14/05/18 SEO

How to Optimize for Voice Search in Adwords Campaigns

In 2017, 20% of all searches happened with voice search, reports the Internet Trends 2017 Code Conference.

If you think about it, what do consumers always value? You’re a consumer…what do you value?


Voice Search InfographicAnd entering search commands with your voice, rather than opening an app, making a few typos, and then finally entering the search terms you want, is a lot more awkward of an experience.

You can also do voice searches while driving, without taking your attention off the road.

And most people don’t like to write for any reason, either.

Google’s voice search recognition is now 95% accurate, making it more useful and convenient than ever before.

So you can bet this voice search trend won’t weaken any time soon.

If you want to win your share of voice searches, how do you prepare your website and Adwords campaigns for those?

Here’s how:

First, See Which Campaigns Already Get Voice Search Traffic

Look back in your Google Adwords search terms for the past 30 days to see what you’ve ranked for.

Voice searches typically run more than 6 words. They also begin with “Ok Google, Siri, and Alexa.” And they’re also questions that begin with how, what, when, where, and why. They frequently end in “near me.”

Eliminate The Least Relevant Searches by Adding Them to Your Negative Keywords

As you pour over the many search phrases your Adwords ads appear for, you’ll certainly find some that don’t make the best fit. A few may be wildly irrelevant.

You’ll have to judge for yourself what makes the most sense for your campaigns.

Add them to your negative keywords list so you don’t have costly, low-revenue keywords chewing up your budget.

Optimize Your Pages with the Words and Phrases People Use to Search

Your website should already be relatively conversational in tone. That’s what consumers in any niche want to see.

No one comes to your website, reads it, and complains,”That was too easy to understand.”

When optimizing pages for voice search, you can take this even a step further. You wouldn’t add in the command to activate the voice search.

For example, the title of your page wouldn’t say,”Ok Google. Find the Top-Rated HVAC Company in Dallas.”

But you might have a page titled,”How to Find the Top-Rated HVAC Company in Dallas,” or,”The Top-Rated HVAC Company in Dallas.”

The specific phrasing you use comes from your review of your Adwords data.

Then, Create A Series of Landing Pages Focused on These Terms

Using the above example, you could create a landing page called “The Top-Rated HVAC Company in Dallas.

Remember, landing pages cannot be navigated to from a menu on your website. You can only access them by doing a Google search, appearing for a term, and then having someone click on it.

Then, that page cites customer stories, testimonials, local association memberships, pictures of your work, and other forms of evidence that show why you indeed are the top-rated HVAC company in Dallas.

You then close with an offer and call-to-action to call you for a free estimate.

You then simply apply the same concept over and over to various searches – making sure the content on your page drives the visitor to the primary goal of the intent of their search.

That sounds easy. But it definitely takes time and practice to master.

Make Optimizing for Voice Search Your Next Marketing Secret Weapon

If you want to stay on top of your local market, you just can’t ignore voice search.

It’s here to stay. It won’t go anywhere. And it’s only working better and gaining more popularity.

View our SEO services to learn more about how we will help rank your site for voice search.

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23/03/18 SEO

How to Turn “Keyword Cannibalization” Into Your Next Big Ranking Opportunity

What is “keyword cannibalization?”

“Cannibalization” doesn’t stir up good images.

So, you know it’s not good.

But what is it?

It’s when multiple web pages under your control target the same keyword. The thinking is that your pages compete against each other and actually hurt your own rankings. And some people believe Google won’t rank any of your pages as a result.

It seems to make sense on the surface.

But in reality, it doesn’t happen.

Gary Illyes, a leading Google spokesperson, said this about keyword cannibalization:

Twitter screenshot about keyword cannibalism

For added evidence, just look at this screenshot for the search “technical SEO:”

Screenshot SERP


Search Engine Land owns 5 of the top 10 positions for that term!

So this “keyword cannibalization” argument doesn’t hold any water.

What Might Be Really Going On?

I’m not entirely sure. But some SEOs claim to experience this.

It could be that they simply don’t want to accept responsibility for the fact that they can’t get multiple pages to rank for the same term.

Or it could be that they want to blame Google and make excuses to their clients so they don’t look bad.

I don’t know.

But that’s the way people’s minds frequently work.

So when some observe this phenomenon, they may actually be inventing it themselves!

How to Turn This Into Your Next Big SEO Ranking Opportunity

Since “keyword cannibalization” doesn’t actually exist, you can do a lot with content related to the same topic.

Here are some strategies:


Go Right Ahead and Create Content Related to the Same Topic


When you do create content, you almost always have multiple angles and related tangents to discuss. So, if you have a small e-book’s worth of knowledge on a topic (10,000 words or so), just create 5-10 articles on the same topic – each with their own in-depth unique content. You’ll be fine.


Target Semantically Related Keywords


Now let’s say you still feel a little uncomfortable with the whole idea of targeting just a single keyword.

No problem! You simply look at other related keywords to target.  

Let’s go back to the “technical SEO” search from before. Simply scroll to the bottom of that page, and you get a list of other related searches that interest users:

Technical Search Screenshot

This tool focuses on more long-tail search terms that small businesses have an easier time ranking for.

And last, you could even take a look at what Google’s keyword planner shows:

Keyword planner screenshot


It gives you every search – large and small. For the head terms like “technical SEO,” you likely don’t have any realistic chance of ranking for those.

Typically, they’re dominated by large websites with dozens of authors and 100,000 or more readers.

But, you might be able to rank for a term like “SEO audit” or “website audit” after a year or so.

Why Is This Your Biggest Opportunity?

It’s probably because of the misunderstanding among SEOs and website owners.

If you’ve known me or read this blog for any amount of time, you know about all the misinformation out there.

With only some understanding the reality of SEO, and the fact that you’re one of those, you have a nice advantage over the lost, mistaken, and confused.

That’s why an SEO who charges a high hourly rate becomes worth every penny.

…Otherwise, you spend years wandering around, trying to figure out what works.

So for now, realize this concept doesn’t exist. And continue creating amazing content other websites can’t match that also fills a need for your audience.

And you’ll do just fine!

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12/03/18 SEO

How to Evaluate the Value of a Link

If you have a thousand links today versus the one you had just a year ago, will you be far better off in search?


It’s easy to think “more is better” with just about anything.

But with links…more could be a total nightmare.

So when your SEO informs you of a new link you have, should you jump out of your chair for joy, go home, and kiss your wife?

Or should you simply raise your eyebrows in mild excitement?

Honestly, …it can be hard to tell.

So take a minute to learn how to evaluate the value of a link:

The Most Valuable: A Link That Provides Value Beyond SEO

A high-SEO value link is great to have, no doubt. But even better is one that drives you a flood of traffic.

Because you ultimately want sales from SEO, right?

And typically it works such that as you keep attracting links, you rank higher in the search engines, more traffic comes your way, and eventually, you have more sales.

Well, a link to a well-read website short-circuits that process and gives you both the SEO value – and the traffic too.

And you can get a massive gush of traffic and sales fast.

…But, it’s exceedingly difficult to earn these types of links because you have to write one heck of an amazing piece of content at popular blogs that get bombarded by suggestions all the time.

Relevancy of the Website to Your Niche

Google has to see that your new link comes from a website relevant to your niche.

In the past, SEOs would simply bombard their clients’ websites with hundreds of thousands of links. These could come from all sorts of bizarre places from around the web…like payday loan sites, cell phone websites, and other regions of the web’s underworld.

It was fine. It worked.

…But it’s a complete waste of your time today.

And in fact, it could get you penalized, which costs you more time and money.

The more relevant the website to your niche, the greater the value of your link.

Domain/Page Authority

Fortunately, both are easy to measure. You can use Moz’s online tool, or their Chrome extension.

“Domain Authority” measures the domains that link to your domain, the number of total links, and then tracks them over time.

Moz’s idea is to give you an idea of your website’s ability to rank high in Google in comparison to other websites.

The higher the better.

“Page authority” refers to exactly the same concept on a page-by-page basis.

Small websites have a DA of 20-30. And they’re helpful.

Large corporations everyone knows rank 90+.

And large online brands that offer an amazing amount of value, but maybe that you haven’t heard of, are around 40-60.

How You Got the Link on That Website

The more effort it takes to get a link on a website, the more reward you get from Google.

Yes. Google prefers hard work.

Let me clarify (and qualify) this concept a little.

It stems back to how link building used to work. Back several years ago, an SEO might create an account at several internet forums and add your link to their signature. They’d go nuts posting messages on forums.

But that’s easy…anyone can do that.

Those links counted for quite a bit back in their day.

Now, just a handful will get you in big, possibly irreparable, trouble.

Compare that to writing a 1,500-word blog post at Forbes and getting published.

…That takes a lot of work. 20-30 hours or so.

Google recognizes that.

And what if someone else posts your link in a blog post of their own?

That’s good too.

You did the hard work of creating and promoting a blog to the point where someone did your promotional work for you.

Google doesn’t want to see posted links making up the majority of your link profile.

They want to see you earning and winning permission from others. That means searchers value what you say.

And that’s the type of site Google wants at the top of its search rankings. Not something that just about anyone can manipulate to the top.

Links are the Lifeblood of Your Search Rankings…Work on Earning Them

Online, you earn attention.

People read or watch what you have to say.

And if you don’t offer enough value, they quickly turn you off, forget you forever, and go to your competitor.

The more you do to offer valuable information your competitors do not, the higher and more secure you remain over the long haul in a search.

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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?


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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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.


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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