Mar 22, 2010

Should Your Company Be On FaceBook and Twitter?

A recent article from Webpro News discusses the importance of having your company/brand on Facebook and Twitter.

60% of Facebook fans and 79% of twitter followers were much more likely to buy and recommend a product after becoming a fan or follower. Large percentages of these people believe a company is out of touch by not having a twitter account or facebook presence.

My question is "Should every business try and create a following on twitter, and or facebook"? What if you're company sells gas station parts, or packing tape? Does it make sense to try and establish a presence for them?

I'm starting to think perhaps it does even if you don't get a big following. Facebook gets 400k new users per week, and more traffic than Google. By using the function you can see what people are talking about in twitter land perhaps picking up on valuable information for your business. It's another way to get more exposure and market your brand and products.

As a Web SEO Consultant I advised a client of mine to get established on Facebook and Twitter who was in the apartment finding business. Once we got her set up it wasn't hard to get a nice following on both. The more people talk about you the better as long as its positive obviously.

Facebook and Twitter helps to improve your link profile. You should already have relevant quality back links pointing to your website. Establishing profiles on Facebook and twitter allows you to have links from the two most trafficked social media sites giving you a more well rounded link profile.

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions.

Nov 14, 2009

How To Get Free Back Links To Your Niche Websites and Blogs

I wanted to share something I have been testing for a while now, which has proven to work me. However, I would only recommend this for affiliate type of websites or building links to web 2.0 properties, not to client sites - if you have them.

As you probably know back links to your websites are key to ranking well in Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Not only back links but back links that have your keyword in anchor text and on industry related websites.

The network I use sometimes for these affiliate sites has thousands of blogs in many different industries. The people who run it do a lot of SEO for corporate and business clients, and offer a great system for webmasters, SEOs, and affiliate marketers.

Here is how it works. When you write an article you distribute it to 30 related blogs. Within your article you're allowed two back links as long as the article is at least 450 words in length.

Bigger article directories like Ezine Articles I recommend not using an article spinner. Stick to just writing a quality unique article. Well written articles at ezine articles can get re published by other webmasters looking for content, and as a result you benefit from having links in the resource box.

Using a software like magic article rewriter is perfect for free traffic system. Once you have a significant portion of your article spun including titles, it will put it in the format FTS needs to distribute to the 30 blogs with one click.

Lets say you have a website that deals with "cell phones". You would type in key words related to your market or website theme. From there a list of related blogs will show in a list, and you choose which ones you want to submit your spun article to. Free traffic system will take a unique version of your article and submit to 3-4 blogs per day until it reaches all 30 blogs you chose. Very SEO friendly.

However, this is just one way to get back links. You should always seek out links from websites that link to your competitors, and various other sources to give your site a good linking profile Google will like. My strategy using free traffic system is to build up the web 2.0 property and pass the PR juice to my site.

What really is Free Traffic System?

Lets say you own a Wordpress blog and you want a way to get content on a consistent basis without having to write hundreds of articles yourself or pay someone to write articles for you.
Article writers like me who are looking for specific themed websites to put my content on will submit articles to your blog. Depending how popular the theme of your blog is will determine how many articles you get per day or per week. Its very simple and easy to use. You have complete control over your blog and the content that gets placed on it.

Aug 15, 2009

Matt Cutts On NoFollow Tags and Page Rank Sculpting

This is a reminder or suggestion to make sure you are not over doing it with your page rank on your site. If you are nofollowing pages to your FAQ pages or contact us page and it has good information, Matt Cutts suggests you just let the page rank spread naturally.

On the other hand if you are linking out to external sites that you cannot vouch for the site 100% then it's ok or even a good idea to no follow that particular link.

Here is a video with Matt Cutts discussing this.

Jul 27, 2009

Google Local Business Listings

Are You Set Up For

Google Local Business


SEO Services Chicago Just Got A Little Better!

In today's competitive Online market small and medium sized businesses that don't have the luxury of huge corporate like budgets are looking for ways to compete Online. Companies are spending thousands of dollars per month for search engine optimization services paying SEO Consultants enormous consulting fees.

Being a SEO Consultant myself and having experience working for SEO Firms I know first hand these SEO Services are expensive and most small business owners cannot afford them. I have taken a new direction and decided to offer Affordable SEO Services for Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston, Indianapolis, San Diego, and other cities and states around the country to small and medium sized business owners.

The best way for a business owner in Chicago for example to increase his/her online business is to optimize for local search in Google, Yahoo, and MSN or Bing. More than 100,000,000 searches are performed every day on Google and over half of those are for local businesses. Not too long ago you could go to Google or yahoo and look for something like "florist in Chicago" and not see any relevant results. Google recognized this and changed the game.

Hence the development of Google Local Business listings. So now when someone types in "Florists in Chicago" you will see all the relevant business listings at the top of page one in Google for companies located in Chicago who are in the florists business.

Google's goal is control the search market so they saw this as a necessary next step because they make a large portion of their money from the Pay Per Click ads you see along the right side on just about every search results page. The more people using their search engine and seeing their ads the more advertisers are willing to pay and the more money Google makes. Life is great for Google!

Statistics show that almost 90% of people today who are looking for goods and services are going to the search engines to find what they are looking for and Google gets a dominant amount of that action.

So the question is are you taking advantage of this huge amount local search? The Yellow pages are pretty much gone in case you have not noticed. Now with Google local search, Yahoo Local Search, and the new Bing local search you can take advantage of this traffic coming to your website to increase your sales and get more repeat business. You should not only see more sales and website traffic but the prestige of being at the top of page one in Google will brand you as a company or business. Have you struggled with branding your business? What do you think would happen if your site was at the top of page one for the 4 most commonly searched phrases? That would pretty much solve your branding problem right there.

So what do you have to do to get there? Well there are necessary critical steps needed in order to make this work properly.

Google allows you to pick 4 categories that are related directly to your business. So when someone types in something related to your city and your key phrase, you will be listed at the top of Google page one if you are properly optimized.

To better illustrate what I am talking about I would like to show you an example of a Google Local Chicago Business listing just in case you are confused. If you Click here you will see a search for "Chicago Personal Injury Attorneys".

Obviously this searcher was specifically looking for an attorney in Chicago and more specifically looking for a Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago. If you're a Personal Injury Attorney in Chicago it would be pretty sweet to be listed at top of this page right? This same search would look way different if you just typed in "Personal Injury Attorneys". But being a local attorney in Chicago you want to take advantage of clients who need your service in Chicago. Make sense?

Getting back to the steps needed to make sure you have an optimized listing. First.
Your website needs to optimized properly. What that means is all the coding, meta tags, good title tags, descriptions, keywords, keyword research, text copy written in your website, alt tags, footers etc etc needs to be optimized so that it is relevant in Google's eyes to make sure they are offering the best results possible for the people who are using their search engine.

Once that is done there are more things you as a business owner need to do to make your listing optimized. Company Videos, Pictures, Reviews, well written text, and all the normal business listing information needs to be done.

Since Google gives you 4 categories for local search results it is very critical to have them chosen correctly that best matches your business and website. You need to know what you are doing from a SEO standpoint. SEO Companies will typically offer this in addition to their normal monthly Online Marketing and SEO Services and I have not seen this service offered as a stand alone.

As a SEO Consultant who works with small and medium sized businesses I am offering to manage all of this for you for only $57 per month. There will be a small set up fee because I will have to spend a certain number of hours doing research making sure your website is optimized correctly.

The best listings have videos. I am not talking about Hollywood videos I mean simple 50 second videos with pictures and text. I will create these types of videos for your Local Business listing and helps you stand out. The other things good listings have are good photos, reviews and well written copy so that the searcher wants to click over to your website. Most business owners do not know how to do this and if they did they have no time so for only $57 per month this should be a no brainer.

Ultimately the goal is get your business listing and website at the top Google page one in each of your categories. If you have more than one location you could have a double listing which makes you stand out even more.

As a business owner you should know the value of having local clients doing business face-to-face and if your website is not optimized for local search you are missing it the boat.

As a Chicago SEO Consultant I am only one guy with a small network of talented people who work with me so this offer is going to be limited.

Here is what you get as part of my SEO Services and your business listed in Google, Yahoo, and Bing:

  • Keyword research finding the most searched and targeted words people are using to seek out your business

  • Code done for your home page of your website so that you are set up and optimized and ready for the local search traffic

  • How to add positive reviews posted in your business listing

  • Your listing optimized and set up so that you maximize the number of clicks to your website

  • On going consultation and advice to better help your website in the search engines for organic results

If you are concerned that your website will not be structured for national searches or you will not be able to target national types of searches do not worry about that. I know exactly how to set up your website and listings so you can take advantage of both local and national searches in Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

Please contact me at 773-360-1482 or email: for more information.

If you call me please be able to be in front of your computer so I can walk you through a few things and show you business listing examples.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Jun 19, 2009

Affordable SEO Package And Services

An affordable SEO Package in today's economy is very important today more than ever. Small and medium sized businesses need affordable SEO services that can help them stay ahead of their local competitors or to surpass them.

It's no secret that most SEO companies will charge thousands of dollars in monthly fees for SEO services not to mention the set up fees . I know, I used to sell and present SEO services to local and national sized business and the fees we charged were extremely expensive. Unless you have a huge marketing budget you most likely will not be able to afford SEO services for your business.

My goal is to provide affordable SEO services for cities like Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Indianapolis. Most local businesses in these cities know first hand how expensive SEO services are and I want to offer a better and more affordable way.

SEO is not rocket science but you must have a good strategy to rank well in your local market. A website must be search engine friendly first and foremost. If your site is not properly optimized for the key phrases you are targeting you have no chance. Once your site is set up correctly then it is time to begin the work that is necessary to make your site popular online.

Many SEOs have their own techniques and I definitely have my own to help small business rank well online. However you will find many SEOs who are not very upfront with what they plan on doing for you. If you feel like you are not getting straight forward information from an SEO consultant then you probably should not trust they know what they're doing. The last thing you need is a shaddy consultant who gets your site banned and your brand is destroyed.

Matt Cutts of Google said the same thing in in a video he did where he was answering questions from people all over the world who had specific SEO questions. And I agree, SEOs should be completely transparent about what they intend to do with your site etc.

Here is a video with Matt Cutts discussing this:

Since my focus is on local small and medium size businesses I have no need for an elaborate SEO campaign and strategy. For most small businesses a successful SEO campaign could last 4-6 months. Then after that a will be sufficient. Links will tend to drop off over time so it's important to stay consistent with your link building campaigns. I have very affordable link building services to accommodate my small business clients.

I also feel it is very important to be upfront about how long it can take for results. Because there are many SEOs out there who set unrealistic expectations you will come across SEOs who are disingenuous. Results differ from company to company and industry to industry. There are many factors that go into how well you rank online so its important to be honest with business owners about what to expect.

I see a resemblance with SEOs and mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers got a lot of bad press (and deservingly so) because they set so many false expectations with homeowners. They told people what they wanted to hear to get their business. SEOs are doing the same thing and it makes me sick especially when you are trying to be honest and upfront. Business owners buy into what these guys are telling them and as a result you find other SEOs duplicating this just to be able to compete.

At the same time business owners should not expect to have any guarantees either. SEO is not an exact science. Programming for example is an exact science. We know that if you put the proper code here or there things will function properly the way it is supposed to. SEO is not like that at all and its unfair for a business owner to put demands on results and expect guarantees.

However, it's my belief that if the SEO is transparent and upfront and can show he/she knows what he's talking about then the business owner will feel comfortable that he will get what he pays for.

I am glad I was raised right and have integrity. So with that being said I do not plan on giving you a bunch of bull crap and telling you that I guarantee you this or that. Google and the other search engines can change their algorithms with no warning which could then affect your rankings. It's just a fact. So when you hear an SEO tell you they will guarantee you anything other than how hard they will work for you, throw up a red flag and move on. Remember my mortgage broker comparison. It's the truth.

Some campaigns will take longer depending on the competition of the key words we are targeting. Of course every client is different and I look at each client as being unique. But as I stated earlier SEO is not rocket science and there are strategies that have proven to work very well with businesses in their local area.

For a completely transparent proposal to help you succeed in Google, Yahoo, and MSN (Bing) please contact me, Brad Long at 630-699-2036 or my email at

Jun 15, 2009

Search Engine Optimization Package

Use the tool below to see where your competitors are getting their backlinks

Backlink Summary

Domain Name

Note* Results may vary if prefixed with www.

Affordable Local Search Engine Optimization Packages For Local Businesses in Chicago, Los Angeles, boston, Dallas, and Indianapolis

As my website is being developed I am using this blog to get my SEO services known to the general public. My affordable seo services for small and medium sized businesses are an important and vital step in optimizing your website for the search engines.

The first steps in optimizing your website to rank well in Google is to make sure the code is set up properly. I.E. Writing good title tags, meta descriptions etc. Having a good strategy that is both realistic and attainable is important to your success. Every page on your website is unique so it is important properly relay the message each of your pages has properly.

Search Engine Optimization SEO Chicago

Small Business SEO Package

On site Optimization package:

1. All keyword research based on actual data

2. Page Title Tag Placement and strategy for all pages. Meta Description Tags for all pages

3. Geographic target maps

4. Main content suggestions to help you incorporate your keywords

5. A competitor analysis - why they rank high, who they are getting links from, road map to catch up to them or overtake them

$327.00 One Time Fee To Fully Optimize Your Website For The Search Engines

I highly recommend you do a 4-6 month SEO acampaign after your site is optimized. If you chose the full package upfront there is no $327.00 charge to do the onsite optimization because that is included.

Full Small Business SEO Package
3 - Articles Per Month
1 - Press Release
50 - Directory Submissions
25 - High Page Rank Links
25 - Blog Comments on Relevant Blogs
Social Media Real Estate Creation and RSS submissions - Web 2.0 properties
On site optimization
Copy Suggestions and keyword placement
10 hours per month of Consultation
Monthly Reports
Only $597.00 Per Month
6 Month Campaign suggested

SEO Linking Package For Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Link Building
A well planned linking strategy is crucial to be successful online in a competitive market and to achieve desired long-term search engine optimization results. Link development and website promotion provide new visitors to your website.

Picture your website in the Middle of Lake Michigan. How would you get visitors to your website without a pathway or links? These roadways or links to your site not only increase the traffic but increase the popularity of your site in the eyes of Google, Yahoo, MSN. Without those inbound links there would be no traffic.

However, all links are not created equal and it is very important to have relevant links that point to your site. There are many factors that determine good links and is well known that having good quality links point to your site will have great advantages for your rankings. It's just a part of SEO.

I will combine a variety of linking strategies utilizing Web 2.0 sites, articles, press releases, using firmly established sites with high page rank (typically page rank of 4-8), and submission to trusted and relevant directories to promote your website.

It's very important when you are a local business to be on the first page of Google. We know from recent statistics that as high as 90% of people looking for goods and services are going to the search engines to locate them. The days of the yellow and white pages are pretty much over so don't waste your money.

25 links Package
1 - 500-600 keyword rich article submission with a couple of links to your site
Report of my work

50 Links Package
1 - 500-600 keyword rich article submission with a couple of links to your site
Report of my work

*Coming soon - Social Bookmarking Service*

Social bookmarking is a great way to gain a ton of backlinks to your website and get your brand out there. I am currently working out the specifics for this service and I expect it to be very successful for small and medium size business.

Please contact me at 773-360-1482 or 630-699-2036 for a quote
Brad Long SEO Consultant

Jun 9, 2009

Writing Good Title Tags

Writing Good Title Tags

A common practice among SEOs when strategizing how to set up title tags for our clients is to target keywords in the title tag. However, Good title tags do not always have to play by this rule because Google does not require it. Many SEOs in our industry would argue that if you don't put keywords in the title tags you have no chance to rank at the top. This is not true.

Lets take a look at this argument. Most people who have tried to optimize their website for the search engines know the importance of having keyword rich anchor text that points back to their site helps increase the popularity and get to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Making a title tag more compelling could mean a higher CTR as long as it has a call for action and entices the user to click on your link. Even if your competitors outrank you in the SERPs you could still get more clicks based on having well written title tags, which is the first step to getting visitors and converting them into clients.

If you have been in SEO for the last couple years you would know that Google does not require your title tags to be optimized due to "off page factors," such as inbound keyword rich anchor text links.

So lets look at these two examples:

"Job Search" and "Search Engine"

When you do a search in google for Job Search the top two results show and

Here is Career Builders Title Tag - " Jobs - The Largest Job Search, Employment"

Here is Monster's title tag - "Find Jobs. Build a Better Career. Find Your Calling. |"

Notice how Career Builder uses the keyword in the title tag but Monster does not. Now, which one is more compelling to click on? In my opinion
by far does. Especially now the way the economy is with all millions of people out of work.

Lets take a look at the next example "search engine". Neither of the top two results have that keyword in their title tags. Yahoo is in the top 10 two times and in both occurrences it does not use the keyword in the title tag. But how compelling are these tags to click on? Some would say those companies are going for a branding strategy vs. trying to obtain a high click through, which is fine if that is your primary objective.

Should this mean you should not use your primary keyword in the title tag? Absolutely not. However, you should think a little outside the box when writing title tags because that is where it all starts. Make your links - title tags - more clickable to the search traffic you're going after.

Some say Google is moving towards giving more credit to organic listings with higher CTR than those who do not. It is similar to doing PPC as the advertisers are rewarded with a higher quality score because they get more clicks and therefore their ads show more.

It's Google's way of rewarding a more relevant add to its searchers. There are way too many SEOs who stuff title tags with keywords, do a little back linking, purchase links with anchor text, and are done with their SEO efforts.
By not making an effort of separating clients from their competitors is doing their clients a dis-service.

With that all being said Obviously the quality of incoming links and other factors is going to play a big factor in your rankings and therefore give you more leeway how creative you can be with your title tags. Small and medium sized businesses looking for affordable SEO Services might not have the same outcomes especially early on in their campaign optimizing for the search engines. But it does not mean you still
can't be creative.

Here is my top 7 list of things to consider when creating title tags for pages on your website:
  1. Keep your brand in mind on all your title tags. There are differing opinions on whether to put the brand name at the beginning or end of the title tag. I prefer to have it at the end so that my keywords are at the beginning coupled with a creative phrase. However, I think it depends on your goals and objectives and the kind of business you are. An online store might want to establish their brand to get as many return vistits while a site selling something purchased one time might want to incert it at the end of the title tag.
  2. Title Tags should be limited to 65 characters or less including spaces. You go past that mark and some of your words will be cut off in the SERPs and will make you look unprofessional. There are some cases where Google will accept up to 70 characters but as a general rule keep it to 65 or under.
  3. Utilize your keyword phrases. Duh... right? When your keyword research is complete and you have made your list that describes your page you should make those keywords be the center of attention.
  4. Try to use the longer keyword phrases as much as possible if they are relevant to your page. For example "The Shoe Guys" | Sports Jogging Shoes and Accessories" rather than "The Shoe Guys" | Sports Shoes. Getting creative like this could increase relevance and traffic. But keep in mind if you have another page on your site that has anything to do with accessories could be confusing to Google on which page to give more value to.
  5. Focus on increasing conversions and higher click through rates. This is similar as stated above to paid search marketing. It's imperative to write titles that are going to encourage your visitors to click on your link. You can monitor your analytic s if you decide to do testing but be cautious because sometimes lower click through rates still lead to a higher conversion rate.
  6. What is the intent of your visitors? If your searchers are more about browsing or information a more descriptive title tag might be in order. But if the intent is to make a purchase then try to creatively put that information in your title tags with a call to action.
  7. Keep your H1 tags similar to your title tags. It not only helps rankings but it helps the user who came to your site in the first place. People have certain expectations when they land on a website and if the information is not relevant to what they just clicked on then there is a good chance they will not stay long and you will end up with a high bounce rate.
I hope you found this information helpful for writing good title tags for your website. I wanted to just call attention to this because you need ways of separating yourself from your competitors so be creative when forming your strategy.

Finally be cautious if you are attempting to do this without an SEO expert because without proper research it could actually hurt you. Seek out Consultants who can offer SEO services at a low-cost and still get results.