The Link — SEO.com's December Newsletter

Want to double your website traffic in 2012?

Cyber Monday shoppers spent a record $1.3 billion this year as the Monday after Thanksgiving crept up on Black Friday as one of the busiest shopping days of the year. With Christmas just around the corner and so much possible revenue crammed into a short time span, businesses are rushing to capture as many holiday customers as they can.

While sales at brick-and-mortar stores the day after Thanksgiving still dwarf Cyber Monday receipts, a website that is optimized for the search engines will not only drive Internet traffic, but also foot traffic into your physical business by showing potential customers your location and the products and services you provide.

Two webinars scheduled at SEO.com in December will help you start the New Year with a website that could rank on the first page of Google when people search for your industry online. The programs are the final two installments in our Learn to SEO Like a Pro webinar series.

“This webinar series is intended to equip businesses with confidence in their ability to successfully manage SEO campaigns, or at least understand the most important components they are made up of,” said Claye Stokes, director of search engine optimization at SEO.com.

On Dec. 8, our experts will discuss strategies for doubling website traffic in 2012. Using Google Analytics to increase sales will be the topic of the Dec. 22 webinar.

Both webinars are free and you can register today.

Here are some tips from past webinars in the series in case you missed the first three installments:

SEO’s True Value Revealed

The true value of search engine optimization is revealed through demographics research. To really excel, you need to know who looks at your site and why, how they come into your site (home page or a services page), whether they are a repeat customer or not, and whether they respond to any of your calls to action.

Analyzing Demographics

Once you know something about the demographics of visitors to your site, you can then start analyzing each demographic and the return on investment you’re getting from each client. Calculating the cost per lead (CPL) can be just as useful as calculating the ROI. When you know how much you are spending per customer action, you can take steps to reduce that cost and/or increase the volume of customers you attract.

Keyword Research

It is helpful to know what keywords attract given customers. Keyword tracking is not only possible from online leads, but also through phone call tracking, which determines what keyword in an Internet search led a customer to call your phone number.

With data on your target audiences and how they respond to leads, you are finally in a position to audit your search engine marketing efforts. You will want to determine some key performance indicators and use them as a baseline to see how your efforts progress over time. Some particularly useful segments to establish indicators for are new visitors, return visitors, conversions, and non-bounce visits.

Ranking Using Long-Tail Keywords

To rank high on your product or service pages, you need to choose the right keywords. Longer keyword phrases (called long-tail keywords) are much easier to rank for, and they also address specific customer needs better. However, long-tail keywords can be a little unwieldy in headings, so select the most important keywords from the long-tail phrase for your page title and then place the long-tail phrase in the opening paragraph of your page or post.

Present Your Value in Search Results

Make good use of the title tags and meta descriptions that search engines display on their results page. You will typically want it to give your product name followed by your company name. The meta description should include a clear value statement that essentially says, “This product (or service) solves your problem. It will provide you with real value. Click here to find out more about it.”

Convert Leads to Sales on Your Landing Page

When they click on your link you want to provide the product or service information and an easy way to purchase right from the landing page. A best practice is to put a call-to-action box or form in the top-right corner of the screen.

Although your text is primarily there for SEO, you need to make it easy for the viewer to read as well. You can make it scannable by using headers, bullets, white space, and some images. These will break up the flow to make it look more readable and less intimidating.

Get Your Landing Page Shared

Social media marketing is playing an increasingly important role in search engine rankings and product visibility. You need to provide your customers with a means to share your product with their friends. This is best done by providing “share this” buttons to each of the major social media tools available.

In an age when retail stores are gradually being replaced by online sales, these are crucial steps in maintaining your edge in the market.

Client Spotlight: Cleaning company is secret to others' success

It is likely you haven’t considered any behind-the-scenes efforts required to keep a company smooth sailing—which is where a firm like TEAM Solutions enters the picture. TEAM Solutions is an international technical cleaning and facility support service that is designed to optimize other companies’ performance.

TEAM Solutions has specialized in technical cleaning for nearly 30 years. Their facility-cleaning program meets the needs of several industries including aerospace and defense, automotive manufacturing, industrial cleaning, medical industry, food processing and a variety of other support services. Offering all these support services allows businesses to maintain focus on their core business activities.

TEAM Solutions works for major automotive manufacturers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, as well as food processing companies, beverage companies and aerospace and defense contractors. By keeping these facilities clean, each company is capable of operating efficiently.

“It’s all about helping our customers do what they do best in making their products as safe as they can be,” said Tom Rowland, the TEAM Solutions vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s about supporting the client so they can make the best things possible. Just as an example, we support the production of some of the best fighter jets.”

What sets TEAM Solutions apart from other facility cleaning programs is how they manage their operating system. TEAM Solutions drives operational excellence and ensures key performance at each of their sites.

“We do our job right for our clients to make sure they can focus on what they do best. Their food is safe, the cars look the best, and what we do helps them make everything better,” Rowland said.

Although some may not see any direct impact on their lives from a company like TEAM Solutions, be assured they play an indirect role in public safety. By keeping food processing facilities and the medical industry up to par with sanitation and cleanliness, TEAM Solutions in a way keeps the public in good hands.

“As an industry leader in technical cleaning facility management for a variety of industries, we touch on every aspect of people lives,” said Rowland.

Tips and Tricks: Title tags can be longer than 70 characters

Some may argue that title tags are the most important SEO tags for a website. Although most people are no stranger to the significance of a title tag for search engine optimization, there are those who could benefit from carefully crafting the right tag.

Title tags are a line of text normally found at the top of a browser window. Search engine spiders utilize title tags as a main source for understanding the topic of a page. The spiders crawl the site and determine the relevance between a title tag and the rest of the content. For this reason, using your keywords in the page title can help improve your rankings.

The length of a title tag to be displayed ranges from 60 to 70 characters for most search engines. If you use more than 70 characters, the title will be cut off on the search results page. However, even though search engines display 70 characters of a title tag, that doesn't mean they don't index titles longer than 70 characters. If you feel your unique title is limited, you can use more characters to ensure your critical keywords and phrases are included.

Utilizing title tags often helps generate quick and significant improvements for your search engine rankings. Feel free to push the boundaries of the 70 character “limit” for your title tag in order to provide the information you need for a boost.

Industry events

Online Marketing Summit: San Diego; Feb. 6-10, 2012

Search Engine Strategies Search & Social Accelerator Conference: San Diego; Feb. 9, 2012

PubCon: Honolulu; Feb. 13-15, 2012

SearchFest: Portland; Feb. 24, 2012

Search Marketing Expo West: San Jose; Feb. 28 to March 1, 2012

SEO.com events

Webinar: Double Your Website Traffic in 2012 — Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. Eastern

Webinar: Use Google Analytics to Increase Sales — Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. Eastern

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