Improve SEO Rankings

Google on a tablet

If you’re new to the world of Internet marketing, you may be wondering what all the buzz is about SEO or search engine optimization.

On this page, we’ll take a look at why SEO is important and offer some tips for boosting your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

What is SEO?

Basically, SEO is anything you do to optimize your website so that it ranks higher in search results for targeted keywords and phrases. And it includes a number of strategies and techniques.

For example, if you’re a dentist in Cincinnati, you will want your site to appear when people in your area search for dental services. With SEO, you can optimize your site for keywords related to your business and ensure that your site appears when people search for your products or services.

Why is SEO important?

SEO helps to ensure that your website is seen by your target audience.

You might have the most beautiful, well-designed website, but if nobody can find it, they won’t learn about your services and will likely give their business to competitors.

Tips for improving SEO rankings

Now that you understand the importance of SEO, let’s take a look at some strategies you can implement to boost your SEO rankings.

Incorporate strategic keywords

Keyword research sets the stage for any successful SEO campaign.

It’s important to understand what phrases people are searching for when looking for your products or services. And the keywords you choose should be as specific to your company as possible. Then, you can incorporate those keywords in key places on your website, such as your title and H1 tags, as well as your content.

The trick with keyword research is to find phrases that are not only being searched for, but also easy to rank for in search results.

For example, if you own a jewelry store, the keyword “jewelry” may have a high search volume. But there are likely lots of competitors vying to rank for that keyword. Instead, you may consider targeting a more specific phrase, such as “buy children’s jewelry.”

Because this phrase is more specific, there are probably less people trying to rank for it. When you choose more targeted keywords, you will likely attract more qualified traffic—people ready to buy your products or services.

Improve user experience

Do people find your site helpful and easy to use or do they navigate away from your pages shortly after landing on them?

Improving your site’s navigation and load speed can contribute to lower bounce rates and help your site rank higher in search results.

You want to keep people on your site and engaged in your content for as long as possible, and improving the user experience on your site can help you accomplish this goal.

Publish quality content

Search engines love quality content, and publishing helpful content can boost your rankings in search results. Content can include anything from blog posts and infographics to videos, ebooks, and downloadable guides.

You can ensure that the content you post on your website is optimized to contain target keywords. And you can consider creating a blog where you can post consistent, valuable information.

Not only will quality content help to boost your rankings in search results, it will also encourage conversions.

For example, if someone searches for landscaping tips online and comes across a helpful infographic from your landscaping company, they will be more inclined to check out your company and use your services.

Earn links from other sites

Search engines also consider the number of links your site has acquired from other websites. And the quantity and quality of inbound links to your website can largely impact your site’s ranking.

While you might be tempted to buy links from other websites, this can actually hurt your SEO efforts because buying and selling links goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Instead of buying links, you can earn inbound links by creating and promoting valuable content. This will help you earn links naturally, and you can reach out to site owners and ask if they would consider linking to your content.

SEO plans from WebpageFX

WebpageFX is a full-service Internet marketing firm and leader in the SEO industry.

We’ll take the time to get to know your business and implement SEO strategies to boost your rankings in search result pages.

This will help your business get in front of your target audience, and ultimately, you will enjoy more leads and increased sales.

Want to learn more?

Interested in learning more about how SEO can benefit your business? What are you waiting for? Check out our free tool to start improving your SEO today.

Contact WebpageFX today to learn more about our custom plans. We work with hundreds of businesses across the United States, and we’re excited to work with you!

How Web Design Affects Your SEO

designer working on a computer

Your website acts as a first impression, not just for human eyes, but for search engines as well. This means you have to make sure it’s aesthetically appealing on all levels, including those that involve the technical makeup of each page. Without a solid web design that keeps search engine optimization (SEO) in mind, you’re opening your site up to problems ranking high in organic results.

Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-true ways to keep both your visitors and Google happy:

  • Avoid complex site framework and layouts: You might assume a complex-looking site makes your company appear edgy, trendy, or professional, but it can be confusing to search engines. Search engine crawlers are created to analyze sites based on simple, logical formulas developed using traditional web design structures. If your site uses unusual framework and layouts, you may find your SEO takes a hit. This doesn’t mean you can’t have the newest designs, such as the parallax-style website setup that incorporates many pages into one large page, but you need to understand the SEO ramifications.
  • Make sure you have a responsive site: Responsive site design is a must for many reasons, including SEO. Response sites are easy to view and navigate on any device, regardless of screen size. Plus, search engines including Google are rewarding sites that are responsive by giving them higher natural rankings.
  • Use your tags and descriptions: Set up the right type of code on the back end of your site, and be sure to add meta tags and descriptions. Search engines use these tags and descriptions to help index each webpage you offer. They act as a kind of guidebook for Google, so you want to be certain Google can effortlessly figure out what every webpage means.
  • Lower your bounce rates and increase the time on your site: Are you currently checking your site’s bounce rates? Do you know how much time the average viewer is spending on your site? Google measures these items to see if your website is carrying its weight, so it’s worth knowing the answers to those questions. If you discover your site has started dipping in search engine rankings, you may want to do a quick examination of your bounce rates or visitor time.
  • Link throughout your site to internal pages: Adding links isn’t just helpful to your site guests, it’s also helpful for search engines. Your internal links set up a navigation of sorts beyond your menu of webpages. Make sure you’re linking in a way that makes sense for both bots and people.
  • Supplement your infographics, videos and images with text: It’s wonderful to have infographics and other types of visuals on your webpages. In fact, this is highly recommended by SEO specialists. The only glitch is that without text, search engines have difficulty determining the importance of the page. Want an easy solution? Add text so you don’t have any webpages that are mainly visuals. Give a brief description on the page of the visuals, which will help your SEO.
  • Remedy slow load times: The longer it takes your site to load, the lower your organic SEO results will be. You should be testing your load times periodically, and tweaking your site design if you discover you have ultra-slow loads on any pages. Pay attention to load times on all devices, from smartphones to laptops.

Being aware of how your website’s design affects your SEO can help you achieve your internet marketing goals. It can also ensure all your online elements are working together for your company’s benefit.

How Much Do Title Tags Really Matter?

Conventional wisdom says the first impression people have of your business is your homepage. In fact, the first impression occurs before they visit your site — when it appears in a search engine results page. This includes the title tag, which tells searchers what your site offers, and prompts them to either click on it or keep looking.

The title tag is the title of a web page that appears just before the URL on a search engine results page. The title may not be an exact match to the search query, but it’s close enough that searchers can trust the content on the page contains the information they want — that is, if the tag was properly formatted.

But how much do these title tags matter to your marketing strategy? Keep reading to find out.

Why Do Title Tags Matter?

Title tags are important because they can have a big impact on your SEO strategy. Most people don’t have time to click every single page that appears in search engine results, so they need a quick and clean description of the content. The title tag provides that.

When one of your web pages appears on a search page, people read the title tag to see what the page contains. If it matches what they were searching for, they’ll click it. If not, they’ll go somewhere else. If your title tag offers a vague or broad description, not only will people be less likely to click, but search engines will be less likely to boost its ranking, too. That’s why title tags need to be a top priority in your SEO plan.

What Should Go Into Title Tags?

Title tags are important, so you need to make sure it describes your business in a succinct and accurate way. These tips will get you started.

  • Keep It Short: A search engine will typically show the first 50 or 60 characters of a tag. Everything else is cut off and replaced with an ellipsis. That doesn’t mean your tag can’t exceed 60 characters — it just means it won’t be as prominent as a shorter tag would be. Having said that, a shorter title tag will look better on a search engine results page, so keep it as short as you can.
  • Focus on the Basics: Your ranking in search engines will depend in part on your title tag. That’s why your SEO strategy will influence your title tag strategy. Incorporate the most important keywords from your SEO strategy into your title tag. This may include:
    • Company name
    • Location
    • Core products or services
    • Other keywords and phrases

Also, eliminate nonessential words like “and” and “etc.” They just take up valuable real estate on the page and they do nothing to enhance your ranking.

  • Format Tags Properly: Now that you know what you’re going to put in the title tag, put them together the right way. Arrange them so they’re readable on the page and clearly state what your business has to offer. Place the most important terms at the front of the tag. This the first thing people see, and it’s more likely to be crawled by search engines.

Also, separate keywords with pipes (|) rather than commas or underscores. This makes it easier for searchers to understand what you offer, and it helps search engines distinguish keywords, thus ensuring your site appears in front of anyone searching on any one of those keywords.

How do people know what to expect from your website? Title tags will tell them. Keep title tags in mind when mapping out your SEO strategy, as they provide a brief introduction to your website and not only impact the number of clicks, but also the success of your SEO strategy.

What Is User Experience Design?

When many people think of design, they think of appearance: colors, fonts, layouts, and anything else that contributes to the visual experience.

That was fine for print media.

Nowadays, however, most of your marketing initiatives happen online. Visuals still matter, but so does the performance of a website — as well as any other marketing channel — leading to the emergence of user experience design.

As people use a variety of channels and devices to make purchasing decisions, every one of your channels must make research, evaluation, and buying as easy as possible.

So what is the user experience, exactly, and how does it affect design?

What is user experience design?

User experience design, or UX design, is the process of developing systems and processes that let consumers interact with your brand.

The term is not meant to replace concepts of user interface, graphic design, or information architecture — rather, all of those elements are part of creating a memorable user experience.

Why is UX so important?

A poor user experience design can hurt your business. The quality of your design impacts a user’s perception of your company and their ability to buy from you.

Here’s how:

Aesthetics

It’s not a big surprise that attractive designs get more attention than unattractive designs.

Beyond that, the right design can attract the desired audience, convey the desired emotion, and reinforce your brand. It also creates a positive feeling about your brand and entices more people to engage with it.

Usability

Customers interact directly with marketing channels nowadays. If those channels don’t work properly, customers won’t be able to respond to calls to action or engage with your organization.

In some cases, they won’t even want to if they don’t like the experience.

That’s why function is so critical to your website’s UX.

Access

Digital channels have to connect to a vast amount of information.

Whether a user wants product information or account details, the data has to come up quickly and accurately — all while ensuring privacy and security.

A good user experience design makes it easy (and safe) to access this information.

Where does UX Design make the most difference?

UX has always played a role in the success of marketing campaigns, but it wasn’t as obvious in traditional marketing as it is today.

If something isn’t quite right with a user experience, the effect is immediate and obvious. For example:

  • Well-designed websites have up-to-date information, simple and attractive layouts, and navigation paths that make it easy to do what users want to do.
  • As people replace their desktops and laptops with tablets and smartphones, they expect your website to be usable on those devices.
  • Users should be able to start and finish transactions with three or four clicks, at the most.

The success of your marketing strategy depends in large part on the user experience. If potential customers have an easy time finding information or making purchases, they’re more likely to come back.

That’s why UX design needs to be a top priority for your business.

SEO vs CRO: Which Is Better?

As you secure your footing in the competitive world of digital marketing, you’ll quickly learn that the online landscape changes quickly. Your page rankings can fluctuate regularly, and new algorithm updates also can require you to change your strategy. Your competition can sweep in overnight and grasp your number one spot for a search term.

If you’ve been in the game for a while now, you might have heard that search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) are in a boxing match with one another, fighting for your attention and resources.

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How Content Marketing Helps Your SEO

Internet marketing has paved the way for a softer marketing approach that focuses more on raising awareness than trying to generate a sale right away. Content marketing and SEO are great examples of this.

Content marketing focuses on engaging people and building brand authority, while one of SEO’s primary goals is to increase visibility by reaching a top ranking in search engine results.

What often gets lost when focusing on these two disciplines is how much content marketing and SEO can help one another.

You may have a particular set of goals for your content strategy, but you’ll see great benefits if one of those goals is more effective search engine optimization. Keep reading to find out how content marketing is a great way to beef up your SEO efforts.

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How PPC Ads Affect Your SEO

Internet marketing is rarely a “this or that” process. Numerous marketing channels must be used in different capacities, but always in a complementary fashion. PPC and SEO are no different.

Using both channels together is a great way to boost the results and longevity of your marketing efforts.

Technically speaking, PPC does not directly affect your website’s rankings. However, there’s more than meets the eye when considering how the two can interact.

Let’s explore exactly how PPC ads can affect your SEO, and what you can do to ensure you’re getting the most out of both approaches.

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How Can Outbound Links Help My SEO?

The importance of outbound links is somewhat new to SEO, as most site owners are concerned with earning inbound links from other sites.

However, the links that you use on your website can actually impact more than just user experience — they can impact your SEO. To get the most out of external linking, you can follow a few key steps.

Cite your sources

If you’re ever using data on a page and you got it from somewhere else, you absolutely have to link to the data’s original creator. This isn’t to say it’s illegal to use other organizations’ data without citations, but it’s an important step in building trustworthiness and reputation in your industry. It also shows that you appreciate someone’s website enough to give them a link, which helps promote their quality work.

Beyond the simple kindness of it, citing your sources shows readers that the data you’re using is reliable. Today, the average Internet user is suspicious of studies and statistics unless they’re easily verifiable. It’s essential you show them where you found your data so they can come to trust you as a smart and professional source of information.

Link to quality, credible websites

strong-links

Quality matters when it comes to sources, mostly because it again helps users build trust with your brand. By extension, quality links can improve a user’s experience on your website, and Google’s algorithm is heavily based on user experience.

From an SEO standpoint, there’s the possibility that once you start linking to good websites, Google will see that you’re not included in any bad linking neighborhoods. It’s important to maintain your distance from websites that spam links or engage in link buying schemes since Google penalizes them. Association with those shady tactics can seriously harm your website — maintaining your distance gives you a fighting chance.

If you’re having trouble finding quality websites to use in links, you can start by looking at .gov or .edu sites. You can also install the MozBar and look for websites that have a high domain authority (DA) number. Using these techniques together can ensure you’re linking to professional, high-quality websites.

Limit the number of links

When you’re linking to external sources, it’s important to remember that linking to too many pages can become counter-productive. Adding hundreds of links to your page can make it appear spammy, especially if it’s a newly-registered domain. Google hates spam, and readers don’t like to see that the majority of your text is linked.

Maintaining a good link-to-text ratio can help keep your text more readable while showing Google that you take linking seriously. You’re not just throwing links out there to help boost other people’s rankings — you’re doing it because they run quality websites that you found helpful.

Write descriptive anchor text

anchor-text-importance

Anchor text is the words that are visible on an actual link. Writing descriptive anchor text — as opposed to text that just says “click here,” “read more,” or something else generic — gives readers an idea about what they’re clicking before they click it. It also tells search engines something about the link as they crawl your website.

In both situations, you wind up winning. Your customers are happy because they know what they’re clicking, and Google is happy because it can more easily contextualize your page.

By citing sources, linking to credible websites, limiting the number of links, and writing descriptive anchor text, you can make your external links work for you. But if you don’t know what to do next, you could benefit from the advice of an SEO agency. Fill out the contact form below to get in touch with us, and we’ll contact you about improving your website’s SEO!

 

How Can I Increase My Conversions?

Conversions are the end goals of every page on your website. You want to convince your visitors to progress in the sales funnel so that they’ll perform an action that turns them into a customer, whether that’s buying a product, downloading software, or donating to your non-profit.

No matter what your conversion goal is, there are some foundational ideas that you can use to increase the likelihood that someone will convert on your site’s pages.

Strong headlines

strong-headlines

Headlines aren’t just informative — they’re your first opportunity to catch the attention of your customers.

This age-old journalistic principle is the same for writing on the Internet. In order to start site visitors in the sales funnel, your headline should be captivating, eye-catching, surprising, compelling, or a combination of those qualities. Fortunately for beginners, there are lots of different techniques for writing good headlines available online.

The format of your headline is up to you, and if you’re really curious as to what performs best, you can A/B test the same pages under different headlines to see which works better.

Attention-grabbing starts

Since you’ve drawn a site visitor with your headline, now you have to deliver on your promise and provide an exciting start to your page.

Again, this is an old journalism principle, called a “lede,” that carries over into Internet copywriting. This is the place for you to further interest your readers and tell them what your page is about. Good ledes are written concisely with active voice, and they’re focused on one or two ideas at the most. In addition, ledes that attempt to be clever almost never work, so it’s good to stick to interesting information.

That doesn’t mean ledes have to be dry, though. In fact, your lede is your opportunity to set the tone and mood for the rest of your writing. So if you want readers to laugh, make a light-hearted introduction; if you want them to cry, make it heavier; and if you want them to trust you, be persuasive.

Calls to action

call-to-action

Strong calls to action are some of the best ways to encourage your readers to convert. This is your chance to tell customers directly what they can do to solve their problem, whether it’s purchasing a product, downloading a free trial, or contacting one of your sales representatives.

There are lots of different styles that you can use for calls to action, though the most successful tend to offer a personal appeal, list the benefits of converting, and use active verbs. However, calls to action aren’t something that you can copy by example — in other words, a call to action that works for one business won’t necessarily work for yours. But you can still learn from other websites’ successes and use those as inspirations.

After you have a call to action, don’t call it quits just yet. Calls to action require extensive A/B testing to determine which one is the best for your business. If you have a lot of ideas, just test two at a time and test the winners against one-another — kind of like a March Madness bracket — until you have the optimal winner.

Easy conversion

Regardless what your goal is for your customer, you have to make it easy for them to convert or they won’t do it. Reducing the number of clicks, screens, and loading time for a visitor all make it easier for them to become your customers. It’s also helpful to have clear signup fields, easy-to-read instructions, and attention-grabbing buttons that help users complete conversions.

Using these four standard tips, you can increase the conversion rates of your most popular pages. However, if you’re not seeing the results you want, it could be partner with an outside agency. Fill out our contact form below, and we’ll contact you and talk about how you can improve conversion rates for your business!

 

Why Is Site Design So Important?

A well-designed webpage is an excellent addition to any business. It looks nice, respectably presents your brand, and encourages customer participation. If you’re promoting your website using SEO, you can’t overlook the essentials of a sleek, modern, and intuitive site design.

Site design is important to your website for two main reasons:

  1. Search engines favor well-designed sites in search results.
  2. Well-designed sites provide better user experiences for your visitors.

With those ideas in mind, let’s look at some elements involved in creating a high-quality, well-designed website that both Google and users will like.

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