Local SEO Industry: Current Status and Future Projections

What Is SEO?
This is a common question that most people especially those who are either new or not familiar with online marketing might be asking. SEO stands for search engine optimization. In layman's language, it the process of capturing traffic from the search engines such as Google listings. Through this read, I am going to give you facts about the SEO business, current market status of SEO as well as the future projections in this field.

The Major SEO Players
Like any other industry in the world, the online SEO business has its players. This includes SEO local tools providers such as small digital agencies, SEO free lancers and web-designers among others.

Returns for SEO Players
The major reason as to why people get into business is to profit and expand their economic status. In the field of SEO business, the rates of returns are promising. This is because a recent research on SEO returns for a period of 12 months shows that at least all the players had something to take home. However, the returns are varying depending on a players' hardwork and skills in the field. For example, according to this research, 34% of the interviewed SEOs said they received an amount less than $ 30,000 while another group of respondents, 17% said they received returns that were above $ 500,000.

From the above statistics, it is evident that the size of an organization played a role in the determination of the amount of returns received. It beats logic for one to expect a large organization to receive low amounts of returns and vice versa. In addition, the presence of part time SEOs as well as the entry of newbies into the market could have let the low rates of turnover due to low operation capacity. However, it is hard to predict the course the SEO market is likely to take due to lack of clear shift in SEO earnings since the year 2011. However, the demand for local SEO services seems to be growing day in day out and this is appealing more players theseby tightening the competition among SEO service providers.

The Emerging Issues with the Current SEO Returns
With the above distribution of returns, several questions emerge. This includes the following:

• From the statistics, a large percentage of SEOs receive a low income something that suggests low pricing of SEO services.
• It is also possible that small and medium businesses do not understand the value of SEO services provided to them.
• The low SEO income earners, those who received less than $ 30,000 annual returns are also being doubted if they can provide quality services while earning that low.
• It is also unknown if most SEOs will still be in operation if their income remains static.

The Current SEOs Income Per Customer
Just like the annual SEO returns, SEO income per customer also varies. This is because there are those clients who would pay less than $ 100 a month while others will pay more than $ 5000 a month. This variation in income per client can be attributed to the type of services provided as well as the depth of services. The size of business a client is seeking SEO services for also play a role in determining the amount to be charged. For example, small businesses are charged less simply because their requirements are much smaller as compared to large multi-location franchise businesses.

Research also shows that some SEO service providers operate on high volume basis. Such SEOs provide simple SEO services at very low monthly rates. As a result, such SEO service providers end up having a high customer churn with a large dedicated network of sales team.

Similarly, some SEO service providers provide services that are more comprehensive in a much more professional manner customized according to the client theby leading to a low number of clients.

Due to the above statistics, it there becomes essential for any SEO service provider in the current market to operate in a manner that matches his / her setup.

Handling Capacity of the Modern SEOs
Currently, SEOs are handling more clients as compared to the previous years. Statistics show that about 40% of the SEOs in the market handle at least 11 clients while 23% SEOs handle at least 21 clients. Such large numbers of clients to handle lead to more audits to be done, lots of tasks, research, reports and even more calls from the clients to be attended to. The high numbers of clients also demand a high level of efficiency so that the clients can be assured of quality services.

Market Structure for Most SEOs
SEOs have been using several marketing techniques to promote their businesses. Offline marketing channels such as word of mouth has been cited by most SEOs as the most effective marketing technique. This can be attributed to the trust level, business reputation as well as relationships build during the offline campaigns.

Alongside offline marketing, SEOs also practice online marketing such as the use of LinkedIn and social media. However, most SEOs have cited LinkedIn as the best option as compared to the social networks because it is better placed for lead generation and networking.

Services Offered by SEOs
Majority of the SEO players offer onsite optimization with 91% of the SEOs practicing this. Google+ optimization has also a good number of SEOs practicing it as 86% claimed to be offering this service to their clients. For affiliate marketing, only a small percentage (11%) of SEOs are offering this service to their clients.

Other services offered by SEOs:

• Content creation / optimization
• Link building
• Citation building
• Social media marketing
• Website development
• PPC
• Mobile site development
• Video marketing and mobile marketing.

The most demanded service by SEO clients is onsite marketing, while the least demanded service is affiliate marketing. The other services are somehow averagely demanded. However, most small and medium businesses do not understand the opportunities that video and mobile marketing can unlock to them and therefore tend not to use these services. SEOs therefore need to educate their clients on these marketing channels so that they can go for them.

When asked about the online SEO services SEOs feel effective, 82% of them said that the General search is the most effective for generating leads. Local search appears to be the second best after 62% of the respondents in an SEO survey voted in its favor. PPC is the 3rd with 53% while social media is the 4th with 26%. Daily deals appear to be an appealing to most SEOs because only 1% voted in favor of it.

Tedious SEO Tasks
55% of the current SEOs in the market find link building to be the most tedious and time-consuming work. Others, although 15% only believe that content writing is the most tedious and time consuming task among all the tasks they do. It therefore emerges that to the 55% who find link building tedious, this task is also boring to them.

Future Projections
This is an outline of what we expect in the near future as far as SEO business is of concern.

Expansion of SEO Businesses
Compared to the previous years, SEO businesses has been growing and expanding steadily. Most SEOs (about 93%) are not only optimistic about expanding their businesses, but are also expecting to grow their business. In what seems to be a determined move to grow their businesses, most SEOs (82%) are willing to recruit more staff members so as to realize their desired levels of growth.

The social media is also expected to grow and be more effective even than the local directories. This is because most SEOs believe that social media can perform better because of recommendations from friends. Mobile usage is also expected to grow further and become relevant for local businesses.

Upsurge of Confidence in SEO Business
Unlike other businesses, the SEO business is showing a positive growth of confidence among the players. Despite this being a dynamic and innovative industry, most SEOs are still willing to recruit more staff to help drive their businesses ahead. 84% of the sampled SEOs in the SEO research are also optimistic that the SEO business is going to be more profitable starting this year 2013.

Confidence is also running high that if the SEO players increase the understanding of SEO / social among the business owners they serve in future, they will not only increase the business owners' rate of investment, but also make them transfer their marketing budgets from other channels to the digital channels.

SEO Consulting For Big Brand Companies – 16 Guidelines For SEO Consultants to Beat the Competition

While the basic principles of SEO strategies are the same for most websites, there are certain techniques and strategies on which SEO consultants need to emphasize more when optimizing big brand web sites. An SEO consultant when selecting between different SEO services for big brand websites should apply strict planning and proven strategies that must be tailored to the specific needs of every web site.

1 – Establish your Authority:

Big brand web sites must establish their expertise in the field they are serving. Authority is recognized by both human visitors and search engine spiders by proving that their websites are the source of valuable information in their fields. Big brand websites must contain many pages dedicated primarily to providing useful knowledge to their clients. It can be in the form of a glossary of terms, frequently asked questions or tips and advices to their customers. The content of these pages must be of high quality and perfectly optimized for different keywords.

2 – Create semantic theming and siloing:

It is vital to create semantic branding for big brand websites by rearranging their pages and their internal link structure to represent clear categories that can be easily recognizable by both human visitors and search engine spiders.

An SEO consultant should divide the pages of the website into categories or groups. Each category must contain pages with closely related subjects and keywords. For each category there should be an index page where all the other pages of the same category will link to and the category index page will link back to them. Each category index page must have at least 5 – 10 pages from the same category pointing links to it with different relevant keywords as anchor text for these links.

Each category index page will link to the home page and the home page will link back to this category index page. You can create cross links between pages of the same category, but not between pages of different categories.

This type of internal link arrangement will increase the topical relevancy of every page and improve its search engine rankings.

3 – Review and clean out pages that are off topic:

After establishing the theming structure of the website, review every page and rewrite it removing all information that is not related to the specific topic or category where this page belongs to.

4 – Number of indexed pages and content:

SEO Consultants should match the amount of indexed pages and their content in big brand web sites to the amount of indexed pages and their content in the competitor's websites. If the pages of the competitor's websites have 500 words each, you should not have only 100 words in each of your pages. Your competitor's websites will look more authoritative.

5 – On-page optimization:

Proper on-page optimization will put the most relevant keywords where the search engine spiders go looking. Use long-tailed keywords as frequently as possible in the different pages according to the semantic theming of the website.

6 – Rewrite title tags and description metatags:

Big brand websites with thousands of pages typically have many duplicate title tags and description metatags. Rewrite unique title tag and description metatags for every page using keywords relevant to every page to enforce the new theming design of the whole website.

7 – Improve HTML Code:

Over years and with many configurations and additions, the big brand websites typically accumulate a lot of bad HTML coding. Clean up the code and make all links absolute as this gives the pages more relevancies when visited by search engine spiders.

8. Add footer links:

Using links in the footer of the pages is an effective method to strengthen the anchor text for the main pages and enhance the themic structure of the whole website.

9. Finish on-page optimization before starting off-page optimization:

Do not attempt to do any off page search engine optimization before you finish on-page optimization to a reasonable level. First fix the content and internal linking structure as much as you can. It does not make any sense to get more potential customers or search engine spiders visiting a big website which is completely messed up.

10 – Build high quality back links:

One of the biggest challenges to any SEO consultant is to acquire high quality back links from respectable sites. SEO consultants must avoid buying links that will lose its value over time. They should concentrate most of their energy on getting such links from relevant websites and ask for anchor text relevant to their subjects.

11 – Combine organic SEO campaign with PPC:

Combine organic SEO campaign with different forms of paid advertising like paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion in different search engines.

12 – Implement a fully optimized blog on the web sites:

Big brand websites need at least one blog to engage its customers more in their news and events and to drive more relevant links to the pages of the main website. Many big brand companies have more than 5 well maintained blogs.

Continuously add new content to the blog to increase spider activity which will spread to the whole site. It will also attract a steady stream of readers and potential customers.

13 – Social media marketing (SMM):

An SEO consultant providing SEO services to a big brand company must establish a strong presence of this brand name in different social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. He should also encourage sales and marketing personnel to get involved in the discussions around their brand, products and services.

14 – Reputation management:

SEO Consultants should consistently monitor the brand reputation on the internet to take quick actions so that they can resolve any problems stated by customers in any website. There are different software programs available to enable companies to monitor and track any indication of their brand on the internet.

15. Publish highly optimized press releases:

Big brand companies should regularly publish highly optimized press releases about different activities, events, new products or services. This will emphasize their authority and enhance visibility.

16 – Monitor and track your progress:

SEO consultants must have a set of tools to allow them to monitor and track their progress in the different aspects of their SEO campaign and to detect every possible change in the progress of their search engine optimization planes. Start by establishing a base line to know where you are concerned ranking, link popularity, convergence rates and other metrics.

Creating an aggressive search engine marketing (SEM) campaign for a big brand website with tens of thousands of pages typically needs a meticulous SEO plan that takes all search engine optimization problems into consideration. An SEO consultant should continually interpret and evaluate the results to adjust his strategies accordingly.

Truckload Transportation Software – Take Charge of Company Shipping Processes

Production and manufacturing companies rely on their shipping processes to be reliable. They ship high volumes of products to destinations all over the country. Their main goal is to make money through product sales. Shipping plays a part in the amount of profit a company keeps from their sales. The more money a company spends on shipping, the less profit they make. This may seem like a fairly obvious statement; however, many companies spend far more money than they have to for this process. Payroll is commonly the first place a company looks at to cut costs and improve profits. For manufacturers, shipping is one of the highest company budget costs. Choosing the wrong logistics expert can increase these costs and leave your business even less profitable. Some companies hire an entire group of people to handle shipment logistics internally. Not every business can afford this option and thankfully there are other less cost alternatives to choose from. The two other choices for logistics support are third party outsourcing and truckload transportation software. Both have separate benefits and drawbacks.

Alternative Choices to Truckload Transportation Software

There are varying types of logistic support providers. Standard logistic providers are lower in cost when compared to other types. Third party logistics is not the main part of their business. Standard providers are better when you need to perfect a particular piece of the shipping process. If your company needs solutions provided to improve the entire process or comprehensive help, these outsource providers are a waste of money. Service developers take the process a step further and are experienced third party logistics providers. They attempt to find solutions that add value to your company. These can be things such as shipment tracking and cross-docking. Service developers are limited in expertise and may not be able to offer the most innovative resolution. Custom adapters are another company option for outsourcing. These providers are equipped to take care of shipping completely. They do not offer new and innovative solutions. Instead custom adapters take over your already perfected shipping process, oversee it, and reduce some of the company's workload. Custom developers are a step up from adapters and offer innovation while overseeing shipping. Remember that when your company chooses outsourcing, higher prices will automatically be paid. Shipping choices are more limited and the additional cost is charged to make the third party service profitable. Truckload transportation software removes these additional costs and ensures every shipping decision is beneficial to your company and not someone else's.

Truckload Transportation Software: A More Innovative Approach

Truckload transportation software is affordable and more convenient. There are no additional charges added to carrier fees. All pricing quotes are direct and concise. No options are withheld due to preference and your company gets the best shipping choices every time. Outsourcing can remove innovation from the complete shipping picture. Logistics applications are as innovative as possible. Freight optimization is performed to ensure the most is gotten from each freight load. Easy route selection offers the most accurate and timely deliveries. In essence, you take control of shipping and become the ultimate logistics provider.

Stop Branding Them and Brand Yourself

Brand names are the first step to building a presence online. This is what new marketers need to focus on first. Pushing products and programs from the beginning is a critical mistake that many people seem to make. You want to build up some credibility first. Try not to come off as a opportunity pusher. This is someone who joins a program selling product after product claiming that it is the next big thing. You're campaigning a companies qualities, not your own.

Here is a real world example. Take any pro athlete or movie star that we see on TV, they are pushing everything from cell phones to underwear. People are swarming to the stores and buying these things just because their favorite player has a pair or uses the product. They do this not because those golf balls are the best, or those are the most comfortable boxers. They swarm to the stores and get those items because they admire and have a feeling a trust when it comes to their favorite actor or athlete. Those players and ball players have built strong brands. There names alone hold strength and value. You have the same ability to do so. If you brand yourself first and develop a feeling of trust and provide value, you can get out here and sell anything. Look for a targeted area you want to focus on. It is much easier to appeal and attract people with things that you already have knowledge of and are interested in. Your goal is to gain trust and let people know that you only supply things that are of value.

Get yourself together first. Build up your brand name and then start to introduce products later. When you have established your brand, people will buy the things that you believe are worth their time and money. You do not want to take them to places you have never been. Provide them with products or opportunities that are good and you would actually use. It can be computer supplies, maybe its studio equipment. Whatever the targeted market is, become an expert in it. Take the role of authority and provide them with the right products.