Getting your business website on the first page of Google search engine results is a BIG DEAL – the ULTIMATE goal for every business owner. As your company website’s chief SEO champion, you need to know how to stand out among your competition as consumers eagerly scour the web for brands that speak to them. Furthermore, you want traffic to flock to your site in order to actually click THROUGH it, not just ON it!
Search engines such as Google pull data from your website to list in the search results. There are two key elements that form the title and description that show up on the results pages:
- Title Tag: an HTML code tag that allows you to give a web page a title. It is located in the browser title bar as well as in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Optimization of title tags is important as they play a crucial role in affecting your organic ranking (SEO).
- Meta Description: an HTML tag summarizing webpage content. It’s normally around 160 characters long (referred to as a “snippet”), appearing below your page title in SERPs.
Both your title tag and meta description should be unique for each page on your website. Don’t use the same title tag and meta description on every page! That’s a no-no!
Here are some tips to remember when authoring your title tags and meta descriptions:
- Keep things simple and watch the length. Don’t be curt, but don’t get long-winded either.
- Once again, don’t repeat titles & descriptions. Make them unique to each page.
- Study up on relevant keywords!
- Put the most important words first in title tags.
- Be sure to include your brand name in title tags.
- Entice users to click.
- Write for people!
Good meta descriptions are written almost like a mini advertisement. The goal is to entice consumers to click through them. For example:
Lonely Planet does a fabulous job implementing some pretty basic tips. Optimal title tag length is between 50-60 characters. Check! Anything in excess of 60 characters will cause the title tag to become truncated in some search engines.
The Lonely Planet title tag and meta description both accurately reflect the content on the page itself. Consumers don’t like to be duped, so don’t write about free monkeys in your title tags and meta descriptions only to have a user click through to discover that nothing you’re offering is free and you don’t stock monkeys. You need to be very clear with your tags and descriptions about your brand and what you have to offer. Don’t get customers excited about something you never intend to offer! That’s just rude!
Be sure you are creating UNIQUE title tags and meta descriptions. This practice is one of the best ways you, as a business owner, can entice consumers to click on your website in search engine results. If your stuff looks just like everyone else’s, consumers won’t be compelled to click on your website. No one wants to look at 100 pictures of the same dog over and over again. The same principle applies with your meta descriptions and title tags.
As a business owner, you take pride in what you have to offer and that which makes your brand different. Placing these concepts into simple phrases should be a fun and easy task that is sure to make all the difference for browsing consumers and your bottom line!
In today’s world, it is absolutely paramount that business owners have the right tools and implement the best strategies in order to make their business websites attractive to Google. As a business owner, you want your company website to rank high in Google search engine results.
Choose the right SEO plugin.
WordPress SEO plugins are the bomb! They have the ability to:
- Affect page loading speed and overall performance.
- Boost SEO.
- Augment your business website’s security.
- Bring up backlink information, important stats and keyword rankings.
- Improve your business website’s rankings in search engine results.
- Fix broken links.
- Conduct comprehensive SEO audits.
- Help you find authoritative posts and pages.
- Reorganize your company website’s structure.
- Effectively optimize your company website.
- Keep you ahead of the competition.
- Increase brand visibility.
A reliable hosting service for your WordPress site is a great way to earn SEO ranking and beef up your website’s speed, however it’s only the beginning. In fact, 75% of consumers who search using Google admit to never clicking beyond the first page of search engine results. This is why your website optimization (in collaboration with smart keywords, knowledge of search intent, content readability and image files sizing) is a MUST. It’s the only way to earn traffic that is organic (free) and relevant, which will boost your conversion rate. Furthermore, a solid SEO plugin will help speed up your optimization tasks more efficiently (sometimes automatically), freeing you up to strategize with your marketing team in order to stay on top of the latest SEO data and quickly employ strategic, results-based plans in order to boost productivity. The benefits are truly endless.
Obviously, when it comes to optimization, a good SEO plugin makes all the difference, BUT… How on earth do you tell the good from the bad?
Good WordPress SEO Plugins:
- Yoast SEO is user-friendly, especially for beginners, and offers:
- Page Optimization which allows you to easily manage page titles, URLs and meta descriptions. You can easily create an optimized, customized web page title via the user interface along with an SEO-friendly URL and unique meta description. You can then review your SEO report which will allow you to improve blog post optimization. In addition, you can easily switch on the robot tags or turn them off. This function allows you to manage your web page’s “discoverability”.
- The Robots.txt file communicates with search engines in regards to which pages are crawlable. The Yoast SEO plugin allows you to change your robots.txt via the user interface which is a time saver. There is no need to install, modify and upload the robots.txt file with each and every change, plus the file is protected from accidental overwrites resulting from system updates.
- Google Search Console allows you to authenticate your company’s website by copying and pasting an HTML code into the Yoast user interface. This is a huge benefit as it allows you to capture powerful SEO data. It is also further code protection against accidental overwrites when it is added through the plugin. Yet another time saver as you won’t need to re-add the code post site-code modification. Frankly, web developers and SEO specialists are experts at carefully handling theme modifications and WordPress updates, but I digress.
- Sitemaps are crucial for SEO as they provide search engines with lists of pages to crawl on your business website. Yoast’s auto generated XML sitemap automatically updates as you post new content to your website. You can improve search engine accessibility to certain website sections via the user interface through the XML sitemap.
- The free Redirection Plugin from WordPress’ plugin repository is fabulous for managing redirects and preventing your users from getting 404 error messages. These are easily managed via the user interface in your WordPress dashboard. The plugin is updated regularly, is secure and is also user-friendly, aiding you in reporting errors on alternate servers (broken links, 404 errors) with info entailing the way in which the error was accessed.
- The WP Internal Link Juicer plugin works specifically to help optimize your company website’s internal link structure, automatically linking phrases and keywords from your posts and comments to relevant blog posts, pages, tags and categories. This plugin avoids fraudulent SEO practices while creating internal links.
- MonsterInsights helps you track your business website’s analytics and performance, is user-friendly and sends Google Analytics data straight to your dashboard. This is great for measuring customer engagement on your website as well as understanding how consumers search for you. You are able to monitor frequently visited pages via the content reporting feature. MonsterInsights is a simpler alternative to the more complicated Google Analytics as it streamlines the gathering and interpretation of data. You’ll never need to login to your Google Analytics account.
- Improve your company’s web page speed with the WP Super Cache plugin which allows you to test loading speed across several of your company website pages. You can then leverage Pingdom tools or GTMetrix. Simply turn on the caching features after you install the plugin.
- Really Simple SSL streamlines the process of hard coding the HTACCESS file configuration for the domain-recognized setup of an SSL address in WordPress. If this is Greek to you, it’s because this is a complicated task best left to experts in search engine optimization Jacksonville. In layman’s terms, simply download Really Simple SSL, ensure your website domain’s HTTPS version is the default address and the plugin will do the rest. It will also make sure SSL encryption and encryption protocols are automatically updated in order to protect against cyberattacks.
- Rank Math also aids in website content optimization, offering real-time content insights via your WordPress dashboard. Snippet previews allow for easy optimization of titles and meta descriptions, reducing the amount of SERP display errors on search engines. This plugin is optimized for better speed and now has IndexNow integration resulting in quick alerts to search engines regarding changes to deleted or new content, redirects and much more. No need to wait for weeks on end for Google to crawl your content.
- Easy Table of Contents enhances user experience which boosts your SEO. This plugin presents a table of contents for users who wish to jump to key content. In addition, an HTML table is automatically added to your business website’s posts and pages, generating internal hyperlinks within each page. Auto generated links are an added perk as they are based specifically on page content headings. Your table style can be easily configured within the dashboard settings.
- Weglot offers the most accurate translations to date. Translation is a huge component of SEO as Google considers grammar and copy to be major ranking factors. Unless you employ interpreters in every language, you need this translation plugin which will reflect the way languages are spoken in order to properly articulate your brand’s story and what you offer.
Bad WordPress SEO Plugins:
Unfortunately, there are harmful WordPress SEO plugins. While the good ones help boost your company website’s ranking and visibility, there is a risk with any plugin authorized to access your business website:
- Exploitable vulnerabilities.
- Unsupported or outdated.
- Incompatibility with existing site code or plugins.
- Lack of adequate testing.
- Scam related.
Always ask your search engine optimization Jacksonville based expert to review the plugins in which you are interested prior to installation. Be sure you select a WordPress plugin which automatically backs up your business website while simultaneously guarding it with the correct SSL protection. There are many free WordPress plugins which can accomplish this for you. Add reputable WordPress SEO plugins to your website, properly configure them and enjoy the benefits of improved URL and content accessibility. Your organic traffic is bound to increase and your business website’s SEO rankings are bound to soar very quickly!
What is a backlink?
Backlinking occurs when someone links to your website or vice versa. If you link to theirs, you are creating a backlink for them. When they link to your website, they are creating a backlink for you. For example, this phrase links to our local seo page, so it now has a backlink from us.
Why do they matter?
Backlinks are a crucial component of your business website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). They help to establish your company’s authority while fostering an environment where additional credible industry sources “vouch” for the credibility of your own company’s website.
Backlinks attract search engines. In other words, Google, for example, considers a backlink as a qualifying factor in determining your website’s credibility. Sixty-eight percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, so it stands to reason that the more backlinks, or qualifying factors, your business web pages accrue, the greater the likelihood that you will rank higher in search engine results. This means your website will attract greater organic (or free) search traffic.
Backlinks establish greater discoverability for your company web pages. Search engines function by revisiting popular pages in order to check for new links. If your company website pages are gaining backlinks from prominent pages, your content will be discovered at a much faster rate.
Backlinks are a great means of organic traffic referral. The primary purpose of a backlink is to direct users to resources which are useful and relevant to their search queries. This is also the reason that backlinks are clickable because when a user clicks on your website link, you automatically gain free (organic) traffic based on referral. This is crucial because the average cost of buying a link is $361.44. “Organic” means more cash in your pocket.
There are good backlinks and there are bad backlinks.
Unfortunately, not all backlinks are good as they are based on variables such as utility and quality. Search engines value relevant backlinks as they are more likely to be clicked. For example, if a Jacksonville dentist has backlinks from three pages, but one is about short giraffes, one is about big and tall jumpsuits and the third pertains to cavities, then the third backlink is of greatest value because it is actually relevant. Anyone searching for a Jacksonville dentist likely isn’t looking on behalf of a short giraffe. This same logic applies to your website domain. Traffic at Jacksonvilledentistry.com is going to be much more likely to click on a Jacksonville dentist’s website than traffic at shortgiraffes.com. You get the picture. Relevance is key.
Page authority works in correlation to organic traffic. If your business web pages have backlinks from solid web pages, those backlinks are considered a greater authority and will usually transfer more easily than backlinks from a weaker web page/authority. But, this isn’t ALWAYS the case as Google claims to equally split authority between all outbound links on web pages. Stay with me here because this is important. If your web page has backlinks from two pages, the first page carrying more outbound links than the second, the link from the second page transfers greater authority, all else being equal. Supposedly. I say this because there are innumerable patents and various methods for the process of assigning value to backlinks, especially with Google. In addition, a page’s authority can be boosted by contributing internal backlinks as well.
High-traffic page backlinks typically generate greater referral traffic than those from lower traffic pages. The question is whether or not high traffic page backlinks affect rankings on a more positive note than low traffic page backlinks. Simply put, the correlation is meager and the number of referring domain backlinks and web page authority are of greater value.
Prominently placed links are more likely to gain clicks, thus passing on more authority. In other words, colorful links in a bold font which are placed in main content areas of a page and contain verbiage which is attractive to users have a higher rate of clickability. This means they could generate a decent amount of page rank, but if a link consists of less desirable features that aren’t as attractive to a user, it becomes less likely to gain a high volume of clicks. This “weaker” link is less likely to pass on a decent amount of page rank. Keep in mind that you don’t want your link winding up in a site’s footer, so invest your time into other stronger options.
While “nofollowed” backlinks don’t typically affect page rank, they certainly can. Link building is a labor of love, requiring a tremendous amount of time and dedicated effort, therefore it makes more sense to go after “followed” links. Nofollowed links might still throw some SEO value your way, but don’t concentrate your efforts on those.
How to Spot a “nofollow” link: You’ll have to look at the code to identify a nofollow link. A follow link does not have a rel=”nofollow” attribute and will appear as: <a href=”https:/marlincs.com”>.
A NoFollow link has the rel=nofollow component and looks like: <a href=”https://marlincs.com” rel=”nofollow”>. To check for a nofollow link, right click it and click “Inspect.” Then check the code for that link for the inclusion of rel=”nofollow”. If there is no rel=”nofollow”, then you know you’re working with a follow link.
Why do nofollow links exist? Google uses links as a ranking factor in order to interpret which websites are linked to the most. The quality of a website is determined by the number of links, therefore higher ranking sites have more links. Unfortunately, underhanded SEO manipulators know that more links are all it takes for a website to wind up on page one of Google’s search engine. They tend to use “tricks” that go against Google terms and best practices, incorporating all kinds of junk simply for the purpose of gaining links. This method consists of leaving nonsensical comments on websites, the creation of junk websites and paying black market and higher-authority websites for links and backlinks. Google utilizes rel=”nofollow” in order to avoid the spread of spammy websites and bad backlinks. Website owners use rel=”nofollow” as a means of identifying advertising-related or paid links.
Anchor text: clickable words which form backlinks which affect Google’s original patent rankings. The correlation between anchor text and rankings is somewhat weak, but it still matters! However, when acquiring backlinks via outreach, the anchor text will be out of your hands when linking to your own business website. While no one likes to lose control, this is a benefit as it indicates that the link is of a better quality.
You can check backlinks in Google Search Console in order to learn about your company website’s performance and organic search traffic. The good news is that it’s free to do this and you need only to sign up for your free account then verify your website ownership. Next, click “links”. There is a number which reflects the total number of authentic backlinks to your website listed under “external links”. Below that number, you will see “top linked pages”, “top linking sites” and “top linking text”. You can easily view the most linked pages on your company website, the sites with the most backlinks to your company website and the most used anchors when linking to your company website. We advise beginning with “top linked pages” followed by a click on any URL in order to learn of the various websites linking to a given page. You can also click on any site to see which pages are linking to that page.
You can also check backlinks for a website you don’t own using a third-party backlink checker. Ahrefs offers a free backlink checker where you simply enter a URL and click “check backlinks.” The total number of referring domains and backlinks will appear in addition to the top 100 backlinks. Each will contain information such as the anchor and surrounding link text, traffic, strength of linked pages and the linking website and referring page.
You can acquire more backlinks by creating them, building them or earning them. When people discover your business website content (blog posts, for example) via social media, search engines, etc. and link to your page, you’ve officially earned a backlink. Earned backlinks are organic (free). When you create authentic, relevant content on your business website which compels people to want to link to it, you improve your chances of earning more backlinks.
Created backlinks are formed by manually adding links to your business websites from other sites. Every time you leave a blog comment or reply to a forum thread, for example, you can create a backlink.
You can build links by requesting other website owners to link to your company website pages. In fact, 73.6% of domains have reciprocal links, therefore, if you link to certain sites, there’s a good chance they will link to you in return. You can also:
- Offer to guest blog for another website.
- Suggest your working link as a replacement for relevant dead links on other websites.
- Ask authors to make the mention of your brand clickable if they are mentioning your brand in an unlinked fashion.
In closing: There is a direct correlation between backlinks and search engine ranking but not all backlinks are created equal. Variables such as placement, relevance and more, play a role in the utility and quality of a link. Hard work always pays off in the end because easy-to-obtain links won’t be nearly as valuable as the ones you work for.
Do I really NEED to be on the first page of Google search engine results?
Almost all questions in this day and age are answerable by Google and understanding how to get your website on the first page of Google search results is one of the most profitable moves you can make for your business. In fact, Google occupies 92% of search engine market share with Bing at 2.28% and Yahoo as even less at 1.52%. I dare say Google’s powers are boundless and can even help you gain website traffic while spiking revenue!
Many entrepreneurs don’t fully understand how to use Google’s boundless powers to their benefit. Here is where the rubber meets the road: consumers don’t want to click more than they absolutely have to. If desired results show up on the first page of Google’s search engine results, you can bet the farm customers aren’t going to continue clicking through page after page when what they’ve searched for is staring them in the face on the first page. In fact, 75% of users don’t even want to think about clicking to the next page. Why bother?
Yes, and here’s how to get on the first page of Google!
Here’s where you, as a business owner, come in. Let me start by saying one thing: if you’re excited that your company shows up on the third page of Google’s search engine results, prepare for me to burst your bubble. You are are not visible to your customers unless you have a first page presence and here’s how it’s done:
- Communication is key! Notify Google right away that you have a company website. Google bots are extremely thorough, never missing a beat when crawling the web for various websites. It can take some time for the bots to pick up on your website and, while waiting around is one way to do things, it’s best to submit your website to Google Search Console pronto. The program is free and breaks down your performance on Google search, emailing you suggestions as to what you can do to enhance your website’s visibility. It’s still important to login regularly in order to make sure all is well. For step-by-step instructions, visit “The Beginner’s Guide to Search Console” in Google Search Central.
- Be strategic in targeting brilliant keywords. There is a great deal I could say about keyword selection, but I’ll try to keep it short. Finding the right keywords is the beginning of your process in ranking your website on Google’s first page of search results, but what is right to one business owner may seem wrong for another. Fortunately, there are some basic principles that apply to everyone:
- Think about words best describing your products or services and think like a customer. For example, what would a customer type in the search engine bar if they were shopping for a reputable lawn service?
- Shoot for phrases with the three to five words your customers are most likely to type into the search bar. If your keyword consists of those matching your website and coincide with what customers are likely to enter, then your website will most likely appear in the search engine results. Stay with me. This is just the beginning!
- Walk a mile in your customers’ shoes. Really get inside their heads and think about the types of questions they will ask on Google. This will help you generate keywords specific to your website, easily located by Google’s search engines. Be sure to do a search in order to learn which phrases are most commonly related to your company.
- Once you decide on your keywords, be sure to weave them generously into your content, communicating to Google that your company website exudes authority and is the place where customers need to go in order to gain the right answers to their questions. This will help boost your website ranking on Google’s first page as you stand out from your competition.
- Research your competitors and find out how they got on the first page and what is keeping them there. You know the olds saying, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. In this case, keep your customers close and your competition closer by researching your competitors. You might be up against some tough competition with an impressive audience. Don’t be intimidated! Type your desired keyword into the search bar and learn what and who you’re dealing with! This will allow you to adopt a strategy and select keywords best geared to your target audience. Furthermore, try to learn why your competitor ranks higher for the same keywords and whether they are gaining popularity due to paid campaigns or organically. You might even discover that you can target keywords your competitors haven’t yet implemented! In addition, research long-tail keywords that your customers might be using and grab keywords targeted by your competitors. You can strategize about ways to beat your competition at their own game by using them more effectively.
- Make sure you create a page which supports search intent. Let me be clear in saying that web pages and not actual websites rank on Google’s first page. For example, you might rank for “how to spot clean a sofa” and “carpet pet stain removal” as two separate web pages, both landing on separate search engine results pages. It is entirely up to you as to which page you’d like to rank, but the options are limitless. You may choose as many as you’d like as long as you understand that website authority will affect the ranking of each individual page you select. Just be sure that your page content is chalked full of info that Google can rank for your target keyword as your chances are better when your content lines up with the content of search intent. Don’t be tempted to tamper with your web page URL so as not to compromise established quality backlinks. If you absolutely must reconfigure your URL’s, don’t forget to direct the old ones to the new ones!
Develop a content angle, addressing your target audience and be thorough in your content descriptions and discussions as the authority on the subject(s). Stick to subjects directly related to your website and industry.
- Incorporate both internal links and quality backlinks. Backlinks will serve to enhance page authority and higher authority websites mean higher ranking on search engine results pages. You can easily acquire quality backlinks by looking for sites similar to yours. You can email those sites with requests that they link a relevant post to your website. You can even add internal links which are relevant to your industry in order to boost authority. Both backlinks and internal links which point to your business website, communicate with Google that consumers consider you a reputable authority. All the more reason to ensure that your backlinks come from reputable sites in order to boost your rankings. Be sure you aren’t incorporating SPAM!
- Shoot for snippets featured. Short text snippets located above various Google search results offer quick answers to search queries and are even better than having your web page rank on Google’s first page of search engine results. Google selects the featured text, so there is no magic trick for achieving this and it is not automatically generated. The best thing to do is alter your content in order to boost your chances of having featured snippets. You can also implement a bulleted format, create bulleted lists, and incorporate sentences beginning with how, why, where, when, what, and who. Extra points for developing content that immediately answers these questions.
- Take charge of your meta tags and manage them well. The short text appearing in Google search results are called “meta tags” and they are content descriptors which are shorter than featured snippets. Meta tags consist of no more than 120 characters, containing the most crucial info plus a keyword. While they don’t show up on a website, they are made up of clear, concise verbiage specific to each individual web page on your website. Keywords should be incorporated in your meta tags, so be creative!
- Make sure your web page is mobile optimized. Half of global internet traffic takes place on mobile devices such as smartphones and iPads. Users get frustrated when web pages don’t load or they cannot be viewed in full, so it’s paramount that you ensure your website is optimized for all screen types. Customers will avoid your page if the experience is poor.
- Include your location! Customers want to know whether you are locally based or overseas. Increase your chances of getting on the first page of search engine results by incorporating your locale in your keywords. Many consumers want to do business with companies located in specific cities or states, so adding your business to local directories such as Foursquare or Yelp will only gain your higher search engine visibility, boosting your online presence.
Web page visibility entices consumers to click in order to learn who you are and what you’re about. Don’t shy away from tools such as social media and chat forums in order to show consumers what they’re missing. Establish your authority and expertise regarding your products and services and you are sure to turn the right heads as you show consumers they can rely on you for questions regarding your profession. Keep your target audience engaged with consistent, fresh content, leaving them hungry for more. Better yet, consult your local small business SEO Jacksonville Florida expert today!
Launching a new website is a bit like assembling a giant puzzle. There are many pieces, and some components are best put into place first, while other elements are incorporated later on in the process. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the most valuable pieces as it should be of primary concern well in advance of starting your website. A solid SEO strategy is the entire foundation of a great business website. Neglecting to lay the foundation could result in poor web development and design, formatting issues, terrible URL structures, and more!
WHAT IS SEO?
SEO or “Search Engine Optimization” is the process by which search engines “crawl” content (meaning that search engine robots discover fresh, updated content) to measure its efficacy in attracting website traffic. SEO is a component of search marketing that focuses on ORGANIC (free or unpaid) methods to gain attention in search engine results pages.
THE VALUE OF SEO:
New websites are like seedlings. Once you plant seeds, they need to be nurtured with the proper amount of soil, water, sunshine, and nutrients. Neglect equals demise, and the same principle applies to your fledgling business website. Think of indexed web pages, backlinks, and overall authority as “Miracle Grow” for your company’s website. As time goes on and your website grows and develops, Google’s algorithm frequently changes; however, if you’ve properly applied a great SEO strategy, your website will most likely be unaffected! Eventually, you might discover that your business website is dominating your competition in the organic search results! So how’s that for a motivational speech?!
Let’s break down a solid SEO strategy step-by-step:
- URL (Uniform Resource Locators):
It is the address of a web page.
Your URL and URL structuring is kind of important. And by “kind of,” I mean “SUPER IMPORTANT”. Search engines consider URLs to be one of the main ranking factors in determining the content and context of your page. In other words, your url will be associated with your SEO equity, representative of both your brand and the name of your business.
Determine an SEO-friendly URL and customize it for every webpage on your site to align with the targeted keyword for which you’d like your page to rank. This is one of the critical first steps in your SEO efforts.
- LOADING SPEED:
Your average customer won’t wait more than about two seconds for your website to load, be sure you select a high-speed host! Site speed is a huge ranking factor when it comes to SEO, and the caliber of your website hosting provider will HUGELY affect performance!
- GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE:
Set up Google Search Console to achieve optimum SEO benefits. Google Search Console is God’s gift to your website. Don’t be rude. Accept the gift. This program allows you to keep an eye on your website page(s) loading speed, average click-through rate, organic (free) keywords that bring in the most clicks on your website, overall performance and so much more! Be sure to verify your website in the program first, otherwise it won’t collect data.
- GOOGLE ANALYTICS:
A smart addition to any business website in its beginning stages, brilliantly collecting your marketing info. Be sure to review current data privacy laws first!
Make a list of your TRUE SEO competition – businesses who sell, write and maintain top keyword rankings similar to yours – and study as though your life depends on it! You don’t want to be the loser in this competition!
Look for differences and similarities between you and your competitors and learn about the keywords for which they are currently ranking. Don’t forget to check out interesting selling points and the topics of their posts and content.
- KEYWORD GAP ANALYSIS & EFFECTIVE KEYWORD SELECTION:
Perform a keyword gap analysis in order to ensure your website is ranking comparably to those of your competition. This is SEO gold as you can easily filter these keywords in order to overcome your toughest competitor!
Keywords are the nucleus of a solid SEO strategy. Search engines utilize keywords in order to determine the most valuable search results in answer to consumer queries. You need to research keywords before you can build your keyword map because keyword searches are only as effective as the corresponding search result (“search intent”).
Proper interpretation of search intent will only strengthen your website’s role in the various stages of a customer’s buying journey. Longtail, low-competition keywords which mirror your exact products and services will ensure a positive, direct effect on your company’s long term bottom line. Be sure your keywords are in keeping with your company’s products and services and that they match commonly asked consumer questions. Research search volume and know the results which appear for your chosen keyword(s).
It is not uncommon to get caught up in the keyword battle. Fortunately, a reputable Jacksonville SEO agency will have a battle plan for this process which will typically look like this:
- They will review your business website to determine current ranking, top pages and develop criteria for solid SEO and collection of statistical engagement data.
- Next, they will run a keyword gap analysis in keeping with your top SEO competition. They will then broaden the keyword list based on that research, structuring your business website around your website goals, strategizing a means by which to achieve those goals.
- An experienced Jacksonville SEO agency will know how website users will find content via Google organic searches as well as searches taking place directly within your business website.
- They will create a comprehensive keyword list, spanning the entire consumer buying journey. This list will include all correlating service and product keywords and will be organized into content which scales and compounds your organic search volume long term. This is known as “content verticals” (website sections such as “about”, “location”, “hours”, “blog”, etc.).
- The final step: the creation of your keyword map! This masterpiece involves clustering keywords into corresponding groups. Those groups are the foundation to the creation of your website’s products and services, landing pages, blog posts and more!
In its entirety, the above process is the roadmap to selecting the most effective keywords tailored to your business website according to how you want them to rank.
- CONTENT CALENDAR:
Perhaps the word “calendar” is enough to send you running to your nearest Jacksonville SEO agency as you cringe at the thought of deadlines and time constraints so commonly associated with this dreadful word. Here’s what you should know: a strategic content calendar means you will consistently and intentionally stick with a plan for attracting and retaining customers (a.k.a. “$$$). It’s so easy, even a caveman can do it.
- Prioritize your keyword map sections beginning with the pages your website needs NOW (“products” page, “location” page, etc.).
- Write your content and optimize it by incorporating keywords in your metadata, URL and H1 (similar to your title tag and describes the topic of your page and its content).
- After your content is published, you will need to track your keywords for performance. Good content can move up in search engine rankings as it gradually lends credibility, authority and trustworthiness to your business website. Be patient as this process will take some time.
- Be consistent! Determine how many new website pages you want to incorporate per week or month and stick to it! You should always be cranking out new content because the effects of SEO are COMPOUNDING. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
- URL OPTIMIZATION:
Be sure you are correctly structuring your content by incorporating keywords into your URL. Once again, your URL cannot be changed!
- CORE STRENGTH:
We all need to have our vitals checked regularly. Our pulse, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and temperature all play a role in determining our overall health. Don’t neglect your core web vitals! Google has endless contact to “weed” through in order to determine who places highest in search engine rankings. Page experience and core web vitals help search engines determine the winners! Type your domain into “PageSPeed Insights” to find errors and fix them.
Be sure that you are creating a user-friendly experience on your business website. Your ranking largely depends on this! Site-impaired consumers will appreciate your optimized alt text on your website images! For hawk-eyed consumers, bright colors can be blinding, making for a terrible user experience. Be sure buttons are properly labeled and that fonts are legible and easy to read.
While self-promotion is generally considered a social turn-off, the opposite is true when you’re running a business! Just as you would promote your grand opening or the launch of your new company website, you need to promote the heck out of your content! Most consumers won’t aimlessly wander into your virtual storefront. Share your content across as many platforms as possible: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and anything else you can think of. You’ll improve your SEO value and Google will pick up on increased consumer engagement, resulting in establishing a business website as trustworthy.
Preparing a strong SEO strategy takes time, patience and careful planning. SEO will ALWAYS be the firm foundation which supports the overall structure of your business website, growth and bottom line! SEO births organic website traffic while fostering long-term repeat business, lending credibility and trustworthiness to your brand. Be sure you develop a plan for continued monitoring and optimization in order to keep up with your competition. The results are quite lucrative!
What is SEO?
“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization. This explanation will likely leave you questioning, “What is Search Engine Optimization”? SEO is the process by which free, organic leads are generated via search engine results.
How does SEO Work?
SEO is paramount to the success of your digital marketing plan and relevant keywords are the engine which drives the SEO machine.
A keyword is one which best describes content on your webpage. A keyword is also a search term that boosts website ranking on search engine results. Keywords determine how search engines are utilized. When a consumer searches for a specific phrase or keyword, the search should lead them directly to your company website. Keywords are nothing short of foundational to a consumer’s search of your business. Relevant keywords must be woven into your search phrases in order to improve your website’s search engine ranking. The goal isn’t for all your keywords to be high-ranking. The goal is to incorporate keywords which could be most profitable for your business. The more relevant the keywords, the greater the yield of positive search traffic.
In fact, you could be penalized or permanently suspended by Google for implementing such tactics. You’re better off focusing on providing a user-friendly experience for browsing consumers. Avoid paying for bad back links, don’t incorporate pesky or intrusive ads, don’t replicate content and don’t use your website link to spam others with comments or redirect consumers from other websites. How rude!
If you remember nothing else from the post, remember this: slow and steady wins the race and cheaters never prosper! While bad SEO tactics can be tempting, nothing yields free, organic search leads like quality content and following good SEO practices. Plus, you will avoid pesky penalties and or permanent penalization for wrongful shortcuts.
Local SEO in Jacksonville
In short, SEO means more money in your pocket. Employing a reputable Jacksonville Local SEO company can only multiply those dollars, drawing free, organic leads to your business website!
Contact the SEO company in Jacksonville, FL for your next local SEO project.
Hats off to you if you already know what an ALT tag is. You are likely way ahead of the game. In fact, most people outside of the marketing world have never even heard of an ALT tag. So, for those who don’t know, what is it?
An ALT tag is an HTML component which is applied to graphics and acts as an alternative for search engines. The application of ALT tags can hugely affect where you rank in search engines as they interpret your graphics and images. For example, when Googlebot reviews a given web page, properly formatted ALT text images affect that page’s index and rank. ALT tags play an important role in web accessibility, allowing people who use screen readers to process page images. This is a huge benefit for vision impaired consumers.
If you are a part of the majority of business owners who assume that their images aren’t all that important, think again! According to the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, the U.S. is home to ten million blind or visually impaired consumers. One out of every thirty Americans are legally blind! Perhaps it has never occurred to you that these consumers also shop online or maybe you also suffer from vision impairment. Simply put, you can’t rely on your written content alone to explain your product and services. You must optimize your images to cater to ALL consumers, vision impaired and otherwise, thus improving the overall experience on your website.
Fortunately for you, the process of editing, adding and updating your ALT tags is quite simple, but first, you must know where to find them:
- Right-click on a photo on your website of choice to check if ALT text appears.
- A menu should appear which will allow you the option to inspect the HTML.
- A pop-up or pane should display HTML.
Now pat yourself on the back because you’ve just learned where to locate an ALT tag!
Editing ALT tags is so easy “even a caveman could do it”, to borrow a few words from Geico. There are different methods, depending on which program you use, however here is the process for Microsoft Word:
- Right-click an image and select” Edit Alt Text”.
- Accurately and succinctly describe the image content.
Here’s the deal: depending on the image and what said image conveys, you need to be specific in your ALT tag description, ensuring you’re conveying the purpose of the image. Be sure to use proper grammar, capitalize and punctuate just as you would if you were writing a letter.
Reviews are crucial to the success of your business as 93% of customers base their purchasing decisions on consumer reviews. If your overall review rating falls below 3.3 stars, consumers won’t engage with your business.
Your responses to your company’s reviews play an equally important role in consumer engagement, influencing purchasing decisions. When you fail to respond, you send a message that you do not care about your customers.
ADA compliance issues appear to be on the rise for real estate professionals. But what is ADA compliance when it comes to websites. To put it simply, ADA refers to the American Disabilities Act, which requires all public spaces to be accessible to those with disabilities. This includes things like handicapped parking spaces, ramps, and bathrooms. In late 2019 the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from Dominos Pizza after a federal appellate court ruled that a blind customer could sue the chain under the Americans with Disabilities Act because he could not fully use their website through screen reading software. You can read more here.
Although non-compliant websites are not technically illegal, if an individual with disabilities comes across your website and is unable to access certain features of it, they can sue on the basis of the ADA. Because most courts have interpreted websites to fall under the category of “public space” as defined in the ADA, most judges rule on the side of the plaintiff and companies have to either settle out of court or pay large fines. We have recently learned that a very large number of realtors in Florida and at least one local Real Estate Association has received demand letters and complaints from a law firm alleging violations of the federal and Florida Fair Housing Acts. The firm alleges that the realtor’s and the association’s websites fail to provide accessibility options for the disabled.
These notices have been received by real estate professionals statewide. Though it does not appear that the actual complaints have been filed in federal court at this point, the demand letters threaten litigation. If an association receives such a letter, the association should contact the local board attorney and the National Association of Realtors® immediately. If a realtor receives such a letter, the realtor should contact their broker and attorney. Deciding whether to fight a demand or settle a claim is a legal decision.
We have been working with real estate professionals for close to 10 years. ADA compliance is a problem that we can help them solve. We have partnered with a company that is transforming web accessibility by replacing a costly, manual process with automated, state-of-the-art AI technology. This allows us to rapidly roll out a cost-effective solution that not only protects against lawsuits but also and even more importantly creates a more inclusive website.
This solution helps:
- Achieve WCAG 2.1 & ADA Compliance
Ongoing WCAG & ADA compliance even when website updates
- Get a Certification & Statement
Accessibility statement and certification of performance
- Receive Daily Compliance Monitoring
Re-scanning and fixing accessibility issues every 24 hours
- Ensure Monthly Compliance Auditing
Emailing you a professional compliance audit every month
If you or a real estate professional you know is in need of help with compliance. We are here to help. With a cost starting at only $490 per year per domain up to 1000 pages. We will get you set up and install the code on your website at no cost as long as you provide us with the required access. If you want to sign up and install it your self just click here.
As business owners continue to adjust and adapt to a what seems to be a new normal. Getting started can be one of the hardest things to do, you may ask yourself what do I do first? Everyone is now looking online, where do I start? These have been common questions over the past few weeks. To help our clients and friends we have compiled a basic checklist of things that you work on. Use this check list to not get pulled in several directions at the same time.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, and Get Started.