7 Tips to Hire the Right SEO Company
There’s no denying the importance of good search engine optimization in today’s competitive online marketplace. While a good SEO company can really help your business you also need to be very careful choosing which company you want to work with. Online presence is a powerful tool and becoming more important to a business’s survival by the day. You need help to master SEO and get the results you need so you can focus on making your business thrive as a new wave of customers comes in, and the following seven tips will help you narrow down the search for the right company that can get the job done at a price that won’t bust your budget
Tip #1: Company Size
There’s no such thing as a cookie cutter SEO formula to success. While there are over 200 known factors that go into determining the search engine rankings, that doesn’t mean every company should tackle their online SEO the same way. What a big name company needs to do to shove their way up to the top in Chicago is a different strategy from a company wanting national rankings for certain keywords or a small city restaurant looking to drum up business. Go with an agency that has different packages based on business size and need.
Tip #2: Look For On-Site & Off-Site SEO Help
Generally speaking, in most situations only doing off-site SEO or only doing on-site SEO won’t be enough in a competitive market. A really good agency understands the importance of handling both and will be able to show you how their plan covers both important parts of the big picture to get you the ratings you’re looking for.
Tip #3: Ask For Proof Of Praise
You want to see who is praising that SEO company you’re considering. Have they won awards? Do they have testimonials from happy customers? Can they show you clients they managed to get to the top of page one for major keywords? These are extremely important and shouldn’t be a problem for a good SEO agency to provide. If they’re not willing to show them, then you should look for another provider.
Tip #4: Make Sure You’re Ready To Invest
SEO can do amazing things, but it isn’t an overnight silver bullet. Good optimization takes time and this is a process that requires patience, time, and continued investment. Make sure you’re at the point where you can make the level of commitment needed to get the results you’re dreaming of. Investing too little for too short a time can result in you spending money, and then stopping short of the point where the breakthrough results would come into play.
Tip #5: Run Away From “Guaranteed Rankings”
No one can absolutely guarantee a #1 ranking in Google. If they do, run. While SEO agencies can be very confident about their capabilities, their track record, and getting you to a better spot than before they started, actually guaranteeing a #1 spot is something no reliable and reputable search engine optimization agency will promise.
Tip #6: Understands The Proper Way To Backlink
Backlinking is as important in SEO as it has ever been. Any good off-site optimization must require gathering links and gathering the right types of links. Doing this part wrong can actually hurt your website and not doing it at all means that your site is not getting the proper juice to overcome the competition in competitive markets.
Tip #7: Have Realistic Expectations
If you’re a small business willing to dedicate $500 a month in Chicago, you’re not getting to the absolute top of those search engine rankings. On the other hand in a moderate to normal sized market consistent action over time will generally generate solid results that will give you more traffic and translate to noticeable improvements in your business.
These seven tips give you an important base to work with and help you to pick a reliable and professional SEO agency that is likely to get the job done and to get it done right. Remember that when it comes to investing in SEO it absolutely pays to do your homework up front!
Why You Should Make a Serious Investment in SEO
Considering how much the online landscape has changed over the course of a few years, it is more important than ever before to invest in Search Engine Optimization. As a business, it is necessary to invest money, time, and resources into SEO because of the way the consumer buying process has changed. More people than ever before are turning to their favorite search engine in order to find products, locate businesses, and even make their purchases. As a result, your business must rank well in order to capture market share within your respective industry. Let’s review in detail some of the reasons to invest in SEO.
1. SEO Is a Long-Term Asset and Investment.
SEO is a long-term asset or investment that can pay huge dividends both in the short and long-term scheme of things. As you have probably noticed, more people than ever before are utilizing their mobile devices to locate businesses nearby, find reviews of businesses, and even make their purchases. A majority of these people begin their buying decision steps with a simple search on their favorite search engine. So if your business is not ranking well for your respective keywords and key phrases that dominate your market, you are going to miss out on this potential market share. By investing heavily into your SEO efforts, it is going to increase your business’s ability to attract more customers organically through the search engines and it is going to do so over the long term.
2. Helps Conversions.
Another reason to consider investing in SEO is that it can help with conversions. Having a well-designed website that is functional and appealing is only going to go so far. Nowadays, you must actively market your website in order to achieve any sort of scalable traffic. When your website ranks at the top of the search engines, prospective customers or your traffic is most likely going to already have some sort of established trust with you. After all, you wouldn’t be ranking high within the search engines for the respective keywords they typed in if you were not a reputable website or business. Therefore, it is going to help establish a good amount of trust with your prospective customers and/or visitors. However, it is also going to increase the effectiveness by which you can organically target your prospective customer. As a result of targeting what we call “money keywords” or keywords that show an intent to buy, that are used by prospective customers actively looking for something that you offer, it is going to maximize the chances you target the right person to come to your website which is going to inherently increase conversions by default.
3. Reduce Marketing Costs.
Because SEO places a focus on generating organic traffic for your business, you are going to be able to successfully reduce your overall marketing costs as a result of implementing it. This is primarily due to being able to generate more traffic organically without having to pay for it. Whether you reduce the amount of money you put into paid marketing strategies or you put more, it is going to result in reducing your overall costs per lead or customer acquisition because SEO can generate increased effectiveness for your ability to convert at just about every level. Therefore, it is going to increase your return on investment in total and for various strategies that you are implementing.
4. Big For Local.
Another reason to consider making a substantial investment into your SEO efforts is that it can have a big impact on your local marketing efforts. A large percentage of searches on Google and other search engines are in fact prospective customers looking to identify a business to spend their money whether they are shopping for a specific product, looking for a place to eat, or doing something else. Therefore, you want to be ranking as high as possible if you currently own or operate a business that relies on local traffic whether product or service based. That way, you can generate significant interest in your business and convert prospects into customers.
Overall, SEO is one of the best strategies that you can focus on implementing into your marketing mix. By investing big into your SEO efforts, you should be able to maximize the amount of traffic you are able to generate to your website which is going to in turn increase sales for your business. Along with this, it can have a significant impact on your ability to increase your returns on your marketing investments along with a better ability to decrease lead acquisition costs.
Video is the most popular medium on the Internet, with people viewing more than 30 videos a month on the average.
Interesting videos can easily go viral, getting millions of views on YouTube and many more on other sharing platforms. A well-made marketing video has the potential of giving your business the kind of exposure that can boost brand recognition and attract more customers, therefore increasing your earnings.
However, unlike blog posts or even static ads, quality videos can be very expensive to make if you do not know how to produce these yourself since you’ll need to hire anything from a small team to a whole production crew that may include a director, a videographer or two, a scriptwriter probably actors, and other professionals.
Fortunately, social media and its ability to allow users to participate in everything from posts to actual content production can provide you with a great workaround. Proper engagement with customers not only builds brand loyalty but also permits you to invite them to produce content you can use. This content is referred to as User Generated Content, and it is very important to include in your video marketing arsenal.
Here are three ways you can do this:
- Ask customers for feedback. Testimonials are invaluable since many potential customers look for peer reviews of the products or services they are thinking of getting. Ask them to share their testimonials in short videos you can share individually or edit into clips for sharing on your Facebook, Instagram or Vine accounts.
- Convert positive comments on your blog and social media pages into testimonials. Reach out to customers who leave positive comments and ask if they would be willing to repeat this on video that they themselves can shoot on their smart phones or that you can do on a platform such as Skype.
- Hold a contest for the best customer-produced video about your business or product. Many customers will jump at the chance to win a prize from a brand or business they love. The best thing is that setting the rules improves your chances of getting videos that best suit your needs. Depending on what you offer, you can ask them to shoot anything from funny videos to new or unusual ways to use your products or services. Or the contest could be about how your brand has helped people or touched their lives.
Specify how long the videos should be depending on the platform you plan to use. For example, 6-second clips are perfect for Vine. For YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms, as well as your blog page or business website, 2 to 3 minutes is the ideal length.
While the potential exposure customers may get through their winning videos is often a good enough incentive, you should encourage greater participation by offering attractive prizes. You can also draw in more contestants with multiple categories and more prizes.
Most of all, it is important to show your video contributors your sincere appreciation by thanking them individually and sharing their creations.
The upward trend in video marketing is hard to deny: More and more entrepreneurs are realizing how efficient and far-reaching a good video can be by now. The fact that larger companies have been relying on the moving image for a long time is neither new nor a secret.
The difference is that the decline in the price of video equipment as well as the possibility of reaching the desired target group via the Internet without any great effort makes video marketing interesting for small and medium-sized companies as well as founders.
7 Reasons Why Video Marketing is So Important
1. Video Engenders Commitment
In a world where we all have less and less time available, it is of course much more efficient to watch a video for a few minutes than to read long articles. In addition, video can reach a wider audience by providing content easily assimilated even by the most “lazy”. If you want to reach young targets, it is purely and simply THE mode of information of choice.
Today, people love seeing a product or service in action. So why deprive yourself?
2. Video Dramatically Increases Conversion
Videos can allow you to increase your turnover and thus earn money! Adding a video demonstrating your product or service on a landing page can drastically boost conversion (sometimes a boost of up to 80%). An American study showed that 74% of users who viewed a video demonstration about a product finally ordered it. And this is, in my opinion, not a surprise when we know that human vision remains the sense of privileged perception for human beings. Images are good but a video is MUCH better! Think about it, prepare a great video presentation and see the result on your sales!
3. Video Builds Trust
Trust has always been a key element for the consumer and therefore for sales. Building and cultivating the trust of our customers is a strategic mission for the entrepreneur! Video helps to develop an emotional attachment relationship much stronger than any other means of communication. However, we must truly understand and accept that digital marketing does not work if we remain focused on a pure sales objective! It is therefore imperative to deliver value to your audience by producing interesting and useful content. In this sense, video is the ideal tool to create commitment, develop emotion and confidence.
4. Google Loves Videos
This creates a commitment and with its content increases the degree of confidence in its business (website, products, services, and business). In addition, Google’s algorithms include the presence of videos in their ranking calculations, which increases your chance of appearing in the best places in the search engine. Let’s not forget also that YouTube belongs to Google which should convince us of the usefulness of SEO video (Search Engine Optimization).
So, if you use YouTube to host your videos, consider optimizing your content for SEO. We are talking here about working on titles strategically and descriptions in a “keywords” spirit. Integrate a “call to action” to your videos to launch your funnel conversion.
5. Video is Suitable for Mobile Users
Our smartphones have become the remotes of our lives today. They accompany us almost from sunrise to sunset and allow us to consume content anywhere at any time. Video and mobile are the best friends in the world. It’s easy to watch content while waiting for the train or in the waiting room of your doctor. Between the years 2012 and 2014, views of video content grew by more than 400% globally! And Google recorded a 100% increase each year since. In summary and as the number of smartphones increases continuously, the use of video for your business allows you to reach a wider and wider audience. Be careful, however, to consider the constraints of viewing content on a mobile device to provide an optimal and personalized experience to your prospects.
6. Video Increases Sharing on Social Networks
All actors of social networks are currently putting a strong emphasis on video solutions (live or delayed). Whether Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Periscope or Snapchat, all regularly launch new features related to video (360, ephemeral or more traditional content).
The use of a video, therefore, makes it possible to maximize the “natural reach” of your publications according to the algorithms of the platforms concerned. In addition, and if you are able to create a real emotion through your content, you will directly encourage sharing in your community.
Your messages will reach a wider audience and you will be able to develop your brand awareness more widely.
76% of users say they are more likely to share a video with their friends if it’s fun!
Think about it when you take out your camera … Once again, delivering value is the key to successful communication!
7. Videos Have a Very Strong Explanatory Potential
When launching a new product or service, one of the key issues is to “educate” future consumers. How and why does your offer fully meet their needs? How to anticipate any questions that could block their purchase? In this area, video is an extraordinary tool for simply explaining sometimes complex solutions.
Types of online videos
There are many different types of online videos and also different ways of producing them. The effect is very different. This article only describes the types of online video that may be relevant to video marketing online. So, no self-produced music videos, comedy, etc.
Corporate Video / Image Video
Whoever wants to use real video formats should make an image or corporate video no longer than five minutes because many viewers stop watching a video after a few minutes when it seems too boring or uninteresting. To capture an audience for a longer period of time, choose an interesting introduction and in addition to the presentation of the company, additional information on employees, corporate philosophy and special products and services that you offer. The following video for Team Referral Network’s “Big Event” is a great example of a corporate video, specifically promoting an important corporate event.
Product videos help attract customers when they provide a comprehensive insight into the product. Humor, emotions and memorable images are good approaches for a successful video that can spread virally. Here’s an example that will make your mouth water:
If you want to explain a complex process, explanatory videos are well suited. They are often created in comical cartoons, drawn, or made with trick animations. These videos are very versatile and can explain within minutes complex ideas and concepts. For example, things as wide-ranging as explaining the causes of a banking crisis to a corporate philosophy. The technique makes the ideas vivid and interesting. The style can range from childish-funny to graphic-sophisticated and uses the branding colors and shapes of the companies creating them. Here’s a good example of a corporate video for international company PCI Gases, that both explains a complex process, and sells:
Pure product videos can be interesting, but many customers are often interested in more details such as the construction of the devices or the possibility of combining the products. The instructions can either be presented by a company employee or by self-testimonials. You should pay attention to vivid images and interesting combinations to keep the audience happy. If there are a variety of products, a do-it-yourself web series can make sense, because you can always introduce new products.
If there are experts in the company who have great knowledge in their field, a regular or one-off interview on current issues may be useful. It should briefly introduce products, services and specialties and the expert should answer competently and in detail. In this way, even complex processes can be simplified, without having to produce a long explanatory video. However, the interest in static interviews is usually less than on short explanatory clips or moving interviews at trade fairs or events.
Webinar, Video Conference and Hangouts
If you’re running Google webinars, video conferencing, Hangouts, you can publish a video as an online video. How often do you register for a webinar and then do not have the time to attend? And if the webinar is available on video, you can watch it later. Here is a video by ON24 that explains how to conduct a webinar in a very entertaining way.
Companies that operate internationally, for example, can use “classic” reports to capture impressions from the producing countries, to inform them about production quotas, and other progress items. This can result in transparency and new communication channels with customers and business partners.
The goal of viral videos is for individuals to share them without prompting to get as broad a reach as possible through word of mouth. Viral videos are easy to “consume”, arouse emotions and encourage sharing. They can entertain, make fun, tell stories, show grievances, etc. There are many examples of successful viral videos that have impacted sales growth. Here’s a fun one from Simple Nursing.
Many companies are breaking new ground in recruitment. The internet and social media offer many possibilities. Recruiting videos are intended to introduce potential employees to a company, department or advertised position in an authentic manner. In this recruiting video from Covenant Health, we see a very well made Nurse Recruiting Video.
7 Tips For Effective Online Videos
- Short videos – up to 5 minutes
- Arousing curiosity – conveying action, excitement, emotions, security, analyzing threats, satisfying demand
- Place on the Internet at relevant target groups – own website, social networks, video platforms, participate in competitions
- Using Product Placement – visually appealing / promoting the advertised brand/product
- Transparency and credibility – use real people, do not make empty promises with pretty pictures
- Short descriptions, simple content and understandable texts – the attention span is very short
- Collect and analyze video clips, playing time, distribution and comments
Production Standards and Equipment
It is possible to use tablets and smartphones to create videos that go viral on the net. However, the use of professional equipment to meet today’s quality standards is recommended. However, with the right idea and enough post-production, stunning videos can also be created on smartphones and tablets, as in this example from the automaker Bentley – made with an iPhone:
The right idea ultimately makes a good product and so companies and startups should put the most energy and production costs into the idea and development because ultimately, the budget is not the only key to success.
Getting It Out There: Platforms and Distribution Channels
The Internet thrives on content, so companies should take advantage of all opportunities, always keeping an eye on the target audience. Social networks are popular among all age groups and videos can be spread very well within seconds. Whoever publishes videos on Facebook, should allow sharing the content and promote a video accordingly. A new video can also be announced via Twitter, and whoever is involved in this on its own homepage can address its customers in many ways.
YouTube and Vimeo are the largest video sharing platforms, allowing you to post an online video on your own channel in minutes. Again, embedding and redistribution of content should be allowed. After all, viral marketing is about viewers and clicks.
Also, consider that videos are searched for in the top search engines. So Google often displays videos in the SERPs of the web search in the search results (Universal Search) and offers a search for videos in addition to the classic web search.
Do you want to reach business customers with your video? Then you can also publish your video in business search engine posts such as “Who delivers what” or in the corporate profiles of business networks like XING or LinkedIn. For this, you need in some cases just a paid entry/profile.
YouTube SEO: How To Optimize Your Video For a Good Ranking On YouTube
There are many factors that influence the ranking of search results pages (SERPs) on YouTube or Google Google:
- video properties are about resolution and length. Videos in HD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels in 16: 9 format are now standard. In length, there is evidence that a video that lasts only a few seconds is placed lower in search results than a video that is more than a minute long. Using relevant keywords in video settings is the first step in getting a good ranking on YouTube.
- Use relevant keywords in video settings
- Use of relevant keywords in the channel settings
- User signals to the channel or video
You can use video properties, the use of relevant keywords in the video and channel settings to ensure that your videos do not get lost in the multitude of other choices
- Filename: Before uploading a video, use the most important keyword as a file name.
- Title: Place the most important keywords in front of the title.
- Video description: In the description, the important keywords should be in the first two lines. This should not be missing the call-to-action. Because the first two lines are displayed as a snippet in the search results of the Google and YouTube search. In the descriptions, links can be placed. If the link matches a video thematically, this could also have a positive effect on the ranking. For the user, it is definitely helpful if he wants to get further information.
- Tags: Assign relevant tags to a video. These can also be higher-level terms and terms that are relevant to your channel.
Also important is the use of relevant keywords in the channel settings. Think carefully about which keywords you place here. If you’ve made a video on how to chop wood properly, but if your other videos in your channel are not just about chopping, but home improvement tips, then you’re more likely to like DIY, tinkering, tips, tricks, guides, wood , Interior design, renovate, make yourself, paint, tools, etc. relevant. Use the most important keyword in the channel name and this and other important keywords in the channel description.
In addition to these factors, which you can influence yourself, the behavior of users in relation to your video or channel plays an important role in the rankings in the hit lists. These include channel subscribers, clicks, clickthrough rate, length of stay or bounce rates (is the video watched to the end or where do users drop off?), Comments on the video, likes and dislikes (thumb icons below the videos), inclusion in playlists, social -Signs on Number of Likes, Shares, Tweets, +1 on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & Co.
Check out this infographic on the top ranking factors on YouTube
More Tips on YouTube Marketing
In addition to the ranking factors, there are other ways to use YouTube successfully. Here are some tips:
- Thumbnails: displayed in the hit lists. If these match the term you are looking for and are appealingly designed, they will ensure a high CTR. If the picture but raise false expectations in the viewer, this leads to high bounce rates. You can thumbnail your own pictures in verified YouTube accounts. YouTube Help provides instructions for custom video thumbnails.
- Watermark: With the help of a watermark, you can easily set a visible copyright. Use your logo as a watermark, thus additionally strengthening the perception of your brand (English branding). You can set a watermark for your videos in the Channel Settings under “Branding”.
- Check subtitles: If you have activated the subtitles in your video, check the texts in the Video Manager via “Edit” and then select “Subtitle”. Speech recognition is very advanced, but not without error.
Mobile Video is Here!
Internet usage on mobile devices from smartphones to tablets is becoming increasingly popular. And so, information and entertainment can be spread virally quickly. There is over 31 percent of web traffic globally, so business owners should adopt this market for future commercialization. Depending on what and whom you want to reach, you must consider the mobile use of online videos.
Due to the increasing use of online videos, video marketing has become an important measure in online marketing. Video marketing can pay into many corporate goals, from awareness, through image, to sales and customer loyalty. However, you will only succeed if you meet the needs of your target group with your videos. For more amazing videos that take full advantage of what Video Marketing can do for those willing to use it, Check Out Our Channel!
In the book “Celebrity Branding You” by Nick Nanton, J.W. Dicks, Lindsay Dicks, and Greg Rollett there is an entire section dedicated to explaining why your Website is the heart of your entire online presence, and arguably your entire business. They also go into some detail on what the important “must haves” are for any website. Here at Blue Flame Digital we completely agree with what is presented in this book and in fact for our clients we follow every one of the principals they recommend. Here is an important quote from the book that explains it really well: “The keystone in
“The keystone in a building is the stone on which the foundation and all the construction rests. Remove the keystone, and the foundation is unstable. In today’s business environment, the Keystone is your website and internet strategy. Please note, we said two things — your website and internet strategy. Together we call these tools your Online Marketing Platform ™. Indeed, having one without the other is futile. While putting up a website is helpful, you must understand what you want to get out of it. This is where most businesses fail. They believe having a website is all they need, and they’re surprised when it doesn’t generate the business they thought it would. It’s like starting a new brick and mortar business, opening the doors, and expecting that’s all you need to do… not the case.”
We believe that a Responsive Website (able to adapt to desktop or mobile devices) is the heart of a company’s Online presence. But no matter what device people are using, research tells us that 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on the majority of websites – and most of the rest spend very little more. Unfortunately for most websites, Google considers the length of time visitors stay as a top ranking factor. How do we get people’s attention in 15 seconds to entice them to stay? By creating websites that are so much more than just digital brochures. It all starts with what people see when they land. The first impression counts! That’s why we value our team of award-winning graphic designers. But it doesn’t end there. Ease of Navigation is critical to keeping your visitors engaged. So we make sure that everything is tested for simplicity and ease of flow. And finally, the content you have on your site is your greatest asset.
The bottom line is that your website should be set up primarily as a lead magnet. That’s why at Blue Flame we have a team of copywriters that will do the in-depth research necessary to provide the relevant information your audience is looking for. This will make your company not only shine as the go-to authority in your field but your website will become a point of attraction to those that are looking for your specific products and services.
Good search engine placement can have a huge impact on your businesses. This little article will give you some initial strategies to improve your rankings on the web.
In order to use search engine optimization on your website effectively, you must understand how it works. Instead of human users making decisions on how a site should rank or be found, search engines use computer driven algorithms and equations to rank sites. Designing your website to make sure it ranks highly in organic search results is the main purpose of search engine optimization.
The algorithms used by Google and other major search engines are very complex programs that ultimately will determine where you place on results pages versus your competitors. It considers many factors to make its “decisions.” The amount of traffic your site gets, along with the site content and headers, are factored into the algorithms. Also factored into the search engine algorithm are the links that lead to your site, which you have less control over.
SEO should not be considered as a one time, overnight project. You have to have patience and be in it for the long-term. You can most certainly increase your rankings by optimizing things “on-page” or within your website, such as your layout, content and keywords, tags, meta tags and descriptions, and many other factors. For example, it is important to put your keywords in both your site’s paragraph text and your titles and headings. This will show the search engines how relevant your site is to those keywords.
Improving your rankings is not a matter of throwing a lot of money into SEO. Yes, you will have to make an investment of time and money and even hire a company that specializes in SEO. Also, there are sponsored links on search result pages; however, they can be expensive, and they are clearly labeled so that users will know that they are paid links. Buying these is more for large, established companies, and you may need to work your way up to that level.
The selection of the right keywords is not the only strategy in search engine optimization. Good links can and will deliver good results as well. Also, internal linking within your website is important, not just the ones coming from the outside. An important and growing strategy is to arrange an exchange of links with other site owners that are relevant and complementary to your niche.
Remember, most people will find your website through searching keywords and through random online explorations. More often than not, these visits will not lead to a purchase but they are an important indicator of value and relevance in the eyes of the major search engines. Therefore, it makes sense to focus your online marketing efforts on creating relevant content with relevant keywords that are more likely to be found by online searches. The bottom line is that there are two ways to target the right audience, one is by using relevant search terms and to optimize your site for organic traffic and the other is by placing ads where your target audience is more likely to hang out – and the best place to do that is through Google Adwords text and display ads.
Hope this article gives you a good overview of the art and science of Search Engine Optimization – something dear and near to our hearts here at Blue Flame Digital Marketing.