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Local SEO

6 Reasons You Need Local SEO to Crush Your Competition – Updated

Local SEOUpdated April 19th, 2018 | Originally written October 10th, 2014

6 Reasons You Need Local SEO to Crush Your Competition Summary

  1. Branding
  2. Sales
  3. Traffic
  4. Cost Effective
  5. Competitiveness
  6. Return on Investment (ROI)

I wrote this post 3 1/2 years ago and saw that it is still getting a lot of attention according to Google Analytics.  I decided to update/refresh it for Spring 2018 for a couple of reasons.

First, I want to show my audience and clients how re-purposing can be used to drive qualified traffic to your blog and website.  It is a tried and true method of increasing traffic to your website.

Second, as with most blog posts over time, they need to be updated to provide timely and relevant information.  I am a person that not only preaches but practices.


Local SEO
has become one of the most indispensable components of every brand and business that desires long-term success across search engines. It has grown significantly over the past few decades, particularly given the upsurge of smartphone usage and better connectivity. As the name implies, local search engine optimization is about focusing on online searchers who are looking for particular services and goods that are available locally.

According to a recent study, over 80 percent of local consumers use search engines to find local businesses. People constantly request information while on the move via Android phones and iPhones or laptops. Gone are the days of dusting off the yellow pages from below the coffee table or cabinets. Consumers have now become savvier and require information on local businesses quicker than ever. If a local company cannot be found online, then it is already missing out on a plethora of opportunities to its competitors. Here are 6 reasons why businesses cannot afford not to use Local SEO.

Why Local SEO is Critical To Your Business Success

1. Branding

Local SEO will help establish your brand and business online, allowing potential clients and customers to find your website. Local SEO SignThis, in turn, will help to build your online presence. A professional business website that is simple to navigate and provides a positive user experience is extremely imperative as it is the first impression a potential client or customer will receive. Additionally, the combination of a user-friendly, high-quality website will automatically result in more phone calls, leads, sales, and revenue.

Update: While it is still a must that you have a website for your local business it’s also important to understand how the Google Search Engine, and to a lesser extent the Bing Search Engine, work.  Google Search Results will display several sections depending on the query.  In most cases, the results will include in order Ads, Google Local Pack, and Organic Results.  If the search is a very specific question or request for information then it may also include the specific answer or rich snippets.  There are multiple opportunities to show up on the first page of Google and you should try to occupy them all.

The Google Local Pack is set up through Google My Business and has had a lot of new features added in recent months.  I mention this because while your website can and should be connected to your Google Business listing people are less likely to click on your website from the Google Local Pack. If optimized correctly all the information they need will be included.  The first contact may be them sending a message or calling directly from Google Maps or the Google Local Pack.

2. Sales

The right SEO service will also boost your company sales. Wondering how? Well, imagine if more customers found your site, don’t you think that would lead to more sales? Of course, it would! Position your company in front of your potential clients and see for yourself. If more people view your site, it will translate into more sales. With the entire world connected through the internet, it makes it extremely imperative to be found online.

What’s even more valuable for businesses is that 18 percent of local searches lead to purchases within a day – more than double the rate of non-local searches (7 percent). This means that for every five times your web content shows up in a local search result, one person will likely make a purchase. 

Update: Your website should not be treated as an online brochure but let’s be realistic.  Today’s consumers and business operators are very savvy.  Chances are if they are contacting you they’ve already been to your website and have done the research.  This is the premise of inbound marketing.  A lot of the selling has already been done thus increasing your closing rate.  At this point in the buyer’s journey if the sale is lost it is likely due to the sales process, or the salesperson.

3. Traffic

With search engine optimization, your site will receive augmented traffic, which will be highly targeted based on relative search phrases and keywords. While creating an SEO strategy, we search and identify phrases and keywords that are highly searched terms related to your company and location. Wouldn’t it be great to have your site at the top of the search engines? Potential clients usually believe that the top results are the best results. This, in turn, will drive huge traffic which can later be converted into profits.

A client who is ready to purchase the products or services that you offer, who wouldn’t want that?

Update: Make sure the content that sits at the top of the Google Search results is relevant to the search query you intend it to be for.  Irrelevant content won’t last long at the top.  Your competition has hired me, or someone like me, to take that spot from you.  If the SEO that they hired is good at what they do then they’ve already done their research on you and devised an SEO plan to take that top spot from you.  That plan might include better content with more information.  Part of branding is setting yourself up as the expert.  If someone makes it look like you’re not the expert then your traffic will drop.

Also contributing to traffic decreases (and I have seen this numerous times) is a website that suddenly stops producing content.  I see this professionally from businesses who are not in it for the long game.  They want the quick sale for a few dollars of profit but are not considering tomorrow, next week or 5 years from now.  When they’re not seeing the bank account increase as fast as they had hoped (even though they were advised in clear terms what the expectations should be) they give up on the plan.  6 months to a year later their website traffic is non-existent.

4. Cost-Effective

Think about the thousands of dollars your business spends on other forms of sales promotion and advertisements.  For instance, print media is very expensive and does not provide great returns in most cases because you target the masses when using this form of advertising/marketing. The masses are not ready to buy from you. Most of them have not even considered your service or product. Instead, you should consider investing your print media budget into a digital campaign using highly targeted local SEO and marketing.

A recent campaign managed by my company averaged just under $20 per referral for a service that cost $197.  Taking one week of the campaign; the highly targeted ad spend and associated fees was a little over $600. The client sold 33 units at $197 each. This resulted in a net profit of about $5900. Not bad for one week, right?

That businesses competition was using billboards on a major highway in New Haven County, Connecticut.  I don’t know what the ROI was for the billboard but I can promise the investment was more than $600 and can almost guarantee that the ROI was not as good as the Google Ad campaign I ran for my client.

Update: Organic SEO and Local SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t plan to fund your retirement in 5 weeks and you shouldn’t expect to be rolling in money within 5 weeks of executing an SEO plan.  SEO takes time and has to be analyzed and adjusted constantly.  The long-term ROI of a well-executed SEO strategy cannot be beaten by any other form of marketing or advertising.  Combined with Social Media Marketing and Digital Advertising you can consume the bulk of your industry’s Local SEO and drive revenue while your competition continues to advertise in the local print newspaper that no one reads anymore.

5. Competitiveness

With a well thought out and executed local SEO plan, your business can easily outrank a competitor, thereby acquiring the online market share locally for your industry. Your companies online presence and the overall image it portrays online are extremely crucial. This is the first thing every potential customer will notice. Times are changing and if your business does not dominate online, then it is not taking full advantage of the opportunities that are available. Time is of the essence. If you want to win the local marketing war then get started on your local SEO now!

Update: One key component to dominating your local SEO is your Online Reputation.  Online Reputation Manage (ORM) includes reviews and review responses.  Responding to ALL reviews is one of your most important jobs with regards to Local SEO and ORM. 

I worked with two businesses who went against my advice regarding responding to negative reviews.  Both decided instead of responding to the reviews, trying to put a positive spin on a negative review, they would just delete the reviews.  I am not going to say that one ignored negative review caused this but the mindset behind it probably caused both businesses to eventually close, one of them was in operation for 35 years.

People want to know that you address concerns as well as you address adoration.  Don’t ignore the former to look like a local hero.

6. Return On Investment

Return On Investment on ChalkboardEvery business wants to know what their ROI is going to be. A professional SEO plan that utilizes all aspects of Search Engine Optimization and Marketing will provide your business with an excellent long-term return on investment. Radio and TV advertisement is extremely costly and there is no guarantee that the audiences are even remotely interested in your service or product. With Local SEO, the potential customers are landing on your website page after searching for related and relevant search terms and keywords related to your business. What do you think would achieve better results for your business? 2000 random people viewing your advertisement on TV or 2000 people visiting your site because they are interested and actively searching for your service or product? This is what makes Google Search Marketing so imperative. With SEO as a Solution, you can help grow your business consistently, increase revenue and profit over the course of the plan, and increase the longevity of your business.

I want to take a moment to point out that you should consider hiring a professional, experienced SEO.  I am not saying this just so you will hire me.  I am saying this because the SEO Industry changes very rapidly and it’s important that your SEO evolve with the changes.  The Google Search Algorithm averages 2 updates per day. What worked yesterday might be frowned upon by Google today.  You can do your business a huge disservice by cutting corners on SEO.

That being said, I hope you find this and all information on this site helpful.  As a thank you for checking out this blog post click here to get your Free Local SEO Audit.

 

8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams

8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams by Scott Gombar CT SEO

Cold Calling SEO is Scummy

8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams Is scummy even a word?  Well as I am putting this blog post together Microsoft Word has not marked it as a grammatical error.

I hear it all the time from business owners.  They get unsolicited cold calls from Google asking them if they need help with their Search Engine Rankings or SEO or Search Engine Optimization.  I too have gotten this call.  It usually starts off with something like “Are you the owner of the business?”.  This is an immediate indication that this is not a call I want, but I usually play along because I like to torture these spammers.  Let’s call it what it is. It’s spam over the phone.

It’s usually one of 3 spam/scam calls.  The Google call, the IRS call or the business loan call.  They always ask for the business owner and have never done their homework because if you knew what I did you wouldn’t even waste your time claiming to be from Google.

Just like the IRS or Commercial Lenders, Google does not cold call people.  There it is in plain English, please share it, copy it, get a tattoo of it, whatever helps other business owners not lose thousands of dollars on unqualified or black hat SEOs.  Google does not cold call people.  Yes, Google does call people if you are an advertiser.  They do this to make sure you are using the platform effectively, but Google does not have a platform for organic search results per se.  They do have tools, but they do not cold call you to ask if you are using Google Analytics correctly.

As I was researching for this blog post I came across several blog posts about how SEOs can be successful at cold calling business owners.  These were on marketing and SEO agency blogs and I was shocked to see that businesses were agreeing to terms with the cold calling SEO agency, over the phone.  They don’t sit down with the agency to learn about their best practices.  They don’t have a clear understanding of the terms of the contract.  They don’t even know what the person who will handle their SEO looks like.

The cold caller’s strategy for generating leads is simple.  They search Google and any business that is on page 2-5 of the search results gets a phone call. One blog post even had a link to their script.  Out of curiosity, I looked the blogger up on Twitter and his account is suspended.  I wonder why.

I don’t have a problem with the way someone chooses to earn a living or gain clients if it’s not hurting anyone.  If you’re cold calling and representing your business as one that can practice ethical SEO while helping to grow a business, and you run your business in such a manner, then I would be OK with it.  The problem is most, if not all, of these cold calling SEOs do not practice ethical SEO and generally take the money and run.  This leaves business owners with a bad taste for legitimate SEO agencies.  I have heard this from business owners on several occasions as well.

8 Ways to Recognize Cold Calling SEO Scams

  1. They claim to be calling from Google (Google does not cold call businesses about SEO)
  2. They claim they can get you the top position on Google Search Results (Run Fast)
  3. They ask if you are “the owner of the business”. They don’t mention the business by name, just say “the business”.
  4. They claim that your website is not indexed by Google. How did they find you then?  I love to ask that question.
  5. They claim Google has penalized your site. See response to the previous bullet point.  The only way they would know if you have been penalized is if they have access to your Google Search Console account.  (You do have one of those right?)
  6. There’s a delay in response after you say hello. These are computer generated calls.  We like to use the term robocalls.
  7. They sound disinterested when they speak with you. This is a good indication they’ve been rejected numerous times already.  This will take a toll on anyone and is another reason I don’t cold call.
  8. The call almost always comes from a hyper-local number. Meaning the number will have the same area code and prefix as your number.

Cold Calling SEO ScamsStill not sure that the SEO Cold Caller is a Scam?  I can tell you that any legitimate SEO service provider that I have ever spoken with or know of has not used cold calling as a method for gaining new clients. If you still want to go down that rabbit hole here are 8 questions you can ask yourself or the cold caller.

8 Questions to ask Cold Calling SEOs

  1. What is their website address? While you’re speaking with them view their website and check for inaccuracies with the information they provide on the phone.
  2. What is their phone number? Don’t assume it’s the one on your caller ID.  They probably spoofed their number.  Check that number to see if there are any complaints against it online.  A simple (you guessed it) Google search will reveal this information.
  3. Ask for references from current and previous clients.
  4. Listen for poor grammar. Do you want someone who cannot speak effectively to develop content for your site?
  5. This applies to cold email. If the email comes from a free account like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail just delete it.  A respectable business will email from their domain (yourbusiness.com).
  6. Check for social media profiles for the business or “experts” from the business. If it is an incomplete social media account they reference (or in the case above it’s suspended) you can end the conversation.
  7. Check for online reviews. If there are none that does not necessarily exclude them, but it is a good indication they are either scamming you or very new to the industry.  More than likely if it’s an SEO Scammer.
  8. Get a second opinion. In SEO we suggest always getting a second opinion.  I can’t tell you how many times I have spoken to business owners who have been misinformed by another SEO “Expert” or are their SEO “Expert” is using questionable SEO practices.  Don’t agree to anything, especially a long-term contract, without a second opinion.

I hope this helps business owners understand what to look out for when it comes to cold calling SEOs.  If you want a second opinion on a proposal from an SEO, feel free to email us at bold@scottgombar.com or call us at 203.806.0736.

One last tip.  I see this all the time, so I am just going to throw this out there.  If the SEO Service Provider’s home page of their site has the title of “Home”, they are not by any stretch of the imagination an SEO Expert.

 

 

Episode 13 | Link Building Secrets for SEO Domination

SEO Tear DownEpisode 13 | Link Building Secrets for SEO Domination

Link Building is one of the most challenging aspects of SEO. Many business owners are discouraged from doing it and many SEOs avoid it or take the cheap way out.

I talk about Link Building and some organic ways to get high-quality links back to your site, some of them are not so hard.

We talked about the following for link building and SEO:

  • Adding a link to ted.com (Ted Talks)
  • Adding profiles to blogging sites like Medium & Blogger.
    • We also talked about a strategy of sharing your original blog content mentioned in an earlier episode.
  • Adding profiles to industry related sites
  • Creating social media profiles
  • Guest blogging
  • Commenting on relevant, high-quality sites
  • Brief discussion of Penguin 4.0

Have a listen and if you want to feature your website on the next episode of the SEO Tear down sign up today.

 

Episode 12 | Optimize Your Business for the Google 3 Pack

SEO Tear DownEpisode 12 | Optimize Your Business for the Google 3 Pack

How do you get your business in the Google 3 Pack, also known as Google Maps?  When you do manage to get your business listed how do you dominate the Google 3 Pack section of the Google Search Engine Results Page?

This week I talked about that very topic.  Adding real estate to the Google SERP by dominating the Google 3 Pack helps you dominate Google.  Here’s what you need to know to succeed on the Google 3 Pack.

First, the Google 3 Pack is managed by going to google.com/mybusiness.

Once you’ve created an account here are the items to ensure your success on Google Maps:

  • Thorough & Detailed Description including relevant long tail keywords
  • Profile Image, Logo and Cover Photo
  • Website URL
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Address
  • Hours of Operation
  • Have Clients Review Your Business
  • Connect to YouTube and Upload Videos

Ep 11 | YouTube Optimization for SEO

SEO is for the peopleEp 11 | YouTube Optimization for SEO

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last few years you know that video has become a huge part of marketing and the internet in general.  Business owners are encouraged to create videos and upload them to YouTube as a means of marketing their businesses.  And so they do.  They have no idea what to do from there.

The most popular search engine for millennials, and the second most popular overall, is YouTube.  YouTube used correctly is a very powerful tool in your SEO strategy but how do you optimize your video for SEO?

That was the topic this week.  We quickly discussed some optimization opportunities for YouTube.

Your Channel

  • Get a custom URL
  • Add Cover Photo
  • Add link back to your website and social profiles
  • Add a thorough about section (did not discuss in video)

Your Videos

  • Include a descriptive title with a long tail keyword as the focus
  • Include a thorough description using long tail keyword variations in the description, and a link to your website
  • Include relevant tags.  Think of these as meta keywords for YouTube

Your Website

  • Embed the video on your website (blog post or page)
  • Include a description or transcription of the video
  • Optimize the post/page for On-Page SEO just like any other web page

There is certainly more you can do.  For example sharing the video is an important part of your SEO strategy.  Start with these steps and we will revisit at a later date.

Episode 10 Two SEO Hacks You Can Crush Your Competition With

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarEpisode 10 Two SEO Hacks You Can Crush Your Competition With

I wrote a blog post about an SEO hack that you can use (ethically) to increase traffic by 95% (or in some cases 200-300%).  I discovered some other hidden benefits to this SEO hack so that was the focus of this weeks episode.  Then I remembered that I wanted to talk about another SEO hack that I have used successfully several times now.

The first SEO hack involved repurposing existing website blog.  Read the blog post here to learn more about what I did and what the results were.

The second SEO hack involved your domain purchase and keyword strategy.  Basically if you research your long tail keywords before domain purchase you can get a domain with exact match keywords.  I have successfully ranked #1 within a few days on all major search engines.  I launched a new site 6 days ago with the same strategy and so far I am number 15 on Google, and number 1 on Yahoo and Bing.

I also talked about Google separating their index into 2 indexes.  One for mobile and one for desktop.  What will that mean to your business and website.

Can I build SEO friendly websites on Wix?  You can but you don’t get access to everything you need to win the SEO battle.

 

One Hack to Improve Website Traffic

This One Hack Will Increase Your Website Traffic by 95%

This One Hack Will Increase Your Website Traffic by 95%

Google Analytics Hack

I have read case studies of a trick that increases traffic by 200 or 300%. It’s an ethical method of increasing traffic so of course the nerd in me was intrigued.  I put the theory to test.  Here are the one trick and the results.  You may get better (or worse) results than I did.  I certainly would have liked a 300% increase in traffic but I got 95%.  I will take it.

The Hack

It’s really quite simple.  If you’ve been blogging on your site for a while then you probably have dozens, if not hundreds, of blog posts.  Go back to a blog post from a year or more ago.  The blog post should be primarily evergreen content.  Evergreen content is content that can be shared or used over and over again because the content is not outdated.

Once you find an appropriate blog post go through the post and update it.  Remove or update content that has a date.  Change a few images around.  Remove any content that is not longer relevant.  Add new content if there is any available.

In my case, I also found that I needed to update some of the on-page SEO elements.  I also modified the title but left the URL structure alone.  Remember if you change the URL structure you will have to add a 301 redirect.

OK, after reviewing and editing the blog post I shared it across most major social media channels.  I was moderately impressed with the results.

[button color=”accent-color-tilt” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”large” url=”http://52.91.7.33/google-search/” text=”Want To Increase Your Website Traffic?” color_override=””]

The Results

1 hack to improve website traffic by 95%I had a traffic increase of almost 95% compared to the same time frame a week earlier.   I also had an increase of 67% over the same time period a year earlier. 

Compared to the week earlier there were also some other impressive, and more telling, statistics.

Page Views increased by 157%.  That means people were looking at more pages as a result of the updated blog post.  This is awesome.  You want people to look at more pages on your site.  This shows they are interested in knowing more about you and what you do.

Pages per Session increased by 32%.  Again, this is great.  More pages being viewed every time someone came to the site means they want to know more.

Average Time on Site increased by 5735%.  Wow..just wow.  People read the blog post and likely much more.

Bounce Rate decreased by 19%.  Great as well.  As indicated above people visited more pages while on my website.  This is truly awesome.

One Hack to Improve Website Traffic

An interesting stat was the new versus returning visitors.  The pie chart on the top is the newer results while the one on the bottom is from the previous period.  It makes sense that people who have been to my site before would return to read the article but when you combine that with the increase in page views and time on the site this equates to remarketing.  Most marketers and business owners know that you have to touch someone 7-10 times before you can close.  Instead of touching 16.7% of my audience for at least the second time, I reached 40% of my audience for at least the second time.

Awesome Website Traffic Increase

My quick case study shows what most marketers have probably suspected for some time.  You don’t always have to create new content.  Repurposing and sharing old content works well to drive qualified traffic to your site.

How do I know the traffic is qualified?  Well if it wasn’t qualified traffic the bounce rate would not have decreased and Page Views/Average Time on Site would not have increased so dramatically.  I drew the right audience by repurposing a blog post from over a year ago.

Practicing this one hack consistently will obviously have positive results on your traffic and on your business.  I would love to hear back from anyone who does this to hear their results.

[button color=”accent-color-tilt” hover_text_color_override=”#fff” size=”large” url=”http://52.91.7.33/google-search/” text=”Want To Increase Your Website Traffic?” color_override=””]

 

Episode 9 | 7 SEO Trends That Will Dominate 2017

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarThis week I reviewed an article on Forbes “7 SEO Trends That Will Dominate 2017“.  I also received a question during the show.

What is the most important aspect of SEO currently?

I spent some time on the answer.  Content is still the most important part of SEO but not quite the way it was even a few years ago.  Keep the focus on developing content (of all types) for your audience.  Make your content engaging and unique.  Use all types of content in your plan (Video, Audio, Blog).

Here are the 7 SEO Trends the article talked about:

  1. The Increased Importance of AMP
  2. Creating Deeper Content
  3. Artificial Intelligence/Rankbrain
  4. Personal Branding
  5. User Experience/UX
  6. Mobile Apps
  7. Personal Digital Assistants like Siri, Cortana and OK Google

If you want to feature your business website on my show fill out the form and we will talk to you about your website and business on a future episode.

 

Episode 8 | 5 Things Your SEO Forgot About

the SEO Tear Down with Scott GombarEpisode 8 | 5 Things Your SEO Forgot About

I recently wrote a blog post about the 5 Things Your SEO Forgot & Why It’s Hurting Your Business.  In that blog post I discussed what SEO providers who are not staying current with best practices may be overlooking some things, what those things are and how to correct them.

I followed up with Episode 8 of the SEO Tear Down so here you go.

The 5 Things Your SEO Forgot About

  1. Other Blogs
  2. Engagement on your blog
  3. Fast Website
  4. Other Types of Content
  5. Keyword Variations

A lot of what goes into today’s SEO best practices is a result of artificial intelligence.  RankBrain accounts for around 15% of all Google Search results (according to Google) and we can only expect this to increase.  Therefore it is imperative that we adjust our thinking when it comes to SEO best practices.  Stay ahead of the curve and be prepared when the next foot drops.  Let me know what you think.

If you want to feature your website on the SEO Tear Down fill this form out and we will get you on a future episode.  The SEO Tear Down is live every Wednesday at noon.

 

SEO is for the people

5 Things Your SEO Forgot to Do, & They’re Hurting Your Business

Almost daily I am asked what a business owner or web designer do as it relates to SEO.  The truth is there is no one simple answer.  There are tons of guides out there including my own on-page SEO checklist.  Some of the guides are great and some not so much.

There are some things that SEOs are overlooking especially if they’re not staying up to date.  The SEO world evolves at a very rapid pace.  That leads me to this blog post.  Hope you find it useful.

  1. Share with Other Blogs-It is critical to have an ongoing content plan for your website (usually in the form of a blog) and most business owners and marketers know this. If your marketer doesn’t know this then stop reading right now and find a new marketer.What a lot of business owners and marketers miss is the opportunity to share that content to other blog sites.  Now this is the part where I get attacked for having duplicate content on multiple sites.  Yes, it is true that Google will only favor one site (usually the one with the most authority) for a piece of content but here’s how to navigate around that.Create an awesome blog post and add it to your site.  Now, wait a few days or weeks.  Check to see if Google has indexed it.  Checking to see if Google has indexed a page is very simple.  Use Google.com and search using the info search operator.

info:http://52.91.7.33/one-simple-step-eliminate-marketing-funnel-immediately/

info search operatorIf the blog post or page has been indexed Google will return a search result.  Now that you’ve confirmed your content is indexed you can add it to other blog platforms.  I am including a list of a few to get you started.  This is not an all-inclusive list and a quick Google search will reveal much more.

  • Medium
  • LinkedIn
  • Business2Community
  • Blogger

You should also look for industry related sites that will accept your content.  For example, I also add my blog posts to Inbound.org and Social Media Today.

  1. Develop Content That Encourages Engagement-This should seem like a no-brainer but it’s easier said than done. Again, having a blog is the first step but let me reintroduce you to RankBrain.  RankBrain is the artificial intelligence arm of the Google Search Algorithm.  RankBrain takes into consideration several items that were not considered on the Google SERP before.Create Engaging PostsOne of those things is engagement.  Engagement is simply the interactions that occur with your content.  This includes shares, comments, and likes.  It also includes page views and time spent on the page (meaning people read the content).How Do You Encourage Engagement?  Well, I am glad you asked.  Write content that doesn’t suck while thinking about your audience.  If your audience is not technically savvy as it relates to your industry then you have to talk to them in their language.

    Here’re More Ways to Encourage Engagement:

  • Ask questions
  • Ask for feedback
  • Using interesting images
  • Ask people to share (yes, it’s OK)
  • Use bullet points
  1. Make Your Website as Fast as Possible-I still believe it’s coming. Google will eventually make the next big algorithm update all about speed.  More and more people are browsing on mobile and we live in a very fast-paced world.  Even a few seconds can seem like an eternity in our instant gratification society.  People do not want to wait.  Your website needs to be fast.There is a ton of ways to increase the speed of your website.  First, check it using Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check for opportunities within your website.Google has already launched the Accelerated Mobile Project (AMP) so the first step would be to set this up on your website.  It’s quite simple if you’re using WordPress.  In short, AMP creates a stripped down version of your web pages and stores them on the Google servers for faster loading on mobile devices.

Side Note:  You should also set your site up for Facebook Instant Articles

Some other items that can speed up your site:

  • Minify CSS and HTML
  • Use as little JavaScript as possible
  • Optimize images
  • Don’t use the cheapest host/server you can find
  • Minimize the amount of external content that loads on your website
    Make Your Website Fast
  1. Other Types of Content-There is a lot being said about video lately. Furthermore, podcasts are on the rise so people are also consuming audio content.  I’ve talked about this before.  Different people consume content in different manners.  I personally prefer video/audio/written in that order.  I don’t like to read and usually when I do I skim.  With that being said I sometimes prefer to read or I am somewhere that I cannot use the volume.It is very easy to create video and audio content now.  A few years ago this was a huge undertaking and most business owners avoided it because of the cost, time commitment, and equipment requirements.  Today a laptop with a microphone, or a Smartphone with a microphone, goes a long way.  I have used both successfully and still do.My podcast series, Growth Success Radio, is done using a laptop and a microphone that was very inexpensive.  We record live using Huzza.io and then the content is uploaded to most major podcast platforms, YouTube and GrowthSuccessRadio.com.  I have also used my Smartphone to create short videos and screen capture software (Camtasia) to create tutorials to add to my content.Because people consume content in different ways you are more likely to get people to engage.  Images and infographics are also great pieces of content.  If your site is set up properly the images will be added when shared to social media, and this will encourage even more engagement.
  2. Keyword Variations-So much is made of keywords still and rightfully so. People still search using keyword phrases (long tail keywords).  Here’s a question for you.

How often do you try different variations of your search query before you find what you’re looking for?

Google recognized that this happens often and that in part is the reason for RankBrain.  RankBrain takes a searchers input and tries to identify the intent of the searcher.  In other words, you may enter “What Do I Do After a Car Accident” and Google might return “Personal Injury Lawyers” in your area.  RankBrain tries to return what it thinks you really meant to search for.

That means you should not be developing content with a single long tail keyword in mind.  You should be developing content with different variations of that long tail keyword.  If you download my on-page SEO checklist you will get a list of ways to check on those keyword variations.

An easy way to ensure you’re not focused on the single keyword/single post method is to just develop the content for your audience, not Google.  Google has stated this multiple times.  Don’t try to game the system, just write for your audience.  If you write content for the people who are reading it then you have already won.

SEO Is For The People

You may have heard that SEO is dead.  I have written about this as well.  SEO is not dead, it has just morphed into what it should have been all along.  You should no longer create an SEO plan for Google.  You should be creating an SEO plan for your intended audience.  After all, SEO is for the people!

SEO is for the people