Well we’re hurtling through 2017 at breakneck speed, aren’t we? There’s plenty keeping us busy here at The Evergreen Agency – with an exciting new addition to our SEO offering coming very soon – which means the weeks and months are just flying by.
If you feel too like the year is getting away with you a bit, too, take at least 10 or 15 minutes right now to just sit and take stock of what you’ve achieved so far.
Our monthly digital roundup blog, as ever, features plenty of SEO insight and a whole lot of articles and links you should be checking out if you want to ensure 2017 is a belting year for you and your business.
If you’re not familiar with the format of these blog posts, we’ll let you in on how they work. Splitting them up into three key sections: ‘Increase Invisibility’, ‘Engage & Excite’ and ‘Let’s Get Technical’, we bring you section-by-section expertise and further reading to ensure you can see, at a glance, the info you’ll benefit from. Here goes…
Are you a small business? If so, do you use Google Shopping? If not, maybe it’s time you thought about it. This article on Search Engine Land sheds some light on how you can increase visibility by putting a few simple tips and tricks into practice.
Written by Andreas Reiffen, the article offers advice for smaller retailers when it comes to improving your Product Listing Ads. You can, Andreas says, compete with the retail giants – if you want to. Some of the tips include focusing on your niche, segmenting your campaigns effectively, and using natural language in your product titles. Choose overstuffed, keyword-rich titles and Google may see right through it. Tread carefully, though, and you could be onto a winner.
Do you also keep a close eye on your AdWords competitors? If not, you should. “The best (and only empirical) source of competitor data is the AdWords Auctions Insights report.” says Daniel Gilbert in his Search Engine Land piece of February 21.
“The only problem with this report is that it’s not easy to see changes over time, you can’t do any filtering, and you can’t add in any of your own performance data to see how competitor changes affected anything. And it can’t be pulled automatically, even after it’s been available for four years.”
Great visibility online isn’t just about how well your website itself performs. Instead, you must branch out and look at all aspects of your engagement strategy. Can you be doing a better job on social media, for example? And is your blog kept up-to-date?
‘Will My Organic Rankings Suffer If I Don’t Have a Blog’ covers everything first-time business bloggers need to know about setting up a WordPress or Blogger account, or adding blogging functionality to their website. It’s yet another fine piece of content from Search Engine Land and we suspect you’ll get a lot out of reading it.
Meanwhile, over on the Search Engine Watch site, this piece about setting up a business blog on a tight budget will help anyone looking to market their products or services without too much upfront spend.
Oh and before we move onto the Engage & Excite section of this piece, check this out. While it was published in January, we thought we’d sneak it into this month’s roundup.
Why? It contains loads of advice about building your online presence, by featuring five mistakes that are commonly made amongst small businesses. It’s a great insight into the world of local SEO and a good starting point for anyone making a foray into search engine optimisation.
Engage & Excite
You might not need a hand on the technical side of SEO, but could you use a bit of coaching when it comes to creativity? After all, good search engine optimisation is as much about technical skill as it is about enthralling the reader with interesting snippets of content.
Well, you’re in luck! Why? Yoast has the answer via this SEO Copywriting and Writing for Sales piece. It looks at what your audience might be looking for and how you can use the right words in order to appeal to them.
This comes with at least two benefits: it gives the reputation of your brand a nudge in the right direction and gives people the push they might need to buy into your services or products – because after all, if you don’t sound confident in what you’re offering, why should your customers put trust in you? If you only read one piece in this month’s roundup, make it the one you see on the link above – trust us; great copywriting can work wonders for your business.
Another article worth a read on the Yoast blog is this one. It features tips on improving your local SEO content strategy, which in turn may help to engage and excite your customers – old and new. Remember: it isn’t about littering your site and social media platforms with key words for key words’ sake. Instead, it’s about putting your heads together to create content that’ll keep people coming back for no other reason than that they enjoy it. And if you can give your competition a run for their money in the process, then great!
If you’re going to start the content ball rolling by starting a blog (and we’ve already talked about this in some detail in the section above), the HubSpot site has some great advice for you. Its piece: ‘How to Validate Your Blog Topics: A 3-Step Process gives you all the tools you need to ensure your blog is doing the best job it can for you.
The key to engaging with your audience is simply by understanding them. Google is always moving with the times, of course, and it’s recently brought back emojis in the search results snippets for relevant queries – find out more by clicking on the link above.
The Search Engine Watch article states: “Further context was added with the announcement that emoji will appear “where relevant, useful and fun,” and we can expect to see more of them in future. This will apply to both desktop and mobile results.”
How can you appeal to your audience in the same way Google has tried to appeal to theirs, then? It’s all about getting people to your site in the first place – and a surefire way you can do this is by earning links back to your site via other platforms.
Look at this Moz.com piece on that very subject. Written by Kerry Jones, the article – ‘How to Create Content That Keeps Earning Links (Even After You Stop Promoting It)’ – discusses the long-term benefits of a great content marketing strategy.
Take your foot off the gas and your initial hard work might be a waste of time. Discover and put into action new ways to engage and excite your audience, though, and you’ll be laughing.
Let’s Get Technical
Okay, let’s get technical…
Are you in the process of building and designing a brand new website? Before you do anything, make sure you pop over to the Moz blog to check out this piece. ‘Strategic SEO Decisions to Make Before Website Design and Build’ highlights areas you might need to address before pinging your website brief to designers and developers – and after reading this, you might be able to put some of this helpful tips into action in order to better improve your organic ranking.
While you’re on the Moz.com site, make sure you also have a nosey at this. It’s the website’s Local SEO forecast for 2017 and it features 10 predictions for the rest of the year ahead.
According to George Freitag, one of them is that ‘voice search will influence features in Google and Amazon results’. George, a ‘local search evangelist at Moz’ says voice search will determine the most important features that Google and Amazon will incorporate into their results.
He says: “As both companies start to gather more and more data about the types of complex searches — like “How long will it take me to get there?” or something more ambitious like “Do they have any more of those in my size” — Google and Amazon will start to facilitate businesses in answering those questions by allowing more opportunities to directly submit information.”
Elsewhere in the article, Moz’s Britney Muller suggests that Google will also begin to provide ‘incredibly specific details about local businesses’ – we say watch this space!
Over on Search Engine Land, an article on ways you can improve your business’s visibility on Google Maps will certainly interest those of you with a physical business presence.
An interesting read, the piece looks at a company which put all the right steps in place to ensure greater visibility online – make sure you head over to the article for a read.
Need a hand on the SEO front? Don’t forget to stay tuned here on The Evergreen Agency site to hear more about an exciting project we’re working on that will benefit your business.
Until next time…