What are the top 3 website / SEO issues you’ve seen that were likely to have caused traffic losses from any of the Google Panda / Penguin updates?
Cleaning Up Google Reviews
That’s all for today!
Chris Silver Smith covers this very well in a guest post for Search Engine Land. He makes the case that many local businesses aren’t blogging yet, which means that a well-written and well-maintained blog can take you over the top – even if you and your rivals have already done all the typical tasks involved in improving your local SEO. How can you improve your local SEO efforts by blogging? Well, to start with, writing regular blog entries means you can jump right on any timely news items or events. Google’s spiders raise their antennas for any whiffs of fresh content, so you’ll attract their…
Are you looking for a way to get your local business website more noticed in the search engines? Consider writing a blog, especially if your competition doesn’t have one. Though they can be a lot of work, they can also bring you a slew of benefits.
Chris Silver Smith covers this very well in a guest post for Search Engine Land. He makes the case that many local businesses aren’t blogging yet, which means that a well-written and well-maintained blog can take you over the top – even if you and your rivals have already done all the typical tasks involved in improving your local SEO.
How can you improve your local SEO efforts by blogging? Well, to start with, writing regular blog entries means you can jump right on any timely news items or events. Google’s spiders raise their antennas for any whiffs of fresh content, so you’ll attract their attention. You’ll also attract the attention of human visitors – and if they interact with you, you’ll set those Google antennas quivering even more. “User interaction signals can give your site a higher prominence score in Google local algorithms,” Smith notes.
Humans do more than interact on your site, though; they also tell their friends about you, linking back to your blog posts. These unsolicited links give your site a unique profile – the kind that can’t be bought, and that Google really appreciates.
With an active blog, you can interact with more than just the visitors to your website who choose to comment. You can also link to other bloggers and comment on their blogs. It’s a very popular way to continue the conversation. If you’re really good (or lucky), they may even visit and leave a comment, or link back to you.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to blogging for your local business website is that it provides you with a platform. You can use this platform as the “voice” of your company if it ever gets attacked online. You can jump into exciting news related to your industry from your blog. You can even link to blog posts from other social media sites to promote your business.
So how do you get started? Smith offers a number of simple recommendations. First, go ahead and use WordPress as your blog’s content management system. It’s already quite search engine friendly, and you can easily find add-ons to make it even more so. It’s a good idea to check with an SEO to help you decide which of these (if any) you should use, and to walk you through the basics.
You can usually choose from a variety of themes for your blog. Given the way Google has been treating links in the post-Penguin era, it makes sense to stay away from themes that don’t let you remove or nofollow links to the designer’s website.
Some site owners wonder if they should set up a separate website for their blog, and point it to their business website. Don’t do it! You want to attract links directly to your business website, not to some other website that then, in theory, boosts your business site. You can put your blog into a dedicated subdirectory or even a subdomain, but make it part of your business website.
Once you get your blog set up, post regularly. Not everyone can manage a post every day, and that’s okay. If you can only do a post once a week, that’s fine. But it’s important to be consistent; that trains Google and your human visitors to expect fresh content. Also, you don’t need to post a novel every time; to be honest, hardly anyone has that kind of attention span online. So if you can only manage three or four paragraphs, do that much – but make them count.
Finally, make your posts interesting and entertaining – and remember that this will probably mean taking your blinders off. Just because you’re an accounting professional, for example, doesn’t mean all of your blog posts need to cover close readings of the tax code, the 1040 and other forms, and various deductions. That’s enough to make ME yawn – and my dad was a CPA in both New York and Florida. You can write about interesting moments in tax history or weird tax facts, like why the folks in Massachusetts and Maine sometimes get an extra day to file their taxes. A little research can turn up some very cool stories. Tell them well and regularly, and you’ll attract all the traffic you can handle. Good luck!
What’s the biggest copywriting / content writing mistake you see websites make?
Karon Thackston provides you with some easy and valuable ways to achieve desired conversion rates is through copy optimization.
Sadly, there’s more than one kind of crappy content. For some reason, despite spelling checkers, bad spelling runs rampant on the Internet. Bad grammar also shows up far too often. But there is one kind of crappy content that’s even worse than bad spelling and bad grammar, and that’s pointless content. Pointless content, by definition, should not exist. It’s the kind of content that does nothing. It doesn’t inform or entertain your visitors; it reveals nothing about your products or services; it just sits there, taking up space. It may be boring or hard to read, and it certainly does not help…
Everyone who owns a business website hopes that visitors will come to it to make a purchase. In truth, visitors often pay a call on any particular website to check out their content. They may decide to buy based on what they find. If they find crappy content, you can kiss that sale good-bye.
Sadly, there’s more than one kind of crappy content. For some reason, despite spelling checkers, bad spelling runs rampant on the Internet. Bad grammar also shows up far too often. But there is one kind of crappy content that’s even worse than bad spelling and bad grammar, and that’s pointless content.
Pointless content, by definition, should not exist. It’s the kind of content that does nothing. It doesn’t inform or entertain your visitors; it reveals nothing about your products or services; it just sits there, taking up space. It may be boring or hard to read, and it certainly does not help your visitor to make a choice or convert. Pointless content is content that wasn’t written with your visitors first and foremost in mind.
So how can you keep pointless content from appearing on your website? And if some of your pages do contain such content, how can you improve them? Melissa Fach writing for Search Engine Journal offers some tips to keep in mind. Please note that these are the absolute basics, to be used with your main product and/or service pages.
First, let’s consider your headlines. They should be constructed in such a way that a quick scan reveals or summarizes what the reader will find in that section. Say you offer a variety of accounting services. Your website might include a page that lists all of them, grouped under appropriate headlines: “Accounting Services for Individuals,” “Accounting Services for Small Businesses,” etc. Arranged in this way, your visitors can take in your offerings at a quick glance and know exactly what they’re looking at.
Let’s focus in on one of those headlines – “Accounting Services for Small Businesses,” perhaps. Why does a small business need an accounting service? How will your accounting service help? Answer those questions right away – immediately after the headline. It’s what your visitors really need to know if they’re going to buy your service. If they’re visiting your website, they may already know why they need this service, but hearing it from you will reassure them that you’re on the same page – and hearing why they should buy it from you rather than someone else will help bring about a conversion.
This brings me to my next point about your content: it needs to create trust and persuade. You won’t be able to do the latter without doing the former. For a company that offers accounting services to small businesses, you will probably need to create a high degree of trust, since you’re asking clients to share very sensitive information about their livelihoods – to say nothing of the potential consequences from the IRS if you mess up! So give your visitors the information they need to trust you – include testimonials, years of experience, other background details, etc.
As you write your content, keep your readers in mind. Make sure you tell them why they need the service, how it will benefit them, and why they should choose your company to do the job. Hint: don’t say “Choose us because we need the money.” Everything you write should tell the story from your reader’s perspective. You can and should sell your services, but you may want to do it subtly; let your reader reach the final conclusion.
And now I’m going to contradict that last sentence by reminding you to include a call to action. It doesn’t have to twist a visitor’s arm off, but it needs to tell them what to do next – to avoid confusion, if nothing else. “Send an e-mail to example@CPAservices.com today to set up a free consultation, before the tax season rush” could work for our example accounting firm.
Pulling my marketing hat on even tighter, I’m also going to remind you to upsell, but only for services that might interest your visitor. For example, our accounting firm might offer an add-on session that educates your client on reasonable practices to help organize their financial records for next year. For a small business, it might offer a full-fledged bookkeeping service. Make sure you integrate these services smoothly with the rest of your content, and that they’re appropriate for the type of visitor that’s going to view that content.
Up to this point I haven’t talked much about SEO, since I’ve been focusing mainly on content guidelines. But if you’re working with an SEO company – or even if you aren’t – I’d like to emphasize one of Fach’s points: “There needs to be an SEO strategy for each page that supports the overall SEO strategy for the entire website!” This is critical. While making sure that all of your content actually works for your visitors is a good first step, you will need an overarching strategy to make everything pay off. That means focusing on keyword research, the structure of your website, promoting your content, adding new content regularly – the whole nine yards. This isn’t easy, but replacing the crappy, pointless content on your website with the kind of information that really serves your visitors is a good start. Good luck!
Keywords are the cornerstone of any online conversation. Metrics such as user engagement, conversion and search engine optimization all rely on critical keywords and their convergence to convey relevancy and intent to your audience. The question is, how do you know which keywords are worth using and which are better to ignore?
Watch the video above (which is an insightful view into the mind of Sue “The Architect” Bell from Themezoom / Network Empire) as she reveals dozens of useful SEO strategies for harvesting lucrative keywords and how to integrate them into your semantic website architecture using The Last Keyword Tool.