Why Wix wesbites dont rank on Google

 

There are two things we consider to be true about Wix and their website building abilities: 

  • They make it pretty easy to build a “good” looking website 
  • They make it REALLY easy to build a poorly performing website

So, if Wix makes it so easy for beginners to build their own website, why aren't Wix websites showing up in Google and why shouldn’t you use it? Read below for our take on Wix, and why you should avoid using this uncannily popular website platform. 

We get it, designing a website is no easy feet, and paying someone to build one for you is typically expensive and out of most small-business owners budgets. That's why a platform like Wix.com is so appealing to those looking to create a good looking, well performing website without breaking the bank, or their brains, in the process. Wix.com promises easy to use templates, and “Free” website building services. While this is a very effective marketing tactic used to get people on their site, and signed up, Wix is in fact not free. Yes, their base offering is technically $0, but with that free price tag comes Wix branding all over your website and absolutely no analytics tools available to you. Beyond the “Free” package, you can start with their basic package for a whopping $4 a month. So while it is not free, it is cheap enough that you can skip one coffee a month and pay your Wix bill in full. Beyond this their most expensive plan is still only $24 a month – so, more expensive than free or $4, but still pretty affordable. 

Where the real kicker comes in is when you have no choice but to connect “apps” from their app store to help your websites overall functionality. The largest cost when using Wix is essentially hidden from users. Wix and their offerings appeal most to inexperienced people who want, or need a website and don't know where or how to start. Wix knows this and, in our opinion, takes advantage of people who don't know what they're doing. The reality is, in order to have a well functioning and searchable website, you’ll either need to skip Wix all together, or spend some cash for a subpar website at best. Like we said before, you can build a good looking website using Wix – that's not the issue. The issue is that websites built using Wix are nearly impossible to actually find on the internet. In most cases, you would need to type in the exact URL in order to even find a specific website built on Wix. 

In the digital age, your websites online visibility is crucial to your business's success. In order to rank in search results, you need to implement SEO strategies in your businesses marketing plan. For those that don't know, SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and is the process of using different tools and tactics to boost your websites rank in search engine results. SEO and SEO strategies are not “hard” to implement, and are actually really easy to tackle when building websites through a content management system like WordPress (our preferred website builder.) With a site built through Wix, it is nearly impossible to implement any SEO strategies killing your websites SEO. They don't offer the option to download an SEO boosting plug-in, and instead leave you to use the on-page SEO that they offer. Yes, their on-page SEO can cover the very basics, but it won't do you any favors. Additionally, their link structure is served through javascript and is essentially unreadable by search engines. 

To boost your websites SEO and rank in search engine results, you’ll need to build quality links and create/distribute SEO rich content. Essentially, link building is the process of getting other quality websites to link back to your website. This is important not only because it directs traffic to your website you might not get otherwise, but it helps establish and build your sites “authority” – a factor that Google pays attention to when ranking websites. No matter how much or often Googles top-secret algorithm changes, quality backlinks remain one of the biggest factors in determining what websites rank for what keywords. So, how does this tie into Wix? Websites built through Wix will always includes a # in their URL meaning that Wix’s link structure is served through javascript which, like we said, is essentially unreadable by search engines. Even worse? If someone has javascript disabled in their browser, they will never even have the chance to stumble across your website, let alone seek it out. What does this mean? Backlinking to your Wix created website is pointless, and most definitely isn't serving you, or your SEO efforts. 

Additionally, you will want to create SEO “friendly,” or “rich” content to help boost your websites rankings. SEO Friendly Content or SEO Based Content is content that you create and distribute with the purpose of attracting search engine traffic. It is called “SEO” content because the content should be based on/around keywords you are trying to rank for. Heads up – before diving into content creation, you will have wanted to identify your keywords already so you’re not wasting time creating/promoting content that isn't going to help you rank in the long run. So, how does this also tie into Wix and why we hate it? If you dive really deep into Wixs page structure, you would find that all pages are “canonical,” or, simply put, they are just tabs of the homepage meaning they could never rank on their own. And, if you remember correctly, Wix only offers the most basic on-page SEO meaning any seo strategies you implement on your site won't work, and your website wont be ranking high, if it ranks at all. 

We could go deeper, but we’ll leave it at this – Wix essentially kills any chance of implementing any kind of SEO, therefore killing any chance you have at ranking in search results. 

Instead of going on all day about why Wix is possibly the worst choice for building a website, we’ll discuss what site you SHOULD use, and why. 

Our #1 recommendation for website newbies and veterans alike is WordPress. WordPress is by far the best and most accommodating content management system, or, website builder. We will point out that WordPress isn't exactly… “beginner friendly” BUT your investment will be worth it because a high-ranking, well functioning website will only make you more money in the long run.  If you want to learn more about how valuable a well-ranking website is to your business, check out this breakdown here.

Launched all the way back in 2003, WordPress is now used by more than 74 million websites across the globe. Aside from the sheer number of people that use it, WordPress is (in our opinion) the number one Content Management System available on the web for a multitude of reasons. Some of these reasons include… 

 

  • They are extremely flexible and customizable  

No matter what you’re using WordPress for, whether it be a website, a blog, an e-commerce site, etc. their offerings are extensive enough that they can meet virtually any need through their extensions and other features. 

 

  • They are extremely search engine friendly 

Search engines prefer sites that are built via WordPress because their structure is so easy to crawl compared to other site builders. 

 

  • Unprecedented support 

You get the sense that WordPress really cares about its users. They take their site safety extremely seriously, and the extensive WordPress community can troubleshoot just about any problem you have. Check out their WordPress Forums to get an idea of how helpful this community is, or troubleshoot your own site problem. 

 

  • Extremely mobile-friendly 

With more than 5 billion people now using mobile devices, website being mobile-friendly is more important than ever. It sounds like Wix has resolved their previous problem of not being mobile-friendly, but WordPress never had the problem to begin with. 

 

  • Powerful integrations and e-commerce solutions 

WordPress integrates with some of the most powerful platforms on the internet. Their extensive list of plug-ins and extensions can solve virtually any problem you may have. 

 

  • It is the best platform for SEO 

Editable permalinks, automated metadata plug-ins, super fast site speed, and so much more. Trust us on this one – WordPress is the best platform for SEO. Hands down. 

 

  • It just keeps getting better 

Because WordPress is so widely used, you can guarantee they are employing only the best developers in the biz. Better yet? They are open source meaning any developer can enhance the user experience so WordPress can continue to be the best CMS available.

If you are interested in learning more about why WordPress is your best option for SEO purposes, or more about SEO in general, contact us here. 

 

Seo Tips and Tricks
There is no doubt that the internet is a core pillar of our modern society. The internet, social media, mobile devices, and more are now being used by more people than ever before. According to Statista, as of April 2019, over 4.4 Billion people were active internet users – that is over half of the world's entire population! America comes in on top with a 95% internet penetration rate amongst the population. As a business owner, it's important to establish yourself online — with a website and social media presence if you want to be competitive. Although important, having a website and a presence on social media alone will not bring in new leads, clients, and customers to your business. In order to do this, your business must also be visible in Google search when potential customers come looking for the products or services you offer. With over 63,000 searches being conducted via Google per second, you can guarantee people are searching for your type of products or services. Now, the question is, how do you get your business website and social assets to appear in front of potential customers when the internet is saturated with other businesses just like yours? In order to do this, you need an effective, strategic, and focused Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.
Search Engine Optimization, commonly known as SEO, is a systematic approach that's purpose is to increase the visibility of your website without the need to pay for driven ad spaces (PPC or Pay Per Click) on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bring, and more. In other words, it is the process of increasing organic search engine traffic to your website. The process behind SEO involves technical and design criteria that set you up to rank best among your competitors and drive website visitors to your site. Essentially, it makes it easier for search engines to find your website and display it at the top of its results. In fact, its search engines need to find your site but also need to decide to display it at the top of the search results. Search Engine Optimization is a broad strategy that involves optimizing your website to search engines — While making the site user-friendly and engaging for those that do visit. In many cases, these two strategies are at odds with each other — Therefore, the SEO’s job is to balance and create synergy between the two sides of the equation. In this article, we have compiled an exhaustive list of the best tips and tricks you can implement in your own SEO plan to drive more organic traffic to your website and increase your online visibility.

Beginners Guide To SEO For Quality Websites Make Sure Your Website Optimized For Google Search

First and foremost, you want to make sure that your website is optimized for desktop as well as mobile. According to Bright Local's study, 61% of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. In other words – your clickthrough rates will skyrocket if you are optimized for mobile devices. If you aren't sure, you can use “Google's Mobile-Friendly Test” tool. Simply Google “Mobile Friendly Test,” enter your domain or URL in the box provided and shortly after, Google will tell you whether your page is mobile friendly, or if it's not. From an SEO standpoint, the primary objective of website optimization is to strike a balance with the proper amount of keyword density on a page. In other words, once you’ve identified the type of keywords you’d like the page to appear for, your goal is to include those keywords throughout the page at a density that will satisfy Google and other major search engines in order to rank your website. Google is constantly changing and adjusting their algorithm so this part of the equation involves constant updating and experimentation. At our agency, Oregon Web Solutions, we use sophisticated software programs to ensure that we have the correct density to deliver the best possible search engine results and are successful at beating Googles algorithm.

Setup and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business Listings are one of the major ways new and existing customers will discover information about your business online. Learning how to set up and optimize your GMB is one of the most valuable SEO technique you can learn during your SEO training. Google My Business Listings are arguably one of the most important parts of SEO -, especially for local businesses. Functioning as a local business directory, Google My Business Listings or GMB’s for short should be a critical part of every companies Search Engine Marketing strategy. If your business doesn’t have a Google My Business Listing setup, simply go to Google.com/business, sign into your Google account, and it will prompt you to put in your NAP (name, address, and phone number.) If you have a business with multiple locations or you purchased a franchise, then you can start typing in the business name, and you'll see a list of businesses that are already registered in Google's database. In most cases, these existing GMB listings can be claimed by the business owner. One quick tip is that your business name is not meant for keyword stuffing – do not write something like “Oregon Web Solutions Portland Oregon 24/7 – Oregon Web Solutions”. It's not going to help you appear at the top of Google, so don't bother. Next, you would add your address – if you're an independent service provider like a work-from-home consultant then you can enter in your home address, select “I deliver goods and services to my customers,” and choose to hide your address since it's not a storefront. Now, when your business shows up in Google search, it will show the city and province/state where you work from, and the general area your service. Next, you will be prompted to drop a pin on the map to show Google approximately where your business is located. Finally, you will be prompted to enter your business hours, phone number, and some other details. Once the information has been added, it’s time to publish your listing. Setting up a GMB is important and will enhance a customers user experience, but setup alone will not guarantee that you will be found online or that your business appears at the top of the search results. If you’re looking for help in this department I recommend reaching out to our agency as we employ advanced SEO strategies.

Identify Your Target Keywords Through In-Depth Keyword Research

Identifying and optimizing for the correct keywords is critical for the success of your business website. Keywords can be defined as “a word or concept of great significance” or, they are essentially “keywords” identifying what you do, sell, service, etc. In other words, these are the types of phrases your potential customers are searching when trying to find a business like yours to patronize. There are many ways to do keyword research and identify potential keywords, but one of the easiest is simply using Google's autocomplete feature. This is one of our most valuable informative tips for beginners and it is as simple as searching on Google, and typing in the main query you’d like your business to appear for – for example, “Coffee Shop Portland.” Next, make note of the types of “suggested” search phrase Google is recommending to you —Phrases such as “…open late,” “…Portland Oregon” and so on. This tactic can also be used on any website or search engine that has a suggested search feature. Remember – when using this SEO technique quality over quantity is the rule of thumb. You don't need to try and rank for ALL of the keywords Google is suggesting – just the ones most relevant to your business. This can help you identify the types of keywords people are searching when they are interested in products or services that your business offers. Another option is to identify potential keywords that your competition is already optimized and appearing for. This strategy works well because your crowdsourcing your competitions keywords assuming they have already done the research. Furthermore, another great strategy is to use a tool like Moz and simply enter in the domain of one of your search competitors. Next, go to the organic keywords report and it will show you all of the search queries that the domain you entered is rankings for. You might find that your competitor of choice is ranking for a lot of branded queries so we suggest using the “exclude” box and typing in said brand name which will give you a nice list of other relevant keywords to target. Some keywords we found using this tool.

Optimize Your Homepage For Keywords & User Experience

In general, most single location businesses should optimize their homepage around their primary location and the most desirable keywords. For example, as a Portland-based marketing company, we would primarily target keywords like “Portland SEO” rather than “SEO.” In most cases, your potential customers are looking to do be business with a company in their general location. Another important factor is to list your name, address, and phone number on your homepage. We suggest having this in the text of the homepage as well as in your footer — if you're a single location business we recommend including this info in your footer across all pages on your website. If you're a business that has multiple locations, then you're exempt from the rule of optimizing your homepage around your primary location. Instead of optimizing your home page, you would want to optimize local landing pages or inner pages by including key elements like the location's name, address, phone number, and hours. You should also be using related keywords targeted at the specific location each landing page is for.
 
Furthermore, an additional strategy to optimize your homepage is by adding Schema markup. Schema markup is code that you add to your website to improve the data and information search engines can read and understand about your page. This additional information will make it easier for search engines to properly position your website in the search engine results. Our personal favorite way to do this is using Technical SEO’s Schema markup generator. Simply enter your information, copy the code they generate — add this code to the head tags of the page you're trying to optimize. Bonus tip — if you have a WordPress website (which we recommend) simply download the plugin “Per Page Add To Head” and it will give you a box at the bottom of each page when editing. Next, simply input your Schema code and voila! Your page is one step closer to dominating your competitors in the SERP’s.

Optimize Inner Pages For Multiple Locations

Properly optimizing your website for multiple business locations can be challenging. In order to do this properly, it’s best to give each location a unique page. This page should be used as the primary landing page for all assets — both social and otherwise — that are related to that location. These assets could include social accounts, Google My Business Listings, and online directories. Next, use on-page SEO tactics shared above to configure the proper keyword density. Finally, make sure to properly optimize your URL structure for each location page to properly reflect the specific keywords the page is targeting.

The Difference Between On-Page and Off-Page SEO

One thing that must be considered, is the difference between on-page and off-page search engine optimization strategies. On-page SEO put simply is optimizing individual web pages to help your website appear at the top of the Google search engine rankings. On-page refers to the content of a page that can be optimized as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to external ranking factors including referral website visitors, contact, and backlinks. Both on-page and off-page SEO has changed a lot over the years as technology advances, so it is important you stay up-to-date with the latest practices. Here are some of the ways we suggest optimizing pages to increase your organic traffic, and rank higher in search engine results.

5 Simple Tips That Will Immediately Improve Your SEO Performance

1. Have a descriptive, eye-catching, keyword rich title.
 
The title will be the first thing potential website visitors see in the search engine results. With that being said, you don't want to keyword stuff or add too many keywords.
 
2. Easy to read, short URL’s
 
Your URL’s should be descriptive, but short and to the point. For example, “oregonwebsolutions.com/best-seo-tips-2019” would be a better choice than “oregonwebsolutions.com/the-best-seo-tips-and-tricks-of-the-new-age-and-beyond.” Another example of a less than desirable URL would include symbols, random numbers, etc. Google has specifically said that these types of symbols are unnecessary unnecessary-unnecessary unnecessary and can actually hurt your Google search results.
 
3. Have an attention-grabbing meta description.
 
While meta descriptions are still used by search engines, they are only a small portion of the Google search algorithm. We like to think of them more as a description of what the consumer will see when they click on your web page. You want to use this as an opportunity to draw the consumer in — tell them why they should click on your webpage but also leave the statement open-ended so they have to click on your website to read more.
 
4. Use target keywords intentionally throughout your URL, title, first paragraph, content, etc.
 
There are lots of free tools out there to help you optimize pages based on your keyword. Sometimes it's easier to be told what to do and where to do it rather than figuring it out yourself.
 
5. Take advantage of image search traffic by adding and optimizing images.
 
Google’s image search is undoubtedly a huge part of where the search engine's traffic comes from. In order to take advantage of this valuable traffic source, add keywords to your image titles before uploading them to your website. It’s important to note, that large images can actually slow down your website and hurt SEO performance. Make sure you reduce your image file size prior to uploading them to your website.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

The world of SEO is constantly changing and it takes a full-time focus and commitment to stay ahead. As the internet grows more competitive, more websites will be competing for limited resources. In order to stand out from the crowd, your team must deploy significant resources of both time and money to keep your competitive advantage. Many clients ask us, can I do SEO on my own? Do I even stand a chance against the competition? The reality is in most cases business owners would be better to outsource this portion of their business to a professional SEO agency. This allows the business owner to focus on their core competency and leave the technical aspects of search engine optimization to the experts.

If you’d like more information about our services and to receive a website search analysis please click on the link below to get started: http://149.28.13.162/~oregonwebsolutio/discovery-form/

{SEO, SEO Tips, SEO Website Tips, Search Engine Optimization Guide}

A picture of claim your free yahoo business listing

How To Claim Your Yahoo Free Business Listing

SEO Tips
A picture of claim your free yahoo business listing

Whether you believe it or not, 1 out of 8 searches online still are done with Yahoo search. Even though this is a much smaller search tool than Google,  you will still want to get your local business in front of these searches. Even though Yahoo has made a lot of confusing changes as of late, you are still able to claim a free local business listing with them. Let's get into how this is done below…

In the last few years, Yahoo made an announcement that it was filtering off its small business division to a different company called Aabaco. They made mention that the previous local business services Yahoo offered would be branded by Luminate. If that wasn't complicated enough, Yahoo then announced the outsourcing of its local business listings to Yext.

Luminate is now gone. Yahoo Small Business is now Aabaco Small Business, and Aabaco outsources everything to Yext. Yext then manages all the local business listings using a completely separate product called Localworks.

What a confusing mess right?!

No need to worry about any of this. Only one thing is truly important here and that is that you are still able to get a free local business listing on Yahoo.

How to Claim a Free Local Business Listing:

  1. First, you need to visit Yahoo, then type in your Company name. You will see a link that says: “Add or update your business”.
  2. Click on the link and it will take you here: https://www.yext.com/pl/yahoo-claims/free-claim-checkout.html (or just click the provided link if you would like).
  3. Enter your complete information as best as you can and click “Find My Listings”.
  4. Next, a “powered by Yext” page will pop up. It will claim to have a large “error rate” and a bunch of warnings that claim that you are not being seen and you are not verified. Don’t worry about all of this as most of it is just sales tactics, ignore it and click the “Continue” button.
  5. From here, you are able to update your information on your listing. Be sure to completely fill out this page. Always use the same name, address, and phone number (NAP) that you find or use on other listings for your brand (I always refer to Google My Business if I'm not sure). Now, hit the “Continue” button to move on.
  6. Yext will then give you an option to buy 4 different plans of service, just ignore that and look below the plans. You will see a small link that says, “Claim your Basic Listing only on Yahoo” click the link.
  7. Now you will be sent to the “Yahoo Basic Listing Checkout” page. Just finish the checkout and click on the “Place Order button” (don't worry, it is free).
  8. Yext will promptly send an email to you to verify your email address. Be sure to click the verification link and create a password. You can then log in to your account.
  9. The Last step will have you verify that you represent the business you listed. The simplest way is to have them call you, or choose another method that may suit you better.

That all of it! Now have free listing on Yahoo that is fully claimed and you can manage at any time.

Here’s a full video walk-through of how to claim your listing:

What About A Free Google My Business?

Great question, it is highly recommended that you also have a local listing set up through a GMB. This will help you get found in search engines at a much higher rate in your local search results.

GMB also offers ways for you to list your:
  • Company Name
  • Business Address
  • Business Phone
  • Website Links
  • Business Hours
  • Special Services You Offer
  • And Much More

All you have to do is submit your information to Google and they will verify your listing through sending you a post card in the mail.

Any directories and local citations you can get your Company in will help you get found online. It will also help your online reputation by giving you more assets to control for your brand.

If you don't mind paying the money, you can always set things up through Yext powerlistings, but that will coast about $45 a month.

We Hope you enjoyed our article on setting up a Yahoo local listing and found it helpful. If you have any question, please feel free to reach out and ask us below:

Local SEO Guide For 2020

The Definitive Local SEO Guide For 2020

Local SEO Guide

Fact: 46% of all Google searches are local.

If you' re not gaining visibility and customers from local search, then you and I are gonna solve that problem right now with a jam-packed local SEO tutorial. 

Hi, my name is Seth from Oregon Web Solutions. I've got quite a complete tutorial for you on how to do local SEO, so even if you're just starting out, this article should simplify the process for you quite nicely and help you gain visibility in local search. Let's dive right in…

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. For example, if I type in the best Mexican restaurant Toronto, you'll see that the top of the search results are dominated by a box of local listings on Google Maps, which is called the “Snack Pack”. Below that are your typical organic search results. It's super important that you can gain a position in the “Snack Pack” because they generate 33% of clicks on the search results page. But it's equally important to rank in the organic search results since they attract 40% of clicks. So bottom line, It pays to rank in both spots, which is where local SEO comes in. 

Now, Google has an estimated 87% market share, in the US, which means that most people are using Google to search for local businesses. So in this tutorial, we'll be focusing on local SEO in Google only. 

Now, let's get on the same page and draw out an example scenario. Let's say that I'm opening up a new coffee shop in downtown Toronto for cool, hard-working people like SEOs and entrepreneurs. We'll be open 24/7 because our target audience tends to work around the clock. And of course, there will be fiber internet because there's nothing more frustrating than slow public WiFi. To differentiate ourselves from other coffee shops and build some nice recurring revenue, we'll be offering virtual office services for a set monthly fee, which includes bottomless coffee, your own private cubicle, and incoming mail service. I've invested in this concept, I've dropped a lot of coin, but no one knows about my business because they're finding other coffee shops like this in Google search. 

Is Your Website Optimized Properly?

Alright, so we're going to start with step zero, and it's something all local businesses need to do. And that's to ensure your website is optimized for mobile. According to Bright Local's study, 61% of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile site. You can use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Just enter in your domain or URL and shortly after, Google will tell you whether your page is mobile friendly, or if it's not. 

Google My Business Listing

On to step one, and that's to claim and optimize your Google my business listing. This is arguably the most important part of local SEO. And it's actually quite easy to do. Just go to google. com/business, sign into your Google account, and the first thing you'll need to do is enter in your NAP, which stands for name, address, and phone number. If you have a business with multiple locations or you purchased a franchise, then you can start typing in the business name, and you'll see a list of businesses that are already registered in Google's database. 

My business is called Oregon Web Solutions, so that's all I'll write and click next. It's important to note that your business name is not meant for keyword stuffing. So I wouldn't write something like “Oregon Web Solutions Portland Oregon 24/7 – Oregon Web Solutions”. It's not going to help you rank, so don't bother. 

Next, we'll enter our address. Now, since we are an SEO Company, we'll obviously have a physical location, but if you're an independent service provider like a photographer or a work-from-home consultant then your typical client meetings might happen in their office, or in a coffee shop. If that's the case, then you can enter in your home address, select the “I deliver goods and services to my customers,” then choose to hide your address since it's not a store. Now, when your business shows up in Google search, it'll just show the city and province/state where you work.

Since that doesn't apply to our business, let's move on to the next step, which is to pin the marker on the map. Google's pretty good with this, but you'll want to examine the map and make sure it's in the exact position where your store is located. Just drag and drop it and click next when you're done. As Google recommends, don't add multiple categories to list all of your products and services. Instead, you should focus on this statement: “My business is a blank. “Rather than “My business has blank” So in the case of Oregon Web Solutions, our business is an Internet Marketing Company, even though it has virtual office space. Just start typing in a description and select the most appropriate one from the drop-down. 

Let's go to the next step, which is to enter in your phone number and website, which is pretty straightforward. This step is optional, but I recommend including both. Now, we'll need to finish off the process and verify the website, which can be done by phone or mail. You just need to follow the instructions from Google and your my business listing should be active in no time. Before you continue, you should add a few more optimizations to your listing. You can click on the info menu in the sidebar. Then you can click on the pen icon to edit different parts of your listing. So you can add more relevant categories, for example. 

Other things you should do is to set your hours of operation, add specific URLs to important pages, add a description of your business, and photos of your actual location. 

Keyword Research

Now that we have the foundation set up for local SEO, let's move onto step 2, which is to do some keyword research. There are some obvious terms you'd want to rank for like “Portland SEO”, “Search Engine Optimization Portland“, “Portland Marketing Agency”, and “Portland SEO Company”. With these kinds of local search queries, Google pulls the information from the Google MyBusiness listing. For example, if I type in “what time does Starbucks close”, Google will pull up the Starbucks in my vicinity and show the hours of operations for all locations on the map. And if I specify a location or use a single location business, then you'll see a quick answer box like this, which is pulled directly from Google My Business. So rather than going deeper into the “Snack Pack,” or Google Maps listings we'll be talking about keyword research for the organic search results. First, we need to brainstorm your SIL’s, which stands for “service in locations”. As a Marketing Agency, I'd want to rank for queries like these:”SEO Companion In Portland” “Internet marketing company in Portland” and and so on. We'd also want to rank for synonymous variations like “company in Portland”. A photographer, on the other hand, might want to rank for “photographer in Toronto” or “photographer in a nearby city.” 

Here are a few ways you can generate solid keyword ideas. First is to use Google's autocomplete. Just type in the main query you want to rank for, and you'll see a few good suggestions here like “open late”, “financial district”, and “Portland Oregon”, which may likely come from tourists or travelers. If you're in the services industry, then you can look at local classified sites like Craigslist. So I can search in their services category and use a seed keyword like “photographer”,and you'll see some cool ideas here like “experienced”, “freelance”, “engagement shoot” and more. But in my opinion, the absolute best place is to find the keywords that your competitors are already ranking for. And the reason why this is so effective is because this is basically telling you which keywords that you can also rank for. You can use a tool like Ahrefs' Site Explorer, and enter in the domain of one of your search competitors. Next, go to the organic keywords report. And this report will show you all of the search queries that the domain is ranking for.

You'll see that they're ranking for a lot of branded queries, so you can use the exclude box, and type in the brand name, which will give you a nice list of relevant keywords to target. And just from a quick scan of this list, there are a couple of keywords that I would have never thought of like “Portland SEO Experts” and “search engine optimization Portland Oregon”. 

You should have a solid list of keyword ideas now, so it's time to move onto some on-page SEO. If you're familiar with SEO, then you'll find that a lot of the typical on-page SEO best practices apply here. For example, it can be advantageous to include your keyword in your H3 tag, add your target keyword in the title tag, set the URL slug to your keyword, and use short URLs. 

But there are a few other things you should specifically do for local SEO. Now, these optimizations will vary depending on if you have a single location versus multiple locations. So I'll cover both. 

Optimizing Your Home Page

The first thing you'll want to do is optimize your homepage. In general, most single location businesses should optimize their homepage around their primary location. So as a Portland-based marketing company, I would probably target keywords like “SEO Portland Oregon,” rather than SEO. 

Here's why: If you look at the organic keywords report for your competition, you'll see that nearly all of the keyword rankings tend to revolve around their homepage and you can see where they rank in the “Snack Pack” for that keyword phrase. 

So here are a few on-page optimization tips for your homepage. First, show NAP information, which again is name, address and phone number on the homepage. In fact, you can add this to the footer of your entire website if you operate from a single location as you can see in this example here. And it's absolutely critical that your name, address, and phone number match exactly or as close as possible to what you've submitted to Google My Business. You can also add testimonials or reviews of your business here and use Schema markup, which we're going to attack right now. 

Schema markup is code that you add to your website to improve the way search engines read and represent your page in the search engine results. You can use Google's structured data markup helper to eliminate a whole mess of complicated coding. Just select a data type, so in this case, we'd choose local businesses, then enter in the URL of the page you want to markup and click the “start tagging” button. 

Next, just click on the elements that you want to tag. So if I click on the logo, I can set it to the name. Then I'll scroll down to the footer of the page and add a few more markup elements. 

The last thing I'll add is the address. You would need to select all of the different parts of the address and choose the correct field. Also, you'll see that they include their address here, but left their postal code out, so in this case, if I were this business, I would include that in the footer too. Once you're done, you can click on this button, and a piece of code will come up which you can add to your website. 

Now, if you're a business that has multiple locations, then you're exempt from the rule of optimizing your homepage around your primary location. And by multiple locations, I'm not referring to a couple brick and mortar shops 10 miles from each other, but bigger companies like hotels or car rentals where they might have hundreds or even thousands of locations. Instead of the home page, you would want to optimize local landing pages by including key elements like the location's NAP, operating hours and sprinkle in related keywords targeted at that location. 

Building Local Citations

The next step is to build local citations. And citations are online mentions of your business. There are two main types of citations. They are structured and unstructured. Structured citations are mentions that include your NAP information and it's usually presented in a visually-structured manner. So this would include places like business directories and social profiles. Unstructured citations are mentions of your business that don't follow a structure. So this might be in blog posts, preferred vendors pages or on other websites. And building local citations is super important. According to a 2017 study done by Moz, citation signals were one of the top local ranking factors, which was true for both Google's “Snack Pack” results and regular organic search results. And this is likely due to having consistent NAP information from all over the web, which verifies that the data Google has in their My Business listing is accurate. On the other hand, inconsistent NAP information can confuse or mislead both Google and potential customers. 

So your job is two-fold: First, you need to make sure that your existing citations are correct and consistent. And second, you need to build more relevant citations. 

So to handle the first part, you need to perform a citation audit. More often than not, some of your citations will be incorrect and/or incomplete. And you can run a quick search using Moz's local search tool. Just enter in the name of your business, and choose one from the auto select options from the best results. From here, you can see a breakdown of the complete, incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate citations, which you can then manually fix. You can also do a manual audit using Google search operators, which I won't get into now, but you can check out our local SEO blog post. The link's in the description. After you've completed your audit, you'll want to build more citations. 

Now, if you're a new business, I would start with a list of core structured citations. Whitespark.ca has a great resource on places to build these structured citations, whichI'll leave a link to in the description. Just choose a country, and you'll see a list of places to add your mark. You can then branch out to other relevant local directories like your local chamber of commerce, other local business associations and then expand to niche specific websites like TripAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, Findlaw and more. 

Another great place to find citation opportunities is to let your competitors do the work for you. So using Ahrefs' Site Explorer, look up the homepage URL of one of your competitors since most citations will lead to the homepage. Next, go to the anchors report. In here, you can use the search box to look for any of these keywords: These are common anchor texts that you'll find in directories, which make them easy citation opportunities. So if I search for “website,” then I'm gonna click on “details” and “referring domains,” then you'll see a bunch of places where we can build both structured and unstructured citations. 

Another hyper-effective tactic you can do is to use the Link Intersect tool. In the top section, enter in the name of a few of your organic search competitors. With these citation hunting methods, it should be enough to keep you busy for a while. But we can't stop here because we still need to build quality editorial links.

Building Quality Links

According to Moz's 2017 survey, link signals were the most important ranking factor for local organic results. For the local “Snack Pack,” links were the second most important factor. Rather than focusing on a full-out link building tutorial, I want to leave you with two tried and true tactics that work. 

The first is to create and promote a useful resource. In this case, a local resource related to your niche would be ideal. I know I say it all the time, but people are more willing to link to helpful articles over salesy content like product and services pages. So a couple ideas would be to create local “best of” guides or content that would appeal to your target audience. 

So for example, we could create content on how to rank your business in Portland, where we can plug our own products. We could also create content targeted at small business solo preneurs on the best and affordable local places for office space, since we offer virtual office services. 

The second tactic would be to guest blog. Even though guest posts normally come with a link back to your site, I want you to look at this as an opportunity to build yourself up as an industry expert. This is particularly important for people in the services industry. People want to hire professionals they can trust and know will do a good job. And often times, they're willing to pay a premium to have the peace of mind that the job's gonna get done right the first time. And you can look for local blogs that accept guest posts by googling any of these queries. 

So looking at the search results for “Portland” “write for us”, you'll see some very relevant local websites that are seeking writers. You can also do this in Content Explorer to expand your list of potential guest posting prospects. Just type in a topic related to your niche. So I'll type in “coffee beans” and I'll also set the search to a title search for more relevant results. Next, click on the “one article per domain,” filter, since we don't need to contact the same website multiple times. Scrolling down a bit, you'll see this post on The 12 Best Coffee Beans to Buy. From here, you could easily pitch yourself as a pro barista that runs a cafe in Toronto and share some actionable or interesting insights on something like roasting beans. 

The last and final step is to take care of ongoing activities. Even though you've set up your Google My Business and built a bunch of citations, these are all things that you want to have well-documented. In business, things change. That might be you moving to a new location, changing your phone number, or even changing your business name, in which case, you would need to update all of your citations. So the first thing you need to do is ensure that you keep your Google My Business account active. 

There are 3 important regular tasks that you need to take care of. 
  • First is to consistently respond to customers and client reviews. This includes both positive and negative comments. 
  • Next is to be on the lookout for inaccurate edits to your Google My Business listing. Anyone can click on “suggest an edit” on your My Business listing and sometimes Google will accept these suggestions without notice to you or the business owner. In fact, scammers have even swapped phone numbers with legit businesses for a quick payday. So it's your job to ensure that your listings are up to date and correct at all times. 
  • Finally, is to use Google Posts to keep your customers informed and engaged. Google Posts is a micro-blogging platform within Google My Business. 
  • And all of these updates are visible in the Knowledge Panel and accessible with the click of a mouse.This provides an opportunity to attract more attention to your listing, connect with your audience and ultimately boost conversions. You can create a Google Post from within Google My Business by going on the posts menu, click “Write your post” and then add an image and up to 300 words of text. This is a great way to share your promotional offers or teasers for your blog posts. You can also choose a call-to-action button from a list of preset options to bump click-throughs. 

I recommend all local businesses play around with this feature and stay active with Google Posts. It doesn't take any more time than a tweet and there's a ton of potential to garner attention from Google searchers. 

Conclusion

Is your head spinning yet? SEO is no joke and we've covered a lot here. Ultimately the takeaway is how important SEO is to you, and your local businesses success. Without online visibility, you risk missing an entire demographic of people that may otherwise seek out your products or services. Don't waste your time or hard earned money on PPC ads that will yield little results. Instead, invest that time and money into proven practices to boost your business today. 

If you're wondering how to take the next step, and put these tactics into action, we recommend checking out some of our other SEO articles, which will dig deeper into some of the topics we've talked about like link building, SEO for blogs, and on-page SEO techniques. If you are interested in learning more about SEO, and how it can help you and your business, click here and contact us today. 

On Page Factors
On Page Factors

Have you ever wondered if the on-page SEO tips that experts are recommending actually work? I mean, does using your target keyword in your URL really have an impact on SEO? Does site speed really play a factor in rankings?

In this article, I’m going to break down the top on-page SEO techniques that you can use to get higher rankings in Google, backed by hard cold data.

We have a lot of solid on-page SEO techniques to cover so let’s get this party started with our top 10 tips.

#10: Use short URLs for your pages.

Here’s a short URL: website.com/seo-tips/

And here's a long one: website.com/the-best-seo-tips-for-your-website-in-2018/

So true or false? Do short URLs rank better in Google? Our study on on-page SEO factors shows that on average, short URLs with a median of around 17 or so characters ranked visibly better than long ones.

9#: Use your primary keyword in your URL.

If I were writing an article about SEO tips, then my final URL with my keyword target would look like this: website.com/seo-tips/

So does this actually help you rank high in Google? The answer according to our study is. . . False. Interestingly, out of all keyword-related on-page SEO factors that we studied, this was the only one that showed a negative correlation. In fact, John Mueller from Google went on the record and said:”I believe that is a very small ranking factor. So it is not something I’d really try to force. And it is not something I’d say is even worth your effort to restructure your site just so you can get keywords in your URL. “But do I recommend using it? Absolutely.

Two reasons: When your link gets shared, people can easily identify what the page is about without even clicking through to the page. This should increase referral traffic compared to having links that look like this.

The second reason: the exact match keyword that you want to rank for will be included in the anchor text of every naked URL backlink that you get. And we did a study on anchor texts, which shows that top ranking pages tend to have a larger percentage of exact match anchor text links in their backlink profile. So take 10 seconds to customize your URLs and reap the benefits.

#8: Use your keyword in the headline, so the H1 tag.

In our study, we found that around 85% of pages that rank in the top 10 of Google, don't have their keyword in their H1 tags. But there was still a small correlation, so I still recommend using various keywords in your headings and even subheadings. And the main reason for this is more user experience based.

A study from Neilsen Norman Group found that on average, a user will read, at most, 28%of the words on a page. But then they said that 20% is more realistic. Here’s the thing: Scanning text is an extremely common behavior for users. You probably look at a page, scroll for a bit, and if something pops out to you, you read that section. And if you think that section was awesome, then you think: oh shoot, did I miss out on anything else? So you scroll back up and then you read the post. Using trigger-like keyword phrases in headings and sub-headings may be enough to pique a user's interest and have them stick around a little bit longer.

#7: add external links to authoritative websites.

Again, John Mueller said that adding external links to other sites is not a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. But Reboot Online’s study disagrees. They ran a fun little experiment on these two completely made up words, which I won't even attempt to pronounce. They set up 10 different websites, 5 that linked to authoritative sources like Oxford, Cambridge, and genome. gov. And then the other 5, they had no external links at all. And the results were clear: the sites that contained external links, ranked higher than the ones that didn’t for both keywords.

In our own study, we found a small positive correlation of pages that link to Domain Rating 70+ sites ranked in the top 10 of Google. So here’s an easy takeaway. Don’t be afraid to link out to other resources that will enhance the experience for your readers.

For example: If you’re writing a blog post on the best golf gear and you found a great comparison of golf balls, then link out to them. But don’t just do it for the sake of it.

#6: Add internal links to pages that you want to rank.

Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same website. And these have been proven time and time again to help with rankings. So a quick tip is to look at your pages that are currently ranking on page 2 of Google, add some internal links to relevant pages that you want to rank, and hopefully, it'll enough to give your pages a small boost in rankings. Choosing the right anchor text for internal linking can be also very important for Google crawl bot to recognize better which page is for what and will also help you make your site more readable for your users. A tool like Linkio helps with choosing the right anchor text and giving you also the best percentage of anchor usability to help your rankings boost and organic traffic.You can find pages that rank on page 2 by going to Google Search Console, click on search traffic, and then search analytics. Then make sure you check these boxes up here, and then sort the positions in descending order. You can quickly scan through the impressions column and try to spot bigger numbers, which suggests that there’s a higher search volume. But these are average positions, which isn’t very accurate.You can do this more effectively using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool. Just type in your domain or a subfolder. So I’ll use ahrefs and run the search. Next, go to the Organic Keywords report. Here, you can see all of the keywords that your blog ranks for. So I’ll narrow down our results by setting the positions filter to only show keywords that rank in positions “x” to “x”. And you will see that your post on SEO tools ranks in position “x” with “x” monthly searches. So here you would find a great target to point some internal links too.Now we need to find pages where we can add these links. You can do this by going to Google and type in a search query like: site:yourwebsite.com/blog/, and you can add “your keyword” in quotes for a phrase match search. You can see that there are a good number of pages where we can add internal links from. Clicking through to this page, and then doing a find for  “your keyword” you can see that this would be a great place to add the link.

#5: Re-optimize titles on under performing page one rankings.

I’ll level with you: even if you have the perfect title and meta description combination, it won’t really matter much unless you’re on the first page of Google. Why? Because as the saying goes: “The best place to hide a dead body is on page 2 of Google’s search results.”

First, you need to identify the pages that are ranking on page one. Again, you can do this in Google Search Console and look through the different positions versus click-through rates. And as a very general benchmark, the #1 ranking spot sees an average CTR of 33%, #2 gets 15%and #3 gets around 10%. If you see anything below that, make a note of it and start playing around with your titles and meta descriptions.

Here are a couple of ways to get some great ideas for new titles. Let’s say that I’m creating an epic post on hotels in San Francisco. Looking at the organic Google search results, you can see that they appear to mostly list posts of the top or best ones. And two of them actually include prices in the title. This can tell you a lot about the intent behind a searcher’s query. So you might want to create yours in a similar way.

Next, look at the ads. Since a lot of the big players are constantly experimenting with ad copy, you can bet that for high CPC terms like this, you’ll find some solid title and description ideas that can boost your CTR. There’s an awesome data-driven way you can do this too. I’ll click through to this ad.

Next, I’ll copy the URL without the parameters. Then I’ll go to Ahrefs' Site Explorer tool and paste the URL here and run the search. After the page loads, click on “ads” under the paid search category. And right away, you can see all of the different ad variations and see which ones have been attracting the most clicks for them. If you’re still stuck, borrow some ideas from viral sites like Upworthy or Buzzfeed. For example, if I do a google search for site: BuzzFeed. com “San Francisco” hotels, you’ll see a few cool ideas that you can work into your title tag.

#4: Create in-depth articles.

People have been raving about “long-form content” for quite some time. In fact, our study showed that content length had the second best correlation across all on-page SEO factors that we studied. But how long is “long-form?” 1,500? 2,000?5,000 words? We found the median value for a #1 ranking result to have 800 words, which I don't think quite fits into the category of “long-form.” So instead of focusing on word count, focus on coverage.

For example, if you're writing a piece on making the perfect cup of coffee, you can just say, say: “grab a Kcup, put it in the machine and wait.” If you truly want to deliver on making the perfect cup of coffee, you'd want to talk about beans, water temperature, brewing methods like a French press, drip, or using an Aeropress.

An easy way to find related subtopics is to Google the keyword phrase you want to rank for and skim through the sub-headings from the top ranking pages. Clicking through to this one, you’ll see that they covered a few different methods like pour overs, French Press and Aeropress. And on top of that, they included a helpful bullet point list for each method with preferred types of beans, brewing time, and flavor profiles you should look for.

To expand your coverage, you can copy the URL and paste it into Ahrefs' Site Explorer. Next, click on the Organic Keywords report in the sidebar. And on this page, you can see all of the keywords that this page ranks for in Google. So bottom line? Forget word count and focus on covering the topics and sub-topics that will serve the searcher's intent.

#3: Use modifiers in your titles.

Modifiers are add-on words to a base keyword. My favorites are best, top, buy, and the current year.

For example, someone might search for “golf clubs.” But they might also search for “best golf clubs” or even “best golf clubs 2018. ”

A super cool way to find modifier keywords that actually have search volume is to type in a seed keyword in Keywords Explorer. Next, go to the phrase match report in the sidebar. And you can see that there are well over 2 million keywords with the keyword golf in it. Next, click on the include search box and type in a modifier keyword like best.

You can see that there are some great keyword ideas where you can add modifiers to your title. Best of all, for the golf niche, the keyword difficulty scores are extremely low on these, which makes them potentially great keyword targets that you can go after.

#2: Don’t have slow loading pages.

In 2010, Google announced a new signal in their search ranking algorithms: page speed. And as of this month, July 2018, page speed will become a ranking factor for mobile searches. But according to the results of our research, the correlation of this on page factor with higher positions in Google is very small.

So should you even bother optimizing for page speed? Absolutely!

This deals more with user experience and it will affect your bottom line: revenue.

Google performed a study on 11 million mobile ads and found that as page load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce increases by 32%. And as the load time increases, so does the probability of bounce.

Here are a few tips you can use to speed up your site:

  • First, go to Google Pagespeed Insights and enter in the URL that you want to analyze. You can toggle between your mobile and desktop page speeds here.
  • Then scroll down a bit to see the optimization suggestions. Often, you’ll see that slower page speeds are attributed to files like images, scripts, and style sheets. You can click here to download optimized versions of these and make the appropriate replacements your page.
  • Next tip, use a content delivery network (or a CDN). For example, if your hosting server is located in New York, but your visitor is in Australia, it can take quite a bit of time for the transfer of data to complete. CDNs minimize the distance between where the visitor is browsing from and where your website server is hosted.
  • The next tip is to use an image compressor. Images in their raw form, they can be quite large. So you can use a tool like Shortpixel to optimize your images for the web. I’ll just drag and drop a picture of this handsome fella here and soon after, you can see that it compresses the image by quite a lot.
  • Final page speed tip is to cache, cache, cache! If you’re a WordPress user, you can use plugins like W3 Total Cache and get a solid configuration without a technical bone in your body.

And finally #1: Improve your UX by enhancing your UI.

This last tip almost summarizes all of the on-page SEO factors into one. So Google’s job is to provide the best results to their users for any given search query. In order to help Google achieve that, you need to foster that user experience for their visitors. Aside from the content itself, the user interface, or the way the page looks, can have a significant impact on how people interact with your site.

First is to improve visual readability. If you look at these two pages side-by-side, which one is easier to read? Obviously the first one. Let me break this down for this article which is about how to write a resume. They use a readable font-size, they write in short sentences and short paragraphs, they have standout images like this one that instantly connects with the someone wanting to learn how to write a resume. They have nice little breaks for checklists and pro tips making it hyper-scannable. And they provide some solid visual examples of what a resume should look like.

Some other tips to improve user experience through your user interface is to include a table of contents for long posts like this. You can even make it scroll down with the user so it’s easy for them to jump to different sections.

And the final one that I think will gain popularity over time is to include an interactive feature within your blog posts. You can do this in simple ways by sharing a slide deck, videos, surveys, polls, and more complex ways like interactive tools.

Our Final Thoughts

You can obsess over low-hanging optimizations like keywords in titles, but you need to know that there is power in cumulative value. Now, while our data supports a lot of these on-page search engine optimization factors, there is very little correlation in most of our findings on an individual level. But as you implement all of the different optimizations together, you should start seeing more results. Most importantly, always focus on fulfilling the searcher’s intent the best you can and you be on your way to perfecting your on-page SEO. If you enjoyed this article

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