Marketing SEO

The Ultimate Guide to Strategic LOCAL SEO. Part 1

This SEO guide is written for two different audiences.
For those of you who are true beginners, it is a true step by step guide.
For those who are experienced but may be having trouble with local SEO and use it as a reference guide.
  • Know Your Competitive SERP Trends
  • Match Your Client’s Goals to your SEO Efforts
  • Map Your target keywords and Create a Content Strategy
  • Master the art of Chunking
  • Testing and Evaluating SEO Results


Local SEO is completely different the national SEO.
Google takes into account local first before anything else.
What I’ve noticed within the SEO world is a tendency to focus on national search engine optimization tactics and try to apply them to Local SEO.
The biggest problem with this is that your client doesn’t care about being number one for a keyword nationally.
A local small business or even a regional mid-size business located in New Jersey may love getting traffic from California but if they have no way to deliver a product or service to that region then all of the right things that you have obtained for them have been for naught.
I have seen examples where a client gets excited that they have four or five thousand more visitors coming to their website, but when you actually take a look at what they have obtained traffic-wise in Google Analytics, you will often find that only a small fraction of that traffic had any return on investment potential.
This can be damaging not only to the relationship you have with your client but also to your SEO strategy as you will be encouraging higher bounce rates on content that doesn’t apply to that potential client in California.
Don’t overthink the situation because it’s bound to happen. It is just a good thing to keep in mind in planning your SEO.

The Bad News.

I found a flaw in Google and there are many but one, in particular, is absolutely annoying.
Google is great at delivering local results first.
The problem is unless you’re killer at your schema game, regional businesses will suffer in their local SEO efforts.
I was always told it was better to receive the bad news first.
The simple truth is there are no good affordable local SEO tools for small business.
You will spend more time and more effort trying to localize your SEO content-wise than you would if it was a national campaign.

 The Good News.

If you take the time to master schema you can create a Content strategy that delivers excellent results and Google is getting better and better all the time.
Once you’ve actually gotten down the SEO strategy for regional service Industries and local brick-and-mortar businesses the formula can be applied across the board regardless of the client type.
I’ve heard it said that SEO is not rocket science, but you may need a rocket scientist mindset in problem-solving to really knock it out of the park for your website.
You need to know when to break the rules and when to follow them, and you have to constantly be aware of your competitive space.
If you apply the fundamentals which we will get into in chapter one, you will find yourself ahead of the pack.

Chapter 1 -SEO is Warfare

One thing I always tell my SEO clients is that all business and especially SEO is genuinely warfare and should be treated as such.
We are all competing for number one and while there are rules to the game you have to have a killer instinct and an even better strategy to win.
Strategy in war is more important than tactics.
Often when interviewing a new client, I find that they doubt the capabilities of  SEO.
But when reflected upon accurately it’s usually that the firm’s they hired has focused on tactics instead of strategy.
I have attended hundreds of seminars, read thousands of Articles, books, and guides and watched thousands of videos on SEO over the last 10 years and the one thing that I always find is missing with only a few exceptions is an understanding of strategy over tactics.
Sound tactics can still fail given any number of random events.
However, I have never known as a reliable strategy to fail given the time and space to be appropriately implemented.
In practicing SEO, we often find ourselves racing against the clock trying to please a client and usually that’s where we make tactical mistakes.
Our real job is in effectively communicating with our clients the real world scenario that they are up against and convincing them to dedicate both the time and the budget necessary to accomplish their often unrealistic goals.
When we get a client on the same page as we are strategically we win, and they win, and the  ROI can often create relationships that last a lifetime.
This article will focus on creating a sound strategy that is always guaranteed to win.
More importantly, it will give you an outline that allows you to communicate effectively with your clients without getting into the tactical details and the day-to-day B.S. that indeed they have no interest in and they will not take the time ever to understand it.

The Lean SEO Approach

Efficiency is critical to search engine optimization.
Before we begin getting into the details of a strategic plan for SEO, we need to make sure that a lot of time is not wasted in analysis paralysis.
I have watched other companies and even my own employees get caught up in studying way too much and over-analyzing situations that just need an immediate solution.
Six Sigma and the lean approach are an easy way to make sure you stay on track in accomplishing your objectives.
Not everyone knows what lean or Six Sigma is and when I took the course for the first time, I had no idea how important it was to strategy in SEO.
Six Sigma is a set of management techniques intended to improve business processes by significantly reducing the probability that an error or defect will occur.
In essence, it’s a way to create efficiency and eliminate waste from any process.
Any SEO will tell you that the majority of issues the encounter come from wasted time and efforts.
When you apply the principles of Six Sigma to SEO, you find that there are always more wins than losses.


Process management for Lean SEO.

FORM.  Forming an Objective.

The first thing you want to do when creating a new strategy for SEO is FORM an objective. Remember always that these goals should be all ROI based.  Your client may love having his ego stroked by being number one for any given keyword but the truth of the matter is your client will fall in love with you if you can make him money. So the first thing you want to do is create a simple objective that generates Revenue. Find out what generates your client the most profit.  Also, find out what is his bread and butter.  Forming an objective around these two as opposed to creating a broad-based strategy will narrow your focus to an achievable goal and the desired outcome.

STORM.   Keyword Brainstorming.

If you have researched your client properly, you will know enough about this industry to begin the hunt for keywords. in the process of brainstorming no idea no relevant keyword phrase is rejected. I have seen keyword list with 10000 different keywords on them. I have watched hours and hours of time being wasted trying to reduce those keyword lists before other  SEO factors were considered.  Below are five keyword tools that are pretty popular in the SEO world:
  • Google Keyword Planner (Free)
  • MOZ Keyword explorer
  • SEMRush
  • Keyword Tool
  • KW Finder
Once you have all the possible keywords phrases from your favorite tool you want to export them into your favorite spreadsheet program.
Most of these keyword tools will give you several factors that you want to pay specific attention to.
These will become important for the NORM   section of Form Norm Storm Perform.

NORM. Norming or Normalizing.

Norming is where we actually take all of our wonderful keyword ideas that we want to work on and formulate practical achievable goals that we can chunk into smaller tasks.
Many SEO’s calls this keyword mapping.
Keyword mapping involves planning the content along with the keywords based on difficulty and a number of other factors.
I like to do this process a little later because I’m going to be coming back to the Storm keyword list and revamping my strategy based on the results that I am achieving on SERPS.
So, for now, we’re going to take a look at the factors then make up a great normalized list.
Before I mentioned there are several factors that keyword tools deliver and below we will discuss a few of those factors.
I will begin with the data-driven approach Which will increase the probability of getting effective SEO results.
  • The First Factor is Google AdWords Cost Per Click. You will quickly notice that specific keywords cost more on average than others.

This is a quick indicator that people are willing to spend more money on those keywords.
It becomes evident that those are the keywords you want if they are relevant to your client.
These are the keywords that other companies have found converts, so organize your list by filtering for the highest cost per click in AdWords.
From here you can take those keywords and group them.
  • The Second Factor is keyword difficulty.

Keyword difficulty is a remarkable factor to take note of because it takes a keyword you may be looking at for pay per click and it ranks it by difficulty from 0 to 100.
A keyword with a difficulty of 0, which I can’t imagine finding, would be the easiest to Rank for.
A keyword with a difficulty of 100 would be the most difficult to Rank for.
The higher the value the harder it is to compete.
Once again remember these factors are taking into consideration a national level.
Don’t be immediately intimidated by the score that’s given.
Remember we haven’t taken a look at what your competitors have done yet. Below is a little guy that can help you determine what to go after.
  • The third Factor is search volume.

On a national level, this is one of the greatest tools ever.
Because we are talking about local SEO, it can become difficult to determine if a keyword is right for your Marketplace.
In these cases sometimes we have to use common sense I many times it comes down to experimentation.
Also, it is important to remember higher search volume doesn’t always mean conversion.
For example, I had a company that was selling hyperbaric chambers.
Of course, it would be great for them to right number one for the word hyperbaric chambers. When you take a look at the search engine results,
most of the results word definitions medical journals and the like.
At that time the keyword search volume for “hyperbaric chamber” was over 6,000 searches.
But the search volume for  “cost of a hyperbaric chamber”  was only 30 searches per month.
Being that my client’s products cost several hundred thousand dollars which would price it out of the normal consumer’s  ability to purchase,  I had to factor in that ranking for hyperbaric chamber would generate a lot of waste of traffic.
Yes, it would be a great goal for the future, but ranking for cost of a hyperbaric chamber right now could generate sales that made my client very happy.
  • The Fourth Factor Is not data-driven.

The fourth factor is becoming your client’s client’s client.
I’ll repeat it become your client’s clients’ client.
I cannot stress how important this really is especially to SEO and more importantly to local SEO.
so in this instance will use a roofer.
we’ll call our client Joe’s Roofing.
Our clients’ client would then be people interested in roofing.
Now there are probably three or four different types of people that are going to be purchasing a roof.
The first one has a damaged roof in need of repair I believe they may need to replace it.
The second one has an aging roof and knows they need to replace it but is looking at cost as much as aesthetics.
The final client only cares about aesthetics which is our Dream client.
They’re truly looking to upgrade their home and make it more beautiful, whether it’s to sell it or for their enjoyment.
So now we have our clients client.
So what is our client’s client’s client?
The simplest way to describe your client’s client’s client is to call it the motivating factor the cause them to purchase in the first place.
It is not the product but the emotional and mental satisfaction that is achieved by crossing it off your to-do list.
The bragging rights and the sense of accomplishment that comes from getting what you want.
I won’t get too deep into neuroscience for SEO, just know that the motivating factor is the most important one.
You have to get inside your client’s client’s client to know what content is right and what keywords to go after.
Just knowing that you’re selling to your client’s  ambition their motivation and their biochemical need for satisfaction ensures keyword choices and your content choices are on target.

PERFORM. Time to get to work

Now that we have an efficient methodology it’s time to complete the task that we have in our strategy.
Performing is simply doing all of the things that we have chunked into our Norm phase.Always set an ETA for any task you have to complete.
The more efficient you become at the living on time the more predictable the outcomes of your SEO will be.
I know that seems like a stretch but believe me after over 10 years in this game you realize that planning is everything.
When you have a great plan the one time that you strike gold can feed your company for years,  literally.
Marketing Mobile

Mobile Computing Massively Influences Desktop Computing

As the use of smartphones continues to grow exponentially it is no surprise that all of that usage would somehow have an impact on other things. With more and more people using their phones to perform daily tasks that they once would have to wait until they got home and would sit in front of their desktop computers to do.

People can now take care of paying bills with a couple of taps of the screen on their smartphone and get on with their busy day. There are so many other things that these handheld wonders that simply slip into your pocket can do. You cannot walk many steps down any street these days without seeing someone on their smartphone.

With all that being said, it has not gone unnoticed by the media and marketing industries. The explosion of mobile device usage is definitely on the minds of the people who make it their business to pay attentions to trends in computer usage. According to the numbers, over 65% of digital media is now consumed by mobile devices.

One of the main reasons for this is that the mobile service providers have invested huge sums of money to increase the speeds of their networks and the mobile phone makers have improved the devices to point where they are actually more powerful than many of the desktop computers found in most homes.

With all that power and speed at the fingertips of so many people, it is not surprising that this has caught the attention of the web designers and content providers all across the Internet. The fact that the mobile user’s traffic has surpassed the traffic coming from desktop users has obviously begun influencing how content providers are tailoring their content for the smaller mobile device screens.

Speed Enhancements

Website design and development has seen a major shift in how they are being approached and this is due in large part by the explosion of mobile device usage. With so many websites being accessed by mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets at a higher rate, it is important that websites need to be adjusted as to make the experience for the mobile user much better. It is extremely important that websites and web pages load faster and use much less of the device’s resources. All of the enhancements being employed by web designers are also benefitting the desktop users as well.

New Graphic Techniques

The onslaught of the usage of mobile devices has also appeared to have affected the way web page graphics are being used all across the board. The concept of using less complex graphics to benefit the small screen user has also benefitted desktop users as web pages load quicker and the graphics have an appealing look to them. There is even a new innovation in a graphical design called Flat Design that is being used to reduce the complexity of icons and other graphic components being used in web design.

Human Computer Interaction

The term Human Computer Interaction is used to refer to the design and use of technology that focuses mainly on the interface between the user and the computer. This is extremely important as it can be useful for website owners to be able to get the most bang for their buck, so keeping the cost of HCI lower would be a huge plus. One of the easiest ways to improve the ROI and therefore reduce the cost of HCI would be to place the search bar in a more prominent location, preferably at the top of the page.

Use of Typography

Fonts and type size have become a greater area of emphasis with the access to a greater number of fonts and typestyles to web designers and content providers. Since the screens are smaller on mobile devices it makes it more difficult to read content that is in smaller type size, this has caused the content providers and website designers to rethink the standard 12-14 pt type sizes and bump them up to 16-18 pt. They have also opted away from the plain old standard Arial or Comic Sans, more some much bolder type.

Final Thoughts

It really should not come at any surprise that today’s computing experience is highly influenced by the mobile device usage. The trends have been pointing towards mobile traffic outpacing computer desktop traffic over the past couple years and this means there had to be a shift in order to accommodate the use of mobile devices for accessing websites and web pages on the Internet.

It does seem that it has actually been a positive thing for both the desktop user and mobile user at the same time. This is mainly because the web pages are loading that much faster and they aren’t having to sacrifice the usability of the site to get it.

Marketing Social Media

SEO for e-commerce: Six ways to improve sales through SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the best thing going when it comes to an Internet business. It is attributed directly to boosting the traffic to any website and that includes e-commerce type websites. While page optimization is often thought to be strictly about page ranking by search engines, the real truth is SEO techniques can be quite effective when it comes to boosting sales for e-commerce websites.

In order to be successful at e-commerce you not only have to get traffic to your sites, but you have to encourage them to make purchases when they are visiting your sites. This is where you can benefit from using SEO optimization techniques to make the most from each of your e-commerce pages. In this article, we will discuss 6 ways to e-commerce sales through SEO.

Here are the top challenges we face in inbound marketing:

As you can see, SEO ranks at the very top of all inbound marketing priorities. There’s a lot more to it than just showing up- let’s get started and we’ll discuss what you need to do!

#1 It all begins with keyword research

While keywords are an extremely important part of SEO, you need to tailor it more to fit with e-commerce as compared to standard web pages. One way to do this is to target keywords that fit with your products on your pages. Unfortunately, traditional methods for finding keywords won’t be as successful for product pages, instead, you need to use a different keyword tool for coming up with the best keywords.

Our recommendation is a for you to use a website called Übersuggest. This website has proven to be more successful at finding the best keywords as compared to most other Google keyword search tools. This site helps to find your numerous product-specific keywords that match your products for each of your pages that you can use in order to help your sites to improve its search results.

#2 All product pages need to be optimized

When it comes to your e-commerce website you have to treat each product page individually. This means every page has to be optimized separately so that Google and other search engines don’t treat all your pages the same and you could easily be penalized.

Page optimization is very specialized and it consists of several different elements such as image optimization, uses keyword in the product title, optimises product descriptions with long content and includes product review schema. Each of the optimization techniques is extremely easy to implement.

#3 Linking is very important

Search engines like Google find that backlinks to a website are the number one factor for quality when it deciding on page ranking. The way they look at it is if others are willing to link to it then there must be a very good reason. So, with that said, how do you go about getting these all important link backs, you have to give people a good reason to want to link to your pages.

The best way to do this provides the best quality content about the specific products that you sell on each page. The other way to do it would be to write content about the e-commerce business that you have set up with the products you sell. As you can see, there are two very different ways to go about it.

#4 Site Structure needs to be right

When it comes to looking at your site the search engines look at how the site is laid out. You want to be sure that it is set up in a way that makes plenty of sense and that appears pleasing. While you may think the arrangement makes sense, it has to look that way to Google’s web crawlers or your page will not be ranked as high.

When you have multiple pages on a website, how the all the pages are tied together has to be in a hierarchy that makes sense and that is what makes a website setup perfect. All of your products should be arranged in different categories and those categories should be listed in an order that makes sense. A good rule to go by is to ensure that no pages are more than three clicks away from the homepage or you risk the web crawlers might overlook some of your important pages.

#5 The best site experience wins

The key to any search engine is to provide its users with the best quality search results and therefore you need to provide the best quality experience for the visitor as possible. If you give them a reason to stick around your site chances are greater that you will end up with more buyers.

In order to ensure the best experience is to provide high-quality products for them to buy and to provide high-quality content for them to see. The freshest and most relevant is what they want to see. It doesn’t make any sense to have the same old content on your site if you want people to keep coming back.

#6 Bring your best content forward

If you haven’t noticed by now, there is an underlying theme throughout this entire article. While SEO techniques change over time, the one constant is CONTENT IS KING. You must pay close attention to all of the content on your pages and it should always be fresh, relevant and to the point as possible.

All of your product descriptions should be clear and concise, with as many details as to give the visitor no reason to go anywhere else to find out about the product you are selling. All images should be quality, a high resolution where possible and have some customer reviews of your products are extremely helpful.

This is a whole lot of information for you go through, but we hope that we touched on everything that is relevant. We further hope that you are able to use it to make your e-commerce website the best you can.


What is IP Targeting and how to use it to build a successful brand

IP targeting is superior to geo-targeting because it allows you to target your advertising to specific households and businesses.

Are you looking to increase the conversions from your direct mail campaigns? How about reducing the wasteful spending of your current ad campaign? You may want to consider IP Targeting. Here is what you need to know about IP targeting.

What Is IP Targeting

You might be wondering, “What is IP targeting?” IP targeting is a type of hyper-targeted advertising. This type of advertising allows you the ability to show ads to specific addresses, office buildings, and even suite numbers! You can reduce the commonly accepted practice of wasteful ad spend because you’re only showing your ads to those exact addresses where your target audience is. This form of advertising is 50 to 100 times more targeted than traditional media. True one to one marketing.

Instead of grouping people based on demographics and behavior (Audience Segmentation) IP targeting is more refined and personalized, which leads to higher ROI.

How does IP targeting work?

The way IP Targeting works is simple. You provide the names, addresses, and zip codes of the people or businesses you would like to advertise to. This can be your list of previous customers, lost customers, potential new clients, your direct mail list and more. These addresses are then run through an IP mapping system where the IP addresses are matched with physical addresses. Once the two addresses append (match), then you can begin serving your display or video banner ads using the IP address of the home, or office building.

Who Should Use IP Targeting?

IP targeting is superior to geo-fencing because it uses individual IP addresses instead of groups of IP addresses from specific geographic locations. This allows you to target your advertising to specific households and businesses. It is a terrific option if you are a business that needs your message to reach specific households.

Business to Consumer

  • Auto Dealerships
  • Universities, Colleges, and Charter Schools
  • Financial Institutions and Banks
  • Retailers
  • Hair Salons and Barber Shops
  • Politicians
  • Realtors
  • Restaurants
  • Interior Designers

Business to Business

  • Marketing Agencies
  • Janitorial Suppliers
  • Office Suppliers
  • VOIP Service Providers
  • IT Consultants
  • Business Consultants
  • Engineering Firms
  • Accountants
  • Lawyers
  • Solar Installers

IP Targeting Strategies That Work

You’ve already done the research, built a list of contacts, sent out mailers, purchased your booth at a trade show; so why not supercharge their effectiveness with IP targeting?

  • Politicians can show ads to previous donors
  • Colleges and Universities can show ads to high schools
  • Banks can advertise in real estate offices
  • Combine IP Targeting with email campaigns
  • Show your ads inside of convention centers during seminars and trade shows
  • Boost your direct mail campaign with IP targeting

Combining IP Targeting with direct mail will deliver a powerful one-two punch. Advertising to the same people in the digital realm and in the physical world will help be seen and recognized, get more quality leads, and closing more of those leads. IP Targeting should be a part of every direct mail campaign.

How can IP targeting help my business?

The precision of IP targeting offers numerous advantages to businesses. IP Targeting can be done at a fraction of the cost of print, radio, or television advertising. You can reduce the amount of wasted money related to poorly targeted ad campaigns. You can create more personalized ads to entice your audience. You can also see exactly how your campaign is doing by looking at the engagement rates, allowing you to make adjustments to it as needed. To learn more, contact the Digital Marketing Group today at 800.939.1639 or fill out our contact form.