Archive for the ‘Yahoo’ Category

Search + Social: Why Reviews Matter

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Testimonials and Recommendations matter!

This is simply a fact for any business be it word of mouth or online reviews. Personal recommendations are extremely powerful with regard to growing your business and bringing in new clients and patients. Are people leaving your business positive reviews? Do enough people look closely at what is said in reviews to help your online business grow?

The Role of Online Reviews

google-local-denver-dentistOnline review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Places, and Bing Local give people fast access to location facts and ratings for local neighborhood businesses.  Every year, a growing number of online visitors are using reviews to build their trust in local businesses.

According to a BrightLocal study done in 2013, 85% of consumers said they read online reviews for local businesses.  79% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  And 73% of consumers said that positive reviews online make them trust a local business more.  There is no denying that customer reviews help you engage with your potential clients and also help you understand potential customer needs.  Reviews also help you improve your online visibility in search results by increasing trust and click-through rates for your website.  This actually helps push your site higher in the rankings if enough people continue to engage with the content they find on your site.

The Role of Social Media

So, how do search engines use reviews in their search results?  At first glance, it’s easy to see that Google and Bing both show the amount of reviews a business has in its local results. With the growing popularity of social networking websites, online searchers have more access than ever to attitudes, opinions, and viewpoints of people who have interacted with a business.  Search engines are realizing how trustworthy and useful this information is by incorporating activity on these sites as favorable ranking factors.  Google utilizes +1s in its algo.  Bing recently rolled out their new Smart Search feature which incorporates reviews from places like Facebook, Mapquest, and Yelp in local results.  Reviews are increasingly becoming more about personal interactivity on social platforms, and sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are playing a bigger role in how a website ranks in search.

How to Best Leverage Social & Online Reviews

With social and review sites in mind, what is the best way to incorporate those reviews and interactions into your greater web marketing plan?  First, if you don’t already have listings or pages on these sites, then, you will want to actively work on claiming and optimizing those listings.  Make sure your business name, address, phone number, business hours, and website url are up to date and current so people can find you and contact you.

Create an outlet where you can expertly provide advice and information about your business.  Promote your special services.  Offer something that “the other guys” do not.  What makes you stand out from the crowd?  Create value, and share it on these pages with potential new clients and customers.

Share and engage with your audience, don’t just spew information (I call this “soap-boxing” – this will lose you followers faster than it will gain them).  When customers feel engaged, they tend to be more loyal to your products and services.  Loyal clients become advocates for your business. With social media, engaged clients and patients can (and probably will) endorse your company for everyone to see.  When that happens, it can be a very powerful tool to enhance your online presence.

Denver Dentist Search Results on Google (with reviews)

Additionally, local businesses with negative reviews will want to respond openly to negative reviews.  A bad review is not necessarily a bad thing.  If used the right way, it can become a positive influencer.  Use the opportunity to reach out and change that reviewer’s experience into something positive.  If the reviewer is not interested in responding, it at least shows future visitors that you are concerned about the experience people have when visiting your business or using your products.  It also shows that you are willing to go that extra mile to make amends.

You will also want to continually generate new reviews from happy clients promoting what you do best.  In doing this you can drive any negative reviews further down the page and keep the newer, positive reviews higher up.  Reviews don’t just affect the impressions a potential client has on your business; it can affect how your business website ranks on Google, Bing, and Yahoo search.

by Tammy Smith SEO Analyst, Page 1 Solutions, LLC

Why Should I Re-Optimize My Website? – SEO Basics XVIII

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Some reasons to re-optimize your website :

    Your site has enjoyed great rankings for several years but you’ve now lost your top or first page listings.

    Your website statistics show a big drop in the number of people visiting your site.

    Your site was optimized a long time ago, the keywords you originally used to gain high rankings no longer work.

    Your site has undergone a redesign or moved to a different platform.

    Your competitors seem to be achieving top rankings, you need to market your site to improve rankings.

    Your business has changed it’s focus and the priority Keyterms have changed.

    Your location has changed or you have new offices and you need to update your optimization accordingly.

Strategies to keep in mind while re-optimizing your Website to Increase Rankings and Traffic

    1.Look at the keywords generating the most visits. Are they currently included in your Title tags and content? Use keyword research tools to find related keywords that can be added to your web pages. Create extra web pages that target high priority keywords.

    2.Do searches for your top priority keywords and find the competing sites that are showing up at the top of the first page. Analyze these competitor websites for title tags, web copy plus the quantity and quality of their backlnks.

    3. Find related keywords and include these within your web pages to increase web traffic.

    5. Incoming links to your website help your web page rankings increase. Link building is a task that must be done regularly to stay ahead of your competitors. Boost the number of backlinks across your webpages so they can achieve better rankings.

    6. Look for high quality local directories and review sites where you can register your website and increase visibilty for your business.

    7. Optimize and verify your Google Places and Bing and Yahoo Local listings.

Do I select keywords and phrases before or after I build my website?- SEO Basics XV

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Keywords and key phrases need to be selected much before building a website. In fact, you should think about keywords and phrases even before you choose a domain name.
It is a known fact that having a key word relevant domain name can be helpful to your website’s rankings with the Search Engines.
It is very important to name your website as close to the your targeted keywords and phrases as possible.
By choosing your keywords and phrases well in advance, you will also be able to design your site with an advantage as you can include key terms in your page URLs and ensure that the site’s architecture and navigation highlights the key phrases for your business.
Choosing target keywords and phrases in advance also enhances your competitive analysis and allows you to focus on the important points while writing your website’s content.
You can define your internal and external links and maximize the value from anchor text.

What are Inbound, Outbound and Reciprocal links ? SEO Basics XIV

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

An Inbound link is a link from an external website pointing to your site while an outbound link is a link from your site pointing to another website.

Given the importance of link building in optimization, one of the biggest goals for an optimizer is to get high quality topical inbound links for a site on a regular basis. This is one of the key factors used by Google to assess the credibility of a website. Webmasters should consistently look for opportunities to get inbound links especially from .edu or .gov sites, this can help give a website a boost in the Search Engine rankings.

While outbound links are not considered as valuable as Inbound links, linking to authoritative, relevant sources can help make your site more user-friendly which is valued by the Search Engines. It is also important to ensure that your site does not point to low quality, unrelated sites.

A reciprocal link is a link done as part of a mutual agreement between 2 webmasters to exchange links to each others’ websites. If you exchange links, make sure that it’s relevant to your site and that you do not link purely to add to the number of incoming links on your site.

What are some common SEO terms- SEO Basics XIII

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Algorithm
A mathematical formula used by search engines to assess the relevance and importance of websites and rank them accordingly in their search results. These algorithms are highly confidential and each Search Engine has their own algorithm.

Anchor Text
Anchor text is highlighted words on a page that link to another web page or resource. Clicking on the text, called hypertext, loads the linked resource in the user’s browser.

Backlink
A text link to your website from another website.

Crawl
Search engines find web pages on the World Wide Web and record index information sending out “spiders” These spiders make their way from page to page and site to site by following text links.

Domain name
The virtual address of your website (normally in the form www.yourbusinessname.com).

Google AdWords
A paid service that lets you create and run ads for your business on Google and their advertising network , you can set a budget and you only pay when people click your ads.

Google PageRank / PR
PageRank is a numeric value that represents how important a page is on the web according to Google. It isn’t the only factor that Google uses to rank pages, but it is an important one.

HTML
HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the coding language used to create much of the information on the World Wide Web. Web browsers read the HTML code and display the page that code describes.

Keyword / keyword phrase
A word or phrase which your potential customers search for and which should be used frequently on a site in order to be relevant to those searches.

Keyword density
A measure of the frequency of your keyword in relation to the total wordcount of the page.

Link
A word or image on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page.

Meta tag
Code within the header of your web page which describes some aspect of that page. These meta tags like Title ( most important), Description, Keywords etc are read by the search engines and used to help assess the relevance of a site to a particular search.

Organic search results
Organic search results are those results that are obtained by indexing pages based purely on content and keyword relevancy. This is in contrast to listings ranked based on paid or sponsored searches where listings can be bought based on bids.

Reciprocal link
A mutual agreement between two webmasters to add a link to the other’s website in return for a link to their own website). This is not looked upon favorably by the Search engines.

Robot / Spider
Robots or spiders are terms for programs and automated scripts that “crawl” through the web (the Internet) and collect data from websites and anything else on the Internet that they can find.

robots.txt file
A file which is used to inform the search engine spider which pages on a site should not be indexed.

Sandbox
It is believed that for most new sites, Google withholds rightful ranking for a period while it determines whether the website is a genuine, credible, long term site. It does this to discourage the creation of SPAM websites.

SE / Search Engine
A search engine is a site which allows you to search for websites which contain a particular word or phrase. The most well known search engines are Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

SEO / SEM
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It’s a set of techniques used by an optimizer to improve your website’s rankings in the search engines for a particular set of keywords, or keyword phrases.
SEM stands for “Search Engine Marketing” and covers SEO, Pay-Per-Click and other online marketing techniques that help your website improve visibility on the search engines.

SERP
SERP or “Search Engine Results Page” is the position of your website in the search results that display when someone searches for a particular word at a search engine.

SiteMap
A page on your site which contains a list of text links to every page on the website , It is a good SEO practice to have a sitemap on your website.

SPAM
Unwanted and unrequested email sent en-masse to private email addresses. Also used to refer to websites which appear high in search results without having any useful content.

URL
Uniform Resource Locator. The address of a particular page published on the Internet. Normally in the form http://www.yourbusinessname.com/AWebPage.htm.

Webmaster
A person responsible for the management of a particular website.

World Wide Web (WWW)
The vast array of documents published on the Internet. It is estimated that the World Wide Web now consists of approximately 11.5 billion pages.

Should I have different Title Tags on every page? SEO Basics XI

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The Title tag is considered to be the most important on-page element of search engine optimization. Most search engines assign maximum value to the Title tag when determining what sites to index, since the Title tag is what usually shows up for the title of your listing in search results.

Having customized Title tags for every page of the website is an essential part of successful optimization

  • Personalize each title tag for each page of your site if you would like your web pages to rank high in the SERPs. Ensure that the title tag references what the page is actually about.
    Place your most optimized keyword phrases at the beginning of the title tag; so that there is no fear of the phrases getting cut off due to character restrictions from the search engines.
    •Make your Title relevant and appropriate to what your site’s focus is, making sure that it’s a readable title that will appeal to viewers and the Search engines.
    • If you are targeting specific geographic locations, put the geographical location in your title tag. Ensure that you do not stuff the Title tags with too many localizations and or key terms to avoid being penalized for spam.

Can redesigning my website negatively affect my search engine results? – SEO Basics X

Monday, February 28th, 2011

The goal of any business’ website is to increase leads and conversions, in order to be successful the site needs to be on the top pages of the major Search engines and therefore needs to be both viewer and search-engine friendly. Redesigning your website can be an effective way of repositioning your brand, or changing public perceptions of your company.
However, redesigning a site without keeping in mind the search engine aspect can cause a negative impact on your SE results. It is therefore imperative to include your optimization specialists in the initial discussions about the redesign so that the changes that come about in the redesign do not cause your site to lose any of it’s existing “equity” .

As the new site is designed, the site architecture, content, internal links, navigation and meta data should be taken into consideration. The impact of external links should be considered as well so redirects that are both user and search engine friendly can be planned. It is important to keep the site content rich and design it in a way that the SE spidrers can crawl important information about the business. A site redesign or change in content management system may need a migration plan to ensure a smooth transition of existing categories, link URLs and anchor text. If the site changes URLs, 301 redirects must be put in place. Making sure that the redesigned site has an updated HTML and XML site map can help search engines find and crawl new content.

When there are major changes to a web site’s design, content and URL structure, there will be some effect on the search engine visibility of a site, However, if the fundamental elements are taken care of, one can greatly minimize any negative effects and have an appealing new site that stays on the first page of the search engines.

What does SERP mean? What are “Organic” SEO Results? SEO Basics VII

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

What does SERP mean?

The search engine results pages, usually referred to as SERPs, are the listed web pages that are returned when a user types a query in the search engines.

What are “Organic” SEO Results?

When a user types in a query, a page is returned with results that include paid or sponsored results and the non-sponsored or “Organic” results which are the unpaid, algorithm-driven results of any particular search engine.
First page Organic Results are more challenging to achieve as your website needs to fulfil a number of criteria set in place by the Search Engine in order . It requires a consistent efforts to keep your site one step ahead of competition by using the best White Hat SEO techniques so that you get a high placement on the Organic results and stay there for a long time.
Research has shown that viewers tend to trust “Organic ” results more than Paid results and that the higher you are on the list , the better the chances are that your site will generate leads for your business.

What Is Black Hat SEO –SEO Basics IV

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Continuing with the series on basic SEO questions, one question that we optimizers frequently hear is “What is Black Hat SEO?”

There is no generally accepted definition for black hat SEO. The answers depend on who you are speaking to, something considered fair by one webmaster maybe off-limits to another. Generally, efforts to manipulate Search Engines to gain quick results are considered as Black Hat SEO.

Besides the principles that web companies and marketing personnel apply to their work, guidelines can also vary based on the industry and sometimes the Search Engines too.
Search engine operators, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, have published guidelines about techniques they consider to be Black Hat and in violation of their policies.

There are no shortcuts in SEO. It is a long-term process that requires perseverance and diligence. Black hat techniques may look tempting and easy and may give short-term results but they are detrimental in the long run. They can cause your site to get banned by the SEs which is every webmaster’s worst nightmare..

Here are some common BlackHat SEO techniques to be aware of :

Cloaking a website by displaying one website to visitors and other one to Google’s spiders. The most common way to do this is using the “iframe” redirect code.

Using Hidden Text or “white” text written on a white background to stuff keywords within webpages.

Creating Doorway pages which involves having a website optimized for one set of keywords, then redirecting its traffic to another website once it is indexed.

Using Automated Submission/Link Building Software that submits your site to hundreds of directories that probably have no relevance to your site. This is also known as Link Farming.

Keyword Stuffing or adding a large number of keywords in the meta-tags.

Buying Paid Links indiscriminately to try and build inbound links.

Does the number of pages improve the opportunity for better SEO results? –SEO Basics III

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

In the pursuit of obtaining first page results on the Search Engines, optimizers employ a number of on and off page strategies such as adding custom metatags, calls-to-action, link-buildiing, blogs, article submission, e-PRs and so on . If you look closely at these strategies, you realize that the one element that lies at the core is : Great Content.

One way to add fresh content is through Page additions, which can supplement the existing content and help to gradulaly build the site into an authority.

The one important thing to remember is that when it comes to pages what matters is not so much sheer quantity but the quality and the consistency of the pages.
Just having a large number of pages will not be beneficial for SEO, those pages need to be original with relevant content and should be well linked within the site.

While scheduling page adds we should ask ourselves if the new content is relevant to existing topics, if will it add to the overall value of the site, and if the content is simple to understand but thorough in its information.

Adding new pages gives optimizers the opportunity to target keywords and phrases and improve linking. It’s very important to ensure that the pages being being added have original content and are in no way duplicates .

Great Content is the most crucial factor that can affect website rankings. Online visitors usually turn to search engines for up-to-date information. Google and other search engines are always judging sites based on the kind online experience to their users. Especially with the introduction of Google Caffeine, having fresh, relevant content has become almost mandatory.

Creating high quality, custom content and posting it in different forms at a a pace which will keep attracting the interest of search engine crawlers is a sure-fire way to forge your way to the top of the search engine rankings.


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