Local SEO expert, Patrick Giammarco, will host a free Webinar titled Winning the Local Search Game on Thursday, June 11, 2015 from 12-1 pm EDT.
The Webinar is intended to teach a handful of local marketing practices that businesses must embrace and master in order to dominate their business category locally.
To register, visit www.pwgmarketing.com/winning-the-local-search-game.
When asked to comment on the importance of increasing search rank for businesses, Giammarco commented, “Local SEO isn’t an option anymore. Every month, 59% of consumers use Google to find a reputable local business. If they’re not able to find you online, you don’t exist. It’s as simple as that,” he added. “Increase your search rank. Increase your revenue.”
This fast-paced session will cover some of the most pressing topics in local search:
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Why now is a great time to improve your local results
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Why content is key for local SEO
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]How to figure out why your competitors outrank you
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]How to get serious about online reviews
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]The importance of something called citations
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]How to clean up data that’s likely killing your search results
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]The best way to get the links Google likes most
Are you looking to get found online at the exact moment someone is looking for you? Join Patrick Giammarco June 11, 2015 for his free Winning the Local Search Game Webinar.
Giammarco, owner of Inbound Marketing agency PWG Marketing and Master Duct Tape Marketing Consultant, has delivered marketing strategy, content and inbound marketing services to small and medium businesses around the world since 2008.
A hybrid marketing agency, PWG Marketing is on a mission to replace annoying, interruptive marketing with marketing that people love. Powered by Duct Tape Marketing and HubSpot, PWG Marketing develops integrated inbound marketing campaigns that include: strategy, branding, content publishing, public relations, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, lead nurturing and analytics. Visit www.pwgmarketing.com for additional information.
Summary of Google’s Organic Search Algorithm Changes
Google makes changes to its search algorithm on an annual basis, approximately 500 to 600 times a year. These changes are typically minor however Google has and will make major algorithmic updates (like the Hummingbird change below) that have a significant effect on search results on an ongoing basis.
Understanding, even at a basic level, when Google algorithm changes take place, why the changes were made and how they impact rankings and website traffic will ultimately provide improvements to your overall search engine optimization process.
Although there have been many changes to search algorithms, the most popular changes (that have created the largest impact on web search engines) appear below.
Some of Google’s updates are unnamed and sometimes unconfirmed. For example, there was a suggestion related to an e-commerce-based update however this has not been confirmed by Google to date.
On April 21, 2015, Google™ made a major update to mobile search, which will reward websites that are mobile-friendly and punish those that are not.
Other updates that were confirmed by Google are listed below.
Penguin – Penalized sites with over-optimized or unnatural (spammy) links
Google Penguin was first announced in April 2012. It is an algorithm created to penalize (i.e. lower the natural/organic search rankings) of sites that have manipulative back-link profiles, such as:
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]High percentage of exact match anchor texts
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]A lot of low-quality links
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Links from article directories and rich anchor text press releases
At the time, the Penguin update shook up the industry because rich anchor text links were the primary practice for targeting and ranking keywords.
Google launched another update on October 17, 2014. This update was said to be smaller than initially expected according to the experts. It was reported that this update was likely data-only, and not a new Penguin algorithm. Just slightly more than 1% of the United States / English-based queries were affected. It was also reported that the timing of this update was uncertain, particularly on an international level. Google stated that the update was spread over a period of weeks.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Follow Google’s Disavow Backlinks Guide and remove low-quality, 3rd party links from linking to you. Don’t take the blame for someone who is participating in a link-building scheme or otherwise violating Google’s quality guidelines.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Avoid pay-for-link and other shifty link-building tactics.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Start or continue creating high-quality, educational, relevant, compelling content targeted towards your Ideal Client. When the Penguin algorithm change was announced, Google’s Matt Cutt’s had this to say:
“If you’re doing high quality content, Penguin shouldn’t be a big surprise. You shouldn’t have to worry about a lot of different changes.”
Panda – Penalized sites with low-quality, thin content
Google Panda was initially rolled out in Feb. 2011. Unlike Penguin, the Panda algorithm was designed to detect websites that have “low-quality or thin” content and reduce their organic search rankings accordingly. Low quality refers to duplicate, auto-generated or bad content and thin means short, unhelpful pages, possibly with lots of ads.
In 2012, Google announced an over-optimization penalty to Panda. This update intended to help sites with great content rank higher than sites with average content and better SEO, thus helping to spark the content marketing craze.
Fast forward to May 20, 2014 and Panda 4.0 was released. According to Search Engine Watch, Google stated that about 7.5 percent of English queries may see an impact from this update.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]In response to Panda, Google’s Matt Cutts has this to say:
“The overriding goal is to try to make sure that you’ve got high-quality content, the sort of content that people really enjoy, that’s compelling, the sort of thing that they’ll love to read that you might see in a magazine or in a book, and that people would refer back to, or send friends to…”
Hummingbird – Complete overhaul/replacement of Google’s search algorithm
Google announced the Hummingbird 1.0 in August 2013. Hummingbird was a complete overhaul/replacement of Google’s search algorithm. To use a car analogy, liken it to replacing the engine versus getting an oil change.
One of the most interesting aspects of Hummingbird is the incorporation of semantic search or the true meaning behind what is being search on. As such, Hummingbird gives more attention to each word in a search query, ensuring that the entire sentence or conversation or meaning is taken into account, rather than particular words.
In short, with Hummingbird, Google is trying to find the intent behind search queries and offer up more relevant solutions. The competitive landscape for search is becoming less and less about keywords and more about the searcher’s meaning behind them.
For the searcher this is a good thing, but what does it mean for businesses?
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Businesses must understand and adapt to semantic search and the knowledge graph.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Increasingly, businesses need to position themselves as the source for answers to the questions people are asking.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Become good at understanding a searcher’s intent, needs and problems. Look at queries and what they really need and then give the people behind the queries want they are looking for.
Pigeon – Impacts local SEO rankings
Google created quite a shock in the SEO world when it made its update called Pigeon, which dramatically affected local results and changed how they handled and interpreted location cues. When a search query indicated local intent (50% of all mobile searches have some sort of geographic descriptor) Google will tailor results to the searcher’s location using their device’s IP address.
Google also reported that the pigeon update created an even closer tie between core algorithms and the local algorithms. What does that mean? Since Pigeon, traditional on- and off-page ranking factors such as page titles, descriptions, meta data, content, site architecture and backlinks impact local ranking even more.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Make sure you have accurate business name, address and phone number (NAP) on the top directories that are important for your business.
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Earn Links – check out 5 Local Link-Building Ideas for the Post-Penguin/Panda Era
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Get Reviews – Review signals account for about 10% of all ranking factors. More importantly, reviews are positive feedback from your actual customers that trigger clicks and ultimately more business
- [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Make sure you have optimized your social profiles, citations, and Google+ profiles to reflect a specific location (i.e. neighborhood of a city or region, zip code, etc.) not just the name of that city or region.
There has been many updates and changes to the Google algorithm that has been identified for years and reported as far back as 2000. More than ever, businesses should monitor sites that make this information available, so they can keep abreast of any changes that may have a direct effect on their market.
Are you getting found online locally by people looking for what you have to offer?
If not, find out why by downloading our FREE eBook Local SEO: A Guide to Increasing Your Search Presence.
Google™ Will Begin Penalizing Websites Which Don’t Pass This Simple Test
On April 21, 2015, Google™ will be making a major update to mobile search, which will reward websites that are mobile-friendly–and punish those that aren’t.
Mobile visitors are an ever more significant part of most websites’ traffic, often overtaking traffic from traditional desktop devices. After the frustration of WAP and other dedicated mobile systems, ‘pinch & zoom’ made websites seem amazingly navigable on smartphones using the best mobile plans. But they are far from ideal: finding and accessing content is slow and often frustrating. It’s time we make the move from mobile-tolerable websites to websites that are truly mobile-friendly.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
You can easily find out whether your website meets Google’s mobile-friendly criteria using two free tools: Google’s quick mobile-friendly test tool provides results for one page at a time. Use this as an initial test and to check whether a particular page is recognized as mobile friendly by Google’s search engine.
The more extensive (and free) Webmaster Tools2 service provides a wealth of information about the health of your site within Google’s search system. Look for the ‘mobile usability’ report (in the Search Traffic menu) that identifies pages on your website that Google has not been able to score as ‘mobile-friendly’. The report will provide specific feedback for those pages to help you complete your mobile-friendly transition. If your site fails these tests, it is in your best interests to invest some effort into making your website mobile-friendly.
Inbound Marketing: A Proven Methodology for the Digital Age
Marketing and building a brand has evolved significantly since the advent of the Internet. Gone are the days of newspaper ads and flyers in the mail; replaced with pop-up ads, email lists, and social media accounts. In today’s world, having an online presence has become a fundamental part of the continued success and growth of a business.
This is largely due to the shift away from “outbound” marketing, where businesses would actively advertise their products to the public. It would usually involve activities such as putting together TV commercials, distributing print advertisements and old-school cold calling. In the past businesses could rely solely on using this type of marketing to get their products out there, but that’s not the case today.
Today, consumers are tuning out traditional, interruption-based marketing methods and choosing when and where to interact with your brand and services. They conduct billions of Internet searches each month, download case studies and eBooks, opt into email newsletters, watch online videos, listen to podcasts, follow brands on social networks, join online communities, post reviews and read blogs.
As a result, savvy businesses are shifting budgets away from outbound, interruption-based marketing toward more measureable and effective inbound marketing strategies that cater to this change in consumer behavior.
Businesses who understand this fundamental shift in consumer behavior towards “selective consumption” are adding and integrating content, search, social, mobile, local, PR, email marketing, digital advertising and analytics into their overall marketing mix. The inbound marketing approach ensures that businesses create and deliver content to the right people (your buyer personas) in the right places (channels) at just the right times (lifecycle stages).
Your Customers Choose When and Where to Interact with You
The Internet has empowered consumers to find information themselves. This is where “inbound” marketing has its impact. By having an appropriate online presence, business are putting themselves in a position to access this new stream of customers that they otherwise would have missed out on. When someone does a search online you want your business to be right there at the top of the list, where you’re more likely to get their attention.
They Also Talk About You
Social media is also playing a remarkable role in online marketing. Almost everyone has multiple social media accounts, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any number of other platforms. This means there is a never-before-seen opportunity to access a huge number of customers. It also means their interactions with businesses are becoming a two-way street, where access is no longer limited to store opening hours. By linking social media to your website as part of an overall marketing strategy, and leveraging your existing reputation with clients, the sky really is the limit.
The other big advantages of online marketing are the costs. The investment necessary to get your message out there using traditional methods can be enormous, and the cost of building an online presence really does pale in comparison.
Is it Time for You to Be More Digital?
Often businesses, particularly those that have only existed in a brick and mortar form, are hesitant to branch out into the realm of online marketing. It can be a confusing and strange new venture. But can you really afford not to jump on this opportunity to really accelerate your growth? With the right support and a strong plan in place, building yourself an online presence is sure to be one of the best things you’ve ever done for your business.
Find out why your customers can’t find you online. Request your free Local SEO and Inbound Marketing audit today!
If you run a business then you probably know a decent amount about the industry you’re in. How to better serve your customers, provide high quality products or services, and attracting new business are things that are constantly on your mind. You also may have noticed that the internet has begun to affect every type of business including those that don’t even have websites, first you have to figure out what your business is worth. It has become increasingly common for someone to find your business online before they actually talk to you or stop in. With search engines becoming more helpful; your potential customers can learn who you are, what you do, and what others are saying in a matter of moments. This makes paying attention to local SEO incredibly important.
What Is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that sets your business up, to not only look its best online, but it also makes it easier to be found by people searching for what you offer in your area. According to experts at https://digitalengage.net/, SEO is a vital part of your site’s success. This can be an incredibly powerful tool in gathering new business, but it can also have negative effects if you leave your online presence unmanaged.
For instance, if you have an Italian restaurant and someone goes to Google and types ‘Italian food in Toledo, OH’, it would benefit you to be among the top results in the home page. People who hadn’t heard about you would give you a shot because of your location in the search. If you hadn’t worked on your local online presence then they wouldn’t see you as you probably would not come up as a relevant local search result for their query.
Click to Read 6 Quick Tips About Local SEO
Managing Your Online Reputation
You constantly try to impress your customers to keep them coming back and referring their friends. Your reputation matters in the community you serve. The online landscape can also have a reputation for your business and it is quickly becoming just as important to manage. Small things like having two different addresses listed online or bad reviews that a customer wrote without you knowing can have a huge effect on who can see your business, and what they think about you.
Related Content: Ramp Up Your Rankings in 20 Days with These Local SEO Fixes [Infographic]
What You Can Do
People are searching for local businesses like yours, but you can only get the incredible benefits if they can find you. The good news is there are things that you can do to jump start your improvements.
Look Up Your Business Online
See if anyone is talking about your business or has left a review. Search for your business to see if all of the information is correct and matches.
Chances are you have some sort of social presence, like a Facebook page, but you can create a Google+ local business page to list what you do, and where you are located.
SEO can be a very confusing subject, and you may even want to get professional help with your online marketing efforts or if you want to check how much does dental seo cost. Although just being informed will help you feel more in control and help you manage your reputation. There is a 40 question test offered here free of charge. It takes about 10 minutes and will help you see how important local SEO is and it will get you on the path to being informed. Link: http://moz.com/blog/local-search-expert-quiz
Find out why your customers can’t find you online. Request your free Local SEO and Inbound Marketing audit today!
In today’s business world, search engine optimization is critical in ensuring that your content get found, read and shared by as many people as possible to expand word of mouth of your business and services.
There are three pillars of SEO and none can stand without the help of the other two, as all three are dependent upon each other. The three pillars of SEO that matter most in modern marketing are: 1) content strategy, 2) inbound links and 3) social media.
The first step is to have well-written content that is interesting and relevant to your audience. Then, you have to make sure people see that content by matching what users are seeking by optimizing the use of keyword research in your text. If you are posting content to your website about a new material your company uses to shingle houses, be sure to include as many words related to construction and home maintenance as possible. Optimizing the users’ keywords in your content (even in the page and blog titles, initial paragraphs and photo captions) will optimize your content and ensure awareness of your brand. Remember, you’re drawing readers to your content like flowers attract bees.
Building links is another form of SEO best tactics. Using hyperlinks from other websites is a good way to steer traffic toward your company’s content and attract external users. The number and quality of the inbound links are important factors when it comes to organic search-ranking algorithms. This can be a time-consuming process in which high-quality links from credible sources are more valued than just playing the numbers game. Over time, the goal is to have other websites recognize the expertise in your content and provide inbound links to your materials as well.
It has taken a while for SEO purists to get on board with social media, but its value to marketing in 2014 and beyond cannot be overstated. For instance, hashtags are basically hyperlinked keywords if used correctly. Not only is social media a way to drive traffic to your website, but it provides companies an additional tool to interact with customers as well as potential customers, which can be a key factor in building trust with your clientele. Sharing content through social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn is a great way to get the word out about your business and services; however, it is important to not negate the social aspect of social media. The tools are best used as a way to interact with people and not just another way to share a link. Be engaged with your audience and build relationships through these innovative communications tools.
To attract as many people as possible to your website, embrace search engine optimization. Provide interesting content your potential and existing clients are looking for, expand on that content with credible and relevant links to additional materials and use social media to promote and engage the public.
Embracing all three pillars of SEO is of utmost importance for optimizing your modern marketing strategy, and it will enhance the profile of your business.
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