Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the Rank Magic Category

Rank Magic & Others Interviewed on New Jersey Business Radio

New Jersey Business Radio on Internet Media Broadcasting.Valerie Paik of TAG Online, Alissa Okrent of Confidence Compass, and Bill Treloar of Rank Magic were interviewed this morning on New Jersey Business Radio. You can listen to the full interview here.

Why Optimizing Your Website Is of Value to a Small Business Owner

SEO… SEM… Search Queries… Organic Results… PPC…

Is it more than just alphabet soup?

Once upon a time there was an easy way (or so a small business owner might have thought) to get customers and increase business. ’Yellow pages’ Yellow Books’, ‘Little Yellow Books’ and the like were full of advertisements in varying sizes and prospective advertisers were bombarded with offers to be #1.

Competition was fierce to be in the first page position and/or on the right side of the page. Business owners couldn’t get enough of it, and every month, year after year, that’s where the majority of advertising money went. At least for our company.

Then came the web

Over a number of years, websites became increasingly popular, and the good news was, you didn’t have to be a Fortune 500 company or a country-wide chain to have a website. You no longer needed to “let your fingers do the walking” in order to find what you were looking for  — your friend the computer was your guide to the internet

Time passed and more and more people throughout the world began searching on Google and other lesser patronized search engines for items they might want to buy, services they needed, and a source for information. There were, however, nay-sayers and dis-believers. But, we weren’t about to join that parade.

And so, ‘back in the day’ we had a website designed for our company.  It was 1999 and we were pioneers in our industry, particularly in our local service area  — one of the very first to venture onto “the web”. The mere thought was mesmerizing! It was exciting, and it was, at least in our mind, THE place to be. And of course, many thought it silly. Who was going to look for our business on the internet? Everyone, that’s who!

And so begins the Odyssey

As with anything new, there’s a learning curve and being a savvy small business owner, I decided to start doing some legwork and educating myself in the ways of the new marketing trend. And so, after years of a somewhat stagnant website, it was clear that the time had come for a complete overhaul. The year was 2007.  After creating a new website design I decided to dip my toe in the big pool of Search Engine Marketing.  Webinars, seminars, books (by the dozen) and a foray into this new form of advertising and marketing led me to want to learn more.

And… why not? After all, our business success could largely depend on it. And so it became my focus. Not being found in a search query would then become the apparent bane of my existence.  But, how does one accomplish this. Start reading online and you’ll find, as of the date of this blog post, 1,630,000,000 responses, and that’s on Google alone. Daunting isn’t it?

As luck would have it, I met Bill Treloar (more on Bill later) who was nice enough to invite me to write this blog post.  After spending a few hours with Bill I decided to engage his services. Bill was a fountain of information, filling in the gaps of knowledge for me. Bill helped our company with the optimization of a half dozen pages on our website, which had recently undergone another revision in early 2011. Steadily we began seeing increased organic results. Coupled with my aggressive Pay-Per-Click marketing campaign, which, in my humble opinion goes hand-in-hand with other efforts, the pace began to build.  Slow and steady wins the race, as the cliché goes. All along, I continued (and do so today) to read, search, learn and persevere in my mission to be at the ‘top of the page’, at the’ front of the line’, the’ head of the class’.  And it works.

But… as with anything good…there’s an expiration date.  And so, my suggestion is to stay vigilant. Don’t let your expiration date come when you reach a time that you think you’ve done enough. It’s never enough.  Be your own best advocate, and continue the efforts laid out in the foundation that is created. Algorithms change, competition increases, and eventually you’ll be ready to unleash the expert you hired. Once that happens, hire yourself and stay the course. You’ll be glad you did!

See you online!
Bonnie Bornstein Fertel
Bornstein Sons, Inc.

About our guest blogger

Bonnie Bornstein FertelBonnie Bornstein Fertel along with her husband Richard Fertel are owners of Bornstein Sons, Inc. a 3rd generation family owned and operated contracting company providing Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, Solar and Electrical services for homes and businesses in northern and north central New Jersey.  Bonnie’s recently launched  new business, Bonnie B, LLC concentrates on web content, blogging, social media and Google AdWords Account Management.  Bonnie manages Google Ad Words accounts for small business owners and writes content.

Thanks to Bill Treloar and Rank Magic for getting us off on the right foot! Bill’s expertise in optimizing for search has proved to be quite an asset and I would highly recommend him to get your website off to a running start as well as ongoing monitoring. You do, however, have to keep your end of the bargain though! And, that’s the voice of experience talking!

What are Reasonable Goals for SEO?

What can you expect from SEO?

Clients (and prospective clients) often ask us what they can expect from an SEO campaign. That’s an excellent question, because you need to set some sort of expectations so you can evaluate the success or failure of the process.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to set forth precise numeric goals in terms of the number of visitors, the precise rankings of given keyword phrases, the return on investment, or the dollar impact on your bottom line. But that doesn’t mean you can’t set reasonable and measurable expectations for a search engine optimization project. Here are some you might consider:

  • Traffic improvement  — your daily/weekly/monthly visitor counts should be noticeably higher after optimization than before. Set up traffic analysis (we like Google Analytics) ahead of time so you have a reasonable “before” level to compare your SEO results against.
  • Increasing number of your keywords in the top three pages of Google, Yahoo and Bing. Those three search engines get more than 95% of all searches in the US, so you needn’t worry about any others. By the time SEO has been going on for a year, your goal should be to have most of your keyword phrases showing up in the top three pages of these search engines.
  • Most of your ranking keywords on the first page in Google. This is a challenging goal, and it may take awhile before you achieve it.
  • Some keywords at the #1 position. This, too, is challenging unless you have some relatively less-competitive keywords. Clearly this is the ultimate goal for top visibility.
  • Link Popularity measures about average among your main competitors. These measures might include your inbound link count, Google PageRank, mozRank and Domain Authority. Those, in fact, are the very ones we report to our clients as part of our normal SEO Monitoring.

Why Hiring a Professional Marketer is Good for Your Small Business

One of our strategic partners, Eagle Soars Consulting, has written a good piece explaining why investing in a professional marketer/designer is good for your business. The points they make aren’t restricted to the quality of work you can expect, though of course such work is almost always far superior to what non-marketing small business owners can produce. They also point out that the ROI is better when you hire a professional.

Some of the advantages of hiring a professional marketer or web designer or copywriter are

  • Why investing in a professional marketer is good for your small business.They bring objectivity and aren’t blinded to customer needs by being too close to the operation of the business.
  • You can offload the creative burden to them, reducing the strain on you and/or your employees’ time and attention. That allows you to continue to focus on what you do best: running your business.
  • A professional can produce effective marketing copy. That’s far more than simply grammatically correct text  — it’s a compelling customer-focused story that motivates readers to want to do business with you and only you.
  • Professionals help with managing deadlines, and aren’t distracted by business emergencies you may be exposed to. In the constant battle between what’s important and what’s urgent, the professional you hire can focus on the important marketing issues and free you up to handle the urgent issues in your business.
  • When you add up the true cost of doing it yourself  — salaries, overhead, lost productivity, distractions, and so forth  — using outside professionals is almost always less expensive.

The article by Eagle Soars Consulting is focused on marketing consulting, copywriting and web design. But it also applies to search engine optimization. Sure, our blog of more than seven years provides tons of information that (given the time and inclination) can be implemented by you, a small business owner. But our experience and that of our clients is that the folks at Eagle Soars Consulting are quite right. It’s easier, better  — and cheaper  — to invest in professional help.

If you need professional help, please consider Rank Magic and our strategic partners.

Welcome New Clients

I‘d like to welcome some new clients who’ve joined us recently. We’re looking forward to seeing some great rankings for them.

Position U 4 College is a personalized college admissions coaching service that helps students optimally position themselves for college or graduate school. They can help you get into the college of your choice by providing college essay help and application assistance.They also help students with career coaching.

A Bret Steig, attorney at lawA. Bret Steig serves clients in West Essex, NJ and surrounding areas for the purchase, sale or lease of commercial or residential property. He is also an experienced property tax appeal lawyer.

Diamond Rock Spring Water CompanyDiamond Rock Spring Water provides natural spring water delivery and water dispensers for homes and offices throughout Bergen County, NJ and surrounding areas. They also offer Keurig Single Cup coffee makers and  Green Mountain CoffeeK-Cups.

Celli & SchlossbergCelli & Schlossberg in Morristown, NJ, are compassionate advocates in the legal entanglements of family and matrimonial law; from prenuptial agreements, child custody, separation agreements and alimony to issues of domestic violence.

If you’d like to join these fine companies as clients of Rank Magic and position yourself for improved visibility when people search for your products or services, please just ask for a free assessment of your website.