A Guide to Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization – the act of identifying the best keywords to drive your target audience from search engines to your website. This is a crucial component of search engine marketing (SEM). If you are looking to boost your presence on google, organic keyword optimization is a great place to start.

Not only is keyword optimization a critical step in the first stages of search engine marketing for both paid and organic search, ongoing keyword optimization is necessary for expanding your reach into new verticals and staying ahead of your competitors in current.

It is important to note that keyword optimization is not a one-and-done process. By continuously monitoring new words, analyzing and expanding your database of keywords, you will grow your website’s traffic, leads, and sales. The typical process of keyword optimization can take anywhere from 3-7 months to see results.

The Benefits of Keyword Optimization

A recent survey found that search marketers list keyword optimization as one of the most difficult tasks in search engine marketing. Because it can be difficult, marketers don’t spend enough time optimizing keywords, which hurts their search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC). Without the right keywords, your target market will not be able to find you as easily.

Practicing search engine keyword optimization can help you:

  • Drive searchers to your website
  • Measure online market potential
  • Write more effective content
  • Understand your target clients’ behavior

Implementing Keyword Search Optimization

Keyword optimization can be integrated into every aspect of digital marketing, including content, link building, information architecture, and advertising.

SEO Keyword Optimization

Successful SEO depends on the effective use and optimization of search engine keywords for your website.

  • Title tag: This is the most important piece of content on your website, so including your target keywords is a must.
  • Links: All your links (internal, inbound, navigational, breadcrumb, etc.) should include your top keywords.
  • Content: Use target keywords in your content so it will rank well and connect with search engine users. An easy way to do this is by creating a blog page or an FAQ page.
  • Images: Target keywords can be optimized for pictures and should be used in your alt image attributes and file names.
  • Meta description: While it is unknown whether including target keywords in your text snippets helps rankings, having optimized keywords in your meta tags produces more clicks.
  • URL: Include SEO keywords in file name slugs.
  • Site structure: Keyword optimization should play a critical role in how you organize your site content. Select the right keywords, group them hierarchically and order your site’s pages accordingly.

Evaluating Keywords

There are several factors you should consider when choosing optimized keywords.

Keyword popularity

More popular keywords will drive more people to your website (if you rank highly). There are two ways of thinking when choosing keywords based on popularity:

  1. Target the most popular keywords. This seems like a simple approach, but the more popular a keyword is, the more difficult it will be to rank for it.
  2. Target less popular keywords. This is often the best approach for a new website. It is hard to compete with websites that hold a share of voice for the most popular keywords in competitive verticals. Newer sites are more successful optimizing for keywords that are less popular, integrating keywords with modifiers and creating mid-to-long tail keywords.

Keyword relevance

It is best practice to choose keywords based on how relevant they are to your businesses. If your keywords are not relevant, the visitors to your site will not be relevant, and they won’t convert to customers.

If you are looking for ways to scale your business, search engine marketing is essential. Specifically, focusing on your keywords in the content you create is a great starting point. This can be done organically, and if you educate yourself, does not require any cost other than your time.

If you are looking to learn more about SEO and keywords, Geraci Media would love to be a resource for you. We offer standalone SEO packages, which focus on growing our clients’ ranking on google through keyword optimization. Reach out to us for a free consultation here.

Geraci LLP & Brella Introduce First Fully Virtual Conference for the Private Lending Industry

Brella to provide exclusive in-platform video and text networking opportunities to fill need in industry

IRVINE, CA., April 24, 2020 – Geraci LLP, a non-conventional lending law firm and full-service media company, has partnered with Brella, the world’s leading networking and virtual events platform, to empower private lenders around the world to continue making personal connections despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

Lender Connect, Geraci Media’s upcoming virtual conference, was created to provide networking opportunities and education to an industry that is in serious need of both. Typically, Geraci LLP hosts 2-4 in-person events a year. However, when COVID-19 started to spread, Geraci knew that they needed to pivot in response to the current environment. Thus, Lender Connect was born.

Lender Connect will take place virtually on a conference platform on May 20, 2020. Geraci LLP is leveraging technology through virtual tools like Brella to allow for continued networking and learning in an efficient and scalable manner.

“In this industry, networking is everything,” says Alicia Carter, Event Director at Geraci Media. “Consistent attendance of industry events throughout the year is essential to the financial health of the lending community. To help our clients facilitate deal-making and beneficial networking opportunities, we must create innovative ways to bring the right people together in this space. We saw a need and decided to go for it!”

Lender Connect will provide 1-1 and group meetings via video or text chat, an exhibit hall with branded, interactive booths, and virtual panel presentations from the best in the industry with live Q&A chat features. This event will closely mirror the experience that would typically be seen at an in-person, Geraci Media-hosted event, and will be using key features from Brella’s virtual event platform.

“The only way through is together. The more resources we can provide each other and the more help we can offer, the better-positioned we will all be at the end of this crisis. A rising tide lifts all boats,” says Max Berger, Content Manager at Geraci Media. 

Topics for this event include:

  • The New Normal – What Changes You Need to Make in Your Business Now in Response to COVID-19
  • State of the Market from the Ground Floor
  • High Net Worth Investors Vs. Institutional Investors: The importance of Resilient, Trustworthy Capital
  • What Do Private Lenders Need to Do to Get Access to Bank Capital
  • How Family Offices Invest During Times of Crisis
  • From Main Street to Wall Street – The Life Cycle of a Private Loan

For more information about this virtual event, visit https://geracicon.com/conference/lender-connect-2020/.

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About Geraci LLP

GERACI LLP, the parent company of Geraci Media, is at the forefront of the ever-changing non-conventional lending space and caters to non-conventional lenders worldwide. Our legal departments include Banking & Finance, Corporate & Securities, and Litigation & Bankruptcy, while Geraci Media not only organizes conferences and puts out a monthly magazine, but also provides a full array of marketing services to help raise your brand awareness.

About Brella

Brella provides the world’s leading event networking platform for conferences and exhibitions. With the world’s first intent-based matchmaking algorithm, powered by Artificial Intelligence, Brella is used by the largest events in the world to help attendees and exhibitors reach their business goals. The company has enabled thousands of events across 56 different countries in the world, working with thought leaders like Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Informa Knect365, Ernst & Young, Qualcomm, IBM, TechCrunch, Techstars, Hubspot, Ericsson and The Linux Foundation.

Contact:

Alicia Carter

Event Director

Geraci Media

a.carter@geracillp.com

949.379.2600

7 Steps to Improving SEO

Establishing search engine optimization (SEO) is a marathon, not a sprint. Many companies start the process imagining their content ranking at the top of a Google search, even in the most competitive industries.

The reality is that reaching that goal might take a lot longer than expected – but it’s worth it.

How does SEO work?

Search engine expert Kaspar Szymanski once compared SEO to physical fitness – just like there are no shortcuts for getting in shape, there is no “quick fix” for SEO. Instead, you need to have a plan and stick to it, which means exercising regularly, eating well, and pushing yourself to keep up a healthy routine until you see natural improvements.

You can’t get the results without going through the process. With patience and strategy, SEO – and digital marketing in general – is a process that can bring you new web traffic, new leads, sales revenue, and business growth. Understanding this process and creating a plan is crucial in the SEO journey and ultimately achieving your end goal.

1. Audit

The process always begins with a technical and/or content audit of your current sites and online accounts.

Technical Audit

A technical audit examines every element on your site that can affect your SEO performance. An important element here is speed. Does your website take a long time to load? Do pictures or videos take a long time to appear? This directly results in a high bounce rate and lost customers. Done properly, a technical audit is in-depth and takes weeks to complete to ensure that nothing gets overlooked.

Content Audit

During a content audit, you identify whether you need to eliminate, repurpose, or rewrite content to achieve your goals. If your business’s website is large with thousands of pages of content, you should do a content audit to cut out a lot of the noise and focus in on what is really important to your brand.

In the process, some businesses find they can cut website content by as much as 50 percent. In the short term, this will lead to a drop in traffic – but this traffic eliminated is non-relevant. Publishing content for the sole purpose of driving traffic doesn’t actually result in clients or customers, and often you could end up generating bad leads. An audit trims down your content into only what is relevant for your target audience, allowing for more qualified leads coming your way. Once the search engines register your new and improved content, you’ll see more conversions.

The Promise

By going through the audit process, you’ll have an understanding of everything you need to fix in order for your website to rank highly in organic searches on the internet.

2. Technical SEO

There are a lot of components of technical SEO, including: Index status, crawl budget, crawl errors, internal links, sitemaps, site/page speed, redirects, broken links, HTTPS and AMP. Fixing a few items on this list won’t work – you need to improve everything.

Just as a house needs a foundation, wiring, walls, and a roof, your website needs all of these elements to be optimized.

The Promise

Technical SEO repairs have been proven to boost traffic by as much as 1,100 percent. By increasing the speed and functionality of your website and its pages, you’re going to decrease bounce rate and increase conversions.

3. Keyword Research

Keyword research examines how people search, what they search for, and how search engines use keywords to serve results. Search engine marketer Roger Montti offers a useful guide for beginners: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: Everything You Need to Know.

The Promise

Keyword research can help you understand which keywords are most valuable to your business. Optimizing content by incorporating high-value keywords into your website copy and content will get your website in front of potential clients and customers with greater success.

4. Location Demographics

Businesses that offer services in a specific region know the importance of location. You need to understand who your regional customers are and how they search for local businesses. Keyword research comes into play here, because you are able to see what the people in your geographic location are looking up and incorporate it into your targeted keywords.

Make sure you have accurate NAP (name, address, phone) information on your website, and content that references your service area. Geraci Media experts also advise registering your business for a Google My Business listing and make sure all information is up-to-date.

The Promise

Your website should appeal to your potential customers, so make sure to meet them where they are. The more signals and location data you give Google, the higher you will rank in local searches.

5. Content Strategy

Once you’ve completed your content audit, you need a content strategy. Consider a mix of foundational content, FAQ content, and authoritative content to provide an optimal user experience.

  • Foundational content is your core content about your services or products that targets your main keywords and topics.
  • FAQ content answers common questions your audience is typing into Google. Make sure these pages have an SEO friendly URL and offer more comprehensive information than your competitors’ pages.
  • Authoritative content demonstrates expertise and authenticity.

Enhance your website navigation and calls-to-action to further improve user experience.

The Promise

Make it easy for visitors to understand who you are and what you offer, and to find what they’re looking for. Creating content that serves a purpose will attract your target customers and clients and convert them into customers.

6. Content Writing & Editing

The copy of your content should be SEO optimized. Keeping your audience in mind, write content that Google will index and rank highly and people will engage with. Read more about SEO writing here.

The Promise

Good content that is thoroughly proofread and edited establishes authority, relevance, and trust. In contract, poorly written and edited content will repel potential customers and send them running to competitors.

7. Ranking

You can’t control Google or any search engine’s ranking, but you can learn how algorithms work and understand the SEO process. Know your target audience well, and provide great content that piques their interest. This combined by a great website experience is a recipe for success.

The Promise

If you take these steps to optimize your website and you offer a top-tier product or service, you will improve your SEO visibility and generate sales for your business.

SEO takes a lot of planning and preparation, but you’re guaranteed to get results if you stick to the process. To get to the promise, you have to put in the work – but the results will be worth it.

Geraci Media’s team of experts works with you in order to create a plan that works best for you and your business needs. SEO is a key factor in improving your business’s presence through generating qualified leads and gaining higher conversions. Reach out to a team member today for a free consultation at (949) 379-2600, or contact our team here.

Email Marketing Considerations During COVID-19

We are all being bombarded by COVID-19 emails from supermarkets, pet stores, doctors, restaurants, gyms, and every other business with an email list. For some, this email is an official letter signed by the CEO of your company. For others, it’s a quick update with the latest changes.

As a business owner, you might be wondering if you should send an email of your own. If your email isn’t met with importance, consideration, and an additional value add at best, your message will be ignored. At worst, you’ll get backlash from clients who find your messaging old news.

To help you navigate this tricky landscape, we’ve combed through coronavirus-related emails and comments from clients on social media to pull the top takeaways. You can use these insights to consider how you should – or shouldn’t – be communicating.

When should I send an email about COVID-19?

If your products or services are impacted by COVID-19, you should send an email update. Reasons you might need to send an email include:

  • You have useful, important information to share.
  • Your clients are more sensitive to this crisis; for example, current status of deals with borrowers or supporting clients.
  • Your business has brick-and-mortar locations, or you see customers in person; for example, construction or real estate agents.
  • The Coronavirus impacts or changes your services in some way.
  • You’re offering to help your clients during this time, like providing supplies, offering virtual services, or waiving fees.

When should I not send a COVID-19 email?

For every email with a purpose, there are a dozen that didn’t need to be sent. Ask yourself why you’re sending the COVID-19 email and who really needs to receive the information. Someone who purchased from you or did business with your company five years ago probably doesn’t need to know the same information that current clients and prospects are looking for.

Here are COVID-19 emails that could upset your subscribers:

  • Your messaging is empty. You want to look like you’re doing something, but there’s no substance, and nothing is planned.
  • You want to tell people that COVID-19 isn’t going to impact your business.
  • You’re telling your email subscribers that your staff is working from home.
  • You’re just restating information from other sources.

All of these will only prompt your subscribers to hit that “unsubscribe” button, which is something you want to be extra cautious with during this time. People are taking advantage of their time, which means learning and cleaning. The last thing you want to do is prompt someone to unsubscribe from your emails as they’re cleaning up their inbox.

5 ways to make your COVID-19 emails more effective

Since most people don’t have time to go through all the COVID-19 emails they’ve been receiving, go through the considerations above and make every message one that your subscribers will engage with. If you’ve decided to send something, it should be purposeful. Here are some tips for effective messaging.

Only include useful content.

Don’t send an email just because everyone else is. Send it because you have something to say. Think about your clients first. What information are they looking for? This can be a reminder of virtual services or an update on one of your policies.

Make emails easy to read.

A lot of COVID-19 emails contain large blocks of text, making it hard to skim and find the important key points. This example from Lyft, with large titles and bullets, is very easy to digest. Also note that Lyft’s entire business is based on person-to-person interaction, so their customers will have big questions about service changes.

Keep it short.

Your COVID-19 email shouldn’t feature an excess amount of information and jargon. Your subscribers are busy and overwhelmed, and they’d prefer a concise, easy-to-read message.

Include a note about the virus in your newsletter.

You don’t necessarily need to send a dedicated COVID-19 email. Oftentimes just a note at the top of your regular newsletter is more than enough.

Ask subscribers for their input.

Some brands are sending their COVID-19 email and then conducting business as usual. Instead, ask clients what they want from your brand in these uncertain times. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Other considerations considering COVID-19

Don’t forget about your automated emails. Spirit Airlines learned this lesson the hard way when a scheduled email blast saying “Never A Better Time To Fly” was sent as COVID-19 was upgraded to pandemic status.

COVID-19 isn’t something to take lightly. People around the world are worried about their health and their livelihood. Make sure you’re giving it the right amount of concern and that your messages are appropriate. Think about how your brand can be helpful and supportive.

As always, we are here for you and the private lending industry at Geraci. We would love to learn about the current marketing initiatives you are facing and advise you on the best next steps to take. Reach out to us here.

5 Considerations for Marketing During COVID-19

In times of crisis, brands can either help or hurt our collective experience. When something impacts the world as drastically as COVID-19 has, brands should address the issue with tact, empathy, value-add, and mindful marketing strategies.

Context is key for marketing during a crisis. Marketing teams should re-evaluate current and planned campaigns and adjust communication approaches. Every brand is different, but there are some basic guidelines that can help marketers make the right and appropriate choices during a crisis.

Here are five considerations for marketing during challenging times:

Adjust marketing campaigns and planned content timelines

Some brands take a risk by quickly producing new content for a specific moment – for example, Ford recently swapped its vehicle ads for a Coronavirus-response campaign. But this method isn’t realistic for most brands.

Instead, you should audit what content you have running and what is in your pipeline. Decide what should be paused immediately and push back campaigns if you’re not sure the content will be appropriate or relevant as people’s mindsets and current initiatives have changed. You don’t have to scrap the campaigns altogether, just reserve them for when things are back to normal. Consider how you can adjust your existing content. Maybe you can move some items up, adjust your messaging, or add a CTA as simple as lending a helping hand to those who might be in need.

This content break can give you an advantage once the crisis subsides. Take this time to prepare fresh content for the next cultural moment. Stay on top of the quarantine advisements in the private lending area, so you can be proactive in communicating with your clients as things change.

Evaluate imagery and language

Think about the message your brand is sending through visuals and word choice. For example, avoid visuals of crowds, people touching, and people working in offices. If you have current or future campaigns with visuals that might not be appropriate, revise now or push the campaign back to later in the year. In the same vein, re-frame marketing language that describes close interaction, like “work hand-in-hand” or “get closer to your borrowers.”

This doesn’t mean redoing your whole website. We’re speaking about “push” content, which means the content you’re actively putting out – e.g. emails, advertisements, and social media posts. Visitors will be more forgiving about pre-existing content and brand elements like your logo and homepage.

Don’t capitalize on the crisis

This rule is especially important in times of tragedy and fear. Your goal is to keep people informed. Clients and Partners expect to hear from brands about measures like policy updates and closures related to COVID-19. However, don’t be an alarmist. Be aware of dramatic language and be careful about additional information you’re sharing (e.g. make sure news sources are credible and up-to-date).

Be mindful of your tone. Do not promote “COVID-19 sales.” Remember that many people are out of work and are uncertain about their futures. Any communication during this time should have a tone of humility and empathy. Even if communication isn’t offensive, if the tone is off, it can be perceived as clueless.

Be positive, but not ignorant

You don’t need to meet a grim cultural moment with a grim brand tone. Look to your purpose, mission, vision, and values to remind yourself what your brand stands for, and what that means in a crisis. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerable side.

Lean into human stories and offer well wishes. Imagery of people smiling and living normal lives doesn’t have to be offensive. In fact, it can inspire hope for the end of quarantine. During the last recession in 2008, many brands released campaigns promoting optimism, hope, and empathy, like Coke’s “Open Happiness” campaign.

Create employee-generated content to spotlight your people and your culture. What are your team members watching on Netflix? How are they staying healthy? What are they doing to keep things light? What has helped them to be effective while working remotely? Use this quarantine to show your brand’s human side.

Highlight how your brand can help

Think about how your brand’s products and services can help during this stressful time. What can you do to enhance people’s lives while in quarantine? Communicate your benefits and create helpful content. Even if your brand doesn’t directly help people during a crisis, how can you inspire them? If you keep your focus on your clients, your marketing doesn’t have to stop.

Remember: this won’t last forever. Although no one knows exactly when the quarantine will end, we’re expecting it to be over sometime this year. In times like these, we remember that marketing isn’t a life-or-death practice. But being proactive and thoughtful, and feeling like we add value to the world, is meaningful.

If you’d like to learn more about how Geraci can be a resource for your marketing during this time, we’d love to schedule a free consultation to discuss these tips. Reach out to Geraci Media here.