Category Archives: SEO

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.

What is a Google Penalty and How to Recover from It?

This entry was posted in Penalty Updates, SEO on by .

Discover what a Google penalty is, why it happens to some sites and not others, as well as how to successfully make a full Google penalty recovery

It happens to many webmasters across the globe. You think you have been doing everything SEO right, even by the book. But your website traffic and search engine results performance (SERP) drops rather suddenly. You check around the interwebs and discover the big issue: Google recently released an algorithm change. It is likely that your website just got hit by a Google Penalty. It could be a Google Penguin Penalty or a Panda Penalty. Either way, it’s not a good thing and you’ll want to marshal legit Google Penguin recovery techniques to get your site back on top of SERPs.

Here’s the thing:

Clearly, a drop in rankings is a real threat not only to your rankings, but also your revenue and profitability hence your ability to stay in business.

But how do you pull off a successful Google Penguin recovery when you may not even know what caused it?

Here’s what you need to do next.

1.    Understand what is a Google penalty

 

Since April 2014, Google has occasionally rolled out Search algorithm updates and other actions that seek to root out unethical webmasters trying to game the search engine system to gain top rankings.

The tricky part is you may have followed Google Webmaster Tools Guidelines (Google Search Console) to the letter but still suffer a penalty.

The Google antispam team drops a penalty in either of two ways:

  • Manual action: this is a hands-on penalty the Google antispam team will slap on your site for a specific reason
  • Automated algorithm updates: naturally comes into effect when your website fails to effect renewed ranking factors

And then there are the two popular types of Google penalties:

  1. Panda Penalty: results from having low-quality content on your site
  2. Penguin Penalty: results from suspicious, black hat, and straight-out link building schemes and techniques. If low-ball backlinks or inbound links link to your site, and you remain unaware, you could be penalized and not know why it happened.

 

2.    See why you got hit by a Panda or Google Penguin penalty

 

If you got a manual action against you, you may find an “unnatural links detected” notification in your Google Search Console inbox. The alert usually offers good pointers on what you need to fix.

Other times, you won’t receive a heads-up and have to dig into your site’s fabric to uncover which inbound links could be causing you trouble with Google.

Also check if the top SEOs in the industry are talking about a recent Google algorithm update, which could have automatically demoted your website rankings on PageRank.

Do follow Google’s head of SEO and the antispam team Matt Cutts Twitter page as well as Google Search Console’s YouTube Channel for more insights into new Google updates.

Algoroo and MozCast do keep a running track record of all recognizable algorithm changes so you can check with them to see what’s new and could be affecting your site so you can begin your Panda or Penguin recovery.

3.    Start your Google penalty recovery

 

After identifying what hit you specifically, you’ll have a great head-start to recover from a manual action or algorithm update.

Recovering from a Panda penalty requires you recreate your content to make it more useful and authoritative. For example, Backlinko found the best-ranking content length in 2019 averages out at 1,890 words.

Recovering from a Penguin penalty takes a bit more work, depending on the number and intensity of unnatural backlinks you have pointing to your domain, for example. You have to conduct a manual link profile assessment, meaning assessing whether each inbound link comes from a suspicious source or blacklisted site.

If you have thousands of inbound links, this can be painstakingly slow, keeping you in the penalty sandbox until you can manage to figure which links to slap with a no-follow tag so they don’t hurt your rankings again in future.

If you keep receiving low-quality and black hat links, you can see how long and nerve-wracking a process recovering from a Penguin penalty can be.

In fact, only about 5% of webmasters are actively trying to recover from an algorithm update penalty such as Penguin or Panda because it takes a lot of work.

4.    Get the help you need

 

But you can skip the manual labor and not knowing what to do next by using a credible Google recovery service help out. Be sure to see their portfolio, especially how many past clients and how deep they understand Google penalties.

Also, choose expert Google penalty recovery services that are experts certified by LinkResearchTools (LRT).  Time to get back to your deserved top ranking on SERPs.

On-Site SEO Factors That Matter Most

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

How would you like to learn the 5 most important on-page SEO factors to focus on right away? 

Whether you are looking to spruce up your SEO strategy yourself or consult a top Ventura internet marketing company, you may know this already. Ranking at the top of SERPs is not a one-technique route. Successful SEO strategies involve multiple search engine optimization techniques.

The unintended result of the complexity is you may feel overwhelmed by all the 2019 SEO tips and tricks you need to implement to rank on top of Google Search results.

To help you get over the bottleneck and get more organic traffic from Google, here’s one way to begin it all.  Focus on on-page SEO or on-site SEO factors. These are aspects of your websites you can improve right away to start seeing more traffic.

i.               Quality content is still king but…

 

While this has been the case for the longest stretch, search engines are now focusing on more than quality long-form content and header tags (H1, H2, H3…) to award higher SERP rankings.

The focus now also includes the content’s relevance to buyer intent. So you’ll want to define your audience and what they are looking for in your content strategy before creating it.

Do you want to inform your readers? Use a “How to”, “Ultimate Guide to”, “Step by Step Ways to”, and such instructional posts and titles to let searchers know you want to educate them.

In the body, use organized steps, bullet points, and even screenshots to guide the reader through. Be sure to caption the images accordingly with relevant keywords.

Do you want to convince prospects about a topic? Use “5 Reasons Why” and similar buzzwords to indicate you are explaining what the reader wants to know.

ii.              Embed video

 

In 2019, video content continues to attract even more traffic—6.3% of all search results. But only 1.8% came from YouTube, so do prefer to embed a video on your own site instead of linking out to YouTube.

But did you know Google now requires YouTube videos to have captions to cater to people with hearing challenges? That counts in your rankings.

iii.            Using relevant keywords still works the magic

 

If you are a niche brand, focus on using long-tail keywords. If you can find low-competition keywords to use, you could rank higher.

You can use SEO tools such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, Ubersuggest, and Moz to determine which keywords the top-ranking content/websites on the topic you intend to cover use. Then use those keywords in your content as they are.

If you need help using the tools or with meticulous keyword research, feel free to consult a top SEO services Ventura, CA company to get over it and move on to the next step of your SEO strategy.

iv.            The Website factor

 

Website speed matters.

Google has reported before that the average searcher will only stick around for five seconds and move on if your website fails to load as quickly.

Google recommends you speed up your site to the point it loads in or under two seconds.

That can help reduce bounce rates, which the Google algorithm reads as a failure on your part to provide what the reader wants—leading to demotion on the SERPs.

Compressing images and text helps speed a website. Also, use relevant keywords for image captions to attract 22.6% of all internet search results.

Also, optimize your website for mobile (if you still haven’t in 2019). Remember 65% of clicks to buy now happen on a mobile device than on a desktop computer.

v.              Engagement markers are a big deal

 

Engagement refers to factors such as social media shares, bookmarks, downloads, click-throughs, and the number of comments and replies on a post.

But recently Google stated social media shares didn’t carry much weight. What does?

The time readers spend on a page. The longer the better.

Google’s algorithm takes that to mean readers are sticking around because they like what they see on that page. The algorithm will then award your page and site ranking points for providing value, hence higher ranking on SERPs.

What can you do to boost on-page sessions?

Proper interlinking and clean site navigation are key.

Help readers navigate your site and get what they want by linking relevant content and pages to each other. You can use “Related reading/post” or “Click here to read” or another prompt to guide your readers around and have them around to boost your ranking points.

Again, when you need help making your on-page SEO strategy work for you, feel free to ask for help by choosing the best SEO services Ventura, CA has to offer.

Google My Business Optimization Tips 2019 to Grow Your Brand and Local Business

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

Find out 12 Google local optimization tips you can use right away for your local SEO strategy

To say Google is a player in online search is a creepy understatement. Net MarketShare found 80% of searches are made on Google Search. So, what’s that got to do with Google My Business? The answer is in proper Google local optimization. Or, optimizing your local SEO strategy using your GMB listing to attract local customers to your physical business.

Some 60% of consumers in America use a mobile device to search for local businesses to buy a product from? And, 50% of them end up visiting a local business to buy that product with 24 hours.

Here’s the thing, though:

But, on average, the search only lasts for under a minute. That’s all you have to make an impression before your potential client clicks on to the next, better-prepared online business.

A GMB listing will help you provide the most important information about your business in an organized platform so you can inspire trust and make it easy for prospects to find your physical business in under a minute.

  • A Google map business location (physical address)
  • Directions
  • Phone number
  • Official website

So what Google My Business optimization tips can you use to your improve your online brand awareness, increase foot traffic to your local store, and boost sales?

Here are seven, uncomplicated tips you can use right away to make the most of GMB listings.

  1. Claim your GMB listing right now

Obvious? Not really. Google reported 56% of businesses are yet to claim and verify their GMB account in 2018.

“Near me” or proximity searches, where GMB listings excel most, increased by 200% from 2016 to 2017 and are the top factor local customers are looking for, according to Moz.

Google has also shown 86% of searchers look up the location of a business they want to buy from on Google Maps.

  1. Enter your business name right

Use your primary keyword with your business name in the GMB Title Tag.

For example, if in real estate, add “realty”, “real estate”, “real estate agency” to let prospects know exactly why to choose you over the competition.

  1. Then enter the business category

To continue with the real estate firm example, choose “Real Estate” under the GMB Categories drop-down menu. The difference with the tip above is the Category option describes what your business is, not what it does, sells, or buys.

  1. And full physical business location, too

Enter the locations’ full zip code, city name, and the specific area you service. So instead of “Philly”, go with “Philadelphia”.

You can skip showing the actual address by indicating you deliver goods and services to customers. If you choose a physical address, Google will send you a code in a postcard to that address. Make sure to enter it in the verification tab to fully activate your GMB listing.

  1. Enrich your GMB description with local keywords

Are you a marketing agency in Miami, Florida? Make sure to use phrases such as “marketing agency in Miami, FL”, Miami marketing agency”, and “local SEO packages in Miami” in a natural way throughout your short and sweet description.

Don’t overdo it. Once per keyword is sufficient.

  1. About the phone number

Use a number with local code, so avoid the "1-800” type if you want to attract local calls and business.

  1. Your GMB website

If you are a techie or can get the help, use HTML coding to link your GMB account to your official website so leads can click directly to it.

Otherwise, use GMB’s website builder. Use a local domain name.

  1. Show your working hours clearly

Indicate your operating hours, happy hour, special holiday or weekend hours. Details. Avoid disappointing a customer that shows up at your door only to find you closed. They could take out their frustration on your by posting a negative Google review.

  1. Add real photos of your business

Google has reported businesses that use clear, actual photos of their premises attract 35% more clicks and 42% more request for Google Map direction that businesses that don’t have photos on GMB.

  1. Activate and respond to reviews

Good or bad respond to reviews. More (90% of) consumers now depend on online customer reviews to decide whether to buy from one business or another.

Get this:

Responding to negative reviews will make 46% of customers show up at your business than when you choose to delete or ignore them.

  1. Use Google My Business Insights and Messages

To understand factors such as when customers search for your business most, when they call when they show up, and what they are mostly looking for, use GMB Insights. Then use the Messages feature to chat directly with potential customers.

  1. Talk of chatting…

Amp up the engagement by sharing GMB posts to update current and potential clients of what’s going on in your business. That way, you can keep them engaged and feeling a part of your community to encourage repeat purchases.

With just these 12 simple Google local optimization tips in your local SEO packages or arsenal, you start to attract more clients with GMB almost immediately.

Penguin with speech bubble with the internet

Contextual Link Building: Tipping Your White Hat SEO Strategy

This entry was posted in SEO on by .

Link building has always been a hot button topic in SEO. The big debate is whether it’s good or bad for your web rankings. The data is in and the answer is: it depends.

Depending on how it’s done, link building can hurt or help your online brand presence, traffic and leads, search engine rankings, and domain authority.

There are infinite terms and categories associated with link building, but the two most important and general types are “contextual” and “navigational.”

Contextual link building involves placing links within your content (i.e. web pages and blogs) rather than placing them on a header, footer, or sidebar, which are considered “navigational” links.

Ideally, a strong website has both. While navigational links help a user find what they’re looking for internally, contextual links have two important purposes internally and externally.

Internally, contextual links interlink your webpages together to help spread your web traffic evenly throughout all your pages and aid in search engine categorization. Externally, contextual links can build your website’s authority and search engine rankings. In this blog, we will explore the various contextual link building techniques and evaluate them for effectiveness.

Throw Away “Black Hat” Methods

Many contextual link building techniques that were once touted as the end-all solution to maintaining high SEO rankings have now been blacklisted by Google’s algorithms and can cause hefty penalties.

These techniques are intended to “game the system” of SEO and focus on the quantity of links going back to your site while throwing quality out the window. Not only do these not provide anything of useful substance to your users, they can actually make your site look less credible and clog up the internet with shallow references to your site that might have no relevance at all.

For example, they might utilize spam-like tactics such as posting comments on other websites that will link to your website, making edits to Wikipedia to link back to your pages, or creating “link farms,” which are websites created solely for the purpose of hosting links to other websites.

Google’s ranking algorithm used to count pages with more links as automatically more valuable. However, Google has since developed extensive updates, such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird to not only reverse this but to actually offset it.

If your website used these techniques in the past or paid someone else to increase SEO who may have, you may be penalized by Google. These link building strategies are referred to in SEO as “black hat” methods because they are not legitimate and can actually be quite harmful in the long run.

Tip Your “White Hat” Instead

The favorable link building strategies, known as “white hat” in SEO, take more time and expertise to enact properly but they are worth it in the long-term.

While you can still link to your own content through a social media presence, you’ll want to avoid excessively and aggressively doing so—ensure that your self-references are meaningful. For example, if you’ve created a piece of content that’s evergreen, backlinking to this page can be an excellent strategy for your social media.

But rather than creating your own references to your site from low authority offshoots, you’ll want to develop strategies to persuade other high-quality, authoritative sites to reference you voluntarily. There’s a number of reputable strategies to accomplish this and while none of them are quick or easy, they are all doable and will make your business better for having done them.

Content Is King

This becomes more and more true with every Google algorithm update. Creating content that is consistent, evergreen, unique and useful, and SEO optimized is your best bet for obtaining genuine, authentic backlinks.

  1. Consistent

Make a plan to post once a day, week, or month and stick to your schedule. It’s better to post less frequently than be too aspirational and miss postings. This way, you can build a loyal group of followers that will become accustomed to checking your site for updates and build trust with your content.

  1. Evergreen

Evergreen content is incredibly valuable not only because it will always be relevant to anyone reading it but because it will gain traction in search engine rankings that build continuously over time. While it may never go viral, it can continue to build traffic and backlinks indefinitely.

  1. Unique & Useful

Aside from evergreen content, you can also make your content valuable by expressing newsworthy, exceptionally useful, or niche information.

Newsworthy content will likely spike in popularity and may never see the light of day again. However, you can always create internal backlinks to it if it’s relevant to do so.

Exceptionally useful content will take time and effort but just like evergreen content, it can gain popularity and receive backlinks that will build over time. Visuals such as images, videos, and infographics are great for this because it’s usually easier for someone to cite you than to create something as informative.

  1. SEO Optimized

Keywords are still crucial to helping search engines categorize your content and ensure relevance. While the content should come first and not be built around keywords, be aware of what your potential clients might be searching for and how you can help them get to it. Your anchor text (the content you decide to create contextual links from), should be relevant, descriptive, and simple.

Find Your Niche

While you’ll have competitors in any industry, you might consider what niche you can appeal to or needs that you can fill that your competitors simply can’t. In certain cases, geography might play a role as well. This can and should involve extensive research.

For example, if you have a treatment center operating in Santa Barbara, you’re not realistically competing with other treatment centers outside of California or even those in Los Angeles. Your topics of interest will overlap considerably, and you may even consider linking to their content to establish credibility.

Build Relationships, Networks, and Alliances

Creating relationships with businesses that are not in direct competition with yours but that overlap enough to create a relevant link can be beneficial for everyone involved. For example, you might find that your treatment center is not directly in competition with another because while your center is geared towards alcoholism while the other specializes in treating narcotic addictions.

You may be able to create a meaningful alliance with this treatment center and be able to link to one another’s content, share trending ideas that might be of value to both of your client bases, and vouch for one another to inquiring clients. Additionally, contextual links of this sort will reflect well on you. It’ll be clear you value getting the best information to your potential clients rather than trying to appear to know everything.

If you have concerns about correcting “black hat” link building or are interested in “white hat” organic link building services, get in touch with us today. No matter the changes that Google makes to its broad core algorithm, we’re confident we have a solution to keep your business relevant on the web. Contact us today and boost your company’s web exposure.

A Look at the June 2019 Core Algorithm Update

This entry was posted in SEO, Web Design Posts on by .

As many businesses are likely aware, Google released a broad core algorithm update last month that has had incremental effects on Google rankings and web traffic.
The update was announced on Google’s SearchLiason Twitter account on June 2, only giving users a 24-hour notice. The update took about 5 days to roll out. However, these updates have historically taken a week or even longer to fully balance out, so you may see quite a bit of variability in your rankings.
Google has performed updates like this before, usually every few months. However, this is the first update that has ever been announced prior to an official launch, and by Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan himself via Twitter.
While Google claims the update is no more drastic than previous ones, it offered notice with the understanding that these updates can cause spikes and downfalls in web traffic that can affect the livelihood of businesses.
Although there’s not much anyone can do to avoid a potential hit from a Google update, knowing about the update in advance can prepare you for a dip in traffic and explain why your ratings could suddenly change so drastically. This can be especially important information for social media, digital marketing, and SEO companies like us, because our clients depend on us to deliver reliable web traffic that increases steadily and is somewhat predictable.
While we can’t explain specifically why your rankings and web traffic may have sizably spiked up or down, we can offer you the following information in regard to the update:

What is a Broad Core Algorithm Update?

Google is continually striving to make quality content as easily accessible as possible and does this by making continual tweaks to its algorithm to prioritize this content.
These tweaks quite likely revolve around the concepts of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), an acronym that is often prescribed as the path to recovering from a Google update (Search Engine Journal).
However, sometimes Google’s algorithm updates are about improving the relevance of user’s search results, which may indirectly affect your business rankings. Google also aims to give previously under-ranked pages a chance to hold web traffic, which inevitably pushes other content to the lower end of the results page.

How Can My Website Recover?

If you did experience a sizable downswing in web traffic or rankings since June 4, it’s likely due to the Google algorithm update. While this doesn’t offer you a prescription for how to recover your previous rankings, it will at least justify that there’s not necessarily anything wrong with your website that caused the sudden downswing.
Keep an eye on your web analytics and search console over the next few weeks to see if your website naturally recovers. While there’s nothing tangible and specific you can do to improve your rankings, Google, as always, vaguely recommends that you just make your site “better.” However, in reference to this update in particular, their advice is not to do anything about it at all.
These updates are called “broad” algorithm updates for a reason—it’s a continual process of Google becoming smart at picking out items like weak links and duplicate or spammy “click-bait” content. But this doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything in particular to result in any changes post-update. It may be that your site is no longer considered “relevant” to Google. But rather than trying to figure out why your site isn’t relevant; you might investigate why other sites are.

Don’t Blame Yourself

It may sound cheesy, but it’s not your fault and you may not have done anything wrong at all. While you’re learning to improve your website, Google is simultaneously earning to improve its algorithm, and still makes occasional mistakes. You may have been high-ranking before and justifiably so but for whatever reason, Google’s new algorithm is reading something incorrectly or has changed the rules of the game altogether.
Influential websites like Daily Mail (a leading UK news website) and CNN.com (a news website) have been affected by the algorithm change, which should tell you something about how confusing and widespread algorithm updates can be. Google rankings are never set in stone—which is a double-edged sword.
Rather than waste your time and energy trying to pin down why Google’s new algorithm is punishing you, just focus on improving what you can going forward. While the update may be done rolling out, only time will tell how it will adjust over time – after all, Google is busy operating numerous data centers and servers around the world. While the update only took about five days to launch, it’ll probably take far longer for its effects to really become clear.
Google maintains that part of their goal with algorithm tweaks is to benefit webpages that have been previous under-rewarded. While this may not be intended to hurt higher-performing pages, it may do so temporarily. As lower-ranked pages move up a few placed on a page, your previously high-ranked page may move down a few notches.

Keep Vigilant

In the meantime, keep an eye on your web analytics and search consoles, continue making edits to your online pages for user-friendliness and accessibility, and as always aim to create original and informative content.
Google’s updates are not always about removing spam. Sometimes they are just aiming to increase the relevance of user’s search results. Although this may affect your rankings, it’s ultimately better for the world of SEO and content because it will make it easier for you to reach your target audience and for them to find you. Additionally, pages that have previously been ranked lower but had great content may now have the opportunity to shine.
This won’t be Google’s last update, so regardless of how it may have affected your web traffic, you can expect to see more changes. The goal is not to have to play a game to get your website to score well organically. And as Google moves closer to that reality, our strategies for SEO and web design will have to adapt.
If you have concerns about being penalized by this past month’s Google broad core algorithm update, get in touch with us today. SeoTuners is well-versed in white hat and organic SEO services and strategies, authentic custom link building, and web design that can help boost page rankings, build the authority and visibility of your website, and drive traffic organically. No matter what changes Google makes to its broad core algorithm, we’re confident we have a solution to keep your business relevant on the web. Contact us today and boost your company’s web exposure.