Google

Learn about Google, what SEO is, Pay Per Click, and how these services work together to bring you more business and more customers.

A Recent Study Published by Sistrix

A recent study published by Sistrix found that the average click-through-rate (CTR) for organic search results on Google is 28.5%. A strong SEO strategy is key in achieving the coveted top results on Google Search and assuring your brand can benefit from this high CTR and its associated qualified website traffic.

First Page CTRs

After analyzing user engagement on over 80 million keywords on Google Search, Sistrix discovered that there is a significant exponential fall off of engagement from one result to the next. For example, the CTR drops to 15.7% for the 2nd organic result, 11.0% for the 3rd, and continues to drop. The CTR on the 10th organic result in Google SERPs is only 2.5%. Results pushed to the second page of Google have an even lower rate of engagement.

Why Is SEO Important?

A strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is important because of the huge differential in clicks even within the top 10 Google search results. Users want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, so they are less likely to scroll down the page and even less likely to click to further pages of results. They are more likely to change up their search terms if they don’t find what they’re looking for in the first few organic search results.
Digital marketing media in virtual icon globe shape business open his hand

How to Improve Your Ranking

A well-planned SEO strategy can help your brand’s website appear within Google’s top search results for your desired keywords. Expert SEO companies are able to assist with best practices in site design and content, as well as off-page SEO strategies, that factor into Google’s complex search algorithm. For example, ensuring that your site is crawled correctly by the Google bots is extremely important, as is site structure and use of relevant keywords throughout high-quality content on your website.

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

Video Transcription

If you have a local business, you’re probably really curious about where you’re showing up in Google. People ask that question all the time. The reason why people ask this question is pretty obvious, since Google accounts 70% to 90% of all the search engine traffic out there. The higher your website shows up in Google, the more people find your business and connect with you. They walk into your store more often, call you, buy products online, or use your services. We’ve been working with an HVAC company in South Carolina, and their revenue has gone from 600,000 to 1 million in six weeks, and that’s just because we’re working on getting them to the top of Google and we’re actively working on it.

Where do you Show in Google?

So, anyway, let me share my screen. Where does my website rank in Google? You can Google that and find all kinds of responses and tools to check your rankings, but I’m going to keep it simple and just going to show you about one simple tool that I tell my clients about all the time. It’s from Google and it gives you exactly where your website ranks. Go to Google and search for the Ad Preview and Diagnostics Tool. What this tool does is essentially show you where your website ranks in Google. So you just put that into Google and click on the second response or a second result.

A Woman Searches on Google for Her Business Ranking

Using the Tool

It’s called the Anonymous Ad Preview Tool, a really complicated name for a simple tool. I’m based out of Asheville, North Carolina, and I’m just going to enter “Asheville SEO” to search for that term. This is one of the searches that people look for in Asheville. I’m going to select Asheville as the location and Mobile for the Device type. From here, I can see the actual Google Searches, starting with Maps and then the Google Searches. I can White Fox, one of my competitors, and and other results there. PushLeads in currently #4 in this search. And we are in that process of moving that up, but, right now, here’s exactly where I show for this term.

So this is one search here, If I wanted to put in “SEO services” to see the results. This particular search has ads at the top, then maps. PushLeads is showing up for the maps for this search. And, in the regular search, I’m about halfway down. Typically speaking, there’s about 10 positions on a page. Now, when you use this tool with the mobile Device enabled, it’s a little harder to see the results because you have to scroll down. Where it says Device, you can click on desktop and you can look at desktop results which are easier to see. However, since about 70% of us are on the mobile all the time, it’s always best to have the Device on Mobile to be viewing the mobile search results. .

Google Ad Preview and Diagnostics Tool
Ad Preview Tool with Desktop Search Enabled
Google Ad Preview and Diagnostics Tool Mobile View
Ad Preview Tool with Mobile Search Enabled

Using Google

 

What if you want to see where you are without using this tool? You can go to Google and do any search you like, but Google won’t always give you the “true result.” If you look here in the right hand corner, I’m logged in to my Google account. About four or five years ago, Google made it to where basically you’re always logged in to your Google account. Google will ask you to a lot of times to sign in even if you aren’t. Google is tracking exactly what I’m doing all the time, which I don’t really care about that. Because Google is tracking, they are serving you what’s called personalized results. So that basically means that the actual search can be a little different or a lot different when you put in just in regular Google versus using this tool.

Okay? So if I put in SEO services here and now I see on number three, and I’m seeing one, two, three, let’s see, four, five, six, seven. I’m seven here in the actual real search. Now I’m seeing my ad here, and see, I’m at the top and maps here. Whereas here I was number three, right? So you can see a discrepancy right there, right away.

Showing Up in Google Searches

In this particular search, I’m number one versus number three. So if you were just looking at your rankings in Google and not using the Ad Preview Tool, you wouldn’t see the actual search, but rather, a personalized results search. You’d be drinking the Kool-aid, okay? So right away, there’s a difference here. Then let’s see here, I was number seven in the first result and now it looks like I’m number eight in the actual search. Because of this difference, it’s always imp important that you use the Ad Preview and Diagnostics Tool.

Once again, to use the tool, just go to the tool, put in a keyword or search phrase that you think is important. If you’re a plumbing company, you could put plumbing. If your dentist, put dentist office. A lot of times people are searching for “near me” in the search result. So, if I put plumber near me, I see all about plumbing, Blue Planet, and I see ads. Then I see Cooper’s King and Spartan Plumbing in Asheville. It looks like Roto-Rooter’s the first real one. Right? So searching for “dentist’s office near me,” “plumber near me,” and similar searches will give better results. 

Another way to find your results are using your mobile phone. What you can do is you can actually go to pull out your phone and go to Google and turn off your wi-fi and have your phone 4G. And then, do the search in Chrome Incognito and do your search there. Because this isn’t as accurate, I would suggest you do is always use this ad preview diagnostics tool.

Moving Rankings

The other thing to remember with Google is that your rankings will go up and down over time and that kind of thing. Now, when you hire an SEO company such as PushLeads or any other company out there, they’re going to be doing all this tracking for you and they’re going to give you the reports of it, so you’ll know exactly where you are in Google. Over time when working with a SEO company, you will see your Google rankings moving up. One of the ways to know you’re working with a strong SEO company for your business is they’re sending you reports of those Rankings showing that you’re you’re moving up higher and higher in Google for more keywords. When you start working with the company, you might have 5 keywords at the top of Google, then 15 or 20. Over time, you should see those keywords moving up.

Google Rankings Moving

The other thing that you should see moving up because your keywords is your revenue. If you’re spending $1,000 or $2,000 a month on SEO, uou should really see your bottom line moving up.

I was talking to a potential client yesterday who was frustrated because they had switched to a new SEO company but didn’t see their bottom line moving up. If you have an established website, you should really start seeing your bottom line move up in the in the first quarter of working with them.

All right, I hope that’s really been beneficial. If you have any further questions, just reach out to me. Thanks for chatting with me. Thanks a lot.

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

The new year has just begun, so for everyone who’s hoping to increase their website traffic, let’s look at the best SEO Trends 2020 to get you there.

The world of Search Engine Optimization is always changing, so let me give you a brief outline of what I think business owners should be keeping in mind, over the coming months.

Video Marketing Statistics

With almost 5 Billion videos being watched on YouTube every day, by the 30 Million daily visitors, we are experiencing a huge demand for video marketing.
Currently 50% of all Google search results contain at least one video, and since Google owns YouTube we can safely assume that those numbers will only increase in 2020.
Predictions are that video will make up 80% of online traffic by 2021, so over the coming months I would invest time and money into producing quality videos to grow your YouTube Channel, then embed those videos into the content of the blog posts, on your website.
Pay close attention to optimizing the videos you create for SEO, because as you do that you’ll traffic a large number of the people who view your videos directly to your business website, which translates into more products sold, and/or bookings made for your services.

Optimize Old Blog Posts

Republishing old blog posts is a great way to improve your Google Ranking. SEO is in a constant state of change, so as Google gets better at giving people the results they want, it’s good to go back and tweak your old content focusing on implementing the latest SEO strategies. As your post becomes a better fit for the Search Intent, you’ll significantly boost the organic traffic to that page.

SEO Trends 2020

Focusing on Search Intent

It’s essential to understand the importance of Search Intent, also known as Keyword Intent for SEO. In short Search Intent is focused on what the ultimate objective is, of the person who is searching for a particular term.

What are they looking for?

Google is perfecting the art of determining Search Intent, and giving users exactly what they want.

This is calculated by many variables, so putting in extra effort to modify your content, to not only get someone to your site, but to make sure that they’re able to quickly and easily find the information that they’re looking for when they get there, is imperative.

Visual Search Continues to Grow

Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest said that “The future of search will be about pictures, rather than words.”

In recent years Google has changed their algorithm to prioritize sites that have both great content, along with great images on the page.

Here’s an excerpt from Google’s Blog:

“Also it wasn’t long ago that if you visited an images web page, it might be hard to find the specific image you were looking for when you got there. We now prioritize site where the image is central to the page, and higher up on the page. So if you’re looking to buy a specific pair of shoes, a product page dedicated to that pair of shoes will be prioritized above, say, a category page showing a range of shoe styles.”

~Cathy Edwards, Director of Engineering, Google Images

Visual Search is in position to really take off in 2020, so make sure you’re prepared!

With Google Lens (visual search technology) opening up a whole new world for search, it’s now become easy for users to simply take a picture to find the product they’re looking for. This offers an amazing opportunity for eCommerce businesses, as they learn to utilize and adapt to it.

Optimize the image SEO by using alt text, and implementing descriptive file names for each image on your page.

Visual Content

With Pinterest and Instagram at the forefront of Visual Content Marketing, we are sure to see continued growth in this area in 2020. Not only do images within a blog post keep the reader engaged, but when other sites use the “Concept Visuals” that you’ve created, embedded into the content of their posts, they often link back to your website, improving your Google Ranking and the value of your site.

Voice Search

Currently 20% of all searches on mobile are Voice Searches, and that number is steadily rising. I would recommend optimizing some of your content for Voice Search by having both a question and the answer on the page. Google’s algorithm for Voice Search is looking for FAQ pages, and 4 out of 10 of those come from a “Featured Snippet.”

Featured Snippet Opportunities

Look for Featured Snippet Opportunities by finding the Keywords that you’re already ranking on the first page of Google for, then optimize Featured Snippets for that term.

You can look on Ahrefs for a report of “Organic Keywords” that you rank for, that also have a “Featured Snippet.”

An analysis by SEMrush revealed that most Featured Snippets are between 40-60 words, so target that range when writing your content block, also known as “Snippet Bait.”

SEO Trends 2020

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web
Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web

Junk

Ever seen this type of writing on the web? Seriously? What does this stuff even mean? What we’re looking at here isn’t high quality writing. No, my friends, this is junk. Everything you publish on your site or on the web should ad value for the searcher. Never, ever, is it OK to publish junk, anywhere on the web. Unfortunately, the web is littered with junk like this:
Here's an Example of "Keyword Stuffing, Adding Junk to the Web."
Here’s an example of Junk Content on the Web, called “Keyword Stuffing.”
See how the words “red apples” are repeated over and over in the content of this paragraph? The process of doing this is called “keyword stuffing.”

Keyword Stuffing

Google defines keyword stuffing as the “practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” Quite often, keywords appear over and over again in lists, groups, or patterns. Most of the time, these keywords appear totally out of context and repeated over and over. And, guess what? Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing. This is because the act of doing keyword stuffing is an attempt of manipulate Google’s algorithm. Google especially hates any attempt to manipulate their algorithm in any way. What happens when Google finds out a website is trying to manipulate them? Yep, you guessed it. Whenever Google finds violations like this they will “add a slap” to the website and penalize it in the rankings. In real world examples, this usually means that the offending site will drop out of Google’s First page into the second, third, or hundredth page. Basically, the offending website disappears from Google’s Search altogether and it can take alot of work to make that website “move to the top” again. Sometimes it’s not even possible.

Why Publish this Junk?

So why do we see this so called “keyword stuffing” across the web? Once upon a time back before 2012, keyword stuffing was actually common practice among people that did SEO. The reason that SEO people did this was because it actually worked. The combination of keyword stuffing and publishing articles across the web would actually make a website go to the top of Google. Unfortunately, the web was littered with more examples of things that look like this: Alas, here's yet another example of keyword stuffing. Google hates this. Keyword stuffing is, at it’s core, spam. And, Google hates spam. When the engineers at Google saw that the web was being littered with all this spam, they decided to do something about it.

Google Responds

Ready to laugh? We're some humor about keyword stuffing.
Here’s some keyword stuffing humor.
So, what happened? Google got smarter. Around 2012, Google started releasing a whole bunch of updates to their algorithm that began to penalize sites for keyword stuffing. At that time, thousands of sites that were using keyword stuffing dropped out of Google completely, never to be seen again. 2012 were dark days for many SEO’s because they lost thousands of hours of hard work down the drain. Because they considered Google unpredictable, many people stopped doing Search Engine Optimization completely. Since 2012, Google has gotten better and better at recognizing and penalizing all types of spam. The actual process of Google’s engineers updating the algorithm, over and over, have made it much more intelligent. It’s my opinion that all this algorithm updating has made Google into the first Artificial Intelligence (AI). No worries though, Google isn’t an artificial intelligence that wants to “take over the world,” it’s an AI that wants to make the world a better place by giving the user a great experience. Thing about it? If suddenly, Google started delivering search results that had spam, would people keep using it? Of course not. People would start flocking over to Bing (gasp) and Yahoo (double gasp) away from Google. Google would start loosing it’s 64% desktop market share of the search engine market. For that reason, Google’s top concern is delivering an excellent user experience. Google wants:
  • people to quickly find what they’re looking for.
  • results that solve problems.
  • results that answer questions.
  • to suppress spam as much as possible.
The more Google can keep doing those Four things, the more Google can stay ahead of the other search engines, make money, and grow.

Adding Value

One of my mentors would always repeat this mantra: “Always add value to the web.” When he said this, we meant that whenever we publish anything online, we must make sure that it adds value. We need to make sure that the content we’re publishing answers questions, solves problems, and helps people. Why is Value so important to Google? The reason is that sites that provide a high amount of value help people quickly find what they’re looking for. The more value that people find using Google, the more they’ll tend to keep using Google vs other search engines. When a site answers questions that people are asking for, that’s value. When site’s provide direction to life’s persistent questions, that site is providing value. When a site has a high quality design, that’s value. When a site publishes excellent content, that’s value. Value also gets ranked at the top of Search Engines.

How Can You Add Value?

Ok, we get it. Value is, well, valuable. Publishing high quality content on your site will actually boost your company in the search results and also increase your site’s value at the same time. So, what are different ways that you can add value to the web? Here’s a list of pages or blog posts that you could create on your site to add more value:
  1. Blog Posts that answer your most common questions.
  2. Pages that Answer Specific Questions.
  3. Videos about your Company’s Service and/or Offerings.
  4. Info-graphics about humorous, interesting, and great topics.
  5. Transcriptions of videos or audio that you’ve recorded on your phone.
  6. Blog Posts that comment on trending relevant topics on the web.
As a SEO Professional in the industry, we can assure you that if you publish this type of content at least four times a month, you’ll start showing up in more and more searches. You can’t publish this type of valuable content and NOT be ranking in Google.

Go Forth!

Now that you know the importance of value, we encourage you to start adding value to your site. Also, the process of creating great content doesn’t have to be hours and hours of writing articles while looking at the screen. Content doesn’t have to be boring; it can be fun! You can actually get a 500 word article by recording a 2 minute video on your phone, getting it transcribed at rev.com, and publishing the content as a blog post (along with the video). Go forth, always add value to the web, live, and prosper.

First let me come right out of the gate by answering the most common question that I get as an SEO specialist: 

“What is SEO and how it works?”

  • SEO: is short for “Search Engine Optimization” which simply means that you are implementing practices to climb to a higher position in the search results, to improve your “Google Ranking” for particular keywords and phrases such as “landscaper,” “artist,” “motivational speaker” or “restaurant near me” through various practices such as “Keyword Research,” building “Google Trust,” “Link Building” “WebDesign” and “Online Marketing.”

As an SEO specialist, my job is to listen to what your goals are, and then look at your website to try to determine what specifically I would type into a search engine, if I wanted to find YOU. 

Then I move into “keyword research” where I create a SEO Blueprint using SEO software and keyword research tools, to find out what other people are searching, that matches your business, products, services or content. Next I incorporate those keywords and phrases into your On Page SEO. 

Below I’ve given you the 20 Most Important SEO Terms and Definitions, with additional information, links and examples, to help you get a good grasp on how it all works.

 

SEO Terms and Definitions

  • Search Engine: is software that searches the internet for a particular word or phrase, when you enter it into their search bar. It then brings up the results of that search in the form of a list containing links and excerpts. Some of the most popular search engines are Google, Bing and AOL. The search engine uses algorithms to determine which links/websites to bring up in the list of results, and in what order.
  • Algorithm: I’ll give you the Dictionary.com definition- a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, however for search engines their exact set of rules, or procedure for determining what sites will appear in the results first is kept secret… and always changing.
  • SERP: “Search Engine Results Page” is the page of results displayed by search engines, when you type a word or phrase in the “search bar.”

 

How It All Works

  • Keyword Research: is the process by which an individual assesses what keywords or phrases best describe a website. For example; when I’m doing “keyword research” I look at a particular page and ask myself “what a person would type into a search engine when looking for that particular business or for the information that is given on a particular webpage.”

 

  • Google Ranking: This the the rank (number position) you or your business holds, in the search results page (aka SERP) in any given Search Engine like “Google, AOL, Yahoo, Bing, or Ask” for your business name, or a particular word or phrase, like “attorney at law,” “carpet cleaning” or “supermarket.” 

 

  • Google Trust: Google Trust or Google TrustRank is a term that describes a process currently used by Google and other search engines, (that was initially created by Yahoo and Stanford engineers,) to oppose the use of WEB SPAM. Essentially it assesses “trust signals” which are indicators of whether or not the links and content listed on any particular site are legitimate and valuable. There is actually a patent for this system that ranks websites, according to their level of TRUST.
 

Search Result Ranking Based on Trust

More SEO Terms and Definitions

  • On Page SEO: are the things you implement on each of the webpages of your website to improve your Google Ranking, such as incorporating keywords and phrases into the meta titles, meta descriptions and content of your website, without KEYWORD STUFFING. The use of legitimate internal and external links, original high quality content with good “readability” and improving the internal linking structure are all examples of on page SEO that will lead to improving your Google Ranking.
  • Hyperlink: also simply referred to as “links” is basically a URL embedded into a word, phrase, image or document that leads to another webpage. They are most commonly highlighted in BLUE, but don’t have to be. Hyperlinks can be either Internal Links (linking to another page on the same website and improving your Internal Linking Structure) or External Links (linking to a webpage on a different website.)
  • Internal Linking Structure: an internal link connects a word, phrase, picture or document through a hyperlink to a different page, on the same website. This structure helps a user navigate through the website.
  • Functionality:  a websites functionality is determined by the difficulty or ease that a person has in navigating through the various pages of that website, and finding the information that they wish to obtain. 
  • KeyWord Stuffing: is the practice of using keywords in an overzealous manner in order to gain an unfair advantage in search results, and traffic people to a website without really offering content that applies to those keywords. The process of implementing keywords really is an art, and proper use of keywords is greatly beneficial to getting hits on your site, however keyword stuffing is counterproductive, and can actually hurt your ranking. 
  • Off Page SEO: also called “off site SEO” are the practices that you implement outside of your own website to help your Google Ranking on any given search engine result page (aka SERPS) such as Backlinks, Social Media Marketing, Guest Blogging, & Brand OR Services Mentions.
  • Backlinks: also called “inbound links” are links that are posted on a website other than your own, or on a social media platform that link back to your website, like when someone is mentioning you, your product, or your business and wishes to direct people to you from their website or social media profile. It is one of the things that greatly improves the value of your website, and your Google Ranking. 
  • Link Building: also referred to as a “Link Building Campaign” is in essence a big part of online marketing. It’s setting goals and having a strategy, then implementing practices that get external links (aka clicks/hits) back to your website, by marketing your “assets” such as content, data, products, people, or services. This is done in many ways, such as posting an excerpt of a blog post, or an offer of some kind on social media. When a person clicks the link and goes to your site, that is an external link. It’s also accomplished when another website mentions your product, content or services, and has a link on their website or social media, that directs people to your website. Connecting with “Online Influencers” to get “Mentions” is very effective for Link Building. 
  • Black Hat SEO: Black Hat SEO is a term used to describe SEO practices that are considered unethical or shady. These practices may help you gain initially, but can eventually cause a lot of harm, or even get your website completely banned from all search engines. 
  • White Hat SEO: in contrast to Black Hat SEO, White Hat SEO is used to describe practices that conform to all the reputable practices of SEO that you are encouraged to use by Google. In order to stay informed, I recommend reading SEO blogs, including the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog. 
  • Meta Titles: also referred to as Title Tag is simply the title of that webpage, found on the top, in the browsers title bar in the form of HTML. From a user standpoint, it is simply a name tag for the page. 
  • Meta Description: is a short description of a webpage in a snippet of about 155 characters, that is used by search engines. It summarizes the content of the page, and is sometimes shown in search results, when the searched for word or phrase is included in the meta description. 
 

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

New York Butcher Shoppe Asheville NC

By Jeremy Ashburn

New York Butcher Shoppe Asheville NC

Hey guys. I’m Jeremy Ashburn with PushLeads. The air is crisp on this beautiful October day here in Asheville North Carolina, as we gear up for the holiday season, continuing to take on new clients like “New York Butcher Shoppe,” providing them with cutting edge marketing and helping them beat the local business SEO competition. When every local business is scrambling to reach the top of the Google search results page, you need an SEO expert in your corner. If your target demographic includes local customers, you can increase your reach into your community with marketing done by PushLeads. You’ll quickly see a direct correlation between visits to your website, and visits to your storefront. Increase one, and the other always follows. 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION:

Well, I ran into this business when I was in Augusta, Georgia visiting my step kids, and we just… My husband and I fell in love with the concept. We went in for a sandwich and we ended up bringing a steak home, and it was an amazing steak. So, this is the only place in town where you’re going to be able to find certified Angus beef that you can take home and cook. And, the certified Angus beef is one of the highest quality cuts of beef that you can find. So, of course we’re a full service butcher shop, and that means we have our own house-made sausages, our own meat grinds. We also do a wide variety of prepared meals. So some examples of that is a meat lasagna, white chicken lasagna. We also do a beef stroganoff. We do a number of different prepared meals and sides. In addition, we’re introducing smoked meats now as part of our offerings. So we’re going to be cooking it up on Saturdays if you want to come on by, and that’s a great time to try some of the cooked meals as well.

What I love about this business is absolutely the quality of the product., And I had to have something that I could really stand behind and something I wanted to buy for myself. What I love about the concept is not only do we have great food products, we have great meats and seafoods and prepared items, but we also have wine and a fantastic fun wine club, and we’re actually kicking that off this evening. So we’re super excited to kick off our wine club tonight. This is our inaugural wine club. We brought this business to Asheville. One of the main reasons was to really start building a sense of community.

We know that Asheville is such a foodie community and they love their food, love their wine. So we’re going to be sampling a number of our products from inside the market, as well as many wines from our local distributors.

So, tonight is our first wine club, October wine club, and we are celebrating by a number of wines that we’re going to be presenting tonight. During our wine club event, we not only do we taste wines throughout the evening, but we also have certain high-end wines that we put on special discount. So wine club members are eligible to purchase wines on that night only, that we would not offer at these low discounts on any other day of the month. So, tonight we’re doing the Archery Summit Pinot Gris. This’ll be served with one of our earlier dishes, I think it’s the salmon salad. We are also serving a couple of Pinot Noirs from different regions in the US. This one in particular is from Oregon, The Unconditional. The Frank Family Vineyards are part of our focus this evening, so we are going to be offering the Cabernet and the Pinot at very special discounts this evening, and prices you won’t find anywhere else. And finally, the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Forefront is also one of our Pinots that we’re serving tonite.

If You'd like to Learn More

If you want to learn more directly, or want to learn how your business can be visible at the top of Google, you can give me a call directly. My number is 828-348-7686. Or you could go to pushleads.com and right there you could do an SEO audit. And what we’ll do here is find out how strong your website is performing for a search phrase. And we’ll compare that to other metrics as far as how well your website is performing.

So I’m Jeremy Ashburn with PushLeads. Thanks a lot for your time.

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

Why Half Of Google Searches Don't Lead to Clicks

If you’re involved in the world of SEO, you know exactly how important it is to rank well in a Google search. After all, Google’s been the traditional pathway to success for website owners, and those who can dominate the search rankings are generally those who succeed.

Things may however, be changing on that account.

New data shows that ranking high on a Google search might not be the silver bullet that it once was. In fact, a study from Jumpshot has shown that over half of all Google searches aren’t leading to any clicks at all. 

New Data for a New World

If you’re looking at the raw data, things don’t look great for those who are relying on traditional SEO strategies. Only about 45.25 percent of all searches are leading to organic clicks, with the bulk of the remaining searches leading to no clickthrough at all. Perhaps more importantly, a larger-than-average chunk for those searches that do have results – around six percent – go to sites or services owned by Google itself. 

Why Half Of Google Searches Don't Lead to Clicks

The New Trends

Part of the big change is Google’s increasing use of snippets in search results. Now that users can see at least some of the information for which they’re looking on the search page, they no longer have to visit sites. Likewise, Google’s change in how ads are displayed has moved an extra two percent of users towards ads instead of organic results. 

As big as these trends are in the world of traditional searches, they’re even bigger in the world of mobile searches. Around sixty-two percent of all searches lead to no website traffic whatsoever, and almost eleven percent of searches lead users to an ad. Given that most searches now take place on mobile platforms, the demise of traditional SEO might be closer than most think.  

 

Transitioning to a New Model

Since traditional SEO isn’t guaranteeing the type of results it delivered just a few years ago, it’s clear that something has to change for those in the industry. While getting back the users that don’t click through might be impossible, industry professionals can still fight for what’s left. 

So, what are the realistic options?

The big options surround playing within the boundaries of the new system. This means making the most of snippers when possible. It also means optimizing content for Google-owned sites and services and hoping to get some of the residual business. 

As one might imagine, these options aren’t necessarily ideal for most professionals. In a best-case scenario, this still means that Google gets first dibs on website content – something that the search giant might already be doing with its snippets. It’s very hard to see how working within the system does anything more than giving Google even more market dominance. 

So, what's left?

Some agencies are targeting those keywords that are still generating clicks, going harder than ever after an increasingly small piece of the search engine pie. Even more businesses are hoping for – and sometimes working towards – a world in which Google doesn’t have quite so much dominance. 

There are even companies that are turning away from SEO and back towards paid ads. This isn’t exactly going to delight those who long for the days of SEO as an advertising alternative, but it’s still effective for those who are chasing after a strong return on investment. Simply put, if SEO isn’t working, ads might. 

The truth, though, is that going for all these approaches at once is probably the right move. Pushing out material on multiple platforms and through multiple channels is the best way to get seen in today’s market, especially when a business has noticed the efficacy of its traditional SEO processes waning. 

A New World

If nothing else, all of this means that the world of online marketing is changing. Some might see this as the death of SEO, while others see it as the first sign that Google might actually be overstepping its own bounds in a way that will bring down the regulatory watchdog. More likely, though, is that this is another change that the industry will have to weather. Just as there have been algorithm changes in the past, there are changed going on today. Businesses that adapt are the ones that will continue to be the most successful. 

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

Here's Why You Should Be Adding 100 Images
to Your Business Listing

Visual quality plays a big role when it comes to promoting your local business online. With the rise of visually heavy platforms like Instagram and Yelp, their importance is only growing. Simply put, customers want to see what they are getting for their money.

Photos are a big part of the Google My Business (GMB) platform. They demonstrate just how important looking your best is for attracting consumers.

Need Proof?

A recent study looked at over 580,000 images found in 15,191 GMB listings. The focus of the study was to identify the impact of those photos on search and user behavior. Here are some key findings:
  • Businesses that have more photos uploaded into GMB get more attention. Businesses receive more website clicks, phone calls, and direction requests.
  • These images are often close to the CTAs.
  • The presence of more photos in a GMB listing increases the chance of customer moving from discovery to conversion.
Here are some details.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 500 percent more calls than a typical business. Those with a single image get 71 percent fewer.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 2700 percent more requests for directions compared to a typical business. Those with a single image get 75 percent fewer.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 1050 percent more website clicks than a typical business. Those with a single image get 65 percent less.
  • A business that has more GMB photos will get more views via search and more views on maps.

Get Found on Google Maps

Google has taken its Maps in new directions. They want it to be more than just a way to get directions. Maps users are looking for some place they can go to right now, not in a few days. Local businesses with a lot of foot traffic, such as restaurants and bars, get a head start when it comes to appearing on Google Maps. People frequently take photos and offer reviews at these types of locations. So, it’s no surprise that companies with a lot of photos get better local search performance in Maps, rather than the traditional search engine.
  • A business that has over 100 photos has almost 1000 percent more search views compared to an average business. A business with just one photo gets 62 percent.
  • A business that has over 100 images gets almost 3500 percent more map views than a typical business. Those with one photo gets 71 percent less.
  • A business that has more GMB images appear in more direct searches and discovery searches

Direct Searches vs. Discovery Searches

A direct search is one where someone searches directly for a business name or address. A discovery search is one where someone searches for a service, product, or category, companies offer. There’s still a strong trend between a high photo count and the number of times a business appears in both direct and discovery searches.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 700 percent more discovery searches than a typical business. Those with one photo get 65 percent fewer.
  • A business with over 100 photos gets over 1000 percent more direct searches than a typical business. Those with a single photo gets 71 percent fewer.

Is It the Photos or Something Else?

Even though the numbers show a strong trend between GMB photo count and the appearance in direct and discovery searches, is there a true correlation? The number of Google My Business photos may be affecting those search figures. However, it’s possible that the photos are part of a larger effort to boost search performance. Those extra efforts can improve actions, searches, and views. It’s also possible that the trend is related to industry type. Certain businesses get more pictures because customers want to take photos there. For example, restaurants, hotels, and bars are attractive locations filled with plenty of customers. They will take photos and post reviews of such venues. A factory, on the other hand, won’t get as much foot traffic or people wanting to take photos. Even if these trends are not a direct correlation to how many GMB photos are uploaded, the numbers provide a strong argument to increase the photo count on your GMB business listing. This applies to any business, from a trendy club to a stuffy accounting office.

Posting Your Own GMB Photos

Post your own photos to increase your GMB photo count. But, they can’t be just any photos. GMB photos need to be a reflection of the customer’s experience. So, posting photos of your staff doing their jobs isn’t going to do it. Host customer events and invite everyone to come check it out. Take some photos of your customers. Find interesting places inside your business and take a photo or two. Get multiple photos of your building’s exterior.

Getting Customers to Post Them

Encourage your customers to post photos of your business.

Google-using customers may get a request to review your business after they leave. You can also request a review from them yourself.

Ask customers to snap shot their experience in your business. Car dealers do this by asking customers if they want a picture of their new luxury car. The customer gets a great photo. The dealer gets a photo that the customer can use in a review.

For service companies, like plumbers or decorators, who want to increase local search performance, ask for photos of the completed handiwork. You make the customer happy, and the customer has a photo to upload.

Here’s a trick you can use. Create an interesting wall or area of your office where clients will want to take a selfie. The clients get a great photo. You get the potential of a photo-loaded review.

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

In today’s world, it’s virtually guaranteed that any business will have a website. If you are the owner of such a business, your website may exist for a variety of reasons: for online transactions, company information, or whatever reason you chose to have a website. In any case, all business owners who use a website must ask themselves one question: “is my site safe?”

How You Can Tell If Your Website Is Safe

The simplest way to find out is by asking your domain host or web developer if the site has an SSL certification. This creates an encrypted link between the web server and the browser that ensures the privacy of the data processed between the two. The best way to tell if the website has an SSL is by looking at the site’s URL. If it starts with https://, and not http://, then the site is secure.

A History Of Safe Browsing

August 6, 2014: announces

  • August 6, 2014: Google announces that they will give minor rank boosts to websites that add an SSL, while also stating that they would like to encourage all website owners to switch to HTTPS from HTTP to help people enjoy a secure search experience.

October 2016: While speaking at BrightEdge’s Share16

  • October 2016: While speaking at BrightEdge’s Share16, Google’s Thao Tran says that the future of the web is “a secure one,” and proceeds to stress that the company wants people to understand the importance of HTTPS.

Late 2016:

  • Late 2016: Version 56 of the web browser Google Chrome is released, which displays that non-HTTPS sites that collect credit card information and passwords will be shown as “not secure” in the location bar. Alongside the update, Chrome also announces plans to label all non-HTTPS sites as not being secure.

How Your Website Is Affected By Safe Browsing

An SSL is crucial for any website that requires logins, allows for online purchases, or lets users establish subscriptions. Thanks to the Chrome update, sites without an SSL may be deemed “not secure,” which will likely confuse and alarm many users. This will lead to your business losing sales and leads. Even if you don’t run an e-commerce website, it’s advised that you set up an SSL since the update will affect all websites.

Safe Searches and SEO

What we already know: Digital Analytics Programmakes up 44.5%making up 85%

  • What we already know: Google will be giving rank boosts to sites that deem secure. We also know that, according to the Digital Analytics Program, Google Chrome makes up 44.5% of browser uses (on top of making up 85% of the desktop browser market share).

What we can anticipate:

  • What we can anticipate: The release of the newest version of Chrome will encourage other web browsers to encourage safe search opportunities. While e-commerce sites are the first sites to be affected, it will eventually affect all other sites. This means that Google may even change their algorithm to prop up secure sites.

What may happen:

  • What may happen: It’s safe to assume that non-secure sites may be penalized via removal from search results. Not only will you be deemed “not secure” on Google, but on other platforms as well

Your Take Away

  1. If you’re a business owner with a website, it’s essential to ensure that your site is secured.
  2. History shows that Google’s efforts are directed primarily at secure browsing, and that they will boost the ranking of sites that use an SSL.
  3. The Google Chrome update indicates whether or not a site (especially one specializing in e-commerce or is password-driven) is “not secure,” and other browsers are sure too follow suit
  4. Security will affect your website through usability, user experience, and authority, which in turn affects your search ranking.

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web
Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web

Junk

Ever seen this type of writing on the web? Seriously? What does this stuff even mean? What we’re looking at here isn’t high quality writing. No, my friends, this is junk. Everything you publish on your site or on the web should ad value for the searcher. Never, ever, is it OK to publish junk, anywhere on the web. Unfortunately, the web is littered with junk like this:
Here's an Example of "Keyword Stuffing, Adding Junk to the Web."
Here’s an example of Junk Content on the Web, called “Keyword Stuffing.”
See how the words “red apples” are repeated over and over in the content of this paragraph? The process of doing this is called “keyword stuffing.”

Keyword Stuffing

Google defines keyword stuffing as the “practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” Quite often, keywords appear over and over again in lists, groups, or patterns. Most of the time, these keywords appear totally out of context and repeated over and over. And, guess what? Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing. This is because the act of doing keyword stuffing is an attempt of manipulate Google’s algorithm. Google especially hates any attempt to manipulate their algorithm in any way. What happens when Google finds out a website is trying to manipulate them? Yep, you guessed it. Whenever Google finds violations like this they will “add a slap” to the website and penalize it in the rankings. In real world examples, this usually means that the offending site will drop out of Google’s First page into the second, third, or hundredth page. Basically, the offending website disappears from Google’s Search altogether and it can take alot of work to make that website “move to the top” again. Sometimes it’s not even possible.

Why Publish this Junk?

So why do we see this so called “keyword stuffing” across the web? Once upon a time back before 2012, keyword stuffing was actually common practice among people that did SEO. The reason that SEO people did this was because it actually worked. The combination of keyword stuffing and publishing articles across the web would actually make a website go to the top of Google. Unfortunately, the web was littered with more examples of things that look like this: Alas, here's yet another example of keyword stuffing. Google hates this. Keyword stuffing is, at it’s core, spam. And, Google hates spam. When the engineers at Google saw that the web was being littered with all this spam, they decided to do something about it.

Google Responds

Ready to laugh? We're some humor about keyword stuffing.
Here’s some keyword stuffing humor.
So, what happened? Google got smarter. Around 2012, Google started releasing a whole bunch of updates to their algorithm that began to penalize sites for keyword stuffing. At that time, thousands of sites that were using keyword stuffing dropped out of Google completely, never to be seen again. 2012 were dark days for many SEO’s because they lost thousands of hours of hard work down the drain. Because they considered Google unpredictable, many people stopped doing Search Engine Optimization completely. Since 2012, Google has gotten better and better at recognizing and penalizing all types of spam. The actual process of Google’s engineers updating the algorithm, over and over, have made it much more intelligent. It’s my opinion that all this algorithm updating has made Google into the first Artificial Intelligence (AI). No worries though, Google isn’t an artificial intelligence that wants to “take over the world,” it’s an AI that wants to make the world a better place by giving the user a great experience. Thing about it? If suddenly, Google started delivering search results that had spam, would people keep using it? Of course not. People would start flocking over to Bing (gasp) and Yahoo (double gasp) away from Google. Google would start loosing it’s 64% desktop market share of the search engine market. For that reason, Google’s top concern is delivering an excellent user experience. Google wants:
  • people to quickly find what they’re looking for.
  • results that solve problems.
  • results that answer questions.
  • to suppress spam as much as possible.
The more Google can keep doing those Four things, the more Google can stay ahead of the other search engines, make money, and grow.

Adding Value

One of my mentors would always repeat this mantra: “Always add value to the web.” When he said this, we meant that whenever we publish anything online, we must make sure that it adds value. We need to make sure that the content we’re publishing answers questions, solves problems, and helps people. Why is Value so important to Google? The reason is that sites that provide a high amount of value help people quickly find what they’re looking for. The more value that people find using Google, the more they’ll tend to keep using Google vs other search engines. When a site answers questions that people are asking for, that’s value. When site’s provide direction to life’s persistent questions, that site is providing value. When a site has a high quality design, that’s value. When a site publishes excellent content, that’s value. Value also gets ranked at the top of Search Engines.

How Can You Add Value?

Ok, we get it. Value is, well, valuable. Publishing high quality content on your site will actually boost your company in the search results and also increase your site’s value at the same time. So, what are different ways that you can add value to the web? Here’s a list of pages or blog posts that you could create on your site to add more value:
  1. Blog Posts that answer your most common questions.
  2. Pages that Answer Specific Questions.
  3. Videos about your Company’s Service and/or Offerings.
  4. Info-graphics about humorous, interesting, and great topics.
  5. Transcriptions of videos or audio that you’ve recorded on your phone.
  6. Blog Posts that comment on trending relevant topics on the web.
As a SEO Professional in the industry, we can assure you that if you publish this type of content at least four times a month, you’ll start showing up in more and more searches. You can’t publish this type of valuable content and NOT be ranking in Google.

Go Forth!

Now that you know the importance of value, we encourage you to start adding value to your site. Also, the process of creating great content doesn’t have to be hours and hours of writing articles while looking at the screen. Content doesn’t have to be boring; it can be fun! You can actually get a 500 word article by recording a 2 minute video on your phone, getting it transcribed at rev.com, and publishing the content as a blog post (along with the video). Go forth, always add value to the web, live, and prosper.

Now that 2018 is here, all of my clients are excited about producing content that helps them rank at the top of Google. Of course, creating content is always fabulous, but what if you’re producing content for your business but aren’t gaining traction in searches? Sherry Bonneli with SEM Rush just wrote this excellent article about 5 ways of doing more with your content which will help it reach its full potential. Here’s the skinny:

Tip #1 - Make Your Blog Posts into an Ebook

The “Olden Days,” creating an eBook used to require hiring a writer, design firm, and various editors to produce the final finished product. Fortunately these days, Technology is here to save the day! Designrr is a publishing tool that allows you to take a blog post you’ve written and turn it into a visually stunning e-book. From there, you can use the e-Book as a lead magnet on your site, sell it on Amazon, or make it as a value adding product as part of something bigger. Pretty cool! I’m definitely going to check this tool out.

Tip #2 - Turn Videos into Blog Posts

If you’re not already producing videos for your business, you need to start doing this right away? Why? Because videos are fast and easy to do, are easy to make into blog posts (or other site content), and do amazing things for SEO! Sure, you can use tools like Content Samuai or Lumen5 to help you make video, however, if you’re already a “one take wonder” with video, don’t hesitate and get going! My suggestion would be make a list of commonly asked questions and answer those questions in 2-4 minute videos. From there, you can upload them to YouTube, get them transcribed on Rev.com, and make them into blog posts on your site.

Google has sometimes been known to include video results within searches, so it’s a bonus if that ever happens for your business. But, the best thing that I love about creating videos is just the fact that one can get excellent content at a small fraction of the cost $5 to transcribe a 5 minute video on Rev.com) vs hiring a writer (which costs $12 to $200 per article, depending on article quality).

Tip #3 - Create Inforgraphics

For the past 5 years, Infographics have been “all the rage,” and is easy to understand why. Jeff Bullas says in this blog post that ine one day “we create 1.5 billion peices of content, 140 million tweets, and 2 million videos.” Wow! That’s just a lot of content. Overwhelming. He describes this content as a “mountains and oceans of data” that everyone is constantly trying to make sense of. Actually, since  it’s really impossible to consume that much data, so the best thing is to create an Infographic that makes sense of it all.

Inforgraphics are:

  • a beautiful piece of art that communicates complex data in a stunning visual format.
  • wonderful at taking tons of data and presenting it in a beautiful shorthand format.
  • an efficient way of combining the best of images, text, and design into a story that people might want to share.

Tip #4 - Harness the Power of Email

Ladies and gentleman, we have an announcement: “email is not dead.” No, email is in fact, very much alive. Sending emails to your clients and customers is still a great way to keep in touch with them, start a two way conversation, and let them see your brand.

The thing is, some of us just don’t know the first thing about how to distribute email. If that’s you, don’t panic. All you need to do is get in the habbit of emailing your list about your most recent piece of content, link to that content in your email signature, and send out personalized emails. Here’s the breakdown:

1. Share your most recent piece of content: Send out a simple email (with little html or design) informing your list about your latest piece of content. This could be a blog post, Youtube video, or inner page on your site.
2. Link to that content in your email signature: Tweak your email signature to include a link at the bottom to your most popular piece of content. Yes! People will click that link in your email and read your blog post! Absolutely.
3. Send out personalized emails: Don’t be afraid to email your best clients and customers directly with a personalized note, special offer, or other value adding bit of content. They’ll love you for this!

Tip #5 - Use Reddit and Web 2.0 Blogs

Reddit and other Web 2.0 Blogs like Weebly, Tumblr, and Blogger are great ways to sharing and promoting your content. Also, when you share content on these places, it sends the right signals to search engines. This then, in turn, helps your new content rank in search engines.

When using Reddit, all you have to do is create an account, do a search and find a sureddit that has an audience and would be interested in your content, and submit a link to your content right there.  Easy.

Boosting Your Content

Now that you know a few ways of boosting your content here in 2018, I totally encourage you to start incorporating these ideas into your content publishing this year. If you do, you’ll see your content become superpowered! When content becomes superpowered, it’s liked, shared, and linked to. All of this fabulousness will translate into more business, more growth, and a bigger bottom line.

Go forth, always add value to the web, live, and prosper.

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web
Why Your Website Should Add Value To the Web

Junk

Ever seen this type of writing on the web? Seriously? What does this stuff even mean? What we’re looking at here isn’t high quality writing. No, my friends, this is junk. Everything you publish on your site or on the web should ad value for the searcher. Never, ever, is it OK to publish junk, anywhere on the web. Unfortunately, the web is littered with junk like this:
Here's an Example of "Keyword Stuffing, Adding Junk to the Web."
Here’s an example of Junk Content on the Web, called “Keyword Stuffing.”
See how the words “red apples” are repeated over and over in the content of this paragraph? The process of doing this is called “keyword stuffing.”

Keyword Stuffing

Google defines keyword stuffing as the “practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.” Quite often, keywords appear over and over again in lists, groups, or patterns. Most of the time, these keywords appear totally out of context and repeated over and over. And, guess what? Google doesn’t like keyword stuffing. This is because the act of doing keyword stuffing is an attempt of manipulate Google’s algorithm. Google especially hates any attempt to manipulate their algorithm in any way. What happens when Google finds out a website is trying to manipulate them? Yep, you guessed it. Whenever Google finds violations like this they will “add a slap” to the website and penalize it in the rankings. In real world examples, this usually means that the offending site will drop out of Google’s First page into the second, third, or hundredth page. Basically, the offending website disappears from Google’s Search altogether and it can take alot of work to make that website “move to the top” again. Sometimes it’s not even possible.

Why Publish this Junk?

So why do we see this so called “keyword stuffing” across the web? Once upon a time back before 2012, keyword stuffing was actually common practice among people that did SEO. The reason that SEO people did this was because it actually worked. The combination of keyword stuffing and publishing articles across the web would actually make a website go to the top of Google. Unfortunately, the web was littered with more examples of things that look like this: Alas, here's yet another example of keyword stuffing. Google hates this. Keyword stuffing is, at it’s core, spam. And, Google hates spam. When the engineers at Google saw that the web was being littered with all this spam, they decided to do something about it.

Google Responds

Ready to laugh? We're some humor about keyword stuffing.
Here’s some keyword stuffing humor.
So, what happened? Google got smarter. Around 2012, Google started releasing a whole bunch of updates to their algorithm that began to penalize sites for keyword stuffing. At that time, thousands of sites that were using keyword stuffing dropped out of Google completely, never to be seen again. 2012 were dark days for many SEO’s because they lost thousands of hours of hard work down the drain. Because they considered Google unpredictable, many people stopped doing Search Engine Optimization completely. Since 2012, Google has gotten better and better at recognizing and penalizing all types of spam. The actual process of Google’s engineers updating the algorithm, over and over, have made it much more intelligent. It’s my opinion that all this algorithm updating has made Google into the first Artificial Intelligence (AI). No worries though, Google isn’t an artificial intelligence that wants to “take over the world,” it’s an AI that wants to make the world a better place by giving the user a great experience. Thing about it? If suddenly, Google started delivering search results that had spam, would people keep using it? Of course not. People would start flocking over to Bing (gasp) and Yahoo (double gasp) away from Google. Google would start loosing it’s 64% desktop market share of the search engine market. For that reason, Google’s top concern is delivering an excellent user experience. Google wants:
  • people to quickly find what they’re looking for.
  • results that solve problems.
  • results that answer questions.
  • to suppress spam as much as possible.
The more Google can keep doing those Four things, the more Google can stay ahead of the other search engines, make money, and grow.

Adding Value

One of my mentors would always repeat this mantra: “Always add value to the web.” When he said this, we meant that whenever we publish anything online, we must make sure that it adds value. We need to make sure that the content we’re publishing answers questions, solves problems, and helps people. Why is Value so important to Google? The reason is that sites that provide a high amount of value help people quickly find what they’re looking for. The more value that people find using Google, the more they’ll tend to keep using Google vs other search engines. When a site answers questions that people are asking for, that’s value. When site’s provide direction to life’s persistent questions, that site is providing value. When a site has a high quality design, that’s value. When a site publishes excellent content, that’s value. Value also gets ranked at the top of Search Engines.

How Can You Add Value?

Ok, we get it. Value is, well, valuable. Publishing high quality content on your site will actually boost your company in the search results and also increase your site’s value at the same time. So, what are different ways that you can add value to the web? Here’s a list of pages or blog posts that you could create on your site to add more value:
  1. Blog Posts that answer your most common questions.
  2. Pages that Answer Specific Questions.
  3. Videos about your Company’s Service and/or Offerings.
  4. Info-graphics about humorous, interesting, and great topics.
  5. Transcriptions of videos or audio that you’ve recorded on your phone.
  6. Blog Posts that comment on trending relevant topics on the web.
As a SEO Professional in the industry, we can assure you that if you publish this type of content at least four times a month, you’ll start showing up in more and more searches. You can’t publish this type of valuable content and NOT be ranking in Google.

Go Forth!

Now that you know the importance of value, we encourage you to start adding value to your site. Also, the process of creating great content doesn’t have to be hours and hours of writing articles while looking at the screen. Content doesn’t have to be boring; it can be fun! You can actually get a 500 word article by recording a 2 minute video on your phone, getting it transcribed at rev.com, and publishing the content as a blog post (along with the video). Go forth, always add value to the web, live, and prosper.

In early December, Google made a huge change that immediately impacted search results. What they did was increase the length of the so called “snippets” in Google searches.

What this means is that searches that previously looked like this:

Google Changes Snippet Length from 160 characters to 277 characters

now look like this:

Google Makes Snippet Length Longer

Notice how there’s now more words in the “snippet,” the content area below the title of the search result? In SEO, we call this so called Snippet the “meta description.” Google has essentially made this meta description show up to 230 characters instead of the 155 characters shown previously.

Although it may not seem like much, this change is huge for both SEO’s and local business owners alike. Read on to learn more.

Why is the Meta Description Important?

The meta description, of course, describes what a web page is about. The meta description is super important because when people read it, it can cause them to a webpage on your site. That’s good because the more people click to your web page, that means that your organic click through rate increases. When your organic click through rate (or CTR) goes up, this usually means better rankings. That’s great! Everyone knows that being at the top of Google helps businesses grow.

The other reason why the meta description is important is because you can strategically put keywords into it that will help rankings. There are some people in the SEO world that will tell you that Google doesn’t pay attention to meta description for ranking purposes, but I highly disagree. Why? Because, while working with clients on a weekly basis, I always see a better rankings with my clients because I “optimize” or clean up the meta descriptions on my client’s site. Because of this, the data I’m seeing indicates that Google definitely pays attention to the meta descriptions.

The Longer Meta Description

Google Changes Snippet Length - How this Impacts SEOWhy did Google make the meta description longer? They did this so that searchers can more easily find the answer in within the meta description without having to click on a web page to learn more.

And now, the official statement from Google:

“We recently made a change to provide more descriptive and useful snippets, to help people better understand how pages are relevant to their searches. This resulted in snippets becoming slightly longer, on average.”

Interesting. I consider this both good and bad.

This change is good because because longer meta descriptions will likely improve organic CTR rates. Better organic CTR rates mean better rankings. Better rankings mean more emails from contract forms, calls, and walk-ins for local businesses.

This change could be bad because Google seems to be moving towards keeping users on the search itself and not going to websites to find answers. If Google continues this trend, they might do more things to keep people from going from searches to websites. In the end, this would mean less traffic coming to websites from Google. Not so good.

How will this impact SEO?

This just happened about a month ago, “the jury is out” so to say as far as how this longer meta description will impact SEO.

These are questions that SEO’s are asking:

  • Should we change the length of existing meta descriptions? While some say that it’s best to leave old meta descriptions the same for now, I would suggest going back and making meta description of the the ranking pages on your site longer. From there, you can go back and make all of your meta descriptions longer on the rest of the pages and blog posts on your sites.
  • How will this affect meta descriptions going forward? It’s too early to say, but my prediction is that the longer meta description will allow for more natural organic language within the description itself. This means that there will be less keyword stuffing and more room for branding and call to action. That will likely lead to even higher organic CTR’s.
  • How long should we make new meta descriptions? After doing research, my suggestion is the make all your new meta descriptions about 100 characters in length. This is because Google now shows up to 100 characters in mobile search results. In my opinion, the best thing is to optimize for mobile because mobile searches now represent more than half of all searches.

What’s Your SEO Score?

Enter the URL of any landing page or blog article and see how optimized it is for one keyword or phrase.

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