Posts Tagged ‘search engine optimization’

SEO Best Practices

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

iStock_000016321920XSmallSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) is an art and science. The art is in writing SEO content, tags, and metatags that the search engines use as part of their ranking process. The science is understanding through many evolutions of hands-on experience how the algorithms of the engines, that actually do the ranking results, work. (This is something that no human does).

When very well researched, analyzed and written, a SEO campaign can achieve a remarkably high ranking on the engines in a surprisingly short time. Even though you are working with the algorithm mathematics of Google and the other search engines, it is possible and even oftentimes predictable to see high rankings for a site in a brief amount of time. This means within a few days, or a couple of weeks, your site could be successfully advertising to a targeted audience that is actively looking for your products or services. As in all business prospects, competition does dictate and shape the SEO results the engines display for visitors.  (more…)

Creating SEO Programs That Equal Business Success

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

For most businesses, SEO or search engine optimization is essential to online success. Businesses offering products or services to the general public, or business sectors that target the public, should implement an SEO program. Companies or individuals  not primarily relying on web traffic to build their businesses, and that are marketing exclusively through direct face-to-face contact, or receiving abundant referrals, might not need to invest as heavily in SEO. However, they can still benefit from an SEO program in order to build awareness of their services.

The reason to invest in SEO is that if potential customers or clients are looking for your type of business, they are going to do a search on Google, Yahoo or Bing. They are going to search via their laptops, desktops or smart phones. They will search with keywords that they think relate to your kind of business, and they will most often search with their location (city or county) as part of the search, as that keeps them local. The results of this search will be displayed by the engines in pages of ten listings on each page. You want your business to be on that first page of results, near the top of the results, as high as possible so that you are noticed most quickly by the person doing the search. And when they click through to your site, you have your first opportunity to sell to them. In addition, visitors assume that since your site is near the top of the rankings results,  you are there because you are among the best.

There are two processes that are key to online business success.

The first of these is excellent search engine ranking. This is your first level of advertising, and that is very important to realize. SEO is targeted advertising, and it is extraordinarily valuable to bringing in new business.

The second process is your site’s visitor-to-customer conversion—the total elements of your site design, copy, call to action, special offers that psychologically convert a visitor to a customer. This is akin to having a brick and mortar environment that is compelling and comforting to your guests, clients or customers–so much so that they want to buy your wares or services. The SEO is a targeted advertising campaign that brings them to your door.

Developing high caliber SEO brings potential customers or clients to your online door because you’re ranked in the top positions on the first two pages of Google, Yahoo or Bing. Achieving that SEO ranking is a true joining of art and science. Art, in that the copy on the pages of your site needs to be written using keyword phrases that people will search for and that the engines recognize as relevant to the authentic service you are providing. Science, in that the engines are coded algorithms, just statements and statements of code that are analyzing billions of pages of content. No human looks at your site to determine how you are to be ranked. The algorithms do that. So SEO science requires an expert knowledge of how to speak to those algorithms.

At The Placemaking Group, we successfully combine the art and science to build effective SEO programs that drive traffic to your website and can result in new customers and increased sales.

Post written by James R. Acker, SEO Specialist

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Email Marketing and SEO – How Thoughtful Design Can Boost Traffic

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Email design from the Placemaking Group's newsletter

The Placemaking Group’s June
email newsletter

Great design and thoughtful preparation of your email campaigns can really give your web traffic a boost. Though it may not seem like a logical pairing, email marketing and SEO (search engine optimization) can and do indeed work together. Here are a few tips on how to create a successful email design that will be more likely to be opened and inspire click-throughs to your site.

Thoughtful Email Design and Content

Email services like Optify, MailChimp, and Campaign Monitor, to name just a few, make it easy to choose a great looking, responsive template. Here at Placemaking Group, we create uniquely branded designs for our clients, too, but they all have a few things in common.


Improve Your Website Search Engine Rankings with Up-to-Date SEO Techniques

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Things are always changing with SEO and it’s important to remain up to date in order to continue to rank high in the search engines. In April of this year, Google released Google Penguin, which is an algorithmic change to cut the use of spam and to decrease search engine rankings of websites that use black-hat SEO techniques, which can include activities such as:

  • - Loading a website with keywords in the meta tags or content
  • - Cloaking, which is when content presented to the search engine spider is different from that presented to the user’s browser
  • - Deliberately creating duplicate content

While the above are things to avoid, here are some things to do on your web page to help maintain a high search engine ranking: (more…)

Why Use YouTube for Search Engine Optimization

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Why Use YouTube for Business-to-Business? Here are a couple of reasons. The most important is, if you use it correctly, it’s great for getting your website higher up in the search sites. The second one, and it’s almost as important, is many people would rather watch a short video about your company than read a lot of text about it!


The rest of the ABCs of SEO…Video, White papers, eXternal links, Zero flash pages.

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Video: Google gives bonus points for video, but use it sparingly on your site. Most visitors won’t watch unless there is a compelling reason. Something fun, interesting, insightful, visual, educational. Video can help ranking and drive traffic to your web site if you post on social media sites and provide entertainment to the visitor. If the videos are good their links will be forwarded to others, driving more traffic to your site.

White paper: One way to get more keyword density is to write a white paper and post it. Also visitors love the free information. You could possibly get them to sign up and give you their email in exchange for the white paper. But remember, it must be informational and not sell.

(e)Xternal Link Building: Also known as Back Linking – Links coming into your site. As mentioned above make sure you are posting on a well-ranked blog or a reputable and relevant outside site. Examples: Placemaking Group listed on the PRSA web site of top 100 agencies.

Why isn’t my site showing up when I search Google? There are many potential reasons but one likely reason is that it can take up to 6 months sometimes for search optimization activities to filter through Google. Also some keywords are very competitive and you might be better off using other marketing tools or focusing on special niche markets to drive traffic to your site.

Zero flash pages: Search engines need to find html text to determine if the site is of interest to searchers.

ABCs of SEO: Titles and URLs.

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008


Titles: The source code on a web page between the tags <TITLE> and </TITLE> forms the link in search results. Search engines frown upon packing dozens of keywords into the title tag. Best practice is to use a concise, readable description of the page using a keyword phrase. Should be varied from page to page on the site. Example: “Oakland, California Public Relations Firm Real Estate and Tourism.”

URL or Domain Name: When selecting your URL –, try to include a keyword in the name. For example:

From O to Site Map, we got more of the ABCs of SEO.

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Outsource: When should you hire someone to assist with optimizing your site. If you don’t have time to spend 3-4 hours per month minimum or if you feel your skills are better used in another area of your business or if you need help with ideas on how to improve optimization.

Press Release: Sending out releases over the wire services and posting releases for the media help add links to your site because other sites pick them up. Additionally they provide content to keep your site fresh.

Q&A: Add a Frequently Asked Questions page, even if you don’t like them; Search engines do.

Ranking: Avoid linking from a site below yours. To check a page rank for a site on Google you can use a free online resource: Sites which have high rankings include: 7 (out of a possible 10), 8/10, 6/10 and 7/10.

Site map: This is an old technique but having a site map still helps search engines index your whole site.

From Keywords to Niche Markets, the ABC’s of SEO march on.

Friday, October 10th, 2008

The list of ABC’s of SEO continue! Now we’re talking about Keywords, Link Building, Media Rooms and Niche Markets. Read on!


Keywords are still important. How to decide what keywords to focus on? (more…)

More of the ABC’s of SEO… From Email Marketing to Jeopardy.

Sunday, September 28th, 2008


We’ve gotten a number of people asking us at Placemaking Group about the ABC’s of SEO by our own Barbara Irias. So I decided to put some more up. You can get the whole list by clicking here.


EMAIL marketing: Send out a regular monthly email. (more…)