10 Secret SEO Tips From the Experts

 

10 Secret SEO Tips From the Pros - MarketCrest

Standing out online is tough – you’re up against more than 1.8 billion websites.

That’s a lot of competition.

So how can you stand out? How can you compete with all of those other sites to get the lion’s share of clicks (and the business that results from those clicks)?

There are plenty of things you can start doing right now to kick off your journey toward dominating the web in your field – and these ten secret SEO tips will get you started:

  1. Craft killer content
  2. Be consistent
  3. Make your site user-friendly
  4. Speed up your site
  5. Answer people’s questions
  6. Take advantage of SEO tools and reports
  7. Zoom in on local search
  8. Structure your content properly
  9. Make your site mobile-friendly
  10. Build backlinks

10 Tips From SEO Experts You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Search engine optimization is the process of creating a website that search engine algorithms find irresistible. When a search engine crawler comes to your site, it goes through your pages looking for content that will be valuable to users. When it finds those pages, it puts them in that search engine’s index. Then, when a user types in a query (like tips from SEO experts or how to optimize my website), the search engine’s algorithm dips into the index to find the pages most likely to answer that query.

Not too long ago, SEO was a lot easier – and it was easier to game the system. That led to search engines delivering junk results to users, and that’s the last thing search engines want to do. They’re in the business of delivering quality results; if they don’t, people will stop using them.

Google continually updates its algorithm, as do the other major search engines. They’re always making tweaks and changes to ensure that they deliver the best possible results to their users. Your best bet is to work with an agency that understands SEO and keeps up with the latest updates – that way, you’re always one step ahead of your competition.

 

Secret SEO Tip #1: Craft Killer Content

SEO Secret - Write Great Content

Content is the backbone of the internet, but here’s the catch: You have between 3 and 5 seconds to grab a user’s interest. If you can’t do it within that time frame, they’re going to click the “Back” button and leave your website for good. (Another downside to that is that Google tracks those clicks away from your site and counts them toward your bounce rate. If your bounce rate is high, Google takes that as a signal that you’re not providing the information users want or expect to find – and then becomes less likely to deliver that page in search results.)

Beyond the first 3 to 5 seconds, you have to keep your users engaged. Most website users leave before 59 seconds have elapsed – and if you haven’t completely captivated your audience by then, you’re probably not going to.

And the best way to do that is through amazing content.

Content can be more than text. It can be visually pleasing images, like infographics, or it can be video with a transcription, or it can be a list of products you’re selling.

The basis of your SEO strategy should always be content. You can’t optimize your site for users without it.

In most cases, that does involve a lot of text. Text is easy for Googlebot (Google’s search engine crawler) and its colleagues, Bingbot (Bing’s crawler) and Slurp (Yahoo!’s crawler), to understand. If your text is structured properly, each of those bots can sort through your page and determine what it’s about, assign it a ranking, and store it in its own engine’s index. (See SEO Tip #8 for more information.)

Secret SEO Tip #2: Be Consistent

Search engine optimization doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum, either. When you commit to SEO, you must commit to sticking it out for the long haul. Usually, you won’t see immediate results – and if you call it quits, the work you did do will most likely be for nothing.

It takes time for search engines to notice content and start delivering it to users. But the good news is that once the search engines do start noticing your content, they’re more likely to come back and crawl often.

When you regularly update your website with blog posts, new pages, new products or listings, and other content, your site will do much better than one that’s gathering dust. Regular updates show Google and other search engines that your site is active and can offer searchers the most current information.

Secret SEO Tip #3: Make Your Site User-Friendly

SEO Secret - User FriendlyYour website isn’t for you – it’s for your users. And the one thing that Google is most interested in, aside from you answering a searcher’s query, is user experience, or UX. The search engine prides itself on delivering the best quality results, and that includes websites that searchers enjoy using.

Understanding – and catering to – your users is essential in creating a good UX. Think of your website as your customer’s pathway toward doing business with you. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, it’s clean, easy to navigate and easy to make purchases; your website needs to be the same way.

Remember, too, that Google is tracking what people do on your website when it delivers it in the search engine results pages, or SERPs. The better your UX is, the longer people will stay, and the more likely they are to click through to other pages. This is a huge factor in SEO.

Secret SEO Tip #4: Speed Up Your Site

 

Part of a good UX is fast loading time, but there’s more to it than that – Google uses site speed as a ranking factor, particularly on mobile searches. (You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to figure out how fast your site loads for visitors.)

Slow pages won’t rank as well, because again, Google and other search engines are in the business of delivering the best possible results.

The good news? You can almost always make your website load faster. You can optimize images, use a content delivery network, minify code or even work with a faster web host to boost your site speed.

PageSpeed Insights - SEO Tips

Secret SEO Tip #5: Answer People’s Questions

If you’re not answering any questions (or queries, which are the terms people type into search engines), Google isn’t going to deliver your site to anyone – let alone put you in the top spot on Page 1.

It’s incredibly important that the pages on your website answer queries.

A Word on Keywords

Many people want to rank for “vanity” keywords. Vanity keywords are those that may describe what the website or page is about, but that aren’t likely to deliver qualified traffic that produces high conversion rates.

Let’s say a business owner wants to rank for the term “houseplants” because he sells beautiful houseplants in Colorado. While the term “houseplants” is searched very frequently, it’s very unlikely to send him qualified customers.

That business owner would enjoy better results with a specific keyword, like “peace lily for sale in Colorado” or “buy peace lilies.”

When you create content for your website, it’s important to figure out exactly what your customers are searching for. Then, provide answers to their queries.

Secret SEO Tip #6: Take Advantage of SEO Tools and Reports

Google AnalyticsIf you’re not taking advantage of analytics tools, keyword researching tools and in-depth reporting tools (or you’re not working with a firm that does), you’re not fully committed to SEO.

While there are many tools out there for optimizing search performance, here are a few of the most useful choices:

  • Google Analytics
  • Moz
  • KISSMetrics
  • CrazyEgg
  • Google Keyword Planner (the version available to advertisers only)
  • QuickSprout

Secret SEO Tip #7: Zoom in on Local Search

Google 3 Pack

Local SEO is more important than ever if you have a brick-and-mortar location where you sell products or serve your clients. In addition to putting your location on your website and having a robust Google My Business listing, you need to optimize your site for local search.

To that end, title tags, header tags and meta descriptions must include local information. Include reviews – or the ability to review your business – on your website, and claim your profiles on review sites like Yelp. There are several review management tools you can use, too, including Reputation Love.

Having a great Google My Business listing and locally optimized content on your website can also help ensure that you show up in Google’s 3-Pack, which is the group of three results it shows beneath the map on a search.

Secret SEO Tip #8: Structure Your Content Properly

In order for Google’s algorithm, Hummingbird, to understand what your website’s pages are about, you must structure your content properly. That means creating a URL that has your keyword in it, using a title tag that also includes your keyword, and using variants of your keyword throughout header tags and body text within each page.

Let’s say your keyword is secret SEO tips. You’ll want to include that throughout your document, as well as variants of that phrase – like expert SEO tips and SEO secrets. Hummingbird can fly into your pages, extract all the important information from your headers and semantic keywords (words and phrases that are similar, but not an exact match, to your target keyword), and determine that you have an extremely valuable page that will help people.

Pro Tip: Name the images on your site for SEO, too, and give them alt text that reflects the same keywords.

SEO Secret - Make Your Site Mobile FriendlySecret SEO Tip #9: Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

For websites, design is important – especially when it comes to mobile-friendliness. Most searches take place on mobile devices, with an increasing number of those originating with voice search – and that means your site needs to be mobile-friendly. In fact, Google unleashed Mobilegeddon in 2015, which gave a huge boost to mobile-friendly pages in the SERPs.

Now, Google has shifted to mobile-first indexing. There’s still only one Google index that includes mobile and desktop versions of websites, but moving forward, the search engine is going to index mobile versions of content and rank it that way. 

Check your site’s mobile-friendliness using the Google Mobile-Friendly testing tool.

Secret SEO Tip #10: Build Backlinks

Backlinks are still an important ranking factor for the search engines. They’re also referred to as inbound links, and they’re a signal to Google and other search engines that your content is valuable.

The key: The links have to come from reputable sites. If they come from spammy, junk websites, they could even catch you a Google penalty – especially if the algorithm believes you’re trying to game the system by collecting these junk links.

Good links take some effort to get but pay off big time in the long run. You can’t get them artificially; you have to create great content that people want to link to. Authentic links are the only kind of links you want.

Putting All the Secret SEO Tips Together

A great SEO strategy has even more facets than we’re able to outline here. And the fact is, no matter what you do, you’re not going to skyrocket to Page 1 in the SERPs overnight.

But there’s good news. Your efforts will pay off, and when they do, things will start to snowball for your website and your business.

Need help taking your search performance to the next level? We’re here to help. Get in touch with us at (469) 661-1040 today for a free SEO consultation.

 

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Your Guide to SEO Basics for Small Business Owners

seo basics

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is part art and part science. It involves creating content for your website that’s optimized for search engines – but part of good SEO is optimizing your content for readers, too. Learning SEO basics isn’t terribly difficult, and it definitely pays off.

So where do you start?

SEO Basics: What You Need to Know About Optimization

Basic search engine optimization techniques include:

  • How to implement SEO in your web design
  • How to research the best, most profitable keywords
  • Understanding Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
  • Using keywords and their counterparts in your content
  • Hiring the right SEO professionals
  • Tracking performance

Before you can dive into the specifics, you need to understand search engine optimization and why it’s important, which the following section covers.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is a digital marketing tool available to every business owner with an online presence. It helps SMBs reach potential and existing customers through major search engines, which all generally follow Google’s lead.

A basic SEO strategy keeps the principles behind a standard Google search in mind.

Users enter a phrase called a query into a search engine. These words best approximate what the user is looking for, such as “where to find pho in Dallas” or “how to knit a scarf.”

When Google receives a query, it automatically assembles a collection of results that provide an answer. The most complete and accurate answers, as determined by Google’s algorithm, appear at the top of the search engine results page, or SERP.

This is possible because Google’s crawler – commonly called the Googlebot – reads the content of each page it discovers and uses more than 200 factors to assign it a ranking. The algorithm Google uses latent semantic indexing. That means Google can recognize related terms and phrases in groups (like knit, knitting, yarn, stitch and purl) to understand, categorize and rank pages.

Think of Google like a giant file cabinet. It files away useful webpages in each drawer and knows precisely where to go when someone needs an answer.

The higher a page ranks in the SERPs, the more likely users are to click it.

Businesses can optimize online content with specific Google searches in mind. For example, a local shoe store can optimize its content to reach people searching terms like “Nike retailer” or “designer boots in San Francisco.”

Good SEO is about more than keywords, though. It’s an entire strategy that successful businesses implement to gain greater visibility in the SERPs and, as a result, more traffic and more sales.

How to Implement SEO Basics

As a business owner, you can take SEO basics into your own hands. It’s possible to engineer a powerful SEO strategy on your own. You have to be in it for the long haul, though – good SEO doesn’t happen overnight.

1. Spend Time On Web Design

Optimizing your website makes your business more visible to a highly targeted group of searchers who want or need what you have to offer.

There’s one catch: Google is all about user experience, or U/X.

If you search Google and the results you get are consistently underwhelming, you’re going to switch to a different search engine. There are myriad reasons you could be displeased with the results, like:

  • The pages you get don’t answer your question
  • The website you land on is slow to load or uses outdated technology, graphics or design
  • The pages you click don’t render properly on your device

That means your site needs to feature responsive design that renders properly on phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. It also needs to load quickly – within 3 to 5 seconds – and each page needs to answer a user’s specific query. You also need to provide users with:

  • Easy navigation
  • Interactive, intuitive content
  • A user-friendly interface

Before you can dive into SEO, your website needs to provide the U/X Google and its users demand. (Learn more about responsive, intuitive web design services here.)

2. Research Keywords

SEO Basics - Keyword Research

Keywords are central to any SEO campaign – and the most successful search engine optimization campaigns are data-driven.

Start by researching your competition. Note where your competitors rank on Google for keywords and phrases that also relate to your business.

Perform some organic searches for keywords you feel your users may use to find your business. Start with the basics, but don’t be afraid to try out long-tail keywords.

Examples of basic keywords:

  • Turkish restaurant
  • Bowling alley
  • How to knit
  • SEO basics

Examples of long-tail keywords:

  • Turkish restaurant in Dallas
  • Bowling alleys near me
  • How to knit baby booties
  • List of basic SEO techniques for beginners

You can use a variety of tools to plan your keywords. Google’s Keyword Planner is the most obvious choice, but it only offers broad data unless you’re paying for advertising. However, there are a number of free and paid services that allow you to research keywords relevant to your business. Some can become very expensive, so for most business owners, it makes sense to hire an SEO expert who already has access to the most effective tools.

Pro tip: Only use one keyword or phrase per page of content. Keywords must be distinct between pages.

3. Familiarize Yourself With Google’s Guidelines

Following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines helps ensure your pages are compliant with Google’s requirements. Spend some time learning best practices – and what not to do – before you begin.

If you violate any of Google’s terms, the search engine will penalize your site. Google may elect to exclude a few pages from its index or it may deindex your entire site, depending on the nature and severity of the violation.  

4. Optimize Content

Content optimization is the most fundamental part of a basic SEO strategy. It involves choosing a keyword or phrase and building content around it naturally.

Googlebot is programmed to discover and index pages based on the text they contain. Google’s algorithm, Hummingbird, uses latent semantic indexing to determine a page’s purpose.

What is Latent Semantic Indexing?

Latent semantic indexing, or LSI, is the method Google’s algorithm uses to scan through data and identify relationships between words. This enables determine the context of a page and eliminates the need for keyword density.

What is Keyword Density?

Keyword density refers to the extremely outdated practice of using your keyword a certain number of times per 100 words. In the earliest days of search engine optimization, webmasters could stuff a page with keywords and rank well for the term. The result was generally useless spam that read like this:

 

Use each keyword naturally. Make sure that keywords appear in the page’s meta title, a heading or two, within the body of the content and in the meta description – but don’t “stuff” keywords in. The best way to incorporate a keyword is to write naturally, then revisit your content and ensure that it appears where it will help readers most. Because Hummingbird understands word groups (like the knitting example above), there’s no need to worry about keyword density.

Pro tip: Optimize image file names and alt text on images with your keyword.

If you use WordPress for your website, you can install a plugin that can help you with optimization, such as Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO Pack. Just bear in mind that as of this writing, Yoast still considers keyword density a factor as it “grades” your content.

5. Consider Hiring Professionals

Successful SEO depends on link-building and dozens of other factors, including local optimization, getting reviews and establishing social media profiles.

  • Link-building is an important component of SEO. Google uses inbound links – links that lead into your site from other websites – as a measure of how valuable your website is. If already-reputable sites link to yours, it’s a strong signal that you have something to offer users. Conversely, if several spammy sites (like link directories) link into yours, Google can interpret that as a sign that your site is likely not worth much or that you’re trying to game search engine results.
  • Optimizing content for location-based searches, such as “Brooklyn bagels” or “Dallas roof repair” can help bring in local business. A good SEO strategy also includes using Google My Business and other tools that help establish your company as the local go-to when your potential clients are looking for help.
  • Many people trust independent online reviews as much as they’d trust a recommendation from a friend, so it’s important to build a presence on review sites like Google, Yelp and others. Building a presence includes responding to reviews (both positive and negative) and showing people who read them that your company is interested in maintaining a good reputation for customer service.
  • Establishing profiles on social media sites is a proven SEO strategy – not only because social signals are one of the ways Google determines how valuable your site is, but because social media itself can bring in targeted traffic. (You can learn about how social media plays a role in any good website strategy here.)

Business owners who want a complete SEO campaign often turn to professionals. At MarketCrest, for example, we assist our clients in all aspects of search engine marketing.

6. Track Performance

SEO Tools for SEO BasicsSEO is always evolving, and you need to know where your site stands on a day-to-day basis to ensure you stay on top. Use Google Analytics to track which pages people land on to enter your site, where your visitors are coming from and how long people spend on each page. You can also use paid tools, like Moz and SpyFu, or built-in tools that come with platforms such as Wix and Squarespace that track your site’s performance.

The most important thing you can do is monitor whether your efforts are paying off. That way, you can adjust your strategy and focus on the optimization techniques that are bringing you new business.

SEO Basics: Final Thoughts

Learning SEO basics can make a huge impact on how well your website performs. Used properly, SEO enables business owners to connect with larger audiences and increase profits.

Simply by familiarizing yourself with Google’s guidelines, researching keywords and investing in the right web design, you can boost your bottom line.

At MarketCrest, we love helping our clients take their digital marketing to the next level. Learn more about our award-winning work here – and when you’re ready for a free, one-hour consultation with a marketing expert, call us at 469-661-1040. We’re here to help.

 

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10 Reputation Management Tips From Seasoned Veterans

 

10 Reputation Management Tips From An SEO Expert

Ninety-seven percent of consumers in North America read online reviews to learn more about a business.

If you are not taking an active role in how your business is being perceived online then it’s time to start.

Our clients agree that Reputation Management is vital to succeed online today.

In this article, we have compiled helpful tips to help you recognize how professionals manage a company’s online presence. There are a lot of lessons learned!

Let’s get started:

1. Create A Consistent Online Presence

In order to manage your online reputation, you need to BE online. Create accounts for your business that are applicable to your industry. These go beyond Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Though, you should have those too!).

Do some research to find popular sites in your industry. For example, if your business provides home services, consider creating an account on Houzz. Are you a B2B company that’s looking for hot leads? LinkedIn and LinkedIn Groups will become your kingdom.

Delve into the digital world and find your niche. Among the websites we’ve listed above, you can also create accounts on Pinterest, Flickr, and Vimeo. Keep in mind that not every industry will thrive on these platforms. Do some research of your own to find out if your business will be a good fit.

2. Make Social Media A Priority

Social media is no longer just for friends and family. Users are turning to social media to follow brands, learn more about a business, and on some occasions, share their grievances with the world.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are replacing email complaints and comments. In fact, during the past two years, research shows customer interactions on Twitter have increased 250 percent.

Reputation management begins with your customers, their online comments, and reviews. Respond to their comments quickly, listen, don’t be defensive and always be professional (take the high road).

Like it or not, social media is an essential part of business today.

Users have a greater voice than every before. Thats good…and sometimes its bad.

3. Don’t Ignore Google Reviews (Or Google My Business)

When it comes to reviews, Google should be a primary area of focus. With more than 3.5 billion searches made per day, you cannot afford to take a blind eye to those reviews.

If you are investing in SEO, you will be easy to find online. Make sure when searchers find you, you like what they see!reputation management

Manage your online reputation on Google by claiming your Google My Business local listing and page. Manage your free listing directly, read and respond to reviews, and control the accuracy and completeness of your address, phone number, contact information, and photos.

We have read that an incredible 56 percent of local businesses have not claimed their listing!

Be part of the 44 percent that are taking a proactive approach to earning and responding to reviews. 

Google reviews may be important but remember that Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare reviews can be equally important. Tackle your reviews on every platform for the best results.

4. Reply to Every Review

You cannot expect to effectively manage your reviews if you don’t reply. Reply to each and every review, the good, bad, and ugly. Avoid defensive language and always be gracious and genuine.

Users seek out reviews to see what others are saying. When users stumble upon a negative review that has not been replied to, they’re only getting half of the story and they may think the business doesn’t care.

Reply promptly and offer a solution when applicable plus a prompt apology. Not only do you have the potential to win back a customer, your genuine response may sway a prospective customer.

Replies should always be conducted in a timely manner. A great rule of thumb is to reply within 24 hours Monday through Friday, and 48 hours Saturday and Sunday.

5. Encourage Customers to Review

Studies show that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust friends.

Encourage your customers to leave reviews whenever your business completes a service.

Don’t be afraid to ask customers to leave reviews. If they’re thrilled with the service you’ve provided they’ll be happy to help. Plus there is a tendency to only leave reviews when we are angry. The best way to counter a negative customer review is with 5-10 great reviews.

A few clever ways to encourage reviews is to:

  • Ask in-person once service has been provided.
  • Include a link to leave a review on your monthly newsletter.
  • Make it easy to leave reviews by adding a “Leave Us a Review” button on your website.

Set internal goals every quarter to keep momentum and ensure that the number of your reviews never go stagnant.

6. Encourage Honest Reviews

Honesty and transparency is often the best policy when it comes to handling reviews. Everyone loves to get and read five-star reviews, but they should be earned, not just given.

Genuine, honest reviews are powerful tools for business. 

Note: If you’re hovering around a 4 or 4.5 rating, don’t worry! 94 percent of customers said they’d use a business with a four-star rating and 68 percent claimed they trusted a business with a mixture of positive and negative reviews.

Don’t panic if you have mixed reviews. The silver lining is that it helps the reviews feel more authentic.

7. Listen and Learn from Your Reviews, Even the Negative Ones

Reviews are windows into the services that your business offers and how you are doing.

Negative online reviews may be the byproduct of a customer having a bad day, but if you’re receiving consistent reviews mentioning a specific service or aspect of your business, listen!

Address any issues, be it customer service concerns or a specific employee complaint. Negative reviews are also an opportunity to build your brand. Genuinely apologize and offer to help make it right when it’s warranted.

Let’s make this clear…what you don’t want to do is argue.

One of the most popular “What Not To Do” examples is the now infamous Amy’s Baking Company.

On an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay met Amy and Salomon “Samy” Bouzaglo, restaurant owners in Scottsdale, Arizona. Not only did they refuse to believe any of their negative reviews–literal dozens of reviews–they actively sought them out and argued each one.

The episode and its subjects were so abrasive and unmanageable, focusing on each negative review as though it were a personal dig, it led to eventually closing their doors permanently.

If there was ever a cautionary small business tale about the importance of reputation management, it’s that one.

8. It’s Never Too Late to Apologize

Every business has bad days, sometimes there are fires that can’t be easily put out. If your business finds itself on the wrong side of a customer engagement own up to it and apologize.

A genuine apology goes a long way online. Some customers may even respond with gratitude and understanding.

It’s not unusual on platforms like Facebook and Google, for users to even edit their review to add a star or two and an extra line. When this happens, celebrate your accomplishment!

9. Don’t Stoop Down to “Trolls”

While there is a protocol for handling negative reviews, many businesses fail to anticipate “trolls”.

A troll is internet slang for someone that consciously tries to stir the pot by posting rude and often inflammatory comments online.

If your business has the misfortune of being plagued with a troll or two, don’t panic. Don’t hesitate to block someone who is obsessively commenting, reviewing, or spreading rumors about your business.

Delete the comments if you can, attempt to assuage the review, but do not fight back with anger or spite. If you reply with a vengeance, you’re only pouring more fuel to the fire.

10. Invest In Reputation Management

These days, managing your company’s online reputation can be a full-time job. 

We guess its fair to say that a major downside to our culture and social media is that there is no real way to avoid problematic issues with being found online. It comes with the territory.

Comments and reviews can come at any hour of the day, any day of the week. An upset or frustrated customer likes to vent and they don’t take weekends or nights off!

In reality, a hardworking small business, might not have the time to respond to each comment, every review, positive or negative. Crafting response after response takes a lot of time and energy.

If you find yourself in this predicament, consider enlisting a trusted member of your team to carry the load, or ask your agency to carry the load. 

Reputation management programs vary from agency to agency and from client to client based on matching capabilities and needs.

Our experience tells us that as you grow, it’s worth a little time and money to be proactive and stay ahead of your reputation online.

Need A Helping Hand

MarketCrest is an in-house digital marketing agency offers SEO, website development, Pay-Per-Click advertising, social media, content marketing and of course reputation management services.

Sign up for an hour of free marketing consultation with our chief consultant. Our award-winning team has helped local businesses and large corporations alike take control of their digital presence.

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Why Hiring an SEO Agency is the Secret to Growing your Business

SEO agency

Being a business owner requires wearing many hates. Some you can wear well, others you will need to pass on to someone more qualified.

How your business is represented can make or break your brand. Branding is your calling card and is often equated to meeting someone in person and handing him your business card.

The difference is, instead of meeting one person, you are meeting hundreds, thousands or many more. This is why your SEO strategy is best left to an SEO agency.

If you are tired of winging it and want to have your SEO done right, continue reading for reasons why you need to hire a professional.

You’re at the Bottom of SERPs Rankings

SERP stands for search engine result pages. A business with an online presence needs to be concerned about their ranking.

In the digital age, when consumers are in search of a particular service or product, they generally do an online search. The goal is to have your business appear on page one of the search results page.

Unfortunately, many business owners do not understand the importance of having a high ranking.

Studies show that 75% of users limit their search to the first page of the search results. An SEO agency will be able to implement a plan to get your business website to page one on Google and other search engines.

You Did Not Know Your Business Needs a Google My Business Page

If you asked, “What is that?” you need an SEO agency working for you.

An SEO service that is provided to businesses is Knowledge Graph Optimization (KGO).

KGO is how the SEO industry labels Google My Business Page (GMBP). Your business contact information, social media links, images and more, appear in the right side column of Google SERPs, when someone enters your business name.

Your GMBP can also include a Google Map, reviews and more. The process of setting up the feature begins by submitting a request to Google and going through a verification process.

A trained SEO strategist can get this done for you in no time. Now, when someone searches for your business, they will have all of your pertinent information at their fingertips.

Your Business Does Not Have a Google Virtual Tour

A business that provides a service needs a Google Virtual Tour. An SEO agency will be able to get this done and connect it to your GMBP.

A Google Virtual Tour is a 360-degree tour of your business or service? It gives the potential customer a 3D view of what your business offers before they step in the door.

If you have ever visited a hotel website, chances are there was a 360 tour option to explore guest rooms, site amenities and more. Realtors are also taking advantage of this feature.

Outsourcing SEO services can take the legwork out of this and other strategies by connecting you with professional photographers and videographers.

Your video can also be used on your website, social media and at trade shows.

An SEO Agency Can Link Your Social Media Accounts to Your Website

Today, social media is a very important aspect of brand awareness and marketing. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are SEO must-haves.

Social media helps extend your marketing reach. When used correctly it extends the reach of your website content.

Another portion of your SEO strategy will be to post links from your website to your social media pages. This will place content in front of an audience that may not know about your product, services or website.

Optimization

By optimizing your blog pages and more, via social media, you increase traffic to your website when people click on the links. The more your website links are clicked, the higher the website goes in SERPs.

SEO services can direct you to which content will do best on each social media platform. Example, professional images loaded to your website can be used on Instagram and Pinterest to promote your brand.

Links on your website for sales and promotions can be promoted via Facebook and Twitter by purchasing ADs on those platforms.

Create a Link Building Strategy

Agencies offering SEO services should also provide link building strategies to help improve your rankings. They also guide you in how to place links in the content on your websites.

There is more to link building than simply linking to outside sources within your website blog and other content blocks. You will need to understand the rankings and usefulness of the sites being linked to.

Linking also includes incorporating links from your website into new content you are producing.

Although link building is only one of many SEO tactics to improve your SERPs, the use of backlinks has been tested and proven to be an important part of your SEO strategy.

You Need Regularly Scheduled Website SEO Audits

Once you have your website optimized for SEO juice, you will need to have regularly scheduled audits performed. The purpose of SEO audits is to ensure your current strategy is still netting the best results.

Some things your SEO agency will check for in the audit are your current SERPs ranking and ways to improve it.

They will also check to ensure you are not using broken links to other websites. In addition, your page links will be checked for optimization. Also, a test can be run to see what websites may be using your webpage links.

Other tools will include keyword usage and the usefulness of your social media strategy.

Are You Ready to Get the SEO Help You Need?

We have pointed out reasons why your business may need to hire an SEO agency to improve your SERPs ranking. Finding the right service provider is like finding the right accountant.

There are plenty of companies on the market, but which one is right for you.

MarketCrest is a full-service marketing and consulting firm that offers SEO services. If you are ready to take your brand to the next level, click here to schedule your free one-hour consultation today.

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What to Check for When Performing Website Optimization

What to Check for When Performing Website Optimization

Website optimization is a necessity for businesses, organizations and every other entity with a web presence. Proper optimization and maintenance will guarantee your website functions as a meaningful marketing tool. Below, we delve into the basics of website optimization that will keep your website in tip-top shape. A website provides a positive impression that your business needs to make connections with visitors of all types.

Website optimization makes sure your site is current and found online. The presentation and functionality of your website really is an important competitive advantage across all industries.

Website Optimization: Where to Start

Set the stage for your website checks by taking some preliminary steps that will make the entire process that much more efficient. Start by installing Google Analytics and sign up for Google’s Webmaster Tools. Confirm your website, establish a backup service and coordinate daily database backups along with full site backups on a weekly basis. These should be stored on a distinct server. Several high-quality backup services can be found online, just search for them on Google.
Amazon S3, Google Drive and Dropbox are typical for remote servers.

Website Optimization: Regular Website Checks

The website should be checked at least once every week. Each page on the site’s front end should load without errors. Plugins and the Content Management System should be updated. It is not enough to perform daily backups. Take the next step by storing these backups at an off-site location. Go through the pages to find if there are any broken links. If you find spam comments on certain pages during website maintenance, remove them.

Take a close look at all forms to guarantee they are functioning as designed. If there are any 404 errors, resolve them by re-directing or remedying links. If there are any problems with emails transmitted from the web server, note and resolve them as quickly as possible.

In terms of marketing, ally with a content marketing team to help you create weekly blog posts to share with colleagues and followers.

Website Optimization at Extended Frequencies

Conduct Website Maintenance Checks Monthly, Quarterly & YearlyMonthly website optimization can commence with gauging the loading speed. If it is in excess of three seconds, discuss the matter with your web developer to enhance speed. From a marketing perspective, it makes sense to transmit a monthly update to those on your email list.

The monthly check is also the time to review security scans, Google Analytics website statistics and local searches.

Consider what your most and least popular content is and repurpose the best of it. Pinpoint the best source of conversion and specific pages visitors come from and consider optimizing them with frequently searched keywords and phrases. Analyze all of this information in-depth and alter your content as necessary.

The quarterly website maintenance check should be a thorough review. Consider what aspects of the site can be improved. Take a close look at the website content, graphics, photographs and so on. Is everything up-to-date? Consider if it is possible to enhance this content so it is more current. The quarterly website optimization is also the time to review and modify meta titles and meta description tags.

Check the uptime logs to boot. If uptime is below 99.9 percent, meet with the web host to find out how it can be improved. If the web host can’t help bring this figure up, consider the merits of other web hosts. This is also the time to check backup health by restoring the latest backup to a distinct web server.

Review the tasks performed on a regular basis and determine if they can be automated to save time and effort. Validate the site for use on mobile devices, accessibility and CSS/HTML. If you run online advertising campaigns, review and adjust them each quarter to meet goals.

The quarterly check is also an opportunity to perform some testing. Test the automated messages, forms and the website itself. Make sure the site looks good on all different types of computers, laptops and mobile devices. Alter the forms and automated messages in an effort to boost your conversions. It should automatically integrate with the CRM as well as the email marketing system.

Conduct Annual Website Checks

The annual website check is a time to consider improving the website’s user experience design as well as its aesthetic design. Implement changes as necessary to keep visitors stimulated and intrigued by the site’s presentation. Update the website footer copyright date. Renew the website domain name if necessary. Review all of the site’s pages to ensure the content is accurate and still relevant. This is also the time to review the website strategy to ensure it is fully aligned with your idiosyncratic business goals.

 

About MarketCrest, LLC:

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

MarketCrest, LLC
105 S. Tennessee St. Suite 103
McKinney, TX 75069

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10 Signs It’s Time to Hire An SEO Agency

SEO agency

Even as digital marketing has taken over the marketing world, nearly a quarter of all businesses still aren’t using social media or SEO. Without an intelligently structured marketing strategy, companies could be wasting time or valuable advertising dollars.

If you’re not actively optimizing your website for search engines (SEO = Search Engine Optimization), you may need to hire an SEO agency to help ensure you get a return on your website and marketing investment.

Search engine results are becoming the primary way consumers find out about businesses. Even a longstanding business with talented staff and good customer service can’t hope to compete with peer companies that are investing properly in SEO. 

If you’re not appearing at the top of the search engine result pages (SERP) or if you are not seeing your digital marketing dollars convert to sales, your online strategy might be trashed. 

Here are 10 signs that it’s time to call an SEO agency to solve your problems.

1. You Aren’t Consistent With Both On-Site And Off-Site SEO

Your SEO strategy is more than just installing a plugin to your website.

SEO is technical and should include optimization of your website pages (“on” your website) and your backlink profile (which is “off-site”).

To make matters worse SEO is ever-changing so you HAVE to stay on top of it. 

“The most attractive website in the world won’t provide a return on your investment if it can’t be found.”

Sadly SEO isn’t something you can learn, or perform on the weekend between yard work and the football game.

Your work must be accurate, consistent and plentiful.

It will involve knowledge of WordPress or HTML programming, SEO best practices, apps to support your work and analytics, fresh website content, social media promotion, a network of local and relative directories plus blogger outreach. If you can’t dedicate regular time each month to perform these task properly, hire someone to help before you lose too much business.

And you will miss business if your website is the industry’s best-kept secret.

2. You Got An SEO Penalty!

Search engine optimization has rules. Google will punish companies that break the rules in an attempt to fluff their rankings… even if it was unintentional.

Penalties will mean that Google will artificially lower your rankings until you fix the issue.

Learn from your mistakes and avoid incurring Google penalties for duplicate content, keyword stuffing and “black hat SEO”. Black hat is the industry term for cheating and Google will make you pay dearly if you try a tactic that you heard was the “key to great SEO”. 

Don’t worry. If you get penalized, you will get an email in your Google Search Console inbox. if you don’t know how to find your inbox, you’re already toast 😉

3. You’re Only Focused On Content

So we are on the same page… hiring an SEO agency will help you improve your content marketing strategy and results greatly. But pumping our content does not equal good SEO or increased website traffic.

Your content must be informational and helpful to your target audience. Topics must be created with great care to ensure you will be viewed as a trusted source and that your content will be consumed (read, watched, heard etc.).

SEO agencies have software that can blow your mind. They can provide you with topics people are searching for, how often the topic is searched and the details about those searching. Their software can show you the most read and most shared articles.

Want to know which of your competitors have the best online profiles and what type of audience they are targeting?

Trust us, this is only the beginning. It gets borderline creepy, but information is power. If you want your website to attract the most traffic in your space… create the best content; produce it in the form your audience likes to consume (copy, audio, video, ebook, on and on) and promote it properly. 

4. You Don’t Have Time Or Skills For SEO

Not every talented business owner has the technical skills for SEO or the time to develop them. You’ll need to know basic elements of web design, development, mobile optimization, backlinking, conversion rate optimization, copy readability, metadata and more.

You can do it…it just takes time.

While juggling the rest of your business affairs, be careful not to invest too much time and effort on something that you could outsource to a professional.

There is only one You.

If you want to improve your search engine results without having to take a basic web design class in your copious free time, it might be worthwhile to call in the pros.

5. You Can’t Prioritize SEO

A major factor in inbound and content marketing is SEO. It’s become a priority for almost every company and in order to remain competitive, you must have content creation and distribution prioritized.

Be honest. This might not be possible with your workload.

Your marketing department might already have their hands full.

If this is the case, it’s time to call an SEO professional and let them take the wheel.

6. You’re Not Getting Results

Even a business that has taken the time and effort to follow all of the so-called “experts” regarding optimizing their web presence can fail to produce results.

Sometimes it’s important to know when to stop wasting valuable resources. If your marketing investment is not providing a measurable and definitive ROI (return on your investment). Get help now.  

7. SEO is Changing Too Fast For You

Perhaps your budget only allows you to spend one week a year looking at your SEO status. Meanwhile, Google is changing their algorithm every 12 hours.

That means you could have missed out on 600 change cycles since the last time you restructured your own SEO.

If you don’t have the time to devote to this, you shouldn’t give in and let your rankings suffer. Hiring someone who is an expert in SEO can check in with you on a monthly basis or more often if you think that would help.

8. You Know That You Might Be Subject To Problems

If you run the kind of site that has had problems with spammers attacking your message boards and comments, you know you need SEO help.

Companies that allow customers to post content can be abused to improve spammers’ own results. That duplicated content or spammy posting can damage your search rankings.

Having an SEO expert to consult can help you avoid these issues. They can help to spam-proof your site and ensure that posters aren’t leaving duplicate content behind.

9. You’ve Skimped On Local SEO

Every local business has to know something about local SEO. Your SEO rankings shouldn’t be compared to huge international firms or companies located 10,000 miles away. Google knows this too.

In order to meet your customers where they are and end up in local search results, you need to be targeting locally. If you’ve been spending your time trying to market against the biggest companies in the world, you’re wasting advertising dollars.

Hiring an SEO agency can help you get think globally and act locally.

10. Your Keywords Aren’t Working

Depending on the field you’re working in, your keywords might be too general or not giving you the results you want. Banging your head against the wall won’t get you there. Calling an SEO agency will.

SEO experts know the way to help improve your keywords to get you the search results you want.

Hire An SEO Agency And Focus On Your Business

Calling an SEO expert isn’t an act of throwing in the towel.

It’s the exact opposite.

Your priority needs to be delighting your customers.

If you’re still trying to figure out what type of agency to hire, contact us for a free, no sales pitch consultation and tips for finding the right one.

 
 

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10 Reasons Your Business Needs a Content Marketing Strategist

content marketing strategist

 

Here are ten reasons to use a content strategist to take the reins of your online presence.

1. Tell Your Story

You may have the best coffee shop in town or the best-tasting protein shake in the fitness industry. But without a content marketing strategist, who’s going to know about it?

You can’t depend on word of mouth and billboard ads anymore. You have to meet consumers where they are, and most of them are online.

Creating strong web content means you can express more parts of your brand. Through optimized landing pages and engaging email chains, you can tell your whole story.

This builds brand awareness and loyalty because users will feel more connected to who you are.

2. Find Hidden Opportunities

Hiring a content marketing strategist to tell your story opens doors to opportunities you may not even know are out there.

This person is equal parts creative, innovative, and analytical. He or she starts with data and uses it to guide all your digital strategies.

They research competitors and take a close look at your target market. They also look for potential new markets (or new ways) to reach current consumers.

This person knows the ins and outs of successful digital marketing. No matter how much you know about URLs, keywords, and coding, you need them on your side.

3. Reach More Audience Members

After deep-diving into data and research, it’s time to get to work.

One of the main focuses for a content marketing strategist is to expand your audience reach.

The goal is to get in front of as many users as possible and to do so in a way that makes them want more. This is about more than online impression counts — it’s about building a community.

4. Generate Leads

The most effective way to know if your digital community is truly growing is by getting more leads.

Lead strategies are all about short-term tactics for long-term success. They don’t expect to create a sale right away. Instead, they focus on building interest through opt-ins rather than immediate purchases.

A lead generation strategy looks like an email newsletter on an eCommerce website. The product isn’t the information, but the information gets consumers one step closer to buying the product.

It walks users through the buying cycle and creates more opportunities to establish a strong brand presence.

5. Take Advantage of Social Media

Want a simple way to track your online community? Work on building your social media following.

Social media is one of the biggest focus areas for a content marketing strategist.

Beyond displaying your products, you can build partnerships and establish a positive reputation. You can also provide an inside look at what your brand is all about.

This is where users feel like more than just another consumer. Interactive Instagram stories and fun Facebook posts make people feel like they’re a valued friend in your network.

Plus, the more people that follow you, the more your exposure grows.

Committed followers will share your page with their friends. They’ll comment on your pictures and be first in line to participate in social media contests.

This creates organic excitement around your brand, which in turn leads to sales.

6. Better Utilize Your Keywords

The importance of keywords is common knowledge in the digital world. However, not every company is using them effectively.

Stop making key mistakes and start taking advantage of industry terms. Your content marketing strategist can be a big help in this process.

A strategist knows how to balance simple terms and specific long-tail keywords. They know the right density to aim for in blog posts and landing pages.

They can also optimize for local search as well as a wider audience.

7. Create Strong Relationships

You know your digital efforts are paying off when your competition wants in on the action.

Be open to engaging in things like link building and guest blogging.

Link Building

Link building is when you have a mix of internal and external links on your landing pages.

Some business owners worry an external link will steer a potential consumer away from their products. On the contrary, it shows you know what you’re talking about and you’re involved in your industry.

Your content marketing strategist can help you identify which external links have the most value and which might lead to a competitor.

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is like the express lane of link building.

It’s when you purposely drop a link to another company on your blog, or when someone does this for you. This is a pre-agreed strategy between two parties that benefit both businesses.

One gets more exposure to build their digital strategy. The other has new content to work with in order to keep producing fresh, interesting information.

8. Establish Authority

As your industry relationships get stronger, so does your credibility.

Establishing authority is a valuable step to take to stand out. You can do this through blogging, vlogging, and ebooks.

Some people think this is too much free content to give away, but the payoff is priceless. Establishing yourself as an industry leader means more people will look to you as trends come and go.

It takes your brand presence one step further by building awareness and recognition.

9. Boost SEO Performance

A content marketing strategist works hard to implement strategies that have more than one positive outcome.

As great as getting more social followers or email leads is, it’s just one piece of the big picture. A major part of what the end-goal comes down to is SEO ranking.

Search engine optimization is not just about keywords and meta descriptions. It’s an overall look at the content on your landing pages and online interactions.

Google bots take anything from relevant hashtags and strong backlinks into consideration. Over time, everything comes together to move you further up the search engine results page.

10. Convert, Convert, Convert

Once a user finds you, what are you doing to make sure they choose you over the competition?

Conversion is another huge focus for a content marketing strategist. Without the sales to back up your presence, something is wrong.

Close the gaps between impression and conversion with the strongest digital marketing strategies possible. The more you trust in a trained professional to do this, the better your chances of improving sales performance.

Find Your Content Marketing Strategist

Ready to start your search for your content’s new best friend?

The right strategist might be closer than you think.

Contact us today to get your free one-hour consultation and discuss your content opportunities.

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How to Use On Site and Off Site SEO for Lead Generation

off site seoLooking to bring in more visitors to your website?

Then you probably know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how its goal is to rank your site higher in major search engines like Google and Yahoo.

But do you know the difference between on-site and off-site SEO?

On-site SEO is the process of using mechanisms on your website to try to bring in more internet users. Off-site, on the other hand, is attempting to do the same through tools not found right on your site.

Using both can lead to better SEO results and lead generation than you’ve ever experienced. Avoiding one or using them together poorly can derail your SEO efforts.

Here’s how to use both for lead generation.

Content is Key On-Site

When people talk about SEO, the conversation often centers on how to get people to your website. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the importance of what’s already there.

If you have perfect SEO strategies without the content to back it up, people will leave your website as soon as they arrived. The truth is, it’s impossible to have perfect SEO without engaging and meaningful content on your website.

Think about someone coming to your website and enjoying what they see. They might come back or pass along the page that interests them–that’s potentially ten more page views from one person alone.

Plus, you need to shape your content around any SEO efforts you make. That starts with keywords.

For Keywords, Think like the Searcher

The concept of a keyword is simple: using words that are being searched for all over the internet. The internet user plugs in a term that’s heavily featured on your website, and voila! Your website pops up.

The truth is a bit stickier. Let’s say you run a fictional smoothie shop where the specialty is fresh-blueberry smoothies. You have a gut instinct that those smoothies will draw in more clients, so they should be a focus of your website.

So, you create content focused on “fresh-blueberry smoothies.” What are your prospects of drawing in a big audience of people searching that term?

Not great. It’s not that people don’t want fresh fruit smoothies. The issue is that you need to put yourself in the shoes of the searcher.

When we search term on Google, for example, we try to be as efficient as possible. “Fresh” in this example is a detail that’s great for your product, but not necessarily in the mind of someone who hasn’t yet tried your delicacy. It’s more likely someone might search “blueberry smoothie.”

Centering your SEO content around that term will likely bring better results. That’s why, when picking keywords, it’s important to meet your next customer somewhere between the most descriptive term possible and its most searched version.

Tag it Up

Tags are the goofy cousins of keywords, made famous by the hashtags of twitter. But despite how funny twitter can be, tags have an important and real impact on your on-site SEO.

Tags work in a way that’s similar to the function of keywords. By tagging a post with certain terms and phrases, you can cast a net on the internet fishing for searches interest in your content.

But there are a few caveats. Like keywords, you should try to think about what internet users are really interested in. If you can match your tag with a future client’s interests, you’ll start generating more leads in no time.

Be wary, though: if you start to add a huge number of tags to any post on your website, it’ll start to dominate your headspace and seem obnoxious to a reader. So, #trytobeefficient with your tags.

Now let’s move off-site.

For Off-Site SEO, Social Media is Key

There are well over a billion users on Facebook. When you take Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter into consideration, it’s pretty simple to assume that your page visitors are all over social media.

That’s why it’s important for you to have a presence on some of the various platforms. People will look to your page for general information and updates. Through your social media presence, you can constantly direct people back to your website.

That doesn’t mean you need to dedicate your whole work day to scrolling through boring Facebook posts. You just need to establish a presence for yourself to gain a bit more exposure.

Enter the World of Advertisement

Organic page visits are an important part of your off-site SEO. You want people to naturally end up coming across your website.

But lead generation through SEO can also happen in a more controlled way through online advertising. Pay per click advertising is one route that’s often beneficial for websites like yours.

In that context, your ads go up on another website, often in the sidebar. You’re not charged until someone clicks on that ad, which directs them to your website.

In that way, it’s a cost-effective twist in your off-site SEO strategy. It’s another muscle you can flex to help boost the number of eyeballs on your content.

Make Human Connections

Forget the numbers and tags and keywords for a second–you need to be a person. Even in the world of SEO, it’s important you know friends and peers.

Those contacts can be organic and powerful off-site leads back to your website. It’s like advertising, but better.

When respected people in your field write blog posts and link to your website, their audience will be drawn to your website. That means you are getting interested and informed people coming to your website–a more valuable client than just any other page view.

It’s the best kind of connection you can have.

It’s Time to Generate Leads

With this knowledge, you’re prepared to make a positive dent in the world of lead generation. If you dedicate real time and effort to on and off-site SEO, you’ll start to see the results, quickly. Plus, you’ll have time left to focus on your product or service or content.

There’s no reason to feel left out of the party now, even in a world of over a billion websites. Your website deserves a spot.

Looking for more ways to improve your rank? Reach out to our team for a free consultation.

What are you waiting for? Go for it!

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What Are The Best SEO Services for Small Business Success?

SEO Services

Virtually every effective marketing strategy in 2017 includes having a proper internet presence. It’s just the way the world works. The problem is, there aren’t enough quality SEO services for small business proprietors out there.

There is a common misconception that SEO only serves large clients, at the expense of the small businesses that really need the help.

The marketplace is intensely competitive. In order to stand out and make waves, a small business needs to employ an expert SEO company. This way, they can use distinct marketing techniques to get ahead in ways that their competition may not be aware of.

Here is a comprehensive list of the most effective SEO services for small business owners:

Competitive Website Analysis

As stated before, the business world in the internet marketing age is extremely cutthroat and competitive. Small businesses without the necessary skillset can get lost in the fray.

There is no harm in assessing the SEO strength of your competitor’s website. They may be employing strategies that would be useful for your business.

You can also take advantage of weaknesses in your competitor’s SEO strategy. If they haven’t done adequate research, seize the opportunity to build a well-rounded strategy.

For example, a common weakness among businesses, especially small and locally owned businesses, is lackluster content. Many business owners assume that as long as their website adheres to commonly accepted SEO parameters, they will stand out.

But the reality is that good content trumps all. Creative, relevant content allows your website to soar high and above the competition. If your competitors do not have the strongest content, you can fill the void in your industry and become a resource for your consumers.

The more people that trust your website, the more that will visit, and the more concrete leads you will be able to generate. For small businesses, word-of-mouth marketing is a crucial asset, and it can sometimes be even more valuable than internet marketing.

But you have to build your marketing presence to get there. That’s where competitive analysis can be invaluable.

Keyword Research

Proper keyword research is the heart and soul of any SEO strategy. It’s probably the most important of the SEO services for small business owners. You should generate keywords based on your business and the services you provide.

For example, if you are a moving business, you want to be able to rank for a keyword like “moving company in (your city)”.

It’s important to rank for a diverse type and amount of keywords so that you aren’t following the exact same guidelines as your competition. Otherwise, it will be hard to stand out. You should try to rank for short keywords and long-tail keywords.

Longer keywords and phrases give you a better chance of ranking for the exact words that a potential customer would type into a search engine.

There are companies that can do keyword research for you. They will most likely use Google’s SEO analytics to determine what keyword list would suit your company.

It’s crucial that your keyword list covers those words that are common in your industry while also diving into a niche that may not be as widely utilized.

If you are marketing a product, you can use keywords to target a demographic that your competitors may not have tried to target. It’s all about doing your research and staying ahead of the curve.

Link Building

Having a number of high-quality links to other websites on your website can be a very quick and effective way to rise up the search engine ranks.

Within your content, link to credible sources or related websites that may be able to supplement information for your customers.

Do not link to competitors, rather, link to people, websites, and companies in charge of leading the conversation in your industry. The key is to build links to websites that will make your website look better.

You want to enhance your content with links, not steer your audience away from your product or service. You will be rewarded by Google’s search engine algorithm if you have employed high-quality links.

If you have a website that ranks highly while also providing your audience with good content, others in your industry may want to link to your websites.

The more of these relationships you have, the more visibility you will have and the better off you will be.

Optimization

Once you have the knowledge to build a great website in accordance with SEO standards, you have to be able to implement them.

For example, you cannot make the mistake of over-saturating your website with keywords. Not only will the quality of your website suffer, but you will likely not rank as high as you might think.

An optimized website features all the image tags, meta descriptions, and metadata that will take your website to the next level. There are set rules to optimization that can reap high rewards when followed.

But the important thing to remember is that if you have a good website with good content that follows SEO rules, you will have a leg up over many others in your field.

Optimization is key for long-term success in online marketing. But without good content, it doesn’t really matter how high you are ranked. If your website is poor, you will lose credibility. But an excellent website is only the first step.

SEO Services for Small Business Success Mean Little Without Accurate Reporting

For a small business, an effective website works like a sales pitch. It’s a chance to showcase your product or service in a tasteful way.

Because of this, you want to make sure that as many people can see your website as possible. Utilizing these SEO services for small business success listed above are key.

But once you have implemented them, you should have a system in place to track your progress. It’s important to periodically conduct an SEO audit, just to make sure that your website is performing correctly and steadily generating leads.

Click on our social sharing buttons to share this post and continue the conversation or get started! Request a free SEO audit or consultation.

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

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Here is How SEO Audits Can Jump Start Your Lead Generation

SEO Audits

SEO Audits can be more than technical– they can seriously improve the user experience, resulting in more conversions. Here’s the inside scoop on how:

Our SEO leader, Carl Lefever knows running a well-functioning website on your own (especially if you aren’t a web designer), is difficult

…period.

Sure the topic is a tough one but having a lead generating website to give your small business a leg up is also an necessity in this day and age.

It doesn’t have to be quite so difficult. There are a TON of resources out there to help optimize your business website and market your firm.

When it comes to online marketing, you can’t dismiss the SEO auditing process and expect to be successful.

A proper SEO auditing strategy could uncover the exact adjustments your site needs to improve functionality…and focusing on enhancing the user’s experience can seriously boost much-needed traffic.

Are you ready to learn more about SEO audits and your website? You’ll end up reaping the benefits of SEO audits before you know it!

SEO Audits and the User Experience

SEO audits the UX The process of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) audit is sorta like having a really great proofreader go over your entire website. SEO audits are performed via marketing services or through SEO audit software.

Standard SEO audits are usually broken down into three groups.

  • Technical Audit

The technical aspect of SEO audit includes SEO tactics, caching, checking databases, hosting, and mobile compatibility.

  • Content Audit

Content checks for SEO audits include proper link use, meta data, customer engagement, website usability, and conversions.

  • Link Audit

Links are important within SEO auditing. Things like link analysis, history, click patterns, and internal navigation are often included in an SEO audit.

A very, very basic analysis will begin with a technical audit and only focus on factors like missing links or 404 error messages. A more extensive SEO audit will include improving the experience for the customer.

Customers are obviously living people with emotional responses to everything, including the purchase of a product or service. Performing a well-rounded SEO audit that concentrates on technical website function as well as emotional connections with consumers will benefit you greatly.

The Benefits of SEO Audits

There are a ton of benefits to SEO audits.

  • Your website will get a serious transformation.

An audit will evaluate the content and technical performance of your website. You’ll have an opportunity to see what needs improvement and what doesn’t, and improve the structure you already have.

  • Search Engine Optimization Will Improve

SEO is key when it comes to marketing. By going through an SEO audit, you’ll have the chance to check for missed opportunities and excesses of keyword stuffing or bad links.

  • Conversions Will Start Happening

One of the best benefits of SEO audits is increased conversion. You’re finally going to be able to evaluate how well your website performs when it comes to generating leads and you’ll also be able to spot weaknesses in your landing pages.

Conduct a Basic Assessment

Before diving into a full blown SEO audit, it helps to perform a content assessment. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be super tech savvy to perform this assessment. Let’s break it down into a couple questions you should ask yourself, shall we?

  • How good is My Website Content?

As a company owner, it helps to put yourself in your customers’ position. When you view your website, pretend you are an individual visiting for the very first time.

Were you satisfied with the information provided to you? Was the content easy to read? Did all of my questions about a product, hours of operation, etc. get answered by content on the site?

Website content should be entertaining, written well, and thorough. Don’t stuff fluff into your content. Consumers want their questions answered and their need for information satisfied, and that is your website’s job.

If you’re not the greatest writer on the planet, consider hiring a freelance writer or blogger to create readable and concise content for your website.

  • Is there some SEO action happening?

Search engine optimization is really important. Check your analytics to review how well keywords are generating traffic. Check to see if you have an adequate amount of keywords within URLs and page titles.

Decide if a website audit is right for you.

If you’re satisfied with the state of your website and the traffic you’re getting, you may not need an SEO audit. However, if you are desiring a greater amount of traffic, an SEO audit will provide you with the information you need to optimize your website to increase your organic search traffic.

Are you ready to get started? Request a free SEO audit or consultation.

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

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