7 Tips on Building an SEO Strategy for Small Businesses

7 Tips on Building an SEO Strategy for Small Businesses

How many times have you turned to a search engine when trying to find information? Google gets 63,000 search requests each second. So, that number is probably too high to count. Search engines have become our go-to places to find information, search for products, and locate businesses. Which is why SEO strategy is absolutely critical for businesses.

These tactics help you to be seen more often by the right type of customer. But nailing your strategy down can be a bit tricky. There are a lot of options and ways to go about boosting your SEO. That’s why you have to be sure to pick the right ones.

Follow our tips for a successful digital marketing strategy.

1. Stay True to Your Brand

As you’re working to create a digital marketing strategy including SEO tactics, the most important thing is to stay true to your brand throughout.

Your business’ branding and story are what connect your audience to your service or product. Creating a clear view of who you are and what you’re about generates brand loyalty, which drives up revenue.

There may be marketing tactics that have seen some success for other businesses but if they’re not in line with your brand’s story, you should steer clear of them.

Every move you make should be conscious to target an audience and bring them in by being true to who you are.

2. Focus on Keywords

The whole idea behind SEO is to add keywords that will bring up your site during regular online searches.

These keywords are ranked based on their ability to bring people in and the frequency of use. They are added into regular blog posts, product descriptions, and other online content. As people search for those keywords, they’re more likely to find your site.

Finding the right balance in keywords is a critical part of a good SEO strategy. You want to add in keywords that will draw people in but don’t want to stuff your content too full to become too generalized.

A little research upfront will help you to develop a list of a few keywords that will be most beneficial for your business. Stick with those to begin with.

Suggested Resource: Discover the best keywords for you using our $5 gig on Fiverr

fiverr seo, seo keywords

3. Build Page Authority

After you’ve created your list of keywords, it’s time to start implementing them and building page authority.

Page authority is an important marker of successful SEO strategies. It’s a measurement of how well a website page will do in search results, meaning how often it will come up high in the search results.

There are many factors to getting a good page authority score but it will ultimately look different for every company. But keeping this score in mind and making changes to improve it can help you get where you want to be.

4. Pay Attention to Image 

We’ve already discussed how the content you’re putting out (especially the keywords) needs to be representative of your brand. But everything you put out as a whole needs to send the right message.

It doesn’t do much good to work hard to get great SEO strategies going and drive traffic to your site to then have people immediately leave it.

There are many elements to a successful website (design, content, images, ease of navigation to mention a few) and they all need to portray the right message to any visitors.

One of the biggest benefits of SEO is that it draws people in who will actually be interested in your company. So you need to keep them around with the full package.

5. Work with a Professional

On the surface, SEO strategy seems very simple and a straightforward way to getting your company more customers.

But in reality, there are so many nuances and details that it can be easy to overlook something that would make a big difference. This is why it’s often very helpful to work with a trained SEO and marketing professional.

These professionals have a very clear, educated understanding of all of the factors that go into a successful campaign.

They can help you to narrow down your focus, give you the tools to write engaging content, and put your brand on the map. Having an outside perspective can help give you a clear understanding of where you’re at and where you can go.

6. Track and Measure Traffic

There’s no way to know if your SEO efforts are working if you don’t take regular measurements. And there’s really no point in making such efforts if you don’t know how helpful (or not) they’ve been.

One of the key elements to track is the traffic your site or page is getting after it has been optimized.

Most website hosts have backend options to handle all of the tracking and measuring for you. But you need to know how to read and analyze them beforehand to get a real, accurate picture of the progress you’re making.

7. Keep Current on Trends 

The online business world is always changing. It evolves with new technologies, current events, and popular business operations. To stay current you have to stay updated on trends and changes in more efficient marketing strategies.

You can do this by attending or participating in seminars, webinars, and classes focused on digital marketing strategy.

Sometimes it’s easy to think that once we’ve done something for our business it’s permanent and the only option. But in reality, things are much more fluid and can change often. Being flexible for changes to adapt to trends can help keep you current and in the public eye.

Building a Strong SEO Strategy

Getting your name, brand, and product into the world for new customers to discover you is critical to success. SEO strategy is a great way to grow your audience organically by making sure people can find you.

Each company will need to utilize different strategies and tools to get to their goals. But the key is to make conscious efforts to be putting out quality content that boosts your traffic.

If you’re interested in getting started and working with a professional to develop your unique strategy, contact us today!

6 Best Fiverr SEO Gigs To Drive Better Results

6 Best Fiverr SEO Gigs To Drive Better Results

If you’re looking to improve your visibility on search engines and drive more traffic to your website, then Fiverr SEO gigs can be a great way to get you some good traction. The Fiverr Marketplace makes finding the services you need easily accessible and affordable. That means you can explore and try different services without making a major commitment to an SEO provider.

However, SEO is a process, not just a one-time event. It’s important that you’re strategic in your approach.

That’s what this guide is about. It’s designed to help you start from the beginning, and understand (at a basic level) how to use various types of SEO gigs to get you the kind of results you want to see.

But first, let’s explore briefly why using Fiverr SEO gigs can be a good approach to fulfilling your needs.

Why Fiverr SEO Gigs Can Be Good For You

The platform started as a marketplace for $5 services from freelancers. You could find anything from logo design to animation videos to SEO services (and much more). Buyers for these services could find and compare options to meet their needs, all with a very low investment to get the work done. It’s been a great tool for startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and just about anyone trying to build a brand online.

Over the years, the platform has evolved to make it even more robust. While it’s still the home of the $5 gig, you can find many more advanced services (full website design, etc) which can cost much more. This means the level of talent there isn’t limited to freelancers who are only willing to work for only $5. It’s not realistic to find a web designer who is only willing to build your website for just $5. But you can find highly rated freelancers who also offer web design services (at often still affordable prices).

A few factors that make the Fiverr platform a great place to find talent are:

  • Its affordability makes many services more accessible to brands who don’t have monster budgets.
  • Gigs are typically scalable. That means you can get an entry-level service for a low price, or you can upgrade for more features and/or faster completion timelines.
  • The built-in review system means that every gig is rated by the buyers. This gives the freelancers a high level of motivation to deliver well on all of their gigs or risk not getting the work they desire.
  • Seller levels also show you who is consistently delivering at a high level. This means you can pick someone who has proven themselves over and over again.

With that, let’s take a look at six Fiver SEO services that you can use right now to build a stronger presence on search engines.

1 – Technical SEO Audit

fiverr seo

The first thing you should be looking at when trying to improve your SEO is the technical structure of the website itself. Some of the most common factors that limit websites are technical issues resulting in broken links, slow page load speeds, missing code/information on pages and posts, and many other issues.

Therefore, getting a deep scan on your website can reveal specific actions you can take to ensure you have a technically strong website.

Many of the issues have easy fixes, especially in a WordPress website with good hosting. A good technical SEO audit report will also prioritize the importance of the issues for the greatest impact. If you have a little technical knowledge, you might be able to correct the issues on your own. But a good upgrade to this report includes having the experts to take care of everything for you.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will do a technical SEO audit on your website

  • Basic: Technical SEO Audit Report ($5)
  • Standard: Audit Report and WordPress Cleanup ($50)
  • Premium: Plus Homepage Optimization ($135)

2 – Keyword Research

fiverr seo, seo keywords

Once you have a strong technical foundation with your website, the next step is to understand the keywords people are using to get there. And this is more than the simple term(s) you use to describe your own service. The key here is finding the terms other people use to find you.

With an SEO Keyword Research Report, we start with the core keywords you use to describe what you’re offering on your website. Then we look at exact match, phrase match, broad match, and related keyword terms.

From this data, we’re able to prioritize the keyword phrases by things like total monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, and potential click rates. That information can inform several other aspects of your SEO strategy, including overall website architecture, topics for blog posts, and terms used in link-building strategies.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will provide SEO keyword research for your website

  • Basic: SEO Keyword Research Report ($5)
  • Extras: Action Plan (+$20)

3 – On-Page Optimization Report

fiverr seo, on-page optimization

The next step continues with the on-site SEO theme. Once you’ve corrected the technical foundation, and you know the keyword terms you should be targeting, then a good on-page optimization service will help you ensure the content on the page is well optimized for the target keyword(s).

These reports provide optimization ideas related to strategy, SERP features, backlink opportunities, semantic content, technical SEO, and user experience.

Additionally, these reports are great for any page you want to get ranked, not just the homepage. So if you have pages for core products, service areas, or other authority pages, then run this on each one to ensure you’re maximizing your opportunity to get found for a range of terms.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will provide SEO on-page optimization reports

  • Basic: On-Page SEO Report ($5)
  • Standard: On-Page Report + Meta ($30)
  • Premium: Full Page Optimization Service ($85)

4 – Keyword Position Reports

fiverr seo, keyword positions

Now that you’ve taken care of all of the on-site elements, we can start evaluating how the search engines see your site. That’s where a Keyword Positions Report can help us see what terms you’re currently ranking for, and the positions you rank for them.

This information can be used in a variety of ways. Typically, when we build an SEO strategy for our clients, we look for low-hanging fruit in order to achieve some easy wins. The goal is always to get terms ranking in the top three positions on the first page, which is where over half of all clicks go. So we look for the terms in positions 4-10 on the first page and terms on pages two and three of the results. With these terms, we can try some of the more simple tactics that can get the site ranking better more quickly.

Exactly how we use this information can vary quite a bit, which is why a consult is a good follow-up to this report. We can help sort through the data to ensure you have the right plan for how to move forward.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will provide SEO keyword position reports for your website

  • Basic: Position Report ($5)
  • Standard: Position Report + Site Audit Report ($10)
  • Premium: Reports + Consult ($50)

5 – Local SEO Business Listing Audit

fiverr seo, local seo, business listings

Link-building is still one of the most powerful signals we can send to search engines to show the value of a page/site. And while there are several tactics we use to create a strong backlink portfolio, there is one thing we’ve seen make a huge difference for local business rankings. Creating (or cleaning up) your local business citations has proven to be a crucial factor in strong rankings.

Basically, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of online directories that have (or could have) listings for your business. Yelp is a big one. But there are lots of those kinds of sites. And there are two keys to leveraging these directories. First, it’s important to ensure the NAP (name, address, phone) matches what Google and your website show. Inaccurate listings can damage your credibility, and therefore negatively impact your rankings. Second, each of these listings typically has a link back to your website. And quite often these are from higher-authority websites, which results in good credibility links boosting your authority.

The report shows you the accuracy of your listings on top directory websites. Then cleaning up those listings (or creating them where they don’t exist) is a high impact service we suggest for every small business.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will do a local SEO business listing audit

  • Basic: Local SEO Business Listing Audit ($5)
  • Standard: Local Citations Building Starter ($295)
  • Premium: Full Local Business Listing Cleanup ($695)

6 – SEO Content Research and Template

fiverr seo, content research

As I mentioned earlier, good SEO is a process. That’s why having an ongoing content strategy is one of the best things you can do to increase your website’s overall keyword value. It not only increases the number of terms you can end up ranking for, but it also creates more entry points onto your site that can potentially reach the coveted top three positions.

Blogging for your business is tricky, though. By now I’m sure you can see how strongly we feel about leveraging the data and being strategic about the approach. That’s why we like to do a little content research using the target keywords.

Research like this can be done for every blog post you produce. And it’s the foundation for every blog post our team of SEO writers produces. Ultimately, the goal is to produce content that has search engine and social media value. This approach can help you build a library of great resources that can drive traffic for years to come.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will provide SEO content research and template

  • Basic: Content Research and SEO Template ($5)
  • Standard: Content Research + 500-Word Post ($95)
  • Premium: Content Research + 1,000-Word Post ($170)

Final Thoughts On Fiverr SEO Gigs

It’s not super difficult to drive substantial traffic to your website through search engines. But you do need to be strategic about how you go about it.

You can leverage Fiverr SEO gigs to help you explore SEO services and drive more traffic to your website. It’s important, however, to not just go out and buy random gigs making big promises. You should know where you are with your website, where you want to go with traffic, and where your greatest opportunities for traffic can be found. Then build a plan that drives you towards your goals.

If you want to start by chatting through any of this, we’re always happy to talk (for free) and get you pointed in the right direction. You can schedule some time with us anytime. And feel free to grab some of the gigs featured here to get your SEO strategy moving in the right direction.

 

Promising Results on the Cheap (SEO Case Study)

Promising Results on the Cheap (SEO Case Study)

Many of the small businesses we work with have a small marketing budget. That means when it comes to evaluating the services they spend on, they are often looking for cheap SEO tactics. Not cheap as in worthless, but cheap as in not breaking the bank.

Ultimately, the goal is to get pages on your site to rank in the top 3 positions on Google. Studies have shown that approximately 62% of search engine traffic goes to websites ranked in the first three positions (33% to position one, 18% to position two, and 11% to position three). That means only a third of it goes to the other seven results on the first page. Then things drop off significantly after that…

cheap seo, local seo

Getting results with SEO is definitely an investment. And it’s not an overnight success kind of thing. Rising to the top of the rankings for all of your biggest keyword terms can cost a pretty penny and/or take some time to build the momentum you need.

But there are some great SEO tactics that can help you get some nice traction, without spending a ton of money. This case study looks at work done recently with a client of ours. We’ll break down the work that was done, the results of that work, and explore suggestions we have to drive even greater impact.

The Digital Marketing Strategy, Specifically for Local SEO

The large majority of the marketing budget went towards other strategies (ads, etc). But we kept some regular search engine optimization work in the mix. The reason is simple. Over the long-term, earning rankings sticks better. Google Ads stop delivering the moment you stop paying for them. But if you earn a spot on the first page, then you’re more likely to keep it (at least until someone proves they’re better than you).

But, we had to keep the budget investment in SEO as low as possible. So we focused on what I considered two “must-have” tactics that I believe every small business should be doing. Those tactics are content marketing (business blogging) and local citation link building. Here’s the breakdown of the work we did every month:

  • Local Citation Link-Building ($197) – After running a full citation audit, we would add/update ten online business directories (i.e., Yelp, BBB, Thumbtack, etc), ten geotagged photos, and ten social profile links every month.
  • 1 x Blogger 500 ($97) – Our team of SEO writers would research and find trends to write 500-word blog posts targeting general keyword terms related to the client’s industry.
  • 1 x Blogger 1,000 ($173) – We would also research and write 1,000-word blog posts related to high-value keyword terms we wanted to build authority around.

So for less than $500/mo we were building links and developing a core of content on the website with a focus on high-value, local search terms. We did this consistently, month after month, without fail. And consistency is one of the keys to building momentum with search engine results.

The Results We Saw

The initial baseline report at the end of December 2018 showed a very low volume of total keywords, especially those on the first page. Just one term ranked on the first page, and there were only six total keywords on the first three pages. And while there were other terms ranking on pages 4-10, the overall volume was still pretty insignificant.

cheap seo, local seo

The September 2019 report (nine full months later) showed a very different picture. We increased the number of keywords ranking on page one of the search results from 1 to 10, and the total for the first three pages from 6 to 82. Additionally, the total number of terms ranking anywhere in the top 100 positions on Google increased from 81 to 505.

cheap seo, local seo

While the total volume of terms appearing on the first page of search results isn’t overwhelming, this definitely shows a trend of increasing opportunity to get found. The breadth of keywords fueled by the blogging strategy coupled with the authority driven by link-building is a solid mix for driving visibility.

The Impact of Cheap SEO, and Driving Better Results

This data shows some encouraging trends, however, there are still some big opportunities to improve. Here are a few key take-aways:

1) Consistently adding content and building links drives positive results. This is an important concept in the strategy. These results are what we’ve seen over a nine-month period. If we did a couple of posts here and there or stopped the link building, then we wouldn’t have experienced this kind of success.

2) It’s an active and ongoing strategy. With this latest report, there are 10 keywords ranking on the first page, and only 5 of those in the coveted first three positions. However, our SEO strategies look for low-hanging fruit to push forward, and that’s everything from positions 4-30 (the rest of page one through page three). Those are the terms that are doing well enough where a little boost could bump them higher onto the first page. Looking at the current data, in this case, there are 77 opportunities in this range to focus our efforts to get significant rankings. Time to get to work!

3) The lower budget for SEO means slower results. Cheap SEO can drive some results. Some. But to be completely honest, these results aren’t driving a ton of traffic yet. And at the current budget for SEO spending, it’ll still take some time to experience big impact. Investing more in additional content (I like to see 4 posts per month) and additional link-building tactics (guest posting, content syndication, etc) will drive stronger and faster results.

There’s plenty of good news in this data. But, there’s also still a great deal of opportunity. The key is to stick with it, follow the data, and keep building based on what that data is telling you. Got questions about how a strategy like this can drive more traffic for your business? Grab some time with us to talk through your digital strategy. (Talking is always free!)

 

Strong Blogging: How To Grow With Content Syndication

Strong Blogging: How To Grow With Content Syndication

Do you use your blog for your small business?

If so, you’ve got a lot of competition. Currently, there are over 30 million small businesses, some of which are in direct competition with you. And 57% of marketers say they’ve gained new customers through their company’s blog.

If you’re just starting out with content marketing (our fancy term for business blogging), you may see a long road ahead of you. You may even ask yourself if you, or your team, actually have the time to invest in creating fantastic posts that make people want to read what you have to say.

Or what if you have the time to create amazing blog posts, but you don’t have any readers to read it? The age-old question of “if a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one to hear it, does it make a sound” applies to your blog. That is, if you write professional copy with amazing photos and great information, but there’s no one to read it, does the blog exist at all?

content syndication

This is where content syndication comes in. It can help you build your blog from the ground up, chock-full of information people are looking for, without spending your valuable time creating it. And if you’re creating content, then this will get your work in front of more people, quickly.

What Is Syndication?

If you grew up during the era before streaming services almost completely replaced television, you may be familiar with the term syndication. This is where television shows sell their rights to a variety of channels to allow their show to play in syndication. Often times, shows that played in syndication were those that had been off the air for a decade or longer.

However, talk shows are often still played in syndication as they are sold to several local channels to play during the day.

Newspapers also use this tactic to help get their content read. For example, your local newspaper may have a column from someone who works across the country. That’s because that person’s column is run in syndication across a variety of newspapers.

In essence, syndicated content is very similar in that your blog content will run across several websites.

content syndication

How Does Content Syndication Work?

Content syndication works similarly to newspaper and television syndication. It works in two ways. First, you can publish articles that other people have written, stating that the content was first published on another site.

Most people, however, use content syndication the other way in order to get more clicks to their site. If you’re a blog for your business, you’ll want to syndicate your content with a variety of larger websites. The links back to your site not only create opportunities for clicks, but the links alone carry a great deal of search engine optimization value for you.

You’ve probably read an article on a website and scrolled to the bottom and seen something along the lines of “This article was originally published by” and then the name of the magazine or blog. The media companies, or the individuals, have entered into a deal to allow their content to run in syndication.

This allows a maximum viewership, which is a mutually beneficial relationship if done correctly.

How Does Content Syndication Help a Small Business Blog?

Content syndication works extremely well for a small business. You can choose to syndicate content with smaller websites and businesses, but it won’t earn you much traffic.

Instead, if you syndicate content with a larger website, preferably one that pulls in hundreds of thousands of views per month, you’ll get more eyes on your blog or business.

You can’t be positive that people will go to your site, but you will have a byline on a larger site, and if you’re advertising your product or service, it immediately gets advertised to a larger audience.

But in order for content syndication to work, you need to do it well. It isn’t enough to syndicate with a website or blog that has a larger audience. Ideally, you’ll need to syndicate with one that is in your niche.

For example, if you’re a business that is centered around teenage and young adult clothing and trends, it wouldn’t serve you well to syndicate with a site targeted to adults age 35-55. While you may get lots of eyeballs on your content, they’re not the right eyeballs.

The right eyeballs would, of course, be a high traffic site for young adults and teens.

How Do I Start Syndicating My Content or Accepting Syndicated Content?

If you’re keen to accept syndicated content, you may wish to let others know your site accepts guest posts or syndication.

But getting your posts to syndicate with high traffic sites can be the most challenging part (unless you know someone who rocks it). Most people do this by writing fabulous copy and then pitching it to the magazine or website.

content syndication

This can be a difficult and tedious task, and you may hear scores of no’s before you finally get one yes. However, hitting the proverbial pavement is one way to score a deal.

What If I Don’t Have Time to Pitch My Content?

If you’re just starting a business, you may be working two jobs at once or working around the clock to stay afloat. Sitting down and pitching your content to sites across the Internet may seem overwhelming and even frustrating. That’s totally fair.

And that’s where Fistbump Media comes in. In addition to the SEO services we already offer to help your site rank high in searches, you can try our team of amazing content writers for your company’s blog, and we have existing relationships for syndicating your content to a bunch of high-authority websites.

We can help you take the busy work out of getting your content syndicated and start getting eyes on your company’s blog today.

 

The Most Epic SEO Guide For Competitive Small Business Owners

The Most Epic SEO Guide For Competitive Small Business Owners

You own a small business and you have a million things on your plate. Read on to learn everything you need to know about SEO in our ultimate SEO kickstart guide.

When Scott Paxton entered a competition to see who could get their new website to the front of Google the fastest, he decided to look at what his competitors were doing.

What he learned can help you take charge of where your business ranks in the top search engine result pages (SERPs).

You want to rank first for your industry on Google…but you don’t have the time or money to spend hours trying out different strategies…how do you get great SERP results without blowing your whole budget?

This guide will walk you through how to use SEO for small business. Stop wondering why you aren’t ranking as high as you want and get a free site audit now!

seo audit, local seo

Is SEO for Small Business Worth It?

You love your business and nothing excites you more than waking up to help it grow every day.

But your website and all its subdomains aren’t popping up on the first page of Google.

As much as you’ve heard about how small business SEO can help bring in new customers, you just don’t want to bother trudging through educational resources on the subject.

One easy place to start is with a SEO score. You’ll get an easy to read SEO report sent right to your inbox.

This is a great place to start if SEO seems like a daunting subject. It will show you everything you could be doing to rank higher for your keywords.

Let’s take a look at what else can help your rankings.

SEO Then and Now

In the early days of SEO, volume was all that mattered. Google wasn’t as savvy to spam and other black hat tactics as they are now.

seo guide, seo kickstart guide, small buisness seo

Today, Google prizes quality over quantity. That means having great content that solves your audience’s problems will always put you ahead of your competitors.

Everyone tells you that you need great content. Sure, that’s easy to say, but how do you consistently produce great content that your readers love?

Good question. Every business using digital media in the world wonders that, so you’re not alone.

Start by creating your content strategy. Having a strategy helps eliminate the possibility of creating the wrong kind of content for your customers.

Plan Ahead

A content strategy should answer each of the following questions:

  • What is the content about?
  • How will it be displayed? Which social media outlets, websites, etc.
  • Who will you need to hire to produce the content?
  • Who will make decisions about which content is produced?

Often times marketers fall short of completing the real goal behind SEO. To get more sales. Just ranking higher for certain keywords will undoubtedly bring more traffic to your site, but if you’re attracting the wrong visitors your efforts are in vain.

How well you do at matching your customers to content that solves their problems determines your reputation with Google.

“I Have a Reputation with Google?”

Yes, Google ranks websites by how trustworthy they are. Everything from how long visitors spend on your page to whether they scroll through and read everything are factors in your reputation.

seo guide, seo kickstart guide, small business seo

Small business online reputation management relies on several factors to help pages rank higher than their competitors.

→ Put Mobile First

On January 10th, 2017 Google made an official announcement that the future is now.

For years smartphones were the future of media consumption. Businesses knew eventually they’d need to optimize for mobile, but Google’s update set a firm date.

By now, if your site isn’t easy to bring up on a smartphone, there’s no way you’re going to make it to the top of the SERPs.

So what makes a website suitable for mobile devices? One of Google’s most recent beefs with the mobile user experience (UX) is intrusive interstitials.

→ Bad Pop-Ups

You know those pop-up ads that ask you to subscribe or buy something and don’t let you see the content until you comply?

Or even worse, when you do comply and the pop-up is unresponsive, making the whole site useless.

seo guide

These are what Google considers “intrusive interstitials”. Keep in mind that only ads that hurt the user experience by either crashing the site or creating a paywall are intrusive.

That’s because Google aims to serve the searcher, not the business. Think about when you’re searching for something.

How much time have you wasted clicking on links that looked promising only to be led to a paywall?

It sucks and Google knows it.

Fix Technical Issues

Often times entrepreneurs will focus on how their website looks without testing to make sure all the features and links work.

→ Loading Speed

Research shows that 53% of people will leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.  That’s bad news given that the average loading time of a mobile page hovers around 22 seconds.

Complicated graphics or videos can cause your site to lag too much, ultimately losing your potential leads.

→ Broken Links

Make sure every link on your site is functional. Broken links hurt your online reputation and make your whole site look unprofessional.

→ Canonical Link Elements

Canonical link elements tell search engines which page of duplicate content should be shown.  You probably have several duplicates of content pages from your own site and don’t even know it.

That’s because duplication can happen due to something as small as opening a new user session. Often times a single instance URL is issued when each visitor comes to your page.

Forgetting to use canonical link elements can result in the wrong page being pushed up the SERPs.

“Would I Do This If Search Engines Didn’t Exist?”

Is the exact question Google says to ask yourself before modifying your site. It’s tempting to cater to search engines because they bring in so many of your customers.

But it’s important to keep in mind that you share the same goal as Google, to better serve your customers.

So look at Google as more of a partner than a landlord. One way to prove to Google your site is trustworthy while still providing tremendous value to the end user is through backlinks.

Backlinks are when other websites link back to your content.

How to Get Backlinks

Before we talk about how to get backlinks, let’s talk about how not to get them.

This is just as vital because black hat tactics like link schemes can result in penalties that will make your site harder to find than Timbuktu with a blindfold on.

seo guide

→Original Content

Original content reigns supreme within Google and other search engines. Unique opinions and commentary on content from other sources is still considered original.

But content scraped from other sites with nothing of value added to the user experience will earn you a penalty fast.

A great way to get other sites to take notice of your content (and link to it) is to create a resource center.

→ Resource Center

A resource center, like this one, is the perfect way to build backlinks. No one likes being sold to. It’s why we fast forward or skip commercials whenever we can.

But a source for high quality, fresh content that answers your readers’ questions will have them begging for more.

And yes, your resource center should be totally, 100% free. Think of your resource center as a first date with a potential customer.

You want them to see the expertise and skills you have to offer. You don’t try and sell to every visitor right away the same way you wouldn’t propose to every stranger walking into Starbucks after you.

The less sales-oriented your resource page is, the better. This isn’t a buyer’s guide. Don’t try and upsell or link to products. Provide only the information readers are looking for.

It might seem counterintuitive not to focus on sales here, but remember we have a reputation to uphold with Google.

The more time reader’s spend on our pages the higher they’ll rank. A resource page builds your credibility as an expert in your industry.

How Social Media and Content Marketing Work Together

Social media is a double-edged sword when it comes to content marketing.

It democratizes content creation but it can also be more demanding than your typical marketing strategy.

That’s because not only do you speak to your users on social media, but they speak to you.

→ User-Generated Content

Taking advantage of user-generated content like customers using your branded hashtags is an important part of making your social media campaign a success.

Responding to comments and DMs also go along way in ranking your social media pages higher in SERPs.

→ Keep It Share Worthy

Social media is all about sharing. Sharing something that makes you laugh, cry, or angry is what makes social media so addicting.

It’s not like traditional media that talks at you. It’s your best friend sending you something that made them crack up.

It’s your mom sending you something that made her go, “awww!”

Always ask yourself, “would I share this on my personal profile,” before posting something on your business profiles.

Customer Research

Marketers used to go on nothing more than trial and error. Not anymore. We have more data than ever to base our marketing decisions on.

A website audit report is a good place to start. You’ll get a look at what’s working (and what’s not) with keywords your visitors might be using to find you. You can focus on those subjects and remove irrelevant content that may be holding you back.

Facebook’s targeting metrics are arguably the most advanced of any tech company. You can find everything from keywords your customers are searching for to what their favorite band is.

A pet supply store might target the keyword “black cat” on Halloween, which would probably create a short term surge in traffic.

But most people searching for the term “black cat” are not going to be interested in pet food.

Know who your customer is before trying to connect with them.

seo guide

Keyword Research

One of the best ways to do keyword research is with an in-depth keyword analysis. These are great because you get an instant critique of your keyword usage.

If you’re not ranking well, don’t worry! That’s the whole point of the audit. Improving your SEO strategy starts with fixing what’s broken.

If your site is lacking in keywords there is a lot of help. Content creation and backlinks are what will get you to the top of the SERPs. You can outsource a lot of this time-consuming work to a service like this.

You Can Start to See Results in Less Time Than You Think

So what did Scott Paxton learn while racing to rank his website?

Every top search result led to a subdomain of their homepage. Your homepage should act as a directory that hosts all your valuable unique content.

That’s because we want to provide value above all else. Backlinks and keywords create the language we use to communicate with Google.

But content is what speaks to our customers.

No one wants to do business with a faceless corporation. SEO and content marketing set you up to be an industry leader by humanizing your business.

To start ranking higher and attracting more customers, get a free site audit and start optimizing your page immediately! If you still need help with your SEO strategy we can help with everything from designing your website to creating a solid network of backlinks.

Stop ignoring your SEO strategy while your competitors thrive. Read this article now about what happens behind the scenes of a site audit.

seo audit, local seo

What Local SEO Investments Can Do For Your Offline and Online Sales

What Local SEO Investments Can Do For Your Offline and Online Sales

online sales, local seo, e-commerce

The line between offline and online sales has become very blurred. There’s showrooming and Research Online, Pay Offline (ROPO), point of sale (POS) e-commerce systems, click and collect options— and then there’s local action-focused search to factor in.

With smartphones that keep us connected to the internet wherever we go, we always have the option of buying something in under a minute. We can search for things, place orders, and carry on with our days. Micro-moments are an ever-present danger to our wallets.

Retailers that aren’t taking advantage of this power are making a huge mistake, because it’s a huge source of revenue. Let’s look at what local SEO really involves, why Google cares about it, how you can optimize for it, and what really makes it worthwhile: ROI.

What does local SEO for online sales mean?

Before geo-targeting was an option, SEO was unfocused. The overall goal was always to get more traffic in general, reasoning that the more people visited a site, the more conversions there would be. It makes sense, and it works— but when there’s a physical location involved, your SEO requires a far more granular approach.

Because it operates through a physical location, local SEO needs to be geographical to an extent that goes beyond simply knowing what country a user is from. Consider the average Google search made from a phone in today’s world. Google won’t just parse the text; it will use the searcher’s specific locational data in combination with the specified keywords to try to find the best possible solution in that context.

Just look at the enormous increase in the use of the term “near me” in America over the course of the last 7 years. We know that we don’t need to type our current locations, so we don’t bother. We pass our tasks to Google, and it takes one look at our location data and figures out what exactly we’re talking about.

google trends, local seo, local search, near me search, online sales, e-commerce

That’s what makes it so much more important (and interesting) to optimize for.

Why Google prioritizes local SEO

Imagine that you got hungry on a night out and wanted to visit a restaurant, but you couldn’t think of what could be open at that time. Eager to eat, you could take out your phone and search for “restaurants still open right now”. Google would interpret the string, conclude (quite correctly) that you were searching specifically for restaurants in your area, and deliver results meeting your criteria.

This focus on understanding intent—recognizing what a user meant regardless of what they actually said—is a key part of local SEO. It’s all about figuring out the purpose of a search so the best results can be found, and mobile devices play into this hugely (since searches from mobile devices cumulatively comprise well over half of all web searches now).

By listing a company in response to a local query, whether as a top result or even a featured rich snippet, Google knows it is implicitly recommending the locations it lists. If you can give your business the best chance of being such a recommended location, it will benefit you hugely through increased business from mobile users ready and willing to convert.

How you can optimize for local search

Given the overwhelming importance of being picked by Google as a top result for a local search, local SEO is all about covering all the bases and jumping through every hoop provided. Google wants as much information as possible. Here are some things you can offer:

  • A Google My Business Map Listing
    Filling in Google’s My Business page is an essential component of appearing on Google Maps. Without it, you won’t be featured, and all your local SEO efforts will be ruined as Google won’t want to rank you for a local search when it isn’t even sure your business is in that area.
  • Local Content
    Your business should have a blog or at least some form of content updated semi-regularly. Use your content to write about your area and your place in it— touch upon relevant area keywords, but be sure to make it good content regardless. If you make a guide to your area, it’ll give you new ranking possibilities and further associate your business with your location (remember to share it on social media for added exposure).
  • User Reviews
    A company with no reviews appears suspicious. Even if you get glowing reviews offline, it won’t help your traffic. Encourage your customers to leave you reviews through Google+ (it’s mostly dead, but the reviewing is still of value), an external review service if you have enough customers to justify it, or (if your online store setup supports it) even a free or cheap review add-on.
  • Microdata
    While you can include reviews through microdata, it’s not all you can tag. You can point out anything you can list through Google My Business (including opening hours, holiday hours, menu link, etc.) and more, including product types, dimensions, materials, etc. Google may not want to rely on it, but for the moment it still has value.

By including as much detail as you can about what your business does, where it is, and how it operates, you can make your company a viable contender for SERP positioning when a relevant search is made.

seo audit, local seo, online sales

If you’re willing to do some PPC to get things moving, you can use Google’s Merchant Center to advertise your product listings inside results pages, plus they’re playing with a system for buying directly through search results. PPC doesn’t innately affect SEO, but if it brings in new customers who really like your site and your service, the uptick in your metrics certainly will.

The high ROI of local SEO for online sales

We still need to answer the titular question of what investment in local SEO can do for your online sales (and offline sales)… so let’s do that now since we only need one term: high ROI.

The scattergun approach of standard SEO gets strong results, but it also wastes resources for businesses with physical locations and associated restrictions. It brings in people who never intended to buy anything, traffic from overseas, and a weak return on the effort.

You don’t just catch stragglers— you catch the people who are in the right location at the right time and itching to buy something you can offer them.

While it’s challenging to track local SEO ROI sometimes, try using call tracking to segment the data. Use one number for your Google My Business listing, another for your website, and another for any other type of campaign you run.

Once you’re done, you’ll be able to narrow things down and figure out where all your sales are coming from. You’ll most likely see that your local traffic is converting at the highest rate. If it isn’t, then you’re doing something seriously wrong to push away locals and should think about your overall strategy.