Tag Archives: google

Political SEO and the problem with SEO and Advertising in General

We all know the difficulties in Political SEO.     The short timeframe, the need for 24/7 rapid response from content to ranking in Google for anything plastered on DrudgeReport,  Digg, Reddit or any other political outlet that casts your client in a negative light.    The work is hard,  harder in many cases than traditional work with Business or Enterprise SEO like for fortune 500 firms.    The rapid response aspect is enough to have a politician have the direct cell phone number of the SEO to be at his or her service 24 hours a day close to the election day and especially in a tight race.

There are cases where the SEO becomes not just a part of the team,  he becomes the team in some specific instances.

The problem occurs typically at the end of the election.    It’s often said by Political experts that “you should collect the last month invoice up front,  because in the case your client loses he will blame everyone but himself and not pay the last month’s bill.”   This makes sense to SEO and Advertising Agencies because we have seen many instances of Politicians skipping the last month’s bill.

From a history lesson from our own experience.   Herman Cain was running for President on the Republican Ticket in 2012.     His campaign signed a contract for our services.   However we couldn’t collect for our services at the end.  The campaign closed and our last invoices were not paid.

We could have pushed the issue, however we chalked it up to experience.    The fact is, if the campaign loses.   No matter whom is running (in this case a GOP Presidential Contender with potential at the time of securing the ticket) the chances are your last month bill will not be paid.

This is part of the landmine of working in the Political SEO space.

 

How does Business and Enterprise SEO differ from Political SEO

You would think that SEO is SEO. To an extent you are right. Political SEO should not be any different that SEO for your business. The problem is it is not.

Only in very limited cases is reaction time done in minutes, or hours for Business SEO. You see market forces, you develop products or services to match those market forces, and then you work to rank for those new terms of the products and services that you offer to get a return on your investment. That’s business SEO.

For Political SEO there’s a hard time frame, a solid date. There really are no long term clients for SEO in Politics because campaigns are over after the election. That date is literally election day, but that’s not the worst part.

In Political SEO candidates turn nasty, they make “partial truths” or outright lies about your campaign and you individually. From the second these people make that speech on TV, people start searching for that term, and they do search within minutes of hearing it. Right from their phone, right in the audience and right from their recliner at home. Did you really vote to allow fracking next door to the city water supply? Did you really vote to allow to have high power lines run over my kids middle school playground? Did you really vote to raise my taxes 28 times in the past year?

Political SEO is more about having the right information at the right time, ranking well in Google.

Politicians and their team need to be able to respond within minutes, and rank within minutes from the moment the opposition voices a lie. So when the voters search for that term they find the truth rather than the opponents statement portrayed as fact.

So when your voters are Googling your name with the word “Fracking” 15 minutes after they heard it on TV, Youtube or Facebook, Reddit or the Drudge Report that you allowed a Fracking operation next door to the water supply it doesn’t show only the statement that the opposition made, it shows your response that the Fracking operation is 45 minutes away in another county.

Technically you could also use your newfound SEO ability to not just retort, but also launch campaigns as well. If your candidate was doing something he was trying to hide, in this case you could launch a campaign with the truth and make sure that message was heard by voters well before he could respond.

Political SEO is a powerful tool, and over the past few years Google has been able to index and rank well content within minutes. If correctly SEO’ed with the right team this allows you to use this platform to achieve one of the most powerful ways to communicate with your voters.

Yooter InterActive is a leading political SEO team with extensive experience with politicians, Fortune 500 firms and works well with leading advertising agencies.

Political SEO – the demand is there

When elections become heated, ranking or not ranking for a term might be enough to sway a vote. For tight races this means winning or losing an election. Political SEO is now one of the cornerstones of a valid political campaign. It’s as important as TV ads, Print, Signs and other types of advertising.

It’s suggested that a political operative in charge of marketing allocates at least 10-20% of the budget towards SEO, SEM and other online marketing tools. The problem is until recently SEO was never targeted specifically. Advertising agencies that are contracted to do the SEM and Social Media tried to do SEO but that all changed in 2008 and 2012 when organic SEO became one of the biggest income makers.

People would be searching for Obama, Ron Paul or others.. reading news and donating. This has been happening for years but not to the extent shown in the 2 most recent elections.

If you are running for office, you should be considering an SEO with extensive experience.

Feds Open Antitrust investigation into Google’s Android OS

For some reason, The feds targeted Google leaving their competitor, Apple unscathed by the anti-trust investigation. Even though Apple controls a sizable market and Android is mostly opensource.

Google’s Android mobile software is the world’s most popular. In the U.S. it accounted for 59% of the market while Apple’s iPhone software had 38%, according to research firm International Data Corp.

So Apple is sitting at nearly 40% market share and Google is the one being charged with creating a monopoly?

The issue appears to be bundling Google’s services into Android. Similar to the Windows bundling of IE back in the late 1990’s-2000’s.

It’s a joke, a mess and only stops innovation.

If we were to take this line of thought, I want Siri on my Ubuntu desktop without any hacks not just approved iOS devices.. if Apple won’t release the code, then the feds should sue Apple over being monopolistic. How dare they take a product they purchased and worked on and only include it with Apple Devices newer than X.

The last true successful federal intervention into an monopoly took place over a century before, with the breakup of Standard Oil back in May 15, 1911. That’s over 100 years ago. Since that point it’s been used as more of a political points tool rather than an actual break up. Some argue that the AT&T breakup in the 1980’s was effective, but looking at my phone bill I would argue otherwise.

Google is being unfairly targeted. If you want to go after a monopoly, go after one that counts like Comcast.

Search Optimization – How to measure ROI

Often companies try to measure ROI for SEO for good reason. Because it’s often stated that the ROI on SEO is potentially higher than any forms of marketing online and offline.

But proving it is sometimes difficult without proper tracking. For PPC / SEM it’s easier (not easy, just easier), just measure what you spent vs what you get back. However for SEO it’s not exactly that simple. Things like “branded keywords” might be partially attributed to the overall marketing effort (some argue however that “branded keywords” are also due to the hard work of the SEO effort.

I’ll outline in short form what is the best way to reasonably keep track of SEO and the ROI associated with it.

Consider the nature of SEO. If someone clicks on your Google listing, it does not raise the price of your marketing effort one penny unlike PPC that you get billed per click. This is why SEO has often been labeled the most efficient marketing method possible. There is no direct additional costs for each additional visitor (bandwidth and servers not factored in, since that would be a factor in any marketing method). This means that any additional content that you post, ranks well and attracts potential customers is effectively free after the initial effort of making that content. So measure the “cost” of making that content, and measure how many conversions it creates over a period of time. This period of time should be measured in months or more. It is common for us to get clients from a post that we made 4 years ago. So these content pages though might degrade over time, by no means go away. Then you can measure how many people visited your site from that specific content page, and then came back to your site over the course of the next X months and converted.

Another line of thought is how much did that SEO effort cost you? Well that post did cost you something, you had to have someone (or yourself) sit down and write up that content, or photo, or video. Time is money. But that hour or two of effort can pay off the next day, the next month or even the next year. In essance you have to measure how much effort in a dollar figure that content cost you vs what it returned over the course of a year. Many clients see an ROI on some content they created to be something on the order of over $4,000 dollars returned for every $1 spent on SEO. We had a client that created a content page regarding the launch of a new mobile product. The article simply had the specifications of the device listed, battery life, and a few other items. This content was already published but not together or in a logical format. We advised them to create that page. Their conversion rate was literally over $4,000 return for every $1 dollar invested creating that page when measured over the course of the year. Creating that content page took several people about 6 hours (photos, people to take images, and a short video). They made a fortune from it. What happened was simple, the page ranked well. Was picked up by the technology section of Reddit and became a ROI machine. The point of this is that you can’t measure the success of content in days, it is something measured in months or longer.

The content rule, takes a short time to create content yet pays off continuously over an internet lifetime.

Former SEO Company destroyed client site – How do I clean it up?

Well it happens, many times we get calls from potential clients saying that their former SEO company destroyed their website.

This is a quick checklist in order to take control of the situation.

1 – first thing is first, make sure that your client fully understands the situation they are in. That you will try your best to fix the problem but at first sign up you are not 100% sure what type of damage they did. Make sure expectations are reasonable to both parties. Make sure you give yourself a timeframe measured in months. If your client thinks you’ll fix the problem in a week they will be highly upset. Many times if the problem was a manual action, Google won’t even reply to the re-include request in a week. Much less give you time to fix the problem to even be reconsidered to be back in the index.

2 – get admin access to a verified webmaster tools account in Google. Typically there are messages and reports there that help you figure out exactly what happened. It’s better than hearsay because you are getting these reports directly from Google. Check to see if the site was penalized, see if there were any manual actions, check to see if they pointed a billion garbage links to your client. Read though the reports and see if it was something more understandable, like a slowdown of the sites response time. You have to fully read and comprehend all parts of webmaster tools. I cannot stress this enough. Don’t bother going to step 3 until you completed step 2.

3 – Now that you completed step two, take a look at the backlink profile, the content of the site, if it’s mobile friendly or not, and all the normal suspects. Use the disavow tool if needed, make the site responsive if needed. Do whatever you feel is necessary to complete the task. Make sure the sitemaps are up to par. Submit an RSS feed as a sitemap as well. Typically this works wonders for content heavy sites.

4 – Put in a re-include request via webmaster tools if a manual action was taken.

5 – Continue to clean up the site, keep an eye on webmaster tools over the next few weeks.

6 – Keep in contact with your client, don’t let them believe your doing nothing, but in reality you might be waiting for Google. This can take time.

7 – enjoy the fruits of your labor when the client site starts to rank again or at least start showing up in the search engine for some terms. Remember when coming back from a penalty it takes time. You just don’t rank automatically for every term you did prior to the ban. You are out of jail, but you lost your job. It takes time to re-establish your clients site.

Sometimes it’s not the SEO

Sometimes it’s not the SEO. Sometimes it’s the business model. Several times over the past 20 years I had to turn down a client. They wanted to sign, I just didn’t want them to.

A few years ago a potential client approached me with a new venture his company was going to launch. The parent company is a large firm with over 10,000 employees, but this startup division was what we were to optimize and advertise.

The problem is the business model was poor to say the least. They wanted to charge a substantial fee for something that was already opensource and widely adopted in the market. It was a new blogging platform designed to compete against WordPress. The blogging platform however wasn’t substantially better than WordPress, it was closed source and to make matters worse there was no “self hosted option” meaning that they wanted large firms to point to their url for their blog. Similar to Blogger.Com but without many of the features.

Their logic was “We are part of XXX, one of the biggest tech companies out there, others will sign up just for brand recognition”. After many attempts at convincing them that the product wasn’t ready, no amount of SEO will help them with a broken or incomplete product. I decided to decline their account (though they worked hard to get me to reconsider).

The problem is many startups or even established firms don’t fully understand that brand recognition doesn’t really cut it in today’s world in many online industries.

The point I am trying to make is make sure the business model works, though I can point out instances where advertising saved a shoddy product, that is the exception rather than the rule.

SEO can promote your product, but SEO can’t really improve your product. Same goes for advertising.

Asking Facebook vs Asking Google

Recently over the past few years the requests to facebook have steadily increased for suggestions or recommendations on where to buy products.

If you are a business owner,  this means that Search Engine Optimization , though still the kingpin of digital marketing is not the only outlet for you to gain a foothold on potential clients online.

The problem that advertisers have is when someone posts to facebook “do you know any contractors in Pottsville, PA that fix damp basements?”  their friends are the ones that reply.   It’s the online equivalent to shouting to a room of your friends and getting answers from them on who to contract to fix that $25,000 dollar basement project.

How does an advertiser get into that room and give an answer?

Well there are a few ways.  The easiest is just to purchase facebook ads.   Though this isn’t exactly rocket science, there is some science to it to make sure that you generate a positive ROI.

The other way is to search and if the post is public,  you might have a chance on responding.   Though the customer might not like the intrusion (I know I wouldn’t if I was asking my friends, and a vendor answered).

Another way would be to friend and tag them in a post.  Though that would require you to friend them, and them accepting your request.

All these have some serious downsides.

Another way would be to create your company page,  and address whatever you find in your searches with a logical and positive answer.

“Where can I find a a contracter in Pottsville PA to fix damp basements”

A post on your wall would be the right answer to their question.   “XYZ contracting specializes in damp basements in the Pottsville, PA area.   We have been in business for 30 years and our work is guaranteed to keep your basement dry” .    This would allow you to come up for some terms if they decide to search on facebook.   I would also suggest posting something like this on your company blog,  of course not the same thing,  a far more robust version of the same however would be in order.

Typically what happens is their friends turn to Google when a question like that arises.    Considering wordpress, if configured properly can be indexed within minutes.    There’s a good chance that by the time they post on facebook,  you could respond and be in Google before their friends Google the question.

However this takes some effort to stay on top of whatever pops up on Facebook.   In other words,  this is mostly impossible to keep up with.

So the last bit of advice.   The best way to get suggested on Facebook is to do what every business should always do.    Provide the best service possible at a reasonable price.

If you have played by that rule,  the chances are someone on that facebook page would have suggested you.

The point of this article is that no matter what type of advertising you do,  nothing beats word of mouth and word of mouth is not purchased or bought,  it’s earned.

 

Marketing in Allentown PA

Perfect Six has a great article regarding Marketing and Advertising in Allentown PA.     There is some common sense points that typically are not even thought of when advertising.

if you sell baseball, your first course of action could be as simple as sponsoring a local Little League team.  Selling running shoes? Sponsor a 5k walk or offer coupons. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time.

Simple ideas like this do not cost much money,  but they do ingrain your brand with the target market.

Little League players eventually become coaches and buyers.   Having your store as the sponsor of a 5k puts your store in front of all the runners,  runners buy shoes.

The point of the article is to use common sense,  and in many cases common sense isn’t exactly the business owner.   The problem that plagues many CEO’s and Marketing Officers is that they are in their business,  rather than in the minds of their customers.

Perfect Six is the blog to read for marketing in Allentown  and Lehigh Valley.

 

 

Google threatens Rank Checking software users with manual penalty

rank-checkerThis has been the gold standard for quite some time.   The famed Google Guidelines.    However it appears that recently Google has moved a specific line item to another area.   Placing Rank Checking software users in the same league with websites that install viruses, Doorway pages, and cloakers.

Then to boot threaten action against them via a manual penalty.

Many times you’ll see discussions on reddit or other SEO forums regarding Rank Checking Software.   Clearly these do violate Google Guidelines and they are specifically mentioning them in their quality Guidelines and users of them are now given notice that they might get a manual penalty if they decide to take that route.