• 25/01/18 SEO

    How to Make Twitter Your SEO Secret Weapon

    Seems like all you ever hear on Twitter is people screaming their political opinions, isn’t it?

    Sometimes, you wonder how social media can even exist because it apparently adds absolutely no value to the world.

    …But it does!

    And you suspect that’s so. But you aren’t exactly sure how to make it work for you.

    So let’s transform Twitter from just another place that grinds your gears – and into your SEO secret weapon:

    Optimize Your Tweets with the Same Keywords You Target on Google

    Look, we know that the more social shares you get, the better you rank. It’s not a perfect 1:1 correlation. But the two do have a strong relationship.

    What better way to position yourself for shares than by using the keywords people search to find content in your niche?

    Add them to your bio, which appears on your page when people visit you. That gives you a static, unchanging (and optimized) presence.

    And do the same for your Tweets too.

    Include your keywords. But don’t give your audience the impression you’re optimizing your Tweets. That sends them running the other way.

    Add Hashtags…Without Being Obnoxious

    Ever run into those Tweets you can barely read because literally, every other word is a hashtag?

    That’s overkill.

    Instead, simply include 1-3 hashtags at the end of your post.

    Hashtags work a few ways. You can:

    • Get yourself included in trending topics
    • Create a branded hashtag to increase awareness of your own company
    • Simply use hashtags to increase your exposure for relevant topics and searches

    The tool Hashtagify.me shows you the 10 most popular hashtags related to the one you enter.

    Twitonomy shows you the top 10 hashtags for industry influencers you search.

    Both are free!

    Use Media As Often As You Can

    Images and video increase your shares per Tweet.

    How much?

    150%!

    That’s according to Buffer data shared at Hubspot.

    More shares mean more clicks.

    And that results in stronger search rankings.

    Run a Simple Giveaway or Poll

    Who doesn’t want something free?

    You probably have someone in your family who won’t pass up a free product or service. Even if they don’t need it!

    If you do a giveaway, make sure you offer something related to what your company does. Do this so you attract potential customers.

    If you run an HVAC company, you could give away an A/C unit cleaning or tune-up, for example.

    Some companies make the mistake of giving away a product unrelated to their business, like a gas card.

    Guess what?

    People take the card. And never come back!

    With your poll, you can go many routes.

    You could spark debate. Ask your customers about their preferences (this doubles as free market research).

    People love to give their opinions.

    You do them a favor by offering them the opportunity.

    And Don’t Forget Paid Advertising Options

    Truthfully, you don’t need to use any of Twitter’s paid options to improve your SEO.

    But if you have the budget, it helps.

    You can create promoted Tweets that appear to users who don’t actually follow you.

    You can do the same for your entire account.

    Twitter lets you precisely target your audience so you get the most value out of the promotions you run.

    So now, instead of letting Twitter be the place you go to get angry about other people’s political opinions, you can use it to drive your SEO (and revenue) through the roof!

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  • 12/12/17 Social Media

    How to Use Social Proof to Increase Sales on Every Page of Your Website (Part 2)

    So, continuing our discussion on social proof, you have many more ways than just the 2 discussed in the last post on this topic.

    The more social proof you can get on your website, especially if you’re a small, local, or new business, the better. You really can’t overdo it.

    All your social proof works together to create a convincing case you’re the best solution for solving your customer’s problem.

    Here are some additional techniques you can use:

    Show Off Your Notable Media Mentions

    “Media” doesn’t have to be NBC, the Washington Post, or CNN (although it certainly can be).

    It can be any recognized authority in your niche. For example, if you speak or present at your local Chamber of Commerce. Or if you get quoted in the Dallas Morning News.

    You can easily integrate media mentions into your homepage like this:

    social media mentions

    The more you have, the better. You could make this a narrow band of 10-15 mentions if you want.

    How to Get Media Mentions from Big-Name Authorities

    Think sources like CNN and the Washington Post would never mention you?

    Oh contraire!

    You can absolutely get them to mention you.

    Of course, this isn’t a guarantee.

    However, the website Help a Reporter Out gives you just such an opportunity. When you sign up (for free by the way), you subscribe to a few different email lists of your choosing.

    Then, you get various inquiries that ask for interviews, quotes, and opinions on questions. And yes, the biggest media sources in every niche frequently use HARO.

    Trust Seals

    These little graphics still matter. Except for the BBB, it’s rarely worth your time to join an organization just for the credibility boost on your website (unless you have other business reasons for doing so).

    But, the more you have, the better.

    In terms of effectiveness, these don’t rank as highly as other techniques discussed.

    But, they’re quick and easy to add to your website. And they help.

    Make sure you have trust seals from all professional organizations you belong to. Except for the BBB, they can be located pretty much anywhere on your homepage (usually half to all the way down).

    If you accept payments on your website, display the logos of credit cards you use – right at the moment, your customer clicks the button to pay.

    Include the logos of companies or media organizations where you’ve been quoted.

    And if you have recognizable customers you’ve served, use their logos also (assuming you have their permission!).

    Again, these can be placed little ways down your home page. You could also create an entirely separate page for this, but make sure you integrate the most notable ones into your homepage.

    Reviews and Ratings

    These generally apply to e-commerce sites that sell products. But some niches (law and HVAC for example), have many sources for customer reviews and ratings.

    This could include Google reviews, Avvo (for lawyers), or Angie’s List and Houzz for various contractors.

    If the review discusses one of several services you offer, make sure that review appears on the specific page you created to sell that service.

    Don’t just dump your reviews all on a single page, like many SMBs do. Customers do not visit those pages frequently.

    Shares and Views

    These can be really tough to get at the SMB level. Building a dedicated online following takes tons of hard work.

    Getting decent numbers of shares on your blog posts, or views can take well over a year (and even longer). Or, building your Facebook following can take a similar amount of effort.

    But, you may have a significant number of blog post views or social media shares you’re proud of.

    In that case, place links to follow you on Facebook (see our Facebook advertising services) that also shows your follower count. If you have a blog, you can install widgets that show the number of views your posts have.

    Social Proof Makes You Convincing

    Do you need every one of these elements?

    No.

    But, the more you have, the better. And the newer or less recognized your business, the more they help.

    If you’re an established local SMB, you still need them. While some people know and trust you, many don’t.

    You don’t have instant recognition unless you’re a local celebrity.

    You don’t need to dedicate all your energy to this. But at least a portion of your marketing efforts should work on building social proof over time.

    The more you have, the easier it is for customers to choose you.

     

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  • 06/12/17 Social Media

    How to Manage Your Social Media Profiles in Just Minutes Per Month

    Does this sound familiar?

    You post like a maniac on your company’s social media profiles for months at a time.

    And?

    Wait for it…

    Still waiting…

    …Nothing!

    What’s more demoralizing than spending months on a project, with no results to show for it?

    That’s the way social media works for many SMBs.

    So, how do you spend as little time on social media as possible, while still generating valuable results, like orders and leads?
    Here’s how in 2017:

    Listen

    Believe it or not, even though it’s called “social” media, the greatest value for small businesses rests not in posting but listening to what your customers and competitors say.

    For example, what are the hot topics in your niche? You can use what you discover to learn new marketing angles.

    What do other company’s customers complain about or praise their favorite companies for?

    You know exactly what to do, and not do, as a result.

    Keep your eyes and ears peeled for mentions of your own company. Search for hashtags using your company name on Twitter. Review your Google reviews and Facebook profile for comments.

    How to Keep it Simple

    Any aspect of internet marketing can quickly take over all your time. With social media, use Buffer, Hootsuite, or CoSchedule to share content and consolidate monitoring of your social channels.

    Google Analytics helps you track performance. Feedly and e-mail subscriptions to your favorite content in your niche give you all you need to share.
    Share 4-6 posts per week on Facebook. Share 3-4 per day on Twitter. Go with 1-2 per day for LinkedIn.

    Engage

    Engage in a few ways on your active social media channels. Like some content (but only if you find it genuinely interesting and useful for your own followers). Comment. Ask questions. And always respond to any inbound messages, public or private.

    Consider randomly reaching out to a Facebook follower and rewarding them, and then acknowledging that publicly to generate interest.

    Advertise

    This one comes last.

    Why?

    Because you can only advertise once you have a rock-solid understanding of your customers and how social media works for your company.

    You don’t have to advertise incessantly to get customers. You have to understand them and learn what they’re most likely to respond to.

    Systemize

    Every business is different. You have your own approach. Once you have down what you do, make it a checklist. Then, rinse and repeat on a daily basis.

    Set yourself a time limit to encourage the smartest use of your time. Do not break that boundary under any circumstances.

    When you find yourself getting more results than you can manage, then it’s time to consider hiring someone to manage your social media.

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  • 31/10/17 Website Branding

    How to Use Social Proof to Increase Sales on Every Page of Your Website

    The internet is loaded with skeptics. And it should be, shouldn’t it?

    Any random sociopath person can call themselves an “expert” overnight. How do you know you can trust them, instead of someone else?

    As you know, internet searchers will do their research. They want to find as much evidence as possible to support their inkling that you’re the best person or company to solve their problem.

    And you can build their trust with what’s called “social proof.” This is evidence, which doesn’t originally come from you, that boosts your credibility and shows you can deliver on the promises you make.

    How can you include social proof on your website so you aren’t simply just another company or even a good choice, but the obvious choice?

    Use these simple ideas:

    Case Studies

    For SMBs, case studies fly way under the radar. Practically no one uses them. But large corporations do. And they shell out a couple thousand dollars to have them written and designed persuasively.

    You don’t need to do that. But case studies work for every customer type. And they work especially well for service-based companies.

    A case study is simply a detailed story that shows:

    • What your customer’s life was like before using your solution (the problem)
    • Why they chose you, instead of competitors
    • Additional obstacles they experienced as you understood their situation
    • The solutions you recommended and implemented for them
    • What their life is like after using your service (the positive benefits they now get)

    500 words do the job. 1000 – 1500 words offers intimate detail and a highly convincing story.

    Don’t mention your company throughout because that makes your case study look like advertising. Make your customer the hero. And then include a 2-3 sentence paragraph at the end.

    Case studies are powerful enough to have their own main navigation item which appears on every page of your website.

    Testimonials

    Every SMB has these. But the way they implement them leaves so much more room for opportunity.

    Most go like this:

    “John is awesome to work with. Highly recommended.”

    *Sigh*

    Well, that’s what your website readers do when they see that anyway. They’ve seen testimonials saying exactly the same millions of times.

    To get testimonials that do one heck of a lot of convincing and persuading, I recommend Derek Halpern’s “Perfect Testimonial” formula:

    • The customer describes the problem they were experiencing using one sentence
    • The second sentence describes the actions they took or the solutions you implemented
    • The third describes the results they experienced

    But customers don’t write testimonials describing that, do they?

    So how do you get one?

    Two ways:

    • Offer to write the testimonial for your customer yourself. Then, send it to your customer and let them approve it. This works. But it’s not ideal because testimonials are more convincing when customers use their own language. Yours will come across as written by an experienced professional.
    • Do a 15-minute interview. Record it. Write the testimonial and use words and phrases your customer uses verbatim. Then send it to them to revise or approve.

    Is this worth your time?

    Absolutely!

    Other testimonials amount to just putting words on the page. These tell a brief story (just like case studies) which is a powerfully convincing sales tool.

    To maximize their effect, place them strategically throughout your website (see our web design services). Don’t bury them on a “Testimonials” page. No one reads those. You might as well not even put them on your website if that’s what you do.

    Instead, depending on the message of your testimonials, you could place them:

    • By a contact form
    • Next to a clickable button
    • Throughout your sales page
    • On your home page
    • In your about page

    Stay Tuned for Part 2!

    Look, the nice thing about the web is that you have nearly infinite opportunity for creativity. So, that means these are just a couple ways to integrate social proof to score more sales.

    That also means much more exist.

    I have time for just these two today. So stay tuned. More coming soon!

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  • 30/10/17 SEO

    4 SEO-Boosting Shortcuts for Businesses with Little Time or Money

    Do you do the same SEO fundamentals nearly every other business does?

    That’s a recipe for achieving the same results.

    Those results may not be bad.

    But how will you ever get ahead of your competition?

    You’ll always be neck-and-neck.

    So let’s say you’re an SMB. You have little time or money. What SEO tactics can you use to get ahead, without sinking a lot of time or money into them?

    Check out these ideas:

    Curate Top Content from Around the Web on Your Blog

    As long as you provide the original source, it’s fine to use other people’s content on your blog.

    You’ve probably experienced information overwhelm, right?

    Your customers do too. So, make their lives easier and include links, excerpts, videos, podcasts, and images of the most useful content in your niche.

    This makes you a valuable resource for your visitors. And it doesn’t take nearly as much time as creating your own content.

    Use Infographics

    Some think infographics are past their prime. True…they’re not the new shiny thing they used to be.

    But they still work quite well. And you can create one, regardless of your niche.

    See this gigantic one from Hubspot:infographic

    That one probably costed them several thousand dollars.

    You’ll have to outsource them. But they don’t have to cost a lot – especially when you factor in the SEO power you get in return.

    Infographics work best for service-based businesses. And they’re effective for companies that sell products too.

    Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

    What could a website like this possibly have to do with helping you get serious SEO juice?

    Quite a bit.

    Let me explain how HARO works.

    First, you sign up for free at their website. Then you choose categories where you have interest.

    HARO works two ways:

    • You can solicit pitches to get quotes from other blogs and website owners (a more time-consuming way to build connections and SEO juice)
    • You can answer questions blog-based reporters asked, get a quote as an expert, and also get a link (the less time-consuming method)

    For certain niches, HARO makes total sense.

    You’ll build connections with small, medium, and even household-name brands. And just a few links from big names can be total game-changers.

    Include User-Generated Content (UGC) Wherever Possible

    People trust content generated by users much more than that created by businesses.

    Why?

    Your business could have an agenda and a completely biased position. Whether you actually do or not doesn’t matter.

    People naturally assume you do.

    But when other users create content, those assumptions go out the window. They assume the user has a more objective, and possibly completely unbiased, view.

    Examples of user-generated content include:

    • Blog comments
    • Facebook comments
    • User photos or images of using your products or service
    • Testimonials (written or video)
    • Social media posts
    • Reader questions you answer on your blog

    User-generated content is unique, which attracts more user attention, and rewards from search engines.

    It absolutely works.

    Which Makes Most Sense for You?

    I’ll be honest…not every SEO technique above works for every business. For example, if you’re not a persuasive writer, you won’t get as much from HARO (although sometimes they ask for phone interviews).

    So you have to consider what strengths you and your business have, and then use the right techniques that make the most sense for you.  

    Once you hit on the right ones, you get an incredible return on your SEO for the time you invest.

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  • 30/10/17 SEO

    3 Ways Social Media Can Actually Hurt Your SEO

    Do you realize that if you don’t integrate your social media with your SEO, you throw away tons of traffic and sales?

    Social media actually doesn’t cause high search rankings. Focus on that keyword “cause.” However, websites that rank well have powerful social media presences too.

    SearchMetrics found a high correlation between social media and search rankings. So while social media doesn’t cause high search rankings by itself, it’s certainly an important factor.

    Taking a look at the reverse side of the coin…how can you actually hurt your search ranking when using social media?

    Learn a few lessons by checking out these tips:

    You Don’t Use Social Media to Get as Many Quality Links as You Should

    The power in social media isn’t in the amount of links you get. Yeah, it absolutely can generate hundreds of links.

    But you miss the real value of social media if that’s your focus.

    With social media, you want to build relationships with the powerhouse influencers in your niche. Because everyone else with quality websites follows them.

    And just a share or two can lead to several high-quality links.

    In SEO, those links have much more value than winning hundreds from moderately-known websites.

    You Create Just Another Profile Where You Share The Same Old Content

    You’ll get some value from this. But only the bare minimum. So you hurt your SEO because you don’t take full advantage.

    Basically, you’ll keep pace with your competition. Or stay slightly behind.

    Most companies create yet another blog post on the same old topic. They offer little new or valuable information. And they share the same from third parties.

    To drive your social shares through the roof, you need to be different. If you’re in a niche where literally the same old stuff comes out all the time and you truly don’t have anything new to say, present your content in a different way.

    A 2000-word blog post (once per month) chock full of videos, images, diagrams, data tables, actionable tips, humor, fierce opinions, or challenges to conventional thinking sets you apart.

    Few companies have the patience to do anything like that. And most think you need to be short and quick to capture attention (which isn’t true).

    Your social posts should have emojis, hashtags (not appropriate for every network), and a chatty, personal message (versus just the title of the content being shared).

    That’s how you max the SEO value of your social posts.

    You Focus Too Much Time on Follower Count

    It’s the most obvious way to measure success, isn’t it?  

    Follower count, unfortunately, only appears to show a measurement of success. But in reality, it doesn’t do anything for SEO.

    Google’s Matt Cutts, the former head of web spam and SEO, explains Google doesn’t use social signals because it can’t measure things like follower count:

    What should you do instead?

    Use social tools to figure out what content people in your niche like.

    Create your own unique version. Share it.

    Keep chipping away to see what earns the most shares. Content which generates shares also gets links. Followers will come. And links boost your SEO.

    Social Media’s Now Your SEO Ally, and Not a Time-Sucking Enemy

    Done right, you can manage your social media profiles in just minutes per day. It takes time to optimize to that level of efficiency.

    Done wrong, however, and social media consumes hours per week while failing to yield any real results.

    Keep these three tips in mind. They’ll generate you a flood of value over time with the consistent application.

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  • 23/10/17 SEO

    The 10-Minute Guide to Reworking Old Content to Boost Your Search Rankings

    Google was founded in 1998 with a vision of making the internet the best it can be for searchers.

    Was that their original thinking? Actually, I don’t know.

    But it certainly became that over time. And while the web isn’t a perfect place where you go the exact answer to your question every time, Google’s done an amazing job of making it more useful than ever.

    If you think about it, you’ll remember all the junk websites that came up years ago. Now, when you search, you get an informative, useful answer to your question most times.

    At the same time, Google’s forced businesses of all sizes to up their content game.

    And if you don’t, you cease to exist.

    It works. Brian Dean, a popular SEO blogger, doubled his traffic by updating one of his blog posts.

    So, if you’ve been at SEO for some years, you may have older content that’s not as high in quality as you have now.

    What Gaps Exist in Your Niche?

    Ever analyzed the content landscape in your niche? That’s the first key to winning the game.

    Don’t write content in a vacuum, without knowing what else your readers see.

    Regardless of your niche, you’ll find “gaps.” To find content gaps, ask yourself these questions as you check out your competitors:

    • How far in-depth do their posts go? Where could you go deeper?
    • Do they lack a clear, conversational, and down-to-earth style?
    • Do they routinely share real-life stories to clearly illustrate their points?
    • Does the author sometimes share a personal experience from their own lives to build their relationship with the audience?  
    • Could I improve the visual attractiveness of my content with videos, images with data, infographics, and my own hand-made images to make ideas easier to understand?
    • Is there an original way I could approach a topic that no one else has already done?
    • What hasn’t already been said?

    FYI…as you update your blog posts, Google notices. And, it gives preference to updated content in its search rankings.

    Work on Your Headlines

    When you create content, you should spend a good hour or so by writing different headlines.

    Don’t forget to keep that focus keyword in there!

    …But you’ll want to write out 20-30 options to choose from.

    You can use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to help with this. View the score you get like so:

    • 40-59: Don’t use that headline!
    • 60-69: Nice work. You’ll get noticed and a decent amount of traffic.
    • 70-74: Really good title here.  You’ll get excellent engagement. Your title will easily be more noticeable than that of most competitors.
    • 75+: Nearly impossible to get. You’ve written an amazing title if you score here.

    With your titles, make the point clear. But try to elicit an emotion of curiosity too. It’s the most consistent way to get clicks on your titles.

    Here are a few examples so you see what I mean:

    • What Should Your New Password Be?
    • Why Do Chinese URLs Use Numbers, Not Letters?
    • Top SEO Trends from the Past 6 Months

    Basically, give the idea away. But, not the entire thing.

    It’s kinda like going on a first date. Sell yourself. But don’t overdo it.

    Writing curiosity-peaking headlines takes years to perfect. But you can do a serviceable job right away.

    Just Google it and modify the headlines you find for your own use.

    Then, keep a Word Doc with the titles you find to refer to later. They get your creative juices flowing faster.

    Like It or Not, Content’s Never Done

    It’s just the way content works. That’s exactly how business works.

    You always work towards improving. One step better each day. Sometimes, you make a giant leap.

    And now you know what to aim for next with your content. It’s a good thing you do.

    Most small businesses simply do not have this awareness. So you have a huge competitive advantage they’ll likely never even use.

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  • 14/08/17 SEO

    Learn How Google’s Algorithms Work Together

    While they mostly work independently, Google’s algorithms share data with one another occasionally. And this, without any human intervention.

    Why should you care? Because this affects how you should optimize your website. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing how search works. Machine learning, for example, determines which ranking signals to adjust for specific types of searches. Google’s Hummingbird update (in late 2013) allowed Google to better understand conversational speech.

    So those are the kinds of things I’m talking about here. When you understand how Google’s algorithms work together both now and in the future, you know how to best position your own website for higher rankings in the future.

    How Google’s Algorithms Currently Work

    At this point, Google has something like 200 or more ranking factors. Each signal gets a certain amount of weight…some more than others. Some are directly addressed by Google’s core algorithm, while others are their own algorithms that do their own work and feed the result to the core algorithm. Google’s PageRank, or the amount of authority/ranking power a particular web page has, is an example of the latter.

    How Google’s Algorithms Will Work in the Future

    Let’s just create a hypothetical example to show you how Google will work in the near future. Say, for example, you have 6 ranking factors: A, B, C, and X, Y, and Z.

    A, B, and C are offsite factors (links pointing back to your site). X, Y, and Z are onsite factors (how fast your page loads, where your keywords appear on your page, and the PageRank of your page).

    In the future, each factor will communicate with the other, thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning. They’ll only offer the pertinent information the other factor needs to know to do its job.

    All factors then work together to produce the final search result. But, that search result does not have an algorithm operating behind it.

    This speeds up how the process works. Will it lead to faster changes in the rankings?

    Sounds like it should, but we’ll have to see.

    The Difference This Makes to Your Search Rankings

    Google will place even more weight than it does now on your website’s ability to match the intent of the user’s search. You must have the best resource for the search made.

    That means you have to know who else ranks for your search. And then you have to beat the living daylights out of their page.

    And you must make sure that every search factor that affects your rankings plays to this. Because they’ll all communicate with one another and assist in producing the final search result. It sounds the same as how Google works now, but the effect is as stated before: Google will match searches to user intent far better than ever before.

    So much so, in fact, that you could notice a dramatic change in Google’s search results in the next couple years. Smart website owners will create the most solid answer to the intent of the user’s search starting now. And then you can watch while your competition scrambles to react.

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  • 09/08/17 SEO

    4 Ways to Protect Your Website from Negative SEO

    Did you know it’s easy for your competitors to build spammy, crappy backlinks to your website to damage your rankings…and you have basically nothing you can do to stop it?

    It’s 100% true. There’s nothing you can do to stop your competitor from finding ways to build links to your site from porn, gambling, and even illegal websites back to yours. These links can decimate your search rankings.

    And you can’t necessarily trace it back to a specific competitor either.

    Of course, it takes a competitor with a little conscience to actually do that. But it does happen.

    And you can’t file a complaint with Google about it.

    How do you protect yourself from something like this? Here’s how:

     

    1) Create Valuable Content and Constantly Promote It

     

    Google knows every website has a certain amount of lousy backlinks. It’s to be expected. But if they see a clear pattern evolving, that’s where you run into danger.

    The best defense is valuable content your ideal customer can put to use to solve a problem they have right now. They’ll naturally share it. And you can promote this content to earn links too.

    Google loves it. So keeping this going on an ongoing basis is your top priority.

    2) Perform Regular Link Audits

     

    Your SEO will know how often to do a link audit for your website. This could be as often as monthly. But it may be appropriate to do quarterly link audits or even every 6 months to a year.

    Not every website gets targeted for negative SEO. But being ready and catching attackers proactively is a great defense.

    Link audits should be done both onsite (because hackers can gain access to your site and mess with your internal linking) and offsite for reasons explained before.

     

    3) Disavow Bad Links When They Are Found

     

    While Google places all the onus on you to report bad links, at least you have a method of defense. Google’s Disavow Tool allows you to report bad/spammy links that show up on your link profile. Then, Google will remove those links from counting against you.

    However, the process can still take months to take effect. You’ll get hurt, but at least you can minimize the damage.

    Why doesn’t Google just change their algorithm so bad links count for nothing, instead of penalizing you?

    I don’t know. No one does. But the fact is, they’ve done nothing about it.

     

    4) What about Fake Negative Reviews?

     

    Yep. These happen too. Fortunately, you can defend against them also. Just make sure you have good reason to believe they’re fake. For example, you haven’t made a big mistake at your company that would lead to all these negative reviews.

    Fortunately, you can use Google My Business to quickly flag the fake reviews.

    You don’t need to panic about possible negative SEO. It’s rare. Google does try to help curtail the efforts of negative SEO attacks by identifying the patterns and not factoring them toward their search results. But, they make no guarantees.

    So ultimately, it’s on you or your SEO to constantly monitor your website for unusual activity so you don’t find yourself in a messy situation.  

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  • 05/08/17 SEO

    Should You Use Google’s New Website Builder for SMBs?

    You’ve likely heard of Wix, the do-it-for-you website builder. Popular competitors include Weebly, WordPress, Jimdo, and Squarespace, and there’s tons of others too.

     

    The problem with Wix, and many of these (except installing your own version of WordPress), is they aren’t the most SEO-friendly. Sometimes, their templates don’t load the fastest. Some available designs are quite ugly and don’t offer a simple experience. And comparatively speaking, Wix isn’t all the cheap.

    People use Wix because it is easy (and advertised heavily), and at just a few bucks per month for their starting package, it appears relatively cheap.

    But for the above reasons, it’s not necessarily a good long-term choice.

    Now, Google Sites enters the fray. While Google naturally competes with Wix and other similar options, it’s not necessarily designed to do exactly that.

    If you’re considering a business website, and need one fast, does Google Sites make sense?

    Learn more about the new tool below:  

    Who Should Use Google Sites?

    The builder is designed to be easy to use. It even automatically populates some of your business information from your Google My Business account.

    Google’s really intending their builder for small local businesses who need just a single page. That could be:

    • Churches
    • Any kind of non-profit
    • Restaurants
    • Clubs

    They actually don’t give you a ton of control over editing the page. They keep what you can do pretty basic.

    But with who this tool’s intended for (the 60% of businesses across the world who don’t have websites), that makes sense.

    Google Sites Does Good SEO and Ranks Well

    This makes sense. Google’s own tool should darn well rank well in its search rankings.

    I read some comments from black hat SEOs. They found Google Sites rank fast and well.

    However, since Google has direct knowledge of these sites, if you push too hard on getting back links or other borderline SEO tactics, they’ll pull you out of the rankings fast. So, while you can do solid SEO and rank well, make sure you know exactly what you’re doing or that you hire someone who does.

    A Few Cons About Google Sites

    Google Sites definitely wasn’t made for more advanced web users. And it’s not for you if you like to spend a lot of time learning new things and want to have tight control over your website’s design.

    You can’t openly edit the CSS/HTML code. That limits your SEO capability and visual design to a degree. The designs themselves aren’t that pretty or innovative.

    You get a fairly barebones system, and especially so when compared to Wix, Weebly, and other similar platforms.  

    Conclusion: Google Sites Works Well for Small (Or Non-Existent) Budgets, and SMBs Who Want to Build Their First Web Presence

    If you have a budget of a couple thousand dollars per month, you’re much better off hiring a professional SEO or internet marketing contractor or agency. You have much tighter control over your website, which means you can deliver the experience your users want. And you can do more to benefit your rankings and win more customers.

    But if you’re new, don’t have a large budget, and simply want to be present online and maybe pull in a few customers, Google Sites makes sense.

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