5 Questions To Ask Before Hiring an SEO Company

How to hire a SEO company

How to hire a SEO company

Everybody wants their business to grow, generate more traffic, more leads and more sales. By now you probably know that SEO is a great strategy for that but it ain’t easy. You have to stay updated with Google algorithm updates and follow SEO best practices to stay ahead of your competition. This means either you have to build an in-house team or a freelancer or have to hire an SEO company…right?

But it is very important to choose carefully, and that’s what I will show you today.

If you’re thinking about hiring an SEO company, here are top 5 questions that will help you make the right decision.

1) Do You Provide Guaranteed 1st Page Results?

This is a tricky question basically just playing dumb. If a vendor is just trying to make a sale, they’ll typically be happy to say that they guarantee first page rankings in Google. According to Google:

Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.

google 1st page rankings

No one can guarantee Google #1 page rankings because Google’s exact algorithm is still a mystery and it changes almost 500 times per year. And penalty can hit your site from nowhere.

2) Can You Build Backlinks To My Site Fast?

This will catch them in a trap. If someone explains different ways of building artificial links fast – run, just run to the other side. It’s not easy to build links fast nor they come cheap.

Nowadays you can pretty much automate low-quality backlinks and are often used for spam link building. You can buy such links on Fiverr just for $5.

spammy link building

A single good link will cost from $50 to thousands of dollars depending upon how and where you are getting that link from.

Play dumb, and listen to their logic to make sure it’s good. Only then you can figure out who are the honest vendors.

3) Can You Share Some of Your Past Client Lists?

A reputable SEO firm should be open to sharing some of their former client list and how they helped them. But you shouldn’t expect that they will give you their whole address book. Even 2-3 references or some big names will be enough to figure out how they perform – don’t forget to ask them to show you the results.

4) Do You Follow Webmaster Guidelines?

Google, Bing and Yahoo all three major search engines have some specific guidelines for webmasters. If you violate these rules Google and other search engines might penalize you which will have an effect on your search rankings or in worst case scenario Google can ban you site from search results completely.

5) Will You Share The Reports and How Often?

To measure the success of a SEO campaign you must track how much traffic you are getting and is it improving monthly? Most SEO consultants and agencies use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track improvements, but if you are not familiar with them then they should be able to provide a weekly or monthly report. The report should contact summary of their activities, improvement in search rankings and traffic and most importantly conversions.

Based on these question you can surely come to a decision.

This infographic from linkbird can help you to get an idea about the whole scenario.

The state of seo agencies 2014 infographic

Conclusion

Remember that SEO is a long-term investment. It will take months before you see any results.

I hope these 5 questions in this article will to help you will help you to figure out the best SEO company for your business.

3 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses in 2015

3 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses in 2015

3 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses in 2015

Google changes it’s algorithm almost 500 times per year. As Google owns over 65% of search engine market share, whenever it updates it’s algorithm, you should pay close attention. Recently on August 6th, Google replaces it’s normal 7 packs with 3 packs in local search results. it also removed exact address, phone number and Google+ page links. It makes it quite hard for SEO experts as the competition becomes very tough.

One of the most effective small business marketing strategy is to rank higher in Google local packs. Whether you have an in-house SEO team or you are working with a local SEO company, having a proper step by step local SEO strategy is key to rank higher in local SERPs.

Now to help you achieve that, in this article I’ll share top 3 local SEO techniques you should follow in 2015.

1. Google My Business Page Optimization

Google My Business or formerly known as Google Places is one of the main area where you can start your SEO audits. It provides tons of information to help you get started. But make sure you follow Google’s business guidelines, as they change it often. Here are a few things you need to focus on:

  • Make sure you Google My Business Page is verified and there are no duplicate entries. You can use this tool to find duplicate listings.
  • Use you correct business name, don’t stuff it with keywords.
  • Use proper address, website URL, Hours of Operation and phone number.
  • Make sure you choose the correct categories for you business. Don’t be spammy here.

2. On-Page SEO

On-page optimization is one of the key factor in Local SEO. There are few areas you have to be careful to rank higher in Google local search.

3. Building Citations with Authority

Citation building is the most talked about subject amongst Local SEOs. It’s always good to start building your citations after you create you Google+ Business Page. Even though citation building takes time, you must go for manual process because then you will have full control over your citations. Make sure you NAP value remains the same for all citations. List them out in an excel sheet or Google docs and if some details changes such as your phone number or you have a new business location you can always change them.

Brightlocal is a great Local SEO tool with built in citation analysis where you can compare and steal citations from your competitors. You can also consider using WhiteSpark & Moz Local.

Last but not the least take a look at this handy infographic by Open Door Media on Local SEO do’s and don’ts.

local SEO infographic

Conclusion

If you follow these Google local SEO tips, it will help you to rank highly in the local search results. However Google’s local algorithm is always changing and what’s working today, might not work tomorrow. So, keep yourself updated with recent Google algorithm changes and keep changing your local SEO strategy accordingly.

What other local SEO techniquess do you follow? Share your valuable inputs in the comments section below.

3 Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2015

3 Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2015

3 Common SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2015

Nowadays to design a website not necessarily you have to hire a web designing company, different tools like WixWeebly  and Spaces can get the job done. You can even hire a web designer to make your website. But the problem is most of these tools are not up to the mark with SEO best practices nor all web designers are aware of those.

If your website is performing poorly on search engines,  you need to double check couple of factors to figure out you are not making any SEO mistakes on your site. You also have to be careful that you don’t fall for any SEO myths. So either you can learn SEO and fix these by your own or have the right SEO services provider working for you.

In this post I’ll share 3 common SEO mistakes you should not make in 2015. Let’s dive in:

1. Cannonical URL

Do you know you site can generate duplicate content even if you are not creating them. Confusing? Let me explain.

Let’s say you website is example.com now your home page can be accessed through different URLs, such as:

  1. http://example.com
  2. http://www.example.com
  3. http://example.com/index.html
  4. http://www.example.com/index.html

Same goes on with other pages too. As these are different URLs, Google considers them as different pages which may lead to poor rankings. But you can fix this in 2 different ways.

  • 301 redirect to one single URL.
  • Use the canonical tag to another version of URL. Figure out about Canonical URLs here.

2. Duplicate Meta Tags

Often times some web designers completely ignore this part. It’s bad to have a page title “Untitled” or “Home” or even the same title tag or meta description in multiple pages. Now to fix this issue:

duplicate content

  • Login into Google Search Console
  • Under Search Console > Go to Search Appearance.
  • Click HTML Improvements and check your website’s duplicate title tags and meta description.

You will be able to see the number of duplicate title tags and meta descriptions there.

3. Broken Links

If you ever have to change an existing URL to new one then, the old URL will end up returning “404 page not found”. Now your old URL might have some links pointing to it – both internal and external and if you have a large site it’s a tedious job to fix all those errors. And as Google has already indexed your old URL it will show it in SERPs – which will take you visitors to nowhere and they will end up abandoning your site. The best way to fix this is to 301 permanent redirect the old URL to new one.

It’s easy to find out the broken links on your website. Just follow these steps:

crawl errors

  • Log into Google Search Console
  • Go to the Search Console of your website
  • Click Crawl > Crawl Errors
  • You will find URL errors there

Now this handy infographic from Fertile Frog explains you visually the key mistakes webmasters make in search engine optimization and how to avoid them in future.

seo mistakes infographic

Conclusion

Make sure you frequently do perform an SEO audit on your website to figure out such SEO mistakes and fix them quickly.

3 Link Building Tactics You Should Follow To Get More Traffic

3 Link Building Tactics You Should Follow To Get More Traffic

3 Link Building Tactics You Should Follow To Get More Traffic

Link building perhaps one of the oldest SEO techniques and it’s still alive and kicking. And white-hat link building is most popular among SEO experts and most effective.

You have to be very careful while building links for your website or blog – links from spammy websites or using automated software may lead to a Penguin Penalty.

Before we start here are some link building strategies from Matt Cutts. This video is pretty old though very useful.

SEO can be very tricky and search engine algorithms are continuously changing so, no even though you are an experienced SEO – there is always more to learn.

In this article I’ll show you top 3 tips on link building for 2015 and beyond. These can be used by SEO companies, bloggers and SMBs.

1. Reverse Guest Blogging

We have all heard of guest blogging…right? Surely it is a way to build some authority links to your site. Even though Google have put an end to spammy guest blogging but, editorial links from authoritative sites through guest blogging still matters.

But here I’m going to talk about reverse guest blogging. So what it is and how it’s done? In simple words it asking authority bloggers to do a guest post for your blog. Authority bloggers have already have a large fans and following, so they can bring a ton of visitors, social shares and links along with them. And you can be assured that it will be a high quality article.

But it won’t happen just like that, first you have to build a relationship with the blogger you want to invite. Read their blogs, comment on them, interact with them in social media and help them anything – such as if they are looking for your feedback on their new product or design. Here is a great guide from Ana Hoffman on influencer marketing.

Before inviting to post on your blog – make sure your blog has a decent amount of traffic. I mean no one wants to post on a blog which has very little or no traffic…right?

2. Guestographics

This is actually a term coined by Brian Dean from Backlinko. In this method you don’t have to beg other people to share your infographic. Instead what you will do is to entice them publish it on their site with a little bribe.

For this method you have to:

  • Create an unique and informative infographic on a fresh and relevant topic.
  • Find our some blogs which are related to your infographic.
  • Reach out to them and show your infographic.
  • Now ask them if your could write a mini-guest post (“the bribe”) if they are interested in publishing your infographic.
  • Place you contextual backlink in your mini-guest post. (Google values contextual baclinks than author box links)

Here is the email template Brian used:

Guestographics email response

Also don’t forget to submit your infographic to infographic submission sites. Here is a list of 100+ sites for you.

3. Q&A Sites

Yes! Q&A sites can be your weapon for link building, no I didn’t mean links from those sites.

Let’s take an example for Quora. Search for you topic or niche and pay close attention to what people are asking. You can also filter only questions and time frame from left sidebar.

link building q&a sites

Try to find some interesting questions on which you can write a detailed blog post, make sure the question is fresh and unique and no one has written something on it.

Once you completed and published your blog post, write an answer to that question focusing on prime points from your blog post, and leave a link to you article for in-depth answer. This will not only can get you backlinks but also steady traffic to your post.

Even though Quora & Yahoo Answers are most popular but here is a list of Q&A sites you might want to look into.

You can also take this a step further and search for people who are asking the same question on social media and reply to them with your article link.

Conclusion

To be honest, SEOs are skeptical about building links. In some cases they’re scared of the next Google Algorithm update. But if you follow these techniques, I don’t think you should be.

Now it’s your turn to try this powerful link building tips into action and if you liked this post, please share it and spread the word!

What other link building techniques do you follow? Share your valuable inputs in the comments section below.

Top 3 SEO Myths That Need To Go Away in 2015

Top 3 SEO Myths That Need To Go Away in 2015

Top 3 SEO Myths That Need To Go Away in 2015

SEO has been here for long now. Since inception Google has evolved from hidden text to doorway pages to  keyword stuffing and so on. From past couple of years, a number of misconceptions have came to light about how search engines ranks a website. These have given birth to some SEO myths which tend to keep hardworking bloggers and content marketers from improving their search engine traffic and ranking.

Here are some SEO misconceptions from Matt Cutts mentioned in this video below.

Also you can find some SEO experts who claims that they are affiliated with Google, which is not true because Google never discloses about their SEO partners and affiliates. Also you will find some SEO companies who guaranties page one results which is a SCAM because, no one can guarantee that.

Now let’s take a look at top 3 SEO myths that should go away in 2015.

1. Google Answer Box Killed SEO

You might find it scary that when you search for a question and Google hits you with an answer box instead of a link, like the example below.

Google answer box

You might get worried when answer boxes takes over the entire vertical if you search for weather, calculator, translator, currency conversions or even songs, like this one below.

Google answer box for songs

With just this simple box Google can just push down the top results to make enough room for it.

In reality, search growth and traffic continues to grow for most industries. According to Stone Temple Consulting survey Google provides rich answer results to 19% of queries.

Answer boxes appear when a large number of users click through to the same website again and again. It is true that people want quick answers but they usually go to more and more sites to get detailed information about their query.

2. Link Building is Dead

This debate is going on for long, but recently when Google’s John Mueller said on Google Webmaster Central hangout that link building is something he’d try to avoid. This again brought the conversation into limelight.

Check out the video below, watch closely at 50 minutes 40 second mark.

Now some misinterpreted it as link building is bad and you will get penalized if you continue building links.

But that’s not the case, Google still values anchor text from high authority domains and also anchor text signals.

Weighting the Clusters of Ranking Factors in Google's Algorithm by Rand Fishkin

Actually John was referring to manipulative link building,while white hat link building is still alive and kicking. To be honest you should avoid shady link building tactics completely because Google can fine you and penalize you 🙂

3. Visitor Engagement is Not SEO

Visitor engagement might not directly effect your rankings like on-page SEO does but cumulative effect of  time on site, pages per visit, CTR in SERPs effects your rankings.

user engagement

Let’s take an example of meta description, if your meta description is click worthy and can entice more visitor to click on your website, you will have a higher CTR – which will boost your rankings.

Similarly if your have a higher bounce rate Google considers your website is not up to the mark with the user search query and will effect your rankings. So you need to find out ways to improve your bounce rate.

Even though Google has a mobile ranking factor in place, think about just the user for a second. If your website is not mobile friendly will the users love to zoom and browse through your content? No absolutely not..these represents a bad user engagement, and that is a red signal for Google. Get a responsive WordPress theme or contact a responsive web design company to make your existing site mobile friendly.

Conclusion

Read other blogs and learn from renowned experts and SEO companies which will help you to know more and discover your own passion. The web is a learning medium after all.

But you have to chose what you adopt and what not. Some tips don’t come out of deep understanding about SEO and how search engines work.

I hope these 3 SEO myths will help you get higher rankings, and find even better ways to cater for your target audience.

Do you know of any other SEO myths? Share your valuable inputs i the comments section below.

On-Page SEO: 5 Tips To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

On-Page SEO: 5 Tips To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

On-Page SEO: 5 Tips To Improve Your Search Engine Rankings

In today’s highly competitive age, everyone wants to rank higher in search engines than their competitors. They want to get more traffic to their blog so that the can earn more money through affiliate marketing or sell their product or services etc.

It is absolutely true that quality content can drive more visitors or engagement, but that’s not the whole truth it needs some supporting hands for better search engine rankings. In a broad view it can be called as “On-Page SEO” and “Off-Page SEO”. But when you dive down to nitty-gritty things it looks like this.

Searchmetrics 2014 SEO Rank Correlations And Ranking Factors study

Great content along with different search engine ranking factors can do the magic. This includes choosing the right title, keyword placement, quality of content and so many factors.

So if you want to improve your search engine rankings follow these top 5 On-Page SEO techniques to optimize your website.

1. Title Tag

This is one of the most important element of a web page, not only for search engines but for users also. This is one of the prime areas Google bots looks into.

When users go through SERPs they tend to click the headlines which are at the top and also those which are eye catchy.

Now there is a limit of characters in title tag which is 55 characters. If you use more than 55 characters in your title tag. Google will strip extra characters and will replace it by. “…” (3 dots).

Always put you prime keywords in your title, this gives your article an extra boost to perform well in SERPs. Often times I see businesses stuff this with multiple keywords which is a bad practice.

Instead you can use it like this:

SEO Tips query Google SERPs

“[Primary Keyword] [City], [State], [Country] | [Brand Name]”

Or you are writing a blog post then:

“[Blog Post Title]” | [Blog Name]”

Try to put the brand name at the end, but make sure you can wrap it up in 55 characters.

You can use different title and heading in your blog posts. If you are in WordPress, you can use plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO Pack to do this.

2. Rich Snippets

Among all the latest changes in search engines, rich snippets has become one of the prominent factor for SEO all as getting more click through rates. It provides search engines additional information to understand your content and provide the best results for the users.

rich snippets in Google SERPs

Now for users they tend to stand out from the rest with additional information such as star ratings, total number of reviews.

rich snippets

And in this case when you search for recipes it gives you more information such as an image, time to prepare, calorie and more.

You can add additional HTML codes to make this appear for you websites, you can read a detailed guide here.

Alternatively you can generate your own code using Google Data Highlighter.

Check out this video below on how to do this for your website:

3. URL Structure

From the beginning URLs have been one of the most debatable area. From URL directory structure, to underscores vs dashes or even keywords in URL – there have been a lot of discussions. So the question remains does URL parameters helps in SEO?

Well Google can give you the proper answer. Neil Patel at Quicksprout analyzed the top 100 results for 1,000 keywords and found that:

On an average top 10 results contains 37 characters, top 20 contains 35 and top 30 contains 39 characters.

John Doherty points out with this example below, which he didn’t find any rankings.

http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/wearejustdoingthistobestupidnowsincethiscangoonforeverandeverandeverbutitstilllookskindaneatinthebrowsereventhoughitsabigwasteoftimeandenergyandhasnorealpointbutwehadtodoitanyways.html

Often times you can see URLs with special characters such as &, %, $, and @ – this makes it pretty difficult for Google bots to crawl the web page as it contains a lot of these extraneous characters.

And talking about underscores (_) and hyphens (-) in URLs Google recommends to use hyphens (-).

Follow these SEO friendly URL structure best practices to make your content perform well in Google.

4. Keywords in Content

Sometimes people post long content and start to use the key phrase from the middle of a blog post. But placing the right keywords in your content is proper way can do the magic. Drop your keyword in first 100-150 words of your article – which basically tells Google what the article is all about.

But don’t overuse it,  make sure your keyword density is below 3% for any particular keyword. Here is how you can calculate that:

(No. of Keywords / Total number of Keywords) * 100

See what Matt Cutts have to say about keyword density in this video:

Use your keywords wisely, mix them up with Semantic Keywords and LSI Keywords to keep the density of your keywords between 1-3%.

5. Optimize Images

This is another important factor for ranking a web page higher in search engines is optimizing your images properly. Which starts with naming an image, followed by alt tag. The image name should be descriptive rather than some arbitrary number such as “wexcv42343.jpg”

alt tags

Lets consider you are writing an article about “Blue Widgets”. And if you are using an image describing types of blue widgets then you should consider making it “types-of-blue-widgets.jpg”. Try to put your keywords in the image name here as well as alt tags. So in this case the alt tag can be alt=”Different types of blue widgets”.

Conclusion

Of course you can get traffic without using any of these tactics but if you follow these top 5 on-page SEO tips it will help you to increase you Google Rankings.

And above all make you content useful, informative and interesting. Because ultimately great content is the one thing that stands out from the rest.

What other on-page SEO techniques do you follow? Share your valuable inputs in the comments section below.

Top 5 Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool Alternative

Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Research Tools

Search engines love great content, but your content won’t bring much traffic if you don’t include the exact key phrases people are using.

If you are into SEO field, you must have came across Google Adwords keyword research tool or now known as Google Keyword Planner. It’s one of the best tools SEO experts would recommend.

Keyword research can be a real deal for SEOs, bloggers and content marketers. A proper keyword discovery tool can make the whole process much easier and less time consuming.

Think about this, first you have to find out search volume from Google Keyword Planner, then you have to manually figure out first page competition from Google SERPs. But the right keyword research tools can make this job much easier and more effective.

keyword research 2014 vs 2015

As various tools use several data sources, it  obviously impacts the results, so to be on a  safer side you should consider using multiple tools in order to compare the results and find the best solution.

In this post I will share top 5 Google Keyword Planner (GKP) alternative to increase you blog traffic.

1. SEMRush (Paid & Free)

SEMRush is a great tool to figure out your competitors top SEO & PPC keywords.

You can search using your competitor’s domain name to see the top 10 organic keywords it ranks for, or you can use a specific keyword. This gives you organic search volume, CPC, trends and a whole new lot of data sets.

2. Long Tail Pro (Paid)

Long Tail Pro is a great keyword research tools for SEO professionals.

Even though it pulls the data from GKP but what makes the tool useful is the Keyword Competition feature. Not only that, it also shows you some important ranking factors that most tools overlooks such as PA, DA, inbound links and page rank of the top 10 results.

3. WordStream Keyword Tool (Paid & Free)

With a huge database WordStream Keyword Tool gives you the power to customize your searches.

You can filter adult keywords and identify negative keywords. Not only that, it also gives you the option for keyword grouping, and finding keyword niches. With the free version you can access only top 100 results but the paid version gives you thousands of results for your keywords.

4. Keyword Tool.io (Paid & Free)

KeywordTool.io is one of the best tool to find out new keyword ideas. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular keyword suggestion tools.

This tool gives you hundreds of keyword suggestions from Google, YouTube, Bing and even the App Store. You can also copy the entire keyword ideas list and check search volume in GKP. There is also a paid version which gives you all that data in a single screen.

5. Ubersuggest (Free)

Ubersuggest is a great tool for finding new keyword ideas. It also offers vertical results for images, news, shopping, video, and recipes.

Ubersuggest takes any keyword and gives you a huge list of alphabetized and numerical keyword variations of your original keyword.

Conclusion

I hope this post will help you to find competitive keywords in your target market. So start creating quality content and gradually you will get good ranking and authority.

What other keyword research tools do you use for your campaigns? Share your valuable suggestions in the comments section below.

3 Lesser Known Keyword Research Tactics To Outrank Your Competitors

keyword research tactics

keyword research tactics

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization or Pay-Per-Click ads, it all starts with one simple thing “Keyword Research“. It can be called as the foundation of SEO. Not only SEO professionals or PPC experts, it can also help content marketers or bloggers can figure out what topics their readers are interested in.

Now if you are reading this, you surely know what keyword research is? But if you are a beginner in this field, Wikipedia makes it simple for you:

Keyword research is a practice used by search engine optimization professionals to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search.

Do you think that keyword research has changed since it’s initiation? Surely, it did.

Earlier keyword research was coming up with some keywords, throw them into Google Keyword Planner (GKP) and choose keywords based on search volume.

But today all that changes.

If you are looking for new keyword ideas, don’t go with GKP or formerly known as Google Keyword Research Tool, it is not that good at finding keyword ideas.

Brian Dean from Backlinko points out with an example “basketball”, GKP won’t be able to come up with the following related keyword ideas.

keyword research

So don’t rely solely on Google Keyword Planner, focus on other ways to find good keywords. And if are looking forward to increase traffic to your blog, then you should try different keyword research tactics to come up with new keyword ideas.

Here are 3 lesser known tactics you can use to find good keywords and outrank your competitors.

1. Steal Competitor’s Keywords

Do you know you can find the keywords your competitors are ranking for? There is a simplest way to secretly find out your competitor’s high ranking keywords.

All you have to do is THIS.

Step 1: Go to Google Keyword Planner

Google keyword planner

Step 2: Under “Find New Keywords” hit the section “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” there you will find a field called “Your landing page”. Put your competitor’s landing page over there and click “Get Ideas”.

Google keyword planner

You can also filter the ideas based on you location and also search volume and competition.

Google keyword planner

Here you will get some new keyword ideas from your competitor’s website.

Google keyword planner

Filter those keywords and figure out some good keywords with good search volume and medium / low competition.

2. Use Wikipedia

If you are creating a new website from scratch in a competitive niche, keyword research can be challenging. So you have to come up with new keyword ideas.

One of the best way to find related keyword ideas is : Wikipedia

Step 1: Go to google and type “site:wikipedia.org [your keyword]”

Step 2: When you visit the page, take a closer look for the “contents” section of the page.

wikipedia keyword research

You will find bunch of new keywords for your website or blog.

3. Try Amazon

This will not going to work for every niche, you can use this method if you can find a physical product in Amazon.

Step 1: Go to amazon.com or amazon.in / amazon.com and search for the product.

amazon keyword research

Here you can also find some new keyword to look into.

Step 2: Closely look into the search suggestions, you will find a couple related keywords.

Step 3: Once you hit search, locate keywords in the places listed below.

amazon keyword research ideas

  • “Show results for” menu
  • Main header
  • Text underneath main header
  • “Product Description”
  • Breadcrumb
  • Items listed

Conclusion

Make sure that you re-evaluate your keywords from time to time, even you can do it more frequently. As soon as your website gains authority, you will eventually rank for more keywords, but you have to keep you current rankings and grow on top of that.

What other keyword research techniques do you follow? Share your valuablr tips in the comments section below.

Top 5 SEO Best Practices For 2015

Top 5 SEO Best Practices in 2015

Top 5 SEO Best Practices in 2015

Remember old days when sites used to be a place to put your content with images, when webmasters can game the search engines with hidden text, cloaking, keyword stuffing and buying links? Well time has changed since the so did the search engines like Google., Bing and Yahoo. Geared up with advanced technologies Google can now solve user queries with answer boxes and even responds to them with voice search.

In 2015 SEO is a different ballgame, nowadays it is important to WOW the users with you content and user experience, forget optimizing for search engines only. Today Search Engine Optimization is not just a job limited to SEO companies, it is integrated with all aspect of marketing.

Here are top 5 SEO best practices for beginners to survive in 2015.

#1. Go Mobile Friendly:

According to a survey by GlobalIndex 80% of adults now have a smartphone on which they spent 1.85 hours a day on an average. Google also says that nearly 50 percent of all traffic is mobile.

On April 21st, 2015 Google rolled out  it’s “Mobile-Friendly” update which resulted 11% of traffic changes.

So if your search is not mobile friendly it’s time you think about it. You can use Google Mobile friendly test to see if your site is compatible with all devices or not. Don’t forget to check other mobile usability issues in Google Search Console (a.k.a Google Webmaster Tools). Just go to Search Traffic > Mobile Usability.

mobile usability test

Often time people direct mobile users to a different URL such as m.example.com, if you are using this tactic don’t forget to submit a mobile sitemap. But if you don’t want to go for all these you can go for a responsive website design.

#2. Use Schema Markup:

I’m sure you have seen results in Google search which contains more information except title and description…right? Something like this…

rich snippets

If you closely monitor it contains an image, star rating, number of reviews, calories & time to prepare except the title an description. These results showing additional information because the html codes of the site is marked up with these information for the search crawlers.

According to BuildVisible search listings with rich snippets would be clicked on up 25% more frequently.

Here is an example of HTML code describing each property:

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://data-vocabulary.org/Person”>
Name: <span itemprop=”name”>Sourav Saha</span>
Website: <a href=”http://souravsaha.com” itemprop=”url”>souravsaha.com</a>
Title: <span itemprop=”title”>Entrepreneur</span>
</div>

Here the following items defines to the search crawlers:

Itemscope – is an indicator that the content within this <div> is an item.
Itemtype – describes what the item is, in the example above ‘Person’.
Itemprop – describes each property of the specific item. In this case ‘Entrepreneur’.

There are different types of ways you can markup a page with Schema, RDFa, JSON-LD. You can read my extensive guide on rich snippets here.

#3. Don’t Forget Social Media:

Nowadays SEO and social media aren’t two different things, social media has become an integral part of SEO. As a matter of fact Google and Bing both uses as a ranking factor. After the recent Twitter Google deal trending topics now appear in carousel format in mobile. Even Searchmetrics study showed showed social signals from Google+ and Facebook are one of the top ranking factors.

So we can hope social media will come out as a strong search ranking factor after links.

social signals

Neil Patel pointed out on his blog that how rankings change when your site starts receiving the social love. He also showed in this post how a website moved from 400th spot to first page with just social signals.

#4. Long Tail Still Matters:

I love long tail keywords because they are low hanging fruit – they are easy, low competition and more profitable. Amazon makes it’s 57% of sales from long tail keywords – because long tail keywords with more variations work very well.

long tail search traffic

According to Moz long tail keywords in content improve your search traffic by 80%. If you plan you content properly an incorporate the right keywords you will be able to drive more traffic to your website or blog.

#5. Focus on User Experience:

Think it like this you have ton of visitors, but if your website is not user friendly then they might move out from your site.

bad website design

This will increase your bounce rate which might be treated as bad UX (not always). You have to prioritize user experience than Google algorithm, having thousands of visits means nothing if it’s nor meeting your goals.

According to a study by Elizabeth Sillence 94% people distrusted a website for DESIGN problems.

As Google says:

Landing page experience refers to how good we think someone’s experience will be when they get to your landing page.

Let’s say you have 1000 visits to your blog post, if your article contains good content then it can generate good amount of shares. And if you have a good blog design along with it then it can generate more shares. So design can improve engagement.

Conclusion

Follow these SEO tips and you will start seeing improvements in your rankings. But remember as Google is changing itself rapidly optimizing for search shouldn’t be the same always.

What other SEO tactics you have found effective in 2015? Share your valuable tips in the comments section below.

Keyword Research: The Basics [Infographic]

Keyword Research Basics

Keyword Research Basics

Nowadays the SEOs are talking about content, authorship, social signals and many more and in all these things it’s quite easy to forget about one small thing, that is known as the foundation of SEO: keyword research.

If you don’t know how people are looking for your content, it’s real hard to figure out how your content speaks in their language (include the words they search for). Without the proper keywords, your content marketing is somewhat set to fail. You put all your time and effort on creating great content and you get ample amount of visitors and nobody shares.

In today’s world keyword research can be called as the new market research for SEO. Think about it, this is amazing. You can figure out the things that motivates your customers long before you meet them. Their likes dislikes, pains and desires.

It takes a good time, effort and still you might fail to hit the sweet spot. If you can rank for right keywords there can be a flood of traffic to your website/blog organically.

With the help of proper long tail keywords you can beat your competition no matter how big they are, even if rank better on search engines. What matters is keyword research and the strategy you choose to implement on your website.

Now folks at Power by Search have created this infographic which breaks it down for you in an easy to consume visual way. All you need to do is follow the instruction step-by-step, implement it and see you analytics chart bend it’s curve upwards.

So without further ado just dive in, right-click and open the image in a new tab for larger view.

How To Do Keyword Research