Wednesday, July 30, 2014

6 Uncomplicated Social SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Let’s start with what is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. And the phrase improve your SEO strategy encompasses the actions taken to ensure your website can be found in a search engine’s results page (SERP) when searching for words or phrases relevant to the content on your website.
What does Social SEO mean?
Social SEO refers to the idea that social media links and interaction play a considerable part in a website’s search rankings. It sounds complicated (and, in reality it is) but basically SEO is all about optimizing content—whether it’s on your website or on a social media platform—in order to appear higher in search rankings.
Here are six uncomplicated Social SEO tips you can easily start implementing today:

1. Optimize your social media profiles

The key to an SEO friendly social media profile is to be descriptive as possible. Always fill out the ‘About’ or ‘Information’ sections of any social media platform. Use words or phrases that describe your business and are also terms individuals would use to search for your business.
For example, to optimize your Facebook Page for local searches, it is very important to include your address, city, state, and zip. Always include links from your social channels back to your business’s website (and links from your website to your social channels).
Insider Tip: The “Category” field is often over looked on Facebook Pages but is important for Facebook mobile searches. Check to make sure your business is listed as the correct category while editing your basic information.

2. Optimize your social media content/updates

To optimize your social content, always include some of the relevant search keywords you determined for your business in your Facebook updates, tweets, pin descriptions, etc. It’s important to remember to share content from your website or blog socially to give it an SEO boost too. Sharing new content on Twitter is especially important because it helps Google index it faster (indexing means Google adds this URL to their database).
Insider Tip: Use your business’s name in your social posts. This helps Google associate the keywords you use to describe your business with your business’s name.

3. Build links by making your content shareable

A key factor in SEO is link building. Simply put, this means having good website to website relationships through links. When you have more quality sites linking to your website (inbound) and you are linking to other quality websites (outbound) the more authoritative Google determines your website to be. More authority equals a higher SERP rank.
Likes, comments, +1s, repins, retweets, etc., all play into the weight given to your links. If you create content people want to share, you can create more inbound links. “Content” doesn’t always have to be as elaborate as a blog post or whitepaper, content can also refer to tweets or Facebook posts as well. By posting engaging social content, you’re improving your SEO value. To review: Quality content equals more shares equals more links equals better SEO value. Simple right?
Insider Tip: A more advanced way to increase shares is to add social share buttons to individual pieces of content on your website or blog.

4. Use Pinterest

An easy way to create shareable content is by using Pinterest. Pinterest is great for link building and improving your keyword strategy. Google indexes pages from websites with heavy traffic faster and higher in a SERP. You can increase your content’s visibility in SERPs by adding keywords within the title of a Pinterest board, the board’s description, and you even have up to 500 characters to describe an individual pin so you’ll want to include keywords there as well.
Additionally, you can customize the pin’s link and point people back to your website or blog—further increasing the opportunity for your content to rank higher in a SERP. From an SEO perspective, Pinterest allows you to do a few things that other networks don’t, so take advantage of it.
Insider Tip: Google prefers high-resolution images, so use high-quality images on Pinterest whenever possible.

5. Sign up for Google+ and spend 10-minutes a day on it

No one loves Google+ more than Google. Sign up for a Google+ Business Page and complete as many fields as you can in the “About” section using keywords that describe your business. Google also allows you to add several customized links within your profile, you can use this as an opportunity to link back to your website, blog, and additional social channels. By spending 10-minutes a day sharing your content to your Google+ page, you’ll be more likely to appear within Google’s SERP. There are more reasons you should care about Google+ if you’re a Solution Provider.

6. Create a Google+ Local listing

According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. In order to perform well in local search results it’s critical that you optimize your Google+ Local listing (formally known as Google Places). A Local Google+ page is different from a Google+ Business Page because it allows customers to easily connect with that business’s physical location. Update the details about your business—address, phone number, hours, etc.—and you’re good to go!
Insider Tip: Be sure to keep your information up-to-date on Google+ Local and Facebook—it helps!

Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Not making your business’s social media sites public.
  • Creating a Facebook Profile instead of a Facebook Page (learn how to fix this here).
  • Not customizing your Facebook URL. (Here’s how)
  • Not using your business’s name as your Facebook Page name or Twitter name.
  • Uploading images to your social channels with file names such as: Photo1 or IMG1287—images with meaningful file names can help you rank better.
  • Duplicating another website’s content. Your time and resources are limited as a small business owner but Google doesn’t like this.
  • If something appears to be a fast and easy way to improve your SEO it’s probably a black hat tactic (that means it’s bad), Google frowns on these unethical techniques and penalizes those who implement them.

Keep this in mind regarding Social SEO

Improving your SEO takes time and SERP changes don’t happen overnight. Always be as descriptive as you can and keep your info up to date. Ultimately, as a small business owner you shouldn’t obsess over SEO. Instead, focus on providing a WOW! experience for your customers and your business will benefit through natural word-of-mouth.

Friday, July 25, 2014

8 SEO Tips That Take 15 Minutes or Less

While a long standing concerted effort toward SEO can pay off big down the road, don’t forget that sometimes there are quick tasks that can turn the needle.
Over the years, I have heard many times from individuals desiring success in SEO, the request could never gain approval as the resourced time was too great of a budget allocation or that an SEO vendor wasn't in the budget.
This is true to some extent as a full SEO campaign involves the strategic revision to information architecture, attention to SEO design factors, creation of quality content, a blueprint for a link-building initiative just to name a few items. These tasks can take a lot of time and the thought of this can leave many companies throwing SEO on the back burner.
For those of who you fit into this group, read on for eight simple quick SEO revisions that will allow you to potentially create positive affect with your organic search traffic.
For seasoned SEOs this is rather elementary information but should serve as a reminder of what should be a daily check for a site as they require so little time to assess and can be implemented rather quickly. In fact, you could tackle one of these items every day over your morning coffee and in a little more than a week create the opportunity for additional site traffic.

1. Review Your Robots.txt File; Assess Your Meta Robots Tagging

If you have a robots.txt file on your site, check by visiting /robots.txt. You may be surprised to find out you are withholding pages, folders, images, etc. from search engines that can drive traffic to your site.
Additionally, run a site scan with a tool such as Screaming Frog to assess if there are any pages on your site you are excluding via a meta robots tag. Both of these are a very quick fix if you do find issues.
Unknowingly tagged pages or robots.txt entries are usually the culprit of a developer who forgot to remove the designations when a new page rolled live or a previous site administrator who deemed the quality content unimportant for the masses.

2. Review Your Site Organic CTR by Page; Revise the Worst Page’s Title Element and Meta Description

This is both a conversion optimization and SEO tip. The new world of SEO is heavily focused on the message you send, whether it be search engines or users.
Google provides click-through rate data on landing pages and keywords in your Google Analytics account. You don’t think they are providing this data out of the kindness of their heart do you? They are interested in sites that feature enticing and relative search result displays for web users.
While you may have many landing pages with atrocious bounce rates, identifying the worst one or a few will allow you to revise them in a short span of time to reflect listing users want to click. Simply visit your Google Analytics account and traverse to the Traffic Sources-Search Engine Optimization-Landing Pages section. You can also perform this test through the Keyword dimension of this analytical area as well.
Ultimately, You are improving your site in the eyes of the search engine and you may retain some visitors at the same time.

3. Assess Canonicalization of Your Domain

It only takes a moment to rid yourself of one of the most common forms of duplicate content and link value dilution.
Do your site pages exist at and If so then you need to create a permanent 301 redirect directing all non-www. site pages to the www. version pages of your site.
Search engines don’t want to see two versions of your content. It's helpful to combine the inbound link equity of these versions into one page as many people don't always target links to your www version of site pages.

4. Review Your Most Frequently Linked Pages on Your Site

Through the use of a tool such as Open Site Explorer you can gain information in the server status of your most linked content. You may find out a site page that went viral last year and gained a ton of links has since been deleted from the server and displays a 404 code. Additionally, you may also see that a heavily linked page has since been temporarily redirected and is in need of a permanent redirection.
Finding a few of these can result in a few quick redirects to help boost the link value on the domain.

5. Review Your Site for Duplicate Title Elements

Do a quick check of duplicate title elements in Google Webmaster Tools. This can indicate duplicate pages, keyword cannibalization, and bad title element structure.
Checking this Google property feature can quickly show you these issues and give insight into whether you need to spend the next 15 minutes writing unique title elements, creating redirects, or thinking about which of the multiple pages should include a certain keyword term.

6. Find Your Most Authoritative Links; Request an Anchor Text Change

I see it all the time, sites which have links from very authoritative sites anchored on the text Click Here, Buy, Learn More. It drives me nuts!
All your anchor text doesn't need to be keyword-rich, but it helps to identify your strongest links and reach out to these sites and request a text modification to a non-branded are partially branded variation. You can assess your anchor text by linking site authority with tools such asOpen Site Explorer and Majestic SEO.

7. Review Your Link Targets in Your Site Navigation and Any Other Sitewide Links

By reviewing the links in your main, footer, breadcrumb and any other supporting navigation you can quickly assess if you have duplicate content issues with pesky default pages (e.g., /index.html). These pages should be redirected to the absolute page and the links should also be revised to target the absolute page. These revisions clean up many, many internal linking deficiencies across your site.

8. Verify Your Google and Bing Local Listing

As web users become more localized in their searching behavior it becomes imperative that your off-site listings are owned by you. It doesn’t take long to claim your listing and show search engines that you have control over your external profiles.
Another reason this is a must: this is also believed to be a local algorithm ranking factor. Look to establish verification with other web profiles on sites such as Yelp down the road.

No More Excuses

Creating an SEO friendly site is no longer too expensive or too time consuming. Taking 15 minutes out of your day here and there can do a lot to the search marketing success of your site.
Editor's note: This column originally was published on February 6, 2012, and comes in at No. 3 on our countdown of the 10 most popular Search Engine Watch columns of 2012. As the clock ticks down to 2013, we're celebrating the Best of 2012 by revisiting our most popular columns, as determined by our readers. Enjoy and keep checking back!

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Google Panda 4.0 Update - What You Need to Know

Google Panda 4.0 Update - What You Need to Know
By Allison Platte
On May 20th, Matt Cutts sent the SEO world into a frenzy by announcing the roll out of Google's Panda 4.0 update. As with all other Google algorithm updates, marketers began researching and speculating what the effects of the algorithm update would be. The good news is, if you have been following Google's overall recommendation of generating high-quality, relevant content, you were probably not penalized during this update. However, a few case studies (source: revealed three noteworthy insights into the details surrounding the Panda 4.0 update.
Insight 1: "Content Based Topical Authority" websites, or websites that dive deep into a particular topic, were given a rankings boost in the organic search results. The fact that a site with a large amount of specific content ranks higher than a site with a small amount of content may seem obvious. However, this pattern emerged in situations where sites had a lot of overview or generic content but did not dive deep into specific topics. When a site has a large volume of articles that explore a particular topic in depth, it will be given more authority than a site that has articles written as a high-level overview or that are a more general overview of the topic.
Insight 2: Websites that have high user engagement will receive even more visibility in the search results than those that do not. While Matt Cutts clarified that Facebook and Twitter social shares do not help your site's rankings any more than other types of links in this video, high user interaction does still seem to correspond with higher rankings. Sites with a high volume of comments and sharing seem to have received a boost after the Panda 4.0 update.
Insight 3: Automatically generated content is not as likely to be included in the search results, even if it is relevant to the query. For example, was penalized during this update since the answers that they display to users are often scraped from other Q&A sites.
The key takeaway is that the Google Panda 4.0 update is just another step in Google's quest to provide its users with the most helpful website available in response to the user's search query. Websites that are an authority on a topic, provide users an opportunity to respond and engage with content, and provide unique (not automated) content will ultimately offer the user a great experience. If the goal of your content marketing strategy has been to provide your users with useful and quality content, then you have nothing to fear from Google Panda 4.0.
Contact WebsiteBiz today to learn more about our digital marketing acumen and services via and Thank you for reading!
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Friday, May 23, 2014

How to get more plays on Soundcloud, Soundclick, etc..

Search engine optimization also works on music sharing websites. Find out how to optimize your music website or page, with terms that will make your page rank on Google. So, when people are looking for your specific type of music, they can find you. If your not doing this already, you are missing out.

How to get more plays on Soundcloud, Soundclick, etc..

Monday, December 16, 2013

What Is SEO? Search Engine Optimization

What Is SEO? Search Engine Optimization What Is SEO? Search Engine Optimization
By Erick B Carlson
Whenever I mention SEO, people always ask, what is SEO? SEO stands for "search engine optimization". Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your landing page or website for Google's search engine. Google search engine uses an algorithm to look for a couple of different things in order to list a website in the results when a person types in a specific set of keywords. Keywords are what internet user's type in to Google's search engine when they are looking for a product or service. For example, if a user was looking for the best SEO Company in Phoenix, Arizona, they would type in "best SEO company in phoenix AZ" into the search engine and would be presented with the results that Google feels would satisfy the needs of the searcher. SEO is simply optimizing a business person's website to be the best possible result for a certain set of keywords.
How do SEO companies find the right keywords for a particular business?
They find the right keywords by using Google's keyword planner. The keyword planner allows you to type in any set of keywords or phrases and the planner will tell you how many times those keywords or phrases are typed into the search engine every month. You can type in any variation of keywords and the planner will also bring up keywords or phrases that are similar to the one's you are typing in. This is the best way to find out what kind of lingo users are using when looking for a certain type of product or service.
What does Google's algorithm look for?
The main things that Google is looking for when ranking your website are titles, keyword density, and back links. The tile of your website needs to have your keywords in them. Let's say a search engine optimization company wants to rank for the term "Best SEO Company", the title of the webpage or post that is being optimized should start out with those keywords. Like the example above, "best SEO Company in Phoenix AZ".
The next step would be implementing those keywords within the content or text of the webpage or post. The keyword density, which means, how many times that keyword is stated within the text, usually needs to be around 2-4 percent in order for Google to see that it is relevant. Don't add the keywords too few of times or too many because Google will see you as either a spammer or not relevant enough. Back links are simply links from other sites that are related to your business. For example, let's say we want to make a blog post about SEO because we are trying to build a back link to an SEO website. We would construct a blog post that has the SEO related keywords in it and we would put the link of the website that we are trying to build the back link to within text of that blog post.
Google will then read that blog post and discover that the post you created is related to the website and both of them have similar keywords in them. Now, you can just link from any website, it has to be a high quality site with at least a PR 2 or better and that's the hardest part. Not every site allows you to build links that point to other sites. Research how to build back links if you want to know more about this topic.
SEO is simply a way of connecting searchers to products or services they are looking for. If you can make your titles, keywords, and back links relevant to a user's search, you will rank highly in Google's search engine and people will be able to find you when they are looking for a particular product or service that is related to your business.
Erick Carlson is the owner and contributor to the Best SEO Company For Small Businesses Online.
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