- May 12, 2016
- by Pawel Kijko
- 14 comments
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the first steps small business owners should take to improve their website visibility. It makes the website easier to find and understand for users (and if those activities are successful, they can turn into potential customers). But it’s not the only advantage, search engines are not as smart as people, but they are still developing. And that’s why SEO is a hint for a search engines to notice the website faster.
Table of Contents
We want to introduce an Ultimate Guide To SEO dedicated to small business!
The most important factors which affect search results
Currently, there are more than 200 known factors that affect final website analysis and its position in Google search engine ranking. However, it is possible to mention a couple of most important ones – their optimization significantly contributes to increasing the website position in Google search ranking.
According to one of the most accessible research, here are the areas which determine search results:
- keywords (phrases) – words typed in the search engine, e.g., Google,
- backlinks – links from other websites leading to your website,
- Trust Rank – evaluation, which is familiar only with Google. It sets out how much Google trusts your website in search results,
- Title – the name of each subpage of the website which is encoded in source code,
- URL address – words in your website/subpages name,
- Time – a period since Google has to know about your website existence and since when it has been registered.
Each time when actions are taken, they should be compared with risk associated with website position and its value for Google ranking. Theoretically, only White SEO actions are in line with Google guidelines (they are not involved with any bans, global decrease, or algorithmic filters). Google defends against manipulation in search engine results by applying new safety features in its algorithm.
The proper optimization should be focused on SEO actions helpful in gaining new visitors to the website. Unethical methods would sooner or later reduce search engine traffic. There is a contractual divide between SEO actions (considering a risk associated with Google penalties): White SEO (small risk), Grey SEO (higher risk), Black SEO (the highest risk).
How to assess the quality of the website?
Checking how high is a website in search engine rankings by typing the chosen keyword is an excellent method to achieve online promotion success, but not the only one. The other features, which could increase the number of conversions, are:
- increase of website entries (using organic traffic, direct entries, backlinks from other websites),
- number of new visitors on site,
- number and positions of keywords the site is gaining (measured by paid semrush.com or Google Analytics, which is free),
- increase of conversion not from Google search results only.
Main online tools to measure SEO effectiveness
- Google Search Console – a primary tool that allows communication with Google. Alerts and data provided by Google Search Console are one of the significant factors which should be considered during website optimization. Those are, e.g., link indexing, links to the website, how comfortable it is to use for mobile users, private messages sent through the communicator.
- Google Analytics – it allows checking the recent state of site and its popularity, including the demographic of users, the number of users, conversion sources,
- Screaming Frog Spider – a tool which allows to find out the potential mistakes in “title” part, in internal linking and images and headlines optimization as well,
- Google Keywords Planner – a tool helpful in keywords prediction,
- Semrush– a tool which allows determining types and positions of keywords leading to the website,
- Majestic – an app that measures the quantity and quality of keywords leading to the site. It is used to track competitors’ activity as well.
- Copyscape – a tool that allows checking if published content wasn’t copied from anywhere and articles provided by copywriters weren’t copied from other sources.
- Piktochart – a tool helpful in creating infographics and simple graphics based on templates.
One of Google’s factors determining a substantive and practical website value for users is its adequate editing and moderating. It gives a website value and utility.
A readable content shared on the Internet, which is widely commented on forums, and social media, are the factors that affect Google Trust Rank in the first place (through the Page Authority given by Google), which causes the global changes in keyword positions. An additional advantage is content creation, which supports conversion rate increase. However, it’s quite tricky, because those articles are often treated as sponsored content, which decreases their objectivity.
The well-known methods of drawing attention
- issues which have never been previously described,
- emotions using,
- being an expert who should be confirmed in the next articles,
- openness and sensitivity,
- accessible data,
- big, readable photos that draw attention,
- a lack of hard sell.
An outline of a useful article
The following crucial features of an article should be planned and processed:
- subject – popular issues, niche subjects,
- title – informative: “Shopify promotional methods,” superlative: “Best free Shopify Apps,” explaining: “How to increase sales in Shopify store.”
- layout – a slideshow, an article with images, video with comments,
- writing style – objective, subjective, personally.
There are many different information sources on the Internet, and they affect the role of headlines. The most engaging are:
- the best and the worst, e.g., “The best Shopify reporting apps,”
- uncomfortable situations, e.g., “The most frequent mistakes in Shopify stores,”
- scandal, e.g., “I lost my sales in a day by Google mistake,”
- important issues, e.g., “Reporting apps for online stores,”
- money, e.g., “The most expensive Shopify apps – value for money?
- Big happiness, e.g., “I earned my monthly salary in three days thanks to this one trick in my online store.”
Guides and Lists like TOP 10, TOP 20, TOP 30, TOP 100, TOP 101
All types of guides allow raising many links from different websites. Titles should be engaging so that users could connect them with valuable content, a significant area of knowledge from the field.
Here are some of the headline examples:
- encyclopedia of basic terms for e-commerce web developers,
- a dictionary of marketing terms,
- a catalog of safe sources for your website traffic increase,
- a list of the best copywriters,
- a guide through the Presta system changes,
- a guide for a Magento store.
There are some features which can be useful when creating guides about Internet issues:
- content doesn’t need to be exhaustive; it just has to pretend to be comprehensive,
- details should be taken from reliable sources,
- if an article is ready, the author should contact people who are writing about the same subject. Messages should be personalized,
- it is fashionable to put some numbers in the article, informing us that there is more than one issue discussed. It prompts users to think this is a guide. One of the most popular items on the Internet are “TOP of the…”.
One of the most popular ways to create an engaging content are guides able to read them on a website or to download. The more valuable guide is, the more attractive it is for website users.
Creating engaging summaries is another way to engage people – especially infographics, which mean graphics where results of research, reports, presentations or others are shown graphically. They are much more precise than tables or charts.
Here is a list of websites where infographic submissions are accepted:
http://www.thecloudinfographic.com/ http://infographicpost.com http://www.omginfographics.com/ http://www.bestinfographics.co/submit-infographic/ http://infographaholic.com/ http://infographic.ca/ https://infographic-directory.com/ https://www.infographicsamples.com/ https://carbonmade.com/ https://flickr.com/ http://www.infographicsshowcase.com/ https://infographicjournal.com/ https://coolinfographics.com/ https://www.slideshare.net/ https://www.reddit.com/ https://imgur.com/ http://vi.sualize.us/ https://datavisualization.ch/ https://ilovecharts.tumblr.com/ https://app.photobucket.com/ http://deviantart.com https://www.infographicportal.com/
Link Building Methods
There are a couple of ways to build links which, given their specific situation, are not belong to the high-risk ones. There are couple of ways to make potentially safe links described:
- websites which belong to the family, friends or partners– it is advisable to get links from all the possible partners and people who are engaged with project,
- professional affiliate websites – mostly our integration partners and their websites or websites where we can potentially promote our app,
- places in Internet where competitors usually advertise their services are the possible sources of link building.
Image placed above shows all the main domains which are linking to competitors websites. A detailed list is a trustworthy source of link building and it’s able to download from majesticseo.com
Data collected in table number 2 show the possible places to promote a web app. There are domains where an app can be included (details are provided by majesticseo.com). Some of the websites will require additional descriptions. Some of them may require long reports or objective app summaries.
While the demand for high-quality and informative content is rising, you can immensely benefit from the best SEO packages for small businesses. Or, you can avail of useful guest posting services coupled with the best SEO strategies to rank higher in SERPs, boost sales and revenue – and thrive in the rapidly-evolving online business landscape.
Guest posting means publishing our own articles on other blogs, websites, industry portals and social media after asking their owners for a permission. This is usually a message sent to the owner or a poke on his social media (Facebook, Twitter),
It is advisable to mention an interesting content which has never been published before while contacting with administrator.
Articles should be engaging and unique.
According to netiquette they have to include a frame with author’s personal details and a link to his website (sometimes with a small piece of text). We should focus mostly on the administrator’s profits, not only on our website.
Only unique descriptions should be used. Articles written for blogs and portals as well as app descriptions published on other websites should be based on unique content, because it increases significantly the value of link. The places where links are published should also be diversified (homepage, “Partners” tab or in the article).
Google claims that links to website should appear in search engine randomly. If we would toss a coin 1000 times and get tails 10 times in a row, it would be approved by Google. That’s why we should remember about diversification and randomness while optimizing.
One of the possible guest posting methods is buying articles on Fiverr.com.
- first, you have to choose an offer (mostly from this category),
- Click “order now” and then choose the payment method. In “order details” you can choose optional services like premium quality images etc. Then you should click “proceed to payment”.
- make a payment,
- then you are able to contact with an author . Type the most important details like title, subject or keywords.
- an article is ready. You can accept it or request revision. It is worth to check it with Copyscape before.
Another way to promote is making engaging videos – short movies or webinars.
Website verification methods
- keywords matching – if a keyword used in the article matches blog keywords,
- the number and popularity of keywords leading to the website – it can be checked with semrush.com,
- the number and quality of links leading to the website – it can be verified with majectic.com (Trust Flow and Citation Flow under 15 means that website may be trustworthy)
- no signs of spam on the website – it can be seen in links placed in footer, text which is written in the same color as used in background (cloaking) or other methods forbidden by Google.
The most popular methods useful to boost a brand
- online voting contests – it’s a good way to build links, because participants often send links to their friends asking for voting for them using forums or private messages. The most popular subjects are the prettiest online store design, the most interesting case study about selling online,
- there is also a way to boost the brand by press releases. It affects the number of brand requests and creates authority as well, which can motivate people to link to the promoted website,
- research results – it would be advisable to carry out a survey, e.g., with 500 online stores about the indicators they usually track. Then the results should be published on an industry portal because it’s a way to reach way more people,
- link for an image – a good way to build links is by sharing images using Creative Commons license. It means that the image can be used everywhere, only if link to the website where it was originally published would be attached,
An appropriate e-mail construction increases the likelihood that the article will be published. Here are the features worth to suggest:
- proposed article is valuable and applies to what blog is about,
- a website to which article is linking is trustworthy,
- an email is written in person and to the person, so it shouldn’t be treated like spam,
- more than one subject is proposed,
- it’s objective.
There is also a method called Broken Link. It’s a process that consists of looking for subpages and 404 errors on them (a website cannot be found). Then it is advisable to contact the webmaster and to put your link there (e.g., a link to a blog article). There is a free tool helpful in finding broken links – Screaming SEO Frog.
How to write engaging e-mails?
There is an exemplary e-mail presented below:
I have recently found your blog in Google Search and I’m really inspired by the articles. The most interesting are the ones describing income growth using few proven methods in Shopify. We are producers of the Shopify application which is linked with this subject. On our website we’re also blogging about online shopping news, questions and answers.
Is it possible to make a guest post on your blog? Our app is quite popular among Internet users and Anna Henson, our writer, is one of the specialist writing about Shopify apps on Quora. That’s why I think we can say something interesting to your readers and share our knowledge and experience with them.
Wishing you all the best and looking forward to hear from you.
Correlation between SEO and Social Media
A strong relationship exists between search results, SEO, and social media. For some time, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles appear in search results. The most popular websites are Instagram, Pinterest ( mainly used for image posting), Reddit, Quora (questions/answers), YouTube (video).
Social media are also possible content distribution channels. If they generate website traffic, they are useful for SEO.
Link force depends on how the website treats a promotional profile. It means that the newest profiles, without any experience or points gained for creating valuable content or gaining the audience usually generate weaker links. They are typically visited less often. Comments with links are treated most frequently, like spam.
How should comments and forum posts look like?
- All the automatic activities like posting the same comments everywhere are usually removed by Google; comments should refer to the article or a thread,
- sometimes if better to publish a comment without link first. Then, if you will earn the author’s trust, try to post a comment with the link
- if your comment wasn’t accepted before, it doesn’t mean that it won’t ever be allowed; it’s quite likely that more extended and more valuable feedback would be accepted.
Google Search Operators
Using individual search operators on Google, you can find subjects you are interested in within personal websites, e.g. „site:blogspot.com Shopify” searches for all the subpages in the blogspot.com domain associated with “Shopify,” „site:quora.com Shopify” searches for all the subpages in quora.com associated with “Shopify.” There will be indexed articles in the results, of course.
SEO and time
Google delays accepting new sites in search results, as a result of fighting with spam. If a particular website hasn’t been updated for a year, it couldn’t get to the top. Everything has changed since 2009.
There are the following periods:
- 0-3 months – a massive website traffic should not be observed. The website can appear in search results after typing niche keywords or long-tail keywords. We should focus on valuable content creating instead of link building,
- 3-6 months – a website appears after typing quite popular keywords on pretty high search results. You can acquire some backlinks but only if they are valuable,
- 6-12 months – this is a time of thorough and consistent work. Results are sometimes impressive – a website appears at the top of search results.
- More than 12 months – a systematic website content creating and promotion gives us more significant opportunities in link building. Still, we have to remember to control how many websites are linking to our website.
If you’re new in the field, SEO efforts can take longer to manifest especially if you’re spreading yourself too thin handling other responsibilities in the business. In cases like this, it’s better to outsource the work to an SEO agency that has the expertise to audit your site and give you a proper timeline of when to expect results to show up.
The other promotion methods
It’s a method used for engaging app users to share their feeling about an app. It’s based on customers’ trust. It should be pointed out that websites where we can share submissions also allow us writing a review.
How an app is popular depends most often on website requirements.
An advertisement placed on the main page or top of the list will be more efficient for sure, which will translate to a higher number of downloads from pages like shopify.com. Additionally, scoring and the number of downloads as well show potential customers how the particular app is accessible, which affects their decisions and then conversions.
As a part of buzz marketing, we can:
- engage people to rate the app on other websites (e.g., via e-mails),
- affect their decisions through the communication, e.g., via live chat,
- motivate them with, e.g. an additional feature when the user confirms his rate on partner’s website.
Promoting in Google sponsored links is a popular, but also quite expensive method.
It’s divided into advertising in search results as well as in ad network (except for text ads, graphical and display ads are allowed) on websites which participate in Google Adwords.
Another way to engage people with the app is creating an e-mail campaign to all the people who may want to download app. An appropriate campaign should be based on following steps:
- Obtaining a customer base (via double click method), e.g. from Shopify administrators,
- Creating sales emails templates,
- Measuring the effectiveness of sales emails using A/B testing having regard to: open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, spam complaints and unsubscribe from email lists.
Participation in an affiliate program allows to convert from external websites. A potential customer can find an app on partner’s website. It’s settled by:
- cost per click – an advertiser pays for when a potential customer visit a website where download an app is possible,
- cost per lead – advertises pays when an app is downloaded,
- cost per sale – advertiser pays a commission for every sale.