Lynne is an online marketing professional and the owner of Keener Digital Marketing (KDM). She has been on the web, designing sites and marketing since the mid-nineties. Currently with KDM, Lynne provides SMBs with inbound marketing strategies and social media management. Along with these she offers Wordpress-based website design, e-mail marketing and graphic design services. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with mud in her pottery studio and running the roads with her kids.
It’s an ongoing project: SEO What are the best tactics when it comes to ranking in Google and Bing? No doubt you’ll find a lot of information on the web about how to achieve incredible rank – some valid, some not-so-much. At the end of the day, focusing in on a few key tactics will give your site the best chance at ranking high in the search engines. Here are our best SEO tips for ranking in search results:
Build a good website.
What is a good website? The answer may seem simple on the surface. However, there’s more to a good website than user-friendly navigation and pretty pictures. A good website certainly does include these items, however there are a couple factors that must be addressed for better search results. These include responsive design and load time.
Responsive design is critical. According to Search Engine Journal: “Google is built for users – for people who search the web. In a world where those users are accessing the web via mobile devices, Google is acting accordingly. And so, it stands to reason that they are going to favor those sites that meet the needs of Google users.” Test your site on mobile to be sure it includes mobile navigation, renders properly and loads quickly.
Since 2010 Google has used page load time in their algorithms. While a slower site effects bounce rate and conversions, we also know that Google has announced mobile page speed will be used in their mobile-first index. Pay attention to your desktop and mobile load times. Think: image-size, server side processes, etc. Find out how you stack up to new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed with Google’s “Test My Site“.
Determine your keywords.
Your SEO strategy should begin with determining your keywords. Try to get into the minds of your intended audience. What are they searching for? Try to use their vocabulary whenever possible. Start with a couple of tools to analyze your current site’s keyword density. Then using the Keyword Density Analyzer (link below), see what the density is for the top-ranking (competitive) sites.
Google’s Keyword Planner, part of the Adwords network of Google offerings
Keyword Density Analyzer from SEOBook
Yoast also recommends the use of long tail keywords, especially if you are in a competitive industry. By using long tail keywords (3+ word phrases) you can narrow in on the audience that might use that phrase. Once you have determined your best keywords, looking at competition and search volume, incorporate them in all your content.
On-site SEO is easy and effective.
Using WordPress? Install Yoast or All-in-One SEO. Use the interface to add keywords and long-tail keywords in your meta data including page title, description and keywords. Be sure the title and description are reflective of your page content. You can (and should) use keywords in these entries but only if it makes sense. Write these for people; it will pay off in the end.
Write for readers as well as search engines.
For 15+ years marketers have tried to find ways to outsmart search engines to earn rank. But over time, and with Google’s continuous algorithm updates it is constantly a game of catch-up. With that, one thing has remained the same. Content developers need to write for people and the search engines. Sure you need to use your keywords but over-stuffing is ineffective and possibly damaging to your rank.
Developing rich content that is readable, stays on topic and is unique will create interest in your blog, your product or your service. The key is to bring readers in with quality information that answers their need for information and interest.
Engage with your audience.
Once you’ve developed rich content, share it. Find out where your audience lives, where they hang out. Depending on who your target is, this will undoubtedly include social media. Share your content on Twitter and Facebook, perhaps Instagram and YouTube, depending on your product or service. And don’t overlook local search opportunities with Yelp and Citysearch.
Engaging with your “community” will grow your social signals and help your chances of increasing search engine ranking.
So that’s it for now; we know this will change soon…it always does. We’ll be back with more tips before you know it. Work a little each month on SEO and watch for updates here on the best SEO tips.
If you have to look up your login username and password to post to your blog, you’re not blogging often enough! That happens to me from time to time.
Get in the habit of posting once a week. I have no doubt that there is news to share for your business, industry, interest. It’s so easy to fall into a writing rut but when that happens, share something. Where do I find something to share?
Well put on your customers shoes, as it were, and go where they might go. Are your customers teenagers? Go to the mall. Not in your car, silly. Online. Go find sites that cater to teenagers and share some interesting news. Girls, age 14-18? How about Seventeen? Or Google “Teen Trends” — you’ll find hundreds of sites with stuff to share.
Are you in the business of selling window blinds? No problem, head over to HGTV.com and share some decorating tips. Afterall, if they’re replacing blinds I bet they’re painting and looking for inspiration.
My goto source is often Mashable. They have blogs in several interest areas including:
- Social Media
And each of these breakdown even further. The content is endless.
Share something today and add a few of your own thoughts and comments. It’s just the social thing to do!
What’s hot for 2017 in WordPress design? Scouring through the web it isn’t hard to see some commonality among WordPress sites. While all striving for uniqueness, they tend to share these traits:
One Page Website
As we saw in 2016, more and more companies are opting for a one-page website design. They’re easy to build, easy to maintain and offer the user a great mobile experience. The one-page design is especially prevalent for lead generation and/or email list building. Users learn as they scroll down the page and are often presented with a call to action enabling site owners to capture lead information necessary for moving visitors down the sales funnel.
It goes without saying your website needs to be responsive. This means it can be viewed on any device, mobile, desktop and tablet. Make sure you’re selecting a theme that is responsive.
We all love a good image, right? Sites are continuing to use large full-color images to convey the message and create an impact for users. Parallax is another trend that isn’t going anywhere.
Typography enhancements are enabling sites to become more unique. Plugins that enable Google Fonts or Adobe’s Typekit fonts are easy to implement.
Drag and Drop Page Building
More WordPress developers/designers are using drag and drop plugins to make their work, well, less work. There are many of these time-saving tools available. One of my favorites is Page Builder by SiteOrigin. Adding rows or sections to a layout is simple and you can quickly insert widgets (image, text, gallery, etc.) to handle the content. (Be sure and checkout SiteOrigin’s CSS plugin – it’s amazing!)
Content marketing, target marketing, reach and remarketing… who can keep up with it all. With all the great data we have about our Facebook audiences it would seem an easy task to reach out to our desired group of potential customers, run an ad and win the business. But weaving our way through all the targeting options can be a daunting task. That’s where this infographic comes in.
Created by Bekah Wheeler, “This graphic will walk you through alllllll the many demographic, interest, behavior, connection and remarketing targeting options that are at your disposal as a Facebook advertiser.” ~Mary Lister
Ahhh, Facebook…There are so many nuances with using Facebook and they change almost weekly. Don’t you just wish there was an 800-number you could call sometimes?! And digging through the FAQs and Help sections can get tedious. Well I’m here to help. Here are 3 Helpful Facebook How-tos that will make your social media life more enjoyable…or less annoying perhaps.
Controlling What You See in News Feed
You can adjust what you see in your News Feed by using see first; following or unfollowing people, Pages or groups; or liking Pages. Other things that affect News Feed: hiding stories, using friend lists, and changing how stories are posted on News Feed.
News Feed Preferences
Your News Feed preferences help you control what you see on your News Feed.
To view your News Feed preferences:
- Click in the top-right corner of any Facebook page (ex: your home page)
- Select News Feed Preferences
To adjust your News Feed preferences:
Click Prioritize who to see first to make posts from people or Pages appear at the top of your News Feed. Learn about see first.
Click Unfollow people to hide their posts to unfollow a person, Page or group. Learn about unfollowing
Click Reconnect with people you unfollowed to follow a person, Page or group that you unfollowed in the past. Learn about reconnecting.
Learn how to switch from top stories to most recent stories on your News Feed.
How do I manage my notifications for On This Day?
You can turn on notifications to see when you have memories to look back on.
To turn on notifications:
- Go to facebook.com/onthisday
- Click Notifications and select All Memories
To turn off notifications:
- Go to facebook.com/onthisday
- Click Notifications and select Off
How do I review tags that people add to my posts before they appear?
Tag review is an option that lets you approve or dismiss tags that people add to your posts. When you turn it on, any time someone tags something you posted, that tag won’t appear until you approve it.
To turn on tag review:
- Click at the top right of any Facebook page and select Settings
- In the left column, click Timeline and Tagging
- Look for the setting Review tags people add to your own posts before the tags appear on Facebook? and click Edit to the far right
- Select Enabled from the dropdown menu
When tag review is enabled, you’ll get a notification when you have a post to review. You can approve or ignore the tag request by going to the post.
Note: When you approve a tag, the person tagged and their friends may see your post. If you don’t want your post to be visible to the friends of the person tagged, you can adjust this setting.
For my clients maintaining their own site, it’s time to update WordPress.
February 2, 2016 – From WordPress.org:
WordPress 4.4.2 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.
WordPress versions 4.4.1 and earlier are affected by two security issues: a possible SSRF for certain local URIs, reported by Ronni Skansing; and an open redirection attack, reported by Shailesh Suthar.
Thank you to both reporters for practicing responsible disclosure.
Updating your version of WordPress
- First and foremost, create a complete site backup before updating WordPress. There are backup plugins available to assist you with this process (I use Updraft Plus).
- Goto your Dashboard, click on Updates
- Click Update Now.
Twitter Analytics. Do you cringe when you hear that? I do! I love to look at my “stats” on Facebook, my website (Google Analytics) and Twitter too. But who has the time to study what it all means and how to actually apply it to your marketing strategy?
Let’s face it, if you have new followers and new likes and an upward trend in traffic, you’re doing it right, right? Well sure, but there’s more to it than that. The question is, are your followers and fans helping you grow professionally and/or financially? Who is it you’re really attracting with your Tweets and Posts? Are some of your visitors joining your email list? Are you able to “talk” to them again and perhaps sell them your service or product? In the end, that’s why you’re spending time on social, right? (At least why you’re there during business hours!)
So what should you look for? Each property is different in how statistics are presented but your looking for engagement from your audience. How many favorites do you get on a tweet? Are you getting re-tweets? If so, you are engaging your audience.
Courtesy of: RazorSocial
So I just watched my first “scope” — that’s the cool lingo for a live streaming video on Periscope. It all started with a tweet from one of my mutual followers that read: “Ten minutes until my live Periscope…” I thought, great, I’ll see what all the Periscope-hoopla is about. So I jump over to Periscope.tv on my laptop. Um…there are two links to download the app (Apple and Android) an About link and Blog. How do I get to his scope? I know his handle but where do I click?
The obvious choice here was to jump over to Google and ask “Can I watch Periscope on desktop?” A couple of articles later (comparison with Meerkat, Twitter purchase of Periscope…) I’m still no closer to watching my Twitter-friend’s “scope”; I did learn more than I wanted to know about Periscope and how it’s changing the way we socialize. I read something somewhere (Hubspot? oh, yes, here it is) that I need to look for the specific link.
So I jumped back over to Twitter and lo-and-behold, there’s a link on his feed…for the replay! Well, okay, I’ll watch a recorded video. I missed the excitement of a live video by about 5 minutes. (During my Google adventure, I learned that Periscope added a replay – for 24 hours – feature, so that worked out well.) (By the way, I watched Jeffrey Shaw’s “Scope” on Authentic Voice on Social Media. Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyshaw1 and check out Creative Warriors for great resources for the entrepreneur.)
Next time I’ll look for the link on Twitter, try it on mobile and just so you know there is a link at the bottom of the About page for Periscope Support. What is Periscope? Click here to learn more!
As if we need another social media platform! I’m still trying to get used to Instagram!
A recent assignment from Blogging 101 (WordPress Blogging University) was to “Identify Your Audience”…this is right up my alley. After all, this is the central concept in all things marketing — find your audience, cater to your audience. Keener Digital Marketing is client-centered in all that we do. Writing in this blog, is no exception.
My goal, in writing these posts is to inform, educate and sometimes, hopefully, entertain my clients and people who I want for clients. I am also talking to the community out there that will very likely never be my client. I am happy to share what I find and hopefully help someone with what they’re doing for their own business or at least brighten their day.
So who is my audience? Well, from where I’m sitting, my audience is a person working in a small to medium sized business trying to learn more about digital marketing. So as I focus this blog post for that reader, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite goto places for learning in the ever-changing field of digital marketing.
A few of my favorite digital marketers:
- Andrea Vahl – Social Media Coach
- Mari Smith – Premier Facebook Marketing Expert
- Amy Porterfield – Social Media Strategist
A few of my favorite sites to learn about digital marketing:
- Hubspot – Inbound Marketing Software and Strategies (great blog)
- Search Engine Watch – Search Engine Marketing (a lot of information here!)
- Social Media Examiner – Social Media Strategies (great blog)
- Hootsuite – Social Media Management Tool (Hootsuite University…Lots of free stuff!)
- WordPress – Blogging and so much more. (Check out who uses WordPress! Pulse by Target, Beyoncé, Groupon)
Have fun surfing and add your favorite sites in the comments below. Thanks.
I’m enjoying my Blogging University class but am finding it a bit tricky to ‘make time’ for homework!
Late last week, we were instructed to add some blogs to our Readers. A Reader is the tool at WordPress.com that, well, lets you read your favorite blogs. You can find and read popular blogs, blogs by category or search for something in particular. It’s a great way to organize your ‘library’ and you can even add blogs not hosted at WordPress.com. So that’s nice.
I went to our private discussion-blog (for our BU class) and found some interesting blogs to follow. It’ll be fun to learn together and see how their blogs develop. Reading other peoples’ blogs will also give me inspiration and is a great way to get connected with the community. After all, blogging isn’t just about writing, it’s about communicating and that’s always a two-way street.
Michelle W., one of Blogging University’s instructors has a post about Blogging Communities. Check it out. And if you’re looking for a particular niche, do a quick search in Google; you’ll find it! Search “nutrition blog” — you’ll find the Nutrition Blog Network. Search “candy blog” and you’ll find a long list of blogs that are about, um, candy! Try it, but make sure you have time on your hands, it’s a tangled web out there! Happy Reading, Happy Blogging!