How to Improve your Local SEO Strategy with Google my Business Page

By | Ecommerce, Search Engine Optimization

Companies and organizations that rely on attracting customers within a targeted geography can greatly benefit from a good local Google Ranking.

Google My Business is a key Google local ranking factor. In fact, according to local ranking factor industry research, Google My Business “signals” is the most important ranking factor for local pack rankings.

By taking some time to optimize your Google my Business page, companies can expect an increase in quality leads, and customer within their targeted geography. Here are a few tips to get you started.

What is “Google my Business” Page?

Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can help customers find you and provide details about your business. By optimizing your listing you have better control over what shows up in search results and on Google Maps.

How do I Optimize my Page?

Why optimize? For example, if you were an accountant you would want to be listed in searches for terms like, “accountant near me”, “accountant in (town), “accountant in (zip code), etc.

You first need to review your page and make sure the information is accurate. You should complete as much information as possible, such as hours of operation, address, web site, payment methods accepted, available parking etc. The more complete your listing, the more professional appearance of your organization.

Make sure you add your logo and images related to you business. Caption images so visitors can better understand your story. Encourage clients to add reviews to your page. You review score often will be displayed in search results.

Add posts to your listing. Posts can include company news, new product offerings, specials, events, etc. These posts are like mini ads that help promote your business. Once you create a post you can share it on social media and expand your reach.

How to Get Started

If you’re a local business, claiming your Google My Business page is your first step. If you don’t have any listing you can go directly to https:// . If you have a page, login to your Google account and start updating your page.

Google’s Search Results Snippet Change. What You Need to Know.

By | Search Engine Optimization

Recently Google increased the amount of characters it displays in search results to 330.  You can think of these snippets as little text ads that should be written in such a way to entice one to click the search result link.

In the past Google would only display up to 160 characters, now it’s much longer.  The snippet text can maybe be sourced from your Meta Description.  The description should be written to summarize the page’s content.  Optimizing the Meta Description is an important element in basic SEO. But sometimes instead of displaying the Meta Description,Google will display a “relevant paragraph” for a particular search query within a page, and then display that paragraph as the snippet.

So What Does this All Mean and What Should You Do

According to Yoast, a leading SEO plugin developer, you can now expand your Meta Description up to 320 characters. As a best practice make sure your Meta Description contains search-for keyword phrases.

Because Google may display a paragraph from your page to use as a snippet, it’s more important then ever that your content is well written, descriptive and contains your targeted keyword phrases, without being spammy. Next on your to-do list is to update the Meta Description for each of your pages.

Turn More Website Visitors into Customers with our TOP 10 List

By | Marketing, Mobile Web Design, NJ Web Design, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Site Design

Website Conversions into CustomersMaking your website more engaging and effective can increase viewer engagement and turn website visitors into leads, prospects and customers.

When looking to increase business from a website we often think in terms of increasing traffic.  But increasing traffic may not be the answer. It is easier to increase your website conversions than to increase traffic.

Conversions and Conversion Rates

A conversion is the act of a website visitor performing a measured goal on your website.  A conversion can be a sale, inquiry form completion, quote request completion, newsletter sign-up, white paper down load, etc.  The conversion rate is the number of people who have completed a measurable action divided by the total number of website visitors.  For example, if 1,000 people visited your web site and 15 people completed your inquiry form, then the conversion rate would be 1.5%. You can set up Google Conversion Tracking in your Google Analytics. Conversion rates are the ideal way to measure how your website is performing.

10 Tips and Strategies to Get You Started

  1. Your site must be mobile friendly.  30% will be viewing your website on a mobile device.  Test your site at  If it does not pass the test you need to take action.
  2. Create a Compelling Value Proposition
    • Don’t waste your home page value space on “Welcome” or irrelevant images.
    • Answer the question “Why buy” and “What’s in it for me”.
    • This takes a lot of thought – think in terms of Newspaper headlines
  3. Obvious, but worth mentioning, your phone number should be prominent in both header and footer.
  4. Increase Trust 
    • Third party citations, testimonials, articles published.
    • Member organizations
    • Photos that convey trust and expertise, team pictures, location photos, awards, etc.
    • Current content – no old news
    • Credibility symbols, licenses, certifications, reseller, authorized dealer, etc.
  5. Remove Clutter and Remove Distractions
    • You want to keep website visitors focused on a single action (conversion).
    • You might want to eliminate some pages.
    • Review Google Analytics Behavior – Site Content reports and remove pages that are not engaging and viewed.
    • Be clear and concise and remove images without meaning.
  6. Focus on Fast Readability
    • Everyone is so busy – display page content in easy to read format with headings, sub-heads and bulleted lists.
    • Use headlines, sub-heads and bulleted lists
  7. Craft a Well Written About Us Page
    • About Us is one of the most important and most read pages.
    • Share client challenges, trends, market expertise, process
    • Awards and accolades
    • Testimonials, pictures add a personal touch
  8. If You Serve a Local Geography
    • According to Google 73% of all searches have local intent
    • Make sure on your home page the geography that you service is clearly displayed.
  9. Social media integration
    • Engage your network in social media- but bring them back to your website.
    • Building your brand and your content on your own domain increases exposure and search engine ranking.
    • Put the tease copy on Facebook – “Learn the 5 secrets to”,  “Get 10% OFF”, “Get the Code”, etc and then let them click to get the info on your website.
  10. Purposeful Design 
    • Use of negative or white space around objects or buttons focus attention
    • Big buttons for action items or goals
    • Limit choices
    • Placing the most important content above the fold (no scrolling)

Now it’s time to take action. First, make sure you have Google Conversion Tracking set up on your website. Select two or three items from the list and start making changes that will have long lasting impact. Too busy? Let BZA assist you.

WordPress SEO – Focus: Meta Description

By | Search Engine Optimization

What You Need to Know

A meta description is an HTML element that provides concise description about what your web page is all about.  Meta descriptions are commonly used on search engine result pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given page. These snippets are your mini billboard to entice a viewer to visit your website.

Here is what you need to know regarding the Meta Description tag:

  1. Think of your meta description as ad copy.  Write a description using relevant keywords that will improve your click-though rate and encourage a click to your website. Google will bold the matching keywords in the SERPs.
  2. The Meta Description can be any length.  It is recommended that the length be between 150 and 160 characters.
  3. You can choose not to add the Meta Description.  In this case Google will extract what it feels best describes you page.
    Keep in mind that social sharing sites like Facebook will use the meta description when a page/post is shared and will display the page title and meta description.
  4. Use a WordPress SEO plugin to enter your page titles and meta description.  A snippet preview will be displayed so you can see exactly how the result will appear on the SERP.  Also character and word counts will ensure your description will be the proper length.

What you Need to Know About Google’s new Contextual and Conversational Search

By | Search Engine Optimization

There has been much conversation in the SEO world about focusing less on keywords and more on meaningful content. This is clearly demonstrated by Google removing keyword reporting in Google Analytics. Online Marketers could easily wrap their heads around keywords and optimize a website for keyword phrases. With Google’s Hummingbird release, Google has improved its understanding of search queries by interpreting the intention behind the query.

You can see this strategy implemented Hummingbird has expanded the search horizon by providing suggestion links and information that are related to a search but were not asked for. Marketers can use this information to see what google is suggesting and incorporate they topics into their content.

Sample search for bose headphone retailer:


In this example Google is suggesting links related with the word “earbuds” which was not even in our search phrase.

Once again marketers that are looking to be found really need to focus on information and relevant content creation. Keywords on their own are so very yesterday.

Get Local. How to improve your local traction.

By | Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

If you serve a local market or geography, online success or failure maybe determined by your presence or lack thereof in the Google Maps box.


Over 50% of all mobile searches have local intent. Google is even treating desktop queries as a local search. Have you noticed how many search results are displaying results in a Google Places Maps? Three or up to seven companies are given this prized and sought after placement. The Google Places Map often dominates the search result page. So what can you do? Here are few tactics to get you started:

  • Claim your business listing in Google Places, Yahoo and Bing. Once you claim your listing your need to follow a verification process, which is done by phone or via a postcard mailed to your business address.
  • List your business in major local portals. These include Yelp, FourSquare, City Search, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, Mapquest, Trip Advisor, Zoominfo, Merchant Circle, etc.
  • Most importantly, establish a standard for your business mailing address. Your company name and address details should be the same as you go through the listing and citation process. For example Street vs. St, Co. versus company, Suite versus Ste, etc.
  • List your company in regional directories. These can be newspapers, classifieds, member organizations etc. For example has a business directory where you can get a free listing.
  • Look for citation opportunities. These are mentions of your company online that are not necessarily structured the same as you would find them in a directory. These can include press releases, events, bios, classifieds, job boards, social media sites, charitable contributions and even Craigslist. These all represent opportunities to list your company name, address and phone number.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to check out your competition. Some Google searching will uncover where your competitors are listed.

This may all seem like an overwhelming task. The best way to dig in is to do a few listings at a time. It is like building a foundation one concrete block at a time.

Barbara Zaccone to Speak at NJAWBO Conference

By | Search Engine Optimization

Barbara Zaccone will be a guest speaker at NJAWBO’s 15th Annual Business Growth & Procurement Conference to be held on April 18th at the Pines Manor in Edison, New Jersey. Zaccone will be sharing critical key search engine optimization strategies that will attract qualified leads and bring new business opportunities to any organization. For more information visit the NJAWBO website.

NJAWBO (The New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners) is the largest statewide women business owners’ organization in New Jersey. Its primary objective is to support and encourage business ownership by women. Since 1978, NJAWBO has helped women achieve their business visions by providing them with the tools to develop and grow their enterprises.

The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Blog for Your Business

By | Blogging for Business, Marketing, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

Tonight I am going to be talking about the benefits of blogging for your business. Here is my handout.

  1. You can update your Blog/Website yourself
  2. Your blog becomes your central repository for all articles, news items, announcements and events. It’s database driven, so it’s searchable.
  3. “Search-friendliness” is built into the blog.
  4. Blogs are easy ways to add depth to your web site; Each blog post is indexed as a page in search engines. (just Google NJAWBO Blogging Event)
  5. Your blog post title can automatically be displayed as a tweet in your Twitter account.
  6. It’s easy to integrate multi-media in posts – Slideshows from Flickr; YouTube Video.
  7. Your blog can be linked from your Linkedin account.
  8. Drive traffic to your website/blog by including the link on a Facebook update.
  9. Your blog demonstrates your expertise- good for attracting press.
  10. With a blog you’ll be cool, hip, and you can now call yourself a blogger.


  • Free open source software for integrating a blog into a web site or building a standalone blog. Self hosted (; you’ll need your webmaster to accomplish this.
  • Free open source hosted blogging solution not on your domain (
  • Free Google hosted blogging solution not on your domain.
  • Montclair Adult School; Registration begins Feb 1, 2010; Web Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs & Small Business March 23, 2010; Planning an Effective Web Presence for Entrepreneurs & Small Business; 2 sessions March 2, 2010 and March 9, 2010

Keep Your Website Up To Date Hassle Free

By | Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Web Site Design

Want to add news, articles, tips, and events to your web site? The most cost-effective way to accomplish this is to integrate a blog into your web site. Blogs are a fast and easy way to publish, categorize and archive information in our web site. Best of all, you can publish content to your web site without any technical expertise. How does this work?

The most popular blogging platform is WordPress. WordPress is Open Source, meaning it’s FREE. Your webmaster will need to install WordPress on the web server that houses your web hosting account and customize it so it matches the look and feel of your web site. WordPress is actually a database application, which means Individual posts can be retrieved through search, Tags, and a Category index. Additional benefits include:

  • Blogs are a great way to build quality keyword driven links that point to key pages on your website. Great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
  • Blog content is almost instantly indexed in Google.
  • Blogs are a quick way to integrate multimedia into your site; add a slide show, pictures, or Video (linked from YouTube)
  • Think of using a blog for your Press Room or News section of your web site. News Articles are automatically archived by date and can be easily searched.
  • Position yourself as an expert. You may not have written a book but you do author a blog.

One of the easy ways to promote your blog (articles and content) is through social media. So once you post an article, you’ll need to tweet about it through your Twitter account. Make sure you include the link to the blog article.

Your Blog can be configured in such a way that every time you add a post, your home page automatically gets updated with the latest news headlines. Don’t be afraid of the word “Blog”. Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and become a blogger. You can update your blog as often as you like. Express yourself.

The Factors You Need to Know that Effect Search Engine Ranking

By | Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

Electronic handout: NJAWBO Essex Chapter meeting October 17, 2006

Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come to an end! `I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time? she said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the center of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think– (for, you see, Alice had learned several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a VERY good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) `–yes, thats about the right distance–but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I’ve got to?’ (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)
Excerpt from ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll

Such is the world of search engines. As your site travels the mysterious road of site optimization, with the insight below, youll be armed with a few ‘grand words’ so maybe YOULL know where you are going.

We are going to discuss several factors search engines (SEs) use when ranking your site. These are URLs, text, links, popularity, submission and HTML code.

To begin to understand these factors one has to remember that the goal of a search engine is to display the most relevant sites first. SEs use a complex site of algorithms. These algorithms calculate the best matches. What makes this art and science even more challenging is that the algorithms are kept secret and often change when work arounds (methods that get through the algorithms) are discovered. For example, in the early days, webmasters would stuff keywords into their pages by add text that matched background color.

Below are the factors to consider:

-If possible do use keywords as part of your domain name
-Purchase other extensions to protect your name and your brand
-Create page name that a relevant to page content; for example better than

-Content is king
-Your site should be filled with relevant and keyword content
-Organized content- with heads and subheads
-Write articles, white papers, commentary, news, blogs, write about your keyword subject
-Naturally expand content with good keywords
-Change content often; SEs will visitor when they see new content
-Avoid; doorway pages, write content just for SEO, machine generated pages; small text, text that matches the background, keyword stuffing
-Dont repeat content
-Dont put keywords in graphic images; SEs cant read graphics
-To find keywords and phrases relevant to web sites used Yahoo Search Suggestion Tool , Googles Keyword Tool , WorkTracker Microsoft Ad Center
-Add geocentric terms to target local areas.
-Blogs- with content related to the web site; link back to the web site

-Linking to relavant content within your site. Takes advantage of crawling as well as keyword
-Every page must be linked… No dead ends
-Find out what pages are indexed in Google by searching site:

-Measured in two ways; Most frequently clicked link for keyword search on the site and inbound links
-Related to your content- makes you an authority
-Purchased listing/links from reputable sites
-Do not participate in non related link exchanges or link farms
-Inbound links from popular sites, .edu, .gov adds value to your rank
-Press release links like
-Who links to you now? Go to Google and search link:

-Do submit your site only once. Google, Yahoo Search,
-Dont used any automatic program, submit each page, or more than once,
-Submit to directory, DMOZ and Yahoo
-Organizations, listing plus industry directories

-First 100 lines on code; have the most influence
-Meta Tags are not a magic bullet; Meta Tags are the page title, description (12 to 24 words) and keywords
-Your page title is the single most important factor… should be 6 to 12 words; each page -should have a descriptive and unique page title.

Not to be forgotten
-Dont use Flash for an entire web site
-Get rid of Frames; old technology, search engines cant index and follow frames