Website Search Engine Optimization: Beyond the Basics

by Dave Curtis on 09/20/2014

in Pigeon, SEO, Web Site Design

Helping Search Engines, Web Content Writers And Web Searchers All Find Agreement With One Another

Working Targeted Search Engine Optimization ServicesInternet Search Engine Optimization
(aka SEO) is the process of helping search engines, web content writers and web searchers all find agreement with one another.  One of the most disappointing things that can happen to a business owner is for their pages to not come up on page one or two in the search returns.
With over 80 percent of the adult population in the USA now using the internet, you literally have hundreds of millions of good reasons to optimize your business website. To reach even a fraction of potential customers you need a well-designed site optimized for the search engines and written with marketing copy to promote your specific products and services in such a way that they sell. This is done through web analytics, SEO, and professional copy writing. Search Engine Optimization is the scientific analysis of relevant data gathered from your site through various analytics javascript tracking codes on your site and through server services paid for by the SEO to perform independent secondary analysis about who comes to your site, from where, for what, at what time (of day, week, month, year – part of overall trend tracking), and tracking them for measurable goals from arrival, to sign-up, to emailing you, or purchasing from you.
  • Big company or small makes no difference to the shopper. If you have what they want and your terms are agreeable they’ll buy from you.
  • With a web site you get global exposure.
  • Through SEO you will increase sales revenue with an increase in purchases, and through further SEO on the marketing copy on page the overall percentage of sales will increase through A/B testing. 
  • You will reduce web related customer acquisition costs by 50% with reduced service costs (Acquiring customers online costs less than one-half of the cost of acquiring customers in other channels).

Search Engine Optimization Research Results – You Be The Judge:

Companies that spend money on marketing during a recession tend to benefit most, but Cutting Advertising During Recession is Not an Option. Search Engine Optimization (when looked at as a part of your annual Marketing and Advertising budget) is cheaper and more trusted than relying solely on other forms of marketing. Did you know that Florida was right up there with New York in GDP in 2008, and is now behind New York State. What all of this means is that the opportunity to outstrip the competition is sitting right here in the open to reach more than 80% of the people in the places they frequent most on the web by the industrious willing to get it done.
Local sites, news and searches – small business competition is only investing 3% of its advertising budget in online advertising (NewsWeek) when it should now be focusing on doing more of this right now as of the Local Search Pigeon Update, and small businesses that do will benefit strongly over big national brands! 
Internet Advertising Increases to $99 Billion Dollars in 2012
Meanwhile WPP: A world leader in marketing communications says “Internet advertising hit $99 billion in 2012, representing a 16.2 percent increase over the previous year and accounting for 19.5 percent of all global measured advertising expenditures, according to a new report from GroupM. …The study also predicted that in 2013 digital advertising spending will reach $113.5 billion globally, 14.6 percent more than 2012. The figure represents more than 21 percent of all measured advertising investment. In the 2013 forecast, North America once again ranks first with an estimated $42.8 billion in digital ad spend; Asia-Pacific follows with $36.8 billion, followed by Western Europe with $26.6 billion.” ~GroupM Press Release

Building Trust and Confidence in Your Website

Did you know that two of the most highly trusted forms of “advertising” are directly related to your own Web site? People ready to spend their money today are wary and don’t spend unless they have to – or know with some certainty that they’re dealing with someone reputable. Your website is that thing of trust in at least two very important ways.

And The Survey Says!

Here are the percentages of trust people have toward varying sources of information:
  • Email from people you know: 77%
  • Consumer Product Ratings/Reviews: 60%
  • Portals/Search Engines: 50%
  • Yellow Pages (not online): 48%
  • Print Newspapers: 46%
  • Social Networking Site Profiles from people you know: 43%
  • Print Magazines: 39%
  • Radio: 39%
  • Online Content Sites (, CNET, iVillage): 39%
  • TV: 38%
  • Wiki’s (eg Wikipedia): 33%
  • Email from a company or Brand: 28%
  • Direct Mail: 25%
  • Message Board posts: 21%
  • Online Classifieds: 20%
  • Personal Blog: 18%
  • Social Networking Site Profiles from a company or brand: 18%
  • Company Blog: 16%
(The Base of This Survey: US online adults who use each type of content. *Trust is defined as a 4 or 5 on a scale from 1 [don’t trust at all] to 5 [trust completely]. Source: North American Technographics Media And Marketing Online Survey, Q2 2008. Source Forrester Research Inc.)
Two of the top three bullets in the unordered list above are related directly to your Web site.  The third bullet down is getting your site found in search results, and the number one trust factor is getting your site emailed to someone else by someone who either found it in Google or has done business with your company before. Those three beat everything else except product reviews like Angie’s List and other review sites.  

Amazon Does it, No Big Business Doesn’t Do It – Optimize to be Found and Ship! Ship! Ship!

 You can sell and ship products across state lines as easily as you to the next county and now more than ever, small businesses not making a million dollars in sales online are at a distinct advantage because of the new Internet Tax law proposal “The legislation would allow states to force online retailers with more than $1 million in annual out-of-state sales to collect sales taxes from all customers and remit those taxes back to state and local governments. States would have to provide software to help calculate the taxes for thousands of jurisdictions.” However, as of Wednesday, January 8, 2014 “States See Little Revenue From Online Sales Tax Laws, Keep Pressure on Congress” This will help level the playing field for smaller online businesses and local Brick & Mortar stores by bringing in more sales as prices look better to end consumers. But online advertising & marketing (SEO is considered part of your tax deductible web-development/web advertising costs) is what is going to bring people to your pages, not declining readership newspaper ads. 

Turn Your Website a Kiosk-Like Vending Machine

The Most Important Goals for Your Website to Achieve

The most important two goals to achieve are:
(1) to be found by target matching potential customers as quickly and as often as possible, and
(2) to have a highly functional site that works like an efficient piece of software so clients who visit your site to purchase can do so quickly and trouble free when using it to make purchases. 
Today in particular the first part of that process absolutely demands excellently written, informative, link-worthy copy writing. Your company sells organic fertilizers? Write articles providing evidence to why they’re superior to chemicals. Your site provides organic soaps? Again – why are they better – evidence. Your site provides Storm Damage Restoration? What re the valuable ins and outs, tips and tricks to looking out for what can cause the damage before it happens, what can you do after it happens after it’s been repaired, and so forth, and so on. That’s what draws in links to your website permanently placed by others on their websites (called backlinks). By marketing copy writing (not “copyrighting”) I mean copy (words) written with the end result of a sale in mind even if the page doesn’t outright ask for the sale. On those pages you must build the desire for a sale, you must create a need for a product or service, you must awaken a a passionate response in the reader which will then turn into a desire, and a click, and a purchase. You’ve got to produce and write every page on your site in such a way that it wakes up the need to buy or the site visitor won’t do it. It’s a simple plan:

Build A Site That Functions Like A Piece Of Software

  • Write Excellent Copy
  • Get Hits From The Search Engines
  • Get Backlinks
The entire website needs to be cleanly and logically laid out in such a way that visitors can place an order, phone for a consultation, fill out a form asking for a quote, email you for more information, click a button to get directions and a map, have a search button so they can get to the exact product they are looking for without wasting time looking all over the place, or so they can sign up for a monthly newsletter quickly if that’s what they want and how far you’re willing to go to meet their demands.

The Well Laid Out Search Engine Optimized Marketing Machine

In other words it has to be laid out well from the start using verified information from multiple disciplines (SEO, Marketing, Psychology, Public Relations, Graphics etc) and interactive between the SEO and site visitors (through analytics) so there can can be enough diverse “data dialogue” the SEO can use to improve numbers and direction continually upward and forward throughout the site’s most important indexed areas – buy, call, get a quote, sign up for something, quickly search and find exactly what they want.

Money Invested in Search Engine Optimization is Long Term Marketing

Where money is being spent on paid online advertising (banners and text link ads) and PayPer Click (aka “Search Engine Marketing”), money is also being long term invested in Search Engine Optimization.  In cases where you see money being spent on pay per click ads, you can bet money is being invested in search engine optimization. Where you see no pay per click advertising by your competition, the good news is that the SEO will probably cost less than in a field where there’s a lot of heavy competition.  
Based on Site Analytics, SEOs know that only 15% to 25% of people visiting a Web site are there to make a purchase. Thus, based upon that percentage15 to 25 purchases per day would represent an adjusted 100% transaction rate as the other 75% to 85% aren’t there for shopping. But that’s not good enough. If you’re pulling in 75% to 85% of people searching only for information then your bounce rate is going to be high.

More Visitors Doesn’t Mean A Better Website

So “too many visitors” to a site isn’t good (unless a nice percentage of them are linking to your site), most particularly if they’re expecting to find one thing but are finding something else. You never want to focus away from your site’s main purpose. To increase ranking and bring in higher conversion rates at the same time you may need to continue optimization so that it actually initially brings down the total number of visits – something which sounds counter intuitive at first. Too many quck looks and site exits will hurt overall ranking, but fewer visits that take a higher percentage of actions, see more pages, fill out more forms, signals to Google that the terms being optimized for are correct. Face it – if there are only 10 fires during the month in the five county area you’re servicing which are needing restoration, then getting 1000 hits to your site from your service area certainly can’t be good. Once your site is refined properly it starts to rank for the HARD for terms (fewer bounces and more conversions and transactions). Then Google knows it has a winner and you start showing up for more related terms. 
A Note on Copy Writing Content Related to the Above to Bring in More Visitors: Well written, informative pages with link-worthy content increase your site’s potential to gain lots of traction by ranking for many more closely related key phrases. This traffic is sought after and relevant and does aim toward gaining links and creating active users on your site to help it rank higher. This is not the same thing as spamming links and cramming key phrases to get useless damaging traffic.

Marketing to Keep The Existing Clients In Place

In a recession, it’s harder to gain new customers, to convince existing customers to buy more, and to win back customers who have left.  So companies often need to be spending more money, not less. They just need to be smart about it.” – Dr. Sharan Jagpal, of Rutgers University
“With media rates softening and competitors sitting tight and cutting their marketing budgets, an aggressive business can experience great strides in a recession.” – The Spokane Journal of Business

The Site Audit Before Asking How Much is SEO?

At this point it’s worth mentioning that calling any SEO firm and asking “How much to optimize my website” can’t be answered. The only way to begin to answer that question is to look at the site using tools and techniques in a package which is known as a “Site Audit“.  This service consists of multiple tools drawing information from several server databases at once, manual division of data and interpretation of the meaning of the various data sets. It includes analysis not primarily of your own site but deep analysis of every one of your competitors’ sites to determine their weaknesses, their strengths, including what black hat SEO has been done on their sites historically (and not yet caught) and then devising a strategy to overcome the other sites’ strengths based on your company’s budget. Budget is important if your site needs to reach further, if your niche is particularly competitive, if you have no writing staff or staff available to participate in social media marketing, and if you have no overall marketing department to develop a brand for your company to create a likable and memorable image.
The Site Audit is a must. Generally site audits range between $1,000 and $3,000 with less diversely competing sites (fewer products or services to focus on ranking for) less expensive, and larger more complex businesses selling hundreds and thousands of products and services far exceeding $3,000 for an audit. With the site audit to act as a guide, the work can then be mapped out strategically in multiple phases, often with multiple subcontractors working their fields (copy writing when a few hundred pages of new content are required to approach the level of content on your chief competitor’s sites, for one), social media marketers where needed, and so forth while the chief SEO works on development and fine tuning of the site details.

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