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Website Satisfaction Improves Search Engine Rankings

Web search guru Cyrus Shepard posted earlier this week on MOZ, some great insight into how search engines evaluate and use ‘satisfaction’ in the algorithms that produce the order in which search engine results are placed. With all the attention given to external linking, social media activity and other interactions that can also influence SERP placement, Shepherd really got back to basics. In discussing the fundamentals of user satisfaction he brought up the simple fact that user behavior once on a Web page probably influences future search engine placement – perhaps very significantly.

Understanding that all search engines endeavor to deliver exactly the information the user has requested, it only follows that they will evaluate the activity that takes place immediately following a search engine referral to see if they got it right. Does the user immediately hit the back button and try a different result? Does the reader stay on the page and consume the content and then venture onto other pages within that Website?

The Google sees all!  All this activity is tremendously important to understand. The ultimate Big Data collector, Google captures an incredible volume of search engine activity and interaction from which they can build finely tuned measurement systems to evaluate how readers interact with a given Web page.  The longer readers stay on a page or site after a search engine referral, the more confidence the search engine has that they have properly ranked their results properly.

This brings up multiple areas to look at when trying to improve your Web page and its search engine placement.  Among the considerations for improving ‘satisfaction’ and thus improving SERP placement then include:

  • Rapid page load speed
  • Easy to understand navigation
  • Easy access to content and page value
  • Good quality content (of course!)
  • Depth of content (to keep readers on the page)

This last point – depth of content may indicate a need to redesign or restructure some of the more important web pages on your site to provide more value and give readers a reason to stay engaged.  Landing page development should of course provide reasons to stay on the page, but they should also be easy to use and not inhibit one’s interest in consuming the content (such as an annoying pop up or request for more information).

With so much of the focus of SEO being on attracting natural links, this is a refreshing way to look at the SEO function. After all, what good is it to optimize a site and attract readers only to have them drop off.

In the end building a Website that gives readers what they are searching for is just good business. And… it keeps your site in good position on the search engine results.

 

Image Optimization in SEO – Attracting Traffic With Pictures

One of the interesting observations following the roll out of Penguin 2.0 were the number of clients that now have their images appear as search results! This development isn’t necessarily the result of changes in the Google algorithm, but may be related to some of the things we (SEO Consultants in Denver ) did to prepare for it.

As rumors of a new Penguin update grew louder, we recommended to several clients that we again review their on page optimization and update any page assets to make sure we were clearly communicating to the search engines the unique content of each page. Included in this effort was attention given to image descriptions. This is a process that had occasionally been overlooked in previous reviews, but with the looming threat of a new algorithm update, we thought it best to give extra effort to all page assets.

Optimizing images for search is nothing new. Properly set and descriptive alt tags make the page more readable and searchable. However, prior to Penguin 2.0, we encouraged clients to give a little extra effort to making sure that image files and alt tag descriptions were consistent with the keyword and term strategy for each page. Renaming a few image files as well as resetting the alt tags for some of our client images didn’t take long and was something done almost as an afterthought to the entire Penguin preparation effort. In the end, there were some very positive results. Several clients now have their images appearing in non-branded searches.

Product Image Optimization

Organizations that have unique product images on their website can use these images to compete for more search engine traffic. In addition to the website appearing as an organic search result, images that match search terms may appear as separate search engine results. The image is clickable to a larger version on Google, beneath which is a link to the website from which the image was pulled. In a sense, this is an additional opportunity to compete for reader attention and to display any visual product advantages to potential buyers.

Inspiring the search engines to display images then seems to require a simple, two-fold strategy:

  • strong on page optimization
  • image optimization consistent with on page term strategy

On Page Optimization is essentially the same methodology of identifying keyword terms and installing descriptive title, description and even keyword terms. Making these consistent across all meta data types has proven important in building each page to attract traffic.

Image optimization requires the Web operator to make sure the file name from which the image is pulled, is somewhat descriptive of the type of image displayed. File names such as “snowthrowerimages” instead of “images1” work well. Setting alt tag content to a more descriptive level is a simple matter of describing the product, preferably utilizing a keyword term. Alt tag descriptions such as “Red Snow Thrower” then describes the image further.  When the search engines crawl the page, they will note that the images come from a file named “Show Thrower Images” and one of the actual pictures is of a “Red Snow Thrower.” If the page is optimized using the term “Snow Thrower,” these images would then appear to be more likely to be picked up and displayed as a search result.

In the end, thinking of image display as part of the meta data exercise may be beneficial. Whenever meta data is modified or updated, including the image file name and alt tags in the modification process enables the search engines to more clearly understand what each page contains. And when some of the expected search terms are used, the search engines may be more likely to grab an image from the website to use in their results display.

Much of this is not news to experienced SEOs, but we’ve seen a number of Webmasters forget to include image optimization in their page maintenance programs. And after the latest Penguin update, we are seeing more client product images appear on search results pages.

Service Businesses and Image Optimization

What does this mean for service oriented business?  Images can be developed for any line of work. Services that develop images or info-graphics that describe improved performance or better user experience may also offer some opportunity for image result display. Google in particular though, seems to be able to sniff out non-product images fairly easily, so image display for non-product business Websites may be a bit more challenging. Optimizing these images may require talking more about results, achievements and relationships and then describing them in a fashion consistent with other page meta data.

We are working a couple trials using descriptive service images, so we will keep everyone updated in this blog space.

 

 

Google Algorithm Update – Importance of On Page Optimization

After working through some search results following the latest Google algorithm update, we were able to isolate some additional characteristics of websites that ranked better after last week’s Penguin 2.0 launch. In reviewing results from multiple pages, sites and comparing rankings from before and after the 2.0 push, we have concluded that two areas seem to make the difference in performing well on the search engines. These are:

  • Good Quality “On-Page” Optimization, and
  • Natural Links

Good Quality On Page Optimization

Google in particular has really pushed the need for good quality content, but there seems now to be an extension into good quality optimization.  As part of ‘Good Quality’ optimization, the pages we’ve noted as being more successful after Penguin 2.0 have been optimized around well-researched keyword terms. Additionally, and maybe more importantly, these sites have good quality internal linking strategies that utilize these keyword terms in naturally appearing language.

Sites that did well after the latest Penguin roll-out managed to fit the keyword strategies into the recommended character limits for title and description tags. We could not tell that style of title tags made much difference.  Titles that included the keyword terms in a more natural sentence structure did just as well as those that were ‘pipe-separated.’

Sites that did well also contained the keyword terms towards the leading portion of the meta description.  Although it isn’t anything new that more important keywords should be placed at the beginning of title and description tags, it was at least interesting to see that sites that endeavored to structure the tags in this fashion now seem to be rewarded.

We didn’t see any changes or ranking improvements for sites that provided a great deal of additional mark-up. One of our sites that did well had invested some time in providing additional mark up content through things like abstract tags. However the improvements in this site’s rankings may have more to do with the ‘spammy’ link profile of its competitors which may have caused them to drop down in search engine placement. This will require a bit more research, but looking at the importance of additional markup may be worth future effort.

Natural Links:

Google has been harping for some time about the ‘natural link’ methodology for building web page strength. Links inspired due to good quality content is ideal, but other methodologies, such as guest blogging are a popular – if time consuming – way of building external links.  However, we discovered that client sites that placed well after Penguin 2.0 were ones that didn’t invest a great deal in guest blogging.  Several did invest in press release efforts for event and milestone announcements, but guest blogging didn’t seem to be an important part of the link building strategy.  Note:  can we conclude then that guest blogging is not important?  Well.. no… but.. we just didn’t see any examples where a guest blogging strategy produced improved results over the past week.

Natural links still seem to be the main difference between sites that place well on the search engines and sites that struggle for attention. And in the end, good quality content promoted through press release and social media seem to inspire the link strength necessary to rank well. The slow-growth method of building link strength through quality content seems to – at least at first glance – pay off.

We will have more observations throughout the upcoming weeks on what Penguin 2.0 might mean for other types of link building and optimization.

 

Penguin 2.0 – Success in the New Algorithm

Late yesterday (May 22, 2013), Matt Cutts of Google’s Anti-Spam team announced that the long awaited Penguin 2.0 search algorithm update had been deployed. Impacting an estimated 2.3% of search queries in US-English, SEOs across the country are now evaluating the algorithm change. After digging through the numbers and graphs this morning, we are ready to make a few high level observations about the latest algo update.

To start, none of our clients noticed any serious degradation other than a SERP place or two for terms other than primary ones. We don’t practice In several instances though, we’ve noticed some solid improvements in client rankings. These clients had undertaken three primary efforts from which they now seem to be benefiting. The commonalities of those improved sites seemed to fall into three categories:

  • an updated, well researched on-page tagging,
  • a linking strategy based on content, and
  • a Google+ and social media engagement plan.

On Page Tag Strategy:

All web pages should undergo a periodic re-analysis of title, description and yes.. even keyword… tag information. Keeping these tags fresh and focused on good quality keyword terms is always a good idea to maximize possible search engine visits.  In the recent update, pages that had been updated within the last month seemed to enjoy improved placement. Reconfiguring the title and description tags, even around the same essential keyword terms seemed to help.

Linking Strategy Based on Content:

Simply put, clients that distributed regular press releases, posted interesting blog articles and distributed other content, found their search engine rankings improved this morning.  This indicates that the traditional, value and content methodology works with the new algorithm. (Although Google’s Cutts contends that no SEO value exists for links contained in a traditional press release, a press release does seem to be a part of a successful content outreach strategy when undertaken as part of a blog outreach process.) Clients that noticed improved rankings were ones that issued regular press releases,  posted consistently to their blogs and developed (and executed on) a content production schedule.

Google+ and Social Media:

Similar to developing an outreach or content production schedule, a social media engagement plan seems to be the other common thread of sites that improved in placement and position following the release of Penguin 2.0. This is perhaps the most intriguing of the apparent algorithm changes.  The clients we observed that have so far come out the best were ones that engaged in an energetic social media outreach program that included Google+. One client began the Google+ portion of the plan early in 2013 and just this week hit the 500 follower level. Using Google+ to promote its blog and other content seems to have attracted readers, referrals and may have contributed to the improved search engine placement.

As the implications of the latest Penguin search algorithm update become more apparent, we’ll pass on our observations.

Thank you for reading!  Follow us on Google+!

 

 

 

Creating Good Content – Just the Basics

No doubt about it, developing good content requires investment. Time, research and expertise all go into crafting interesting stories that others in your market will find interesting and valuable. This ‘value’ inclusion is the element that builds strength for your website and strength for your reputation as an author.  As author and sponsorship authority and rank become more important in attracting new readers from the search engines, these story elements cannot be taken lightly and in the end, define what is ‘good content.’

What is good content?  Simply put, good content:
·    benefits others
·    offers help and assistance, and
·    answers questions

Note in particular that there is nothing in this list about selling a product. The place for product advocacy is on a product web page that the user can be invited to read. Content created for the purpose of building a relationship should in most cases avoid a direct sales pitch and instead offer suggestions, solutions and information geared to making the reader’s life better.

Does informational content qualify as marketing content?  The simple answer is ‘yes.’ Marketing establishes relationships with those that may become future buyers and brand advocates. Content that helps build these relationships then qualifies under the business marketing function.

Many marketers and marketing organizations fail to distinguish between marketing and sales. The selling function provides information necessary to the buying decision and in many instances, attempts to compel the reader to take action. The marketing function tends to fall under a higher level of research, relationship building and brand management. It is within this latter area that content marketing tends to be the most effective.

Making this content effective – in addition to meeting the basic good content requirements – provides a benefit to those reading it that they don’t have to pay for.  It is though, an invitation to continue visiting the site or blog and when the need to buy arises, the author will have the credibility to compete for the business.

Benefits:
Benefits take many forms. Ways of thinking about certain problems or overcoming obstacles qualify as a reader benefit. In terms of form, content may be presented graphically or with a bit of humor. Humor is in fact a big reason readers return to certain sites.  Information that is delivered with some entertainment value is disarming and makes consuming the content enjoyable.

Giving some credit to one’s readers is also important.  Letting the reader distill his/her value from your content  by presenting case studies, results of system trials and other attempts to do things differently are terrifically valuable.  In the end, providing a benefit to your reader simply means sharing something that you have learned in your business or in life.

Help and Assistance:
Offering help usually takes the form of offering a resource list or some type of suggestion for solving critical problems.  In addition to problem solving, information to help in problem avoidance is also quite valuable to the reader.  In either case, providing this value is a good reason for the reader to consume the content and to return at a future date.

Sometimes, problems and obstacles are either hidden or somewhat embarrassing.  Recovering from mistakes and errors can make for compelling content. Besides, everyone loves a comeback!

Questions:
Answering questions is a frequently overlooked way of connecting with readers. Simply maintaining a list of issues that others in your industry are wrestling with can give you a never ending supply of content ideas. Presenting questions and answering them also keeps you in a leadership position in your industry.

Creating good content may not be easy.  If it was, everyone would be doing it.  in the end, the effort to create good, basic content is conceptually easy, but more challenging to deliver.  But.. by attracting readers in your niche and by presenting your ideas, you can attain a leadership role in your industry and with that, attract business when readers become buyers.

How to Get More Google+ Followers – Community Building Fundamentals

In building one’s Google+ following, there are a couple key strategies that may not be unique to Google+ but are fundamental to most social media relationships. Keeping in mind two simple strategies can make building one’s G+ community more interesting and efficient. These are :

  • contributing to the conversation, and
  • giving others a good reason to follow you.

These two points are really indistinguishable in their application, but tactically, there are separate considerations. Understanding these strategies can make your social media outreach much more efficient and rewarding.

Contributing to the Conversation:
Reading other posted content, commenting by adding bits of value is contribution in its simplest form. Really focusing on adding value though, can greatly improve the response you get from your efforts.

Adding Value:
What kinds of ‘value’ are appropriate to the social media outreach? Your experience, opinions and observations make the most compelling content. Observations or the sharing of your discoveries makes interesting reading and can help others in your niche achieve their objectives. The more you help others achieve objectives, the more others will keep you in their circles.

Much can be said for sharing useful statistics. Stats can be difficult to present, but they offer a real opportunity to prove your points. Sharing a case study that shows a specific action leading to a verifiable, measurable result can make a great bit of content that others will find useful. Research and the willingness to share results in your community will make your content valuable and will inspire others to share it within their circles.

Content creator frequently resist sharing their findings or research for fear of giving away their expertise. Sharing results doesn’t necessarily mean sharing all of the tactics or minute details about how the task was accomplished, however. A few generalized statements of objectives and process can frequently provide the value without sharing the actual inner workings of one’s processes. In the end though, being a part of the community may occasionally require sharing of a few of these success secrets. This is just part of being a niche leader.

Giving Others a Reason to Follow:
Adding value is of course the primary reason others will follow your social media sites. However, establishing relationships involves application of some standard social skills, including thanking others for following you and only following others that share good content. Establishing yourself as a thought-leader with valuable industry insight as well as being welcoming to new followers is an unbeatable combination. Followers are people, and people won’t stay around if they do not feel welcomed – even if the content is fairly good.

Following Tips:
Just as you wish others to follow you for the value of your content, only follow others that can contribute to the pursuit of your objectives. Staying within your niche is helpful, especially when reading the history feed. If you are part of a larger organization, this is especially important. Interspersing irrelevant information with valuable content takes time to sort through and won’t help anyone find useful information. So by keeping the content in your feed meaningful, internal readers can quickly understand if the content is worth spending time reviewing. In the end, a smaller circle of relevant, followed sites make the history feed more valuable and easier to manage.

Likes and Plusses:
Adding your vote to others’ content that you find useful by liking or ‘plussing’ it by clicking on the plus sign next associated with a G+ post is actually a good way to invite others to follow you. Telling the content creator that the material was valuable is a good way to invite her/him to join your community as well.

Many Google+ posts include links to the poster’s blog. Community builders that get in a hurry frequently ‘plus’ content without actually reading it. ‘Plussing’ a G+ post though, really implies that you have read through the material. This is where the value is to you, but it is surprising how many just go through their feeds and plus content based only on the description. Of course those that receive the plus vote are happy to get it, but by skimming through or plussing posts without reading through it only shortchanges the one doing the community building.

Citing a portion of the content and then basing your comment on specific parts of the material is particularly effective in showing that you read and understood it. Adding your value to other’s content makes the entire post more valuable to the community and establishes you as a major contributor. Savvy community builders look for others willing to add value, research and opinions for inclusion into their communities.

Inspiring others to follow you requires a commitment of time and effort. Time spent reading other content as well as adding your own value points shows that you are knowledgeable and would be worth having as a member of other circles. And.. whenever someone follows you, always send a thank you note!

Matthew Stone assists clients build significant Google+ communities to help them grow their businesses. Follow him on Google+ or follow Denver SEO Consultants  to join the conversation!

 

Get Google+ Followers – A Start Up Strategy

After working with Google+ for the past two months, we’ve identified some useful tactics and engagement strategies to build your following. These strategies required some significant investments of  time and effort.  However, the effort provided the somewhat unexpected benefit of being an incredible learning experience.  Not only did we build a following now pushing 400 in about eight weeks, we gained an incredible amount of knowledge from reading the content provided by others in the community. In the end, this is what building a community is all about;  sharing and contributing for the purpose of improving the knowledge base for all participants.

The adoption of Google+ by other businesses as a strategic social business platform has reached a remarkable level. Some estimates have the new user growth rate exceeding 30% per year. Based on our experience working with the platform and with the community we’ve built, this growth rate estimate might seem a bit low. Google+ is easy to use and allows efficient management of one’s community of followers and provides some very significant business benefits.

Why Users are Adopting G+

In addition to the benefits of improved knowledge, attracting a number of Google+ followers improves page rank and Search Engine Results Page ranking for the company website. A robust following generates direct traffic for blog posts or content that you might wish to share more widely. In the end, building relationships using Google + is worth the effort.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be discussing some of the lessons-learned from building our Google+ following and sharing what benefits we learn about.  We will also share the mistakes and errors we made when we got in a hurry.  Experienced social media managers may understand these points, but hopefully our ‘lessons learned’ will help you avoid the same troubles if you are undertaking this task yourself. This week’s post is about kicking off the effort.

Setting up the Google+ Page

The Google+ home page can be easily set up in a few minutes using your Google login. If you don’t have one, just go to Google’s Set Up Page  and click on the ‘get started’ tab. As Google has combined Google Local with Google+, the new set up procedure requires you to verify ownership of the site. There are a couple easy ways to do this that the system will instruct you through.  Once this is done, the system will ask if you would like to customize with some images.

Step One – Images

Image creation does not need to be one of your major strengths. However, selecting a logo is important. When the page is set up, the system will ask for a Profile and a Banner image. It is possible to set up the page without these assets, but leaving them blank or using the Google supplied images just shows a lack of effort and won’t be inviting to readers.

The most important of these is the ‘Profile’ image. Not only does this image display on the main page of your Google+ site,  whenever you comment, “plus” another comment or  post, this image appears in a greatly reduced form. Logos that are simple and contain little text work well. Logo images that have long wording will look fuzzy and unclear when rendered in the smaller version. Some users simply use their photos for their Profile image. This might take a little trial and error to get a good logo for use as the Profile image, but making sure that the image works well in both large and small form is worth the effort when you start commenting and leaving your mark as you build your network.

Setting up your banner image is very easy as well. You can just grab a snapshot of your storefront, office or other interesting image that fits the long space at the top of the page.  NEVER choose a stock image from Google for the banner as that just shows a low level of interest in managing your page and your page will look like thousands of others.

Setting up the Google+ page is really very easy. Working with the images really isn’t that difficult either. The time consuming part begins when you reach out to others in the community to start building your following.  Check back next week when we’ll get into the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how to contribute and how to attract followers.

More Google+ Followers Leads to an Increase Website Traffic

HubSpot recently reported that 51% of business websites that had a Google+ page with a following of 51 to 100 received 106% more traffic than those with fewer than 25 followers. If the marketing objective is to get your organization’s message more widely distributed, then attracting traffic and visitors should be an important part of your marketing effort. This makes engagement on social platforms even more important.

Google+ engagement increases traffic in two primary ways:

  • Direct message distribution via social media
  • Improved SERP placement

Social Media Distribution:
Increases via direct distribution follows intuitive reasoning. The more people exposed to your message on Facebook, Pintrest and Google+, the greater the possibility of attracting them to your online content. This places a high level of importance on the quality of content to both provide readers the value they want as well as to inspire them to follow, endorse and consume future content.

Content production and marketing has then emerged as a major social media effort. Over-posting or putting out too much content with too little value dilutes the reader’s willingness to return to the site. Content with no value will get your reader to ‘un-follow’ you or lose interest in the online relationship. It takes an investment of time and effort to create this content and distribute it in a fashion that will attract and hold reader attention.

Another quick note about content:   good statistics – particularly data that you have developed or compiled yourself makes great content. This takes some nerve to post!  Some readers may disagree, but unique observations and opinions are what will make your content unique and valuable. A significant amount of recycling takes place with interesting statistics once a major research study is released. If you are the one to release these statistics, that discussion will revolve around you and cite you as the source!

SERP Placement:
Speaking of unique statistics, our internal research has also shown that increased social engagement can improve Search Engine Placement. Particularly on the Google+ platform, an increase in 100 followers typically yields an improvement in SERP placement.

For sites placing on page three or lower, these improvements can be significant. Google+ can be the methodology by which a company can get onto the top page. Of course this depends on the on-page optimization, keyword strength, competition and content value but we have seen results improve anywhere from 10 to 15 places for 100 followers on Google+.  Social engagement is a significant element in the SEO game and has emerged as an additional type of link building effort that can directly improve SERP placement.

Sites already on the top page are already in the thick of the competition battle, so improvements are a little less predictable. Still, for new sites that attract 100 followers to a business Google+ page, we have seen improvements land in the three to five places range. So a site ranking between five and 10 can improve to the top five by connecting its business website to a Google+ page and earning 100 followers.

Content development and social media engagement each require a significant level of effort. In the end though, this is what establishes an organization as a solid business entity capable of serving its customers well.

Check back frequently for more notes on Internet Marketing, SEO and Social Media Management from Denver SEO Consultants. We usually post every other day during the week.

Next Scheduled Posts:  Content Creation, How to Attract Followers and Likes

How to Get Followers on Google+ .. Using Photos and Images

Getting more followers on Google+ is the endgame for many social media managers. More followers means more traffic, better acceptance, a wider community and in some instances, improved search engine rankings. In the end, attracting followers is a function of effort; one just can’t build a good following without investing time in the process.

Putting in the time to reach out to others within the niche, comment thoughtfully on information and to participate in the wider online conversation is the essential procedure to attract followers. However, there are some elements that are frequently overlooked that, if unaddressed, will inhibit the organization from attracting as many Google+ followers as it otherwise might.

These overlooked areas of Google+ engagement include creation and management of the images and pictures used in the Google+ page itself as well as on any blog article or page that the manager chooses to link to from Google+.

Google+ managers compete for readers’ attention and must do so in an extremely limited amount of time – perhaps in sub-second intervals. In that short time, the manager has to provide a reason for the reader to look at the comment, article reference or click over to the G+ page for that organization. In most cases, that reason is the thoughtful comment or note. It is not uncommon though, for readers to skip over a comment if they cannot discern anything about the organization making the comment from the images displayed.

When setting up a Google+ page or evaluating its performance, it should be noted that images are important. There are three main types of images that most frequently appear in Google+:

  • Cover Photo
  • Profile Photo
  • Blog Image or Photo (from a page linked on a comment or post)

Each of these images should say or represent something about the company or about the business focus.

Cover Photo:
This image is the main masthead for the Google+ page. It is amazing how many users simply do not post anything! Google then inputs a non-descript image with some circles and colors across the top. Whenever a reader “mouses” over a comment, this image displays along with the top of the Google+ page. If G+ readers are looking for serious members of the niche to interact with, it isn’t helpful at all to be presented with a boring, generic image.

Every time your information gets in front of a reader – even if only for a split second, it is an opportunity to reach out and communicate. The Cover Photo is an opportunity to share information about the organization. Leaving it out is a missed opportunity! Taking the time to create an image or a photograph of the storefront (or even the sign on the door) is well worth the effort!

Profile Photo:
A Profile Photo is necessary for a Google+ page. The Profile Photo appears on the face of the Google+ page and is the square image that overlays the cover photo. It is very important that the Profile Photo or image be easy to read and reflect something about the organization. The reason for this is that each time the G+ manager makes a comment on other content, this image is displayed in a very small size next to the comment.

Images that look great at full size may not render well when the image is contracted. So.. care is needed to create a Profile Photo or image that will display well when reduced. Images using a lot of text typically do not display well. As a result, another opportunity to connect with readers may be lost. Care and testing should take place with selecting a Profile Photo to ensure that the image is still meaningful when displayed in reduced size. This may take some trial and error, but it is worth the effort.

Blog Images:
Blogs allow uploading of images of course to help the writer make her/his points. When promoting this content on Google+, these images are grabbed by the system and displayed as part of the news feed that goes out to all your followers. Infographics are hugely useful for inclusion in blog as they can deliver a great deal of information in a short period of time. When these graphics are included within a blog article, the image can help attract readers. Again, some forethought and testing can make the most out of one’s limited time to invite readers to follow and communicate.

Social Media Management assistance is provided by Denver SEO Consultants as part of a regular service package. Managing SEO and Social Media together allows the client organization to engage the community, expand its communication reach and even improve page rankings. Visit our home page to learn more, or simply click the ‘contact us’ tab and send us a note!

Google+ For Business: SEO Link Building Strategy

The Google algorithm updates over the past few years have had a dramatic impact on how companies attract visitors and internet traffic to their pages. Traditionally, organizations and SEO consultants would set links out in the greater internet world that would point back to the client site using a variety of well-chosen anchor text terms.

Over the years, though it became possible for companies to buy links or engage in practices of acquiring these links that were based not on the value of the content, but on other factors. The search engine providers decided early in 2012 that they had seen enough of these practices and have endeavored to come up with a better way of identifying good content and rewarding the websites that contained it. This resulted in some major changes to search results throughout the year.

While “natural” link building in this traditional form (where a content provider simply asks for a link is rewarded with a link for providing good content) is still important. Another method though has emerged that seems poised to be a very effective link building strategy for 2013.

Social Media Engagement

Social media interaction has emerged as an important measure of an organization’s level of engagement in the internet community. As Google and the other search engines do not necessarily want to refer readers to pages and environments that haven’t been updated, aren’t well maintained or are just posted up as a stagnant commercial billboard, social engagement has turned out to be a good measure of an organization’s commitment to providing information. Simply put, the more engaged an organization is on social media, the more likely they are to have more frequently updated (if not better) content.

Actually measuring an organization’s level of social media interaction is then a matter of quantifying the activity taking place on social platforms. Usually this takes the form of ‘likes’ in the case of Facebook, or on Google+ where the number of earned followers and ‘plusses’ to specific content provide the data.  As Google controls the algorithm to the most widely used search engine in the world,  access this data currently exists and according to early research, Google has built this into their search models.

Google+

Google+ is a simple platform somewhat similar to Facebook. A user follows businesses, individuals and companies, comments on interesting points and posts links to good content. Readers review the content provided by others that it has on its ‘follow’ list, comments on the material and posts links to its own content. If the text and material posted has value and other readers see it, readers can ‘plus’ it or endorse it online.

Since the environment is a Google, property, Google sees all of this activity. The more positive feedback a content provider receives, the more confidence Google in particular has in the value of the material presented.  Sites with more valuable material and higher levels of Google+ engagement are then frequently rewarded with higher search engine results placements.

Followers

Increasing numbers of followers on a Google+ business page seems to cause the business page to improve somewhat on the search engine results. In our research here, there is an improvement in SERP placement for every 100 or so followers attracted to an organization’s Google+ business page. Of course there would seem to be other metrics, such as relevancy of the followers to the business, that are built into the model, but the essential result seems to be that attracting followers results in better search engine placement.

The real challenge to building a Google+ following is the level of interaction required to attract followers. Great content, good observations, wit and humor all seem to play a part in building a strong community on this social platform. However, great and compelling  content is necessary to attract and retain readers anyway, so most organizations are already making an investment in creating this type of content. Engaging in Social Interactions on Google+ requires an investment of time to be successful, but doesn’t need to run up the company’s FTE count.

Future posts will provide ideas on managing a social media presence and integrating it a link-building and SEO effort. Check back frequently for new posts and updates. Future article topics will include ‘how tos’ and suggestions on attracting followers, generating good and compelling content and ways to incorporate Google+ into a company’s web environment. For more immediate information, please visit the SEO Consultants in Denver website.