A Complete Guide To Local SEO (2021)

Local SEO Map

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy that can help a business appear higher in local search results on a search engine like Google. SEO is a strategy to optimise the content of a website to rank higher in search results. Google has an algorithm that works to better understand what content is on a site and what users look for when searching for specific keywords. Every business that has a physical address, location or serves within a geographic region, can reap the rewards read more

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Do Business Reviews Affect SEO?

Reviews & SEO

When businesses sell services and products, customers form opinions based on their satisfaction. These opinions are communicated through a variety of mediums, including word of mouth advertisement, online reviews, and more. And in today’s age, it is more important than ever to make sure these opinions are positive.

A bad review can put a sting on a company’s reputation, making it crucial to address all negative reviews in a timely manner. Not only do positive customer reviews help build customer trust but they can also help improve SEO. Let’s take a look at the true value of customer reviews for SEO.

Online Customer Review Statistics

  • 40% of consumers will decide whether to make a purchase based on reading between 1-3 customer reviews.
  • 48% will visit a company’s website if they read a positive review of the business.
  • 68% of consumers build greater trust for companies that have both good and bad reviews.

How Do Customer Reviews Boost SEO Efforts?

Online reviews help provide social proof. Consumers want reassurance that the purchasing choices they are making are the right ones. Take for example a person who wants to buy a new digital camera. After reading through reviews, the consumer determines the camera he is thinking about purchasing has a 4-star rating; this rating gives him the extra boost he needs to go through with the purchase.

From a local viewpoint, online reviews will help a consumer determine which local businesses they want to make purchases from. In fact, 88% of consumers will read reviews to develop an opinion about the quality of local companies. But the question is, how do these reviews impact SEO efforts?

There are many factors that impact SEO efforts, with three of the most important being:

  • Google Reviews: These

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6 Social Media Practices That Boost SEO

Social Media Mic

Social media marketing and search engine optimization are strategies used by businesses to create a unique identity of their business to attract more customers to their websites. These two strategies are closely related since an organization’s availability on social media platforms such as Facebook boosts its search engine rankings.

Business owners often fail to understand how the relationship between social media and search engine optimization can significantly influence Google rankings. Understanding read more

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Local Business Directories Versus Social Proof

Local Business Directories

So you’re looking to get your website listed on local business directories? A casual search of the Internet will reveal that directories, for all intents and purposes are dead. There’s a myriad of reasons for this, but the main reasons are:

  1. Google doesn’t particularly like user generated content to pass page rank
  2. Unless a directory has well established authority, pretty much nobody searches them
  3. There’s no point paying your way into a directory

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Forget About Article Submission Sites

Content Information Diagram

For a long time time bloggers and website owners would turn to article submission websites to help boost their search engine rankings. By adding articles to these websites, other bloggers were able to add that content to their own websites. This popular resource served a lot of people pretty well – for a while. However, that was “back in the day”, things are different now.

It used to be enough to pump out some content and no matter who wrote it, even if the quality wasn’t all that great and with a bit of on-page SEO, it would rank. Some people made a healthy profit just gathering up content, re-branding it and pumping it out on their blog. All that was needed to rank were a few backlinks. Then, they just had to slap on a few ads, rinse and repeat for a few different niches and voila: some great little cash cows were created.

Content is Still King, but..
Article Submission

Content is still king, but only quality content counts.

Search engine algorithms (and AI in general) have come a long way. Gone are the days of filling websites with content just to attract traffic from the various keywords. If an article isn’t already receiving attention via social media, other blogs and other methods of naturally sharing links, you can pretty much forget about that article being ranked. Put simply: search engines know if people like your article or not.

The days are also gone where you could submit your writings to article submission websites, hoping that people would use your content on their websites so you can get backlinks. There’s an old saying online, from the very beginnings of the SEO era: “Content is King”; however, while it is still true more than ever, the saying only still holds true for QUALITY content. But how do you write quality content? How do you write articles that people will naturally want to share?

Let’s Discuss the Best way to Write Quality Articles the People will Share

Jim Carrey Typing

How to Rank Articles in 2021

If you want your articles to rank these days, you have to put in a bit more effort into them than we used to be able to get away with. First and foremost, if your website is full of articles and none of those articles receive any visits, you can forget about that article ranking; particularly if no other websites are linking to that article.

Article Submission Tips

Research your topic, write professorial articles that naturally receive backlinks. Put in hard work and make your content exclusive. Write for readers, not for search engines.

In the early days of SEO, websites were often built to cover as many single keywords or key-phrases on a topic (or niche) as possible, in an effort to attract rankings. However, the rankings of most of the websites that capitalised on this technique began to fall away when search engines adjusted their algorithms to esteem authority as a greater metric.

A great way to think of content writing these days, is like publishing a book. Books are often revised and re-released with the latest info. They are meticulously researched and often go through countless revisions and checks before finally published. It’s a very good habit to constantly go over your articles and other website content to make sure that the information being shared is still up to date and relevant.

Another great way to look at things is that search engines pay a lot more attention to how people react to your website, rather than on-site SEO techniques, or how many article submission websites are linking to it.

Write for the Times

In keeping with current best practices, you’re far better off creating a dozen or so ultra-informative articles that people will want to naturally share and link to, rather than just trying to pump out hundreds or even thousands of articles, hoping that you’ll get traffic by the sheer number of keywords present on your website. Search engines will penalise this tactic now. Quite frankly, adding articles for the mere sake of having more articles will do your website more harm than good.

Revise Your Articles

If you don’t have the time to keep tabs on what articles you have running, whether they’re being shared or not – or weather they are up to date or not, you probably have too much fluff and too many pointless articles. Going further, if you look at your statistics and see that an article is not receiving any visitors and it’s not being shared, you need to consider removing the article or otherwise revise and re-release a new and improved version of it.

Treat your website or blog like a book that’s being published to high standards and search engines will take notice. If you don’t know (or care) what’s on your website, why should any one else? And why would search engines?

Quality! Not Quantity

Social Sharing
If you create articles that are written to genuinely help people or otherwise inform them in a thorough way, this is fantastic for rankings, because readers will naturally want to share or link to your article. When you write an article, just ask yourself: “If I came across this article online, would I want to share it?”. If the answer is no, go back to the article and improve it until you feel confident that you’ve added value.

How to Add Value When Writing Articles

The last thing you want to do when writing an article that you actually want people to read is just to try to drum up some text, just to reach some kind of arbitrarily conceived word count. You need to get into the mind of the reader. Don’t write for search engines, write for people. There are so many articles online that are obviously written to “rank”; however, when you read the article, you find that it babbles on and on before getting to the point, because the writer is aiming to manipulate search engines, instead of just providing some decent content that people will actually find useful. People don’t want anecdotes and stories.

Adding Value

Tips to Add value
  • Research your topic(s) thoroughly, taking specific notice of recent trends.
  • Keep your finger on the pulse of topics by visiting forums and social media pages and even participating in discussion.
  • Don’t add stories and anecdotes to articles to make them more lengthy, causing people to have to read through paragraphs of nonsense to find the point of the article. It’s a tactic is getting really annoying on the Internet and it doesn’t work. People just leave the page. Search engines notice this and there go any potential rankings.
  • Write original content. Don’t be afraid to insert your personality. Have fun. Use humour. Create content that people can relate to and identify with.
  • While researching, don’t copy and re-write articles from other websites. If you can’t write an article based of knowledge you’ve retained during research, without re-wording or re-hashing other peoples articles, why should anyone care what your opinion is?
  • Use lists, interesting headings, diagrams and videos to break up the content.

Here are Some Practical Article Writing Tips

  • Try to be genuinely useful and helpful when writing. Put yourself into the mindset of the reader. Try to give them exactly what they searched for.
  • Don’t babble or tell people stories just to try to fluff up your article for search engines. Readers will notice and they’ll lose respect of your blog or website.
  • Keep your website content fun. One great way to entice readers to keep clicking is to employ a company mascot within your content, such as this Melbourne based Ringwood Plumbing website.
  • Slow Down! It’s perfectly fine to write an article without publishing it – to review it the next day to see how it might be improved while you’re in a fresh state of mind.
  • Don’t be afraid to link out from your article to provide people more value. Often, when linking out, you can attract the attention of other bloggers or website owners, and there’s a chance they might even NATURALLY throw you a link back, because they like other articles you have written. This is a great way to build relationships.
Practical Article Publishing Tips
  • Article submission sites will usually allow fluff, but high authority websites do not like it. So if you’re aiming to get your articles published by successful blogs, standards must be high.
  • If you link to another website, don’t be afraid to contact them and say: “Hey, just a heads up. I linked to your article. Keep up the great work!”. Again, this can be a great relationship building exercise that can be helpful to build authority in your niche.
  • Check your spelling and grammar. Use a spell checker if you’re not the greatest speller. Every browser has a spell check extension. Or ask someone else to review your article before you publish it.
  • Remember, both search engines and the people searching on them are looking for quality articles. People are looking for great information. Search engines watch the visitors to find out if they think the information is great.
  • Put some thought into your hero images or other images used on the site. Don’t just quickly go search for and download a free images just so the article has images. A picture says a thousand words. Learn to combine your images and add text. It’s a great skill.
  • And when you’ve finished the article, forget about article submission sites. Getting your article published on one high authority website is better than dozens of low quality, unknown blogs that might even be viewed by search engines as link farms.
  • Personal blogging networks (PBN) are also a very risky practice. Sure, some websites are currently doing well by manipulating search engines, but they are ticking time-bombs. It’s only a matter of time before search engines write an effective algorithm that wipes these sites off the first page of rankings.

How to Get Readers to Read Your

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5 Reasons Why Your Backlinks Don’t Function Properly

Backlinks Don't Function Properly

SEO ain’t easy, we all know that. It’s commonly known to be the Internet’s “dark science,” hence so many people quitting trying to promote their websites and making it to the first page.

You can often find articles like “SEO isn’t relevant anymore” appearing here and there. However, this statement can’t be further from the truth. The truth is that SEO is doing very well and is a defining growth factor in many successful businesses over the world.

The most common reason people get irritated with SEO is that there are so many factors that contribute to rankings and can take a long time for results to be seen. One of the biggest factors is obtaining backlinks in higher numbers and from high authority sites.  Many people will find out that their backlinks aren’t as effective as they estimated, forgetting that there is a considerable number of things that can go wrong with them, which will hinder your business’ SEO growth. Here are the most important things you need to be aware of.

“Nofollow”?

Nofollow links are backlinks that carry no straightforward SEO value from the page they are posted on to the pages that they reference. So many things can go wrong with your links in terms of their nofollow status. You may have too many of them, and you may have none at all, both scenarios will mess up your ranking big time. Why?

The first case is rather simple. Imagine that half of your backlinks don’t actually do what they’re supposed to do — bring you SEO value.

However, not having any nofollow links at all is suggestive of the fact that you’re “meddling with the system”. To say the least, it’s an unnatural backlink profile. Evidence suggests that having at least 5-10% of nofollow links is going to benefit you greatly.

Many successful websites on the web have amassed up to 30% of nofollow links to their site, which doesn’t stop them from taking the first position in the search results for highly popular keywords, such as “backlinks” or “Melbourne SEO”.

Where To Get Backlinks From?

Just amassing backlinks doesn’t ensure success in rankings. Another issue you might be facing with your links is the poor quality of the backlinks to your site. There could be a site that features 1,000 links to other websites, another one that has a total of 10 links to external sources, and the last one with over 100,000, and has no traffic at all.

It’s evident which site will provide you with better value for your SEO efforts. Generally speaking, there are different types of sites that don’t really provide your site with quality links. It’s preferable not to build the bulk of your link profile on sites like these:

  1. Links on forums with little domain authority
  2. Blog comments on little with small domain authority
  3. Any small or non authoritative directory sites
  4. Affiliate sites
  5. Scraper sites
  6. Links from irrelevant sites and content pages
  7. Foreign links
  8. Links with duplicated content
  9. Links with overly optimized anchors
  10. Links that come from content farms
  11. Links from every social bookmarking site
  12. Links from pages with very little to no content

That does not, by any means suggest that you should not place any links on sites like these. However, if you decide to focus the entirety of your efforts on placing links on “unfavorable” websites like these, you may shoot yourself in the foot by doing so.

The reason why these sites aren’t excellent to build your link profile is that they’re pretty much low-hanging fruit. They’ve most certainly been ruthlessly bombarded with spammy links throughout the years so you won’t be able to extract any essential value from them. But again, it is always good to have some backlinks on sites like these to maintain a “healthy” link ratio.

How Relevant Are Your Links?

If you’re not familiar with the lingo, the anchor is the clickable text that a hyperlink. Their essential function in terms of SEO is to provide context to the nature of the link. It lets the search engine classify the reviewer’s opinion on the site that they are referencing.

A well-crafted anchor text is crucial to high rankings. Plus, the search engine’s algorithm uses the text in the link along with the text “around” it, to better understand the social barometer on how good the site actually is.

To get a better kick out of using the anchors, the anchor text needs to be relevant to the niche that your site is part of. Plus, the anchor text itself needs to be relevant to its context.

Poor On-Site Optimization

When speaking of on-site and off-site SEO efforts, you’ll often hear the “Car and Fuel” analogy often used. Your on-site optimization, in this case, is the vehicle, which is fueled by backlinks. There should be a concordance in the quality of the both since a bad car won’t perform well on good gas, it’s still a lousy car.

So one of the more interesting reasons why your backlinks aren’t providing you with a visible effect is that your site just isn’t up to a particular search engine standards. This issue alone will make your off-page efforts useless.

Have You Checked Your Link Profile Recently?

There are quite a few things that can happen to your links over time, so keeping an eye on them is essential. Losing too many backlinks can severely damage your growth pretty quickly. What could have gone wrong?

A referral’s site has changed ownership

There is a widespread practice of taking advantage of domains that have just expired and claiming ownership. This would naturally suppose that the said website can no longer provide ranking value to your site, since there is no content or link related to your site.

The content could have disappeared

Writing new articles and blogs for your site is a time consuming task, so maybe the site’s owners decided to stop publishing new pieces to the website. In order not to make the site seem dumped and out-of-date they may have decided to remove content altogether.

Too many pop-ups

The original backlink may as well be there, but if the site owners decided to start using too much advertisement or pop-ups, chances are the search engine algorithms just lumps it all as spam, including any of your links.

These sites are objectively user unfriendly and typically don’t satisfy the modern quality standards. So it’s most probably the case that you shouldn’t even opt to obtain links on sites like these.

The link comes from content that isn’t relevant

The problem isn’t necessarily that your link has gone missing, but often if the content the link is in features outdated and old topics that aren’t too relevant today, there may be little to no value from a backlink like that.

Conclusion

Backlinks are a vital component of any healthy SEO strategy and not keeping them in check will be detrimental to your ranking efforts. There is a host of reasons why they can go wrong or not work at all, and this article pretty much sums it all up.

You may be dealing with:

  • Having too many nofollow links or don’t have any of them at all
  • Having links

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Optimal Content Length To Gain Higher Search Ranking

 

Optimal Content Length

When you’re writing out your content, of course, one of the most important things you’re thinking about is the best way to get your message across, whatever message that may be. Perhaps you’re trying to sell something, educate someone, inspire someone, just chatting to your readers.

However, while the message is obviously important, have you ever considered about how the length of your content affects your content’s performance? Most notably, have you ever considered read more

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Claiming And Maintaining Your Online Business Listings

Ideas Listings

If you’re the owner of a small to medium business these days you almost certainly have multiple online business listings. But a lot of SMB’s fail to realize that there could be dozens of listings for their business out there on the web that they didn’t even create. What’s worse, you have no control over these listings and they can say anything they want about your business, unless you take the time to claim them as your own.

You might think it’s a time consuming hassle to track down all your business listings and then go through the process of claiming them. But the fact is that claiming a listing is usually a free and simple procedure, there are many benefits to doing so, and potentially some very serious consequences if you don’t. Here’s a quick look at some great reasons you should be claiming your online business listings.

  • To ensure accurate information. If you didn’t create the listing and haven’t claimed control over it, there’s a good chance it contains inaccurate information about important details, like your location, hours of business, contact information, website URL, and the products and services you offer. According to

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SEO Tip: How to Use Images for Link Building?

Images For Link Building

Everyday, internet users share millions of illustrations, photos and memes to tell stories and present their ideas to the world. Visuals express a great deal of information without words and can provide more context than written content. Images provide a great opportunity to grab attention, reach diverse audiences, and ultimately, market your brand. That’s exactly why you should be using this invaluable form of content to get your site to the top of search results.

Images And The Sharing Economy

As a marketer, you’re always looking for ways to attract more site visitors. Most of your site content probably focuses on anticipating the needs of your audience, so you can provide information that answers the right questions. People who come to your site might stick around if they find what they’re looking for, but only a small fraction of those visitors will link to your content.

On the other hand, image-sharing is a way of life for web users. Create engaging visuals, and you have a much greater chance of keeping eyeballs glued to your content. But to win virtual “endorsements” in the form of backlinks you have to make sure people who are using your images actually credit you on their site. Get to know your audience and design resources they WANT to share. Then use a targeted outreach strategy to maximize the number of backlinks.

Creating Shareable Images For Your Site

While a single image can have a wide range of uses, you stand a better chance of getting quality backlinks when visual content offers value to your specific audience. Get started with these SEO tips.

  1. Research long-tail keywords: Image link building should tie in with your overall content strategy. Use long-tail keywords to come up with topics to illustrate in image format. It’s useful to see what images show up at the top of keyword SERPs.

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Awesome Google Ads Tips For Small Businesses

Google Ads Graph

Google Ads, in essence, is like a mini online ad campaign in your pocket for local businesses – it’s effective, simple to use, and it won’t break your bank (if managed correctly). This digital marketing powerhouse is essential to advertising strategies for any small business. Learn how to make the most of it with these Google Ads tips and tricks recommended by experts. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Tip #1: Target Specific Keywords

Taking your internet marketing campaign to a global level is easy to do. But believe it or not, spreading your message on an international scale won’t get you more leads. In fact, you’re much better off if you stick with narrowing your target reach. Doing so will increase the percentage of your impressions and focus on the types of customers that you want (think quality, not quantity). To do this, try incorporating more specific keyword phrases that your leads are more likely to look up. For example, if your company sells certain types of high-quality garden herb plants, use phrases like “organic garden herb plants”, “culinary herb plants”, and “sweet basil seed packet” instead of “garden plants.”

Tip #2: Location Specific Keywords

If your business services a specific geographical location, you should also start including this location and surrounding locations in the keywords. For example, if your Herb Plants business is located in Sydney, Australia, use keywords like “organic garden herb plants Sydney” and “culinary herb plants Sydney”.

Tip #3: Utilize Google Ads’ Time Saving Features

Being the awesome marketing platform it is, Google Ads has updated its features over the years to help save you time. Campaign Diagnostics, for example, runs in the background to look for any potential conflicts to the keyword campaign with the Ads account. Diagnose Keywords is another great tool that checks your keywords to ensure that they’re working on your behalf. You can also run schedule reports from Ads to get timely data that snapshots a picture of how the campaign is working.

Tip #4: Don’t Link To Your Home Page For Leads

It may seem second nature to direct your leads to your website’s homepage, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Remember that your specific leads are looking to fulfill a specific promise, so it will take a lot more than a generic boring homepage to give them what they’re seeking. Taking the example of basil seeds, consider creating a “basil seeds” landing page that is optimized for this topic and built for lead generation. Using landing pages for your advertising campaigns will also help improve your Cost Per Click (CPC), thus reducing your ads spend.

Tip #5:  Show Your Ads In Google Maps

Your customers will be using their smartphones to search for your products, often these searched will result in them using Google Maps. Did you know, now you can also have your ad’s appears in the search results within Google maps. It’s simple to switch on. To switch on your ad’s for Google Maps login into your Google Ads account and enable location extensions.

Locations Extensions Google Adwords

Tip #6: Remember To Be Mobile Friendly!

The dawn of smartphones has ranked very close in importance to the establishment of the world wide web. Who doesn’t read content on your phone or tablet by now? That’s why it’s crucial to develop easy-to-read content on mobile devices when you set up your marketing leads for Google Ads. Most companies have reformatted their entire websites into mobile-friendly formats for this very reason. It’s even quite possible that smartphones are paving the way to more sophisticated supercomputer technology in the palm of your hand. Will you be ready for the future when that happens?

A Simple Tool With Powerful Results

While Google Ads is relatively simple to use for any local business, you can get even better results with little patience and smart planning strategies. More general SEO strategies used alongside Google Ads include using the right keywords for your audience, embed them in a relevant way and format your web pages for mobile devices. Your site can come out even stronger than ever before and gain better traffic results today!

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