Author Archives: Mike

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Top 5 SEO Mistakes

Top 5 SEO Mistakes

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Let’s face it, SEO is a very complex and sometimes confusing concept that many people don’t have the time or energy to understand.  For this post we thought we would address the Top 5 SEO Mistakes that folks make when they don’t completely understand SEO.  If you read this and have made a few of these mistakes on your site, don’t panic.  These issues are easy to fix but may need to be addressed by a professional.  Let’s get into it.


Thin Content is one of the primary SEO Mistakes

Thin Content just means the site doesn’t have enough content for the topics or keywords it in which it wants to rank. This is quite possibly one of the simplest things to fix from an SEO perspective. We can create content very easily and quickly to make sure our site has the best chance to rank. We don’t need to go crazy and write 3-4 articles for each topic but we might need to refresh some of the current content or create new to make sure we add value to the searcher. Matt Cutts, Google’s Search Chief, stresses the importance of moving away from thin content through the constant development of the Panda algorithm. Panda was initially designed years ago to cut down on content farms but has morphed into focusing on penalizing sites with light, low grade content . This SEO Mistake is a simple fix and we work with clients on this specific topic everyday.


Proper Page Title Usage

The page title is one of the most important aspects of proper SEO and is often misused or overlooked.  We work on sites that have every single page with a page title that is not doing the website justice.  The page title should be short, typically under 60 characters, and should contain the focus keyword near from front.  After talking with our clients, we have found that one of the main reasons page titles are being underutilized for SEO is because the business owners or stakeholders who write the content for the site are often not aware of the SEO value of the page title.  They send the article to their IT department or website manager without adding a keyword appropriate page title and the article is posted using a generic page title taken from the content rather than being optimized properly.  This is a fairly simple item to fix and could result in an increase in rankings.


Canonical Tags and Redirect Issues

Hang in with us here.  This common SEO Mistake can get pretty technical but we will do our best to explain it without needing you to be an SEO guru.  Cononical Tags might sound confusing but they really are pretty easy to understand.  A Cononical Tag is code 0n a website that tells the search engines how to handle intentional duplicate content.  This allows a website owner the ability to post the same content in two separate categories on their site  without being penalized from Google.  Cononical tags give great flexibly to website owners but they are often used incorrectly or not used at all and either case can cause severe damage to a websites SEO.


404 errors and issues

If your site has been around a while and it has more than 30 pages you need to check for 404 errors.  This is not a new topic but something that can deliver a terrible experience for the searcher that clicked on your site.  Think about it, have you ever clicked on a link and when delivered to the site it gives you a 404 error?  Didn’t that give you the biggest online No feeling you have ever had?  Immediately you think that the website owner doesn’t have a clue and you wouldn’t dare do business with them if they can’t keep up with their website. You can easily use Google Webmaster Tools to discover any 404 errors and the beauty is it’s free.  You don’t need to pay for a premium service to handle this issue.  Don’t delay, get a webmaster account set up and make sure your site is delivering a great experience.


Keyword Density and Keyword Stuffing

One of the top SEO Mistakes we see quite frequently is keyword density or keyword stuffing.  Here is the main goal.  We don’t want to stuff our keyword in the content 20 times.  It’s not 2004 anymore so that tactic won’t deliver a great result and we will probobly never rank if we use this strategy because our content won’t be high quality.  But let’s not swing the pendulum the complete opposite way.  We have talked with companies who don’t even want to mention their keyword on a page because they have been so scared of being hammered for stuffing a keyword but we still need a keyword presence.  Is there an exact way to determine how many times we should mention a keyword on a page?  No, but we need it to be there somewhere.  Remember one key thing when discussing this topic.  It’s not that Google and other search engines don’t want you to keyword stuff, it’s the result of keyword stuffing that they fear.  If you write a 300 word article and 20 of the words are your keyword there is a good chance your quality won’t be great.  So remember the next time you create content for your site to just write the article and worry about the keyword later.  If we focus on how many times we use a keyword whether it’s 2 or 20, we won’t be focusing on the content quality.  Write the article and then worry about the rest later.  They key to the search engines is making sure you provide top quality content that a searcher can engage with.


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Dominate Local Search

Do this to dominate Local Search

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By: Mike Buckner

Local Search or Local SEO is quickly becoming one of the most popular digital marketing vehicles that can help businesses drive more leads.  The goal of this post is to help you understand the importance of local search and outline a few items we can do to help you deliver more potential customers to your business from local search.  Let’s get into it.

Google My Business is so powerful

Every business, no matter if you are a brick and mortar store or a service provider that travels to your customers can take advantage of Google My Business.  This has often been called Google+, Google Places, or Google Maps.  Recently, Google made some drastic changes to the platform in order to help consumers find better, local companies to do business with (ha.  they actually changed it to open more paid search positions on the page.  It’s all about the money).  With these changes only 3 businesses are going to show in the newly named “Snack Pack” feature in the search results.  If you see the image below you can see the results for a search I did for Mexican Restaurants in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Google Local Search

The previous version of this local search section showed up to 7 results.  There is now a lot more competition in showing in this local search section.  So what do we do about it?

How do we rank in Local Search?

There are many reasons you will or won’t show in the first three results in local search so in order to make this post shorter than 4000 words let’s just focus on the top 3 things we need to do.  I am going to assume you already have a page or have a general understanding of the Google My Business platform at this point.  If you don’t, please give us a call.  We can defiantly help you deliver a better search experience for your potential customers.

NAP Consistency is critical

First we need to discuss NAP consistency.  What does NAP mean?  It stands for Name, Address, Phone number and Google is looking for consistency across the web in order to view your business as an authority.  If your business is listed on the web with various business names, different phone numbers and multiple addresses there is a good chance we will struggle to drive leads from local search.  Remember, the goal of Google as a business is to give the searcher the best possible result from their search.  Google won’t show your business if you aren’t able to prove to them you are a stable, authoritative business.  Often times, a simple NAP audit will generate significant changes in local search results.  It’s probably the most important part of developing a local search or local SEO strategy.

Google My Business Profile Information

Next on the importance list is going to be your profile.  We need it to not only be 100% filled out but we need it to be filled out correctly.  The first thing on the list is displaying the categories for which your business fits.  A handyman for example could select many categories such as, electrical contractor, painting, drywall, plumbing and so on.  It’s important to show Google through you profile everything that your business does.  The other major part of the profile is filling out the description with as much detail as possible.  We work with businesses that have one sentence in this section.  This is not going to allow Google to determine if your business is a match for the searcher.

Reviews will bring better rankings!

Again, Google wants to give the searcher the best result.  One way Google does this is by scanning reviews that businesses receive.  If your business is providing great service or great products you should want people and Google to know about it.  Once you reach more than 5 reviews they will be displayed by a star rating in the local search snack pack.  You can see in the search below for running shoes, the business with the highest number of reviews is showing in the first position.

Reveiws in Local Search

Reviews are something that Google has emphasized over the past 6 months.  It’s very important for your business to determine how you are going to obtain reviews from your customers so they can be displayed for potential customers and Google.  We have worked with many businesses over time to develop strategies towards getting reviews.

To close out this post we just want to explain that making these changes won’t jump you up to the top in local search.  There are other factors that go into ranking in local search results that need to be considered.  This is just the top 3 items that can be addressed to help develop a solid local SEO or local marketing strategy.