AdWords PPC starter plan from Shimmer.

Shimmer Receives Multiple “Specializations” Accolades From Google Partners

The Google Partner program has rolled out a new feature, company specializations, that recognize and differentiate partners with specific expertise in certain areas. These specializations are only awarded to certified Google Partners that demonstrate increased performance and product expertise in AdWords products.

Google Partners can earn specializations in 5 areas:

  • Search
  • Mobile
  • Display
  • Video
  • Shopping | E-Commerce

Shimmer Digital Media is currently being recognized for expertise in Search, Mobile, and Display. We also expect to meet Shopping expertise criteria within the next few months.

The new specialization tags are a great way for us to demonstrate to our existing, new and potential clients that Shimmer continually strives to provide the absolute highest level of Google AdWords management services.

At Shimmer, we’re beaming with pride over our new specialist distinctions, and we are ever thankful to the wonderful clients who’ve allowed us to manage their search advertising and organic search optimization campaigns.

Craig Postlethwaite | Shimmer

Another Google Redesign — Increased Column Width

Google’s new layout includes a significantly wider column for search results. Beyond positioning space, this change impacts title and description elements important to SEO.

Google has increased the column for organic search results to about 600 pixels from 500 pixels.  The amount of whitespace between the results and features in the right sidebar has decreased by 5 pixels, from 65 pixels to only 60.

Source: The SEM Post

Shimmer PPC & SEO Sacramento Office

New PPC & SEO Solutions for Sacramento, CA!

Hello Sacramento area businesses! We’ve expanded our local reach with a new location near downtown and just a couple blocks from the college, Sac State.

We’re looking forward to being in the neighborhood and providing Sac businesses with high quality Google AdWords management and SEO services. See our Sacramento office page for more details on our office location, business hours and available services.

Will SEO Actually Work In 2014, Or Is All Hope Lost?

The short answer: Of course SEO will work in 2014 — better than you think.

The long answer: Yes, SEO will work in 2014…
Consider This: 60% of our business here at Shimmer is derived from AdWords PPC Management. Most of our PPC leads come from Google, but here is the kicker — we haven’t run a single paid Google ad for our PPC services in 4 months!! (How’s that for ironic?) That’s right, the bulk of our traffic (sales leads) comes from being on the first page of the organic search results [ for our particular keywords ]. A quick Google search for the phrase “AdWords Management Company” will offer a bit of proof. Same goes for searches on Bing, Yahoo and Duck-Duck-Go. BTW, the balance of our leads come from social media channels and business referrals.

So, maybe you’re thinking Shimmer is a big player in the SEO industry with tons of high-quality backlinks and a zillion social media followers that are constantly retweeting and posting our awesomeness? Nope. In fact, our Twitter followers are fewer than 1200 (as of today) and we have exactly 38 likes on Facebook.

How We Do SEO

What’s our SEO secret? First, we never anticipate, worry, panic or freak-out about Google algorithm updates. Google makes some 200-300 updates a year, that’s way too much stress to put on our plate. Second, we realize that SEO has become a somewhat dated term — we use SEO as a broad term that encompasses far more than keywords and meta tags. Lastly, we follow a simple SEO strategy: Quality + Depth + Persistence = SEO Success. I’ll break each of these down in detail:

[list icon=”plus-sign”][list_item] QUALITY: Typically, the word “content” will follow the word “quality” in any given SEO discussion. Unfortunately, this is where it usually stops for most guys and gals, and that is a very big mistake! Obviously, quality content is paramount to internet success, but you already know that so I won’t rehash what’s been stated countless times before.

When we talk about quality SEO at Shimmer, we mean quality across the board: Quality website code, quality page titles, quality headers, quality meta descriptions, quality link structure, and, of course, quality content. Everything about your website needs to ooze quality — Is it mobile friendly? How much content is placed below the fold? Is the content informative, yet easy to digest? Is every page easily accessible? Forms? Calls-To Action? Navigation? And so on.

The bigger picture here is providing a website that meets the needs of your target audience. Not just their product or service needs, but there information needs, their accessibility needs, and their convenience needs. Attention to these details signal to the search engines that your site provides significant value to their users as well as yours.

[list_item]DEPTH: Here, at the end of 2013 and moving into 2014, SEO depth is a biggie. By depth, I mean reach and saturation. Anyone still hanging on to the hope that a website with quality SEO is enough to make the front page of Google will be sorely disappointed. Your quality SEO strategies need to stretch well beyond your site and deep into the interwebs. You need to apply quality SEO to branded social media channels, online videos, blogs, white papers, PDFs, press releases, emails, newsletters, images, etc. In short, you need to always have a “Quality SEO” mentality, and you need to apply it to multiple internet channels.

Yes, SEO can be complex and time consuming, but the payoff can range from huge to ginormous!
[list_item]PERSISTENCE: Never, ever stop applying quality SEO to your online campaigns. This is not a one-and-done effort. Things change, algorithms happen, and new opportunities always present themselves. Your SEO efforts need to remain consistent and they need to stay relevant. Follow SEO news blogs, pay attention to Google updates, always be informed and always apply your new knowledge to your SEO strategies.

Quality SEO… and then some!

If there is one thing you should take away from this article, please let it be this:
While SEO can seem a bit overwhelming, a high rank in the search results does not require a huge team procuring copious backlinks for your site, nor does it require big, big bucks for overrated content marketing strategists. To get right with Google, your business needs to have a quality, deep and persistent SEO strategy. There’s no SEO secret, there’s only a willingness to succeed.

Small Business SEO Services and Internet Marketing

Professional, Affordable SEO and Internet Marketing for Small Biz Websites

Internet marketing can often be overwhelming for small businesses, especially when it comes to search optimization. At Shimmer, we take great care in educating our small business SEO clients and providing only the professional services that best suit their needs. We do this without all the costs, double-talk and algorithm heavy jargon currently spewed by our competition.

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Where Does Your Business Website Rank?

  • Does your website rank on the first page of Google for its related keywords?
  • Does your website rank higher than your competitors for the same keyword searches?

If you answered NO to either of these two questions, we can change that. How: We’ve been providing professional SEO services for small business for over a decade. We know how to improve your small biz search results, we do it ethically, and we do it better.

[button size=”medium” text=”National SEO Services” link=”” window=”false” color=”#000000″ text_color=”#FFFFFF” fullwidth=”false”]National SEO[/button]  [button size=”medium” text=”Local SEO Services” link=”” window=”false” color=”#000000″ text_color=”#FFFFFF” fullwidth=”false”]Local SEO[/button]

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 Modern SEO: Best Practices For 2013

[divider style=”medium”]Understanding how Google and other search engines rank websites is not for the faint of heart, to say the least. The most important thing to know is that Google continually changes and updates the way it evaluates and ranks a web page. This is to ensure that their users are always getting the best possible service, as well as keeping their search engine free of spammy techniques used to manipulate the search results.

For this reason, it’s easy to understand the importance of trusting your small business SEO to only a modern, ethical and professional SEO agency. Read our blog post HOW DO I RANK BETTER IN GOOGLE? for SEO guidelines and best practices in 2013.

National and Local SEO services by Shimmer.

Modern SEO Best Practices | 2013: How Do I Rank Better In Google?

When it comes to SEO, so much has changed in just the last couple of years that many folks really don’t know what the best practices are for improving a website’s placement in the search engine results pages. From my perspective, this a great thing — not because more than a handful (read… zillions) of people are confused about SEO, but because fewer people are able to easily manipulate the search results (with less-than-ethical tricks and tactics).

Over the years I’ve seen so many good folks, small biz owners, and corporate marketing execs get burned by the allure of a 1st page presence — and by the quick dollar vultures that feed on them — that I’m ecstatic that Google and others are going to great lengths to eradicate easy and shady manipulation of search results. If there is one thing that I am sure of, it is that those complaining the most that “Google Is Killing SEO” or “SEO Is Dead” are the very people that use shady tactics to manipulate search rankings and make easy money off of unsuspecting clients.

The truth is… there are billions of web pages on the internet — getting a web page to the top of Google (for any given keyword) is not, and should not be a quick and easy task. That said, it is not an impossible task. Heck, Shimmer does it for clients each and every day. So, for those not interested in securing professional SEO services from a company like Shimmer, what are the modern SEO best practices for improving search results? (i.e. How do I rank better in Google?):

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[blockquote style=”large”]First, Whatever You Think SEO Means At This Moment — FORGET IT.[/blockquote]

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SEO has evolved so much over the last few years that “Search Engine Optimization” is no longer a fitting term. Web Presence Optimization seems to be a better fit these days. (See this article “Time For A New Definition Of SEO” from Search Engine Watch, for an in-depth read on SEO’s evolution.)

Whatever you decide to call it, SEO has a much broader scope in 2013.  But at the core, SEO has always been — and will always be — about quality content.

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What Are Modern SEO Best Practices?

For the balance of 2013 and moving forward with SEO in 2014, here are some guidelines to help optimize your web presence and improve search placement:

[list icon=”adjust”][list_item]WEBSITE USABILITY — Make sure your website is easy to view and navigate on as many browsers and modern devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones) as possible. Is your web design responsive? Does it look and work just as well on an iPhone as it does on a Dell laptop? Does it work well in all modern browsers? (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari, etc.). If you are not familiar with responsive web design or fluid layouts, visit our web design page for more details.


[list_item]PROMOTE ENGAGEMENT — Does your website encourage users to interact? Does it have an informative blog where users get valuable information, request and provide feedback? Does your website have multiple Calls-To-Action? (web forms, subscribe to list, get the newsletter, view our monthly specials, etc.)


[list_item]EXPAND PRESENCE — Social media is now an integral part of SEO and Google gives weight to business sites with related social content. Remember, you are marketing your products and/or services online — you should be utilizing as many quality channels as possible. Do you have a business LinkedIn page, a YouTube channel, a Twitter account? More importantly, are they active and continually updated with fresh, relevant content?


[list_item]OPTIMIZE TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS — Don’t forget about the SEO basics. An optimized page title not only helps Google, but it helps your visitors understand what the page is about. Consider a first time visitor to your website; he/she decides your web page could be useful, but does not have the time to thoroughly digest its content. He/She bookmarks the page for later — Does your page title quickly and accurately describe what the page is about?

Same goes for meta descriptions. Do your page summaries accurately reflect the page’s content?


[list_item]DISCOVER NON-INDUSTRY KEYWORDS — This is a biggie. Time and time again folks will optimize their web pages for branded and/or industry specific keywords. That’s fine for the Googlers that know exactly what they are looking for, but the vast majority of folks don’t know your particular brand or industry specific keywords. Take this article for example; did you get here by searching “modern SEO best practices” or by searching “how do I rank better in Google”? The latter would be a much more common search as a significant majority of internet users are not familiar with the SEO industry and its terminology.


[list_item]LAYOFF THE BACKLINKS –While backlinks are important to your website’s page rank — too many folks, for too long, have placed too much emphasis on using backlinks to boost search placement. Google has taken note, Google has lessened the value of backlinks that do not directly relate to your content, or contribute to a better service for Google users.


[list_item]REMEMBER WHO IS KING — Although it has been spewed forth and discussed ad nauseum, quality content always has been, and will forever remain the undisputed king of SEO — and your web presence. From the very first paragraph of your website, to each tweet, and every image description and video title in between, your content should always be descriptive, informative, relevant to your product or service, and helpful to its viewers. Period.


With the exception of new web development, all of the tips above are easy to implement in your SEO strategy. Probably the the best thing to take away from this article is DEPTH. That is, don’t look for a single solution to enhancing your web presence. Instead, focus on creative, quality content and how you can incorporate that content into multiple online channels.

Get creative, think outside the box. Get rid of that stale content and discover new ways to inform viewers without boring them to sleep. Engage folks via social media. Be helpful. Do it all. Do it well.

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If you would rather outsource your SEO project, we’d love to help out. Visit our service pages for more SEO best practices and to learn how Shimmer can help you with a professional SEO campaign.

Making The Front Page: The Importance of Search Placement in 2013

The online marketing world is buzzing with blistering hot keywords, the promise of new and better strategies, the demise of worn out practices and a slew of predictions based on upcoming algorithm updates from Google. Internet marketing gurus are shouting “Content Marketing”. Search advertisers proclaim PPC is the new king!  A content creator claims SEO is dead, another erupts, “You said that same crap 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and just last year!”.

The onslaught of new digital marketing terms, strategies and predictions is mind-boggling. How do you know what is right for your business’ online marketing plan when there are thousands of “professionals”, each with different strategies for increasing online presence, generating web traffic and improving leads and sales?


Search QueryThe answer to the question above is simple: The right online strategy for your business is one that allows you to outrank your competitors in the search engine results pages (SERPs). In order to outrank your competitors in the SERPs, you typically need to make the first page of Google for your industry’s particular keywords.

Before discussing the methods for making the first page, it’s important to understand why your web pages need to rank well in search:

  • There are Nearly 700 Million Active Websites on the Internet [Source: Netcraft] — Each clamoring for Google’s attention.
  • 93% of Online Experiences Begin with a Search Engine [Source: Search Engine Journal]
  • Over 100 Billion Global Searches are Conducted Each Month
  • Google Owns 65-70% of the Search Engine Market Share

Beyond merely ranking well, other factors point out the need for an actual first page presence:

  • 75% of Search Users Never Scroll Past the First Page of the Search Results
  • A Web Page That Ranks on the First Page Gets 3-8 Times More Search Traffic Than one on Page Three
  • First Page Placement Establishes You as an Industry Leader and Enhances Credibility

The Payoff for making the first page is far too large and profitable to ignore:

Given the statistics above, it’s easy to understand why it is imperative for companies of all sizes to have  first page search placement if they want to grow their business and improve online leads and sales.

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How to Get a Website on the First Page of Google

Getting to the first page of Google is much more complicated than it was just a few short years ago. That said, being on the first page of Google is far more valuable now than it has ever been.

First Page: Key to SuccessWhile the process of making the first page may be complicated, the concept is quite simple to understand — Multi-Channel Web Marketing. In other words, there is no single marketing technique that will propel your site to the front page. Instead, a multi-channel plan is necessary for achieving high rankings.

Below is a list of strategies that, when combined, create a powerful and comprehensive digital marketing game plan that will get your web pages to the front of the search results, quickly and cost effectively. It is important to undertand the core principals of each strategy and how each practice effectively contributes to the overall marketing plan.

  • CONTENT MARKETING: Content Marketing is the creation and sharing of valuable content to attract and convert viewers/readers into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. This content is very relevant to what you sell. The goal is to inform potential customers about your business, product and/or service and establish trust so that they will want to do business with you as well as share their experience with others.

 Role: Creative, relevant content is mandatory for creating a web page that will attract attention and perform well in the search engines. The better, more relevant your content is to your industry’s consumers and their needs, the better it will perform in search.

  • SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO): SEO is the process of optimizing a website for search via best practices put forth by Google and other major search engines. It includes proper coding of the site, internal link structure, backlinking, speed and performance of the site, relevant content, meta data, use of titles and headers, image descriptions and more.

Role: SEO is the foundational element of your website. SEO ensures that your site meets Google’s guidelines and best practices for inclusion and promotion of web pages on their platform.

  • PPC CAMPAIGN: Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is search advertising — the ads that you see in the top 3 positions and down the right side of Google search results. PPC campaigns can be very effective as you are essentially buying a spot on the front page of the search results. Additionally, the chances of your links being clicked doubles and triples when there are multiple instances of your website on the frist page of search results (e.g. PPC Ad in the top 3 and an organic rank in the top 10)

Role: The role of a PPC campaign is easy to understand — it is a legal and ethical practice of buying your way to the front page of Google, Yahoo or Bing. Where things get really awesome is when you have a top ad as well as an organic placement on the first page. This can greatly increase your click through rates, leads and sales.

  • SOCIAL MEDIA: Nearly everyone is familiar with the popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.), but few businesses know how to effectively utilize social media for marketing. That fact is, social means keeping it, ummm… social. Social networkers are not interested in being bombarded with business ads, promotions and requests to “look at us”. Instead, social networkers prefer to be educated and informed as well as being able to provide feedback on their wants, needs, likes and dislikes.

Role: There is plenty of value in a social networking campaign when done properly and as part of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Not only does social media provide an effective communication and feedback portal for your customers, social media presence and activity is now an important part of Google’s determination for search relevance.

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Combining the four elements above is the quickest way to get your business to the front page of the search results — and keep it there. This is not merely a claim, the pages of the Shimmer website can be found on the first page of Google for hundreds of search phrases related to our industry. We utilize this very strategy for our own business.

If you plan on hiring a digital marketing agency to manage your online growth plan, make sure that the agency ranks well for their keywords. If they don’t, run away.

SEO: Still Not Sure About Google+ Authorship? Just Keep Reading…

A lot of folks are talking about Google Plus and its potential SEO value. Unfortunately, very few are explaining the relationship in detail, and how it all works together in 2013.

First, if your only interest is looking for a quick way to make the front page of Google, please stop reading here and move on. Those days are long gone. Now, if you are still reading, it’s time to focus on what modern SEO means to Google and how Google+ authorship can improve your authority and presence in the search engine.

Google Plus and SEO

The Down and Dirty

Google+ is much more than the giant search engine’s attempt to get in the social networking game. It is more a unification of all of Google’s services, with a common social layer. Think about that for a moment; the largest search engine in the world (by far) has integrated their email service, social networking and a slew of other services into a data juggernaut capable of personalizing information to unthinkable levels. While it sounds a bit creepy and “big brother” like, it also means that Google is the place to be if you want to find something — and more importantly — it’s the place to be if you want to be found.

This is where we tune into Google+ and the value of authorship. G+ allows you to create a profile with content and imagery. You can then associate this profile with content from another website and/or blog that you own or have article writing privileges.  When you create content on your website/blog, Google can utilize data from your G+ profile and attach it to search results that may be displayed based on a typical query with keywords related to your content.

Since your G+ account is tied to your ongoing content throughout the web, things like pluses you’ve given and received, comments made in your circles, etc. now give extra weight to the new content you’ve just created on your website or blog. Now, tie in other social factors (Tweets about your similar content, Facebook likes, LinkedIn profiles, etc.) and Google is making an association about your authority as it relates to certain keywords. Bam! This is exactly what Google wants — the most relevant information available in regards to a users search query.

G+ and SEO Results

For hits and wiggles, lets assume that you just wrote a new blog post about “AdWords Tips for 2013”.  You’re in the digital marketing business, you have related content on your website, you have related social networking accounts (including G+). How long do you think it will take for that new article to make the front page of Google for the search keywords “adwords tips 2013”? Well, give it try :-)

Do you see that article on the first page by Shimmer Digital Media? See that profile pic and the author, Craig Postlethwaite?  Yep, that’s me :-)

Guess what? I wrote that article just a few weeks ago and its been on the front page for over a week now. It’s just a short post I did about Enhanced Sitelinks, but it is very relevant to most of my online content.

Additionally, I get the huge adder of having my G+ profile link as well as a link to related articles I’ve posted. They are nicely positioned within the search result — see “More by Craig Postlethwaite”. Many of my other blog articles are doing just as well — Keywords: “adwords help 2013”, “adwords conversion rate tips”, and my personal favorite “my click through rates suck”. Okay, it’s not highly likely that many people will search the latter, but it’s worth the giggle :-)

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Here’s my point: A Google Plus account along with authorship markup is not only valuable for SEO, it is mandatory for good search placement and web traffic growth in a modern, content driven engine like Google. Also, I have no doubt that this SEO value will only increase as G+ continues to grow as a social networking platform.

Things have changed a lot in the last couple years, and social signals are a big part of search placement these days. Like it or not, you need to get on the G+ train — or you are likely to get run over by it.


Join OnLine Presence at LinkedIn

OnLine Presence: Shimmer Has a New Group on LinkedIn

We’re excited to announce the launch of Shimmer’s “OnLine Presence” group at LinkedIn.

OnLine Presence is discussion platform for web traffic growth professionals and seekers, alike. Join us and make some new LinkedIn connections, get answers to questions centered on improving your online presence, and/or lend your thoughts and expertise to those getting started in the industry.

Typical digital marketing topics include:

  • Search Advertising and PPC Management (AdWords and Bing)
  • Content Creation and Marketing
  • Modern, organic search optimization (SEO) focused on best practices inline with the ever changing search algorithms
  • Effective Social Media Marketing and Management
  • Responsive Web Development
  • Web Video Optimization
  • Online Business Development

OnLine Presence is an open group, discussions are crawled and indexed by the major search engines.

[button size=”medium” text=”Visit OnLine Presence” link=”” window=”true” fullwidth=”false”]Example[/button]


SEO: Needle in a Haystack

SEO 2013: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

SEO is DEAD… pffft!

It’s early 2013, Google announces a new “Panda” algorithm update is coming this weekend…and…BAM! We get smacked upside the face by the next wave of “SEO is DEAD” banter, comments, articles and what not. BTW, Google also announced a MAJOR Penguin update is coming by year’s end. Blah, blah, blah…gak!

Listen, friends: Nearly every one of us uses a major search engine to find things, services, products, etc. When you do a search on Google, those links that show up to websites, social pages, videos and blog articles (to name a few) do not make it to the front page out of happenstance — it’s not a random coincidence that links to any site or internet channel hit the front page because it was “lucky lottery winner day”. Those page links make the front page because they were optimized for search. If you don’t believe that, you are only fooling yourself. Now, whether they were optimized intentionally or not is another story.

So, here’s some background on the “SEO is DEAD” phenomenon: In the late 90’s (a millennia ago, in internet years) folks realized that some creative content, along with some choice keywords and a few backlinks from forums and message boards would improve their ranking on this slick database thingy, website finder, Googly-Doo-Hickey. They show up on the first page of Google, get more traffic to their site and all is peachy. That is, until Joe Competitor decides he wants some of that front page traffic… why shouldn’t he, right?

Well, time goes by and website owners discover how to make the front page of Google. Then, more and more businesses (millions) discover the benefit of having a website on the internet. They here about optimizing their website for search and the flood of SEO begins. It has to — nobody wants their website listed on page 4,780. It won’t get any traffic. No traffic means no new audience, no new followers, clients conversions and so on.

Things Get Ugly for SEO

With all the these new websites clamoring for the front page of Google and thousands of new websites coming online every day, getting to the front page became increasingly difficult. So, Joe Competitor figured if he put more of his keywords on his website and got more of those backlinks, his site would rank better than the rest. Of course this snowballed into what is now referred to as “keyword stuffing” and “link spamming”.

Joe Competitor’s intentions were well, he just wanted to grow his business, but the end result was a website lacking clear content and true value to Google users. That is, just because Joe’s website was on the first page of Google it didn’t mean he provided a better solution than his competitors. So, Google made changes in the way its search engine ranked websites. Google started to penalize websites that were getting carried away with, and abusing certain SEO techniques for the sole purpose of increasing their search placement . By 1999, the first rumblings of SEO is DEAD began, mostly by those negatively impacted by Google’s algorithm updates. Here we are in 2013, many years later, and every time Google launches an algorithm update to combat gaming of the system, the SEO-is-DEAD chants fire up and can be heard far and wide.

In the years between 1997 and now, many SEO professionals (and amateurs) looked for (and discovered) the key SEO techniques that have a major impact on search rankings. Of course, the techniques get abused and become known to many. When these discoveries are made, and ultimately abused, Google puts forth an update to minimize the technique’s impact on rankings, further continuing their efforts to provide users with a reliable, untampered with search engine. This is the way it is, this is the way it will always be.

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SEO for 2013

No matter what you may have heard, Google is not trying to kill SEO. Instead, they are trying to provide a valuable service to their users. In doing so they will make sure that the system is not easily manipulated by those looking to game the system. As always, Google provides guides and best practices for getting the best out of the their search engine… we call it the SEO basics.

SEO: Getting to the Top

The problem is, some folks will always try and cheat their way to the top. These people have little interest in following established guidelines and putting in the hard work required for thorough search optimization. Typically, they are discovered and their sites get penalized — hence, SEO is Dead.

These days, and moving forward, SEO is no longer about techniques — it’s about STRATEGY. The search engines want you to provide great content that is useful to their users. Developing and implementing a great strategy is much more difficult than utilizing a few core SEO techniques. Nowadays, you have to have a multi-channel internet presence with great content and a natural flow, a personalized identity present in all channels, interactivity, and some form of value to the end user. Honestly, this is the way it should be. Why should anyone expect to get a flood of web traffic just because they have website?


  • Multi-Channel Web Presence: A website, social media channels, videos, blogs, etc. — you need it all. They should all be connected as well as focused on a common brand, product or service.
  • Identity | Uniqueness: Stop trying to be like your competition. Establish what makes you, or your business better than the competition, then share it with the world.
  • Authorship Markup: Utilize Google+ and the authorship markup. This is especially useful for those blogging. The practice links content on the web to its creator — helpful for keeping scrapers from taking credit for your hard work. More importantly, authorship provides for an image, backlink and more to be displayed along with your standard link when you show up on Google’s search results. The image and extra info enhances trust with the Googler and increases your chances of getting the click.
  • Natural Link Building: Vary your link building strategies to naturally build up your backlinks. Don’t focus on one tactic, instead use a number of different strategies to help increase backlink worthiness.
  • Optimize for Mobile: It is believed by many that mobile search is set to surpass desktop search sometime next year. Unfortunately,  less than 10% of websites are optimized for smartphones and tablets.  Modern search rankings will take into consideration your site’s performance on mobile devices, so make sure your site is mobile friendly. Currently, Responsive Web Design is the front-runner for mobile optimization — Learn more about Responsive Web Design Here.
  • SEO for Locals: 4 in 10 individuals initiate a local search each day. Two-thirds use local search at least 3-4 times per week. With more and more users performing local searches while on the move, failure to optimize for local search will send your would-be-customers right next door to Joe Competitor.

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Give it a New Name and Carry On

Let me wrap this up by circling back to “SEO is DEAD”.  Search that phrase — guess what you find? As of this posting: 11,300,000 search results on Google. Kind of puts in perspective how prevalent the myth is, but the irony of it all is that only the most relevant, interesting and comprehensive articles made it to the front page. Go figure.

Lastly, if you are buying the hype and just want to believe that SEO is now a negative term, fine. Just make like the rest of us and call it something else — Content Marketing, Online PR, Web Channels Optimization, Web Personalization, Digital Marketing, etc. It’s okay, just don’t forget that in the end they are all focused on increasing web traffic by means of better visibility… ummmm, search optimization?