Posts tagged seo expert rhode island
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 Use Google Trends to Shape Your Content Strategy

Google has SO many cool tools. So many FREE tools! So, why are we, as business owners not taking advantage of them?

If I had to guess, I would say it's because many of us either don't know they exist, or don't know how to use them. Well, that's where I come in!

In the past we've gone through Google My Business, Google Search Console and Google Keyword Planner - so today we're diving into Google Trends, a super cool insight into what other people are searching for on Google. It's an awesome way to see what timely things are happening that you can relate back to your business, or what is happening in your vertical that you can shape content around. By focusing on trending keywords and phrases, you can capitalize on all that SEO to drive more traffic to your site.

Check out the video below to get inside view of the tool and how to use it!

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.

No Summer! Don't Go Yet!

Summer is rolling to a close (no! not yet!). But we've got some sizzling hot new content for you inside The Hub! (see what I did there?)

Think you've read everything there is about the importance of getting links?

And are still confused? It's all good - we're diving deep into this Off Page SEO technique (among others), and are showing you how to easily get links back to your site. Super clear, super straight forward, super important

Ready to start driving more sales, without having to work much harder?

I mean, who isn't!? We brought in sales funnel expert April Lewis to give us her insider secrets on putting together sales funnels that will help you bring in more email signups and sales for all that content, course work and consulting packages you have just waiting to be bought.

Looking for a new (FREE!) stock photo source?

I've got another guest on the podcast this month, Dara Simons (aka web design genius), who is sharing with us some of her best tips in case you need to DIY your own website. AND she even has some great resources and ideas for cool (aka not LAME) stock photos!

All of this content (PLUS one more Guest Expert training later this month on how to get out of your head and get visible on video) is brand new this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

Oh, and because you can try it out FREE for the first seven days, you can check all of this stuff WITHOUT paying a dime!

I can just hear the chorus of "Thank You's" now! (You're welcome by the way!)

Check out The Hub here!

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!

PSA! The "Scary" SEO Thing You've Probably Been Avoiding

Ahhh.... Metadata. (Wait! Don't go! Hear me out!) That 8 letter word that causes some of the most confusion, frustration and irritation among business owners when it comes to SEO. Often times, when working with clients, I will bring up working on their "back end data" and they immediately shut down. Either it's something that seems super overwhelming to them, or it's something they've been burned on in the past. Let me explain...

A lot of SEO "companies" know that some of the more technical aspects of SEO can be confusing to business owners. And why wouldn't it be? Your expertise is in running your business, NOT optimizing your website for search. Unfortunately, there are some people who take advantage of that lack of knowledge (or lack of interest in learning), and will either overcharge, or claim their doing "something" to your website that isn't really getting you any results.

So today, I'm breaking down Metadata. Now, don't shut down - it's really not that scary, I PROMISE! So before you invest a ton of money in an SEO company (or a ton of time researching how to do SEO yourself), let's dive into some of the terminology when it comes to "back end SEO" and whether or not you should be wasting your time, money and energy on it.

Meta Titles

Meta Titles, or Title Tags, are the titles you give each of your pages. These title tags are displayed in search as the clickable title in search results, as well as the title that appears up on the tab in a web browser.

Meta titles - digital marketing, rhode island.

Meta Titles are really important not just for Google to get an idea of what your page is about it, but are used for social sharing (they're what populates automatically when you paste a link in Facebook), and should encourage clicks to your site. Updating your Meta Titles on every one of your website's pages should be a top priority.

Meta Descriptions

Meta Descriptions, like Meta Titles, are full sentence descriptions placed on the backend of each page in your website, that utilize keywords to appeal to search engines, and draw in potential website traffic. Like their Title counterpart, these should also be updated to include important keywords on each and every page.

Meta Descriptions - Hub Digital Marketing, RI.

Meta Keywords

Ok, here's a good sign if the SEO company you're looking to hire is legit. Meta Keywords used to be Google's jam, and it was the main focus of almost every SEO company's strategy for a long time. However, Google realized that people were just stuffing random keywords into the section, and that it wasn't helping them serve relevant results to people. So a few years ago they completely eliminated any authority behind meta keywords. If you find an SEO company that is still touting them as part of their strategy, you may want to think twice.

Alt Tags

Alt Tags, or Alternative Text Tags, are descriptions put on the back of images, that describe what the image is, or the function of it. It's used mostly by screen readers (for those that are blind or visually impaired), but also hold weight with Google, who use them to tell what the image and it's surrounding text is about. Adding Alt Tags to your images are a great way to add even MORE keywords to your site, plus ensures your site is accessible to those who are visually impaired.

Alt Text Tags - Hub Digital Marketing

H1-H3 Tags

A lot of people believe that Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 (and so on), tags are strictly used for design purposes, as they often change the style of text. Not true! They are actually great ways to layout your page, and quickly and easily showcase your page content to Google. Make sure you have descriptive H1 titles, and try to include H2 tags throughout the page to break up walls of text, and give people (and Google) an idea of what each section is about.

Heading 1 Tags - Hub Digital Marketing

See!? It's not that scary. It's all about just knowing the terms and what your focus should be when it comes to optimizing the backend of your website. Whether you end up doing it yourself, or hiring a company to manage it for you, we always believe that knowledge is power!

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.

How to write blogs for Google AND Your Customers
writing blogs that appeal to potential customers and for SEO from Hub Digital.

We talk A LOT about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how to write blogs and content that satisfies the "Google God's" and all their algorithms. But often times, it's easy to get caught up in writing for Google, and forget that there are REAL people on the other end who are actually reading your content. Today we wanted to dive into 5 of the most important things to keep in mind when writing your blogs to ensure that you're appealing to both the automated search bots AND the human beings who have the potential to become your clients or customers.

  1. The Importance of Being Human Even (or Especially) When Writing for SEO!  We can’t stress enough that being human matters.  Always remember that the whole point of all of this is to grow your business.  Right?  So, once you’ve gotten someone to your site you want to keep them engaged by sharing authentic information that will set you apart from your competition and hopefully build relationships (brand advocates) (and clients) that will convert to sales!  Write in an authentic voice that is speaking directly to that target audience and make sure you’re sharing relevant information that they (should) find of interest.  
     
  2. Self Awareness & Keyword Research…  We always work very closely with our clients to identify their UVP (unique value proposition) and/or differentiator in their business vertical.  It is so very important to really understand what you do, why it is special, what you enjoy doing in your business and what your clients or customers like, enjoy, and find special about your business. Sharing information based on this information is key to creating rich content that works for you.  Then doing research around all of this and utilizing these keywords and key phrases through your SEO strategy is super important.  Need help researching keywords? Check out some of our favorite resources: Google Keyword Planner , Moz Keyword Explorer 
     
  3. Hone in on ‘Who’ Your Searcher Is and Write for Them Only!  Do you have a clear picture or, even better a written down description of who your target audience is?  Can you paint a clear picture of them in your mind?  If not, this is a GREAT best practice tip in and of itself.  Once you’ve figured this out you should always be mindful that that is who you are writing for.  The title that they would find interesting, the keywords you’ve identified that they would be searching (which should be in the title and the description, and don’t forget your meta data), content that they will find of interest, and so on.  Get what we’re trying to say here?  

    We know that #TheStruggleIsReal and we hear so many clients, friends and students complain about sitting down to write only to end up staring at a blank screen with their fingers on the keyboard for 30 minutes with nothing to show for it!  Have no fear! Our FREE booklet ‘A Year’s Worth of Blogspiration’ is nothing short of pure gold with an entire year’s worth of idea generators to help you be proactive and get sales!  Go ahead, don’t be afraid, get it now and we promise it will make all of this so much easier!   
     
  4. Use Internal Links (back to your own site, like we just did in the last tip ;)) and External Links (to other reputable sites)!  We often recommend that you write first, then go back through and add these links. It is generally easier to flow freely (once you’ve identified your topic and done your research of course) then go back through to make sure this important tactic is used!  It’s a super important ‘best practice’ in your overall integrated SEO strategy.  
  5. Break Up Walls of Text.  Humans have a continuously shrinking attention span.  Fact. Scientists continue to study and prove this!   So, when you’re writing your blogs make sure to format it in an engaging and ‘pleasing to the eye’ way.  Subtitles, lists, bullet points and images (or video) are great ways to accomplish this.  You don’t have to stress about writing long articles or white papers. Instead focus on creating 400-600 word engaging blogs weekly (or at least twice per month) is optimal.  And when you are using those eye-catching, engaging images just don’t forget to have your ALT tags in place!  

We love educating and empowering our clients, and you, the small business owner – it is just who we are and what drives us.   We hope you find these tips helpful.  And, as always feel free to share the love and empower other friends, family or colleagues…knowledge is power!