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Archive of ‘SEO’ category

Should You Publish Blog Content on LinkedIn and Medium?

This article was originally posted on Rso-Consulting.com and can be found here.

If you publish blog content as part of your online marketing strategy, then you may be wondering if some of them are destined for content superstardom in places like LinkedIn and Medium.

LinkedIn Pulse is a great way to get your blog in front of your network because it notifies your connections when you publish content on the site (posting status updates just shows up in the regular ol’ newsfeed).

If you want to reach an even wider audience, then you might consider publishing content on Medium, which typically serves up longer, more in-depth articles.

No doubt about it, if you are looking to build your brand, then publishing to LinkedIn and Medium is a great way to start.

However, if you are like some of our clients, then you also wonder how this might affect your SEO. (more…)

3 Pro Tips to Improve Google Mobile Search Rankings

This post was originally published on rso-consulting.com.

Mobile Search – Rankings on Google

Do you remember when Google updated its mobile algorithm earlier this year? This was the wake up call businesses needed to finally implement mobile-friendly websites.

Yet some companies are not seeing the Google mobile search rankings they want, despite their best efforts to align with the new demands of digital behavior.

Here are three suggestions we have for improving your page rankings in Google mobile search:

Optimize for Local

Joint research by Google and Ipsos MediaCT shows that 56 percent of searches done on smartphones have local intent. This means more than half of smartphone users are looking for a business or service near to them. Can your business be found easily by local users?

To make sure, update your Google+ business page with your current address, phone number, and hours of operation. Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google+, as they are factored into mobile search rankings.

Note: Since Google reduced the amount of local business listings it shows in mobile search results, it is even more critical that all parts of your Google+ page are updated.

The “3-pack” shows just three local business listings in Google mobile search rankings.

The “3-pack” shows just three local business listings in Google mobile search rankings.

Eliminate Sneaky Mobile Redirects

Are you redirecting mobile users to different pages than those who click-through on desktop? If so, Google says “redirecting mobile users sneakily to a different content is bad for user experience and is against Google’s webmaster guidelines.” So not only is this likely annoying mobile users; it is also a violation of best practices in mobile search.

The exception is if you are redirecting mobile users to a page that offers a better user experience, such as redirecting from sample.com/stuff to m.sample.com/stuff.

Avoid Interstitials

If you are trying to promote a mobile app, then it can be tempting to use interstitial ads – those that pop up when someone clicks your link and arrives at your webpage – to force users to see your ad about downloading your app. However, many interstitials cover the majority of the screen, making it impossible for the user to see any of the actual page content. This approach has been shown to increase bounce rates on mobile pages and have little to no impact on app downloads.

Interstitial ads are determined to be so disruptive to users that on November 2, 2015, Google confirmed “pages with app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content on the transition from the search results page won’t be considered mobile-friendly.”

If you are currently using interstitial ads to encourage app downloads, then we recommend using a smaller, less intrusive ad format to improve mobile search rankings on Google.

What changes have you noticed in your Google search rankings on mobile, since updating your web pages or local listings?

Why SEO Needs Good Storytelling

This content was originally posted on rso-consulting.com.

Your story directly impacts SEO. If your business wants to engage in search marketing, storytelling is one area where you may not want to compromise.
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There is no denying a solid SEO campaign is built on extensive strategy, well-researched keywords, quality links, and intelligent analytics reporting.

But beyond the roadmap and the data that work to improve your online influence is the story – what you are trying to communicate to your audience.

All the right keywords in the universe are not going to matter if you are unable to tell visitors exactly what they need to know, in order for them to take the desired action.

So if you want to use SEO to sell more products, get more subscribers or increase attendance, then you need a good storyteller who can draw in your audience with influential messaging…without compromising SEO best practices.

Clear Writing = Clear Thinking

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Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Social Media

Search Engine Optimization is a critical part of any online marketing campaign. Companies are also starting to realize how this plays a role in their overall social media tactics. Many of the same tactics that help sites rank high on the search engines are the same tactics used to get more people to see your social media posts online. Knowing the basics of these tactics will help your overall effectiveness. This article goes into a brief overview of what search engine optimization is and how it can complement your social media efforts across the web.

How People Search

Most People search online before making any type of purchase at a retail location. Even if the purchase is online they would still prefer to research other competitors and look at product reviews. For this reason, you will need to strive to be on the first pages of search engines. There are many search engines out there for people to use online. The key is to focus on the ones that matter. Currently Google is the top used Search engine.

What is SEO

  • Process of achieving higher ranking on search engines
  • Utilizing keywords strategically to get better web presence
  • Linking your relevant content across the net to valuable platforms
  • Engaging in consistent content through the web.

Keywords

You need to make sure you know the main keywords associated with searching for your type of business.  I would suggests choosing 3-5 keywords that can relate well with your business. Here are examples of keywords that a restaurant owner in Austin could use.

Some of your keywords can include

  • “Austin steakhouse”
  • “Austin dinner restaurant”
  • “Dining in Austin”

Once these keywords are chosen you can then start using them more often when you are writing about your business in a blog or product descriptions.  This technique will help Google determine the purpose of your site.

Social Media Integration

These tips explain the key elements that help your online presence on specific platforms regarding keywords and content.

Keywords for Facebook

  • Vanity (Name ) URL (make sure you have a unique url name)
  • About Section and Page Mission
    • Fill out all the about sections for the search engines
    • Keywords Inside Posts
      • The first sentence of the post matter more than the ending of a long post.

Google Plus Links

  • Anchor Text
    • This is the wording that is on top of a link before you click. You can add these underneath the “about” section of Google Plus
    • Short and Simple
      • Make sure your post on this network are not too long. Many people respond bettr to images and video because of the increased engagement.

Using Keywords Tactics to be found on LinkedIn

  • Headline
    • Headline should include your title along with other skill sets you want to be known for.
    • Connections
      • Having a good amount of connections help your rankings on LinkedIn. Over 150 usually generates more results
      • Recommendations
        • People that have recommendations from people rank higher than others that don’t. You should have two recommendations for each job you have.

YouTube Tips

  • Increase your search engine results:
    • Tag videos with keywords and phrases
    • Use your targeted keywords in the title
    • Choose category with keywords
    • Build Traffic to your Site
      • Make sure to add links to your site in the description section of your video.

Pinterest

  • Make your name easy to find
    • Fill out your bio section and add a link to other social media platforms.
    • Use Keywords in description
      • In order for your pictures to rank high there needs to be one or two sentences that explain the image

Avoid

  • Keyword Stuffing (repeating the same words just to manipulate the search engines)
  • Too many similar links
  • Exact same keyword use across every page

 

Tools

Make sure to measure your progress after you implement these strategies.  Some people try to find their rankings by manually searching the search engines. This practice is really time consuming and sometimes not accurate because you may be logged into your email provider which gives you different results. Below are some tools to help!

Firefox Rank Checker- Gives you the ability to run reports on multiple keyword rankings
Google Analytics- Gives you the opportunity to see what keywords people use to find your website.
Google Keyword Planner- Find out what are the top keywords are being searched.

How to Develop a Keyword Strategy for Your Content

What is the keyword strategy for your content marketing?  What? You don’t have one? You’re not alone. When you need to get a certain amount of content online every day or multiple times a week, it’s easy to get going with your writing without considering content.  With changes in Google algorithms, most people know that keyword stuffing is not going to help your SEO rankings.  So what are some other considerations when using keywords in your content?

What’s your primary keyword?

“I want to rank on the first page of Google for ____________”.  It’s perfectly okay to use that as your starting point and the quickest way to identify what your business is about. You’ll obviously narrow it down from here but take a moment to think about that statement first.

Google Incognito

A simple and unscientific way to do some initial keyword research is to open a chrome browser in incognito mode. You can’t hide what you are doing but it does not keep a record of your browsing history so you can can search for words on a relatively clean slate. Try different variations of your keywords to see how many results there are.  If it’s too small, there’s not enough of a market.  If it’s too high, be aware there is a lot of competition to rank for that particular keyword phrase.

Searches related to…

At the bottom of your Google search screen, you’ll see keyword phrases that are related to the term you just searched which can help you brainstorm different variations of that term.

Paid Search

What are some terms you are using in your paid search, such as Google AdWords? If you are paying for a keyword, it’s also worth considering for inclusion in your content. If you rank well for paid words, but not for the organic ones, you need to incorporate those into your site content more often.

Google Analytics SEO

If you connect Google Analytics with the Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), you can see data about the actual search queries that lead people to your site.  It shows how many times your site came up in search, how many times someone clicked on your site, and what page you ranked on. If you expect to rank for something and you are well beyond that first page of results, think about how to incorporate more content on the site specific for your target term. And aim to be specific since vague terms will make it tougher to rank.  For example, “restaurant” is clearly a vague term.  “Vegan restaurant” is a little bit better, so continue to think a bit narrower with your terms.

Keyword Density

Keyword density is about how many times your keyword is used in a piece of content and is where the keywords stuffing problem originated. The key to keyword use is to write naturally.  When you find a place to use the keyword that doesn’t make your content sound repetitive or choppy, include it in your writing.

Include it in your editorial calendar

An editorial calendar can be as simple as a spreadsheet to plan out your content topics for the month. This process can seem more manageable if you decide in advance which keywords you want to target for the days you post content. If your content generally is produced on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then plan for the next month what you focus on those three days per week.

Include it in your headlines and title tag

The title tag is displayed in the search results and helps searchers decide whether your result will answer their question. The headline is exactly that; the headline in your post.  Once people are on your site, you want a clear headline with the keywords so they know what the content is about, in addition to making it clickable.

The “secret” to keyword research is that there is no secret! Although there is work involved, it can be a fairly painless process once you start using some of these techniques.

Keywords and Your Impending SEO Doom

This post was originally published on rso-consulting.com

Using the wrong keywords can get you in some hot SEO water. Here is what you can expect from poor keyword selection – and what to do about it.

Search Keywords – SEO Performance

How do your keywords affect SEO performance?

O.K., so maybe this blog starts out a little “gloom and doom,” but we feel this is a very important topic for those of you embarking on an SEO mission, and even for those who have been doing it for a while. We want to make sure you are set up for success, and your keywords have a lot to do with that.

When you are in charge of keyword research and selection for SEO-related projects, it can be tempting to choose keywords purely based on performance. You see a term with high search volume, and you run with it. Or, if you are doing more sophisticated analyses with KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index), perhaps you select keywords based on the highest percentages.

In essence, these are not bad practices, but what you may not be considering here is the other side of the equation: whether or not the keywords make sense for your copy.

Why Keywords Need Context

In order for SEO to work, your keywords need to apply to the content that is on the page. For example, if you have a website page about an educational software product, then you want to use keywords that reflect the product.

You might be tempted to use keywords like “computer” or “technology” because they have high search volumes and are marginally related. There are two issues with this:

• No context – You are not selling a computer nor are you educating people about the broad concept of technology. You are selling educational software, and your keywords should assist that initiative.
• Too much competition – These two keywords are so generic that your website page would likely never get high enough in search rankings to make a measurable difference.

An Even Bigger Issue with Wrong Keywords

When you choose keywords that are not directly related to on-page content, you are setting up your SEO to fail. Why? Because even if you generate clicks for your keywords, site visitors will see right away that your content does not match the keywords. And then they leave.

This hurts you in two ways:

• Bounce rate – An important part of SEO is keeping your bounce rate (the rate at which people leave your page) in check. If visitors see your page is not related to the keywords used, then you can expect a spike in bounce rate. This hurts SEO.
• Conversions – If part of your objective for doing SEO in the first place is to sell more products or services, then using the wrong keywords is not the way to do it. Even if you are able to keep visitors on the page longer, at some point they are going to realize your content is not delivering on the promise of its keywords. No sales for you.

If all of this is sounding familiar, then you may need to revisit your keyword research or conduct a new analysis. Doing so will help you discover keywords that have solid performance data and match your page content.

Once you have your new keywords, try plugging them in with your on-page content. Then, make sure you track analytics over time to see if these changes are doing their job to improve your SEO work.

What is the Point of a Website Audit?

This post was originally published on rso-consulting.com

SEO Site Audit – Why Do Website Audits

What is a website audit and why do I need one?

If you already have a website and are ready to improve its search engine visibility, then a website audit (or “site audit”) is a good starting point.

If you already employ SEO (or think you may be) but are not seeing the results you want, then a site audit can also provide answers to why you are experiencing decreased sales, low conversions, and high bounce rates.

But, what is a site audit?

A website audit is a complete analysis of all the factors that determine your site’s visibility in search engines. This can include, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Indexed pages
  • Page errors
  • Site speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Optimized, updated content
  • Meta data
  • Responsiveness to devices
  • Backlinks
  • Social signals

To conduct a site audit, SEO firms generally run various tests and generate detailed reports, which are then analyzed for insight on any existing website issues.

Based on the results of the audit, the firm should then make recommendations to improve the visibility of your website in search engines.

If you have never implemented SEO best practices, then the site audit reveals where you may want to begin your work. For example, if the results of your audit conclude that your pages are missing meta data, then you may want to consider adding that information to your site.

But, if you already do SEO and you are not getting favorable results, then you should consider the site audit because it can pinpoint where and why your issues exist. Perhaps, for example, you need to make more of your pages mobile-friendly or you have bad backlinks, both of which could be penalizing your site.

Using Schema Markup for SEO

Schema.org is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet.”

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Popular types of schema, or data types, include events, reviews, and people, but there are many more available to identify the type of data on your webpages.  Although it is still not frequently utilized, it may result in an improvement with your SEO when it’s done correctly.  There are some questions about whether or not using schema will really move your site up in the search results, but rich snippets that display in the results could increase your click-through rate.  When users see this additional data about your content, such as the number of starred reviews, date, or author information, it helps your result stand out from the others in organic search.

Schema markup is code placed on a website to help the search engines return results to users. It goes beyond what your data is to what your data is about and what it means.  If you are familiar with HTML, you know that tells browser how to display information about a website.  For example, the all-important title tag is presented in HTML markup as <title></title>.  That’s the code that tells the browser you are referencing the title of a particular page, but does not offer insight about what that title means.

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Web Seminar Recap: Using SEO for Social Media

Ranking high on Search Engines is a great way to bring awareness to your brand. It is important to be aware that the same tactics used to rank on search engines can also help you on ranking your profiles on social media. Where and how you position content on profiles makes a big difference in how people see your posts.

This 1-hour web seminar was presented by Chris West on July 28th. Attendees learned:
• How to choose Keywords
• Ranking Linkedin profiles
• Twitter Keyword use
• Organizing Social media posts

Missed this seminar? Catch up by downloading the recording and slides here.

 

 

3 Must-Ask Questions for a New SEO Consultant

This post was originally published on rso-consulting.comSEO Must-Ask Questions for New Consultants

If you are new to SEO and on the hunt for an SEO consultant, then you may have already discovered the bounty of firms and agencies ready to serve you.

The challenge is, how do you know which companies are knowledgeable, experienced, and – most importantly – successful in SEO services?

It can be tough for clients to properly vet SEO consultants, because they sometimes do not know enough about the process to ask the right questions or understand what types of answers to expect.

Many clients do not have the time to learn about the process, either – that’s why they hire the pros.

Yet asking the right questions and knowing the correct types of answers helps weed out the good from the bad, the haves from the have-nots, the yesses from the nopes. You get the idea.

To help you make the most of the interview process and receive the highest value for your marketing dollar, here are three questions we highly recommend:

  1. What is your SEO process? This should be one of the first questions you ask an SEO consultant, because it reveals a lot about the experience you can expect if you work with their company. Do they conduct a site audit, keyword research, and analytics reporting – and how? Are they following SEO best practices – and how do they implement them? What are the individual phases of the process – and how involved will you be? A reputable SEO company that has been around the block can tell you the answers to these questions, in detail, and back it up with examples, case studies, and reasons why or why not.
  2. Who is working on my SEO project? When you meet with a consultant for the first time, you may not be meeting all of the supporting staff. However, search engine optimization is a lengthy, ongoing process, so you want to enter into this relationship with an understanding of the folks who are involved in the analysis of your site, the research of keywords, the development of content, the designing and coding of your site, and the management of your SEO and website. Some companies have in-house staff, but many outsource these tasks to individuals who specialize in certain areas. One way is not better than the other, but it is helpful to understand the depth of expertise that goes into the company’s work – and it helps to justify the cost, in some cases.
  3. How will you make sure my website shows up on page 1? This is a great question, only because the answer can make or break a deal with an SEO consultant. It is also somewhat of a trick question, because there is absolutely no consultant, company or agency that can guarantee you a spot on page one. While there is a good deal of information out there about search engine indexing, the truth is the algorithms are confidential. If the consultant says he or she can guarantee you page one real estate, that is your signal to say thank you, but no thank you. The right answer is something along the lines of, “We can’t guarantee you page one rankings, but what we can do to help improve your search engine positioning is x, y and z.”

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of questions for interviewing a new SEO consultant. However, these are some of the preliminary inquiries that will signal whether you should continue the conversation or move on to another company that can genuinely initiate, develop and/or enhance your search engine performance.

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