focusing every post on what your prospective customers or clients would find most valuable or interesting. Readers are looking for information that can directly benefit them. Businesses should place an emphasis on creating interesting, helpful and engaging content rather than pure self-promotion.For more information and tips on creating content, read our article, “Why Quality Content Reigns Supreme.”
  1. No Contact Information — Without clearly displayed contact information, your business can miss out on a number of leads and potential customers. Ensure your contact information is clearly displayed and include your business name, address, phone number and an email address. Also, don’t forget to complete the “About Page” of your blog with a well-written, concise description of your organization. This way, readers can easily find out more information about your business and contact you, should they have any questions.
  1. Inconsistency — Perhaps the biggest mistake that bloggers can make is inconsistency. If a reader stumbles upon your blog and sees that it hasn’t been updated in a month or two, they won’t be likely to give it any credibility. This is a sure way to lose potential leads. By establishing a publication schedule, whether it be twice a week or weekly, it’s far more likely that your blog will be successful. Updating your blog with strong, well-written posts on a consistent basis will drive high-quality traffic to your site.
  1. Bad Writing — If your blog is riddled with typos and bad grammar, it will reflect poorly on your business. Poorly written articles will turn off readers and discourage them from reading future entries or contacting your organization. Writing concisely, using spell-check and taking the time to proofread your writing can go a long way. Also, it’s essential to fully research any facts that you may not be sure about to prevent inaccurate or misleading information from being published.For tips on achieving flawless writing and grammar, read our articles, “Proofreading — The First in a Series of Three Articles,” “Write Like You Mean It: 5 Ways to Use Better Grammar” and “Words Mean Things: 5 Tips to Avoid Spelling Errors.”
  1. No Images or Videos — Whenever possible, include some kind of multimedia with your blog entries. Even if your content is strong, it’s important to include some kind of visual or audio element to supplement the text. Readers are very responsive to articles that include photos, videos, graphs, charts, podcasts and so on. Also, having an image or video helps draw people in and make the post more eye-catching.

For more information, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.


5 Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Business’ Keyword Strategy

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), keywords are extremely important. Keywords are the words or short phrases that Internet users type into a search engine when looking for a website, business, service or product. In regards to SEO, search engines use keywords when analyzing and prioritizing websites. By including strong keywords in the content of your website, the meta tags, ALT tags, your domain name and each individual page name, your search engine rankings will dramatically improve. Apart from SEO purposes, keywords should also be used in blog entries and your Web advertising campaigns. This article will explain how to choose keywords that will boost your business’ online visibility and bring you higher conversion rates.

  1. Know Your Target Audience — Before determining which keywords to use, you must know exactly what your target audience is most interested in. Your keywords should consist of words or phrases that potential customers are most likely to use when searching for your business, service or website. Ask yourself: what would my potential customers most likely enter into a search engine? Once you are familiar with your audience’s needs and mindset, you can begin compiling a list of potential keywords.
  2. Brainstorm — Come up with a list of potential words and phrases that your target audience might use to find your business online. The goal is to show up as high as possible in search engine results when people search using these keywords. Generate a list of words or short phrases that relate to what your website is trying to promote, sell or offer to your target audience. Try to stay away from very popular keywords because the more competition there is for a keyword, the harder it is to rank high for it. You can narrow your keyword phrases by adding a location or town. Also, rather than repeating the same keyword over and over again in your Web copy, it’s best to use the keyword’s synonyms. This way, your content will be more interesting for readers and Google won’t mark you as a keyword abuser.
  3. Use Keyword Tools — There are plenty of tools on the Web that will help you determine the monthly activity or popularity of potential keywords. For example, try using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. This useful tool can help you get keyword ideas for your overall list and, more specifically, for your Web advertising campaigns. Through this keyword tool, you can find keywords based on your website’s content and also identify negative keywords. Here are several other keyword tools available on the Web:
  4. Keep an Eye on Your Competition — By taking a look at your competitors’ meta tags, you can see which keywords they are using and get an idea of which words and phrases are most common in your industry. By using programs such as Web CEO, you can measure how well you, and your competitors, come up in search engines and, essentially, how easily potential customers are able to find your website. You can also try entering one of your desired keywords into a popular search engine to see which websites show up the highest for this word. While you are aiming for keywords that your target audience is most likely to use, you also want keywords that don’t have as much competition. If you can find a balance of strong keywords and less competition, you will have a better conversion rate.
  5. Adapt When Necessary — Over time, keep track of words and search phrases to determine which keywords you should keep and which you should remove. If you find that some of these words are no longer relevant, opt for different ones and monitor what works and what doesn’t.

For more information on keywords, please read our article, “On-Page Optimization and Keywords.” You can also contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.