Best Practices for Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines

Search engine optimization can be a tricky field for marketers. On one hand, SEO is never easy, it takes a lot of time to get right, and it doesn’t usually lead to immediate results. On the other hand, many marketers believe that, when successful, SEO delivers the strongest returns of any digital marketing channel.

That explains why one recent study found more demand for SEO services than any other type of digital marketing!

Whether you’re hiring an SEO service or optimizing in-house, your site will need to follow the same basic set of best practices. At their core, those best practices will depend on the design of your site, how you target keywords, your meta information (including things like title tags), and the overall quality of your content.

How to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Mobile-Friendly, User-Centric Design

Today, roughly twice as many Google searches occur on mobile devices as on desktops. That’s why Google recently switched to a mobile-first search index.

So when Google scans your site to calculate its search rankings, it doesn’t look at your desktop website. Instead, it bases its rankings on your site’s mobile version. And if Google determines that your site doesn’t work well on mobile devices, you’ll plummet in search rankings.

The lesson here is simple. If you want to rank well on Google, you need a mobile-friendly website. That means designing your site from a mobile-first perspective. And it means keeping your site as fast and lean as possible.

You also want to make your site easy for users to navigate. Your most important pages should be easy for users to find. Your menu should be simple and well-organized. And your pages should have key features in intuitive locations.

Also, make sure that you’ve got a complete and accurate sitemap! This will make it easier for Google to crawl your website, and it will give your site a small-but-appreciated bump in search results.

The Right Keywords in the Right Places

Keywords have always played a crucial role in SEO. In recent years, that role has changed significantly thanks to RankBrain and other search advancements.

But if anyone tells you that keywords no longer matter, they’re kidding themselves. While Google no longer requires exact match keywords to appear on your page, that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for keywords in your content.

Instead, Google’s algorithm is doing something much more complicated. When a user types a query into Google, the algorithm parses the intention behind the user’s query. Then, Google maps out the language on your page to see if your website satisfies that query.

To do that, it doesn’t just look for terms that the user typed into Google. It also looks for related terms and phrases and examines how they relate to one another on the page.

So if you want to appear at the top of search results, you need to identify the keywords that searchers use to Google your business. But you also need to think about which other words Google expects to find in your content, where it expects to find them, and how they relate to one another on the page. 

Unique Title Tags, Meta Description & URLs

When your website’s content appears in search results, users see three things. First, they see the title of your page. Underneath, they see a preview of the page’s URL. Finally, they see its meta description — a short blurb provided by the page or generated automatically by the search engine’s algorithm.

When they’re on your website, most users will pay little attention to your page title or your URL, and they can’t see your meta description. But in Google search results, they’re the only elements that users see. So if you want people to actually click through to your site, you’ll need to make these elements as compelling as possible.

These elements also play a crucial role in optimizing pages for specific keywords and queries. Using keywords (or close synonyms) in your title tags and URLs will boost your rankings for these search terms. Also, any keywords that a user searches for that are in your meta description will be bolded by Google, making your pages more visible.

Content that Meets E-A-T Standards

One of Google’s most important ranking signals is something called E-A-T.

This tidy acronym stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. These three qualities play a big role in how Google calculates the quality of your on-page content. And the higher Google perceives the quality of your content, the higher your pages will rank in search results.

So how can you optimize the quality of your content? Here are a few strategies from Google’s own guidelines on the subject:

  • To optimize for expertise, try to write content that satisfies search intent as fully as possible. 
  • To optimize for authority, you’ll want to generate things like backlinks, social media mentions, local listing citations, and online news coverage. (Just make sure that mentions of your brand are mostly positive!)
  • To optimize for trustworthiness, your site will need things like a secure domain, a clear privacy policy, and accurate contact information on your website. You’ll also want to boost your brand’s online reputation.

Optimize in Partnership with Experts

If you can implement the four best practices listed above, you’ll start seeing better rankings in search results. But if you want to consistently rank on page one, or if you’re targeting competitive search terms, you’ll need to go deeper. Much deeper.

That’s where the experts at Qiigo can help. Our SEO team has worked with multi-locations brands across a wide range of industries, helping our clients get more out of Google and other search engines.

We can help you implement mobile-friendly design, generate keyword-rich content, and optimize your meta information — all while packing your site with more E-A-T than Google can handle. 

Everything You Need to Know About Google Job Search

When you’re searching for a new job, where do you look first? While some job seekers head to sites like Monster or Glassdoor, a lot of candidates — if not most — start their search with Google.

The launch of Google Jobs in the summer of 2017 reshaped the landscape for sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Monster. These sites depend on Google for a huge chunk of traffic, so they had to adapt quickly to this change. To do so, many of these websites decided to integrate their postings directly into Google’s new search engine, ensuring they appeared in search results.

But Google’s job search also affected other businesses, like staffing firms, recruiting companies, and employers who post jobs to their own websites. Unfortunately, many of these businesses have struggled to adapt. Their job postings either rank poorly on Google, or they don’t rank at all.

If you’re one of these businesses, you’re probably losing out on a huge chunk of qualified applicants. To regain these candidates, you’ll need to rank well on Google job search. And to do that, you’ll need an SEO strategy tailored specifically for Google’s job search engine.

The good news? That’s not nearly as tough as it sounds…

How Google Job Search Works

Before we get to how your job postings can rank well on Google, let’s take a look at how this service functions.

While Google uses a distinct search engine for job postings, this service is integrated into the company’s main search engine. This means that when a user searches for jobs using Google, they get slightly different search results.

  • While the user will still see the usual organic search results, they will also see a “Jobs” panel above the organic results. This panel will include the three top-ranked job listings. The job listings include basic information, like the job title, the job location, and the site on which the job was posted.
  • If the user clicks on a job listing (or clicks on the link for “more jobs”), they are taken to a separate page of search results. On this page, they can view job details for individual listings. If a user is interested in applying for a job, they can click a button that allows them to view the job posting on its original website.

That might seem fairly simple. Where things get a little more complicated is on the back-end.

One of the key features of Google’s job search engine is the information that it includes for each job listing. To ensure this information is accurate and complete, Google relies on structured data markup. This means that your job postings won’t appear in these search results if they don’t include the right kinds of markup.

On a very basic level, this means you have two options if you want your job postings to appear on Google:

  1. You can post your jobs on a site like Monster, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. These sites are integrated into Google’s search engine, so their postings automatically include the right markup.
  2. You can implement markup on job postings by yourself, either through in-house efforts or with the help of an outside agency. This means you’ll be responsible for including the right markup.

Whichever route you choose, you’ll need to do further work on your posts. Even if you include the right kinds of markup, you won’t rank well unless you’ve taken further steps to optimize your job posts. That requires a specialized form of SEO designed specifically for Google job search.

Optimizing for Google Job Search

search algorithm picture

Search engine optimization for Google job search is a niche form of SEO, similar to local SEO or eCommerce SEO. You’re targeting a specialized search engine, which requires a unique SEO approach.

Given the specialized nature of Google job search, you can’t rely on generic SEO strategies. While job search SEO uses some of the same strategies, job postings won’t rank with basic SEO methods.

We’ve compiled a few steps that we take when optimizing our multi-location brand clients SEO strategy for Google job search:

  • Essential Markup. There are eight types of structured data markup that Google’s job search engine requires. If any of these tags are missing or incorrect, Google will exclude the job posting from search results.
  • Additional Markup. There are several other types of markup that you can include in job postings. Strategic use of additional markup can boost your rankings in Google job search. However, it’s important that any additional markup is both relevant and properly implemented.
  • Keyword Targeting. As with any other form of SEO, you need to target the right search terms. First, you’ll need a sense of which terms job seekers are using to search for the types of jobs you offer. After that, you’ll need to include these terms in the right parts of your job postings.
  • User Experience. Google’s search algorithm will rank job postings based on how useful and relevant those postings are to users. Top-ranked postings will be easy to read, include detailed information, and answer job seekers’ most pressing questions about the position.
  • Campaign Tracking. Google Analytics now includes specific tools for tracking the performance of job postings. However, many third-party SEO tools aren’t built for job search. Chances are, you’ll need to set up a DIY system for tracking your job search campaigns.

Given the distinct nature of Google job search, you’ll need specialized talent if you want to optimize your job postings. If recruitment plays a critical role in your multi-location brand strategy, connect with one of our digital marketing experts  to learn more about our SEO and Google job search solutions.

What You Should Know About Local SEO vs. Organic SEO

Understanding the difference between Local SEO vs. Organic SEO is important for national brands, local businesses, and pretty much anyone else that wants to market themselves online. But unless you’re already familiar with SEO, it can be tough to understand this distinction and why it’s so important.


At Qiigo, our work with national brands and local businesses has given us a unique understanding of both organic and local search. Below, we’ll examine the difference between these two services, along with how they can be used to support one another.


Local SEO: Putting Your Business on the Map

When you enter a search query into Google, one of the first things its algorithm checks is whether or not the search has “local intent.” This is another way of saying that someone’s looking for search results that are relevant for their local area.


An easy example of this is when a person adds “near me” to the end of a search query. If you’re based in Atlanta and you search for “hairdresser near me,” you expect Google to send you information about hairdressers in Atlanta. If someone in Seattle (or Denver, or Boston) makes the same search, they will also expect search results tailored to their local area.


Google has a number of ways to determine whether or not a search has local intent. A few quick examples include:

  • The query contains a city name, a state name, or a phrase like “near me.”
  • Google recognizes the query as one that typically has local intent (e.g., “pizza delivery”).
  • Your recent search history indicates that you’re looking for local results.


When Google identifies local intent, it will adjust its search results based on whether or not they have local relevance. Many times, it will also display a “Local Pack” with its top local search results from Google Maps.


Local SEO involves optimizing your website for these types of search results. If you run a local business, you want to market yourself to local customers. If your hair salon is located in Castleberry Hill, local SEO will help you rank better in search results for users in Atlanta.


For brick-and-mortar businesses and individual brand locations, SEO should focus on local optimization. Customers from Seattle (or Denver, or Boston) aren’t flying hundreds of miles for a haircut, so you don’t need to worry about appearing in their search results. Instead, you can focus your efforts (and money) on reaching as many local users as possible.


Organic SEO: The “World” in Worldwide Web

“Organic SEO” is a tricky term, since the vast majority of SEO — including local SEO — can be considered organic. But typically, when people say “organic SEO,” they’re referring to traditional search engine optimization.


To understand the difference between local and organic SEO, let’s take another look at Google. When you search “best laptop for windows,” Google’s algorithm won’t detect local intent. So instead of providing you with customized search results for your location, it will show you the same search results that it would show another searcher in a completely different city.


Because of this, organic SEO tends to be much more competitive. With local SEO, you’re only competing for searchers within your geographic area. With organic SEO, you need to compete for searchers across the U.S., as well as in other English-language countries.


Needless to say, most local businesses stay away from organic SEO. The level of competition makes it far too expensive. What’s more, the vast majority of traffic will be from searchers 100+ miles (or 1000+ miles) away. In place of local businesses, the competition for organic search results tends to come from national publications, e-commerce stores, and larger brands with a nationwide footprint.


Coordinating Organic & Local SEO for National Brands


At Qiigo, our work with national brands leaves a lot of room for crossover between organic and local SEO. On a brand level, we employ organic SEO strategies to boost awareness and drive traffic to brands’ national websites. On a location level, we use local SEO to target queries with local intent and drive customer traffic directly to brick-and-mortar locations.


National brands can benefit from using a single digital marketing partner for brand-level organic SEO as well as location-level local SEO. The simple reason is that organic and local SEO efforts have a symbiotic effect.


If your brand has a strong organic search presence, that will give a boost to local search rankings for individual locations. If your brick-and-mortar locations start achieving high rankings in local search results, this will often boost organic search rankings for your brand as a whole.


While it’s important to know the difference between organic and local SEO, national brands should avoid an “either/or” mindset. Instead, embrace a “both/and” SEO strategy, one in which the brand and its locations are supporting and strengthening one another.



SEO Pitfalls every Multi-Location Marketer Must Know

Running a multi-location business has a unique set of challenges. When it comes to marketing and SEO, those challenges can be magnified across all your locations. Whether your locations are spread across a large metropolitan area or across the country, there are some SEO missteps you should avoid. Let’s take a look.

At Launch

When launching any business, there are a few key things to consider. Simple things like naming and location can play a significant role in your SEO results. As a multi-location business, you’ve probably already gained some SEO juice for your brand, so naming conventions are less of a concern. However, as you expand, location concerns should be top of mind.


Google doesn’t recognize PO Boxes or virtual offices as public addresses. Each location should have a verifiable address for the local business listing. A home address can be used in place of a commercial location, however location owners should consider potential liability concerns associated with marketing their home as their business address.


Also related to location is the physical place the office is located. If your office is in a suburb of a major city, but you serve that city and want to rank for it, you could face obstacles. It’s important to advise future franchisees about the importance of the placement of their physical office or store and how it can impact their SEO results.


On Your Website

As a franchise brand, you probably already have a great website URL that is short and concise. This is a great first step. Making sure your URL ends in .com, is clear to consumers, is short and easy to type, is important. But past these initial steps, you need to take additional action to ensure your corporate site and local sites are all ranking well.


Much of this strategy relies on content. While it is common for corporate content to be pushed down local sites, this doesn’t help your individual locations gain traction on SERPs. You’ll want to be sure that as many pages on the local sites are customized for each location’s target market as possible.


Eliminating duplicate content helps to ensure neither the corporate or the local sites are downgraded. It also plays to the “rising tides lift all boats” theory. If your corporate and local sites are all ranking for the same keyword, you should see some additional juice across the whole network. It’s also important to have new content regularly added to both the national and each individual local site.


When building your site, be sure that each location’s NAP (name, address and phone number) are listed on each page of the site. This is most commonly achieved by placing this information in the header or footer. A contact us page is a must along with clear calls to action.


At Qiigo, we recommend the phone number always be placed in the upper right hand corner of your site in a clear, bold font that is easy to read. Phone numbers should be click to call optimized on all mobile sites. On each page, there should also be a clear call to action. This can be achieved through phone numbers, forms, and/or closing content with a clear message.


Don’t Ignore Local Listings

Multi-location businesses can’t afford to ignore their listings across the web. Here are a few quick tips on key points related to local listings.


    1. Keep locations compliant. Each local platform will have their own set of standards. Be sure your listings meet these standards. A completely filled out listing is also key. Don’t leave fields empty.
    2. Keep NAP (name, address and phone number) consistent across all mentions on the web. From your website to each local directory listing, your name, address and phone number should match as closely as possible.
    3. Clearing up duplicate listings is important. If there is already a listing for a local office, be sure to either claim it or have it closed down.
    4. Get all the information right. This relates back to 1 and 2 but also includes clear photos, correctly placed map markers, correct directions, and other key pieces of information.
    5. Keep an eye on your listings making sure you update any information as things change.


Staying on Top of Reviews

Reviews are one of the most scary and most beneficial things you can hope to get as a business owner. A rave review can lead to more business, while a negative review can wreak havoc. It’s important to stay on top of reviews and respond to ALL reviews regardless of the feedback. Yes, that includes the negative ones.


The more positive reviews you can acquire the better. Too few reviews or a onslaught of reviews that all come in at one time aren’t viewed favorably by Google. It’s best to work your way towards a steady stream of reviews backed by your superior customer service.


As you are acquiring reviews, remember that each platform has a set of guidelines for how reviews are managed. For example, employees or former employees cannot review an employer on Google+. Some platforms, like Yelp, specifically forbid you to ask for reviews. So just be careful that you aren’t’ setting yourself up for reviews to be taken down.


Perhaps most importantly, be sure you are monitoring your reviews and responding. It can feel devastating when a negative review appears. The key is to promptly respond and to take the discussion offline. Encourage the customer to call to discuss the problem and try to come to an agreement. Remember things get lost in translation online, in chat or email, so a phone or face to face discussion is really the best option. Once you’ve resolved the problem to your customer’s satisfaction ask them to remove or edit the review to show that you were proactive and resolved the problem. And, of course, a great big thank you to anyone who leaves a positive review is always a plus!


Local Search Tactics That Give You A Competitive Edge

As more businesses compete for a spot in the Google local 3-Pack, search ads, online directories, and local search engine optimization (SEO), it can become increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by your customers and prospects. If you’re worried about your ranking and thinking about what direction to take in your overall strategy, it might be time to focus on Local SEO tactics that can set your business apart from the competition.
Below, we’ve outlined some local SEO strategies you can implement to help jump ahead of your competitors.

Take Advantage of Your Google My Business Page

Claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listing is an absolute MUST for local search success. If you don’t claim your GMB listing, you are severely limiting your chances of showing up in local search results.


But it’s also important to do more than just claim it and walk away. You need to take some additional steps including monitor the insights that Google delivers on how your prospects are engaging with your GMB. Look at the following stats to see how people are engaging with your listing:

  • Did you load good quality photos of your facility, products, and staff?
  • Do you keep your business hours for holidays or other unforeseen closures up to date?.
  • Are consumers reaching out using the click-to-call option?
  • Are consumers using the new Q&A feature? Are you responding?

Be sure to check which GMB category you choose for your business. The category set to your page can have a significant impact on your Google ranking. If you find your competitors are surging ahead of you in the 3-pack, check out their listing category. Are you in the same category? Is their category a better representation of your business? Consider making a change to see if it has an impact on rankings.


Don’t forget to use Google Posts to promote your business. Posts are like small ads that include a description, picture, offer, URL link, and call to action. Use posts to share information about products and services, promote sales or specials, communicate good wishes with customers, promote events, and more. Each post should include relevant keywords and your target geography.


Use URL Best Practices

URLs play an important role in your SEO ranking as well as the users’ experience with your site. The page URL tells visitors to your site, as well as search engines, what the page is about and guides your website structure.


Any new pages or blogs created should have a concise, yet descriptive structure. If you’ve written a blog post with the headline of Our Wide Variety of Custom Framing Options, you don’t need the whole headline in the URL. Reduce the URL structure to the keyword and a target geography if used.


Check Site Security

Google is firm in their insistence on secure websites. Sites that do not have security protocols in place will not rank as high. Users may see a “Not Secure” warning generated by Google if https:// protocols are not in place. As a result you could be losing a lot of business. When your site is secure, the https:// and the green locked padlock that appear next to your URL in Chrome demonstrating to visitors that you take their security seriously.


Add Quality Local Content to Your Site

Google rewards sites that have fresh content added to their site regularly. The added benefit here is that so do you customers. Adding blogs regularly to your website can help to create interest as well as improve your local rankings. Get more detailed information on creating content here.


The good news about maintaining your online competitive edge is that it’s relatively simple to do. Focus on increasing your visibility, monitor your traffic and traffic patterns, rely on analytics to help you improve the impact of your online presence, and you will generate more leads with the opportunity to transform them into paying customers.


Using SEO and Local Listings Together

You can go a long way toward preserving and enhancing your presence online by combining search engine optimization (SEO) and local listings. This combination can make your brand an online powerhouse.


Combining SEO and local listing efforts can actually prevent your business from being lost among all of your competitors. Here’s how you can use SEO and listings together to create a superpower presence online.



SEO Promotes Organic Rankings
A good SEO strategy will help your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive traffic to your site. The higher you rank on SERPs, the more likely  prospects are to find you when searching for your products and services. Without a consistent SEO strategy, it may be hard to rank high enough to attract customers to your site.

Local Listings Help You Get Found Online
It’s no secret that consumers spend a lot of time searching online before actually visiting a store or making a purchase. This is why it is absolutely essential to be listed on Google My Business, Yelp, and other prominent review and directory sites. Listing pages will help you get your business in front of more people, no matter where they’re searching.

Own Your Company’s SERPs
Both SEO and local listings work hand-in-hand to promote your brand online. Search engines, such as Google and Bing, will take into consideration the consistency with which your business information is displayed online. The more consistently your key information (Name, Address, Phone, and Website) displays online, the higher your ranking. Additionally, the more places search engines can see your business information online, the greater the chance you have of appearing near the top of search results related to your products and services.


Combining your SEO and local listings efforts can go a long way toward making your brand an online powerhouse!



Website Design with SEO in Mind: What You Need to Know

Most business owners know that search engine optimization (SEO) is important to the health of their website, but many don’t realize that SEO needs to be an integral part of website design from the get-go, not something that’s added as an afterthought.


Why? At its core, an SEO-friendly website will allow search engines to easily read pages across your site. The easier it is for a search engine to “crawl” and understand your site content, the better your website’s rankings in the search engine result pages.


But building a website that’s SEO-friendly and accurately represents your business and services takes careful planning, and can be complicated for businesses that have a difficult time documenting exactly what they do. So first things first.


If your website hasn’t been created around a digital marketing plan with a clear value proposition and business model, revisit that before anything else. If that’s all good, let’s continue.


Creating an SEO-Friendly Website

So how do you ensure that you cover all your SEO bases during website design, or redesign?


Here’s what you need to know about creating an SEO-friendly website:


Cover the Fundamentals:

  • Hosting – If your site is slow, your visitors will be unhappy and leave your page in the blink of an eye. Make sure your hosting follows these basic rules: be where your audience is, be fast, and be platform-specific when needed.
  • Domains – Your domain should make sense and relate to what you do, and all variations and subdomains should point at your main site.
  • CMS – The content management system (CMS) can greatly influence your success. With that in mind, choose the CMS that’s right for your needs, not the one a web company prefers.


Make Crawling Easy for Search Engines:

  • Indexation – Search engines need to read content to understand your site. For this reason, the primary content of your site should remain text-based, not images, flash, or video. Images, PDFs, videos, and content are also important and can be a great source of traffic for your site, but they need to be indexable.
  • Link structure – To index content beyond the homepage, you’ll need internal links that search engines can crawl. Tools like XML sitemaps, search engine directives, and your primary navigation can all help search engines discover new pages and crawl your site.


Structure Your Site So It’s Easy To Understand:

  • Categories, subcategories, and pages – These should be organized in a way that makes sense to users and search engines, with a clear and direct path. For most websites, a 3 to 4 level approach, where content can be easily reached within 3 to 4 clicks, works best.
  • URLs – Much like categories, subcategories, and pages, URLs can give further context to the information available. Follow a naming convention that makes it easy for users and search engines to understand.
  • Navigation – Equally important, navigation works with the structure, the URLs, and other components to help explain what each page is about. It can be easy to get wrong, and should be carefully considered before building your site. Great navigation will be easy for users to understand, and require little thinking on their part. Ensure your navigation is aa easy and natural as possible to prevent user frustration and confusion.


Bottom line? If your website is designed with SEO in mind, users and search engines will be able to quickly navigate and understand what your site is about, leading to happy users and better Google rankings.



Getting Your SEO and PPC to Work Together

When it comes to developing a digital marketing strategy, search engine results pages (SERPS) are incredibly important. Make it to the top of the first search results page on Google, and your business is virtually guaranteed to have an increase in traffic heading to your website.


Search ranking can be improved with two very different approaches, search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search engine marketing (SEM). SEO is the unpaid, organic approach to higher rankings. It relies on high-quality content that is optimized to show as a top result for searches on specific keywords. SEM, also referred to as pay-per-click (PPC), is the paid approach to search ranking. Brands bid on certain keywords and pay to have their links appear at the top of search pages for those keywords.


While SEO and SEM can both help improve your rank on search pages, many marketers choose to put all their efforts in only one, or use these tactics in competition with one another. With both tactics approaching search so differently, it’s easy to see why divisions begin, but there are huge benefits to combining both strategies.

SEO and SEM: They’re Better Together

Simply stated, using SEO and PPC in tandem can lead to better engagement, conversions, and retention. Here’s why:


Be Everywhere At Once

Some believe that SEO and SEM are competing for the same SERP real estate, but that’s simply not the case. SEM can only reside in the sponsored or paid part of the SERP, the sides and top of the page. SEO optimized content will appear only in the organic search results.


When your marketing strategy incorporates both SEM and SEO, your brand will dominate the SERP and have an advantage over the competition. Another bonus? The more users see your brand listed, whether it’s paid or organic, the more they will trust your brand. This combined approach will help your brand gain trust with increased visibility and lead to higher conversion rates.


Clicks and Content: They BOTH Matter

SEM and SEO are both important, but in different ways. SEM brings more traffic, faster and serves a few purposes. It can bring your site traffic while you’re building your organic SEO and waiting for it to gain traction. Since it works much quicker than SEO, it’s perfect for testing out new ideas and campaigns in hours instead of weeks.


But SEM will not lead to audience growth and conversion without engaging content. That’s where SEO comes in. Informative, accessible copy improves retention and leads to higher conversion rates. It build trust and credibility with your customers, and encourages follow-through with your brand, whether it’s an immediate purchase or connecting on social media or via email. SEO content can also be repurposed and shared on social channels for extended reach.


For a digital marketing strategy that covers all your SERP bases, SEM and SEO working together are a winning combination.    



5 Old, Ineffective SEO Practices (And What to Do Instead)

old seo practices qiigoIn the world of SEO marketing, best practices are constantly evolving. That can make it tough for brands to keep up. As a result, many brands still rely on old school SEO practices that are no longer effective. Below, the SEO experts at Qiigo have collected five outdated SEO marketing practices that are still commonly used, along with what brands should be doing instead.

Thin & Duplicated Content

The Old Way: In the 2000s, it was easy for sites to rank well using thin or duplicated content. If you ran a multi-location brand, you could easily duplicate content from site to site, making it simple to create a unified voice for your brand. But starting in 2011, with Google Panda, sites and pages with duplicated content started to be penalized or kept out of search results.

The Better Way: In modern SEO marketing, a page will only rank well if Google and other search engines believe it provides “unique value.” Using cookie-cutter or boilerplate content can prevent your pages from ranking well, killing SEO value. The solution is to craft unique, useful content for any page that you want to perform well in rankings, such as the home page and core service pages of each individual location.

Abusing Internal Links Anchor Text

The Old Way: When Google first launched, one of the ways that it matched search results to keyword queries was by analyzing anchor text in links. If the anchor text for a link matched up exactly with a keyword, Google assumed that the page and the keyword were a good match. In response, SEO marketing professionals abused anchor text in their internal links to boost rankings.

The Better Way: While anchor text is still important, Google has become much more sophisticated in its ability to match pages to keywords. At the same time, Google has clamped down on link practices that it considers shady, including overuse of exact-match keywords in a site’s internal links. These days, links should include natural anchor text, using keywords only when they’re useful, and you should avoid creating links that only have SEO value.

Overusing Keywords in SERP Snippets

The Old Way: Including keywords in important places, like a page’s meta title and meta description, has always been a key part of SEO. Until recently, this meant that pages performed better in search results when their SERP snippets were jam-packed with relevant keywords.

The Better Way: Google now relies more and more on click behavior to determine rankings. These days, keyword-packed SERP snippets tend to attract fewer clicks, and therefore perform worse than a more carefully crafted SERP snippet. It’s now better to include one or two keywords in your meta title and meta description, then craft a SERP snippet around those keywords to attract clicks from users.

Overreliance on AdWords Data

The Old Way: In the old days of SEO marketing, the most reliable data on keywords came from Google AdWords. At the time, Google AdWords metrics like CPC, Competition, and Difficulty were a useful measure of how valuable and effective certain keywords could be to your SEO marketing strategy.

The Better Way: In the past few years, Google has reduced the quality, accuracy, and reliability of its AdWords metrics. At the same time, a range of specialized tools and programs has made it possible for SEO experts to better track and analyze keyword data. Using these tools or partnering with a trusted SEO agency will ensure your brand has access to accurate data.

Low-Quality Link-Building

The Old Way: Links back to your site are the most important factor in SEO marketing. In past years, practically any link would give your site a boost, no matter where it came from. That meant you could gain SEO value by posting links cheaply in low-quality places, such as online business directories, comments sections, paid link networks, or forums.

The Better Way: These days, links from low-quality websites are a waste of time at best and bad news for your rankings at worst. Google and other search engines will either ignore low-quality links or penalize your site for black-hat link-building. Nowadays, a smart link-building strategy depends on brand equity and high-quality content, both of which will naturally earn links to your domain. For brands looking to fast-track their link-building game plan, sponsored posts on respected sites can be an effective strategy.

Is your brand stuck in the past when it comes to SEO marketing? Hitch a ride into the future with Qiigo. Call (888) 673-1212 today and find out how our team can get your brand on the cutting edge of SEO marketing for national brands.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About On-Page SEO

everything you wanted to know about on page seo

If you’re like most business owners, you’ve heard of on-page SEO – and yet, you don’t really know what it means and how it can impact your business. After all, you’re not a programmer or an SEO expert.

But considering that on-page SEO is a critical factor in the success of your website, it’s something you can’t afford to ignore. Without it, your site can easily get lost in an already noisy marketplace.

The good news is that with some basic knowledge, you can improve your on-page SEO – giving your website more influence on search engine results. Here’s what you need to know to get there:


What Is On-Page SEO?

First, ‘on-page’ simply refers to the elements on your website, like copy, images, video, meta tags, and HTML code. On-page SEO is the act of optimizing those elements in order to boost your rankings in organic search results.


Why Does It Matter?

Because when you improve your search engine rankings, customers are more likely to find and click on your site when they’re searching for the types of products or services you sell. The endgame here is to get on the first page of Google’s search engine results. Why?

Report after report shows that most people don’t click past the first page of results. Some say that number is 75%, while others put it at 92%. But the bottom line is that if you’re on page two or three of Google’s search engine results, you can kiss a whole lot of prospects good-bye. Solid on-page SEO, on the other hand, can help you achieve first-page rankings.


How Can I Improve On-Page SEO?

There are a variety of areas you can focus on, a few of which include:

  • If you’re serious about SEO, you need to know what keywords and key phrases your audience is using. Use online tools, like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Suggest, for research.
  • High-quality, relevant copy. This serves multiple purposes. First, authoritative content ranks better. Second, it will improve the ‘dwell time’ of your page. This is simply the length of time a visitor spends on your page. And third, Google takes this ‘dwell time’ into account, which means it impacts your rankings. So if people are going to your website and immediately clicking off due to poor content, it will affect your rankings.
  • Keyword density. Don’t cram 100 keywords on a page. This can actually diminish your rankings. However, do sprinkle your keywords (as well as variations of them) throughout the page’s copy and in subheads. Put them in the title tag (the headline that displays in the top bar of Internet browsers) as close to the beginning as you can. Use them in the alt text of a page’s image, as well as in the URL for that page.
  • Images, videos and infographics. Enhancing copy with different types of media throughout your site can better engage visitors. This, in turn, can increase time spent on your site, impacting rankings.
  • SEO-friendly URLs. Shorter URLs (i.e. website addresses) are ranked better by Google. So go with com/products rather than
  • Responsive design. Google is actually penalizing websites that aren’t optimized for tablets and smart phones. Don’t be one of them! Make sure your site is optimized for all devices and computers.
  • Site speed. Site speed is simply how fast pages on your site load. The faster the better. Not only can site speed impact your rankings, but also your user experience, as well.

Don’t have the time to invest in on-page SEO efforts? Turn to the search engine marketing experts at Qiigo. We can do it for you, helping you boost your ranking results and generate more interest in your site. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to find out how.