Local Business Citation Cleanup Guide

5 Steps Citation CleanUp Strategy

Here's My 5 Steps Citation CleanUp Strategy, You can use on Your Local SEO Project.

Step 1: I started with a Automated (BrightLocal) and Manual Citation Audit to Identify all Inaccurate Citations.

Step 2: Based on the Citation Audit, I Identify listings with incorrect NAP and Capture data in Spreadsheet.

Step 3: When I get complete list of Incorrect citations, I try to fix Inaccurate citations by claiming. When Claiming not available, I reach directories support to modify the business information. Some Directories take 3-4 emails to amend the information.

Step 4: I monitor emails, inconsistent citations and save notes on work spreadsheet. If I receive no updates from directories I emailed, then I do a follow up email or another round of citation cleanup.

Step 5: I send the final report with everything that has been done to my client.

Note It, in some cases there might be listings that would be uneditable, so the only option might be for them to be removed.

Outreach Email Template

Hi There,
I represent the "local business". I need help claiming the listing. The profile is already claimed but we don't have the login info.

We need to update the business information. The current information is wrong and needs to be updated right away.

Please use listing@localbusinesswebsite.com if you need further information.

Thank you,
Company Representative Name

9 Lessons On How To Attract High End Clients

How To Attract High End Clients

It is every business goal to have high end clients — these are clients that can really create a big difference in the profitability of any business. They do not care at all about the cost as long as they can be certain to get superior quality.

However, not all businesses know the essentials of how to attract high end clients; most only go with the simplistic idea that as long as they work on their products and services and are at par with others, these important clients will come.

High-end clients don’t grow on trees—attracting clients with luxury tastes and budgets to match takes excellent service and great PR. The home improvement space is already full of competitors ready to try their hand at these customers. The Associated General Contractors of America estimates that there are about 6 million workers in the construction industry, which is a lot in the running, to say the least.

And from a global perspective, the American economy performed quite well in 2016, at least compared to other developed nations like Japan and many countries in Europe. That’s left Americans with much more capital, meaning an expected 5% growth in construction starts in 2017. And residential units will get a large share of that growth—there’s a projected 12% dollar rise in single family housing. And where there is money and growth, there’s the opportunity for luxury products and goods, and less need to advertise the savings of a particular service.

Here Are The 4 Lessons On How To Attract High End Clients

Lesson 1: Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Imagine you’re about to buy a car, and you’re presented with two options from your dealer. One model costs $5,000 and one model costs $500,000. Which one would you say is the better car?

Unless your clients come to you on a referral, they’re a lot like the customer in this example. That is, since they haven’t seen the product you intend to provide them—because it’s not built yet—much of what they know about you gets communicated through your prices.

Keep in mind that high-end clients aren’t necessarily looking for a bargain or the best value. To these consumers, a lower price translates as a lack of quality. And if you haven’t been in the business for a long time, chances are, you’re probably charging too little anyway.

Analysts who study this sort of thing note that most of the time, when the price on a product or service is wrong, it’s because it’s too low, not too high. In fact, that’s the case with about 85% to 95% of bad prices. As a small business owner, the first step to evolving your customer base is to step up your prices.

Lesson 2: Let Price Reflect the Quality

Providing economical or budget-friendly solutions is great, but if a business wants to appear thoroughly competitive and professional, the price it charges should always reflect quality like no other.

Every marketing expert says this: “High end clients do not care much for cheap provisions — they do not trust them.”

If the business is using prime equipment or technology and has the best professionals or experts in the business, in the mind of the wealthy and powerful, there’s no reason for the products or services to be cheap.

Lesson 3: Add Polish to Your PR and Customer Service

No brand wants customers to see how the sausage gets made—but particularly when you’re dealing with high-end clientele, customers will expect an experience that’s polished and thorough, from beginning to end. That means you may have to trade your work clothes for a clean collared shirt when you first greet your clients.

It also means branding your business using a well-designed logo and professional-quality photos of your past work (no more fisheye lens captures of that intricate cabinet work you did last summer). A trained graphic artist or photographer can provide these materials, and you can find many eager artists that will perform this work on contracting sites like Upwork.

Similarly, sensory touches—the ability to touch and feel wood samples, for instance, or walk through a showy display room—mean a lot to high-end consumers. Even very small touches, like your company cards, should be on textured cardstock meant to evoke a feeling of luxury and richness.

You may need to up your game when it comes to customer service, as well. That could mean hiring and training an employee to answer the phones when you’re out on the jobsite. It may mean investing in your website, or spending time responding directly to social media.

While every customer values their time, high-end clients are accustomed to fast, knowledgeable customer service exchanges. They prefer to be guided through the process by an expert, rather than doing a lot of it on their own.

Lesson 4: Establish a Top Quality Brand

Mahatma Gandhi once said, "It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity."

It is the quality that will attract high end clients too.

Its the small attention to details that they notice. Things like a well designed site, quality photos, even the quality of the paper on your printed materials are all very important details.

You can also take a cue from one of the episodes of the '90s TV series "The Nanny."

Broadway mogul, Mr. Sheffield, only wanted an engagement ring for Miss Fine from the most famous jewelry stores like Tiffany and Co., Cartier, or Harry Winston because they are trustworthy and are known to produce the best money can buy.

A business should always strive and prove to be the best that money can afford because that solid reputation will establish a top brand that's reliable and worthy of respect.

Lesson 5: Get to Know Your Ideal Consumer

It’s easy to get excited about consumers with good financials. A customer base with a ton of expendable income? What business owner wouldn’t want that? However, your customers aren’t just a tax bracket, so if you treat them like a walking wallet, they’re going to feel it in your interactions.

To understand your ideal demographic, it helps to design a profile (or multiple profiles) of your ideal customer. Imagine the specifics: where they live in your area, what their home looks like, what they’re coming to you for. For instance, a highly-paid professional with two young children may have different needs than an elderly, retired couple living in a luxury community.

Additionally, you may need to keep an eye on the trends dominating the market. With a lot more income at their disposal, these homeowners are more likely to want to incorporate the latest designs into their remodel or new construction. Staying on top of new features like solar panel installations or floor-to-ceiling windows will help you capture these clients’ interest.

Lesson 6: Provide Special Perks for Premium Clients

Put a lot of thought into the bonuses and special privileges to that you can throw in for big accounts.

These perks are great manifestations of the business's fine taste and effort to take care of big money clients.

The key is to add things of high perceived value, that act as a "sandwich" to your main offer.

Think of your main product as the "meat" of the sandwich. To complete your sandwich, you want to include bonuses that become the "bread" of your sandwich -- one for below your meat, and another that goes above it.

The "bread on the bottom" is a bonus that addresses something that may be preventing your ideal client from using your service.

The "bread on the top" is a bonus that you create related to your main offer that your clients use after you deliver it, to enhance the results.

Lesson 7: Network, Network, Network

It’s all about who you know, and that’s never more true than when you’re trying to rewrite your brand. Wealthy clients have the ability to consider reputation above price, so they’re looking for a standout business with a well-known pedigree. That can be difficult to accomplish with a small business: You’re likely not able to afford the kind of expensive ad space that you’d need to communicate your message.

One tactic that several remodelers have found successful, however, was asking former clients to post anniversary signs for their business in their yard. If you can, approach homeowners who live close to the neighborhoods you want to target. The signs communicate both your longevity—it’s your business’s anniversary, after all—and your good reputation in the community.

Another idea is to sponsor an event or charity function in those areas. Your business’ name will be plastered everywhere, and there’s no better way to meet the clientele you hope to draw.

Besides that, it’s an opportunity to gather intel about what your future clients need and want, so be sure to engage and ask plenty of questions as you talk to attendees—you might just walk away with a whole new customer base!

Lesson 8: Offer Consistent and Superior Customer Service

Customer support or service is a clear reflection of quality operations; be classy, eloquent and consistently ready to help because high end clients are used to being put first -- they do not like to wait.

A famous quote by Sam Walton reads, "There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else."

And since they have the resources to pay for any service provider, no matter how high the charges are, it's a big advantage to provide them the support or services when they need and want them to get them to stay.

Lesson 9: Develop Strong Lead Generation

Big ticket sales guru, Kevin Nations stated, "Nothing fuels high ticket sales like powerful, authority based lead flows."

Authority based lead flows are from sources where you demonstrate your expertise in a certain area. This could be things like a weekly podcast, blog or even a book.

By giving them this content, you position yourself as an expert that understands their problems and can help them.

The other route is to develop a "trip wire", a low cost product that can introduce a new customer to you and your business. The key is to keep the price low, so there is not a possibility of price objection.

This will build a strong relationship, and result in attaining premium clients. Remember that high-end buyers are not looking for quick fixes, hacks or tricks; They want quality. They want you to move them, serve them, and show them they are unique and special.

Make sure that you are being yourself with your clients and allowing your authentic personality to shine.

How To Create a Mobile Friendly Responsive Website?

Mobile Friendly Responsive Website
Choose a Content Management System
Unless you have prior experience building websites, you probably want to use a content management system (CMS) to build your website. There are many options, but you probably want to go with either WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. These are the most popular CMS systems to date, and have a tonne of useful plugins, and templates for beginners.

Create a Website Header
Keep your website header as slim as possible, and test it on small screens to ensure it scales properly.

Outline the Main Site Navigation
It is important that you keep your navigation as simple, and organized as possible. Use drop-downs to group pages under parent tabs, and apply internal linking to navigate to less trafficked, supporting pages through body text.

Create a Website Footer
Don’t underestimate a website footer’s effect on conversion. If your web page’s content is compelling this is where all your visitors should end up after reading the page, so use footer elements to continue the user’s experience.

Create Your Home Page

  1. Theater, Carousel or Slider
  2. Slogan or Tagline Header
  3. Brief Company Description
  4. Product / Service Page Links
  5. Promotional Materials: (videos, images, testimonials etc) 
  6. Call to Action Button

Create Your Contact Page

  1. Title: Contact (Company Name) – (Service Area). 
  2. Full Contact Details: Address, City, Country, Phone Number, Email, Fax, P.O box. 
  3. Map: Google Embed or Custom Design. 
  4. Operating Hours: Normal hours and holiday hours. 
  5. Email Contact Form: Collect at least: Name, Email, Message.
  6. Location Images (Gallery) or Virtual Tour: Check out Google’s 360 tour. 
  7. Social Links & Handles: Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat.
  8. Leave a Review Prompt: Link to Google Maps, and other Directories.

Create Your Service / Product Pages

  • Create product titles, and keep in mind how they will be read in search engines. 
  • Add your service area / city in your product titles to help get more local traffic. 
  • Create clever product descriptions that answer the following questions: Who can benefit from this product / service? (usage examples) What are the product / service features? (specs and options) How much does it cost? Where can I buy / pay for this product / service? Product / service specs PDF. High Quality product images from multiple angles. 
  • Product videos and that highlight key features. Customer reviews / testimonials. Social sharing buttons.

Set up a Company Blog
Company blogs are an easy, and great way to keep your website updated with fresh content! One or two posts a month is more than enough for the average small-medium business.

Install Google Analytics

14 Things Every Local Business Website Needs in 2017

14 Things Every Local Business Website Needs

A lot of small businesses don’t have a website, or if they do, they don't pay attention to the site. If you just starting out to create a website for your business or want to update/add features to your existing business website, Then This Guide Is For You. I've Crafted a List of Must-Have Features for Small Business Websites. From Choosing Domain Name to Displaying Trust Seal, Here Are The 14 Must Have Features that will Effectively help you Market Your Small Business Website Online in 2017.

Let's start with Statistic, If we have a look at the Clutch’s Small Business Websites in 2017 Survey, We'll get an idea about United States Small Business Website Status.

Small Business Websites in 2017: Survey
  • 29% of small businesses do not have a website. In 2016 This were 46% small businesses.
  • Of the small businesses that do have a website, 79% say their website is mobile friendly.
  • Only 58% of Midwestern small businesses have a website compared to the Northeast (72%), the South (73%), and the West (77%).
  • Low-revenue small businesses (those earning less than $1 million a year) are about 30% less likely to have a website than higher-revenue companies.
  • High-quality web content and increased mobility are top website priorities in 2017.

It’s time to think about your business website. Take a deep breath.

The very first question you should ask yourself when you set out to Create or Update/Add Features your Small Business Website is: What Features Should be on my Website?

Answer is Simple, You should include As Little As Possible, But As Much As Necessary Information to Accomplish your business goals for the website, and Deliver Right Message To Your Website Visitor. Your site will be more complex if you use e-commerce feature, or if you rely solely on internet marketing for your business leads and sales.

But If Your Goal To Get A Simple Website Up And Running, There Are Only A Few Elements That Are Absolutely Essential On Your Business Website.

14 Features Every Small Business Website Needs

1. A Simple, Memorable Web Address

Don't make things complicated. Your domain name is like your brand. It should be easy for a user to type it into a Web browser or an e-mail address.

I always recommend the .com domain as users are conditioned to type that extension when they enter a Web address. For non-profits or organizations, I usually recommend using a .org domain for branding purposes, but also recommend having a .com version of the domain in case a user accidentally types the .com address.

I also suggests avoiding dashes (which can cause SEO headaches) and numbers (which can cause confusion for customers).

2. A Clear Site Description

Someone who stumbles upon your website shouldn't have to do investigative work to figure out what, exactly, it is that you do. That means clearly stating your name and summing up your products or services right on the homepage.

Tell people this is the right website that they have been searching for, A Clear description of Who You Are and What You Offer will attract the visitor's attention immediately within 2-3 seconds, and encourage them to stay on your website longer.

3. Easy-to-find Contact Information

You wouldn't want to lose a customer to a competitor just because you made it difficult for them to get in touch with you.

Not every online visitor has the patience to click through every page on your website to find the contact information.

The best place for the contact information is the top left or top right corner of the home page. It is also a good practice to include contact information in every page of the website in the footer or side bar or even in top right corner, which helps the visitors to find it more easily.

You should also be sure to include several ways for them to contact you -- phone, e-mail, and a standard contact form, are all good options. Forbes also suggests including your address, and even a link to your location in Google maps.

One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is to force only one way to reach them. The point is to make it very easy for users to communicate with you on their terms.

4. Display Customer Testimonials

Some people don’t realize how important a customer testimonial can be. Testimonials help build relationship for the business for first time visiting consumers, and you want your business to look the best, don’t you?

The Importance of Testimonials:
  • According to Nielsen research, “92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know.”
  • 88% have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business (vs. 85% in 2013)
  • 39% read reviews on a regular basis (vs. 32% in 2013)
  • Only 12% do not read reviews (vs. 15% in 2013)

For many businesses, it's ideal to have a website page devoted to testimonials where all of them are visible, but it doesn't end there. They're particularly valuable on website pages that drive important conversions, where your potential customers are making decisions.

It's well worth your time to select the testimonials that best complement the conversion you're trying to achieve. Depending on the content and format of the testimonial, it can achieve different goals at different stages of the sales process.

By choosing testimonials that address potential customers' questions and concerns at a given point, you're using social proof to guide them down the sales funnel.

Testimonials aren't only for your website, though—you can also share them on social media and incorporate them into emails, blog posts, ebooks, print materials, videos, broadcast ads, and beyond. Hey - if they're the most effective form of content marketing, then why not use them?

5. Include Several Calls-to-Action On Your Website

Calls-to-Action Tell the online visitors literally what you want them to do with clear tones of commend. For instance, you may want them to call you now for free quote, or sign up to your exclusively online coupons, or add products to the online shopping cart, etc.

Call-to-Action act like you Suggesting your site Visitor to Perform an Action -- Lile Contact You, Subscribe To your Site, Share your Site or Buy Something, for example.

If you’re creating a website to gather leads or interact with potential customers, make sure you’re clear on what you want your prospects to do.

Want your customers to call you or buy your product? Ask them. Want them to contact you? Show them where they can do it.

Overall, inviting people to call or buy your products is important. Some people may not even realize it’s an option unless you specifically tell them that it is an option.

6. Fresh Quality Content

Your website is your first impression on a customer, You want to give them what they're looking for, and perhaps even give them a reason to keep coming back.

Fresh Content is Critical for Your Website Search Ranking. You can keep your content fresh by incorporating a regularly-updated blog or connecting in your social media feeds.

By Fresh Quality Content, I Mean:
-- Fresh can mean a lot of things. It can mean content that is relevant to a current issue or about a current event. It can simply mean up-to-date. It’s important to make sure that the information in your content is current and accurate - one of the many reasons Cascade Server’s Broken Link Report is so helpful. Since you’re not the only one updating your content, you need to make sure that when others update theirs, it doesn’t create broken links on your site.
-- Quality can feel subjective, but everyone has read content that was clearly not quality. Quality content is accurate, well-researched, targeted, free of spelling and grammatical errors, and intentional. Intentional content serves a purpose - it tells a story or imparts knowledge to the reader. Nothing is worse than finding a piece about a topic you’re interested in, and realizing it doesn’t actually give you any useful information.
-- Great content is either timely or timeless. Meaning it has the freshness of being current or the freshness of being content that transcends time. With information and technology advancing at an exponential rate, it’s getting harder to create timeless content, but periodically refreshing your content can keep it feeling timeless. As we mentioned before - a blog about best SEO practices is more of a timely piece which will need be rewritten as standards change, whereas a guide for creating a content calendar can be timeless with only minimal updating.
-- Quality content adds value. Once you know who your audience is, and what you want to achieve with your content, you have to make sure you’re giving something in return. True value is also original. Think of what only you can offer, or an angle that no one else has approached. Unique content is essential as more and more marketers are utilizing content marketing.

7. Know The Basics of SEO

Your website won't do you as much good if no one can find it. Become familiar with the SEO Basics to make your website more Accessible by Search Engine.

You don't need to Use Mysterious, Ninja, black hat SEO types to rank well on the search engines. Simply make sure your website's User Experience is Good and Properly Accessible by Search Engine.

Good User Experience Means:
  • Design For End Users’ Perspective.
  • A Clear and Functional Website Architecture.
  • Intuitive Visual Presentation.
  • Responsive Design.

Search Engine Accessibility Means:
  • Ensure site meta titles and description are descriptive, yet Concise.
  • Use alternative text for all of your site images.
  • Use a clear and proper heading structure and avoid empty headings.
  • Provide descriptive link text (i.e. Avoid “click here”).
  • Don't rely on JavaScript for things that don’t need it.
  • Avoid mouse dependent interaction.
  • Use standard web formats when possible
  • Provide transcripts and captions for video.
  • Declare the language of your site and pages.
  • Allow multiple ways of finding content (i.e. search, a site map, table of contents, clear navigation, etc.)
  • Use text instead of images when possible.
  • Providing useful links to related and relevant resources.
  • Ensuring URLs are human readable and logical.
  • Presen a clear and consistent navigation and page structure.
  • Avoid CSS and other stylistic markup to present content or meaning.
  • Define abbreviations and acronyms.

8. A Secure and Reliable Hosting Solution

While most business owners see the value of creating awesome website and content, the importance of selecting a reliable web host often takes a back seat. In my experience, most small businesses end up making a wrong choice in the beginning because they do not properly evaluate their needs.

Choosing A Secure and Reliable Hosting Solution is a major consideration when launching a site; remember that without a web host - how can anyone view your site! Figuring out which web hosting provider and level of service you need can be mind boggling. This can be especially true for Small-Business starting out who may lack technical experience in this area.

It is imperative that you go with a secure, trustworthy hosting company to keep your online information safe and your content up and running. It is also very important to keep your content management system updated in order to stay one step ahead of the hackers.

Choose a hosting company that occupied with latest server hardware, technology and infrastructure and support high level of performance & reliability.

9. A Responsive Website

Smartphones and tablets are driving an increasing amount of web traffic, and the numbers are only going to grow as mobile devices become cheaper and more mainstream. Andy Chu, director of Bing for Mobile, says 70% of task completion happens within one hour on mobile sites, meaning that people are often browsing on the web with intent — they're looking to do something, buy something or go somewhere. If someone searches for a restaurant on his smartphone, he's likely to eat at that restaurant within the hour, says Chu. So your website better be readable on handheld devices.

Until two years ago, designing for the web meant designing for a computer, now it means designing for anything with an internet connection, referring to laptops, tablets and smartphones, all of which have different screen sizes. So, how can you do it? Responsive design.

Why should I care about Responsive Design?

Here're 15 Facts to help you Understand Importance of Responsive Design
  • 80% Of Internet Users Own A Smartphone Gadget (Smart Insights)
  • Mobile Devices Will Drive 80% Of Global Internet Usage and 60% of Digital Ad Spend Will Be On Mobile By 2018 (Zenith)
  • Mobile-influenced Offline Spending Already Over $1 trillion (Forrester)
  • 48% of consumers start mobile research with a search engine (Google Research)
  • 68% Of Digital Media Time Is Now Spent On Mobile (comScore)
  • By 2018, 80% Of Email Users Will Use A Mobile Device To Access Their Email Accounts (Email Monday)
  • Tablet devices account for the highest add-to-cart rates on e-commerce websites at 8.58%. (Smart Insights)
  • 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy. (Salesforce)
  • 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business. (Salesforce)
  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company)
  • 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel)
  • 91% of mobile users say that access to content is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel)
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (CMS Report)
  • 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. (Nectafy)
  • 40% Of Mobile Searches Have Local Intent (Google Mobile Moments Study)

Responsive website design enables you to use fluid widths, so that your website layout will adapt to the screen on which it's being browsed. You can enter HTML code so that your sidebar takes up, say 20% of the screen width, and the remaining 80% is reserved for the body of your website. Layouts are adjustable and images are scalable to make for a better web experience on myriad devices. https://parvezweblog.blogspot.com is good example of site with responsive design, so you can see for yourself.

Need Help Design a Responsive Website? Contact Us.

10. Clear Website Navigation

A Map is useless without a legend and a website is useless without clear navigation. Make sure you use easy-to-understand and logical names for the various pages of your site — Service, Products, Contact, About, FAQ, etc. Being cryptic or clever will just be a turnoff for users.

When developing your navigation strategy, you should consider a call to action. Ask Yourself, What is it that you want people to do on your site? Place an order? Email for a quote? Become a member? Come to your brick-and-mortar store? Call to speak with a customer service rep? Make your goals clear and obvious.

11. A FAQ Section

People have a lot of questions. As you hear concerns from customers and receive feedback via email, gather up the most frequently asked questions into a list and write clear and concise answers. Try to address common customer concerns, questions or objections that customers have. Questions often raise about your services, warranty, specifications, pricing, company history, your accreditation and cancellation policies.

Then Create a Page or Section called FAQ in your website and display all the answers you wrote. By creating a well-structured, planned and thoughtful FAQ page, you can develop a very useful piece of content for your site, and a standalone selling tool – one that is often overlooked, and just as often – not developed as effectively as it could be.

12. Social Media Integration

There are a lot of social platforms out there, and you should promote your presence on them on your website, because social media is critical part of marketing your business. Some of the popular social media are Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Foursquare.

Integrating these platforms into your website will help boost your site search ranking, improve your business' footprint on the social media and build your following across numerous social platforms. Is it worth it to maintain a presence on so many social platforms? Yes — as long as you actually maintain your online presence, you'll keep your brand top-of-mind and keep users engaged. Social media is not going to leave us anytime soon and its worth the investment in time — it does make a difference.

Ways to Make Social Media Work for You:
  • Pick the proper social media platforms related to your business.
  • Do not over promote your business.
  • Write individual posts for each network.
  • Have personality to your posts.
  • Measure your results and act accordingly.
  • Engage with the community.
  • Give your content real value.

13. Add a Sitemap

Sitemaps are organized lists or flow chart diagrams that shows connections between web pages, web page trees, and website content. A visual sitemap is a very effective method for both planning and communicating ideas about a website’s structure. Pages and content are typically organized in a hierarchical tree with root and parent pages at the top, deeper and more specific child pages toward the bottom, and subject matter distributed horizontally.

There are basically two main types of sitemaps; the HTML sitemap that is primarily built for human site visitors and the Extensible Markup Language (XML) sitemaps designed for the search engines. The HTML sitemaps are basically lists of links to all the pages in a website, just like a book’s table of content. In most cases, this kind of sitemap lists pages hierarchically based on the categories and their location on the site. You can use a website mapping tool to create sitemaps of this kind so that your visitors can quickly find the information on your website and search engines bots can thoroughly crawl the content.

On the other hand, XML sitemaps are principally meant for use by search engines. This sitemap is mostly a string of codes to directly communicate with the search engines regarding parts of the website that should be crawled. Note that the XML is a language that is understood by the search engines, which makes it ideal for this purpose. This type of sitemap is highly recommended for sites with complex content. Some websites cannot be easily accessed from the homepage because of some formats like Ajax or Flash that search engines have difficulty crawling.

It is recommended that you include both HTML and XML sitemaps because they serve different targets and purposes. You stand a high chance of improving your SEO with sitemaps because they increase internal linking as well as create a content-rich web page. After using a website mapping tool to create sitemap, place it on the homepage and ensure it is at the footer of all the other pages.

14. Add a Trust Seal

For any website that sells a service or product online – whether it be a service or physical good, there are two primary ways to increase transaction volume. One is to increase website traffic (By Organic or Paid Search Engine Results), getting more potential customers into your sales funnel. The other is to increase the conversion rate, getting more revenue and more customers from your existing traffic base.

A trust seal can increase your website conversion rate. Comodo Prepared a Survey showing a 78% of online shoppers said the presence of Trust Elements, such as Trust Seals, would dictate if they’d trust a website.

So, What is a Trust Seal?

A Trust Seal, sometimes called a Secure Site Seal, is something you’re likely already familiar with if you’ve ever noticed small badges displayed on a website footer or sidebar, Particularly on Small-Business Website.

A trust seal is a seal granted by an entity to website or businesses for display. Often the purpose is demonstrate to customers that this business is concerned with security and their business identity. The requirements for the displaying merchant vary, but typically involve a dedication to good security practices or the use of secure methods for transactions or most importantly verified existence of the company. Trust seals can come in a variety of forms, including data security seals, business verified seals and privacy seals and are available from a variety of companies, for a fee. A Trust seal can be either active or passive. Most seals are validated when they are created and remain so for a specific duration of time, post expiry of which the business/process has to be re-validated.

The function of most trust seals will depend on the company who issued the seal. Some of them indicate trust scores, ratings or sales stats of the websites that show visitors how safe the particular business is. Others indicate the presence of SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer), meaning the site connects over HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) and data transmitted between a visitor’s browser and the server is encrypted and can't be theft by third party.

Here are Different Types of Trust Seals:
  1. Security Seals
  2. Privacy Seals
  3. Buyer Protection Seals
  4. Business Identity Seals

Example of Trust Seals for Small Business Website can be showcase of your Business Accreditation, Certificates, Brand or Trade Association Badges and Awards that show You and Your Business is Legitimate with Notable Achievements. This also includes Privacy Seals and SSLs (Secure Sockets Layers). This helps users feel more secure when browsing your website and filling out personal information about themselves. Even if your business is only asking for something as simple as an e-mail address, adding this kind of trust elements will increase the likelihood of a user providing that information.

Example of Some Trust Seal for Local Business Website Can Be


Above 14 Things are Extremely Important and Must Have Features for Every Local Business Website. So, if you’re running a small business website, consider straying from what people say is right and try out what actually works for small businesses.

How to Increase Your Website Traffic by 100,000

How to Increase Website Traffic

If you want 100,000+ visitors, you have to perform tremendous task for next 9-12 months, after one year you may see steady traffic from various sources.

Lets Increase Your Website Traffic Now!

No matter what you think you know about blogging and website support, there is always room for improvement, right? After all, you always wish you can increase your website traffic. If you aren’t already following these 7 simple rules, take a gander and give a lot of consideration to following them. They’ve worked for many successful bloggers, including me, and they’ll work for you, too!

Rule #1: Mood is Everything

Setting the right mood for your article is crucial to a successful blog post. If your reader can tell that the information you are giving them will be credible or useful based on the mood of your blog article, you’ll have a more successful blog post. For example, opening a blog post with the promise that you can help a retailer multiply their sales is much more compelling than one that simply opens with telling them you hope their last big sale was profitable.

Rule #2: Data is Everything Else

To build credibility and establish yourself as an expert, you use data. Whether it’s your own data or someone else’s, if it supports what you are promising or saying, it helps you build the case for what you say. It’s the difference between sound advice backed up by experience and research versus something that was just made up on the spot.

Rule #3: The Hook Brings You Back

The average person’s attention span is a mere 8 seconds. That means you have to snag more of your reader’s attention quickly, like using your headlines. Your headlines are your hooks, and they need to be designed to drag people kicking and screaming, if necessary, into reading what you have to say.

Rule #4: Show Some Love

If you love your readers enough to do just about anything to keep them happy, they’ll reward you with staying with your blog for a long time and support. They’ll comment on your content, share it with the world, and tell everyone they know just how great you are.

Rule #5: Put Your Heart Into It

Don’t just blog about any old thing you can think of. Blog about something that you truly care about, something you can really put your heart into. This will help you write consistently and keep up the momentum that draws readers to your blog. Nothing is worse than a blogger who only blogs once a month out of necessity, instead of out of love. Write about what you love, and that love will help you write more (and get more readers.)

Rule #6: Make a List, and Check It Twice

Collecting emails is essential to successful blogging. This is so true that some blogs out there rely on email for up to 28% of the total traffic to the blog. If you’re blogging, make sure you offer something to entice people to give you their email address, like an eBook or an online course of some sort. That way, you can utilize your email marketing to its fullest potential, pulling in the traffic and ad revenues that you want and need.

Rule #7: Keep it simple, silly!

This rule refers to your vocabulary. Maybe you know the longest words in the dictionary, but most of your readers probably don’t. What’s more, when you use those long words, they feel like you’re talking down to them. Don’t talk down to your readers, or you’ll lose them! Instead, use simple, down-to-earth language that everyone can relate to.

5 Ways to Attract Readers to Your Small Business Blog

5 Ways to Attract Visitors to Blog

So you can write compelling blogs, and you’re up to date on your social content calendar, everything is going dandy, but there is just one thing you’re missing – you need to attract blog readers.

Some people think coming up with fresh topics to write about or finding the time to write regularly is the challenge but actually, it’s getting enough viewers to engage in your post. So much so that people are commenting, asking questions, or your blog has been shared across numerous social networks. That’s what the end goal for your business’s blog should be.

Add a “subscribe” button
If you attracted a reader, why not ask them to come back. Adding a subscribe or signup button gives the customer an option to be updated on your blog is the best way to grow your following.

Ask customers to visit your website and follow your blog
If a customer is showing interest in shopping in your store or visiting your beauty salon, they could possibly be interested in seeing what you have to share online. It certainly won’t hurt to ask!

Have your website appear on your business card and share it with your customers before they leave and simply say, “When you have a chance, take a look at our blog, I think you’d find a few articles helpful when using our products” or something to that effect. People won’t know to read your blog unless they know it exists!

Follow and engage with others in the blogging community of similar interests
Not everyone that would be interested in your blog are customers or buyers. It’s mostly other bloggers and business owners in the same industry looking to network, grow, share likes, comments, follows, etc. Pass by other blogger’s pages and share your comments and likes. For the most part you’ll find they’ll return the love!

Share Blog Posts to Facebook,
But not every post, or you’ll come off too pushy. Every week you should try to post a “highlight” article, perhaps highlighting the best moments or topics shared over the week. This is the kind of post worth sharing to Facebook without flooding your friends pages.

Monitor your Blog’s analytics
Just because there aren’t any comments doesn’t mean people haven’t visited or read the article. Get familiar with your blog’s analytics and see what topics gain the most traction. Follow the trends and post more about what people seem to be interested in.

How to Optimize for RankBrain and Semantic Search in 2017

Optimize Website for RankBrain and Semantic Search

Search engines are currently undergoing a significant evolution in the area of artificial intelligence. Keywords are no longer relevant for SEO. Okay, that isn’t entirely true, but if your strategy still centers on identifying a handful of target keywords and stuffing those keywords into as many places as you can on your site, chances are your website will not get high search engine ranking. That’s because keyword-centric optimization has been on the decline ever since the Hummingbird update of 2013 changed the game and made Semantic Search the reigning factor in Google Ranking Algorithm.

From 2015, Google started using a machine-learning artificial intelligence system called “RankBrain” to help sort through its search results. RankBrain helps Google to process search results and provide more relevant search results for users query.

So, To be Successful in SEO, You need to Optimize your Website for RankBrain and Semantic Search in 2017.

RankBrain and Semantic Search has sparked a lot of buzz in the SEO Community. We've heard about Entity SEO, Conversational Content, Optimizing for Topics (as opposed to keywords optimization), and even completely ditching old-school SEO Tactics, like link building and Keyword Targeting, in favor of creating the most relevant and useful piece of content there is, and letting Google do the rest.

But is Google really giving up on keywords, and should SEOs do the same? What exactly does "Optimizing for Relevance" mean, how do you do it, and can you rely on it alone? How, after all, does RankBrain and Semantic Search work, and where do you get started? This article is an attempt to answer these questions.

What's RankBrain?

RankBrain is a form of Artificial Intelligence used by Google to help filter and process a large portion of search queries, so the results displayed are relevant to, and reflective of, the search intent. RankBrain uses machine learning and AI, with the ability to predict meaning, and therefore relevancy, to display the best matching results, even for previously unknown, and new search requests.

RankBrain has a core function of effectively answering new search queries and understanding what results should appear for topics with limited, if any, historical data to base relevancy and therefore ranking on.

RankBrain is the the third most important ranking factor for Google Search Ranking.

How RankBrain Work?

RankBrain's ranking component analyzes the pages in Google's index and looks for specific features (e.g., usage of certain related terms) that make those pages a good fit for the query. Such "features" are determined by analyzing the best-performing search results (according to Google's user satisfaction metrics, such as SERP click-through rate, pogo-sticking, time on page, etc.) and looking for similarities between these pages.

As a result, the pages that are deemed to be good responses to the query may not even contain the exact words from the query, but are nonetheless relevant. Google's recently said that RankBrain is "involved in every query", and affects the actual rankings "probably not in every query but in a lot of queries".

What's Semantic Search?

Semantic Search Aims to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent, contextual meaning of terms, and relationships between words to provide more relevant search results.
We should stop at two important concepts: intent and context.

Intent, which comes from the user, explicitly states what he or she is looking for. And context could be understood as everything that surrounds a search and makes this go in either direction, i.e., what gives it meaning. Thus, by understanding and connecting intention and context, search engines are able to understand the different queries, both what motivates and what is expected of them.

It all started with Google's Hummingbird update back in 2013. Hummingbird uses context and searcher intent (as opposed to individual keywords in a query) to ensure that "pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words".

There are many aspects to pay attention to if you're looking to embrace RankBrain and Semantic Search, from choosing what to focus your pages on to researching keywords and topics, improving site relevance and markup. Let's Start.

8 Ways Optimize Your Website for RankBrain and Semantic Search in 2017

1. Create Attractive Search Snippets

Larry Kim, founder and CTO of WordStream, recommends improving organic click-through rates to increase your probability of success, because he suspects that RankBrain’s “Relevance Score” is the same as AdWords’ “Quality Score.”

If your click-through rates are less than impressive, focus on improving your SERP snippets. Make sure page titles and meta descriptions echo the user’s need, stand out on the search results page and entice the user to click for more. Simplify URLs so they reinforce value to Google and to users. And — when possible — craft content that targets featured snippet positions in search results. Make your snippet irresistible.

2. Rethink how content uses keywords (seriously, stop procrastinating)

Keywords have been changing for years, so this is not new SEO advice — and RankBrain might be the last nail in the coffin of the old way of thinking about SEO keywords. If you haven’t done it yet, it’s seriously time.

Stop creating pages or content tailored to only one keyword or keyword phrase. For maximum effect, try composing your semantic kernel of both your targeted keywords, as well as their variations and related keywords, and additional words that most commonly appear in the same context as your targeted keywords.

Tip: Gather keywords, group keywords into clusters, and generate exemplars — Another way to think of this process is that we’re grouping keywords into concepts, and then converting each concept back into a representative keyword/phrase: Keyword –> Concept –> Keyword. The result is a specific search phrase to target, but that phrase represents potentially dozens or hundreds of similar keywords.

3. Write Conversationally

While keywords are still something you need to take into account when optimizing your website, Becaise you should optimize for your website visitor, not RankBrain.

Google’s own Gary Illyes agrees that the single most important factor in optimization when it comes to RankBrain is to create content that sounds human:

Try to write content that sounds human. If you try to write like a machine then RankBrain will just get confused and probably just pushes [sic] you back.

[I]f you have a content site, try to read out some of your articles or whatever you wrote, and ask people whether it sounds natural. If it sounds conversational, if it sounds like natural language that we would use in your day to day life [sic], then sure, you are optimized for RankBrain. If it doesn’t, then you are “un-optimized.”

4. Your pages' focus: keywords vs. topics

The very first question you should be asking yourself when you optimizing website for Semantic Search is this: How do I build my content? Should I (a) create pages around individual keywords, or (b) focus on broad topics and cover them in-depth? From the SEO perspective, these are the two (rather marginal) approaches to creating content today: (a) is the old-school way that you're probably used to, and (b) is the new-school approach that's becoming increasingly popular with the rise of semantic search.

If you took the old-school approach, you'd come up with tens of similar pages: a separate page (even if it's just a few sentences long) for each of the queries above. The problem with this is that in 2017, this kind of content will hardly ever be considered comprehensive, or even remotely useful, particularly in competitive niches. More likely than not, you'll be outranked by competitors who offer more comprehensive answers.

The new-school, topic-based approach implies creating a single page that covers all these topics, aka "The ultimate guide to buying vinyl". The basic idea behind the new-school approach is that you shouldn't be worrying about keywords at all — instead, you should build a comprehensive, original, high-quality resource, and Google will figure out the rest. Alas, for the time being, it's unlikely that it will.

You see, your "ultimate guide" may rank for the more generic terms like "how to buy vinyl". This is the kind of a broad term where the searcher isn't researching a specific aspect of the process, but rather researching the entire process and looking for the steps. Even if you include paragraphs on "where to buy rare records", Google won't always be able to figure out that that's something you should also rank for — simply because you're focusing on too many things with one page, and eventually each concept's prominence (or each keyword's term frequency, if you will) is diminished due to the length of your content and the number of micro-topics you're trying to cover.

5. Relevance

Now that we've figured out you need keywords to understand searcher intent and create content that matches it, it's time to move on to the role of keyword research and targeting in semantic SEO.

The first thing Google does when it receives a query is go through its index to find the pages that match it, likely using the TF-IDF algorithm. The process isn't always straightforward: the query may have to go through several refinements before Google retrieves possible search results from the index, and these results may be then further filtered according to various relevance and quality signals… And while it's true that in 2017, you can rank in Google for a keyword that's not even mentioned on your page, it only makes sense if you like to have things the unreasonably hard way.

Using keywords in your content helps inform search engines that your page is related to that term; in other words, it significantly boosts your chances of becoming one of the search results that will be considered for being ranked for the query.

In the age of semantic search, keyword research may have gotten less straightforward, but no less important. The two underutilized sources of keyword ideas that I feel give the best suggestions, particularly in the context of semantic search, are Google Autocomplete and Google Related Searches.

6. Meta-Relevance, Latent Semantic Indexing, and RankBrain

By now, Google's got a bunch of pages that it initially selected as potential matches to the query (with relevance 1.0). But how does it determine which results better fit the searcher's need and are more relevant to the intent behind the keywords? That's where semantics comes in.

LSI, or Latent Semantic Indexing, is a technology Google uses to understand the relationships between words, concepts, and web pages. By analyzing billions of web pages and the terms used in them, Google learns which terms are related, which ones are synonyms, and which commonly appear in the same context. This, in turn, lets the search engine build expectations as to the terms that are likely to appear in a given context.

So in a sense, both RankBrain and LSI are geared towards figuring out whether a page covers the topic thoroughly. But does thoroughness translate into rankings? Backlinko did a massive study to measure this. In it, they used MarketMuse to examine 1 million (!) Google results and the correlation of their topical authority (i.e. thoroughness and depth of expertise) and rankings.

7. Became a Knowledge Graph Entity.

Google's semantic search is powered by the Knowledge Graph in numerous ways. The Knowledge Graph is a collection of entities - specific objects that Google knows a few things about, such as persons, places, and things. The Knowledge Graph's impact on search results stretches far beyond the branded panels that are sometimes displayed to the right of organic listings.

Knowledge Graph data is used in organic rankings, rich answers, and various query-specific types of search results. One such type that seems to be gaining momentum is the "carousel" displayed for queries that name a certain category that a bunch of entities belong to:

If you do find an entity but aren't completely happy with what you see, go to Wikidata and use the search bar to find the listing about your company. Here, you'll be able to edit the details about your business, such as its description, official website, etc.

8. Improve User Experience

The role of user signals in SEO is controversial, and this article isn't the place to debate it. In the context of semantic search though, it's crucial to understand that the fairest measure of the effectiveness of any new component in Google's ranking algo (be it RankBrain, Hummingbird, LSI, or anything else) is user satisfaction. Satisfaction may be measured with metrics like SERP click rate, time on page, and bounce rates.

There are two ways Google obtains these metrics: through Search Quality Rating and real-life experiments in Google search. The scale of the latter is surprisingly vast; Google's Paul Haahr mentioned that whenever you run a Google search, you're in at least one experiment.


Above are some of the useful ways to optimize your website content for RankBrain and Semantic Search. Hopefully, you find this post useful and consider these methods while optimizing your site. All of these ways are some of the genuine ways used by the experts from SEO industry. You can use these means to Improve Your Website Search Engine Ranking.

What are the most important first steps in marketing a new iOS App?

There are a number of pre-launch marketing activities you need to ensure you have done:

Buzz, buzz, more buzz. No hype.
There has never been an easier time to create an online business. But, equally, there has never been a more difficult time to grow one. Build as much hype as you can, you’ll need it.

The most effective pre-launch campaign has got to be the application Mailbox. They absolutely nailed it. I’ve tried to dig deep into the actual activities they did for people reading and I have simplified it into a list for ease of implementation.

These activities are not unique to Mailbox, so test parts of these and see which convert best for you.

Social Media
Grab your social handles. If you can get a decent name for your application on Facebook and Twitter, that’s brilliant. Similarly, to future proof yourself from changes in the social paradigm, keep an eye on new social networks like Snapchat. People will soon find a way to utilise that effectively for mobile app promotion.

Now you’re signed up, get talking. Create a spreadsheet where you pinpoint the influencers in your area and connect with them. Post content related to your product and build reputation. It’s very important to realise that you shouldn’t use social to directly sell your product. You must add value to the conversation that is already happening around you.

Now you have started to create some noise on social, don’t be afraid to put some modest PPC spend behind it.

Join HackerNews/Reddit and start to join and add to discussions which are based on a similar niche to your products. You’ll earn Karma, which means when you eventually come to pushing your content - you have gravitas. This is an interesting post on HackerNews.

Get active and provide brilliant content on other forums and social sites (like Quora) to post on topics related to your product. Again, don’t overly push your content but add real value to the discussions that are already taking place.

Your own blog can become one of your most effective user acquisition channels. Buffer have had incredible success with it and we see a similar trend. Your customers, who are humans, like to talk with humans, not brands. Check out what Buffer have achieved here.

There are many clever/smart growth hacks you can utilise on these social networks to maximise your newsletter sign ups. Mr Ryan Hoover discusses a pretty cool little hack he used here and, of course, I wrote personally about growth hacking on my blog here, which was very well received.

After you have spent some time establishing yourself in these various distribution channels, you can now start to connect the dots. However, even after you have spent time establishing yourself, you must tread carefully. Don’t oversell yourself.

Setup the funnel
One of the most important things you must ensure is installed and tagged correctly from day one is that your conversion funnel is measured. We use Mixpanel here at Tapdaq for our conversion funnel and we think it’s pretty good. Your conversion funnel is needed to continually iterate your product to ensure you maximise the hits you generate on your landing page.

Social Media Vs. Blogger Outreach to Promote Your Small Business

If these words are foreign territory to you, not to worry, we’ll fill you in throughout this article. On the upside, you’ve landed on this page. Which means you are doing your research and taking steps to boost your small business internet presence.

Social Media refers to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and much more. These websites are designed for its users to share real-time experiences through photos, text, sharing of news or information.

Every social media channel has it’s own environment. Not every platform is suitable for every business type; there’s certainly one that’ll work for you. It’s no secret social media has evolved substantially, from broadcasting messages in its early days to building relationships and engaging with their fans today.

Social media marketing is still very effective. But, it shouldn’t be your only strategy as the message can become redundant and repetitive.

Then there’s Blogger Outreach otherwise known as influencer marketing. The idea is most companies looking for more exposure for their product and service will turn to influential bloggers that have established a substantial following.

They will write about their positive experience, using their product or service. Normally, you would offer your product or service free of charge, sort of like providing them a sample enough for them to decide how they want to share your product with their following.

The benefit of running a Blogger Outreach campaign?

The Authenticity: The blogger is a real person providing their actual thoughts and feedback on your business. It’s not another marketing company coming up with another catchy slogan or salesy remarks and it’s not you trying to sell your own product.

The Exposure: You can gain from building these authentic relationships can result in natural links to your website.

The Relationships: You can build to establish a strong internet reputation.

The Opportunity to Appear in Organic Search Results.
Most bloggers will exercise SEO strategies in their articles and consider key terms that your audience would be more likely to enter into search engines like, Google.

Finding the right influencer blogger is key, you’ll want to find someone who resonates with your brand. For example, you want want a food blogger to write about your spa services. If you’re in the business of health and beauty, find a fashion blogger or an internet makeup guru to try your product and tell their following just how great it is!

So, when it comes down to which is better to promote your small business: social media or blogger outreach? It really is all about using both strategies together. As a business owner, you may not always have the time to stay up-to-date with regular posts or finding the right influencer to promote your products.

22 Effective SEO Tips by SEO Experts

22 Effective SEO Tips

How great would it be if we could gather all the Awesome SEO experts in just one room to talk about search engines ranks with a focus on the best SEO tips available out there? It would be glorious! Since we don’t have a room big enough to gather all the best experts in one place, we took advantage of the online “meetings” and gathered all the up to date SEO tips into an awesome expert roundup post. That is how we got the idea of interviewing 22 renowned SEO experts and how we found out 22 awesome and unique search engine optimization tips … the best of them.

22 Effective SEO Tips by SEO Experts for 2017

We’ve got answers from some of the brightest minds about the most actionable tips from the digital marketing world. We’ve found interesting news, insights and really helpful tips and guidelines about mobile optimization, metrics, qualitative content marketing, testing, technical SEO and customer centric websites. These 22 SEO Tips are some of the best for small businesses or large enterprises. Make sure you get the best of them.

1. SEO Is Not Just About Rankings

I’ve talked with many business owners that think ranking high in Google is all you need to be successful. The reality is that SEO is just one of many tactics to drive prospective customers to your website. Sure, ranking high in Google is great, but it’s also worthless if you don’t have a website that is set up properly to convert that traffic into leads and sales. Plus, you won’t rank high for long unless you have proper tracking in place and a process to monitor and analyze your SEO efforts. As you can see, SEO is not just about rankings; it’s also about website conversion rate optimization and website analytics and tracking. That’s important to understand before you start to invest in SEO.

2. Optimize Website for Visitor and Not for the Search Engines

Producing content that’s irrelevant and insignificant to your audience’s wants and needs leads to only one thing – people stop taking you seriously. People click on your links in the SERPs but they do not interact with your website and leave quickly – wasted opportunity to turn visitors into customers.

So how do I find what my buyer persona (not to be confused with ‘buyer profile’) is looking for? Glad you’ve asked, so let me give you some actionable tips. Finding questions that people are asking about your products or services. A very good place to start is Quora. I just went there and typed something very uninspiring like “carrots” (Writing content for a boring industry? No Problem).

3. Understand How Your Site Is Actually Performing Away From Vanity Metrics

If you track for the right KPIs, auditing will supply you with ongoing changes and help you focus on making the highest priority changes for you to hit KPIs and plan for the future.

4. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Creative Technical SEO

People often neglect testing in SEO, mostly because it’s not easy, but optimizing CTR is a way to get some huge wins. Check out how Etsy is doing it or this recent look at approaches from Wayfair and their learnings.

I’m talking about coming up with novel ideas and analyses that help move the needle but are less about copywriting and more about technical proficiency. A couple examples: digging deep into semantic keyword research and data mining or dynamically populating title tags using the Google Search Analytics API.

5. Have Content Deliberately Written to Be Highly Linkable

Highly linkable content is content written on a broad enough topic that you can work it into guest posts and other link opportunities naturally, without the article having to be directly related to the content you’re linking to.

For example, I wrote a big piece on customer delight – a thorough guide on how to make your customers happy at every point in your relationship. I’ve been able to link to this piece within articles on topics ranging from marketing and sales to operations and employee management. Having a few of these kinds of pieces means you’ll never miss an opportunity to link to your content.

6. Do Not Underestimate How Important “Branding” Is to SEO

Do not underestimate how important “branding” is to SEO.

7. Build Your Website on a Solid Foundation of Data and Keyword Research

Your goal should be to build a customer-centric destination that works 24/7 at attracting fresh business.

My company, Search Planet, specializes in E-commerce SEO. I often see even large e-commerce Web shops leak revenue and profit because they’ll mirror their own needs and organizational structure online, instead of focusing on their customers’ needs. So the best prospects don’t find them in search results. Or when they do, they won’t buy from them – but go to their competitors instead.

By transforming your online presence to be entirely customer-focused, you’ll cut through the clutter, dominate search engines, draw a flood of targeted traffic to your website, and make more sales.

8. Spend the Time and Money to Have Your Site Analyzed in Terms of Its Existing SEO

You could have all kinds of issues that you aren’t aware of and rather than just trying to throw links at the site or find someone to write better content for your home page, put some focus on doing a thorough SEO audit.

9. Make the Best Page on the Internet for Your Topic

So here’s how I think about SEO:

  • If you made the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to HELP you;
  • If you didn’t make the best page on the internet for your topic …there are 2000 Math PhD’s trying to STOP you.

Of course, it’s not enough just to make a great page. But it’s step one. Combine this effort with a clear understanding of off-site SEO, links and basic understanding of how to increase your domain authority and everything is going to work out well for you.

10. When It Comes to Link Acquisition You Need to Be Looking for Trust

The landscape has changed so much, we’re seeing a lot more weight shifting towards user experience, and link building has become a game of trust.

SEOs need to forget about them; there isn’t a metric out there that gives a true reflection of the value of a link, we have come across so many links with good domain authority or domain trust that we would class as toxic websites. When it comes to link acquisition, you need to be looking for trust, and you can only do this through a manual review; is this website the kind of website Google would trust and want to pass value through, is it a trusted source of information? You should then focus on how your links appear on that site, links that look like ads, in the footer or sidebars are going to be less likely to pass value in the long term.

We’re seeing a huge increase in the influence site speed has on rankings. We have run a few tests now with clients and are seeing a direct and almost immediate correlation with speed improvements and an uplift in rankings. Make it a priority, work with the development team and ensure your website is as fast as possible.

11. Invest Time and Effort into Developing a Link Earning Strategy

Do not take any shortcuts to buy or build low-quality links. While links are still a ranking factor, that is no longer their sole purpose. An effective link will provide the opportunity to improve three things; your traffic, your brand, and build trust. These are the links that should be your focal point. These types of links are found in building relationships with relevant websites and companies, creating valuable (not just quality) content, and a consistently having a giving mentality. Though it takes times, the reward will be worth it.

12. If Everyone Else Is Zigging, Then Zagging Is a Strategic Opportunity

If you just want one SEO tip, then let me share the insight that led me to co-found SEO-PR back in 2003. Hundreds of SEOs optimize web pages hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google search results. And many of them do a great job. But only a small handful optimize news stories, blog posts, or press releases hoping that they will get a high ranking in Google News search results.

Now, the Google News algorithm is similar but different than the Google algorithm. Why? Because inbound links aren’t as strong a signal of the importance of a story. This puts a premium on relevance. But, the big mistake that many SEOs make is assuming that the popularity of keywords used on Google is the same on Google News. They often aren’t. You can see this for yourself by using the Google Trends Explore tool. The default result for any keyword will be web search interest. But you can use the drop down menu to see news search interest. And the trends are often different.

In addition, Google says that 16% of searches that it sees every day are new. Well, ask yourself: “Where do baby search terms come from?” And you’ll discover that the stork doesn’t bring them. They are generated by the “news.” So, these are search terms that your competitors haven’t been optimizing their web pages to get high rankings for 15 years. So, you have a better shot of getting your news stories or blog posts (if you’re a news source) and even your press releases to get high rankings for than you would for yet another web page.

Now, admittedly, your ranking in Google News may only last a day or two. But, for near term news and events, this is the opportunity to drive traffic to a relevant landing page on your website. Now, the links in press releases are no-follow, so there is no “link juice” in them. But, they can still drive visitors to a page with more information — if it’s relevant and important. We used unique tracking links in four press releases for Southwest Airlines to generate $2.5 million in ticket sales. And when the CFO asked how we knew that they came from the press releases, we showed him that the tracking parameters on the links weren’t used by any other element of the company’s marketing. And when he suggested that we were merely harvesting interest that had been generated by the company’s excellent TV advertising, we showed him that the releases were for new service to cities where Southwest Airlines had never run an ad. He asked what else we knew. Well, we’d analyzed the database of people who had purchased tickets and found that two-thirds had never flown Southwest Airlines before and that they were generally purchasing round-trip tickets for two people.

13. Invest More in Content

Invest more in content. This is without a doubt the thing that people underinvest in the most, yet, doing so almost always brings great yields, both in terms of conversion and SEO.

14. Run Your Own SEO Tests Across Different Search Categories

Don’t believe everything you read and watch on the internet about SEO. Most of the best SEO’s I know don’t even have a Twitter account. Run your own SEO tests across different search categories.

15. Perform an In-Depth SEO SWOT Analysis

My best SEO tip is to do an SEO SWOT analysis. What are your SEO Strengths? What are your SEO Weaknesses? What are your SEO Opportunities? What are your SEO Threats?

If you create a basic SWOT grid and start to detail your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you can start to get a better idea what kind of SEO you need. This is exactly how we work at Bowler Hat and even our SEO service page details how you need to identify what kind of SEO is right for you.

16. Understand What Your Targeted Audience Might Be Looking For

Make sure you understand what your targeted audience might be looking for when they might search for a site that you are optimizing.

What words they might use when they search for it, how they might construct their query and what words they will expect to see on your pages. Also what questions they might have about the goods or services offered on that website; and the answers to those questions, so that you can provide answers, and begin the journey towards having them become customers of your site.

17. Test Longer Strategies over Tactics and Measure Each Step of the Way

Is it possible that a single implementation could make a big difference? Yes. Is it likely? Not really. If you’re investing in SEO, you’re accepting a long game.

Google wants to rank the sites that earn their users’ satisfaction. Google isn’t as easily influenced, thanks to new search models and AI that are designed to truly understand the value of a page the way a user would.

18. Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly

There are many things you can do to your website to improve SEO, but I would say right now that you should focus on making sure your site is mobile-friendly.

At the moment, Google uses your desktop site to rank you on desktop searches – Mobile First turns this on its head because it will base your desktop rankings on your mobile site. So if your mobile site is very poor, or even if you don’t have one, expect mobile first to cause you problems.

19. Create Your Own Websites and Experiment Things Risk-Free

The one SEO tip I would offer, that applies to both those who are new or more experienced, would be to start your own websites as soon as possible.

When I started out in the industry I was obsessed with consuming every SEO article that was published, but ultimately things really took off when I started launching websites. None of them are particularly successful, but they allowed me to try things risk-free without jeopardizing a client’s campaign. I was able to freely dive into onsite SEO, and I also dabbled in the ‘dark arts’ of link building which of course led to one of my sites being penalized..all fun and games! In order to truly understand how a website works I think it’s important to have some hands on experience, and getting that is easier than you might think. WordPress websites are simple to set up, and building up a bit of traffic can also allow you to experiment with advertising, log file analysis and more!

20. Focus on Content Quality

The single biggest tip I can give SEOs for 2017 is focusing on content quality. Over the last year, I have extensively been running experiments on how much the swing of search results has moved to the quality of the content.

It seems that the Google algo is getting better and better at pulling out content and really starting to understand how that content answers a query. Traditionally we used to talk about “content” and used to hammer in content in areas where really there was no structure, for example on product category landing pages in eCommerce websites. That used to be good enough to dominate the short, mid and long tail of queries as long as you had a decent volume of links.

21. Find a Way to Create Attention

Attention creates awareness, which in turn creates (brand) traffic and links, which will improve your SEO. You need to find a way to create attention (to your product/service/brand/company/website).

22. Hone Your Technical SEO Skills as Much as Possible

If I had to give one SEO tip it would be to hone your technical SEO skills as much as possible.

While SEO is a relatively broad discipline, the technical aspects of it are relatively opaque to many, and there is no shortcut for. On top of that, it is a skill that will likely always be in demand.

Top 5 Tips For Marketing On A Shoestring Budget

Local Business Owners Survive and Thrive by maximizing every dollar of a budget, every ounce of effort and every minute of time. An effective marketing strategy for your small business is crucial to efficiently grow revenue and minimizing wasted resources.

If you can maintain focus, understand your customers and your strengths, simplify your approach and maximize efficiency, you can find success with less. If funds are tight at the moment, try our 5 tricks for marketing on a shoestring budget for strong results without the massive price tag.

5 Ways to Market Your Small Business on a Shoestring Budget

1. Hone in and Focus

Big Companies with huge marketing and advertising budgets can afford to cast a wide net. For small business owners, a scattershot approach will deliver a very poor return on investment. Whatever channel you are focusing on, each marketing message must be targeted with laser-like precision.

A Well-targeted online advertising is the most cost-effective option for most small businesses. But if you don’t understand your targeting options or if your net is cast too wide, you can blow through your budget without creating value. The biggest value comes when you can find opportunities your competitors are undervaluing, where demand is lower than it should be, and the clicks, or impressions, are relatively cheap. You don’t want to follow the crowd and subsist on your competitors’ scraps. Rather than copying the strategy of your larger competitors, find the opportunities that are more precise with smart use of keywords and by targeting less obvious demographics.

Stay on-message, with your best message - make it clear what you are offering that the competition is not. Be results oriented, set your KPIs (key performance indicators) before you spend any money and keep a close watch on your results.

Think in terms of high-impact messages that are clear and succinct. Your intent should be apparent and simple to understand. In assessing your target audience it helps to consider demographics. How old is the audience you are trying to reach? Are they male or female? You can also use psychographics and other segmenting tools to drill down and create narrow marketing channels. There is virtually no benefit in marketing to those you are unlikely to reach.

2. Keep in Touch

Engagement is crucial to maintaining your customer base. The dollars you spend attempting to gain new customers will far exceed the ones you spend to keep them, so you need to make sure you look after your existing customers. Use e-mail and social media to enable a regular flow of communication and preserve the existing link with your patrons.

What you must remember is that maintaining a relationship with your customers requires finesse. You know the old saying, familiarity breeds contempt. Find that balance between being overwhelming and being effective. Here's a tip. The more helpful, professional and informative your communications are, the better they will be received. Every communication shouldn’t be an outright sales pitch.

3. Publish Great Content

Content is King. Content marketing is still one of the most reliable and cost-effective methods of marketing for small businesses, and it’s a solid choice for those who are trying to eke maximum value out of a shoestring budget.

Stand-out content is a surefire route to higher sales conversions - but this requires a solid content strategy, something which can be intimidating at first. Simply creating content with no real thought or goal behind it is akin to casting too wide a net with your advertising dollars. Again, you need to be focused on getting the most out of a smaller marketing pot.

Prior to any content creation efforts, research how to reach your target audience. Don’t assume you’re already aware of exactly who your target demographics are. Consider conducting market research to find what specific keywords they use to describe your product, what they find compelling about your product and what related topics interest them that are adjacent to the product you offer. Are you reaching a local, national, or international audience? This information will help you determine how to best reach customers in your choice of both content topics and mediums.

Creating valuable content that engages readers and provides useful information is one way to get a top spot in the search engine rankings. We've all seen how easily something can go viral. Remember Chewbacca Mom? In the age of social media, content can be viewed literally millions of times in less than 24 hours. The key is to be first in line. Your content will have less value if someone else beats you to the punch.

If you have the ability to create superior content yourself, go for it. And don’t be afraid to outsource for inexpensive help - websites like UpWork offer a pool of talent for less. Making smart use of freelancers once you have a content strategy in place is a cost-effective way to get your content needs covered without having to invest in a long-term hire.

4. Giveaway Discount Coupons

Coupons leverage the eternal fondness most people have for saving money and getting a deal. As such, offering coupons has been a powerful way for brands to attract new customers for many years. Make this work for you by investigating platforms that can distribute your coupon to a large number of people for a small cost.

Once you’re committed to offering business coupons, you need to have a plan in place to convert those trying your business into long-term customers. Talk to your new customers as appropriate, and find out what you can about what they want as a customer. Which aspects of your business do they love? Are there any impediments to them becoming a long term customer?

The free trial is another useful tool in the penny marketer's chest. Some people appreciate the opportunity to try something before they commit. It doesn't even have to be a long period of time. Sometimes seven days of service can do the trick.

5. Grow Your Community

Your best marketing assets are the satisfied folks you've served before. They will work cheaply on your behalf if you treat them right. Try offering a free month of service or product discounts in exchange for referrals. In many cases, the act of giving the reward itself is more meaningful to your existing customers than its value. In other words, customers value being appreciated.

Networking is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business. It can also be one of the most time-consuming. When you can persuade your existing customers to take up the cause of promoting your business, the growth can be exponential.

Small Business Owners with a Strategic Marketing plan in place have a far greater chance of succeeding on a shoestring budget. Match your passion, skill, and self-awareness to use what you know about your own business and your target audience to deliver bright ideas that will win new customers over and over again.

How do I implement Search Engine Optimization on my Website?

Before You Start: Make sure the keywords you are planning to use are ideal for your business! Optimizing your webpages around bad keywords can be a huge waste of efforts. For help determining your optimal keywords, See Optimal Keyword Detection.

Optimize the Page Title Tag.
The Page Title Tag is what appears first in search engine results, and also what appears in your browser’s title bar. Search Engines do have some ranking weight on page title tags, so remember when optimizing your page title tag to do the following:

  • Be Mindful of Page Title Length: (50-60 characters)
  • Place Important Keywords Close to the Front of the Title Tag: (city / product / service)
  • Leverage Branding: (if more notable than company name)
  • Consider Readability and Emotional Impact: (Convey most positive message possible)

Optimize Meta Description.
Your webpage’s meta description is a brief snippet or preview to the information / content that is on the page. You want this description to be as concise and compelling as possible. Note: meta descriptions will not directly impact your search engine ranking, but if used correctly can improve user click through’s, which in turn can improve your search engine ranking.

  • Recommended Length: between 150 and 160 characters.
  • Only use alphanumeric characters.
  • Avoid Similar or Duplicate Descriptions Tags.
  • Let the searcher know exactly what content is on this page.

Optimize Header Tag.
Header Tags (H1) are not to be confused with Page Title Tags. They are similar, but have different purposes. Your webpage Title Tag is a keyword focused description of the content that shows up in search engine results, your webpage header tag is a keyword focused introduction to the content on the webpage itself, to improve user readability.

Implement Image Alt Text & Title.
Image alt text (alternate text) helps explain to search engines what the image is. Use Alt text to describe all aspects of the image, using as many accurate descriptors as possible. You can also add an additional attribute “image title”, to help further describe the image to search engines. The more images on the page with alt text and titles, the better.

Implement Internal Site Linking.
Internal linking is a hyperlink on a webpage that directs traffic to another one of your webpages. What this does is make it easier for your visitors to navigate throughout the content on your website, which will improve your “user experience” in the eyes of search engines.