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It’s one thing to have technically sound SEO – a well-optimized site that loads quickly has image SEO in place with alt tags, descriptions, and captions, a sitemap, etc. But, no matter how technically impressive your site is, that alone will not secure high rankings. When it comes to SEO, Quality content will always matter – and websites that have that may even be able to get by with some technical mistakes.
How do we know this? The topic was addressed recently in a Google Webmaster Central Hangout, where a site owner asked for help with improving their ranking.
The site owner said:
“There are zero issues on our website according to Search Console. We’re providing fast performance and great UX [user experience]. I’m not sure what to do to improve rankings.
Google’s John Mueller said that this is a situation that easily happens when you’re so focused on getting the technical issues of your website correct that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Only having everything on your site technically correct doesn’t translate to high rankings – because if it did, everyone would rank – and that’s not how it works. There has to be a differentiating factor – and that’s where the content writing and its quality comes in to separate the cream of the crop.
What’s on your site must still be relevant to users. Yes, it’s always important to fix your technical issues, but if the content on your site isn’t useful to people, you’re not meeting the other big piece of what Google considers when they determine a website’s rank.
If you’re not sure about how you can improve your website’s content, always consider the issues your users may be facing, and questions they may be asking. Then create content that addresses those issues and answers their questions.
You can also ask for feedback from other site owners and people who specialize in SEO, as long as you remain open to the input.
It’s important to remember that you may have more competition just because of the niche you’re in – some are more saturated than others. And this means if you have a technically well-optimized website full of great content, you may still struggle with getting ahead of the competition that’s been doing it longer.
See the Hangout video below, where the question and answer begin at the 32:39 mark.
The good news is, the team here at SEO Inc., can not only make sure your site uses technically sound SEO, but we can help you produce the high-quality content you need to outrank the competition. We’ll help you identify the competition, develop a content strategy, and have our team of writers create it for you. Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you reach your goals.
I’ve written here on the blog about ADA compliance, also known as 508 compliance, or more broadly, as web accessibility. My daughter is blind, and because of that, her online experience often suffers because many websites fail to provide adequate solutions for those with disabilities. Websites are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but only agencies that receive federal funding, such as non-profit organizations, government agencies, public schools, and public colleges and universities are required to be compliant. SEO Inc can help with Website Accessibility – ADA Compliance.
It doesn’t take as much effort as you may think to ensure your site is compliant for anyone with a disability. Even if your customers aren’t blind like my daughter, you may have some who suffer from vision issues, which makes your content hard to read. Without proper alt tags, screen readers won’t be able to depict what’s on the screen accurately.
And of course, vision issues are only one segment of disability that your customers and potential customers may be dealing with. There’s also those who have hearing difficulties, motor disabilities, and learning disabilities such as dyslexia. In another one of my previous posts on the subject, I covered the essential list of things you need to consider in building a 508 compliant website, so today, I’m going to make sure you know how to check your website to see how well you’re meeting compliance.
Using the information you get from the checkers and the list I’ve provided, you should have a good idea of how well you’re meeting the mark, and what else, if anything, needs to be done to ensure total compliance.
List of Tools to Check Website Accessibility and Your Site’s ADA Compliance
The following is a list of various tools you can use to evaluate how well your site meets website accessibility standards.
This tool is more than a web accessibility checker. It’s a sitemap generator that checks for website accessibility, inventories and audits your content, and tracks keywords daily. Results are shown within visual sitemaps for easy use. Version 20.0 includes the visual accessibility testing that shows issues visually in your browser, covering a variety of guidelines, including WCAG 2.1 — W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, WCAG 2.0 — W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, WCAG 1.0 W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, Section 508, U.S. federal procurement standards, Stanca Act, BITV, Italian accessibility legislation, and German government standards. The program assists by automatically checking groups of pages or sites, including those that are restricted or password protected, and generating reports of assessment results. Supported formats include CSS, HTML, and XHTML. Plans start at $40/month.
This tool is available through the Bureau of Internet Accessibility. It covers WACG, Section 508, and ADA compliance. Clients are assigned to a dedicated manager who oversees their site to assist with anything the platform generates from their reports. The platform checks individual web pages or groups of pages – with its web-based, online, hosted service. It supports CSS, HTML, XHTML, PDF, SVG, and SMIL file formats.
This Chrome Plugin evaluates the accessibility of applications and websites from within the Chrome Developer Tools, and it does it for free, though it only works on Google Chrome. Installing the plugin means it will check single pages automatically, including password protected and restricted access pages. It supports both HTML and XHTML and covers WCAG 2.0, Section 50, and U.S. federal procurement standards.
This tool checks for compliance with section 508 using 55 tests over 15 guidelines. It also checks for WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 with 87 tests and 309 tests, respectively. Recently, they added checks for WCAG 2.1 with 312 tests.
Enter your domain name, beginning with either HTTP:// or https:// and the tool will scan your site. Within a few minutes – some scans will take longer depending on the size of your website – you’ll have a full report that shows you the percentage of pages on your site that have issues, and breaks down the problems and errors on the first ten pages of your website. For complete reports, you’ll need to purchase the software, but there is a 30-day trial that allows for scanning more than 10,000 pages.
This program is part of an education and outreach effort from Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter, Cryptzone, and ICDRI. They aim to help people find and fix website accessibility compliance errors and provide feedback. It covers WCAG 2.0, Section 508, and U.S. federal procurement standards, and supports HTML, images, and CSS. It’s available for free as an online checker and software.
I take my role as an SEO expert and a disability advocate very seriously, not just for my daughter, but for everyone like her, who struggles to be able to access the internet the same ways her peers can. I am part of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Group (WCAG) with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). My company joined this reputable organization back in 2004 as the first SEO company to do so. I take my accessibility advocacy with me offline, too. If you need assistance with making sure your website is both accessible to those with disabilities but also built with SEO in mind, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team and me here at SEO, Inc.
I’ve talked about page speed and its importance to SEO recently, so I thought I’d take things a little further and give you a more in-depth review of some of the best page speed tools available today. The good news is, most of them are free. And, there’s nothing wrong with using more than one tool so you can get a second opinion about how fast your site loads.
In the screenshots of each tool, I’ve run the report on the same domain – the third most popular website in the United States and the world – Facebook – falling behind only Google and YouTube.
PageSpeed Insights is a tool in Google Developers. I give it the top spot because Google owns and operates it – and who better to listen to in terms of recommendations for improvement? This tool is super easy to use because all you have to do is enter your URL, and click the “Analyze” button.
The report you end up with is split into two parts – one for mobile page speed and one for desktop page speed. Each report is displayed on its own tab. By default, PageSpeed Insights will display the mobile speed report, because the majority of people are now using portable devices to surf the web more than they are using desktop or laptop computers.
Each report shows two scores – a Speed score and an Optimization score, on a scale from 0 to 100, where 100 is the best.
The Speed score tells you how fast your page loads for users, using data from the Chrome User Experience Report. If you don’t
see a Speed score, or it reads “Unavailable” it’s because that more people need to visit the page before Google can grade it.
The Optimization score lets you know how well your page is designed to load quickly, looking at your website code rather than your historic load time. If your site is full of technological extras, then you’ll find your load time suffers, and your optimization score will show it.
The best thing is PageSpeed Insights will let you know precisely why your Optimization score is what it is. If you scroll down, you can look under the “Optimization Suggestions” to see a list of areas where your page can be improved.
GTMetrix is an excellent page speed tool because you can get insights from two sources, essentially giving you a second opinion on your page speed with a single
Source. When you run your report, you’ll be presented with a PageSpeed score and a YSlow score. It’s okay if you notice significant differences in the rating because they are based on different metrics.
GTMetrix will show you why each source deducted points on your overall score, allowing you to use the information to make improvements. It will also tell you how long it takes your page to load, the number of requests it took to load the page entirely, and the total size of your page in bytes.
WebPageTest.org is another powerful page speed tool. You’ll have to choose a server testing location here, too. What makes this tool different is you’ll be able to select the browser you want to test in, so you can see how your website performs in Chrome vs. Firefox or Safari – which is a good option when your analytics show that the majority of your audience favors a specific browser.
Advanced settings allow you to change the connection speed in your test – and if you want to see how long it takes to load on mobile, you choose 3G. While many phones operate on 4G, the coverage isn’t as widely available and once data runs out, speeds slow to 2G or 3G, so it’s a good idea to know how your site performs at those speeds, too.
With this report, you’ll get a series of letter grades, A-F, rather than a number on a zero to 100 scale like with other tools. You’ll receive different grades for:
First Byte Time
Cache static content
Effective use of CDN – if you’re not using a CDN, it won’t apply, and you’ll see an X.
The tool shows your overall load time, the number of requests needed to load the page, and page size in bytes, along with graphs and images to help you get a better understanding of what’s impacting your page speed.
Pingdom is another free tool, though you will have to wait in a queue just like with WebPageTest.org before you get your results. All you have to do is paste in the URL, choose a server location, and click a button. Within a few seconds, you’ll get a report. Ideally, you should select a server location that’s close to where your target audience will be visiting from. The closer the test server is to your web hosts server (or a server in your content delivery network) the faster your website will load.
Pingdom provides a performance grade on a scale of zero to 100, along with the page size and page load time. The tool also shows the percentage of pages that are slower than yours, to give you an idea of how fast your website is compared to others. You’ll also receive insights that are intended to show you how to improve your speed.
Pingdom will also tell you how long it takes to load each of your resources, so you can see the areas you need to optimize the most.
With these four PageSpeed tools, you’ll get a better idea of how well you’re doing. The slower your page loads, the more frustrated your users will be, and the less likely you will be able to achieve a high rank. Follow the advice presented by the tools and rerun the tests until you get a good grade.
Social listening is the act of scouring the internet for chatter about your brand. Some of the feedback you’ll see on your social media channels because people will speak to you and about you there. But, a lot could go unnoticed if you’re not actively engaging in social listening since people could be talking about you in places you’re not looking.
Social media listening is not social media monitoring; Monitoring focuses on the numbers – your engagement rate, the number of mentions, follower growth, likes, shares, comments, and impressions. That’s important to guide your strategy, but listening is vital to gathering information on your brand’s online reputation.
We know it’s essential to have a social media presence because Google and other search engines pay attention to social signals, but merely creating a profile on the networks you use to connect with your audience and posting to it regularly isn’t enough. When you publish content, ideally it’s because you’ve done your homework and know your audience well enough to know what kind of content they will be most interested in consuming and sharing.
But what happens after you’ve built that presence and your brand is in front of thousands or even millions of people? Do you keep posting and watching analytics to see what people respond to, and create a strategy that gives people more of what they want? Yes, but you also do something else – you start listening to what people are saying about your brand.
How do you do that, if you can’t see it all? Social listening.
Why Your Brand Needs Social Listening
Many business owners think identifying your target audience is something that starts your marketing process. And while you do need to know who you’re targeting in the beginning, the truth is your audience may evolve alongside your business. You may find your target demographic is not who you first imagined they’d be, and social listening helps you keep up with who’s interested in your business, compared to who you think should be.
Social listening isn’t about you – it’s about who is talking about you and why they’re doing it. It can help you learn what your audience is saying about your competition, so you know how you’re doing things better (or worse) than they are. With that information, you can change your offerings to solve problems better and improve your position in the marketplace.
Social Listening Tools
There are several tools you can use for social listening. Here are four of the best ones on the market today.
Mention is a tool that combines competitor research, social listening, and analytics. Mention is a paid tool with pricing starting at $25/month when billed annually, but there is a free trial available.
If This Then That is a free automation tool you can use for tons of things. Creating an applet will allow you to get an email whenever someone mentions your brand in a selected industry RSS feed. You can also use it to share content from one social channel to the next automatically, store all your Gmail attachments in Google Drive, and more. This tool is free.
Keyhole is a tool that allows you to amp up your social listening efforts, going beyond your brand, name, and product mentions. With it, you can also track your industry-specific keywords, so when influencers start discussing news for that keyword, you can jump in on the conversation right away and boost your authority and credibility. Request a demo to learn more.
Hootsuite is a social media automation tool that allows you to monitor your social media mentions in real-time so you can respond to people who are talking about you immediately. With it, you can put all your social media feeds in one place, and easily track brand mentions for faster response time and better customer service. This is a paid tool, with pricing starting at $29/month. There is a limited free forever plan and a 30 day trial on all paid plans.
What to Look For
Social listening is about the sentiment of what people are saying when they’re talking about you. If your brand is mentioned 2,000 times on Twitter, that’s great, unless the majority of the mentions are complaining about product defects or poor customer service experience.
When you’re using social listening tools, look for mentions of the following, either in writing or in hashtag format.
Full brand name
Names of high-profile employees
Your brand’s social media handles
Business slogans, both general and campaign specific
If you look for hashtags, you could be missing a lot. Many people will get on social media and write feedback, both positive and negative, without taking the time to look up and include handles and hashtags.
How to Use the Social Listening Data
Once you’ve gathered data and you start to see what people are saying, you notice that some are happy, some are neutral, and some are angry. That’s pretty standard because it’s impossible to have 100% of your audience satisfied with your business 100% of the time. People will almost always find something to complain about. But, what do you do with this information?
Use it to Improve Customer Service
When someone mentions your brand, jump in to provide assistance with their issue or thank them for their positive comments. Since one in three social media users prefer social media for customer service to email or phone, and 60% of customers who complain on social media expect to get a response within 60 minutes, it’s essential to be on top of it. Plus, customers spend 20 to 40% more with companies who engage with and respond to customers via social media.
Adjust Your Social Media Strategy
Social listening helps you see where your audience is most active and responsive, so you know where to be concentrating most of your efforts. You’ll also be able to tell which platforms need more of your attention to bring up to par with the rest of them. With this information, you can determine if it’s time to make changes to the types of content you’re creating and sharing. It’s possible you’ll even find a few new influencers who are talking about your products and services to work with on future campaigns.
Salvage Your Online Reputation
Bad reviews can quickly destroy your reputation. If a story is picked up by the right influencer, people who’ve never heard of your brand could start leaving comments and reviews that will haunt you. Don’t believe us? Just look at Amy’s Baking Company, a now-closed company that went nuts on social media after their episode of Kitchen Nightmares aired. Social listening allows you to catch these issues and deal with them quickly before they have a chance to go viral.
Market Research/Product Ideas
By listening for your brand mentions as well as your competition, you can watch for patterns in the commentary. You may gain insights into gaps in the market that you can use to improve your existing products, build new services, and more.
Ready to Take Control of Your Online Reputation?
When your customers have a positive experience, they spend more time on your site. They talk about you more often online – leaving reviews which earn you backlinks, sharing your content on social, and mentioning your brand – which sends social signals to the search engines. Though there isn’t a direct effect on rankings, there is an indirect influence on your SEO, which can be enough to differentiate you from the competition and impact your overall ranking.
If you’re spread too thin to add social listening to your list of things to do in your business, you can turn to SEO Inc. to help. Our social media brand management services can keep you on the right track, so you can focus on serving your customers. Contact us to learn more about how your business can benefit.
As the Internet becomes increasingly complex, and search engine rankings grow in their importance to online business vitality, the implications of web spam become all the more clear. The issue is, the better your rankings are for highly trafficked keywords, the greater your chance of being attacked by a web spammer, or set up for crime you didn’t commit.
What is Web Spam First, what is web spam? Well, there are quite a few different kinds actually, however, for the purpose of this blog we are talking about spamdexing. Spamdexing, also known as search spam, search engine spam or web spam, involves spam that relates directly to the search engines. There are tons of online practices that search engines recognize as spam, keyword stuffing, hidden text, paid links, etc.
Why Web Spam is an Issue I am not going to go into specifics, but people can hurt your websites search engine optimization with web spam. This is becoming an increasingly serious issue as it can be very hard to control. Google recently released an excellent blog on how to identify web spam. I thought it was a very good resource so I wanted to reference some of the links here.
According to Google, “The extension adds ‘Report spam’ links to search results and your Web History, taking you directly to the spam report form and autocompleting some form fields for you. With this extension, Google’s spam report form is always just one click away.”
So that is it. Web spam is here to stay, and it has massive implications for search engine optimization. If you need further help dealing with your web spam issue feel free to contact SEO Inc. It can be a very difficult process.
With the dawn of DIY website design options, business owners on a budget can quickly and easily put together a website with relative ease, without having to know a single bit of HTML or other code. That sounds great and all, but that means there’s no real control over the HTML that’s used to build the site. As such, the resulting code could be full of W3C validation errors, which in turn, indirectly harms SEO. Our SEO company, SEO Inc can mitigate your validation errors and are included in our SEO Services.
What is W3C Validation?
The World Wide Web Consortium, known as W3C allows users to check HTML and XHTML documents for properly formatted markup. Taking the time to validate your markup goes a long way to ensure high technical quality of your web pages.
W3C validation is the process of checking your website’s code to determine if it follows the correct formatting standards. Failure to validate your code against these standards could mean your website suffers errors or your traffic numbers aren’t as high as they could be due to poor readability.
What Does Google Say About It?
Google’s support page on the importance of browser compatibility states:
“Although we do recommend using valid HTML, it’s not likely to be a factor in how Google crawls and indexes your site.”
“As long as it can be rendered and SD extracted: validation pretty much doesn’t matter.”
The reality is, most websites don’t validate and the internet runs just fine. So if Google says it’s not a big deal, why should you even care about validating your HTML?
Reasons to Validate Your HTML
Could Affect Crawl Rate
According to a Google Search Console support page, Google says drops in crawl rate and indexing could be a result of invalid HTML.
“Broken HTML or unsupported content on your pages: If Googlebot can’t parse the content of the page… it won’t be able to crawl them. Use Fetch as Google to see how Googlebot sees your page.”
Impacts Browser Compatibility
Another support page reveals that Google encourages valid HTML to ensure web pages render correctly. The GoogleBot renders your site as a browser, so valid HTML ensures your website renders correctly across all browsers.
“Clean, valid HTML is a good insurance policy, and using CSS separates presentation from content, and can help pages render and load faster.”
Promotes a Good User Experience
It’s clear that Google places user experience as a ranking signal. That’s why mobile-friendly guidelines are in place, and for addressing the number of popups and ads on a page. Because valid HTML may have an indirect effect on user experience, and that in turn creates a positive user experience because the page renders well and quickly, this could impact SEO.
Allows Pages to Function Everywhere
Improperly coded HTML causes the browser to act quirky. It sends the browser into a frenzy making changes to how the page is rendered. Most of the time, the page can render just fine, but sometimes it means the page doesn’t function correctly.
Invalid HTML in the Head Section Breaks Hreflang
In a 2016 Webmaster Hangout, someone asked why Google wasn’t picking up his Hreflang tag, the tag that tells Google what language you’re using on a specific page for international audiences. Mueller said that invalid code in the head section of a web page’s code could break Google’s crawl, and cause it not to index the hreflang tags.
He explains it like this:
“So it might just be that we don’t recognize the hreflang markup at all on those pages. For example, what might happen is we can crawl and index those pages. But when we render those pages something in the head section of the pages is added early on and that kind of breaks everything within the head, which includes the hreflang markup.”
Helpful for Google Shopping Ads
If you have a product you want to advertise in Google Shopping, then you’d better be using valid HTML. The Google Merchant Center support page recommends it:
“Use valid HTML. We also detect the price that you’re displaying based on the structure of your landing page. Using valid HTML helps ensure that we detect the correct price. …Use the W3C validation service to check your HTML.”
While Google says they don’t use valid HTML as a ranking factor, there is plenty of reason to make sure your code is correct, anyway. It can cause several issues with your site’s functionality, which may indirectly influence your ranking.
SEO Inc Celebrates Partner Organization Father Joe’s Villages
Here at SEO Inc., we believe in giving back to our local community however we can. In honor of Father Joe’s 78th birthday on Friday, April 12th, we wanted to share a bit about their story and how we help.
Father Joe’s Villages is a non-profit organization focused on helping the homeless population of San Diego. Established in 1950, what started as a small chapel in San Diego has grown to a full campus and scattered site programs that house 2,000 people nightly.
Father Joe is the president of the organization. He was born in the Bronx in 1940 and came to San Diego with just $50 at age 22. He was ordained in 1974, and in 1982 Bishop Leo T. Maher asked him to lead St. Vincent de Paul Center. Father Joe was instrumental in building the “one-stop shop” approach. His legacy continues today at the 4-block campus in the East Village of downtown San Diego.
SEO Inc. donates $3,000 a month in our web and SEO services to help the organization spread the word. In addition to donating our skills as an SEO Company, we also take time to help with on-site events to raise funds and awareness.
Join us as we wish Father Joe a wonderful birthday, and if you are able, please consider donating to this wonderful organization. If you or someone you know is homeless or living in poverty in the San Diego area, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Beyond shelter and housing assistance programs, the organization also assists with mental healthcare and addiction treatment, provides, a day center to give the homeless a safe place to rest during the day, meal and laundry program at the day center. Father Joe’s also has programs to help people find steady employment and plans to help people travel to other areas where they have stable housing available to them.
In December, Facebook announced they are testing ads in search results. The ads will be run in both the primary search results on the platform as well as in the Marketplace search results. This move puts them once again in direct competition with Google Adwords. This isn’t the first time they’ve tried sponsored results as it first launched in 2012 but was shut down in 2013. We anticipate the move is a means to generate more revenue as revenue growth is quickly declining because Facebook is running out of Newsfeed ad space. It could also be the Stories format that advertisers are still adapting to is thought to overtake feed sharing on social apps and your social media marketing efforts.
Why This Matters for You
Search is one of the few remaining untapped inventory sources on social media. Facebook has seen more advertisers directing more of their budget to Instagram recently, so Facebook hopes to be able to redirect some of that back to their platform. The initial ad test in search results is limited to a select few retail and Automotive Advertiser. However, if Facebook sees a promising response, it will begin to allow other businesses and niches to advertise in the search results space.
Facebook product manager Zoheb Hajiyani said, “We’re running a small test to place ads in Facebook search results, and we’ll be evaluating whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it.”
Advertisers who are able to participate in this test can select search results as an additional placement option that potentially places their ads in both primary search and Marketplace search inventory. Within a group of beta advertisers, ads may also show in search results for related topics. Advertisers are not allowed to select specific keywords or phrases to target.
At this time, the test only applies to static image and carousel ads. It does not apply to video ads at this time. Ads placed in the search results during the test will only appear on mobile in the United States and Canada. If the ads are successful and get a larger roll-out, Facebook may open this option to other countries. The ads include the clearly labeled sponsored tag for transparency and allow users to control their experience with the “Why am I seeing this?” option.
That said, users will not be able to opt out of seeing search ads. They will be able to hide ads using the drop-down arrows as with Newsfeed ads, but it won’t prevent different ones from showing up in search when it is used again later.
Facebook Advertising Can Impact SEO
Social signals are an essential part of Google’s ranking factors. That means you can leverage your Facebook advertising spin to enhance your SEO campaigns. If you stop thinking of Facebook as a way to sell your products and start thinking of it as a way to open a direct line of communication with your customers you can use it to establish emotional connections with your potential clients. Your Facebook advertising and social media efforts can help with your link building efforts. Well-crafted social media posts naturally generate links from across the web as your followers share your website on other platforms.
The link building also helps to increase traffic to your website both directly and indirectly which makes it easier to build a bigger Facebook following. Because of the volume of personal data Facebook has about its users, you can use it to focus on your target market. The personal data will allow you to reach People based on their age, location, and interests so you can show up in the feeds of users that are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
Facebook also helps you promote your brand to an overall larger audience to help build brand awareness and exposure. Ideally, the exposure will lead to more people searching for branded keywords and Google will pay attention to that.
Here at SEO Inc, we not only help you build a stellar website and execute SEO campaigns, but we can also help with pay-per-click advertising with Google Adwords, and Facebook ads. As Facebook ads in search open to a much larger audience, we can help ensure you’re one of the first businesses to capitalize on it. Get in touch with us today.
SEO Inc. Receives Clutch’s Top SEO Company for 2019
SEO methodology is an essential aspect for any company looking to market to consumers effectively. At SEO Inc. we use SEO as a foundation to develop unique internet marketing campaigns for B2B companies. Using SEO can give your company a competitive edge over others and having a basic understanding of it is very important in today’s world. We are continually adapting to new search engine outlets ranging from internet engines or social media platforms because consumers are using multiple platforms to research B2B companies. We are so excited to be named a leader among the top SEO companies in San Diego on Clutch!
“We are excited to see how the local technology, design, marketing, and outsourcing industries in San Diego grows and how the leading companies announced today contribute to this growth,” said Business Analyst, Katie Wonders. The full report and list of leaders were published by Clutch on 26 March.
Based in Washington DC, Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews platform dedicated to connecting small, medium, and large businesses alike to service providers that will deliver quality solutions. Their rankings are based on a unique methodology. SEO Inc. was evaluated based on our technical capabilities, results we’ve driven for clients, and of course, feedback and ratings from our clients. Services listed on their site range from IT services to advertising and internet marketing. The reviews published to our Clutch profile are top quality. We’ve received 4.6-stars out of 5-stars with a total of 16 reviews! Here are a few notable excerpts:
“They’re an honest, hardworking team with exceptional abilities.” – Jonathan Barnett (CEO & President, Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning)
“After the second year, our business more than quadrupled.” – Louis Levy (Vice President, The Levy Group)
In addition to our presence Clutch, we also appear on its sister-site, The Manifest. This platform publishes statistical reports and business news about the technology space. We are so excited to be named among the top SEO consultants in the world! We’re also looking forward to leveraging Clutch’s new site, Visual Objects, where agencies like us can post their portfolio for prospective clients and other businesses to see.
We are very proud of our ranking and reviews on Clutch and look forward to growing our presence, even more, setting ourselves up for future success. Contact us today if you want to improve your online visibility with verified SEO practices!
Search engine optimization (SEO) has come a long way since the days of stuffing whatever keyword you wanted to rank for in your code with the meta keywords tag. Back in the early days, whether your content matched those keywords or not was irrelevant – you could rank with ease. Over the years, we’ve seen Google (and other search engines) get way smarter about providing a quality search experience for their users – and that means serving quality content from quality sources. But, just because you think SEO can’t possibly change anymore because they’re nailing all the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) factors, there’s more to get ready.
Based on the current landscape, here are three significant themes we can expect to see become trends in SEO for 2019.
Voice Search Is Becoming More Important
Voice search has been on the radar for some time now. As it has grown in popularity, it’s become an essential part of any SEO strategy. This year, we expect it to keep growing even faster than it has up to this point since, by 2020, 50% of all searches are supposed to be voice searches. We’ll be hearing, “OK Google” around us all the time.
The number of people using voice assistants like Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Amazon Echo, is proliferating. 35.6 million Americans use a voice-activated device at least once a month, and one in six Americans owns a smart speaker.
The increase in voice search is one of the most significant changes we’ve seen in search engines and SEO so far in the history of the industry. It’s something entirely new and different than what we’ve dealt with in the past and requires a different optimization strategy.
The way you’d search for something on Google’s website isn’t likely the same way you’d ask about it. The questions people ask are going to be different, so it creates a need to adjust your content if you want it to appear in the search results for the voice queries. Google prefers short answers to voice queries, with the typical result coming in an average of 29 words. There appears to be a strong connection between voice search optimization and featured snippets – or position zero.
When you think of the blockchain, chances are you’re thinking about cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. It’s an integral part of cryptocurrency but has potential to go far beyond that. Why? Because the blockchain is trying to create both a secure and trustworthy record of transactions. The technology can be used to secure the transactions happening anywhere online, including the connections between website owners and advertisers. Google, in this regard, is the middleman, helping the advertisers and website owners build trust to keep transactions running smoothly.
As it could affect Google’s ad revenue, we expect it to impact SEO in general. Other big companies such as Microsoft are already working together with blockchain-based identity systems like ConsenSys and Blockstack Labs to improve services and apps, so we expect to see more of that in the future as well.
Founder of Pragmatic, David Lockie says, “Using an embedded schema markup, websites could record the identities of their visitors, or log the number of token rewards that a blog post has secured. It could even calculate which visitors have contributed value to certain posts and the actions they took. All of this would input into ranking factors and make the web a more robust and productive social graph, almost infinite in its scope.”
Amazon SEO Will Continue to Rise
Though you can’t search Amazon for how to content, it’s still a major competitor for Google because of how many products you can find there. Many SEO experts believe we’ll see considerable growth in Amazon SEO over the next year.
Nearly ¾ of shoppers use Amazon to find products, in a study across shoppers in the US, UK, Germany, and France. That study also showed 56% of consumers search on Amazon before they even search other sites, including Google. They use it to do more they find everything shoppers need that they would otherwise use Google for, including similar product suggestions, other products they may be interested in, and reviews. They don’t need another search engine to help them find what they want or need to buy or to do some research before making a buying decision.
That’s a huge threat to Google and their ad revenue. If fewer people are out there using Google to find product information, that could have a significant impact on their advertising and revenue.
When it comes to buying things, people prefer Amazon to Google because it’s more convenient, the prices, and ease of shopping, according to BigCommerce’s most recent Global Omni-Channel Consumer Shopping Research Report.
There are constant changes in the digital space, and it’s no different for the SEO world. Though it’s a little scary, it’s an exciting time because even though we’re not clear on what the future brings, both emerging and older technology affects SEO. If we don’t see it happening already, it’s likely to start soon.
The team here at SEO, Inc. works hard to anticipate the trends so we can help our clients be ahead of the game before it becomes a must-address issue. Let’s talk about how we can bring your business more organic traffic in 2019.