Search Engine Optimization

Why Building An Online Presence Is More Important Than Ever

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In a world of digital absorption, many companies and organizations still have little to no digital presence. However, it is absolutely essential for your business to have an online presence. Establishing an online presence makes it easier and more accessible for customers to learn about your business and for you to showcase your products/services and market your brand.

When a business neglects establishing an online presence, the business openly throws away leads, revenue, and potential customers. Even if your company does not conduct business online, current and potential customers are expecting to see you online. With “over 85% of searches for products and services happening online,” (Forbes)  your business must be online in order to be successful.

Billboards, radio ads and TV commercials initially grab potential customer’s attention. However, they may only remember the business industry, or services you sell, and turn to the Internet to search for solutions. If potential customers are unable to find your business online, they will do business with your competitors.

With the increasing use of technology, if your business doesn’t have a website, your competition will beat you substantially. An online presence is one of the most important investments that a business can make. If you would like to learn more about how Gauge Digital Media can help improve your online presence, contact us for more information!

3 Ways To Optimize Your Content For SEO

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Content is one factor influencing your website’s search ranking. Content should be easy to understand, relevant and high quality. The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position. Here are 3 easy ways to optimize your content for search engine optimization (SEO):

  1. Keyword Targeted

First, your content should be targeted with a specific keyword that is used throughout your page or blog post. Keyword research is an essential aspect to on-page optimization and provides visitors with valuable, informative content. It is important to place the page’s keyword in places such as: titles, alt tags, anchor texts, title tags and meta descriptions.

  1. Internal Links

Next, your content should include internal links. Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain (MOZ). Internal links are useful for user navigation, establishing site architecture and link juice (ranking factor). If your content is not linkable, search engines, like Google, won’t rank your page highly and as a result, the content won’t drive traffic to the website’s page.

  1. Share Pages & Posts on Social Media

Last, use social media to extend the reach of your blog posts and page content. Utilizing social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + provide opportunities to connect with current and potential customers. These social platforms allow businesses to share content for extended exposure to your visitors for free.

Google loves fresh, relevant and quality content, and will rank sites websites with quality content higher than others. If you’d like to learn more about creating great content to improve your online presence, visit our website at


Why Is Keyword Research Important?

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Around 90% of adults use search engines to find information on the Internet. Will your target audience be able to find your business online? Keyword research is an important aspect of your marketing or SEO campaign. Until you are aware of what words and phrases are most important for your business’ ranking, you cannot optimize your site or content to attract visitors to your website. Watch our Marketing Tip Tuesday video to learn more about the importance of keyword research.

Marketing Tip Tuesday: Keyword Research Importance

As Internet popularity has grown, more individuals are searching for products, services and information online. In fact, around 90 percent of adults use search engines to find information on the Internet.

An important aspect of your business’ marketing or SEO campaign is quality keyword research. If you want your business to succeed online, keyword research should never be neglected. Finding the right set of quality keywords to focus on is crucial to your campaign.

According to Moz, “quality keywords successfully target your demographic during their acquisition phase, have a specific searcher intent, low-medium organic competition, and medium-high search volume.” When beginning the initial keyword research, you should put yourself in your target audiences’ shoes. Think about what, where, why and other phrases your target visitor might be searching for. You should perform keyword research for each of the products and services you offer. Keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, can help generate keyword ideas.

Your selection of keywords and keyword phrases should be targeted to your ideal audience. Keyword research is a critical step in the process of understanding what keywords your target audience is searching for, so you can optimize your business’ website based on those keywords, in order to connect your content to online visitors searching information relevant to your business.


What Google’s Possum Update Means for Your Business’ Search Results

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What Happened After Google’s Possum Update:

A recent update in Google’s local algorithm, called Possum, might affect how your business listing appears in local searches. This update was released September, 1st 2016. This update is different from Google’s previous updates – Possum does not penalize businesses. Possum is like a filter that hides certain listings that aren’t considered relevant. This could be good or bad, depending on your business. Google updated its local algorithm (Possum) as a way to prevent spam business listings and diversify local search results.

While the strategies of achieving a successful SEO campaign haven’t changed, Possum has slightly altered how local search works. Some observations of Possum’s changes include:

  • Your physical business listing may or may not show up when searches include the city name closest to you.
    • May be a good thing for businesses located outside the physical city limits, as they may see increases in rankings.
  • Your physical business address now impacts your ranking
    • Businesses in similar industries that share the same building and the same building address might compete for a listing.
    • This may be alarming for professionals like doctors and lawyers, with similar practices run in the same building.
    • Google’s update might consider these similar businesses as “duplicate” listings, since the same service is being offered at the same address. Consequently, only one of these businesses at that address would appear, and the others would be filtered out from the search, but not deleted.
  • Geographic location of the searcher is now more important than ever
    • In the past, search results were weighted more heavily towards the search terms. Now Google has placed a greater importance on a user’s physical location to provide more accurate results in the local 3-pack.
    • Because of this, it’s important that the searcher location is set to the town, city, and/or region that you want to target.
  • Search results vary more than before based on small variations
    • The Map Pack is now a lot more sensitive to small keyword variations.
    • We’re seeing a lot more ranking fluctuation between similar keywords
      • For example, there are big differences between the phrases “Salon Tampa FL,” “Tampa FL Salon,” and “Salon in Tampa FL.”

What You Can Do As a Business:

  • Update and optimize your Business Listing (especially the address)
    • Make sure your citations are updates and accurate across all platforms where your business might be listed (not just on Google, as all these listings impact your ranking).
  • Keep with to date with your keyword selections and website content.
    • Have several variations of keyword combinations in your link building and on your site

We thank you for checking out our Whiteboard Wednesday video, we hope you learned about Google’s recent Possum update. We hope to see you back for our next edition of Whiteboard Wednesday. You can always check us at

Changes in Google’s Algorithm

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Google is consistently changing their algorithm in order to provide a better and easier user experience. It is crucial to stay up to date with Google’s algorithm changes in order to maintain rankings in organic search results. Watch our Whiteboard Wednesday video to learn more about Google’s algorithm changes!

Google’s Algorithm Changes

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and I’m Dayna. Today we will be taking you through Google’s algorithm, how it changes and what that means. This can get pretty technical, so we are just going to scrap the surface of it for you today. It is important to remember as we’re talking, the whole goal for Google, and changes to this algorithm, is to provide awesome search results using search engines.

Something you might not know, “Google changes their algorithm anywhere between 500 and 600 times per year on average.” The majority of these changes are minor, but occasionally Google will release one that they consider a major update. For example, in 2016, some of these you might have heard about, among the 500-600 changes, were Penguin 4.0, Possum, Mobile-Friendly 2 and Google AdWords. These were some of the bigger changes that actually had an effect on search results. Dayna is going to take you through some of the dates of the bigger changes.

Knowing the dates of the Google updates can help explain the changes in rankings, organic website traffic, and ultimately improve your search engine optimization. Some of those key dates are:

  • In May 2014, Panda 4.0 was released to include an algorithm update and data refresh.
  • In September 2014, Google announces a significant update, with Panda 4.1, that would include an algorithmic component.
  • In October 2014, Penguin 3.0 was released for a data refresh.
  • In July 2015, Penguin 4.2 was released for a data refresh.
  • In September 2016, Penguin 4.0 was released, in real time and considered a core google algorithm.

There are so many different updates, as you just heard, with there being 3 Panda updates in 1 year. Keeping up to speed on the main reasons for these updates can shed some light on ways to help improve your marketing efforts.

Google states: “The goal of many of our ranking changes is to help searchers find sites that provide a great user experience and fulfill their information needs.” Google’s algorithm update focuses on providing users with an easy and good experience. It is important to focus on creating high quality sites that enable good user experience, using white-hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive web-spam tactics. White Hat SEO improves the usability of a site, helps create great content, which benefits the user experience and search engines. Sites engaging in aggressive SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing and duplicate content, will be deemed as spam, in which that specific page will be penalized.

These updates to Google algorithm really emphasize having quality and relevant content to create a better user experience. We’ve talked a lot about that in our previous Whiteboard Wednesday videos, which you are always welcome to check out. You can do that at We look forward to seeing you back here for our next edition of Whiteboard Wednesday!

SEO Tip: Relevancy ≠ Quality

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Our Whiteboard Wednesday video provides you with an SEO tip, relevancy ≠ quality content. Google states, “the key to creating a great website is to create the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content.” However, relevant content does not mean quality content. Watch our team describe the differences between quality and relevancy, and how incorporating both can improve your business’ SEO.

SEO Tip: Relevancy ≠ Quality – Transcript:

Welcome back to another addition of Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett. Today, Becca and I are going to be giving you a little SEO tip, that pertains to one of the specific ranking factors that search engines look at.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, love great content. What makes content great, as opposed to just content? Content should be relevant and of high quality. It is important to look at quality and relevancy as two separate aspects of content creation.

Moz provides a list of Potential Ranking Factors with Quality and Relevancy examples.

Quality examples include:

  • General content quality
  • Authority, Expertise & Trustworthiness
  • Page rank
  • Reviews
  • User Experience while on your website

Relevancy examples include:

  • Keywords and Topics
  • Freshness
  • Diversity
  • Intent
  • Location
  • Including images in your content.

Moz also provides us with the 2015 ranking factor analysis, using data from experts’ opinions on ranking factors. As it is shown, content is ranked as the 3rd most important factor.

From those examples, it should be pretty clear that relevancy does not equal quality, when it comes to creating great content. But that doesn’t get rid of the potential to have relevancy without quality. You could have content that is relevant to your business, but without great quality. You could have the opposite too, quality content that isn’t relevant to your business, but that wouldn’t make sense to post that on your website.

A couple things to keep in mind for creating quality content: you want it to be useful and informative, credible and engaging, and ideally you want to bring more value to your clients than your competitors are bringing to theirs.

According to Google Search Console, creating valuable content is essential. Google states, “The key to creating a great website is to create the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content. If people find your site useful and unique, they may come back again or link to your content on their own websites. This can help attract more people to your site over time.”

As shown in a graph by Moz, it is important to be patient when improving your business’ SEO. These improvements occur over time. Remember, just because content is relevant to your business, this doesn’t mean it is of high quality. When you’re looking to create great content, to continuously ranking better in search engine results, it is definitely important to look at both of these as separate aspects of content creation.

If you would like to learn more about Gauge Digital Media, or the SEO services we have to offer, you can always check us out at We look forward to seeing you next week for another addition of Whiteboard Wednesday!

How Social Media Can Affect Your Business’ SEO

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This week our Whiteboard Wednesday video explains how social media can affect your business’ search engine optimization. Did you know that 72% of buyers start their process with a google search? This means that your social media is directly correlated with SEO, which can help your business rank higher in Google search results and reach more potential customers. Watch our video now to learn more about how being active on social media can impact your business’ success.

How Social Media can Improve Your Business’ SEO – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and today we are going to take you through how social media can impact your SEO or search engine optimization.

First, it is important to understand what SEO is, and how important it is for your business. If you’d like to learn more about that, check out our previous Whiteboard Wednesday videos. Just to set the stage a little bit, a cool statistic we found from a LinkedIn article by Robert Hennessey, 72% of buyers start their process with a google search. This shows you the importance of having a good online presence for your business.

SEO maximizes the number of visitors your website captures. When somebody is looking for the product or service you offer, they will search in Google. You want to be at least in the first page of these results, ideally, you would be in the top three so you’re being found over your competitors for the products or services you offer.

Now today is not about SEO in specific, it is more about social media can have an impact on your search engine presence. Social media allows you to place content in front of specific groups of people. Especially if you think about Facebook (check out our previous Whiteboard Wednesday video on Facebook Advertising), Facebook has cool targeting – you can target specific age groups, people who have liked certain groups, genders, geographic location and you can place the content you want right in front of these people. Social media, in turn will increase visitors and build links to your website. One of the biggest factors that affects your SEO, is link building to your website. Not just a bunch of links that you’ve paid for, but high quality links. Google always looks for quality.

So what we are going to do today, is talk a little bit more how SEO is affected by social media. This could be anything like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, (not listed: Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat). Stay tuned and we will take you through how SEO is affected by social media.

80% of consumers expect businesses to be present on Facebook. By not having social media, your potential customers may rethink their purchase decision which could affect your business

Some social media tips to help your business’ SEO include:

  • Gaining your followers organically by posting fun, interesting content, promoting sales to followers only, and by including your business’ social media links. Google is able to tell if you gain your social media followers organically or if you buy followers, which is not a good thing. Google will reward businesses that perform ethically with higher ranking in search engines.
  • You can also use external links on your website that direct to your social media sites. Google likes quality links, so this will help your business’ SEO.
  • It is also important to be active on your social media platforms. Many social users prefer to reach out to companies on social media for customer service.

Your social media is important because it has the ability to rank on Google. For example, when searching NFL in Google, the NFL’s website appears first, then their social media profile (Twitter) is shown below.

This is because the specific social media site contains high-quality content that Google wants to show searchers. Google is looking more at the kind of content you’re sharing with people, instead of the number of keywords you can put into a blog post or website.

Social media drives more than 30% of overall traffic to your website. With more website traffic, the chance of conversions is more likely to occur.

So in closing, it is definitely important to stay active on social media platforms. You want to continuously product content that is relative to your business and also professional, all of this will help your SEO. If you’d like to learn more about this, you can check us out and we look forward to seeing you again next Wednesday for Whiteboard Wednesday!

How To Improve Your On-Page SEO

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On-Page SEO Is Critical For Your Business’ Success

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a marketing effort done by businesses with the goal to improve their visibility or presence in search engine results. It can get pretty technical, but in its simplest form, you can break SEO down into two categories: On-Page SEO factors and Off-Page SEO factors. Both have a huge impact on your results in search engines like Google. Today we are going to keep it simple and we will only go through On-Page SEO factors.

On-page optimization is just one aspect of your business’ overall ranking. As we mentioned before in a previous video on Local Search Ranking Factors, on-page signals account for 20.3 percent of a business’ overall ranking.

Some key ways to improve your business’ on-page SEO include: publishing relevant and recent content, meta data based off of key word research, having quality internal links, and writing alt tags for pictures and videos.

The first way to improve your on-page SEO, is to write quality content. Your content should also be relevant and recent. Creating relevant and quality content will help your intended users find your site easily on the web, which increases site traffic and improves your site’s authority.

The next way to improve your on-page SEO is through metadata. On your website, each page allows you to insert metadata, or information about the contents of your page. Metadata includes title tags and meta descriptions.

Title tags include the page’s main keyword, and any other additional business info. Title tags are the most important metadata on your page.

Meta descriptions provide short and concise explanations of the contents of each page on your website.

The next way to improve your on-page SEO is to have quality links on your website. Internal links are links that direct you from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. Because Google still wants quality content, it is important to create relevant links within the page.

The last way to improve your on-page SEO, that I’m going to talk about today, is writing alt tags. Alt tags are used to describe visual and video media. They are alternative text descriptions. It is important that your alt text includes your SEO keyword and relates to or describes the image.

So we really just scrapped the surface of what On-Page SEO factors really are, you can’t go into too much detail in just a few minute video. If you’d like to learn more this, you can check us out at We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday for our latest edition of Whiteboard Wednesday.

Accurate Citations Are Essential For Your Business’ Online Presence and Success

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Consistent and correct citations are important factors for ranking your business high on Google. If your business’ Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) are consistent across all citation webpages, search engines will be confident in your business and rank you higher in the search engine results. Our team members describe why correct citations are essential for your business’ online presence and success.

Citations – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Brett, and I’m Becca. Today we will be talking about Citations. Citations are a listing of your business’ name, address and phone number, otherwise known as NAP information, on major webpages like YellowPages, Yelp, Trip Advisor and many others.

Citations are an important factor in the ranking algorithms for Google & Bing.

According to the Moz local search ranking factors survey, “citations are the 3rd most important ranking factor” (Moz).

It is essential that you have your business’ correct NAP listed across the major citation sources. This includes your business’ local address and phone number. One of the biggest mistakes business’ make is using a P.O. Box or 1-800 number in their online citations.

It is also important to have only one listing. A duplicate listing occurs when a business has more than one listing for a single physical location online. When a business has duplicate listings, many negative outcomes can occur, such as ranking lower on Google.

There are thousands of citations on the web, it is important to keep these citations consistent if you want to rank your business locally in Google. Thanks for checking us out today, if you would like to learn more about this, you can visit us at

What Local Search Factors Help You Rank on Google?

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This week, Gauge Digital Media’s Whiteboard Wednesday video is on Local Search Ranking Factors. Visibility on Google is becoming very difficult for local businesses. Thanks to Moz’s Local SEO Ranking Report, there is a formula for business’ overall ranking factors. Here at Gauge, we use these top factors that are important to rank your business high on Google.

Local SEO Ranking Factors – Transcript:

Welcome back to Whiteboard Wednesday with Gauge Digital Media. I’m Becca, and today I will be talking about Local SEO Ranking Factors.

Local SEO is getting more difficult for many businesses. Ever since Google moved from seven to three listings in the local pack, it has created a highly competitive environment for local businesses. For businesses, this means if you wish to rank in that three pack, you should invest in local SEO services.

Thanks to Moz’s Local SEO Ranking Report, there is a formula for business’ overall ranking factors. Here at Gauge, we use these top factors that are important to rank your business high on Google.

The top overall ranking factors include, on-page signals, link signals, my business signals, external location signals, behavioral signals, personalization, review signals, and social signals.

On-page signals account for 20.3 percent of a business’ overall ranking. Key on-page local SEO elements include title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, page content, images, maps and your businesses Name, Address and Phone number listed on every page.

20 percent of a business’ overall ranking is from link signals. Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own.  Link signals are one of the key ways in which we build authority.

Next, your Google My Business page represents 14.7 percent of your business’ overall ranking. Optimizing your Google My Business page can be difficult, but it’s critical to have the basics right:

  1. Verify or create your page
  2. Use the correct name, address, phone number
  3. Assign your business to the correct category
  4. Upload relevant photos
  5. Create a description of your business
  6. Get reviews on your Google My Business

External location signals account for 13.6 percent of your business’ overall ranking. Google wants to connect and validate the address information on your website, your Google My Business page, and your information from the web.

There are two key elements to consider here Name, Address Phone number Consistency and Citations. Your business’ NAP is your location, which needs to be consistent across all websites.

The next key element would be Citations, which are listings that include your business’ Name, Address, Phone and sometimes your website url. There are thousands of citation websites across the web. It is important to keep your information consistent so Google can trust it.

There are a few additional factors that represent small fractions of your business’ overall ranking, that I’m not going to go in detail about today. These are review signals, social signals, behavioral signals and personalization. Overall, Local SEO is getting more competitive. In order for your business to become visible and stay visible in the local results, you have to optimize your business using these top-ranking factors.

If you’d like to find out how Gauge Digital Media’s SEO services can help your business, check out our website at