7 Easy Ways for SEO-Optimized Images 

With visual search starting to dominate the web, you have to keep up by optimizing your pages for SEO. This way, you can increase your page’s visibility and you can have a better standing at Google’s Image Search listing. Although it may not contribute largely to your rankings, SEO-optimized images will surely give your website a big favor.

Here are seven ways on how you can optimize your images for better search:

Mind the format

One thing that you have to check is if you’re using the ideal image format. There’s no right or wrong format, though. You just have to consider if it’s ideal for the purpose. For example, if you need a high-definition photo with a small file size, a WebP format will be ideal. On the other hand, smaller images can be used in JPEG format.

Consider relevance

There’s no point in using a photo that doesn’t relate to the topic of your post or your niche in general. Also, it’s best if you use original photos instead of stock photos. This will give a more authentic feel to your pages, not to mention that it will also make your website unique.

Reduce the file size 

Take note that image files can get really hefty, which will impact the loading speed of your website. So as much as possible, cut down on the file size without compromising the quality of the image. There are many applications that allow you to trim file size while retaining the visual quality of the image.

Include Alternative Text

Alt Texts work by projecting a text definition to the image if it fails to load properly. This way, your visitor will know what the image is about, making your website more inclusive. Aside from that, you can use the Alt Text area to optimize your keywords for search. Just take note that you’re not supposed to use the same keywords on all your images. Always pick different query strings that correspond to your niche.

Structure the image data

Structured data is more technical, but it pays a lot when it comes to Image Search listings on Google. This helps the search engine to index pages. With that, your pages will show up easily on image searches, which is a good way to prepare for the visual search trend. Also, more and more site visitors prefer looking up an image than reading an entire copy.

Put captions

Like Alt Texts, the image caption area is another avenue to utilize your keywords. Based on YoastSEO’s findings, image captions are 300% more likely to be read than the whole text of your post. This is why you have to utilize this area well by writing brief captions with your keyword integrated naturally.

Use a decent filename 

This may seem harmless, but random filenames are no-nos. Although it will not show directly on your pages, Google will still read your filenames. So if you have the DSC111.jpg filename, expect that someone with SEO-optimization-logo.jpg will have a better edge than you. This is just a small detail that will make your website shine even more.

3 Factors Google Use to Choose Businesses for the Local Pack

The local pack is the portion below the Google map snippet, where the top three businesses are shown. This is a coveted spot for all businesses, as the results shown here enjoy better visibility and conversion. But the question is this: how does Google choose which businesses make the cut? It can be confusing, especially for business owners who don’t have in-depth knowledge about SEO. But to help you get started, the following factors are the main considerations Google use for the local pack:



If there’s one factor that Google would consider, it would be the location of the searcher. This is the reason why the local pack is golden for local businesses.

If a searcher looks up the keyword “wine store near me”, Google will automatically filter businesses that are within the searcher’s location. That way, the searcher will be given useful options, especially if he or she is planning to avail of a product.

However, the main struggle of new businesses is ensuring that they are attributed to the right location. Aside from claiming your business in the Google Map listing, you should also beef up your Google My Business account. That way, Google will recognize your accurate location.


The next most important factor is relevance. It’s when Google decides which businesses are related to the entered query. This way, the searcher will receive accurate search results that he or she can use.

For example, if the internet user searches for “wine store near me”, expect that only wineries and beverage stores will be considered for the local pack. If you have a bakeshop, you should aim to rank for keywords like “bakeshop near me” or “where to buy muffins near me”.

This is a very simple concept that will also guide you through picking the right keywords. Always stay relevant to your business and always focus on a specific niche.


The third factor is the prominence. This is where Google interprets the intent of the search and provides results as-is. For example, if the searcher looks up the keyword “wine stores in Los Angeles” only wine businesses in LA will be shown. This is regardless if the searcher is in LA or not. It’s because Google will only show results that are prominent to the search query used, prima facie.

The searcher may be planning to go to LA and visit a wine shop. Also, someone might be asking him or her to look up a business in a different place. Through this process, Google can provide accurate search results to each internet user.

Traditional factors also matter 

Traditional ranking factors also matter if you’re aiming for the local pack. Aside from the three points above, you should continuously optimize your business with local keywords. That way, you’ll appear to more searches and increase your potential of being in the local pack.

Start by updating your Google My Business account and signing up for more listings. Also, make sure that you claim your business in the Google Maps listing so you’ll show up more on the local pack.

Steps in Reporting Spam Search Listings

Google has long been cracking down on fake Google Map listings. As an effort to make their platform a fair and useful for all its users, they are encouraging business owners to flag suspicious listings. This process will also help you rank higher on the local pack and gain better visibility on your target audience.

Here’s our quick guide on how to report a spam listing:

Step 1. Search for a keyword

First, search for a keyword that you’re using for your SEO. Also, make sure that your location is set to the actual location of your business. This way, you’ll see the results of the keywords as if you’re an internet user looking for a service or product.

Next, check the results on the local pack. If you’re not in the top 3 results, click “More Businesses”. This will open the Local Finder, which is a long list but still bears the same ranking as the local pack.

Check where you rank and what listings are included. After that, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2. Identify which listings are spammy

At this point, you should look for spammy listings that are preventing you or other businesses from ranking. The first thing you have to check is the NAP of the businesses. If you see two or more that have the same phone number or address, mark it suspicious.

To confirm, this you can phone the business to ask for their address and name. You can also raise it to them that they have spammy listings.

Next, check the Google Streetview of the address. If it’s somewhere in an empty desert or the middle of the road, you can consider it a spam.

Step 3. Report the listing 

Once you confirm that the listing is spam, it’s time to report it to Google. The basic step here is suggesting and edit. Make sure that you choose the right edit option and that you attach a screenshot of your proof. After that, you can send it to Google and wait for a response.

However, if you didn’t get a response or if Google didn’t take down the spammy listing, you can use the Google Redressal Complaint Form. Google created this form specifically for reporting spammy and fake listings on Google Maps.

You can report multiple listings you find spammy. However, make sure that you have enough proof to support this.

Step 4. Monitor the results 

After sending the edit suggestions, you’ll receive an email from Google confirming that they received the request. Wait for 24 hours for Google to act on the edit suggestion. Usually, they will remove or edit a listing within the same day. With that, you can rank higher on the Local Finder and even make it to the local pack.

Feel free to repeat this process for other keywords. This is so you can remove spam listings that prevent you from being on the local pack. Still, you should know that even if you removed the fake listings, you may still fail to make it to the top three. This is where further optimization comes in.


7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Rankings 

Search engine optimization can be a technical topic for some. Most of the time, novice site owners don’t know where to start. If you’re one of these people, you’re in the right place. For this post, we have discussed seven easy ways for you to improve your rankings.

Boost your website’s loading speed

If there’s one ranking factor that you have to satisfy, it would be fast loading speeds. A website that’s taking longer than 3 seconds to load will be buried at the depths of the search results. Unless your website has enormous traffic, Google will not be impressed with the slow loading time.

Start by reducing file sizes and hosting your multimedia content on third-party platforms.

Use internal links

Internal linking is as important as backlinking. By connecting your internal pages, you’re boosting the navigability of your website. Aside from that, you can bring visitors deeper into your website and into your sales funnel.

Also, internal links let you spread the authority of your pages to other pages within your site. Still, make sure that you’re interlinking with relevance and not just for the sake of doing so.

Be mobile-friendly

With Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm, making your website mobile-friendly should go without saying. This way, you will also enjoy a large chunk of traffic being generated from mobile devices every minute.

You don’t have to come up with a separate mobile site. Many platforms offer mobile-friendly themes and designs that suit your current website.

Take note that mobile traffic is dominating the web, with as much as 60% of all traffic coming from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile gadgets.

Start blogging

By blogging, you’ll get to utilize a wide range of keywords relevant to your niche. Also, it’s a good way to keep your visitors updated and hooked to your website.

Blogging also gives you a powerful tool to gain backlinks and traffic from other platforms. If done right, your blog section will become an income faucet as you integrate your products or services into it. Most of all, it will bring you higher on the search results.

Write unique content

Speaking of blogging, you should only publish unique and well-written content. Google penalizes websites with plagiarized content, which will bring them to the bottom of the search results.

Take note that blogging isn’t a daily thing. You can publish one post a week or every month. As long as the copy has excellent quality, once a month would be fine.

Optimize meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are the first snippet of your content. It should be persuasive, descriptive, and concise. Also, always optimize your keyword here so you’ll show up better on search results.

Take note that meta descriptions should be unique for each post. Copy and pasting the same thing all over your site is spammy, which will be detected by Google.

Choose the right keywords 

Most of all, you should optimize with the right set of keywords. Relevance is number one, followed by low competitiveness and large search volume. These keywords are the queries your target audience search on the web.

8 Ways to Prepare Your Website for 2020

As the year 2020 approaches, website owners aren’t just busy preparing for the holidays. They are also busy prepping their website for the new decade. Some are placing new strategies to boost their rankings while others are fixing technical problems.

Whatever you’re planning to do before the year ends, make sure that you include these eight tasks to your to-do list:

Site audit

A site audit will give you a clear image of where your website stands. This will reveal various problems: from technical issues to on-page SEO problems. By diagnosing the problems, you can fix it before another year starts. Always fix technical issues first dealing with less urgent problems like on-page SEO and the likes.

Competitive analysis

Aside from spending your time scouring your website for problems, you should also peek on what your competitors are doing. Conduct a competitive analysis to see how your competitors are doing in terms of traffic, search, and click-through rates.

The aim here isn’t to copy your competitors. What you need is to do better than them.

Privacy policy update

If you haven’t touched your website’s privacy policy for years, this is a perfect time get it updated. The GDPR updates have rocked the web last year and it’s best to check yours before penalties flood in. Also, updating your privacy policy will ensure that it corresponds well to the needs of your visitors.

CTA clearing

Call to actions that have expired should be removed before the year ends. Although expired links won’t affect your rankings, it may confuse your visitors. So if some of your CTAs have already been expired, it’s best to remove it right away. Replace it with new ones so your website will also be updated.

Video content production

About 80% of internet search is video content. This is seen to increase by 2020. So to make sure that your website will be prepared for this, focus on creating more personalized video content.  Take note that internet users are seeking visual content. With videos, you can satisfy this while boosting your brand.

Ditching Flash

Flash Player is set to be shut down by 2020. So if your website is still using this application, it’s time to switch to a more updated technology like HTML5. This way, your website will remain functional once Adobe closed Flash. Also, it’s best to create videos instead of pure animations alone.

Content planning

The best time to perform content planning is before the year starts. This way, you are all set once the New Year starts. Make sure that your editorial calendar has been updated. You can also spy on your competitors to see where you can do better in terms of content.

Customer concerns 

Most of all, you should give time to address customer concerns. It could be a problem with your service or how they access your website. Find solutions to complaints and brainstorm how you can improve the navigability of your website. You don’t have to perform a major revamp right away. Small changes done regularly over time can make a big difference.


Google Now Uses Carousel for Local Business Reviews 

For local business owners, Google updates can be daunting. Still, there’s no need to panic about the newest carousel format for local business reviews. Recently, a digital marketer noticed this new format in the Knowledge Graph area, which gives more visibility for reviews. If you own a business and aiming to boost your online reputation, this small update will prove useful to you.

When did the carousel first appear? 

Well, it was first noticed in the first weeks of December by Aneel Badyal, a digital marketer. Also, a Google spokesperson confirmed that they indeed have a new format for the local business reviews.

Aside from that, the Q&A section within Google My Business is also transformed into a carousel. This is just a small detail, but with a catch.

Why should we care about the carousel?

It’s just a format, why should we make a big deal about it? Yes, it’s only a change in format, but here’s the catch: only businesses with high-quality reviews will get this. So if you have poor reviews from customers, you’re stuck with the old format where customers still have to click “See All Reviews”.

Aside from that accessible scroll format, the reviews are now elevated right after the business name. This falls above-fold, or in the area visible to the internet user without scrolling. This way, your business will have a better online image. Also, customers are less likely to jump into another option when they see the enhanced review portion.

Besides, this new visibility of good reviews helps your customers in making a purchasing decision. Somehow, it may push them to enter your sales funnel.

How to achieve the carousel format? 

According to Google, the only way for the carousel format to show up on your Knowledge Graph is to get high-quality reviews. So if you don’t follow-up when your customers leave a review, now is the best time to do so.

Aim to get at least 4-star reviews, but for a higher chance of getting the carousel, try to get 5-star reviews. However, make sure that the reviews are authentic and not just staged for the sake of online reputation. Google will detect this spammy technique, which will get your business listing penalized.

What if a customer left a negative review? Bad publicity is a fact of life when you own a business. What you can do is to offer a solution. Reply to your customer and offer an initial resolution. If they are happy, they may edit the review to a positive note.  If they are still looking for a solution, you can consider offering another fix. However, you should be careful of scammers who will try to get free stuff by leaving negative reviews.

Final words

Google has been releasing major and minor updates continuously. As for the carousel reviews format, it’s just a small detail on top of the algorithms they have changed this year. It’s not an urgent matter, but it surely is a big plus if your business has it on the Knowledge Graph.

November 2019 Google Update Confirmed!

In the first week of December, Google confirmed the roll-out of its November 2019 update. It’s the neural matching algorithm, which will change how the search engine interprets local search queries. With this, businesses should expect a change in rankings and traffic.

Should you panic? Below, we discussed what you need to know about this newest update and what you have to do about it.

What is the November 2019 update?

The November 2019 update is the roll-out of the neural matching algorithm. From its testing phase that started sometime in 2018, it is now rolled out globally to all countries where Google can be accessed.

Basically, the neural matching is a “super synonym system” that interprets queries and detects its local intent. This way, even if the query doesn’t have an indicated location or business name, Google will attribute it to an improved set of results. This is where local businesses feel the change.

This process translates to a change in local rankings and a noticeable decline or increase in traffic. Still, it’s a positive change as traffic will be given to the business, which is most relevant to the search query.

Should I panic?

Of course not, Google highlighted that this is just one of their ongoing efforts to make its platform a better place for both users and website owners. There’s no need to fight it out or set a full-force campaign to combat the initial effects of the algorithm update.

What to do 

According to Google, nothing. The search engine encourages website owners just to keep on optimizing based on their guidelines, which were published a long time ago. Although it can be tempting to make major adjustments on your website, it’s best to wait for the aftermath of this update. Although you’re noticing a change in rankings and traffic, it’s best to plan your next move first.

Unless the decline in traffic is massive, you don’t have to worry about potential revenue losses. The traffic you’ll lose is a chunk of visitors that are not converting. Also, this will likely be replaced with better leads as long as you continue optimizing for SEO.

Why you need to be aware

First of all, if you’re a website owner, it’s your job to stay abreast of any Google updates. If it affects your rankings, it should be your concern.

Still, there’s no need to panic or change plans right away. As much as a new SEO strategy might help regain your rankings, your current campaign can be left as-is. The neural matching algorithm will change the course of search query interpretation, but it’s also for your benefit as the website owner.

Aside from that, it will also benefit internet users as they will get better local results.

Final words 

The November 2019 update is a big thing, but it shouldn’t stir panic to website owners. You can adjust your SEO strategies to regain your rankings. Other than that, you don’t have to make a major revamp on your website. Just follow Google’s recommendations and you’ll be fine.

7 Unique Search Engines Your Business Should Be In

For years, Google has dominated the internet. As the largest search engine, website owners are always racing to gain the top spot on the SERPs. Aside from that, the likes of Bing and Yahoo are also the major search engines that website owners optimize their sites. But aside from the big three, there are other websites that you should know for your business.

The following options are search engines with a cause that you can consider as alternatives for social good:


Ekoru is a search engine that aims to promote renewable sources of energy. Also, it’s focused on supporting various civil rights stands. Currently, this search engine is available in New Zealand, Australia, U.S., Canada, U.K., and France.

The good thing about Ekoru is it doesn’t store search data. It also has high-regard to privacy.


As its name suggests, GiveWater is dedicated to funding organizations that help give better access to clean water. This search engine has partner charities where they pour a large portion of their revenue.

GiveWater earns profits through paid ads. When a user clicks a paid ad, they will generate revenue, which they will donate to charitable institutions.


Ecosia is a German-based search engine with searches powered by Microsoft. It was founded about 10 years ago and focused on generating profits for their tree-planting campaign. So far, Ecosia has planted over 78 million trees all over the world through its partner organizations. Aside from that, Ecosia is powered by its own solar power energy plant, making its operation sustainable.


Givero is a search engine that supports a wide range of causes. Unlike the previous search engines, Givero gives its users the freedom to choose which cause they want to help. Through this, they donate 50% of all their profits. Such charities range from animal welfare, children’s welfare, and environmental care.

Aside from that, Givero doesn’t save any search data of its users.


Lilo is a search engine that funds social and environmental causes through its search revenue. So far, they have already donated as much as $2.5 million to charity.

The good thing about Lilo is it allows its users to choose a charity they want to help through the waterdrop system. A searcher receives a waterdrop for searches done. This can be donated to charities which Lilo will fund.

Elliot for Water

Like GiveWater, Elliot for Water is poised to sustain efforts for better access to potable water. Also, they give about 60% of all their profits to charity. The main goal of this search engine is to reduce unclean water-related casualties all over the world. That’s aside from their support of solar technology.


Everyclick has an affiliate model that works for over 4,400 online stores worldwide. The commissions they earn from search are what they donate to charity.

Currently, they have a Bing-based search as well as the Give As You Live tool that launched back in 2010. They also support various causes and donate a large portion of their income to charity.

BERT Goes Global 

From its U.S. roll-out back in October, the BERT update is now launched globally, according to Google. The largest search engine has announced via Twitter that BERT is now working globally wherever Google is accessible. So far, BERT is available in 72 languages, though it may still be exclusive to 10% of all searches.

What is BERT?

BERT is a Google algorithm that stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. It’s a form of deep-learning technology that interprets search queries based on each word’s relation to each other.

That way, Google can provide better search results based on the relevance of web pages to the entered query.

Take note that Google said back in October that it will only apply to 10% of all searches. It’s expected to stay that way even on its global roll-out.

Overall, BERT improves the interpretation of search queries. This benefits both the website owners and its users.

How will it affect international searches?

With BERT working globally, your pages may not rank the same for some keywords. Still, this also means that the quality of search results will be improved. Also, traffic will be directed to the most relevant web pages.

For website owners, this means that they will receive highly-converting traffic by losing low-quality traffic.

Also, BERT will affect international featured snippets. If your website has rich snippets before, it may not be generated now that BERT is in place. Still, you can optimize your pages better to increase the likelihood of regaining the snippet.

Anyway, this only applies to countries where rich snippets are available.

BERT brings in positive change

Google updates could be daunting, but most of it brings positive change. This is the same thing with BERT. Since search results will improve, internet users will be offered results that they are more likely to patronize.

Aside from that, BERT can learn from other languages as a way of making improvements in the English language search. This is the same thing for different languages.

It improves how Google interprets the context of each search. With this, your web pages will rank better on searches where it’s deemed the most relevant by BERT.

What should you do?

Now that BERT is in full effect, the question now is, what should we do about this update? Nothing, actually. BERT is an algorithm update. It doesn’t aim to penalize any website. Although your ranking or snippets may be affected, you can optimize just the same.

There’s no preparation or response needed here. BERT is directed to Google’s platform and not to specific websites. Also, BERT doesn’t give benefits to a specific group of websites.

If you want to keep up with this update, the only thing you have to do is to create unique, high-quality, relevant, and compelling content.

Final words 

Google considers the BERT update as one of the biggest strides in search for the past five years. It’s a big thing, but website owners don’t need to panic. As long as you’re producing high-quality content and optimizing your website well, there’s nothing to be worried about.

SEO Trends You Should Focus on By 2020

New Year, new SEO trends. For website owners, the New Year marks a period of audits and planning. And just in time before the year ends, we have consulted SEO experts to list some trends that will make it big next year. Some are the usual trends while others are new updates on the block that will change how you optimize for search.

So for the year 2020, here are some of the trends you should watch out for:

Structured data

Structured data have been around for years, but for 2020, this SEO strategy will become more prominent. By using structured data, you can gain an edge over the BERT update and your competitors.

Also, by using structured data, you’re helping search engines crawl your content. It helps search crawlers understand the context of your content by analyzing the connection of the elements to each other.

More security features

Website security has long been a ranking factor in Google. But for 2020, this will become a very important trend. This is crucial as the rate of cyber threats has risen in the past years.

According to the Internet Security Threat Report of Symantec, about 4,800 websites get compromised each month due to formjacking codes. This is equivalent to 3.7 million websites compromised by formjacking on endpoints.

BERT update

The BERT update is the newest Google update, which was launched globally in the fourth quarter of 2019. This algorithm changes how Google interprets search queries. This translates to a change in rankings and traffic among websites.

With BERT in place, about 10% of all search queries in 72 languages will be affected. What can you do about it? Stick to relevant content and keywords for SEO.

User experience (UX)

Google has been releasing updates to improve the user experience of its visitors. So for 2020, you should consider investing in improving the UX of your website. This is a technical process, but it will make a big difference in your revenue and traffic.

UX improvements will make your website more navigable. Aside from that, UX improvements will reduce bounce rates and increase your bottom line.

Voice search

Experts have forecasted that about 50% of all web traffic will come from voice by 2020. This is due to the rise of voice-commanded gadgets like Voice Pod and Amazon Echo.

So how can you optimize for voice search? Use conversational keywords and write equally conversational content. This way, bots can easily understand the context of your content.

Also, choppy and short keywords may not be as effective as it used to be in terms of voice search.

Video content

In just a few years, YouTube became a streaming giant. This proves how video content will become more pivotal by 2020. In fact, about 6 out of 10 internet users will look for a video instead of reading written content. This is expected to rise over the years, especially in 2010.

Take note that internet users are looking for instant information. This is only achievable through video content.