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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!

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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.

 

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8 Tips to Reduce Bounce Rate

If you’re fighting the good fight working to increase your website’s SEO, Google ranking, and conversion rates, you’ve likely come across this pesky percentage showing up in your Google Analytics (GA) page called a “bounce rate”.

So, what is a bounce rate and why should you care, if at all?

If you’ve ever clicked on a website and then left without visiting other pages of the site—you’ve participated in that website’s “bounce rate”.

Google’s definition of a bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits made to a website. It’s calculated by taking these single-page sessions and dividing them by the total number of page sessions a website has to get a percentage. That percentage then shows up on your Google Analytics (GA) page as the bounce rate.

So, the higher your bounce rate, the more often people click one of your pages and then simply exit your domain. This could be through clicking on a link that goes somewhere else, hitting the back button, closing the open tab/window, typing a new URL into the search bar, or even just session timeout.

Google claims that bounce rate does not directly affect your search ranking, but common sense tells us that this percentage can give us some important intel. Bounce rate is ultimately a measure of how well we’re engaging with our target audience and getting the desired action, whether it’s a purchase, a subscription, or a phone call.

A high bounce rate can indicate a poorly designed website, confusing user experience, or low quality of content. Users may leave your page because they are not finding what they need—whether that’s because you don’t have it or it’s just not obvious enough.

On the other hand, depending on the context, a bounce may not always be a negative thing. For example, looking at the bounce rate for a particular page rather than the entire website, we expect that there will be a higher bounce rate for informative content like blogs that don’t have a specific call to action.

Users may follow your business and click on blogs via social media posts, read the post, and leave the page. Their opinion of your business may have increased, and they may make a mental note to return to your website at a later date— all positive things that are not reflected in that percentage.

Ideally, you would like for a user to click on your services, contact, or products page and purchase something or connect to you every single time they click one of your pages. However, in reality, conversion is often much more nuanced than this. We don’t just create content to get immediate conversions, we create it to make a connection with our target audience, build trust, establish our expertise, and offer information or entertainment to the community.

That being said, having high traffic does little good for your business if users aren’t interacting with the rest of your site. Looking at your bounce rate can help you narrow down what might be going wrong in the space between a click and a conversation, whether for the whole site or particular pages.

If you’re looking to reduce your bounce rate, increase user satisfaction with your site, and potentially increase your conversions, here are 8 tips to help:

1. Install, Configure, and Utilize Google Analytics (GA)

This step is crucial because GA tracks your bounce rate across all your pages, including the number of bounces, where the user “bounced” to, and where they came from in the first place. This can really help you narrow down what might be affecting your percentage.

Is it particular social media sites? Locations? Pages? Or was it during a specific time period, maybe when your website’s speed was significantly slower?

It’s also important to ensure that your GA is configured correctly. This includes making sure that your GA tracking code is properly set up on your website and that there aren’t any duplicates.

2. Avoid Pop-ups, Excessive Ads, and Auto-Play Content

According to a study done by Search Engine Land, 65% of users would block sites with too many ads from their search results. Ad blockers are becoming more and more popular—popups, excessive ads, or content that plays automatically can trigger users to bounce from your page before they even give it a chance. Why? Well, they’re annoying. They hijack the user experience and can be overstimulating, overwhelming, and for some, they may not even be viewable.

Even if the content of your popups is quality and there is nothing malignant or dangerous, users often have an automatic reaction to close out of the page due to their overuse and association with viruses and scams.

Popups can be effective, but you have to be very careful about their design. If you’re not willing to put in this time and effort along with some split testing to see if they’re successful or not—you should probably air in the side of not using them at all.

If you do consider using a popup, stick to offering no-strings-attached benefits to the user. Things like discounts, exclusive access to free services, or limited-time offers can make for a good popup. But if you plan to renege on these promises, your popups are likely doing more harm than good.

3. Clear and Concise Content—More is Not Better!

It’s not uncommon for a user to click on a page that may have a plethora of very useful content on it, but then they click away because it’s formatted in a wall of text that’s hard to read.

Or maybe the user is looking for a breakdown of complex information but the information they’re finding is more of the same, complex, jargon-filled content that is entirely inaccessible to them.

Here are some tips for making your content more accessible:

• Subheadings to separate different sections
This helps to break up blocks of text, and it also allows a user to skim the subheadings to get a general summary of what’s included in the content.

• Short, concise, and straight-forward sections
Have you ever looked up a recipe and had to read the poster’s entire life story when you’re just trying to get to the ingredients? Please don’t do this to your users.

• Bullet points & numbering
Hey, it helps, that’s why we do it. It’s easy on the eyes and helps mentally break up dense content.

• Images, graphics & screenshots
Not only does this make your content more engaging, but it can also add so much to the experience if done right.

• Customized examples
This is a way to connect with your audience and offer them something that another source may not do as well.

• Avoid “jargon” and define your terms
Be careful to avoid unnecessarily complicated words. If it’s relevant, unavoidable, or helpful to the user to know the term, make sure to define it.

• Consider a clickable table of contents
Like subheadings, this can help the user get what they’re looking for without having to wade through everything else, leaving them more likely to be satisfied.

• Include a clear call to action with a relevant internal link
This is so important because it gives the user a clear directive on where else they can go once they have finished reading the page! Consider offering specific and relevant links in your call to action depending on what the page was about.

Long-form content and informative guides tend to score the best for SEO purposes, but it’s worth going the extra mile to ensure that your content is actually engaging and helpful, rather than just a slew of keywords strung together.

4. Target the Right Audience

Sometimes a bounce rate might be high because it’s not the correct audience that’s clicking on your content—they might realize once they hit your page that this is not what they were looking for.

So, what can you do about this? Check-in on the keywords you’re using and how you might be marketing your page. You may need to adjust which audiences you’re targeting or the message that you’re delivering to make a better fit.

The goal is not to have everyone in the world clicking on your website—it’s to have the right people clicking on it.

5. Optimize Your Site

If your website is not visually appealing and well organized, this may become clear in your bounce rate. Double-check your site menus and layout to make sure that it’s intuitive and easy to navigate. There are tools that can assess your site’s readability quickly and for no cost.

test tool screenshot

You’ll also want to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Often when a business creates their website, they recreate a separate version just for mobile, which might leave out certain aspects of the desktop site or not be updated as frequently.

Your mobile site is as important if not more important than desktop—the number of users searching primarily from mobile devices is increasing year after year.

Growing your internal links where it makes sense is always a good strategy. It allows users to stay on your domain rather than clicking off. This is always good for your SEO, too.

Another issue that can cause an increased bounce rate is broken links. Using tools like Dr. Link Check can do this for you pretty quickly.

stats

It can also be helpful to make all external links open in a new window. By default, they usually open in the same window which can cause a user to leave your site even where they don’t intend to.

If they’re using your site for reference, they may end up doing a lot of back-button clicking, which can be irritating and can also jack up your bounce rate. If your site is on WordPress, there is a WordPress plugin that will do this automatically for you.

6. Timing Is Everything

Page loading speed is a Google ranking factor, albeit a small one. But it has a big impact on bounce rate and user satisfaction.

If your site is running on the slow side, the following are some things that could be slowing it down:
• Large, uncompressed images
• Your website hosting
• Plugins, apps, and widgets
• Themes and other large files
• Redirects/broken URLs

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.

search results

One quick and easy way to increase your page speed is to compress your images with services like Optimizilla.

7. Write Accurate Meta Descriptions

30% of websites don't even use meta descriptions. Why? Because Google regularly ends up rewriting them when they don’t match a user search, but this is often because there isn’t one written to begin with, or because it doesn’t accurately describe the webpage.

seo tuners listing

If you write accurate meta descriptions, you’re more likely to increase your click-through rates (CTRs), which is going to have a positive impact on your bounce rate.
Here are some quick and easy tips for writing meta descriptions:
• 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 for that your page would be a match for.
If you haven’t already been writing meta descriptions, start now, and we also suggest going back to previous pages and creating them. This can increase your CTR for older pages and content.

8. Don’t Fix It If It’s Not Broken

Remember, a high bounce rate is not necessarily something to fret about. In fact, most blogs have a bounce rate of over 80%. For blogs, in particular, a high bounce rate may mean that users are coming to your page, finding exactly what they’re looking for, and “bouncing” away happy and satisfied.

There are good bounces and bad bounces, so it’s important to think critically about your bounce rate and consider whether those percentages fit what you would expect for your content, or whether they might indicate an underlying issue.

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.

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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.

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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. 

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Industries That Reap the Highest Returns from SEO

A comprehensive digital marketing strategy might include the following elements: web design, social media tactics, custom link building, paid and organic search, local maps optimization, online review monitoring, and SEO penalty recovery. However, focus on each element will likely vary depending on the business.

Some digital marketing strategies might lean heavier into paid Facebook ads and pay-per-click (PPC) ads or focus on garnering more organic social media followers. Still, other digital marketing strategies might lean into fine-tuning a business website’s search engine optimization (SEO).

The proportions of any strategy will depend entirely on the industry and niche. So, which industries benefit the most from SEO? In this article, we’re going to break down the businesses that would see the biggest boost in revenue by zeroing in their focus on increasing organic search through SEO.

Three Industries That Can Expect the Highest ROIs on SEO Investments

1. Industries That Struggle with Old School Marketing Mediums

Prime-time TV ads, magazine and newspaper ads, or even paid placements can be pricey and ineffective. These forms of old-school marketing mediums are probably best suited for corporations with deep pockets and financial influence – not local-centric businesses with budgets.

Print and screen advertisements are often subjected to the values of the medium owners and their viewership’s sentiment in addition to oversight from federal regulatory agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its associated organizations. While all advertisement is regulated by the FTC and, in certain areas, local and state law, focusing on SEO gives businesses more autonomy in crafting their brand message at an affordable price.

By digging into SEO tactics, companies are also able to circumvent Google’s paid ad restrictions. For example, Google prohibits the promotion of speculative and/or experimental treatments. Medical practices offering potentially life-saving treatments, such as stem cell therapy, cellular or gene therapy, or platelet-rich plasma infusions, cannot promote these services through paid placements. Instead, these practices could reach those in need using finely-tuned SEO tactics to attract organic search with the right keywords.

2. Specialized eCommerce Businesses

No storefront? No problem. Niche online retailers can gain a competitive edge over catch-all online behemoths, such as eBay and Amazon, by using simple yet effective SEO tricks. This is where specialty online stores would really benefit from optimizing SEO elements, such as link building and keyword-rich, long-form content. Keyword research especially is a fundamental part of any traditional national SEO campaign, as including the right search terms allows businesses to generate leads and draw in consumers with intent to buy at the moment of search.

Here’s a case study proving the remarkable ROI potential of smart SEO strategy for eCommerce businesses:

In 2019, Skregear, an online retailer specializing in all-terrain hunting gear, approached us at SeoTuners with the desire to improve their keyword rankings and organic search traffic to substantially boost online revenues. It took us just four months to double their monthly traffic to nearly 5,000 visitors.

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Skregear revenues jumped by 680 percent, equating to about an extra $40,000 per month. The cost to our client? $2,000 per month. Compare that to the average cost of a 30-second commercial on a national network at $115,000, and we think you’d agree that SEO offers more bang for your buck.

3. Local Storefront Businesses

Local brick-and-mortar shops have a huge advantage over global, impersonal businesses: the “map pack”.

The “map pack” is that bundle of location-based results for “near me” queries at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs). Map-bound results are prioritized for local searches, providing mom-and-pop shops and storefront businesses the opportunity to outshine global competitors.

Here are several types of local businesses who could benefit from optimizing their local SEO, including their online local business listings:

• Boutiques and specialty shops. Niche shops like thrift stores, indie bookstores, and mom-and-pop general stores can reap high returns through SEO. Many people want the tactile experience a physical store offers that an online retailer simply can’t, especially when shopping for clothing and other apparel. Other consumers, such as “shop local” advocates, want to support their community by purchasing from local makers.
• Local service companies. Plumbers, electricians, interior designers, mechanics, house cleaners, computer repair technicians, landscapers, and lawn care providers – the list could go on and on. Locals turn to their devices in their hour of need to find the highest-rated, reliable providers in their area. It won’t matter that you’re the best if you’re not optimizing for local SEO.
• Bars and restaurants. Restaurants and bars are missing a huge opportunity to drive business through their doors when they aren’t optimizing their online local listing. Google, for example, will pull information directly from your Google My Business listing. If you’re listing isn’t up to date with the most accurate information, including your physical address and phone number with local area code, your restaurant isn’t going to show up for this query, period.
• Hotels. Tourists want to find a hub they can temporarily call home. Updating your local listing and optimizing your landing page and content for relevant keywords will help your hotel, bed, and breakfast, seaside inn, or youth hostel attract all the weary travelers.

4. Software as a Service (SaaS) Companies

Many SaaS companies depend on paid advertising, such as PPC ads, as their primary source of traffic. Instead, they really ought to be investing in a content-driven strategy that promotes organic traffic to their site. Creating valuable, shareable, keyword-rich content can help earn SaaS companies crucial backlinks and higher organic SERP rankings that will greatly reduce the cost-per-acquisition.

A content-focused SEO strategy will involve some heavy lifting to determine your audience persona and how they experience their search journey. Knowing these, you can cater your content to specific consumer intent, ensuring you’re there at every point of the discovery process.

Industries That Don’t Have High ROI on SEO Investments

Should all industries invest heavily in SEO? Not so much. There are two categories of businesses that should probably focus on other areas of their digital marketing strategies:

• Companies with low-profit margins. Businesses such as grocery stores, airlines, low-end retailers, and car dealers aren’t likely to reap the same benefits as high-margin ones. SEO often requires a long-term, ongoing investment to see significant upticks in search traffic, making the cost outstrip the benefits for many low-margin companies.
• Companies in highly competitive, saturated industries. National companies with bottomless marketing budgets can afford to throw money at whatever they choose. Local businesses in crowded marketplaces, on the other hand, probably lack the resources to yell over the noise. A great example of such a business is insurance. Unless you offer a highly specialized form of insurance, such as body part insurance for models, your company isn’t likely to see high returns from SEO.

Should You Seek the Services of an SEO Specialist?

These are just some rough categories to consider when feeling out your online digital marketing needs. One thing we do know for certain is that you want to avoid companies that offer a one-size-fits-all package; instead, opt for companies that offer SEO tactics in the right proportions for your business.

If you’re looking to supercharge your internet marketing strategies, call our Los Angeles and Ventura office for a free consultation at (877) 736-1112 or reach out online.

We help small to medium-sized businesses increase their online exposure through a range of affordable services, including user-friendly web design and organic search optimization.

We’re not just a bunch of self-proclaimed SEO experts. We have a proven track record – see for yourselves.

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Etsy SEO Tips to Help Your Customers Find You

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is simply the optimization of your content in terms of quality and quantity to maximize your business’s visibility on search engines.

While there are elements of SEO that apply across all platforms and search engines, there are also those that vary considerably depending on the function or origin of that platform. For example, SEO is going to look different on Instagram than on Google results. This is due to the focus that Instagram’s algorithm has on connecting someone with results based on their previous searches and purchases.

Etsy’s SEO is unique in part because its algorithm may look different from other apps like Instagram and Facebook, which are owned and operated by the same conglomerate. While it may not be a social media giant, Etsy is definitely a major player in online sales, reporting 81.90 million active buyers in their 4th Quarter of 2020, which was a 79% increase year-over-year from 41.73 million.

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Image Source: Market Place Pulse

Etsy’s popularity has been steadily increasing since its launch, and with more and more businesses moving online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can certainly expect that trend to continue.

If your business hasn’t crafted an Etsy SEO strategy yet, better to start late than never! Etsy has a detailed guide that walks you through the following crucial elements of optimizing your shop and listings:

  • Learning how Etsy search works
  • Finding and using keywords
  • Adding relevant attributes
  • Maximizing conversions
  • Improving customer service
  • Understanding search traffic & analytics
  • Optimizing your shop
  • Perfecting titles and tags

It also tells you explicitly what its ranking factors in search are:

  • Relevancy: When tags, titles, categories, and attributes match a user’s search term, listings have a better likelihood of appearing higher in the search results.
  • Listing quality score: This essentially means how well a listing converts to a sale (the higher your conversation rate, the better). The number of people that view your listing and make a purchase increases that listing’s quality score and position in search results.
  • Recency: When a new listing is created, Etsy temporarily boosts it in the search results to help determine the listing’s quality score.
  • Customer and market experience score: This score is based on customer reviews, the completeness of your shop’s informational sections, as well as negative feedback.
  • Shipping price: Etsy boosts the search position of shops that offer free shipping because shipping price influences a consumer’s decision to buy.
  • Translations and language: Having all of your titles, tags, and listings in the language you selected when you created your Etsy account.
  • Shop location: In the EU, Australia, and Canada, local items are slightly favored in search results.
  • Shoppers’ habits: Etsy customizes its search results for buyers based on their previous searches and purchases.

Now that you have all of this information, what do you do with it and where do you start? We’ve got you covered with some quick tips you can use to work with Etsy’s SEO to help your customers find you:

  • Add Quality Images to Your Listings

According to a survey done by Etsy, shoppers rate the quality of images as the highest influencer in deciding to make a purchase. By appealing to what Etsy values in its ranking system, you can boost your SEO scores and make your shop more appealing at the same time by upgrading your listing photos. 

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  • Choose a Competitive Price 

Etsy shoppers mark the cost of the item as the second-highest influencer on whether or not they buy. It’s worth saying, though, that your product is worth what it’s worth—don’t sell yourself short! Think critically about the cost of your materials, expenses, and labor, and do some research into similar products to decide on a fair but competitive price.

Also, consider building the cost of shipping into the product and using this as a selling point. Research shows that the majority of people prefer not to pay for shipping rather than having their purchase delivered quickly—so factor the cost of shipping into your listing price and write it off as an added convenience in your description.

  • Offer Free Shipping

Not only is the shipping cost one of the major factors customers consider in making a purchase, but it’s also a ranking factor for Etsy’s search results.  Consider offering free shipping, even temporarily or during promotional events or holidays to boost your SEO rankings.

Another option is to create promotions that are incentivized by shipping for free. For example, offering free shipping if a customer buys more than two items or makes a purchase over a certain dollar amount. 

  • Prioritize Reviews

The importance of having an abundance of positive reviews for SEO is nothing new. But how do you actually accomplish this? It’s against Etsy’s user policy to offer free products in exchange for reviews, but sellers often have luck by including surprise gifts, personalized notes, and coupons when they send out an item and ask nicely for feedback. Making a personal connection with your customer base through social media posts and live streams can also make them want to connect with you in return by giving you positive feedback.

Another way you can address this is by responding personally to the reviews you do receive, even the negative ones. Having a negative review with an authentic response that non-defensively addresses and possibly corrects the problem can be more powerful and real to sellers than just having a ton of positive reviews.

  • Refresh Listings

When a new listing is made, Etsy temporarily boosts the listing in its search results to help determine its quality score. Take advantage of this by updating and refreshing your listings. However, keep in mind that this is a very temporary boost, so it might be something worth doing only during peak shopping hours, holidays, and promotions.

This also incentivizes you to keep editing and optimizing your listings to ensure they’re current and up to a high quality.

  • Ensure Relevancy

It’s crucial to ensure that your tags, titles, categories, and attributes utilize relevant and specific keywords. For example, naming your business after the service or product you provide will increase your SEO.

Because SeoTuners has “SEO” in the name, and as the first word, it would have a high relevance score on Etsy. Alternatively, if we called ourselves “Weilert and Durso”, we may not score as well. However, there are situations when naming your shop after yourself can be more advantageous, especially if you think this is how your potential customers will most likely be searching to find you. 

  • Completeness Matters

Etsy awards each shop a customer and market experience score based on customer reviews and the completeness of your shop’s “about” section. Score some easy SEO points by filling out everything fully on your shop’s page.

You also maximize your potential visibility by filling out as many tags, categories, and attributes as you can. You can add as many as 13 tags to each listing, and it’s recommended that you add all of them!

In order to come up with 13 tags that are relevant but varied, consider synonyms, different regional expressions, and long-tail keyword variations. If a keyword is already included in attributes, you don’t need to duplicate it as a tag. You also can skip plurals, misspellings, or multiple languages—Etsy handles all of this automatically, and you can actually be penalized in your search rankings for this.

  • Optimizing with Keywords

As always, an exact phrase match is going to give a higher search ranking than if the search terms are matched individually. This means that if you have used the keyword “SEO targeting” and that’s what your customer searched, it’s going to be more likely that your page will show up for them than if you simply had the words “SEO” and “targeting” separately somewhere within your listings.

Similarly, long-tail keyword matches boost your ranking the most. These are key phrases that contain three or more words strung together, for example, “SEO Ventura County” as opposed to just “SEO”. These are more likely to be strong matches because there’s going to be less competition and the people searching for that long-tail keyword have more specifications in mind, making them more likely to purchase something if you happen to match.

Additionally, the more that keywords show up throughout your page—including titles and tags for listings—the more your relevance score will be increased. However, this doesn’t mean that you should simply duplicate the same keywords as tags on the same listing, which won’t actually have any benefit. Using the same primary keyword for multiple listings also isn’t helpful, because you’ll end up competing against yourself in searches.

Frontloading your keywords also increases your chances of ranking higher. For example, if you know “SEO” is one of your best ranking keywords, you’re going to want to place it towards the beginning of your listing titles. Instead of titling a listing as “Get the Best SEO for Your Business” you might title it “SEO to Grow Your Business”. This applies to your item listings too—try to get those keywords into the listing as early as possible.

  • Finding Creative, Fitting, and Organic Long Tailed Key Words

The more specific and yet organically occurring keywords you can stumble upon, the better optimized you’ll be for SEO. When trying to come up with keywords for your business, try to put yourself in the mind of your target audience and think about what they might be searching for that would lead to your product and likely a purchase.

For example, Etsy users might use search terms related to occasions like “wedding gifts”, “white elephant”, or “first birthday”. Also consider what aesthetic, style, or lifestyle your product might appeal to, such as “minimalist”, “rustic”, or “antique”. You should also think about any problems your product might solve and the words a potential buyer might use to express this need, for example including words like “organizer”, “holder”, or “cover”.

Finally, consider using an SEO tool to research what keywords are most searched for such as Google Keyword Planner. There are also quite a few out there specifically for Etsy, including Marmalead, Keyword Scout, eRank, and Etsy Keyword Tool Dominator. Etsy even has its own analytics you can consult in your store dashboard.

Do you need assistance optimizing your Etsy store and moving up in the search rankings? 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. 

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Backlinks Aren’t Dead

Rick Grimes probably wasn’t pondering backlinks in 2021 when he said, “We don’t kill the living” in AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Oddly enough, Grimes’ quote can be applied to backlinks today. It beckons the question: Why kill backlinks if they’re still alive?

Don’t!

Backlinks aren’t dead – and there’s certainly no reason to squash them in 2021.

Backlinks, “inbounding links” or “incoming links” connect webpages through incoming hyperlinks and are created when websites link to each other.

Backlinks signal greater Google (and other search engine) authority, upping search engine rankings. Backlinks can be a leading benchmark performance indicator of stellar content marketing and SEO strategy.

In fact, the number of domains linking to a page was the top factor in correlating the highest rankings in Google, according to Backlinko.

Backlinks for the “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2021? Fingers crossed.

The positive correlation coefficient between authoritative backlinks and website ranking is real: As your website develops authoritative backlinks, Google recognizes that and boosts your ratings. Your website is power-hungry for king or queenship as the top #1 spot on Google, right? Finding cutting-edge ways to maximize quality, authoritative backlinks to improve SEO can only help. Hard-earned backlinks can bolster a site’s ranking position and search visibility with Google.

Google’s algorithms are a beacon of constant change – but backlinks remain.

Sure, business owners may hear about the mélange of options to boost SEO in 2021. This may give the impression backlinks are not in-vogue, wandering aimlessly in Myspace forgotten-land.

Not true ­– backlinks are alive and well.

Backlinks remain one of Google’s top three ranking factors. Link building and backlink maintenance will continue to be a part of a successful SEO strategy heading into 2021.

There are many reasons why backlinks aren’t dead in 2021.

‘Yes’ votes still count. Backlinks represent “votes” for specific pages, according to rankings for Google and other search engines like Bing, Baidu, and Yahoo. They’re a signal to search engines that other web pages “vouch” for your content. It makes sense that more backlinks equal pages with boosted organic search engine rankings. Linking one website to another is still perceived by Google as votes of confidence and authority. Well-earned backlinks coming from topically relevant, authoritative websites remain beneficial.

Public relations still benefit from backlinks. Backlink development from websites with high authority such as Search Engine Journal, Wine Enthusiast, and Forbes Magazine certainly isn’t a one-recipe-fits-all situation, and it may require some top-level groveling from the public relations department. Leveraging public relations is all about offsite SEO building in this case. You can build brand mentions through your business connections or become a source for bloggers and publication writers, for example. Provide value to clients you want a backlink from.

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More resources, more backlink potential. As resources grow, your resource backlinks must keep pace. Resource link building adds value to the audience by asking, “How can I help my audience?” Resources can change, expand, be modified, or even be eliminated. If you’re a private entity, think about relevant outside resources for your client, as well as the plethora of business associations in your local area that you might be able to network within.

Backlinks still establish relevance. With tons of websites competing for Google's top search results, it’s evolutionarily advantageous to stand out amongst “unverified” sources. Keep two qualities in mind. First, seek backlinks from quality, authoritative sites. The degree of technicality in your field can oftentimes dictate whether it’s a common-sense decision or one worth investing in researching. Second, seek backlinks with a solid contextual connection – there are more now than ever before with the wide variety of businesses springing up. Relevant backlinks aren’t easily attainable. Supercharging SEO strategy with the correct backlinks can start with identifying ways to earn these authoritative backlinks – think of human networking potential as a valuable backlink commodity.

Business-related services need backlinks. Many local businesses provide professional services that need backlinks. If you’re a business servicing the public with medical, legal, financial, engineering, or science-related services, having quality backlinks is important as your search results will likely be narrowed according to a specific field of expertise. Specificity demands specificity in this case. For example, a medical products manufacturer in Ventura, CA may have a very limited demographic scope of potential buyers keying in on “silicon-based medical products,” so the power of backlinks that connect relevant sources within that field is even more relevant today than ever.

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Backlink analytics can help you. Edging out the competition requires knowing the competition. A thorough analysis of your competition’s backlinks’ performance can offer key insight into how to adjust backlink strategy to match performance – or how not to make the same mistakes. Traffic analytics will remain a steadfast portion of the diet of every business looking to capitalize on organic website traffic from backlinks. Curious how to build backlinks with authority? Analyze competitors who do.

The fact of the matter is that it’s all interpretation, as the exact logarithmic equation of how Google ranks content is a moving and complex target. Despite what some may say to the contrary, most internet marketing experts agree that backlinks will remain a ranking factor you should pay attention to – at least for the near future. There also appears to be an overarching consensus pointing to original, quality long-format content as a driving force in backlink potency.

Read ‘em and weep: Backlinks aren’t dead, according to data collected from many authoritative online sources for SEO and SEM. Here are some statistics that speak to their importance:

By the numbers: Backlinks

  • 2% of content generates links from multiple websites (Backlinko)
  • 92% of respondents said links will be an algorithmic signal in five years (Aira)
  • 69% said links will be an algorithmic signal in 10 years (Aira)
  • 69% believe buying links can positively affect Google rankings (Aira)
  • 71% said Google still relies heavily on links for ranking (Aira)
  • 52% expect organic search engine ranks to stay constant in the future (Aira)
  • 77% said it takes 1-6 months to observe any changes in organic rankings after a link-building effort (Aira)

You have now heard the “why.” It’s time for the “how.” How exactly do you improve backlinks in 2021?

If backlinks aren’t dead, then it’s in your best interest to feed the monster. Be sure to stay up-to-date with SeoTuners’ blog for more information on how to improve your backlinks.

If you’ve seen The Walking Dead, you know Rick Grimes drove his friends to survive against all odds during the apocalyptic, zombie-infested cult classic. If you think about it, maybe Rick was onto something – maybe it is best to let backlinks walk amongst the living.

Contact a Google Premier Partner

Small, medium and large businesses alike can benefit from a thorough analysis of backlinks. At SeoTuners, we understand the difference between quality and quantity, and our custom link building and outreach approach can help you earn high page authority. Based in Ventura, Calif., SeoTuners is proud to also service the greater Los Angeles County area. Contact us today for a consultation at (877) 736-1112.

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.

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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

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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.

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3 Reasons You Should Have a Google Premier Partner

If you are trying to get your business more exposure by the most effective means, especially during the global pandemic, it’s no surprise that you will need to harness the marketing power of the internet. Having boosted ad campaigns on social media geared towards encouraging sales will reach your immediate followers, but this is truly just the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface, it’s no secret that businesses that successfully market online earn a great majority of their impressions through Google. But what isn’t as commonly known are the intricate inner workings of how Google operates. While you could spend hours doing research and watching the tutorial videos on how to take advantage of Google’s ad capabilities, it’s time-consuming and nearly impossible while trying to run a business.  And when you start looking for assistance with your online advertising, you’ll find that self-proclaimed AdWords expert are everywhere with bold claims like, “We help your Google Ads increase performance for better ROI and more leads, guaranteed.” How do you know which agencies are reputable and will be able to work within your budget to get the advertising results you need?

This is where Google Premier Partners come in. Google Premier Partners are certified experts that have demonstrated Google Ads skill and expertise, met Google ad spend requirements, delivered agency and client revenue growth, and sustained and grown its client base. Google only grants Premier status to the top 3% of participating agencies worldwide, and it’s no easy feat to attain. It’s the crème-de-la-crème in terms of platinum-level status; you simply can’t achieve any higher at this time.

What does this new mean for you? It means that if you are looking to hire an agency that will be able to deliver superior advertising campaigns that stretch every dollar of your budget, then you are going to want to strongly consider partnering with a certified Google Premier Partner.

Here are three reasons why:

  1. Money Well Spent

Ever thought you could tackle something on your own, tried it, and were left with disastrous results? This unfortunately is a common struggle with ambitious business owners who think that doing something themselves will save money. However, having a professional who has earned the Google Premier Badge will ultimately be money well spent, minus the headache. To earn this designation, Premier Partners must have over 50% of their team pass Google’s rigorous professional accreditation that includes certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, Google Ads Video, Shopping ads, Google Ads Apps, and Google Ads Mobile optimization. Additionally, Google Premier Partners are required to stay current in the ever-changing digital landscape by going through this process and re-certifying every year. Only 3% of agencies on the planet carry the Premier status and we are one of them.

Whoever you choose as your Google Premier Partner should be able to deliver a strategy that meets your financial needs – and make the money you do spend go further.

  1. Superior Results

When investing in a Google AdWords campaign, knowing what keywords to leverage to encourage growth can be tricky. It’s important to be able to think like a potential client or customer when putting this word list together, but a Google Premier Partner will also know the subtle nuances and unexplored possibilities that can skyrocket the success of your campaign. Those who carry this coveted badge of certification know the best way to approach a new project and retrofit their techniques and experience to suit their client’s specific needs.

Just because a company has acquired this badge, though, does not mean you should trust them blindly. You still need to do your research and make sure that a Google Premier Partner has the right expertise and other qualifying features that fit with the specific needs of your business.  They should also display a current badge to show that they are up to date on all of their training and are still currently certified with the Google Partner program. Self-proclaimed AdWords experts are everywhere these days which is why it is important to work with a premier Google Partner for the best results.

  1. Upgraded Access

Google Premier Partners are the only tier with access to a dedicated account manager - essentially a direct line to Google. Selecting a Google Premier Partner agency gives advertisers advantages other agencies cannot provide, like access to Google representatives when customers have concerns. This direct communication line to Google-trusted and certified experts is only awarded to Premier members.  Need first-line support? Partners can respond to client inquiries and ascertain how to fix operational or technical problems.  You’ll have your own personal liaison to Google with quick turn-around times and personal services that you can’t get anywhere else, which means less stress for you and more time to focus on the other aspects of your business.

When choosing your professional team of experts, be sure to take note of the differences between a Google Partner and a Google Premier Partner. Premier Partners offer more capabilities in problem-solving and have a greater scope of expertise they offer. Premier Partners also have a full cache of benefits available with their special status, including access to Google’s annual Partner Summit, product training and certifications, sales training, community membership and product updates, executive business training, and much more. What that translates to is an agency that has the ability to educate themselves in the process of providing superior customer service. Google Partners can also be of service however be aware that they don’t have the same experience or access to the same level of benefits that a Premier Partner can offer.

SeoTuners is proud to have achieved and maintained the coveted Google Premier Partner status. As a Premier badge holder, you can be assured that SeoTuners has met Google’s highest standards for excellence while serving our clients across the greater Los Angeles and Ventura County areas. Contact us today to find an affordable solution to increase your exposure on Google and beyond with custom marketing strategies for your business.

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Stay on Top of the Online Shopping Boom

It seems like ages ago when the everyday shopper could casually stroll into a store and make a few purchases, but COVID-19 changed all of that. We’re now in a time where we have no choice but to rely on the internet for a variety of things, especially when it comes to shopping during stay-at-home orders. The pandemic has certainly brought its fair share of challenges to large and small businesses alike, but those who have been able to pivot and take their sales online have been able to find the silver lining of the shutdowns.  As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that a whopping 23% of retail businesses will have shifted onto the internet by 2023. The internet landscape is getting more crowded - and at an exceedingly fast rate. This means that there’s no time like the present to start focusing on strategies to make sure that your business stays at the top of the search engine results and ahead of the competition.

Here are 3 SEO methods that will help you stand out from the crowd:

  1. Know the Value of Keyword Research

Keyword research can feel like a long and boring task but it’s still one of the best places to start. Thinking in the mindset of your customers can change how your business reveals itself in Google’s results for the better. Plus, it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Like a hashtag, your keywords have a certain amount of weight assigned to them based on the number of monthly searches across the internet. The higher the monthly searches, the more likely your business will appear. The system is built on what is called ranking difficulty. While doing your research, you should also keep in mind that there are two types of keywords - body and long tail.

Body Keywords are 2-3 word phrases that receive a greater than normal attention of search volume. For example: “Green Mask”, “Ceramic Cup”, or “SEO Company”.

Long Tail Keywords are longer combinations of words that have the tendency to be sentences in the form of a question, that also receive a greater than normal attention to search volume. For example: “Where can I buy green masks?”, “Online stores that sell ceramic cups”, or “Where can I get SEO help in Thousand Oaks, CA?”.

When keywords can be separated into their own individual searches, they don’t provide many results - or at least, not the specific ones you’d hope for. However, when you combine them together into phrases or questions, they move up in the search rankings and are more likely to drive traffic to your website.

It’s also recommended that you utilize the different pages of your website and make sure each specific page has its own set of keywords. This way you can tap into a wider variety of search results and capture more tailored attention.

  1. Have A User-Friendly Website

When a potential customer clicks on a link in the search results and comes to a webpage that’s crowded and hard to navigate, they will quickly move on to something better within the same searches of your business’s niche. You don’t want to discourage your profit streams by having a confusing homepage. Help it make sense by building what’s called flat site architecture. Flat site architecture is a comprehensible approach to web building that allows your users to get to where they need to go in 4 clicks or less. Each page alone warrants its own SEO, exposing the amazing features of your business more directly.

When this type of design is applied, you’ll find that there is a natural authority that your website creates based on page usage and the volume of that use. This creates a user-friendly index that is easy to follow and encourages new users to explore the many things that make your business stand out. However, if you have pages that are several clicks away, you are more susceptible to losing customers – and revenue.

A common staple of flat site architecture is internal linking. Internal linking allows users to swiftly find what they need, whether it’s on another page or an outside resource; These can include downloadable documents as well. When your website isn’t internally linked, you can accidentally drive your customers off your website and to someone else’s.

  1. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

2016 marked the year that mobile phones became a primary search tool. It was also the year that Google started to provide a positive bias in their SEO’s algorithms towards companies that made their online stores mobile-friendly. Mobile friendly design means a lot more than having smaller graphics that fit on a small screen, it also requires a greater page speed. With low attention spans, it’s understandable that 74% of users leave when a website takes over 5 seconds to load – no matter what size the screen is. To alleviate the risk of losing those customers, you can do things like minify coding on your site and leverage browser caching.

There are various resources on the internet to help minify code, whether your site is coded on Javascript or CSS. It is recommended to get a professional that specializes in web design coding to help you.

You may have experienced a leverage browser caching warning at various points of your site management. By tweaking your approach to this, your site will save previous encounters in the form of static copies in order to make the site faster to frequent shoppers.

Whether you are an online store entrepreneur or a small business owner managing their own site, maintaining a top spot in the search results has never been more important. Need help making sure your online business stands out from the crowds in the world of search engine rankings? SeoTuners can help! Call SeoTuners today for an affordable solution for your business to increase exposure with custom SEO strategies. We are confident that we have a solution for all of your business marketing needs.