Santa Barbara SEO Services
What is SEO? Why Do I Need It?
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and is the process of improving a site’s ranking in search engine results pages like Google, Bing or Yahoo. The higher a site’s search engine ranking, the more traffic it will receive from users searching for keywords and phrases relevant to that site.
In a recent survey by our Santa Barbara SEO Experts, we found that 48% of users click the site in the first position on the search engine results page vs 33% according to Google in a 2013 survey. This makes good SEO a vital part of any local web strategy. The goal and primary reason for wanting more traffic is to increase the number of customers to a business, or readership to a blog. Increased traffic to business means higher volume of sales or even higher quality customers if your content is better targeted to your ideal customer profile. If you own a blog, an increased readership could mean more sponsor and better paying advertising to keep you blog and online journalism thriving.
Google is in business to deliver the right results to searchers. SEO is actually contrary to the purpose of Google because what businesses and website owners want may not be what the searcher is looking for. It’s important to understand this because many businesses and sites will try to do whatever it takes to position their site at the top of search engine result pages, and if a visitor doesn’t find what they are looking for, they will leave the site quickly and Google will know that it wasn’t a good match. The more visitors that leave your site quickly will increase what’s called your “bounce rate”. A high bounce rate means that your site isn’t delivering what people want, and Google will consider that to be poor quality content and penalize your site. When Google penalizes your site, they will reduce it’s ranking and in some cases, completely remove it from the results.
When a new site is launched, or a site is remodeled, often times search engines will place it in what’s called a “sandbox”. This sandbox is a place where they will test your content with select visitors and see how the site performs. Sometimes the site can be in this sandbox for months, or just a few days depending on the quality of your content and behavior of the visitors.
The importance of professional SEO cannot be understated, you need a team who understands your visitors, and if you’re a local shop, they need to understand the local community and culture.
Santa Barbara SEO Experts
Phase 3 has a team of SEO experts local to Santa Barbara that are experienced in marketing local businesses. We understand the local community and expectations of local internet users. We begin our work by analyzing your competition, we look at the traffic to their site, we see what tactics they are using, and the quality of their content to make strategic recommendations that will help your website to rise in the rankings.
Understanding Your Competition
Keep in mind that there are varying levels of competition, and although a small agile company can outmaneuver larger slower moving companies, it’s important to size up the skills of your competitors. We don’t recommend entering into a brute-force competition over keywords with another company, that’s just a fast way to spend money. Instead we recommend carefully targeting less popular keywords that can be owned more easily and in a larger quantity, gradually building momentum over time before taking on the larger more popular keywords. With the proper momentum built, less effort will be required to take the competition by surprise.
According to the chart below, we illustrate the relationship between the increasing amount of traffic required for a site to move to the top position of a search engine result page (source: Alexa).
SEO in Santa Barbara is an interesting challenge because we are becoming our own Silicon Valley, a nexus of technology firms and internet startups as well as older businesses that have limited exposure to technology. This divide between companies makes it a more unusual environment for competition because you don’t know how savvy your competitors are until you’ve analyzed their social media, websites and keywords.
We recommend a balanced approach for local businesses which involves Social Media, Responsive Design for Mobile Devices and Local SEO.
Why Phase 3 for SEO?
Visibility is key to online success. Savvy customers discern between online advertisers, and websites they deem to be untrustworthy. You need local online marketing experts, and the Santa Barbara SEO team at Phase 3 can help you navigate the competitive marketing environment corrupted by untrustworthy advertisers.
Our team positions your website as an authority and trustworthy source of reliable content through experienced onsite and offsite optimization techniques and social media marketing.
We guide and educate you while building trusted social media relationships with your target audience, converting them into consumers of your information, building online communities and cultivating brand ambassadors, spreading the good news about the services and products you sell, word of mouth advertising can be the best reward for a good SEO and Social Media plan.
Keep in mind that when we help create the content for your site, the goal is to make consumers of information, repeat visitors who are learning from the materials and assets you create for the web. The purpose isn’t primarily to sell, website visitors will see right through that and it won’t build loyalty. You want to be the credible source of information for a loyal group of visitors who frequent your website and become living testimonials and spreading word-of-mouth advertising throughout your community. They may never have the need to buy your services themselves, but they respect the information you share and your good business practices, generating referrals.
What is the point of a website if no one visits? Or perhaps you don’t know how many people are visiting, or where they come from?
Our team lifts the veil on your existing traffic to reveal how your audience is finding you, where they come from, what they are reading and how long they stay. In some cases we can also identify key demographics such as age, gender and shopping habits.
We help you establish online goals and, beginning with solid plan to take on your competition. We recommend a strategy to increase traffic from the right sources. We make sure you are showing up in the right places at the right time, optimizing traffic so you receive more of the visitors you want and less of those you dont want.
We’ll help you:
Learn proper netiquette
Proper netiquette is important when communicating with customers via email, text message and through social media. An entire digital culture has evolved over the past 35 years with it’s own code of conduct that may not be intuitive to business owners or individuals that don’t have a regular “online” life. We can help with teaching how to properly share content, understanding the proper use of abbreviations and CAPS in messaging, as well as knowing what types of information are best shared online or in-person.
Understand your online audience
Knowing your audience is not as easy as it sounds. Do you know why someone has liked your social media or is visiting your web page? Do you know how to provide content that will bring more visitors or speak to the ones you currently have? A lot of businesses think they know who their customers are but in fact know very little. We help you identify your online demographic so you can better connect with the audience that is giving you their attention.
Establish a content strategy
A content strategy is closely tied to understanding your online audience. Knowing what information they are interested in will establish loyal visitors as consumers of your information. Repeat visitors and traffic that stays on your website reading your content and engaging you on social media is one of the keys to successful online marketing. We begin by helping you identify your audience and evaluate what methods are used by your competitors and the audience they are reaching. This competitive intelligence will help you craft campaigns that bring in more high quality traffic to your website. Having the proper content on your site will help over time to convert the frequent consumers of your information.
Optimize your onsite web content
Our team will assess the content and quality of your website, making sure that you aren’t using too many keywords, that your photos aren’t so large that a web page takes too long to load. We also check for fundamentals such as page titles, meta descriptions, ALT tags and broken links that can get you quickly disqualified from Google. The web has always been competitive for business, and Google evaluates the quality of website with a complicated formula that measures hundreds of factors. The point of this is that Google wants to serve the right results to people searching so that they will continue to use Google. If your site isn’t as good as someone else’s who has the same type of content, then why would Google provide your site as the preferred search result? This evaluation is helped by how long people stay on your site — which ties in to the quality of your content, your web page, and popularity. Our optimization process helps you maintain all of these factors including a strategy to stay ahead of your competition.
Build off-site optimization techniques and partnerships
Google rates the credibility of your site based on the quality of those you associate with. The number of links to your site isn’t as important as the quality of the links. A lot of services are available that offer to build links to your site, but in most cases these are the same quality as the spam you receive in your inbox. It’s important that the links you receive are coming from industry related sites, other industry professionals, quality reviews from your peers, and good neighborhoods. A good neighborhood is a group of sites that are high quality and haven’t been penalized in the past for trying to cheat or manipulate Google in search results.
Write a social media policy for your business
Most businesses don’t have or don’t know what a social media policy is, or why one is important. If you consider your employees, staff or contractors as ambassadors to your company, conducting business and interacting with the public on a daily basis, you realize that every interaction lends or detracts from your credibility. It’s important that a company be seen as the authority of it’s subject matter, and credible in the marketplace. If your relationships contribute or take away from this credibility during daily business, wouldn’t that also translate to social media behavior online? It’s vital to have a policy that applies to these relationships and determines approved and disapproved behavior when your peers and associates are communicating online. Our team can help you craft a quality social media policy that helps maintain the credibility and authority of your organization in the online world.
Establish social media profiles and strategies
A lot of us use Social Media to communicate with friends, family and in the professional world, but we often are not experts in these platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube. Our team can help you understand the important and application of social media in business. A lot of business owners know they need to be connected, but they don’t understand how to properly promote their businesses or reap the benefits of social media. We can help with understanding the purpose, how to tap into the business benefits, and grow an engaged community with online ambassadors who want to promote your brand.