When discussing best practices, it can be difficult to know what is good advice and what is pure myth. And the absolute last thing you want to do is follow a course of action that could be detrimental to your SEO strategy in Toronto.
Posts tagged: search engine optimization
Google’s been ramping up the algorithm updates for some time now – has your website been affected by one of their cutely-named updates?
If you’ve ever cried foul over one of Google’s pets, you may want to think about the KPIs dictating the direction of your local SEO in Toronto (or national or even international campaigns). One good example of an overrated KPI is Page Rank.
This is especially true if you’re running local campaigns (SEO Toronto, for instance): page rank is too general a metric for your needs. Let’s do a little backstory here for a second.
Page Rank is Google’s specific parameter that measures link equity – how many backlinks you have coming from where. Google measures the quantity and quality of your backlinks and moshes them together in the form of a scale of 1 to 10 called Page Rank. The fact that this score is only based on 10 units should be enough of a clue: it’s too general to use for KPI.
So we’ve covered on-page optimization for better SEO – what about off-page optimization?
Let’s keep our example: we’re trying to do local SEO for Toronto; what areas of off-page optimization should we tackle first? Let’s keep it simple and break it down into four particular foundations:
- business listings,
- and social media.
All Things Google
Google’s online services extend far beyond the search engine. Even if it only focused on the search engine, you’d still want to be on Google’s good side. To maximize the contributions of Google itself to your local SEO efforts (and thereby rank higher in Google local results), you need to leverage all things Google.
If you want to cover your bases and make sure that you are seriously promoting your online content, then pull all out of your SEO (search engine optimization) stops. From meta tags to alt tags; from H1 tags to H3 tags or just tags in general there are about a dozen key items to focus on to drive your copy from page 3 to page 1.
One key but often overlooked SEO tactics is to optimize your content URLs for your readership and the search engines. There are some content creators (including some in Toronto) that miss this important SEO opportunity so, here are a few tips and why they are important.
- Include a keyword related to your content.
- Keep URLs short and relevant by removing unnecessary words
- Structure to get the click
What is one of the most effective ways to keep visitors returning to your website? Fresh content. Yet, why is web so full of stale and outdated content? The main reason is the –mistaken- idea that producing awesome content requires some magical and unobtainable formula. Not so. You can create website marketing pieces that resonate with readers, and accomplishes your purpose, by understanding how the content marketing process works. Consider these steps to crafting first-rate content.
Know your reader
One imperative for content creation is making a composite customer, or “persona”. That persona will serve to remind you who you’re targeting, in a tangible way. You’ll learn what their interests are, about their buying cycle, and what motivates them. There are online templates available to assist in shaping a persona. By asking questions about who the targeted reader is, how they live, and what they desire in life, a persona is fashioned. Understanding their narrative helps you produce content that is appealing and meaningful to them. Remember that your persona represents your target customer.
While the digital advertising industry is always abuzz with best practices, hottest trends, and catchphrases, it unfortunately lacks direction. For instance, everyone knows content marketing is an awesome strategy, but ask business owners or marketers what it really is and why you need it and only a few will be able to give definitive answers.
“Build it and they will come”. Not true for the Romans and not true for websites either. Even if you have identified and implemented your website’s critical SEO to gain more Toronto traffic, there are inbound marketing tools and strategies that can help draw more local users to your site.
It’s news that’s shocking – but not completely surprising – the search marketing world. Effective immediately, Google is no longer providing keyword data from searches on the world’s most-used search engine.
This means that marketers will no longer be able to use marketing software like Google Analytics and Hubspot to track which search keywords send the most traffic to their sites or generate the most leads and sales once users arrive there.
As of yesterday, Google announced that they’d finished rolling out their third major upgrade to their search ranking system this year.
They’re calling the upgrade Penguin 2.0 and, like Penguin 1.0, it’s trying to eliminate the benefits that businesses (and their SEO service providers) once got by creating questionable or spammy links back to their sites.
Google Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts explains the changes in detail in the video above, but here are the main takeaways for SEO:
- Paid links, or links from paid content back to your site won’t give you the SEO boost you once may have seen
- Links with keywords that have traditionally been associated with spam – words like “payday loans” for instance – will not give you the same SEO boost as previously
- Spam links, like the bogus comments with links that you’ll often see on blog posts, are being weeded out and they will not benefit your SEO strategy either
We’ve talked to a few people already who have seen their search rankings for important keywords drop substantially. That’s essentially been the cost of their decision to work with dodgy, often offshore, SEO services partners. And now they’re in pain.
At Fruition, and with a number of our clients, we’ve actually seen our Page Rank increase this week. The reason? We’ve focussed on the thing that Google will always, always, always reward: creating great sites with great content that users love and that people want to come back to, link to, and share.
A while ago, when Google first launched their Google+ social network, I wrote about how Google would eventually start to use information from your Google+ profile to influence your SEO ranking.
That’s coming true. And businesses that want to succeed at Internet marketing need to know how and why that works and know how to optimize for the new reality . Here’s the skinny.