Local SEO is vital to your business

Local SEO isn’t all about the mom-and-pop stores anymore. Basically, any business can reap the benefits that local SEO provides. Since Google did its update in 2014, the significance of local SEO is vital, many entrepreneurs focus their marketing strategy within their local community. Businesses who used local SEO before the update say they have seen a big increase after the update.

These moves are crucial because local SEO is vital to your marketing plan. However, over the years, I do believe that local SEO will continue to grow and be an important tool to every business, here is why.

Google thrives on local businesses

If you’ve done your homework properly, you will find out that Google has shown small amounts of favoritism to the smaller, newer companies. While most of its rankings have to do with the brand’s authority and history, Google also gives the people what they want; therefore, showing the more popular brands.

This all comes down to allowing small-business owners, who may only have limited resources to potentially break new ground. Google always provides free tools such as, Webmaster tools, Analytics, and so much more to help business owners increase their online traffic.

On-the-go searching

With all the phones, watches, tablets out there, you have to think your consumers will be performing a lot more on the go searches. They may be looking for a café within three miles or a café within a certain neighborhood. So, if you keep the local SEO in your marketing strategy not only will it boost your online presence, but it can also boost your presence for those on the go.

Competition is increasing

Every year, more and more businesses are opening up. You probably noticed that there a lot of businesses in your industry. However, that makes the competition that much more. Many business owners are finding even smaller niches just until they can get traffic online, but that doesn’t always need to happen. With a good marketing plan, you will see a huge difference.

These are just a few ways why local SEO is vital to one’s marketing plan. Of course, if done right, not only will have a great online presence, but you will also be searched locally too.

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Are keywords dead?

Okay, I decided this post needs to enlighten a lot of people. I have been getting numerous emails on this topic we will be going over today, which I thank those who emailed me. Many people were asking me if keywords were dead or a dying breed. Well, for starters, many people believe that, but personally, I don’t believe it. Here’s why.

semantic search, keywords, forever writing

Source: Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter/flickr

Placement vs. Frequency

First things first, keywords are not totally dead and buried. You have to think, Google needs some sort of thing to go off of, right? Well, now let’s do a little knowledge check. Does Google crawl pictures? If you said yes, please read this. If you said no, you are on the right track. Google needs text and text equals to keywords.

Now that we got that out of the way, I want to emphasize that the frequency of your keywords are not as important as the placement of your keywords. For instance, using “SEO writing company” in your title tag of your website and another time in one of your headers, are way more effective than keyword stuffing it a million and one times throughout the body of your website.

A tip to the wise, Google breaks down your site into these sections headers, body, side bars, meta data and last priority. Headers and meta data are high priority areas, which you should place your keywords. These places will help you rank higher in search engines.

It’s all about meaning

Some people think this is a why keywords dying. Well, I do not think so because Google still crawls your site for vital information; however Google no longer is interested in only the keyword(s) or phrases, but it is interested in the meaning behind it. In a way, Google decided to be sophisticated because if you think about it, anyone can write their keywords on their site pretty easily. Nonetheless, when you think about it, if you are serious about the game, you will already have great high-quality content that has a meaning behind it. You won’t have keyword stuffed content that some people who are looking to make an extra buck quickly.

Semantic search is in full swing

Semantic search has been having a major impact on user searches. It seems like Google draws a meaning from the words right on your website, instead of them focusing on the words themselves. Google draws a meaning form what users search with “semantic search.”

To get a better understanding of a semantic search, let’s use a search query for “cheap pizza in Orlando.” If the search engines analyzed the phrase, it would only look for websites that have the words “cheap,” “pizza,” and “Orlando” in them, which can bring up many results from pizza places, stores, and events that feature pizza. While on the other hand, a semantic search clarifies the meaning behind your search query – meaning the user is more than likely looking for a cheap pizza place around Orlando. So, as long as your website content seems like you are a cheap pizza place around Orlando, your website would show up in the search engine results – even if you do not have those exact keywords on your site.

Structure is important

Did you know there are two different ways to look at the SEO structure; however, both these ways can have a major effect on your page authority?

The big picture structure represents the entire structure and navigation of your website. Basically, if your website is very easy for visitors to navigate, your visitors will have a much easier time finding the information they want and need, plus Google will reward you for your time and efforts. That is why you want to title your pages correctly, correctly use your headers and make your website easy to navigate for your visitors; also you will want to make sure your sitemap will allow the search engine to crawl on it.

Also a tip to the wise, interlink your internal content will help you gain more authority, regardless of your keywords.

Now, the small picture structure is concerned more about how each of your website pages is laid out. This is pretty easy if you follow an Googles traditional structure. If you don’t know about the Googles traditional structure, it consists of a body, header, footer, and sidebars. If you place all content in their appropriate places, Google will have an easy time crawling your page, and it will be able to understand the accurate meaning of your website without you having to keyword stuff.

Overall, you can see a glimpse that keywords are not dead. Without keywords or text for that matter, your SEO will never work. Google needs some kind of text to crawl and know what your website is all about.

10 SEO Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

Marketing your small business in today’s technology-driven world is a different game than those who marketed their business 10 years ago. Even two years, it was extremely different, SEO has changed a lot, key marketing techniques came and went with Google Algorithm’s updates. Since the internet is always changing, you will always need a new and improved strategy when it comes to SEO. Luckily for you, you can try these ten tips to help make your strategy that much better.

infographic, forever writing, links, social media, mobile friendly, content

Source: Walter Lim/flickr

Identify your target keywords

As I have said in the past, your SEO foundation will be your target keywords. You will need to base these keywords off your demographic, in-depth analysis of recent and current trends, which can provide you with keywords that have high traffic, with little to no competition.  The key is to create interesting content that keeps your readers’ attention. The better you are keeping the reader’s attention, the longer they will stay and you will increase your chances of them using your services.

Mobile friendly

As some of you know, mobile traffic is rapidly taking over desktop traffic. Of course, that can be scary for those who don’t know how to convert their desktop version of their website to a mobile-friendly website. Luckily for you, most hosting sites now offer a mobile friendly option, or even automatically come with that option.

Keep it simple

Most people have in their minds that simple is not as grand as making it stand out. Well, sometimes when creating content to market your small business, simple is better. You want to keep your content simple, because not everyone will know all the abbreviations, acronyms, about the industry you are in. You should have your content easy to understand, but also informative to those who have a background in your industry.

Market strategy

A marketing strategy is vital for your company. Your marketing strategy allows you to work with your final goal in your sight. Your marketing strategy should include social media, blog posts, targeted audience, and whatever else you will need in order to reach your final goal. However, as you continue on this journey, you may find yourself changing things, adding things, and taking away things. This is a perfectly normal thing to do.

Take advantage of infographics

The last couple of years, infographics are becoming more and more popular. They actually make up a large portion of content that is produced and shared on social media platforms. However, that is not a shocker because infographics are great for presentations, marketing, and catching their reader’s attention. With all this combined, it is a very effective tool to take advantage of.

Prioritize

I watched many small businesses forget about how important it is to prioritize their daily marketing tasks. Yes, all businesses need to learn this from the very beginning. In order to be successful with your marketing plan, you need to manage your time. You need to prioritize your tasks because some tasks may be more vital than others. Granted, all tasks should be done on the day you assign them, but without time management, you will fall behind.

Social media

There are many social media platforms today. There are over hundreds of million users who use these platforms daily. If your company isn’t on them, you are doing it wrong. Many consumers go straight to social media to find reviews, services, and products. This avenue is easy, cheap, and can get your brand out there.

Link building

Link building is important. This does not mean you go off and buy your links because that is illegal and Google can and will penalize you, which I hope you decide not to try your odds. However, the true link building takes time and energy. The more links you have to your site or blog, the higher you will rank. The important thing is to have links on sites that are relevant to your topic.

Relevant content

Your content should always stay relevant to what your business is all about. For some, that can be a very narrow. However, the reasons behind keeping all your content relevant is to help with link building. Yes, relevant content helps out more than you know.

Analytics

Analytics will soon become your best friend. The number analytics provide will not lie, even if you think they are. These numbers will tell you all about your page’s failures and successes. Of course your successes are worth a celebration; however, your failures will allow you to see what you need to do to improve your site. Analytics will give you goals to set, and is a great resource when trying to come up with a brilliant marketing strategy.

Want content like this on your blog? Forever Writing offers blog writing services at unbeatable prices. Visit us today!

6 tips your 2015 SEO strategy must include

As I always tell everyone, SEO is always changing. Especially with their new updates, different trends, and new and improved strategies, it is something you always need to focus on.

Last year, there were 13 updates to Google’s Algorithm. These updates were the more popular and public ones, this is not including all the changes that were made behind the scenes daily.

My company, Forever Writing, is always looking for the new, updated SEO strategies to help our clients out. We decided to sit down and discuss some of the biggest changes that need to be addressed when talking about SEO.

Mobile Traffic

Remember back in 2012, when ComScore said that mobile traffic would surpass desktop traffic by the year 2014? Well, they were correct. Google always suggested that a responsive website can only provide the ultimate user experience by offering a “mobile-friendly” option.

mobile friendly, google, duckduckgo, bing, yahoo, forever writing

Source: Wikipedia

Optimizing for Search Engines

Some people are predicting that 2015 will be the year that search engines will take the market share. However, I don’t doubt for a second that, that isn’t possible.

It seems as if Firefox kicked Google out of the rink, and Yahoo seems to be a popular default search engine for Firefox. However, Google’s sweet deal also ends this year with Safari, and there are rumors that Yahoo and Bing are trying to gain that spot. Not to mention, iOS 8 and OS X, are giving consumers the option to switch default search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo.

As you can see, there are many other options besides Google. As they are getting more popular and accepted among the consumers, it is important to have visibility of each and every one of these.

ROI Metrics

Personally, keywords still have a big impact on the SEO game. There is no doubt about it at all, but now you have to incorporate ROI metrics. You don’t want to only rank number one for a specific keyword, but you want that to gain your business money.

Social Media

Back in the day, social media were only used to share their brand, so businesses would sign up for all social media sites. Now days, social media evolved to an awesome marketing channel. Your followers expect to engage with your brand on a more one on one level.

Let me let you in on a little secret, you can overdo social media. Yes, you can. You want to market your business, correct? Well, you want to also stay active and accommodating on social media too. You still want your brand and your customers to have that one on one relationship. When you are on all social media sites, you lose sight of that because you don’t spend enough time to flourish any of them.

So, my advice to you is stick to two or three platforms and actively pursue them. This will help you generate more sales, revenue, leads, and also build a great follower base to share your content.

social media, twitter, google +, facebook, myspace, reddit, pinterest

Source: Deviant Art/aha-soft-icons

Earn Links

Over the years, and through all of those updates, one thing remains the same: inbound links are a sign of authority and trust. This will never change, not even in 2015 or years to come.

Those days of building links to blogs that had nothing to do with your specialty are long gone. However, earning a link on a high-quality website that is relevant to your work is much more valuable. It attracts referrals, sales, leads, and branding exposure. You will notice that this year a more traditional PR and SEO tactic is in.

Precise Keywords

Another thing that finally lays to rest is targeting broad keywords. There is no doubt about it that they do bring in a high search volume, but they don’t always attract the audience you are looking for. Targeting long-tail search queries will not only attract potential customers, but these phrases will have a lot less competition.

A tip to the wise: keyword research combined with understanding a mind of a shopper of the customer you are trying to win can help you understand what search phrases and terms to go after.

 

Looking for someone to write SEO for you? Forever Writing offers SEO services at unbeatable prices. Check us out today!

Seven Reasons Why You Need a Writer

If your business is anything like ours, it relies a lot on online reputation. Online reputation is pretty critical in this day and age. That is why hiring a professional writer, such as Forever Writing is an excellent way to boost your company’s online reputation.

Sadly, not every business has the funds available to hire a writer. However, companies like ours do offer your own package deal and can play with your budget, just contact us for pricing. Nonetheless, if you are looking to invest in a writer, here are seven reasons why you are doing the right thing.

writing, professional writer, forever writing, seo, google, search engines Source: Ramdlon/Pixababy

Your website is the first impression

Yes, it does. Think about it, your website will be the first impression for a potential customer. If your website has poorly written content, spammy looking, then you are promoting garbage. On the other hand, if your site has well-written content, you are promoting a high-quality business.

Connect with clients better

When hiring a professional writer, they know how to connect to your clients effectively. Not saying you don’t, but they know how to write for a variety of audiences. The best writers will analyze your audience and target them with their various writing strategies.

Google with thank you

Google is very picky. Chances are if you don’t have the time to sit down and really look at your website or blog, then you are slowly ruining your business. Writers have the time to sit down and analyze everything. They know what’s trending, what would bring more people into your site, and how to create sales through their pieces.

Social media is the key

Social media can either make you or break you. If your content is boring, dry, and sounds like it came out of a textbook; chances are it will never be shared on social media. People want fun and engaging material. That is what sells and what gets shared through social media. Of course, you still want your pieces to be knowledgeable too.

Become an industry authority

This point can go hand in hand with the previous point. If your content is poorly written, chances are people will not take you seriously. You want your content to be well-written. You want consumers to see you as an expert.

Your employees will love you

If your main communication with your clients is through email, you then know how important effective communication in the workplace is. Once a month, have your writer conduct meetings and/or work sessions that will review basic grammar rules.  Not saying your employees don’t know how to write emails, but it is a great refresher!

Projects will be painless

Hiring a professional writer, you can implement group projects with ease. As we explained earlier, communication is the key. When getting group projects off the ground, your writer can help set up goals that everyone understands.

Of course, your writers’ skills will depend on how long they have been in the business, and their experience. However, you need to assess that before hiring them. Just remember all writers’ are not the same.

SEO: Keyword Edition

We’ve talked so much about how keywords play a huge part with SEO, but we never went too much into detail. As we already discussed in our previous posts, it all begins when you type your keywords into the search engine. As you know, keyword research is very important when it comes to SEO. Finding the right keywords can either make you or break you. By examining your market’s keyword demand, you will learn what keywords are the best, which ones will target paying customers, and even learn about your potential customers. This is not entirely about getting customers to your website, but getting the right kind of customers.

seo, long-tail keywords, keywords, forever writing, page rank, website, writing services, seo writing services

Source: Alexis Wilke/Wikimedia

The Value of a Keyword

Yes, keywords do add value to your website, if you take advantage of the right ones. Let’s say you own a writing business, do you make more money using “writing services” or “SEO writing services”? The keywords that your potential customers type into the search bar are usually accessible to webmasters, and research tools are able to locate this information. Sadly, these tools will not show you how worthy it is to gain traffic from those searches. However, to better understand the worth of a keyword, you will need to first understand your own website. This will lead to trial and error.

Long Tail of Keyword Demand

Long-tail keywords are the way to go. As you remember from us talking about them earlier, you can get more searches using them rather than one word keywords. Yes, pretty crazy, huh? However, the thing is with long-tail keywords, you have to kind of narrow down what you are really about. For example, we will use Forever Writing, instead of having “writing services” as a keyword a better one would be “SEO writing services.” This may not bring as many non-active searches as short sweet keywords, but this will bring more interested people looking to purchase.

Resources

Now, you are probably wondering where we get all of this useful knowledge from. For starters, we have been in the business for years, and secondly, we also use resources like the following:

  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool
  • Google Trends
  • Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence
  • Wordtracker’s Free Basic Keyword Demand

I’ll let you in on a little secret; Google AdWords Keyword Planner is our go to tool for SEO keyword research. This nifty tool suggests keywords and even provides us with estimated search volume. If that isn’t cool enough, it also predicts how much it would cost us if we ran a campaign with these keywords.

What are my chances of success?

In order to understand which keywords to use, it is vital to know the demand for the given phrase or term. Also at the same time it won’t happen overnight. This is a slow process, but in the end, if you do it correctly, it will be quite rewarding.

Easy Tips to Improve Your Website’s SEO

Every small business owner’s dream is to have their website embedded properly with SEO. Well, the number one rule is to research before getting started. You don’t want to spend time on embedding ineffective strategies. Nonetheless, here are several easy tips to embed on your website:

Keywords

Remember when I said the first rule of SEO is research, I really hope you didn’t think that was a joke of some sort. I wasn’t kidding; the first step will be researching what the best keyword(s) will be for your business. Without a proper keyword, any of your SEO campaigns will always fail without a doubt. Think of it this way, the keywords will be your foundation.

For example, let’s use the keyword phrase like “writing services.” This will more than likely be used by someone searching for information about various writing services. However, a keyword phrase such as “buy SEO writing services” will more likely be searched by someone who is defiantly ready to purchase SEO writing services.

Now, you should also know this important tidbit. Your keyword phrases that you choose should be specific to your company. They also should not have a marketing vibe to them. Don’t get me wrong, this is a part of marketing, but your keywords should not sound that way, instead they should sound like if you and your friend were having a conversation about your favorite shopping mall.

The Originality Rule

Now when it comes to the SEO game, originality is just that, do not duplicate content whatsoever. For instance, you don’t want to be just like your competition, you want to be unique. The entire point of SEO is for you to not only to be noticed, but for your company to stick out. When your industry is saturated with businesses, you want to grab people’s attention in a different light.

All this means is no copy and paste. Please, please, please, avoid that at all costs. Not only will you be plagiarizing, but that will hurt your company’s reputation.  Not to mention, mostly every single thing found on the internet is copyrighted.

Navigation and Internal Links

Did you know the way your site, flows also plays an important factor in your websites SEO? Yes, yes, yes, it does! Basically, the more often a page is linked to your website, the more PageRank flow it has, which results in a higher rank in the search-engine results.

Most webmasters and business owners, however, have no idea how their internal link flow is structured and are often surprised to learn that unimportant pages are ones that never stand a chance rank high in search-engines results (like contact pages) are cannibalizing the majority of their site’s PageRank flow. This offers major opportunities for improvement with relatively minor effort.

You will be surprised with how many people I speak to on a daily basis about this issue, and they have no clue whatsoever.  It should take the average person an hour at most to optimize your site’s navigation. You want to make sure that there is no duplicate content on your website. Your website should flow nicely. Now, what I tell people is to think of your dream house; does it flow nicely? How does it appear to you? Why do you like it? When optimizing your website think of your dream home and make any and all necessary changes.

Optimize Your Site’s Load Speed

Your site’s load speeds will mean everything. When doing research on just about everything, we are always in a rush. We tend to close out sites that take too long to load, am I right? Well, for the majority of people, that is the case. You want to keep load speeds to a minimum.

A good resource to check your website’s loading speed is Pingdom. Pingdom will give you a breakdown of each element that makes your website run and the time it takes for it to load. Using this resource, will help you optimize images, codes that are causing your site to load slowly. Also, you can always upgrade your web host from a shared server to a virtual private network or a dedicated server.

Resist Buying Links

Everyone thinks that having an overabundance of links are a great thing, so they will go out of their way and buy inbound links. Well, it is time to resist that temptation because both buying and selling links are against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

I don’t think I have to mention that the search engines are amazing at detecting suspicious, unnatural, and manipulative links. Now you are probably asking what do you do if you choose to buy or sell links. Well, your search engine rating will fall dramatically. It is wise to save your money and time on creating your very own content that will earn you your very own authentic inbound links.

Be natural

When it comes to SEO, a lot of business owners believe that they should keyword stuff all of their content. I hate to break it to you, but that is the wrong method, and who ever told you that needs to stop. All of your content, whether it is on your website or your blog should always sound natural. Of course, you should have your keywords in your material, but it should not sound as if a 5-year-old wrote it either.  When people are looking to use a service, they are not only looking to see who they can find on the search engine, but they are also looking for who is the most knowledgeable in the industry.