In the game of search engine optimization, there are winners and losers. The difference between them is their rankings. Planning your strategy is one factor; monitoring your success on search engines is another. In 2018, the game has changed yet again.
Some entrepreneurs choose to consult a digital marketing firm for their SEO strategies. However if you’re prepping yourself to see how well your site is doing on search engines, you can familiarize yourself with the best tools for SEO.
Mind you, some tools are paid and some are free. Nonetheless, these tools are the best of the best and up-to-date, so it’s most likely worth investing in.
Searchmetrics provides analytics for SEO, backlinks, and social media. They have a set of collected data per website, giving you insights and trends in backlinks, SEO visibility, and the like.
They also provide a weekly ranking for keywords, which is good for measuring which keywords your website should rank for. Searchmetrics gives insights on overall search trends.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is a free toolset that helps you understand what’s happening on your website. It also explains the essentials of Google search, and helps you comprehend the way Google sees your site.
One of its features allows you to browse an article the way Google perceives it. This allows you to step up your SEO game especially if your campaign is doing poorly. The data you collect from this feature can help you adjust the webpage for better results.
SEMrush is a free tool for keyword research. The website offers many toolkits including an SEO toolkit. One of its top features allows you to plug in different web pages to see how they’re ranking for which keywords, how that page ranks for a certain keyword, particular keywords’ monthly search volume, and the like.
Additionally, SEMrush also lets you research appropriate keywords, compare your page’s performance to your competitors’, analyze backlinks from other websites to yours, and play on similar on-page SEO opportunities.
UpCity SEO Report Card
This tool allows you to analyze how your website ranks against your opponents. Like an actual report card, SEO Report Card gives you an assessment of your rank, link building, on-site analysis (how well you fused your keywords throughout your site), website accessibility (your site’s load time and ease of accessibility for crawlers), trust metrics, and current indexing (the number of your site pages that have been indexed).
This tool is free, and all you have to provide is some contact information like your name, email address, phone number, and website.
Seobility shows you how well or badly your website’s SEO optimization is performing. They have various features like SEO check (checking your website and giving you tips for better SEO), keyword check (showing you how your page is optimized for your keywords), SEO compare (comparing your page and another for the same keyword), and ranking check (checking your page’s rank for any keyword).
Seobility has automated website crawling that checks your website while following all backlinks, monitors your emails, and detects errors in content and the structure of your website.
People conduct online searches for all types of things everyday and many do some of their shopping online. However, there’s a large percentage of people, who do searches for local businesses everyday, just the same… They conduct these local searches by utilizing relevant keywords and key phrases that contain specific location names to locate businesses that are close to their residence. As a matter of fact, Google found that 76 percent of searches done on smartphones are on local searches, which turn into store visits.
If your goal is to get people to come and visit your business establishment – you will need to attract and increase local searchers. You can take the lead among competitors and make it possible for people to be able to find your business when they conduct local, applicable online searches. With that being said – what this means for you is that you need to optimize the visibility of your business website in local search result pages.
This is where Local (SEO) Search Engine Optimization Takes a Leading Role
Here’s a brief and simple explanation of what Local SEO is for those of you who are not familiar with the term or are just getting started.
Local SEO is very much like organic, search engine optimization (SEO). The difference is that Local SEO will only be focusing in the improvement of a website’s ranking in local search results. In comparison to common SEO – Local Search Engine Optimization can be a bit more challenging… However, if you want to advertise your business to customers on a local scale, it is of utter importance that you improve your Local SEO, as you want for local customers to find your products and/or services quickly and this will also, improve you local search ranking.
1. Improve Local Search Ranking with Content Marketing. Don’t despair… Although, Local SEO is a little more complex there are many ways that you can easily improve your local search ranking. One of the ways is with Content Marketing. Perhaps, all you will have to do is implement a few changes to your current Content Marketing methods. For instance, you can utilize any of the following Content Marketing strategies to optimize your Local SEO search results:
- Publish Content on Local Websites and/or Submit Guest Blog Posts.
More than likely, you probably already adhere to a Content Marketing strategy, which includes a blog in your website. Blogging is a perfect way to enhance your website and for your visitors to be able to engage, while getting information that’s valuable to them.
For traditional and Local SEO – it is necessary to diversify and begin publishing content on other sites. Guest posts will allow you the opportunity to display your expertise, while also, earning you worthy backlinks.
The Local SEO Guide has done meticulous research, which found that link buttons and/or signals perform an essential role in local search rankings.
Without a doubt, Guest Blogging is one of the best Content Marketing strategies to build local links and market on your content. Moreover, Guest Blogging will also, help you increase traffic to your website, which can convert to customers.
The part that becomes somewhat of a challenge is looking for local websites that will allow guest blog posts. To do this, you will need to utilize a couple of keyword combinations such as:
- Guest Posts
- Write For Us
- Submit a Guest Post
- and other key phrases of this fashion…
In addition, it is highly recommended that you develop a list with potential sites that you can post on for your targeted location and audience. Visit these websites and make sure you go over their Guest Post Guidelines and also, the kind of topics that they publish. You’ll then be able to decide which websites pander to your targeted audience and/or location.
2. Search for Relevant, Applicable Local Keywords and Keyword Phrases. By now you already know just how important keywords and keyword phrases are for SEO. Keywords and keyword phrases are utterly essential for Local SEO just as it is for traditional SEO. These keywords should be utilized to cultivate and maximize content.
It doesn’t matter if you are publishing a blog post for your website, revamping and/or rewriting your website content or submitting a Guest Post – utilizing the right set of keywords and keyword phrases will help you lure in local searchers.
You should always use keywords that are relevant to your business and/or industry, as these are the best. These keywords have a high search percentage in your targeted area. Include your location keywords along with precise, business keywords. Use this combination to boost your content for Local SEO.
To find the best keywords available – you can utilize tools, such as: Google Keyword Planner. However, before you begin to use Google Keyword Planner, you will need to set up an AdWords account.
When using the Keyword Planner Page – choose “Search for New Keywords Using a Phrase, Website or Category.” Using this tool will be extremely effective when working on Local SEO campaigns.
3. Create Local Targeting Content. With your new list of keywords and keyword phrases, you should be able to start writing local, targeting content, which you can use on your website to optimize it for better local search rankings. However, using these keywords just on your website content won’t suffice. You need to take these new, valuable keywords and keyword phrases to the next level and use them to create local content blog posts on your website.
For instance, you can compile “Top Ten” or “Best Of” list, which are relevant to your business and/or industry on a local scale. Furthermore, you can write informative, “how to” blog posts or guides in regards to your business in its targeted location. When you take these steps – you’ll drive and attract more of a local audience to your website.
4. Use Social Media Networks to Cross Promote. Per Statista – Social Media users will grow from 2.34 billion in 2017 to 2.51 billion in 2018 worldwide! Keeping these numbers in mind – it is safe to assume that the majority of your targeted audience is already on a Social Media platform if not several…
If you haven’t begin to promote your blog posts on Social Media Networks, such as – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn – then it’s definitely time that you start doing so… Social Media platforms are an awesome way to connect and engage with followers and to drive traffic onto your website!
To increase your level of engagement with your local audience and be able to boost followers, we highly advise you to join local groups on different Social Media platforms, which are relevant to your business/industry. In addition, you can also, reach out to local FB pages that might be able to help you promote your content.
There are many Facebook groups that are public and all you have to do is join their page. On closed groups on FB – you can simply ask if you can join and more than likely – you’ll be added by a member. Once a member – reach out to the page owner and ask if you can share your content. Remember, as long as your local content is relevant – chances are that they will say yes, as these folk also, need content to keep their Social Media community fresh and current with information.
5. Engage & Write About Local Activities. We already covered the important role that backlinks have from local websites, which will help increase your local search rank. However, another strategy that will earn valuable backlinks is to involve yourself in your community and/or targeted location. You can easily accomplish this by partaking in charity drives, local events and the likes… You might even be able to gain a back link from an official website from one of these events.
However, if participating in these types of activities is not your thing – it is quite okay, as you can also, earn backlinks by sponsoring the following:
- Sports Teams
- Local Events
You see, by participating or sponsoring on any of these activities mentioned above, you may become newsworthy by local publications and this would simply be more than great! This would mean that you can gain even more backlinks from local news websites.
Getting involved in local community activities will boost your local link profile and it will also, help you develop your brand’s reputation and authority!
In short, participating in local events is an ingenious way to gain backlinks, but also, to enhance your local business reputation.
Create blog posts in regards to your involvement in these events and what your experience was like… Include lots of images and/or short videos on your blog posts, which will further optimize engagement.
Local SEO Summary:
Now that you are on the right path to creating great local content, as you have now attained the most effective strategies that will leverage your Content Marketing for your Local SEO campaign – it is all in your hands. It is up to you to utilize these strategies for best results and success on your Local SEO endeavour.
The primary goal is to develop back links from reputable and authoritative local websites. Local links will drive traffic to your website and it will also, improve your website’s authority and also, create excellent brand reputation and respect.
Furthermore, do not forget to enhance your website with high quality local content, which will lure and engage your local, targeted audience. Be sure that you optimize all content on all the pages on your website, including blog posts utilizing location, specific keywords and keyword phrases.
When writing a post or listing a product, most people never forget to add a title. Sometimes people think a relevant title and a good description are all you need to get your post or product noticed. Wrong! Technology and doing business online has changed a lot even in the past year. What was once a hobby has now become a part-time or full-time job opportunity. This is why the market online is more competitive. More and more people are shopping and working online. This is why it is important to make sure your website is as search engine optimized as possible. Tags are a must to get your website, post and product in the search engines, which is how people will find you online. Don’t forget to take advantage of using as many tags as possible. Make sure you are using the right tags.
There was a time when not many people knew what tags were or how to use them. Now more people are finding out what they are. Often times when listing a product or posting to social media, there will be a tags section. Some people don’t notice it or choose to ignore it. Don’t ignore it! Tags are like keywords or phrases people use in search engines. This is how people will find what you have online.
Is it relevant? That is one of the questions you need to ask when choosing a tag for your product or post. If you are selling handmade scarves or posting an article about making scarves, you want to make sure people interested in that subject or product find your item. You will need to use tags that describe what you have posted. How to make scarves is a good tag to use for a post describing how to make a scarf. Buy scarves for women is a good tag to use for a scarf for woman you are selling. These tags are relevant to what has been posted. Getting the right people to your website helps increase the possibility for sales.
Is it a search term or keyword? This is another question to ask when posting a tag for your item. You can get creative with tags but if no one is searching for that phrase you won’t get the right people to your website. You want to avoid using descriptive words like pretty, awesome, gorgeous or those kinds of words in your tag. By all means use them to describe your product, but most likely these are not words people use when searching for products or information.
You can use keywords in your description that can also be used as tags. Sometimes you may need to check a keyword tool to make sure you are finding relevant keywords and phrases to use as tags. These tools can help you to find relevant search terms that may not be as popular as others. This means less competition. It also means these tags will still get people to your website. Make sure your tags are relevant, actual search terms and the right keywords. Knowing these tips will help you to make your business online even more productive.
Search engines undergo so many updates that it can be quite challenging to keep up. Search Engine Optimization is like a game with an ever-changing set of rules and winning demands an intricate, well thought out strategy. The Google Algorithm is continuously being fine-tuned to get the most relevant content on top of the deck.
Here are the SEO trends this 2018 that you need to watch out for so that your brand can snag that prime lot on Google’s search results:
Websites Changing to HTTPS
Http (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the method by which data is moved around the Web. It is fast, it’s reliable and it has been around since the dawn of the world wide web. However, it is probably not the most secure way of transferring data online. Hacking into it can be a picnic and that is not something that you want if you are handling sensitive personal information from your users. Https (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is the answer to this data protection issue. If your site has switched to Https, it is ensured that your site’s visitor data are encrypted and secured. More and more websites are changing course and Google is picking it up. Get this: In June of 2017, 55% of sites on page one of Google search results were using Https and this trend is projected to continue this 2018. Simply put, Https is the future.
Google Showing More SERP Features
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page and a SERP feature is basically anything on the SERP that is not a traditional organic result. If you type in a celebrity’s name for example, then you’ll most likely get a Knowledge Panel featuring some basic information like the personality’s full name, age, and previous works, above the list of search results. The primary goal of SERP features is to give users the most relevant information in the shortest time possible. These types of results obviously acquire more clicks because of the prime real estate and eye-catching look. If you want exposure on a SERP feature then one, you have to secure a spot on the first page of the results because Google curates the Featured Snippets from websites on the leaderboard. And second, you need to have content that effectively and precisely targets your client’s question. So if you used to think that Featured Snippets are nothing more than a fad or a novelty, I hope we got you convinced that they really do offer a significant organic opportunity for your brand.
Growing Popularity of Voice Search
With the rising popularity of Siri, Alexa and Cortana, we can easily deduce that there really is a demand for virtual personal assistants. More and more people are using these AIs to set their alarms, to plan their day, and to answer their questions about anything under the sun. The increased adoption of this technology is something you can make the most of to bring your brand to the top of the search results. One observation is that Voice search requires a whole new keyword research routine. Users who use voice search use normal, conversational sentences instead of the choppy query lingo used in text search. In this SEO trend, it is all about natural language and the intended meaning behind the question, rather than the query itself. Rethink your content and make sure you can ride this wave.
Mobile First Indexing
Google’s Mobile First Indexing has started rolling out this 2018 and we hope you have reinforced your site’s mobile version. With this SEO trend, Google will begin to index and rank your site based on how the content is viewed through mobile rather than the desktop version. The shift has been brought about by the steady increase of engagements from mobile devices in recent years. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, you are practically ignoring over 55 percent of web users. Make sure you are optimizing your content for mobile and using a responsive design for your site that works for different devices. Multifunctionality and accessibility are the best ways to stay competitive.
Starting out designing your new website is an exciting time, but also one that can be a bit scary. If you have looked up SEO at all you will be greeted with tons of interesting and lively names for things that you likely haven’t even thought of before. What’s a bot? What is keyword stuffing? What’s a doorway? What’s a hub? Luckily once you get going, these things make more and more sense and you’ll be on your way to including the good things while excluding the bad.
SEO or search engine optimization is something that you need to get really good at if you want your site to rank well with search engines. The better and more trustworthy the information is on your site, the better it will rank once someone starts a search. The better it ranks the better your site traffic and the better the site traffic, the better your site will become, especially if you are selling items. After all, you want people to shop at your site, not the one next in the search line.
We have all found ourselves on websites that are less than user friendly. You know the ones, they have a bad navigation, they don’t lead you to what you are looking for, the font is too large or too small and nothing is organized well. These pages usually don’t rank well, if at all, with search engines. They are annoying to be on, are useless and a waste of time.
Ideally then, what you want your site to be is the complete opposite of those. You want it to look nice, to look fresh, to be welcoming, to be full of information and to be easy to navigate. The last thing you want is a design that looks like a 4 year old did it as that is off putting, even for a site that sells toys. You want it clean, sharp and interesting for the consumer. After all, they can just click out of there if it’s not appealing and then where would you be?
Articles that pertain to what your site is about, using proper keywords and being informative and interesting will keep the guest’s attention. They will want to read more about their query. They will want to navigate around to find out more and they will likely come back again and again. Traffic equals success in websites.