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Defining the Value of Local SEO

I’ve found time and again that local business owners want to rank well for local searches but they have a hard time estimating what it is worth to their business. While there is a great article on Determining the Value of SEO over at, this guide seeks to focus more on the value of local SEO. For this tutorial we will be using examples related to St. Louis SEO terms because this is how we determine the value of ranking for specific terms within our industry.

1.  Define Keywords

In order to estimate the value of SEO to your business you first have to define the keywords in which you hope to rank for in Google.  I always grade keywords in four main areas to help select the best keywords to target.  Evaluate your initial keyword list based on to following criteria:

  1. Relevance
  2. Competition
  3. Traffic
  4. Commerciality

If you’re new to keyword research I recommend taking a look at the great tutorial by Market Samurai: [The process of actually researching and selecting the right keywords is a different post altogether but for this example we will work from a sample list of keywords that are relevant to our SEO services in St. Louis.

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2.  Figure Out Search Volumes

Since this article is focused on determining value of Local SEO for your business we will only be looking at search volumes specific to our geographic region, St. Louis.  This step assumes you have a Google Adwords account that you have been using to test search volumes for your terms.  If you don’t, there are other less accurate ways to estimate search volumes, but for this tutorial we will focus on the PPC method since it’s the most accurate.  To see what other SEO experts had to say about this topic check our LinkedIn Discussion on “What To Do When Google Keyword Tool Shows Not Enough Data.” This is also the main reason I recommend using PPC as a tool to gather market data in the initial phases of your SEO strategy to ensure that you have an accurate projection of what SEO is really worth to your business. So to get your actual impressions/month jump into your Adwords account and navigate to the keywords tab.  Here you can find the keywords that you want to estimate the value of SEO.  If you’re campaign is regularly limited by your budget then your numbers will be skewed some but you could use the Google Traffic Estimator to figure out what the recommended daily budget is and work backwards to fine tune what your total impressions could be if you had no budget limitations.  It’s important to consider this because when valuing SEO you have to keep in mind that there is no “budget limitation” that will cause your site not to appear in the SERP’s.  I recommend running the campaign for a month for the most accurate data See the screen shot below of where you can find the search volumes for the keywords we are targeting.

3.  Estimate Traffic by Google Position

Here we use the AOL leaked data that shows clickshare by Google rank as shown in the graphic below.  (I think it’s from SEOBook)  Simply take the traffic estimates we have above

4.  Local SEO Value Calculation

So the value calculation should start with the search volume, multiplied by the % of traffic you expect to receive based on your estimated position.  I recommend an excel spreadsheet template if you plan on doing this calculation on a recurring basis. This will give you an estimate of the traffic that you might expect in those positions.  Once you know the estimated traffic then you should multiply that by your conversion rate.  If you don’t have an actual conversion rate then you’ll have to estimate.  Conversion rates vary greatly based on your design, conversion path, call to action, and actual type of conversion.   Obviously an ecommerce conversion has a higher barrier to enter, than a free whitepaper download so use your best judgement to estimate. Once you have your number of conversions simply multiply that by your average ticket amount and you have a rough calculation of the value of your local SEO.

YouTube SEO – Can YouTube Channels Really Improve Video SEO Rankings?

Can YouTube Channels Really Improve Video SEO Rankings? Yes. Using YouTube channels to improve video SEO rankings is a proven method thanks to the incredible popularity of YouTube.  It happens to be the largest video site in existence. Something even more impressive than that is the fact that YouTube comes in as the 4th largest website online-period. The art of website SEO is incredibly complex. That being said, the same is true for video SEO. Thanks to the ever-changing algorithms of search engines across the net, there is not necessarily a cut and dry answer for the exact dos and donats of search engine optimization. The question then is what steps have been proven to increase rankings in the recent past? Below are a few that have worked well for others, myself included:

1. Tags
While search engine algorithms that determine what websites should rank and where are continually changing, one thing remains constant: tags. Tags make up one of the most widely accepted ranking factors out there. Search engines use these tags to determine what the video in question is about and therefore what it is relevant to. Properly tagging the videos on your channel can only help your video to rank better. Of course, keyword stuffing is one thing that absolutely should not be done. Be sure to keep the keywords to a minimum when filling in the tags.

2. Link Building
If the concept of pointing links to your website has worked in the past, why not build links to your YouTube video channel? The more links pointing to your videos, the more relevant they will appear. One major mistake made amongst novices for SEO is the lack of using keywords for the anchor text. Pick two or three keywords you want to rank for and use those to embed the links that point to your video. For example, when pointing a link to a video that talks about satellite television programming, use the term “DISH Network” as the anchor text to embed your link. This tells the search engines that your videos are about DISH Network television programming and aids them in deciding how relevant your videos are to keyword searches for television programming.

3. Less is Just Less
When it comes to building your YouTube channel, it helps to have a lot of content on it. After all, your channel should be set up as an authority on the information it provides. The more information present, the more authoritative the channel appears. Search engines love relevant informational content from a big YouTube channel. YouTube and the content on it receive approximately 100 million visitors on a monthly basis. With the wealth of traffic possibilities available, there is no reason to not incorporate a YouTube channel into your video SEO strategy.  Those who understand how to best optimize their channels will undoubtedly notice an increase in their video SEO rankings.

This entry was written by a guest author. The author’s views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Evolve: The Science of Search