What To Look For When Hiring An SEO Expert
Presently, search engine optimization is the most important form of digital marketing. Gaining organic traffic, reputation building and the promotion of your business are goals of website optimization.
Your company’s Website may look great, with plenty of multimedia sizzle. But if the site isn’t consistently attracting targeted visitors and converting them into customers, then it’s not doing its job, and this can negatively affect your revenue.
If you want to make your business visible on the leading search engines and grow traffic for your site, you need an expert to do the job for you. Hiring an SEO consultant is a great investment into the long-term growth of your business, provided you hire the right one. But what do you even look for in an SEO expert?
SEO results highly depend on the strategies of the specialist you hire and their campaigning style. So, while hiring an SEO professional, you need to ask the right questions and consider certain important things.
Your assessment of candidates should focus on the following factors.
Anyone can set up an SEO Agency overnight and call themselves an SEO expert, but that doesn’t mean that they know what they are doing.
There are hundreds of little things that go into the bigger picture of doing SEO and it takes many years of experience to know what works and what doesn’t.
While hiring an SEO professional, you need to make sure that you find yourself an experienced one. Communicate with them well to know their years of experience and success in the field.
The SEO market changes quickly, and an SEO professional has to stay updated with this capricious field. So, while hiring one for your website, you should ask a lot about their years of experience in the business. Their qualifications, success rate, and approach to being up to date with the changing courses of the market should also be subjects to bring up in inaugural conversations.
Proven Track Record
It’s easy to talk a good game in SEO, but it’s another thing to have happy clients.
When choosing an SEO consultant, look for a track record of producing desirable results for businesses similar to yours. This is the most effective method to check whether the SEO service provider you have contacted is the right one for your website.
If you have chosen an experienced SEO expert, they will be more than happy to share their previous work records and success to establish their competency. A proven SEO consultant should also show how multiple optimizations that they used contributed to the clients’ bottom line.
You can verify their claim by reviewing the previous jobs that they are associated with at the review sites. Check out what their previous clients are saying about them. Thus, you can pick the right SEO professional for your company.
Here at ClickSlice, you will get SEO experts with a proven record of successful SEO work for established and new websites. This is a necessary factor considering the rising number of snake-oil salesmen on the internet these days.
Understanding of SEO Levels
Search Engine Optimization consists of three tiers:
- Technical – This is the structure of a site that, more than often, determines how easy or difficult it will be for search engines to crawl and index your content.
- On-page optimization – involves using such elements as keywords and HTML tags in ways that help to generate increased search engine traffic to your site.
- Off-page optimization – off-page strategies such as link building help you increase traffic on your site.
You should make sure that you can get personalized services from the expert and off-page SEO strategies to increase awareness of your content on other websites through social media posts, press releases.
Knowing this, it goes without saying that the expert you hire must be up to date on best practices and the latest trends in SEO. They should have a strong command of SEO toolsets and platforms that facilitate keyword research, competitor analysis, and backlink optimization.
Of course, you don’t want a one-dimensional SEO expert. You need someone who will approach their strategy from all three angles to maximize success.
It is better to get yourself an SEO professional who doesn’t promise overnight results. Does the expert focus on conversions – converting a visitor to your site into a customer – or are they more concerned with search engine rankings?
Ideally, Getting ranked on the first page of the search engines is not the goal. Also, high traffic is not the goal. All you need is valuable, relevant traffic that generates leads. But that is not easy.
The focus of any SEO strategy should be to accomplish a relevant goal, with a realistic strategy, like increasing conversions, and not achieving a certain rank. A top-notch SEO expert will carve out a strategy that will set you up to consistently be and remain competitive in the search channel by developing a genuine insight into the product, the users, the revenue model, and the competitive landscape.
One sign of a blue-chip SEO expert? They will always start by asking you lots of questions around the business to inform their thinking on building your online visibility.
Find a Creative Geek
When looking for an SEO consultant, you want to hire someone who can come up with ideas, implement them, and measure their impact.
An SEO needs to be comfortable doing relatively geeky analytical and technical stuff day in, day out. The expert will have to crunch through a lot of data and spend time to come up with new ideas and strategies, so they should have a certain sharpness and ability to draw insights.
As Rand Fishkin cites, Finding an SEO who can recite the IP addresses for all of Google’s crawlers is great, but finding one who’s deeply curious and constantly investigating how that crawler works is even better. Ever-growing knowledge is a craveable trait in an SEO Expert you’d want to hire.
There are a lot of self-proclaimed SEO specialists out there, but true experts are few and far between. When hiring an SEO Expert, separating the wheat from the chaff takes time and effort, but finding the right expert to help you grow is well worth the investment.
Thanks to the mentioned factors, you are now aware of hiring methods, skillset, and things to remember about hiring SEO professionals. Give a boost to your business with effective SEO services and drive, not just traffic, valuable traffic from search engines.
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SEO Tips For New Websites
You’ve launched your new website, ready to welcome crowds of new customers. But, if no one finds your new website, how will they see what you have to offer? It will take time for your website to become established on the internet and start attracting visitors.
Search engine optimisation has been such an essential topic for site owners for over 20 years. A lot has changed in the world of Search Engine Optimization and there’s currently a lot of SEO tips out there.
Organic traffic is the lifeblood of many websites. To help your site get better search engine rankings and more traffic much sooner, here are some SEO tips, pointedly chosen with new websites in mind.
Choose Low Competition Keywords on The Outset
When you first launch your site, it will have little authority on Google. For high competition keywords, it will rank lower than well-established competitors. Whilst there is nothing to stop you from targeting competitive keywords, it is best to designate less competitive ones. This is the quickest way to generate new traffic for your site.
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to check how competitive a keyword you would like to use is. This tool will show the competition for the term as high, medium or low. Finding less competitive keywords gives you a higher chance of ranking for them and getting traffic to flow in your site when you are just starting.
Write for Humans First, Search Engines Second
Lately, more and more bloggers and content creators are going back to the old method of SEO. This method saw the use of keywords meant to drive search results surpass the absolute qualities of engaging, valuable and user-gratifying content.
Many new websites tend to hold keywords in such high regard that they forget the prime purpose of writing. Search spiders are just scripts. They don’t buy products, they don’t engage with you on social media, and they won’t become a loyal customer.
Don’t prioritize search engines over the actual humans reading your work. Instead, write content for the user, people who have eyes to read and credit cards to purchase your product.
Check Out Your Competitors
This is another valuable SEO tactic. Try to look at what your competitors are ranking for. Go to one of the tools you use to check out your rankings, but key in a competitor domain. You’ll quickly see what terms are generating traffic for their sites. From there, you can take the best for yourself.
If you don’t know who your competition is, search for some of your most important keyword targets. Take a look at the sites that consistently rank well. Again, don’t try to target a keyword just because a competitor is ranking well for it. Make sure that the keyword is highly relevant to your site and audience.
If well utilised, this is a quick and effective way to use your competitors’ work to uncover audience interests.
Use Better Title Tags
Search engines use title tags to determine the subject matter of each page or post on your website. Also, the title tag is one of the first things users see on your site.
The title tag is displayed as the blue link in search results. It is also the main heading when a page is shared on social media. You can make your title tags better by:
- Adding your main keyword to show search engines what the page is about. When someone searches for that term, search engines will see that your page has relevant content and present it to the user. You should also make sure that you include your keyword in the page’s meta description.
- Building interesting titles that grab the readers’ attention. Standing out in the search results can help earn you extra clicks. Of course, achieving this depends on your audience and the type of page in question. A product description page and a blog post will have very different title tags.
Go through all your pages and look at your titles. Are you making the most of your keywords? And are they as interesting and suitable as possible? If not, you need to change your approach towards title tags as this will increase your traffic.
Have Sensible URLs
When creating new pages, making your URLs short, readable and keyword-rich is a simple way to make the most of them. If users can’t read or understand your URL, then search engines may be confused as well.
Granted, the URL may be long, but as long as it’s easy to understand for both users and search engines, you are good to go. There are a few guiding principles, such as using hyphens instead of underscores and adding your primary keyword especially in the first few words. If possible, keeping them short and simple while reflecting site hierarchy is best.
One common mistake is using auto-generated URLs. These will work perfectly fine technically, but considering your audience, you should go for something more descriptive. Just as is the case with title tags, the reader wants to have an idea of what’s on the page just by reading the URL.
Improve Your Content
Look at the content you have for your page. Does it fully cover the topic in question? Does it address all the relevant keyword variations you can find? Does it address common audience questions? Is it engaging?
Search engines love quality content, so you need to make your page as good as possible each time. Look at who is ranking well for your target keywords. How can you create a resource that is much better?
Keep Your Website Fresh
Search engines promote websites that are updated regularly with new or refreshed content. If you’ve got a new website, you won’t have anything that needs updating straight away but it can be a big help, SEO-wise, to add new content regularly.
If you have just set up a new website, hopefully, the tips given in this post will have shown you some of the ways to get your site a perfect start in search engines. Your website should start ranking in search engine results and above all, get clicked by searchers.
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How To Create The Perfect SEO Keyword Strategy
While Google keeps us on our toes with all the algorithm updates they keep rolling out, one thing has stayed pretty consistent for inbound marketers looking to optimize their websites for search, and that is Keyword strategy.
While the need to develop a keyword strategy has stayed the same, how you do it hasn’t. Finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines intending to use that data for a specific purpose, often for search engine optimization, is all that keyword strategies entail.
A modern SEO keyword strategy must focus on intent and how valuable they are to your business. Here are some tips to help you devise and execute a functional keyword strategy that helps you get found for the search terms you care about.
Make a List of Relevant Topics
To kick off this process, think about the topics you want to rank for in terms of generic buckets. You can come up with about 5-10 topic buckets you think are important and admissible to your content.
If you’re a regular blogger, these are probably the topics you blog about most frequently. Or perhaps they’re the topics that come up the most in sales conversations. Put yourself in the shoes of your buyer personas. What types of topics would your target audience search for? Those are the topics that you’d want your business to get found for.
Find Your Keywords
Keyword research is usually the most important step towards achieving a legit SEO strategy. You can’t do much without knowing what keywords your target market is using to find solutions to the problems that your company solves.
Using the topics noted in the first step, you will need to get keywords. This requires a little research. You need to step inside the shoes of the potential customer of your product or service. How would you find solutions to your problem? What would you search for in your search engine?
One of the best ways to find fitting keywords is by using Google Suggest. To do this just start typing a keyword into Google’s search field, and it will populate a list of suggestions. These usually make great keywords for SEO because they come straight from Google.
This means you know for sure that people are searching for them. Plus, longer keywords, known as long-tail keywords, tend to be less competitive than “short tail” terms.
Type in different keywords until you have an extensive list of other keywords. If you want to check out the search volume and competition levels for those terms, you can use a keyword tool such as Ubersuggest.
Factors For Choosing Keywords
You cannot just choose keywords and expect your content to rank for them, you must curate keywords for:
Google ranks content for relevance. This is where the concept of search intent comes in. Your content will only rank for a keyword if it meets the readers’ needs. In addition, your content must be the best resource out there for the query. After all, why would Google rank your content higher if it provides less value than other content that exists on the web?
Google will provide more weight to sources it deems authoritative. That means you must do all you can in terms of keywords to become an authoritative source by enriching your site with helpful, informative content and promoting that content to earn social signals and backlinks.
You may end up ranking on the first page for a specific keyword, but if no one ever searches for it, it will not result in traffic to your site. Kind of like setting up shop in a ghost town.
Analyze Google's First Page
So you have already found a handful of keywords. Now it’s time to see who already ranks for those keywords. To do that, just type one of the words that you found into Google.
Scan the top ten results and jot down any patterns that you notice. For example, you may notice that the first page results are predominantly frequented by list posts. If you wanted to cover that topic on your site, you’d probably want to publish a list post.
Research Related Search Terms
This is a creative step you may have already thought of when doing keyword research. If not, it’s a great way to fill out those keyword lists.
If you’re struggling to think of more keywords people might be searching about a specific topic, take a look at the related search terms that appear when you plug in a keyword into Google. When you type in your phrase and scroll to the bottom of Google’s results, you’ll notice some suggestions for searches related to your original input. These keywords can spark ideas for other keywords you may want to take into consideration.
Use Keyword Research Tools To Your Advantage
Keyword research and SEO tools such as SEMrush, and Ubersuggest can help you put forward more keyword ideas based on exact match keywords and phrase match keywords based on the ideas you’ve generated up to this point. This exercise might give you alternatives that you might not have considered.
SEO tools also work to your advantage if you’d like to find how competitive your keywords are.
Create Something Different or Better
You already have your keywords. Now it’s time to create some super high-quality content. Sometimes you want to forge something bigger and better than what’s out there but other times it’s better to create something different from what’s there. The key here is to use your marketing spidey sense and create engaging content that is valuable to your target market.
Valuable content includes content that answers the questions that your buyers have, provides them with insights they can use and educates them so they can be better at what they do. The right keyword strategy helps your content stand out. Your aim should always be to create something that’s simply better than what’s already ranking on the first page of Google?
Bonus Tip: Be sure you don’t overlook your pages’ URLs because they’re important for your SEO. This is where your keyword research comes in handy. Using the most common and most searched appropriate keywords in your URL is a sure way of generating traffic for your site. If you are not conversant with keyword strategies, you can seek SEO training and courses created and delivered by Clickslice. These will come in handy in handling all your SEO problems.
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How Search Engines Work
Search Engines are programs that search an index of the world wide web for keywords and display the results in order. They find and rank web content matching a user’s search query.
Examples of popular search engines include Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.
How Search Engines Work
According to InternetLiveStats, Google receives an average of 5.5 billion searches a day. Or 63,000 searches per second. For every one of those queries, the search engine trawls through more than 130 trillion individual pages internet-wide and selects the fitting results in less than a second.
Behind those results lies a lot of groundwork. While Google, like other search engines, is notoriously secretive about the mechanisms behind search results, marketers benefit from knowing how search engines work. Understanding how search engines find, organize, and select results means you can better optimize your web pages to rank. Let’s get you informed.
A search engine is an interlinked network system that works together to identify pieces of web content, including images, videos, and website pages, based on the words you type into a search bar. Site owners use Search Engine Optimization to improve the chances that content on their site will show up in search results.
Search engines use three basic mechanisms:
- Web Crawlers
- Search index
- Search Algorithms
How Search Engines Crawl, Index, and Rank Content
From the outside, Search engines look simple. You type in a keyword, and you get a list of relevant pages. But that deceptively easy interchange requires a lot of computational heavy lifting backstage.
The hard work starts way before you make a search. Search engines work round-the-clock, gathering information from the ever-growing list of websites and organizing that information, so it’s easy to find. This is a three-step process of first crawling web pages, indexing them, then ranking them with search algorithms.
Search engines rely on crawlers to scour the web for information. Crawlers start out with a list of websites. Algorithms, sets of computational rules, automatically decide which of these sites to crawl. The algorithms also dictate how many pages to crawl and how frequently.
Crawlers visit each site on the list systematically, following links through tags to jump to internal or external pages. Over time, the crawlers build an ever-expanding map of interlinked pages. It is critical for you to make sure your site is easily accessible to crawlers. If your site is not accessible to Search engines, Technical SEO services from Clickslice are at your disposal to ensure that search engines can crawl your site. If bots can’t crawl it, they can’t index it, and that means your site won’t appear in search results.
If you’re not sure whether your site is accessible to crawlers, check it out on a Site Audit tool. The tool catches accessibility issues and advises on how to fix them.
After finding a page, a bot renders it similar to the way your browser does. That means the bot should see what you see, including images, videos, or other types of dynamic page content.
The bot organizes this content into categories, including images, HTML, text, and keywords. This process allows the crawler to understand what’s on the page, a necessary precursor to deciding for which keyword searches the page is relevant.
Search engines then store this information in an index, a giant database with a catalogue entry for every word seen on every webpage indexed. Google’s index, the Caffeine Index, takes up around 100,000,000 gigabytes and fills server farms. These farms are thousands of computers that never get turned off, around the globe.
If you want to know what crawlers see when they land on your site, use the URL Inspection Tool. You can also use the tool to find out why crawlers aren’t indexing the page or request that Google crawl it. Use a robots.txt file to control access by telling bots which pages they can crawl.
In the final step, search engines sort through indexed information and return the right results for each query. They do that with search algorithms, rules that analyze what a searcher is looking for and which results best answer the query.
Algorithms use numerous factors to define the quality of the pages in their index. Google leverages a whole series of algorithms to rank relevant results. Many of the ranking factors used in these algorithms analyze the general popularity of a piece of content and even the qualitative experience users have previously had when they land on the page
To make sure that the algorithms are doing their job properly, Google uses human Search Quality Raters to test and refine the algorithm. This is one of the few times when humans, and not programs, are involved in how search engines work.
How Search Engines Personalize Results
Search engines understand that different results appeal to different people. That’s why they tailor their results for each user.
If you’ve ever searched for the same thing on multiple devices or browsers, you’ve probably seen the effects of this personalization. Results often show up in different positions depending on various factors.
It’s because of this personalization that if you’re doing SEO, it is better to use a dedicated rank tracking tool to track ranking positions. Your search results are personalized according to your:
- Search History
Understanding how search engines work is the first step towards ranking higher in Google and getting more traffic. If search engines can’t find, crawl and index your pages, you’re dead in the water before you even start.
The best way is to begin by optimizing your website for SEO. Sending the right signals to search engines guarantees that your pages appear in results pages relevant to your business. Serving up to searchers, and search engines, the content they want is a step along the path to a successful online business.
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How To Create The Perfect Landing Page
A landing page is an essential part of any digital marketing campaign.
It is the place your customers are driven to allow them to purchase your product or service. Therefore, an eye-catching design, creative content, and a clear call to action are imperative to ensure this page converts viewers to customers.
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a stand-alone webpage that is created specifically to advertise a product or service.
As the name suggests, it is the page that the customer ‘lands’ on when they follow a link from your social media or email marketing campaign. Landing pages will have a clear call to action, encouraging visitors to purchase a product.
The Benefits of an Effective Landing Page
Landing Pages Build Brand Identity
As mentioned, landing pages are generally developed as part of a marketing campaign. Therefore, providing that it aligns with your branding and social media marketing, an effective landing page will help improve your overall brand recognition.
It Tells the Customer Exactly What to Do
Webpages do not always contain a compelling call to action. They allow readers to make their own choices, whether they would like to browse your products, explore your content, or read about the company history.
Whereas, a landing page tells visitors exactly what to do.
Your customers know precisely why they are here. You are not giving away tips, information, or guidance as you might be in your blog articles and category pages. Here, you are instead promoting a product on the back of your hard-earned brand integrity.
Landing Pages can be Tested
A crucial element of an SEO strategy is cohesive auditing. You need to learn what is working for your business, and what isn’t.
The metrics for landing pages are very clear, and analytics will quickly show whether your landing page is a success. Where it isn’t, you can implement changes to turn this around.
Avoid Using Your Home Page
Technically, your home page is a landing page.
Many of your customers will arrive here through social media and web searches. However, a landing page is used to promote a specific offer, product, or service.
Your home page will struggle to convey this precise information.
The home page already has the job of highlighting your brand, the product or service you offer, and showing readers how to navigate the website. Adding the promotion of a specific deal to this list would be more than one page could handle. It would become cluttered and unclear, and the particular call to action required would become lost in the noise.
Tips For Creating the Perfect Landing Page
It needs to be abundantly clear to the reader exactly what this page is advertising, and therefore a minimalistic design is imperative.
Many business owners are nervous about using white space, unsure if the complete design will look somewhat ‘unfinished’. However, effectively using white space is the key to a bold and eye-catching landing page. Blank space draws attention towards your graphics and text, forcing readers to focus on what is genuinely important.
Concise headlines will also help simplify your design, allowing you to pack the most punch with the least words. Of course, your brand identity should be visible from this landing page, so ensure your company colours and typography flow naturally from your other marketing materials.
Don’t Forget Your SEO
Your landing page will look very different to the other pages on your website, but this doesn’t mean SEO isn’t necessary.
The best way to develop an authoritative page is to have traffic from every source possible. So, if your social media and email marketing have control of those angles, allow on-page and off-page SEO to drive organic search engine traffic to your page.
Once on your landing page, the options for your readers should be limited. With too much choice, it is unlikely they will complete the desired action.
Your website should contain a detailed and well-structured navigation system, allowing customers to effortlessly access every corner of your site. However, your landing page should be the opposite of this.
Remove any navigation bars and distractions, forcing your user to focus on the sole purpose of this dedicated landing page.
A Clear Call to Action
A call to action is the most crucial element of your landing page. Put simply, this is a phrase or word that encourages the reader to take the desired action. A killer call to action will be the difference between a bounce and a customer conversion.
A call to action on a landing page may be used for a multitude of reasons. First and most obviously, to secure a sale. The push button will direct the reader to a sales page to input their details to complete the transaction.
However, calls to action can be used for other things, such as to add an email to a mailing list, to access free downloadable content, to enter giveaways or contests, or to receive a free trial of your service.
A simple ‘submit’ will not be enough to entice customers to click through. The text should be bold, bright, imperative language, tempting your reader to continue.
Unsurprisingly, over 50% of online shoppers read reviews before purchasing a product online. Whilst we wouldn’t encourage filling your seamless and minimalistic design with customer reviews, your landing page can be a great place to display any excellent press coverage.
This highlights why it is crucial to ask for feedback from any long-term clients, in turn, helping you reach a whole new pool of customers.
How ClickSlice Can Help
ClickSlice are SEO experts who specialise in getting your brand noticed online. We work with a vast spectrum of clients in various industries and are passionate about the power of an excellent online presence.
For a no-obligation chat about boosting your online visibility, contact our team today on 020 3287 3638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.