seo process wash rinse and repeat

What Happens When You Stop Doing SEO? [It’s Not Pretty]

Backstory

seo process wash rinse and repeatI worked with a service provider type business for a good portion of 2017.  At the end of 2017, they were very far behind on their invoices.  I offered the business an opportunity to pay off the outstanding invoices with a 35% discount.  They agreed and asked if they could spread the payments over the first quarter of 2018.  I agreed.

They made some payments but did not keep the commitment.  Meanwhile, I continued to handle their inbound marketing at a modified rate, mostly just SEO.  It started to become evident that they did not want to pay the past due balance as well as the new balance incurred.

This dragged it out until it came to a head in June 2018.  They made sporadic payments, but it was never enough to get caught up.  They continued to fall further and further behind.  In June 2018 I stopped all digital services that I was providing.

In a little over a year, they had increased qualified traffic to their website by 142.9%.  This might not seem like a lot, but their service area is relatively small in population, maybe a few hundred thousand at most.  The service is a high-ticket item so not all the few hundred thousand are qualified.

The office manager admitted to me on more than one occasion that the number of requests for bids had more than doubled over the previous year.  The SEO Campaign was working.

What Happened to Their Traffic & SEO

I turned over their Instagram account.  I had stopped posting to it at the end of 2017 because of past due invoices.  This is when I began focusing on only SEO and Content Creation.  They removed me as an admin of their Facebook page.  This is a clear indication of their intentions.

Another digital marketer began posting for them sporadically with almost no results.

What they did not do was remove me from Google Analytics or Google Search Console. Google Search Console was never even set up for them by the marketer/web designer/SEO before me.  They may not even be aware of its existence though I did review it with them several times early in the process.

A week or 2 after we parted ways I started receiving alerts from the Google Search Console for AMP errors.

AMP is the Accelerated Mobile Project.  The plan is to speed up the mobile web.  In short, it caches a stripped-down version of your web pages on Google’s servers so that they load faster on the mobile web.

The errors were regarding content mismatch.  Essentially Google was advising that there were two different versions of the website.  This alone can create problems when it comes to indexing the website.

Probably more alarming is in less than 2 weeks their traffic took a 40% dive.

traffic decline from stopping SEO

I checked again 2 weeks later, and that trend continued.  Compared to the previous year they were down 13.33%.

What Does That Mean?

As an SEO I am constantly testing theories on my own web properties.  I had a podcast site up for over two years that was receiving several thousand visits per month.

The podcast was discontinued, and the site was ignored for over a year.  The site was live, but no new content was added.

After almost a year the traffic to the site was non-existent.  It had between 10-50 visits per month.

SEO is not a set it and forget it process.  It is an ongoing strategy that needs to evolve as Google updates the algorithm and as search itself evolves.

My active SEO clients are currently seeing traffic increases of between 40 and 500%.  None of them are down in traffic, and even more importantly they are all experiencing increased call volume.

traffic increase from SEO efforts

You might ask what part of SEO requires constant maintenance.  I get asked all the time to just do an SEO refresh. I oblige.  Not without cautioning the client that results are usually temporary.

Here are some of the services that an SEO provides while managing a business’ SEO strategy:

Most of these activities are not visible to anyone other than the SEO providing the service.  This means on the surface you might not notice a difference when the SEO campaign stops.

The business will notice the difference when the SEO stops!!

Assuming the business does not hire another SEO expert I can just about guarantee that by this time next year their site traffic will be almost non-existent.  Their request for quotes will drop dramatically.

You also must account for your competition.  There’s a good chance they are at least doing some SEO.

What Can I Do If My SEO Provider Sucks?

Unfortunately, the SEO industry is full of snake oil salesmen.  There are great legitimate SEO experts who know how to do the proper research and implement an effective SEO plan. There are also those who claim to know SEO but practice outdated or unethical methods.

I would also avoid cold calling SEOs.

One common mistake I see with SEO is the keyword focus.

Here’s an example:  An online business that sells trinkets wants to be ranked for “random item name with 8-digit item number”.  The item number is only used by their business.

The problem with this strategy is no-one is searching for that.  And the SEO is not using Latent Semantic Indexing (using patterns to identify variations or synonyms of the keyword). 

More than likely the person or team doing the SEO has not done the proper research.

The best thing you can do is speak to a few SEO experts before deciding who to work with.

It is important to note that most SEO plans take at least 6 months before they really start paying dividends.  There are variables to this including your websites age and level of competition.

If you are already working with an SEO and suspect you’re not getting your money’s worth you can get an SEO report (free on my site).

I did speak with a service provider who questioned the methods of their current SEO.  They were right to question them.  I gave them the information they needed, and they went back to their current SEO to review.

I might have pissed off that other SEO, but I helped the business owner.  Maybe I didn’t get a new client out of it, but I suspect their current SEO will drop the ball again.

That SEO was using a questionable method of link building.  I told the business owner that it likely won’t hurt them, but it definitely won’t help them.

If they are not doing their part to honor your agreement, then you have every right to end the agreement.

Search Engine Optimization for Business Growth

Final Thought

SEO is truly an ongoing process.  It should be thought of as part of your overall marketing and advertising plan.  Like many other things in life the moment you begin to ignore it you will start to see negative results.

There is the initial SEO refresh as I call it but that is only to get the ball rolling.  After this is completed then you must maintain and evolve.  There’s always another business popping up trying to take that traffic from you.  Don’t let it happen to your business.

Ending an effective SEO plan will produce negative results for your business.  Unless you have a qualified SEO ready to take over be ready to take a hit on traffic and sales.

If you are a do it yourselfer then make sure to be consistent with your SEO efforts.  Taking a month off from SEO can have a very dramatic effect on your overall business.  I have seen business owners heart sink on more than one occasion.

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One Simple Step to Eliminate the Marketing Funnel Immediately

One Simple Step to Eliminate the Marketing Funnel Immediately

marketing funnel elimination with Google AdWordsIt is a well-known fact in the AdWords community that Google has dramatically improved the AdWords platform over the last year couple of years.  Outside of the AdWords community it is not so well known.  As an AdWords Certified Partner (as I write this I remember I need to retake two of my exams as they have expired) I am constantly updated, trained and tested on my knowledge of the new additions as well as the removal of some things.

One of the things that Google added about a year and a half ago was call-only ads.  I am writing about it today because I still talk to people almost daily who are unaware of this type of ad. It doesn’t really surprise me because let’s face it; you shouldn’t have to try to keep up with the changes in the Google eco-system.

Now you’re wondering what does that have to do with the traditional marketing funnel.  It’s actually quite simple.  The traditional marketing funnel may vary depending on who you talk to but in most cases, there are six phases that require multiple touches and time to drive a potential sale through the funnel.

Lead nurturing can take a lot of time and energy and while some people will tell you that it is a waste of time I think it’s more important than ever.  With that being said there is a way to eliminate the marketing funnel.

Eliminate the Marketing Funnel

As mentioned before there are 6 steps in the traditional marketing funnel.  They are:

  1. Awareness-at the top of the funnel, and where you deal with the most people, is where you build your brand and make people aware that your business exists.
  2. Consideration-the funnel narrows a little and you’re now educating your audience about your product or service.
  3. Preference-Your audience begins to interact more with your business. They start engaging more, asking more questions or getting more information.
  4. Action-This is usually the purchase step. You’re not really done here though because it’s easier to retain a customer than it is to get a new one.  Exhausted yet?
  5. Loyalty-Now that the client has made a purchase what have you done to keep the client and turn them into a loyal member of your audience.
  6. Advocacy-These are the people who got your back in the business world. They leave reviews, refer more business to you, drive traffic to your website, etc..

You can see why the marketing funnel is still important.  Step 6 is a very powerful step.  What if I told you with Call Only ads you can eliminate steps 1-4?  Here’s how call only ads work.

Google still accounts for 65-70% of search today.  As of May 2015, more search happened on mobile than on desktop.  Combine both of those statements and you can understand why acknowledging mobile search is extremely important.

At the top of a Google Search Results Page is 4 ads.  They appear before anything else on the page.

What if your ad showed up at the top of the page and the link to the ad called your business directly.   You’ve just eliminated the marketing funnel and you are now talking directly to someone who wants to make a purchase.

Marketing Funnel Eliminated!

marketing funnel eliminated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve created a 5-minute video to quickly show you how to set up a call only ad in AdWords.  Hope it helps.

5 Problems With Niche Marketing Agencies

The Problem with Niche Marketing Firms

5 Reasons to avoid niche marketing agenciesOK. Full disclosure. My marketing agency does not have a niche unless you consider small to medium size businesses a niche.  For the last two years it has suggested on multiple occasions that I should steer my company into a specific niche or vertical.  For example we should work exclusively with personal injury law firms or chiropractors.  Yes, both of those very specific verticals were suggested several times.

5 Reasons Your Business Should Not Work With a Niche Marketing Agency

Here’s the problem…creativity is stymied by working with dozens of the same type of business.  Here are 5 reasons your business should not work with a marketing agency that specializes in your type of business.

  1. No Original Content: Every digital marketer knows that in order to feed the Google beast, and to bring people back to your website, you need to consistently create content.   The problem with niche marketing agencies is they create the same content for all of their clients.  A dentist in Fresno will have the same blog post as a dentist in Miami.  There’s no creativity or originality in sharing a blog post to dozens of dentist’s websites.

    I have personally witnessed this happen with a chiropractor who hired me to clean up their site.  Their site was actually built on a sub-domain of the niche marketing agency’s top level domain.  The agency then forwarded the chiropractor’s domain to the sub-domain.  Blog posts were all short (less than 300 words in most cases) and duplicated over multiple chiropractor websites.

  2. No Time Spent Understanding the Client: Your business has just been lumped into a bucket with probably dozens of other similar businesses.  The agency will not spend time understanding your business, your personality and your brand.  Yes they will probably not work with another similar business within a certain radius of your business but they will likely still work with others in your state.

    It’s impossible to properly market a business with the same level of success if the marketing agency does not understand the business and the personality behind it.  A good marketing agency will insist on getting to know the business owner(s) before beginning any work.

  3. No Time Explaining Results: Yes you will get reports that look pretty and are properly branded but will you understand them or have time to try to figure them out.  I can send an invoice but that doesn’t make me an accountant.

    Marketing agencies should take the time to not only explain the results but analyze the results.  What worked?  What didn’t work?  What needs to be changed?  Why?

  4. Creative Marketing AgencyNo Flexibility: You’re going to get the same cookie cutter marketing plan that the eye doctor on the other side of the state also gets, and at a premium price.  Yes they may understand how an ophthalmologist’s practice runs but no two eye doctors are the same. What might work for one practice in the location they are in may not work for another, for a variety of reasons.
  5. Not Everything Works: The niche marketing firms are likely going to suggest TV or Radio commercials, or even newspaper ads. While we wouldn’t discourage using traditional marketing or advertising channels it’s not for every business. These marketing/advertising channels can be very expensive and difficult (but not impossible) to measure the ROI.Furthermore they don’t always identify where your ideal clients are.  What social platform are they one?  What does their buying decision look like?  Where does your ideal client get information?  So many other questions that need to be asked and analyzed.

At the end of the day it is up to you which marketing agency you decide to work with but make sure you practice due diligence in making your decision.  If you’re not sure what you should be looking for give us a call and we’ll help you understand what a good agency should be doing for you.

Social Media ROI

Factors To Be Considered In Graphic Designing

Graphic designing has become one of the greatest communication means of media. It is widely used to create various images , concepts and themes. It works in order to create a certain look that can generate appeal. At the same time, it must effectively correspond with the concept it was based on.

Graphic design involves the formation or exploitation of photos, colors and all the elements that make up a great composition. Some of the most popular applications of graphic designing includes – website designing, newspaper and magazine layouts, print advertisements and so on.

It works in order to create an exclusive look for what purpose it is being used. Print media are the most exposed and immersed industries that deal with graphic designs. These companies offer products and services that are all motivated by a superior design quality.

There are a number of factors to consider in graphic design if it has to work well in this business.

Color Consistency

Color is a combination of art and knowledge. It’s essential that its use throughout the design shouldn’t be like an afterthought. The random use of color is a disturbance, so the use of color should be steady and consistent. The main purpose behind the use of color should be the projection of both clarity and consistency.

The Use of Graphic Elements

The amount of graphic elements that used for the design also affects its quality. The size and solidity of these elements must be perfectly balanced for a successful descriptive design. If your company web page or even the page of your corporate catalog contains a collection of elements with varied sizes and shapes, there is a chance that the design will appear messy and cluttered. In such cases, a perfect balance will be difficult. On the contrary, the minimal use of the elements ensures that distribution is just right, and the page looks great.

Organization of Elements

A perfect graphic design is being made of certain elements. The use of Line, Direction, Shape, Size, Texture and Color determines the visual disposition of the design. For example, The perfect organization of these elements in a website ensures that it is not only easy on the eyes but also come out well planned.

Lastly, Graphic design with great creativity and style can truly stand alone. South East Asian countries like – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan is doing very well in this industry. Due to having a comparatively cheaper service charge, many European countries are taking their service regularly.

Effective Graphic Designing for Building Corporate Identity

Graphic design is one of the vital factors in the ambit of online marketing. It essentially play key role in building strong corporate identity in order to survive in the competitive business industry. It has also seen that people like a website more which is well organized and well designed than a website which is cluttered with various colors, fonts and information. Additionally, a brand logo of the firm should also be unique and self explanatory. Hence, it’s absolutely important for a business organization to use professional services that can help them to stand ahead of business competition.

Graphic designing service needs high skills and knowledge and therefore you’re advised to use experienced and very professional designers. The attractive designs of the website can easily draw attention to the brand of the company. It has often seen that dynamic graphic design delivers perfect message, drives sales and prospects, and differentiates from the competition. The main aim of the graphic design services is to visually demonstrate companies’ values, portray a constant image for social media marketing, and cater the attention of potential audience.

The development of online business and go up of the social media platform has added a few more dimensions to this picture. No wonder, appealing graphics on the website can do wonders in terms of increasing sales of a business. So, whether it’s about designing a logo, a website or a brochure, it is vital enough to find a good designer to make your website visually appealing for your targeted viewers.

An improved graphic designing service will absolutely create a point of attraction for maximum people. There are many of the areas that can be easily improved by using graphic design services for building corporate identity. Let’s glimpse one by one.

Logo Design – Business associated people are well aware with the fact that the logo is a symbol that defines business values, objectives and ideology in a clear manner. The use of graphic design in creating logo can easily creates a base for the organization to start building the brand. However, its credit goes to the graphic designers for making perfect combination of color, text and design for designing your company logo.

Business Stationery – Considering the perfect design of your business stationary will aid in creating a distinct position of your brand which easily aid in leaving a positive mark on the receivers.

Product Packaging – The use of graphic design as well play key role in product packaging to craft an instant recognition of your brand in the industry. So, hire a professional designer to create a fresh look for different line of product to tease your competitors.

If you want business success within short span of time, just make sure to hire a professional graphic design service provider who could easily meet your varied requirements at cost-effective prices.