In today's day and age, online reviews can make or break your business. Whether you're a service-based company with customers who are looking for feedback on what it was like to work with you, or you're selling products online that rely heavily on customer reviews to drive sales, getting reviews is imperative. In this article, we'll discuss areas that will help you get more online reviews so your business can grow exponentially!

It's important to have a system in place for collecting feedback from both customers who've hired your services and those who bought one of your products. This will ensure that no potential review goes unnoticed and also ensures consistency when asking people for their thoughts.

What is an online review and what does it do for your business?

An online review is a form of feedback that someone provides about your company or products. It can be as simple as one sentence which sums up their experience, or it can go into more detail and give details like the person's first name, how many stars they gave you out of five, and what year they visited/purchased from you.

On the side of the business, reviews are a key element to help you grow your business and drive more leads, close more business, and build more trust in potential clients.

For consumers, they can help them in deciding whether or not to visit your company. People often check online reviews before making a big purchase decision so it's important for you to ensure that the review is there and showing your company in a positive light.

First, do we really need online reviews?

If you are looking to grow your business, online reviews can be a key element. You may have heard the saying "former customers are your best advocates" which is true for both businesses and consumers alike. Reviews often help potential clients make decisions on whether or not they want to visit your company so it's important that those reviews are positive, or the negative reviews have been answered positively.

If you want to scale your business and build trust, it's important to get these reviews. Without them, you may be missing out on a lot of business. There are many different ways to get online reviews and we will discuss how you can do it the best ways.

But where should I start getting online reviews?

We are often asked where to start getting reviews. This question is two-fold, since one side is catering to those who legitimately don't know of any review platforms, and the other caters to those who know of way too many review platforms and is looking to which is best.

Let's start with the king of reviews. Google My Business has been in existence for a few years now, and many businesses have successfully used this platform to garner reviews.

When you sign up on GMB, it will automatically start tracking your customers' behavior online when they search for your business name or contact info. The best part is that Google My Business will only track those people who are actively looking but also become a valuable platform, if not the most important platform to garner reviews.

Google honors reviews on their platform more than any other review platform, meaning that if your customers leave you a review on Google My Business it will show up right when people search for your business or anything that triggers your business to appear in the search results.

Reviews here are important because they help new and potential clients make an educated decision about hiring or buying from you without even interacting with you or your business. In fact, they stay in Google Search Results.

What are the other top review platforms?

There is no direct answer to this, but a few to never discredit would be Facebook Reviews, Yelp, and for many, TripAdvisor. However, these are just a drop in the hat when it comes to online reviews. Our advice is to find where your customers are and the closest platform to that. For example, if your users are on Facebook, then use Facebook reviews, if they are on TripAdvisor, then post your reviews there.

Quick Tip

- Online reviews have been a crucial part of business for decades now and with the rise in social media usage online they're more important than ever before. 77% of people will read through an online review when making their decision to hire or buy from you.

How to request reviews from customers?

You can request reviews in a variety of ways. The easiest way is to simply ask. "Did you receive excellent service today?" can be changed to "Would you consider writing a review of our business on Yelp or Google?". Keep it simple and to the platforms you want a review on. You can often get a link to the platforms to share as well.

You can also request a review through an email, a text message, etc. There are even review platforms such as Birdeye or Podium that can help you manage reviews and remind customers to leave a review.

The important part is to stay consistent when asking for reviews. Keep a steady stream of reviews going at all times. Don't forget, you can always follow up with past customers and ask them to leave a review as well.

But what happens when you get a negative review?

That feeling of your heart sinking when you get the email that someone has left your business a bad review. What do you do? How do you respond? Let's talk about the impact of receiving a bad review and how to handle it.

You may start to feel sad, angry or disappointed. You'll probably think about the time you put into that project and how much it cost you. But remember, people are more willing than ever before to leave bad reviews online for lots of reasons- some legitimate; some not so much. It's important as a business owner that you don't get upset and start to type out your feelings, this will only take a bad situation and make it worse.

So what do you do? The first thing is to take a deep breath and try not to panic, and while it may be tempting, don't leave a response right away unless the review contains profanity or some sort of illegal activity like threatening your business in bad faith (in which case you should contact law enforcement). Instead let it sit for a bit, calm down, and come back to it later.

Once you have calmed down, you can now answer the review calmly and professionally. Instead of addressing the bad review, you are now showing potential customers how calm you can be in a stressful event. You aren't necessarily avoiding the bad review, just showing others you aren't going to resort to name-calling. In the end, ask the bad review author to contact you so you can resolve their issue.

By going this route, you take a bad situation and turn it in to your favor. Keep in mind that not all customers are going to like your service and we cannot please everyone.

There is no way to remove negative reviews, so let's make them positive.

As mentioned, we want to make all reviews positive reviews. You may not be able to remove negative reviews, but you can make them positive. It's possible to earn the trust of your customer by providing a professional and timely service, responding maturely when they come across bad reviews, and making sure you are always on time with their response. Taking these steps will help earn more good reviews which will lead to increased revenue for the company.

With online reviews becoming an increasingly crucial part of business, you must be responding in a mature and professional manner to any negativity.

This is often an area for customers to decide whether they want to hire or buy from your company. Take extra care of what others are saying about your service so they will also take extra care when hiring or buying products from you.

Thank everyone!

We, as well as many companies, have failed to thank our early customers. Though it may be weird to receive a thank you to a review left years ago, that should be no reason to look forward and thank all new reviews that come in from today on out. If you've done business with someone and they've taken time out of their schedule to leave a review, be sure to thank them, it only takes a moment.

One last quick tip. You deal with a lot of customers and clients. However, if you are able to remember their name, the service they required, you can further personalize it by showing them you remember them.

Use automation to get reviews naturally.

Yes, we said it, but hear us out! It can be hard to constantly ask for reviews. It gets harder to respond to them. By integrating some automation, you can create natural ways to ask for reviews and even respond to them with automation. Consider automatically generated emails to ask for reviews, or an automated SMS message with review links.

In conclusion to getting online reviews

One of the best ways to make sure your business is successful and gets more customers is by soliciting reviews from people who have had a good experience with you. It's important that every company understands this, but it can be hard for some small businesses to get started. If there are any other questions or if we haven't answered something here feel free to reach out at anytime. You should never underestimate the power of having happy customers telling others about their experiences- our team wants nothing more than for your business' success!

A blog is often written off by many people as just something for hobbyists to do or for travelers to keep a journal, but have you ever heard of the “mommy bloggers” making millions or wondered why some of the largest companies keep a blog active?

A blog is one of the greatest tools available to you to become an industry authority, send recent news to followers, update them on the latest tips in your industry, and overall, reinforce your brand and what it stands for, but how does that help with SEO?

But first, to cover what SEO is and how it can help your site. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a series of techniques to help your website rank higher when people do a search and your website can provide them with accurate information they are looking for. In addition, SEO has some technical factors to help them navigate your website, download content faster, and various other things, but for this, we will focus on keywords.

How an SEO driven blog can help your business. 

It’s important to know a few things about SEO when it comes to blogging. Not only by utilizing these great techniques can help your blog outrank your competitors but it will also help your site rank higher in the Google Search Engine Results Page, SERPS.

By maintaining your blog, you are essentially becoming a content creator and Google loves content creators! The more you create original content that is different than all the duplicate and spun content on the web but still supplies the user with the results they need the better. The blog is a great place to voice opinions, answer questions, supply information, and a variety of other things. 

When you begin to write, you are going to want to incorporate keywords into the blog. Now a word of warning, it is easy to “keyword stuff” which are old SEO practices that are now frowned upon. Keyword stuffing is using the same keyword over and over on the website, often in an unnatural way, simply to rank for it. However, Google is on to this. You can now rank for content without even having the keyword searched for in the content, as long as the context matches the users query. Often, you can also get by with just mentioning the keyword naturally a handful of times. Plugins such as Yoast or RankMath have an algorithm which mentions a good usage amount of your keyword before it’s considered keyword stuffing. You can use these suggestions as guidelines to help you follow.

Instead of using the same word over and over, try some synonyms and even just matching topics that relate. Often, a bone relates to a dog; or a hook relates to a fish; etc. 

How often should you blog? 

To this, there is no specific rule, but there are general guidelines most bloggers follow. At a minimum, it’s suggested to blog at least twice a month and you will find this to be the base most SEO companies recommend. However, following that, if your time or budget allows for it, you will find that it’s suggested the more, the better.

In fact, blogging 2-4 times a week can drastically increase your rankings, and even the King of Marketing, Seth Godin, blogs every day, but there is a catch to this. Going back to SEO, the only way this will work blogging that often is if the content is high quality. It’s not necessarily the length of the content, but the substance. Though, general practice is at least 350 words.

Have a goal in mind.

Every blog post should be written with intent. Well, a few points of intent for that matter. The first and foremost is to supply the user with relevant and useful content that fulfills the intent they searched.

The second part is going to be to fulfill your marketing goals in some form or another. Perhaps a newsletter signup or to direct them to a purchase on the website. The Mommy Bloggers mentioned above usually write for the intent of affiliate marketing. Each blog post is different and should satisfy a marketing goal, that way it becomes a win-win situation and the users will usually revisit for more information, and you get a customer in the meantime. Just don’t lose sight of the customer comes first.

Who does all the writing?

There are a variety of ways to get content written for a website. If you have decent writing skills, it’s always great to contribute to your own blog. However, you will often find that the task can become overwhelming very quickly and you may choose to hire a content writer (<—see, that’s my call to action!) so they can take the burden off of you and you can focus on your business. 

Whether you choose to hire us to write for you or you prefer to find someone yourself, just make sure they know enough about the subject and know enough about basic SEO practices that you can ensure traffic will come to your site, you will be fine hiring out the writing. 

If you have any questions about getting your blog up and running, please feel free to start or join the discussion below. If you would like to discuss how Rebel Ape can help you with your content marketing, please feel free to send us a message.

In October of 2019, Google began rolling out its largest update since they release RankBrain which was nearly 5 years ago. This update is going to impact how Google reads search queries as well and impacting things such as Featured Snippets.

As AI begins to propel our technology forward, Google is utilizing it in such a way to allow the computers to understand language just as humans understand it. Now instead of Google simply taking the search query and matching to the words in a sequence, it now understands the overall context in which the query means. This is another step in moving away from keywords as the primary way of search and focusing on the context of the search. As this technology progresses, more relevant search results will be displayed. 

What is BERT and how is it applied to search? 

This recent update is known as Google BERT which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers and is a network-based technique for natural language processing (NLP). Currently, BERT is being applied to around 1-10 searches or approximately 10% of all searches in English. More languages are going to continue to roll out at a later date.

BERT is more than advancements in AI and software. BERT is so complex that the current technology was limiting the advancements so new hardware is now being rolled out called Cloud TPU’s

With Google now understanding the search queries as the human searcher intends, we will be seeing constant improvement on the search queries over time as BERT continues to learn and progress.

How is SEO affected by BERT?

There will be a few changes in terms of SEO. The first is going to be backlink profiles. Backlinks have been becoming less important year after year, though they still make up a large percentage of SEO work.

Keywords are also becoming less relevant over time as well as we are moving into phrase searches and relevant context. Since everyone uses different phrases for search, Google is now putting more relevance on the words such as “for” and “to” which where easier omitted. 

The overall relevance of keywords currently ranked for likely won’t have much of an impact but what is going to have the most impact is going to be the quality of content being provided on websites. The more relevant the content to the context of the search, the more likely the site is going to rank well. 

The common and already established ranking factors such as site speed, citation sources, technical aspects, etc., will continue to be maintained. 

How to move forward with your website.

Continue working on your websites as you always have. Continue to build your citation sources and maintain proper NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) across various platforms. 

We always recommend building and maintaining a blog that covers a wide array of topics on queries that people are searching for. This is a great method for building the relevance of your website and grabbing keywords and keyphrases. Though we may be seeing some shifts here with BERT, it’s going to continue being a valuable source for content creation.

It’s important to talk to an SEO to find the best practices to maintain your site and help it improve its ranks and authority over time by making sure the site is responsive, there are no broken links, and the content is relevant to the search. 

We would love to help!

If you want to talk about your website or how to improve your SEO for search, we would love to take the time to talk with you about the health of your site and what direction you want to take your marketing. Contact us today to get started!

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to start or join the discussion below. We love to interact with our readers whenever they want to talk.

There is no surprise when you hear that it’s important to have a website for your business. After all, we see websites everywhere we look. They are listed on business cards, billboards, mailers, and other marketing material. They are listed on everything. But do you really need a website? Whether a large or small business, a website is often one of the first places your potential customers will go to find information about your business or process.

With responsive websites, we see more and more people doing mobile web searches. They search prices, ratings, reviews, where to find a product, and just about anything you can think of. As the web has become more an more prominent, it’s become more important than ever to start your website. With over one-third of small businesses shutting down or struggling, it helps to use every advantage you can get over your competition, but what if they have a website and you don’t?

With how easy it is to start a website these days, don’t start at a disadvantage. If you’ve been established for a while, add another tool to your toolbelt and jump into digital marketing right away!

  1. The Website is the Online Version of Your Company
  2. Attract New Customers and Clients
  3. Instant Communication
  4. Become the Expert In Your Field
  5. Websites Are Cost Effective
  6. Modern Websites are SEO Friendly
  7. Marketing your Brand Online
Online Business Displayed on Laptop
Online Business

1. The Website Is the Online Version of Your Company

Not all companies are brick and mortar these days and everyone knows that but when it comes to your marketing strategies, a website is often overlooked by business owners. However, with the overwhelming about of people of all demographics turning to online search first, it’s important to have a website that works for you day-in and day-out with around the clock access. It’s your sales machine that doesn’t take breaks or leave for the day.

The majority of users now search for ratings and reviews first before buying a product or visiting or calling your business. With the ease of digital marketing, you don’t want to miss out on this huge opportunity to passively invite users to your business.

You Competitors May Already Be Online

Chances are, if a customer is interested in your business or product, one of the first places they are going to search is online. Customers expect businesses to be online these days, but if you business is not listed and your competitors are, chances are your potential customer is going to end up on your competitors website. It’s common for a customer to buy from the company that supplied them the information they are looking for so if that isn’t you, you have a very high chance to loose all of those potential sales to your competitor.

With how easy it is to start and manage a website, there isn’t much reason not to have one. If you feel that time is an issue and you have the funding to allow for it, consider having an agency handle the manage this for you. They can make sure your updates are taken care of, articles are being published, pages being build, etc. (*cough cough, we do this!*). It’s important to compete online just as much as it’s important to compete with the brick and mortar counterpart.

Expand Beyond Your Website With Web 2.0

With your website being the centralized hub for all your communications you can begin to expand beyond that and integrate with partners sites. Though you want to pull as much relevant traffic as possible to your website since you can control it, traffic actually comes from many various places. With Web 2.0 you can create your own profiles on many different websites as well.

Google My Business

Your Google My Business profile is a great source to further supply your user base with valuable information about your website. When you search for a company, a little info box will often appear next to the search results. If it does, that business has a GMB account. Here you can add additional information such as store hours, location, about your company, amenities, services, photos, and a lot of other information.

This is also one of the main platforms for a customer to review a business. If you focus on your customer service and receive many great reviews, it can boost your website traffic since many people will follow the link over to your site.

Yelp and Web 2.0 Website

With the iPhone and Androids as big as they are, it’s great to be diverse with your online profiles and make sure they all point back to your website. With Android utilizing Google My Business, another industry leader is often forgotten about. However, you don’t want to underestimate the power of Yelp and the integration with iPhones.

By building out your Yelp profile, you are able to achieve similar results and pull a lot of traffic just as you would from your Google My Business account. However, with your audience being in so many locations, don’t overlook other locations like Bing, YellowPages, Yahoo, and other giants.

Business people announcing business with megaphone
Announce Your Business

2. Attract New Customers and Clients

With your website being accessible at all times of the day, you now have the opportunity to attract new customers and clients at all time. No need to wait for a salesman to go visit a business or hope someone remembers a phone number from a billboard. With your site available at all times, you can attract customers by allowing them to find and contact you on their time that fits into their schedule.

Let Your Website Work For You

Instead of customers having to put in the work to find your company, you have made it simple for them to find and contact you. This can often be the difference between you receiving the business vs. your competitor receiving the business. Stay on top of your brand and stay on top of the mind of your customers. With the website always being on, it is working for you at all times, even after you brick and mortar company closes for the day. You can’t beat having a salesman that never sleeps, never takes breaks, and is always willing to help. A website may just be one of the best investments you can make.

Instant Communication with People Holding Chat Bubbles
Instant Communication

3. Instant Communication

Your website can allow for instant communication on many levels with it comes to staying in contact with your customers. Not only are you supplying the customers the content they are looking for one the various pages of your website, from information about your various products or services, but you are also supplying them information about your business as well In addition to that, with you can give them more information in a blog and respond to them there.

Once your potential customer trusts your brand and your information enough, they have various ways to contact you which can greatly enhance your customer service. In addition to the forms and chat options on your site, your website can also direct your users to their favorite platforms so they can contact you in other methods as well making your website the hub of communications.

Contact Form

Most websites have an easily accessible contact form. When a customer is looking for a way to contact you, your contact form is often one of the most accessible ways to receive an inquiry and allow you to respond during business hours. Often when a customer uses your contact form, they don’t have a pressing question and are fine with a response when you are available.

Live Chat

A hugely effective communication method on modern websites is to have some form of Live Chat. This has become easier than ever with the integration of Facebook Chat integrations and other Live Chat software. The main thing to know is that if you are integrating a live chat, you need to have a fairly quick response rate or make sure that you have an immediate message saying that you’ll respond when you are available. There are many chatbots or software that masquerade as a live chat feature, though they really aren’t. However, customers still often prefer this method of communication over a phone call.

Blog Comments

If you have a blog with an active community, you will see blog comments show up on your website. This will usually occur when you have supplied the user with plenty of valuable information but they are still left with a question. When you have a blog comment show up, if it isn’t immediately answered by your community members, it’s good practice to respond to that. Plus, it sends great signals for SEO.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media is everywhere these days and it makes sense as to why. It’s one of the easiest ways to connect people with friends and family as well as their favorite businesses. Now that integrations such as Facebook Chat, Twitter streams, and other platforms are available, it’s easy to cover many different platforms with ease. We will get into a bit of what each social media platform does and the benefits of them. Keep in mind they are methods to communicate and grow your audience.

The best thing is to maintain control of that which you can control, your website. If any of these social platforms decide to make drastic changes, it can really harm your business overnight. Changes such as Facebook Pages not being shown as much unless paid to boost a post, or the YouTube Adpocolypse which affected so many people.

These social platforms are simply a tool, and extension of your website and not intended to replace it. Knowing there are some dangers lurking on these platforms that you can’t control, it’s also good to know how powerful these platforms can be for your website and business.

Facebook Icon
Facebook Icon

Facebook

Facebook still remains as the largest social media network with 1.74 billion users. This platform is great for businesses to position themselves with the digital market and find their target audience easily. With the use of a Facebook Page, users can easily remain in contact with your business on a platform they most people visit multiple times daily.

In addition to staying in contact with your users, it’s also easy to run Facebook Ads or boost a post which allows you to stay in front of them and maintain top-of-mind-awareness so you remain as their go-to source for information.

Instagram Icon
Instagram Icon

Instagram

With Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, you can further your reach to your audience by maintaining both platforms simply from the Facebook Page dashboard. While you can send and receive messages easily between the two platforms, you can also reach your audience on Instagram using the same Facebook Ads platform. Instagram now has over 1 billion active users.

Twitter Icon
Twitter Icon

Twitter

Twitter still remains a very competitive force when it comes to social media platforms. With over 321 monthly active users, Businesses can easily reach their audience with their 140 characters or less “tweets.” Twitter is a hashtag-driven platform that can further expand your reach beyond your followers and it too allows for advertising options such as PPC and promoted tweets.

There is a very different feel on Twitter than there is on Facebook and often the users like to interact with the businesses different. If you plan on using both platforms, register your account and start getting a feel for the platform of your choice.

Pinterest Icon
Pinterest Icon

Pinterest

With over 250 million monthly users, you don’t want to overlook Pinterest. If you have a retail, manufacturing, travel, or food site, you will fit right in with the Pinterest crowd. That’s not to say that you can’t create a huge following for any niche.

Pinterest is a great platform to share your images and link it directly back to your website. Couple that with their album structure, known as “Boards.” You can categorize all your “Pins” allowing users to get all the information they need and visit your website with the intent to purchase making them a perfect “hot lead” by their own choice.

YouTube Icon
YouTube Icon

YouTube

No matter the product or service you have, you can bet that you have a community just waiting to find you on YouTube. WIth 1.8 billion users per month, you have users that range from people who are simply looking for the latest cat video to people who are looking to build their own home and about anything else you can think of.

If you want to build a strong audience as well as work on being an expert in your field, YouTube is one of the best locations to start with. With its integrations on websites, you can easily post a video and embed it on your website, often in a handful of clicks or less and no coding knowledge at all. Couple that with YouTube ads and you can pour the traffic into your website for a quick sale from anywhere in the world. That’s a pretty enticing offer that is incredibly difficult to get without a website to send the traffic to.

LinkedIn Icon
LinkedIn Icon

LinkedIn

While we are covering so many social platforms, let’s not forget LinkedIn which is one of the best networking websites for businesses. With 260 million monthly users, you can easily share and promote your website on this marketing platform which will also help you become known as an authority and further drive traffic to your website.

Should You Diversify Your Social Media or Not?

With choices such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and so many other platforms with tons of monthly users, it can become very enticing to try to become the Jack of all trades and try to be active on all platforms. Though this seems like a logical thing to do, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls of trying to manage so many social media accounts without a team.

Though you do need social media, our suggestion is to pick one or two and dominate it until you have enough income generating traffic to hire a social media manager whose sole role is to manage these platforms each and every day so you can focus on your business.

Yoda Guru
Yoda Guru

4. Become The Expert in Your Field

With the popularity of blogging, you can become an expert in your field which can aid in trust and also getting to know your audience. As you begin blogging, you will find that over time you start to gain an audience that you can build a relationship with. This audience will often follow you around your website, read everything you publish, and even reach out on social platforms.

Blogging is a great way to build your content since Content is KING and also let your audience get to know who is behind the business, which is becoming more and more sought after these days. As you tell them who you are, you get to know them in multiples ways as well.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a great way to get to know very insightful information about your audience. You can acquire information about where they are from, what gender, how long they spend on your website, what pages they visit, etc.

This information can aid you when it comes to working on your website as you can build better content with this data. The better you know your audience, the more you can cater to what they like and what they are looking for. Not only does this let you build a better relationship, but it also creates a relationship where your audience wants to support you and help you succeed.

FAQ Page

One of the best ways to become an expert in your field is to share your knowledge and show everyone that you really know what you are talking about. This is one of the best methods for getting clients since you’ve proven you can provide what they are looking for. In addition, when you build out a strong FAQ you will have a lot of content. In the field of content marketing, you will hear the term, Content is King a lot and this is no different. Answer your client’s questions and provide them with insightful content.

Pink Piggy Bank with Coins
Piggy Bank

5. Websites Are Cost Effective

Websites are more affordable than ever these days, with the use of budget hosting, cheap domains, page builders, themes, and other tools availbe to you. The cost of building a website vs. the potential for lead acquisition is hard to beat.

Start With a Theme

If you are looking to go at it on your own, themes are a simple way to get started. Once you choose your platform (we love WordPress) you can simply install your theme and get started adding images and content. It’s hard to pass up the appeal of a well-designed theme.

Hire a Designer

Though themes are appealing and a great option for getting started, I can’t help but love a custom designed theme, but maybe that’s just because I’m a bit biased since I am a designer. However, if you are looking for a custom one-of-a-kind website design. Then it’s probably best to hand the reigns over to a designer and let them run with what works best for your business.

Easy to Update

I know websites might seem a bit daunting at first when you hear terms like the server, PHP, database, etc. but the reality is, websites are easier than ever to keep up-to-date these days. Once installed and running, most updates are a few clicks of the mouse and require no technical knowledge to perform. You simply log in, click the update button, and let it run.

With page builders, even your web pages are easy to keep up to date. Once you have your design or theme in place, you can often go in and edit some text yourself or change an image. Though it’s usually best to talk to your designer before you do that, it’s still easy, none-the-less.

Low Maintenance

There is no need to ignore your website. As Google is constantly judging and reevaluating we pages, your website will constantly be moving in position. You want to make sure your website is current and up-to-date since besides your logo, it’s often the first interaction people have with your business.

However, with the low maintenance and ease-of-updates, it doesn’t take much to keep your website up-to-date and relevant. From writing posts or hiring to have them written. You can assign user roles and how much authority they have on your website and you can have others update it for you.

If you are a do-it-yourself type. You can easily just jump in once a week to do updates. Though, I recommend more often just to check for contact form submissions and comments.

SEO Analytics
SEO Analytics

6. Modern Websites Are SEO Friendly

If you’ve ever hired an SEO, you know that doesn’t come cheap. The SEO’s like myself tend to put in a ton of work optimizing everything and everything we can get our hands on and A/B testing your marketing for optimal results, I also know that hiring and SEO isn’t for everyone.  Rest assured though, WordPress has a lot of out-of-the-box SEO features and they can even be expanded on with some plugins such as All-In-One SEO and Yoast SEO.

This makes it easy to quickly update some of the easier SEO elements which will still aid in your webpage rankings. You can always get more technical with an SEO specialist after you start getting some income traffic.

Responsive

Another powerful SEO feature that Google loves is responsive websites. In fact, if you are starting a website today, it’s likely going to be responsive right out of the gate since that is the norm now. Say goodbye to desktop sites and mobile sites, now you get the same website that will adjust depending on the device you are viewing it on. It makes the site easy to work on, convenient, and SEO friendly.

Online Digital Marketing on iPad
Online Digital Marketing

7. Marketing Your Brand Online

What good is a company if nobody has ever heard about it or will never hear about it? The reality is that marketing and advertising works but can become costly very quickly. With how affordable websites are, you can easily market your brand fairly inexpensively which can put you on equal playing ground with competition that has been around for much longer.

When customers are able to find you online and all of your marketing materials match from the business card, to the brochure, to the website, you establish a stronger bond of trust with your clients and it becomes easier to market to them without needing to utilize expensive advertising methods.

By using your website to utilize online digital marketing, you can remain relevant to your customers and remove any advantages your competition has had over you. As the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, maybe it’s time to Google your competition and see if they are already ahead of you in this game. If they are, it’s not too late to get started. However, if they aren’t, it can give you a significant advantage over them.

Conclusion

With all the benefits a website is going to bring to your business, it’s hard to justify not having one. Though it might take a bit of time to initially get set up, there are plenty of resources available to you when it comes to setting up a website. Hosting companies like Siteground, Bluehost, WP Engine, and so forth can link your domain directly to your hosting, many can help you do that, some even offer packages. Even if that seems too much for you to handle, you can always turn to a company that does this every day to handle the heavy lifting for you.

Once your website is up and running, as shown above, it’s easy to link it to your social profiles, start SEO, promote and advertise online, share information, and all the other wonderful things we covered in this article.

If you want to get started but you don’t want to handle this yourself. Reach out to us and we will help you get up and running. If you want a website but don’t want to manage it yourself, we can help you with that too. The most important thing to do is just get started, especially if you competitors are already online. It’s never too late to start and though it might take some time while Google ranks you, it is possible to move up the list and become a very competitive force online and dominate your niche.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us by any of the methods listed above. We are one them all, contact forms, live chat, commenting down below, social media, etc.

Is SEO dead in 2019? No, it’s strong as ever, but SEO is a field of rapid change and tactics that used to work stop working or may even negatively impact your site. However, with recent changes, it may seem that SEO is dying in its usefulness, but really, search engine optimization is neither dead nor dying, though it is certainly evolving into something completely new. Google’s algorithms have been changing dramatically and the necessary techniques to obtain optimal website rankings have been changing too.

This change helps both consumers and companies by ensuring that websites are shown to users based on relevant searches. For example, say your company sells pet supplies. A user searching for nutrition supplements won’t want to be directed to your site and you want potential customers to be able to find your site.

Though many of the algorithm changes may make an SEO’s job a bit more difficult, if you are willing to change with the times, you will find you can still rank a site without issues, and have it done correctly so you don’t receive a penalty later on.

SEO Tactics That No Longer Work

Many of the older SEO techniques that used to work no longer do. Simple techniques like the long dead keyword stuffing to more advanced PBN techniques, you are either not receiving traffic or just risking a massive website penalty. Though some of these older techniques are completely useless, some are just downright dangerous. Let’s get into what these are and what risks and reward come with them.

Once you have an arsenal of information. You can decide what techniques you want to try and let us know if you’ve achieved any results with them. Just remember, it’s always best to try new techniques on a guinea pig website before pushing them to your main site or client websites if you manage any.

Keyword Stuffing

What is keyword stuffing? This is the practice of placing as many of the keywords you want to rank for throughout your content and repeated often unnaturally. This method also places as many keywords in the page title, meta description, and the long dead meta keywords.

Keyword stuffing and meta keywords are a thing of the past and for good reason. They usually reduced the usefulness of a website and where used soley to gain as much traffic from Google as possible. Unfortunately, many websites are still riddled with keyword stuffing. Rather than helping your website rank higher, keyword stuffing has the opposite effect. Google’s algorithms will penalize your site if it detects keyword stuffing. Though it probably won’t deindex a page that has utilized this method, the page definitely won’t rank anymore and unlikely to make it on page one.

Keywords are still extremely useful to optimize your website, but they should only be implemented where they fit naturally. It may be helpful to use keywords for your h-tags and in your page’s title, but only where they make sense. Keyword stuffing is a fairly easy fix; all you have to do is ensure that all of your keywords fit naturally into the flow of the content.

If the content is poorly written or thin, we recommend just deleting the page and creating a new page with highly relevant content with natural keyword integration. Fewer keywords are needed now if the content is relevant and the article can often appear even if the keyword searched for isn’t even on the page.

Thin Content

What is thin content? When we talk about thin content it goes two ways. The most common description of thin content is just to have very few words on a page with very little useful information. The other type of thin content is where there is a sufficient amount of words on the page, but nothing is relevant to what the user is searching for. There is more to content than just fluff.

Content is still an important aspect of SEO, but not any content will cut it. Thin content that has little value won’t improve your website’s Google rankings. Additionally, Google will consider your website to not be as trustworthy if your content is riddled with spelling errors or grammatical mistakes. Content can significantly help your website, but only if it is high-quality content.

Google will also consider the overall length of your content. If your website contains minimal content, Google will assume that it fails to provide in-depth information for consumers. There are times where there are pages with few words yet it is incredibly relevant and useful content. This type of page can still rank, but usually it requires many links and social shares to show that it’s relevant before it will rank.

Personal Blog Networks

Personal blog networks are still very common and may still increase your site’s rankings. So why is it in the list of old SEO strategies? That’s because Google is aware of PBN’s and once found, they will often deindex the entire network. This can be from a handful of servers to hundreds, if not thousands of sites. If this happens, your ranking may plummet overnight without hopes to recover quickly.

There can be significant consequences if Google catches you using them. In all honesty, the time and money spent building a personal blog network could be better directed toward finding real backlinks that won’t ever result in penalties for your site. Backlinks do help your site ratings still and probably will for quite some time, but you need to ensure that you only link your website to trustworthy sites.

Linking to sketchy sites will cause Google to associate your site with these “bad” ones and assume that your site is also untrustworthy, this is known as a link neighborhood. Each website is rated with many factors, one which is known as a spam score. You can find your score by using the Moz Link Explorer. The spam score judges all the links coming in and going out from a particular website. If the majority of the sites are low quality and spam, Google passes that danger score over to your website from association.

You will find that many of these PBN’s have fairly high spam scores and low quality content. If you check the site before you link to it and find spun content, thin content, default WordPress themes, and hidden registrations, you’ve likely found a site on a PBN. We recommend you do not link to this website and if you receive a link from it, disavow it.

Spun Content

Since we just covered PBN’s and mentioned often finding spun content on them, let’s get into that a bit. What is spun content? This is content that has been loaded into a program and it selects synonyms to match the word it’s replacing. Now a spun article isn’t necessarily low quality in terms of grammar right away, there are some decent quality spinners out there that can even trick Copyscape.

However, with a PBN, the same article is usually spun hundreds, sometimes thousands of times which ends with articles that make absolutely no sense when you read them . These articles are placed on a PBN with a link back to your website. Since the articles are of no value, the link is either deemed valuable, or your website may actually take a bit of a dip due to being associated.

Though Google frowns upon duplicate content, it’s still very common to see and still very common among helping rank your website. If you plan on using spun content, it’s best to take some time and rewrite the article instead of spin it. By following the format of the existing content, you can put out some good, high-quality content that is unlikely to be deindexed by Google.

However, it’s usually best to find a topic and write original content from the start.

Exact Match Domains

Exact match domains don’t have as much of an impact as they used to. In fact, in many cases, domain names that are designed to match a search query exactly come from untrustworthy, spammy websites. Often these type of exact match domains are specifically going after affiliated purchases and are riddled with low-quality content simply designed to get users there to try to get them to click on an affiliate link.

There is nothing wrong with affiliate websites but it’s important to make sure that the content in them is high quality content that supplies value, answers questions, and helps the users that are searching, and hey, if you happen to get a click on your affiliate link and make a sale, that’s great.

An example of an exact match domain would be if you are wanting to rank for the keyword, Best Dog Toys, then the domain would bebestdogtoys.com

Partial match domains still hold a little weight since they aren’t targeted by affiliate marketers as much. An example of a partial match domain would be my alternate URL for this website. My company is Rebel Ape Marketing, the keyword is marketing, and the URL is rebelapemarketing.com

Often the ideal domain name is one that derives its name from the company’s name while adding a single keyword or phrase. Again, it is important to avoid keyword stuffing. Matching search queries will be more important with the use of keywords embedded in the content of your website instead of stuffing them into the URL.

Directory Link Building The Old Way

Directory link building is still a viable SEO strategy, why did it end up in here? Well, we will revisit this later.

Valuable directory link building revolves around catering to humans, rather than to search engines. Directory link building, in general, won’t help much with your website’s SEO rankings anymore. If you choose to use directory link building, you must ensure that you are using a valuable directory and the intent is to supply your contact information to the user. In fact, most directories now “nofollow” the link as well. Though “nofollow” links don’t pass link weight, they still can receive clicks sending users to your site.

The problem with directories is that poor-quality directories may actually damage your website’s rankings by linking them. Remember the “bad neighborhoods.” Some directories are out there solely to be a link farm and not pass any value to the users.

However, if you can find a trustworthy directory, it can help you reach local clientele that may be searching for your services. You can determine how trustworthy a directory is by applying certain criteria. If the directory is picky concerning the participants, is directed toward providing information to people, and gathers participants in a specialized area, it is most likely a trustworthy source.

Davy Jones Neither Dead Nor Dying
Neither Dead Nor Dying

The Future of SEO

Google has come a long way toward understanding which websites will be relevant to the user’s queries and which are not. In fact, sometimes the keyword you are searching for isn’t even in the displayed results, but the article will cover everything you are searching for. Websites no longer revolve around creating content for the bots that are crawling the sites. Content is now focused on what it should have been from the beginning: you, the user.

Gone are the days of 300 word website pages with little to no usefulness. Now if you want to be rewarded with traffic, you have to put in some elbow grease and really dig in and supply the users with real content, answer questions, supply answers aided with visuals. This makes the website more relevant to the user instead of simply supplying traffic to the owner.

How Google Helps Users Find What They Need

Google is more focused than ever on performing its task well; providing relevant websites to internet users. All of the changes in SEO strategies reflect this. The primary aspect every website needs to focus on to achieve maximum rankings is how well their website meets the needs of their consumers. What better way to rank a website? The advances in SEO helps everyone, consumers and companies alike. Google’s algorithms are designed to show a business’s website to clients that are already searching for their services!

Optimizing Your Website

There are many things that will affect how well your site ranks in searches. These things are all things that will improve a user’s overall experience. Technical factors, like site speed, will help make the user’s browsing experience fast and enjoyable. Conversely, a site that isn’t reactive and has a slow loading time can cause users to click away from your site. This can damage your site’s rankings. If Google sees that your site isn’t keeping viewers, it will assume that your site isn’t providing relevant information for those keywords. Site structure will help users find exactly what they are looking for. Excellent design can help build the user’s trust, as well as aid in navigation. Ultimately, optimizing your website for users is exactly how you optimize your website for search engines. Google wants to provide users with relevant websites and you want to find customers that are searching for your services.

As you can see, SEO has never died. In fact, as long as people are using the internet, they will be performing internet searches. As long as internet searches are used, there will necessarily be a method for ranking websites. SEO hasn’t died but has evolved into something new and exciting. It is more capable than ever of weeding out low-quality websites and helping relevant websites be found.

Directory Link Building The Valuable Way

I told you this one was going to surface again! So above we talked about how directory link building does work as it used to because the majority of them supply “nofollow” links. So how is directory link building done correctly then?

Just because the website give a “nofollow” link, that only applies to the web crawlers, users can still follow the links and often, many do. Though having a lot of directories gives you website a lot of “nofollow” links, you still need to supply the user what they need to actually want to click on that link. By filling out all of the content in the directory and supplying the information the user needs on the website, they will be more enticed to click the link to receive even more information they are looking for.

Build up the profiles on the most relevant citation websites and you should see some decent referral traffic coming in. Likewise, as above, if you only list your name and website with no other information, don’t be surprised if you don’t receive much traffic from these sources.

Conclusion

This is actually a small list of the do’s and don’ts of the future of SEO. Just remember that when you are focusing on SEO, the best place to start is with the user in mind. Cover those bases first and you will be well on your way to receiving high-quality traffic and a lot of it. However, if you go down the road of trying to game Google’s algorithms, if you don’t get caught by today’s technology, you will likely be caught by tomorrows.

Along with focusing on the user, Google will supply you with the Google Search Console which can further help your users by taking care of missing pages, adjust your search queries, and many other valuable resources. Constantly adjust and modify your website to better suit your users and you will benefit from those edits.

Every company wants their website to be on the first page of a Google search. This is also what makes it so difficult to get on that first page. Research has shown that the vast majority of internet traffic goes to the websites that make it on the first page of a Google search. The amount of internet traffic that goes to sites on subsequent pages decreases drastically with each page.

You may have done all the research and your website may be amazing, but it still isn’t ranking. If your website doesn’t rank, it won’t matter how amazing it looks; it still won’t get you any customers. Here are just a few of the reasons that your website may not be ranking.

Search Ranking Takes Time

SEO will almost certainly test your patience. Not only does it take time to make the necessary changes to optimize your website, but it will then take Google time to notice those changes compare your page to the other ranked pages, position your page, then reevaluate over time and reposition you as an ongoing process. A website won’t rank immediately after posting. Google accounts for over 200 ranking factors, so it takes time for Google to gauge the factors that will cause your website to rank. On average, it can take 3 or more months to rank in a competitive keyword.

Poor Spelling and Grammar

Quality content is necessary for your site to rank. Grammatical and spelling errors will count against your website’s rankings, because Google won’t consider it to be a credible source for consumers. It is important to proofread your content carefully and make sure that it doesn’t contain any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Within this, it is also a reason why older SEO methods no longer work. If the page doesn’t read naturally for a human user, then it is less likely Google will rank your page high. Old methods which eliminated words such as “and, in, the” between words helped then but now can drop your ranks. Always write your content with the user in mind.

The Competition

Basic SEO techniques may be sufficient for some websites to rank for specific keywords. However, if your company is in a particularly competitive niche, it will certainly be harder for your site to rank. It is likely that your competitors have already made all of those changes to their site. Competitive areas will require vigilance to rank, because the competition will also be consistently trying to rank, they will have backlinks and social factors already in place and you will have to top that. Though your SEO will be doing much of this to get the ball rolling, time and the amount of other websites picking up and linking naturally will aid drastically in kicking up your ranks. This is another reason it often takes months to rank is the SEO get’s the page going, the user base helps build it larger.

Keyword Stuffing Example
Keyword Stuffing Example

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is never the right decision. The content should certainly contain the keyword to ensure that Google knows what the content is about and will provide it to the relevant audience. However, inserting the keyword where it doesn’t make sense just to make it appear more frequently will just work against your website’s rankings. Google will recognize that the keyword is being placed simply for ranking purposes and will not credit the page with having high-quality, informative content. If you are wondering if your article has keyword stuffing, you can run it through https://www.wordcounter.net/ to get keyword densities.

Your Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly

A reactive website is becoming increasingly necessary for a webpage to rank. Many users do Google searches from their phones. Not only will a website that is not mobile-friendly lose out on that business, but Google will also rank them lower in searches. Having a mobile-friendly website is necessary for following Google ranking factors.

A Few Google Ranking Factors

Here are just a few more Google ranking factors that can contribute to how your website ranks. Though the above factors are mistakes that may be preventing your website from ranking, these factors can be implemented to help your website rank higher in Google searches.

Duplicate Content
Duplicate Content

Duplicate Content

All content on your website must be original and unique. Duplicate content will cause Google to penalize your website. This may even occur if another site copies your content, so it is important to monitor your website and its rankings frequently. Not only must all of your content be created specifically for your website, but you must also refrain from using the same content across multiple pages of your website. 

High Bounce Rate It is important to ensure that your website gives your customers what they are searching for. If your website fails to do so, they’ll click away from your site and increase its bounce rate. There are many ways to ensure that your website fits the customers’ needs. You must use relevant keywords that will guide customers to your site. You must also use an informative, accurate meta-description. Never lie in the meta-description about what your website is about. This may get you more overall clicks, but it will give you just as many consumers clicking away from your site, which will cause you to rank lower.  

Content Length and Thin Content

As previously mentioned, the website’s content must be high-quality. Additionally, it must be a sufficient length. Contrary to popular belief, internet users do not have a short attention span. In most cases, they would prefer for an article to be longer and more in-depth so that they can gather all of the necessary information in a single location rather than spend time on additional research. The length of the content will directly affect how the page ranks in Google searches.

It used to be that 300 word pages where created in the masses to help get a ton of pages on the site. Though larger websites do help with ranking, it only helps if the pages are of quality content. On average, aim for at least 1,000 and if you can get up around 1,800, even better. Though user interaction seems to start to taper off after 2,000 words.

GT Metrix Site Speed
GT Metrix Site Speed

Website Loading Speed

The loading speed of your website is important when Google determines how to rank your site. No one wants to stare at a blank screen, so if your website takes too long to load, users will click away. This will result in Google ranking your website lower than a faster website. There is a difference from user-perceived loading speed and the metrics that Google uses to determine page speed.

A fast loading website is one of the larger ranking factors, especially now that Google is running a mobile first index. If you are curious about your website loading speed, you can visit https://gtmetrix.com/ to see where your website ranks in terms of speed. Another good speed test is https://www.pingdom.com/

Optimized Image
Optimized Image

Image Optimization

Though it is important to optimize the content of a website, image optimization will also affect where your website ranks. To optimize your images, you will want to use compression software to help get the smallest image size possible. You can use ImagifyShortPixelTinyJPG or many others. The smaller the image size, the faster your website will load which can influence ranks.

It is important to add alt tags to all of the images and ensure that they are optimized for both speed and search. The alt tags will tell Google what the image is about. Be specific on what the image is and also make sure you get a keyword in there. You can also further optimize the image by making sure the file name contains a keyword as well.

Multimedia Content

Consumers tend to gravitate toward multimedia content, such as videos or images. Google will take this into consideration and will gauge the multimedia content of your webpage when it determines where that page will rank.

These are a few Google ranking factors. There are many other factors that Google takes into consideration when ranking websites. It is important to remember that a site isn’t going to rank immediately after being posted. It will take time for Google to index a new site or respond to changes in an old site. SEO takes a tremendous amount of patience, but it is absolutely worth it for your business.

Helping your site to rank higher in Google searches will help you obtain more business. If you are having problems getting your site to rank, you may want to consult a professional service. SEO can be difficult and time-consuming, but it can be necessary to help your business get customers.

Conclusion

Though there are a lot of ranking factors you can take into consideration, and it’s good practice to hit as many as possible, it’s important not to obsess over them. When working on your website and content, the best practice is think of the user first. If you do that, you will naturally hit many of these ranking factors without even trying. Consider this, if your navigation makes sense to your users, it will likely make sense to Amazon. If the content is relevant to the users, you will more than likely rank on Google.

SEO is to further hit these ranking factors so there is a higher likelihood of showing up for the keywords you want vs. just naturally ranking for some that you might not be targeting. When you hire an SEO agency to take care of these for you, it allows you to put time into scaling your business instead of optimizing a website and allow them to do all these tasks which can take days, weeks, or even months to complete.

However, also know, if you have time, you can save a significant amount of money by learning how to handle these features yourself and implementing them. The future of SEO doesn’t like in keywords, it lies in the interaction of users. As clique as it is, build it, and they will come.

Do you have a question about SEO? What about a ranking factor that wasn’t covered in this article? Leave a comment and we will answer it!

You may have to add users to Google My Business to get the full array of benefits for your business. Optimizing your company’s GMB listing can boost your SEO and help your business rank higher in other searches, like Google Maps. Your Google My Business listing allows you to add photos and videos, which can generate a significant amount of interest in your company.

Additionally, there are options to add posts to announce events or expand the information about your company such as adding a question and answer section. There are many things that must be done to properly optimize your Google My Business account. 

Getting Started With Google My Business

​All information must be accurate on every listing. The name, address, and phone number are especially important. It is also necessary to prevent duplicate listings and provide as complete a profile as possible. You must update your profile rather than create a new one.

Regular maintenance is required for your GMB listing because Google allows users to update information. It is important to review these updates to ensure that all information pertaining to your business remains accurate.

Users are also able to provide answers to questions, so you must read those regularly to make certain that the answers are correct. 

Update Your Information

Google allows users to update information. It is important to review these updates to ensure that all information pertaining to your business remains accurate. Users are also able to provide answers to questions, so you must read those regularly to make certain that the answers are correct. 

Google allows users to update information. It is important to review these updates to ensure that all information pertaining to your business remains accurate. Users are also able to provide answers to questions, so you must read those regularly to make certain that the answers are correct. 

Why Hire an Agency

​Working with an experienced agency can help improve your GMB listing and ensure that your business ranks higher in Google searches. For an agency to be as effective as possible, it may be necessary to add them to your GMB listing. This will allow them to check the status of your profile, ensure that all information has been added properly, and review and update information as necessary. 

How to add users to Google My Business

​The process of adding other users to your GMB listing isn’t too difficult, but it involves many steps. 

1. Sign In To Your Google My Business Profile

Sign in to Google My Business. Adding an agency won’t require you to send them your personal account information and logins. The GMB setup allows you to add them as users so they will have their own access to the listing. Additionally, each user can be added in different capacities that will each have different levels of access to the listing. 

2. Open The Location You’d Like to Manage

If you have multiple locations, you’ll need to ensure that you are using the desired one. 

Google My Business Listing Selection
Google My Business Dashboard

3. Click the “Users” button

The “Users” button is located on the menu.

Google My Business User Section
Select

4. Click on the “Invite New Managers” Icon

In the top right corner, there will be a button that says “Invite New Managers.” Click on this icon.

Google My Business Add New User
The Invite New managers Icon is in the Top Right Corner

5. Enter the Email and Select the User’s Role

Enter the email address of the user you’d like to add to your GMB listing. 

​You will be given the option of assigning the user as owner, manager, or communications manager. Each of these roles will have different levels of access to the listing. Additionally, only “owners” will be able to add other users to the listing, although managers will be able to remove themselves.

Google My Business Enter Email
Enter the User

6. Click Invite

This will send an email to the user you are attempting to add. You will receive a notification once they have accepted the invitation.

Google My Business Email Invite
Email Received From Google My Business
Google My Business Accept Invite
What the New User Will See When They Accept The Invite

Your GMB listing requires consistent maintenance to ensure that it provides all the benefits it is able to. An experienced agency will be able to perform this maintenance for you. We would be happy to help, let’s chat and if you to use this guide to add users to Google My Business and we can look over it. This will help you to ensure that your GMB listing remains optimized and accurate, ultimately earning you more business.

If you have any additional questions about adding a user to Google My Business, leave a comment. If you are looking for website design to complete your Google My Business profile, please contact us.

Part of having a successful business is ensuring it’s always your clients’ first pick and you can help this with adding some of the Google Ranking Factors to your website. This is particularly important when it comes to your online presence.

Do you know that an astounding 97% of internet users do not click past the first page of results? Also, 55% of all clicks visit the top three organic search results they see. This means that if your website doesn’t appear on the first page of search engine results and further in the first top 3 results, you are losing clients and sales to your competitors.

Google Ranking Factors
Google Ranking Factors

Google Ranking Factors

Fortunately, outranking your competitors isn’t an impossible task. You can increase the likelihood of ranking above your competitors in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) by ensuring your website reaps the benefits of Google Ranking Factors.

Google uses a ranking algorithm that filters search results based on certain factors. This algorithm has undergone many updates, for instance, the “Penguin 4.0” and “Possum”. These updates introduced a smarter, more refined, and more semantic search experience.

Although the exact number of Google Ranking Factors remains Google’s little big secret, SEO experts have arrived at a list of more than 200 ranking factors! How are you going to fit all of these in your SEO strategy?

Improving your Local Search Ranking

We work with many clients who want to rank highly especially in Local Searches. One thing that needs to be taken into account is that Search Engine Optimization is tailored differently depending on whether it is targeted at boosting Local Search ranking or international search ranking.

Since we specialize mostly in businesses seeking a stronger Local Search preference, I’ll give you a scoop into the Google Ranking Factors necessary to achieve your local SEO goals. As much as there are 200 plus ranking factors at your disposal, they hold different weight on various grounds.

Google revealed that 40% of mobile searches have local intent. This is a great opportunity for your local business, one that when well managed and used would lead to great sales for your business.

Before I give you some of the factors that we like to incorporate in the process of customizing client website pages for Search Engine Optimization, one factor that likely holds all other factors is providing Google with as much information about your business and its product or service as possible.

So, with this in mind, here are some of the most important Google Ranking Factors that will raise you listing on Local Searches:

Google’s Possum update diversified the Local Search results based on proximity, address, and price among other factors. These improvements are made in favor of your business, provided they are implemented properly on your business site. We specialize in helping you outrank your competitors in Google SERPs, so make sure you to have us perfect your website.

Website Analysis

A website analysis is required before any SEO work is started on your website. The analysis is an in-depth look into the structure of your site. This is one of the most important stages for gaining valuable information about your site and will properly guide the SEO that will be implemented.

If you plan on or are currently running an SEO campaign, website analysis will assist you in locating problems and identify what is currently working well. Areas in your site that may not be working and impacting your rankings will become priority.

By viewing Google Analytics, this will also show us the total amount of people who have visited your website, percentage of visitors who came from outside sources, the total amount of new visitors, and page ranking. This helps us determine if the optimizations are working and where else to focus.

Keyword Research

During the keyword research phase, research and identify high traffic, low competition keywords to go after to drive targeted traffic to your site.

People enter queries into a search engine looking for specific information. By utilizing the proper keywords, we help direct them to your site by developing pages specifically for related keyword groups to match those queries.

The objective of keyword research is to generate specific, targeted traffic. The process of keyword research involves brainstorming, keyword research tools, and testing.

Competitor Research

One of the most crucial parts of any business owner or entrepreneur is understanding your competition. The better your understanding of what the competition is doing, the more we can create a strategy to outrank them and increase the likelihood of retargeting their traffic to your site.

Page Optimization

Titles and Headers

Title tags are a segment of HTML code in the header of your webpage. These titles and header tags will help search engines understand what content exists on your page. These tags appear in different sections such as: browsers, SERPs – search engine results page, on-page content, as well as external sites.

Meta Descriptions

The goal of a meta description is to provide a short summary of information and content on your webpage. Title tags, or meta titles are very limited in this regard but still yield high potential for traffic. A meta description gives you and extra area for text to inform visitors about what your page is about. It also gives them a more compelling reason to visit your page.

Navigation

When you have visitors come to your site, you want to make sure you allow them to navigate quickly throughout your pages. Just about every website has what’s called a navigation strip that occupy the top on bottom of your website, it stays the same and never moves. These provide links to major sections of the site, so your visitors don’t need to spend too much time looking for what they want.

Keywords

One of the most important things for your website. As we mentioned in the last post, these are what people are going to enter into a search engine, to find what they’re looking for. Often times, people will enter entire phrases of keywords. However, Google’s system will scan through the words, find keywords that are most relevant to the subject they’re after, and direct them to the most common sites. It’s very important to keep these simple, short, as well as to the point. For instance, a single word can mean a plethora of different things, which is why staying optimized is important.

Short Tail

Going back to how keywords are important, we’re going to cover short tail   keywords. In online advertising, short tail keywords are less specific and consist of one word. For example, egg, would be considered a short tail keyword because it’s the only one but lacking in specifics. These keywords are also more competitive. Advertisers are known to bid on these words, intending on ad placement on the most popular search engines for more common phrases.

Long Tail

A long tail keyword is a phrase which contains three or more words. These are used to target a niche demographic, as opposed to broader, massive audience. They are more specific than short tailed keywords and can benefit you in both the short and long term. These will also rank higher on search results because of their specific uses.

Synonyms

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) and/or Synonym represents an algorithm used by search engines to locate similar words to the main word used in a contextual form. To put this into perspective, words like “tiny”, “compact”, “little” are all synonyms of small. It helps the search engine better understand what your content is related to. Therefore, generating more relevant results. It’s used for content creation, reader engagement, and improves search engine ranking.

Image Optimization

Images account for a sizeable amount of bytes a webpage has to load. As well as using a large amount of visual space. Optimizing images will only do better for you in the long run. Not does optimization limited the amount of bytes used, it can also provide performance improvements for your website. Locating the most optimal settings for your images requires a thorough analysis, along a plethora of dimensions. Look into format capabilities, content of encoded data, quality, and pixel dimensions.

Alt Text

Alternative text is a word or phrase that can be inserted into a webpage to tell a viewer the nature of contents in an image. When you browse through a website and see images, you may notice a small bit of text just below it, this is an example of alternate text. There could be an image with a series of fruits. Say, there’s a apple, an orange, and a banana within the picture. Just below the image you may see something like this: “From left to right we have an apple, an orange, and a banana. Picture taken by John Doe, May 12th, 2015.” It’s a good way to keep your viewers informed of what they’re looking at.

Schema

Schema consists of markup code or semantic vocabulary is what you would put on a website, which allows search engines return more informative results to potential guests. Pair this with rich snippets and you’ll be golden. Schema tells the search engine what your data means, not just what it says, which can be helpful for rank. It uses a unique semantic vocabulary within a microdata format. It is also set of code markers that instructs major search engines what to do with the data on your website.

W3C Validations

World Wide Web Consortium allows users to check HTML and XHTML for well formatted markup. This is a very important step towards ensuring better quality websites and the pages on said website. W3C will also help you receive better rankings within search engines. One major reason why this is so important is because it scans code for errors which could have a negative impact on the quality and rank for your site. Search engines will check your site for any issues. If invalid code is found that breaches a specific rule set, your site could be removed from indexing.

Sitemap

A site map is a list of pages contained on your website. It’s typically a hierarchical list of pages on your website, making it easier for users to navigate around. This is used to help a search engine understand how to the organization of your site’s content. Search engine robots will crawl through your site intelligently. You can use a sitemap to provide search engines with metadata pertaining to specific content on your website. A sitemap is important for handful of reasons. They should be used if your site is very large, a large amount of content on your site that are isolated, few external links, and rich media content.

Code Cleanup

No matter what type of code you’re going to be working in, there’s always code cleanup. Code cleanup is the act of structuring, reformatting, optimizing, and cleansing your code so that your site can run fast and stay stable. This is another important step not only for the reasons above, but it cleans up leftover data structures, unwanted material from memory and the filesystem of your project. Doing this will also help you maintain a structure for your site, code that’s easier to understand, and make modifications to.

Social Media

Getting your site up on social media will benefit you in so many different ways. Social media marketing and SEO intertwined together which focus on building an appealing identity for yourself will organically attract visitors to you, which will establish trust and build your brand. Let’s take a look at what we can do to make this happen.

Integration

Integrating social media to your website isn’t difficult. It starts with a good content strategy, which coordinates all of your marketing and content ideas into a singular, large plan, which is supported by the use of social media hubs. It’s a good idea to start up a social media presence for you and your brand. Using things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, YouTube, and Instagram. After this is done, you’ll want to provide links to your social media on your website.

Sharing

Once you have your social media setup and integrated into your website, it’s time to share it with the world! This can be done through word of mouth, talking to people, providing frequent news and content to your social media sites. Doing this in person is just one step of a grander design. Posting on forums is the easiest way to get yourself out there as you are more likely able to find someone who will spread the word. Provide links, and advertisements on your forum posts to insure you get the attention you need.

Content Building

Building content is another important step to the success of you and your brand. There are a number of ways to build content, for now we’ll just go over a couple that are the most common ways of getting your brand somewhere.

Blogging

Creating a blog is a good way to maintain a chronicle of ongoing information for your potential viewers. A blog features commentary and provides links to important sites you may be affiliated with, or articles located on other websites. This can be any range of content that has an endless amount of creativity. It’s important that you have a blog so you can continue to bring people to you. Be sure to write at least one or two blogs a week to maintain relevancy and keep your visitors returning.

Article Submissions

Among all SEO techniques, submitting articles can be one of the most successful things you’ll ever do. This refers to the submission of articles that you write that are relevant to your business, and getting them added to the most popular article submission directories. The primary purpose behind article submission is to attract a large number of visitors, without incurring massive cost. Posting articles can positively affect the rank of your business and brand.

Link Building

The world of SEO and link building is always changing, and today, the importance of building the highest links has never been more important. Our need to understand and implement campaigns of the highest quality is very important if you’re going to compete with others and be able to thrive online. This process involves the act of acquiring hyperlinks from other website to your own. It’s the way users navigate between pages. Search engines use hyperlinks to crawl the web, crawl links between individual pages and your own, as well as crawl links between entire websites.

Directory Submission

As mentioned above, directory submission is a great way to get noticed. At this point, you’ll want to locate the most common submission directories online. By doing this, you will gain more traffic on your site, provided you include relevant links on your articles.

Social Outreach

Social media outreach is one of the best ways to build relationships with potential viewers, increase viewer engagement, and attract more eyes to your content. This technique can be tough at times, but the results you’ll receive will make your efforts worth it. This is the process of using social media to raise awareness, presence, for your brand or content, or to build entirely new relationships with potential partners.

Broken Links

Search engines see links as a vote for the best website quality. Links to your website, as well as links within your website can directly affect where your website ranks on search results. As a result, the best practice is to remove these damaged links from your website or update them. Cleaning up broken links can add context to your website, improve visitor and user experience, as well as make content easier for search engines and visitors to explore. On the flip side, too many broken links on your website could potentially flag it as low quality to search engines, resulting in rank and relevancy loss. It’s important to fix these as soon as possible to maintain a stable, high quality website.

Monthly Report

To close out this post, we will touch on monthly reports. A good search engine optimization strategy is based solely on careful planning, quite a bit of work, and good choices made on key issues. At the end of each month, it’s a good idea to analyze how you did, these reports will be a key indicator of your SEO performance.

Monthly reports mirror your efforts. Remember to include ranking, linking, and analytics data and integrate them into the same frame which offers better analysis based on keywords. Keywords define real-life elements such as brand names, product names, and concepts. Be sure to maintain consistency throughout your report. Creating professional looking reports will offer clearer guidance and a more pleasant experience reading them.

It’s important to know that your rankings will fluctuate up and down throughout the month but as long as, on average, you are gaining ranks overtime, that is a helpful indicator that your SEO efforts are working.

Do Keywords Still Matter for SEO?

With search algorithms becoming smarter and adding weight to so many variables, you can’t help but wonder, do keywords still matter for SEO? SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization,  has become a common term over the last few years and keywords are still a very important piece of the ever-growing puzzle of SEO. For businesses to bloggers, just about everyone nowadays knows a little about SEO, but few know how to actually utilize it. In this article, we will go over a handful of different uses for keywords and how to work with them.

Keywords, why they may not matter as much as you think.

Keywords are a popular term thrown around and if you’ve ever spent any time on building your own website, chances are, you’ve heard of keywords. These keywords used to be the cornerstone of any optimization campaign and though still used, the way they are used has certainly changed. We now look at synonyms, relevancy, term frequency, and many other aspects beyond just a simple repeated keyword.

What are keywords?

Keywords are the words or phrases (known as key phrases) that you put into the search box to find a top you are looking for. There are multiple classifications on how we, in the SEO world, break these down and how we target them. And though the usage has changed, keyword research is still an essential part of any optimization strategy.

Keywords

Keywords are single words that are usually fairly generic and incredibly difficult to rank for. Examples of a keyword would be similar to shoes, chocolate, or t-shirt.

Usually, when you are searching for a specific product, you aren’t going to be using one of these phrases. Why? Because if you want something, you usually already have something in mind, for example, instead of “Chocolate,” you want a specific type of chocolate, and maybe even a location on where you can buy it, this moves us into the next section.

Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords are keywords with two or more words, these terms are easier to rank but usually still don’t have a very good conversion rate to them as these searches are usually still searching for information. You might see this as “German Chocolate” or “Dark Chocolate Chips.” As you can see, they are still fairly vague. Let’s find something that will rank and attract people looking to buy.

To find words people are using to buy products, we need to expand these short tail keywords into something more useful and that moves us into the next section which is long tail keywords.

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are what we want to rank for. These are often the keyword phrases mentioned above. If we used a term such as “german chocolate cake recipe” you can see that the search volume is 14,800 and the competition is .09 which would make this a great keyword to go after since it’s a high volume search and medium competition. Often, it’s good to go after lower volume (though still plenty of searches) with lower competition. You can achieve this by a longer keyword tail or by choosing a similar term with lower competition.

Search Volume Chart German Chocolate Cake Recipe
Search Volume Chart

On average, the longer the keyword tail, the more focused and purchase driven the people searching will be. They are actively looking for something specific and if you can fill that need, you can often achieve a conversion. Though “german chocolate cake recipe” is a great long tail keyword, the competition is still a bit to high with it being a .09. We will continue this method until we find a higher converting keyword.

Should You Use a Focus Keyword?

If you have spent any time on WordPress, you have more than likely heard of Yoast SEO or other SEO Plugins and if you’ve used this plugin, you will find out that it’s great, but also focuses heavily on a Focus Keyword.

By using a focused keyword, it can help you target the page on a specific topic, but it’s important not to over-utilize that word. This is where synonyms become helpful and we will get into that soon. When you properly utilize a keyword, you not only help drive traffic to your website, but you can pull from a competitors site that is going after the same keyword but is not properly optimizing their pages. Along with driving organic traffic to your page, you can use that keyword for SEM and drive paid traffic to your site with Google AdWords.

Why Your Web Page Doesn’t Rank

When it comes down to it, keywords matter but don’t hold quite as much weight as they used to as Google keeps expanding it’s ranking factors. Simply writing a keyword rich article isn’t enough anymore and if you write an article and wait for the traffic to pour in, you’ll be waiting a long time if that’s all you’ve done.

The reason why is that search algorithms don’t display results based on only keywords anymore, instead it has multiple facets that look for many variables such as term frequency, density, synonyms, authority, and many others, then displays articles based on relevancy to that keyword, but some of the articles may not even contain that specific keyword but possibly synonyms or other related topics and may often rank higher than articles that utilize that specific keyword.

Don’t Write for Search Engines, Write for People

We see a lot of beginning SEO’s try focus only on a single keyword and try to write for search engines and not users. Writing for search engines is a practice used to work but now can, and more than likely, will hurt your article. By simply repeating keywords, especially if they don’t read naturally, the less likely your article will rank. In fact, with new algorithms, the article doesn’t have to contain the searched for keyword at all!

By writing for people, you will naturally work in the keyword, a synonym of that keyword, or have a topic that is highly relevant without that specific keyword at all. Why? Relevancy. If your article is all about lawn care, but people search the keyword yard care, if your article is relevant, well written, and high authority from SEO, Google recognizes that yard care and lawn care can relate to the exact same thing and there is a good chance you rank for “yard care” even though you targeted “lawn care.”

This is why it becomes very important to write well-written articles that are useful to the users instead of repeating keywords simply to try to rank in the Google SERPs, the old methods just don’t work anymore and you have to adapt to the new ways to implement SEO.

The Importance of Relevance

We talked about Google’s algorithm and how it now understands phrases and synonyms. This becomes relevant when you’re writing for users. As an example, if you’re targeting a topic like baking cookies, for instance, one may search for “How bake peanut butter cookies” and they’ll get thousands of results about baking a peanut butter cookie. If your topic is something similar to that, it’s important to stay relevant to the topic you want to write for.

You may be asking why this is important. When it comes to baking cookies, users are going to want specific results. You can talk about the best cookie sheets, ingredients, water to milk ratios, how much peanut butter is required. Google will go through and compare it to other relevant topics but if you start going off topic and talk about computers and linking to computer sites, you’ll lose relevance.

To gain more relevancy, optimizing the page with backlinks from other sources shows Google that this page is relevant to this topic. That is if the sites linking back are also relevant to that niche. Having a contractor link to a baking site can show Google that the page may not be relevant. Getting backlinks from a variety of easy target sites is also an old SEO tactic that no longer works.

How to get traffic, or lose it.

Driving targeted traffic is one of the main goals of SEO and utilizing the proper keywords in proper ratios can help with that. However, there is a time where keywords may hurt your traffic and that is….keyword stuffing. Keywords stuffing is an old SEO tactic that is highly frowned upon by Google but is still used today. Keyword stuffing is where a writer places as many keywords into an article as possible and often relates to writing for search engines as mentioned before.

Google Analytics Report
Rebel Ape Analytics

You can drive enough traffic to your website by using the optimal amount of keywords in relation to their synonyms and relevancy along with back-linking and other SEO tactics such as headlines and metadata. You can hurt the traffic with keyword stuff, also known as Negative SEO (though this broader than just keywords).

Get Started With Your SEO

So do keywords still matter for SEO? Yes, they matter and matter, but the usage has changed, they are just one aspect of what goes into SEO. You can have a website full of great keywords, but if your entire SEO strategy lacks, you will have trouble picking up the momentum you need to drive traffic to your website.

Focus and long tail keywords, build out your content and keep utilizing various SEO tactics to keep your website and your business growing.


Citations

Search Engine Watch | https://searchenginewatch.com/sew/study/2214529/head-vs-long-tail-keywords-analyzed-impressions-clicks-conversions-profitability

Yoast | https://yoast.com/focus-keyword/

MOZ | https://moz.com/blog/rank-in-2018-seo-checklist

This article assumes you already have a website and you are ready to setup Google Analytics and implement into it. If you don’t have hosting, we can help.

Do you currently have a website or have recently set up a website and you are wondering if it’s receiving any traffic at all, and if so, how much? That’s where Google Analytics comes in, Google Analytics is the software we will use to track the traffic to your website and also give us the data we will need to drive more traffic. Setting up Google Analytics with basic settings is pretty easy and anyone can do it, and better yet, it’s free!

There are a few steps to setting up Google Analytics but they are all simple and guided steps. This overview tutorial will take you through the stages on how to setup Google Analytics as well as installing a plugin into WordPress and authorizing it to use your settings.

Google Analytics Login

Google Analytics Sign In
Google Analytics Sign In

The first step to how to use google analytics for website tracking is to go to the Google Analytics website and create your account with your Gmail account, agree to their terms (read them first), then sign in. You will be presented with a New Account page and where you can add the account name (this is the umbrella that will hold all tracking codes pertaining to this site, IE: YouTube, subdomains, etc.) and the website name (this is the property tracking code we are getting now for this website). You will then enter your website, use the drop-down and select https if you have an SSL, your industry and time zone. Then just click Get Tracking ID.

Google Analytics New Account
Google Analytics New Account

You will have to accept their Terms and Conditions, and once done, you will see your new Tracking ID and some Javascript. Depending on how you implement this, it will determine which code you use. If you are using a WordPress Theme or WordPress Plugin, they will ask you whether they want the Tracking ID or Tracking Code but you usually only need one or the other, some plugins select which one they want for you. If you are coding your site manually, you will more than likely use the scripted code.

Google Analytics Tracking Code
Google Analytics Tracking Code

Google Analytics in WordPress

For this website, we will be using GADWP as the Google Analytics reporting plugin. Once installed, go to the plugin settings, authorize the plugin to access the account, by clicking their get access link and select your Google account associated with Google Analytics. Once the connection is established, you will have an access code to paste into the plugin. Return to the plugin settings, paste the code, and select the view. Default is websiteName.com > All Web Site Data (this may be different if you named the default view already).

Google Analytics Plugin
Google Analytics Plugin

Since we are using this plugin, it selects the script and reports it for us so we don’t have to add any tracking code into the site. The plugin has already done it for us. Save and the website is now tracking traffic, it may take a few days to start getting data so be patient.

The Basics of Google Analytics

That’s all you need to do to get your reporting up and going but all this is going to do is give you the data about how much traffic is coming to your website. There is a lot more that Google Analytics is capable of such as goal conversions, advanced views, linking AdWords, track button clicks, and a lot more, but if reporting is all you need, you are up and running.

The nice thing about GADWP is it will place a nice little graph on your WordPress dashboard so you don’t always have to go into your account to see the reports, but you from Google Analytics, you can get advanced reporting.

Why Use Google Analytics?

The main reason I suggest you setup Google Analytics is that if you ever leave WordPress and go to a different platform, you don’t lose all your analytics that are linked directly to WordPress like they are with Jetpack or others. They are great plugins, I even use some, and you can run them at the same time, but it’s always good to keep Google Analytics running at all times, either way.

If you need help with hosting, website design, or other types of graphics or marketing, give us a call or email us!

Ready To Start Your Project?

Fill Out The Form Below!

Tell us about your project.

Our initial design consultations are free. It usually takes a bit of back-and-forth to fully identify the needs of your project, but this form will allow us to quickly get started and figure out your specific needs.

If you can supply us a basic idea of your web design, logo design, or graphic design project, we can get back to you right away to get started on the right path.

If you prefer a phone call, we can get a time scheduled for that as well. Just add it into the notes of the form.

Name
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Rebel Ape Logo Full

© Copyright 2021 - Rebel Ape Marketing - All Rights Reserved

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram