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How To Submit Your Website To Google

How To Submit Your Website To Google

Why do you need to submit your website to Google? Well, you have spent a great deal of time developing an amazing site. All of your valuable content has been placed strategically in all of the right places of your site, your design is immaculate, and you have gathered a ton of feedback. You have determined that now is the time to share it with the world! Submitting your website to Google will speed up the amount of time it takes to get in front of your target audience.

The common mistake that most businesses make is they assume that as soon as they publish their new site for the world to see, all of their content will immediately start showing up in Google. However, it’s never just that simple. It happens to take a little more than just hitting the publish button. In order to get your site listed, you’ll need to move methodically through a checklist.

How Google Finds Your Content

Essentially, Google uses a huge set of computers to crawl billions of pages on the web. This crawler, called the Googlebot, begins with a list of web page URLs generated from previous crawls and then augments those pages with sitemap data provided within Google Search Console. The Googlebot looks for new sites, updates to existing pages, and any broken links during the crawling process.

This is why maintaining a sitemap is crucial to the success of your website. If new and updated pages are listed in your sitemap, Google will discover those pages and crawl their content. Then, Google will potentially list the page within search results based on its evaluation of 200+ criteria.

Once the crawling process has been completed, all of the results are fed into Google’s index. Any new sites or updated content will be listed accordingly. Google looks at information on your page such as title tags, meta description, alt tags, and more as those results are being processed. If you have dynamic content on a page, the Googlebot may not be able to read it and will crawl the default version — it is recommended that your default version is optimized for search.

As a result of Google’s crawling, you may never need to submit your website as it will be discovered automatically. The downside to this approach has always been that it’s reliant on Google’s timeframe to crawl and index your site content. This means that a crawl of your website may not happen as quickly as you would like.

If you want a quick way to check and see what has been crawled and indexed by Google for a particular website, all you have to do is begin your search with “Site:Sitename.com.” For example, here’s what is displayed in Google for BestSEOMasters.com:

Google search results for SEO marketing agency Best SEO Masters in Idaho Falls

If no content is indexed yet for a site, Google will let you know that your search did not match any results. If no content is found, your next step should be to create a sitemap that can be submitted to Google.

If you want more information about sitemaps and how to create a sitemap, take a look at this post.

How Long Does It Take to Index Content?

A lot of research has been done in this area. You may find some information varies from blog to blog but two of the most reliable sources are HubSpot and Moz.com. When publishing content without manually submitting an updated sitemap, it was noted that it took Google 1,375 minutes to crawl, while Yahoo took 1,773 minutes. To put those numbers into perspective, that’s roughly a full-day just to crawl your content.

graph showing the results of crawl time with no sitemap submitted to google

Source: Moz.com

On the other hand if you are launching a new website, or adding a number of new pages, it may be worth submitting an updated sitemap. According to the same study, it was found that after submitting an updated sitemap to the search engines, the average time it took for a bot to visit the page was 14 minutes, compared to 245 minutes for Yahoo. As you can see, your new page can start generating organic traffic and conversions on the same day.

graph showing the results of crawl time with a sitemap having been submitted to google

Source: Moz.com

How Do I Submit My Site to Google?

Now, we get down to the nitty-gritty. If you do happen to have a brand new site, you should first verify you own the site within Google Search Console and then submit your sitemap here.

If you have an existing site and are launching a number of new pages, then instead you should submit an updated sitemap in the same place as a brand new site (Google Search Console) to ensure it gets listed as quickly as possible.

To submit an updated sitemap, you need to log in to Google Search Console > Crawl tab > Sitemaps. Once you’re there, you can submit your updated sitemap for Google so it can begin crawling it as soon as possible. The steps are very similar for submitting to Bing Webmaster Tools as well — which does the same thing as Google Search Console, only for Bing and Yahoo!.

You may be trying to figure out whether you need to submit an updated sitemap every time you publish a page. While you certainly could do that, it’s best to manually go through the submission process if you’re working with critically important content that needs to be indexed quickly. However, if you’re just making minor updates or corrections to pages, then it is probably ok to simply wait until Google crawls that page and updates its index.

8 Ways To Optimize Content

8 Ways To Optimize Content

When you here the term “content,” you probably think only of blog articles. But, content is all-inclusive when it comes to your website. It is important to optimize any content on your site if you want it to show up on the various search engines. SEO is constantly changing and it can be difficult to keep up with it. You may be struggling to differentiate the tactics that will be most effective — especially if you’re resource-strapped. However, there are some things that you can do to remain consistent with your content and blog. If you follow these steps, regardless of how frequently SEO tactics are changing, you will have a successful blog and be more likely to rank with the search engines.

Avoid Duplicate and Poorly Written Page Titles

Some websites feel the need to list everything but the kitchen sink in a title tag? Other sites may just ignore the title tag for each page. They may opt to simply duplicate them by default. I’m not sure if it’s just the website owner who is doing it or a poorly trained SEO marketer. The title tag has long been one of the most abused tags on the Web page, with some SEOs desperately stuffing keywords into the title tag like it was a Thanksgiving turkey.

The title tag’s most important role, however, isn’t SEO rankings — it’s what it offers you after you get the ranking. You should use the title tag to your advantage. You have between 50 and 60 characters to complete a message in the title tag. Of course, you want to use keywords in the title but you should also think about what message you want the title tag to convey to the searcher. With such a short space, you may need to get creative.

Optimize Your Meta Descriptions

meta descriptions from google search engineA marketer’s best opportunity to write something compelling that will entice the searcher to click on the search engine results page (SERP) is to take full advantage of both the page title and the meta description. Unlike titles, meta descriptions also show any keywords from the search query in bold, helping the searcher identify at a glance which search results are most likely to match the query.

In addition to containing some keywords to aid with bolding and visibility, the meta description should be a sales piece. As you are writing your meta descriptions, ask yourself, “Why should the searcher click on this result?” Whatever you write needs to catch the attention of the searcher. In other words, sell it!

So often, marketers and website owners alike write descriptions that are confusing. For example, the page title may convey one message while the description conveys another message entirely. The two should flow together so as to not create any confusion for your potential readers.

But what happens if you don’t write a meta description? This is where the fun begins. Google may actually choose a description for you. As amazing as that sounds, do you really want Google to decide what is best for advertising your site? Probably not. It’s not worth the risk or any potential time-saving that you may enjoy on the front end. So, define your own meta description. Tell people why they should click on your result and not your competitors’. Make your most compelling argument.

Monitor Your Sitelinks

While sitelinks are generated automatically by Google, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t check them out once in a while to see what’s being generated. Sitelinks are a great way to drive traffic deeper into your website — if it’s to a place you want visitors to go. As you may remember, Google rebranded its Webmaster Tools as Search Console back some time ago. However, if you notice when you do the search, the sitelinks still show the old branding in the links. So, ironic as it may sound, be sure to use Google Search Console to monitor your sitelinks for errors and for those links you want to exclude.

Use Quality Structured Markup

Structured markup, or rich snippets, are a fantastic way to make your SERP result larger and more visible. While it’s always optimal to use structured data to markup your code, it’s not always feasible. To be honest, most people running websites theses days don’t even know what that last sentence means. If you’re in that same boat, if you can’t program structured markup, don’t start stressing. One option for you is to use Google’s Data Highlighter tool (however, this will only generate rich snippets in Google, not in other engines). Other options have been developed as well. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, there are several plugins you can use to help you with your structured data markup.

Setup Your Analytics Correctly

google analytics on an imac that is being used to optimize a website by best seo mastersIf nothing else, you should pay most attention to this part of the article. Analytics are the marketer’s and the webmaster’s best friend. It tells you the inner workings of your website and how it is performing. From analytics, you will learn who comes, who goes, how they get there and how they interact with your website. The scary thing about analytics, however, is that about 80 percent of the time when we’re doing an SEO audit, we find that the analytics has errors.

You can’t possible hope to track your progress and adequately benchmark organic traffic levels without your website’s analytics operating correctly. So, if you’re using Google Analytics, be sure to check your code. If you’re not sure where to start, a handy tool provided by Google is the Google Tag Assistant plug-in. This tool checks Google Analytics tags, as well as other types of Google tags (like AdWords conversion tags), for errors.

Properly Execute Video Embedding

Videos can be a great addition to any website. Done correctly, they can be very engaging. Sometimes, though, the execution of videos on the website isn’t ideal for SEO. Many websites use JavaScript popovers for video. Case studies via videos are compelling marketing tools. The downside to using a popover, however, is that the popover doesn’t allow your story to rank on its own Web page.

This is a missed opportunity to get additional content ranked. What happens instead is that your story ends up on a page with lots of other information. And, while that’s not entirely bad, there are opportunities to have this page rank in addition to the main topic page. Consider how you’re adding video to your site. Consider allowing each video to have their own rankable page, as opposed to employing JavaScript popovers.

Don’t Go Crazy With Unnecessary Code

So many web designers, talented as they may be, love to show off their talents with unnecessary code. We have to stop the insanity with extraneous code. If your page doesn’t need that code, get rid of it. All the extra code does at this point is just slow down your page load speed. If you have a site you think may fall into this trap, Google provides a helpful list of suggestions of certain types of code that can be mini-fied to improve page speed load times.

Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool and enter your URL to see which improvements you may be able to make to your website. Just keep in mind that Google’s tool can’t always tell if you have old code on your site. For example, if you started using one marketing automation tool and changed part way through to another but never removed the old marketing automation code, you have extraneous code on the site.

The Ghostery plug-in for ChromeOne is helpful tool that will check to see what types of code may be on your site is the . This plug-in is capable of identifying all of the tracking code on a page. This means that it will help you quickly see if you have old tracking code on the site, even if you don’t know HTML. If you happen to be more HTML-savvy, check out the raw code directly, and see what you can remove yourself.

Setup An XML Sitemap

Sitemaps allow website owners to inform search engines which pages on their website are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a sitemap is a document that lists all URLs of your website (that you want crawled). The document details additional information such as the date a page was last modified, how frequently a page may change and whether the page should be given priority over others. Specific sitemaps can be created for each type of content. For example, one sitemaps for blog posts, another for videos, etc.

The importance of Sitemaps should never be downplayed. Sitemaps help search engines navigate your website more easily, which helps search engines index your content better. If you think of your website as a building, the sitemap is a blueprint that informs search engines exactly where everything is located.

Every website and blog should have a sitemap. If you aren’t as tech-savvy as you’d like to be, don’t worry. One of the best, and easiest to use, tools for building a quality sitemap is the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress

 

Your Website Speed Could Hold You Back

Your Website Speed Could Hold You Back

Site performance is an integral part of any website’s success — this holds true for SEO as well. Whether you are operating a online store or a blog, the speed and ease with which users interact with your content has a direct impact on initial traffic, repeat visits, and overall page rankings. Website speed is taken into account by Google when calculating page rankings. Their filters can estimate load times and use that information to determine the value and reliability of your website. While it is true that the importance Google assigns to site speed itself is somewhat limited, and there are definitely other factors that trump it, the way a website performs has an effect in its overall usability. Anymore, internet users have notoriously short attention spans. A site that is slow to load will not captivate and hold an audience and will, in turn, experience a high bounce rate, diminishing traffic, and fewer conversions.

HOW IMPORTANT IS WEBSITE SPEED TO GOOGLE?

In this case, site speed really refers to the load time of a website. How long does it take for a landing page to load after the user clicks on a desired search engine results page (SERP)? Since there are so many sources available with good information, Google’s filters use load time as an additional point of comparison when multiple sites have comparable relevance and authority statistics. As far as Google is concerned, website speed has a minimal impact on page rankings — only about 1%. But, from a larger perspective, websites with faster load times offer more value to the internet user translating into higher customer satisfaction. This ultimately translates to fewer bounce backs (lower bounce rate), more return visits, higher share rates, and an increase in perceived value and authority.

COMMON FACTORS THAT SLOW DOWN A WEBSITE

There are some common culprits to look for when analyzing the speed of your website. First, and probably one of the most important, is the quality and reliability of your hosting service. Not all hosting services are created equally, and shared servers can inevitably lead to uneven performance. If your website is too slow, and pages are taking too long to load, it may be time to consider a different hosting service.

Another large contributor to the function and usability of your website is the construction of it. Along with the construction of your site, take into consideration that certain apps and add-ons are notorious bandwidth thieves. When assessing the speed and performance of your website, consider the following.

  • Too Many Ads: Ads, and the revenue they produce, are an important part of any website. However, slow-loading advertisements tend to bog down pages, slow down your site, and ultimately lead to higher bounce rates.
  • Too Many Widgets or Plug-ins: Having too many widgets and plugins can really kill the speed and performance of your site. Use them sparingly. Podcast links, comment plug-ins, and social sharing buttons can add seconds to your load time. Just as with any business aspect, a cost/benefit analysis can prove useful. Balance the value of any widgets and plug-ins on your site against the increased load time they require.
  • Complex Design and Theme of Your Website: Everyone wants to stand out online by having a site that is bold, attractive, and unique. Sometimes, however, too much can be just that — too much. Overly complex design themes will lead to slow load times. And with advances in themes and design elements, it is much easier to stand out online while keeping a simple website.
  • Optimize Your Graphics and Images: Images help to brighten up a page, attract the users’ attention, and make their overall experience better. And while style counts, overly bloated images can take an excruciatingly long time to load. Large image files slow down page performance and interfere with the functionality of your site. There are plugins and options for rendering “web-quality” images on your site to improve load times. Another example you may consider is using PNG8 instead of PNG24 for your image formats.
  • CSS and JavaScript: These can most times be the easiest to tackle in size reduction. To condense your CSS and JavaScript files, you could utilize gzip compression, minified code, or other options that are available to you.

HOW TO TEST YOUR SITE’S SPEED

Today, there are a wide number of tools that can be used to test your website speed and performance. Most of these tools are even free!  These website tools provide an easy way for webmasters to test the speed of their site and to calculate any changes that need to be made to improve overall performance.

  • PageSpeed Insights: This tool is operated and offered by Google. Simply submit your URL, click the analyze button, and PageSpeed Insights will return with a speed evaluation. They will also provide you with recommendations on how to increase your site’s load time.
  • YSlow: YSlow is a website performance-measuring tool that was designed by Yahoo!. It provides a detailed report on site performance with accompanying recommendations on how to increase its speed and performance.
  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics really does analyze it all for you. There is a “site speed” analytics located under the “content” sub-section so that you can see your daily speed.
  • Pingdom: This website performance tool is great for showing the general performance grade and is very simple to use.
  • Web Page Test: Of all the tools mentioned, this is probably the most comprehensive tool to test your website’s performance. It runs tests from multiple locations around the world using real browsers and at real consumer connection speeds. You will also receive recommendations for improvements that need to be made.

This is just a sample list of some of the tools available for testing your website and its performance. But, they provide a great starting point for webmasters in need of isolating issues and finding solutions to site speed.

While the speed of a website is a small factor in the equation Google uses to assign page rankings, it is a huge factor in the way visitors interact with your site. With advances in technology, people’s patience has diminished. We all want our information now. Faster websites give better customer satisfaction — and that is at the root of all good SEO practices. Valuable content, coupled with speed and ease of use, translates into better user experience. In short, a better experience for your clients or follower will lead to higher traffic, more returning visitors, and a better overall online performance.

SEMrush

Improve Your Medical Practice Google Rankings

Improve Your Medical Practice Google Rankings

Many doctors want to increase the business they receive to their medical practice. As advances in technology control the methods by which individuals choose their service providers, it is becoming more and more important that medical practice’s increase their presence online. In other words, to attract new patients, doctors must make themselves visible to a growing audience of online patients.

According to a recent report put out by Physicians Practice, more than 40% of people begin their search for a doctor online. Many also use Doctor Review Sites to check the public perception of the doctor they are considering visiting. Most modern consumers typically begin their search for a doctor via Google. But Google isn’t the only search engine that people use. They may also be using Yahoo! search, Bing or a group of smaller search engine options as well. As you may have guessed, though, Google is still the search engine used by the majority of internet users. In fact, a recent report shows that 64% of all searches online in 2016 were performed by a Google search engine.

Tips for Increasing Your Medical Practice Google Rankings

 

1. Identify Keywords Used By Your Patients

The term, ‘keywords,’ refers to the words, phrases, or questions that a person types into a search query when searching for something specific online.

For example, if a potential patient were looking for a primary care physician in Idaho Falls, Idaho, she might enter the keywords “Idaho Falls doctor” into the Google search field. There are several variations that one may search to find you. As a doctor, you might use words such as ‘physician’, ‘primary care’, ‘family care’, etc. But you might find that your patients are not using these terms. Because of this, it is important that you ask your patients how they found you and what they specifically searched for online to find you.

If your medical practice website doesn’t include the keywords your patients use in the Meta data, and throughout the headlines, there’s a chance your site won’t show up in the search results (or at least not on the first page). Your keywords will greatly affect your medical practice Google rankings, so it is important to get them right.

2. List Your Keywords Correctly

Once you’ve identified the top keywords that patients use to search for you, work them in throughout your site in the most natural way possible. Incorporate them into the individual page content as well as your blog or news feed. Doing this will give Google plenty of opportunities to match a user’s search with your site.

Important areas of focus for your keywords to appear in are:

URLs
The URL is the actual web address for your website and its corresponding pages. If you are doctor in Pocatello, Idaho, and your web address is pocatellodoctor.com, that is about as close to perfect as you can get. A domain name (another name for the URL) has a lot ‘authority’ once some time has passed, so choose your domain name/URL wisely. You should also make sure that your URL for each page is made of real words. This means pages such as pocatellodoctor.com/services or pocatellodoctor.com/hours are much more effective than those with numbers or other random characters (e.g. 10598, page_1, etc.). These URLs will give Google a good sense of the page content and, in turn, raise the listing in Google.

Titles
This includes your main website title as well as the titles and subtitles (also known as subheads) contained on each individual page. The words in these areas (often called H1s, H2s, H3s, etc.) appear more prominent to Google than the rest of the text on the page. This means they will have a bigger impact on SEO keyword ranking.

Internal Links
Internal links are any clickable text that leads to another page. For example, the navigation links across the top (or side) of your website are considered internal links. These allow your web visitors to move around to different sections of your site and get the information they need.

3. Ensure An Easy User Experience

While keywords and links are important to focus on, if you can’t keep people on your site, all that effort will be in vain. After all, Google’s main objective is to give searchers what they want — and what they want is a site that is not confusing, slow, or difficult to use. So, if you’re guilty of neglecting any of the following, there’s a good chance Google is sweeping your website under the proverbial rug.

Intuitive Organization
It’s no secret that Google prioritizes well-designed, easy-to-navigate sites over those with confusing or non-connected pages. It can prove beneficial to ask somebody you know to go through your website and try to find the important information. Have them look at the site with a fresh set of eyes. If they cannot source it within 5 minutes, then perhaps you need a redesign for easier access.

Responsive Design
Having a Responsive Design refers to a site’s ability to adapt to the device on which it is being viewed (phones, tablets, etc.). Though many people still use their traditional desktop computers when searching the internet, a study by Google showed that over 80% of searches performed online are done so using a smartphone or tablet. As I’m sure you’re aware, trying to look at a website that isn’t optimized for your mobile device can be tedious. If a patient needs to continually zoom and scroll it reduces their willingness to visit the site. The end result — they won’t turn into your office, costing you valuable patients.

Fast Load Time
Website Magazine noted in an article that 47% of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds. On top of that, 40% of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds. This is why Google considers load time a factor in page ranking. To test your medical website load speed, you can visit Pingdom and do a quick, free test.

The web today has over 1 Billion websites. Over 500 new websites are being created every 60 seconds. To ensure you can be found, you have to increase your medical practice Google rankings. In other words, if you would like to assist your patients, and prospective patients, in finding your medical practice, you need to increase your medical practice Google rankings. The better your site is optimized, the better off your office and your patients will be.

 

SEO Techniques That Don’t Cost Money

SEO Techniques That Don’t Cost Money

Most people with websites are looking for SEO techniques to help improve their web presence. One of the most difficult things regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is that it is constantly changing.

Because of the ever-changing nature of SEO, techniques that worked a decade ago won’t work now. And, those which are working now might not work a year from now. The good news, however, is that there are a few SEO techniques that are consistent — they don’t change. If you have the capabilities of mastering these strategies, you will bring more search traffic to your sites.

Let’s take a look at some strategies and explain how can you use those strategies to grow your search engine traffic. We will also examine how you will increase your sales and how you will know where to start if you’re just beginning to dive into SEO with a minimal budget.

1. Long Tail Keyword Research

70% of search engine traffic comes from long tail keywords.

With all of the experience I have, I can definitely state that I know SEO is not easy. Getting quick results is a joke, especially if you are trying to get long term rewards in terms of traffic and sales. Anyone who tells you they can get you instant results is lying. You may even be familiar with the those obnoxious emails filling your inbox with promises of the #1 search spot on Google or Bing. The fact is, quality SEO takes time to do it correctly and legitimately.

If you only take away ONE tip, make sure it’s this — use long tail keywords. For example, “SEO tips for small businesses” is a five-word long-tail keyword. Long tail keywords are your best bet to rank, and they tend to send you more search traffic and sales.

For any content creation strategy, long tail keywords are a must-have! To optimize your keywords, start out by doing the following:

  • Analyze which keywords your competitors are using. Of those, find out the keywords that seem to be generating huge traffic to your competitor’s sites. This will make it easier for you to come up with a lot of great keyword ideas.
  • Next, it will help to create a list of all the questions that your target audience might have. In other words, what is your target audience typing into their search query to find your product or service? Type them on Google one at a time to get a better feeling regarding how many articles have been published on the web. Create the best content, answering their pain points or questions.
  • Finally, focus on finding and using the long tail keywords with the monthly search volume below 2000. The reason for this is that it becomes easier for you to rank quickly without spending more time on link building.

banner for long tail pro keyword finder

2. On-page Optimization

On-page optimization is a powerful SEO technique that you shouldn’t be ignoring if your goal is to bring massive visitors from search engines to your websites.

The great news is that on-page optimization doesn’t need to be difficult. The first step to any on-page SEO success is finding the right keywords that are proven to increase your traffic. As mentioned above, keyword research is essential. Once you come up with your primary keyword, you can then optimize your pages accordingly.

Make sure to come up with a primary keyword that will be the focus of your blog post before you even begin writing. Use that primary keyword in your title as well as in your Meta description. For your convenience, start using the Yoast SEO plugin (free) to easily optimize your blog posts for specific keywords.

  • Use your primary keyword in your introduction of the post or page. It’s better to use it within the first 100 words to rank better.
  • Use images all over your content. Make sure to add alt tags on all of them and also include your primary keywords in any one of them.
  • Link to relevant sources in your industry. Make sure to email the people whom you are linking to. And ask them to give a shout out to their audience. They will gladly do so if they like your content.
  • Use your primary keyword in your heading, sub headings like h2 and h3 tags, URL and throughout your body (but don’t do keyword stuffing).

3. Long Form of Content

A bit of information you may find interesting — over 2 million blog posts are published every single day! That’s a lot, right? So, how can you surpass all of those articles and get first page results for your targeted keywords?

Naturally, it’s safe to assume based on what we’ve discussed so far, that it’s impossible to get first page results by creating mediocre content. By mediocre content, I mean short articles that are less than 500 words. If you want to get people to your website and reading your blogs, you need more content than 500 words.

In fact, if you want to boost your search traffic — produce a long form of content. The importance of long form content can’t be stressed enough. What you need to do is search a topic and you will find that, for the most part, the first 5 results that appear will have an average word count of 2000 words. It will have detailed, valuable content.

As a rule of thumb, if you make sure to create articles with over 1500 words, you will see better results than your competition. That way you can bring massive search results. Here is a few tips:

  • Research the topic first. Don’t begin writing even the slightest of words before doing proper research around the topics you are going to cover. Take notes from the first page of results. Look closely to see what’s missing in them and try to cover them in your articles. That way you can write detailed content that your readers find valuable.
  • Read more. By reading the best blogs in your industry or books around your favorite topics, you will begin to develop the skill and talent that will help you write more. The more you read the more value you can add to the content you are providing. It’s as simple as that.
  • It takes some time to create detailed content. Try to spend at least 3-5 hours to create a 1500 words post. When you practice writing more and more detailed articles it will become much easier as time goes on.
  • Outline your post after doing research. Use sub headings. Fill them with great content.

4. Competitor Research

Do you really know what your competitors are doing? In order to stay ahead of your competition, competitor research is a must. It will also help you in your quest for more traffic from Google. The simple reason for this is competitor’s research is the surefire and fastest way to increase your search traffic and sales. It gives you a better idea about the topics and products you are promoting.

Competitor analysis provides the following benefits:

  • Helps you find the best content ideas
  • Helps you boost your sales
  • Helps you find unlimited backlink opportunities
  • Helps you increase your traffic and social shares

It really is in your best interest to spend a little money for the competitor research stage to improve your website’s SEO. Completing an in-depth competitor analysis is not a big deal when you have access to the right competitor analytics tools like SEMrush.

SEMrush

Pro tip: Find out your competitor’s best-performing keywords. Use SEMrush to find their top keywords. Figure out ways to use those keywords to boost yours search traffic!

Competitive analytics tools, such as those provided by SEMrush provide features which will help you thoroughly analyze your competitor’s sites along with the important data like backlinks, traffic sources, best performing keywords etc.

Do You Want to analyze your competitors properly?

Are you looking to learn which topics your competitors are posting regularly on their blogs? What you need need to do is study the content length, social media metrics and backlinks of your competition’s blogs.

Lists are a good thing for you to be able to refer back to. So, that being said, make a list of all the products your competition creates and promotes on these channels and how they seem to be educating their audience in order to boost their products sales. You can gain a lot of insight on what works and doesn’t work when attempting to target the audience you want to attract. At the same time, you can save yourself a lot of time and headaches by learning from the mistakes your competition may be making.

Something else you can do is find out your competitors broken links and email them about the issues. You can always provide a reference to your relevant posts to replace their dead links with yours. You can use tools like SEMrush to easily do a backlink analysis of any site to help you find those broken links.

5. Optimize Your Website with Regular SEO Audits

Last but not least, it is crucial to do a complete website audit to find and fix all your site issues. You can’t just do it once and forget about it, either. You should be performing regular audits on your website to ensure everything is working smoothly.

If you are struggling to increase your traffic regardless of creating content regularly, it could be because of some SEO related issues that your site has. So, find and fix any and all errors if you want to grow your search rankings.

Here are few website optimization tips you need to implement right away to bring more traffic:

  • Do a site audit of your website. If you have already grabbed SEMrush, they have a tool that provides a list of all the recommendations to boost your site rankings on Google. If you get their subscription, it is definitely worth the investment!
  • Make sure to find your website speed. Use Pingdom tools or Google page insights to know how fast your site is loading. They also give you site recommendations so you can improve them to boost your site’s speed.
  • Check if your site is mobile responsive or not. Use WPTouch (free plugin) to make your site mobile friendly.
  • Move to a better web hosting service. Get a reliable, faster and secured hosting to run your sites. Your website speed depends a lot on your hosting service. So don’t pick a cheap one and hate yourself later.
  • Constantly check your site for dead or broken links. You can use broken link checker tool to find and fix your dead links. 404 error pages are not good for your site in terms of SEO.

Final Tidbits

SEO is like a vast ocean and navigating it doesn’t happen overnight. Improving your site’s search engine traffic is not easy and anyone saying it is doesn’t really know what they are doing. Instead of using thousands of SEO techniques and strategies, find just a few key strategies like content marketing, on-page optimization, website audits, etc., and just stick to them. In the long run, it can help you out a lot.

Again, don’t think only about getting quick results with SEO. Rather, focus on getting consistent, long term results. If you implement all the key SEO techniques mentioned in this guide, you will surely notice a big traffic spike.

Is SEO Dead or Is It Still Important

Is SEO Dead or Is It Still Important

Is SEO Dead?

A common myth among business owners is the Search Engine Optimization is dead ― no longer necessary to outperform the competition in today’s digital framework.  However, I am here to tell you that is not true.  SEO is absolutely not dead! As long as people use Google search, SEO will be alive.

What you will notice, however, is that the landscape of digital marketing has changed.  Some of the contributing factors for this are:

  1. Specific keywords are dominated by huge brands that 99% of the world can’t outrank (without spamming).
  2. Those keywords are returning fewer product pages and more articles and other various forms of content.
  3. Keywords in the search queries are triggering the knowledge graph, review aggregators, and are more user-focused when delivering the results.

In short, this means that it is time to seriously reevaluate the landscape. The days of being able to rank a product or service page first for these ‘purchase-intent’ keywords have become limited.  But, not to worry.  There are things that can be done moving forward that will help in capturing that traffic.

SEMrush

Pay For Your Traffic

This is as simple and straight forward as it sounds. Using paid search as a remarketing tactic has been hugely beneficial. Paid search allows us to capture traffic from all corners of the web and then, when those people are ready to purchase, we use highly targeted paid ads to grab their business.

Create Valuable Content

We have written, on more than one occasion, that content is king.  No one shares, engages, or links to products and services pages. In fact, no one except for us cares.

Rather than trying to cram those pages with links, your time and efforts are better spent creating a piece of meaningful content that delivers what Google (and users) want. I say ‘what Google wants’ because their algorithms are returning search results that provide relevant, useful, and important information to the users and their search intent.  By providing valuable content, you open it up to earning social media shares and powerful links from relevant sites.

If you want to have any semblance of a chance of competing against the big dogs for organic search real estate, content is your best option.

Optimize Your Website For The Web

It’s all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization)!  But, don’t get stuck tailoring your optimization just to Google.

Your website needs to take into account all aspects of web search.  What most people don’t think about is that other search engines exist.  For example: Yelp, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are all search engines. Quora and Amazon, along with YouTube and LinkedIn, are also search engines. Hopefully, you are able to see the pattern of what I am saying.

social media helps seo

Each of these platforms offers unique benefits to the user. People searching for things on these platforms are more likely to bypass Google altogether.  For example, someone trying to redecorate their home may follow this particular path during the purchasing process:

  • Pinterest: In an attempt to kick-start their design inspiration, many people will begin their journey here. Using keywords tailored around their initial concept, one is able to narrow it down to the specific items that appear to be the most promising.
  • Amazon: Once the creative juices begin to flow and there are a handful of items that are desired, it is easy to visit an online shop such as Amazon search with keywords that are based on those items that were liked on Pinterest. If Amazon doesn’t have exactly what they want, that person may turn to another online shop.
  • Ebay: In an effort to compare prices, many will move on to Ebay.  This can be used to compare prices or find specific, second-hand items (antiques) at a more reasonable price. She found that most things were a little “too used,” so she moved on.
  • Etc: If all of the items aren’t found in the first shops, many will move on to places such as Etsy or reach out on Facebook until they find what they want.  This process will continue until all desired items are located.

You are probably thinking that any rational person would just use Google to search for all of the desired items.  However, if a particular platform, such as Etsy, is known to carry a very specific item, it is probably easier to cut out the middle man and bypass Google.  No one wants to take more steps than they have to.  In addition, these other platforms may be simpler for the searcher to use.


The point I’m trying to make is this:

It’s no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It’s about optimizing your business and enhancing your presence across the web.  By first, understanding who our target audience is and second, where that audience spends their time, it is easier to attack those platforms and build your organic presence.  As an example:

  • If you’re a local business, Yelp and Thumbtack are a great place to be.  You may even consider Angie’s List.
  • If you run an e-commerce store, you need to get your product on as many platforms where your customers are as possible (E.g. Pinterest, Etsy, etc.)
  • If your focus is large-ticket B2B services, other platforms are better suited for you (LinkedIn, Google+, and SlideShare). Many C-level execs connect in these places and are on them looking or information.

These are just a few examples, but the list goes on and on.

Summing Up SEO

It is no longer just about SEO.  There is so much more that needs to go into your marketing plan.  No, SEO is not dead!  It is very much still a necessary part of digital marketing.  But, keep in mind it is only part of a much larger game plan for enhancing the presence of a business across the web.

As Google gets more intelligent, and it will, we need to get more intelligent about how digital marketing is approached. That doesn’t mean looking for ways to beat the search engine algorithms. Rather, it must be learned how to use those algorithms to our advantage.

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