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How to Target Long-Tail Keywords For effective SEO

long tail keywords chartSearch engine optimization (SEO) is always changing, but one thing that remains constant is clients/website owners will always want to acquire top rank in search engine results.  While, this desire is natural, the success of an SEO should arguably be measured by the overall traffic it receives.  To get a lot of traffic, SEO marketers must correctly use keywords, especially long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are specific and long phrases that users are likely to search for when they want to purchase an item or when they are looking for more information on an item before purchase.  These types of keywords can be highly valuable if you know how to use them correctly. For instance, if you are a small business that sells furniture, your chances of getting a top rank in search results when a user searches for “furniture” are slim; but if you specialize in antique furniture in Monroe, Georgia, then a user that searches for “antique furniture in Monroe, Georgia”, is likely to view your page as chances are you will be top among the search results.

Chances are that you will draw less traffic by using long-tail keyword than when you use a general keyword, but the quality of traffic you will get will be better. In addition, you will get more committed potential customers who are likely to purchase your product.

Get your keywords right

Keywords form the basis of any search that is conducted online, hence, the need to get your keywords right.  But how do you develop a long-tail keyword that will yield results? Well, there are many varying strategies to creating keyword, some that are effective and others that are not. Below are a few strategies that can give you success if implemented properly:

Analyze: when creating long-tail keyword first analyze the products you sell or the services you offer, and then develop keywords around these products that you think users are likely to use when making a purchase. For instance, if you sell pianos then the keyword “best pianos for sell” might be a commonly used keyword, hence has a lot of competition.  However, a keyword that is specific might not have so much competition such as “Grand Yamaha Pianos CF series for sale”. In addition, such a long and specific keyword will attract people that are ready and more likely to make a purchase.

Test: Once you have made the most suitable keywords, test them across keyword tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush. These tools will help you analyze how your keyword will rank when similar searches are conducted.

While testing, bear in mind that 70% of your keywords should be a long tail, while 30% are head terms (most common terms used in a search). Your first test might not be successful right away, so test and retest until you find a unique keyword phrase.  This might seem tiring, but once you find the right keyword, you will be pleased with the end results.

Make good use of user generated comments:  User generated comments such as reviews and comments from actual users tend to have long-tail keywords. Try and infuse your web pages with this content and you will begin attracting the “right kind of traffic.”  In addition, user-generated content can be a great source of long-tail keywords to use in your SEO. For instance, users are highly likely to mention specific model numbers, specific applications and different color variations of products.

Explore Google suggest: when you conduct a search on Google, the suggest tool will often give you a number of suggestions related to your search. For instance, if you search for “SEO” you will get ideas such as “SEO tools” and “SEO Companies”. Use this tool to give you an idea of what type of long-tail keywords you should be looking at, and to develop your unique keyword.

If you would like to achieve an optimal web presence, then you must target your long-tail keyword correctly, to yield tangible positive results. When creating keywords for SEO bear in mind that it is not the quantity of the phrases but their quality.

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Google Changes Local Result From 7-Pack to 3-Pack

google 3-pack imageYou may or may not of noticed the recent changes Google has implemented in the local search results, if you are no longer showing up in the local results your business will certainly feel the impact of the change.  Prior to August Google usually showed 7 local results below the map section of search results, now they are only showing 3 results.  In addition to just showing 3 results, they have eliminated the full address and are  now just showing the street, removed the phone number and Google+ links, but still has a link to the website.

We contacted Google about the change and their response is the top 3 listings got most of the web traffic so they eliminated the other 4 listings.  This is great for the top 3 positions in the local pack as their sites are going to see an increase in traffic and sales.  The other benefit we are seeing is the local pack is now showing up in the #1 position 93% of the time in comparison to 25% of the time with the old local 7-pack.

So the question is how do you get your business to rank in the local 3-Pack.

  1. Go to Google My Business and ensure NAP data is correct, as well as listing the company website, hours of operation and the payment types. Also go through all your local citations (Yelp, Insider Pages etc) and make sure the info is correct.
  2. Make sure your business categories are ones that Google recognizes like plastic surgeon not breast augmentation remove the ones they don’t recognize.
  3. Reviews are very important, as you can see from the illustration below our client is Dr. Hallak in the middle of the three pack for “plastic surgeon San Diego” and we are now working on reviews for him. His office manager was simply too busy to get this done in house.  And make sure to reply to the reviews good and bad!
  4. Photos, make sure to add photos to your Google My Business account the more the better.
  5. Social Signals play an important role, make sure you are active on Facebook and Google Plus.
  6. Organic SEO is probably the strongest signal to get you in the pack.
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Google Announces New Mobile Algorithm Roll Out April 21st

penguin 2015Is your Website Ready for the April 21st SEO-Pocalypse

April 21st Google will be rolling out changes to its mobile search algorithm.  Starting April 21st, Google will be expanding the use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal.  This change will have a negative impact on your website if it doesn’t meet Google’s mobile standards.

Two years ago Google recommended that Responsive Design is the preferred mobile platform.  Many businesses still have not made the change over and the day of reckoning is a short two weeks away.  It is no longer a “nice to have” functionality it is a “must have” if you want to stay competitive.

Its not too late to convert your site before the deadline of the 21st.

If you are not sure if your site is responsive click here and we will run report.

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Understanding SEO

Understanding SEO

The most common question we hear is “how long will SEO take?”

Seems like a simple answer but it’s not, there are many factors that go into SEO.  Did your site once rank but now is deep underwater?  Perhaps you got hit with a manual penalty or an algorithm update penalty.  See image below this is a typical algorithm penalty.

algorithm penalty

In this particular case the prospective client didn’t have a manual penalty message from Google but this is a classic sign of a site getting hit by continuous algorithm updates.  In review of this client’s site we found thousands of spammy links that needed to be removed.

Now after fixing issues with site it is back and ranking great, but you can see it took time to fix, almost 6 months and I have seen it take up to a year.

algorithm update

For many website owners or SEO managers, it can be difficult trying to figure out why your site rankings are dropping and not improving.  It may very well be that your current SEO person simply doesn’t have the right strategy for fixing your site.  You may have just a few spammy links that are holding the site back, or it may be an architectural issue.  We always start with the site architecture and go through and fix all issues.  In many cases we have found it was simply keyword stuffing that was causing problem.  Google is looking for natural verbage throughout site and this includes the title tags and meta descriptions.

SEO is about fixing current problems with site and links as well as preventative measures for future algorithm updates.  Once these problems are fixed SEO is a continuous project.  SEO is just like medicine you identify the ailments and prescribe the proper medicine or procedure to fix the ailment.  And in order to stay healthy it will require a healthy diet and exercise.

It is important to understand that good SEO takes time.  In many cases we are working with many past SEO companies that may have employed black hat tactics on your site.  This is why we always start with a site audit so you the customer understands what needs to be fixed.

If you would like a site audit contact us today.

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What Does Google Want in 2015

google panda imageAre You Confused About What Google Wants?

I can remember back in the good old days of SEO how easy it was to rank a website.  Prior to 2012 all you had to do was optimize your pages correctly and build as many links as you can and you would be at top of search engines.

All of us want to be #1 for search terms relative to our business as this obviously equates to more revenue for our business.  SEO is still as relevant as it was 10 years ago for a business, but the game has changed considerably.

First off, you need to change your mindset that you are a customer of Google (unless you are paying for Adwords of Course) their customers are consumers performing searches online.   Google wants the most relevant content to come up organically in search results and local business results.

So how does Google determine if you are relevant to search queries?  Google knows that you are relevant based on signals coming and going from your website.

2015 Guide to Google Rankings:

  • Google still puts a lot of emphasis on links, but not quantity, Google is looking for high authority sites that link to your website.
  • Content is very important, adding a blog to your site and adding relevant content is important. You should write about what people are looking for online.  A great tool for this is semrush.com you can put in a search term like “breast augmentation”  and get dozens of keyword ideas to write about
  • Build a following online. Yes that means joining communities relevant to your business and writing and responding to content.  For plastic surgeons you should be active weekly on sites like realself.com answering questions.

Here is the unspoken reality of the internet that isn’t mentioned very frequently. Everything is inter-connected.

There used to be a time that Google only cared about keywords and links. Those days are long gone and it has become a more complex environment thanks to social media and the fight against spam and garbage content by Google.

But what is it going to take?

It’s going to take you knowing what business you’re “really” in, what problems you “specifically” solve and who you “specifically” solve them for.

It’s going to take time in your calendar every day to be intentional and purposeful. Once a week at a minimum you ought to write well written content that answers the questions above and brings real value to someone.

It’s going to take time reading blogs, commenting and sharing them out to your growing audience.

Do you want more traffic from Google today and in the future, regardless of what rules they make or change? If so, I encourage you to build a community that Google will love and you will never have to worry about where your website traffic will come from.


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