Small Businesses Need to Watch These 4 SEO Trends In 2019

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An effective digital marketing campaign doesn’t just build “brand awareness.”

An effective digital marketing campaign results in the leads your business needs to grow. And one of the best ways to do that is with a top-notch SEO strategy. Of course, Google changes its search algorithms hundreds of times a year. This year, Google is prioritizing mobile-friendly websites with lightning fast loading speeds.

To ensure that your small business remains at the top of local search results in the new year, you need to follow these major SEO trends.

High quality content

Outfitting a website with relevant content has long been a strategy of digital marketers. But with each passing year, Google has gotten better at separating high-quality, thought-provoking content from low-grade spam. The better your website content, the more likely you are to appear at the top of important search engine results pages. Consumers are also more likely to trust your business when you have well-written website content boosting your brand image.

Through internal linking, great content can also be an important part of your sales funnel. Savvy SEO experts can channel visitors to key pages of your website, which will result in more conversions and an increase in “pages viewed per session” in Google Analytics. – Read More

12 Completely Outdated SEO Practices You Should Avoid

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SEO has gone through extensive evolutionary changes over the years, and continues to do so every day.

While most traditional marketing tactics (for the most part) still hold true in digital marketing today, SEO changes have quite drastically changed the landscape.

Most, if not all, of these changes have helped improve the web – and search, in particular.

Yet, some people still cling to the “old ways” and try to use outdated SEO practices to improve their brand’s organic search visibility and performance.

Some of the tactics worked a few years ago, but now just aren’t as effective as they used to be.

Yet many novice marketers and/or small business owners are still using these “zombie” SEO techniques (tactics that should be dead, but aren’t for some godforsaken reason).

Not only are they ineffective, but many of the 12 outdated SEO practices below are potentially dangerous to the well-being of your brand, websites, and other digital properties. – Read More

Don’t skip these critical recurring SEO tasks

My Post406.jpgAs we near the end of the year, it’s time to review broken links, plugins, functionality and page speed before there is a crisis.

In other words — SEO will never be done. It’s a constantly moving target.

There are some tasks, like migrating from HTTP to HTTPS, that are done once. Other tasks are performed on a weekly or monthly like content development, and others that might be conducted on a quarterly or yearly basis.

As we near the end of the year, many marketers will begin planning for next year. It’s equally important to review what we’ve done throughout the year to make sure that our work didn’t inadvertently cause issues in other areas. This helps us to get the most from our efforts as well as to begin next year with a head start. – Read more

How to Tell Google Your Content Has Been Updated

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There’s not a rule per se as to how much content needs to be updated, but you can use your common sense.

If all you change is a few words or a date, or just add a picture for example, you aren’t really changing the content.

People like to try to game this system by moving paragraphs around but not really changing the point of an article, for example. Google is wise to this and will not reward you for it.

However, if you have an article like “5 Predictions for SEO in 2018” and you update it to be “5 Predictions for SEO in 2019” and actually change most of the content, there are ways to help Google find out about it more quickly.

But before I share that, I want to be clear: the content needs to be different.

You can’t just post the same five predictions you made in 2018 and put them in a different order.

You can’t use four of the same five and just change one.

That’s not going to fly.

I use a real-world test. If I sent this article via email to my loyal followers, would they find value in it, or would I be irritating them by sending the same thing I previously sent?

Google is likely to react similarly. – Read more

It’s Time to Retest Your Page Speed [Google’s Latest Update]

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Back in October, we were the first to claim that 2019 will be the year of page speed. We’ve got our eyes on the market and lemme tell you: Google is sending serious signals that it’s crunch time to deal with your slow pages.

Faster pages are a strategic marketing priority.

And sure enough, Google has made yet another change to uphold that prediction. In early November, they quietly rolled out the most significant update to a core performance tool we’ve seen to date, announcing the latest version of PageSpeed Insights.

So what does this update mean for marketers and their bottom line?

If you’ve used PageSpeed Insights to test page performance, it’s time to retest! Because your old speed scores don’t matter anymore. The good news is that you’ll have new data at your fingertips to help you speed up in ways that actually matter to your prospects and potential conversions. – Read more

How Images Could Be Your Secret Seo Weapon

My Post401.jpgJumpshot took a look at how online searches were most commonly conducted in 2016. What’s not surprising is that Google owned the majority of online search queries (with U.S. users, at least).

What is surprising, however, is that searches through Google Images were the second most popular type of search.

As such, I’d like to focus this discussion around Google Image search and how to use image SEO to boost your website’s presence there.

Why You Need to Optimize Images for SEO

Getting to that first search engine result page has long been the goal for those who own and build websites. But with Google Image searches being so popular nowadays, why not give your website another opportunity to be discovered in the search engines?

Plus, this way, you won’t have to rely on a bunch of words to show off how truly awesome your site is. Your images will do all the talking on its behalf. – Read More

Here’s how to monitor for negative SEO

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Combat spammy inbound links, affiliate hijacking and scraping content to avoid negative impacts on your rankings.

Soccer great Mia Hamm said, “It is more difficult to stay on top than to get there.” True in sports, that sentiment also can be true in SEO. Any website in the top-ranking position has a target on it – because that’s where every organization wants their website to be.

There are times your competitors may resort to “negative SEO” to try to knock you out of your hard-earned position. Negative SEO is the purposeful act, typically by a competitor, to attempt to get your site penalized or reduce its authority. While competitors can’t control the on-page SEO of your site, they do have other methods to negatively impact it. – Read more

Recovering SEO traffic and rankings after a website redesign

My Post142.jpgAfter a review to confirm a drop in traffic, there are some typical problems (like redirects, missing pages and protocol and domain issues) that can be fixed to get your SEO back on track.

When building a new website, retaining and improving your SEO and organic traffic should be a key design goal. This requires a clear understanding of how SEO and website design work together and careful planning for the site migration. If everything is done correctly, you should retain (and improve) rankings and traffic.

Unfortunately, in the real world, this is often not what happens. The site launches. Organic traffic tanks. And then panic sets in. Unfortunately, I get a call like this every week. Most often from small business owners where the loss of organic traffic means that leads or sales slow down and put the business at risk.

It is important to realize that all is not lost and in the majority of cases, there are a few usual suspects to blame for the loss of traffic. In this article, I cover how to diagnose and recover traffic and rankings when a website design goes wrong.

Step 1 – Gathering Information
We don’t need a lot here but in an ideal world we would want the following:

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Date of launch
  • Website URL
  • Historic or alternative URLs
  • Historic keyword rankings (if available)

Step 2 – Confirmation Read More

5 SEO trends that will matter most in 2019

My Post130.jpgGoogle’s heavily investing to be the best. SEOs are trying to adapt to changes that follow. That’s how SEO trends are born. Let’s view what trends will make a difference in 2019.

To be atop the waves, think about your SEO strategy in advance. A shortcut to success: get to know the upcoming trends and work out an action plan for each.

This year, Google’s shaken the world with its mobile- and speed-related efforts. As a result, most of next year’s SEO efforts are expected in this direction. However, some “non-Google” game-changers will also influence how we build our SEO campaigns. Let’s explore these trends and ways to embrace them.

1. Mobile-first indexing

In a nutshell, mobile-first indexing means that Google uses the mobile version of your page for indexing and ranking. Since March 2018, Google’s started the process of migrating sites to mobile-first index. It might happen that Search Console has already notified you about it.

Bear in mind, a mobile-first index does not mean “mobile-only.” There’s still a single index with both mobile and desktop versions. However, the whole “mobile-first” buzz means that Google will be using the mobile versions for ranking once the site’s migrated.

You get it, right? With your mobile version being the primary one for ranking, there’s no excuse to procrastinate with mobile-friendliness.

Action plan:

  • Any mobile version type is fine. Just take into account a few moments. Google’s Trends Analyst John Mueller mentioned: “If you want to go responsive, better do it before the mobile-first launch”. So, if your site hasn’t migrated yet, and you’ve been thinking about switching, do it now. Plus, Google strongly recommends against m-dot and responsive for the same page, as it confuses crawlers.
  • To understand how search engine spiders see your mobile pages, crawl them with a mobile bot. For example, WebSite Auditor can do it for you:

  • Track your mobile pages’ loading speed. It’s easy with PageSpeed Insights.
  • Regularly check whether your pages deliver impeccable user experience. You can use WebSite Auditor and its mobile performance section for this task. – Read More

Are you guilty of these common SEO mistakes?

My Post16.jpgMistakes happen. When they do, the best response is to learn from your errors, and those made by others, so you can turn them into opportunities.

When it comes to SEO and trying to rank high on Google, everyone is trying to outdo each other. It’s competitive — so every little bit of SEO you can add to your site helps. But let’s face it… it’s a struggle!

Here are some common blunders you should avoid.

Adding keywords to your Google My Business listing business name

Everyone has heard of the importance of keywords. So, when thinking of their Google My Business (GMB) listing, it’s natural for a business to think that adding keywords to their business name could help their rankings on Google. Keywords in a business name can help with rankings, BUT if those keywords are not part of your company’s legal name, adding those keywords is in direct violation of Google My Business Guidelines.

So guess what? If you add keywords to your company’s name in your Google My Business listing, you just became a spammer — something Google (and the rest of the legitimate SEOs in the world) despises.

Here’s a strong word of advice: No matter how tempting it is to add keywords to your GMB business name to try and boost your local SEO rankings — DO NOT DO IT! It’s just not worth the risk.

Why is it risky? Your competitors (or anyone else, for that matter) who find “spam” in your Google My Business listing can report you to Google, and Google can take action against your listing, which is NOT a good thing.

Spam includes keyword-stuffed business names, businesses that have UPS or virtual office addresses, have claimed multiple addresses where they don’t have employees, fake reviews and more.

So, what do you do if you find competitors who are up to no good? Joy Hawkins wrote a great article on the Google My Business forum that explains how to properly report Google My Business spam, and Kaspar Szymanski has written in these virtual pages about reporting competitor spam.

Running a not-secure site

Way back in 2014, Google announced that having a secure site was a positive ranking factor. However, digital marketers and SEOs didn’t really start paying attention to this SEO opportunity until recently. – read more