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Search Engine Optimization: Some Basic SEO Tips

Search engine optimizationFor many marketers, almost everything they do can seem to revolve around search engine optimization in some way, even if SEO isn’t technically part of their job title or official job description. Since SEO can involve so many different tactics and can impact everything from content to web design, it can seem like a lot to grasp, especially for those who don’t have extensive experience in this particular area.

It would be nearly impossible to go from SEO newbie to expert in a very short time, but with the importance of search rankings to businesses today, marketers often need to get up to speed quickly. It can be helpful for them to compile a collection of tips, shortcuts and best practices, to serve as a sort of “cheat sheet” and provide a jump start while learning the more specific intricacies of search.

A few examples of keyword-related tips to include in your SEO cheat sheet might include:

Think clusters of keywords. It can be exhausting (not to mention a real drain on productivity) to try and focus on one keyword at a time. Instead, think about groups of keywords that all relate to your main topic(s) or theme(s). You can then brainstorm the best ways to work as many of these keywords into your content as possible.

Start general, then drill down to more specific variations. Remember, the more specific the keyword is, the less competition you will face and the easier it will be to achieve a higher rank for that search term. Here’s where it helps to think about your visitors, and what might be most important to them. You can often get specific by using some well-chosen descriptors with your initial keywords. For example, if your initial keyword term is “security software” you can make that more specific by adding adjectives like “inexpensive,” “trusted” or “user-friendly.” You can also use specific hardware brands or computer terms.

Use tools and services available to you. There are a wide range of tools and products that can help you identify potential keywords, and compare the different possibilities to see which offers the best potential and the least competition. The tools you choose will depend on your budget and specific features or needs that are a priority for you.

This is just a small sampling of the types of things you can include in your basic SEO starter guide. For more tips, check out the Moz guideline, “How to Rank: 25 Step SEO Master Blueprint.”

Of course, you can solve many of your SEO challenges by enlisting the help of KEO Marketing and taking advantage of our extensive expertise when it comes to search engine optimization.

Posted in search engine optimization | Tagged keo marketing, search engine optimization, SEO guidelines

Mobile Marketing: Apps Conquer Digital Realm

mobile app consumptionFor U.S. users, the majority of digital consumption now happens in the form of mobile apps. That’s one of the main takeaways from the U.S. Mobile App Report, a study recently released by comScore. The report showed that mobile apps currently account for 52% of our time involving digital media. That’s more time than is spent on desktop computer usage or mobile web surfing.

It’s probably not very surprising to learn that the most popular mobile app is Facebook, but apps in general seem to be ruling the digital world right now. For mobile users, apps occupy about 7 out of every 8 minutes of media consumption.

What does this mean for marketers? Well, it has already become very apparent that marketers need to consider mobile users when designing websites and planning online content. This is why responsive design has quickly become the go-to option for website design.

The latest data about digital media consumption takes things one step further, highlighting the value of incorporating apps (or at least mobile-friendly tools) into your marketing strategy. Just as with a mobile version of a website, though, the solution isn’t as simple as just making a thinly veiled copy of your desktop offerings.

The best apps are generally very tightly focused, with a few (or perhaps even just one) specific purposes or actions. Functionality should be simple and stripped-down, focusing on a few critical tasks.

Of course, creating an app is just the first half of the equation. It’s not much help to have a great app if nobody knows about it. You need a marketing strategy to promote your app and demonstrate the value to users. Social media and email are great tools to help spread the word about your new app. Once your app is up and running, you also need to ensure you have the technical resources to keep it going smoothly and quickly troubleshoot any issues. The whole process definitely requires some time and effort, but the potential payoff is well worth it.

This is just yet another example of the importance of embracing mobile and developing an effective mobile marketing strategy, which is one of our specialties here at KEO Marketing.

Posted in mobile marketing, mobile optimization | Tagged keo marketing, marketing strategy, mobile marketing

Goodbye to Google Authorship (but Not Author Rank)

Google Authorship endedGoogle has just officially ended the Authorship era that began a mere three years ago.

The initial idea behind Authorship seemed like a worthy cause: helping people share their content by linking their profiles to material they wrote and promoting themselves as an author/expert.

To encourage participation, Google touted the enhanced search engine visibility that content with an Authorship element would supposedly enjoy. Part of the plan was to help give Google+ a boost, since content creators’ listings would link to their Google+ profiles.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Authorship just didn’t seem to catch on. Marketers, experts and others who create content weren’t using it nearly as much as Google likely had hoped.

Part of the problem is that the search ranking jackpot that users expected didn’t quite materialize. In the end, it seemed that this tactic often didn’t result in any significant increase in clicks or traffic for many users.

Now that Authorship is history, it will be interesting to see if anyone really misses it. Many people didn’t seem to fully understand Google Authorship, especially since they often confused it with its similarly named counterpart, Author Rank. In reality, the two are not interchangeable and served very different purposes.

Unlike the now-departed Authorship, Author Rank isn’t one specific Google tool or service. In fact, it’s not an official Google entity at all. The name Author Rank was actually coined by SEO experts and observers, but quickly caught on to become the accepted term.

Author Rank refers to the part of Google’s algorithm that rewards valuable, high-quality content. If Google can verify the creator of content as a trustworthy source (and there are a number of mysterious ways in which it does that), that content will be weighted favorably in the search ranking formula.

Authorship and Author Rank did seem to have a natural synchronicity since it would appear that an Authorship credit would automatically indicate a trusted content source, but Google says it still has a variety of ways to determine the authority level of a content source.

The main thing for marketers to remember here is that Google still places a high premium on valuable, relevant content from trusted sources. If you need assistance with content marketing and/or search engine optimization, KEO Marketing could be happy to help.

Posted in Content Marekting | Tagged content marketing, google, keo marketing, search engine optimization

Mobile Marketing: Customer Satisfaction Falling Short

29693047_sTo those of us who have been watching the growing dominance of mobile, the importance of having a robust mobile marketing strategy seems obvious. This is how an increasingly large segment of your customers are accessing your website and interacting with your brand, so it’s critical that you are able to accommodate this customer base and provide them with the information and services they need.

Yet some companies have been slow to embrace mobile, either ignoring it completely or giving it minimal attention. As surprising as it may sound, a large number of businesses still haven’t made a significant effort to provide a satisfying and helpful experience to mobile users. In many cases, businesses haven’t done much of anything at all.

Believe me, customers notice. It’s painfully obvious when a website hasn’t been optimized for mobile. Mobile users won’t be able to see your content properly and some functions won’t work easily, or may not work at all. If you are lucky, the visitors may spend a few (frustrating) moments attempting to get what they need from your site. More likely, they will quickly give up and go elsewhere.

We realize that not every business has the ability or resources to do a complete overhaul on their website immediately. So you may need to choose a few priority areas, identifying the pages that get the most traffic, especially from mobile visitors (study your analytics for this information). The most popular solution seems to be transitioning to responsive design, which ensures your site looks good and functions well on all devices.

Still need some convincing about the importance of a mobile strategy, and providing a good customer experience for mobile users? Check out these stats from the ExactTarget 2014 Mobile Behavior Report:

  • 85% of respondents said mobile devices are a central part of everyday life
  • 48% of smartphone users and 70% of multi-device users have signed up for email notifications from a business or website
  • 54% say mobile-optimized websites don’t give enough information
  • 68% say it is somewhat or very important that companies they interact with are seen as a technology leader

We know the idea of developing a mobile strategy can be intimidating, especially if you are starting from scratch. Fortunately, KEO Marketing specializes in mobile marketing and can get you up to speed quickly.

Posted in keo marketing, mobile marketing | Tagged keo marketing, mobile app, mobile marketing, mobile strategy