Downtown East Side New York City

On the edge of Zuccotti Park, Broadway NY, NY, 10006  in the heart of the Financial District NYC – Where “Occupy Wall Street” got its start.

The typical shopper for expert web site optimization consultation and related services has usually thought about optimizing their site for quite some time; some for years. After searching around for someone to hire (sometimes after they’ve already fired or lost their web designer) they’re looking for someone new who can increase their site’s poor performance.

However in doing the initial research about optimization techniques the typical shopper quickly becomes confused by the multiplicity of complex terms they come across:

  1. What’s an .htaccess file and a 301 redirect?
  2. Why do I need back links and what’s a Google Penguin update, and why if I get my back links wrong will Google ban my web site.
  3. Will SEO work for me in my type of business?
  4. Why are there search engine optimization companies on the internet (in ads on Craig’s List etc) and search engine optimization companies emailing me with $300 “complete SEO package” deals guaranteeing me total success, and should I believe them?
  5. What’s the difference between what the $300 All-in-one SEOs do and what SEO companies that charge $500 an hour for just a simple phone consultation? What about what’s in between?

So now you’re the one searching for SEO services. You’re faced with so many unanswered questions to all of these and hundreds more questions until you’re ready to grab a drink and collapse into a deep state of frustration, realizing that you know way too little, realizing that you simply don’t have the extra time or energy to learn (and keep up with) the rules of a whole new professional discipline filled with very fine technical points and Google land mines and trip wires that you were never even aware of.

That’s not unusual, so don’t worry; It happens every day, even with major firms run by top executives who make the honest mistake of thinking that they know who to hire to manage their business web sites. Often even they will hire the wrong people who will do the wrong things based on old information no longer in use for a decade and they get the site penalized. It even happened to once.

The problem isn’t you. The problem is that search engine optimization isn’t simple. It involves not just core keywords and related keywords but planning content creation that is valuable, unique, authoritative and compelling enough to earn solid organic back links. It also requires optimized search engine marketing content, including image optimization techniques, video content, long term analysis of site performance, and constant monitoring and tuning to increase site performance. Site performance increases based on the SEOs ability to properly interpret several streams of data to determine what the site visitor wants to see, and then providing that data to the business head along with an interpretation and course of suggested action. That’s in an ideal world. In the real world the site owner may not be interested in the details and only want the SEO to fix it so it brings more business.

Ok, I mentioned video and I mentioned compelling marketing content. So lets take a look at video done by the late Bill Mays, one of the famous video marketers we know. The power of video can’t be denied (another of his videos is to the right of the first one). Listen to the energy in his voice, listen to and see the excitement. Note that he brings up good selling points during a fast paced series of smooth demonstrations (or quick succession of evidence exhibits). Those key elements are what make this particular sort of fast talking direct selling style so convincing.

When done right, using the right spokesman who speaks with energy and commitment, even an unexciting product like “tub, tile, cement, glass, sink and toilet bowl cleaner” can far outsell all of the competition. By using the combination of print and video, by touting all of the most important hidden and obvious benefits and features of your product, you can sell far more through the combination of video and print than what you can using print alone – and that includes your own online print content, not just newspaper or magazine ads.

Having well thought out and carefully scripted marketing videos on your site is important to get those extra sales, as long as the main text based search engine optimization draws in the right people looking for what you’re selling. The closer your SEO targets the consumer’s needs when working on optimizing your web site, the more effective your site will be at earning transactions and making conversions.

Ok, so that’s Billy Mays. Great, you say. How can I do anything anywhere near what he’s doing on a small or even micro budget, and do it with other things that are every day items? The answer to that is simple: Gary Vaynerchuck. I have one of his videos here on the left. To the right of Gary Vaynerchuck’s sample video I have the video of another famous Gary, the late Gary Halbert, the world famous marketing expert for direct marketing. He explains the need to discover what it is about your products or services it is that meets the person’s driving need for seeking out your web site in the first place:

Gary Vaynerchuck has made 1,000 episodes – every day for four years – 5 or 10 minutes, comparing various wines from his family store – and has established himself as an expert, has made millions of dollars from his efforts, has several book deals, and he is in demand world wide as a motivational speaker. Enthusiasm is essential. That and knowing your products well enough to be able to talk about them in an interesting way to people who are already interested in your products (those are the people you’re trying to reach as well as those who are almost there – “the perfect customers”). Talk to them, be excited about what you have to offer them, know your product well enough, and people will buy! Lots of them!

Another area of SEO confusion regards social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Blogs; All of this Web 2.0 stuff. On the one hand, in 2012 Patrick Spenner wrote a piece for Forbes magazine saying “Marketers Have It Wrong: Forget Engagement, Consumers Want Simplicity“, which he wrote as an engaging piece on Forbes’ blog – begging our interaction as readers (how ironic). Yet what he says is supported quite strongly by David Meerman Scott who makes it clear that the way to design a site properly is to streamline it so that if functions mainly for buying, and removes anything confusing. Patrick Spenner goes on to say in his Forbes article that “Only 25-30% of consumers agree (that customer engagement is of key importance today).” “Only 25-30%” That’s quite a large percentage; between one quarter and one third of your potential and existing customers do what social interaction. I’d call that pretty important.

Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a fairly new branch of marketing that should not be assumed to be part of your SEOs skill set. Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO), written and video content creation can all be addressed at once by a broadly skilled and widely knowledgeable SEO, but then you’re stretching things. It may not be the “jack of all trades, master of none” syndrome, but in my professional opinion having just one person getting enough done in enough areas quickly enough to keep everything moving will be exceedingly difficult if all areas are to be managed with equal levels of enthusiasm and expertise.

That said, today as never before marketing your products and services on the web requires some form of social interaction as a means to interact with customers. Much of this emphasis comes directly from Google’s own quality assessment mechanism that looks at a site’s social interaction, mentions, emailed links, and general social media buzz about a business/site to help Google determine the site’s/business’ value in the community.

Many companies are building Facebook pages,  Facebook groups and Twitter accounts so someone (often more than one person) in their staff can interact with current and potential clients. But simply having a Facebook page or Group isn’t enough. At one time not too long ago optimizing your web site so the search engines could find it relied heavily on mostly keyword related rules like those in this old podcast with Kelly Spores, Wall Street Journal Small Business Reporter interviewing Aaron Wall, author of the SEO Book, several years ago:

Things have changed though and become so much more exciting and involved. Now, thankfully, more than ever SEO is more and more of an art form where honesty, integrity and good writing play important roles in building good, solid, reliable public relations and company branding. 

SEO NYC will both help train you and perform hands on to:

  • Manage your company’s social media campaign strategy, and thinking long term real social involvement is key.
  • Develop your brand. Branding involves more than just a company name. A brand, like a person, is unique and once defined, must remain in character. What does your brand say? What doesn’t it? Search engines like Google have stated in no uncertain terms that brands are given preference because of reliability, predictability and consistency.
  • Build consistent quality content. Optimization works only in conjunction with written articles (the Marketing Content [MARCO] or “copywriting”) on your site. There is no reason to spend $250 or more for 3/4 of a written page if you’re going to outsource.
  • Understand web analytics to find out why people are visiting your site, what they’re doing when the get there, what they’re looking for, what they’re seeing and what they’re not interested in, or the clutter on the page they’re NOT clicking on!
  • AVOID the email spammers and scammers that bombard your inbox with deal offers that are only aimed at making them money at your expense.

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