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The Importance Of Google Reviews For Local SEO In 2018

SEO in 2018

SEO in 2018

There have been several studies that show the importance of solicitation of Google reviews to your “Google My Business” listing, these studies illustrating a concept that is already well documented and well known as they apply to other testimonial and review websites like Yelp. These studies illustrate the importance of creating and maintaining a listing for your business, and connecting that listing to your existing website. From within that listing, you have options to include information about the business, photos and as a recent addition text posts. As Google attempts to push further into the section being used for legitimate direct interaction between businesses and customers, they have included these sections with mixed results.  For example, earlier this year a section was added that would allow customers to ask the business questions directly through the listing in a public forum.  The section has received little usage,a s customers rarely know it is there and businesses rarely know how to answer or how they are notified that a question has been asked.  The posting section is receiving the same mixed results, as there seems to be few areas where the posts are actually shown publicly which discourages their usage by businesses. This being said, there have been a few consistent players within the Google Business sections and maps, mostly being that you need to maintain your listing for accurate information and you need to solicit reviews by your customers. But how important are these reviews to the process of SEO?

The studies that have been done regarding Google reviews by companies like BrightLocal have revealed data-backed reasons that your business should be soliciting reviews.  These reasons include things like “most consumers read reviews before making a decision” and “people trust online reviews as much as personal reviews.” These reasons are completely valid, and will come into play to create larger conversion and clickthrough rates to your website when a potential customer has found you and is deciding between your business and a competitor. For these reasons you should be encouraging reviews on Google and Yelp and making it as easy for customers to provide them as possible, especially pushing for high tar ratings because of the increased visual presentation that star ratings provide. However for the purposes of SEO and figuring out how Google is positioning business listings within the maps section in order to influence it, this data really doesn’t provide much help. The question that everyone who does localized SEO wants to understand is what factors are being used within the maps sections, so that they can manipulate their client’s listings to higher positions (preferably in the top 3, so that they show on page one of SERPs.) Google reviews do play a role in deciding these positions, but it is far harder to manipulate than typical SEO programs will effect. Links that are driven directly to Google maps listings will not push your listing higher in general search, so how can you do SEO in a way that will provide higher maps rankings? Here is what you can do.

  1. Create and maintain your Google My Business listing. This means that the address, business name and description, photos and other information on the page should accurately reflect the same information that is on your website. Do not name your business something different on Google maps than your business name is listed on your website. If you have multiple locations, list them on your website and embed directional maps provided by Google in order to help Google understand that the locations are part of your business. Use the sections provided and do not be lazy. There is not a lot that you can put into your maps listing, so use it all.
  2. Do SEO on your website. The website that is connected to your Google maps listing provides information to Google about the business. This information about your products and services is used to help them position your maps listing in specific searches.
  3. Make sure that your service area is accurately reflected on your listing.  If you only serve customers from Las Vegas, make sure that your listing reflects that fact. Maps is a way that Google helps customers find the physical location of a business, so assist them in providing this information accurately to customers.
  4. Solicit reviews. This is really what this article is about, so aside from the obvious ways that people use the reviews to make a decision between you and a competing business, we can state that Google does use the reviews themselves to decide rankings and position on the maps SERPs. Years ago, it was believed that simply getting a lot of reviews would get you to a number one position for generalized searches about your services (not just your name) however that is proving to not be the case any more. You will notice many businesses with hundreds of reviews being outranked by businesses with only one or two. As Google has grown more savvy with regards to identifying good links vs bad links, they have applied this same logic to reviews. This means that a review from a profile that has developed a certain amount of trust by Google is worth more than a review from a profile that has not. Because the SEO strategy of developing as many reviews for customers as possible involved the creation of profiles specifically to provide a review for a business, Google is able to easily identify these profiles and discount them as far as value to rankings. A profile may have a long and well written review that uses the appropriate keywords and also talks about the business in depth, but this review may not have as much influence on rankings as a single line review from a profile that has been around a while and has been leaving reviews for many businesses over time. The concept of “developed profiles” is what is at play here, where a single review from a real person who has proven to Google over time that they are legitimate may be worth hundreds of reviews from people who have not proven themselves.  Even if the person is real and simply has not used Google reviews for discussion of their experiences at different businesses, their reviews do not hold a lot of value in order to push the listing up in rankings.  The review may be displayed, but it is not having a lot to do with the actual rankings that are being shown. If the review comes from a legitimate and proven profile that has reviewed other businesses that are not connected to this one, the review has weight. Even the verbiage that is used in the review may come into play as Google is now displaying snippets of reviews under the listings.

All in all, the solicitation of reviews on Google will influence your rankings for general search terms. For your business name it will probably not have much effect and you will probably have all locations displayed on the maps even if there are no reviews.  However the more reviews that you can solicit with high star ratings, the more reviews will be noticed as coming from legitimate profiles by Google and used for their decisions. SEO for local maps listings involves both the standard types of SEO that are performed for your website as well as the verification that the data that is included in your maps listing matches that of the website, but also the additional factors of attempting to manipulate the volume and tone of reviews that are provided. By encouraging as many customers as possible to review your business using any one of a number of tactics, you should be able to move your business higher in the SERPs. While this will not be as straight forward as traditional SEO, the strategies can provide results that pay dividends.

If you are interested in localized SEO for your business either in Las Vegas or elsewhere, please contact us directly at 702-997-1252 for a free analysis of your project and proposal. We are physically located in Las Vegas, and provide both Las Vegas SEO as well as local SEO for any city.

By | 2018-07-06T20:32:07+00:00 July 6th, 2018|SEO Educational Information, SEO Information|Comments Off on The Importance Of Google Reviews For Local SEO In 2018

SEO For Adult Websites And Businesses

Our company is located in Las Vegas, and whether you like it or not there are a large percentage of businesses in the Las Vegas area that cater to “adult” entertainment. Our take on business is that it is not our right to judge your business as far as morality, our job is to provide you with services that we promise in the best way we can.  If your business is legal, then we are able to provide you with services.  If your business is not legal, we will turn down the account, its that simple.  There are many SEO companies or web designers who will refuse to work with adult oriented projects simply based upon the subject matter, but our opinion is that if you are providing a service or product that is within the law as stipulated in Nevada, you are a client with a product like any other client. Yes, we work with adult businesses and websites providing SEO and PPC management, as well as web design.

SEO for adult websites is more difficult than for traditional websites.  This is because we must steer clear of penalties that Google would impose with regards to content and backlinking when providing our services.  Our SEO strategies are actually very simple, we create text-based content every month that will be placed either on your website or on other websites that allow us to link back to you.  Google is looking for two primary things to decide your rankings, one is onsite content on a specific topic and the other is backlinks from websites that are providing content on that topic.  A typical business is not going to run into difficulty providing these things, but Google is not a big fan of adult content and as a result we must get creative in the way we present the topics both on your website and off it.  The articles we write cannot involve pornography or anything that might be considered illegal, but can discuss these topics in professional ways.  No, the written content that will be positioned into the website for Google will not do much to turn-on your visitors, but it will provide Google with the understanding that you are an authority on the topic.  In this way, we can present you as the authority on things like massage services, outcall exotic dancing and niche adult model websites, all of which are completely legal.  By presenting ourselves to Google as an authority on the subject, the website gains rankings for general searches within the field.  When someone searches for “strippers in Las Vegas” they will find your site because Google has found information on the specifics of that topic, even if the customer is simply looking for a stripper to hire.  It is a strategy that exploits the use of content in order to present your business to customers who were not necessarily looking for that specific content.

Another difficult thing to deal with when doing adult SEO or web design is links.  You need backlinks in order to rank, but very few websites are going to allow us to create backlinks on them to a website that is considered adult.  If you build backlinks from websites that Google considers pornography, you can easily be penalized and lose rankings, or even be completely banned.  If you are building backlinks from a  website that gets penalized, you can then see the transfer of some of that penalty to your own website.  Google penalties for porn links are difficult to deal with, and once a site is penalized it is quite hard to recover. In addition, there is a dirty-pool aspect to the adult world that is typically not seen in standard businesses.  An example of this is “negative SEO’ or “Google bowling,” where a competitor purposefully drives bad links to your website in order to penalize it.  The main reason this happens in the adult industry with so much more regularity than traditional business is the sheer cost of the links.  Generally, you are going to have to pay money to gain links from porn websites or link farms, and if you have utilized this as your link building strategy you may have paid a great deal of money for these links.  If your site is severely penalized as a result, you can either attempt to salvage it through penalty reversal programs which take lots of time and are very expensive, or you can simply move on to a different domain in order to do your business.  But what can you now do with a penalized URL that has some value? The answer is to 301 redirect that url to your competitors, which literally passes the penalty to them without them being able to see the links that are causing it. Google will show you the links that it sees to your site and allows you to use a disavow in order to maintain control of who links to you, but you do not have that information for other websites. If someone redirects a penalized site that they have access to over to your url, you will not even see it in the Google link list because they are technically not linking to you. This weakness in the Google disavow system is exploited by adult businesses attempting to take down their competition simply because these types of websites are more commonly penalized.  If you have access to a larger number of types of websites and are looking for a use for them, you will find greater percentages of webmasters willing to use these types of tactics. In cases like these, it may simply be easier to move to a new url than to try to salvage the old one, however each case is unique.  There have also been cases where a url is abandoned and the content from the site is simply moved over to a new url with the expectation of solving penalty problems.  You must approach this strategy carefully and with the understanding that the 301 redirect may pass the penalty to the new website, so it is wiser to simply start fresh and abandon all the previous links.

If you operate an adult oriented business and are interested in adult website design, adult SEO or adult PPC, contact us to discuss how we may be able to help you.  We have worked with many adult web clients in the past in order to boost traffic to their sites using whitehat SEO methods, and can do the same for you.

By | 2018-06-28T17:32:36+00:00 June 28th, 2018|SEO Information|Comments Off on SEO For Adult Websites And Businesses

How Much Does SEO Cost On Average?

How much does SEO cost on average? This is a common question that is asked, because most business clients are trying to make a comparison of companies that provide SEO services before they commit to one.  The issue with answering the question is that there is not really a “one-size fits all” type of program that companies offer, and what you are comparing is the actual prices charged as opposed to the effectiveness of the program.  Think about it this way, if you are comparing cough medicines and one bottle is 1 dollar and the other is 10 dollars, you will probably lean towards the one that costs less money.  However if it stated on the bottle that was 1 dollar that you would need 50 bottles to cure your cough, while the other bottle would cure it with a single serving, you suddenly realize that you are not comparing two equal products.  Why does one major league baseball player make more than another one? Probably because that particular player is better than the one that makes less.  This is the same idea, that when you are comparing SEO prices you have to understand that one company might have an automated strategy that saves them time, but provides less results.  The main thing to think about is what you are getting for your money.

Most articles that give ranges for SEO prices will say that a typical monthly program runs anywhere between $300 and $2000 per month.  This is not taking into consideration any of the specifics of each case studied, and is only looking at the prices paid.  If a phrase that you are targeting is very competitive, it is going to need more work to get a first page ranking than one that is less competitive.  If the company you are considering builds automated links or doesn’t create unique content for you, then the strategy will preform less well than a different company that does.  The numbers that you see as averages actually represent the typical advertising budget for small businesses and therefor SEO clients.  The amount that they pay is going to have to do with several different things, namely being the competitiveness of the industry terms you are targeting, the amount of terms you are targeting, and how quickly you want to be on the first page.  By considering all of these things, you will be able to distill a package down from almost any company.

Here is how our pricing works for ongoing SEO, and what you get for your money.  All our programs are calculated by how many hours we work for you each month, and that work will be divided up into targeting the keyphrases you want to rank for.  If you have 10 phrases that you want to target and they are all competitive, but you only have a limited budget we will probably discuss targeting fewer phrases so that an adequate amount of work can be done for them.  If you do only a tiny bit of work for each phrase, you essentially get nothing for each one as opposed to rolling more time into a few phrases and getting results for them.  Our programs are simple.  We create pieces of content about your subject and targeting your phrases for you every month.  Each piece of content must be at least 500 words, which will take about an hour to write and then link to social bookmarking sites (about 15.) We do about half the work each month for content that goes on your site and half that goes onto article marketing websites with a link back to your site.  Each piece of content that is placed on another site is also hand-written and a minimum of 500 words, and also is spread via the same 15 social bookmarking sites.  This provides unique content onto your website every month as well as links coming back into your site from content on the same topics, as well as a “social seed” of bookmarks that make the articles appear as though they are popular.  We have found this strategy to provide consistent results for our clients over time, with only minor rankings fluctuations when algorithm changes happen.  Our strategies follow the terms of service of Google and other search engines, so there is nothing to worry about as far as lost rankings when changes happen.

Using our formula for Focus Internet Services, you can see how much a typical program costs.  If each piece of content takes one hour to do and we are targeting 10 phrases, we will want to do at least two pieces of content for each phrase monthly (one onsite and one offsite.) This will mean that we are working 10 hours for your business, which would calculate to $1,000 per month.  If you wanted more time dedicated to one phrase then we either take time away from the other phrases, or add time to the budget.  There are no tricks, and pricing for the work you get is straight forward.  We will be able to suggest the amount of work that should be dedicated towards phrases in your market by looking into the rank and work load of the competing sites for those phrases.  Our suggestions will try to create a work load that would get first page rankings in a time frame from six months to one year, although there is no way to predict rankings because the competition is also doing things that effect positions.  There is also no such thing as achieving a position that is fixed, because the rankings of the competition are always in flux.

A company that simply quotes you a fixed price for SEO work is actually quoting you a price for a certain amount of hours.  If you book too little work thinking that you are saving money, you will probably never get the rankings you are looking for and ultimately be wasting your money.  You are not paying for a position, you are paying the best company you can find to work for you in order to help you get to that position.  There are no guarantees with SEO, because while we are doing work that influences rankings so is everyone else.  If a company guarantees that you will rank, they are probably doing something that can get you permanently banned over time, which is a terrible strategy.  They might get you ranked quickly in order to start their payments, but those rankings rarely last.  The phrase “you get what you pay for” applies to SEO perfectly, so the best advice is to work with a company that has provable results that they can show you from other clients, and then target a smart list of words and phrases each month that are achievable.

By | 2018-04-25T00:49:13+00:00 April 25th, 2018|SEO Educational Information, SEO Information|Comments Off on How Much Does SEO Cost On Average?

Best Do Follow Social Bookmarking Sites List 2018 (SEO)

Best Do Follow Social Bookmarking Sites List For SEO In 2018

Sr. No. Website Alexa Rank
1. https://www.reddit.com/ 8
2. https://www.stumbleupon.com/su/ 1397
3. https://www.diigo.com/ 7611
4. https://www.bibsonomy.org/ 38815
5. http://www.folkd.com/ 75761
6. http://www.bizsugar.com 104692
7. https://in.pinterest.com/ 70
8. https://storify.com/ 7271
9. http://www.citeulike.org/ 54594
10. https://myspace.com/ 3575
11. https://www.plurk.com 1648
12. https://www.tumblr.com 52
13. https://slashdot.org 5616
14. http://www.scoop.it/ 3153
15. http://www.fark.com 6463
16. http://affiliated-business.com/ 273124
17. http://atlhtml5.net/ 258340
18. http://atozbookmarkc.com/ 265661
19. http://backsitelinkc.com/ 260995
20. http://bestlinksworldc.com/ 678680
21. http://bestsitebookmarkc.com/ 674715
22. http://bookmarkbook.org/ 240902
23. http://bookmarkurlinkc.com/ 731902
24. http://coolpot.com/ 255151
25. http://easylinkspacec.com/ 260011
26. http://effortslinkc.com/ 283654
27. http://elinksnetc.com/ 263739
28. http://extentlinkc.com/ 261420
29. http://free-bookmarking.net/ 217436
30. http://freesocial-seo.com/ 210686
31. http://freshlinkzones.com/ 725743
32. http://gen-eff.net/ 204041
33. http://justgetlinkc.com/ 256576
34. http://linkcontentc.com/ 499294
35. http://madynasty.com/ 229072
36. http://makingupcode.com/ 237984
37. http://mettablog.com/ 267658
38. http://moretreat.com/ 245032
39. http://newslinkzones.com/ 592867
40. http://online-seo.net/ 228709
41. http://onpageseopro.com 413260
42. http://pipinews.com/ 630143
43. http://placebookmarkc.com/ 606342
44. http://registertovotetoday.com/ 228934
45. http://saveabookmarkc.com/ 274074
46. http://seo-ranks.net/ 224983
47. http://sitelinkbacks.com/ 666070
48. http://socialbookmarkinghq.com/ 226344
49. http://updatesee.com/ 223828
50. http://www.a2zbookmarks.com/ 387256
51. http://www.addusastory.com/ 225100
52. http://www.airpim.biz/ 364774
53. http://www.bookmarkbook.org/ 240902
54. http://www.bookmarkingbase.com/ 207391
55. http://www.bookmarkinghost.info/ 533759
56. http://www.bookmarkmaps.com/ 727038
57. http://www.bookmarks2u.com/ 495696
58. http://www.braniewo.net/ 296783
59. http://www.clickone.co.in/ 230419
60. http://www.crazybacklink.com/ 240833
61. http://www.emolinks.com/ 370798
62. http://www.fearsteve.com/ 220311
63. http://www.goldenmidas.net/ 326161
64. http://www.greateststory.info/ 643544
65. http://www.inshareeb.com/ 240008
66. http://www.jodohkita.info/ 223665
67. http://www.mysitevote.com/ 208496
68. http://www.onlinewebmarks.com/ 462779
69. http://www.seoservicesit.org/ 270110
70. http://www.skybacklinks.com/ 266972
71. http://www.socialbookmarknow.info/ 730016
72. http://www.tezbookmarking.com/ 250679
73. http://www.turkishchic.com/ 424231
74. http://www.usefulenglish.net/ 193356
75. http://www.votetags.com/ 1066084

Remember that if your business needs SEO or web design, we are one of the top rated Las Vegas SEO  companies.

Local SEO is dependent upon links and content, as well as localization techniques like the proper use of “Google My Business” listings.  Links that are generated from websites that provide dofollow links should not feature duplicated content of the links will essentially not count.  Create unique content on each site in order to maximize your benefits for SEO.

The majority of our customers are local businesses in Las Vegas, NV, and we utilize this list in order to create offsite content for these clients.  The key is to make sure that the content produced for each space is not discounted by not being unique, take the time and effort to generate a completely unique piece of content that is on the topic you are trying to rank for, and if possible include localization mentions that fit with the article theme.  In Las Vegas, we may include things like traffic patterns, weather and other local events or items.  This will add to the flavor of the content and localize it in a natural way.

You must understand the difference between local SEO and national SEO, and how it applies to your business.  If you are a local business that serves a local population in a physical store or space, then you need to “localize” your SEO efforts in order to appear correctly in local searches.  By narrowing your field, you have a better chance of getting positions within the top six listings on Google, which is where all the legitimate traffic is found.  You will notice the differences in the Google results when you search for something like “SEO company” from inside the geographic space of a place like Las Vegas, and if you modify it with “Las Vegas SEO company.” When you do not modify it with the city itself, then Google will generally use the maps section to position the businesses that are closest to your physical location.  When you include the city in the search itself, Google will widen the search field to include businesses that are located within that region, not using the physical position as an overly weighted aspect.  It is like telling Google to rank the best SEO companies in all of Las Vegas based upon general algorithm cues, vs ranking the businesses within that region using the location in comparison to your proximity as an additional factor.  The same results will be cued if you were to include the words “near me” instead of a city name. While the actual location of the business address within the city may only be useful for some searches, Google utilizes it for most things if it is included. The same concept would be applied if you included a state like Nevada instead of Las Vegas, the field gets wider.

Focus Internet Services specializes in SEO for companies located in the city of Las Vegas as well as Henderson, Summerlin, North Las Vegas and Pahrump.  This is due to the fact that we can physically meet in person with business owners within these regions.  While we can also work with clients from outside this region, the ability to meet in person would not be included and therefor we find that the majority of our clients come from inside the Las Vegas metro area.

If you find this list helpful, please leave a comment and rating.

By | 2018-07-06T19:25:52+00:00 January 3rd, 2018|SEO Information|2,575 Comments

How Long Do You Keep Doing SEO?

One common misunderstanding about SEO is that you are not purchasing a position on Google.  The reason for this confusion is probably due to Adwords, and people who have purchased an ad on google confusing this with an organic position.  When you buy an ad on Google, your ad and website link will show up in a position that is associated with the amount of money you pay for the click.  If you want to make sure you show up at #1, you simply outbid everyone else and you will show at #1.  SEO is quite different than this, and many times companies sending you solicitation emails about guaranteeing you showing up on the first page of Google are actually referring to ads instead of organic positions.  Basically, anyone can purchase an ad but only the best websites with the best information on a subject will show up in the organic sections.  These positions are created through ongoing content and SEO tactics.

If you can guarantee placement with an ad, isn’t that better than SEO? The answer is if you care about how much it will cost you to be there.  Basically, in the ads sections your competition is everyone who cannot figure out how to rank organically, and therefor are willing to pay for it.  While you are absolutely paying an SEO company to build your rankings, the idea is that if you can get into a first page position organically for a hard to achieve keyword, the money that you would pay out in ad clicks to keep a first page position showing will be far more than the money you would pay to an SEO company for their work.  If an ad is costing you 10 dollars per click and there are potentially 100 people per day clicking on it, that is $1,000 per day that could be paid to an SEO company to work towards an organic position.  Lets say that company gets you into a number one position in exchange for $5,000 in fees per month, that will translate to about $25,000 in savings every month.  The value of a position is what it would cost you to get the same exposure placing ads, and SEO will almost always generate better results.

So how long do you need to keep SEO going once you have achieved the desired position? That answer depends upon the competition in the space.  If there is not a lot of competition and none of the competitors are doing any SEO work, then you might stay in that position forever with no additional work.  However if it is a competitive word you can rest assured that the competition realizes that by them not being in that position any more they are losing business to you, so they are going to ramp up their own SEO efforts to regain it.  This means that you will probably be doing SEO forever on your site, as long as you want to maintain your rankings.  If the rankings positions are generating more in revenue and business than you are paying to the SEO company to keep your position high, then you are making money and should not stop.  It is fine to try and scale back the work once the position has been achieved, but you should do so while watching for downward movement while doing so.  If you begin to fall, then more work needs to be done.

By | 2017-11-30T00:00:35+00:00 November 29th, 2017|Featured, SEO Educational Information, SEO Information|Comments Off on How Long Do You Keep Doing SEO?

Managing Your Keyword List For SEO

SEO is a process of attacking achievable goals within a projected time frame.  The goals and time frames are not guesses or dreams, but actual goals that are viewed as being potentially achievable within a viable time frame based upon an understanding of the competitiveness of the terms as well as the work that would be necessary to move the website closer to the first page for those searches.  This is going to be different in every case, as the competitive market is going to be completely different from area to area, or nationally.  In addition to this, other factors need to be taken into consideration like how much work has been done previously that would apply to that target term, and can that work be built off in order to speed the process up.  The crawl rate for a new website might only be every few weeks, so if the site is brand new you can only expect Google to actually visit it a few times a month, essentially meaning that work that is done today might only be noticed weeks from now.  All this must be taken into consideration when creating a SEO plan that is logical and makes sense.  Sticking to the format and the plan is critical for success, and the failure of many SEO campaigns comes from not seeing the progress that you projected, then changing the plans as a result.  A good SEO will have the ability to provide you with an ongoing plan of attack that hits projections fairly well.  Work that is being done for SEO on the competition’s websites can make this a difficult thing to predict, but generally you should see progress that is reasonable.

One of the main mistakes that is made by novice SEOs is attacking an unrealistic keyword list.  If there are many different ways to describe the products or services a business offers, a SEO rooking might create a huge keyword list that would show the client how many potential customers they could have if they were to rank for all of them.  This is a completely unrealistic way to approach the actual SEO, as each term is developed individually with content that is being created specifically for it.  While there will be an improvement from that work that applies to long tail words as well that Google understands are in the same field, you cannot expect each and every variation of something to move up at the same levels.  The actual target term will provide a roadmap as far as how the progress is going among all terms that are related, but dividing the keyword list into manageable amounts that can be attacked over time is necessary so as to avoid the casting too broad of a net and thus achieving nothing.  If you are shooting for too many terms, you will probably do only small amounts of work for each one and therefor never outrank your competition for any.  A seasoned SEO is going to look at the keyword list for a number of things including competition, existing work and budget.  The SEO plan is going to allocate how many hours each month the SEO judges will be necessary for each phrase to eventually outrank the competition within either the local or national space.  If too little work is being done each month for that particular term, either more hours must be allocated towards it or less keyterms attacked so as to provide more time.  The idea of SEO is a dedication to developing rankings for specific words, and if you are trying to rank for them all you will probably rank for none.  Distill your list down to however many terms can be viably developed over a six month period, and attack them individually.

By | 2017-11-30T00:00:42+00:00 November 29th, 2017|SEO Educational Information, SEO Information|Comments Off on Managing Your Keyword List For SEO

The Content SEO Strategy

If you receive an email solicitation from a company stating that they can get you to number one on Google within a month or so, you need to realize they are lying to you.  There are a couple of factors that come into play that make this kind of promise untrue, first being that Google doesn’t even crawl your site more than once every few weeks, or maybe once a week if you are a site that is very popular with a large amount of traffic already.  This means that any work they do on your site will probably not be seen for upwards of a week or two if it is on the index page, and longer than that if it is on a page that is deeper than your index page.  Google does not crawl your entire site every time it visits, and many times it only crawls the main pages that are found in the navigation structure itself.  You might get a full crawl once a month or so, meaning that if they are using a strategy where content is developed for the site in order to improve rankings there is a good chance that content is only seen after multiple weeks of being online.  Now lets say that they actually do put content into your site that has to do with the target subject you want to rank for, and Google does crawl that content within a month, doesn’t that mean that you could suddenly shoot up to number one? Theoretically yes, but there is almost no chance of this happening.  Google will generally crawl the site content and then the added SEO value will begin to move the rankings, but for a few pieces of content to move a site all the way into a number one position from anywhere else would usually mean there is almost no competition to overtake.  If you are shooting for something competitive, it is going to take time to see those rankings develop, usually a span of months to even years.  In highly competitive areas, it might take months of work to move you up one or two places, let alone all the way to the top.  Google looks for consistency over time, quality of content and value to customers.  Over periods of time Google begins to trust you more and more as a source of quality information, that does not happen overnight.

This is usually the point in a conversation where someone mentions that the company who has promised them instant rankings is not talking about content, and instead is just going to make some changes to the code of the website in order to rank better.  While web design itself and meta data changes to titles and descriptions can have an effect, they are also not going to shoot you up into the number one position.  Google is looking for the website that provides the most value and information to people, and some small changes to code is not going to suddenly make them realize that you were that best information all along.  You might see small bumps up based on redoing some coding on the site and filling in all the meta data, but it is not going to be enough to move you into the top positions unless you were already there.  That is going to take a content strategy.

A content strategy for SEO is the process of creating text content on the site that informs people about a topic, and gives them valuable information that they can use.  This content has to be unique if Google is going to give you credit for it, and it has to be well written.  The hardest thing to accomplish is that your content has to be better than your competition’s content, at least for the subject matter that you are targeting.  Simply rehashing the same content over and over without anything new isn’t going to get you much.  It might get you more volume of text, but it probably isn’t going to get you that trust as an expert on the subject by Google.  The content strategy itself should involve in-depth and well written content placed into your website and then referenced within content on the same topic that is outside of your website.  This is how Google develops trust through links, seeing that the subject is being discussed and then your site is referenced as a place to go for even larger amounts of information.  The sites that it is referenced on are important as well, if they are sites which are completely devoted to this particular subject they are worth more than sites which have many subjects.  If the sites are also trusted by Google on this topic, then the link to your site is worth more.  Think about it this way, if a website doesn’t rank for a topic, then the link from that website to yours is worthless for that topic.  If a website ranks for a search on a topic, then a link from that site has value to you for that topic.

There are many different valuations for links, but a well rounded content strategy for SEO needs them in order for Google to realize that the onsite content is valuable.  There needs to be a strategy in place that spreads the word to other websites that the content is out there and exists, as well as it having value to people.  There are different ways that different companies accomplish this, but if they are not mentioning it then you are probably not going to see any improvements when you use their services.  So why are they promising you that you will rank higher so quickly? They are promising you “the bump” and hoping to get a few months work.  Most SEO companies look at their clients as having a life span of a couple months to a year.  Most have three month contracts that they work under, which gives them three months to prove to you that their strategy works.  If you site bumps up within a few months they point that out as proof it will keep moving up and get a few more months out of you.  If it doesn’t bump up then they are expecting to lose you and then move on to the next.  Most SEO companies are not in the SEO business at all, and instead are in the “customer acquisition” business.  They pay high commissions to sales people who land new business every month, expecting to lose that same business within a short time when the client realizes that after the initial bump of a few positions higher, there is no more movement.

A good SEO strategy develops new content and links every month, and over time your site steadily rises in the rankings as Google begins to trust it as an authority on a subject.  A good SEO has clients that work with them for years instead of months.  If you are being made promises that your site will quickly climb to number one, pay close attention to how long their other clients have been with them.  If most of their clients are only with them for a few months and their websites are not currently number one, then it is because they fall and are fired by most clients.  Think about it, and make a good choice of SEO.

By | 2017-09-21T23:20:02+00:00 September 21st, 2017|SEO Educational Information, SEO Information|Comments Off on The Content SEO Strategy

SEO Is Not A One Time Thing

First and foremost, we should probably establish that all SEO programs are not going to be created equal, because they do not have to be.  The intensity of your SEO program is going to have to do with how competitive the space is that you are trying to capture.  What this means is that if you a re a local business selling a unique product with no competition in the area, you are probably not going to have to do a lot of SEO work to gain rankings in your local area.  If you are one of a hundred businesses selling the same products nationwide or worldwide you are going to need a lot of SEO work to gain rankings globally.  How much SEO is necessary is dictated by your competition at all times, which translates to the possibility of a business that has always enjoyed top rankings because they were the only game in town suddenly being outranked by a new competitor simply because the new guy has done more work than you.  Rankings are not permanent, and you can be knocked out of your top placement at any time by someone doing more.  The question is “how much do you have to do to gain those rankings, and will you stay in that position if you stop?”

If you are in the 5th position for a word that describes your business, it means that 4 other businesses are doing more SEO work than you are.  There are very specific things that Google is looking for on these websites, and they have fund more of them on the other 4 websites than on yours.  If suddenly you drop another position and are replaced by the business that was below you yesterday, it is because that business is now doing more than you were as well.  Rankings are constantly in flux based upon the comparison of the strength of your site vs the strength of everyone else’s, and the strength is determined by a myriad of different factors that can essentially be translated into only a few methods.

Websites rank based upon their level of expertise in a subject.  Google is looking for the website that has the best information on a subject, the information that is most useful to real people.  In order to be viewed by Google as the best in your subject area, you are going to need to create content about that subject.  Google is going to read that content looking for certain phrases or comparative terms, and then they are going to make a decision if your content is better than the content on another website.  This is accomplished by looking at links to your site, and even more specifically to links to that content.  You need to create content that is very specific, and has important information about the subject that is beneficial to people.  You also need to keep creating more content both on the website and off the website linking back to the site in order to develop a bigger link base.  Within the website, content on the subject that is created should be linked to the page that Google ranks on that subject, this builds up the internal link base and shows Google which page is the most important for that subject.  Externally, the links coming in to the website do the same thing, establishing the source of the good information that is being discussed outside of your site.  A simple link off another website will have almost no value to you, and instead those links must be within content on the subject itself.  There are debates about how much content is needed, but we prefer to always use at least 500 words on the subject because that is typically how much is needed in order to get  a point across.  There are no hard-set rules, but Google realizes that the longer an article is the more in-depth it usually is.

So how much content and linking do you need? The answer is “enough to get you into the top position.” There is no way of knowing how much your competition has done (although we can make guesses using scanning software.) There is no way of knowing how much they will do in the future.  The best SEO programs assume that there will be ongoing competition and that rankings are in flux, so we do a specific amount of work every month to keep building the strength, even once top rankings are achieved.

By | 2017-09-21T21:28:34+00:00 September 15th, 2017|SEO Educational Information, SEO Information|Comments Off on SEO Is Not A One Time Thing

Content Is More Important The Just Links For SEO

Lets face it, SEO is not what it used to be.  The process of “search engine optimization” used to revolve around creating optimal code, structures, keywords, links and descriptions, as well as analyzing code for errors.  The majority of SEO work once the site itself was cleaned up involved building links to the site, due to the fact that Google considered that if someone else was willing to link to information on your site, then that information must be good.  Basically, because Google could not understand what the information was about and therefor could not understand if the information was good or not, it relied upon a crowd sourcing of verification of quality.  The best method to crowd source votes of confidence was by counting the amount of links that went to a site from other sites.  Naturally, as soon as this was discovered SEO companies completely abused the process by creating automated methods of gaining links.

The evolution of link building came as a result of Google figuring out how to determine if a site that links to you is only created in order to provide links, or if they are real websites with legitimate interests in providing information.  Even more than that, Google realized that certain websites will provide information on certain subjects, and a link from them if your website is providing information on the same topic is worth far more than a link from a site that only provides generalized information.  Google began giving more weight to links from specific sources that are within the same rhelm as your website, and discounting those links that came from sources that appeared as though they were trying to manipulate rankings.  One of the main things that changed was the need for actual content.

A link from a website to yours is a good thing as long as it is not coming from a source that Google considers bad.  That link has value and will ultimately help you go up in rankings to a certain degree.  The art of SEO has become producing links that provide the maximum amount of this value, as all links are not valued the same.  For example, if you get a link from a website that is in the same business as yours, it is going to provide you with X amount of value towards ranking higher for that topic.  If that link has keywords in it that do not appear spammy or stuffed in for ranking purposes, the way that Wikipedia does it, then that link is going to have even more value.  The best type of link that you can get on that same website is one that has the text phrase or a variation of it and also is wrapped by a lot of content on the topic.  What this means is that SEO is now the process of writing articles on topics that you want to rank higher for.  The process will involve writing articles on topics that are on your website, and doing the same thing on other websites that provide links back to you as the authority.  This content must be well developed and provide quality information on the topic, as well as being engaging and useful to people who would be reading it.  The purpose of the link to to send them to a place where they can find even more information on that topic, exactly the way Wikipedia does.  The longer and more involved the article is, the better it’s value in the form of a link.  Simply dumping links into websites that are designed to do nothing but present links literally does nothing for rankings.  SEO is the process of sourcing areas where you can provide valuable information and providing it to people, then also providing them with a link back to your site where they can learn even more.

Naturally, it is going to be nearly impossible to find sources for excellent links continually, so SEO companies like ours will typically target sources of different values, then use the same process on all of them.  There is a continually growing link base happening at all times, some are good and some are less good, but it is always moving and growing.  That is the SEO process that works in 2017, and everything else is just wasting your time and money.

By | 2017-09-08T02:12:50+00:00 September 8th, 2017|SEO Educational Information, SEO Information|Comments Off on Content Is More Important The Just Links For SEO

The Focus SEO Strategy

Search engine optimization has changed over the years.  When it started as an actual business about 15 years ago, the process of SEO involved the positioning of keywords and phrases into a website.  Due to the crude nature of the algorithms that were used, things like “the amount of times a phrase is used” and “is the word used at the beginning of the article” made all the difference.  You would use a keyword as many times as possible on a website, put the keyword in the title and description, then link to that page from as many other websites as possible using the same keyword as the text of the link.  That process created rankings boosts, and Google began finding that they were not positioning the best websites at the top positions, and instead were simply positioning the websites that used a phrase more than another at the top.  There were many ways to automate links that were developed, as well as content that was placed on a site.  The job of the SEO was to utilize these automated processes to get as many links and as much keyword stuffing done as possible in as little time possible.  Luckily, Google evolved and is now assessing the quality of the information on a website as the ranking factor.  They understand what the words mean, so you do not have to use the same phrases over and over again.  They understand what the context of the link that is coming into your site is, so it has to be good or it has no value.

The evolution of SEO has not necessarily created a situation where SEO companies no longer use old tactics that no longer produce results.  There are many SEO companies out there who do exactly that, using strategies that have been proven to provide no results as far as rankings increases. So why do they use them? Because SEO is a business and as a business it has to have a product that is generated as quickly and cheaply as possible.  They do not necessarily care if you actually get results, because they are only trying to sign you to a short contract and expect you to quit when you see no results.  The actual business is the process of gaining new customers and then providing them with something that sounds like it will work.  They will use terms you have heard on the internet that used to produce results.  They will do “website audits” to correct SEO flaws but then do nothing to develop content.  They still do it the way it used to be done because it was easy.

Good SEO in 2017 involves being the best at what you do.  For the sake of a search engine, this means identifying the subject that your business is an expert at and then putting content on your website about that subject.  The content should provide value to people and should be easy to understand and read.  Google looks for the websites that have the best information on a subject and position it at the top of results.  SEO is the process of creating that good content, then letting Google know it is there.

Google understands that when someone finds something informative and important to them, they will generally use some method to save it.  This means linking to it in some way, either through social media sharing or bookmarking.  In addition to this, people who are creating content on the same subject might use that information and provide a link back to it.  This “verification” system is how Google understands how important something is, through the amount of saves and shares that happen linking back to the article.  The entire process of SEO is creating that content then linking back to it in a natural way which will provide a seed.  It will inform others that the content exists and they might then read it and link to it.  This process works and is the entirety of modern SEO, and if someone is going to do SEO for you and they are not talking about a content creation process, then you can assume that you are wasting your money.

So how does the Focus Internet Services SEO process work? For us, everything is based on content and the links going back to that content that seed it to the public.  We use a process where we create articles on websites exactly like this one, and then post them to the site.  From there, each piece of content is seeded through a series of bookmaking platforms that we use, usually 10-15 for each client.  Each article is posted on these platforms in order to let other people know the article is there.  In addition, we create articles just like the ones that are posted on your website and we post them on other websites.  The only difference is that those articles contain links back to your website.  We try to match the content topics as closely as possible, and link back to pages within your site that are about the topic at hand.  There is usually a better page in your website than the home page with regards to providing information on a topic, and that is what we link to.  These articles are then seeded in the same way that the onsite articles are.

How much work is done each month for a client depends on the budget, and how competitive the target subjects are.  Naturally, some industries are more competitive than others, and those types of businesses need more work to outrank the competition.  Exactly how much is necessary is nearly impossible to tell, and generally we will assess the competition and provide an estimate that we believe will develop rankings over a 6-12 month timeframe.  If rankings are not developing, it is generally because more work is needed.

Can we prove our process works? The answer is yes.  Below you can see an example of our own website as it progresses over a six month timeframe compared against other websites in our area.  For six months, no SEO work was done in order to prove that if you do not provide content to your website you will not miraculously move up.  As you can see, only a week before the date that the snapshot was taken we began the exact process of SEO that we use for our clients.  We provided onsite and offsite content that targeted the phrase, and linked back to it via social shares and bookmarks.  You can see the dramatic increase in rankings that happened to our site, which didn’t happen to any of the others.  This rules out any anomaly like an algorithm change which would boost everyone up.  Instead, you see what happens when the Focus SEO strategy is applied and when it is not in place.  Of course the results will be different for everyone depending on their industry, but this provides a generalized snapshot of how the process works.

Focus Internet Services SEO Strategy

Focus Internet Services SEO Strategy

By | 2017-08-30T00:47:08+00:00 August 30th, 2017|SEO Information|Comments Off on The Focus SEO Strategy