Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

SEO Blog

Do You Need an SEO?

Maybe. Probably.

Google has an excellent post that answers this question and more. Here’s how they start:

SEO is an acronym for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site.

So how do you tell an “irresponsible SEO”?

We’ve addressed some of this before with posts that can all be found here. The recent article by Google overlaps a bit with that, and here are the main points Google stresses:

  • Avoid Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.
  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.
  • You should never have to link to an SEO.
  • Choose wisely (our posts can help).
  • Be sure to understand where the money goes (organic or PPC?).
  • What are the most common abuses a website owner is likely to encounter?

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What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

We encourage you, after reading what Google has to say, to put us to the test.

Do AdWords customers get special treatment?

If you buy Google Ads, can you get special treatment?

Google has long said that buying AdWords ads doesn’t help your rankings in the search results. But someone recently asked why his AdWords rep couldn’t help answer some questions about his organic rankings.

Google’s Matt Cutts answers the question.

Need help with your organic rankings? If Google can’t help, Rank Magic can!

Don’t Optimize for Google

Huh???

Sure, Google gets twice as many searches as Yahoo and Bing combined, but you shouldn’t optimize for Google. You shouldn’t optimize for Yahoo and Bing either.

It’s the User. It’s always the User.

A poor UX will get you nowhere with Google.Identifying the right keywords and doing on-page keyword optimization is arguably the easy part. The hard part is developing a compelling UX (User Experience). In a competitive niche, that’s what separates the high flyers on Google from the also-rans.

Let’s think about that for a second. It’s always been Google’s goal to present the best sources of information for any given search. That’s why you won’t find multiple listings on the first page of results that all have the same content. They’re out there  — just look at websites developed by vertical market website vendors; they often have pages with lots of information, but pages that are the same on many other websites. Google never wants to show you more than one of those: the rest are all redundant.

But it’s more than just having unique content on your site (although that is an irreducible essential). Your site needs to be easy to use, easy for users to find what they want, full of information not easily found elsewhere … it needs a good UX. That’s always been a #1 priority for Google and in their statement of philosophy headlined “Ten things we know to be true”, three of them relate directly to UX:

  • Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  • Fast is better than slow.
  • You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.

I’ve written about all of those things in this blog before, but it wouldn’t hurt you to review some of them.

Focusing on the user is Google’s #1 value. We’ve gathered all the stuff we’ve posted on that subject in our User Experience category.

The speed issue is always a concern when we prepare optimization recommendations for our clients, and all of our posts on that subject are neatly combined into our Page Speed tag.

Recognition that people are increasingly accessing the web on their phones is inescapable. But many websites that look great on a desktop or laptop, or even on a tablet may be close to unusable on a phone. We’ve written about that, too.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below.

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How does your UX stack up against your competitors? Need some help beating them out in the rankings? If so, Rank Magic can help

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Are Your Facebook Posts Getting Fewer Views?

It sure seems like Facebook posts are getting seen by fewer people.

Bad FacebookWe’ve had reports from clients that as soon as they paid to promote a post on Facebook, all the rest of their posts achieved fewer views than before. By a lot – a drop of more than 50% in the number of people who saw them.

The problem seems even more pervasive than that. Facebook has to filter what you see because there’s so much content there you can never keep up. But the way they’re filtering really restricts what you see.

Facebook Ads: A Bad Idea?

Derek Muller of Vertitasium has produced two effective videos explaining why it’s a bad idea to advertise on Facebook.

Here’s the first one

And here’s their followup.

What’s been your experience with Facebook paid promotion? Positive? Negative? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Product You – What You’re Worth to Facebook, Google & Twitter

Product You
Source: BizBrain.org