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Kelly Brown

is keyword research dead?

is keyword research dead?It used to be that including keywords in tags and content was a surefire way to improve your site’s visibility in search results. However, Google is once again changing the landscape of SEO with the idea of semantic search. Instead of targeting specific keywords, the powerful search engine is now attempting to discern the context of the words and phrases that users type in when they’re looking for something.

The Rise of Semantic Search
Semantics is the science of meaning in language, and that’s exactly what Google is using to deliver the most relevant results possible based not only on keywords but also on what those words mean.

Google doesn’t just recognize words when users are searching; it also looks for patterns and makes suggestions based on similar searches. Semantics takes this a step farther to deliver results based on what a user actually wants. That means you can’t simply drop keywords into the content you create and hope that they’ll get your page noticed. You have to take into account what people are looking for and how that influences their choice of search terms.

Keyword Research: Still Necessary?
If Google is looking at context rather than individual keywords and phrases, it may seem like keyword research is a waste of time. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Keyword research is not only still important; it may be more important than ever before. (more…)

Is Keyword Research Dead?
responsive website design

responsive website designIf you’re reading this blog on your smartphone or tablet, you’re not alone. Most of us are attached to our mobile devices and frequently use them to stay connected. Given the ubiquity of mobile devices, it’s kind of surprising that many business owners give little or no thought to ensuring that their sites are accessible via mobile. Like many business owners in Akron, Canton and the surrounding area, you may think a separate mobile website is the answer. A far better option, however, is one that’s built using responsive web design.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design, or RWD, refers to using a single set of code to build a site that renders correctly and optimally across all devices. Whether an RWD site is viewed on a massive desktop screen or a tiny smartphone screen, it will adjust to be as easy to view and navigate as possible. RWD sites dynamically adapt to all platforms by using CSS data to manipulate maximum and minimum pixel widths to suit various screen sizes. Instead of using separate URLs – one for your desktop site and one for your mobile site – you can use just one. It’s much simpler, more elegant, easier to maintain and, most importantly, it delivers an optimal user experience. (more…)

What is Responsive Web Design?
pizza has user intent

pizza has user intentWhat’s the User Intent of “Pizza”

Long focused on technical strategies and tactics (keywords, H1 tags, page links etc) for optimizing websites, search-engine optimization experts have begun to adopt a different approach – something called User Intent. Mind you, they aren’t doing this willingly.  It’s simply a reflection of Google’s constant desire to improve search results by delivering the most relevant information based on the search query a user enters.

Type the word ‘pizza’ into Google and the top results will be information about ordering pizza from pizza shops in your
local area.  Google has started to learn that the ‘user intent’ for the word pizza is to ORDER pizza from a local restaurant.

Rather than keep only to narrow concerns such as anchor-text placements, URL-construction tactics, tailored keyword profiles and measured keyword densities, a growing number of SEO mavens are heeding the call from Google and others for high-quality content that genuinely meets the expectations and needs of consumers. The twin hammer blows of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates merely reflect an ongoing algorithmic evolution from static keywords toward the liveliness of semantic awareness and direct relevance to the intentions of visitors. (more…)

SEO: What is User Intent?
Is Thomasnet an SEO solution for manufacturers?

Is Thomasnet an SEO solution for manufacturers?We provide online marketing services to a number of Northeast Ohio manufacturers. Last week I sat down with two separate manufacturing companies in the Canton area and both began by asking me questions about ThomasNet. I wasn’t surprised I get that a lot. What manufacturer doesn’t use the services of Thomas Register in some way, shape or form?

These conversations usually center around the following concerns:

  • The manufacturer is paying a lot of money but isn’t quite sure what they’re getting for it.
  • The results are marginal — if not completely unmeasurable.
  • The deliverables are unclear and inconsistent.
  • Their account rep seems to change every 2-3 months. So no one at Thomas has a deep understanding of the manufacturer’s business.
  • They’re afraid NOT to pay them because all their competitors are on ThomasNet.

Some History

Before Google transformed the way we search for goods and services online, the Thomas Register was one of the better marketing resources for companies in the manufacturing and industrial industry. Not surprisingly, Thomas Register took a major blow once Google started dominating the Internet, and the company had to switch gears. The result is ThomasNet, and, if you run a manufacturing or industrial business, odds are that you’re using the service to some extent. ThomasNet is a good start. But if ThomasNet forms the basis of your SEO efforts, your company will quickly lose ground to competitors embracing a comprehensive online marketing strategy.

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Is ThomasNet the SEO solution for manufacturers?
your website is never done

your website is never doneLike many business owners looking for web design help in Akron, Ohio, you may be eagerly awaiting the completion of your official website. While it will be a banner day, indeed, there’s one small caveat: Ideally, your site will never truly be “done.” These days, you can’t hope to remain competitive and enjoy high conversion rates with a static website. For optimal success, ongoing changes, updates and improvements are crucial.

Under Construction… Forever

Remember those tacky “under construction” GIFs that were plastered all over websites back in the day? They’ve gone the way of the do-do, but today’s best, most effective sites are perpetually under construction. Why can’t you just come up with an ideal website design, make your site go live and call it a day? A few reasons that it’s crucial to constantly update your site include:

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Your Website is Never ‘Done’
Why is Landing Page Optimization Important?

Why is Landing Page Optimization Important?Taking the time to design a landing page for your website can boost your business by drawing more customers and increasing conversion rates. Landing pages are made to attract a particular subset of people through search results or pay-per-click ads and entice them to complete a specific action.

Unlike a homepage which serves as a gateway to or an overview of the rest of your website, landing pages are designed to generate leads. They’re cleaner, more streamlined and serve to clearly communicate the benefits of a product, a service or taking some kind of action.

Generating Leads
A properly optimized landing page will include keywords relevant to your business, the search terms your target audience is likely to use to find you and the action you want them to take when they arrive. The goal is to attract customers from the demographic most likely to follow through on making contact with your company. With a landing page, you’re aiming for quick conversions, not just people showing up on your site and clicking around aimlessly.

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Why is Landing Page Optimization Important?
case studies for manufacturing companies

case studies for manufacturing companiesIn contrast to the diminishing returns of such traditional platforms as trade shows and print ads, online marketing efforts are paying impressive dividends for manufacturing companies in Akron, Canton and Cleveland. However, as someone who owns or runs a local manufacturing company, you might not really believe your potential customers use Google to search for your services.

The truth is that business owners, engineers, and project managers conduct online searches every day in order to find manufacturing outfits to hire. Often, they’ll start on their smartphone, do a couple quick searches and if — if — they find a possible solution they’ll move on to their desktop to continue their research on that website.

We’ve been able to help a wide range of Ohio manufacturers — including makers of specialty fabrics, injection moldings, and cabling — attract clients by crafting detailed search engine optimization (SEO) plans for them.

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Case Studies for Manufacturing Companies: Why They Work
Why is Local SEO Important

Why is Local SEO ImportantMore than 40 percent of online searches now focus on returning results for local companies, and Google, Bing, and Yahoo have changed their algorithms to address that need.

If you haven’t already noticed, search engines deliver search results based on the physical location of the person performing the search. If your intent is to buy something locally, then Google will more than likely return a listing of the names, addresses, phone numbers and websites  for local businesses providing what you want to buy.

Unfortunately, a search engine can only do that when the sites it scans contain the information needed to perform this pre-selection. The website that fails to optimize locally could find itself relegated to page 10 or worse of the search results: that is, if it shows up at all.

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Why is Local SEO Important?

what_is_kloutKlout uses information from multiple social media forums to determine your Klout Score, a figure that estimates how well your company connects with desirable customers in its online advertising and promotional efforts. Unlike traditional advertising, which is rapidly becoming ineffective at targeting modern consumers, digital promotions have become interactive, customer-service oriented and strategically essential for engaging modern audiences. Social media forums offer the most effective ways for companies to attune their advertising strategies to today’s digital and connected consumer.

What Determines a Company’s Klout Score?
Klout uses the major social media forums to determine your influence and assigns a number from 1–100 as your company’s Klout score. Influence is the ability to generate action from people such as sharing content, sending Tweets or comments and liking a site. Social networks that determine Klout scores include Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Klout, Tumbler, Wikipedia, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Blogger, Flickr and WordPress. Scores are cumulative instead of averages, so building links and adding networks increase your score.

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What is Klout?
do not duplicate content

do not duplicate contentIf search engines find duplicate content on your website, they might remove its pages from the results or downgrade them to lower positions. This can cause your company to lose valuable Web traffic. While it’s true that some identical text consists of plagiarized material, many firms produce duplicate content by accident.

Headlines

One common mistake is to put the same title or heading on many different Web pages. For instance, a music store’s website might use “Shop Online” as the title tag for every product page. In addition to triggering search engine penalties, this practice can make it harder for customers to find specific pages on your website.

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What is Duplicate Content?
seo misconceptions

seo misconceptionsOptimizing your webpage for search engines is only part of the equation when it comes to boosting local visibility. If you’re using broad SEO tactics in the hopes that it will bring in more local traffic, chances are you’re making the same mistakes that many companies make based on misconceptions about how local optimization works.

1) All SEO is the Same
Traditional SEO is about ranking as high as possible for a certain keyword or set of keywords. Local SEO focuses on being visible to a target audience in and around your location. An estimated 20 percent of searches on Google are local in nature, with people searching for specific business types close to where they live. If you’re not making location part of your SEO strategy, you’re missing out.

2) I Don’t Need to Worry About Mobile Users
To say that everybody is going mobile is no exaggeration. Half of all searches are being performed on mobile devices, and people who are on the go aren’t going to be looking for businesses halfway across the country. They want to know where they can find products and services that they need without having to go far. Neglecting to incorporate a mobile-friendly site layout such as responsive design shuts out this entire segment of potential customers.

3) Overall Site Activity is All That Matters
Analytics are useful for measuring how well keywords perform for your site, but when you’re doing local SEO, looking at global data won’t give you the information you need. Zero in on where people are coming from, how many mobile searches are being done and what local keywords are drawing the most traffic to understand how to proceed in your SEO campaign. (more…)

SEO: 9 Common Misconceptions

16062384_sThe businesses we work with in the Akron, Canton & North Canton area often find that their conventional marketing efforts are missing the mark. Local retailers may struggle to keep afloat in a competitive market, but many business owners are resistant to online marketing. Misconceptions, fear, and confusion about the use of online marketing may prompt business owners to ignore this type of advertising altogether.

Companies that do feel that they are maintaining an online presence may be falling short by failing to employ all of the techniques needed to form a complete online marketing campaign. Understanding the components of online marketing and how these methods work to benefit the company is the first step in successfully taking advantage of this advertising opportunity.

An Overview of Online Marketing

Online marketing is the use of a full range of online media as part of a marketing strategy. Many business owners believe that online marketing refers to the use of social media for marketing purposes, but this is just one of the outlets used to create a marketing strategy.

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What is Online Marketing?