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Branded Entrance Keywords Aren’t a Bad Thing

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Keyword Research


Keywords are at the foundation of an SEO campaign. Keyword research is the first step, to find out how people are searching for the products or services that your business provides. Relevant and approved keywords are then added to website content, used as anchor text links throughout content that is published, and used to search for new link building opportunities. There are two different kinds of keywords-branded and non branded keywords. Branded keyword search terms are variations of keywords that include the name of the business or brand. For example, “Company XYZ”, “Company XYZ services”, and “Company XYZ address” are all examples of branded keyword search terms. Non branded keyword search terms are the terms that have no brand or company affiliation and are broader such as “computer software” or “computer software company”. The primary goal of search engine optimization is to improve the search engine presence of a website for CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

A New Year Means New SEO

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


I see so many site owners make the mistake of thinking that SEO is a “set it and forget it” medium. Just like any other marketing campaign you may undertake this year, SEO is something that can’t just put on the back burner and expect to run itself. No, you don’t need to be re-optimizing your website every three months, but there is so much more to SEO than just the onsite process! Now that we are into the New Year (and everyone is back to the grindstone) it’s time to start thinking about a new (and improved) SEO campaign. What CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

B2B Conversions Require More than SEO

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in B2B SEO Marketing


Some may argue that B2B marketing is more challenging than B2C. A B2B marketer typically needs to convince more than one person within an organization that their product/service is the right one for the organization. Since multiple employees may have a say in the decision, the sales cycle is typically much longer than that of a B2C purchase. The team of decision makers need to conduct thorough research, consult with others within the organization, and ensure that the budget will allow for it. Because B2B decisions typically affect the business as a whole, as opposed to a few individuals, research is CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

The Dangers of Cheap Link Building Services

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


I know that, for many small business owners and marketing managers, the SEO budget is tight. You simply can’t afford to hire a full-time SEO copywriter, a full-time link building manager, a full-time social media marketing manager and so forth. A lot of site owners manage to piece their own SEO program together, or maybe they hire a white hat SEO consultant or SEO company to outline a strategy for them that they can implement on their own. Either way, most site owners are looking to get the most value and return for every dollar they spend on their SEO CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Reasons Why SEO Is Frustrating

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


As SEO experts, we’ll be the first to admit that SEO can be a frustrating field so we can only imagine how SEO clients feel. Here are some of the top SEO frustrations: Success is difficult to measure SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. However, no matter how many times the SEO process is explained it’s often difficult for SEO clients to understand this concept. Clients want to see SEO results and they wanted to see them yesterday but that’s not how it works. It can take years to begin to see SEO results, especially in a competitive CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Google Analytics Data to Pay Attention To

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


One of the first things that you should do once your website is up and running is to add Google Analytics to the site. Google Analytics is a free tool by Google that provides you with data about the performance of your site. Without Analytics, you are essentially operating your site blindly. How are you going to make changes or improve upon your site if you don’t know what’s working and what’s not? Even though Analytics is free and it’s relatively easy to put the code onto your site, many website owners still aren’t taking advantage of it. For those CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How to Find New Opportunities for Blog Commenting

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


Before I go any further let me say that I think blog commenting is a great link building tactic provided it’s done right. This means actually reading the post and responding to something that struck you as interesting or insightful. “Great post!” doesn’t really cut it, nor should you ever try to promote your own brand in the comment. Like any other valuable link building tactic, the spammers have taken advantage of blog commenting and soured it a little bit for the rest of us. But if you are committed to a white hat link building program which includes (but CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Copywriting Rules to Follow

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


When writing copy that is going to be published anywhere it’s important to consider the basics- correct spelling, language, grammar, structure, organization, etc. However, writing for the web and more specifically, for SEO purposes, is a different kind of writing that requires additional thought. Here are 3 important SEO copywriting rules to follow: Incorporate keywords as appropriate One of the primary ways that people find content online is through the search engines. The search engines deliver results that are relevant to a search query based on the keywords that were searched for. While keywords are often incorporated into content naturally when writing, it CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Activities Don’t Have to be Overwhelming

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Many small businesses simply don’t have the budget to hire a new employee to handle SEO or to outsource the work to a full service SEO firm. Typically what happens is that SEO duties get handed off to someone in the marketing department that already has a busy schedule. In a very small business, the owner themselves may take on the work. While this is less than ideal, it’s the only option for businesses that are working with a small budget. Doing some SEO work is always better than doing none at all. Procrastination often happens when it seems like CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Get Realistic about B2B Social Attribution

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in B2B SEO Marketing


Most B2B sales cycles are very long; I’ve even worked with some B2B companies where the average sales cycle was 9+ months. When a potential customer is looking to invest in a million dollar piece of equipment or $100,000 enterprise software system it’s usually not a decision they take likely. The odds of a B2B lead coming to your site for the first time and converting right away are slim to none (I’d wager none). A potential customer is going to want to research their options, talk with your sales team, and maybe test out the product. They’ll probably also CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How to Execute SEO with a Small Budget

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


SEO is extremely important for any business that wants to improve its online presence and good SEO does cost money. Unfortunately many small businesses don’t even bother looking into SEO because all they think about is the cost that is associated with it. While it’s true that a small business with a limited budget certainly can’t hire an in house SEO Specialist and may not even be able to pay the monthly fees associated with a full service SEO firm that doesn’t mean that they can’t do any SEO at all. No, we aren’t telling you to look into those CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Yearly Link Analysis Helps Keep Your Link Building On Track

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


In my opinion, a website owner or marketing manager should reevaluate their link building efforts at least once a year. It’s important to ensure that your link profile is as diverse and natural looking as possible and a link analysis will help keep your efforts on track. Here are a few things you need to look for when conducting a link analysis: 1. Anchor text distribution. The Google Penguin update went after sites that used too much exact match anchor text in their link building. There is no “right” number of keywords you should use as anchor text but you want to vary CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Don’t Favor Social Profiles Over a Website

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Social Media


Social media has become a huge part of online marketing today, and for good reason. Nearly everybody has a presence on at least one social networking site while most people have accounts on multiple sites and check in on a daily (or even hourly!) basis. Social media is where the people are, which means that it’s where the marketers should be too. The search engines have certainly picked up on the importance of social sharing and now include social signals as a ranking factor for web content. Social media marketing is no longer a separate marketing CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

E-Commerce SEO Best Practice Guide

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


The challenge when it comes to e-commerce SEO is that the website is continually changing. Products are added, products are dropped, and the inventory is never the same. Optimization of a static website only needs to be done completely once, and then revisited every year or so. E-commerce SEO is ongoing. Depending on what the products are that you sell on your e-commerce site, there’s a good chance that you aren’t the only one selling it. The best way to get your product noticed is to get the product page to rank within the search engines. Here are 5 e-commerce SEO CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How Important is Domain Authority When Building Links?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


A few weeks ago I came across this great post on SEOMoz by Adam Thompson that talked about whether or not an inbound link’s domain authority should be how a site owner decides to disavow a link. Adam’s conclusion? “Don't go out and delete links just because they are on a site with low domain authority. I'd rather have a natural, editorial link from a quality site with 25 or 30 domain authority than an unnatural link from a site with 50 domain authority.” I have to agree with him but I think that site owners need to CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

What to Know Before Outsourcing SEO

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


A business/website owner has a few options when it comes to SEO services. The first option is to hire an in house SEO Specialist. While large companies can afford the salary of an SEO Specialist or an SEO team, many smaller companies cannot. The owners of very small businesses may elect to do the SEO work on their own after attending an SEO training session or getting insights from an SEO consultant. It’s the businesses that fall somewhere in between that typically look to outsource the work to an SEO firm. Since there are so many SEO firms to choose from, CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Don’t Fixate on the Wrong SEO Goals

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time to see results no matter what industry you are in. If the industry is extremely competitive, it takes even more time. There are various ways to measure the success of an SEO campaign over time, but many website owners make the mistake of focusing on the wrong things which can lead to bad decisions and a campaign that suffers due to those bad decisions. The key is to not lose sight of the bigger picture as an SEO campaign progresses, however slowly that may be. Here are 3 things that website CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

How to Explain a Drop In Traffic

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Internet Marketing


If you’re a marketing manager that is responsible for your company’s SEO campaign you know that with each month comes reporting. How many visitors did the site get this month from organic search? What keywords are being used to drive traffic and which of those are converting the best? How many referring links did you build this month and did any of them send substantial traffic? When traffic is up then life is good, right? What happens when there is a drop in traffic one month? Or worse, for a few months in a row. How can you explain a CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Ways for Beginners to Learn SEO

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


If you just launched a website or are looking to start a new online marketing campaign for an existing website in order to improve its visibility, you’ve probably been hearing about search engine optimization (or SEO). SEO is an extremely important online marketing tactic that improves search engine visibility and traffic to a website. Of course if you are new to the SEO game it can be confusing and it’s hard to know where to start in order to learn it. Here are our suggestions: Google Sure there are plenty of other search engines that exist but let’s face it, Google is the CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

7 Free SEO Tools for Site Owners

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


The market is flooded with free SEO tools. Some tools are great and a worthwhile investment, others are just okay and some aren’t worth it even if they are free. I use a lot of SEO tools and software programs (paid and free) to help my clients with their SEO, content marketing and social media marketing campaigns. Here are some of my favorite free SEO tools: Keyword Lizard Keyword lizard is great if you’re trying to localize your keyword list and ensure you don’t miss any variations. You can plug your national keywords into one column and your locality into CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Don’t Miss Out on These Link Opportunities

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building


For the most part, link building is a challenging endeavor. In order for a link to be worth it, it has to be a link from a quality source and should be relevant. It takes time to establish relationships and your brand online in order to achieve links naturally. However, there are some ways to build links that are fairly easy that you should be capitalizing on. Incorporate these links into your strategy right now: Blog post links A company blog is great to have for many reasons. Not only does it showcase your knowledge and brand CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

SEO Advice for a New Small Business

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Congratulations on your new small business! Your website is up, your phone is connected and you’re just waiting for those visitors to start falling into your lap, right? Well before you can start to see any real online growth there are a few things about SEO that a new small business owner should know. 1. Strap in for the long haul. A new small business (unless you purchased a previously owned domain) doesn’t have much in the way of search engine trust. There are some things that you can only earn with time and domain age and trust is one of them. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Turn a Product Launch into B2B Content Marketing Gold

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in B2B SEO Marketing


Content is perhaps one of the most important components of a good B2B social media strategy today. B2B decision makers are looking for as much information as possible and it’s the content that they find online that helps guide their purchase decisions. While most B2B marketers understand this concept, many still struggle to create quality content on behalf of a business on a regular basis. Many blame this on a lack of time or because they don’t know what kind of content to create. The thing about content marketing is that it really doesn’t need to be that complex and CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Guest Blogging Isn’t Just for Link Building

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


One of the best ways to build links to your site is to participate in content marketing. After all, content based links are very valuable. As long as the content is good it will get noticed by the search engine spiders and target audience members. When speaking to anyone in the SEO industry about building links, one of the top recommendations is to look for guest blogging opportunities. However, it’s important to note that guest blogging shouldn’t be done ONLY to get a link. Guest blogging has many more benefits that are more worthwhile in CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Blog Posts to Read for December 20, 2012

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Internet Marketing


Below you will find our favorite blog posts that are related to SEO, search engine marketing and social media marketing from this past week. Please feel free to visit each, we hope you find them as helpful as we do! What’s In Store for Content Marketing in 2013? More than 80 marketers weigh in with their content marketing predictions in 2013. 4 Ways to Evaluate Keyword Intent We all know the backbone of any good SEO program is selecting the proper keywords to target. What does a company offer and what keywords do customers use to search for it? CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Reconsider Sending an SEO RFP

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


A few days ago Brick Marketing received an SEO RFP from a big public company and I have to admit I was a little proud! The fact that we even made it on this company’s radar is a sign that we’re going about things the right way with regards to our own marketing efforts. However, sometimes I wonder if our efforts are leading prospects to think we’re a bigger SEO company than we actually are. As a ten person SEO company we certainly have more in-house capabilities and bandwidth than a solitary SEO consultant, but Brick Marketing isn’t a massive CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Why Negative SEO Isn’t Worth Your Time

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


Link building has always been an important part of SEO, but the quality of those links came into focus with the Google Penguin update. Penguin set out to target sites that had “unnatural links” pointing to it and these sites were then penalized. Link building is a time consuming process, but really anyone can do it and anyone can build links to any site that they please. Knowing this, some website owners have thought, “OK, well why don’t I create lots of bad links to my competitors to get them penalized?” This practice has become known as negative SEO. Is CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Save SEO Efforts during a Website Redesign

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


A website redesign can be a huge undertaking and typically many parties get involved in the process. One important party to keep in the loop from the start is your SEO firm and if you don’t have an SEO firm, this might be a good time to get some guidance from an SEO consultant. It’s important to preserve as much of the search engine trust as possible when launching a new website. Making even a few mistakes can really hurt your SEO. Before launching a new site, ask the following two questions: 1. Are the URLs changing? Maybe your site CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Share-Worthy Content Ranks Higher In Search

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO Social Media


Recently Mashable published an interesting article about content marketing and how it has evolved over the past decade. They compared content that people shared with how high the content ranked in the search results. Back in 2002, there was a small overlap of these two areas. Fast forward ten years and you’ll see that the majority of content that ranks high in the search engines tends to be the most popularly shared. As social signals are having more of an impact on the SERPs, you need to make sure your content is not only optimized for search engine CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Expert Interviews Are Great for Content Marketing

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Content Marketing


Every industry has its experts/gurus/mavens/mavericks/godfathers/ninjas—these are the men and women that have been around the longest and know your niche inside and out; they are always one step ahead of the curve, or have revolutionized your industry in one way or another. When these people talk the whole community listens because what they say carries an immense amount of weight. It’s no short and easy road to becoming an industry expert, especially if you work in a highly competitive niche with a lot of voices, but content marketing is what helps get you to the next level in your own CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Technical SEO Items to Look Out For

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


When it comes to SEO it’s important to remember that the search engines look at all aspects of your website when determining rank. A website may look beautiful and be easy to navigate, which is important from a user perspective, but what’s going on on the outside of the site doesn’t always accurately reflect what’s going on on the back end of the site which is really what the search engine spiders are seeing. If you’ve incurred a penalty, you will obviously need to conduct a technical SEO audit to figure out what went wrong but it’s recommended to conduct CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Interview with Guest Blogging Expert Ann Smarty

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Expert Interviews


Ann Smarty

Recently I caught up with guest blogging expert Ann Smarty. Ann is currently the Community and Brand Manager for Internet Marketing Ninjas and is the former Editor-in-Chief at Search Engine Journal. She is also the founder of MyBlogGuest.com,  a free community that connects blog owners to guest authors for mutual benefit. Ann Smarty also writes for some of the top Internet Marketing sites including SEOmoz, Mashable, Social Media Examiner and many more! This interview is rather long, but is worth the time to read through all of it! Thanks so much to Ann Smarty for spending the CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

It’s Time for Keyword Analysis; What Should You Look For?

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Keyword Research


Your keyword research is not set in stone. The best keywords for your SEO program are bound to change as your business, industry and searcher behavior evolves. For instance, the concept of “social media marketing” didn’t even exist until a few years ago and now it gets 165,000 searches a month in the US alone. This now highly coveted keyword has also spurned thousands of long tail variations including phrases like “social media marketing consultant,” “social media for small businesses,” “social media analytics” and many, many more. The most successful businesses recognize when the lexicon of their industry is changing CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Key Components of a White Hat SEO Campaign

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO


There are two primary schools of thought when it comes to SEO. The first is white hat SEO, in which the SEO Specialist, agency, consultant, etc. carries out SEO activities that are deemed appropriate in the eyes of the search engines. The second is black hat SEO. This involves using tactics that aren’t approved by the search engines in order to attempt to gain a quick improvement in rank and SERP (search engine results page) presence. The search engines continue to get more sophisticated as time goes on and Google has been making some huge tweaks CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Ways to Claim More SERP Real Estate

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Search Engines


When people are looking for information today they typically turn to their favorite search engine, which is most likely Google. Not only do you want your business to appear within search results, but ideally you want your business to appear multiple times on a SERP (search engine results page). This is especially true for branded search. If the only thing that comes up for your brand is your website, that means that there is still a lot of SERP space that is showing up and may even include some of your competitors. It’s important to try and stake claim to CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...