How Do We Find the Right Keywords for Our Clients?

If you are reading this blog post, you probably already understand the concept and importance of keywords and the research that goes into finding the right keywords to bring customers to your site. Choosing the correct keyword phrases (not just keywords) can mean the difference between your site being a success or failing quickly. The choices you make when choosing your keyword phrases should take the following into account: what your customers are looking for (be careful not to simply choose industry terms your customers may not know) which pages you want them to find (inserting keywords on important pages, not just the home page) what is the competitive nature of the keywords you are choosing (no point in trying to rank for keyword phrases that are out of your reach) ROI is king at Big Oak so we want to choose keywords that bring in the best return on your investment. This means that we don’t always target the most popular keyword phrases; we target the keyword phrases that will bring the most traffic that converts to sales. Longer phrases can be much easier to rank for and usually bring in a more focused buyer, not someone merely kicking the tires. How do we find the keywords? What tools do we use for keyword research? At Big Oak we use a variety of tools for choosing the best keyword phrases for our clients: Google AdWords Keyword Planner The defacto keyword research tool for us and probably all SEO companies. We use it for both SEO keyword research and AdWords (PPC) research. If you take a look you will...

Increase Conversions: Discover Your Customer’s Buying Process

I attended the Persuasive Online Copywriting Seminar at Future Now’s offices in Brooklyn, NY. They are a great bunch of folks who work from the customer’s point of view to adjust the messaging and sales process on a website to increase the site’s conversion rate. I learned a great deal during my two days with the Future Now team and will be integrating this knowledge into Big Oak’s site optimization process. One of the many light-bulb moments I had during the seminar came when I was presented with this idea: Many online businesses fail to consider their customer’s buying process and instead force their customers to adapt to the company’s selling process. Talk about a powerful and true criticism. The sales process or the item being sold doesn’t have to be complicated for a company to follow this flawed mentality. A simple purchase online can be an arduous task if the seller has put roadblocks in the way of the buyer ultimately making the purchase. How many times have you hunted around on a website looking for shipping policies or specific product information? When this happens, more often that not, the company is including the information they think is important, in a way that makes sense to them, without asking what the customer needs or where they would intuitively look for it. When I was shopping for my LCD HDTV, I was very concerned about each model’s height and width because I have an entertainment cabinet that the TV was going to have to fit in. A few inches here or there for the set’s speakers or stand made...

9 Benefits of Guest Blogging for SEO [infographic]

SEO has changed, gone are the days where you could pump thousands of links at your website in a short period of time, get high rankings and roll in the cash. Today you have to earn your links through providing value. Google publicly has stated that anyone gaming the system, ‘rank improvers’ will be penalized. So how does one get high quality backlinks then? How To Earn Your Links SEOmoz made a great post on earning your links, however here are some: Create amazing content (that people naturally link to) Create viral content (that people share) Contribute high quality guest posts (which you contribute) In the infographic below we will go over some of the basic benefits that guest posting brings you. Infographic was created with the help of the team at www.make-a-web-site.com. Check out what there up too at their news page. Editor’s Note: Using infographics for guest blogging also works....

How to Create a Great How-To Article

The Internet is fast becoming a preferred way to get information. This may help explain the proliferation of how-to articles across the web – they help satisfy a person’s curiosity and, more importantly, they often supply quick solutions for everyday problems. However, some of them are better than others. Follow these tips to create a great how-to article Pick a solution-based topic that will benefit your readers How-to articles appeal to readers, in part, because they offer useful information quickly and teach a skill. Some of the best articles isolate a part of life that burdens many people and explains easy ways to alleviate it. They are usually packed with tips that someone can apply to his or her life immediately. They offer implementable solutions, in other words. In order to create a great how-to article, you need a great idea. Pick a topic that is accessible and solution-based. Readers flock to those kinds of articles. Research well Once you have lured people in with your great topic, you need to provide good advice. Many will simply leave an article that, while based on an interesting idea, seems to be full of shoddy, under-researched information. Use the Internet and books; if the article calls for it, secure an expert opinion. Solid research will help you develop a solid article. Give your ideas time to form Not all writers have the luxury of time, but if you do, use it to your advantage. Allow ideas for your topic to bounce around your mind for a day or so after you have wrapped up most of your research. That extra time...

Blogging Ideas for Your Business Blog

Jill Whalen has created a fairly extensive list of topics you can include in your blog posts. We all know its a good idea to blog, but sometimes we have a hard time coming up with a topic or subject to write about. Well, here are 67 things to blog about, you only need to put your business or industry spin on it and make it relative to your site. Upcoming events: 1. Classes, seminars, conferences, webinars (and why you should attend). 2. Special events (wine tastings, 5-course dinners, open houses, etc.) 3. Introduction to new products or services. 4. Important company announcements (as long as this isn’t all you do). 5. Free stuff you’re giving away. 6. Special offers, discounts, coupons. 7. Gift ideas. Contests or other promotions: 8. Photo caption contest. 9. Holiday theme contest. 10. Product naming contest. 11. Logo design contest. 12. Send in a video contest. Tutorials, product support and how-to guides (in the form of text, videos, or infographics): 13. How to set up your products. 14. How to choose your products or services. 15. How to use your products. 16. How to fix your products. 17. How to assemble your products. 18. How to clean your products. 19. How to protect your products. 20. How to know if you need a particular product or service. 21. How to get the most out of your product or service. 22. Explain the subtle differences between your products (and/or those of your competitors). 23. Answer reader and customer questions. 24. Conference session summaries. Show your expertise: 25. Do it yourself: For example, how to create...

Article Writing: Why Quality Trumps Quantity

Article writing is the single most effective tactic for driving traffic to any website. Unfortunately, there are too many webmasters out there that place a greater importance on quantity than on quality. For every webmaster out there that focuses on writing quality content, there are at least a few who simply do keyword research and pump out as much content as possible to hit those keywords. In the earlier days of Google, this was an effective strategy. However, things have changed and it is now more effective to spend time writing a few quality articles than it is to build a content farm out of mediocre articles. Low quality articles litter the internet, frustrate visitors and make the lives of legitimate website owners that much more difficult. High quality articles are not written with the sole intention of hitting keywords. High quality articles are written with the reader in mind first. The best articles are those that are unique, well-written and backed by research. Visitors to your website can tell instantly whether or not the content is worth spending the time to read. Here are four reasons why quality trumps quantity in the realm of article writing: Quality Articles Provide Value to the Reader By “value,” I’m referring to articles that readers find useful, interesting, entertaining or though-provoking. These articles reward website visitors for spending the time to read what you’ve written. This generates good will among your visitors and encourages repeat website visits. Every visitor that bookmarks your website is one less visitor that you have to earn through Google. High quality articles also generate more natural links...