April is National Home Inventory Month: Find out more
29 Apr 2022

New Course – Search Engine Optimization

bloggingThis course will be available within the next few weeks. Just check the NICA website at this link and you will find it alphabetically. Of course, we suggest taking the Introduction to Blogging and Blogs – Creating and Marketing Content courses first, as they will give you a great foundation for the Search Engine Optimization course.  

This third course in the blogging series discusses that SEO is a process of optimizing your website and blogsite with the goal of improving your rankings in the search results and getting more organic (non-paid) traffic.

The history of SEO dates back to the 90s when search engines emerged for the first time. Today, it is an essential marketing strategy and an ever-growing industry. Search engine optimization focuses only on organic search results and does not include Pay-Per-Click (PPC) optimization. Both SEO (Organic Results) and PPC (Paid Results) are part of Search Engine Marketing.

The search engines are used by internet users when they are searching for something. You want to provide the answer to that something. It doesn’t matter whether you sell a product or service, write a blog, or anything else – search engine optimization is a must for every website and/or blogsite owner.

To put it simply: SEO is all the actions you do to make Google consider your website and blogsite a quality source and rank it higher for your desired search queries.

The topics presented in this course are:

Module 1 – Introduction to SEO

  • Key Aspects of SEO
  • Useful Vocabulary
  • Learning SEO

 Module 2 – Keywords

  • Keyword Research
  • Keyword Tools
  • Keyword Difficulty

 Module 3 – Basic Site Setup for SEO

  • Setting Up Your Blog
  • SEO Plugins for WordPress
  • Meta Descriptions and Page Titles

An addendum is also provided via a link at the end of this course. It is a detailed, step-by-step instruction guide for those who want to build their own blogsite. This information is not included in the exam. And, if you choose not to develop your own blogsite, our Associate Member Mary Gillen is an excellent web developer and will create a professional one for you.  

03 Mar 2022

Everything You Need to Know About SEO

SEOMany members have stated that they want to start a blog, but just don’t know how to begin. So last year we created 2 courses to help you do that: Introduction to Blogging and Blogs: Creating and Marketing your Content. Following up on these 2 courses, we are currently working on the first course for 2022, titled Search Engine Optimization. This will help you develop your own blogsite (or website) through the expertise of the authors of the other blog courses, Associate Member Mary Gillen and Member Tricia Hoekwater. Both have written courses for NICA previously, and we have always received positive feedback regarding the content and thoroughness of the information.

Watch for this new course, which should be available by the end of March. In the meantime, taking the blogging courses mentioned above will prepare you to take that information and develop your own blog – creating a great way to bring attention to your website, establish yourself as an expert in the industry, and promote your inventory business.

13 Jun 2019

Marketing Minute – Search Engine Optimization

This Marketing Minute is provided by Associate Member Mary Gillen, who is an expert in SEO, marketing, responsive websites, and ADA compliant websites.

Whether your website was built years ago or is fairly new, it’s a good idea to periodically review the keywords you’re using and evaluate whether you should add new words or edit them.

Trends change, and using the proper keywords will help keep your website an easy site to be found when people are searching for your home inventory service. Following are some tips to help you with Search Engine Optimization for your website.

Conduct keyword research

Determine the words and phrases your potential clients use when searching for your service. Once you find the keywords, build a master list of them to be used in your online marketing. Following are three websites that provide keyword tools:

Wordtracker: https://www.wordtracker.com
Ubersuggest: https://ubersuggest.org
Google Keywords: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

When using Google’s Keyword Tool, select “Exact” as the Match Type on the keyword results page. This will filter your results so you have a more concise list.

Search for “long tail” keyword phrases

“Long tail” keyword phrases contain between three to five words. Use a keyword tool (listed above) to find these keyword phrases for the services you offer (i.e., specific to home inventory, collections inventory, loss inventory, appraisals, etc.). Create and download a list (either as a text or Excel file) of these long tail phrases. Be sure to incorporate these phrases in your website and blog content

Add Facebook “Like” buttons to your website and blog pages

As far as the major search engines are concerned, the Facebook Like button acts like a trusted referral. Facebook Likes act as a “link-back” to your Website or blog content, and you receive search engine ranking credit as a result.

Use responsive web design for Google SEO

Smartphone use for business grows every day. How does this affect your site’s search engine optimization? Google recommends marketers use responsive web design, which is the process of serving the same HTML code for all devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) and using different CSS stylesheets to serve up the correct content formatting for each device (so your website will respond – expand or contract – according to the size of the devise screen). This ensures that all devices are working off the same set of URLs with no content duplication…something that Google likes a bunch. Find out more about responsive Web design by contacting Mary Gillen.

20 Mar 2017

Meet Mary Gillen, New Associate Member

We have received many compliments about the new NICA website. Some have stated that it’s clean, easy to navigate, has great information, and a quote that says exactly what we were going for – “I love the positive visuals.”

There is one person to thank for this, and she is our Associate Member, Mary Gillen. Here is why we are so glad to have her as one of our members, ready to create website, marketing, and social media assistance for our members.

Using her more than 20 years of Web development experience to build sites for tech companies, associations, non-profits and small businesses, Mary Gillen blends professional design with measurable business results. The perfect example of her work is to peruse the new NICA website when it launches (she did a fantastic job!). Whether you need a few tweaks or an entirely new website, you will find Mary is extremely talented and professional. From adding a blog page to an existing site to creating a fully searchable directory, your issue becomes her successful project.

Websites, SEO, Copywriting, Content Marketing

  • Keyword Research – How do your prospects find you on the Web? You can expect shifts in how people search, perhaps due to market conditions or changes in product or service demand. So, if your Web site was optimized for keyword phrases a year ago, it may be time for a keyword phrase “tune-up.”
  • Copywriting for Both Web & Print – Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing and print business communication. Effective copy sells your services. She has written hundreds of brochures, technical manuals, and Federal government RFP proposals in addition to writing for the Web and producing online marketing copy for commercial and private organizations.
  • Content Marketing – Every business person serious about marketing his/her business today must publish blog posts, Twitter tweets, Google+ shares & YouTube video content consistently throughout the business week. Why? Search engine optimization. Consistently publishing quality content to your blog, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube accounts is the way to get there. She has developed a Content Marketing Plan that can be used for Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Government (B2G).

For all of your website, content, and social media needs, Mary Gillen can help you reach the next level with your business.