Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Achieve Advertising Impact With AdWords Marketing in Northern VA

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

The Google advertising program AdWords reaches an audience of 80% of Internet users in the US. With different types of ads (Image Ads, Mobile Ads, Local Business Ads, and Click-to-Play Video Ads) available, and a build-to-suit cost control system designed to fit your budget, you can achieve advertising impact with AdWords marketing in Northern VA.

Over the past decade online advertising has revolutionized the business of marketing your business. AdWords marketing gives every company the opportunity to advertise on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) to reach a wide audience. With terminology like keywords, bids, placements, Ad Rank,  and Quality Score, the landscape of Google Advertising is best navigated in partnership with an experienced AdWords-certified professional. They can guide you through features and benefits, help you understand campaigns, ad groups, and keyword statistics, and make sense of Google Analytics reports.

Google Advertising offers a variety of built-in benefits that sets it apart from other advertising programs.

  • Broad editing capabilities to refine campaign settings, pay-per-click (PPC) and cost-per-click (CPC) benchmarks as your campaigns progress
  • Native tools to develop lists of specific keywords and negative keywords
  • Online support for ad development, ad variations, and compelling ad text
  • Comprehensive statistical data to track ad performance, CPC, and drive the Google Analytics suite
  • Industry-leading optimization tools to increase traffic and conversions.

In the October, 2000 press release for it’s initial launch, Google said it’s ” AdWords Program Offers Every Business a Fully Automated, Comprehensive and Quick Way to Start an Online Advertising Campaign.” What are you waiting for? Your customers are searching for you. It’s time to achieve advertising impact for your business with AdWords marketing in Northern VA.

SEO Tips To Help Grow Your Washington DC Business

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012
Simple, Basic SEO Tips To Help Your Washington DC Business Grow
Every day our team of search engine optimization, or SEO, experts is asked questions about the best way to start and maintain a SEO campaign for their business. While we cannot give specific instructions on how to make a million dollars with SEO, we can offer tips of the trade that will help your Washington DC business grow.
Even though pictures are pretty and pleasing to the eye, search engines don’t have eyes and they do not care about them. When it comes to SEO tactics, make sure you keywords and key search terms are available in text and not just part of the awesome graphics you hired someone to design for you. This does not mean however to eliminate all pictures on your website, but include the keywords in text as well.
Make sure you website content is actually about the product or service you are trying to promote, rather than a personal website that you have simply added a page about your latest and greatest dog biscuits. Creating content that is meaningful and valuable is essential for the SEO efforts of your Washington DC business.
Consider you domain name as part of your search engine optimization campaign, rather than just the location of your website. For example, your business may be called Danny’s Delectable Delights, but that doesn’t really tell people what you sell. Instead think of a domain name that clearly suggests your products like delectable-dog-treats (.com), search engines like those.
What’s in a title of the page? It should contain more than simply “home” or “contact us” if you are hoping to be found in the search engine results. Be specific about what your pages include and you will get much more attention from search engines.
For more tips and tricks of the trade, contact the Washington DC search engine optimization experts at Digital Assembly Line today.
The search engine optimization professionals at Digital Assembly Line gets asked frequently about the best way to start and maintain a SEO campaign for their Arlington, VA business. Even though we are unable to give you a simple 1-2-3 process for making a small — or large — fortune, we can tell you with time and diligence, search engine optimization techniques will help grow your Chevy Chase, MD business.
  • Pictures are worth a 1,000 words and they are pleasing to look at, they do nothing for your search engine optimization efforts. The search engine robots that find, scan and rank the website cannot see the photos, so therefore, they are not all that important to the search engine optimization efforts you are focusing on. However it is important to keep the human users in mind too when designing your website.
  • Keep your keywords in mind too. Your website is ranked based on the relevance of the site in relation to the topic at hand. For example, if you have a website that is about pet supplies, the content should be about pets and pet-related items as well. If you also include information on auto repair, that is not relevant to the topic and the search engines are likely to penalize you.
  • Keep your domain name in mind when you plan your search engine optimization campaign. For example, your business may be called Kris’s Krispy Katails, but that does not tell anyone that a “Katail” is a family baked good, so they are unlikely to know what you sell. Instead think of a domain name that clearly suggests your product instead.

Increase Website Views For Your Northern Virginia Business

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

Even though most people think of a website as nothing more than a place on the Internet used to show what you sell or talk about what you do, it is actually much more than simply a place gather information. When used appropriately, a website can be a tool used to accomplish your goals — whatever those may be. Whether you want to earn more money, acquire more money, entertain people or even simply convey information in an easy-to-access venue, your goals can be ahceived when approperiately using a website.

But even though our team of trained web design and search engine optimization professionals at Digital Assembly Line are well versed in creating a great looking website, we also understand that if no one looks at it, it does not matter how great it looks. So, with all of that said, you need to put as much time and effort into getting people to look at your website as you spend designing it.

Some people call it online marketing, some call it electronic marketing, but the industry professionals call it search engine optimization. Online marketing and SEO are equally important to your business success as the website and other marketing tactics are. The amount of marketing you choose to invest in depends entirely on the results you hope to achieve. For some business owners in Northern Virginia simply having the online presence is enough for them and they do not expect anything more, but others want to increase and grow their business using their website. For the second group of Washington DC area businesses, SEO campaigns can be the difference between an unknown website and a thriving business addition.

When you are ready to take the next steps in advancing your business and your profits, contact Digital Assembly Line today.

Don't Get Penalized For Blackhat SEO Practices

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Business owners in the NOVA area often wonder if they are doing everything they can to promote their business online and grab hold of the endless opportunities available. So when they get an email or a phone call marketing search engine optimization, or SEO, services for their business in Herndon, VA they listen intently hoping for the magic answer.

Well, that’s exactly what most of these SEO companies are trying to sell business owners throughout the Northern Virginia area — a magic answer that really is not magic — it’s unethical instead. Blackhat SEO practices have been around as long as SEO has been a term, and at one point they probably weren’t even blackhat – just the beginning form of SEO.

Search engine optimization is based on using keywords to guide search engines to a particular website. There is nothing wrong with using SEO, heck, Google even provides SEO tools for webmasters. The problem becomes instead when these blackhat SEO companies prey on unknowing business owners, offer the (Internet)world on a silver platter, and then do the exact opposite of what they promise. You see, when the search engine giants who run the (Internet)world — and probably someday the world too! — discover the use of blackhat SEO practices, they penalize the website and will typically remove it from their rankings and search results altogether. If this happens, NO ONE will find your business unless they know your direct website address and go there directly. That’s not a good idea.

For example, a (fictitious) company called SEO 1-2-3 calls the (fictitious) Sally May’s Dog Grooming Service in Herndon, VA and offers a great deal on search engine optimization for new customers. Sally May is excited about the opportunity since she has heard about SEO and knows it could really help her grow her business. So for the low price of just five monthly installments of $99, her business will now be found by everyone in the NOVA area searching for dog grooming in the Herndon, VA area. In fact, SEO 1-2-3 guarantees Sally May’s Dog Grooming Service will be ranked first in every related search within one month, or she will be refunded. And what’s more, since she agreed to it today, SEO 1-2-3 will throw in a few extras too! Starting to remind you of an infomercial? Yeah, it should.

While the overall goal and theory behind this special offer is legitimate — except for the extra part, we can’t vouch for that even in our own scenario. An effective SEO campaign is designed to raise the ranking of a website, and help search engines find the business when people search for (in this case) “dog grooming Herndon, VA” but an honest and ethical SEO company (like Digital Assembly Line of course!) will not make guarantees. Why? Because we do not control the search engines, and the search engine companies are responsible for designing their own page ranking criteria.

So, what does all of this mean? It means you should embark on a SEO campaign to improve online visibility of your business, but do so with a reputable company. Running the risk of being banned by the search engines is not worth it.

SEO: The Online Equivalent of Colorful Road Maps

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

If you’ve followed our blog for a while, thanks!, and if this is your first time here, welcome aboard! Either way, we get so wrapped up in our corner of the SEO world working for clients all over Northern Virginia (in places like Reston, VA and Washington DC) that we sometimes forget to take a step backward and explain it all from the beginning. So here it goes….SEO described as a road map. Keep reading, you will understand.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of luring traffic (visitors) to your website. Website visitors are referred to as “traffic” so think of this entire process as a large map…an atlas if you will. The Internet in its entirety is the giant atlas book — you know, the one that you’ve forgotten even existed since the creation of online mapping tools. After opening the atlas, you need to figure out how to get from Aspen Hill, MA to Reston, VA, but where do you begin? The index.

The index in this case is the search engine of your choice (probably Google, Bing or Yahoo!). After looking to the index, you locate your current location (Aspen Hill, MA) and then look for where you want to go (Reston, VA). When you find your destination, you then can figure out how to get there.

Using the atlas analogy, as you scour the different routes to get from point A to point B. You may decide you’d like to get there as quickly as possible and take an Interstate, but you may also want to take the more scenic route and visit some quaint antique shops along the way. For this exercise, we are saving money and skipping the shopping…at least for now.

Entering your final destination (which is Reston, VA) into the atlas (Google, Bing or Yahoo!) will tell you where you need to go. This is where SEO comes in. When looking at the atlas, you see many different roads all depicted using different colors to signify the type of road it is. For example, a bold red line may be a highway, whereas a think blue line may be a dirt road. Think of SEO as the color-coding of the Internet.

SEO is nothing more than a way to aid visitors (traffic) in finding your location (final destination of Reston, VA). Search Engine Optimization is a group of colorful road signs that you can’t see but your atlas (Google, Bing or Yahoo!) can which helps you get to where you want to go quickly. Isn’t the Internet smart?

Social Media Gains Importance In 2012 With SEO

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Whether or not you want to believe it, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter (among others) are becoming more important to online marketing than some may have thought would be true. Even if you do not like the websites personally, you should at least consider their benefits professionally.

If for no other reason, you should get involved with social media for the search engine optimization benefits if nothing else. The amount of online sharing between friends and acquaintances continues to increase, and your business could be reaping the rewards. These social media sites make it so easy to share your interests with others that people simply click the “share” button and it automatically appears on their personal Facebook page (also known as their “timeline”). That may not seem significant, but each time information is shared the more people become aware of your product or service. With each share, you gain access to more potential customers than you had just moments before. Couple the sharing factor with your business presence on these sites and people will naturally make the jump between the referrer and your page, again, leading to more potential business.

Not only will you benefit from the exposure, search engines are also picking up this traffic. The more social media history you accumulate, the more search engines are going to notice and you will eventually reap the benefits of SEO as well.

Customers often ask me if it matters how many “likes” or “fans” they have on their business Facebook page, or how many Twitter followers they have. That basically depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you simply want the ego boost of seeing you have a half-million followers or fans (an unlikely number used as an example), then yes, it does matter. However, if your main reason for using social media is to increase exposure to your business website or to boost your SEO rankings, then no, it doesn’t matter.

Social media is not yet at a point that it replaces SEO efforts, and that doesn’t seem likely for at least the foreseeable future. But, as more users become “Facebook Friendly” and “Twitter-riffic” your business better jump on the bandwagon to see the rewards.

If you are ready to take the next step in online marketing and SEO tactics for your business, give us a call. We can get you started and keep you going on the social media train.

What is Google+?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

With the introduction of each new Internet-based application comes questions galore, especially from business owners throughout the Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC area. Each business owner wonders what the new introduction on the Internet will do to their current search engine optimization efforts, and if all the progress they have made climbing the ladder in recent months — and sometimes years — will suddenly be rendered useless. So let’s discuss what Google+ is and how — or if — it will impact the search engine optimization efforts you are currently making, or even those we make for you.

The basis of Google+ are Google “Circles.” Circles are basically categories of people you know which are organized into groups by topic. Such as friends, family, roommates, business associates, fraternity or sorority members, dog lovers, or any other category you choose. You simply drag and drop each of your contacts on Google+ into one of these categories, and they are organized.

Then comes “Sparks.” Sparks is the Google+ name for interests. You select your interests – ranging from computers to kittens and everything else in between – and Google+ offers you content based on those interests. It is basically creating a profile of your likes and interests then finds postings on the Internet it feels matches those categories.

Moving on to “Hangouts.” Google+ Hangouts are essentially nothing more than a chat room for your and your circle of friends to hang out in and chat — more or less, it’s just a video chat similar to those offered by a variety of programs available to anyone with a webcam.

Google’s answer to text messaging via the Internet is introduced with “Huddles.” Huddles allow you to connect with a group of people through messaging, there is even a mobile app available for Android phones. The app lets you send messages from your phone to your huddle and everyone can chat together.

The “Instant Update” feature of Google+ allows users of Android phones to automatically upload photos from their phone to Google+. This is a pretty simple feature and requires little explanation, so we will move on.

So how will all of this impact search engine optimization? Until recently, Google had a contract with Twitter to display Twitter feeds in real-time, which was also included in search engine results. The contract with Twitter expired, and Google did not renew it. Now, with the introduction of Google+, we know the contract was not renewed so Google could feature their own Google+ feed in search engine results. So the presence, or absence, from Google+ could eventually impact your SEO efforts, but the amount of the impact is not yet known.

The one factor that may impact SEO greatly are the Google Sparks. Since the Sparks are really interest topics, and Google suggests them (provides a pre-determined list of possible interests) many SEO experts are trying to quickly figure out how their topic of choice gets included in the Google Spark categories. Since Google created the categories, and they are not freely sharing the advice, nobody really knows how to become a Spark interest.

The one main takeaway from the study of how Google+ will impact SEO is this: in the future – possibly near, possibly not – Google rankings will be based on human interaction as much as SEO keywords. Creating a social media presence sooner rather than later — via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others — will be beneficial. Developing online relationships with customers, clients, associates and more will prove beneficial as Google changes their methods of page ranking…yet again. Give us a call at Digital Assembly Line and we can help with all of your SEO and social media needs.

Tips and Tricks of SEO From Our Experts

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Start the new year out right, with better focus paid to your business website and your search engine optimization efforts put forth. As you probably know from keeping up with our blog, SEO is essential in first growing your business, and eventually in maintaining your business.

Our SEO experts came up with some tips and tricks that should be put into place as soon as possible, to take advantage of the growing Internet sales. This holiday season more retailers saw tremendous benefit from SEO efforts than ever before and every day you neglect yours is one more day you are missing out on unlimited opportunities.

With the changes employed by Goolge, Yahoo! and Bing, the keywords you choose for your website should be focused and used broadly throughout the entire site. In the past you could focus one page on a certain topic and plaster the keyword all over it. For example, if you wanted to climb search results for “dog collars” you could simply create a page on your website dedicated to dog collars. Times have changed and now the focus of the entire website must include more information than simply dog collars. The search engines are looking closer at sites and penalizing those that do not conform to the new industry standards.

Content is now more important than ever as well. Having multiple pages of short blurbs stuffed with keywords will no longer do the trick. Longer documents and more content are key now, with a precise range of total word count that is optimal. (We can’t tell you all of our secrets now can we?) Knowing that your search engine optimization company understands the nuances of the search engines is the first step in making a wise choice in business partners.

To learn more about how search engine optimization, pay per click or other marketing tactics can help grow your business in 2012, give us a call today. Our team of trained SEO experts can put their knowledge to work for you in unmatched ways with unmatched results.

Search Engine Optimization for New Website Design

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

When designing a new website about your company, product, or service, you must take search engine optimization (SEO) into account. By giving consideration to your new website optimization factors, you can increase your chances of achieving top natural search results, such as Google search results, as well as selling your product or service and realizing a greater return on investment.

Ways to employ successful SEO when designing a new website include the following:

• Develop a list of keywords important to your business and find out how often those keywords are searched on the search engines.
• Organize your website to accommodate necessary keywords, topics, and content.
• Fill your website with quality content, as search engines first look for strong website content.
• Pick a domain name that includes either keywords associated with your company or your brand name.
• Build your incoming links and content at a regular pace.
• Keep your website content unique and relevant to your product or service.
• Make sure your meta tags are properly coded.
• Link your website pages to a site map.

There are countless ways to employ effective SEO when building a new website. To learn more about SEO for a new website and how to build business, gain customers, and realize a great return on investment, contact Digital Assembly Line. We’ll get your Washington DC, Northern Virginia, or Maryland business, located in such areas as Arlington, Ellicott City, and Bowie started on proper and effective SEO today.

The Basics of Branding

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.

The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand.

Brand Strategy & Equity

Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy, too. Your brand can also help promote your website if it incorporates keywords or keyword phrases, both important elements when perfuming SEO (search engine optimization) on your website. Some may refer to this as SEM (search engine marketing)

Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company’s products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command. The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product–and customers will pay that higher price.

The added value intrinsic to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it’s not just the shoe’s features that sell the shoe.

Defining Your Brand

Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:

  • What is your company’s mission?
  • What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
  • What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
  • What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?

Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.

Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:

  • Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
  • Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
  • Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything. Integrate your brand wherever you can on the web. (Remember your brand exercise should include the incorporation of Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing) SEO-SEM.
  • Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
  • Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand. You may wish to include Strategic Keywords and keyword phrases in your tagline. These keywords can help with your search engine optimization or search engine marketing efforts. (SEO & SEM).
  • Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
  • Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
  • Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.