17 Simple & Effective SEO Tweaks Brands Should Make This Year

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SEO is an involved and strategic process, but not every SEO change you make needs to be a difficult overhaul.

Instituting small but important fixes and tweaks can have an important impact on your rankings.

Here are some fairly simple changes we recommend making over the course of the year.

1. Optimize Your Titles & Headings

Make sure that your target keywords are mentioned in your page title tags.

If you are already doing this, update any old page titles that were created before you started incorporating keywords into your titles.

If your H1 tags are different from your titles, make sure that they mention your target keywords as well, if perhaps a slightly different variation on them.

Include secondary keyword targets in your H2 and H3 subheadings.

2. Use a Mobile-Friendly Theme

This should be old news for most of you, but if your site isn’t mobile-friendly in 2019, this needs to change immediately.

If you are using a CMS, update to a mobile-friendly theme, otherwise, have your developer update your site so that it uses responsive design.

3. Repurpose Your Content By Creating Hub Pages

Create a hub page for every top-level keyword your site is targeting by repurposing the information you have collected in all of your shorter, more targeted blog posts.

Compile all of the information from your long-tail blog posts into a list of summaries that address the entire concept as a whole.

4. Implement a Keyword-Oriented Hierarchical Taxonomy

Update your new hub pages with links for deeper dives on pages that cover longer tail keywords.

Your hub page can act as a series of summaries of smaller, more targeted blog posts, uniting them together into a cohesive whole, and linking to the subpages for more in-depth information.

Each subpage can then act as a hub page that links to even deeper pages targeting even longer tail keywords. Each subpage should also link back to its hub page.

It’s best if this is done both through the navigation and through contextual links within the content itself. This can be accomplished simply by updating by updating your existing content and the navigation. – Read more

How to Set & Achieve Realistic SEO Goals for 2019

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What milestones does your company need to reach in 2019?

As marketers and SEO professionals, charting the path toward our goals is one of the exercises we should be mapping out at a minimum each year.

Here’s a three-step framework for setting SEO goals and developing a plan to achieve them:

  • Measuring targets: Where do we need to be?
  • Establishing SEO benchmarks: Where are we now?
  • Developing an action plan: How are we going to get there?

1. Measuring Targets

Every marketer on your team should be able to answer, “What does success look like 3/6/12 months out?”

Are we looking at revenue growth from new customers, existing customer account expansion, retention, and/or lowering churn?

In consulting with teams over the last decade, it’s often only the most senior person on the team who knows this answer.

In order to get your entire team on board with your marketing plan, every teammate should know the answer to this question.

Revenue targets (or lead value via a specific quantity/quality of leads) are the most common type of goal that marketing departments are tasked with achieving.

Revenue figures can then be translated into the number of new customers you need to bring in monthly based on average order size. Here’s the equation:

Number of new customers you need to acquire = Revenue needed / Average order size

Once you understand the number of customers you need to acquire, you can work backward to figure out the number of opportunities, SQLs, MQLs, leads, and website visitors you need to bring in to hit your goals. This is all based on conversion rates.

Your CRM and/or marketing automation platform should be able to provide these conversion rates across lifecycle stages and channels (organic vs. paid vs. referral).

Here is a helpful calculator your team can use to figure out these metrics. – Read more

How to keep your SEO team (and yourself) relevant

My Post (76).jpgOngoing education, conferences and case study discussions not only help clients but also your own career growth.

Weekly rank tracking. Optimization meetings with the media, copy, UX and dev teams. Monthly analytics reporting with the client. And decks. So many decks. With so much on one’s plate, it can feel like there is not much room for actual strategy, optimization and implementation – let alone continuing education.

By profession, SEOs should be data-driven digital experts. But with so much data – and so little time – it can be challenging to keep yourself relevant in an industry that changes, sometimes hourly.

GSC will be shutting down the old API. Google added new Activity Cards for mobile in the SERPS. Are you considering AMP now that they’re testing highlighting answers on AMP results? Were you aware of the newest addition to Google’s Link Scheme Guidelines?

Those are just some of the updates that came out in the month. It takes an SEO village these days.

The following is my agency’s foolproof plan to ensure that our team stays up-to-date. It ensures optimal career growth for SEOs and the best results for our clients.

Education as an onboarding requirement
Continued learning is so integral in this industry that we make it part of our onboarding process. While we require training for our proprietary SEO tool, we also require our SEOs are Google Analytics certified, trained in Google (and Bing) Search Console and experts in various SEO tools.

Additionally, we strongly recommend (but certainly do not require) that they participate in certain Facebook groups, Reddit communities and follow certain key figures on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Possibly the most valuable continuing education group for our team is Ahrefs Insiders. Finding a group of ~8,000 industry experts that continue to add strategic value – as well as continuing to highlight how team members can utilize tools – is essential for team growth and client success. – Read more

5 Must-do Things to Improve Your SEO in 2019

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Search Engine Optimization – SEO for short – is a crucial part of a website’s marketing strategy.

Content is and will always be important – it is the core of your marketing campaigns. However, all your efforts may prove to be quite useless if that core is not shielded, anchored by something. And that something is SEO, the process which actually helps you reach out to the audience and deliver your message/content.

Optimization allows your website to be found, increases traffic, visibility and lead generation.

In order for it to be effective, however, you need to create a lucrative strategy. You should think about SEO while you are creating the content and you should think about it outside of the creative work as well.

Furthermore, you need to keep on constantly learning about the phenomenon and stay up to date with everything that happens in this area of expertise.

What can you do right now?
First, you should learn everything that is to be learned about SEO and search engine ranking. There are a lot of courses and valuable guides available online, and they will most certainly help you get the most out of your campaigns with minimal time investment.

However, everything depends on you industry and your goals. Learning SEO is all about accomplishing specific objectives and seldom about mere generalities.

For instance, a medical related blog would benefit from courses such as this one while a more generalist blog will benefit more from guides similar to this one. Or, if you want to promote a B2B company, you might find useful a guide/course that specializes in this type of activity such as this one.

All in all, it is better to make sure you know the basics before embarking on such an endeavor.

Then, try to study the phenomenon on a daily basis and keep up to date with everything that happens, all the changes, the additions, plus the trends. – Read more

SEO vs PPC: How to Choose What’s Best For Your Business

My Post (55).jpgAs a business owner are you often confused about choosing the right online marketing channel?

Most businesses struggle with scanty resources. Marketing seems like that perpetual back pain. It’s hard to know which platform will help get the best ROI.

Considering the quantum of online search activity, SEO and PPC are two essential marketing strategies.

The number of daily searches on Google is a whopping 3.5 billion equating 1.2 trillion every year! – Smart Insights

Which one activity to focus on while the business is still small? It’s critical to first understand the difference between these two most popular approaches.

Let’s dive into the fundamental difference:

Search Engine Optimization
SEO is an organic or non-paid form of marketing that helps build site authority including a host of other benefits.

61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. – (HubSpot, 2017)

Many business owners and marketers have a myth that SEO is a quick ranking hack. The truth is that SEO requires you to invest considerable time, effort, and resources. Here are some of the key SEO activities:

  1. Creating a well-structured website
  2. Resolving technical issues on the site
  3. Performing keyword research
  4. Creating an audience persona
  5. Creating content that matches user intent
  6. Acquiring quality backlinks

Search engines provide online searchers with the best possible solution to their queries. Publishers who create audience-centric content out-do others and rank on search result pages. SEO is a race to provide the best answers to web searchers. – Read more

7 Tips That Will Help You Optimize Your Keyword List for SEO

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Tweaking your keyword lists is like regular car maintenance: you have to do it, or else things stop running properly.

Evaluating and optimizing your lists on a regular basis keeps your content high up in search engine rankings.

However, keyword optimization is not always straightforward.

Google’s algorithms grow more sophisticated constantly, and your old bag of keyword tricks becomes less and less effective.

Still, keyword optimization is an essential part of any successful content marketing strategy – it’s just more nuanced now.

Best practices change from year to year based on Google’s changes and user habits.

This list will help you keep your content among the top results and bring in more visitors.

1. Map Your Keywords to the Buying Journey

Not every potential customer starts their journey with the exact product they want in mind — just like not everyone needs to do extensive research.

Your keywords should be targeting everyone whose interests match the content on your website. – Read more

Top 13 SEO Metrics to Track Content Performance & Engagement

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We’re now marketing in an era where SEO and content marketing go hand in hand.

If you want to drive success from the search engines, you need create great content.

Understanding the link between SEO and content marketing is important – whether it’s as a link building tactic, a way to earn rankings, or to educate and convert users.

But success doesn’t just come in one metric.

To truly analyze and understand the impact of your content marketing efforts, you need to:

  • Know the key metrics to consider.
  • Learn how to track them.
  • Identify which metrics are applicable to your own campaigns and business.

Here’s a look at some of the most common SEO metrics you need to know.

1. Links

For many SEO professionals, links are one of the primary goals of content marketing efforts.

As an indication as to why, here’s a snippet from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines:

“The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.”

It’s there in black and white.

Links are one of Google’s top three ranking factors.

High-quality, relevant links are those which are earned as a result of creating unique content which gains popularity.

But links aren’t just links.

Participating in link schemes is a violation of these guidelines and this includes the likes of: – Read more

9 Tips for Creating Your Best SEO Content in 2019

My Post (17).jpgIn 2019, SEO content will be all about the audience.

If you’re looking to improve your content marketing and see real ROI, you have to use practices that will really benefit them.

Content that’s highly ranked, that drives traffic and leads is always user-focused, first and foremost.

That’s why today’s tips for SEO content in 2019 all point back to your reader, A.K.A. the V.I.P. and M.V.P. you need to know and understand to get it right.

Because, when you write to the right people in the right way, your writing and content will climb higher.

9 Keys for Creating Your Best SEO Content in 2019

Ready?

Here are my nine top tips for helping you create your best (most-read, most-shared, and most valuable) content this year and beyond.

1. Write to the Right People with Targeted Keywords

Your SEO content won’t reach the right people if you fail to optimize it with targeted keywords.

What do I mean by “targeted keywords”?

These are key terms and phrases for which your audience niche is actively searching.

To find these terms, you must first understand:

  • Who your audience segments are.
  • What kind of information they need.
  • Why they need that information.
  • Which keywords they’re using to find it.

This may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t if you break it down into a few activities:

  • Audience research: Identify the type of audience you think wants/needs what you offer. Then, go find where they congregate online. Talk to them. Survey them. Figure out their personal habits, preferences, demographics, and stats. (Marketing Land has a good guide on this process.)
  • Keyword research: Find relevant, profitable keywords that relate to your expertise, your products/services, and your audience’s search intent.
  • Topic research: Come up with content topics based on the targeted keywords you discovered and what your audience wants to learn/know. – Read more

Inside Google Marketing: 3 ways we think about SEO

My Post (16).jpgWe as a company spend a lot of time thinking about search engine optimization, or SEO. No small wonder, given that search is at the core of our business.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to drive traffic to your website. Paid media, social posts, and display advertising are just a few. But, when done well, SEO can provide an important — and cost-effective — strategy for organic growth. In fact, the latest research from web analytics company Parse.ly shows Google Search accounted for around half of external referrals to the publishers in its network this past year.

To really get the most out of SEO, though, it’s important to stay on top of the latest Google Search updates. That’s no different for us internally. We at Google own 7,000 websites that are managed by hundreds of product and marketing teams all over the world. Over 200 changes are made to these websites every single day, all of which could potentially affect a site’s SEO. When it comes to how Google sites appear in Search, they receive the same treatment as any other site on the web, and our teams follow the same external guidelines provided to webmasters. – Read more

12 Tips to Help You Thrive in Voice, Visual & Vertical Search

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Search is a much more ambient, complex, and multifaceted industry than it has ever been.

2018 was a transformative year for the industry, with AI-driven technologies creating new possibilities to engage with our audiences through search across a variety of devices.

Just a few of the changes the industry has seen include:

  • The advent of the mobile-first index,
  • Broad core algorithm updates from Google.
  • The growth in popularity of connected home devices.

So where is the search industry headed over the coming year?

Amidst so much flux, the central tenets of Google’s strategy are increasingly clear in a way they have never been before.

In particular, there has been consolidation around three essential areas of activity: voice, visual and vertical search.

By laying the foundations in these areas, marketers can prepare not just for 2019, but also the following years.

As technology’s major players embed their products in our homes, cars, and offices, it is through voice, visual and vertical search that brands will be connected to their audience.

This is great news for marketers of all stripes, but most notably for technical SEO specialists and content marketers. – Read More