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SEO Factors That Are Really Important (Part 1)

We all know Google name 2 primary ranking factors: links and content. However, search engines, not just Google, are continuing to evolve, and ranking tools don’t just look at the links and texts.

Seated Woman Typing on Apple Mighty Keyboard in Front of Turned-on Silver Imac

While not everyone agrees on what to follow and what not to follow, these 5 on-site SEO factors are. Below are the SEO factors you should always take not when creating a website:

  • Content

    • Of course, content will forever be relevant. You should know that it’s not enough to just post something out there.
    • Around 91% of content gets no traffic from Google according from a new research by Ahrefs.
    • So, how do we go about this?
  • There should be content relevance. Content is useless if no one wants it. You should always consider your users when publishing new content.
    • Know what your readers or users are intending to search, read, and buy. In fact, Google’s algorithms are working nonstop to analyze better how users do their searches.
    • We can know what the users want in a form of survey, answer boxes, and polls. Ultimately, content is the number 1 ranking factor because if your content is pointless, no one will ever view or read it.

So, how to enhance content?

  • Know the purpose of your keywords. Is it to inform? Is to help people shop? Is it to offer navigation?
  • Study the search engine results of your keywords, and know the top-ranking keywords.
  • Search similar keywords, and know how to enhance the content using those similar terms.
  • Deep Content

    • Deep content is also known as long-form content. Now, long-form content is considered a popular choice for a lot of informational searches.
    • In fact, according to HubSpot, 2,250 and 2,500 words of deep content got more web traffic than those shorter posts.
    • Good news for those who are writing longer than 2,500 words. Being skilled on a particular subject will surely be helpful in terms of SEO.

So, how to enhance deep content?

  • Know the top-level website and study their content carefully.
  • Add similar keywords to draw content on other subcategories or topics.
  • Address all the questions the user may have.
  • Arranged Content

    • You also have to organize your content. It is important add title tags and header tags.
    • Adding tags can help with conveying your message better.
    • When you categorize, it is readable for both your users and search engines.
    • Helps pages become more scannable.

So, how to enhance arranged content?

  • Add focus keywords to the URL, page title, and other related area.
  • Add different headers (H1 – H6) when you cite the focus keywords.
  • User Engagement

  • You create websites so your users can interact with each other. A website should be accessible to people and search engines. So, you should always think of new ways to excite your readers.
  • Ask yourself if your content is intriguing and captivating. Are you personally bored with it?
  • User engagement is an indicator that your users like your content. Keep making posts that always generate comments and reactions from people. More tips will be discussed soon so stayed tuned for part 2!

Obsolete SEO Strategies that You Should NOT Do (Part 3)

As discussed previously, SEO strategies of the past may not be applicable today. It’s 2019, and SEO has definitely experienced numerous changes. Most of changes have shaped how we do online searches. However, there are still some people who keep using the old SEO methods. To improve your website’s visibility online, follow the 4 SEO tips cited below.

  • Time to dump old keyword research methods.

    • If SEO have changed, then, keywords have also changed. A great part of SEO is the use of keywords. Many people used a wide variety keywords to test what’s effective and what’s not. Over the years, the archaic keyword research was replaced by tools that simplified advertising and promoting businesses.
    • There are tools such as Keyword Planner. This is free, and is made by Google. Keyword Planner (or Google Ads) will help you create ads so it’s easier for your customers to reach you. Because it’s a free, a lot of people use this tool up to this day.
    • Another option for you now is Google Trends. Like Google Ads, this is free. On September 27, 2012, Google Trends with other Google tools to provide a comprehensive analysis of the latest trends. It analyzes the following of top search results in Google. The website even uses colorful graphs to make it easier for users compare the search results.
  • Say no to poorly-written blog posts.Black and Gray Laptop Computer

    • Last, but not the least, try to create content for your audience. It’s time to put an end content that made no sense because it was just filled with keywords. On top of that, it was copied from another website. This method of writing mediocre content will not work anymore. Time have definitely chance. If back then trashy content would be ranked high, now, that won’t happen.
    • We know how to create quality content and that is by writing for people. Search engines can detect dubious ways of improving a website’s performance. There’s only one way to succeed: be honest by providing original content. Stolen content won’t put you at the top.
  • Stop creating pages for every keyword variations.

    • Always consider your users and the reason why they are searching. However, back then, when websites are doing it for keywords and search engines, various content farms spread like wildfire. They would only aim for website visibility.
    • Thus, the user and their intent would be satisfied. Negative user experience is the biggest downside of this strategy. Besides that, Google now skips this practice so you better not apply it on your website.
  • Stop stuffing keywords in your URL.

    • Yes, adding relevant keywords in your URL is important, but not to a point that the chosen domain name becomes inaccurate and ambiguous.
    • Always strive to keep the URL coherent to your brand. If your chosen brand name is short, simple, and substantial, then, do the same for your URL.

So, that ends part of the old SEO tactics you should stop using. SEO has evolved into greater heights. It’s futile to keep using these obsolete ways of promoting your business. In case you are curious, there are other strategies discussed in a previous blog post. You can read part 1 right here, and part 2 is over here.

Obsolete SEO Strategies that You Should NOT Do (Part 2)

Some obsolete SEO strategies just keep coming back from the dead. Like anything else in this world, things are bound to change. SEO has evolved, and the SEO practices below are not applicable anymore. In fact, SEO underwent extreme changes over the years. So, it’s pretty useless to bring back these old SEO tricks:

  • Stop writing for search engines.

    • Like what I previously discussed, you are writing for people and not for search engines. When you try to rig the system and stuff keywords, these search engines will know it. They are program to detect unnatural behavior.
    • When your page is crawled or scanned, they can see if a keyword is repeated over and over. Thus, the search engines won’t prioritize you if they notice something fishy.
    • Note that search engines have evolved too, and they can definitely know if certain keywords are repeated excessively!
  • Stop article marketing, and distribution.

    • For a time, article syndication was “in.” In broadcast syndication, TV programs are traded or sold for a fee. When you think the internet works like print and TV media, well, you are wrong.
    • Google was able to stop this trend when it released the Panda update in 2011. The update was able to delete websites with poor content. Whether it was a poorly written article, or an article copied from another site, Google was able to identify these.
      Google search engine.

      Google search engine.

    • In this digital age, the bar is higher than expected. So, make articles not for article banks and forums. Create original content that showcases your trustworthiness.
  • Stop article spinning.

    • This is usually done with a help of a software. Article spinning is a way of recreating a certain post, but using a different keyword, name, and business organization. It will basically have the same points as the original source.
    • With the technologies advancing, especially AI, these fabricated articles are easily detected. Nothing beats an article creatively written by a person because it’s definitely something unique, fresh, and useful.
  • Say no to buying links.

    • Back then, it’s common practice to pay in order to get numerous links redirected to your website. However, now, if you are having too many links that redirect to site, it may be deemed unsafe.
    • If these backlinks are shady, it’s dangerous for the pointed website. So, it’s better not to engage in buying links.
    • Like the previously mentioned tactics, Google can detect websites that are linking other websites at an incredible rate. Google can identify where links should be and should not be.
    • Write high quality content so people will link your website in their articles. Write something helpful and something new so people will be encourage to share and link. You should not pay someone to do so.
  • Stop stuffing keywords on link labels.

    • Link labels, or anchor text, are the clickable text in a hyperlink. It will tell readers what to expect if they click on a specific link.
    • Before, the ideal SEO practice is to add keywords on the anchor text. However, when Google released the Penguin update, it was able to identify overly used keywords even in hyperlinks.
    • Therefore, take time to write for people and not for search engines. A well-thought of article is a sure winner!

Obsolete SEO Strategies that You Should NOT Do (Part 1)

It’s 2019! Naturally, there would be new things in store for us this year. The same goes for SEO. It has continually evolved and experienced various changes over the years. For some other strategies, they may not change much. However, for SEO, it’s quite the opposite. Changes are drastic.

White Alphabet Dice

With that being said, I discuss the SEO practices that are quite obsolete now. There’s no need for your online business to follow these strategies.

  • The overuse of keywords.

  • A lot of people still do not understand the proper way of using keywords. There are a number of posts adding irrelevant keywords. They just write in order to stuff the specific keyword to an article.  Most of the time, beginners are limiting their content to the selected keywords.
  • The article will, in the end, lose its essence because the keywords are given priority over the quality of work. High-volume keywords are added to fill the space, and not to communicate an important message.
  • If the chosen keywords are favored, the post will be useless because it will not attract any attention. Remember that your readers are your customers here. They won’t care about the keywords.
  • It would be such as a shame to mislead them into an article that just stuffed with a bunch of keywords and no depth.
  • Just so you know, Google has taken action regarding keyword abuse so they will definitely sense if your article is there just for visibility and not for high quality content.
    • Keyword density.
      • This happens when an article needs to have a particular density. The number of keywords is the priority to increase visibility of the article.
      • Sadly, Google does not count the usage of a specific keyword. So, there’s no need repeat the same keyword over and over.
      • To determine whether a webpage is helpful or not, Google has a herd of sources to check the search results.
      • This does not mean that you would not add keywords. They are still important, but adding a lot of keywords does not make you number 1 in the search engine results. Therefore, you should not ignore the quality of the content you are posting.
    • Keyword stuffing.

      • SEO is all about keywords. That’s why the oldest SEO trick back then is to stuff keywords into unnecessary places like the website’s footer, background, and others. They hide the keyword by blending it with the website’s background color. Thus, no one would see it because the keywords have the same color as the background.
      • Literally, no one will see it, but search engines are not stupid. It will read all those hidden keywords and links. Don’t try to cheat the system because you are not writing for search engine. You are writing for your customers!
      • So, if you think adding a bunch of keywords all over your website will help you outrank other websites, you are totally wrong. Search engines will know that there are an unusual number of keywords stuffed in a site. Trust me, they know. Once they notice your website is doing such a thing, they will demote your website and you will be at the bottom of the SERPs!

Scottsdale SEO – How NAP Affects Your Local SEO

The mobile usage has exceeded the desktop usage since 2015. The change of device and the change of the number of devices could affect the user’s behavior. This becomes a problem to the local businesses because when a user changes from one device to another, their search experience will also differ.

The thing is… Google’s algorithms apply the user’s current location to their directory listing. They check if the existing record coincides with your business listing.  NAP, an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone, affects your business’ rankings.

Group of Men and Women Smiling While Looking at Phone

What we have learned here? It’s not only Google that checks for NAPs. People use online directories too! If they’re hungry, they’ll surely search for the nearest pizza place and call the number right away.

The start of the transaction.

Contrary to popular belief, business transaction does not happen during the first inquiry via social media, or when someone ordered at the company website. Take a step back because it’s earlier than that.

According to Google, the start actually happens when…

  • someone used a search engine (Google, Bing, Ask!)
  • someone visited the actual store.
  • someone visited the official website or app.
  • someone browsed a related website or app.
  • someone used an online map service like Google Maps.

These five actions will most likely lead to purchase or a positive reaction from the user. The moment they see your business on the SERPs (or search results pages), expect an offline visit within the day. When a business is searched online, as much as 78% of the users ended up visiting its physical store.

This is why having a consistent NAP is important to your business’ success. The transaction won’t be completed if the given store address or phone number is wrong.  The correct information should be provided for the users online for their intent to progress.

Wrong Assumptions.

The problem is… we conclude right away that customers know our company website, our order page, our business listing. They will figure it out!

Nope, they won’t. Not everyone will figure out your official pages in just a click. People will ask their friends and visit a lot of other websites before they get to you.

This is why a lot of pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram make an effort to verify certain businesses. Because they don’t want people to be lost and transact with a fake page, social media sites are making sure to highlight legitimate businesses over unverified ones.

Be a part of the journey.

This is the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression. On all your official pages, be sure to indicate a uniform name, address, and phone number. Whether it’s on your website, Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, the NAPs provide should be consistent.

Wherever the user decides to search for you, you are certain that they will NOT go astray. Besides, even if you are not the user’s first choice, they will still consider you as one of their options in the future because you are easy to find and you are active on different social media accounts.

Do not be like the other lazy local pages out there that offer no help at all. Lend a helping hand by providing accurate answers to the user’s inquiry.

Scottsdale SEO – Common Reasons for Inconsistent NAP

We all know that there’s a constant for NAP consistency. It is after all as important as typing the correct email address or URL. Inconsistent NAP would mean no conversion. You would not be able to invite new customers because the name, address, and phone number.

People Using Smartphones

Phone numbers are there for customers to call you so answer them.

What could be the reasons for these inconsistencies?

Many factors could cause these NAP inconsistencies. It could be because of human error, changes in the hierarchy of the business, and other unforeseen circumstances. Mainly, these are the reasons:

  • Changing the mailing address and NOT updating the existing directories.
  • Having 2 different addresses. One could be the corporate office and one could be the actual store address.
  • Giving different phone numbers. One could be a direct line and one may possibly be a referral number.

The instances posted above could affect your business’ local SEO, and it also affects your reputation. Your customers will cite it as a terrible experience because there were so many steps just to get the correct contact number and store address.

Ultimately, this will not make customers happy. This will eventually lead to loss of sales and damage to your brand.

Answers should be quick when asking for things like name, address, and phone number. Social media accounts ask for these details. You should complete these important details whether it’s on Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, and so on. If it’s not asked, highlight your NAP on your short bio.

Different directories.

Some businesses provide different numbers. They do this because they want to track how many inquiries/orders were on this number, that number. Not only that, some phone numbers are unique because they are solely used for marketing calls. So, if you called a particular number, and no one is answering, it’s probably reserved for outgoing calls only.

  • The upside: The business can gauge the results of their marketing strategies
  • The downside: Varying contact numbers would mean an inconsistent NAP.  Also, Google could list it as two different businesses and only one is correct. Customers have no time to play guessing games here. Is it a, b, or c? Whatever! They will just abandon it altogether.

Online Blinds.

  • This happens when users are faced with choosing from different options. For example, one company posted two addresses and two different numbers. It’s utterly confusing! Imagine, they have to exert extra time and effort just to transact with the company. Such a hassle!
  • Others do it as a ruse. They want to avoid prank calls and marketing calls. Yes, it is effective in preventing spam calls to reach you. Too bad, it also prevents customers to reach you.

It’s a Google thing!

Google uses a different algorithm compared to other search engines because it heavily relies on the current location of its user.

Of course, business would be easy if you have an actual store located at the right place, but it does not mean online stores are hopeless. You can still feature local products on your website. Just remember Google’s search guideline:

  • Main Content.
  • Supporting Content.

For example, you are in Arizona and you are looking for landscaper for your garden. So, when searching, Google identifies your inputted information as:

  • “landscaper” You are looking for a landscaper.
  • “in Arizona” Your location will be support element. This means that you are looking for landscaper in or near Arizona.

In short, the main keyword should show the product or service. The user’s location is then added as a supporting element to the query.

Scottsdale SEO – 4 Useful Tips in Simplifying Content

As a content writer, I always try to create a blog post that’s easy for you guys to understand. However, simplifying content is not as easy as it seems. I need to explain things in the simplest manner, and at the same time, I should make it entertaining for you to not leave the page so quickly.

Person viewing a website on a tablet

simplifying content for your readers.

Mostly, it’s up to the writer to shed some light into some complicated topics. Still, there are other things to consider aside from writing, there’s the influence of the on-page SEO elements, the layout, and the audiovisual aspect. Skillful writing is useless without the right elements. So, you need to find the right combination of brilliant writing and magnificent layout. Here’s my attempt in helping you simplify the difficult:

  • Tip #1: Say no to highfalutin words.
    • Keep things simple and uncomplicated. If you feel like a word is too complex, try using a simpler synonym. Inserting jargon into the equation will just encourage the readers to click away.
    • Your goal, as a writer, should be able to use plain language in describing situations. Relate your examples to real-life experience so your readers can identify with your article.
    • Of course, you can’t just ignore all the jargons, right? Try to keep the numbers minimal. The lesser the jargon, the better. If you need help finding a simpler word, try consulting an online thesaurus.
  • Tip #2: Add sugar, and spice… and everything nice!
    • No, we are not making The PowerPuff Girls here, but we are trying to make your writing more exciting. So, how do we do that?
    • Add your own personality. Don’t try to be William Shakespeare because you are not William Shakespeare. You will end up boring your readers because that’s not you!
    • Be excited with what you’re doing. If there’s a part of you that can relate to the topic, don’t hesitate to add your personal anecdotes. It makes the difficult topics more bearable and more readable.
    • In order to share more stories, you need to read more. Google Trends will keep you up-to-date on latest happenings. Before you know it, you have stumbled upon another interesting topic to blog about.
  • Tip #3 Active voice over passive voice.
    • Active voice is clearer because the subject does the action. Here’s an example for you:
      • Active: Sandy read the book. Passive: The book was read by Sandy.
    • In the given example, the first sentence is better because it is easier to understand. It comes in handy when you are writing about the covalent bonds, quantum mechanics, and other complicated things.
  • Tip #4 Keep your images simple, too.
    • Just because we need colorful visuals do not mean that we would go crazy and choose all the colors of the rainbow.
    • Yes, images help entice web visitors. However, don’t get too excited. Like your words choices, use uncomplicated images. Stick to a certain color palette that works for your website!
    • If you are going to share a result of a study, a pie simple chart will do. Compare and contrast the result of your research without too much fuss. You don’t need to draw elaborate borders and charts to prove your point.

Scottsdale SEO – How to Make a Great Landing Page?

Woman Browsing the Landing Page of a Website

Woman Browsing the Landing Page of a Website

Designing a landing page is not writing a monologue. You are talking to an audience and you want them to purchase something. So, you need to real smooth and easy. Check out the tips below on how to make an effective homepage that gets your points crossed.

  • Nope, it’s not the designer. When planning a landing page, you probably think you should talk to the designer ASAP regarding the interface, images, and all the stunning visuals. I’m telling you it’s not. There’s something more important: it is the content.
  • The landing page should be able to send out a clear message. The goal here is to sound more human and less generic. Talk directly to your audience and make it personal.
  • The writing should be able to get a reaction. They should feel something. When they do, they willing sign up, purchase, or do practically anything you wish.
  • Word choices should appeal to them. Perhaps, you current landing page is just not enough. They probably don’t even bother to scroll down.
  • The millennials go for landing pages with fewer words and more banners. There’s a need for you to concise without sound too common.
  • Don’t be just another landing page. Show them what makes you unique through your personalized content.
  • Gain their trust.  You are a stranger to your web visitors. They don’t know you so don’t expect them to click that “add to cart” button. There’s a huge barrier between you and your potential customers. You need to earn their trust, and you need to do it quickly.
  • They wouldn’t believe you; they would only be convinced if someone is backing you up. Testimonials from your previous customers are perfect examples. Reading reviews of other people will help your web visitors trust you. Let the 5-star reviews do the talking.
  • Negative space is not bad. Don’t overwhelm first-time visitors with too much information. Instead, let them focus on a thing or two.
  • Empty spaces help them think clearly so don’t bombard your landing page with clutter. Before you say it, let me stop you. Nope, they’re not boring. In fact, embracing negative space makes your landing page easy to look at.
  • It sends an important message that you aren’t forcing your web visitors to purchase. You are giving them time to think and make their own decision.
  • It’s moving! For humans, it’s easy to spot a moving object. You can’t not notice an animation when visiting a website. This is why adding videos on your landing page can greatly increase conversions. (If you need tips regarding this topic, it’s all here!)
  • So, if you want to gain your web visitors immediate attention, add some animation or a video presentation.
  • The pretty face behind the company. Lastly, your landing page should include a human face. People are generally nosy. When you feature an image of a malfunctioning computer, they will completely ignore it. However, if you highlight a person looking a person looking devastated because of the malfunctioning computer, they will definitely click it because they are utterly nosy human beings. So, feed their curious minds!
  • A simple smile can make a huge difference. Adding a human element makes your landing page more relatable and more susceptible to clicks.

Scottsdale SEO – Ways to Improve Your Landing Page Conversions (Part 2)

Woman Viewing the Landing Page Using Macbook

Woman Viewing the Landing Page Using a Macbook

Years ago, featuring a video on the landing page was just mere novelty. Now, it’s not just for “beautification” purposes because adding videos on the landing page helps increase conversion. As much as 80% of the web visitors are converted through the aid of a video presentation. That’s a huge turnaround! Why does it work? What’s the magic formula? For starters, many people are too lazy to read, and they want someone to explain and summarize the product features for them. Let me help you do the same for your website. Read the tips below:

GET TO THE POINT!

THUMBNAILS ARE IMPORTANT, TOO.

  • The question now is… how do we make a compelling video?  What will keep the web visitors engaged? Another important factor, aside from the content of the video, is the thumbnail. In fact, it invites people to click that play button. The chances of it getting noticed increases by 15 percent. It would be a shame to just ignore the help of the thumbnails.
  • Here are some examples of an effective thumbnail:
    • A sneak peek of the video. It should reflect the overview of the whole thing. Insert a text on what was discussed on the video.
    • Show feelings. Whether the thumbnail showcase a smiling or shocked expression, there should be an obvious emotion so people will be curious enough to play the video.
    • A close-up shot. There should be a person face on the thumbnail. It makes the video less robotic and more relatable.

BE CONSISTENT.  

  • When creating video presentations, remember your color, font, and style choices. You should be consistently using the same thing. That way, people can immediately associate the style with your brand. They can recall your brand immediately the moment they play the video.
  • Don’t forget to add a watermark of your logo or your official website in all your videos. Whether they are watching an intro video or a tutorial video, interested customers will know where to go in order to learn more about the product or service.

APPLY CLOSED CAPTIONING (CC) TO YOUR VIDEOS.

  • Closed captioning or subtitling is helpful to people watching. They are provided the transcript of the video. That way, they wouldn’t be replaying a scene over and over.
  • Adding subtitles is necessary especially if you are introducing new terms. It provides clarity. People watching won’t be constantly asking for the words uttered. This is particularly helpful when you are using jargon or highfalutin words in your video presentation. The terminologies won’t seem so foreign now. They will stick around because they learned something from you.

Now that you have the tips, you obviously need an excellent video editing software to apply them all. Well, you can hire a professional to record the video and edit it for you. However, doing it on your own allows you customize and change it the way you want.

Scottsdale SEO – Ways to Improve Your Landing Page Conversions (Part 1)

Now that people are on your landing page, what do you want them to do?

Now that people are on your landing page, what do you want them to do?

Adding a video on your landing page could help gain more conversions. If you don’t see its potential, then, maybe you are doing it wrong.  Your video might be TOO long or it’s not in the right place. Worse, it has no CTA buttons for your users to take action. Let me help you in improving your landing page by putting videos.

EDUCATE.

  • When someone arrives on your landing page, that person probably is showing interest with your product. Catch their attention by informing them about your products. This is your chance now that to educate your web visitors.
  • So, what should you include on this video presentation? Make sure the content is direct to the point. You don’t have all day to explain the positive points of your products.  The video should deliver its message in less than a minute. It should be able to answer these questions:
    • Who are you? What do you do?
    • How are you different from the other products in the market?
    • What makes you stand out? What makes you unique?
    • How you can help solve a particular problem?
  • The challenge now is to formulate a way to include those important points in an unconventional and interesting manner. Keep the video length as short as possible. Don’t bother adding fillers or fluff to your presentation. It’s there to be straightforward and to offer help. Being long and repetitious will just drive away people from your landing page.

FIND OUT THE GOAL OF YOUR VIDEO.

  • A video is there to fulfill a goal. Don’t squeeze in too many goals in one informative video. Ask yourself on what you want the users to do the moment they “land” on your landing page.  Is it to buy? Is it to sign up on your website? Is it to get their email address?
  • Define the goal of the video using this guideline:
    • Do you want people to purchase on the landing page?
    • Do you want them to fill up a form?
    • Do you want them to try an app on their phone or download it for desktop?
    • Do you want them to share the website to their friends?

 FEATURE YOUR VIDEO.

  • Don’t make the web visitors scroll for that educational video. It’s there to help others. Therefore, put it on an area that everyone can notice it without the need to scroll.  When the video is visible to everyone, the conversion rate will increase by at least 15%.
  • To highlight it more, why not dim the background when the user starts playing it? This way, you are sure that their eyes are on the video. When you have their undivided attention, conversion is slightly higher. From only 15%, it’s now up to 20%!

DON’T FORGET THE CTA!

  • Of course, an informative video is helpful to anyone interested on your products. However, your efforts are all useless without a clear CTA button. Like what we discussed earlier, what is your purpose?
  • If you want them to subscribe your email list, put a “Subscribe Now” button. Do you want them to download an app? Provide the download links for both Android and Apple devices.