Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ Category

How to Drive Traffic to Your New Website with Search – SEO Tips for Seattle Businesses

Driving traffic to your website, blog, or webshop is important if you want to make the site useful and profitable. However, this can be more difficult than it sounds, especially with over 1 billion live sites on the Internet. With most of the Internet’s traffic directed towards social media and well known sites, getting even a small chunk of visitors for your site can seem daunting. Luckily, there are dozens of strategies you can try to get traffic to your website, even if you’re a relatively new business, or have just launched your site.

Local Search Marketing


Search marketing is one of the most commonly used and one of the most misunderstood forms of marketing, partially because it changes so frequently. Search marketing is controlled by search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, who each have their own search algorithms that control what comes up when someone looks for something. Because there are so many websites, it is almost impossible to come up for a general topic, so you have to use search phrases. Search phrases are long keywords, like “Banana cream pies in Redmond, Wa”, these keywords can be local, with a city or state reference, or fairly general. If you have a brick and mortar shop, you usually want to use location keywords, and research them, do the searches yourself, and then create valuable content utilizing those keywords. Adding yourself to Google Places, registering your business on Yelp, and writing about local events and things to do can also help.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a form of marketing that uses content, and it’s part of your SEO, your social media marketing, and will affect your click-through and conversion rates. Content is important because it convinces readers to click, persuades them to keep reading, and if you end it properly, might lead them to making a purchase, or visiting your business. The majority of your content should be for informing readers while appealing to search engines, making sales unfortunately has to come second to traffic, but you can use calls to action and content on other parts of your website, such as product descriptions or menus, or if you sell food, pictures to make sales for you. The basic rules include:

  • Headers should be tantalizing enough to click
  • Content should be organized and easy to navigate
  • Content should not be spammy, useless, or keyword stuffed (the reader should come away feeling as though it was a valuable use of their time)
  • Focus on quality first, search second, sales third

Test Everything for the Best Results

Testing, analyzing, and using data to improve your marketing and efforts is the only way to boost results. By putting out two versions of your landing page, you can see which gets more traffic, but also which makes more sales. You can test ads to see which performs better, A/B test keywords and long tails to

Get Professional Help

If you’re new to digital, or even focused on another priority, like running your business, marketing online can be stressful, time consuming, and difficult to get right. That’s why you should consider paying a professional to handle your marketing for you. Just make sure you discuss your needs, budget, and ROI (return on investment) requirements before you get involved with any sort of marketing efforts. Seattle SEO companies offer plenty of returns, as do social media marketers, so long as know what your goals are, and choose the right company.

If you want to know more about SEO, content, or social media marketing for small business, contact Rory Martin for information.


What is Native Advertising and Why Is It important for Seattle Social Media?

What is Native Advertising and Why Is It important for Seattle Social Media?

Native advertising is a term that is extremely common in marketing, but if you don’t know what it is, it can be confusing. For Seattle social media marketers, native advertising is a must, because it allows you to market to users, in a way that blends with the content they are coming to see. This applies to Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and pretty much any other social media site, because Native Advertising is essential to marketing on any specific site. We will use Facebook as an example, because it’s the most popular social platform, but you can apply the following to any website, social media platform, or app. If you have a local Seattle social media manager, you can ask them for more information.


What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is the process of presenting an advertisement as native content, or content that blends in with the content that people are coming onto the site to see. Native content is valuable, because it allows users to see your brand as a person, as informative, or as something valuable, rather than simply as an ad. This is complex, difficult, and often doesn’t seem like advertising, which is the point, because it boosts brand awareness and increases brand trust, which boosts sales when you do post an actual ad.

Examples of Native Ads

Native ads are those that look like something a person would post. They are interesting, informative, valuable, funny, or otherwise something that people want to see. Dove’s Sketch Beautiful Video is one example. It fits into Facebook’s videos, is sharable, moving, and entertaining. It’s also a very strong emotional advertisement for Dove, and raised brand awareness considerably. Other examples include Mountain Dew sharing photos and stories about the sports teams and skaters they support, who are usually doing the advertising for Mountain Dew themselves, by holding the bottles and cans. This sort of advertisement requires thought, planning, and an understanding of your brand and demographics because instead of just posting about your product, you have to post about the things that your demographic do, enjoy, and like.

Facebook Sponsored Stories – Facebook sponsored posts allow you to use content that your fans have already vetted and shown that they like as a native ad. When you have posted content that is performing well, you can boost the post, allowing more than the standard 3-5% who would otherwise see it, to considerably more people. This allows you to show the content to more people, which boosts your Edge Rank, so that future posts, and ads, are seen by more people. When the content stops performing, you can simply stop paying for promotion. Why would you pay for promotion? It’s the same concept as using a TV or radio ad, except instead of hoping people see, hear, or listen to it, you know when people engage, and it’s for pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of traditional ads.

Native advertising is extremely valuable, especially for small and medium sized businesses who need to be social, interactive, and personable to make sales. The best plan is to focus about 90% of your social media efforts on driving engagement, brand awareness, and interest, rather than sales, because you need that to make sales, and native ads will do it for you.

If you want to know more about native advertising on social media, contact Rory Martin, a local Seattle social media management company.

Is Your SEO Policy Helping Your Sales? – Seattle Search Engine Optimization

SEO is widely touted as one of the best forms of modern digital marketing, largely because you can have unlimited returns on your investment, as most SEO tactics are permanent. Unfortunately, if you hire the wrong company, don’t have the right plan, or approach your SEO the wrong way, you could also be wasting your hard earned money.

These tips from Seattle SEO experts will help you with evaluating and making sure that your SEO is doing you some good.

Tracking Visitors

google analytics

Tracking visitors is relatively easy and there are dozens of free programs which you can use to help. Google analytics is the most respected, because it’s tied in with their ad program. There are many others, all with varying degrees of accuracy, that you can use as well. By tracking visitors, you can see which pages are getting the most hits, how long people stay on each page, and where they go through your site. This allows you to see whether or not your SEO is working. For example, if you’re using descriptive content to sell items and you’re getting 20,000 hits on a page a month, but most are just reading it and leaving, then you’re going to want to rething your policy.

Tracking Sales

Whether or not the people visiting your website are buying anything is a huge question, and luckily, there are plenty of programs to track it. Even Google allows you to set up goals, which include getting customers to a checkout page. However, you do have to be careful, and make sure you’re using the ‘thank you for purchasing’ page after checkout, to make sure that you’re not counting abandoned shopping carts in your revenue.

Recognizing Where Traffic is Coming From

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to see where traffic is coming from as it used to be. However, you can still see surges in content based on hits on specific pages, so you can see which pages are getting hits based on your SEO. Using split testing can help you with checking pages to see which keywords perform better, and to see if the pages with SEO get more hits than those without it.

Tracking Long term Conversion


Another consideration is that a lead you produce with a visit now might not turn into a sale for months to come. Programs like KissMetrics allow you to track long-term conversion, so you can see how many people you’re converting over time. This is especially important if you’re using blogs and informative content as part of your SEO strategy. One way to boost this conversion method is to use long tail keywords with specific products, mention your location and street, and be as exact as possible. People who are searching general keywords like “SEO” or “Shoes” are usually just in the research phase. You want specifics, like “SEO and Social Media Management in Seattle” or “Black crocodile ankle boots” if you want customers who are looking to buy. Of course, even then, you might not make immediate conversions.

SEO is extremely complicated and it doesn’t always work. While there is no magic solution, taking the steps to tailor an SEO policy or plan for your specific business and needs, putting up content to attract short term and long term leads, and bring in traffic to boost your sites authority, can all help. If you want to know more, contact Rory Martin to learn more about our local Seattle SEO services.

What’s Involved in Backend Optimization? Seattle SEO Help

If you’re hiring a Seattle SEO company to help you with your search engine optimization, then you’ll probably come across a few new terms. If your SEO company is any good, then one of those terms should be backend optimization. While it is important that your SEO service offer this type of optimization, it’s also important that you understand what is included, so that you can decide if you want to pay for it or do it yourself, and so you can understand what it is you’re paying for. We’ll go over the basics here, but services may vary slightly from company to company, so be sure to ask your company for an exact list of services provided if you aren’t sure.

What is Backend Optimization?


Backend optimization involves the back end of your website including site structure, html, meta data, site tags, and your server. By optimizing your website speed descriptions, pages, and architecture for search, you not only conform to best practices for coming up in search, but also ensure that search engines are able to find you and as many of your pages as possible.

Site Hierarchy

Site hierarchy or architecture is important for your SEO because if it’s not organized, search bots won’t be able to find all of your pages, and therefore your pages will not come up in search. Best practice involves creating a quality sitemap, ensuring that all of your pages are linked into a category or menu, and making it easy to find pages from natural links within the site. This ensures that search bots like Google’s bots can follow your pages and track natural links to new pages, and add them to search results.

Meta Data

Meta data is easy to abuse, so it is important that you approach it with care. By optimizing your site keywords, descriptions, photo descriptions, and information, you can help your website come up in searches for relevant content. Of course, over-use of meta tags and data is usually flagged as spam by large search engines like Google, so you don’t want to go overboard.


Your site speed, URL history, the quality and location of the server you are on, and various elements of your pages, such as how many links you have per page and how many ads you have on the page all affect your on-site SEO. It is important that you optimize this so that you come up in search. For example, Google prefers to rank websites which load in 3 seconds or less, as most mobile users will click the back button if the site isn’t loaded in that time. In addition, having too many ads on the first screen of your page (known as the fold) can count against you and make your site look spammy. Other issues, like bottlenecks in your server, php issues, and even too many incoming or outgoing links can affect your website’s SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).

Backend SEO handles all of these features, and many more. It’s called backend, because usually, the work is done on the technical side of your page, rather than on visible content and photos. While you won’t notice it as much as you will notice optimizing your text for keywords, it can be considerably more valuable to your site.

Want to learn more about backend SEO? Contact Rory Martin to find out what we can do for you.

5 Search Principles for Your Seattle SEO Strategy

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is one of the most popular and most recognized forms of internet marketing other than PCP, but many businesses fail to utilize it correctly. While SEO requires a lot of expertise to fully master, you can get by with the basics, so long as you utilize them correctly. If you’re just getting started with your SEO campaign, you should consider hiring a Seattle SEO company to help you with the strategy and planning, but the following five principles will get you started.


Everyone knows that keywords are important for SEO, and that couldn’t be more true, especially if you’re trying to do localized Seattle targeting. Long tail keywords, mentioning your city, neighborhood, and even street can all help you come up in specific searches for local businesses, which is highly beneficial for small and medium businesses. The most important thing to do is research your keywords, make sure you integrate them without being spammy, and use them as naturally as possible.

Quality Content

Several search engines including Google and Yahoo now value quality, informative content as part of their search algorithm. They judge this by how well your content answers questions, as well as how long people stay on the page, whether or not they backspace and visit another page, and so on. Essentially, it is in your best interest to provide quality content that keeps visitors on your page for as long as possible.

Meta Data

Some meta data has been overused and used for spam, so you do want to be careful with it. However, meta descriptions and meta headers have value not only in that Google sees them, but also in that searchers see them. When you have a header that is too long for search, visitors see a cut off snippet of it in search. When you don’t have a meta description, they see the opening lines of your content. Creating an informative summary of your content, and a short, catchy title will help with boosting clicks. You also want both to summarize what your content is about, and use keywords for Google.


Backlinks are another SEO technique that has been spammed and must, therefore, be approached with caution, but it’s still one of the most valuable tactics you can utilize for long-term results. Search engines use backlinks, or links from one site to another, as votes to see how important the website is. Therefore, the more of them you have, the better your site will rank in search. However, links have to add value, be natural, and hopefully come from websites that have their own influence and ranking.

Image Tags

Image tags affect your search ranking by allowing images to come up in search, telling Google that you have relevant images in your post, and allowing users to find you based on image searches. This can be especially valuable if you have products, because you can tag them with appropriate short and long-term keywords, write a description that tells searchers what it is, and get traffic based on users looking for inspiration on the product you are selling.

There are over 200 different SEO principles and considerations, and you have to consider them all if you want to rank a larger business in the long-term. A Seattle SEO company can help with ensuring that you are on the right track by performing an audit, helping with your SEO strategy, and helping with implementation if you need it. To learn more, contact Rory Martin for details.

How to Optimize Your Off Page SEO – Seattle SEO Tips

SEO is a very complicated process, and optimizing your website for search might seem a bit akin to making a magic potion if you’re not getting help from professionals. However, the basics are relatively easy to understand, and one of those basics is off page SEO. If you’ve learned how to optimize your own web page for search using keywords, content, quality, descriptions, web page structure, and so on. Off page SEO is another thing entirely, and there are a number of do’s and don’ts for Seattle businesses on the web. The following tips from local Seattle SEO companies should help you with improving your off page optimization.

Don’ts for Off Page SEO

SEO has changed a lot in the past few years, and while more and more algorithm points are added to Google, Bing, and Yahoo search engines, many others are taken out. Google uses over 200 factors in their ranking, and over 2,000 subfactors, so it’s impossible to influence them all. In fact, most people go wrong with SEO by trying to influence their off page SEO, when they should mostly be leaving it alone. The following don’ts should be avoided.

Guest Blog For Links – If you’re putting up guest blogs linking back to your site, don’t. Links from external websites can be valuable to you, but they can also hurt your optimization. You also don’t want to ask for reciprocal links, as these can also hurt you.

Use Directories – Some people will tell you to publish your website in numerous directories with links back to your page. This is not a good idea. Consider adding your website with links to your social pages, Yelp,  and the Better Business Bureau.

Comment Farm – If you’re commenting or paying someone to comment on other people’s blogs with links back to your site, it is a waste of time.

Post Duplicate Content – Some marketers still follow an old and very outdated policy of posting different versions of the same content on multiple sites, using snippets from an article as an article on another site to direct traffic, and otherwise creating duplicate content. This can hurt your SEO.

Use Press Releases for Links – You should only post press releases to try to get media coverage, not for links.

Essentially, any time you’re using articles, content, blog posts, YouTube videos, press releases,

Do’s for Off Page SEO

Off Page SEO is essentially any SEO done off of your website, so by nature, it is mostly beyond your control. The following points are items you can do to help boost your off page SEO.

Build Relationships – Building networks and creating relationships in your niche, with local neighborhood businesses, and with local companies allows you to build more than just links, but you might get the links anyway.

Share on Social Media – Social media is a big thing in SEO, so you should make sure you’re sharing and sharing regularly. Creating valuable, sharable content that other people will love and post as well adds to the value. Social links and signals don’t count for much individually, but the more active your social profiles and activity on your links, the better your off page SEO.

Running a good SEO campaign requires a balance between careful on-site SEO and careful off-site quality control and monitoring. If you want to make sure that you’re getting it right, consider hiring a professional Seattle SEO company to help you with the details.

How to Handle Links with Modern SEO – Seattle SEO TipS

SEO and links have always gone together, and in previous incarnations of SEO strategy, have even dramatically affected ranking. Today, links are less important, primarily because most search engines have to sort through spam and black hat techniques, which create link farms and use guest blogs for links. With that in mind, the wrong links can actually hurt your search ranking, especially on sites like Google, with complex and sophisticated ranking techniques. If you want to get started with using links to boost your ranking, these tips from local Seattle SEO marketing companies will help you with getting started.

How Do Links Help Your SEO?

Links boost your Search Engine Optimization by boosting your perceived impact. Essentially, most search engine algorithms use inbound links to decide how many people are paying attention to you, how much attention you’re getting, and how much value you’re adding. Sites with more links going to them add more value to a link going to you, while sites with more links going out then coming in add less value to your link. Essentially, it’s like playing cards for chips, whoever has the most chips wins, and whoever has the least isn’t usually given that much attention. While the system is more complicated than that, you can get the basic idea from it. Links tell search engines that other people are listening to what you have to say, and that perhaps, they should too.

Seattle SEO

Do All Links Help?

Do all links help? Well, no. Unfortunately, a lot of people try to abuse links by ‘farming’ them, or using directories to create massive amounts of links directly to their website, to create a false appearance of influence. This is an extremely bad idea because most search engines will now penalize you for having too many links from sites that mostly have outbound links. They’ll also penalize you for putting up 15 or 20 websites and interlinking them to build your ranking. This can negatively affect your ranking, so it is important to avoid it.

Bad Ideas Include:

Paying for links

Guest Blogging for links

Using link directories

Paying for a “100% Real Google Safe Link Building Technique Skyrocket to the Top OF Search in 24 Hours” type thing.

Putting up dozens of press releases for link value

What Links Should I Have?

Valuable links come natural sources, they are relevant to your website, and people click them. A link with no clicks is a link with no value. Unless people are following your link, your website usually isn’t being benefited from it.

Good link ideas include:

News stations

Social media shares

People blogging about your services or reviewing your products

Mentions from larger websites

Features, shares, or mentions from similar websites

How do I Get Valuable Links?

A valuable link is a natural link. It is one that has been added for the benefit of the reader and not for the company. It is also on a completely relevant website or page. This might seem difficult at first, but the truth is that if you’re doing things to get links, you’re probably doing it the wrong way. Instead, try making connections, doing newsworthy items that will get you local mentions, appearing at local events and festivals, and getting yourself involved with other people. Not only will these things generate hype on and off of the Internet, they afford you the ability to build connections that are more than just a meaningless link that might not actually help you out with the next search update. You can also offer to create meaningful and relevant blog posts for similar magazines, websites, and news areas, in exchange for a company mention.

Want more help with building your search engine optimization strategy? Contact for a consultation to see what we can do for you.

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How to Merge Your Marketing and SEO – Seattle SEO Tips

How to Merge Your Marketing and SEO – Seattle SEO Tips

If you have a well thought out SEO strategy, then chances are you’re probably already integrating many of the marketing theories that you need to make your search optimization successful. Unfortunately, many Seattle businesses do not have a great search engine marketing strategy, primarily because they aren’t sure how to get started with one. Because most Seattle business owners aren’t necessarily marketing specialists, this is normal. If you don’t have your own Seattle SEO manager to help you with marketing and integrating it into your search optimization, then you probably need be

Research Your Market Demographic

You wouldn’t write an ad without knowing who you were writing it for, but many people write SEO content without really deciding who they’re selling to. If you’re selling shoes, then it’s probably logic that you’re main demographic is women between the ages of 18 and 45, and most of them will want a very specific type of shoe. If you’re operating a restaurant with catering services, the answer might not be quite as clear cut, but you can get started by analyzing your customers, writing up everyone in your immediate delivery area, and making some specific concessions based on what kind of food you serve. If you serve traditional Jewish cuisine, then your primary audience is  most likely going to be Jewish, and on top of that, you can market towards people looking for food for parties, events, and weddings.  On the other hand if you sell an assortment of high end cakes and pastries, you can narrow your prospects further to weddings and events, which allows you to easily narrow your demographic.

Use Retargeting Lists to Market To Them After They Leave Your Site


Just because you get someone to your site with SEO doesn’t mean that they’ve made a purchase. Rather the opposite. Most of the techniques used to bring customers in via search actually draw in customers who are still making a decision. Creating retargeting lists with more specific versions of your SEO keywords (I.E., Four-tier strawberry wedding cakes for delivery in Ballard) and creating PPC marketing ads for retargeting those customers can help you with turning your leads into sales instead of just traffic. The main problem with SEO is that you can draw in an unlimited amount of customers who want to read your content, but they probably haven’t made up their mind about what kind of shoe or cake they want just yet. If they wanted that, they wouldn’t be reading articles. So, adding them to a retargeting ad based on their initial search (I.E. 4-inch black pump) allows you to show them what they want to buy when they leave your site, so that they come back and make a purchase.

Evolve your Content For Your Customers

Every customer has something specific that they want to see and while it is true that you can’t please everyone, you can please your target demographic. What do they want to see, what do they need to see, and what would be beneficial for them. Changing your content over time to stand out and market directly to your customer base is the best way to go. Remember that content marketing strategies like SEO are not only about coming up in search, but also about creating yourself as an authority, so that customers remember you when they want to make a purchase.

The easiest way to set up a working SEO marketing plan is to get help from a local Seattle SEO specialist or consultant who not only knows search  marketing but also local demographics, trends and business.

What’s involved in SEO Implementation – Seattle SEO Tips

What’s involved in SEO Implementation – Seattle SEO Tips

If you’re planning on hiring a Seattle SEO company to help you with optimizing your website and pages, then you might want to know what’s involved in the process. While any good SEO company will create a custom plan and strategy based on your specific needs, current traffic and capacity for business, the following items include strategies and tasks commonly completed during SEO optimization.

SEO Audit

The first step to implementing your SEO is to audit or assess your site to see what changes have to be made. This should include analyzing your existing web content, your backend architecture, your servers, the history of your domain name and back end techniques such as whether or not you’ve highlighted your pages, created metadata or use SEO techniques that search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo might think are spammy. Analyzing your incoming links is also important, because they can affect your search.

Backend Optimization

Once you’ve completed an SEO audit, you can get started on optimizing your site for local Seattle, national or global search. The first step is usually backend optimization. While many people know that SEO involves keywords, not many people know that your site architecture, sitemap, internal linking strategy and your HTML can all affect site crawling and search optimization. A good SEO company wil audit your back end and then make changes to improve your sites capacity for coming up on search.

Strategic Link Building

Link building is an SEO strategy that must be undertaken with absolute care because if done improperly, it looks like spam. Generating relevant, niche worth links that look real (often because they are real) can help you with driving traffic to your website, when you drive traffic through a link, Google and other search engines use it to rank your page.

Social Media

Social media is very much a part of SEO, so any good optimization strategy should include some plans to boost social interaction and engagement. While there are dozens of social platforms to choose from, you should choose one or two that are valuable for your business and then focus on creating high levels of engagement and link sharing, which in turn boost the credibility of your business in search.

Content Optimization

At one point in time content optimization was the gold standard of SEO but that is no longer true. However, it still plays a part. Google’s search engines now place a premium on quality over quantity, and they will search out and disregard keyword stuffing, duplicate content and spun articles. For that reason, the best content optimization clearly discusses what is on the page, offers helpful information and tells readers what they need to know. Content optimization should aim for keeping readers on the page as long as possible, and if possible, convince them to click through to another page to boost your site credibility and decrease your bounce rate.

If you want to know more about optimizing your website for search, contact Rory Martin, a local Seattle SEO and social marketing company to learn more.

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Seattle SEO – How to Determine Your SEO Needs

SEO is something that most Seattle area business owners know about, especially if they have an online web shop or cater to a larger area with a multiple branches, services, or delivery. Despite that, even if you know that you need SEO, you might not understand what you need, or how much of it you need. SEO can vary quite a bit and might include technical audits, on page optimization, back end optimization, and even networking to build site credibility, which eventually makes it even harder for you to understand what SEO is, let alone what you need.


The first thing to consider when deciding what you need from an SEO company is your budget. If you don’t have the resources to pay for a full multi-prong SEO campaign aimed at getting you to the top of every search engine out there, then you probably won’t be able to. Make sure that you set your goals with constraints to your budget, your time investment and your corporation or business.

Current Website

If your website is currently getting very little traffic and you want to boost it, then you can expect your current performance to affect future performance a great deal. Because ranking can take a long time to be beneficial, and the higher your current traffic the easier it is to boost your traffic, boosting your SEO based traffic can vary quite a bit depending on where your website currently stands. Blacklisting, red flags and spammy SEO practices all make it more difficult to rank, but with the right Seattle SEO company, you can improve your reputation with search engines and begin to rank. Your current traffic trends over the past few years determine how much you have to put into SEO.


Setting business goals is the easiest way to determine your budget and your needs. Because you probably want to achieve something, try making it into a concrete plan. X number of traffic with X number of sales or X conversion rate is easier and more quantifiable to communicate to an SEO company than saying “I want to boost traffic” or “I want to be on the top of Google”. Quantifying your business goals with achievable, profitable goals is the first step to succeeding with an SEO campaign.

The easiest way to determine what search engine optimization you need is to contact a Seattle SEO company and ask for an audit or a consultation. It is important to set goals based on your current website performance, capabilities, and your business goals, and present those goals when you go in for the interview or to talk. A good SEO company will tell you what you can fix, change, or optimize to boost your performance and search ranking to help get the traffic you want.

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