Why you should consider case studies and testimonials when choosing an agency

Finding the best SEO agency that will help launch your business to new and greater heights is easier said than done. After all, every agency that you can find on the Internet today will always promise unmatched services and the best results. So how do you separate the genuinely good ones from the posers? One good way would be to look at their case studies and testimonials that would prove their track record and reliability.

History Paints a Story

The best SEO companies will have countless success stories in the past, and they will never shy away from telling them to their new clients. Why would they? It is, after all, their greatest marketing advantage from the rest of the competition. If the company is therefore, what it says it is, then it will have case studies to back up that claim. If it does not, then perhaps the company is just all bark but no bite. The more case studies the company provides, the more convincing it is.

It is important to note that the case studies they provide should be detailed but easy enough to be understood by a client who absolutely knows nothing about SEO and marketing terminologies. In the end, the company’s history will paint a story on how it has helped their clients achieve their goals on the World Wide Web.

The Power of Word of Mouth

Case studies will help you a lot in determining an SEO agency’s reliability, but if you want to know how they treat their clients, testimonials are the perfect sources of this information. Testimonials will give you unbiased opinions from the agency’s past clients themselves so you will know exactly what their attitude is toward their partners, whether they are trustworthy, on time, respectful, etc. Reputable SEO agencies are always able and ready to provide potential clients with a list of testimonials. A lot of them will even have a testimonial page on their website.

Testimonial pages, however, generally filtered, which mean companies, will only allow those that are positive and discard those that are not. If you want genuine, unbiased testimonials, you can visit review sites and forums through Google, Yelp, or even Glassdoor (to know what their employees think about working for them).

Do a Manual Check

Finally, never forget to do a manual check on any case studies and testimonials provided by SEO agencies to confirm their validity. There are case studies that and testimonials that look glorious, but a quick manual check reveals that they are only made up stories. You should always verify website ever that the agency offers as case studies and the keywords that they said ranked for them. Testimonials can also be easily fabricated. You can try contacting that specific client that made the testimonial to confirm its validity. While it will certainly require some effort on your part, manually checking everything will guarantee that what you will be enjoying is completely legit and not some scam.

How to do keyword research as a business owner

Keywords are one of the most fundamental aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is what the searcher types in search engines when looking for a specific product, service, information, or website. Determining the kind of keywords that your potential customers are utilizing and optimizing your website for them is vital to garner better search engine rankings and build serious traffic. Now, if you want your website to rank at the top end of search engines, this guide will show how you can accomplish it through effective keyword research.

Identifying the User’s Intent

The search for the right set of keywords starts by diving into your customer’s minds. By determining their intent, you will know exactly what set of keywords to focus your marketing exploits. Try to find out why users are coming to your website.

  • Information – Are users visiting your site because of the information it provides?
  • Research – Are they looking for something specific?
  • Purchase – Do they want to buy something?

Once you know why users are coming to your website, you will have a better idea of the kind of keywords that you need to target. If you’re selling products, you definitely want to focus on buying-centered keywords. If you provide reviews, research-based keywords are what you need.

Create a List

Now that you know why users are visiting your website, you can start creating a list of keywords that you want to optimize for. The keywords that you choose should represent the most probable queries of your target users and customers. To find them, here are some of the things that you can do:

  • Through the Keyword Planner, you will gain access to a plethora of potential keywords. It’s an excellent way to search for relevant keywords and is pretty straightforward to use.
  • You can rely on boards and forums to find out what your customers are looking for. You can also ask them personally on why they stumbled on your business. And don’t forget to ask their concerns and frustrations as well so you will have a deeper connection with your target audience.
  • You can also take advantage of Google’s autosuggest by typing one of your terms in the search box and looking through the suggested phrases. The results are normally the popular keywords related to your user’s queries.

Choosing between Long-tailed and short Keywords

With the list of keywords at your disposal, which ones do you need to focus on? You can try and rank on all of them but at this point it would be best to favor long tail keywords over short tail ones. Long tail keywords are longer and more specific. So instead of optimizing for the keyword “caps” – short tail – try and focus your SEO strategies on the keyword “caps for men” – long tail. Choosing longer keywords will provide you with more targeted traffic and better conversion rates, overall. They are also not that competitive and are relatively easier to rank.

Use these steps properly and you will surely have a list of keywords that your customers use and can start optimizing on to give your website that much needed boost.

How to be a dream SEO client

If you want your website to rank better in search engine results, employing a top Search Engine Optimization (SEO) team available is not enough. Working closely with the agency and being a good client to them is also crucial. After all, when respect, camaraderie and proper communication is at the heart of a partnership, no campaign is too difficult to handle. So you can become an SEO agency’s dream client and succeed in your search engine ranking endeavors, here are some of the things that you can do.

Study the Basics of SEO

Studying the basics of SEO doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be a master of it. All it takes is becoming familiar with the fundamentals of SEO and how it works so you will have a better grasp on how it can help launch your business to better heights. This will also save both you and your agency a lot of precious time and energy once you have a clear understanding of the overall marketing strategy that will be put in motion.

Be Realistic

While it is important that you have a vision of where you want your business to go after you have set the marketing strategy in motion, you must make sure that this vision is realistic. Majority of the discord that happens between SEO agencies and their clients come from unrealistic expectations. You must understand that your website will always face fierce competition in the vie for search engine supremacy and claiming those top spots will require a lot of time, effort, and patience.

Be Proactive

Just because you have hired the best SEO agency available doesn’t mean that you can now take a long vacation. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done and you can’t just sit on the sidelines and become a spectator. Be proactive and immersed in every marketing exploit! Rome wasn’t built in a day and ranking at the top of search engine results will require continuous effort from you and your SEO agency. Do your part by being active on social media, posting blogs regularly, and making sure that your customers and potential clients are continuously engaged.

Trust the Process

Success doesn’t happen overnight and often, to reach the pinnacle of the search engine rankings, you need to take small but constant steps forward. Trusting the process and being patient with your SEO agency is crucial in your journey. Never demand immediate results because they are misleading but rejoice on small victories that will later lay the foundation for your website’s success. Putting unrealistic expectations will only disappoint you and pressuring your agency will open up a floodgate of errors and miscues that will harm your website.

Be Open-minded

Lastly, to become that client that SEO agencies have always been dreaming of, you must maintain an open mind. Empty your cup and let new ideas come in. SEO agencies know a lot more about SEO than you do so be sure to welcome and give the agency’s ideas a chance. And if there is something that you are confused about, feel free to openly discuss it with your agency.

Backlinks explained

High-quality backlinks are one of the most effective ways to separate your website from the rest of the competition in the cut-throat world of Search Engine Optimization. If you’re not familiar with SEO, you may be asking yourself what backlinks are and how they can impact your website’s search engine positioning. Luckily for you, this article will provide you with everything that you need to know about backlinks and how important they are for every SEO campaign.

Backlinks Defined

Simply put, backlinks are the links from other websites to yours. They are also widely known as inbound links and are crucial in your website’s popularity and relevance on the Internet. If your site has good quality backlinks, this simply means that other sites are encouraging their visitors to use your website. When it comes to backlinks, quality beats quantity. You don’t just want numerous backlinks on your site but numerous high-quality ones.

SEO and Backlinks

Google uses backlinks to ranks sites in terms of relevancy for a certain keyword. The higher the amount and quality of backlinks, the better it would be for your site’s rankings. Bonus points are given to if the backlink comes from a relative, authorative website.

One of the best ways to obtain high-quality backlinks is through reputable and renowned directories that Google classifies as a good quality link. Yellow Pages, Bing, and Microsoft, are one of these directories. To be part of their directories, you simply need to sign up for their sites.

Backlinks just don’t work perfectly for SEO, but they are also an excellent source of traffic. When Internet users see a link to your website that comes from a website that they are currently visiting, they will be more than likely to visit your website and trust its content as well.

The important things that you need to remember in creating backlinks for better search engine rankings include:

  • Diversity of Domain Rank – You need to avoid generating tons of links that are of mediocre quality as this will only lead to poor domain rank diversity. What you want is to create links organically by reaching out to other websites. Build links from a diverse array of websites that enjoy extensive authority. Google and other search engines will more likely consider you as a trusted site if you diversify your backlinks.
  • Links from varying IPs – Relying on a clever link building strategy like a link wheel (a group of websites that link to each other) might sound enticing, but it would actually do your website more harm than good.  Because your links are generated only from a single or couple of IP’s, Google will consider this an unnatural and suspicious and they can punish your website as a result.
  • Diverse Anchor Text – The anchor text is the text that carries the hyperlink. Normally, the text will look like “click here” or can be something that is more descriptive. With anchor texts, visitors will know what site they will be redirected to. With that being said, it is vital to utilize keywords that are relatively straightforward. Avoid using long and complex keywords that may confuse and fend off users. Also, Google hates these kinds of keywords so it would be best to avoid them at all cost.

5 Local SEO mistakes to avoid

One of the main reasons why a lot of businesses suffer from poor search engine rankings is because they keep making the same set of mistakes over and over again in their local SEO campaigns. Their onsite content might be superb, their offsite links in the right place, and their social media presence solid, but if they continue to fall for these same mistakes, they won’t enjoy desirable results in their local SEO. So what are these common mistakes anyway? Below are all of them plus the necessary measures that you need to practice to avoid them.

1.) Using Different Names

Numerous businesses do not possess a standard means of writing their name. Doctors, for example, may pertain to the practitioner on some instances.  In others, they may pertain to the practice name. Business owners may not hesitate on doing this but it’s a huge challenge for Local SEO. To maximize the results of your links and references online, your business needs to follow the same exact name all throughout. When you submit your business to directories in the future, stick to one name.

2.) Inaccurate Location Info

You must make sure that Google and other search engines know where your business is. If your business has moved to a new location, you may have two or even three different addresses listed across the World Wide Web. Google and other search engines utilize references to your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) to rank your business. They will cross-reference your NAP information across a variety of websites as a means to confirm that you are an authentic business and not a spam site. If your NAP is inaccurate and inconsistent, search engines will not recognize you as an authority. Your location information should therefore be accurate and consistent so be sure that you take the needed time and energy in verifying that your local listing is free from any form of error on every publicly available location.

3.) Inconsistent Policies

Keeping your customers and visitors satisfied is important if you want to enjoy a good reputation as a household name or authority. The best way to go about this is by maintaining consistent staff training documentation or customer service policies. Establishing a stern but fair content policy on your website will also guarantee that you forum, comment section, and onsite testimonials, are free from spams, scams, and offensive and abusive content that can destroy your reputation.

4.) Lacking Local Profile

Having a complete local profile that reflects your company is also important. This means you should fill out vital details in local directories that would show how long your company has been in operation, its mission and vision, and some updated pictures and content would help a lot. These details are crucial if you want to obtain solid web visibility and authority. Online users depend on local directories for numerous different reasons and if they can’t see enough information about your business, they won’t trust your services that well.

5.) Not enough clarity

You should be able to clearly communicate to your customers what makes you different from the rest. If you can effectively relay this important message in a few powerful words, your customers will be the one to spread your name on the web. Word of mouth plays a vital role in Local SEO and if you don’t have a clear set of words that illustrate your business’s distinct advantages, it would be difficult for you to establish a robust position in your industry.

Google Isn’t Ranking My Website. Why?

Failing to see your website’s ranking is a common dilemma. However, in the world of SEO, it must be noted that search rankings can be unpredictable. Even with the continuous efforts to monitor and optimize your site, it is still possible to see your rankings drop. Or, to an extent, not being ranked at all. This can be frustrating. Especially if you can’t particularly pinpoint what the actual problem is. But there’s no need to worry anymore. We have come to help you identify some of the possible reasons why Google is not ranking your site. They are as follows:

New Site

If you’re new to SEO, then you must know that it takes time for websites to organically rank higher. This has been a pretty well known fact in this industry for a long that results don’t come as fast as expected. So if your website is still new or has been running for only a month or so, then don’t expect to see your website rank any sooner. It may take quite a while to get the results you want. This is mainly due to how Google takes around two to three weeks just to index your website. You can check by typing “site:yoursite.com” in Google. If there’s nothing displayed, then you will have to wait for it to be indexed. After that will it only start ranking.

Wrong Targeted Keywords Used

By wrong, we mean here “high-volume” and “short-tailed”. While these two could be effective ways to rank higher before, using them now may not give you the results you want. These days, keywords are becoming far more competitive. There might have been other websites overusing a type of keyword, which could easily dismiss your website’s ranking if you use the same. This is especially true for high-volume and short-tailed keywords; since such keywords are usually pretty common. To avoid this, try targeting long-tailed keyword phrases instead. Unlike short-tailed, they are less common and less competitive. Long-tailed keywords are known now to drive more focused traffic, which could make it easier to rank high.

Weak Content

A key element in SEO that improves your site’s ranking is the content. However, this only pertains to relevant and useful content. And if your content is weak and poor, then it could be the reason why Google is not ranking your website. It could even be prone to be penalized. Before publishing content, you have to make sure that they are of high quality. Also, having quality content could help attract backlinks, which could boost your website’s credibility. Therefore, higher ranking and more visitors.

On-page SEO Not Optimized

If your on-page SEO is not optimized, then it is definitely the reason why you can’t see any improvements in your website’s Google ranking. To change this, you should be able to use static and keyword rich URLs. Furthermore, you should also optimize your title tags, heading, and alt tags. Keywords must be naturally placed and spread out throughout your content. It also helps to cover broader topics in your future content as this will ensure your website’s relatability. Doing these things could rank your site higher and generate more inbound links.

My ranking has dropped. Why?

SEO is a cutthroat world, and you may have fought tooth and nail just to claim your current spot in the search engine rankings. The most frustrating thing that can happen after you have invested so much of your resources in your SEO is a sudden drop in search engine rankings and relevance. The thought that your rankings have suddenly plunged into the abyss is pretty alarming. But instead of pushing the panic button, try to take a deep breath and gather yourself for a minute. We’ll get to the bottom of things and determine what might have caused it, which may include:

Getting Penalized

You might have incurred a penalty that caused Google to drop the hammer on your website leaving it reeling down towards irrelevancy. Google carries out penalties either manually or algorithmically. You might have violated the almighty search engine’s guidelines by utilizing black hat SEO techniques, or you are an innocent victim of website hacking. Either way, you will only know the truth if you have been penalized or not by looking at your Google Webmasters account.

A Change in Algorithm

Now and then, Google implements a new or updated algorithm that creates chaos in the entire search engine landscape. Those who enjoyed being at the top suddenly find themselves on the opposite side of the rankings. Try and make a quick check on this blog or other top SEO blogs, so you will know whether or not an update happened. If there is indeed an update, you can use a rankings tracker to determine whether it was the cause of your drop.

Competition Stepping Up

Or maybe the competition was just better this time. This could be a possibility since search rankings is virtually a zero sum game – your gain in rankings is another one’s loss. This is the reason why SEO experts constantly keep a close eye on their websites. They have to monitor every change in their sites and are always on the lookout for new trends and developments in the SEO world. With that being said, your rankings could have dropped simply because your competition stepped up their SEO game this time. The more likely scenario is that you and your competition are not investing in SEO. When your competition decided to, it or they suddenly blitz past through your website in the rankings.

Lost Links

Relying on a set number of backlinks could be one thing dragging your rankings downward. If those backlinks are taken away or are temporarily out of reach, your website’s authority will be jeopardized. If this happens, search engines will consider your site as untrustworthy. As a result, Google and Bing could pull you down in their rankings. You will need to review lost links and confirm their presence online to determine if they are the culprits of your demise.

Changes in User Behavior

From time to time, certain developments and episodes catch people’s interest. This generates an unprecedented tide of online searches that lead to what is known as “Query Deserved Freshness”. Instead of getting the customary results, results are filtered according to the users’ behavior. Searches are refreshed reflecting demand for fresher, news-based results. To be accurate, those results about current trends and events. As a result, this flips the static content onto the second page of the search engine results.

If your rankings have dropped without notice, your SEO could be the main reason why. Let’s diagnose your website and see if there are certain tweaks and moves that we can do to get it back in the right direction. Get in touch today for a free consultation.

When is the Right Time to Hire an SEO Agency

If starting up a business isn’t already difficult enough, you still have to think of SEO. And as we all well know, SEO can be very tricky. Most especially if you are no expert. You may have been going back and forth already about hiring someone to do it for you. However, the thought of handing your website to other people may be daunting. Plus, you also have to think about the costs. However, there is no need to worry about such things. To tell you the truth, hiring an SEO agency could be even more beneficial for you than you could imagine. We have listed down below the following things you need to consider before deciding to hire an SEO Agency:

Your Time’s Worth

Doing SEO by yourself can save you money. However, could it save you the time you need to do other important things? If your skills are better off spent doing other things than SEO, then maybe it is time for you to transfer that task to those with SEO expertise. Doing so would provide you the time to do other tasks that you are naturally good at. This could not only make you feel happier and fulfilled, it could also be more profitable to your business. Your time and abilities are of the essence. And if you are given the proper platform to successfully spend those, then your company will almost certainly prosper. Also, having an SEO agency handle the SEO job for you could help you garner quicker results in your search rankings; which could help bring in more business.

Your Budget

Another thing you should consider is your budget or money. Since hiring an SEO agency could cost you, you have to think if you will be able to provide the cost it entails. However, if you are no better off doing the SEO yourself, then maybe you should also consider the risks of doing the task alone and unequipped with the proper skills. It is possible that you could mess up your website’s SEO which could prevent Google from trying to classify your site. When this happens, your site may not even show up in search engines. Another thing you could do that could harm your website is by accidentally doing something that is penalized. Not only will this look bad on your potential ranking, it could also cost your business’ money.

Overall, if your website is not fully and properly optimized, it could result in a poor ranking. This could limit user-reach and potential customers from accessing your website. It might seem like a good idea to save money by doing SEO yourself. However, contrary to that, you may experience some problems that might cost you both the time and money in the end. So while you haven’t decided on hiring an SEO agency yet, it helps to look at both the pros and cons of both sides. This is to ensure that the money you will or will not invest will be put to good use later on.

Your SEO Skills

As already reiterated above, what everything comes down to is your skills or capacity to do the SEO job yourself. Do you have what it takes to successfully perform the tasks at hand? Can your abilities be put to good use and harbor positive results? Or are you better off doing something you’re more confident and effective than this? If you evaluate yourself on these questions and arrive at an unfavorable answer, then we suggest that it is time for you to hand out the SEO responsibilities to those who are more equipped to do so. Stalling this could put your business in a risky situation.

Who should I hire: an SEO agency or an SEO consultant?

You probably stumbled upon this article with one single goal in mind: to get your website on the top of the search engine rankings. The answer that you are looking for lies in hiring the best SEO agency or consultant that is beneficial to you and your business. But there is a catch. Finding the right person or company can be tricky and challenging. So that you succeed in finding the ideal SEO consultant or agency, here are some of the things that you should do as well as the things that you should avoid:

What to DO

1.) Determine the ideal pricing framework

Normally, SEO campaigns will follow a retainer-based fee or a one-time flat fee. When we talk about a retainer campaign, it means hiring someone who will help you in your SEO objectives for a certain number of hours for every month. The consultant or agency will provide you with some sort of map or blueprint that will pinpoint the key areas that they will work on. They will follow that map and will provide you with a detailed report on their progress. In this case, a retainer-based fee is standard.

When it comes to flat-fee campaigns, the consultant or agency will determine the best possible solutions to enhance your website’s inherent design and structure and will conduct a technical audit to spot the presence of duplicate content or broken links. All in all, it involves a complete evaluation of your website and identifying the things that require improvement. If you wish to enjoy long-term results, a retainer fee is an ideal solution.

2.) Identify your Budget

Different SEO agencies and consultants come in different price ranges but if you want to experience optimum results, you will normally get it from the expensive ones. So you won’t go overboard with your expenses, find out what your budget is and stick to it. Once you have determined your budget, look for a consultant or agency whose asking price hovers in line with your budget. Be sure to choose the one that will offer you with the most extensive service and not the one that offers the cheapest price tag. Going for the cheapest rate may do more harm to your website than good.

3.) Request for a plan and references

If you find a potential SEO consultant or agency, never hesitate to ask for references and a portfolio. Also, tell them immediately what their plan is to help your site reach the pinnacle of the search engine rankings so you will know exactly if they know what they are doing or not.

What to Avoid

1.) Avoid being a cheapskate.

As it would normally be for any product or service, the higher the price, the better the quality. While it would not be wise to break the bank on a consultant or agency, going for a cheap one would be the same. Being a cheapskate will certainly save a dollar or two in the short-run, but in the long run, you may end up incurring only losses and not a single return. As a good rule of thumb, always choose the agency or consultant that will give you the most bang for your buck.

2.)Avoid Putting Unrealistic Expectations

Success requires time and patience, and for an SEO campaign to succeed, it will take a process that can sometimes be long and arduous. Don’t become frustrated just because you’re not getting the number of visitors or traffic after a few weeks. The most important thing to remember is to set achievable goals and work tirelessly on fulfilling them together with your consultant or agency.

If you are searching for the ideal SEO agency for you, we can help you out. We can provide you with examples of our past success and testimonials from satisfied clients. Get in touch for more information.

How to Rank Above Your Competitor

Putting your best business foot forward doesn’t only have to be creating impressive products and services. While it is important to show how friendly and necessary your business is to potential consumers, you must also never forget to include the ways you can improve marketing your business. Successfully doing this makes your business stand out from your competitors; which, in turn, could ensure a wider customer reach. However, in this technologically driven world, where people rely so much on search engines to look for products, information, and businesses; marketing your business online could prove to be difficult. It is necessary, then, that you learn how to make your business’ website rank higher in search engine results pages; most specifically on Google. And if you have no idea how to do this, then simply read on.

Google Layout

The first thing that you must understand when it comes to rankings is Google’s search results layout. This pertains to what the users directly see in the results whenever they enter a search queries. The three types of results displayed are:

  • Paid
  • Organic
  • Local results

The first one or the paid results are the ones shown at the topmost and bottommost part of the page. Those in between the results page are the organic results. While those that are in the middle of the top paid results and organic results are the local results. Making use of all of this information will help your website rank higher than your competitors on Google.

Ranking Position

To garner more visitors and, eventually, a higher ranking, you must see to it that your website is placed on Google’s first page of search results. As you may have experienced already, rarely will you go past the first page to look for other search results. This is the same reason why, statistically, 61.5% of the clicks are usually made to the page’s top three organic results. Therefore, if you find your website falling short from the top three, then your competitors in those top spots are usually the ones to get around 3 to 25% more clicks than you. To remedy this dilemma and boost your search results ranking above your competitors, we have compiled the following options you can do:

Consistent Content

As with everything that is good and of high quality, improving your website’s SEO entails consistency. You can’t expect to garner results directly after you have employed various SEO techniques. Instead, you must learn how to monitor and be consistent with your SEO. One way to do this is by consistently posting new and valuable content that is search engine optimized. This technique can be seen in the number of businesses with their own blogs.

Updated Pages

Aside from having consistent content, you must also keep your homepage and product pages updated when necessary. This also asks you to get more substantial backlinks to your website. If all of these sounds like a lot of work to you, then it is better for you to hire an SEO agency to handle all of the SEO marketing tasks for you.

Keyword Research

To rank higher, it is important that you target the right and specific keyword search phrases. Looking for the proper keywords, however, asks you to do a keyword research. This is a task that helps you find the keywords your audience most likely use for search queries. There are also helpful tools you can use online to do this such as website analytics and Google Keyword Planner.