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.

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

How Social Media Affects Search Engine Rankings [Infographic]

how social media impacts seo

how social media impacts seo

Social Media has become an integral part of Search Engine Optimization. It has also created a bit of confusion about whether social signals impacts Google SERPs. But that doesn’t mean that SEO is dead or Social Media is not going to replace SEO. They both have to go hand in hand simultaneously.

Back in December 2010, Danny Sullivan showed how Google and Bing considers social signals as a part of search engine ranking factors. Matt Cutts also confirmed this in a Webmaster Tools video in 2010.

Also a  recent study by branded3 shows that strong correlation between the number of tweets to a URL, and its Google search ranking. Here are the results:

How Tweet affects search engine rankings

Also Searchmetrics 2014 SEO Rank Correlations And Ranking Factors study shows that number of Google +1’s to an URL also has a major effect on SERPs.

Searchmetrics 2014 SEO Rank Correlations And Ranking Factors study

Now there are certainly some things you need to think about when considering the impact of social media on SEO. You have to make you content easily shareable and encourage your readers to share! Also don’t forget to use proper hashtags while sharing your content.

Now show you how social media impacts your search rankings, Neil Patel from Quicksprout have created this animated infographic that explains the correlation.

How Social Media affects SEO

How Google Ranks A Website [Infographic]

Google's website ranking secrets

Google's website ranking secrets

Rankings are SEOs favorite game, ranking their website in SERPs outranking their competitors is altogether a fun challenge. But it isn’t easy as it sounds like, Google search doesn’t work as it used to be. Google web spam team head Matt Cutts breaks it down here in this video:

If you are just beginning your career as an SEO intern then you might ask why some websites rank higher than your’s? Or why your website doesn’t rank as high as your competitor’s?

Google’s ranking game mainly depends on it’s algorithm. There are over 200 ranking factors which decides where your website is going to rank. Now these ranking factors aren’t that easy to understand, whichgenerally makes the job much more harder for beginners to figure out how to tweak your website to achieve high rankings.

Neil Patel from Quicksprout have created this helpful infographic which breaks down different factors of Google’s algorithm. These factors are:

  • Domain
  • Page Level Factors
  • Site Level Factors
  • Backlinks
  • Social Signals
  • and what not to do…

It will surely give you a better idea about what Google looks into while ranking a website. Check the infographic below, right-click and open the image in a new tab for larger view.

How Google Ranks A Website [Infographic]

How Google Actually Works [Infographic]

How Google Actually Works

How Google Actually Works

Have you ever thought, how Google manages to bring you related articles and sites with just a hint from your keyword? Within a few microseconds, it shows you tens and thousands of search results to help you out with your query. Matt Cutts from Google have created this video to explain how Google actually works:

Even though it has a complex algorithm that looks into almost 200 factors, it works so fast and accurate, that it almost feels like magic.

Neil Patel at Quick Sprout have created this awesome animated infographic to break down Google’s algorithms for finding and serving up search results. Check it out below:

How Google Actually Works [Infographic]