SEO Agencies – Selecting the Right One for your Business

SEOBlogPostSearch engine optimization (SEO) agencies come in all shapes and sizes, and it can be quite confusing selecting the appropriate agency to meet and exceed organic goals and business objectives. To better comprehend the agency selection process, it helps to start off with a handful of understandings about the SEO business environment.

  • Google made over 500 changes to their algorithm last year that included updates to Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon
  • It’s the service that separates the best agencies across the board. The best SEO agencies are transparent, honest, dedicated, high quality, value/performance driven, proactive, up-to-date, and serve as strategic partners
  • For small and medium-sized businesses choosing a SEO agency for the first time, sadly, most decisions are based on the lowest price offer
  • With SEO, you truly get what you pay for. Typically, the lower the price, the lower the value, level of service effort, and reporting output/performance
  • Every year, there are various new SEO-type shops opening their doors; it’s a confusing world, so your really have to conduct your due diligence regarding who you hire and what you get
  • Anyone online can call themselves or their company “SEO Professional,” so be wary of anyone who utilizes SEO shortcuts. These tactics can incite website penalties and potentially ruin brands. Instead, go with agencies who solidly demonstrate SEO best practices

Continue reading “SEO Agencies – Selecting the Right One for your Business”

BFO is One of Chicago’s Best & Brightest Companies to Work For

spot-named-101-best-and-brightest-in-chicago1We are proud to announce that BFO has been named one of Chicago’s Best and Brightest Places to Work For® by the National Association for Business Resources!

This award is given based on criteria evaluating excellence in human resources practices and employee enrichment. Some of the areas in which BFO excelled the most were Benefits and Employee Solutions; Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Communication and Shared Vision; Work-Life Balance; and Community Initiatives.

Here’s what our CEO, Steve Krull, had to say: “It’s truly an honor to be considered one of the best and brightest. We strive to hire people that we love working next to who share our core values. The award is further proof that we’re on the right path!”

As a values-driven organization, everyday decisions at BFO are made based on what’s right for our employees, families, and clients. This is a major part of why BFO is thriving today. Our commitment to people has measurable outcomes for our clients, which has resulted in rapid overall organizational growth. We are consistently working to maintain the culture that makes BFO great.

Check out our careers page to learn about opportunities for joining the BFO team!

2015 Trends for Driving More Ecommerce Conversions

Find Out What Big Brands Are Doing to Excel


prs-and-seosNo matter the size of your business, whether you are an independent niche retailer or a big box monolith, there are always opportunities for improvement. With ecommerce it’s simple, right? Get more conversions. Make more money. Repeat ad infinitum.

But how do you grow your business? How do you get more conversions when every day thousands of ecommerce retailers are joining an already crowded space? How do grow your business—let alone just get by? Continue reading “2015 Trends for Driving More Ecommerce Conversions”

Things We Learned at Pubcon 2015 in Austin, TX

Aviary Photo_130777314453343506What a day.

Pubcon Austin 2015 came and went faster than we could have imagined. Our very own SEO Analyst Michael Klein attended this year, encountering a whirlwind of information, nerdery, and, of course, content. While the impending “mobilegeddon” discussed throughout the day turned out to be a bit of a letdown, Pubcon Austin itself was an amazing example of a superbly run conference, jam-packed with information.

SEO is a constantly evolving space. This year’s Pubcon was the truest example of that. Whether it was the overwhelming number of topics on mobile or content marketing in general, Pubcon illustrated how our industry is always changing. There’s always something new to learn and master.

There’s a lot to say about this awesome event. Here’s a walk through BFO’s day in Austin: Continue reading “Things We Learned at Pubcon 2015 in Austin, TX”

Conversion Rate Optimization

You Don’t Have to Spend Money to Make Money

Earth and electronics. High-tech graphs at backdrop. Elements of this image are furnished by NASA

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Most people hear that and think, “You’re right. You can’t control the behavior of a horse.” But not me. I think, “What? Why not? Did the horse drink water somewhere else? Is the river dirty? Maybe that trough looks like a good hiding place for spiders! Did someone check for spiders?!”

If you question behavior, you are on the right track for Conversion Rate Optimization. You have a website for the sole reason of converting users. And it’s an ongoing process to get more conversions without breaking the bank.

Before you embark on a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) journey, two things MUST be in place: 1) defined conversion points and 2) a measurement plan. Continue reading “Conversion Rate Optimization”

Be Found Online is the Newest Google Analytics Certified Partner 

If you are familiar with Be Found Online, then you are familiar with our affinity for four-letter words. And today we are excited to announce four new letters to our vocabulary: GACP.

Be Found Online is officially a Google Analytics Certified Partner. If you don’t recognize those letters, Google Analytics Certified Partners are highly qualified service providers that pass Google’s rigorous selection process. Partners are vetted by Google specifically for expertise, product implementation, and capability.

Oh, and we get a shiny new badge:

Continue reading “Be Found Online is the Newest Google Analytics Certified Partner “

Digital Agencies vs. In-House Teams: The Pros, the Cons, and What Makes Sense

nature-landscapes_hdwallpaper_two-roads_4567There has been and continues to be a growing challenge in the digital marketing landscape: where to find and acquire skilled digital talent in a limited employee supply. With the development of new digital technology skyrocketing and a world of consumers increasingly making online purchases, advertisers and agencies are burning hot for skilled Internet marketing labor to manage and direct it all.

This begs a very good question: Is it best to hire a digital agency or build the team in-house? There are pros and cons to both. While the list is not entirely exhaustive, we’ve gathered some of the most important points to consider. Continue reading “Digital Agencies vs. In-House Teams: The Pros, the Cons, and What Makes Sense”

Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of Your SEO Efforts

47874504_thumbnailMeasuring the performance and success of your SEO campaigns is a vital part of determining if your resources are being used effectively. Many marketers don’t realize there is a way to track SEO success in a measurable way. Read on to learn how to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your SEO efforts, and how doing so can help your business.

Justifying SEO Efforts

The purpose of calculating actual or potential ROI is to justify your business’s existing or planned SEO efforts. Continue reading “Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of Your SEO Efforts”

Assessing the Impact of Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update

34497480_thumbnailThis week is the week you didn’t know you were waiting for. About a month ago, Google announced a sweeping change to how sites are ranked for mobile searches. Poorly performing sites (those not optimized for mobile) are going to be demoted for better performing sites.

As of right now, your mobile strategy might be out of date, especially if it’s just an extension of your desktop site. Google has been clear that the intention is to promote mobile-friendly sites.  “Mobile-friendly” does not necessarily mean a distinct “” or “”. It means that the user experience on a mobile device is clean, easy to navigate, and fast. If your site is responsive and optimized for mobile, you won’t need to take any other action.

Given that the sky starts falling this week and you don’t have time for a full-on overhaul, here’s what you need to keep in mind. Continue reading “Assessing the Impact of Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update”

Improving Your SEO Click-thru-Rate by Taking Advantage of Google’s New Mobile SERP Update

Click Through RateIf you’re part of the online marketing world, mobile success has been at the top of your priority list for at least the last year or so. We’ve got mobile devices accounting for a third of all U.S. internet traffic (and BFO has seen sites where that number is approaching 50%). Google launched its mobile site testing tool earlier this year. And, the new Google mobile algorithm update is at our doorstep.

In the words of a famous TV pitchman, “But, wait, there’s more!”

Big Changes in Mobile SERPs Ahead

On April 16th, Google announced that – for mobile search results – they will be replacing the search results’ URL with a breadcrumb representation of the URL. At present, the breadcrumb replacement is available in Google US and is being rolled out worldwide. However, including the actual site name in the breadcrumb is currently only available in the US (i.e. the first element in the breadcrumb chain). Continue reading “Improving Your SEO Click-thru-Rate by Taking Advantage of Google’s New Mobile SERP Update”