Monthly Archives: May 2017

How to Generate a Steady Flow of Visitors by Reaching out to Influencers

By | Marketing | No Comments

From creating quality content to experimenting with paid advertising platforms, you put a lot of work into getting targeted visitors to your website. Many marketers and business owners have trouble keeping enough traffic coming to their sites to justify their effort, leaving them with feelings of frustration and confusion. If you can relate to that problem, you are probably looking for a way to simplify the traffic generation process, and you can reach your goal with influencer marketing. You will reach out to the people in your industry who already have large audiences and offer to share your content. Each time someone accepts your offer, you will get a nice boost of targeted traffic.

Locate Influencers

When your goal is to generate a flood of traffic, finding the influencers who are in your field is the best place to start. If you have been in your market for a while, you will likely have a few in mind, but you will always want to keep an eye out for additional opportunities. You can search for them on Google, but joining social media groups related to the products and services you sell will also work wonders. Take some time to discover five to six bloggers, and you will be off to a good start.

Conduct Research
At this point, some people will instantly create content without taking the time to validate their ideas, and you must avoid that trap. Reading an influencer’s past blog posts is a great way to see the type of content that gets attention and inspires people to take action. Since Google places relevant search results on the first page, searching for keywords that your prospects are likely to use will provide you with even more ideas. As you review each page of content, ask yourself if you could do anything to improve the articles.

Content Creation and Outreach
When you have a clear picture of the type of content people enjoy, you can move forward with the process. If you have not already done so, create a few articles on your website that will capture people’s interest. You will then want to email the bloggers and let them know that you enjoy their content and think their audience would benefit from your material. You can create infographics and write guest posts for bloggers to place on their sites, and they will link to your content in exchange for your contribution.

Final Thoughts

Although you can try many things when your mission is to send as many people to your website as possible, influencer marketing is one of the most effective. Not only will you increase your traffic, but you will also build trust and credibility by getting respected bloggers to syndicate your content. Once you get an idea of how the process works, you will want to create a routine so that you can get a consistent supply of targeted visitors. As you gain experience, you will have an even better understanding of what works and what does not, taking your results to the next level.

The Offline Organic SEO Tactics Your Local Business Needs Right Now

By | SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments

Onsite SEO is the foundation of your company’s online reputation, but a strong local customer base is what keeps business thriving. Merging organic SEO with offline tactics designed to draw local traffic powers up your marketing strategy and brings your brand to the attention of new customers.

Shifting SEO Landscapes
To jump-start offline promotions, you have to let go of outdated SEO practices. Keyword stuffing and lengthy meta tags worked in the past when search engine algorithms had a lot of loopholes. Today, the same approach is considered “black hat” SEO and is usually penalized. Smart business owners stick with “white hat” tactics, focusing on the customer experience instead of trying to trick search engines. Including keywords naturally, providing relevant links and maintaining a positive online reputation does more for organic search results than any amount of manipulation.

Linking Organic and Local
Consumers find nearby businesses by using local keywords, often while searching on mobile devices. Being near the top of organic search results is key if you want to attract the attention of these hurried users. To ensure the maximum amount of visibility, make it a priority to claim listings on location-based directories, including sites like Yelp, Google and Facebook. A greater number of listings means more possible links in search results and more places where potential customers can interact with your company.

Being the Genuine Article
To populate your online listings with positive reviews and useful customer feedback, amazing service must be the hallmark of your physical location. If you advertise a special, stock enough inventory to make good on it, and have a backup plan in case the response is more overwhelming than you expected. Strive to create an inviting, friendly atmosphere in line with the “voice” of your online presence. When customers have consistently positive experiences across channels, it can generate good reviews and improve local organic search visibility for your business.

Grabbing Good Feedback
To ensure customers remember to say something about their great in-store experiences, include links to review platforms on receipts, business cards and promotional items. Ask if they’d like to be included in your mailing list, and send follow-up emails asking for feedback. Short surveys with the option to leave a review at the end not only gather comments but also provide ideas for how to improve service in the future.

Tracking Offline Results
Sending out email surveys or directing customers to online review sites helps you keep track of how people found your store. Monitor all channels to determine the most lucrative, and make these the focus of your SEO strategy. Pay attention to how many people from each channel leave reviews or take surveys, and note the balance of positive to negative feedback. Higher traffic means a better ROI and can help you maximize your advertising budget to continue improving offline SEO.

Following honest marketing practices when promoting your business online and off is the best thing you can do to improve rankings in local search results. The combination of smart onsite SEO and stellar offline customer service creates a dynamic designed to bring in good reviews and encourage first-timers to become repeat customers. Keep your local audience in mind as you refine your marketing strategy to maintain long-term connections and make the most of local organic SEO.

Five Title Tag Hacks Guaranteed to Boost SEO Rankings

By | SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments

You may be thinking that title tags are too outdated to still be useful in today’s competitive world of search engine rankings. Though they have been around as long as the Internet itself, they are still one of the simplest, most useful search engine optimization, or SEO, tools in your arsenal.

The Benefits of a Great Title Tag

There have been plenty of studies conducted that prove there is a definite correlation between the right kind of title tag and a significant, measurable increase in site rankings.

In addition to this, it has also been proven that you can increase your click-through rate drastically with a great title tag. Click-through rates can ultimately boost your SEO ranking, so it’s worth taking the extra time for this.

Below you will find several strategies you can experiment with. While there are always certain SEO best practices, it is important to remember that much of your success will come through trial and error. Once you find what works for your site, you’ll be set.

1. Be Specific With Numbers and Dates

The human brain is trained to look for patterns, which means anything that breaks away from a pattern will automatically stand out. When scanning search engine results, your brain is desperately looking for something to latch onto. This is where numbers and dates come in handy.

This is why using numbers in your title tag is so useful. Numbers are specific and break that monotonous pattern of text, which causes the brain to perk up and grab onto it. This can increase your click-through rate.

2. Find the Appropriate Length

Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to tag title length, but the general consensus is to stay within the 50-60 character limit. The trick here is to be aware of what keywords are most likely to be searched when someone is looking for the product or service you provide. Fitting those keywords within that character limit will usually be a winning strategy.

3. Know Your Synonyms

You may think people will be searching one way, but then find out they’re actually searching a completely different way. This is why it’s important to know which variants of common keywords are most likely to be used and optimize accordingly.

Keyword tools are incredibly useful for this. Most, like Google Search Console or Keyword Explorer will point out popular variants of the keywords you input, which you can use to improve you title tag.

4. Engage the User

Action words and questions are extremely effective tools for crafting an attention-grabbing title tag. Action words give your page a little extra boost of excitement, and questions can create a curiosity gap that incentivizes searchers to click through.

5. Make That Connection

This is a bit advanced, but if you can match up your title tag with the exact keyword phrases that are most often used to find your site, it will give your site traffic a serious boost.

When people see a phrase in the search results that exactly matches their query, they are much more likely to click on that result. This may take a few tries, but it’s well worth it.

To boost your SEO rankings, try out these five title tag hacks and see what works for you.

How to Perform SEO for Images

By | SEO | No Comments

While applying Search Engine Optimization to a web page increases its prominence in the result pages of search engines like Google, SEO is usually thought in terms of creating outgoing links to external websites and using the same keywords repeatedly throughout the content text. However, at least one out of every three searches carried out on Google are image searches, and Google relies on SEO that has been applied onto images in order to determine which images should be displayed on the highest segments of relevant searches.

Because a search engine cannot visually parse an image the way human eyes can, Google may use any number of text elements surrounding the image in order to estimate whether it is a relevant image for searches. Besides the file name and the alt attribute, it appears that Google pays particular attention to the contents of the caption underneath the picture. The web page itself is also taken into consideration; the URL and the title element both help to establish for search engines whether there is further context to an image being on that page, and so does the other content text in the close vicinity of where on the page it is posted.

Apparently, if an image presented lower on a search result’s page gets enough clicks, it will be shifted into a higher position because of its proven popularity. This is a way in which a highly engaging image can be expected to take its place alongside other, equally engaging images in image searches even if it ranks low on search result pages at first.

Further factors that determine whether an image will quickly appear highly in search results include whether it does not have a lopsided width-to-height ratio and whether its overall dimensions are not overly small or large. One way that an image can directly benefit from being very large, however, is if it is intended to be searched by browsers looking for desktop wallpapers and the page the image is hosted on is clearly presenting itself as a wallpaper repository.

Finally, whether the website itself ranks highly in search engine results because of its own, traditional SEO seems to tell Google that the images hosted on it should be considered relevant among similar images that might be hosted by less prominent sites. Separately, if the image in question is embedded across multiple web pages separate from where it first appeared, that likely has a direct and positive impact on the picture’s perceived relevance.

All of the above factors are what a site owner hoping to get an image to appear near the top of search results needs to pay due consideration to by default. However, there is also the matter of being sure to associate only the proper keywords with images. There exist keyword research tools that allow the user to determine how likely an image will rank in a search for certain keywords in the context of specific markets. After determining that entering a specific keyword does cause similar images to appear in the search results, the site owner should repeat the process until he or she has anywhere between five and twelve keywords that all relate to the same image. Those keywords should then be incorporated into the text elements connected to and surrounding the image.

The Best Off-Page SEO Strategies for Building a Reputation Online

By | Marketing, SEO | No Comments

When people decide to go off-page with their SEO, they have to do so with some caution. This process is used for optimizing a brand’s footprint both online and offline. This tool can look at content, relationships, and links in order to make the best experience for prospecting customers in what they do in relation to search engine’s crawl bots. This process generally leads to an increase in brand mentions that are positive, and search rankings improve, which also makes the site gain more traffic.

It is important to note that this situation can be a little confusing. Most people believe taking care of online data is enough, so they do not see the point of doing the extra work to include offline data, too. However, it is like owning a great house that is well protected in a gated community that does not allow people to come in and visit. There is essentially a great part to just one, but having the best of both worlds makes SEO situations all the better.

What is Off-Page SEO?

Off-page SEO does not reserve as much recognition that it deserves. It is important to note that people talk about websites without being attached to them physically. People come to brands with comments from friends and family members that cannot be gathered without going off-page. At the same time, it cannot be done through link building. While this feature is important, it cannot act alone as the answer to SEO on its own. These links are a benefit, but they are not an end goal.

There are two things to think about this situation. First of all, the goal of off-page SEO is only to accumulate positive signals and interactions people might have with a given brand. The hope is to net a positive outcome instead of a negative one. On the other hand, the benefits are to garner more brand mentions, positive reviews, links, and so much more. Therefore, these links need to be viewed from a standpoint of context and they also need to be given priority over what factors do lead to SEO off-page in order to provide the best boost for a brand.

Three Prisms to Pick From

There are three methods through which these SEO options can be tightened for off-page to work properly. First and foremost, people need to look at the brand and how it is viewed in the eyes of others. Sometimes, a brand that does not stand well on its own will not benefit from SEO, even the off-page variety, for long. Therefore, the products that sell 10,000 or more of items will perform the best. At the same time, the other feature to work on is Customer service with this aspect because it can either put a positive experience in people’s minds, or it can put a sour taste in people’s mouths.

Audience is the next important thing to be concerned with because it pinpoints specific people who are likely to have had a negative experience with the brand. The best way to counteract these people, especially with things they may post on social media, is to have a response to their statements or concerns right away. The goal is to be cordial with them while offering to find solutions to what they are concerned about.

Conclusion

There are many things to consider when going off-page. It is only half of the equation to making the best out of SEO optimization. It should not be forgotten no more than on-page SEO needs to work by itself.

Implementing SEO Changes with Google’s Tag Manager

By | SEO | No Comments

It is important to know what type of SEO changes can and cannot be made to a website. Some changes cannot happen for a few reasons, and rigid CMSs are one of them. At the same time, development queues that are really long also do not help – some of them can be months or even years long. It is important to know that some implementations can be made, though, and some of them can be done through Google’s Tag Manager.

One of the ways to use this tactic is to make it one third of the solution to websites that cannot run through meta-CMS. The most commonly used Tag Manager is produced by Google. It accounts for 72.6 percent of the market share in its field. Some people only use things like Google Analytics or Facebook tracking, but there are other things that work with HTML snippets based on rules that can be defined.

It is important to note that tag managers make use of JavaScript to implement these tags, so it has not been a reliable way to make SEO changes in the past. There are ways to execute JavaScript in a way that does not crash the site or search engine, though. Google’s Tag Manager does not have any of these problems in and of itself, making it one of the best choices for this task.

Making Changes to HTML Using Google’s Tag Manager

There are plenty of changes that can make to a website with Google’s Tag Manager. Sometimes, it is easy as adding new elements to a page, amending content or features of the elements already in place, or removing elements from the page completely. Each of these situations means that people need to know about CSS selectors and HTML to know which elements on the page to change or to pull data from. JavaScript’s jQuery is especially needed for this task.

There are some things that can be added with ease. One of these things is a structured data feature on e-commerce sites. These features require some work, though, as they have to be told specifically what data to pull from the site. People who do not want to be as technical, though, do not have to worry about their lack of ability. There are plenty of instructions and tutorials available throughout the internet, and Google provides many of them directly.

How to Insert an Element

To start with, custom HTML tags in Google’s Tag Manager exist already for use. This tag can be copied and pasted over into an HTML prompt to indicate where the element belongs. This feature can be done either with or without jQuery. It can be amended as needed with different elements, too, so doing this task does not need a lot of technical knowhow.

Data can be extracted from pages just as they can be installed into pages. JQuery is needed for this process to happen, so the person inserting the tag needs to be familiar with this section of JavaScript. Everything from the products being sought to the number of people viewing a page can be monitored.

Conclusion

When it comes to using a tag manager for a website, the best choice is to go with Google’s Tag Manager. It is the best option for its field, and it is preferred by many companies over other options on the market.

Launching a New Website? Don’t Neglect These SEO Basics

By | Search Engine Watch, SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments
You’re excited about building a new website and can’t wait to share it with the world, but how will people even know it’s there once you launch? Nobody will unless you plan a solid SEO strategy right from the start. Take a look at these essential steps for making your site stand out to visitors and search engines the moment it goes live.

Map Out Keywords
You should know by now keyword stuffing will only get your site ignored, but smart planning does just the opposite. Make a list of site pages, and choose one or two keywords to target for each. Use these phrases in the URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, and image ALT tags. Be natural when including keywords in content to maintain a consistent voice across the site.

Make Smart Connections
Users and search engines need to be able to move between the pages of your site in a logical manner. Create a link structure in which every connection is relevant and works to point visitors on the most direct route to the pages they want to visit. Use a tool like Google Search Console to perform a crawl before the site is live and confirm the links actually point where they should.

Ensure a Universal Experience
Choose a mobile-friendly responsive layout for your site, and test every page in all major browsers. Users on smartphones and tablets should have the same smooth experience as those on PCs, and visitors using Chrome, Firefox and Edge should see all pages without any errors in layout. Run your site through Google Speed Test to identify pages with sluggish load times so that you can improve the overall user experience.

Expand and Track Your Online Presence
If you don’t already have social profiles set up, create them using handles representative of your new site. Update existing profiles to include the new URL and reflect any rebranding associated with the site’s launch. Now is also the time to set up an SEO tracker, such as Moz or SEMRush, to monitor keyword performance and sign up for webmaster tools from Google and Bing to start collecting analytics data.

Enrich Content
If you can enhance any page with schema markup, star ratings or reviews, do so. These elements improve visibility by identifying page elements for search engines and highlighting popular content. Do everything you can to make your site easy to share, such as including OpenGraph information or creating Pinterest-friendly images.

Generate Buzz
Create a robust promotional campaign to let the world know your site is about to go live. Use your social profiles to talk up the impending launch. Reach out to friends, family members, clients, brand ambassadors and anyone else you know who might be willing to give you a shout-out. Influencers and bloggers in your niche may also be up to making a little noise on your behalf if you’ve developed connections through other projects.

Don’t wait until your site has languished for weeks without visitors to implement an SEO strategy. Build keywords, links and a stellar user experience into the design as the site comes together to create a final product with appeal for both people and search engines. Make every tactic work toward increasing visibility, and watch performance begin to increase.

3 Questions You Need to Be Asking About Your SEO Link Strategy

By | SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments

Links have long been key players in SEO strategies. A strong network of inbound links is considered a vote for authority, quality and relevancy, three factors search engines take into account when determining page rank.

The importance of building a link network is based on the assumption this metric is a big part of their algorithms used by Google and other search engines. However, a closer look at the patterns of click-through rates and visibility in search results suggests there may be more going on.

What Does Google Think About Links?
All search engines use formulas to determine where sites appear in organic results, but Google is often considered to be the most influential. As of 2016, the search giant still considered links to be “valuable” sources for determining authority. Their Senior Search Quality Strategist placed links in the number two spot on their list of “greatest ranking factors.”

Inbound links drive organic traffic, and more traffic is a signal of increased popularity. A large number of authoritative links can also signal trustworthiness. The more links a site has, the more popular it’s considered to be, at least in theory. However, it’s always been difficult to tell exactly how search engines, including Google, calculate page rank, and some models show click-through rates may be influenced by rank independent of the number of inbound links.

Are Links Still Relevant for SEO?
In the past, link directories, link exchanges and link “farms” were reliable ways of getting your site noticed by users and search engines. However, these outdated forms of link building have been replaced by more natural, organic strategies:

• Contributing high-quality content to authority sites
• Leaving valuable comments on blogs or forums
• Maintaining an active presence on social media

These approaches not only create inbound links but also build brand awareness, and this can generate a greater number of links without additional effort. Google may also consider high search volume to be a signal of a site’s importance, so don’t neglect keyword research when working on SEO.

What Does a Real Link Strategy Look Like?
You don’t have to understand the hidden metrics of page ranking to execute a successful link strategy. Follow these best practices to increase placement in search results and make your site stand out:

• Create a strong internal link structure with a logical progression for easy navigation and indexing
• Include outbound links to relevant, authoritative sites
• Avoid linking to low-quality sites
• Use keywords sparingly in anchor text
• Focus on the user experience first

The goal of any link building tactic should be to make your site easy for users and search engines to navigate while setting yourself up as an authoritative source of the information visitors expect when clicking through from search results.

Whether links influence page ranking or the other way around, this aspect of SEO is still important to the visibility of your site. Continue to build a network of internal and external links as part of your search marketing strategy. Focus on both inbound and outbound quality, and monitor which sites bring in the most traffic. Don’t get discouraged if your page rank shifts when search engines change their algorithms. Consistency will help keep your site prominent in organic search and contribute to a steady stream of traffic.

How Faceted Navigation can Impact SEO

By | SEO, SEO Strategies | No Comments
If you want to give your prospects the best possible experience, then you likely use a faceted navigation system to allow your visitors to navigate your website with ease. The problem, however, is that using this layout can harm your search engine optimization rank more than you would think. Unless you take steps to address the issue, you will get less organic traffic than before, impacting your bottom line in a negative way. The good news is that you can make your website easy to navigate without harming your position in the search engines.

Faceted Navigation Overview

Before you do anything else, let’s review what a faceted navigation system looks like so that we can get an even better understanding of the issue at hand. The layout allows your visitors to find the exact product they want by filtering their search results. It’s important to remember that each combination has a link pointing to it, and this can trigger Google to flag your website for having duplicate content. Also, a faceted navigation system will spread your domain authority to pages that you don’t need to index, wasting your SEO potential.

Noindex Tags

Those who want to reduce the harm of a faceted navigation system often turn to noindex tags to get the job done. At the surface, this solution seems to make a lot of sense, but you will need to take a close look if you want to get a clear picture. Although using noindex tags will prevent Google from flagging you for using duplicate content, it won’t stop your extra links from consuming your crawl budget. If the search engines spend too much time crawling links that don’t matter, your SEO efforts might not draw any attention.

Nofollow Tags

Nofollow tags are another option that you can try when your goal is to maintain your SEO rank. These tags will tell the search engines not to crawl your faceted pages and prevent you from wasting your crawl budget. But this solution is not without its setbacks. If you opt to take this path, it won’t stop Google from picking up duplicate content on your site, which will put you at risk for a penalty.

JavaScript

If you are building a new website, you can implement your faceted system with JavaScript to avoid common pitfalls. Doing so will allow you to get the same benefits without putting your SEO rank in harm’s way. With JavaScript, you can use the same link for different filters, and you won’t need to worry about wasting your crawl budget or domain authority on pages that don’t matter. When you use this method, you will need to manually ensure that Google and the other search engines can index key pages if you don’t want to be overlooked.

Final Thoughts

Using a faceted system without running into problems with SEO is not impossible, but you will need to weigh your options and consider what is important to you. Taking one path will force you to give up benefits from other areas, and making the wrong choice can hurt your progress. If you are not sure what solution makes the most sense for you, review your website and ask yourself if you prefer to save your crawl budget, domain authority or time, and the correct answer will become apparent. When you don’t get the outcome for which you had hoped, you can always try new approaches until you find one that meets your needs.

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Why Do People Misunderstand The XML Sitemaps?

By | Search Engine Watch | No Comments

XML Sitemaps is one of the many search engine optimization tools. However, many people fail to understand what the tool can achieve, for reasons unknown to them. There is also another category of people who hardly have any idea of what XML Sitemaps entail. Just like any other tool, individuals need some training so that they can come to terms with what these tools are capable of.

A lot of people out there commonly think that it is the XML Sitemaps that help in the indexing of your web pages. On the contrary, this is never the case. Google only indexes web pages in which its tools have had the chance and opportunity to crawl. Also, indexing only occurs after the pages previously crawled upon are found to contain meaningful content. With this misconception, many people have found themselves submitting samples of their pages to Google for review. However, they are met with shock since Google only approves pages that portray quality rather than quantity. Indexation, however, helps other individuals find your content quickly.

Sometimes, when people decide to send Google some of their pages, they happen to produce quality content but forget to update their meta robots. In such a case, they create confusion and end up not getting indexed due to such inconsistencies. Setting your meta robots to no-index and no-follow causes Google not to index your page. Thus, you should avoid the above at all costs.

Google usually indexes pages based on the type of content found in them. If your content seems to be of high quality and directly speaks to users, then Google feels compelled to index your pages. If you happen to produce ten pages of great content and eleven pages of poor quality text, Google feels discouraged to index you since it sees no worth in sending users to your portal.

XML Sitemap is, therefore, a tool that helps you discover which of your pages have been indexed by Google and which have not. In this way, you can upgrade the content on the pages that have not yet received indexation so as to improve their quality. Low ranking pages appear at the bottom page. For the best possible output, it is best if you block meta robots and robots.txt so as to eliminate anomalies that come with the use of the same. It is only after cleaning up your pages that you will start experiencing significant changes on your part.

When you submit particular content to Google, you hint to it that such information is vital to your site. Thus, Google can now index your content. For the best results, it is important that you sub-group your pages so that Google can also find it easier to index them. In so doing, you also get to know which pages have quality work and which ones need an immediate review. Something important to note is that you do not need to have an XML extension in order to submit your files to Google.

Thus, the best outcomes call for consistency in content, the ability to use XML Sitemaps with excellent efficiency, and the capacity to sub-group content for easy indexing. Hence, I believe this article will help you not to mistake XML Sitemaps for something it is not.