Blog Category: TN Media Blog


Next Generation SEO – If You Build a Brand, They Will Come Copy

By Keela Greenlee,

This is the fifth blog in a series on the next generation of search engine optimization. Catch up on the other posts: Next Generation Search Engine Optimization, Next Generation SEO – Content Power, Next Generation SEO – The New Customer Journey, and Next Generation SEO – Going Mobile.

Everything old is new again.

There’s been so much rapid, ongoing change in the digital age that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And it’s especially true when it comes something that sounds as complex as search engine optimization (SEO). But for all its high-tech sheen, next generation SEO is rooted in two very old business fundamentals:

  1. Build your brand
  2. Be found

The Internet isn’t a Field of Dreams, but if you build your brand and make sure you can be found, consumers will come.

Perception is reality.

Brand building isn’t just for large companies like Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola. From the big-box stores to the mom and pop on the corner, every business has a brand. Those that choose to nurture and promote their brand greatly increase their chances of success.

Your brand is your business’ reputation. As the founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, put it: “Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” It’s both why you do what you do and why your customers choose you to do it. Websites, logos, taglines, ad campaigns, and other elements of your marketing and advertising are not your brand—but they all grow out of it, as does your online presence, and so should your SEO.

Search engines now rank results primarily on content and context. That means you need to create great content that defines your brand in a context that consumers can understand.

Location, location, reputation.

Of course, there’s no point in building a brand if consumers don’t know where to find your business. For centuries, foot traffic and word of mouth were essential to success. And they still are. But these days, the foot traffic comes in the form of online search, and word of mouth comes in the form of social media shares and online comments and reviews.

The first place most consumers will look for you is online. That makes being findable a must. By ensuring your business can be found—on your own website, through your social media presence, and through accurate listings on leading directories—you ensure your customers can find your brick-and-mortar location(s) or shop with you online.

Need help building and managing your brand online? We can help!

Generate more than search results.

Brand building and being found drive customer connection and engagement, create relationships, and inspire action. That’s how properly executed next generation SEO builds the continuous loop that builds your business. Simply put, having a strong, findable brand generates more than just search results—it positions your business for success.

Find success with us.

We know SEO and so much more. From branding to digital marketing, we’ve got the insight, strategy, and expertise to help you take your business to the next generation and beyond. For more information, contact us online or call 888.573.4773.

  Filed under: TN Media Blog
  Comments: None


Next Generation SEO – If You Build a Brand, They Will Come

By Keela Greenlee,

This is the fifth blog in a series on the next generation of search engine optimization. Catch up on the other posts: Next Generation Search Engine Optimization, Next Generation SEO – Content Power, Next Generation SEO – The New Customer Journey, and Next Generation SEO – Going Mobile.

Everything old is new again.

There’s been so much rapid, ongoing change in the digital age that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And it’s especially true when it comes something that sounds as complex as search engine optimization (SEO). But for all its high-tech sheen, next generation SEO is rooted in two very old business fundamentals:

  1. Build your brand
  2. Be found

The Internet isn’t a Field of Dreams, but if you build your brand and make sure you can be found, consumers will come.

Perception is reality.

Brand building isn’t just for large companies like Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola. From the big-box stores to the mom and pop on the corner, every business has a brand. Those that choose to nurture and promote their brand greatly increase their chances of success.

Your brand is your business’ reputation. As the founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, put it: “Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” It’s both why you do what you do and why your customers choose you to do it. Websites, logos, taglines, ad campaigns, and other elements of your marketing and advertising are not your brand—but they all grow out of it, as does your online presence, and so should your SEO.

Search engines now rank results primarily on content and context. That means you need to create great content that defines your brand in a context that consumers can understand.

Location, location, reputation.

Of course, there’s no point in building a brand if consumers don’t know where to find your business. For centuries, foot traffic and word of mouth were essential to success. And they still are. But these days, the foot traffic comes in the form of online search, and word of mouth comes in the form of social media shares and online comments and reviews.

The first place most consumers will look for you is online. That makes being findable a must. By ensuring your business can be found—on your own website, through your social media presence, and through accurate listings on leading directories—you ensure your customers can find your brick-and-mortar location(s) or shop with you online.

Need help building and managing your brand online? We can help!

Generate more than search results.

Brand building and being found drive customer connection and engagement, create relationships, and inspire action. That’s how properly executed next generation SEO builds the continuous loop that builds your business. Simply put, having a strong, findable brand generates more than just search results—it positions your business for success.

Find success with us.

We know SEO and so much more. From branding to digital marketing, we’ve got the insight, strategy, and expertise to help you take your business to the next generation and beyond. For more information, contact us online or call 888.573.4773.

  Filed under: TN Media Blog
  Comments: None


Next Generation SEO: Going Mobile

By Keela Greenlee,

This is the fourth in a series of blogs on the next generation of search engine optimization. Catch up on the other posts: Next Generation Search Engine Optimization, Next Generation SEO – Content Power, and Next Generation SEO – The New Customer Journey.

 

The Convergence of Mobile and Search

In 2015, the total number of searches conducted on smartphones and other mobile devices surpassed the number conducted on desktop computers for the first time, marking a critical tipping point in the importance of SEO relative to mobile marketing.

 

The fact is, mobile is fundamentally and effectively the foundation of search now, and ignoring one or the other will position your business at a significant disadvantage relative to your competition. Consider these mobile stats that aren’t just eye opening, they’re eye-popping:

 

  • 68% of Americans own a smartphone
  • Nearly half of American adults own a mobile tablet
  • 91% of people always have their smartphone at their side (day and night)
  • More than half of all smartphone users grab their mobile device immediately after waking up
  • On average, people check their phones 150 times daily and spend 177 minutes a day using them

 

That feeling you have everyone is constantly looking at their smartphones? It’s actually a fact: we live in the “Golden Age of Mobile,” and there are major implications for your business.

 

Sold in a micro-moment.

American consumers are tethered to their devices, and they rely on them to investigate, inform, and validate their investments, however big or small, and increasingly, they use their personal devices to complete the entire conversion cycle. There is no “off” button, and you can miss the opportunity to connect with new and recurring consumers in the blink of an eye, or a micro-moment as it is often called, if your business is not present (digitally). Be mindful not to underestimate the power of the micro-moment: it applies to both large and small purchase decisions alike.

 

Being there is everything.

Effective search engine strategies prioritize mobile content and optimization, given the weight it now carries within search. Search engine algorithms work to interpret searcher needs and deliver results that are preferential, and the monumental shift to mobile means search looks for content that will work best in mobile environments. Steps you will want to take to impact mobile search include: ensuring your directory listings are accurate, including your name, address, location, phone, and map drop-pins because these are what mobile users are often looking for when then search. Another opportunity for ensuring mobile success is incredibly straightforward but often overlooked: your website simply has to be responsive. You need not build a dedicated mobile page, in fact that will work against you, but you do need to have a page that resizes and scales to users’ screens. Beyond your basics, social media are combined to create a critical segment that impacts mobile search significantly; social media includes traditional networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc), video (YouTube), and review sites (Yelp, G+). If you need a quick crash course on how to activate social media, catch up with our eBook “The Social Landscape for Local Businesses.”

 

Ready to get started?

If you’re ready to get started but not quite sure how, get in touch with us! We’d love to talk to you about mobile and SEO. For more information, visit our contact us page or call 888.573.4773.

 

Sources:

Anderson, Monica, “Technology Device Ownership: 2015,” Pew Research Center Survey, pewinternet.org

Morgan Stanley Survey; “Consumers in the Micro-Moment” Google/Ipsos March 2015. Base: smartphone users in the US

Sukhraj, Ramona. “25 Mobile Marketing Statistics to Help You Plan for 2016” Impact Branding & Design Nov 2015 impactbnd.com

Lawson, Matt. “Win Every Micro-Moment with a New Mobile Strategy” Google Sept 2015 thinkwithgoogle.com

  Filed under: TN Media Blog
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Next Generation SEO – The New Customer Journey

By Keela Greenlee,

This is the third in a series of blogs on the next generation of search engine optimization. You can catch up on previous posts: Next Generation Search Engine Optimization and Next Generation SEO – Content Power.

Throw away your funnel.

No one would argue that the Internet hasn’t revolutionized the way customers discover businesses and consider products and services. However, many fail to recognize that the Internet also broke the tried-and-true purchase funnel theory. Consumers no longer move from awareness to consideration to conversion, rather they progress through an always-on journey of exploration and contemplation, fueled largely by self-sought investigation online. For more on the evolving consumer conversion process, check out the Conversion Theory.

Present every step of the way.

With an endless sea of information available online, search engines serve as a critical starting point and road map for navigating throughout the consumer journey. There is no one-size-fits-all definition for how consumers utilize search, except that they use it every step of their journey. They discover your brand and products with higher level search terms (such as category or segment). They inform and validate their interests with social and review site results, and they convert (or facilitate their conversion) with direct links to purchase, call, or visit.

It’s not enough to focus on any one point of the journey—as tempting as it may be. If your goal is the drive leads and form-fills, you may put all of your effort in keywords and PPC that supports conversions. This strategy is short-sided, as it leaves the opportunity to connect with consumers and move them further along their conversion path on the table. For example, developing content will not only support keywords and drive PPC success, it will also build brand awareness while providing consumers with valuable information.

Take three steps back.

To make the most of your search presence, stop thinking about search. Really.

Step One: Understand how your customers utilize search to facilitate and augment their decisions. Consider building out buyer personas, where you can work through your customers’ needs, desires, values, and habits.

Step Two: Build a robust digital presence that provides adequate information and opportunity for both your prospective consumers and your most loyal customers to engage with your business and brand. The development of content will satisfy two needs: those of your customers as well as those search engines value most.

Step Three: Start thinking more about search engine optimization: regularly scheduled content releases, cross-channel management, social media, and more. Focusing on customer journey will outrank others in search results, creating ever more customers, and it is why next-generation search engine optimization delivers such a powerful competitive edge.

“Whoa! I’m overwhelmed.”

The greatest irony of search is, despite its simple interface and ubiquity, it is arguably the most complex medium. If you are struggling to understand your customer’s journey and the importance of search within it, we can help. Contact us online or call 888.573.4773.

  Filed under: TN Media Blog
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Next Generation SEO – Content Power

By Keela Greenlee,

This is the second in a series of blogs on the next generation of search engine optimization. To read the first post in the series click here.

Beyond keywords.

Audiences crave content, and search has evolved to reflect this demand and priority. Google’s search engine, which handles a whopping two-thirds [1] of all internet searches, previously located and ranked sites based on keywords and inbound link counts. It now weighs expertise, authority and trustworthiness of content as well. [2] Google and other providers will continue to move in this direction to ensure their searches deliver the most accurate, relevant and useful results possible.

This means old SEO tricks like overstuffing a website with keywords and or buying inbound links don’t work anymore. While keywords and inbound links still count, there’s no doubt that having quality content on your site is an ideal way to reach the top of the search results.

The search engine experts agree.

Search engine experts have seen this coming for years. Consider this 2010 statement from Google:

“Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website ranking more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email forums, or other means. Organic or word-of-mouth buzz is what helps build your site’s reputation with both users and Google, and it rarely comes without quality content.” [3]

Microsoft’s Bing is the world’s second-most popular search engine. [4] What tops Bing Principal Group Program Manager Rajesh Srivastava’s advice for achieving optimum rank for your site?

“Develop great original content (including well-implemented keywords) directed toward your intended audience.” [5]

Content + SEO = Continuous Growth

Imagine two retailers in the cookware business. Both list and sell products on their websites. But one site also features free content, including recipes, cooking blogs, how-to videos, menu planning, a wine and beer guide and a wedding and gift registry. Which site do you think will draw more traffic? Engage customers longer? Generate more social media word-of-mouth? Drive more sharing? Rank higher in search results? Sell more product?

Clearly, the website offering consumer-pleasing content has the edge. What’s more, once this site ranks high in search engine results, it will be found by more and more consumers, who will generate more social media sharing, which will further boost the site’s search rankings. That’s the power of content and context in the new era of search engine optimization.

Be the source they seek.

Creating engaging content is the cornerstone of content marketing, also known as “in-bound marketing.” In-bound marketing attracts consumers and draws them in throughout every step of the buying journey. This differs from “out-bound” marketing, including traditional advertising, which typically reaches out to grab a consumer’s attention in the final stages of the buying journey.

Of course, creating engaging content and using it to power SEO takes planning, time and resources. Like any other form of marketing, it’s a serious investment in the future of your business.

Looking for SEO Content Expertise?

If you’d like help creating content for your business, or want to learn more how next generation SEO, contact us online or call 888.573.4773.

Sources

1. Editorial Staff, July, 2016, “Top 15 Most Popular Search Engines,” eBizMBA.com, eBizMBA Inc.

2. “How Google Works: A Google Engineer’s Story,” Paul Haahr, SMX West 2016, March, 2016, San Jose, CA

3. Editorial Staff, 2010, “Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide,” Google, Inc.

4. Editorial Staff, July, 2016, “Top 15 Most Popular Search Engines,” eBizMBA.com, eBizMBA Inc.

5. Rajesh Srivastava, September 3, 2009, “Search Engine Optimization for Bing,” blogs.bing.com

  Filed under: SEO, TN Media Blog
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