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5 Fatal SEO Misconceptions That Still Exist in 2016

Posted By SEOValley on : April 29th, 2016

Many business owners make the mistake of ignoring SEO and putting all their eggs in social media promotions. They are looking for a quicker way to boost traffic, increase ROI, and enhance conversion rates without much regard for long-term viability.
5 fatal seo misconceptions that still exist in 2016

What they don’t realize is that even though pad adds and social media marketing can offer quick traffic generation, SEO is still the backbone of an enduring online presence. Search engine optimization is more beneficial to entrepreneurs now more than ever, but there are misconceptions that prevent even the most discerning business owners from getting started on an SEO campaign. Here are five fatal misconceptions about SEO that still persist to this day:

1. SEO is pointless.

Are you aware that 44 percent of your customers are likely to use a search engine when they are looking for your product or service? Search ranks fourth in top internet activities in the US, too. Hence, it still makes sense to have an SEO program that can contribute to your traffic conversion efforts. SEO may not seem to work because it takes a bit of time before actual results can be seen, but once it does, you can count on it to optimize your site for the long haul.

Here’s a fact: SEO traffic converts. People who find your website through Google and other search engines are more likely to become actual paying customers. A report reveals that 57 percent of B2B marketers found SEO to be the most crucial factor when generating leads. Another report reveals that searches generate leads that are eight times more likely to convert compared to outbound leads. Moreover, research shows that users are likely to ignore paid ad listings and prefer organic results instead.

2. A brick and mortar business does not need SEO.

If you think that running a business the traditional way eliminates your need for SEO, think again. Most consumers turn to online reviews before they even visit your establishment. Without SEO, you could be losing your chance to show what you can offer to someone who is looking for your products and services online.

According to a report, 86 percent of Americans used the internet everyday last year, and that 93 percent of their online experiences started with a search engine. Even if you think that only a small percentage of those users would be interested in your business, that number can already make a huge difference in your overall sales. You could miss out on an opportunity to gain new customers and grow your business without proper online promotion. Worse, your competition could be getting all those new customers.

3. SEO is expensive.

Search engine optimization is a job that must be left to the experts because it encompasses many complex activities, such as (1) researching market and sales trends and your industry, (2) conducting competitive research, (3) optimizing the site, (4) finding keyword terms that can deliver high traffic, (5) link building, and (6) monitoring the results of the SEO campaign. Every activity will demand a lot of your time and effort—and omitting one or more processes will result in an unsuccessful campaign. Hence, it makes sense to hire a seasoned SEO company who can do all these things for you so you can focus on running your business.

While you need to pay for an SEO expert to do these tasks, remember that high-quality SEO brings in sales for the long-term, so it will continue to positively impact your bottom line even after you have ended your contact with the SEO company. When you think about it, SEO is more cost-effective in the long run compared to pay-per-click and paid online advertising campaigns.

4. Keyword stuffing and buying links will boost SEO

Gone are the days when you can fool search engines. Google’s algorithms have made search smarter than it has ever been. Hence, if you buy links, Google will eventually find out—and your strategy can backfire. Remember that search engines are continuously improving and becoming more sophisticated, so anyone practicing black hat SEO techniques like buying links should beware.

Keyword stuffing is another no-no. It occurs when the same post repeats the same keyword far too many times in a poor attempt to rank better for that keyword. The problem with this is that it makes your content look unnatural and annoying, so readers are likely to ignore it. Google pays attention to keyword density, and if it finds your content to be unnatural, unreadable, and stuffed with keywords, it may penalize you.

5. SEO simply takes too long. PPC is better.

There is no denying that PPC does provide instant results. It can direct more visitors to your website as soon as your PPC campaign goes live. However, keep in mind that PPC can be expensive in the long run because you have to keep paying each time someone clicks your advertisement. Your cost-per-click may also increase due to the bidding system—if you want to keep your ads on top, you need to outbid your competitors.

SEO is not only cheaper than PPC but also much more credible. The average consumer is more likely to click on an organic ad than a paid listing. SEO brings in organic results that will not require you to continuously pay for anything, so you essentially get free traffic.

Our experts at SEOValley can help you realize the benefits of SEO to your business through our experience, skill, and expertise. We have been optimizing websites for search engines since 2001, making us one of the most seasoned companies that can actually deliver the results you want.

 

5 Site Re-Design Tactics to Avoid Losing SEO Value

Posted By SEOValley on : April 17th, 2016

Keeping your site updated is one of the things you must never forget or take for granted. Having the right SEO strategy and a high ranking in search results is pointless without an attractive and usable website. In fact, your website loses points in terms of usability and attractiveness if it is not mobile-friendly, does not load properly on different browsers, and is outdated. If your site has been sporting the same look and feel for many years now, then it is time to have it redesigned.

5_site_redesign_tactics_to_avoid_losing_seo_value

Are you thinking of having your website redesigned? Make sure that the new design does not compromise its existing SEO. This is especially important if you have invested a lot of time and money in an effective SEO campaign. Take a look at these five site redesign tactics that can help you execute a new website design without losing SEO value. 

Redesign tactic #1: Rethink your SEO tactics. 

This is the perfect time to examine and evaluate your existing SEO strategy and determine (1) which landing pages and keywords have the highest value and (2) which ones are not delivering the best results. This allows you to prioritize the best pages when you redesign your website. 

During this process, you may come across well-ranking keywords that somehow perform badly at generating traffic. Consider removing these keywords from your SEO campaign after the redesign. This can be a good opportunity to refine other good keywords that actually deliver high-quality traffic to your website. During evaluation, you may find that some landing pages are unable to keep visitors, failing to convert them into sales or leads. This is the perfect chance to address issues concerning conversion and page level engagement issues. Evaluating your SEO and addressing site issues can help you come up with a better SEO campaign after redesigning your website. 

Redesign tactic #2: Retain existing URL structure or implement 301 redirects 

Retaining the same URL structure is ideal when redesigning your site, but it will not always be practical if:

(1) You are moving to a new platform that requires a completely different URL structure

(2) You reorganized your content, causing some changes to the structure of the URL

If you absolutely need to change URL structure, consider implementing a page level 301 redirect. This will redirect your former URL to your new one, essentially letting you keep your rankings as search engines are ‘guided’ from the old URL to the new one. A 301 redirect can preserve internal and inbound links, both of which are crucial for retaining search engine rankings. 

Maintaining a positive user experience is as important as maintaining good rankings. By preserving internal links and inbound links, 301 redirects will prevent your visitors from seeing the ‘404 Not Found’ error message when they access your website through an inbound or internal ink that points to a non-existent URL. 

Redesign tactic #3: Retain your on-page optimization. 

Start by making sure that the keywords you changed are already in their appropriate pages. From there, you can review each description tag and title and make sure that they are unique for every page. Include the target keyword or keywords for that page and describe the content they are related to. 

Remember to review the URLs of the site and make sure that they are optimized for every page, too. Likewise, see if there are any broken internal links and review anchor text to guarantee that it is consistent with keyword changes. 

Redesign tactic #4: Create XML and HTML sitemaps. 

HTML and XML sitemaps enable search engines to find new content and discover existing content that may have transferred to new URLs. HTML sitemaps can be useful for visitors because they serve as guides to discovering existing and new content. Once you have created an XML sitemap, make sure that it is submitted to major search engines to allow the crawling of moved and new content to commence. This tactic—when used with page level 301 redirect—will guarantee efficient indexing and crawling of moved or new content. 

Redesign tactic #5: Monitor, measure, and improve. 

When your redesigned website goes live, always monitor your traffic data and rankings to determine if they are improving or getting worse and if they are increasing or decreasing. Likewise, determine if visitor engagement has increased or decreased with your site’s content and if they are converting at a lower or higher rate. 

Remember that a site redesign is not over after launching your new and improved site. The results must continuously be monitored, measured, and enhanced over time. 

SEOValley understands that redesigning your website can be challenging and take a lot of time, so we recommend leaving that to us. Our web designers possess the skills, creativity, and experience in web design and development, so you can trust their expertise in designing your website according to your requirements. SEOValley will deliver your project on budget and on time while maintaining your site’s SEO value.

 

3 Local SEO Activities That Will Bring Immediate Results

Posted By SEOValley on : April 12th, 2016

Local SEO is an important tool for increasing the visibility of a brick and mortar business in local search results. It aims to optimize your website to make it gain higher search rankings locally and to make it easier for your local customers to find your business.

3_local_seo_activities_thatll_bring_immediate_results

Like traditional SEO, local optimization is a long-term campaign that can take some time before revealing significant results. That said, there are certain things that you can do to realize improvements in search rankings almost immediately.  Here are three major local SEO activities that can help bring instant results: 

Activity 1: Claim your Google My Business listing and optimize it.

Claim and verify your local business listing on Google’s My Business to get a head start on improving your search rankings. My Business is the side of Google+ that is aimed at businesses, and it delivers a strong and foolproof signal to Google that your website is worthy of being ranked. It’s a simple and effective way to improve local search visibility. Google itself revealed that four out of five consumers rely on search engines to find local businesses and information, making Google My Business listing crucial if you want to boost your rankings and ensure that your target audience can easily find you online.

Local SEO has dramatically changed since Google launched Pigeon, the search engine’s premiere local algorithm. Through Pigeon, Google is able to see through the local intent of a user’s queries, resulting in more targeted search results. Hence, if you search for a simple term like ‘restaurant’, Google will automatically display restaurants that are near you. The complexity of this new algorithm has imposed a new challenge to local SEO professionals and to small and medium-sized local businesses alike. But as long as you implement a good local SEO strategy and claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, you can increase the visibility of your business and rank better in search results. 

Activity 2: Get listed in Yahoo and Bing. 

Most searches take place on Google, but it is always a good idea to claim and optimize your listings on other commonly used search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, too. This will ensure greater visibility no matter which search engine your target customers prefer. Getting listed in Bing or Yahoo increases your visibility and delivers your phone number, address, website, hours of operation, photos of your business, and a list of your services to your potential customers. All of these factors will be crucial in strengthening your local visibility in these search engines, too. 

Claiming your company profiles in these websites can boost your visibility on local search listings. These websites can direct people to your door. Just be sure that you provide the right information. Encourage existing customers to leave a review on these sites to further boost your visibility. 

Activity 3: Be present in social media. 

Having a Facebook page and Yelp profile can boost your local SEO campaign and give you immediate results. These sites can improve your visibility in branded and local searches. Creating a page is free, fast, and easy. Once it is up and running, it can help potential customers find you easily and provide additional opportunities for you to expand the reach of your local business. 

Social signs are important for page ranking. Each time someone shares, likes, or follows your posts, it delivers a social signal to a search engine that your page is credible and deserves a higher ranking. Interacting with your followers and customers in your social media pages will help boost your credibility to potential customers, too. 

Local SEO is Best Left to the Experts 

You do not have to do all of these strategies yourself because let’s face it—between running your day to day operations and keeping your business profitable, you really don’t have much time left. It’s more prudent to hire experienced and reputable search engine optimization experts. This way, you can save a lot of time and effort so you can focus more on your core business. With help from experts like SEOValley, you can generate better traffic, establish your brand’s recognition and authority, increase conversions, and achieve higher ROI. 

Local SEO is one of our specialties at SEOValley. Our local search engine optimization program covers Google local optimization, reviews acquisition strategy, and citation building. With our help, you can stay ahead of your competition and win in your niche.

 

How to Roll-Out an Effective Site Migration Strategy

Posted By SEOValley on : April 8th, 2016

Will migrating your website affect your search engine rankings? Here’s the short answer: It depends. The implementation of the new domain must be handled skillfully, or the results can be catastrophic.

Effective Site Migration Strategy

The most prudent thing to do when contemplating a migration is to hire a professional SEO company to handle the process for you. This is especially important if your website drives a significant part of your revenue or serves as your main communication channel in reaching out to customers. Migrating a website is a difficult process, best left in the hands of real experts.

If you have already tried migrating your website and failed, don’t worry—it’s not hopeless. Contact site migration experts to diagnose the situation and salvage your rankings. Below are just some of the most important moves these experts use when migrating a site or righting a migration strategy gone wrong:

 

Proper Preparation

When it comes to site migration, planning is indeed half the battle. A good strategy will integrate the following pre-migration preparations:

  1. Baseline Metrics – Document your site’s current performance so that you have numbers to use when assessing whether your migration strategy was successful.  Document the top search rankings and traffic sources, traffic Levels, current backlink profile, and other such data. Having this information ready prior to migration will later allow you to compare current and post-launch performance and gauge impact.
  2. Keywords Strategy – This is a critical part of migration planning that is often overlooked. The strategy should cover page titles and keyword targeting, as well as outline your internal link plan.
  3. 301 Redirection Map – A 301 redirection strategy is crucial if your URL structure will drastically change. You will need to list the general URL construction patterns at varying levels of the new website’s content hierarchy. With a clear 301 redirection map, it is easier to construct pattern-matched based redirects, and therefore, catch dreaded 404 errors.
  4. Content Mapping – When possible, build a ‘map’ showing the old URLs and the corresponding destination URLs.

Proper Implementation

During the actual migration, following factors have to be carefully implemented:

  1. Navigation Optimization – Changes to navigation can typically cause large fluctuations in ranking because internal navigation links are crucial to ranking algorithms. Experts can ensure that the links in the new navigation template point to the same content as the old ones did.
  2. Titles and Meta Data Optimization – The same holds true for your page titles as well as META data. Migration experts can ensure that old titles and META descriptions are transferred to the new pages.
  3. Site-Wide Review – A good migration strategy will include provisions for fixing any indexing or technical problems, such as URL structures that cause duplicate content. A spider simulator may be used to ensure that all the new website’s content and page templates are visible to search engines.
  4. Redirect Strategy – You need someone who is technically skilled in coding the content map into your server’s redirect mechanism. Trust only qualified professionals to code your redirects and ensure that all redirects are 301 permanent (not 302 temporary).

Proper Post-Migration

  1. Updated Sitemap – This needs to be submitted to Google Webmaster. The ‘change of address’ function must be used if you are moving to a new domain. Old URLs must be kept in your XML sitemap, as Google needs to crawl those links when processing the changes in their index.
  2. Ongoing Quality Assurance – Site migration experts will never assume that everything has been executed correctly. They will continue to use http header check functions to validate that old URLs are in fact redirecting using 301 redirects. When everything is routing correctly, they monitor all baseline metrics to ensure that the process has been smoothly completed.

Migration—when done right—can have positive impacts. It can improve search rankings, link connectivity, and user experience. The key is to give search engines clear instructions of where to find your content as it moves; otherwise, they will have no way of migrating link metrics pointing to your original URL to your new one.

Link metrics are important in search rankings, so without a solid SEO migration plan, you can lose rankings and traffic. You will also frustrate people who have previously bookmarked your pages.  Be sure to hire experts in site migration at SEOValley for optimum results.

 

5 Competitive Analysis Tactics to Advance Your SEO Strategy

Posted By SEOValley on : March 25th, 2016

One of the most important elements in the SEO process is ‘competitive analysis’—that is, looking into what your direct competitors are doing and devising strategies to beat them. Competitive analysis can be extremely complex because there are multiple factors to consider. But even though it takes a lot of time and resources up front, it will save you a lot of money and effort in the long run.

Competition Analysis Tactics

 

Tactic #1: Be Smart with Keyword Research

The key is to identify keywords that you can realistically rank for. Let’s say you sell jewelry online. If you are a small business without the budget or the brand authority to compete with giants like Tiffany.com, then ranking for the high competition keyword ‘jewelry’ is practically impossible. What you can do instead if find your niche and seek out related keywords and phrases that you can win. To grow your keyword list, you can:

  • Type your competitors into SEMrush to check the keywords they are ranking for
  • Use Spyfu to see what keywords your competitors are bidding for
  • Use Keyword Planner to generate lists of possible keywords related to your primary terms

With comprehensive competitive analysis, you should be able to determine ‘low competition’ keywords that fewer companies are targeting in your niche. Ranking for these low volume keywords can jumpstart your SEO campaign and eventually cause your traffic to grow exponentially as you build authority and trust. Soon enough, you’ll start ranking for high volume competitive keywords down the line without having to make major new investments.

Tactic #2: Know Who Your Competitors Are

Once you have generated a keyword list, type them into Google and take note of which websites show up in the top results. Do you see the same websites again and again? Those are your top competitors. SEMrush is an excellent tool that allows you to determine their top organic keywords and traffic.

Be sure to find your true competitors. Putting your small online jewelry store up against a giant jewelry retailer does not make sense and will skew your metrics. Instead, find out what like-businesses are ranking for long tail terms you want to target.

Tactic #3: Analyze Your Enemy

You have identified your competitors, and it’s now time to dive deep into their profiles. Start by taking note of their general metrics:

  • Link Velocity
  • Inbound Links
  • Domain Authority
  • Domain Age
  • Social Shares

These numbers will give you a more comprehensive understanding of who you are going up against. Start downloading their backlink profile to get an idea of how many links you’ll need for your site. You can also analyze your rival’s topical authority and semantic link profile to get even deeper into their strategies.

Based on the averages of the websites you analyzed, how many inbound links do you need to acquire? How many links do you need based on each topical category? How many of these links should have higher domain rank (at least 80)? Set your targets so you can design a backlink acquisition strategy.

Tactic #4: Audit Your Competition’s Social Media and Content

The next step is to look at your competitor’s social media and content marketing strategy. Ask questions like the following:

  • How often do they post or share social media updates?
  • How many followers have they managed to get?
  • How many of those followers are active and engaged?

Look at their Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts, as well as their blogs. By doing this, you can determine the level of social media activity you need to achieve to be in the same footing.

Tactic #5: Determine Your Strategy and any Barriers to Entry

Now that you have a clear understanding of who your competitors are and what they do, you can build your strategy based on the information you have uncovered.

Done correctly, competitive analysis can help you strategically identify what SEO targets to aim at and provide fundamental insight for your overall strategy. This intelligence will form the backbone of your SEO approach and create your campaign’s structure. A great SEO company like SEOValley has all the tools and technologies needed to fully examine what your competitors are doing. Arming yourself with data will help you become more efficient with your SEO investments and realize a higher return.

 

4 Long Term SEO Benefits You Wouldn’t Have Known

Posted By SEOValley on : March 14th, 2016

Investing in search engine optimization (SEO) can be one of the wisest business decisions you’ll ever make. Unlike other internet marketing strategies that tend to be temporary, SEO provides long-lasting results and continues to deliver long after you have sown its seeds. Putting your website on the top spots on the first page of Google’s search results—where most clicks go—can generate massive returns for a modest initial outlay.

4 Long Term SEO Benefits You Wouldn

Unlike paid advertising, SEO can increase sales without necessarily increasing your marketing expenses, thereby growing your profits exponentially over time. Studies show that SEO can help you attain your sales goals at a better rate of return than comparable forms of internet marketing strategies because of its fundamental ability to convert visitors into buyers at little incremental cost. The long-term benefits of SEO can be truly astonishing if you get it right.

1. SEO allows you to sell 24/7.

A well optimized website can become your hardest working salesperson. Potential customers can access any time of the day, all year long—and it never reports late to work or calls in sick. A top ranking website can pull in sales, opt-ins, and prospective customers like clockwork. Good SEO allows your website to perform at its best by giving it the right focus and emphasis in your marketing arsenal.

2. SEO establishes your authority in your niche.  

Here’s a fact: People trust Google’s organic search results more than paid results. If your website ranks well for your niche, people feel more confident about its reliability. This advantage is especially crucial for online shops. By ranking high in Google’s search results, you become more trustworthy in the eyes of consumers and they become likelier to buy your products.

More importantly, SEO can significantly impact the research-to-buying cycle. People constantly look for good deals online, and they often use search engines for comparison shopping. Price and quality conscious shopping behaviors are even more common during tough financial times as people handle their money more cautiously. SEO puts your website in front of consumers who are looking for your product or service, leading them into your website where they can get more information that they need to make a buying decision. Think of it as a magnet that pulls potential buyers into your website through relevant keywords and critical phrases that they looked for during their research. SEO can make your brand visible to prospects who are looking for the best place to buy what they need.

3. SEO gives you targeted traffic for FREE.

Once your website is on the top Google ranks for your keyword or phrase, it will stay there with minimum fuss. This essentially means free traffic, provided that you continue to implement SEO best practices.

The primary advantage of SEO is its ability to provide a steady stream of visitors who are highly targeted—which means they are likelier to purchase your products or services. SEO baits your target audience through the keywords or phrases that they themselves search for, which means they are already actively looking for what you have to offer. For example, if you sell cars, and you rank for relevant keywords like ‘cars for sale in (your city),’ you’ll get people who are interested in buying cars—not just random visitors. This makes SEO one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies available today.

What’s more, you pay nothing for visitors your website gets from search engines. Simply keep your website in good standing and you can enjoy free traffic for the long term. Properly optimized pages tend to stay in the top results for at least a few months, and sometimes even years. Just imagine how many targeted leads your top pages can bring you!

4. SEO improves your website’s overall usability.

Proper website design, structure, and navigation can ensure long-term SEO success. This is why a good SEO company won’t stop at pleasing Google’s web crawlers—they will also improve your site’s usability so that visitors instantly see what they are looking for. This ultimately gives your visitors and positive experience and can turn them into loyal customers. By making your customers happy, you make Google happy—and you’ll win even more loyal customers,

If you need help with your SEO strategy, contact SEOValley. We will assess your website, devise and implement an SEO action plan, and manage your long-term SEO campaign to ensure your continued visibility in Google and other search engines.

 

Basic SEO Fixes You Need to do Before Deploying a Content Strategy

Posted By SEOValley on : March 7th, 2016

A solid content strategy is no doubt essential for the success of SEO in the long-term, but it shouldn’t be the first or the only factor to work on. Even the most engaging content won’t perform well if your website does not have a solid SEO foundation. So, before you deploy a content strategy, be sure to address the five common optimization roadblocks listed below. A reliable search engine optimization firm like SEOValley can provide fixes for these concerns.

Basic SEO Fixes You Need to do Before Deploying a Content Strategy

 

1. Canonical Issues

Many websites (even by large companies) have lost rankings in Google for having multiple versions of the same content on different URLs. These duplicate versions are often unintentional and creep into existence in many ways. For example:

  • Some websites have ‘non-www’ and ‘www’ versions instead of simply redirecting one to the other
  • Some e-commerce sites allow search engines like Google to index duplicate paginated pages
  • Filtering parameters may have been appended to a URL (and to a search engine, this looks like a different page)

These are just some of the ways to inadvertently create URL bloat; there are many more. A good SEO firm can quickly fix such problems by using rel=canonical tags, properly implementing 301 redirects, managing URL parameters, and implementing correct pagination strategies. It’s important that you rectify canonical URL issues riddling your website before implementing a content strategy. SEOValley is one such company that can do a comprehensive audit and ensure that your rel canonical structure is simple, sends clear signals, and is consistent across your site.

2. Non-Optimized META Tags

Are your META tags looking spammy, with long lists of keywords that seem to have been dumped haphazardly? Then they may be compromising your rankings. A good SEO company can review your META tags and write real, optimized descriptions whenever necessary.

The title tag as well as the META description should naturally integrate relevant keywords. Note that search engine robots tend to ‘read’ meta tags from left to right, so words that come first are considered ‘more important’ than those following them.

The title tag should be snappy and accurate, providing summarized information about your page in just 40 to 60 characters. Longer title tags are technically allowed, but most search engines simply ignore the words at the end. The main keywords should appear as early in the text as possible.

The META description tag should be short and clear sentences that tell visitors exactly what they will find on your page. It is ideally less than 170 characters. This tag is displayed on the search results page, so you must aim for it to distinguish your website from the others on the list.

3. Improper Navigational Structure

The better your site’s navigational structure, the better it ranks on the SERPs. A strong and logical structure allows your website to be crawled and indexed efficiently. What’s more, it improves user experience—your visitors can find what they are looking for right away. Good navigational structuring even provides your website with sitelinks—a huge advantage in dominating the SERPs, increasing your brand’s reputation, improving user trust, increasing clickthrough rates, and shortening the conversion funnel.

Is your current structure streamlined and rigorous, or is your site a chaotic jumble of page? SEOValley can review and restructure your pages carefully and intentionally to create a unified website that is built for search excellence.

 

 

Why Link Building Still Matters and Always Will

Posted By SEOValley on : March 5th, 2016

With all the conflicting views about the value of link building in SEO, website owners are confused about whether or not they should still invest in growing their links profile for the benefit of their overall web marketing strategy. Website owners and administrators are getting pulled left and right because of the differing expert opinions on the matter. Add to this the number of websites that have been penalized for their unnatural backlinks profile ever since the very first Penguin algorithm update rolled out, and it’s easy to see why link building has earned a bad reputation.

Why Link Building Still Matters

 

A growing number of business owners are now worried that link building has become too much of a risk to even incorporate in their web strategies, let alone invest in. But has link building really lost its essence, or is it still a worthwhile practice to invest in?

First, we should define what ‘real’ link building is all about.

At its very core, building links requires you to deliberately go out and find places (websites) that will willingly link to your content. It is essentially the process of inviting and acquiring hyperlinks coming from other (preferably relevant) websites to your own.

In the beginning stages of the internet, links were among the most powerful (if not the most powerful) ranking signals within Google’s algorithm. They were used as a means of determining the credibility and popularity of a website and were—for the longest time—the core of what set Google apart from all other search engines in the past. Links gave Google a way to determine which sites were more popular (links were treated as votes of confidence towards websites), thus allowing them to provide searchers exactly the results they want.

However, people abused links.

Webmasters and website owners did all things possible to try and earn more links, taking shortcuts and exchanging links with every possible website (even ones that have nothing to do with them) just to earn coveted top spots in SERPs. For a long time, this tactic worked and worked really well for business owners, but at the expense of lower quality search results.

To alleviate the problem, Google had to make changes in the way they treat and value links, sending those who have been employing dirty link building tricks to a downward spiral. When their Penguin algorithm update took effect, overly manipulative link building strategies were gravely punished. Websites (thousands of them) that engaged in these tactics took the hardest hit.

So, should you still invest in link building?

It’s important to note that Google didn’t remove links in their algorithm altogether. They just got better at determining when and when not to trust a link and knowing whether or not it is editorially given, as well as whether or not it is relevant.

Not only does link building still matters —it also still holds significant value as far as search engine optimization is concerned. In fact, links are more valuable than ever, except that they are much harder to build now that Google employs stricter rules and standards when it comes to building and acquiring link relationships with other websites.

Google puts a lot into detecting and in turn penalizing webmasters who are still aggressively pursuing unnatural links. If you are unsure of your own tactics, it is easy to get yourself into trouble. Save your website from being penalized by seeking the help of an expert link building and SEO company. Experts at SEOValley can help, allowing you to perform comprehensive audits of your site and establish sounder techniques and strategies to build your links profile and maximize the value of relevant link building.

 

 

Finding Long Tail Keywords that are Worthy of Your Time and Investment

Posted By SEOValley on : February 29th, 2016

More businesses and website owners are putting more effort in optimizing for long tail keywords than they do for shorter, generic search terms. Why? Because long tail keywords have more potential to attract conversions. Longer and more specific, these phrases are the exact terms that visitors and consumers are more likely to use as they approach the late stages of the buying cycle, when they are closer to the point of purchase. While it may seem counter-intuitive to spend a lot of time researching long term keywords at the beginning, optimizing for them can actually be very valuable.

long tail keywords

 

Optimizing for Long Tail Keywords Can Drives Sales
Long tail keywords are search terms or phrases that are extremely specific to what you are selling. If for instance, you are a new business trying to sell and deliver fresh flower arrangements, it might be close to impossible to rank for “flower delivery”. By optimizing for long tail key terms like “fresh flower bouquet delivery (insert local area),” you have a higher chance of ranking for searches coming from consumers who are looking for the exact product or service you are offering.

Generic search terms are keywords that consumers typically use prior to making a purchase decision. They are primarily meant for research and narrowing down their choices. Long tail keywords, on the other hand, are very specific key terms that are far more likely to give you conversions and sales because the people who use them are further in the buying funnel. To help you visualize the phenomenon better, here is a typical buying path every consumer goes through when deciding to make a purchase:

  • First, they become aware of a product or service
  • Then they seek information about the product or service(with the possibility of a purchase)
  • They evaluate alternatives to the product or service, its features, pricing, and other significant details
  • They make a purchase decision
  • They pull out their credit card and complete the transaction
  • Finally, they evaluate the product and decide whether or not to keep it, return it, or keep buying from you.

Your long tail keywords primarily target people who are on the information seeking and alternative weighing stages of the buying cycle. Finding your site through these long tail searches will help them make the purchase decision and bring you the conversions you need.

Efficient management of long tail keywords allows you to establish stronger and clearer lines of communication between your consumers and your business. They help you target people who are actively shopping for the very things that you provide. Because people are becoming savvier online shoppers by the minute, their keyword searches are also increasingly moving towards specific long tail phrases, which is also why you should focus on generating the right long tail keywords on which you should focus your SEO campaigns.

How do you Start Finding Long Tail Keywords

You can get smart long-tail keyword suggestions through free services like Google’s very own keyword tool, and even the engine’s Suggested and Related Keywords section, which offers great insights into the most popularly used long-tail terms in search. Competitor analysis is also a legitimate way of generating efficient and competitive long tail search terms, as well as researching the natural language of your very own audience through their comment threads, forum, and email interactions.

Getting professional help is also a practical way to maximize your use of long tail keywords in your overall digital marketing strategy. SEOValley has all the tools and the expertise you need to ensure an efficient and holistic SEO and web marketing campaign.

 

3 Common SEO Myths Busted

Posted By SEOValley on : February 12th, 2016

For as long as search engine optimization has been around, people have had all kinds of misconceptions about what it is exactly all about and how it should be done. Instead of speculating about how search engines operate, it is best to get yourself educated so as to eliminate confusion about the entire concept of search engine optimization. The following is an attempt to dispel some common misconceptions surrounding SEO and shed light on what it takes to succeed in making your website and web pages rank in search results:

1. Is SEO nothing but a huge scam?

This is one of the most common (and ridiculous) false impressions about search engine optimization and it primarily stems from people’s misguided belief of what SEO is all about. Many business and website owners have sadly been led to believe that optimization can be achieved through non-ethical, black hat marketing services and techniques that promise success but deliver nothing (or offer temporary results that help boost ranking and traffic, only to see them slip down in the long run). A service that promises a number one ranking with some black magic SEO is almost certainly nothing but a money-making scheme—this is nowhere near authentic SEO.

The truth of the matter is you can’t see quick, instant and easy results with very little effort in SEO. It requires consistent and real effort and a steadfast commitment towards optimization to get the rewards you aspire. A winning SEO program doesn’t only cater to the correctable technical problems within your site, but addresses its weak points so as to help you gain rewards beyond a temporary surge or increase in your traffic.

2. Tricking the system is the best and fastest way to achieve your SEO goals.

No amount of trickery will get you to the top ranks and keep you there without experiencing a backlash in the form of search engine penalties. While manipulative SEO tricks may have worked for some websites in the past, these kinds of techniques are exactly what will get you penalized by search engines today. Now that major search engines (especially Google) have stricter algorithms and guidelines to use and follow when ranking websites, using manipulative tricks will do nothing but get you penalties and y send you to the abyss of search results. Penalties will also make it harder for you to climb up again, unless you actually begin following best practices.

Real SEO isn’t about stuffing your important keywords in your title tag or peppering your content with nonsensical phrases in the hope of ranking for them. It is about making every part of your user’s browsing experience better, and organizing your content so that search engines can make sense of your site and see you relevant. This involves:

  • Reverse engineering content creation so that it meets user needs.
  • Making content discoverable not only for human searchers but also for search engine crawlers.
  • Avoiding ambiguous data structuring.
  • Improving website accessibility via efficient site architecture and better user experience.
  • Optimizing with social sharing in mind.
  • Helping search engines categorize content by following technical standards.
  • Improving search presence through search engine snippets.
  • Improving site speed; and
  • Increasing traffic and exposure through mentions and links as you share content with the proper audiences.

3. Google is smart enough to rank me

Google is smart, but not too smart to figure out exactly what your website is all about, without you helping it understand your message. Contrary to what many webmasters believe, search engines cannot do your SEO for you. Search engines are intelligent, but you can’t expect them to do all the heavy lifting. You need to generate signals like links and engagement metrics in order to help them crawl, index, and rank results efficiently.

We can help!

At SEOValley, you get professional SEO services that don’t involve any black hat magic tricks. If your SEO provider is still big on short cuts and tricks that guarantee top ranks, it is high time to cut and run, and turn to real SEO professionals that specialize in ethical search optimization.