How People Work With Search Engines

When it comes to doing your business through the internet, there are those crucial aspects that you need to consider for you to not only penetrate but also command your market. One of those primary factors is having a website that is search engine optimization (SEO) friendly. For you to have a website that can attract SEO benefits, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your esteemed customers and ask yourself the following questions. Which keyword would I key into the search engine? How would I type the main query? Which types of set words are likely to be contained in my phrase or sentence? What criteria would I use to narrow down my options? And the list is endless. To shed some light on that, this article will take you through a few guidelines on how different online users interact with search engines in their quest to have conclusive and reliable information.

Have the need to know/learn about something: The very first stage in SEO interaction is usually out of curiosity; that need to want to know something or find a solution to an existing problem. Some of the situation that may bring about this needs include academic research, online medication, private investigations, financial difficulties among others.

The second step is always coming up with the query or the proper wording that will make your feedback more accurate. Note that depending on the word you use, the way you arrange them and the tone you use, the search engines will scan the available materials on the internet and only provide you with feedback starting with the most to the least likely destinations.

Having come up with the best keyword that you are convinced will provide more accurate data, you can now type it on the search engines. When typing be keen on the search engine auto-complete feature to help you select that word, phrase or sentence that is more likely depending on the previous search and reputation of a particular website.

Go through the result provided: Usually, when a user clicks enter or the search button, in a matter of seconds a list of potential destinations will be displayed. Depending on your needs, you can browse through the websites in the first Search Engine Result Page (SERP), if still not satisfied you have the options to proceed to the other pages until you find that site that either meets or comes close to your expectations.

Click on the link: For an easier scanning of different websites, it’s recommendable that you open the different search from search results in new tab to avoid interfering with the initials list and also to make the entire process much faster. You can open and close as many websites as possible until you get that site that gives a solution to your problems. Note that just because a website appears on the first SERP does not necessarily mean that they are the best, its only meant to make the user’s experience much bearable and convenient. You can, therefore, open more and more SERP until you find the site that addresses your needs.

If you happen to go more than five SERP and still no website that came close to your expectations; then you may consider rephrasing the initial query or using synonyms to your main keyword to see whether the resulting feedback may be helpful. Luckily, a majority of websites today are being designed with the user interest in mind to make sure that any words or phrases you use will land you to a particular website.

In conclusion, it’s important to note that the way people interact with search engines is vital. If a person is not conversant with the basic searching techniques, it may become extremely tedious and difficult for them to get the best feedback for the respective queries. On the other hand, if the web owner is not sensitive about the ability of the user to interact with search engines, they may end up attracting very little or no traffic to their website. We all know how important web traffic is when it comes to improving Google ranking and enhancing online reputation. However, the above steps may come a long way in ensuring that internet users interact properly with SEO and get the best out of it.

How Search Engines (Like Google) Work

In order to search for your targeted information, the search engine performs two major functions: to crawl and build an index and to provide the search users with a ranked list of all relevant websites. With these functions, search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo are able to find relevant information to present to users.

1. Crawling and Indexing

Think of the World Wide Web as like a network full of stops in a subway system within the city. Every stop in the subway corresponds to a unique document like a web page, JPG, PDF, or other files. The search engines have to “crawl” and pass by all the stops in the entire city so they make use of the best path available, which are the links.
The search engine has crawlers or another name they go by might be spiders that browse the World Wide Web in order to index every available web page on the internet. These crawlers look at the web pages and follow the links on the pages, just like how you browse the content on the web. They pass on from link to link and bring all the data about the web pages back to the search engine (Google) servers.  Crawlers go after a list of web addresses made from past crawls provided by the owners of the websites. These websites have links that are then used by crawlers to discover other pages.
As the search engines find all these pages, they analyze everything and store the selected pieces in huge databases, where they will get pages to be recalled at a later time as needed for a search query. The search engine companies have data centers throughout the world that hold these billions of pages that are accessed quickly.

2. Providing Answers

The search engine serves as an answering machine that provides all answers to your search query. When you do an online search, the search engine does 2 things: First of all, it returns all the relevant and useful information based on the searcher’s query. Second, it ranks these results based on the popularity of the sites. Thus, the procedure of search engine optimization (SEO) revolves around two things: relevance & popularity.

How does search engines like Google determine popularity and relevance?

When a person searches the web, the first thing the search engine does is determine which pages are related to the person’s query and which are not. It computes a relevance score between the query and the document.  However, to search engines, relevance is more than just looking for pages with the words you are searching for. Before, search engines didn’t go to a lot further than this. Over the years, new other factors were devised to match the results of searchers’ queries. Today, there are a lot more factors that influence the relevance of a certain search query.  Results within the search engine are typically based depending on how popular the site, page, or document is. The more popular the website is, the more valuable information it must contain.
Relevance and popularity are not determined manually as the search engines have algorithms to sort the relevancy of a certain search query and then rank it in terms of popularity. These algorithms make use of a lot of variables which are called ‘ranking factors’. The search engine works hard to provide valuable and relevant results in just a fraction of a second. Search engines make use of different algorithms that is why there is a difference in the results between Google, Bing, or Yahoo.

How do Search Marketers succeed?

Every website owner wants to gain more traffic to their website. However, search engines provide only a little insight on how to achieve good results and gain more traffic. Below are best practices in order to optimize your content for better search results.

Guidelines for Search engine optimization (SEO) Information from Google

In order to get better results and gain more traffic, Google recommends to make your pages primarily for users, and not for search engines. Never deceive or present a different piece of content to search engines rather than you display to users. This practice is commonly called as “cloaking”. Create a site with text links and a clear hierarchy. You have to make sure your page is reachable with links. Make a page that contains useful and rich content. Your title elements and alt attributes should always be accurate and descriptive. In making URLs, make use of keywords that are descriptive and human-friendly.

Guidelines for Search engine optimization (SEO) Information from Bing

To get better rankings in Bing, you have to ensure a clean and a rich keyword URL structure.  Be sure that your content on your page is not buried inside rich media like Adobe Flash Player, Ajax, or Javascript. Also, make sure that they do not hide some links from crawlers. Create a content that is keyword rich and that match the keywords of the search query. It is important to generate keywords related to your content. Make use of online tools that can generate traffic estimates. Also, be sure to produce a fresh content on a regular basis. Do not hide your text inside images. In case you want something to be indexed, do not display it inside a certain logo or image.

Bottom-line

These tips are just some of the things search engines look for in order for you to get better results and traffic. Over 15+ years, search marketers have found out more methods in order to extract information on how these search engines rank results. Marketers and SEOs make use of these in order to help their content reach better positioning. With the right ways and techniques, internet marketers can focus on driving better traffic to targeted users and areas across the internet. They make use of search engine marketing in order to generate new leads, build their brand, sell products, and redirect traffic from their competitors. Knowing how search engine marketing works can produce effective results that can make a substantial difference in your revenue. It takes a lot of time to improve your search rankings but applying the best methods will surely give you a good traffic and better results.

Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

For new websites, search engine optimization (SEO) can seem like an insurmountable task, especially with the seemingly overwhelming amount of information on SEO available online. In most cases, online business owners may not do much without the assistance of an SEO consultant or in-house SEO experts.

In this guide, we outline a few basic techniques for getting your website’s SEO started the right way, even if you lack the budget to hire consultants or full-time SEO experts.

SEO 101 — Basics for on-site SEO

Interestingly, a number of highly essential SEO elements are already available on your website. So while you may come across terms such as “link building”, keep in mind that proper on-site SEO forms the foundation for effective link building. The following are the most basic elements of SEO that you should implement on all the main pages of your website, especially your homepage.

Before we outline these basic elements, however, it is important to bear in mind that these SEO elements are effective provided you do not overdo them. That means that you should avoid overuse of keywords in your website’s pages, lest Google slaps you with a penalty for over-optimization. Simplicity is the key, so try and use no more than five keywords or keyword phrases per page. For ideas on the most suitable keywords, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool is highly useful.

Now, on to the essential search engine optimization elements…

Title tag

The title tag on your webpage helps to guide Google and other search engines on the nature of the content on the page—i.e., what it’s about. In 70 or less characters, it should include your brand or business name and keywords specific to only that page. The text for the page title tags is positioned inside the <HEAD> </HEAD> tags near the top of the webpage’s HTML code.

Meta description

The meta description on your webpage gives search engines further information on the nature of the content on the page. There is still no consensus in the SEO community regarding whether or not the meta description has an impact on your keyword ranking. Nonetheless, your meta description should be written for a human audience and should include the primary page-specific keywords, because themeta description is displayed in search results.

On Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs), the keywords that a user searches for appearing in bold both in the meta description and page title tag. It is for this reason that you should include your brand or business name in both the meta description and title tag. They stand out to users who search for those keywords.

If your website runs on WordPress, you are at an advantage because you can easily add meta descriptions and title tags using free plugins, including SEO by Yoast, Platinum SEO, and All in One SEO, as well as Scribe SEO and other premium plugins.

Additional elements for on-site SEO

Essential as they may be, title tags and meta description is not the only search engine optimization elements you need to include on your web pages. The following are other elements that are useful for considerably improving the search ranking of your web pages.

Internal links. Link building is applicable for both external web pages and pages in your own domain. Linking pages inside your website to other pages on your website makes it easier for search engines to understand the content on your site. Interconnected content inside your own domain is a signal for high quality, even if you’re a beginner.

Header tags. You can further optimize your site by breaking your content into sections that are set off by header tags at three levels. The first level, which should only appear once per page, is the <H1></H1> tag used for headings of posts. The other two levels are <H2></H2> for subheadings and <H3></H3> for lower-level subheadings. These can appear multiple times.

ALT tags and image names. Choosing the right keyword for image name and alt tag will help in further optimizing your webpage. The alt tag and image name are especially useful for helping search engines identify the right images for image searches.

Bolded text. As a beginner, you should exercise caution when using this SEO element. It can be used for calling something important to a reader’s attention. It also helps search engines identify the most important pieces of content on your webpage. By default, the text placed inside header tags is bolded.

Edmonton SEO Companies Are Doing It Wrong

Well, it’s been awhile since we last posted. 2 months to be exact and a whole lot has gone on since then. Over the past two months, our business has tripled and the results that we are now showing our clients are truly hard to believe. With almost every one of our clients, we have got them to the coveted page one of Google for the keyword terms they picked.

With the success we have seen, we have new clients showing us the work our competitors have been doing for them. Let me tell you, it was extremely eye-opening while at the same time very rewarding. Let me explain why.

Let’s back this up a bit first. I just had a lengthy conversation with a good friend of mine who has dumped several hundreds of thousands of dollars into marketing his company over the past 20 years only to have very little to show for in the Google game. He said that he has seen it all and heard it all from SEO companies promising the world while at the same time not exactly being transparent about what they are doing for him. He would ask the same question every month:

“Why am I not getting more leads and why am I not at the top of Google yet?”

The answers varied but really just amounted to lip service. They would say “we have to tweak this on your site, we have to change this title tag, we need to reformat this page, etc, etc. “. Basically, these SEO companies kept saying that they needed to modify and tweak the website so that Google would take notice. This is THE most common excuse we hear around the internet, nevermind from SEO companies here in Edmonton. In all honesty, we don’t blame them, they just don’t know enough about SEO and Google to properly build a successful strategy. They are focusing their efforts on the wrong thing, the website. Do you remember the movie Field of Deams with the famous quote “If you build, they will come”?

Unfortunately, Google will not come if you just build it. Developing the nicest, most elaborate website known to man won’t get Google to notice you. The Google game is a popularity contest, if people are talking about you then Google will have no choice but to take notice of you. And you might be wondering how that happens, BACKLINKS, people point links to your website because they see value in doing so.

In Google’s eyes, the most popular sites are the ones that have the most relevant content and niche relevant links pointed to it, that simple. As far as Google is concerned, 15% of the value is how the site works and what is on the website, whereas 85% is the diversity of backlinks pointing to the website. Google is using the wisdom of the crowds to determine how relevant your website really is. If nobody is linking to you, then Google thinks you’re a nobody.

We know the value of our link strategies and have proven time and time again that we can get our clients to the top of Google. True value (top of Google) and transparency (show how we do it) are keys to our success and why our clients trust us. We know that if our competitors don’t begin to understand how Google REALLY works than I’ll be happy to announce that we are on our way to be one of the top SEO companies in Edmonton.

SEO Edmonton Beginnings

 

It’s been some time since I last wrote a blog and for good reason.  I got busy building this SEO company from scratch and ensuring that each one of our clients received our best at all times.  In order to do that, we had to spend a lot of our time building out the systems and processes, we knew, needed to be in place in order for us to succeed at all times and in turn, our clients succeed.

 

We had started down this path awhile back but more recently decided that we needed to be an online marketing specialist rather than just an online marketing generalist (we didn’t want to be a jack of all trades and master of none). That decision has proven to be one of the best decisions I and Courtney made to date.  In this blog post, I would like to better explain how and why we decided to focus all our efforts on being the best SEO Edmonton company around.

 

The obvious first decision was to determine exactly what would we be delivering for our clients each and every month as we knew that we always wanted to establish long term business relationships with our clients. We knew exactly what the market needed but through our first round of market research for other SEO companies in Edmonton, we found that there was an over abundance of companies just like ours…..initially anyway.  As we started to really dive into what each of our competitors was doing, we found that they were doing everything under the sun in online marketing for their clients, from Adwords to Social Media to Web Design, you name it and they were self-proclaimed experts at it.

 

As we continued on in our research we found a common thread, the actual specialty that we offer, Google Organics optimization, was low man on the totem pole as far as services that our competitors were offering.  It made sense to us as it is by far the most difficult to be successful at since the Google algorithm is an ever changing beast, unforgiving to whoever tries to work it. The funny thing is that I have been playing the Google game for over 16 years learning some very hard lessons along the way.  Our competitors either had no idea how to play the game or if they did, they only knew a fraction of how it all worked.

 

Our specialty and branding spawned from there.  We were the Google Guys whose sole purpose was to get Google to like our clients and we could do it in our sleep…actually we do, sort of.

 

Our biggest problem slowly morphed from ranking our clients to the top of Google (which is now the easy part of our business) to marketing ourselves, educating companies and business owners about our unique service and begin building those long term business relationships that we have been wanting to do right from the start.  Let me tell you, it’s super easy to start a conversation with a potential client when we are showing value to their business before we even start.  We truly succeed only if our clients succeed.
One of my favorite things to do these days is to conduct Google searches around keywords we are paid to be at the top for just to see those clients dominating their market.  It’s more ammunition for that next presentation.

 

As continued down this path and saw the results that we were getting with each of our clients, there were competitors of our clients calling us to see what we can do for them. It was fantastic that people were finally seeing what we were able to do for our clients however as we thought about it more and more, we felt that it wasn’t right to take on competitors.  How could we ethically rank two clients for the same number 1 spot? It wasn’t possible so we decided to implement a new rule within our company, one client per niche, per market.  By implementing this, we could now sleep at night knowing that we were doing what was best for our clients at all times and we never had to choose one client over another.  When we talked about this with our clients, they were ecstatic that we were to doing this as they obviously did not want to share their success with any competitors, we recently started to become their ace in the hole.

 

Because of this strategy, we now had a laser focus when looking for new clients too.  For example, if we wanted to work with a roofing company in Edmonton, we would simply look for potential roofers to work with and the instant we found one that wanted to work with us, our search was over and we would move on to say flooring companies until we found one of those.

 

We knew our system works awesome and we now know that at least one company per niche, per market, is going to dominate their market with little to no competition from a Google organics perspective.

 

Website Intervention

Have you ever come across a website that literally made you laugh out loud because it looked like it was made when the internet was first created? We actually see this on a daily basis. Fortunately, with some website intervention we are able to show our clients the light and give their sites a much needed transformation. Our newest client, InspectionPROOF has been down this road but is now on his way to top ranking on google!
In all seriousness, we are extremely fortunate to work with someone who really wants to make a dent in his industry through providing truly premium service. We were given the job of portraying Don’s brand and vision online which we feel we have definitely delivered on. We now start down the path of directing everybody Googling Edmonton home inspections to InspectionPROOF.com (that being our forte).
Thank you, Mr. Don Schmidt, for giving us the opportunity to work with you on your website, we look forward to getting you the results that you are after, more business!

Digital Mad Men

Remember that charismatic charmer Don Draper and his boss Roger Sterling from Man Men?  A couple of ladies men who could show up at noon, get wasted over lunch and still make a presentation by the end of the day, oh the life of a marketing executive back in the day….or welcome to Brad and Courtney’s life.

All joking aside, the reason I draw a comparison between White Hat Marketing and the show’s Sterling Cooper (advertising agency) is because they aren’t that much different if you consider what they are doing for companies. Sterling Cooper was an Advertising Agency creating ads that would be plastered all over billboards and magazines. They would spend countless hours smoking and drinking with the creative department coming up with the best possible ad that they hope would convert potential leads into paying customers. The funny thing is that White Hat Marketing isn’t much different, no not because we are chain smoking alcoholics but because we look to do the same but with surgery precision instead of hoping for the best.  We rely on cold hard numbers that are readily available and can provide us the insights on whether our Google campaigns are working or not. Google has leveled the playing field for everybody and now the little guy can knock off the top player if they play their cards right.  Stacking the deck for our clients is our forte! Just like Don Draper and Roger Sterling, we know how to deliver and deliver big.

Brad and Courtney are the 21st Century digital Mad Men.

 

Two Guys Walk into a Bar

Google Guys

Two guys (Brad and Courtney) walk into a bar……and start a digital marketing company.

This is the unique story about how White Hat Marketing became the biggest small business digital marketing company in the world…..well maybe that’s the dream but we have start from somewhere. Google started with two like-minded brilliant geniuses, why couldn’t two not so brilliant geniuses do the same all over again?

Brad Daoust, holding a Bachelors Degree from Standford, Masters from Harvard and a PhD from MIT began theorizing about small business economics in the present and near future.  With the digital age upon us, it seemed inevitable that small business in North America could survive without tapping into the new ways of communication and marketing.

Courtney Hutzul, a drop out high school student, who once was touted as the next Tiger Woods decided to that Real Estate was no longer his calling and sought out a new challenge to redeem himself to his friends and family (possible exaggeration as Brad is writing this, but keep reading).

The two stumbled upon each other upon watching their sons hall of fame performances as semi-pro hockey players (yes, 10 years olds) traveling all over Canada and the US (actually just Alberta).  As they conversed about their past experiences, they learned quickly that there was something to the local small businesses, a gap in the industry if you will.  They knew they wanted to help and the market potential was completely untapped but what would those small businesses need?  Tech support? Computers? Accounting? Management? They really didn’t know what small businesses needed most until it came to them as an epiphany over several beers, more sales.  What every small business needs most is more business.  Because of Brad’s background in consulting and Courtney’s plethora of experience in sales the answer was obvious, digital marketing to create new sales for small businesses. BOOM! (drop mic)

And White Hat Marketing was born.  Did I mention this all happened over several drinks at the bar…..hence two guys walk into a bar.  Maybe I exaggerated a bit but who wants to hear a boring story about two hockey dads looking at reinventing themselves in their late 30’s?