Why You Should Keep SEO Efforts Going Despite COVID-19
The world is pretty much on pause right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With countless businesses shutting down, it’s but normal for companies fortunate enough to continue running despite the pandemic to cut back on certain expenses. In all likelihood, the budget that gets targeted for slashing is the one for marketing. After all, it’s pointless to continue marketing your business when people hardly have any chance to avail of your products or services because of COVID-19, right?
The thing is, search engine optimization, a vital aspect of any digital marketing strategy, can help your business weather the effects of COVID-19. Your business may even thrive amidst the pandemic with the help of SEO techniques.
Here are some of the reasons to keep your SEO efforts going despite COVID-19:
Google is thriving during the pandemic
Google, the company that pretty much shaped SEO as we know it today, is going strong despite the pandemic. Instead of giving Google trouble the way it did many other companies, COVID-19 has instead given the search engine giant “coronavirus,” a search term that will probably turn out to be the biggest of all time.
With Google holding up pretty well, you can bet that people will continue to search, and the search engine giant will continue ranking. If you stop optimizing your pages now, your years of hard SEO work will go down the drain. If your competitors don’t let up on their SEO work, it would only be a matter of time before they snatch your current rankings away.
Chance to break away from the competition
Some of your competition may think that the COVID-19 pandemic is the time to ease their SEO efforts. Take advantage of this mentality and continue pushing your SEO strategies.
With less competition, you get a much better chance of finally putting some distance between you and your competitors in search engine rankings. You’ll get so much of a head start that they’ll have plenty of catching up to do by the time they resume their SEO efforts.
The need for products and services is still there
However this pandemic turns out, it won’t change the fact that people still need products and services, and they will search for them online. If your SEO and SEM efforts continue, it’s your business that will be in the sights of people who search for these products and services, all of whom have clear buying intent.
People Have Become More Supportive of Small, Local Businesses
Many communities across the United States have been showing a lot more support for small local businesses, on whom the pandemic has taken quite a toll.
Instead of going for big brands, many consumers are now making a conscious effort to buy products and services from small businesses in the community. Keeping your local SEO efforts for your business going will allow you to reach these people.
The pandemic will end
There is nothing wrong with staying optimistic amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Always keep in mind that history has shown that pandemics come, and pandemics go. That’s how it was with the extremely deadly Spanish Flu pandemic of the early 20th century, and it would only be a matter of time before COVID-19 does the same thing.
Of course, many things will change when the coronavirus goes away, mainly if science still does not produce a tested and proven vaccine or cure. Social distancing, wearing masks in public, and heightened hygienic practices will become the new normal.
Some things, however, will stay the same. Your SEO strategy, for example, will continue to be effective at helping you rank well and driving traffic to your website.
If you keep your SEO efforts going during the pandemic, your business will be on top of search results when it goes away.
How to Be a Successful Digital Marketer This 2020
Many businesses rely on technology to help grow their brands. People are now on the internet to do their searching and shopping, which drives enterprises to be on the online landscape to target this market. However, because of how fast-paced the world is in right now, many business owners seek help from digital marketers to make their brand work for them.
This demand continues to grow each day which is not at par with the available supply. Because of this, a digital marketer is a top career choice. Those who wish to embark in this career can have a lot of opportunities waiting for them.
Who are digital marketers?
Digital marketers are individuals who specialize in digital marketing. As a digital marketer, you help brands grow their reach, strategize their campaign to make beat competition, and to help augment sales.
Why become a digital marketer?
Digital Marketing is on the boom, and there are no signs of slowing down in the future. Almost all businesses, no matter what industry it belongs, will leverage on the internet sooner or later.
A career in digital marketing has been flourishing over the years and will continue in the coming years. A lot of opportunities will still be available. But what makes digital marketers a choice is because even if you do not have any prior experience in digital marketing, you can still become successful. All you need to start is the determination to learn and willingness to be honed in mastering the craft.
So, how do you become a successful professional when it comes to digital marketing? Here are some tips you can do to make sure you will prosper in this field.
Becoming a successful digital marketer this 2020
1. Enrol in online courses
Technology has offered a lot of opportunities to people who value learning. It has given way to online learning which allowed people to enrol in classes even if they live in the remotest part of the world as long as there is an internet connection.
Enrolling in online courses is economical, and one of the quickest ways to enhance your skills. Online digital marketing courses are available in the market these days, and anyone is welcome to delve into it. This course can also be your first step in becoming a digital marketer. If you have been on the industry already, taking online classes can improve your craft.
2. Learning from the experts
While formal online courses are the way to go, following the footsteps of many digital marketing experts can also help impart knowledge to you.
Key opinion leaders in the industry have already numerous experience under their belt and honed their knowledge over the years of working in the industry. Most of them are into digital marketing themselves which makes it easier for them to discuss and share insights on different social media platforms, search engines, and other online marketing strategies. They are also on the constant lookout for the latest trends and tactics, so you will be among the first to know of these innovations.
3. Take advantage of free courses
While this may not be as detailed as the other online courses, however, free courses can still be very beneficial for you. It may not prepare you for any certification exam, but it can help impart you some knowledge that could supplement your other learning initiatives.
Learning from free courses can still help make sure they grow in your chosen career. If you are still unsure of the career path you want to take, online courses are a great way to go as you are in control of how you study and does not require any monetary obligations.
4. Decide on the path you want to take
Digital marketing is a broad concept, and although it is essential to be an all-around digital marketer, you have to take it slowly as a beginner. If you are a professional digital marketer for a while now, maybe it is time for you to step up your skills and focus on a specialization.
You can either take these different paths in digital marketing:
- Social Media Marketing Specialist – Social media has already taken off and is now one of the most critical platforms in digital marketing. Being a specialist in this niche means, you have to create compelling content that will drive engagement with the audience; launch tailor-fitted paid advertisement and design strategy that will boost brand awareness.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist – Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most complicated and most crucial parts of any digital marketing campaign. As an SEO specialist, you need to master the skill of driving organic traffic to websites and making an in-depth study on web analytics and another essential part of SEO.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Specialist – As a PPC specialist, you will set up ads that are usually seen on top of search engine results and above all the organic results. As a PPC expert, you will deal with conversion rates analytics, browser cookies, landing pages, microsites, and a lot more.
5. Apply for a digital marketing internship
Any internship program can help build your skillset. It can allow you to expose yourself professionally that can give your capabilities and potential a push forward.
Doing an internship with the right team can help you shape your future as an effective digital marketer. You’ll be able to test the waters before you jump right making sure that you will learn from your mistakes and successes.
An internship can also help you determine the path you want to take in digital marketing and the specialization that you want to focus on in your career. Either you decide that you excel best in formulating winning strategies, find strength in analyzing data, or you just want to write fantastic content, doing an internship can help you find the niche where you will shine the brightest.
6. Stay up to date on the latest trends
With the online world changing fast, you need to stay updated to make sure that your efforts in digital marketing are still relevant. Follow major digital marketing sites to pick up bits of information in today’s trend. You can also check on influential people on social media for the latest buzz in different industries.
Platforms that offer paid advertising and bank on algorithms release updates every now and so you have to make sure you stay on the loop. Doing this will ensure you that you will become an effective digital marketer; otherwise, all of your campaigns will be outdated.
Technology has made it extremely easy to be on top of every new information regarding digital marketing. Blogs, articles, and podcasts are readily available online. You can keep tabs on websites that offer valuable information.
Whether you want to excel as a digital marketing expert or you want to build your digital marketing agency someday, there are a lot of opportunities for you. As long as you hone your craft and make your skills better, you will excel in your chosen career.
Being a digital marketer, you should be quick to adopt as this field and line of work is ever-changing. If you are also doing freelancing, you will be working with different clients who will have different kinds of needs that you need to work on as you progress in your chosen field.
Ramon Francisco has been writing about technology trends, entertainment, and gaming ever since he left the busy world of corporate HR Tech behind. He currently writes about software and user experiences for Softvire Australia – the leading software e-Commerce company in Australia and Softvire New Zealand. In his spare time, Ramon writes science fiction, collects little yellow men and plastic spaceships.
How to Plan a Digital Marketing Budget for Your Small Business
Small businesses are called small businesses because they have a small workforce and low capital and budget. The biggest challenge that small businesses have to face is the limited capital that they have.
Planning is a very vital aspect of anything that we do, and if done without a plan, believing that everything will be fine and you will succeed is like believing that Santa Claus is real. We understand a small business owner wears multiple hats, and they do not have enough time, but you should understand that planning is very vital to the survival and success of your business.
50% of small businesses fail within five years. The cause is that they spend too much on customer acquisition, but their earning is less than what they spend.
This is why you should plan first and act next. Customer acquisition is essential for the success of any business, and thus you should increase that. One way to do so is by escalating your investment in digital marketing. But, before you do so, you should prepare a proper plan so that this increase does not affect your business’s project scope.
This article is to help you in creating your digital marketing budget by highlighting what you should include and what common mistakes you should avoid.
Marketing is needed to increase the profitability of your business, and it helps in the growth of your business. Despite this reason, according to the US Small Business Administration, many small businesses don’t keep aside enough money for the marketing cost, or they spend their allocated marketing budget uncontrollably.
Such things happen because many small business owners do not plan everything upfront. They lack experience in developing or implementing a marketing budget. So these are some tips on how to plan a digital marketing budget for your small business:
1. Know your customers
To get the highest ROI, you should know where your audience is, and you should invest in the right place and, in this case, on the right platform. You have to find your audience; you have to see which site they spend most of their time. To find the right audience, you should learn information like:
- What is the age group of your targeted audience?
- What is the income level of your targeted audience?
- What is the geographical area of your targeted audience?
- With which brands does your targeted audience regularly interact?
If you are not good at researching or you don’t have time for it, you can go with the shortcut.
Find your most significant competitor or the most successful company in your niche. They are in that position because they are doing everything right and thus you should learn from them. Search which platform they use and how their audience is. This way, you would be able to know your right audience.
Once you have found the right audience, this is the time to find out how to guide your audience through the sales channel. You have to evaluate this as you have to find the value of the return that you will get, and this can be done only by going through your sales channel.
Here is what you have to find:
- Number of sites visits per day
- Total number of leads generated in each month
- Total number of leads that converted to sales qualified leads
- The total cost to generate SQLs
- Total number of leads that turned into opportunities
- Total number of opportunities that close as new deals
- Average value or revenue for a brand new deal
This can be easily tracked down if you add CRM into your project proposal.
2. Your budget should be based on your revenue
There is a saying in India that you should spread your legs according to the length of your blanket.
In the initial days, you have to spend more on marketing, and you have to take less to your home. Businesses usually spend 3-5% on their marketing. You should not gross your budget according to some percentage. The correct allocation depends on several factors.
You can keep a handsome amount depending on how much you can reasonably manage and based on the impact or result that you expect.
3. Spend your budget wisely
In this step, you have to prepare a plan, and you have to think about where you will invest your money?
Your digital marketing budget should be in sync with your overall strategy, and therefore you should spend on the places that can provide guaranteed leads only. You should try marketing resources that are available at no cost. You should try to advertise using Google or Facebook AdWords as these platforms are easy to track.
You can choose Google AdWords keyword planner to find out the keywords your customers are searching to get you, and thus you can target those keywords to rank on Google search.
The best thing about social media ads is that you can experiment with them without spending a lot of your budget. Therefore you should include this in your project scheduling, and you should try till you find the most suitable social media platform for your business.
4. Test and adopt only the best strategy
Remember not to be stubborn on your budget. There will be times when you have to change your budget, like when you are running another campaign or event to capitalize on some opportunity.
The most crucial thing after framing a plan and executing it is to check the results. No plan is perfect, and there is no guarantee that your plan will work as you thought it would. Therefore, you should not stick around your plan, and you should check if it is working correctly or not. If it is not working properly, you should make the necessary adjustments.
The key to constantly monitor and revisit your plan is in hard work, and you should do the same.
5. Follow the leading competitors
The key to preparing the best possible budget is by researching and understanding the present and upcoming trends of the market.
You should adapt to different technologies and platforms to be in sync with the changes in your niche. Example: if you are using email marketing, you should use trending features like email tracking, contact insights, and automated email scheduling. Therefore you should include this in your project objectives, and you should use this in your project execution.
Just keep your eyes on your goal only and budget and move forward according to your project roadmap. You have to try many times before you hit the jackpot and find the right budget, but the key here is that you should not give up, and you should keep on trying.
Shyamal is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management tool that’s helping teams be more productive by having clarity on who’s doing what by when. Has a penchant for researching and sharing strategies that could benefit a team’s productivity.
How Rise of Voice Search Is Shaping the SEO Courses in 2020
Some SEO Courses nowadays discuss SEO in voice search. But what is voice SEO and how should it be done?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the practice of enhancing the quality and quantity of web content to improve website visibility and to rank high in search engines. There are a variety of SEO courses that are being utilized to improve one’s skills. Statistics show that 64% of marketers are actively investing in SEO, while 61% say that improving SEO is their top marketing priority.
SEO may sound complicated, and you may encounter difficulties; but if you are determined, you can make it work. However, there is a catch. If you think you have gotten the hang of it by studying SEO courses before, you are wrong.
Even if you were able to rank up your content, something new keeps on popping up. You have no choice but to keep up with the pace of these digital marketing advances to prevent your business from falling behind by studying SEO courses again.
Voice search is one of the SEO courses topics that is eyed as a game-changer in 2020. Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices have utilized the use of voice for assisting users. Even in the online marketing world, voice search is being widely incorporated in web browsing to enhance faster and more effective search results. It is also one of the hottest SEO courses today.
What is voice search?
Voice search, as the name implies, is a feature that enables you to browse websites using your voice. The use of voice for activating devices have been around for years now. Studies by PWC in 2019 have shown that 65% of people aged 25 to 49 use the voice-enabling feature of their devices at least once a day. According to Google, 41% of adults and 55% of teens use voice search daily.
Furthermore, 20% of all Google mobile queries are made using a voice search. The use of voice search is not only limited to mobile use. Voice search has also been utilized in the Windows 10 desktop, as 25% of searches are now being done using this operating system using voice.
Voice search keeps on growing over the years. From voice-activated smart devices to online marketing, the use of voice is utilized appropriately, and many users appreciate this kind of technological advancement.
This appreciation is because of three reasons. First, it is faster just to voice out your search rather than typing it. Second, it is mainly for mobile devices. Third, it is more convenient since you don’t have to go through the hassles of typing.
Voice search SEO
With the above-mentioned factors that affect voice search, SEO is also affected. Voice search brought a change in different methods of searching. These changes include how people search, where they seek, and how they get search results. Below is a breakdown of how voice search brought a change in these aspects, a reason why we have to study voice search SEO.
How people search?
The main game-changer on how people search is that in voice search, searching is more extended and more conversational. Traditionally, when you are searching for something, you probably just make it short. If you want to know the list of holidays in Canada for the year 2020, you will just simply type this in the Google search bar: “Canada 2020 holidays.”
But with voice search, it is like talking to another person. You will use your natural human language and ask Google: “When are the holidays in Canada for 2020?” Because of this, there is a significant impact on keyword research in SEO.
Where people search?
In the past two years, Google reported that “near me now” searches have increased to over 150%. With its convenience, voice search is now being used very often and in many public places. Years ago, you had to go to places with Wi-Fi connection, but today you can simply search with LTE.
Voice search also made searching for places near you easier. For example, if it is your first-time visiting Vancouver and you are craving for pizza, you will type this in the Google search bar: “Pizza parlour Vancouver”. But thanks to LTE, location technology, and voice search, you will just simply say: “Where is the nearest pizza parlour that is open right now?”
How people get search results?
Google is becoming more like an answer engine than a search engine. Back then, you need to type out your question, and you will be given ten different links answering your query. But today, the answer is shown right in front of you in the search results.
With voice search, Google just reads the content of the featured snippet for you. How does this affect SEO? The content must be made with a new goal in mind. It should give direct answers to those asking questions. Otherwise, it will be challenging to show your content to people.
Voice search key insights
According to research made by Gartner and ComScore, in 2020, about 30% of web browsing actions will become screen-less. Furthermore, 50% of web browsing will be made through voice search.
Other vital insights of voice search include information about ranking criteria, top local search, and content for voice. These key insights show the importance of voice search to be incorporated with SEO courses.
According to Backlinko, taking a look at Google Home provides specific criteria that boost a website’s ranking when it comes to the application of the SEO courses of voice search.
These criteria include:
- Page Speed. The average time of displaying loads of SERP (Search Engine Results Page) through voice search is less than 4.7 seconds.
- About 70% of Google Home pages are formatted with HTTPs.
- The sentences are concise, having about 28 words for typical search results.
- The average search results are easy to understand, which are shown at a 9th-grade reading level.
- Featured Snippet. About 40% of the full search results are from featured snippets.
- Domain Authority. In the voice search algorithm, domain authority is prioritized more than page authority.
Top local search
Studies about the use of voice search for web browsing has shown that:
- 54% of people have used it for reservations on food and drink.
- 46% of people have used it for inquiring product prices.
- 40% of people have used it for checking the availability of specific products.
- 30% of people have used it for booking beauty appointments.
Content optimization for voice search
The following are some insights to be applied to optimize content voice search for SEO courses.
- Simplify language structure. In the voice search, remember that it is about being natural and conversational.
- Focus on long-tail keywords before long keywords are avoided because very few people search for them. However, with voice search, the average keyword length keeps getting longer and longer.
- Use structured data. Use question keywords and include filler words to them. Because using voice search is conversational, the use of question keywords is not omitted.
- Reflect on FAQs (Frequently asks questions). Include short and concise answers. These should directly answer questions.
- Optimize featured snippets. Google Home and Alexa have a role in giving only one answer, which is featured on snippets. Ranking on featured snippets makes it possible for your content to be visible on these devices.
- Ensure mobile-friendliness. We can say that the voice search is mainly utilized on mobile devices due to their convenience.
- Create a Google My Business account. A Google My Business account will not just give you a business listing but also lets you easily connect with customers.
- Knowledge Graph. This is another SERP feature. Optimizing this will make your content more visible to people.
- Strengthen Domain Authority. Many voice search results are just single results, which is why Google wanted to give answers coming from trusted sources only. Let Google feature your site as a source.
Types of Content You Must Include in Your Content Marketing Strategy in 2020
Just like last year, quality content will make or break the deal in 2020. Users keep looking for quality content and they will continue to do the same. With that in mind, it’s a great idea to keep looking for new types of content to include in your marketing strategy.
Listed below are five of these that might be exactly what you need.
1. Start your own blog section
As you probably already know, the web is all about blogs. More and more people are using their expertise to start a blog and attract users to their site. Businesses in all industries can also use this strategy to get more potential customers to visit their website. So, if you don’t already have a blog section on your website, it’s time to create one.
Whether you decide to write about how you do things or what’s new in the sector, you’ll see more customers showing up. Not only this, but they’ll trust you more and be more likely to make a purchase. If you’ve never run a blog before, taking a writing course before you start is a good idea.
2. Record quality videos
Right now, video content generates more content than any other type of content. There are no doubt videos will dominate in 2020 as well and including them in your marketing strategy is a must. Luckily, creating quality video content is now easier than ever. All you have to do is come up with interesting ideas and connect with experts who specialize in creating this type of content.
What’s more, you don’t even need any special equipment to create some video content for your social media pages. As long as you have a smartphone, you can record live videos when announcing new products or hosting competitions. Social media users love Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos and will be glad to engage in your content.
3. Create the best infographics
We live in the age of big data and it’s important to remember that when creating content. Your job is to communicate complex data to your audience and make sure they’re able to grasp it. Infographics are the absolute winner when it comes to big data as they rely on graphics and text to represent complex data.
On top of this, every infographic you post has the potential to go viral and take your content marketing strategy to the next level. Of course, in order for this to happen, you have to create accurate and visually appealing infographics. Your safest bet is to work with professionals who can help you create them. For example, experts at Infostarters make the best infographics and turning to them is a great idea.
4. Post social media stories
Initially, stories were reserved for Snapchat. Now, almost every social media platform uses this format, including Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube. What users love so much about stories is that they create authentic content. Stories are usually created on the spot, which is exactly what users want. Most companies now rely on social media stories to create the fear of missing out, also known as FOMO.
This is because stories are available for a limited time, thus encouraging users to take action more quickly. Use options such as hashtags and polls to drive people to your stories and grow your social media follower base. If you’re on Instagram, using effects such as boomerang and superzoom can make your stories more appealing.
5. Jump on the augmented reality train
Not so long ago, augmented reality (AR) was something you could only see in Sci-Fi movies and video games. Fast forward to 2020 and AR has found its use in various industries. Companies use it to take their user experience and storytelling to the next level. For example, giants such as IKEA create AR content that allows customers to take a look at how products will look in their home.
Customers are able to engage in this content as AR is becoming more accessible and affordable. Not only this, but they view AR content as innovative and something they didn’t experience before. Barriers are coming down when it comes to technology and we can expect to see more from AR in the future.
Having a good content marketing strategy has never been more important than it is right now. Include these five types of content into your strategy and there’s no doubt your content will reach new heights.
How to Perform a Local SEO Audit in 5 Simple Steps
Why perform a local SEO audit?
If you’re a local business, you’ve probably got some competition.
You might rank higher than your competitors in Google, or they might outrank you sometimes.
Understanding why you’re outranking your competitors or why they’re outranking you is critical to developing a local SEO strategy that will deliver results.
In the end, you want to generate more leads and win more customers, and that means you need to be visible to those local searchers when they come looking.
In this article, you’ll learn 5 steps to perform a local search audit for your business that will help you identify the actions you can take to stand out from the competition.
Identify valuable keywords for your business
When it comes to ranking in Google, it’s important to understand the search terms people use when they’re ready to engage local business, because focusing on these search terms is where you’ll want to focus first.
For example, when people type in ‘accountants Newcastle’ into Google, what results appear?
Google will most likely show a local map pack with three local business profiles from Google My Business followed by organic results from either local business directories or local business websites.
So Google thinks that ‘accountants Newcastle’ means the user is ready to engage a local business.
What results does Google return for the search term ‘how an accountant can save you tax’?
It returns a result that answers that specific question from a website outside of the local area. It doesn’t show any local businesses to contact directly and the websites within the organic results may not be as local as the previous search.
So find the keywords for your business that Google identifies as having high local intent and focus on those first. Once you’ve optimised for those primary search terms, you can start focusing on other search terms that may help create the additional website traffic, but may not generate as many direct leads for your local business.
Here’s a list of 4 keywords that an accountant in Newcastle might want to focus on when performing their first local SEO audit:
- Accountant Newcastle
- Tax accountant Newcastle
- Business advisor Newcastle
- Tax advisor Newcastle
You’ll want to focus on the main services you provide and check the search term both with and without the location in the search term using the techniques we cover in the next section.
Assess your current rankings
Knowing where you appear in Google for different search terms helps you identify how you compare with competitors in your local area.
In order to do that, it’s important to understand the two primary search results that Google displays to users performing local search queries.
Local map pack
When a user performs a search query that has high local intent, Google shows a map with a select list of local businesses. This is referred to as the ‘local map pack’.
Appearing in the local map pack for valuable search terms can deliver a lot of leads for your business because it’s usually the first thing users see. It also shows your businesses star rating from user reviews and links to contact you directly.
The standard text results that appear are referred to as the organic results. These are still highly valuable and can generate a lot of leads, but once your business ranks outside the top 5, they become much less valuable.
So you’ll want to check to see how you rank in both the local map pack as well as the organic results for your search terms.
It’s also important to understand that the user’s physical location can play a major role in determining which businesses appear in Google’s localised search results.
In order to control where you’re checking your results from, you can use a tool like Bright Local’s Local Search Result Checker.
Instead of only being able to see what searchers would see from your current location, you can use this tool to check what they see from any location.
The tool also allows you to search on Google Maps so you can see how your business ranks there as well.
Check each page until you find your business and write down where you appear. Hopefully, you’re not too far down the list.
Now that you know where you’re appearing in the search results compared to your competitors, it’s time to check your website to see if you’re sending the right signals to Google to optimise your website to rank for those local search terms.
When a user searches for ‘accountants Newcastle’, Google delivers results to the users that it thinks are most relevant for that search term.
So if you’re a local business that primarily serves customers in your local area, it makes sense to tell Google what that local area is by referencing it within important elements on your website.
You can refer to a detailed local SEO checklist, but the main elements are below to keep things simple.
Checking your website
There are a lot of places where you can optimise your website, but here are the key places to reference your location on your web pages to ensure your site has a basic level of location optimisation:
Title – The text that appears in the browser tab on the page.
H1 – The main heading on your web page that describes the primary topic of the page.
The above website is not providing any location signals within the primary heading, which makes it more difficult for Google and users to get the right location signals.
You should also include your physical address and phone number in your website’s footer and on your contact page.
Location signals on other websites
It’s important to realise that Google uses location signals about your business that it gets from other websites as well to determine how relevant you are to users in your local area.
One of the most important signals comes from local business directories like Google My Business, Facebook, Yellow Pages, True Local, Local Search and others.
By having your business name, address, and phone number consistent across all of these directories, Google can be confident that your business is located where you say it is.
Reviews play a major role in local rankings because Google wants to show results users will find helpful. So if you’re a local business with lots of great reviews, Google will more likely display your business higher within the search results.
Simply check to see how many reviews your business has on your Google My Business profile and compare that with your local competitors. The number and quality of the reviews is an important factor.
It’s also important to realise that the content of those reviews and whether or not you responded to them is important as well. So check your reviews to see if the user included any of your primary search terms like ‘They did a great job preparing my business taxes’.
Although you can’t always control the quality or content of the reviews, it’s important to realise that review signals can make a big difference when it comes to ranking, especially within the local map pack.
Checking your domain and page authority
Google wants to display results that most closely match what the user is searching for. In order to do that, it uses signals that it gets from across the internet to tell it which pages are most likely to answer the user’s search query.
That’s where domain and page authority comes in. Google uses a very complex and secret algorithm to determine how well your web page can answer the search query.
One of the key factors in that algorithm is how many other websites point to your website, and more specifically, to your page.
To put it in simple terms, if no other websites think your business or your website content is worth sending their visitors to, Google probably won’t think it’s worth sending their users to either.
Now nobody except Google knows how their algorithm works, but the team over at Moz developed scores that closely predict how Google will rank your site relative to your competitors.
Those scores are called Domain Authority and Page Authority. The scores range from 0 to 100 with 0 representing websites and pages that would be least likely to rank and 100 representing websites and pages that would be most likely to rank.
It’s important to remember that your likelihood of ranking well in Google is relative to your local competition, so you may not need a very high score to rank well if you provide the right location signals.
You can also check your competitor’s scores to see how you’re positioned relative to them.
Now that you’ve performed a local SEO audit on your own website, it’s time to take action.
If you discovered that you rarely mention your location on your website, find relevant places to mention it.
If you don’t have many reviews on Google, start asking customers to leave you reviews and respond to the reviews when they come in.
If you realised that you either don’t have any local business citations, create some. Or if they’re wrong, fix them.
And finally, if your authority scores are below your local competition, take steps to improve your authority by building high-quality backlinks to your website and sharing valuable local content.
How Startups Are Getting Benefited From Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing has become a trend, especially for those businesses or people who want to promote/expand their business to get online customers and want to get their business reach everywhere.
If you are wishing to start a new business but worrying about being thrust against these famous brand names, then Digital Marketing is what that helps your business to stand ahead. Gone are those days when the company has to wait for a long time for their existence.
Nowadays, almost every customer prefer the online approach for research and for buying decision. If you have a strong online identity, your business will be highlighted and become popular within the targeted niche.
With the help of an enhanced digital marketing strategy, a new business can establish themselves in the industry in a shorter period. Also, digital marketing campaigns provide measurable results with driving more traffic, leads, and conversion.
Here are some benefits of Digital Marketing, which can be helpful for startups in growing fast and efficiently:
Improves your online visibility
These days, the first crucial thing for startup businesses is online visibility because most of the consumer search the services and produces on the internet. With the increase of internet users, startups should increase their business presence online.
The main objective of digital marketing is to rank a website on the first page of search engines, brand awareness, and engage people online. So, digital marketing helps your business to establish an online presence and increases visibility. That way, people get to know your business.
Build Brand Awareness
Digital marketing strategy is benefiting the startups to build brand awareness than ever before. Online marketing strategy helps startups in encouraging their customers to give them feedback about their product or services, posting reviews, and ratings.
These positive reviews and ratings increase brand value in no time. With the growing awareness, people may take into account your brand at the time they’re shopping.
At the initial phase, every startup business has a financial problem, and they aren’t in the condition to invest a large amount of budget in marketing campaigns.
So, Digital marketing is one of the cost-effective and cheaper online service providers as compared to traditional advertising methods. Because in a digital marketing campaign, you can quickly boost your product or services among your targeted audience, also you can directly contact your customer. A startup can easily advertise their services and products at a low cost using a digital marketing campaign.
Drive more traffic
Digital Marketing directly helps in driving more traffic in your website. As a startup, you might need a business website, and online marketing is what will help you to expose your business online. If you can rank at the top of SERP, your startup business might get value in no time.
Naturally, it’s like if you can provide online audiences what they are looking for or help them, they will surely help you too, and you can quickly drive more traffic on your website.
Connect with your targeted audience
In traditional marketing, marketers do not have the scope to target a specific audience. Those startups who work in a niche market can benefit a lot from precise targeting. You can decide who can view your ads or content through a digital marketing strategy. This allows you to control the targeted audience and, with precise targeting, allows low-costing.
With targeting the precise audience, you can directly connect with the people who are interested in your service or product.
Just for an example, if you own a digital marketing company in someplace (let’s say Nepal), your most audience targeting place would be in Nepal. You firstly tend to become the best digital marketing agency in Nepal and focus on targeting people who need such services in that location. This is how Digital Marketing will help you to target audiences as you need.
With excellent digital marketing campaigns, the startups can grow their business in a short time. Availing a wide range of benefits on online marketing while promoting services and products, many startups are swiped towards it.
Raphu Shrestha is a Digital Marketing Executive at Digital Terai, one of the leading Digital Marketing Agency in Nepal. She is very passionate about writing blogs on Digital Marketing and SEO. Apart from work, she loves reading blogs and exploring new places.
How to Choose Suitable Images for Posts in Social Media Marketing
One of the most important beneficial aspects of social media marketing is the ability to use multi-media content without limitation. Most people do not care much about texts and regard them as being boring. In contrast, multi-media content like pictures, videos, and animations are generally more attractive.
So, multi-media has a hidden entertaining feature that marketers can take advantage of. However, putting an image or video into your post carelessly will not boost it. You need to choose them meticulously if you want to add value to your content.
In this article, we will focus on images and explain how to select the best one for your posts.
The first important point about selecting images in social media marketing is the message it will broadcast. All content of your posts must be related to your company’s mission and images are not an exception.
Be sure that using a picture that fits well with your content will bring about a considerable engagement. Your pictures must convey the message of your products and encourage your audience to pay attention to it and finally buy it.
Actually, you should work on the enhancement of your brand and include them indirectly in your images. For example, if your restaurant has vegetarian meals, you should come up with the idea of health, environment, animal rights, or even saving the planet! Because these concepts will convey indirectly your message: “Please, eat our vegetables”. On the contrary, if you are advertising for a new product in an athletic diet, your pictures should talk about energy, protein, meat, etc.
Prosperous companies in social media marketing are those with a different idea each day. To encourage your audience to keep following your content, you should use creativity in your images.
Remember that the left side of the human’s brain is responsible for logic and the right side is about the emotion. You can use both aspects of the brain in your marketing to be creative enough to attract the attention of customers.
To use the left side of your users’ brains, you should include the facts and reasons substantiating the goodness of your product. For instance, as a vegetarian restaurant, use the pictures showing the detrimental effects of fatty dishes based on scientific evidence.
Also, an image of an innocent child aspiring for a toy will make parents buy the toy for their children. This is a right-side decision based on emotion.
Moreover, it has been proven that using colourful images will cause increased readership and consequently sales. You should determine a specific colour for your brand and repeat it in your images in different ways. Bear in mind that boring images cannot engage your readers and will act conversely. So, you have to be creative in terms of concept and colour.
If you cannot create pictures by yourself, you can use the internet. Try to use original pictures that can distinguish you from your competitors. Numerous websites offer free or sometimes low-cost images for your online marketing and blogging purposes. For instance, Pixabay and Shutterstock.
Many marketers may ask whether or not a name is necessary for a picture. We usually say: Yes. Considering especial names for images will cause a high quality leads to your content and grow your engagement.
You should be careful in selecting names for your images so that they are specific and related. For example, if you use the name “A healthy dish”, your message will be perfectly expressed. But if you write “A low-cost healthy vegetarian dish”, it is more likely to place your post among the first pages of search results for people looking for this kind of food.
Number of Posts
Although using images can make your profile beautiful, being a bothersome contact throwing pictures carelessly will damage your reputation. There isn’t any definite number for pictures, however, you can use a try and error procedure to get feedback from your audience. For instance, one update per day is a very sensible starting point.
Do not post constantly. Change the time of day for posting your images to obtain the perfect hours of days or even weeks. According to socialtradia.com, the influencers who intend to sell their page at a lower price are the ones who cannot meticulously take care of their page regularly. Please bear in mind that you are not an exception if you do not follow this piece of advice.
High quality, relevant images can increase your traffic, improve your engagement, and increase your comments and likes. Well-chosen images will help your followers better interact with the posts you are sharing with them. So, take advantage of this opportunity to expand the circle of your followers and consequently increase your customers.
Tom Siani is an online marketing expert with up to 4 years of experience in this digital industry. He is also collaborating with some well-known brands in order to generate traffic, create sales funnel and increase online sales. He has written a considerable number of articles about marketing via social media, brand marketing, blogging, search visibility, etc.
How Not to Be an Ignored Business on Social Media
A long time ago, when social media platforms were non-existent – the Internet was Google.
Since Google was the market leader in search engines, SEO was the only technique famous in the world of internet marketing. Social Media and its benefits were unheard of.
Any company you spoke to, had an SEO team analyzing keywords, building back-links, etc., etc. It was a crazy race to build as many back-links as possible in the minimum time possible.
The target was to reach the top of rankings in the shortest time frame possible. Rankings meant traffic. Traffic meant business. And then, something unexpected happened.
The God of the Internet – “Google” decided to punish the mortals of SEO World for manipulating the ways of business. Google wreaked havoc by punishing everyone who was found to be a spammer in the eyes of google.
And what were the weapons of destruction? Ironically, the arms of the damage came in the form of algorithms with the names of cute birds and animals. The pandas, penguins, hummingbirds, pigeons were unleashed to bring sanity to the world of SEO.
The punishment was given in the form of loss of ranking. The world of SEO has never been the same. And to ensure, the manipulators play by the books – Google promised more cuteness in the form of algorithm updates. The regular updates were introduced to differentiate genuine content creators from manipulators.
While the SEO world was busy fighting Google’s frequent updates, a new trend started on the Internet – Social Media. Everyone started discussing the use of social media in business.
The Zeus of the Internet, Google suddenly had to compete against the likes of Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Quora. The social media platforms bought with them a ray of hope for everyone struggling to keep up with Google’s algorithms.
Due to my reluctance to adopt the technology (I am still old school), I entered the social media world a little late. But when I did. It was an eye-opening experience.
I dug in deep to understand how the brands all across the worlds are selling via viral content. The whole world was talking “social media”. The benefits of social media in business marketing could not be ignored.
Not that Google lost its relevance. Google still holds the market share when it comes to promoting your brand via the internet. Still, social media was the new trend — a medium where you could at least make some predictions. You were not at the mercy of Google.
Soon the SEO Experts rechristened themselves as Social Media Experts. And the world of Social Media Marketing was never the same. Within a short period, every digital marketing agency worth their salt was pitching the benefits of social media marketing to customers.
Companies started hiring online teams for “Social Media Marketing”. And some of them hired a digital marketing agency. Social Media gave startups an affordable platform for promotions at a fraction of the cost of what they spent advertising using Google Ads.
While the penetration of social media proved to be a blessing in disguise for startups, Its sudden entry overwhelmed them. They started using every platform to promote their brand.
The startups forgot you are just inches away from becoming a business no one talks or cares about in the social media world by not following the right techniques of social media marketing. Today, most of the startups I see are confused in formulating a solid SMO strategy for their business.
What they do not realize is, the user target base of each platform is entirely different. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn are like chalk and cheese. What you promote on Facebook cannot always be advertised on LinkedIn.
This blog is a simple guide to the benefits of social media marketing for business.
I will cover four of the most popular social media platforms in this blog:
Do you have a bakery serving the yummiest cakes in the town? Or are you an event planner looking for customers? Look no further. Facebook is the perfect fit for you.
Facebook is the ideal platform for companies in the B2C space. You can blindly make Facebook a part of your promotion strategy. Let’s understand Facebook a little more. Facebook’s user base consists of users who are there to have fun. Facebook is a parallel life for Facebook users.
It is a place where people who are introverted in real life, transform into extroverts. It is a place where we have fun and let the world know that “we are having fun”.
The strategy to post on Facebook should revolve around mixing content. The content can range from links, blogs, news, banners to videos. The ideal frequency of 1-2 posts daily for new brands works on Facebook. For established brands, the number can go a little higher.
One important point to remember while promoting on Facebook is to avoid spam activity. If Facebook finds too many posts on your page not invoking any fan’s reaction, your page will suffer. One way of avoiding it is by boosting your best posts to enhance their engagement.
Read it to get a fair understanding of how Facebook can help your brand grow.
A tweet on Twitter is 280 characters of knowledge/opinion. Every business worth promoting on social media should be on Twitter. I call it the wittiest way to promote your brand. As they say “Brevity is the soul of wit”. Twitter tests your smartness by letting you express in the minimum words possible.
Short, simple, and smart. In minimum words, you can share updates/posts and connect to your user base smartly. A quick tip for businesses learning how to promote business on Twitter will be – Post relevant, witty stuff using the right hashtags.
The hashtags on Twitter are to tag your content with relevant topics. If promoted correctly, your brand will automatically pick up. You can use Twitter to interact with your direct user base.
The concept is to give them the power to report issues, give those promotional offers or share your business’s latest news.
The social network of professionals is where all “corporate” discussions happen. You ought to be here if you have a B2B enterprise.
If you are planning to use LinkedIn for Marketing and you are addicted to Facebook – here is a quick to help you save the blushes: Please do not share “How many likes for supporting poor kids of Somalia” or some funny gig you shared on your business FB page.
LinkedIn users hate the FB stuff coming on LinkedIn. One of the reasons they are on LinkedIn is because of the Business community and the hanky-panky stuff from FB is not appreciated on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn can help you in establishing your authority as a leader in your business domain. You can spread your knowledge by using your page updates or writing blogs (pulse). You can also use LinkedIn to post jobs, connect and interact with relevant users.
Use it smartly to leverage the massive database of related professionals on the platform. From what I have read, YouTube is again an excellent platform to promote your brand using videos (know-hows, tips, tricks, etc).
Another smart way of pulling traffic from social media is by using Quora. Quora is a place to answer questions and get recognition in your area of expertise.
You can use Quora to pull traffic to your website by establishing yourself as a prominent name in the topics you write. The vital point to note for startups or any business is that they do not use the wrong content on the wrong platform.
Users on social media are there for a reason. You have to give them the right mix of content to keep them engaged with your brand. Don’t overdo social media marketing by self-promotion and your business will do well on social media.
Let me reiterate; no one is on social media to like some X brand promoting a Y product. They are all there to have fun or find the best of things (news, videos, pics, etc).
Use social media strategy rightly in your business to build a bond with the user base and see your brand grow.
Jasmeet is an Entrepreneur, Avid Reader, Startup Consultant, and a Reluctant Blogger at Lessons At Startup. A regular family guy and a proud father of two adorable kids.
4 Essential Tips to Use Your Content Strategy for Stellar SEO
Digital marketing is an intricate network of equally complex strategies, all intertwined to work in unison in order to help your brand succeed in the digital as well as the offline world. Although some marketers can create brilliant strategies separately, including those for boosting your SEO and content creation, only the ones who know that they are parts of the same whole can make the most of all their digital efforts.
Essentially, there can be no truly successful content marketing strategy without taking thorough SEO into account, just as much there cannot be successful SEO without relying on great, consistent, authentic content.
For your marvellous article, let’s say, on ecommerce and social media to find its way to actually interested readers, it needs keyword implementation, it needs to cover a relevant, trending topic, it needs to be of specific length and designed to attract readers.
So much goes into crafting a single piece of writing, that it would indeed be a shame for it to forever remain in the black abyss of the second page of Google. That’s why SEO is the heartbeat of every piece of content your produce, and that’s why every piece of content is the vessel for your SEO.
Here’s how you should unify them:
1. It’s all about the audience
Just like with pretty much everything in the world of commerce today, your content needs to be customer-centric. Since search engines, trending keywords and phrases, and the most reputable guest-posting websites are chosen by those who visit them (aka your audience), then SEO tactics you need to consider are, in essence, made by your audience.
First of all, make sure you know who your readers and viewers are. Get to know them with the help of thorough research, and constantly monitor their digital behaviours. If they have similar lifestyles, they’ll likely have similar issues and challenges to cope with. This is where you and your expertise waltz in to save their day with impeccably detailed how-to articles, research-based infographics, and tutorial videos to solve their issues.
The trends your brand is looking for, the ones that will determine your relevance in search engines, are set by your audience. Conducting consistent customer research is vital to stay relevant and visible with the help of your content and dedicated SEO.
2. In-depth, value-driven content
As of 2019, every single search engine, with Google at the helm, is focusing more on the quality of the content that is posted in determining its ranking in the SERPs. With that in mind, brands need to deliver more, not in quantity alone, but predominantly in quality.
You need to go above and beyond to show off your expertise, provide exceptional value through your content, make sure its readability is through the roof, and give more actionable advice than anything found on that topic on the World Wide Web.
That single task alone can be quite a burden for your content team. That’s why many companies decide to work with reputable experts in the business to make sure their content and their SEO really do deliver measurable results.
When you find the right partner and put your best foot forward, you can expect higher organic reach, increased ROI, and a reduced bounce rate. Content in the service of SEO and your audience is the only kind of content that can deliver real, tangible results.
3. Keyword optimization and beyond
There are many keywords related to your expertise you’ll want to rank high for, but you also need to be very mindful when choosing which ones you want to focus on in your strategy. Why? Because scattering your attention to topics that aren’t really within your scope of expertise, even though you technically do know plenty about them, can just diffuse the effect of properly targeted strategies.
Combine audience research, keyword research, and focusing on what you do best and how you can deliver that content that will skyrocket your brand’s presence online. All of these factors will give you that unique content angle that only your brand can deliver.
If you want a shining example of how some experts do it, look no further than brands the likes of HubSpot that have mastered the art of creating content that ranks and that delivers useful, digestible data for all of its readers.
They don’t try to be anything else other than what they really are: experts in the field of content marketing software. And they do so with razor-sharp focus and remarkable success.
4. Earning and building links
While content creation is a massive portion of your on-site SEO strategy, it also plays into the segment of your off-site efforts to build credibility and turn your brand into the leader in your field of expertise. To achieve that, you need to apply a thorough link-building strategy paired with content so brilliant that you’ll also earn links in the process, over time.
However, you need to steer clear of black hat link-building and spammy backlinks that can wreak havoc on your digital presence and ranking in the SERPs, as Google will not look too kindly upon any shortcuts to earning credibility.
Focus on natural linking as the lifeblood of your link building strategy. Match only the things that make sense, and search engines will recognize the value your content is producing for your readership.
The constantly-changing algorithm of Google can be quite unforgiving of any transgressions in terms of forced links, so make sure that yours are as organic as possible. As you build authority and write that brilliant content of yours, earning links will become all the easier and more natural, which will in turn infinitely improve your SEO as well as your content reach.
Content in the service of SEO alone is by no means the end goal of any digital marketing strategy out there. As intertwined as their existence and creation are, you need to be mindful of that one thing that binds them and gives them purpose: value.
Put your customers first, aim to deliver value with everything from your targeted keywords, your technical SEO, your content readability, all the way to the links you place in your content and on the Web, and these two pillars of digital success will work in your favour.