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Does Your Website Have a Clear Focus?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Clear Focus

When we receive an inquiry from a prospective client, the first thing we do is take a look at their website since that’s where we’ll be spending the majority of our time. If it’s not almost immediately clear what the company does or what products they sell, we already have hesitations about working with them. That’s because we’ve found that the clients that often have the most SEO success are the ones that specialize in one niche and the website is built to support that. A website that focuses on one specific thing is straightforward. Both visitors and the search spiders immediately recognize what it’s about which means that SEO efforts will make more of an impact. While it seems pretty straightforward that a website should be focused in order to improve the user experience, it’s crazy how often that just isn’t the case. There are plenty of business websites CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Is Long Term…So Are You Willing to Wait?

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


SEO Is Long Term...So Are You Willing to Wait?

Just the other day I was talking with a client whose site was hit by a penalty after they made drastic changes to the content on their homepage. They recently (within the last two weeks) reverted back to the old content in hopes that would undo the penalty. Just the other day they emailed me, asking why their site hasn't rebounded yet. And how long would it take for the link building (that we just started mind you) to help grow their organic presence past their old ranking point. I had to remind this client that just because you make a CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What You Must Do to See SEO Results

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


What You Must Do to See SEO Results

If you want to be successful with SEO, it’s not the sort of thing that you can “half-you know what”. You need to be fully committed from the onset of the campaign and pledge to keep things moving at a regular pace no matter what the results are looking like or no matter how frustrated you become. White hat SEO is a long term process, a tortoise/hare sort of situation. Slow and steady wins the race. If you want to see SEO results, the following elements of an SEO campaign aren’t optional, they are absolute musts: Keyword research Keywords remain at the foundation CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Signs That You Have Unrealistic SEO Expectations

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Signs That You Have Unrealistic SEO Expectations

It’s common for website owners to have a love/hate relationship with SEO. They love it because if done correctly, it means an increase in traffic from the search engines which means more leads and more sales. They hate it because if done correctly, it takes a long time to see those results which can be extremely frustrating! Website owners that are just getting started with SEO or are finally deciding to take it seriously and give it a real “go”, need to have realistic expectations. If you have unrealistic SEO expectations you are setting yourself up for a campaign cut CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Don’t Neglect Your SEO Responsibilities

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Don’t Neglect Your SEO Responsibilities

If you want to drive traffic to your website from the search engines, SEO is a must. It should be viewed on the same level as every other necessary function that keeps a business operating. People turn to the Internet, specifically the search engines, when they are looking for products or services. It’s a primary source of leads and revenue today. And yet, there are far too many companies out there that just aren’t taking it as seriously as they should. Most companies that we speak with claim to understand the importance of SEO, but the actions of some of CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Do You Know What Your SEO Firm is Doing?

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Do You Know What Your SEO Firm is Doing

Now that SEO has been a prominent staple of a marketing program for quite some time, it’s a lot less common for us to get leads from companies that have never done any SEO in the past. Most business and website owners have at least dabbled in SEO in some way, either by doing it in house or hiring an SEO firm. When we speak with a new prospect we always ask about the SEO that they’ve done in the past. You wouldn’t believe the number of companies we speak with that “were doing SEO” yet have no idea what CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The Reality of What SEO Success Looks Like

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Success

SEO requires a significant investment. If a company is going to handle SEO in house it means that current employees need to be properly trained and have adequate time to dedicate to SEO efforts or it means that new employees will need to be hired. If a company is going to outsource SEO, it means sending a portion of the marketing budget each month to the SEO agency. No company is going to throw money at something without expecting it to succeed over time. That’s why it’s so important to establish realistic SEO success metrics at the onset of an CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Are The Right People Finding the Right Page On Your Website?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Web Page

Just the other day I was talking with one of our full service SEO clients about the progress of their new site. This company, a staffing agency, operates in multiple verticals, so their SEO program has a lot of ground to cover. I noticed in their Google Analytics account and Webmaster Tools data that one particular vertical seemed to be doing really well organically. Since the beginning of the year one of their staffing pages in that category has pulled thousands of organic visitors, when before it was hardly getting any organic traffic. That's exactly the kind of growth we CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Google Algorithm Update and Changes Affecting Local Search

Writing by Michael Lupacchino in SEO


Local Search

Google is undoubtedly the King of the Internet and any time they make a change, it in one way or another impacts SEO. Within the past two months, Google has released a few changes that affect local search. In June 2014, Google rolled out a new feature called My Business, replacing Google+ for Business. More recently, Google released a new algorithm update that is actually boosting local search. Here is how both updates impact SEO - especially for local search. Algorithm Update for Local Search Google released an algorithm update specifically focused on local search. Search Engine Land is nicknaming this CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why SMBs Can Win At SEO

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Small to medium sized business owners tend to think that they might be at a disadvantage when it comes to SEO. They have less resources than their enterprise counterparts and think that it’s the money that matters the most. The more money you have, the more you can “throw at” SEO and quickly see organic search traffic increase, right? Wrong. First of all, no matter how big your SEO budget may be it doesn’t change the nature of SEO. There’s nothing “quick” about it. And second of all, SEO can actually become more difficult when the budget is bigger because CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Don’t Let SEO Get Stuck in the Approval Process

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


It happens all the time. We sign on an SEO client and we’re on the same page. The client understands that their input is important to the process and they are willing to make it a team effort. Things start off smoothly enough but then within a few weeks or months we hear from them less and less. While this might sound like a good thing (a client that isn’t bugging you every 20 minutes!), in the SEO world there needs to be ongoing communication. As SEO professionals, we are experts at SEO. We’ve got that process down to a CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

“Direct” Traffic from SEO? Yes, Says Groupon

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Upon pulling an “All Traffic” report from Google Analytics, many website owners will notice that one of the top sources of traffic, if not the top source of traffic, is listed as “(direct)/(none)”. What exactly “(direct)/(none)” meant was always a little confusing since browsers don’t always report referral sources for privacy reasons and these hidden sources can get lumped into the Direct category, but for the most part, taken at face value, Direct was believed to mean Direct. These visitors typed the URL directly into the browser or maybe had the site bookmarked. Yet, this assumption never quite sit well CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Isn’t a Be All And End All Solution

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


SEO is important. There’s no denying that. Search engine optimization tactics are what help to improve the search engine presence of a website and let’s face it, the search engines are where people turn to when they are looking for the products or services that you are trying to sell. If you can’t be found in the search engines, it diminishes your earning potential. Despite what naysayers want you to believe, SEO certainly isn’t dead. Yes, it has changed over the years and yes, it’s a lot more challenging than it once was but it isn’t dead. As an SEO CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

5 Key Analytics Metrics to Monitor SEO Success

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


When getting started with an SEO campaign one of the first things that should be done is getting Google Analytics set up on your site if it’s not already. It’s a fairly simple process and it’s free information straight from the almighty Google. Without Analytics data it can be difficult, if not impossible to see the full picture in terms of how an SEO campaign helps to improve website performance. SEO is an ongoing process, so over time you should be able to see a positive trend appear in Analytics for multiple metrics. It’s how you know whether an SEO CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 Big SEO Myths According to Bing

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Back in May Bing (yeah, they are still around) put out this great blog post about the top 10 SEO myths. Three of those myths really hit home for me and I felt it was important to explore them even more. I need to rank #1. "Yes, it’s nice to rank on top, but you know that actual rankings fluctuate on a daily basis... All of this will, naturally, vary a great deal from site to site, page to page and even across individual phrases. Sometimes people research on one phrase and buy on another version, for example." I am not going CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Halfway Through the Year, How’s SEO?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Here we are at the halfway point of the year. Crazy how time flies right? Now is a good time to check in on all of those personal and professional New Year’s resolutions that you made. We certainly aren’t going to judge you if you are no longer going to the gym every day or if you’ve been cheating on that diet, but we are going to get on your case if your SEO has slacked off since the first quarter! We see it all the time. After the holidays are over businesses want to hit the ground running in CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

5 Important SEO Takeaways

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


5 Important SEO Takeaways

If you’re just getting started with SEO you might be realizing that it’s unlike any other form of marketing that you’ve implemented before. There are lots of moving parts and variables that determine SEO success. The nature of SEO can sometimes be frustrating to website owners, but there’s no denying that SEO is a necessary marketing component today. After all, the majority of people that are looking for information or a product or service are conducting their research online and using a search engine. Here are 5 things about SEO that all website owners must understand: SEO is long term Perhaps the CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Is Your SEO Firm Transparent?

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Is Your SEO Firm Transparent?

If you’re working with an SEO firm, but aren’t quite sure exactly what the SEO firm is doing for you, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship! Even if everything seems to be going well on the surface (traffic and conversions are improving) it’s still important to know what’s going on “behind the curtain”. The SEO rules continue to evolve and change and unfortunately, not all SEO providers are adapting their strategies accordingly. Some continue to use outdated tactics that could end up hurting a website’s search presence in the long run. It’s important to only work with an SEO CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why Is Traffic Disappearing If I 301 Redirected My Content?

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


Why Is Traffic Disappearing If I 301 Redirected My Content?

Even when you delete a page on your site so no human visitor can find it, Google's search bots are still going to try to access that URL. A 301 redirect tells Google that URL A no longer exists, and the search bots and any visitors from the SERPS and inbound links should automatically pass through URL A to URL B. The 301 redirect helps preserve your traffic and SEO value of that old URL and helps the new URL gain some organic credibility from the day it is launched. Failing to implement 301 redirects, especially when you are redesigning CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Don’t Keep Your SEO Firm in the Dark

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Don’t Keep Your SEO Firm in the Dark

For many companies that don’t have the necessary time or resources in house, it makes sense to outsource SEO activities to an SEO firm. However, an SEO firm should be viewed as an extension of your own business. The SEO team is responsible for increasing traffic to your website, which is a critical business function. It’s not the same as outsourcing your accounting. The SEO firm needs to know what’s going on within your business at all times. Communication is key. If the SEO firm is left in the dark, it means that the SEO campaign might not be relevant CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Are You Following Updated SEO Best Practices?

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


SEO Best Practice

When was the last time you reviewed your SEO campaign and compared what you’re doing to what the search engines want you to be doing? If it’s been awhile, there’s a good chance that you might be using outdated tactics that could potentially land you in hot water. One of the most important things to understand about SEO is that it’s constantly evolving based on the ever changing search engine algorithms. As the algorithms are updated to improve user experience, an SEO campaign needs to be updated along with it. Here are 3 SEO rules that you should be following: Utilize “nofollow” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why Your Boss Might Hate SEO

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Boss Man

OK, hate is a harsh word. Maybe your boss doesn’t hate SEO. But there’s a good chance that higher ups might strongly dislike SEO or be frustrated by it. Why? Because SEO is different than other marketing methods that they might be more accustomed to. If you’re a marketing person there’s no doubt that you understand the importance of SEO but unfortunately your boss might struggle with accepting it and dedicating a portion of the marketing budget towards it. Here’s why: They don’t understand it It’s easy to dislike or fear what you don’t understand. SEO certainly isn’t rocket science, but CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

On Site SEO Basics That Still Apply

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


SEO Basics

It’s true that SEO has undergone a few facelifts in recent years. The SEO campaign that you were implementing just a few years back has hopefully been tossed in the trash and replaced with something more current. Some SEO tactics that once worked and improved a site’s placement on the search engine results page are now frowned upon and can have the opposite result and get a site penalized. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of current SEO trends and carefully pay attention to what the search engines are telling us. Even with all of these changes CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Re-Visit Existing Blog Posts When Starting SEO

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


Re-Visit Existing Blog Posts When Starting SEO

In many cases, a company doesn’t set up a blog on their website until it gets started with an SEO campaign. Until the company understands the importance of content and how an active blog can correlate with SEO success, blogging isn’t often part of the equation mostly because there is only so much time in the day. However, sometimes clients with no prior SEO experience do come to us with an existing blog. Even if the existing blog isn’t as active as it should be, the existing blog posts can still have an impact on SEO, even if they came before CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Should Website Pages be Added for SEO?

Writing by Danielle Bachini in SEO


The on site optimization phase of an SEO campaign begins with keyword research. Research should be conducted for every page of the site, minus any pages that will target branded keywords (Contact page, Employee Bio page, Directions page, etc.) Page by page it’s necessary to brainstorm a list of potential keywords, review the keywords that are currently delivering traffic via Analytics, and plug the keywords into a keyword tool to find additional keywords along with search volume and level of competition. During the process it’s possible that you might find some keywords that aren’t quite the best fit for your CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

You Don’t Have to Go Through SEO Alone

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


You Don't Have to Go Through SEO Alone

In the last few years the rules of SEO have changed dramatically. Link building tactics that were incredibly useful 5 years ago are now (at best) a waste of time or (at worst) a danger to your website. Many unknowing site owners have been caught by the Panda and Penguin updates simply because they didn't realize the game had changed. Even for those of us that work inside the SEO world day in and day out, the huge changes that Google pushed through in the last few years had us reorganizing how we go about handling SEO campaigns for our CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

This is What Organic Success Looks Like Over Time

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


This is What Organic Success Looks Like Over Time

When it comes to determining organic success it's very easy to pigeon-hole yourself. Too often site owners and marketing managers only look to one or two main keywords to measure organic success. For instance, if Brick Marketing only tracked (via Webmaster Tools) how many visitors came to our site after searching for "SEO" or "SEO services" we'd probably be pretty disappointed. After all, those are two very competitive keywords with dozens, if not hundreds, of SEO firms (big and small) and SEO consultants vying for top positioning. Of the thousands of visitors who come to our site and blog every CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

3 SEO Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Website

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


3 SEO Mistakes

Thanks to all the changes Google has made to the Webmaster Guidelines in the last year or so, playing by the rules is harder than ever. With less and less wiggle room to make mistakes, plenty of site owners are getting flagged by Google updates like Panda and Penguin simply because they didn't realize the game has changed. We have worked with plenty of sites that were penalized, either manually or thanks to an algorithmic update, and let me tell you the recovery process is not worth whatever short term gains you may have had from taking short cuts! Protect CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Keyword Rankings Can’t Be Promised

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Keyword Rankings Can’t Be Promised

If you’re in the market to hire an SEO provider and you’re looking for someone that’s going to tell you the keyword rankings that they’ll be able to achieve for you, you’re not looking for the right kind of SEO provider. SEO providers that adhere to the search engine guidelines and practice white hat SEO will never make such promises. Why? Because it’s just not possible to do so. Here’s what Marios Asexandrou of STEAK’s Search Marketing recently had to say about the topic in an interview: I don’t promise keyword rankings and certainly not when the list is CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Where Are Your Visitors Coming From?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


August 2013 Data

For the most part, the goal of any SEO program is to drive more organic (Google, Bing, Yahoo) traffic to your website. But SEO isn't just about getting more visitors from the search engines, as counterintuitive as that may seem. Think about it--content you create for other sites helps build referral links, and those referral links can drive quality traffic over time. For instance, one of our clients got a link from a Forbes.com blog almost a year ago and it STILL drives a handful of visitors to the site each month. The content you create also fuels your social CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


Setting Up Goals in Google Analytics

Obviously driving more organic traffic to your website is a huge goal for any SEO program, but driving more traffic only matters if it's the RIGHT traffic. And the right traffic needs to convert! More website managers look primarily at closed sales to determine success, but there are a lot of micro-conversions you can track along the way to see how well your new organic traffic is converting. Remember, depending on what you are selling most people will need more than just a few minutes to decide to buy; they might have to visit your website time and time again CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why Nofollow Links Should Be a Part of Your SEO Program

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Why Nofollow Links Should Be a Part of Your SEO Program

By adding the nofollow attribute to a link (rel=”nofollow”) you are essentially telling the search spiders to not follow that link or consider it when determining how trusted that web page that is being linked to is. Initially, from an SEO standpoint this type of link seems to have no value. “Why would I want to build links that aren’t passing any link trust my way?” you might be wondering. Well, nofollow links have other benefits and can indirectly help your SEO campaign. Here are the 2 primary reasons why nofollow links should be a part of your SEO program: They keep CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Things that Hinder Enterprise SEO Success

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Things that Hinder Enterprise SEO Success

At first glance you’d think that it’s much easier to execute an enterprise SEO campaign compared to a small business or SMB SEO campaign. Enterprise organizations have bigger budgets and more resources which should translate into a powerful SEO campaign that delivers results. In theory this is true, although when it comes to SEO enterprise organizations have a bad habit of getting in their own way and hindering SEO success. Here are 4 things enterprise organizations are guilty of doing which slows SEO success: Have a lengthy approval process Every item within an SEO campaign needs to be approved in order to be CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Buying Links on Top News Sites? Stop the Real Spammers

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Buying Links on Top News Sites? Stop the Real Spammers

A few weeks ago I was elected to the SEMPO Board of Directors. I have been working in the Internet Marketing and SEO world since 1999 and started my own SEO firm back 2005. And while I love what I do and I love helping clients build their online brand presence I have always been rather low-key. I prefer to be behind the scenes and just focus on my company and my clients, and not so much on making a "name" for myself in the SEO industry. However, after being a member of SEMPO for years I decided that this CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Organic Recovery Takes Time

Writing by Shawna Wright in SEO


Organic Recovery Takes Time

When we first started working with this new client back in July 2013, one of the first things we uncovered was that the site had been hit with a partial manual penalty for unnatural links. Turns out, their old SEO provider was building links like it was the Wild West (and not telling them what kind of links were being built for "proprietary reasons") and Google finally caught on to what he was doing. The client hadn't even realized they were hit until we caught it! Thus began a 5 month long recovery process, which involved no less than 5 CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

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