On Page Local SEO Tips You Can Use Right Away

local seo, search engine optimization, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Getting your business “out there” locally.

Building a website is not enough to get your local business in front of local customers searching for your services.

You need good solid SEO to make sure your customers find your content and search engines know what you do and what you’re writing about.

If you’ve dipped your toes into the sea of information about Search Engine Optimization you probably went cross-eyed and had that sinking feeling that accompanies a test you haven’t studied for.

You may also have come across articles informing you that there are some differences between SEO and Local SEO for Small Businesses.

It’s enough to make a grown man cry. But fear not. Rome wasn’t built in a day and this problem can be solved with a few actionable steps.

So where do we start:

1. Start by Optimising Your Logo

Rename your logo file. Include your business name and location in the file name. Don’t forget to add this info to the Alt Tag as well. Remember, search engines can’t read pictures. Don’t neglect your Alt Tags.

2. Add Your Business Details

Make sure you at least have your Name, Address, and Phone Number or NAP on your contact page. We highly recommend adding them to your footer as well so that information can show up on every page and post.

3. A Map and Directions

This might be too simple, but if you want people to visit your business tell them how to get there. And show them with a map.

Most themes have a map module and if they don’t WordPress has tons of plugins to allow you to add a map to your site.

 

4. Page Titles and Descriptions

Page titles are a great place to sneak in your location. Leaving your title as “home page” is a wasted opportunity. Descriptions are another place you can include your locations as well as your services.

 

5. Content and Links

Make sure the information you are including on your pages and content is useful. Don’t stuff keywords. Google is not buying your products. People who have a problem they need to be solved are.

Write for them. And, while you’re writing for them you should include links to other useful information and other local businesses. The goal is to solve problems for customers and bring value. Not impress Google.

 

6. Language and Geo-tags

Let search engines know you are in the US. It’s important to not leave them guessing.

 

7. Dive into Schema

Schema.org markup tells search engines what you provide, what your page is about, where you are located, which image is your logo, etc. It’s important to know it make sure you have the correct information marked up.

 

8. Present Your Team

Have your team on your website. Chances are if you’re a local company your key employees are from near where your company operates. Their names are associated with your region.

 

9. Local News and Announcements

Are you holding a seminar, offering a new product or service? Make sure you include them on your website.

Also,

Link to your social posts and be sure to drive traffic to your site with those posts.

 

In Conclusion:

Some of these tips may be too much for you to put to work. Schema markup can be confusing and Schema.org was created for geeks and not business owners.

So if you can’t get all these put to work, focus on the following:

  1. Say where you are based
  2. Say who you are and what you do.
  3. Use your location in page titles.
  4. Rename your image files with information relevant to your business and location.

Once you have this done, head over to Schema.org and try to do the same thing using Schema markup. Remember though, you are writing for people.

If all else fails, talk about what you do, where you are located, and solve problems.
(click to tweet)

If all of this sounds like greek to you drop us a line. We would be happy to help you get your local SEO headed in the right direction.

Why you need Managed WordPress Hosting

managed wordpress hosting, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

If you have a WordPress website or are thinking about creating a website you have probably run across the term Managed WordPress Hosting. You may have noticed it seems to cost significantly more with little explanation. We wanted to expound on the difference and which one you should probably choose.

Most of the low end hosting you may have seen during your search for the perfect host is Shared Hosting. These hosts keep costs down by packing as many sites as possible onto their servers. If your site is small with not much traffic (as most sites are in the beginning) this option may be a good solution.

When should you consider moving?

Let’s get this out there right away, we recommend moving to a Managed WordPress Solution if your website is tied to your lively hood. If you are making money from your website you need professionals watching your back. Making sure that if the unthinkable happens you are back up in no time.

The purpose of Managed WordPress Hosting is to give you a completely hassle-free hosting experience so you can focus on running your business. Here are just a few of the advantages of Managed WordPress.

 

Speed

Speed is more important than ever. Especially since 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. With professionals Managing your WordPress core, updates, backups, caching and more you know your site will stay snappy.

 

Security

Cheap shared hosting requires your constant attention to keep your site backed up and updated. With Managed WordPress Hosting your site’s security is constantly monitored and if something should get through your site is restored for free.

Did you know most “hacks” happen when your CMS is out of date? Check out this article from Cloud Living explaining why you should always keep WordPress and any other CMS you might be using updated. With Managed WordPress Hosting, WordPress is updated and backed up automatically every night.

Completely Optimized

Database, WordPress, CDN, everything is optimized to run as fast and securely as possible. No more worrying about what you don’t know.  In addition to maintenance and upkeep, Managed WordPress servers are specifically configured for WordPress.

 

Dedicated Resources

Unlike cheaper shared hosting plans you have the dedicated resources of a VPS Server. Your site will not be packed in with hundreds or even thousands of other websites all fighting for the same resources.

 

Guaranteed Uptimes

Your server is managed. Someone is always watching to make sure your site doesn’t go down. Even if you should suddenly have a surge of traffic. With most shared hosting plans you are looking at your site being shut down, crashing, or being charged high overages if you exceed your allowances for site visits.

 

Who doesn’t need Managed WordPress Hosting?

If you have a small hobby blog or are just starting out with WordPress you really don’t need Managed Hosting. We would recommend signing up with SiteGround instead. They have amazing customer service (seriously, just Google it and see for yourself) and affordable rates for those who are just getting started. Once you outgrow their service or start earning a living off your WordPress site then move over to a managed solution.

The one exception would be eCommerce. This also ties back to the beginning when we said: “if your website being tied to your lively hood.” If you’re going to be making money off of your website we highly recommend going with a Managed WordPress plan from the start.

Have questions or need more information? Contact us about Managed WordPress or any other Hosting question you may have. We’d love to help.

 

🙂

 

 

4 Reasons Your Business Should Be Using Facebook Ads

facebook ads, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

How do you follow your favorite stores online? You go to Facebook and Like their page. You love the videos they share of their latest products or creating a something amazing or delicious. You feel closer to those businesses, develop a relationship, and engage with them more than other businesses who don’t make the effort to share their activities and day to day with you.

Who stays top of mind with you? A local company who exclusively advertises on Google or a business who has an active Facebook page and uses ads to target those who have interest in what they sell? The answer, of course, is the latter.

Customers are going to use Google to find solutions to an immediate need. However, Facebook is a great place to develop the long-term relationships that will pay off with return business and connections to the larger community in your industry. Facebook is the people ask their friends who they recommend. You want to be on there and ready to be recommended by those you have done a good job for in the past.

We have gone down this rabbit trail enough. This is not a post about why you should be using Facebook. This is a post about why you should be putting ads on Facebook. Here are just a few of the reasons you should be advertising on Facebook.

 

1. Your customers are on Facebook

Facebook is where people are at. Facebook boasts over one billion active users. If you’re trying to reach a particular group of people they are most likely on Facebook.

 

2. Target people in your area or who are interested in your products

Facebook ads can target people who are interested in your products and services. While these are not warm leads they are not cold either. This is far better than cold calling and other methods which are intrusive and can leave a bad taste in peoples mouths.

For a local company being able to target customers Geographically is huge. Being able to target an area within a certain distance of your shop and combine that with interest or affinity targeting will really help bring in the leads.

 

3. Charts and graphs

Facebook ad results are tracked. Using insights on your page and Facebook Ads Manager you can see exactly how your ads are doing. Who’s looking at them? Clicks, likes, reach, cost per engagement. All these metrics let you make decisions moving forward and let you see if your ads are working.

Ad’s without analytics are not nearly as effective. Stabbing in the dark is not a good use of your money. Not satisfied with the results tracking from Facebook? Connect your Facebook ads to Google Analytics and see even more details. Here’s an article from Social Media Examiner on how to do it.

 

4. Keep customers coming back

Facebook is a great way to keep your customers informed on what you are doing and why they should come back. Ads can target those who have already shown interest in your Facebook page and visited your website.

Using Facebook’s Custom Audiences feature, you’ll install a snippet of code on your website that will place a cookie on the computers of those who visit your site. With this installed on your site, the code will send information back to Facebook about which pages were viewed on your site by a specific visitor.

-acquisio.com

Building custom audiences helps move people through your funnel and closer to a decision to buy.

Facebook ads should be part of your inbound marketing strategy and are one of the most affordable options for online advertising. Contact us if you need help getting started or just don’t have time to create ads but know you need to. We’d love to help.

 

 

 

5 Reasons Your Business Needs a Social Media Manager

Social Media Management, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Have you ever gone to your favorite bagel shop’s Facebook page expecting a lively page wishing you a happy (insert holiday 🙂 and maybe some specials, a few posts on how to prepare your favorite bagel from home, and other useful info? Only to find a ghost town.

It’s disappointing. Today we even expect our dentist to have an active social media channel. We want to see if they are closed the Friday before Christmas. We love to be able to ask if they accept our insurance or if they recommend a certain type of toothpaste. We want to feel connected.

It’s Not Just You

If you are not managing your social media channels you belong to a large club. There are an astounding number of businesses who started a Facebook page, posted some obligatory test posts, and never looked back.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to miss out on all those opportunities to make a good impression on your potential customers. You can engage with your current customers and remind them why they want to come back.

You need a Social Media Manager.

 

Not an intern or someone’s son who spends entirely too much time on Reddit. You need someone who understands that while you want an active page you are a business and need to do more than entertain (unless your business is entertainment). You need to stay top of mind with customers and you need your posts to help establish and maintain a relationship. Here are some of our top reasons you need a Social Media Manager:

 

We Come Up With New Content.

You need fresh content and you need to stay on brand. Your social media manager should gather what you want to say. Events, sales, services, company BBQ’s, whatever, and create the posts to promote your events and business.

 

We Give You Back Your Time.

Creating all that content takes time. A good Social Media Manager will take the burden of planning, creating, and posting. Giving you back hours of time each week, while making sure your business stays top of mind for your customers and potential customers.

 

We Help You Establish Your Business As An Authority

When people see you have an active social media presence where you are sharing the day to day of your business as well as providing value to your community you show you are an authority in your industry. It’s a great way to show you know what you’re talking about without being arrogant.

Increase Engagement From Your Followers

Social Media Managers keep an eye on and help facilitate an active social media page which will encourage engagement from your followers. Likes, shares, comments. All of these things come from an active channel with followers who come to you to solve their problems.

 

Attract New Customers

Ultimately what all this comes down to is a Social Media Manager is there to help you attract new customers. We’ve gone over how you either don’t have the time or don’t want to spend the time crafting content and strategizing campaigns. However, you need to Establish Authority and Increase Engagement.

 

Where Do I Start?

The items in this list are necessary to help you grow in the modern world where your online presence is just as important, if not more important, than your storefront. Your Social Media Manager can help take this burden off your plate and spend the time to get you on the right track. Our goal is to communicate to your audience what you want to say.

If you’re ready to stop waiting for someday and start getting your Social Media Channels attracting new business contact us. We’d love to help you get noticed and stay top of mind. 

What is Google My Business

google my business, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

 

Have you ever Googled your business or one of your services? You open your browser, type in your top service, then bang, right there in .0068 seconds your competitor across town pops up. 

It’s frustrating. You know you know you have this service listed on your site. You know you have it linked to from various citations around the web. You know you put in headers and that the keywords are on the page. But still, right at the top is a list of 3 other businesses ahead of yours.

 

Google is trying to help ….. really.

You see this is where Google is trying to be helpful for its end users, and where you can be left behind. Even if your SEO is great, if you haven’t listed your business on Google My Business you will be behind your competitors. Google is trying to show its users relevant businesses that perform the service you searched for from local businesses. We find that a lot of times distance is the tiebreaker as well. Which is great. If two businesses are equally matched then the distance I have to drive to get there is going to be a big factor in me having a good experience or not.

 

Now Google may eventually pick up on who you are, where you are, all that but this is your chance to tell Google through their My Business product what you do, where you are located, hours, and more. This is your “listing” on Google itself. It’s your chance to say what you do and not leave it up to the interpretation of indexing robot spiders.

 

So how do I get started?

 

Signing up is relatively easy. Just head over to Google and Search My Business. Or go Here.

 

google my business

 

Go to start now and Google will walk you through their sign up process. If you already have a Google account you would click Sign In. Either way, if you try to sign up twice, Google will pick up on it and direct you to the correct gateway.

 

Once you are signed up it’s time to enter information about your business. They start with Name, Country, Street Address, Etc. If you have a service business without a physical storefront you are going to want to click the box at the bottom that says “I deliver goods and services to my customers at their location”  that way Google will list you as having a service area and not start sending people to your house.

google my business information

 

Once your information has been entered you hit continue. If you checked that you have a service area you will then drop a pin on the map and set that area’s size and scope.

If you have a service area and a physical storefront of some kind you set that on the next page as well.

 

google my business prairie giraffe

 

Now it’s time to verify your business.

Google want’s to be sure you actually exist. One sure fire way of getting that done is to send you a postcard. This postcard will have a code on it that you will have to enter into your My Business account on the location you just created under Verify. It usually takes 1 to 3 weeks to receive the card. Once you receive it that verification process is easy.

 

prairie giraffe my business

 

Once you verify your business it’s time to input your information

 

prairie giraffe marketing

 

On the left-hand side, you will see a menu where you can enter your info, see insights, reviews left on Google, create posts and message clients. We will go over messaging clients and creating posts in a future post. For now, just enter your business info. This is where you can give Google as much information as you want. You can upload pictures of your company and employees in action, enter your hours, what you do, different services you offer. You can even access your Analytics and AdWords Express accounts (if you choose to go with Express, which we recommend you not).

 

Taking back control

 

What it comes down to is Google My Business will actually give you a sense of control over your business. SEO, SEM, and how your website was built can be really overwhelming. Even Google Analytics can be a bit much. Google My Business is the place where you can simply state what your business does and see how you’re doing out there. It’s also a great place to create posts and let your customers and potential customers know if you have a sale going on. All of these things let gain some control of your online presence and move forward with confidence.

 

Need help setting up your Google My Business Account? We would love to help! Drop us a line or give us a call. We can get you set up in no time.

AdWords vs AdWords Express – Which should you choose?

adwords, ppc, digital marketing, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

AdWords vs AdWords Express, Which one do you choose?

You have finally decided to try out PPC. You sit down to create your first ads.

You google AdWords and are greeted by Google’s friendly sign up page. At some point along your journey, you get asked the question, Sign Up for AdWords or Sign Up for AdWords Express?

adwords marketing

These two buttons seem innocent at first. But, as you look into what they mean you get more and more confused.

By the end of your signup journey, you end up sad, cold, and lonely. Sitting in your basement under a bare bulb writing angry letters and swearing off Digital Marketing of all kinds for life!

 

AdWords Express, So Simple It’s Dangerous

The problem is that Google made AdWords Express to help people just like you. It’s easy to use, has very few advanced options. It’s just what you need to get up and running in a few easy steps.

Then they just left it there. Innocently waiting to help you get up and running in no time. Sitting there waiting to trap you in its web of helpfulness.

Because Google made the choice seem so obvious. You don’t know what you’re doing, and after all, you just want to get your name out there and let the leads roll in. SIGN ME UP!

Quick note, you are stuck once you choose Express. But I digress.

 

Your Options are pretty limited

Weeks pass, your ads are doing well but you’d like them to do a bit better. You read about some advanced technique. Maybe you want to try a SKAG (Single Keyword AdGroup) or something simple like negative keywords.

You quickly find that it doesn’t work. You are pretty limited in what you can actually do. It’s pretty much a platform that lets you enter keywords, set up some ads, and press go.

That’s it. You can’t do much beyond that. You can’t track conversions, set up automation or scripts, you can’t even set up your keywords as anything besides broad match. As you may or not know there are four different match types in AdWords.

Broad Match
Broad Match Modified
Phrase Match
Exact Match

They all have their place and can be quite useful. To create a SKAG as mentioned before you would need to use at least 3 of them. You won’t be able to with AdWords Express.

 

So what to do

You need to consider your choices carefully. If you want something simple that is easy to setup and leaves you very few options in the future then AdWords Express is for you.

However, if you want to track calls and conversions, implement negative keywords so you aren’t paying for junk clicks or anything more advanced you should definitely stick with regular AdWords.

Which account did you choose? How did it turn out and did you wish you had chosen the blue pill?

Creating Buyer Personas for Inbound Marketing

inbound marketing, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Imagine sitting down at your computer and writing. You write an amazing how to blog post. It’s just the right length, you address a problem with directional drilling, you identify the underlying cause of this particular issue with directional drilling, and you provide a solution to solve this problem.

The solution sells for $150,000, which is 10% less than your nearest competitor, and our solution can be implemented in half the time.

It’s a guaranteed win. You are a content marketing superstar and will go down in history as an energy industry genius/tycoon.

You then click publish and go live with this amazing piece of content on americangirlblog.com. A blog for young girls and collectors of the American Girl Doll.

 

Know Your Audience

 

This sounds ridiculous. But, how many of us are doing this same thing by not knowing who our customer really is? As foolish as it is to sell expensive high-end drilling equipment to 11-year-old girls, it is also foolish to try to solve problems your customers don’t have or sell products your customers don’t want.

We need to know who our customer is and how to reach them. How old are they? Where do they spend their free time? Where do they look for the solutions to their problems?

Knowing the answers to these questions allows you to be where they are looking, grab their attention, and solve their problem.

 

No… You Really Need To Know Your Customer

 

Many business owners have a problem with either not knowing who their customer is or assuming their customer is just like them. Yes, many businesses are started by scratching your own itch. However, times change and sometimes we don’t remember what it’s like to not have the answer.

Luckily this is a day in age where we can learn what our customers are looking for. What are their problems? What do they search when they are trying to solve those issues.

 

Creating Buyer Personas for Inbound Marketing

 

The solution is creating Buyer Personas. A Buyer Persona is a profile for a fictional customer that is based on fact.

Create your Buyer Persona by looking at your customers or potential customers and answering the following questions:

Who exactly are your customers and what specific problem are you solving for them?

What are they trying to achieve:
Name:
Age:
Gender:
Address:
Occupation:
Married (Y/N):
Children (Y/N):
The specific problem you can help with:

5 Places they spend their time online/offline to resolve this problem:

 

You may be tempted to try to solve more than one specific problem, but let’s just stick to one for now.

Go ahead and copy the questions into a Google Doc. Then start answering. Answer the questions as completely as possible. Some of these questions may not seem important. “Why do I need to know that my customer is married?” Well, there are a few reasons.

For one, do you need to target your customer or your customer’s spouse?

 

Digging Deeper, Getting Creative, Overcoming Obstacles.

 

What if you don’t know some of these answers? What if you haven’t sold anything yet?

Then I would start in places people ask questions. Some good places to start are Quora.com or Facebook.

Start with Quora and type your service or product.

marketing prairie giraffe

 

In this example, you are a house painter. Here you can see what potential customers are asking, where they are and what they are looking for. Looks like they are asking where they can find you and how much you charge. This is good to know because you can come right out of the gate answering these questions on your website.

Facebook is another great source. Typing in your product or services will reveal some of your competitors and who follows them, groups you can join full of information that pertains to your business, and public posts from people talking about your industry. From there you can see profiles, which go along way to helping you accurately and factually answer the questions on your Buyer Persona.

If you already have an active business page on Facebook then head over to Insights and go to “People” on the left. There you can see valuable demographics on who has been visiting your page, how old they are, where they live, gender, and more.

 

inbound marketing prairie giraffe

 

Once you have your first Buyer Persona completed create another, and another, and another if necessary. You want to get a complete picture of who your customers are for each product or service you sell. Now that you have your Buyer Personas completed you can start targetting your website, content, marketing, videos, social media, and anything else to that buyer.

Tying back into your inbound marketing, this is a lot better than stabbing in the dark and hoping you get it right. Or having to go back to cold calling and hoping you resonate with the person on the other end. Who wants to do that.

Do you need to create Buyer Personas for your business but don’t have time? Contact us. We would love to sit down and create your Buyer Personas for you so you can start reaching the right people and moving some product.

 

 

 

What Is Inbound Marketing Lead Generation?

inbound marketing, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

You’ve experienced this before. You sit down to watch a movie or any other night time relaxing activity, and the phone rings. Someone on the other end butchers your name and then starts to lay down the most robotic sales pitch ever to be uttered in the western world.

 

This is the worst. I don’t know who is buying their product, but we know no one is enjoying the experience. Not the telemarketer and certainly not the one being marketed to.

 

Is there a better option?

 

There has to be a way to attract people and more specifically, strangers, to come to your site, store, or wherever else you sell your products and services, without having to be obnoxious and intrusive.

 

Nobody likes their day interrupted by sales calls or bad marketing, but everyone enjoys finding the right product at the right time. Everyone like to solve their problem or have it solved in as simple a process as possible.

 

How do we get from obnoxious to valuable and timely? How do we make our customers seek us?

 

The answer is lead generation through inbound marketing

 

As mentioned before, you want your leads to be warm. You want people to be seeking information. You want to be the one to provide that provides that information and answers those questions. Even if the answer may end with them not needing you for this particular problem.

 

Who will they turn to next time? Will it be the telemarketer or the loud TV commercial interrupting their shows? It could be, the world is not a perfect place, but as the one who provided value and information, you are much more likely to get the sale and develop the relationship that keeps them coming back.

 

So what is lead generation?

According to Hubspot

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into leads”

 

Well, what is a lead?

 

A lead is someone who has shown interest in your business. Somehow, whether they visited your site, asked you a question on social, or walked into your store and asked, “how much?” they are a lead. Someone who could potentially buy.

 

With inbound marketing, the goal is to get this type of lead. Not just a phone number to call or an email to drop a message to. You want someone who has at least heard your name in a positive light. And interact with your business in some way. It’s the interaction that acts as the invitation for a follow-up.

 

What does inbound lead generation look like?

 

Imaging you fill out a survey about Rug Care (because you really love rugs) and a little while later someone reaches out to you with an ebook on how to care for your rug (that you love enough to take a survey about) and this ebook solves some problem you had with your rug.

 

Now take it a step further. You need a professional service performed on that rug. Who do you call? I’ll bet it’s going to be the company who has provided you with information in the past and solved an issue.

 

How do we get started?

 

You get started by developing buyer personas, creating content using keywords and social media, converting those strangers into leads, and then closing the deal. After you make the sale, the goal should be to convert that customer into a promoter. Delight the customer to the point they want to come back and bring others into the fold.

inbound marketing

 

After all, why do all this work just to make a one time sale? That sounds almost as bad as interrupting someone’s dinner to tell them about how much money you could save them on their credit card payments.

 

There are some great articles on Hubspot as well as some great tools. Another resource is inbound.org. If you really want to dig in and learn all you can about inbound marketing these are two solid places to start.

 

Keep watching our blog for more information on the topics mentioned in this post. Buyer personas, content creation, where do you advertise and who do you target (because we want to avoid being spammy and intrusive), and more.

 

If you don’t have tons of time to learn all this but want to put inbound methodologies to work for your business, give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to help you get leads coming in so you need less cold calls going out.

 

HTTPS vs HTTP Why Your Website Needs an SSL

ssl encryption, SSL, site security, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

Secured vs Unsecured

 

This is an oversimplification, but to get us started. If your site has HTTPS in front of your URL, then your website has an SSL/TSL certificate and the traffic between your server and the end-users browser is encrypted. If your address starts with HTTP, then it is not. Here is a much more exhaustive explanation of what an SSL is and why you need one.

Google Chrome and other browsers have started to warn users that the sites they are visiting are not secure. If your end-user (or yourself) transmits sensitive or private data between their computer and your server, that data can be grabbed by anyone between them and the server and stolen. The information will not be encrypted and can be read by whoever is intercepting that information.

This all sounds scary and it kind of is. Chances are you are not trying to get your customers identity stolen. You are probably just trying to take online orders for cakes, cards, or widgets of some kind. However, by asking for the data, you should know the risks and how to keep your customers safe.

 

Security is Important to Google

Now, why does that matter to you? (beyond the risks to your customers)

Google started “shaming” sites that do not use Encryption. The browser will call you out and give the user an explanation of what about your site is insecure. Whether it’s mixed content (a mixture of Secure and Insecure content) or you are missing an SSL altogether.

 

non encrypted site security

 

Motherboard has a great article on the coming “shaming” from Google and what it means for you.

Google made this announcement back in September 2016. You can read that here. There is a lot to digest in both of these articles, but if you have nothing better to do or you need something to put you to sleep they are great reading.

 

 

 

While above is the current examples of the treatment of HTTP pages with passwords or credit card form fields, and below is where they are moving to. As you can see your customers will know when their information is at risk. All the more reason to install an SSL and secure your site.

 

 

SSL Now Affects SEO

Ever since this announcement, encrypted sites have been gaining an edge over their nonencrypted competitors.  Neil Patel explains SSL and it’s implications for your site and traffic here.

If you had any doubts about securing your site those will be gone after reading Neils post. You don’t want all your hard work and money to go out the window. You need your efforts to be seen by search engines as safe so they can get in front of your audience.

We will go over installing an SSL in another post. Installing a certificate is not as simple as turning on a switch on your website. There are things to consider. Do you have a multisite network with subdomains were a wildcard certificate is required? What level of security do you need?

Need help making the transition? Not sure where to start? We would be happy to discuss your options with you. Just leave a comment below or reach out to us.

Have you already made the transition to a secure site? What issues did you encounter?

Update:

PixelPrivacy is a great company who wrote a guide on SSL and HTTPS. They have awesome guides for all types of web related security. Check out their guides and let them know what you think.

AdWords vs SEO – What’s the difference and why both are important

adwords, SEO, Prairie Giraffe, Gillette, Wyoming

What’s the difference and why both are important?

 

SEO Search Engine Optimization.

 

You get your website all set up and running. You list your services, products, and all the reasons your potential customers should be using you over your competitors. You launch and wait, no one comes or the ones that do bounce off your page.

 

The problem is probably with your SEO or search engine optimization. You need to let search engines know who you are, what you do, and do it in a way search engines can understand.

 

Things like Metadata, Schema, and backlinks are important and having a good handle on them or hiring someone who knows how to use them is important. You may get lucky and Google will crawl your pages and you will rank well, if you are in a non-competitive niche, however for most of us, that is not going to happen without some work.

 

AdWords and PPC

 

If you don’t know what AdWords and PPC are, it’s how businesses advertise on Google and other websites on the Google Search Network. You probably see these ads every day and don’t even notice.

 

search engine marketing

 

These ads can show up all over the internet, anywhere the Google Search Network is, and are a great way to target customers and potential leads. AdWords is an amazing tool for reaching your potential customers.

 

Not only can your ads be customized to fit your needs and business, you can also track conversions and other metrics. This allows you to get a better picture of not only who is looking at your ads, but also what devices they are using, where they are, and if they are your intended audience.

 

With AdWords, you can tell if your ads targeting people looking for high-end area rugs are actually attracting people looking for carpet cleaning in Tampa Fl. You can also see if you are paying too much or not enough in the bidding process. Maybe your keywords are going to cost too much for what you’re selling?

 

AdWords VS SEO

So what’s the difference and why are they both important?

 

Imagine your website is located in a city. Your “store (website)” is new to the neighborhood. No one really knows you, what you do, or if you are even trust worthy. On top of that, you couldn’t afford prime real estate to the point that your store is 20 miles from town with no roads, just a dirt trail leading to your store.

 

As you can see from the situation you would need serious work if you ever hoped to be successful. You need some roads, a reputation, some advertising, etc. Your product is really good, and the dirt road going by your shop is adequate that advertising will get customers in the door. However, as soon as the advertising stops the new customers stop as well. This is the picture of why SEO and AdWords/PPC are both important.

 

AdWords and PPC are like sticking up a billboard in the middle of your “town” and a flier in your potential customers pocket (in a non-creepy way). AdWords will work as long as you can afford it money and is probably going to work well if you invest enough time into learning what you’re doing (or hiring a company like Prairie Giraffe Marketing ;). However, as soon as you stop, the billboards and signs come down and the next person willing to buy those spots get put up. It’s the Pay-to-Play option. It gets people in the door and it does it well, but if AdWords is your only strategy, you will pay forever.

 

SEO, on the other hand, is building roads to your store, larger, faster, smoother than your dirt trail. Gaining trust from those in your “town” and a good reputation (Links and Domain Authority). The more search engines know who you are, what you do, and that you are the best person for their (the search engines) customers needs, you will get traffic and people coming to your store. The best part is once your SEO has been taken care of and is in good shape, you don’t have to pay as much to keep it up.

 

Granted you should always be working on your SEO, but unlike AdWords, you don’t have to pay per click or impression. You start gaining more and more organic traffic.

 

Both are important, but which one should I start with?

 

Short answer, Both!

 

Get customers to your site using PPC advertising. But, your long-term strategy should include incorporating SEO best practices into your website from the beginning. Start including the right headers, metadata, and schema where applicable. Start getting local citations with websites like Yelp, Angie’s list (if applicable), Google My Business, Apple Maps, etc. Use content marketing and blogging to show your audience and Google what you do and that you know what you’re talking about. 

 

Look for opportunities to get links to your business. If you have a business where you are an authority on something and not just selling a product, see if other complementary businesses would be open to guest blogging opportunities. Also if you aren’t already, start blogging on your own business website. Nothing tells search engines and audiences that you know what you are talking about better than talking about it.  

 

Start building those roads and authority today for the long term while getting customers to your site with AdWords and PPC.

 

If you need help getting started with any of the concepts we have talked about here, or if they sound great, but you just don’t have the time, feel free to reach out. We would love to help you get started or take it off your hands.