Category Archives for "SEO"

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[INFOGRAPHIC] The 5 Year Outlook: Changing SEO Factors For SEO In 2021

Recently, I witnessed a conversation about content promotion.

The person surmised that content that is published on your website really does not need to be promoted.

What?!

Now you’re probably thinking two things:

  1. I thought this post was about SEO and changing on-site/on-page factors for the next 5 years?
  2. Dude, that’s incorrect – content promotion has nothing to do with SEO!

Wait… let’s continue…

While I don’t totally agree with the person, the shift in thinking here is profound and begs you to look at this in a NEW (and better) way.

You begin with the end in mind. (I’m using content as the example because it applies to SEO / search engines…and as you’ll see).

Instead of creating content pages YOU find valuable and sharing them by narrow and flimsy keyword-only research…

…do this instead:

Flip your new content and product strategy on its head. Begin at the very end: What does your prospects and customers actually want & need?

This turns out to be a perfect model for your upcoming SEO projects.

Here is the implication and opportunity for future SEO on-site work (A current and forward thinking change in your SEO habits):

For SEO and search engines, that means focusing on the searcher outputs, not the ranking inputs.

Take a look at the left and right side of this SEO on-site infographic:

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INFOGRAPHIC: SEO Onsite Changes – 5 Year Prognosis – SEO in 2021 – thanks to @moz for the inspiration!

Left Brain, Right Brain – What Wins The SEO Game Of The Future?

The left side of the chart focuses on the (onsite) technical aspects and common SEO practices done today, like keyword research and search friendliness.

The right side depicts upcoming and additive changes to this approach. It targets user behavior, tracks click patterns and aims to connect search results directly with user experience, satisfaction and loyalty.

Share this Image On Your Site

(Note to self: promotion, marketing, advertising – it’s all about getting your message seen by more eyeballs in your targeted market. No matter the vehicle, do what you can to get your content out there, using email outreach, guest blogging, and paid advertising of your posts via Facebook, Twitter or Google. Test what works and build on that, delivering quality.)

The SEO On-Site Rules Are Changing

As you develop your content, sites, apps and products, focus on your perfect customers and prospects. Serve them with excellence in product, service and customer experience delivery.

The results of this quality work will be natural content and brand consumption with more automatic deliveries of a result to a task (what the searcher is looking for).

The content will be shared. It will spread…naturally.

No Content Promotion Needed?

Content marketing becomes a secondary focus, and your team is focused on “fully serving” the company customers and providing a total magnification of killer content.

This is truly illuminating, since we all want this: a perfect customer experience, from the first touch or connection, through the experience itself and for the future.

What Do Search Engines (Really) Want?

This model of “user life-cycle quality values” is EXACTLY what the search engines want, and in specific Google.

“Serve your visitor with quality answers to questions that they are looking for”.

(Read: It’s about “them”, not “you”.)

Your on-site work therefore becomes the simplest SEO rule of them all:

“Create and show your searchers that you can help them…by actually helping them.” (Surprise: This is the “create exceptional content” framework everybody talks about!)

The searcher will stay longer on your page(s), interact with your site / apps, click on well planned links, consume, save-and-print content, download essential information, fill out forms, call your office to set an appointment, share/refer content with others and bookmark your page for future visits.

If this is what Google wants, we can agree that this is the future of SEO. 

Oh, and … keywords, themeing, links, mobile friendliness, speed of loading (pages), structure/navigation, layout, graphics will continue to be important.

Conclusion

As we look forward to the next 5 years (SEO in 2021), here are top level on-site SEO directions you should consider now:

Rankings will lower in importance (The SERPs are changing already, and screen real-estate is shrinking for organic search results, due to knowledge graph, answer box (featured snippets), local, news, videos, expanded paid ads and more):

  • It’s about user experience and user intent – a user centered approach
  • Customer avatars and segmentation of pages to consumer
  • Search experience optimization
  • Search engines for people and software (not the other way around)
  • Voice based search, local search & mobile — front and center

and most of all…

SEO is not dead.

FREE WEBINAR: Register Your FREE Seat To Our Web Traffic Webinar so you can get more value from keywords and your content. Includes 2 bonus gifts not found in this article.



Thanks to Rand @moz for sharing factoids to the SEO future 2021 infographic.

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5 Ways to Increase Traffic To Your SMB Website

At this point, all small businesses should recognize the importance of having a website.

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Importance of a functional website for Small Business (SMB)

So the question becomes how to drive traffic to it, particularly without the marketing budget of a bigger company.

When it comes to your website, the quote is not “if you build it, they will come,” but rather “if you build it well, create valuable content and have a successful promotion strategy, then they might come.”

“SMB is an abbreviation for small and medium-sized business”

Here are FIVE WAYS to increase the number of visitors to your local or national website:

1. Consistent Content

Simply building a website is not enough; you need to give people a reason to visit the site and to keep coming back.

You can do that by providing valuable, consistent content.

A survey by HubSpot found that 82 percent of companies that blogged once a day not only increased their site traffic, but were also able to convert that traffic into customers.

Likewise, when Entrepreneur Magazine increased its blog posts from twice a week to over 10 per week, its website traffic increased 300 percent over two months.

Convirza started publishing three blogs every weekday and saw a 210 percent increase in web traffic, which resulted in more new customers than any other three month period in company history.

You don’t need to add content multiple times a day or even every day to see results.

Posting consistent content that visitors can rely on is key.

Consistent updates to your website can also increase your search engine ranking by indicating to Google that the site is informative and relevant.

TIP: Learn more about how to write compelling content.

2. Invite Guest Bloggers to Contribute

Generating content is time consuming and difficult to keep fresh.

One way around this is to invite other industry experts to contribute to your page.

A good example of a company employing this strategy is Top 10 Cloud Storage, which posts weekly blogs on topics of interest to its customer base.

Its blog has articles written by outside cloud experts, business analysts and business owners.

Not only does this bring new perspectives on relevant content, but guest bloggers are likely to share and link to their articles, which directs new traffic to your website.

TIP: Learn more about Guest Blogging and other essential SEO tips.

3. Guest Post on Other Websites

On the flip side, contributing interesting and well-written blogs to reputable websites can help drive traffic to your site.

TIP: Consider a strategic, helpful outreach program via Twitter and email marketing. (no spam!)

4. Link to Content

While you’re at it, post links to the content on your website on your social media pages.

LinkedIn has become a popular platform for finding industry-specific articles, so posting regular content on that forum can increase your website visitors and raise your profile within your industry.

Other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter work hand-in-hand with your website.

The more interesting content you post to those platforms, the more your social media presence grows.

The bigger your social media presence, the more you are able to direct new visitors to your website. Search engines tend to follow in time.

5. Do Not Ignore Functionality

Do not add so much content that your website load time lags.

American Express found in 2014 that a webpage that took longer than 10 seconds to load lost 38 percent of visitors.

Additionally, spend the time and money to build a fully functional mobile website.

Not only do 80 percent of consumers use mobile devices to search for businesses, but Google ranks mobile-friendly websites higher (TIP: Watch the video).

FREE: Download the free Social Media Performance Handbook that will show you how to set up your social media campaigns in 7 simple steps. Includes 2 bonus strategies not found in this post.


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How To Double Your Brand Value Online (A 30 Second Test)

In this post, I’ll show you how to instantly check your brand value as seen by users and search engines (Google) online.

But…

First, you should understand current digital trends and current state of brand positioning challenges for online businesses.  (And, to learn about SEO reputation management and how to protect your brand, read here).

Second, follow these simple steps and watch the video to help lift the brand value of your website and online business.

You’ll find yourself not only ranking higher, but also get and provide more value.

You’ll likely double your brand value as seen by prospects and customers.

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GRAPHIC: Traditional brand positioning steps / frameworks

Imagine this scenario:

You search Google on your mobile device.

The results for your search show up, and you touch a link that appears to meet your needs.

Since we are assuming a mobile display, you quickly get annoyed by the page you found. (The page might look OK on a desktop, but we’re not talking about that here).

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Mobile results need maximum attention in 2016 (Google example)

The page you’re looking at:

  • has text that is too small
  • show links are tiny and unreadable (or worse, not clickable)
  • forces you to to scroll sideways to see all the content
  • displays links too close together, sometimes overlapping
  • mobile screen view is incorrect

Frustrating, right?

Not something your brand should be associated with. Neither do the search engines. Google has stated that ‘mobile’ is a ranking factor now.

TIP: Don’t work solely on desktop versions (“horizontal screens”) of your brand website, but make sure you are friendly to “vertical screens” also.

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Here is the 30 second mobile friendly test – just enter your page, and see the results.

You should check your entire site, and work with your developers to ensure compability. If you have set up Google Search Console, you can login and check further here. Make sure you have the associated Google mail/account to get access. Talk with your SEO provider or webmaster.

To understand the background and a full walk through of the mobile branding opportunities that you are missing right now, watch this video: (“How To Get Real Business From The Internet”).

(I created this google mobile video specifically for brand positioning in the financial services industry, but it works across the board).

Watch this 6-minute video, and with steps to better branding online:

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10 Must-Have Power Tools To Write Traffic-Grabbing Headlines

Everyone knows the importance of getting attention online. And, the total value of being easily found and staying visible online.

Traffic is great, but if you can’t make any of it convert, then all those visitors are wasted.

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Attention spans are shorter than ever and while the exact amount of time varies from one study to another, generally speaking they all agree that you have less than 10 seconds to grab a hold of a web surfer’s attention before you lose it forever.

That means you better have a great headline.

Think about it.

Every single day and week you end up surfing the web, scanning magazines while waiting in line, or reading news stories that you really weren’t that interested in.

How did you get sidetracked? 🙂

The first step was almost guaranteed to be a powerful, insulting, gripping, or otherwise impossible to ignore headline. (References to linkbait / clickbait in SEO circles).

Headlines are powerful, and learning to write outstanding ones for every single article or blog post online can quickly transform your business because of the increased attention.

These 10 tools help you learn to create attention, intrigue, and everything your headline needs to go from failing to fabulous.

#1: Online Title & Headline Generators

Online title generators and online headline generators are very useful tools that can help at every stage of creating a great headline from brainstorming ideas to looking for that extra word or little adjustment that changes the entire effectiveness of those all-important first words.

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http://tweakyourbiz.com/tools/title-generator/

A title generator can use a few keywords to develop a lot of great titles based on proven formats that have worked in the past, and can help with brainstorming the various options you have.

Many of these tools will have dozens if not hundreds of pre-programmed headlines that use a basic template such as:
– 10 ways (KEYWORD) can change your life
– Master (KEYWORD) or else
– (KEYWORD): What you need to know right now!

These tools won’t give you that one in a thousand headline that becomes famous due to being completely unique and different, but it can help break up writer’s block or at least create a solid title from a proven formula.

Most marketers have one or two of these tools they use as their go-to for headline creation.

#2: The Headline Analyzer

The headline analyzer is another online tool that can be extremely useful. (From coschedule)

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Using different measurements to see how active your opening headline is, how many action words are used, and by looking at the parts that make up a great conventional title you can see how your current headline measures up.

Questions to ask:

Is it emotional?

Is it action oriented?

Is it eye-catching or tired and too vague?

This tool isn’t there to create new headlines, but it can help you tackle the full list you’ve come up with and see how they measure up against one another and what potential problems might be recurring with what you are writing.

This is good guidance for the editing process.

#3: Your Bookmarks Tab

This seems strange, perhaps.

But one of the best possible free tools that can help you learn to be an amazing headline writer is your bookmarks tab.

When you’re surfing the web and see a story that just grabs you, an advertisement that makes you click, or a sales letter that forces you to click and see what’s being sold, save that in one of your folders. (TIP: Install the evernote plugin in your bookmarks and save)

Creating a bookmark folder just for these types of headlines will give you a great resource to see what makes even seasoned marketers click through.

The longer you collect these bookmarks, the better the resource gets.

Learning to take a look at magazine covers (especially magazines like “The National Inquirer” or “Cosmo”) and see how they pitch sensationalism will also show you how to get attention with a few basic words. These folks are paid high dollars to capture your attention. Leverage that!

#4: Copywriting Courses

Copywriting courses (Awai Online for B2B) are a great way to learn this specific type of sales writing and to create the type of headlines that are necessary to create the perfect introduction to the fully formed sales letter to follow.

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Every major sales letter writer and marketer understands the importance of those opening words and no serious course will skip a section about crafting effective and powerful headlines that will force readers to click through and see what else you have to offer.

Two things to remember when looking at any copywriting courses:
– All serious copywriting courses will include sections on writing the best headlines
– Look for courses by renowned & experienced sales writers (awaionline)

Obviously you can trust a course from a renowned copywriter or from someone who has made letters that have sold millions in product.

This is one of those cases where you only want to learn from those who have proven they truly know their stuff!

#5: Fiction Courses

This might be counter-intuitive, especially to people who don’t see the initial connection, but the absolute best headlines tend to be creative, use vivid language, and paint a picture.

What better way to learn the creative use of language than to take a creative writing class?

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Whether online, in a community workshop, or at a University, taking classes in fiction writing can help copywriters learn to think differently.

Using words in creative ways will open up the options when writing headlines and give these writers a leg up on writers who are stuck in a small contained box.

Learn to embrace the skills that fiction writing bring you!

#6: The Optimizely Tool

This cutely named tool focuses on optimization of the headline (or headlines) you are trying to decide between.

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Reportedly Bleacher Report, NBC Universal, and Microsoft all use this tool to increase their page views and click through rates.

The major focus of this tool is testing different headlines against each other so x number of visitors see one headline, while x number see another.

The tool then figures out what type of titles are working, which ones get more clicks from people who visit, and what can be done to make even more effective headlines in the future.

This is a great tool for fully optimizing all of your titles and headlines on any given page or website.

#7: Taboola Newsroom

Taboola Newsroom is a tool that’s only available to people in the Taboola network, but it’s a tool worth looking at if you have access.

taboola-user-engagement-and-content

This not only looks at optimizing headlines but also the recommendations, thumbnail pictures, and other important factors that can also result in higher open rates and a larger number of visitors per story.

This takes the analyzing of good established headlines to another level.

#8: Qualaroo Tool

Qualaroo is a survey tool that will help an intelligent writer take their titles to the next level.

qualaroo-testing-headlines-writing

After a person visits or takes an action, those who agree to take the survey will be able to give information about what caught their attention, why they clicked, and what would make them come back for more.

In other words, while a headline’s job is to get attention from as many potential visitors as possible, Qualaroo can answer the all important question of “Why did the headline work?”

Hear from the very mouths of your customers what is working and what isn’t.

That type of direct information can lead to some serious quality writing by building off positive traits you are 100% sure works.

#9: Copywriting & Headline Writing Cheat Sheets

Who doesn’t like the occasional great cheat sheet?

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A good headline writing cheat sheet (Jon Morrow is great) might involve 100’s headlines or titles that can spark the way you think when you need to write a new article.

These sheets aren’t just good for the main title, but direct sub-titles as well as headings and sub-headings throughout the page.

Having a sheet with 100 potential headline options makes it easy to really get the gears grinding and help you to see your options when writing.

Are you going to go with a list article, a serious help article, or an article threatening scarcity?

Depending on which way you go, you’ll want a different headline and a great cheat sheet will be able to provide just that.

#10: Emotional Headline Analyzer

An emotional headline analyzer is an important tool that scans any given headline and in this case it’s looking to measure the emotional impact that your words will likely have on any interested potential readers.

(Try the emotional headline analyzer free)

Will they be offended?

Emotional?

Will they be happy or irritated – or does the vagueness of the headline being checked out be too much to get any type of an emotional response?

This tool can help give you an idea of what’s going right or what exactly it is that might be missing.

In Conclusion

No one said online marketing and headline writing is easy.

It’s simple, but it takes work.

We know great headlines attracts – and can lead to more visits, more clicks, better results.

By using some, or all, of the ten tools and strategies mentioned throughout this article you will be churning out the type of headlines that create impact.

Don’t settle for second rate output when these tools can help you master the art of creating winning headlines that will get the results you need every single time!

NEED SOME HELP? Contact Us Here and schedule your time.


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9 Ways To Optimize YouTube Videos For Top Google Ranking

YouTube (owned by Google) is one of the largest search engines on the Internet – 2nd after Google search.

It is also the largest video hosting sites on the internet today with more than 100 hours worth of videos uploaded every minute, daily.

Billions of people log on to YouTube to watch videos or upload fresh content.

This has made it one of the largest sources of traffic online.

Companies, marketers, and entrepreneurs use YouTube to market their products and brands thanks to the massive amounts of traffic coming to and from the site.

Dynamic Marketing Platform

With video marketing gaining popularity among marketers, users have to compete for rankings and traffic on the site.

Without proper marketing methods, other videos would choke up your video uploads thus making it almost impossible for your target audience to see them.

If handled properly, these videos can be an excellent source of traffic to your website thus leading to higher returns on investment (ROI).

Advertising Options

Advertising via YouTube is reasonably much cheaper than other advertisement options (such as Adwords PPC and television ads) hence a great channel to optimize and cut advertising business expenditure when leveraged correctly.

Social Media Website Integration

Integrating YouTube with social media and the company website is relatively easy. This is mainly because YouTube offers incredible integration tools that not only facilitate proper integration but also support content marketing as well.

All one needs to do is ensure his/her videos and channels are properly optimized to attract audiences and its search engine crawlers.

Outlined below are a top ways on how to optimize video content for search engines.

How to Optimize YouTube Videos for Search Engines (Google). 

1. File Naming

As part of YouTube optimization, proper keyword research on how to name files before uploading them to YouTube is beneficial.

Proper file naming not only makes the clip searchable but also makes it easier when indexing for relevancy. The file name and uploaded video title should match as closely as possible.

For longer file-names, you can separate each word with a hyphen. So instead of ‘LSCP0012.mp4’, you should (re)name it by the topic, for example: “local-seo-tips-video.mp4”.

Having your target audience in mind when naming a file, or creating a title for the same increases its chances on YouTube and other search engines as well.

2. Keyword Usage

Search engines depend on keywords to distinguish relevant content from irrelevant ones when displaying search results.

These keywords are commonly used as pointers detailing what the video file is all about, hence, should be researched and used properly.

For the best results, it would be a wise idea to research and identify keywords to use, and matching your niche.

If you have no idea on how to use keywords or determine higher converting keywords, you can then make use of Ubersuggest (The old YouTube Keyword tool was replaced in 2014).

Select the video option from the pull-down box, and find relevant keyword suggestions for “videos”. Here, we see an example of “local seo tips” and related terms. (TIP: Install the keyword chrome extension to get search volume and CPC data).

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YouTube keyword (videos) tool – Ubersuggest.org

There are other tools you can use as well for your video keyword research:

  • YouTube ‘auto-suggest’ (type directly into YouTube search to see suggestions)
  • Google Keywords – Display Planner option (select “video” from the filter option)
  • Keywordtool.io – search keywords directly (select “YouTube” option to filter)
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YouTube’s own keyword research (suggest) feature – “local seo tips” example

Be sure to use desired or targeted keywords in the video title and description to increase its visibility online.

3. Optimize Video Titles

YouTube video titles should contain up to approximately 55 characters. (organic results)

The best way to optimize video titles is by including relevant keywords. This not online increases the clip’s visibility on YouTube search engines, but to the World Wide Web as well.

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YouTube character count (length) in the TITLE (for organic search results)

The title also needs to be engaging and giving the audient an idea of what the clip is all about.

While properly used keywords attract search engine crawlers, an intriguing title attracts target audience thus increasing traffic to the video clip.

Like many other search engines, YouTube search engine ranks videos based on the number of views/visitors among other factors.

4. Use Video Descriptions

A video description provides the audience with an idea of what the clip is about. When a user enters a search on YouTube, the engine gives him/her a long list of hits to choose from.

It is through the video title and description that an audience can learn what each file is about – hence going for, and selecting the right one.

Every video clip you upload on YouTube should therefore have a short description. The snippet result will show in organic results. When viewing in full video mode, about 160 characters is recommended.

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Any website link should be added first. That’s before entering the description. It will encourage a link click back to your main site if they want to learn more.

Be sure to weave in relevant keywords in the description as well.

5. Respect Tags and Categories

Each video clip you upload on YouTube should belong in one of several other categories.

Ensure you have selected the right/relevant channel before hitting the upload button.

Some of these categories include:

  • comedy
  • autos and vehicles
  • education
  • animation
  • film
  • how-to and style
  • gaming
  • music
  • pets and animals
  • people and blogs
  • travel and sports among others

Choosing the right channel/category for your video increases its probability to be seen.

Tags, on the other hand, help identify the video clip from various categories. Tagging the video with keywords is an excellent way of optimizing YouTube videos.

6. Make use of Video Annotations

YouTube Annotations present a new and exciting way of adding related notes, speech bubbles, title or spotlight on an already playing video clip.

This helps deliver the desired message to the target audience without disrupting or dividing their attention. Video annotations provide an excellent way of optimizing conversions through the video.

This is because they can be used for call-to-action messages and prompts, and to introduce other brands or products one might have.

While most companies do not use video annotations in video marketing, those who use it have recorded higher traffic and returns on investment than before.

It would therefore be advisable to use/add annotations to give the viewer tips and insights on a new product or brand.

7. Create a playlist

Although YouTube playlists have been around for a while; very few people know how to make the most out of them.

“A playlist is a collection of videos. Anybody can make playlists and share them.” – YouTube

YouTube playlist comes in handy for channel administrators with a bunch of YouTube videos to promote.

Creating a playlist makes it easier to add new videos to the list, as well as allow followers and audiences to subscribe to your channel.

The best thing about using playlists is that subscribers are notified as soon as a new video is added to your playlist.

In addition to this, search engines index playlists much faster than they do single video clips.

8. Create a YouTube channel

Creating a YouTube channel provides a search and user friendly way of accessing, interacting and sharing content with your target audience.

You however should be a little more creative to make the channel unique and to your preferences. Users can use YouTube channels to highlight other videos and channels they might have online.

This works in an almost similar way as content marketing where your target audiences get what they need in one bucket.

Another key benefit of using YouTube channels is that it gives audiences easily the privilege to share your content to their blogs or profiles.

This again amplifies visibility especially when these audiences share the content through social networking platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

9. Allow sharing on social media

Social networking sites provide some of the best sources of traffic that can significantly boost your visibility online.

Enabling users to share your videos via all social and professional networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram or LinkedIn not online increases visibility, but also boosts conversions as well.

This is especially important for people or marketers promoting new products or brands online.

Social networking sites receive billions of unique users every day – tapping into these numbers increases visibility and rankings by other search engines on the web. Your video may be found on these other prominent sites.

Sharing is caring

You can also place URLs on your social profiles for easier sharing.

Allowing users to share the video clips to their profiles also increases visibility hence should be encouraged.

Video Captions

Captions also prove a great way for marketers and users to enable search engines to understand video content.

While captions are mostly used for physically challenged persons (especially the deaf), they allow search engine crawlers to read or even index the video content. Google, Bing, Yahoo and YouTube search engines use crawlers to determine the best content to display in the results page.

Integrating captions within your video clips is therefore a clever way of increasing video content visibility on the entire World Wide Web.

Regular Updates, Fresh Content

Just as it is with other content optimization and marketing mechanisms, it would be advisable to post/upload fresh and high-quality content on your YouTube channels.

Plus, video quality today is much better than it was three years ago and keeps getting better by the day.

While HD content is widely appreciated, ensure it is lightweight and easy to load even on slow networks or portable devices (mobile). People have grown impatient over time and will only give a video clip less than 6 seconds to load before hitting the escape or back button.

As long as the quality is good: interesting, fun, educational and informative, you should attract more views and shares. That will lead to increasing visibility and ranks by other search engines too.

If you haven’t been optimizing YouTube videos for audience and search engines, you are missing out big on traffic and possible returns.

Optimizing YouTube videos is relatively easy and doesn’t consume much time either.

YouTube video marketing goes a long way in creating brand awareness and building a good reputation online.

FREE: Download the free Social Media Performance Handbook that will show you how to set up your social media campaigns in 7 simple steps. Includes 2 bonus strategies not found in this post.


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Uncommon Ways to Do Local SEO for WordPress to Get Top Local Google Rankings

Local Google rankings are so important.

It doesn’t matter if you are a dentist, doctor, plastic surgeon, lawyer, financial services executive, coach, consultant or a local florist or plumber near me. Everybody in the local business markets wants top local rankings, and for good reason(s).

Here are some stats to help you understand the local search importance:

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Local search stats and importance for local businesses and users (searchenginejournal.com)

Add to this fact that WordPress powers 25% of all websites globally, and you have a powerful framework to work within. (We use the WordPress CMS for 95% of all our deployments within design, development, content marketing and optimization).

If you’re looking for some uncommon ways to do local SEO for WordPress, with the goal of scoring top local Google rankings, you’ll find that our guide offers the best and most practical local SEO solutions.

We’ve researched the sorts of strategies that really get results and we’re here to share them with you. Plus, other ambitious entrepreneurs and smart local marketers will benefit too.

Once you’ve perused our comprehensive guide, you’ll be ready to gain more traction online.

Let’s talk a little more on why local Google rankings are so vital to business success and also touch on why local SEO is different from other forms of search engine optimization.

Here is an infographic with simple tips to get started:

Local SEO Benefits – 5 Simple Tips To Get Started

Why is Local SEO So Important, Anyway?

In the world of online marketing, what you do for your company should be measured against what your competitors are doing, as well as understanding the numbers for growth opportunities. Your bottom line. (Not only revenue, but the profit streams and how your products and services contribute to that).

In terms of local SEO, this means that you’ll need to rank higher than your rivals by matching their Web marketing efforts and then exceeding them.

It means attracting relevant traffic, and converting those visitors to consistent sales and follow-up.

When you don’t make an effort to improve local search engine optimization, you’ll be vulnerable to being eclipsed in terms of search engine rankings.

For this reason, local SEO should be woven into the fabric of all of your online marketing initiatives.

First, let’s share the basics – these are the things that every savvy local entrepreneur does in order to strengthen local search engine rankings.

After this, we’ll talk about some uncommon methods that in-the-know entrepreneurs are using in order to improve their local SEO efforts.

Tried-and-True Local SEO Tips

First off, you should understand how important reviews and your reputation actually are.

The truth is that Google gives extra rankings to companies which have reviews (positive reviews are the best!) at an array of websites, including Yelp, Google Reviews and Angie’s List, to name a few.

If you’re running a business which relies on local clientele in order to turn a profit, you’ll find that getting more reviews at these websites really helps you to optimize your local SEO.

Plus, it makes it easier for potential customers to trust you. Reviews and testimonials are important human-relations building components.

With this in mind, encourage your customers to review your company at those and similar websites for your marketplace.

Asking for these reviews is one of the secrets of creating an effective local SEO small business system. (IMPORTANT: this process should be organic and honest. Don’t pay for reviews, or you might find yourself in deep water with legal issues).

Friends and family who’ve patronized your company and support it wholeheartedly will be great people to turn to for reviews.

Also, loyal customers who’ve had great experiences with your company will probably be more than happy to oblige.

Make sure to get these reviews published on your website too, and implement an easy to follow process for your customers or patients to provide reviews online.

Naturally, if you provide great products and/or services, these reviews should appear on their own. However, there’s nothing wrong with nudging people a little bit.

Most local entrepreneurs have to do this – it’s just the way of the world in the Internet Age. So, don’t be shy when it comes to requesting reviews.

All Web content that you post should also be populated with local terms.

These include addresses, as well as city or town names of nearby areas where you’re also interested in finding customers.

Adding county names and regional names is easy and it really works. There’s more to adding local terms than typing in business address-specific information.

(IMPORTANT: don’t spam by adding tons of local links in the footer and send visitors and search engine bots to thin pages with no/low value pages. This will not work, and further undermine your authority with users and search engines. Start with one location and build from there).

Keep data up to date.

Lastly, make sure that all online listing are up to date and include relevant addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.

Google looks at this information to make sure it’s consistent across a range of web pages. If it is, your local SEO rankings will rise.

If it isn’t, you should fix it or pay someone to clean it up for you. It will be worth the effort or the cost of outsourcing.

Uncommon Local SEO Tips to Try

One hot tip which isn’t used that commonly is to place an embedded Google Map of your business on your website.

This local SEO WordPress tip will engage website visitors – after all, a map will be visually appealing and it will be so easy for viewers to use and understand.

However, it will also benefit you in terms of sparking higher search engine rankings. Adding a link for directions is also a valuable tip.

You’ll need to add a local map correctly in order to reap its advantages.

First, ensure that your map doesn’t point to your company address (which you added to the Google Maps search engine). Instead, use an embed code via a map which points to your Google My Business entry. The map should be verified with Google My Business.

If you’re not currently verified with Google My Business, get verified before you embed your map.

You’ll need a Google+ page for your business before you begin the verification process.

Having a presence of Google+ is really important, as links on this website rank better within Google than links from other websites.

IMPORTANT: Google+ Local (interface and usage) is changing, and the direction is headed towards serving an increasing mobile user base. This mobile-first thinking includes your website. Apply a mobile first mindset now, desktop comes next. You’ll win both in search engines and in users’ eyes.

To review the Google My Business verification process, visit: https://support.google.com/business/answer/2911778?hl=en&ref_topic=4854193

There are other ways to use WordPress to your benefit.

One of them is adding geographical information to title tags, H1, H2 and H3 headings. What’s most important is that your city name (or town name) is added to one or more of these fields. You can add your phone number directly in the <TITLE> tag. It engages the users and provides local data too.

Adding a local SEO WordPress plugin can help – but don’t rely on WP plugins alone to solve all your local ranking problems.  Relevant on-page content and local referrers and mentions pointing back to you are central keys to local success.

Also, add your city or town name (or state name) to the pages that you publish.

While you should never over stuff titles and content with geographical information, adding a city, town or state name once or twice will assist you with improving local SEO right from your own website.

You might consider this approach for your most valuable pages, and the ones you want to rank locally.

Also, adding geographical terms to WordPress Meta Tags will be helpful. Adding terms to headers, content and Meta Tags should not take too long (although it should be tested and re-visited) and it’s a great way to optimize for local SEO.

While not a direct impact on ranking, it will benefit in higher click-throughs.

Finally, as you add and update content, think about “how can I help my users find me, and what do they find valuable?” Create such value that others will link to you, share your content, widgets, tools and more.  Think “them” not “me”.

It will help create local links and citations to your business, which are a way to ‘upvote’ your pages and sends trust signals to search engines.

Use Our Sensible Tips Today

Getting a handle on local SEO techniques will empower you as an entrepreneur.

While it will require time and effort to optimize for local SEO, in addition to all of the other tasks that you need to perform daily, it’s an essential element of driving business to your company.

Without utilizing proper local SEO techniques daily, you may lose crucial market share to your rivals.

Great local SEO methods will help you to stay one step ahead of the competition.

If you can’t spare the time to design and implement a dedicated and consistent local SEO campaign, it’s wise to outsource the task.

There are plenty of companies which offer local SEO services to busy entrepreneurs.

when should I invest in SEO best companies chaosmap

10 Obvious Signs You Should Invest In SEO

Search engine optimization is an exciting opportunity, and at the same time, controversial topic (read: black hat SEO) among business owners.

SEO process defined (chaosmap.com)

Graphic: SEO Process defined (Chaosmap). Click to see details of the SEO workflow.

It can bring about illuminating discussions on the viability of this traffic generation channel and how saturated it is, for example.

There are some who feel there is little left in SEO and it is time to move on.

Many others see the power of search, and include and recommend its use in any marketing effort.

SEO is not dead and those who feel this way are not looking at how things are shaping up in the world of digital marketing. And, Google still owns ~90% of the search market globally, and ~80% of US based searches. With over a 100 billion searches per month, and mobile outgrowing desktop searches, opportunities are massive for SEO!

There are still many sites who are coming out of nowhere to rank well and are seen gaining massive amounts of traffic (and growth). It is one of the highest converting traffic mediums online.

Let’s take a look at ten key signs it is time to invest in SEO. (List not built by order of importance).

#1 – Budget Constraints Are In Place

Running on a low budget? Don’t have enough money to just keep tossing away at paid marketing campaigns?

This might be the number one sign that looking into SEO is critical for your success in the long-term.

You need to make sure SEO is being considered because it will ensure you save money in the end.

(Based on various studies over the years, a top SEO listing gets approx. 42% in click-through rate from SERPs. Each industry is different, and brand terms versus plain keyword terms vary too. Paid ads receive much less of the click results, but each market is different and needs to be tested for yours. NOTE: If none of your clicks convert, it’s worthless to use these stats, work on your conversion strategies! And, tools should be used as a guide, not exact science either way.)

Let’s use an example: For a search term like “beverly hills dentist”, Google Keyword Planner yields 19 searches per day, and that would result in (42% of 19) 8 SEO / organic clicks from a top ranking. And, at about $20.00 (Adwords) per click, the total daily SEO value (what the keyword is worth) is around $165.00/day.

Depending on several factors and the procedures sold at the dentist + the lifetime value of the customer, the math turns in your favor over time with SEO. Remember to test this.

seo vs adwords cost click through graph

While it’s true as the slogan goes: “nothing is life is really free” – SEO can provide the biggest return on your investment … over time.

It is free advertising in essence once you have ranked and if maintaining and improving, will last for a long time.

You might have to pay those who are going to help get you there, but after that point, it is all free value and that is hard to beat.

What other method is going to give you this kind of quality results in the modern age of marketing?

#2 – Need An Upgrade Of Quality Web Traffic

Is the conversion rate starting to plummet?

Is the traffic just not rolling in as it used to in the past?

Are visitors bouncing (leaving your pages) fast?

This is a common occurrence and you need to have a diligent approach to what you will do next.

Focusing on SEO traffic in the long tail of search has proven profitable and highly converting for businesses over time. Think about the 80/20 rule in the head vs. tail keyword game.

seo long tail keywords high converting less traffic

There are so many factors to consider when put in this position, but the best idea is to consider search engine optimization based on quality keyword targets for your market. Less competitive searches, but highly converting.

It will help you gain that new quality level of traffic that is going to help raise the quality of visitors to the site. It is going to help you gain the ability to convert better leads.

#3 – Users Are Not Finding The Website

There are many web sites that don’t get found at all, or are ‘impossible’ to locate online.

The website owners are not building and running promotional strategies either, and that is hampering results.

There is no value in having a great product/service if you are not able to let people know about it, and have them easily find you.

This is why ranking in search engines for main keywords is so valuable.

They will be able to find your site with relative ease and that is when you are going to get established as a ‘go to’ option when you create engaging and authoritative copy.

They are going to be able to find you as needed and that is going to intrigue them like never before.

#4 – People Don’t Trust The Site And/Or Business

This is a major sign.

If people don’t trust your business, it is time to change things up. You need to invest in SEO to get people to trust who you are as a site and brand.

They need to understand what you bring to the table and why you are good at what you do. There are a lot of sites that are not doing this.

seo highest trusted click search engines

From Edelman Trustbarometer 2015

When you are ranking high in search engines, it is assumed you are approved by Google, Bing, or Yahoo and have been vetted, essentially.

This is something that will resonate with the target market and they will begin to automatically trust you.

#5 – Need Help Building A Brand

Don’t have the ‘brand’ recognition yet?

It is one thing to have a good business, but do you have a brand? Ever looked at those who are proven in the world of business? What do they have going for them?

They have a trusted brand. They will also rank high in search engines because of this. Brand favoritism is unfair perhaps, but Google loves brands.

seo brand enhancer and trust boost

You need to build a brand and SEO will help. It is going to enable people to find & relate with what you are about.

Plus, allowing reviews to flow from local & national feedback sites will help the brand. Your domain and pages strength will elevate in search results too.

#6 – Lacking Quality Relationships In The Market

Link building is a big part of SEO work and that is only going to happen when you develop relationships.

Yes, there are some who are going to spam for links and that is a very short-term strategy. When you want to get it right, you want to build links the right way. Close relationships and trusted authority domains can help.

trust rank and close relationships of links

(From Moz)

When you do this, the results are going to come and the traffic will grow.

#7 – Want To Be An Expert In The Niche

Who doesn’t want to be an expert in their niche?

Let’s imagine you want to lose weight.

Wouldn’t you want to go to those who are experts in their industry and have been doing it for a long time?

It just makes sense to pursue the ones who went before you, yet there are many people who don’t for one reason or another.

You want to come across as this person in your niche and that will get a BIG boost when you rank for your top terms in search engines.

It is all about building trust, authority and that you are seen as an expert by both users and search engines.

is this page trustworthy - search rating questions google seo

(From search quality rater guidelines, Google)

Check out the updated search quality rating evaluator guidelines from Google for insights on how to build deep trust factors for your search programs.

Your competitors are applying SEO strategies, but you are going to do it better, right?

Become an authority in your field!

#8 – Require Relevant Traffic

The next sign it is time to consider SEO would have to do with the type of traffic you are getting.

Most online campaigns can bring in new traffic, but it is not always going to be targeted. This means they will come onto the site, take a quick look, and then hit the dreaded “back button”.

They are not going to stick and that is what selling is all about. You want the leads to stick and convert. It may not happen on “first touch”, but the relevancy matters, and many more will buy over time.

SEO is only going to bring those who want the information that is being provided. It gives you the power to make a difference.

#9 – Measurement, Tracking & Changes

Web analytics is here to stay and big data is the way of the future.

If you are noticing how making new changes on the site is hard, it is time to look at SEO metrics.

Not being able to make changes on the site could come down to just not having enough data to work with.

What are you going to change, if you don’t even know what is wrong?!

We know that SEO and website traffic drivers are valuable in this context.

Content changes based on metrics for b2b b2c and search traffic (SEO)

(From Searchengineland)

SEO data with regards to the visitors, user behavior, time spent, where it is coming in from, and how it is converting (landing pages) can help guide your content (page copy) update strategy.

These are stats that can make a difference and will tell you a lot about your site in general and what needs changing.

It is these details that webmasters tend to ignore and it is a major sign with regards to what you need to do and how soon it should be done. Don’t trust your website designer to do this for you.

#10 – Require A Hands-Free Solution

Yes, there are certain aspects of running an online site that are going to get stale and/or time consuming.

It can be a challenge to keep up in such situations and that is why people move towards SEO.

As long as you are going with those who are vetted and proven to do a good job, you will be able to let them take over and get going towards ranking, copy/page updates and conversions. (We focus on the last latter most of the time!)

SEO is all about getting to the top and those who have done this before will be able to guide your site in the right direction. That includes Local SEO.

If you feel burdened by other marketing approaches being used, this could be a great way to not only get new quality traffic but remove tension and stress about other marketing projects you may be working on. A natural, white-hat SEO approach will ensure that you sleep well at night, even when Google makes updates (which they do daily).

A proper SEO plan is required in order to maximize the value of an SEO campaign. Those who are sure about what they are doing will get fantastic results.

Getting results from SEO is not going to happen overnight. It requires a long term view.

These are the main signs to consider for those who want to understand why investing in SEO is critical for their business.

BONUS: Get the free lead generation guide that will show you how to quickly get more leads from traffic. Includes 2 bonus strategies not found in this post.

local-seo-keywords-city-small-business-saturday

Local SEO: Essential Tips On How You Can Rank Well For Specific Keywords In Your City (Small Business Saturday Edition)

Small Business Saturday is a BIG shopping and awareness raising event each year (What is Small Business Saturday?).

For more background, read this: Why Small Business Saturday Is Massive Millennial Business (by Winnie Sun, Forbes Magazine)

It’s an exciting time for the SMB industry, but also a fresh reminder for us all that they not only help drive major areas of the US economy, but business owners at the local level need expert guidance and mentor-ship to grow their businesses.

FACT: The 28 million small businesses in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales.

“Helping small businesses do more business” – American Express, Small Business Saturday

If you’re managing or running a marketing campaign for a local business, you’d understand that one of the biggest challenges every business owner comes across, is being able to rank (and convert) keywords locally.

To drive more relevant and timely traffic locally, but ultimately, to sell and grow the bottom line with more conversions (some action to a sale).

Search engine optimization for users with a local intent will be a great boost to your marketing campaigns. That, along with paid advertising for search, where you only pay for results. (example: Google Adwords Express).

Local SEO and ranking keywords in a particular city, as simple as it may sound, is a whole lot different from the SEO strategies that you may be used to from a national SEO campaign.

Before You Get Started With Local SEO

You have to understand that the process is different when you want to rank keywords in your city, as opposed to ranking keywords globally.

A global or national search can be too “general” or “competitive” and often practiced by many internet marketers. But local businesses, like you, will gain more traction when researching and applying local SEO techniques.

Local SEO has changed a lot over the past few years – and the changes rapidly occur (Think Pigeon,  the “down from 7 results in Google maps to ‘3-pack’“, Local Mobile changes, etc).

If you haven’t addressed local SEO, you may want to re-review your strategies and make sure that they’re up to date before implementing.

It’s not wise to start chasing links or citations right then and there.

Yes – we all want local exposure, but grabbing web assets without a proper business strategy and plan will not do much help.

Remember, you want only the best possible results for your business, and your local internet marketing strategies, no matter how simple they may be, should be updated so your efforts are not worthless.

Here are local search optimization tips you should look at now:

1: Google My Business + “NAP”

Google My Business, the NAP model (name+address+phone), and local citations and directories play a crucial role in terms of local SEO.

google my business Small Business Saturday

One of the secrets towards a successful local SEO campaign is to remain consistent with data across platforms (and your website).

This means that you have to list your business name the same way, format addresses, and phone numbers exactly how they are posted on your site and pages.

This is true across the entire local eco-system: directories and local online properties that help build and support the “trust” factors that users and search engines love.

It is important that you list your business name, address and phone number on every page on your site – and use the exact information on other local citations. This way, search engines will display your business information exactly the same way, making it easier to rank your keywords and get higher rankings.

Other than taking advantage of Google My Business and local citations, you can also benefit from local reviews.

These reviews can significantly help in giving you better search engine rankings, allowing you to rank your local keywords higher.

2: Invest In A Local Keyword Tool

Despite all your efforts to remain consistent with NAP and other local SEO efforts, you won’t do well if you’re using the wrong keywords. Or, even keywords that have no traffic.

Google’s free Keyword Planner Tool will give you an overview of the basic statistics and impressions for recommended keywords for your market.

A free local kw tool (the keyword planner tool) available inside the Google Adwords interface is a good starting place.

  1. Enter your main keyword
  2. Select the targeting (locale)
  3. Watch the keywords and number panel for local results

Results from “plumber” (main keyword) in “New York, New York”:

local keyword tool with web traffic numbers

While numbers (traffic, bid prices, etc) should not be taken at face value from this (or any tool), you’ll have guiding numbers. You should compare with your own analytics as well, and run ranking reports to see how far off you are in either direction.

These tools are created to help you find the popular, relevant and also highest paying local keywords (more competitive, but often more valuable) in your industry. Tools can also give you an idea on which keywords your competitors are using (TIP: try to enter their URLs and check out results).

Hijacking your competitors keywords can be an effective local SEO marketing strategy, not to mention that it can help you outdo competing websites.

There are numerous free keyword tools in the market, and some are offered free for a limited time. If you’re unsure on which tool to use, start researching. You can use tools that generate global values but be mindful of (local) searcher intent as well as the metrics.

While generating local keywords and discovering usage for your neighborhood is important, don’t start spamming pages with content and titles. Use with care.

Global keyword statistics may give you the numbers that you’re looking for, but local keyword tools will give you figures that you need to improve local SEO rankings.

3: Local Optimization Tips And Tricks

We all know that SEO is changing – but there are some basic tips and tricks that don’t change, and can still make an enormous difference with your local rankings.

Listed below are some Local SEO tips in helping you rank your keywords locally:

  • Stop Spamming Your Keywords

This is a no-brainer but we’re still surprised by this.  Keyword stuffing is not the answer to rank them. It will eventually result in penalties (filters) as Google and other search engines don’t like sites with keywords stuffed ‘all over them’. Remember, you’re not going to rank well in your city or state just because you’ve spammed your sites and external links with your keywords in them (anchor text over-optimization).

  • Add Strategic Home Page Content and Targeted Landing Page Content

One of the most common problems local web marketers encounter is that despite their efforts to create content, attract links, make their local listings consistent all throughout, their rankings do not seem to improve.

One of the possible reasons is that their home page may contain very little to no content at all and that on-page factors are not aligned with user searches.

Google needs to know what your page(s) is all about. The same thing goes with your prospects/customers. They’re not going to get it with very thin and low-value information added on your home page.

  • Write Meaningful, Local Content On ALL Website Pages

In early times of the web, internet marketers would write content for the purpose of pleasing search engines.

Today, it’s all about the user. Search engines will follow.

If you’re writing content on all of your pages, that text should be meaningful, something worth sharing, something that can benefit your customers.

Search engines are checking every single page on your site and to extract something meaningful from them. And, likewise, your customers wouldn’t give you the trust you need if you don’t have anything relevant to share with them.

Ranking keywords locally are not just about choosing the right keywords, but also about making sure that those keywords are incorporated into your website pages the proper, non-spammy way.

  • Choose Your Title Tags Carefully

Your title tag should at least contain one of your keywords and should summarize what your entire page is all about – period. Don’t place a bunch of keywords you’re trying to rank for. You’re not going to get the rankings this way. You can check snippets and character counts here.

  • Content, Headings, Image Texts and URL

Include city, state or town in your title tags and match up the keyword and content in heading tags, image alt attributes and the URL (web address). Synonyms and related terms should be applied. If it is done “too perfectly” – you might fall into “over-optimization” territory.

(From Niftymarketing)

From keyword research and conversion opportunities, make available a variety of keywords to rank (broken into separate pages most of the time), and make sure your keywords include the city, state or town you’re trying to rank for.

This is the simplest and the fastest way to rank your keywords in the local scene.  However, be watchful for duplication of content on pages – from HTML code (non-visible) to actual body text (visible).

NOTICE: Some CRM system will duplicate pages (after editing and saving) without you knowing it. Google hates duplicate pages, and you’ll unknowingly struggle to rank your pages. (“it feels like my local SEO work is not working”)

Finally, content should be uniquely written, and show authority and leadership for your market. Research also suggests that a baseline of 1000+ word pages rank well, and more is better. (if it’s well written).

3: Other Factors To Include in your Local SEO Strategy

Look at behaviors and engagement on the pages.

Bounce rate and time on site (pages) are areas for (content, conversion) improvement if showing poor results. The goal is to prevent them from leaving your site.

RELATED TIP: Even exit-pops (pop up windows when user leaves your page) can allow you to grab their name+email in exchange for an awesome, useful tip or guide. (Example from the contractor business: provide a short guide; “7 Mistakes People Make When Hiring a Home Contractor”). Then, continue to build the relationship with a nurture email sequence.

Use of videos can be a great addition to your site.

TIP: Go to usertesting.com and see if users are engaging the way you planned. You might (will) be surprised!

In Summary: Look At The Bigger Picture

Perhaps counter-intuitive, but this is very important to your local search success.

Local SEO is not just about citations, links, local directories, navigational structure or choosing which keywords to use on your pages (although important).

It is also about creating content specifically made to cater your local audience.

To make the posts informative included with local signals. And, at the same time, making use of social media to take advantage of the “in the moment” traffic.

Better quality visitors will begin to show up and buy from you.

Showcase your testimonials and local reviews while thinking about “helping the users”. Local search engine results will follow.

Check your page titles, meta descriptions and H(x) tags. Make sure the bot crawl-ability is great, and that no blocks are seen on the site/pages. Some of these fixes can make a big impact quickly. Bigger sites will take longer and for competitive niches. Make sure to benchmark before and after. An SEO audit and technical SEO ongoing will be important.

Other metrics (more important than rankings!) you should look at are conversions (clicks, actual calls, form fills, etc).

Learn best practices on how you can move the prospect through the marketing and sales funnels.

Email marketing and automation can really help build your bottom line.

It’s a must these days – along with CRM pipeline and sales tracking, but many business owners get stuck in “ranking hell”, unfortunately.

Do NOT make this just about chasing local rankings and “map-packs-madness”.

Focus on your website, unique and local (neighborhood) content, and especially for multi-location businesses. Do this while you work with your team and SEO experts on moving your lead flow upwards!

Happy Small Business Saturday.

How do you turn existing traffic into more leads for local businesses?

BONUS: Get the free lead generation guide that will show you how to quickly get more leads from traffic. Includes 2 bonus strategies not found in this post.

reasons to hire a digital marketing consultant

10 Reasons To Hire An Outside Digital Marketing Consultant

Switching from in-house digital marketing to hiring an outside consultant is a very big decision.

Ironically, hiring a digital marketing consultant creates hesitance among many businesses.

Even when they know that awesome talent and expertise can be found externally to their organization and can be brought in fast to implement special projects and turn things around rapidly. That includes education, strategy and business growth hacking.

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the targeted, measurable, and interactive marketing of products or services using digital technologies to reach and convert leads into customers and retain them.

But, many businesses are slow or even scared (burned in the past, unable to manage, not understanding the processes, actual needs, etc) about hiring a third party to deal with their issues.

It can be related to cost, sure — but very often it can be just us much about procedures, security, ‘red tape’ issues or no power to take action.

These are just a few reasons why some businesses would rather stick to in-house digital marketing staff rather than hire outside consultants.

Despite these issues, the benefits of working with an outside digital marketing consultant outweigh the risks. However, you can only enjoy the benefits if you take your time hiring the right consultant for the job.

Here are a 10 signs that your business actually needs to hire an outsider for any digital marketing projects.

1. Corporate Branding: Website, Social Media, eMail

Getting a website up and running is not an easy fete. There is so much work to do. For instance, the look/feel and messaging, all the social media profiles that need to be managed regularly, website updates, development that need to be handled as well as email marketing responsibilities and more.

With all these issues hanging in the back of your head, hiring an outside consultant for any digital marketing projects would definitely be more beneficial.

2. Strategy and Future Planning

Any business needs to work on both short term and long term goals. However, if you’re only planning one month ahead, you’re definitely a poor planner and strategist. Therefore, if you don’t have the time to concentrate on long-term projects and growth, it might be time to hire an outsider to help you to launch and double your business over a decided period.

Using such expertise through an outside consultant allows you to get inspired as well to devise a detailed plan for your marketing and sales growth.

3. Poor Sales Or Slow/Low Demand Generation

Are the sales numbers for your business stagnant or very low?

Are there very few leads coming through your website?

Well, this is a good sign that you need to hire a digital marketing consultant. He/she will assist you in developing an inbound marketing strategy to allow you to reach target customers more effectively, as well as to building out the right marketing funnel.

The new strategies will provide smarter marketing automation, create consumable content, and send / share targeted information to the customers allowing your leads and sales to increase dramatically.

4. Content Marketing & Website Freshness

Visitors are always looking forward for new and rejuvenated content. Well, if your website was last updated 2 years ago, then you might need to hire a digital marketing consultant and content strategist.

If you want to remain competitive in the ever-changing online market, you should consider a current website design, proper SEO and competitive research.

Currently, websites that have responsive designs and are mobile-friendly are receiving preferential rankings by Google and search engines in general. All the audience needs to have a seamless viewing experience of your website regardless of the device they are using.

Therefore, if you haven’t updated your website to meet such criteria, you need a consultant to provide the right advice on how to do it. Of course, consultants can also do the work for you.

5. Tracking & Analytics Metrics

In order for marketing to work for your business, you need to test, track and analyze any results to find out which strategies are working and which ones aren’t.

Therefore, if you don’t have enough time to track your metrics regularly such as looking at traffic numbers, user behavior and how many leads are coming to your site, which ones can be converted into sales, you definitely need to hire a digital marketing consultant.

On that note, you should look for a consultant that understands your business well and help provide tools and resources to do the tracking for you.

6. Poor In-House Digital Marketing Skills

At a first glance, digital marketing might not seem too complicated or intricate. However, this notion is completely misguided.

In order for digital marketing to succeed, an individual needs to be knowledgeable about everything related to SEO, graphic design, copywriting, content marketing, technical aspects, website development, conversion optimization and also social media.

Therefore, if the in-house digital marketing team doesn’t possess these skills, it’s time to hire an outside consultant to guarantee the best results.

Hiring an outside consultant allows your business to tap into the wealth of information and creativity that often can’t be found in-house. You may even ask to have this knowledge transferred on a regular basis (weekly, monthly).

7. Lack Of Frequent Content Updates

Currently, Google gives more preference to websites with brand new and fresh content. Therefore, if you’re not in this category then your website’s success will be undermined accordingly.

However, the content isn’t only limited to your website.

Your social media profiles also need to be regularly updated. Therefore, if you don’t have the time to post new content on a frequent basis, hiring a digital marketing consultant can make things easier for you. They will teach you the process, and/or do it for you.

8. Lack Of Fresh Ideas

Just because you’re required to update your content regularly as well as other tricks to keep your website and online business afloat, you don’t need to repeat everything over and over again. Sometimes, you might be in a rut such that you can’t generate any new ideas thereby leaving your website (and readers) to suffer.

Well, if you have run out of ideas to update on your site, it might be time to get fresh ideas somewhere else. An outside digital marketing consultant will definitely bring new ideas and creativity that will ignite a spark in your business.

9. Growing Your Business

Is your business growing? Do you need to build up your reputation and authority in your marketplace?

If that’s the case, then you need a digital marketing expert to help you through the expansion process.

If your business is gaining a bigger and better reputation, then you need a brand new website approach and changes to your social media profiles. That’s why the need for a digital marketing consultant can’t be undermined at this stage. You need someone who is savvy enough to introduce new changes that is aligned with your growth goals.

10. Limited Access To Digital Marketing Tools And Software

In-house digital marketing would be easy if you had all the proven procedures, tools and software needed for your projects. However, most of the time, this is not the case. An outside consultant can help with this.

Even better, the consultant will have insights on how to use the tools to guarantee more success for your business. Therefore, the need for an outside consultant for any digital marketing needs can’t be undermined at all.

Now, for the highly biased (!) follow up – here’s what to do next:

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seo for blogger

SEO For Blogger: 10 Essential Elements To Skyrocket Your Blog Traffic

As a blogger, your main goal is to get your thoughts and ideas out to a specific community.

You may even hope to make a nice side income off your content through ad networks and affiliate commissions.

READ: “How to create a blog site with 7 simple steps

If you are a corporate content marketer and building out your company blog, you can implement strategies from this post to attract the right buying audience and get more downloads for your whitepapers, webinars and software trials.

This cannot happen if you only have a trickle of traffic coming into your site.

This SEO for blogger post will show you 10 SEO strategies you can use to drive more traffic for your blog.

seo for blogger - tips for more blog traffic

The vast majority of bloggers will fail and give up.

Their website ending up in a great wasteland of ideas and failed projects. What many of these bloggers did not know is they could have been successful if they had just had the right audience.

It does not matter how good of a website you can create. If there is not an audience to read and share that content it is only as good as a blank page. As a blogger, your job is not only to create engaging content but drive traffic to that same content.

If your website is not getting an influx of traffic, it is time to rethink your strategy.

I would like to share a basic checklist that I use on my own sites that has helped me bring a surge of visitors to my site on a monthly basis.

If you choose not to follow these simple tips, you might as well stop paying for your hosting and move on to something else! 🙂

Web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site.

1. Know Your Audiences Keywords

At the core of any website should be a specific set of keywords that your audience is searching for. Your keywords have to find their moment of zen if you will.

There has to be a balance between keywords that are offering large volumes of traffic and keywords that are going to target specific segments of the audience.

For example, you can not just target “gamers” and hope to hit the traffic jackpot. You need to start small and work your way up. By targeting a keyword like “Best Games For Players Who Experience Rage Modes” you are zeroing in on a specific group of gamers. As you begin to blend these types of keywords your site will begin to flourish with hundreds of long-tail traffic keywords.

TIP: If you are in the B2B marketplace (we have many clients there), where often there are low volume keyword traffic and/or not plenty of related keywords, look to develop a content strategy with “shoulder-topics” and write about those. You can always make a connection to your niche that way. Your true audience will filter themselves out or in.

Part of this process is going to involve learning the language of your audience. While keyword tools are the bread and butter of a content marketer’s life, they do not give us the insight into the nuances of our audiences minds. In order to achieve this, we have to visit places they hang out at and learn their language.

By using their slang and specific keywords, you will be achieving the upper hand on your competition. We call this “topic relevance” and “audience targeting”.

2. Have You Optimized?

A well-optimized site (your blog) is one that typically gets the lion’s share of the traffic. If you have never looked at your alt tags (attributes) or meta descriptions, you are letting vital traffic slip right through your hands.

This is not the way you want to save bandwidth costs!

Your first priority is going to have to be a website audit (which is out of the scope if this article). You will need to examine the on-page and off-page factors of your site. We are referring to “content” and “links”, and the quality and reputation of the environment you are creating.

On-page optimization, might include checking over your meta descriptions, add your keyword into the title and use it within the first 100 words if possible, and use SEO-friendly permalinks. Make sure your technical SEO is in check too – and revisited every week or monthly. (servers, redirection, robots, spider-ability, analytics, tag manager, webmaster tools, etc).

Simple tweaks like this will help the search engines discover content, pages – and human visitors reading that content. These are things you can get started with right away. But, depending on you marketplace, levels of competitiveness and your unique angle in your space, it may only move the needle slightly. You need more.

Your off-page optimization efforts will include making sure you are getting relevant and high-quality backlinks. This includes managing content and links internally on your site. You can control this.

Remember in this stage of the SEO game it is no longer about getting thousands of backlinks. Look for quality and make sure to pursue a natural velocity of links attraction. No spam if you are serious.

3) Guest Post And Guest Post Again

While it may be true that everyone and their neighbor has guest posted somewhere on the Internet it is still a formidable way to increase traffic. This is especially true if you are able to get a post on a highly trafficked blog or site.

If you are unsure where to start with guest posting, it all starts off with a simple email, or even direct phone call (how 2005 of me!).

Find relevant blogs in your niche that are not your direct competition and ask to do a post. Simply ask for a link back or two to your site. This will not only generate direct traffic but will be looked at favorably by the search engines. This process can be automated, and you might consider contacting an agency that can do this for you. (that’s a plug!)

4) What Does Your Content Say About You

While I understand the importance of pen names online I have always hated how easy it is to hide behind them. I feel if people had to post content to their blogs under their real names they would not be so tempted to upload garbage. Users like it too, and search engines tend to follow user behavior. Makes sense, right?

It is important that the content you create holds up to a high standard and it would be something you would be proud to show your mom or English teacher for that matter. High-quality content gets shared much more than spun material.

Always remember to have your content written for your audience and not the search engines. If the content is good and it is relevant to the keywords you are targeting, the search engines will find it. Humans first. Then Non-Humans.

5) Write Often

If you have decided to take on the role of a blogger your main goal is to create content.

I run across many blogs a day that only get updated once or twice a year and I find that absolutely lethargic!

Visitors want to come to a blog that is active with content and comments. A blog should not only be about you, but the visitors problems and concerns. If you can build a vibrant community, even better. I am seeing many bloggers turning off comments, because of the negative impact of productivity and frankly, it’s been overused as a spam technique. (“comment spam”)

The added benefit to writing a lot is the search engines will begin to pick you up for all of those long tail keywords that we talked about earlier.

If you find that you have a hard time blogging or simply forget to do it, you need to set time aside each day or week.

A proper schedule will not only help your blog grow, but it will make it easier to write a post each time.  And, be sure to set up a calendar, and if you use WordPress (like we do), you can use tools like Co-Schedule to help set that up, and configure auto-posting into social networks for you. And, it’s easy to do on a schedule.

6) How Social Are You?

If you have taken care of making sure the search engines will be crawling your every page and words with proper optimization, you need to set the social media channels on fire. By having a strong persona on social media, you have the opportunity to pull traffic into your site on a whim.

While you want to find out where your audience engages the most, it is important to try and be almost everywhere. This includes LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. However, take the time and focus on where your audience is first and then post to the others.

7) Make Your Content Work Harder

As we have discussed already, content is a popular part of the equation of getting traffic to your site.

However, if someone has never visited your blog, they may never see that wonderful, thought-provoking article you created. You also must consider outreach as mentioned before.

In desperate times, you have to take desperate measures and bundle that piece of content into something else and give it life once more.

One of the best ways is to create a PDF, slideshow, or even a video. Once you have “created” this new piece of content is can then be shared to Slideshare, and Youtube respectively.

8) What Do You Want From Your Visitors?

Are you looking for your visitors to comment below the post or share to their favorite social media platform?

If you never tell your audience what to do, they will never do it. You have to end your content with a strong call to action and tell them what to do next.

If not they are simply going to close out the screen or hit the dreaded back button.

Do not feel as though you are being too forward with this request. Website users want to know what their next action should be.

Tell them to share or comment. Also, ask them to sign up to your email list, which brings us to our next tip.

9) Yep, The Money Is In The List

I have to be honest with you, at one point I was ready to bang my head across my laptop because I had read that phrase so many times.

Is it true, though? Yes, without a doubt. The money is in the (warm, relationship-based) list as is the potential to drive unlimited amounts of traffic to your blog on a whim.

If you have been building up a list over the years, you have one of the most valuable resources online. You have a built-in audience that wants to know when you have something to say.

All that is needed is to fill out a broadcast message in your autoresponder account and let your audience know that you have just uploaded a new post.

Even better: Create dynamic behavioral response email content, where you track where and what your list members are clicking, and tailor the message to that. (Infusionsoft, Hubspot, Marketo, for example.)

10) Give Your Audience A Reason To Come Back

Many individuals get into building blogs because they were told it is easy and a way to make a lot of money. In fact, it is just the opposite. Blogging is very hard and it takes dedication to make an income or create an impact.

Blogging can not be about using your audience as the proverbial cash cow. You have to be willing to solve a problem that your audience is having without the need for a monetary reward.

If you come across as a friend and are approachable, your name will begin to circulate in your audiences online world.

In short, you will become a celebrity in those circles and your traffic will grow very quickly.

Final Thoughts

Blogging is one of the best ways to connect with an audience and share your thoughts and ideas about a topic.

It is hard work and traffic (usually) never comes overnight. For many bloggers, that traffic will never come and they simply give up. They “throw in the towel” too soon. That’s a mistake.

By using just a few of these ideas you are giving your blog another day to find its audience.

With work and dedication, it is possible to get those traffic surges you only dream about now.

Take just one idea from above and implement it today and see what happens. I would love to know what you choose and the results you experienced.

Find me on Twitter and let’s connect

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