Author Archives: Chris J. Everett

Chris J. Everett

About Chris J. Everett

Chris J. Everett is a Professional SEO Consultant and is the Founder & CEO of Captivate Search Marketing in Atlanta, GA. He specializes in a variety of SEO consulting practices including organic and local search, as well as PPC Advertising. Feel free to reach out and connect with Chris on his social media profiles: LinkedIn | Twitter

Ten-Step Technical SEO Checklist for 2019

Technical SEO Checklist 2019
Technical SEO is a bit of a rabbit hole, starting with implementing proactive measures to anticipate the foreseeable, to frantically creating reactive strategies to fix the broken. Whether preparing for a new site launch or auditing a site’s current health, having a technical SEO checklist in place can help to keep you organized and on track. At Captivate, we aren’t strangers to the technical challenges accompanying SEO. In fact, 2018 was a year of trial and testing, as we were involved in a number of technical clean-up projects and helped to reverse traffic drops across multiple sites. In turn, we are both inspired and equipped to share our ten-step technical SEO checklist for 2019.

Google Maps SEO: How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

How to Optimize Google My Business Listing
There are a number of variables to consider when doing Google Maps SEO. Backlink profile (domain authority), website, and other off-site signals all impact local SEO rankings. However, when it comes to ranking in Google Maps and the local 3-pack, your Google My Business (GMB) listing is a key player. There’s a lot of information being tossed around regarding the best approach to Google My Business SEO and properly setting up your GMB page.

How Atlanta Startups Can Thrive Using Local SEO

When it comes to building a successful startup in Atlanta, local SEO is one of the most powerful ways to increase exposure and accelerate growth. A study from Google shows that 50% of mobile searches resulted in users visiting that business in person. In a metropolis like Atlanta, this local mobile search data should be a clear call-to-action for blooming startups.

Atlanta Startups Local SEO

If your startup’s marketing plan doesn’t include local SEO, then it’s mostly likely missing out on a large chunk of traffic. For this reason, we put together a few tips to help Atlanta startups leverage SEO and better thrive in local search.

Define Your Startup as a Local Business

From a search standpoint, simply serving customers in Atlanta typically isn’t enough. You should start by presenting your startup as a business in the local community. To best achieve this, you’ll need a local address and phone number, both of which present on your website (ideally sitewide, such as in the footer.) These are the vital pieces of data that Google uses to rank legitimate businesses in the local search listings.

Claim Your Business

In addition to claiming and verifying a Google My Business listing (which serves as your startup’s hub for local SEO,) you should claim listings on various local directories. These listings will help to boost your business’s credibility and authority, which in turn can help increase local search visibility.

Brew Pubs Near Me Local SEO

Checkout Local SEO Guide’s post on The Best Online Local Business Directories for SEO of an actionable list of places you should claim your business. You can also seek out potential listings specific to Atlanta, such as chamber of commerce sites, local affiliations and membership networks, or newspapers (finding writing opportunities for local publishers can be huge win.)

Optimize Your Site for Atlanta

It may seem difficult to include “Atlanta” in your site’s content without forcing it or butchering page copy. But really, mentioning “Atlanta” a few times on your site’s homepage will suffice.

Try dedicating small section of content of your site to its location, perhaps a general “About” or “Where We’re Based” section. Startups can get creative with this by including an “Atlanta Roots” section, or something similar to establish geographic relevancy. This, combined having a local address and phone number, will help actualize your local SEO strategy.

Consider Multiple Domain Names

Some startups invest in building multiple domains in order to define their business and target markets. For multi-location and franchise SEO, sometimes this strategy can be very effective.

As an example, a startup can develop unique websites by investing in different domain names each locality. Further, each location can have a separate listing in Google. This can help define your startups location, not only in Atlanta, but other major markets in which it serves.

Keep Content Marketing On The Forefront

Content marketing can provide a host of benefits for startups, with improved SEO being on of them. In fact, few SEO tactics are more effective than generating great content marketing that resonates with your target audience (especially if that’s a local Atlanta audience.)

Unlike the SEO-driven content strategies for many businesses, your startup’s content strategy doesn’t have center on keywords. Instead, embrace a contents strategy that’s more socially-driven and speaks wave about your startup and all the great things it provides. You can also leverage paid social advertising (i.e. Facebook Promoted Posts or Promoted Tweets) to expand the visibility of your content. In turn, greater traffic, social signals and credibility will help enhance your local SEO efforts.

Atlanta SEO Strategy: A Multifaceted Approach to Search Marketing

At Captivate Search Marketing, our approach to SEO entails far more than optimizing websites and generating link popularity. We help our Atlanta SEO clients move the needle by leveraging various aspects digital marketing.

Atlanta SEO StrategyFrom social media and content marketing strategies to conversion rate optimization (CRO), we embrace SEO using a multi-faceted approach that produces tangible results.

To shed light on some of these areas, below are a few primary components that go into a typical SEO program with Captivate Search Marketing.

SEO Site Audit

SEO site audits are part of the discovery phase when our team delves into a website to evaluate certain criteria that influence SEO performance. Some of things we look at when auditing a site include:

  • HTML markup and technical composition
  • site architecture and navigation
  • user experience, interface, and overall usability
  • sitemaps
  • URL naming
  • use of page titles and Meta data
  • on-page copy (including headers, text styling elements, etc.)
  • CRO and calls-to-action
  • backlink profile
  • social media linking and verification

By evaluating elements such as these, we can pinpoint various weaknesses and opportunities that will shape an actionable SEO strategy.

Website Optimization

The next phase in actualizing a company’s Atlanta SEO strategy is taking advantage of the opportunities revealed from the site audit. In addition to addressing the site elements listed above, we also look for way to:

  • fix broken links and HTML errors
  • improve site load speed
  • implement Schema and structured data markup
  • construct both HTML and XML sitemaps
  • establish more internal linking
  • develop new pages and optimize content

Each site comes with varying degrees of optimization, so each Atlanta SEO strategy is unique. Our job is to tailor the most effective plan with respect to each client’s current position, their goals, and overall budget. In short, we craft custom SEO programs for our clients.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Unlike some Atlanta SEO companies that focus on generating more traffic, here at Captivate Search Marketing, we help our clients generate quality conversions (i.e. leads, sales, signups, etc.) This is where CRO comes into play.

Atlanta SEO Content Marketing Strategy for CROWe work with our clients to define specific website conversions goals in which they wish to achieve. This form of optimization makes strategic use of call-to-actions (CTAs), copywriting, and web design graphics. The objective is invoke users to take specific action after they land on the website.

There are often different conversion goals for different traffic sources. For instance, the CRO strategy may be completely different for organic search traffic (stemming from SEO) compared to paid search traffic (from AdWords PPC ads). In essence, we seek to provide our Atlanta SEO clients with ROI-driven services that help them realize sustainable growth.

Content Marketing Strategy

Content has been on the forefront of SEO since its inception. However, the evolution of content’s role in SEO goes beyond optimizing web pages for keyword relevancy. Today, SEO thrives on developing content marketing strategies that focus on providing value to users.

For instance, blogging has become a best practice for most companies engaged in SEO. But to take this practice one step further, strategize and prioritize the development of pure-value content that resonates with a target market segment.

In doing so, infuse SEO by tailoring the content around long-tail keywords that answer specific answers. For criminal defense lawyer, an example would be a video or article that address the question “can I beat a DUI charge in Atlanta?”

An article or video on such topic will be both informative and solution-oriented, offering value to a very focus market segment. If the content picks-up traction in social media, not only can attract potential leads (i.e. DUI cases), but it can also earn links and social signals, pouring more and more SEO value back to the site.

Social Media Marketing

Atlanta SEO Social Media StrategySocial media acts as a glue that holds together content marketing and SEO strategies. It also helps to bring in more traffic and higher levels of engagement, two Google ranking factors that often get overlooked by some SEO companies.

While your Atlanta SEO strategy may or may not include the use of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat, etc., leveraging some of the these social platforms can provide a solid means to market your business and voice your content. At Captivate, we not only help clients optimize their social media presence with specific SEO techniques, but we also help actualize social media strategies that invoke greater interaction, build more followers, and increase the value of content marketing.

For more information about our Atlanta SEO company and how we can help your business grow in the search, contact us today for a free consultation.

Establish an Optimized Web Presence for Healthcare Digital Marketing in Atlanta

Strategies for Digital Marketing for Healthcare Companies

Healthcare Digital Marketing in AtlantaWhether your healthcare organization is a world-renown hospital or a local medical clinic, establishing a well-optimized web presence provides the foundation for any healthcare digital marketing program.

But what exactly defines an “optimized web presence?”

Below we delve into the most important elements that contribute to a cohesive web presence. While there is some overlap in each of these areas, each component is crucial for healthcare digital marketing in Atlanta and building a thriving organization.

Responsive Web Presence

Staying competitive in today’s digital marketing environment requires more than just a website. Now, healthcare practices must ensure that their website is responsive, or mobile-friendly, on all types of smartphones, tablets, etc.

Taking this one step further in the healthcare sector is the advent of mobile apps. Investing in mobile apps enables patients (or prospective patients) to better engage and connect with your practice. Custom-designed and purposeful mobile apps, combined with a mobile-friendly site, is what ultimately contributes to a responsive web presence as a whole.

Atlanta Healthcare Digital Marketing Responsive Web Design

Social Media Integration

Integrating social media into a practice’s healthcare digital marketing plan is major element to brand building and cultivating an audience. There are many layers to social media, both in terms of the social platforms and marketing strategies.

In addition to maintaining an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and other related social platforms, healthcare practices can also value from social media advertising. These opportunities expose organizations and brands to new audiences, helping to grow the volume of followers, promote marketable content, and inbound prospective patients to the site.

Search Engine Marketing

Parallel to social media in terms of new patient acquisition, search engine marketing is powerful force in healthcare digital marketing. Search engine marketing, or SEM, can focus on one or both means of attaining better visibility in Google:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising – Using platforms like Google AdWords, healthcare practices can bid on certain keywords to have ads shown in the search engine results. These often appear as sponsored listings at the top and bottom of the search results page.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – This focuses on increasing the organic search engine rankings of a practice’s website (non-paid listings shown under the PPC ads.)

While PPC advertising provides immediate exposure, organic SEO is a long-term investment that can pay incredible dividends for healthcare digital marketing. Often the best approach for healthcare practices is combination of both. A wealth of data and intelligence can be earned from PPC advertising, which can then be directly applied to SEO.

Healthcare Digital Marketing Content Strategy

Digital Marketing for Healthcare PracticesCreating a content strategy is the fuel that keeps a practice’s SEO and social media efforts burning strong. Some of the most prestigious hospitals, like Mayo Clinic, offer great examples of successful content strategies. While Mayo Clinic is a top-tier example, the Patient Care and Health Information section on its website is a model for an educational-driven content strategy.

Another more locally-focused example of a solid content strategy is the Emery King’s Medical Video Library of the Detroit Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading hospitals for cardiology and vascular care.

The video library offers a rich format to engage with users, helping to increase SEO and inbound marketing value. Additionally, the videos can be shared on social media, further expanding the hospital’s ability to reach prospective patients and drive new traffic to the site.

These are a just some of the primary pillars to keep top of mind when developing a digital marketing program for an Atlanta healthcare practice. While the strategies and investments will depend on the size, budget, and overall nature of the practice, many organizations can increase their patient acquisition potential by investing in these key areas of digital marketing.

Conductor Study: Atlanta SEO Market #5 for SEO Jobs in U.S.

Atlanta SEO Jobs #5 in US 2016
Have you heard the news? According to research done by Conductor, Atlanta rankings in the top 5 cities throughout the U.S. for SEO career opportunities. Compared to last year's top cities for SEO jobs, Atlanta experienced a boost from #10 in the U.S. to the #5 spot in 2016. Fueled by an insurgence of tech industry job growth, Atlanta also ranks as one of the top 10 "momentum markets" in the U.S. for technology-driven demand.

Adapting Your SEO Strategy to Google RankBrain

Google Rank Brain SEO Strategy
In October of 2015, Google announced the integration of RankBrain to help determine its search engine rankings. Although RankBrain has been part of the conversation among SEO experts for months, most of them are still not sure of what it is, what it does, and the strategies they can adopt to make their sites more RankBrain friendly.

Intelligent Competitive Analysis for Atlanta SEO Success

Atlanta SEO Competitive AnalysisWhen it comes to developing a successful SEO campaign, conducting a comprehensive and intelligent competitive analysis is vital. With so many variables impacting competitive search engine results pages (SERPs), collecting data and assessing the strength of your competitors is almost essential to contend.

Following SEO best practices without data is often not enough to outrank your greatest contenders. Your efforts must delve deep in order to unearth the information the lends to creative and impactful SEO campaigns.

To underscore the value of this process, below we highlight the cornerstones of an intelligent competitive analysis for Atlanta SEO success.

Identify Your Primary Competitors

The first step is identifying your top SEO competitors in Atlanta. You may not always have a clear idea who your primary competitors are because they may differ from one keyword query to another.

For this reason, focus on the top 3-5 rankings sites for your top 3-5 keywords that offer the greatest traffic-generating potential. In a way, you’re leveraging the 80/20 rule by investing your energy more efficiently.

Further complicating this part of the competitive analysis are different search engines. While Google dominates over 70% of the search activity on the web, the top competing sites may be different on Bing and Yahoo search.

To identify your competitors by search engine, use KeywordSpy, a free tool that enables you to view the top rankings sites on different search engines for various keywords.

Conduct a Backlink Audit

Auditing the backlink portfolio of your top competitors is perhaps the most important part of an intelligent competitive analysis. The volume, relevant, and strengthen of a site’s backlinks is what drives SEO and domain authority.

The best backlinks come from referring sites that are both relevant and authoritative. Auditing your competitors’ backlinks will help you:

  • discover new link building opportunities
  • pinpoint related sites with high domain authority
  • identify partners for guest blogging and ethical link exchanges
  • find directories where you business is not present
  • reveal forums and discussion site relevant to your industry or niche

Some of the best SEO tools for backlink analysis include Ahrefs, Majestic, and SEO SpyGlass.

Evaluate Domain Metrics

How long a domain has been in existence can influence its overall authority, and thus, its search engine ranking. Most high-authority sites have been around for several years. This has enabled such domains to have earned backlinks, traffic, and credibility over the years.

While the domain age your top Atlanta SEO competitors may not entirely relevant, domain authority, which is mostly dictated by backlinks, is a simple benchmark to use. Open Site Explorer is a great tool from Moz that can reveal domain authority information. It’s also one of the best SEO tools for an intelligent competitive analysis. Other tools for comparing domain authority metrics are Raven Tools and Ahrefs.

Assess Competing Sites’ Content

There are many different ways to assess the quality of content on your competitors’ sites. Some of the basic elements include: keyword density, use of videos and images, grammar, and content depth (word count, use of headers, etc.) Also, take a look at how the site uses Meta titles and Meta descriptions. Excellent tools to conduct on-site content audits are Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider and SEO PowerSuite’s Website Auditor.

You may also want to see how often the site is updated with content. This is best achieve if the competitor has a blog or publishes articles and videos on the site.

Going further, a technical assessment of the site’s content can indicate how crawler-friendly it is. For instance, if the site is using Flash media and a lot image-based text (which cannot be crawled), then it’s missing the mark with SEO.

Scope Out Your Competitors’ Social Media Presence

Since the emergence of Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social media platforms, the SERPs have changed dramatically. In short, social signals (i.e. Facebook Likes, (Re)tweets, Pins, Google +1’s, and Shares) contribute to a page’s rankings.

Take a look at your top competitors’ social media presence. This should focus on how many social media followers they have on each platform, as well as how many social signals they’ve earned on their homepage, top-ranking inside pages, blog posts, articles, and videos.

If you see a high level on engagement on your competitors’ social content, this can indicate greater strength to their SEO standing. This part of the analysis can also provide insights as to where your business may be weak using social media.

Google Drops Right Side Ads on SERP in Favor of 4 Ads on Top

Adwords 4 Ads on Top, No Sidebar
In the most dramatic change to its desktop Search Engine Results Page (SERP) since the 3 Pack Local Maps Update in July of 2014, last week (February 19, 2016) Google announced it has dropped Adwords ads from the right sidebar of the SERP in favor of displaying 4 ads at the top of the results page for “highly commercial” search queries.

3 Common AdWords Mistakes Impacting PPC Performance

3 Common Adwords Mistakes

Although Google may make it simple, constructing and managing a profitable AdWords account requires experience and understanding. There are many different advertising features, opportunities, and common mistakes that profoundly impact the success of a PPC advertising campaign.

To underscore some of those mistakes, below are three common issues that can plague the performance of a Google AdWords PPC advertising account. If you’re making these PPC mistakes, then consider them game-changing opportunities that can transform your account.

Having Too Many Keyword Variations in a Single Ad Group

One of the most common mistakes that inexperienced PPC advertisers make is building one or two ad groups that include a wide variety of keywords.

In short, ad groups perform best with very tight, relevant, and focused keyword groupings. For instance, if truck scale company is bidding on the keywords “truck scales” and “weighing equipment,” the campaign should be set-up with two separate ad groups for each keyword grouping.

The Truck Scales ad group might bid on keywords like:

  • [truck scales for sale]
  • +truck +scales
  • “truck scales”
  • “truck scale”

And the Weighing Equipment ad group might bid on keywords like:

  • [weighing equipment]
  • “industrial weighing equipment”
  • +mining +weighing
  • +payload +weighing

Further, developing more specific ad groups enables you to write more targeted and specific ad copy. As a result, your ads can see better CTR’s and your keyword will often have higher quality scores.

Lastly, with laser-focused ad groups, you can also implement ad group-specific Ad Extensions that really make your ads stand-out from the competition (more on Ad Extensions below.)

Using Broad Match Bidding

In the mock ad groups above, notice the symbols defining the keyword match type (+, “, []). It’s crucial to understand these keyword match types (broad match modifier, phrase match, and exact match.) It’s also vital to use the latter match types instead of broad match (which extremely broad.)

Using “Broad Match,” which does not using any symbols to further define the bid type, can wreak havoc on your account. In short, Broad Match keywords result in ads being triggered for overly broad and often times unrelated keyword queries. For example, bidding on keyword “red wagon” in Broad Match might cause the ad to trigger for unwanted query like “burgundy Subaru wagon.”

As a result of unknowingly using Broad Match, you can waste a lot of ad spend on poor quality clicks. Additionally, your CTR’s and quality scores for those keywords might hinder. It’s a common mistake that can easily be avoiding by implementing more specific keyword match types.

Neglecting Ad Extensions

There are a number of “Ad Extensions” that can help increase the size and prominence of your PPC ad in Google search.

  • Link to specific pages of your site
  • List a click-to-call phone number
  • Display a map with your business address information
  • Show +1s from your company’s Google+ page
  • Include your business’ seller ratings
  • Show products from your Google Merchant Center account

Even Google reports that leverage Ad Extensions can increase click-through rate (CTR) of ads by 30% on average.

Google Adwords Mistakes

With compelling data like that, it’s paramount to include AdWords Ad Extensions in your PPC advertising practices.