MEET ELM
Our consulting blog is designed to help you learn more about doing SEO yourself. Find useful insights to drive decision making for your small business or blog. Access industry topics spanning the space, from the impact of Google+ on ranking, to the best tools for keyword research.

MARKETING TIPS
At ELM Consulting we teach brands and bloggers how to find the keywords searched by the target audience. Then we train on how to write authoritative content used capture and engage this audience.

How to Prevent Search Traffic Loss: Common Questions

In this SEO slideshare presentation is a collection of the common questions to ask your technical team before your launch your new or redesigned website. The goal of this presentation is to help brand owners, project managers and others leading technical website design projects to know what questions to ask to ensure the website causes no problems for traffic. Learn what the common problems that cause traffic loss at launch, and what you can do to prevent them. This deck on how to prevent traffic loss could very well be a fraud company in Scarsdale a lot of time and money fixing problems later.

 

 

Top 5 Misteps: How a Launch Can Impact Search Traffic

Many people launch new or redesigned websites, both ecommerce and blog, not knowing how a site launch can impact traffic from search engines. Check out this timeline to show how fast a launch that does not consider these 5 things can lose site traffic.

how to prevent SEO traffic drop

Timeline to traffic drop if SEO is not considered

There are 5 key areas to consider when launching a website that could prevent current website launch from a traffic drop.
1. Removing old pages and not redirecting them
2. Launching content that is the same on key pages
3. Changing URL folder names and structure
4. Site load time
5. Analytics, duh!

To learn more about these 5 areas to consider, check out my upcoming conference at FFNYC where I will explore each of these issues and impact as well as the solution, in greater detail. You will walk away ready to take action. Alternatively, if you reach out to me via email or on Twitter I will email you the PDF with full details how to prevent traffic loss before site launch.

Learn how to prevent site traffic drops after launch

Freestyle Fashion Conference – SEO Training

Use code: ELMCONSULTING for $30 OFF your SEO training ticket! Only 3 people can get the discount, so hurry!

The Importance of Turning Content into Commerce

Set the stage; no matter if you are a brand, commerce retailer or service provider – all must create content to gain a competitive edge through inbound marketing. A brand, a product, a service provider all have a certain value to add to the consumer because they know their market, they know all the problems and probably have answered a lot of questions. These brands are experts, but to date many of these brands do not have a solid method of marketing to the consumer online, through channels outside of those that are traditionally promotional.

As Google moves from Panda updates to the ever-present Hummingbird, the task has been set; brands must intermix content and commerce seamlessly. Many are not sure how to do this, leaving brands, commerce retailers and service providers left out of the conversation. In 2014, businesses in the digital space are expected to increase focus on content marketing by 29% over the previous year.

Digital marketing and content to commerce in 2014

Source: Smart Insights graph on Digital Marketing and Content Trends in 2014: http://www.smartinsights.com/managing-digital-marketing/marketing-innovation/marketing-trends-2014/

To add value in a meaningful way, businesses must develop content and new ways to engage the consumer. This content must be built so that the consumer responds to, shares and talks about the brand online, helping the brand get beyond the traditional approach. Here is a SWOT framework for how to generate content ideas that truly engage an audience:

Content idea matrix - generate content ideas for your audience using these techniques.

Content Matrix for generating ideas for your target audience.

Having worked in publishing for over 10 years, the solution is clear; create expert content! Few brands have come to understand this, and it is likely because the leadership is not telling the right story of how to get there. For those of you willing to listen, and I will set up the framework from which you can tell the story as it relates to your brand, product or service.
Let us start by first defining the top 5 ways content marketing delivers value, regardless of your focus:

  1. 1.    Social Media Feeds On It
  2. 2.    It Improves SEO
  3. 3.    Generates Quality Leads
  4. 4.    Fulfills Consumer Desire for More Information (Q/A) 
  5. 5.    Builds Long-term ROI

 

How to Create Inbound Marketing Funnels Using Content
Knowing your audience and where they are on the web is key. Beyond that, knowing how they find you is even better. Have you considered doing an audit to determine what content or products are found the most often, and successful at driving traffic to you? Do they buy from you? Or contact you? Wait…. do you even have content? Here is a Smart Insights diagram showing the conversion funnel and some ways to think about content in funnels, so can reach the right eyeballs.

Use this content funnel to map your content ideas to the right target audience

Find the right target audience for your content to convert

Start by assessing what content is valuable, and use this technique to funnel ideas. This approach is the foundation for how to grow more search visibility and traffic. Here is the framework for Mapping Content Ideas into a Conversion Funnel

  1. TOP: Branding
  2. TOP: Awareness
  3. CONVERT: Product
  4. CONVERT: Service
  5. MAINTAIN: Influence

 
Learn how to write content that converts in my upcoming online training course on SEO strategies for turning Content into Commerce. As marketing has evolved in 2014, content in the digital space has taken over. You need to think about your consumers in new and innovative ways. There are several frameworks for the conversion funnel, from these inbound marketing techniques, to the more traditional AIDA Conversion Funnel. Regardless of which approach you choose, it is important develop an action plan for what audience your content is targeting and what are the conversion goals tied to it.

 

What Website Metrics to Track in Google Analytics?

 

Importance of Using Google Analytics to Track SEO Effectiveness

The importance of tracking your traffic from organic search, or SEO traffic is critical to measuring the success of your content in search ranking. Are you reaching the right audience? Are your readers finding the content through search engines? Do they stay on the site for long or read more than one article? Having website analytics metrics defined will help you answer these and other common traffic tracking questions.

 

How to Set Up Your Analytics Tracking Report

When on the Google Analytics dashboard, you will need to set the date for a given period of time. The tool makes it easy to set this period to a month, or a day. For this report, typically setting the date to the month prior is the recommendation.

How to track traffic to your website

Q: How to Set the Date in Google Analytics? A: Set the Date by Clicking Month Name

Once you set up the date parameters, you can also customize the segments. Analytic segments break up the data in useful ways, which is preset by Google. The segments can be added to any date range data set, and applied to most dashboard metrics being monitored, from social metrics to total traffic. Here is a snapshot of how segments look, and where to find them in the dashbaoard.

How to add segements in to filtersearch traffic in Google analytics

Q: How do I add custom segments in Google Analytics? A: Use the arrow on any of the segment dashboards. The arrow offers a drop down to multiple segments that are preset.

The navigation is on the right rail of the dashboard, and is set up to allow a site owner to drill down and get insights into a variety of data segments. Below is a recap of the most important segments for those starting out.

Common Website Search Metrics to Track

Do you know what analytics metrics to track to know how your site ranks in search engines? Well, it is going to vary depending on the business you are in, but there is a set of solid foundational metrics to always track when looking at organic search traffic and determining the success of your content. Here are the top 5 acquisition metrics to track:

1)    Monthly traffic total & organic total (a segmented filter you must add manually)

2)    URLs (or landing pages) receiving traffic from search

3)    Average bounce rate

4)    Average pageviews

5)    If you are an e-commerce site you will want to measure product conversions/ sign ups

Track search ngine traffic using Google Analytics

Q: How to Find Search Engine Referrals to my Website? A: Look At “Organic Referrals” listed Under Acquisition segment.

How to Track Organic Search Traffic from Keywords

Stop asking “How can I track traffic for my top keywords?” because sadly, it is no longer possible. TO date Google no longer allows site owners to see keyword data, and buckets all traffic into a “not provided” category. This will soon be Yahoo’s plan as well. Since it is not going to be possible to track organic keyword traffic, it is still important to track other metrics for SEO performance. Here are the top search metrics to track, other than search traffic referred by keywords, using Google Analytics:

1)    Landing pages – you can see which landing pages are receiving keyword traffic (just not the keyword)

2)    Location – you can drill down by the user location to see where content performance is being search during a given period (this is best for local businesses)

3)    Total organic traffic – this can be a segment defined under the Acquisition tab, presented above)

How to measure sarch traffic in Google analytics

Q: How do I measure search engine traffic in Google Analytics? A: Drilling down under the “Search Engine Optimization” segment, a user can easily look at Queries, and landing page referrals from search engines.

Ways to Track Social Media Engagement
The set up of Google Analytics is much easier than some other larger scale analytics tracking tools, and there are many new features allowing you to drill down into social media engagement and referrals. These social platforms add tremendous value to the authority of your website, further improving the search ranking. Using Google Analytics, it is also important to monitor referral traffic these verticals. If you are looking for how to measure social media traffic to your website, here are the top social media metrics you should monitor:

1)    Social Network Referrals – the sites sending traffic that period

2)    Landing pages – this will show you the pages people commonly traffic that period

3)    Conversions – for e-commerce sites or those with a thank you page or sign-up lead form, this feature is a value to tracking many social platform campaigns.

 

What socal media metrics can I track using Google Analytics

Q: What social media platforms can I track traffic using Google Analytics? A: Using the traffic segment for Social, Google Analytics easily allows for users to track traffic from all social platforms.

In my Skillshare course I offer formal training on how to use your Google Analytics, as well as a customized template that you can download for free and use to track your website traffic every month. Here is the link to the Skillshare course for access to this and other great analytics tools for SEO

Filed under:SEO Consulting

Creativity is an Important Ingredient to Success

It seems there are many secrets you need to unlock along the way to success. Some have to learn about themselves through creative expression. Although online marketing is a wonderful career path, it is not always easy to feel the rewards at all times, and with Googles algorithms working to keep me on my toes, it is hard to see the results of my labor immediately. So this is why I have turned to jewelry design as a creative outlet. Here are a few pictures documenting my creative process making a simple brass ring.

creativeity begins

The tool shop where creativity begins. Each of the tools in this workshop has a function, from the metal saws thin as a single hair, to the leather and spiked mallets.

My first project required use of the saw, which I found extremely monotonous at first, but this time around with my second project, I found a rhythm in the ebb and flow of my work. The work I did to saw a piece of metal from a raw slab to filing it into shape, then soldering it with silver sealant was not easy, but worth it once I saw it becoming round like a ring.

Uisng the leather mallet

With the leather mallet in hand, banging away I found my rhythm in the creative process. Seeing the shape became more clear than ever; I created a ring.

With this being my second class, I can so far say that the outcome of my labor is extremely rewarding, and so far this has been a great creative experience for me. I am able to see in real time the benefits of my work, and coming to learn each of the steps required to get those results. Patience, dedication, and creativity are all ingredients to success, and this ‘pain in the palms’ jewelry class is teaching me that I love what I do , and often it is the process the gets the results, not the results themselves.

creating a ring from raw materials

Using raw materials, a saw, a mallet, some gusto, and creativity I was able to create this ring!

 

 

Filed under:Who We Are

Nexus 7 Google Tablet Arrives Fully Loaded with Google Apps

Google loads nexus 7 tablet with Google appsThe sleek packaging got my attention at first, but when I opened the box to unveil my new Google Nexus 7 tablet I was thrilled to touch the smooth leather encasing for the Android driven device. Upon turning it on and logging into the platform using my gMail account, I was then able to learn that this is very much a Google  branded device. The tablet comes fully loaded with all the branded apps Google has to offer.

Here are the top 5 apps Google offers for the Nexus 7 tablet.

Top 5 Google Apps for the Nexus 7 Tablet:

  • Chrome Browser (plugins TBA)
  • Google Navigation (love!)
  • Google Talk (dont love, prefer Tango ;))
  • Google Play (of course)
  • Google+ (seems to be everywhere now)

For SEO and digital marketing pros I recommend to download and add on the Google Analytics app; its free!

Overall, my first impression of the Nexus 7 is good, but I really think that for half the price of the iPad, you literally do get half the tablet. The Google Nexus 7 tablet is eye catching, sleek and smaller that its counter parts, but it certainly lacks the same fun user interface that Apple offers. By far my iPad is more user friendly, and much less monopolized by the branded apps and tools, which at first glance is quite overwhelming. Android users, which by trade I have become, must be prepared for some additional functionality that might require time fooling around with the device.

That said, I am sure to need more time playing with the new Nexus 7 Google tablet and apps, so I can better understand its everyday use. Here are what some other sites had to say in their reviews of the Nexus 7:

T3 said in their review of the Google Nexus tablet:

At 10.5mm thick it’s not the most slender, but this is barely noticeable in the grand scheme of the overall design of the Nexus 7.

Review Source: http://www.t3.com/reviews/google-nexus-7-review

UK retailer Toms Hardware had this to say about the Nexus 7:

Google will see quite a bit of competition in the run up to the holidays as Amazon prepares to bring the Kindle Fire to the UK for the first time. There’s also Apple’s rumored iPad mini to content with, which Cupertino is expected to announce next Tuesday, October 23.

Review Source: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nexus-7-Android-Tablet-Best-Selling-UK,18429.html

And finally one recent consumer reviewing the Nexus 7 tablet on Amazon made this remark:

My initial review was a Nexus 7 vs. the first generation Kindle Fire and the Nexus was a clear winner. I have now updated my review for the Fire HD. It’s a close call but the Nexus’ 4-core CPU and its pure Android, more open makeup make it my preferred 7-incher. However, the rest of my family prefers the Fire HD because it’s such a great dedicated (Amazon) media consumption pad.

Review Source: http://www.amazon.com/Google-Nexus-Tablet-16-GB/dp/B008M04V1E

Of course with the launch of the iPad mini for the holidays, I will be curious to know if the Nexus tablet was the right choice. Albeit to say that even thought I have always been an avid lover of all things Apple, my experience with Android, Google and the apps and products thus far has been a positive one. With more and more developers, musicians and TV stations making deals with Google, it is certainly important to experience the products and find ways to integrate them into your everyday business practices.

So tell me, how do you use your Nexus 7, iPad or other tablet?

Important Facts About Napping at Work

Ladies and Gents, may I announce that we can officially warrant mid-day napping at work. How, you ask? Because there are facts to support that we will be more productive if we are able to nap mid-day. Business news site, The Jane Dough, published this fun and engaging infographic showing off the benefits of a nap room in the workplace, and how the US is the one of the least rested work forces in the country!

beneftis of napping in the work place

Importance of Napping at Work

Google Provide Mobile Usage Data from Around the Globe

I just discovered Google’s  “Our Mobile Planet” – a resource for mobile data about international adoption of cell phones and related usage data at the country level. When the tool broke out my data, it was still showing discrepancies, so its clear Google will need to either A) Get their smartphones in more of these Mobile Markets internationally (Google inst internationally know, as seen by the penetration in Russia where Yandex is all the buzz (see Google showing 0 data in screenshot 2 below).

Russia Google Mobile Use

Limited Usage Data in Russia

Anyhow, Google of course has great things to say about the data they have captured and analyzed so far. It is quite inspiring to see, however it is also clear that there are some discrepancies due to the inductive nature of this analysis.

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Samsung Galaxy Smartphone Advertisement in New York Streets

Literally, the smartphone ad was in the street!

Here is the story; walking home from the office on Wednesday I came across this Samsung Galaxy smartphone advertisement. I have to tell you this was really cool. You could place your galaxy smartphone over the ad (bottom right corner) and download a free song from Goodie Mob.

Samsung galaxy smartphone advertisment

Free Music Download from Smartphone Advertisement

The guy in the car behind me (reflected in the photo), might have been a little spooked out though when I was standing in between his car and the phone booth to snap this phone, but in someone with a galaxy phone – theyd be standing in the street to get a free song.

Given this is New York City, and many of us use smartphones – the Samsung galaxy for some – it is wise to have advertisements like this.

However, it is NOT WISE to have them on phone booths facing the main thoroughfare of 8th avenue during rush hour, when buses and cars are rushing past — many of them not totally paying attention to the intersection, because well they too are on their smartphones!

Samsung makes a great smartphone product, and they continue to be a top competitor in the mobile market. Of course the placement of this ad was the fault of the company putting up the marketing materials, not Samsung directly.

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Ever Wonder What An SEO Consultant Does

Ever wonder “What Does an SEO Consultant Do?”

Maybe you or someone you know has heard about SEO consulting, and you are trying to find out what the heck this kind of job is. If you are interested in doing work as an SEO or just have a friend in the business, this infographic will clearly and easily explain what an SEO consultant does.

What Does An SEO Consultant Do?

Use this to Explain "What an SEO Consultant Does" to Friends of Family

If you have any serious SEO questions, post them below! :)

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Filed under:SEO Consulting