Googles new algorithm

What it means to Search Engine Optimization

As if it wasn’t hard enough for people that want to DIY (Do It Yourself) the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of their website, Google officially announced on July 10, 2020 that it is once again changing its algorithms.  This is going to be the largest change since RankBrain (which was almost 5 years ago).The new change is called BERT. Bert stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and it is schedule to go into effect any day now.

According to Google BERT is a neural network based technique that teaches computers to think like a human brain. That’s the long way of saying BERT uses artificial intelligence to figure out what you are searching for. Sounds like science fiction come to life. Per Google

“The original goal of the neural network approach was to solve problems in the same way that a human brain would. However, over time, attention moved to performing specific tasks, leading to deviations from biology. Neural networks have been used on a variety of tasks, including computer vision, speech recognition, machine translation, social network filtering, playing board and video games, medical diagnosis and even in activities that have traditionally been considered as reserved to humans, like painting.”

So the question is, how is BERT going to affect searches for your website?

Well, according to Google ,BERT will allow its search engine to look at a query and figure out the relationship between the words and the users’ intent. BERT is expected to impact 10% of the 5.6 billion Google searches daily. That means 560 million searches will be impacted every day. What does that mean to you and your website?  For example, say you sell Cat pictures that hang on the wall. If someone searches for cat pictures, instead of finding your place that sells cat pictures, the searcher will get images of cats. Searches for things like “find an auto mechanic near me” will still get you a list of auto mechanics.

What does the effect of BERT mean?

Past searches did not recognize what searches were trying to ask. It looked at the words as if they were all independent of each other.  If someone searched Google for “USA traveler to Japan needs a passport” the old search engine would not now what the searcher meant. It wouldn’t recognize the word “to” as meaning that someone was traveling there.  The results the searcher would get would be for USA, traveler, and Japan as if they were all isolated. BERT recognizes that “to” means you are “travelling to” and will give you relevant results about going to Japan.

So what can you do to optimize for BERT?

Just as it has always been you have to have good content on your website. Just putting in a bunch of keywords won’t get you up in the ratings if the content doesn’t make sense. Formatting will play a larger role than just putting a bunch of words on a page. Make sure you have alternate formatting elements like:

  • Subheadings (H1, H2, 3 etc.)
  • Bullet lists
  • Photos that are optimized
  • Tables and charts
  • Any other elements that will break up big chunks of text

In the end it all comes down to making sure that you have good content. When writing you content think about what someone would put into a search engine to find your text. Make sure you address these key phrases and words. Make sure what you are writing is something that people really want to read.

At Sohr Consulting we work hard to keep up with the trends that affect your business. We help you succeed by understanding Search Engine Optimization and a multitude of other digital marketing techniques. We use a Holistic Marketing approach to make sure you are getting what will work best for your company.


Why is Lead Generation important?

The big buzz word in online marketing is Lead Generation. Why is it important? According to Blog 85% of expert marketers say that lead generation marketing is the most important element in their marketing arsenal. Yet only 42% of business owners have an active plan in place. Let’s face it if you don’t have customers – you don’t have a business. Whether you’re a startup or a multimillion dollar business leads are the life blood of your company. Businesses of all sizes need leads like humans need air.  So first, let’s learn what a lead is.

What is an online lead?

A lead is someone that raisers their hand and says they are interested in your product or service. It is the start of a sale.  Leads can come from many different sources. Leads can come from a phone call, networking or word of mouth just to name a few. Today’s buyer is completely different from buyers from just 10 years ago. Online leads come from website traffic, paid ads such as Facebook or Google and improved search engine optimization. According to awario companies that engage in social selling get 199% better ROI on their advertising dollars.

How do Lead Generation companies get leads?

One way lead generation companies get leads is by content syndication. They use your content and push it out to other channels so they can increase your brand awareness and drive traffic to your site. Other companies use email. Email can be very effective if it targets specific customers that fit your demographics. Other techniques are Social media marketing, online advertising, optimizing your landing page and optimizing your website.

What do you need to look for in a Lead Generation Company?

Since no one knows your business better than you, some small businesses try to take on generating their own leads. This can be a huge mistake. Lead generation changes almost daily and just keeping up with changing algorithms can be exhausting to the DYI business owner. Outsourcing can save your time and money in the long run.

That being said not all Lead Generation companies are created equal. Some specialize in specific niches and this can give you the best ROI for your money. Make sure that the leads you are getting are not just data dumps. Some companies gather data and sell it to whoever buys the leads. This means you are getting leads that you will be competing against other companies that also bought the same leads. Make sure that your Lead Generation Company has the right tools in place to help maximize the impact of the leads. Make sure they focus on the quality of the leads, not just quantity.

Contact us if you need help with leads.


Is SEO important?

44% of the world’s population do not go past the first page when they search for a product or service.  Many small businesses think that if they put a website out there, people will flock to buy what they are offering. After all, it’s such a cool thing they have to offer who could resist buying it?

So, they launch a website and sit back in their chair and wait for the orders to roll in. What they don’t know is, their product may be as wonderful as they think it is, but if no one can find the product on their website how do they even know they want to buy it? Think of your website like a billboard. You can have the greatest billboard ever created, advertising the coolest product or service in the world, but if it faces away from the highway who will ever see it?

Where do you get customers?

51% of all website traffic comes from search engines also known as organic traffic. Let’s face it – you created a website so customers would find you. Higher search engine rankings result in being seen more. If your website isn’t optimized for search engines, you could be missing out on a lot of revenue when someone searches for what you’re selling. In fact, according to SEO-hacker 90% of the world’s population never go beyond the first page of search results when they look for something.  Add to this the fact that Google is always changing the algorithms for their searches and it makes keeping up with making sure your website is found a major headache for the DYI people out there. Techniques and strategies that worked just a few years ago no long bring the type of results that business owners want.

So what does SEO do for you? Well it can keep you ahead of your competition. Let’s compare; we have 2 websites that are offering the same product. Website A is optimized and website B is not. When someone searches for the product or service that both these websites offer, well, website A shows up on the search results while website B doesn’t. If the customers don’t know you exist they also can’t buy from you.

SEO isn’t just for finding your website by using keywords in search engines; it can also improve your customer’s experience. It shows how fast your pages load, if they’re high quality content, is it easy to navigate and is it secure? No one wants to click on a website just to get the blue circle of death twirling on their monitor.

So why do you need to optimize your website?

Well first, over 40% of revenue is captured by organic traffic.  Second, without a doubt Search Engine Optimization is  one of the most cost effective marketing strategies out there today. SEO will give you the most bang for your buck because it enables you to target the people who are interested in your product or service. It also works well with other marketing strategies. It’s like planting a tomato in a garden. You don’t get tomatoes that very night to eat. You have to water it, the sun has to shine on it, and it has to be weeded now and then. It is work in the beginning, but, when those tomatoes start coming they just keep coming and coming and you reap a huge reward for the work you put into it. SEO is where you will get your future customers and usually takes 6 – 12 months to see results. So why do it? Because you can get customers through the door now using other marketing strategies but that SEO billboard is on the highway every day for your customers to see.

So do you need SEO?

You can have the best product but if customers don’t know about it you can’t make money. When implementing SEO you need to understand that it takes time. As I stated the normal timeframe for an effective SEO is 6-12 months. If you need something that gets you revenue quickly paid advertising campaigns work the best. That doesn’t mean you should ignore SEO however. Once the paid advertising stops, getting customers also stops.  Paid campaigns are like turning a faucet off and on. You run ads, the faucet is on, you stop the ads the faucet is off.  SEO is always out there and will keep working for you 24/7, you just have to be patient.

Can you do it yourself? Absolutely, but you need to think about it like fixing your car. If you need to fix something with your car you can watch YouTube videos and learn to fix your car. The problem is, if you don’t fix it right, you could end up with much larger problems that could cost way more than the original issue when you have to bring it to a mechanic to fix.  It works the same way with SEO.  If you don’t have the money to hire a professional now learn how to do Facebook campaigns and get money coming through the door. Once you have the money hire a SEO professional.

Reputation Management

Reputation Management – Do you need it?

Why is online Business Reputation Management important? Do you need it?

What do you do if you are driving down a street and your car just stops?. Well if you are like most people you will pull out your phone and google “tow truck near me” or “auto repair near me”. Once you do that you get a google map of businesses near you. What’s the next thing you do? Well if you are like 92% of consumers you will look at the reviews. Most people don’t want an auto shop with 1 star and lousy reviews working on their car – do you?

Many small businesses don’t realize that customers will look at a business before they decide to buy something from them. This makes managing your Brand and your reviews more important than ever.

Consumers trust a local business more if they have positive reviews. How much more? 73% of consumers look at positive reviews to see if they will use a local business. 48% of consumers said they need at least a 4 star rating in order to do business with someone. Consumers stated that 91% of them trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation!

In today’s world if your company does not exist on line, it doesn’t exist period to the modern consumer. How your company is perceived by these consumers is just as important. Having your company show up in a search result, having stars or no stars and having reviews or no reviews will influence a consumer’s decision to buy, or not buy, from a business.

Unfortunately, Americans will tell more people (15 people on average) about poor service versus an average of 11 people telling someone about good service. When you receive poor service you feel the need to vent. That’s why it is so important for businesses to respond to negative reviews immediately.

1. Acknowledge their complaint

2.Be polite and professional. It won’t help if you get defensive and will make the complaint look more legitimate.

3. Make sure that you request to have all fake or misleading reviews removed.

4. Encourage customers to give you a review. Some companies offer a small item that can be used on their next visit if they give a review. This is a win-win since not only do you get a review but you may also gain a repeat customer.

So make sure your online reputation is in good standing. Only 5% of consumers will look past the first page to make their purchase. First impression online are just as important as real life first impression. Make sure your company is putting its best foot forward