Recent Posts


Learn From Big Brands

I wanted to take a moment to share a brilliant PPC marketing strategy by Converse. Watch the video below to learn more:


Unfortunately, this strategy would not work well for many small to medium sized businesses due to resource and budget constraints. However, it is nice to see large brands focusing on more creative tactics such as this, instead of throwing money into their ads without much thought. The video also serves well to get your creative juices flowing.

Instead of using this tactic in PPC, you can use it to help boost traffic to your business blog. I often suggest that owners of business blogs use these types of long tail queries and questions when brainstorming ideas for their posts. If you can come up with an interesting, relevant post that addresses this query, you have just attracted a potential customer to your site.

For example, if you are a small business selling beauty products you may see searches like “How to get rid of under eye circles” suggested as a search term. Your post can not only help the reader, by explaining ways they can achieve this at home (gaining their trust) while also pointing them to products you have available that can help with this. By solving that searchers question – you have developed a relationship with the reader while getting your products and services noticed.

I also suggest developing a list of these types of queries and creating a “Common Questions” section within your website or blog. Don’t just sell products, sell products by delivering solutions to common issues. You can place these questions right in the side of your blog, or even as a drop down menu where customers are already searching.

Don’t forget to combine this with the power of social media. If you see a problem common to one you have answered on your website, send them a tweet with a link. Going back to our example of dark circles under your eyes, you can use Twitter to search for phrases similar to this and create a feed that you can follow.

What ideas have you used, or would you like to share?


What You Can Learn From JCPenny

There is a lot of news stirring around the NY Times article about JCPenny using blackhat SEO tactics to boost their SERPs.  There are so many posts and opinions on this right now that it is difficult to keep up with them all, so I won’t be adding my own to the mix.  Instead I would like to discuss how your company can avoid a situation like this.

I made a post awhile ago about what to keep in mind when trying to find a reputable SEO company to work with.  With the whole JC Penny debacle I’d like to revisit that post and add a few more key points that you should keep in mind when determining what company you will be hiring.

After checking out both JC Penny’s site and the SEO Company they hired – there were a a few of those “things that make you go hmmm” moments.  First, JC Penny’s site is not well optimized using “on-page” best practices so most (if not all) of the SEO work they hired out for, was being completed off site.  While off-site optimization is an important part of a whole optimization strategy – it should only be one part of that strategy.  On page optimization should be included to ensure your site is search engine friendly and meeting best practices.  If you hire an SEO that is only interested in getting links and not interested in your actual site, this should be a red flag.

When working with a company that will be planning out, and in charge of your link acquisition campaign, do not be afraid to ask them detailed questions about how their process works.  The SEO company should be willing to share with you exactly what they will be doing to get these links and in what ways it may both positively and negatively affect your site. For instance, are they going to focus on getting you links in directories, blogs, press releases, run of site links?  You need to know what type of link you are getting, and how they going to approach people for these links.  You need to know approximately how many new links will be acquired monthly, the type of sites these links will be on, and the anchor text they are going to use.  The SEO company should provide you with a monthly report detailing exactly what they did to provide you with those links and what site any links were successfully placed on.

In addition to the way they operate, take a look at their past and current clients.  Are they working with your direct competitors and still willing to take you on?  In JC Penny’s case, the SEO company they hired has a client list including GAP, Old Navy and more.   Where does your company stand against the other companies that are working with them to provide the same if not similar results?  Are they able and willing to provide valuable, long term optimization results, or will they simply switch back and forth between the highest bidder?

I really encourage you to do thorough research before putting any company in charge of your optimization campaign.  In the end, this is your brand and reputation on the line and it is up to you to ensure that is protected.


Google Instant Search: Effects on SEO & SEM

Today Google rolled out their new Instant Search feature, providing users with a quicker way to search for results online.  Throughout the day, blogs and twitter users have been buzzing about the new feature and what the implications this may have for the future of SEO and Adwords.  I have heard claims ranging from SEO is dead (again) to talk about how this may improve optimization – as well as a lot of theories about how this will impact Adwords advertisers.

Nobody can say for certain at this time what the change will bring, like any Google change this will be a wait and see game, and I am sure SEOs and SEMs will be watching their metrics and analytics data like a hawk over coming weeks.  However, while we can’t say for certain what the future holds, there are a few logical conclusions one can make – here are my two cents.


Your website is more than just a homepage

A common misconception with website owners, especially many small business owners is that they view their website as a store with one entrance which all visitors arrive from.  It’s important to note that not all visitors will arrive at your homepage, and this should be kept in mind when designing your site and developing a comprehensive SEO strategy

Optimization Tips:

Review your analytics data to determine which pages of your site have the most potential to contribute to a better conversion rate.

Through keyword research identify the most appropriate, strategic keywords for your site.  Look at keywords your target market is using as well as any trends.

Develop a keyword mapping strategy that ties in the keywords you identified, to specific pages in your site.  Try to optimize for 2 – at most 3 keywords per-page.  You should also consider building new pages for keywords you found that you do not have existing content for.


Title Tag Optimization Tips and Best Practices

I consider title tags optimization to be a very important element in any optimization campaign.  It is one of the more simple changes you can make to your site, and can have a noticeable impact relatively quickly.

In case you are a bit unfamiliar with SEO, the Title Tag is a tag that is placed within the <head> section of your website.  The contents of this tag is the text that is displayed in search results as well as at the top of your browser when you are viewing the site, or in your bookmarks.

An optimized title tag can not only lead to better search engine rankings, but can also improve traffic and conversions.  A descriptive and helpful title tag will result in more clicks from users, and stand out from the other search results.

Title Tag Optimization Tips

Unique Titles Throughout Site:
Make sure every page on your site has its own unique title tag, it should clearly show what that page is about.   If using the same title tag on multiple pages, this could result in SEO Cannibalization issues with Search Engines not being able to determine the best page to show for a query.