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What Truly Defines a Top SEO Company

Top SEO CompanyAccording to a survey carried out by "over 380 enterprise search marketers and SEO professionals" and published at Search Engine Land, the success of an SEO company will depend on few select variables.

The survey analyzed and evaluated common behaviors in the market of SEO companies. Various behaviors played an important role in the success or failure of a company that offers SEO services. The survey brought to light the following aspects:

Areas of Success

The survey identified three main areas where top search marketers and SEO experts thrived. The areas identified are content reporting excellence, evangelism, and internal creation. Best practice was very important in each of the three areas. In identifying the success of a firm, the survey distinguished "best in class" from the "laggards". A top SEO company used advanced reporting techniques. The company was also involved in the content creation process right from the beginning. Best practice behavior reporting specifically included the following:

  • Determining a strategy by use of reporting data
  • Early and frequent reporting
  • Varying reporting according to stakeholder requirement
  • Freeing precious time by automating reporting
  • Combining data from many sources to come up with meaningful insight
  • Using hidden data to draw insights

Budget Influence on the Success of an Organization

The survey also made a rather interesting discovery. Contrary to what most people might think, the amount of money spend on search engine marketing had a great influence on the Company’s success. The people carrying out the survey realized that 43% of the "top in class" had spent more than 10% of their budget on marketing. 57% of the "laggards" had spent less than 10 percent of their total budget.

Size of the Team

There is always a common notion that having more search professionals in a team is always advantageous. However, according to the survey, this is far from the truth. Results indicate that a leaner SEO and search marketing team will provide better results. The study indicates that almost a third of the "best in class" companies have one person in the team, while 68% of the leading organisations use teams made up of only 2 to 4 people. What we can draw from the survey from "Research and Search Engine Land" is that a company is more likely to achieve success by employing two to four people in a team.

In summary, an SEO company looking to succeed and become a leading firm in the industry needs to have the above pointers in mind. The highest chance of success will come through combining the common behaviors and ensuring that they are followed judiciously.


What's Up, Google? No PageRank Update in Over 6 Months?

Google PageRank UpdateAs we all know, the Google PageRank has a very significant importance for all the websites owners and developers, as it measures the importance of their websites and it ranks them depending on their popularity. Usually, the Google PageRank is updated every two or three months, but it has been approximately six months since the last PageRank update occurred.

What is actually happening with the Google Toolbar PageRank Update? Although there were several attempts of contacting the Google team, the team refused to comment about this problem and let everyone confused. Additionally, the search results in Google have lost some of their relevance and therefore some SEO efforts using the PageRank tool have diminshed.

Thus, there are many websites and web pages which have not a higher PageRank although their importance has increased at a very great deal during the last six months. When is it going to be the next Google PageRank update? Although the last one occurred in early February 2013 and the next one was supposed to occur in July 2013, there was no sign of update until the present moment.

Is it anything wrong with the Google PageRank Update? Many web developers thought about a possible bug in the system, but given that the PageRank is verified by a human being and it is not completely an algorithm, this would be impossible. It is said that the next update will come during later September, but what is it going to happen?

Google do not offer any further details about this matter and apparently we will not find out anything regarding it until the next Google PageRank update occurs – the question is: when will it occur? Is it going to be late this month as well or not? What will happen with the millions of websites on the Internet and what will be their future in the end? What should we expect? All these questions will remain unanswered until the Google Toolbar PageRank is updated.


How Running a SEO Campaign is More Like Web Presence Management

Web Presence ManagementIn short, SEO keeps evolving. If you have been following the successes of the businesses who have put in a lot of effort in SEO, you would already be aware of the fact that there's a good amount of impact delivered by "social" factors.

In addition, search engine's algorithms are getting better at determining the social value of your website by computing various elements that point how "social influenced" it is. Keep in mind that this is a long-term transition, and Google is going to get better at it over time. So, what's the right strategy to ensure great results with integrating social ranking factors?

The Answer

The best strategy for keeping up with the "social" ranking trend is not to focus solely on social media - it would be to concentrate on managing a solid web presence. Having said that, your primary goal should always be to maximize your visibility online, rather than pushing your social media profiles without getting the expected results.

There are many elements that contribute to online presence, including wider audience reach, your presence on every important social media channel, easy accessibility and higher visibility.

Why focus on web presence management?

Building and managing your online presence might be a challenging task, but certainly has significantly more rewards in the long-term when used effectively with on-page / off-page SEO. You should regard your social media presence as the SEO best practices to building a reputable web presence.

What this means is that a well established web presence gets you better rankings, brings in more traffic and eventually lead to an enhanced online presence - adding momentum to your online marketing efforts. But, what elements are being increasingly used by Google to analyse the credibility of your site?

What's changing?

The "relevancy" factor is being redefined by giving more weightage to trust and authority. Your presence online isn't related to re-purposed unique content anymore - it's about what users actually think about your content. For focusing on managing a cohesive web presence in a more effective way, you will need to prove the search engines that you are actually "liked" by the users. Basically, this will point towards your credibility being higher than other search results, and get you a thumbs up.

Latest developments in the world of SEO

Google's search results have always been influenced by social signals by some measure. But, after the release of "Google Search Plus Your World", they have become more important than ever before. Now, individual search results will be highly influenced by your Google+ circles.

Thus, there's no search that isn't impacted by social signals, regardless of how tiny or big that impact is. It's not a surprising move by the search engine giant, considering that personalized results would be favored more and the fact that social signals are quite valuable in determining what's useful and what's not.

Final thoughts

Needless to say, by expanding your online presence, you are also expanding your reach. But, quality and credibility matters a lot! It's clear that search engine algorithms are getting better at finding which piece of content sounds more conversational, then just being contextually relevant. As a result, serious SEO initiatives will need to catch up with these changes soon, in order to take the benefit of new opportunities that are coming up.


How To Optimize A Webpage for Greater SEO Performance

Optimize a WebpageSearch engine optimization (SEO) is really not all that difficult when you learn the fundamental. There are two core categories to planning and executing a successful SEO strategy. The first is on-page SEO, which consists of all the optimization tasks that occur on the actual webpage itself. The second component is off-page SEO, which includes all activity that occurs off from the website.


Off-page SEO, such as link building, content sharing, and social media marketing, helps to make a site more popular and credible in the search engines. Although this portion of search engine optimization has become the most powerful and legitimate means to attain higher rankings, on-page SEO is still extremely important to maximize your search engine potential.

In part I of this series, we will focus our attention toward the on-page SEO elements that contribute to greater prominence in the search engines.

A Note Before We Get Started

We will assume that our keyword research has been completed and that we have pinpointed our primary and secondary keyword targets, as well as a couple keyword variations. Our primary keyword target (PKT) will be "house sitters in San Francisco" and two secondary keyword targets (SKT's) will be "San Francsico house sitting" and "experienced house sitters in San Francisco"

Content is the emphasis of on-page SEO. In essence, the combinations of words we choose to use, and the places in which we include those word combinations, is the underlying thesis to optimizing a webpage. Below we break apart each of the areas on (but rather off the visible) webpage that have SEO value, and we show you just how to populate those areas according to your keyword targets.

Keyword-friendly URL's are a Must

An on-page SEO element that has considerable correlation to the keyword relevancy of a webpage is its URL. The URL name should include primary keywords whenever possible, however it is important to include only core keywords and avoid lengthy, drawn-out URL names.

For our webpage on "house sitters in San Francisco," these four words in URL will help make the page relevant on our primary keyword target. We could include the word "experienced" to further hone in on our secondary keyword target, however it's often best to keep URL short and tight. This also leaves the door open if we wanted to write an article about the value in hiring experiened house sitters in San Francisco, or something along those lines.

Writing an Optimized Page Title

The page title shows up in the search engine results page as the main headline. The page title is also an important factor in establishing keyword relevancy and optimizing a webpage. In essence, the title of the page tells the search engines what the page is all about. It also serves as the main headline in the search results.

Always include the primary keyword target in the page title, and preferably in its exact phrase match. Without taking the page title too long (under 70 characters is SEO best practices, include verbaiage from any SKT's that might be logical.

San Francisco House Sitters

{include image "San Francisco House Sitters" Add image Link to: }

A solid page title for our homepage would be "San Francisco House Sitters | Trusted House Sitters: Paloma & Tyler". Here we include both PKT and SKT variations using "San Francisco," "House Sitting," and "House Sitters." The page title is also personalized with two people's names, which might intice an active homeowner seeking trusted house sitters to click the listing. Additionally, the page title is 68 characters long and appears nicely in Google's search results.

Writing Meta Descriptions for Keyword Inclusion & Creativity

The meta description, located just below the page title in the search results, should not only include the PKT (and the SKT if it fits nicely,) but should also be compelling enough to entice searchers to click into your webpage.

This is your chance to communicate to your target market before they take action. For this reason, good meta descriptions include a balance of keywords (which will be in bold) and deliver a message that captures a searcher's interests.

Most SEO professionals will agree that including the PTK as early as possible in the meta description is best practices. Some will even place the PTK as the first sentence for that reason, however there are creative ways to achieve this without simply keyword stuffing.

An example of an optimized meta description based on our keyword targets is "Seeking someone for house sitting in San Francisco? Paloma & Tyler are experienced, dependable, trustworthy pet and house sitters serving the Bay Area."

Notice in this example how we immediately include the PTK early in the meta description, and later include a couple keyword variations. Additionally, this example hints at what the webpage is about and offers an enticing lure (e.g. not only are they "experienced, dependable, trustworthy pet and house sitters," but they are also "pet sitters," too.)

This sums-up the major off-page elements of on-site SEO. As you can see, the URL, Page Title, and Meta Description of a webpage is all very aligned with respect to the primary and secondary keyword targets. The next phase centers on writing content that describes the page. In addition to writing page copy that's somewhat keyword-rich, is helps to properly use headers, strong tags, internal linking, and other aspect.

Creative SEO companies and service providers will stay aligned with these practices. Stay tuned for Part II of How To Optimize A Webpage for Greater SEO Performance" in the coming days!


[AdWords Ninja Trick:] Get Valuable Insights for PPC Advertising (and SEO!)

AdWords Ninja TrickHere I will share with you an advanced PPC ninja trick to help you hone in on your target market for PPC advertising, as well as organic SEO. Some of the elites may be familiar with this PPC ninja trick, but for many, it's a hidden tool that offers invaluable insights.

So whether your an ecommerce PPC advertiser or local search marketer doing both PPC and SEO, the data you can gain from these tips can empower your search marketing efforts.

Open A World of New Dimensions

Advanced PPC Moves That Only The Elites Know About

The starting point to this trick begins from the Campaigns tab of the Google Adwords interface. In Campaigns, there is tab toward the right side called Dimensions. This tab reveals a world of information about the user activity associated with your campaigns and ad groups.

Open up one of your more popular campaigns or ad groups can click Dimensions.

Explore The Different Views

Some Views Are Just Eye-Opening From Here!

The Dimensions tab in AdWords enables search marketers to understand the nature of their audience how its reacting to their online advertising efforts. Spanning from Search Terms to Times of Day, here you can get an idea how your impressions are truly panning out.

From Dimensions, you can find profitable opportunities to expand into new ad groups, learn when to run and pause certain campaigns, and pinpoint keywords that simply do not fit (negative keyword research.) This is particularly advantageous for ecommerce search marketers who have tons of campaigns and ad groups to work with.

Enter: Search Terms

Find New Opportunities and Ways Increase Your CTR's

Particularly advantageous for ecommerce PPC advertisers who use broad and modified-broad phrase match bidding, the Search Terms view from the Dimensions tab offers wonderful insights. Search Terms tells you the precise search phrases that are triggering your ads and how well each phrase is performing. If you spot words that are wasting impressions, add them to the appropriate Negative Keywords field (found at the bottom of the Keywords tab.) On the flip side, if you see certain keyword phrases that are producing great results, seek opportunities to dedicate those keyphrases to their own ad groups.

All good PPC advertisers will agree that the more targeted you can get with your ad groups, the better they will perform. This is particularly true for banner and display advertising. The Dimensions tab offers the insights to fine-tune any PPC advertising endeavor. As a result, you can realize more qualified clicks and lower cost per conversions.

Want more insights for PPC optimization and campaign management? Stay tuned for more ninja tricks for SEO, PPC, and other specific niches of search marketing.


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