How To Prepare Your SEO For The Holidays

How To Prepare Your SEO For The Holidays

How To Properly Prepare Your SEO For The Holiday Season

It feels like we’ve barely had the time to do any of the things that we have planned for this year, and another holiday season is already at our doorstep. While you have certainly already begun your own preparations for the period that is to come, the big question is, what have you been doing to ensure that your business drives as many customers as possible and makes the most sales? Specifically, what efforts have you put into your website, social media, and other channels, especially in terms of search engine optimization?

November is coming to its end, and it may be too late to make some big changes. As you are probably aware, SEO requires a certain period of time. So, if you have been planning for a huge search engine push during this season, you should stop and think a bit smaller. Because, the time for huge efforts has passed, but there is still a large number of things that you can do to attract enough people so that the holiday season doesn’t end up being a complete waste for your company. You’ll be facing a challenge, but you have to do what is in your power.

Update titles and product descriptions

Making sure that your product descriptions and titles are up to date with the holiday season is one of the most important steps that you need to take in order to make sure that you drive the desired traffic. The reason for this is because they directly affect click-through rates. You need to do more than just pack them with keywords so that search queries pick them up. You must also think about how they are going to work for the users themselves.

Think about the quality of what you write, be specific, and put the keywords where they fit naturally. Of course, this time you’ll think about more than just your regular audience. You will have to focus on titles and descriptions that target gift-shoppers. Let people who may not even have any idea what your product is about know all they should about it by presenting it as the perfect holiday gift.

Consider whether your server can handle the traffic spike

During the holiday season, it is pretty expected that all websites that play their SEO and marketing games right are going to get a whole lot of traffic. This means that it is very important to have that extra bandwidth that can handle the sudden rush of a whole lot of customers. This may not be something that you need to think about during the rest of the year, but right now it is crucial that your website can handle the traffic spike.

Therefore, you really need to have a web host that enables you to make quick changes. The package that you are using needs to be scalable, and you must make sure that your website doesn’t suffer any downtime, because if it does, you will lose a lot of customers, because of the fact that every minute matters.

Festivize your pages

Of course, according to experts at All Web Design, it is essential that your website, as well as all the other channels, have a properly optimized holiday theme. It is important that you avoid the pitfall that a lot of businesses oversee, and it is using a theme that is too big and takes way too long to load. The fact is simple – your website needs to load in no longer than three seconds. If it takes any longer, your bounce rate will significantly increase, and you will lose customers to your competition. You should also make sure that you implement some of the current web design trends that people love to see on websites.

Furthermore, don’t forget the fact that a whole lot of your users will be buying your products via their mobile devices. We live in the era of smartphones, where you simply cannot allow yourself to make your website’s UI and UX unfriendly for mobile users. So, the festive theme that you have chosen for your pages needs to be mobile-friendly as well. Mobile devices will have even more trouble loading heavy themes, so make sure that you test the holiday version of your website on various devices before you publish it. It needs to be as optimized and compressed as possible.

Evaluate and take notes for the next season

After all the effort that you’ve put into optimizing your website the best you can for the current holiday season, you should take notes on what worked well for your business, and what didn’t. Evaluate every aspect of your website’s performance during this period so that you can do even better next year.

All the data that you gather will be extremely useful for creating new strategies. Maybe this year you won’t be as prepared as you could have been, but at least you will learn how to significantly improve your approach for next time. After all, once you have certain aspects established, you can reuse them and improve them every other time that you end up needing them again.

The holiday season is just around the corner, so if you haven’t begun your preparations early on, there are some aspects regarding SEO that you are too late for. However, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a whole bunch of other things that you can do to achieve some great results during this period. And, in the end, you need to take notes on what worked well, so that you can do it even better next year.

Guest Blogger: Nick Brown

Nick is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged on projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.

Link Building Best Practices for 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Link Building in 2018

Though mobile might be king, people still rely heavily on search engines. Whether they type out their search, or they ask their voice assistant, people search for things all the time. Perhaps they want an answer to a question, check what times a place is open, or simply search for a service or company that they need at the moment. Google will give them results, and chances are they will be happy enough with the first, second, or third result.

J.R. Atkins helps with link building

If you are not in these top three, or worse, not on the first page at all, then you might as well not exist in the eyes of Google. The ranking is not entirely out of your control, either. You can take several meaningful steps to rank better in the eyes of Google, allowing you to gain more traffic from the search engine. One such step you will need to take is link building.

1.    What is Link Building?

Link building refers to guest posting. It means you either write content for another site or have an agency write that content for you. These articles, videos, and even infographics need to be unique, engaging and optimized for SEO. The more diverse your backlink profile, the stronger it will be. The only characteristic you need to look out for is the trust factor. Sites that have been blacklisted for using spam techniques by Google are not a good fit. Small bloggers to big-time news agencies, however, are.

2.    What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the steps you can take both on your own site and off-site (with link building) that will work towards improving your site’s ranking on search engines like Google.

J.R. Atkins helps with SEO

3.    How Do You Stay on Top of SEO?

With new updates to the algorithm every other week practically, it is important that you invest in ongoing SEO services. If you don’t, your good ranking can fall behind because of some change to the algorithm that you haven’t kept up with.

4.    What is the Difference Between White Hat and Black Hat?

The reason why your ranking will fluctuate is that Google changes what it looks for to help its rankings. Before, it used to be the number of backlinks. Now it is the quality. Google will also look at factors like site speed and security as well, so it is important to stay within their guidelines and be the shining example of the perfect site.

J.R. Atkins offers white hat SEO

5.    How Do You Link Build?

Link building, before you get too excited, is actually quite difficult. It is time-consuming and will require the use of several expensive applications in order to manage. If you do not have the resources to take this on, then it is much better to rely on professional link building services. That way you can benefit from experience and ongoing monitoring to ensure that your link building efforts stay within Google’s guidelines.

Link building will never go away, but it has become more difficult as time goes by. Quality articles, quality publishers, and an emphasis on manual outreach are all goals to live by. If you don’t have the tools or resources to do this yourself, hiring an agency to do them for you is your best bet.

MOZ 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors

Every two years, Moz surveys the opinions of dozens of the world’s brightest search marketers and runs correlation studies to better understand the workings of search engine algorithms. We gather this data to gain insight into the factors that may help—or hurt—a website’s visibility in search engines.

This year, Moz surveyed over 150 leading search marketers who provided expert opinions on over 90 ranking factors.

In addition, the Data Science team at Moz, lead by Dr. Matthew Peters, ran an extensive correlation study to determine which features of websites and webpages are associated with higher search rankings. For the first time this year, Moz partnered with several data partners to enhance the study, including SimilarWeb, DomainTools, and Ahrefs.

Note that these factors are not “proof” of what search engines use to rank websites, but simply show the characteristics of web pages that tend to rank higher. Combining this understanding with both experience and knowledge of search engine algorithms can help lead to better SEO practices.

Please see the entire article, data and related information at:

J.R. Atkins shares MOZ 2015 search faCTORS


Social Media, Mobile Apps & SEO

What do these things have to do with each other? Simply put; Social Media and Mobile Applications are affecting Search Engine Optimization.

Think of Google as a “Content Eating Monster” and Google loves to “eat” social media generated content. Google also indexes certain Social Media content. For example, did you know that Google looks at your Twitter Authority? The more “Klout” you have, the more authority Google gives your Tweets and Re-Tweets. Also, when someone of a higher authority than you, re-tweets your tweet, then you get a little boost in your authority. Google also likes LinkedIn, such as the three websites you can reference on your profile, especially when you customize their names or “anchor text.” These three websites are looked at as “do follow” by Google and they help your Google ranking. One other tip about LinkedIn, make sure someone completes the information on products and services on your LinkedIn company profile.

Mobile Apps usage is continuing to increase in volume due to several factors:

  1. Increasing Smartphone Adoption
  2. App Publisher Growth
  3. A Steady Increase in Time Spent on Apps


Like any new technology, there will be those who drag their feet. For the rest of us, we need to be figuring out how we can make use of this change. Have you looked at “Responsive Web Design ?“ This strategy for website design allows the website to automatically adjust to screen size and resizes the images and content of the website to fit any screen size. Responsive Web Design may be enough for your organization or you may need a custom developed App. Either strategy will help your customers, employees and channel partners communicate more effectively through their mobile device.

With the increase usage of Apps come the increasing effect on search rankings. Google now gives higher authority to faster loading pages both on
computer and mobile devices. An increase in App usage also means users are more sensitive to ease of use, page load times and quick access to

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins comments on Social, Mobile & SEO
A Model for Social, Mobil & SEO

information. Every day, more searches are being done on a mobile device instead of a personal computer. Some advertisers are shifting from Pay-per-click to Pay-per-call; they only pay for the Ad when a customer clicks on their phone number to call from their smart phone.

The adjacent model describes how social media and mobile apps work to enhance search engine optimization. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the convergence of these three related technologies.


Future Events of Note

10-11-11 Social,Mobile & SEO – What’s Love Got to Do with Them?

10-12-11 NewTechnology and the Next Threat to National Security: Joel Brenner

10-13-11 New Technology and the Next Threat to National Security: Joel Brenner

10-18-11 Some Considerations on African Economic … from Ambassador Jerry Lanier

10-20-11Smart Business, Social Business Book Tour comes to Dallas

10-20-11 October Meeting of the Dallas Safari Club

10-21-11 Steve Inskeep of NPR’s Morning Addition in Dallas

10-22-11 WorldFest in Addison Circle

10-23-11 Last Tuesday Happy Hour at the Ritz-Carlton

10-26-11 Digital Dallas @ the AT&T Foundry

Social Media and Sales 2.0, a Case Study with NTC Texas

As I speak on Sales 2.0 I get all kinds of questions and statements. At a recent talk at the Las Colinas Country Club to a group of business leaders named “Untyed” I was confronted with an individual whose company is walking the talk of sales 2.0 – Linda Borek of NTC Texas.

What’s Sales 2.0?                    

Let’s begin with a definition of Sales 2.0 which means integrating the power of Web 2.0 and on-demand technologies with proven sales techniques to increase sales velocity and volume. In plain English, it means using your website and social media to generate sales leads and to support the
sales process. Most companies are just now implementing social media but NTC Texas is using Social Media, email newsletters and their website to support their sales process. They are a good
example of a company putting the concepts of Sales 2.0 into practice.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins writes about Sales 2.0 and NTC Texas


About a week after the Untyed presentation, I met with Linda Borek and Britney Chan of NTC Texas, a provider of credit card processing and other merchant services. They explained how they started with Social media and built their platforms for delivering results.  As CEO, Linda began
learning about social media as an early adopter of LinkedIn. She saw how connecting on line could build relationships and provide communication.  She started attending workshops and event where people were teaching and talking about social media. Then she found HubSpot an on-line marketing and SEO company that provides great learning resources. In time Linda hired HubSpot to help NTC Texas with their social media, metrics, and lead generation strategy.

Staff Support

Linda was smart enough to realize that she needed help and contacted her staffing company, Randstad, to provide a marketing coordinator to help with social media and marketing in
general.  She also started educating the entire staff on how social media marketing was the wave of the future. Now she has 3 members of her staff that are Hub Spot Certified as In-bound Marketing Specialists and one of them is Britney Chan, who fills the role of Social Media/SEO
Marketing Director.

Creative Brief

One of Britney’s first tasks was to prepare a creative brief for NTC Texas’s “Social Media Platform and Art Direction” project. This 3 page document contained the recommended direction for the company on Social Media. The next planning document was the “Social Media Strategy & Pilot Launch” which spelled out in detail the strategy, directive on how to get started and integrate the social media platforms, key messages and consumer points and measurements to know when and if they were successful. The 5 platforms Britney recommended and implemented for NTC Texas are:

  1. Facebook Fan Page
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. YouTube
  5. Website

Data Driven Company

As a data driven company it is important for Linda to have metrics to see the results of their social media efforts. With HubSpot as the backbone of NTC’s website SEO and marketing she has a host of reports available for metrics. Here is a just a few of the key indicators tracked by NTC Texas:

  • Website traffic ranking compared to competitors
  • Website Indexed Pages
  • Keyword ranking
  • Inbound links
  • Organic searches
  • Visit to lead conversion rate
  • Twitter Grade
  • Monthly lead reach

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recommends HibSpot



CRM + Social Media =Sales 2.0

The leading edge of sales force automation and the Sales 2.0 movement is the combination of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management too) and Social Media. In a perfect world, a sales person would receive a notification in the CRM system that a prospect is ready to be approached. The sales person would then click on the notification and see how the prospect has engaged with the on-line content from the company. They might see that the prospect has attended webinars, viewed video content, read the company blog, connected with staff on LinkedIn, “liked” the companies Facebook Fan Page and is a follower on Twitter. All this information would likely
mean that the prospect would welcome a call or email from the sales person.

This is the future of marketing and sales working together and this is exactly where NTC Texas is headed with the integration of Oracle CRM and HubSpot. “By tying our social media, website and email marketing into the CRM we can see who is looking for information on our products and services,” says Linda Borek. “When we provided valuable content our community responds.”

NTC Texas has come a long way since Linda first started seeking to understand how social media and digital marketing could lead to growth for the company. As the staff has learned and grown, so have the company results.” Now we are on the verge of measuring everything from engagement to customer purchase.” (Linda Borek)

Future Events of Interest

8/11/11                August DFW IT Pro Networking Lunch

8/12/11                Luncheon for the Tech Titans Horizon Finalists

8/17/11                AMA Luncheon: Brand Awareness is not Enough

8/17/11                DFW WAC & Dallas Bar: “Prohibition” – Film Preview with Ken Burns

8/18/11                Social Business Panel by Peter Kim

8/18/11                Dallas Safari Club Kick Off Meeting

8/19/11                Lunch with Nikki Haley, Gov. S. Carolina

8/29/11                DFW WAC: “Raw Opium” – The Economist Film Project

8/30/11                The Last Tuesday Happy Hour at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas

9/22/11                World Affairs Council Dinner Featuring Keynote by Thomas Friedman



Is SEO the basis of the Ad Agency of the Future?

As I observe the changing landscape of advertising and see the effect that social media and on-line / digital media is having on Ad budgets and campaigns, I have to ask; Is Search Engine Optimization the basis for the Ad Agency of the future? In short, yes!

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins is a fan of the TV Show Mad Men on AMCThe television show, Mad Men, does a great job of portraying the historical model of the Ad agency. The agency creative people pitch an idea to the client and when the client buys it, the agency places ad content on TV, radio, outdoor space and print media. Yet, with SEO, if you follow this path you may find the cost to place your message on-line and getting a “high Google ranking” is beyond your budget.

The successful agency of the future will begin with a review of the digital landscape, a competitive analysis of key words that can be optimized and build a campaign. Once the digital or on-line “Ad Buy” has been considered, then the agency will look at traditional media buys that coordinate with the on-line media.

For a good example of SEO done wrong and how to do SEO the right way, read the article from the Search Engine Journal, “JC Penny’s Black Hat SEO Backfires.” In summary:

“The short-term benefits of black hat SEO do not make any sense to the longevity of a business.  It is better to focus your attention on developing real links from reputable websites and communities mostly using Content Marketing with articles, news releases, documents (e.g. PowerPoint), Videos, and Social Media.  Aside from the obvious benefits of Content Marketing being a credible linking strategy, the benefits for brand reputation, brand credibility and brand awareness include:

  • Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins warns against Black Hat SEOTraffic from Search Engines
  • Traffic from Non-Search Engines
  • Owning more search results using 3rd Party website where your content is distributed

Linking strategies are labor intensive and take time.  This process also requires four types of linking that include:

  • Direct Linking to website home page
  • Direct Linking using targeted keywords
  • Cross Linking distributed content
  • Deep Linking inside of your web pages”

When an organization combines digital / on-line media with traditional media they get a campaign that produces immediate results. So, the next time you embark on a marketing campaign for your organization, consider the role SEO will play in the advertising mix. Ask your agency if SEO is the basis of their work or just something they have added to the mix because of customer demand. The way your advisors and vendors think about SEO will shape not only your campaign but your company and profits.

Please post your comments below.

Components of Google’s Ranking Algorithm

Google has one of the most sought after secret formulas much like the coveted Coke Syrup but only more so.

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins comments on SEO blog

In a recent blog post on The Daily SEO Blog by randfish, a point is made for the increasing importance of How You Describe Your Content with key words. This is what I call good valuable content. When I talk about The big 5 of Social Media I say that the 3 keys to success on Social Media are

  1. Be Interesting
  2. Content is King (good valuable content)
  3. Give to Get.

Please read the rest of the article fomrmore insight on SEO. But doesnt it make since that if you offer a good valuable product or service, and thus proved good content about that product or service, then people will find you and Google will give you a high ranking? So is this really a secret or just good business?

I look forward to your comments.