Blogs - short for "web logs" - are the backbone of all organic SEO initiatives.
In the fast-changing world of online technology, the old "set it and forget it" model of Yellow Page advertising isn't enough anymore. The new reality is that you can't just think about your advertising once a year when you renew it. More and more consumers are looking for service contractors via the search engines. To get the high search engine rankings that will enable you to compete successfully for these leads, you need to engage frequently with your customers via online media. Ideally, you should contribute something to the "online conversation" every day; if that's not possible, once a week at a minimum.
Why? The internet is governed by a "social contract" between websites and search engines. When a website delivers relevant content that will be of high value to search engine users, the search engines will deliver visitors to that website.
While updates to current web pages are helpful, what search engines really want is fresh content in the form of new web pages. Blogs are an easy and extremely effective way to add those new pages to your website.
One way to think of it is that every blog post is a "raffle ticket" for a search engine win.
Having a blog on your website also gives you another advantage: an active blog lets your website visitors know that your company is "for real". Companies that regularly post to their blogs are perceived by consumers as dynamic, knowledgeable, and legitimate. They will be much more likely to choose your company over a competitor with old, out-of-date website content.
Despite the many advantages of blogging, the vast majority of small to mid-size businesses don't do it. They worry that they lack the knowledge, time, and resources to blog effectively.
How can iMarket help you with blogging?
- Our websites come with easy-to-use blog software, set up and ready to go!
- We offer unlimited technical support during business hours. Our advisors will be happy to answer your questions about blogging to enable you to do it more effectively.
- If you don't have the time or interest to blog, you can outsource it to us! iMarket's blogging service will create weekly blog posts for you, customized to your company and region and optimized for SEO performance.
iMarket's blogging service will include articles about the following topics - or, if you want to write your own blog posts, you can use this list to help you think of ideas.
- Comfort tips
- Safety tips for homeowners
- Repair and maintenance reminders
- Energy saving ideas
- Information about federal, state, and local appliance rebates and energy-saving incentives
- "Green living" suggestions
- Holiday greetings
- Community and charity events
- Information about new products and services
- Warnings about extreme weather conditions (first big snowfall or a heat wave)
- Coupons and special offers
Here's what people say:
Everything has been great with the results and customer service from iMarket. Anything that we’ve asked for has been done quickly and exactly as we wished. Everyone in your organization has been very responsive and are all truly customer focused – you have great people working for you.
Specifically, we’ve been blown away by the organic traffic to the site and the leads and revenue generated from the SEO work that iMarket has done for us. Our SEO placement and leads/revenue went from something that wasn’t even worth tracking to our second highest source of both leads and revenue in just 6 months – the only higher source for either has been customer referrals. The investment that we made literally paid for itself in 6 months – maybe less than that. We should have done this years ago.
When we ran our reports from organic/SEO leads and revenue, it was our most abundant source of lead generation and revenue as well as our most cost effective source of lead generation and revenue – even when we had amortized the entire cost of the new site over just a 6 month period.
In comparison to yellow page advertising, it has cost us less than 10% of what yellow page expenditures cost to generate both leads and revenue. As a result of this, we have already reduced yellow page expenditures for next year that will result in savings that are over 3 times what it cost us to build the new site.
As for the social media aspect of things – everything has been great. I’m not well versed in those arenas nor do I have time to get involved with it, so I asked Martina to take care of keeping us up to date and she’s done a great job with it, updating our pages (as well as our blog) 2 or 3 times a week. I may get more involved with it at some point, but I haven’t had to as it’s being managed for us without me needing to do anything.
Finally on the PPC campaigns, we have not spent a lot of money there – simply because we haven’t had to because we are generating so much organic traffic. What we have spent has been worth it, we are averaging around $30 per lead via PPC which is outstanding when compared to any other paid advertising that we are doing. The next closest source in terms of expense is $90 per lead. We may look to increase PPC budgets in the future as a source of growth. For now though, we have our plate full with all of the organic leads as we are on Google’s first page for nearly every keyword that we have targeted.
Kevin Carney, President
Carney Plumbing, Heating and Cooling
Here's what's going on:
Many people perceive the Penguin algorithm as nothing more than a thug, here to force thousands of small businesses into paid advertisement on Google by tanking their organic visibility. So I’m sure you can imagine the unrest within the community as the one year anniversary of the last update passed. But on Friday (October 17th, 2014), webmasters finally got their wish – Google began rolling out Penguin 3.0. Whether or not it was what they had hoped for is yet to be determined.
It was exciting while it lasted, but unfortunately, Google authorship is no longer supported by Google. But first, allow me to shed a little light on the rise and fall of Google’s authorship markup. The Google authorship rich snippet was first introduced by Matt Cutts at the SMX Advanced conference, back in 2011. For those unfamiliar with this rich snippet; it allowed you to identify yourself as the author of the content within a blog post, which would then publish a small thumbnail of your Google+ profile photo directly to the left of your blog post snippet within Google’s search results.