Search Engine Optimization & Marketing

Build it (right), and they will come.

A lot has changed with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) over the years, but two things remain constant:

  1. We all want to improve the volume and quality of our website traffic
  2. There is no 'silver bullet' to automatically dominate search results

Although each situation is different, here are a few SEO tips that apply across the board:

Write for people first, not SEO algorithms

Too frequently, people write website content trying to figure out what words and phrases will 'score the most points' with search engines.  Instead, focus on writing content that readers will find useful, interesting, informative and/or entertaining.  If you do, readers will interact with you via social media, buy your product and/or talk about your company and/or products with other people to help build traffic to your site. Coincidentally, copy that is written for humans first typically will also score well with search engines. 

Use long keywords and phrases

To improve search results, optimize your site utilizing longer phrases. The shorter or more general the phrase, the more competition there is and if you succeed in getting traffic for a general term, it is probably not quality visits. For example, 'garden' 

Plants

Native Plants

North Carolina Native Plants - 

Native Flowering Shrubs in North Carolina - 

(Slow) Speed Kills

Starting in 2010, Google started factoring in how quickly a page finishing loading into their search ranking. Since then, it has only become more important. We spend a lot of time convincing our customers not to display every product or plant they sell on a particular page. Similarly, having a lot of complicated calculations to determine which products to show will also slow down the page load. If your pages are not loading quickly, two or more of four things will happen, and they're all bad. 

  1. Your site will be penalized by search engines and will not perform as well in search results.
  2. The visitor will leave your site straight away
  3. The visitor sill suffer through for a bit and then leave and not come back
  4. The visitor will complain about your site either via Social Media or in the real-world or both!

Also, each page of your site will load at different speeds due to many factors including programming, content, image size, etc. There are a number of free testing tools you can use to test page load speeds, for  example:

their Clarity-designed web site.  We offer one-time 'tune-ups' to help general traffic as well as detailed optimization for specific products and services. For best results, we recommend an on-going optimization plan as the competitive and technological landscape is constantly changing.

'Pay-per-click' (PPC) marketing campaigns can be developed and managed to compliment your SEO.

We offer EXISTING customers three general options:

  • Quick Tune Up: We will focus on the home page and one key product or service. This typically cost anywhere from $250 to $600.
  • Full Overhaul: A much more detailed one-time website overhaul. This fee will vary dramatically depending on the number of products and services you would like to have your site optimized for, so we will review your site and discuss your goals and then develop a custom optimization proposal for you.
  • Routine Maintenance: We will review your site statistics, competition and more and will then tweak your site based on those findings. Depending on the size of your site and SEO goals, the routine maintenance will typically be from 1 to 5 hours per month and is billable at $150/hour.

Another important factor to good search results is site ‘popularity’ which equates to the number of quality[1] sites that link to your site. 

A good way to get additional links to your site is to issue press releases.  In particular, sending press releases electronically so they can be automatically posted to news websites will help your site’s popularity.  We offer ‘one-off’ press releases writing or we can add regular press releases to our Routine Maintenance plan. 

Please note, we only perform SEO services for our web customers.

If you're interested in our service, please contact us.


[1] A link from a site like CNN.com is worth much, much more than a link from BobsDonuts.com.