Setting the ball rolling in a start-up may not be an easy feat. Regardless of the nature of company in question, there would be plenty of work to do. Be it, financing, staffing, resource planning, testing or paperwork; they would all need an equal amount of attention. And there is also a SEO strategy to devise and implement. Your SEO expert will provide a basic SEO checklist that can help. Here is an SEO checklist for your website.
Begin by installing Google Analytics
Google analytics is the best analytics tool that is available in the market and it is free. When measuring the success of your SEO strategy, the most common metric that comes up is the keyword ranking. However, if you choose to focus on the SERP positioning of the website alone, you will be missing out on the bigger picture. This is why a comprehensive analytics tool is important in order to have a clear understanding of how the organic traffic is being converted. Even the most basic SEO training course will help you learn how to use this analytics tool.
Use the Google Search Console
The Search Console is a free tool that is provided to those who manage websites, by Google. It was previously called Webmaster tools and is used for getting data about the status of the website and its organic performance in the search engine. You can use this very handy tool to check if your website has duplicate content and can also keep a tab on the search engine rankings. It also helps you check how many people visiting your website and the click-through rate of your web pages.
Watch out for errors and broken links
Search engines reach out to your websites through these links. Therefore, if there are crawl errors or broken links, the search engines may not be able to find your website content and hence may not be able to perform the indexing and push traffic into it.
These complete the basic SEO checklist for your website. We will be looking at more such important points in the second part of the checklist.
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Have you ever felt that no matter how much effort you take, your SEO strategy never becomes as successful as you want it to? As your SEO services specialist will explain, you need to perform a detailed competitor analysis. You need to know what your competitors are doing right that you are not. We look at 3 more steps for performing an in-depth competitor analysis.
1. Take time out to study the competitor website
Most of the time, we are obsessed with keywords or Meta tags or back-links. However, one of the simplest things to do is simply study the websites of your competitors. You should check how the site has been designed, the quality of content that have used, whether they have static URLs or dynamic ones and so on. A simple study can give you complete view of the how their web presence is and where you need to improve.
2. Check on the seemingly unimportant SEO factors
Keywords and back-links done, now it is time to look at some other seemingly unimportant SEO factors which are actually very useful. Check the SEO ranking of your competitors on Google. Check how they are performing on other popular search engines like Bing and Yahoo. Find out how many indexed pages your competitor sites have with the more popular search engines.
3. Check the social media presence of your competitors
Your SEO consultant is likely to advise you to check on the nature of social media presence enjoyed by your competitors. Social media is responsible for driving traffic. However, this study may not be a simple one. You can start with social bookmarking. Look through some of the better known bookmarking sites. Check for competitor posts and how popular they are. Browse through Facebook and Twitter to check if your competitors have profiles that are publicly available.
Performing a competitor analysis for SEO is not an easy job. You need a specific set of tools and templates provided by your SEO services assistant in order to complete your analysis.
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One of the key steps to undertake right at the beginning of formulating an SEO strategy is a comprehensive competitor analysis. As your SEO expert will tell you, mapping your competitors helps in a fair understanding of where your own position in the market is and what you should do to climb up the ladder. Here are 3 steps to begin with.
Step 1: Identify your competitors
Begin by identifying at least four competitors you wish to map. This could seem confusing since the rankings would be based on online searches and local business competitors. What you need to do is combine both and arrive a concise list containing not more than four entities. There are some specific tools available for help. Opt for a SEO training course that guides you on the same.
Step 2: Perform a keyword research
Once your competitors have been identified, perform a keyword research. You need to know which keywords are being used by your competitors and how successful they are proving to be. Here again, there are some special tools to be used for carrying out a keyword research. You can ask your SEO expert to assist you.
Step 3: Perform an analysis of back-link gaps
Analyzing back-link gaps will tell us which of the websites are establishing links with our competitors but not building links with us. This analysis is critical because this helps us to close the gaps with their back-link profiles and boosts our search engine rankings by fetching the links that are attached to the competitors. Here again, there are tools available for your help and assistance. Your SEO guide can share the same with you.
A competitor analysis incorporates a few more steps. We will look at them in the following article for a more comprehensive guidance.
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Headlines are the real focus point of any content. A hungry headline can attract the attention of the readers and help you tell your story to more people than you could possible imagine. Search engines have their own ways to check whether the promise you made in your headline has been kept in the actual content. As your SEO services specialist will tell you, getting the heading right improves your search rankings substantially. We look at 4 rules that help in creating the best headings.
1. Write descriptive and not illusive headlines
Very short illusive headlines may work for the print media but they aren’t befitting for the online space at all. In order to grab more eyeballs, the heading needs to be concise yet descriptive. In short, it should tell you what the following article is all about. Refrain from being sketchy.
2. Use more of proper names for matching search engine queries
A majority of searches are performed with proper names. It could be the name of a country, city, town or area. Street names are also used in searches. Therefore, including proper names alongside other words can help in matching more queries. Choose the names judiciously.
3. Use keywords wisely
Keywords are words and expressions that describe the content. However, it is important to understand that you are not creating your headlines for search engines alone. SEO consultants always advise against stuffing headlines with keywords. In fact, search engines tend to discard content with meaningless usage of keywords.
Refrain from going over the top and promising the moon to your users. Never use headlines that refer to utopian concepts or sound too good to be true. Steer clear of hyperboles and click-baits. Keep it real and grounded, as much as possible.
Always engage an experienced SEO services specialist who keeps track of changing search engine algorithms. Only then can his advice be of help.
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Around 76 percent of all local internet searches result in a phone call and may even lead to a store visit, according to a recent study. Getting your local SEO rankings right is extremely important for improving the prospects of your business. As your SEO services will guide you, here are some more local SEO mistakes that you should avoid.
1. Duplication of “My Business” profile pages
SEO consultants reiterate that search engines like Google hate duplicate content. And the reason is obvious! Duplicate content give users a bad surfing experience when they find the same content over and over again. The search engine’s resources are wasted too by analyzing and storing duplicate content. This is why each location should only have one profile page. There are tools available for checking on duplicate listings. You need to track them down and ask Google to remove them so that they cannot drag down your ratings.
2. Keyword stuffing in the footer
It was believed for a long time that stuffing names of cities and zip codes as keywords in the article’s footer can help improve local search rankings. However, it is important to remember that search engines like Google have changed their algorithms and such manipulative behavior is being penalized now. Google has clearly stated that irrelevant keywords create a seemingly negative user experience. To avoid keyword stuffing in the footer or it can affect the rankings of your website.
3. Ignoring common ranking factors
Your SEO services provider will educate you about factors that commonly impact your overall SEO rankings. Domain authority, for instance, is a common factor to consider. The more robust the domain authority, the better the SEO ranking would be. Backlinks are also one of the important determinants of SEO rankings. The nature and diversity of your backlinks determine your SEO ranking, local or otherwise.
Avoiding the above mistakes and following any advice given by your SEO services provider will certainly help you improve your local SEO.
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Believe it or not, 46 percent of the total number of Google searches is local! The importance of local SEO can hardly be undermined therefore. As your SEO expert will tell you, here are some of the gravest SEO mistakes to avoid.
1. Inaccurate, inconsistent NAP information
NAP is the acronym representing Name, Address and Phone Number. It is one of the basic metrics that search engines use for ranking local businesses in their results. Simply providing the information prominently on your webpage is not enough. The information needs to be consistent. Prominent sources state that all prominent search engines have a practice of checking contact information across sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages and other directories. Therefore, it is important to check the details before putting it up on the website. Make sure it is clearly visible as well.
2. More than one URL to the same page
Check whether one or more URLs are leading to a single page on your website. Your SEO expert will always advise you against such a practice. This leads to failing in canonical checks. Also, when you have multiple URLs or inbound links to a page, it splits equity among the links and this hurts the links, affecting your SEO performance overall. In case, such links have been mistakenly created, you should consider removing them completely.
3. Not giving due importance to local reviews
Reviews have a huge impact on your local SEO ratings. The more high quality and diverse reviews you get, the better your local SEO ratings are likely to be. As any SEO training course will tell you, the quantity of reviews you get is also important. It is always a good idea to invite your potential customers to post reviews. You can provide them incentives for posting reviews.
Local SEO ratings can make or break your business. Due importance should be given to it.
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In the previous post, we looked at 3 basic introductory steps for developing a winning SEO strategy. As you try to perfect your SEO with the help of an SEO expert, here are some more steps that will keep you on track.
1. Perform a competitor analysis
As you’ve started visiting the competitor websites to spot their preferred keywords, use this opportunity for a comprehensive competitor analysis. Apart from the keywords, study the URLs, the titles, descriptions, widgets and plug-ins, mobile-friendliness of the portal, speed of loading and so on. It is also important to read through the pages for a fair understanding of the content structure.
2. Create content judiciously
High-quality content always helps boost your online presence and reputation. In fact, every SEO training course will have a module that provides guidelines for content creation. You need to keep it crisp and informative. Refrain from stuffing your Meta tags or descriptions with keywords, which is a common mistake people do in an attempt to achieve higher rankings. Try and implement ideas picked up from your competitor analysis. Your SEO expert can also provide the required assistance.
3. Measure and track your SEO progress
Once you have implemented some of the strategies regarding content creation, keyword research, page optimization and so on, it is time to measure and track your progress. There are several metrics and web analytic tools available for tracking the progress of your SEO campaign. It is important to engage a few of these and check on the progress so that changes can be made before it’s too late!
In addition, staying updated with SEO news and trends is also important. Read up on current developments and how search engines are changing their algorithms, so that you can make necessary changes in your strategy, well in time.
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An effective SEO strategy can go a long way in assuring business success for your company. The question is, how do you go about formulating an effective strategy that suits your business? Surely, your SEO services specialist would help, but knowing a few basics of SEO would help you understand whether your SEO consultant is giving you the right advice. Here are some steps to take for developing a winning strategy.
1. Define your target audience
Before jumping on the SEO bandwagon, it is prudent to specify your target audience. Your target audience would be the people who you wish to influence by your marketing strategies. A proper analysis is required with respect to their age, gender, location and so on. As any SEO consultant would reiterate, defining your prospective clients and understanding what they want will go a long way in formulating a robust SEO strategy.
2. Spot the right keywords
It is important to do some keyword research when developing your SEO strategy. You need to know which words your prospective customers are likely to use when searching for the type of products you sell. Finding this out is simple. Pretend to be a customer yourself. Which search words would you use? Use these as search words. You will be directed to the websites of your competitors. Study the keywords used by them and arrive at a list of options. Your SEO expert will guide you towards the right choices.
3. Make a list of web pages you want to optimize first
All said and done, SEO implementation can be an expensive affair. In order to optimize costs, it is important to prioritize the pages you wish to optimize. Choose the ones that provide the more relevant bits of information about your products and services. Improving the ranks of some of your key pages can easily do the trick for you.
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Gone are the days when only high quality content would do the trick for marketers in the online space. As any experienced SEO expert will tell you, alongside creating great content it is also about getting the content distribution right for being able to grab eyeballs. Here are four practical tips and measures to undertake for building a robust content distribution strategy.
1. Using the right distribution goals
One of the most fundamental things taught in any SEO training course is how to determine the distribution goals for an SEO campaign. To that end, you first need to identify your audience. What do you care about? Are you looking for brand awareness, social shares or conversions? Different distribution channels are suitable for different goals. So you should do enough research before deciding on your distribution goals.
2. Reaching out to influencers
If done right, this could be one of the best ideas for making your content visible to a large audience. You need to identify key influencers in your industry, show them the content you have created and ask them to share it through their social media pages. This works well because when your content is shared through them, their followers are more likely to take note.
3. Co-occurrence as a tool
It is important to understand that Google’s algorithms also work when there is no hyperlinking. Co-occurrence, a term used for placement, frequency and proximity of keywords which are related to the topic but not identically similar to it, can be built for making the content more visible across search engines.
4. Utilize Emails
Emails are still the most reliable means of content distribution. It is highly unlikely that your visitors will make time to read your blog post every day. However, if you send them an email with a link and a short excerpt of your content, the chances of them clicking on the link and visiting your blog, would be more. Similarly, sending weekly newsletters may also help.
Finally, it is always a good idea to seek professional help for content distribution from an experienced SEO expert.
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In a previous article, we touched upon the importance of having a strong link profile and the three proven ways you can easily earn links. But, that’s not all. There are several other link-building strategies that work for SMBs. Knowing about those techniques would help boost your knowledge of SEO best practices for link building. This also helps you understand whether or not your SEO consultant is building links the right way. So here are three more link building tips for SMBs.
1. Create a local resource page
One effective local link building strategy would be to create a local guide or resource page. For instance, if you running a medicine store, list down all popular pharmaceutical companies in your locality and provide ample information about them, including their contact details, reputation, etc. That way, you can have other businesses in your niche link to your local guide page. You can also create a local maps page or a local events calendar.
2. Provide reviews and testimonials
Find out trusted review sites for the type of products or services you sell. Now post reviews of your business or products in those sites. This is a great way to drive more relevant links to your website from acclaimed review sites. You can also submit testimonials to other websites. At the end of each testimonial, provide a link back to your website. If you are not sure how to use testimonials for link building, consider seeking professional help from a company that specializes in SEO service.
3. Find out business mentions
Some websites or web directories may already have a mention of your business, but you don’t know about it. Search for any business mentions using tools, such as, Google Alerts and BrandMentions. Once you found business mentions, contact the website owner and request them to provide a link back to your website.
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