Improving Search Results Starts with Your Competition

I get asked all the time, “How do I pick the right SEO firm to help with my website’s organic search?”.

The answer: when comparing search firms, find out who did their homework. A reputable SEO company will not only look at your site,  they will fully examine the competitive landscape.

Why is competition so important when all you care about is fixing what’s wrong with your website? Because it’s what the websites ranked higher than yours are doing (or not doing) that determine how much work needs to be done.

Keep this in mind: getting your site optimized is often the easy part. Closing the gap between your site and the competition is where the hard work begins.

Read moreImproving Search Results Starts with Your Competition

Stop Doubting Video & Embrace It

I’m always amazed at business owners who doubt leveraging the awesome the power of video for their website. Although I experience it less these days, I still talk to enough doubting business owners to make me believe the world is not yet as convinced as it should be. Video is the future, if not the present, people!

In fact, I’m sort of embarrassed this blog is in text, not video, but bear with me. I’ll get there eventually.

When someone gets to your website, you have only a few precious seconds to convince them that A) your service is worth buying and B) more importantly, they should buy from you. If your website is loaded with novels of text that someone has to read in order to understand what your business is all about, forget it. No one will read it. You need to shorten your pitch by doing things like showing people via video the value of your product or service.

Today I came across  another great example of  a business leveraging the power of video. Surprisingly, it was done by a bank! Banks aren’t usually known for using social media effectively.

Here’s why this video is so great:

1.  Within 2-3 minutes, you know exactly how the product works AND that it’s ridiculously simple.

2.  USAA took something that might make some people apprehensive (mobile deposits) and used actual customers to ease any potential fears or hesitations about complexity or security. This is brilliant. What’s more powerful than seeing real people make those deposits in only a few seconds?

3. Existing USAA customers will undoubtedly see this app as a value-add while people that aren’t customers might reconsider.

    You can’t watch that video and not think that the service is very cool and a complete no-brainer.  Want proof? According to USAA’s Twitter account, $1.5 million has already been deposited using this new app in just three days.

    If your website is not using video to help sell your products or services, start thinking about it right away. And if you need help coming up with a video content plan, let us know.

    If you have other good examples of videos being used on websites you use, include a link in the comment section.

    So…How Does SEO Work?

    I’ve said this before, but these days practically every business owner I meet wants to talk about SEO.

    Most of the time, the conversation is spent talking about their pain. Either they are frustrated with a current provider that’s not producing, or they have recently come to the realization that their website’s performance in search engines is lacking and they need help. And they need help fast.

    Inevitably, the conversation will turn to our approach to search engine optimization. It’s a great question. People want to know what it is we do to get results. I always tell them that we didn’t write the book on SEO. And our methods are hardly a secret. At the end of the day, we follow a proven method that utilizes white hat technologies. In other words, we don’t cheat.

    So the answer is a mix of experience, ethical practices, and hard work. All of that usually equals  success.

    You can read more about our process. There’s an overview on our website.

    Free Search Engine Evaluation – Do it!

    A lot of business owners know they need help with search engine optimization, but they don’t know where to start.  The good news is that there are a ton of search engine optimization companies out there looking for clients.

    A valuable way for both sides to feel each other out are free evaluations, just like the one we offer to potential clients.

    A lot of companies with search engine optimization services will offer such an analysis to try and soften the sales process (because understanding the ins-and-outs of SEO can be difficult for biz owners)  and win your business.  My advice is to take them up on their offer. Where else can you get something for free?

    The real value is the learning you get from it. The best SEO firms will give you a very clear snapshot of your current search situation and tell you how they think it can be fixed. Not only will you learn something about SEO, but you’ll get a good sense of the company’s ability to deliver.

    I’ve seen many free SEO evaluations. A large percentage of them don’t do a good job of giving business owners a justification for their costs. Frankly, that’s probably because that search firm doesn’t know what they are doing.

    So, if you are just warming up to the idea of hiring an SEO expert, do yourself a favor and take some search engine optimization companies up on their free offer. You’ll learn a lot about your website’s search engine needs and it will help you choose the right partner for your business.