Monthly Archives: August 2019

Reviews button on a keyboard.

Five Reasons Why Authentic Online Reviews Are Essential

This entry was posted in Content, SEO, Social on by .

Word of mouth used to be one of the only business marketing methods. While people will still choose one business over another because of a friend or family member’s personal recommendation, it’s very likely they may also seek out online reviews. Because of the increasing pervasiveness of the internet in our everyday lives, it’s essential that your business has an online presence and reputable reviews for when potential customers inevitably search for you online.

Potential customers also look for reviews offsite, such as on sites like Amazon, Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google when deciding whether to purchase your products or services. In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews about a business before visiting and 88% of consumers trust them as much as a personal recommendation. Some won’t even consider purchasing a product or service if there are no reviews!

SeoTuners offers the following 5 reasons why authentic online reviews are essential to your business strategy:

Increase Your Conversion Rate

How can reviews be so trusted and crucial to businesses when they are almost always posted by complete strangers? The key to increasing your conversion rates with reviews is to ensure those reviews are authentic, diverse, and detailed and taken from trustworthy sources.

Note that we didn’t include the word “positive” on this list. Having some bad reviews as opposed to all positive ones can actually increase your conversion rate more. Research suggests that consumers are more likely to trust reviews when there are both good and bad comments, while some even suspect censorship or faked reviews when there are no negative reviews at all.

There are services that offer ‘fake’ reviews in exchange for payment, but these can be damaging to your long-term business reputation, raise suspicion among consumers, and cause you to miss out on potential business growth and important intel.

Strive to obtain as many authentic reviews as possible and don’t worry so much about the bad ones—they will make the good ones seem more legitimate. Rather than deleting or challenging negative reviews, consider responding to them sympathetically and specifically addressing the concerns brought up to put a positive spin on the way your company handled criticism.

Improve Your Organic Search Rankings and SEO

Of course, this is our number one priority—it’s no surprise that organic reviews have an excellent effect on your SEO rankings. If you have reviews posted on your website, they are unique and informative content that will give your brand authority, relevance, and potential keyword boosts. Reviews can help your visitors find your site organically and optimize click-through rates.
External reviews on sites such as Google, Amazon, Trip Advisor, or Yelp can also boost your SEO rankings. Google’s local search algorithm incorporates all these reviews in its search result listings, and each Google update seems to only increase the weight of these reviews. There’s even a way for you to microformat reviews on your site so that Google can index and use them more effectively for search queries.

Build Trust & Credibility for Your Brand

Reviews for products and services go beyond specifics and give a reflection of the overall quality of your business brand. If you have a consistent history of generating thorough, authentic, and generally positive reviews for your products and services, you will generate trust and credibility for your brand that will span to increased conversions, SEO rankings, and client preference. Consumers are more likely to choose a business with reviews over one with no reviews and are certainly more likely to choose a business with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

However, receiving negative reviews is an opportunity to reflect your customer service skills and show consumers how you handle criticism with grace. If you have a habit of responding promptly to reviews and offering opportunities for reconciliation, you’re creating trust. Even if a customer is not completely satisfied with your services, you still want to hear about their experience and attempt to fix their issue.

Keep Up with the Competition

You need to get intel on your competitors in an ethical and authentic way. Conduct a regular audit of your major competitors online reviews including:

  • The overall amount of reviews they have
  • The ratio of positive/negative reviews
  • The amount of detail and length of each review
  • How many reviews are listed in search results
  • If (and how) the competitor responds to reviews

This will give you a benchmark of what you should be looking to achieve with your own goals for reviews. But in the interest of going above and beyond your competition, you can also assess things like:

  • Repeated issues, concerns, or complaints from clients
  • If business is declining or increasing
  • Repeated desires of clients

Determining the areas where your competitors might be lacking is an excellent opportunity to strengthen your own services. For example, if clients of a competitor repeatedly report feeling frustrated about a lack of communication with your competitor, you might consider coming up with a method to address communication with your clients that can be advertised and marketed.

You could promise new clients that if you don’t communicate with them on a (daily, weekly, or monthly) basis, you will reduce part of their bill or offer an additional service. Add a catchy phrase to it, and you have yourself a marketing strategy!

Alternatively, if you find multiple reviews wishing your competition provided a specific service, consider whether you might be able to provide that service and market to this overlooked niche.

Improve Your Business

A strategy of obtaining as many authentic reviews as possible and prioritizing them in your business strategy can not only increase business; it can also improve it.

Do not fall for the allure of paying for fake reviews—because this can not only damage your reputation but also prevent you from achieving growth from interacting with negative reviews and turning them into positive ones.

Consumers are often able to tell real reviews from fake ones, and if you’re doing your job right, you should have no shortage of clients willing to offer authentic reviews.

Encourage your clients to review your product or service honestly and assure them that you truly want to know how you can improve. Make it a priority to read new reviews that come in and consider creating a system for obtaining new ones. You might consider creating an email to go out on a schedule to current clients inviting them to submit new reviews, or earmark it as a post-service wrap-up item.

With each update to Google’s local algorithm, it becomes more and more clear that reviews are key to Google search engine rankings. If you have authentic reviews, positive or negative, the data shows that more is always better and the amount of interaction you have with your reviews matters.

SEOTuners is well-versed in SEO and can help craft a custom, affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings. With affordable SEO solutions that include web design, social media, custom link building, SEO penalty recovery, and more, we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. Contact us today to learn about how we can boost your Google rankings.

What are Google Local Business Cards and How to Optimize Them?

This entry was posted in Advertising, Local, Marketing, SEO on by .

Discover one of the simplest search engine optimization techniques in 2019; Google local optimization with Local Business Cards

In 2019, about 50% of the 67,000 search queries made on Google Search are local searches. How can your business tap into this user base, attract, and convert them into raving, paying customers to grow your business? And what does Google local optimization, local business cards, or Google My Business have to do with anything?

Let's do a little experiment.

Open a new tab in your browser. Type "green tea in Houston" in the search box. What do you see in the search results (SERPs)?

Anything like this?

Google My Business in action on top of search results

Notice the first result is a spice store. If you are looking for coffee and baked goods, you'd choose the second or third ones, right?

So, let's pick Palm & Boy Coffee and Acai. Click on the name once.

This comes up:

Inside Google My Businessthe top Google local business card

Now, in the middle column, can you spot the following by scrolling down?

Google My Business reviews

And then this:

The last of the local business cards in a GMB listing

 

If you search for a business online, like 60% of consumers did in 2018, you may see this too:

Google knowledge panel directly in search results

 

The above series of screen shots demonstrate the cluster of features that make up Local Business Cards. Google calls all of it Google Posts.

What is a Local Business Card?

A Google Business Card is a search result feature that displays a host of critical information about a local business.

The information typically displays on the right-hand side of search results. It is essentially what a search engine user needs to know about your business such as:

  • Your location on Google Maps, and directions
  • Official business website link
  • Type of business
  • Star rating
  • Contacts and address
  • Open hours
  • Relevant images

Even more critical, a local business card will help persuade (or deter) a potential customer through Google Reviews, busiest hours, and the competition's appeal (as highlighted under "People also search for" section).

Instead of clamoring for overwhelming and expensive SEO techniques right out the gate, you can start by claiming your GMB listing. Then learn how to optimize your Google My Business Account.

How to optimize your local business cards?

Here's how to improve and take advantage of Google Local Business Cards in the simplest, most actionable way so you can start immediately.

  1. Claim your GMB listing

Getting on GMB will almost instantly have your business feature in Local Finder, Local Pack, and Google Maps. You can link the listing to your business website.

You will also show you are a real business, in a specific location, and are open for business to boost your local SEO strategy.

  1. Fill all the information in

From your business name to type of business to upcoming events/promotions, to open hours, give searchers the information they need to get to you

  1. Use your niche keywords in your 300-word description.

Google only shows the first 100 characters on first glance so make those count.

Amplify what you offer without copy-pasting your menu (if you are an eatery). For example, highlight attributes such as free WI-FI, a vegan diet, and home delivery.

Don't overuse keywords, too.

  1. Activate most relevant CTA

You'll have several calls-to-action prompts to choose from such as read more, get, and buy. Use one that suits precisely what you want searchers to do after seeing the listing.

  1. Enable and solicit Google reviews.

And regularly respond to reviews whether positive or negative to show potential customers you care. Remember over 85% of buyers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

  1. Activate Click-to-Message

The feature allows consumers to easily text your business so you can connect more and convert them to buyers.

  1. Verify your GMB Listing

Log in to your GMB account. Select the business to verify. Choose verification method. Follow the prompts.

  1. Add striking images

Use sharp, 750 by 750 images or 30-seconds video on your listing to give a visual highlight of exactly what you offer. Show out your exterior, interior, team, the team at work. Ensure they accentuate the mood you want customers to know you for.

  1. Use Posts

Regularly post upcoming events such as promotions, karaoke, team building, and competitions to keep your listing fresh and buzzy. Each post lasts up to just 10 days.

With just these nine local business card optimization tips, you can start seeing increased exposure online whether you are big or small business with a limited SEO marketing budget. Try it and see. Will you?

 

How Much Does Local SEO Cost in 2019?

This entry was posted in Advertising, Local, SEO on by .

We'll break down the average cost of local SEO packages when you are looking to work with an experienced and innovative local SEO company such as SEO Tuners

Becoming discoverable online is as important to a brick and mortar brand as it is to a purely digital brand. In 2019, SEO statistics have shown 43% of all Google searches are local. About one in three people use a smartphone to search for a local business to buy from. These searchers end up making an instore purchase within 24 hours, too.

And did you know as many as 43% of consumers read reviews online while inside a store? That's what WordStream found out in 2016.

Clearly, local SEO services aimed at optimizing your local online marketing can lead more foot traffic to your store and help you make more sales.

But what if you need help from a professional SEO services partner?

How much can you expect to invest for local SEO packages that work?

SEO pricing in 2019 is typically categorized into three tiers. All three tiers utilize a monthly subscription plan aimed at helping businesses like yours become visible, grow their online reach, and attract more organic visitors over a specific time. SEO is a marathon.

Before we jump into the actual costs you can expect to invest in ranking on top of Google search, here are some factors to consider when determining the cost of SEO in 2019.

  • Multiple business locations will cost more to optimize than a single location
  • Multiple products and services will also cost more in terms of creating optimized and dedicated sales pages and landing pages
  • If you need quick results, you'll need to invest more in multiple search engine optimization approaches
  • The higher your ROI expectations the more you have to invest in quality local SEO packages
  • Highly competitive industries typically cost a player more to stay ahead of the competition. For example, due to highly-priced keywords, top-notch content, and smooth website experiences than the competition

Here are the three tiers you can base your calculations on:

  1. Basic Automated plans

This plan involves setting up online tools that automate fundamental SEO best practices.

You can expect the automated systems to help deliver basics such as your business name and contacts for posting on various online directories and data providers.

This approach is ideal for launching a business, service, or product. But it won't offer much ROI in the medium to long-term SEO strategy.

Fee Payment for the service is usually monthly. While some services will charge as low as 84$ per year (single location), expect most to range their fees between $300 and $500 for si8ngle-location businesses.

  1. Standard Small Business SEO plans

SME local SEO plans are more comprehensive than automated tools.

You'll get human SEOs offering various technology offerings such as local citations, link building, and technical SEO optimizations to help you rank higher than your neighboring competitors.

Different local SEO agencies will offer different services. So feel free to ask for quotes to see what each of your chosen agencies offers for the tier.

You can expect a skilled SEO company to offer you a monthly SEO package suitable to your businesses at between $400-$900.

  1. Comprehensive local SEO packages

This plan is ideal if you need to hit out to achieve your business goals in a short time, want to cover the gap between your business and the competition, or are committed to investing in the best for optimal ROI.

For about $900-$2,000 per month, expect more sophisticated tools, approaches, and more in-depth competitor analysis here.

The best SEO service like SEO Tuners also includes online reputation management, analytics to help you gauge progress, mobile SEO, quality content, and ongoing support.

Depending on your SEO agency, you can create stop rules that stop the monthly retainer or charge soon as you hit your goals. The process is transparent and also lets you decide how to proceed once you've achieved your original SEO campaign goal.

If you are looking to drive more targeted customers to your local store and become more visible online than your local competition, SEO Tuners offers affordable local SEO packages for small and medium businesses in the Los Angeles and Ventura areas.

5 Ways to Cut SEO Costs and Get Traffic

This entry was posted in Advertising, Marketing, SEO on by .

We get you may not have a huge SEO budget. After reading this you may not need to either. Discover tips for finding an affordable SEO company and DIY SEO tactics.

Whether you are a small or larger business, you can always save money to fund product or service improvements and delivery. When it comes to improving your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you can cut costs by doing a few things right instead of shelling out more marketing dollars to expensive SEO companies for less ROI.

You can manage your online marketing budget to get the most out of it as you grow. In this quick guide, you'll discover the simple SEO tips and tricks you can use right away to start seeing results for fewer bucks.

Here comes.

1. Publish quality content

Google wants to help searchers find the most informative, relevant, and accurate information they can get in response to their queries.

So how do you ensure you offer this kind of information and rank as high as the first page of Google search results and gain 93% of all search clicks?

· Publish useful content

Create content aimed at answering searchers' questions. To do that, research your target audience to understand their search intent.

Do you have customer personas or market segments you've researched and created already?

You can also create content targeted to each of your marketing and sales funnel stages. A searcher at one stage, say awareness, wants to find out about a different matter from another at a different stage say, consideration.

Then use a tool such as the Google Search Console to understand what keywords your target audience uses to look for solutions to their questions online.

· Long-form content wins

The average word count of top-ranking text content is 1,850 words. Majority of top-Ranking posts average between 1500 words and 200 words.

It's not just about creating long content, though. Make it interesting and useful. Such content will help you keep readers around for longer.

That means reduced bounce rates for you, an increase of which signals to a search engine to lower your ranking assuming readers do not find a solution on your site.

· Attractive content structure matters

Online readers can be incredibly impatient. So you need to make your quality content appealing to look at, scan and read.

Avoid using too many keywords, long sentences, and huge paragraphs to reduce reader fatigue. Add keyword-optimized images and cut the fluff.

2. Focus on mobile

Over 54% of all search traffic is now accessed using a smartphone.

To tap into the ever-growing mobile search traffic, make your site mobile-friendly such that it is easier to access from a small screen.

Period.

3. Improve your site loading speed

In our experience, one of the major causes of increased bounce rates is slow-loading web pages.

A slow site can cost you leads, customers, and lead your competitors to take business away from you. According to Google, the best speed loading time should be about two seconds.

So do let your developer know your sites needs to be that fast to effectively compete without spending a ton of money on other SEO plans.

4. Boost your site navigation

Search engines love well-interlinked sites.

To take advantage of this knowledge, seek to conduct internal linking on your site. Link one page or piece of content to another, relevant page or piece of content.

This helps in two ways, at the very least.

  • It helps search engine crawlers to easily index your site due to the easy navigation, and
  • Readers tend to click, open, and read more pages related to the one they initially opened.

 

With more information to read, they'll stick around longer. That signals to search engine algorithms that your site has the kind of information a reader wants to learn in-depth. So the algo will improve your ranking.

 

Improvements in rankings mean you'll become more visible to more people hence receive even more visitors on your website.

5. Use an affordable SEO company

Getting the best SEO services don't have to be expensive. You need an affordable SEO company that understands a small business may not have a huge budget to dunk into their online marketing strategy.

However, with a bit more commitment, you can find a custom SEO plan from an SEO agency near you that is a great fit for your budget and business goals.

For example, you can choose a monthly SEO package that only provides techniques meant to achieve a specific goal. So if you need more traffic to increase sales, only focus on tactics targeted at attracting targeted visitors—warm leads that are easier to convert than readers at the awareness stage of your funnel.

SEO Tuners an award-winning, affordable SEO company in Los Angeles and Ventura that'll help you attract more targeted readers you can convert to buyers for less marketing dollars.

Three puzzle pieces connecting

3 Crucial Elements of Effective Titles, Title Tags, and Meta Tags in SEO

This entry was posted in SEO on by .

Having high-ranking, quality content on your website is crucial to building your authority and ranking in search engines. When a user is deciding whether or not to click your content, they are relying on the title, your website’s name, and possibly a picture to influence this decision.

When your content shows up in search engines (and even if it shows up at all), title is key. But in the language of SEO, you may have heard various similar terms such as “title tags” and “meta tags.”

In this blog, SeoTuners will define these terms, differentiate them, and provide best practices for perfecting them in your content.

The title of your blog is something you can probably identify quite easily, but you may not have considered how important it can be when it comes to driving traffic. Your title must be engaging, descriptive, and relevant and must be strategically crafted to achieve all of these objectives seamlessly in one short tag line.

Title tags and meta titles are HTML code that are embedded in the header of a web page and used by Google to influence your listing in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

A title tag will show up on external pages like Facebook and SERPS, so it’s important that it makes sense and reads logically. Google can alter your title tag if it’s not relevant, so you want to be sure that you put thought into it to influence your SEO as much as you can.

It should be about the same length as your blog title and many times, they might be the same or quite similar—usually between 50-70 characters to stay under Google’s 70-character display cap. When your blog shows up in a Google search, you want your entire title tag to appear without being cut off. Title tags and titles are often used interchangeably, because often times they are the same.

However, if you have crafted an incredibly clever title that’s on the longer side, you might consider trimming it down in the title tag to the major elements such as key words, actionable items, and main descriptive elements.

Alternatively, a meta tag (also known as a meta description or meta data), is going to be a bit longer, usually between 50-154 characters. This will appear below the title tag on a SERP and a social media posting of your content. Your meta tag should give a detailed description of your content including any relevant information that you may not have been able to fit in your title tag. This may also be a good place to add in more keywords or variants, which will be discussed later on.

The title of the blog itself may not be something you’ve ever put much thought into. Not only is a good title key to getting users to open and read your content and visit your web page, it can also influence its distribution and authority.

Oddly enough, many people will share content without even reading it, and a catchy title is a lot more likely to be shared than a run-of-the-mill one. Which brings us to our first major element of an effective blog title: it needs to be engaging.

Engaging

Your title needs to stand out in search results, draw users in, and make the content something they will want to share. Including the following elements has been shown to increase engagement and clicks:

  • Questions
  • “How to” prompts
  • Emotion

Asking a question in your title makes your content interactive and interesting, and for SEO purposes it may often mimic what users are searching. For example, a title like “How Can I Improve My SEO Rankings?” may personally appeal to your clientele.

Similarly, a “How to____” title format is to the point and actionable. Including action phrases or a call to action in your title such as “find out”, “discover”, or “learn” will encourage users to engage with your content.

Emotive words, slang, or catchy phrases can also make your title more engaging. Depending on your audience, you might experiment with exclamation marks, all caps words, italics, and slang or industry specific terms and acronyms.

Specific

Including specifics such as numbers in your title has also been shown to increase clicks. Numbered lists let the reader know exactly what to expect from your blog in a short amount of characters. For example, you might use a title with the format “X Ways to…” or “X Reasons Why…”.

Dates, including months and years are also good to include in blog titles because they are commonly used in search engines. While this won’t work for all content, anything timely or newsworthy can benefit from having a date in the title. For example, “August 2019 Best SEO Strategies”

Accurate

Ultimately, your title needs to reflect the piece of content. Be sure to include at least one keyword but beware of excessive “keyword stuffing” which can cause penalties with Google.

You can find keywords by using Google Analytics, Search Console, or a good old-fashioned Google search. A Google search can also help you discover synonyms and variants of search terms which are also important to include.

For example, if someone is searching for a treatment center they might instead search for “drug rehab”, or “mental health”. It’s important to do some preliminary research and scan Google results for other ways people may be searching for the information your blog is presenting.

To avoid keyword stuffing, you can include some words and variants in your meta description and the content of your blog to reap some SEO benefits.

You will also want to ensure that your title, title tags, and descriptions are always unique—duplicate content can be penalized by Google.

Creating engaging, specific, and accurate titles, title tags, and meta tags will ultimately increase your SEO optimization, drive traffic, and increase the exposure of your content!

SeoTuners is well-versed in SEO and can help craft a custom, affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings. With affordable SEO solutions that include web design, social media, custom link building, SEO penalty recovery, and more, we’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. Contact us today to learn about how we can boost your Google rankings.