Plugins We Like: WP Job Manager

In the past we have made a post on reasons why your company should consider posting job opportunities on your website. We have mentioned benefits like saving money, easy sharing, grabbing web surfers’ attention, and more (visit the blog here). Well, today we are highlighting our favorite job listing plugin, WP Job Manager. Not only does this allow you to post job opportunities directly onto your site, but it also allows you to manage those job listings. This job manager has many features that make the plugin one of our favorites.  

An important thing to point out about the WP Job Manager plugin is that it is very simple to set up and works well with many themes. One of the plugin’s best features is that it allows fully managing, categorizing, and adding as many job listing as available. When submitting the listing, it allows you to preview it first. You are also able to link each listing to either an email or website address to allow job seekers to easily apply. Job seekers can also be alerted whenever a new job matching is available through RSS links.

We asked two of our designers, Phil and Jose, for some insight on the WP Job Manager plugin and how they felt about it. Even though this is a great job management plugin, they both agreed on one flaw: it is difficult to customize. According to Phil and Jose, once the plugin has been added, it easily grasps the theme of most templates but it can be difficult to adjust it to customized websites. However, they both agree that once it is implemented, it handles data well and does a great job at managing an unlimited amount of job listing and applications.  

Link Building 2015

What is link building?  How does it impact SEO?  And why does it seem so confusing? According to a recent survey(2015) on Moz Online, 80 percent of companies engaged in SEO are spending more than $1,000 a month on link building. These are impressive numbers!  So, while it may be constantly changing, and every company may have a completely different SEO program of link building, it is still alive and well in the realm of business marketing.  Let’s look further into link building and why your SEO program continues to need this strategy.

What is link Building?  Link building can increase the number of high-quality links pointing to a website, in turn increasing the likelihood of the website ranking highly in search engine results. Link building is also a proven marketing tactic for increasing brand awareness. Since the late 1990s search engines have treated links as votes for popularity and importance in the ongoing democratic opinion poll of the web. The engines themselves have refined the use of link data to a fine art, and use complex algorithms to perform nuanced evaluations of sites and pages based on this information. Google considers links valuable in its ranking algorithm because they’re an indication of trust, credibility, and authority. When another website links to yours, it means they found something valuable on your site, and that makes you more valuable by proxy. While Links aren’t everything in SEO, search professionals do attribute a large portion of the engines’ algorithms to link-related factors (see Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015).

Link building seems to change as the search engines change their parameters. There are many ways to build links in 2015/2016. Here are just a few of the ways to build links to increase your SEO ranking.

  • Natural Link Building – Links that are given naturally by sites and pages that want to link to your content or company. Maybe they have seen your “How-To” videos, read your blogs or enjoy the content on your site.  In any case their link to your company is natural and ranked highly.
  • Manual “Outreach” Link Building – The SEO creates these links by emailing bloggers for links, submitting sites to directories, or paying for listings of any kind.
  • Self-Created, Non-Editorial – Hundreds of thousands of websites offer any visitor the opportunity to create links through guest book signings, forum signatures, blog comments, or user profiles. These links offer the lowest value, but can, in the aggregate, still have an impact for some sites.

Techniques to Increase Traffic to your Site

One of the most frequently asked questions from businesses is,  “How do we get more people to visit our website?”  At Sperling Interactive this is one of the things we successfully help our clients with regularly.  As marketers, we understand that what every business wants is more customers.  One of the best ways to get that is by having more people visit your website and convert into customers!  Here are some of our top tips of simple things that you can do to increase traffic to your website.

  1. Advertise Your Site – This may seem fairly simple but many companies forget that there are a multitude of channels through which to advertise.  Free business listings is the first place to start.  Be sure to have all pertinent information about your company in the listings including an easy link to your site, your phone number and google address. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people. Adjust your paid strategies to suit your goals – do you just want more traffic, or are you looking to increase conversions, too? Each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you decide.  We can help you find the right channel for your desired audience.
  2. Social Media – Do you have great content on your site that you would like to promote?  One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote that content. Create links on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram pages.  Give tidbits of content on these sites and encourage viewers to visit your main site to get more information.
  3. Keywords – Specifically Long Tailed Keywords are optimal for attracting customers to your site.  Drive target searches to your site by using very specific and focused keywords.  Long-tail keywords account for a majority of web searches, meaning that if you’re not targeting them as part of your paid search or SEO efforts, you’re missing out. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to find long-tail keywords that match up with your content or, even better, write content unique to your brand.
  4. Blogging – They say that content is king, so be sure your website has valuable content that viewers will want to access.  Blogging about your business field will draw customers to your products or services and give them a sense of your company’s voice through your blog.  In addition, search engines reward companies who are getting high-quality, consistent content coming from them.
  5. SEO – Optimizing your content for search engines is still a valuable and worthwhile practice. If customers are not able to find your company then the game is over.  Sperling Interactive has many techniques that will help your company be found.  Contact us today to start planning your SEO and Marketing strategy to increase traffic to your website.

The Power of Blogging

Is blogging really a necessary part of a business marketing plan? Successful marketing leaders know that a content publication strategy can increase visibility, sales and leads.  Blogging is one major component of that strategy.  There are well over 150 million blogs on the internet currently, growing larger every day.  These are big numbers to absorb, even bigger considering blogs didn’t even exist 20 years ago.  In the marketing world, blogging has hit it big yet people still seem puzzled by the impact of blogging on business. Let’s take a few minutes to look at the power of blogging for your business.

  1. Increase in Search Engine Traffic/Rankings – Search engines love fresh content. What better way to provide frequent content than with blog posts. By blogging consistently, you give Google and other search engines new content to index and you create opportunities to plug in those all-important keywords to increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPS).(Source Open Vine) This increase in traffic can mean an uptick in conversions from leads to customers.
  2. Become an Authority in your Field – By sharing industry related information and “how-tos” you will develop a name for yourself and your brand as an expert in your field.  As you build up an audience for your blogs, you may find that customers refer to your information as a resource.
  3. Show your Personal Side – Blogging creates a unique opportunity to not only show off your expertise but also how a human and personal side to your business.  Readers will get to know you and your company through your voice in each blog.  That is why it is very important to keep blogs real and down to earth.
  4. Fast Feedback – When something new and exciting happens in your field, a blog can be a great place to have conversations about that event.  Ask questions and converse with your viewers about the news as well as gain valuable feedback about the changes.
  5. Leads and Conversions– An active blog sends a signal that your business is alive and well to the search engines as well as generating leads.  Research shows that the more pages a site has, the more leads it gets. According to Hubspot, businesses with 401-1000 pages of content get 6x more leads than those with 51-100. In simple terms, the more you blog, the more leads you generate. More content means more form submissions, more email opt-ins, more quote requests, and ultimately, more sales. (Source Forbes)


5 Components of a Strong SEO Strategy

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy, technique or series of tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. (Webopedia) The higher a website naturally ranks in organic results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user. How then can business owners (large or small, new or well-established) create a strong SEO Strategy for their company?  Lets look at the key components that can help your company get ranked higher thus increasing your exposure.

  1. Keywords – Keyword research is the first step to a successful SEO strategy.  Keywords about your service, product or brand can help drive traffic to your website.  Many keywords are very competitive now and thus companies are turning toward long-tail keywords to get a higher ranking.  The new Hummingbird on Google now looks for specific intent of the search as opposed to separate keyword searches.  For help finding and writing these long-tailed keywords read more at Long-Tailed Keywords, as suggested by Forbes Magazine.
  2. Quality Content – We have all heard it over and over “Content is King.”  Well it is true!  Search engines have stated that creating quality content is the best way to not only rank for keywords, but also create positive user experiences. In addition to having relevant content each page should have the goal of having dynamic content that changes periodically to attract even more attention from the search engines. The goal here is not to make the search engines happy as much as it is to create content that readers find useful and that they want to share with their friends.
  3. Link Building – Believe it or not link building is still a great way to get noticed by the larger search engines.  Get listed on free directories or try back-linking to site that mention you or have used your business.
  4. Social Media – Maintaining and growing a social media presence on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube can help your rankings as well.  By capturing your audience on social media you have a good chance of engaging the consumer to check out your webpage or take advantage of offers you announce on social media channels.
  5. Be mobile ready – We have all seen it.  People cant walk down the street without checking their phones.  The statistics show that 80 percent of adults now have a smartphone; the average time spent on a mobile device was 1.85 hours a day (over a half hour increase from 2012). Be sure your website is ready with responsive design that allows viewers to see your site easily regardless of the type of device , whether it is a tablet, phone or desktop.


Changes in Google Keywords

Last year’s changes are still rattling the world of SEO professionals.  As of last September all Google Searches became “secure” and result in a “not provided” response from Google.  Despite initial claims by Google that it would only affect a small percentage of overall analytics data for organic search, the reality is some sites were seeing well over 50 percent “(not provided)”, particularly in sectors like technology where there is a higher likelihood that a visitor would be logged into their Google account as well.

Fast forward a year and now 95% of keywords being reported as “(not provided)”, with that remaining 5 percent coming from non-Google searches. So why did Google do this and what does this mean in the long term for SEO professionals trying to decipher the analytics.

The “why” portion of this question, , , it  can be answered by Search Engine Watch Group online. “There has been plenty of speculation, running wildly from “the NSA told them to” to “they did it to force people to buy more AdWords ads!” Tin foil hats aside, neither of those options make a good case for why Google made the secure search change.” In reality Google has been moving toward steps to protect everyone’s privacy and to prevent eavesdropping by government agencies for years.

What are some current workarounds to battle against the Google encryption.

  • Look at Non-Google Keywords- Look at your non-Google search engine referral traffic. While Bing doesn’t send a significant portion of traffic for a site will looking at overall search, you still can get an idea of what keywords are bringing traffic, particularly for sites that have significant amount traffic.
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools- If you’ve gone this long without using Google Webmaster Tools, you will definitely want to sign up for it now. You can still get keyword data in Google Webmaster Tools, by clicking on Search Traffic > Search Queries, and yes, it does include search data from encrypted searches.
  • Analyze On-Site Searches- You should capture all the on-site searches that visitors are doing on your site, so you can also get a better idea of exactly the keywords they are for.
  • Look at Historical Data – But without the keyword data, you’ll be stuck kind of guessing at the potential keywords that are bringing in people to a page on your site.

Whether we like it or not, Google’s encrypted search is here to stay. We will continue our efforts to find new ways to work around the analytic problem.  Read More

Importance of Social Media for SEO

In the world of Marketing strategy the acronym SEO or Search Engine optimization is one of the more important for the visibility of a website or a web page.  As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.

Typically the rank of a piece of content comes down to two key drivers: relevancy and authority. Relevancy is all about using the right keywords and Authority has predominantly been defined by the number and type of sites that are linking to your content via inbound links. Recently search engines have begun to incorporate social context into their search results.Let’s look at the major ways that Social Media is affecting your SEO.

  • Social Shares are the new Link Building – Link building has always been an important factor to determine whether other websites across the web deemed your website to be a quality source of information. Recently links are achieved through developing original content that is shared across social media. Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help the search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.
  • Authority – search engines have become more integrated with social cues and features for the growing social network. With the dawn of Google + authorship their account and bio are linked to the content in search engine results.
  • Speed Up Indexing – Articles that have been shared and tweeted about can cut indexation time by 50%, while reducing the time it takes Googlebot to find your content from 2 hours to 2 seconds.
  • Boost Relevant Key Words – The keywords used throughout social media factor into where content ranks in search engines.

Google + for Business

Does your business really need its presence on yet another social media network?  Technology insider like Chris Brogan, author or Google Plus for Business and Technology blogger, Timothy Carter, say the resounding answer is YES!  Why would you want to start working on another social network if you are already visible on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits and statistics outlined by Brogan and Carter that show why Google + will be a great boost for your business.

  • Google Plus has 90 million users – with 60% of those users logging in every day!  (in comparison 50% of Twitter users log in daily.)
  • Google Plus is indexed by Google – In the world of SEO this means that using Google + can help customers find your business faster and easier.
  • Greater Visibility – By creating a business page your company can increase it’s visibility daily. There are a variety of sharing options available to showcase your company including video, posts or photos.
  • Positive Interactions with your targeted audience – Comment on share, respond to comments and use Google+1 to add people’s posts and comments.   Interactions build trust and allows your company to make real relationships with the people they want to reach.
  • Educate your followers – Enhance your brand by letting people in your circles learn more about you, your company and your product.  The more they know the easier it is for them to determine if your product is the one for them.
  • Linking ability – If you have any other social media profiles, from Facebook, to Instagram and Pinterest, you MUST add them to the links section of your Google+ profile as well. What better way to get a little more link juice and authority from Google than to have your social profiles included on their page for your business?

Google + isn’t just another social media network. . . the benefits to your overall marketing strategy will be felt from SEO to customer relations.  Try Google + today!  Google+

Key Word Tools

Key Words!  Choosing the right combination is absolutely crucial to a successful SEO. A keyword is a word or search term(s) that someone types into Google, Bing, Yahoo  or any other search engine when they’re looking for information online. When given the right combination of key words –  the search engine will direct users to information relevant to their search and ultimately to your site. So how do you choose those oh-so-important words so that they are relevant without being too broad?

  1. Back to Basics – Ask your customers what key words they used to find you online.  Or better yet, try finding yourself online through simple searches.  You will quickly see what page your company is found on and what key words work best at getting you a higher ranking. This is fairly old school but a good place to start.
  2. Add Location Based Keywords – When looking for products and services in a specific area, search engine users will usually include their location in the search.  For example Boston, MA.  You may want to consider adding location-based keywords to all of your pages, since traffic from other locations isn’t going to be very much help to you.
  3. Use Key Word Tools – Here are some great online tools to take the guesswork out of deciding on Key Words!
  • Google Ad Words Keyword Tool Your company can insert one keyword, multiple keywords, or even your website address, and Google will then return a list of related keywords along with simple metrics to gauge how fierce the competition is around each one and how many searches it gets on both a global and local search level.
  • Hub Spot Software or Google Analytics This tool will allow you to identify which organic search terms are already driving traffic to your website. These keywords will provide a good baseline of core keywords.


Now that you have some tools to discover your top key words for SEO , get out there and start discovering your best keywords for your growing company!

Key Words

Today, most consumers looking to buy a product or service start the process by using a search engine to find vendors and product information. How can you make sure that your business is found when these people are looking for you or your competitors? You need to make sure you rank high in the search engine results, for as many search terms as possible.  Here are some tips to picking key words that will get you ranked higher during a Google, Yahoo or Bing search.

  1. Create a Key Word List – What are the three to five words that people think about when searching for your business.
  2. Use Key Word Tools– Then use keyword tools to understand how often people search on the terms related to your business.
  3. Try out your key words to find your business – Do your own search and find how quickly your site comes up.
  4. Analyze the results – Using the Key Word Tools and your own research find out what terms are used over and over again in your text to guide your key word search.

Some things to keep in mind when creating key words: You have to get on the first or second page of search results, shorter search phrases are searched for more often and finally it is usually more difficult to get ranked on the first or second page for popular searches. Use these guides to help you get ranked higher with Key Words!