SEO Articles

How to duplicate a post in WordPress, plus 4 reasons why!

How to duplicate a post in WordPress, plus 4 reasons why!

If you write content in WordPress, duplicating a post can come in quite handy. It can save you a lot of valuable time to clone a post and adjust the content, instead of starting from scratch with every post you write. Fortunately, cloning a post becomes very easy with the Yoast Duplicate post plugin. In this article, you can read how to use it and we’ll discuss 4 everyday situations in which you might want to use it.

How to duplicate a post in WordPress

One of the newest additions to our Yoast stable is the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin. This simple but effective plugin helps your duplicate or clone a post in a few simple steps:

Install the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin

If you don’t have the plugin yet, simply go to Plugins in the backend of your WordPress site and install Yoast Duplicate Post. Not sure how to do this? This article explains how to install a plugin.

Click on Posts

After you’ve installed and activated the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin, you’re good to go. When you want to duplicate a post, go to your post overview where you’ll see all your posts listed. Find the post you want to clone:

Hover over the post you’d like to clone

If you hover your mouse over the post you’d like to clone, you’ll see some options appear under the post title:

Click on Clone post

When you want to duplicate your post, simply click “Clone” or “New Draft”. Both functions will clone your post. If you click on “New Draft” the clone will open directly so you can start working in it immediately. If you click “Clone” a duplicate of your post will appear as a draft post in the list:

Rename the clone

To prevent confusion, it’s best to rename your duplicate post right away. You can do this by clicking on the post and editing the title there. Or you can click on “Quick Edit” in the post overview and edit the title in this input field:

4 reasons to duplicate or clone a post

There are several reasons why you’d want to create a clone of an existing post. There might be more than 4 reasons, but here we’d like to highlight the reasons that are recognizable for most of us. Of course, you don’t want to publish the exact same or very similar content as that might confuse search engines. So, in what situations should you to use it?

1. Extensive updates on existing posts and pages

Keeping your content fresh and up to date is a sensible thing to do. You don’t want to show visitors outdated or incorrect information. Also, search engines prefer to serve users content that is regularly updated and accurate. Sometimes, updating is just a matter of changing a sentence here and there or fixing a typo, which you can easily do in an existing post. But if it needs more work, for instance, a complete rewrite of multiple paragraphs, you might want to work on this in a clone.

Working in a clone has a couple of advantages:

it allows you to adjust what’s needed, save it, re-read it, and correct it if necessary before your changes go live;you can preview your post and see exactly what it looks like; you can share the preview with others before you publish the changes.

When you’re sure the post is ready for publication, copy the content of the clone into the existing post and hit update. That way you’ll keep the old URL. If you do want to publish the clone instead, make sure to delete the old post and create a redirect!

2. Scheduled updates

In some cases, you don’t want to publish changes right away. You’ll have to wait until, for instance, a product is launched or an event took place. If you have a cloned post to work in, you can perfectly prepare the changes and just copy the content or push the post live (don’t forget to redirect!) when the time is there. This will save you a lot of last-minute work and editing.

3. Merges of multiple posts

Large sites often have lots of content. Inevitably, the content you publish might become more alike over time. We notice this ourselves as we write a lot about content optimization. Before you know it, you’ll have multiple posts on how to optimize a blog post. Is this a bad thing? Well, it might be, if you start competing with yourself in the search engines. We call this keyword cannibalization. We have a complete article on how to find and fix cannibilization in a smart way. 

If you have posts that are very similar and compete for a top ranking in the search results, you’re better off merging them into one complete and high-quality post. In order to do so, you can check how these similar posts are doing, which one gets the most traffic and ranks highest. This is the preferred post or URL to keep. 

When you take a closer look at the other post you might find interesting stuff in there that your high-performing post is missing. Then, of course, add it! This might be quite a puzzle though, and that’s where duplicating your post comes in. If you create a clone, you can take a good look at both posts, take the best out of both of them and merge them into one awesome and complete post. When you’re done, copy the content from the clone into the best-performing URL and don’t forget to redirect the post you’re not keeping! 

4. Reusing a format

Especially in eCommerce, you might have a certain format for a product page. But also, for a series of posts on your blog, help pages on your site, or events, you might like to stick to a certain format. If you’re using a format you’re happy with, you can use the clone function to duplicate the page with the right format. Delete the content you shouldn’t keep and just fill the post with the content about other products, help info, or events. It’s as easy as that, and a huge time saver.

What do you use it for?

Do you already use the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin? We’d like to know what situations you use it in! As we’re continuously improving the plugin, we love to hear how you use it and what features could be useful to add or improve. So please share your thoughts here!

Read more: about the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin »

The post How to duplicate a post in WordPress, plus 4 reasons why! appeared first on Yoast.

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Update to Aggregate Lighthouse Reporter

Update to Aggregate Lighthouse Reporter

Hey everyone!

It’s been a hot minute since I posted so just wanted to quickly come in here and share an update we made to a free tool.

A while back we released a tool that would allow you to aggregate Lighthouse reports by template and visualize and report on assets across sites and at the template/page level in Google Data Studio. Sounds pretty cool right? You can read about it here and check out the GitHub repo here.

Shortly after that Google released their Core Web Vitals and included them in a release of Lighthouse. So here we are. We have updated our repo to include Lighthouse 6.0 (this is a copy of our production repo so it will automatically update.)

That means you can get all these beautiful visualizations of Core Web Vitals and a few other new things:


You can check out an example report to play around with here (sorry, not sorry Waste Management). And in case you missed it the first time the GitHub repo is at the big button below

Check it out on GitHub

The post Update to Aggregate Lighthouse Reporter appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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How to Increase Website Traffic by 1,070% (SEO Case Study)

Today I’m going to show you how to increase website traffic by 1,070%. This growth is from a B2C niche website we launched in 2018. Let’s dive right in. 1. Ignore Search Volume (Sometimes) There is an untapped and uncompetitive world for keywords with no search volume. You have to remember that search volume is …

Read moreHow to Increase Website Traffic by 1,070% (SEO Case Study)

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Let’s Make Money: 4 Tactics for Agencies Looking to Succeed – Best of Whiteboard Friday

Let’s Make Money: 4 Tactics for Agencies Looking to Succeed – Best of Whiteboard Friday

Posted by rjonesx.

We spend a lot of time discussing SEO tactics, but in a constantly changing industry and especially in times of uncertainty, the strategies agencies should employ in order to see success deserve more attention. In this popular (and still relevant) Whiteboard Friday, Russ Jones discusses four essential success tactics that’ll ultimately increase your bottom line. 

Russ also delved into the topic of profitability in his MozCon Virtual presentation this year. To watch his and our other amazing speaker presentations, you can purchase access to the 2020 video bundle here.  

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans. I am Russ Jones, and I can’t tell you how excited I am for my first Whiteboard Friday. I am Principal Search Scientist here at Moz. But before coming to Moz, for the 10 years prior to that, I was the Chief Technology Officer of a small SEO agency back in North Carolina. So I have a strong passion for agencies and consultants who are on the ground doing the work, helping websites rank better and helping build businesses.

So what I wanted to do today was spend a little bit of time talking about the lessons that I learned at an agency that admittedly I only learned through trial and error. But before we even go further, I just wanted to thank the folks at Hive Digital who I learned so much from, Jeff and Jake and Malcolm and Ryan, because the team effort over time is what ended up building an agency. Any agency that succeeds knows that that’s part of it. So we’ll start with that thank-you.

But what I really want to get into is that we spend a lot of time talking about SEO tactics, but not really about how to succeed in an industry that changes rapidly, in which there’s almost no certification, and where it can be difficult to explain to customers exactly how they’re going to be successful with what you offer. So what I’m going to do is break down four really important rules that I learned over the course of that 10 years. We’re going to go through each one of them as quickly as possible, but at the same time, hopefully you’ll walk away with some good ideas. Some of these are ones that it might at first feel a little bit awkward, but just follow me.

1. Raise prices

The first rule, number one in Let’s Make Money is raise your prices. Now, I remember quite clearly two years in to my job at Hive Digital — it was called Virante then — and we were talking about raising prices. We were just looking at our customers, saying to ourselves, “There’s no way they can afford it.” But then luckily we had the foresight that there was more to raising prices than just charging your customers more.

How it benefits old customers

The first thing that just hit us automatically was… “Well, with our old customers, we can just discount them. It’s not that bad. We’re in the same place as we always were.” But then it occurred to us, “Wait, wait, wait. If we discount our customers, then we’re actually increasing our perceived value.” Our existing customers now think, “Hey, they’re actually selling something better that’s more expensive, but I’m getting a deal,” and by offering them that deal because of their loyalty, you engender more loyalty. So it can actually be good for old customers.

How it benefits new customers

Now, for new customers, once again, same sort of situation. You’ve increased the perceived value. So your customers who come to you think, “Oh, this company is professional. This company is willing to invest. This company is interested in providing the highest quality of services.” In reality, because you’ve raised prices, you can. You can spend more time and money on each customer and actually do a better job. The third part is, “What’s the worst that could happen?” If they say no, you offer them the discount. You’re back where you started. You’re in the same position that you were before.

How it benefits your workers

Now, here’s where it really matters — your employees, your workers. If you are offering bottom line prices, you can’t offer them raises, you can’t offer them training, you can’t hire them help, or you can’t get better workers. But if you do, if you raise prices, the whole ecosystem that is your agency will do better.

How it improves your resources

Finally, and most importantly, which we’ll talk a little bit more later, is that you can finally tool up. You can get the resources and capital that you need to actually succeed. I drew this kind of out.

If we have a graph of quality of services that you offer and the price that you sell at, most agencies think that they’re offering great quality at a little price, but the reality is you’re probably down here. You’re probably under-selling your services and, because of that, you can’t offer the best that you can.

You should be up here. You should be offering higher quality, your experts who spend time all day studying this, and raising prices allows you to do that.

2. Schedule

Now, raising prices is only part one. The second thing is discipline, and I am really horrible about this. The reality is that I’m the kind of guy who looks for the latest and greatest and just jumps into it, but schedule matters. As hard as it is to admit it, I learned this from the CPC folks because they know that they have to stay on top of it every day of the week.

Well, here’s something that we kind of came up with as I was leaving the company, and that was to set all of our customers as much as possible into a schedule.

Annually: we would handle keywords and competitors doing complete analysis.Semi-annually: Twice a year, we would do content analysis. What should you be writing about? What’s changed in your industry? What are different keywords that you might be able to target now given additional resources?Quarterly: You need to be looking at links. It’s just a big enough issue that you’ve got to look at it every couple of months, a complete link analysis.Monthly: You should be looking at your crawls. Moz will do that every week for you, but you should give your customers an idea, over the course of a month, what’s changed.Weekly: You should be doing rankings

But there are three things that, when you do all of these types of analysis, you need to keep in mind. Each one of them is a…

ReportHours for consultingPhone call

This might seem like a little bit of overkill. But of course, if one of these comes back and nothing changed, you don’t need to do the phone call, but each one of these represents additional money in your pocket and importantly better service for your customers.

It might seem hard to believe that when you go to a customer and you tell them, “Look, nothing’s changed,” that you’re actually giving them value, but the truth is that if you go to the dentist and he tells you, you don’t have a cavity, that’s good news. You shouldn’t say to yourself at the end of the day, “Why’d I go to the dentist in the first place?” You should say, “I’m so glad I went to the dentist.” By that same positive outlook, you should be selling to your customers over and over and over again, hoping to give them the clarity they need to succeed.

3. Tool up!

So number three, you’re going to see this a lot in my videos because I just love SEO tools, but you’ve got to tool up. Once you’ve raised prices and you’re making more money with your customers, you actually can. Tools are superpowers. Tools allow you to do things that humans just can’t do. Like I can’t figure out the link graph on my own. I need tools to do it. But tools can do so much more than just auditing existing clients. For example, they can give you…

Better leads:

You can use tools to find opportunities.Take for example the tools within Moz and you want to find other car dealerships in the area that are really good and have an opportunity to rank, but aren’t doing as well as they should be in SERPs. You want to do this because you’ve already serviced successfully a different car dealership. Well, tools like Moz can do that. You don’t just have to use Moz to help your clients. You can use them to help yourself.

Better pre-audits:

Nobody walks into a sales call blind. You know who the website is. So you just start with a great pre-audit.

Faster workflows:

Which means you make more money quicker. If you can do your keyword analysis annually in half the time because you have the right tool for it, then you’re going to make far more money and be able to serve more customers.

Bulk pricing:

This one is just mind-blowingly simple. It’s bulk pricing. Every tool out there, the more you buy from them, the lower the price is. I remember at my old company sitting down at one point and recognizing that every customer that came in the door would need to spend about $1,000 on individual accounts to match what they were getting through us by being able to take advantage of the bulk discounts that we were getting as an agency by buying these seats on behalf of all of our customers.

So tell your clients when you’re talking to them on the phone, in the pitch be like, “Look, we use Moz, Majestic, Ahrefs, SEMrush,” list off all of the competitors. “We do Screaming Frog.” Just name them all and say, “If you wanted to go out and just get the data yourself from these tools, it would cost you more than we’re actually charging you.” The tools can sell themselves. You are saving them money.

4. Just say NO

Now, the last section, real quickly, are the things you’ve just got to learn to say no to. One of them has a little nuance to it. There’s going to be some bite back in the comments, I’m pretty sure, but I want to be careful with it.

No month-to-month contracts

The first thing to say no to is month-to-month contracts.

If a customer comes to you and they say, “Look, we want to do SEO, but we want to be able to cancel every 30 days.” the reality is this. They’re not interested in investing in SEO. They’re interested in dabbling in SEO. They’re interested in experimenting with SEO. Well, that’s not going to succeed. It’s only going to take one competitor or two who actually invest in it to beat them out, and when they beat them out, you’re going to look bad and they’re going to cancel their account with you. So sit down with them and explain to them that it is a long-term strategy and it’s just not worth it to your company to bring on customers who aren’t interested in investing in SEO. Say it politely, but just turn it away.

Don’t turn anything away

Now, notice that my next thing is don’t turn anything away. So here’s something careful. Here’s the nuance. It’s really important to learn to fire clients who are bad for your business, where you’re losing money on them or they’re just impolite, but that doesn’t mean you have to turn them away. You just need to turn them in the right direction. That right direction might be tools themselves. You can say, “Look, you don’t really need our consulting hours. You should go use these tools.” Or you can turn them to other fledgling businesses, friends you have in the industry who might be struggling at this time.

I’ll tell you a quick example. We don’t have much time, but many, many years ago, we had a client that came to us. At our old company, we had a couple of rules about who we would work with. We chose not to work in the adult industry. But at the time, I had a friend in the industry. He lived outside of the United States, and he had fallen on hard times. He literally had his business taken away from him via a series of just really unscrupulous events. I picked up the phone and gave him a call. I didn’t turn away the customer. I turned them over to this individual.

That very next year, he had ended up landing a new job at the top of one of the largest gambling organizations in the world. Well, frankly, they weren’t on our list of people we couldn’t work with. We landed the largest contract in the history of our company at that time, and it set our company straight for an entire year. It was just because instead of turning away the client, we turned them to a different direction. So you’ve got to say no to turning away everybody. They are opportunities. They might not be your opportunity, but they’re someone’s.

No service creep

The last one is service creep. Oh, man, this one is hard. A customer comes up to you and they list off three things that you offer that they want, and then they say, “Oh, yeah, we need social media management.” Somebody else comes up to you, three things you want to offer, and they say, “Oh yeah, we need you to write content,” and that’s not something you do. You’ve just got to not do that. You’ve got to learn to shave off services that you can’t offer. Instead, turn them over to people who can do them and do them very well.

What you’re going to end up doing in your conversation, your sales pitch is, “Look, I’m going to be honest with you. We are great at some things, but this isn’t our cup of tea. We know someone who’s really great at it.” That honesty, that candidness is just going to give them such a better relationship with you, and it’s going to build a stronger relationship with those other specialty companies who are going to send business your way. So it’s really important to learn to say no to say no service creep.

Well, anyway, there’s a lot that we went over there. I hope it wasn’t too much too fast, but hopefully we can talk more about it in the comments. I look forward to seeing you there. Thanks.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Affordable SEO Services for Small Business – The 2020 List

Affordable SEO Services for Small Business – The 2020 List

Finding affordable SEO services for small businesses isn’t an easy task for sure. With SEO being such a complex field, it’s hard to know what services do you need or whether a company’s gonna do a good job or not.

 

That’s why it’s important to have at least an idea of what SEO services are important, which practices are useful and which are harmful.

 

 

Many times, SEO companies offer their services in the form of a monthly SEO package. While it’s easy for search engine marketers to manage their work this way, and a lot easier for you to understand what you get for the buck, it’s also a big indication of automatization, which stands, generally, at the base of SEO penalties.

 

This article will not be a list of companies to pick from, but a guide on which services you should be looking for and how to choose the right company.

 

So, read this guide till the end to get the insights you need.

 

Why Should Small Businesses Invest in SEO?
What SEO Services Do Small Businesses Need?
Types of Affordable SEO Services for Small Business

For Technical SEO
For Content Marketing
For Link Building
For Rank Tracking
For Local SEO
For Video SEO
For Ecommerce SEO

The Top 5 Must-Have Affordable SEO Services for Small Business
How to Pick The Right SEO Company to Work With

 
Why Should Small Businesses Invest in SEO?

 

If you’re a small business looking for affordable SEO services, you’ve probably just started out as an entrepreneur.

 

But why choose SEO as a marketing channel?

 

The main reason why small businesses should consider SEO as a marketing channel is that you can either invest time or money into it.

 

That gives you some liberty, in case you don’t have one or the other.

 

While other channels, such as PPC, can offer faster results, SEO is a long-term game, but can bring in the greatest ROI.

 

 

The key here is to start it as early as possible, so you can benefit off it for as long as possible. Postponing it will only allow your competition to get ahead, making your job harder.

 

If you’re interested in the pros and cons of these two marketing channels, take a look at this article about SEO vs PPC.

 

But again, if PPC seems like a more viable option for you now, you should still start investing in SEO as soon as possible.

 
What SEO Services Do Small Businesses Need?

 

It’s hard to say what SEO services a business needs because it differs from business to business.

 

Do you have a local store? Or an online one? Are you a blogger or an affiliate or do you offer services, be them physically, such as plumbing, or online, such as consulting?

 

In general, small businesses lack quality content and promotion.

 

Quality websites are easy to build these days using templates and content management systems, but quality content isn’t easy to write.

 

Also, once the website is live and even with quality content on it, it’s still not enough. You need to know how to promote it to show Google that it’s valuable.

 
Types of Affordable SEO Services for Small Business

 

We’ll go through multiple categories so that you can have a better idea what affordable seo services for small business you might need, depending on your case.

 

In the end, you’ll need a bit of everything, so consider this list as a set of priorities.

 
1. For Technical SEO

 

The truth about technical SEO is that it is, in general, a one-time fix. While you have to change things from time to time as the internet evolves, if you set things right from the beginning, they will last.

 

Here are the top Technical SEO issues that small businesses should focus on in their online marketing strategy: 

 

URL and Site structure: While you can do this on your own, it’s probably a good idea to ask an SEO consultant for advice. The most difficult site to structure is an eCommerce one. You want to get it right from the beginning to avoid issues in the future. This will save you a lot of money. Find out more about a good website and URL structure.
Image Compression: Images are probably the biggest problem when it comes to technical SEO and load times. In many cases, it can be done for free with tools such as Smush for WordPress, but similar free plugins are also available for other platforms.
Caching: If you use caching, your site will load even faster. Again, good caching can be achieved for free with plugins such as W3 Total Cache or Autoptimize. Some hosting providers have LiteSpeed Caching on their server, which also allows you to cache your content properly.
Structured data: This should be the last thing you focus on as a small business. However, in certain cases it can have a good impact. Just make sure you don’t focus on this technical aspect instead of what’s really important, which is quality content and promotion.

 

Here are some tools that can help you ensure you won’t be spending much on Technical SEO issues:

 

WordPress:

 

The best affordable SEO service for Technical SEO when it comes to small businesses is WordPress.

 

You need an optimized, mobile friendly website over which you have control and can maximize potential without spending too much.

 

Web Designers are quite expensive, so WordPress is the way to go. You can find a variety of templates for a nice web design, many even for free.

 

Sure, there are other SaaS website builders there such as Wix or Squarespace (you’ve probably seen the ads by now), but they are very limited in terms of what you can do for your business’s SEO.

 

 

If you want to go with PPC only, SaaS website builders might be a good option, but for search engine optimization, even renowned SEO companies will have a hard time.

 

Even WordPress has its own SaaS packages, so make sure you compare both the open source version and the SaaS one.

 

In the open source one, you’ll need your own hosting, while the SaaS one will cover it.

 

In the long run, if you want to get the most out of it, the open source version is the best option, but it will be more difficult to manage.

 

GT Metrix:

 

GT-Metrix is a great service that will tell you about a variety of technical SEO issues your site is facing.

 

The most important things you want to make sure you fix are large images and caching.

 

While all these tips are useful, what you should be focusing on is the load speed of the website, in seconds.

 

PageSpeed Insights: 

 

Just like GT Metrix, Google offers a similar tool, called PageSpeed Insights.

 

You can view a variety of technical issues which Google considers you should fix.

 

 

The most important one, again, is the speed at which your website loads (First Contentful Paing and Time to interactive)

 

Xenu Link Sleuth: 

 

Xenu Lunk Sleuth is a free tool you can use to crawl your website and identify missing title tags or 404 errors.

 

You can also use this to quickly map titles to URLs if you’re in the process of rewriting your titles in order to improve OnPage SEO.

 

In the tool itself you can also visualize where a pages is linked from internally within your site.

 

CognitiveSEO Toolset:

 

The CognitiveSEO Toolset is an affordable seo services for small business that can help you with more complex issues like website structure. Instead of analyzing everything on a page by page basis like other tools, our tool lets you take advantage of APIs to analyze your entire site at once.

 

Furthermore, you’ll be able to view the entire structured in an easy to understand manner, inside the dashboard.

 

 
2. For Content Marketing

 

Keyword research: Keyword Research is crucial if you want to set the basis of your OnPage SEO strategy on content marketing. If you don’t know what people are searching for, you don’t know what to optimize your pages for.
Copywriting: While good copywriting isn’t cheap, it’s worth investing in it. Good copy sells, and that’s what you need on your website, especially if you’re just starting out. Sure, a content marketing strategy is based on information not sales, but what if you could give out information that sells? That’s where copywriting kicks in.
Editorial Calendar: Content marketing is a long-term game, so developing a schedule can really help you move things forward with ease. It’s mostly based on keyword research, but you have to map things out into hubs or silos and decide which ones to prioritize and how they can better facilitate and consolidate your site’s structure.

 

Here are some services and tools which you can use to find keywords and develop a better content strategy.

 

Google Autosuggest & Keyword Planner:

 

The Google Autosuggest tool can be really helpful in finding out what people are searching for on the web in real time.

 

Just start typing in a seed keyword and Google will fill you in on the details.

 

 

Moreover, at the bottom of any results page you’ll see a list of related keywords which you can use.

 

Furthermore, if you’re already using Google Adwords, why not use the keywords you’ve found there for organic search as well?

 

Reddit:

 

Reddit is a great source for finding new hot topics in your domain. You just have to look at subreddits relevant to your niche.

 

Sometimes, it might not be easy to find them but try to think outside the box. Once you’re close, start following that thread.

 

Don’t just rush on adding links to your website, or you’ll get banned quick enough. First, you’ll have to build your profile by answering threads and even starting popular ones.

 

If you’re a consultant, you can start by answering threads to some extent, then offering individuals to help them further in Private Messages.

 

There you can determine if you’re a good fit and offer your services.

 

Eventually, once you’ve gained enough karma, you can start answering people partially and adding a link to your blog where you expand on the topic, for those interested in finding out more.

 

CognitiveSEO:

 

The CognitiveSEO Content Assistant is a great tool that can help you quickly improve Google rankings, only by changing your content a little bit.

 

You can try it for free here.

 

First, type in what  keyword you want to optimize for, then go to the Content Assistant section and the tool will provide you with a list of keywords you should use in your content to improve your site’s rank in Google.

 

It’s that simple!

 

 

Of course, take it with a grain of salt. You don’t have to force a keyword in if it doesn’t fit. You can change it a little so that it makes sense. Think of the important keywords there as topics of subjects you need to address in your page.

 
3. For Link Building

 

Link building is probably the hardest thing to do these days. Everyone is aware of it, nobody wants to link to you (without money) and even Google is on it, penalizing you for it.

 

Use the Link Reclamation Tool

 

Building white-hat links of high value and in accordance with Google’s guidelines have been a pain point for years now.

 

The broken pages and link reclamation technique might be familiar to you as they are quite old school strategies.

 

We documented this technique a lot, so find out way more about the link reclamation technique, when and how to use it to deliver maximum results.

 

Analyze Your Competitor’s Links

 

More often than not, your competitors, especially the ones ranking high in search results, are doing some things very well.

 

Why not use what they are doing to improve your own SEO rankings?

 

The CognitiveSEO Backlink Analysis tool can identify what backlinks your competitors are using to rank high. Even more than that, you can use the Unnatural Link detection to filter bad links and focus only on the best ones.

 

You can also use it for competitive analysis, to see where you are positioned compared to your competitors. This can help you identify websites ranking to multiple competitors, indicating that it might be easier to obtain.

 

Blog Commenting:

 

Many SEO experts consider this to be a spammy method, but in fact, it isn’t. It can be. However, I’m not recommending spam in any way.

 

I’m talking about identifying websites and blogs talking about related topics to your small business and engaging with them, just as you would do on Social Media.

 

You’ll often see companies offer services such as blog commenting in their ‘affordable’ SEO packages, but be wary, as more often than not, it’s spam.

 

The goal here is to build connections with other websites or bloggers in the field. Then maybe you can land a deal with them to promote your website.

 

Guest Posting:

 

By engaging with relevant bloggers through blog commenting, you might get to know a blogger well enough to ask them for a guest post.

 

Guest Posting is when you write an article for another website, under your name. Usually, you’ll be able to link back to your website.

 

Expanding this is now considered a dangerous practice, but doing it in moderation won’t affect your site in any way.

 

Outreach: 

 

Guest posts or simply links can also be obtained through direct outreach.

 

However, you have to build some sort of connection first. Being genuine is the best way and I’ve had the most success with it.

 

 

Always start by giving something and not expecting something in return. Once you’ve got a reply, you can push a request, but don’t be demanding.

 

Many people sell links on their websites for hundreds of dollars. So when they give you one for free, you should really appreciate it.

 

Check out these outreach examples to boost your response rate.

 

Blogging (with a twist):

 

Last but not least, content marketing can be really useful for search engine optimization in the long run. However, it won’t be enough to write articles in order to get links.

 

You’ll have to write articles that people want to share and that’s not easy.

 

You can do it the tricky way, by identifying an influencer and writing about something you know they’ll share, or following another strategy such as writing case studies or funny things.

 

Either way, even if blogging and content marketing won’t help you get links in the end, it’s still a good way of consolidating and optimizing your website’s structure.

 
4. For Rank Tracking

 

Measuring an SEO strategy is crucial for determining the success of an SEO campaign. Whether you work with an SEO firm or not, it’s a good idea to monitor the results on your own.

 

Here are some methods you can use to effectively track your rankings and results:

 

Google itself: The oldest method in the basket. Just open Google and type your keyword. Make sure you do it in Incognito mode, to get rid of personalized search results.

Google Search Console: The Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google which will monitor where your site’s getting traffic from, as well as the average positions for the keywords that brought the traffic.

CognitiveSEO Rank Tracker: If you’re looking for something a little bit more advanced, take a look at our rank tracker. Not only will it show your SEO rankings, but it can also notify you of drops and will provide a graph for each particular keyword. Using our tool you’ll also be able to monitor your competitor’s rankings, if that interests you.

 

 
5. For Local SEO

 

When it comes to local SEO, you can actually completely dominate the entire page of Google with multiple positions.

 

Here are the most affordable things you can focus on to improve rankings:

 

Google MyBusiness:

 

Google MyBusiness is the most important SEO service you should focus on as a small local business.

 

Setting up a GMB listing isn’t particularly difficult. Just make sure you use your keywords in the name and description and fill in all the information correctly.

 

However, ranking Google MyBusiness listings high isn’t as easy, but it can be achieved by implementing a set of practices in your company, such as asking for reviews or getting in the local newspaper.

 

 

Social Media Accounts & Posting:

 

In local search results, Facebook pages can actually rank pretty high for particular keywords.

 

Make sure you use that to your advantage by optimizing the title and description on Facebook to also include the keyword you’re trying to target.

 

Also, posting regularly on Facebook can help you bring some traffic to your website. Just remember the 80 20 rule, in which you only try to sell them 20% of the time.

 

 

If your posts are only promotional, people won’t engage with them and the reach of all your posts will be reduced over time. You have to attract engagement and also engage with your audience yourself.

 

You might think that small local businesses can’t go viral, but the The White Moose Café would prove you wrong.

 

Citations & Accurate NAP: 

 

Citations are like backlinks, but they only mention your brand’s name and don’t necessarily contain a link back to your site.

 

NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone and you want to make sure these are consistent across the web.

 

Therefore, using a different phone or address or different opening hours across different platforms such as Google and Facebook might look confusing to Google, just as it would to your clients.

 

In a way, you’re bringing all these channels and platforms together to form a stronger union that will rank better overall.

 

You can also purchase advertising in local media, if they are affordable. If you’re in a small town, that works, but in big cities such as New York… though luck!

 

Local Adjacent Niches Partnerships:

 

A great way of getting some traction with local SEO is to partner up with other local businesses in your proximity.

 

The businesses can promote each other locally in their own store, as well as online on their websites.

 

 

They don’t have to be competitors, but at least somehow related or relevant to your niche.

 

So if you sell hunting rifles, it’s probably not a good idea to try to partner up with a vegan restaurant.

 

For example, if you sell luxury watches, why not partner up with the luxury suits store across the road? Everybody wins!

 
6. For Video SEO

 

Video SEO can help you grow your business. More and more people prefer video content over traditional, written one.

 

It’s hard to pinpoint an affordable seo services for small business for video, as you can’t really optimize videos the same way you optimize blog posts. Once you’ve published it… it’s done.

 

Sure, you can still change titles and descriptions to better optimize them but, as a whole, you have to get things right from the start.

 

Here are a few tips you can follow to rank better with video or complement your content marketing strategy with a video SEO as well.

 

Keyword Research: Just as with regular SEO, you want to know what people are searching for before you create a video. Sometimes, it’s hard to match a topic or new idea you have to a keyword, but try your best to do it. This way you’ll get the best out of both worlds.
Optimized titles & descriptions: Use the identified keywords in your title and description. Don’t cheap out on the description, even if not many people will read it. Populate it with complementary info such as links to sources.
Short Product Presentation Clips: If you sell products online, make sure you have video presentations of them. People are busy, so short and to the point ones will be best. These days, you can do everything with a phone. There is a multitude of video editing software for both Android and Apple.
Consistency: While posting a few clips here and there might work if they rank high for your target keyword, if you want to have real success with video, you’ll have to do it on a regular basis.
Interlinking between videos: Let’s face it: most video content happens on YouTube. And YouTube wants its users to stay on YouTube. So have multiple videos related to one another. Send people from one video to another so that they spend more time on YouTube and YouTube will reward you.
Repurpose content: If you’ve already been blogging for a while, you can use those topics to create video content. Then, simple interlink the video and blog post. You can do this vice-versa, if you’ve been focusing your time on video content instead.

 
7. For Ecommerce SEO

 

eCommerce SEO services are the hardest to find at affordable prices. If you have a small eCommerce SEO business, consider spending your own time in learning SEO, as services might be expensive and the cheap ones will most probably not be very effective.

Site Structure: Structure is the most important thing for eCommerce websites, because of filters and faceted navigation. So make sure you get it right from the beginning. It might be expensive for big sites, but it’s very effective and it will save you a lot of time and money in the future.

 

You can use the CognitiveSEO Site Audit Tool to analyze your site and ensure a proper structure. From URLs, 301 redirects and canonicals to internal linking, the tool has everything covered.

Well optimized titles: Very often, people ignore the basics. They focus on ‘secret’ strategies and completely forget that their titles aren’t optimized. Of course, this assuming that you’ve done your keyword research already.

 

Blogging: eCommerce sites lack quality content. Most products have short descriptions and the structure itself is only built as a silo between categories and products. However, you can consolidate that structure with interesting articles. They will also ease your job into bringing natural backlinks to your website.

 

Copywriting: Many eCommerce store owners ignore copywriting. However, each product page is, in fact, a landing page. And landing pages need copy. You need copy to sell. Most copywriters are also good at writing for SEO as well, which will also benefit your site.

 

Structured Data: While structured data is the last thing you should think about (keywords, titles, content, speed are more important), it’s very relevant for eCommerce websites, as they can help enhance Google results for products.

 
The Top 5 Must-Have Affordable SEO Services for Small Business

 

If it was to draw the line at the most important ones, in general, for all types of websites and businesses, it would be this:

 

Keyword Research: You can’t have an effective SEO strategy without proper keyword research.
Well optimized titles: People ignore the basics more often than you’d think. Make sure your titles are properly optimized.
Google MyBusiness: GMB is a very effective tool and it’s also free. Spend some time optimizing it and it will bring good results.
Copywriting & Blogging: Content is still very important, and copywriting can greatly help you increase sales, which is your goal in the end, isn’t it?
Social Media Posts: Social media can help you promote your website easily, even without paying for it. With a little bit of talent and some knowledge, you can generate decent traffic.

 

However, in some cases, many better others apply. The best thing you can do is get in touch with an independent SEO consultant to get some tips.

 
How to Pick The Right SEO Company to Work With

 

If you’re looking for affordable SEO services, that’s an indication you’re already looking to invest money, so you’re probably looking for an SEO firm.

 

While I can’t provide a list of companies (there are too many factors to take into consideration, such as language, location, type of website and others) I can provide some tips on how to how to find a good one.

 

To be honest, the secret here isn’t finding the best service at the lowest price, but to avoid bad/destructive cheap services. 
Here are some questions you can ask SEO companies to avoid being tricked. 

 

Cheapness and quality is a rare combination, so if you’re on the hunt for it, you have to be very well prepared with knowledge.

 

There are many reasons cheap services can be bad: spinned content, cheap links or PBNs, for example.

 

If an SEO company offers affordable SEO packages on a monthly basis, be suspicious.

 

It’s not that companies that offer packages aren’t good, but it’s a good indication they are automating everything, which leads to patterns, which can lead to penalties.

 

 

You should talk to one of the SEO experts in the company before signing.

 

If you just purchase the package and receive the “SEO audit” via e-mail a few days later, be sure that it was automated.

 

They should be asking questions about your business. How else would they know how to properly promote you if they don’t know anything about you?

 

First, ask them if their strategies are what most search engine marketers would call ‘white hat’ or safe.

 

If the answer is no… I think you know what to do.

 

If the answer is yes, then you should also follow up with these important questions:

 

Do you use Spam?
Do you use PBNs?
Do you use automation tools? If yes, which ones?

 

If the answers to those questions are yes, you might want to avoid the company. Some automation tools, such as ones for e-mail newsletters or for scheduling posts are fine, but others such as scraping content or spinning it are not.

 

Additionally, you should ask the SEO firm:

 

How long have you been working in the field?
Can you give me some examples of websites you’ve optimized before? What strategies have you used on them?
Will a real person perform an audit or at least analyze it?
Who will write the content on my website?
How will we measure the performance of the SEO campaign?
Can you tell me what exactly my money will go to? Will you execute all the work or do you outsource?

 

If you get a competent and clear answer to these questions, it’s a good indication that who you’ll work with knows what they’re doing and are well-intended.

 

Ultimately, it’s up to you who you sign with but, hopefully, by now you have a better understanding of how to choose good affordable SEO services for your small business.

 

What affordable SEO services for small business do you think are the best? Let us know in the comments section.

The post Affordable SEO Services for Small Business – The 2020 List appeared first on SEO Blog | cognitiveSEO Blog on SEO Tactics & Strategies.

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Here’s What You Should Do When Your Search Rankings Drop

Here’s What You Should Do When Your Search Rankings Drop

If you’ve ever done SEO, you know how good it feels to see your rankings go up.

You put a ton of hard work into moving up in the SERPs and it finally pays off.

But then the unexpected happens. Your rankings drop.

Few things in SEO are more discouraging than a fall in the rankings. It makes you feel like everything you did was useless.

You wonder what went wrong or if you made a mistake. You beat yourself up for not doing it right.

You’re back to square one again, and you have to start all over.

Or do you?

In my experience, that’s not always the case.

My rankings have dropped more times than I can count. At first, I panicked.

As I learned more, I found out that it’s not the end of the world if you go down a position or two. It’s obviously not ideal, but there’s a lot you can do to fix it.

That’s what I’m going to show you today. Even if your rankings are where you want them to be, you need to be aware of how to bring them back up when they drop (because they will).

Analyze the drop

Before you take action to raise your rankings, you need to track your rankings, ideally on a daily basis so you can see if they are increasing or decreasing.

The reason you want to track your rankings on a daily basis is that Google makes 3200 algorithm changes per year, which is a bit more than 8 algorithm changes per day.

Hence you don’t really have a choice but to track your rankings daily.

So how do you do that?

First, you’ll want to head to the Ubersuggest dashboard and click on “Add Your First Project”.

It’s as simple as adding in your URL.

Then select the locations you do business in and want traffic from.

Then add in the keywords you currently rank for or want to go after.

And of course, set up your traffic preferences. Make sure you select “daily” rank tracking and you turn on mobile rank tracking.

And then you’ll be good to go.

Then you will be notified via email when your rankings go down (or up) as there is no way you are going to have the time to manually check every day.

Or when you log into your Ubersuggest dashboard you’ll see an updated view of your site:

And then when you drill down into your rankings you’ll see a report of what is increasing or decreasing.

Now when looking at your rankings it is normal for them to fluctuate a few spots here or there… but if you see all of your rankings all of a sudden drop, then you know you need to do something.

Did you get penalized?

In most cases, your site has not been penalized and you don’t need to worry about this.

If you didn’t do anything fishy like “buying links” you don’t really need to worry about a penalty.

If you are unsure, read through this list and ask yourself if your site is guilty of any of these SEO sins. If so, identify the problems and take steps to fix them.

Even if you haven’t done anything on that list, you could still have gotten a penalty. Google’s algorithms are updated frequently, and they’re incredibly complex.

They take hundreds of factors into account when considering ranking. One day, your site might not deserve a penalty, and the next, it might.

It’s important to understand the types of penalties: manual and algorithmic.

Source: Slideshare.net

Manual penalties are given out by Google’s webspam team when they get alerted of suspicious activity.

This could be the result of having unnatural links, or someone could have filed a spam report against you.

If you’ve received a manual penalty, you should have gotten a notification in Google Webmaster Tools. Here’s an example of a message about unnatural links:

The other type of penalty is an algorithmic penalty.

These penalties are harder to track because there’s no definitive way of knowing you received one.

To determine if you’ve gotten an algorithmic penalty, you have to understand how Google’s algorithms work.

If you find that you’re doing something an algorithm doesn’t like, there’s a good chance you’ve gotten a penalty. But you also have to think about new penalties.

If your rankings dropped randomly, check Moz’s handy directory of Google’s algorithm updates to see if there’s a new one at work.

A new algorithm could be the reason why you’re seeing lower rankings. If that happens, research the algorithm and find out what it’s penalizing.

One cool way to keep track of new penalties (and a bunch of other Google-related stuff) is to follow Gary Illyes, John Mueller, and Google Webmasters on Twitter.

Gary and John, in particular, give out a ton of awesome advice, and you can often find them talking with other Twitter users.

You can even ask them a question directly and get it answered… you may not get a response, but it is worth a shot.

Do you have link problems?

This is a big one.

Think of links as the currency of SEO. It’s essentially how you “gain” authority.

So it’s no surprise that a strong link profile is correlated with high rankings.

The flipside is that a weak link profile is correlated with low rankings.

I spend lots of time working with clients on SEO, and I’ve seen lots of sites that have numerous link problems.

Usually, the business isn’t aware.

That’s because weak links are the silent killer of SEO. That’s why you need to make sure your link profile is robust.

First, conduct a link audit of your site. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do that.

For the short version, use a backlink analysis tool like SEMrush Backlink Checker to see where your bad links are.

When you find bad links, contact those sites and nicely ask them to remove the link. If that doesn’t work, use Google’s Disavow tool as a last resort.

However, I’ve found that about 90% of the time, conducting a backlink audit will help you find bad links.

But there’s a problem here. Often, the reasons behind link problems aren’t so obvious.

If your link profile looks okay after an audit, there could still be problems. Here are a few of the issues your link profile could be facing.

Losing links

Did you know you can lose links? Both internal and external links?

It could be the cause of your ranking drop as well.

Yep, you can lose internal links even if it’s to content you already own.

Let’s talk about those first.

If you often relaunch, rebrand, or redesign your site, you may lose some links along the way.

Why does this happen?

It has to do with redirects and transitioning your site over smoothly.

Let’s talk about site transitions first. If you deleted an old blog post, then links to that post aren’t going to work. In turn, this will weaken the internal linking structure of your site and compromise your SEO.

You’ll have one less link, which is removing a part of your internal linking network.

This isn’t optimal because it means two things:

You’ll have to fix the linkYou’ll have less content on your site to link to. That’s why I recommend not deleting content unless you absolutely have to. You can always update it.

That’s just one example of a lost link.

Another reason you could lose an internal link is a faulty redirect.

This often happens with 301 redirects. I’ve talked about 301s before, but there’s a unique issue you need to be aware of.

Because a 301 is called a permanent redirect, lots of people assume that the redirect will always work.

But it doesn’t.

Here’s precisely how a 301 redirect works:

If you just set up a new site, you can 301 from the old domain to the new one without a hitch. The issue is when you revamp your site more than once.

That’s because redirects from older versions of a site are rarely passed on to newer ones.

On top of that, if you get a new domain and an older domain expires, it could cause a significant loss in traffic because the 301s will no longer work.

It’s messy.

If you discover a bad 301 giving you problems, you need to fix that.

First, you need to find the target links your 301s are trying to go to.

If those links are dead, you’ll most likely need to remove the link.

You could also put the old content back up or create new content to keep the link on your page. This is a good idea if the page in question gets a lot of traffic.

You need to do what’s best for your visitors. If they’ll miss out on great, comprehensive content, you should make sure that content is still on your site.

You should also check for broken links. You can use a tool like deadlinkchecker.com to do this:

Ideally, you want to see no errors:

But if you do see errors, you’ll be able to see the URLs that aren’t behaving correctly:

But what about outbound links? If you find an outbound link that no longer works, just remove it and replace it by linking to another authority site.

Finally, let’s talk about backlinks you’ve gotten from other sites.

Go here and type in your URL.

If you see your link chart going up and to the right, you are fine. If it is going down, then we have to fix it. For example, using Ubersuggest you can see which sites don’t link to your anymore.

And for those sites, you can use a template like this one to get those links back:

Hi [Name of site owner],

I hope you’re doing well!

You linked to my site a while back, and I want to thank you for that. However, it looks like the link is actually gone.

The link appeared in your [piece of content/page here], but it seems that it’s not there anymore.

Here’s the page on my site you linked to: [Link URL here]

If you could put the link back up, I’d really appreciate it. I’m a big fan of your site, and it’d be my pleasure to return the favor if I can.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Most people will ignore you, but a percentage of the people you email will link back.

Polish up your site

If all else fails, you might need to spend some time improving your site.

I’m talking about design, user experience, and speed. Each of these is integral to a site that performs and ranks well.

I’ll go over each category briefly:

Design

Having a mobile-friendly design is important as there are more searches on mobile devices using Google than there are for desktop.

If you’re not considering mobile users first, you need to start doing that.

Having a mobile-optimized site isn’t as simple as making sure your site is responsive. That’s definitely important, and you should do that, but it’s not enough by itself.

Think about making all of your content mobile-friendly.

There’s one big reason you should focus on this. Google has a mobile-first index. That alone should be more than enough to persuade you to focus on mobile-first design.

You might want to read my article on mobile usability for more information on this.

User experience (UX)

This is another reason why a responsive design is so important.

Your mobile users should have a great experience that’s designed for mobile devices. Similarly, your desktop users should have a great experience that’s designed for desktops.

If your UX is bad either way, you will lose visitors.

If you take a look at the most popular sites in your niche, you’ll notice that 9 times out of 10, they’ll have great UX.

Say you’re in SaaS. Without a doubt, Salesforce is one of the biggest SaaS players in the niche.

And sure enough, their desktop and mobile UX is fantastic.

Desktop:

Mobile:

This is what you should strive for when polishing your own site.

Speed

Search engines (and people) love fast-loading pages. In fact, 47% of customers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.

So if your site speed is longer than 2 seconds, you could lose traffic.

Yikes.

Making your site faster is a long-term strategy. You have to monitor your site and make sure nothing’s dragging it down.

Start by adding compression.

Next, make sure your server has adequate speed. It should be no longer than 200 milliseconds.

You can test your site speed by using Ubersuggest’s “Site Audit” feature. Type in your URL and click “Search.”

From there, click “Site Audit” in the left sidebar and scroll down to “Site Speed.” Here’s what you’ll see:

There are tons of factors that can cause slow site speed, so the best way to prevent slowness is to keep your site as lightweight as possible. And Ubersuggest will break down how to do that and what to fix.

As a rule of thumb, if you have anything unnecessary on your site, remove it so your speed is the best it can be.

Don’t forget about content

Through Ubersuggest we track millions of popular sites around the world to get better data insights on algorithm changes.

We know for certain that 641 sites we track are updating old content on a daily basis.

Can you guess how many of them saw a search traffic dip of 10% or more from the last algorithm update?

Only 38! That’s 5.92%, which is extremely low.

What’s crazy, though, is that 187 sites saw an increase in their search traffic of 10% or more.

So make sure you are keeping your old content up to date. Because why would Google want to rank old, stale content, when they can rank something fresh and useful for people?

Another strategy I love to deploy is to expand my content that is already ranking well.

For example, lets say you rank for the term “digital marketing”.

You’ll want to head to Ubersuggest and type in the phrase “digital marketing”. You’ll see a report that looks like this:

From there in the left navigation bar, click on “keyword ideas”.

You should now see a report that looks like:

This will give you a list of keywords that are similar, longer tail terms that also are searched frequently.

If you rank for the main term, it is easy to also rank for the longer tail terms. So make sure you add the relevant ones to your content.

It may seem tedious, but go through 100s if not 1000s of keywords in the keyword ideas report as it will allow you to get quick traffic gains.

When adding in the new keywords into your content, don’t just stuff them in there. It has to flow naturally and make sense for your website visitor.

And if you can’t make it make sense for a particular keyword, don’t do it… put the user first. Remember you are writing for humans, not Google.

Now the strategy I broke down here may seem simple and silly, but it’s one of the big reasons on why I am getting roughly 9 million visitors a month.

Conclusion

Going down a position or two in the rankings happens to the best of us.

It’s even happened to me.

If this happens, don’t panic.

Almost every client I’ve had who’s experienced a loss of rankings got really scared when it happened.

You probably felt this way too. But you don’t need to worry.

You can easily bounce back from a ranking drop.

Don’t believe me? Give these strategies a try. These aren’t just little tips. They’re tried-and-true methods that will help you reclaim your spot on Google.

No one deserves to lose ranking when they have an amazing site that users love. What’s more, it’s easy to fix.

Don’t let the initial shock stop you from getting your ranking back.

So, when was the last time your rankings dropped?

The post Here’s What You Should Do When Your Search Rankings Drop appeared first on Neil Patel.

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