For a long time, SEO (search engine optimization) has seemed like a magic trick to many business owners trying to get found in search results. It was a mysterious task performed in secret, and most of us had no idea what was happening, and if we hired someone to do it for us it we hardly knew what we were paying for. For agencies like us, the ones perceived as performing magic, we found ourselves having to justify what we were sending a bill for every month. Fortunately, much of what goes into providing effective SEO has changed dramatically in the last decade. We no longer need to look at it as a secretive process, but rather a collaborative and holistic process.
The old ways of looking at SEO had a technical focus and were largely one dimensional. Traditionally, SEO practises focused on the website’s code or the specific links feeding traffic back to that website (backlinks). While technical on-site SEO practices are still important and backlink profiles still contribute to overall SEO effectiveness, they aren’t nearly as high priority as they once were. Today, SEO is comprised of a much broader online brand presence. Social media presence, listings, reviews, outstanding website design or usability and blogs are now analyzed as factors that determine search engine ranking, alongside technical elements and backlink profiles. So, how can one navigate all this?
A great way to start thinking about your SEO is to try to look at your web presence from the perspective of Google—how would the search engine behemoth analyze a business when building their algorithm? Ultimately, the goal of a search engine is to answer a question for its users in a clear, concise and functional way. Instead of thinking in 1’s and 0’s like a computer, Google’s algorithm is designed to interpret information much like a human user would when they're seeking an answer to a question. Google wants to ensure the sites it puts in front of its users answer their query, providing them with a positive experience and resources that are reliable and qualified. It’s important for Google that their users trust the results they provide, so they look for indicators in your digital marketing that build trust in your brand, such as reviews.
Holistic SEO is about becoming more discoverable, so it stands to reason that your presence on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter will help increase your visibility to search engines. Google reveals how important social media accounts are to its algorithm by listing them in search results for associated business profiles. Similarly, when your business profile is visible on listings websites such as Yelp, Foursquare and other local directories, you’ll increase your chances of being found by search engines and ranking higher in their results pages. Your presence on social media and listing sites not only helps your customers find you, but also provides Google with the information it needs to index you amongst it’s search results.
SImilarly, online reviews can make all the difference when it comes to SEO. Consistent reviews from your customers indicate that your business is active and operational, and good reviews signal to potential clients that you are trustworthy. Even a good response to negative feedback in a review can build confidence in your brand by showing your integrity and accountability. Just as a human consumer reads reviews before choosing to work with you, Google’s algorithms scan online reviews and favour sites with a high number and high frequency of positive reviews from a diversity of sources. This can be a lot to manage, but with a solid review management strategy, you’ll have the benefit of appealing to both search engines and customers who are looking for you.
While getting potential customers to your website is important, their experience upon arrival is even more paramount. In the past, visitor experience was seldom taken into consideration for SEO campaigns, nor was it an indicator for ranking in search results. Picture this: a potential customer found you in a recommendation on Facebook, so they go to your website to see if you are the right fit for them. When they get there, they are met with a website that isn’t particularly nice to look at, is difficult to navigate, and doesn’t provide the information they are looking for. Or worse, the site isn’t mobile-friendly and loads painfully slow. This kind of experience would likely result in that potential customer clicking out of your website and moving on to the next option with a nicer user experience. Today, a website that doesn’t satisfy users will also be ranked lower by search engines. Ensuring your website performs well for users is therefore key to ensuring it in turn performs well for search engines.
Think of it as a feedback loop of sorts: if your website is bad for customers and is unlikely to create conversions, Google will also rank it lower making you less discoverable to customers. Conversely, if visitors love your website and it produces high conversion rates, Google will rank it higher and make you more discoverable. Ensuring your website performs well for users is therefore key to ensuring it in turn performs well for search engines.
In the end, whatever creates quality brand visibility, increases your websites usability and generates trust will attract both clients and search engines. Just like your site visitors, search engines favour websites that perform well and deliver on expectations. This logic operates hand in hand with traditional SEO practices such as keyword placement and back-linking to satisfy search engine algorithms. To rank higher in search engine results pages, your site needs to load well, be easy to navigate, answer user search queries, and provide the information potential customers are looking for. Looking at your entire online footprint and the value it creates for your brand will ultimately help encourage search ranking and attract qualified customers. We understand this is no easy task, and we are here to help provide direction or augment your efforts!
It's very exciting when you get to that point that your business is thriving in your area and attracting more and more customers through search engine results. The next step is to expand your business to other areas! However, it's not as easy as it sounds. Aside from taking care of everything for the expansion, your SEO would need tweaking as well.
If the time has come for you to expand your SEO to include additional cities, these tips can be of great help:
Expand to the Right Areas
When expanding your business, it's normal to get a little too excited and believe you know exactly what you want to happen with your business and where you want to expand. Before you make a final decision, however, you need to take some time to consider a few things, like the new city's proximity and how much time you would have to spend traveling and how much time you would have for actually running your business. It is a good idea to expand close to your city as opposed to jumping across the map.
Learn About Your Competition
You should be aware of other similar businesses that would be your competition. Why is this important? It's because the more competition you'll have in that city, the harder you are going to try and compete for spots on Google and other search engine results. You can do a Google search to see who comes up or you can have a competitor analysis done. This can help you make expanding decisions.
Make Sure You Incorporate Service Areas for SEO
As you expand your business to other cities, make sure that those are reflected in your website as well. Consider having a services area section which will greatly help potential customers when they land on your website and want to know if your products or services are available where they live.
You can also have pages on your website that are geo-targeted and service-specific. They will definitely give you a higher chance of ranking and guide customers to be where you want them.
Aside from the tips we have mentioned, there are many other ways you can enhance your local SEO as you expand your business. If you would like to know more or if you want an SEO expert to help you with a good strategy, reach out to Danger Dynamite and we'll be happy to help!
Social media is part of our daily lives, this we cannot deny. However, there are many business owners who still wonder what the benefits are of having a presence on social media platforms.
There are a number of ways social media affects your business, but we are going to focus on one of the most important areas: what social media does for SEO.
It is important to understand that while social media signals such as likes, reviews, and shares do not directly affect search rankings, they do have an effect on your SEO efforts. For one, having a social media presence helps increase your online visibility and improves brand recognition. It also broadens content distribution and gives your content a much longer lifespan. Most importantly, being active on social media drives traffic to your website.
So, "Is your SEO affected by social media?" Yes. Yes, it is. Read on to find out exactly how.
Social Media Boosts Online Visibility and Brand Awareness
The whole point of marketing is to increase leads and ultimately, sales. The more that prospective customers see your products and read about your services, the more opportunities you have to successfully convert them. Now, think about the last time you "Googled" a certain brand or company. If you remember, the first page of results displayed the brand's actual website. What else? Yes, it also showed links to the Facebook reviews about the brand, tweets, and YouTube videos, among others. What does this tell us? Social media results also show up on Google's search results and they are often on the first page. This gives your online visibility and brand recognition a significant boost.
Social Media Extends the Life of Your Content and Its Reach
On average, there are 1.45 billion daily active users on Facebook. Yes, that's how many people are consuming and sharing content.
The lifespan of a published blog post largely depends on the algorithms of search engines, as every article you post competes with thousands of similar articles. Social media gives you an edge here. Reposting blog articles on social platforms allows you to control distribution and even extend the life of your content. Through social media, people can discover and share your content, content that they may not have otherwise found.
As you can see, having a social media strategy in place can positively affect your SEO as it can help improve your rankings and brand recognition, as long as it is executed the right way.
A few recommendations to improve your platforms are below:
- You should not just have a profile on one platform, but at very least all the major ones.
- You want to make sure that you optimize your profiles by using keywords and of course, linking back to your website.
- Update your contact information so that it’s accurate.
- Most importantly, interact with your clients and prospects by responding to comments, whether they're negative or positive, and answer queries with a friendly, yet professional tone.
Now that you know about social media's importance in SEO, what should your next step be? Reach out to Danger Dynamite and we'll talk about what we can do to help you with your SEO and social media marketing!
When we tell people outside the industry that we are an SEO company, we often get asked what it is that we actually do. This is only fair, especially if someone has been told that their business needs an SEO company to help them.
So let's get to the question – what does an SEO company do? For you to understand all that we do, we need to start by defining what SEO is. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving a webpage's search ranking to ultimately increase the brand's online visibility.
An SEO company provides services to help brands achieve those goals. When your site is more attractive and better optimized for search engines, it is more likely that your website will land on the first page of search results when people search for information relevant to your industry.
An SEO company consists of a team of experts who are knowledgeable in various areas of SEO. These pros offer an array of services, including auditing your website, creating a tailored strategy that would meet your business goals, and implementing the tactics that will ultimately help you increase your visibility and drive your business.
Here are a few things an SEO company does:
Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
A good SEO company can help your website rank high in search engines. With the latest tools and proven strategies, an SEO company will make your website look more attractive to Google and other search engines. The higher your content ranks in search engines for important keywords and phrases, the higher your chances of getting new and relevant leads will be too.
Improve Your Website Traffic
Aside from helping your website rank higher on search engines, an SEO company can also help improve the quality of the traffic that your website is getting. Consider this, if you are ranking high for keywords and phrases that are aligned with your service or product then the traffic you receive will be more relevant as well.
Deliver Measurable Results
An SEO firm can help your company grow by providing measurable results. The good thing about SEO is that unlike other traditional marketing strategies, it can be tracked and precisely measured throughout the entire process. An SEO company can provide you with analytics that can include traffic volumes and their sources, search engine positions, and a lot more.
Here are some of the different services that an SEO company can offer:
Take note that not all SEO companies are the same. There are the good ones that use the best practices and work hard to help business websites improve their ranking. There are also those who use tactics that may be effective in delivering quick results but will eventually cause your site to be penalized and threaten your reputation.
In the current digital landscape, your business needs an SEO company. You need one that can understand your business goals and tailor services according to those goals. That's what Danger Dynamite offers. Contact us and we'll answer all your SEO-related questions!