29/04/22 SEO

Local SEO: Why Business Reviews are Crucial in 2022

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Over the past decade, local SEO has become one of the most critical ranking factors in determining the health of a search engine’s local search results. In the past, businesses had little influence over their search engine rankings. However, today’s local SEO strategies emphasize maintaining a quality business presence, which includes optimizing a business’s website for local search queries, developing a solid online reputation, and building a large, engaged online customer and community base. Business owners must be willing to build a robust local SEO strategy. Key ranking factors include customer reviews, positive Google My Business (Google Business Profile) ratings, and other online marketing efforts. 

The Importance of Local SEO

Local search engine optimization (SEO) strategically develops and implements search marketing strategies that improve the visibility of a business’s online presence in local search results.       

A positive online presence is critical for brick-and-mortar businesses and online retailers who want to rank well in organic search results. Studies demonstrate that approximately four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information such as restaurants, shops, and services.

The use of voice search for things like “Chinese restaurant near me” continually rises. As a result, a brick-and-mortar business’s ability to rank well in local search is an essential competitive advantage considering approximately 50% of mobile users visit a store after conducting a local search.

However, local SEO isn’t only crucial for brick-and-mortar businesses. A robust local SEO strategy for online retailers has become even more critical in the current digital marketing climate.

One reason is that approximately 46% of all Google searches have to do with business location, and Google does tend to show each searcher’s results most relevant to where they are. As a result, a comprehensive local SEO strategy is critical for online retailers who want to rank well in local searches. 

Local SEO and current Google maps info are crucial for retailers who don’t operate brick-and-mortar storefronts. For example, suppose a consumer is looking for a local business that sells fitness apparel. In that case, a robust SEO strategy that includes a presence on review sites such as Yelp and Google Business Profile will likely yield better search engine results than an online-only presence.    

Why Local SEO and Reviews Go Hand-in-Hand

Local SEO has become more relevant than ever over the last few years. As we all continue to move more and more online, Google is now prioritizing businesses with a strong presence in a specific local area in which they serve. While SEO keyword research and optimizing your website are crucial steps to online success, developing a comprehensive local SEO strategy that includes positive reviews, high Google My Business (GMB) ratings, and other online marketing efforts is essential.   

Customer reviews play a critical role in ranking success because they’re an easy way for consumers to verify the legitimacy of a business online and help build a solid online presence in your local market. Reviews are particularly important for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that may not have the time or resources to invest heavily in a digital marketing strategy.

Reviews also allow you to interact with an audience you may not otherwise be able to meet, especially if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar shop. Customer reviews will enable you to thank happy shoppers for their business or directly address any issues or concerns that may have surfaced. You’ll have the opportunity to provide excellent customer service to online shoppers who may not have the chance to interact with you in person. 

Finally, customer reviews provide an excellent opportunity to build your online reputation and authority, which will help you create a more substantial local SEO presence. After all, Google tends to rank each business based on its online reputation. A well-respected local company will rank better in its local market than an unknown small business.

Implement a Local SEO Strategy that Incorporates Reviews in 5 Steps

Local SEO can seem like an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. Implementing a local SEO strategy that prioritizes customer reviews is relatively easy.

Not sure where to begin when linking your local SEO and reviews into one strategy? Start with these five steps:

5 ways to implement local seo infographic

1. Know Your Target Audience

Building a solid local SEO strategy is all about knowing your audience. If you don’t clearly understand whom you’re trying to reach with your online presence, it will be challenging to build a strategy that will help you connect with them. Knowing your ideal audience allows you to better tailor the user experience your customers have once they come across your brand or visit your business website.

When asking for and responding to online reviews, it’s essential to respond to customer needs and ensure you provide them with a positive experience. The responsiveness of a business owner offers both immediate and long-term benefits for a brand. 

In the short term, building a strategy that prioritizes customer reviews allows you to connect with your audience emotionally. Human connection encourages both immediate and ongoing engagement, which provides you with the opportunity to build a healthy online presence. 

From a long-term perspective, prioritizing customer reviews provides you with the opportunity to build your online authority and reputation. Creating a more substantial local SEO presence allows you to reach potential customers who may not have found your brand otherwise.

2. Conduct Local Keyword Research

Local keyword research is all about understanding your audience and finding the right keywords, which is especially important for local SEO. With an awareness of what your audience is searching for, you can better understand which keywords will likely yield the maximum return on investment (ROI).         

When conducting keyword research with a local SEO focus, it’s essential to keep your ideal audiences’ search intent in mind. Anticipating search intent helps you determine which types of relevant keywords to target. For example, suppose you know that most of your ideal customers are looking for local plumbers in their area. In that case, you should focus your local SEO efforts on keywords relevant to this search intent, such as “plumbers near me.”

Focused keyword research will also help you optimize your local online listings better, which will come into play in the following steps. 

If you’re not sure how to manage keyword research with search intent in mind, you’ll want to understand that there are three primary categories of search intent:

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  • Informational: This is any search primarily seeking information, including things like “How to x,” “Best x,” and “Plumber in y.” This category will generate the highest traffic volume as it’s one of the most common intents when searchers turn to the internet with their queries.
  • Navigational: Searches looking for navigation, such as “Where is the nearest x,” and “X near me,” are the next most important category to focus on for local SEO. Navigational searches also generate significant traffic, with “near me” searches growing by approximately 200% in recent years.
  • Transactional: When potential customers are looking to buy or find a specific product or service, transactional searches include things like “Buy x,” “Best plumber in y,” and “Get a quote for x.” As you can see, keywords that fall into the transactional category tend to be less common than navigational and informational keywords.

However, relevant keywords still have the potential to generate a high volume of organic traffic if they fall within your target demographic. Understanding these different forms of search intent will help you better prioritize your keyword research when developing a local SEO strategy. It will play an essential role in the following step.

3. Create and Optimize Local Online Listings

Creating and optimizing your local online listings is one of the most critical steps for developing a local SEO strategy. This is where your customers will first encounter your business and where most of your online visibility will come from. 

Local online listings are a significant factor in your local SEO and reviews, as this is where your customers most likely leave feedback. It’s essential to invest the time and resources necessary to create high-quality online listings that accurately reflect your brand.     

There are dozens of online listings, directories, and databases available to create your local online listings, but some of the most common include:

Google My Business (now Google Business Profile)

Google Business Profile is a tool businesses use to create and manage their business profiles on Google. Your customers can find basic information about your business, such as your business name, address, phone number, and website. Your Google Business Profile is also where they’ll be able to leave a review if they have either positive or negative experiences to communicate.

With your profile set up and optimized for your local keywords, you’re ready to begin collecting reviews from your existing and past customers. Invite customers to write a review on your Google Business Profile. The more reviews you have, the higher your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) and the more exposure you’ll receive.

Yelp

Yelp is one of the most popular local review sites and a great place to start when developing your local online listings. Like Google Business Profile, business owners can create an account and manage their business page by uploading photos, writing a description, setting hours of operation, and more. You’ll be able to manage your reviews and respond to any that your customers have left. 

Better Business Bureau

BBB (Better Business Bureau) is another popular option for creating your local online listings. The BBB is a non-profit organization that aims to provide a forum for consumers to share their experiences with businesses while at the same time providing a way for companies to verify their legitimacy. You’ll need to register with the BBB to begin managing your business profile. You’ll be able to create and manage your online listings, respond to any reviews that your customers have left, and more. 

Bing

Many other popular search engines and directories, such as Bing, also allow business owners to create local online listings and manage their profiles from within the search engine. This means you have yet another option for developing your local SEO strategy.   

4. Start Compiling Customer Reviews

With your online marketing efforts well underway, it’s time to ask your customers for reviews. Opening up your company for honest reviews is a great way to build your customer base and provide a steady stream of new leads and referrals. 

To begin compiling your reviews, simply send out a request with a time limit and a reminder text or email a few days after the initial contact. 

You can use email marketing tools such as Mailchimp, Hubspot, Klaviyo, or others to send out a request to your mailing list. Your review request can be simple as a form located on your website or as detailed as a full-blown email campaign. You should be able to gather at least a handful of reviews from your customers. Once you have a few great reviews, repurpose snippets of them for social media and other content marketing purposes.

5. Respond to Reviews

Finally, once you’ve gathered your reviews, you have the opportunity to respond. Communicating with your client base in this way allows you to build a relationship with your customers and show that their experiences with your company matter to you. Being present on your online business listings humanizes your business and helps develop a sense of community. When current and prospective customers see that you’re active on your review pages, they’ll be more likely to leave a review and engage with your company.

Social Media and Local SEO

There’s been an ongoing debate surrounding the effects of social media platforms on search engine optimization. The truth is that social media impacts website search rankings in several ways. While the true impact of social engagement on SEO may be difficult to quantify, it’s clear that maintaining an active social media presence can give you a boost. To learn more, please see our recent blog post, “How Does Social Media Affect SEO?

Boost Your Local SEO with Help from an SEO Expert

As you can see, developing your local SEO strategy is a complex process that requires a combination of in-depth knowledge of online marketing and local SEO best practices. That’s why it’s essential to work with an SEO expert to help you identify your unique online marketing goals and develop a strategy to help you achieve them.  

Contact us today for a free SEO audit and learn how we can help incorporate local SEO and reviews into a strategy that works!

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21/03/22 SEO

Benefits of Technical SEO for Small Businesses

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With more than 3.4 million searches conducted on Google every day, businesses must set themselves apart from the competition and increase visibility. This can be most effectively accomplished through search engine optimization (SEO). SEO can help earn you a higher SERP (search engine results page) position, drive quality organic traffic to your website, and help you close sales. Technical SEO can ensure that potential customers have a positive experience and return to your site.

While keywords and meaningful content are undoubtedly crucial for SEO, today’s consumers expect a positive user experience. After all, 88% of consumers won’t return to a website after a negative experience. That’s why you must pay close attention to the technical aspect of your SEO strategy. By understanding the benefits of SEO for small businesses, you can create an optimized website that delivers results.

What Exactly is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO is off-site SEO that encompasses a website’s technical elements, which help boost organic search engine rankings. This is important because 75% of people don’t scroll beyond Google’s first listings page. If you don’t earn high ranking factors, you’re missing out on potential website traffic and future sales. 

By focusing on your website’s technical aspects, you improve your site’s overall performance. Providing a website that loads quickly, is easily navigable, and functions as well on mobile devices as it does on desktops helps to reduce frustrations and provide a positive experience for your users.  

A site that implements technical SEO makes it easier for search engines to crawl and learn what your web pages are all about. This information enables them to index your landing pages for future reference and quickly recommend you as a possible solution for your target audience’s problems. Technical SEO helps search engines understand your website and rank you higher in their results.

Conversely, if you ignore technical SEO, you could make technical mistakes that undermine your performance and undermine your rankings. A simple typo could keep search engines from even finding your website, let alone including it in their results. SEO is an effective way to reach a wider audience and generate revenue, and technical SEO enables you to provide a positive experience for users and search engines alike.

3 Examples of Technical SEO

Several technical elements of your small business website impact functionality, usability, and user experience. Here are three examples of technical SEO that contribute to higher SERPs.

1. Load Time

One of the greatest frustrations for web users is a site with a slow load time. In fact, one in four visitors will abandon a site that takes longer than four seconds to load. Compress or embed large photos, use a performance-based hosting solution, and avoid unnecessary plug-ins to increase page speed. The quicker your page speed, the higher your customer satisfaction.

2. Link Functionality

A great SEO tool is link building. External and internal links connect readers to other reputable sites to provide even more valuable information on a specific topic. These strategic links help broaden your reach and give your business more credibility. However, over time, companies update or replace their web content. When you create a backlink to another site, you can’t assume it will last forever. 

Constantly check your website for broken links. When a user clicks on a link that leads them nowhere, they question the accuracy of the rest of your content. This damages trust and can jeopardize customer loyalty. Ensure your links (and the information those links provide) are current in functionality and content.

3. Mobile Friendliness

Now more than ever, people are conducting business from their mobile devices. That’s why you must optimize your website for mobile. Studies show that 61% of online shoppers won’t revisit a site that isn’t mobile-friendly. 

People accessing your site from their mobile device should have the same quality experience as those who use a desktop. This means you need to look at the content layout to ensure that words aren’t cut off and that paragraphs are correctly aligned. Images should be scalable and look the same on various screen sizes. A fully responsive website on mobile will increase customer satisfaction and help you earn higher SERPs.

7 Benefits of Technical SEO

The effects of technical SEO are far-reaching. By monitoring and maintaining the technical aspects of your website, you ensure your site is optimized for maximum performance. Here are seven benefits of technical SEO.

Benefits of technical SEO infographic

1. Eliminates Duplicate Content

When someone sees the same content across multiple pages of your website, they begin to question the authenticity of your material. Duplicate content also damages your reputation as a leader in your industry. After all, a legitimate expert would have enough original content to offer that they wouldn’t need to repeat the same information throughout their site. Duplicate content impacts the overall user experience and can negatively affect your SERPs.

Additionally, duplicate content is confusing for search engines. When Google crawls your site and finds the same keywords on several pages, the search engine doesn’t know which page to prioritize in their listings. This could result in all pages ranking low in results. While duplicate content could be accidental, it comes across as deceptive and deliberate, and search engines penalize that behavior. 

Technical SEO helps you identify instances of duplicate content and allows you to correct those mistakes. You ensure your content delivers a positive experience and boosts your search engine rankings for optimal results through technical optimization.

2. Ensures Content is Current and Accurate

Web content that is current and accurate lets readers know they can depend on you as a valuable resource for information. As a result, they’ll keep returning for continued engagement and are more likely to share your information with their contacts. This broadens your reach, increases visibility, and drives more qualified traffic to your site.

Technical SEO helps you identify broken links and pages that are no longer working correctly. By pinpointing these issues, you can:

  • Easily redirect to pages that have the most recent information.
  • Continue to provide valuable information to your readers.
  • Show that you’re present in maintaining your website.

Websites that are current send a message to users that your business is active, and should someone need to reach you with a question or concern, they’re likely to receive a quick response. This contributes to a positive user experience and higher crawl-ability for search engines. Together, these elements can boost search traffic and help your website serve as a successful business tool for your company.

3. Increases Online Security

Cybersecurity is a genuine concern for today’s online consumers. So much of our personal information is stored online, and security breaches can result in financial destruction and identity theft. 

People need to know they can trust the companies they interact with online. Technical SEO encourages the implementation of HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure). This is a way to send encrypted data from a website to a browser. 

When information is sent online, it’s typically sent as plain text, which is highly accessible and vulnerable to interception. With HTTPS, data is encrypted to help increase the security of data transferred online. It prevents anyone snooping around on the network from easily viewing online information. If they try to decipher the data, it comes across as nonsensical characters, protecting the original content; this builds trust among customers and gives them the confidence to conduct business with you online.

4. Provides an XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap is essentially a list of all your website’s URLs. It serves as a road map to show search engines what content to crawl and index from your site. It typically categorizes your pages, posts, and images in a linear way that streamlines the crawling and indexing process. Rather than sifting through links and tiers of pages, search engines can see all of your content in one place. XML sitemaps provide insight into when content was most recently updated. They also help to connect your content and ensure that search engines see the most important material on your site.

This ability to index information more expeditiously is beneficial for sites that:

  • Have an in-depth website hierarchy
  • Add new pages frequently
  • Constantly update existing pages
  • Don’t use many external links
  • Have hundreds of web pages.
  • Creating an XML sitemap is one aspect of technical SEO that can improve your website’s crawl-ability and help boost search rankings.

5. Uses Structured Data

Through technical SEO, businesses can build a website that uses structured data. Schema markup is a coded vocabulary that helps search engines better understand your site. By following a fixed format, you provide detailed information that tells search engines more about your products and your company. Search engines can give context to your website’s content, making it easier to identify, locate, and comprehend.

Schema markups can help identify events, articles, people, organizations, and more. Once they’re added to your content, search engines can use rich snippets to showcase those details. This helps readers quickly identify close matches to their searches and find the solution that best meets their needs. Structured data is an effective way to determine relevance and boost SERPs.

6. Increases Navigability

When you walk into a disorganized store that lacks directional signage and doesn’t have staff nearby to answer questions, you’ll leave before making a purchase. Websites are the same way. Consumers want to visit a site that is intuitive, easy to navigate, and allows them to complete their mission quickly and pain-free. 

Technical SEO forces you to take a close look at the functionality and navigability of your company’s website. You can identify whether the structure of your site makes sense and if pages lead to the right destination. If pages link too deeply, people (and search engines) can have difficulty isolating important information on your site. This hurts SEO rankings and overall website performance. Making sure your website is easily navigable will help consumers enjoy a positive experience. Search engines will also be able to find and index the pertinent information from your site.

7. Enhances Social Media Strategy

Social media is an invaluable piece of any digital marketing strategy. More than 3.6 billion people worldwide have social media accounts, so it’s a massive pool of potential business. It’s also highly targetable, so you can ensure you’re reaching the right people with the right message. The key to a successful content strategy is consistent messaging. After all, message consistency:

  • Builds brand recognition
  • Strengthens brand identity
  • Solidifies your position in your niche

It’s essential to ensure that whatever content you’re posting on your website is accurately reflected on your social media pages. Through technical SEO, you can automate the process of content posting, so you avoid publishing the wrong text snippet or incorrect image. Take the time to automate specific fields. Otherwise, social media platforms will choose that information for you, and it may not be the ideal choice. Technical SEO helps you control who sees what and ensures your content marketing efforts are aligned for optimal results.

How to Improve Technical SEO

There are various tools available to help you improve your technical SEO. Some free resources include:

  • Google Search Console: helps you find and fix technical issues that impact your site’s appearance in their results listings.
  • Bing Webmaster Tools: enables you to analyze your site’s performance and make improvements for better rankings.
  • Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test: confirms mobile usability and identifies issues for you to resolve.
  • Chrome DevTools: a built-in tool that debugs your webpage for optimal performance.

While all of these tools are helpful, the most beneficial thing small business owners can do for their website is receive a technical SEO audit from an SEO professional. An expert can identify technical or local SEO issues on your site that you (or any of those free tools) may have overlooked. They can use their experience and knowledge to guide you in a strategy that will optimize your online presence and deliver the best results possible. 

By relying on the SEO efforts of a professional, you can ensure your site is optimized quickly and efficiently while avoiding expensive mistakes that could cost you organic traffic, new customers, high conversion rates, increased sales, and future revenue. When it comes to technical SEO, it’s best to hire a trusted SEO services expert.

Get a Technical SEO Audit from an SEO Expert

Best Dallas SEO understands the importance of technical SEO and its impact on overall success. We offer expert digital marketing and small business SEO consulting to help you capitalize on the benefits of technical SEO. Let us help you ensure your website provides a high-quality experience for users and search engines alike. 

Contact us today for a free SEO audit.

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28/02/22 Content Marketing , SEO # ,

Bad SEO Practices That Can Kill Your Ranking in 2022

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One of the most impactful strategies for business success is search engine optimization (SEO). Every day, there are 3.4 million searches conducted on Google alone. Since you’re competing with around 1.8 billion other websites to attract viewers’ attention, it’s critical that you do everything you can to stand out from the crowd. Part of that strategy is knowing what bad SEO practices can kill your search engine ranking placements (SERPs) and avoiding them at all costs.

When done well, SEO increases brand visibility, drives traffic to your site, and boosts conversion rates. Good SEO is a powerful tool for attracting the right audience and generating revenue for your small business. By avoiding SEO killers, you can ensure you’re taking the necessary steps to provide a positive user experience and catch the eye of consumers and search engines alike. This can help secure you higher SEO rankings and drive overall business success.

Why are Good SEO Techniques Important?

There was a time when all consumers cared about was finding the best product at the lowest price. Now, with the advent of the internet and a wealth of information at their fingertips, today’s consumers are much more discerning. They’re able to conduct their own research, read about other shoppers’ firsthand experiences with brands and products, and make informed decisions about the product that most effectively meets their needs. Today’s consumers are looking for answers to their questions, solutions to their problems, and timely, accurate information to help influence their buying decisions.

This means that today’s companies must create quality content that resonates with their audience. The more valuable a website is to online users, the more likely search engines are to suggest those companies to their users. After all, the goal of search engines is to be a helpful resource delivering original content to their audience so those people will return in the future. To do this, they must provide valuable results that answer questions and solve problems.

By creating valuable content and delivering a positive user experience, you can earn higher SERPs. This is important because it helps to increase your visibility. Research shows that 75% of people don’t look past the first page of Google’s listings. If you can’t secure a high website ranking, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.

How Does SEO Work?

To maximize your business opportunities, it’s essential to understand how SEO works, and it’s essentially achieved through five main steps.

1. Create Original Content

You must first create tailored content that users will find beneficial. Through research, you can understand who your audience is—this includes their needs, pain points, expectations, and what kinds of words and phrases they’re using to search for products and services like yours. You also ensure your website delivers a positive user experience with fast load times and intuitive navigation.

2. Search Engines Crawl Your Web Pages

Search engines use bots and spiders to “crawl” your web pages when you post your content. This scanning process helps them gain an understanding of your pages’ content. They’ll start with web pages, then explore links to other material. Content could include blog articles, downloadable files, PDFs, and social media posts.

7 bad seo practices infographic

3. Link Acquisition

Backlinks are a powerful tool for SEO, but there’s a right and wrong way to do link building. When another reputable site in your field links to your site—thus broadening your reach, expanding your audience, and helping to build credibility—you’ve established a quality link. Backlinks can be obtained through various means, from guest posting on another site to contacting commenters and working out a link exchange. 

It takes a lot of time and effort to ‘win’ a backlink, so hiring an experienced SEO agency you can trust is the safest way to build quality links to your website’s pages. The key here is that these backlinks must be authentic.

Another reason why having your SEO agency acquire links for you is that, because of their experience, they know exactly which kinds of links will be most beneficial to your ROI. Non-spammy, quality links will keep you from being penalized by Google’s webspam team.

4. Outdated Content

Even the best-written posts need to be updated over time. Viewers look to your website for current, accurate information, and research and data are constantly changing. Third-party websites continually update their content, which means your links to their sites may have changed. To ensure you’re providing the most beneficial information and the best user experience possible, it’s critical that you avoid hosting outdated content.

Technical errors like broken internal links or pages not found are frustrating for web users, and if left uncorrected, they can cause other issues to accumulate, signaling to search engines that you aren’t providing valuable content. Take time to review your older content marketing efforts and ensure it still contains the most up-to-date information possible. This will help build trust among your audience and set you apart from businesses that aren’t maintaining this key aspect of their SEO strategy.

5. Keyword Stuffing

Before the main focus of SEO turned to content and user experience, keywords were huge in matching with the right searches. As a result, people would try to cram as many specific keywords into their content as possible to boost their chances of aligning with more queries. Known as keyword stuffing, this practice is now highly frowned upon in the world of SEO, qualifying it as an SEO killer in 2022.

Two things happen when too many keywords are stuffed into one piece of content. First, the content often doesn’t make sense as the keywords take over the focus of the material. Quality is jeopardized, and the information no longer aims to solve the user’s problems but rather to trick the search engine algorithms. This leads to reader frustration, damaging the business’s credibility and reputation.

Second, search engines pick up on this tactic and see how little value this content brings to readers. Therefore, those sites are penalized with low rankings and fewer indexes. This reduces visibility, damages confidence, and dissuades people from conducting business with those companies. Today’s web content must be written for the reader, not the search engine.

6. Cloaking

When users click on a link, they visit a site expecting to find specific content. Cloaking is when a company intentionally shows one kind of content to search engines and something entirely different to human visitors. This tactic is used to disguise or hide information so search engine crawlers won’t discover things like excessive ads, generated content, or paid links. 

Cloaking is highly frustrating to online users and typically deters them from visiting that site again. While it might help increase click-through rates (while people try to locate the information they thought they would see), it definitely reduces customer loyalty and damages any chance of building a lasting relationship for future purchases.

Search engines don’t just dislike this SEO mistake; it’s in direct violation of Google’s SEO guidelines. Search engines want to deliver results that meet expectations. If they recommend a site for clothing that actually sells automobiles, users will be dissatisfied and blame the search engine for the poor result match. Cloaking is an SEO killer that creates a bad experience for everyone involved.

7. Negative User Experience (UX)

A website’s intuitive navigation is essential because so much of today’s successful SEO is all about providing a positive user experience. When a shopper walks into a brick-and-mortar store and sees products strewn around the floor, no signage to guide them, and no clerks to ask for help, chances are they’ll leave pretty quickly. A business website is very much the same. Jumbled products, incorrect information, and hard-to-read text can be a huge turn-off for potential customers.

Make sure your website uses a clean layout with an overarching theme to help an audience identify crucial information. Prominent clearly labeled call-to-action (CTA) buttons direct people where to go. A chat feature or customer service contact information instills confidence in getting the answers they need before committing to a purchase.

Webmasters should break up content into brief paragraphs that are easy to digest. All links should direct people to the right place and deliver current information. By making your site intuitive and easy to navigate, your audience will feel comfortable browsing, shopping, and converting to customers.

Enlist an SEO Expert

SEO is a crucial part of any business’s digital marketing strategy. Best Dallas SEO offers expert digital marketing and SEO consulting to help you understand how SEO works and what bad SEO practices to avoid. Let us help you maximize your SEO efforts by providing a top-notch user experience, driving quality traffic to your site, and boosting revenue. 

Contact us today for a free SEO audit.

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28/01/22 SEO # , , ,

On-Page vs Off-Page SEO: What’s the Difference?

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With countless businesses clamoring for attention in our modern world, securing any advantage is a must. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one such advantage. Effective SEO maximizes the number of visitors to your website, growing your business by keeping you relevant on search engines. However, it takes some know-how and an innovative mindset to properly utilize the latest SEO options available to you—including on-page and off-page SEO. 

It’s crucial to explore the differences between on-page vs. off-page SEO and connect with experts who can help give your business an edge.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

While most marketers and businesses are aware of SEO—and many utilize it to a degree–it never hurts to brush up your understanding of SEO, what it’s used for, and how it helps drive traffic to your website. 

Search engine optimization is a multifaceted method of increasing your own website’s page ranking and connecting you with valuable organic traffic online. It’s all about boosting your ranking factors to appear higher in a Google search and even securing you a coveted “first-page” search engine results page (SERP) spot.

A first-page spot is essential to attracting the most organic traffic possible and converting that traffic into customers. Only twenty-five percent of users ever click to page two of a search engine, and fewer still visit subsequent pages. Google, for example, shows ten results per page; this means that, for seventy-five percent of people performing a search, those first ten results are as far as they’ll look.

So, what determines those top ten SERPs, and how can you be one of them?

How Do On-Page and Off-Page SEO Work?

Search engines like Google receive roughly 5.5 billion searches every day. To meet this titanic amount of demand, search engines need to compile lots of information. Search engines build special bots—software that performs repetitive, predetermined tasks—to gather information from websites and store it in an index. This information will then be selected and delivered as search results based on the search keywords used and other important factors. 

Understanding how search engines work can help you determine what information and features your website should include ranking higher among millions of search results.

In the end, it comes down to two different types of SEO—on-page and off-page.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves a set of factors that you can implement and control directly on your business website.

Understanding and Implementing Optimization

The first step in an effective on-page SEO strategy is to make and include high-quality, crawlable content rich with specific keywords, links, and tags. 

Search engine bots are sometimes called spiders—they crawl webpages searching for repeated keywords, linking, tags, and more to include in their information index. Say you own a company that sells tea: those bots may find the word “tea” several times on your webpage, and your company will appear on Google. But with over a billion results for “tea” on Google, your company may not show up even in the top million results. 

With optimization—like introducing blogs, product descriptions, links, tags, and more—you increase your chances of organically appearing higher in search engine rankings.

Keyword Optimization

Search engine optimization introduces specific and repeated keywords. For your tea company, consider keywords in product descriptions and blog posts like “organic matcha tea” to help narrow the field and become more relevant. 

The challenge is choosing the right keywords to engage an audience and capture their search intent. Keyword research helps immensely, but you can get started right now, keeping a few key concepts in mind: 

Identify Product Specifics: Consider the specific features that make your product unique in the tea company analogy. If it’s organic and fair trade, say so. If it’s bespoke and small-batch blends, don’t be afraid to boast that fact repeatedly in your keywords. 

Clarify Company Identity: Your company values can make excellent keywords. Especially now, in a world of social and environmental awareness, your keywords can attract all the right traffic and boost your company’s trustworthiness if your company commits to ethics, diversity, and community service. 

Answer Questions: Ask questions about your company as if you don’t run it, and use keywords to answer them. This can go hand-in-hand with the two concepts above but can also go further. Do you deliver worldwide? If so, then highlight the global accessibility of your products.

Consider Trends: With so much of the world constantly online, it’s easier than ever to detect trends as they happen and adapt accordingly. Matcha tea, for example, has exploded in popularity in the past year—it’s highly sought after, and using it as a keyword will draw valuable organic traffic.

Quality Internal Linking

Internal linking is a huge factor in SEO. Link building comes in a few parts: internal and external/inbound. Inbound link building is an off-page SEO tactic and can be found in the off-page section below, but the linking you include on your own website has a massive impact on your overall optimization.

An internal link is a link you include somewhere on your website to another page on the same site. Consider adding links to your other pages from blog posts. Imagine a potential customer reading a blog post about the benefits of chamomile tea and clicking straight to the order page from the blog to make a purchase. Internal links effectively convert visitors to customers. 

Internal links are vital because many pages are only accessible via internal linking. Finally, search engines treat links like votes—internal links show search engines which pages of a website are of most importance or relevance.

Meta Description

What is a meta description? 

When you use a search engine like Google, a meta description is the few lines of text under the website or webpage title that briefly describes what the site or page is about. Searched keywords will be bolded in the meta description, showing that the returned result is relevant. 

An effective meta description that includes frequently searched keywords can help your company land higher on search engine results pages and drive more clicks.

Site Architecture

Overcomplicated sites are bad news—crawlers prefer “flat” sites. A “flat” site means that all pages are ideally just one click away from the home page. Diving down a rabbit hole to order a product drives away customers, downgrading their user experience. A user-friendly website with a fast page load speed will result in a positive user experience (UX) and improve your site’s SEO.

Off-Page SEO

Don’t stop at on-page SEO; off-Page SEO is just as vital when trying to generate traffic for your website—in some ways, even more. Off-page SEO refers to search engine optimization actions made apart from your website that contribute to overall site SEO health. There are many ways to support your website on other channels.

Social Media and Social Sharing

Search engines like Google place more value on social media engagement than ever before, making social media essential for SEO. Most companies maintain social media presences for this reason—social media is free, accessible to everyone, and can reach massive audiences quickly. Clicks, shares, and likes carry considerable weight, and algorithms naturally boost posts with higher engagement rates. 

Linking back to your company website from social media is an excellent method of driving traffic.

Quality Links: Inbound

As discussed above, link building is a cornerstone of both on-page and off-page SEO. While internal links are considered on-page SEO, external links that lead back to your company website are regarded as off-page SEO. If you remember how search engines view links as votes, you’ll see why one-way backlinks on other websites that direct back to you boost your position on those search engines. 

In our tea company analogy, consider the impact of a recipe website linking your product for a recipe for matcha macarons. That recipe website essentially says, “This tea company offers the best option for this recipe.” In short, they vouch for you.

This is sometimes called “backlinking,” and it remains a pillar of SEO strategies. Identifying relevant websites that can boost your own business allows you to engage larger audiences and even have the option of supplying a “guest blog.” 

Connection and Guest Posting

Creating connections with other businesses—or companies whose job is to boost websites—opens a valuable door. Some companies allow businesses to provide a guest blog; this collaborative effort offers benefits to both the host and you:

Increase Domain Authority: Domain authority describes your website’s relevance to a particular topic and how often your site will appear in a given search engine’s SERP. While domain authority may not help your search rankings, it does provide valuable insight into your overall SEO health and shows where your site may be lacking.

Increase Backlinks: The more backlinks that exist, the better. More backlinks mean more brand mentions, greater click potential, and more traffic. Most importantly, since those backlinks are in relevant and trusted places, the traffic that comes your way will be more easily converted into customers.

Increase Content Creation Skills: Your host may require specific standards when posting a guest blog. In learning to meet those standards, you learn how to craft more effective website content. 

The key is to find websites that will allow guest posting and external linking back to your website. Some services find related websites and companies, or you could start small—with local companies, online forums, friends, or family.

Infographic shows off-page SEO strategy

Reviews

Online reviews play a significant role in your overall SEO health. Positive reviews on Google signal to the search engine algorithms that your company is trustworthy and your product is good or helpful. Be sure to keep your company and customer service firing on all cylinders and encourage your customers to leave reviews.

Black Hat vs. White Hat

Ethics and high standards are a must with all the ranking factors to consider in crafting effective SEO techniques. These approaches are generally referred to as “black hat” versus “white hat” SEO, and it applies to both on-page and off-page optimization.

“White hat,” a callback to honorable and ethical characterizations, should be the standard for any SEO you choose to implement. These adhere to search engine terms of service and provide the best shot at higher website rankings.

Infographic showing ethical vs. unethical SEO optimization

Quality Content: No matter where you post, ensure that your page content is well-crafted, well thought out, accurate, and helpful. This applies to social media as well as your website. 

Keyword Rich: Aid crawlers in their work by providing one main keyword per blog (guest blogs included), product description, meta description, and two-to-three relevant supporting keywords. An optimized URL structure containing keywords is also essential.

Fast, Easy Navigation: Your website should be quick to load and easy to navigate, even on mobile devices. Website speed is an SEO ranking signal—the faster, the better.

“Black hat” SEO refers to quite the opposite—cheap or unethical practices of SEO that will ultimately hurt your company and website far more than help it. These generally break search engine terms of service. 

Keyword Stuffing: Cramming your website with hidden keywords only visible to crawlers is a problem. White text on a white background seems like a simple solution but is considered an SEO party foul. Most crawlers are smart enough to identify keyword stuffing and leave you on the receiving end of fines or search engine blacklisting.

Link Farming: A pay-to-play option that puts your website links on huge lists that are hidden from viewers. These lists are typically on completely unrelated websites. Link farming won’t get you traffic—just fines and flags.

Cloaking/Bait and Switch: Showing the crawlers one thing and redirecting elsewhere for human viewers isn’t just unethical—it will land your company in hot water with most search engines. 

When it comes to SEO, it’s best to play fair—you get out what you put in.

Best Dallas SEO Gives You an Edge

If this feels like a lot to consider, it’s because the art and science of on-page vs. off-page SEO demands time, investment, and an expert understanding of the rules. There isn’t always time to be concerned with every last detail when you’re running a company.

That’s why Best Dallas SEO boasts a roster of SEO specialists that can give your company the advantage it needs in a dynamic internet landscape. With white-hat adherence and a full range of services, Best Dallas SEO can get to work on both on-page and off-page SEO.

Boost your business ethically, and see what excellent SEO health can do for you—contact Best Dallas SEO today!

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22/11/21 SEO # , , ,

The Complete Guide to SEO Writing

Guide to SEO Writing

One of the most important things you can do to improve the online presence and visibility of your business is to incorporate quality SEO writing into your website.

Without good content writing, your website won’t rank well in online search queries. Most searchers don’t click past the first page or two of search results. If your business isn’t listed there, your site click-through rate (CTR) drops dramatically.

This step-by-step beginner’s guide will help you understand what SEO content writing is, why it’s so important, and how to effectively add it to your site.

What Is SEO Content Writing?

SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is crucial in making sure your business stands out online. Whether you’re a business owner or a blogger, you want to have the best content possible in order for people to find you. An optimized site delivers a great user experience (UX) by being simple to use, easy to understand, and obvious for search engines like Google to find.

SEO writing is a type of writing that focuses on key SEO principles to help your website stand out. It concentrates on some of the over 200 factors that Google uses in its search algorithm. With the right kind of SEO strategy, your website can climb the search results (or SERPs) and earn that coveted first-page spot.

According to Neil Patel, the SEO copywriting on your site needs to solve a problem and appeal to your users, whether they are clients, prospective customers, or simply searchers looking for valuable information on your site.

Important SEO Terms

Like any industry, the SEO world has its own jargon. Here are some of the most common SEO terms and what they mean:

•Anchor text: The word or phrase that is hyperlinked to another webpage.

•Click-through rate: The ratio of clicks to impressions on any given search result.

•Conversion rate: The percentage of visitors to a webpage that completed a specific action (making a purchase, filling out a contact form, etc.).

•Dwell time: The amount of time a user spends on a clicked search result before returning to the original search engine results page.

•Long-tail keyword: This is a string of keywords, often 3-6 words, to create a more specific targeted keyword.

•Off-page SEO: Tactics relating to search engine optimization performed outside of your own website. Examples include backlinking, social media, and guest blogging content.

•On-page SEO: Also known as on-site SEO, this practice refers to the optimization of web page content for specific keywords to increase traffic. This includes internal links and SEO-optimized types of content, title tags, headings, and subheadings.

•Organic traffic: The number of searchers who found your site on their own and not through a paid ad or link from another site.

•Page ranking factors: The criteria a search engine considers in its algorithm when determining page rank results.

•SERPs: This stands for search engine results pages. 

•SERP position: The ranking on a search engine results page for a specific keyword search.

•Technical SEO: The optimization of websites and servers to help search engine spiders effectively crawl and index your site, improving your site’s organic ranking.

5 Key Benefits to SEO Copywriting

Optimized SEO writing should be a core component of any digital marketing strategy. In fact, adding high-quality content writing to your site is one of the most important things you can do to improve your SEO performance. Any SEO agency worth your time will make quality content creation a top priority.

Here are five crucial benefits that SEO content writing adds to your website.

1. Gives Google Something to Rank

If you don’t have any optimized content on your site, there is nothing for Google to rank. The more quality content you have, the better your rankings will be. This is why SEO copywriting is so crucial to your overall digital marketing strategy.

2. Adds Strategic Keywords to Your Content

One of the most important considerations for search engine results is the keywords on a webpage. You want to use keywords and phrases that relate to your business and content. Think of keywords as search terms someone would enter to find your business. For example, if someone searches for “places to buy a boat in Dallas,” the returned results will be web pages that include that phrase or something related to it.

If you’re a boat dealer in Dallas, you want to be at or near the top of the results for this search. The best way to achieve that is through strategic content writing that uses strategic keywords. Many businesses rely on blogs to continually add fresh, keyword-relevant content to their sites.

SEO copywriting is the primary way to add relevant keywords to your site. Without optimized keyword content, it will be difficult for your business to get the attention it deserves.

3. Boosts Your Social Validation

Another consideration that Google and other search engines use for search rankings is social validation. Links that are widely shared on social media outlets add social validation to your site.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money to get social validation, you need impressive content that stands out on its own. When your site or blog offers valuable new ideas and engaging material, your readers and customers are more likely to share that content with their friends and associates, giving you the boost your business needs.

4. Encourages Backlinks

A backlink is a link from another site to your content. It can also be called an inbound link or external link. Backlinks are a form of social validation that does not require social media sites. To encourage backlinking, you need authoritative, engaging content. 

The more backlinks your site has, the more this improves your Google ranking. Backlinks give your content authority and validation. Here are a few strategies on how to acquire more backlinks:

•Quality Content: High-quality content such as how-to articles, list posts, and guides can be great formats that encourage backlinking.

•Skyscraper Content: Skyscraper content is an exhaustive article with extensive details on one subject. These super-detailed posts can be more than 10,000 words and are a popular generator for backlinks.

•Infographics: Infographics are a visual representation of your content in an easy-to-understand format. They usually include facts, charts, graphs, and images and are frequently shared and linked to.

5. Contributes to Your Search Task Accomplishment

In recent years, Google search results are focusing more on something called “search task accomplishment.” This is the idea that the top-ranked results will help the searcher solve the problem they searched for in quick, simple steps.

For example, if you searched for “largest industries in the U.S.,” you’re probably looking for the largest economic drivers in the country. The top results should give you a simple numbered list of the biggest industries in the United States. Further down the results, you might see variations based on GDP, revenue, or even lists broken down by state. The results are solving your “problem” with easy-to-understand information.

With SEO content, it’s important to focus on content that solves problems and understands the user’s intent. Be sure to include content on your site that covers a broad range of search intents. Typically, there are four key intentions for any online search:

•Navigational: A navigational search is when a user is looking for a particular website.

•Informational: This type of search tries to get the answer to a question.

•Investigational: An investigational search helps a user research information before deciding on or purchasing something. 

•Transactional: This type of search is when someone is trying to purchase something.

Ideally, your site will contain content that covers each of these search categories.

Best Practices for SEO Content Writing

Before getting started with content writing (or hiring someone to write your piece of content), you need to create your SEO content marketing strategy. Here are some best practices for you to consider:

infographic of content writing best practices

1. Create a List of Relevant Content Ideas

You want content that will draw people in. You also want to attract searchers who will convert into customers. To reach your target audience, it’s vital to create content that they care about. 

It’s good to brainstorm ideas within your company. However, a more effective method is to use online resources to discover what questions people are asking related to your business.

•Q&A sites: Search through question-and-answer sites like Reddit and Quora to discover business-related queries.

•Answer The Public: A free, idea-generating site is Answer The Public. Type in one or two words related to your business and you’ll get a web visualization with questions people have asked about that topic.

•Wikipedia. Wikipedia can be a goldmine for content ideas. Search for the main topic you want to focus on. Then, look through the table of contents on that page for subtopics.

With the ideas you found, you can create a list of relevant blog topics, FAQ pages, and other types of content that will answer questions and offer engaging thoughts. Be sure to update your list regularly so you do not run out of ideas.

2. Do Keyword Research

Once you have your topics selected, you can start your keyword research. This is one of the most important steps in the SEO writing process. Choosing the right keyword can mean the difference between great content that gets thousands of views a month and content that gets none.

Use these keyword research tools to help you narrow down the best-performing keywords for your business:

•Ahrefs: An SEO copywriting goldmine providing a copywriter with an entire suite of tools including site audits, rank tracking, keyword explorer, site explorer, competitor analysis, and more. The keyword explorer tool allows you to enter a target keyword and view top organic search results, backlinking, search volume, keyword difficulty, and domain rating. 

•Infinite Suggest: This free tool can help generate hundreds of relevant keyword suggestions including long-tail keywords. Just type in your starting keyword to get started. The downside to this tool is that it doesn’t show you search volume. 

•SEORCH: To capture some clicks from the competition, try using the SEO Check feature on SEORCH. To use this tool, enter a URL from a competitor’s website or blog. In the report, find the “Text & Phrases” section near the bottom. Focus on the portion that includes “Frequencies of phrases with 3 words” and “Frequencies of phrases with 4 words.” This section will give you long-tail keywords that have much less competition.

•Moz: The Keyword Explorer from Moz gives you a comprehensive keyword analysis along with keyword suggestions. Enter your starting keyword or URL and sign up for an account to get started.

•Yoast: A WordPress plugin that helps you optimize your content by providing you with key SEO benchmarks and suggestions for improving your ranking.

There are numerous other SEO tools available to help you analyze and refine your keyword selection. You can also hire SEO experts to do this keyword research for you.

3. Use Keywords Wisely

When you know which keywords you expect to perform well, it can be tempting to use them as much as possible. This is called keyword stuffing and likely won’t serve you well. Google is now smart enough to recognize this. The best practice for keyword use is to make sure your focus keyword appears in the following places:

•Title tag

•URL

•First 100 words

•An H1 tag

•An H2 tag

Beyond that, you can sprinkle your keywords naturally throughout your content. You can also use your keyword in an alt image tag if you have any relevant images in your content.

4. Create Comprehensive SEO Content

Multiple studies have shown that longer content performs better in search results than shorter content and usually generates more backlinks. After analyzing 912 million blog posts, Backlinko found the average word count for first-page search results was 1,447.

With a comprehensive page between 1,000 and 2,000 words, you can thoroughly cover a topic without losing the interest of your readers.

5. Craft Attention-Grabbing Titles

When scanning search results, most people quickly check the titles and move on. If something grabs their attention, they might go on to read the brief meta description or click through to the site. This is why creating an optimized title that encourages people to keep reading is crucial. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

•Use numbers: List articles that include numbers are easy to understand and work well in drawing in readers. Titles like “Top 10 Tips for Baking Bread at Home” will usually bring in more clicks than “Bread Baking Tips.”

•Use emotional words: Use strong emotional words to capture the attention of your readers, for example, “Five Amazing Ways to Impress Your Boss” is more alluring than “How to Be a Good Worker.”

The Headline Studio from CoSchedule can help you create optimized headlines. Type in your headline idea and it will score your headline and offer suggestions on how to make it more effective.

6. Compose Impactful Meta Descriptions

A key component of search engine optimization lies in creating meta descriptions that capture the attention of searchers and improve your click-through rate.

7. Utilize HTML Meta Tags

Meta tags appear in a page’s source code as snippets of text, not on the actual webpage itself. These pieces of information inform search engines about the information contained within a given page.

Unlock Your Potential with Search Engine Optimization from Best Dallas SEO

Image of how to improve online business ranking using SEO strategies

Now that you better understand how important SEO writing is to your business, it’s time for an SEO upgrade. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about your SEO needs, Best Dallas SEO is here to help. 

To demonstrate what we can do for you, we offer free, no-obligation SEO audits. We can perform a quick evaluation of your SEO needs and tell you how we can help. We provide a full suite of SEO services including content writing, link building, landing pages, and web design.

Ready to unlock your SEO potential? Contact us today to get started.

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Best Dallas SEO
100 Crescent Ct. #700
Dallas, TX 75201
214-681-3018
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