Google is dependent on good search results and makes it a priority to find the fest content for its search results. To do this Google is a totally automated search engine that relies on software called web crawlers that explore the internet regularly to find sites to add to their index. Many of the websites listed on Google’s search results have not been manually submitted to be included, thanks to these automated bots that crawl the internet periodically. In order to determine if your website is already on Google’s index by searching your website’s URL. Even though Google crawls and indexes literally billions of websites, it is possible that some get overlooked. When this happens, it likely one of a few reasons; Google may have received an error while attempting to crawl the site, the website design makes it hard for Google to effectively crawl the content, it’s a new site that hasn’t had time to be crawled yet, or the website isn’t well connected from other websites on the internet.
Google offers guidelines to help build a website that is crawler friendly. There can be no guarantee that a crawler will find the website, but when the guidelines are followed it makes it much more likely that it will be crawled, thus appearing in Google’s search results. Google’s Search Console is able to provide tools that aid in submitting content to Google, and are able to monitor how the website is performing in the search results. Search Console is even able to send website owners alerts on important issues that have been encountered with a website or mobile application.
Are You in Need of an SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization or optimizer, and hiring someone to do this is a huge decision that has the potential to exponentially improve a website. On the flip side, this can also potentially damage the website and its reputation. If you are thinking about it, you should research the advantages and disadvantages of hiring someone.
Many SEO agencies and consultants will provide useful services including but not limited to:
Reviewing a website’s content and/or structure
Information on specific markets and geographies
You need to realize that Google’s search results pages will include both organic search results as well as paid advertisements. When you choose to advertise with Google, there will not be any effect on the presence of the website within the search results—the money paid isn’t for increasing rank in search results. It is totally free to appear in Google’s organic search results pages. There are many free resources from Google to provide information about how to optimize a website for organic search results, like Search console, their discussion forum, and the official Webmaster Central blog.
While starting a search for SEO, work to become familiar with how search engines actually work. Also, the earlier in the process of creating a website that you hire someone for SEO, the better. This can be when launching a new website, or even if you are thinking about a website redesign. That way, the website will be search engine friendly from top to bottom.
What to Ask when investing in SEO
If you hire someone for SEO you need to make sure that they are trustworthy. Some topics to ask them about include previous work, their familiarity with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, their marketing services, their experience regarding the industry and location of the site, their length of time in the business, and what is the best way to communicate with them. Those who work in SEO have the ability to provide valuable services, but those unethical SEOs have tainted the industry through overly aggressive marketing techniques and attempts to unfairly manipulate search engines. It is vital to know that anyone who violates Google’s guidelines will receive negative consequences, like a lower adjustment in search results presence or even total removal altogether.
These are some things to consider when looking for someone to help you with your SEO: there is no possible way that anyone can guarantee a number 1 ranking on Google. A company should not be secretive and needs to be able to clearly explain what they intend to do. You should also not never be asked to link to their firm.
Make Your Website Google Friendly
You will need to give your visitors high-quality information, this is even more important on the main page. If the pages of the site contain information that is useful, the content is likely to attract more visitors and even provoke other webmasters to link to your site on theirs. To create the type of information that will get this reaction, the content should be helpful and rich in information that accurately and clearly describes your chosen topic.
While you want others to link to your website, you should be linking other websites on yours as well. This helps web crawlers to find the website and then give it greater visibility in the search results. This is possible because Google uses advanced text-matching software to provide pages that are important and relevant to the search. Pages that link to each other are essentially a vote of confidence in one another and shows to Google as being more important. These algorithms have the ability to distinguish natural links from unnatural links. Natural links are those that develop as a normal part of the web when other websites discover your content and find it valuable and helpful to their audience. On the other hand, unnatural links are those that are placed with a specific strategy in mind in order to make a website appear to be more valuable. Do know that only those links that are natural are the ones that matter when crawling and indexing a website in order to determine the ranking.
A website needs to have a logical structure of the links. Each page needs to be reachable from one or more static text links. It is recommended to use a text browser like Lynx to review your website. Viewing it like this is similar to how many web crawlers will see it, so just in case any extra features keep you from seeing the entire site through it, you’ll know that it is difficult for a bot to crawl it.
What To Avoid
Do not stuff your content with lists of keywords, attempt to hide pages, or make pages only available to crawlers. If there are pages, text, or links that are not intended for visitors to see, then Google sees this is deceptive and could ignore the website.
You should also not feel obligated to pay for an SEO service. Some companies will claim to give you a higher ranking for your site, while others will realistically improve the content and flow of the website. It is vital to be able to distinguish the good from the bad when looking at SEO services.
Images should not be used when displaying important names, links, or content. The crawlers do not recognize the text within the graphics. If images are needed, you should be using the ALT attributes to give information about these graphics.
You should also not be creating more than one copy of a page under different URLs. Many websites opt to have text only or printer friendly version of their pages, and they contain the same information as their graphic-rich counterpart.
Appear as a Featured “In-depth article”
These are the articles that appear when searching for things like a specific person or an organization. They are highlighted in the search results, as they provide high-quality content that will help users to learn more about a topic. This feature is based on an algorithm, but there are certain steps that can be taken as a webmaster that will help Google to discover your high quality, in-depth content for users that are looking for it.
You should have all of the following features in place: a headline, alternative headline, an image that can be crawled and indexed, a description, the date published, and a body for the article. If the content is broken up into multiple parts, it should have proper pagination that will aid the algorithm in being able to correctly identify the extent of the articles. Also, it is very important to correctly canonicalize the pages of the content broken up into multiple pages.
A logo is a great way for any user to recognize the source of content in just a simple glance. Being a webmaster, there are a few ways that you can let Google know which logo should be used for your website. You can generate a Google+ page and then link it to your website. Here, you will choose an icon or official logo to use as the default image. Or, you can use organization markup in order to pinpoint your logo. If either of these things are done, it may take a little time for the changes to be reflected in the search results.
Follow these Basic Principles
Keep in mind your target audience and provide quality content for them and not search engines. You should not be working in a way that will deceive users that visit the page—more often than not it will also try to deceive the search engine as well. You should be avoiding tricks that are used to improve rankings in search engines. One way to think about it is to ponder whether or not you would feel comfortable explaining what you have done to the website to a brand that is your competition or to an employee of Google. Ask yourself, will this help my users? Would I still do this if search engines did not exist? Think about what it is that makes your website valuable, unique, and engaging. Your website should be developed so that it will stand out among others in the same field.
Additional Things to Avoid
Some of the things that seem like a good idea, really do nothing but negatively impact a website. This is because Google’s algorithms are privy to all of the tricks.
Here are some of the things that should be avoided:
Link schemes. This is when links are added with the intention of manipulating a site’s ranking in Google’s search results, including buying or selling links, excessive link exchanges, and large-scale article marketing/guest posting.
Cloaking. This is when different content or URLs is presented to the human users and search engines. It is a clear violation of Google’s guidelines.
Sneaky redirects. Sending a visitor to a URL that is different than the one that was originally requested.
Doorway pages. These are created only to rank highly for certain search queries. They will lead to many similar pages while each result will take the user to the same destination.
Text or links that are hidden
Scraped content. Copying and republishing content from a website and not adding any sufficient original content or value to it.
Affiliate programs that do not add sufficient value
Stuffing irrelevant keywords
Pages with malicious behavior (viruses, etc.)
Good Practices to Follow
Doing the right things is not difficult. You should always be monitoring your website for hacking, and then removing any content that has been hacked as soon as it is discovered. You will also need to work to prevent and remove any spam that is user-generated. These things may cause your website to violate Google’s guidelines, and they will take action on it. Once the problem has been taken care of, it can be submitted to be reconsidered.
Do you have a new business or established business and are not sure about how to begin promoting it properly? Are you thinking about expanding the company’s marketing efforts to include Digital Marketing? If the answer is yes, you may find yourself frustrated asking questions that lead to more questions, with the original questions still needing answers. What are SEO and PPC? What is the Difference? Which one should I use? What should I expect?
Before getting into the specifics of SEO versus PPC, performance tracking and proper analytics need to be set up and working. It is vital to set up tracking prior to starting the SEO or PPC efforts so that you can assess the resulting performance changes accurately. One of the greatest things about digital marketing is that there is no need to ever guess how much revenue was generated, like what is needed when advertising is done through a TV commercial or ad printed in the newspaper. All of the data regarding the performance of the ad is available to you in just a few clicks.
Getting Setting Started with Analytics and Tracking
If you are not yet tracking your web performance, you will need to select a web analytics provider, acquire the appropriate tracking code to implement on the website, set up the goals for conversion actions that you will track, and then if applicable setup the eCommerce tracking. It is widely recommended to use Google Analytics—it is a free, comprehensive, and popular service used widely by thousands of professionals. Additional resources for discovering information about your website’s information can be found in our Analytics and Tracking Service.
Once analytics has been set up, it is recommended to perform an audit of the account to make sure that everything is not only being tracked but being tracked correctly. It also gives users the opportunity to measure their website for other conversion actions that are to be tracked but are often overlooked, like micro-conversions like video views or newsletter signups.
SEO and PPC. Knowing the Difference
Search engine optimization (also referred to as to SEO), as well as Local SEO, happens when a website is optimized so that it can achieve higher rankings within organic search results. The most used search engine, Google, boasts more than 200 factors in their algorithm that determine where a website will be ranked within the search results. Because it allows you to show up in organic search results, it is free. One the website has earned a high ranking in the search engine results page (SERP), the results will live there for a while and you will see sustained traffic from this. Also, organic results generally have a higher click-through rate than that of a paid ad. On the other hand, SEO is a long-term project that takes time to build authority and subsequently be indexed for search terms. While technically it is free, to fully optimize a website is a huge investment of not only time but resources as well.
SEO is more than just optimizing a website and its content to rank higher in organic search results via targeted keywords on the most popular search engines. It is also about being regarded as the authority on a given topic, providing a solution that is being sought. The top search engines like Yahoo, Google, and Bing will look at how individuals interact with a website, and if the visitors come back, and if other websites are linking about to your website, this makes it appear that you are the leading authority.
Pay-per-click (also referred to as PPC)is a model for advertising in which you will pay for each click that your ad gets. Advertising through search engines is the most common version of pay-per-click. It happens when you bid for your ad to show when an individual searches a keyword that is relevant to the business that you are offering. This kind of advertising can also be used on social media platforms like Facebook, where the ads are served to an individual based on their demographic, interests, or other specifications that the brand has chosen. The great thing about PPC campaigns is that once it has been launched, the boost in traffic is usually immediate.
There are many advertising platforms available for PPC, and you are able to choose an offering that targets the options that will aid you in reaching your target audience. Pay Per Click options includesPaid Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Remarketing Search Advertising, Social Media Advertising, andVideo Advertising. PPC traffic generally has a higher conversion rate than that of organic traffic. One of the downfalls of PPC campaigns is that you have to pay for your advertisements to appear. Also, the boost may be immediate but it is vital that time is invested in order to learn how to develop and optimize campaign ads. This is vital in getting the most out of a PPC campaign. Lastly, while good results for a short campaign are achievable, you should know that when you turn the campaign off the traffic associated with it will also go away.
Essentially PPC is paying for space used for advertising using targeted keywords on a search results page. Do not think that this is a “set it and forget it” type of situation—there is still search engine optimization that is done when creating a PPC advertising campaign.
What Gets the Best Results? Organic Search Results or PPC
As earlier mentioned, it all depends. Long term, your web marketing strategy needs to include search engine optimization. The biggest advantage of SEO is that it will bring in better quality leads, statistically. And in fact, many users on the internet have become accustomed to ignoring the “paid results” portion of a page when looking through the web or searching Google. There is a lot of data that suggests organic search results visitors are more likely to trust you and the business or products. When you rank highly in Google’s search results pages through a keyword or phrase it is a great sign that you are seen as a more credible source and one of the important contributors in your industry. Considering this, do not trick yourself into thinking that SEO is really free. No matter how it is sliced, SEO will cost time and money but in the end, it is a worthwhile investment.
Which Platform Should You Choose?
Answering this questions is a bit complicated, but really it just depends. There are a handful of factors that go into deciding whether SEO or PPC is right for you. Best case scenario is that your long-term web strategy will include SEO, even if you chose to begin with PPC. For instance, some SEO efforts like improving page speed and page content will also give a better user experience for those visiting the site via PPC. These things will keep them engaged, making it less likely that they will abandon the website shortly after arriving at it. For many companies, using both SEO and PPC just are not an option when starting off, so there are some things to consider before getting started with one or the other.
In short, consider the goals of the company. Is there a lot of education involved in purchasing the product or service? Is the product or service brand new? Are you already well-known in your industry? There are just a small handful of questions that will need to be answered when considering SEO or PPC.
Don’t Overlook PPC Just Yet
There are a number of advantages to PPC over SEO organic searches. For instance, if your PPC campaign is set up correctly, you will see a significant return on your investment. This goes beyond who is paying the most to show up in the top ad spot—know that the top priority of a search engine is to give the best results for the user that is doing the searching—not the company that is paying for the advertisements. Another advantage of PPC is the power to advertise on other websites that have a large amount of traffic that fir your target user. If a user sees the advertisement but does nothing, and then later in the day sees the ad again on a different web page, there is a good chance that they will take a second look at the ad and consider the product.
To make it simple, SEO is free while PPC is not, though both do require a time commitment to get started. If there is just no room in the budget required by a PPC campaign, starting with simple SEO may be the best way for you to proceed. If you can do SEO on your own, all that it will cost is your time. If you hire an SEO professional, that will require a monetary investment as well. PPC is exactly that—pay per click so you will be paying for each click that the advertisement gets.
If the campaign being promoted is time-sensitive, like and offer for an even or a sale, the results from SEO will simply take too long for it to pay off. PPC campaigns will see increased traffic immediately and may be turned off or deleted as soon as the deadline for the promotion is over. It is vital to begin real SEO from the inception of a website to make sure that you are not going back through old posts and pages to bring them up to par. This practice will require less time altogether in the long run.
If the goal is to put together a permanent informational website, SEO is the best choice. The crowning objective is for search engines to see the website as an authority. This can be achieved with high-quality content, links leading in from reputable websites, and also consistent traffic. If the goal is to promote and sell a niche product, PPC will be your best choice. Many PPC platforms can aid in reaching the specified target audience intended.
When choosing between SEO and PPC, what will work best for you really just depends on so many things? PPC is a super way to give an initial jolt to your brand’s digital marketing efforts with an immediate spike in traffic. To make the most of a PPC campaign, it is important to take your time to get the correct training and certifications. Google actually offers this training in their process for certification for Google Analytics and Google Adwords—both of which are free for all businesses. If you do not have the time or resources to dedicate to this, it is vital that you hire someone that has experience and is trained in PPC, still understanding that when the PPC campaign is turned off, the traffic will halt as well.
Search Engine Optimization is very important and does take a bit of time to build page authority so that the pages will be indexed for the correct search terms. In addition to this, you should not be surprised by numerous changes in your rankings—especially if the market that you are in is highly competitive. It will be anyone’s guess when any number of competitors is going to put their game in high gear to become the authority in the industry. Do not feel forlorn, as a long-term SEO strategy will bring in the most qualified leads. In addition to this, your SEO efforts will directly help any PPC results. These are things like improving page titles, content, meta descriptions, backlinking, and more.
When done the right way, both SEO and PPC will work well to get you on the front page of a search engine’s results for the desired keywords. Knowing that each strategy has its own set of costs and benefits, it is hard to give a black and white answer of which is best, because it all depends on one’s needs. Take the time to think about where you are in the life cycle of your brand (still quite new or very well established), what you are considering for your budget, and how much work you are willing to put in to make your brand successful on the internet.
For More Information about Our SEO and PPC Services to increase Traffic and Company Growth
Ranking a new website for popular keywords can be difficult. So why are popular keywords so hard to rank for with a new website? It’s a good question, although the longer you work in search marketing, the more obvious the answer becomes.
The Main Reasons New Websites Have Difficulty Ranking for Popular, High-Volume Keywords:
Site Authority The amount of on-page optimization you do when targeting a specific keyword is only half the battle. The Google algorithm takes site or domain authority into account when assigning rankings. Your site’s authority depends on factors like age of domain (hence, new websites necessarily have less authority) as well as the number of inbound links your site has accrued and the authority, in turn, of the sites that link to you (aka PageRank).
The competition for “popular keywords” is that much stiffer By definition, more sites are competing to rank for more popular keywords, so your site authority is even more important if you want to rank on the first page or anywhere near it. Think about it: There are sites that have been around for a decade or more, working to rank for valuable popular keywords (like, say, “car insurance” or “local weather”). It’s unlikely that some newbie is going to be able to stroll in and take one of the top spots just because they want it.
The web is growing all the time, and the huge increase in the number of unique domains each year – in 2011, over 50 million new domains were created! – means that popular, high-volume search terms get exponentially more competitive over time. So yes, it’s true that it’s very difficult for new sites to rank for these keywords – unfortunately for you and your site, but perhaps fortunately for users. Search engine users want the best information first and fastest, so Google ranks sites that are already vetted through the “votes” of links. If you have a new website and you want to rank for a popular keyword, you’ll have to prove your site’s worth to Google first. Here are some tips for getting there:
Long-Tail Keywords First
Longer, more specific keywords – known as long-tail keywords – have lower search volume than head terms, but they’re much less competitive to rank for. For example, a new website has next to no chance of ranking for the head term “insurance,” but would have much better luck with a niche keyword like “business overhead expense disability insurance,” because fewer websites are competing to rank. Long-tail keywords also have the added benefit of revealing more intent, making it easier for you to create content that meets the user’s implied needs.
SEO content is whatever it is on your site that might rank for a relevant keyword – whether it’s a blog post that answers a question (like this one), a video that shows viewers how to do something, or user-generated reviews of the products you sell. By “real content,” I mean content that is genuinely useful to people. Your content marketing strategy should follow naturally from the type of business you run, the types of keywords that your prospects use, and where your expertise lies.
Use Proper Link Building
Google is in full-on battle mode against SEO spammers, so be safe when building links (and I don’t mean giving your in-house SEOs condoms!). Don’t purchase links in bulk and don’t waste your time with low-quality websites that are irrelevant to your niche. Spammy link tactics are unlikely to work in the long term, but you do still need links to show Google your site is rank-worthy. So leverage that great content you’re creating and do smart link outreach to bring attention to your site.
As mentioned above, part of what matters to Google is the age of your site. So there’s no fast track to great SEO rankings – to some extent it’s just a waiting game. But domain age alone isn’t worth very much – your site should be growing and improving all the time.
Use Pay Per Click
While you’re working to improve your site’s authority and organic rankings, consider leveraging paid search marketing, or PPC, to drive traffic. It’s generally faster and easier to place ads on the results pages for your target keywords than it is to rank for them organically, so you can use it as a stop-gap measure while your site is new and as a supplement to organic traffic later. Your PPC account will also provide invaluable data to help you better execute organic SEO.
Content is one way to demonstrate your brand’s integrity and help your audience trust you. 28% of B2B marketers & 30% of B2C marketers say content marketing contributes to business goals
The old saying that content is king might be one of the most overused phrases ever to grace the world of digital marketing; however, it’s fair to say that it’s hung around so long because it’s actually true.Content marketing seems like it’s going to be easy. You just write a few blog posts or add more pages to your site, right? But when you sit down to really think about it, it’s a lot more complicated than you originally thought. First, you need a strong keyword research plan. Buyer Personas. Bags of creativity. A no-holds-barred approach to writer’s block. A top-notch grammar game. And ideas by the bucket load. Then there’s the competition. A recent study counted three times leap in the amount of content created by brands in just a 12-month period, with one single brand creating a massive 29,000 pieces of original content in one year.
Despite the difficulties, brands are creating more content than ever before. But, why? Why is content marketing important? What does it add to a digital strategy? And more importantly, what does it bring to the bottom line?
Content is Used Everywhere and For Everything
There is no better long-term strategy than content marketing.” He gives a number of reasons for this view but what’s most compelling is his point that content is used everywhere and influences every other type of marketing strategy:
Your email content fuels opens and click-throughs
Your web content fuels rankings and encourages conversions
It’s essential for social media campaigns
Necessary for blog posts
And useful for creating trust, authority and establishing relationships with other brands and businesses
Content Gives Compounding Rates of Return
As your investment earns interest, your principal grows and you earn more interest with each subsequent round of compounding. Content works much the same way since it’s more or less “permanent.” If you publish twice a week, you’ll have 110 pieces the first year, so the first year you’ll produce 110 pieces and get 110 pieces’ worth of results. The second year, you’ll produce 110 pieces and see 220 pieces’ worth of results.” This compounding rate of return means your content is always available to you and can help to drive sales. If you create evergreen content in addition to news posts and trending topic-led pieces, you’ll also have a stockpile of information that you can turn to time and time again, whenever you need interesting, useful pieces for emails, slideshows, social posts, and other marketing activities.
Great Content Inspires Trust
In our annual local consumer review survey last year, we reported that 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation for a business, product or service. In his article for the Content Marketing Institute, Sujan Patel mused that the reason there is a such an appetite for reviews is that as consumers, we need to be assured that we’re going to get what we pay for. User-generated content, like online reviews, fills this gap.
He said, “Content is one way to demonstrate your brand’s integrity and, in turn, help your audience trust you.” With this power, it’s easy to see how content marketing drives sales. Simply by reassuring consumers, a well-placed piece of content can set your brand apart in a crowded marketplace.
Building this into a content marketing strategy can be done in a number of ways.
Work with an influencer or blogger to endorse your product
Create authority branded content
Invite a respected person in your field or industry to contribute their own content to your blog or website
Secure a guest post or column of your own on a respected website, blog or magazine site
Ask happy customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing or other review sites like Yelp or Foursquare
Content Builds Links
If your marketing or sales activity relies on any form of organic search visibility, you need content to help with rankings for specific keywords and link acquisition. Backlinks are an essential component of any SEO campaign, with a few high quality, relevant links worth their weight in gold. In today’s fierce battle for page one rankings, great links can only be acquired with the help of stellar content. Whether you create a great infographic, a thought-provoking blog post or must-read ebook, it’s the quality of your content that will determine whether or not other sites want to link to you. Top sites and influencers won’t risk sending their hard-earned traffic your way via a link unless your content provides something that is a must see or a must read. Short of buying links, strong content is the only way to earn those likes and shares that will see your site moving up the rankings.
Content Value is Measurable
The importance of any marketing initiative, whether it’s content or advertisements, comes down to how accurately and how easily it can be measured. Director of Editorial Content and Curation at Content Marketing Institute, Jodie Harris cites a CMI Benchmark report which found that 28% of B2B marketers and 30% of B2C marketers now say their content marketing activity has reached a mature stage where its contributions to overall business goals can be measured. On the back of this, 52% of B2B and 51% of B2C marketers expect that blogging will be their most critical tactic for achieving success in the upcoming year.
Ready For Unique Content for your Business?
If you are looking to add rich content to your marketing strategy visit our Content Marketing Section at Digital Marketology so we can develop a personalized solution for you.
Most businesses have a basic understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) and why it’s important to the growth of their company. However, when it comes to developing and executing a proper SEO strategy they don’t know where to begin. Here are some tips for successful SEO strategies.
Develop A Mind Map
A mind map is a place to build your strategy from the ground up. A mind map is simply a branching series of categories, usually reaching out from the center, moving from more general to more specific categories, with ideas becoming more granular. It isn’t a visualization of your final strategy. A mind map exists not to help you present your plan, but to help you think about it.
Mind maps are tools that help you envision your thinking process in a way that makes it easier for you to combine ideas by helping you see how they fit together as a whole. They help reduce the load that your strategy imposes on your working memory so that you can focus on thinking and brainstorming. You can use a tool like Mind Meister, or you can simply jot down your ideas as they come to you in the visual format.
The primary benefit of using a mind map is its ability to help you think in a nonlinear fashion. Using a mind map allows you to see everything at once, in a structure that resembles the networked way that your real brain works, so I highly suggest using one as you develop your SEO strategy.
A Visual Representation
Once your strategy becomes more concrete, you will need a more in-depth and professional document than your mind map. Keep in mind what a strategy is: a plan. That means you have goals, specific tasks attached to those goals, some tasks that have to come before others, recurring tasks that will need to be iterated and honed, and subtasks that will become more numerous and specific as time goes on. You need to be able to present all of this quickly and easily to your client and your teams, and you need to do so in a format that is simple enough for all parties to understand, as well as edit. You can use Google Sheets, Trello, Workzone, Basecamp, or whatever you prefer. The specific tool isn’t as important as your method for using it. It must be immediately clear to all parties about how to read the plan and make changes if needed. It must also be clear:
Which task is assigned to whom.
Which tasks follow the first.
Which tasks are recurring, planned, in progress, and finished.
An Understanding of the Company
Whether you’re an in-house or outsourced SEO, you need to have a solid understanding of the company in order to make any SEO strategy successful. You need to know what strengths you can leverage in order to get the most SEO value, what tactics will work best for the brand identity, and what is standing in your way. Here are some of the most important factors you should consider as you develop your strategy:
What is the product’s unique selling proposition? We may be referring to a line of products or a single product, but whatever the case may be, we need to know what makes our company different in order for any strategy to work. This will strongly impact the types of outreach that will make sense, the type of audiences we will want to cultivate, the type of keywords we will be tracking, and much more.
What is the company’s vision? We need to go deeper than knowing what industry we are in and that we want to be profitable if we want to generate the kind of waves that affect visibility in the search engines. Dig deep into that vision statement to look for ideas that will guide your strategic goals and metrics. If your vision statement isn’t doing that for you, you might want to consider developing a new vision statement for your own campaign, which serves the purpose.
Where is the company really hurting right now? This is one of those things that might seem like you can avoid early on, but will always creep in and decimate an SEO strategy (or department, or partnership) if it isn’t annihilated. Understand what the company really needs to see and really can’t accommodate before you commit to a strategy.
An Understanding of the Audience
You need to know who your audience is, and that means a great deal more than just what keywords they’re searching for. Here are a few things you need to determine, either by talking to your client, surveying your audience, browsing some relevant internet hangouts, or all of the above and more:
How accepting are they of marketing, upselling, and so on? If you’ve ever consumed anything in the self-help industry, you might have noticed how comfortable “gurus” in that industry are willing to upsell their audience, even spend a dedicated portion of a paid presentation for advertising their other products. Alternatively, if you’ve ever spent any time trying to link to anything of your own on Reddit, you know that they are hypersensitive to any kind of promotion at all. This is something you need to be highly aware of as you develop your strategy.
What is their level of knowledge? Are you talking to people who know everything about their subject matter and will laugh off anybody who tries to share introductory material? Are you talking to people who are completely oblivious to industry jargon?
How close are they to the industry? Is your audience consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B)? Will these people be intimately familiar with your industry, or almost entirely outside of it? Are they interested in understanding more about the industry, or do they care solely about how your products can benefit them?
For a goal to be useful, it needs to be precise, and for it to be precise, we should be focusing more on the working parts and how they fit together than on a particular dollar amount. We need to be deliberate when we choose our metrics and KPIs. Yes, we want revenue to go up faster than costs, and yes, it can be useful to set a financial goal. We certainly should be setting goals that have time limits. However, a strategy is about achieving goals that have a specific impact on the company, its direction and future, and the way that the business itself functions. That means our metrics should reflect what is happening with the working pieces themselves. This could mean links and authority, it could mean rankings, or it could mean organic search traffic.
The point is, everybody should agree on what metrics make sense and why. I strongly believe in the value of task-oriented goals over KPI goals. This is because, especially when it comes to inbound marketing and SEO, our impact on KPIs is indirect. For this reason, I believe in setting goals for projects, living up to those goals, then measuring the impact and adjusting the strategy in response. This is an approach that is more likely to lead to knowledge and actual optimization, as opposed to finding ways to manipulate the KPIs while losing sight of the long-term impact.
Nearly every SEO strategy can benefit from these five elements. Build them into your framework and make them a part of the way you do business. At Digital Marketology we are experts in Digital Marketing. To learn more about our SEO services visit Local SEO and Search Engine Optimization.
It can be very effective in increasing traffic, generating leads, enabling sales and contributing to SEO. Which brings us to the main question ‒ how can I use it to improve my search rankings? When done well, content marketing can contribute to boosting a site’s position in search rankings. Although this may not seem like the most obvious benefit to a successful content marketing strategy, it’s an effect that no business can ignore. Let’s take a look at how to make full use of your website’s content to rank higher in the SERPs.
Creating new content
Having a website is not enough; it constantly needs to be updated for it to rank well. And this is where new content comes in handy. A site can never have enough content. There is always an opportunity to create new pieces of content, and the newness of content is also one of Google’s ranking signals. Fresh content as a ranking factor is not just judged by the publication date of the page, but also based on new pages, an increasing number of links towards a page and ultimately the increased level of traffic reaching the page. These criteria show that older posts can still be valuable, especially if they offer an in-depth analysis on a topic or have been regularly updated to keep them relevant, which leads us on to the next tip.
Repurposing old content
There’s no reason to ignore the older content you’ve published in the past, especially if it still gains a significant amount of traffic. Repurposing content can help you analyze a topic in more detail, by allowing you to create multiple types of content without losing their value or becoming repetitive. This saves you time spent coming up with new content ideas and also gives you a regular supply of fresh, valuable content to boost your ranking. Going beyond blog posts, you can create videos, infographics, podcasts, lists and more from your older material. Your target audience might be more receptive for example to infographics rather than a blog post, or you may discover that you can achieve higher conversion rates through a list rather than a podcast.
Using visual content
Visual content has become very popular on the internet due to our own ability to process an image faster than any written text. This wins the first impression and it can be very powerful within the context of a page. Previously used mostly to accompany written content, visual content has reached the stage where it’s now considered a form of content in its own right, standing on its own to increase awareness, engagement, and leads. On top of this, it can be optimized for search, offering a new opportunity for a business to stand out from its competitors via images and videos. The optimization of your visual content can lead to surprisingly positive results, provided that you follow a series of small steps that ensure that they are SEO-friendly. Search crawlers cannot “read” images, only the text that accompanies them. This means that you must focus on:
• Image title (don’t upload an image with a filename 4fogowr.jpg, but rather rename it to something more relevant, e.g. contentforseoguide.jpg)
• Alt tags (the tags that describe the image for screen reader users, or if the image fails to load)
• Image size (large images affect a page’s load time, which can have a negative effect on your search ranking)
Choosing the right keywords
Keyword research can turn into a useful ally, especially if you bear in mind that you don’t always need to target the most obvious keywords. Targeting highly sought-after keywords can make it harder for you to rank higher in search, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t become an authority on a topic by using different phrases for the same concept. How about picking words and phrases that are less competitive but still high in rankings? Find the keywords that best suit your content, and think outside the box when deciding on the focus keywords you want to target.
Create link-worthy content
Link building helps your content reach a broader audience, increasing both your site’s visibility and its authority. It can help grow your search traffic, as the number of unique domains linking to your site helps search engines understand whether your content is informative enough to rank higher in the SERP. Not all links are equal, as high-authority sites contribute more heavily in this regard. This means you should aim for more reputable mentions – but without snubbing any lesser sites that might link to you, as it all adds up. It’s easier for a source to link to your content if it’s authentic, interesting and well-researched, so always aim for quality over quantity.
Got your sights on a keyword? Want to see your website on the elusive first page of Google for a given search term? Prepare yourself: Unless you’re Wikipedia or The New York Times, it won’t be easy. But it’s not impossible, either. Seriously – we do it all the time! Ranking for a keyword in organic search is a repeatable process. You won’t get the results you want 100% of the time, especially if you’re a new website trying to rank for a popular keyword, but if you take content marketing and SEO seriously, you can start to make things happen. Things like rankings, and traffic, and sales, oh my! Here are the ten steps to rank for a keyword in Google.
Lay the Groundwork
This is really more of a pre-step than a first step. You’ll need to have some basics in place before you can hope to rank for any random keyword. These pre-requisites include:
A strong website – The longer your website has been around, accruing authority and links, the better. It’s also key that your entire site follows SEO best practices – start with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines if you don’t know what that means.
A network to draw on – In order to rank quickly for a keyword, it’s very useful to have a built-in network to share new content with – a blog following, an audience on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, email contacts you can reach out to for occasional help with a link. If you don’t know what that means, it’s time to start thinking about link building as relationship building.
Don’t rush this stuff in your race for Internet gold. If you don’t do things right the first time, you’ll just have to do them again later.
Do Your Initial Keyword Research
You may think you know what keyword you want to target but fact-check your instincts. Use several keyword tools to get a sense of the search volume for the keyword as well as the competition before you finalize your keyword choice. Your main considerations will include:
Choosing a keyword with good volume, but not too much volume – In general, you don’t want to target a keyword that has low relative search volume if there’s an equivalent term that is much more popular. For example, there are usually over twice as many searches for “blah blah jobs” versus “blah blah careers.” However, don’t always automatically go for the keyword with the highest volume; some keywords are simply too competitive and not worth your time. You’re not going to rank for “airline” unless you are, in fact, an airline.
Choosing a keyword that’s relevant to your business model – You’re more likely to succeed in ranking for a keyword if the term is relevant to your site and your business. You’re also more likely to get some real return on your ranking – remember that rankings in and of themselves aren’t particularly valuable unless they’re driving worthwhile traffic and leads. For example, a party planning business might target “how to cook for a party” – but “how to cook rice” isn’t really going to be relevant to them or their target audience.
At this stage of the process, you should also make a list of close variations on your primary keyword. These will be helpful in writing and optimizing your content later on.
Check Out the Competition
Once you’ve settled on a keyword, do a search for it on Google and a few other search engines to see what your competition is already doing. Pay particular attention to:
The domains and URLs – How many are exact match domains? Does every URL in the top 10 include the keyword?
The titles – How do the title tags incorporate the keyword?
The type of content that’s ranking – Product pages? Blog posts? Videos?
The types of businesses that are ranking – Are they huge brands? Small businesses? News sites?
How authoritative those sites are – You can use a plugin like SEO for Firefox to check the age of the sites in the top 10, the size of their link profiles and so on.
You’re looking for ways that you can differentiate yourself. You’ll need to do at least as much as your competitors are doing to beat them. Ideally, you should be doing more, and doing it better.
The more specific the keyword (think long-tail keywords), the easier it is to gauge the searcher’s intent, and the easier it will be to serve up what those searchers are probably looking for. In search marketing, “intent” is our best guess at what the person using the search query really wants. Consider the following keywords and notice how much easier it is to guess the intent from the words alone as you go down the list:
discount eyeglasses frames
discount eyeglasses frames for kids
Ask yourself, what kind of content best serves the keyword? In this case, it would obviously be a selection of kid’s eyeglasses for sale. From the first term, you can’t even tell if the person is looking for eyeglasses or drinking glasses. And even for the second, the person might just be looking for pictures of eyeglasses; there is no clear intent to buy. An e-commerce business is mostly going to be trying to rank for commercial keywords.
Google’s founders have said that the perfect search engine would serve only one result. You want to be that one result that satisfies the searcher’s need so they don’t bounce back to the search results, looking for a better answer.
Conceptualize the Content
Next, form a plan for the actual content you’re going to create that will – hopefully – rank for your chosen keyword. There are many paths to ranking for a keyword, including but not limited to:
A blog post
A product page
An index or directory of links (to other pages on your site or around the web)
An authoritative guide
How long will it take to create the content? Who should create it? Will you be doing everything in-house or outsourcing? Do you have all the resources and budget you need? Don’t get defeated: No matter your size or your budget, you have the ability to create a blog post. Content like infographics and videos will require more resources. Sometimes, the best way to answer a search query is with some sort of tool, like a mortgage calculator. If this is the case, you’ll need engineering resources.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Execute on your plan. Again, you shouldn’t rush any of these steps, but it’s especially important not to rush this one. More and more, search engines are looking for high-quality content that benefits the searcher, not keyword-stuffed spam or pages full of ads that only benefit you. If you’d rather buy traffic than put in the effort it requires to earn “free” organic search traffic, investigate PPC. “SEO isn’t easy” should be your mantra.
Optimize for Your Keyword
In reality, steps 6 and 7 should be intertwined. Optimize your content while you’re creating it, rather than applying optimization after the fact. This is where the list of keywords you formulated in step 2 comes in. Leverage those keywords where you can in your content, but not to the point of sounding like a crazy robot. Remember that there are a lot of “invisible” places for keywords, and I’m not talking about using white text on a white background or anything else that violates Google guidelines. I mean stuff like image file names – users won’t see these if they’re not looking for them, but they can increase your keyword rankings.
For a full list of on-page optimization factors, check out SEOmoz’s guide to the “perfect” page. Another good tip is to copy Wikipedia, whose pages tend to have stellar on-page optimization.
Before you hit “publish,” it’s a good idea to quickly double-check your keyword research. It’s possible that your content has evolved during the development and creation phases, and you’ll need to make sure that there’s still alignment between keyword and content.
It’s (finally) time to push your content out into the world. Depending on the type of content it is, you may need to be careful about scheduling this step. This isn’t usually a consideration for evergreen content, but it may be important for content that’s tied to something in the news, an event or a trend. You may also need to coordinate with PR or other interested parties at your company, for example when launching content related to a new product or service.
This step is important and should come immediately after publishing – in fact, for big pieces of content, it’s great if you can do some media outreach before the piece goes live. Make sure you do what you can to get your content in front of as many eyeballs as possible before it even has a chance to rank for the keyword:
Share your content through your business’s social accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn et al. If you can, do this through your personal accounts too.
Use social buttons or widgets on your site to promote independent sharing – Make it easy for readers and viewers to keep the chain going. They’re more likely to tweet or share your article if all they have to do is click a button.
Build links to your content – Whatever the future of PageRank, link building is still a huge part of SEO (even if it is the most annoying part). Check out our blog archive on the topic if you’re looking to learn about link building.
Accruing page views and social shares will help you accrue links, which will help you earn that ranking.
You’re not quite done yet! The web is a living medium, and it’s never too late to better optimize your content. Check your keyword ranking manually (be sure you’re signed out and not seeing overly personalized results) or with a rank checking tool. Also, use your analytics to see what keywords your content is actually ranking for – they might not be the exact ones you initially targeted. If, after a couple of weeks or so, you’re not ranking for the right keywords, you have more work to do. Make sure that your content:
Is truly optimized
Is truly high-quality
Is truly visible
It’s also possible that the keyword you chose is too competitive and you need to scale back your ambition. Try targeting less competitive keywords until you’ve built up more authority.
That’s it! This is the process we follow to rank for hundreds of keywords related to search marketing. Whatever your business niche, you can make the same process work for you. So GET STARTED!
These days, most businesses understand the basic concepts of SEO (search engine optimization) and why it’s important. However, when it comes to developing and executing a sound SEO strategy, most businesses don’t know where to begin. Here are five steps you can take to make sure all of your SEO bases are covered.
Make a List of Keywords
Keywords are at the heart of SEO, and selecting the right ones can make or break your SEO strategy. Compile a list of about 10 keywords associated with your product or services. Plug these keywords into Google’s Keyword Tool and find variations that make sense for your business.
Using search volume and competition as your measure, narrow down your list to 10-15 keywords you would like to rank for. Then rank this list in order of priority or relevance to your business.
Your keyword list should be a living and breathing document that you review and update at least once a month. This will make sure you stay in keyword research mode and keep your keyword list evolving with industry and search trends.
Build Keyword-Focused Pages
When it comes to websites and ranking in search engines, it’s always better to have multiple web pages tailored to specific keywords or phrases. Trying to get one page to rank for a handful of keywords can be next to impossible.
Use your keyword list to determine how many different web pages you should create. Ultimately, the number of web pages you create should coincide with how many different products, offerings, and locations your business has. This will make it much easier for your prospects and customers to find you in search engines no matter what keywords they use.
Each web page needs to include relevant content for your prospects and customers and should include pictures and links to pages on your site to enhance the user experience.
Create a list of all the different web pages you would like to create and rank them in order of importance. Then, create a schedule and devise a plan of attack to get those pages built. You will continue to roll out new web pages and enhance existing ones as you continue your keyword research and optimization. Keep your list updated and prioritized by what web pages will help you to best achieve your business goals.
Set Up a Blog
Blogging can be an incredible way to rank for keywords and engage your website’s users. After all, every blog post is a new web page that gives you another chance to rank in search engines. If your business does not already have a blog, set one up, and make a point to blog at least once a week. Remember, you are blogging primarily for your audience, not the search engines. Write about things your audience and/or prospects are interested in, make sure you’re including relevant keywords where appropriate, and your audience will naturally find you.
Create a Link-Building Plan
While our first three steps were dedicated to on-page SEO tactics, link-building is the primary objective of off-page SEO, and it’s also a huge factor in how search engines rank your web pages. Dedicate some time to brainstorm all the different ways you can attract inbound links to your website. Start small – maybe share your links with other local businesses in exchange for links to their sites. Write a few blog posts and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Consider approaching other bloggers for guest blogging opportunities through which you can link back to your website. Another great way to attract inbound links is to use your blog to post articles related to current events or news. That way you have shot of getting linked to from an industry influencer or other bloggers in your industry.
Stay Current on SEO News & Practices
Like the overall marketing landscape, the search engine space is ever-evolving. Staying on top of current trends and best practices is a difficult task, but there are multiple online resources that can make it easy for you to stay on top of SEO news and changes that may impact your website and your SEO strategy. Here are a few resources to check out:
SEO can take a lot of time and effort. What good is spending all this time and effort if you can’t see the fruits of your labor? There are many metrics you can track on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis to keep your SEO plan on track and measure your success. Create a monthly dashboard using Excel or a web analytics package so you can monitor how much traffic comes to your website from organic search. Also, tracking indexed pages, leads, ROI, inbound links, keywords, and your actual ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages) can help you recognize your success as well as identify areas of opportunity.
Do you have an SEO strategy in place for your business? Are you constantly revisiting it to improve how well your website ranks in search engines?
Our link building services are expertly delivered by a team of talented content marketing and PR specialists, who aim to provide your brand with exceptional coverage, quality backlinks and organic referrals to your website.
Why Can Link Building Help Grow Your Business?
Google has more than 200 ranking signals in their algorithm for scoring websites in the search engine. Despite the many changes to SEO over the years, link building continues to be one of the most important signals, as it informs Google you are a trusted website that can provide online value to users. If you want to become the competition in the search engines, your website will need a strong link building strategy and social signals. Our backlink services are focused on providing compelling ways to attract links to your website, rather than just building them for little or no value.
Experts in Link Building
Our skilled link builders will do their utmost to maximise a website’s visibility in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Our goal is to help you earn your place in Google, which is why we can develop a content marketing strategy to provide compelling reasons for a website to link back to you. We understand the best way to deliver a successful link building service is by building relationships, not just links. That’s why you can trust you will receive relevant links from authoritative sites in your niche with our SEO link building strategies, which will allow your brand to maximise its ROI. Not only will you receive authoritative SEO backlinks, but you can also boost your referral traffic, improve your brand awareness and significantly increase a website’s ranking.
How Does It Work?
We believe our link building services are a fundamental aspect of a successful SEO campaign. Therefore, our specialists will work with you to define objectives and develop a strategy through blogger outreach, PR, and creative content marketing. We take the steps to identify your key audiences and attract key influencers. Our team is also happy to deliver backlink services to support in-house and external content marketing and PR teams, or we can happily become your sole SEO team.
At Click Intelligence, we thoroughly research your industry, keywords, and competitors to deliver a link building strategy that works for your website. We utilize our in-house technology to deliver high-quality backlinks using white hat link building techniques. You therefore never need to worry about receiving a Google penalty due to poor backlinking methods.
Backlink Auditing & Analysis
We believe in reviewing your current link profile before we even think of embarking with our backlink building services. By doing so, we can gain an insight into any existing issues that could cause problems now or in the future, such as unnatural, manipulative backlinks from past campaigns. We can then deliver a strategy that can successfully improve your backlink profile.
We believe a content marketing campaign is the beating heart of a link building strategy. For this reason, our outreach team builds relationships with influential journalists, bloggers, and editors to gain a high authority guest post placement. We also have a team of skilled writers to provide engaging, well-written content, which will drive organic referrals and allow your website to gain trust in the SERPs.
We are dedicated to delivering long-term, sustainable results for a brand. We continually focus on developing a natural backlink profile for your brand, which is why we analyze a campaign through detailed reporting – and we offer full transparency on our approach.
Great easy to follow and understand the essence of what is SEO “Search Engine Optimization” This video is from a great Austrailian SEO Marketer, David Murray, who explains the fundamentals what-what SEO can do for your business regardless of whether you have a small local business or a much larger national or worldwide audience.