The Importance and Advantages of Texting

advantage of text messaging

What is Text Messaging?

Text messaging, known as texting, is the act of writing and sending electronic or online text messaging, typically consisting of alphabetic and numeric characters, between two or more users of mobile devices, desktop/laptop computers, or any form of compatible computer.

The Popularity of Text Message

Customers like to communicate via text message. It’s simple, quick, and convenient; nevertheless, in our personal lives, texting frequently leads to a phone conversation since we can’t express that last-minute detail through text. As a result, we take up the phone and dial. Texting provides the same cross-channel context for both customers and enterprises.

  • Eighty-one percent of Americans text regularly.
  • Text messaging is the most dominant form of communication among US teens.
  • Americans text twice as much as they call, on average.

With so many texts being sent, it’s even more interesting to know that they have a 98 percent open rate. Not only that, 90 percent of texts are read within three minutes of being received. Forty-five percent of texts receive a response, and the average response time for a text is around 90 seconds. But aren’t most of the people sending texts from a younger generation? While the majority of texters are under 30, that doesn’t mean older age groups aren’t texting or using smartphones. Studies show that 70 percent of adults 50-plus own a smartphone Among those aged 50-69, text messaging has overtaken email as the communication tool most used to stay connected.

Benefits of Texting

Texting is a fast and simple way to connect and solve a problem since agents can often respond to customer texts faster than they can to live calls. Text messages have the highest opening rate of any medium of communication. As a result, text messaging can make it easier to reach out to customers. Provided below are the benefits of texting:

  • Instant and Fast Delivery: Messages are delivered quickly to contacts 100 percent of the time.
  • Reduced Competition: There is less competition because the average consumer has over 500 unread emails.
  • Higher Open Rates: Texting has an open rate of up to 98 percent compared to 20 percent for email.
  • Better Engagement: Texts have a 45 percent response rate compared to 6 percent for email.
  • More Personal: Texting allows you to create personalized messages.
  • Automated Messaging: Automation functions are available in business text messaging platforms.
  • Scheduled Messages: You can plan and schedule ahead of time when you want to send texts.
  • Texting can get you paid: Texting can help you get paid: text-to-pay allows you to collect payments by text message and send payment reminders to reduce accounts receivable.
  • Scalability: With business text messaging services, you can centralize your marketing, sales, customer care, and payment collection.
  • Cost-effective: Text messaging services are one of the least expensive types of automated and scalable commercial communication.

Types of Communication Channels

While extremely useful and cost-effective, SMS text messaging and live chat messaging aren’t the only types of communication channels that a business has in its back pocket. There are several others that your team should be using to grow internal productivity and improve outward-facing customer touchpoints. Here are some other types of communication channels at your disposal, to use at your discretion depending on the circumstances and results you desire.

  1. Face-to-Face: This is the richest communication channel because it allows for body language and facial expressions to be seen clearly in real-time.
  2. Video Conferencing: The next best thing to face-to-face, this effective form of communication allows you to interact with someone no matter where they’re located.
  3. Phone Calls: A less formal way to speak to someone, as talking on the phone can be done on a whim to get things done swiftly.
  4. Email: This can be either a formal or informal way to communicate and allows for flexibility on the part of both the sender and responder. It’s also a good way to have a more private conversation and document interaction.
  5. Online Message Platforms: These are used to lend a more professional tone to your informal communication. It’s secure, allows for more complexity, and can be used to share documents, pictures, and videos.
  6. Social Media: Communicating via social media gives businesses new opportunities for interacting with current and potential customers.

Business Text Messages vs Other Communication Channels

SMS marketing is a simple approach for any company to interact with its customers. You may quickly communicate with your target audience by sending out offers and chances. Even if businesses see the value of an SMS program, many are unsure what to do with it once it is launched.

SMS vs. Phone and Email

  • Customer support calls can cost upwards of $12 per conversation. Texts cost pennies per conversation.
  • SMS open rates are nearly four times that of email.
  • The response rate of SMS text message marketing is 45 percent vs. email response rates at six percent.
  • On average, it takes 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email.
advantages of texting

SMS open rates are nearly four times that of email.

Business texting stats by use case

While support is one of the more common departments businesses are starting to implement text messaging, it’s also significantly transforming how other departments work. Some other business texting use cases include sales, marketing, and operations.

Support texting stats

One of the most common use cases for business texting is for customer support teams. Because texting is quick, personable, and widely used, it makes for a convenient channel for customers to contact support teams.

  • More than half of consumers prefer contacting customer support through text.
  • Sixty percent of customers want to text businesses actively back about customer support issues.
  • Texting is the highest-rated contact method for customer satisfaction than all other communication channels, including social media.

Sales texting stats

Business texting for sales has proven useful for increasing response rates and, most importantly, closing more deals. Take a look at how business texting helps sales teams perform their roles better.

  • Ninety percent of leads prefer to be texted, compared to called.
  • Sales prospects who are sent text messages convert 40 percent higher than those who aren’t sent text messages.
  • Texting in the sales process with a qualified lead can increase conversions by over 100 percent.
texting advantages
  • Ninety percent of leads prefer to be texted, compared to called.

Marketing texting stats

One of the main struggles for marketing is qualifying better leads and re-engaging old customers. Business texting makes qualifying leads easier, and its individualized nature makes it easier to reconnect with customers who have opted-in for SMS.

  • SMS marketing campaigns perform seven times better than email marketing campaigns. 
  • Consumers redeem SMS-delivered coupons ten times more than other types of coupons.
  • From 2015 to 2017 alone, SMS marketing grew 197 percent as a strategy in B2B efforts.
  • CTR for links in text messages is much higher (9.18 percent) compared to other marketing channels such as Google Adwords (1.91 percent) and Facebook (0.90 percent).
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  • SMS marketing campaigns perform seven times better than email marketing campaigns.

Operations texting stats

No-shows are a massive pain for operations. According to research, appointment no-shows can cost small businesses over 21 percent of potential revenue that could have easily been retained with an appointment reminder via text. 

  • People prefer to text most for scheduling or changing appointments and making or confirming reservations.
  • Fifty-five percent of the respondents to a Twilio survey said they would like to reply to reminder alerts to confirm, ask for details, reschedule, or cancel an appointment.
  • Sending business appointment reminders to customers through SMS reduced missed appointments by 26 percent.

Texting stats based on industry

This section will break down the statistics of texting in some business verticals that have been early adopters to  SMS-based communication. These companies are well-positioned to use business texting because they’re in contact with many potential customers, colleagues, or partners. 

Healthcare industry texting stats

Health care providers and industries, ranging from hospitals to pharmacies to medical staffing agencies are among the top business texting users. One of their most common use cases is reducing the number of no-shows with text confirmations and reminders. No-shows cost the healthcare industry more than $150 billion per year.

  • Forty-three percent of customers surveyed said they are more likely to opt into texts for healthcare industries.
  • survey found that 85 percent of hospitals and 83 percent of physician practices use secure texting between care teams, patients, and families.
  • Ninety-six percent of hospitals are budgeting or are investing in comprehensive clinical texting platforms

Retail and e-commerce texting stats

Nowadays, most people are shopping on their cell phones, as 58 percent of Shopify orders come from mobile alone. That’s likely why e-commerce is one of the largest business texting industries. Forty-seven percent of marketers believe the industry uses SMS most effectively to handle customer support, abandoned carts, order confirmation, logistics, or decision-making in the sales process.

  • Forty-six percent of customers surveyed said they are more likely to opt into texts for e-comm or retail businesses.
  • Up to 80 percent of consumers preferred to track their orders via text when products were shipped.
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Professional services texting stats

Professional services — like real estate, legal, or finance — need to respond to leads and need a tool to manage their influx of messages. And consumers are already accustomed to handling personal business matters from their phones. For example, adults 50-59 are also more likely to do banking activities on their phones, making texting an ideal place for professional services to stay in contact with their customers.

  • Sixty-seven percent of smartphone users in the US like to receive service-based messages from their banks.
  • Forty-one percent of customers surveyed say they are more likely to opt into texts for banking or financial services.
  • Ninety-three percent of the National Association of Realtors members prefer to communicate with their clients through real estate text messages or telephone.

Managing Customer Interactions

With all the channels you and your customers can communicate through, juggling them all can be chaotic and costly. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix that makes every question, comment, or complaint easy and timely to address. All it takes is a technology that streamlines every interaction in one place. Managing customer interactions this way will ease your workload and give your customers the response time they deserve. Here’s what else you can do:

  • Pull messages and interactions from multiple channels into one place.
  • Give permissions for people to access conversations.
  • Provide quick customer service even when out of the office or while on the go.
  • Curate personalized recommendations.
  • Provide reminders and tips.
  • Send and receive documents and forms.
  • Automate review invites and feedback requests.
  • Auto responds when you can’t respond in person.

The Future of Business Texting

Now that we have a better understanding of how business texting currently operates, it’s time to look ahead. Here is what the data shows us about the future of texting. Hint: it’s only getting bigger from here. 

  • Twenty percent of marketing leaders plan on using SMS in their marketing strategies in the next 12 months.
  • An estimated 3.5 trillion SMS business messages will be sent in 2023.

What Is Live Chat Software?

Live chat software converts click into consumers by conversing with them through a webchat window on a company’s website. This communication channel works extremely well because, once you have a captive audience on your website, all you have to do is engage, inform, and advise them, which frequently wins them over. Real-time communication is simple, effective, and preferable over delayed or interrupted talks. All you need is a personalized widget that conveys the appropriate message to your customers, that you’re here to help. The truth is that most customers prefer live chat to a phone call when they need assistance, and many already expect your website to provide that service–but do you?

What Is Conversational Commerce?

Conversational commerce is the use of digital communication between a business and its clients to drive sales. Such communication happens via text messaging, social media, and personal assistant devices (Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, Google Home). It allows your customers to hand over the “research” phase of shopping to the experts. It also makes the checkout process much quicker and simpler. Because of these benefits, customer conversions and satisfaction ratings climb higher than ever. There are several ways conversational commerce can help drive sales, such as by:

  • Offering recommendations to help customers make a decision.
  • Simplifying the check-out process with an SMS payment solution.
  • Allowing for personalized appointment bookings and reminders.
  • Sending notices of limited-time promotions or targeted deals.
  • Providing updates on product availability and shipment details.

What Are SMS Payments?

SMS payments (Short Message Service payments) allow customers to pay for something through a simple text, rather than by logging in and entering personal information and credit card/banking information every time they want to purchase something or pay a bill. SMS payments work by simply sending customers a short text with a link to a secure payment processing platform. The customer clicks on the link, views their invoice, and makes a payment. This streamlined process allows your business to do these seven things:

  1. Make the check-out process extremely fast and easy for customers (sometimes even with only one click) so you don’t lose them before they complete the process.
  2. Get paid for your products or services.
  3. Simplify recurring payments (subscription services, phone bills, etc.).
  4. Answer questions or address concerns regarding invoice issues.
  5. Collect past-due bills.
  6. Extend your SMS marketing services (last-minute deals, etc.).
  7. Thank your patrons for their business and payment.

The Bottom Line

There’s no denying it — business texting is a must-have for most industries if they want to succeed in their overall company goals. Whether they use it for customer support or to communicate logistics internally, texting can ease multiple pain points for businesses and ultimately make them more productive and profitable in the long run. Business text messaging (also known as SMS texting) allows a business to send and receive text messages from a business phone number to current and prospective customers.

This has become a popular option of communication for business owners, but why? It’s because business texting allows you to quickly correspond with customers, including by sending promotional deals and giving updates on orders and services. We’ll get into a lot more detail about business text messaging, covering information on these related topics:

  • The many benefits of messaging via text for business.
  • Some important facts about consumers and text messaging.
  • The ease and convenience of live chat software (webchat).
  • What conversational commerce is and how it can help drive sales.
  • How SMS payments work and why they drive sales.
  • Different types of communication channels.
  • How to effectively manage customer interactions.
  • Case studies of how text messaging works for real businesses.
  • Where to get more information about business text messaging services.

Unfortunately, SMS texting has only been implemented by a small percentage of businesses across the country, due in part to the fact that many business owners simply aren’t aware of the option or its benefits. Some of the many benefits of text messaging are that:

  • Your message gets read.
  • Customers engage more.
  • It improves customer service.
  • Brand loyalty goes up.
  • It improves confidence in your brand.
  • It’s convenient for both staff and customers.
  • Instances of appointment no-shows decrease.
  • In-store visits soar.
  • Sales rise.
  • There’s an increase in successful payments.

Think about it. Fifty-four percent of consumers want to receive marketing text messages from businesses. It’s time for you to step up and give your customers what they want so that, in turn, they can help your business grow and thrive. The fact is, most people would much rather communicate via text message than on the phone or over email. For one, it’s a lot less intrusive. And two, it’s a much more effective way to engage. When it comes to consumers and text messaging:

  • 75% find it helpful to receive appointment reminders via text.
  • 72% are more likely to make a purchase when texting with a real employee.
  • 69% would prefer for an unfamiliar company to contact them over text messaging, rather than over the phone.
  • 63% would switch companies if they offered text messaging.
  • 63% will also recommend their friends make the switch.

The problem is, only 39% of businesses message with customers. This isn’t because it’s difficult to set up SMS messaging, but because many business owners simply don’t think they have the bandwidth to manage a new communication channel, or that only millennial customers want to text. The truth is that it’s much easier than you think, and regardless of age, many of your customers would love to engage with your business via text. Most customers (including those over age 60) check a new message within five minutes of receiving one (at a nearly 100% read rate). Perhaps even more important is that 54% of all age groups are frustrated when they’re unable to use text to connect with a business.

10 Digital Marketing Tactics Utilized by Top Brands

digital marketing tactics

There is no doubt that digital marketing or online marketing is crucial when it comes to the success of any business no matter what industry you are in. Unlike the past when businesses used traditional advertising, today, they are not as effective as online advertising and this has pushed many businesses to adopt online advertising to reach customers. Online marketing is the way to go if you want to reach and create a connection with customers.

Gone are the days when it was difficult to understand what customers want. Today, with the increase in tools such as analytics and digital marketing software, it is far easier to guess — nay, estimate — customer behavior… and cater to it! Online marketing has enabled businesses to gain treasured insights to customers’ minds.

When implemented in the right way, digital marketing will enable your business to target and reach its customers, classify new ones, increase sales, and experience lasting growth.

These digital marketing approaches will make your business visible to your existing customers online and connect you with new ones.

What is Digital Marketing Today?

Digital marketing is the use of the internet and electronic devices to make your business known to your existing and new customers both locally and internationally. It is a means of advertising done through digital platforms like social media, email, mobile apps, websites, and search engines’ marketing strategies.

In today’s digital world, marketing is about connecting with your prospective customers in the right place and at the desired time, selling them with goods and services they need at the right time. This means that you need to target them where they spend most of their time and in this case, it is the internet. Digital marketing encompasses a range of marketing activities such as content marketing, email marketing, search engine optimization, mobile marketing, and more.

That being said, below, we’ve compiled a list of the digital marketing tactics used by all the famous business brands in the world.

1. Combine SEO and Content Digital Marketing

SEO used to be a function of coding. Today, most of the metrics included in Google’s algorithm have to do with the material and the engagement you win through the distribution of great content. Using various types of content (visual, text, video, infographics, audio, etc) does much better to continue than using a single type of material.

More content – As more businesses embrace content marketing, competition continues to get tougher. Everything you do online is drowned in noise and information overload. If it’s SEO many businesses are doing it. If it’s posting good and original content, many are doing it. So, to beat them, you need to publish better and more content. According to HubSpot data, publishing at least once a week is critical for ROI and ROI drops pretty precipitously when you publish less frequently. However, it’s not about quantity or quality, but an ideal mix of both.

Valuable content – Material should be entertaining, informative, or make the reader feel something. Valuable content marketing strategy encourages subscription to your email, sharing, comments, and other actions that contribute to ROI.

Original content – Content can be audio, video, or text but when you decide to use one or all of these digital content, ensure it is good and original. If you can’t create unique, compelling, and good material by yourself, you can hire an expert to create content for your website and social media platforms. This is where you will need a powerful content marketing plan like never before.

Appropriate content – As you can see from this infographic from Occam’s Razor, you need to produce click content that’s right for each stage in the conversion process (and your metrics need to match your goal with each piece of keywords content).

content digital marketing

Knowing where a visitor is in the conversion process isn’t always easy, but, if you’ve done a good job of coding SEO content (applying tracking codes so you know what type of content drove them to visit your site) and use tools that let you track where users have been before, you can make an educated guess as to what blog content they need. By delivering the right material at the right time, you’re more likely to convert the audience.

Reach is important. The more visitors you bring to your site, all things being equal, the higher your SEO ROI. This is one of the reasons it’s important to have several social platforms and have links on your content so the audience can easily share your blog content. You should share your material once it’s published and here’s a schedule recommended by Kissmetrics:

In addition to sharing your own content, you should share content created by other great companies/ experts. Many SEO experts recommend you share 20% of your promotional click content and 80% other valuable content you find.

2. Have a Visible Presence on Relevant Digital Social Media Marketing Platforms

Being seen online is the key to success for every business, especially in today’s world where almost all businesses have gone digital. It is one of the ways to stand out from the crowd. For this reason, you need to build your online presence on social media networks of relevance. Note that there are plenty of SEO social networks available but you need to identify where your customers spend most of their time and target them there. Pick those that are relevant to your business and according prospects and build your online presence strategy there.

3. Optimize Your Digital Website for Mobile-First Browsing Marketing

To ensure your material is mobile-friendly, your SEO website and social media networks are accessible on desktops and mobile devices. Customers are currently using smartphones and tablets to access the web. So, it is crucial to make your website and SEO  content accessible to users on all screen sizes including a phone.

4. Use the Right Tools Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is an amalgamation of different strategies aimed at a plethora of channels, like SEO, PPC, social media, and so on. In order to ensure that you have an integrated marketing mix, you need the right digital marketing tools to help you run effective campaigns. You also need to develop digital marketing strategy SEO campaign expertise in using them and applying the insights in the right context compared to offline audience marketing.

5. Be Awesome at Digital Design Marketing

Design underpins much of what makes digital marketing success. Whether you’re designing a website, a landing page or creating an image for your website, ad, or infographic, you need to have good design skills. Not all of us are whiz kids when it comes to design, but there are some search tools to help with complete automation.

Canva – is a great tool for creating social media images whether you need them for your profile or as images to include in posts. One aspect of Canva I really like is the templates that help design great looking images even if you know nothing about layout or what fonts go together. They’re constantly adding new images and tools, such as infographic templates, to help you out.

Photoshop – granted it’s expensive, but Photoshop is a great design tool. Luckily, you can now get the entire creative cloud from Adobe for as low as $29/ month if you’re in school and a little more to use for business. It used to be more difficult to use Photoshop, but now there are tons of SEO science tutorials on YouTube and Photoshop now includes little mini tutorials if you hover over the buttons.

Kuler – If mixing colors isn’t your forte, then Adobe Color is for you. It lets you import an image and get the colors used or you can choose a digital marketing strategy channels color to get colors that coordinate well with it.

6. Create an Email List for Marketing

This should be done from the beginning of your business. If you are on the startup SEO phase, you need to make an email list when planning. Ensure to gather people’s digital marketing program emails where you will be sending them any updates and progress of your business marketers. For digital marketing, send them useful campaign information but avoid spamming them.

7. Spend on Digital Advertising Marketing

Online advertising, including PPC (pay per click) campaigns such as Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, social media advertising on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and mobile ads are great to support digital marketing ads search success.

8. Use Marketing Infographics

People love infographics because they are attractive. Note that our brains can process pictures ads must quicker than text. A picture is worth a thousand words, and people will share them more often than texts for marketers.

Here are some examples of the best content infographics that awesome SEO marketers have created and used to resonate channels and reading the channel with their digital marketing audience.

9. Closely Watch Your Marketing Analytics

Almost the other end of the spectrum from creativity is search analytics, but that’s exactly the combination you need for digital marketing channels’ success. Google Analytics is perfect for understanding critical elements of your website and how the audience navigate through it. If you’re trying to learn how to gain insights from Google Analytics, you can use the Google Data Studio to give it a company test drive using data from Google’s e-commerce page.

For analytics outside of Google Analytics strategy, a number of great tools exist. You can use people individual analytics marketing tactic from each network channels campaign (ie. Facebook, Pinterest, etc), you can bring them all to one place by 

using a dashboard brand program such as Cognos (from IBM), or you can pay for some more powerful tools to gain more search insights.

10. Integrate Digital Marketing Channels Strategies and Campaigns Across Channels

Integrating across these schemes can be really challenging, especially in a larger firm where different teams may manage different platforms or where different ad agencies handle different aspects of marketing, such as content marketing, paid, and social. But, integrate you must to achieve true digital marketing success channels.

A big part of conversion is social media marketing frequency and unless efforts are coordinated, you lose out on media marketing social brand frequency.

Let’s talk about how you go about integrating across these company plans that contribute to digital marketing strategy search success.

Free digital marketing strategic planning

The first step in integration is to have a strategic scheme. Don’t have one, here’s a search link to creating a digital marketing plan page.

Coordination comes from strategic elements such as messaging, but even elements such as mission and digital marketing campaigns goals strategy help integrate efforts by creating an umbrella under which teams create material, infographics, and the metrics used to assess the strategy.

Creative marketing meetings

Bringing everyone together is important. Everyone should have time to share marketing social media brand channels elements they’re working on and get input from the group about ways to extend a particular effort across multiple platforms and creative social media marketing efforts.

Having a style guide is a must. In the style guide, list the color palette, fonts, and approved variations so there’s consistency across your marketing ads efforts (including traditional advertising). Copies of various sizes and types of logos, images of the digital marketing company program people strategy leadership skills team, and other graphic social media marketing elements may be part of the search style guide.

A master guide digital marketing plan

There needs to be a point person in charge of digital marketing success and that person is key to coordinating efforts across teams. Some search organizations have an approval process where the top person must approve everything before it goes live. I’m not a big fan of this digital marketing inbound approach because it can slow the strategy process down and, unlike traditional advertising strategy, digital media ads is a fast-flowing river where putting in a dam causes the flow to back up and allows accumulation of a lot of flotsam and jetsam, which is both stinky and further jams the strategy pipeline.

A better strategy is to use a digital master calendar or another device, such as an app, to allow people to post content marketing on what they’re working on, the assets they plan to use, and when the creative effort will go live. But, it’s not enough to post free digital marketing plans, but everyone should be required to check this master reviews strategy calendar every day to see where the people’s plans fit into those already in the marketing digital advertising strategy works.

For instance, reusing a graphic created by another guide digital marketing team not only saves time and money strategy, it creates a visual search that helps consumers (customers and potential customers) associate the two efforts–and increases the content marketing ads frequency.

Your Turn

Digital marketing is a must for your business success, and we hope our list of tactics will keep you headed in the right company social media marketing learning direction. These tactics are tried and tested and when you implement them effectively, you can get ahead of your people’s brand competition.

If you want your business to succeed online in today’s digital world, then these digital marketing strategies will come in handy company campaign. What tips would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and How to Do it Like a Seasoned Professional

Usual Internet users would often ask, what is SEO? If you aren’t familiar with search engine optimization (SEO), you may be looking for a quick guide on how to navigate it. Search engine optimization (SEO), while in-depth and technical, is a strategy well worth the investment. To help you learn the fundamentals of search engine optimization (SEO), we have created this quick SEO basics guideline.

First, What is a Search Engine?

A search engine is a web-based application that allows people to find information on the Internet. Search engines work with a piece of software that helps users discover the information they need online by using keywords or phrases. The engine results page can deliver search results rapidly, even when there are millions of websites available since they continuously monitor the Internet and index every page they locate.

what is seo

When a user enters a search phrase, the search engine examines the website page titles, contents, and keywords it has indexed and employs algorithms (step-by-step procedures) to generate a list of sites, with the most relevant sites at the top, hence, redirecting user with a search result pages. Search engine optimization (SEO) is used by businesses to help search engine results perceive their websites as highly relevant to specific searches. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are some of the most popular search engines.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a Google web tool that allows webmasters to verify the progress of their websites’ indexing and optimize their exposure. It is a free Google service that allows you to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s visibility in Google Search results. It allows a user to receive warnings when Google detects indexing, spam, or other concerns on your site, as well as see which websites link to yours. Also, it recommends SEO techniques that generate traffic from search engines, while on the other hand, Google Analytics allows you to monitor and get a complete view of traffic from marketing efforts, social media, and search engines.

Search Engine Results Pages

Google’s answer to a user’s search query is known as Search Engine Results Pages or SERPs. Organic search results, sponsored Google Ads results, Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graphs, and video results are common in this. These are the pages that Google and other search engines display in response to a user’s search query and are comprised of both organic and sponsored search results.

Do search engines work in an SEO strategy?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of increasing the visibility of web pages in search engines such as Google. Because search is one of the most common ways for individuals to find material online, ranking higher in search engines can result in increased traffic to a website. Search engines operate by crawling the web with bots known as spiders. These web crawlers follow links from page to page to identify fresh content to add to the search index. When you utilize a search engine, relevant results from the index are extracted and ranked using an algorithm.

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

SEO refers to search engine optimization. SEO is the process of making efforts to improve the ranking of a website or piece of content on Google.  The primary distinction between SEO and paid advertising is that SEO entails “organic” ranking, which implies you do not pay to be in that space. To put it simply, search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a piece of online content so that search engines like Google display it near the top of the page when someone searches for something.

SEO is the process of improving elements on your website to help your business attain a higher ranking in search results. When users conduct searches on search engines like Google, they focus on the first page of results. 75% of users don’t look beyond the first page of results. If you aren’t on the first page of results, your audience will miss your business. You’ll lose leads and sales to your competitors. SEO helps you improve your ranking to get to the first page of results.

How is your website’s SEO?

SEO is the process of making efforts to improve the ranking of a website or piece of content on Google. To put it simply, search engine optimization is the process of optimizing a piece of online content so that search engines like Google display it near the top of the page when someone searches for something.

Before you optimize for SEO, you need to know how search engines like Google work. Google’s algorithm influences where your site appears in search results. You must understand the algorithm to recognize how and why Google ranks your website in a particular position. It’s also important to understand Google’s algorithm because you must know what helps and harms your site. You want to ensure that you’re using the appropriate practices to drive sustainable results for your business.

Two main factors influence SEO:

  • On-page factors: These are factors that you can control on your site. On-page factors include aspects such as internal linking and website functionality. You can manage these elements to help make your site better for your audience.
  • Off-page factors: With these factors, you have little to no control over them. Off-page factors include things like backlinks to your site and social media mentions. You can try to manage these actions, like through outreach, but you don’t have complete control over them.

These are two main factors that influence your SEO marketing strategy, so you’ll want to keep them in mind as you go through this SEO crash course.

How to do SEO successfully?

The most recognized benefit of SEO is improved rankings, yet rankings are really a means to an aim. Many of the genuine advantages of SEO are traffic-related. The next part of this course on the fundamentals of SEO is how to implement strategies that will help you create a successful SEO campaign. There are numerous parts to SEO, so we’ll take a look at each component and tell you how to optimize for it.

SEO Strategies to Consider

When creating a website, it is critical to keep Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. Doing so from the beginning of your preparation will help to ensure that less work is required in the future. Going back and rebuilding a website for SEO will take far more time and effort than doing it correctly from the start. As SEO grows more significant in the internet world, it becomes more important to businesses and their success. In today’s digital environment, using SEO tactics is no longer an option. These methods are required for success. Without getting too technical, provided below is an SEO guide to do SEO like a professional.

1. Research and target valuable keywords

Everything about SEO revolves around keyword selection. You won’t have a successful SEO campaign without choosing relevant keywords for your website and its pages. Keywords help your website appear in relevant search results, so you want to select the right keywords to get your site in front of interested leads. So, how do you find relevant keywords for your campaign? To find relevant keywords, conduct keyword research. Keyword research will help you identify high-value keywords for your campaign.

When you conduct keyword research, focus on long-tail keywords. These keywords contain three or more words. An example of a long-tail keyword is “paper companies in Harrisburg, PA.” Long-tail keywords are better for your campaign because they drive more relevant traffic to your product or service. They are specific, so they drive leads that are looking for your business, product, or service. Once you have your keywords selected, integrate and anchor them into your web pages. You need to have a different keyword for each page to get and target people. Management of these keywords is vital and start by placing them in the title tags, meta descriptions, and body text of all your pages.

An important part is that you do not overuse your keywords. Using keywords too often leads to keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing harms your SEO and hurts your ranking. Keyword selection and integration are the two main fundamentals of SEO. If you want to have success with SEO, start by choosing the right keywords for your campaign. It will set you on the path to driving valuable results and metrics for your business.

2. Know your SEO competitors

When you’re trying to rank at the top of the search results, you’re competing with other companies for the top spots. You must know your competitors well. That way, you can outrank them. Start by browsing the search results for your keywords on Google. Who appears in the top spots? These are the sites you’re going to need to outrank and outperform to help your website get to the top of the search results. Check these high-ranking pages out and look at what they’re doing. You’ll want to note what these competitors do well and where they miss the mark. It’s an excellent way for you to learn how you can make your strategy and pages better.

3. Improve page speed

When users visit your website, they don’t want to waste time waiting for your page to load. They want to access information quickly so they can get on with their day. If your page doesn’t load fast enough for your audience, they will return to the search results. This increases the bounce rate on your page, which negatively impacts your SEO ranking. Google will believe that your page isn’t relevant to the search terms or users and will rank other sites above you that provide a better (and faster) user experience.

To help improve your site’s performance, focus on decreasing your page’s load time. You can reduce your page’s load time by focusing on the back end of your website. Here are a few things you can do to improve your page’s load time:

  • Reduce image file size
  • Decrease redirects
  • Delete white space in coding
  • Minify CSS, JavaScript, and HTML
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Use a content distribution network

All these practices will help improve your page’s load time to provide your audience with information fast. If you want to know what you must fix on your site, use Google PageSpeed Insights to see where you can make improvements. Google will tell you what is slowing down your website so you can improve it on your own. Don’t have experience fixing the back end of your site? Don’t worry! You can invest in page speed services, like Mach 1 Design, to get a team of experts to optimize your site’s speed and SEO.

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4. What is content and why publish content regularly?

In publishing, art, and communication, content is information and experiences aimed towards an end-user or audience. Content marketing is an integral part of your SEO campaign. If you want to drive successful results with your SEO campaign, you must create content to drive valuable traffic to your website. There are numerous forms of content that you can create to drive traffic to your page. A few examples include blogs, videos, ebooks, and infographics. All of these types of content are great for driving traffic to your page. For example, an HVAC team may produce the following content as a part of its SEO strategy:

  • An infographic on the prevalence of HVAC systems
  • A pricing guide on residential or commercial HVAC costs
  • A video on how different HVAC systems work

When you create content, focus on providing your audience with valuable information they want. Your audience is continuously conducting searches looking for content to help answer their questions and educate them. By creating content, you bring these leads to your page. They spend time on your website and get to know your business. As users learn more about your company, they build brand familiarity. When it comes time to convert, they will remember the helpful information you provided and choose your business over the competition.

Increasing traffic on your page and increasing the dwell time of users sends a positive signal to Google that your page is relevant. That signal can help improve your ranking in relevant search results, which means more traffic for your company.

5. Optimize Link Building

Need help with your SEO and digital marketing?

With people conducting searches online 24/7, you must invest in SEO to ensure that you are reaching the right people. SEO will help you improve your site’s ranking to reach more users interested in your products or services. SEO is a process that takes time to develop and drive results.

This crash course can help you get started, but you may find more professional assistance with your SEO campaign. Contact us online at www.Mach1Design.com or call us at (469) 536-8478 to see how our team of experts can help you create a custom SEO strategy that drives results for your business.

How to Rank and Optimize Your Business on Google Maps in 2022

optimizing google maps

Every company looks forward to having their business on Google Maps Search Results. Having your business on Google Maps means that your business listing has better chances of appearing on Google’s organic search results.  

This means optimizing the business in Google Maps will ensure that you rank top for local engine results. This will ensure that you rank on Google Maps, but the question you should be asking here is how to rank higher on Google Maps?  

You might be well aware of the fierce competition between local businesses to appear in Google’s local pack. This is because the business listings that appear in the local 3 pack get the most exposure and hence more website traffic and conversion. This post will discuss how your business with all the possible resources can show up in local search results and the factors that will help to rank your business on Google Maps.

How to Improve GMB Ranking? 

The primary reason for getting your business listed on Google My Business (GMB) is to create awareness about your business. There are many useful tactics you can employ so that Google places your business on top of the local listings. Having Google My Business Optimization and ranking on Google Maps optimized is the way forward for local businesses to increase and improve ranking especially on businesses with brick-and-mortar locations only. 

Search Engine Optimization helps websites rank their content on top of Google SERP. As you already know, any position outside of Google’s first page is usually considered an abandoned graveyard. If you are a business owner, the same rules apply when it comes to GMB Ranking and the coveted Google Map Pack. This is an example of how such a factor will provide massive traffic drivers to optimize and place your websites/store/shop top-ranked.

The Google local business listing optimization is so robust that it drives you, numerous customers, without you necessarily knowing a great deal about how to optimize your SEO. The better you rank in the business listing, the more trustworthy you become. The more trust you gain, the stronger your business’s impact will be on the target audience, and this is how basically these processes work. 

As already mentioned, a simple website is not a prerequisite to creating a Google My Business account or adding a business to Google Maps. However, it is always beneficial to have a business website in the long run. To rank better, understanding Google My business SEO and Google Maps ranking factors are essential to work with. Simply follow this post to learn how to get your business on Google Maps to rank higher.

Why Rank Higher on Google Maps Pack?

If you own a business that sells products and services to the local audience, then securing one of the top 3 spots on Google Maps listings, also known as Google Maps Pack, is an immensely important feature in the marketing field. Appearing among the top 3 positions of the Maps Pack SERP Feature will not give your business a large online exposure but also improve sign-ups, site visits, phone calls, text messages, and other desirable conversions significantly.  

For example, if you own a restaurant in Broadway, New York, then you have more footfalls if you rank on the top 3 spots in the Google local search results for that area. The reason is when the local people in Broadway search for ‘restaurants near me’ your business listing will appear right on top even before the first organic listing as a part of Google’s local pack. 

Earlier, Google featured the top 7 local listings in the Google Maps Pack. However, now it picks only three that best fit the related search query. If you want to see more results, you have to click on the ‘More Results’ option, to obtain maximum exposure, better credibility, more relevancy, and high traffic inflow, your business must appear in the top 3 spots in the Google local searches to appear on the top 3 features.

Although there are several Google Maps ranking factors to consider for it, certain factors can directly affect your Google Maps rankings. Some of these Google Ranking factors include for Local SEO:

  1. GMB (Google My Business) Profile
  2. Quality Backlinks
  3. Reviews
  4. On-Page Relevance
  5. NAPs (Name Address and Phone Number) and Citations

Key Benefits of Getting Ranked

Since most people now use ‘near me’ queries on Google Maps to find local businesses, appearing in the first 3 spots on the Google Pack Page could help you ace the local SEO game. Listed below are some of the key benefits of getting ranked on the top 3 positions of Google Maps. 

  • Over 85% of consumers, who search for any local business on Google Maps, visit that business within 24 to 48 hours. 
  • As per Google’s report, around 28% of these Google Map local searches usually result in a purchase. 
  • It has been observed that people are now making quick purchase decisions based on the customer reviews, credibility scores, and online reputation of any business. And Google Maps Listings easily help customers find these crucial pieces of information.
  • Since Google Maps results are interactive, consumers can take direct actions from the listing itself in a few clicks. They can make direct phone calls, text messages, or book reservations instantly. Therefore, ranking on Google’s local listing will ensure better conversions.   

Determining the Rank on Google Maps

As we all know, Google Maps results are primarily based on the searcher’s location and therefore, two key factors could potentially influence your business ranking and marketing on the Google Maps listings. These two factors include:

1. Credibility & Visibility:

The higher your business’s credibility, the more likely it will appear on top engine results in the Google Maps Pack.  Certain factors could influence your business’s local visibility on Google Maps’ local search results page. These may include mentions on social media, mentions from other websites, and social media tags from influencers. In addition to this, having citations on local directories could also play a major role in enhancing your business rankings on Google Maps Pack listings.

2. Positive Reviews:

Google takes proper account of the positive reviews to determine your business’s ranking on Google’s local pack. Positive online reviews will add up to the credibility and optimization of your business and lead to more conversions and high ROIs. 

How to Rank on Google Maps? 

It is a well-known fact that getting ranking business profiles to appear on the first page of the search engine results page can potentially increase web traffic inflow to your website. Similarly, getting your business ranked on the top-3 positions of Google Maps listing will eventually increase customer traffic to your business store and enhance your conversions. Putting your business on Google Maps paves the way for better online reach for your business.

Since the Google Maps listings include directions to your store, it will lead more people to visit your business store besides boosting your organic reach and conversions. So, if you’re wondering how to rank higher on Google Maps or how to get listed on Google, then you need to follow three necessary steps to get your business featured among the top 3 positions:

Business Optimization Tips

If you’re ready to sign up your business on GMB listing to appear on Google Maps, then you can consider following these 3 easy-to-follow business optimization tips:

1. Check out whether or not your business is already listed

Before adding your business to Google Maps, you must check out the Google Maps listing to see whether your business is already listed on Google Maps. You can type your business name on the search bar and if it shows up, then it means your business already exists in the Google Maps Listing. However, if your business doesn’t show up, then you will notice a prompt below the search bar to add the missing place.    

2. If your business is not listed, create it

To add your business to the Google Maps listing, you need to click on the prompt that appears on the search results page. This prompt will allow you to add a new place. While creating a new business place, you need to provide your business name, business address, and the appropriate category. Choosing the apt category will eventually enable your business to show up for relevant engine results and allow your target audience to connect more effectively.

3. After being listed, Claim listing

Creating a new GMB listing for your business will simply put your business on Google Maps. It doesn’t mean that your business will rank higher on Google Maps. Therefore, to acquire top search rankings and appear in relevant local searches on Google Maps, you must optimize yourGoogle Business listing.

Optimizing your GMB listing requires submission of appropriate business information as well as its timely revision on Google Maps listing. You need to know that anyone can add a place on Google Maps listing but to add or update your business information on Google My Business, it is imperative that you first claim your business listing. 

For that, you need to click on the ‘Claim this Business’ tag after you’ve added your business as a new place on the Google Maps listing. 

How does Google My Business work?

Opening an account and claiming your business on Google maps is the first step to doing local SEO for your business. Once you’ve filled in all your information alongside selecting the right business category, Google will verify your business by sending you a postcard to the address added in the Google Maps listing. The postcard that you get contains a secret verification PIN, which has to be entered to complete the Google My Business verification process.

You can also opt for options like email verification, phone verification, or instant verification to complete your business verification process if available. Completing the verification process will help you claim ownership of your business. You can make as many changes as you want in the business listing once your account is verified. You must look into your account at regular intervals to check the total clicks, subscribers, and impressions received for your business listing.

Frequent interactions and activities on your Google My Business listing are a signal for Google that your business is worth displaying on the Google Maps Pack. However, listing a business in Google My Business is not the only thing that’s necessary for local SEO. You have to superintend on-page and off-page SEO as well.

How Do I Rank Higher?

It is proven that getting into the top 3 positions on Google Maps can actually benefit your business and prove to be extremely profitable on your financial objectives as well as your prospective clients. In addition to this, the top Google My Business ranking of your business also acts as a key performance indicator for your clients as well as other online visitors who come to search for local SEO services. Provided below are the 9 easy steps to follow in Google Maps to the top 3 packs:   

1. Include Main Keywords in your GMB Business Name

This is one of the most crucial Google Maps ranking factors that you need to consider to improve your business ranking. If you want more and more customers to connect to your business, then you must optimize your GMB listing with the target keywords. Google sometimes shows a business name for a high-ticket-money keyword and shares the company’s information with the customers. So, utilizing this method of including the primary keyword in your GMB name will help your business win an uphill battle against its competitors. 

2. Select the Right Business categories and  Optimized It

It is possible that the listed GMB categories do not perfectly fit your business. Therefore, to rank higher on the Google Maps listing, you need to make sure that your primary business categories are matched properly in close context with the main keywords. The best way to do this is by typing in your main keywords in the category box and maxing out your second business category with the relevant options. In this way, you can enhance your impressions for other business category keywords and achieve high rankings on Google My Business listings

3. Create Local Relevance and Citations

Building local relevance, niche, and citations via on-page and off-page optimizations is a big aspect of local SEO. For off-page optimization, you can consider building niche and local relevance. You can also focus on building local citations and get them indexed by linking them to your business website via the Google mobile-friendly testing tool. Sending these citations to an indexing service is also a great way of getting them indexed.        

4. Secure Your On-Page

If you aren’t aware already, you should know that on-page elements are a crucial factor in SEO, and therefore, you must fix and secure your on-page to acquire top rankings on Google Maps. 

5. User Interface(UI)/User Experience(UX)

Make sure that your business website is mobile friendly and has its SSL certificate installed to allow your website to rank higher on Google Maps and the organic search results page. Choosing a mobile-friendly design and having an SSL certificate installed will not only offer direct ranking benefits to your business website but also benefit it indirectly by building trust, increasing conversions, and lowering the potential bounce rates. 

6. SEO Business Optimization of Content

If you want your business to rank higher on Google Maps, then you need to make sure your landing page content is authoritative and attached to your Google My Business listings. Make sure that you use appropriate keywords, geo-tagged images, related geo modifiers, relevant keywords, and their LSI versions, and place them uniformly throughout the page multiple times.      

7. NAP Information

Including the NAP (Name Address and Phone Number) information on your Google, Maps page is also a great idea. You can consider using proper schema markups and embedded Google Maps and checking it using the Google structured data testing tool.

8. Get Social Signals

Social Signals are becoming immensely important in Google Maps as well as online organic searches. You need to know that these social signals are actually based on your site’s likes, shares, and overall social media appearance. You can acquire these social signals by running social ads or through various social media marketing strategies. It will not only attract more web traffic but also help it reach its potential customers. 

9. Acquire More Positive Reviews

Positive reviews can greatly help your website to rank higher on Google Maps. So, if you want to obtain some quality reviews for your business, consider putting up your Google Maps review link on your invoices, business cards, and email signatures. Although it is technically inappropriate for any business to ask for reviews, you can just try making it simple by encouraging your customers to leave feedback on your product or service. 

Following these 6 steps will eventually help your business rank higher in Google Maps and connect the targeted local audience in the best possible manner. Once you’ve performed all these measures, just keep adding relevant, interactive, and engaging guest posts until you hit the top 3 spots in Google Maps. 

The Vital Aspects of Google Maps Ranking

Earlier, factors such as relevance, proximity, prominence, and industry domains used to be the basis for Google Maps ranking. Google, however, has started considering several other aspects for Google Maps rankings. It has helped many small and medium-sized industries to giddy up in Google my business listings. Otherwise, they may have been dominated by well-established big-budget companies.

1. Verify Google Business Listing

It is cardinal to verify your business listing in Google because it won’t show your business on Google maps until it’s verified. Verify every category you have mentioned in Google. The more authority, the better the Google My Business ranking in the SERPs. Make sure you update everything about your business in Google My Business listing, also add the below features:

A. Business operation timings:

Updating your business hours correctly in Google My Business can fetch incalculable potential customers. This will help the customers to track your working hours before they visit you.

B. Update contact and website address:

Google emphasizes businesses that provide complete information and verify with them. Hence, it is important to update your information like telephone number, address, and website address so Google can assist users by providing your accurate information on the Google maps.

C. Avoid inept and matching business information:

Google is strictly against businesses providing duplicate information or having multiple listings for a single location business. Make sure to put aside redundant information and update the precise data in Google Maps to get considered for the ranking.

D. Include keywords:

Google Maps uses different algorithms to provide search results, just like traditional SEO. Similarly, it emphasizes search phrases and keywords to rank a business listing.  Since your business is already listed in Google My Business, the results will be incredible if you optimize it with primary and secondary keywords. LSI keywords usage also helps you in getting the plethora of keywords you can use.

E. Include photos:

The photos on Google My Business perform way better than the business owners, and marketers can think. Google reported that the businesses with photos on Google My Business got 35 percent clicks through to the websites and 42 percent driving direction requests than businesses without photos.

2. Invite for Google Reviews

Customer reviews are very important for any website. The first thing people see on any website is customer reviews. Hence, it is important to get reviews on your GMB listing so that they appear on the Google Maps listing. Moreover, you know that Google reviews render a considerable rise in conversion rates than other local SEO strategies. The surveys prove that the more the number of reviews about a business, the more trustworthy it will be. Typically, a customer views up to six reviews to make up their mind about any business.

3. Insert the Google Map on Your Website

One of the other ways to get a better rank on Google maps is to insert your Google Maps location on the website. You may have seen such maps on other websites before. Inserting Google maps on the website ensures Google that you are in the location mentioned on Google My Business. Add the name of your business to the location, and it outreaches to the audience. Inserting Google Maps on a website is easy. Get your physical location on Google map, click on the three-lined button beside your venture name, and right-click on ‘share map.’ You get a link that you should copy and post on the business contact page.

4. Categorize Your Business Accurately

Google provides you with five categories to leverage in Google My Business. Don’t miss out on using these categories. You can use these categories while claiming a Google Maps listing. Most business owners are not aware of this option. Ensure that you utilize it proficiently. The primary category should be used magnificently. Add your business classification to the primary category for example fashion or restaurant and include local SEO keyword descriptions such as Dallas fashion or paradise restaurant that act as additional classifications.

5. Consistently Evaluate Business Rank

Once you have updated the business on the Google My Business listing, you need to track your ranking regularly; if your rank is low, then you should consider citing your business more. You may do it by:

  • Inspect the citations of businesses that rank above you. Surf through the various directories to find where their business is listed and add your listing there.
  • Avail of link-building services from authoritative websites to your Google My Business.
  • Make sure your business listing is accurate in Google maps.
  • Build strong online tenure and list business on third-party sites like Foursquare, Yelp, and YellowPages.
  • If you are new to the business, get citations building services from the GMB-savvy companies.

6. Provide a Local Contact Number

If you crave the topmost rank on Google Maps, add a local number in the Google My Business listing. A local number having the precise area code builds trust with Google as it matches your right location. You can put a toll-free number on your website if you wish to.

7. Do Your Site Optimization

It looks like we are never going to break up with SEO, right? Yes, of course not. The motto of optimizing your website is to improve the chances of appearing in Google My Business. 

Also Read: Ultimate Relationship between Content and SEO to Work Together

8. Integrate Your Business with Google+

Integrating your business with Google+ enhances and builds your business account’s authority on Google Maps business listings. Uniting business with Google+ will help you to:

  • Come up with relevant content that customers will find useful.
  • Help you respond to reviews.
  • Help in promoting your business USPs in the cover photo of your Google+ profile.

Cheat Sheet to Optimize Google My Business Listing

Getting on Google Maps requires your listing to be on Google My Business. Make sure you add precise and accurate information about your business to it. You will damage your business reputation if you provide inaccurate details.

Cheatsheet helps you claim a rank on Google maps:

  • Include your real business name in the business listing.
  • Select the appropriate category for your business.
  • Include complete information about you in the business listing, update 100 percent profile.
  • Update and keep tracking your active mobile number enrolled in the business listing.
  • Explore the business operating hours to see which time suits your niche customers.
  • Upload your business photos, review and see if they can be enhanced to attract customers.
  • Do careful about the spam websites; don’t create citations on such websites and directories.
  • Include Google maps on your website.
  • Respond to customer reviews on Google maps.
  • Most importantly, always keep your site up to date.

It is not like listing your business and forgetting about it. The algorithms change, and so do the listed businesses. It is better to keep yourself active, supervise reviews, and analyze tactics to always be on top of Google Maps.

Insight into Business on Google Maps

Everything discussed in this blog adds on to help and guide in the optimization of your business on Google maps. Following all these steps is a sure way to boost your ranks. However, if that doesn’t happen, don’t be disheartened. There must be something that you might be missing out on. There’s always scope for improvement.

Sometimes, even businesses that don’t have a website rank on top. This happens because the owners take time to get their business listing optimized in every way possible. Listing businesses on directories have its own kind of impact, and thus, can never be underestimated.

Follow the basic steps to guide and keep perusing more customer reviews on Google My Business, list your business in more directories, employ optimization strategies. 

2022 SEO Strategy

Seo-strategy-

SEO strategy for 2022 shouldn’t only focus on keywords, these days, most businesses understand the basic concepts of SEO and why it’s important. However, when it comes to developing and executing a sound plan for your business, just creating content for the keywords your customers are searching for is insufficient. This will explain what SEO strategy is, and how to create to meet or exceed your content marketing goals.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the website to help it rank higher on SERPs and gain more organic traffic. In essence, a search engine optimization strategy is a highly specialized content strategy that helps a business discover opportunities to answer questions people have about their respective disciplines.

There are three types of SEO as explained below:

  • On-page SEO
    This SEO focuses on the content that is actually on site pages, and how to optimize it to boost the website’s ranking for specific keywords.
  • Off-page SEO
    This SEO focuses on links directed to the website from elsewhere on the internet. The number of backlinks a site has from reputable sources helps you build trust with search algorithms.
  • Technical SEO
    This SEO focuses on a website’s backend architecture, like site code. Google cares just as much about technical setup as it does content, so this position is important for rankings. 

Bear in mind that every organization or team has different objectives, so it is an SEO experts’ job to examine the industry, determine what audiences care about, and develop strategies that provide the audience with what they are looking for. 

What is SEO strategy?

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Even nowadays, many people keep asking, what is SEO strategy? For a casual Internet user, this may seem so technical, however, more and more businesses are utilizing its advantages. This is a process of organizing a website’s content by topic to improve the likelihood of appearing in search results. Essentially, it is the process to follow to maximize the opportunity to gain organic traffic from search engines. Having this is important because it focuses on the tasks to stay on track when creating content. Instead of just creating what we think people are looking for, our plan will ensure that we are creating strategic content and information that people are ultimately searching for and may generate traffic and leads. 

For content marketing, an SEO strategy is a critical piece of the puzzle because it is how our content will come to be seen in the first place, especially in search engine result pages (SERPs). If our content is scattered and unorganized, search engine bots will have a harder time indexing our site and identifying our area of authority and ranking our site pages.

Mobile SEO Strategy

Mobile SEO is an important factor to keep in mind when creating our overall content SEO strategy. This optimization involves ensuring our site and site content are available and accessible to visitors on mobile devices, so they can have the same experience and receive the same value as desktop browsers. 

Mobile optimization is incredibly important, as Google practices mobile-first indexing. This means instead of crawling a desktop site, the google algorithm will use the mobile version of the site when indexing and ranking pages for SERPs. In addition, 61% of Google search queries in the U.S. occur on mobile devices. Our SEO strategies would be ineffective without prioritizing mobile optimization. While it is not an entirely separate process, there are distinct considerations for mobile SEO like monitoring page speed, responsive site design, local search engine optimization, and creating content that is high-quality, regardless of the device it is viewed on.

Effective SEO Strategy To Consider

An effective SEO strategy is a detailed plan for increasing a website’s search engine rankings to attract more organic traffic. This should be built on various pillars, including technical SEO, SEO content strategy, on-page SEO, link development, improvement of site existing content, and user experience. Below are some steps and tips to ensure strategies create the success goals every organization establishes.

1. SEO Content Strategy

SEO strategy

This is a process of categorizing a website’s content to increase its chances of showing in search results. Essentially, it is the procedure to use to increase the chances of gaining organic traffic from search engines. It is significant because it assists in staying on track when generating material. Rather than simply developing content based on what you believe people want, your approach will ensure that you are creating content that people are seeking.

2. Make a list of topics and find long-tail keywords.

image 40

Keywords are at the heart of SEO, but they’re not the first step to achieving organic growth. Instead, the first step is to make a list of topics we’d like our content to address. To start, we should compile a list of about 10 words and terms associated with our product and/or service. Mach 1 Design can utilize its various keyword search algorithmic software to research these words, identify search volume, and develop variations that make sense for our business objectives. 

image 39

By doing this, we are associating these topics with popular short-tail keywords, but we’re not dedicating individual blog posts to these keywords. Let’s go over an example of this process using the image below. Let’s say a swimming pool business is trying to rank for “fiberglass pools,” which receive 110,000 searches per month. This short-tail keyword can represent the overarching topic for creating the content, but the business will also need to identify a series of related keywords to include in the content. For example, we could opt to use the “fiberglass pool prices,” or “fiberglass pool cost,” to achieve additional rankings for the overall keyword of fiberglass pools. 

Using search volume and competition as our measurement, we can create a list of 10-15 short-tail keywords that are relevant to our business and are being searched for by our target audiences. We then rank this list based on monthly search volume. Each of the keywords that we’ve identified is called pillars, and they serve as the primary support for a larger cluster of long-tail keywords discussed below.

During this step, you’ll begin optimizing your pages for specific keywords. For each pillar you’ve identified, use your keyword tool to identify five to 10 long-tail keywords that dig deeper into the original topic keyword. For example, we regularly create content about SEO, but it’s difficult to rank well on Google for such a popular topic with this acronym alone. We also risk competing with our content by creating multiple pages that are all targeting the same keyword — and potentially the same SERPs. Therefore, we also create content on conducting keyword research, optimizing images for search engines, creating an SEO strategy (which you’re reading right now), and other subtopics within the SEO umbrella. This helps us attract people who have varying interests and concerns — and ultimately create more entry points for people interested in what we have to offer.

Use our long-tail keywords to create blog posts or web pages that explain the specific topics within the pillars we’ve selected. Together, all of our long-tail keywords create a cluster around a pillar topic. Search engine algorithms depend on the relationships between clusters to connect users with the information that they’re looking for. Think of it this way: the more specific our content, the more specific the needs of our audience can be, and the more likely we’ll convert this traffic into leads. This is how Google finds value in the websites it crawls — the pages that dig into the inner workings of a general topic are seen as the best answer to a person’s query, and will naturally rank higher.

3. Execute and define cluster content.

Content clusters are SEO approaches that define cluster content and cluster content keywords into pillar and cluster pages to maximize a website’s structure and internal links. It entails using many tiers of web pages to properly organize your material based on how relevant it is to a certain topic. It is gradually gaining popularity as a terrific approach to position a site as an authority on a variety of topics. Contextual content clusters are a form of topic modeling method in which you generate a “cluster” of content around one topic as part of our content marketing plan. While keywords are important in your subject cluster, the overarching goal is to make your entire cluster of material as topically relevant as feasible.

4. Build pages for each topic.

When it comes to websites and ranking in search engines, trying to get one page to rank for a handful of keywords can be next to impossible. By using the pillar topics we develop to create a page or post that gives a high-level overview of the topic using the long-tail keywords we develop for each cluster in step two. These pillar pages can essentially be a table of contents, where we’re describing the main topic, and briefing readers on subtopics you’ll elaborate on in other posts. Ultimately, the number of topics for which we create pillar pages should coincide with our business needs, like the number of products and offerings we have. This will make it much easier for our prospects and clients to find us in search engines no matter what keywords they utilize in searches.

5. Set up a blog.

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Blogging can be an incredible way to rank for keywords and engage our website’s users. After all, every blog post is a new web page and an additional opportunity to rank in SERPs. If our firm does not already have a blog, we should consider creating one. As we write each blog post and expand on our clusters, we should do three things:

  1. Not include our long-tail keyword more than three or four times throughout the page as Google doesn’t consider exact keyword matches as often as it used to. Too many instances of our keyword can be a red flag to search engines that we’re keyword stuffing to gain rankings, and Google will penalize us for this.
  2. Second, we will always link out to the pillar page we create for our topics. We can do this in the form of tags in your content management system (CMS), or as basic anchor text in the body of the article.
  3. Once we publish each blog post, link to it within the parent pillar page that supports the subtopic. By connecting both the pillar and the cluster in this way, we’re telling Google that there’s a relationship between the long-tail keyword and the overarching topic we’re trying to rank for.

6. Create a consistent blogging schedule and strategies.

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Every blog post or web page we create doesn’t necessarily need to belong to a topic cluster. There’s also value in writing about tangential topics our customers care about to build authority with the Google algorithms. With that in mind, we should make it a point to blog at least once a week. Remember, we are blogging primarily for our audience, not search engines, so we must study our target market and write about things that they are interested in. It may aid to create a better content strategy to remain consistent and focused on our goals. 

7. Create a link-building plan.

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The topic cluster model is our way forward in SEO, but it’s not the only way to get our website content to rank higher. While our first five steps are dedicated to on-page SEO, link-building is the primary objective of off-page SEO. Link-building is the process of attracting inbound links (also called backlinks) to our website from other sources on the internet. As a general rule, sites with more authority that link back to our content have a more significant impact on your rankings. 

We will dedicate some time to brainstorming all the various ways we can attract inbound links. Maybe we’ll start by sharing links with local businesses and directories in exchange for links to their sites, or we’ll write a few blog posts and share them on different social media platforms. We can also approach other blogs for guest blogging opportunities through which we can link back to our website.

8. Compress media files before uploading them to the website.

This is a small but important step in the SEO process, especially for mobile optimization. As our blog or website grows, we’ll undoubtedly have more images, videos, and related media to support our content. These visual assets help retain our visitors’ attention, but it’s easy to forget that these files can be very large. Since page speed is a crucial ranking factor to Google, it’s important to monitor the size of the media files we upload to our site. 

The bigger the file size, the more difficult it is for an internet browser to render our website. It’s also harder for mobile browsers to load these images, as the bandwidth on their devices is significantly smaller. So, the smaller the file size, the faster our mobile optimized website will load. But, how do we compress images and still retain quality?

It’s worth considering the use of a compression tool to reduce file sizes before uploading images, videos, and gifs. Mach 1 Design compresses images in bulk and shrinks image files to microscopic sizes. However, if we choose to compress our media, keeping files in the kilobytes (KB) range is a good rule of thumb.

9. Stay up-to-date on SEO strategies, news, and best practices.

Just like digital marketing, the search engine landscape is ever-evolving. Staying on top of current trends and best practices is important to our evolving strategy, and multiple online resources can help us do so. Mach 1 Design utilizes various resources to stay abreast of new google algorithms and best practices to ensure our customer’s websites, content, and strategies on SEO are current and efficient in earning SERP rankings.

10. Resolve technical SEO issues and measure and track our content’s success.

SEO takes a lot of time and effort, and, because of this, we’ll want to know if this plan of action works. Businesses must discover and fix common on-site technical SEO issues and problems with their websites to avoid customer loss and preserve business growth. It’s important to track metrics to understand the success of the overall process and identify possible areas for improvement. We can monitor organic traffic using our preferred web analytics tool or create our dashboard. Also, tracking indexed pages, conversions, ROI, and our rankings on SERPs can help us evaluate our success as well as identify areas of opportunity.

Effective SEO Process

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Once we’ve created our strategy on SEO, we should also build a process to continue optimizing for new keywords and evolving search intent. Here are a few tips we can take: 

1. Historically optimize our content. 

Devote time each month to updating old blog posts with new and up-to-date information to continue ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). We can also use this time to add any SEO best-practices that weren’t initially addressed, like missing image alt text. 

2. Look out for changing keywords and new search intent.

After a few months, track how our blog posts are ranking, and which keywords they’re ranking for. This can help us adjust subheadings and copy to leverage new search intent that your audience may be interested in.

3. Add more editorial value to your old content.

Sometimes, we’ll find that a post is completely out of date. In this scenario, we should go beyond the average historical SEO update and give it a full refresh. We can do this by updating out-of-date information and statistics, incorporating new sections for added depth, and adding quotes or original data to give the post more referral traffic.

4. Create a monthly content plan.

To keep up with our SEO strategy, it can be helpful to create and refine a monthly content plan exhibited in our Content Calendar. We can place it into a spreadsheet, and we can track it accordingly. The list below is an example of a monthly content calendar plan that takes the above steps into account. 

  • Conduct keyword research for Personal Injury.
  • Create a Content Production calendar
  • Create blog posts that leverage opportunistic keywords.
  • Identify blog posts that can be updated or refreshed.
  • Identify other SEO opportunities, such as holidays & local topics.
  • List content ideas in a Search Insights Report.
  • Create thought leader content articles & videos.
  • Track content progress at the end of each month.

With a monthly SEO plan like above, plus a tracking document like a content calendar, we can build out and execute an efficient SEO strategy. We can also identify and leverage low-hanging-fruit topics to discuss related to our industry and/or ideal client interests.

Create A Content SEO Strategy That Supports Your Business Goals

Ranking in search pages can be difficult. While it may seem enticing to create content that is centered around high-traffic keywords, that strategy may not always help us meet your business goals. 

Instead, we should create an SEO strategy that helps us address our individual business needs, like increasing new client acquisition, for greater marketing success. If you feel you need SEO assistance, contact [email protected] (469) 536-8478 for a free consultation

How to Improve Local SEO & Attract New Business

local-SEO

Learn the latest tactics to maximize your local SEO and get ahead of your competition to bring more visibility to your business.

Local SEO differs in many ways from the organic optimizations we make to our websites.

When you are working for a business that relies on being relevant to consumers within its physical proximity, you need to learn how to get the most from your presence in local search results management and the MapPack.

In this column, you’ll find seven ways for improving local SEO, building local visibility, and win over new customers.

Top Ways to Improve Your Local SEO

  1. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors’ Google My Business Q&As.
  2. Tweak a Google Product Listing to Get It More Exposure.
  3. Use Google’s Business Messages While You Can.
  4. Update Your GMB with All Relevant Newly Available Attributes.
  5. Join Local Marketplaces and Forums.
  6. Don’t Neglect Other Search Engines.
  7. Keep an Eye on Your Reputation.

1. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors’ Google My Business Q&As

Google My Business (GMB) has a great function that can do wonders for growing new business – the questions and answers feature.

If you use it well for your own local SEO strategy organization, it can help convert customers who are otherwise on the fence.

But don’t stop there. Spend time researching your competitors’ Q&As, too. See what your potential page customers are asking others in your industry local SEO.

How GMB Q&A Works

On your Google My Business profile, you may notice an “Ask a Question” button. Once clicked, users are taken through to a screen that allows them to submit a question.

This next bit is key. The question does not get submitted to the owner of the profile. It gets submitted to the profile. That means the content is visible to anyone who sees a local SEO Google My Business listing and keywords.

Once a question has been posted to your competitors’ local SEO Google My Business listing, you will be able to see it.

And once the question is answered, that local SEO marketing information – and the engagement – is there for all in the future to see.

How Does This Help With Local SEO Boost?

These questions are a great way to encourage new business from local marketing searchers. Questions are likely to be asked by people who have never visited that business page before but are in your target market management.

They are already engaging with the brand, but need a bit more content information before they commit to a local SEO visit.

For Your Own Listing

On your own GMB profile, you can use this opportunity to converse with a potential local user who is far down the conversion funnel.

If they are at the stage where they have found you and are considering you enough to ask some questions, a thoughtful marketing management response may be all it takes to see them walk through your doors.

On a Competitor’s Listing

Look at what questions your competitors’ customers and potential customers are asking. Use this to better fill out the track information on your own profile and guide the website.

If you are noticing a lot of questions being asked about the availability of gluten-free pizza from other pizza restaurants’ marketing ads in your area, for example, you want to make sure you highlight your gluten-free products on your site and listing.

This type of research can keep you one step ahead of local competitors, especially if the local search engine marketing content questions they have been asked are slightly negative in tone.

Consider this question: “Do you still play loud music?”

If a potential restaurant-goer sees that question asked of another business, it immediately makes them consider the environment they will be eating their meal in.

It may make them wonder if they will really be able to enjoy the catch-up with their friends over a meal as they have planned.

Answer the questions being asked of your local SEO competitors on your own website and marketing GMB profile before anyone asks. State in your tail keywords search description that customers will enjoy a meal accompanied by relaxing, ambient music.

This can put you at a significant advantage over your competitors for winning new business in your geography.

When you proactively answer a potential customers’ question before they even have to ask it, you demonstrate that you understand their local SEO needs and wants.

2. Tweak a Google Product Listing to Get It More Exposure

Google allows businesses with GMB profiles to upload local SEO details of the content products they offer. This can be viewed by potential social search customers on both mobile and desktop search results.

The listings appear in the GMB profile in a carousel format on Maps and in both a local SEO carousel and under the Products tab in Search.

Both formats allow users to click on the product cards for more detail and review, click to call or visit the social marketing page website.

How GMB Local Product Listings Work

Uploading your products to a Google My Business profile is simple. All you need to do is log into your Google My Business profile, click Add a product and follow the steps.

If you are logged into the Google account associated with your GMB profile, you can click on your listing in the SERPs and add the product straight from there.

Adding products is easy. However, you do not get to set the order they display content in the PPC carousel.

Google will display them in the order they are uploaded or edited. If you want to change the order of the Products, you need to be a bit strategic.

By editing a product, even a minor edit, it will be brought to the front of the presented local SEO carousel. If you are looking to bring a page product more to the forefront of your offerings, then make a small edit to it and the carousel order will change accordingly.

How Does This Help With Local Search Engines?

You may be looking to showcase some products over others for a variety of reasons. You may have a surplus of stock in one of your locations, for example.

Bringing that stock to the forefront on that location’s GMB listing will help alert local customers to it. It will allow you to target specific marketing products more to relevant audiences dependent on their location.

For instance, seasonal products may be better served first. Perhaps the geographic local SEO location of your car repair shop content is set for an unseasonal snow flurry. Edit your snow tire listings to bring them to the beginning of the carousel.

This could enhance the visibility of your product at just the right time for a new customer in your target local SEO guide location and page keywords search to see them.

3. Use Google’s Commerce Messages While You Can

Google My Business profiles can include functionality that allows businesses to correspond with customers straight from the SERPs.

When activated, GMB profiles will display a Message button that users can click on to start direct social content messaging and review with the business.

How Does It Work

This functionality has existed since 2017 in Google My Business, and since 2018 in Google Maps. It has only recently made it onto the desktop content search, however.

If you are an owner of a GMB profile, you should see the option in your desktop dashboard to Turn on social messaging under the Messages tab.

You can then set items like an initial auto-responder to be sent out when a traffic visitor first content messages you using this professional service.

To make sure the service is a timely one, Google and Moz recommends you reply to all messages within 24 hours. If you don’t, Google may deactivate the messaging service on your account.

How Does This Help Improve Local SEO?

Not everyone has the time (or inclination) to call up a business they have yet to engage with. Allowing potential local customers to message you straight from your GMB profile is an excellent way of streamlining content conversations with them.

If you respond quickly, your chances of that potential customer converting are greatly increased.

This is of particular use to local businesses who perhaps don’t use centralized local SEO call centers or marketing keywords messaging. It can be another touch point that shows personalization of the business based on the location that the consumer is in.

Consider the offers, services and tone of voice that might be most appropriate to your customers in that particular geography. This is your opportunity to highlight your skill levels on how well you know your customers.

Make use of the local name for the area your business is in. Talk about the specific local SEO events and charities you support in the area.

Any additional indication that your business serves the local traffic population specifically can help to reinforce your content relevance to the potential page customer who has contacted you.

Now that the functionality is available in such a wide range of places on the web, it would be a wasted content opportunity not to get engage with your potential customers in this way.

4. Update Your GMB with All Relevant Newly Available Attributes

Google keeps updating the features available through its Google My Business property. Make sure you keep your localized search listing fully populated with the relevant attributes as they become SEO available.

How Does It Work

Google frequently adds functionality to Google My Business that your business might be eligible to use. Not every new search feature is available to all types of business, however.

Whether you can access new updates can be dependent on what category is set as your primary in local search engines GMB.

To keep up to date with what new features are becoming available and who is eligible content for them, visit Google’s GMB SEO reviews and announcements page.

How Does This Help With Local SEO Audit?

With any new change to Google My Business, early adoption will put you ahead of the pack. Although these local search keywords attributes will not necessarily affect your Moz rankings in the map pack, they can make your business more attractive to prospective local customers.

For instance, in September 2020, Google made it possible for businesses to add attributes related to Health and Safety.

Attributes include stating that masks are required by customers and that temperature checks are required.

For customers who are concerned about COVID-19 safety during their visit to premises, these attributes will go a long way in reassuring them.

If your business displays these blog attributes but a competitor does not, it could be what results in you winning the customer local SEO audit.

This is particularly useful to local businesses who have perhaps suffered recently with a drop in visitors to their locations due to lockdowns and pandemic concerns.

By specifying health and safety precautions taken at your sites, you may be able to encourage nervous visitors back into your local SEO boost stores. The reassurance that you are taking their heath and safety concerns seriously may be enough for them to choose to visit.

5. Join Local Marketplaces and Forums

The key to marketing your local business well is understanding what your audience is looking for. A great way of understanding your target market is by spending time where they are.

This includes online local search ranking.

Make sure you register your business in local traffic directories and forums. This is not so much for the traditional local business blogs citation benefit, but so you can be amongst your prospective customers, hearing what they are talking about.

How Does It Work

Local SEO Online marketplaces

Look on platforms like Facebook for marketplaces relevant strategy to your location and products. You don’t necessarily need to be engaging with the audience traffic to learn more about who they are and what they get to respond to.

For instance, if you sell locally created craft products in your store, you can get a feel for how much your local search audience is willing to pay for products by seeing what similar items are being sold for in your town’s online Facebook Marketplace.

By watching what your local audience is saying about prices, high-quality, shipping, and sourcing of products, you can begin to get to understand more about your audience’s traffic twitter blog preferences.

SEO Strategy Forums

If you are a local pizza restaurant, you would do well to join Reddit and subreddits for your city and read the threads that talk about restaurants in your area.

What is your local audience traffic saying about your competition? Are they sick of pizza restaurants and really want someone to bring something new to the area?

Perhaps they are enthusiastic about local search independent shops and wanting to support them more.

How Does This Help Build New Local Business?

This kind of information can help you to tailor your search marketing strategy, tone of voice and more.

Go to places where your target audience members are talking freely about your local area. Ensure to find out what they want from their local businesses.

If you are feeling brave, you can even interact with your audience on these local search online platforms. This has to be done sensitively and authentically.

Most people don’t like to be mined for information without their consent. Be open and honest when reaching out for online local SEO image feedback strategy on these sites.

The more you can watch and learn from your audience, the more likely you are to be able to offer high-products and high-services traffic they will respond well to.

6. Don’t Neglect Other Search Engines

Google is not the only search engine you need to be concerned with. There are others, too, that might be the first port of call for users looking for local search blog information on local businesses days.

Why Is This Important?

You may see the vast majority of the organic traffic going to your online site coming from Google. Don’t forget that you might not be tracking all of the ways customers discover you through search.

Your profile showing in the SERPs might not generate a click. As a result, it will not show up in your online web analytics program strategy.

So unless you are measuring impressions across different search engines, you will not know that your business has been seen on the likes of Bing or DuckDuckGo.

DuckDuckGo’s maps are powered by Apple Maps. Therefore, if you desire your business to appear in the DuckDuckGo local map pack you will need to have your business set up with an Apple Maps Connect profile.

Similarly, Bing uses Bing Places to power their local map functionality. Setting up and optimizing a Google My Business listing will not help you with increasing organic strategies visibility on Bing.

We are seeing an increase in the popularity of other search engines over time, and for some locations, Google is not the primary search engine get used.

If you have physical stores or local business locations outside of the US, you should be looking at which search engines are also popular video blog strategy in those regions.

Make sure you utilize the local map functionality strategies of these other search engines.

How Does This Help Build New Business?

Yet again, being where your competitors are not will put you in good stead.

If your competitors are not appearing in the Apple Maps results in DuckDuckGo, you are going to be far more likely to win the local business of local searchers using that platform.

7. Keep an Eye on Your Reputation

You may be keeping a close eye on the reviews left on sites like TripAdvisor or social media. You even check your own Google My Business listing regular subscribe.

But are you keeping on top of some of the other places in the SERPs such as Twitter social media which might be giving potential influencer customers an outsider’s view on your business?

What Should You Look Out For?

Top and middle-of-the-funnel local search queries, such as [car mechanic telford], can bring back a variety of features in the SERPs.

Prominently Featured Review and Directory Sites

Take a look at this SERP result:

The top carousel lists large directories, social media sites like Twitter, and niche SEO strategy directories. This increase potential customers access to information about your company — and potentially even reviews — on sites you may not even be checking.

Aside from the inaccurate data about your company that these social media sites may contain, what have customers, former employees, or even competitors said about you?

Given that links to these social media sites appear as the first feature in the Google SERPs for this SEO strategy query, it would stand to reason they may get a lot of visibility from your potential social media marketing customers.

People Also Ask

If customers are in the process of narrowing down their choice of work they might start searching for specific information about those businesses. That can often trigger a “People Also Ask” feature to appear.

When searching for [is (name of a mechanic) in Telford any good], the following PAA box appeared talking specifically about that brand strategies.

That first “People Also Ask” question is, “why is [brand] so expensive?” That does not inspire much confidence in the value for money of this particular mechanic strategy.

Although there is not much you can do to control what questions appear in the “People Also Ask” section, it is important to try to influence the perception of those who may click on this question.

Write a page addressing this question and try to get it ranking. That way, when someone interested in your local business clicks on this question, they at least will see your response around “the quality service,” “not compromising by using cheap parts” and “get highly-skilled technicians who you pay well for their expertise.”

How Does This Help Build New Business?

It is crucial to remember that what a potential customer sees about you may not just be the markup information you are writing on your website or Google My Business listings.

It might not even be the reviews left on sites you are closely monitoring and responding to.

A potential customer will be influenced heavily by others’ opinions and experiences of your work. Local businesses tend to attract a lot of reviews because they are promoted by sites that encourage them to be left.

A negative perception of your work will likely be the difference between you winning or losing a new customer.

Always monitor the SERPs around your core lead-generating search terms. Identify where negative perceptions of your small business SEO could be formed.

Conclusion

With local SEO, there is a lot more to consider than simply ranking your site in the standard organic listings.

Get ahead of your competitors by using proactive tactics that cover the SERPs in favorable information about your local business.

What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Tutorial

search engine optimization

What is search engine optimization? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing a website or webpage to increase the quantity and quality of its traffic from a search engine’s organic results. 

The benefits are obvious: free, passive traffic to your website, month after month.

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But how do you optimize your content for SEO, and what “ranking factors” actually matter?

To answer that, we first need to understand how search engines function.

How search engines work

Search engines are like libraries for the digital age.

Instead of storing copies of books, they store copies of web pages.

When you type a query into a search engine, it looks through all the search result pages in its index and tries to return the most relevant results.

To do this, it uses a computer program called an algorithm.

Nobody knows exactly how these algorithms work, but we do have clues, at least from Google.

Here’s what they say on their “How search works” page: To give you the most useful information, inspect algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance, and usability of pages, the expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query – for example, the freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions.

Speaking of Google, this is the search engine most of us use—at least for web searches. That’s because it has the most reliable algorithm by far.

That said, there are tons of other search engines you can optimize for. Learn more about this in our guide to how search engines function.

How SEO works

What is SEO and how does it work? In simple terms, SEO works by demonstrating to search engines that your content is the best result for the topic at hand.

This is because all search engines have the same goal: To show the best, most relevant advertising results to their users.

Precisely learning how you do this depends on the search engine you’re optimizing for.

If you want more organic traffic to your web pages, then you need to understand and cater to Google’s algorithm. If you want more video views, then it’s all about YouTube’s algorithm.

Since each search engine has a different ranking algorithm, it’d be impossible to cover them all in this guide.

So, going forward, we’ll focus on how to rank in the biggest search engine of them all: Google.

FUN FACT

Google has a market share of ~92%. That’s why it pays to optimize your website for Google instead of Bing, DuckDuckGo, or any other web search engine.

How to optimize for Google Search

Google famously uses more than 200 ranking factors.

There was even talk way back in 2010 that there could be up to 10,000.

Nobody knows what all of these ranking elements are, but we do know some of them.

How? Because Google told us, and many individuals and audience—including us—have studied the correlations between various factors and Google rankings.

We’ll discuss some of those shortly. But first, an important point:

Google ranks web pages, not websites.

Just because your business makes stained glass windows doesn’t mean that every page on your site should rank for the query, “stained glass windows.”

You can rank for different keywords and topics with different pages.

Now let’s talk about some of the things that affect search engine optimization rankings and search engine visibility.

SEO Inc Crawlability

Before Google can even consider ranking your content, it first needs to know that it exists.

Google uses several ways to discover new content on the web, but the primary method is crawling. To put it simply, crawling is where Google follows links on the pages they already know about to those they haven’t seen before.

To do this, they use a computer program called a spider.

Let’s say that your homepage has a backlink from a website that’s already in Google’s index.

Next time they crawl that site, they’ll follow that link to discover your website’s homepage and likely add it to their index.

That said, some things can block Google’s crawlers:

  • Poor internal linking: Google relies on internal links to crawl all the pages on your site. Pages without internal links often won’t get crawled.
  • Nofollowed internal links: Internal links with nofollow tags won’t get crawled by Google.
  • Noindexed pages: You can exclude pages from Google’s index using a noindex meta tag or HTTP header. If other pages on your site only have internal links from noindexed pages, there’s a chance that Google won’t find them.
  • Blocks in robots.txt: Robots.txt is a text file that tells Google where it can and can’t go on your website. If pages are blocked here, it won’t crawl them.

If you’re concerned about any of these issues on your site, consider running an SEO audit with a tool like Ahrefs Site Audit.

Site Mobile-friendliness

63% of Google searches come from mobile devices, and that number is growing every year.

Given that statistic, it probably comes as no surprise that in 2016, Google announced a ranking boost for mobile-friendly websites in its mobile organic search results.

Google also shifted to mobile-first indexing in 2018, meaning that they now use the mobile management version of your page for indexing and ranking.

But here’s an even more critical statistic from Adobe:

Nearly 8 in 10 of the audience and consumers would stop engaging with advertising content that doesn’t display well on their device

In other words, most individuals will likely hit the back button when a desktop version of a site loads on mobile.

That’s important because Google wants to keep its users satisfied. Pages that aren’t used and optimized for mobile lead to dissatisfaction. And even if you do rank and win the click, most people won’t stick around to consume your content.

You can check if your web pages are mobile-friendly management with Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.

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If they aren’t, hire a developer to end and fix them.

Pagespeed

This determines how fast your page loads. It’s a ranking factor on desktop and mobile.

Why? Once again, Google wants to keep its users satisfied. If their users are clicking on search results that take too long to load, that leads to dissatisfaction.

To check the speed of your web pages, use Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool

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Alternatively, use Ahrefs Site Audit to check for slow-loading pages across your site.

Just head to the “Performance” report and look for the “Slow page” warning.

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Search intent

Finding a keyword or keywords that you want to rank for is easy. Just paste a topic into a keyword research tool like Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, then look for relevant discovery engine optimization keyword ideas with search volume.

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That said, what many people and user fail to consider is whether their page aligns with their chosen online keyword’s marketing intent.

To demonstrate search intent, let’s look at an example.

Here are the current Google search results for the query “slow cooker recipes”:

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Compare those with the results for the query “slow cooker”:

image 15

Despite the similarity between the two keywords, Google shows two completely different sets of search results. For “slow cooker recipes,” they show pages listing lots of recipes. For “slow cooker,” they show product listings and online e-commerce category pages.

Google is interpreting the motive behind the query and showing results the user wants to see.

This is search intent in action.

How do you optimize for this?

Look at the top-ranking pages and ask yourself questions to identify the “3 C’s of search intent.”

  1. SEO Content-type: Are most of the results blog posts, product pages, category pages, landing pages, or something else?
  2. Content format: This is Google mainly ranking how-to guides, list-style articles, tutorials, comparisons, opinion pieces, or something entirely different? (Note. This one applies mainly to informational topics.)

Content angle: Is there a common theme or unique management selling point across the top-ranking online marketing pages? If so, this gives you some useful insight into what might be important to searchers.

Beyond this, you can also check for the presence (or not) of SERP features to infer intent.

For example, if there’s a featured snippet in the results, then this may indicate that the searcher is looking for information.

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If you’re doing keyword research, you can filter for keywords with or without specific used SERP land features and learn it in Ahrefs Keywords Explorer.

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Recommended reading: What is Search Intent? A Complete Guide for Beginners

What is SEO Backlinks

Google’s ranking algorithm is based on something called PageRank.

In simple terms, this interprets backlinks as votes. Generally speaking, pages with more votes tend to rank higher on search engine results.

How do we know? Last year, we studied almost one billion web pages and found a clear correlation between referring online signals domains (such as a link from unique websites) and organic search traffic.

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Long story short, backlinks matter if you want to rank for anything worthwhile.

The problem is that connections can be challenging to build, especially to certain types of content like online product marketing social pages.

There are tons of link-building tactics but if you’re new to the game, aim to build user networks to your best user informational content (e.g., a blog post or a free tool).

Here’s one way to do that:

Searching for your target keyword on Google. Look for search engines’ pages that aren’t as good as yours. Paste the URL of that page into our free backlink checker to see its top 100 links.

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Consider reaching out to these people, explaining why your company content is better, and asking if they’d swap out the online PPC link for yours.

This tactic is commonly known as the Skyscraper Technique.

Learn more about this technique, and other backlink marketing-building tactics, in the social articles and video session below.

FURTHER READING

SEO Authority

Not all backlinks are created equal. Some carry more weight than others. This fact is built-in to the way PageRank works.

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Generally speaking, backlinks from higher authoritative online pages are stronger than those from low-authority marketing pages.

Unfortunately, Google discontinued public Page Rank news scores in 2016. That means there’s no longer any way to see how much search engines’ power a web page has in Google’s optimization eyes.

Luckily, there are similar metrics around, one of which is Ahrefs URL Rating (UR).

URL Rating runs on a scale from 0–100 and takes into account both the PPC quantity and quality case of backlinks to a web page.

When we studied the relationship between UR and organic search traffic optimization, we found a clear positive correlation.

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For that reason, when building backlinks to your content, you should prioritize the building of links from strong pages over weak ones.

If you’re analyzing competing pages for backlink opportunities in Ahrefs Site Explorer, the best way to do this is to look at the UR column in the “Backlinks” report.

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Of course, backlinks aren’t the only way to boost the social dominion of a web page.

URL Rating (UR) also takes into account internal links, meaning that links from other pages on your site contribute to the influence of a social page.

If you want to boost the authorization of a particular page and are struggling to build backlinks to it, consider adding some relevant internal links from other authoritative pages.

To see your most authoritative pages, check the “Best By Links” report in Ahrefs Site Explorer to learn more.

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The golden rule here is not to shoehorn links where they don’t belong. Services work search engines always link contextually.

This tactic offers a good way to boost the mastery of pages with commercial platform value like social search engine marketing product pages. You’ll often struggle to build backlinks to those marketing pages directly.

FURTHER READING

What is Search Engine Optimization Content quality

Google wants to rank the most reliable and useful outcomes—always.

To do this, a search engines’ team would look at content quality-related signals like professional expertise, social authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

Collectively, these are known as EAT.

(Learn more about EAT in Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.)

Other things you can do to increase the perceived quality of your content might be:

  • Stick to a 7th or 8th-grade reading level. Most Americans read at this level.
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs. This is web content, not an essay.
  • Link to useful resources where appropriate. Don’t be concerned about “hoarding PageRank.” Aim to make your content as valuable to visitors as possible.
  • Avoid big walls of text. Break things up with images, quotes, etc. Aim to make your PPC content skimmable.

Generally speaking, the more accessible your material is to the majority of searchers, the better.

Freshness is another important factor for some searches.

For example, if you Google “best router,” you’ll see that almost all of the outcomes were published or republished recently.

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That happens because technology moves fast. Nobody wants to know what the best routers were in 2016. That wouldn’t be useful.

For other queries, freshness is less of a deciding factor.

Take a look at this top-ranking result for “how to tie a tie”:

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Nobody has updated the page for over six years, but it doesn’t matter because the way you tie a tie is the same now as it was then.

Look at the search results for your target keyword marketing to see whether freshness is seemingly an important ranking factor optimization. Adjust your marketing strategy as appropriate and certain services can help with these.

Why ranking is overrated… kind of

Google search console looks at elements like location, past search history, and social search settings to “tailor your outcome to what is most useful and relevant for you at that moment.”

That means even if you see your site search engine rankings #1 for your target marketing keyword, that might not be the case for everyone at all times.

For example, if you search for “flapjack recipe” in the UK vs. the US, the optimization of the results is different.

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Why? In the UK, flapjacks are oat bars. In the US, they’re pancakes.

To check “true” rankings, use an incognito tab to offset any personalization from your search history. To offset location marketing factors, use VPN.

Alternatively, you can use a rank tracking tool like Ahrefs Rank Tracker to track keywords for a specific location—right down to the question zip code. This is especially useful for local SEO.

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That said, rankings still fluctuate.

Here are our rankings for “SEO audit” over the past year:

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For that reason, it’s often better to pay more attention to organic traffic over rankings.

You can do this with analytics tools like Google Analytics, or you can get a rough estimate in Ahrefs Site Explorer.

Just paste in a URL, then go to the “Organic traffic” tab on the “Overview” report.

For important pages on your site, what you want to see is a graph like this:

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Or this:

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Not this:

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The reason it makes more sense to pay attention to traffic over keyword rankings is that many pages rank for thousands of keywords. And they often get traffic from many of these keywords—not just one

Final Thoughts

Knowing how search engines work and the attributes they’re looking for when ranking content is crucial when trying to create content that ranks.

That said, search engine algorithms change all the time and there’s no guarantee that what’s important these days will still be important next year.

Don’t let that panic you. Generally speaking, the important things stay consistent over time.

Factors like backlinks, “authority,” and matching search intent have been critical factors for many years—and there’s no sign of that optimization changing any time soon