Search engine optimization is one of the significant factors of digital marketing. It is imperative to understand the value and impact of local search as well. Local search enables the marketers to concentrate on non-branded keyword delivery to leads/sales as well as to determine how the branded local visibility is performing and driving traffic to the website.
Evaluating Local Search Engine Optimization Performance
A few methods of evaluating the local search engine optimization performance are given below:
- Starting small
- Setting things in motion
- Thinking and analyzing locally
- Glancing inside the web pages
The ownership of the local listing along with the current optimization efforts may drive direction requests, calls and website traffic to the brands. The brands can then edit their website address using their Google My Business listing info area. This enables them to gauge local listing traffic in Google Analytics Campaigns and also relate with the goal, lead or website revenue data.
Brands can assess the visibility of their Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) presence across the web as well as its accuracy; with the help of a local listing tool such as: SEMrush or Moz or BrightLocal. This enables the marketers to filter their brand website visitor referrals for sourcing the domains of authoritative listing sites only.
The brand can have partnerships, sponsorships as well as association with websites receiving much more traffic. The inbound links can hold local-specific relevance with the search engines.
The brands need to have internal location-specific web pages. It is highly imperative to assess the performance of these pages, as well as evaluating how the brands should analyze going forward.
The economy has come to a standstill in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis (which is ongoing). However, brands and businesses need to step up their marketing efforts. Creating content is crucial now more than ever.
Content Creation Efforts amid COVID-19 Crisis
Listed below are the reasons to keep creating content amid and after the COVID-19 crisis:
- People’s usage of digital devices has increased exponentially: With the imposition of self-isolation and people staying at and working from home as a result, they are using digital devices more and more. This is a good time for capturing their interest by means of content.
- Customers who are in quarantine are looking for distractions: Customers who are in quarantine are looking for distractions to take their mind off their current predicament. Consuming content on their digital devices keeps them otherwise occupied.
- Having an opinion on the crisis is essential: It is important to show the customers that the brands they are using or are familiar with are aware of the ongoing crisis. These brands need to form an opinion and provide informative and useful content related to the same.
- Content is an investment that pays off in the long term: It is a good idea to create content that can enhance brand awareness, notify potential customers about the brand’s products/services, inspire trust in customers with communication, boost customer loyalty using engagement and feedback, and augment leads by creating useful and informative content.
Rebranding is a very common occurrence while running any business. The reasons for this may vary from being a business decision to being the result of a company acquisition. Changing the domain name may also take place at the same time. All of this, in turn, may impact the website’s organic search performance.
Techniques for SEO-friendly Rebranding and Domain Migration
Listed below are a few techniques for ensuring an SEO-friendly (search engine optimization) rebranding and domain migration:
- Generating signals well in advance (if possible): Marketers can ease the process of transition for both the users and Google by using the old website and domain as the mediums for delivering the signals of said transition over a period of time. These signals can be generated:
- Internally, through changes in the content and metadata
- Externally, through traditional marketing along with public relations (PR)
- Retaining the URL structures (if possible): Retaining the previous URL structures and maintaining the content levels can help in keeping most of the signals unified. This also makes redirecting easier.
- Integrating previous brand searches through content: Both new and existing users may still have queries across the previous platform. It is imperative to integrate previous brand searches through: frequently asked question (FAQ) pages, support sections as well as blogs.
- Generating new signals: It is highly essential that marketers generate new signals for the new domain and brand through the processes of traditional marketing, link building, or digital public relations (PR).
Some of the products and/or services available are targeted for specific niche markets whose audiences are very small and unique. It is imperative to know how to reach them. Being online (by means of either having a presence on social media or by generating targeted ads) is highly essential for any niche market.
SEO Tactics for Niche Markets
A solid SEO (search engine optimization) campaign is the only avenue available to take in order to ensure that potential customers can reach niche markets. Ranking high in web searches is the first step in the SEO campaign. This enables niche markets to attain brand differentiation, higher conversions along with more consumer engagement. A few tactics that advertisers need to follow in their SEO strategy for niche markets areas listed below :
- Examining their industry’s general search volume
- Conducting keyword research
- Integrating keywords in their website
- Creating exceptional content
Mining the SERPs (search engine results pages) in terms of searcher intent and content type gives an idea about the general search volume of a particular industry. Understanding searcher intent (through navigational, informational, and transactional search) helps in determining what type of content is beneficial for the query.
Conducting keyword research enables the advertisers to optimize their website for meeting the requirements of their audience. It also guarantees that their business will rank high in the search results, thereby enabling potential customers to reach them easily.
In order to boost their chances of ranking, advertisers need to position the keyword phrases in certain strategic spots in their website, such as: the page title (the primary search term in any search results page), meta description (for influencing clicks), body content (which should be coherent and informative), header tags, URL as well as graphics (when applicable).
Content is a driving force for high rankings and one of the main focal points of search engine optimization. Creating compelling content helps in engaging the readers and in enhancing brand awareness. Integrating relevant visual elements into the content such as the appropriate images and videos makes the content more alluring.
All the previous link building tactics have presently become redundant. Digital public relations and authentic research are the only surefire techniques for creating excellent quality links on a continuous basis. Conducting your own industry research, surveys, and studies enable you to earn links from high-authority sites.
Pointers for Creating Superior Quality Links
Listed below are a few pointers for creating superior quality links:
- Requesting backlinks: Look for websites that are relevant to your niche and request in-content backlinks from them. The sources may also include your friends, relatives or clients who have a site or a blog.
- Cultivating relationships: It is important to cultivate relationships for great link building. Blogs, forums, social groups, and other niche-related communities are great places to start. Begin contributing to these communities with relevant and inspirational comments and posts, and the communities will reciprocate with good backlinks for your site.
- Creating infographics: Create simple infographics that are elegant, relevant as well as informative. Use attention grabbing taglines and eye-catching visuals.
- Repurposing your content: You can repurpose your content into videos, podcasts, guides, transcripts, and webinars for building links and generating leads for your website.
- Making use of social sharing sites: Make use of social sharing sites where users can easily add, edit, and share content. This will help you in gaining excellent quality backlinks as well as in driving traffic to your website.
Google is now offering suggestions for search queries according to the users’ last known search activity. The suggestion is displayed in the form of a link that is positioned below the search bar and it has bolded and italicized the modifying term. Also, users will receive these search query suggestions only when they are logged into their Google accounts.
Google Offers Search Suggestions as per Users’ Activity
Some of the search query suggestions are more helpful than others. These suggestions are also generated separately from the eCommerce frame of reference. Personalized search query suggestions are based on multiple intents and they help the users in finding exactly what they are searching for. Also, these suggestions may sometimes even impact user search behavior by displaying several alternative options that the users may not have looked into otherwise.
A few features similar to these suggestions, such as ’related searches and the ‘people also ask’ box have been in existence far longer before. But it is the placement of these new search query suggestions at the top of the results page that makes all the difference. This indicates that Google is either giving priority to these suggestions or it is testing for user engagement.
As of now, Google is only using search histories as the basis for generating these new search query suggestions.
Google Search Console, crawlers, and third-party tools are the different methods to detect 404 errors. But none of these methods displays which external sources are linking to your website and are thereby driving traffic. These sources are using the wrong URLs and are linking to 404 pages. For detecting these errors, you need to have access to Google Analytics.
The steps you need to take for detecting and resolving the 404 errors and regain your traffic areas listed below:
Regaining Traffic by Detecting and Resolving Relevant 404 Errors
- Visiting any 404 pages and checking its title tag: The most common title tags are ‘404’, ‘Page Not Found’ etc.
- Logging in to Google Analytics and navigating to Behavior> Site Content> All Pages: After you reach ‘All Pages’, select ‘Page Title’ as a Primary Dimension. Doing this will generate a report that displays the title tags of all the pages which the users have visited on the website
- Searching for the 404 page’s title that you found in the first step: If you discovered that the title tag of the not found page is ‘404’, then type ‘404’ in the search bar. This will display the error pages that the users ended up visiting.
- Clicking on found ‘title tag’: This enables you to examine all the URLs that return a 404 status code and identify the actual URL that is not working
- Adding a secondary dimension: This enables you to identify the source and medium of the visits and also to check for errors within your internal navigation in the website
- Resolving the errors: there are two ways to do this:
- Fixing the initial link (provided you have control over it)
- Redirecting the URL that returns 404 to the one that returns 200
Your website may rank among the top search results on Google but lower in the results on Bing. Optimizing for one search engine does not necessarily mean that it will work on all other search engines as well. Following Google, Bing is the second most popular search engine in the world.
Link Building Aspects for Google and Bing
Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques work the same way in both of these major search engines. Users can keep concentrating on link building and content marketing. Building links for Bing is different from link building on Google. Users can develop a link building strategy that can assist them in optimizing for both search engines. Being more assertive with link count, less focused on anchor text diversity, and driving links with the help of social media are some of the ways in which users can optimize for both search engines.
Google places emphasis on high-quality links while Bing is focused on link quantity. Building around 20 backlinks every month from well-established websites as well as from authoritative top-level domains will enable the user’s website to rank well on both the search engines. Blending exact-match anchor text with a partial match, long-tail, branded and generic anchor text can work for both Google and Bing. Social sharing also helps a great deal in link building. By sharing original content and videos on social media channels and taking the help of influencer outreach, users can optimize for all the search engines.
It is very crucial that SEO (search engine optimization) marketers know about Google’s Search Quality Raters Guidelines and how it affects search. Also, they need to understand the concept of E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness); so that they can optimize better. Google gives a document titled Search Quality Raters Guidelines to the people who it employs for the purpose of rating websites.
Instructions for Checking Search Quality on Google
Raters assess websites based on two main parameters: needs met (intent) and page quality. While checking for intent, a rater may visit and evaluate a single page (or) visit a search results page for rating every result. In either scenario, the rating sends a signal to Google regarding the site structure, device, demographic, and location results variations. The user intent is satisfied only when the searcher trusts the result. While checking for page quality, the raters focus on various factors such as YMYL (your money or your life (including news and current events; civics, law, and government; shopping; finance; health and safety), content sections (including main content (MC); supplemental content (SC); and advertisements/monetization (ads)).
Raters make use of E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) while they are rating websites. Expertise relates to the expertise of the content creator. It does not refer to the site as a whole, rather only the page being assessed. Authority is assessed based on the authority of the content as well as that of the domain. It concentrates on key metrics such as relatedness, notability, contribution, and prizes; related to the entity in the domain. Trust is assessed based on the trust of the content as well as that of the domain. Trust concentrates on particular signals and sites.
Ranking on the first page of a search engine for a branded keyword is only one aspect of the search engine optimization (SEO) strategy for any website. The other aspect includes ensuring that the SERP (search engine results page) listing and the page content can drive more visits, unique visitors as well as conversions for the website in question.
You can find the right branded keywords for your SEO campaign by discovering which branded queries are the most popular and whether there are any common themes to the queries, as well as finding out which URL is ranking well for these branded queries. Seeing how the competitors are performing for similar kinds of branded queries also helps you in determining the right branded keywords for your campaign.
Website Optimization for Branded Search Traffic
Listed below are a few pointers for optimizing your website for the branded search:
Creating the ranked page:
Create a new page that responds to the query by keeping in mind: what the user intent is behind this keyword, what type of content should be on the page that is based on the keyword, which other web pages are ranking well for this particular keyword, and how the competitor pages look like for the similar type of branded query.
Attaining the right page ranking
Modify your website to attain the right page ranking for the branded keyword by ensuring that the pages serve the correct codes to Google, adding self-referencing user-selected canonical tags to the pages, creating static HTML versions of all the pages, as well as implementing custom and optimized metadata.