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SEO Basics for Finding the Best Web Design or SEO Company

It’s important to know what you don’t know before you hire a website developer or SEO firm to work on your website

I recently decided to put to use some of the SEO software tools we regularly utilize when working on keyword research for our clients’ sites or when optimizing their websites for SEO.

I typed in what I thought are basic SEO questions that a lot of business owners regularly wonder about when faced with the prospect of trying to improve their website’s rankings on Google:

  • “What is search engine optimization?”  
  • “What does ‘SEO’ mean?”
  • “How does SEO work?”
  • “What’s the definition of SEO?”
  • “How do I choose the best SEO company?”

I was amazed at the number of keyword combinations surrounding “search engine optimization” or “SEO” – tens of thousands of Internet users type in more than 10,000 different queries each month to get info on these types of questions or to learn how to implement SEO.

And, it’s not surprising. SEO, especially when it comes to optimizing a website for Google, has become extremely complicated in the last several years. Google now uses 200 factors to rank websites, and continues to modify its algorithm to weed out spammy sites and generate the best possible results for its search engine users.  Last Fall, Google announced that its search engine algorithm now incorporates what it calls “RankBrain,” the use of artificial intelligence to help sort through the billions of web pages to determine how websites should be prioritized and ranked.  It’s so complicated that even Google engineers admit they don’t really understand it.

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Boost Your Internet Marketing with Carefully Crafted Industry Outreach

Your best plan of action is to present truly newsworthy information clearly, concisely and honestly

Press releases are great things. They get your news out, they provide useful links back to your website, they give your company an extra chance to get ranked on Page 1 of the search engines.

Press release distribution services are great things too. They provide a permanent home for your press release and distribute your news to thousands of publications and news sites in a cost-effective manner.

But all great things really do come to end, and, while mass-distributed press releases provide a lot of useful benefits, there’ll be certain times when you want to take your Internet marketing a step further.

A case in point is when you have news of major interest to your industry. Online press release services don’t always have an option for distribution to industry-specific publications, and those that do often charge a prohibitive fee for the privilege of using their targeted delivery.

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Industrial Marketing Just Got More Complex

The best industrial marketing plans incorporate social media outreach in support of SEO.

Social media is no longer the darling of just teenagers and celebrities. Industrial buyers – of all ages – are actually putting LinkedIn and its ilk to good use in their professional lives, giving B2B marketers another tool and another challenge to reach their target audiences.

Social media’s increased popularity among industrial buyers is one of many findings in a report recently released by IEEE Engineering360. “2016 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector” is based on answers from 850 survey respondents who work in the industrial and research fields.

A good majority of the survey participants began their professional lives before the dawn of the Internet: 68% of the respondents said they were over age 49, 18% were 35-49 and 10% were 18-35 (4% chose not to give their age).

Regardless of age, 82% of all respondents reported using social media for up to two hours per week for work purposes, without a material difference in responses from the different age groups.

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Maintaining the Integrity of Your B2B Website Design

The amount of time that a B2B website takes to make an impression on a visitor could only be an instant.

B2B companies serious about using their websites as a marketing/sales tool need to ensure that their website design presents a professional appearance that fits the personality and communication style of the business. The best way to do that is to entrust your B2B website design into the talented hands of a professional web designer -- who can interpret the design needs of your business based on a review of your marketing materials and discussion with key decision makers -- rather than someone who will slap your text and images on a common WordPress template.

Below are the factors that a professional website designer will consider as they create your new B2B website.   

The Perfect Design for Your B2B Website

Graphic designers are always striving for perfection. They obsess over the color, size and placement of every component of every design down to the last pixel. They can work on designs for hours, days, weeks, or even longer, but still continue to want to make improvements. They will continually move elements around the page to make the design just a little bit better, a little more balanced, a little bit more organized, or to get that alignment just right.

The amount of time that a B2B website takes to make an impression on a visitor could only be an instant. Subconsciously, we notice perfection, or imperfections, of which we are not even aware. It is the job of your designer to pay attention to all of those subtleties and to create a design that is as flawless as possible. The professionalism of your website and brand depends on it.

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Tools to help chart the sometimes rough seas of B2B SEO

Armed with that knowledge, you’re in a better position to avoid knee-jerk reactions and make the right SEO decisions.

In Angela’s recent blog about possible causes for drops in search engine rankings, she mentioned one B2B SEO factor that none of us have any control over – fluctuations in the search engines’ algorithms.

The search engines are usually pretty tight-lipped about how and when they alter their rules for ranking websites, but there are a number of reputable companies out there now that track such changes.

Their basic reports are free, and they provide some historical data to put current incidents in perspective. Most of the companies also offer for-fee tracking services, which aren’t covered in this review.

Here’s a brief rundown of the most popular trackers:

AccuRanker – monitors 28,000 randomly selected keywords globally; provides an overall “Google mood indicator” (today’s was grumpy) and allows site visitors to filter results based on country and type of device.

Algaroo – follows 17,000 search terms on Google; also offers email alerts for major changes and disruptions.

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Why Have My Google Search Rankings Dropped?

We’re in a summer of tremendous Google algorithm flux and the result is that many websites have recently dropped in the search rankings.

For a marketing manager, there’s almost nothing worse than checking your company’s Google Analytics only to find that your site traffic and Google search rankings have dropped.

Panic ensues as you scramble for explanations, causes and remedies. 

In today’s marketing climate, businesses have become ever more reliant on strong search engine rankings to drive site traffic, leads and new business as more traditional forms of marketing take a back seat among a fully plugged-in younger generation of buyers.

Who doesn’t love the self-serve nature of the Internet, where (non-spam) leads generated from your website are typically not only highly qualified, but also very serious buyers, as they’ve already done the work of investigating your company and products before filling out that contact form.

So finding that steady flow of new business opportunities shrink to a trickle as your site’s visibility on Google drops can induce sheer terror as you come to the realization that you’re not as much in control of your destiny as you thought you were.

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