SEO

'Tis the Season for SEO: Ring in the New Year with Your Annual Audit

It’s the most magical time of the year: lights are twinkling, kids are caroling, and business is booming… right? If you’re not seeing the sales numbers you wished for this year, your website might be to blame. We’ve touted the importance of SEO audits before, but there’s no better time than years-end to audit your site.

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 Likewise, any outdated or irrelevant articles should be updated or pruned to keep your blog healthy and active in the eyes of Google.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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SEO Audits: Well-Check for Your Website

We’ve talked a little bit about SEO audits before, and how an SEO professional can help you make the most of your web presence. But how important are SEO audits to small business success? Very. Think of an SEO audit like a well-check visit or a check-up with your doctor. Even if you’re not sick, it’s important to have regular check-ups to catch problems before they get serious and to measure your overall health. An SEO audit does the same thing for your website: catches problems early and measures the overall rank-ability of your site.

Via Sonny Abesamis | Flickr

Via Sonny Abesamis | Flickr

How does an SEO audit work?

An SEO audit looks for potential and existing problems with the functionality, UI, layout, and content of a website in terms of what search engines look for when ranking results. By comparing the website to known SEO criteria, the auditor can determine how friendly the site would be considered by search engines and what areas need improvement or replacement.

An SEO audit can be performed manually by you or an SEO professional, or it can be done using one of the many SEO auditing tools available online. Manual audits are the most effective, as they give feedback specifically about your site, rather than the generalized advice provided by the auditing algorithms of the tools.

What kinds of problems do SEO audits find?

An SEO auditor will look at several factors to determine which areas of your website need improvement to give you the best possible results. Many of these are content-related (i.e. page titles, URLs, meta descriptions, and unique – and properly keyword-infused – page content). Poorly grouped or formatted content, including text, ads, and images, can cause serious rank reductions in search engines. Hidden text plays a major role in high-ranking SEO, so the HTML and subtext of your content and site will be examined for any issues, such as missing or inappropriate subtext or broken scripts.

One of the major factors in SERP ranking is user friendliness and load time. These will be evaluated, as well as a search for broken or outdated links, which can damage your rankings and frustrate users. Missing or broken pages, like a lack of an about page or privacy policy, can also be detrimental to the health of your website. There are dozens of potential issues that an SEO audit can catch early so you avoid Google penalization.

How often should an SEO audit be performed?

On-site SEO audits should be performed at least quarterly, especially if you (wisely) employ a strategic linking strategy and regularly update your content. Small errors in code, formatting, and broken or redirected links can pop up when you least expect them, and it’s much easier to fix these issues early than to repair the damage to your rankings they will have. And, as you become more well-versed in correcting SEO mistakes, you’ll make fewer of them in the future. Regular professional SEO audits also inform you of any new criteria for SERP ranking so that you can adjust your approach as needed.

Via  Josh MacDonald  | Flickr

Via Josh MacDonald | Flickr

The doctor is in.

If you were due for a well-check visit, would you have your friend look you over to save a few bucks, or use WebMD and Google to diagnose yourself? Of course not; you’d make an appointment with a medical professional. Shouldn’t you give the health of your business the same consideration? The SEO experts at Little Egg Solutions have worked hard to understand SEO ranking factors and to learn to identify potential problems. Contact us today to find out how we can help keep your site (and thus, your profits) in tip-top shape.

SEO Strategy: The 12-Step Goal-Setting Program

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At Little Egg Solutions, we believe in helping small and medium business owners have a healthy, profitable web presence. In that spirit, we’ve set up a 12-step program for rehabbing your SEO practices and setting goals. You can do one a month for a year, or break them into bigger chunks if you’re feeling more ambitious.

1. Get to the Core – What’s Your Purpose?

In order to decide what action steps you’ll need to take further down the road, you need to define what the purpose of your website is. Do you want to attract leads? Sell products? Generate ad revenue? You’ll need to know what your end-game is to get your short-term goals in place.

2. Identify Your Audience – Who Are You Trying to Reach?

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many small and medium business owners don’t define their specific audience before designing or optimizing a site. While there are some nearly-universal design principles and content keywords, you’ll need to tailor your content to some degree for any targeted audience.

3. Keyword Matching – Which Words Will Work for You?

Once you’ve identified your purpose and your audience, it’s time to figure out which keywords are best for your site. The right approach will vary based on what you want your site to do for you and who you want to see it.

4. Scope the Competition – Who Are You Trying to Beat?

When breaking into the online scene, it’s important to understand what you’re up against. Scope out your direct industry competition and take notes. See which strategies and keywords are common to industry leaders and which options seem to be problematic for less successful sites.

5. Schedule an SEO Audit – What Are Your Weaknesses?

A professional SEO audit for your site can tell you exactly which aspects of your strategy are going to cause a problem for you going forward. It’s best to hire a professional rather than using an online audit tool – you’ll get tailored action steps instead of general advice.

6. SERP Results – What’s Your Rank?

One of the main action steps you’ll want to pursue, no matter your niche, is improving your ranking. Use the data provided in your SEO audit to optimize your content and boost your SERP position.

7. Clean Up Your Code – How’s Your HTML?

Little coding errors can cause big problems when it comes to SEO. If you went with an amateur web designer or a DIY generator to save a little cash, you may need to do some code cleanup to make your site more search engine friendly.

8. Drive Traffic – Are They Looking?

If your website is fantastic, your code is stellar, and your content is optimized, what good does that do if no one sees it anyway? Work on driving traffic to your site with your stated purpose in mind. Share your content across different platforms and bring as many “maybes” to your page as you can – the more eyes who see your site, the more you’ll have a chance to convert.

9. Convert Your Prospects – Will They Buy What You’re Selling?

The goal of any profit-based business is to actually turn a profit. In order to do that, your web presence has to actually convert “maybe” prospects into definite buyers. Focus on increasing conversion rates with targeted marketing campaigns.

10. Increase Engagement – Are They Loving It?

Now you’ve got their attention. They’re on your site, they’re ready to make the leap from prospect to buyer. How do you build on that? By giving your loyal buyers and new prospects alike something to love, rave about, and share with everyone they know. Engaging content marketing and social media strategies build on your success in steps 8 and 9 organically.

11. Build Your Brand – Do They Know Your Name?

Branding is crucial in today’s digital marketplace. Consumers want to buy from brands they trust. No matter what your approach entails, branding should be a major component of your strategy. Social media and cohesive content marketing make this much easier, so build on your success in step 10.

12. Profit Margins – What Was Your ROI?

The tell-tale sign of a successful SEO strategy is a profitable return on your investment. Evaluate your profits and what parts of your original strategy have worked the best. Do you need to tweak your approach? Were there any costly mistakes you know you need to avoid repeating?

Via Michael McCullough | Flickr

Via Michael McCullough | Flickr

That may seem like a lot of work, and that’s okay. It is a lot of work. Luckily, you’ve got a friend in the SEO business that just wants to make your life easier. Little Egg Solutions is here to help; contact us today to find out how!

The Importance of Business SEO: Three Key Questions Answered

Via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

We are living in the Digital Age, where the information you want is just the touch of a button away. You probably know by now that having an online presence is essential to success in an ever-more interconnected world, but what about search engine optimization, or SEO? Every day, people use search engines to answer their questions, to find the latest news, and to help them decide where to spend their money. As a small or medium business, it can be difficult to bring your voice to the top of the pile of results your audience is presented with, and that’s exactly why SEO is so important for your business.

We find that small and medium businesses usually ask three questions about SEO:

  • What is it?

  • Why do I need it?

  • Why should I have it professionally done?

We here at Little Egg Solutions want to clear things up and make life easier. We’ve put together the answers to these three key questions so you can find them in one place.

Via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of building a website and its content in such a way that you can compete for the top result spots during a search. The incentive to compete is simple, the first three results receive more traffic than those further down, and significantly more than those on pages after the first. When was the last time you clicked on the tenth result of a search instead of the first, or dug deeper than the first page to find what you needed?

SEO is based on a system of rules that search engines follow to assign rankings to websites and determine where they show up in searches for certain keywords. Keywords, structure, linking, and HTML are all just part of the complicated framework of SEO.

Why Does My Business Need SEO?

SEO determines where your website shows up in relation to your competitors, both locally and internationally. Regardless of your field, your industry, or your niche, SEO is absolutely critical to a successful digital marketing campaign and an effective web presence. Without it, your voice will be drowned out by the sheer number of sites competing for the attention of your audience.

Search engine ranking is a recommendation from a trusted source, a signal to your potential customer that you are an authority in your industry; it tells them that they should give your opinion weight, that you can provide what they need, or that you can answer their questions. SEO helps you project that image of authority so you can reach the people you want to reach.

Via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Via Creative Commons Stock Photos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Why Do I Need an SEO Expert?

There are two ways an SEO expert can help make you money in the long run: by performing an SEO audit, or by creating and managing SEO-friendly content.

SEO Audit

Many small businesses rely on the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) method for their website design, whether a sole proprietor who writes their own content or a well-intentioned friend who volunteers; after all, running a successful business means saving money where you can. An SEO audit is especially important if this is your approach.

An SEO audit identifies any existing or potential problems with your site in terms of ranking and efficiency. Anything from the source code to keyword density could potentially cost you rankings, which, in a world run by Google and Bing, costs you money. If you, or whoever designed your site, is not an SEO expert, there is every chance that something small can create big issues down the road. The SEO audit gives you the information you need to fix it, even if you still want to do it yourself.

SEO Content Creation and Management

SEO content creation is exactly what it sounds like. An SEO expert creates new content for your website that is designed with the purpose of communicating your value proposition and purpose while ranking higher in search engines. This could range from building a new home page to updating your company blog.

If you have an existing site, an SEO audit can determine what content should stay and what should be replaced, making it an important part of the process. From there, ongoing content management, including regular updates with high-ranking keywords, will help make sure your site stays relevant in an always-changing digital landscape.

 

As technology becomes increasingly entwined with our daily lives, the need for effective SEO becomes more and more urgent. For small and medium businesses, who have to compete with big fish in a big pond, top quality SEO, managed by experts who know the ins and outs of search engine ranking techniques is a must if you want to gain the competitive edge that will keep the profits coming in. At Little Egg Solutions, we believe in giving small and medium businesses a fighting chance against huge corporations by leveling the SEO playing field with stellar content. Call or click today to find out what we can do for you!