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How to Avoid Marketing Mistakes with Your Social Media Strategy

Social media is a newer phenomenon, and it’s evolving rapidly and will continue to do so. So it’s not surprising that, given the flux, small businesses are unsure of how to wade into engagement with their current and potential customers.

social media

First, there is deciding which platforms are important and current. This has obviously varied over time. Is it Facebook or is Facebook passe now, the last refuge of retirees with too much time on their hands? On the other hand, perhaps marketing to retirees would be profitable for your company.


Is your business or your niche photogenic enough for Instagram to work for you? Instagram is hot right now, but there’s little opportunity for customer engagement there. Rather than using it for direct marketing, it’s better for building excitement visually that can later be tapped in another way.


It’s important to remember, too, that people have learned to employ strategies to avoid marketing, advertising, or commercials because it’s not engaging and they feel manipulated. How many times in your life have you waited for a commercial to get up and get a snack or let the dog out? How many seconds does it take before you switch your radio station away from that commercial and see if there’s anything else on? These are old school examples of how captive audiences adapted to targeted advertising.


Today people are able to control more and more of what they watch and experience through the use of specific apps or just simply clicking away, and there is so much more content to consume. The rules have definitely changed. Therefore, inserting marketing in a place that’s not build for it - it’s trying too hard, and it will actually repel people, rather than attract. Imagine it’s 1979 and you’re in Red Square looking at a huge Coca Cola billboard, the only piece of marketing in the entire place. Does it make you want to buy a coke, or does it make you wonder what the Communist Party is up to now?


Given this, the last thing you want, after investing time in social media, is for your audience to dismiss your efforts or become suspicious of them. How do you avoid this? While the choices for social media are seemingly infinite, much of this still boils down to old-fashioned common sense:


  • Know your business - If your company sells office paper, Instagram may not be your best bet. Figure out what your primary selling points are and also what makes your business unique and better suited to its niche than others.

  • Know your customers - Who do you sell to now and what demographic or client base do you most want to engage. You can’t know how to interact until you’ve determined and studied your audience.

  • Know your social media - Go through a list of social media options and study their strengths and weaknesses. Ask your friends and family members which ones they use and which ones they recommend. When you’ve made a decision, go online and observe how successful companies use that specific social media site. Then dive in. Remember, if you choose wrong, you’re not Coca Cola. Your client base won’t lampoon you online for the mistakes you make, and you can always try a different strategy.


Ultimately, social media is social. If you keep in mind the way people act in real life and visualize them as individuals with needs and motivations and not just demographic targets, you will be able to better avoid common social media pitfalls.


Google Hires an SEO Expert to Manage their SEO

It’s no secret that accomplishing good SEO is a continuing challenge. Google, in an effort to create a more interesting, authentic, and “truthful” internet, keeps throwing new wrenches into its own algorithm in order to thwart manipulation. What this has meant for websites is that what worked amazingly well as SEO three years ago may well get your site penalized now - or completely blown out of the water.


In the words of a famous fictional character, “constant vigilance” is what is needed to win the SEO game. As many an unfortunate web site owner has learned, sadly, this is not hyperbole.

 Which is why it made news headlines when this month Google posted this listing for a Program Manager, Search Engine Optimization in the career section on its website, listing the following as responsibilities:

  • Architect, design, develop and maintain innovative, engaging and informative sites for a worldwide audience.

  • Maintain and develop the web code to ensure quality, content and readability by search engines.

  • Keep pace with SEO, search engine and internet marketing industry trends and developments and report changes as needed.

  • Advise, collaborate with, and synthesize feedback from Marketing, Product and Engineering partners to push for technical SEO best practices.

 There are a number of theories that can be made as to why Google is seeking its own SEO specialist. Some posit that Google finds its own algorithm a challenge in terms of driving organic traffic to its own internet properties.

 More cynical people have speculated that Google is merely doing a bit of PR here. If they advertise for an SEO expert, ergo, that must mean that their own websites are subject to the same rules as everyone else. Google dodged an antitrust investigation in 2013, but, like regulators in the EU, some staff at the the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have recently recommended charging Google with the same offenses. The FTC would especially like to know how Google manages its Android mobile-operating system.

 It’s also possible that Google wants to do more in-depth research on how SEO professionals manipulate Google’s search results. They will hire a professional in order to keep their knowledge as current as possible - to head trouble off at the pass, so to speak.

 Obviously, there are a number of ideas of what could be going on with Google. Everyone enjoys a good conspiracy theory, after all. Ultimately, however, it won’t matter for those of us on the frontlines of everyday search engine skirmishes. Good SEO professionals already have an excellent idea of what Google wants from them - the company has stated its goals over and over. The problem is, ranking high in Google searches requires work and creativity consistently over time. Is your business ready to make that commitment for long-term search engine presence?


What is the status on backlinks?

GoogleLast year we discussed backlink strategy and how Corporate Conversions goes about building an online profile for its clients. Of course, change is the only constant in the online world, particularly with Google. Google wants to be the most natural and organic - the best - search engine online, so it is constantly looking at internet traffic patterns to determine if people are trying to game the system and essentially make Google a sucker. If it does discover evidence of this, woe betide the perpetrator because Google is a harsh taskmaster. A website can overcome a Google penalty, but it takes time, perseverance, and a real willingness to change link-building strategy.

Considering the above, as well as the most recent changes Google has made to its algorithm, what is the current status on backlinking and has it changed from what it was a year or so ago?

Google has put a great deal of effort into making websites conform to their vision of a future, better web and, well, behave in a civilized manner. Backlinks are thus problematic because they leave open a lot of room for SEO manipulation. Matt Cutts, Google’s Distinguished Engineer, said last year that he thought over time backlinks would become less important. They are good for assisting the algorithm in determining site reputation, but they don’t guarantee content quality in any way. Still:

"I think backlinks still have many, many years left in them," he said. "But inevitably what we're trying to do is figure out how an expert user would say this particular page matched their information needs. And sometimes backlinks matter for that."

The important thing to remember is that your backlinks need to grow organically. This doesn’t preclude using careful SEO, but the backlinks your site gets need to seem authentic, and they need to come from trusted places. A mention from a news site is great, industry specific or localdirectory entries work well, and a handful of backlinks from businesses your company works with are fine. Hundreds or thousands of spammy links from sites thrown up overnight in the Philippines are not.

What Google approves of is the kind of backlink profile that springs from success. In real life, popular people get talked about a lot because they’re interesting. Google wants the web as a whole to be interesting and is willing to do the work of making it so at the individual website level. If you want Google, and the rest of the world to notice you, be interesting and get noticed. Paying other people to talk about you isn’t being interesting.

It is hard work to be interesting, and not all businesses have the kinds of products or services that lend themselves to newspaper reporting. Still, it’s not impossible, with effort. Following a positive, quality content strategy to link building is largely a matter of realizing what Google wants from you and using that as a guideline for what you produce, content-wise. In that sense, backlinks will likely never go out of style.

The Importance of Positioning on Google

Greater than 3 / 4 of all traffic that travels to a website through the entire known Internet universe comes through search engines. Of that over 80% comes through Google. This is why SEO companies care so much about understanding Google's algorithms.

Our SEO Consultants’ goal is to be sure that your business benefits from improved Google search engine visibility. By focusing on exhaustive keyword research and subsequently selecting the right keyword phrases, our efforts have consistently yielded in increased online lead generation and sale conversions. Achieving top positioning in Google for the keywords and key phrases that concentrate on your potential customers takes a considerable time, dedication to manual link-building, knowledge and thorough monitoring of performance. That’s where we come in.

Call us at (616) 214-8392 for a free phone consultation or let us know when you would like to be contacted by filling out the contact form here. If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, let's get together for coffee and discuss your goals! Learn More...

Why Does My Company Need Search Engine Optimization?

When implemented properly, search engine optimization (SEO) permits businesses of any size to compete inside their niche online, particularly from a geographic perspective. Our Grand Rapids SEO Consultants can easily help your business compete with the most formidable competitors using a proven search engine optimization process customized to your company's specific niche. In addition to being one the most powerful marketing mediums today, SEO is also essentially the most economical for the long term, offering a much higher return of investment (ROI) in comparison to many traditional mediums, such as print, yellow pages, mailings, telemarketing or hiring sales personnel.

Call us at (616) 214-8392 for a free phone consultation or let us know when you would like to be contacted by filling out the contact form here. If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, let's get together for coffee and discuss your goals! Learn More...

Grand Rapids SEO Company & SEO Consultants

Corporate Conversions is a Grand Rapids, Michigan based company which has built its reputation on the our ability to significantly improve natural search engine rankings. During the past Five years our team of qualified Grand Rapids SEO Consultants have developed a reputation for consistently bringing client websites to the top of search results, always while using most ethical, white hat methods.

Call us at (616) 214-8392 for a free phone consultation or let us know when you would like to be contacted by filling out the contact form here. If you are in Grand Rapids, Michigan, let's get together for coffee and discuss your goals! Learn More...