While COVID-19 has hardly been the first pandemic to ever shake the world, it is the first in recent history. What has made COVID-19 so exceptional is its fast infection rate and deadly symptoms. This has resulted in the systematic closing of businesses across the world. Those who were strictly brick and mortar businesses are feeling the strain the most. Yet, like their competitors who choose to venture into online markets as well, it isn’t too late for them to start earning profit. The secret rests in properly understanding and implementing SEO.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
For those who are new to the game, SEO, or search engine optimization, is the careful use of keywords and other content to score well on Google’s search engine algorithm. An example might be if someone were to search for “HVAC companies near me.” When inputted into Google’s search query, a list appears that best fits the results that the user is looking for.
That list wasn’t generated randomly. It was compiled from a careful set of algorithms that Google keeps secret. However, content creators and SEO specialists have uncovered most of the secrets in determining how to better your SEO score.
Why Does SEO Matter in a Pandemic?
As a business owner, your first thought may be to shore up expenses and wait through the pandemic. However, you could actually be injuring yourself further. Instead of saving money, it’s a better idea to invest in the right kind of resource. SEO is that resource. Business may have stopped in the physical realm, but it’s still alive and kicking in the virtual world.
By creating a website for your business and implementing SEO, you can not only drive new customers to your business during a pandemic, but you can also increase your traffic during a normal market. SEO can help save your business by bringing it the attention of more people. The pandemic hasn’t stopped people from wanting to shop and purchase services. It’s merely limited the ways in which they can make those purchases and order those services.
By using SEO, you can bring your business to their attention. You may experience more growth than you’ve seen in years.
How to Get Started with SEO in a Pandemic
It’s never been easier to begin SEO practices while the pandemic is brewing. People are looking for more information about the virus. If you want to get started with creating content that will drive your business forward, then use the pandemic as a source to bring attention to your business.
Contact the Professionals
SEO can be the key to surviving any pandemic. Utilize SEO professionals to capitalize today. Our SEO experts in Philadelphia & Jenkintown are ready to help your business shift with the times to keep the customers coming.
How BERT Can Impact Your SEO Score
Google regularly unleashes new pieces of software that impact how its search engine performs. One of the most exciting, for many software engineers, is BERT. Short for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, it encompasses many different functions. Primarily, it helps search engines understand complex word searches that rely heavily on word context. For those who write SEO or have SEO involved with their website, you might wonder how BERT is going to impact your SEO score. Here’s what you need to know.
How BERT Helps Searches
Because BERT can read a search query in two different directions – as opposed to other search algorithms – it is more capable of reading and comprehending what the sentence actually reads. For example, there are many words in the English language that have two meanings. Those words can even adopt different meanings when used with other certain words.
Machines have a difficult time understanding this because they don’t always have the full context. Unidirectional search engine algorithms are only capable of reading a search query in one direction. This doesn’t allow them to comprehend context because they’re unable to refer to an earlier part of the sentence after completing the entire sentence.
BERT can. While BERT is still learning context and ambiguous words, it stands at a much greater chance of being able to accumulate answers for sentences that use natural conversational speech.
Transformers is another crucial part of BERT’s design. Transformers deal with keeping track of the ‘who’s somebody’ in conversation. When having a normal conversation with someone, you may refer to a friend of a friend. That ‘who’s somebody’ can be difficult for humans to keep track of throughout the flow of conversation. For a machine, it’s even more complex.
However, because BERT’s software revolves around keeping track of transformers, it’s better at understanding exactly what the conversation is about.
It May Impact International SEO
One benefit of BERT is that it can actually correlate certain words in a different language while compiling a search for another language. Even though BERT may not understand the foreign language, per se, its system and deep-learning allow it to make those connections.
This is great for websites that use international SEO. They can use certain keywords that will help them rank higher on sites in different countries.
SEO Overall Impact
Is BERT going to impact SEO as a whole? Yes and no. While your overall SEO score may not change drastically, the more that BERT learns, the more you’ll have to pay attention to your SEO. This is because BERT may be able to better tell if a source that you link to is relevant or not.
Because it understands context better, it may start to realize that the sites you’re using for your links are actually not relevant at all. This may mean that you just need to hone your skills in nuance SEO writing or just make sure that you’re always linking to credible sources that Google enjoys the most.
Otherwise, you shouldn’t expect BERT to impact your score too much. As the software becomes more intelligent, however, it may eventually have a larger impact on SEO scores. As such, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how BERT develops.
Contact SEO Locale for expert SEO services today. Having issues with the BERT update? Need a white label SEO partner, we can help!
You may be an experienced digital marketer or a novice, but there are several ways to improve your auditing skills for Search Engine Optimization. I’ve been in this space for 16 years now and had to deal with over 1,000 website problems. Personally, I enjoy the auditing aspect of SEO, it is always changing and new issues arise over time. Your SEO auditing process should differ from platform to platform and campaign to campaign. For example, a local SEO and national SEO auditing process will be very different. Generally speaking I will provide you some of the key components of an SEO audit process. Let’s get started with these quick tips on how to improve your SEO auditing skills.
Start with an Auditing Tool
First, start with an auditing tool like SEMRush. There are several auditing tools out there to get you started. It is a simple process of getting initiated without any expert assistance. This will be able to crawl your entire website quickly without you missing thousands of issues. We’re constantly fixing website issues month over month, so make sure you provide your fixes in priority order during your audit process. An example of an SEO audit below is from SEMRush for one of our clients. As you can see there are false positives. We tackle items by priority starting with errors and work our way into warnings and notices over time.
Manually Inspect & Browse Your Website
There are several items we manually inspect while an SEO auditing tool is running in the background. Look for the XML sitemap. Find pages, posts and demo content that may have been left in there from the development of the website. Run through the website and see if you can find an HTML sitemap as well, is this website easily crawl-able? Are you having a hard time finding pages? If you are you will want to increase the crawl-ability of the website. Right-click on Google Chrome “inspect”, click on the console tab, do you see any errors or warnings? Fix them. We run into this problem and usually have issues with websites not being fully secure because they are calling http:// rather than https:// on an element on the website.
You could click on the not secure notice next to the website address, on top of your browser, and it will explain why the website is not fully secure. Example below:
Search Google for Your Main Keyword or Brand
During the SEO auditing process, we want to spot any inconsistencies or issues when websites are being crawled. Manually searching for a keyword you may rank for, or search your brand, and check if you see the intended meta description. If you do not, go and check your robots.txt file or see if there is a NoIndex tag implemented on the website.
Run Site: in Google Search
Sometimes our manual process or tools will not pick up some pages so running site: urlofyourwebsite.com in Google search could result in some other findings that can be holding back your website’s SEO.
SEO Auditing Process
Now I only covered only about 1/10th of the entire SEO auditing process, but our workflows and SEO auditing process shifts based on the website and platform. Auditing a website on Shopify versus WordPress can differ due to the structure. If you are interested in a free website audit you can contact us today, no catch! If you own an agency and want to start a white label SEO package with us, you can!
Recently we’ve been getting slammed with new inbound leads at SEO Locale. The team is still working through the shutdown. Sadly we have not seen our team members for almost a month now. As a company we had our setup prepared for a catastrophic event like this. Our team members were up and running immediately after we shut the offices down.
Luckily in our industry the internet is still turned on. Online shopping is increasing and businesses are starting to thrive more with our digital marketing product. We’ve had clients that had to shift their marketing and SEO to be geared towards the virus. The SEO Locale team is moving fast on these shifts for all of our clients.
Marc and myself sat down and evaluated some campaigns since the shutdown period. The statistics below are prime examples of how SEO still works during these stressful and tough times for business owners.
Results measured starting March 15, 2020 – April 2, 2020 vs March 15, 2019 – April 2, 2019
✔️ eCommerce Client +467.51% Increase in Revenue
✔️ Another eCommerce Client +2,298.77% Increase in Revenue
✔️ Local Franchise Gym +181.24% Increase in Leads
✔️ Service Industry Business (B2B) +492% Increase in New Users
✔️ Local Law Firm +389.62% Increase in New Users
✔️ B2C Client +129.57% Increase in New Users
🏆 Beat your competition with SEO. Our clients are seeing massive results during these tough times.
Here are a few marketing tips we compiled for a pandemic like this and how you can stay ahead of your competition:
- Is your product or service in high demand for your customers. If so look at your approach to see if you can make adjustments to increase your SEO visibility.
- Create a notification pop to alert your customers you are still operating.
- Start creating posts on social media that help your customers understand they can still use your services. Most people are bored at home and browsing the internet and social media.
- Increase your brand awareness. This is the perfect time to jump in front of your potential customers with your brand.
- Start a community involvement initiative. Provide help of those in need. Don’t use this as a sales tactic, but getting involved will help the community come together.
- Start increasing your conversion rate with new marketing tactics. Focus on your business during these times and beat your local competition.
You need SEO during the Coronavirus pandemic now more than ever. Your business must operate from home if you want to do your part to keep the community safe, and you should reach out to people who need your business more now than they ever have. Even if your business is shutdown during the Coronavirus pandemic, it is not a time to consider shutting down your digital marketing. Your business needs to recover after this is over. Small businesses will be getting a ton of support from communities throughout the world, as they understand the difficulties these businesses are going through. Consider all the things that you can do to reach the public during this challenging time.
Your Company Offers Essential Services
If your company offers essential services like HVAC, plumbing, or cleaning, you should increase your SEO presence. You want your customers to know that they can reach out to you even though the pandemic is still a real threat. When you work with us, we will help you find the customers that need you most. Businesses are turning off their paid advertising and SEO during this time, so it is a perfect opportunity for you to gain more business and beat your competition during the Coronavirus chaos. SEO Locale are experts that will help you target businesses that are working from home and need your services.
Your Company is Shutdown? No problem…
If your business was forced to shutdown, this is the perfect opportunity to advertise your business. You may think it’s crazy because everyone is at home, but the consumers will be bored on their phones and surfing the web. It’s the perfect opportunity to get your brand out there, and when they are ready to make that purchase, you will be in the forefront of their minds. We understand it is a scary time, as no small business owner has an end game during this time. Our COO Nick Quirk spoke to The Intelligencer about the unknown for small business owners.
How Can You Help Companies Get Back To Work?
If your company can help people get back to work, you should market yourself using this angle. You will see a change in the way that your website gets traffic because customers are searching for emergency services. We will help you add emergency or urgent services to your online marketing strategy. We will help you create a new list of keywords that should be used during the pandemic. The COVID-19 will be around the world for some time. Your business needs to stay on track with online marketing while people are isolating themselves. Keyword search volumes will be increasing, and your brand needs to be in front of those people.
Cleanup And Recovery Services
If you are a business that helps companies recover from disasters, we will help add the Coronavirus or the pandemic to your marketing strategy. Customers are looking for businesses like yours that can help them recover.
Helping Companies Operate Today
You might manage a company that helps companies create software or apps to manage their business. It is easy for you to add the pandemic and other emergency-oriented keywords into your digital strategy. Your customers will learn that you can help them change the way they do business, and they can continue to operate as they normally would.
Add More Information To Your Website
While we can help you with your online content strategy, we must add all this information into your website. Your website can become a hub for emergency information during the Coronavirus pandemic, and we will help you add a special notice to the website that tells your customers how you are responding to the pandemic. If you have crafted a quality response to this emergency, customers will trust you more.
Conclusion – Don’t Put Your Guard Down, It Is Time To Beat Your Competition
We will help you change your SEO plan during the Coronavirus pandemic. You can show your customers how you offer emergency services, and we will implement that strategy, utilizing keywords that will reach customers in need. Even if your business has a mandatory shutdown, we can still help you market yourself both during and after the pandemic. We’re here to help businesses get out of this chaotic situation that no business owner could have foreseen or planned for. We’re a premier digital marketing agency in Philadelphia with a plethora awards and accolades to prove our success to the business world.
What Type of Monthly Reporting Does Your SEO Company Offer? We Break Down Our Proprietary Reporting.
All of our clients at SEO Locale get monthly reports they can understand. We don’t send you hundreds of pages with numbers. We show you the growth or possible decrease in traffic, we don’t need to always tell you a good story. We’re pro-active in our approach and have the problem solved before your traffic takes a down fall. Learn more about our monthly reporting from Mark Rippons at SEO Locale.
- What is Monthly reporting? Monthly report is showing you data from month over month, quarter over quarter, and year over year if there is data to compare to.
- What is the client portal? The client portal is a new system that we developed from the ground up, put a lot of man hours in, to make it easier for you to understand where your keywords are ranking, and the highlights of your website traffic.
- Why does having this portal set you aside from other SEO companies? This portal is unlike anything else you will see from any other SEO company. Nick our COO took the time to build this system from the ground up. This is a one-off portal that no other SEO company has or is able to duplicate. It’s very simple to use and easy to understand.
- How do I know who will be working with my account? In the client portal at the top you see the team at SEO Locale that is dedicated to your account every day. Someone is in the account everyday checking where your ranking, checking goal completions and making sure that everything is on the up and up.
- I have an e-commerce website. Will this show data for that? Yes, we just need eCommerce data tracking set up in Google Analytics, we can show you how many transactions you had, the sources that the transactions are coming from. We can show if the sales are coming from direct traffic, Google Organic traffic, and Google PPC.
- What Platforms will this track? The portal will track all platforms, we can track Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. We can traffic all platforms that are bringing traffic to your website.
- Can I see how my keywords are ranking and which ones are successful? We have talked about the client portal, we also have the client dashboard that will allow you to see where specific keywords are ranking on Google Desktop, Google Mobile, Bing, and Local Map Pack.
- What do you do with this information to improve my website? We use this information to see how where we can push the campaign, one you have so many keywords rankings on the first page of Google we add more keywords to the campaign to keep the campaign moving forward. We don’t want the campaign to stall or get stale, this can turn into revamping on-page recs and adding more content.
- Will I get to visually see my position changes? You can see this on your client dashboard, you will be able to see how many positions your keywords increase or decrease. You can see how your keywords have increased since you have been with us.
- I’m already a client, is this the same as the dashboard? No, the client portal is brand new for 2020. The client portal is easier to understand and easier on the eyes. The dashboard gives you more detailed technical aspects for audits on the website, specific keyword rankings, backlinks profile. The portal is to tell you that you have this many keywords on the 1st page of Google, this many on the 2nd page of Google, and this many on the 3rd page of Google. The portal will also show you the traffic your website saw for the previous month and this breaks down direct traffic, organic traffic.
- How do I access my client portal? Once we have added our portal email to the analytics for each account as a read/analyze only access. You simply go to SEOLocaleReports.com and login with the provided username and password.
Backlinks are still one of the most popular ways to get traffic back to your website. If the site that publishes your guest post article is high-quality, is relevant to your own content and is already ranking in Google, then you could expect some targeted referral traffic from the guest post within the first week of publication. And if that guest post begins to rank higher in search results, then it will get more traffic and will push more of those readers to your site over time.
But the best part of guest posting is that the links themselves will help your website improve in Google rankings and get more search traffic in the long run.
Unfortunately, a lot of marketers end up getting penalized by Google and hurt their website traffic levels because they don’t do guest posts the right way.
Why Does Google Sometimes Penalize Guest Posts?
Google hates it when people use spam practices and black hat SEO to trick them into sending free, organic search traffic. Many bloggers and marketers plagiarize content or write content that is stuffed with awkward keywords just to fool search engines. But those types of articles don’t offer any real value to the readers.
Some content marketers will also publish guest posts on low-quality private blog networks and on sites that are not related to their own website. For example, they’ll put a guest article about weight loss on a blog that has nothing to do with health and fitness – and then they’ll link to a landing page that sells electronic dog collars. That’s ridiculous, and it offers no value to the readers. It also won’t convert very well.
If Google keeps ranking spam content like this, then nobody will want to use Google anymore when searching for high-quality content. That’s why Google penalizes these sites.
So, to do guest posting the right way and to avoid Google penalties, you don’t want to use these outdated, spammy black hat SEO tactics.
How to Avoid Google Penalties on Guest Post Articles
- Post guest articles on high-quality websites and blogs
- Make sure content and links are relevant to your landing page content
- Use a variety of anchor texts with long-tail keywords
- Write original, high-quality guest articles that people will want to read
- Make sure your landing pages are also of high quality
- Use white hat SEO techniques as much as possible
Some SEO bloggers out there will tell you that guest posting is dead and isn’t worth doing anymore. But they are just wrong. Many marketers today use guest posts to drive tons of traffic to their landing pages and blogs. When done the right way, guest post articles provide value to their readers, and they help your site rank higher as the months roll by.
Thanks to the incredible dynamic advancement of the internet we are experiencing! Today, social media marketing has become one of the most seamless strategies for boosting an organization’s sales trend. It’s only requiring an active social media account with sizable number potential client’s followers.
In recent times, Instagram has become the most sort social media platform by major brands as it has attracted massive users. Hence, you can use Instagram for your SEO marketing through:
- Hashtag Optimization – In most instances, Instagram recommends online sellers to research trending hashtags before bulking their content with irrelevant hashtags. Thus, for your case, once you have created a list of trending hashtags, it’s commendable you choose the ones matching with your content. Then after that, you can use them to optimize your content freely. The relevance of your content trending hashtags is that they attract traffic, by creating brand awareness.
- Engage Your Audience – Instagram followers enjoy having real-time responses. Thus, active participation in comments, contests, and hashtag threads is not an option if you are desirous of boosting your sales on Instagram. It’s recommendable you showcase creativity and smartness by posting appealing photos of your product. Sooner than later, you will realize Instagram followers are gracious enough to return the favor by tagging you along with relevant opportunities.
- Always Add Stories About Your Product– Instagram has a stories feature that allows posting short videos and photos for 24 hours. Therefore, it’s always recommendable to use it in promoting your products and upcoming launches. An upside of using this feature is allowing your audiences to visit your web page by swiping up the stories. You can promptly respond to messages directly from the story, thus reducing response delays. Besides, from the stories, you can get real-time feedback from potential clients by creating polls.
- Regulate Posting Frequency – Posting too much content within short duration, for example, after every few minutes, looks spammy. If you want to show your creativity, we recommend you use reasonable intervals to make your product posts. Instagram followers get bored quickly, especially when they get the same content from the same person frequently. They love some space to navigate other works. To increase your product relevance, always schedule you’re posting frequency. Each time you post, make it phenomenal for your audience to always look forward to the next post.
- Use Local Optimization – Instagram users search products using locations since they love buying them within their localities. Hence, you can take advantage of this by using location tags. Correctly tag the location you are selling the products for audience to reach your business easily. Correct use of Instagram for SEO marketing is promising as it provides you with real customer conversion rates. However, if you cannot utilize this social media space effectively, it can be time-wasting and disappointing. Ensure you have relevant hacks before using this valuable tool for your business SEO marketing.
Google recently announced that pages that earn a featured snippet will no longer repeat as a regular listing on the first page search results.
If you’re unfamiliar with what featured snippets are, they’re selected search results that are featured on top of Google’s organic results, right below the ads. Featured snippets are in a box and aim to answer the user’s question right away, which is great for brand exposure in search results.
This change not only affects featured snippet owners, but those in competition with featured snippet owners. For featured snippet owners, this change means that their URL will only appear once on the first page of Google, instead of getting two listings. For those who aren’t utilizing featured snippets, this means that their competition will no longer show up twice.
Although Google is prohibiting a business from appearing twice on the first page of results if they have a featured snippet, they can still show up at the top of the second page.
The featured snippets will be counted as one of the ten organic listings shown on the first page of Google results. By keeping an eye out on rankings and traffic to your site, you should be able to get a read on how your business is adjusting to this change.
Featured Results on Google
Potential clients approach us with wanting a featured results on Google. It is possible to get a featured result, but more importantly ranking for the 1st page is ideal. Position zero is what we call the featured snippet or result with Google. Google made a change to position zero that can be clicked on less and we’ve watched some clients lose traffic due to this. Give us a call or contact us if you are looking for ways to get a featured result on Google, we can help!
As a leader in national SEO and digital marketing we leverage the Google Search Console for data within our future strategy for our clients. The Google Search Console is a combination of Google SEO tools. Google Search Console has different data and configuration controls that help boost your website. There are also multiple visitor metrics. The Search Console gives you an insight into Google’s opinion of your website. You can check your site for any errors or broken pages. You can also receive messages from Google concerning your website. You’ll be notified if there is a potential security issues or malware outbreak. You can also use Google Search Console to add deep linking features to your app. Here is a look at some of the additional ways that Google Search Console can assist your digital marketing efforts.
Site Links help people browse your website. The Site Links are automatically generated by Google. They are considered shortcuts to direct pages.
The Search Traffic feature gives you access to important information such as the number of impressions, the keyword search phrases Google served your site and your average search engine rankings for a specific keyword. You can also view your hidden link structure.
You can view analytics that show how your website is performing based on the organic search traffic generated through Google. You’ll receive access to the most popular devices, pages, and queries. Google Search Console also allows you to segment traffic through using different filters. You can segment your organic traffic based on your business objectives. You can use the analytics feature to view new opportunities and trends.
View the Internal Links breakdown to look at the pages with the most links from inside of your website. If the impressions are consistent, but you are noticing a lack of clicks, that is a sign that something is wrong. Test out some new description tags.
The Content Keyword feature lets you view the most popular keywords founds on your website. This helps you ensure that the vision of your website content according to Google aligns with your small business objectives.
The Crawl Stats feature allows you to view the number of pages during the allowable reporting period of around 3 months. Analyze the Crawl Stats to identify website performance issues.
When you go to the Search Traffic section, you’ll be able to view the top linked pages. Check to see if the listed content is trending. If the content is currently in demand, use it to connect with bloggers and other influencers.