What You Need to Know About SEO

SEO-Pre-Production

Search engine optimization (SEO) is absolutely critical to modern marketing. With millions of new Web pages flooding the Internet every day, search engines are forced to sift through the clutter and develop a ranking system to prioritize websites. In the most basic sense, SEO is everything that helps your business get ranked higher and receive optimal exposure from these search engines. This is so important because your position on organic search engine results correlates with the number of leads generated by your website. For those who are new to SEO, this article will explain the most important factors that affect these rankings.

  1. Content — Compelling content is perhaps the most important and influential factor of search engine optimization. Every Web page you create should contain unique content that is fresh and relevant to your industry and keywords. Strong content is quickly picked up by the major search engines and pushed to the top of the search results. When writing your Web copy, see if you’ve answered the needs of your customers or clients. What kind of content are they looking for? Depending on your industry, you may offer guidebooks, downloads, a FAQ section, multimedia and other pages that are of value to your audience. It’s also important to ask yourself (even if your content meets the needs of your audience): What makes your website stand out from those of similar organizations? The more valuable and unique your website, the more traffic it will receive. For more information on the importance of content and how you can create better content, please see our article, “Why Quality Content Reigns Supreme.”
  1. Your Web Page Must be Crawlable — In order to build traffic, your website must allow search engines to easily “crawl,” or access and index, the information on your site. If your content cannot be crawled, it won’t be ranked or indexed by search engines. To ensure that your website is crawlable, use search engine-friendly CSS code, include a simple and clean navigation, use text links and incorporate a keyword-rich URL structure. Once your website has been fully optimized, crawled and indexed, it will be much easier to attract organic traffic from Google and other major search engines.
  1. On-page SEO — On-page SEO refers to all of the production requirements on the specific individual pages you are trying to rank. When developing your Web presence, make sure that every page is fully optimized since it’s possible that individual pages of your website will rank higher than your homepage. Start out with a strong, well-thought-out design, incorporate a frequent updating strategy and pick a domain name with potential keywords in it. It’s also important to name your individual Web pages using keywords. For example: www.yourcompany.com/keyword1-keyword2.html. Use proper programming and avoid “black hat” methods to prevent blacklisting by Google and other search engines. These black hat methods include repeating the keyword in your content too often, having duplicate websites and registering many domains and interlinking them all. For more in-depth information on on-page optimization tips and techniques, please see our article, “On-Page Optimization and Keywords.”
  1. Relevance — Your website and individual Web pages must be a close match to the term that is being searched. To boost your site’s relevance in the eyes of popular search engines, make sure that every title, header, link, graphic name and page on your website is somehow relevant and connected to your subject and desired keywords.
  1. Off-page SEO — Off-page SEO refers to the external aspects which attribute to rankings, or everything that happens off your website that builds traffic and leads to higher search engine ranking. The most important factors to consider are the external pages linking to your website and the level of authority these pages have. For example, submitting your website to popular Web directories and social bookmarking websites that have high authority will benefit your overall SEO. For more detailed information about off-page optimization and long-term strategies to improve your SEO, please read our article, “No, We Can’t Get You Those Results Overnight.” An important factor of off-page optimization is the level of authority given to your Web page. The more authority your Web page has, the more likely it will rank high for certain keywords. To maximize your authority, secure as many backlinks as possible from as many high-authority sites as possible. Since authority is an aspect of link-building, you can build authority on the Web by utilizing off-page optimization methods such as submitting your site to Web directories, using social bookmarking websites, blogging regularly and other techniques to engage users with your content and drive traffic and legitimate backlinks to your website.
  2. Link Building — Link building is critical to enhancing your SEO and attracting people to your website. Backlinks are so important to SEO because some major search engines, such as Google, will give more credit to websites that have a high number of quality backlinks. This doesn’t mean buying links or using link farms — backlinks should only be coming from credible sources. For example, backlinks from websites such as Google, YouTube and free submission websites are given more authority and link value. The four major factors that affect link value are:
    • Whether It Is a No-Follow or Do-Follow Link — Focus on obtaining do-follow links, which contain a special HTML Markup that notifies the major search engines to follow the destination inside the link. Always avoid link farms since these can actually hurt your search engine ranking.
    • The Authority of the Page Your Link Appears On — The higher the authority of the page your link appears on, the more SEO credit your backlink will hold.
    • The Number of Other Links on the Page Linking to You — The more links on one page, the less SEO credit each link possesses.
    • The Anchor Text of a Link — Links that have desired keywords in the anchor text (the clickable text in a hyperlink) are the most valuable to you, in terms of ranking for those keywords.

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.

Targeting Customers with Facebook Advertising

Last week, we discussed pay-per-click advertising on LinkedIn. With a similar model as LinkedIn, Facebook advertising also empowers advertisers to reach very specific demographics, while only paying for prospects that respond to a call to action, typically “Like our page” or “Visit my website.”

To begin an ad campaign, sign onto your personal or business account. On the left-hand side below, go to “Create Group…” You will see a button called “Ads” (you may need to click the “More…” link). Click that button and you will be taken to a blank report. Click the green “Create an Ad” button at the top right. Now you’re in business. The form to create a Facebook ad campaign is user-friendly. You can either choose to have your ad link to a website or directly to your fan page, where the clicker will automatically become a fan. Follow the prompts to create the ad’s copy and “look.” Then you can begin targeting your ad to certain groups of Facebook users.

As you begin to select a geographic region, age range and gender, your “Estimated Reach” will decrease. Next up is “Interests.” Targeting based on user interests is one of the aspects that differentiate Facebook from Google AdWords. This is a truly unique feature because advertisers can appeal to users that have self-selected into broad categories, or they can target by precise interests, which may include very specific terms, such as product names, locations, and activities. Another way Facebook advertising differentiates its product from other social networking advertisement opportunities is in the ability to target users based on their relationships to other users and groups. This also helps to ensure that your ad isn’t shown to those people who are already fans of your page. If an ad is shown to a user who has a friend that is a fan of your page, that friend’s name will show up at the bottom of the ad. This is considered a “social impression” and tends to result in more clicks than a regular impression. Relationship status, education and workplace are all available for targeting as well, with some exceptions.

A Facebook ad budget is limited to a daily amount or a total sum for the lifetime of the campaign. Clicks generally cost between $1 and $2 each and Facebook will send you an alert every time your credit card (which they will have on file) is charged. It is useful to check your campaign reports every few days to see how your ad is performing. If you are not spending your full budget, it could be because your bid is too low and your ad is not being shown to many people. If you would like more information or assistance on starting a Facebook ad campaign, feel free to contact us.

If you are interested in this or other advertising opportunities for your business or would like more information, contact us at (631) 207-1057 or email johnzaher@theprmg.com.

Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit – Newsday Special Section

Newsday is printing a special commemorative section to celebrate Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit. This will be a full-circulation section – home delivery and newsstands, printed on bright white paper. Newsday is printing the section in advance so it will be published the day after the 3,000th hit. Advertising rates are highly discounted and include color. In addition to the printed ads in the section, all advertisers will be entitled to a bonus web ad (estimated 250,000 impressions). When you submit the print ad, you may also submit a cube or a banner, which Newsday will then post for free on the sports section and/or Newsday.com. This special section will receive lots of immediate exposure when it is published and should have an extended shelf life.

The anticipated date for publication is anywhere between June 7 and June 17. Please contact us if your company is interested in placing an ad.