Posts in SEO
How to Leverage Social Media Backlinks for SEO

Depending on who you follow, you may hear conflicting opinions on the importance of social media backlinks and how it plays into SEO. Some marketers believe it has no impact, and other’s believe it is imperative to an SEO strategy. So, where do I stand in all of this? I’d say, decidedly in the middle. Let me explain.

Back in 2014 Matt Cutts of Google, came out and said that social signals and activity, like those from Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram, have no impact on Google Search Rankings. They said they will cull them as individual results, but they do not impact the website they are linked to.

Going even further, it’s been confirmed that a link on Facebook is labelled as a “no follow” link, which in SEO terms means that it doesn’t carry any juice. That means that any links you build on your Facebook Business Profile, or in any groups, will have ZERO impact on your off-page SEO rankings.

So, that leaves a lot us wondering, why would we even bother? With Facebook greatly reducing organic reach, why would we push a social strategy that doesn’t even help with SEO? Well, let’s break it down a little.

Referral and Direct Traffic

One of the things social media is great for, is for increasing both your referral or direct traffic. While a link on social profile may not count towards your overall backlink count, the traffic that comes from them does. One of Google’s ranking factors is how much traffic your website receives, with the importance of direct traffic outweigh that of referral (although both are important!).

In addition, Facebook and other social media sites tend to have excellent domain authority, meaning that the traffic coming from them is usually higher quality, another factor in Google rankings. Driving more traffic to your blog posts or general website pages through your social profiles is a great, and efficient way, to increase your rankings.

Outside of placing links in your posts, think about ways you can drive direct traffic through your social profile. Adding a URL to your cover photo or on your profile that a user can copy and paste into their browser can help in this respect.

Where to Place Links

Now that we know that including links in your social media can have an impact on your SEO (even though it’s not the traditional one you think of), let’s break down where you should be placing those links for maximum impact.

  • Social Posts - This one may seem obvious, but every time you post a piece of blog content or refer to your products or services, make sure you post a link for your audience to follow.

  • Your Social Profile - Almost all social media platforms let you add a link to your website under your “profile” or “about” section. Make sure you utilize this real estate by linking back to yours.

  • In Your Groups Description - with the decrease in organic reach for business pages, a lot of business owners have turned to creating Groups where they can interact with their audience. Don’t forget to put your logo inside your groups description for members to find it!

  • Your Page Button - on Facebook in particular, you have an option to add a link under your cover photo with a call to action. Make sure this link goes back to your page with an appealing CTA.

  • Cover Photo - When crafting your cover photo image, think about adding some text and printing your URL on there. Make sure it’s short and easy for a visitor to copy into a browser bar.

There is Life Outside of Google

Gasp! Can you believe it!?

Yes… There is a life outside of Google and search engines that you should be paying attention to. Are we giving up our undying love of Google? Absolutely not. It’s still the number on search engine (by far) and the number one driver for organic traffic and sales. But that doesn’t mean that the other ones out there aren’t worth pandering to (at least a little bit).

Wondering what they are? No, they’re not Yahoo or AOL (no offense guys), so make sure you check out the video below to learn more about life outside of Google, and what you should be doing to increase your SEO on ALL platforms, not just ones that start with “G”.

5 SEO Myths You May Be Wasting Your Time On

There is a TON of misinformation out there about digital marketing in general, and SEO in particular. Because Search Engine Optimization is something that a lot of people don't understand (or choose not), are overwhelmed by, or can't keep up with, it's often something that is easily misrepresented by "experts".

People also tend to get into habits with how they manage their SEO, and don’t update their techniques as things change. You’d be surprised how many people are still practicing SEO techniques that have been ineffective for years.

Don't worry, today Hub Digital has your back. We're breaking down the 5 biggest SEO myths that are still floating around in cyber space and are giving you permission to STOP waisting your time on them!

1. WWW vs non-WWW is important.
Every website owner has the decision to make their website URL “www” or to completely lose the “www”all together. While there are some technical differences in the 2, Google has officially stated that there are NO SEO benefits of one over the other. The important thing to remember is that once you choose which one you want, stay consistent with that version. You can choose your preference in Google Search Console. What IS important is having a secure site version (https) available and prevalent over your traditional non-secure version (http). In 2018 that began to play a huge role in ranking.  Learn more about that here.

2. You have to fill out your Meta Keywords
If you’ve looked at the backend of your site to do your Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions you may have noticed a spot to put in Meta Keywords. These used to be extremely important for SEO and many SEO “experts” still think they hold weight. However, in recent updates Google has announced that because of keyword stuffing (which is when a website is filled with keywords that may or may not relate to the page) that meta keywords now have absolutely NO bearing on Google search rankings. Like I said before, you can fill them out if you want, but since they don’t make a difference, what’s the point? 

3. URL's should be keyword rich
There is still debate among many SEO experts about having a URL with a lot of keywords in it. Here’s my take - creating long, keyword rich URLs may actually hurt, instead of help your brand. Recent studies have shown that Google is consistently ranking long URLs lower in search. Recent analysis shows that the top 10 results on Google consistently have URLs with less than 37 characters. Also, after analyzing a random selection of 30,000 domains they found that those with a keyword in their URL ranked NO better than those that didn’t.* On top of that, really long URLs can be difficult for people to remember. Moral of the story is, if it makes sense to throw in a keyword go ahead, but keep it short, sweet and easy to remember. *Stats courtesy of Search Metrics

4. 301 redirects aren't SEO friendly
This one can get a little technical and confusing so bear with me a little. When someone types in a URL in the top bar, it takes them to a website. It is up to us to tell the internet what site we want it to take someone to when they type in our URL. There are a few ways to do that. The 2 most popular are Domain Mapping and 301 Redirects. Domain Mapping is when you purchase a URL from an outside outlet (like GoDaddy) and you want it to link fully to your site. Through this process you are changing the DNS and hosting settings so your URL is directly associated with your website. This is telling Google that this is your MAIN URL for your site and the one that should get all the juice. However, sometimes you may want to add an additional URL or change the one that is linking to your site. In order to achieve this you can 301 redirect the extra, or new, URL. A 301 redirect is telling Google that you want this URL to link to your website permanently. While it will still bring traffic to your website, you’ll see that the URL bar will change to your mapped URL once they get to the site. Because 301 redirected URL’s aren’t mapped, and don’t carry as much SEO juice as mapped URLs, many people think they aren’t SEO friendly. However, they actually can be a great thing for your site. If you map multiple URLs to your website they end up all competing with each other in SEO, essentially dropping you in search because not one URL will stand out. This is because your URLs carry SEO weight and can help in search (like if you’ve owned the URL a long time). By 301 redirecting the extra ones, you can still use them to point to your website, but won’t be taking away from your main URL’s SEO juice. Another good use of them is if you decide to change your main URL to a new one. By mapping your new URL and 301 redirecting your old one, you’ll actually transfer about 90 - 95% of the SEO juice of the old one to the new one.

5. You should use Google Authorship
This one’s pretty easy, Google Authorship doesn’t exist anymore, so don’t even bother trying. Google Authorship was an experiment by Google trying to link content you create with your Google+ profile. After multiple attempts it never caught on, and Google shut it down. You may still see listed in some outdated SEO classes or articles. If you do, just ignore it and move on.

Want even more tips, tricks and marketing advice? Check out The Hub!

How to Rank on Google's First Page: An Interview with Neil Patel

Ok, so maybe this isn’t me interviewing Neil Patel… although, can you image how cool that would be!? What I’m sharing with you today is an interview Neil gave where he answered one of probably the most asked/most elusive question, “How can I get my website to rank on the first page of Google”.

In the interview, Neil answers the question from a mortgage professional who pretty quickly was able to move their ranking from in the 80’s to about 11 for a lot of their identified keywords. Using tried and true SEO techniques like content creation, optimized Meta Data, fast load times, linking and mobile optimization has clearly worked in moving his websites rank.

Great! This sounds amazing! So, what’s the problem then? Well, he’s been stuck at 11 for a little while. He knows that ranking on the first page is extremely important to getting more organic traffic, but can’t seem to get there. What is he doing wrong?

Well, Neil is giving his number 1 tip to move you from the 2nd to the first page. And I’m telling you, it may not be the answer you expected.

Ok, I can’t hold it in.. here’s the answer: Patience and Consistency!

YES! That thing we’ve been touting for years. Following the right techniques, doing them often, and not getting frustrated and giving up after a month or 2 is the ONLY way to get yourself to the 1st page, and STAY there.

Don’t believe me? Check out this video from Neil to hear him shed more light on how this whole SEO process works, and how the most successful people make it work for them in the long term.

Check it out here!

How to Get Authentic Backlinks Outside of Directory Listings

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Getting links to your website is one of the top ways to increase your SEO and get more organic traffic to your site. However, some of the more “traditional” techniques of doing this include signing up for a bunch of directory listings. For someone concerned about their brand image, this can often make you cringe. Not all of these directories are, shall we say… legitimate… and sometimes can even do more bad than good.

So, how can someone get their content out there in a safer way, to get more backlinks, and actually get in front of people who could become potential clients/customers? In today’s video I’m bringing you one of my favorite ways to do just that! It’s short, sweet and guaranteed to make a difference in your SEO.

How to SEO Audit Your Website... for FREE!

We all love analytics and reports. We like to have benchmarks and comparisons to know where we stand. While tracking keywords and website visits in Search Console and Google Analytics are great ways to see what's happening in search, it can be hard to tell how you're website is really doing.

When trying to improve your ranking in search, following best practices like creating keyword rich content, and filling out your meta data are pretty good ways to do it. However, are you doing all this and still struggling to get to page one? There could be other factors on your website that are impacting you. How can you figure out what those factors are?

Enter my favorite, and completely free, tool SEOtimer.com. It's completely free (have I mentioned it's free, yet?), doesn't even require signing up, and gives you a super comprehensive report on what is happening on your website. It even ranks it's suggestions so you know what to tackle first, and what can wait for another day.

Check out the video below to get my walk through of this tool and breakdown of what the reports look like - and then head on over and enter your website to get your own!

Want even more great tips, information and masterclasses? Head on over to The Digital Marketing Hub to get brand new, curated content each month to help you grow your business online.

Your A to Z Guide to The Perfect SEO Strategy

Feel like we beat the SEO drum here at The Hub? You're right, we do!

Let's chat about SEO (aka search engine optimization) a little bit. Why are we so fanatical about it? Well, have you been a little frustrated lately by the reach (or lack there of) on Facebook? Have you been seeing some traffic on your website but they haven't been buying anything (because they're not really your ideal audience)? Do you know need to step up your marketing but aren't in a place to spend money doing it?

SEO is the answer to all of these issues. It's the best way, especially in this new digital marketplace, to get through the clutter, stand out in front of your ideal target audience, and reach them in the place that they are *literally* searching for your products or services.

But hey, I get it, SEO can be overwhelming, confusing and frustrating. There is SO much information out there, and a lot of it is so "techy". Are you feeling:

✔️ A little turned off by the entire search engine optimization thing? 
✔️ Avoided it because you're not sure where to start?
✔️ Think you're doing it right but aren't 100% sure?

Enter Sara Graybill of Graybill Creative. Her guest expert training, inside The Digital Marketing Hub, is walking you through an ENTIRE search strategy (that's right, A to Z, start to finish) and doing it in a way that you can actually understand and implement! Shocking, I know!

No more wondering what an SEO strategy entails. Now more trying to figure out if you're doing the right thing. It's all about finally feeling confident, finally get more qualified traffic, and finally making sales without paying out the nose for advertising.

So, if you're a member, head on into The Digital Marketing Hub and check it out! I

f you haven't signed up yet, visit thedigitalhub.club/get-access to learn more and get instant access to this and a whole bunch of other trainings inside!

5 SEO Myths You May Be Wasting Your Time On

There is a TON of misinformation out there about digital marketing in general, and SEO in particular. Because Search Engine Optimization is something that a lot of people don't understand (or choose not), are overwhelmed by, or can't keep up with, it's often something that is easily misrepresented by "experts".

Don't worry, today Hub Digital has your back. We're breaking down the 5 biggest SEO myths that are still floating around in cyber space and are giving you permission to STOP waisting your time on them!

1. WWW vs non-WWW is important.
Every website owner has the decision to make their website URL “www” or to completely lose the “www”all together. While there are some technical differences in the 2, Google has officially stated that there are NO SEO benefits of one over the other. The important thing to remember is that once you choose which one you want, stay consistent with that version. You can choose your preference in Google Search Console. What IS important is having a secure site version (https) available and prevalent over your traditional non-secure version (http). Learn more about that here.

2. You have to fill out your Meta Keywords
If you’ve looked at the backend of your site to do your Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions you may have noticed a spot to put in Meta Keywords. These used to be extremely important for SEO and many SEO “experts” still think they hold weight. However, in recent updates Google has announced that because of keyword stuffing (which is when a website is filled with keywords that may or may not relate to the page) that meta keywords now have absolutely NO bearing on Google search rankings. Like I said before, you can fill them out if you want, but since they don’t make a difference, what’s the point? 

3. URL's should be keyword rich
There is still debate among many SEO experts about having a URL with a lot of keywords in it. Here’s my take - creating long, keyword rich URLs may actually hurt, instead of help your brand. Recent studies have shown that Google is consistently ranking long URLs lower in search. Recent analysis shows that the top 10 results on Google consistently have URLs with less than 37 characters. Also, after analyzing a random selection of 30,000 domains they found that those with a keyword in their URL ranked NO better than those that didn’t.* On top of that, really long URLs can be difficult for people to remember. Moral of the story is, if it makes sense to throw in a keyword go ahead, but keep it short, sweet and easy to remember. *Stats courtesy of Search Metrics

4. 301 redirects aren't SEO friendly
This one can get a little technical and confusing so bear with me a little. When someone types in a URL in the top bar, it takes them to a website. It is up to us to tell the internet what site we want it to take someone to when they type in our URL. There are a few ways to do that. The 2 most popular are Domain Mapping and 301 Redirects. Domain Mapping is when you purchase a URL from an outside outlet (like GoDaddy) and you want it to link fully to your site. Through this process you are changing the DNS and hosting settings so your URL is directly associated with your website. This is telling Google that this is your MAIN URL for your site and the one that should get all the juice. However, sometimes you may want to add an additional URL or change the one that is linking to your site. In order to achieve this you can 301 redirect the extra, or new, URL. A 301 redirect is telling Google that you want this URL to link to your website permanently. While it will still bring traffic to your website, you’ll see that the URL bar will change to your mapped URL once they get to the site. Because 301 redirected URL’s aren’t mapped, and don’t carry as much SEO juice as mapped URLs, many people think they aren’t SEO friendly. However, they actually can be a great thing for your site. If you map multiple URLs to your website they end up all competing with each other in SEO, essentially dropping you in search because not one URL will stand out. This is because your URLs carry SEO weight and can help in search (like if you’ve owned the URL a long time). By 301 redirecting the extra ones, you can still use them to point to your website, but won’t be taking away from your main URL’s SEO juice. Another good use of them is if you decide to change your main URL to a new one. By mapping your new URL and 301 redirecting your old one, you’ll actually transfer about 90 - 95% of the SEO juice of the old one to the new one.

5. You should use Google Authorship
This one’s pretty easy, Google Authorship doesn’t exist anymore, so don’t even bother trying. Google Authorship was an experiment by Google trying to link content you create with your Google+ profile. After multiple attempts it never caught on, and Google shut it down. You may still see listed in some outdated SEO classes or articles. If you do, just ignore it and move on.

Is it Really Worth it?
Big SEO For Small Businesses online search engine optimization class.

So by now you've heard us talk up one side and down the other about "Big SEO For Small Businesses". We've talked about:

how it will save you time,

how it will save you money,

what's included in the class,

and how it's unlike any other SEO class or strategy you've ever seen before.


But one of the things we haven't really talked about is the true value of this class. Because we're sure you're wondering, is it really worth it?

The 15 lessons in this class go beyond just a "traditional" SEO strategy. They go beyond just fiddling with a few things on your website. And they go beyond what you ever thought was possible from organic search alone.

This class is designed to optimize all your marketing techniques for SEO so everything is working for you, all the time.

And on top of that, you're not only optimizing your content to show up in search, but we show you how to optimize your content to convert those leads into sales.

Let's put it another way.

If you were to hire us to manage all of this for you, you're looking at a price tag significantly higher than what you would pay by clicking the link below.

Purchase "Big SEO For Small Businesses" 

But despite the lower price tag, you won't be getting watered down information. This is the very same information we charge premium pricing for in our consulting practice. Included in this class is some of our very best tips on how to get your website to the first page in Google search, and we just can't wait to share it with you.

But, we suggest you click sooner rather than later because enrollment for this class closes tomorrow and you don't want to miss out!

Stop Being an SEO Horror Story
Online SEO Classes for Small Businesses by Hub Digital.

 

So, one of the things that really upsets us is hearing SEO horror stories. Can you relate to any of these:

You've wasted hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on SEO companies that promise big results, yet don't deliver.

You've attempted to learn about SEO, but have quickly become overwhelmed by terms and strategies you just don't get.

You've spent hours on SEO techniques you thought would work, only to find out later they are no longer relevant and you've wasted all that time.


If you've ever even attempted to implement an SEO strategy for your business to try to get it to the first page in Google search, chances are you've experienced one (or all) of these.

And, it's super frustrating!

You work so hard, you've built an amazing business, have an awesome product or service to sell, and you just want people to find you!

Yet it seems like no matter what you do, or what program you invest in, your website isn't showing up in Google Searches and you're still missing out on a ton of potential leads and sales.

Well, it's time to put a stop to that kind of thinking. 

"Big SEO For Small Businesses" is designed with you, the small business owner in mind.

1. It's filled with proven techniques that are guaranteed to move your website up in search so you can drive more traffic and increase sales organically.

2. It's broken down into 15 easy-to-follow segments so you can fit each lesson into your busy schedule when you have time. 

3. It won't cost you the thousands of dollars it would if you hired an "SEO expert" to do it for you.

That's right. It works. It saves you time. It saves you money.

So, it's time to do something good for your business. You've worked on hard on it, and it's worked hard for you. You deserve it.

Purchase "Big SEO For Small Businesses" 

What's Inside "Big SEO For Small Businesses"?
SEO online classes from Hub Digital Marketing in Rhode Island.

We hope you had an awesome weekend and have come back this Monday morning refreshed, rejuvenated and ready kick some serious business butt!

We know we are! Check out out our Monday morning game face...

Hub Digital MArketing Rhode Island - Big SEO For Small Businesses

k, so maybe that face is a little bit more cute, than butt kicking...

But now that we've got your attention, we wanted to spend some time really diving into our newest course, "Big SEO For Small Businesses". One of the things we're sure you're wondering is why you should invest in this? What's included and what are you, and your business, going to get out of it?

Well, the number one question we get asked is "how can I get my website to the first page in Google Search"? Well, here's your answer. "Big SEO For Small Businesses" is a complete, proven, strategic roadmap to moving your website up in search. 

It's clear, easy-to-follow, and perfect for those:

-  Who have some SEO experience
-  Who have zero SEO experience
- Or those who don't even know what SEO is. 

We're guessing you fall into one of these three categories...

And best of all, it's presented to you in 15 easy-to-follow modules that you can dive into on your own schedule.

Modules 1 - 3 - WHY SEO
In the first 3 lessons we'll walk you through:

  • Why SEO is important and why you can't just "buy" it.
  • The 2 different strategies around search and how you can rock each of them.
  • And get you prepared for future lessons by diving deep into finding the perfect keywords and key phrases you want to show up for in search complete with handy printouts for guided brainstorming.

Modules 4 - 6 - ON-PAGE SEO
Lessons 4, 5 and 6 are where we get technical. We'll walk you through:

  • How to incorporate those keywords on the front and backend of your website.
  • We'll completely explain Metadata, how it helps with SEO, and how you can optimize it on your website, no previous experience required.
  • As well as how to take advantage of linking throughout your site to spread around the SEO juice.

Sounds overwhelming? Don't worry! We'll take you through each step complete with handy tech guides and how-to's for your specific website platform.


Module 7 - GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
This is sure to become a favorite lesson you'll want to go back to time and time again. 
In it we'll be showing you:

  • The in's and out's of Google Search Console (soon to be your favorite tool for your business)
  • How you can use it to track your progress and see exactly how everything is working for you.
     

Modules 8 - 8.5 - BLOGGING
These six lessons dive deep into one of the most important things you can do for long term traffic and sales growth, blogging.
 

  • We turn "blog" from a 4-letter word into a streamlined strategy that will do some serious heavy lifting for your brand.
  • We show you the best days and times to post for maximum engagement.
  • Check out a full list of topic starters so you never run out of blogging ideas again.
  • Optimize your blog posts to drive huge traffic all while saving you time.

Modules 9 - 11 - OFF-PAGE SEO
The final lessons in this class take you beyond the basics as we explore:

  • How to use video to increase SEO.
  • Discover the importance of getting links on your site (and how to do it).
  • And introduce you to our favorite FREE tool for instant first page placement in local search.

These lessons are designed to help you take your SEO strategy into something that will serve your for months and years to come.

We told you - it's a complete A-Z roadmap of EVERYTHING you need for a successful SEO strategy WITHOUT spending thousands of dollars on an SEO "expert" or a company in India to attempt to do it for you.

It's the ONLY SEO course you'll ever need.

Reserve your spot in "Big SEO For Small Businesses"

How We Got Our Website to #1 in Google Search...
How we got our website to rank #1 in Google Search - Hub Digital Marketing, Rhode ISland.

Yesterday we pulled back the curtain and let everyone in on our newest class "Big SEO For Small Businesses". We had such a fun time giving away some of our best SEO tips in our free Master Class, and we're overwhelmed by the response of those looking to take that knowledge and dive even deeper by purchasing "Big SEO For Small Businesses"

We have to say, we're pretty exhausted after such a crazy day:

How Hub Digital in Rhode Island got their website to rank #1 in Google Searc with SEO.h.

But, we know that in the race to be #1 in Google Search there are no days off! (Ok, maybe you can take one or two here and there...)
 
After starting Hub Digital Marketing in 2014, we knew that being a small start up, with very little money to spend on ads, put us at a disadvantage when competing with large agencies. We made the decision that traditional ads were not going to work from us. So what did we do? We focused on getting to the top of organic search (aka SEO). 

After just a year we found ourselves ranking #1 in Google search for over 11 different identified keywords for our business, and continue to maintain those positions (and move up in others) 3 years later.

So, how did we do it? Here's our secret.... Consistency. 

We knew SEO wasn't a quick hit and that we would have to commit to best practices and continue to evolve over the years. Did it take work? Absolutely! But let us tell you something... It was SO worth it!

We now field calls from qualified leads, every week, from business owners looking for us.

We don't have to spend thousands of dollars on ads, we don't have to convince people to call us, and we don't have to waste our time on sales calls to people who aren't ready to invest in their digital marketing. 

Our closing rates have increased significantly, and we've filled our consulting practice with some amazing small businesses we love working with.

Do you want to be able to say that in your business? We can help you do that!

We took over 3 years of research, learning, and trial and error, and have created a completely streamlined system that is guaranteed to help you move up in Google Search results, drive more qualified website traffic, AND increase sales.

And the best part? You don't have to be an SEO expert (in fact you don't even need to know what SEO is) in order to get the same results we did.

Are you ready to grow your business in a sustainable way without spending thousands of dollars on advertising? 

Click here to learn more and watch a video about Big SEO For Small Businesses.

And to make this deal even sweeter? We've got a VERY special pricing deal going on that is only good for the next few hours! You'll get our full program (plus maybe even a few extra bonuses!) at a significantly reduced price! 

No seriously, it's a BIG money saver that is expiring tomorrow!

So click the link below and dive into one of the only SEO courses you'll ever need!

Anthony Pensabene: 3 Ways to Create Killer Content
Today's guest blog comes from Anthony Pensabene, an SEO expert, who is breaking down how to create content that not only drives traffic to your website, but is content your audience actually cares about.

Today's guest blog comes from Anthony Pensabene, an SEO expert, who is breaking down how to create content that not only drives traffic to your website, but is content your audience actually cares about.

You’ve heard content is important. 

But what’s next? What’s your next piece of content going to be about? 

Many small businesses choose topics related to services or products. Alternatively, some choose topics based on current events or the interests of staff. 

All of those are fine, yet these businesses wonder why that content is not driving traffic or kindling interest after initial publish.

Below, you’ll learn three ways to create content that:

  • Your target market cares about
  • Drives traffic to your site

Answer Questions

Many businesses seek SEO services to rank better for competitive terms related to services and products. However, query-related content is a great way to drive traffic and the interest of people who are in the sales funnel. 

So rather than attempt to rank for a product or service term, you want a piece of content to rank well in addressing a customer’s question or concern.

Let’s use a sneaker supplier as an example. It’s very likely generic words like ‘sneakers’ or ‘womens sneakers’ will be too competitive. Similarly, any brand name such as ‘Nike’ or ‘Vans’ will be super competitive. 

What’s a small businessperson to do? Answer questions that customers have related to the product or service.

  1. Start toying with Google’s autosuggest function. 

Place words how to, when, and what before a term.

There’s no limit to what you can find. Below, I’m going through the alphabet, putting ‘b’ next to ‘how to’:

2. AnswerthePublic is a cool content tool that gives a grand idea of the kind of information people want to know around any topic. 

Let’s use the topic of car insurance. We put ‘car insurance’ in the tool, choose US for country origin, and we’re provided with 157 questions.

At this point, you may wonder which topics to choose. To further target content, consider the search volume and competition level.

Copy and paste queries into Google’s Keyword Planner to get monthly search volume and a better idea of how difficult it will be to rank for the term.

Get Peripheral

3. Let’s use Google Analytics to learn more about our site visitors’ interests.

In Analytics, go to Audience → Interests → Affinity Categories

Basically, Google segments site visitors by their overall search behavior. It’s a nice way to generate peripheral topic ideas. 

So let’s say we have a clothing business and identify Home Decor Enthusiast as an affinity category. Our customers shop for clothes, but according to Google data, they also visit home interior sites, buy home goods, etc.

You can get creative in combining your service or product with identified affinity categories. Or, you could use a content ideation tool like Hubspot’s.

Here are some ideas:

Boom! Now, you have three new ways to generate topics and a bunch of new tools to try!

Anthony Pensabene has been working in digital marketing since 2007. He helps his boss, Dan Shure, with the Experts on the Wire podcast.

Let's Be Real - SEO Is Hard And Confusing...

Whenever I use the term "Search Engine Optimization" around a small business owner, I always get that "grimace" in response. I bet you're doing it right now - and I don't blame you!

SEO is confusing, frustrating, and, most of the time, seems downright impossible. There are tons of SEO "experts" out there that say they have the "magic bullet" or the "one" thing that you can do to see instant results.

Well, here's the truth. There is no "magic bullet" and there is no "instant results". Good SEO requires hard work and commitment. It takes time and energy and can sometimes be just "too much".

 
 


However, there's a reason SEO is such a talked about subject, and marketing experts charge thousands of dollars to help small business owners do it right. It's because it works!

Showing up on the first page of search is the #1 way to drive huge traffic and sales through your website without spending thousands of dollars on advertising!

I know how valuable good SEO can be for a small business, and next week I'm sharing my 5 best tips to move your website up in search- for FREE!

I am super excited to announce my FREE training - The 5 FREE Things You Can Do To Get To The First Page In Search on May 25th at 12pm and 7pm EST.

Reserve Your FREE Seat Now!


This absolutely free master class will show you:

  • The number 1 rule in creating optimize website content that Google will LOVE and want to serve in search results.
  • The best way to show Google your site is fresh and updated so it knows to serve it first over other sites.
  • How to optimize your bloging content and news articles to get the biggest impact in search.
  • What you should be doing on the backend of your website to start seeing your site on the first page.
  • How to effectively track your work to see how it is working for you .

Don't Miss Out! Save Your Seat!


Are you looking to get your website up to the first page in search and don't want to pay thousands of dollars for experts or advertisements to do it for you? Than you are going to love this free training!

Can't wait to see you there!

Skyrocket your website in search with "Big SEO For Small Businesses"!

Are you struggling to get your website to appear on the first page of Google? Do you feel like SEO is way over your head and you don't understand what you should be doing? Do you want to know how I got my website to be #1 in search for FIVE of my top keywords? "Big SEO For Small Businesses" is an 11 unit course designed to help you, the small business owner, optimize your website and learn best practices to skyrocket your website in search and drive more traffic and more sales. Included in this class is:

- 11 In-depth videos guiding you through all aspects of SEO
- Downloadable PDF's walking you step-by-step through how to optimize your individual web builder
- A BONUS Myth-Busters worksheet on the most popular SEO Myths
- Private Facebook Group to help answer your questions and offer support
- Lifetime access to class content to go back and review whenever you need to

For a limited time get access to this class for ONLY $149! Head on over and enter the code LETSGO at checkout to get $30 off! Offer valid until 4/22/16.

Learn more about "Big SEO For Small Businesses" and check out an exclusive video on how it can help you get your business to the first page of Google.

 

What is SEO?

Website developers, digital marketers and ad agencies throw around the term SEO in everyday conversation. Ever since Google began dominating the search market, businesses big and small have been searching for ways to get found. We now have companies built specifically around finding ways to utilize the various algorithms and get their clients ranked #1 in search. But for a small business, what does SEO actually mean, and what do you really need to know about it?

Put very plainly, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting your website to rank for desired search terms without paying for it.  In this age of technology, most people are researching their choices online before making any decision. They want to make sure they know a business inside and out, and that it will fit their needs before they make a purchasing decision. So how can you, as a small business, begin to show up if someone searches for your product or service? Below are a few, very basic tools that are awesome places to start.

1. Make sure your website is up-to-date and relevant. Do an internal audit of your website. Do you have enough content on your site? Is it full of keywords? One of the first places to start is on the front end of your site. Make sure it’s full of content, photos and videos (if you have any) that describes you and your business and makes it easy for both the consumer (and Google) to figure out what you actually do.

2. Add relevant links. Google wants to know that you’re a real website, and one of the ways it can do that is by seeing that you are associated with other real websites. Creatn content such as adding a news page linking out to websites that provide useful information related to your business or a page that shows off a list of your clients and drives traffic to their site. Ask your clients to do the same if possible. Finally, make sure you put your website on legitimate social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to add some more links back to your page.

3. Speaking of social media, get on it! If you don’t have a presence on multiple social media sites, you are doing yourself a disservice. Sites like Facebook and Twitter already carry huge weight in the SEO market and provide another place for people to find you and your brand. Not only that, but they provide a place to post relevant, shareable content to help spread the word and keep people updated about your product or service.

4. Do the backend work. Filling out data correctly on the backend of your website (or data not seen by you and I just by looking at your site) can make a huge difference in your ranking. While this is absolutely something you can do on your own, a lot of business owners prefer to have someone with more experience do it for them. If that sounds like you, we've got some things you should be looking out for when interviewing prospective candidates:

  • Meta titles and descriptions are the most important. A lot of companies still focus on “meta keywords” which aren’t relevant anymore to Google. Find a company that knows that and understands that a majority of their focus should be on creating rich titles and descriptions (in full sentences!) and that every page should have different content. A huge “no-no” is putting the same title, description and keywords on every page.
  • Make sure they will index you in webmaster tools, and know how to do it. Webmaster tools is the best way to tell Google that you are a relevant site with rich content. Submitting your URL to index and your site map are things that any SEO expert should know.
  • Ask what else they can do for you. Outside of adding your meta data, ask them what other outlets they can get you on and other tools that make make sense. Does blogging make sense for you? Do you have a lot of videos? Maybe a YouTube page would work well. Ask them to help you out with suggestions beyond that basics. 

5. Be patient. These things take time! You’re not going to start ranking right away and you’re not going to immediately generate leads. Know that this is a longterm strategy for you. Be patient and it will pay off.