The Four Types Of Keywords

The word 'search' in Scrabble letters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to successfully nailing organic search and paid search is keywords. Bidding on the right keywords will allow you to pop up in the search queries your target audience is using. Google and SEO professionals say there are four different types of keywords, and they are worth checking out as they can boost your traffic and relevant clicks.

Broad

Broad keywords are considered by many as the default keyword type. Broad keywords will give you the widest reach. They will match to search queries that have misspellings, synonyms, related searches, words out of order, and anything else that Adwords deems relevant. You want to be careful with broad keywords, though. While they can help you receive a lot of clicks, you want to make sure you’re not getting irrelevant clicks. Always monitor your campaigns and analytics, and make a list of negative keywords as you go along.

Broad Match

Broad match modifier are keywords that have a ‘+’ in front of the keyword. Important to note – you don’t have to put a ‘+’ in front of every word in the query, and the order of the words does not matter. Broad match are right in the middle when it comes to the four types of keywords and can perform pretty strongly. Through the plus sign, you can have better control of where your ads pop up by locking individual words.

Phrase

Phrase keywords are keywords that are put in quotations. For a search query to match a phrase keyword, it must contain all the words, or at least close variants, in the same order without any words in between, with additional words before or after. Close variants include misspellings, singular and plural words, acronyms, stemmings, abbreviations, and accents.

Exact

Exact keywords have the lowest reach, but the highest relevance. Exact keywords are put in brackets. Only ads that match the keywords exactly will pop up.

Need help choosing keywords for organic and paid search? Sperling Interactive would love you to identify the right keywords for your organization.

How To Optimize For Voice Search

A smartphone opened up to Google.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you own a product by Google, Apple, or Amazon? If you’re like most, you probably own at least one tech product from one of these companies. Have you noticed any similarities between the devices made by these three companies? One feature you may have noticed is they all have voice assistants.Voice assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant, are changing the world, especially the SEO world.

The way people make searches online is changing. People are typing less and using their voice more – approximately 46% of US adults use a voice assistant device. As a result, the way we phrase our searches is changing. When a person uses their voice assistant, they perform a search query in the form of a question. So the way we are starting to access information is becoming more conversational. It’s something that businesses and nonprofits should begin taking into account. Here are our top tips on how to optimize your website for voice search.

Create specific web pages geared toward the questions people will ask their voice assistants.

You may already have town and city pages, which are specific web pages for the communities you service. They help you become more visible to those you wish to reach. To optimize your website for voice search, you should also create an FAQ page containing questions that people will commonly ask their voice assistant, with corresponding, informative answers to those questions. 

Claim your Google ‘My Business’ listing.

If you haven’t claimed your company’s Google listing, you should do so now. The ‘My Business’ listing gives Google and its users relevant information, such as your location, phone number, and hours of operation. Plus, Google loves it when you use its product. Another reason why you should do this is because 22% of searches these day are for local information and content.  

Use long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are the three to four keywords related to the product or service that you’re selling. They tend to be very specific and, when people are using voice assistants, they tend to utilize long-tail keywords. Even if voice assistants weren’t revolutionizing our world, you should still use long-tail keyword as they’ve been known to increase sales.

Research.

Researching and brainstorming relevant keywords with your team is another way to optimize yourself for voice search. It can also help you find out what your competitors are doing.

Do you want to learn more ways on how to optimize yourself for the web? Call Sperling Interactive at (978) 304-1730 to see how your website is performing.

How To Understand Google Analytics

A finger pointing to the word, analytics.

 

 

 

 

 

In a blog post from earlier this month, we dissected Google Adwords. In today’s blog post, we are going to cover the traffic types by channel. On Google Analytics, you can measure how your marketing strategies are performing on social media platforms, search engines, emails, and third-party listing sites.

Organic Traffic – Traffic that comes through optimizing for search engines. This means any link that is clicked on search engine page results (SERP) that is not an ad (ads are marked with a little “ad” symbol). It can also be called “natural traffic.”

Direct Traffic – When someone types your URL directly into the search bar or has your URL (or a link on your site) saved as a bookmark.

Display Traffic – These are the display ads that show up when users visit a website outside of your own. Google has so much information that they have lists of specifically targeted users to whom you can show your ads. Display campaigns tend to have higher bounce rates, between 60-80%, since these are being shown on different sites and are when the user is not actively searching for your company or service.

Social – This is a section in Google Analytics that pools in traffic from all of your social sites. This does not include paid advertisements.

Facebook Advertising – This is traffic coming from our Facebook campaigns. You want to differentiate this traffic in Google Analytics so you can see the difference between Organic Facebook Traffic (natural clicks from your normal posts) and Paid Facebook Traffic (sponsored posts, campaigns etc.).

Paid Search – This traffic source is all paid search advertisements in Google, Bing, and other search engines. Paid search is one of the most important sources to track and optimize to ensure you are reaching the ROI you desire.

Referral – If you use a third-party listing site, any traffic driven to your website from these other sites are considered referral traffic. For instance, say you have a profile for your company on a site that lists other companies, such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor, etc., and someone clicks your website. This would be considered referral traffic.

At Sperling Interactive, we use Google Analytics to track how our clients’ online marketing strategies are performing. To learn how we can help you, call us at (978) 304-1730.

How To Tell You Have A Bad SEO Strategy

SEO Audit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you do your business’ SEO work, you’ll probably know by now that it’s complicated because it constantly changes. With that, it can be hard to tell if what you’re doing is helping or harming you. Today we’re covering four tell-tale signs you’re making bad SEO efforts for your business.

You’re not using specific keywords. You may think you know the keywords that apply to your business, but if you are putting in too general of keywords into your content, you’re not going to be found by the people hoping to discover your business. Get specific as possible with who you service and what you offer. Opt for long-tail keywords, which are longer, more specific keyword phrases. Long tail keywords get lower traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion rate as they are more specific. Long tail keywords should be utilized by companies that offer specialized products or services.

You’re applying black hat techniques instead of white hat techniques. Blackhat SEO techniques are techniques that focus on search engines instead of human interest. They include keyword stuffing, spammed blog posts, link farming (the creation of websites just to increase the popularity of a link), hidden content, and duplicate content. Blackhat techniques go against search engine guidelines and should not be practised. Instead, businesses should utilize white hat techniques, which obey search engine guideline and center on human interest. White hat techniques includes back linking, link building, using relevant keywords, and writing content for humans. White hat techniques will also provide users with the best user experience possible.

You’re not utilizing social media. If you haven’t created social media profiles for your business yet, then you need to hop on that now. Everybody is on it today and it can help improve your SEO because when people share your content it backlinks to your site. Additionally, more and more people are using social media to help them find services. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the most popular social media accounts, but don’t forget to post content to your Google + account as there are numerous opportunities to reach your audience there too.

You expect instant results. To get good SEO results, you need to be patient and evaluate your efforts. Compare your efforts to organic trends every now and then, research what competitors are doing, and analyze your data in Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Above all else, realize SEO  takes time and if you put in the work you will see improvement soon.  

WordPress Plugins To Boost Your SEO

WordPress SEO plugins

 

 

 

 

 

A common question businesses ask us is how they can improve their SEO. Besides posting relevant content to your website often, having a mobile-friendly site, and adding relevant keywords, another way you can boost your SEO is through SEO plugins. Since we primarily create custom websites through the content management system, WordPress, today we will be covering our favorite SEO WordPress plugins.

WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin is one of the most downloadable plugins of all time. Through this free plugin, you are able to add an SEO title, meta description, and meta keywords to each post and page of your site. You’re also able to include social sharing information. What’s great about SEO by Yoast is it does an analysis on your focus keywords, checks your word count, and evaluates your meta description, images, slug, links, and page title and you’re able to edit those bits easily.  

All in One SEO Pack. This plugin is the second most used SEO plugin on WordPress. Like Yoast, it is also user-friendly. All in One SEO Pack automatically optimizes the titles of your blog posts for search engines like Google.

Premium SEO Pack. This plugin is terrific with helping websites improve their internal link building as well as optimizing its images. It also has SERP tracker, a tool that tracks the search engine ranking for your keywords in a user-friendly dashboard.

SEO Professor. What makes SEO Professor stick out from the crowd is that it has a keyword research tool that helps you generate keywords for your content. When you are done with a post, it gives you a score. It also checks your images to ensure you have all the right tags and makes suggestions.

SEO Ultimate. SEO Ultimate is another popular SEO WordPress plugin. This plugin is great because it has editing tools like tag rewriter and meta description editor, which are helpful. It also has a nifty 404 monitor that redirects visitors on pages not found.

Have you ever wanted an SEO audit on your website? Call Sperling Interactive for a free audit.

4 Ways To Optimize Your Images


Your written content isn’t the only way you can improve your business’ SEO. Your images are another component to your online presence that you should be optimizing as well. Here are four things you should do to your images before you update or redesign your website.

Name your photos. When you upload your photos to Media Library, they will have the filename that they had when they were saved to your computer. To optimize the photos, change the name by using relevant keywords.

Include alt tags. An alt tag is the text that displays when an image doesn’t load. It’s also the text that may be read to a visitor who is blind or visually impaired. Alt tags are also the keywords Google reads to know more about the page since it can’t read photos. You can add alt tags to your photos through the Media Library once they are uploaded. Like the name of the photo, the alt tag should be descriptive.

Keep your photo size small. The size of your image does affect your site’s loading speed. You wouldn’t want to lose potential clients because of this.

Consider your image file type. The three most common image file types are JPEGs, GIFs, and PNGs.

JPEGs- They are the most common of the image file types and are supported nearly everywhere. With JPEGs, you can expect millions of colors and the ability to adjust the file size as well as image quality.

GIFS- You probably know GIFs as the file type that supports animated memes. It’s the oldest file type and can handle transparency. Because GIFs are limited to 256 colors, they are recommended for company logos instead of real photographs.

PNGs- PNGs are the newest of image file types and are considered the replacement for GIFs. Like GIFs, they support transparency, but what sets PNGs apart is they offer millions of colors. Important to note: this file format is supported everywhere.

How To Write A Meta Description


 

 

 

 

 

Meta descriptions, also known as snippets, are the characters you see under URL titles. They inform potential visitors what to expect when they click onto your webpage. Meta descriptions are essentially virtual salespeople for your business and its online posts, so creating effective ones will impact whether or not your company stands out from the crowd.

Don’t exceed 160 characters. Like Twitter, meta descriptions have a character limit. The character limit is 160, including spaces, so it’s important to keep that character amount under the limit so search engines don’t cut them.

Include keywords from the title of the webpage. Keywords are the words people search when looking for your business or content. Keywords are crucial to digital marketing. When you include keywords, search engines will highlight them, catching the eye of the searcher.

Don’t make it clickbait. As tempting as it is to write a juicy description, if your meta description doesn’t authentically convey the page visitors will land on, people will lose trust in your business.

Utilize Yoast SEO. If your business uses WordPress, you should consider downloading the plugin, Yoast SEO. It grades your web content on its readability, focus keywords, and meta description.

Don’t forget to write one. Meta descriptions are advertising copy. When you neglect to write one, you’re neglecting search marketing. Additionally, when you don’t write one, search engines will take a snippet  from the first paragraph on the page.

The Dos and Don’ts of SEO

SEO plays a crucial role in your business’ marketing efforts. How you manage your website affects where it will end up on search engine results. We all want our target audience to find our business’ products and services easily, so here are the biggest dos and don’ts of building a successful SEO strategy.

DO post relevant content to your website often. Search engines rank websites based on a number of factors, and one of them is consistency. When you regularly update your site with content, you increase the chances it will be indexed by search engines. Additionally, visitors are more likely to come back to your site when they notice how often you post fresh content.

DON’T forget region-specific keywords. Location, location, location! You’ve heard the phrase before. If you’re a small business owner, you could be losing the targeted audience in your community by not including region-specific keywords.

DO measure your performance. Every month keep track of how your SEO strategy is doing by reviewing your biggest key performance indicators: rankings, traffic, impressions, clicks, engagements, and sales. Google Analytics is a user-friendly tool to track your KPIs.

DON’T needlessly include links just to manipulate page ranks. Think twice about the links you share on your website. Make sure the links you share are relevant to your company and don’t share links just anywhere. Search engines can detect when you’re link building just to climb the search engine ladder.  

DO put keywords into your content. Come up with some words you can use to describe your business, services, and products when writing content for your website. You can utilize Google Trends and Google Adwords Keyword Tool to determine if your keywords will bring in the right traffic.

DON’T overuse keywords. It’s important to note that you’re writing content for people, not search engines. Visitors will be put off if you use your keywords excessively.

Is Blackhat Search Engine Optimization Damaging Your Website?

Blackhat SEO is the use of unethical tactics to boost a website’s rankings in a search engine. The term “blackhat” originates from Western movies. Characters deemed as the “bad guys” would always be wearing a black hat.

Today, when we see the term “blackhat”, it is usually in reference to those who use corrupt practices online. These include hackers, virus developers, and people who create websites to trick users. Did you know some companies that offer search engine optimization services use blackhat SEO tactics as a cheap alternative to providing the services promised to their customers? It is important to avoid these practices because most of them conflict with a search engine’s terms of service. This can result in your site being banned from search results as well as affiliate websites and networks.

Make sure your site doesn’t employ these techniques by following these simple steps:

  • Proper Keyword Use: Do not use irrelevant keywords just to get hits in a search engine. Your keywords should be clear and aimed towards human interest, not search engine interest. This also means, not stacking keywords. For example; “screen door, screen, door, door, screendoor, screen, screen”
  • Link Schemes: any links that’s only purpose is to to manipulate PageRank. This includes: exchanging money for links, creating partner pages exclusively for cross linking, or excessively link exchanging (i.e. “I’ll link you if you link me). This is against both Google and Bing’s Quality Guidelines for SEO.
  • Hidden content: providing different content or URLs to search engines than you do to human users. You could do this by tagging white text on a white background, or having text behind an image, setting font size to 0, or even using CSS to position text off screen.
  • Duplicate Content: Websites that have content copied from other sites are considered “duplicates”. Duplicate content also occurs when a website is built in a program with limited templates. If your website looks like all other websites built in a free web builder program, it is probable that it won’t display in search engine result pages.

 

By avoiding these examples of blackhat SEO, you can make sure your website isn’t violating search engine terms of service. Always practice ethical search engine optimization techniques with content geared towards users rather than search engines. This will keep your website visible for your desired audience. Happy optimizing!

DIY Tips for Finding Profitable Keywords for Your Business

As a whole, refining your company’s search engine optimization can be a big undertaking. However, like any difficult task, SEO can be broken into steps to help even the least tech-savvy business owner or marketer make their company more visible to their desired audience. As you may know, one of the most crucial steps to having your website rank higher in online search results is using the proper keywords when tagging your site.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, you can never get too simple. So, let’s break it down to help you pick the best and most profitable keywords for your business.

Step 1: Group Brainstorm

Set aside a half hour of time and gather a group of employees. Brainstorm different words they use when describing your company and industry. Write down as many as possible. Words that might not seem like the perfect match could be used creatively to set you apart from your competitors.

Step 2: Research

Try searching some of the terms you brainstormed. Does your business come up? Do competitors or similar products come up? This can be helpful for finding ways to set you apart from your competition. When you search keywords that are relevant to your your business, scroll to the bottom of the results until you see a section titled “Searches related to ________”, to help discover other keywords users are searching for similar results.

Step 3: Quantify Your Research

Now that you have a good list of words that apply to your company, it is time to see which keywords to use to create the most efficient tags. I prefer using Google Trends to see how many people are searching specific keywords and phrases in specific area, small or large. You can also use Google Adwords Keyword planner to help predict search trends for specific demographics. Additionally, you can see keywords your competitors are using to help set your business apart.

Step 4: Organizing Your Research

Now that you have compiled a list of Keywords that are relevant to your business, as well as statistical data about what your audience is searching, it is time to cross reference this information to pick your keywords. Keywords that have a high relevancy to what you want to promote, and also have a high search rate, should be at the top of your list. Whereas, words that are lacking in either category should move down. If you find words that are highly searched but aren’t relevant to your company, you might be tempted to try to make them fit. However, users will leave your site if it doesn’t provide what they had in mind while searching. You also might encounter keywords that are very unique to your business and are very relevant, but aren’t being searched as often. This is okay if it is something exclusive to your business. It can help users with extremely specific searches find your site. Just keep in mind that you won’t be appealing as much to mass searches.

Once you have completed all of these steps, you will find yourself with a healthy list of efficient keywords for your company. We at Sperling Interactive hope we helped you begin to navigate the road of search engine optimization. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me at catherine@sperlinginteractive.com.