Mastering the Essentials of Organic SEO for 2019

For many brands, organic SEO is a tricky part of digital marketing. On the one hand, organic search plays a huge role in modern purchasing behaviors. On the other hand, modern search algorithms — like Google’s AI-driven RankBrain algorithm —are increasingly opaque. They’re also constantly changing, which raises concerns about the long-term impact of optimization.

However, if you can master the basics of modern SEO, the returns are well worth the investment. Consumers rely on organic search at multiple stages of the sales funnel, many of which are critical to purchasing decisions. And because organic search is self-led, users are more inclined to trust high-quality content that they find through organic search.

The essentials of organic search in 2019 are significantly different from five or ten years ago. In this post, we’ll cover three of the most important (and most misunderstood) aspects of modern SEO:

  • How algorithms like RankBrain reward user-focused content
  • Why consumers expect more information than ever from brands
  • Where brands fit within the wider organic search ecosystem

Organic SEO Essentials for 2019

Content for RankBrain = Content for Users

From day one, Google has urged brands to create content for users instead of search engines. In the past, brands could safely ignore that advice. With the right backlinks, keywords, and metadata, it was relatively easy to increase your Google rankings. But that’s changed in the age of RankBrain.

With RankBrain, Google’s algorithm no longer uses hard-and-fast rules to determine rankings. Through machine learning, RankBrain is constantly refining its criteria for rankings. What’s more, these criteria differ from query to query. That means there are fewer and fewer best practices that you can safely apply across all of your pages.

The algorithm is now so dynamic and so complex that even Google’s own engineers no longer understand why certain pages rank better than others. But given users’ off-the-charts trust in Google search, it appears that RankBrain is doing its job: serving users the best and most relevant results.

That’s why digital marketers are divesting themselves of hard-and-fast rules for SEO. Instead, they’re assuming that Google knows what users want, and they’re optimizing their content to provide that experience. This means doing as Google has long suggested: instead of trying to figure out what Google’s algorithm expects, they’re creating content based on what users actually want.

Consumers Want More Information Than Ever

Thanks to RankBrain, brands need to create content that users want. But these wants are constantly evolving. That invites the question: What are users actually searching for in 2019?

A recent clickstream study by Google sheds light on the answer. According to this study, users have become much more research savvy than those of the past. The typical user relies on organic search to research different products and services before making a purchase decision. A growing number of users will research products, services, and brands on a previously unheard of level, tracking down every morsel of info they can find.

Additionally, Google found that the research phase now frequently extends past the point of purchase. After buying a product or service, users continue to search for information that will help them make the most of their purchase.

Smart brands have already picked up on these changes, and they’ve adapted their organic search marketing to match. They take the time to understand their consumers’ research habits both before and after a purchase. They then optimize their content to answer users research queries and concerns.

Optimize Across Multiple Search Channels

When digital marketers talk about organic search, they’re primarily referring to Google’s main search engine. After all, 88% of users say that they use Google for most of their search needs. And the mark of a successful SEO campaign remains a #1 ranking on Google search.

This, however, ignores two important things…

First, Google operates a number of additional search engines, many of which are integrated with their core search offering. That’s why results from Google Maps, Google Images, Google News, and other Google services often appear within search results pages. Google also operates search engines for Google Assistant, Google Voice, and YouTube, to name just a few of its most widely used services.

Second, while Google is the focus of most SEO efforts, search engines from other companies are a huge part of the modern online ecosystem. There are Google-alternatives like Bing. Virtual assistants with built-in search, like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa. Social networks like Facebook and Instagram use their own search algorithms. And then there’s Amazon — the largest retailer on the planet, and the focus of intensive search optimization by vendors.

The bottom line? If brands want to maximize their organic reach, they need to think about how they fit into all of these different search engines.

Learn more about Qiigo’s Search Engine Optimization solutions here

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!

 

Bridging the Gap between PPC and SEO

With digital marketing playing a larger role that ever, SEO and PPC must work closer together…yes we said together. In the past, old-fashioned tactics kept many digital marketers from truly integrating these two efforts.

 

Some have viewed SEO as a threat to revenue generated by PPC. Some have even chosen to divide these efforts. However, this tends to lead to miscommunication or worse yet mixed messages being disseminated to consumers.

 

We recommend integrating PPC and SEO efforts to strengthen results and improve brand awareness and sales. How? Let’s start by looking at the basics. What’s the difference between SEO and PPC?

 

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing your site, so it can be ranked higher on search engine results pages (SERP). This is done by targeting specific keywords or phrases. Keywords or phrases should be determined based on those that may be entered most often in the search by a specific audience. A consistent and long-term SEO strategy will build your website’s value.

 

PPC, Pay Per Click, drives website traffic in the form of ads. The fees are based on how competitive the keyword you want to rank for is. Since they are paid ads, PPC ads appear above the organic SEO listings on SERP. PPC can be pricey if your marketing is misguided (or the product is new or testing has not been done) and the learning curve requires the analysis of website variables to determine ROI.

 

Working Together for the Greater Good

So, what are the advantages of running SEO and PPC together? SEO and PPC work best when integrated and strategically aligned. With both avenues having strengths and weaknesses, working together often drives response towards more favorable results. Studies have found having a paid ad visible in conjunction with an organic listing improves the brand’s influence.

 

Let’s talk a little about some of the “greater good” we found by putting SEO and PPC in the same room:

 

  • Keyword and conversion data from Pay per Click campaigns can utilized to improve organic search.
  • By targeting clicks with PPC and focusing on high-performing keywords in SEO, you can impact the total volume of site traffic.
  • Expensive keywords, high-volume keywords, and essential keywords that tend to be low for conversions can be moved from PPC to organic search. Be sure to always place your keywords in the title and headline tags, meta descriptions, content, and don’t forget the ever-important image descriptions!
  • Your PPC traffic data can be used to boost your SEO and find your best performing landing pages. Use A/B ad copy testing and landing pages to update and feed your organic listings and landing pages.
  • After an initial consumer touch via organic search, it’s essential to stay top of mind through remarketing or retargeting. You want to be present in as many online entry points as possible, so don’t discount the value of using SEO to boost PPC.
  • Testing your keyword strategy in PPC before investing in a long-term SEO strategy can help you to target users at different stages of the purchasing journey.

 

Sharing a Room Can Work!

 

In the end, we know that when it comes to increasing traffic, whether it’s SEO or PPC everyone has their favorite, but they can (and do) co-exist.  Brands still need to have data for any new product or product line, service, or consumer campaign, so using SEO and PPC data in conjunction with one other along with aligned marketing initiatives and strategies is well worth the effort.

 

 

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 yourwebsite.com/categorya12/articleandtitlehere.
  • 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.

 

Are You Budgeting for Content Marketing?

budgeting for content marketingThe end of the year is swiftly approaching. That means you should be in budget planning mode. Is content marketing a part of your efforts? If not, you’re passing up a prime opportunity to enhance your online footprint and drive traffic to your site.

Consider a few statistics. According to research group Aberdeen, year-over-year growth in unique site traffic is 7.8 times higher for content marketing leaders compared to followers. What’s more, according to DemandMetric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing – and generates about three times as many leads.

That’s an impressive return on investments. And it means, when you’re leveraging content marketing, you’re getting more traffic and more leads – and it costs you less to do so. What are a few other reasons content marketing is so important?

It Builds Trust With Your Audience

When you have relevant, authoritative content to share, it demonstrates your expertise with site visitors – and they come to trust you more for it. In fact, 70% of consumers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. People trust – and buy from – experts who can help solve their problems and pain points.

It Boosts Rankings

When you’re regularly creating expert content, other bloggers and websites will take notice – and link to your site. If it’s a high authority site, it could improve your online visibility since search engines use back-linking as one criterion for ranking sites. The more quality sites linking to yours, the better. And you can only do that through good content marketing.

It’s Easy to Share

If your content is solving a problem for a customer, then chances are high that they’re going to share it on social media with their friends and network. This is good because 71% of customers are more likely to buy when they see content about a product or service that’s shared from a friend.

If the above reasons aren’t enough to convince you that you should be budgeting for content marketing, then think about this: If you’re not, then you’re falling behind your competitors. A recent report from the Content Marketing Institute stated that, on average, 29% of a brand’s total marketing budget is spent on content, with 39% of respondents expecting to increase that number. This means your competitors are most likely investing in content marketing – and if you don’t, you could get left behind in 2017.

Don’t have time to develop your own content marketing strategy and budget? Let the experts at Qiigo help you. We can also create, schedule, and publish content that helps you build your fan base. Call us today at (888) 673-1212 to find out more about content marketing as well as all of our local franchise marketing services.