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.

The Building Blocks of Winning SEO: Relevancy, Authority, and Trust

Before the internet existed, where would you go to find the kind of information that today—thanks to Google—is just a click away?

For example, assume you wanted to know the difference between the legal principles of actus reus and mens rea. If you were a student, you might have considered asking your parents, but that probably wouldn’t have been the best call—unless your father just so happened to be an attorney. If you had a law firm nearby, you might hunt down a seasoned lawyer for the answer. Conversely, you could head to a library and peruse the shelves for an introductory law book. In each of these examples, you’re weighing the credence of a given authority. The closer the connection of your knowledge source to an intimate understanding of the law, the more likely your answer is reliable—or, in other words ‘authoritative.’

Determining Authority—From a Search Engine’s Perspective

Fast forward to the modern day, where search engines do all of the aforementioned legwork for us nearly instantaneously for virtually any topic you can think of. They accomplish this herculean feat using intricate algorithms to locate, analyze, and evaluate the content of countless websites. They then match the most relevant—or authoritative—pages with users’ search queries.

Google and its competitors utilize numerous of independent data points when weighing authoritative quality and content relevance. The search engine’s software first reads and analyzes the content and associated features of a webpage and then associates relevant keywords with page and the underlying search term. Next, the search engine’s algorithm will review the page’s language, format, and structure to determine how close of a fit it is with the search before analyzing external signals it uses to validate and quantify the page’s level of authority on a certain topic. These external signals are called “links” and are the equivalent of scholarly citations when it comes to search engines—meaning the more links, the better.

Google got a leg up on the search engine competition by developing an efficient link analysis algorithm to establish a workable ranking system. The main principle behind this groundbreaking advancement was that the internet is premised on the idea of countless documents interlocked with each other by links. Theoretically, then, the more a given page is linked to by third-party sites, the search engine’s algorithm considers it more authoritative and lists it at the top of its search results.

Link Relevancy Carries Weight

But not all links carry the same weight. One of the primary factors that influence how big of an ‘endorsement’ a link carries is relevancy. Consider a page on a site that is selling running shoes. Imagine that it receives an external link from Runners World magazine. That link would be considered highly relevant and carry a lot of weight when it comes to search engine rankings. On the other hand, imagine a link to those running shoes from Food Network magazine. Is that a relevant link? Not so much. Accordingly, this link wouldn’t influence the running shoe’s site ranking factor nearly as much.

Anchor text also plays a big part when it comes to a given search engine’s evaluation of a site for the purposes of ranking it amongst results. Anchor text is the highlighted portion in a link that can be clicked on to open the target web page. It assists Google’s algorithm in confirming what topic the content on the page receiving the link concerns.

Trust is Earned—Not Bought  

In order to attract relevant links and thus increase your website’s ranking amongst potential search results, you need to garner trust from sources that will want to link to your website. You can accomplish this by assisting others on social media channels, responding to inquiries on your company’s social media posts, attending conferences, and providing informative presentations (not thinly veiled sales pitches).

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry—the experts at Geraci Media have you covered when it comes to upping your search engine ranking. We’re a full-service marketing, communications, and design agency created for the purpose of enhancing your company’s brand. Our dedicated team of experts will work with you to create the perfect SEO plan custom-fit for your business in a hassle-free, efficient manner. Get in touch with us today online or give us a call at 949-379-2600.

When to Use a Press Release (and when not to)

Reporters’ inboxes are flooded with press releases. As the market has become more saturated with low-quality releases, the high-quality news has gotten lost in the crowd. While press releases are still a viable marketing tactic, they have taken a backseat to some other digital tactics that are more measurable, targeted and cost effective. By coupling press releases with these new tactics, marketers can breathe new life into this old standby.

When a marketer creates a public relations strategy, the first order of business is often to publish press releases. However, the game is changing, and marketers should know when press releases benefit their strategy, and when they don’t. The following points will help you determine when a press release is the best course of action.

The Benefits of Press Releases

Other publications will pick it up

The purpose of a press release is to get as many eyeballs on your news as possible. Many companies achieve this by posting a press release to the wire, where it will be sent out to thousands of publications, and ultimately posted elsewhere online.

But how do you get attention this way? You can start by releasing quality content. For example, releases with data get picked up more. But you also need to time it right. Press releases are more likely to be viewed by both the media and consumers over the weekend and at the beginning and end of the week. For more views, avoid distributing during that humpday slump.

 Link building

One of the biggest benefits of public relations is the link building that comes with media coverage. Even though the press release itself doesn’t help with search engine optimization (SEO), the resulting editorial coverage does. Be sure your release includes key words that you want to rank for, so that when journalists see your release, they will use those words as well.

There is tremendous synergy between SEO and PR. The press garnered by press releases is a huge win for SEO managers everywhere. As a bonus, coverage often also comes with inbound links back to your website. All of this means you can’t depend on your release to do all the work. It is simply a way to communicate your story to the rest of the world, but you can use took slike keywords and helpful links to your advantage.

 They’re an important resource for journalists

A press release is an opportunity to deliver all of the information you want journalists to know in one package. Even external documents like earnings presentations and research documents, can be made available in a press release. This makes it easier for journalists to quickly find accurate information about your company.

An alternative to sending a release on the wire is to send your release directly to a journalist over email. This makes writing about your company easy for journalists and establishes a strong relationship that will help guarantee future coverage.

The Drawbacks of Press Releases

A release on its own will not improve your SEO

As stated above, press releases only help your SEO if there is additional content published as a result of your release distribution. Popular belief is that press releases help your SEO, but a recent article by a Google expert says otherwise.

This is because press releases are only syndicated for a certain amount of time before they are taken down. Even if they are packed with keywords and your company’s name, their temporary status does not lead to any progress in SEO rankings. Your PR strategy shouldn’t depend entirely on releases for SEO success.

 Press releases don’t reach consumers

Although they might get the attention of journalists, press releases alone are not an effective consumer communication strategy. Many consumers don’t know what press releases are, and they prefer to get their information in a way that is easy to understand and feels natural, like news articles. When thousands of stories are posted every hour, readers want to be able to understand them quickly.

What this means for marketers is that in addition to posting releases, you should make sure the content is somewhere else in a better format, like a blog post, so that your audience can access it. Rather than promoting your release through social channels and marketing emails, you can promote your blog post to achieve the same goals.

The effectiveness of press release is difficult to measure

Marketers measure success through data. However, unlike other marketing strategy components, press releases are extremely difficult to measure, making it hard to prove their success. Do not rely on press releases to prove that public relations efforts are necessary. Press can be measured in some ways, like how many news outlets post your release or referral traffic from the release, but it’s hard to track how many customers or prospects are generated as the result of a press release.

Press releases are expensive

Posting just one press release over the news wire can cost over a thousand dollars. Often, they are not picked up by journalists and are just reposted on other websites. Wire press release distributions have become outdated as public relations efforts rely increasingly on building relationships with the media rather than sending out hundreds of emails to journalists you don’t know.

Instead of spending money posting releases on the wire, spend time building connections with journalists, learning what stories they’re looking for and what topics they write about. Building these relationships with the media will continue to pay off.

If you have any questions about whether or not a press release is right for you, contact Geraci Media here.

Generating Leads with Email Marketing

Whether you started your career in marketing before the email boom or in the internet era, you are sure to remember a time when emails were the top marketing platform. It’s no secret that consumers’ inboxed are proliferated with the latest and greatest offers. As email campaigns grew, laws were passed to limit them and give customers more control over what lands in their inboxes.

This shift is great news for marketers, who now have added assurance that their email audience is interested in their content – or at least interested enough to not hit the unsubscribe button. Email marketing is a proven method for generating leads. In fact, email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is a staggering 3,800% ROI, making it incredibly effective. (HubSpot)

In this post, we’ll discuss how Geraci Media can help you get a slice of the pie and craft email campaigns that help you meet your business goals.

Write for results

Think deeply about how your customer will perceive every component of your email. A good subject line is like a news headline – it grabs your attention and makes you want to read more. Stick to a simple design. A crisp, uncluttered email lets subscribers know how professional you are. Most email campaign platforms offer well-designed templates to help you get started.

Follow the inverted pyramid style of writing that journalists use. Give readers the most important information first, and then follow up with supporting details. Most people read email while they’re commuting or at work, so give them content that is easy to digest.

Write with a purpose, and keep content concise. Each email should have a goal, whether it’s to drive web traffic, educate, or generate leads. Reveal your purpose upfront, direct copy towards the call-to-action and make your emails easy for busy readers to scan. Choose large fonts that are easy to read at any size,. Make sure your readers have the experience your content in the same way, regardless of whether it is on their phones or on a desktop.

Customize your Campaigns

You probably get leads from an array of sources, including, blogs, events, salespeople, and referrals. Categorize your leads and build custom campaigns based on what they’re looking for. Many platforms allow you to build automated email chains that help move contacts through the sales funnel.

Use blogs to generate leads

A great blog positions you as an industry leader in your prospects’ eyes. Send your leads relevant articles to guide the conversation forward and prep them for sales calls.

Move leads through the sales funnel

Nurture your warm leads as much as your cold ones. Develop a special email to share when you’re moving emails from the cold to the warm list. Include a thoughtful touch like a testimonial to establish credibility.  Follow the warm email up with a second email asking if they’re still interested in what you have to offer. Often times, including a sales offer or coupon can help give the lead a little push to a sale.

Test, analyze, and try again

Don’t underestimate the power of A/B split testing. By testing your email campaigns, you can lower bounce rates, learn more about your customers, increase conversions, and reduce cost. The average email open rate is around 21%, while the average click rate hovers around 2.48% (MailChimp).

While it’s great to have these benchmarks, adjust your expectations based on your industry’s standard and your previous emails’ performance – don’t expect to see staggering results right away. Building an effective email marketing strategy takes time, combining proven methods with new ideas. Geraci Media can work with you to figure out what combination works best for you for maximum results.

Book a call with us to discover how we can help your company thrive!

4 Strategic Ways to Boost SEO for an Event’s Web Presence

4 strategic ways to boost your event's seo web presence

93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, according to research conducted by HubSpot.

To promote your event online, you have to understand how people will search for it. This is why it is essential to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Understanding how SEO operates is the key to maximizing its marketing benefits and get your content seen by as many people as possible. Here are 4 strategies to help boost SEO for your event’s website.

1.   Create a mobile presence

Over 50% of online traffic comes from mobile devices. Therefore, it is wise to create and maintain a website that is attractive on a mobile phone. An intelligent management software can aid in building an attractive and mobile friendly website.

In addition, keeping your posts brief but comprehensive is a great way to make your web presence mobile friendly. You can do this by using hashtags, eye-catching images, and setting the length of your texts to correspond to Twitter limits. Creating a custom hashtag for your event is an excellent way to do this, as hashtags drive engagement and allow users to discover your posts. Eye-catching images and tastefully shortening copy for Twitter are other ways to advance your mobile presence.

2.   Focus on keywords

Many people use search engines when deciding whether to buy a ticket to an event or not. This is why using keywords in your headings and content increases your chances of converting these searches to buyers. When buyers search for something online, the search engine provides both exact keyword matches and the most relevant content.

Keyword research is important when attempting to improve your traffic; it structures your content and focuses your communication on the most significant bits of your event. It also guides and inspires your content writing. Some helpful keyword tools include Google Keyword Planner, which finds relevant keywords with the most search volume, and LSI Graph. which collects semantically-linked keywords.

3.   Create interesting content

Knowing your audience will help you come up with content that is interesting and attractive to them. Your content should answer the questions that your audience is already asking, what the attendees should look forward to, and the impact you want your event to have on them.

Posting regularly to your event website helps to improve your website’s domain authority. This tells your audience that you are trustworthy, which is essential when building trust with your potential event attendees. Your content also needs to engage and inspire the audience to read more, subscribe for notifications, buy the tickets, and share their ideas about the event.

4.   Create links

Links are a crucial factor for ranking. The link network serves as an indicator of a website’s importance, popularity, and relevance.

Get your event mentioned on listing websites, give interviews for online articles, ask partners to mention you on their platforms, and use relevant social media platforms to talk about your event. Make sure inbound links use descriptive anchor texts which contain your focus keywords.

The significance of SEO for marketing cannot be underestimated. Optimizing your search engine ensures that you effectively communicate with your target audience.

7 Ways Webinars Will Grow Your Business

Webinars have grown in popularity in recent years and have become an important marketing tool. These live web-based seminars can connect you with leads from all over the world. They encourage interaction by allowing the audience to ask questions or provide feedback in real-time.

Just how beneficial can a webinar be to your business? Here are 7 reasons why webinars are a fantastic marketing strategy.

Global Reach

Webinars are a cost-effective way to extend your reach globally. Rather than pay for flights and hotels to meet with individual leads, you can engage with a larger group over their computer screens.

People from all over the world can attend, providing your brand or product with the potential to see huge results. This global reach creates networking opportunities for building relationships and partnerships.

Be Considered an Industry Leader

Your audience has invested time in registering and listening to the information you plan to share. They’re expecting valuable takeaways from the webinar, even something they can put into place at their own company. This positions you and your brand as an industry leader, or expert.

Audience Engagement

Webinars can give your audience the chance to ask questions and provide feedback. This is valuable because you can address concerns, reservations, or any lingering questions they may have about your training or product in real-time.

You can customize your presentation to your audience based on their questions and feedback to keep them engaged. Ask them to take an action, such as completing a task or answering a question. This will increase audience participation and interest.

Invite Guest Speakers to Increase Engagement

Include guest speakers, such as industry leaders or affiliates, to speak during your webinar. These individuals should be familiar with your industry and value of your product. They will be able to educate the audience on the benefits or impact, validating information you have or will be sharing.

By inviting a guest speaker, you can also increase the webinar’s attendance by including your guest’s audience and following. This can grow the number of leads you may gain substantially.

Results

Results can be seen quickly from webinars. After hosting a webinar you’ll have metrics to measure how well it performed. These metrics include the number of attendees, number of those registered, and total views. The webinar can and should be recorded for you, the audience, and affiliates to share with others, growing the results even more.

Build Trust & Generate New Leads

Each time a person completes your webinar’s registration form they should be considered a new potential lead, whether it be for a sale or a potential partnership. Webinars adds a personal interaction that videos and commercials don’t. Webinars put a face and name with your product making you approachable, human, and someone they can trust. 

Educating them on how your product can benefit their company is the first step in opening the door to future discussions and partnerships. It is essential to show both new and established leads how your product or service can improve or enhance their workplace.

Expedite the Sales Process

Depending on the prospect, the sales process can be slow. Businesses want to convert a lead into a customer quickly. Webinars can play a significant role in expediting the sales process.

While it’s certainly important to provide useful information and tips to your audience, it’s equally important to share how your brand or business can help them achieve this. How can your product be a solution to their problems? Your webinar should show the audience the value of your brand. Garnering interest in the product and its potential impact is the first step in completing a sale.

There are numerous benefits to hosting a webinar. Though this article only touches on a handful of them, it should be clear that webinars are an effective tool for engagement and growth. As you take these benefits into account, you should begin to think how you can use a webinar for lead generation and to increase traffic, which will yield great results for your business.

How to Build Long Term Relationships with Your Customers

A primary job of marketers is to engage with clients personally.  Regardless of what medium they use to communicate, it’s all about presenting relatable information which resonates with the reader and building a relationship.

One of the benefits of email marketing is the ability to prepare and send a message that translates like a one-on-one conversation with the reader.  You spend the time getting to know your prospects and what they respond to, now it’s time to grow that relationship through personalization in the hopes it flourishes.

Although you may have produced campaigns that were historically successful, as your prospects are inundated with emails from other sources using the same channel, you may see your returns diminish over time, endangering those relationships you worked hard to build.  So how do you maintain that level of interest with your readers and continue building upon the relationship?

Fortunately, there is software and other technologies that allow you to evolve your marketing into multiple channels while personalizing your emails in a way that builds your brand, while also strengthening the relationship you have with your clients.

Using Data Effectively

One of the challenges that marketers face is how to develop a personal relationship with potential clients you may not know very well.  That’s where data comes in to play, providing insight into your prospects’ business habits, their buying preferences, their response to certain types of emails or ads all can help you tailor relevant content that will help build upon that initial introduction. Based on how your potential client pool interacts with the media they consume, marketers are now able to have a better understanding of the clients’ wants and needs, and how to provide that to them.

Automation presents a solution for using data insights to bolster the personalization of your email messages by targeting prospective clients with appropriate content that you can then send to the respective demographic.  You can adjust the automation of your email campaign to include asking the right questions, such as about the desires or requirements of the business.  Listening to your clients and prospective clients is equally important as speaking to them.  Using data gathered from your existing client base, and by following the behavior of your prospects, you’ll gain insight into how to better engage with more potential clients on a personal level.

Nourishing the Relationship

Automation and data gathering techniques, used together, can provide a powerful insight into how to deliver more personalized content to your prospects.  Automation can help you connect to potential customers by triggering automated responses when a visitor interacts with your site, sending out welcome messages to make your potential customers feel valued, or by sending personalized emails that ask about the wants and desires of potential prospects. 

These personalized touches demonstrate to your clients, and prospective clients, that you are dedicated to providing a personalized experience and are invested in their business needs. The best part is that you are fostering and growing this relationship through the help of automation, making this aspect of your job as a marketer just a little easier.

Statistics show that when customers are nurtured with personalized emails, more than 75% of marketers saw an increase in conversions.  With numbers like these as proof, there is no wonder why personalization of messages are priority number one for most email campaigns.

However promising, personalization is only one piece of the puzzle.  Just as is true in your personal life, to build a strong relationship you need trust.  Without it, there will not be a stable foundation for the relationship to grow. To see any business relationship to its’ full potential, it’s imperative to build on that established trust by maintaining clear communication and staying faithful to your promises, by providing reliable and reputable products and services. 

By listening to your clients’ needs and gleaning insight from their preferences, you are able use that data, in conjunction with automation, to deliver personal and relevant information which your prospects will respect.  When you gain their respect, you will improve your chances of building a strong and lasting relationship.