Sam’s Six: SEO Podcasts.

Sam’s Six: SEO Podcasts.

Economist Radio.

Not specifically for SEO, but having a general grasp on economic trends is incredibly useful for thinking about abstract SEO concepts. Because of the rapid nature of technology, it is useful to pay attention to general business trends. With new developing technologies like blockchain, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous machines it is good to be on the forefront, and in the know. SEO is all about having that preemptive edge.

My only gripe is that you have to be particularly engaged to get the most out of this podcast. The Economist is a rather stuffy.

This podcast can be accessed without an economist magazine subscription via Spotify and Apple Music.


Secret Sauce

Secret Sauce is a podcast tailored to those doing SEO for the restaurant and hospitality industry. The podcast is produced and narrated by James Eling veteran restaurant SEO for the website: Since West 54 Media has many clients in this sector, Secret Sauce is invaluable. If you are in the restaurant and hospitality market, this is the podcast for you. Eling said, “only people with problems use Google.” Blew my mind with truth.


The Digital Marketing Podcast.

With a name like that, how could you ignore this one? This podcast is put on by, a website that gives online SEO classes. These episodes go into detail of common SEO woes and questions. Each episode is premised around a single topic, so if you really want to get into depth, this a great podcast, also it is not as boring as you might think. It is narrated well by award winging Daniel Rowles, and Ecommerce expert, Ciaran Rogers.


Planet Money – NPR

In the same vein as the Economist Radio, this podcast is not specifically an SEO podcast, it is a general economics podcast. However, I have gotten so many fresh ideas from these guys. Wildly entertaining, strangely funny, and surprisingly profound at times, this is one of my favorite podcasts in general. It is a nationally syndicated radio show, so the content is timely and produced well. Since NPR is partially government subsidized you are in a way already paying for it, so why not listen?

Freakanomics Radio – NPR

See Planet Money. Freakanomics radio is similar but often takes a much more micro approach to economics. Also, there is a bit more social and political examination. Not recommended if you have staunch beliefs.

TED radio hour – NPR

If you couldn’t tell, I am an NPR junkie. If you are not aware of TED talks, which would surprise me if you weren’t. TED Talks cover the latest in business, tech, science, and social sciences. I have said it already and I hold firm, you can get SEO tips about direct questions, but thinking about SEO in the abstract is going to be better in the long term.


Wondering about how to maintain your brand identity in this brave new world? See this article by West 54 Media.

Why Should My Business Invest in Content Marketing?

Why Should My Business Invest in Content Marketing?

Seemingly every business in the world has been told how important it is to invest in content marketing, with billions of dollars spent on this promotional strategy each year. And yet, 40% of small business owners feel it’s difficult to measure the impact of content marketing. If you’re wondering whether your content marketing dollars would be better spent elsewhere, it’s important to learn why generating content online is essential for your business.

Generating Traffic Online

Most small business owners think of content marketing as a tool for growing social media connections and increasing user engagement, but they fail to see how content contributes to organic traffic patterns. Search engine optimization (SEO) has long been a buzzword for content creators on the web, but the correlation between strong content and organic traffic is simply undeniable. Without great content on your website, your visitor count will fall flat.

Delving into the technical specifics of SEO is a significant undertaking, but understand this: investing in content boosts your site’s value in the eyes of the search engines. This result may not be perceptible to the naked eye, but consistently blogging and generating interesting content has a marked impact on your website’s incoming traffic trends. For a more detailed look at the link between SEO and content marketing, take a look at this comprehensive overview from industry leader Kissmetrics.

Building Brand Awareness

Generating content online to build brand awareness is frankly a no-brainer. Spreading the word about your company can feel incredibly difficult as a small business owner, especially if you’re competing with larger chains that have seemingly unlimited marketing budgets. Content marketing is a cost-effective tool for getting your name out there. Best of all, unlike traditional advertising that only delivers results while your campaign remains active, content lives on indefinitely, bringing you business for years to come.

Establishing Authority

Consumers look to industry experts when it comes to making buying decisions. What wine should I pair with red meat? What’s the perfect local spot for date night with my wife? What shoes should I wear with a little black dress?

Content marketing gives you the opportunity to answer questions your target audience has about the products and services you know best. By addressing points of interest for potential customers, you’re building a reputation within your niche. When it comes time to make a purchase, you’re the company these buyers will turn to for reputable products.

Perhaps the single greatest key for content marketing success is patience. Building a following online and generating sales for your business won’t simply happen overnight. As you generate more and more content, the snowball effect will become apparent. As content drives more consumers to your website, your social media following increases and your industry position soars.

If you continue to show your marketing efforts the attention they deserve, you’ll also see your bottom line grow. Take a deep breath and roll the dice. Content marketing isn’t a quick fix for your sales woes, but it is a viable investment for the future of your business.

Tips to Increase Your Business through Review Sites

Social proof plays an essential role in the healthy growth of modern businesses, with feedback on sites like Yelp, Google+, and the BBB providing would-be customers with invaluable information. In an ideal world, your business would never receive a scathing review, but it’s an inevitable challenge you will face as you work to expand your business. Resist the urge to cower and hide when confronted with negative reviews, and instead use these opportunities to put the spotlight on the incredible service you offer. The following reputation management tips will keep your company protected.

Responding to Unhappy Clients

Negative reviews may feel like the end of the world, but don’t let naysayers get the best of you online. Some business owners lash out with unpleasantries while others remain silent in the face of a negative review—unfortunately, neither of these approaches will help your business succeed. Most review sites give businesses a platform for responding to derogatory remarks. Use this interaction to show other customers how you value your clients.

Treat an unhappy digital reviewer the same way you’d respond to an unhappy customer in the real world. For example, if someone complained about the poor quality of your restaurant’s food, you would apologize, offer to remake the dish, or offer a complimentary item from your menu. You should have the same goal in online reputation management. The only difference is you are responding in front of a crowd of spectators.

Incorporating Positive Reviews

An impressive 97% of all American consumers reportedly use search engines to learn more about local businesses. Capturing the attention of the average consumer requires deploying a thoughtful marketing strategy that incorporates positive social proof. Social proof lends credibility to your marketing claims and often makes a dramatic impact on overall foot traffic.

Many review platforms offer widgets you can build directly into your website to showcase positive reviews. Others provide embeddable links you can use to send visitors to your profiles. Use these tools to capitalize on the power of positive social proof.

Building an Active Online Presence

Creating a smart game plan for using both positive and negative reviews to your advantage serves a valuable purpose, but it’s even more effective to develop a proactive presence online. Many review sites, including Yelp and Angie’s List, offer signage you can display to invite customers to leave feedback. Encourage happy clients to post their remarks publicly, while handling any complaints you receive immediately. This two-fold approach helps generate customer loyalty while simultaneously sheltering your business from unwanted negative reviews.

Embracing the world of digital reviews proves challenging for many business owners, but the simple efficacy of these sites makes them a powerful marketing tool for companies of all shapes and sizes. Pay close attention to any review sites where customers leave feedback, and take the time to weigh carefully how best to respond and use these reviews. With a bit of thoughtful analysis and a smart customer service response, you’ll maximize your bottom line and attract new clients in one fell swoop.

Mobile Web Usage Increasing Daily, Is Your Website Ready?

Mobile Web Usage Increasing Daily, Is Your Website Ready?

With the number of active mobile web users increasing daily, responsive web design plays an ever increasing important role in the health and functionality of your website. Mobile sites were once viewed as relatively unnecessary add-ons, but building a dynamic web presence in the 21st century demands focusing your attention on the mobile space.
Responsive web design fills this need by catering to an audience viewing your site using an assortment of operating systems and devices. Best of all, responsive sites don’t require multiple versions that need to be updated— instead, these highly optimized websites shift to fit the screen of each unique visitor.

Exploring How Responsive Web Design Works

Responsive web design, often shortened to RWD in industry circles, ensures every web visitor experiences your website in the same manner, regardless of the platform used to view your site.
A responsive site contains coding language on the backend that instructs the site to check for variables like the screen size and operating system of each visitor. Armed with this information, the site’s layout, navigation system, and content change to provide the best possible viewing experience to visitors.

The need for RWD has exploded in recent years, thanks to the incredible growth witnessed across the mobile industry. A whopping 60% of Internet traffic now originates from mobile devices, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, an impressive 80% of all consumers now own a smartphone that provides access to the web.

Equipping Your Business for Success

While the move towards responsive sites has largely been driven by the sheer number of mobile web users active today, responsive sites also offer an assortment of advantages for your business,

•Simple Management: Responsive sites don’t require multiple marketing campaigns, in contrast to companies that use separate desktop and mobile products.

•Improved User Experience: Web users are notoriously fickle, making it imperative to remove all roadblocks that prevent your visitors from viewing your content.

•Lower Overall Costs: Instead of paying for the ongoing development of two destinations, you only need to invest in a single responsive site.

These factors further contribute to the undeniable value of a responsive web platform.

Preparing for Google’s Next Big Move

The mobile statistics alone clearly demonstrate the need for responsive site design, but industry giants like Google have taken matters a step further. In an effort to provide better search results to its users, Google has announced an impending change to its algorithm that will prioritize mobile-friendly sites over others. In practical application, this means you could see your page rank decline, simply because you don’t cater to users browsing through mobile browsers. Other search engines will no doubt follow suit, making a transition to responsive design urgent.

Embracing responsive web design protects your bottom line and helps your marketing efforts remain effective. As the mobile web continues to expand its dominance, catering to mobile customers simply makes logical sense. Using responsive web design will allow you to easily connect with such consumers while simultaneously keeping your desktop visitors satisfied. It’s a winning combination that can have enormous benefits for your overall business goals.

Content that Converts: Creating an Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy

Content that Converts: Creating an Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy

Content marketing has rapidly become a pivotal force in marketing. Custom content spending reached $44 billion in 2013, and the trend has only continued its upward trajectory. While experts continually extol the benefits, well-written content can provide a marketing campaign, it’s important for business owners to grasp the potential content represents for their bottom line. The following tips will provide guidelines to help small business owners effectively incorporate content marketing into their overall digital marketing campaign and discover how to maximize your growth potential through inbound marketing.

Exploring the Benefits of Content

Well-written, informative content pays off handsomely for businesses willing to invest in the creation of these marketing materials. Consider the following advantages content offers:

● Long-term Traffic Acquisition: Unlike PPC advertising campaigns that stop drawing visitors at the termination of a campaign, content attracts new visitors indefinitely.

● Cost-Effective Marketing: Content marketing campaigns offer a scalable solution to fit any company’s marketing budget, big or small. Original, customized content will show results up to 62% faster than traditional marketing while generating three times as many leads.

● Authority Building: Creating great content establishes a brand’s authority and builds clout, in turn leading to a larger digital footprint that translates into more sales and a larger customer base.

Crafting Content that Resonates

The undeniable benefits content generates make it an appealing marketing tool for any business to consider, but it’s not enough to simply slap up a blog post and hope for the best. Instead, savvy entrepreneurs and small business owners must think about their target audience and the information those visitors seek. This information provides essential direction for content development.

When deciding which topics to write about on your blog, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. If you’re catering to local diners, consider creating a blog post that outlines the story behind your latest menu creation. Generate additional traffic by publishing a list of upcoming events in your local community and feature other businesses in your area. If your sells a product, develop a short outline recommending special occasions where customers might want or need to purchase your product.

The possibilities are truly endless—just make sure you keep the content flowing! Businesses that regularly blog generate up to 67% more leads each month, as opposed to those who neglect content marketing altogether. One helpful way to keep your content development strategy on track is to build an editorial calendar, with upcoming posts scheduled beforehand. This method keeps inbound marketing on the top of your priority list.

Small Business SEO: 5 Simple Tips to Increase Page Rank

Small Business SEO: 5 Simple Tips to Increase Page Rank

Mastering the complicated world of search engine optimization can be challenging for many small business owners. Fortunately, SEO doesn’t have to be an intimidating obstacle that limits a small business’ success on the web. If you’re eager to boost your page rank without outsourcing your SEO efforts, consider implementing the following simple tips anyone can implement without the guidance of an expert.

Social Strategy: Start Interacting with Others

Quantifying the results generated through social media proves immensely challenging for many small businesses, leading some to neglect their presence on these networks. SEO and social media are closely linked, however. From growing your followers list to creating shareable posts that gain traction quickly, there are several ways to maximize your social media strategy’s impact on your page rank.

Blogging: Build Authority for Your Brand

Search algorithms work to identify authoritative content to serve whenever a search query occurs. Sticking to an editorial calendar and publishing new blogs on a frequent basis helps boost your page rank by keeping your site fresh. As you share relevant information and draw a larger audience, you also foster brand loyalty and boost social shares, which also helps your page rank to soar.

As a bonus, consider using an SEO plugin to capture further search traffic. If you’re using WordPress to power your site, consider the Yoast SEO plugin. This free plugin ensures your keywords, page titles, and meta tags meet the best practice guidelines for SEO.

Content Strategy: Marketing Across the Web

Many small business owners mistakenly limit their marketing endeavors to their website, but savvy entrepreneurs should focus on building a content blueprint that incorporates a number of components across the Internet. Build a content strategy that highlights your value proposition while sharing your brand’s story, use a combination of blogs, contributions to other sites, social media posts, and visual media to get your message across.

Local Listings: Representing Your Business

According to Google, four out of five users research local businesses using search engines. Creating a presence on Google+ and Maps helps ensure your business ranks highly on searches from local consumers. If you haven’t already begun to do so, consider building a strategy for handling your reviews on these local listing platforms to capitalize further on their value to your business.

Optimization: Catering to All Visitors

Web visitors no longer stick with traditional desktop computers for perusing the web. Instead, you’ll likely receive visitors browsing on a number of different devices. Google changed their search algorithm on April 21, 2015 to prioritize responsive sites over those that don’t offer options for visitors on mobile devices. Don’t get on the search behemoth’s bad side simply because your site isn’t ready for the mobile customer! Instead, make sure you’re using a design that gives every visitor a great experience.