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4 SEO Fails Keeping Your Website in the Rankings Gutter

Google SERPs are like a mosh pit at a heavy metal music festival – not only is it crowded, it can also be brutal. It may seem impossible to work your way up the results pages, especially when you operate in a competitive or niche space, however, it is possible. We’re going to jump right in and teach you about the top 4 reasons your website may not be ranking high on SERPs and what you can do about it.

  1. Subpar Content

There is a reason why people say that content is king. Content serves a dual purpose: to capture the eyes of your target audience and to gain the attention of Google search bots via relevant short- and long-tail. However, don’t think you can just stuff your content with keywords like a Thanksgiving turkey. Google algorithms will take note and your rankings will suffer as a result. Your content needs to fulfill a need and address your desired audience’s pain points.

The best way to write excellent content that converts is to do your research. See what your competitors are offering and do it better. Ask yourself what their content might be missing or what unique insight you can add. Use Google’s Keyword Planner to find ideal search terms that are high volume, low competition and pepper these throughout your content naturally.

Additionally, if you offer more than one product or service, you’ll want multiple landing pages tailored to each unique product or service you offer. For example, SeoTuners offers a broad range of search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing services. You can visit our services page to see that we provide an overview of our offerings. Click on any service, such as Organic Search, and you’ll find a landing page dedicated specifically to that service. You should also have a company blog devoted to answering your target audience’s most pressing questions, which is a great way to show you’re an authority in your field.

Pro tip: After you’ve chosen your key search terms and sprinkled them throughout your content, you need to track their performance. Google Search Console is a free tool that shows your indexing status – but if you prefer the pros to take charge, call our SEO wizards instead.

  1. Unclear Search Intent

So, now that you’ve learned content is the supreme overlord of SEO, you need to make that content is relatable to the masses. This is where search intent comes into play.

There are three primary types of search intent, according to Search Engine Journal, to which we will add a fourth. Just remember Do-Know-Go-Compare.

  • Do searches refer to transactional queries where people are ready to follow through on a purchase. They might search “buy a dog collar with bow tie” or “red Mini Cooper Countryman for sale”. These types of queries are especially important for e-commerce businesses.
  • Know type searches are informational queries. These searches are for the deep divers and rabbit hole jumpers who want more information on a specific topic, product, service, or industry. They might search for “Mini Cooper origins” or “What are the Game of Thrones creators up to now?”.
  • Go searches are navigational queries. Users don’t need a map, they already know where they’re going. They want a specific website or page and might type in “Chewy dog collars with bow ties”. A Google ninja might even take it a step further and type in “what is inbound marketing site:seotuners.com”.
  • Comparison searches are commercial queries. Users with commercial intent are further along the sales funnel but not quite ready to make a purchase just yet. They want to know more about their options, so they might search “vehicle mpg comparison”.

Your content strategy will depend entirely on your target audience’s search intent. For example, if you own an online handmade jewelry shop, you probably want to gear your content more toward “do” searches and transactional queries. On the other hand, if you operate an educational site that aims to teach people about SEO, you’ll want to lean into those “know” type searches and informational queries by serving up in-depth content on various SEO topics.

Pro tip: If you really want to fine-tune your content, you should be running A/B split-testing on various versions of your site. Mix up your content style or keywords to see what resonates with your specific audience the most. If you want to learn more about A/B split-testing, click through to our article here.

  1. Low-Grade Backlinks

A backlink is essentially a vote of confidence. More specifically, a backlink is a link on another website that leads back to yours. Google Crawlers use these links to make connections on the web and to judge the authority or trustworthiness of your site. Backlinks essentially function a lot like word-of-mouth promotion – someone is linking to you because they find your content or offerings relevant and useful and think others should check you out.

There are numerous strategies that exist to help build backlinks and boost your rankings on Google SERPs. First and foremost, you should be scanning your competitor’s websites to see what types of sites are linking back to them. There are various auditing tools available that will provide you details on their backlink portfolio. (Of course, you can always reach out to the professionals like SeoTuners, too. We provide custom link-building services to earn you high page authority links to your site.)

Pro tip: You’ve probably heard the saying “someone else’s trash is another person’s treasure”. When you’re auditing your competitor’s backlinks, don’t ignore 404 pages. These may have broken backlinks that you can snatch from your competitors.

  1. Terrible Technical SEO

Although it’s not overly complicated, there are numerous elements to consider when improving your site’s technical SEO. Here’s a super-condensed checklist of the components of technical SEO that can boost your organic search rankings:

  • Meta titles are the subject lines that show up in blue. Most SERPs generally only display the first 50 to 70 characters.
  • Meta descriptions are the text that appears below the meta title. You want to make sure your audience knows exactly what they’re getting if they click on your link. Keep your meta descriptions to about 150-160 characters and don’t forget to include a call-to-action.
  • Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) are just code that tells a browser how to display the text. Be sure to include relevant keywords in all header tags.
  • Targeted keywords. You should be including both short-tail and long-tail keywords throughout your content; however, as we mentioned above, there’s no need to overdo it, as keyword stuffing can hurt your rankings in the long run.
  • Website architecture is the hierarchical organization of your website pages. Homepages, subdirectories, breadcrumbs, contextual internal links, and navigation links are all examples of website architecture used by Google crawlers to understand your page.
  • XML Sitemaps are essentially lists of important URLs on your website. They make it easier for Google’s algorithms to crawl and index your site and show which site URLs are available for crawling. Check out our article about XML sitemaps to find out more.
  • txt files inform Google which URLs crawlers can access on your site; however, this does not mean your page will not show up on result pages. The primary benefit is avoiding a deluge of requests.
  • Page speed and loading time are key elements of a user’s on-page experience. Slow loading times will hurt your rankings. To evaluate your website’s page speed, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

Pro-Tip: Speak with an SEO Expert

There are plenty of resources online that will teach you how to get better at SEO, but much of that knowledge comes from direct experience – and leveling up takes time and a lot of trial and error. To save valuable hours – and money – give SeoTuners a call at (877) 736-1112 or fill out our contact form here. Our SEO experts use proven strategies to boost rankings and conversions while maximizing your ROI.

A/B Split-Testing for SEO: Enhancing Intuition with Data

It seems that every year SEO experts and journals dedicated to inbound marketing compile a list of general trends in Google intent algorithms and user expectations – the keyword here being “general”. Their findings may be based on mountains of data pulled from research and case studies – and it’s probably a good idea to implement some of these recommendations to boost your own website’s performance – but they don’t necessarily reflect the reality of businesses operating in niche spaces.

To get an accurate picture of what your users are expecting from your content, you really need to conduct your own research and experiment with various website and content tweaks – that is, you should be utilizing A/B testing for SEO. Incorporating A/B split-testing into your routine SEO strategy will enable you to reach your ultimate goals when it comes to website optimization: greater organic traffic and higher conversion rates.

 

What Is A/B Split-Testing for SEO?

 

A/B testing or split testing is a process of trial and error, where you’ll test one or multiple versions of your site against an unchanged version (the control). Each version will have its own URL. Each variant usually only differs in one way from the control site, which makes it easier to attribute incoming data to a single source of change, such as variations of title tags or color schemes.

 

Your original page is version A and alternate test versions will be B and so on. You’ll set some test thresholds that control which segments of an audience are redirected to each page and then compare the performance of each variant against the control.

 

The ultimate goal of A/B split-testing is to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. This means that no matter the outcome, whether your hypothesis was proven right or wrong, the data is still immensely useful and can be applied to improve your website performance on the Google search engine results pages (or SERPs).

 

How A/B Testing Informs Smarter Marketing Strategies

 

The mind is a tricky thing. Unbeknownst to us, we often make decisions based on biases and preexisting beliefs operating in the background. Most of us would like to believe we are unbiased and objective when it comes to decision-making, but our brains have other ideas.

 

Digital marketing is an art whose foundation is research and data. Even if you’ve successfully relied on gut feelings in the past, data can only serve to enrich your intuition. You should really let data gathered from split-testing inform your creativity.

 

Testing your website’s performance against a control can shed light on assumptions that have been diverting valuable traffic from your site, allowing you to streamline your digital marketing strategy, save money, and increase conversion rates.

 

You’ll be able to identify the few most important inputs that affect most of your performance. We highly recommend you keep the Pareto principle in mind: 80 percent of the outcomes stem from 20 percent of the inputs.

 

Additionally, conducting your own SEO research gives you control over your own data. It provides you with real-world feedback for unique perspectives into how your content performs within your niche – not just generalized trends gleaned from an article written by someone else. You’ll be able to unravel Google intent algorithms and user expectations as they relate to your business and answer the question “what should your content actually deliver?”.

 

While A/B testing will require an investment of time in the backend, the money saved and the profit gained will be well worth it. The insight obtained into off-site performance within Google SERPs is invaluable.

 

Using the Scientific Approach in Digital Marketing Research

 

It’s time to put your lab coat on – safety goggles optional. Good SEO research is much like the research conducted in science labs. Whether intentionally or not, smart SEO marketers follow the scientific method, which involves a systematic gathering of evidence to explain the phenomena around us.

 

graph of method

https://www.thoughtco.com/scientific-method-flow-chart-609104

 

All research begins with observations that give rise to questions. You might notice, for example, your website has plenty of organic traffic but hardly any of your visitors hang around long enough to make a purchase. This leads you to ask, “Why do people visit my website but fail to take action”.

 

To answer this question, you’ll need to create a hypothesis, which is a tentative conclusion based on limited information meant to act as a starting point for further investigation. You’ll likely end up with a few theories. Sticking with our example above, let’s say you settle on a couple of hypotheses to test: (1) My website ranks high in Google SERPs for these keywords, but I’m probably not using the optimal keywords for my business niche. If I use more specific long-tail keywords, I will attract my desired audience and my conversion rate will increase. (2) The vast majority of people who visit my site do not make a purchase. If I restructure my content to make it easier to navigate, my conversion rates will improve.

 

Now it’s time to test your theories. This will require three sites with separate URLs: (1) The unchanged control website. (2) Version B with long-tail keywords. (3) Version C with rearranged navigation menus. Set your thresholds and let the data stream in.

 

As far as the appropriate duration of your experiment, this will vary depending on a variety of factors. The long and short of it is you want to continue the experiment for as long as it takes to answer your question, but not so long that your ROI becomes insignificant. A digital marketing expert, such as SeoTuners’s own “Google Wrangler”, can help direct the process for optimal ROI.

 

Once all the data is in, it’s time to analyze it. Perhaps you conclude the results support your first hypothesis but refute the second. This doesn’t mean the first experiment was a success, while the other was a failure. Even if your theories are proven incorrect, there is still plenty to learn from the data of a wrong hypothesis.

 

The Takeaway

 

With A/B split-testing, you can evaluate pretty much anything that affects SEO, from header and title tags and CTA messaging to color schemes, and use what you’ve learned to massively improve your website’s performance.

 

With that being said, we’ll leave you with these final thoughts:

 

  1. Intuition without data is misleading.
  2. You must prioritize in-house experimentation and research over following trends.
  3. All data is golden, whether or not it proves your hypothesis.
  4. The amount of time invested upfront yields triple the gains.

 

Are you ready to take your website to the next level? Then it’s time to reach out to the pros. You can contact SeoTuners by filling out our contact form here or giving us a call at (877) 736-1112. We leverage the data to boost website traffic that will convert to sales.

How to Submit a Sitemap to Google – And Other Important Info

How to Submit a Sitemap to Google in 6 Steps

  1. Create a Google account if you don’t already have one
  2. Sign in to your Google Search Console account
  3. Select your website
  4. Select “Sitemaps”
  5. Delete any outdated or invalid sitemaps
  6. Add your updated sitemap and click SUBMIT

Yup, that’s it. Real easy.

But BEFORE you go hitting that SUBMIT button, there are some important things you should know about sitemaps that will help you ensnare those Google crawlers in your web(site) and get more organic traffic.

What is a sitemap?

So, you’ve already learned how to submit a sitemap to Google. Perhaps you should know what a sitemap actually is to understand how important they are to your technical SEO strategy.

A sitemap is simply a technical directory of all the important pages on your website that indicates to Google crawlers the relevancy and usefulness of certain portions of your business site.

Google’s bots use these directories to index your site. Search engine indexing essentially means an algorithm is collecting, analyzing, categorizing, and storing data from various websites to increase the speed and accuracy of information retrieval.

In other words, when you increase the crawlability of your website, you increase your organic traffic opportunities as well.

Google algorithms automatically crawl the web to discover relevant links; however, submitting your sitemap directly through Google Search Console greatly increases your website’s visibility to bots, allowing them to index, understand, and rank your website quicker.

Types of Sitemaps

While there are several sitemap formats, the two most common are XML and HTML.

Let’s compare:

What is an XML sitemap?

An XML sitemap looks something like this:

codehttps://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/sitemaps/build-sitemap

This is just a very short snippet of what your XML sitemap would look like. To humans outside of programming, this might as well be a bunch of ones and zeros, but this is a Google crawl bot’s favorite reading material – they tend to be picky though, so be sure to read through to our “Sitemap Best Practices” section to find out the minimum standards your XML sitemap must meet.

If you haven’t already guessed, XML sitemaps are meant for search bots only. They also include meta-attributes, such as <lastmod> (as seen above) and <changefreq> to signal to bots how your URL changes.

Site updates tell Google’s search algorithms that your website is likely relevant and useful, which increases your ranking over time. Some dynamic content to include in your sitemap are customer testimonials and blog posts.

Overall, your XML sitemap should only include the most important web pages on your site and exclude more static pages, such as contact forms, and ones you don’t want to be crawled, such as seasonal pages.

What is an HTML sitemap?

An HTML sitemap is simply a list of URLs found on a dedicated webpage. The link to a sitemap is generally found at the very bottom of the main website pages, such as on our SeoTuners website:

website bottom bar

Here’s just a snippet of our HTML sitemap (as HTML sitemaps can be quite long):

screenshot of links

One thing you should notice is that we’ve grouped our most important content by topic. Our main categories are “pages” and “posts”. Under our “posts” category, there are subcategories, which include Advertising, Content, Ecommerce, Local, Marketing, Mobile, Penalty Updates, PPC [pay per click], SEO [search engine optimization], Social, and Web Design Posts.

You can visit our sitemap here to get a better feel for what to include on your HTML sitemap and how to organize it.

HTML sitemaps are used by Google bots but are also a convenient way for users to navigate your site by having all your most relevant pages on a single webpage.

Sitemap Best Practices

1) Make sure your sitemap meets these minimum standards:

  • BUTF-8 encoded
  • Compressed into .gz format
  • Is referenced in the robots.txt
  • Contains only canonical URLs with a 200 status code
  • Does not exceed 50,000 URLs or 50MB uncompressed (whichever comes first)

2) Include only the most important pages of your website:

How do you decide which pages are important?

  • Prioritize dynamic web pages over static pages. Dynamic pages are web pages such as blog posts, customer testimonials, and calendars. Static pages might include dedicated contact pages that don’t need to be a priority.
  • Categorize your content. Group like with like – and if a page is unrelated to your primary purpose, ditch it.
  • Exclude “noindex” URLs. These are pages that you wouldn’t want to be crawled or indexed to ensure they don’t show up on the results pages. Such pages might include internal search results, admin or login pages, thank you pages, custom post types, and author archives. These can cut into your crawl budget and divert bots from your site entirely.

3) Use multiple sitemaps as needed.

The sitemap file size limit is 50,000 URLs or 50MB, which might sound like a lot, but can actually be exceeded rather quickly for larger sites.

For example, e-commerce sites generally have many individual product pages along with their primary web pages. Ecommerce businesses can create separate sitemaps for their product pages, categories pages, and main website.

These individual sitemaps can then be organized into a sitemap index file that allows you to submit all your files at once. These sitemap index files direct Google crawlers to each section of your website through various sitemaps.

4) Create sitemaps for videos and images.

Google provides extensions that allow you to create a separate sitemap for videos and images embedded in your website. You can even include these video and image maps within existing sitemaps. They provide additional scaffolding for Google bots to crawl, providing more information to help bots better understand and rank your files for relevant search terms.

5) Fix any sitemap errors you find ASAP. (That’s it. Get them fixed or see your rankings drop.)

6) Submit your sitemap through Google Search Console.

As we previously stated, you don’t necessarily need to submit your sitemap directly to Google, but it is advantageous to do so. Submitting your sitemap to Google allows their bots to be more efficient in indexing, parsing, and understanding the relevance of your page for ranking.

7) Conduct a website audit to ensure it’s up to spec.

You should really do this before you even submit your sitemap to Google to make sure there are no broken links, missing images, faulty meta tags, etc. You should check your website’s site speed, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and meta descriptions. You can check out our SEO audit checklist for more details or use our free SEO audit tool to see if your landing page or blog posts are optimized for keywords.

8) Hire an expert.

The above steps might seem easy enough, but as you probably know by now, there’s much more to creating a sitemap than just logging into Google Search Console and hitting the SUBMIT button.

Don’t let your rankings suffer due to technicalities. Hire an SEO professional like SeoTuners. We offer innovative internet marketing solutions that will increase your online visibility and help you outrank your competitors. You can call for a free SEO consultation at (877) 736-1112 or drop us a line via our contact form.

title of blog and desk with computer

How to Optimize Your Video Content to Outrank Your Competitors

Video content is an excellent way to capture the increasingly shorter attention spans of a distracted and busy audience.

But before you spend time or money on creating videos, you need to consider what your long-term goals are. For example, do you want to build more links and garner more social shares, increase conversion rates, boost high-quality traffic to your site, or build up your authority and reputation?

Only after you clarify your intentions can you generate an efficient video search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that will actually help you accomplish your goals and outrank your competition.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • What video SEO is
  • Some video SEO best practices
  • Where you should host your video content

What is Video SEO?

It’s important to start thinking of YouTube not merely as a video streaming platform but also as a search engine in its own right. As a matter of fact, after Google, YouTube is the most widely used search engine. And even though Google owns YouTube, the search rules, relevant keywords, and search intent will differ – and your optimization strategies should reflect this.

Search intent on YouTube is more instructional than transactional. For example, someone might peruse Google for the perfect headscarf, but they’re going to turn to YouTube to search for ten ways to style that headscarf.

Video SEO on YouTube provides a unique opportunity for perpetual rankings through suggested “watch next” content if you can tap into certain niches.

You can do this by tailoring your strategy to the platform:

Best Practices for a Tight Video SEO Strategy

Choose or Make Attention-Grabbing - But Relevant - Thumbnails

Think of your video thumbnails as a book cover – it needs to be eye-catching and tell people what the book is about at a glance.

People make split-second decisions to click or scroll by based on these video thumbnails. While YouTube will auto-generate these thumbnails for you, you might end up with an irrelevant or less than flattering still.

You’re much better off choosing or creating your own. You can easily do this via YouTube Studio. Simply log in to the app using a g-mail account, then you can choose the video you want to create a thumbnail for and select from three stills or make your own.

Whichever thumbnail you choose, just remember that you want it to be relevant and professional in addition to interest-grabbing.

Elements to include in your thumbnail include:

  • Clearly stated topic
  • Timestamp for length
  • Eye-catching visuals

Create Relevant Title Tags

Don’t mislead your audience. Intentionally mislabeling your video just to garner clicks is a deception that will only hurt your rankings and your reputation in the long run. Once people realize your video isn’t what they were expecting, they’ll click right back to the result pages. Google and YouTube algorithms take notice, resulting in lower rankings.

To create relevant title tags, simply use a keyword research tool, such as Google’s free keyword planner. You’ll be able to find popular search terms and potentially generate new ideas based on this research.

Write Contextual Video Descriptions

A video description is like the meta description on Google SERPs. It needs to be short and sweet and include a few keywords. Google bots crawl these descriptions to determine how to categorize and rank your content based on search intent.

Things to avoid:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Luring viewers in with false or misleading descriptions

Things to include:

  • A call-to-action
  • Links to additional content (e.g. “watch this playlist to learn more about x” or “watch my latest video x”)

Tag Your Videos

Tags are a way to help Google and YouTube catalog your videos so users can find you more easily. Video tags are a vital part of the video SEO trifecta: tags, title, and description.

Tagging is a way to ensure your video appears alongside similar and suggested content. Just as with thumbnails, you can use the YouTube Studio app to tag your videos. Just click on the sidebar menu on the right, select “content”, choose the desired video, and start tagging. You can use the app anywhere and across all device types.

Upload a Video Transcript

You won’t have to work very hard to produce great video transcripts if your recorded material is already well-researched, finely crafted, and includes relevant keywords.

Including a transcript supplies more material for Google to crawl, providing you with more opportunities to rank. Additionally, transcripts expand your reach by making your content more accessible to the hearing impaired.

Transcripts appear below your video in the comments and show up in your video’s closed captions. You can add timestamps to your transcripts to make it easier for viewers to navigate to the exact answers they need, which can greatly reduce bounce rate.

Fine Tune Your Strategy with Research

There are various free tools - and affordable experts when you’d rather someone else do it for you - at your disposal to help you create a video SEO strategy that gets results.

Google, for instance, has a free keyword research tool or planner that allows you to hone in on high-ranking keywords relevant to search intent. The tool will tell you how popular a search term or phrase is, how difficult it would be to rank for these terms and related search terms.

Because you’ll likely pull ideas from pre-existing content, this tool is especially useful in preventing keyword cannibalization, which happens when you have too many of the same or similar keywords across content mediums. This confuses search bots and may lead to pages you didn’t intend to highlight ranking higher than the ones you actually wanted to promote.

Another valuable tool is a site audit, which will review your video or website schema to ensure you have the proper HTML tags that allow Google search bots to crawl and catalog your content.

Lastly, you’ll want to monitor backlinks, as they are a crucial part of any SEO strategy, video, or on-page. Backlinks are similar to citations and are simply links from another website to yours. Backlinks are an indication that people find your content useful and relevant, which further establishes your page’s authority and trustworthiness. Backlink audits check for broken or bad links and links that can help you establish relationships.

Where to Post: Your Website or YouTube?

There are pros and cons to hosting your video on your business website and YouTube:

Hosting Your Video on YouTube:

The pros:

  • Already optimized for video
  • Second largest search engine
  • Suggested video features
  • SUBSCRIBE button makes it easier to gain followers
  • Built-in thumbnail and transcript tools
  • Potential to go viral

The cons:

  • Terms and conditions apply
  • YouTube can decide to pull your content if it violates subjective decency standards
  • Difficult to monetize content for your target audience

Hosting Your Video on Your Business Website

The pros:

  • More control over your content
  • No need to agree to another platform’s terms and conditions
  • You can choose if and how much you’ll charge for your content by setting up a paywall

The cons:

  • You might need to pay for more server space, as videos are often large files
  • YouTube is massively popular, so you’ll miss out on the platform’s traffic and incidental reach from “suggested next” recommendations
  • You won’t be able to take advantage of YouTube’s free editing and SEO elements, such as adding tags, transcripts, and thumbnails

The Bottom Line

Here’s all you really need to know:

  1. Video SEO is just as important as on-page SEO.
  2. Your video SEO should be unique and well-researched. It should differ from your on-page optimization strategy. Do not copy and paste!
  3. Use title tags, descriptions, and transcripts to boost your video’s crawlability.
  4. Track your progress.

To Save Time and Ensure Success, Hire an Expert

Video optimization isn’t necessarily difficult, but it can be time-consuming and has many moving parts to consider. If you find you’re going cross-eyed trying to optimize for video SEO, reach out to an expert instead. Our SEO professionals can help you supercharge your internet marketing – give SeoTuners a call today at (877) 736-1112 or fill out our online form to tell us more about how we can serve you!

ceo photo

SeoTuner’s Jeremiah Weilert Is named “The Google Wrangler” by Swagger Magazine

On May 10th, Swagger Magazine released a feature on our co-founder Jeremiah Weilert, referring to him as a self-made man stocked with “gumption and go-getter-ism”. And to think it all started with going door-to-door in second grade to sell polished rocks (which he made a $20 profit off of)!

So how did he go from his rock selling days to running a multimillion-dollar SEO company alongside Tony Durso?

What Inspired Jeremiah to Begin SeoTuners?

Jeremiah used to work in a “cookie-cutter sales role” as Swagger put it, which is typically how the business world works—you have to put in your time at the bottom. Learn the ropes as a cog in the machine of the company, and hope that with enough hard work and overtime, someone in higher management will eventually notice you and invite you to move up a step.

Of course, there’s definitely something to be said for putting in your time to learn the lay of the land while working your way up—but sometimes you can become stuck in a business hierarchy that is not functioning well. This can happen when a company refuses to reconsider the way it does business even though circumstances are changing, or when management consistently

turns a deaf ear to innovative suggestions from employees.

Jeremiah was not unwilling to do the work—he became sales manager within six months of starting the job, and in another six months, he became the director of the whole department. This quick advancement is owed to his driven personality—he was passionate about learning and challenging himself, and willing to pivot his management style when it wasn’t working.

But even in this role with perceived leadership power, he found himself constrained by upper management’s inability or unwillingness to change—which ultimately resulted in the company’s dissolution due to Google’s Penguin update. As he notes in the feature:

“When you get as big as they were, and you can’t pivot, you leave yourself vulnerable to Google,” he recalls. “We were running this ginormous SEO company going, ‘there are so many ways for this to go better,’ but upper management wouldn’t take the advice we gave.”

Jeremiah wanted to create a company that would value the ability to anticipate new changes and welcome innovation—and that’s exactly what SeoTuners became.

Creating An Even Playing Field

Cracking the myth that one had to start at the bottom and slowly move to the top, Jeremiah set out to use SEO to ensure that small, budget-conscious companies could consistently show up on the first page of Google, even beating out major brands.

SeoTuners is all about efficiency, adaptation, and resilience. Rather than doing the same things that used to work before, the business focuses on continually trying new and different things that might work even better. And it turns out, this is exactly the type of attitude that’s needed as Google continues to update its algorithms.

The only way to stay at the top in SEO is to change, adapt, and mold one’s strategy as the digital landscape continues to change. And SeoTuners does this by keeping up to date with all of the latest news, statistics, and algorithm updates that are constantly rolling out.

And as Google’s algorithm continues to favor quality, relevance, and credibility, it becomes easier and easier for businesses (no matter their size or wealth) to rank on the front page so long as they showcase these qualities.

Merit Over Profit

For a multitude of industries, bigger doesn’t mean better. SeoTuners wants to help businesses big or small reach their audience so that they can do whatever it is they do best—and sometimes they have to win out over others who only care about making a profit.

This is especially true when it comes to the drug and alcohol treatment center niche. SeoTuners now works with over a hundred of these organizations across the U.S. to help them rank higher on Google so they can better reach the people who need them.

SEO done right is a way to “level the playing field” and help smaller businesses “compete with the big boys online”. It’s a chance to have how high a business ranks on Google have much more to do with the quality of the service than the budget of the business.

So Why Come to Us?

If anyone can do SEO, why come to us? We offer as many tips and tricks as we can on our website, in our blogs, and on our social media posts. There’s nothing we do that anyone else ultimately can’t do.

However, maintaining great SEO takes a lot of time, energy, attention to detail, and a willingness to keep us with the constant changes of the ranking algorithms.

Rather than devoting a significant chunk of your business to that work, we can take this on to let your business devote its time and resources to what it does best, while we do what we do best.

We keep up to date on algorithm changes, trends in the industry, and your businesses’ personal SEO stats to ensure that we’re making a continual effort to improve.

No matter your budget, we are very flexible to meet the needs of your business. Whether you want us to do all of the work or just some of the work, we’ll make it work.

We’re very passionate about what we do—we have swagger—let us help you focus on what you’re passionate about!

If you’re curious about our services in avenues such as e-commerce, conversion rate optimization, local Google ranking, or link building, get in contact with us today. SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. We’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. 

blackboard with title

Understanding SEO Terminology

Have you ever wondered why certain sites show up during a web search? The reason is SEO. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a digital marketing strategy that can increase the visibility of your website’s pages in a web search on search engines such as Google or Bing. Why does this matter for your website? Sites with better visibility are usually those that are higher ranked on the search engine results page, which means more web traffic.

How SEO Works

Search engines will “crawl” your pages, collecting information on them and then indexing that information. When a search is executed, an algorithm analyzes the pages it has indexed, evaluating elements such as site reputation and a user’s location to generate the most relevant results for the user. Sites with large amounts of content and good reputations have a better chance of ranking higher.

Two SEO strategies can improve your website's visibility: on-site optimization and off-site optimization.

On-site optimization: also known as on-site SEO, this component focuses on optimizing elements on your website as a way to improve its position in search rankings, thus increasing the amount of internet traffic to your site. This type of optimization is something that, for the most part, you can control. Elements such as the title of a page on your site or keywords used can improve your site’s visibility.

Off-site optimization: this includes the components that aren’t actually on your site but can still improve your site’s position in search rankings. These components are typically out of your control such as attracting links from social media and other websites.

Algorithms

While there are a variety of search engines to choose from, the most popular by far is Google. Google has a variety of algorithms that are designed to improve user experience such as:

Hummingbird: the name of a 2013 algorithm in Google Search; this algorithm uses phrases rather than keywords to better understand the intent and context of search queries to match them with relevant pages and results.

Penguin: an algorithm that penalizes websites for violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Reasons for penalization include keyword stuffing and manipulating the number of links that led to a site’s page. 

Panda: a Google update that penalizes "thin" sites with "low-quality content" by ranking them lower on SERPs (see definition below). This algorithm aims to prioritize higher-quality sites.

Other Key Terms That Can Help You Understand SEO

SERPs: Search Engine Results Pages; the results and pages that come up in response to a search.

Local SERPs: the results that come up in response to a local-based search; the site visitor’s location affects these results.

Organic SEO: natural methods and strategies that help a site get high rankings on SERPs. With organic SEO practices, high rankings on SERPS are achieved through optimization strategies mentioned under white hat SEO rather than paying for ads. In fact, with organic SEO, you cannot pay search engines to get higher rankings. There is still the option to increase the visibility of your website by paying for ads, but this visibility ends when the payment ends. Organic SEO is a longer-lasting way to attract traffic to your site, and it’s free. Think of organic SEO as an investment – the more content you build for your site, the more likely it is that your site will generate traffic.

SEO UX: UX stands for user experience; the added “UX” emphasizes how SEO has shifted its focus to the user’s experience in an effort to move away from highlighting pages that are chalked full of keywords.

Sitemaps (XML and HTML): Sitemaps allow search engines to efficiently "crawl" a website to index the information on a site's pages. The two main types of sitemaps are XML and HTML. XML is used by the search engine; it indexes information on a site's content and the general importance of a site's pages. One of the benefits of an XML sitemap is that the site's owner can choose the specific pages or information it wants the search engine to crawl and index. HTML is used primarily by the site visitor; it structures the site's content in a way that is user-friendly.

The above definitions are some of the many terms used in the world of SEO. However, SEO, like all things on the internet, is constantly changing, and search engines like Google are constantly releasing new algorithms or programs that are sure to affect how these practices are done. Constant tweaks to your site are necessary to ensure all the proper tools are in place for SEO optimization. SEO Tuners can help maximize your website’s potential through our organic SEO services, which follow a white hat approach. We also offer a variety of SEO packages that are customizable to fit your company's budget. We are available to answer any questions you may have on SEO or any of our other digital marketing services. For more information, visit us at www.seotuners.com, or call (877) 763-1112.

 

man smoking pipe

Smart Google SEO Tips

Google is such a household word that sometimes we forget that other search engines even exist. Google has become practically synonymous with the internet and SEO at large, and with constant updates to its search algorithm, it’s hard to keep track of what your business should be doing to increase its ranking factors.

We’ve put together a guide that’s simple enough to implement but that will pack a punch when it comes to optimizing your website’s ranking for Google.

Complete & Optimize Your Content Descriptors

When you create content, there are a lot of descriptors that you can fill out—so many that oftentimes they get skipped over or skimped on. Plus, how can you know which ones are really important for SEO, and how exactly to optimize them to get an SEO boost?

Let’s start with meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are the tagline for a web page that shows up under the title in a Google search:

google listing

While a meta description doesn’t directly impact your ranking on Google, it does impact your click-through rates (CTRs). That’s because the meta description is what people see when your website pops up in their search results and likely influences whether or not they actually visit your website.

Google can sometimes rewrite meta descriptions. As a matter of fact, they do this over 70% of the time because they are trying to match the meta description to the keywords that someone is searching for. However, when Google does this for you, they are just guessing at what might be a match by pulling from random snippets on your page that they think might be relevant. This can often make you end up with some funky meta descriptions that might even turn a user off from clicking on your site.

Many times, people don’t even bother to write them, thinking that they don’t impact SEO and that Google will just rewrite them anyways. However, meta descriptions are less likely to be rewritten the higher your search volume is—so if you write a quality meta description and your website is ranking well, it’s pretty unlikely Google is going to scrap that hard work.

Here are some quick and easy tips for writing meta descriptions worth keeping:

  • Keep them between 150-160 characters for web pages or between 138-148 characters for blog posts or pages with publication dates.
  • Put the most important information about the post or page in the first 100 characters, such as keywords.
  • Summarize the web page or post in simple, accessible terms without keyword stuffing.
  • Be specific. Avoid gimmicky sales talk and really focus on what a potential user might be searching that your web page would be a good match for.

If you haven’t already been writing meta descriptions, now’s the time to start - and we also suggest going back to previous pages and creating them. This can increase your CTR for older pages and content.

Next, let’s talk about alt tags or alt descriptions. These are HTML attributes that are applied to images to provide a text alternative for those images. These have two purposes:

  • First, search engines cannot read images, so providing alt tags allows Google to interpret the content of your images and include this in their indexing information.
  • Second, alt tags allow people who are using screen readers or browsers due to sight disabilities to “read” the images.

Creating alt tags directly impacts your SEO in two important ways - by allowing Google to index your images and because Google favors ADA accessible websites.

Be sure to keep your alt tags simple and specific. Explain what’s in the image so that someone who couldn’t see it would be able to visualize it themselves. Avoid keyword stuffing or simply adding more description and focus on describing what the photo is.

The last content descriptor we’ll address is titles and boilerplates. Now, titles may seem pretty straightforward, but there’s actually a lot of nuance to designing a title that’s effective for Google’s SEO.

It’s worth testing out some different title formats to see which ones seem to have better CTR’s and rankings. We recommend front-loading your keywords in the title and adding dates in title tags (if it makes sense to do so).

You may also want to try out titles with (or without) boilerplates. Boilerplates are part of a title that repeats with every post you make.

Help Google Crawl Your Website

It’s important to realize that if your website isn’t indexed properly, it won’t even appear in Google’s search results at all. Indexing is what lets Google know that your website exists. To see if your website is already indexed, search “site:yourdomain.com” in Google and see if there is a list of results that are similar to your domain name. If there aren’t any results, that means that your site hasn’t yet been properly indexed.

google listing

Google also has a tool that lets you check the indexing of a specific page of your website: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9012289?hl=en

You’re also going to want to set up schema. Schema is a form of microdata that you add to your webpage to create a rich snippet of a page that appears in search results. This has become especially important since the recent Google algorithm updates like Hummingbird and Rankbrain.

Schema doesn’t directly improve search rankings, but it does likely have an impact on your CTR. Only about 1/3 of Google results currently include a rich snippet with a schema, which leaves this open as a big opportunity for your website to take advantage of. Google has a structured data testing tool that lets you see, test, and modify your schema.

Another tip to help Google crawl your website is to be sure that all of your webpages work on mobile as well as desktop, and that they use the same links. Google moved to a mobile-first index in 2018, so whatever you see on mobile is the only thing Google can see, and that’s what’s going to determine your ranking factor.

Oftentimes businesses will actually reduce their site for mobile, making a separate version of their content, but this would cause you to lose out on the benefits of all that desktop content.

Having a mobile-friendly website is part of your Google ranking factor and also makes it more accessible to increase your CTR. Google has an easy mobile-friendly test you can use for each of your web pages.

Finally, you’ll also want to ensure that your website is ADA compliant which also impacts your ranking directly (for example, with alt tags as we mentioned above) and indirectly through increasing your website’s accessibility. It also can protect your business from potential lawsuits, which can be directed towards any business with 15 or more employees that operate for more than 20 weeks out of the year according to Title I of the ADA.

How can you know if your website is ADA compliant? There’s a lot that goes into this determination including alt tags for images, ease of access, PDFs that are convertible to text, and closed captioning and transcription of videos.

Make the Most of Your Content

Content is king, but that doesn’t mean you should just keep churning out content mindlessly. Relaunching top content using the same links can actually improve your SEO and get new traffic to older posts. You can also receive an SEO boost from editing and updating old content.

Google favors long-form content that’s heavy with internal and external links that use a lot of headers. Rather than creating tons of short-form blogs, consider creating fewer more extensive “guides” and returning to them to update and add on to rather than starting fresh.

You can also get more internal link action going by releasing similar topics so that you can link from one to the other. Don’t forget to link back to previous content in new posts, and also to go back into previous content and link it to new pages as well.

You might also consider deleting old pages and content that isn’t performing well. More is not always better. Your ranking signal is in part based on link equity, which is an average rating of how often your links are clicked. So, if you have tons of pages but some of them get almost no traffic, this is actually bringing down your ranking.

And of course, when it comes to SEO for Google, you should always do your keyword research. Be aware, however, that you want to avoid too much of a good thing—as “keyword stuffing” can negatively impact your SEO. A good strategy for this is to optimize each piece of content around one keyword—ideally a “longtail” one if you’re newer to the game. Longtail keywords don’t get as much search volume, but they are much less competitive, giving you a better chance of ranking higher by using them.

You’ll want to use the keyword in the first 50-100 words of the content and a handful of times throughout as well as in the title, page URL, and alt text for any images on the page. Don’t go overboard—using synonyms and variations of the keyword will be helpful as well.

Once you have a keyword, think of different questions that someone might search revolving around this keyword, and plan to make content around this. There’s a useful tool called Answer the Public that will take a specific keyword and map out commonly asked questions about it for you.

word graph

It doesn’t hurt to put some love into your page links either. Customized links on social media tend to have better CTRs, which indirectly affects SEO, and Google favors shorter URLs as well. There are tools for shortening links like Bitly.

You’ll also want to go through every so often and make sure that you don’t have any broken links. Using tools like Dr. Link Check can do this for you pretty quickly.

screenshot of stats

Use Google My Business, Search Console, and Analytics

Last month, we wrote about how to claim, set up, and optimize a Google My Business (GMB) page for your business [ https://www.seotuners.com/a-guide-to-optimizing-your-google-my-business-gmb-listing.html ]. Even though this is one of the easiest ways to gain web traffic and customers, 53% of local retailers haven’t done it!

For the Google Local Pack, GMB is the #1 ranking factor. But before you start a new profile you’ll want to check if your business already has a listing. If it’s already been claimed, Google has steps for you to follow to contest ownership.

The two most common ranking issues are duplicate GMB listings and inconsistent Name, Address, and Phone information (NAP), so you’ll want to check these things carefully.

You’ll also want to set up Google Search Console to track your site’s Google ranking, submit a sitemap to Google to help it crawl more efficiently, fix website errors, and see which keywords bring you the most traffic. Similarly, Google Analytics will also make your life easier by telling you how many people find and use your site, how much traffic you’re getting, and on which pages, your bounce rate, and dwell time.

Make Your Website Secure

Google is all about security and even maintains a list of sites that have been hacked or are suspicious. There is also a boost for webpages that are Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secured (HTTPS). Although most desktop and mobile pages have adopted HTTPS, some of them still aren’t, and most browsers now signal that a page is insecure, which can deter potential traffic and decrease your CTR.

If you didn’t set up your website as HTTPS originally, never fear, you can still secure it with HTTPS without hurting your SEO.

Timing is Everything

You don’t want it to take a long time for a user to get to your webpage when they click it, but you do want them to spend a long time on it once they’ve arrived. Dwell time, or the amount of time someone spends on your page is indeed a ranking factor and is tracked by Google Analytics.

While site speed isn’t a ranking factor yet officially, it likely will be soon. According to research, 40% of users will exit a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. You can check your site’s speed using tools like Lighthouse or Cloudfare if you’re on WordPress. PageSpeed Insights will rate your site’s speed and even give you tips on how you can improve it.

screenshot of crawl

Google SEO is a monumental and ever-evolving beast, wrought with a changing algorithm and a whole lot of unknowns. But you don’t have to navigate it all on your own.

Do you need assistance optimizing your web pages? Get in contact with us today. SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. We’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. 

woman on phone

A Guide to Optimizing Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing

Google My Business (GMB) is a free platform associated with Google released in June 2014 that catalogs local business profiles. A business profile includes things like:

 

  • The name of your business
  • Your business address
  • Contact information
  • Website URL
  • A Description
  • Category
  • Attributes
  • Reviews
  • Questions and Answers
  • Media (photos, videos, posts)

 

So, if it came out in 2014, why are we still talking about it now?

 

Claiming your business on GMB and optimizing your profile is one of the easiest ways to gain web traffic and customers, and yet 53% of local retailers haven’t even claimed their listing.

 

 

graph from Moz

Image Source: https://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors

 

Google is the king of search, and local SEO (tapped into by GMB) is the most prevalent form of SEO. But with all the information that’s out there about how to optimize your content and platforms, with no real evidence that they actually influence your ranking, is it really worth doing?

 

In the spirit of simplicity, let us offer the following advice on how to cash in on GMB without spending tons of time on factors that may or may not even influence your rank:

 

Claim Your Business and Create Your Profile

 

The most simple and yet effective way to boost your search ranking is just to create or claim your business profile on GMB so that when users are searching for your or your service, your information is out there.

 

One of the most common ranking issues on GMB is having duplicate listings, so before starting a new profile, it’s crucial to search GMB first to see if your business already has a listing. If someone has already claimed your listing (and it’s not someone who should have), follow these steps to contest ownership.

 

To set up your business, you’ll need to include some basic information such as the business name, description, address, and contact information. You’ll verify your business address by postcard in the mail. This ensures that your business is legitimate and should only take about 5 days.

 

Google’s local pack assumes the searcher’s intent is local unless they specify otherwise. Typically, a search includes the name of the company and the location and shows three business listings with a map, though you can click “view all” to see more.

 

screenshot of google page

google screenshot

 

Optimize Your Profile

 

Be sure to enter complete and accurate data while including keywords where they’re appropriate. Stuffing keywords is frowned upon by Google, and the attributes category was actually added to give businesses a chance to highlight more specifically what they offer. There’s no need to overwork yourself here—just be clear and to the point.

 

description and atributes

 

Treat your business description like any other piece of content. Write from the perspective of highlighting the problems you solve for your customers rather than focusing on the brand image of the business. For example, talk about your services and why they matter rather than how long you’ve been in business and your mission statement.

 

Accuracy is incredibly important to your SEO on GMP. If your business name, address, or phone is inconsistent with what’s listed on your website or incorrect, your ranking will be affected. In fact, consistency with this data is the #1 cited ranking issue among businesses according to Search Engine Land.

graph on ranking issues

Along with filling out the basics, including photos is likely to increase the activity on your profile. According to Google, businesses with photos on their listings receive 42% more requests for driving directions on Google Maps and 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses without photos. This is no different than SEO for your website or social media, for example.

 

Follow Google Places Guidelines and Consult Your Dashboard

 

It’s possible that guideline violations may be causing more ranking issues than can be gathered by data because it’s difficult to trace.

 

Become intimately familiar with the guidelines and what violations can cause your listing to be removed or penalized. GMB has an extensive volunteer support platform that you can use to ask about problems with your listing if you’re concerned about a violation, or you can also speak directly with Google.

 

GMB’s dashboard (Insights) can also provide really helpful information for your SEO plans such as whether searches landing on your page were direct or through discovery, or whether they were done through search or maps. You can also get information about where customers are based gathered from their direction queries, what actions they take on your page, and the number of calls or messages as well as what time of day they typically happen.

 

The information gathered from your GMB listing could be helpful for your SEO and digital marketing strategy with other platforms as well.

 

Post and Update Regularly

 

The key to SEO is doing whatever it takes to get your business on the front page of search results—75% of people will never scroll past that first page. Sometimes businesses underestimate the power of posting regularly on GMB because posts only last for 7 days or less, but regular posting increases your chances of placing in the top 3 business listings for a search term (the Google local 3-pack) which is the front page of search results.

 

Google posts can be used to highlight upcoming events, new products and services, and recent company updates. They can include text, photos, gifs, and even call-to-action buttons that can contain inbound links.

 

They do have to be regular to be effective, but they don’t have to be long or complex (and in fact, they shouldn’t be!). A regular post could take you as little as 5 minutes per week.

 

Interact with Your Profile

 

Using GMB to reach your target audience and create a connection with them is ultimately what’s going to draw in clients. While some platforms discourage businesses from directly asking for reviews, GMB actually encourages it. Generating as many reviews as possible and responding to those reviews (especially negative ones!) Shows that you’re active, professional, and care about the image of your business.

 

It’s also a good idea to set up the messaging feature on GMB. SMS has been shown to generate a higher response rate than mobile advertising for purchases, appointments booked, and apps downloaded.

 

Setting up the feature is as easy as inputting a phone number and verifying it with a text message code. You can even turn it on and off as needed and update the phone number it’s linked to. Keep in mind that an average response time will be generated based on how long it takes you to respond to inquiries that will be included on your listing.

 

Remember, SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. Google and other search engines are moving towards algorithms that value conciseness, accuracy, quality content, and good customer service above all else. A GMB listing is just another way for you to make yourself available to potential clients and connect with them on a local level.

 

Do you need assistance optimizing your webpages? Get in contact with us today. SeoTuners can offer an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure and SERP rankings with organic SEO strategies like keywords. We’re confident we have a solution for all your marketing needs. 

PPC Strategies to Try This Year

The big question is: What’s trending for pay-per-click (PPC) marketing in 2021?

Buzzwords abound – a mixed bag of digital marketing predictions like “better responsive search ads,” “more automation,” “search engine diversification” and “mobile focus” dot the internet.

With consumers increasingly shifting spending online amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to tweak your business’s PPC approach.

Fine-tuning your PPC strategy demands constant adjustment to changing market conditions, consumer trends, and Google directives. Surely you want top recognition amongst the 3.5 billion daily Google search queries. In an increasingly competitive world, squeezing the most out of your ad budget is a no-brainer. But with new PPC strategies emerging all the time, it can be difficult to know which are worth paying attention to.

infographic on blog

Here are 10 PPC strategies you can try in 2021:

Tip #1: Bolster Content


Compelling content means understanding your audience: not just their wants and needs, but also where they spend money and time.

Consumers are becoming increasingly cognizant of originality, as more and more businesses turn to online advertising. Custom-tailoring content to be more in sync with specific consumer preferences, geographic areas, and niches will help distinguish your place in the market. Call it hyper-specific targeting or getting to know your exact demographic even more precisely with niche messaging – but it can help separate you from the pack as the number of competitors increases. Either way, pausing in 2021 to research your audience can only help your content.

A wide variety of opportunities exist for content-boosting:

If you’re having difficulty generating original content, consider outsourcing to a contractor with a vested interest in the particular field you’re working with or the demographic you’re targeting.

Tip #2: Automate to Save Time & Money


While human input will still be required, automation of PPC functions for intelligence-gathering will likely gain a foothold in 2021.

Evidence suggests that one of the biggest trends for PPC advertising in 2021 will be automation and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to streamline search engine marketing efforts.

What this means for businesses is that digital marketing experts will have more time for building PPC strategies instead of sorting through heaps of data. Be sure to ask just how much automation could save your budget as well as free up time to check off the other important things on your to-do list.

Tip #3: Keep Customers and Community First


As communities rebuild from the pandemic, businesses are finding creative marketing efforts that dovetail into community-wide recovery. Putting customers and community first can be a shot in the arm for public relations, and you just might gain clients and the support of your fellow business community while doing so.

Tip #4: Sharpen Your Marketing Precision

Precision target marketing is likely to remain an effective persuasion technique, and it’s important to constantly be examining your customers’ needs. As times change, consumer demands can shift.

Part of the beauty in PPC campaigns is the ability to target specific audiences with messages that hit home. Try adapting your messaging to do more than just sell a product – sell an idea that’s uniquely in tune with the changing times and customer needs.

Tip #5: Refine Keywords

infographic on this header

Wordsmithing isn’t easy – but your business will thank you for it. Try refining your keyword list using the following suggestions:

  • Add to long-tail keywords
  • Edit/shorten short-tail keywords
  • Locate keywords with poor performance – and fix them
  • Modify bidding strategy on keywords
  • Expand your negative keyword list

Tip #6: Be Flexible

Flexibility is at the core of survival in the evolving digital marketing-sphere.

As Google is predicted to limit search query data, restrict cookie-tracking and shift toward machine learning and data in 2021, it’s important to maintain flexibility.

Flexibility embodies taking your hands off the reigns and letting the technology shine.

Your marketing rep may be guiding automated bidding in place of direct control, as well as shifting his or her emphasis toward search query patterns, not search terms. This could mean more quality time spent on big-picture marketing planning efforts and less minutia.

The take-home is to engage new technology while remaining aware that your PPC marketing approach will likely change in 2021 – and beyond.

Tip #7: Be a Smart Bidder

As manual bidding becomes a thing of the past, smart bidding is taking over as a new norm. This machine-controlled automated bidding system utilizes machines to optimize conversions, saving marketers time and money.

Consider taking advantage of this new technology so your digital marketing efforts can focus more on strategies like analytics and SEO. While it’s always nice to have your hands on the wheel in manual bidding, automated bidding is something to look forward to in 2021 as a potential time and resource-saver.

Tip #8: Stay Social

Social media isn’t going away anytime soon.

In fact, today around 7 in 10 Americans use social media to connect with one another, get their news, share information and entertain themselves, according to a Pew Research Institute study.

Look for the standard paid advertising fare of Facebook and Google to expand in 2021 to include cross-platform advertising across other main channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Keep a keen eye open for emerging social media platforms like TikTok, whose more than 700 million active users are only expected to skyrocket to 1.2 billion in 2021, according to Datarateportal.

Expanding your horizons to include a wider range of social media marketing channels can help focus energy on mapping consumer spending locations.

Tip #9: Plan for the Future

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay up-to-date. Set aside time to consult with your marketing experts or compile a list of to-do considerations heading into the new year.

Research efforts might include:

  • Building brand awareness
  • Video ad creation
  • Bumper video ad creation
  • Paid voice search advertising
  • Visual searching
  • Remarketing

Tip #10: Choose a Google Premier Partner

Google Premier Partners are best equipped to manage your online advertising and PPC campaigns. With a demonstrated knowledge in Google Ad accounts, premier partners have a proven, legitimate track record of meeting ad spend requirements, delivering agency and client revenue growth, and sustained client base growth.

Whether you’re a small business startup, nonprofit, entrepreneur or e-commerce retailer, leveraging the latest PPC strategies to your advantage could help save you time and money. SeoTuners can help. Call SeoTuners today for an affordable, personalized, and hands-on solution to your PPC strategies.

chalk board saying I love google

Making Google Fall For You This Valentine’s Day

Google is in relationships with multiple businesses. And while it isn’t necessarily picky, Google definitely plays favorites based on the clever keywords you choose, your online reputation, and of course the amount of time you spend with it. Google is the main object of our desire because it has the potential to bring us more than enough business to take our breath away. And while you could settle for other search engines, nothing quite compares to Google’s swoon-worthy capabilities. It can generate leads, improve your reputation, and ultimately funnel more money in your direction all at the same time. What’s not to love? This trifecta of benefits, however, only happens when you make it to the top results on Google’s search pages.

Here are five tips to follow to help beat out the competition to win over Google’s affection:

1) Harness the Power of Blogs

For starters, Google needs to get to know you. What are your interests? Who do you serve? What are your passions? These are questions that help Google figure out your personality to direct you to the right customers.  Blogs provide a way to answer those questions and provide a clear picture of the character of your business. And don’t forget to add pictures. Who wouldn’t fall in love with your facilities, colleagues, and services in action? But the beauty from within, driven by your literary content, makes all the difference. Think of your business blogs like a love letter. The very words you use become the tags that can drive your company to the top of the searches.

Google wants to know if you’re an authority in your field, if you have a community of people interested in your niche, and what experience you’ve had helping your clientele. Don’t be intimidated if you’re company is just starting out, Google will always welcome your blogs whether your business is old or new.

2) Aim for the Local 3-Pack

Finding a match can be hard, especially if your potential suitors can’t figure out exactly where you’re located. The one thing Google and businesses have in common is that they both know the importance of location, location, location. In order to court Google properly and make it into the coveted top 3 list, otherwise knows as the Local 3-Pack, make sure that your Google My Business page has accurate information, includes photos of your business, and has recent customer reviews. While there are no guarantees, doing these things will certainly help attract Google’s roving eye.

And once you’ve become a part of Google’s local 3 pack, customers will be able to easily find you, greatly increasing your chance for a successful match.

3) Woo With the Right Words

In order to impress the classy tastes of Google, you have to be willing to spend money on them. Investing in the benefits of Google AdWords is a true item of commitment, so what words should you use to get this relationship off the ground?. Thinking in the mindset of the customer avatar you’re trying to attract is essential for making this affectionate gesture worthwhile. Keep in mind that adwords should be created in the form of a question since that is generally how users seek search engine help. One of the ways Google has adapted throughout the years is by putting their users needs and process of thought into consideration. This is especially important for your business needs. This type of virtual relationship with Google allows your business to be found by any prospect, even if they weren’t directly looking for your particular business. All of this to say, don’t cheapen your relationship with Google by missing this essential step. The minute your company owns those adwords, the number of clicks to your business’s website will send positive results your way.

Build Trust

Trust is not a word to be taken for granted. Google has had some trust issues with relationships in the past, so they developed an algorithm to make sure they can have confidence in your business. Creating your profile, serving customers in your network, and paying for the advertising is one thing, but the bigger step to establishing trust is to regularly update your content. Use pictures and videos to show your team, location, personality, clientele, and more, and Google images will work in your favor. This is especially crucial if you’re a small business. By consistently building up your relevant and unique content, your company’s reputation for successful activity will sell itself, leading to a higher ranking in the search results.

Analyze Your Relationship

Once you and Google have been going steady for a while, it’s time to take a closer look at your relationship to see if there is any room for improvement.  Google Analytics can help you do just that. It’s a very effective tool in Google’s arsenal that tracks data about the way visitors both find and use your website. It is a treasure trove of analytical information that can help you make the most of things like keyword optimization and fine-tuning your website. Using Google Analytics helps them and helps you – so it’s a mutually beneficial part of your relationship that’s definitely worth diving into.

No matter what your business’s current relationship status might be with Google, as these five tips show, there is always room for improvement.  Looking for some help wooing your way to the top of Google’s list? Call SeoTuners today for an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure with custom SEO strategies.  We are confident that we can help cultivate your relationship with Google, as well as customize services to assist with all of your business marketing needs.