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6 SEO Strategies And 3 Pillars To Help You Soar The SERP Ladder!

19 Jan

As the world welcomes the New Year and still plans for new resolutions, Google seems to be ready with its upgrades and strategies already. All the Search Engine Optimization practitioners out there need to upgrade their plans now. In 2017, the new word for SEO is ‘Trust.’ Yes! With Google focusing on relevancy-oriented search, trust is at the core of this approach without which, one is just not ‘relevant.’

Google SEO

What’s the challenge?

Well, the challenge is regarding visibility and trust, especially for those who are new. To garner trust, enhancing your visibility is the first thing you have to do. Think it simple: out of the billion posts in Google, if a reader doesn’t find you in the first place, expecting him or her to share your post is futile, isn’t it?

There’s a solution!

We have a solution, relax! SEO is the key here. As long as we adhere to Google’s rules, we can certainly expand our reach and gain profitability in this more competitive 2017. However, before jumping on to the latest SEO strategies, let’s check out the updates first.

The core aim of the search engine giant is to give the most relevant search results in the fastest possible time. Again, there have been updates in Google’s many algorithms, and it seems there is no stopping to Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates. The motive is to eradicate scams and boost user experience to the highest level.

Google’s new strategies are going to keep business owners on their toes for sure, as consumers today are smarter and know exactly what they require. Let’s have a look at the 6 major strategies to win over SEO in 2017.

Next Big Thing Creativity Trend Update

6 smart and strong SEO strategies for 2017

        1.   “Loading…”
Google is certainly not a place to test patience; the company is more concerned about user’s experience. So, first thing – increase your website’s page loading speed.

Strategy?

Varvy Page Speed tool, GTMetrix, Google’s Page Speed, are some of the tools that you can use.

        2.   Content marketing: Content is still on the throne!

In 2017, you just have to push up this factor. As Google says, “Create tremendously high-valued contents that will work as anchors for your website.”

So, focus on content marketing. The search engine recommends high trafficked sites like LinkedIn, Quora, WiseLike, etc. for content marketing that would drastically push you up the SERP.

Strategy?

  • Create keyword specific contents that are largely relevant
  • Put at least 1 link back to the main website (the primary domain)

        3.   Google – towards a mobile-only strategy
By now, you must have noticed that Google is gradually moving towards mobile only world. With their research showing a drastic rise in mobile searches, you need to optimize your website accordingly to be in pace with their changed focus.

Strategy?

  • Choose a responsive design for your website
  • Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) initiative is more focused on augmenting mobile loading time.

        4.   Engage more; socialize more

The next thing this search engine giant wants you to learn is – to engage more and be social. You need to build your reputation more strategically.

Strategy?

  • Share your content
  • Be interested in them whom you want to take attention towards you
  • Most importantly, add value to all your conversations

social

        5.   Videos – they cast that SEO magic

Who doesn’t know the popularity of YouTube! This proves clearly that video marketing can boost a content and hence, a website to a much higher level.

Strategy?

  • Create more informative videos
  • Go for something that stores a value for the people
  • Description of the video must be keyword optimized

        6.   Voice search

While this has already gained some popularity, 2017 is expecting to go beyond recognition of voice. As per data, around 56% of adults say, they enjoy voice search. And 55% of teenagers use this technology regularly.

Strategy?

SEO practitioners should not limit themselves to just text-based queries. Rather, they must scrutinize voice innovation and make necessary changes.

social

3 major pillars to dominate SERP in 2017

Apart from the above-mentioned strategies, there are three other factors (considered as the ‘pillars of trust’) that are integral to Google’s relevancy-oriented approach.

1st – Authority :

If you can link your site to those that are high profile, your website will be more trusted by Google.

2nd – Age :

This refers to the moment when Google has recognized your domain, i.e. the index age. Well, no shortcuts; you actually have to do some activity in your domain after purchasing it. Only then will Google notice you.

3rd – Content :

The readers are far away from these SEO, algorithm and such stuff. They are in the lookout for valuable contents. Create more of such contents.

Well, from all these above, we can conclude that 2017 would be big for us. To take on future challenges, be ready with these upcoming trends.

 

Mobile-First Index To Hit In 2017 – Should You Be Concerned?

19 Jan

Google Mobile

It was the year 2015 when Google first hit us with its mobile-friendly algorithm update. The next came in 2016 where mobile compatible sites became a bit more favorable while ranking in organic results. The next one was on air for quite some time now, and finally Google, through its blog, announced the arrival of its much-awaited and much-expected “mobile-first index.”

Should you panic?

And just like any other change, we follow our human instincts and take to the drawing board all panicky. After all, Google did mention that the algorithm will now look at mobile pages first and then decide where to place your site. But time and again, Paul Haahr and Gary Illyes (top Google guys), took to Twitter to assure us that this update is not much of a concern.

Why? Because if you already possess a mobile compatible page, no need to change anything. But if you don’t, the search algorithm will simply scan your desktop version and rank you. Mobile pages are not a necessity, but there is no harm in having one.

That’s a relief! So, should you sit back and do nothing about it? Of course not! This is a perfect opportunity to optimize your web page and gain on that SERP exponentially. A few tweaks on your existing page or a total revamp, whatever the case may be, should do the job for you.

Google analytics

Your course of action –

Think hard. When you surf anything with your mobile, what all do you expect from the site? Accordingly, design your page and make it live.

  • Make it load under 2 seconds and this comes directly from Maile Ohye. She stated that Google loads its results in less than half a second and look what it has done to this search engine in terms of popularity.
  • Skip the pop-ups initially and show content first. This will make the visitors stay on your page and decrease bounce rate.
  • Create short and crisp content with a lot of scrolling space. Somebody surfing through a phone does not expect long stories.
  • Optimize for “voice search” results. Make content like “groceries near me.” Such keyword searches have increased almost 34 times from 2015 and are definitely here to stay.
  • Be location specific. Your domain name, keywords and everything – optimize keeping in mind your area of business.
  • Be location specific. Your domain name, keywords and everything – optimize keeping in mind your area of business. Desktop didn’t have GPS to tell Google your location. Mobiles do, and Google already shows search results based on your position.

The trick here is that same old story that Google has been telling us since its inception – enhance user experience. Create responsive websites to be on the safe side. You may also consider creating an entirely new mobile site for Googlebot to crawl and users to visit. Do not block JavaScript or CSS or even images as phones now can display everything you have on your site and things will only get smarter.

Smarthpone Mobile Website

Parting Words –

The best way to deal with this scenario is to change with the flow. Instead of being all concerned, take this moment up to revisit your site’s SEO. And along with all these, to which most of the SEO veterans agree, make your site look good as well. Really, who wants to stick around in a dull like a web page, be it on mobile or desktop? You may argue that Google has nothing to do with looks but keep in mind the bounce rate factor.

So, buckle up, update yourself and keep all concerns out regarding “mobile-first index.” Trust me, when I say it’s more of an opportunity to climb the SERP ladder.

 

6 Local SEO Tips For A Place Right Below The Google Map

12 Jan

About Local SEO

Let’s look at what Google has done in 2015. Say you type “best florists” in the search bar, listings to your query will come in the following fashion:

  • First, you will see ads of businesses that paid Google to list their links at the top. It generally comes with an “AD” tag beside it.
  • Second, there is a Google map with florists marked on it. Note; the map is of your locality. This is followed by 3 names of local florists near you along with links to their websites or other contacts.
  • After this come the organic search results – best florist around the world or any highly searched blogs.

So, if you own a florist business and own a website, of course, your target should be to find a place in one of those 3 slots just below the map. You will want Google to locate you, and this will generate more traffic on your page than simply ranking 1 in organic results. This is “Local SEO” for you.

As a local business owner, you should optimize your page for Local SEO first and then focus on organic listings. Nearly 90% users hunting for “best florists” will be looking to buy flowers than simply reading a blog about it. So, hitting one of those 3 spots is definitely going to escalate your business and increase conversion rate.

Local-SEO-for-small-businesses

Here are a few tips for you to optimize your page for Local SEO. These come directly from experts with years of expertise and are clubbed together for you to scan through. Bring out your notebooks and write on.

    1. “There is no substitute for great content”

Talk about getting the basics right! This is the first and foremost thing that requires your attention. A convincing and subtle content go a long way to hold traffic to your page and Google will definitely recognize this. Before turning to any other factor, get your content right first.

    2. “Work on your NAP”

NAP – name, address and phone number of your business. Give a functional one on your website and maintain the same data all over. No one wants to visit your page and place orders without talking to you first. If NAP is authentic, Google will happily place you in the top 3.

    3. “A localized domain name goes a long way”

Chicagoflorist.com works better than “floristonline.com”. A domain name with a local identity makes you a bit more popular. Think like this, if you are on the lookout to buy flowers in Chicago, which of the 2 links will draw your attention first?

    4. “Create dedicated pages for multiple locations”

Boston, New York, Washington – create separate florist service pages for each location. If you are based in Chicago, Google is unlikely to display your page if you have one with an address of Chicago. However, if your stores are focused around Chicago in small municipalities; there is no need of extra expense.

    5. “Focus on local keywords”

Optimize your page based on the most searched local keywords. Check if people around your business are searching for simply “best florists” or “florists in Chicago” or may be “best florist Chicago”. Develop content accordingly and pray for that slot.

    6. “Add yourself to the map”

Do this positively when you frame your contact page. Having a location (an accurate one) builds trust in your visitors. Also, maintain uniformity about your contact details across Google Plus and other similar domains. The search engine looks into all these factors and then decides your spot.

google-my-business-local-success

And finally…

Get citations from other businesses around you. Say there is an event management service around, they will definitely require flowers. Ask them to link to your website and strike a deal. This is same as the backlinking concept that you have in organic SEO. The more the number of citations, the better you are to Google’s eyes. After all, it’s about 3 spots only below the map and competition is definitely stiff. Do these things well, and you can surely keep the online marketing part out of your checklist.

 

Tick These 4 Boxes To Reach The Backlink Magic Number

10 Jan

seo search

Almost all SEO guys with a thick black glass and a cool t-shirt will tell you that backlinks are important. The more the number, the better the ranking. Just then, another man comes in with a neatly parted hair and classy specs and warns you now about low-quality huge number of backlinks. In the end, you sit with your website, all confused as to what should be that magic number!

On top that that, there are issues about anchor texts, blog comments, in-page links and a whole of other SEO issues. A wrong advice can take your perfect website downhill for no fault in your technicalities. To prevent such a mishap, here are 4 back-linking boxes that you need to tick to reach the magic number and ignore whatever other stories you may hear about these.

     1.   Links of every quality matter

Let’s talk about Google crawler first before explaining what I just wrote. At the end of the day, Google is ultimately a program. Few lines of codes (I am under-exaggerating here) framed to crawl through links and check their existence. If it finds a hit, crawler increases its count by one.

Can it differ a quality site from a normal one? To some extent but not totally. In simple words, if your site has 5 top-quality links and your competitor has 2 along with 10 average quality ones, Google will rank you lower than your rival. The crawler will see the count as long as things are kept relevant.

     2.   “No follow” tag do count

Now you may definitely argue – how is this possible? It’s like, you are asking Google’s crawler not to look at the links that you tag with “no follow,” yet it will help you rank? Well, how can we judge what the algorithm thinks or does but stats have shown that sites with a considerable amount of no-follows have ranked pretty well.

So, if you are getting links that are relevant to your content to some extent, trying using “no-follow” instead of disavowing. Do not keep every link that you receive as Penguin does not like to scroll through over-optimized pages.

Nofollow Tags

     3.   Link to one page help all

Yes, you do not need a link to every page of your site. Think like this – if a user is driven to your blog section, through some incoming link, and finds your service and content convincing, won’t he/she stick around to check the other pages out?
And this where most people miss out. You will simply over-optimize your page by creating links everywhere and lose rankings unnecessarily. Focus on good content and a user-friendly site – bounce rate factors will come in to save your low-links ordeal.

     4.   Your mentions need links

Do not sit back and stay happy just because somebody somewhere has mentioned your name on the internet. This, my friend, will never boost your site. Google is not that smart yet to relate your name with your web page. It will treat your mention as a simple text and totally ignore your page’s existence.

So, call up the people using your name and ask them to link. Even bio-links come in handy as these are generally decent content with a moderate number of traffic. Be it blog posts or forums, direct that link to your site (Again, keep relevance in mind).

Man With Glass Search

And all these are based on stats and facts. Of course, Google will never tell us what to follow and what not to, but you can stay on these lines and work your way up the ladder. The truth is – there is no magic number! Get as many backlinks as you can, filter them regularly and check for relevance. This way, you stay ahead in the game and hover in that safe zone against Google’s “ban hammer.”

 

That One Thing Preventing Your SEO-Optimized Page To Rank!

04 Jan

seo organic search

So, you have got your web page SEO optimized, followed all the webmaster guidelines and have made Google very happy. Congratulations! You can now expect to hit the first few pages of this search engine soon. But can you start partying yet and sit back relaxed? Well, there is one more factor that Google considers. It is known as Click Through Rate. To put it simply, a user has to actually click on your website first and then find that excellent content that you have in store. If they don’t, all your work will be for nothing.

And what will motivate the user to click?

It’s your Meta Title and Meta Description. Let’s face it; these are the first two things any user will look at and read before deciding to enter your page. Even if you have somehow ranked 1 in Google, there is no guarantee that the user is bound to click on your page and not move on to your competitor.

Through these, you declare your presence; you proclaim your service and convince people that you have the solution to their problem. Now if you are looking for lasagna cooking recipe, will you enter a site titled just with “Lasagna cooking recipe”? You would, but what if the next one says “5 simple steps to cook lasagna”? I would definitely go for the second.

So, what should you do?

Simple – create interesting and catchy Meta Titles and declare your site’s intent in the Meta Description. Google has recently increased title tag width to 600px. This gives you more freedom to frame moderately long and compelling titles.

  • Include a keyword in the Meta Title. Maybe towards the start. Continuing with the lasagna example, you can write something like – “Lasagna Cooking recipe – 5 simple ways to win hearts.” Sounds great, right?
  • State the number of steps or items which you have included in your page, like “5 simple steps.” This quantifies things and plays on the psychology of the reader.
  • Mention dates if possible. Go with something like – “Chart-topping lasagna restaurants in January 2017”.

As for descriptions:

  • Elaborate on the purpose of the page and keep things crisp. Persuade readers to click on your link as you have the answers.
  • Keep in mind that keywords are not mandatory here, but there is no harm in including one. Focus on content more when you are typing a description.

Simple steps but following them will increase your organic CTRs at an exponential rate. These are the entrance to your page, so it’s almost a necessity to make them fancy and attractive. On another note, there is one more thing that has recently gained focus and draws a lot of user attention. It’s called “rich snippets.”

So, do not miss out on this opportunity. A rating figure accompanied by price in your HTML code may catch a user’s attention almost instantly. Combine all three mentioned here and never go out of the first page.

Final Words –

Tick this final box in the right way. Your organic CTR is sure to fall if the title is unattractive. Even if you have great content and a fantastic page, just a 70 character title can drive you to page 50. Keep updating your site regularly and check the progress in Search Console. Frame an attractive Title and remain at number 1.

 

3 SEO Things To Look Out For In 2017 – “Mobile, Mobile And Mobile”

03 Jan

That’s what John Mueller advised us to follow as we all stepped into a new year. Google has been continuously dropping hints about this towards the end of 2016 and finally announced the live test of its “mobile first index.” Although the search engine giant stresses on the fact that things won’t require much of a change when it comes to your site’s SEO, a different filtering process definitely calls for a few modifications.

Macbook iPhone Technology

Mobile First Index – the algo

This is no rocket science! As the number of searches on mobiles and tablets are increasing by the day, Google will now hunt for a mobile version of your site and rank your page accordingly. If you don’t have one, it will simply move on to your desktop version. This is what mobile first means.

So, if you have a:

  • Mobile friendly site which a perfect screen-fit
  • Fast loading page (in about 2-3 seconds)
  • Optimized content suitable for mobile devices

You shall do just fine in 2017. If not, get to the drawing board and bring out your pen and papers. This is the next big thing in the SEO field.

mobil first index

What all do you need to keen mind?

The best way to answer this is to place ourselves in the user’s seats. Google’s priority 1 is to enhance user experience and you need to follow the same lines. While most of the design features remain same, a few things here and there are required:

  • No pop-ups –
    Or keep it to a minimum. How would you feel if you have to close 10 windows before getting to the content?
  • Leave space –
    Nobody likes that you click on one and the other thing opens. So, make your tabs large and leave ample space.
  • No Flash –
    Current mobile browsers do not support this plugin. Employ HTML5 and don’t let your users miss out on anything.
  • Allow CSS and JavaScript –
    Almost all phones are smart now and you need not worry about these anymore. Google wants to see these on your page, and it’s useless blocking them out

Social Media says that Google won’t be releasing any FAQs for its mobile first index algorithm now as it’s still in its developing and testing phase. So, we are somewhat left to our intuition to optimize our sites for mobile.

More from Google –

Macbook iPhone Technology

But the search engine’s men have been active on Twitter and have answered to a host of questions from enthusiasts.

  •  On-site optimization –
    “With a crawler, remember to test your mobile version first and then move on to the desktop format. Understand on-page SEO and focus on the mobile version.” – John Mueller
  • On its launch date –
    “Everything is in the testing phase. We are still months away from the launch date.” – Gary Illyes
  • On Separate Indexes –
    “A single index for both desktop and mobile. Possibility of two separate ones can be nullified now.” – Paul Haahr
  • On things being different now –
    “Mobile version will be the first to be looked upon now. So, only focusing on the desktop page and ignoring your mobile site is not recommended.” – Gary Illyes

“Mobile First” will be a global thing and won’t be limited to any specific country. So, no matter where you are, start modifying your site in this New Year.

Parting thoughts –

There is no need to hit the panic button yet. If you already have a responsive design for your site, you are already a step ahead. If not, modify things a bit. Most ranking features are likely to remain the same and Panda will supposedly look at you in the same way. As of now, Google will try this out on a handful of users now and then increase the number. Make the necessary modifications and stay ahead of the pack.