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5 Things to Look For When Scaling Up SEO Efforts

You’ve more than likely found particular SEO tactics that work better than others, but you want to build your strategy book and have a comprehensive plan for scaling your efforts. Scaling is wonderful because it means you are really starting to see the fruits of your SEO labor.

Before you spend a lot of time and money, it is vital to create a clear plan that lays out the SEO strategies that you will implement. The time when things in your business are going well is the perfect time to scale your SEO because of the resources you have available to obtain more leads and customers for your business.

How to scale up your SEO efforts

Let’s discuss some of the most essential things you can do when scaling up your SEO efforts. Here are 5 elements to focus on and why they matter.

1. Use evergreen SEO tactics

When scaling your SEO, the best thing you can do for yourself and your business is to use evergreen SEO tactics. These evergreen tactics are the actions you take with your website optimization that will always remain a priority, no matter what changes in the world of SEO. When a trending SEO strategy becomes useless, it is the evergreen tactics that will allow you to stay afloat.

Some evergreen SEO tactics include:

  • Great Site Architecture with keyword targeting dialed into your pages
  • Writing content that’s valuable for many years to come, if not forever.
  • Keeping all your content relevant to your business and ideal customer
  • Tracking changes in SEO to quickly adapt to new practices, for example, the updates Google has made around AI and Machine Learning

2. Focus your optimization efforts on your clients

Keeping a focus on your clients and the people who visit your site will always be a winning strategy. One of the more recent signals in SEO is keeping your visitors on your site for a longer period of time and browsing more content. This shows search engines your content is relatable and matches the intent of people visiting your site while also providing them real value.

When you continue to focus your optimization efforts on your clients, you will be rewarded with happy visitors that bring new people to your website through sharing of that content. Here are some ways to focus on your clients:

  • Make sure the content your creating matches intent people are seeking.
  • Ensure your website is easy to navigate so visitors can browse more content, find more related products, etc.
  • Provide lots of additional resources and pages your users are interested in.
  • Use internal linking to keep clients on your site longer, which in turn will allow search engines to crawl and index content faster, more frequently, and deeper.

3. Don’t forget about keyword research

Every business is unique and has different goals and visions for what growth looks like to them. Some businesses are focused on generating leads, others are focused on having people browse as much content as possible, where e-commerce is all about generating sales and revenue. When you think about your customer or visitor and what their end goal is, you can leverage seo keyword research to match intent.

“Winning keywords” will be different for each business, depending on their goals. Here are some ways to verify winning keywords for your unique scenario:

  1. Expand on your highest-searched content: Your analytics platform should tell you what people are searching for when they find pages on your site. Find the content that people searched a keyword and got to your page and add more relevant content to that page. Because search engines already find this page relevant and useful, adding additional keywords and content to your pages can add more keywords matching the intent of what people are looking for.
  2. Add related content based on your highest-searched content: Besides adding more keywords and content to an already-popular page, you can add new pages that are related to your highest-searched content. Find your most popular page and write more pages that relate to that central topic. Then, use internal links in your popular page to link to your new pages. This will both organically pass along visitors to more relevant content and will help search engines find your new content more easily.
  3. Find and use keywords that help a user take action: Find keywords that help a user take the action you want them to take. Think about the keywords you use when searching for information about a general topic compared to the keywords you use when searching for something to buy. If you want more customers, add more buying-related keywords.

For instance, let’s say you are selling a service that helps small businesses create promotional flyers. Writing content with the keyword phrase “different types of flyers for small businesses” won’t get a lot of visitors looking to purchase your service. However, using the keyword phrase “how to create a flyer for your small business that gets more customers” will be targeting people who are trying to solve a problem in which your service is the solution.

4. Maintain a solid site architecture that keeps people on your site

Site architecture is crucial when scaling your SEO efforts for many reasons. Primarily, this means search engines will be able to crawl and index that content more efficiently, as mentioned above. In my opinion the technical seo factors around crawling and indexing are vastly underrated in their performance effects.

Building your site architecture with the user in mind helps to keep people on your site for more extended periods. Search engines can see how long users spend on your website after finding your content through their search engine, and this tracking helps search engines find out how popular your content is.

Here are four things to think about when building a solid site architecture:

  1. Have a primary navigation that allows users to easily find other areas of your site.
  2. Include contextual in-content links that bring users to relevant pages.
  3. Include “related pages” at the end of each page in case users are looking for more.
  4. Include breadcrumb navigation that allows users to go back to where they just were.

5. Keep up SEO efforts that have been working

Don’t discount what has already been working. While it is nice to expand your SEO efforts to new strategies and tactics, keep a large part of your focus on what has already been working. For many years on end, I’ve been focused on a lot of the efforts mentioned previously and our team and I are completely in sync about this.

Both users and search engines will have already told you what has been working on your site based on their actions and what they say. You don’t need to change your entire SEO strategy based on what worked for someone else. Every website or business will require a different approach based on their individual scenario.

If high-quality backlinking has been working, keep it up. If focusing on social sharing has been working, keep it up. Continuing your current SEO efforts will help your consistency, even when you begin to expand and scale your SEO.

Create your SEO scaling plan

Before you jump into your new SEO scaling strategy, create a plan. Make sure you understand the time, money, and effort that you will need to put into your plan. Not everything will work right away and in many cases, there are many factors that will go into your site not ranking for a very long time. I’ve seen cases at larger organizations that I’ve worked at (e.g. Yahoo!) where our efforts didn’t work for up to 16 months.

It happens and you have to remember, SEO is not a sure thing. But, if you’re seeing things moving directionally well, keep at it. And, remember that it’s not only about rankings of one or a handful of terms, it’s about the overall growth of traffic, revenue, and don’t underestimate the power of long-tail traffic growth.

The 5 tips discussed above are good places to start and helpful things to think about before you start any new SEO strategy. Remember, each website is unique and will require different approaches to reach success.

If you need additional help creating an SEO Program for your business, take a look at our SEO approach and the key to our SEO success here. We keep it simple, but it has worked time and time again.

Technical SEO Importance tied to Crawling and Indexing

Every digital marketer or business shares the common goal of getting their online business found, viewed and engaged with. While creating valuable content is a great way to give people what they want, those people will never see it if they can’t find it. This can be solved with good use of technical SEO.

Search engines have technical ways of finding your content, so it’s important to use technical optimization strategies to show the search engines where your content is and what it’s about.

How search engines find your content

Search engines find your content with two technical functions:

  1. Crawling: Crawling is the process that search engines use to search for and find content. Similar to how we use a search engine to search for and discover content, search engines must first find this content to be able to display it.
  2. Indexing: Indexing is the process that search engines use to store the content it finds in the crawling process. The search engine will use an algorithm to determine what your content is about and how to best organize it in their database. It will use every technical aspect of the page to rank it accordingly in their search results.

The importance of technical SEO

There are three types of search engine optimization techniques that you can use to increase the chances of your content being found:

  1. On-page SEO: how you optimize your content to rank better in search engines
  2. Off-page SEO: how you promote your website on other sites and pages
  3. Technical SEO: how you ensure your content is crawled and indexed properly

Search engines take all three of these factors into consideration when ranking your website and pages. To have a fully optimized website, it is critical to focus on all three of them. Many companies and marketers understand at least a few techniques for optimizing the content on their sites (ex: keyword optimization and fast loading pages). Many also understand at least a few ways to promote their business using off-page SEO (ex: advertising and backlinks).

One aspect of SEO that many companies still fail to fully understand is technical SEO. Before a search engine can rank your pages based on your on-page and off-page optimization, it uses your technical optimization to perform its crawling and indexing functions. Put simply, your content will be easier to find by your target audience if you make it easier for search engines to locate and understand it, and that is achieved with technical SEO.

How to help search engines crawl and index your site with technical SEO

There are a variety of technical optimization fixes we implement for our clients to ensure their websites can be easily found and better organized by search engines. With business and brands who have already established an online presence, these technical items alone have dramatically improved the crawlability and indexability of their sites.

To give you an idea, here are some overviews of the technical strategies you can use as a digital marketer to help search engines crawl and index your site.

Backlinks

To help search engines find your business online, placing links on other websites that navigate users to your website is an excellent way to do this.

The higher the rank this external website holds, the easier it is for search engines to find your link and follow it to your site. Here are two essential pages to link to:

  • Home page: Linking to your home page allows search engines to start their crawl at your primary page. With a solid site architecture, a search engine should be able to crawl your entire site from your home page.
  • Pillar pages: Linking to your pillar pages show the search engines what your most important content is, and your pillar pages will have numerous links to related content, which helps a search engine understand how your pages relate to each other. For e-commerce companies, your pillar pages will be the front page or category page that link to your product pages.

Internal linking

Once the crawler gets to your website, having a clear internal linking strategy helps the crawler navigate around your site, which ensures that all your pages are indexed.

Here are a few internal linking strategies that help a search engine crawler navigate your site:

  • Primary navigation bar: Having a primary navigation bar that shows up on every page allows a search engine to navigate to all the pages in your navigation.
  • Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumb links leave a trail of links that shows how a user browsed your site. These breadcrumbs show a search engine crawler how your content is structured, helping the search engine navigate your site easier. For an e-commerce business, when a visitor is on a product page, they will see a breadcrumb link structure at the top of the page that shows the sub-category, category, main section, and front page of the online store. This helps both user navigation and search engine crawling and indexing.
  • Related links: Adding links to other relevant pages of your site gives another opportunity for search engine crawlers to find all of your pages. A blog would display related posts, while an e-commerce business would display similar products.

Site architecture

The internal linking strategies explained above are all examples of how you can help search engines navigate your site easier. This is part of the process of creating a robust site architecture.

To have a good site architecture, you must make your site easy to navigate. Users shouldn’t have trouble getting around your site and should be able to find any page of your website within a few clicks.

From your home page, think about the path you must take to get to a specific page of your site. Making this navigation clear and straightforward is the act of building a strong site architecture.

XML sitemap

Besides using internal linking and building a strong site architecture, an additional technique you can use is creating a sitemap for search engine robots to find.

Your sitemap is an XML file that you submit to a search engine like Google that contains a list of every single URL on your site. Search engines will use this file to crawl and find your pages.

Besides submitting your XML sitemap to Google, it is vital to create a good site architecture and make it easy for search engines to crawl your site. When you add additional pages to your site like new products or blog posts, you can’t rely on your dated sitemap or expect to submit a new sitemap for every new page you create. You will have to rely on solid site architecture and an extensive internal linking strategy.

Conclusion

Technical SEO creates a foundation for your online business to succeed. Digital marketers who use technical SEO will have an easier time with optimizing their online business because search engines reward solid technicals.

If you need help with your SEO performance for your business, take a look at our SEO and consulting services here.

These 6 Tips Could Improve Your CTRs And Conversion Rates

Very often PPC ads are the first contact potential customers have with your site. They do a (Google) search for something related to your business or product, and your ad shows up in the results. Other than relevancy,  the determining factor of whether searchers click on your ad and get to you site or moves passed it, largely depends on how powerful and enticing your message is.

Since PPC text ads present this “first touch point”, it’s important to get them right, and send out the right message. Some of the most important, and most obvious benefits of well-written PPC ads are:

  • Improved click-through-rate
  • Lower CPA (Cost Per Action).

An important update that came out in July of 2016 was Google AdWords rolling out ETAs (Extended Text Ads) and new character limits that change the way in which text ads display content. The old character count consisted of one 25-character headline, two 35-character description lines and a manually entered display URL. As of that update, it changed to two 30-character headlines, one consolidated 80-character description line and a domain automatically extracted from your final URL.   

The simplest version of a PPC ad consists of a headline, display URL, and two lines of description text, this hasn’t changed. But if we take into account the new ad structure and break it down into ad component, ideally it would be structured like this:

Headline 1 (30-characters): contains the relevant keyword or phrase at least once, attracts attention and is RELEVANT

Headline 2 (30-characters): communicates a unique value proposition and call to action that generates interest and makes your offer USEFUL

Description line (80-characters): write a clear precise description of your product/service that clearly communicates its benefits and confirms the VALUE

So now that you have a vast landscape of 45 additional characters you need to think about what to fill it with. There’s extra space in the description, yes, but the biggest advantage is that extra space in the headlines, which means you need to find a way to get the most of them. After all, big blue headlines are more noticeable than description text.

Let’s explore a few tips and tactics that will help you create better ads with more enticing headlines and more precise descriptions to help you reap out the benefits!

  1. Reflect your visitor’s end goal – your headlines should clearly state that you have the solution to what the user wants to accomplish, and that solution should be depicted in your product/service.
  2. Use a countdown timer to trigger fear of missing out – people more are motivated by fear of losing out than the idea of gaining something so create a sense of urgency when creating ads by setting Google’s simple countdown timer within your text ad.
  3. Keep the ads current – recent happenings get more attention and interest than events from the past three months. Try using time identifiers such as “this week”, “in March”, or referencing holidays and events to emphasize you are talking about current offers and situations.  
  4. Be super-specific – number driver ads may greatly improve performance because people tend to consider them to be more accurate and credible, especially when you use specific numbers like 1,489 rather than round numbers like 1,500.
  5. Make ads appear more personal – the ad should be about your customer, so instead of words like “we”, “us, “me”, use power words that focus on the customer’s need, like “you” and “your” to create a sense of personalization and enhance ad performance.
  6. Make ads hyper-local –whether you sell in one location or world wide, it is important to target customers based on their location. That is why geo-specific ads with call extensions specific to that area show users you are right around the corner have better CTR.

Another important change added by AdWords that rolled out recently is the IF functions which is used to add another layer of ad customization. This means that advertisers can create two different ad messages, and which would be shown, depends on the user’s device. For example, if a user is searching from a mobile device, the message can say “Buy from your phone”, and if a user is searching from desktop the message will be changed to “Choose from our selection”. This allows you to write mobile-friendly ads without using ad customizers or creating a separate mobile-only campaign, making your AdWords campaigns friendlier to your budget. It’s up to you to decide whether you need to use it.

Whatever trick or tactic you choose, it is very important to test your ads. Don’t just add a second headline to your existing ads. Start from the beginning and rethink your entire ad creative. Use the extra space to provide consumers with relevant information and insight into your offering. When your ad is relevant to the searcher, you will receive higher CRTs. Even Google suggest you out emphasis on headline testing since the headline makes a huge difference to performance. And constructive testing will also help you determine where to place your CTA – in the first or second headline, or leave it on the body.

If after reading our guide on writing better PPC ads you still have difficulties getting the most out of your PPC campaigns, you can always contact us and let us help you. We’ve created many highly profitable campaigns for other companies just like yours!

6 Easy Steps to Correctly Install the Facebook Pixel

With more than 79% of US internet users on Facebook, and a staggering 70% of all Facebook users returning to the site at least once a day, it’s clear there is a huge advertising opportunity on this platform. With a single ad click costing on average $0.27, and a thousand impressions setting you back $7.19, it pays to know what you’re getting in return for your money spent.

That’s where the Facebook Pixel comes in. The Facebook Pixel was created to pair a KPI with ad performance, helping advertisers to track Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Here are 6 easy steps to get the pixel up and running as quickly as possible:

Step 1: Launch Facebook Business Manager

Open up the Facebook Ads Manager, and then click on the menu button at the top of the screen. If you can’t see it, it’s 3 horizontal lines in the top left corner.

Next you’ll see the assets column second from the right, from which you want to select ‘Pixels’ from the list of options.

This will take you to a page where you want to click ‘Create a Pixel’ to get things moving.

Step 2: Name Your Pixel

Before you can install your Pixel, you’ll be asked to name it. The best thing to do is choose something memorable that you’ll easily be able to recall later on. It doesn’t need to match the user name for any of your websites or Facebook accounts. Once you add the Pixel name and website URL, click “create” and the pop-up box will take you to the “Install Pixel” step.

There are 3 options for how to place your Pixel onto your site’s backend:

–    If you have a web developer and don’t feel confident, then ask them to take control at this point

–    Manually copy and paste the code if you’re happy to proceed yourself

–    Use a Tag Manager Plugin if your site supports these kinds of tools

As this is a guide about doing it yourself, we’re going to press ahead along the manual copy and paste route.

Step 3: Find Your Website’s Header Tags

This is the part where you need to turn to your web host for a little help if you’re not sure what to do. Find the <head> </head> tags in your webpage code, or locate the header template in your CMS or web platform.

<!– Example –>

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html lang=”en”>

<head>

<script>…</script>

insert_pixel_code_here

</head>

The pixel that you will need to enter is generated automatically for you in Facebook. Copy the entire pixel code and paste the pixel code at the bottom of the header section, just above the </head> tag. The Facebook pixel code can be added above or below existing tracking tags (such as Google Analytics) in your site header.

Step 4: Activate the Advanced Matching Options

At the bottom of the ‘Install Pixel ’ pop-up box, you’ll see a greyed out button to turn on “Turn on Automatic Advanced Matching”.

These options aren’t necessary for everyone, but if you’re focusing on generating leads that can be repurposed to build an eCommerce campaign, click the button.

This will allow you to gather information such as the users’ location, phone number, and first name. All useful things to know if you want to use Pixel to drive information into your email campaign.

Step 5: Install Your Pixel’s Event Code

Once you click next, you’ll see a dropdown of event categories to choose from, along with a list of how you’d like to track them (i.e. view content, search, add to cart, etc.). Once you select the event type, you’ll be shown a small piece of code that you can now install on any pages of your website you choose. It will allow you to track and record the actions users take on said pages, and thereby learn significantly more about their browsing habits than you otherwise would be able to.

There are a variety of different event codes that you can make use of; with the choices you make being dependent on what you want to achieve.

Complete Registration is one of the most commonly used codes. If placed on a registration form on your site, it will allow you to track how and when that user was converted. There are options for you to add the value of that individual conversion, and you’ll also be able to see where the user went next.

Step 6: Check Your Pixel’s Status

This step can take up to approximately half an hour, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself waiting a little while.

Open Ads Manager and click on ‘Pixels’. Next to the name of your new Pixel you will see the status. Nothing will happen in terms of data collection until it shows as active. If it remains inactive for more than 1 hour then retrace your steps above, before contacting Facebook for help.

Also, you can install the Facebook Pixel Helper Plugin for chrome to verify the pixel is working.

Final Thoughts

Facebook Pixel allows you to target your ads and get the highest return on your per click investment. Take the time to work through each of the steps above, and you’ll be able to see how much money you’re making with real-time analytics. By making sure the pixel is installed you can optimize your Facebook Ads to generate the best return possible for your company.