1. Using Google AdWords in Conjunction with SEO

    While Google AdWords can be a great tool to build your business, this is only the case if you know how to use it. One such way is by using Google AdWords in conjunction with your SEO. After all, with SEO being one of the contributing factors to your website’s search engine ranking and the potential for Google AdWords to promote your site, using these elements together makes sense (as well as cents!)

  2. 5 Basics You Need to Know About Google Adwords

    Don’t you just love those advertisements that appear on the side of your screen when you do a web search? Have you ever given them much thought? Maybe you have even considered advertising your company on Google searches. If so, then you need to establish a Google AdWords account. In the Raleigh area, you will find several Google AdWords set up and management specialists, such as Page Progressive. In fact, we currently have coupons for a free $100 credit on new AdWords accounts and we would love to share them with you – no strings attached.

    If you have only a passing knowledge of AdWords, then you may wish to learn more about how to use them to best benefit you. We’re an authorized partner with Google AdWords  and we can provide you with numerous management tips for using AdWords accounts efficiently and effectively.

  3. 15 SEO Tips for Making Google Love your Website

    As one of the most powerful search engines on the web, Google affects the way most professional web developers approach custom web design. After all, Google plays such an important role to the Internet that it is not uncommon to hear people use the company’s name as a verb such as  “I Googled (pick a topic) and found out…” Consequently, to design a website without keeping Google and other search engines in mind is counterproductive. But what does it mean to design for Google or other search engines? Is there some secret code you must have? No, there is no special code you must use when designing a web site for search engines; however, there are several key areas where you will want to focus to make sure search engines can properly index your site, which promotes the best placement for your pages in search engine results.

  4. How Geotargeting Can Help Your Business

    What steps are you taking to ensure the success of your business? Are you blogging? Have you started using social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn? Perhaps you are doing these business-promoting activities and want to do something more. If so, then why not take advantage of geotargeting? Geotargeting is defined as the ability to target users by city, state, country and zip code. And, while for those who specialize in internet marketing geotargeting is nothing new, its potential is rapidly being seen by business owners in the areas of SEO, Social Media and Pay-per-click advertising.

    Businesses using geotargeting can ensure they are found quickly by consumers doing web searches. How? If you own an Italian restaurant and it is listed on the web using geotargeting, when a consumer types in “city + Italian restaurant” a map will show up with area Italian restaurants marked, as well as an assortment of information.

  5. 15 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Website in 2011

    With the New Year just around the corner, perhaps you are thinking about the past 12 months and what changes there have been in your business. For instance, did your sales increase? Why or why not? What could you have done to attract more online customers? Perhaps, you had planned to start a newsletter, but…Yes, there are many aspects of having a successful business, and as the New Year approaches, this is a great time to set some new goals for 2011.

    At Page Progressive we want to see your business not just survive but thrive. Our professional web designers can assist you in determining how to best use your time, efforts and energy to make your business all it can be. To get you started, here are 15 website resolutions your company may want to make for your company in 2011.

    1. Ongoing social media maintenance. Just having a Facebook page is not enough. You need to spend time each week adding comments, polls, answering questions, posting promos, etc. This helps build a following and improves your presence on the web. Whether you spend time on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, the benefits are there. Just be sure that you don’t cannibalize other productive time.
    2. Create link bait. Write (or have someone do it for you) informative articles that link to your website. Effective link bait articles can contain lists, eye catching titles that use high ranking keywords and contain useful information that others will want to link to or post on their site.
    3. Newsletters and blogs. You want people to know who are and what you are doing. Whether you opt for a daily blog post, a weekly blog post, a newsletter each quarter or any other schedule, making yourself known through newsletters or blog posts is the online equivalent of a radio or TV commercial.
    4. Implement SEO practices. Be sure your website is search engine optimized through keyword rich content, blog posts and new pages. Set aside time each month to explore additional keyword phrases you can optimize your site for. Use the new Google Instant Search or the Google Adwords Keyword tool for suggestions.
    5. Think about the future. Spend time implementing long term strategies (white hat vs. black hat, link building) with consistent payoffs rather than short term goals with big payoffs.
    6. Good Website usability is a must. Make sure that you spend time designing your site to be mobile device and local search friendly. After all, website usability by -regardless of the devices being used- will increase sales and keep your guests longer.
    7. Make your site interesting to visitors by having tutorials, videos, infographics, e-books, and other features-this is especially helpful if these features are only available on your website!
    8. If you already have a company newsletter, work on reducing your bounce rates by 20-40%.
    9. Have a holistic approach to ecommerce. Combine SEO, social media and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to improve business.
    10. Remember who and what is important. Spend time improving current projects and keeping current customers happy rather that chasing after new clients and beginning more projects.
    11. Link building is a must! Focus on getting more organic links and less paid ones.
    12. Get involved in your community, industry events, conferences, etc, so that others will know who you are and what you do.
    13. Have back up. If you don’t have a backup system in place, make it a priority. Whether you opt for external hard drives or online back-up services, having backup copies of programs, sales, client info, etc. is vital. Also make sure your web host performs regular backups of all files and databases as well.
    14. Delegation-delegation-delegation! Everyone has different skill sets. Some excel in writing, others in designing, some in programming, and so on. When people work on projects that fit with their strengths and skill set, then your company can more easily reach its full potential. If you don’t have the people to within your company, consider hiring someone else. If you don’t know what skill sets your employees posses consider purchasing the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, (Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton) so that you and your employees can take the Gallup strengthfinder.com profile test.
    15. Pay attention to what is happening in the world of the web and how it relates to business. According to Adam Audetter, there are 3 primary focuses for business trends. Paying attention to them can make or break your business goals. These  focuses are:
    1. Prices– The Internet has made comparison shopping easier than ever and customers are moving away from brand loyalty and toward price loyalty. Today’s consumers are looking for deals, discounts, coupons, incentives, free shipping and other reasons to support a specific site or product. E-commerce sites need to do everything possible to reach and retain customers.
    2. Use visual aids– A study by comSense showed that using video as a part of online shopping made sales 64% more likely to occur and that site guest stayed at least 2 minutes longer on the site.
    3. Keep up with trends in technical SEO. Just as Google Instant was released in September of 2010, Bing is going to officially support the "rel canonical" Meta tag in January or February. Unfortunately, Bing is not likely to be able to support cross domain "rel canonical" implementations. The best tool for SEO in regards to Bing is the Bing Webmaster Toolbox. Companies who wish to have a visible presence on the web need to be aware of this and any other technical SEO changes, so they can have the greatest impact possible.

    Depending on your business, there may be other new year’s resolutions you may need to include, these are just some to get you started. It is ultimately up to you to determine which of the resolutions you will focus on. According to PC World.com the following pitfalls should be avoided in making New Year’s resolutions:

    • Having too many. Rather than setting so many goals that you can’t keep up then feeling like a failure, pick New Year’s resolutions that are actually achievable. If you have a number of goals for the year, consider grouping them into manageable sets and focus on each group over a set period of time.
    • Be sure the goal is clearly defined and understood by all those responsible for accomplishing them.
    • Assessment. Take the time-whether weekly, monthly, or otherwise to assess how you are doing in achieving a particular goal. Make notes of what is, or is not, working.

    At Page Progressive, we would love to sit down and help you assess your site and determine what your focus and goals for the New Year should be. We have the people available to see that your website meets all the latest web standards as well as writers, designers and graphic artist who would love to take your business to the next level. You can look us up on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or check out our portfolio to see what we can do to help you realize your New Year’s resolutions for 2011.

  6. 6 Ways to Use SEM to Build Your Business

    There is much more to having a successful business than merely having a website. This is because online business is fed by search traffic. This has resulted in a whole industry focus on improving a website’s visibility or Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Originally in 2001, Search Engine Marketing was defined by Danny Sullivan as “The act of marketing a web site via search engines, whether this be improving rank in organic listings, purchasing paid listings or a combination of these and other search engine-related activities.” Today, however, not everyone is in complete agreement as to exactly what SEM is and often uses the term as a synonym for paid search (PPC or Pay-per-click). Now, a commonly accepted definition as stated on Wikipedia is “A combination of search engine optimization and the use of paid and contextual advertising in order to bring a website’s articles or product pages to the top of search engine result pages (SERPs).

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    In 2008, the US spent $13.5 billion in search engine marketing; however, according to Street Insider, global industry analysts are predicting that the world market for SEM is going to reach US $50.68 billion by 2015. It is thought that this increase will be driven by factors such as:

    • an increasing demand for cost effective advertising and marketing strategies
    • raising popularity of organic and paid search
    • the growth of the mobile Internet market

    The report goes on to say that the US remains the largest market, likely due to the “high usage of web search and the continued evolution of search engine technologies in the nation.”SEM is composed of 2 basic factors which must be employed in order to be effective. The first of these are listings. These listings can then be divided into two groups: editorial and paid. In editorial searches, also called “organic” or “natural,” the listings appear without being paid for and are provided by search engines. In paid searches, also known as CPC (cost per click) or PPC (pay per click), the premise is simple, you pay to be listed; the ad is usually displayed alongside the editorial content and should not influence the editorial coverage.

    The second factor in SEM is the type of activities utilized. There are 3 main forms of SEM activities that should be used by business owners: SEO, link building and Paid Search. Using SEO is the equivalent of good PR; good SEO, like good PR, doesn’t necessarily guarantee good search engine coverage, but it can increase the odds if done correctly. In addition to SEO, you should use paid search, CPC or PPC which allows you to “pull in” your potential customer at the exact time they are seeking your products and services regardless of any declines in the marketplace. So, what can you do to make sure that your website is SEM optimized to bring you the full potential? After all, just knowing what SEM is is not enough. You need to be doing it.

    Consequently, be sure these 6 jobs are on your “to do” list.

    1. Be familiar with SEO practices. This is the single most important thing you can do.
    2. Use tools such as Website Grader to asses where your site is or where your website isn’t optimized for SEM. If you don’t know where the problems are, then it is difficult to correct them.
    3. Make quick changes first! These would include concerns like metatags, keywords in title tags, etc. Once the “little things” are accurate begin working on any big changes/corrections.
    4. Use SEM optimized CMS software and plug-ins like WordPress or ImpressCMS. These are the preferred choices at Page Progressive and we have been very pleased with the various features each of them affords.
    5. Test PPC and landing page strategies. You may want to keep lists of which keywords and advertisements bring the most traffic, as well as what happens when the guests arrive. You can also use Google Analytics to help you track what guests do.
    6. Remember, inbound links are critical to point traffic to your site.  If writing articles and posting them to a blog or site such as E-zine, or Hubpages does not appeal to you, then hire someone else to do it. It will be money well-spent.

    SEM, like many aspects of business, is something that must be maintained. But it can be a bit of a trial and error process as you determine what will work best for you, so don’t get discouraged. After all, SEM has the ability to improve your business and should not be overlooked or deemed unnecessary. If you are interested in implementing SEM, but don’t know have the time to do it yourself, talk to the professionals here at Page Progressive, we’ll be glad to help. Our designers and writers will be glad to give your website a makeover so that you can begin seeing more traffic to your site with positive results being the outcome.

  7. Internet Advertising Dominates Traditional Means in Economic Downturn

    Here we are a good way through 2009 and an interesting trend has emerged. Despite the national economic resession, studies are showing that online advertising has not decreased, unlike most other traditional advertising means such as television and radio ads, which have dropped by approximately 15%. Many attribute this stability in the internet marketing industry to the fact that most website advertisments are charged per-click rather than a blanket charge per month regardless of success, as is the case with other advertising avenues.

    That means that advertisers aren’t spending money if potential customers are not clicking on their ads, and anyone that has run a TV or radio ad knows that there are times when it’s questionable whether your ad is getting noticed and if it’s worth the significant investment. Another advantage of online advertising is the wealth of statistics you get on clicks, amount of time someone spends on your site, what time of day the most clicks occur and more. That allows advertisers to make more educated decisions on how they run their online advertising campaign.

    So if you’ve not already taken advantage of the wonderful advertising programs that Google, Facebook and other internet advertisers have to offer, it may be a good time to get in the know.

  8. Google Chief Economist Video Explains PPC Advertising

    Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian, explains in this 10-minute video the basics of search advertising with Google’s Adwords program. Some of the key concepts covered include bidding against competitors, click-through-rate, or CTR, the ever-elusive quality score of an ad and how that all affects an ad’s "Ad Rank."

    What many people don’t know is that you can outrank someone who bids more on a key phrase than you if you have a better quality score. Quality score is determined by how closely your key phrase, ad copy and website’s landing page relate to one another. Google wants people to get relevant results when clicking on advertisements, so this is how they achieve that.

    The video is very basic, but it is a wonderful illustration of how a very complex system works.