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While natural search is a great way to increase targeted traffic, believe it or not, some people don’t search the internet that often. Consider the lesser acquainted browser, familiar with the Yellow Pages or other convenient source of advertisement in one location. Should this tech-deprived person decide to use the internet to find their restaurant, dentist or school of choice, they will probably look to an official source.

Most people know about the sponsored ads that show up in Google searches, but did you know that ads driven by Google Adwords can show up on official, high-ranking sites as well? When I say “official” I am referring to sites associated with large, well-known companies, like Amazon, AOL, Time-Warner, etc. Google already owns a significant portion of the ad space on these sorts of sites and, when appropriate, will show your Google ad on their pages. Depending on relevance, bid and various other factors, Google will rotate ads in certain spots on certain pages hosted on one of these high-ranking websites. Not only will your ads be visible to thousands of people a day who regularly browse the site, but they will likely be on the site looking into information relevant to your business. This is the Google Content Network.

Some might consider this mass-exposure to be a problem for local businesses, but this is not the case. Just as Pay Per Click ads can be set up to target geographical areas, so can these ads, which can be image ads as well.

Interested in setting up an Adwords campaign? It may be a lot cheaper than you think. Also, you can setup a campaign on Yahoo! or MSN as well.

There was a time when Search Engine Optimization was all about three main practices: meta tag stuffing, title tag stuffing and keyword stuffing. Sensing a theme, are we? During the early development of SEO, these tactics coupled with a bit of hard coding were pretty much all that was necessary to pull decent rank and all fell into the general category of “Search Engine Optimization” as they composed the majority of the knowledge needed to do such. Build a search-friendly site and show up on searches; it was as easy as that.

However, more and more over the past few years, these once primary strategies for optimization have been thrown into the “onsite SEO” category for a new era of SEO. There has been much discussion of a new brand of SEO Specialists, cooler, slicker and more capable — having better “Networking” and “Social Media” skillz.

Yes, “Skillz” with a “Z” for the newer, cooler SEO specialists.

Unarguably, things are very different now. Sure, the number of tools and variety of skills required to launch and maintain a successful SEO Campaign have grown at an alarming rate in just the past year, let alone the previous decade, but too many are quick to dismiss the old practices for flashy theatrics — as if having years of experience was a bad thing?

Consider the following bit of “geek-related” history:
In the early 90’s there began a war. This was not a normal war however, and many were unaware of its existence. This was a video game console war between Nintendo and Sega. Essentially, these companies were in competition to be the leading Home Video Game Console System and each company had a distinctive advertising campaign. Nintendo took the straight forward approach, simply marketing their products for what they were, while Sega marketed their systems as being the cooler, optimal alternative to Nintendo — perhaps their strategy can be best summed up with a quote from one of their commercials: “Sega does what NintenDONT”.

So what’s my point? It’s simple. Sega, with all it’s glamor, flash and big words, died in 2006 with it’s final system, the Dreamcast, and prior to that, the company released some of the worst systems of all time. Meanwhile, Nintendo is still alive and strong, and its products are among the top searched items on Ebay today. Even in competition with such beasts as Microsoft and Sony, Nintendo maintains comparable results and an even higher demand.

Okay, so what’s my real point? Think of it like this: In this parable I’ve presented to you, Nintendo represents the traditional SEO Specialist — simple, solid, effective and of high quality, yet able to adapt and leave a lasting impression on the internet. Sega, on the other hand, represents this new brand of SEO Specialists — presented as more socially capable and better equipped to utilize the new era of Social Media oriented SEO Campaign Management.

I predict a very similar outcome for this bout.

The fact is, SEO has evolved over the years and, while many aspects have changed, it is important to remember to utilize traditional means as well as newer tools. A successful SEO campaign is all about managing a balance of incoming links and sources, networking with other sites sharing similar interests and building a search-friendly page tailored to the campaign’s keywords and targeting goals. One can perform Social Media Oriented SEO for a website all day long but without an appropriate architecture on-site, all this will be in vain.

Be careful when entrusting your online advertising efforts to a firm and before you sign on, ask yourself these questions: Are they a reputable firm? Do they have solid experience as the foundation for their strategy or are they built on outrageous claims and ineffective, over the top practices in less than the complete range of strategies? Can they work with me one on one to ensure than we build a custom tailored campaign? Will they charge outrageous fees or will I be paying them based on the Campaign Performance?

Believe it or not, many Internet Marketing Firms want to answer these question and concerns.

Did you know that you can change your domain name and still keep your search engine rankings?

Changing your domain name is not something we recommend to do if it is avoidable, Google doesn’t recommend it either, but we recently pulled it off when we had to change our main website’s domain name from foremanpike.com to reciprocalconsulting.com.

The problem was that we had top rankings in Google for “internet marketing firms” and many other keyword phrases we were targeting. We knew that it was important to do 301 redirects, but what other factors were involved. Here are a few we had to consider:

  • Domain “trust”
  • Content changes
  • Duplicate content
  • Apache and hosting issues
  • Sitemap issues

Taking those factors into consideration, we were able to move our site to the new domain name with only about a 30 day interruption in our rankings. In fact, we are now ranking better than ever with the brand new domain name! If changing domain names and keeping your search engine rankings is something you need help with, feel free to contact us about it.

 

There is only one guarantee an Internet Marketing Firm can make when it comes to Search Engine Optimization–you are not the only one aiming for those top spots. Any other guarantee you receive is more than likely the empty promise of an SEO Impostor. More specifically, these will probably be the words of someone who will take your money and disappear…

As a group of professionals with varied levels of experience and knowledge in the field, the team at Reciprocal Consulting can all agree on one policy when it comes to our relationships with our clients–honesty. From square one of a given SEO campaign, we aim to communicate our capabilities, our goals and our plan, all within the scope of reason. If we can’t make your website number one on natural search results, we wont tell you that we can, because that is not how a strong client-relationship is built–that’s not how Reciprocal Consulting became a reputable Internet Marketing Firm.

How does one go about finding the right firm for their SEO needs? Simply, by avoiding all the wrong ones. Here are a few warning signs to look out for:

One-Time Payment
This is the first and foremost sign of a clear fraud. An effective SEO campaign will require a constant effort and source of income. While this does not necessarily entail a large budget, it will require consistent communication between the firm and the client. Think about it; no marketing firm can predict exactly how much a campaign will cost from the beginning. This is a clear scam where the so-called firm will accept your one-time payment and vanish.

Guaranteed Number One In Results
While a guarantee that cannot be fulfilled may not necessarily be a scam, it certainly is not the sign of a well-informed or well-grounded internet marketing firm. Anyone who has so much as attempted to optimize a website for natural searches will tell you that a certain “spot” on the results cannot be guaranteed and the reason why is simple: there is no one secret formula. Each campaign has to be tailored to the client to fit their specific budget and their goals. Additionally, depending on the client’s specific niche and the competition for the keywords associated with that niche, it may take weeks, months, and even years before the client’s website shows up on the search results at all.

Increase Your Traffic Exponentially
Believe it or not, this promise could be true–which is exactly why you may not want it!
All traffic has one pro and one con. The advantage is that each visit is one more person who sees your site; the disadvantage is that each visit to your site is one more visit you are paying for! Let’s not forget that bandwidth is not free, so the key here is to make each visit count. This is the difference between Targeted Traffic and Spammy Traffic. The last thing you need is a large number of people coming to your site with no interest in buying your product, no desire to sign up for your newsletter and no need of your service. The idea behind increasing traffic is to attract relevant page views. SEO Fakes can indeed increase your traffic but chances are, the majority of these page views will not convert to potential customers and by the time potential customers “stumble” upon your website, your bandwidth has been exceeded.

They key to a successful SEO campaign is not an industry secret, it is purely based on relevance. The more relevant your keywords are to your niche, the more likely it will be potential clients who follow links to your site. Furthermore, search results are based on the relevance of each search term to your site.

Simply put, just because Nintendo Wii was the number one search on Ebay yesterday does not mean that linking WordPress blogs about the product to your website will increase your sales (unless, of course, you are an authorized Wii seller).

A lot of Business owners I know are getting fed up with the “Yellowpages mafia” that overcharge for their advertising. They think there are no alternative means of reaching their local market. They know people look up their products or services on the internet, but who wants to spend money advertising a local business on the World Wide Web? Wouldn’t you be paying for ads that show up in China?

No. The truth is, Yahoo! and Google have some great tools for targeting local communities with search engine marketing. Say that you’re an attorney, and you want to target your “Personal Injury” ads to your local city or state – in Google Adwords, this is a task that’s easily accomplished. Sometimes we find that it takes a little fine tuning to balance the size of the area you want to cover with the amount of traffic you want to get. The bottom line is return of investment, and Google’s local targeting options definitely increase ROI when you’re trying to reach that small audience.

Here are some examples of how local targeting works:

  1. If we don’t use Google’s local targeting tools on a campaign, we need to specify keywords with the names of the localities in them, for example: “Philadelphia personal injury lawyers” or “personal injury lawyer in PA” – as you can see there are infinite possible combinations of these keyword phrases that grow exponentially as you include more city and state names. These ads could potentially show anywhere in the US, but we exclude non-relevant searches by requiring the local term in the search itself. These campaigns can get very big, and we still use them alongside locally targeted campaigns, because they can catch some traffic that local targeting misses.
  2. With Google’s built-in local targeting tool, we can specify a radius, or even city names or areas, where we want the ads to show up. In other words, if we only want the ads to show for Google searchers in Philadelphia, we can specify that. Then we can target more broad keyword phrases, like “personal injury lawyers” (without the locality name).

Keep in mind that Google’s tools aren’t perfect. Experienced search engine marketing professionals know which settings work best for which types of campaigns. Once we go through the exhaustive process of setting up these types of campaigns, we start tacking conversions and modifying bids on all of the keyword combinations over time to increase your ROI.

For years, traditional media advertisements dominated the scene. Television commercials, product placement, billboards, newspapers and magazines are just a few examples of means to tell the world about your business. No one can deny that things have changed drastically since the internet was born, so it’s no surprise that our world is so ingrained with the tendencies which developed with expansion of the World Wide Web.

Ten years ago, many companies did not see the purpose of establishing an internet marketing campaign. From their perspective, the internet was not inhabited by their largest target market, much less did these businesses expect it to become the social network it is today. Having been charged with an exponential growth, the internet of now and the future is and will likely always be the easiest way to reach people all over the world.

The most important part of setting up a marketing campaign on the internet is having the knowledge and experience to do so. Any Joe Schmo can get an Email address or sign up for a Myspace account, but based purely on the sheer volume of content on the web today, it will be near impossible just to get seen, let alone have any impact on your target audience. The fact is, the internet is a complex network which requires up-to-the-minute, tested, and proven methods to utilize its vast resources. Knowing which tools to use and when can be the difference between a successful campaign and a waste of time and money.

Another noteworthy fact to mention is the amount of time and effort that will be poured into an effective campaign. The path to making your mark is a climb to the top, which is where you want the name of your business to be on search results and on important web pages. Due to time restrictions and financial budgets, many companies will let an outside firm, like Reciprocal Consulting, handle their internet marketing efforts.

Welcome to our blog. We feel that it’s important to keep up with current events, and to keep our clients and friends up to date as well. That’s the driving force behind establishing the blog. Blogging is a great format for generating content and interacting with the public.

Here we can let you know what interesting things we’re working on, and interact with the social media networks on the web that we like to participate in, like Sphinn, MyBlogLog, and Technorati. Social media is such a big part of what we do these days that not having a blog is a crime! Here are some of the topics we plan on discussing:

Reciprocal News
Internet Marketing
Reputation Management
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Optimization
Competitive Intelligence
Viral Marketing
And More!

So whether you’re here looking for information on internet marketing, our services, or reputable professionals to network with, you’ve found a good place. Welcome!