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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

#1 in SEO Services

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Search engine optimization (SEO) used to be a mystery. At DESIGNA we work tirelessly to take the mystery out of SEO. We monitor campaigns, and performance of organic content, and the behavior of your website’s visitors. We deliver the world’s leading technologies that impact organic rank in a positive way, to improve position, CTR (clickthrough rate), conversion rate & much more!

DESIGNA uses advanced methods including but not limited to sitemap submission, index crawl requests, structured data, rich cards, and more. We pair that with AdWords, and other channels for optimal impact. Multi-channel approaches are the most effective and an industry consensus best practice.

Leaders in search engine optimization

A mobile first approach is paramount for success in search engine optimization (SEO). It’s no longer the trend, our clients have seen 30% to 50% (sometimes more) of their visitors traffic coming from tablet, and mobile devices! Did you know that Google has separate scoring for both your desktop and mobile index? That’s why we’ve devoted the past five years into making a responsive website designs that captivates and converts your visitors no matter what device they are on! The first step is putting your best foot forward with any SEO strategy is with a responsive web design.

Our core services begin with conceptualizing a responsive website design using the latest in HTML/CSS & JavaScript for a superior visitor experience!

So what exactly is SEO?

Utilization of technology.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a combination of utilizing best practices in technology, meta and rich snippet / structured data submissions, sitemaps, along with having original content for people who searching the keywords related to your businesses products or services. We must follow best practices on  how we format our pages for all devices (desktop/tablet/mobile). It’s paramount to use the best technology possible for PageSpeed when optimizing because visitors don’t have patience for slow loading pages or irrelevant material.

Content and keywords.

It’s imperative that content is unique and that your voice is original or one of a kind. DESIGNA will help you with all the above search engine optimization starting for as little as $199/mo for small business plans, scaling up to larger business demands depending on your needs.

Free SEO analysis & consultation

Call (323) 639-3285 for a complementary SEO analysis, it’s free, and there’s no obligations. We want to make sure your unique needs are met, and that any questions you have are answered. Our SEO plans are tailored to your businesses specific goals. Why try and do search engine optimization by yourself when you can rely on professional with over ten years experience in website optimizations.

Named a Google Partner

DESIGNA was selected as a Google Partner in 2013. Our Founder Andrew Rulnick was chosen as one of Google’s first Google Partner Community Ambassadors, and Small Business Adviser.

Google Webmaster Tools

Making a great website that’s exceptionally well search engine optimized is no easy task! There are many tools and nuances needed to track trends, and the overall performance of your SEO initiatives or campaigns. DESIGNA will create you develop a cohesive strategy and plan following the best practices according to Google Webmasters. We use data and information collected directly from the source, Google Inc. that are consistently peer reviewed by other leading website & SEO professionals. DESIGNA will monitor trends using the Google Webmaster Tools data API. Our service takes care of the complexities of managing your website in Google Search Console so you know your business has every opportunity to find your products or services!

Important tips related to search engine optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

#1 in SEO Services Schedule a free consultation START NOW Search engine optimization (SEO) used to be a mystery. At DESIGNA we work tirelessly to take the mystery out of SEO. We monitor campaigns, and performance of organic content, and the behavior of your website’s visitors. We deliver the world’s

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PageSpeed Insights Analysis and Test Results
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PageSpeed Matters

Welcome to my next entry on the basics of SEO. These are the industry inside tips and tricks that will take your organic rank to the next level! Follow my blog and get the basics, which in my opinion are the most important factors when working to improve your position

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Don't clone your content
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Avoid Duplicate Content

This week, in part two of ten in my lessons on the basics of SEO, we’re going to review the problems of repetitive or duplicate content and ways to avoid this problem. Let’s face it, it’s never easy to come up with new ideas! If you find yourself grasping at straws

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Panda 4.0 and SEO

Are you ready for this? Panda 4.0 released as announced by @mattcutts on May 20th 2014. “Google is rolling out our Panda 4.0 update starting today.” — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 20, 2014 What does this mean for the world of SEO?  Well does Matt Cutts gives us a good

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build natural backlinks
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What is SEO in 2017? Get Free SEO Tips and Advice!

This article was originally written by me in 2014. I’m in the process of updating to meet the current standards and best practices in 2017. In short, I believe many of the best practices remain the same, with the addition of compute, web service resource utilization, and as always good

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SEO Title and Description Meta Tags
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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #10 – Titles & Description Meta Tags

Meta tags are often thought to be a thing of the past.  Not so much really, title and description meta tags are probably more important than ever before!  Clickthrough rate (CTR) is important for increasing your organic position as it’s an indication of relevance and quality (just like AdWords CTR

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build natural backlinks
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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #9 – Learn About Building Natural Backlinks

Building natural backlinks is important because it’s what causes PageRank to flow freely from one page to the next.  It’s important that Google+, Facebook, twitter and Linkedin backlink to your company’s website.  All roads should lead back to your business, try to make it personal.  Balance personal profile images with

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SEO Tips in 2014 - Blog Frequently Using WordPress
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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #8 – Blog With Frequency.

If you’re not blogging at least once every two weeks, (in a Brooklyn accent) forget about it…  The frequency and quality of your blog updates still matters, you can see benefits and gains when you blog within one to two days – if you don’t then you’re doing something incorrectly.  You’re

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How You Submit a Sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools (top right)
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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #7 – Optimize and Submit Your Sitemap

If you’re not creating sitemap and submitting using Google Webmaster Tools, good luck!  This is a simple way to ensure that your most important pages have a better chance of ranking on Google and counting toward your overall authorship ranking.  See more on authorship profiles in tip #4. There’s a lot

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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #5 – Build #SocialMedia Following

This is going to be the recurring theme in 2014 –  “personalized search” is influenced by the people you and other people in your circles follow.  Building a genuine social media following online isn’t easy, I find that content typically has to be 10% about your company, product or services

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Setup Author Profile in WordPress for SEO
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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #4 – Setup Author Profiles

If someone follows you, it’s much more probably that they are going to see content that has your authorship profile associated with it.  It’s a factor of new personalized search results by Google. WordPress and Blogger are excellent ways to do this easily.  From WordPress admin, you login into your

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Engage with your followers on social media.
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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #3 – Engage With Followers

Social media on Twitter, facebook and Google+ isn’t just about building following, it’s about meaningful conversations!  Yes following is important, but if you’re not connecting one to one and still trying to connect one to many then you’re doing it wrong in my opinion.  Thank people for following you whenever

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Define a Value to Your Readers
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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #2 – Provide Value

Are you just publishing articles in hopes that you will rank on the first page of Google or are you actually publishing useful information that provide greater value to your visitors? If content provides little to no benefit to your reader, the odds of them considering useful, sharing it or following

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Using Google Webmaster Tools - Position Change Reports
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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #1 – Measure Success

Are you measuring your position change using the percent change reports in Google Webmaster Tools? If not you’re missing the boat, big time! Try and use these to show clients that your work is providing value, if you’re still struggling at increasing position there may be on-site factors or poor

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What is SEO? Learn More With DESIGNA.

People ask us all the time, “What is SEO?”  SEO stands for search engine optimization and its the process of organizing your website and it’s content so that it’s more accessible by people and major search engines,such as Google.  The process typically involves writing specific content about a subject (such

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DESIGNA for SEO Services and Google PageRank Experts
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SEO Tip Number One – Nobody’s Perfect #Imperfect #SEO

It’s come to our attention from some of DESIGNA’s adoring competitors (if you would even call them that) commented that we don’t rank PageRank on 1) highly competitive terms and 2) our brand name “DESIGNA”.  So we sat down and decided it was time to write a series of tips

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search engine optimize (SEO) "to infinity and beyond".
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SEO to Infinity and Beyond!

DESIGNA hit a tipping point today in our massive overhaul of our website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and we’re only tipping in “to infinity and beyond”.  Even after an exhaustive list of completely obsessive compulsive overhauls (including but not limited to) The layout of our content and how it displays

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Meet our founder

*Per our agreements with Facebook, Inc. and Google, Inc. we’re required to disclose that individual results may vary. We are allowed to mention we have over a 95% success rate working with businesses of all sizes. Our staff is happy to go over case studies and show you examples of reports, we have exceptional references! Our job is to follow best practices in marketing, that’s what we do. We are not owned or operated by either company, our company works as an independent contractor for our customers. It’s also important to us you’re aware of our terms, conditions and privacy policy.

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PageSpeed Matters

PageSpeed Insights Analysis and Test Results

Welcome to my next entry on the basics of SEO. These are the industry inside tips and tricks that will take your organic rank to the next level! Follow my blog and get the basics, which in my opinion are the most important factors when working to improve your position in the search engine results page (SERP). In this lesson we’re going to the heart of your pages, it’s code. Now Google had a hosted service that was available for the public to use called Google PageSpeed, but that PageSpeed Service hosted by Google is being discontinued and now you need to work with an engineer, hosting company or CDN that will continue to work with this product. Thankfully I’ve been working with this service for the past three years, perfecting how our customers can benefit from the fantastic code advancements that PageSpeed provides at runtime.

The long and short of this SEO basic lesson is this, your code and how you program matters. The way your server operates and delivers content will influence how your website ranks organically. It’s becoming a more important part of search engine optimization every year. Businesses used to be able to run on super inexpensive/cheap hosting plans for $4 or $6 a month but these plans has limitations and Google can tell if your host is limiting the number of concurrent connections to pages or databases. Google can also determine how fast your pages load due to coding, render blocking issues or your overall server speed. You can even test your website with Google’s PageSpeed Insights to determine what the strengths and weaknesses of your website are. Depending on what your website is made with and what page(s) you’re testing, you should at least be able to get close to 70. If you’re using a CDN or Google PageSpeed service like the one we run for customers, you should be able to get close to or exceed a score of 80. Anything higher than that is good but then again that could be an indication that your website is lacking important features or functionality.

In summary, your “PageSpeed” matters. Load times and code optimizations are becoming more important every year. It’s not just enough to update your website, hosting or source code every three to five years like you used to. Website and hosting technology should be fluid and adaptive. Yes, this will be a more expensive proposition but if you’re working with a good consultant or company, they should be taking care of this and warranting their work against these change. If no you should be giving us call, we manage dedicated servers and host PageSpeed as a service starting at $150/mo but it includes updates to code standards, or if Google announces a new development in how they rank websites, we update your properties. It’s a small price to pay to know that your work is done following best practices and updated when the standards change again, which you know they will.

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Avoid Duplicate Content

Don't clone your content

This week, in part two of ten in my lessons on the basics of SEO, we’re going to review the problems of repetitive or duplicate content and ways to avoid this problem. Let’s face it, it’s never easy to come up with new ideas! If you find yourself grasping at straws it’s really easy to accidentally get caught in a loop and repeat ideas or content. It’s fine if there’s an occasional overlap but you can’t continue to write about the same thing over and over without risk of an automated or manual penalty. So how do you avoid the pitfall of duplicate content? My advice is to review what’s popular in your Google Webmaster Tools report. Identify keywords that have high impression but lower position and consider creating a series around that topic. Another trick I like to use is to review your previous posts and pages to identify ideas that you may not have had enough time or room in your posts to include. Another problem we all run into now and again is trying to incorporate older ideas of content into new posts. In my opinion this is a bad idea because your regular readers (and therefore search engines) are likely to pick up on this trend. It’s going to turn off your audience and make them not want to continue reading articles, especially if they are intended to be part of a series or additional information on a particular topic. For example, in this series on SEO basics I’m creating a new post on a topic within the scope of the series theme but it’s important that I haven’t covered the ideas presented already or that I haven’t done it already in the past as part of a different series. Now granted, this is easier said than done because as time passes you get more and more content and then you’re struggling to come up with the next post. So another idea I like to use to come up with original content is to review what’s trending or news in your industry and provide your perspective on it. For example, Google recently announced that mobile friendliness is a ranking factor (which is probably has been for a long time as far as I’m concerned). This is important to readers though, it’s timely or recent and can help you to carve out some rank for a topic that’s trending. So next time you’re having trouble coming up with new ideas, look into Google Webmaster Tools keyword queries report, check out recent industry news or try other out of the box methods such as asking your readers and customers what they want to know more about!

If you’re stuck in a rut or worried you may have too much overlapping content, just give me a call at (480) 277-3675 and I’ll help you to develop a strategy for your business. It’s not easy but if you’re carefully planning a direction with a schedule it can make the work a lot more manageable.

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Panda 4.0 and SEO

Google SEO Panda 4.0

Are you ready for this? Panda 4.0 released as announced by @mattcutts on May 20th 2014.

What does this mean for the world of SEO?  Well does Matt Cutts gives us a good hint a few days before the update?

Possibly.  I’ve been explaining to people for almost over a decade that I strongly believe Google looks at your page speed, server speed and server security.  I strongly believed this when I started working at Go Daddy.  I still believe (and think that this validates) by larger suspicion that Google has been looking at this as a factor of SEO rankings algorithms.  I also believe that Google applies the laws of physics to determine rank algorithms but most SEO companies and consultants I speak to find that too “absurd” to be true.  I believe that OpenSSL is a part of the factor that’s been running for almost a decade but not many believed that theory.  I’ve got many more ideas about what Google’s new principles are and how they will shape the way we think of SEO for a company or your business.

Local SEO is changing, we’re using more Rich Snippets.  Rich Snippets are tiny pieces of more information (including local business address, phone numbers, authors, product, prices and descriptions) that are submitted to Google regularly.  I believe that this is another of the largest factors in modern SEO, along with having proper optimization and backlinks from your businesses Google Places page(s).  It’s very important to ensure you’re making progress in your natural backlink profile and that you’re not counter productively reverse “optimizing” or creating a drag/resistance by forcing unnatural backlinks.  All links should be from natural sources such as Twitter, Google+, Google Places pages and similar organic and authoritative websites such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes or similar long-standing online/offline publications.

The next part is your server load tolerance and security.  Why would Google rank your website #1 constantly if your server can’t withstand or is limited due to processing time or memory capacity.  In other words, if your server can’t take it why give it to someone who is just going to crash?

Finally, credibility and reputation.  What are other people saying about your business online?  What do customers think of the quality of your work and focus in your businesses subject matter expertise?  If many people say your servers are good wouldn’t Google be wise to feature those businesses more prominently?  Doesn’t conversation and what people are saying matter?  Yes. Yes and Yes!

So this is just a quick bit of food for thought on SEO and how our professional SEO services are changing in 2014 and 2015. There’s more to come soon  but if you have questions give me a call and let’s talk 8-bit, haha get it?  (480) 277-3675

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What is SEO in 2017? Get Free SEO Tips and Advice!

build natural backlinks

This article was originally written by me in 2014. I’m in the process of updating to meet the current standards and best practices in 2017. In short, I believe many of the best practices remain the same, with the addition of compute, web service resource utilization, and as always good content to draw your audiences, then retain them with new, relevant and important information about the topics they are searching for. I’m also a big believer that media is still, and always will be, an important part of SEO. You overall effort, quality, and activity are still essential.

The following is an edited version of my article of SEO tips and advice from 2014:

SEO in 2017 is the year a lot is changing, in my honest opinion.  I keep getting asked questions repeatedly about backlinks, I can assure you that if any SEO has heavy emphasis on backlinks they are clearly steering you in the wrong direction.  Why?  One example is my blog.  It has virtually little to no backlinks and the places I do have little to no PR to pass on; yet I still manage to rank incredibly well, on the first page of Google for competitive search terms.  I had someone recently tell me that “backlinks 2017” wasn’t competitive.  Okay, really?  Never assume you know more than the next guy.  Don’t assume that a lower volume search term isn’t more valuable compared to a broad, higher search term with a significantly reduced conversion rate.

As is the case with most the web now, there are very few sources with high PR that wont set your link set to “no-follow”.  No follow is a disposition which a webmaster can explicitly tell Google not to follow your link, don’t pass PR from their web page to your page.  The majority of the web has become this way, any highly authoritative backlinks must be earned.

So how do you earn the highest, most credible and valuable links on the internet?  I’m glad you asked!  I’ll give you a few hints, it doesn’t involve spending hours a day or week creating anchor text from other websites and pages back to yours.   Start by creating compelling, one of a kind content.  I sort of feel like a broken record because I swear every other blog post I’m writing has a similar theme.  Stop “link building” and start creating original compelling content in 2017 or get left in the dust!

In my opinion a compelling title and description are more important than your backlinks.  Why?  Because Google is known to measure CTR (click-through rate), it’s displayed as a performance metric in Google Webmaster Tools and it’s known to carry some of the heaviest weight when determining your keywords Quality Scores in AdWords.  Why?  Because Google looks as CTR as one of the highest indications of relevance between a users search and a click on the title.  So trust me, your titles and descriptions are more important than ever before and must be a primary focus in 2017.  If your hired/contracted SEO professional isn’t talking about how to write better, more compelling title and description meta tags then you’re probably headed in the wrong direction!  If your SEO isn’t talking with you obsessively about structured data markup schema (a.k.a. micro-data) then you’re definitely headed the wrong way, TURN THE CAR AROUND!  Micro-date or structured data markup schema was introduced back in 2011 and is considered the golden standard in SEO these days.

Another thing I’ve noticed a lot of lately, are SEO “professionals” that are using SEO oriented websites to build/duplicate links in mass volume.  If there’s no contextual relevance between a website about SEO and your pool supply company, then guess what?  Google is either going to consider those links as spam and/or manually penalize your website and force you to remove them.  Now you’re having to double up and undo all that “work” you did.

So here is a summary of a couple important things Google looks at:

  1. Is there contextual relevance between your website and the website linking to yours?  i.e. shouldn’t anchor text/backlink from a website about SEO to a pool supply website.
  2. What’s the websites reputation that is linking to you?  Has anyone ever heard of it?  Does it provide good relevant content?
    1. What’s the quality of your website content?
    2. What’s the quality of the websites that link to you?
  3. What’s your websites history and reputation?  Have you or your SEO been found building shady backlinks before?
  4. How are you using micro-data, or Rich Snippets, do you use data highlighter / marker to test, and are you measuring/managing your data.
  5. What is your CTR?  Are you even measuring it?

You can take my advice or leave it.  Agree or agree to disagree – I have clients who get thousands of dollars (sometime tens of thousands, or more) worth of traffic to their websites every month and that’s not even counting conversions and new business opportunity I acquire from my readers – that would just be a comparable cost if I had spent it on AdWords.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have any questions?  Leave a comment below!  I’m always happy to elaborate on these concepts in my weekly/bi-weekly updates.

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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #10 – Titles & Description Meta Tags

SEO Title and Description Meta Tags

Meta tags are often thought to be a thing of the past.  Not so much really, title and description meta tags are probably more important than ever before!  Clickthrough rate (CTR) is important for increasing your organic position as it’s an indication of relevance and quality (just like AdWords CTR will influence your Quality Score).  A higher CTR on an organic listing will help to increase and maintain position on the page.  Title and descriptions meta tags are more important than they were before because this will influence your listings CTR.   If your title is a close or exact match to what a user searches, then the probably of receiving the click had been proven to increase exponentially.  Your title tag influences the blue link of your organic listing and the description appears below the title tag in black text.  The description should typically be a compelling summary of the pages content.  It’s important that your description and title are closely related to the topic of the page but also interesting, putting a unique description will increase interest and in turn the probability that someone will want to visit your website over all the others that are listed in the search results.  If you’re not sure how to write a compelling description, I advise that you study other popular listings. Whatever you do though, don’t copy another websites description or title. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting penalized – being removed or having position change for the worse.

A good title is typically two or three words in length, if you need to break up several phrases separate them with a hyphen “-” to ensure that we’re helping to establish a relationship between the phrases.  For example, the title tag of this page reads “10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #10 – Write Captivating Titles & Descriptions”.  Notice how the primary topic/category is listed first followed by the specific topic of this post, which falls under a larger body of work “Tips for SEO in 2014”.  It’s important you’re labeling posts, pages and content properly, it’s not a very difficult process it’s just time-consuming.

Here’s a quick summary of tips on your title and description:

  1. Be concise.
  2. Make sure your titles are compelling.
  3. Try enhancing your title by using a hyphen “-” and several phrases.
  4. Make sure your title and description are contextually relevant.
  5. It’s important you’re not copying someone else’s titles or descriptions.  Originality is key!

In summary, great title and description tags should jump out to readers and people searching the web for information.  They should stand out like the cover of and incredibly well drawn comic book in my opinion.  Just like the art of a great comic jumps off the page, so too should the titles and description meta tags of your pages when you do SEO work.  If you’re still finding trouble figuring out how to optimize your titles and descriptions, or how to increase CTR,  give our team a call and we have search engine optimization (SEO) services that will help you!

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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #9 – Learn About Building Natural Backlinks

build natural backlinks

Building natural backlinks is important because it’s what causes PageRank to flow freely from one page to the next. It’s important that Google+, Facebook, twitter and Linkedin backlink to your company’s website.  All roads should lead back to your business, try to make it personal.  Balance personal profile images with strong branding in the background.  Do not let your branding replace your personal profile pictures, they should still be present and branding is secondary in the background.  Don’t stuff links all over the web trying to pass PageRank and “link juice”.  This is a poor SEO tactic and frankly I find it to not only be a ludicrous gimmick but a complete insult to what search engine optimization (SEO) is really about.  I consider link builders to fall within “blackhat SEO” territory.  Avoid people boasting massive link building strategies like the plague.  This isn’t how you should be increasing your position on the search engine results for popular keywords and phrases.  Trust me, I do not go on massive link building escapades and I rank higher on search engines and make it to the first page of Google search results plenty.  It is not, I repeat, not about building massive quantities of links from other websites.  You need to be focused on your standard set of links from other website properties you manage, such as social media and standard directory websites like Yelp, but under no circumstance should you go out and buy our create tons of unnatural links.  Guess what’s going to happen?  Your position in the search rank will sink faster than lead in water.  Seriously, I don’t know how else to say it more clearly, stop buying links and don’t try to force links out into the web.  It’s just a terrible idea altogether!

So now you may ask, how does one go about building natural backlinks?  Well I’ll let you in on a big secret.  Create original, one of a kind content and you’r going to be amazed at how many people link to your pages and leave comments on articles your write if they are even remotely decent!  No seriously, if your content is truly one of a kind and not something copied/pasted from another website, all sorts of people are going to link to your blog and website and your position on search engines is going to change quickly.  Sometimes within as little as 48 hours (the standard time delay of Google Webmaster Tools reports).  It’s amazing!  Don’t believe me?  I’ll prove it by screen sharing my position changing over night, straight out of Google Webmaster Tools.

In summary, create better content or hire me and our  staff to create great content for your company.  It’s not that search engine optimization (SEO) is incredibly difficult, it can just incredibly time-consuming. I think it’s something you really need a strong passion for, otherwise you’re just going to get frustrated and give up before making real progress.  If you’re consistent, updating regularly and building natural links by creating compelling content and publishing through social media marketing channels then you will get all the backlinks you need in order to rank on the first page of Google, I promise!

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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #8 – Blog With Frequency.

SEO Tips in 2014 - Blog Frequently Using WordPress

If you’re not blogging at least once every two weeks, (in a Brooklyn accent) forget about it…  The frequency and quality of your blog updates still matters, you can see benefits and gains when you blog within one to two days – if you don’t then you’re doing something incorrectly.  You’re missing a very important step in the SEO process.  There’s a lot that goes into a good blog, even more that goes into planning, writing, editing and scheduling your content.  There’s no fast and easy way to manage this process besides either investing the time and doing it yourself or hiring a company to do this work for you.  If you hire a company, make sure they staff writers in the USA.  Google knows the differences in writing styles from one country to another, not to mention literary proficiency.  It’s not to say you couldn’t outsource overseas but we don’t because we’ve found that high quality of the writing is what help get companies to the first page of Google.  We typically employ Masters of English and Journalism Majors, this ensures the absolute best in quality, completely original content and very dedicated blog writers (bloggers).

Blogging shouldn’t be a hobby if you’re trying to rank on the first page of Google.  This should be something your planning in advance and creating at least a blog post once a week if you’re not in a super competitive industry or market.  If you are then you’re going to have to produce two to three times that.  For example we rotate between page one and page two of Google search results for “SEO Tips 2014”, anytime we fall below page one we need to produce two or three really high quality updates and within a day our rank will rise.  It’s very competitive depending on your industry and location, but it really boils down to just a couple of key points; frequency, quality, following best practices and originality.  It’s very important you write compelling headlines because that’s the link that displays in the search results, if you’re headline (title tag) doesn’t grab a reader’s attention your listing will not get clicked and your position will fall over time quickly.  We like to use WordPress for SEO and blogging.  It makes our staff better at organizing and editing content, it also creates a relatively easy way to submit updates to search engines.

Remember, blogging for great rank can’t by a hobby, it needs to be something you plan carefully and measure reports and important metrics like change in your avg. position using Google Webmaster Tools.  If you’re still having trouble with reporting or changing your rank on Google, we provide search engine optimization (SEO) services give us a call at (480) 277-3675!

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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #7 – Optimize and Submit Your Sitemap

How You Submit a Sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools (top right)

If you’re not creating sitemap and submitting using Google Webmaster Tools, good luck!  This is a simple way to ensure that your most important pages have a better chance of ranking on Google and counting toward your overall authorship ranking. See more on authorship profiles in tip #4.

There’s a lot of really easy ways to build and optimize your sitemap, my favorite way is to use WordPress and the Yoast SEO plugin.  It automatically builds an effective, well structured sitemap and includes images which I believe it a best practice.  You can build a sitemap manually but it’s a very time consuming process.  Many site building and content management tools such as WordPress have easy to use plugins.  After you optimize your sitemap you need to login to your Google Webmaster Tools and submit it for index.  It generally takes 24 to 48 before you can get a good indication on how content is going to influence your rank and if you’re going to make it to the first page of Google or not.

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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #6 – Link Google Webmaster Tools to Google Analytics.

Edit Webmaster Tools Settings in Google Analytics

This helps to determine what content drives impressions, traffic and position higher.  It makes it easier to determine when CTR is low, indicating that you may need to work on your titles and descriptions.  There’s a lot of very interesting data that can be obtained by doing this, you can see position change over time, there’s also a ton of data that pertains to segmenting position change by various types of content you’re publishing.  It’s really important you complete this step and it’s also very easy to do.

Step #1 – Assuming you have used the same email to setup Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, sign in to your Google Analytics account.

Step #2 – Click into the website profile and property you will be linking Google Webmaster Tools to.

Step #3 – In the top right, click admin.  Then under the “PROPERTY” (middle) column, select “Property Settings”.

Step #4 – Scroll to the bottom of your Property Settings and you will find a section called “Webmaster Tools Settings” select “Edit”.

Step by Step Gallery to Help You Link Google AdWords and Analytics Together:

You will be able to choose your Google Webmaster Tools from the list, if it’s grey or not appearing there’s something wrong with how you have configured your Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools settings and you should call our team for help at (480) 277-3675.

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10 TIPS FOR SEO IN 2014 #5 – Build #SocialMedia Following

Social Media Following

This is going to be the recurring theme in 2014 –  “personalized search” is influenced by the people you and other people in your circles follow.  Building a genuine social media following online isn’t easy, I find that content typically has to be 10% about your company, product or services and the remaining 90% to be unrelated. Remember that most people on social media are there to connect with friends and for entertainment, so if you think shoving advertisements in their face will build your following then you’re fighting a losing battle.

If you’re trying to take more than you give, you’re going to fail.  If you also don’t follow our other tips pertaining to social media, engagement and content then you’re wasting your time because people wont be able to identify value in your content very easily.  It’s less likely they will want to follow you, share your content or any engagement that would be an indication or signal of value to the major search engines.  Bing is personalizing search using facebook following and Google personalized search results using twitter and Google+ as far as I can tell.  When your follower(s) search content closely related to a topic you have posted about, it’s very likely they are going to see the content you’ve posted related to their search on the first page of Google search results.

To build a following you can purchase paid marketing, use organic methods of engagement, thank people for sharing content and typically I find the most effective method is to ask!  If you aren’t asking prominent people online to follow you, then guess what?  They probably wont!  It is not about following 1,000 people and hoping that 1 in every 3 people you follow, follows back.  It’s about meaningful conversation, real connection and building personal relationship.  That’s how you build an effective following using social media!

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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #4 – Setup Author Profiles

Setup Author Profile in WordPress for SEO

If someone follows you, it’s much more probably that they are going to see content that has your authorship profile associated with it.  It’s a factor of new personalized search results by Google. WordPress and Blogger are excellent ways to do this easily.  From WordPress admin, you login into your admin panel, then go to the “Users” section.  Select “Your Profile”  and then complete the “About Yourself” section.   It also helps a lot if you’re using Jetpack Publicize, it breaks sometimes but overall it’s a very useful and easy to use tool to link your WordPress with social media websites like Linkedin, Twitter, facebook and Google+.  Gravatar can be a benefit to keep profiles uniform.

Author profiles can also be made manually by using authorship tags but I suggest avoiding these whenever possible because standards are bound to change eventually and it would be a pain to have to update all your web properties to match or use the latest standards of authorship tags and information.

Quick Instructions:

  1. Login to WordPress admin area.
  2. Under “Users”
  3. Select “Your Profile”
  4. Complete the “About Yourself” section.
  5. Use Jetpack Publicize to link your social media.
  6. Make sure you have setup your Google+ profile with the same email as you use on WordPress then verify authorship on Google.

Author profiles are a very good way to build reputation with followers and search engines.  They are becoming more important in the PageRank algorithm and search engine optimization (SEO) process.  I highly recommend you start settings these up and optimizing them immediately if you haven’t started to already!

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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #3 – Engage With Followers

Engage with your followers on social media.

Social media on Twitter, facebook and Google+ isn’t just about building following, it’s about meaningful conversations!  Yes following is important, but if you’re not connecting one to one and still trying to connect one to many then you’re doing it wrong in my opinion.  Thank people for following you whenever possible, let them know you appreciate it and engage with fans of your work.  You would be surprised how a little of this goes a long way.  I try to always reply to posts or comments within 24 to 48 hours.  Sometimes a couple may fall through the crack but it’s not the end of the world.  Leave more meaningful comments on other blogs, posts and reply to other comment threads.  They don’t always even have to relate to your industry, remember Go Daddy built a massive customer base focusing on fans of NASCAR.  You don’t always have to try to shove your brand into relevant conversation, try to be social.  People are using social media to connect with friends or family and for entertainment!  I try to follow a ten to one rule when using social media, for every 10 posts one of those will be about our DESIGNA or our services.

Your engagement and relevant contribution may have an impact on your ranking.  We know that when a person follows you on Google+ it does affect their personalized search results and as long as you’re using authorship profiles, you’re more likely to have your content, blog posts or social comments display to people who choose to follow you or your business online.  It’s thought that social media engagement is a new method that the Google PageRank has changed  to adapt to a more modern method of identifying authoritative content on the web.

In summary, we are 100% that your Google+ following does impact personalized search.  The only way to build a following is to engage and contribute or share meaningful content.  This should factor in somewhere to the PageRank algorithm so it’s important to get up to speed with the “best practices” in social media, fast!

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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #2 – Provide Value

Define a Value to Your Readers

Are you just publishing articles in hopes that you will rank on the first page of Google or are you actually publishing useful information that provide greater value to your visitors? If content provides little to no benefit to your reader, the odds of them considering useful, sharing it or following you is slim to none. It’s better to give too much than not enough.  It’s important to try sharing images, video and links to other useful information.  If you’re not building backlinks using anchor text then you’re clearly doing something wrong.  Careful not to pass too much PageRank by linking to too many external websites.  It’s okay to do once in a while, especially if the content is relevant and/or about your company but too much and you may do more harm than good.  My general rule of thumb is one external link for every ten internal links.  This is a good ratio to maintain the majority of the PageRank acquired through natural flow without coming off as useless spam.  From my experience, if you’re writing and creating original content about subjects you love, you’re ten times more likely to rank on Google.

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10 Tips for SEO in 2014 #1 – Measure Success

Using Google Webmaster Tools - Position Change Reports

Are you measuring your position change using the percent change reports in Google Webmaster Tools? If not you’re missing the boat, big time! Try and use these to show clients that your work is providing value, if you’re still struggling at increasing position there may be on-site factors or poor link building strategies (backlinks) being used that are inhibiting you from getting that highly coveted, first page ranking.  Hitting the first page of Google isn’t easy, but with careful planning and a lot of hard work it can be achieved.

If all else has failed, give our search engine optimization (SEO) services a try!  Our rates are incredibly reasonable, starting at just $280/mo.  We give our clients exceptional value and work hard to keep your business. Call (480) 277-3675 and ask for Andrew!

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What is SEO? Learn More With DESIGNA.

People ask us all the time, “What is SEO?”  SEO stands for search engine optimization and its the process of organizing your website and it’s content so that it’s more accessible by people and major search engines,such as Google.  The process typically involves writing specific content about a subject (such as search engine optimization) that is commonly searched for by users on the web.  Writing compelling content is paramount as ranking depends partially on the quality of the writing. Then we go through the process of creating your meta tags (title, description and keyword) to help search engines to easily identify what your content is about.  It’s important because this influences the title and descriptions that display in the search results when you rank in the search results.  Another important and primary factor are backlinks, which are anchor text (hyperlinked) from other authoritative sources on the internet crediting your page or articles.   Backlinks need to be highly focused on quality and not quantity.  We would personally take one or two high quality links over a hundred poorly constructed spam links that could get you banned from search engines altogether.  When you anchor text and build backlinks they should be compelling, thought-provoking or informative in nature and be very highly targeted so there’s a strong relevance between the page you’re linking from back to your website, page or blog article.  When you build backlinks you’re passing PageRank (named after Google Co-founder, Larry Page).  PageRank is a quality score that Google assigns to pages, this score gets through from page to page as they link to one another.  Very few,  (except perhaps Matt Cutts) know exactly how the PageRank algorithm works and no one at Google who knows will ever tell you exactly how PageRank is factored, it’s also always changing.

Here’s an illustration of our speculation on how PageRank is working as of 11/25/2013:

PageRank diagram

 

Essentially there’s a point of diminishing returns based on how many sources a web page links to.  The more links that are created from a source, the less PageRank passes to all sources that are linked to from the original source. However, if all sources are added we believe PageRank is added then divided to produce an average and rounded up because to the best of our knowledge PageRank doesn’t use decimals, but it might!  The long and short of it is that the  higher the quality of  your copy, the more likely other website owners, blogs and content publishers will link to you (backlink) using hyperlink (anchor text) and as PageRank passes through many sources to your website your PageRank should continue to increase over time.

This isn’t always the case though and a high PageRank isn’t even necessarily a requirement to establish yourself on the first page of Google search results. Often Google will analyze the quality of your content in respect to grammar and how well it’s written, whether or not it’s original work or copied off another website to determine where your website will rank on specific keywords.  One of the most important qualities any website can have on the internet is originality.  Do not ever rip off another company’s work because the major search engine  will know it and you will either be penalized or not rank at all until it’s corrected.

Another important factor of SEO and your rank on Google is the use of image alt attributes.  Like meta tags, image alt attributes tell search engines what your image is using plain text so it can determine what your image is of without having to use OCR technology, even though Google says it doesn’t OCR the web; we believe it does because of applications such as Google Goggles and image search.  What’s that mean for SEO?  Your images should be unique and properly labeled!

Sitemaps are another very important part of SEO.  A sitemap helps search engines to understand the organization of your website, how frequently you update pages and the importance using a numerical value.  DESIGNA uses Google Webmaster Tools to submit sitemaps, updates and to track how your website ranks and whether or not you’re on the first page of Google.  We use really in-depth reporting through Google Analytics to determine what content is helping you to catch greater opportunity for visitors and to discover what types of headlines generate a higher clickthrough rate (CTR).

This is just scratching the surface of SEO, for more information and a complimentary consultation, call our team at (480) 277-3675.  Our plans start at just $240/mo and we’re known to be a very reputable SEO service provider!  DESIGNA was started by Andrew Rulnick who worked four years for Go Daddy and two years at Teletech consulting for their client Google.  He has over ten years experience in search engine optimization and Google AdWords account management and can handle your company’s ranking for you.

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SEO Tip #2 – SEO Queries and Landing Page Reports (#SEO, #keyword, #content, #reports).

Google Webmaster Tools Search Queries Report

I’ve always subscribed to the theory that “you can’t improve a metric unless you measure it” my entire life but never really recognized that until the philosophy had been drilled into me by Bob Parsons and Go Daddy’s Management through the almost four years spent working at Go Daddy.  Now, having spent two years working for Teletech (working for their client Google),  I have to say it’s something that has stuck with me now in my positions as Supervisor, Manager, now Business Owner and lead Marketing Analyst for DESIGNA’s customers.

I play double, triple duty a lot in my line of work but I love it!   Not only  am I measuring how we’re working individually and as a company but also in the SEO and AdWords results we get for our customers!  It’s thrilling to see true, verifiable success in Google AdWords, Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools!  You need to know whether or not your company is on the first page of Google, what keywords you’re there for and what their average position is and when you’re not there you need to understand why.

This brings me to my second SEO Tip. One of the factors of success is to measure your keywords (Search Queries) average position and their change as it relates to specific keywords and content (Search Queries and Landing page) reports. Wow.  What does that even mean?

What it means is your position on the page will almost constantly change.  Sometimes literally within a day.  The important think is to understand why there’s change, what caused the change and how you and specific types of content can affect it.  It’s not to say it’s predictable, it isn’t but at least if you understand what you can control and how those factors will influence your average position on keywords then you have some chance to influence the search results so you or your client’s companies are at least present.  Search Engine Optimization is an important part of Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) but that’s a completely separate blog post altogether…

I’ve always felt like biggest miss by the majority of SEO professionals, companies and our “competitors”, is a lack in complete transparency by using unaltered, un-adulterated, first-party reporting such as Google Analytics.  As a client or company that’s contracting it’s SEO or SEM work to another business or individual it’s an almost immediate red flag if they are using any “proprietary” reporting.  Why?  Because if the reports pass through API they can become altered.  Also, what’s the data retention policy if you cancel that service?  Typically your data is locked in or because it was altered in the first place it isn’t really true data to begin with!  Anything but reports by Google in Google Analytics or a comparable first-party suite is simply inferior!  Another interesting opportunity is to identify what types of titles and descriptions in pages have the highest click-through rates (CTR).  This is where you can win big in using reports in Search Engine Optimization, learn what types of content is most effective and what titles/descriptions get clicked the most!

What I mean is this, DESIGNA personally provides its clients with unrestricted access to Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools reports.  That way when DESIGNA does an SEO or SEM/Google AdWords optimization for our clients campaigns or content, they can verify positive performance directly with Google.  When DESIGNA is falling short of our client’s goals and objectives we can begin to understand the why behind avg. position or performance related problems because we can take the time to properly analyze our SEO or Google AdWords SEM “Search Queries” and “Landing Page” reports!

In summary, DESIGNA brings SEO/SEM “Search Queries and Landing Page” reports directly to the surface for its customers then reports them as reported by Google Analytics, through Google Analytics.  You’re literally logging directly into Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to verify that you’re getting what you paid for…  A service that actually focuses on where your company is positioned for keyword search queries and determining what types of content, pages and posts are most effective at increasing your average position in the Google search results and ultimately how that’s impacting your bottom line using conversion tracking and attribution model analysis to determine channels and keywords with the most optimal cost per acquisition (CPA).

It’s also very important to understand that avg. position is a literal average and how impression share works based on key performance indicators exhibited in an average visitors behavior.  Have your website experience optimized because Google scores landing pages.  Your AdWords Keyword Quality Scores are influenced by how well your content displays, how compelling the page content is, navigability of your website, truthfulness in marketing or promotions and a many other (literally hundreds) of factors like the grammatical structure of your paragraphs, the inclusion of keywords in heading tags and whether or not your content is completely different or original to name a few.  There are other factors such as backlinks but these are all topics we will dive into in other SEO/SEM Tips to come at a later date.  Each of these areas of Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing using Google AdWords and Google Analytics is truly deserving of its own blog post.

Going through keyword (Search Queries) and content (Landing Page) reports also provides an opportunity to understand traffic and behaviors which will be a focus for one of another SEO tips in the series.   So follow DESIGNA on Google+, facebook, or just subscribe to get free advice.  Don’t hesitate to comment , reply, email or call (480) 277-3675 with any questions!

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SEO Tip Number One – Nobody’s Perfect #Imperfect #SEO

DESIGNA for SEO Services and Google PageRank Experts

It’s come to our attention from some of DESIGNA’s adoring competitors (if you would even call them that) commented that we don’t rank PageRank on 1) highly competitive terms and 2) our brand name “DESIGNA”.  So we sat down and decided it was time to write a series of tips to help you.

While select terms are important for our business and we would love to rank for those today, we are only in our third month of business!  What’s even more exciting is that we’re already getting impression share for some very competitive keywords related to our services.  DESIGNA’s team is always looking for ways to make improvements to both its own and client’s PageRank – for higher position on Google’s search results and local search listings.

So that brings us to our first SEO Tip in a long series in the making. Nobody’s perfect! That’s where “Search Engine Optimization” comes from!  It’s about constantly identifying flaws in your design, code, content and/or backlink strategy.

Understand and accept that nobody’s website, landing page or blog are perfect.  That’s precisely what  keeps SEO interesting!  There’s always room for improvements.

SEO Tip #1 summary – Nobody’s Perfect:

  1. Stop trying to have everything perfect it’s virtually impossible.
  2. Continue to develop new and original content with some regularity.
  3. Google PageRank is constantly changing – it’s a long ride!
  4. Create a sitemap file and submit to Google using Google Webmaster Tools.  I typically update our sitemap and resubmit at least once a month.
  5. The quality of your hosting and DNS factors into PageRank.
  6. Audit your website content, pages, meta tags (title, description, keyword) and backlinks to make improvements at least once a month.  This is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO).
  7. Standards in design and code are always improving and evolving!  DESIGNA is constantly finding better ways to code and display information online. PageSpeed (also recognized as part of Google’s PageRank algorithm) optimization helps with user experience by reducing the load time of web pages.  Google favors faster and better organized websites.
  8. This entire process raises conversion rates across the board; for Google, your business and the user searching for your products or services.  Everyone wins!
  9. Google favors well written and displayed content.  Google’s advanced algorithms make it able to provide the most original and relevant results based on a long criteria of factors that are always updating and can vary from one website to another one just like it.
  10. Exciting new tools and website are constantly being added to the mix.
  11. Last but not least, (my personal favorite).  One of my mentors has always been Bob Parsons.  I’ve always looked up to him since the day I started working at Go Daddy back in 2006.  He told me that “You can’t make improvements if you don’t measure results of your input/output” or something like that. That’s one of the reasons I decided to focus on being one of the world’s best marketing analysts.  To Bob’s point – measure performance, sync Google Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics and utilize data sources to track how different content marketing  and keywords are influencing your position on Google’s search results.  Doing this also ensures you’re getting visualizations and actionable insights into Google PageRank and all its nuances.In summary, Google is the #1 search engine in the world because of its ability to provide the most relevant and best performing search results on the internet, users searching  benefit because they find what they actually wanted.  Businesses seeking that highly sought after, high PageRank or first page listing on Google  benefit because they get rewarded with the opportunity to win new customers.  Put in the hard work, schedule regular maintenance and updates.Accept that nobody is perfect and just continue to make efforts to optimize your content, pages and blog then before you know it you’re going to have your first page rank on Google
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SEO to Infinity and Beyond!

search engine optimize (SEO) "to infinity and beyond".

DESIGNA hit a tipping point today in our massive overhaul of our website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and we’re only tipping in “to infinity and beyond”.  Even after an exhaustive list of completely obsessive compulsive overhauls (including but not limited to)

  1. The layout of our content and how it displays (on both mobile and desktop devices).
  2. Restructuring our meta tags (title, description and keyword).
  3. Setting up robot.txt and sitemap.xml on our website, shopping cart and blog.
  4. Rebuilding anchors and building new back links.
  5. Integrating social media and syndication opportunities.
  6. Beginning to add structured data on both our website and blog.

And we are still only just getting started.  It’s an everyday process, every little minute detail makes a difference in how you rank on search engines like Google, bing and Yahoo!

It’s all never-ending…  That’s why our philosophy isn’t just to search engine optimize but borderline obsession.  When you think you’ve got your content dialed in, analyze to find new ways of making improvements to increase your PageRank.  I guarantee that even some of the best companies in search engine optimization miss steps and have to double back to optimize.  Search engine optimization isn’t that you get it right on the first try, it’s about going back and making improvements over and over “to infinity and beyond”!  Get involved on forums, start blogging using WordPress, become more social with your brand and create content that’s more meaningful to your website visitors.

Go back through your website with a fine tooth comb and ask yourself, is this the best experience for my visitors?  Are my meta tags unique, original and more meaningful?  Backlinks are one important factor but how are we obtaining them?  Try contributing in meaningful ways you would be amazed at how quickly your company can obtain that coveted listing on the first page of Google.