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10 Tips To Boost Your Rank on Google Maps

A Google maps listing is essential for marketing your small business. It will help your business get seen by more people, differentiate itself from competitors, and bring new customers in through your door. And the best part is that it costs you nothing! However, you can only properly reap the benefits of Google maps if your listing is set up properly. Just because your business is listed doesn’t mean Google will automatically rank it.
 
Proximity is just one of several factors that Google Maps considers when creating rankings for listings. There are 10 things that you need to know to get your Google Maps listing to rank higher.

 

1. Claim Your Listing on Google Maps

After you’ve created your listing, which you can do by following a few simple steps, you must also claim it. What does this mean? In the process of creating the listing, you only provided a few details – location, name, category. But after you claim it, you’ll be able to provide much more information describing your business. The more info that your listing has, the more likely it’ll rank high. Besides, nothing else listed below will work if you don’t claim your listing first.
 
In order to claim your listing, you must already have a Google My Business account (it’s free!). With an account set up, you can just bring up your listing and then choose the appropriate option. Then, just follow the steps provided by Google. 
 
As this is helping with your Google ranking, this is SEO. You can always hire an SEO services provider to help you in getting things set up and running efficiently. 

 

2. Provide the Necessary Info in Your Listing

Once you’ve got a Google Maps listing along with a linked Google My Business (GMB) account, you are prepared to start optimizing for better ranking results. The first thing you should do to optimize is to include more information in your listing.
 
In your GMB account, check the “info” tab. You’ll see different things, including description, services, website, special hours/hours, attributes, products, phone number, service area (if it applies), category, and address. There are many ways to optimize these account sections to make your listing rank higher.

 

3. Get Some Reviews!

Keeping in mind that Google likes what consumers like, you shouldn’t be surprised that Google boosts the ranking of business listings that have great reviews. So what’s the best way to get more reviews?
 
When you add a new listing, it will become open to new reviews automatically.
 
However, that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get reviews. You must be proactive and ask your customers to leave reviews. For even better ranking potential, you should also respond to these reviews. 

 

4. Provide a Local Number

Google doesn’t like toll-free numbers (877 and 800) since they’re often used for spamming. Get yourself a local phone number that has the same area code as your business’s location. That way, your listing will rank higher, and it will show users that your store is indeed located where you said it is.  

 

5. List Your Store Hours

A Google Maps listing can inform visitors if your store is closed, open, will close soon, or will open soon. This information also becomes more relevant during this pandemic, as businesses can put “temporarily closed,” which is also important for SEO purposes. It’s important because Google will know you are still active and thus trustworthy, which will help to boost your rank. Keeping this information updated can also reduce the amount of people trying to visit your store during the wrong times (which could provoke negative reviews that can hurt your Google Maps ranking). This is another reason why outsourcing your SEO services to an SEO expert team could help you as they will stay on top of these issues to help your business grow.
 
Person holding smartphone looking up directions on Google Maps

6. Use Your Address and Name Consistently

If Google Maps doesn’t trust your business, then it won’t get ranked. What does this mean? It means that you’ll have to prove your trustworthiness. One way that you can do that is to make the info describing your store across the internet consistent. For instance, you want to make sure that the name of your business in the GMB dashboard matches the actual name of your business, with no variation. This name should also be the same on your other accounts on the web – including Facebook, Yelp, and other social media accounts. The same must be true for your address information (e.g., use either “st” or “street” for every address listing).

 

7. Add a Description for Your Listing

A business description should give a big picture overview to help visitors get acquainted with you. It should also include unique attributes that can work to compel visitors. The tone should also align with your branding to foster a stronger connection. Ensure that you add keywords as well since this will also help with ranking higher for searches containing your store name, services, and products.

 

8. Categorize Your Store Properly

When it comes to ranking, your listed business category is actually really important. First, you must choose the primary category. This should be the category that represents the main product or service offered by your business. You should then select any other categories that apply as secondary categories.
 
Remember that you can’t use custom categories. However, if you start to type your main product or service in the box, you will notice other category options appear showing the different categories that you can choose from.

 

9. Include Photos in Your Listing

Google likes it when people include photos in their listings. Firstly because it shows that your listing is active and worthy of getting ranked higher in search. Secondly, because Google has become better at recognizing photos and then including them in local search results. And finally, the general rule is that Google likes what the people like. People like photos. And if your listing includes no photo at all, people will instead see a boring map image next to your business listing. Not good!

 

10. Use High-Quality Photos

Therefore, to boost your rank on Google Maps, you’ll want to use the highest quality and most compelling pictures at your disposal. They should really capture what the typical shopping experience is in your store. If possible, you should try to add one new picture every day.
 
If keeping up with your Google Maps and Google My Business account seems like too much, consider hiring an SEO services provider like Salt Rank. Our SEO team can help to build your GMB profile and keep it regularly updated. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

Top Engagement Strategies to Grow Your Business Online

There are many engagement strategies and online marketing services to help you grow your business online. Two of the best strategies for engaging with potential customers involve blogging and social media. In this blog post, we’ll take a deep dive into these two methods and how you can utilize them effectively.

 

Blogging

Blogging is not only a great way to create engagement with your target audience, but it’s also great for your website’s SEO.
 
As most of us know, SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s all about getting the best results from organic search terms relating to your website.
 
But if you’re new to internet marketing, then you may not be aware of the different ways of how blogging helps your website’s SEO.
 
It’s important to know the basics, so let’s go over them now.

 

1. Blogging Helps Keep Your Website Current

Maintaining a website that’s current and up to date is essential for SEO. Why is that the case?
 
Well, think about it from Google’s point of view.
 
Google is the most used and popular search engine in the world, and there’s a good reason for that; Google has some of the highest standards for how websites are ranked in the search engines.
 
This means that they will only rank your website on page one if they feel that it would provide a good experience to visitors.
 
A website without content is a website that can’t be trusted. There could be various reasons why a website isn’t updated with new content. It could have gone out of business, or the information could’ve been proven false and then retracted.
 
But whatever the case may be, Google isn’t going to rank a website highly without a blog, nor will it rank a website highly with a blog that isn’t updated regularly.

 

2. Blogging Keeps Eyeballs On Your Website Longer

How does the time visitors spend on your website affect your SEO? Well again, let’s look at this question from Google’s perspective.
 
The longer someone stays on your page, the more this signals to Google that your website is helpful.
 
But suppose someone leaves the page quickly (aka a bounce). In that case, this sends the opposite signal – that your website is either of low quality or that it doesn’t properly address the searcher’s concern.

 

3. Blogging Is Your Key To Unlocking The Potential Of Long Tail Keywords

Did you know that half of all searches are long-tail keywords?
 
If you don’t already know, long-tail keywords are simply keywords that are longer – about four words or more.
 
Compared to more competitive and shorter keywords (for example, “microwave oven”), long-tail keywords (such as “how does a microwave oven work”) have the advantage for most businesses.
 
Since most businesses don’t have the SEO authority that big brand name websites do, they should try and rank for long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are often best suited for targeting more serious buyers anyway.
 
So how does blogging help your website’s SEO when it comes to long-tail keywords? Well, blogging is the best way to use long-tail keywords on your website.
 
For instance, it’s difficult to incorporate long-tail keywords on a product page. But a blog, on the other hand, can give you the ability to target any long-tail keyword that you choose.
 
In short: with long-tail keywords, who you want to target to bring to your website is all up to you! And that will be a much better engagement strategy for you to grow your business.
 
Man outside looking at smartphone

Social Media

Social Media is the king of online engagement and ultimate online marketing services. In the past 15 years or so, we have seen a rise in social media platforms. We can do so many things with social media, including promotions of businesses. What can social media do to benefit your small business?

 

1. Builds Your Brand

Your brand is key when it comes to your business. Who are you? What is your business? What do you do? What can you offer your customers?
 
It’s good to communicate all of these in your social media channels, so potential customers know who you are and what your business actually does.

 

2. Builds Relationships

Since social media is interactive, this is a great way to build relationships with your customers. This is a great platform for customers to easily communicate if they have issues they need to talk to you about or suggestions for your business. (Maybe even some compliments!) You can easily reply to your audience’s comments or Tweets within seconds, which brings people back for more. 

 

3. Creates Loyal Customers

Staying engaged with customers on your social media channels can really make a difference in your business. Suppose someone is angry with your service and posts an angry comment on your social media posts. In that case, you can reply to it immediately and resolve the issue.
 
It’s better to confront the issues and solve them rather than ignore your customers’ problems. According to research done by Harvard Business Review, customers who receive quick responses to their comments or Tweets are more willing to spend more money with the said company later on, especially if the company responds in five minutes or less.

 

4. Boosts Sales

No matter what you’re selling, social media can help you sell it. It’s easier to promote your business. You can have your friends share your posts to their personal social media, and it’s a great way to show off your products or services. Being able to communicate across platforms, share posts quickly and share to a large audience really benefits small businesses when it comes to sales. 

 

5. Cost-Effective Marketing

It’s free and easy to sign up for social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. These sites have features where you can purchase sponsored content to help promote your business even more. Although, you can easily promote your social media accounts and business for free with some extra work, such as word of mouth or contests to share your business. 
 
Advertising is usually relatively cheap on each of these social media platforms, so you can purchase the advertising and marketing you need within your budget.
 
So what can social media marketing do for increasing engagement? It can increase brand awareness, create new customers and promote your small business to audiences worldwide!

 

What Are Core Web Vitals and Why Are They Important?

Google is one of the leading companies in internet technology and innovation. The company also hosts one of the most reliable search engines on the internet. Many websites rely on their search engine rankings to gain more visitors, popularity, and visibility on the internet. To increase these rankings, website developers use different marketing techniques such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) to gain better rankings in keyword search results and show up more often on search engine results.
 
Some website owners even hire expert SEO services to manage their website optimization. Even if this move costs them some money, this will increase their chances of making more profits due to improved search engine rankings. Having an optimized website and showing up at the top of keyword searches is a good way to make the most out of your resources.
 
Recently, Google announced a new project that will help website owners promote their websites by showing a high score in the user website experience. Today, the page experience of a website may be evaluated based on several factors such as usage of HTTPS, the effectiveness of the mobile version of the website, number of pop-up ads, and safety in web browsing.
 
Google now plans to add a new factor named “Core Web Vitals” in determining a website’s page experience. Google also stated that they are giving time for websites to learn more about this new factor, and they will be giving out the tools needed for improving these vitals. Before worrying too much about improving your website vitals, let us first break down these Core Web Vitals and understand each contributing factor.
 
Man on laptop looking at search analytics

Breaking Down the Core Web Vitals

The Core Web Vitals may be classified into three different factors: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These factors represent different characteristics of a website, and each of these can greatly affect user experience. Each of these factors is discussed below:
 
 

1. LCP

Largest Contentful Paint refers to the time it takes for a website to load a whole new page upon clicking a link to another website. A user’s satisfaction may be greatly affected by loading times since a website that takes too long to display its entire content causes impatience for the user, disrupting their attention span.
 
LCP also considers how quickly the user can interact with the website upon loading. There are several tools available online in measuring LCP, such as Google Pagespeed Insight, and Google also produced guidelines regarding LCP.
 
For a website with “good” LCP, it only takes 2 seconds to load a new page, while a website taking 4 seconds is classified as “needs improvement,” and taking 6 seconds or more means the website has “bad” LCP. Basically, a website needs to load a new page in less than two seconds to satisfy the users.
 
 

2. FID

First Input Delay refers to the time it takes for a website to respond when a user clicks a link, a button, or types characters in a word box. Basically, this means that this is the time it takes for the website to interact with the user, and it is usually measured in milliseconds.
 
Google also provides a guideline for measuring FID. A “good” FID is usually measured at 100 milliseconds while “needs improvement” and “poor” measures at 300 milliseconds and 500 milliseconds, respectively.
 
FID should only measure in milliseconds because if the reaction time of a website per action takes a second or more, it will surely receive bad reviews from users.
 
For websites that contain articles and blogs, FID is not something to worry about too much since most of the FID occurs when scrolling through the webpage. But for websites that have a lot of menus, extra pages, fill-in dialog boxes, buttons, and other elements that require user input, FID will be an important factor in determining the user’s experience. After all, they will interact with these sites a lot more compared to the previous example.
 
There are some ways to reduce the delays between the user and website interaction and improve FID for a website. One method is by removing third-party scripts that are non-essential to your website. These additional scripts add to the website’s processing time and can be removed to improve FID.
 
Another way is to minimize your JavaScript and use browser cache. By reducing the JavaScript, it takes less time to load a new page and lets the user interact with the new page immediately upon loading. Adding a browsing cache also helps speed up this process.
 
 

3. CLS

Cumulative Layout Shift refers to the stability of the elements of your website as a new page load. If the elements in your website get rearranged or misplaced during loading times, then your website has “high” CLS. This causes inconvenience for users because objects may sometimes overlap each other and cause them to click other links and buttons. CLS must be minimal so that the website elements will remain in place while the page is loading the rest of its contents.
 
To minimize the CLS, you must set the size attribute dimension of the objects on the website, such as images, videos, and other media. This sets a certain amount of space allocation for each object, so the website will know how much space each object will take up every time the website loads.
 
Also, allocate enough space for advertisements to have enough space to be displayed properly. Otherwise, the website may miscalculate the space allocation and the advertisements may cover other objects and elements of the website.

 

Core Web Vitals will surely make a difference in a website’s ratings, and search engine rankings once implemented in the upcoming months. Even if your website has expert SEO, these factors will now be a standard for website developers and may even dictate how much your website can profit.

 

5 Best WordPress SEO Tips for Beginners

Today, online visibility is very important for a company that is just starting out. Having a website for your company is very useful in dealing with customers and promoting your services and products. It also shows that the company is capable of growth and is knowledgeable in expanding their business online, thus showing potential to be bigger in the future.
 
A company that has its own website is also ahead when it comes to managing assets and work. It enables the company to store and process data online and delegate their work remotely to their employees.

 

The Importance of a CMS

Having a Content Management System (CMS) is one of the most efficient ways of managing your company’s website. A CMS helps users build and create their own websites without the need for coding or in-depth knowledge in programming languages. It can be used as a tool for editing and creating content to be displayed on your websites.
 
A popular content management system these days is WordPress. It began as a blogging website when it was founded way back in 2003, but it has quickly evolved into a tool that helps users create their own websites.
 
Websites such as BBC America and Time.com are all managed and created using WordPress. WordPress also has a community that helps each other out with different website-creating problems in this open-source platform.
 
This shows that WordPress is indeed a powerful and useful tool that can create different types of websites aimed at different types of ventures.

 

The Importance of SEO

Another important factor in managing your websites is knowledge in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is basically the different practices and techniques done during the optimization process. These techniques match a search engines’ algorithm on keyword searches.
 
Matching these algorithms helps increase your website’s incoming traffic and views by ensuring that your website will be prioritized during keyword searches in search engines.
 
Websites that are shown first during keyword searches are most likely fully optimized websites using SEO techniques.
 
Even if WordPress allows you to create a great website for your company, there is still a need to optimize the website using SEO to make the most out of your website. The strength of a website lies in its online visibility and ability to manage incoming and outgoing traffic. To make your website a big hit on the internet,  you can look for an SEO services company to help you get started on your website.
 
If you are a beginner in search engine optimization and website creation, here are some tips that will greatly increase your WordPress website using SEO.
 
SEO search engine results page

1. Secure a Good Internet Provider

A good internet connection is one of the essentials in getting high network traffic for your website. Having a faster upload speed has a direct impact on the SEO performance of your website.
 
If your site does not immediately accept incoming traffic, it may affect your visibility in search engine results, and the incoming visitors will decrease over time. Always choose the provider that offers a higher upload speed, even if it will cost you a bit more money since it will pay off in the long run.

 

2. Use a WordPress SEO Plugin

An SEO plugin is also helpful when creating your website on WordPress and optimizing it. The plugin will not necessarily make your website more optimized, but it will help you make the process of optimizing your website a lot easier. It will be a helpful tool that will guide you when optimizing your website on WordPress.
 
These plugins are safe from viruses and do not consume too much memory, so it is okay to download them onto your website. There are many free plugins available, and it is easy to install them right through WordPress. You can also consult an SEO services company to know more about this.

 

3. Choose a WordPress Theme Suited For SEO

WordPress lets you choose a theme for your website from its default choices. You can choose any of them for your website but take note that some themes contain scripts that actually slow down the response of your website to incoming traffic.
 
Additional designs, images, and other digital content may add to your website’s image but always consider if your website can still handle the added effects along with processing incoming and outgoing data.
 
These scripts may take too much time to be processed and affect the upload speed of your website. There are ways to check if the theme you are using slows down your upload speeds, so be sure to look into this when selecting your theme.

 

4. Set Up a Custom URL for Your Website

A website’s URL may also affect the visibility of your website on search engine results. For websites made on WordPress, there is an option that allows you to edit the URL to your preference. Remember to make the URL as unique as possible and include the main keywords related to your website’s content so that it will match the algorithms of different search engines, thus increasing the chances of your website showing up first on search engine results.

 

5. Optimize Your Title Tags & Meta Descriptions and Make Them Unique

The title tags and the meta descriptions are also important SEO factors. These are the words usually seen first by users, and it gives them an idea about the content of your website. This means that you must optimize these statements so that they will help in matching the algorithm of the search engines.
 
It helps to add keywords in the title tags and the meta description and make them as engaging as possible. This will attract curious users and will take them directly to your websites and earn you more visitors.

 

Optimizing a website on your first try is not as difficult as it sounds. All you need is WordPress, some SEO techniques, and a creative approach to making your very own optimized website. 
 
Just remember that SEO takes time. You will not see an immediate improvement. So long as you continue to build on your SEO strategy and keep up with it, you will see your efforts pay off over time.

 

 

How to Choose a Digital Marketing Company

There are plenty of digital marketing companies out there, but how do you go about choosing the best digital marketing company? Here are some of the most important factors to consider.

 

How Does Their Office Look?

Consider the overall atmosphere of the office. Do the employees seem happy, or do they seem cranky? This is important to consider because an unhappy employee is more likely to abandon your project, and you’d have to hope that they have a replacement who is just as skilled.
 
 

Are They Being Transparent With You?

Pay attention to how they answer your questions and if they ever give you suggestions about how to accomplish your goals. Are they just saying “yes, we can do that” to all of your questions, or are they presenting you with different options for success? A team that doesn’t just answer yes to everything will likely be able to help you discover better ways of reaching your goals.
 
 

How Long Have They Been Around?

This is an important question to consider for many reasons. One, the digital marketing industry is always changing. Many of the latest bleeding-edge strategies are still relatively new concepts, or the ideas have been built upon extensively in recent years.
 
During your search for the best digital marketing company, you may find that many companies haven’t been around for very long. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s still important to know how to differentiate the rubies from the duds. One way to do this is to look more closely at the people running the show – the company’s key personnel. How long have they worked in the industry, what do they specialize in within the digital marketing industry? Most importantly, do they have the background knowledge and skill needed to execute your project successfully?

 

Have They Worked With Clients in Your Industry?

Ask them if they’ve worked with clients who are in your industry. You should not necessarily expect the clients’ names from them, but you should be able to get some work samples. And if nothing else, they can share their stories of successful marketing campaigns with you. If they do have clients in your industry already, then that’s a good sign that they have knowledge about your line of work. Another good question to ask is if they’ve worked for any major companies. If so, that’s another good sign, as it shows that some of the big players trusted them enough to handle their marketing strategy.
 
You are free to ask any questions you like about their past work, but don’t feel put off if they can’t reveal certain details about past projects – they’re likely just protecting their clients or adhering to an NDA.
 
Company meeting everyone smiling and laughing, happy

How is Their Work Quality?

Speaking of the company’s work, let’s talk about quality more specifically. Their low prices might initially attract you, but what’s behind those rosy prices? Are they indeed a knight in shining armor, or just another bandit out for a quick buck? The point here is that the quality of their work is the most important thing to consider. Look at their website, look them up on Google, and check out their social media pages. Looking at the company’s self-promotional marketing materials is a fine thing to do, but what’s more important is to see a portfolio of the work they’ve done for their clients.
 
 

How Do They Speak With You?

How they interact with you is important to consider since you’ll also be building a relationship with the digital marketing company you choose to go with. Are they using a lot of technical jargon to try and make themselves sound smarter than they really are? Or are they going with the common sense approach of explaining technical words so that a prospective client can understand them? A digital marketing company that takes their time with you to explain everything will be much nicer to work with.

 

Where Are They Located?

This is one of the biggest determining factors for how much their services will end up costing you, so it’s an important factor to consider. Prices can go higher or lower depending on location. For instance, an agency on the West or East coast will likely charge more than an agency in the Midwest.
 
In the end, it’s usually better to work with a local digital marketing company. With a local company, you’ll likely have meetings at least once a month (or at the very least once per quarter). Therefore, the location of the company can be essential to consider in terms of logistics for meetings. Although, it depends on how often you’ll be meeting. If you’d like to have frequent meetings, then take that into consideration so it will be more convenient.
 
If you’re considering a digital marketing company that isn’t local, then that’s fine too. After all, we now live in a much smaller world thanks to technology connecting us all together. Video calls will be very useful for holding your meetings, and it’s the second-best way of getting to know the people you’ll be working with.

 

Set up a Timeline of Goals and Milestones 

The purpose of doing this is mainly so that everyone’s on the same page and stays focused on the same goals. Furthermore, along the way, they will surely need specific informational assets from you, so the timeline will remind you to provide them with these so that they can meet your deadlines. Also, you can request progress reports that include relevant data showing the current progress of the project.

 

Conclusion

That just about wraps up all the key points you need to know when searching for the best digital marketing company. In the end, this advice is more relevant if you understand what you require for your digital marketing strategy. You should at least have a budget in mind. Any company worth working with will explain to you what they will be able to do with your budget and whether they can make it work or not.
 
If you’re comparing digital marketing companies and are curious about how we do things here at Salt Rank, you can contact us on our website anytime or by phone at 816-533-4417. We look forward to hearing from you! 

 

How to Use Google My Business Effectively

Google plays a significant role in the success of hundreds of online businesses and companies today. Gone are the days where large tarpaulins and newspaper ads influence your physical store’s sales and customers. Now, you need to establish visibility in the world wide web, specifically on Google, for your business to thrive.
 
Most online enterprises know that to gain targeted visibility, your company must:
 

  • Create social media campaigns.
  • Create and optimize their website.
  • Do SEO or search engine optimization techniques to rank high in search engine results pages.
  • Develop media relations.

 
These are just four of the many methods out there that you can use to broaden your virtual reach. But as the market becomes competitive, you also need to step up your game.
 
One way to do that is to create a Google business listing or a Business Profile by making a free Google My Business account. Yes, you heard that right. It’s free!
 
Here is everything you need to know about Google My Business and how you need it to optimize your Business Profile.

 

What are Google My Business and Google Business Profile?

To be clear, Google My Business and your Google Business Profile are two different things.
 
Your company’s Google Business Profile refers to your business listing on the website. It is the one that appears on Google’s search engine results page and Google Maps whenever an individual searches for your company.
 
ANYBODY can create a Business Profile; it could be the business owner, a random internet stranger, or an automated business listing generator. Google just needs the business’s name, location, category, and voila–a Business Profile is made.
 
Once a Business Profile is up (whether you know about it or not), consumers can then leave reviews and comments about the business, ask questions, answer queries, and even add photos. Further, it can include any information that Google pulls in from websites across the world wide web.
 
For business owners, having a Business Profile without their knowledge can be quite horrific. Anyone can put anything in there, even misleading information and answers. Prospective customers and loyal ones may search your business and see the unruly information and photos on Google. One look at it, and they may decide to look for another store that seems more legit and responsive.
 
So, how can you solve this nightmare? By creating a Google My Business account. A Google My Business account will give you access to your Google Business Profile. You can customize, enhance, and optimize it to boost its visibility and effectiveness.
 
As with traditional SEO, your listing should include specific keywords and phrases so Google can pick those up and feature your business on the SERP’s first page, preferably at the top. 
 
Google search showing Google profile on listing

4 Ways to Optimize Your Business Profile Using Google My Business

Now that you can access everything in your Business Profile using Google My Business, it’s now time to optimize it to convert more customers and boost your ranking. Here are four smart ways on how you can do that.

 

 1. Complete Your Business Profile

Consumers search for a specific business or shop because they want to know more about it. So, do them and your business a favor by meticulously filling all and every section of your Business Profile.
 
This includes your store’s basic information like its name, address, contact details, website, and operation hours. Some sections need more time to complete, like your products, services, and pricing, while others need to be updated on an ongoing basis like posts, reviews, and questions.
 
A complete Business Profile allows you to rank higher in local Google search results. Further, it lets customers know more about your business. It will serve as a basis for them to choose your store over hundreds of others because they saw the 5-star rating other consumers left on your Profile.

 

 2. Perform SEO

Besides websites and pages, Google also ranks Business Profiles. Use the right keywords and phrases to fill your business info, and Google will place you within its top 3 results once users search for a targeted keyword.
 
Here are some smart tips on how you can perform local SEO for your Business Profile effectively:
 

  • Make targeted information. All information you put in your Business Profile is important–your “from the business” description, answers to user queries, review responses, updates, and posts. So, make it worthwhile by incorporating relevant keywords (that you want to rank for) into these sections.
  • Provide quality information. Complete your Business Profile and make sure to provide quality information on all of them. Keep everything up-to-date and accurate. Tell Google that your business is active by frequently publishing posts and recent photos through Google My Business.
  • Build trust. You can build trust by rendering excellent services and encouraging your customers to leave an honest review.


 

 3. Get Reviews and Respond to Questions

Customer reviews highly impact the choice of other consumers. A business listing with 4-star ratings and great reviews will likely get picked rather than those without reviews.
 
Google also knows this; that’s why they also consider customer reviews and ratings in ranking Business Profiles. 
 
So, start encouraging your consumers to leave a review and solid rating. You can do that by:
 

  • Simply asking them to. Research suggests that 62% of customers will leave an honest review when asked. So don’t hesitate to do so through email, text, or in-person conversation.
  • Make it convenient by sending the review link to them or posting it on your social media accounts and website. You can also generate a QR code and post it in your physical store.
  • Respond to reviews, even to the negative ones, so customers will see how transparent you are as a company. Also, this is an excellent opportunity to include relevant keywords in your responses.
  • While you’re at it, make time to answer user questions and queries. Bring them the information they want because, more likely than not, it’s one of their deciding factors in choosing a store.

 

 4. Review Key Insights

Lastly, do not forget to check the Insights sections in your Google My Business dashboard. It provides you with the analytics part of your Business Profile. There, you can view customer actions (e.g., the number of users who visited your website or clicked for directions) and local SEO performance.
 
Further, you can see what keywords or queries were typed by users to find your business listing. Also, you can view how your photos and profile are faring against other competition.

 

What to Look for in an SEO Provider

SEO Is Essential for Your Business

Around 90% of people only go through the first page of Google search results. What does this mean? It means if you can find an SEO company that knows what they’re doing, they have the potential to help your business reach new heights.
 

How to Find the Right SEO Company

Finding the best SEO company can be more complicated than it appears at first glance. The first page of Google is full of companies that claim to be the “best SEO company in x location.” 
 
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a company that lives up to its promises and without breaking Google’s rules with bad SEO (which would ultimately hurt your business). 
 
So here’s how you can find the right SEO firm for your business:
 

  • Rather than relying on Google to make your pick, talk with your friends and business partners to find the best SEO firm. 
  • After you’ve narrowed down your choices, evaluate whether you’ve set clear goals.
  • Next, create KPIs  (key performance indicators) to measure those goals.

 
Choosing a firm that knows how to effectively communicate regarding your KPIs is crucial for a long-lasting and effective partnership.
 
The most important thing though is don’t mistake SEO for a buzzword. SEO is a process that can make or break your brand. So it’s essential to find the right SEO company. Let’s go into more detail about how to do that below:

 

 1. SEO Is Not Easy

SEO is difficult, which means it’s often misunderstood. This misunderstanding can lead to less knowledgeable people talking about it in abstract terms – as if it’s magic. If anyone claims that they have a unique insight into Google’s algorithms, or if they heavily emphasize the mystique surrounding SEO, then they are probably not honest actors. 
 
Good SEO practices require the following three things:
 

  • In-depth knowledge of how the search engines function
  • Attention to detail
  • A willingness to adapt and make constant changes. This is necessary because Google’s algorithms shift on a near-weekly basis.

 
Also, taking shortcuts such as cloaking, purchasing links, and stuffing in keywords will result in search engines demoting your site. These techniques are known as Black Hat SEO and they violate the search engine’s rules. When Google’s bots learn that someone is utilizing these methods, they lower the website in the search rankings, decreasing the amount of organic traffic the website receives.

 

 2. Layout Clear Goals and Choose a Firm That Can Help You Accomplish Them

First things first, don’t hire an SEO firm if your only goal is “increasing organic traffic.” Organic traffic can come in many different forms, so increasing it doesn’t automatically mean your revenue will increase. Ranking for unrelated search terms won’t do your business much good, either.
 
To avoid any unintended results, you and your team should plan out exactly what you’re looking to achieve with SEO. Here are some common goals: 
 

  • Do you want to boost your product sales by ranking for specific keywords? 
  • Or are you trying to reduce your website’s bounce rate and increase conversions? 
  • If it’s about increasing ad revenue, then would you prefer to have a wider audience or a more tight-knit community that spends more time (on average) on your website? 
  • Or perhaps you want to build your own social media following, create sponsored content, or engage in other activities that go beyond just SEO.

 
Regardless of which SEO firm you choose, be sure that you know what you’re looking for and the services you’ll need in order to succeed.
 
Woman sitting down on smartphone

 3. Find an SEO Firm That Aligns With Your Goals

After you’ve laid out your objectives and limited your choices to just a few firms, you’re almost there. You must ensure that the company you work with can clearly map out your progress along the way. In other words, what is your definitive end goal for ranking for those particular keywords?
 
Before settling on an SEO firm, it’s essential that you and the company are both on the same page with your KPIs. These metrics can be applied to nearly any part of your business. They can also refer to different aspects of SEO. For instance, a business with the latest product will have different goals than an older business with a more established customer base.

 

 4. Prioritize the Right KPIs

Speaking of KPIs, they can go much further than is necessary. Basically, it’s easy to get lost in all that data if you don’t narrow down your focus. And you don’t want to waste time and resources tracking the wrong KPIs. Therefore, it’s essential that the SEO firm understands the most valuable metrics for your business and condenses the data into easily digestible information. 
 
Here are some KPIs that are important for most businesses:
 

  • Page loading times
  • Website cleanliness (Google Bot crawling)
  • Ranking of different keywords
  • Conversion rates
  • Organic traffic

 

 5. Ensure That Your SEO Firm Is a Good Communicator

While you should have access to the same tools that they use to measure KPIs – Google Analytics, SEMRush, Google Search Console, etc., you still probably won’t have the time to analyze all available data. That is why you should work with an SEO specialist team you can trust and easily communicate with.
 
There is more to KPIs than that. Basically, there is an abundance of data that’s easily available to you, so it’s easy to get lost in it and waste time tracking the wrong KPIs. What this means is that it’s essential for your SEO firm to understand what metrics are most important for your business. That way, they can present that information to you in a way that’s easy to digest.
 
Remember that SEO is a long-term process, which means you could be working with this firm for many years. Even if you intend for the partnership to be a short or temporary thing, meeting your organic website traffic goals will still take patience, time, and a good working relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Prepare Your Digital Marketing for the New Year

Digital marketing has drastically changed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach another year, you need to note these changes and consider them when charting your new digital marketing game plan. By looking at the critical facts and anticipating another wave of possible changes, you will be closer to implementing the best marketing strategies.
 
Planning takes a lot of work, and implementing is even more difficult. But with your wise decisions supported by carefully considered factors, you are for sure on the right digital marketing path. In this post, you’ll get to see how marketing evolves on a strategic level and what specific trends you need to look out for next year.
 
To develop an effective plan, contemplate how your short-term goals can influence your business in the long run. Focus on the importance of statistics, research, trends, and data to grab opportunities when strengthening your digital marketing strategy.
 
Here are a few tips on how to prepare your digital marketing for the new year:
 
 
 1. Determine Your Goals and Objectives

Knowing what you want to accomplish ensures that you won’t get lost while achieving your objectives. Marketers are more likely to get stuck at a certain point when there isn’t a clear set of goals and objectives.
 
Evaluate the results of your annual performance and use them to create a more effective plan and strategy. Since digital marketing is evolving quickly, what may be good and useful today can quickly become outdated and not work at a future time.

 

 2. Provide a World-Class Customer Experience

Customers keep on coming back when they have a seamless experience with your service. This helps you build a positive business culture, making people feel important and satisfied. But the question is, how can it be possible to gain customers even without convincing them?
 
The answer to that question is the quality of service you will provide. With that being said, you have to make sure you keep an eye on website optimization first.

 

  • Make access convenient and friendly – More and more people are using mobile devices. When it comes to searches, you have to make sure that your website allows mobile viewing.

 

  • Add a chatbot to your website – Chatbots are available anytime to answer queries from customers. It has been proven to be very efficient and cost-effective.

 

  • Optimize voice search – This is another convenient way to help customers with their concerns. It is practical and helpful, especially for busy people who have no time to do text-searching. It would be best to have an updated Google My Business profile to ensure that your business is optimized for voice-based search. An updated GMB profile means your business will be included in Google results.

 

 3. Widen Your Social Media Presence

Get a feel for what resonates most with social media audiences by publishing a compelling set of topics. It is challenging to boost your social media presence when you don’t have many followers yet. This limitation can be remedied because there are tools for different platforms to help you spread the word about your business. These include tools such as Facebook Insights and Instagram Stories. In Facebook Insights, you get to know the statistics about your posts’ interactions. You can then determine where your audience comes from. Meanwhile, Instagram Stories are perfect for showing customers why you have a relatable brand.
 
Another way to reach your target audience is to hire influencers. Look for influencers who have followings that are likely to be interested in your products and services. These influencers don’t need to have millions of followers, as it won’t be cost-effective. Micro-influencers are best for this arrangement since they have a hold on a specific market niche.
 
Digital marketing team looking at computer and one person pointing at laptop screen

 4. Increase Traffic Using Quality Inbound Links

Inbound links are backlinks or hyperlinks that connect one web page to another. Link building is a great way to improve search engine ranking. Never overlook the importance of an inbound link if you want to rank on search engines and be at the top spot. Just always remember that what counts here is the quality of inbound links and not quantity alone. An authoritative or recognizable website can help you meet this goal since most people trust a reputable website that produces high-quality content. High-quality content is considered such when it’s relevant, unique, and creative.
 
 

 5. Consider Video Advertising

Videos are compelling when they have creativity. It can influence and persuade many people about their buying decisions. Having a video advertisement gives you a chance to tell your story and build a connection with prospective clients. The cost can be high when producing videos but rest assured that the benefits will exceed the expenses when it fulfills its purpose.
 
 

 6. Consider the Effects of Adblockers

Ad blockers filter out advertisements, whether it’s paid or organic. Many internet users rely on these blockers to avoid being bombarded by multiple ads. Given that, if you are running a pay per click campaign, users surely won’t see your ads. Regardless of how well designed and intelligent your marketing strategies are, it’s of no use when people won’t see them. To resolve this, you need to think of another way to reach your target audience by exploring other marketing channels. For instance, email marketing will bring you closer to your prospective customers. In this highly personalized method, you obtain a higher return on investment and reach a wider channel.
 
Marketing tactics are changing, and the best way to keep up is to be incredibly flexible. In order to become successful, there’s a need to adapt to change and be open to continuous improvement. The methods you have created during a calendar period might not suit the new trends in the next calendar year. So, don’t settle too much in your existing strategies. Try to assess and, if necessary, reinvent. The progress that results from well-planned digital marketing drives the whole industry forward.
 
Need help managing your digital marketing efforts? Reach out to us today and learn more about how Salt Rank can help your business grow online!

Help Your Business Succeed With These 10 Quick SEO Tips

Amidst this coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have now opted to go on online platforms since physical distancing is strictly implemented. 
 
Many stores have been closed since it is not cost-efficient to keep them running due to the limited number of customers, and the bills just keep coming. So, it is better to set up your website and make the necessary transactions online.
 
The first thing to know in setting up a website is advertising your page. With millions of pages up and running today, it is challenging to make your website known and visible to the public. To help improve your website’s visibility, you need to know about SEO or Search Engine Optimization. 
 
Basically, SEO increases a website’s traffic by raising the possibility of being seen by a search engine, using keywords in your website content that matches a keyword search. If your site is fully optimized, it will increase the possibility of showing up first in search engine results, thus gaining you more customers and popularity. 
 
Knowing these SEO tips for small businesses will surely help you start your path in the online market:

 

 1. Decide on the Type of Website

There are many types of websites used by businesses. Your website can be an online shopping site, a service provider website, a publishing website, etc. Also, having a website name related to what type of business you are doing helps in getting a match in keyword searches.

 

 2. Use Significant Keywords in Online Content

As you fill up your web page with different content, you may also need to add several statements or paragraphs describing your page. It helps to use keywords related to your business in these paragraphs so that the search engines will also capture these keywords and put them up in search results.
 
Also, make sure to write original content. Duplicate content from other web pages dramatically decreases your chances of showing up first in search engine results. Be sure to write original and unique content for your website with the right keywords to attract your customers.
 
 

 3. Add Keywords in Image Captions

For business websites that are selling products online, images are the most critical factor in selling your product. Since the customer may be wary of the actual quality of the product, it is vital to provide high-resolution images of the product.
 
One of the most essential things to do is adding captions to these products with the right keywords. If properly done, your product will be one of the first images to show up in a search engine result, if you match the search result’s keywords. This will also add more traffic and views to your website. The product description must always be clear, without any unnecessary words.
 
 

 4. Make Sure to Put Significant Keywords in Links

Your website will have a unique address, for example, https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2016/04/13/30-quick-and-easy-seo-tips-for-small-businesses/.
 
This is an example of a good website link. A search for “SEO tips for small businesses” will inevitably lead the customer to this website since the link has keywords matching the search result.
 
If you can predict what the customers will input in the search engine, you can use that to your advantage and try to match your website link’s keywords to the most common keywords used by the customers. 
 
Also, avoid using shortened links composed of random letters and numbers since it will be hard for the search engine to match it with the keywords used for the search.

 

Salt Rank SEO Keyword Research Content SEM

 

 5. Link to Related and Relevant Websites

At first, your website will start off small and will be limited in visibility. To further expand your network, you can start by adding links to your page to other more prominent websites. It may be hard at first since it will benefit the other site at first, but once you get a few clicks to your own link, you will start to get more traffic, and it will show up more in search engine results.
 
Make sure your link looks as trustworthy as possible since there are too many malicious sites trying to bait customers into clicking their links. We also advise you to post your links only on trustworthy and reliable websites.
 
 

 6. Improve the Usability of Your Homepage

Your homepage will be the first to greet your online customers. Make sure that it is user-friendly and appealing to the eyes. Make sure to include all the necessary keywords in texts so the search engine can quickly locate your website.

 

 7. Write Articles on Product Comparison

Many customers are always comparing which product is better as they browse through the internet for product reviews. Making articles on product comparison is a great way to capture the interest of customers, especially on products that are trending and are the latest on the market.
 
By using keywords such as “Which is better,” “vs.,” “product comparison,” “what to buy,” etc., you can ensure that the search engine will show your articles in the results, thus redirecting the customers to your website.
 
You can also add links to the articles for online buyers if they want to purchase your product. This is also a great way to increase your sales.

 

 8. Always Write New Blog Posts

There are websites with blog sections containing topics about their products and other related matters. Adding this section to your site will provide you more chances of hitting a match in search engine algorithms and therefore increasing the traffic to your website.

 

 9. Use Proper Header Tags When Designing Your Website

Search engines such as Google often show a small preview of the website at the top of the search results. This preview will help the customer decide if visiting the site is worthwhile or not. If you properly structure your website using header tags, it will be easier to attract the customers to your website since you can easily show that you have what they are looking for.

 

 10. Consult With an SEO Expert or Learn It Yourself

Many people who are just starting in online businesses have no idea what SEO even stands for. To be successful in the world of online businesses, one must be fully equipped with knowledge on how to conduct their business online. For new business owners, it may be better for them to consult an SEO expert if it is their first time transitioning to online platforms.
 
Many websites have increased their sales just by knowing these SEO tips for small businesses. It is important to take every advantage you have in this competitive world of commerce.

 

Why Optimizing Your Old Blogs is Important

Maintaining a blog can be taxing at times as trends on the internet change every single day. What’s in last month may be old school in the present. Consequently, what was previously generating you hefty prices might be getting stagnant now. This is why you need to know how to optimize old blog posts

 

Optimization is the key to achieving success in terms of reachability to your target customer or audience; however, coming up with brand new content for current blogs may be time-consuming to do. It may also cost more due to the manpower and research that goes with it. Then, after all the effort you’ve put in, it just gets little to no traffic.

 

Historical Optimization may help you save time, money, and effort wasted in creating new content but with the advantage of spending less on all the mentioned factors. This inbound marketing strategy involves updating or revising your old content to get more traffic and attract more clients. If you’re skeptical, here are some points to convince you about the importance of incorporating Historical Optimization into your business blogging routine: 

 

 1. It Costs NOTHING

Generating new blog posts and all your time spent formulating ideas and data costs money.

 

However, rewriting old ones costs you zero cents and can even give back tons of traffic, which means potential profit for you and your business.

 

All you have to do is update any outdated details in your blog. This includes:

 

  •       rechecking for accuracy concerning the current date when it’s going to be posted
  •       updating or adding new images
  •       optimizing keywords
  •       updating internal links
  •       adding subheadings
  •       reconstructing readability if necessary

 

You just have to revise and update the entire content piece for better timeliness and relatability. Afterward, you can keep track of how it is doing by calculating its conversion rate. If it does not perform any better, you can always improve the above steps mentioned. It will only cost you effort, and not a single penny, so it’s always worthwhile. 

 

 2. How to Get Started

In a report made by HubSpot, they concentrated on knowing what exact keywords people use in searching for posts they are looking for specifically. After figuring out the keywords that ranked highest for such topics, they used it in their past blog posts to boost their reach and searchability.

 

This resulted in them having an increased conversion rate of 240 percent per post, which encouraged them to do the same for their other 12 posts. The results produced a double number of leads compared to what they initially generated.

 

Using this technique not only allows you to increase your post’s traffic but also lets you find organic and sincere clients that may soon be paying customers, as your post comes up with what they are exactly searching for. 

 

Salt Rank Computer Blog Notes 

 

 3. It Gives You the Right Amount of Content

Readers can only read a limited amount of content per day. Some may even be content with reading only on a blog post about a certain topic. Optimizing old blog posts to be relevant again in the present may allow your content to be on top of the search engine and reach your target audience without you having to churn out as much content as possible.

 

The supply of content gets too overcrowded while at the same time, the demand is static. Constantly reaching out to the audience with new content might just be seen as inappropriately fitting into a huge crowd. Through historical Optimization, you’ll gain no wasted effort and time from trying to leverage new content. It lets you settle with just the right amount, with the maximum possible conversion.

 

 4. It Maintains Relevance

Change is constant, and with every tick of the clock, the content market is getting stricter. Statistics show that over 87.6 million affiliated blogs are published through WordPress each month. Given this strict competition, it might sound impossible or like too much hustle to constantly come up with top-performing content.  Strategies improve, tips and tricks differ, and niche trends vary. But one thing is for sure, meeting your current audiences’ taste means going with the flow of relevancy. Who would rather waste a second on content that is not timely? To retain relevance, you can do the following historical optimization techniques: 

 

  •   Refresh content from a few months, or two years ago. High-performing blogs from this time bracket might just need a little shine on them to regain their sparkle. Since they are not that old yet, they require lesser historical optimization. Just sprinkle a few up to date details.
  •   Lengthen shorter content. Short but concise might have worked well for you a year ago. Still, your previous content might have benefited from more information now. Perhaps, the list of top airbrush makeup products last year only reaches five, while a newer number is introduced now. You can provide those updates and provide more value to your audience.
  •   Update year-specific posts. Posts with a year in their title generate high traffic because, of course, of relevance. But while they might serve as effective prize pigs, they grow dusty quickly too. Fortunately, it won’t take you a single sweat to optimize them. For instance, your blog titled “Why Invest in Real Estate in 2019”, might still have the same possible details in them, and thus, it only needs a title to revamp. 
  •   Add valuable keywords. In-depth keyword research is the key to improving your SEO potential. By finding out the most valuable keywords for your content, and optimizing their density, you can regain value with your post and possibly rank up in the search engine results. 

 

Takeaway

Learning about Historical Optimization may boost your business and blog posts interactions and engagements, albeit using the simplest tricks available. At Salt Rank, we believe that every business has a chance to grow and be marketed in an impactful and meaningful way. With us, you can discover efficient marketing and SEO programs that can take your business to the next level. 

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