San Diego Interactive SEO and Content Marketing Agency

Learn why brands such as State Farm, Expedia, WD-40, and others trust us with growing their organic visibility online….

San Diego Interactive SEO and Content Marketing Agency

High Quality Content Marketing and Guest Posting Services

We now offer high quality content marketing services centered around creating and distributing quality content.

High Quality Content Marketing and Guest Posting Services

SEO Consulting Agency Services

Our SEO consultants have years of experience, and as an agency, we’ve work with companies big and small. Give us a chance to show you what we can do.

SEO Consulting Agency Services

Six Questions to Ask When Interviewing an SEO Consultant

hiring an SEO consultantOptimizing your website for Google, Bing, or Yahoo can increase the awareness of your brand, leading to more page views, higher sales, and ultimately more profits. However, optimizing your site takes a deep understanding of search engine optimization. While you can attempt to figure the technical SEO information on your own, for the best results, it is wise to hire an SEO consultant who is well versed in SEO practices.

In order to hire the right consultant for your company, here are six questions you should ask when conducting an interview:

  1. Current and Past Clients

An SEO consultant, or SEO agency, who is well respected should be willing to offer you a list or clients. These clients act as references, which can help you determine whether or not the consultant is effective, efficient, and above board. Even if the clients can’t offer you a copy of their analytics, they should be able to let you know if they saw a difference in website growth.

  1. Methods

Ask the consultant what types of methods he or she will use to improve your SEO. If a consultant is reluctant to go in detail over his or her practices, you should be cautious about hiring them. They should be able to speak in detail about their strategies, how those work, and how long it can take to take effect on your site.

  1. Guidelines

Because SEO relies heavily on Google’s Webmaster practices, it is important to hire a consultant who strictly follows those guidelines, otherwise your website will suffer. In fact, if your site has any of the common SEO hacks, including spam or hidden links, Google could potentially remove your site from its search results altogether.

  1. Number-One Ranking

Ask the consultant if they can guarantee that your site will be on the number-one ranking list for all search engines. If they can, they are most likely using unethical practices, which is a big red flag. Additionally, if the consultant tells you he or she knows someone on the inside, who can give your site priority ranking, do not believe him or her let alone hire him or her. Only the search engines can control your site’s rank.

  1. Local Search Results

It is important to appear in the top of local search results as well, especially if looking to attract customers in the area. Since local SEO can differ slightly than regular SEO, it is critical your consultant is knowledgeable.

  1. Communication

All SEO consultants have a different method of communication they prefer. Some prefer phone calls while others prefer email. Determine what method best suits your needs. While some might be able to handle dealing with someone over email, another might prefer Skype or some other form of video messaging. Before hiring, ask what method they prefer, and how often they intend to keep you updated.

Hiring an SEO consultant can dramatically increase the growth of your site, so use the questions to ensure you have hired a reputable consultant.

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Five Tips for Successful Search Engine Marketing

Five Tips for Successful Search Engine MarketingBecause search engine optimization is an ever-changing industry, search engine marketing is ever-changing. As SEO grows in sophistication, finding success in marketing websites appropriately for SEO guidelines will take innovative ideas and unique marketing strategies.

Although SEO is a dynamic field, the one constant of SEO is that one strategy does not fit all websites, meaning that websites with a creative SEO marketing strategy stand out in search engine rankings.

Thus, here are five tips to successful search engine marketing:

  1. Schema Markup

Google favors schema markup, which is, in essence, a type of microdata that makes it easier for search engines to interpret the information on your website more effectively. Implementing schema markup any way you can within your website will make your search listing more visual—to both the public and to search engines. Your website stands out, which will dramatically increase your website’s organic traffic.

Schema markup is an easy way to implement SEO into your website that will yield big results. Additionally, only around 36 percent of websites currently use this markup. Implementing it into your site will give you an edge in search engine popularity.

  1. Local Search

Google is committed to optimizing local search results, which they proved with their Pigeon update. In order to benefit from Pigeon, websites need to renovate their local search campaign by emphasizing the business’s neighborhood. This includes not only updating your local address and phone number, but also adding neighborhood descriptions in your business title for Google places and in your content, which will aid in helping Google Maps define your target location.

  1. Content Marketing

One of the most important parts to search engine rankings is content marketing. High-quality content complete with brand citations and key phrases is the foundation of high search engine rankings. When it comes to developing high-quality content, it is crucial the content not only uses proper grammar and writing techniques, but it should also focus on visual metrics and ROI.

  1. Algorithm Trends

In order to stay on top of SEO, it is important to stay up-to-date on SEO algorithm trends. Google consistently updates their SEO algorithms, and this year they updated the top three SEO algorithms: Panda, Penguin, and Pigeon. These updates had lasting effects on all websites—some positive and some negative.

Most sites that were negatively affected by the algorithm updates were unaware of the upcoming changes. Google had announced in advance the impending changes, giving websites plenty of time to update their sites to the new code standards. However, websites that did not pay attention are still paying for their mistake. Thus, staying up-to-date is crucial to your website’s search engine rankings.

  1. Branding Emphasis

Because Google is taking a more vested interest in the quality of SEO implementation instead of the technical quantity, it is important for business’s to brand themselves relationally to their target audience.

When it comes to marketing your site for search engines, it is critical to stay on top of current trends so you can develop a creative strategy for your brand.

Image Source: www.shutterstock.com

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Choosing Good Stock Images For Your Website Design

choosing-good-stock-images-for-your-website-design1

Image source: http://studio2108.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/kirk-hughs-wordpress-website1.png

When designing a website for your business, you need to think about the perception this creates. Your website is a shop window for your business, open around the clock to the world at large. The first thing visitors to your website will judge is your graphic design. This includes the images, colors and design features of your site, which all combine to create the visual identity of your website. The visual impact of your site has the capacity to create a first impression, even before your first words of copy are noticed. This makes it essential, especially for those running small businesses, to have the right images and visuals for their website design.

When you are choosing stock images for the web, you need to firstly think about the composition you are looking for. This depends on a number of factors, your business type being one of them. Certain types of business will require a certain look – for example, medical and health related businesses may need a clinical finish to the images they choose. Others may benefit from a more homely, or warm finish to the images and photographs they use. Be prepared to search for the right images and the right finish so you can find what most closely resembles the ideal perception of your business.

Certain features of images can influence how they are interpreted. This has been shown to have a direct impact on the rates of conversion from visitors to buyers. Images with people in them, for example, have been proven to be more attractive and more eye-catching than images without people in them. This is particularly true of facial close-ups. It is no coincidence that many stock images revolve around people – this can have a substantial effect in increasing the instant eye-catching appeal of your design.

Another important aspect of choosing your images is resolution. This will have a massive influence on how readily or otherwise you can scale up photos. The last thing you want is a distorted, low-resolution image on your website detracting from the design work you do. At the same time, larger resolution files may be more difficult to deal with, and may have longer load times as a result of their larger size. For this reason, it’s wise to choose images that are as practically sized as possible for your needs. Fortunately, many stock images can be filtered by size and resolution, so you can find the most suitable option for your needs.

Image source: http://www.pootlepress.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Screen-Shot-2012-06-07-at-08.06.24.png

Image source: http://www.pootlepress.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Screen-Shot-2012-06-07-at-08.06.24.png


Choosing good images for using with your website is something that invariably takes time and careful thought. The more you invest in the creative side of pulling your website together, the more accurately this will represent your business and what you are trying to achieve. A website is now an essential, fundamental business tool, like a phone number or a contact address. But a poor website, or a design that looks unprofessional, can do much more damage to your reputation and your ability to sell.

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Where to Start With Infographics and Blog Content

freedomThose who have spent any time at all learning about how to build a better blog, have most likely encountered the phrase “good content.” Writing good content is touted as one of the most important keys to achieving online success.

The creation of quality articles and useful information on your site can produce a number of positive and effective outcomes. These include:

•  Online authority

•  Increase of your reputation as an internet presence

•  Word-of-mouth publicity

•  Credibility that makes your blog legitimate and not dismissible as potential spam

•  Other sites backlinking to your blog

Though it might take a little extra effort and research, posting quality content on your site can be one of the most rewarding ways to enhance a blog. If these sound like the qualities that your blog is missing right now, here are some informative tips for creating gripping infographics and other engaging content.

Infographics

You have probably heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, a infographic is a term used to describe any kind of visual representation of data or other information. These illustrations, such as charts or diagrams, are a highly effective way to capture an audience’s attention and present a lot of information in a concise and easy to understand manner.

Infographics work because they can be easily tweeted and shared on social media sites and because they take advantage of the fact that most audiences lack the time and attention to devote to an entire article.

Where to Start with Infographics and Blog ContentWhere to Begin

In crafting a catchy infographic or writing an engaging article, the best place to start is with good information. Spend the extra time to gather quality research or data and do a cursory survey of what has already been written about your topic.

Just like your English teacher always told you, conducting a bit of research upfront can go a long ways in saving you time during the writing process and generating a polished final product. And with the wealth of information available online, it is easy to do some fact checking. However, it is also easy to run into incorrect information. So pay attention and double check things.

A great way to conduct research on a regular basis is to read often and keep notes about things you see in the news or online. Later, when you need to write about a topic, you will have a wealth of stored information upon which to draw.

Write and Design

The next phase is to simply start writing. Writing takes hard work along with a little sprinkling of information. The best way to start is to simply get to it.

When blogging, it is important to write in a clear and everyday voice that will be easy to understand. Clarity is key. Avoiding wordiness by being concise can be a great way to develop good content.

If you are hoping to design an infographic, there are several places to start. A wealth of professional designers and tools are available for hire on the internet. But if you would rather try the cheaper method of DIY, then there are also many free website to aid you.

Some design aspects to keep in mind are to focus on a single data visualization and not get distracted by too much text or unnecessary details. These things can be included in the body of the article which will accompany the graphic. Also, make sure to include a mention of the article and the URL back to the original so that it does not become disconnected from your work after numerous shares on other sites.

With these tips, you will be on your way to improving your blog with carefully crafted content and attractive infographics.

Image from www.noupe.com

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Benefits of Hiring an Outside Company for Your IT Needs

Benefits of Hiring an Outside Company for Your IT NeedsInformation technology solutions are something that every company needs. Having reliable IT support is absolutely crucial for a business, no matter what that business does or its size. No matter if you have ten clients or two thousand, IT is something that needs to always be reliable.

There are essentially two ways as to how you can approach IT solutions for your company. One is to hire one or more people and form an internal IT department. This works for some companies, but in many cases there is a better solution. That solution is to hire an outside company to take care of your IT needs. There are many benefits to having an outside company as your IT provider, and this article will list some of those benefits.

Out of Your Hands

Choosing to have an outside company for your IT needs will help streamline things. If you have an internal IT department, that department might need to occasionally outsource problems that they cannot handle themselves. With an outside IT company, you can be certain that this won’t be the case, as if they ever experience a problem dealing with your company they will solve it themselves.

If you ever experience an issue with your IT solutions, usually a simple call to your IT provider will solve the issue. That’s because they have everything set up the way they know how to do it, and can thus solve the problem easier.

Some IT and web development companies  like Mentel, will even provide IT staffing. s a great solution for companies looking for help.

Cost

Outsourcing your IT to a company will likely be cheaper than maintaining your own internal IT department. This is true for a number of reasons. For one, having an entire additional department full of employees is expensive. Not only do you have to pay for salaries, you have to include other employee related costs too.

Additionally, if something ever goes wrong, downtime in the IT sector could mean a loss of business. Slow network speeds that last for hours or even days means less productivity, and ultimately that costs you money. With an outside IT company, you’ll be certain that any issue is quickly resolved and if it’s not you might receive credit.

Ease

With an outside IT company, you’re dealing with professionals. They will always be able to solve your issues, and do it in a way that is quick and professional. If you have an IT company come in when you set up your network, you can set everything exactly to your specifications and then stay with the same company for as long as business stays good.

Having an outside IT company is just simply easier. It’s less of a hassle, and it’s one less thing to go wrong. For companies of all sizes, it makes more sense than having an internal IT department as it means less to deal with. Consider hiring an outside information technology company today.

Image credit: http://www.findanitjob.info

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Hosting Considerations in a Competitive Market

Our word has gone viral; everything is online and we all strive to improve our websites, the way we market ourselves, and the efficiency of our communication efforts. As a result, there are numerous companies that all want to host your website. Finding the right company in a sea of options with frantic waving arms shouting, “come join my platform” can be stressful. There are many considerations that should be on the forefront of your reasoning; these include expansiveness, quality, and customer service. Speed is also important, and when looking for a provider that offers 1gbpsunmetered, these considerations must be tackled until you have a solid reason to partner with the best company to suit your needs. This article will highlight some concerns you should have, and help you become more informed in your quest to find your ideal hosting solution.

How long is their arm? 

I can’t stress this enough. When looking for a hosting provider, stay away from those operations with a limited reach. When it comes to hosting, look for a company with an impressive landscape of coverage, as this testifies to their ability to grow and meet high demands. This will attest to the sure signs of a company being stable and reliable, as they are assuming greater responsibility than “Joe’s Hosting Shack” from Small Town USA. After all, you don’t want to entrust your business and online reputation to a provider that is scrambling for the crumbs that fall from the big fat cookie in the distance. Go with a company that has a national profile.

Demand quality 

In today’s technologic society, you must demand quality. E-commerce has become insanely lucrative for retailers. However, small businesses across the country report they are “less than satisfied” with their hosting service. We all know that servers can go down (from time to time) even with the best companies. But in times like this, customer service is paramount. In a consumer watch article published by PC World, the author stresses the importance of having your website hosted by a company with exceptional customer service on hand 24/7. The article examines a woman whose business was gaining steam and sales were going up. Then after a long holiday weekend the host’s server went down. The business owner was unable to reach anyone in tech support to fix the problem until the following Tuesday, and her web problems were only beginning to take on the semblance of a real nightmare. The author writes that The company’s self-touted 24/7 tech support turned out to be more like 24/5 since the support staff was never available on weekends. Even on weekdays, getting a response often took hours. The business owner decided she wanted out when she realized she had more than a dozen unanswered support calls pending, and she had to fight tooth and nail to get a month’s refund due to the issues.

This is exactly the kind of mess you will want to avoid at all cost. When you contact your potential hosting provider, site examples such as this one, and ask them how they would have handled this situation, had it been their server that went down.

Interview the provider
When looking for a company to host your website you must demand good range, quality and exceptional customer service. When contacting various providers, interview them and make hem earn your business. Ask them how often their servers go down, and what steps they take to correct the issue. Ask about turn around times, customer satisfaction rankings, and how expansive their client base is. You can’t power a jet with applesauce, so it only makes sense that if you expect to be a force to be reckoned with, your hosting provider must fuel your online presence with a powerful and reliable platform.

Image source: http://www.madtomatoe.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/web-hosting.jpg

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How to Get Started in Graphic Design

Whether you’re looking for a full on career change or simply just a new hobby to make some extra money on the side, graphic design is a fun and exciting venture that attracts people from all different walks of life. Having graphic design skills is just as important as having writing skills in today’s digital world that’s full of info-graphics and digital displays. The great thing about graphic design is you don’t need to be an expert to create awesome things that you can either display on your free website from freewebsite.com, or even to work as a freelance graphic designers. You can do a lot of awesome things with just some basic background knowledge of different graphic design programs. If you’re interested in graphic design, check out these tips on good ways to get into the field and join the fun.

Web Tutorials

One of the best ways to learn the basics of graphic design is to simply just look at some web tutorials. There are thousands of free web tutorials for just about every single thing you can do with graphic design software, so search around the Internet to find some that fit what you want to do. Simply search for free beginners graphic design tutorials, and you’ll be able to quickly pick up some basic skills and go from there. Tutorials come in the form of videos and text graphics, so find a tutorial that works with your preferred method of learning. You might need to download some graphic design software in order to get the most out of these web tutorials, but if you can’t afford expensive software you still may be in luck; many public and school libraries have computers that are loaded with all the different kinds of software.

Courses

If you’re more of a hands on learner and prefer benefit of having a professional teach you, opt to take an introduction to graphic design course through your local college. For some people, learning graphic design through watching online videos can be tough and having a teacher around makes learning a whole lot easier. You may even find that you have a knack for graphic design, and you may want to even pursue a degree in the field. Taking some courses in graphic design will give you everything you need to start creating some cool stuff, so don’t sit around any longer and get started with graphic design today!

Teach Yourself

If you don’t feel like you’d benefit from the above choices and are a quick learner, teaching yourself graphic design is definitely doable. If you’ve got the software, play around with it to see what it can do and you’ll quickly start to pick up what works and what doesn’t. It may be a little difficult to figure out the more complicated things programs like Photoshop can do, but if you get stuck there are always the web tutorials. Whatever you choose, just make sure you play around with it because you’ll never learn simply by reading the textbooks!

Image credit: http://www.bls.gov/

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Piecing Together the SEO Puzzle

Piecing Together the SEO PuzzleWhen people attempt to put jigsaw puzzles together, many will start by locating the four corners. Then they will collect the edge-pieces and build the border before filling it in with the remaining pieces. SEO (search engine optimization) works very much the same way: before you can utilize the science of SEO, you need to construct a foundation, using such resources as www.bizyellow.com and Facebook—the accoutrements of online marketing that hold the SEO puzzle together.

Finding the Four Corners

There are four main components that make SEO successful. Listing your business in an online directory that offers a website  (so long as it is indexed to work with the search engines) is an ideal place to start. Facebook and Twitter can be joined together and linked to your website, and will serve as a force to aid in optimization. Also, Google + is a viable source for harnessing social signals to enhance SEO campaigns. In an article published by Search Engine Watch the author examines the importance of using social media outlets within SEO. The article states that links on SERPs are like shelves in a store: owning more shelf space, and the more varieties you have to offer, will drive in more clicks to the website. Further website promotion of your social media assets can only improve your end game.  Once these vital components have been pieced together, it’s time to pick up the remaining pieces and start a strategic plan of action.

The Big Picture in Question 

Using the right SEO strategies will help you see the big picture of your business for what it is and what it can become. But more importantly, SEO techniques, if correctly implemented, will drive more business to your website and you will be making more transactions via “clicks”. Here are things you can do:

·      Write a blog and optimize it
·      Link building to relevant sites
·      Keyword mapping
·      Social media marketing
·      Link baiting (social media will help here)

One of the most common in-home SEO methods that business owners are turning to is blogging. But be warned, writing a blog involves utilizing a science imbedded in your content. When blogging, key words and site linking are, of course, important. But the content itself holds even greater importance. After all, if you aren’t fresh and current with your subject matter and it isn’t relevant to your products or brand, you will not be reaching the wide audience you could otherwise be capturing. The first thing a reader sees is the title of your blog. Make it fun. Create a title that sparks interest by utilizing a play on words or a pun. The title will automatically tell a person if they want to invest in reading it, or give it a miss and search for something else. The title is the first impression, and oddly enough your SEO rests on a good title that wont send people fleeing the other way once they have found you.

The Power of You

Conduct some smart research and learn how to build the foundation to the site that will ultimately house and run your powerful SEO engines. Having good content, a strong social media presence, and a quality foundation to support it all, will help propel your website up the ladder of higher organic placement. Then, if you are able to grace the first page of Google, the complete picture will be revealed, as the puzzle will be intact.

Image source: http://innovativemediaplanners.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SEO-puzzle2.jpg

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Online Marketing: In House or an Agency?

When you finally decide that it’s time to market your company online, it can be tough to decide exactly how to do it. There are a number of different ways to approach the issue, but the biggest probably comes down to deciding whether or not to do your marketing in house, or hire an agency to take care of it. There are pros and cons to each, so when you finally make the decision, make sure it’s the perfect one for you and your company.

Big costs, big results

If you end up going with an agency, be prepared to pay agency prices. You’re paying for guaranteed results, so it’s not going to be cheap. An agency charges what it charges because it’s full of professionals who are dedicated to increasing your company’s awareness as a living. You’ll get everything that you want, tailored to your company’s needs. Understand that it will cost you, but may be worth it in the long run.

On the other hand, it’s not impossible to get agency style results without the help of a marketing company. If you have the time to learn online marketing, you may decide that doing it on your own can save you money while still increasing your company’s online visibility. It all comes down to being able to spend hours and hours learning about online marketing and understanding that it will take some time before you finally see any results (and those results may be small at first). It really comes down to your needs; if you can justify paying for an agency, go for it. If not, you may want to do it yourself.

Can you do it all?

Deciding to do all of your online marketing in house may prove difficult if your company doesn’t have the right skills. Going with a full service marketing agency assures that every need will be met, whether it’s design or targeting audiences. If you go in house, you might quickly realize that you don’t have all the skills needed to market as effectively as you want. You could hire an in house team to take over your marketing rather than going to an agency, such as a copywriter, designer, and an SEO professional. This will give you more control over your marketing, but it may be longer before you see results. Hiring an agency will guarantee that you see the results you want, much quicker than you would see doing marketing in house.

Control over different things

All agencies work differently and have a different culture. But there’s a big chance that when you hire an agency, not everything is going to be exactly as you want. Of course they’ll listen to your wants and needs, and you’ll definitely get results, but it may not be exactly what you were looking for since all agencies work differently. Hiring an in house team or learning it yourself gives you complete control over everything you’re doing. It may take longer to achieve results, but you will be guaranteed everything operates exactly how you want it to.

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How to Use Social Networking Sites to Increase Your Bottom Line

The last decade has witnessed the dawn of the ultimate way to communicate information: social networking websites. As if business competition isn’t fierce enough, you now have to learn how to make a presence on various forms of social media to reach your target market. Before you get flustered and give up on all the accounts you may have recently signed up for, take a deep breath and look at how specific techniques can help you increase your business through social networking.

Picking Accounts

Between Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+, there seems to be far too many networking websites to choose from. If you are new to the world of social networking online, it is important to pick and choose one account at a time. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to create a presence on every networking site imaginable when they don’t have time to keep up with it. Go back to your target market and consider where you think they might be looking at the most—Facebook is among the most popular for a wide variety of markets.

Choosing What to Post

Increasing your presence in the online world takes more than just creating a page on a social networking site. Once you have created the page, you must next figure out what you can post to attract attention to the business. All your posts should:

·      Offer something valuable to the reader (interesting facts, special events, etc.)
·      Not sound overly promotional
·      Offer an incentive for readers to look at your page and/or website

Avoiding Pitfalls and Blunders

While utilizing social networking websites is a great way to promote your business and capture potential sales, there are common actions that can have the opposite effect. If you overly promote your business, customers will view you as a company that only cares about sales. While you are certainly in business to make a living and to help your employees do the same, you don’t want to be perceived as too salesy or else your customers will avoid you.

Other mistakes actually have to do with a lack of action. When you sign up for a page on any social networking website, make sure you stick with it. Nothing looks lazier than a page that is half filled out or one with no updates. So not only do you need to complete your page in its entirety, but you also need to ensure that you have fresh content to share on an ongoing basis. Keep in mind that customers aren’t going to constantly refer back to your page just for fun—you need to offer something to get them there first.
Finally, make sure you keep your personal and business pages separate. Your personal social networking page allows more freedom to post what you want, including information you only want to keep between friends and family.

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