Monthly Archives: December 2013

Best Practices for On-Page SEO to Follow For 2014

The year 2013 has been quite eventful for online marketers. Google, with their aggressive introduction of algorithm updates has left SEO experts a little unsure about what the search giant will do next. Though, Google have managed to bring across the point very clear that they aim to stop the black hat tactics like link farming and keyword stuffing and want to put real effort into creating best content for a particular service or product.

With the several introductions of Google’s Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird update, SEO experts are not sure how they will be addressing On-Page SEO to ensure that all the ‘new rules’ are followed so that there is no harm caused to the ranking or credibility of the website. On-Page SEO strategies need to be focused on optimizing the pages for the users and not just the crawlers.

Here’s a quick guide on the best practices to follow for On Page SEO to ensure your campaign’s success in 2014.

  1. Page Titles: They are critical when it comes to optimization of the website pages for search engine result page (SERP) performance. Users truly evaluate the page titles when deciding to click or not on a search result. It is suggested to use primary keywords at once in the title and preferably in the beginning.
  1. Page Description: Like page titles, page descriptions are also a critical component of the page listing in the search engine ranking. A poor description doesn’t stand a chance against an appealing listing on the page. A good description must be crisp, contain researched keyword phrases and must not be more than 155 characters.
  2. Body headlines: The main headline within the page copy acts as another criteria for the user after they click your site from the search engine ranking page. A study by Moz reveals that the H1 headline is closely associated with higher rankings making it necessary to use primary keywords.

Handy Tip: Never use the page title as your body headline!

  1. Content: The content of the page is what really makes a page worthy as it is what the users are really interested in and thus valued most by search engines. The Hummingbird algorithm is designed to understand full (long-tail) search queries to provide the most relevant information.To give your audience what they’re looking for, you have to produce good content, and the good thing is that Google now gauges your credibility through unique content contributions. One way to add to your search engine ranking is by establishing your Google author profile where you’re able to take control of how the content is displayed in Google search results and stand out.
  2. Page URL: The beauty of major blogging platforms and CMS is that the page URLs are auto-populated based on the page title or blog title, i.e. the URL is optimized for a specific keyword as that of the page title or blog title. This is an added advantage as page URLs are often used as link text. And undoubtedly, the link text with a keyword is better than without link text.
  3. Images: It will not be wrong to say that website images are quite under-optimized SEO asset. The production of great visual content and images is an important avenue of the brand and site to be found in search. Search engines factor the optimization of images for search engine ranking. It is suggested to add the title either above or below the photo and surround the text as the caption.

It is very important to incorporate these on-page SEO techniques to make the most of your online presence. And if you’re interested in learning more, then contact us here at The SEO Institute. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Local Businesses Don’t Need Big Budgets for Their Content Marketing

Local Businesses Don't Need Big Budgets for Their Content Marketing

With all the changes happening in the digital marketing industry, the one constant that has emerged is that SEO is all about content marketing. It is important to create, publish and promote content that will naturally attract new links rather than using backlinks. The plan sounds simple and easy on paper, but we’ve seen late adopters in the market hesitate because of the lack the necessary resources (budget, people, and time) to produce quality content to push through the right channels.

But industry experts have now proven that local businesses don’t need big budgets for their content marketing. They believe that almost every aspect of business can be turned into usable content especially if content isn’t seen merely as an image, article, blog or web page text. In reality if seen carefully all the below mentioned business aspects can turn into story ideas for potential content:

  1. Business staff
  2. Shop or office design or interiors
  3. Products and services offered
  4. Menu or product catalog
  5. Company values
  6. Customers and client testimonials

Really, you’re only limited by your imagination, but you don’t have to look too far away from your brand to find the stories that people will connect with.

Confused? Keep reading!

  1. Client Testimonials: Almost all businesses aim to deliver high customer satisfaction and if this goal is achieved, half of the battle is won. Your client servicing can actually set you apart from your competitors and can make people talk about you, and if you’ve got strong and positive reviews from your market, make sure you tap into that source.
  2. Your immediate work space: Take a look around the place you work at. See anything fun or unique about the environment? The team interaction? Special events or landmarks or even mini-celebrations that happen? All of that is real content for you to tap into and develop.
  3. Products or services offered: This is a landmine of content just waiting to happen. Your products and services can be used as creative content for your business. You need not have a unique product or offer unique services, but you need to make them stand out in the crowd. The most reliable way is to package and present them with great creativity.
  4. Menu or product catalog: There is a huge possibility of going creative with the menu or product catalog. For instance, if you have the budget for it, you can replace your menu cards or product catalogs with iPads to make the experience a lot more engaging and interactive for the people who walk in.
  5. Company values: The vision, mission and values says a great deal about your brand. Slogans do the half of the work for big brands but small businesses can thrive on company values by partnering up with higher welfare institutions and suppliers. This will contribute towards positive PR around the business especially within local publications.
  6. Client Interaction: There is no doubt that client interaction offers opportunities to create content, especially for local businesses that operate out of retail storefronts. Your repeat clientele is bound to talk, post or tweet about your business and helps in running a successful campaign especially if they’ve had a pleasant experience. The obvious payoff is when they write positive things about the business as a blogger the business gets an honest review and a link back to the website.

Small businesses must realize that content is not merely articles or infographics but each and every aspect of your business. Small businesses must also realize that they must make efforts to fully utilize SEO, social media and content marketing together to achieve effective results. Think in terms of giving your clients a great experience – everything else is just a great byproduct that help you grow too.
Develop your content marketing skills, get good training from SEO Institute, opt for digital marketing training from professional SEO and Social Media experts,