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What is SEO and Why is it Important?

What is SEO and Why is it Important?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic to your website from organic or "free" search results.  SEO is an inbound marketing strategy. Most marketing channels involve you reaching out to your customers. SEO gives you the opportunity to reach people who are actively seeking you.  They are already interested in your products or services, they just need to find you as the best choice for where to get them. 

So let's talk for a minute about "organic" search and how SEO affects it.

Organic search is a method for entering search terms into a search engine.  Typically they describe the product or service you are seeking or a question you need to be answered.  The resulting response from Google is based purely on relevance and not on paid advertisements where keywords are being bid on for top positioning.  So you can see why SEO is such a critical part of this process.  If you are not using paid advertising and are relying on Organic search results, you have to ensure that you are competitive when trying to get the top spot in SERPs. Did you know that 97 percent of people DON’T click past the first page of results.1

The benefit to learning and experimenting with organic search optimization is that you are likely to experience long-term results since the process focuses on quality content creation, backlink building, and meta enhancements.  This is also the most cost effective way of "advertising" your site.  There are many great resources on the web for beginner level optimizers and there are a few basic techniques that can be utilized with minimal experience but if you are interested in a full-scale optimization of your site, visit http://allegroconsultants.com/marketing for information on how Allegro can help you.

 

1. -https://www.bluecorona.com/blog/google-ranking-factors-2018

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7 Possible Reasons Why Your Site is Not Showing Up In Google Results

7 Possible Reasons Why Your Site is Not Showing Up In Google Results

You've spent lots of time and money trying to create a beautiful, user-friendly website that will lure people in and make them want to buy yet Google still isn't serving you up to the masses. Why?

It can be frustrating trying to sift through the reasons why you aren't showing up in Google search results. And, if you aren't familiar with SEO best practices and Google algorithms, you can be completely lost in a sea of terminology and concepts you don't understand while trying to research your problem

So, let's chat about 7 possible reasons why Google could be leaving you out.

But before we start, let's make sure you are being realistic about your timeframe for getting the results you are looking for. It can take around 90 days before you start seeing movement in the SERPs after your site is launched. You have to be crawled and indexed and Google has to determine that you are trustworthy.  It takes time.

 

7 Possible Reasons Why Your Site is Not Showing Up In Google Results

1. Google has not indexed your website yet.

If your site is new, it could be that Google simply has not indexed yet. There is a quick way to find out. Perform a Google search like this - site:yoursite.com (do not use www. or the //)

If you can see your website in the search results, you're good to go there. If not, then you will need to take a few steps to ensure the Google finds you. The best solution - add your site to Google Search Console and submit your sitemap. (Don't have a Search Console account?  Setting one up is easy, here's how - https://www.google.com/webmasters/)This will let Google know you're there and ready to be found. Don't worry if this process takes a few weeks. Your site will need to be crawled prior to indexing and this can take a minute.

2. Your website isn’t optimized for search engine crawling.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is such an important player when it comes to being found on the web. What is SEO? it is the process of refining your website to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results. There are rules and nuances and best practices and frankly, it can be totally overwhelming. SEO can be challenging and take lots of time to master although, there are many resources out there for steps that even a novice can take to get you on the road to an effectively optimized site. I will dive into that topic a bit more later in this blog series.

3. Your website isn't mobile friendly.

This is a biggie folks! Mobile has surpassed desktop in usage. In response, Google is shifting to mobile first indexing making it imperative that your site be responsive to mobile devices meaning design and development should respond to the user's behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. This lets Google know that you are interested in helping their largest group of users find you. You can use Google's own Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to find out if your site is responsive (link)

4. Your keyword market is very competitive.

Search engines help millions of users find specific content among the billions of pages of available information every day. If you are not targeting the proper keywords, your site can get lost among the competition. You need to be specific in what you want to rank for. For example, if you sell custom fishing rods, try to rank for "custom fishing rods for sale in Richmond" Target a smaller audience. You are more likely to rank higher for your location. Or try finding a niche market within your industry. How about "custom fly fishing rods for sale"? If your competition is larger than you and older than you, this approach will likely have to be used in combination with some of the other things talked about in this post but keyword research is a definite need when determining how you will focus the efforts of your on-page optimization using targeted keywords.

5. Not enough quality content.

The bottom line here is that Google wants info. They want to see that you are offering your visitors plenty of information and images and they are updated on the regular. Content that is rich in keywords and offers your visitors the chance to learn and engage is what Google will reward you for. If you have barely there gobledy gook that offers no benefit, Google will see right through it and you will never get anywhere. A great way to add content and keep things fresh... a blog! And beware, keyword stuffing and duplicating content are big no-nos. You will be penalized if Google sees this in your site. So, take the time, create a strategy, and write quality content unique to each page.

6. No backlinks

A backlink is created when one website links to another. Backlinks show trustworthiness. Linking, both internal and external, show Google that you offer your visitors more value than just whats on the page they landed on. When Google crawls your page, they will follow the links on that page as well.  The quantity and quality of those links are some of the criteria that are used by Google to determine your rank. 

7. Your website has been penalized and removed from Google.

This doesn't happen often and typically not with a new site, but it can happen. Here are some reasons direct from Google.

"Google may temporarily or permanently remove sites from its index and search results if it believes it is obligated to do so by law if the sites do not meet Google's quality guidelines, or for other reasons, such as if the sites detract from users' ability to locate relevant information. We cannot comment on the individual reasons a page may be removed. However, certain actions such as cloaking, writing text in such a way that it can be seen by search engines but not by users, or setting up pages/links with the sole purpose of fooling search engines may result in removal from our index. "

If you find that this is the case, you have the opportunity to make changes to your site so that it meets guidelines and be resubmitted for consideration.

 

Learning about SEO is a critical part of making sure your online presence is the best it can be.  Optimization techniques need consistent monitoring and tweaking in order for them to be effective. With 77% of Americans going online each day, its imperative that you make SEO strategies part of your online marketing plan. 

 

1. https://moz.com/learn/seo/backlinks

2. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/40052?hl=en

3. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/14/about-a-quarter-of-americans-report-going-online-almost-constantly/ft_18-03-15_constantusers_roughlythree/

 

Do you have any questions or concerns about the optimization of your website?  Leave a comment or question below!

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3 Ways Allegro Can Help You Make the Most of Your SEO Efforts

3 Ways Allegro Can Help You Make the Most of Your SEO Efforts

 

 

 

OneSource ERP, Allegro's ERP integrated eCommerce solution, is built on the Magento platform.  While Magento has excellent out-of-the-box SEO functionality, you may want to take it a bit further.  Allegro can help you optimize your site for favorable search engine results, market your site for increased sales and profits and monitor your site for marketing opportunities and/or indicators of a problem. 

 

1. Google Analytics

Analytics is a set of measurements that will help you understand your website performance.  By monitoring visitor interaction with your site, you will be able to make informed decisions regarding where to best focus your efforts in making your site as profitable as it can be. Allegro can set up your analytics account and connect it with your e-commerce website.  We can help you understand how to monitor your website performance so that you can maximize and focus your marketing efforts.

2. Google Adwords

Adwords is Google’s advertising system that allows you to bid on keywords so that your clickable ads will appear in search results.  Many businesses have found success using AdWords to drive traffic to their site.  Allegro can help you create an AdWords account, set up a campaign and monitor results using Google analytics. 

3. Integrations

Magento is very flexible and offers numerous opportunities for marketing integrations.  By automating your email marketing efforts, you can quickly and effectively send marketing messages to certain segments of customers or your entire customer base.  Mailchimp is an excellent marketing automation tool.  We use it so it's easy for us to recommend to our customers.  Let us show you how to integrate Mailchimp with Magento to create engaging marketing campaigns.

Contact Allegro for more information about integrating your ERP with Magento and our related services that will help you get the most from your SEO efforts.

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Why blog?

Why blog?

If there is one thing you should consider for your 2017 inbound marketing plan, it's finally starting your business blog.

You have most likely heard that blogging is important, but let's be real, it's just ONE MORE THING to add to your to do list. Well, that may be true but a little effort can go a long way when it comes to the benefits of blogging. I'm going to share a few of the biggest reasons to make starting a blog a priority.

 

B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those that do not.1Tweet: B2B marketers who use blogs generate 67% more leads than those that do not. http://bit.ly/2jchIRZ

 

1. A blog can help drive traffic to your website - New and updated content signals search engines to check in on your website and see whats changed or added. It shows you are actively managing your content. Now, let's think back to 2016.  How many times did you add content to your site?  I don't just mean simple product addition, but keyword laden, optimized, searchable content.   Blogging is the opportunity to consistently add content. You are creating more pages for search engines to index and creating another opportunity for your website to show up in search results.

2. A blog can help to establish thought leadership - Use your blog to answer questions or address concerns that your customers have had. Show customers that you are attentive and knowledgeable.  If you are able to continually provide helpful and/or interesting content you will be turned to repeatedly for your knowledge.  **This is a good place to mention that you should empower your employees to write blog posts.  The people that sell your products and services will/should know the most ;-)

3. A blog will help to convert traffic into leads - EVERY well-written blog should include a lead generating call-to-action. Send your readers to your website where they can download a white paper or free e-book, access a webinar or free trial in exchange for their contact information.  BOOM!  You now have a new prospect to market to.

 

 

Noggin Nugget: Check out this case study published by HubSpot. It shows how blogging, as part of your inbound marketing plan, can increase your traffic significantly.

b2ap3_thumbnail_How-One-Companys-Investment-in-Blogging---SEO-Increased-Traffic-By-Over-2-500-in-One-Year.png

 

 

Following up on last months blog -

Managing Your End-of-Year eCommerce Reporting and Analysis

Did you know that you are not limited to the reports available using Magento's reporting feature? 

Allegro can help you accomplish your reporting goals by extracting and organizing your data to create a custom reports that fit your needs.  What if you could be provided a clearer picture of your business' performance?  Maybe you would like a report that shows sales by category or payment type or even which products were most added to carts and then abandoned.  We can help you get the data you need to make informed business decisions.  

Contact Allegro for more information about how to get the data you want and need from your Magento store.    

 

1. https://www.insideview.com/social-selling/

 

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3 Essential SEO Elements that Should Never be Overlooked

3 Essential SEO Elements that Should Never be Overlooked

There are 3 essential SEO elements that should never be overlooked when optimizing an ecommerce site.  They are the Title Tag, Header Tag, and Meta Description.

As we all know, SEO can improve the visibility of your website, increase traffic and boost your brand’s revenue.  So, let's take a look at how these three elements fit into your website optimization plan.

The title tag is used by search engines to determine a page's topic.  They are also displayed in SERPs (search engine results page).  A well written title tag will show the user what they can expect from the page.  In this way it is important that you are clear in since this is one determiner in whether or not your user clicks through to your site.   From a search engine perspective, your title tag will be compared with your page content to ensure that you have keyword consistency when pages are being ranked. 

Header tags are pieces of HTML code the allow certain words to stand out on a page.  The most important being <h1>.  This would be the category name on a category page and product name on a product page, etc.  They are the headings that show what your page is about.  The heirarchy of importance begins with <h1> and works down to <h6>.   Not as important, the tags <h2> - <h6> usually describe subheadings.  They could be thought of as ways of organizing content for readers.  It is important that your header tags contain keywords so that while skimming for pertinent information, the reader can determine if they want to read further.

A meta description is a short paragraph of text placed in the HTML that describes a webpage.  While used by search engines, they should be written for humans.   The most important things to remember when writing an effective description are that it include keywords, is relevant to the page content, and is no longer than 160 characters.  A compelling meta description tag could entice searchers to click through from the SERP to your site, especially if the description includes the keywords they were searching for.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_search_20161130-191026_1.jpg3

 

Allegro's OneSource ERP users are in luck as many of the SEO tasks are handled for them.  Allegro uses data in the ERP and maps it to correct fields in the Magento back end to fill in the important tags and meta data described in this blog.  If you are not a OneSource ERP customer and would like help with optimizing your website, contact us.  We can evaluate your site to determine how strong your SEO game is.  If you need help implementing changes, we can do that, too.

 

Noggin nugget: 75% of search engine users never scroll past the first page of results. 1

 

Following up on last months blog - Using Coupons to Help Boost Your Ecommerce Sales

Do you wonder about how and when to use coupons? Here are three effective ways to use coupons.2

1. Push inventory that just won't sell.

     Create coupon codes that target these specific items.  An alternative to using a percentage discount would be to offer them free when a certain dollar amount is reached on a sale.

2. Show appreciation to loyal customers.

     It costs more to get a new customer than to keep one.  Send an email to older, loyal customers and offer a discount as a show of thanks.

3. Reward new customers.

     First time customers want to know that you appreciate their business and will be there for them in the future.  Offer free shipping on their first order or apply a surprise discount at checkout.

 

 

1.- imFORZA.com

2. - https://www.shopify.com/guides/make-your-first-ecommerce-sale/coupon-codes

3. - https://www.godaddy.com/help/adding-meta-tags-to-your-website-6548

 

 

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Integrating Google Analytics with your eCommerce Site

Integrating Google Analytics with your eCommerce Site

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a powerful web service that allows business owners and marketers to measure traffic to their website and analyze customer behavior in order to increase sales and conversions on their website. While there are many aspects of GA that require more than a basic understanding of the service, even the most basic reports and data can still offer a wealth of information that can help you make business decisions that will impact your bottom line.

Why is Google Analytics important?

The data that Google Analytics provides can help you make informed choices about your online strategy as well as bring to your attention problem areas that need to be addressed.  Have you ever wondered how many people visit your site every day? Every month?  How about where they are coming from?  Did they come straight to your website or did they do a Google Search to find you?  What search terms did they use?  How long are they spending looking around your site? These are the types of questions answered by GA.

How do I get started?

Integrating your Magento site with Google Analytics really is a simple task.  If you can follow step-by-step directions, Google will "walk" you through it.  However; if you are new to ecommerce or analytics, it can seem daunting - setting up the property, assigning filters and segments, ecommerce tracking settings, etc.      

Are you ready to make informed business decisions?  Ones that will help you offer your customers a better online experience and in turn increase sales.  Contact Allegro for more information about integrating GA to your Magento site.  Once your site is set up, Google Analytics will begin collecting data within 24 hours!

Noggin nugget: According to Search Engine Land, Google handles at least 2 trillion searches per year. 1

 

Following up on last months blog - Using the Abandoned Carts Report in Magento


By now, you should have had a chance to take a look at your Abandonded Cart statistics and hopefully you have a better understanding of how this information can be beneficial to your online sales.

To dive a little deeper into abandoned carts,  I want to introduce you to the "Quote Lifetime Days" setting.  This setting allows you to control how long a "quote" or incomplete order hangs around BEFORE it is considered abandoned.


Log in to your Magento Admin. Go to System->Configuration.

 Magento Dashboard

 

Scroll down the left to the Sales section and select Checkout. Under "Shopping Cart options, edit “Quote Lifetime (days)”.

Magento DashboardMagento Quote Lifetime Days

 

 

1http://searchengineland.com/google-now-handles-2-999-trillion-searches-per-year-250247

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Why mobile sites are more critical then ever

The writing was on the wall last year that Google and other search engines were putting more and more emphasis on the mobile responsiveness of web sites.  This is important for more informational sites such as our own Allegro site but it is critical for those companies that sell products directly over the web. If your rankings are reduced, your customers may likely find someone else to buy from instead of you.

As of this spring, Google changed their search algorithms to provide greater weight to responsive web design. Fortunately , they also then provided helpful tools to test your site such as their Mobile Friendly Test. Initially Google stated that this would only impact the ranking of mobile sites and not the more typical "desktop" sites but the true impact was quickly felt.  Within the first week of implementation, pages on mobile sites were getting a huge spike in their presence on search engine results versus "desktop" sites using the same keywords.

The morale of the story is to make sure you pay attention to your Google tools and analytics. Make sure this new paradigm in search ranking doesn't leave you behind.

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