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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in SEO
2446

Clients have asked, instead of hiring a sales person, should I put that money toward an online marketing or search engine optimization? As a company that supplies SEO, SMM and SEM services, I love to hear this and it’s a good strategy if managed correctly depending on your current staffing and market focus. I can’t say enough about having someone that breaths air and knows how to listen to a prospect because computers don’t listen, they just tell. But on the flip side, things are changing and if you’re not online, you are just local.b2ap3_thumbnail_ShakingHands.jpg

There is a lot of talk about how the generation coming does not know how to communicate with each other without sending a tweet, txt or other online communication. I watch teenagers and they can’t seem to keep their eyes or hands off their smart phone. What is so important on that screen? YO! – put it down and look up and talk to me. So I must be getting old that I want to talk to someone when making business decisions. But when I’m shopping online, leave me alone until I ask for help and stop trying to chat with me. However, these teenagers might be the ones looking for products or services in the future and you want to make sure your company shows up where they look.

The next generation is very transparent and tech savvy so having a solid online presence is critical unless you are not interested in reaching them as consumers. But I think there needs to be blending between humans and technology, and you need to understand your target market. Online sales or lead generation through SEO, SEM, SMM and digital media should be a part of every companies marketing plan. Based on your business model depends on the extent of that involvement and it should also support traditional marketing methods. Marketing campaigns should drive traffic to your website which should be designed to convert that prospect into a lead or sale. Leads require responding and follow up. It’s proven that conversion rates are higher when a qualified sales person does the follow up and closing.

So the answer: There is a blend and I see the internet as a referral source to your sales team. So depending on your sales team configuration, that will determine how much should be spent on Internet Marketing.

I also recommend you hold your SEO, SEM and SMM vendor to the same accountability as your sales team. In most cases, sales professionals’ success is based on activities and goals. Why don’t companies hold their Internet Marketing vendors to the same accountability? I think it’s because most Internet Marketing vendors don’t offer accountability and most companies are not viewing online resources at the same value. But what if you did and expected results? If you hire a lead generation or cold call company, they provide you detailed lists, call scripts and record keeping to justify their services. At Intrada, we have an aggressive online internet marketing campaign using Pay-Per-Clicks, landing pages, call to actions combined with traditional print advertising. We also focus on article generation like this one to build ranking on target keyword/key phrases for organic placement. But we also have a sales team that follows up on all leads and does traditional cold calling. It’s a balance and, depending on your business, your current staffing and target prospects, determines how you balance this decision.

So how do determine this balance? Intrada offers a Strategic Market Planning session designed to teach our team about our client and then identify the marketing goals. With the goals identified, a marketing plan can be created to deliver those goals and provide tracking, accountability and desired return on investment. Some of the questions asked and information gathered in the marketing planning session include:

  • History and Company Background
  • Service and/or Product Information
  • Current Staff and Positions
  • Current Market Reach / Target Market Reach
  • Current Market Saturation / Target Market Saturation
  • Current Competitor Challenges / Target Market Competitors
  • Current Sales, Budgets, Marketing Campaigns, Web Traffic and Online Visibility
  • Past Marketing Campaigns Efforts
  • What do you want to accomplish? Goals / Objectives / Growth

With this information, Intrada researches the current placement of a company on both online and physical placements. Intrada also identifies competitors, both physical and online, to establish a competitor analysis. Using tools available from search engines and other paid services, Intrada identifies the estimated search traffic available based on keywords and key phrases. After compiling this information, Intrada is able to provide a detailed marketing campaign designed to accomplish the goals, objectives and desired growth of a company using both digital media and traditional media.

So you want to find out if you should invest in SEO, SEM and SEM service instead of hiring another sales person? Contact an Internet Marketing company, establish some goals and get a quote. If you decide to move forward, hold the vendor accountable for hitting those goals and benefit from the largest referral network in the word.

If you would be interested in learning more about Intrada, give me a call or email me today.

David Steele, Partner / Webmaster

djsteele@intradatech.com
570-321-7370
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2851

The Monthly “Steal” by David Steele

The Monthly “Steal” is a bit of relevant technology information intertwined with personal thoughts, opinions and some real life experiences. It is written by David “Steele” and is free, hence a “steal” from a “Steele”.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m frustrated with most search engine optimization vendors who promise a huge sales pitch, but provide a weak strategy. When I ask companies how their SEO strategy is working, most don’t have specific results. I believe that is because what companies want or expect from an SEO vendor is not exactly what SEO is intended to provide or what SEO vendors are providing as part of their SEO service.

SEO WebSEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results - often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.

If SEO involves editing content, HTML and associated code to affect the visibility of a website on search engines unpaid results, once a website is optimized, what’s next? I believe that once a website is optimized, you need to focus on maintenance, driving traffic to increasing ranking. But, I know several companies that hired an SEO vendor that is offering monthly SEO services, but has not changed or added anything on their website in months. My question would be: what are they doing every month?

I think this is a perfect example of where both the customer and the vendor feel they on the same page but what the programmer is doing and what the customer thinks they are doing are actually two different things. We are in a period where SEO standards and accountability comparisons for SEO companies are not consistent or even existent. So how do you know you have the best vendor to handle your Search Engine Optimization?

RESULTS: Set specific goals to organic placement that you will test and measure on a monthly basis.

I find it amazing that companies will test and measure a single billboard but they will not measure their website at the same level. Websites can support multiple channel marketing campaigns that, when used correctly, can provide real time tracking and results. SEO combined with marketing can be complex and requires a continual effort to increase search engine ranking, ad placement and conversions. The primary goal of any SEO strategy is building your site ranking. And then with ranking comes increased paid and organic placements.

In SEO and SEM terms, rank (or ranking) refers to where a Web site or Web page is ranked within search engine results. For example, if your Web site is about microphones, when a person queries "microphones" in a search engine, your ranking indicates where in the search results your Web page is listed (e.g. within the top 5 results, on the first page, the 300th page and so on). A Web page rank within a search engine is also commonly called a position. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/rank.html

The advantage of a strategic SEO process combined with an Internet Marketing Campaign is that it allows for tracking of specific goals and return on investment. At Intrada, we use SEO, SEO Tactics and SEM as part of a larger Internet Marketing Campaign or Digital Media Campaign. Since search engines can change algorithms that at any time effect organic listings, you don’t want to put all your efforts on this single source, because it could change without any notice at anytime.

I break down SEO into 3 stages to help organize and track the process:

1. PLAN – Set optimization goals

We start by learning our client. What is their passion, what is important to them, their history, what they want to accomplish and what separates them from the competition. It’s very important not to lose sight of a company brand, image or message and work to blend a website presentation to both the human prospect and the search engine. Understanding what is important to the client and what makes up the client provides Intrada the necessary information to balance the user experience with what keyword or key phrases are needed to maximize the desired placement. This includes the company name and locations, but it also includes products and services. We then identify who already shows up under our keyword goals and compare current ranking, keyword count and quality to establish a plan to set goals that will be used for testing and measuring the success of the campaign.

2. OPTIMIZE - Optimize current website and content to maximize placement goals

Based on the Optimization Goals, content is reviewed and suggestions are made to increase keyword counts to support the Optimization Goals. Once the content is approved and updated, programmers edit the code to maximize tagging, indexing, navigation, linking, usage of friendly URLs and support of mobile friendly standards. Intrada follows recommendations from Google Webmaster, Schema.org and W3C for code standards and web accessibility.

3. MONITOR & MAINTENANCE – Switch to pushing content

Once a website has been optimized, you don’t keep optimizing the same content over and over. Intrada monitors for errors and applies tweaking based on reports from Google Webmaster tools and services like MOZ. But if you’re not adding additional content, continual optimization is not going to full fill the need. We call it the 80/20 plan. 20% percent of our time is used to review reports and apply tweaking but 80% of our time is be spent adding new content to support the weak keywords identified on the Optimization Goals. Search Engines want to see changes, fresh content, cross linking and activity.

Search Engines want to provide the best possible search result to their customer. You need to prove to the search engine that your website is that resource. So prove it. This generally combined with an SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or SMM (Social Media Management) campaign to develop content to support Optimization Goals and use Social Media to cross link with articles the client’s website.

Don’t get me wrong, this process is not the smoking SEO gun. But this is how Intrada manages websites SEO and Marketing Strategies to provide measurable results. By putting the processes into phases allows us to communicate with our clients and focus on specific goals, removing the confusion and providing accountability. I find most companies don’t know SEO was not working for years. Don’t miss opportunities – hold your SEO company accountable for results and set specific goals to organic placement that will be tested and measured on a monthly basis.

If you would be interested in learning more about Intrada, give me a call or email me today.

David Steele, Partner / Webmaster

djsteele@intradatech.com
570-321-7370
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Mission Statement

Intrada is built on the premise that the management of information technology for business is like legal advice or accounting. It is not a do-it-yourself job.

Smart business people who are not technically savvy need quality resources for reliable hardware, software, service, and support. Businesses rely on these vendors as trusted friends or partners in their business.

Intrada serves its clients as that trusted partner. We make sure that our clients have what they need to run their businesses, with maximum efficiency and reliability.

Many of our client's needs are mission critical. Intrada gives them the assurance that we will be there when they need us.