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Why Google's Knowledge Vault Will Change What We Believe

Generally speaking, the way Google and other search engines have been designed up until this point is to reward websites by their popularity. That is, the more a website is linked to, the higher its ranking is - even when the content on that site is erroneous. In a sense, this is not all that different from how other information is disseminated. Crackpot theories have always had an audience. But Google wants to turn that paradigm upside down and reward for truthfulness instead with its new Knowledge Vault.  


Knowledge Vault is designed to be a store of information gathered and merged from across the web into a base of determined facts. Both human beings and machines will be able to access this information. It works much like a typical database, except that instead of pulling up data, it pulls up facts: When was the Battle of New Orleans? Who was the first Norman ruler of England? How many players make up a baseball team?

Unfortunately to expand this kind of knowledge base, people must add to it (“crowdsourcing”), but there is so much knowledge out there and so few people working to input it that Google decided to go a different way. Google’s model pulls information from all over the web and then evaluates it for accuracy via another algorithm. So far Google has gathered 1.6 billion facts, 271 million of which it rates as “confident facts” - ones that its algorithm has ranked as having a 90 percent chance of being true.

Google is far from being the only ones interested in gathering this sort of information. All of the big players including Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon, are doing it too because, after all, knowledge is power. But while the information Facebook collects will undoubtedly have some online effect worldwide, Google’s knowledge vault will actually affect what information the public has access to. Much of the public relies on search engines to answer questions they have from recipes to research papers, and as our society becomes less reliant on traditional written archives, people will assume that the information they can access easily is the most accurate information out there; the only information out there, in fact.

Again, this is not that different from universities or media outlets choosing to promote one set of ideas or facts over another, but Google’s reach is much, much larger than that of academia or even The New York Times. And the dividing line between fact and opinion is not always very defined.

From a business standpoint, the takeaway of this trend again should be to focus on providing good, interesting, and factual content on a company website because what Google chooses to highlight is what will be seen by the public - now and even more so down the line.


Why You Should be Marketing to Generation X

Previously we discussed why your company should be marketing to Millennials, and in this blog, we’ll talk about the group of people aging into that favorable demographic with real buying potential: Generation X, as well as how to target your marketing to them.

While the focus of the media for years was the Baby Boomer generation, and currently it’s obsessed with the Millennials, Generation X, sandwiched between these two important demographics, has 61 million members and makes up 27% of the adult population. They also head up 30% of U.S. households - which means any business that ignores them does so at its peril.

Generation x

From a marketing perspective, it’s important to note how Generation X is unique. This is a skeptical and pragmatic group of people. They grew up under the influence of a sophisticated and ubiquitous advertising system, and they do not necessarily trust it. They are looking for the real, for the authentic, and they are not interested in getting suckered. If any current generation could be called cynical, it’s X. This is not the group of people you want to pitch anything too slick to; they won’t have it.

In terms of technology, Generation X straddles the gap between the Boomers and Millennials, handling media and technology with competence, and nearly as much familiarity as Generation Y, but without fully incorporating the digital into their regular lives as Millennials are prone to do. Gen X households are most likely to contain digital devices like DVRs, MP3 players, and digital cameras, so they’re not Luddites or technophobic. But rather than constantly text on their mobile devices, they are more prone to be checking, news, sports, and weather. This means a specifically tailored online strategy is necessary. You will not reach them with the same mobile strategies that work on Millennials. And, remember, while it may be easier to reach Millennials, they do not have as many resources or the same established authority as Generation X does at this moment in their lives.

Of all of these groups, Generation X shops most online, but its members do not spend the most money. As could be predicted by the generally skeptical nature of this group, they like to research online before buying, and they are active review readers. A proper online marketing strategy would be for businesses to actively monitor their Yelp and other review listings and to target search engine advertising. Generation Xers can also be influenced by that old standby, the money back guarantee.  Interestingly enough, Gen Xers are more open to direct mail marketing than other generations, reporting higher numbers for opening their mail on the same day, as well as reading it.  

There are, of course, hundreds or thousands of other observations and extrapolations that could be made about this group of people, and none of them would apply to the group as a whole. But if your business draws from Generation X or would benefit from engaging them, it’s worth it to take the time to understand how and when and where to do so and market accordingly.


Facebook Makes Itself More Expensive to Use as a Marketing Tool

For many small businesses who focus their efforts on social media, Facebook is their top marketing tool. In fact, according to a recent survey of over 2,200 small businesses by Webs, while 63 percent of small businesses use digital products as part or all of their marketing strategy, 88 percent of businesses with social profiles use Facebook for their marketing. 88 percent! Other social media sites used, in order of preference are: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.


Facebook is so successful in attracting small business owners partly because so many small business owners were using Facebook regularly before they even thought about utilizing it for business purposes. They were familiar with the interface, they had contacts in place to focus their marketing on, and it was simple to make the jump from personal to professional on this platform.

Unfortunately for these same small business owners, Facebook is now changing the rules on them, so that in order to achieve the same reach and the same results they have been getting - for free - they will have to go through Facebook’s paid advertising options.

Whereas before, owners could update their status with promotional ideas, share product information or sales, and rely on friends and family to "boost" posts to reach more prospective customers, that approach will have a much more limited effect now. That's because, as of the middle of this month, Facebook adjusted its news feed algorithm to filter out posts with too much of what Facebook considers "unpaid promotional material." .

Facebook expects that entrepreneurs will feel the impact of this evolution in organic reach, but believes that their paid advertising options have recently become more effective and are therefore worth the additional cost. The company also emphasized that user pages are still available free of charge, and that customers accessed them nearly a billion of them in October. Business owners can include a significant amount of information about themselves on user pages; they serve as an important customer service outlet.

Still, small business owners with limited marketing budgets will have to adjust to the idea that reaching customers with the same information and promotion will now cost them more money. Essentially, they will have to rent access to their own customers from now on. Companies that have invested significant time in building their Facebook audiences are now realizing that they will have to pay to talk to their own people. This means they will be crunching the numbers to see how much Facebook is really worth in terms of reach and sales conversions, and which methods of communication are truly valuable.


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...