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Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO?


What is SEO?

As originally posted on 

Search Engine Optimization in the last five years has catapulted to the very core of any online marketing campaign. What once was a new fad has quickly become a non negotiable, vital pillar of any successful business that wants to survive in the 21st century.

This hyper speed growth has produced a wide gap between those who know SEO and those who don't. If your like most people, Search Engine Optimization is a mammath of a term. Knowing what it means is a whole other story that quite understandably is sometimes not worth it for many business people. Today I'll go through Search Engine Optimization, most often represented as SEO, what you need to know and best practices.

What Is SEO? (In layman's terms)

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the strategy of improving positioning on search engines. Search engines are comprised of Bing, Google and others. 90% of search traffic comes from Google so most professionals just focus on Google.

How Is Rank Even Determined?

Rank is dictated by the search engine you are using. (For the rest of this piece I'm going to default my conversation with Google.) The method of ranking is not published by Google or any search engine. Most of our knowledge of ranking comes from trial and error from those in the SEO and marketing industry. However, every time Google updates their search algorithm (Algoithm meaning the formula they use decide what results matches the search terms you inputted) they will announce what they have begun to put more emphasis in.

Let's Stop Here...

I don't want to move too fast because it is really easy to get lost. Here is where I like to use an analogy that often makes more tangible sense.

Think of SEO like a Library

Let's imagine you are a library curator. You have thousands, maybe even millions of books in inventory. What you need to make sure is that the patrons of your library get the books they want.

Let's think about it. Essentially everyone who comes into the library has a certain book they are looking for. Some have a specific title and that is easy. We just have to find the exact title of the book that matches the one they are telling you. No biggie.

How do we find the right book for someone that asks you "How do I make a good tasting hamburger?"

Now what about those individuals who come in to learn how to cook. Someone comes up to the desk and asks for a book that will teach them how to prepare a hamburger. Well now we have a not so easy problem to fix. Thousands and thousands of books have been published about hamburgers, how do we decide the right book to find them? We could randomly pick a book that has the word hamburger in the title. But it is obvious to you and me, probably not a smart idea. What do we do hear then?

Well think about it. When you are telling a family friend or relative where to eat or what to do in your hometown, you will most likely pick something that is popular and of high quality. As a library you should do the same! Pick the book that has received the most reviews, references from other books, highest rate of check outs, of course of the most relevance.

"How do you personally recommend a book or restaurant to a friend? By its popularity, quality, and relevance to what that person is looking for!"

Let's convert this back to SEO terms now. Most Reviews? Sounds like a lot like Yelp and Google reviews. References from other books? These are hyperlinks. Highest rate of check outs? How many other users and visitors accessed your site. Most relevance? Does the content or website address what the person is looking for.

Let's start wrapping this up

So really Google and search engines are nothing more than an electronic library. You go to find information, the search engine helps you find it. This is the essence of Search Engine Optimization. Is your website or web page providing the information that people are looking for?

The more people who go to you for information, the more people refer/link to you, and the more positive things people say the higher Google will place you.



Optimizing Title Tags and Meta Descriptions


Optimizing Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Search Engine Optimization can be difficult. However, there is a lot that is much easier that the local user can easily do to increase their search engine rankings. Today we will focus on Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.

Title Tags

These are the storefront of your business online. This is what appears when users see your content on their search engine.


3 SEO Tips for a Dominant Local Strategy


3 SEO Tips for a Dominant Local Strategy

Business is tough. Online Marketing might be tougher.

It is no secret that the internet is changing the way consumers interact with businesses. More and more customers want to order through mobile apps, find information easily through websites, and spend an afternoon shopping from home. Things are different and businesses are being forced to change or pack up. Changing with the time though is much easier said than done. There are way too many topics, too many fields of thought to keep track of everything. Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Blogging, Website Design, Link Building are  just a few of these different internet strategies that are required for online success.

As a small business without a corporate marketing budget, there are many things that you can do to stay competitive in the online world. These all revolve around local strategy.



Marketing - It Takes A While

Jason Khoo - Marketing, It Takes A While

I had a rewarding conversation with my client this morning. We talked about how events and emails we sent out months ago were starting to show results now. I must say learning this was a sigh of relief, but also breathed life into the high quality work I try putting in. Whether it be link building, search engine optimization, blogging, or just outreach, Marketing takes time. My client would visit farmer markets in the Fall of 2013 and he started to see a steady stream of customer returning back in the Spring and Summer of 2014. Emails I sent out to bloggers were done in early Summer and bloggers were starting to roll in the Fall Time.

It takes time. Building leads, getting links, and finding customers. My advice is to use a strategy of short term gains with long term high quality contacts. Run quick campaigns that will bring a shot of consumers flying in, but make sure to take time out of every month to find the best events or leads.

Leads can be in the form of conventions, events, bloggers, journals, publishers, networking organizations, pretty much anything. However, this requires research, what you need to do is identify and reach out. It'll take a while, but once you get one things will start snowballing.



3 Easy Tips to Linkbuilding

3 Easy Tips to Link Building - Jason Khoo

I've just spent the last two hours writing about SEO for my company's blog so I'm in the mood for more SEO talk. Link building is one of those areas of online marketing that seems to get the least attention, however, it probably is one of the most important and effective. Link building is often seen as a science, and it rightfully is. However its application is far from being "scientific". I only say this not because I don't think those who are link builders don't do a legitimate job, trust me it is totally legit, I just think link building scares a lot of people away because the jargon used is so technical.

Here are some Laymen's tips on Link Building

1. Find local directories like Yellow Pages, Dineries, and Foursquare.

There are a surprising number of directories that exist in the world. Why does there need to be so many? I'm the wrong person to ask and I often myself that question when I work on SEO.

It is what it is though. It's a great opportunity for you to build links so whenever you have an hour I would suggest filling out some online forms for these directories.

Quick Tip: Create a Word Doc that has all of the info prior so you can just copy and paste every time. It's the worst to have to re type everything.

2. Reach out to blogs

Blogs are starting to take over the internet. Actually, they probably already have.

Use these blogs to your advantage. Send emails out to these bloggers and ask them if they would like to write a feature about your product or your business. You can offer them free trials, free products, free food in exchange for an honest review. Note the emphasis on honest.

ABE = Always be Ethical

If you can't seem to find any bloggers to help you, ask your friends to help you on social media. Tell them to link your website and review your product. It's small, but it's something and can get you started.

3. Talk to Local Businesses or your Friends who have Businesses

We all are just trying to make it in the online sphere. You can ask your friends or local businesses to help you by providing a link to your website. The best way is to make it organic. What I mean by this is to just write an organic blog post talking about your friend's product and how you want to support them and so on.

It doesn't take a ton of commitment for a link.