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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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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. 

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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. 

man touching screen

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.

case study for client

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.

shopping cart and computer

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.

chart with numbers

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. 

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

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.

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Why Branded Keywords Matter

We’ve all heard of keywords and know they play an important part in search engine optimization (SEO) and a website's ranking. Monitoring your keywords provides a wealth of information and opportunity for fine-tuning your marketing campaigns.  However, there is a specific type of keyword that often gets overlooked: branded keywords.

While we all know the importance of @mentions and branded hashtags in the social media universe, did you know that branded keywords can also have a similar impact? While this type of keyword seems to fly under the radar, here are several reasons why they should be getting some undivided attention as a crucial tool in climbing the Google ranking ladder.

What is a Branded Keyword?

In order to understand their importance, you have to know what a branded keyword actually is and what sets it apart. Words or phrases that are directly related to your brand, product, or service are considered branded. One key aspect of these types of words is the fact that they are discoverable through social media as well as search engines. There are some common branded keyword types that you might recognize when browsing the Internet:

  1. Brand names

We’ve all seen these out in the wild. Take these brand names for example:

“Google”

“Wal-Mart”

“Target”

Sounds familiar right? These are obvious and distinguished brand names that will be prevalent in search results. It is important to note, however, the difference between branded keywords, hashtags, and mentions.

If someone tweets the word “Google” this represents a branded keyword. Tagging @Google in a tweet would be considered a mention while using #Google would be an example of a hashtag.

  1. Product Names

These keywords may not be as popular but can be extremely effective if used properly. Product names, also known as product lines, mention a specific product, service, or brand. The most recognizable example of a product name comes from McDonald’s, with terms such as “McRib” or “McDouble”. This gives their product a sense of identity. When people think of these specific items on the menu, they will instantly associate them with the McDonald’s brand.

Some other examples include:

  • Beefy 5-Layer Burrito (Taco Bell)
  • Double-Double (In-n-Out Burger)
  • Geek Squad (Best Buy)

There are also examples that include the company’s name along with the product. These are very easy to notice as seen in these examples:

  • Amazon Alexa
  • Microsoft Surface
  • Samsung Galaxy
  1. Intentional Misspellings or Name Variation

You might wonder, why would a company misspell a word on purpose? Well, it’s surprisingly useful when applied in the correct situation. People tend to remember the spelling of these brands due to their uniqueness.

The term “Camelpak” (camel pack) has gained great popularity due to its unusual name. There are many people who will likely associate their products with camping or hiking due to this piece of branding. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts used alliteration to their advantage as they adjusted their brand name to something more distinguishable. This gives the company an opportunity to separate their products from the word “doughnut”.

There is a deeper meaning to these misspelled names, however, as their SEO potential increases greatly because of their special names. In the race to get a unique domain name, these highly-identifiable brand names shoot to the top of the search result rankings. Think about it, customers will likely search “Camelpak” due to its convenience instead of “hiking backpack”.

Why do Branded Keywords Matter?

A few of the examples above have shown the clear effectiveness of branded keywords, but there are more reasons why you should make the most of these distinguished terms.

Increased Potential for Meaningful Customer Interactions and Support

The reason why many companies look past branded keywords is that the business does not receive a notification when someone searches their name, unlike a mention or hashtag on social media.

By optimizing your keywords, you can find more avenues to interact with your customers, even if they have failed to tag or @mention your company. By keeping track of related keywords, you’ll be able to track the activity of your customers with more proficiency.

More In-Depth Analysis

Tracking your keywords and interactions more closely can help you see how you are stacking up against your competition. Once again, not everyone is going to tag your company, so it is important to monitor these keywords to receive true feedback.

This can also give you an idea of your competitor’s ad strategies. In fact, sometimes potential customers will directly search for competitors. For example, a customer might search for “[brand name] competitors” if they are not currently satisfied with their product. Doing this for your company is a good way to measure where your company ranks amongst the competition.

Better Understanding

Overall, these branded keywords will give your company the opportunity to market your brand while monitoring your effect on your consumer base. Taking an in-depth look at your customer’s experience with your product or service can be particularly helpful in your business’s attempt to grow. Branded keywords give your company the knowledge needed to have SEO success going forward.

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the potential that branded keywords can offer. By making them a priority in your marketing plan, you will be sure to gain a competitive advantage that results in improvements in both brand awareness and sales.

Need help with harnessing the power of your branded keywords or improving your website’s search traffic? 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.

 

man at computer confised

Five Reasons Your Website Isn’t Ranking

Building a successful website is not always as easy as it looks. Creating a good-looking home page and organizing all of your information on your site is a solid starting point, but sometimes that Google ranking just won’t move in your favor. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as “if you build it, they will come”. In reality, it can be quite complicated to improve your rank on Google, and there may be things you are inadvertently doing that are having a negative effect on where you currently stand.

Why does my website need to be ranked?

In the ever-changing digital world, the importance of a high Google ranking has only increased. More companies are prioritizing the Internet to market their services, which makes gaining an advantage on the most popular search engine the key to success online. This is how your company can separate itself from the competition and get more eyes on your beautifully designed webpages. The majority of clicks come from the highest-ranked search results, so optimizing your keywords and content correctly will bring your website to the forefront. Understanding and taking advantage of a higher Google ranking will inevitably result in more business growth.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the reason your website might not be achieving the ranking results you desire:

  1. You’re Just Getting Started

Maybe you’ve recently launched a new website and you’re wondering why it hasn’t had a great deal of success yet. Rather than be alarmed, remember to have some patience in the beginning. Search engine optimization (SEO) takes time to develop – it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s likely that the algorithms Google uses have not noticed the validity of your site yet. Google also goes through a filtering process for new websites, as they make sure they are evaluated and examined thoroughly before they are fully validated. This process is called the Google Sandbox.

This period in the sandbox can last three to six months, so there is no need to worry if your website is still young. The best way to approach this situation is to produce the best content possible and to begin creating an effective SEO strategy for the future so that when you’re out of the sandbox, you’re raring to go!

  1. Your Main Keywords are Too Competitive

In some situations, it can be helpful to target broad keywords that show up in a variety of search results. However, if you’re a new company, you may need to be more specific to reach your target audience. For example, a new hair salon that tries to rank for “hair cuts” will struggle to show up in most users’ search results. It will take years of hard work to capitalize on this type of keyword optimization.

A much better approach to this situation would involve long-tail keywords or terms that are specific to your region. A hair salon might try for a search term such as “best hair salons near Thousand Oaks” to reach their target audience more efficiently. Optimizing your keywords specifically for your area is crucial for new or smaller businesses looking to improve their Google ranking.

  1. Your Pages are Loading Too Slowly

Now, this could be a big one. Keeping your visitors happy with a user-friendly website is vital because if they have a poor experience, it will shorten the amount of time they spend on your site. Google will notice the short retention times, which could serve as a huge detriment to your online ranking. Try comparing your site’s speed to your competitors by using something like Google Site Speed Test, which is easy to do and will help you see what you’re up against in this area.  While this component of SEO seems very simple, it’s essential to successful ranking.

  1. Make Sure Your Website is Indexed

If you are not familiar with website indexing, it’s time to learn. Indexing is the process of using keywords and metadata to allow for a more useful vocabulary on the Internet for on-site searching. Improper indexing or completely missing this step is a common mistake that almost always leads to poor search engine ranking. A website must be indexed to appear in Google’s search results. If your website is not indexed, there is no way for Google to know that your site even exists.

First, check to see if your website has already been indexed by searching “site:yourdomain.com” in Google. If Google has already crawled your website, you’ll see a list of results that are similar to your domain name. If you don’t get any results, then your site has not been properly indexed yet.

Next, you’ll want to install and set up Google Analytics and Search Console. Google Analytics is a brilliant tool that measures statistics about your website such as visitors, time spent, pages visited, and more. Google Search Console gives you the opportunity to monitor the different components of your site such as recent crawling data or any issues that may arise. Want to dive in deeper? Follow these steps to get started and make sure your website is indexed the right way so it can be found and move up the Google rankings. 

  1. Your Competition is Strong

 Your company is likely not the only one who is looking to improve its search engine ranking. You are not competing against Google and its algorithms, but also your immediate competitors.  They, too, are constantly trying to climb the ladder and become the company that pops up in the search results most often. Take note of the best practices that your competitors are utilizing and stay up-to-date with the most effective SEO methods to smash your competition.

If you’re interested in improving your website’s SEO ranking, contact us today.

SeoTuners offers affordable local SEO packages for your business and your budget. We are confident that we have a solution for all your business marketing needs.