What is SEO?

Bay Area SEO companiesSEO stands for “search engine optimization.” Search engine optimization is when your website is “optimized” for Google and other search engines. This ensures users can easily find you online and you move closer to a higher ranking in search results.

With effective SEO, Kaira has been able to move clients to the top five in the Google search results page, including #1 (see Client Work and note that even the 5th place is incredibly difficult to place when competition is extremely high). Our clients still remain at the top, and their websites often drive many hundreds times more traffic than before hiring us.

Why hire an expert?

There’s a lot more to effective SEO than just keywords and guessing what a user might type in during their search. Knowing what it takes to drive traffic to a website takes training, knowledge, research, experience, and using the right tools like AdWords. It’s not as simple as just adding keywords to your homepage or writing a blog.

If you want the best cup of coffee, you hire a barista. If you want the best SEO, you hire an SEO expert. As an SEO company, we provide knowledgable and top-notch marketing, including SEO Services. Contact us for more info on how we can help!

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Pinterest: Visual Microblogging

Pinterest has quickly become one of the popular social media tools among other top contenders such as

social media marketing seo

Twitter and Facebook. The founders of this San Francisco-based startup have created the equivalent of a

Twitter-lilke microblogging platform — except through images. Rather than a 140 character-limit, users are allowed one image, a short message, and a URL.

Pinterest is an extremely effective social media marketing and SEO tool than many businesses have yet to discover. Pinterest “pins,” an equivalent of a post, but with image emphasized, become indexed in Google searches, and therefore, posting Pinterest pins can be a great way to market your business and products.

What’s more, humans are visual. On Twitter, one trick to getting more noticed is attaching an image to your tweet. On Pinterest, all posts are visual, so it’s easier for the human eye to navigate, identify, and highlight.

Many retailers have discovered that Pinterest is a great tool on which to sell their products. With keywords that describe an item, a prospective customer can quickly get a visual of the item on Google, click to Pinterest for a brief description, and click on the photo to direct to the business site.

If you aren’t using Pinterest to market your business, you should consider it. Like all social media sites, not every business should market on all sites, but if your potential customers have a better chance of finding what you sell through Pinterest, it’s a tool you might explore.

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Yelp engaged in questionable business practices

San Francisco based Yelp Inc.’s business practices are being questioned. Multiple business owners have reported that the company has contacted them on numerous occasions, asking them if they want negative reviews on their profiles removed – for a price.

A Livermore, CA nail salon owner reports she was shocked at Yelp’s proposal, and stopped taking their calls. “They wanted a lot of money to remove the bad comments. They would call every day and ask for the owner. I just started telling them [the owner] wasn’t here,” she explains. “My husband [who works with me] said to them, ‘This is not Asia!…This is USA! We have ethical businesses here!”

Another East Bay business owner, a chiropractor, complains of the same Yelp practices, and warns other business owners about them.

A San Francisco Bay area fast food franchise owner claims that she knows “more than one business owner who have been ‘bullied’ by Yelp into advertising so that good reviews showed up.”

Yelp also has some interesting policies on how it handles customer reviews. When responding to a complaint that “positive” reviews are not showing up, Yelp customer service responds, “not all reviews make the cut, even some legitimate ones.” Even after multiple requests, the business owners, a real estate team, still can’t get Yelp to post the two additional positive reviews submitted by their clients. The last complaint was ignored entirely.

Comments by both business owners and users suggests that Yelp “blackmails” businesses by suggesting that if they pay for advertising both negative reviews will be removed and positive ones will show up.

It seems that the word is getting out; So is Yelp’s reputation – and it doesn’t look good. In April, 2012, in response to business and user complaints, Yelp felt it necessary to make two adjustments to their site. Their corporate blog announced, “…we’re adding the ability to see reviews filtered by our review filter and we’re discontinuing the ‘Favorite Review’ feature that’s part of our advertising package.” This means that reviews that were previously hidden by yelp (whether positive or negative and whether businesses paid Yelp anything before they were removed) are now available but only by going to a special area site (which this author still hasn’t found). The “Favorite Review” feature displayed more positive reviews first.

How effective have Yelp’s changes in response to such customer complaints been? Its questionable. The default sorting for yelp reviews is the “Yelp sort.” To see reviews by date or rating, the user must make a conscious effort to seek out and click on a button for that sort. And clearly customers and businesses are still complaining about the company’s practices.

It sounds as if Yelp needs to do a better review of its policies and see what other changes are needed to avoid continued complaints, a questionable future – or even worse, a legal inquiry.

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