SEO Can Make Or Break Your Business

Nothing new in this post if you are a veteran of the SEO game and were involved in the Google wars of 2012 (namely Penguin and Panda). But if you are new to the game and wondering if SEO is a worthwhile investment of time and money, here are some things to consider. If you feel like you are ready to take the plunge and see how search optimization can help your business succeed, give us a call at BigOakInc.com, 804-741-6776 or email us at contact@bigoakinc.com. If there was one thing that could increase your profits if done correctly or that could drop your online business off the map if done wrong, wouldn’t you want to know what it is?  Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important things businesses can do to boost their online visibility.  Many people have worked with SEO, but with the Panda and Penguin updates by Google, it is more important than ever that it is done correctly.  If SEO does not meet the criteria of the search engines, your site can be penalized. Increase Traffic to Your Site One of the biggest reasons to use SEO is so that you can increase the volume of traffic that comes to your website.  You want people who type in keywords that relate to your business to see your company’s website pop up in the search results. If your site is not within the first couple of pages, most people will not keep searching to find you.  SEO is the process of improving your search engine rankings so that your company will move...

Link Building Guide

The Internet is a really strange environment. No other business model has ever been so contradictory, so hypocritical, so confused. Here’s the problem. For a website to rank well in any search engine and especially Google it must have links. Although there are many ranking factors at play, links are still key to getting organic traffic. However, the best links according to Google are natural links, that is, when another website chooses to link to your website or their own accord because they like your business. This is considered a “vote” in Google’s PageRank system. But, if your site is new there is no way for anyone today to find out about it in the search engines. In the past people used to find new websites by searching web directories. Today everyone goes to Google (or one of the other SEs) first. So if you are not in the search index how do you get discovered to then win some natural links? It really is a catch 22 situation. And although Google loves natural links, to get anywhere in the Google you have to build your own links. Link building is almost considered to be spam. It can be argued that every single link that you personally create with the sole purpose of boosting your site in the search engines is a form of spam. Even if you are contributing to a blog by joining the discussion or writing a guest post, deep down inside you know that you are there to get your links. Is this wrong? Many people think so. Is there an alternative? There are some,...

Does Your Website Suffer from These 4 Common Copywriting Mistakes?

You can have a well-designed website. You can even have an optimized website that ranks high in the search engines for top keywords. But if you don’t have conversion-driven copy, it’s all for nothing. Simply put, your website copy is what determines whether or not a visitor becomes a customer. The good news is writing web copy that sells is actually easier than you might think. The key is to avoid these common copywriting mistakes. Too much “we-we” talk—I hate to burst your bubble, but your customers don’t want to hear you rambling on and on about how great you think you are. Customers only care about one thing: What’s in it for me? With that in mind, you shouldn’t be saying “we, we, we”, but instead, you need to say “you, you, you.” Here’s a cool tool I like to use when writing web copy: We We Calculator or this one. It grades your copy based on how custom-centric it is. The copy is difficult to scan—Eye-tracking studies show that users tend to scan online content rather than read it word for word. In fact, online readers scan in an F-shaped pattern. That means you need to focus on making your copy as easy to scan as possible. You can do this by using short paragraphs, bulleted lists, bolded phrases, and by putting the most important information at the beginning of each new paragraph. Weak headlines lose readers—Your headline should never be an afterthought. It needs to be something you put a lot of thought and effort into. Remember, this is the first thing a new visitor will...

Sency, a New Way to Search

I was contacted by the founder of Sency, Evan Britton, and he asked if we would take a look at his search engine. I did and found something interesting – real time search results for what is being said about the search term you type in. What is interesting is the fact it pulls in tweets about your subject matter as well as websites. It also gives you the time the search term was last mentioned. I saw times ranging from 1 minute ago to 2 days ago show up on the first page of results. Time will only tell how useful this will be for search marketing and for the general populace. Here is Evan’s “elevator speech” about Sency. What do you think, is it viable? The real time web is hot because users want to know what is happening right now.  Many startups are making an impact in this space,  today, we will discuss what Sency is up to… Sency offers a real time web search engine which is fast and easy to use.  It breaks out results into both what people are saying and what today’s most popular links are.  Sency also shows the source, so that you can see whom is writing the respective message that you are reading. The main differentiator that Sency is bringing to the table is the two widgets it has created.  The content feed for websites (http://sency.com/feed.php) will bring real time results for any keyword that a website or blog wants to stream.  The popular links feed (http://sency.com/linksfeed.php) will allow any website to display today’s most popular links for any...

5 Reasons Twitter is Not Worth Your Dime or Time

It is no secret that Twitter is viewed as both marketing secret weapon and marketing bust. As a social networking tool, it has promise but what about Twitter as tool for increasing your business? With the recent news announcements that Twitter is worth in excess of $1 billion amidst rumors of potential takeover and flotation deals, let’s take a look at why Twitter may not be worth the dime your company is looking to pay for increased web sales and exposure. The internet and e-business is accepted as being a great way of doing business – costs are cut, geographical boundaries are overcome, new routes to market are uncovered and smaller companies are provided with fewer barriers to entry and get to compete with much larger companies on a level playing field. BUT…there has to be a but! The decisions you make when it comes to mounting marketing campaigns and establishing connections with customers and prospects, the established principals of offline, real-world marketing still apply. So is using Twitter the most effective use of your company’s marketing dime? TV Dominates the Internet in Ad Spend Traditional, “old” media still represent better value for money when it comes to turning marketing dollars into solid sales numbers. This may seem out of sync with our perception of the internet – the internet dominates the news, it is cutting edge and at the forefront of developing new markets and ways of doing business but let’s take a hard look at the underlying numbers. The average American adult spends almost 121 hours a month watching television but internet usage is dwarfed, coming in...