Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

DC SEO 3.0 & Internet Marketing Top 10 2014 Tips for Local or Small Businesses

At KME (a DC SEO Company and Digital Technology Agency), we cover a lot of ground among client types, industry segments and technology services, with a heavy emphasis on area DC SEO business requirements for online, interactive marketing and advertising. As a local or regional small business near Washington DC, including Northern Virginia, Suburban and Southern Maryland, there's an almost bewildering array of online marketing services, tools, channels and opportunities to sift through - plenty to buy, try and use, but not nearly enough time and expertise to properly leverage. Plus, the online research or purchasing habits of your constantly changing customer segments (and their technologies) are really hard to keep up with - whether for marketing or simple communications purposes.

Our insight comes from many places, though primarily from the experiences of our long list of DC area clients - ranging from IT and B2B service companies, to retail, B2C and startup businesses. We're also very active in local economic development agencies, chambers of commerce and small business development/incubation centers, in addition to other area business development, industry organizations, media and professional associations. This gives us a very comprehensive, very unique perspective into the challenges and requirements faced by DC area businesses, digital marketing staff and DC SEO companies as they evolve their marketing strategies.

The most challenging theme we see is the gap between the SEO skills a small business understands or can afford to hire, and the SEO skills truly relevant and necessary in the evolving 2014 DC SEO and online marketing environment. A large and growing inventory of SEO facets (like onsite metatags and content styling) are now commodity services readily offered by legions of cheap, low-skilled or offshore providers (think of an auto mechanic with just a few months of experience; they can change the oil, clean the car and install new headlamps, but …) These SEO facets are also standard offerings in most online content management tools and social media platforms, and can be implemented by the your newest social media or administrative intern (see easy-enablement of SEO visibility of widget text even if the browser's JavaScript is turned off) .

Therefore, addressing these common DC SEO facets is no longer a differentiator among competitive businesses – it’s simply a required cost of operating, a required skill for those who maintain websites. Particularly in this very high-tech, mobile, Internet-focused Washington DC community. 

Businesses must learn more, work harder and likely pay more to maintain market-share and relevance in the online marketing domain – much more skill and experience is required for SEO performance in this more complex environment. However, since small business budgets for online marketing really aren’t growing to meet the need (though the DC metro and Northern Virginia economy is turning around) – the role of the successful and most helpful small business DC SEO company begins to transition from a tactical services provider to more of a strategic, multi-faceted business counselor and IT investment advisor. With fantastic, empathetic communication skills.

Be sure your small business Northern Virginia or DC SEO company meets this profile, and can provide current, experienced business management, digital strategy and marketing consulting advice that’s pragmatically aligned to the commodity DC SEO block-and-tackling required.

Here's a brief summary of what we see are 10 significant themes in the online marketing and search engine optimization space, that DC area businesses, nonprofits, agencies and startups need to address in 2014.  

1. Natural, Accurate Language - is quickly becoming more accessible and desired by search engines, as they process very large amounts of unstructured information and data that increasingly exists within a predominantly artificial ecosystem of structured tags, markers, metadata, links....in other words, content that's readable, immediately useful and sharable to local, community culture and language dialect is incredibly important.

2. Simple Mobility - is the defacto device use case for our busy DC audiences and customers, notwithstanding "hands-free" legislation for commuters and the slow uptake of federal government mobile usage - but the desktop design sometimes is most effective for mobile tablet users, and the "responsive" cellphone design is sometimes not as effective as a standardized, small-screen design.  In other words, any web or content design you're considering needs first to consider the mobile needs of your primary audience segments, but needs not be overly complex.

3. Online Brand Consolidation - your primary branding signals or presence is manifested in a special image or video, an online persona, a message (text copy) or perhaps an interactive user interface (like a special app function), but it can quickly get lost, fragmented or devalued among the noise of competing SEO, website navigation,  device controls or user experience signals across the multi-channel path your customer takes to interact with you...in other words, simply and consolidate your branding signals so that they're instantly, easily, helpfully recognizable anywhere your content is used.

4. Knowledge Management - what really does this mean, isn't it some huge information organization and expert tracking system that only the biggest companies use?  Nope - it's simply finding out what your employees know, and figuring out how best to package and share this knowledge in a way that supports your marketing and communications. Call it "employment engagement" or "content harvesting" - your people (particularly DC-based, local, social residents) have lots to contribute, but will need some process control to do it successfully. It's ALSO semantic translation and tagging of content using metadata (invisible data, but resulting in visible indicators such as Google "snippets" or Twitter Cards) - this is definitely a more difficult yet extremely important to address.

5. Online Reviews – are incredibly important now, in this time where social recognition and community input heavily influence consumer choices, and these social signals in turn drive SEO performance and online reputation – but this can be a complex communications process to monitor and manage, with careful attention to search influence and audience feedback. Yelp is particularly difficult to manage - there are many other review sites and services that should be considered.

6. Online Asset Protection - how is your digital content monitored and protected from copyright infringement, duplication or misuse, brand dilution or highjacking, or other situations where competitors or gray-hat SEO firms are illegitimately benefiting from your hard work?  Inbound link and reputation monitoring is critical, as is the all-to-often-ignored process of updating, backing up and protecting both your content and web technology investments (including all the service widgets and plug-ins you've purchased).

7. Website Performance - while this has always been important, it's even more so in the age of mobility; content-heavy, responsive websites with data feeds and service integrations need to work fast on large or small screens - and Google will reward those that serve immediate, local demand the best. Website performance includes efficient security and privacy protections - protecting not only against malware and misuse, but also against content management errors that quickly become SEO faults. Don't forget to include an "Information Architect" on your web design team - a critical professional in our opinion for the next year. 

8. Authorship - the importance of canonical content attribution to recognized, popular or otherwise trustworthy, expert and credible sources is more important than ever right now - creating and publishing content will need to more often recognize individual personalities (or bodies of work) further legitimized via social media activity. No more hiding content behind the corporate voice, particularly for small businesses - engage your audience directly, personally, in both text and imagery.

9. Social Marketing over Social Media - there are thousands of people who are really good at using social media for socializing, and there will be millions more next year graduating from secondary schools around the world.  Few of these, however, can craft messages and conversations to align with marketing objectives and performance goals, in ways that are optimal for each social media platform, are professionally transparent, for each audience segment.  Don't confuse the two, and cloaking social marketing within online socializing will become more easy for search engines to spot (particularly with advances in big data tools).

10. Paid Placement - still works, and there are more tools and ad products than ever to leverage (from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, LivingSocial, Washingtonian; you name it) - so long as you know how to evaluate and use them, and your paid, placed content is appropriately identified. In fact, online paid advertising methods appear to be rapidly gaining usefulness even to the smaller budgets - and this carries over to the small screen as well, where inline content and product placement is much more acceptable than the traditional banner ads (which you can't see anyway).

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ted McLaughlan

Summary: Currently a Federal Enterprise Architect with Oracle, Ted has over 25 years in Commercial and Government Information Technology with University of Virginia, EDS, Accenture, KME Internet Marketing, Blackstone Technology Group, NavigationArts and CSC; additional focus recently on Interactive Design, Web 2.0 Internet Marketing, SEO, Social Media and Advertising. Specialties: Enterprise Architecture and Information Management, SOA/ESB, Enterprise Integration, Business Intelligence, Internet Safety and Security, Family Content Networks, Knowledge Management and Collaboration, User-Defined Operational Pictures/Common Operating Pictures (UDOP/COP), Situational Awareness, Portals, Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Website Design/Development and Optimization - Certified Systems Engineer - Certified Enterprise Solution Architect

Latest Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...