5 SEO Steps for 2019

The 5 SEO Recommendations That Matter in 2019

Picture of the letters SEO standing for search engine optimization in McKinney

One of the biggest challenges in SEO is measuring impact — we know what matters (or doesn’t matter) until the rules of the game have changed. And when they do, we’re all scrambling to find a baseline again.  One of the most important elements about SEO is it helps you rank better on search engines.

Here are the five SEO recommendations that we’ve consistently seen make a positive impact in SEO’s ever-changing world.

1. Structured data matters

The short explanation of why structured data is helpful is that it tells crawlers (search engine bots) what there is within your page. If you are not familiar with this you can follow this helpful Structured Data guide to get you quickly up and running.

Structured data makes it faster and easier for crawlers from Google and other search engines to understand the information within each website page, making it a powerful (but often misused) tool. If applied correctly, it will make quite a positive impact on your pages.

2. Page freshness

Your page’s freshness is determined by multiple factors, but something as simple as having a date on a page is one of the easiest ways to indicate to Google how fresh your page is. This applies to blogs and news, but it’s also relevant for product pages related to dates, such as event sites.

If you think about page freshness from a user perspective, it’s easier to understand why it matters so much. When you obtain search results that have an old date, such as articles, depending on the subject, you might consider them less relevant than if they had a recent date. Search engines know this too and have the ability to differentiate between fresh and old content whether it has a date or not.

Another relatively easy task is to go through webpages and blog posts and make sure there are not OLD date references. Having done this for several clients we found after the update, we observed improved ranking on SERP (search engine results) results, which doubled impressions and CTR.

Page freshness matters for any industry, and while dates are helpful, your content freshness should always reflect and target what users are searching. Here are a few other things to consider if you think you may need to refresh your pages:

  • How often have you conducted keyword research in the last 18 months and updated your page’s content based on keywords results?
  • Are you featured on SERP results with dates and if so how old are these dates?
  • Luce Media’s Google Certified team can do this for you.

3. Internal linking (still matters)

The right balance of internal linking is never a straightforward answer. However, not having too many links on one page can make a positive impact.

For example, linking to all categories from your homepage could be the best user experience or the fastest way for crawlers to discover your pages but it will also impact the amount of equity the page is sending to all the pages it links to.

Balancing internal linking is definitely an important ranking factor because it will dictate how users and search engines discover your pages.

4. Title tags

Changing your title tags and finding out if they made a positive impact can be quite difficult to prove. We’ve tested this many times for clients in different industries, and changing a title has always changed (positively or negatively) the amount of sessions pages were getting.

How you change your title will depend on your page type, so there is no absolute rule on what to change a title to. Here are some ideas:

Include the year in the title, which also signals freshness. 

Here is an example I made up:

Original title: “Book a Trip to Hawaii Now | [brand name]”

Changed title: “Hawaii Trips 2019/2010 | Book Now | [brand name]”

Include the lowest product price of the page, for example:

Original title: “Cheap Flights to Hawaii – [brand name]”

Changed title: “Cheap Flight to Hawaii from $400 – [brand name]”

We also tested these following changes, which had a negative result in terms of the number of sessions:

  • Adding the number of products for sale on the page to the title tag
  • Adding emojis to the title tag

What you change your title to will depend on many factors, so a year or price might not help in your case. However, if some of your category pages have seasonal products or your industry competes heavily on prices, adding the year — or date, if applicable — or a price in the title could be quite beneficial.

5. Obtain backlinks

One thing that consistently helped our clients to obtain external links is creative pages — not shocking. These are usually interesting articles or campaigns related to the business, not commercial pages (pages that are just trying to sell something), and they end up obtaining quite a lot of coverage from different sources and, subsequently, external links.

Building successful creative pages are not easy and won’t guarantee that an increase in any specific amount of backlinks, but it’s one of the safest ways to obtain organic backlinks. The process can also be quite expensive for big pieces but we’ve also experienced a positive impact with more lightweight pieces on a smaller budget.

If your budget is on the modest side, you can still create a great piece. Here are a few tips to achieve that:

  • Think about the data you have collected and what insights it might have for users who do not have access to it: can you spot trends and patterns that could be interesting for a wider audience?
  • Surveys: you can certainly reach an audience to ask questions on a topic you want to create a piece of content for. If you can’t reach an audience for free, you can do this cheaply through paid surveys and collect your data this way.
  • Hire freelancers: there is a lot of great talent you can scout on sites like Upwork to help you create a visually enticing piece
  • Know your primary campaign goal
  • Do not expect short term — focus on the long term strategy
  • Measure results with multiple tools

Wrapping it up

If you’ve you been able to measure an impactful SEO change that consistently helped your clients, please share your experience in a comment below.

This was posted originally at: https://moz.com/blog/5-seo-recommendations

Image from Luce Media showing Google My Business logo

6 Steps to Claim and Optimize a Local Business Listing on Google My Business

For a lImage from Luce Media showing Google My Business logoocal business that wants to get discovered in search results, maintaining an accurate Google My Business listing is critical. The listing details (such as the business’ phone number, website, photos, and hours of operation) determine what information consumers see in Google Search and Maps.

Business owners need to take control of the company’s Google My Business listing to ensure up-to-date business information is displayed online. This means creating or claiming the business listing on Google My Business and optimizing the content to ensure accuracy and improve visibility.

Claim and Optimize a Google My Business Listing in Six Steps

Here are 6 Steps to claiming and optimizing a local business listing on Google My Business.

1. Search for the Business on Google

The first step is to find out if the business already has a Google My Business listing. Google often generates listings based on information available online, which may or may be fully accurate. An existing listing should be claimed so the information can be updated and kept accurate.

A simple Google search for the company name can reveal whether or not a Google My Business listing already exists. If a matching listing appears in search results, there should be a link that says “Are You the Business Owner” next to the listing. If, however, the business does not show up in search results, it’s important to create a new Google My Business listing and update it with correct information about the company.

2. Request Verification of an Existing Listing

To claim the listing, click on the “Are You the Business Owner” link. Next, sign into Google, search for the business name, and request verification. This will give you control of the listing and allow you to begin optimizing it. In most cases, Google will give you two options to verify the listing, “Mail me my code” or “Call me now.”

If the “Are You the Business Owner” button is not visible, then the listing has already been claimed. Talk to any partners, owners, or marketers involved with the business to find out who has claimed the listing. Double check if there is another Google account linked to the business. If you can’t figure out who verified the listing, you’ll have to go through Google Help to gain access.

3. Confirm Business Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)

Once the business has been verified, you can easily edit and update the business details that will show up in search results. It’s crucial that the business’ name, physical address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across the web – so the NAP data in the Google My Business listing should exactly match what’s on the business’ website.

It’s highly recommended that if you need to make changes to the listing you make those before requesting the verification from Google. If you make the request and then make a change, you’ll quite possibly have to make a second request to get the listing verified.

4. Choose a Single Business Category

Customers and search engines both prefer business’ that accurately represent themselves online. So when selecting a category for a company’s Google My Business listing, it helps to be as specific as possible. Even if the business falls under multiple categories, it’s best to select the single most relevant category to describe the products or services offered. If you aren’t sure which category is the optimal choice for a particular business, search for similar companies on Google to see what categories they’ve selected.

5. Upload Relevant Images to Represent the Business

In order to provide customers with more context in search results, Google likes to display images next to business listings. Google My Business listings with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions as well as a 32% better click-through rate to the company’s website.

If the business doesn’t upload official images, Google can display photos uploaded by the public – which can sometimes result in embarrassing mishaps for the business. Although a business can suggest a ‘preferred photo’ for search results, Google will only use the recommended photo if it truly represents the business.

Here are some tips for setting preferred photos that Google will approve:

  • Upload high-quality photos that give an accurate impression of the store location.
  • Use real pictures of products sold by the business.
  • Keep Google’s recommended file size (between 10KB and 5MB) and minimum resolution (720px tall, 720px wide) in mind.
  • Don’t use stock photos or text-based images.

6. Further Optimize the Business Listing

There are a few more ways to get the most out of a Google My Business listing, including:

  • Keeping the Business Hours Up-to-Date: Google displays hours of operation to tell consumers whether or not the business is open at the time of their search. Remember to update this information if business hours change during the holiday season.
  • Collecting More Customer Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews and take the time to reply when they do.
  • Adding a Description on Google+: Although businesses can no longer edit their descriptions on Google My Business, this field can still be viewed and edited on Google+.

Whether claiming an existing Google My Business listing or creating one from scratch, use the above tips to ensure accurate information shows up the next time a consumer searches. Keep customers happy, keep Google happy, and increase local visibility.

Need help claiming, creating, or optimizing a Google My Business listing? One location or one thousand, we have you covered!

This story first appeared on Advice Local

Google My Business image with GMB logo and mapping

Image from Luce Media showing Google My Business logo

Why Google My Business, Google Maps, and Online Reviews are CRUCIAL to your business? Here’s What You Need To Know.

Image from Luce Media showing Google My Business logoGoogle My Business provides you with the ability to list your business location on Google Maps and local search results. You can display valuable and key information about your business, including the opening/closing times, contact phone number or a link to your website. You can display important information about your business, including the opening/closing times, contact phone number or a link to your website. More recently Google has also released a new feature allowing you to post a link to articles or up and coming events.

Setting up your Google My Business listing is one of the simplest and most effective ways of establishing your business to be found online. More and more search queries are becoming geographically specific, and Google’s algorithms have been developed to consider user intent. Why do this? Check how often your business shows up in local searches by clicking here. (Scroll down to FREE Online Visibility Check)

So, how important are Google Reviews for Local SEO in 2018? Several studies regarding Google reviews provide proof of the reasons that your business should be soliciting reviews.  These reasons include things like “most consumers read reviews before making a decision” and “people trust online reviews as much as personal reviews.”

These reasons are completely valid and will come into play creating larger conversion and clickthrough rates to your website when a potential customer has found you and is deciding between your business and a competitor. For these reasons Luce Media Video Talks About Google My Business and Google Reviews

When it comes to reviews – here is the bottom line. 

The quality and quantity of reviews on Google is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. And, when a person scans the search results for a local product or service in Google, the business listings that include customer reviews present greater credibility and, naturally, receive more clicks.

Watch as Mark Toney, CEO of Luce Media talks about the latest information for small to medium-sized businesses in completely filling out the information on Google My Business as well as the importance of soliciting Google Reviews for your business.

 

We can not stress the Importance of Google My Business, Google Maps and Good Reviews for Small to Medium Sized Businesses.

This is just one of many of the aspects we focus on for your business -and encourage YOU to look at all these variables.  Do you want to GROW your business? Do you want more online presence?

Luce Media works strategically helping all of our clients grow. Get started today with our FREE Social Media Analysis. We analyze your website, all current social platforms you are on plus tell you immediately what your Online Visibility looks like.  I guarantee you will learn key elements to grow your business.  And it is FREE.

Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to continue learning.

If your business needs help with social media marketing in McKinney, TX., please call us at (469) 907-1057.  Luce Media has deep expertise in Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing, Internet Marketing and is a well-established Digital Media Consultant in McKinney, TX.