SEO Workshop: Graphic Design: 3 Cardinal Sins

SEO Workshop: Graphic Design: 3 Cardinal Sins
The Monday SEO workshop is a group of local business owners talking about how to generate more leads from their website via google site optimization and pay per click. Attendees come to learn SEO and search engine marketing from other like-minded business owners who have developed effective internet marketing strategies. When: Monday Nights 6pm-7pm 
Where: THE SANTA BARBARA VETERANS BUILDING 112 W. Cabrillo BLVD Santa Barbara, CA 93101

REGISTER & RSVP HERE

“Graphic Design: 3 Cardinal Sins” 

K.I.S.S. Keep it, simple sweetheart.  In order for any website to be effective, it must not underestimate the importance of keeping things simple.  It’s an ancient principle in marketing, simpler is usually better.  

Come down to the workshop this evening and learn the three cardinal sins to avoid when designing your website.  The group members will share insights and tips to help you design a higher-converting website. Web Sites are no longer optional. Get Online. Get Ranked.  We hope to see you this week at the workshop.  

 REGISTER & RSVP HERE

Business Networking Opportunities In Santa Barbara: 

Contacts N Coffee: Great opportunity to network with other local businesses every Friday morning. visit here

Goleta B2B Breakfast: Largest business breakfast mixer in Santa Barbara. First Tuesdays of every month. Earl Warren Showgrounds. visit here

Santa Barbara Young Professionals: Business Networking with young entreprenuers. visit here

TECH BREW: Brings together hundreds of local professionals, who gather to Exchange Ideas, Network, Form Alliances and Focus Technology and Business Growth in the Santa Barbara Region. visit here

Locals That Rock: Social media smart group for advanced social media savvy business owners. visit here.

Get $100 for every referral!
Marketing Superstars Wanted –   See our Affiliate Program 
Get Online. Get Ranked.
Successful websites launch with 100 helpful articles In order to rank well on the internet’s largest search engines, you site must contain informative, original content that contains the relevant keywords from which you’d like to capture traffic. Part of the success of your business depends on your ability to generate top ranks on Google and other major search engines.
Join us for an hour filled with interesting conversations about online business. With over 81% of consumers making purchasing decisions online, websites are no longer optional. If you have a good product or service, then driving traffic to your site is a matter of SEO.  Taylor Reaume, The Search Engine Pros Founder, will discuss:
–  The latest cutting-edge marketing strategies.
– How to wine and dine the Google spider at your website
Discover 4 powerful SEO Tools to help increase visitors to your website.

Santa Barbara’s Only SEO Meetup Group
Learn SEO and internet marketing strategies at the weekly SEO meetup. Every Thursday at The Eagle Inn in Santa Barbara, California, The Search Engine Pros offer an SEO class that teaches ethical SEO strategies. Share ideas with other local business owners who have developed innovative internet marketing strategies.

Tired of roadblocks in your marketing campaigns? To make it to the championships you need a fully synchronized team effort. Does your web marketing team have the communication skills to help bring your visions to reality? The Search Engine Pros are practitioners of compassionate communication and social business. Work with a team that cares for all the right things. Inquire today. 800.605.4988

The Search Engine Pros Reviews The Top 5 Summer Festivals In Santa Barbara

The Search Engine Pros Reviews The Top 5 Summer Festivals In Santa Barbara

It’s official! See who made the cut for our top 5 summer festivals in Santa Barbara.

Summertime in Santa Barbara is wonderful. There are so many events going on and endless fun things to do in Santa Barbara during the summer. The summer weekends here in the American riviera are always full of a wide range of festivities, attracting locals and tourists alike.

During the summer, there are five notable festivals that I believe deserve special recognition by our team here at The Search Engine Pros. These festivals in particular not only draw in a huge crowd of hundreds–perhaps even thousands–of tourists to our beautiful town of Santa Barbara, but they are what characterize SB summers as something special from ones spent anywhere else.


1.  Santa Barbara Solstice Summer Festival
What better way to kick off summer but with the Santa Barbara Solstice Festival? Taking place each year in mid-June, right around the day of the solstice itself, this festival lasts for the whole weekend, from Friday to Sunday. SBSF also has the Solstice parade on Saturday, which travels down State Street to Micheltorena, then finally making its way to Alameda Park. At the park, festival-goers can enjoy live music, delicious food, and festive merchandise. Plus, here’s an added bonus: because the parade ends at Alameda Park itself, people can admire and even take pictures with the floats set up along the entrance of the park, so you can enjoy the parade even if you missed it! All of the parade floats were made by local businesses, clubs, and organizations for spectators’ amusement.
Perhaps what sets Summer Solstice apart from other summer festivals in Santa Barbara is that each year the festival has a new theme. Festival-goers dress up accordingly, and parade floats are designed to the theme as well. For example, this year’s theme was Fantasy, and last year 2011’s theme was Jungle. The jury is in! Summer Solstice is one of our favorite summer festivals in Santa Barbara! What will next year’s theme be?


2. Goleta Fireworks Summer Festival
When it’s the Fourth of July, every Goletian knows where to go to hit up some awesome fireworks, and that’s Girsh Park! Each year, Girsh Park in Goleta is transformed into a patriotic palooza to celebrate our nation’s birth. This festival attracts mostly the local crowd in Goleta, but its close quarters within the park make it the perfect atmosphere for family bonding on the Fourth. Of course, SB festivals are nothing without its live entertainment, gourmet food, festive merchandise, and overall fun spirit, which the Goleta Fireworks Festival is sure not to be stingy about. Not to mention, the festival’s catering towards locals allows for more fun activities and attractions in comparison to this festival’s West Beach counterpart during Fourth of July (which caters to Santa Barbara locals as well as tourists more). At the end of the night, festival-goers crowd together to watch the fireworks blaze over Goleta.


3. French Festival
The Santa Barbara French Festival made a comeback this year after being put on hiatus last year due to new ownership/management. Even after its one-year break, this fun filled summer festival in Santa Barbara still proved outstanding for its comeback. Located at Oak Park and held usually in mid-July around Bastille Day weekend, this fun, foreign fest features all kinds of French food, entertainment, goods, and fun–with a Santa Barbara twist! Local restaurants, businesses, and organizations are invited to present their French-inspired foods or products, as well as goods from other countries, though mostly France. The summer festival itself is split on two halves of Oak Park, each with a stage of different kinds of entertainment. One stage features singers, musicians, and other types of musical performers, while the other stage is dedicated to dance of all sorts. Festival-goers are even invited to participate in some dancing on the latter stage. If you’re in Santa Barbara and have always wanted to go to France, or are just itching for a feel of French flavor, the Santa Barbara French Festival is the closest you’ll get to it.  We’re proudly adding the French Festival to our list of favorite summer festivals in Santa Barbara.


4. Greek Festival
The Santa Barbara Greek festival is just like its French counterpart, except Greek, and held at the end of July rather than mid-(though still at Oak Park). In my opinion, the SB Greek festival is the most underrated of all the SB summer fests. The Greeks are known for their light, yet tasteful cuisine and fervent music and dancing, which this festival certainly doesn’t pass up on. Indeed, the Greek festival is when Santa Barbara truly lives up to its Mediterranean name. So, if you want awesome Mediterranean food, Greek music and dancing, and overall summer fun, check out the Greek Festival at Oak Park – it made our top list of summer festivals in Santa Barbara!


5. Santa Barbara Fiesta: Old Spanish Days
Last but certainly not least is Fiesta: Old Spanish Days. Besides being known for its Mediterranean weather, Santa Barbara is perhaps best known for its Spanish-inspired culture and architecture. If you ever get the chance to do some history on the city of Santa Barbara, you’ll be able to see just how much of an influence the Spanish had on the formation of this town. Thus, we have fiesta to reflect back on this town’s history as well as learn about and appreciate the influence the Spanish had on it. Fiesta is celebrated all throughout the downtown area of Santa Barbara, from El Mercado De la Guerra and Del Norte to the Sunken Gardens in the Courthouse, from the Santa Barbara Mission to State Street itself. Santa Barbara Fiesta features everything from the best Mexican cuisine to dance performances to Spanish music concerts. Plus, you simply can’t have fiesta without its infamous cascarones (don’t know what that is? Look it up, or come to SB Fiesta to find out!), which can be sold at literally every block along State Street during the festivities. Some other highlights are Fiesta Pequena and .

This one of a kind summer festival in Santa Barbara begins on Wednesday night–yes Wednesday, and end on Sunday night, but the memories–and perhaps even the confetti–last the whole summer.  (You can check the calendar of events on the website for a better idea of events during fiesta weekend.)

So there you have it, SEPro’s reviews of the top five festivals of summer in Santa Barbara. These festivals are a great way to reach out to the community, enjoy the summer weather, spend time with friends and family, and overall just have a great time. Looking for some things to do during the summer? SB is the place to be! We hope to see you this summer at one of these festivals!

Facebook Marketing: 7 Secrets To Success

Facebook Marketing: 7 Secrets To Success

Facebook marketing is one of the hottest marketing platforms for disseminating information about your business today.

There is no question that technology and media in the 21st century is continually evolving.  Facebook marketing has been proven to be one of the most effective media platforms for promoting one’s business. Yet many people who are eager to promote their brand, business, and product are unaware of HOW to successfully market themselves through these mediums.  Questions such as “How do I make my business look attractive to the public”, and “How do I get more ‘likes’ or ‘friend requests’?” seem to be an overarching theme.

Whether you’re a startup, or a seasoned business, chances are you’re probably trying to research ways to get your business on the social web.  You’re in luck! Here are 7 secrets to successfully market your business on Facebook:

Facebook Marketing Power Tip #1:  FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING, FACEBOOK IS NO EXCEPTION.

To be an attractive business, you must have an attractive Facebook page. With the newly employed ‘Timeline’, Facebook lets you show who you are and what you stand for in an instant with the giant cover photo. Make sure the photo corresponds to your company’s ideals or philosophy, which is simply good branding. You may want to get professional photographs taken, or put your company’s logo up as long as its clean and simple. Aesthetics are everything these days, so make sure your pictures and profile photos correspond attractively in the eyes of those who see your page.

Facebook Marketing Power Tip #2: TELL THE VIEWERS NOT JUST WHAT YOU DO, BUT WHY YOU DO IT.

On the info section you want to show what you stand for. Anyone can pitch an idea or product, but this won’t get people to BELIEVE in it. Make sure you state your mission statement clearly, describing what you stand for and why you do what it is that you do. If people believe in your cause, they are much more likely to accept your product, as it is not simply seen as a rudimentary good idea, but rather an idea that is apart of them. This pertains to Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle”, which states that the most successful businesses such as Apple have become successful because they base their products on the “WHY?” and allow people to believe in its cause, rather than aiming it at what they do.

Facebook Marketing Power Tip #3: EVERYTHING MUST BE FRESH AND NEW.

People need new material in their lives; it mentally stimulates them. When people see that you are posting new material each day, with new and interesting topics, blogs, articles, videos, and pictures, your business will benefit substantially.  Educational Facebook marketing is very powerful on the social web. This is because people will see that your business is an active engager in its field, rather than being old or irrelevant.  They will see your company name more often, which keeps it longer in their conscious and subconscious minds, and thus creates more brand awareness (think top of mind). Make sure you post actively, most social media gurus recommend posting 5-7 times per week, and with information that has at least some connection to your business. Pictures and videos are huge, as it takes up more space on their news feed and is easy to view.

Facebook Marketing Power Tip #4:  ENGAGE YOUR FANS.

Being active on your page is more than simply posting articles: you must communicate with your target audience. Ask them questions such as “What do you think of this new product?” Be enthusiastic and encourage them to post their opinions on your page, but make sure your questions are simple and easy to answer. It will bring more traffic to your page as their friends see them posting on yours, and you will get more insight on what they want. Marketing is a two-way street, so don’t forget to go both directions.

Facebook Marketing Power Tip #5: HOLD A CONTEST, MAKE THEM WANT IT.

A great way to engage your fans is to hold a contest or sweepstakes. The prize doesn’t have to be anything expensive, or even necessarily one of your products. It should however have some connection to your business. You can have a photo or video contest, or give prizes to the fans who give the best feedback or idea of how to better your product or business. This all goes back to the give and take principle of marketing.

Facebook Marketing Power Tip #6: KNOW WHAT YOUR COMPETITION IS DOING.

In order to be ahead of your competition, you must know what your competition is doing. By monitoring their use and effectiveness, you can see what you must do to stay ahead of the game. Several new tools such as http://monitor.wildfireapp.com/  allow you to do just this.

Facebook Marketing Power Tip #7: BE THE MASTER OF YOUR DOMAIN.

To be credible to others, you have to play the part. Being the authority figure in regards to information in your specific area incorporates all the previous steps together. It means posting confidently, helping out fans who are looking for more information (this may mean comparing your business’s benefits to your competitions’), and simply being active and aware of how you are communicating with others.  Engaging your fans’ inquiries with diligence and thought gives your target audience the impression that you know what you are talking about, and they will appreciate your assistance and likely respect your business more.

I hope these Facebook marketing power tips have helped you gain more insight into the world of social media marketing.

Remember that high-quality, continuous fan involvement and site activity can lead to an improved reputation, which can take your business a long way.

Happy Marketing!

No follow in 2012: A Valuable Google Page Rank Benefit?

No follow in 2012: A Valuable Google Page Rank Benefit?
Google page rank benefit

SEO Experts have known for years that nofollow deletes valuable Google page rank benefit, a Google employee (Matt Cutt’s) has even confirmed this fact on his blog.

So what happens when you have a page with “ten PageRank points” and ten outgoing links, and five of those links are nofollowed? Let’s leave aside the decay factor and focus on the core of the question. Originally, the five links without nofollow would have flowed two points of PageRank each (in essence, the nofollowed links didn’t count toward the denominator when dividing PageRank by the outdegree of the page). More than a year ago, Google changed how the PageRank flows so that the five links without nofollow would flow one point of PageRank each, and the other five no follow links would simply evaporate the link juice.

Why does Google say not to worry so much about those no follow tags?  We believe Google is simply trying to clarify things to a degree about all the mystery around page rank sculpting. Another reason might be because they are trying to discourage sloppy web mastery.  If one builds a website correctly, from the start, there is no need to use no-follow tags on links (for outbound links or for site navigational links).

But here’s the interesting take away…

Most reports from top SEO’s across the web are concluding that rel=”nofollow” attributes to internal links within a site are wasting link juice. A nofollowed link is deleting your valuable link benefit. Many don’t realize that the WordPress core commenting system that uses nofollow on comment author links is already deleting too much of your valuable link benefit (possible to remove this at theme level), don’t make it worse by adding more!

Google page rank benefit

There’s been talk lately in the blogosphere about how noindex is perhaps just as bad as nofollow in terms of evaporating link juice.  Although noindex is not as damaging as nofollow (doesn’t delete link benefit), noindex does waste link benefit. When a page is noindexed the link benefit that flows through the page does NO SEO work on that noindexed page! All good SEO experts know when link benefit flows through a page (via links) a proportion of that link benefit is used (spent) on that page (estimated 15% is used, it’s the dampening factor within the PageRank formula).

Noindex can block these pages from being indexed, but noindex does NOT recycle the link benefit (the 15% that’s lost), there is little value in noindexing a page when the link benefit is wasted. The page isn’t indexed, but the link benefit is still used (wasted).  The perfect SEO setup is ALL pages on a site target one or more keywords (SERPs : Search Engine Results Pages) so ALL the link benefit flowing through the site generates traffic from search engines like Google through relevant SERPs.

Few sites are perfect SEO wise.  A typical site will have Contact, About, Privacy, Disclaimer, Shopping Basket and other pages that though important to our visitors, have little to no SEO value. Should you noindex the pages, no follow the pages?  These are important questions to ask with your SEO consultant, as the answer is not the same in every case.

What does it all mean?

Long before the days of nofollow, Bruce Clay, Inc. has advocated a site architecture practice known as SEO siloing. SEO Siloing relies on two things to create sections of a site that are highly relevant to the targeted keyword: linking and theming. By linking pages with the same theme (virtual SEO siloing) and by including those pages within the same directory (physical SEO siloing), you can create a section of your site that will be considered pertinent to targeted keywords.

With the advent of the nofollow attribute, we recommended nofollow use to eliminate superfluous links to pages that were off-theme. However, we considered PageRank sculpting using nofollow to be a marginal support for SEO siloing. If a forthcoming Google guideline were to discourage nofollow-based PageRank sculpting, it would not affect the core principles of SEO siloing, a powerful web site architecture technique that improves site structure and the related relevancy signals. If Matt is suggesting that webmasters build a site with PR flow in mind from the beginning, SEO siloing is an ideal solution still deserving of attention and implementation.

Bottom line  – it’s important to start cleaning up our your follow tags.  We won’t be penalized if we use them, rather, we will just lose out on passing “page rank power” for that link. Implementing these changes now will help webmasters abide by Google’s new algorithm and increase web site traffic.

Traditionally, search engine optimization is often approached as a post production task, taking the existing code of a website and optimizing the structure to increase rankings. Often times the work is outsourced or handled by a separate web team that doesn’t have a working relationship with the web development team. However, savvy webmasters and successful SEOs understand that a websites architecture and overall linking structure will have a huge impact on long term success.

When you build your website on a solid foundation of vertical market theme research, solid linking structure otherwise known as ‘silo website architecture’ and quality content that provides value to your visitors, you will be miles ahead of the SEO game even before you begin acquiring back links.

Silo Web Site Architecture: A silo is simply another word for ‘category’.  Silo website architecture is a way of organizing your keyword rich content into tightly structured themes whereas the content of each page, including body copy, titles, headers, and urls, all work together to support the overall theme of the silo.  Each page within a silo links to each other to reinforce the theme. Cross-linking between silos should point to a silo landing page whenever your content contains a keyword phrase that supports that silo’s theme.

Why is this important?

If you build your website this way, search engines like Google are going to reward you because you are telling them exactly what your web site is about while providing a logical navigation for your (and Google’s) customers. Remember, Google is in the business of serving up quality content to it’s customers.  Relevant inbound and outbound linking helps Google filter and organize the web pages they are indexing.  Google’s algorithm pays close attention to the keywords in the anchor text of a link, especially when it is placed within the body content of your page, and places high importance to the page the link is pointing to.  Internal links contained within your website can carry as much weight as inbound links from external sites.

*Note: Red arrows indicate where links are pointing.  Cross-linking between silos should point to a silo landing page whenever your content contains a keyword phrase that supports that silo’s theme.

  • Example of “Silo Web Architecture”
  • Notice keyword themes
Example of Silo Web Architecture

*Note: Red arrows indicate where links are pointing.  Cross-linking between silos should point to a silo landing page whenever your content contains a keyword phrase that supports that silo’s theme.

All this is to say that just be careful when using nofollow and noindex when trying to rank your web pages. Let’s work smarter, not harder on our SEO!

Pay Per Click Marketing: 3 Secrets To Success

Pay Per Click Marketing: 3 Secrets To Success

The Monday SEO Workshop is a group of local business owners talking about how to generate more leads from their website via google site optimization and pay per click. Attendees come to learn SEO and search engine marketing from other like-minded business owners who have developed effective internet marketing strategies.

When: Monday Nights 6pm-7pm 
Where: SANTA BARBARA VETERANS BUILDING (by Sambos) 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd Santa Barbara, CA 93101

 REGISTER & RSVP HERE

“Pay Per Click Marketing: 3 Secrets To Success”

We will discuss the 3 major secrets to success in PPC marketing. Avoid making the common mistakes in Google Adwords marketing! Group members will share lessons learned with pay per click marketing.  Learn how to download our Local Keyword Research Excel Template.  

Many people try to go it alone with their PPC strategy, and that usually just isn’t going to cut it when you are swimming with the sharks on Google Adwords, you’ll lose your shirt quickly. 

Learn how to decrease your keywords’ cost-per-clicks (CPCs) and optimize your ad positions (more traffic for less cost). A smart PPC campaign manager will spend time researching competitors strengths and capitalizing on the best keywords in their campaigns. 

Don’t make the same mistake nearly 75% of PPC advertisers make, and send everyone to the homepage of your web site. 

Group members will share:

  • how to develop a keyword research report
  • how to find low cost, yet high traffic keywords with commercial intent
  • how to create compelling ad copy and split testing ads
  • how to adjust keyword bids to ensure maximum ROI
  • how to add negative keywords

Business Networking Opportunities In Santa Barbara:

  • Contacts N Coffee: Great opportunity to network with other local businesses every Friday morning. visit here
  • Goleta B2B Breakfast: Largest business breakfast mixer in Santa Barbara. First Tuesdays of every month. Earl Warren Showgrounds. visit here
  • Santa Barbara Young Professionals: Business Networking with young entrepreneurs. visit here
  • TECH BREW: Brings together hundreds of local professionals, who gather to Exchange Ideas, Network, Form Alliances, and Focus Technology and Business Growth in the Santa Barbara Region. visit here

Successful websites launch with 100 helpful articles In order to rank well on the internet’s largest search engines, you site must contain informative, original content that contains the relevant keywords from which you’d like to capture traffic. Part of the success of your business depends on your ability to generate top ranks on Google and other major search engines.

oin us for an hour filled with interesting conversations about online business. With over 81% of consumers making purchasing decisions online, web sites are no longer optional. If you have a good product or service, then driving traffic to your site is a matter of SEO.

Taylor Reaume, The Search Engine Pros Founder, will discuss:

  • The latest cutting-edge marketing strategies, online and offline.
  • How to wine and dine the Google spider at your web site.
  • Discover 4 powerful SEO Tools to help increase visitors to your web site.

Santa Barbara’s Only SEO Meetup Group

Learn SEO and internet marketing strategies at the weekly SEO meetup. Every Thursday at The Eagle Inn in Santa Barbara, California, The Search Engine Pros offer an SEO class that teaches ethical SEO strategies. Share ideas with other local business owners who have developed innovative internet marketing strategies.

IF YOU ARE A MARKETER: Fellow marketing consultants and web designers are welcome to attend this meetup group provided they post a public Facebook post with a link to our meetup page on the day of the event.
IF YOU ARE A NON MARKETER: Rather than charging a door fee, we ask attendees to post a review on our Google page and Facebook page.