Author Archives: Nolen Walker

Is Content Marketing Still Worth the Effort?

Sometimes, the indirect approach offers the best results. As the tide of online research swelled in the last decade, content marketing rose to meet it. Nowadays, many people won’t even buy shampoo without performing considerable research on the most popular products. Take that hunger for information for these simple commodities, then consider just how even deeper that desire can be for large purchases. Bathroom remodels, roof replacements, landscaping projects, and other crucial investments rely on weeks (even months) of research.

While some skip to shopping directly, most consumers begin their consideration process via local guides and industry experts, through the medium of content marketing. Today, we’ll dig into the concept and what it means for your business. More importantly, we’ll show how to establish your own initial strategy for long-term growth.  

A Content Marketing Blog Post About Consumer Air Filtration

Content Marketing Offers Direct Insight Into Your Industry or a Related Consumer Problem.

A Short Intro to Content Marketing

We’ve all had more than our fair share of salesmen. In fact, it’s safe to say that the majority of us would be willing to go a lifetime without another telemarketing call. But every once in a while, you come across a professional that is so exceptionally skilled at their job, you’ll actually call them for advice on business or home-related challenges. These are the seasoned experts we all aspire to imitate, even if we aren’t working to sell the latest Honda or insurance bundle.

Content marketing is your chance to become an established authority within your company’s industry. That’s no easy task, especially when thousands of companies flock to Google Search with their latest content. If you can cut through all the poorly crafted blogs, videos, and guides however, your business will forge wonderful new growth opportunities!

Kicking Off Your Content Marketing Strategy

Just remember, the goal of content marketing isn’t to sell but to inform. In some ways, this form of marketing demands greater skill than with advertising, because professionals must generate valuable content for their target market. It doesn’t require the same level of graphic design or coding experience as developing a new website, but informative content does require skilled writing and industrial expertise. There may also be crucial technical skills involved.

Content Marketing Through a YouTube How-To Guide

How-To Videos Offer Fast Answers for Your Clients. Share Them on Your Website and Social Media.

Before you charge into the realm of blogging, video, and how-to’s, ask yourself (and your marketing team) a few key questions.

  • Do we have the talent to support a content marketing campaign?
  • What sort of metrics for success should we rely on?
  • How much time, money, and effort are we willing to invest?
  • What is our underlying purpose behind content marketing?
  • Which channels should we focus on creating content for?

You may not have the answers for these questions just yet. Below, we’ll explain how you can make these crucial decisions and craft the foundation for your content marketing initiative.

Creating Metrics

Establishing Metrics for Success

Before your company can enjoy content marketing success, you first need to define what a successful campaign looks like. While there are dozens of potential metrics available, finding the right ones may be surprisingly challenging. What does your team expect to get out of your time, money, and effort?

Potential Metrics for Content Marketing

  • More Direct Leads (Calls, Emails, etc.)
  • Stronger Brand Development
  • Better Rankings in Local Search
  • Email/Newsletter Subscriptions
  • Additional Business From Existing Customers

If you want additional ideas for potential metrics, check out SEMrush’s article on the subject! For companies just starting out, content marketing offers great tools for customer retention and search engine optimization (SEO). However, it shouldn’t be used as a primary sales funnel unless your new business specializes in digital services. Instead, focus on crafting better website traffic and conversion rates.

Investment

Determining Your Planned Investment

Next, you’ll need to establish just how much time you’re willing to put into developing content on a regular basis. Unlike advertising, you can’t expect the same material to stay relevant for years at a time. Company blogs, for instance, require monthly posts at minimum. Again, start by answering a few key questions for your industry.

Crucial Investment Questions

  • How often do my competitors produce new content?
  • Can I do better than other local businesses?
  • How many channels will I need to keep up?
  • What’s the cost (in labor hours)?
  • Will I need to hire a professional?

As our seasoned content writers at Nolen Walker will tell you, developing worthwhile content takes time. You’ll need to conduct research about hot topics in your industry, specifically those that matter most to your clients. Add in keyword research, writing time, formatting, editing, and publishing, and you’ll understand why too many businesses cut their content marketing efforts short!

Channels

Deciding on the Best Channels

Blogging isn’t the only venue for connecting with your target marketing, though it’s usually the simplest. Some businesses focus on video development, social media posts, or even infographics. Start by figuring out what your market’s demographic responds to best. Here’s a couple of helpful trends.

Content Marketing Channels & Their Best Uses

  • YouTube: Tutorials and Reviews
  • Facebook & Instagram: How-To Guides, Idea Lists
  • Twitter: Infographics, Industry Tips
  • Company Blogs: How-To Guides, Infographics
  • Industry Online Publications: Infographics, Case Studies
  • eBooks: Case Studies, Infographics
  • Email: Seasonal Guides

If your industry traditionally relies on extremely visual media for advertising, there’s a good chance your content marketing needs to follow suit. Interior designers, for instance, utilize professional photography in both their blogs and their seasonal idea lists. Videos also make it easy to display your wares without heavily emphasizing sales.

Should your business rest in a more financial or health-driven industry, you may wish to focus on a fact-rich format. Infographics offer a great tool for delivering a high volume of information without overloading your audience, as do case studies. Try finding a popular (and free) industry publication to share your content!

Talent

Assigning Your Marketing Talent

One of the most obvious questions to address in content marketing: Does your company have the required talent to continually produce content for your strategy? If not, you may wish to stick with simpler channels until you do. Social media marketing and blogging offer easy ways to release content without requiring too much technical expertise.

Alternatively, you may decide to take on new talent or hire outside of your business. Plenty of companies offer professional video production and digital services. Just make sure to find one with great references and reviews.

Need a Content Marketing Expert?

At Nolen Walker, our seasoned crew of graphic designers, social media gurus, SEO specialists, and content writers make it easy to grow your business and strengthen your brand. Whether you’re looking for content marketing strategy or fresh website development, we have cost-effective solutions for whatever industry you compete in. Our clients dominate their local search results, earn premium traffic, develop higher quality leads, and enjoy long-term growth.

Want to learn more about content marketing or another online marketing channel? Talk with one of our seasoned experts at Nolen Walker! Call (866) 356-8198 today for your free one-on-one consultation.

Posted: | Updated: Jul 15, 2019 | Categories: Content

How a Search Engine Works – SEO 101

With more and more consumers shifting towards online search for all their essential services and supplies, it’s clear that search engine optimization (SEO) forms the dividing line between success and obscurity for countless businesses. Whether your local business operates out of a house, a brick and mortar store, or a truck, commercial SEO is essential.

Here at Nolen Walker, our SEO specialists dig into some fairly technical topics about web design, advanced search tactics, and content development. Sometimes however, it pays to return to basics and review how all of these elements come together. The foundation of search engine optimization of course, is the Google search engine. For both newly-minted business owners and heavily experienced professionals looking to better understand online marketing, here is a fresh guide on how a search engine works: SEO 101! 

The Google Search Engine Bar

The Google Search Engine is the Backbone of Online Marketing.

The Google Search Engine

Picture the Google search engine as the most efficient, organized, and zealous librarian you’ve ever met. It constantly hunts for new websites and pages to discover and stores them away in a vast index. When you walk in to ask about a particular topic, the search engine immediately examines its extensive collection of related materials and presents you with a list of resources (ordered from most to least relevant).

No other search engine comes close to Google’s extensive capabilities, which is why the company enjoys a 92% market share

Google Search ultimately serves two groups: content creators and content consumers. As your commercial website comes into being, your business will fall into the first category. While the search giant eagerly desires to promote businesses across the world, it also maintains a duty to provide high quality results for its consumer base. This creates the rigorous front page competition that HVAC professionals, roofing contractors, plumbers, and other services experience every day.

New Listing Times in Google's Search Engine

Ranking #1 on Google Looks Different Every Year. Competition Remains Fierce.

Understanding the Cycle of Search

There’s a basic rhythm to search engines that every business needs to understand. It all begins with the development and distribution of content. Then Google steps in to investigate new content and store it for future user queries. Finally, the search engine ranks the content according to relevance whenever someone types in a related keyword or phrase. Finally, the cycle starts over as content gets refined and redistributed.

Summary of the Search Cycle

  • Step #1: Businesses create fresh content for distribution.
  • Step #2: Google analyses the content and indexes it for later.
  • Step #3: Users submit queries & Google responds with the most relevant content from its indexed materials.
  • Return to Step #1: Content gets refined & new content emerges.
  • The cycle continues…

Too many businesses focus on getting their new website out as quickly as possible, without considering the next steps in the search engine cycle. They end up neglecting critical SEO elements, such as keyword research and navigation. If you keep the entire search cycle in mind as your team develops a commercial website, you’ll earn much better results in your site traffic and lead generation.

A Beautiful Website Design for a Roofing Contractor

How Does Google Analyze the Structure and Content of a Website?

How Google Interacts With Your Website

In the second step of our search cycle, Google crawls (explores) your website, identifies the basic structure, and assesses the content within. In essence, the search engine wants to get a clear picture of what your business is all about. After it forms an initial understanding of your website, it indexes the website for future searches. There are a few crucial factors that Google looks for.

Key Elements Google Examines

  • Site Structure
  • Products and Services (Keywords)
  • Visual Design
  • Content Quality

Well-designed sites make it easy for Google to map out their pages by creating a simplistic structure. Primary service categories each contain a collection of closely related sub-service pages. All of these service pages are then neatly presented in a simple sitemap, ensuring every single page gets indexed by Google.

Of course, content and visual play huge roles in how well your website ranks down the line. Keyword optimization and graphic design not only improve your rankings in Google search engine results pages (SERPs), they improve your visitor experience too! These two wins ensure long-term success for your business.

An Examine of a Local Pack Created by Google's Search Engine

Local Packs Enjoy Premium Traffic Volume. Be Sure to Claim Your Free GMB Listing!

What Other Resources Aid Search?

Google alone offers a myriad of resources to aid your company’s quest for online growth. Some tools, such as Google My Business (GMB), enhance your listing quality and improve traffic volume. Others provide more rich information for potential customers searching for local services. Still more analyze your website activity and expose opportunities and weaknesses in the site design.

Tools You’ll Need From Google

  • Google My Business: Provides more detailed information and posts for your local search listings.
  • Google Maps: Offers satellite supported location services to help people find your physical business.
  • Google Analytics: Assesses the traffic patterns and visitor behavior to create opportunities for site improvement.
  • Google Search Console: Examines site performance and identifies potential page errors.
  • Google Adwords: Supports customizable and easily-controlled paid search campaigns for premium SERP placement.
  • Google SERPs: Presents top ranking competitors, related search information, and potential content topics for businesses.

All of these resources provide invaluable opportunities to grow your business and refine your SEO strategies! With the exception of Adwords, these tools are free.  If you can only work with a couple tools initially, start by filling out your GMB profile and researching SERPs for your industry (and local results).

Team Up With Nolen Walker

Wish you had an experienced professional to handle your search engine optimization and website design? Our team at Nolen Walker supports countless roofing contractors, plumbers, HVAC professionals, and numerous other services across the nation.

Our clients enjoy fantastic rankings in their local search results, earning…

  • More site traffic,
  • Deeper user engagement, and
  • Higher quality leads!

To learn more about our services and how we can grow your business, talk with one of our experts today. We can’t wait to serve you.

Call 866-356-8198 for the SEO Experts!

 

Posted: | Updated: Jun 26, 2019 | Categories: SEO

How Can I Improve My Conversion Rate?

Did you know that getting people to your company website is only half the battle? Only a small percentage of people visiting your company page will transform into clients. That’s a daunting truth to face, especially when you spend so much time and effort getting people to visit your company site in the first place. You can spend all the money in the world on off-site advertising and promotions, but that won’t necessarily enhance your conversion rate.

In case that makes you feel like throwing up your hands in despair, don’t worry! Companies have lucrative ways to improve their website lead management and build business. You just have to know where to look. Today, we’ll explore how to enhance your site conversion rate at little to no extra cost. Let’s dive right in!

What is a Conversion Rate?

Before you can identify why your conversion rate is low, we need to define the term. If you have enough marketing and/or sales knowledge to know what a conversion rate is, go ahead and skip ahead to our next section. You won’t hurt our feelings!

In this context, your website conversion rate measures the percentage of people (in a given period) who contact your business for service after visiting your website. Keep in mind that viewers may be coming from numerous sources, from localized Google searches to promotions on your social media account. Right now, we aren’t concerned with where these leads are coming from so much as how they are being handled on your site.

Google Analytics Tool for Checking Conversion Rate

Google Analytics Offers Free Tools for Small Businesses to Monitor Their Site Conversion Rate, Among Other Things. Source: Google Marketing Platform

If you currently have no clue what your site’s current performance metrics are, that’s okay. You can easily check your conversion rate in Google Analytics, a free tool for small businesses for gauging site activity. After checking out our tips, try testing out this helpful service!

Starting With the Basics: Web Design

Web design plays such a crucial role in both your site’s user interactivity and your search rankings. Every element must maintain a careful balance between advancing SEO (search engine optimization) and making visitor experience more amenable. That can be a strenuous challenge, especially when balancing daily operations and your website development. If you don’t have the time or energy to enact these changes, there are plenty of highly-rated development services that are willing to do the work for you!

Call to Action

Give a Clear Call to Action on Every Page

Every…single…page on your website should contain a clear call to action (CTA) for visitors, preferably above the page fold. If you’re wondering “What is a call to action?”, it refers to an object or verbiage that prompts a desired action from a site visitor. As you can see below, a page can have multiple CTAs in a single page (even just above the fold). They may ask for direct communication through a call or indirect via email.

Calls to Action That Boost Conversion Rate

Notice the 3 Separate CTA Elements in This Homepage Alone. They are Clearly Visible and Fairly Commanding.

Businesses need to understand something: it’s okay to tell people what to do to. When it comes to navigating a new and unfamiliar site, readers are more than happy to receive guidance in the form of a call to action (especially if they are looking for service). Well-crafted CTAs will almost always increase your site’s conversion rate.

Navigation

Simplify Your Navigational Menu

Nothing tanks a conversion rate like muddled site navigation. Even the most sophisticated Adwords campaigns and social media marketing can’t save a poorly designed menu system and infinite link loops. If your site receives plenty of traffic every day, but your conversion rate still drops, you might be stuffing your site with too many services.

Simple Dropdown Menu

Finding the Perfect Service is the Ultimate Goal for Site Visitors, So Make it Easy for Them.

Don’t try to get too fancy. Stick with a simple top banner and dropdown menu navigation. Your visitors will appreciate how easy it is to find their services, and you’ll appreciate the higher conversion rate!

Mobile Optimization

Optimize for Mobile Browsing

More than half of all website traffic in 2018 was run through mobile phones, according to a study conducted by Statista. Here’s a startling question: what if over half (52.2%) of your visitors turned away because your site wasn’t optimized completely for mobile browsers? With so many tools to analyze and convert your site into a mobile-friendly format, it’s no wonder Google inflicts serious rank penalties on sites that aren’t suited for the majority of online viewers.

Results for a Mobile Friendly Page Test

Google Offers Free Tools to Make Sure Your Company Site is Mobile-Friendly. Source: Google

WordPress and other site development tools usually contain options to convert your site into a mobile-friendly format. Unless your company is using a desktop-exclusive format, it shouldn’t be too difficult to convert your site. Of course, there’s always professional services to help you!

Want More Tips on Improving Your Conversion Rate?

Check out the Nolen Walker guide for keyword optimization, another crucial element of improving your commercial website’s conversion rate. Our team at Nolen Walker provides invaluable services for developing commercial websites optimized for search, crafting engaging and keyword-rich content, and formulating successful online marketing campaigns to promote your business! Our clients dominate the top results of their local search engine rankings, creating growth and a higher quality of leads.

To learn more about Nolen Walker’s SEO services, contact us at 866-356-8198

Posted: | Updated: May 28, 2019 | Categories: Design

SEO or PPC- Which is Best for Your Attorney Marketing?

SEO vs PPC Graphic
When it comes to digital marketing, you are faced with two main choices- SEO and PPC. SEO uses organic techniques to raise your firm’s ranking in search engines. By using these methods, your firm appears in more standard, local, and mobile searches. PPC is a paid marketing method that presents your ad during relevant searches and charges by the click. Both of thee marketing strategies have proven results that are higher than any other marketing tactic. But, which is right for our law firm? Will PPC or SEO make the bigger difference in traffic and conversions? Consider these pros and cons before finalizing your campaign strategy to maximize its effectiveness.

SEO

SEO GraphicPros

Among the many advantages of SEO, maybe the most notable is that it is inherently free. While you may pay a fee for professional management, SEO in itself is free of charge. In fact, it’s simply a way of better communicating with Google to produce higher rankings in search engine results. SEO marketing is also completely trackable and adjustable. With many traditional marketing tactics, it can be difficult to accurately assess effectiveness. SEO analytics provide accurate, easy to interpret metrics that help to identify the effectiveness of each aspect of your campaign.

Cons

Although SEO is known as a top marketing strategy, maximum results take time. Google must index your information before it can appear in SERPs. New websites can take up to a year to fully optimize, showing few results in the meantime. SEO is also an ever-changing method of marketing. This tactic depends on the search patterns of the general public, which change daily. In order to be effective, your SEO efforts must be continuously evaluated and revised.

PPCPPC Targeting

Pros

While SEO efforts take time, the effects of PPC are immediate. Once you begin your campaign, your ads appear in relevant search results. These ads are also easily trackable with accurate analytics tools and trackers. With fully customizable budgets, audiences, and ad types, these campaigns provide an outstanding return. Don’t like the progress of a particular campaign? Change it or cancel it altogether with revision, start/stop, and budget revision abilities throughout the campaign.

Cons

PPC campaigns offer law firms incredible benefits at an affordable cost. However, they can become quite expensive very quickly if not monitored or capped properly. Because PPC ads are so customizable, they must be created, monitored, and adjusted on a regular basis to be effective. These types of campaigns also require thorough research on audience, competition, and more to ensure maximum results. Because PPC ads can fluctuate so greatly, a professional marketer is recommended to get your ad seen through correct keywords, placement, and more.

All in all, SEO and PPC are both top advertising choices for any law firm. They each offer measurable analytics, adjustable details, and affordability. In fact, when used in unison, no other style of advertising can come close to producing better results. The Nolen Walker team of advertising experts can create both PPC and SEO plans for your law firm that get real results you can see. We work with you to establish a plan the works for your law firm and deliver lawyer SEO and PPC advertising that boosts your website traffic, conversion rate, and marketing ROI. Call our professionals at 866-356-8198 to get started on your digital attorney PPC or SEO marketing plan today.

Posted: | Updated: May 16, 2019 | Categories: General

7 SEO Tactics You Can’t Afford to Miss

SEO Techniques GraphicWhen it comes to online marketing, nothing gets results like great search engine optimization. Google and other search engines use your lawyer SEO techniques to index your website’s information and present it on relevant SERPs. There are multiple techniques that go into an effective comprehensive SEO plan, from keyword usage to schema coding. However, many websites lack key SEO elements that can maximize their efforts. Ensure your law firm’s website hits these major factors for optimal SEO results.

Google My Business

Your Google My Business account is free to set up and helps communicate important information to Google bots. It also helps with local, mobile, and map searches. Your Google My Business Account also helps Google bots decipher your services, products, and firm information like hours of operation and contact information. Google My Business also allows you to add photos of your firm, staff, and even graphics such as logos or infographics.
Google My Business

Structured Data

Structured data is a type of coding language that organizes information for easier and quicker indexing by Google bots. This allows your website to appear in more relevant searches and higher in search rankings Schema markup is one type of structured data that uses tagging to label each piece of microdata so that Google can easily decipher the topic and details. Schema markupcan also be seen as secondary link options on your Google search listing such as phone number, map view, or other related pages. Structured data can also increase your chances of appearing in a featured snippet, a block of featured information found at the top of search results.

Proper Headings

While most know that a main heading or H1 is needed, few consider the use of subheadings or H2s and H3s. These headings are indexed by Google to identify the topic of the following content. The use of H2s and H3s along with keywords can help your information be indexed accurately and quickly, above those sites that aren’t using this technique. These headings can be used to break up related information under main headings and can help your make yo9ur page easier to follow, leading to a better user experience.

Alt Image Text

While images are crucial for a great user experience, they can do so much more. While Google has not devised a way to index images, it can index the information surrounding the image. The image name and caption are both important elements to complete for SEO purposes. But oftentimes, the alt image text is left incomplete. This snippet of text appears when the image cannot load due to minimal computer capabilities or when the computer is set up for the blind or vision impaired. While alt image text is very useful in situations like these, it also contributes to your SEO efforts. Since the alt image text defines the image, Google bots are able to index the information, leading to better lawyer SEO results for your page.

URL and Page Structure

Each page on your site has a URL, or a specific internet address where the content can be found. The URL is a crucial resource for not just SEO but also for ease of navigation and identification. Using a short, clear URL helps Google identify the content of each of your pages. It also lays out a clear organization of your lawyer website’s pages and order so your viewers can easily find the information they are searching for.

The structure of your website is crucial for easy navigation and clear information location. Your law firm’s website pages should be structured beginning with general topics as top-level pages. For example, for a family law website, top-level pages may consist of “Divorce representation” or “Child Custody Representation”. Child pages should follow top-level pages, and offer more specific information on each general topic. The “Divorce Representation” page could have child pages such as “Contested Divorce”, or “Divorce With Untraceable Parties”. This way, your viewers can easily locate the exact information they are looking for. These pages could go even further with a third level for pages like “Divorcing and Incarcerated Party”.

Responsive Design

Mobilegeddon Google Update Graphic

With the Mobilegeddon Update, Mobile -Friendly Design is More Important Than Ever.

Since the Mobilegedon update performed by Google in 2015, websites that are not mobile-friendly are immediately ranked lower than sites that offer mobile-friendly pages. While there are multiple methods of making your site mobile-friendly, the most effective is a responsive design. This method uses commands in the coding itself to adjust your information to whatever type of screen used to view it. This allows your content to be viewed completely without the need for zooming or screen adjustment.

Your Lawyer SEO Experts

When it comes to online marketing, your lawyer SEO techniques must be better and more in-depth than your competition in order to achieve the coveted top Google spots. The Nolen Walker team can help you have more complete lawyer SEO to help you get more website traffic and conversions. Call us today at 866-356-8198.

Posted: | Updated: May 15, 2019 | Categories: General

5 Ideas for Better Attorney Blogging

Attorney Speaking into MegaphoneFor lawyers, blogging is a tricky subject. The law clearly outlines and what attorneys are allowed to do on public posts, and these actions are heavily monitored. Because lawyers are prohibited from giving legal advice on public forums, the subject matter can seem limited and dull. However, there are still plenty of topics that lawyers can delve into that are interesting, relevant, and informational. To keep your attorney blogging interesting and engaging, consider these ideas:

Relevant Interviews

Generally, the public likes to hear from subject matter experts. If there is an occurrence or event in your area such as a law change, a high profile case, or another interesting happening, deliver an interview from an expert. This presents interesting details, new points of view, and even exclusive glimpses, in some cases, that your audience won’t find elsewhere.

New Law Breakdowns and Explanations

New laws in any area can make people feel nervous and unsettled. “What if there’s information we don’t know?”, “When will the law take effect?”, and, “How does this law affect my loved ones?” are all questions that tend to surface when a new law passes. Help put your audience at ease while distributing useful, interesting content to your viewers.

Common Legal Mistakes or Myths

Many times, people get into trouble not through a purposeful act, but through an accidental offense. Use popular misconceptions, facts about statutes of limitations, or even uncommon laws that are still in effect. These subjects will hold the viewers’ interest while presenting new information, which will likely lead to a return visitor.

Use Comment and Post Boards

When you see a legal question on a platform such as Quora or Avvo, the person who posted it is most likely not the only one who wants to know. Use questions found on chat platforms to form a blog post. Answer the main question and present possible follow-up problems, alternative solutions, or other factual tidbits that the audience can’t find on other posts.

Hot Topics in Your Niche

Use common conundrums within your niche in attorney blogging to provide general information to the public. These topics can be general or they can deal with specific problems that a person might find themselves addressing. Either should be explained in detail along with possible outcomes, hurdles, and pitfalls. Some topics may include:

  • Pros and Cons of Filing for Bankruptcy
  • Dealing With a DUI
  • Child Custody and Your Options
  • What You Should Know Before Starting a Business

    Wordpress Blog Post Editor

    WordPress Offers an Easy to Use Platform for Blog Creation.

The Legal Blogging Experts

Attorney blogging can be difficult, but it can also be a prosperous endeavor, creating link opportunities, expanding your client base, and showcasing your expertise. However, blogging is time-consuming and stressful in any business, especially in the legal industry. When you need professional blogging for your attorney website, call the Nolen Walker experts to help. We provide relevant subject matter to your audience that is interesting, engaging, and helpful. Along with your attorney blogging services, our experts can provide professional SEO, PPC, and web design services that get your law firm noticed and ahead of the game. Call us today at 866-356-8198 to learn how we can help your law firm reach new levels of success.

Posted: | Updated: May 9, 2019 | Categories: Lawyer SEO

Does Word Count Matter in SEO?

Because SEO is a reactive industry its “principles” are based largely on confirmation bias and groupthink. Sure, Google gives us some guidelines to follow and occasionally releases a public statement but for the most part, SEO is a guessing game. Somewhere along the line the phrase content is king became part of every digital marketer’s rallying cry. The problem is not in the statement itself but rather in how it is perceived and subsequently applied to digital marketing. Many in the industry equate content with word count. Let’s perform a search for what day is it and analyze where sites rank relative to word count.

What Day is it Search Query

Now we’ll use the Bulk Word Counter from SEO Review Tools to measure the precise word counts of each first page result.

Bulk Word Counter Screenshot

Source: SEO Review Tools

No conclusions can be drawn from a single search query but this one at least demonstrates a challenge to the conventional wisdoms of the content is king legion. Out of 9 first page results, the top result is 7th in word count and 6th in corrected word count. The corrected count is merely an estimate of words on the page that aren’t filler. Like Kennedy prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, SEO experts have failed to acknowledge cases like these because no one else is talking about them and bringing them up in meetings. But what you’re about to learn is that we’re not refuting the importance of content for rankings.

Content is Dynamic

When most people think of content they think about words. But why? Searching for the most contextual definition of content revealed that it is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as the principle substance (such as written matter, illustrations, or music) offered by a website. Some might point to the inclusion of written matter within the list of examples to validate their pre-existing bias but the reality is that the need for multiple examples is proof against that ideology. Illustrations and music can be considered content as well, and that is mostly the point. Consider these few notes:

  1. 1.) The “written word” may refer to everything from a single word to millions of them
  2. 2.) If illustrations and music are considered content, video is presumably content as well

Content Definition

Source: Merriam-Webster

User Intent Matters

Since SEO as an industry is for profit, salesmanship is inherently present within its marketplace. When you then consider the fact that SEO is a form of marketing it is subject to the same talking points as those used by snake oil salesman and used car dealers. But when SEO is not being used as a marketing chip it can actually lead us to tangible measurements that define trends without an agenda. Users searching for what day is it for example don’t care about word count. What do they care about? They care about what day it is. What the date is. And if it has any significance. Yes, it’s that simple.

Does Word Count… Count?

How would we know? Google makes the rules and they’re invisible. The only thing we can do as analysts is to test the information we have. The best way to do this is by conducting research experiments. As an SEO firm who has noticed discrepancies between the claims of our competitors and the tangible results on our screens, we decided to test a long held hypothesis that word count doesn’t always translate to results. This singular case demonstrates word count doesn’t mean everything but it does not refute the importance of content. Most importantly, it raises questions that others can then pursue answers to.

Will Google Rank This Page?

This page is 741 words long. Will Google rank it? If you’ve arrived at this page there’s a decent chance that it has ranked for one or more keywords. There’s also a chance that you’ve reached this blog post indirectly. Perhaps you’ve entered from a different web page on this site (most likely the homepage) and then clicked on this post in the blog section. Regardless of who you are and how you got here we would like to thank you for reading this through its duration. We decided not to make this post thousands of words because we know that your attention span simply isn’t that long. And why would it be when there’s lots else to do on the internet then sift through 40 pages about SEO theories?. Still, Google rewarding word count for the sake of it seems unlikely.

Posted: | Updated: Apr 16, 2019 | Categories: Content

One Simple Trick To Get More Google Reviews

What you are about to learn could change the course of your online marketing presence. It’s one simple trick to get more Google Reviews for your small business. Some might call it a hack but it’s perfectly legitimate and white-hat. That’s why it’s so valuable to know. We are giving this trick away for free so that small business owners around the United States can compete on Google Maps, especially in the Local 3 Pack. As you may know, a presence on the Local 3 Pack is critical to local lead generation. While more than just the quantity of reviews influence Google Maps rankings, they remain one of the foremost and sought after components to a Local SEO strategy.

The Free Advice Review Generator

We had a client who fielded a significant number of daily in which people were asking for help with a service that he did not specifically provide, but was closely related to his niche. Instead of telling them he couldn’t help, he pointed them to a service he knew of that could. Aside from providing free advice to several people per day, he gained nothing out of it for his business. After consulting with Add Positions, we urged him to ask nicely for a review after providing said advice. We stressed that asking and demanding are separate things. We told him not to pressure the caller into leaving a review, but to present it as “if you don’t mind.” You are not asking them to write anything unethical. All they have to write is that you helped them find the proper services. After implementing Add Positions’ strategy, this client saw there reviews surge quickly. They now dominate Google Maps for their industry. It wasn’t the extra reviews alone that did the job, but they were a central component. If you are a small business who fields calls for advice, you too can take advantage of this cutting-edge review generation technique. Follow these rules:

  • Ask Nicely
  • Don’t Apply Pressure
  • Keep it Ethical

The benefits of utilizing this trick is not only short-term but long-term as well. Besides getting the feedback in a form of a Google Review, you also increase the probability of that same person recalling you when they need the precise service you provide. You’ve established something known as brand recall. When you form a personal connection with an individual, they recall your brand when problems arise that you can assist with. So the free advice hack is not just about a single review or even multiple ones, it’s about growing your brand incrementally. It’s about leveraging part of your marketing appeal into increasing its output. All good for SEO.

Add Positions Quote From Nolen

Other Online Review Generation Tactics

The other review tactic that can be used effectively is asking your clients in person. There’s something about the personal face to face interaction that lends itself to a higher probability of reviews. Following up with texts and emails is more effective after that personal interaction takes place. People are busy, so they want the process to be as convenient as possible. You can make it so with a business card that has directions on how to leave the review. You can also invest in a website reviews widget so that they can leave the review directly from your website, and don’t have to find your Google profile (although it isn’t hard to find). People would rather binge watch Netflix than leave you a review, and that won’t change anytime soon. But if they feel you did a great job and then saw you take the initiative to ask in person, they just might take the 5 minutes and leave the feedback. Even 3 out every 10 clients can do wonders for you SEO.

  • Ask In Person
  • Remind Via Email & Text
  • Website Reviews Widget Integration

There’s other review tactics you’ll find online but many of them are what are known as black-hat. It means they are unethical and violate Google’s guidelines. Furthermore they can cause manual penalties issued by Google and completely destroy your online presence. Recovering from this won’t be easy, as your brand will now be tarnished in the eyes of Google. If a tactic mentions anything about financially incentivizing the client to provide feedback, you should move far away from it, and quickly. There’s also platforms where you can buy reviews in bulk. These are spam reviews, and it’s plainly obvious by the tone and voice of the feedback. If you’ve ever read reviews on Amazon that seem fake, it’s because they are. Amazon cracked down on that and now only accepts legitimate reviews. Google is even more strict in their reviews policy, so don’t expect to get away with anything unethical.

Streamline The Process With Righteous Reviews

Add Positions clients get a complimentary bonus widget known as Righteous Reviews. It is a native plugin, developed right here at AP, that integrates Google and Facebook reviews directly on your company website. We know that some consumers have a hard time locating the profiles on which they are asked to leave a review. Righteous Reviews eliminates this uncertainty by having it all done through your main website. This way, when you provide clients with a business card and ask for a review, all they’ll have to do is navigate to your website, which should of course be listed on your card, and click on Review Us. Using this widget, you can expect to see a more consistent flow of reviews streaming into your Google and Facebook profiles, as long as you’re getting clients regularly, and following the protocol of asking them in person. Benefits of Righteous Reviews include:

  • Convenience: Make the process simpler for consumers
  • Integration: Keep everything organized on one place, your company website
  • Volume: Encourage a greater amount of reviews towards your system

Add Positions does everything possible to give our clients the slight advantage required to improve rankings. Most times, it is attention to detail that swings a website from the top 5 to the top 3 and so on. The foundation of your website still rests on design, SEO, and mobile usability, but your online presence as a while expands beyond just your website. That’s why Righteous Reviews is so valuable. It takes one of your greatest digital assets (your website) and integrates it with perhaps your 2nd and 3rd greatest assets (your Google My Business & Facebook pages). As these entities feed off one another, each enhancement to any of them, is an enhancement to all of them. This mutually beneficial relationship between your website and profiles creates the robust online presence that Google prioritizes when ranking companies.

Posted: | Updated: Dec 12, 2018 | Categories: Episode, Reviews

Web Content Writing: Why it Should Not be a Standalone Service

Most would argue that content is the lifeblood of the SEO industry. Although its most frequently attributed to Google themselves, the origin of the phrase content is king can actually be traced back to Bill Gates in 1996. Google has certainly echoed the sentiment though, seeing that their Steps to a Google-friendly site explicitly states that high quality content on your pages, especially your home page, is the single most important thing you can do. So we definitely get it… content is of extraordinary importance when attempting to rank your business online. But we also know better than to think that content as a standalone service will move the needle at all.

Because of Google’s affinity for quality content, many small business owners look for services that will provide content only. Similarly, some marketing firms promote content as a standalone service. In each case, the service will fail to deliver what the client really wants, which is search visibility. It’s prudent to trust a professional’s judgement when investing in marketing, but skepticism is certainly understandable in the SEO world. A legitimate SEO company will tell you that content on its own will not be enough to change the fortunes of your web presence. Here’s what else you need to be successful online in 2019.

Design & Coding

What’s content without design? It’s HTML text with a default font. Nobody cares to read through these types of pages. In fact, try to find a result on Google page one that is text by itself. Sure, content can mean more than text, but can you find one example of a poorly designed website that ranks on the first page of Google? The reality of content is that it’s only as valuable as its presentation. This is especially true in our increasingly mobile society. If a smartphone user cannot consume content on their iPhone device, what good is it to them? It could be written by a scholar and enhanced with high resolution images, but if it doesn’t fit within a mobile design that is simple to navigate, it will not matter one bit. In summary, here’s how design supports content:

  • Accessibility
  • Consumption
  • Presentation

Blogging

There’s several different forms of content that exist on the internet today. One of the most appealing ones is blog posts. Yes, Google states that home page content is most important, but research conducted by 3rd parties indicates that blog post quality, length, and frequency, can combine for a major influence on organic search position. Blog posts are a more informal way for users to consume content than a traditional page. Since many blogs are written as topical and instructional, their clicks and engagement rates are much higher. They can also serve as something known as evergreen content. These are posts that people consider a resource to go back to over and again. They often earn links from external websites which increases the page’s authority. In summary, blogging supports content through:

  • Engagement
  • Frequency
  • Informality
WordPress Internal Blog Example

As You Can See, This Very Post is Published an Internal Blog Using The WordPress CMS. And By Reading it You Become Part of Its Engagement and Ultimate Success

Link Building

What good is a book that nobody reads? The same logic can be applied to content published online. If nobody sees it, it becomes the sound of a tree falling in an empty forest. The chicken or the egg argument seems to immerse itself into the content visibility discussion every time. The idea from Google and others is that great content will get seen because it will earn links naturally and people will organically come into contact with the most premium writing. Sounds great, but it’s hard to prove whether or not this is accurate. Brands with more resources and more inbound links pointing to their domain, are going to get their content seen more, even if it’s inferior. Sure, writing great blog posts can help you earn links, but you still must pursue exposure on your own. Ways to do this include NAP citations, guest posts, and blogger outreach. In summary, links supports content through:

  • Domain Authority
  • Exposure
  • Visibility

Google My Business & Reviews

The best kind of content is user-generated content, and that’s exactly what consumers provide when they published feedback on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or elsewhere. Google My Business Is the premier brand platform for small businesses. It’s the module that appears when a user performs a branded search of your company name. It’s also one of the most trusted sources for legitimate reviews, if not the most trusted. A company without a GMB page or without Google reviews, has little chance of improving search visibility, even with the greatest content ever written appearing on their website. That’s the harsh reality of the SEO world. If you run a business, you must act like one online. In summary, reviews support content through:

  • Consumer Trust
  • Google Integration
  • User Generation

Social Media

The most highly populated channels of content are social media platforms. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube, they are all brought together for a common cause, content sharing. The content you think of on your website might not be exactly like the content you think of on Facebook or Twitter. But the fact remains, it is all content. Some of it is user-generated (like with reviews) and some is published and syndicated by brands and organizations like your own (yes, even small ones). Think about YouTube as one of the central hubs of content. There is no more appealing content than video which is confirmed by the platforms usage statistics. Thinking about these social channels as opportunities to syndicate content of your own, puts you on the right track to understanding how content works in 2019, and why it relies on other platforms aside from a text editor. In summary, social media supports content through:

  • Diversity
  • Promotion
  • Syndication

Ongoing Work

Another misnomer about content is that it can be a one time deal. No, you can’t write a website full of content and then ignore the site for the rest of its tenure. Google favors websites that deliver fresh content regularly. So how do you do that? By utilizing some of the concepts discussed throughout this post. Blogging is a great way to publish regular content on your site. WordPress supports internal blogging, which means each new post is published under your primary domain name. This helps funnel all traffic to a central domain. Another idea to think about is review generation. User-generated content is about as valuable as it gets, so you should pursue reviews from satisfied customers (ethically, of course). But most of all, ongoing work is required on your website. You can’t pay for content, and then tell the marketer to go away. To succeed and sustain success, content marketing and management is an ongoing process. In summary, ongoing work supports content through:

  • Recency
  • Regularity
  • Traffic
Posted: | Updated: Dec 6, 2018 | Categories: Content, Episode

Can YouTube Videos Improve SEO?

For SEO experts, the saying ‘content is king” normally references text and images, but videos are actually the most engaging form of content available on the web. In fact, users watch over a billion hours of YouTube video per day. So it stands to reason why YouTube should be an essential part of every SEO strategy. After all, videos can be integrated on all kinds of SEO-friendly platforms, from your business website to your Instagram & Facebook brand pages. Even more intriguing is the direct affiliation between Google as a search engine, and YouTube videos as content. Performing search queries you’ll notice that YouTube videos often appear towards the top of search results. That means users will be exposed to video content without ever visiting YouTube directly. See the search results below for the query “bridal shop SEO”

YouTube Video Google SERP Example

At Add Positions, making a video for the subject bridal shop SEO and uploading it to YouTube allowed us to secure the first spot on the video carousel for this term. As a small business owner, you too can take advantage of what YouTube has to offer from an SEO perspective. Depending on the industry to which you belong, certain keywords will produce video results on the top of the corresponding SERP. Like with other forms of SEO, the more competitive a keyword is, the more difficult it will be to rank on the video carousel. There’s certain techniques we recommend which allowed us to secure the ranking you see above, and which can translate to almost any niche. Through organic ranking, YouTube videos can also serve as a marketing funnel. Read through the rest of this blog post to find ways to improve SEO through YouTube video content.

Optimize Your YouTube Video

When you upload a video to YouTube, you have several areas through which to optimize it. The title is the most important. You want to include your primary keyword within the video title and can also add a secondary keyword. Next you’ll want to move to the description and provide a detailed summary of what the video entails. It’s also another opportunity to place your keyword for YouTube & Google to see. As you can see from our description, we also placed a link to the corresponding web page, on which this particular video is embedded. Finally, you’ll want to add tags which should again include your primary keyword as well as synonyms and LSI keywords.

YouTube SEO Information Example

Videos on YouTube should avoid the same SEO pitfalls as traditional web content. Refrain from stuffing your title, description, or tags with keywords. Use them once and only once within each section. When writing your description, write it with the user in mind. Videos that are topical are far more likely to be consumed by relevant users, meaning they’ll watch the entire clip, and not exit it from it immediately. Make sure you video is set to public under “Visibility” on YouTube’s studio creator. If you follow each of these steps, you have a good chance to show up on the carousel for organic searches on Google. Keep in mind that keyword competition is critical.

Embed Your YouTube Video

There’s several channels where you can simply embed the YouTube video onto the page (WordPress being the most common). In other cases you can just post the link, but will want to make sure it displays properly after publication. For your main website, the first option is best which is to embed it within the page or blog post itself. To get the embed code for your video, you must navigate to the video and click on the button that says share. From there you will see several options including Embed, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Blogger, & Reddit. You will want to choose Embed, which will then prompt a screen that provides the necessary code.

YouTube Share Screen ExampleYouTube Embed Code Example

Copy the code from the embed screen and paste it within the WordPress page where you want the video to display. Now when users navigate to that page, they will see the video embedded within the content. You can select modifications that alter how your video is displayed once embedded. For example, you can choose to start the video at a certain timestamp and hide player controls, etc. The video’s SEO should align with the SEO for the page. For example, it would be nice for the H1 or H2 of the page to match the main keyword from the video, so that Google sees both entities as connected and relevant to one another. Try to establish that relevance.

Distribute Your YouTube Video

Most platforms allow you to link your YouTube video directly on the page. Facebook and Twitter, for example, allow for YouTube videos to be linked and integrated within posts and tweets. Instagram is a different story and require their videos to be 60 seconds or less. You’ll have to upload the video natively to Instagram, meaning the file itself will be uploaded, rather than simply linking or embedding the YouTube video link. To accomplish this you must know how to edit videos and trim them in a marketable fashion that highlights the most appealing 60 seconds. Add Positions provides this service. Videos should be distributed on these platforms:

  • Facebook: Supports YouTube integration but also offers native video upload
  • Instagram: Requires native video upload that is less than 60 seconds
  • LinkedIn: See Facebook
  • Twitter: See LinkedIn

It’s not a bad idea to create different versions of the video for each platform, meaning Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, all have unique variations. As we noted, Instagram does not allow for embedding YouTube clips. Even if you tried to post the link within your image caption, it would not be clickable, and thus be rendered virtually useless. If you need assistance with recording, editing, and posting videos on YouTube and other platforms, we provide a service that empowers you to do all of these things. We’ll even include your video content within our SEO services for your company. Like all content, video can be a major part of search rankings. For YouTube SEO services, call Add Positions today at 866-356-8198.