Increase Rankings & Visibility with Google Authorship

Google Authoriship

In order to explain the benefits of Google Authorship, we must first discuss what it is. Google Authorship is Google’s attempt to establish authority of published content on the search engine results pages (SERPs) by linking it to an author’s Google+ profile or company’s Google+ page. In Google’s eyes, content that is claimed by an author or brand with an active, trusted, and verified Google+ account is viewed as more credible than content that is published anonymously.

What Google Authorship Can Do For Your Business

So what does this mean for your business? Higher rankings and more visibility.


Google Authorship features two distinctly different markup tags which you can use to link published content to a verified Google+ account.

These markup tags are known as rel=author and rel=publisher. With the rel=author markup tag, Google links published content to the author’s Google+ profile from within the SERPs.

Confirming that Google Authorship does benefit rankings, Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt was recently quoted as saying, “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

One hidden benefit of Google’s rel=author tag is when a visitor clicks the back button to return to the SERPs after reading an article for an extended period of time (roughly 2 minutes), a “More by…” link will appear directly below the originally clicked link which provides searchers with more relevant articles from that author, as seen in the example above. This increases the likelihood that a visitor will click on another article published by the same author.



The rel=author markup tag is great for building authority as an individual, whether writing content for a blog or as a contributor for a publication. However, as a business owner or marketing executive, you may be questioning how Google Authorship can benefit your company. Unlike the rel=author tag which ties individual articles to one’s personal Google+ profile, the rel=publisher tag attributes a company’s Google+ page to that company’s entire website.

When a searcher conducts a search query utilizing a company’s name and location, a page summary will show up on the right-hand side of the SERPs for that company. This summary, which takes up a good portion of the page includes the company’s logo, name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and the most recent activity on the company’s Google+ page. Some of the benefits of the rel=publisher tag include better brand awareness, increased visibility, and a visual aid on the SERPs, which helps to increase click through rates.

Though still in it’s early stages, Google Authorship will play an increasingly greater role in the near future for increasing rankings and boosting click through rates in Google organic search. So, if you haven’t already incorporated Google Authorship into your SEO strategy, now is a great time to start.

Leverage Digital Media is a Tampa SEO company. If you have any questions about Google Authorship and improving your SEO strategy, please call us at (866) 611-6287, or complete our contact request form.

Why it’s Important to Optimize for Your Readers, Not Search Engines

It is often perceived that content should be optimized for search engines, but in fact for better rankings and a greater ROI, content should be optimized for your target audience. We call this customer centric SEO.

Customer Centric SEO

Customer centric SEO is used to not only increase search rankings, but also attract, engage, and motivate your target audience to perform a desired action through your website.

How is this done? Here are 4 steps to walk you through the process of how to employ an effective customer centric SEO strategy.

Step 1: Identify.

Are you aware of your customers’ needs and wants, and are you providing content that addresses them? If not, you may want to take a few moments to step back and evaluate what your customers truly desire. Identifying your customers’ needs and wants will enable you to put together a content strategy that will provide potential customers with information they find useful, such as why your business can fulfill their needs better than your competitors.

Step 2: Attract.

To attract your target audience, determine which keywords are the most effective. Questions like, “what do my customers care about?” or “what are some of the concerns that my customers have?” are good examples of where to start off. Remember, your choice of keywords should be directly correlated with what your customers are looking for. After you’ve chosen the right combination of keywords you can then provide information that your customers will find of interest.

Step 3: Engage.

Once you’ve captured your target audience’s interest and understand their needs, you then have the ability to provide them with valuable and useful information that keeps them engaged. In providing your audience with compelling and useful information, they will start to view your brand as an authority or thought leader in your industry. As a result, you will gain their trust and help to build your brand’s credibility, and when your audience can trust your brand, they will be more inclined to do business with you.

Step 4: Motivate.

Calls to action (CTAs) are great tools for your business to use to help motivate potential customers to perform an intended action, such as to schedule an appointment, fill out a contact request form, or make a purchase. Whatever the desired action may be, CTAs are absolutely necessary to motivate your customers to act.

Whether you’re looking to improve an existing SEO campaign or looking for tips to create one, these 4 steps will help your business employ an effective customer centric SEO strategy.

Have more questions about customer centric SEO in Tampa? Call us at (866) 611-6287, or complete our contact request form for more information.

4 Steps to Get Your Website Ready for 2013

The New Year is a time to turn over a new leaf and reflect on the changes we would like to see in the coming year. This time of year is also a good time to reflect on the changes you would like to see in your website. Whether your resolve is to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic, generate more leads, or all of the above, these four improvements will help get your website in tip-top shape for the coming year.

Go Mobile

If you’re like most companies, you have a website but it isn’t mobile-friendly. If your website is not yet mobile-friendly, on top of damaging your reputation it could be costing you quite a bit of new business. With mobile local searches on a steady rise, it has never been more important for businesses to have a mobile-friendly website.

Update Your Look

If it’s been a few years since your website’s design was updated, it may be time for a facelift. Consider hiring a professional Tampa web design company to update your design. Your website’s design is one of its most important aspects. Dated and unprofessional designs can leave a bad impression on prospective customers, and can also contribute to a very unpleasant user-experience.

Trim Down

Has your website gotten a little “big” over the years? Lose the extra baggage and become more appealing to your target audience by cutting out unnecessary and outdated content that is not relevant to prospective customers. This simple improvement can also help increase rankings, as the search engines learn that searchers find your content useful.

Keep It Simple

Take a fresh look at your website. Are you able to easily decipher what actions you want visitors to take? Are your pages stuffed with lots of content and images? Do you find it difficult to find what you’re looking for? One quick and easy improvement is to clean up cluttered pages on your website. Try to avoid cramming a lot of images or too much information on any single page. Information is good, but too much can be overwhelming and turnoff prospective customers.

Now that you know how to begin improving your website for the coming year, keep in mind that your website is not static and should be improved continuously. Use traffic metrics and user-feedback to learn which elements of your site are helping you reach your objectives, and which elements need improvement.

Looking for a Web design company in Tampa to help give your website the improvements it needs for success? Give us a call at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form to speak with one of our digital marketing consultants today.

How Are You Measuring Your SEO Campaign’s Success?

Engagement Metrics: Beyond Rankings

When it comes to SEO, most companies focus on rankings as a measure of success. While rankings can provide a relative measure of success, engagement metrics can provide much more insight into your SEO campaign’s overall performance than rankings alone. There are a number of engagement metrics a Tampa SEO company should use to analyze and monitor your SEO campaign. Three of the most important of these metrics include your bounce rate, average time on site, and conversion rate.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is the percentage of users that are directed to a landing page on your site and “bounce” or leave without visiting any other pages. Your bounce rate is a good indicator of how well or poorly your landing pages are performing, and is very useful in determining the quality of traffic being directed to those landing pages.

A high bounce rate is not good. This means that the traffic being directed to your site is, a.) not finding what they are looking for, b.) not engaged enough to venture onto other pages within your site, or c.) not part of your intended target audience. When looking to increase the quality of traffic to your site, this metric is a great tool for evaluating how well your site engages users, and if those users fall within your target audience.

Average Time On Site

The average time on site metric is pretty self explanatory. This metric measures the average amount of time users spend on your Web site. The longer, the better. If users find your Web site to be easy to navigate and the content to be of significant value, they will be more likely to stay on it longer. The longer users stay on your site, the more opportunity your Web site has to convert them.

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate of your landing pages is one of the most important indicators when determining the quality of traffic on your site. A high conversion rate means that a high percentage of users fall within your target audience, find your site’s content to be useful and relevant, and understand your call-to-action (CTA).

Conversions lead to sales, and sales lead to profit. In order to see a positive impact on your bottom line, your Web site needs to be able to convert visitors into customers. To increase your site’s conversion rate, consider making your Web site more attractive to users by making your site more user friendly and incorporating content that is compelling for your target audience. Also, if you have a competitive advantage, make sure users are aware of it, and draw attention to calls-to-action by using vibrant colors like bright red or orange.

In summary, when evaluating the success of your SEO efforts, rankings are just the beginning. Look to these three engagement metrics for deeper insight into your campaign’s overall success.

Leverage Digital Media is a local SEO company in Tampa. If you need help with your search marketing campaign, please call us at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form.

Combine Traditional Marketing With Search Marketing For Better Results

A More Complete Strategy

Search marketing strategies, such as SEO and paid search, and traditional marketing strategies, such as T.V., print, and radio are often perceived as mutually exclusive, when in fact, combining these marketing strategies often generates better results. Each of these strategies can be looked at as two puzzle pieces that make up a more complete marketing solution. By putting these two puzzle pieces together, they can complement each other and be more effective than one strategy alone at promoting your business and increasing sales.

Traditional marketing and search marketing can work together to push a prospective customer further along in the purchase process, from becoming aware of your company to becoming a customer.

Awareness Increases Conversion Probability

Let’s take the following example. It’s Monday night and Jim’s at home relaxing, watching his favorite T.V. show. During one of the breaks, he sees a commercial for a traffic attorney. In that moment, he doesn’t think anything about it. The following morning he’s running late to work and doesn’t realize he’s speeding until he hears the sirens of the police car about to pull him over. Jim can’t afford anymore points on his license. So, he decides to hire a traffic attorney. He remembers seeing a commercial for just such an attorney the night before, but doesn’t remember the name of the law firm. So, he does a quick Google search for “traffic attorney tampa,” and a list of law firms that specialize in traffic law show up in the search results. He recognizes one of the listings near the top of the page, because it’s the law firm whose commercial he saw the night before. He decides to give them a call.

So, what happened here? It’s simple. Jim saw a brand he recognized that provided a service he needed at that moment. Had he not seen the law firm’s commercial the night before, he wouldn’t have recognized it when performing a Google search. In addition, if the law firm did not have a search marketing strategy in place that ensured a first page ranking, Jim most likely would not have found the law firm’s Web site. In this scenario, the law firm had a traditional marketing strategy in place that made Jim aware of the law firm’s existence, and a search marketing strategy that allowed Jim to find them easily when he needed them.

When developing your marketing plan, consider a balanced combination of traditional marketing to create awareness and recognition, and search marketing to act as a catalyst for converting prospective customers into paying customers.

Want more information on our Tampa SEO services? Give us a call at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form.

Make Your Web Site Your Top Salesperson

If you would like your Web site to generate sales for your business, you should treat it like a salesperson. What are some of the more important characteristics you would want in a salesperson? Hopefully, you would want someone who is professional, communicates effectively, and can close the deal. The same characteristics should hold true for your Web site.


It all starts with design. Would you allow your salesperson to interact with your customers in jeans and a t-shirt? Probably not. Why then, would you allow your Web site to interact with customers with the same lack of professionalism? Since your Web site’s design is likely to be the first impression a new customer has of your business, you want your site to enhance your credibility and professionalism, not detract from it. This can only be accomplished with a professionally designed Web site.

Effective Communicator

The best salesperson is one who can effectively communicate with your customer. Your salesperson should be able to listen to your customer and match their needs with an appropriate solution. The only way to communicate with your customer through your Web site is with content. Just like a sales pitch, the content on your site should be easy to understand, concise, and persuasive. Most importantly, the content should answer your customers’ questions, and tell them how you are able to meet their needs. Using professionally written content by an experienced copywriter is the best way to accomplish this task.

Deal Closer

Since your site cannot physically run your customer to the cash register, it must have a way to convert your visitor into a sale. After your site’s professional design has enhanced your credibility, and well-written content has your visitor hooked, how will they know what to do next? This is where a clearly defined call to action becomes essential. Whether your call to action is “Call to schedule an appointment” or “Click here to buy,” a call to action will encourage your customer to take the appropriate steps that ultimately convert them into a sale. Again, a professional copywriter will know how to incorporate the appropriate calls to action into your content, and a Tampa Web design company will know how to design your site to encourage conversions.

Professionalism, effective communication, and the ability to close deals are all characteristics of a great salesperson and should also be the characteristics that define your Web site.

Want to learn how our Tampa web design services can help your website generate more sales? Give us a call at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form for more information.

Is Your Web Site Safe from Hackers & Malware?

The truth is no Web site is completely safe from hackers and malicious software, but there are three things every business owner can do to prevent these occurrences from becoming a major catastrophe, and costing you potentially thousands of dollars.

3 Ways to Prevent a Catastrophe

1. Choose your hosting solution carefully. Most Web site owners opt for low cost, do-it-yourself hosting solutions without paying much consideration to the risk they are taking by doing so. These solutions typically have low security controls, and are little to no help when your site becomes compromised. That’s where the “do-it-yourself” part comes in. In the long run, using a low cost hosting solution could end up costing you thousands of dollars, particularly if you rely on your Web site for business. If you’re going to use a solution like this, be sure to actively monitor your Web site for security risks, and have a contingency plan for your site should it become compromised.

2. Keep daily backups of your Web site. This will ensure that if your site is compromised beyond repair, you have backups that can be used to restore the site to its original state prior to the hacking or malware intrusion. Many hosting providers maintain backups, but leave it up to the Web site owner to figure out how to restore the site to its original state. Depending on the size and complexity of the site, this can become a very daunting task. So, you’ll more than likely want to enlist a professional to restore your site for you.

3. Update your CMS software regularly. If you’re using WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, or a similar content management system, be sure to perform security updates regularly. Because these CMS are so popular, they are common targets for hackers and malware. No hosting provider will do this for you, so be sure to keep an eye out for these updates. Also, be sure to make a backup of both your Web site’s files and database before attempting a security update. This way, if something goes wrong during the security update, you’ll have a backup of your site on hand.

In sum, your hosting solution should be one of the most important decisions you make when investing in a Web site, rather than an afterthought, and don’t underestimate the importance of regular backups, and routine security updates.

We have been providing local businesses with white-hat Tampa SEO and Tampa Web design solutions that deliver our clients results. Give us a call at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form to see what we can do for your business today.

How Web Design Aesthetics Impact SEO Performance

When most people think of SEO and on-site optimization in particular, they think of optimizing content, meta tags, and code. A Web site’s design is usually not taken into account because it is not understood how Web design aesthetics impact SEO performance.

Search Engines and User Engagement

The way a Web site looks can have a significant impact on its SEO performance. Search engines want to provide users with the most relevant and useful information possible. Therefore, search engines take into strong consideration how visitors engage with a Web site when determining where to position it within the rankings. With all else equal, a Web site that has high user engagement will rank better than a Web site with low user engagement. Why? Because user engagement is a signal to the search engines regarding whether or not a Web site is providing what users are looking for. If users are not engaging with a Web site, then a search engine can deduce that its users are not finding that particular Web site very useful.

Search engines use many metrics to measure user engagement, but a site’s bounce rate (percentage of visitors who never make it past the landing page) and the average amount of time visitors stay on a site, are two key indicators of a site’s ability to engage users. The more pages users visit and the longer they stay on the site, the higher their engagement with the site. Search engines typically will not allow Web sites that have poor engagement metrics such as high bounce rates and a low average time on site to rank better than Web sites that are the same in all other respects, but have low bounce rates and a high average time on site.

Web Design and its Impact on User Engagement

User engagement starts with a Web site’s design. Users make the decision of whether to leave or remain on a site within seconds of landing on it. If a Web site is unattractive, outdated, or just poorly designed, many users will leave immediately upon entering based on a negative first impression. This results in a high bounce rate and low average time on site which can have a negative impact on rankings. This is one of the primary reasons why a Web site’s design is so essential to its SEO success.

Another major reason why design aesthetics are so important to a Web site’s SEO success is because a high quality professional design is more likely to convert search traffic into new sales. While there are many factors that go into a Web site’s ability to convert traffic into sales, particularly usability factors, a Web site’s design is an essential component of the conversion process. So, even if the Web site has managed to achieve first page rankings, a poorly designed Web site will have a tough time converting search traffic into customers because the quality of content on the site, the value of the services it offers, the competitive pricing, and all other benefits it provides do not matter if users are not willing to stay on the site long enough to learn about them.

In conclusion, a well-rounded SEO strategy takes into strong consideration the quality of a Web site’s design. If your Web site is not designed well, then it may be worth investing in a professional site re-design in order to get the best results from your SEO campaign.

In need of a custom WordPress web design company in Tampa? Want more information on Tampa SEO services? We can help. Give us call at (866) 611-6267, or complete our contact request form.

3 SEO Myths That Every Business Should Know The Truth About

While there are many SEO myths out there, below we identify and debunk three important myths that every business should know about.

Myth #1: Branded Search Doesn’t Matter

Many SEO professionals espouse that the traffic a site receives from branded search doesn’t matter because the brand’s name is included in the keyword term, and only traffic from non-branded search (search terms that do not include the brand’s name) matters. What this philosophy assumes, is that a Web site which lacks SEO will rank just as well for branded search terms as a Web site that is optimized. This simply isn’t true. When a Web site is optimized, it is optimized for specific keyword terms, and also inadvertently optimized for variations of those keyword terms, including variations that include the brand’s name. If an optimized Web site ranks well and receives traffic from keyword terms that include the brand’s name, whereas prior to optimization it did not, how can traffic from these keyword terms not matter? The simple answer is that traffic from branded search does matter.

Myth #2: SEO’s Primary Role is to Create Initial Contact

Many people believe that SEO’s primary role is to create the initial contact with a prospective customer. The truth is that SEO can play a very important role with prospective customers who have already come into contact with a brand. For example, Tom sees a commercial for On-Time A/C Repair that catches his attention. A week later, his A/C goes out. Tom doesn’t remember the name of the company he saw on that commercial, but he is confident he’ll recognize the name once he sees it. So, he Googles “Tampa A/C Repair” and fortunately, On-Time A/C Repair is the second Web site listed. Tom recognizes the name immediately, and books his appointment. Had On-Time A/C Repair not been optimized and at the top of Tom’s search, they would not have gotten Tom’s business that day. In this scenario, the commercial created the initial contact, and SEO helped facilitate the conversion from prospect to customer.

Myth #3: Paid Search is Unnecessary With Good Rankings

While having good rankings for high traffic keyword terms will send a consistent flow of traffic, what if that traffic could be doubled? A paid search campaign can often contribute a significant amount of traffic on top of what an SEO campaign is already sending. One reason for this is that a paid search campaign can target keyword terms that the SEO campaign has not yet achieved good rankings for. Another reason is that a paid search campaign increases a Web site’s visibility. Search engine results pages (SERPs) have become cluttered and filled with distractions. Good luck capturing a user’s attention with only one organic listing on the first page, even if it’s at the top. Now, add a paid search listing, and a Web site can have twice the visibility for a given keyword term. Because of the increased visibility, running an SEO and paid search campaign concurrently can be much more effective than running either campaign individually.

Looking for professional SEO companies in Tampa? Give us a call at (866) 611-6267 or complete our contact request form for more information on our SEO services.

Is Your Web Site Costing You Customers?

Did you know your Web site may actually be costing you customers? The common consensus among business owners is that having a poorly designed Web site is better than not having one at all. We explain why that theory may actually cause you to lose customers.

First Impressions Really Matter

Think having a cheap Web site is better than not having one at all? Studies indicate that businesses are better off without a Web site, than with one that is poorly designed. The reason for this is that your Web site is often the first impression a potential customer has of your business. It tells them everything they need to know about your business within seconds. In fact, a study conducted at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, concluded that users form a first impression of a Web site based on its design within 50 milliseconds, and that first impression impacts subsequent decisions such as making a purchase.

Your site’s ability to convert visitors into customers begins with trust, and trust cannot be established if visitors do not remain on your site long enough because they are quickly discouraged by its poor design and usability.

You may be saying to yourself, “but if I didn’t have a Web site for that user to find in the first place, I would have lost them as a customer as well.” While that is true, you would not have compounded the loss of that customer with a poor first impression, only making it more difficult to acquire that customer in the future.

Are You a Professional Service Provider?

This is especially true for professional service providers, such as attorneys, physicians, and accountants, where credibility is paramount. Because professional service providers offer important and expensive services, potential customers are willing to invest more time researching them before making a purchase decision. Much of this research will be performed online, starting with the professional service provider’s Web site.

Let’s say someone is in need of an attorney. So, they do a quick Google search, and find two attorneys in their area that meet their needs. Both attorneys have the exact same information on their Web sites, graduated from the same school, charge the same hourly rate, and have the same amount of experience. The first attorney, attorney A, has what appears to be a very well-designed Web site. While the other attorney, attorney B, has a Web site that looks a cheap and outdated. After viewing both attorneys’ sites, the prospective client asks herself, “Can I trust this information? Is this attorney credible?” Given this situation, which attorney would you call first? Most people would call attorney A first, because attorney A successfully differentiated herself from attorney B simply by appearing more credible and trustworthy. Attorney B may be a great attorney, but she never has a chance to speak with the prospective client because her Web site did not communicate effectively that she is a great attorney and worth the call. Furthermore, the prospective client may now have a negative impression of attorney B, impacting attorney B’s chances of acquiring that prospective client in the future.

For these reasons, your Web site may be doing your business more harm than good. A well-designed Web site that makes a great first impression on potential customers should be an essential component of any business owner’s marketing strategy, and professional service providers in particular.

Need a new professional website for your business? Looking to work with a local Tampa Web design company? Contact us at (866) 611-6267 or complete our contact request form for more information on our professional web design services.