It’s been eighteen months since I posted this article about Using Schema Microdata for Better SEO and while nothing has changed around what scheme markup is or how it can help boost your website traffic, the need to set your business apart from your ever-increasing online competition is more pressing than ever. [Read more…]
Google’s Webmaster Tools Renamed As Search Console
Earlier this year, Google rebranded its ten year old Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console (though the site is still reachable through the old URL, https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/). For those of us that used Webmaster Tools on a daily basis the change means little. The re-naming of this eminently useful tool was due entirely to Google’s wanting to expand its reach to people other than traditional “webmasters.”
Google Search Console is for everybody and anybody that has a stake in how a website performs in the world of search. That could be SEOs, web designers/developers, business owners and marketing professionals, among others. It’s wanting to reach this diverse bunch of users that drove the decision to rebrand. All these folks could be getting better results in Google Search and Search Console empowers them to do so.
We covered the usefulness of Google Webmaster Tools back in a 2012 blog post – it’s still one of the tools we use every single day – to monitor site health, gauge average keyword positions, check on how new content is being indexed – there is a wealth of information available through Google Search Console. Below I’d like to introduce you to the three most useful tools for SEO newbies:
Online Marketing Case Study: Paddle Diva
Part 1: Spring/Summer 2011
In Summer 2009, Gina Bradley launched her Stand Up Paddleboard business, Paddle Diva. Her timing was perfect — the sport was just starting to take off in a big way. Based in East Hampton, New York, Paddle Diva was among a handful of local businesses offering SUP lessons throughout the beach resort towns of Eastern Long Island. Bradley saw a niche amidst the competition: she would target women, marketing the health and wellness benefits of the sport as well as its recreational appeal.
Bradley’s first two years in business were successful enough for her to invest in a professionally designed website. Her website launched just as peak paddling season got underway in May 2011. The website was Paddle Diva’s primary marketing piece — a beautifully branded and visually compelling website with an easy-to-use content management system that allowed Bradley to manage and update site content herself.
But by early July, even with this beautiful new website, Bradley sensed her customers were not finding her online. She was Googling “stand up paddleboard Hamptons” and “SUP Long Island” and seeing her local competitors’ websites listed on the search result pages (SERPs) — but not Paddle Diva. [Read more…]
SEO Spring Cleaning
Spring is here! While many of us associate the season with shedding our heavy winter jackets and window washing, we online marketers have our own type of spring cleaning to tackle. Because SEO is an ongoing project, not a one-time thing, you’ll want to take a look at your web stats at least quarterly and make adjustments where necessary. Here are a few SEO Spring Clean-Up Tips: [Read more…]
SEO and Online Marketing for the Small Business (Part 1)
Panoptic is a New York City-based small business; most of our clients are small businesses, too. Small businesses need to understand how to leverage SEO and online marketing more than larger companies, because they don’t have the resources to spend on traditional media channels. Print media and television are costly undertakings! But for online marketing to be successful, a clear and long-term strategy needs to be defined – this is where many small businesses fall short and why so many of them end up on Panoptic’s doorstep.
While onsite SEO is fundamental for every website regardless of the size of the company, it’s only the first step on the road to establishing the kind of visibility that leads to a strong and long-lasting online presence. Scattered, unfocused efforts get poor results at best (and can even damage your online credibility). But when you run a small business you’re time is monopolized by overseeing daily operations and leaving you with little energy to focus on any marketing, much less formulating a comprehensive strategy. [Read more…]
With So Many Changes to SEO, Where Should You Focus Your Efforts?
We’re into our fourth year of business as Panoptic Online Marketing, and we’ve been witnessing and adapting to the evolution of online marketing and changes to SEO as it unfolds around us. From the very beginning, we’ve always stressed to our clients the need to produce and provide valuable, interesting, informative and/or entertaining content on their business websites as their first priority.
Many prospective clients are confused when they first speak with us about their SEO needs. If they have any understanding about SEO at all, they generally think about the model that all SEO vendors have studied and routinely use. The process of “optimizing” a website involves conducting competitive keyword research, implementing target keywords in prominent locations such as the HTMLS headers and title tags, and adding well-placed anchor text links throughout the site. But this approach is what we call “SEO in a vacuum” – it’s detached from the content creation process and is no longer enough to get a website ranking for targeted search phrases. [Read more…]
Parallax Scrolling is All the Rage, But How Does it Impact Your Site’s SEO?
Last year, it was homepage “sliders” (even we are guilty of using those). This year, the must-have design feature for the small business website is “parallax scrolling.” Parallax scrolling is a technique that causes the background image to scroll at a different rate from the rest of the page, creating an illusion of depth. This idea originated in the gaming industry, where this visual effect has endless applications in online storytelling.
What You Can Expect to Pay for SEO Services
Because it comes up so often, I thought I’d share a couple of thoughts and links around the topic of SEO pricing. Perhaps the first thing any prospective client wants to know is: how much does SEO cost?
Sigh. Such a difficult question to answer — and prospects hate to hear, “it depends.” Luckily, several other authors have already covered the topic.
JaysonDeMers, in his article from late last year on Search Engine Watch (How Much Should You Spend on SEO Services?), walks the reader through a very comprehensive list of things they need to consider before determining what to spend for SEO. His advice is dead-on, and a lot of it is the same spiel I give a part of my public presentations around SEO topics.
A worthwhile read for anyone who is just beginning to understand that just because you have a beautiful company website doesn’t necessarily mean your business is going to take off — or even that prospective customer will be able to find it. The search engine game changes constantly, and unless you have the time and technical expertise required to tend to your website (and other online properties), you cannot expect to marketing your services with some outside help. [Read more…]
Onsite SEO for Small Business
Good advice from Google, for smaller websites. In this ten-minute video, Google Developer Programs Tech Lead, Maile Ohye, offers ten basics for good onsite SEO. If you do nothing else, do these things.
Presentation from WordCamp New York City 2012
Panoptic’s Melissa Cahill presented at this weekend’s WordCamp New York City 2012. The topic was “Do it Yourself SEO w/WordPress” and the session proved to be tremendously popular — standing room only on Saturday and Mel was asked to repeat the presentation on Sunday. And the room filled up on Sunday, too!
Below are the slides from the presentation. Video is likely to be posted on the WPNYC.org site sometime this week, so keep an eye out.