Top 5 SEO Company Strategies for 2011

seo companyOnline marketing changes all the time, and in 2011, last year’s big ideas just aren’t going to cut it. Read on for our recommendations for five strategies every SEO company should employ:

1. Make new friends.

To maximize your off page exposure, reach out to the blogosphere — and the social networking-osphere — to promote your company message beyond your own blogs and profiles. Offer to guest post on some of your industry’s most prominent blogs, or work together with a relevant non-competitor for mutual online marketing.

2. Optimize your PPC — for real this time.

A/B testing is cool, in theory, but who has time to analyze their search engine marketing campaign in such excruciating detail? Answer: you. As SEOmoz pointed out, A/B testing is a relatively simple, if tedious, process — the perfect work to dump on an intern. The lessons you learn will be worth their $10/hour wages.

3. Master local SEO with microformats.

Micro what now? Microformats allow you to format your onsite content such as names, addresses and phone numbers so that Google can best interpret them. Instead of just plopping the information down and hoping for the best, Microformats labels each element so Google knows what is what. Learn more from the horse’s mouth.

Check in with our SEO company tomorrow for the remaining two tips!

January 2011 Calendar for Online Marketing

online marketingAh, the new year. ‘Tis the season to take down your Christmas tree (and stop saying “’tis the season”), pick up a new gym membership and bask in the glory of a fresh Hello Kitty calendar. And speaking of calendars, it’s time to think about your online marketing schedule for 2011.

Here are our suggestions:

  • Blogging: In order to perform well on Google and drive traffic to your website, your company blog should be updated weekly, if not daily. Be sure to incorporate SEO into your post titles, content, images and tags. No time to blog? Ajax Union offers daily and weekly blogging plans.
  • Social Networking: When it comes to social media, “the more the merrier” is the general rule — but you should also find out what works for you. For example, a gluten-free bakery would benefit from the huge #glutenfree community on Twitter, while a B2B tech company might fare better on a business network like LinkedIn.
  • PR & Reputation Management: A reputation is a terrible thing to waste. To promote good press around your company name — and push down the press — it’s best to distribute one or two press releases every month. You should also monitor your company name daily or weekly on Google Alerts to handle new negative feedback as it arises.

Feeling overwhelmed? You don’t have to be. Our search engine agency offers all of these services and more in flexible monthly plans. Give us a call today at 800-594-0444.

Happy New Years from Ajax Union SEO NY!

seo ny

What are your New Years resolutions? For our SEO company, it’s the same as every year: eat healthier, exercise more — oh, and take over the world. The world of online marketing anyway.

It’s been a big year for Ajax Union. We’ve gained a lot of new clients, and seen the start of several new online marketing divisions, including EmailSpark, our business email marketing service, and the PR United & Reputation Management Plan. We also moved into a bigger office, bringing us precious steps closer to our favorite sushi joint.

What’s in store for SEO in 2011? We have three main predictions:

  1. C-C-C-Content. That’s right — quality is back. As Google and Bing grow wise to article-generating robots and similar black hat techniques, unique, engaging content is going to triumph over evil. And that’s our specialty at Ajax Union. (Content, that is — although we do occasionally triumph over evil.)
  2. Even More Mark Zuckerberg. Can Facebook and Twitter get any more relevant? Probably. The reign of these social media giants is set to continue in 2011, as search engines find more ways to incorporate updates, “likes,” and other data into their rankings. Be afraid.
  3. Local SEO. If we’ve learned anything at the tail end of 2010, it’s that localization is important, and growing more so every day. Google set the tone when the search engine tried (and failed) to buy local coupon site Groupon to the tune of $6 billion, and once again with the launch of a beefed up Google Places.

Do you want to start 2011 with a new online marketing strategy? Call Ajax Union now at 800-594-0444.

Local SEO: Online Marketing for Local Businesses

online marketing

Search engine marketing is a different game for local businesses. We’ve always known that. Unlike regular SEO, you can’t just target keywords related to your industry — “discount cell phones,” “fashion accessories,” etc. Instead, you have to consider the region you are targeting. If you run a dental practice, for example, you don’t want to target everyone searching for dentists — just the people in your area.

But that’s old news. The new news? Google has altered its SERP’s to better serve local searchers — allowing Google Places results to eclipse organic results (when it makes sense), and affording us online marketing folk new opportunities for SEO success. Search Engine Journal just published an excellent article on how to do just that.

Boiled down, there are three basic steps:

  1. Become a Google Places Ninja: Optimize your Google places listing(s) by adding photos and videos, keyword-rich titles and descriptions, and strategic categories — those popular to your industry, plus at least one of Google’s defaults. Be sure to also include local phone numbers over 1-800′s.
  2. Local SEO-ify Your Site: Create a landing page for every business location, optimizing the URL (ex: www.mysite.com/houston-dental) and including the city and state in your title tag. Add your full address and (local) phone number to all landing pages. Also, optimize your inbound links to include your location (ex: Houston Dentist).
  3. Make a Name for Yourself: Submit your business to credited local directories like Superpages and infoUSA, and work to build up the customer reviews these sites, especially Google Places. Google doesn’t favor businesses with higher reviews, but it does rank businesses higher for having a lot of recent reviews. Don’t write your own reviews! (It’s illegal.) Instead, incentivize your customers with deals.

Do you have any more questions about local online marketing? Give us a call at 800-594-0444.

Who Won Survivor and What’s It Have To Do With SEO NY?

seo nyThe tribe has spoken and the victor of Survivor Nicaragua is in: Judson “Fabio” Birza. At 21, Birza is the youngest Survivor winner in history, but that’s not why our internet marketing company likes him. We like him because he managed to stay above board while making himself a force to be reckoned with.

In other words, if Birza were an SEO, he’d be wearing a white hat all the way.

The online marketing biz can learn a thing or two from Survivor Nicaragua — and all of the Survivors, actually. Like the SEO game, at its onset, Survivor appears to be all about winning. Win a challenge, get rewards. Win immunity, stay on the show.

But performance isn’t anything — when contestants prosper by acting selfish and nasty, they wind up being voted out by the aforementioned tribe. The moral? Do well, and act well. Strive to win every challenge, but don’t do anything that, well, you wouldn’t want to have shown on TV.

When you think about it SEO NY isn’t all that different. At Ajax Union, we provide effective search engine optimization, PPC, PR, email marketing and more for small businesses, but we do it by playing by the rules. That way, we don’t get voted out of the tribal counsel — or, you know, Google.

Search Engine Marketing Don’ts: Stupid Passwords

search engine marketing

Perhaps you’ve heard about the recent Gawker hack. Earlier this week, mega blog network Gawker Media acknowledged that hackers had invaded some of its most-traveled sites — Gizmodo, Lifehacker, and the titular Gawker — posting the usernames, emails, and passwords of over one million users on public display.

Based on said leaked info, The Wall Street Journal released the 50 most-used passwords on Gawker Media. Search engine marketing pros, listen up — we’ve reproduced the top 10 below:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. lifehack
  5. qwerty
  6. abc123
  7. 111111
  8. monkey
  9. consumer
  10. 12345

The top password, “123456,” was likewise the most popular among the 10,000 Hotmail passwords that leaked about a year ago, WSJ observes.

SEO company ninjas like us are constantly juggling hundreds if not thousands of logins for emails, blogs and social profiles. But this amount of volume is no excuse for truly ridiculous passwords, like the aforementioned. It’s better to be safe than sorry, huh?

Ajax Union SEO Company… on the Front Page of Google News!

Brooklyn Marketing

Do us a favor: Search for “SEO” on Google News. Or “Business Blog.” Or “SEO Blog.” Or “Brooklyn Marketing.” Or “Search Engine Marketing.” Notice a pattern? Ajax Union is on the front page for all of those terms.

How did we do it? PR marketing. We distributed two new press releases yesterday for our SEO company, about our blogging services (“online marketing on steroids“) and our distinct ability to out-zuck Mark Zuckerberg.

We crafted these press releases for both SEO and branding, integrating choice keywords with newsworthy, compelling information that people want to read (and PR networks want to publish). And, having been around the virtual block a couple of times, we knew exactly where to post them for maximum exposure on top sites like Google News.

Want to see your company name in lights? Get in touch with Ajax Union about our new PR United & Reputation Management plan. Fill out the form on our site, or call our SEO company at 800-594-0444.

Online Marketing Triumphs: Mark Zuckerberg is Time Person of the Year 2010

online marketingHooray for Mark Zuckerberg! The man behind the social network is currently on the front page of Time Magazine, as he was just named the Time Person of the Year 2010. The nomination has sparked some controversy. What does our SEO company think? Read on.

The Time Magazine Person of the Year recognizes an individual who, quoth the mag, “for better or for worse, …has done the most to influence the events of the year.” Past inductees include Bill Gates, FDR, and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as bad guys like Hitler and Stalin.

So is Mark Zuckerberg a good guy or a bad guy? Or should he not be on the list at all?

As an internet marketing company, it’s hard for us to see Zuckerberg as anything but a positive force in the universe. He created Facebook, a glistening beacon for business marketing, goofing off at work, and — most importantly — finding a date.

The question is, why 2010? What’s so great about Mark Zuckerberg in 2010? Sure, The Social Network came out this year — but that’s hardly representative of the Zuckerberg empire.

Some have speculated that, if the nominee had to be a techie, Steve Jobs would have been a better choice, as his iPad was more of a game-changer than anything Facebook developed this year.

What do you think? Tell our internet marketing company on the Ajax Union Facebook.

We Knew It! Facebook and Twitter Affect Search Engine Marketing

search engine marketing

In search engine marketing, there are things you know and things you know. We know that Google calculates something called a PageRank for every site, which it uses to order search engine results pages (SERPs). We know that PageRank is influenced by inbound links, the age of a site, and many other factors — two of which, we knew (in our hearts) to be Facebook and Twitter.

But cardiovascular organs aside, we now also know the aforementioned — in an unitalicized, verified-by-SearchEngineLand.com kind of way. The SEO blog recently interviewed reps from both Google and Bing, confirming that the twin social media giants do play a role in how search results are ranked.

Some highlights:

  • Google and Bing evaluate the quality of links from Facebook and Twitter users by looking at the authorities of author profiles.
  • Facebook and Twitter endorsements play a role in both Google and Bing organic SERPs, as well as Bing Social Search and Google News.

We can only speculate as to the exact logic Google and Bing use to weight individual tweets and wall posts, as well as the users who post them, but potential factors include:

  • When the link was posted (endorsing an old link could suggested enduring valuable content)
  • How many followers/friends/fans the poster has
  • What kind of links the user typically posts
  • How many users click on, “like”, or retweet the link

At Ajax Union, our AnewB SEO Plan features regular participation on Facebook and Twitter. Does yours?

SEO Company News: #NewTwitter Adds Multimedia Options

search engine marketing

Hold onto your tweets, search engine marketing stars, Twitter has just rolled out five awesome multimedia features for #NewTwitter. Add these to Twitter’s current partnerships with YouTube, Flickr, iTunes, etc., and the microblogging site now sports a whopping 20 multimedia services.

And now, let’s meet the five newbies…

blip.tv
A neato service offering over 50,000 indie Web TV programs.

Rdio
Skipping a letter? That’s trendy. And so is listing to full-length songs in your details panel (when someone you follow tweets a song).

Dipdive
An artist community featuring photos, videos, and more.

Instagram
Mobile photos customized with color filters.

SlideShare
An easy way to view and share presentations without leaving Twitter.

As usual, different tools will benefit different businesses, but we’re optimistic to see how these new features can enhance our Brooklyn marketing company.

Search Engine Marketing Questions: Duplicate Content

search engine marketingIn search engine marketing, we hear questions about duplicate content on a regular basis. What is it? Is it bad? Can it hurt my website? Read on for some answers.

Duplicate content occurs when multiple pages posses the same text, or even incredibly similar text (often the result of various algorithms — spammers are tricky). When Google encounters duplicate content, it examines the sites hosting said content and indexes what the search engine discerns to be the original source.

How is this determined? Google compares the ages and reputabilities of the sites in question, taking a look at which pages have the most backlinks and where the content originally appeared. The search engine also favors copies that do not appear to have been scraped/repurposed so as to appear unique. When Google encounters a lot of duplicate content from a nefarious-looking site, that site might also be penalized, affecting how it is displayed in search engine results pages.

But enough about duplicate content — let’s talk about the things that are NOT duplicate content (but are often mistaken as such). Such innocent parties include:

  • Snippets and quotes. Want to quote F. Scott Fitzgerald on your company bio, or post a short blurb about your company in a variety of locations? Don’t worry, Google gets it.
  • Articles and press releases. Google understands how article and PR directories work, and will not penalize your press releases for appearing in a variety of locations. Because of the repeated text, Google may not display all of releases on its results pages, but you will certainly get credit for any backlinks you accrue.
  • Standard code on your pages. If you have a header or footer that appears on all of your website’s pages, this will not be considered duplicate content.

Got any more online marketing questions? Send a message @AjaxUnion on the Ajax Union Twitter!

Facebook Numbers in Status: Online Marketing, Meet Drama!

online marketingAs an SEO company, we’re all about following Facebook, and the popular social network’s latest trend, the Facebook Numbers Game, is taking us back to our collegiate days… when Facebook was more about snagging a date than fueling a business empire.

Friendship? A relationship? Whatever I can get? These used to be our interests…

Anyway, the Facebook Numbers Game. If you’ve been browsing the ‘book of late, you might have noticed Facebook numbers in status updates:

#5684: You’re ugly!
Oh #6572, I think you’re foxy.
etc.

But what does it all mean?

The game works like this: A user announces they want to play the Facebook Numbers Game, imploring friends to message them with a random number of their choosing. Then, the user posts status updates telling their friends what they think of them. The twist? The status updates are addressing to the aforementioned random numbers, so only the user and the friend in question will understand the meaning of each status update.

Pretty sneaky, huh?

Our question: Can this Facebook numbers in status updates trend translate to online marketing? Let us know what you think at the Ajax Union Facebook page!

Online Marketing Questions: Are Likes the New Links?

online marketing

If you work at an SEO company, you know that link building is an essential part of any search engine marketing campaign. Or anyway, you think you do.

Check out the following video for a different perspective, wherein SEO maven Bruce Clay argues that social media endorsements (most prominently, the Facebook “like”) may soon eclipse the classic a href.

As the major search engines continue to express their interest in data from Facebook and other services, there’s no doubt that social media plays a part in their ranking algorithms.

What does that mean for search engine marketing? The same thing we already knew: SEO is complicated, and a good online marketing campaign involves a variety of different tactics. To score likes and links in a single off page SEO strategy, check out the AnewB SEO Plan by Ajax Union.

Search Engine Agency Tips for Better Facebook Pages

search engine agencyIf you’re at all involved in search engine marketing, you probably know the basics of building a successful company Facebook page. Create a welcome tab? Check. Promote on your website, blog, Twitter, and email signature? Check. Update frequently? Check.

But beyond these obvious first steps, there are a couple of additional techniques that can greatly enhance your Facebook campaign. Feast your eyes:

Follow the Statistics
The numbers are in: Facebook users are most likely to click on page updates that appear in their news feeds before 12 p.m., especially on Fridays. Updates with images attached are the most clickable, followed by video posts, with text-only updates brining up the rear. Keep these factors in mind when updating your company Facebook page, and you should see an increase in clicks.

Be Relevant
Don’t just boast about your company’s winning customer service — that’s old news. Focus on your current specials and promotions, your latest seasonal items, etc. Alternatively, you can bring up national or industry news (“With the price of poly plastic on the rise, it’s more important than ever to find a good plastic bag manufacturer…”) or ask your fans a time-relevant question (“How do you beef up your advertising methods for the holiday season?”).

Of course, not all search engine agency techniques are one-size-fits-all. When updating your company pages, play around with different update styles, times of day, and days of the week, and see which posts create the most buzz.

Search Engine Agency News: Google Instant Previews

search engine agency

Google has changed the search engine marketing game once again, rolling out a new feature called Google Instant Previews, which shows large snapshots of the websites listed in organic search results.

To activate Google Instant Previews, searchers can click on the magnifying glass next to any listing. From there, a preview will appear under any item they hover over.

Search engines have been offering similar previews for years (Ask.com, for example), but Google’s version is different, experts note, because their preview windows are significantly larger. When appropriate, the Google previews also feature “tears” — promoting the most relevant content by showing select snippers of pages. They also sometimes contain pull-out quotes (see picture) of text containing the user’s search terms.

In the search engine marketing biz, there are a couple of concerns:

  1. The preview windows cover up the sponsored ads along the right side of the page — isn’t that bad? Google says no: studies show that if users are browsing organic results this attentively, they’ve already decide to ignore the PPC.
  2. The previews could reduce page traffic to websites that make money from banner impressions. Not much we can do about that except encourage them to create compelling, relevant page content.
  3. With a visual representation of search results now on the table, web design is more important than ever. Having a great, informative website that looks like crap (or spam), just isn’t going to cut it.

Fortunately, our search engine agency offers affordable web design services for small businesses. Phew!

SEO Company Insights: 4 Quick Tips for Better Rankings

seo companyTime is money, no? So let’s cut the preamble and show you our top four SEO company tips for better site rankings:

  1. Make your website search engine friendly. Ditch the flash, throw in some keywords, and use your h1s and h2s wisely.
  2. Don’t forget about deep linking. Whether you’re creating links onsite or off, don’t be afraid to link specific keywords to their corresponding pages within your site. Just be sure to be consistent with which keywords go with which pages.
  3. Boost your inbound links. Also called backlinks, these babies are like endorsements from other businesses on the web. Offer reciprocal links to relevant companies, and send messages to webmasters requesting they ad you to their blogrolls.
  4. Build and submit an XML sitemap. Search engines love sitemaps. Be sure to create one on your page, then submit it to Google and other search engines to ensure all of your pages are getting indexed.

Of course, these four tips are only, well, the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about online marketing, check out the Search Engine Marketing resources section on AjaxUnion.com.

Online Marketing News: Facebook Mail?

online marketing

Look away from your Gmail inbox for a second, your Google Docs, your flashing Gchat window… Facebook, our favorite search engine marketing tool and/or distraction, is about to launch an email service that — if you believe the hype — is going to kill Gmail.

We don’t believe the hype.

Why? Because your Gmail is connected to a variety of useful — and, in many cases, professional — tools, like your calendar, your docs, your alerts. And what will Facebook email be connected to, FarmVille? Zuckerberg, we’re not impressed.

Another thing we love about Gmail: filters. Our SEO company is filter crazy, with different colors corresponding to client responses, activity messages, Craigslist alerts, and so much more.

SEO NY Guide: Link Building Ideas

seo nyYesterday, we started talking about some useful link building tips for effective SEO NY, but our advice was getting kind of lengthy. Let’s pick up where we left off:

3. Look for Relevant Links

Barring certain high-profile sites (like Digg), the best links you can attain are from sites relevant to yours. If you sell electronics, for example, receiving an endorsement from a tech review blog would be a great get. Another perk: Webmasters are more likely to link to pages that their visitors will find useful, so your link requests to relevant pages are more likely to be fulfilled.

4. Reciprocate (In Moderation)

Before they’re willing to link to your site, some page owners need a little convincing, and offering a reciprocal link is a great way to seal the deal. Of course, you don’t want to link to everyone, but adding the occasional relevant, non-competitive website that could actually help your visitors is a good step to take.

5. Comment in Blogs and Forums

Some link building pursuits are more tedious than others, so roll up your sleeves — this one’s gonna be a doozy. To put the finishing touch on your SEO plan, make your company known on relevant blogs and public forums, like Yahoo! Answers. Try to make your answer valuable to readers, linking to a specific page or article within your website if necessary.

5 SEO Company Tips for Better Link Building

search engine agency

At our SEO company, link building is a top priority. Getting links to your company from credible sites is a great way to increase your search engine rankings and, in turn, your site traffic.

Let’s take a look at five great link building strategies:

1. Determine Your Assets

You’re not going to acquire a bunch of backlinks just by saying “please” — though it does help. For effective off page SEO, you need the content to back it up. Why should people link to you? Think about what makes your site special. Is it the low prices on hard-to-find products, the in-depth articles, or what?

2. Embrace Your Brand Name

Although the rule of thumb is that anchor links — links to your website with one of your targeted keywords as text — are the best, brand name links should not be overlooked. In fact, they can be quite valuable. Besides, there are plenty of sites that simply won’t be willing to link to your site as “Best Toilet Plungers” (or whatever).

Want more tips? Check back tomorrow for three more link-building ideas for search engine marketing.

Online Marketing Giants: Google Hunts for Acquisitions

online marketingIn online marketing news, Google is on the prowl once again. David Lawee, a Google VP, recently revealed that the search engine is on the market for some big buys, potentially on the scale of Youtube ($1.65 billion) or DoubleClick ($3.2 billion), two of the company’s previous acquisitions. That’s not exactly pocket change, but the search engine can afford it, with something like $33.4 billion in spendable cash to throw around.

What might Google acquire? Twitter is certainly a possibility, as owning the network would likely give Google a temporary edge over Bing in integrating social media into search results. Google may also look into companies that could help empower Google TV, a new platform delivering added functionality to our old friend the television.

Google acquisitions can only be good news for the search engine marketing community, especially if the company decides to purchase a social service like Twitter. The stronger the link between Google and an external site, the easier it is for content and activity to be translated into search results.