Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Blog Feed Post

DC SEO 3.0 & Internet Marketing Top 10 2014 Tips for Local or Small Businesses

At KME (a DC SEO Company and Digital Technology Agency), we cover a lot of ground among client types, industry segments and technology services, with a heavy emphasis on area DC SEO business requirements for online, interactive marketing and advertising. As a local or regional small business near Washington DC, including Northern Virginia, Suburban and Southern Maryland, there's an almost bewildering array of online marketing services, tools, channels and opportunities to sift through - plenty to buy, try and use, but not nearly enough time and expertise to properly leverage. Plus, the online research or purchasing habits of your constantly changing customer segments (and their technologies) are really hard to keep up with - whether for marketing or simple communications purposes.

Our insight comes from many places, though primarily from the experiences of our long list of DC area clients - ranging from IT and B2B service companies, to retail, B2C and startup businesses. We're also very active in local economic development agencies, chambers of commerce and small business development/incubation centers, in addition to other area business development, industry organizations, media and professional associations. This gives us a very comprehensive, very unique perspective into the challenges and requirements faced by DC area businesses, digital marketing staff and DC SEO companies as they evolve their marketing strategies.

The most challenging theme we see is the gap between the SEO skills a small business understands or can afford to hire, and the SEO skills truly relevant and necessary in the evolving 2014 DC SEO and online marketing environment. A large and growing inventory of SEO facets (like onsite metatags and content styling) are now commodity services readily offered by legions of cheap, low-skilled or offshore providers (think of an auto mechanic with just a few months of experience; they can change the oil, clean the car and install new headlamps, but …) These SEO facets are also standard offerings in most online content management tools and social media platforms, and can be implemented by the your newest social media or administrative intern (see easy-enablement of SEO visibility of widget text even if the browser's JavaScript is turned off) .

Therefore, addressing these common DC SEO facets is no longer a differentiator among competitive businesses – it’s simply a required cost of operating, a required skill for those who maintain websites. Particularly in this very high-tech, mobile, Internet-focused Washington DC community. 

Businesses must learn more, work harder and likely pay more to maintain market-share and relevance in the online marketing domain – much more skill and experience is required for SEO performance in this more complex environment. However, since small business budgets for online marketing really aren’t growing to meet the need (though the DC metro and Northern Virginia economy is turning around) – the role of the successful and most helpful small business DC SEO company begins to transition from a tactical services provider to more of a strategic, multi-faceted business counselor and IT investment advisor. With fantastic, empathetic communication skills.

Be sure your small business Northern Virginia or DC SEO company meets this profile, and can provide current, experienced business management, digital strategy and marketing consulting advice that’s pragmatically aligned to the commodity DC SEO block-and-tackling required.

Here's a brief summary of what we see are 10 significant themes in the online marketing and search engine optimization space, that DC area businesses, nonprofits, agencies and startups need to address in 2014.  

1. Natural, Accurate Language - is quickly becoming more accessible and desired by search engines, as they process very large amounts of unstructured information and data that increasingly exists within a predominantly artificial ecosystem of structured tags, markers, metadata, links....in other words, content that's readable, immediately useful and sharable to local, community culture and language dialect is incredibly important.

2. Simple Mobility - is the defacto device use case for our busy DC audiences and customers, notwithstanding "hands-free" legislation for commuters and the slow uptake of federal government mobile usage - but the desktop design sometimes is most effective for mobile tablet users, and the "responsive" cellphone design is sometimes not as effective as a standardized, small-screen design.  In other words, any web or content design you're considering needs first to consider the mobile needs of your primary audience segments, but needs not be overly complex.

3. Online Brand Consolidation - your primary branding signals or presence is manifested in a special image or video, an online persona, a message (text copy) or perhaps an interactive user interface (like a special app function), but it can quickly get lost, fragmented or devalued among the noise of competing SEO, website navigation,  device controls or user experience signals across the multi-channel path your customer takes to interact with you...in other words, simply and consolidate your branding signals so that they're instantly, easily, helpfully recognizable anywhere your content is used.

4. Knowledge Management - what really does this mean, isn't it some huge information organization and expert tracking system that only the biggest companies use?  Nope - it's simply finding out what your employees know, and figuring out how best to package and share this knowledge in a way that supports your marketing and communications. Call it "employment engagement" or "content harvesting" - your people (particularly DC-based, local, social residents) have lots to contribute, but will need some process control to do it successfully. It's ALSO semantic translation and tagging of content using metadata (invisible data, but resulting in visible indicators such as Google "snippets" or Twitter Cards) - this is definitely a more difficult yet extremely important to address.

5. Online Reviews – are incredibly important now, in this time where social recognition and community input heavily influence consumer choices, and these social signals in turn drive SEO performance and online reputation – but this can be a complex communications process to monitor and manage, with careful attention to search influence and audience feedback. Yelp is particularly difficult to manage - there are many other review sites and services that should be considered.

6. Online Asset Protection - how is your digital content monitored and protected from copyright infringement, duplication or misuse, brand dilution or highjacking, or other situations where competitors or gray-hat SEO firms are illegitimately benefiting from your hard work?  Inbound link and reputation monitoring is critical, as is the all-to-often-ignored process of updating, backing up and protecting both your content and web technology investments (including all the service widgets and plug-ins you've purchased).

7. Website Performance - while this has always been important, it's even more so in the age of mobility; content-heavy, responsive websites with data feeds and service integrations need to work fast on large or small screens - and Google will reward those that serve immediate, local demand the best. Website performance includes efficient security and privacy protections - protecting not only against malware and misuse, but also against content management errors that quickly become SEO faults. Don't forget to include an "Information Architect" on your web design team - a critical professional in our opinion for the next year. 

8. Authorship - the importance of canonical content attribution to recognized, popular or otherwise trustworthy, expert and credible sources is more important than ever right now - creating and publishing content will need to more often recognize individual personalities (or bodies of work) further legitimized via social media activity. No more hiding content behind the corporate voice, particularly for small businesses - engage your audience directly, personally, in both text and imagery.

9. Social Marketing over Social Media - there are thousands of people who are really good at using social media for socializing, and there will be millions more next year graduating from secondary schools around the world.  Few of these, however, can craft messages and conversations to align with marketing objectives and performance goals, in ways that are optimal for each social media platform, are professionally transparent, for each audience segment.  Don't confuse the two, and cloaking social marketing within online socializing will become more easy for search engines to spot (particularly with advances in big data tools).

10. Paid Placement - still works, and there are more tools and ad products than ever to leverage (from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, LivingSocial, Washingtonian; you name it) - so long as you know how to evaluate and use them, and your paid, placed content is appropriately identified. In fact, online paid advertising methods appear to be rapidly gaining usefulness even to the smaller budgets - and this carries over to the small screen as well, where inline content and product placement is much more acceptable than the traditional banner ads (which you can't see anyway).

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ted McLaughlan

Summary: Currently a Federal Enterprise Architect with Oracle, Ted has over 25 years in Commercial and Government Information Technology with University of Virginia, EDS, Accenture, KME Internet Marketing, Blackstone Technology Group, NavigationArts and CSC; additional focus recently on Interactive Design, Web 2.0 Internet Marketing, SEO, Social Media and Advertising. Specialties: Enterprise Architecture and Information Management, SOA/ESB, Enterprise Integration, Business Intelligence, Internet Safety and Security, Family Content Networks, Knowledge Management and Collaboration, User-Defined Operational Pictures/Common Operating Pictures (UDOP/COP), Situational Awareness, Portals, Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Website Design/Development and Optimization - Certified Systems Engineer - Certified Enterprise Solution Architect

CloudEXPO Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next-gen applications and how to address the challenges of building applications that harness all data types and sources.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed by some of the world's largest financial institutions. The company develops and applies innovative machine-learning technologies to big data to predict financial, economic, and world events. The team is a group of passionate technologists, mathematicians, data scientists and programmers in Silicon Valley with over 100 patents to their names. Big Data Federation was incorporated in 2015 and is ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like "How is my application doing" but no idea how to get a proper answer.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by researching target group and involving users in the designing process.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 12-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI and Machine Learning to one location.