An illustration of a person giving money for clicks on advertising, symbolizing the question “Can PPC help your business?”.

How can PPC help your business?

If used the right way, PPC is a powerful form of digital marketing. PPC can help your business develop, bring more traffic, and increase the website rating. However, there are also some downsides to it. To use PPC in the best possible ways, let’s do a quick analysis of its best features.

How does PPC work?

Pay-Per-Click is a form of paid online marketing. You place various ads in strategic places on the internet and pay the PPC company whenever a user clicks on an ad. This means that there are no expenses unless someone actually clicks on your ad, which is what you want.

To further explain PPC, we need to talk about two other terms:

  • CPC: Cost-Per-Click is the fee you pay for each click. The cost varies, and it depends on the quality of the ad and the location. The cheapest ads go for just a few pennies per click, while the average cost is between $1 and $2. The highest fee you can pay per click is around $50.
  • CPM: Cost-Per-Impressions is a different fee you pay for every 1000 times your ad is displayed, even if no one clicked on it. This form of advertising can only be applied to display and video ads.

As you can see, you can choose whether to use CPC or CPM strategy.

Why is PPC so popular?

The main reason why PPC is so popular and effective is that you can choose your target audience. If you are struggling with niche marketing and cannot target a small group of people interested in your products, you can use PPC. It allows you to define your targeted audience by analyzing age, gender, interests, language, and devices they use.

A word of caution

Out of every one thousand views of an ad, less than 5% of people decide to click on it. On average, out of one hundred people that click on an ad, only two will convert to customers. When we look at the statistics, the numbers do not look good. However, that is how PPC works.

This is very important to mention because you must calculate your investment in PPC advertising. If you spend more than you are earning, your business will be at a loss.

With that in mind, you need to learn how to measure ROI on your SEO efforts, both paid and free. You need to know how much money is spent on advertising, and what the income is. This is a crucial part of any paid advertising strategy because it helps you control your expenses.

PPC allows you to retarget

Since we did mention how not all people that click on an ad convert to customers, it is important to say that PPC does support retargeting. When an ad is displayed to a viewer that does not click on it, retargeting makes it possible to remind that viewer by showing the ad again.

This is a widespread strategy that works well with paid advertising. As an example, someone who searches for beauty products will see beauty product ads all the time. That substantially increases the chances of converting to a customer at one point.

PPC advertising is easy to track

Traditional SEO that brings organic traffic takes a lot of time. It is also more difficult to track because there are so many factors that affect it.

With PPC advertising, tracking is as easy as pie. And PPC works as a switch. You will see results as soon as you start to use it.

You can monitor ad clicks and visits through a tracking dashboard and also manage your finances. This makes it easy to tweak your PPC strategy and control overspending. You can immediately see if the strategy works or not.

Can PPC help your business by providing a quick increase in traffic?

Yes, it can. All startup companies struggle with traffic at the beginning. Finding customers always takes time. PPC advertising is a fantastic boost that will give your business exposure right from the start.

Even though strategies that provide organic traffic come cost-free, they often require a lot more time. If you are just starting, not selling immediately will cause more expenses than profit. With that in mind, it is better to spend some money on advertising and start making a profit right away.

Are there any downsides to PPC advertising?

The biggest downside is that you can lose money if you don’t optimize your advertising expenses. You need to be mindful of how much you are spending vs. how much you are earning in return. If you start getting a lot of clicks but not that many sales, you will end up spending a lot of money without getting any profit. That’s where you need to balance your expenses.

How to manage all the little nuances of PPC advertising?

If this is your first time using PPC, it is a good idea to seek professional help. Ask experts for advice about managing PPC advertising, and let them create a PPC plan of action.

This is a much better approach for startups, especially if you are entirely unfamiliar with this topic. A professional will be there to help with the setup, teach you all about how PPC works, and take care of all the difficulties for you.

Always use a mix of PPC advertising and other strategies

Can PPC help your business if that is all you are using? A short answer would be no. While we agree that this is an excellent strategy to increase website traffic quickly, it should not be your only choice. PPC best works when combined with other techniques that boost organic traffic. It is a good approach that will give you a head start, but you should not rely on it to support your business 100%. Use it as a support strategy, and your business will improve much faster.

Person using phone and laptop to browse the internet.

Guide to building backlinks for a brand new website

Everything is more challenging when you’re just starting out, so when you first start a business and set up a website, driving traffic to it won’t be easy. You’ll need to work on improving your visibility and expanding your reach online. Search engine optimization is a great way to do that. And a huge part of SEO are backlinks – links to your page coming from other websites. Brands with a lot of traffic don’t have a problem with this: often, other websites will link to a reputable and popular source without even being asked. But building backlinks for a brand new website is significantly more complicated. So what can you do to get more backlinks when you don’t have authority and reputation on your side?

Before building backlinks for a brand new website, you’ll need to work on your content

If you want someone to link back to your website, you’ll need to convince them that your website is worth linking to. So before you start building backlinks, make sure to build up your website. Design a visually appealing homepage, create pages for all your major goods or services, and publish some good content. Backlinks should never be the first step in your marketing strategy because you must first have something to link to. So, start by working on your website and improving your SEO rankings in other ways. Then, you can move on to backlinks.

Two-screen computer set up with a keyboard.
Building backlinks for a brand new website should come after setting up a website and creating some content.

 

Strategies for building backlinks for a brand new website

Once your website is ready and you’ve done a bit of online advertising to build up brand awareness, it’s time to start working on your backlinks. You have to be ready for the fact that it’s harder to get people to link to new websites that aren’t well-established yet. So you’ll need a good strategy and an even better pitch.

Link up all your profiles and citations

Backlinks are, by definition, links on websites other than your own. But you don’t always have to rely on other web administrators to get those links. An easy way to get backlinks on your own is to set up social media profiles and get business citations in local directories. There are multiple benefits to this even beyond backlinks. Social media will increase your visibility online, be a great marketing tool, and allow your customers to contact you more easily. Citations will provide valuable information to those looking to visit your stores or contact you, so start with linking to your website on all your off-site profiles and pages.

Leave conquering the world for tomorrow – start local

Being a household name world-wide is a lofty goal and not one that you can achieve quickly. Instead, you should focus on other websites from your area, at least in the beginning. There are several reasons for this:

  1. local websites are more likely to belong to small local businesses like your own; knowing the situation you’re in will make the people running those websites more likely to help you
  2. your customer base will overlap more significantly with other local businesses than with large corporations, so targeting their audience will bring more customers
  3. your content will be in line with what other local websites post
  4. local SEO is a great way to grow a small business
"Open" sign on the door of a small business.
Partner up with other local businesses to start with.

 

Learn from your competitors

There’s a reason why big businesses are where they are – they’re doing something right. And if you want to become one of them someday, you’ll need to learn from big companies: where do they get their links from? How do they get people to talk about them online? How do they turn mentions into backlinks? Take a look at what other companies in your industry are doing, then try doing the same or even improving on it! For example, if you see a competitor guest posting on a more popular website, get in touch with the website’s administrator. They’ll probably also platform you if you offer good content.

Find other ways to establish yourself first

An outbound link is a type of recommendation: when you link to another website, you’re implying to your users that this is a business you support. It should come as no surprise, then, that many websites don’t easily give out backlinks – they want to be sure that they’re recommending a reputable business. So build up your reputation before you start chasing backlinks. It’ll be much easier to get backlinks if you can already prove that you’re running a good and reputable business.

Create a pitch that’s impossible to turn down

The truth is that your pitch will make a huge difference when you’re asking for backlinks. Even the best websites won’t get backlinks if they can’t sell themselves. Conversely, a more recent and less reputable website might get them if they are compelling in their pitch. So ask yourself: what do you have to offer in return for backlinks? If your website is new, you probably don’t have much in terms of domain authority. Instead, it would be best if you focused on providing relevant and high-quality content. Take a good look at the website where you want to be featured. Then, come up with a topic that fits and email the owner about it. Tell them how their website and business will benefit from working with you. Finally, show off some of your best work to convince them why you’re the right person to work with.

Building backlinks for a brand new website requires being proactive

Nobody but you can grow your business. It is up to you to develop a marketing strategy, stay on top of industry trends, improve your rankings, and ultimately attract more customers. So you cannot expect others to promote you out of the goodness of their hearts. Instead, you must reach out to them.

Person typing on a laptop.
Getting backlinks for a new website requires being proactive.

 

Do your research

The average person receives more than 80 emails every day. A generic, repetitive request for backlinks that you can send out to any website on the internet will get lost in that. Instead, you should be personable, unique, and memorable. This requires a bit of research:

  1. You’ll need to find a website with content similar to yours.
  2. You’ll need to figure out what the owner is looking for.
  3. You need to look into topics and keywords that you can suggest for a guest post or find another way to entice the owner to link to your website.

This part is so important that professional link building businesses are entirely dedicated to finding opportunities for quality backlinks in your stead. Professional assistance like that can be vital to a small business that’s just starting out, so if you have the funds, consider investing in hiring professionals to help you build a backlink profile.

Reach out to web administrators

It’s highly unlikely that someone will offer you a backlink when you’re just starting out. Instead, you should be the one making an effort. Contact the owners of any website you think would be amendable to linking back to you. To maximize your chances, contact as many people as you can. Even if the initial answer is no, you can establish a connection and make the offer again later when you’re in a better bargaining position.

Keep trying

When you’re building backlinks for a brand new website, you can expect to get a lot of rejections, but you can’t let that discourage you! As your business grows, your website improves, and your reputation gets better, the odds of getting backlinks will increase. You just need to stick around long enough to get that yes. So don’t give up at the first sign of struggle. The first, second, third, or fifth website may say no to you, but eventually, one will say yes.

 

Marketing team developing strategy to handle niche marketing.

How to Handle Niche Marketing

When most people think of marketing, they imagine television ads or large billboards next to the motorway. However, in recent years, marketing has been slowly shifting to online spaces. Personalized ads and shopping assistants are becoming commonplace. Of course, those still fall comfortably in the zone of mainstream marketing. If we look at smaller segments of the larger market, we’ll quickly realize that catering to a significantly smaller audience is a totally different ball game. In this article, we will discuss how to handle niche marketing and what you can do to stand out in a smaller market.

1. Get to know the niche

First off, we recommend getting familiar with the niche you plan to target with your marketing. Roll up your sleeves and do your online research into the specific culture and identity of the niche. This is important because marketing to a niche subculture you know nothing about can feel artificial. Fail to use the right language or symbology, and you’ll only alienate your audience. However, if you manage to tap into the core of what gathers people to that niche – your marketing efforts will come across as genuine and get accepted by the community.

Properly constructed marketing that speaks to the audience in ways they will find familiar is guaranteed to spark more interest in your products and brand. To make the most of your marketing and SEO efforts, you should ideally choose partners who are experienced and have a background in niche marketing. Unfortunately, you might have a hard time finding someone who has already done work in the specific niche you have in mind. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as your team is open-minded and accustomed to working with smaller markets.

2. Find what need isn’t addressed

Most conventional marketplaces have already been figured out and solved. Expert marketers could craft a mainstream campaign with their eyes closed. Basically, marketing on major channels to a wide audience has almost become a paint-by-numbers routine. Unfortunately, niche segments are much harder to understand and define.

You’ll need to do a deep dive and find a need that has yet to be met or a problem that has to be solved. Afterward, you can use creative marketing ideas to appeal to those needs and present the products and services of your company as solutions to those problems.

Research what the trending keywords are, and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. For example, companies in the moving industry needed to utilize specialized SEO services designed for this industry in order to inform customers of all the different services a moving company can provide. This, of course, started with research and then the implementation of those findings into the overall SEO strategy of those companies.

Influencer recording online video.
Influencers from your chosen niche can help you reach more customers.

3. Who are the prominent personalities?

A large part of marketing has always been using the popularity of someone already established to boost your own reach. Every segment of the market has its celebrities and influencers. If you are wondering how to handle niche marketing, you should find out who the influencers are for that niche. Contact those influencers and send them a collaboration proposal. This approach is significantly better than getting a celebrity outside of the niche to market your products. Even if they have a larger following, they are still an outsider to the community you are currently focusing on. What’s best is that niche influencers will probably be more open to a partnership proposal due to the smaller size of the market. You should have an easy time reaching an agreement with them.

Additionally, you mustn’t forget to scope out the competition and other brands targeting the same niche. You might discover that there is interest in an untapped niche in the market and get excited – only to find out that your competition beat you to the punch. Even if some competition does exist, you shouldn’t be discouraged from entering that segment of the market. Learn from their example and appeal to the audience with fresh and creative ideas.

Charts with niche marketing results next to a notebook.
Keep a close eye on your marketing results and make corrections as necessary.

4. Monitor your marketing strategy

When targeting a new market, companies usually need a bit of time to figure out what kind of marketing approach works best. For this reason, they typically attempt a few smaller campaigns to test the water and see what gets traction and what the return on investment is like. Companies will often experiment with less expensive forms of marketing to gauge interest in their products. Only once they are sure there will be positive feedback are top-level executives ready to pull the trigger and okay a large-scale marketing campaign.

Unfortunately, niche markets are relatively small, making experimentation a bit hard to pull off. This means that you’ll need to carefully monitor the results of your marketing and act quickly if you see a drop in your ranking. There will be very little maneuvering room, so you’ll need to make corrections to your marketing as you go. As long as you keep an eye on how the marketing is doing, you should be fine.

5. Connect to your target audience

Niche markets are often tightly knit communities. There will be significant overlap among members of the community, as well as group-think and a collective affinity to the same brands. This means that it’s incredibly important to listen to feedback and respond to user comments.

The best way to handle niche marketing is to win the sympathies of the community members. By responding constructively to negative comments and reviews, you can correct any mistakes you’ve made and simultaneously establish trust in your brand. By nurturing a strong relationship with the community, you will quickly become the leading service provider for your chosen niche.

Person using a laptop to connect to users online.
Try to establish a strong connection with the community from your niche.

In conclusion

Most marketers will view catering to a smaller audience as a welcome change from the already established principles of mass-market advertising. As you can see, there are no secrets or special tricks on how to handle niche marketing. It just requires a lot of dedication, research, and hard work. However, in the end, hard work always does pay off, and it can feel even more rewarding in niche marketing since you will get to know your customers.

 

A website owner trying to identify and fix Google penalties by analyzing a sudden change in website traffic on his computer.

How to identify and fix Google penalties

Websites, in general, use a variety of SEO techniques to improve their ranking positions on Google. At the same time, Google is constantly improving its search engine for better efficiency and experience for its users. Sometimes, for different reasons, these changes collide with optimization, issuing different types of penalties for websites. And the most notable changes happen if websites go against Google’s specific guidelines. As a result, it causes a sudden drop in rankings for many. In that case, websites need to place a lot of effort to identify and fix Google penalties and do everything necessary to prevent them in the future.

Detect, identify, and fix Google penalties

In general, Google practices implementing different regulations and algorithms to filter out everyone who is breaking the rules. They clearly state that anyone who doesn’t follow their guidelines and tries to manipulate their search engine and users will eventually face a penalty. Consequently, we have seen numerous changes happen over the years, each with its own impact on the state of the search engine result environment.

How is the evolution of Google search affecting websites?

With constant improvements from Google, it can be hard to follow all the evolutionary changes. Sometimes, websites are penalized for using bad practices. But, sometimes, it can happen even to the most sincere website owners. Regardless of the cause, losing the hard-earned ranking positions can be devastating, especially for small local businesses whose whole existence depends on their website’s SEO ranking and traffic. In essence, being aware of the tactics you shouldn’t use is, by far, the best way to avoid this situation. And closely following the Google webmaster guidelines is an essential precaution for those who are just starting out.

Major types of Google penalties

If your website is experiencing a considerable decline in traffic and suddenly loses its SERP position, you might have been penalized by Google. Usually, the first step is to identify if that is the case. For the most part, fluctuations in ranking positions are regular and quite often. But, more drastic ones certainly point to something more serious at work.

Altogether, there are two major types of Google penalties:

  • Manual issued penalties
  • Automatic algorithmic penalties

Depending on what you are dealing with, fixing will require different approaches.

Manual penalties

As you can assume, manual penalties are actions taken by Google’s human auditors. When they receive reports that your website is in direct violation of their rules, they will closely evaluate your website. If the circumstances require disciplinary actions, they can manually flag your website for a penalty. Some of the most common reasons for manual penalties are:

  • Too many unnaturally acquired links
  • Spammy links, content, or structured markups
  • Irrelevant, abusive, deceptive, or thin content
  • Misleading, hidden, or cloaked redirections
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Hidden text
  • Hacked pages
  • and many others

Fortunately, manual actions are easy to identify since Google will send a notification to webmasters.

An auditor in a suite pointing toward the “Audit” button.
When it comes to breaking their guidelines, Google can be very strict.

 

Algorithmic Penalties

In essence, algorithmic penalties are not actual penalties. It’s “only” that you are facing the consequences of the changes in Google search engine algorithms. Depending on the way websites are built and optimized, this can lead from minor all the way to massive changes. If a website is using strictly forbidden “Black Hat techniques“, it can even be banned from Google altogether. Also, they can affect only specific pages or entire domains. They are much harder to identify since you are not getting a notification from Google. You will have to cross-reference different information to get to the bottom of the problem.

Probably the most infamous algorithm changes everyone in the web world has been hearing about are:

  • Panda update
  • Penguin update

The Panda Update

In 2011, a major update by the name of Panda shook the web world. With the goal to filter out websites with low-quality content, it surprised many website owners. For some, it took years to recover their websites from such an impact. On the other hand, websites without generic, plagiarized, and thin content experienced the pinnacle of their rankings at the time.

A panda chewing its food.
The Panda major update was nowhere near cute as the real one.

The Penguin Update

Another major player in the algorithmic game is the Penguin update. Its goal is to analyze link profiles across the web and eliminate and correct pages with irrelevant, artificial, and suspicious links. From the second quarter of 2012, it caused a lot of disturbance and reshaped the digital marketing approach in general. The main message Google was starting to send is that backlinks should be acquired naturally to benefit visitors and users. Not for search engines, crawlers, and mere ranking manipulation.

How to fix Google penalties?

Fixing the situation with penalties requires identifying the core of the problems and decent resources, time, and knowledge. Those without a good in-house marketing team should consider hiring SEO professionals for this. When it comes to manual penalties, Google will send you a notice, along with the reasons. For algorithmic issues, it might be a bit harder to identify all the elements you need to work on. In most cases, you will have to use SEO tools to find and analyze the causes for the negative performance of your website. And then, cross-reference all the information from reports with algorithm update dates.

Scribbling the “Assess” word from wooden tiles.
You have to closely assess the situation and identify the causes.

Some of the most popular tools for dealing with penalties are:

  • SEMRush
  • Rank Ranger
  • The Panguin Tool
  • FE International
  • and others

Dealing with the Manual penalty

Once you receive the notice from Google, it will be pretty clear about what you need to do. Among many actions, the most common are:

  • Cleaning your backlink profile
  • Adding more relevant content
  • Improving the overall user experience (UX)
  • Cleaning the suspicious scripts and code
  • Repairing the consequences of hacking
  • Lowering the number of redirects
  • and similar

The best course of action here is to completely audit your website. Just in case you, and even Google, overlook something that might cause you problems in the future. Finally, after all the work is complete, you will have to submit a request to Google to reconsider lifting the penalty.

Fixing the Panda penalty

Since the content is the main issue here, a lot of work awaits. Basically, it’s necessary to reevaluate every page to find what requires your attention. It can be plagiarized, duplicate, or information-thin content. There might be problems with formatting and user-friendliness, or it can be some problem with your markup (HTML) or styling (CSS) code. Anything that causes conflict with Google Guidelines has to be fixed.

Fixing the Penguin penalty

For “the Penguin”, you will need to primarily focus on your links. Your backlink profile has to be flawless, now more than ever, in order to lift Google’s punishing flags. This is a tremendous job that requires you to analyze every backlink and conduct a thorough cleaning. On websites with a decent amount of backlinks, this will be nearly impossible without advanced tools. So, use Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, Link Research, and Webmaster Tools to complete your research. The next step is to contact webmasters to remove undesirable links. If they don’t comply or answer back, you will have to disavow those links through Google.

Finally, you will have to keep a close eye on rising SEO trends and constantly monitor the changes. Both in the best practices and Google updates. To avoid having to identify and fix Google penalties again, it’s best to follow Google webmaster guidelines closely. This way, your website will set long-term goals and implement safe techniques without having to worry about the penalties in the future.

 

Two people climbing up the stairs to a better position with the step by step SEO guide for 2021

Step by step SEO guide for 2021

Two people climbing up the stairs to a better position with the step by step SEO guide for 2021

Step by step SEO guide for 2021

Without false modesty, SEO can sometimes be overwhelming and intimidating, even for experienced marketers. Especially nowadays when there are so many rules and factors to take into account. We live in an age where the average person makes most of their purchasing decisions based on information from search engines. They spend hours researching and looking for valid information about services or products. Or, in other cases, simply browsing the internet for informative reading and entertainment. Anyway, this all makes SEO vital, inevitable, and impossible to ignore. Whether you are a blogger, business website owner, or digital marketing agency, you will find this step-by-step SEO guide for 2021 useful.

SEO guide with essential optimization steps for 2021

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a methodology marketing experts use to improve website ranking positions. All in the effort of increasing the website visibility and traffic and keeping visitors engaged. It’s a series of steps to optimize everything from website content to formatting, structure, and speed. As a result, both search engines and visitors will recognize the value of a website.

 

To make it easier to research SEO, here is the list of necessary steps you should follow as SEO guidelines in 2021:

 

  1. Review your website’s optimization potential
  2. Find the right keywords
  3. Offer quality content
  4. Sort your internal link structure
  5. External link building
  6. Website performance
  7. Monitor results
  1. Review your website’s optimization potential

Altogether, a considerable part of search engine optimization happens directly on a website. That’s why it’s necessary to closely inspect all its elements. Everything from titles and content to metadata and structure has to be in order if you want high online visibility. Good SEO audit and website inspection will help you identify problems and places for potential improvements. Further optimization will help search engines discover and adequately evaluate a website. But it will also help you provide a better user experience for visitors.

 

Here is a general list of elements you should focus your attention to, SEO-wise:

 

  • URL structure
  • Website navigation
  • Sitemap
  • Internal links
  • Broken links and redirects
  • Use of keywords
  • Title, header, and alt tags
  • All types of metadata
  • Duplicate content and quality

 

Another crucial aspect of SEO is website accessibility. Basically, the goal is easy access for everyone, including impaired readers. It should take perception, understandability, and availability into consideration. Because, in essence, website content is truly and completely valuable only when everyone can use it, under any conditions.

A person planning a website and considering SEO guidelines by following the step by step SEO guide for 2021.
The best option is to include SEO guidelines from the very first moments of website creation.
  1. Find the right keywords

Keywords are the center of all Search Engine Optimization activities. In fact, they are the foundation and the start of most quality SEO efforts. You can find them in the content, titles, links, other website elements – basically everywhere. That’s why finding the right keywords is one of the most critical steps.

 

While there are dozens of SEO tools, to start with, you can use Google search itself. Just start typing the term you are considering and observe what’s happening. Before hitting search, Google automated suggestions will start offering you different terms. You can use them all as keywords since suggestions are based upon what people look for. Or, you can add a word or two and check the so-called long-tail keywords.

 

However, choosing the right keywords is not as simple as it seems at first. To make the right pick, you will have to:

 

  • Analyze the first page of results
  • See what top results are ranking for
  • Consider the competitiveness of each potential keyword
  • Check what your direct competitors are doing
  • Check the search volume of each keyword
  • Inspect the keyword trending potential with Google trends

 

While searching for keywords, probably one of the best steps is to create your customer persona – a depiction of your ideal customer. This will help you identify customer intent (why people are using the search engine) and, consequently, better keywords. An excellent way to proceed is to discover where your target audience is spending their online time. Check the topics they are interested in and tailor your keyword strategy accordingly.

  1. Offer quality content

Creating quality content is essential for two things. First, it will help search engines properly evaluate your website relevance and rank you better. Second, by providing valuable information to your visitors you will motivate them to spend more time on your website. For this, you will need plenty of content, and it has to be optimized.

 

The type of content varies from simple blog posts to excessive guides and tutorials. However, it shouldn’t be limited only to text. Visualization and graphical elements should also be considered, especially today when video is becoming one of the dominant media formats everyone can consume with ease. For example, besides being the most prominent video portal, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Right after Google.

YouTube on a computer
Visual material is easy to digest. That’s why many people prefer it.

Of course, to be visually appealing, your content has to be properly formatted. No one is going to spend time trying to find information within a wall of plain text. For example, use H1-H6 headings, choose relevant topics, and optimize all the metadata inside. Content design is one of the most common mistakes that can easily hinder your website’s usability. By providing a bad user experience this way, you will ruin your SEO efforts.

 

Finally, make sure to keep your content up to date. Add new and remove obsolete information whenever you can.

  1. Sort your internal link structure

There are two factors why your internal links are important:

 

  • Internal links help improve your website hierarchy, navigation, and user engagement. They allow you to connect content from different pages so people can discover your other content. This, in general, improves page views and overall time visitors spend on your website, which can affect your SEO score.
  • Internal links can increase the value of other pages. With different tools, you can check the page authority of each of your pages. Use this information to connect pages with high scores to those that are lacking it. This will improve the ranking power of your website overall.

 

  1. External link building

One of the most important SEO ranking factors is backlinks. Simply put, those are external links that link back to your website from other places. They serve as a vote from other websites that your website is worth linking to. In search engine eyes, this can be a decisive factor when they evaluate your ranking potential. When creating links to strengthen your ranking for specific keywords, you can:

 

  • Analyze your competitors
  • Use different methods like Broken Link Building and Skyscraper technique
  • Share and promote your content on social media
  • If you own a business, create listings and submit a website to industry directories
  • Create guest blog posts
  • Reach out to experts and other niche influencers
  1. Website performance

Another aspect that can influence your SEO results is your website performance. Generally speaking, people don’t have much patience to wait for pages to load. Just a few second difference will make them leave. Most likely, to your competitors. Here, the goal is to provide an excellent user experience. In return, search engines will reward you with better rankings. This will lead to an increase in traffic, higher engagement, lower bounce rate, and eventually, better conversion rate. In addition, make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices as well. With so many smartphones and similar devices, not using the mobile-first approach would be a waste. Even Google gives priority to websites with their mobile-first indexing.

Measuring website speed with an online speed tool
Many elements like unoptimized images can slow down your website.
  1. Monitor results

Finally, no good results from your SEO efforts will last forever. SEO is not a one-time job, and you will have to constantly evaluate and work on it. Remember, your competitors are doing the same things and will always look for ways to overtake your ranking positions. That’s why you have to track your SEO constantly by monitoring all the results. There is a lot of competition in search results, and a good step by step SEO guide can help you stay on track. Don’t underestimate the power of optimization, and you will be able to answers the visitors’ needs better than your competitor.

Chrome app logo on a phone screen.

Top 10 Chrome Extensions for SEO

Top 10 Chrome Extensions for SEO

With a market share of nearly 70%, Chrome is easily the most popular web browser today. If you’re one of the two and a half billion people who surf the internet on Chrome, you probably know the power of extensions. Chrome extensions are pieces of software added to the browser to personalize and improve your experience. There are thousands of extensions with different purposes out there. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to find good extensions – they’re usually very hit and miss. So before you download anything, find out which chrome extensions for SEO are actually worth having.

What can Chrome extensions for SEO do?

Chrome extensions, in general, are many and varied. Different adblockers and security extensions are among the most popular ones. But you can get extensions for pretty much anything from controlling video speed to integrating with other software to social media sharing. You’ll see a similar trend of diversity among SEO extensions too. You can find SEO extensions that aim to provide a comprehensive analysis of your or your competitors’ pages, including page titles, meta tags, traffic, and more. But you can also find extensions that are more specialized and only do one specific thing, like monitoring your backlinks or helping you find related keywords. If you’ve ever had to choose a WordPress plugin, you’ve faced this decision before – do you get an all-in-one addition to your platform or several more focused ones?

Chrome window with multiple tabs.
Add extensions to improve your browsing experience with Chrome.

What are the 10 best Chrome extensions for SEO?

Most Chrome extensions, including those for SEO, only have a few dozen downloads. So it’s fair to assume that most of them are not very useful. Luckily, they’re usually also free, so you don’t have to worry about measuring the return on investment because you’re not really investing anything other than time by testing out different options. But time is valuable too, so check out these excellent extensions first:

SEO Pro Extension

The SEO Pro Extensions is one of those extensions that aim to provide you with an SEO overview of a page quickly and easily. You can analyze your own website to find what information is lacking (such as alt tags and meta text) and get some tips on improving the page’s position in search engine results. Or you can analyze your competition’s website and compare their SEO with yours to gain valuable insights.

Moz Bar

Domain Authority and Page Authority are generally accepted as important metrics in SEO. They’re both very good indicators of ranking – the higher the authority, the higher the ranking. So it would be pretty handy to know the authority of different pages, right? Luckily, the Moz Bar extension is here to help you figure it out. And since Moz came up with the entire concept, there’s no one you can trust more in this particular area of SEO.

SEO Quake

If you’re looking for an easy way to get a detailed overview of your site, SEO Quake is a great choice. Not only will you get information about your ranking and indexing, but you can also run reports on specific pages regarding things like keyword density and other on-page SEO elements. Finally, you can use SEO Quake to analyze other websites, too; whenever you perform a Google search, you’ll get the basic breakdown of every page that ranks.

Person searching on Google.
Get all the information you need from Chrome itself.

Ahrefs SEO Toolbar

The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar provides a comprehensive SEO breakdown of any page. This includes information about crawlability, word count, social tags, and more. You can use it on your own website, to evaluate your own efforts. Or you can use it to gain insights about your competitors.

Ubersuggest

Although Ubersuggest does provide an overview of other information, it is especially useful when doing keyword research. Since keywords are one of the key elements of SEO, getting them right is very important. With this extension, you can get information about keywords, suggestions for keyword alternatives, and more directly from any Google search page.

Keywords Everywhere

Another excellent tool for keyword research is Keywords Everywhere – arguably the most popular SEO extension for Chrome out there. It gives you a list of related keywords when you do a Google search. You can then export the list and use it to tag your content. Simple yet effective!

Similar Web

Tracking the traffic trends of different pages (both yours and your competitors’) can be very valuable for your SEO strategy. An easy way to do it is with the Similar Web extension. It gives you a breakdown of traffic data for the last six months, including bounce rates and time on page.

Graph showing traffic trends.
Find out how your traffic has changed over time.

Check My Links

Links, both internal and external, are a vital part of any SEO strategy. But they’re also something that changes often. When a page moves to a new URL or a website loses authority, this can affect all the links leading to it. That’s why it’s important to regularly analyze the state of your links. Checking your links, keywords, content quality, and the like will help you track the success of your strategy and determine whether your SEO is actually doing what it should. The Check My Links extension makes this easy as it tracks and highlights all links on any given page.

Pagespeed Insights

Speed, especially on mobile versions of a website, is incredibly important. Users expect your pages to load within seconds, or they’ll leave. So knowing exactly how long it takes for different versions of your website to load and what might be causing issues can be very useful. That’s exactly what the Pagespeed Insights extension will help you with.

Grammarly

Although not directly related to SEO, Grammarly is just a useful extension for all content creators. It checks your spelling and grammar, informs you of the tone your text has, and gives you tips on making your English better. If you write and post often, Grammarly is going to be very useful for you. The best part is that you can use it for other writing as well!

Do you really need Chrome extensions for SEO?

Chrome extensions for SEO are not, strictly speaking, necessary. You can do most of the things extensions do with other software as well. However, extensions are an easy and affordable way to improve your SEO. You never have to leave Chrome to get insights, you rarely have to pay for extensions, and you’re still getting valuable information. So while you don’t really need SEO extensions for Chrome, you’ll definitely want them.

 

WordPress plugins page.

Best CRM plugins for WordPress to try this year

WordPress plugins page.

Best CRM plugins for WordPress to try this year

How good are you at knowing, understanding, and interacting with your customers? The answer is “not good enough” because things can always get better. And customer relationship management software is one of the things that will help you do better. What is more, if you’re running a WordPress website, the good news doesn’t stop there: you don’t even have to go looking for a whole CRM system – you can try some CRM plugins for WordPress instead. WP plugins are an excellent way to improve your customer relations without paying for an entire software suite or to dip your toes into CRM before jumping in with a significant investment. Either way, CRM plugins are worth considering if you have a WP website.

CRM software 101: what it is and why it matters

CRM stands for customer relationship management. It can refer to a strategy, a process, or technology. But whichever option we’re talking about, one thing remains at the core of CRM: the relationship between a business and its customers. Maintaining a good relationship in this aspect is crucial for every business.

A salesperson talking to a customer.
Nurturing good relationships with customers is important for long-lasting success.

Your business and its growth depend on your customers: you should always be on the lookout for new prospects, trying to convert new leads, working on retaining traffic in the long run, providing the best possible customer service, and more. To do that, you need to understand your demographic well. Who are your customers? How far down the sales pipeline is each of your leads? Where is each one of your customers in their lifecycle? Have you previously been in contact with these customers, and how often? Unless you have an eidetic memory, you won’t be able to answer these questions off the top of your head. That’s where CRM comes in.

As a strategy, CRM is about your business philosophy regarding customer relationships and how they should be managed. As a process, it’s the specific actions you take to make that philosophy into reality. But as a technology, CRM is the software that helps you collect, analyze, and interpret information about your customers and their relationship to your business, as well as take appropriate actions based on these data. It often comes with additional features like marketing automation and email integration. Even without these, however, CRM software is worth investing in as it will save you time and effort in maintaining good customer relationships.

What are CRM plugins for WordPress?

WP plugins are bits of code added to your WordPress website for additional functionality. They can do anything from providing security features to dealing with spam comments to making it easier to design your website. But while most plugins are intended to make your life easier, some are there specifically to improve user experience or the relationship between the user and the business. CRM plugins are in that group.

A list of WP plugins.
Plugins help your WP website look and function better.

Why should you opt for CRM plugins for WordPress?

Virtually every business can benefit from some type of CRM software. The only question is whether you need just a lightweight tool or a full suite. If your website runs on WordPress, then a plugin can be the perfect solution here. Many of the must-have WP plugins do very impressive work, equivalent to and sometimes even better than independent software. So you won’t be sacrificing functionality if you opt for a plugin. Yet, plugins tend to be a lot more affordable and usually don’t require an extensive installation and onboarding process. Additionally, they can be a good introduction to CRM. You can learn what works through plugins, then later invest in more extensive software when your business grows.

What are the best CRM plugins for WordPress?

There are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins out there. Many of them are CRM plugins or at least include CRM features. So deciding on which one to download can be tricky. But you can’t go wrong with any of the following options:

WP-CRM

If you’re looking for CRM plugins for WordPress for small businesses, then WP-CRM should definitely be up for consideration. It is perfect for those who are just looking for a lightweight but high-performance tool with a focus on easy contact management, simplified project management, and seamless integration. With it, you can collect and store an unlimited number of contacts. To help you with this, you’ll have custom fields available as well as the possibility to integrate with other contact lists like Slack. All this will be available on your WP admin dashboard as the plugin integrates perfectly with the WP environment.

WordPress app download page.
WP-CRM will integrate with WordPress easily because that’s what it was designed for.

A basic version is available entirely for free. Although it doesn’t include many features, it’s a great and cost-effective solution when you don’t need much. A premium version is available at the starting price of $99 per year. However, you can also pay for and install individual additional features according to your own needs.

WP ERP

A 3-in-1 plugin with CRM, HRM, and accounting features, WP ERP is a great tool for small and medium businesses alike. With it, you’ll be able to create a company profile, collect payments, send out notifications, create contact groups, handle the customer lifecycle, gather progress reports, and more. It’s a truly impressive list of features, especially considering the core plugin is entirely free. Most of the features, including the main things a business will use from this plugin, are included in the free version. So if you’re concerned with your expenses, this is the perfect solution. However, if you love WP ERP, advanced plans start at $112 per year and include additional features, extensions, and support.

HubSpot

It’s impossible to talk about CRM plugins for WordPress without mentioning HubSpot. The company is known for creating powerful marketing software, and this plugin is no different. With it, you can connect your WP website to the free HubSpot CRM, which helps you organize, track, and nurture leads and customers. But that’s not all. As one of the most advanced CRM tools on this list (and on the market in general), it comes with a wide variety of features. Among them, you will find a form builder, a live chat and chatbots, analytics with enriched data, automatic logging of all contacts, customer timelines, an email marketing tool, and more.

Basically, this plugin is everything you need to manage your leads, increase your conversion rates, and nurture long-term relationships with customers. And it is entirely free of charge. So if you’ve ever wanted to try a HubSpot tool, the CRM plugin is a great place to start.

UpiCRM

The perfect stepping stone to a full CRM suite comes in the form of UpiCRM. This plugin offers all the basic CRM features for free. With it, you can create forms, collect leads, and collect data from multiple sources. It also integrates with other CRMs, WP plugins, and even Google Drive with an additional option to export all data to another program, so if you do decide to upgrade to something more all-encompassing, you won’t lose all your hard work. If you’re looking for a free, basic, and lightweight tool that you can use for dipping your toes into CRM, this is the perfect option.

WP Fusion

Although not a CRM plugin, strictly speaking, WP Fusion deserves mention when talking about WordPress and CRM software. It is a premium plugin (with a free Lite version) that essentially acts as the go-between for your website and a CRM program. Its primary purpose is to collect information about your customers and leads, then feed it to a third-party CRM of your choosing while adding a few basic CRM features to your website.

Reports created by CRM plugins for WordPress on a laptop screen.
Accurate and rich data is the key to successful CRM strategies.

This may not seem worth the $247 per year price, but the truth is that the importance of accurate information about your customers is hard to overstate. WP Fusion automates the collection of this customer data, allows you to create custom forms, adds tags to customer profiles, locks content on your website so only specific categories of customers can see it, all while integrating seamlessly with a wide variety of CRM and mailing systems. This allows you to use data to your advantage and effectively manage customer relationships so you can grow your business faster.

CRM and Lead Management by vCita

Another plugin that isn’t technically CRM itself but rather integrates with a CRM system is the vCita CRM and lead management plugin. The plugin itself is not particularly impressive – it gives your WP website lead capture capabilities and allows you to stay in contact with customers. But the vCita CRM that the plugin integrates with is a heavy-duty feature with robust search capabilities, virtually endless contact storage, an in-depth view of customers, and a slew of automation tools. Despite this, learning the system is easy as the interface is modern and intuitive. If you want a real powerhouse of a CRM, vCita is an excellent option at only $19/month. The plugin will simply allow you to integrate this system with your WP website.

Web-to-Lead for Salesforce

Another one of the CRM plugins for WordPress that operates by integrating an existing suite with WordPress is the Web-to-Lead for Salesforce plugin. Perhaps the most well-known CRM solution on the market, Salesforce is never a bad choice when it comes to CRM. There’s a good reason for its popularity, too: Salesforce offers a whole host of tools to help you collect and nurture leads, manage customer relationships, track sales data, and even analyze your competition. You’ll also have access to various marketing tools to help you build your reputation online and reach more prospects. The plugin allows you to capture leads through WordPress and automatically sync them to your Salesforce account. It’s free, but the use of Salesforce itself comes with a price tag starting at $25/month.

A person using a computer.
With Salesforce, you’ll have a powerful CRM tool mere clicks away.

Groundhogg

With Groundhogg, you’ll be able to automate your marketing and customer relationship management in a simple way. Designed specifically for WordPress, it integrates perfectly with the platform. Like most plugins on this list, the basic version of it is free. It allows you to:

  • create forms,
  • write custom emails,
  • segment your contact lists,
  • keep track of your customers, and more.

If that’s not enough, premium plans start at $20 per month. You’ll get tons of different extensions to choose from and add features like payment collection and conditional funnel logic.

What to look for when choosing among the best CRM plugins for WordPress

Just like with plugins for Search Engine Optimization, there is no magic formula for a CRM plugin – each business is unique and looking for something different. But certain must-have features should be a part of any plugin you’re considering. These include:

  • a contact capture system with form builders
  • databases for storing customer information
  • reporting with in-depth insights
  • pipeline management, preferably visual
  • messaging tools that ease contact between employees and customers
  • an intuitive interface that’s easy to use for both employees and customers
  • invoicing and billing tools
  • tagging, filtering, and search options
  • integration features for linking with other CRM tools

WooCommerce integration, task scheduling, document databases, and activity logs are also useful features for many businesses. But ultimately, it is up to you which of these features to prioritize. After all, you know best what your business needs.

How to make the most of your CRM plugins for WordPress

The first step towards success will be choosing the right CRM plugins for WordPress. But it’s once you’ve installed your chosen plugin that the work truly begins. Make sure to set up your plugin in a way that works for you and your business. Familiarize yourself with the different features and how best to use them – this is crucial for getting the most out of any software. Read up on the different options and take a look at some tutorials, if any are available. For features that your customers will interact with (like contact forms), always design with the user in mind. Finally, remember to regularly update your plugin as well as the rest of your website. This ensures that you’re always running the latest version of the software with all the potential new features that come with updates.

Trying to measure Return On Investment on your SEO efforts with calculator and list of costs.

How To Measure Return On Investment On Your SEO Efforts

Trying to measure Return On Investment on your SEO efforts with calculator and list of costs.

How To Measure Return On Investment On Your SEO Efforts

Return On Investment (ROI) is often mentioned as one of the best indicators that investments are justified. It’s an essential metric to determine how successful your business operations are and for agencies to demonstrate the results of their efforts to their employing companies. However, it can be harder to calculate results when it comes to SEO since they depend on numerous factors. Nevertheless, when you need to decide what marketing channels and SEO strategies give the best results, you will measure Return On Investment on your SEO efforts.

A few ways to measure Return On Investment on your SEO efforts

Generally speaking, SEO is constantly evolving. It provides businesses with a plethora of opportunities to improve their marketing strategy. But, this often ends in companies using several different approaches before deciding which one works the best. If you invest in multiple SEO strategies, ROI is what you need to see which ones bring the best results. So, you can either decide to adjust your SEO strategy or dismiss those that are not so profitable. This is essential, especially for business models that rely on SEO for profit.

A woman explaining SEO strategy with graphs.
ROI can show you which marketing strategy is most effective.

What is ROI for SEO?

For SEO, there are different KPIs you can track and measure. From the number of visitors to conversion rates. But positive ROI is often the final measure of success. If you don’t calculate the ROI for your search engine optimization, it might be impossible to appropriately modify and plan your future strategies. It may often lead to misunderstanding, confusion, wrong decisions, and a desire to go for some less acceptable means to improve performance, such as spamming. That’s why it’s necessary to completely understand how to calculate ROI to avoid risky actions and steps that may hurt your SEO efforts in the long run.

The obstacles of measuring ROI for different businesses

The universal formula for calculating ROI is “(Gain from Investments – Cost of Investments)/Cost of Investments“. But the problem is that SEO doesn’t always give you completely accurate numbers. If you have an eCommerce business, revenue calculations will be easier mostly because you can connect the exact monetary values with different factors, like sold products. Once you know the right numbers, the rest is easy. But for businesses that rely on lead generation, it’s a bit more complex.

Calculating the investment first

The first step is to determine the costs of your SEO investments. In most cases, there are four major types of expenses:

  • Costs of your in-house SEO – this includes salaries, hourly and daily rates for personnel.
  • SEO agency costs – usually monthly rates you pay if you hire an agency to manage your SEO.
  • Costs of investing in tools – often overlooked; they include licensing for software and other tools you use for your SEO efforts.
  • Paid advertising costs – the amount you are spending on AdWords, PPC, and similar paid plans.

Sum of all these costs will give you the right picture of how much you invest in your SEO. However, remember that these numbers may differ on a monthly basis.

Calculating the ROI for SEO

Now that you know the investment costs, it’s time to calculate ROI. As we have said above, it’s different for eCommerce businesses that rely on on-site purchases and lead generation businesses that rely on off-site purchases. But in both cases, to measure ROI on your SEO efforts, you need to track conversions, for example.

Conversion for eCommerce

Because buying is conducted on the website, eCommerce calculation can be pretty straightforward. First, you will determine the amount of revenue you get from each conversion. Since you sell various products, you will need the average value. Second, take the number of visits and see what the average conversion rates are. Multiply the number of visits with the percentual conversion rate and with the average revenue. From the final number, you need to deduct investments, and that’s pretty much it.

  • Visits x Conversion rate x Average revenue – Investments = ROI
Exchanging a bag with products for a credit card through monitors.
For businesses that sell products online, it’s much easier to determine SEO ROI.

Conversion for lead generation

The problem with lead generation businesses is that even though the transaction is off-site, the interest is still generated online. They rely on ranking positions and the number of visitors, even if they don’t sell anything online. This further complicates measuring mainly because not every lead is necessarily a monetary transaction. However, you can estimate the values by assigning the average revenue to each lead. For this, you will need to first see how many leads convert to sales. Then calculate the average value for each sale. And then determine what the average value for each lead would be. In the end, subtract the cost of investment from the approximate sum of all leads, and that will give you an approximate ROI.

How often to measure SEO’s ROI?

ROI for SEO should be measured monthly, especially for lead generation models, so that you can compare the results. Other than that, in the case of eCommerce businesses, it can be spread to quarterly and yearly calculations. It all depends on how soon you expect to see the results from your SEO. However, since SEO takes time to show the first results, you probably won’t see any significant progress in the first couple of months.

Visualized statistical data about ROI for the SEO campaign.
Once the initial period is over, you should regularly measure your SEO ROI.

How to be sure your SEO ROI is good?

SEO ROI depends a lot on the type of business. Since each business is different, you can’t expect to see similar results for each business. Some companies might also be investing a lot more into their SEO, while others don’t. In addition, the price of different products or services often makes it impossible to compare them with each other. The best way to determine if your SEO is successful is to measure and compare the results for your business over several consecutive months.

No matter what type of business you run, taking the time to measure Return on Investment on your SEO efforts is worthwhile. Numerous tools can help you get insight into different metrics to see how successful your SEO is. Once you have the data about traffic, conversion rates, and other KPIs, it will be much easier to calculate if your ROI is good or not. It will give you the chance to adjust your strategies or redirect your investment to where they are needed the most.

 

Google maps on a laptop

On-page Strategies to Improve Your Local SEO

Google maps on a laptop

On-page Strategies to Improve Your Local SEO

Getting a lot of traffic to your website is great – you want to be visible online, after all. But not all traffic is equally valuable. For example, if you are running a small business in the service industry that only operates in Brooklyn, then a website visit from Japan won’t be as important as one from New York. So how do you target potential customers in your area? The answer is a specific type of search engine optimization – local SEO. It is a way to get better rankings in local searches that are more likely to lead to conversion. You can improve your local SEO in many different ways that include both on-page and off-page practices. But you have to start somewhere, and on-page strategies are the easier and quicker option. So how can you optimize your content for local searches specifically?

What is local SEO?

Search engine optimization or SEO refers to all the actions you take to make your website more visible in search engine results relevant to your niche. SEO can be incredibly helpful for a business, especially one that’s just starting out and needs to get the word out there. But a wide variety of practices fall under SEO, including things like your website structure, the keywords you choose to use in your content, the way you market yourself on social media, and more. So unless you plan on dedicating a lot of time and effort to SEO, you should consult the experts in this field to achieve the best possible results.

Person looking up a business on Google Maps.
Local SEO will put you on the map – literally.

But just being seen is not enough – you need to be seen by the right people. This usually means people who live or work in your area. These are the people who are most likely to purchase your goods or use your services, especially if you’re running a small and local business. To ensure that these people find your website, you need local SEO. Local SEO refers specifically to SEO practices that ensure your business appears in local searches.

Why do you need to improve your local SEO?

It is easier to rank for local searches than global ones. By ranking locally, you can attract more traffic, which can help your overall rankings and even resolve ranking drops. But the main advantage of local SEO is actually attracting traffic that is most likely to convert. The people who search specifically for local businesses are typically ready to spend money on goods and services – they just need to find a suitable place for it. On the other hand, people who search for more general terms are usually just looking into various offers. They are much less likely to shop at your business immediately. Therefore, by focusing on SEO, you can even improve your sales.

How can you improve your local SEO with on-page strategies?

SEO practices are typically divided into three types: technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. Technical SEO is about making your website easier for search engine bots to crawl and index. Off-page SEO includes the things you do on other websites to improve your ranking – this involves backlinks and social media, for example. Finally, on-page SEO is the optimization of the content on your own website. Since on-page SEO practices are entirely up to you, they’re pretty easy to implement. This makes them an excellent place to start when improving your local SEO.

Person looking up businesses on a map
Use SEO to help potential customers find you.

Localize your website

The first thing you should do is to put your location and contact information on the website. Ensure this information is visible and easily accessible – use your sidebar or footer to separate it from the rest of the content on your home page. Include your contact information on relevant pages like the about section as well. It’s imperative to be consistent: you want all your customers to see the same company name, address, phone number, and email regardless of where on the website they notice it.

Create content relevant to your location

Ask just about anyone what SEO is, and they’ll probably start talking about optimized content. There’s a good reason for this: quality content is still one of the most important parts of an optimized website. And in the case of local SEO, quality content means localized content. To attract local users, you’ll want to:

  • write about topics of interest to the locals (if you’re located in Florida, for example, beach activities are a better topic than tips on how to shovel snow)
  • create location-specific pages (make a page for every location where you operate in order to rank for each of them)
  • use location-specific keywords (if you own a spa in Seattle, for example, don’t just use Thai massage as a keyword – use Thai massage in Seattle)

Optimize your website for mobile and voice searches

A disproportionately high percentage of local searches come from mobile devices. This is because people will frequently be looking for local businesses that fulfil their needs when they’re already on the go. For the same reason, you’ll get more voice searches – people on the move often find it easier to speak into their devices than to type out their searches. To reach these users, you’ll need to adjust to their needs. That means optimizing for mobile and optimizing for voice searches.

Person recording into a phone
Optimizing for voice search will help you in the future.

Optimizing for mobile is a must for every website today. More than half of all searches come from mobile devices. Furthermore, Google implements mobile-first ranking. So even when the search isn’t coming from mobile, your mobile website will still be examined. Given all that, there’s simply no excuse not to optimize for mobile. Make sure your website loads fast, use a responsive theme, and check that your pages can be navigated on a small touch screen.

Voice searches are the future of search engines, so you want to get in on them early to give yourself a headstart. Optimize your content for the more conversational style of spoken searches. This will include using longer keywords and accounting for typical question words (like what, how, or why). To get the best of both worlds, combine traditional keywords with longer, voice search-specific ones.

Other ways to improve your local SEO

On-page strategies are not the only way to improve your local SEO. In fact, they work best when combined with off-page practices. So you’ll want to optimize your off-page presence for local searches too. Start by listing your address and contact information on all your social media profiles. Then, set up a Google My Business profile to put yourself on the map. You’ll also want to get listed in local directories and review websites. Finally, encourage your customers to leave reviews for your business. The vast majority of people are influenced by reviews when making purchasing decisions. Positive reviews are, therefore, essential for attracting a local clientele.

a-brief-history-0f-search-engine-optimization

A brief history of search engine optimization

a-brief-history-0f-search-engine-optimization

A brief history of search engine optimization

Search engine optimization is one of the most important elements of every website. It is what helps your website climb in rank and get to the first page of Google. Furthermore, it makes your business visible to online customers and enables you to get traffic, conversions, and much more. The evolution of SEO has made substantial progress during the last decade. So, let’s look at a brief history of search engine optimization to understand more about how it has developed into what it is today and get a better insight into what it may become in the next ten to twenty years.

Let’s travel back in time to when it all started

The first website appeared in 1991, almost 30 years ago. With it, the roots of search engine optimization slowly started to spread everywhere on the internet. Websites began to multiply in numbers at a rapid pace. As that was happening, a need for some form of structure and organization was born.

With the appearance of the search engine called Excite in 1994, the way we processed online information completely changed. It launched in the next two years, and soon Yahoo, Alta Vista, and other search engines joined in the party.

However, real progress happened in 1996, with the invention of BackRub, one of the most famous search engines of all time. Sergey Brin and Larry Page invented it, and in 1997, they registered it as a domain with a name we all know and love today – Google!

We can safely say that this was the revolutionary period for the future development of keyword research, user intent, on-page and off-page optimization, and many other pivotal elements of search engine optimization we use today.

How SEO looked in the old days

If we look at the current search engine optimization rules, they have developed and become a complex formula that consists of various elements. Each important in its own way, they create a combination of rules all websites must follow. Furthermore, those rules change quickly, and it takes more and more to stay at the top.

However, SEO in the old days looked a lot different than today. It was very simple and loose in terms of requirements. A huge downside is that it could be exploited in many ways by hackers. There were no measures to prevent spam and dirty tactics, so it was easier to climb in rank.

But then, things got better!

As it always happens, pioneers in technological development always get a huge head-start over the competition. Google saw an opportunity and took it. Their lead engineers started developing an algorithm focused on rewarding quality over “other approaches.” Users and relevant content were placed in the spotlight of all happening.

In this considerable time period, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of changes to the advanced algorithm used today. Each one improved it by a small percentage, making it more perfect and more complex.

The key takeaway from all of those changes was that the progress required time. Cutting corners and trying to achieve greatness overnight never gave lasting results.

Search Engine Strategies conference

The first SES conference was held in 1999. The demand for understanding search engine optimization was high, and marketers all around the world needed information. Search marketing was placed in a distant corner, completely forgotten, and someone had to take the dust off of it.

Since then, the conference was successfully held by different companies and presenters until 2016, when it was shut down. However, it allowed people to learn about the use of SEO and develop their skills simultaneously to keep up with the changes.

How Google used its SEO algorithm to become the number 1 search engine in the world

The majority of the other search engines used simpler factors to rank websites. They focused on the domain name, on-page optimization, and presence in web directories to give a higher rank to websites.

Google’s new algorithm focused on information retrieval. They valued both on-page and off-page elements, link building, anchors, and content quality. The unspoken motto of their strategy was “if someone talks about you, you must be important”.

Seeing how this advanced technology was something completely different, the leader at the time, Yahoo, decided to partner with Google in 2000. All of the search results on Yahoo had a small message that said: “Powered by Google.”

Although this seemed like an excellent strategic move, it was everything that Google needed to take the number 1 position from Yahoo. They got enough publicity and exposure to all of Yahoo’s clients and slowly turned them into loyal Google followers. That’s how the Google revolution started. Furthermore, they soon added Google Toolbar to Internet Explorer so everyone could see their rank.

The need for modern SEO strategies was born

The next step Google took to continue expanding the use of SEO was to launch Google AdSense, providing a way to monetize internet publishing. It was a massive boom in 2003, but it actually created many problems for Google in the long run.

As soon as a new way to earn money gets into the light of the day, there will be people who will find ways to exploit it to make easy income. That was the birth of spammy websites with copied content, made only with a purpose to rank high, consequently getting a lot of clicks and earning money. This resulted in many website rankings going down as they tried to find solutions to fix this problem.

SEO today

If looking for ways to boost SEO today, there is an array of possibilities in front of you. You need to publish relevant content, build quality backlinks, work on metadata, use proper tags and attributes. Furthermore, citations are something you should work on since they can give you bonus SEO points.

None of these strategies existed back then. SEO today developed in so many ways, and it values presence, quality, and activity above all.

How a brief history of search engine optimization affects the SEO of the future

As mentioned before, a brief history of search engine optimization teaches us that significant progress requires baby steps. The problems of yesterday needed a solution, and it presented itself. It is safe to say that the future of SEO lies in solving the issues of today:

  • the lack of voice search optimization
  • content duplication and plagiarism
  • the low-quality mobile experience
  • non-search-friendly images
  • bad redirects
  • slow loading speed
  • messy URL addresses
  • data structure issues

All of these things need improvement, and the answers to these issues will give us an approximate view of what the future of SEO may bring to the table.