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firearm marketing seo

3 SEO Reminders for Firearm Website Optimization

By Firearms Marketing

Search engine optimization is crucial for small-large firearm businesses when it comes to finding customers over the internet. Current estimates suggest that Google is processing roughly 4 ½ billion searches per day. It has largely replaced the Yellow Pages, print advertising, and even word-of-mouth recommendations when it comes to finding products and services.

Given that reality, it’s not surprising that so many small firearm business owners are constantly looking for a way to improve their visibility on Google (64% of market share), Bing (21% of market share) and others. However, experience has taught us that many of them miss the point in important ways. They want to get more search traffic but focus their efforts and attention on the wrong details and techniques.

In this quick post, let’s look at three reminders that firearm businesses need to keep in mind when optimizing their website for search.

1. Don’t Over-Optimize Every Page for Search

On-page search optimization is important and valuable, but it’s easy to overdo it. For one thing, content that is too focused on search visibility can have a dry, robotic feel. And for another, there are declining returns involved. Making a bunch of small changes to one page isn’t nearly as valuable as adding fresh content to your site in the form of a blog

This isn’t to say that you should prioritize quantity over quality, or that activities like keyword research, internal linking, and keyword optimization aren’t important. Instead, it’s a recognition that you need to balance your time and effort between polishing what you have and being a source of fresh content and ideas.

TIP: If you’re using WordPress, use Yoast to help you find the right balance of content and keywords.

 

2. Don’t Ignore Obvious Technical SEO Challenges

No matter how great the content on your website is, or what you’ve done to optimize your pages, Google isn’t going to pay much attention if you have obvious technical errors. Broken links, missing images, and slow page loading times are all signs of a poor user experience that will depress your search position.

Additionally, mobile functionality and SSL connections have become major search signals. If your website is missing these, then adding more content or focusing on different keywords isn’t going to make much of a difference. You simply can’t overlook the technical aspects of SEO and expect to get ahead of your competitors.

TIP: Use this Website Grader to see how your website stacks up.

 

3. SEO is an Ongoing Process

You can put a good search engine optimization plan into place, but unless you execute and refine your approach over time, you’re eventually going to end up being “stuck” in a lower search position. That’s partly because search patterns and best practices change, but also because it takes time and testing to increase conversion rates for incoming visitors.

In other words, search engine optimization isn’t something you’re going to do or invest in once and then cross off your list. If you really want to make it an important part of your inbound marketing plan, you’re going to have to stick with it over time.

When search engine optimization was still a new marketing technique, you could do a little bit of work and see your sales numbers increase dramatically in a very short period of time. Now, the rewards of earning a top position on Google are greater than never, but the competition is more intense. If you want to improve your bottom line through SEO, it’s imperative you keep adding fresh content, don’t overlook the technical aspects of your site, and follow a plan that keeps you moving forward.

TIP: Check out SEMRush’s free tool to get the inside track on SEO and your competitors.

 

Get Free Marketing Assessement!


Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the tech, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

Firearm Voice Search Web Marketing

What is the Best Way to Optimize Your Firearms Website for Voice Search?

By Firearms Marketing

As you’ve probably noticed by now, everyone is using voice search these days. More and more, your customers are bypassing Google’s minimalist homepage and opting to simply ask an app — backed by artificial intelligence—to find what they are looking for. The change isn’t being driven solely by mobile devices, either – digital assistants are making their way into operating systems, bringing voice search capability to traditional Windows (Cortana) and Apple (Siri) laptop and desktop computers.

For the average internet user, this means more convenience than ever. For a marketer, though, the rise of these tools poses a brand-new question: how do you optimize your website for voice search?

In this post, we give you a few things to consider and how to prepare for the future.

 

1. The First Step Towards Optimizing Your Website for Voice Search

40% of adults now use voice search once per day, according to Location World. Some predict, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. If you want to capture voice search traffic (and you should), then it’s important to realize that these types of queries aren’t structured in terms of traditional keywords. Instead, they are spoken in a natural language question-and-answer format.

Although exact matching has become less important and relevant in recent SEO iterations, it does still hold weight with voice search. So, having text, titles, and headlines like the one we used above – how do you optimize your firearms website for voice search? – can be helpful. The more of this type of content you have on your website, the easier it’s going to be for voice searchers to find you.

 

2. How to Integrate Questions and Answers Into Your Website

For firearm marketers who are used to thinking in terms of market-based keywords, posting content in natural language terms can actually feel a bit awkward. Besides, you don’t want to undo your existing SEO efforts to capture voice search traffic.

Knowing that one great idea is to simply beef up your Frequently Asked Questions page. This is the one place on your website where you can post as many natural language phrases as you want, and they are likely to be structured in a way that Google can easily crawl and understand.

Additionally, you might consider adding separate pages or blog posts for questions that come up often or point specifically to your expertise. Articles like this one can standout in Google’s search listings without making your FAQ pages seem unnecessarily long.

 

3. Finding the Right Questions and Phrases to Target

As with anything else in search engine optimization, finding the right targets is every bit as important as executing your plan. And with nearly 50% of people now using voice search when researching products (Source: Social Media Today), you should do what you can to identify the kinds of questions your best customers are likely to ask when using voice-assisted search apps.

Open Siri and give these a try:

  • What is the best AR15?
  • How much does a gun safe cost?
  • Where is the closest gun range?
  • What is Springfield Armory’s XDE Series warranty?
  • How do I attract Millennial gun buyers?

Naturally, you could begin by evaluating the kinds of things buyers tend to ask you about on phone calls, chats or during face-to-face meetings. You could also look into your web analytics to see what searchers are typing into Google that leads them to arrive at your website. Another good source for material is Google’s own auto-complete function, which could suggest natural language question combinations to you.

Firearm Website Voice Search

Each of these is a good way to brainstorm new ideas, and all of them can help you bring more voice searchers to your site. At the moment, that simply means you have one more edge over your online competitors. As voice search becomes more and more popular, though, it could put you on the cutting-edge of SEO for years to come.

If you could use some internet marketing and search engine optimization advice that’s tailored to your business and challenges, now is the perfect time to schedule a free consultation with our team and see how we can help. The future is coming! 

Get Free Assessement!


Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the tech, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

SEO and Firearm Content Marketing

SEO and Firearm Content Marketing – Why You Can’t Do One Without The Other

By Firearms Marketing

With the firearms industry coming off of eight record years of growth—traffic on your website may be dropping, sales may be slowing, and panic may be beginning to set in.

You may have clicked on this post because you’re looking to get into digital marketing and you’ve heard SEO may be the place to start.

Whatever best describes you, in this short and abbreviated post, I’ll explain the difference between SEO and firearm content marketing and why you can’t do one without the other.

SEO

SEO is a marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. (Source: Moz) By gaining visibility on search engines through organic (non-paid) results, your business can generate traffic, which in turn can equal sales. And with over 81% of all product searches beginning on the web, if you’re not showing up in search, your business may as well not exist.

Organic traffic in the firearms industry has a much higher rate of return because people searching are actively buying. This means their wallets are open and they are looking for a solution to their problem.

There are many factors involved in optimizing your website for search engines. Listed below are top ten must-dos to start. 

  1. Your website must be mobile responsive.
  2. Keywords that your prospects are searching for should be placed in the title tags of your website.
  3. Make sure your images are optimized to their lowest file size to decrease page load times and that they are also named using your keywords.
  4. An informative META description on your web page(s) that also include your keywords.
  5. Writing content on every page of your website that contains those same keywords at least five times (or 0.8%) within a 600-word text block.
  6. Having a well-designed page structure and code base where load hogging scripts are compressed and placed beneath the web page’s fold (the visible area of your website when it pulls up).
  7. A fast server and content delivery network.
  8. A good user interface that also contains your keywords in the main headings <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc.
  9. Keywords in your URLs when possible.
  10. A good sitemap that can be read by Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others.

And that’s just ten. There are almost 200 other ranking factors that go into a well-optimized website.

 

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. (Source: CMI)

SEO and content marketing is like a double-sided coin. Just like weight loss, you can’t just work out and expect to lose weight, you have to make smart eating decisions too— day after day, week after week, month after month to achieve your goals.

SEO and content marketing are somewhat similar.

You can’t gain and sustain ranked keywords without doing both SEO and content marketing—day after day, week after week, month after month to achieve your goals.

Here’s why. Google who controls over 60% of the entire planet’s traffic indicates you must create fresh and relevant content (Source: Google) for your site to attain and sustain keyword rankings.

Once again, ranked keywords = visibility = traffic = $$$.

When you optimize your website or are building a new one from the ground up—SEO is needed to start the fire where content is the fuel that keeps it going. Depending on how competitive the segment you play in (ARs, Outfitting, Concealed Carry, Optics, Safes, Lasers etc.) you may need more or less content to compete. Online dealers get this. Companies like Optics Planet, Brownells, and Lucky Gunner have large digital footprints and have been building content for years and in the process turned themselves into a brand which Google also seems to favor

Content marketing also helps to build backlinks, gives empowering information to social media followers and your email marketing subscribers, and attracts Influencers. Backlinks are important because they tell search engines that your site is more popular than your competitors hence, giving you higher rankings.

SEO and content are a double-sided coin. You can’t be successful with one without doing the other. They go together like gunpowder and brass, bows and arrows, turkey hunting and 12 gauges. If you hope to start building your own digital footprint through SEO and content for the future, the time to start is now.

 

hunting-outdoor-firearm-blog-ebook

Free Resource: An Introduction to Business Blogging

In this ebook, we give you some powerful pointers on how to generate content, optimize, promote and measure your blogging activities.

You will learn:

  • Why you should have a blog
  • How to generate blog content
  • How to optimize your blog posts
  • How to promote your blog
  • How to measure your blog
  • 4 business blogging practices
  • Additional resources
Download Now

 

 


Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

google-mobile-update

Why Your Website Needs To Be “Mobile-Friendly”, Like Yesterday

By Responsive Web Design

Starting April 21, 2015, “mobile-friendliness” will be a ranking factor on Google. Confirmed by Google in February—companies that do not have a mobile-friendly or responsive website will suffer ranking depreciation. Is your website mobile friendly, find out here.

Did you pass? If so, you can click away from this article or maybe take a look at the 4 Things Google Wants From Your Website in 2015

But, if your website is not mobile friendly, better keep reading…

I didn’t pass. What does this mean for my business?

If you’re like most busy business owners, you may have pushed your website to the back burner and let it coast for a few years. You may have not seen the importance of blogging or SEO because well, you’ve been busy. It happens.

Decline in traffic

Google’s past algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird have been catastrophic for some businesses. It’s speculated that this mobile update could have the same effect on brands that have not made the change to a responsive “mobile-friendly” design, but only time will tell. 

If you haven’t made the move yet, don’t fear. If you’re running your website on WordPress or some other mobile-capable CMS’, the change should be fairly painless. You should definitely start making preparations now to upgrade.

Why the update?

Consumer behavior has changed drastically with more than 50% of all internet users accessing the web from a mobile device. (Source: Smart Insights) How can this be? Think about it for a moment. When you’re in a store, you may pull out your phone to compare prices of the same product from other stores to make sure you’re getting the right price. This is called “showrooming.” Or if you’re traveling and search for a nearby restaurant—you go to Google. And not to mention that if you walk down any street in America, you’ll see people’s heads buried in their iPhones. What’s also amazing is that 90% of all interactions per day is done through a screen of some sorts – 38% by mobile (Source: Hubspot).  And with the trends of wearable tech and more go-go gadgets on the way, you can be sure that mobile will become the norm from here on out.

Check out the latest statistics that validate Google’s Decision:

  • 57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (Source: Mobile Playbook)
  • 40% have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. (Source: Mobile Playbook)
  • By 2017, it is predicted that 85% of the world will have 3G coverage (Source: Ericcson)
  • There are almost 1.2 Billion users in China (Source: Statisa)
  • 56% of American adults are now smartphone owners. (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2013)
  • 75 percent of Americans bring their phones to the bathroom. (Source: Digiday, 2013)

Needless to say, mobile is here to stay. Don’t let all your hard work of blogging, search engine optimization and investment go to waste. Contact us today to learn how to best prepare for this update.

Responsive-Website-Planner
FREE DOWNLOAD: Responsive Website Design Planner

A time-saving guide on how to plan an effective website that meets your online business and branding goals.
In this planning guide, we help you and your team think through the critical points of the website design process that helps you form a specifications document to obtain accurate pricing

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

 

How-can-long-tail-keywords-help-my-business

How Can Long-Tail Keywords Help My Business?

By Inbound Marketing, SEO

Did you know that if your website ranks within the top three listings on Google—your chances of getting clicked on is 6 times higher? Google refers to this as the golden triangle. See below.

For small business owners or start-ups trying to find a cost-effective marketing solution to generate revenue, attaining top 3 rankings on Google could mean the difference between stagnant or explosive growth.

Google controls almost 68% of all web search traffic (87% mobile) — Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. (Source: Internet Live)

Bing is second with 18.7% and Yahoo third with 10%. (Source: Search Engine Land). 

google heat map

If you’re website ranks in the 4th-10th position or is listed on the second page—your chances of being found drops considerably.

So how does one make it into the golden triangle?

Well luckily, due to changing consumer behavior—93% of all B2B and 83% of all B2C purchases begin with an online search (Source: Business 2 Community). Most of these queries are in the form of a question that contains more than one keyword.

 

What is a keyword?
Keywords consist of concise phrases that are one to three words long. Keywords can be anything that describes what you do: category, service, product, brand, location or person.

Here are some example keywords with their estimated monthly search volume: 


  • graphic design (74,000) 
  • realtor (70,000)
  • weight loss (1,500,000)
  • swimming pool (49,500) 
  • brand development (1,000) 
  • cars (1,500,000)

The terms above are highly trafficked and extremely difficult to rank for.

Keywords should always be placed in the title of your website and sprinkled into the copy of your content—but only if it makes sense. Write copy for people, not search engines.

What makes keywords difficult to rank for?
Keywords with a difficulty of 60 or higher (on a scale of 1-100) are highly competitive because there are hundreds or even thousands of competitors in one given category. The more companies fighting for the same keyword, the harder it is to rank.

What is a long-tail keyword?
Long-tail keywords are more conducive of today’s user behavior and easier to rank for. After all, if you have a question—whom do you ask? Today, a rising majority of people turn to Google.

Long-tail keywords add more keywords to the base phrase and are typically created by stating a question. So using our terms above, this is how long-tail keywords look:

As you can see, by adding 2-3 more keywords (adjectives, nouns or verbs), to your string—you can potentially move your web pages, blogs or landing pages higher up in search engine results.

How to choose the right keywords?
Relevance is key in choosing keywords. Make sure when choosing your keywords you select the ones that most closely describe your product or service. Another method that should be considered is adding a location. By adding a location like Denver or Indianapolis, you concentrate your results to a specific geographic location. This can align your search engine rankings to local competitors and bypass national or global competitors which tend to be harder to rank against.

Here are a few tools to help you choose the right keywords:

long-tail keyword searchWordtracker
The best place to start with understanding what keywords you should go for is Wordtracker. Wordtracker gives you the ability to start with a seed keyword that in turn gives you results based on that term. It will also provide search volume and competition. So for example, if I search for “types of lemurs.” See right.

HubSpot
HubSpot’s keyword tool displays the same information as Wordtracker, but is much easier to use. We use HubSpot for all of our keyword research and analysis. It allows us to track our keyword progress as keywords climb in rankings and allow us to see what our competitors are up to. It also shows us other keyword opportunities that may exist.

The concepts of keywords are fairly easy to grasp, but knowing where to start is the first step.

With a little understanding of how long-tail keywords work, you can begin attracting visitors to your web pages–even in highly competitive categories.

So how do I use long tail keywords?
It all starts with a blog. If you’re not consistently updating your blog on a regular basis, and are competing for competitive keywords, it’s going to be very difficult to rank. You may try Pay Per Click—which is paid advertising on Google—but chances are those keywords will be very expensive.

How do I track progress?
There are several free tools out there to help you track your keyword’s progress. Google Analytics is a free service you can install on your website. A paid version we recommend is Counter Central. Google and other search engines typically crawl your website once a month looking for updates. Recently, its been noted that this is done on a weekly basis. Check back once a week and record your progress. Here are some additional tips to speed up your crawl rate

To get started with long-tail keywords and blogging, check out the free resource below. Good luck!

Inbound Marketing Toolkit

 

Free Download:
Inbound Marketing Tool Kit
 

Get started with Inbound Marketing by learning about the tools needed to grow your business and prove ROI.

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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.