How to Write SEO-Friendly Attention Grabbing Titles

There is a lot more to SEO than keywords. SEO is also about how to make your hard work stand out and look good to your audience. The point is to get found and once found, for the audience to consume your content. If you work on your attention grabbing titles, you’ll make a lot more headway.

Tips for Creating Attention Grabbing Titles:

Keep Them Short – You only have so much space for the entire title to show up in search results. Therefore, don’t use more space than you need so that the complete title shows up for your customers when they’re searching for you.

Use Keywords – Your keywords are  really important to use in your titles. Google does use these keywords to send results to their users. The best way to do this is to try to have the keywords within the first three words of the title.

Consider Using Location – If your business is location dependent, you want to mention your location where you can. If you can bring it into a title that’s even better; you’ll garner a lot of the local search customers because Google often sends users local searches first.

Think of Where the Title Will Show Up – If this is the title of your whole page and not just an article, think of how your search result shows up for your entire website. A great way to make your title is to consider using the keywords, then your business name, then the location (if relevant), so that all that shows up in the search result.

Don’t Try to Be Tricky – Titles aren’t the time to try to be too clever. Yes, a lot of online magazines and newspapers do this. But in all honesty this is not working for them as much as they might think. The main reason it’s not working long term is that they’re making their audience angry.

Use Vertical Bars – Some people call it a pipe (|), and it’s located over the top of the backslash on most keyboards. This is a good symbol to use to separate words in a title as it’s not a sign to stop for search engines. Plus, it looks good to the eye.

Consider Your Audience – What is your audience looking for? If you can answer that, you’ll not only get more content ideas, but you’ll also be able to put the right words in the title so that your audience wants to click on it to read more. And, they won’t experience disappointment that they did so.

Use Numbers – If your content has a particular number of points, adding numbers to the title is helpful – not only for search engines but also for your audience to get curious enough to want to click through to find out more.

Writing SEO friendly, attention grabbing titles really doesn’t take too much work. After all, you’ve created content that your audience wants to read; all you have to do is ensure that they can find it by using the right words in the title that will get their attention.

The New and Improved Rules for SEO

rules for seoA lot of people think that SEO is just a trick, or a bunch of shifty tactics to take to get people to come to your website. While it is true that some of the methods you read about seem somewhat unethical, the fact is that if you follow the rules for SEO without trying to mislead anyone, you’ll find that they are sound business practices that help you build brand awareness, get more traffic, and make more sales in an honest and effective manner.

Follow the Rules for SEO With These Tips in Mind…

Consumers Are Smarter Today – Most people who are shopping online are clued in on the tricks of the trade now. They understand sales pages, and know what clickbait is, and they don’t like most of them. You want to acknowledge that fact with everything you do. Respect their time and don’t trick your audience.

Mobile Optimization Is an Imperative – Today websites need to work seamlessly on any device, so mobile optimization is very important. Your audience needs to be able to read, learn, interact, and purchase through their mobile devices without missing a beat.

SEO Is a Long-Term Strategy – Working on the SEO structure of your websites and blogs will take time. It should not be considered an overnight success measure. When you think about rules for SEO, it should be considered a long-term strategy that will work over time to affect traffic on your site, not a quick fix.

Content Needs to Provide Value – If you know your audience and understand the message that you want to send to them, you’ll be able to create amazing content that provides a lot of value to your them. The information should be trustworthy, expertly written, without grammatically errors, and interesting to read.  Content they can actually use will keep your brand in front of them.

Keyword Density Is Old News – Keywords should be in the title tags, content, H1 tags, URLs, alt text on images, and within the image name. But when thinking about the latest rules for SEO, keep in mind that keywords in content should be included in a natural way without any concern about “density.”

Satisfy the Needs of Your Users – This goes back to creating content for the different personas within your target audience. You have to put yourself in their shoes and know what they would find valuable and useful.

You Must Earn Links – Links tell search engines how authoritative your website is, what topic your website should be ranked for, how trustworthy your website is, and how valuable the content you create is. If people are linking to and sharing your content, engaging with the content, and visiting your website, you’ll earn links. In other words, skip the article directories, blog networks, comment spamming, and link trading. They don’t work.

Social Is a Must – The reason you need to use social media is to build community and relationships so that you can distribute your content and information to people who desire it, need it, and want it. You can simply help people out, and then reap the rewards.

When you are aware  of and embrace the new rules of SEO, you’ll be more successful with your SEO strategy – whether it’s on-page or off-page SEO. Remember that it’s a long-term process that will pay off many times over if you trust the process and follow the latest rules of SEO.

Guide to SEO Success

 

seo success

The key to search engine optimization success (SEO success) is really about strategic planning, content strategy, and creating an experience that will resonate with your audience. SEO is not just one thing; it’s an overall strategy that will help you build your brand and market your products and services through using content. It’s also about marketing that content, as well as using other methods to build traffic.

Here’s a quick guide to achieving SEO Success:

Know Your Audience – In order to create information that your audience wants to see and learn, you need to know who they are. Try creating audience personas to cover all the different segments of your audience – from your cold prospects, to your warm leads, to people who have already purchased from you.

Create Valuable Content – When it comes to SEO success, content really is king. Today, content marketing is the main SEO opportunity that works well to build your brand, get more traffic, and make more sales. The content should be valuable to your audience and not simply written for search engines.

Earn Links – If you have links from other authorities’ websites to yours, it moves your website up in the search engine results. But, you can’t have just any links to your website. They must be earned links via social media, guest blog posts, videos, and other means. Do not pay to get links; this doesn’t work and can actually get your site blacked out from SERPS.

Structure Your Website Correctly – For SEO to really work, it’s not enough just to have excellent content. You also need your website to have a linking structure and design that loads quickly and works across all devices. In order to experience true seo success, you want keywords in the URLs, keywords in the anchor text, and in titles of every page and every piece of content you publish.

Keep Abreast of Google SEO Guidelines – Things change quickly in SEO, with every update that Google and other search engines make. Sign up to receive Google updates on their webmaster guidelines. The information you can learn from Google will work for every search engine.

On-Page SEO – On-page SEO includes title tags, images, keywords, content, and internal links. Understanding how to use each of these is important because it will make a difference behind the scenes to get more traffic to your website.

Off-Page SEO – This refers to earning external links via content marketing, social media, guest blogging, and more. The point is you need to earn the links in an organic manner. As mentioned, do not pay for links or pay to play guest blogging. Earn the links through the natural things that you do to engage with others online.

Promote Your Content – One of the things that people miss out on when it comes to SEO is that they create tons of content, but then forget to market it. You may market your products and services, but you also need to market your content for best results.

Using these SEO tips will increase your chances for SEO success if you do them all regularly and patiently. SEO is not an overnight solution to traffic generation. If you want something that’s overnight you’ll need to run paid ads. However, SEO can not only help you get traffic, it can also make the traffic stick around due to the fact that your website is easier to navigate and has the right information.

How to Optimize Your Visuals

optimize your visualsUsing images in your blog posts, articles, and advertising is an important aspect of grabbing your audience’s attention and explaining your story with fewer words. Images can speak volumes over text alone, and if done correctly, they can even be optimized for SEO. You have only seconds to get their attention, so a great image can capture your audience AND get get your article found. Here’s how to optimize your visuals.

Tips to Optimize Your Visuals

Choose the Right Image – No matter how much coding you use or how much optimizing you do, if you don’t choose the right image that makes your point then you’re wasting your time. Choose an image that communicates your end message.  Also be careful that the image you choose is legal.  Be cautious of free sites, as those don’t always provide legal images .

Scale Images – How fast your website loads makes a huge difference in whether or not you keep your audience on your site. An image that is too large can cause serious problems with loading your website. Ensure that you’ve scaled for mobile devices and made everything mobile friendly. Load the images in the size you want them viewed, and not larger.

Reduce File Size of Image – Images that will only be viewed online do not have to be as large as images that you’ll use for printing, so you can reduce the file size substantially while not destroying the quality of how it appears. Test which percentage works best for your needs yet still looks good. You can use a tool like PunyPNG to compress your images if necessary.

Name of Image Carefully – When you name your image, give it a file name that uses a keyword that you want to use in the article and describes the image. This will give you another aspect for search engines to index that has keywords.

Alt and Title Text of Image – Always fill in this information with the right keywords. You can repeat the keywords you used in the name of the image, but give a real description. When some who cannot actually see the image hovers over it, the description appears, which means that people who cannot see but have assistive devices will actually hear the description from their readers, while people who can see the actual image will see the words float over the image.  When you optimize your visuals, sometimes what is unseen is as important as what is seen.

Add Open Graph – This is used for social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest; it goes in the image tag and allows you to add a link to the image in the coding so that people will be sharing the original image that leads back to your website on social media. Without this, your images may not show up properly in Facebook or other social media. To learn more about Open Graph Protocol, click here.

Watermark Your Image – People are going to share your images and they may even try to use them illegally. If you Watermark your images, no matter what they do to them, you’ll be able to know and others will know that it was your image and came from your website. Even if everything else is stripped out of it, a watermark will let people know it came from your site.

Location of Image – Where you put your images is just as important as which images you decide to use. The image is supposed to advance the story you’re telling your readers, so you want to put it where it makes the most impact for your message. That may be somewhere in the middle of the blog post or article, or it may be at the intro of the article. You’ll need to make that determination as you publish.

Add Captions to Your Image – Putting captions on your image is another way to get more text, thus more keywords for the search engines to locate on your site. But, it can also serve as another way for your reader to identify the image and understand its meaning in terms of the overall story.

Using images in your blogs and on your website is important to help tell the story you want to convey to your readers. They help expand the readers’ minds, get your message across with fewer words, and help evoke a feeling that you want them to feel. But, equally importantly, if you optimize your visuals, they can also be useful when it comes to proper SEO in order for you to get FOUND!

Want to Strengthen Your Online Visibility? Start Here!

online visibilityMarketing locally is something that most online businesses should always do. Even if your audience is world-wide, you can make a big impact by taking advantage of improving your online visibility. Having a local presence will not only help those who are local to you find you easier, but it will also increase your expertise quotient. Here’s how to strengthen your local presence.

8 Simple Ways to Increase Your Online Visibility

SEO – Search Engine Optimization consists of a lot of different techniques to get more people to come to your website. The words on your page (keywords), as well as the words and links you earn off your page, are all important in helping to improve your online visibility.

Blogging – The more you can blog about your business on your website and off your website, the more likely you are to get local visitors. You just need to ensure that you use local keywords and a profile that mentions your location.

PPC – Use pay-per-click ads that mention location, or target people in your location using the demographic settings that most PPC platforms allow you to do. This is a great way to improve your online visibility. Facebook has an especially awesome targeting tool.

Social Media – Use social media to tell more people about your business, focusing on local people first, and then allowing it to expand out to other locations. Ensure that you mention your location on all social media sites.

Go Mobile – Have all your visitors sign up to receive text messages from you, then separate them into different locations where you can invite them to a special local-only sale. You’ll usually know who they are from their area code.

Claim Your Business – Google Business, Yahoo Small Business, Yelp and other local business directories all have listings. Your business might already be listed, so be sure to claim and verify your business listings.

Get Listed – Find local directories, including your local Chamber of Commerce directory, and ensure that your website is listed. You might have to pay for some of these, so choose wisely and pick the most frequented and professional websites for your money.

Fill Out All Profiles – This is a very important yet often overlooked step.  You need to fill out all of your profiles accurately and completely on every place that asks for a profile. Use your location to help you show up more in local searches for the best results.

Getting known locally is an important way to get more local visitors to your website, which will translate into more local business. Even if you want to do business internationally, there is nothing wrong with being known locally as well, as it can open a lot of doors for you in the areas of public speaking, coaching, and teaching – all areas that will add value to what you offer in addition to making more sales.

Click the link below to get more info on these and other steps you need to take to improve your online visibility.  This free checklist will ensure that you don’t miss any vital steps to help you get found locally!

Get the checklist here!

Top10 Search Engine Updates for September 2015

There’s always a lot of change happening when it comes to to search engine updates and the way they look at presenting their search results. Even though they are extremely difficult to keep up with, here are 10 that have happened recently that might benefit you or your business.

Search Engine Updates You Should Know About!

  1. Google has made it easy to file a complaint against marketers who are violating its guidelines. You can simply use this URL to file your complaint. You can navigate to Contact Us button (top right) > Email > Complaint about a Partner.seo-1
  2. Google has introduced a new local pack which displays only 3 results instead of 7 with minimal information, excluding the mandates like phone numbers or street addresses which were earlier visible in the 7 pack.
    seo-2
  3. Google Maps changes its manual verification process for businesses. You will now no longer be able to call the Google Maps team and have them manually verify your business over the phone. You’ll be instead directed to the normal verification methods.
  4. A long tail search indicates that a customer is close to a point-of-purchase; hence it creates excellent opportunities for local businesses. Here is the complete study from BrightLocal.
  5. Now business listings will show verification check-marks in Google maps.
  6. Bing started showing reviews in its results exactly when Yahoo stopped it. Coincidence? Maybe!
  7. Google will not force a new user to make Google+ account to sign up for Google services. *Sigh. Here is the official statement from Bradley Horowitz – “We want to formally retire the notion that a Google+ membership is required for anything at Google… other than using Google+ itself.
  8. Google will take down unverified and inactive plus pages associated with business listings. So make sure to get your business pages verified and keep them active by sharing content regularly.
  9. Google has introduced a feature that will inform you about the peak time of the business so you can avoid the rush. But many have doubts about the usefulness of this update.
    seo-3
  10. Updating a new address in Google Maps can be tricky especially while displaying driving directions. To understand why this happens and how to fix it, you can simply refer this guide.

There are plenty of search engine updates to keep up with here, but the key is to find the ones that impact your business and put a plan in place to adjust or capitalize on them. If yo uare not sure what to do next, feel free to Contact Us and we can help you put a plan in place!

Real Tips To Rank Higher [Strategix Video Tip]

 

Last week we talked about the importance of getting on the front page of search results, today we want to share 4 tips on helping you get there.  Below are a few resources you could look at to get more details on implementing these tips.

Resources:

http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en/us/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/09/28/6-simple-tips-to-rank-high-in-googles-search-engine/

https://wordpress.org/plugins/squirrly-seo/– WordPress plugin to help with search engine optimization

Local SEO Strategies – Your Google Rankings Can Make or Break Your Business

Google rankingsGoogle rankings are more important than you might think for your business. The ongoing trend is the Internet and social media are driving businesses. In order to reach out to any new customer base, you must understand your local rankings matter.

Your local rankings are what can make or break the growth of your business. It is not just about climbing Google rankings, but using your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to maximize the reach of your business.

SEO is the way to be able focus your business presence on the Internet in online searches. It speaks to specific results, not paid for, and all the big search engines, specifically Google. This has been growing in status for use by both small and large businesses

Research is proving that more and more potential customers are going straight for the top search results on a search engine page. They do not even take the time to look through the results further down on the page. If your site is not in those top few, it can cost you a lot of prospective new business.

A large number of all searches have local intent. Getting your business onto that topmost search list is vital to accessing that customer base and boosting your sales. These potential customers are virtually right at your front door.

Use Online Research Tools to Boost Your Google Rankings

In order to catch these prospective customers, you need to be able to utilize critical online tools to achieve your best reach and keyword optimization. It is important to look up available local research tools that can help you to organize search results for your business around specific keywords and locations.

You can submit a detailed profile to your chosen tool and expand your results so a potential customer can find them no matter what device they are using. You will also want to use exact and accurate keywords to describe your business. It must be effective and descriptive. These words will act as direct lines from your business site to the search engine.

You want to think about how people will look for your business during an Internet search. For example, if you own a high-end women’s clothing store, you would want to think about using words such as boutique, specialty, and designer in your public profile. The only rule is to think up what your customer base will use to find you.

When customers provide online reviews on your business, the good reviews can increase the search for your services. If your business has registered with any local online directories or review sites, Google can track these trusted sites for your business’s name and connect the details to related searches.

Your ranking will depend on two things: how closely your description matches the business profile being searched for, and how easily the searcher can interact with your profile. The more people who click on your link in the search engine, the higher your link will be on the results page, resulting in more business traffic. It is vital to use your rankings to maximize your reach and positively expand your business reach.

Now that you know a bit about how Google rankings affect your business, it’s time to do something about it. Whether you choose to do it alone or you decide to hire a professional, the benefits are something you can’t deny, so don’t put it off any longer. If we can help you get an effective plan in place, please contact us to schedule a call.

 

 

 

 

Strengthen Your Local Marketing Presence

Local MarketingMarketing locally is something that most online businesses should do. Even if your audience is world-wide, you can make a big impact by taking advantage of strengthening your local marketing presence. Having a local presence will help those who are local to you find you easier, plus, it can help increase your expertise quotient.

How to Strengthen Your Local Marketing Presence

SEO – Search engine optimization consists of a lot of different techniques to get more people to come to your website. The words on your page (keywords), as well as the words and links you earn off your page, are all important.

Blogging – The more you can blog about your business on your website and off your website, the more likely you are to get local visitors. You just need to ensure that you use local keywords and a profile that mentions your location.

PPC – Use pay-per-click ads that mention location, or target people in your location using the demographic settings that most PPC platforms allow you to do. This is a great way to improve your local presence. Facebook has an especially awesome targeting tool.

Social Media – Use social media to tell more people about your business, focusing on local people first, and then allowing it to expand out to other locations. Ensure that you mention your location on all social media sites.

Go Mobile – Have all your visitors sign up to receive text messages from you, then separate them into different locations where you can invite them to a special local-only sale. You’ll usually know who they are from their area code.

Claim Your BusinessGoogle Business, Bing Places, Yahoo Small Business, Yelp and other local business directories all have listings. Your business might already be listed, so be sure to claim and verify your business listings. Moz Local is a great service to verify listing and create new listings as well.

Get Listed – Find local directories, including your local Chamber of Commerce directory, and ensure that your website is listed. You might have to pay for some of these, so choose wisely and pick the most frequented and professional websites to spend your money.

Fill Out All Profiles – This is very important; you need to fill out all your profile accurately and completely on every place that asks for a profile. Use your location to help you show up more in local searches for the best results.

Getting known locally is an important way to get more local visitors to your website, which will translate into more local business. Even if you want to do business internationally, there is nothing wrong with being known locally as it can open a lot of doors for you in terms of public speaking, coaching and teaching – in addition to making more sales. Hopefully one or more of these strategies will help you strengthen your local marketing presence.

Major Google Update Alert

Google recently made a new addition to their ever-growing list of ranking factors for websites. If you’re wondering whether your site passes this “mobile friendly” test, read on.

Mobile Traffic & Blurred Lines

mobile-traffic

​For many websites, projections like the one shown above have come true and the number of visitors they get from mobile devices has edged ahead of the number of desktop visitors.

In fact, with phones, tablets, phablets and notebooks of all shapes and sizes, the lines between mobile devices and non-mobile devices have become rather blurry. The one thing that is for certain is that people are viewing your website on a wide variety of screen sizes and clicks are being replaced by taps.

No wonder then, that Google announced “mobile friendliness” as a new ranking factor for web pages.

What You Need to Know

If a page passes the mobile friendly test, it gets this addition in search results (only visible when via search from a mobile device):​

serp-addition

In addition, your chances of getting a front-page ranking for any given search term are lower, if a page doesn’t pass the test. How can you know how your own website fares? Luckily, there’s a simple test you can run:

Click to Run Google’s Mobile Friendly Test

This all comes into affect on April 21, so we encourage you to run the test on your site, if it doesn’t pass, don’t take the chance of losing your site ranking, contact us to for mobile website solutions that will keep you in front of your clients and prospects.