JPS Design Group - SEO Tactics graphic design, packaging design, web design en-us Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:54:00 -0800 Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 no 5 easy-to-miss SEO mistakes blogs make <h2>is your content great, but not ranking? here are some of the more common seo errors bloggers and content marketers make.</h2> <p>the digital marketing landscape has evolved significantly over the last two decades. and between google’s ever-changing algorithm and the deluge of misinformation floating through the digital marketing sphere, it’s easy to lose sight of basic practices we should be employing in our own seo and content marketing strategies.</p> <p>with every new algorithm update and technological shift in search, we become obsessed with how the field of seo will enter a wholly new paradigm, and we shift our focus to reflect this. yet as much as the medium may change, the core principles remain the same — and it’s time to get back to the basics.</p> <p>we all understand the secrets and best practices of seo, so why do we often fail to leverage these tactics? let’s explore five common blogging mistakes you may be making right now.</p> <h2>unoptimized keyword structure</h2> <p>despite the rise of semantic search and machine learning technology, <a href='' target='_blank'>keyword research</a> should still take precedence when modeling an internal content marketing campaign. all on-site content should be thematically linked by topics and keywords to your overall business objectives.</p> <p>if our content is simply covering topics and not keywords, how do we know what users <em>really</em>demand? without keyword research, how can you truly know who your audience is and who you are writing for?</p> <p>keywords serve as the bridge between user intent and informational/transactional content. keyword-optimized content helps to position individual web pages to rank higher organically and drive impressions for targeted searches. this effectively makes blog content a lead generator.</p> <p>for on-site blogs, the focus should remain on informational long-tail keyword phrases. common examples include question phrases beginning with <em>how, what, when, where</em> and <em>why</em>.</p> <p>other keyword ideas could include actionable phrases that are often searched for, such as the top “tips” and “hacks” to improve upon some process.</p> <p>bloggers often fail to optimize their headers, meta tags and content with targeted keyword phrases. consider the fact that specific keyword phrases will often be bolded within the meta description of a serp listing, potentially increasing your click-through rate.</p> <p>inadequate keyword research runs deeper than failing to optimize your header structure (e.g., title, meta description). many bloggers fail to leverage semantic seo, or similar keyword phrases with the same meaning. semantic seo allows bloggers to create more thorough and <em>readable</em> content that can drive impressions for multiple keyword phrases, answer more user questions and qualify your content to be a <a href=''>featured snippet</a> — think of the rise of voice search.</p> <p>on the other hand, over-optimized content could cross a dangerous line as well. keyword stuffing, or possessing a high keyword density, will qualify your content as spam. keyword stuffing also obstructs your content’s readability, which results in poor user signals.</p> <p>following seo best practices, it’s still important to optimize all relevant site elements, such as urls and meta tags, with targeted keywords to categorize and rank individual web pages. and aside from signaling to search engines the main focus of your on-site content, keywords also serve an important function for your site architecture.</p> <h2>inconsistent internal links</h2> <p><a href='' target='_blank'>internal linking</a> is probably one of the most overlooked aspects of seo optimization, and issues with internal links frequently occur on seo agency websites themselves!</p> <p>there are many functions of proper internal linking for seo:</p> <ul> <li>establishes paths for users to navigate your website.</li> <li>opens up crawling to deep linked web pages and increases crawl rate.</li> <li>defines site architecture and your most important web pages to search engines.</li> <li>distributes “link juice,” or authority, throughout your website.</li> <li>indexes linked-to web pages by the keywords used in the hyperlink anchor text.</li> </ul> <p>while backlinks remain the gold standard of search engine ranking factors, their magic can be amplified through strategic internal linking.</p> <p>ideally, you’ll want at least three to five internal links per blog post, and a drop-down or navigation menu on your home page to provide deep links to inaccessible web pages. just because a piece of content is posted to your blog, it doesn’t mean google or bing can automatically access it.</p> <p>conduct a thorough internal link audit and record which web pages have the most authority. simply insert internal links on these pages to other high-value internal pages to distribute authority evenly throughout your domain.</p> <p>many websites display featured posts in a drop-down menu or on the home page to distribute authority to their blog posts. a blogger’s home page will be his/her most authoritative. limit the number of links between each blog post and your home page to evenly distribute link juice throughout your domain.</p> <p>don’t overlook the importance of a sitemap, either. this will ensure all web pages are properly crawled and indexed — assuming url structures are clean and keyword-optimized.</p> <p>finally, optimize all anchor text to categorize and drive impressions for linked web pages. be sure to use varying anchor text phrases for each link so that you can rank your web pages for multiple search queries.</p> <h2>poor page copy</h2> <p>as we often say in digital marketing, it’s important to write for readers and not search engines. keep content light, don’t try to show off knowledge with excessive jargon, and write for readers on an eighth-grade reading level.</p> <p>in most cases, on-site content is not about publishing, but building awareness around a need. i always suggest placing actionable tips in informational content to provide value.</p> <p>content marketing is as much a branding exercise as it is a marketing tactic. consistent content production establishes your brand’s ethos and also creates your voice as an author. in turn, this establishes you as an authority in your niche.</p> <p>don’t sacrifice this authority with poor body copy.</p> <p>look over your blog post as a whole. what does a reader experience when they first encounter your web page? consider the fact that the average attention span is estimated to be eight seconds. optimize your header structure and meta tags to encourage easy scanability and communicate a clear purpose.</p> <p>leverage a powerful headline to pique reader interest, and nurture this interest with a strong introductory paragraph. always insert clear transition phrases, and consider using animated gifs and videos to give users a mental break between long chunks of paragraphs. these will also increase your average user dwell time.</p> <p>make your content visually appealing by utilizing white space properly and inserting images after every 400 words or so. this essentially chunks content and prevents information overload.</p> <p>finally, edit fiercely. many writers live by the rule that about two-thirds of writing should be editing and reworking. use tools such as grammarly and the hemingway app to create concise and clean body copy.</p> <h2>unoptimized images and videos</h2> <p>speaking of poor page copy, most bloggers still ignore image and video optimization. unoptimized image file formats and sizes are the most common load time mistakes that deteriorate seo performance.</p> <p>all on-site images should be formatted as .jpg, and all vector images as .png.</p> <p>always optimize image alt text to position it to rank in a targeted keyword image search. the alternative text is what’s displayed when a browser fails to actually display the image and tells search engines the content of your image. (it’s also used to describe images to those with screen readers.)</p> <p>when optimizing video files, host all of your video files in a single folder and create a video site map for search engines to index your videos. you should optimize the meta description of all video pages with targeted keywords for indexation. leverage a call to action in your meta description and video annotations.</p> <p>video marketing can be distributed from multiple channels, as well as your blog. according to <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>a recent survey by hubspot</a>, 43 percent of consumers want to see more video from content marketers.</p> <h2>poor content promotion</h2> <p>this leads us to probably the greatest error that plagues bloggers and stumps small businesses. we’re told that a good piece of content should serve as a natural link magnet and even rank highly based on the merits of the writing itself. to be candid, from experience we’ve discovered this isn’t always true.</p> <p>consider the idea that a 10-hour project totaling 3,245 words, featuring exquisite content and imagery, is just as useless as a poorly written 400-word listicle if it doesn’t drive conversions or traffic. this is what i refer to as potential energy. without a proper technical structure or any content promotion strategy at work, your awe-inspiring content is a dud.</p> <p>what if, after writing his theory of relativity, einstein had simply posted his theory on his front door and waited for someone to discover it? content distributed over a blog on a young domain won’t gather backlinks or social shares without promotion.</p> <p>leverage your connections, and follow these strategies to promote content and allow it to compound over social media:</p> <ol> <li>have influential members of your organization share and promote a piece of content.</li> <li>contact influencers over social media to share content.</li> <li>request a quote from an industry thought leader to place in your content; advertise this in your rich snippet on social media channels.</li> <li>repurpose content into a video or infographic for greater shareability.</li> <li>contact websites that have linked to similar content in the past.</li> <li>submit your content to replace relevant broken links on authoritative sites.</li> <li>run a paid advertisement campaign over social media to place content directly in front of targeted audience members.</li> </ol> <p>content promotion involves thorough audience analysis. segment audience members into one of three boundaries based on habits, demographics and psychographics. investigate what social media channels each audience segment uses the most and the points of time when they are most active.</p> <p>understand which pieces of content perform best over specific social media channels. the most viral content examples include:</p> <ul> <li>“how-to” tutorials</li> <li>infographics</li> <li>videos</li> <li>listicles</li> <li>“why” articles</li> </ul> <p>content serves as an effective pull marketing tactic and inbound lead generator. yet, if content is simply sitting on the shelf and gathering dust, it’s a lost investment.</p> <p>social and user signals factor greatly into organic ranking. essentially, social promotion will draw users to your content, which will determine — based on their engagement — the efficacy of your content.</p> <h2>conclusion</h2> <p>seo agencies and content marketers often tell clients about technical and onsite errors they may be making. but sometimes it takes a little realism to take a step back and analyze our own campaigns for greater success in the long run.</p> <p>hopefully, you’ll take the news that your seo content strategy is imperfect in the right way. it’s an opportunity to refine and improve.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine land</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 12 SEO Mistakes To Avoid For Better Search Engine Rankings <p dir='ltr'>the power of search engine optimization is stronger than ever before: as many as 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search engine results, according to stats compiled by <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>search engine journal</a>. this is reason enough that you need to employ good seo techniques and get your business to rank on page one of every targeted keyword search.</p> <p dir='ltr'>employing poor seo practices can leave your business buried in search engine searches, making it impossible for your customers to find you. below are the most common seo errors that could be hurting your search engine rankings.</p> <p>search engine optimization is constantly evolving. here, 12 forbes agency council members share advice on how to avoid common seo mistakes.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>1. lack of quality content </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>while user experience is increasingly paramount, you also have to think about what search engine bots see when they crawl your website. your content needs to be effective in communicating to your audience and to bots. each page on your website should have 400 words of quality content at the very least, but 700 to 1,200 words is optimal. remember, this includes your product and collections pages as well.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>2. seeing double </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common seo mistakes out there is duplicate content. if you have the same content on more than one page on your site then the search engines will be confused and your pages will end up competing against each other or your website will get penalized.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>3. choosing the wrong keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>the definition of "wrong" keywords extends to selecting keywords that don't accurately describe your products and services, or selecting keywords that don't convert into customers. select target keywords carefully, as they are your biggest determinant in seo success.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>4. not optimizing for engagement </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>while backlinks are still a heavily weighted value in seo rankings, you should focus on user engagement. we are finding that longer, well-written content that captures the reader's attention is increasing rankings. incorporate images, videos, quotes, resources and infographics to assist with the reader engagement. your bounce rate should reduce while the time on site and rankings increase.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>5. lack of title tag optimization </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the biggest errors we see with our clients' websites is that the textual content is not optimized. it is a best practice to have variations of your primary target keywords in three heading tags across your homepage and any other sub-pages where seo work is being done. the heading tags consist of h1, h2 and h3 title tags. keeping those optimized will help boost your rankings.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>6. keyword stuffing </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>now that google’s algorithms are much smarter and always change, they can recognize and penalize sites for keyword stuffing. instead of overstuffing, use relevant keywords within your site’s content but always in moderation. always keep your audience in mind.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>7. absence of a blog strategy </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one big seo initiative that we work on with our clients is developing a consistent, ongoing, informative blog strategy. too often, people create a blog and don't take the time to blog properly – helpful, meaningful information with regular posting that uses appropriate keywords. this is very helpful for organic search, plus it provides great content to share on socials and e-newsletters.</p> <p><strong>8. thin content lacking target keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common issues for my clients is the use of thin and irrelevant content that lacks a target keyword and related keywords. content needs to have depth and deep analysis of the subject, and each piece should focus on one or two keywords at most. next, semantically related keywords are needed for algorithms to grasp the relevancy of the topic.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>9. index bloat </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>i'd say about 35% of the leads we receive suffer from index bloat in one way or another, whether from poor wordpress optimization resulting in tag, category, media and archive pages being indexed or from an absurd amount of thin content being indexed. typically, an excessive number of thin pages comes from blogging for the sake of blogging, rather than providing value and answering searchers' queries.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>10. not prioritizing high-value non-branded keywords </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>like with many other practices, success in seo starts with the fundamentals. and the reality is, many firms, including prominent ones, do not include valuable non-branded keywords in their title tags, especially on their most important pages. simply put: if you aren't taking the effort to use the keywords your target market is, they are going to have a harder time finding you.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>11. too broad optimization goals </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>trying to attract everyone. optimizing for broader, more generic keywords is an easy and understandable trap to fall into. but here are the pitfalls: 1) there’s a lot of competition when optimizing for generic keywords, and 2) you may be drawing traffic to your site that will never convert. instead, be as specific as possible with your keywords. you may get fewer visitors, but you’ll get more buyers.</p> <p dir='ltr'><strong>12. title tags not describing the page/business </strong></p> <p dir='ltr'>one of the most common seo errors is incorrect assumptions about how to label title tags. a lot of companies make their homepage or sub-page title tags the title of their company. instead, this should be a short description of the product or service the company provides.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 6 SEO Trends That Will Influence Your Content Marketing <p>in the world of marketing, there are plenty of trends for leaders to stay on top of. from <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>pr trends</a> that affect their branding on a larger scale to the content marketing and <a href='' rel='noopener noreferrer' target='_blank'>social media tools</a> that affect their day-to-day communication, leaders have a lot on their plates.</p> <p>i hate to be the guy who adds to your list, but if seo isn’t also on your radar, you could be missing out on serious opportunities. thankfully, moz ceo sarah bird shared lots of valuable insights on the future of seo at this year’s mozcon. my team rounded up a few of the biggest trends she highlighted and spoke with other experts in attendance to learn more about how seo and content will affect brands’ marketing; here are six trends in seo you need to know about:</p> <p><strong>1. search is taking on new and different formats.</strong></p> <p>most marketers tend to think of search as it relates to audiences typing queries into search engines, but that’s changing. you can now speak  directly to alexa or google home and search using your own voice in your own words. not only is this exciting for us as humans, but it ’s also pushing the industry to learn more about its consumers and exactly what they want.</p> <p>people are searching more than ever, probably because they have more ways to perform those searches. it’s your job as a leader and marketer to figure out how to influence search results on these different platforms and formats.that comes down to getting into your audience members’ heads, understanding who they are, and delivering what they want — only then can you start to unlock the analytical and creative processes of optimizing for search.</p> <p><strong>2. new formats mean new opportunities — but not all will translate into dollars for your brand right away.</strong></p> <p>this increase in search — and ways to search — doesn ’ t necessarily mean you ’ re going to be able to capitalize on it commercially. think of recipes, for example:  people could be using alexa to search certain recipes as they prepare dinner, but showing up as a result there probably won ’ t translate into dollars for your brand every time.  some formats and types of searches reveal purchase intent, and others don ’ t; this change in search trends just reinforces how important it is for marketers to understand those differences and create and optimize accordingly.</p> <p><strong>3. </strong><strong>paid search is seo</strong><strong>’s</strong><strong> biggest competitor for marketing dollars.</strong></p> <p>despite the fact that people tend to scroll straight to organic results on search engine results pages, the paid ads industry is still huge, making pay-per-click one of the biggest competitors for would-be seo dollars. sure, ppc can be a great way to test your organic strategy or boost your high-performing organic efforts, but building out your organic seo efforts is a more effective long-term strategy. eventually, we’ll see more and more dollars funneled into marketers’ organic search efforts, but a lack of patience is keeping this from happening sooner.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>4. marketers have to remember the long-term benefits of their search strategies.</strong></p> <p>when marketers start making search a priority, it’s not uncommon to see them focus on short-term wins — early signs that things are going well — before they spend a lot of money on tactics that aren’t getting them much closer to their goals. the thing about search is that the biggest benefits typically aren’t visible right away. </p> <p>paying to play in the short term is fine to get started, but you have to build your long-term <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>content marketing strategy</a> to create a foundation for your brand and your audience over time. seo is more of a brand-building and authority-boosting tool than a strict transaction. it doesn’t help that many times, marketers are incentivized to think in the short term, like through monthly or quarterly goals, instead of one to three years down the road. if you put in the time and budget to do it right, it should land you future sales calls, not just sales calls today. marketers and content creators would do well to remember the big picture as they execute individual search tactics.</p> <p><strong>5. content marketing is in a great spot for the future of search.</strong></p> <p>according to matthew edgar, co-owner of <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>elementive</a>, one of the classic functions of seo is shifting. in the past, marketers relied on search engines to drive traffic to their sites — but with google now displaying content on serps instead of directing users away from the page and to new sites, this is starting to change.</p> <p>google wants to give users as much information and content as possible on serps directly instead of forcing them to navigate to and from different sites. this is a powerful reminder for marketers that <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>content marketing</a> must be truly valuable, educational, and engaging to readers, not simply designed to get people to a specific site.</p> <p>and when people <em>do</em> land on your site — whether they’re coming from a google search or elsewhere — you’ve got to make sure you’re delivering a meaningful experience with high-quality content. that’s how search engines will know your content is worth ranking or displaying in the first place.</p> <p><strong>6. the fundamentals behind search will guide marketers through these trends.</strong></p> <p>heather physioc, director of organic search at <a href='' rel='nofollow' target='_blank' title=''>vml</a>, noted that while the formats of the content we create and how we optimize that content will continue to evolve, the fundamentals will remain the same. some of the biggest changes we’ve seen have come in how people perform searches, from searches on ask jeeves from a desktop computer to mobile and voice searches today. there are dozens of places to search for and consume content, but at the heart of it all is exceptional content.</p> <p>i get it — keeping up with trends in seo and actually executing a strategy that generates the kind of results you’re after is challenging. but it’s well worth the effort. it helps you build your brand, attract and engage your audience, and generate leads, sales, and opportunities. start with these trends, and make seo a priority for your team. if you don’t, i promise your competitors will.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 A Beginner’s Quick Guide to Using Google Search Console for SEO <p>if you want a better website with better content, google search console should be one of your first stops. it's a powerful set of tools that can give you valuable information on errors you may have in your code, usability, search traffic and so on. and yes, there can be a slight learning curve if you're new to it.</p> <p>in the <a href='' target='_blank'>pr news guidebook: google for communicators</a>, chris hornak, owner of blog hands, argues that fluency with these tools is well worth the afternoon or two it might cost you to learn how to use them. he provides a thorough guide to using search console to maximize your search engine optimization and save yourself time and money. but to distill this advice into its briefest form, excerpted below are hornak's five simple steps to follow for your first foray into search console:</p> <ol> <li>add your site and verify it: this is step one. create or log on to your search console account, add property (your site), and follow the steps to verify that you are someone with access to the site. take your time and get this right. it gets a lot more interesting very quickly afterward.</li> <li>link <a href='' target='_blank'>google analytics</a>: an optional step, but one that will give you the best information between both sets of tools.</li> <li>make a sitemap: this is an ideal way to ensure that google crawls all of your website.</li> <li>test your robots.txt file: <a href='' target='_blank'>google’s tester tool</a> ensures that your robots.txt file is error-free. it’s a good thing to do.</li> <li><a href='' target='_blank'>crawl for errors</a>: this section of the search console lets you know what, if any, errors are present on your site. armed with this information, you can fix the problems before they impact your page rank.</li> </ol> <p>if you are looking for additional help with specifics in the google search console, visiting the <a href=''>google search console help center</a> will not disappoint. it gives you valuable information about the console, how it works and what steps you can take to implement best practices for your site.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>pr news</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Visual Search: Looking Beyond Image SEO Marketing <p>i want to tell you a story about a young google algorithm.</p> <p>he was born blind, in a world where a picture is worth a thousand searches. this little algorithm had one dream. to be able to see. so he got his friends to describe him images, but still he couldn’t see.</p> <p>he built magical google goggles, but these didn’t work. then one day, he built a learning machine and finally, after years of struggle, he could recognize images.</p> <p>that little algorithm who could is named <strong><em>visual search</em></strong> and has taken on a job as the world’s personal shopper.</p> <h2>image searches are now commonplace</h2> <p>look at the two options below, which is more useful if you wanted to buy a handbag?</p> <p><img alt='google web vs image search results' src='' style='height:400px; width:760px' /></p> <p><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>slyce</a> asked that question to consumers. 74 percent of them replied that text-based keyword searches are inefficient in helping to find the right product online.</p> <p>a 2017 report by <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>jumpshot & moz </a>further supports that discovery through pictures is alive and well, with around 27 percent of all searches being for images. mozcast reports image blocks in around 11 percent of google results. while jumpshots’ data shows images earn 3 percent of all google search clicks.</p> <p><img alt='moz & jumpshot image serach' src='' style='height:392px; width:380px' /></p> <h2>image seo: the early years</h2> <p>let’s be honest, image optimization is the dinosaur of the seo world. sure you <em>say</em> you implement image seo for additional ranking opportunities in google image search, but in most cases, you don’t truly believe this will have a significant impact on your kpis.</p> <p>when is the last time you looked at the sessions from image search in google analytics? did you even notice years ago the change from the referral path /imgres under referral to a fully fledged source medium as</p> <p>most of the image seo best practices are more for user experience than search engines rankings. take a critical look at common <a href=''>image optimization tips</a>:</p> <p><strong>primary reason behind common image optimization tips</strong></p> <p><em>user experience</em></p> <ul> <li>rankings othershy away from stock to use original, high-quality images</li> <li>shy away from stock to use original, high-quality images</li> <li>context is key, be relevant to surrounding text</li> <li>appropriate file format so images are crisp</li> <li>optimize image file size for web page load times</li> <li>use standard image ratios</li> <li>use image dimensions large enough to be clearly visible on any device</li> <li>add descriptive captions for users who scan</li> </ul> <p><em>rankings</em></p> <ul> <li>descriptive image file names</li> <li>descriptive alt text</li> <li>descriptive image titles</li> <li>submit an image sitemap</li> <li>schema markup</li> </ul> <p><em>other</em></p> <ul> <li>open graph tags</li> <li>twitter cards</li> <li>beware of copyright</li> </ul> <p>and one can argue descriptive image file names, alt text, and image titles are used as an opportunity to add a keyword in order to rank the page, not necessarily the image itself.</p> <p>not to say the image optimization tips above are not valuable. you should still do these things.</p> <p>the hard truth is seo professionals often neglect image optimization as an afterthought to page-level optimization, if it’s considered at all. and this level of image optimization alone is not going to be enough to win users.</p> <p>so why are you reading about it…</p> <h2>the rise of visual search</h2> <p>in the past there was image search, where search engines took a text-based query and tried to find the best visual match.</p> <p>in the present there is visual search, where search engines, social networks, ecommerce powerhouses, startups and many companies in between take an image as the query.</p> <p>a change in consumer behavior is happening. in the words of jeffrey gitomer “people don’t like to be sold to, but they love to buy.”</p> <p>when you see something you’re interested in, whether it’s online or offline, you want a fast an easy way to get more information.</p> <p>for example, you see a pair of shoes in a magazine. with image recognition, you can take a photo and find similar item for sale online.</p> <p>this see-snap-buy behavior is becoming commonplace and has opened up opportunities for companies to enter the purchase cycle with the photo as the search query. this places them higher in the conversion funnel than a text-based search query.</p> <p>visual search is fast becoming a staple of shopping apps. and with the impact on kpis, it’s no surprise why.</p> <p><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>bloomreach</a> found that visual search is associated with 48 percent more product views. consumers are 57 percent more likely to make a return visits and spend on average 9 percent more on mobile than those who do not use it.</p> <p>amazon, pinterest, and many more have launched visual search capabilities on mobile. there is a battle of the brands to be your snap and shop app of choice.</p> <p><img alt='visual search timeline of brand entry' src='' style='height:394px; width:985px' /></p> <p>at present, early adopters amazon (turning the world into a hyperlink) and pinterest (promoting on online discovery) are leading the pack. but google isn’t taking this lying down.</p> <p><img alt='pinterest visual search' src='' style='height:540px; width:301px' /></p> <h2>visual search & google</h2> <p>google has been quietly adding <a href=''>machine learning</a> and image recognition capabilities to mobile image search over the last years. plotting the updates, you can see clear stepping stone technologies building on the theme of visual search.</p> <ul> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>related images</a> (april 2013)</strong>: click on a result to view visually similar images.</li> <li><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'><strong>collections</strong></a><strong> (november 2015)</strong>: allows users to save images directly from google’s mobile image search into folders. google’s answer to a pinterest board.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>product images in web results</a> (october 2016)</strong>: product images begin to display next to website links in mobile search.</li> <li><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'><strong>product details on images</strong></a><strong> (december 2016)</strong>: click on an image result to display product price, availability, ratings, and other key information directly in the image search results.</li> <li><strong><a href='' target='_blank'>similar items</a> (10th april 2017)</strong>: google can identify products, even within lifestyle images, and showcases similar items you can buy online.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>style ideas</a> (april 17, 2017)</strong>: the flip side to similar items. when browsing fashion product images on mobile, google shows you outfit montages and inspirational lifestyle photos to highlight how the product can be worn in real life.</li> <li><strong><a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>image badges</a> (august 1, 2017)</strong>: label on the image indicate what other details are available, encouraging more users to click. for example, badges such as “recipe” or a timestamp for pages featuring videos. but the most significant badge is “product” – shown if the item is available for purchase online.</li> </ul> <p>these developments highlight that google is making a play to turn image search into shoppable product discovery. it’s easier to show than tell.</p> <p><img alt='google image search mobile functionality' src='' style='height:623px; width:360px' /></p> <p>the new visual search capabilities are all algorithmically selected based on a combination of schema and image recognition. google told <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>techcrunch</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>“the images that appear in both the style ideas and similar items grids are also algorithmically ranked, and will prioritize those that focus on a particular product type or that appear as a complete look and are from authoritative sites.”</p> </blockquote> <h2>how to get your brand’s images featured</h2> <h3>1. implement <a href='' target='_blank'>schema markup</a></h3> <p>badges are simple enough to win:</p> <ul> <li>for the recipe badge, use recipe markup.</li> <li>for the video badge, use video markup.</li> <li>for the product badge, use product markup.</li> </ul> <p>getting into the similar items and related items sections are a touch more challenging. to do this, ensure you have product markup on the host page with the meta-data minimum requirement:</p> <ul> <li>name</li> <li>image</li> <li>price</li> <li>currency</li> <li>availability</li> </ul> <p>but the more quality detail, the better, as it will make your results more robust. how product markup elements are populated into google image search is shown below.</p> <p><img alt='product markup for google image search' src='' style='height:639px; width:858px' /></p> <h3>2. validate your implementation</h3> <p>run a few urls through google’s <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>structured data testing tool</a>. don’t simply scan if there are no errors and move on. be sure to look at the information itself to ensure it’s user-friendly.</p> <h3>3. wait</h3> <p>it can take up to one week for your site’s images to be crawled. like all schema markup, how items display in search results is at google’s discretion and not guaranteed. however, quality markup will “increase the chance” of your images showing up.</p> <h3>4. do a query</h3> <p>why your own site? to confirm your images have been indexed. be sure to do this image search on mobile web or in the android search app. it is a mobile-first world. not all image search functionality is visible on desktop.</p> <p>if you see no image results badges, you likely have an implementation issue. go back to step two.</p> <p>if you see badges, click a couple to ensure they show your ideal markup in the details. once you confirm all is well, then you can begin to search for your targeted keywords to see how you rank and if you are eligible for similar items or related items.</p> <p><strong>note</strong>: while badges and related items are common, similar items only cover a limited number of products in fashion. google says it will expand in the coming months.</p> <h2>the next steps for visual search</h2> <p>the future is “<a href='' target='_blank'>lens</a>” – using your smartphone to translate real world input to digital action. no more qr codes or snap tags.</p> <p>markerless image recognition is coming. a world where nothing needs to be done to an image or object to turn it into a visual trigger to cue digital content. the static world becomes digitally connected simply by pointing your phone at it.</p> <p>both pinterest and google have the functionality, but i’ll let google ceo sundar pichai explain in more detail:</p> <p>i can envision:</p> <ul> <li>product packaging coming to life. you point your phone at the product and it displays recipe possibilities, maps to nearby stores with the item in stock or coupon for an online order.</li> <li>billboards of celebrities endorsing products will naturally connect you to the store to buy the product, but may also provide the latest gossip on that celebrity.</li> <li>stranger’s outfits become walking ads when i can snap a pic and literally buy the shirt off their back. this will be a world where you can spontaneously buy most items you can see.</li> </ul> <p>that is the power of visual search.</p> <p>so, what are you doing to make your brand more visually appealing?</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 8 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Are You Misreading Your SEO Data? 7 Common Mistakes <p>search engine optimization (seo) relies on many factors to be successful, but one of the most important is the marketer’s ability to measure and interpret seo data. there are a few qualities of seo that make it depend on this period of analysis to be successful:</p> <ul> <li><strong>long-term development. </strong>seo is a strategy that takes months, if not years, to fully develop. it’s hard to see the changes unless you look for them on a consistent basis.</li> <li><strong>lack of precision. </strong>google doesn’t publish its ranking algorithm; we only have case studies and general information to guide us. we know that certain tactics are effective, but we don’t have an objective measure of how they all interact with one another.</li> <li><strong>unique circumstances. </strong>every brand is unique, facing different levels of competition, with different target audiences and thousands of unique ranking factors. data is the only way to filter out the noise.</li> </ul> <p>looking at your data, including your inbound traffic, search rankings, and user behavior, is the only way you can know if your campaign is working, how it’s working, and most importantly, how it can be improved. if you aren’t reading that data properly, however, you could end up changing your campaign in the wrong direction.</p> <p>but isn’t data supposed to be objective? how can you possibly misread it?</p> <p><strong>common misreading errors</strong></p> <p>these are some of the most common data interpretation errors i’ve seen:</p> <p><strong>1. focusing too closely on one metric.</strong></p> <p>it’s tempting to tie your progress back to one key metric, such as keyword ranking or inbound traffic, but this is a common mistake. seo depends on dozens of interacting factors, and you could see value from any combination of them. moreover, just because your rankings are high doesn’t mean your traffic is high and vice versa; only by examining the full picture will you come to a clear understanding of your performance.</p> <p><strong>2. falling victim to confirmation bias.</strong></p> <p>confirmation bias is a natural human tendency to disproportionately favor information that already aligns with our intrinsic beliefs and assumptions, and disfavor information that disagrees with those beliefs and assumptions. in the realm of seo, that means if you already believe your campaign is successful, you might unwittingly cherry-pick statistics that imply that your campaign is doing well, and ignore bits of information that imply your campaign needs work. if you want to avoid confirmation bias, refrain from making assumptions until you see the numbers, and review as much data as possible before coming to a conclusion.</p> <p><strong>3. neglecting to segment traffic streams.</strong></p> <p>the main traffic path you’ll target in seo is your “organic traffic,” or the people finding your content from search engines. however, there are other modes of traffic your seo tactics can influence, including your traffic from social media and traffic generated by links you built in your offsite content. segmenting these different traffic streams helps you understand and measure the differences in their onsite behavior, and helps you rebalance your strategy accordingly. treating them all as one lump will prevent you from gaining these insights.</p> <p><strong>4. only looking at target keywords.</strong></p> <p>at the start of your campaign, you probably outlined a few dozen target keywords and phrases to serve as ranking goals for your campaign. this is common practice, and a good one at that. however, these aren’t the only keywords you should be examining. google search is semantically complex, and will rank search results based on context, rather than specific keyword inclusion. therefore, if you want a true measure of how your site’s visibility is improving, you’ll need to look at semantically related keywords and phrases you may not have originally considered.</p> <p><strong>5. confusing similar terms.</strong></p> <p>google analytics and other analytics platforms usually have hundreds to thousands of different variables you can examine to evaluate your performance. some of these terms are easy to understand intuitively because they measure exactly what they sound like they measure. some terms, however, are more difficult to discern. for example, do you know the difference between a bounce rate and an exit rate? for the record, bounce rates only apply when the page in question is the first one a user has visited, while an exist rate could apply to any user. make sure you understand the definition of each metric you’re measuring.</p> <p><strong>6. failing to tie results to roi.</strong></p> <p>the whole point of seo is to earn your company more revenue—enough to cover the expenses of the campaign, at the very least. your results should be about more than just how many visitors you received or how many ranks you climbed—you need to calculate and understand how those numbers translate into value for your company. whether you’re reporting to a supervisor or a client, money speaks louder than any other metric you can conjure.</p> <p><strong>7. using results for the past, not the future.</strong></p> <p>it’s tempting to use all your new insights as a measure of what worked in the past, evaluating how your performance has been and seeing the data as a kind of “grade” for your tactics. this can be helpful, but it shouldn’t be your main focus. instead, you should be using your data to decide what you need to do in the future. is a tactic working? good—keep it. are you missing something in a particular area? brainstorm strategies that could potentially address it.</p> <p>if you’ve made these mistakes, don’t worry. even experienced search optimizers fall victim to them on an occasional basis. as a beginner, learn to recognize them proactively, and work to avoid them wherever possible.</p> <p>data analysis is meant to be objective, but as human beings, we’re prone to mistakes; all we can do is compensate the best we can and keep moving forward.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>forbes entrepreneurs</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Fri, 25 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 SEO Techniques For Businesses Working With Limited Budgets <p>one of the biggest attractions of search engine optimization is the opportunity to build a business without paying for ads. paid advertising offers instant traffic and plenty of testing opportunities, but the risk of blowing your budget on a losing campaign understandably puts many marketers off. </p> <p>seo can have its own hidden costs, though, with quality content and software coming at a premium. while your time should also be considered a cost, if you are willing to spend some of it on an seo campaign, it is possible to get results on a limited budget. let's take a look at some of the best seo techniques that won't break the bank.</p> <p><strong>step one: on-page seo</strong></p> <p>on-page seo offers many opportunities for quick improvements. when working with a low budget, focusing on the factors within your direct control is the easiest way to optimize for search engines. you can easily optimize your website with a low budget. if you put real effort into implementing these suggestions, you will notice a boost in your overall traffic and rankings.</p> <ul> <li><strong>site optimization. </strong>site optimization covers many areas, but there are some specific elements you must get right. your title and description tags should be built to target specific keywords and also to increase click-through rate. above the fold content must be relevant and helpful, avoiding obtrusive advertising or large headers that distract searchers. the site hierarchy should make sense, grouping articles into relevant categories. any other issues can usually be found inside the <a href='' target='_blank'>google search console</a>.</li> <li><strong>mobile and site speed. </strong>run your site through <a href='' target='_blank'>pagespeed insights</a> and <a href='' target='_blank'>mobile-friendly test</a>, looking for issues that are damaging the speed and compatibility score. slow servers can be a problem, but you don't necessarily need to invest in an expensive server solution immediately. <a href='' target='_blank'>cloudflare</a> offers a free version of its content-delivery network, while various cache plug-ins can optimize your site for fast loading.</li> <li><strong>keyword research. </strong>when operating with a small budget, targeting high-volume search terms might be best suited as a long-term goal. you can get far quicker results by focusing on long-tail keywords, reducing the competition levels and increasing the relevance. there are various premium seo tools that make keyword research and analysis far simpler, with <a href='' target='_blank'>semrush</a>,<a href='' target='_blank'> moz</a> and <a href='' target='_blank'>ahrefs</a> among the best. however, you can also take the free approach by building a large keyword list using the <a href='' target='_blank'>google keyword planner</a> and installing the <a href='' target='_blank'>seoquake plugin</a> in your browser.</li> <li><strong>content development. </strong>when targeting a specific keyword, the main goal should be to provide the searcher with the exact content they wanted. if a large enough group of people think your content doesn't offer a precise answer, your search results will suffer. aim to create content that meets the searchers’ needs, while also being superior to the other pages on the first result page. look at the top-ranking pages for your target keyword, analyze the common themes in the type of content ranking, and think of ways you can offer something better.</li> </ul> <p><strong>step two: off-page seo</strong></p> <p>off-page seo is usually the area where you spend the bulk of your budget. there are, however, various ways to optimize at a reasonable cost.</p> <ul> <li><strong>backlinks. </strong>there is often a temptation to gain as many backlinks as possible. low-quality backlinks will provide little seo benefit, though, and could even harm your rankings. instead, focus your time on authority backlinks that will give the biggest boost. backlink research can again be simplified with seo tools, but the free services like seoquake provide plenty of information. the best type of backlinks will be relevant to your niche, have a high domain authority, and preferably a high page authority too.</li> <li><strong>outreach. </strong>a number of strategic relationships can make all the difference to your seo efforts. bloggers, business owners and influencers all have the potential to offer backlinks, traffic and a higher status among a niche audience. while relationship building can take time, the results will last long into the future. look to be as helpful as possible, writing thoughtful blog comments, communicating over social media and offering quality guest posts for their site.</li> <li><strong>local seo.</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>google maps marketing</a> falls under the local seo umbrella which (for some reason) not many people are aware of. when you are a local business owner with a low budget, google maps gives a serious boost to your immediate traffic, and it's also free!</li> <li><strong>social media. </strong>social media can be time-intensive, but it is possible to build backlinks, traffic and relationships for a low cost. ideally, you will maintain profiles across the popular platforms, using a tool like hootsuite as your dashboard. you could, however, focus on the social sites that will resonate most with your audience, creating content that suits the platform. for example, pinterest is designed primarily for images, so a niche with a strong visual element could build the most interest on a site like this. as content starts to get shared regularly, you should benefit from the increase in backlinks and promotion.</li> <li><strong>infographics. </strong>a well-researched infographic, in combination with email outreach, can produce high-powered links. creating infographics used to be fairly expensive, but there are now many services offering an affordable solution. canva, piktochart, and fiverr can all be used to create stylish graphics that get shared widely.</li> </ul> <p>in most cases, the lower your seo budget, the more time you will need to invest. while this can be acceptable initially, you will probably want to reinvest some income as your work comes to fruition. consider investing in high-quality seo tools and paying for content. a larger budget doesn't guarantee better results, but it does present opportunities to scale your business. it is worth considering that among the various marketing strategies available to online businesses, seo is still one of the most affordable, targeted and effective. a top ranking for a valuable keyword can transform the fortunes of a business, so start implementing these seo techniques today.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong></strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Thu, 24 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Three Easy SEO Tips Every Business Owner Can Use Right <h3>try some simple tweaks to boost company search ratings. </h3> <p><a href=''>search engine optimization</a>. it puts fear into the hearts of business owners and executives who believe that getting their websites to place high on google search rankings is akin to answering an obscure riddle of an evil troll guarding the secrets of successful digital marketing.</p> <p>it’s true that advanced seo strategies can be complex and a specialty unto itself but, that said, there are a few easy steps any executive can take to help speak directly to their targeted online audience and raise search rankings at the same time.</p> <p><strong>create an online newsroom and keep it updated with relevant content.</strong> <br /> not too long ago, the pr mantra was to distribute news releases only when you had actual news to announce, so as not to cry wolf too often, resulting in editors and reporters ignoring your “real news” announcements when you needed the coverage. that thinking is outdated. now, not only do reporters visit your website’s online newsroom looking for news, but customers also will check out the newsroom to decide, or confirm, if buying what you have to offer is a good idea.</p> <p>and here’s the seo payoff for newsrooms: search engines, such as google, are always looking for fresh content to determine whether a website is relevant. thus, posting news releases consistently on your site—with links relating back to similar content on the site—is a great way to demonstrate that your site is active. make sure your online newsroom has a downloadable press kit for journalists and bloggers writing company profiles, as well as consumer-slanted product and services announcements to interest your customers.</p> <p><strong>write and publish a blog with relevant content and internal and external links.</strong><br /> become a publisher and push content out for the search engines to find you, which means writing blogs. avoid writing general-information posts; you want to create targeted content aimed at a group of readers who will find your posts relevant and useful.</p> <p>long content, at least 2,500 words with at least two or three links to authoritative sites, works best to help create back links to your site. as for topics, think back on what your customers and clients ask you in meetings or what their pain points are and what problems they need to solve. you also can write about your solution for a common industry challenge.</p> <p>here is where quality outweighs quantity. write fewer, but longer, blog posts. everyone knows about franklin roosevelt’s famous fireside chats, but in 12 years as president he made only 30 radio addresses, which made the broadcasts special. it’s not how often you post, but rather making sure each post is packed with useful, relevant content for a successful seo strategy.</p> <p>your job is not over once you publish your blog. remember to cross-promote your post on all your social media networks to drive followers to your website. be sure to customize each caption to fit the audience on each network.</p> <p><strong>encourage customers to post reviews online.</strong> <br /> google loves seeing positive testimonials because that indicates your business is active and, as mentioned before, fresh content is king for search engines. customer feedback, ratings and reviews provide the insider information google needs to rank your business as trustworthy, and will help you generate more business, which will lead to even more customer testimonials.</p> <p>to get the ball rolling, ask loyal, long-time customers and trusted colleagues to post positive reviews and ratings, and be sure to reply to comments to encourage others to share the benefits of doing business with you. remember, people like to be heard, and put simply, google “rewards” businesses that have strong reviews and ratings with high rankings. posting and reviews on facebook, yelp and other social media sites where reviews appear will also increase your search results.</p> <p>finally, to keep abreast of what people are looking for, in a google search field type your keywords, and scroll to the bottom of all the search results and check out searches related to... often you’ll find new keywords to include organically in your website text describing your company.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>columbus ceo</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 5 Quick and Helpful Tips to Small Business SEO <p>search engine optimization (seo) may sound like rocket science for those who are not familiar with it. it may be complicated at some level, but it really doesn’t have to be that way, especially when it comes to the basic steps. there are seo techniques that anyone can easily do, even for those who are not highly technically savvy. you can also find a small business seo company that can help you improve your online presence and help you develop an effective seo strategy for a successful online campaign. </p> <p>among the many steps and strategies used in seo, there are some that you can easily do to start your online presence campaigns, here are some of them: </p> <ol> <li><strong>setup a google my business account</strong></li> </ol> <p>by creating a google my business account, your register your presence to the biggest search engine in the online world.  this is the first step to be recognized by google and have bots crawl on your site, make sure to provide complete and accurate information. this is how people will reach and find you. so ensure that you provide full information on your business operating hours, exact location, and other relevant information that will help people find you easily. </p> <ol start='2'> <li><strong>ensure your site works for mobile</strong></li> </ol> <p>the number of people using their smartphones is increasing over time so there are higher chances that people will search for you through mobile. additionally, google favors sites that are easily accessible and works well on different devices; so make sure that your site is also fit for mobile use. use website development templates that are also fit for mobile, as there are already a lot of them available. </p> <ol start='3'> <li><strong>create a social media presence</strong></li> </ol> <p>social media is a great way to reach different people, as the number of social media users is already reaching billions, especially on big platforms like facebook and twitter. social media is already a proven effective channel to drive traffic towards your site. they are also great platforms to make announcements, announce events, and interact with you customers. </p> <ol start='4'> <li><strong>create good content</strong></li> </ol> <p>content is king. it has always been and will always be for quite some time, especially now that search engines favor good content. by doing content that adds value for your readers, you can easily make it on top of search engines. as well, the use of keywords is very important and you need to incorporate them into your content so they become searchable. </p> <ol start='5'> <li><strong>optimize your content</strong></li> </ol> <p>optimizing content means using the right titles, headers, and meta descriptions on your content. these make it easy for search engines to index your site and feature its contents on search results. this must be consistent across your pages for better ranking. </p> <p>there are much more seo techniques that you need to learn and apply for your business to flourish in the online world. to save time and effort, hire an seo company that will deliver good results for you and you will enjoy a lot of benefits from it.</p> <p>original article on <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>techniblogic</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 SEO Tips to Increase your Google Ranking <p>if customers can’t find your business then you’ve got a problem. invariably, that means reaching out to them online. after all, the vast majority of people conduct research online before making a purchase decision, even if they go on to make their eventual purchase offline.</p> <p>when customers look for products and services online, they’ll type a query into google and, mostly, plump for one of the first couple of results thrown up by the search engine. it’s a simple fact and it proves just why google has become so important. if you don’t rank well, you’ll lose a lot of business.</p> <p>search engine optimisation (seo) is the way in which people use ‘best practice’ to perform better on google and get themselves in the lucrative ranking spots for the products and services they sell. it might be tempting, from the outside, to think this is a complicated and confusing ‘dark art’ that is beyond the knowledge of people without technical expertise. but, while there is much that you can do with seo if you have this knowledge – there’s also plenty of tips that any business can harness and use to get themselves recognised.</p> <h3>use keywords</h3> <p>keyword research sits right at the heart of the seo work needed for any business. essentially this involves looking at the words people type into google to find you – and the ones they use to find people who shop for your products and services elsewhere. this <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>excellent post from neil patel shows</a> how to get these words from google keyword planner. once you have these words, you know what terms you need to be using in your content. it pays to be focused with this. trying to target every possible keyword – and ones that are hotly contested – won’t be a plausible strategy. pick a handful of main keywords and build your content with these front and centre in your thoughts.</p> <h3>assess the market</h3> <p>what do others do well? there’s a lot to learn from content that is performing well for your competitors. <a href=''>use buzzsumo</a>to see what’s getting clicks and shares in your field. clearly you shouldn’t outright copy what others are doing, but you can bottle a successful formula and apply it to the words on your website to get a better ranking.</p> <h3>mobile friendly</h3> <p>your customers might well be looking for a product or service online but chances are that they are doing this on a mobile device. smartphones are wielded by a huge chunk of the population and google has reflected this by factoring in whether or not a site is mobile friendly when deciding on its rankings. not only that, but a site that isn’t responsive also delivers a poor user experience.</p> <h3>quality matters</h3> <p>here’s the good news – quality does matter. endless pages of poorly written spammy text that serves no value to the reader will not work. people who try to ‘game’ the system and stuff every sentence they write full of keywords will stand out like a sore thumb and suffer as a result. well-written, natural copy that builds in appropriate keywords (this’ll come if you’ve identified the right ones anyway) is the way forward. unique data, well designed infographics and engaging video are also a factor in building a well-performing website that ranks well.</p> <h3>call on the experts</h3> <p>there’s no shame in calling on expert support if you’re struggling. get the basics sorted and then either hire an expert or look for a product such as <a href='' rel='noopener' target='_blank'>westhost’s seo guru</a> to help to take you onto the next level. they’ll certainly be able to help ensure that your site is structured well and that you are monitoring the right metrics to measure your performance, two more things to watch out for.</p> <p>originally article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>your financial news feed</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 3 Reasons SEO Is Incredibly Valuable to Your Company <p>need to explain the value of seo to potential clients, business partners, or stakeholders?</p> <p>this post focuses on just three key ways that seo offers immense value to any organization.</p> <p>seo:</p> <ul> <li>makes the user experience better.</li> <li>helps build a stronger brand.</li> <li>contributes to the bottom line over a long period of time.</li> </ul> <h3>1. seo improves user experience</h3> <h3>being a successful seo professional requires knowing more than ever before.</h3> <p>people who choose to work in the search industry are constantly adjusting their strategies to changes google makes on a daily basis.</p> <p>we don’t always know or completely understand every change google makes to its algorithm. but we use the information google shares with us to better position our websites to perform in organic search.</p> <p>we understand that google’s algorithm has many <a href=''>r</a>anking signals. they have made noticeable efforts the past few years to emphasize the signals related to engagement.</p> <p>metrics like dwell time, time on site, pages viewed per session, and page load speed all been emphasized as having greater importance for google to rank websites.</p> <p>seo is more than just looking for high volume keywords and link building. seo professionals must understand and dive deeper into internal discussions about how to improve the overall user experience using new technologies that google wants webmasters to adapt.</p> <p>what are some of these new technologies?</p> <ul> <li>the push toward mobile responsive design, with the impending mobile-first index.</li> <li>the creation and introduction of accelerated mobile pages (amp).</li> <li>the introduction of progressive web apps (pwa).</li> <li>the creation of schema and rich snippet enhancements.</li> </ul> <p>google is constantly evolving to align better with user behavior. as google changes their approach, it forces those of us who work in this space to also change and adapt.</p> <p>this is where seo offers immense value to any organization. seo professionals are always aware of the latest technologies and trends.</p> <p>seos offer insights and ideas on how to take advantage and implement these new technologies to rank better in search results. having an seo means you have a person who is always thinking about how to improve the user experience of the site to meet the expectations of today’s consumers.</p> <p>technical seo also helps support your ux, development, and engineering teams.</p> <p>seos understand that in order to have sustainable success in organic search they must work with developers, designers, and engineers to create a solid foundation for the website before they can even think about creating content. this means putting more emphasis on site performance in page speed, advocating for a mobile responsive experience, and figuring out how to structure all the data on their web pages.</p> <h3>2. seo helps build a stronger brand</h3> <p>in addition to helping with the technical side, seo is also a marketing channel. most of our efforts are focused on building authority for our domains.</p> <p>having success in the organic search channel requires a strong understanding of how google’s algorithms work to understand the content on a website.</p> <p>seos must both understand their target audience and create content that helps distinguish them from every other brand. this is actually a tall order considering that every website right now produces content, and only a handful of websites will get traffic for any query.</p> <p>having someone on your team who knows how to pull in visitors from the most visited site in the world – google – is a valuable asset. seo professionals understand what content is being searched for and – with the right tools – knows exactly where to focus their effort based on keyword research.</p> <p>creating a content strategy based on keywords focused on a businesses’ specific vertical allows the business to appear as an industry expert. when a business appears enough times in person’s search results it will be seen as a trustworthy source of information and that enhances the brand image creating loyal customers.</p> <p>searchers are looking for answers to their queries, and many of these searchers will be people who are getting introduced to a new vertical (new users). the importance of being the first point of exposure, getting the first opportunity to answer a potential customer’s questions is incredibly valuable.</p> <p>if the searcher enjoyed the experience of your website and enjoyed the content you were able to deliver from the first interaction, it is more likely they will look to your website again to consume more content. the repeat visits will also affect the user’s personalized search results.</p> <h3>3. seo offers long-term success</h3> <h3>seos understand the difficulty and the joy of ranking number 1 for any query.</h3> <p>ranking high for any keyword with known search volume will generate consistent traffic for as long as it can retain that position.</p> <p>actually ranking for these keywords is hard, however. it requires a lot of work.</p> <p>that’s why it’s important to focus on long-tail keywords. you can find opportunities others have missed to deliver a steady stream of traffic to your clients for a longer period of time while dealing with less competition.</p> <p>targeting long-tail keywords require a solid understanding of how to create engaging content.</p> <p>organic search is an interesting channel because the search results are based on an algorithm’s interpretation of the most relevant results.</p> <p>you can’t pay google to rank your page higher in organic search, so success isn’t based on the amount of money you put in. also, people tend to trust the organic results more than paid ad results.</p> <p>so, being able to have success requires a person who possesses a lot of skill and understanding on how to communicate with google’s algorithm. there is a big learning curve for seo and as google changes it seems that whoever is first to adapt will also be the person who will help their business gain new customers before anyone else.</p> <h3>closing thoughts</h3> <p>seo offers every organization immense value because it requires a complete understanding of that organization’s business vertical, their customers, and the organization’s internal teams. seo professionals can attach roi to new technology initiatives proposed by development teams.</p> <p>organic search can be the first point of contact for a customer and a brand. this first point of contact can ignite further engagement for other channels such as following a social media channel or signing up for an email newsletter.</p> <p>a channel that is constantly changing means a channel that is also constantly offering new opportunities to succeed before anyone else. this constant influx of change requires constant attention and a knowledgeable person to retain and to grow the existing organic search channel.</p> <p>original article in <a href='' target='_blank'><strong>search engine journal</strong></a>.</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 Five Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Consider SEO As An Investment <p>entrepreneurs who are new to online marketing strategies may have read somewhere that search engine optimization is dead. while most people may believe that the era of the seo is long gone, trond lyngbo of search engine land wrote a list of reasons a few years ago about why entrepreneurs should be optimistic with their investment in seo.</p> <p>contrary to popular belief, the so-called "death" of seo is just a rumor. according to lyngbo, "the digital marketing strategy is not a cost but an investment." rumors become irrelevant if entrepreneurs look at what top google placement can do for business growth over the coming years.</p> <p>with over a decade of experience and knowledge in the online marketing field, i agree with his reasoning on the importance of investing in seo as an entrepreneur and how impactful the results can be. therefore, i have five reasons for entrepreneurs to consider search engine optimization as a long-term investment instead of a cost:</p> <h3>it's cost-effective. </h3> <p>the no. 1 reason why i find seo to be a smart investment for entrepreneurs is the cost effectiveness. almost any business can hire a specialist to help grow their business by shifting around unnecessary expenses or cutting advertising mediums that aren't producing. with proper optimization, businesses can expect long-term results and benefits. unfortunately, we should also consider how much we spend for the service. <em>forbes</em> contributor jayson demers recently wrote about the dangers of "cheap" seo services. you can expect low-quality content, black hat techniques, and inexperienced optimizers usinga cheap seo. look for a reliable professional with a track record and a knowledge that surpasses textbook answers. overall, your investment in a sound digital marketing strategy is crucial to your business growth and success.</p> <h3>it levels the competition.</h3> <p>i often encourage my clients to dream big because i know we can dominate their competition online. with the help of proper optimization, you can reach your target audience with efficiency. rebecca stickler, a content marketing specialist, wrote, "with a strong seo strategy, your small business can compete with even the biggest business organizations.</p> <p>the biggest advantage of online marketing is that it levels the playing field for small businesses. the highest rank doesn't go to the company with the most money, but instead goes to the business that understands and deploys effective seo techniques.</p> <h3>it can yield attractive long-term results.</h3> <p>rhea drysdale, ceo of outspoken media, told a search engine land writer that "website owners should invest in long-term goals rather than the short-term goals." she also pointed out that short-term goals will do more harm than good to the business. although instant reward from a pay-per-click campaign might be enticing, it is better to invest in slow yet effective long-term seo results that can yield a much higher roi over time. google pays attention to how fast links are built to a site. because of this, entrepreneurs should focus on building their business toward the top with a slow-yet-consistent pace.</p> <p>in an interview, lane ginsberg of freedom retirement advisors told me that, "investing in your business is a lot like investing in stocks: the short-term stuff can be exciting and can bring some results, however, the long-term investment is where you really see the payoff, but it requires patience and confidence."</p> <h3>it helps people find your business.</h3> <p>in our modern, digital world, information is just a few clicks away for anyone at any moment. "times have changed," jason hennessey wrote a few years ago in a business insider article: "seo marketing campaigns ensure businesses make a unique impression to connect with customers."</p> <p>with the accessibility of the internet, most people turn to search engines for anything and everything. a well-optimized website can reach new audiences across the globe. with quality content, proper keyword research, the right use of social media platforms and other marketing techniques, your business will be visible to potential consumers across the internet.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>forbes</a></p> SEO Tactics Mon, 7 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 3 Ways a Cohesive Social Media Strategy Can Help Your SEO Efforts <p>there has been a ton of back and forth about how social media marketing impacts seo and whether social profiles and posts can positively affect organic search rankings and visibility.</p> <p>despite <a href='' target='_blank'>matt cutt’s famous 2014 video</a>, in which google’s former distinguished engineer refuted the idea that social signals were part of the ranking algorithm, the debate regarding the importance of social media to seo has only continued in our industry. google, more than bing, denies that facebook and twitter posts and popularity are direct search ranking factors.</p> <p>while we’ll respect what these top search engines have to say on this subject, it’s still undeniable that a proper social media strategy – both paid and organic – is critical to help increase your rankings and overall search visibility over time.</p> <p>let’s look at three ways you can include social media into your seo campaigns to drive better results.</p> <h3>1. social media marketing = brand building</h3> <p>the buying process is often a lengthy one, especially when buyers are making decisions on service-based offerings or high-ticket item products like luxury goods.</p> <p>these types of consumers and business customers do their research online and do it well. in fact, many times they might start searching right in a social network, whether it’s facebook, twitter, youtube, pinterest, instagram, or linkedin.</p> <p>the brand equity and strength behind what the company is selling is what ultimately converts consumers. after all, people buy for two simple reasons: <em>trust</em> and <em>likeness</em> of a person or a brand.</p> <p>making your social brand stand out involves several factors in a social media campaign. enhancing your strategy will likely support your seo efforts.</p> <p>here are a few things you can improve:</p> <ul> <li>design of the identity and the brand that supports the brand intent.</li> <li>messaging around the brand to support the brand promise and target language.</li> <li>making an ongoing commitment of original brand content creation and delivery.</li> <li>creating a community of advocates by engaging them with branded content and contests.</li> </ul> <p>social media marketing, when developed and managed correctly, can create such brand trust. this means that companies must consider the creation and nurturing of their social brands as something critical to how their target finds them and buys from them.</p> <p>when a target customer engages with a brand well in social they will inevitably either go to the company site multiple times, refer other people to the company social profiles and pages, or both.</p> <p>because people know you from social, they will also search for your brand from search engines – essentially that means you’re generating demand. the more demand you generate, the more important your brand will appear to search engines and the better you will rank over time.</p> <p>the brand building in social is an important piece of a long term of seo strategy.</p> <h3>2. social profiles show up in organic search results</h3> <p>there are instances when people look up other people’s names instead of companies on google.</p> <p>this is how we know to do business with someone. this can be anyone from a salesperson to a ceo.</p> <p>does your linkedin profile pop up first? if so, most searchers will click on your profile.</p> <p>if the user sees that your profile is unused with no information, they might go back to google or even stay on linkedin and find your competitor to give their business.</p> <p>this is also the case, of course, for businesses. meaning that your company social pages, both corporate as well as those for local stores, are that important.</p> <p>this is where having a solid social strategy, along with active and appropriate management of those profiles and pages, come in.</p> <p>what can you do?</p> <ul> <li>have a full, completed, current profile for each social channel where your brand lives. this means updated imagery, photos, videos, contact information, calls to action, and ongoing varied content.</li> <li>understand that the reputation of you and your company in social media can be traced back to search queries (or not). meaning if you do a great job managing comments and positively interacting with your (or your company’s ) fans and followers, you get to build a good reputation in social. this can then help grow the shares of your content, gain new followers, and generate click backs to your site, consequently benefitting seo. never mind that facebook posts and twitter profiles aren’t direct google ranking factors. the sites themselves <em>are</em> ranked – and that traffic to a well-designed site for user experience can boost site stickiness and repeat visits.</li> <li>have your social profile settings set for success and understand how each channel works.</li> <li>you want to make sure if you allow others to write on your timeline, for example, that the message will be monitored and managed.</li> <li>if you’re a retailer with many locations, make sure that you are using the location function on facebook or on youtube. on pinterest, make sure you have the appropriate boards or playlists that complement your seo strategy.</li> </ul> <h3>3. social networks have search engines, too</h3> <p>people search within the social networks.</p> <p>since many of you are business professionals, let’s talk linkedin. have you reviewed your stats to see how linkedin members discovered your profile? over 50 percent of views, on average, come in from linkedin’s search tool.</p> <p>how well have you optimized your linkedin profile?  did you know that your skills, and those related keywords, drive the visibility of your profile in linkedin search?</p> <p>here’s one simple thing you can do this week: go review your linkedin profile. assess your skills and related keywords across each section – your headline, summary, experience, and so forth.</p> <p>optimize your profile for targeted linkedin searches. when people view your social profile or your company profile time and again, inevitably they will visit your website.</p> <p>of course, if you have done a great job with on-site seo they will return or share your site pages, helping your overall seo rank.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>search engine journal</a> by jasmine sandler</p> SEO Tactics Mon, 7 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800 How Long Will Links Be The Gold Standard For SEO? <p style='text-align:start'>after search engines became a thing, there came search engine optimization (seo), and for the entirety of its history, the “gold standard”—the most reliable strategy—for seo success has been link building.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>link building has changed significantly<a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'> </a>since its original inception as an seo tactic, but the fundamental need for links still remains; any seo strategy without some way to, directly or indirectly, attract links to your domain simply won’t be successful.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>over the years, google has gone through numerous updates, overhauling the way it evaluates things like relevance and authority, and it’s poised to make even more significant updates in the future. so will links one day become obsolete? and if so, what could replace them?</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>how pagerank works</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>first, we need a quick primer on pagerank. to understand why links are so important, you need to understand <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>how pagerank works</a>. pagerank is the first, and continues to be the most important algorithm for determining a website’s authority.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>it’s gone through many changes, but the concept is still the same. when determining which website to rank for a given query, google considers the relevance of a given entry (i.e., how appropriately it serves the query) and its subjective authority.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>google measures authority by determining the quantity and quality of links pointing to a given page and domain. for example, let’s say we’re comparing site a and site b. site a has 50 links from high-quality sources, and site b has 30 links from mixed-quality sources. site a is determined to be more authoritative, and will rank higher, because all those links served as third-party indicators or “votes” of its authoritativeness.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>that’s an oversimplification, of course, but it’s the system that makes link building so valuable.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>why penguin didn't stop link building</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>when it was first released back in 2012, <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant-caps: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>the google penguin algorithm update</a> was briefly thought to have the potential to stop link building as a viable tactic for improving rank. the goal was to weed out “bad” links that were built for the sole purpose of improving a site’s rank, and reward “good” links that were built naturally. over time, penguin’s gotten even more sophisticated, but link building, as an industry and an seo tactic, is alive and well.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>why? because search optimizers have updated their tactics. rather than making it a game of quantity, spamming links wherever they could get them, optimizers turned it into a game of quality, investing time in building and nurturing relationships with offsite publishers and producing audience-focused content that truly adds value.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>these links aren’t flagged as spam; they pass authority, and add value to the web. accordingly, links remain one of the most important factors for a successful seo campaign—but the way they need to be built to provide value without risk from penguin has changed.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>potential threats</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>if penguin couldn’t stop link building, what could? there are a handful of potential threats here, each coming from a different angle, and how they connect with each other could gradually chip away at link building’s strategic value.</p> <ul> <li><strong>iot and voice search. </strong>first up is the rise of the iot, and with it, voice search. home consoles like google home (not to mention voice-based assistants on mobile devices) are transforming the average user’s web experience. users are increasingly relying on conversational queries, and expecting immediate answers. rather than browsing through websites, users may soon expect these search engines to conjure one singular answer; and at that point, relevance may become more important than authority, reducing the value of links.</li> <li><strong>apps.</strong> it’s also possible that apps may replace traditional websites someday soon. google and other search engines have begun <a href='' style='box-sizing: border-box; background-color: transparent; -webkit-text-decoration-skip: objects; text-decoration: none; cursor: auto; color: rgb(0, 56, 145);' target='_blank'>incorporating more app-friendly features</a>, and users find it more convenient to rely on app functionality, rather than relying on typical web browsers. this, too, could transform the online user experience, and might diminish the power of link building—and the power of traditional websites alongside it.</li> <li><strong>social feedback. </strong>search engines, including those found on app stores, are also doing more to incorporate social feedback into their rankings. rather than looking at what other sites have linked to a product (a kind of quantitative score), they’re looking at the number and quality of reviews submitted by users (a kind of qualitative score). ultimately, ratings and reviews could eventually eclipse links in importance.</li> <li><strong>yet-undiscovered tech. </strong>we’re still in the early stages of search engine development, so there are countless possibilities that could emerge, changing the growth of technology from here.</li> </ul> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>the gradual evolution</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>if any of these technologies have the power to individually or collectively replace link building as the gold standard for seo success, they won’t be able to do it for a long time. as fast as it seems to move at times, people rely on search engines on a daily basis, and would be significantly disrupted if everything was overhauled overnight.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>in my opinion, it’s more likely that we’ll see a very gradual evolution roll out over the course of, perhaps, 5-10 years.</p> <p style='text-align:start'><strong>a practical view</strong></p> <p style='text-align:start'>right now, link building – as an seo tactic and as an industry – seems to be stronger than ever. links are still consistently shown to be among the top 2 or 3 ranking factors in correlation studies, and the benefits they bring beyond simply seo rankings elevates their value even further.</p> <p style='text-align:start'>new technologies like iot and apps aren’t revolutionizing search—they’re just introducing new elements to consider and are gradually shaping our standards (no faster than they’ve been shaped before). if links ever significantly drop in importance, it won’t be for several years—and by that time, we’ll all be adapted to whatever’s come to replace them.</p> <p><strong>original article:</strong> <a href='' target='_blank'>forbes</a></p> SEO Tactics Fri, 4 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0800