Directory Listings: Essential for success in the digital world

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Directory Listings: Essential for success in the digital world

Directory Listings: Essential for success in the digital world

Directory Listings: Essential For Digital Success

The internet has changed the way we live our daily lives. Instead of having to visit a big brand/specialty store or contacting a service company hoping there will be products or services you need, we can now confirm that an item is in stock or a service is available before stepping out of the door. Currently, 81% of all consumers in the United States begin their buying journey with an online search. Google, Yelp, and Facebook all gather information from directory listing sites across the internet to create a relevant result for their users and understanding how this works can benefit your business tremendously.

As the word suggests, the Internet is a worldwide network of information, and search engines like Google catalog this information to deliver relevant results to their users. Imagine a World Wide Web with billions upon trillions of connections all pointing in different directions. Local directory listings help point the big search engines towards your business information which then translates to customers being pointed to your brand.

OMG National ensures that our clients’ sites evolve with the times. If Google updates their algorithm, we make sure to add corresponding edits, navigational changes, and plug-in updates to keep clients’ sites prominent within the search results.

Enhancing local off-page SEO

At OMG National, we’ve been able to identify the directory listing websites that Google values the most and integrate them into our Power Network, so that our clients show consistent business information across the internet. On top of that, we lock them down so that any suggested edit (made by data aggregators or other users) goes through an approval or denial process. We’ll secure your business information with our lock-down system.

Now, ensuring that all of your business information matches and stays locked is only one benefit. Directory listing management consists of so much more. Did you know that having multiple business profiles on one directory site actually hurts your Google Ranking? Duplicates pop-up continually and being able to handle those duplicate listings by redirecting or suppressing those profiles is very important toward enhancing your online presence.


Not only that, our team of Digital Marketing experts continually add categories, keywords, images, and additional content to maximize results. Constantly updating the directories ensures that Google keeps indexing your business profiles and improves your company’s ranking on both desktop and mobile searches, as well as helps your business scale to the top of the map section.

Final thought

The pros at OMG National understand the power of leveraging digital content, and have been able to harness the benefits of our Power Network for businesses across the United States, in almost every industry. For more information contact us today at 800-789-4619 or visit omgnational.com

Reviews In 2017

We live and we market our companies amidst an ocean of online reviews. They stream in from all sides. It is available to us in heavy doses, from the time we wake up until we hit the sack at night. Consumers are searching for towers, plumbers, restaurants, mortgage brokers, and everything in between. Recent studies show that more than 85% of consumers consult and rely on online reviews to help them make the right call. These consumers have come right out and said, “Yes! I am influenced by online reviews.”

As reviews have gained importance, Google, the largest information and data aggregator in the world, is shifting the focus of their search algorithm to heavily weigh reviews in ranking search results. To understand what impact this trend has on marketing, one must realize how search engines have evolved over the past ten years. At the turn of the century, with limited information and metrics, Google took a best guess as to what a user was searching, providing a list of 10 blue links.

Several years ago, the platforms Google Places, Google Maps, Google+, and Google My Business began their evolution to where they are today. The search giant has now shifted its priority to displaying verified information first—with review content as a close second—on the Google Knowledge Graph; the helpful sidebar that highlights information when making a Google search. Location has now become the center of search, and a simple query for “flowers” will no longer just display 10 websites that are perhaps relevant (sometimes including irrelevant results such as “what flowers are native to Indonesia”). Instead, Google now provides a Google Maps and Google My Business powered map with local florists, highlighting their reviews.

Last November, our leadership attended Location World in NYC, a meeting of minds for the leaders of companies that drive the adoption of best-practices when it comes to online reviews. The consensus was clear: Google has modified search results to prioritize Google-friendly business profile information, and Google IS NOT taking review ratings from any ONE source. They have taken control by algorithmically balancing reviews from ALL Google-friendly sources, and displaying them in the Knowledge Graph.

You may be wondering, “What does that mean to us, and as marketers where do we go from here?” For consumers looking for a product or service for the first time, Yelp and Facebook— two of the leading industry lead providers—are only as relevant as their ability to prominently show up when someone is searching for said product or service. “Where do most consumers search?” Google! What this means to us is that we have a new set of rules to play by, and that we need to adopt guidelines to make our clients successful at showing up first. Knowing we need to influence Google search results, here are the most important new review metrics alongside OMG National’s new Review Stream 3.0 (RS3) solution:

  •         First-Party vs. Third-Party. Repopulating third-party reviews on your website is becoming a thing of the past, as first-party reviews now can directly affect search results. With the latest Google update, the search engine has empowered businesses to do their own review publishing ONLY when operating within Google’s Developer framework. RS3 lets you solicit and publish first-party reviews to your website, increasing the relevancy of the online property, and allowing your website to trump competitors in local search rankings.
  •         Relevancy Through Recency. Having 20 reviews in the last month on Facebook does not help you if you don’t have a single review on Yelp within the past year. RS3 helps you balance where both positive and negative reviews go to make sure reviews are distributing across review platforms.
  •         Respond Instead of Remove. The industry is flooded with review technology that specifically caters to suppressing negative reviews (our still available Review Stream 2.0 does just that!) However, you must ask yourself, is being number one on Google more important than having a 4.9 rating when someone shows up and looks for you? RS3 has a set quarantine time that gives you time to respond so that you don’t have a naked bad review online. Businesses are human, mistakes happen, it’s about how you address those mistakes that will make all the difference when someone finds you first during their next search.

OMG National is currently including the deployment of Review Stream 3.0 with all OMG Partner, Partner Plus, and Partner Premier marketing programs. Don’t forget to check out our exclusive webinar this month where we will share a whole host of tips and tricks designed to increase the right kind of reviews, adding maximum impact to your marketing plan. Don’t get left behind in 2017! Click below to reserve your seat today!

Google is going to shake things up with their new “Home Services Pack”

Google is going to shake things up with their new “Home Services Pack”

While currently, business verification helps set businesses utilizing Google’s powerful My Business platform apart from their competition, Google is working on implementing a new level of verification that is going to shake the game up pretty significantly.

How do things currently work?

Currently, businesses simply have to verify their address or phone number depending on the options that Google chooses to provide in order to verify their My Business listing. Once the listing is verified, business owners can add images, content, service area optimizations, and a vast array of other content in order to set their listing apart from their competition’s listings. An emphasis on reviews is then placed, because Google takes into consideration all of the optimizations made to the listing as well as the amount and frequency of positive reviews when determining the business’ placement in the currently utilized “Local Pack.” The Local Pack appears when an individual searches for a product or service on Google, and it becomes populated with businesses either nearby or in the designated area that the searcher specified.

How are things going to change?

In specific areas, Google is testing an advanced verification system that will allow businesses to appear in a pack situated above the local search pack in search results. This advanced verification is actually being outsourced to a third-party company named Pinkerton. Pinkerton is a security risk management company that verifies employees and companies before you do transactions with them.

Google is actually asking that, at least in San Diego, plumbers and locksmiths adhere to this new advanced verification system or their Google listing will be removed. This is due to a high number of spam listings in the Local Pack in that region, so Google is relying on the Advanced Verification system to weed out the spammers.

What should you do?

It is unclear at the moment what implications this will mean for small businesses around the country. Google is definitely make a shift towards emphasis on the advanced verification system, however it is unclear if refusing to adhere to the new system will penalize business owners in a similar way as it has in San Diego.

OMG National is a full-service digital marketing agency providing SEOpaid searchsocial media managementreputation managementlogo designwebsite design, and more. Do you need someone with experience and knowledge to take the reins and push your business’ online marketing initiatives to the next level? Give us a call at 800-789-4619 or contact us here, and we’ll take care of it.

3 Tips for Using Video to Boost Your SEO

3 Tips For Using Video to Boost Your SEO

Video is the biggest trend right now in delivering marketing content. Using video in your marketing campaigns provide a more interactive and personal way to get your messages to your target market. People usually skim long articles, but if they get hooked at the beginning of a video they are more likely to finish it because it’s easier to watch a video than read a long-winded article.

How many times have you ran a Google search and saw YouTube videos in your search results? So why not create videos for your business and optimize them for SEO as another way to get your business on the first page of search results?

  1. Keyword Research
    Video SEO needs the same keyword research as traditional SEO. You are still fighting to come up in search results for specific keywords related to your business; the only difference is the content you want to show up is a video instead of a blog.
  1. Keyword-Rich Video Titles & Descriptions
    Using SEO keywords in your video title and description on YouTube and other video platforms will help rank you higher in search results. However, you don’t want to overdo it. Choose a set of specific keywords that are related to your video and your business without oversaturating the description.

Google and other search engine algorithms are getting smarter every day and they are less likely to rank a video that is “keyword stuffed.” However, don’t forget to take advantage of metadata available as tags on YouTube and other video platforms. Placing keywords, locations and languages in the tags can help the SEO performance of your videos as well.

  1. Use closed captioning
    Closed captioning is the process of providing a transcript of your video to be played over the top of the video for anyone who may be hearing impaired. It is a time-consuming task that business owners usually put off, but it is worthwhile for boosting video SEO.The search engine algorithms can’t crawl the video content (yet), which is where the closed captioning comes into play. Just as Google crawls the text of a blog post for keywords, it can also crawl the closed caption text for a video. Therefore, when creating your video, you should also include keywords in the video script and take the time to add closed captioning. Video SEO can be used on its own to boost videos or as a strategic addition to any SEO campaign. If you are looking to boost your SEO results with video, contact an SEO Expert at OMG National today at 800-789-4619.

The Importance of Local SEO

The basics of SEO…

Most business owners who understand the slightest bit of information regarding digital marketing know that they have to rank well on search engines, but they do not understand the methods necessary or the different types of SEO at play in order to achieve the results they desire. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it is truly that: managing content either on a website or on an external site to make sure it is very readable by Google and other search engines, so that the content (and ultimately the business’ information) is easier to find by searchers in order to increase exposure.

Good SEO takes time. It is important to recognize that SEO is not something that can take effect overnight. Most SEO practices utilize content structure and keywords in order to help correlate with searches performed by customers on search engines. This means that an organic method is being used in order to help bump up either the website or third party listing’s placement in search results. This is in stark contrast to the paid approach, which typically produces more immediate results, but is more expensive and the results are temporary. The internet does not function in a vacuum – there is an immense amount of content on the web and it takes time for Google and other search engines to crawl the internet for information and restructure their search results based on optimizations made to content.

Two different types:

  • On-site SEO: Optimizations made to the content on a website that directly affects the ranking of the site in search results, making the website easier to find. This is the typical type of SEO that most people are familiar with.
  • Off-site or Local SEO: Optimizations made to third-party websites, directory listings, or local listings in order to help make information about the business easier to find. While this can result in a slight bump in a website’s ranking due to the numerous third-party sites now directing back to it, increasing the website’s ranking is typically not the priority objective.

How Local SEO Works

Because Local SEO focuses on optimizations made to third-party websites to help make information about a business easier to find, one is typically limited to the features that the particular site they are working on provides to help make optimizations. For example: Google My Business has local listings that allow business owners to specify their service area so that their listing shows up to a higher degree in the results of searches performed in that area. The extent of which business descriptions and the vast array of supplemental information that these types of listings support are entered, also has a great degree of effect on the listing’s search-ability. Furthermore, if the third-party site supports reviews, the number and frequency of incoming positive reviews that your business has will greatly affect its listing’s search-ability as well.

 What this means for business owners

All of this can seem incredibly complicated and overwhelming. Business owners already have enough on their plates, and the continual updates that good SEO practices require can seem suffocating.

OMG National is a full-service digital marketing agency providing SEOpaid searchsocial media managementreputation managementlogo designwebsite design, and more. Do you need someone with experience and knowledge to take the reins and push your business’ online marketing initiatives to the next level? Give us a call at 800-789-4619 or contact us here, and we’ll take care of it!

Cash In On Building Your Online Presence in 2017

By: Jesse Lubar
CEO OMG National

Follow Jesse on Twitter @onholddude

This new age of customer exploration is constantly changing. Mobile Searches are seeing unprecedented growth, and location-based local searches on mobile are growing 146% year-over-year. It sounds like sci-fi, but even self-driving vehicles will be the norm by 2021. In order to reach searching consumers in these “micro-moments” or moments that matter, businesses must be in complete control of the data that appears online. The powerful ability to edit, highlight, and advertise across your entire online presence is a key competitive advantage not to be overlooked.

For small businesses looking to succeed in marketing, education is the key, and that means staying updated on what’s new and changing in the digital space. Keeping up with topics such as search marketing, social media platforms and content ideas, plus location-based technology, is imperative.

Here at OMG National, our leadership and marketing committee stays knee-deep in the new frontier of mobile search and what it means for businesses and consumers alike. We study the current state of search, how your next customer is searching right now versus how the search engines are reading those queries. We also work diligently to keep up with all of the “science” and theory behind the major drivers of Google and friends.

We got our start 26 years ago, pre-internet. At that time, our sales professionals were tasked with educating small business owners on how they could leverage their business telephone to drive customer experience, cross-sales, and prevent people from hanging up when they were put on-hold by a busy company. It was about leveraging the tools of the day to maximize every opportunity and improve on their competitive advantage.

Today is no different. Make sure that you’ve got a firm handle on your online search, social, review, and directory sites. You can begin by identifying the most important online real estate that exists for your industry, company type, and location. Once you’ve got your list, start by claiming and/or building them out to the max. Add imagery, a well-written narrative, and be sure to monitor them for reviews and social mentions.

Your well-built online presence will ensure that you are rewarded with enhanced online activity. Follow this DIY formula, or engage an online marketing agency to handle it for you. The experts agree, your presence across these sites is one major key to your company’s future online success.

For OMG National, this is Jesse Lubar, signing off with a smile.

Get A Jumpstart On Google’s New Upcoming Features & Tools

By: Michael Rappaport

Welcome to the end of 2016! It’s that time of year, where business owners take stock of their progress, review past initiatives and hopefully outline or at least review a marketing strategy for the coming year. Everyone asks, “how do I get to the top of Google”, so as we close out the year, let’s focus a bit on Local Search Engine placement.

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit with people from Google at a conference on Local Search. The interactions during the breakout sessions gave me tremendous insight regarding Google’s direction, and the suggestions OMG will be providing our clients in 2017, with regards to Local Search.

Google Local Search, as complicated as it may seem, is actually pretty simple. Google wants to provide the best results for those seeking information. I want to know, I want to go, I want to do, I want to buy! Those are the basics. Think about it. How do you use Google? Now, depending on a host of factors, Google will display the most relevant results.

fotolia_18030430_xsLocal results are based primarily on RELEVANCE, DISTANCE, and PROMINENCE.

How RELEVANT is your site, landing page, and directory listing? Complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches.

DISTANCE. Well, this is obvious; if a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about your listing.

PROMINENCE refers to how well-known a business is. This, you have control over by leveraging your GMB (Google My Business), Google’s Review Count and score, as well as links, articles, video and even your search history – and with the new Google Assistant, your emails and texts! This is what makes you PROMINENT in Google’s eyes.

2017 will be bringing some challenges to local businesses. It’s a fact, Google is the largest directory of businesses on the planet and they plan on continuing to leverage that with PAID advertisements. One such evolution is happening now in San Diego, where Google has added, “ADVANCED VERIFICATION” for plumbers. Now, you can choose a “GOOGLE GUARANTEED” plumber and request service or a quote direct from your SEARCH! Check it out! They expect to roll out this feature of “ADVANCED VERIFICATION” in early 2017.

With other changes, such as Google Assistant and Pixel Phone, there are some tips and techniques to keep you at the top of the Local Search Results.

If you are interested in learning more about the new variables for 2017, be certain to click the button below to sign up for our inaugural Webinar Thursday on December 22.

Here’s to wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season. Don’t let your marketing resolutions fall by the wayside and get a jump start with this short informative webinar!

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Keyword Research is Not Dead: 13 Ways Keyword Research Can Help With Search Rankings

Over the past few years, Google has shifted its focus from keywords to “entities” but keyword research can still play an important part in your overall SEO strategy. Most predictions of the “Death of” something related to the marketing world have been proven to be false, the same being with the death of SEO keyword research.

Here are 13 ways that your keyword research can help your search rankings:

  1. Dominate Your Niche.
    Researching the keywords for your industry will help you find every possible topic that is being discussed by people in your industry. Thus, allowing you to create content revolving around those topics to get into the conversation.
  1. Answer Your Customers’ Questions
    Researching keyword related to your industry can help you determine what questions your customers may have when they are searching for your products or services. Knowing these questions, means you can create content that answers these questions to come up in the search results for those keywords.

Keyboard - golden key Success, closeup

  1. Optimize Your Existing Content
    Knowing the keywords that people are using to search for companies in your industry can give you a better understanding of the keywords that you need to include in your content that is already written. Now, let’s not completely rework a blog post from last year to include multiple keywords, but instead, how about adding a paragraph to it that incorporates a new keyword?
  1. Know Your Customers’ Lingo
    You and your staff know what your products are called and the tech or industry words used to describe them, but how do your customers describe your products or services? Completing keyword research gives business owners insight on how consumers describe the problems they are having and the products they need to fix them. Knowing these search terms can help you when creating new content that can show up in search results.
  1. Help Customers Better Navigate Your Website
    The search terms can not only determine new pages that should be created, but also the terms that should be used as menu items on your website. By implementing these keywords as navigation text, you’ll help your customers find what they are looking for on your website as well as add to your search ranking.
  1. Discover New Products or Services
    Have you ever thought about expanding your business to incorporate a new product or service? Researching keywords can help guide this process by helping you understand what your customers are searching for along with your current products or services. Customers who are using more than one product from a specific company are more likely to stick with that company, therefore, knowing what your customers need is the first step to expanding your offerings.
  1. Find the Best Search Terms
    It doesn’t make sense to include keyword phrases in your content if no one is searching for them. Insert keyword research to determine the terms that are used the most to find products in your industry. Your research will help you decide which terms to optimize for and which terms are not worth your time.
  1. Determine Least Competitive Keywords
    Typically when we think of keywords we think of short phrases that are used to generate relevant search results. However, how many times do you type in a phrase longer than three words or even an entire sentence? These longer keywords are less competitive because fewer people think about them when working on SEO. Starting with the longer, less competitive keywords can give you the boost you are looking for sooner rather than later.
  1. Get Better Click-Throughs
    The main goal of the keyword research is to understand how your customers talk about the services or products you offer. Therefore, incorporating that language into your meta-data on your website in the form of meta-descriptions and title tags will help increase your click-throughs when your website is displayed in the search results for those keywords.
  1. Understand Searchers’ Needs
    Knowing what terms people are using to search is only half of the battle; you also need to understand what they are looking for when making those searches. Try a Google search for a keyword you would like to rank for and click on a few of the results. If they are all very similar in terms of the topics and content, then you’ll want to create similar content to provide an answer to the searchers’ needs.
  1. Point Searches to the Correct Page
    Knowing the searchers’ needs will allow you to optimize the pages that are most relevant to what they are looking for. For example, let’s say a customer searches for “local marketing firm, Fort Lauderdale” on Google. If your marketing firm is in Michigan but you want to gain customers in Fort Lauderdale, you’ll want to make sure that you have a Fort Lauderdale page on your website that includes that keyword. If a searcher found your homepage when searching for a Fort Lauderdale marketing company and they see your address is in Michigan, they may navigate away because they do not know that you work with companies in other locations.
  1. Spy on Your Competitors
    While you cannot directly see what your competitors are ranking for by merely researching keywords, you can search the keywords and see which of your competitors are coming up in the search results. You’ll want to optimize for those keywords to potentially outrank those competitors. There are also other third party tools that can provide you with more in-depth information on your competitors in regards to paid ads.
  1. Establish expectations
    By researching keywords, you identify where you currently rank and determine where you want to be. This can help you set goals for your SEO initiatives and monitor how your rankings are shifting as work has been completed.

Keyword research can help not only determine the keyword phrases to implement on your website and offsite content, but it can help give you a handle on all your digital marketing campaign competitors and provide ideas for expansion.

Are you looking for help with your search rankings? OMG National has a team of experts who can help you rank locally, regionally and even nationally for your industry keywords. Call 800.789.4619 to speak to an expert today!

Making Necessary SEO Adjustments with Google Algorithm Updates in Mind

Google Algorithm Updates

fotolia_5571663_mGoogle makes approximately 600 updates to its search algorithm each year. While most of these updates are minor changes that tweak small things here and there, there are usually several large updates that shake things up fairly significantly. After large updates, you can find that their search results become reorganized, with new emphasis placed on certain aspects of SEO that were not emphasized as heavily prior to the update.

Recent major updates include both “Possum” which was released on September 1st of this year, and Penguin 4.0 which was released afterwards on September 23rd.

When to React

At OMG National, we realize that it is important not to over-react and possibly jump the gun when these updates take place. Since Google is a search engine giant, with a 2015 study showing 65% of users utilizing the platform for their online search needs, any changes that are made do need to be addressed. However, we know that it is important for us to see what specific impacts actually become a reality after the update takes place.

We are constantly monitoring any changes that Google might be implementing, but when a new change takes place, we give it days or possibly even weeks before we start reorganizing our clients’ SEO content since their sites might not even be impacted to begin with. Even if a site appears to be ranked the same in search results, we strategically analyze all reporting regarding a site’s traffic to see if any impacts are present.

When Adjustments are Necessary

Should we find that reporting begins to dip, or that the site placement is not what it used to be, we begin to make necessary adjustments that address the changes Google has put in place. Each significant update to Google’s search algorithm comes with its own set of changes, which causes us to research the update extensively to see where Google is now looking and what exactly they are looking at.

Once we have this information, it becomes time for us to address these changes head on – any content that needs to be created, reorganized or re-positioned is taken care of. Technical changes regarding meta tags, site compatibility, or coding are also addressed. We also make these changes one at a time, in order to make sure that we can fully understand the ramification of each individual change, and if it was positive or negative.

Our Final Thoughts

These changes can feel overwhelming, but with our firm grasp on SEO practices, we know how to remain cool under pressure and make any and all changes necessary, should we find that they actually become necessary.

OMG National is a full-service digital marketing agency providing SEO, paid search, social media management, reputation management, logo design, website design, and more. Do you need someone with experience and knowledge to take the reins and push your business’ online marketing initiatives to the next level? Give us a call at 800-789-4619 or contact us here, and we’ll take care of it.

Fact or Fiction: Social Media Marketing Helps SEO

It is true that social media can benefit your SEO, however, it is not in the way that most people perceive. Social media can help businesses build an audience for their content as well as act as an avenue for promoting the content.

The social media audience helps build brand visibility and improve a business’ reputation, which makes it easier to get backlinks for SEO purposes. Also, by promoting business content on social media, businesses can gain additional inbound links that help to improve organic rankings.

How can popular platforms help your SEO?

FACEBOOK

Facebook has more than a billion users across the globe and has many options for helping marketers reach their target market. The ability to post links, blog posts, images and videos provide creative avenues for intriguing and informative content. The ability to run contests, advertise and join groups also help make Facebook the best social media network for content syndication.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is now the second largest social platform in the world, behind Facebook, which owns the photo sharing platform. Brand accounts are easy to manage on Instagram and contests run on the network have the potential to attract hundreds of new followers. However, Instagram does not allow for links to be included in posts, making it more for building brand awareness and growing your audience, rather than distributing content.

TWITTER

Twitter’s quick pace allows for easy promotion of links and audience growth. Businesses can quickly build a Twitter following by sharing interesting content and interacting with users. The life of a tweet is very short, which allows for content to be shared multiple times without annoying your followers. Keep in mind that though Twitter is a great content dissemination platform, it is showing signs of losing its flare with a loss of users.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn serves professionals, entrepreneurs and people looking to build their careers. The platform caters more toward the individual, despite the capability for company pages. Using LinkedIn on a personal level to share content and grow your personal audience can be extremely effective for getting your content out there.

PINTEREST

Pinterest has a smaller user base than the above social networks. However, if your brand can promote content with highly engaging images, Pinterest can be successful in gaining brand awareness. The platform appeals to consumers with the addition of buyable pins. Great images of products will get repinned or shared and the audience growth can lead to increased traffic to your content, creating more inbound links for SEO.

Each of the social media platforms mentioned above can have positive effects on a brand’s awareness and audience growth. However, a business owner should not jump into all at once without devoting enough time to the platform to make it worthwhile.  Ensure that the social networks you choose to use for marketing your brand cater to the specific audience you are trying to reach.

Looking for help getting your company to rank higher in search results? OMG National can help! Call us at 800-789-4619 today to speak to an SEO expert!