What Does EATing Have to Do with SEO?

E-A-T is a way for Google to deliver what users want. And because Google wants it – you should want it. And what is it?

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. And while Google is notoriously tight-lipped about specifics, in response to a leaked version making the rounds on the web, Google released their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines in its entirety in 2015. In addition to E-A-T, it also includes two other golden keys on how Google looks at web pages and how they evaluate, judge and rank high quality vs low quality content. They are Beneficial Purpose and YMYL (Your Money or Your Life).

You can’t just keyword stuff anymore because it diminishes the user experience. And part of focusing on user experience was also making mobile responsiveness a ranking factor when the majority of people started searching with their phones. HTTPS ranks better than HTTP because Google wants to increase security for searching, and they developed Core Web Vitals (speed metrics) to quantify a fast, seamless user experience.

Noticing a pattern?

E-A-T helps determine credibility. It’s a guideline for evaluating a website and its pages – do they create real value for the user? These guidelines serve as reference for their human search evaluators – the ones who determine how well Google’s algorithm is doing. So it’s also a crucial insight into what Google considers a high-quality web page. These guidelines have been updated several times, most recently in October last year. Algorithm updates have also occurred. 

In the first update, the most significant change was the new emphasis on a concept called Beneficial Purpose. Basically it says a page’s rating determines how well a page achieves its purpose, so the evaluator has to understand the purpose of the page and the website. And “websites and pages should be created to help users.” Not make money. Present false or misleading information. Not be intended to scam. But to be user-centered. Inform. Teach. Cause a user to laugh. Share. Express an opinion. Post questions. Allow users to download software. Sell something.

On the other hand, a page created with the intention to make money “with no attempt to help users” is considered the lowest quality page.

Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) content is the type of information that, if presented inaccurately, untruthfully, or deceptively, could directly impact the user’s happiness, health, safety, or financial stability. Google takes this content very, very seriously. Experts with relevant expertise need to write YMYL content. This kind of content can include news and current events, government, law and civic-related topics, financial advice, medical advice, information on people of a particular ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, sexuality, etc. and shopping information. There are other YMYL topics, but Google says quality evaluators need to use their judgment to determine if a page qualifies as YMYL content.

Once it is determined that a page has a beneficial purpose, its level of E-A-T is carefully considered in terms of whether the content is YMYL. Non-YMYL content doesn’t require the same rigor as YMYL content.

Just remember that Google considers the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the individual creator of page content, the content itself, and the entire website. In Google’s eyes, a thorough medical article written by an experienced doctor on the Mayo Clinic website is much more valuable than a random blog post dispensing unverified medical advice.

However, in the recently-updated version of the guidelines, Google makes an exception for “everyday expertise.” This means people with relevant life experience in specific topics can be considered experts—no formal training or education required. However, this only holds true for non-YMYL content.

“Authoritativeness” means having generally recognized authority. People know you, know your background, and look to you as a leader in your industry. They accept you as a good source of information.

Trustworthiness: The “Trustworthiness” part of E-A-T also refers to the MC creator, the content, and the website. Being a trustworthy expert and source means people can trust you to provide honest, true information that is accurate.

The guidelines have some specific notes for certain topics that require high E-A-T. Specifically, pages containing the following YMYL content need to have specialized expertise behind them:

  • Medical advice
  • Journalistic news articles
  • Information pages on scientific topics
  • Financial advice, legal advice, and tax advice
  • Advice pages on high-stakes topics (home remodeling, parenting, etc.)
  • Pages on hobbies that require expertise, e.g., photography, playing guitar

There are also some things that you can do to improve your website’s E-A-T:

  • Tell your visitors who you are

You can do this by simply adding an About Us page highlighting the experience and expertise of people behind your company.

  • Generate content authored by experts (and if you don’t have time, find a quality ghostwriter to create it)

Google still wants and prefers content created by subject-matter experts.

  • Be clear about your content’s purpose

Use title and heading tags to make clear what you’re talking about in your content. Don’t write long-form content just for the sake of it. Sometimes, short is sweeter. So be concise.

  • Keep your content up to date

The amount of content created every day is staggering. Because of that, content becomes outdated really fast. So keep in mind that you update your facts, stats to keep up with the changes.

  • Link to other authoritative and high-quality sources

When including backlinks in your content…make sure that you link to authoritative sites that are high-quality. Quality should be valued over quantity. This will help your website establish authority.

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Need to Develop an Effective Small Business Online Marketing Strategy?

Every small business needs to develop an effective online marketing strategy. There is just too much happening online not to be a part of it, and not to be grabbing your share of the market.

And even if your small business doesn’t sell products or services online, it’s how people learn about you and decide if they want to visit. It’s also the basis for search engine results, so if people are searching for what you carry in your area, your website will show up. You can’t just count on people driving by anymore. Not only do you have to compete with other brick and mortar stores, you have to compete against the businesses online that are selling what you’re selling.

Does the internet seem too big to conquer for a small business as far as online marketing? Your small businesses doesn’’t need to dominate the entire internet market – just your corner of it. Your particular audience that wants your particular product or service. Microniching is what you should be concentrating on. Not trying to sell everybody everything you have, but really narrowing down who you’re selling to and what, so you can really specialize in that area for those people.

Who is your ideal customer? Where do they live? What else do they do? How much money do they make? What are their likely professions? Answering these questions is the start to developing an effective small business online marketing strategy. One that helps you target your ideal customer with messages that resonate.

Your budget will help determine which platforms to use, along with the type of product or service you sell, as some media choices are more suited than others. Selling to other businesses? Email marketing, PPC and LinkedIn might be good choices. Want to reach right to consumers with an effective campaign? Facebook, PPC, Instagram and email marketing could be the right combination. An experienced marketing firm like Spot Digital Marketing can help you navigate through and ensure that your marketing dollars are being spent more effectively.

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Need to Develop an Effective Small Business Online Marketing Strategy?

Every small business needs to develop an effective online marketing strategy. There is just too much happening online not to be a part of it, and not to be grabbing your share of the market.

And even if your small business doesn’t sell products or services online, it’s how people learn about you and decide if they want to visit. It’s also the basis for search engine results, so if people are searching for what you carry in your area, your website will show up. You can’t just count on people driving by anymore. Not only do you have to compete with other brick and mortar stores, you have to compete against the businesses online that are selling what you’re selling.

Does the internet seem too big to conquer for a small business as far as online marketing? Your small businesses doesn’t need to dominate the entire internet market – just your corner of it. Your particular audience that wants your particular product or service. Microniching is what you should be concentrating on. Not trying to sell everybody everything you have, but really narrowing down who you’re selling to and what, so you can really specialize in that area for those people.

Who is your ideal customer? Where do they live? What else do they do? How much money do they make? What are their likely professions? Answering these questions is the start to developing an effective small business online marketing strategy. One that helps you target your ideal customer with messages that resonate.

Your budget will help determine which platforms to use, along with the type of product or service you sell, as some media choices are more suited than others. Selling to other businesses? Email marketing, PPC and LinkedIn might be good choices. Want to reach right to consumers with an effective campaign? Facebook, PPC, Instagram and email marketing could be the right combination. An experienced marketing firm like Spot Digital Marketing can help you navigate through and ensure that your marketing dollars are being spent more effectively.

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Local SEO Marketing Agency

6 questions that help you decide it’s time to find a marketing agency that can help with your local SEO

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, it’s imperative that your agency be constantly working to increase your rankings. It’s not enough to get some keywords to rank well and then take their foot off the gas. It’s a never ending process to increase the ranking of additional keywords, and maintain the ones who have achieved the coveted page one status.

Here are some questions to ask to determine if it’s time to look for a new agency to help with your local SEO.

  1. How often is your marketing agency writing and submitting blogs for your approval? If you’re just getting a blog once every couple of months that’s not enough. The more content the better, but at the very least, the agency should be writing one article of original content to use as a blog on your website each month to add to your SEO.
  2. Is your agency writing different blogs of original content that are at least 300 – 400 words in length to submit to reputable directories and other locations in order to garner backlinks? Is the keyword density correct? This is a crucial part of the SEO algorithm.
  3. How often are they checking your plug-ins and links for errors? If you’ve linked to an article in a blog and the link is no longer working it’s reflected in your evaluation. Likewise if you have a plug in that’s become outdated or isn’t working correctly. Either can easily happen if it’s a function you don’t use a lot, or if links aren’t reviewed on at least a monthly basis.
  4. How fast is the site loading and how well is it working overall? Functionality is another important factor for local SEO that a good marketing agency should be evaluating on a regular basis. If something has changed on the site like a new video added to a prime position, it could be slowing down the loading time. A.B.C. – always be checking.
  5. Is your website perfectly mobile compatible? Is it easy to navigate in that format when people are viewing it on their phones? Not only can you be penalized in your SEO efforts if not; your local agency is causing you to lose a lot of potential customers because so many are accessing websites on their phone now – upwards of 60% in most cases.
  6. Is your marketing agency charged with local SEO taking advantage of all opportunities? They should constantly be evaluating keywords of competitors and bringing you new ideas for keywords and long-tail keywords. They should also be submitting your information to all available online directories (more than 80) to add to your local SEO, not to mention ensuring you have accurate, consistent information available when people search.

If the answer to any of these is “no”, they may be getting complacent, have someone assigned who’s too busy or not paying attention, or worse, have outsourced it without you knowing. Use these questions as a basis for a hard discussion before you let more money slip through your fingers by not having a website that’s working as hard as possible for you. 

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All you Need to Know About Local Website Development

Local website development is the process of creating a website in a local environment, where developers use a local machine or device to build and maintain a website. Local development has no relation with the physical location of the device, business, or developer.

All beginners first learn to code static sites with CSS and HTML and use text editors such as Atom, Sublime or Visual Basic to create a file and use a browser to open it. This is nothing, but local development.

Developing more complex and dynamic self-hosting sites such as WordPress that use a language like PHP and store content in a database is local website development and is done by replicating those live server stacks on a local machine.

Benefits of local website development

Local development takes away the stress of the process as customizing the setup will not affect the live site and also, the site can be made and tested before uploading.

Another advantage of local development is that you do not have to be connected to the internet while developing. Slow wi-fi or working in places with weak or no internet signal will not hamper your work progress.

The website of a business crashing in today’s digital era is no less than a disaster and since local website developers leverage the offline environment to refine new features and functions, developers have the liberty to evaluate new website iterations without risking the integrity of live web pages.

When it comes to local website development, there is no one like Spot Digital Marketing. Businesses like Industrial Enet, Palm Desert Area Chamber, John Hammer Construction and Rhino Digital use local website development services offered by Spot Digital Marketing for providing uninterrupted access of their websites to their respective customers.

Spot Digital Marketing – The Go-to Local Web Development Agency

Spot Digital Marketing, a California-based local website development firm, specializes in building a responsive and functional website for its clients. The developer company aims for its client’s success by offering dedicated web development specialists, impressive graphics and resonating content, audience targeting, and monitoring, and strategic response planning and execution.

They offer different plans based on the custom needs of the businesses. The minimum offerings of these plans include WordPress platform, responsive design, up to five web pages, content upload and editing along with an on-SEO page. Additionally, e-commerce functionality, website search engine submission, and copywriting services can be availed with their advanced plans. If you are looking for the best local web development agency, go ahead and reach out to Spot Digital Marketing.

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How Do I Choose an Online Marketing Agency for My Small Business?

If you’re a small business choosing an online marketing agency, the best way to start is to find small agencies that specialize in online marketing. Big companies or those associated with media outlets won’t be structured to provide the type of personalized service that you’ll need, especially if you’re somewhat new to online marketing.

A small marketing agency like Spot Digital Marketing will be sensitive to any financial constraints you may have and will work with you to maximize your spending by creatively using content across many platforms, working with your in-house team (if needed) and helping to instruct you on online marketing and analytics.

Here are some good questions to get you started when you’re choosing an online marketing agency for your small business:

How many small business clients do you have?

What’s the smallest and largest budget you work with?

How much do you work on projects as opposed to serving as a full service agency?

Are there any opportunities to bundle services to save money?

How long are your contracts? What if I need to cancel?

How much online marketing work have you done in my particular industry with other small businesses?

What are some realistic ROI measurements for my online marketing?

What’s a good timeline to see leads and sales conversions from online marketing?

Is there some of the online marketing work I can do myself to save money?

Who will be handling my account? How much experience do they have with small businesses and online marketing?

Will there be regular reports and phone calls to track the progress of the online marketing efforts?

Will the online marketing results be examined on a regular basis so changes can be made to maximize the results?

These questions, and more, are a good way to start to drill down into exactly how the relationship will work and be valued by the online marketing agency you select for your small business.

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Is a Full-service Digital Marketing Agency Right for You?

Is a full-service digital marketing agency right for you? Let’s look at some considerations:

Is your marketing currently being handled by yourself, perhaps with an employee assisting and then with some of it outsourced? What kind of efficiencies are you losing and what kind of in-house time that could be more profitably allocated to focusing on operational/expansion efforts?

Are the people handling the different aspects of your digital marketing all experts in their part of it? Digital advertising? Content creation? SEO? Website development? Email marketing? No one person can keep up with all of this and keep abreast of all the changes happening in the industry at the same time.

Is there coordination between all the different aspects? For example, are there regular blogs being written for SEO and utilized to solicit backlinks (valuable for SEO) that are also linked to for social media and potentially referenced in emails as well? 

Is there time to really dive into analytics to understand the customer journey, how well each marketing avenue is working, and what tweaks need to be made at each juncture to increase sales even more? A full-service digital marketing agency understands they will be judged on the metrics that are reported from each aspect of the marketing they are doing on behalf of your business.

With a full-service digital marketing firm the primary focus will be on getting the best results for clients so their efforts do not come after they work on other responsibilities first. That way you can rest assured that your marketing is a top priority and not an afterthought. 

A full-service digital marketing agency can save you money. Not only will they understand how to maximize your messaging and money, with the right level of Search Engine Optimization and an understanding of long tail keywords, bid amounts on Pay Per Click advertising will drop significantly. Strategic long tail keywords will also allow you to target more effectively, increasing your conversions vs. just initial impressions.

 

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Spot Shares the Secrets of Flywheel Marketing

Unfortunately there’s rarely a singular thing that transforms a business from good to great. Rather, as with most things it’s a process that resembles an ever-evolving wheel, or as businessman Jim Collins described it – a flywheel.

First – what is a flywheel? It’s a revolving wheel that increases a machine’s momentum by storing and releasing energy in its perpetual loop. It’s a spinning wheel that ideally never stops. It’s a much different concept than a sales funnel – which is designed as a vertical tunnel that ends at the sale, when a customer reaches the bottom. 

But wouldn’t it be better if you kept your customers engaged, making referrals and buying again? That’s why a flywheel is designed in three sections: attract, engage and delight.

Attract: Awareness with advertising, SEO, video campaigns, collaborations, etc.

Engage: Build meaningful relationships with customers through communities, different outreach channels, etc.

Delight: This is crucial – you can’t just sell and deliver quickly. You need to create a customer experience they will want to share. Satisfaction surveys, good email follow up, unexpected value added perks, quick response to customer inquiries (should you add chatbots for 24/7 response), affiliation with causes they support, etc.

The flywheel also serves as a guide for you to take a closer look at your business and the customer experience. It also gives you a goal for everyone associated with the business – keep customers happy enough to recommend your brand to others.

How fast do potential customers move though the sales process, how successful is the sales process in closing, how delighted are customers once they purchase from you? This involves marketing, sales and product and customer service teams. A whopping 81% of buyers trust their friends and family more than what they see from companies – so the “delight” stage is critical.

You’ll also be examining your flywheel for friction points. Does it take too long to respond to customer questions? Is the return policy confusing? Are the product listings always up to date? Potential customers will exit the flywheel if they hit friction.

What do potential customers want from your content and how easy is it for them to get it? Eliminate obstacles and keep it spinning freely.

Let Spot help you design your own flywheel, identify potential friction points, make suggestions about how to eliminate friction, and watch sales grow.

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Sales Funnel

When talking about content, it’s more than just an occasional blog or social media post. There’s a proven strategy to what you post and in what order, so you can lead a potential customer to a sale.

That means, you start with broad engagement, and then continue through to very specific types of content.

The funnel itself is divided into three parts – Top, Middle and Bottom, with content types associated with each portion.

Here they are:

Top of the Funnel


This includes:

  • Search-optimized blog posts. Done right, these can generate lots of traffic over many years from low-intent visitors, or those who haven’t yet decided that they want to purchase anything from you yet.
  • Social media videos. These can include tips, opinions and inspiration and are designed to encourage engagement and interaction.
  • Infographics. They are designed to provide information in a concise, visually appealing way that will get shared and attract links. We’re not to selling yet.
  • Round-ups and interviews. These can be collaborations that will drive traffic and create more trust.
  • Guest posts. Again – a lot of visibility and exposure to a new audience.

Now we move to the middle of the funnel.

  • How-to-articles. These help DIY visitors, but are directly related to your services/products.
  • How-to-videos. Same as above but more engaging and memorable. Done right, they are also big trust builders.
  • Original research. This can be a powerful credibility builder, but the relevance may be indirect.
  • Gated guides. More commonly called newsletters, they are opt-in, long form subscriber communications. Now they’re connected.
  • Welcome series emails. Okay – send them your best stuff to keep them interested.
  • Webinars and events. Collaborate with others and engage in the Q&A. What would you want to see?

Now we reel them in!

  • Sales enablement articles. These include specific information with one goal – conversion.
  • Your story. A specific traffic source with one goal – conversion.
  • Landing pages. These come from a specific traffic source with a singular goal – conversion.
  • Service pages. This page is filled with answers, evidence and calls to action,
  • Testimonials. This one speaks for itself.
  • Case studies/customer stories. You solve problems in the real world and there’s evidence.

Sound complicated? Spot can help with strategic, targeted content at every stage. Drop us an email or give us a call and let’s get started turning your prospects into committed customers.

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Guilty of One (or more) of the 7 Biggest Digital Marketing Mistakes?

Are you marketing to yourself and not your audience?

Do you really understand your digital audience? What are their other interests? What platforms do your customers and potential customers use? What appeals to them besides your business – their other interests and likes? Where do they live? What age are they? Where are they in their life stage? Why are they buying from you? What influences them?

It can be hard, but you have to take your own preferences out of the equation and rely on what the metrics tell you about who responds to your offers.

Not maximizing your Search Engine Optimization?

We know – there are a lot of moving parts to SEO. And it can be hard to keep up with all of them. Fresh, relevant website content in the form of blogs. Keyword-laden articles submitted to garner reputable backlinks. A website that loads quickly and works great on mobile devices. All the on-page optimization done with A1 headlines, photo descriptions and more. If you’re missing one or more of these aspects, you’re not ranking as high as you could in search engines and you’re losing business. 

Not integrating your social media strategy?

Does your social media strategy tie in with your overall sales strategy or is it an afterthought? Do you create posts that lead to your website? Follow a consistent schedule? Stay active on it with “likes”, comments and follows on other accounts? Participate in online chats to stay in front of potential customers? Boost strategic posts on a regular basis to garner more followers? Social media can be a valuable tool in your arsenal, but only if you use it correctly.

Treating every platform and channel the same?

It’s definitely not one size fits all out there. Each platform has its own style and way of maximizing engagement, not to mention different demographics. Do you know which ones to focus on based on your audience? It’s better to do two very well than to attempt to leverage five and do them all poorly.

Prioritizing the wrong analytics?

Are you still just looking at followers or impressions? What you ultimately want are conversions – no matter where they come from. Are you looking at the right information that will tell you where your actual customers are coming from or are you just looking at topline numbers? Two online ads could vary widely with the number of impressions, and you might think the one with the highest number is best – but the other may actually be a better one to utilize more widely if it’s leading to more customers and costing you less to get each one. It’s imperative you understand what the numbers say, and how to adjust accordingly.

Not testing enough (or at all)?

With digital marketing, it’s so easy to compare to see what’s working better. Not just the ad copy itself, but offers, time of day, platforms, landing pages, days of week and even tone and voice. Decide ahead of time what you want to compare and then let it run for long enough to get you valid results. Keep the one that works best and try another variable until you find the perfect formula for your audience.

Not keeping up with new trends, technologies, tools, platforms, and search algorithms?

Things are changing all the time in the digital world and if you’re not keeping up, you risk getting left behind. You need to be nimble to stay up on trends if you want to tie in with them. And new technologies and tools can help you maximize your results with less work. Search algorithms are always being updated as well, and you’ll need to be able to adapt to garner the best results here as well.

We know – it’s a lot! That’s why we chose to specialize in digital marketing. Because we keep up on all this stuff so you don’t have to. Let us know if we can help you be more effective with your digital marketing and maximize your sales.

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