7 Problems Stopping You from Improving Your SEO

Most people recognize that anything worth accomplishing takes work. It takes time and energy to get a valuable return on an investment. This principle is one that you can apply to many areas of life, one of them being your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign.

You probably know you shouldn’t expect to improve your site’s rankings overnight. But if you’re going to spend time and money on something, it’s reasonable to expect to see a profit at some point.If you never see any improvement from your SEO campaign, then you are doing something wrong. Here are seven problems that might be stopping you from increasing your site’s rankings.

1. Quitting Because It’s Taking Too Long

Even if you know your results won’t be instantaneous, you still might be expecting to see them too soon. When some people don’t see any improvement within a few months, they decide their SEO efforts aren’t working and give up. This is a mistake.

How Long Does SEO Take?

Skyler Malley of Firestarter SEO in Denver points out that certain variables will impact how long it takes for you to be successful with your SEO campaign. You might see the fruit of your labors very quickly, but they also might take a while to develop.No matter what, Malley says that “the progress you see in the early stages should pale in comparison to the results you see at the end of the first year.”

2. Abusing Keywords

Keywords are essential for you to be successful at SEO, but don’t overuse them. You don’t want to pack a bunch of keywords into your content so that you can rank higher.Keyword stuffing will not serve your readers, and you risk getting on the wrong side of Google by doing so.

3. Not Accounting for Site History

You need to recognize that if your domain or website has been penalized, then your job is that much harder. That’s not to say you won’t be able to get your site to rank. It just means that your job is more difficult.The same is true if you bought your site from a previous owner. Whoever owned the domain before you had a different purpose for it and had different contact info. It will take you time to build your own history. Of course, it will also take you some time to build your history if your domain is completely new.

4. Neglecting Directories

One directory you need to claim right away if you have not yet done so is Google My Business. Google My Business is an opportunity to be listed for free on a site with a high level of traffic and authority.Despite what some think, other online directories are valuable for helping your search engine ranking. The key is to get your business listed on quality directories, not spammy ones.List your business in as many solid online directories as possible. Make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all your listings.

5. Misusing Backlinks

Backlinks are indispensable to SEO. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, they’re also a great way to get your site penalized. Do not include backlinks that are forced, irrelevant, or not educational to your followers.The key with backlinks is to make sure they are relevant to your content and fit naturally within it. They should be instructional and clearly support the purpose of your posts. If they have these qualities and come from authoritative sites, your own site will greatly benefit.

Moz has a few suggestions for getting backlinks without incurring Google’s wrath. You can ask people you know to link back to your blog, so long as they do so in a way that is natural and helpful to users.Look for instances online where people have mentioned your business without linking to you. Then ask them to link to your business. It’s a good idea to search for mentions on a monthly basis.

Something else you can do is use Google’s Search Console to find times when people have attempted to link to you, but the links are broken.Consider doing an event or a promo, especially one that benefits people. Then ask a journalist to write about and link to you. Check out HARO, a platform that helps journalists who need to write a story discover businesses who could help them out.If your company provides a service relevant to a story you find through HARO, you can connect with that reporter and get a link to your site.

6. Creating Poor Content

You do need to optimize your content for SEO, but you also need to create content that is high quality and educational. Creating strong content takes a lot of work, but doing so is important to increasing your traffic.Good content benefits your audience and builds your authority. The more niche your content is, the better your traffic will be.

It’s obviously best if you can choose evergreen topics. But besides having something great to say and saying it well, there are other ways to capture people’s attention. Make sure your titles are eye-catching and that your blog is well designed.Also make sure you’re regularly offering visual content, such as infographics and videos, which get a lot of engagement.

7. Thinking You Can Control Everything

As we said earlier, succeeding at SEO is not a formulaic process. Because certain aspects are out of your control, your results will have a degree of unpredictability.For example, the industry you’ve chosen impacts the level of competition you face. And the level of competition you face affects how hard it will be for you to rank for certain keywords.Some businesses will have a much easier time ranking than you will simply because you happen to be in a more challenging industry.

Guidelines, Not a Formula

How long does it take for SEO to start working? That depends, but you should see results within a year if you implement the strategies outlined above.Don’t neglect these crucial steps for increasing your traffic and promoting your business online.

6 Digital Marketing Tools You Must Try in 2018

I love this industry because digital marketing is always changing and there are always new tools to check! New tools open up new opportunities, offer new insights and inspire new tactics.

Here are six tools I intend to give a thorough look in 2018.

What are yours?

1. Topvisor

Topvisor

Topvisor is a newer tool in my marketing arsenal but it’s quickly becoming my favorite tool! I love their keyword research and grouping features and use them every time I plan a content strategy for a new client. It also has a nice rank tracking feature that updates me on all changes that need attanetion.

2. Netpeak Spider

Netpeak Spider

One of the most indepth and flexible web crawlers out there, Netpeak Spider provides smooth experience and lots of features. It automatically checks 50+ parameters and detects more than 60 SEO errors (including http status errors, canonical issues, Robots.txt issues, meta tag issues and more).

Netpeak Spider

It has 5 crawling modes (site-wide, directory, URL list, XML Sitemap and even from Google SERP). Each of them allows to perform certain SEO tasks, for example, by crawling an XML sitemap, you can detect 21 XML sitemap issues in 17 parameters and send the corrected sitemap files to the search engines.

It even has the ability to calculate your site internal PageRank giving your ideas if important pages of your site are not getting enough power internally.

3. Buffer for video

There’s nothing new about Buffer. It’s been around for quite some time now! So why am I including it in this list? Because Buffer never stops and their most recently added feature is a proof!

Buffer for video is the first product to allow native video scheduling to all the big social media networks. So: upload once, share everywhere.

Not in the video game yet? This stats should change your mind:

  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
  • The number of videos in Facebook feeds has grown by 360%
  • In the U.S., people are posting 94% more videos to Facebook
  • 50% of Americans who use Facebook daily watch at least 1 video every day

4. Slack

I am sure many of you are aware of Slack but few people know that it’s not merely about chatting and collaborating. With the ability to add bots, Slack has become one of the most diverse multi-purpose platforms.

The two cool bots to add:

  • Notify: Brings your brand mentions to your Slack feed. It serves as more of an ambient notification feed for these alerts and may inspire more team conversation than individual emails.
  • Statsbot: Brings Google Analytics stats to your Slack feed. Ask the bot about your stats and see the graphs and numbers right in the message thread.

Statsbot

5. Drip

It is no secret that I am not a big fan of Mail Chimp. I find their system overly bulky, difficult to use, and their policies are so unclear you can violate them by accident. I have tried a number of alternatives, but none of them were the simple, effective drip email platform I wanted. Until I found Drip.

It is a cool system that lets you create an easy sales funnel, in a visual way. While I don’t do direct sales, I have found the same principle applies to content promotion. My email campaigns have become much more effective thanks to this little gem.

Drip

Drip workflows seem amazingly easy and fun to set up. Here are options for automation systems and this one seems like a great one to add to the list.

6. Ptengine

ptengine

Ptengine is a great heatmap application, you can find out at exactly what point customers are choosing to leave your site. Isolating that point is crucial, so you can make the necessary changes to push them to the final step.

Unlike many other heatmap tools, this one provides much more insight than just a visualization. See referral information, track social media campaigns and engagement (page views, visit duration and conversions).

If you are planning a redesign in 2018, this is must-have tool to try! M-Connect Media also has a great guide listing more tools and tips.

And which tools are you planning to try in 2018?

How to Optimize the SEO of Your Landing Pages to Rank in Google’s Top 10

For the ideal customers, the landing page creates that first impression. It initiates their interactions with your business.Of course, there are several ways visitors can arrive at your landing pages. These include social media, display advertising, product launch direct referrals, and, more importantly, search engines (primarily Google).If you want visitors to take the desired action when they visit your landing page, you have to first make your page visible to search users. The reason why is that the majority of your target audience searches Google for information related to your business.Besides, several studies show that web pages at the first page of Google search results get a higher search traffic.Chitika search result position report % of Google TrafficUnfortunately, only a few web pages make it to the top 10 organic listings (it’s basically a fight between you and your competitors). In fact, most of them get replaced quickly.Why? There are several reasons. Maybe a Google algorithm changed and a previous SEO methodology isn’t working anymore. Or perhaps your website was penalized for trying to manipulate Google’s algorithm. The situation can be very frustrating.In this article, you’re going to learn the right SEO tactics that will allow you to rank your landing page higher on search engine’s results pages.

What Is a Landing Page?

Generally, a landing page is any page on your website that your website’s visitor lands on after clicking on your search results, social media posts, links, or ads.But to be specific, the landing page we are talking about in this context is a standalone landing page.It’s a landing page designed for a specific marketing campaign—for example, a promotional page for your newly released product. Here’s a perfect landing page from Copyblogger’s Authority Program:Copyblogger landing pageWith that out of the way, here is proven action plan to rank your landing pages in Google’s top 10 organic results.

Step 1: Conduct Proper Keyword Research

When it comes to keyword research, don’t scratch the surface—go all in.According to Nick Eubanks, a contributor at SEMrush:
Keyword research is at the core of the search marketing process. It is the absolute first item you need to address before doing anything else.
In other words, it all starts with keywords.It starts with keywordsSometimes you can guess your keywords—and you don’t have any problems. But if you want to be sure of what you’re doing and somehow predict your end result, guessing will limit you.There are a bunch of keyword research tools you can implement to know exactly what your target audience is using to find your business online.You can use the Google Keyword Planner tool. This resource is one of the best free keyword research tools out there. No matter what industry you’re in or what keyword research approach you use, you will spend most of your time using the Google Keyword Planner tool.If you’re not familiar with keyword research, here’s the step-by-step process:Log into Google Keyword Planner. Then navigate to the tools tab and choose Keyword Planner. The screen below will show up. Click the “Search for new keywords using phrase, website or category” option.Google Adwords Keyword PlannerNext, the page should expand to this:Google AdWords Keyword planner expandsGo ahead and enter seed keywords or a website URL to begin your research. If you’re targeting a particular location outside the U.S., you can specify that location as well.For example, when I searched for “loans” I found a bunch of keywords I can leverage to rank my loan-related landing pages. Notice the average monthly searches and suggested bids.Remember that if advertisers are bidding higher for a keyword, it definitely means that it’s a valuable keyword.Keyword search traffic for Loan search keywordsYou want to look at the search volume as well. A high search volume means more people are searching for that keyword per month.Once you’ve found viable keywords to target on your landing pages, it’s time to create long-form content that will answer users’ questions.

Step 2: Create Compelling Long-Form Content

With your keywords ready, it’s time for you to start creating your content. But you must deliberately create long-form content. Why?You must because Google seems to reward detailed and visually-driven content more than the short-form variations.What’s more, data from Backlinko reveals that long-form content ranks higher in Google’s search results than short-form content. The average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.Content must be 2000+ words to rank in Google’s top pages, according to this exclusive research by SerpIQ.SERPIQ research on average content length to rank in top 10Unfortunately, I see a lot of landing pages filled with a lot of images and little or no text at all.It’s worth noting that Google’s bot crawls written content easier than it crawls images.According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines: “Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. If you must use images for textual content, use the Alt attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.”John Sonmez understands the importance of producing long-form content for his landing page. Interestingly, his landing page is ranking at the first position for the keyword “How to learn a new programming language fast.” The content is not only long but also contains engaging images and testimonials to increase conversions.Google Search Results for How to learn a new programming language fastIf you want to enjoy organic rankings, you have to focus on producing long-form content. It plays a vital role in supporting other Google ranking factors—God’s truth.

Step 3: Optimize Your Content for SEO

It’s not enough to create long-form content. If you don’t optimize your content and your landing page, you’ll likely be ranking for the wrong keywords.However, this doesn’t imply that you should stuff the whole page with your target keywords. Use the keywords strategically when and where necessary.Ensure you include your target keywords in your landing page’s metadata (title tag and meta description).

Step 4: Build Links to Your Landing Page

Link building is an age-old SEO tactic that Google loves. Without the right links, you will not rank in Google.After creating your landing page, you need backlinks pointing to it to reinforce and strengthen the keywords. In fact, link building is the most important success factor in your professional SEO strategy.Link BuildingSo how do you go about building links to your landing pages?One effective way to do so is to create persuasive guest posts containing a link to your landing page and submit them to websites with high domain authority (DA) in your niche.I mention websites with high DA because link quality is also an important factor. Not all links are created the same. A link from Entrepreneur will make more impact than a link from a newly created website. With respect to using your network, you can also ask your friends in the same niche to link back to you.

Conclusion

While your email list and PPC ads can generate traffic to your landing page, you will be leaving a lot on the table if you do not optimize your landing page for search engines.The good news is, if you implement the tips that I’ve shared in this post, you could just find your landing page on the first page of Google for your target keywords. And if it doesn’t happen, keep at it.As usual, I’d love to hear from you. Which other techniques do you use to optimize your landing pages in order to achieve a higher Google ranking? Share your thoughts in the comment box.