SEO

SEO is the process of making “inside tweaks” & “outside tweaks” on a website, so that over time your it becomes more search engine and friendly to Google.

What kind of impact does SEO have on social media? For years, this question has been hotly contested.

Think about it from a logical perspective. If you have more followers and likes on social media, shouldn’t your website’s traffic go up? Wouldn’t this also make your business show up higher in Google?


However, the truth is out there, from Mr. Google himself. John Mueller said back in 2015 that social media does not have a direct impact on your SEO.

Google’s reasoning here is that social media followers (called vanity metrics) can be bought. Google doesn’t like anyone who tries to manipulate their Algorithm. If Social Media directly impacted SEO, anyone could purchase social media followers, manipulate the Algorithm, and show up higher in Google.


Are there any cases in which social media has an impact on your search engine visibility?


Yes, in these cases:

  • When you post on social media and show up in search on their own because they care about your brand name. 
  • Google sees something on Twitter or Pinterest and deems it important enough to include in search results.

That being said, it’s still important to do social media for your business.


Here’s an experiment that Hootsuite did in 2018 that proves social media has some influence on social media. They found that there can be a strong correlation between social activity and rankings. During their experiment, they saw a distinct positive relationship between the number of social media engagements and an improvement in rank.


With social media, the quality of posts is most important, not quantity. Of course, you need to post regularly, but everything you post must give value to your audience.


The bottom line here is that you shouldn’t make a primary focus on doing SEO or Social Media. Instead, you need to focus on creating and sharing quality content, both on your site and off your site.

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.

Is your business visible to your potential customers? If you haven’t invested in honing your local SEO, you’re missing out on quality leads on mobile and desktop. After all, you are a local business looking for local customers. Local SEO isn’t all smoke and mirrors, as many people think. That’s why we’re here to clear it all up. It’s the combination of several tools and strategies. Let’s look at four ways to boost your local SEO rankings and help more of your customers find you, exactly when they need you.

Use These Four Tips Immediately to boost your local SEO.

Optimize your Google My Business Page

There are dozens of ways that you can optimizing your Google My Business page, or GMB for short. Google My Business pages allow you to highlight special deals and sales for customers in your area, as well as call attention to local events.

You can start by adding a “Direct Connect” link on your website. In order for this to work, you’ll need to link to a listing of your business on Google Maps, Google My Business, or Google Business Search.

Close-up view of businessman using Google Pay paying for public

From there, you’ll want to do some cleaning and updating of the information available on your page. Use this space to gather more local leads and keep them engaged on the web. You can also use your Google My Business page to showcase your business online.

GMB pages provide essential information, like phone numbers, addresses, hours, and more. Additionally, these pages are home to one of the most essential and most-searched-for aspects of modern-day businesses: reviews.

Grow Your Business with Local SEO

Ask your Customers for Reviews on Google

Everyone wants to tell the world what they think about a product, service, or restaurant. Do your customers do the same thing for you?

According to a study by the Institute for Private Consumer Research, over 70 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

If you aren’t asking customers to rate you on Google, you’re missing out on one of the best online marketing methods. It doesn’t take much time at all but can lead to big rewards.

No matter the type of business you have, Google can help you solve your local SEO challenges with its comprehensive reviews. Your loyal customers provide these reviews.

Make Sure you Have a Website

A website is an essential tool in your local SEO arsenal. It’s far more important than the ads you put on Google. Your website can drive leads and keep customers from moving on to a competitor.

With a custom mobile app and live chat feature, you can provide your customers with instant access to your company’s resources. This goes a long way to improving your search rankings.

Your customers need to see you, and a website is the fastest way for them to do that.

But this is more than just a website. You need to have an active website. This is not a passive way to build your company, as we’ve seen with startups who aren’t actively trying to develop their websites. We’ve seen other companies’ websites flop after moving their focus away from their website’s construction and performance.

When paired with excellent web design and branding, things like local SEO keyword usage in webpage copy, meta tags, alt text, etc., will boost your local ranking to gain the visibility you’ve been looking for.

Asheville Local SEO Services

Create a Link Profile

Many businesses that employ search engine optimization already have solidified link profiles, but this doesn’t mean your efforts should stop there.

It’s a good idea to link to other local business pages on relevant social media platforms to create a community-based effect. Doing so will strengthen your brand and provide your customers with a constant stream of content from local businesses.

This helps build a solid and loyal customer base. It’s essential to remain true to your brand’s tone. If you’re a mom-and-pop shop or restaurant, for example, you shouldn’t link to a golf shop, gym, or spa. Remember, these brands are not the same as you.

Consider Local SEO

There’s no shortage of digital marketing strategies. Still, suppose you’re looking for tools to help your business grow and maintain its presence online and in town. In that case, a focus on local SEO needs to be considered.

At PushLeads, we can help you tailor those local SEO efforts to your business model and bring in customers with cash in hand.

We can help your business rank online and locally. Check out our free SEO audit tool and contact us today to get on track for local SEO 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.

Without a doubt, today’s market is more competitive than ever before. SEO marketing is more important than ever. Millions of people use Google and other search engines every day to search for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.

This guide describes what SEO is, why it matters, and how to implement the best practices to make your brand traceable.

Fierce Competition

Without a doubt, today’s market is more competitive than ever before. SEO marketing is more important than ever. Millions of people use Google and other search engines every day to search for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.

Clicking on the Top result

Did you know that 70% of search engine users will probably click on one of the top 5 suggestions on search result pages (SERPs)? This high percentage means that websites that have the top positions in Google will get the majority of the search engine traffic. [Sources: 4]

Consider for a moment that 33% of all clicks go to the first ranking page, while the first five listings receive 75% of clicks. If you want to have more chances to find your website in search engines, you need SEO practices that help you rank among the top five positions, especially number one. [Sources: 2]

Why SEO is Important

While channels such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, social media, and online forums can bring people to websites, most a website’s online traffic is driven by search engines.

Let’s look at just why SEO is so important.

SEO Builds Trust

A high ranking in organic search suggests to your customers that you are a leader in your niche, which does wonders for enhancing the brand’s credibility and reputation. SEO creates reputation and trust in a variety of ways, including the use of targeted keywords, the addition of links, and the creation of great shareable content. When people come to your website for more information, this builds credibility and trust. [Sources: 3]

SEO Increases Your Organic Traffic

SEO increases your organic search engine traffic, which in turn increases the number of visitors who see your pages every day. This directly correlates with an increase in sales because the more relevant the people who see your site, the more likely you are to sell to them. Simply put, if potential customers cannot find your website, sales opportunities are missed. SEO helps you to rank higher in search results, gain more visibility and get potential customers to click and convert to your website. [Sources: 7]

SEO Keeps Results Fair

SEO is important because it keeps search results fair. Without SEO, it is easy to manipulate search results so that the site with the most links and the most page-generating software comes first. SEO is Google’s method of determining which sites deserve to be ranked for searches entered in their search engines. SEO reduces the ability to manipulate search results as much as possible so that every page that appears in a search gets what it deserves. [Sources: 6]

SEO Helps Searchers Find What They're Looking For

Without SEO, it’s hard to say where we would find the websites and companies that have the information we’re looking for every day. Search engine results are easy to manipulate, and as users, we spend longer looking for valuable pages, especially those that can manipulate the results beyond the first page. That’s why SEO is so important: it ensures that typical people don’t have to search for more than a few seconds to find the information and products they want. SEO establishes a kind of natural order that is lacking without it. [Sources: 6]

SEO Provides the Highest ROI

SEO traffic at medium cost offers a significant ROI that is higher than most other channels. This Braveheart Digital article indicates that SEO provides a 15% conversation rate. According to data from Statista, 32% of marketers say that SEO provides the highest ROI. Organic search provides almost 49% of a website’s ROI, in some cases!

Of course, SEO requires an upfront investment in resources, but search engine rankings are earned in the long run. [Sources: 5] 

SEO Has More Traffic Options

In short, SEO has more traffic options than PPC on mobile devices and desktops. While paid advertising on social media and other online platforms can generate traffic to a website, the majority of online traffic is controlled by search engines. In the US, for example, search is how people click on paid ads. Organic search results cover more digital properties, appear more credible to savvy searchers, and receive far more clicks than paid ads. [Sources: 8]

Good SEO Creates a Better User Experience

Everyone wants their business website to show up at the top of Google. Most of us don’t realize how important that user experience is in the process along the way. Google has spent years studying users over and over, mastering the art of determining whether a user interface is favorable or unfavorable. They’ve discovered that a good user experience has is absolutely critical to a website’s success.

Customers know what they want. If they can’t find it, there’s going to be a problem, which means that they’ll leave your website and never come back. Websites that offer users what they’re looking for in fewer clicks have a better user experience, and therefore show up higher in Google.

Quality SEO incorporates a positive user experience, leveraging it to work in a brand’s favor.

SEO Targets Buyers Throughout the Buying Process

While many of us know about the consumer buying funnel, a lot of us aren’t aware that there’s a flow that goes along with it. The flow begins with recognition, which occurs as people visit your website and remember your name. They become knowledgeable of the business, and if they find it helpful and relatable, they are more likely to become customers and make a final purchase with you.

SEO approaches the right guests at any stage of the purchasing funnel, whether it’s understanding, testing, consideration, or consumer satisfaction, which eventually leads to increased revenue.
It is a significant advantage of SEO for small companies.

SEO Has a Huge Influence on Purchasing Decisions

As we just mentioned, SEO reaches buyers and consumers at every stage in the process, from understanding to consumer loyalty. SEO operates on the pull marketing principle, attracting consumers based on reputation, legitimacy, meaningful and beneficial experiences. Since it delivers immense value throughout the consumer journey, SEO has an immense influence on purchase decisions.

Working with the Right SEO Firm

The SEO industry is constantly evolving. As a business owner, it’s up to ou to stay on top of the latest trends in order to maintain your rankings in search results.

Truthfully, most business owners don’t have time to do this.

You need a trusted SEO partner that fully understands your business and works with you to implement SEO solutions designed to help you reach more people and earn more revenue online.


If you’re looking for a company to help you get to the top Google and other search engines, why not give PushLeads? With more than 100 satisfied clients and over 60 excellent testomonials, our search engine optimization skills have been proven to help businesses just like yours find success online.

Call us at 828-348-7686 to learn more.

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.

Making a Comeback

The pandemic affected many businesses and hurt the entire economy around the world. This led to closed shops, poor sales, and slashed budgets, and reduced costs in most organizations.

Fortunately, companies can leverage SEO best practices for intensive marketing and make a quick come-back. The world is now getting better, and companies can boost ROI after these post-covid times.

Companies are now creating quality content to market their brands on online and offline platforms. This is a smart move that will help brands set records straight amidst the covid challenges. Below are several ways to help you make a quick come-back.

Identity the Most-Researched Keywords

It would be best if you found out the keyword with the most queries and a high ranking. Try various sources, including Google Search Console, Google Trends Scout Suggest, among other platforms.

Note down all the queries relevant to your area of focus and determine your current performance. You can split them into Page 1 and Page 2 rankings and use several queries to rank below Page 2.

Update Existing Content

Check your first page rankings and do some minor changes on your content to rank your site higher and give you a larger audience.

The second-page ranking is usually challenging. In this case, you may need to include more sections to your current content as you target the queries with specific content. This can earn you a featured snippet. Improve the content further by adding FAQs to give your audience direct answers to their concerns.

Integrate the Existing Content

It is now time to check the queries ranked below Google’s Second Page. You might find similar content. Sometimes, this content may not be effective, but you can consolidate it into one strong page for better performance.

Create Short-Search Content for Long-Trail Queries

Integrate the low-form content you found during keyword research. The individual search volumes may not be high, but they become better with a combined search volume and minimal competition. Integrate the queries into new and short-form content.

Go for a FAQPage Schema Markup

At this point, you need to be creative and implement content with the Schema FAQPage. Doing this will help you extend the snippet with the FAQ box. It will help you achieve quick SEO results because Google can pick up the FAQPage Schema markup’s performance and bring you results quickly. This isn’t a hard task. However, if you do not want to write JSON-LD code, you can use relevant tools to generate it.

Schema Markup

Implement Tools Suitable for Your Target Audience

You can identify a Schema markup generator to do the lifting for you if you plan to add more information about covid on your website. This depends on your priorities.

Create Fresh Content Relevant to the Current Situation

If you create new SEo content relevant to your brand, it will drive high traffic to your site instantly. You can identify various online tools that offer special deals on the pandemic.

The Type of Content Preferred by Your Audience

With the above tips, you can get quality results. However, if you still have time, you can create more content relevant to your target audience’s needs during this post-COVID.

Even though this content will not bring high traffic to your site, there will still be consistent growth if you maintain the content well. This is a great investment that will bring in profits in the long run.

The Bottom Line

The tips above are among other numerous ways to utilize every free moment during this pandemic. You can start by implementing easy ways to achieve quick results. If you have extra time, do not hesitate to invest it in better content to drive your target audience to your traffic.

The Importance of Organic Traffic

In today’s super-connected digital world, everyone wants to show up at the top of Google. Being at the top of Google means that your website gets more “natural” or organic traffic. This increased organic traffic usually means an increase in sales, growing your bottom line.

Part of the way the internet works are “online bots.”

Let’s dig in!

 

What are Bots?

Simply put, online bots are just software that automatic tasks across the internet. Bots help with making websites visible on the web, help with creating online authority, and follow specific patterns to “make sense of the internet.”

In the bot world, there are Good SEO bots and Bad Bots.

The importance of bots and organic traffic

Good Bots

Most Good bots are search engine bots. These are bots that go to specific pages on websites. From there, they pass informational details about each URL that’s important to the search engine. Good bots help “index” or “crawl” the internet, rank websites, and help us find websites.

Bad SEO Bots can hurt your website

Bad Bots

Bad bots are programs and software that’s been designed by hackers or competitors to hurt your site. Bad bots usually steal your website’s unique content, drop viruses on your site, and do other activities to hurt your business.

The worse thing is that bad hurts usually hurt your rankings in Google, called SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Showing up lower in Google means less visibility which in turn hurts your business’s income.

How Bad Hurts Your Website Ranking

Here’s just a few ways that bad bots can hurt your website’s SEO rankings.

1. Skewed Analytics: Website analytics tools such as Google Analytics make sense of the web by looking at traffic patterns. Now that over 60% of the web traffic is generated by these bots, your Google Analytics can be way off because they don’t differentiate between bot and human traffic. This “muddy data” can impact your marketing, sales, IT, and management. This can lead to making bad decisions. Not good.

2. Web Scraping: Another form of bad bots are scraper bots. These bots are specifically programmed to steal content from your website and then put that content on other websites. Duplicating your content somewhere else can be bad because search engines will connect your website with a poorly ranking website. Some search engines will drop your SERP ranking because they see all of your content all over the web. This results in less visitors and lower revenue.

3. Automated Attacks: Another type of bad bots do repetitive attacks on your website. These bots are good are mimicing human behavior so that they can’t be detected. In the worse case scenarios, they can take over accounts, do creditial stuffing, lower inventory, buy products, create accounts, and more.

4. Price scraping: Price scaper bots steal real-time pricing data from a website. Competitors uses these types of bots to know the price points of your products in real-time. By using price scaper bots, competitors can stay a step ahead in the pricing game, which means that lower price products will show above yours. This results in less customer visits and overall conversions.

Form Spamming: Form spam bots are the worst! Form spamming is when a bot does repeated submission of forms on a website to spam the website with fake leads. If left unchecked, this will create thousands of low-quality backlinks. In the worst case scenario, search engines can determine that your site is a “spammy site” and completely remove it from showing up in search engines. Such as catestrophic move would destroy a business.

What Should You Do?

First, it’s super important that someone in your company or marketing team spend time looking at your Google Analytics. That person should be aware of where website traffic is coming from, at all times.

If you notice a sudden spike in Organic traffic, immediately investigate the source. If you determine that it’s a bot, contact your web hosting provider and have them put a block on your website.

This should solve the problem.

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 Importance of Schema Markup

Schema markup is another way to signal what your content is about to Google. It may be helpful to think of Schema as structured data. Today, we know that more than ever, Google wants to appeal to keep its users happy. Because of this, they are providing smarter results that meet a searcher’s intent. Schema markup tells Google that a page includes a recipe. Seeing that, they can use the recipe in the carousel of recipes at the top of the search results page. These are known as “rich results”. There are 32 different kinds of rich results. If you want your content to show up in this way, you’ll need to use Schema markup to indicate what kind of content you have. This will help you stand out on the search results page and get your audience engaged and clicking.

The Different Ways You Can Stand Out With Google Rich Results

As mentioned above, Google is using Schema markup for 32 different rich results. This may grow in the coming years. Some of the ways they’re using this is for recipes, image results, home activities, books, and shipping information.

How to Use Schema Markup to Boost Your SEO

The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Changing How We Use Google

Google knows that users’ needs are changing as we become more reliant on the internet. The COVID pandemic has given users some specific needs. For example, users need to track packages more often. They also need information on COVID statistics and updates. In response, rich results are now giving the latest information on COVID. This is sometimes related to statistics for a specific area or information on what may or may not be open. So many consumers are now shopping online. Because of this, one of the rich results Google introduced was Product Shipping. Users can search their tracking numbers directly in Google. They can then see the information on the search results page instead of having to load the shipper’s site. There are also new additions like Home Activities. This feature gives people in lockdown activities like exercise focused specifically on how they can do them at home. When businesses have their information shown in the rich results, this starts to build trust with the consumer. They already trust Google, and Google is showing your information. One of the key ways businesses are working to show up in the rich results is through helpful Frequently Asked Questions pages. These pages have authoritative answers. Businesses are also using How-To pages that give clear guidance.
The Importance of Using Schema

Optimize Your Pages With Schema Markup To Communicate With Google

Don’t create generic content with structured data. Instead, use this as an opportunity to create unique content that reflects your brand. Think about the quality of content you want your audience to find. Create that while using the Schema markup to structure the data in a way that Google understands how to use these results for users.

Remember to always create content that is useful for the user. This builds trust with both the visitor and with Google.

Use the requirements from Google and Schema.org to structure your data and create great content.

Use Schema Markup To Create Content That Fits

The structured data from Schema Markup gives you an architecture to work with. As part of your strategy for SEO, first, decide what kind of rich results you want to show up for. If you want your content to show up as a Product, then you need to look at what’s required by Google for a rich result. Once you know that you need things like pricing information, and how to structure that, you can add that content to your page. If you find that you don’t have essential information for a particular type of rich result, pivot to one of the other rich result options. Always create content that fits the required structure. The more opportunities you create on your website to show up in the rich results, the more likely that is to happen for your website, and the better boost you’ll see in the search results.

Always Know Your Analytics

Make sure to add Schema markup from your website into your analytics. This way, you’ll be able to see more information on your semantics analytics. As you move forward making SEO decisions for your business, you want all the analytics you can get to tell you what is and isn’t working with your digital marketing.

Use Schema To Tell Google About Your Brand Changes

Use Schema To Tell Google About Your Brand Changes

Have you recently changed your branding? You can use Schema markup to help communicate these changes. There is markup coding like “sameAs” or “parentOrganization” that can help communicate these changes directly to Google.

Always Know Your Analytics

It may seem like Schema markup is just coding. That it has nothing to do with your branding. However, every piece of code that defines your website and helps you better communicate with your customers helps define your brand. In this case, Schema markup shows off that your brand is useful, trustworthy, and showing up as an authoritative source in the search results. It is a way to help your business stand out and gain the search traffic your business is after.

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.

What SEO Is Not...

If you have an online business and are looking to make your business a success online, you need to know how SEO works. First, you must know what it is not. It is not about spamming search engines with useless links hoping that you will rank high enough to make a fortune off of. It does not mean link Wheeling and link swapping in the hopes that other websites will link back to yours to give your site more traffic. SEO is about getting your site the attention it deserves from search engine users through natural methods.

Defining SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization, and this is a digital marketing technique that concentrates on your site’s presence in search result pages on major search engines such as Google. SEO can be performed in several ways, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. When you learn how SEO works, though, you can employ different techniques to either improve your ranking (or how high you rank in search result pages) or to improve your visibility to search engine users.

These are not set in stone, by any means. What works for one person may not work for another. What works for your friend’s website may not work for yours. What works for your sister’s business website may not work for yours. Understanding how SEO works is only part of the equation when you want to optimize your site for search engine results.

What SEO is Not - PushLeads

On the internet, people type keywords into search boxes in order to find what they’re looking for. Keywords, of course, are not words that appear in the actual text of a web page but are instead part of the hyperlink that links to the page. For example, if someone were searching for information about the Civil War, they might search for “civil war strategy” or “civil war memory.” These search phrases would be the keywords or keyword phrases that appear in search engine results and are part of the links that link to those results. In this sense, the search engine results are not truly relevant to the searcher, as it has been said, because “the search engine results are only as relevant as the user’s search term,” which is, of course, Google’s definition of relevancy.

Using the SEO Periodic Table

As you can image, SEO is not a one-time process that yields instant results. Instead, search engine optimization must be performed over a period of time in order to maintain its relevance and reliability. Therefore, it is imperative that website owners understand how SEO functions and how they can benefit from it. One way that website owners can do this is through the use of seo periodic table.

Since it’s first debute in 2011, Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO Factors had gradually become an internally tool that SEO professionals used to create a winning SEO strategy. In the Table, each element in the table represents a factor that you need to consider to be successful in SEO. It provides provides a foundational understanding of how exactly to do SEO in 2021 and beyond.

How the SEO Periodic Table Works

In the SEO Periodic Table, the Blue columns are “On-the-page” SEO factors. These elements are everything that you have control of on your website; how it’s built and what content you fill it with. In contrast, the Green are the “Off-the-page” SEO factors that you don’t have immediate control of. The red factors are negative factors that hurt you. On-the-page SEO factors are grouped in three columns: Content, Architecture, & HTML. Off-the-page factors are grouped in four: Trust, Links, Personal, & Social.

Connecting with Us

While SEO is indeed an art, it is also a science.
Please contact us if you need help understanding SEO, want to see how the process works, or need SEO services.
We can be reached directly at 828-348-7686.
You can alternatively do a SEO Audit (below) to find out the SEO Score of your website. It only takes 15 seconds.

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.

Expectation

Most people want to “get results” from their digital marketing budget, but they often seem unsure what those results should look like. A professional search-optimization firm might consider a client’s increased traffic, lead generation, and sales as positive outcomes. Unfortunately, some business owners become enamored with a certain keyword or phrase. In such cases, those people might never feel satisfied until they reach the top of search results for that term.

Learn Why SEO Takes So Long

Evolution

In the past, website owners could choose a handful of keywords, sprinkle them on their pages, and enjoy noticeable increases in online traffic. Such simple tactics often worked back then because many competitors had not yet embraced the web. Additionally, search engines had not yet evolved to their current intelligent state. As competition intensifies and search-engine algorithms become more complicated, successful campaigns require more time to produce results.

Variation

Many variables affect the amount of time needed to enjoy the rewards of search engine visibility. To begin with, different agencies take different approaches to optimization. Other factors can also affect the speed at which an SEO strategy delivers results:

  • Targeted keywords and topics.
  • Website content quality and relevance.
  • Permalinks and metadata.
  • Domain age.
  • Freshness.
  • Social media signals.
  • Bounce rate and other website metrics.
  • Competing websites.
  • Your responsiveness to your agency’s recommendations.

Sometimes, you might need to allow for a year or longer before your investment pays off.

Competition

As you work with your agency, you can bet that your competitors are working with theirs. Consequently, you must spend some effort just to maintain parity. To get ahead, you must publish content that surpasses your competitors in terms of quality, quantity, and frequency.

Cooperation

When your search engine optimization professional tells you what to do, how quickly do you respond? Regardless of whether you need to add meta descriptions or renovate your site’s navigation tools, you must quickly implement required changes. If you procrastinate, you’ll add to the time required to become successful.

In summary, you should work with your SEO team to create realistic expectations. With your full cooperation, professional guidance, an adequate budget, time, and hard work, search engine optimization will help your business grow.

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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