Blog Archive

Archive for July, 2011

What Are Anchor Text Links, and Why Are They Important for SEO?

One of the most important factors in SEO is the creation of backlinks, and creating backlinks the right way can significantly improve your search engine rankings.  A backlink is a link to your website that’s placed on a different website.  Here’s an example of a backlink on our blog that goes to web design firm LegalWebExperts.com:

http://www.legalwebexperts.com

Google uses backlinks to help decide how high your site should rank.  The more backlinks leading to LegalWebExperts.com exist on outside webpages, the higher the site will rank in Google.  However, when we use live URL addresses as links (as above), Google still isn’t sure what that link is about.  What kind of content is on the page?  What search keywords would it make sense to connect this page to?

We can tell Google what’s on the page and exactly when to present it in search results by using anchor text links.  An anchor text link is a hyperlinked word or keyword phrase.  For example, in the sentence “Legal Web Experts provides legal website design and custom development solutions,” legal website design is an anchor text link.

Anchor text does more than give human visitors an idea of what’s on the page that you’re linking to.  It tells Google that this page is relevant to legal website design, and this pushes it ahead of other Google-ranked sites without anchor text links for the keyword “legal website design.”  When people search this keyword in the future, the Legal Web Experts site will come up higher in the rankings.  For this reason, it’s important not to place backlinks with anchor text like “Click Here” or “Next Page.”  These anchor text links may be useful to your human audience, but a high Google ranking on the keyword “click here” does little to help your SEO campaign.

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Four Reasons You Can’t Ignore Branding

If you think that branding your company is optional, think again.

Branding is an absolute necessity in any business marketing campaign.  Having a brand doesn’t just help your clients (and potential clients) remember your company’s name and services – by utilizing effective branding techniques, your clients will come to form a comfortable association between you and your product, and they’ll be more likely to call upon your services in the future.  Branding helps build a dependable and trustworthy identity for your company in an increasingly competitive market.

1. Branding and Social Media are a key part of business.  Over the past several years, the importance of social media has dramatically increased – taking the importance of branding with it.  Studies show that social media has an increasing influence on a user’s likelihood of both purchasing and recommending your product, so it’s important to build a strong presence for your company on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Social media is interactive, meaning that site members can discuss your company’s products and services in real time and even interact with you.  It’s important to have an active presence online, and buy embracing social media you can make it work for you in ways unachievable through any other platform.  You’ll be able to address negative comments and posts about your business before other users see them, and since feedback like this will be present whether you use social media or not, taking advantage of the sites helps with damage control as well as company branding.

2. Your blog will be much more successful when it’s attached to a brand.  In terms of both SEO and human fan-bases, having a blog is essential to internet marketing success.  By branding your company, you’re establishing your blog as a reputable source of information and building your business’ reputation.  Your blog, in turn, helps build and strengthen your brand.  By blogging and sharing your posts on social media, you’re forming a unique and memorable identity for your business and helping your clients interact with you online.

3. Branding helps your business to stand out in a crowd.  There are likely many other companies offering similar products and services, and your clients have a number of options.  They choose you because your company offers something special – and it’s important that your marketing campaign reflects that.  By branding your business with unique graphic design, a memorable name, and a smart message, you’ll ensure that your company forms a unique identity for itself and that your potential customers always remember who you are.

4. Your brand will help support your business even if things change.  Your branding can be tailored to your needs, and it can stay with you even if your company is changing.  New management, mergers, new locations, or any other major alterations to your business pose no problem when it comes to reaching out to your client base if your company’s brand is strong and recognizable.  Moreover, if you work independently and brand yourself, your personal brand with stay with you wherever new business opportunities lead.

How to Set Up Google Places for Your Business

Setting up an account on an easy and well-known map program like Google Places can have an enormous benefit for your business.  It not only ensures that no client will have trouble finding you; it provides a friendly and recognizable feature that will make your business seem more approachable to online visitors.

  1. Check to see whether your business is listed by Google.  First, type your business’ phone number into Google Maps.  If your business isn’t listed, create a new listing for it – if it is listed, you’ll need to claim the listing as the business owner in order to use it for Google Maps.
  2. Claim the listing.  Log in to Google Places at google.com/places with your business’ Google account (create one if you don’t have one yet).  You’ll be directed through the process of filling out all the necessary information to claim your business online.  Be sure to fill out all the relevant information so that the listing is complete.
  3. Watch out for your PIN.  You will be sent a PIN number by phone or on a postcard in the mail.  Input this number online in your account to confirm the listing.
  4. Use all five categories.  For SEO purposes, it’s beneficial to use all five of the business categories that Google offers in your Places account.  Even though just one is required, select the five most relevant categories.
  5. Add relevant pictures and keywords.  Don’t overflow the listing with excess information that will later be discarded by Google.  Title your pictures with keywords relevant to your business’ SEO campaign.

Study Shows Having a Social Media Profile Can Make Followers More Likely to Buy Your Product

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter aren’t just for fun anymore.  A recent study by market research firms Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies discovered a strong link between social media buzz and actual recommendation and purchase products and services.  The study found that:

  • 60% of your fans on Facebook and 79% of your Twitter followers are more likely to recommend your product since joining your social media buzz
  • 51% of your fans on Facebook and 67% of your Twitter followers are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow on social media

The social media information explosion has even extended to the medical information sector – another study reports that 41% of Americans report using social media to find medical information.  Social media is different because it’s totally interactive.  Your customers can communicate directly with you and with each other, leave feedback, and share information and resources.  What’s more, they see your page on a site that they visit daily – serving as a constant reminder of your business.

It’s important, however, to monitor your social media accounts constantly and with an eye for marketing.  Social media packages from internet marketing agency New Wave Marketing help companies seamlessly integrate their social media accounts and their websites with icon links, regular content updates, relevant posts, and a network of social media users ready to join your followers and get your social media presence off the ground.

Article Title Secrets: 7 Ways to Attract More Readers

The key to a successful article is in the title. Your article can come up in search results a thousand times but mean nothing if your readers don’t click on it. Professional writers for an internet marketing agency specialize in creating the perfect title to draw readers in. Here are 7 secrets that they use:

 

  1. Appeal to humans as well as Google. One of the biggest pitfalls of title writing is that people try to craft titles solely around their keywords for the purpose of Google finding them. Don’t forget that ultimately people, not search engines, are your customers and appealing to them is just as important as being found by the Google robots. Go to major news websites and check out their titles and keywords and how they incorporate them into clever titles. Take this title example for a medical web development company that sells electronic medical records. The first title, “Electronic Medical Records Tips for Your Practice” is standard and it incorporates the keyword appropriately. However, it is much less likely to be clicked than something that appeals to he human reader such as: “How Electronic Medical Records Can Revive Your Practice ”.
  2. Incorporate your keyword into the first 60 characters of the title. When some person sitting at their computer types in the keyword “legal web design” into the Google search bar the Google-bot automatically searches for the most relevant articles by sorting through article titles. Google sees articles that use the word “legal web design” in the first 60 characters as more relevant than those who mention “legal web design” at the end. Also, many blog platforms cut off titles after a certain number of characters so if your keyword is at the end of a long title it may not be seen by Google at all.
  3. Offer something to your readers. Readers searching for information online are looking to empower themselves knowledge about something. Promise them this information in return for reading your article. For example: “How You Can Cure the Common Cold in 2 Days” is a offering something in return as opposed to “Tips for the Common Cold”
  4. Use lists (in odd numbers). The most-read articles on the internet are lists such as “The Top 5 ways that ______”. Also, studies show that lists that contain odd numbers get 20% more clicks than those that contain even numbers.
  5. Limit length to 8 words. Run-on titles will loose your reader’s interests and get cut-off by the Google robot. However, short titles typically don’t give enough information. Studies show that 8 words is the best length for a clickable title.
  6. Utilize sub-titles. Readers love sub-titles and Google knows it – and searchers for it. When it comes to sorting through massive amounts of information on the internet people prefer to skim through bullets and sections rather than long paragraphs. By indicating a subtitle within the title readers automatically get the impression that the information inside the article will be easily read. So, you can help increase your amount of clicks by using a semicolon (:) or a dash (-) to indicate that there is easily digestible information waiting in your article.
  7. Avoid gimmicky lures. The use of excessive exclamation points, ALL CAPS or words like “FREE!!!” are a big turn off for readers and mean nothing to help Google direct readers to your article. Stick to solid titles that promises high-quality content in return for a reader’s click into your article.

 

5 Mistakes You’ll Make in Your Internet Marketing Campaign

Having a well-designed and professional-looking website will boost your business and help your company to be taken more seriously in today’s hi-tech world.  But simply setting up a website may not be enough to attract new customers and increase ROI – and tired advertising methods like print and TV ads don’t address the fact that most people are searching for products and services online.

A new website is a great opportunity to take advantage of internet marketing techniques.  Internet marketing is growing because it’s effective and efficient, but it’s easy to make mistakes when choosing the best marketing methods for your business.  Avoid the top five critical errors and you’ll enjoy a successful and profitable online marketing campaign.

  1. Brand your business.  Branding helps create a place for you in your field, and by making associations between your services and certain colors, logos, images, etc, your potential clients will come to associate you as an authority.  Graphic design services in conjunction with web design can help make a brand image that you’re comfortable with.  Branding your business ensures that your audience will remember you and your company won’t fade into the background.
  2. Don’t ignore your clientele.  Remember that your business exists because there’s a demand for it among your clients.  While you may have a clear vision for your company and marketing campaign, pay attention to what exactly your clients are looking for and keep an open mind to changes and new solutions.  Most importantly, be sure to look after your client base and take time to attend to their feedback and suggestions.
  3. Don’t waste time with print phone books and flyers.  When was the last time you checked the phone book for services or information?  And don’t flyers papered all over town look cheesy and outdated?  The audience for print marketing materials is growing smaller and smaller as internet use increases.  Internet marketing reaches far more people and offers a much greater ROI.
  4. Start an SEO campaign.  SEO, or search engine optimization, is a marketing method that identifies important search terms (such as “vet in nyc” or “tree removal pittsburgh”) and helps move your website up to the first page of Google, Yahoo, and Bing results for those words.  Because anyone who looks for information online uses a search engine (and research shows that 95% of searchers don’t click past the first page of results), it’s essential to move your website up in the rankings.  SEO has a significantly higher ROI than pay-per-click campaigns or banner advertising, and building a strong permanent presence for your site in Google will simultaneously build a loyal client following.
  5. Have quality content ready for the site.  Your site and blog need high-quality and relevant content in order to attract clients and get a good pickup in the search engines.  Well-written and carefully edited content helps grab your clients’ attention by clearly expressing your message and services, and by sounding as smart as you are you’ll earn their respect.  Content can be the difference between a pretty website and a high-converting marketing tool.