What Are Contextual Links and How Do They Help MySEO?

When it comes to marketing strategies, one of the most important aspects for any business is SEO, or search engine optimization. This is the process by which a website’s visibility and ranking in organic search results are improved. Links are an essential part of this process, as they can help increase a website’s authority and relevance in the eyes of search engines’ algorithms. Contextual links, also known as in-text links or hyperlinks, are particularly important for businesses looking to further improve their SEO efforts.

A contextual link is text within a piece of content that is linked to another webpage with relevant information on the same topic. For instance, if you were writing an article about SEO practices, you could place a contextual link to an authoritative source like Google’s webmaster guidelines page within the text. They are often used as citations or references to add credibility to the person writing and publishing content on their website or blog. 

Contextual links play an integral role in improving a website’s SEO because they act as votes of confidence from other websites or pages linking back to yours. The more credible and authoritative sources that link back to your website, the higher your website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). This is why they should be included as part of any comprehensive SEO strategy. 

In addition, contextual links also provide important information about the topics being discussed in content that might not be apparent from reading just the title or description of a web page. By using contextual links within a piece of content such as an article or blog post, readers can quickly find out more detailed information about a given topic without having to leave their current page and navigate away from your site. This increases engagement levels with visitors and encourages users to spend more time on your website – both factors that positively affect SEO rankings over time. 

Finally, adding contextually-relevant links throughout webpages can help improve internal linking structure between pages on your site – another critical aspect of any successful SEO strategy. Internal linking helps create stronger connections between related topics within existing pieces of content across multiple pages and posts on your site and ensures that all relevant topics are easily linked for both visitors and search engines alike – something which can benefit rankings significantly in SERPs over time. 

Overall, contextual links are not only great for providing references but also for helping optimize websites for better performance in SERPs when used correctly as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy – especially when it comes to improving overall SEO efforts. Not only do these type of links help boost credibility through external sources but they also provide useful information while helping improve internal linking structures across multiple webpages on your site – two things which can have notable positive impacts on how well your site ranks in organic searches over time.

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Let’s Look at WordPress vs Other Website Builders for SEO

When it comes to building a website, there are several different options available. Some of the most popular include WordPress and other website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. But while these other website builders may be more user-friendly for those who don’t have much coding experience, when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), WordPress is considered the superior choice. To understand why this is the case, let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between WordPress and other website builders. 

One way in which WordPress offers an advantage over other website builders is its flexibility. Not only does it allow users to easily customize their websites, but it also provides a wide range of plug-ins that can be used to extend its functionality. This allows developers to customize their sites according to their needs. On the other hand, while some website builders offer limited customization options, they often lack the depth and breadth of features offered by WordPress. Furthermore, since most website builders use proprietary code rather than open source code, developers will not be able to access any updates or new features from third-party sources. 

Another advantage of using WordPress over other website builders lies in its search engine optimization capabilities. SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing as it helps websites rank higher in search engines for relevant keywords and phrases. By comparison, many other website builders lack robust SEO tools and features which makes it more difficult for users to optimize their websites for higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). For instance, while Wix does offer basic SEO tools such as meta tags and title tags management, advanced SEO strategies such as on-page optimization and link building cannot be implemented without going through a complicated process or employing a third-party developer. 

Finally, WordPress has an edge over other website builders when it comes to scalability and speed performance. As mentioned earlier, WP allows developers to customize websites according to their needs which means they can scale up or down as needed without having to switch platforms or hire new developers each time an update is needed. Additionally, since WP uses open source code that has been optimized for fast loading times (which is especially important for mobile users), pages load relatively quickly when compared with those built on other platforms like Wix or Squarespace which often require additional coding or plugins in order to achieve optimal loading times.

To summarize: When considering different options for building a website such as Wix, Weebly or Squarespace, WordPress remains the choice among web developers due to its flexibility, scalability, speed performance and better Search Engine Optimization tools. It also offers innovative plug-ins that can be used to extend its functionality. The availability of open source code also makes updating easier. As such, if you’re looking for the overall best solution for your site, WordPress is the way to go.

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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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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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Targeting keywords in your blogging strategy

Achieving a high rank in search engines should be the goal of every business with a website. And since that should be every business, it’s crucial that all aspects of your website be optimized.

But let’s start at the beginning – what are keywords?

They’re the words we speak or type when we’re looking for something. It can be just a single word or a phrase or just a list of words. Long-tail keywords are those with more than one word.

Search engines want to give people the best reply to their query so it pulls those websites that seem to answer the question best. And how does it know? It knows because:

  1. Those websites load and function great on all devices
  2. The headlines have those keywords
  3. The images are described in tags with those keywords
  4. They have a lot of those same words in their content
  5. There is a lot of new, relevant content being added
  6. The website is linked to from a lot of other reputable websites (backlinks)

Let’s concentrate on #5 for a minute. Much of the new, relevant content on websites comes in the form of blogs. The sole purpose of blogs should be to answer questions customers or potential customers might have, as well as provide more in-depth information on your products or services. But your ulterior motive should be to use the keywords you are targeting with enough frequency to add to your credibility as a reliable source for questions that include those keywords.

Your list of keywords can start with the obvious ones related to your business. It can be expanded with terms related to your business but not exclusively about it. If you have an insurance company, you can have terms about insurance, but also financial well being, trusts, wills and other related subjects.

You won’t use all of them when writing a blog – just focus on one or two that are related. But it will give you a list of topics to work from.

And it should go without saying that the writing should stay natural and not force words into an article that seem out of place. Take advantage of the meta description – additional text that appears in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and lets the reader know what the link is actually about. Try to link the blog internally – that is, if you have information about a particular product, and then you delve into an aspect of that product with a blog, use a link on your website to guide the reader to the blog. You can also link from your social media accounts to your blogs.

Sound confusing? Spot can help you implement a blogging strategy or take over the whole process if you like. Let us know if you’d like to learn more!

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Accurate and consistent online directory listings are crucial for website optimization and SEO

website optimization

People don’t talk about it as much as PPC of website optimization, but your online listings in the various directories are a crucial component for your digital footprint. What do people see about your business when they go to Yelp? What if they ask Alexa for a nearby business that offers what you do? Driving and want to see businesses through MapQuest? If you’re not listed or your listing is not accurate, you’re missing out.

Not only do all your listings need to be claimed, but you also need to make sure they are all consistent and that important information like hours are kept up-to-date. Not only does this provide accurate information for current and potential customers, it adds to your local Search Engine Optimization.

A company like Spot Color Marketing that can create comprehensive listings for you with your business information, logo, photos, etc. where applicable, will help ensure you’re not missing any piece of the online puzzle. And with more than 80 different directories in the United States, it’s a huge undertaking to find them all yourself and try to keep them accurate.

Spot can even make your business voice search ready, with automatic distribution of the information to Amazon Alexa, Apple, Bing, Google, and more. This gives you a huge and immediate boost in local ranking, search, and reach!

Then as things change for your business such as hours, or new products/services, all the directories can be updated on a regular basis. A monthly report will show you what’s being done and the search analytics around your directories. Messaging through them will also be enabled so members of the public can reach out to you through the ones that offer that service such as Yelp.

Here’s a partial listing of the directories we work with: Banks.com, LocalPages, Instagram, Facebook, Superpages, D&B Database, ShowMeLocal, GoLocal247, ChamberofCommerce.com, TripAdvisor, Postmates, Top Rated Local, Amazon Alexa, Foursquare, Yelp, Citysearch, Apple, Yahoo!, Waze, Google My Business, Nextdoor, Snapchat, White & Yellow Pages, Uber, TomTom, Bing, eLocal, MapQuest and many more.

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What are the elements to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and why does it matter?

Search Engine Optimization

The statistics say it all – according to Search Engine Journal 93% of online experiences begin by visiting a search engine. And 75% of those searching won’t go past the first page when searching on Google. And you need those clicks, traffic and ultimately conversions. So how do you get there? Here are the elements that go into your ranking.

  1. You can buy your way on with Pay Per Click ads that will appear first when people type in the keyword(s) you’re paying for
  2. You can ensure your website is optimized – that means having a professional look at everything from the words used in headlines, to the description of photos (meta tags) to the relevance of the copy overall to the frequency and inclusion of potential search terms in new copy you’re adding in the form of blogs. It also must load fast and have other favorable metrics.
  3. Your website must also be optimized for mobile – that is, very easy to read on a mobile phone as there is “credit” for that with optimization.
  4. You can promote your website/blog content through social media
  5. You can find partners to create backlinks – that is, provide them with valuable information they can use that will result in people clicking through to your website.
  6. You can have an editorial story done (through a press release or other means) that rises to a high position

So how can you compete?

  1. You can create long tail keywords that won’t generate as many results overall, but will allow you to compete against the big guys, especially if your industry is dominated by big players. Amazon makes 57% of its sales through long tail keywords, so it works. Turns out long tail keyword conversion rates are almost always higher because people are looking for something specific, not general, which usually means they’ve already done some research and are moving on to the consideration/buy phase.
  2. Create adwords that address a searcher’s intent – if someone is searching for “best CRM” are they searching for a single company or an article that compares multiple companies? So even if companies claiming they have the “best CRM” show up in the results, your ad is the one they will click on because it promises information that lines up with the searcher’s intent.
  3. Write blogs and publish them often, and make them long enough to matter. In-depth content with examples and images, step-by-step information, unique and valuable – these are the elements to blogs that matter. And the good news? Content marketing is 62% less than other marketing and generates 3x the leads.
  4. Alternatively, you can also write articles, create an infographic, a podcast, or a video.
  5. Get included in “round up” articles – where a top-ranked author examines several companies in your industry. As that article rises, so does your positive visibility if you are reviewed favorably.

Spot Color Marketing is well-positioned to assist you with all aspects of SEO and guide you through the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

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The 5 Best Search Engine Optimization Practices to Increase your Ranking

You created an amazing piece of content for your website, but you’re not getting the views you expected. What do you do? Our digital marketing experts at Spot have a few suggestions for revising your content that will boost your search engine optimization efforts.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a continuously evolving landscape and one that is difficult to master. Here at Spot, we understand the importance of quality SEO practices when it comes to getting your content seen by relevant searchers. With that in mind, our digital marketing staff has put together a brief list of the best SEO practices to increase your website’s ranking.

Search Engine Optimization

1. Research Keywords & See What’s Relevant to Searchers

Knowing what keywords lead visitors to your site is vital for quality SEO. When you know what brought users to your site, you can begin tailoring content to those keywords to get those who are clicking through to your website to come back in the future. Understanding what your audience is looking for builds trust and reliability within your brand. It also positions you as an industry leader when you begin to answer questions your consumers didn’t know they had.

2. Create Quality Backlinks

Creating quality backlinks is a very important step in search engine optimization. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a backlink is an incoming link from one webpage to another. The crucial part of creating backlinks to improve your SEO is ensuring that the ones you use are high-quality. In other words, good backlinks come from authoritative sites and are also relevant to the site on which you are linking. It’s far more important to go for quality rather than quantity when it comes to generating backlinks, as low-quality links can actually be harmful for your SEO. By creating valuable backlinks, you increase your organic ranking on search engines and generate what’s known as ‘referral traffic,’ both of which are beneficial to your site’s performance. To start building backlinks of this quality, try writing compelling blog content for your site that others will want to link to or finding similar, relevant blogs to guest write for.

Search Engine Optimization

3. Publish Captivating Titles & Descriptions

Catching the attention of readers is crucial, and working hard to create an eye-catching title also grabs the attention of search engine algorithms. Take the keywords you found during your research and insert them into your titles and descriptions to help raise your ranking. The algorithms that crawl your content tend to look for verbiage that relates to the keywords a user would type into a search engine. Your content is more likely to pop up in a searcher’s results if you use the same valuable keywords in both your title and meta description, the preview text under a result that tells searchers what the page is about.

4. Use Keywords Strategically

There are many other ways to strategically use keywords, including mentioning them within the first paragraph of your content and assigning keywords to pages. The more you can naturally use your keywords the better. Just be careful not to “stuff” keywords throughout your content; many algorithms will penalize your site for using this tactic. Strategic keyword usage is all about using keywords in a natural way to provide substance to your content. Stuffing your pages full of the same words repeatedly is not only boring but also produces low-quality content that algorithms skip over – something we all want to avoid!

Search Engine Optimization

5. Work on Visual Optimization

Our last suggestion for strong SEO is to ensure your content is also visually appealing. Try adding images, bullet points, or numbered lists to help break up your content. In addition to adding vibrancy to your page, this tactic makes your content readable. Looking at too much text on a digital screen creates eye fatigue. To help combat this, many content creators add visual breaks by separating paragraphs with multiple lines, bolding important information, or inserting multimedia.

Increasing your SEO ranking is no easy feat. We encourage you to reach out to us with your questions at any time. If you’re looking to begin your SEO journey but don’t know where to start, you can receive a complimentary SEO audit from our staff. We’ll help you build a plan from there!

Are you doing anything now to help your website’s SEO ranking? Let us know in the comments below!

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Marketing and Website Evaluation in Your Spring Cleaning

Website Evaluation

As a business owner, staying current is of utmost importance. You want to stay on top of the latest marketing trends. You want to make sure your inventory is up to date. You want to make sure your employees continue to provide the highest level of service and courtesy.

So when evaluating the state of your business, don’t neglect your website and digital marketing plan.

You should perform one of these evaluations, at the minimum, at least once per year. Spring is the season of rebirth and new growth, making it an excellent time to evaluate your marketing strategy. When doing so, here are some key factors to consider during the “spring clean-up” of your business’s online presence and the performance of your website.

Traffic report: Compare your traffic to that from one month ago, or one year ago at this time. Determine if there is an increase or decrease and, if so, what led to the change. What pages or content are producing the most traffic? What are the top external sources driving traffic to your site? Are they coming from search engines? And if so, which ones? This can help you tweak your marketing strategy.

Location, location, location: What is the geographic location of the visitors to your site? Are the majority of them close to your home base?

Be brutally honest: Take a look at what aspects of your plan are working and which are not. Is the original content on your site generating traffic? If so, why or why not? Do you have a social media presence? If so, how is it performing? Is the message of your branding consistent? Answering these questions honestly by looking at the hard data will give you the best course of action for the future.

All of the data regarding a website and its traffic can be overwhelming. However, we can perform an audit report on your website and search engine optimization at Spot Color Marketing. This report evaluates the rank and health of your website and, best of all, it’s absolutely free.

Spot Marketing is a Google Certified Partner and based in Portland, OR. We’re considered a premier digital marketing agency with clients Nationwide. If you are a business owner, entrepreneur and would like a free website audit for your site, contact us today by calling (503) 477-4355 or sending an email to spot@spotcolormarketing.com.

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Remarketing Lists: Revisits & Conversions

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

 

Remarketing lists can become a driving force for sales in e-commerce.

The mission of remarketing is to capitalize on visitor’s previous interest in your website.

This is better than a general target approach, because there is proof of existing appeal.

Data is used to create customer segments of previous actions and interests to target.

Once you learn how to define a segment, it’s easier to capitalize on what they want.

What you want is increased action: more revisits and sales. Here is a guide to get there.

 

Collecting the data:

First tag your website, this will serve as the data collector.

The easiest way to collect the data is a container tag, which will track all the data operations on the website.

Place a container tag in the global header or footer to tag the entirety of your site.

This central tag will allow the webmaster to edit new tags, and adjust existing tags.

Manage tags using Google Tag Manager, and no new code will be necessary.

A Chrome extension, Google Tag Assistant will verify tags are working correctly.

The master container tag will ensure you collect data from all paths on your website.

 

How to use the data:

The data compiles visitor interactions, we use that to create specific target segments.

In AdWords go to the Shared Library tab, and create a remarketing tag to set up lists.

Each remarketing list needs 1000 cookies to start, this could take a few hours or weeks.

In Shared Library click on the Audiences tab, then choose people you want to add to each list by defining the rules based on specific landing pages.

These lists are based on what they were searching for/the actions taken on your site.

 

Top 3 Remarkets: General Visitors, Cart Abandoners, and Recent Conversions.

 

General Visitors is the least specific remarket.

The goal here is simple, increase frequency and quality of interactions.

This list is everyone that has visited your site.

Look at the data to see where they dead-end, and build a route to the shopping cart.

 

Shopping Cart Abandoners showed a willingness to buy, but hesitated at action.

The goal here is to bring them back, and convert on the missed opportunity.

Target your ads to what they almost bought, and target upgraded models.

This could be the push to turn them from prospect to customer.

To define this remarket, a custom combination list works best.

Choose everyone that has added an item to their cart, and then exclude everyone that has actually converted.

This will leave you with the correctly targeted segment.

For thought: A cart abandoner is more likely to buy from you than a first time visitor.

 

Recent Conversions are customers who have recently purchased from your website.

The goal here is to up-sell, and cross-sell from their previous purchases.

If say, they bought a tent on your site, target sleeping bags and ice chests in your ads.

They already have proven interest in your products, now show them the accessories.

Keep them coming back with enticing product appeal. Matching gear works best.

To define the remarket list, select customers who have purchased within 180 days.

 

(Your best remarkets are Cart Abandoners, and Recent Conversions. They have shown the most interest in your business. Keep their interest peaked, make them a priority.)

 

Raise your AdWords bids on your Remarkets.

Your remarkets have a higher chance of conversion, so they are our hot targets.

With AdWords bid modifier, you can more aggressively boost your visibility.

Bid for the two top slots in the search engine results. Start with a +100% modifier.

After you activate the modifier, adjust the number up or down to hit the top spots.

 

Broader Keywords and Match Types

Remarkets are high-intent customers, so broader keywords can have more reach.

A general campaign would find these keywords and match types too vague.

For instance, if a Cart Abandoner was close to a sales conversion on a hat from your site. It’s reasonable to target them with a broader term of “hat” instead of specific style.

Broader keywords work in this instance because remarkets already know style options.

For this strategy, you will want to create a new campaign only for remarkets.

Then add broad versions of your previous, and highly-competitive keyword matches.

As for all campaigns, check on progress and make adjustments to fully optimize.

 

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry. Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @ www.spotcolormarketing.com

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