Content Creation

SEO Blogging: What is Google Looking For?

There are a few concepts that are central to content marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and blogging are right at the top of that list. SEO is an important blogging practice, and blogging is likewise important to effective SEO, even in a time of ever-evolving search algorithms and indexing criteria. So how can you make the most of SEO blogging? By knowing what Google looks for, of course! Below, we have broken down the most important content marketing and SEO blogging practices so you can implement a winning SEO strategy.

Update Your Blog (and Everything Else)

Frequent updates tell Google that your site is alive and kicking, and that your business is still around. But it’s not enough to add new blog posts every once in a blue moon.

SEO Blogging

The blog on your website should be updated at least weekly with fresh articles. Likewise, any outdated or irrelevant articles should be updated or pruned to keep your blog healthy and active in the eyes of Google. This could mean updating expired source or attribution links, changing keywords, or culling seasonal content whose time has passed and republishing with a fresh spin when it comes around again.

Website SEO

It’s not just your blog that needs refreshing to remind Google you’re still out there. It’s your pages, your metadata, and your site functionality, too. Google indexes frequently-updated sites more often, which means more traffic, more leads, and more sales. Your copy and static page content have to be optimized in the same way you would optimize a blog post, including monitoring for keyword shifts and any performance issues with Google’s tools (and a professional SEO audit to help you focus your efforts).

KLIQ Up Dust

There are four primary ingredients to creating and maintaining content that will make Google swoon (or, at least, send tons of traffic your way): Keywords, Links, Images, and Quality.

Keywords

Keywords are the bread and butter of SEO blogging. These frequently-searched terms and phrases (a keyword can be – and often is – more than one word) are what search engines like Google look for in your content. They should accurately reflect your target audience’s pain points (like “tips for buying a home” or “Idaho real estate”, for example) and they should be all over your content (title, slug, metadata, headings, image subtext, etc.).

Links

SEO blogging is about more than just making your voice heard. Linking to sources in your text is a surefire way to bolster your credibility with readers, and Google knows it. It also pays attention to how many times your site is linked to, including in your own posts. Linking to relevant blogs and multiple pages in a post is both a subtle (and effective) marketing technique and an SEO blogging staple.

Images

Google’s Image Search isn’t the only thing looking for pictures. It’s search algorithms and indexing crawls are designed to optimize the user experience, and Google knows that people like pictures. Including at least a featured image, and ideally, a couple more, are excellent ways to make your content more appealing to visitors, be it in a blog or on your “About Us” page. Plus, the HTML image subtext is a great place to strategically insert a targeted keyword.

Quality

There is a reason that keyword-rich, but poorly-written, content doesn’t rank very high for very long. Google doesn’t just look for certain words, it looks at all of them. Don’t fall into the trap of sticking in keywords and backlinks where they don’t belong just for the sake of density (or using a generator to spin content into unique, but nonsensical, gibberish). Unique content and keyword density are important, but quality content is what people, and Google, are really looking for.

If this seems like just too much to keep track of on your own, you’re in good company. Many small and medium business owners – from real estate agents to breweries to manufacturing startups – need an experienced SEO blogging guru on their team to turn so-so copy and lackluster blogs into traffic and ranking superstars. That’s why content marketing firms like Little Egg Solutions exist: to leverage our expertise for your financial benefit. Contact us today to find out more about our SEO blogging services!

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Imminent Domain (Name): Why You Need Your Own Website

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The world-wide web is a big (and, frankly, sometimes-scary) place. At Little Egg Solutions, we are a small firm specializing in web-based marketing strategies for other small and medium businesses, so we know how vast that ocean can seem to a little fish used to a much smaller pond. For entrepreneurs who are just beginning to branch out into the digital marketplace, it may be tempting to take shelter under the eaves of a larger conglomerate site. Many parent organizations and agency associations have shiny, professional sites that their partners and agents can use, like a real estate company who lists all of its agents, to get their name on the net without all the hassle of purchasing a domain name, building a site, formatting HTML, et cetera.

Don’t do that. (At least, don’t only do that.)

We know, we know; it seems like a logical way to find the eyes of potential clients. After all, why would they be on the site if they weren’t interested in the services provided? Plus, you’ll be benefiting from all the traffic these major sites receive while they do the marketing legwork, right?

Wrong. Yes, those sites get tons of traffic. Yes, those visitors are probably in the market to buy what you’re selling. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be buying it from you. Huge conglomerate sites are complex: built with pages upon menus upon more pages. For your prospects, finding your name in the (admittedly smaller) sea of service providers contained therein is almost like finding a needle in a stack of needles.

Besides, what if you leave the brokerage or agency that’s featuring your page?

Your web presence disappears, that’s what happens. You need a separate, distinct island in the Internet Ocean with a bridge back to the mega-site (in the form of links) to set you apart and truly reap the benefits of your association with the organization’s web presence. Personal branding is important for business success in today’s world. People want to buy from (and sell through) people, not faceless corporations.

Also, people like to buy from people who have experience, and the more positive, professional, helpful information they can find in their search for someone who can help them, the better. By building a separate site for your business, you get your name on the web on your own terms and dictate the content and character of your personal professional brand. Your presence online is not reliant on the favor of any other organization, but you can still link back to the organization’s provided page for increased credibility. It’s a win-win.

But I don’t know how to make a website!

You can use any number of hosting sites, like WordPress, to create a simple, professional website with their templates. Or, even better, you can hire someone to do it for you, and remove the headache completely. At Little Egg Solutions, we can build a perfect, personal website for your individual business needs. Contact us today to find out how we can add a little distance and distinction from the herd to your web presence!

#LikeAPro: The Small Business Guide to Using Hashtags

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Hashtags are an integral part of effective social media marketing, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter. But how do they work, and, most importantly, how can you make them work for you? If you’re just starting out on your #SMM journey, our social media experts at Little Egg Solutions want to help. We’ve put together this handy guide to finding and using the right hashtags for your business. Let’s start with the #basics.

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Hashtags are relatively new in the marketing world, so you may have some questions about these little blue links with a pound sign that seem to be everywhere. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

What are hashtags and how do they work?

Hashtags are short, searchable links that are used to tie together related content from multiple sources. They can include numerals or letters, but generally no spaces, and it doesn’t matter if they are capitalized or not. Hashtags can be anything as long as it fits the character restrictions of the platform you’re using (Twitter has a limit of 140 characters per post, but you can “hashtag” an entire blog post on Tumblr).

Think of them as keyword shortcuts. When users click on the hashtag, they can see every use of that tag in real time to easily find related material. A “trending” hashtag is one that shows up repeatedly across the platform.

What are the different types of hashtags?

For the purposes of social media marketing, there are three kinds of hashtags that matter: industry, local, and branded. Other types, like content-specific (#art, #gardening) and humorous (#TGIF, #whydidyoudothat) can be added for variety and flavor, but those three are the main ones you’ll be using.

Industry tags, like #SMM or #massagetherapy tie your content to the rest of your industry. Be careful, though. These can quickly become overused, and your posts can get lost in a sea of industry-related content. Local tags, like #BoiseRealEstate or #SoCalTechnology can generate local search results, but they may trend less often than industry tags. Branded hashtags are entirely new hashtags created by you specifically for your business. Successful branded hashtags often make use of slogans and other brand recognition tools. They can be a great way to gage response to a new campaign and to encourage engagement.

Why is it important to use the “right” hashtag?

Hashtags are a tool that allows businesses to organize their content and reach the eyes of people already looking for it. However, if you use an ineffective or inaccurate tag, it can be as bad, if not worse, than using no tags at all.

If you use a tag with too little traffic (unless it’s a brand new branded tag), you may not get enough engagement. Too much, and you get lost in the background noise. Too few, and you may not reach your audience; too many and you may turn your audience away. If your tags don’t relate to your content, you may disappoint your followers, and if they don’t relate to your industry, you may confuse potential leads. Using hashtags successfully is about finding a balance; for that, you need a plan.

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Here’s our simple formula for finding the best hashtags for your business. Follow the plan, and you can #MakeItCount for every post!

1. Brainstorm

Sit down with a pen and paper and make a list of hashtags you think might work for your business in general, and repeat the process when you write a post. Make sure you come up with a few of each type of hashtag, so you have some go-to options if you’re ever stuck. Remember: they’re like keywords.

2. Seek-and-Find

Search for trending keywords in your industry with online tools. You can even search specifically for relevant keywords with tools like Hashtagify.Me. It’s also a good idea to look at the hashtags that leaders in your industry are using, and try to incorporate them into your list.

3. Test it Out

Before you add hashtags to your post, search for them on the platform you’re using. If you’re overwhelmed by the results, it’s probably used too often. If nothing comes up, you may need a trendier tag. After you publish your posts, keep track of which hashtags do best and file them away as your “contingency tags” for when you have no relevant, accurate tags. Research how many tags you should use for each platform (it varies) and find a balance that works for your content.

Coming up with creative tags that set you apart while also finding existing tags that tie you to others is hard work. It’s like adding a two-fronted battle to an already full schedule of entrepreneurship and customer service. We get it, and we’re here to take it off your hands. Our social media marketing experts at Little Egg Solutions know how to hashtag #LikeAPro, and we want to help you grow your business. Contact us today to find out how we can #MakeItCount for you!

Benefits of Blogging: Three Reasons Your Business Needs a Blog

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When the phenomenon of blogging first appeared on the scene in the mid-nineties, it wasn’t at all what we think of when we picture the blogosphere of today. It was, in essence, a way to keep a personal diary of our innermost thoughts and feelings and daily experiences online. Which, given what we know now, that the internet is forever, seems like a terrible, terrible idea (even though most of us still do it on social media; hopefully, to a lesser extent). But somewhere along the way, around the turn of the century, blogging shifted from sharing private stuff (kind of) privately, to sharing stuff for other people to enjoy.

From there, it was only a hop skip and a jump to the niched writing, news reporting, and content driven blogging that we know and love today. And, since blogging attracts people to websites (among the many business benefits of blogging we’ll discuss below), it was only natural for it to become a business staple. From major corporations to mom-and-pop shops, everyone is jumping on the blogging bandwagon. Here are three excellent reasons we at Little Egg Solutions think you should, too.

1. Blogging = SEO

We know how important SEO is to online campaigns, and how important online presence is to business success. But just how important is blogging to site SEO?

As it turns out, very. Search engines rank sites based on a number of factors. These factors include how frequently your site posts or updates content, how many pages and how often your target keyword appears, and how long people spend on your site. Blogging (with quality, informative, keyword-dense content) increases all of these metrics, bringing up your rank. Plus, you have the opportunity to optimize each post for maximum impact on your ranking.

2. Blogging = Credibility

How can you establish your business as an authority in your industry and set yourself apart from the crowd? With a high-quality, informative, and trustworthy blog.

Another core benefit of blogging is building trust and credibility. By publishing articles that readers in your market find interesting, or that answer their questions, you build a reputation for your business as well-informed, helpful, and in-touch with your audience. Blogs that link to other industry leaders who mention the same thing, or to studies or statistics show your audience that you’ve researched the topic and know what you’re writing about. It also projects a more human image of your business, and your visitors relate to that.

3. Blogging = Marketing

Content marketing is a great way to reach clients beyond your local sphere of influence and one of the easiest ways to do this is with a good blog.

Free marketing is one of the best benefits of blogging. Sharing relevant, informative, and interesting articles on your blog creates an awesome (and free) marketing opportunity. When readers come across content they enjoy on the web, they share it with their friends and family on social media, linking to your blog and spreading the word for you. They also may link back to your article in a blog of their own, reaching even more people, and all without having to pay for an ad.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are several benefits of blogging that can boost your business and online presence, so many in fact, that having a blog is starting to become a requirement for a successful online and content marketing campaign. The SEO and content marketing experts here at Little Egg Solutions can help you get started and make sure you stay on track. Contact us today to find out how we can help your small or medium business get the competitive edge you need!