Our 10 Best SEO and Marketing Blog Posts of 2013

Whether you are a beginner in SEO or an intermediate user, we’ve cultivated 10 of our best SEO and marketing posts to help you refresh your mind and help you prepare for SEO trends of the New Year.

So, sit down with a nice cup of tea, coffee or hot beverage of choice and
follow us as we take you through some powerful lessons that will help your business.

Facebook Twitter and Google+ picture guides1. Picture Perfect Images for Social Media

Do you know the correct photo sizes for Facebook, Twitter and Google+? If not, this post will show you the dimensions for posting your best looking photos on social media ever.

 

blog post on inbound marketing tips2. 16 Inbound Marketing Tools Your Company Should Be Using

Inbound marketing strategies put you on the path with someone who is already looking for your product or service. These 16 inbound marketing tools will help you align with the right people at the right time!

 

 

 

local google authorship workshop3. Setting Up Google Authorship

Ever wonder how to get your photo to show up next to your content when it displays in a search engine results page? Google Authorship is an essential search engine optimization technique that is simple to set up. View our presentation here.

best way to build backlinks for seo4. Building Backlinks—The Right Way

The old way of doing SEO was to have loads of backlinks pointing to your website, and it didn’t matter where the backlinks came from. Not only is this technique outdated, it is detrimental to your search rankings; Google penalizes companies for bad backlinks. Read this post to learn about the best ways to build and gain quality backlinks.

 

 

Seminar recap on press releases for SEO power5. Power Of A Press Release for SEO

Did you know that a single Press Release could help you boost your company’s search rankings? Learn how SEO and traditional press releases can help you position your business for success.

 

 

 

seo action plan for beginners6. The Easy-To-Implement SEO Action Plan for Beginners

Is SEO completely foreign to you? Well just like the concepts for learning a new language—you begin to understand what people are saying first before you’re able to speak it—learning SEO is no different. This blog post is perfect for beginners in SEO that will help them bridge the gap between listening and speaking SEO.

 

 

How to do a search in social media search engines7. How to Do a Search in Social Media

Did you know that even though Google indexes social media profiles, it only has access to public information? Therefore, you might not be getting the full benefits of learning about your target audience from Google or other search engines alone. This is where doing a search in internal social media search engines becomes necessary.

 

writing blog posts for seo8. How to Write The Perfect Blog Post for SEO

Writing the perfect blog for SEO is quite easy once you have a general format for optimizing your blog posts. Read on to learn about the best places to plug-in keywords throughout your blog posts.

 

 

 

 

blog ideas for businesses9. Best SEO Blog Ideas for Businesses

Running out of business blog ideas? Review our presentation and download our business blogging planning worksheet for help on crafting up ideas for your blog. Blogs are one of the best SEO tools that help businesses connect with customers and increase search rankings.

 

 

 

 

Naperville SEO and Web Design Companies10. Good SEO but no customers? Check Your Web Design

SEO is only part of the equation for attracting more customers. If your website isn’t optimized to provide a great user experience, your customers won’t stay long enough on your site to close a sale. Contact a good Naperville Web Design firm for designing a website that provides an exceptional web experience for your customers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading the Design & Promote blog! We hope these articles helped inspire you to build a great SEO strategy for your business. If you would like more help with SEO, Web Design or Social Media Marketing, please reach out to us!

SEO photo for 20141. Quality Content Is No Longer An Afterthought For 2014

Common belief around SEO is that if you’re not using keywords in the copy of your website, you’re putting your site at a disadvantage.  While this still holds true, there needs to be more than just keywords. In addition to keywords, content that speaks to customers and not just for search engines will win.

One of the old ways of doing SEO was to stuff a bunch of keywords onto a webpage. It didn’t matter if the keywords were relevant to a website or not.  Content marketing strategies in 2014 will be focused heavily on providing quality content for a unique user experience. “Ideally you’d have good content that people share,” says Kyle Coia, SEO Specialist at Design and Promote.

While sites are becoming more visual, you can’t exclude having text on a webpage: “You have to have words on it because Google can’t read your beautiful pictures…have relevant things for Google to read,” Coia says. Content that aims to attract your target audience will be in sync with keywords and interesting content.

2. Backlinks Just For Backlinks Have No Value

“We used to rank our website by just using backlinks,” says Bruce Jones, CEO of Design and Promote. But backlinks alone cannot increase rankings. For search engine optimization in 2014, the only backlinks that will count are the ones coming from your niche audience.  With this approach, backlinks act like votes that support keywords that you have in your website content.

In fact, random backlinks no longer count as a positive strategy; they have a negative impact on a site’s ranking in search results. For instance, Google penalizes link schemes or automated programs that create links to your site.  To read more on the best way to build backlinks click here.

3. Social Media Links

To fully gain the benefits of social media in 2014, we will see SEO and social strategies become more integrated. And having a good following on social media is important. “Google started following social media links in 2010, it counts those as SEO power,” says  Jones. For instance, posts that get retweeted (RT) and shared on Twitter can impact a site’s ranking in search results.

Although it is still hard to tell if social media likes directly correlate with search rankings, the driving factors for higher rankings are still links and quality content.
Note: Google can only crawl social media profiles, pages and posts that are public.
The best way to build a social media strategy is to build a community on social and seek to nurture that community of fans, clients and leads.

4. Blogging In 2014

One way to have shareable content for social media is to blog. “Google is going to look more favorably on a website with a blog that has 100 pages than an old fashioned business website with only 5 pages,” says Jones.
Blogs that provide users with interesting and informative information will help keep your audience engaged. We recommend WordPress as a great blog platform to use.

5. 2014 Will Be A Good Year For Google +

For a lot of people, it took a while to warm up to the idea of using Google +. But actually being active on Google + is going to be huge for 2014. “Google is rewarding the people on Google +, with improved rankings,” says Jones.  So, the best thing for any content creator is to have a personal Google + page that is tied to their content. Be sure to link your Google+ page with your blog and website. Check out this blog post on setting up Google Authorship.
Since Google owns over half of the American search market; surely, SEO power will be boosted for content that is connected to a Google Authorship page.

6. Mobile Responsive Design

Responsive design is a way to optimize your site for mobile. With the dramatic increase of users logging into social media, reading emails and tweeting from a mobile phone, responsive design will be a key area to focus on for 2014.

There is a difference between a mobile site and a website that is responsive.
“With responsive design you have one code and do SEO for one website,” says Brent Tyson, Lead Web Developer at Design & Promote. A mobile site is treated as a second website; you’ll have to build SEO for that site too. He says that you’re doubling your SEO efforts, by having two sites. But with responsive design, it will read your device’s specific resolution and adjust so that content looks different on a mobile, tablet or a desktop.

As we all begin to close out the year 2013, may 2014 be full of new and exciting possibilities for you and your business! For help with adjusting your strategy for 2014, please contact us!

 

 

Keyword research seminar NapervilleThank you to everyone who joined us Tuesday night at our free keywords seminar. The atmosphere in the Design & Promote conference room was filled with guests who were eager to learn about using keywords for attracting more customers.

We jump started the evening with a presentation from Bruce Jones, who is the CEO of Design & Promote. For anyone who missed this presentation, we’ve included a PDF version of the slideshow from the evening. You can find the link located at the bottom of this post.

5 Key Points About Choosing Keywords:

1. Use the Google Keyword Planner

Find the keywords that your audience members are searching with in order to find your business’s products or services online.

“Listen to your customers, they ask for things in certain ways. Use their verbiage when searching for keywords.” -Bruce Jones

2. Organize The Data

After you have found some keywords, you need to be able to layout the data in a way that you can digest the information. Bruce recommends exporting the data into an excel spreadsheet. Feel free to use our excel spreadsheet template included at the bottom of this post.

3. Integrate the Keywords Into Your Webpage

Since 90% of websites are not optimized for the web, adding the keywords to your webpage’s title tag is often the first step. After that, you should  add the keywords into your website’s copy.

4. Search For The Keywords That Your Competitors Use

After you have found new keywords for your site, perform another search in Google using “allintitle: ‘insert your keyword’” and then look for how many searches are coming up for that keyword.

5. Maintaining High Search Results

Google’s algorithm is always adjusting, the best way to maintain high search results is to adjust with the changes and keep providing quality content for your target audience. Contact us for more help on optimizing your website.

This workshop is part of a monthly seminar series on internet-marketing related topics hosted by Design and Promote. Our free training seminars are for anyone that deals with web design, content management or anyone who wants to learn how to help their business be found online. This was our 13th internet marketing seminar, to see a list of our past events please click here.

To keep updated for when we have our next event, follow us on Facebook.

To download the presentation click here

For Excel spreadsheet template click here

If you’ve moved or changed your physical address, phone number or other business information recently, it’s more important to implement an internet change of address as soon as possible. Between directory listings, yellow pages, Google profiles and maps, social media, etc., you undoubtedly have hundreds or thousands of places on the internet where your listing includes your outdated contact information.  It’s even more overwhelming to discover how many of these listings need to be updated individually. We know, because we’ve been through it!change Google address for business

Our company, Design and Promote, moved our headquarters to 1952 McDowell Rd. two years ago.  Since we are a Chicago SEO company, it’s important for Design & Promote to be “findable” and rank highly in the search engines at all times. Therefore, our name and address appears in hundreds of directory listings, social media and electronic publications on the internet to help our customers find us, and also boost our own SEO.  It was more important than ever that our internet change of address was complete and immediate so each time our physical address appeared in the “contact us” section, it was correct.

HERE’S HOW TO CHANGE ADDRESS ONLINE:

1) Update the Internet Address on Your Website. This sounds obvious, but many business owners actually fail to do this as a first step.  Since many sites are probably linked to your website, this first step will updated your address on many different sites.

2) Change Address Online on Other Sites. This step is more difficult, time-consuming and can very quickly become overwhelming. When we moved, we fixed the address change in the most obvious places, such as the groups we belonged to and the directories where our name was regularly referenced. These measures corrected about 40,000 listings on the internet.  Then we had to do the third step….

3) Locate Remaining Sites and Create a Process to Change Address Online. When we performed another Google search, we found an additional 2,000 sites that we needed to correct individually.  Using Google webmaster tools we were able to find these sites and “submit to index” to update as quickly and easily as possible.

HOW MANY PLACES IS YOUR COMPANY STILL LISTED ONLINE WITH YOUR OLD ADDRESS? Changing business address online

Are you wondering if there are still any websites out there that list your former contact information? Are you anticipating having to change your address online and wonder how many places your current information appears? We can tell you.

Fill out the form below to enter your information and receive a FREE report from Design & Promote that will list the sites where Google still indexes your former business address.  Then, if you need help in updating your listings, Design and Promote’s change address online service will locate and correct the listing for you.  Using our tools and expertise, we can easily make changes to industry specific directories that you may appear in, as well as any citations and backlinks.

Remember, the internet only works if the information you place there is accurate and up-to-date.  Let Design & Promote help with our Internet Change of Address service.  Contact us today.

chicago seo consulting firmHere at Design & Promote, as a leading SEO consultant in Chicago, we often work with clients who are struggling to keep up with the very latest (and seemingly ever-changing) algorithms that dictate which companies get online attention…and which ones don’t. We completely understand their challenges; to a non-SEO business, it can feel like the search engine giants are constantly revamping their rules and regulations in a way that can eliminate previous online marketing efforts. The result? These business owners can constantly feel like they are starting over with their Internet promotions each and every time Google decides to revamp its current algorithm.

Not Every SEO Consultant In Chicago Recognizes The Importance Of Quality Content

At Design & Promote, our experienced team of SEO consultants in Chicago recognizes that the incessantly looming threat of yet another changed algorithm can feel daunting to even the most polished entrepreneur. That’s why we offer our clients marketing methods and approaches designed to rise above the constantly changing set of rules and regulations that the search engines are requiring. Unlike other firms that rely too heavily on quick-fixes and marketing gimmicks, Design & Promote continues to keep our focus where it should be: distributing compelling, engaging online content that truly resonates with our clients’ specific targeted consumer demographic.

Creating Customized Strategies And Solutions That Deliver Optimal Results

Here at Design & Promote, our approach to content is two-fold. First and foremost, we believe in creating engaging, readable content that rouses human interest. We believe that generating quality, original copy based on each client’s individual needs is a must to ensure that, no matter what the latest algorithm fad, we are poised to grab the reader’s attention quickly, before they have a chance to move on to a competitor’s site. By keeping a steady focus on copy written for human eyes, we’ve found that our marketing initiatives are ready to continue to deliver results regardless of what computer-based rules and regulations dictate.

Additionally, as the leading SEO consultant in Chicago, we also recognize that having quality content is only the first step in successfully helping our clients dominate browser searches. In order to truly capitalize on everything that online marketing has to offer, we have to be ready to distribute pieces in various formats throughout multiple forums. When working with us, our clients have access to a diverse range of copy options to choose from. Blogs, social media posts, press releases, articles and more; Design & Promote offers our partners an ideal way to select the types of content that will work best for their specific consumer niche.

Once we’ve identified a comprehensive range of pieces for a campaign, Design and Promote then begins the systematic process of strategic distribution. We cast a wide, yet calculated net when it comes to releasing our clients’ materials. Why? To ensure that our highly-readable content makes the biggest impact with any algorithm for optimal business return on investment.

Want to hear more about our approach to creating engaging content customized for your consumer demographic? Contact us today.

SEO-Button

Writing a perfect blog post for SEO is a great way to build your presence on the internet.  By combining valuable content, strategically placed keywords and proper organization, your post will go far to help increase your Google rankings.perfect blog post

The style in which you write your blog post for SEO is completely up to you, however, most readers appreciate a casual style in the first or second person.  Readers also appreciate short, easy to understand sentences, especially if they are broken up with subheads and bullet points. Here is a guide to constructing a perfect blog post for SEO.

  • TITLE  Try to keep your title under 70 characters for Google to index it properly.  The blog post title should include a keyword just as we have done in this post. (Blog post for SEO). Make sure there is also a keyword in your title tag, which appears next to the page title in the browser tab.  Remember, the title tag has immense SEO power, at times even more than your keywords.

 

  • KEYWORD DENSITY FOR SEO BLOG POSTS  When you’re writing the perfect blog post for SEO, it’s not the number of keywords that matters, but the density of the keywords within the post. So “what is the best keyword density for SEO?”  If you stuff your post full of keywords, Google will detect it as unnatural and it will hurt your rankings.  If you don’t use enough keywords, your efforts can be wasted.  Remember, keyword density is determined by the amount of words you have in the post, so the same amount of keywords inserted into two different articles will have a different density depending on article’s length.  Keyword density should be no greater than 3% and preferably 1-2% of the article’s total word count.  For this post, the keyword density for our keyword “blog post for SEO” is 1.4% and 1% for SEO blog post. There are many free, on-line keyword density checkers available but our favorite is the Live Keyword Analysis.

 

  • FIRST PARAGRAPH   In a blog post for SEO, the first paragraph is an important place to use a keyword, as we have demonstrated. (keyword: SEO blog post) Your opening should be attention-getting but tell the reader what to expect in the rest of the content.

 

  • SECOND PARAGRAPH Here’s where you sell the “value” of your post.  Tell the reader what’s in it for them, and why they should care about what you are saying.

 

  • SUBHEADS AND BULLETS IN SEO BLOG POSTS   Subheads are another place to use keywords, but most importantly, they help the reader scan, or get through the content easily.  Bullets are another helpful device, especially when you have a long list.

 

  • IMAGES   Adding an image to your blog makes it more appealing and breaks up the copy. In a blog post for SEO, it also gives you another keyword opportunity. There are many ways to effectively use images and title them with a keyword within your blog post.  For example, rather than name  the image in this post “blog post image,” we have named it with a keyword so it will be found on Google if the keyword is searched. Likewise, we’ve stocked the alt tag and description with keywords too.  Always take advantage of an image’s SEO value.

 

  • length FOR SEO BLOG POST  In general, the longer the post, the more opportunity you have to use keywords, and the more important Google will consider the post.  500 words is a good minimum length. If properly constructed, a post as long as 800 words or higher is acceptable as long as the content quality is good and not repetitive.  The length of this blog post?  884 words.

 

  • BACKLINKS IN SEO BLOG POSTS  Ideally, you can link to 3-5 of your own relevant posts within your SEO blog post content, just as we have done throughout this article.  There are many different kinds of backlinks you can use to refer readers to another blog post,  your home page, or contact page.  A good rule of thumb is to include a backlink for every 125 words.

 

  • SUMMARY AND CALL TO ACTION   The last paragraph of your blog post should do two things: summarize the article and ask the reader to do something.  The SEO blog post summary should hit upon the major points discussed and their importance. The call to action is a blatant request to the reader.  As the old saying goes, “ask and you shall receive.”  If you do not give the reader a next step, they may not take it.  Examples of common calls to action are to visit the company’s website, call to schedule an appointment or make a donation.

 

  • COMMENTS/SOCIAL SHARING   Finally, give your readers an easy way to comment and share your post. Include social media sharing buttons and be sure to respond promptly to all comments. It’s also not uncommon to post thank you’s to people who have shared your posts on their social media.

With careful attention to detail, you too can write a perfect blog post for SEO.  Finally, we have to end this post with a proper call to action, so here it is:Design & Promote can assist you in writing a perfect blog post for SEO. If you are ever in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Search Engine Optimization

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Search Engine Optimization

seo-company-chicago-ilAt Design & Promote, we are SEO experts. We have the skills, the expertise and the resources to create a customized SEO campaign for your website that will allow you to dominate the search engines, draw more visitors to your website, and convert those visitors into sales.

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Web Design & Development

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Branding & Graphic Design

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Custom Photography

custom-photography-chicago-ilWe offer custom photography services to compliment your design & branding campaigns. From meet the staff photos to virtual office tours, we can provide you with beautiful photos to convey your message!

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Internet Marketing

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