Local SEO

February 27, 2019

7 New SEO Trends your Business Needs to Utilize

Have you ever paid another person or company to do “SEO” for your website? If so, let me guess … after paying thousands of dollars you still had NO IDEA what it did to your bottom line. Even worse, you don’t even seem to rank any higher on Google.

Well, not to kick you while you’re down, but SEO is going to get even crazier. So, for all you plumbers and e-commerce stores out there, buckle-up! In this article, we will go over 7 of the biggest SEO trends in 2019.

With the media world ever-changing, so are the most effective SEO tactics. In order to rank, outrank, and stay ranking, SEO should be top of mind. If you want your website and content seen by as many people as possible, roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Let’s cover 4 quick topical terms:

  • User Experience – How website visitors use and interact with the website.
  • Crawlability – How Google reviews your website to index it online.
  • Content – Information and media on your website
  • Backlinks – Links from other external websites back to your website.

To stay competitive, new SEO trends offer businesses a competitive way of standing out  amongst the crowd.

Here are 7 SEO Trends for 2019

1.  The Rise of Voice Search

How often have you heard one of these phrases in the last year or so…

 “Alexa.”

 “Hey, Siri.”

“Ok, Google.”

For those reading (or listening), it’s a race to the top. Who will dominate search?

Have you seen the increasingly popular television commercials? It’s fair to assume you’re in a legitimate industry when you’re running TV commercials during huge sports events and popular hours. This tv ad by Google, “Yo Google”, with Kevin Durant, is just one example of a big international media company trying to eat up market share.

Whether you like it or not, voice search is the future of SEO. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be around 21.4 million smart speakers in the U.S. alone. Also by 2020, experts believe that voice search will make up 50% of all search inquiries. So how can your business stay on top of this trend and utilize it to boost your SEO?

  1. Create Content Good Enough to Make it A Featured Snippet. You may be asking “What is a featured snippet?” A featured snippet is the result you see at first in the Google search results that boxed off at the top of the page. While there is no answer as to how to get featured there, search engines pull the more relevant content that answers a specific question people are asking. This answer should not be something that runs around the question that was asked. Instead, aim to write content that makes the answer clear and easy to understand. 

Content for snippets are pulled from the top 10 results for the specific question that was asked. Make sure your content is ranking by optimizing your SEO with great meta and internal and external links.

In the world of voice, this content is the voice search result that Google and others transcribe to you.

2. Make Sure Your Site is Up To Speed.

A major search rank consideration gaining more and more precedence is the power of page speed. 47% of consumers expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less. Your content may answer all of the voice searcher’s questions, but if your website is not optimized to load quickly, your perspective website viewers will drop like flies.

Make sure your website loads as fast as possible. This can be achieved with a few optimizations:

Hostway explains 10 ways to make your website load faster using some of these pointers as examples …

10 Ways to Make Your Website Load Faster
  1. Implement your own content delivery network (CDN). …
  2. Cache everything possible
  3. Evaluate your plugins. … (what to use vs not use)
  4. Compress your content. …
  5. Configure expires headers.

Use Google’s awesome PageSpeed Insights tool to determine your site’s speed and what you can do to improve.

3. Think Like a Voice Search User. 

SEO can change depending on which platform is being used. We all know that searching something by typing and searching something by speaking are completely different. With each action, you use different words, sentence lengths, and phrases. With the case of voice search, the whole question is going to be different. Therefore, content needs to be composed to answer more natural, conversational questions. Content made to respond well to Voice Search must also answer the question in a short and simple manner – content used as Voice Search results are written at a 9th grade level and 29 words or less.

4.  Featured Snippets (let’s dig deeper)

The Featured Snippets are a format which is supposed to provide users with a concise, direct answer to their questions – right there on the search results page, without the users having to click through to a specific result.

The key to becoming a featured snippet is by making sure that you not only provide the best, most concise and accurate answer, but to making sure your website is also structured properly for Google to scan and index.

There are three types of snippets, depending on the query:

  • Paragraph
  • List
  • Table

According to Rob Bucci and STAT, paragraph snippets are the most common, occupying 82% of the featured snippets, with list snippets appearing in 10.8% of the results and table snippets in 7.3%.

These Snippets don’t always pull the result from the first position on Google either. They can actually pull from any listing on the first results page. However, position 1 usually gets at least 30% of the featured snippet results.

3.  Prioritize Mobile

Please tell me this isn’t a shocking surprise. Chances are you’re actually reading this from a mobile device.

As a marketer, I probably spend more time on my PC than a smart device, but not by much. Most people I know don’t even have a computer anymore. Why have one if you don’t need it. You have a personal computer in your hands at all times, and that always has an internet connection.

Google has actually moved to mobile-first indexing. Yes, this means even Google has prioritized scanning and indexing website mobile versions first, so as to rank them and give the best results to those searching on mobile devices.

Mobile-first indexing means that Google uses your website’s mobile version as a jump-off point for determining website rankings. If your website does not have a mobile-friendly version, it doesn’t mean you won’t rank. However, because mobile is crawled first, it will affect your website’s overall rank.

(Image via MOZ)

This mobile-indexing process should not come as a surprise – 60% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices. If you are already using SEO, make sure to transfer that data to the mobile version of your site. When building mobile-friendly websites or mobile versions of your site, for SEO purposes, take into consideration…

  • Creating a better user experience. Mobile versions of your website should offer your audience easy navigation and use.
  • Speed. As we mentioned before, you should optimize your site to load quickly. It is wise to have a desktop version of your site and a mobile version. Not sure if your website is mobile-friendly? Google has your back – try its Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • Optimize your content. Content titles for mobile content should be around 78 characters opposed to the 70 characters for desktop. For the content description, the character length is the same – around 155 characters.
4.  Amazon Search Optimization

Wait…Amazon competing against Google? Go figure, right?

Amazon is a huge search engine competitor. If you want good SEO, you have to be in front of your customers on all major search engines, including Amazon. 72% of shoppers use Amazon to find and order the products they need. 56% of consumers search Amazon for what they need first before they looking at other sites for the same product.

According to BigCommerce, people favor Amazon when it comes to making purchases because Amazon offers great prices, fast shipping, and overall better customer convenience. Not only do people find products on Amazon, but everything they need for their shopping experience including product reviews, similar product suggestions, and other products consumers may be interested in based off of the product they are looking at. Amazon acts as a one-stop stop for online shoppers. With Amazon, there is not a need to use another search engine to find what they need or want to buy.

Amazon is a threat to Google and Google Ads revenue if consumers are searching for products on Amazon instead of Google. If your business has products available for sale, you may want to consider posting your items for sale on Amazon. To sell your products there, you must first…

  • Enroll. Choose one of the 20 product categories available on Amazon for your products.
  • Choose a selling plan. There are 2 plans available depending on how many products your business intends to sell.
  • Register and List. Use Seller Central to set up your account.

The reason we want to include Amazon in this blog is simply due to the fact that they have and and will continue to steal market share from Google, YouTube, eBay, and others. Yes, anything you search on is a search engine — even social platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

5.  Domain Authority

Domain Authority and SEO work hand and hand. If you didn’t know, Domain Authority is a search engine score that determines the popularity and quality of the domain itself. It’s a marketing term itself, as coined by Moz and others.

DA scores range from 1 – 100. Domain Authority strives to prove that your website is producing high-quality content about your specific subject matter. To achieve “good” domain authority, your website and website content should have a high number of quality internal and external links. High Domain authority sites, as an example, would include Facebook (99), New York Times (95), ESPN (91).

It is not a realistic goal to have a DA of 100. Instead, focus your time on determining the DA of your competitor’s sites and aim for your website to have a higher number than theirs. The best way to improve your site’s DA is to prove it’s overall SEO. If you decide to work on improving your Domain Authority, you should use some of the same practice that you use for your SEO optimization. Our partners at Hubspot say to improve DA, you can…

  1. Look at Your Links. Search engines like Google only want the highest quality links. Take advantage of tools like SEMrush’s Backlink Checker and MOZ’s Link Explorer to see how you can improve your linking game.
  2. Content, Content, Content. Are you tired of hearing about content yet? In order to boost your Domain Authority, you need people to visit your website. Draw people in by creating compelling content that is answering a direct question. Once you have visitors, use lead nurturing tactics to build a dedicated following that will keep coming back to your site for more.
  3. Get backlinked. Other companies linking out to your content on a page with a higher Domain Authority than yours will boost your DA number tremendously.
6.  Semantic Keywords

Adding Latent Semantic Keywords to Quality Content

LSI keywords are also known as to “semantic keywords.”  In other words, LSI keywords are terms and phrases that search engines find based on the frequency they are used throughout the web.

What are semantic keywords? Semantic termsare not quite like synonyms. Instead, they are more like sub-topically related concepts. For example, if I were to write about landing pages, some potential semantic keywords could include subject line tips, A/B testing, landing page ideas, landing page design, and landing page optimization.

Here are 3 tools that can help you find the best LSI keywords for your content:
  1. LSI Graph is an easy-to-use tool. To use LSI Graph, just write in a focused keyword and new ideas will generate for you! It’s that simple – plus it’s free.

2. Google’s Auto Suggest feature is another way to generate new ideas. Type in your main keyword, but, instead of hitting enter like your normally would, look the suggested queries. These are all things that are ranking on Google from what people are actually searching.

3. Google’s Search Related Feature appears when you scroll to the bottom of the Google search results page. Here, you’ll see additional suggestions based off of your original Google search. You’ll also get semantically related keywords in bold.

When creating content remember to add LSI keywordsto your content to drive organic rankings. Be sure to include them in your:

  • Subheads
  • Alt Text
  • Image File Names
  • Body Content
  • Link Text

Let’s not forget, your content has to be relevant to both Google and humans. Be sure to include keywords, but never let them degrade or distract from the message you’re sending.

7 – Blockchain Technology’s Influence

When thinking about the idea of Blockchain Technology, it is mostly associated with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. However, Blockchain’s influence has a larger reach than expected. So how does Blockchain Technology and SEO relate?

First, we have to know the logistics of how blockchain works. Blockchain is used to create protected and trusted transactions. The use of Blockchain Technology secures digital relationships through its network. When using Blockchain Technology, transactions will occur directly between the advertiser and the website owner, cutting out 3rd party search engines, like Google, that were meant to build trust.

Utilizing Blockchain can verify identity authentication of your website’s users with 100% accuracy. This accuracy helps to determine whether your ad was viewed by a real person or by a bot crawling your site. Distinguishing this can allow the website owner to only pay for legit clicks from real leads through Blockchain. Some ways you can use Blockchain Technology with your sites are..

  1. Use an Embedded schema markup. This allows websites to record the identity of visitors on your site.
  2. The use of token rewardsBAT, a basic attention token, monitors your website’s user’s activity. If the user is an active user, you will gain “tokens” to reward different user interactions.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the future of SEO with our 7 trends for 2019. The key point of this article is that SEO is ever-changing, and that your website must be focused on the future. Your visitors’ experience is the key to making sure your rank continues to climb.

For all future content please subscribe to our YouTube or email list for Momentum Monday marketing tips and trends.

With questions regarding SEO and Digital Marketing, you can reach our director, Mac Frederick.

mac@needmomentum.com

October 16, 2018

How to Change Your Address Online for Local Listing SEO


By Mac Frederick

Founder & CEO of Momentum Digital

Changing addresses and moving a location is a pain in the ass. There’s no doubting the fact of how annoying and expensive it can be to focus on all the logistics, setup, buildout, and various chaos that becomes your life for the next few weeks. Having a local retail or service business in a physical brick and mortar location can have it’s advantages: foot traffic, visibility, branding, and allows for a better chance to rank locally on search engines.

… but what about the headache that pursues, and how will people even find you?

As business owners so much of your life will be focused on the day-to-day operations of this move, but what about your online presence? What about your address? Did these even cross your mind?

Many of you will start with your bank, or post office, or even your state/federal documents. That’s cool and all, but does it help you get more business? Does that help you rank higher on Google?

The majority of readers will experience a serious drop-off in digital traffic when changing your listings on your website, and the rest of the digital citations with your old address. I don’t mean from Google Analytics or your website traffic, I mean your local search rankings in the map pack. Here is an article by our friends at Digital Coast Marketing that further explains the Google Map Pack search results.

To avoid the major disaster of local digital traffic reduction when moving your location next, please follow this guide to the Top 10 Steps to Updating Your Local Business Address Online.

Don’t believe me? Well, I’m going through this now with my current business relocation. So watch along or follow the steps to see how my Google Maps Views increased 18% and Search Views only decreased 13% in the last 30 days during my recent local business move.

18% Increase

Performance over past 28 days.

Okay, let’s get down to business!

  1. Confirm your new address?

Where are you moving to and how is it currently represented online? Do you need to emphasize a floor, unit number, or suite? How are other units represented? Do you share a location with someone? What zip code will you be using?

Here is an article written by our friend Miriam Ellis with Moz a few years ago talking about some of the benefits and difficulties using a co-working or shared office address as your online listing. This is actually something near and dear to my heart, as I was able to build most of my location-based businesses by starting with an office and then moving to a brick and mortar location (DM me for the strategic details 😉

All things being equal, just be smart and strategic when picking your new location, as this must be strategically used and represented online with the utmost similarity.

  1. Create a Google Sheet of all Local Listings & Directory Sites

Not sure where you’re currently listed? Well, do a Google search of your exact address. You’ll quickly see links to all location, sites, directories, and citations online.

Granted this list is old, but here is an article written by Omnicore in 2013 mentioning 200 of the top local listing sites and directories. You can simply download this or copy it into your own Google Sheet.

Looking for a cheat sheet? Comment below and I’ll personally share my Google Sheet that has my top guidelines and listings.

  1. Change the location starting with Google My Business?

What search engine do you use? Google? Yea, me too, along with 80% of the country. Sorry Bing, Yahoo, and countless search engines that will never get my search data.

Google is the holy grail for search (although Amazon, Facebook, and voice search are all making some growth). Considering this, start your local business address change with Google — using Google My Business. Make sure to properly login, go to your account information tab, and make the proper address changes here. This is home base and the first starting point for changing the rest of your online listings, as they must properly reflect how you represented the new address on Google.

Once you add this new location on Google, be sure to optimize the listing as well. Here is a video on YouTube where I explain how to optimize your Google My Business listing for the new features. Make sure to add/optimize the follow:

  • Name, Address, Phone Number
  • Add pictures, images, and video
  • Add in your services and a business description
  • Turn on instant messaging (with a cell phone number to text)
  • Update your business category options
  • Start using Google Posts (just like you would to social media)
Change the location everywhere on your website

Your latest post

  1. Change the location everywhere on your website

This on is pretty self explanatory. Find all the areas on your website that you mention your old address, and change it to the new address. You can do this by using Google or using Command+F (search feature) on your website. Once in the backend of your website you can just change out the HTML to reflect your new address. I would also suggest using a hypertext link a few times with the address linking out to the proper Google Maps URL address like this.

Once you changed the addresses, I would recommend adding a local schema markup to the website. This article by The HOTH talks about adding local schema markup and using structured data to have better SEO and website performance.

Now that you have changed all the addresses, added schema to the website, and finalized those changes, it’s time to re submit to Google. Login to your google webmaster tools search console and submit your sitemap which is pointed to your website’s “sitemap.xml”. Using this sitemap, Google will scan, crawl and index your pages. Here is a blog by Hubspot showing you how to submit your site to Google.

  1. Use syndication sources to change the rest of the locations

        

You’re probably thinking, “what the hell is syndication?” Typically this term is referred to with Broadcast Syndication for Television. It refers to ‘the transfer of something for control or management by a group of individuals or organizations’. Now when referring to content or SEO syndication it means instead of you manually uploading and optimizing your local business information to each source or directory, you can use one source to do it for you. For example, you can use Yext or Moz to submit your information and they we can do the rest for you.

Moz has been around for over a decade and is well-known and trusted as an industry and thought leader in the SEO space. You can use their software for various things, but I would suggest paying $100-$250 per year to have them optimize and syndicate your listings to their partner directory. This platform also lets you scan and audit your local listing SEO, then manage and optimize it using the paid version. I would recommend using their Free Scan tool to review your current SEO score, and then pay for the optimization with their software package.

Yext is another major player in the Local SEO & Content syndication world. They have been around almost as long, and serve an even larger directory and citation database. Yext Pro serves more than 100 listings and directories, and with the click of a button you can publish and optimize most of your local listing SEO presence. Yext also allows for you to publish content like photos, videos and social media posts, while also incorporating reporting and analytics. One of their other cool features is their reputation management software that alerts you of reviews that you can respond to which helps for customer relationship management. Users can sign up and even pay as you go with weekly pricing pricing starting at $4.

Using one of these content SEO syndications will make your life a lot easier, as you only need to remember 1-2 logins that take care of the heavy lifting for you.

Select Your Plan

Pricing tables, select your plan.

  1. Review and Update your Social Media pages

If you’re not already using social media then we have bigger issues to address. I think by now most businesses are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. Instagram has quickly become the most widely used and accepted platform from an engagement basis, but keep in mind some other platforms that aren’t as much about engaging with your social community, but instead are focused on having a local presence. Some commonly overlooked social listing sites include YelpFoursquare, and Linkedin. Each of these platforms allow you to not only create a business account, but they allow you to add your location information (Name, Address, Phone Number) and website URL. [a][b]

These social website do serve up social signals that factor into your SEO rankings, both nationally and locally. This article written by our friends at MentionLytics goes over the Top 10 Social Sites to use to enhance your SEO. So, for each of these pages, make sure to not only create an account, but to optimize your profile and add in your accurate information, while also remember to actively post and engage with your community as you grow!

Review and Update your online directories

Social Media SEO & Social Signals

  1. Review & Update Your Online Directories

Remember the days of the phone book? Well those days are over. Why do you think companies rebranded and moved their print business online, like Hibu? They realized the industry shift with the emergence of the internet and gradually moved their assets online, and offered digital advertising options. Similar to having a print listing in the Yellowbooks, you want to make sure you have a digital business listing on various directories online. These directories, such as Hibu, YellowpagesSuperPages and more, allow business owners to have a digital directory and citation that is scanned, crawled and indexed by Google. By optimizing these directories with your relevant business information upon an address change, you’ll be doing Google and other search engines a favor so they can understand where your business has moved.

Here are some of Top U.S. Local Directory Citation Sources

Google search your name and address

Top US local directory citation sources

  1. Google Search Your Name and Previous Address

If you’re like most people, you won’t really know or remember all the places you originally listed your business online, and that’s okay. What you can do is a simple Google Search. Just search your old business name and address and see what comes up. Then go to those links and try to find or reset a login so you can update the listing. Many of these take time, and some cost money, but just make sure to update them. Updating these listings will keep search engines like Google from being confused. Accuracy and consistency is key.

  1. Search and Update Your Listing Weekly

Do this time and again to see how your changes are being reflected. Make sure to check on this weekly to see if your SEO rankings are improving and you’re getting better search results in Google. Moz and Yext should be giving updates on your business listing accuracy, and you can also pull insights from Google My Business and Google Analytics.

Audit your SEO Score with Yext & Moz

listing score and partner accuracy

  1. Audit your SEO Score with Yext & Moz

Updating all your listings and directories online takes some time. I would allocate a week just to make all the changes, and then another two months to review those changes. It takes search engines like Google a few months simple to update and accurately scan, crawl and index these links and citations. Within 3 months you should have this process completed and a very solid grasp as to how well you have increased your overall local search presence.

As you begin the process, start with a Moz and Yext scan and local audit. Then, after 3 months, complete these scans again. You should see a drastic improvement, which will then be reflected in your search results and overall local traffic.

So that was easy right? You got it? Well, if not, give me a call or shoot me a message. I’m here to help.

Having worked at Google, I know a thing or two about this tricky search engine. The past 3 years I built both my businesses off the back of Google, especially using Local SEO to drive the growth and revenue of Phone Repair Philly.

Mac Frederick

mac@needmomentum.dream.press

By Mac
April 2, 2018

Google My Business Description Update

By: Mac Frederick
Founder & CEO of Momentum Digital

NEW Google My Business Description Update

Google, once again, has made some serious changes. Watch this YouTube video below to find out more about this NEW Google My Business Description Update!

For my SEO’s and marketers out there, do you remember when Google took away the business description from the Google My Business account? It was a sad and confusing day for sure. Well, not to worry. It’s back!

Google My Business Updated Business descriptionWhat happened?

Previously you would be able to create a business description within the “Info” tab on Google My Business and it would populate during various local search queries (as you can see below). This was extremely helpful for local keyword contextual information and consumer knowledge. Then, nothing! All of a sudden Google thought it wasn’t necessary and helpful. Originally this was a feature rolled out by Google+ to add more information about people, places, things. However, as Google+ faded, so did the GMB description.

Google My Business SEO meme
Fast forward 18 months and Google is back at it with another GMB update where you can once again fill out that description of your business within the information section of your account. I first heard about this from
Barry Schwartz with Search Engine Land, and then confirmed by Google My Biz on Twitter @GoogleMyBiz.

Google My Business Twitter UpdateWhy did this happen?

Well, nobody knows for sure just yet. My thoughts? Well, Google is probably looking once again for more structured content in the knowledge panel that’s provided by the actual businesses themselves. As search focuses more around local, they want to be able to differentiate businesses, especially if a business name is more esoteric. Let’s not forget to mention the implications of the service in relation to the business. Google allows the business owners and managers in GMB to input specific categories, which rolled out with new additions as well last year. Yet, they don’t entirely encompass every type of service, product or category imaginable. So Google might want to give business owners a chance to truly explain who they are and what they do. Makes sense.

Google My Business Categoies

So what does this mean?

This means Google My Business owners and managers can now control what message they want to display for their business profile. You have 750 characters to explain in detail about your products and services. Suggestion: Use all 750 characters. Don’t just write a description. Write your description with a lot of purpose, strategy and keyword contextual content. I thoroughly believe this keyword context content will play into the structured snippets and local search results.

Example: Momentum Digital

For my agency, Momentum Digital, I wrote 711 characters to quickly explain our agency, location, and core services. I really only needed like 250 characters, so then the rest was relevant filler keywords that are synonyms to our services.

750 character google my business description
What to do?

Simply log into your Google My Business account and go to the “Info” tab and down to the “Business Descriptions” section. Here is where you can explain more about your business. Find relative terms on top of your core business explanation. Make sure to use a lot of core keywords that you can find just from your own website, metadata or Google suggestions. Use up as much space as possible while accurately explaining the busines

GMB Business description section

Then What?

Honestly, nobody knows yet. This is still in BETA and there isn’t enough content or information yet about this update. Thoughts around the community can be seen here in the Google advertiser forum for GMB. A lot of people think it was a matter of time but that it won’t have an immediate impact.

Other updates?

Suffice to say ‘Google is making moves’. Seriously. Relatively speaking, they’ve made a lot of changes and updates over the past two years.

Here is my last Google My Business updates video and Google My Business Optimizations Update blog.

Below you can see a list of the core changes I’ve seen within the past 12 months alone.

  • Business Description Added (BETA)
      • You can now add a 750 character description in GMB.
      • Released for Beta last week.
  • Services Listed (BETA)
  • Opening Date (New – 2018)
    • This has been around for months now and isn’t highly relevant or useful in my opinion.
  • Dashboard Panel (New – 2018)
    • New dashboard launched in 2018 showcases an easier and seamless way to have a high level perspective of your account.
  • Posts (Update Mid 2017)
    • Mentioned in my last blog. Very important to showcase updates, sales, specials, promotions, and more in the knowledge panel.
  • Website (Update Mid 2017)
    • You can use Google Website builder and link it to your GMB profile. I don’t see anybody taking advantage of this yet but wonder about the implications for SEO using their platform.
  • Appointment Booking (Update Mid 2017)
    • Also only available for select service businesses, but also haven’t seen in used or in feature from my own searches.
  • Messaging (Update Mid 2017)
    • This was mentioned in the blog as well and was released in 2017 to allow mobile customers quickly and easily ask questions and contact a business. I’ve personally used this with a Google Voice number, but you can also used a cell phone or Google Allo. More details to come!

Overview

If you want to showcase your business and services with Google to reach a larger local audience to get more customers, then I’d strongly suggest updating your business description. It’s that easy. In general, as a rule of thumb, I would suggest updating your GMB account weekly by responding to reviews, posting pictures, adding posts, updating special hours, and anything else you can do to stay topical, relevant and consistent. Google prioritizes results for the best local businesses that aren’t only hyperlocal, but also update their accounts and get good reviews.=

For more information and updates please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Mac Frederick Profile PictureResources:

By Mac
March 19, 2018

How to Balance Your SEO and PPC Strategies in The First 6 Months

In the early days of any business, one of your primary objectives will be to bring as much relevant traffic to your website as possible. As you already know, there are two main ways to accomplish this: having a great SEO strategy, and using paid advertising. However, an easy trap to fall into is the belief that these approaches are mutually exclusive.
Long story short, they’re not. In fact, if used correctly, SEO and PPC can be combined to give your business a significant head start in its opening months. To help you get going, here are a few tips on balancing your marketing strategies and getting the most out of both your paid and organic traffic.
Related reading: Using Google Alerts to Get An Edge Over Your Competition.

Set Shared Goals
While SEO and PPC have unique strengths, they can be used in tandem for many common marketing aspirations. This means each strategy supports the other, fast-tracking you to your goals, and decreasing the overall investment to achieve those aims.
For example, say you want to boost web traffic by 20 percent, running some targeted PPC ads can be a great way to reach more people, and point them to your website. However, optimizing your web pages to show up more often in search results will also increase the likelihood that the right people will find your store.
However, while using both strategies may see some overlap in audiences, it gives you an even greater boost to your overall visibility. Furthermore, by integrating the two approaches, if someone sees your ad and then decides to look you up, your SEO efforts will make it far easier for them to find you.
Having shared objectives for your campaigns means you can refine your marketing efforts to be complementary. Not only will this reinforce your brand message, it also helps to build a sense of consistency and familiarity which can greatly enhance consumer trust in your brand.

Combine Your Data
Your SEO and PPC campaigns will both yield valuable data that can provide extensive insights into the habits and preferences of your target audience. So rather than having two completely separate teams acting on their associated data alone, it makes sense to pool your resources. This means that you can form a more complete picture of buyer habits, and enable your finding to influence your SEO and PPC efforts simultaneously.

  • Data from onsite searches can help you narrow down keywords for your PPC ads.
  • Success of individual PPC ads can provide insights into the sort of aesthetics and copy that are most popular with your target audience.
  • Targeted ads on social media can provide granular detail about specific demographics, helping to build better buyer personas, and refine your SEO.

Another important reason to pool your data is that it can help to highlight discrepancies. If your paid ads are attracting an entirely different demographic to your organic search results, then you need to know why, and to use this knowledge to optimize your approach.

Optimize Landing Pages
Whether users find their way to your website via search results, or paid ads, having a great landing page is essential if you want to turn that visitor into a customer. Naturally, your SEO efforts will increase your site’s authority, and help these pages to show up in search results. However, if you have a unified strategy for SEO and PPC, these pages will also complement the paid ads that drive traffic to them.
The benefit of this is that users who click on your ads will feel like they have come to exactly where they expected, rather than having to navigate from your homepage to whatever inspired them in your advert. In fact, AdWords allows you to link individual product pages to your PPC ads, which is fantastic for driving impulse sales and creating a highly streamlined experience for your customers.
Test Organic Keywords
Finding the best keywords and key phrases for your marketing campaigns can be a difficult task. Even after reviewing your options using tools such as Wordstream’s keyword finder, it’s really a matter of trial and error to find the exact combinations that work for your business.
This is essential for getting the most out of your SEO, but you should also implement your findings in your PPC strategy. In fact, by reviewing the performance of individual paid ads, you can even use your PPC efforts to determine which keywords are most viable for your organic efforts.
Top tip: if you use an ecommerce host like Shopify to run your online store, you can claim $100 in Google Adwords credit when you spend $25.

Double Your Odds
A final point to remember when weighing up the viability of PPC versus SEO for your marketing approach is that by employing both, you can actually double your presence in search results. For example, if you manage to rank on the first page of search results for a given keyword, and your paid ad also shows up, the user is presented with two immediate options for visiting your site.
This increased visibility will also cause your website to seem more and more familiar over time, as it continues to show up in results. So while many web users are in the habit of ignoring paid search results, this doesn’t mean they don’t scan through them and remember the websites.
Then, if your site also appears in the organic search results, it is already recognizable, and presents the user with an alternative means of reaching your website, without feeling like they’ve been lured their by an advert. This means they arrive with greater trust in your brand, which in turn increases their likelihood of conversion.
                                                                          – Credit: Pixabay
As you can see, there is a lot to be gained both from paid advertising, and from improving your SEO. These two strategies are each powerful in their own right, but become infinitely more impactful when used together as part of an integrated approach.
While it is certainly possible to incorporate either of these tactics into your marketing strategy at a later date, it will always be most effective to implement them from day one. By doing this, you build your campaign upon a foundation of consistency, making it far easier to develop and optimize your approach over time.
Your first few months in business can be hard work, but that attention and diligence will pay off. Put the time and effort in now, and before long, you will not only have built an ecommerce brand to be proud of, but you’ll also have acquired invaluable marketing experience that will benefit you in all your future endeavors.


 Victoria Greene
is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, Victoria Ecommerce, she shares tips on ecommerce and how companies can improve their brand representation. She is passionate about using her experience to help brands improve their reach.

By Mac
December 18, 2017

Using Google Alerts to Get An Edge Over Your Competition

Google is a serious source of buyer traffic for each of our clients and making sure we squeeze the most out of every service Google offers only makes sense.

From the G-Suite platform Mac wrote about earlier this year, to Google Trends giving us an idea of what we could or should creating content around, there is tremendous value in free tools that even novice business owners can use to get an edge on local and national competitors.

There will be further posts on how to use individual tools within the stable of Google products, but for this week’s Momentum Monday, I’ll explain how you can go about using Google Alerts to effortlessly keep tabs on your your own brand, competitors, and overall movement in your niche.

Google Alerts: Mediocre Name, Critical Tool

google alerts

When I think of Alert, I think of two things.

The most northern, permanently habitable place in the world – and those annoying fire alarms that went off in residence during college. Despite the boring name, Google definitely has built a tool you can use to keep tabs on what’s going on with almost anything on the web.

With news and blog posts coming out literally every day you need to keep know what your competitors are doing, trends in your industry and new opportunities to connect with influencers and curate content.

You can do all this and still keep your sanity with just a few strategic and well thought out alerts.

Google Alerts basically allow you to be notified as often as you wish whenever new content that meets certain criteria or contains certain phrases is indexed or mentioned on the internet.

Using Alerts To Make Your Digital Marketing Campaigns Easier

Setting up Alerts is dead easy.

Simply login to your Google account and go to google.com/alerts. Any phrase you insert will be monitored and should a mention of these keywords, phrases or brands will trigger an email to your Google account at the interval you’ve specified.

Practical Uses For Google Alerts

You’re already getting tons of emails everyday, so setting these up so they provide the most value and don’t end up annoying you is key.

Here are my favorite alerts and how to leverage them, specifically for SEO.

Brand Mentions: This is easy – insert your brand, and get an email at the frequency you specify whenever your brand name is indexed. Monitor good and bad press, and take it a step further by monitoring brand mentions of your direct competitors.

Any mention of your brand that isn’t linking out to your site is an opportunity for outreach and to get a link placed.

For example if we found a blog or news site mentioning Momentum Digital, without directly linking out to us, we’d send a nice email letting them know our site is http://needmomentum.com and it might help their readers learn more about our services.

Links matter significantly as ranking signal even as we end 2017, according to Search Engine Land so any new indexed and relevant links you can acquire definitely make a difference.

Competitor Creep: The best defense is offense, and you can set up Google Alerts to make sure you keep tabs on your direct competitors marketing strategy online.

Moving into 2018 earned or acquired placements are just a reality, and it can be daunting keeping up with  these opportunities and making sure you capitalize on them all.

Plug your competitor into Google Alerts and get notified anytime they are mentioned in the news, a blog or any other indexed content. What are they doing to get media attention? What are they doing to generate buzz? Giveaways, charitable acts, even bad press – these are all opportunities to learn and replicate what seems to be working for your own brand.

For example, if you see another local business owner has been mentioned in the press as an authority on a certain subject or being recognized for his or her contributions locally, those are all opportunities that can be replicated. Reach out to news or blog sources and let them know you can offer the same insights and are available to comment.

I’ve even setup Google Alerts for my competitors first name in the past to see if they ever get mentioned for other reasons which I could leverage for links.

Content Curation: On a bigger scale, you’ll want to keep tabs on what the general trends are in your industry without manually digging around. Setting up alerts for certain commercial keywords can bring you opportunities for networking and content that you may not have found otherwise.

For Momentum, we love getting out and doing our Small Business Saturday series, so Google Alerts for phrases like opening in Philadelphia, opening in Philly, small businesses in Philadelphia do a good job of keeping us abreast of what’s new in the city and how we can help new businesses that are making a difference. Set them to once a week to avoid being annoyed and yes some results won’t be immediately actionable, but should still be an opportunity to network.

Setting up alerts for broad matched terms like local digital marketing also lets us find similar competitors who may be getting press and blog mentions, and we can always work on reverse engineering these to get ourselves links by creating similar or better content.

You can also use terms in quotes to further narrow down results. Google Alerts previews potential results so you can make changes in real time so you don’t end up with a bunch of potentially irrelevant emails.

Keeping Organized With Google Alerts

Email overwhelm is something every business owner deals with and I’m constantly trying to cut down on my notifications, and compartmentalize inbound messages.

Alerts should be set to as-it-happens under how often, but here’s the key. Setup a filter in your email client to put these Alerts aside in a folder and check them when convenient – here’s how to do it in Gmail.

These can then be handed off to an intern or marketing ninja and be followed up on systematically. Building a network like this can definitely help if you’re running a specific promotion and need a media push, but it starts with being proactive and knowing how to get your links and content out there fast.

By Admin
Scroll to top