3 SEO Shortcuts

Every Small Business Really Should Be Using These SEO Tips

Every local business owner should make the time to get in touch with leaders in their industry. You can do this by phone or social media, but the positive payoff is the same. There is no doubt that it takes time to build a legitimate relationship, but once this is done, a backlink or share from an industry leader can return swift results.

Have Time For Google Places

If there is one online strategy that small businesses can use to gain offline revenue, it is local SEO. It has been estimated that having a Google Places page generates a lifetime value of $10,000. Businesses that have Google Places pages show above organic search results, and this indicates that, no matter how bad your site’s SEO might be, people are going to find it.

Contact Industry Leaders

No local company owner should be afraid to reach out to leaders in their industry. Whether it be by phone or social media, creating these relationships can pay off huge. While building the relationship requires time, the results of a shared blog or even a backlink are almost instantaneous.

Participate In Blog Commenting

Blog commenting has gotten a bad rep over the years thanks to marketers employing automated posting tools and basically spamming up reputable sites’ comment sections. Steering clear of this type of behavior, however, can result in many website visitors and a powerful backlink from an industry leading site.

The trick here is to continually make sure the comments are on topic. If an industry-leading website posts a blog about how to clean pools, for instance, it is okay to comment with a link to your blog about pool cleaning tools. Stay on topic, and the visitors will come.

Succeeding in the world of seo takes work, but all of that work does not have to be tricky. By simply making use of the aforementioned tips, your small business can see almost instant impressive results.

Why SEO

The Importance of SEO for Small Businesses

Paid Ads Are Not Guaranteed

A recent survey found that about 60% of small enterprises have no website at all. Once you consider the remaining companies that don’t utilize sound SEO practices, the competitive advantage that SEO can provide becomes noticeable. A website can help beat out 60% of other manufacturers, and SEO can help beat out the rest.

Provides an advantage Over the Competitors

Forbes actually listed SEO as the best marketing return on investments you might see. Simply accomplishing the top spot for a specific keyword means you will get 33% of the clicks on that keyword. Whatever you are selling, that is a big payoff. Whenever you undertake a marketing project, you are taking a risk. The best you can anticipate is a good return on investment (ROI) that makes the campaign worth it. Thankfully, you can achieve this with good SEO strategies.

Great Return on your investment

In all likelihood, users now understand that paid links are not necessarily the best source for what they are looking for. That is why concentrating on SEO to increase search ranking is a far better game plan than simply forking over money for a top spot.

Paying to get seen on Facebook has its positive aspects, but when it comes to pay-per-click ads on search engines, the costs are definitely piling up. This is because 70-80% of online searchers completely disregard paid ads.

Paid Ads Do Not Invariably Pay Off

When buyers use search engines, a full 70% of the links they click on come up organically. This means Google made the decision that site was exactly an individual searching a specific term was looking for.

The chances of an agency showing up organically increases when search engine optimization (SEO) is used. In fact, there are a selection of reasons SEO is vital.

SEO 2016

The SEO Practices That Will Drive 2016

Use Your Own Photographs and Images

Utilize Your Images

Images can still get targeted traffic to a website, and this continues to be true even though they are not as vital as they once were. Uploading images is essential for SEO purposes, and you are going to do much better if you use unique images. Hundreds of websites could be using the same photo, but if you present something different, you are going to stick out. Ensure you have this distinct advantage when marketing a business.

It Isn’t About Keywords Anymore

It certainly helps to have specific keywords on a website’s copy to bring in traffic, but it is not quite as important as it used to be. Search engines have progressed, and they now don’t need precise words to tell them what a user is seeking. If someone is attempting to find information on an iPad, for example, Google might return several results based on Apple products and smart devices.

In reality, it is much more about the searcher’s intention. Specific keywords can get them to the website, but if they speedily return to Google, the search engine will think the page is not delivering on what it promises. So get your keywords in where possible, but make sure you are giving people what they want.

Continue Driving at Mobile

In 2014, the time period spent surfing the net on mobile devices outpaced that of desktop computers. Even though some are slower to come around to this fact, it’s not going to change. Your site has to be created with mobile access in mind, and if it isn’t, you are surely going to lose customers over it.

Search engine optimization will not be going anywhere as an invaluable advertising tool. Make sure you are keeping up with it.

Google Phantom Update

Should You Be Concerned with Google Phantom?

Recently Google rolled out the latest of their search engine algorithm updates, this one mysteriously referred to as Phantom. Many people still have no idea this occurred, and for good reason. It literally flew under the radar. Many search algorithm updates create quite a splash when they arrive. Ask anyone who was negatively affected by Penguin or panda, and their subsequent iterations. Some entire businesses were lost, and certainly fortunes were deviated.

The good news is that most search algorithm updates aren’t nearly that dramatic. Google says they perform between 500-600 updates yearly, and the majority are fairly insignificant, and go largely unnoticed.

This one is between those. Let’s take a peek at what the Phantom update was all about, and how you can respond if need be.

What is the Google Phantom update?

Google had warned us all that they were on the warpath for thin and poor content, and it looks like Phantom is another update intended to combat this pox on search engine results.

Some of the more well-known sites suffered with this update as well. Sites like HubPages, WikiHow, Answers.com and a few others took a significant hit.

Several specific things got their attention this time around. A lot of them are going to sound familiar to many who got hit in other recent Google updates. Pages with “thin” content, meaning scant content on the page designed merely to get a click or another action, were targeted. Also high on the list were pages with “clickbait” headlines, and also lots of stacked videos, too much poor user-generated content, pages with tons of ads, or unedited curated pieces.

Key takeaways for your use

The first and best thing you can do is take a close look at your site content by doing an audit. See which of your pages have suffered a loss in rank possibly due this Phantom, and then see if any of the above mentioned factors apply to it. Then you can either fix, update or junk it, depending on the age and relative current relevance of the content in question.

What you want to do here is come out of this with your best foot forward, showing off to Google and all who come to your pages that it contains the most relevant and current content you can provide. Do that and you needn’t worry about Phantoms!

SEO Content Marketing

SEO for Content Marketing: The Basics

A lot of people have bought into the erroneous notion that SEO and content marketing are two separate animals. Perhaps that might have been somewhat true back in the day, these days the two are so interwoven as to be thought of concurrently.

What is necessary now is a marriage of sorts between the two. SEO can’t exist without content, and content needs SEO to rank as well as it can.

We need to think about how they can complement one another, not jockey for position. Toward that end, let’s look at several tips for making sure your content and SEO play nice together!

SEO for Content Marketing – 7 Useful Tips!

Integrate keywords naturally (but with SEO in the back of your mind!) – Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing your way to top rankings, but they still play a vital role. Be sure you use your primary keyword in titles, at the front of your content, and other strategic places.

Still do on-page SEO – It’s still extremely important, perhaps more than ever, to make sure things like SEO title tags, Meta data, image tags and H1 tags are constructed properly.

Satisfy searcher intent – These days Google is on a quest to make sure that they are serving the best content to match the query as they can. And that means you now should concentrate on writing entirely on-topic, and not concern yourself with satisfying the search algorithm.

Makes sure your pages are mobile friendly – The world’s going mobile, and now over half of all traffic is found on mobile devices. Make it your business to know that your mobile pages are ship-shape!

Use social media – Whether social signals count for much in the search algorithm is a hotly debated topic, but one thing is certain: that’s where the people are. Employ social sharing buttons on all your content and you might find some of them!

Utilize visual content – People process images 60,000 times faster than text, so it only makes sense to use as much visual content as you can. It also helps average time on page, which IS a ranking factor.

Use expert wording – The more expertly you speak on a subject, the more favor you’ll find in Google’s rankings. They are delivering the best, most authoritative content they can come up with, and obviously you want that to be yours!

Local SEO News

7 Tips for Enhancing your Local SEO

By Google’s own admission, they make between 500-600 changes to the algorithm annually, so being aware of all of them and how they affect your site can be a full time job. If you’re frustrated attempting to keep up with all the changes that transpire within the Google Local search space, then take heart, you’re not alone!

Just in the last year there was the Pigeon update, aimed primarily at local, MobileGeddon, and the demise of Carousel. These major events together with the dozens of minor shifts make it time to look at what we need to do to keep current.

In order to keep things simple here, we’ve distilled our list of best Local SEO practices to a mere 7. Implement these as soon as you can for best results!

7 Best Practices for Local SEO

Don’t stop link building – But do it naturally! Be certain that you’re creating awesome content that is getting shared as widely as possible, and see the links flow in. These are the best types of links you can acquire.

Be sure to GEO-target your pages – The Pigeon update was all about preferring local content over global when possible. Make it possible on your pages with local geo-modifiers.

Citations still matter – These days it’s about getting quality citations, and cleaning them up so as not to have duplicate entries and inconsistent data.

Customer reviews help immensely! – With more than 90% of consumers reading online customer reviews before purchasing, these are more important than ever. A great form of social proof, you need to solicit these from happy customers and reward them if you have to.

Use Google My Business – Google’s local business tool suite is an remarkable tool that you need to be fully invested in. There are so many ways this helps your business, but one of the main ones is the ability to easily manage reviews.

Create and optimize local images – Use unique local images and make sure they are geo-tagged appropriately. This can help you in several ways, including Google Images, the 7 pack, Your Google My Business page and more.

Take advantage of social sharing – Make sure you have social media icons present on all your pages and content so as to provide your audience with the opportunity to share your content far and wide!

On Page SEO

How to Make Sure Your On-Page SEO is Up to Date

As the state of SEO changes frequently it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we are up to date on the current state of affairs in regards to on-page SEO for our sites.

With each passing Google update and new social media initiative, there are always changes coming. In fact, that’s almost all we can really be certain of!

So to ensure that you get off on the right footing as it regards your on-page SEO here are 7 tips you’ll want to make sure receive your full attention.

7 On-Page SEO Tips to Help Your Pages Rank Better

Title Tags and the page META Description – It’s important to get this right: Google wants to see no more than 60 characters in the title tags, and less than 160 in the META description. Try to employ your main page keyword in both, and make sure your description is one that will appeal to a visitor.

Utilize your Keywords – the right way! Don’t stuff your pages with them. In fact your primary keyword (the one in the title tag and description) should have a page density of between 1-3%.

Optimize your Image tags – Accurately tagging your image ALT tags will help your images get indexed in Google images, and could bring some direct traffic.

Internal linking – Linking to other useful pages within your own site is a strong signal to Google of not only the page’s importance, but also it’s topic, if you use your keywords wisely.

Get mobile friendly – Mobile now brings more than 50% of all traffic, so it’s not much of a surprise that starting in April 2015 Google will penalize pages that are not mobile friendly in their search results.

Privacy Policy, Contact Us, and Terms of Service – Make sure you have each one of these, and the information there is accurate and up to date. This is also a ranking signal.

Make your pages load fast! – Make sure your pages are loading as fast as possible as this is a signal that Google really looks at. Compress your imagery, and possibly even switch to better hosting if yours doesn’t get your page loaded in less than 4 seconds.

Small Business SEO

10 Small Business SEO Tips

Competing in the small business landscape these days is challenging enough, but to do it with an un-optimized website is like choosing to come to the fight unarmed.

Fortunately for us, there are clear guidelines that will help you rank your pages better, and most of them are able to be accomplished without being the head geek at Google.

Let’s look at 10 small business SEO tips that can help you rank your pages and sites better.

10 Small business SEO tips

Create substantial content – Making sure that you give your readers meaty, compelling content that they can use is job #1. Google favors longer text, so aim for at least 750-1250 words per page.

Make your URLs simple and telling – Make your page URLs an indicator of what is on your page by simply looking at them, Making use of your primary keyword here if possible.

Know your keywords – Make each page focus upon one primary keyword, and having said that, don’t overdo the use of that phrase. Aim for a 1-3% keyword density on the page.

Create your Google My Business listing – Google’s latest local business incarnation is a suite of all things local business: Google+, Maps and more. It’s essential you have an optimized Google My Business presence if you plan to do well in local rankings.

Optimize for mobile – Never more important than now, as Google announced that beginning April 21st, 2015, they will penalize non-mobile friendly sites on all mobile search results, which is about 50% of total web traffic today. Don’t be left out!

Optimize visual content – Another search rank signal important to Google is that your visual content, especially images are optimized for search. This involves image size, ALT tags and a few other items.

Have consistent NAP data – Make sure you are using consistent NAP data, (name, address, phones) across all your web platforms.

Generate user reviews – Encourage your customers and users to leave a positive review for you, especially on Google+, as this will have a large effect on where you rank.

Meta data – Make sure that each web page has optimized Meta data, in particular title tags, description, along with only 1 H1 tag per page.

Use Google Analytics – Or something similar to make sure you know what is going on with your site. Analytics, along with Google Webmaster Tools is a great start!

Negative SEO

How to Handle Negative SEO

Not a lot of people have been a victim of a negative SEO attack, but for those who have, it’s generally not pretty. This type of activity may result in lost revenue and damaged reputations. Let alone all the time and effort you’ve spent getting your sites positioned well in Google.

So, you might ask, what does a negative SEO attack look like? Some common ways an evil webmaster can try and take you down includes tactics like creating a huge amount of links to your pages, using spam keywords or even all of your page’s primary keywords. (Google sees this as link manipulation) The may also directly hack into your server, and in some cases impersonate you online in social media. In order to help you be prepared for the fight against negative SEO, we’ve included 5 ways you can be aware of what’s going on with your site.

5 Strategies for handling Negative SEO

Use alerts – One of the best aspects of Google Webmaster tools is that it can send you email alerts whenever your site is under various types of attacks, such as if you have a malware problem, pages are not indexed and others.

Look at your backlink profile – One way negative SEO may harm you is if you get a sudden spike in backlinks that are of the spammy variety. You’ll need to especially be mindful for any spam keywords. A site like monitorBacklinks.com is useful.

Listen for social media mentions – Be sure to set up alerts on a service like Mention.net to monitor anytime anyone talks about you or your brand. Social media can catch fire quickly, so this is extremely important.

Check for duplicate content – An old school technique used by people set on harming your SEO is copying your content and pasting it all over the Web. Having the same content everywhere on the Web is an easy way incur a Google site penalty.

Make your site secure – The last thing you want is having some hacker come along and actually hack their way onto your site. This is especially true if you are on a WordPress platform, as it has had numerous security flaws over the years.

All About Backlinks

Learn How to Get Quality Backlinks to Your Site in 2015

Try as we may want to, abandoning link building to our pages doesn’t appear to be going the way of the dinosaur. Google still utilizes incoming backlinks as a signal that your page is worthy and popular, though it has gotten significantly better at ferreting out attempts to game the system.

To help get you started, we’ve listed 7 easy ways to get quality links to your web pages. You now just have to do it!

7 Simple ways to get good links into your site

Press releases – Some are running scared of press releases as of late, and if you are doing these simply to score an anchor text link, you might well be. Use them for what they are meant for: real news, naked links, and wide distribution.

Relevant business directories – This is very important if you have a local business, but is helpful for any site. Don’t blanket the Web with directory listings; but select the best and use carefully thought-out entries.

Image sites – Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are easy pickings, and have the possibility to spread your links wide. Make sure to cross promote on your other social media channels.

Guest posts – Still a worthwhile tactic if you are able to take the time to not only write killer content, but place it on relevant, authoritative sites that get a lot of traffic.

Social channels – These days making sure you are spreading your content and cross-promoting through your social channels is an excellent way to get it in front of a LOT of people, and as a result get your fair share of inbound linkage.

Create infographics – A great looking and informative infographic has the ability to be shared near and far, and linked to in a whole lot of places. Something to think about!

YouTube Videos – YouTube is owned by Google, (you already knew that) and has a tendency to receive favor from them in many ways, not the least of which is rankings in Google’s search results. Enough said!