Big Oak Online Marketing Blog

Our Team Gives Expert Advice on SEO, SEM, PPC, Site Design and all things dealing with online marketing.

Increase Conversions: Discover Your Customer’s Buying Process

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...
Help! My Site Has Been Banned By Google!

Help! My Site Has Been Banned By Google!

“Why has Google banned my website?” As an SEO company this is one question we get very often. There are few bigger problems for an Internet business or search engine marketer than to find that their website has disappeared from Google’s search rankings. Sometimes their website doesn’t even rank for their own web site’s name. How did this happen? Read below to find out some of the reasons why a site may have been banned from Google and what to do to get back in the rankings. Usually there is no warning for being banned or penalized by Google except for the steady drop of sales and visitors to your site. Many site owners and search engine optimization firms are left with little to no idea why they were removed and can be left scratching their heads as to how to get back in. While there are many reasons why a site has been banned, here are a few of the more common reasons. If your site has been banned contact your SEO company or give Big Oak a call at 804-741-6776 to help you get back on the right track to high Google rankings. You can see a case study here that shows a successful site reinclusion for a recent client. We offer a Google penalty removal service that can help get your site back in the search results. 1. Robots and Meta Tags The first and simplest solution many be that your robot.txt file has been changed to prevent search engines from entering your site. Or your meta tags could be directing the search engine robots to...
Google Small Business Community Video by Eric Gehler

Google Small Business Community Video by Eric Gehler

Eric Gehler one of our AdWord experts was invited by Google to create a short video for their YouTube channel, Google+ Your Business. Google provided 5 questions they asked him to answer in order to provide advice for a small business getting started on the Web. Here are the 5 questions Google asked Eric to answer: What are some easy ways a company can build an online presence? Why is it important for a small business to have a social media presence? What are some ways a business can reach new customers online? What are some ways that a small business owner can use Google Plus to help their business? What’s the one resource you would recommend to an up-and-coming small business? The video lasts about 3 minutes, at Google’s request, so it only highlights marketing issues which all small businesses should be considering. If you want to know more about building your online business, please give us a call at 804-741-6776. You can ask for me, Shell Harris. I will be happy to talk to you about helping your small business grow online. Without further ado, here is the...
My Interview on Online Marketing at

My Interview on Online Marketing at

I was fortunate enough to be asked for an interview by I assume this was either due to some clerical error or possibly some under the table bribery I knew nothing about. In any case, if you care to read my thoughts about online marketing then you can click here to do so. Here are some snippets in case you want to decide if clicking the link is really worth your while. What do I think about the future of SEO? The future at this point for SEO is to move forward with a light touch. Don’t do SEO, but market your business like the search engines aren’t there. Of course, quality content and great product/service are the heart of any good online campaign, but link building is still important. But the links you build should meet one of two criteria: The link should prove you are in the industry you are or you are located where you say you are. Meaning, links should support the idea of what your company does. If you sell dog treats, you should connecting with sites about dogs. If your offices are in Richmond, Va., then you should have links from local sites. Search engines pick up on these clues– industry and location. What are the smartest things a company can do to help boost its web performance and rankings? Make sure every page on your site has an HTML title that explains what is on the page. Make your titles descriptive. Blog, blog, blog — but blog about relative topics. If you sell dog treats, write about what treats are healthiest....

6 Articles Providing Advice for SEO Newbies and Gurus

This list was compiled by Eric Ward so you know it has to be good. Mr. Ward gives solid advice for anyone website looking to increase traffic through better SEO efforts that won’t come back to haunt you in the future. 1. Down With Toolbar PageRank And Up With… What? by Julie Joyce There are quality alternative metrics to PageRank, such as the various ones used by Majestic, Ahrefs, Open Site Explorer and Link Research Tools. Let’s look at how these metrics are calculated, taking it from the source. After that, we’ll see how the numbers stack up across a few different sites. 2. 315 Businesses Boost Rankings by Optimizing Their Google+ Local Pages [Study] by Jon Schepke Ripe opportunity still exists to boost local visibility with some focused SEO efforts. Consider the five primary optimization techniques employed by the businesses in this study and the impact the effort delivered on local visibility. 3. How Google+ Shut Me Down for Impersonating Myself by Ken Mueller Despite having a YouTube channel (owned by Google) under my own name for years, and a Gmail account, along with other Google properties, I’ve been shut down by Google+ because my “profile impersonates someone.” So, I have my picture and my name, and I’m impersonating someone? Myself perhaps? 4.  Are all comments with links spam? Video by Matt Cutts 5. How Google Might Use the Context of Links to Identify Link Spam By Bill Slawski In 2004, Google filed for a patent that describes how the search engine might pay more attention to the context of a link, such...

Latent semantic search: its effect on SEO and page ranking

The SEO industry has seen a four-fold increase in the past three years with all the business web sites and blogs tirelessly working to increase their content’s visibility in the internet searches. This competition resulted in the origin of several SEO techniques for increasing the web site rankings given by the search engines. These techniques mainly concentrate on the usage of keywords that the users will most likely look for and it resulted in some SEOs filling the content cleverly with those keywords for their own gains. The end result of this process is that several worthy web pages lacked visibility. To counteract this, the search engines came up with a new concept in their search algorithms which is called Linear Semantic Search (more commonly known as Linear Semantic Indexing or LSI). It targets not only on the specific keywords that are being searched for, but also on their semantic relationship with the other contents of the page and other common words that are related to them. The prominent characteristic of this method is its capacity to dig out the conceptual content of a web page through forming associations among the terms occurring in related contexts. For example, if you search for the word ‘ppi claims’, you will get different results like ‘Reclaim PPI’, ‘Mis-sold PPI’ and ‘ppi claims – no win, no fee’ all of which are related to the keyword. It fueled the organic search by searching for relevance instead of the traditional way of looking for the keywords that match with the text which is being searched for. This method also put a check on the...

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