SEO Writing – Helping Search Engines See Your SEO Content

SEO Writing for Search Engines with Killer SEO Content

We’re coming to the end of the year, which is going to be chaos in motion for most business owners; however, nobody wants to repeat their mistakes, especially with business. Taking a closer look at what you’ve done for SEO content and what’s worked in the past for search engines will help you press on successfully into 2019. You can also try some new things by researching content marketing and SEO writing.

Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way about writing for SEO.

What You Know About SEO Writing Is Outdated

Oh, did you see that flash? That’s all the technology you had yesterday outpacing your sleep-wake cycle.  Everything changes so quickly, it’s hard to keep up, and SEO is no different.

First, a lot of what you know now is outdated. In fact, what you know about writing SEO content could result in being penalized by the search engines. That’s certainly not the result you were looking for, is it?! While you can outsource your SEO writing, you want to be sure the SEO agency you hire is up-to-date on the most valid algorithm changes and best practice guidelines.

Hiring a Great SEO Agency

One way to check if the SEO agency you’re looking to work with is any good is to read their blog, website, and social media posts. There should be ample content in all spots.  Do they have a Google, Bing, and Yahoo listing?  How are their reviews?  Are they on Yelp and other recognizable websites?

SEO is a $72 billion industry, but there are a lot of tricksters out there!  Do your due diligence and research the agency before signing any agreements or paying them any money.  Ask for case studies, get professional references, digitally stalk them (in a non-creepy way).  Do what you can to learn who they are behind-the-scenes.

We write regularly on many topics in marketing, and SEO is one of our favorite acts.  We have several testimonials, and our content marketing services have helped both local and national businesses grow in traffic, lead generation, and sales.

Content marketing is an umbrella for devising a plan that best reaches your audience using SEO and other methods proven to make visitors feel comfortable with buying from you.

What Not To Do With SEO Content

Clearly, times have changed. When I talk about SEO with new clients, there’s always someone in the room that goes “UGH!”  What seemed right about SEO writing at the turn of the century is not viable now. Some outdated SEO practitioners are still using tricks that hurt you in the long run.

To give an example, there’s a practice called “keyword stuffing,” which makes you look like a fake spammer.  There’s no personality or logic to the writing. You end up overwhelming readers with keywords on the page, sometimes even using tons of variants of a word, to increase relevance in search engines. But, search engines are more sophisticated now.

Things are only going to continue to change as artificial intelligence becomes more refined and intuitive.  I don’t think we’re looking at a Robot apocalypse, but we are looking at some pretty sophisticated technology when it comes to search engines.  Be sure to ask a lot of questions about how this potential SEO agency handles SEO content and how they plan to get you higher in search rankings.

If you don’t understand what they’re saying, they’re not the right fit.

What You Should Do With SEO Writing

“Content is King” has taken a new stance in the SEO writing world. Now, content is looked at based on relevance and quality, not how keyword-rich it is. Keywords must be strategically placed and are still important, but how well an article answers a consumer’s question, or search query, is more important.

Here are a few measures you can take as you write for SEO:

  • Put keywords logically in your image Alt tag. Google images get quite a bit of search traffic.
  • Use words for related topics to your primary keywords, like mentioning a specific neighborhood associated with your city.
  • Meet multiple user intentions when they search for your keyword. This means mixing visuals with lists, for example.
  • Do reverse searching, meaning search for your keywords and see what comes up as relevant in the search engines. Follow suit.
  • Use headlines and title tags that sway a user to click your page first. Be compelling!
  • Most importantly, write quality content, include your keywords, do the on-page SEO and you have a formula for your SEO content.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list, but it will go a long way to helping you understand just how intricate the process can be. That’s why we want to be your SEO Agency – we know what we’re doing, and we genuinely want to help. The helm is driven by knowledge, experience and research. Moreover, we want you to be informed so you can test the waters wherever you go for help with your SEO writing.

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The Importance of Performing WordPress Website Maintenance

wordpress-website-technology-updates

Much akin to the upkeep of a car, your WordPress website needs a tune-up now and then. When you own a car, you regularly check the brakes, lights, oil, and other fluids just to keep it running smoothly. Well, your WordPress website needs to be checked regularly too. Often, you will find that tools or code used to display your website, especially in a mobile-friendly format, are simply as outdated as your car’s oil after several thousand miles.

So, why do we care? Well, it’s our mission to make the web a friendly, navigable place that benefits both consumers and businesses alike. You wouldn’t want your local pharmacy to close their drive-through window during business hours any more than we want your website to stop working. It would be more than an inconvenience – you’d lose business too!

A WordPress Website Maintenance Plan Should Include The Latest Code

Your website is where you transact or gain business. You want it to be top notch so that it best represents your company’s values, mission, and goals. If you have a WordPress website, it must be regularly updated because there are patches that fix bugs or security changes that need to be added. They are essential to a properly functioning and secure WordPress website. This is really basic maintenance and should be performed on a schedule.

WordPress Templates Are Only As Good As The Programmer

Many WordPress templates are supplemented with plugins that enable additional functionality. These plugins do not automatically update as do some WordPress website core features. If your webmaster has not suggested an update, then now is the time to contact them.

But, be sure you are working with someone who understands how to update WordPress websites because it’s not just about clicking the update buttons in the back end.  You need someone who can manually update your site at the same time every month and actively prevent and troubleshoot any breaks or bugs that happen as a result of the update.

Your updates will only be as good as the programmer you hire.

Website Themes Become Outdated Quickly

website-maintenanceThis is probably one of the most important messages you can take away from the digital age.  It’s not just the website themes that become outdated faster than the DeLorean.  All technology updates so rapidly that you may as well get yourself a neck brace for the whiplash.

 

The good news is that programmers aren’t the only people who can keep a WordPress website looking and working great. Consider talking to a skilled website designer as part of the equation too. WordPress themes are layered over your website to give it additional features, a desired look and feel, and choices for unique functionality.

Over time, your website will lose its appeal to your audience as later and greater designs become popular, and as their search behaviors change, which is another fact about digital marketing that’s worthy of a neck brace.

It’s always a good idea to try something new with your copy every few months so that your content and design stay fresh and current. This is easy with WordPress themes. Keep in mind, that as your business evolves, so does your content. Keeping it current is essential to making the most out of your dollars spent on web design.

In the end, having a company that knows the ins and outs of WordPress website design and development is your best bet for ensuring your website is in tip-top shape. As I said, a website is like your car. It needs a regular tune-up. And, you much change the oil (content) regularly. Anything you invest in that furthers your business is worth that.

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What is Adaptive Content and How Can I Use It?

adaptive-content-marketing

We’ve all heard that “content is king.” But, what is content without marketing? Hence, our focus on content marketing as its own service. With this aspect of marketing comes many buzzwords, one of which is “adaptive content.” This buzzword is essential for any digital marketing campaign as it refers to a multi-faceted strategy that can change the results of your marketing campaign with diligent effort.

Understanding The Basic Definition Of Adaptive Content

The key to understanding adaptive content is embracing the effects of change. Content that automatically adapts to circumstances and mediums is considered adaptive. It delivers a personalized experience that makes content marketing more effective overall. It is the heart of any digital marketing campaign because it flexes to meet user needs.

Why Is Adaptive Content Considered Flexible?

Think of how many different devices you use in a single day. Cell phones, tablets, computers, smart TVs… all these display content in a different format. The perspective of the user is flexible just as the size and shape of the screen are changeable. This means content delivery must be just as flexible to convey the best display.

It’s flexible because its delivery is only one piece of the puzzle. Not only must it flex to fit your brand design, but it must also flexibly speak to the audience. This refers to tailoring content to match your audience, not just the device they’re using. In other words, the future of adaptive content is content marketing to the extreme.

Breaking Down Content Marketing So It’s Adaptive

Content Marketing is about reiterating your brand image across the web so that it’s not only consistent, but accessible. Making your content adaptive requires three things:

  1. Desirability
  2. Viewability
  3. Quality

To be desirable is the first goal because content has a lot of competition. It must stand out from the crowd as a unique yet popular offering. Viewability refers to giving them readable content on multiple devices. And, well, quality speaks for itself. Without quality, your readers just won’t come back.

Integrating Adaptive Content Into A Digital Marketing Campaign

Content that is adaptable not only speaks to a consumer in its substantive state, but also in its words. This means that content changes in two ways: how it’s displayed and what is displayed. The ultimate goal of adaptable content is to make sure it speaks directly to your consumers in a personalized manner. So, how do you integrate adaptive content into a digital marketing campaign? It’s not simple, it requires a marketing firm that understands the intricacies of all aspects of digital marketing.

We say this because digital marketing is also multi-faceted. Adaptive content is just one aspect of that realm with which we must keep up. There’s also search engine marketing such as PPC, social media content distribution, and blog development.

Are You Making It Or Breaking It With Adaptive Content?

The only way to truly make adaptive content work for your business is to consider all the aspects of the equation. It involves looking at the type of device, the context in which it is being used, and the audience you are catering to. You can deliver content all day, but if it isn’t readable in all circumstances, then you are breaking the connection with your visitor.

This break can only be resolved by employing the digital marketing services of a professional agency skilled in all aspects of the adaptive content equation. This means they know search engine optimization strategies, the technical side of delivering on multiple devices, how to create and reuse content to your advantage, and the essentials of a positive user experience.

Drag & Drop WordPress Page Builders

Visual Composer WordPress Page Builder

When WordPress page builders became big a while back, I was skeptical to say the least. How could these page builders compete with clean HTML and lean code? What I learned is WordPress page builders have come a long ways and continue to improve. Once you realize some of their web development benefits you might find yourself using one in the near future. Below I highlight a few of the benefits of using these visual page builders and why we use WPBakery in a majority of our sites.

CSS Control

Many page builders allow you to assign ID’s and classes to the page elements, rows, and columns. This allows you to do styling and CSS updates outside of the editor, saving time when applying styles across several pages. Don’t have a child theme stylesheet? You can still style elements using the builder including colors, fonts, margins, padding, borders, columns, backgrounds, and more.

Mobile Friendliness

A big time saver I’ve found in these visual builders is the ability to quickly display or hide page elements based on the user’s screen size. For example, you can set items to show or hide on desktop, tablet, or mobile with the click of a checkbox. You can also quickly adjust spacing and padding of items to appear differently depending on device. Page columns are responsive out-of-the-box so page designs stack beautifully on phones. All-in-all, you can layout and design a page for both computers and mobile devices in less time.

SEO Features

In viewing some of our websites’ source code, we realized the page builder plugin was adding the appropriate ALT and Title tags to images dragged on the page. This alone is a time saver. Builders also allow you to assign ID’s and other SEO-related items to your page content. Need more control? You still can access the built-in WordPress ‘Text’ editor for adding or modifying HTML/CSS.

Page Load Speed

One of my biggest hesitations with WordPress page builders was fear it would slow down my sites. After testing and building sites with and without page builder plugins these past few years, I learned a lot. First off, web servers are much faster today so extra inline CSS doesn’t seem to phase speed much. Second, themes with page builders are getting better at minifying code and caching items. Third, the proof is in the pudding – many of our new sites with page builders score in the high nineties on Pingdom, not an easy feat.

In summary, I think page builders started out with a bad rap and were seen as clunky drag & drop editors. They’ve come a long way since then. Many of our sites are now built in a third to half the time by utilizing these great plugins. I invite you to try one out on your next WordPress site. Who knows, you may end up using it on all your future sites.

Search Engine Optimization: Don’t Get Burned By Quick-Fix Tricks

Search engine optimization

A magician never goes anywhere without his black hat. With that hat, he performs tricks that show viewers that magic is real. This magic convinces people that something amazing happened.  Magic surrounds the search engine optimization world. While some like to call negative SEO “black-hat” tactics, it is common for an SEO company to persevere in getting their clients listed on search engines the right way, using “white-hat” methods.

However, negative SEO is easy to fall for if you think magic is just a trick. Search Engine Land commented, “the temptation to take the “quick and easy” route is everywhere, and SEO is no different.” (1)

No kidding, right?

Negative SEO Gives Magic A Bad Name

But, being a white-hat SEO magician is nothing like the repetitive tricks and sleight-of-hand that go into negative SEO that some claim is magic.  “Black-hat” tactics are temporary and take a lot of trick overuse to stay ranked. Real magic is one that produces results and brings a smile to people’s faces. “Never think [magic] is not so.” Isn’t that how the song, “It’s Magic” goes?

Magic is the sun rising every morning.  It’s consistent in its track, if not consistent in its heat. It is something you can count on. The little things in life are magical to us and create moments that we store in our brain’s database. The same goes with a good SEO company that uses “real” magic for its customers! You can depend on them to create a lasting impression with search engines that store your site in their database of “gotta-go-to” websites.

Search Engine Optimization Magicians Are Everywhere

So, how do you use magic with search engine optimization to produce solid techniques for long-term results? Choosing the right SEO company is an essential component. Let’s review what a good SEO company looks like.

  1. First, as we mentioned in our article, “Negative SEO: What is it and how do you prevent it?,” your SEO agency should recommend that you be connected to Webmaster tools (Google Search Console), which provides real-time analytics. And, you should be privy to the information, whether by an analytical report they provide or a little insider surfing.
  2. Second, they should have an email address with their domain name. This shows they are professional and legitimate. I know it seems small and maybe a little insignificant, but “legitimacy” is the goal here.
  3. Third, they should have realistic SEO offerings. If it sounds too good to be true, then it likely is. We’ve all heard that saying, but will you heed your instincts and shy away from those that promise rankings without something to back it up?

SEO Companies Should Know Better

Many SEO Companies are willing to risk their clients’ reputations to get immediate (but temporary) results. It’s a matter of money to them. And, quick money at that! In a Forbes article, the author comments, “SEO is surely the greatest con ever. Can anyone here tell me how every would-be Internet Marketer on the planet can promise every client to get them onto the first page of Google natural search?” (2)

For example, just because a Colorado SEO company ranks high locally does not mean those they know what they are doing. They may even have a top-notch website. But, what really makes a good SEO marketer is one that can identify where you are weak, such as internal linking or content marketing, and help you grow in that area. More importantly, they take time to learn your business goals and, in turn, target those legitimate techniques that will improve your search engine optimization.

Take the time to dig into an SEO company and make sure they are not selling you a bag of illusions. Their magic should feel real, look sincere, and put you at ease. Digital marketing is tough to manage, so make sure your troupe is dedicated and loyal.

 

Sources:

(1) Flying close to the sun: SEO tactics that may get you burned

(2) 4 Tips For Hiring The Right SEO Firm