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Digital Marketing Fundamentals: The Importance Of Keyword Research

Digital Marketing Fundamentals: The Importance Of Keyword Research

Today, we’re taking it back to basics. We have a long history of creating in-depth blog posts on the small details that can make a big difference to your SEO. But we have been guilty of overlooking the humble keyword.

Like scientists splitting the atom, there’s a whole world of detail beneath this simplest, most fundamental part of all digital marketing.

What is keyword research and why keyword research? Well, keywords are called keywords because they unlock audiences. That’s how I like to think about it anyway. They open the door to your efforts being discovered and engaged with online. Without that, you have nothing.

Keyword Research in digital marketing is something people often associate with SEO, but just like atoms form all molecules in the universe, keywords are fundamental to all of digital marketing. A good digital marketing strategy should be informed at every stage by the right keywords.

But what are the right keywords?

We’ll be exploring that question, helping you discern relevant keywords, and select them with traffic, sales and ROI in mind. We’ve already covered the basics of short vs long tail keywords, so if you need a definition, start there. Then come back here, and pick up where you left off.

Ready to bring in qualified leads, increase your conversion rate and generate real revenue? Read on!

Great Keyword Research Needs To Be Geared Toward Qualified Leads

Here’s a bit of knowledge from another part of the marketing world – posters. It’s called AIDA.

You need to think of keywords like they’re posters. The point is to generate interest in an action – namely, clicking a link that leads to your website.

Search for the keyword “digital marketing” into Google. What do you see?

Educational resources, definitions, and you’re probably being advertised a course of some kind.

That’s because this keyword is as broad as it gets. It’s a whole discipline. People looking for “digital marketing” are probably only just thinking about launching their first website.

Now type in “digital marketing trends 2018”.

Smart Insights wrote this in May, a full seven months before 2018. It gave the article time to rank, and the keywords reflect Interest, Desire, and Action. Those looking for this keyword in May are strategic long-term thinkers looking to find actionable advice that will give them an advantage.

This is the difference between unqualified and qualified leads. In a nutshell:

Unqualified Leads don’t know what solution they are looking for, don’t recognize your company or don’t know what it offers, and often aren’t willing to invest in your product or service as a result. You can convert unqualified leads into customers, but the churn rate (your number of subcribers and unsubscribes per actual customer) will be huge. It’s inefficient to target these people.
Qualified Leads are people in control, looking to fill in gaps to complete their knowledge. They know what they need from a solution, have a budget to work with, and are prepared to spend it on the right product or service. These people look for more specific terms because they need specific things. Their attention, interest, desire, and action are all driven toward getting the best results. As a result, their churn rate is much lower, and they’re much closer to converting when they arrive.

I recommend always trying to target qualified leads, and you do that by getting specific about your keywords. If a keyword has an incredible search volume, it doesn’t really matter if the quality of traffic is poor. You are looking for keywords that strike the right balance between volume and quality. You can look at the importance of keyword research being targeted at qualified leads like airing your commercials at the right time.

With that in mind, we can now look at how to do keyword research.

1) What Keywords Are You (& Your Competitors) ‘Naturally’ Ranked For?

If you are looking at how to do keyword research, chances are you already have a website and you’re disappointed with your traffic. Despite this fact, you may actually rank for keywords you simply aren’t exploiting properly.

Google Analytics can tell you what keywords people are using to find you, just go through Acquisition > Search Console > Queries to find a list of the queries that caused people to click on your site.

If you don’t know what keywords you already rank for, you can use my favorite tool: RankReveal.

RankReveal is a great tool that helps you find out what keywords your site is ranking for and it will even tell you who you are competing against.

They have recently launched another FREE tool, WhoRanksWhat that allows you to discover the keywords you’re ranking for, what that rank is, and what search engine.

WhoRanksWhat: You can also put in your competitors URLs to find out the same information for them.

2) What Are Your Competitors Trying To Rank For?

While the above information might help you understand what your competitors have historically managed to rank for, it won’t tell you what they’re up to right this minute.

Fortunately, if they want to rank for keywords, those keywords will have to be put in the title, description and metadata of their articles. All of these is available for you to view if you’re willing to pore over the source code. Simply go to their website, or a specific article, and open the console to view the source code. Here’s a breakdown by the browser for PC and Mac:

Firefox: Press CTRL + U (PC) or Command+U (Mac).
Edge: CTRL + U.
Chrome: Press CTRL + U (PC) or Option+Command+U (Mac).
Opera: CTRL + U (PC) or Command+U (Mac).
Safari: Press Option+Command+U.

Once you’ve opened the console, use “find in page” in the browser tools to search for “meta”, “h1” “h2” and “image” – pay attention to what words or phrases get repeated and you should be able to identify the keywords they’re trying to rank for.

If you know what they’re ranking for, it all depends on how much you trust them to have used best practices in finding their keywords. If your competitor is far larger and more dominant than you are, you may wish to avoid these keywords and find others.

However, if you put the keyword into Google and find few good results, you could enter a direct competition with them and try to get that traffic for yourself. Just be sure to measure your keywords in Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find out how popular and lucrative they are.

3) How Does Google ‘Guide’ People To Keywords?

If you’ve been using Google regularly for the past couple of years, you’ll doubtless have taken advantage of Google Autocomplete. Well, so is everyone else.

Autocomplete is an indispensable tool for learning what searches are the most popular for any given keyword or phrase.

What’s more, you can see at the bottom of the first page a shortlist of the most popular related searches.

These will provide you with more keywords to focus on.

This information come from simply checking out the first page of Google, which is all your potential customers will do in 90% of cases. Replicating their behavior will allow you to optimize your content to what your customer base is doing.

4) What Do Your Customers Want, And How Do They Really Find It?

Start thinking outside of the box, I want to challenge your assumptions for a second here.

Why do you want to know how to do keyword research? Chances are, to appear at the top of Google searches for your product or service, right? Well, finding keywords and populating them on your own page may not be the smartest way to get that same result.

The whole point of using keywords is that consumers are using them too. But once they’ve used them, what do they do next? The typical journey of an acquisition goes something like this:

Identify A Problem
Look For Solutions
Evaluate The Options
Make A Purchase
Evaluate The Purchase
Recommend Or Critique

At no point does this say “Use google keywords to identify websites trying to rank and choose from one of them.” The second and third steps are the ones we’re interested in today.

Increasingly, lists are getting featured at the top of Google. I’ve decided I want to get into hiking and I want the best gear. So I type in “best hiking gear”. I get a list recommending products from an influential site immediately.

Do I want to spend huge amounts of time evaluating thousands of products, or do I want to take an expert at their word and choose the product they recommend?

For most people, it’s the latter. So when it comes to keywords, knowing what high authority websites and influencers dominate them is useful. Instead of competing, look at guest posting. Send them a product to review. Look at influencers on Social Media (Instagram in particular) and try to get featured by them.

5) There Are A Hundred Ways To Say The Same Thing

We’ve hinted at this with Google’s “related searches” list at the bottom of the first page, but this rabbit hole goes down a lot further.

Using Thesaurus on your keywords can open up a huge array of new opportunities. Run these synonyms through AdWords’ Keyword Planner, and you can identify new potential opportunities.

Keyword Planner by Google AdWords is a free keyword tool that can help you to look for more keyword ideas and analyze the performance.

Another essential component of making the keywords you’ve identified work hard is discovering the LSI keywords associated with it. LSI, or Latent Semantic Indexing, basically means “related or shared meaning” – similar to the thesaurus idea above.

Using LSIGraph, you can put in your keyword to find long tail keyword alternatives that are already popular search terms.

This keyword suggestion tool is specifically designed for generating Keyword Research. No doubt, it has contributed hugely in the world of SEO.

Do The Fundamentals Well, And You’ll Be Rewarded

Keyword research process may feel basic, even mundane, but it’s absolutely essential to success, so it’s worth doing it well. With these resources, you’ll be able to ensure you maximize the benefit you get from the time you spend doing keyword research.

Once you’ve done it, it’s time to optimize your content using SEOPressor.

You can use it to input up to 3 keywords and get suggestions on how you can better optimize your content to maximize its rank on Google.

When was the last time you performed keyword research on your website? Tell us in the comments below. Any tips and tricks on how to do keyword research you know that we haven’t included here? Share them with our readers!

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The Four Step
Keyword Research Tracker

Access various keyword research tools from one convenient page
Improves search intent discovery and keyword expansion process
Real keyword research example to guide you along the process

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The Importance of SEO Meta Descriptions

The Importance of SEO Meta Descriptions

SEO has evolved tremendously, and that’s a big deal for digital marketers around the globe.

You’ve most probably heard this a hundred times – when it comes to creating for search engine optimization (SEO), it’s crucial that you always write for the user FIRST and the search engine next. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to writing compelling and action-oriented meta descriptions for your individual web pages.

When it comes to using content to improve the value of a webpage, it isn’t all about the copy on the page. There are also hidden HTML attributes and metadata details that you can add to the back end of a webpage to send useful signals to both search engines and users.

What Is A Meta Description?

Meta descriptions play a big role in search results. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, a meta description is the snippet of information below the link of a search result. In essence, the description tag is a short paragraph that describes accurately and succinctly so that the users and Googlebot can understand what the content of the web page is about.

It’s purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. The end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description.

Before that, I would like to emphasize that although Google no longer uses meta description 100% of the time, it is still an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss to massively improve your reader’s user experience.

Take a look at the image below that shows you the basic anatomy of a search result and where the meta description fits in.

When users perform a search, if the meta description is relevant to the search query, then there is a higher chance that Google will be using it.

If the meta title helps the readers understand what the main subject of the paragraph is, the meta description helps the the readers understand clearly what the content of your site is about.

Here’s a meta description example that appears when people share your articles across other websites and social channels like Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Do Meta Descriptions Matter?

More often than not, meta descriptions can have a significant impact on your search engine optimization efforts. Google’s final words on meta description is “Use quality descriptions.” Keep in mind that having high-quality descriptions can be displayed in Google’s search results, and is beneficial for your website. Here’s a pretty extensive literature by Google about the implementation and best practices of meta descriptions, if you’re interested to know more.

So now that we’re on the same page and you’re fully equipped with the knowledge of what a meta description is, let’s break it down to see if you really need one.

The short answer to “Do Meta Descriptions Matter?” is Yes. The long answer? Yes, and here’s why.

1. Increase Click Through Rates and Improve Visits From Organic Search

It is a well known fact that the percentage of clicks will consistently drop as you go further down the page, because logically, a more relevant result will be placed at the top of the search engine results. While an SEO meta description won’t increase a page’s search rankings on its own, the results of a well-crafted meta description can boost a page’s rankings. When a link is frequently clicked on in, it sends signals to search engines telling them that a page is important and has relevancy that users prefer.

This makes having a detailed, relevant and eye-catching meta description much more important. In short, the better your meta description, the more likely it is for you to have good click through rates from organic search.

2. “Sell” Your Content

Although it is debated that the meta description doesn’t affect the ranking your web page, the side effects of a well-crafted one certainly can. A well-written meta description have been proven to increase click-through rate, and in some instances time spent on the web page, and these metric DO play a part in the algorithmic rankings.

3. The right message, the right people, the right time

Google uses meta descriptions to return results when searches use advanced search operators to match meta tag content, as well as to pull preview snippets on search result pages, but it’s important to note that meta descriptions do not influence Google’s ranking algorithms for normal web search.

4. Boost Visits From Social

Social sharing sites like Facebook commonly use a page’s description tag when the page is shared on their sites. Without the meta description tag, social sharing sites may just use the first text they can find. Depending on the first text on your page, this might not create a good user experience for users encountering your content via social sharing.

Characteristics of A Good Meta Description

I see writing meta description as a legitimate exercise in effective sales copywriting. It should do everything possible to drive someone to make that decision and click. Here’s how you can write meta descriptions that are clear, helpful and stand out to your readers.

1. Write between 135 and 160 characters.

There is no ‘this number is right’ in this. It depends on what Google adds to your search result and how much they want to show. The reason I say 135 is to give a benchmark to abide by. But to fit within the most common range of length, write a copy that is between 135 to 160 characters.

2. It should be actionable, in an active voice

Write them in active voice to help engage readers and grab their attention.

Well, of course. Passive language, when the subject of the sentence is being acted upon, is boring. Active language, when the subject of the sentence is taking action, is interesting and easy to visualize and understand. Therefore, an important content writing tip is to maintain the active voice as much as possible.

3. Include a call to action

Treat your meta description as a piece of your customer’s journey and use language that guides users to take the next step. Include a call to action that encourages them to act. Invitations like Learn more, Get it now, Try for free come to mind. At the same time, incorporating a short CTA or offer somewhere in your meta description is a great way to boost your click-through rate and be your answer to standing out from your competition.

Here’s a look at what Fave uses in their description. See how they introduce their offers?

4. Include the page’s targeted keyword

If the search keyword matches text in the meta description, Google will be more inclined to use that meta description and highlight it in the search results. This is basically where you want the words which will take you to the top of the search engine result page to be. Your keywords are important – even if you take away all of the other words, the user should be able to know what your site is about when they read your relevant keywords.

5. It should be unique on its own

Each meta description and page title you create should be unique. If it is duplicated, the user experience in Google will be less. Do not use the same phrases or language for multiple rich snippets.

6. Provide value propositions

For every meta description you write you need to be mindful of what the user will be thinking: “Yeah, but, what’s in for me?” This is where you specific value proposition comes into play and should be utilized to clearly articulate what specifically you have to offer in relation to the particular service or product you’re writing a page description for.

In this example, the SEOPressor tells readers how the post will help them (“for better search and inbound marketing”)

How to Include Meta Description on Your Pages

Let’s say you have done everything that needs to be done beforehand, so what’s the next step? If you are using WordPress on a self-hosted domain, you are in luck. Set up META settings with SEOPressor Connect!

Step 1: In your blog post, go to the Meta tab

Meta tags are the key points that your article is talking about and helps rank it in search engine result pages.

For example, my blog title is “Keyword Research – Here’s How Anyone Can Get Started”. I have to make sure that my meta description describes it, so that my readers like you know what they are clicking on.

Step 2: Key in Your Title Tag and Meta Description

You can also see how many characters are there for your Title and Meta Description. Keep your Title under 55 characters, and Meta Description no more than 160 characters.

Step 3 : Once you’re done, you can click the ‘Preview’ button to see how they are displayed on Google

This is what the preview looks like.

Is That All?

Writing a good meta description isn’t a one-time operation. Try doing regular reviews and rewrites. As with landing page optimization, it’s crucial that the resulting search CTR is regularly reviewed and re-optimized to ensure that everything has been done to increase the chances of earning a click over the competition – especially in cases where matching the authority of a domain is hard.

Having the best title within the search engine result page could earn more clicks than a lower ranking page might otherwise generate. Don’t settle for an okay meta and always ensure that you’ve followed every step mentioned above no matter how long the process takes.

For further readings on this topic, here’s another blog post to boost up your knowledge “How to Increase Traffic By 286% With Meta Descriptions.” Enjoy!

Have I missed out on anything? Feel free to tell me about your metadata writing process in the comments below!

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SEO Guide: Perfecting On-Page SEO Optimization

An ultimate guide for every marketer to optimize your on-page SEO perfectly.
Identify all the SEO elements to optimize it the right way
Improve your traffic and ranking with this actionable step-by-step guide
20 on-page SEO tips are included to help you get on the road to your SEO success

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The 8 C’s of Effective SEO Explained

The 8 C’s of Effective SEO Explained

Quick question: Are you familiar with your “C’s”?

If you don’t already know, there are many aspects in the world that uses the “C’s” as a framework. You might come across the C’s in these areas, for instance:

Banking – Character, Capacity, Capital Collateral, Conditions
Marketing – Company, Customers, Competitors, Collaborators
Education – Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Cooperation
Communication – Clear, Concise, Concrete, Correct, Coherent, Complete, Courteous
Life – Choices, Chances, Changes

…. and so much more.

With that in mind, I figured why not come up with the C’s of Effective SEO? Hence, the birth of this blog post today. Although they are just eight small words beginning with a letter “C”, their importance for effective SEO is the same as the importance of the 8 wonders of the world.

Simply put, the future of SEO lies in this 8 C’s of content marketing strategies. Obviously, effective search engine optimization is much deeper and the tactics are more specific than the 8 C’s when you’re practicing true organic search engine optimization.

However, I believe that there are general principles you ought to know and follow to achieve utmost success in SEO.

Let’s begin.

Content

We often hear the phrase “Content is King”.

Indeed.

To write an effective SEO content that will rank, it is important to create content that appeals to your audience and provides a quick, concise answer to their question. If you’ve been in this field for long, I believe you’ll agree with me that this can be the most challenging task of a SEO copywriter, since it is never easy to determine a user’s intent.

Establishing a content strategy is the fundamental first step. It’s not just a matter of “Oh, we’ll create a blog.” Always communicate a clear and compelling message to lead your reader into understanding your unique story. Here are a few steps to writing a good SEO content:

1. Conduct Keyword Research

It is important to conduct keyword research to identify the keywords that are searched in relation to your topic. Never “assume” what people are searching for, but check with actual data from Google. Remember that if we want to get noticed by Google in order to be accessible to the public, we need to take into consideration what users are looking for.

2. Write for people not Google

We need to keep in mind that the content we are creating needs to appeal to people, and written FOR people. Take into consideration what Google wants to see at the same time not forgetting your audience is HUMAN.

3. Longer is Better

Longer blog posts get you noticed by both search engines and users. It is no surprise that search engines tend to give preference to longer, more in-depth blogs. This is not due to the fact that longer articles have a range of different keywords scattered all over, but it is also how much the user finds the content useful to their liking.

Writing awesome blog posts won’t instantly improve your ranking but in the long run, it will definitely have a positive effect on your SEO methods!

Context

If content is king, then context is his closest advisor.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Google’s approach to understanding the connections between content online is becoming increasingly “human”. Dozens of sources; maps to determine if your site is relevant, on page data to understand if your content is relevant and enjoyable. The most important factor however, are links.

1. Domain Authority – How trusted and influential your site is, determined by the relevancy and quality of the people who link to you. Read more about it here; https://seopressor.com/blog/how-to-increase-domain-authority/

2. Page Authority – Similar to domain authority, but focused on the topics covered on a particular page.

Search engines are rapidly developing the way they form links between content. To create connections which are similar to the way we do offline, with the goal of making your experience more natural and tailored to your tastes.

Code

When performing SEO audits, you’ll find yourself neck deep in the code at some point.

Code refers to the extra emphasis you place on content behind the scenes. How your website’s code is constructed will influence how your site’s information is interpreted by Search Engines. Among other things, it involves meta tags, title tags, headings, hyperlinks, bullet lists and other techniques to bring more attention to specific words.

Make sure you pay full attention to these few tips:

Keywords in page titles – hierarchy counts and be sure to make each page’s unique
Keywords in title tags – H1 tags are the most important
Keywords in alt tags of images
Keywords in domain name
Description in metadata
Page Speed – Fully optimize your site
Make sure the amount of time left on your domain’s names registration is not short term
Check to make sure your site is hosted on a trustworthy server

With the escalation of database-driven content management systems (CMS) such as SEO for WordPress, much of the source code behind that helps define the content and layout is standardized. Don’t have a gazillion links on your page. Make sure that your visitors can get anywhere on your site with three clicks of their mouse.

Connectivity

First goal of your social media strategy = connectivity.

SEO is rapidly becoming more socially focused, both online and off. Connectivity or conversations are your social media strategy’s first goal. Search engine optimization is becoming less about finding out how search works, and more geared towards a great experience for your customers.

How many people have bookmarked you? How many have shared you on Facebook? How many have Tweeted about you? Is anybody buzzing about your website?

Whether an empty “Hi” or an adoring comment, even a hate or know it all comment, this all add up to maintaining and improving organic reach. Take chance of this two-way and multi-party dialogue, instead of the traditional one-way corporate communication.

Conversation is about having the confidence to actively engage in discussion, not just about your site, but around it. Demonstrating that you’re knowledgeable about your business that you can make conversation; and ultimately direct people to your website. This is where SEO comes in full circle. Make content, provide context to fuel conversation: your customers will ask questions, which helps to define your content.

Consistency

In SEO, the small stuffs truly matters and consistency is especially powerful.

If you ask people what they think is necessary to get a website ranking high for a particular keyword, most of us will mention things like an optimized title tag, unique content and so on. While those factors are indeed important for SEO, they will produce very small results if you don’t combine them with consistency.

Allow me to tell you how impactful it will be on your SEO:

1. Creates Fresh Content For Search Engines

The more frequently you update your site with fresh content, the more opportunities you have to strengthen your SEO and be indexed higher by search engines.

2. Increases Opportunity to Rank for Keyword Phrases

The more blog posts you create, the more chances you have to boost your SEO rankings for a variety of keyword phrases. Because of blogging, the number of keyword phrases our users rank for typically doubles within a year.

3. Positions You as a Credible Resource

Blogging on a consistent schedule improves the chances that your readers will see you as a credible brand that they can always trust and look to for guidance on related issues. When you blog consistently, you create the impression that your brand is here to stay.

The bottom line is that while the quality of your content matters, how frequently you post and update your content is vitally important too. Balancing the relationship between quality and frequency is critical.

Credibility

Part of making a site a success from an SEO standpoint is making it credible and trustworthy.

To push yourself above and beyond the noisy competition, you need to build a sense of credibility with the search engine. Over a million sites can offer some information about virtually any keyword you can think of. So, how does Google determine which ten make it to the first page?

Let’s say a user is searching for “badminton racquet”. It’s not just enough to have the term occurring in your content a few times, and then optimize your title, ALT and META tags. This is where inbound linking comes in. You need to know why it is important for those links to come from related and authority sites and not just anybody.

With Google, it is always quality over quantity.

Consumer

WHO are your consumers?

In any and every business, the very first thing you need to determine is WHO are your target audience. Without this vital piece of information, you can’t possibly figure out what to blog about. This will vary completely based on the business you operate and the products you are offering.

Take for example, if you are a wedding photographer, then your ideal client is probably between the ages of 20 – 30 and female. This doesn’t mean that someone older or a male may not inquire about your services. But, this is the audience that is most interested in what you have to offer. This may take you some time to do a research and figure out exactly who your ideal clientele but it will be SO worth it in the end.

You need to really get to know how your customers think, develop content that they need across their entire journey, and test tot see what works best at each stage. Your success will come not only from customers that experience satisfying visits to your site, but also from delivering better experiences for potentially your most influential site visitors of all – the search engines,

Conversion

SEOs must focus on increasing conversions when delivering qualified traffic to their clients’ websites.

This is a bonus tip, but is by no means less important. If you are not seeing any increase in leads and sales, then you need to re-evaluate your SEO strategy. Where rubber meets road, no company is willing to invest its hard-earned cash towards SEO basics only to increase traffic.

The real magic or the real return comes from an increase in sales = conversion.

To ensure you stay on top of your conversions, carefully analyze your site traffic and other metrics to find out what your potential target audience is looking for right now.

That sums it all! My 8 C’s to an effective SEO explained.

Now you know the 8 C’s – Content, Context, Code, Connectivity, Consistency, Credibility, Consumer, Conversion, the next SEO strategy is to put them into practice. That’s not so hard when you think about it right? When you boil things down to those simple ideas, you’re bound to have a much better presence in search.

Are there any more C’s you have in mind and would like to share? Do let me know in the comments below!

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SEO Guide: Perfecting On-Page SEO Optimization

An ultimate guide for every marketer to optimize your on-page SEO perfectly.
Identify all the SEO elements to optimize it the right way
Improve your traffic and ranking with this actionable step-by-step guide
20 on-page SEO tips are included to help you get on the road to your SEO success

Read More

5 Ways AI Will Impact The Future of SEO

5 Ways AI Will Impact The Future of SEO

5 Ways AI Will Impact The Future of SEO

The use of AI SEO is not entirely new, but it is rapidly developing…

SEO is a results business. Imagine if you have access to data that tells you precisely what you need to do in order to optimize your website and improve visibility in search engines.

Well, it’s 2018, you don’t have to imagine any longer as the technology is already available. Things will be beyond what we can imagine now by 2020, 2030 and so on.

Artificial Intelligence development and its impact on different industries have been the talk of the town since last year. Although seo artificial intelligence is still in its infant stages, in the next couple of years it will dominate how digital marketing companies develop SEO strategies.

Currently, AI is used in digital marketing to gather data on ad targeting, to determine the relevancy of content, to identify customer segments for cross-selling, for streamlining marketing campaigns, and analyzing which emotional values have the most impact on their target audience. But very few companies are using AI technology to improve their search engine rankings – yet.

In this article, I’ll take you through some clear predictions of how AI will impact the future of SEO so you can stay ahead of the curve in order to provide successful campaigns for your business.

What is Modern Day AI SEO?

Have you ever watched the movie Terminator or iRobot?

Notice how AI has jumped from sci-fi movie plots into mainstream news headlines in just a couple of years?

Basically, AI is considered as the next frontier of marketing. The concept of AI refers to technology that is seeking to mimic human intelligence. AI includes a broad variety of capabilities such as voice, image recognition, machine learning and semantic searching.

The most important thing to understand about AI is that it is not a static formula to solve. It’s a constantly evolving system designed to identify, sort, and present the data that is most likely to meet the needs of users at that specific time, based on a multitude of variables that go far beyond just a simple keyword phrase.

Ai is trained by using known data, such as:

Content
Links
User Behavior
Trust
Citations
Patterns

…and then analyzing that data using user experience, big data and machine learning to develop new ranking factors capable of producing the results most likely to the user’s needs.

A Blessing or Curse for Mankind?

What’s your pick on this?

The AI and marketing revolution is upon us, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. It seemed like yesterday when things like automated social media posts, blog content, and chatbots were something laughable. However, future predictions of these algorithms have accelerated almost to the point of reaching human logic, making marketers both excited and scared.

The overarching concern surrounding AI is machine morality and whether it is safe society. If people do not have proper ethical guidelines or fully comprehend the risk, will it be the worst thing to happen to humanity? Only time will tell.

But one thing’s for sure; it is an innovative, lucrative and progressive technology with tremendous scope, that more and more companies from various industries are investing in research and development (R&D) in order to disrupt and mold the future.

How is AI Changing The Future Of SEO?

As quick as AI and search has been shifting the world of marketing in general, SEO has been following suit in a big way. Luckily for you, I have listed down the prediction of 5 ways AI SEO will change in time to come.

1. Less Black Hat SEO Techniques

Black hat techniques are quite risky to practice because they are usually detected sooner or later.

In general, black hat SEO techniques try to exploit weaknesses in search engine algorithms to obtain higher rankings for websites. However, further advancements in AI search signals might soon increase demand for SEO strategies that focus on content relevancy and basically prevent black hat SEO practices in their tracks.

Ending Keyword Stuffing:

It doesn’t make your content read naturally
It hurts your website’s credibility

Thanks to Google’s algorithm updates, these tactics don’t work anymore. However, this does not stop some SEO practitioners from attempting this exploit by using synonyms of keywords. As AI search signals become more adept in processing natural language, websites that have keywords which occur naturally in content may enjoy a higher rank, which means keyword stuffing as we know it could be obsolete.

Identifying and Filtering Spam

There are billions of links on the web but not of them are relevant. Most of the time you see marketers trying to pass off these irrelevant links through promotions, emails, press releases, and even on web pages.

Irrelevant links are penalized by Google. For example, if your website’s content is about interior decorating services but has a lot of backlinks from car washing services, Google’s RankBrain (Google’s machine learning technology) will not see it as relevant to your company and may penalize your ranking for it.

2. Real Time Data Is Going To Be Huge

With artificial intelligence, it is now possible to harness real-time data and make it work for us.

One of the biggest impacts that AI will have on SEO is the speed and effectiveness that it offers to universal marketing efforts. Not only will AI be able to aggregate and organize keywords and search terms, but it will additionally be able to pinpoint how to use these terms as well.

Real Time Price Changes

With the advancement of high- performance analytics, dynamic, on-the-go pricing allows e-Commerce retailers to adjust their prices minute to minute automatically. An example of this would be Uber’s price surge that goes up or down depending on the time of the day (or night), peak hours, and if there’s a special event and so on.

Its main goal is to get drivers on the road by encouraging more users, which leads to more transactions. Implementing this on your website would mean AI could determine the price point depending on a customer’s willingness to pay in real time. The new pricing system uses machine-learning to predict and determine pricing related to sociological factors including wealth in geographic area. Travelers taking an Uber to and from affluent areas may be asked to pay more compared to other passengers in less affluent locations.

Perhaps in years to come, we might see marketers use AI to automatically adjust pricing on their product pages (discounted airline tickets for frequent fliers) according to a special event (e.g. during Year End Sale).

Read more about Uber’s New Pricing System Based on AI here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/uber-uses-artificial-intelligence-to-figure-out-your-personal-price-hike/

Smart Customer Service

We know it was coming, we see it coming and it’s here to serve. Chatbots one of AI’s greatest advancements, essentially allows e-commerce sites to provide their customers with a completely personalised online shopping experience. Intrinsically, shoppers are able to tell the automated service exactly what they’re looking for. One such example is Alibaba. In implementing AI, Alibaba is applying numerous complex machine-learning methods and disciplines, such as online machine learning, transfer learning, deep learning, artificial neural networks and reinforcement learning.

At Alibaba, chatbots are all business. If you call Alibaba with a question or complaint, more likely than not you’ll be connected to a computer system called Ali Xiaomi (Ali Assistant). Capable of accessing personal information about individual callers and continuously upgrading its capabilities by analyzing millions of customer-service interactions, Ali Xiaomi can also help users with more general assistance, such as topping up phone credits, checking weather and purchasing airline tickets.

3. Content Optimization For Voice Search

In recent years, searching by voice is a hot topic among forward-thinking SEO professionals.

The way people search for information online is changing. These days, people are using voice search using AI on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistance to search for information on the Internet. Corresponding with this increase in mobile device usage is the rise of what is called “voice search”. People have become increasingly accustomed to the idea of speaking directly with computer devices and accessing information on the Internet whenever and wherever they might need it.

Thanks to artificial intelligence, online search is becoming more conversational. In time, online marketers might take a different approach to content optimization by focusing on keywords that are more conversational.

Here is a possibility of AI predictions from an SEO perspective:

Conversational keyword optimization for voice based search

We rarely type the way we speak. When we type, we use shorthand, so you would type “weather Japan” into a search bar. But when you speak, you are likely to ask a complete question, “What’s the weather today in Japan?”

As more users start using programs like Siri and Google Now to search, search engines might catch up and start ranking websites with content that are optimized with keywords that are conversational.

For example, consider the fact that voice searches typically use words like “Who”, “What”, “When” and “Where” when looking for answers for immediate needs. To appeal to voice search, marketers can use these adverbs to optimize web pages while using a conversational tone throughout the content.

4. Images and Video Intelligence

An advanced video image analysis and identification technology.

If you want to learn how to tie a necktie, would you rather read an article about it or a video? The answer is obvious, and Google knows it too. Type “How to Tie a Necktie” and a video tutorial will show up on the first page.

Search engines are getting better at understanding the value of visual content like images and videos. To make the most of their SEO efforts, digital marketers may need to pay more attention on what is on their images and optimize tagging accordingly.

The rise of video will make SEO marketers focus even more on visual contents, but it will also force artists to create video with optimization in mind. In fact, it will probably give life to a new category of videographers who will specialize in SEO content just as it happened with writers.

Here it is, a video brought to you by Clarifai. A tiny startup that specializes in artificial intelligence. Take for example, a 15 seconds video about a puppy and its female owner is shown. Using a database of 10,000 visual categories Clarifai has built over the years, the company’s software tracks the images that appear in the video, automatically describing it with relevant words like “dog”, “female”, “eyes” and even “cute.”

In a nutshell, optimize your videos and images by focusing on keywords. The most simple and effective strategy AI impact on search is to include the main keyword in the filename, the title of videos and playlists, and the descriptions and tags.

This is only the beginning.

5. All About Value and User Experience

How will AI affect values and User Experience?

While artificial intelligence search engines will revolutionize the way people search, if you are already doing best practice AI SEO, it may make almost no difference to your business. It has long been understood that what Google looks for in a website is “value for the reader”. The like websites that provide high-quality information, great resources in specific niches that are both relevant and informative. If you are creating valuable content like this already then you have a great head-start in the future of search.

At the same time, artificial intelligence algorithms is here to help make our jobs simple and easier – and by taking advantage of AI to learn user behaviors, UX teams can quickly solve user’s problems with create models based on user preferences, and develop more personalized applications.

As businesses and users become more inclined to greater customization, it’s vital for designers to become data-savvy, and dive headfirst into scrutinizing the endless possibilities in engaging with any system. Ultimately, it’s this transition that is delivering a strategic business impact – whether it be through lower IT helpdesk queries from users, greater efficiency and accuracy, and overall productivity improvements.

Future of SEO: Inevitable Transformation

AI SEO is an inevitable transformation in years to come!

To recap, 5 AI predictions on how it will change the future of SEO is:

AI might stop SEO practitioners from using black hat SEO tactics like spam backlinks and excessive keywords in content
AI programs that provide real-time date (like chatbots) might prompt marketers to respond with real-time adjustments and a personalized customer service
Keyword optimization may become conversational to account for voice-based search
AI capabilities like object detection and innovations in video SEO will improve online marketing efforts for visual content

AI in its present form is a tool to increase productivity for content marketers and within many industries but researchers and developers are also experimenting with emotions, morality, and consciousness in neural networks that will transform not only marketing but humanity.

The demand for those industries will not go away anytime soon and therefore those industries will not die at the hands of the machines just yet. AI will simply transform industries into something completely different much like advancement in tech that has always been done.

The same is true for content marketing. People will always feel the need to consume content for informational and entertainment purposes. Great content will always rise to the top regardless of how much noise or overabundance. Success in an organic search, powered by AI SEO, will ultimately come down to providing a positive user experience that puts the emphasis on providing amazing content that is easy to access across all devices.

Artificial Intelligence is changing SEO, get ahead or fall behind.

Do you have additional input on how AI will impact the future of SEO? Do you have anything else that you want to know? Let me know in the comments below!

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Deadliest SEO Mistakes
Revealed By Google Patent

“While not being a Black Hat is a no brainer, this book lets you know how not to let Google mistook you as one.” – Evander Wilmer
Cracking Methods Used By Google To Detect Black Hat Practices
4 Big Companies That Got Caught At Rank Manipulation
How You Can Avoid Being Penalized By Mistake

Read More

The Ultimate Guide to Google Cache Text Strings

We have a client site whose SEO often defies description, along with canonicalization.

We often have to check Google’s cache of various URLs to see what in fact Google is getting, but sometimes when you view the Full Version of the cache it just rapidly reloads like a blinking strobe light. Kind of like this:

And there’s no way to get to the Text-Only or View Source versions of the cached URL as the links don’t stay in place long enough for your cursor to recognize the link and make it clickable.

The good news is there’s a simple way to get the desired view of a cached URL in Google – add text strings to the end of the URL in your browser’s address bar. And here they are in their full Instant Answer/Featured Snippet glory:

How To View The Text-Only Version Of A URL In Google’s Cache

Replace the text string at the end of the Full Version of the cache URL with &num=1&strip=1&vwsrc=0. For example, here’s the Full Version cache URL for our homepage using a Safari browser with the text string to be replaced bolded:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:uEClgfqmc7cJ:www.localseoguide.com/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=safari
To see the Text-Only version, replace the bolded string with &num=1&strip=1&vwsrc=0, so http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:uEClgfqmc7cJ:www.localseoguide.com/&num=1&strip=1&vwsrc=0.
If you want to see what it looks like in different languages, countries or browsers you can add the following parameters to the string:
&client=safari (or whichever browser you want):
&hl=en (or whichever language you want)
&gl=us (or whichever country you want)
So it would look like http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:uEClgfqmc7cJ:www.localseoguide.com/&num=1&client=safari&hl=en&gl=us&strip=1&vwsrc=
You could also just use our free Text-Only Cache bookmarklet for Chrome.

How To View The View Source Version Of A URL In Google’s Cache

Replace the text string at the end of the Full Version of the cache URL (or the Text-Only version URL) with &num=1&strip=0&vwsrc=1. You can also use the same browser, language and country parameters as mentioned above.
If you want to go back to the Full Version, just replace the text string with &num=1&strip=0&vwsrc=0.

And that’s pretty much it for the basics.

 

 

The post The Ultimate Guide to Google Cache Text Strings appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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Checklist for performing a basic SEO audit

Checklist for performing a basic SEO audit

Keeping up with the latest SEO practices can be overwhelming for someone who has just started out as a new website owner. Furthermore, making sure that the existing SEO implementations are regularly taken care of as per the latest Google algorithm changes can be a nerve-wracking task for some.

To make sure that you are not missing out on them, you should perform an SEO audit of your website/blog regularly. By keeping a checklist handy, you maintain a standard SEO audit task list that ensures none of the crucial points are missed.

In this articles, we will brief you with a complete checklist that will help you perform the SEO audit of your website effectively and efficiently.

The advantages of having an SEO audit checklist are:

Helps you identify the site’s weakest points and work on them
Helps you with your site’s off and on-page optimization
Helps you increase your site’s loading speed after you implement conclusions drawn out of the checklist
Self-auditing your own website
Helps you increase the organic traffic for your business
The checklist helps you scan your website for any SEO omissions or SEO wrongdoings
This SEO audit checklist will help you improve the website ranking factors by providing checkpoints.

We have tried our best to create a comprehensive checklist so that you don’t miss out on the major aspects of SEO. However, there will be certain checkpoints that we have liberally skipped from the checklist.

Now, let’s dive right into the content of the checklist for your next SEO audit.

Determine the objectives of your site’s SEO audit

This is the most important task for your SEO audit checklist where you determine the objective or the purpose as to why you are in need of an SEO audit. These objectives will eventually define the extent of this checklist and maybe, make things a bit different.

For example, if your website is not yielding the desired speed results, you might want to conduct an SEO audit and figure out what’s causing the trouble. On the other hand, if there is a sudden downfall in the traffic metrics, you might want to fix things through an SEO audit. Well, there are many similar objectives behind this activity and by carefully assessing them, you will be able to perform an SEO Audit more effectively.

Keyword analysis

SEO begins with keywords so it is a good idea to begin your audit with the analysis of the keywords your site is using and if you’re targeting the right ones.

Make sure that you are using less competitive, long tail keywords that are very specific to the industry you are dealing in. The right keyword will be relevant, measurable, and obviously not a shot at the moon i.e. it will help you rank better.

A few tools that you can use are UberSuggest, SEMrush, Google keyword planner and Google trends.

You must run a keyword strategy that targets time bound keywords simply due to the fact that as your website grows, you will need to amplify the keyword research and look for other extensive keywords that will help you rank better.

Too many keywords on the website will kill your SEO game. Revamp the keyword count of needed. Include keywords in the URL to help your pages/posts rank better and make sure that these URLs are short.

Keyword cannibalization is yet another SEO degrading factor for your website. It occurs when two pages of your website compete for the same keyword. Make sure that you implement decisions to take care of it.

Later in the audit, you will be required to analyze the competition for these keywords.

Content analysis

We all know that the content pushed out by your site must be unique and free of plagiarism. Well, there are several other content analysis checks that must be ensured.

Begin by checking the presence of duplicate content on your site and seek help from tools such as Siteliner.com. By providing a match percentage, it shows result for pages that match other pages. You can also choose to opt for Copyscape premium services to see if any of your content has been plagiarized over the Internet.

A good content that helps your website rank better is engaging and SEO optimized. Make sure that you are using the target keywords on all the right places throughout a page on your website.

Keyword in the title of the post/page
Keyword in the first paragraph
Keyword appearances in the H1 Tag
Use of keyword in the meta description of the post
Keyword appearances in the URL structure
Keyword in the alt text of the first image used
Keyword appearances towards the end of the post’s content.

To make sure that your content is engaging, always refresh the user generated data on the comment section of your blogs. Keep interacting with the audience so that you are able to churn a fair share of SEO juice from it as well.

Making sure that your content is of the right length is just as important as using quality content. Create the right content strategy which is well balanced with short-form, mid-length, and long-form articles. Regularly publishing content is also a huge SEO booster. If you feel like your schedule needs a boost, you can revise it during the next SEO audit.

UX analysis

The UX furnished by a website is a huge determinant of the site’s traffic and the average time spent by visitors on it.

Google Analytics can help you have a look at what the UX on your website likely is. Alternatively, you can figure out a great navigation for your site’s audience so that they can seamlessly surf through the pages of your website without having to struggle for the information they are looking for.

Another crucial site UX ranking factor is the presence of any broken links or pages on your site. Link checker Tools can help you remove such links and ensure that your users don’t encounter them.

Image optimization check

Make sure that you are optimizing the images present on your website. There are various plugins available which can help you optimize images. And don’t forget to implement the following:

Use high resolution images
Resize them to declutter your site’s database
Use a relevant image that matches your text
Name your image file appropriately by using the target keyword
Use image alt text.

Content promotion analysis

If your website is employing content promotion services to share its updates via social media channels, make sure that they are well integrated and are working as intended.

Web hosting check

The right web hosting service boosts your site’s SEO efforts by complementing its server reputation, website uptime, and obviously the loading speed it offers. Every SEO audit must be an event where you review the performance of your existing web host and if there is a need, make the switch and choose a better service provider.

Resources like HostingBooth can be very helpful when you are looking to compare the performance of the existing hosting service providers.

Website loading speed check

Use a tool like Pingdom to determine the existing speed of your website. If it is taking more than 2-3 seconds to load, make sure that you fix it by following the necessary steps at the earliest.

Don’t skip out the website loading time for mobile devices.

Site uptime

During all of your site’s SEO audits, you must check the site uptime offered by your website to its users. Site uptime is the duration of the time your website is available to its users for access. A website with frequent downtime will cause the traffic to go down and affect your site’s ranking. To take care of your site’s uptime and maintenance, you can rely on tools like Uptime Robot, Site 24*7, and Pingometer.

Link analysis

Make sure that your backlinks are relevant and of high quality. Majestic is a great link checker if you want to ascertain the relevancy, authority, and the quality of the backlinks on your website. It’s Backlink History Checker tool will help you determine the number of backlinks detected by its sophisticated web robots for given domains, subdomains or URLs.

You must also assess the presence of all the outbound and internal links present on your website and get rid of all the low-quality links.

URL check

The right URL structure is crucial for your website as it tells quite a lot about the SEO on your site. All the URLs on your website must be SEO optimized yet not over-optimized. Take care of all the capital vs. lowercase URLs on the website.

Google penalty check

The truth is that Google is at the liberty of penalizing your website for not adhering to its regulatory updates or other instructions. A Google Penalty can cause a lot of damage to your site’s online reputation and your site’s SEO may go haywire. And in a situation where you are not aware of such a penalty being levied on your website, any efforts to rectify low SEO score can go to the gutter.

 

Hence, during every SEO audit, you must run a Google Penalty check to see if your website has been penalized. There are several tools available that can help you figure that out such as the Panguin Google Penalty Check Tool and the Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker Tool.

 Sitemaps

Sitemaps help Google better understand the structure of your website by giving it the access to your site. Once you have a sitemap setup correctly, you will be required to keep it free of any errors.  assuming it’s set up correctly.

Begin by checking the presence of your site’s sitemap file by by adding sitemap.xml or sitemap.html to the browser. A Google Search Console search will help you figure out how many URLs were successfully indexed when you previously submitted the sitemap. It will also notify you of any problems or issues. Use tools like CodeBeautify and XMLValidation to check your sitemap for errors before submitting it.

Site security check

A site’s security is a compulsive factor that determines the ranking of your website. If yours is an ecommerce website, security is even more important. Since an SSL certificate is now an object of great importance for the impression of a website, make sure that your websites have it and while performing your next SEO audit, take steps to

Conclusions

Once you are doing everything right, monthly or quarterly SEO audits will help you revamp your SEO strategy and make sure that you are not left behind. With the checklist furnished above, you will be able to perform a more efficient SEO audit for your site and ensure that it ranks well.

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