Select Page

Practical White Hat SEO Techniques that Get Results

consistent, compelling contentThere are far too many people who believe that SEO is all about getting one over on Google, or tricking them into higher rankings. It’s not.

In fact, SEO is much simpler and when used properly, extremely effective. SEO is really about creating content that people want and that satisfies their search intent.

When you look at SEO in this way, it will make it easier to understand and execute white hat techniques. By avoiding spammy tactics, you can publish content that is focused on the consumer and that generates results.

Tips that will help you discover what people want and then use that information effectively can be found here.

Use Keyword Research to Determine Content Demand

When you do a bit of keyword research, you will be able to find out what topics are most commonly searched and stumble on search language that is being used that you may not have known about. This is important because if you are in a particular industry, you may be using industry-specific jargon that the average consumer would not know or understand. If this is what you focus on, your results are going to be less than impressive.

However, if you use the language your customers are using, your content will show up in the SERPS. This is also the ideal opportunity for you to begin implementing long tail keywords that your customers will understand and create content that they will actually be interested in reading.

The Do’s of White Hat SEO

There are several important “rules” to follow when using white hat SEO tactics:

  • Do – select target keywords that are somewhat popular. The ability to rank for these will be based on how competitive your site is. Be sure you are realistic about the competition level that you can take on and still get results.
  • Do – be sure to include target keywords in the right places – this includes body content, alt images, title tag, URL, etc.
  • Do – use additional keywords that are related to the target keyword in the body of your content.
  • Do – use the selected target keyword as anchor text of internal links for new content.

What Not to Do

When it comes to white hat SEO, there is a fine line between white hat and black hat – avoid going over the line by using this important don’t:

  • Don’t – go for quantity rather than quality. Producing more low-quality content is going to hurt you in the long run.

Answer Your Searchers Questions

The good news is, you don’t have to be a technical genius to get results from SEO efforts. Much like other marketing disciplines, thinking like the searcher can go a long way.

When thinking like the searcher, consider:

  • What are they looking for?
  • What types of problems are they looking for solutions for?
  • Are they seeking advice or searching for something to purchase?

In most cases, search intent will fall into one of three categories:

  • Make a purchase
  • Find a solution
  • Learn something new

When looking at different keyword opportunities, be sure to consider whether or not the person who is doing the searching wants to learn something new, find a solution or make a purchase. The actual phrase that is entered will reveal quite a bit about their overall intention.

When you take some time to think about SEO from a practical standpoint, it really makes a lot of sense. Use techniques that are geared toward your user so that you can answer their questions and make sure that your website appears as close to the top of the SERPs as possible.

Ready to write content that satisfies and educates your readers? Contact us today! We’ll help you get started!

What Does SEO Mean Today?

The acronym SEO shaped label on price tagFor the longest time, Internet marketers considered Google to be THE search engine. Every business SEO marketing campaign targeted keywords to become one the highest ranking sites on Google. However, the Google algorithms have changed and Internet marketers are in a rush to keep up. It can be both confusing and challenging.

Many marketers still are not aware of any changes and cannot figure out why their website is not ranking higher in Google. Ryan Stewart, a digital marketer and web and SEO expert at WEBRIS, recently wrote an article explaining why he stopped selling SEO services. Stewart pointed out that when you initiate a search on Google, the top ranking results are not sales pages or business website home pages. The results are reviews, listicles, or content-rich articles.

The Google algorithm is basically giving customers what they want – the ability to:

  • learn more about a product
  • compare the product to similar products
  • read what other people think about the product

Although the customers are able to get what they want, marketers may be confused about how to go about getting noticed again. There are a few ways you can make SEO work for you despite new algorithms.

Google Is Not the Only Search Engine

Google has become a way of life for many people in this digital fast-paced world. However, there are actually other search engines. Bing and Yahoo are frequently used for searches. But were you aware that sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, eBay, Yelp, and LinkedIn are all search engines? There are many more and the most important take-away is the fact that your community (tribe or following) are using these search engines/platforms.

Where Are All the People?

You can still use SEO, but you need to be strategic about how and where you place keywords. You need to establish the places your prospects are using for research and ideas. If you are a recruiter, you may find most of your tribe at LinkedIn. If your prospects are working mothers, your community can probably be found on Facebook and Pinterest. To stay relevant, you must get away from the notion that SEO marketing is all about the Google rankings. It is about the value you can give the people.

Valuable Content

Valuable content will trump spam keyword articles every time. Your prospects value high-quality content-rich articles. People get excited about useful information, especially when it might help a friend. This content becomes highly shareable and increases your chance of the content ranking high in search engines all through organic search. As people like and share your content on Facebook and Pinterest, they are virtually displaying the effective method of word of mouth.

Paid Advertisements May Be the Way to Go

Stewart points out that just like Facebook generated paid ads for monetization, Google may be headed in that direction, too. When you inquire on a topic, the search results page will list reviews, listicles, and content. But, it also lists paid advertisements with a button that reads “Sponsored” or “Ads”. These ads may be paid ads or PPC. Just remember the trust factor. If you have not built a relationship with the prospect through your web presence, they will have no reason to choose you over another vendor.

SEO may feel obsolete, however it is not. Google is still the most popular way to search. Narrow down your target audience and research what platforms they are using. You will want to establish a web presence and optimize your website to attract the right people for your product or service.

CTA3

How to Write SEO Meta Descriptions

canstockphoto3754889SEO meta descriptions are the small search snippets found on search engine results pages. They give a brief description of the article and allow Google and other search engines to scan for relevant keywords. This is a great way to increase your website traffic by describing the content.

The purpose of the meta description is to give a brief preview of the article so the searcher can decide to click through. The meta description for each page should be unique and optimized with a keyword or long-tail keyword phrase. Moz, a software as a service company (SaaS), states that a meta description is typically between 150 and 160 characters and measures the width in pixels.

Using SEO Meta Descriptions

If you craft a powerful meta description using persuasive and creative copy, Google will bold the keywords on the search engine results page (SERP). The keywords do not impact Google rankings anymore, not since 2009, but the bolded words will catch your prospect’s attention. The goal is to get your prospect to click through to your website. This action will increase your click-through rates, and possibly your conversion rates, all from an organic search.

Copywriters use certain strategies to craft a persuasive meta description. The following is a list of a few of these strategies:

  • Write persuasively with an active voice. Use a call to action to tell your prospect what you want them to do. For example, “Discover the 5 Ways to End Heartburn Today – Grab your copy of our free report.”
  • Give your prospect the benefit they will receive when they read your article in the meta description.
  • The meta description should be creative, but accurate. Do not oversell your content just for a click-through. It will only increase your bounce rates when your prospects leave your site disappointed.
  • Knowing your target audience will go a long way in writing concise needs-based copy.

Google will not allow quotations to be placed in a meta description. Moz suggests that if your snippet must contain a quote, then use just single quotes so it is not deleted automatically. You do not want the search engines truncating any part of your snippet as you want to try to appear on the first page and above the fold on SERPs. Most people do not look at page two or even scroll down below the fold on SERPs.

SEO meta descriptions shared on social media sites like Facebook must be compelling. If no description is listed, Facebook will pull one from the article’s text. This piece of text may not be powerful enough to lead to click through.

Writing a Meta Description Is Not Always Necessary

Crafting a meta description can increase your click-through rate and possibly, your conversion rate. However, there are times when a description is not necessary on your part. If the content is large or complicated, the search engine can create one for you. The newly created meta description will highlight keywords and long-tail keywords that are relevant to the search. The only problem with this service is that the text used will probably not be persuasive enough for click-through.

Do not use keyword stuffing in a meta description. Keyword stuffing refers to the technique of using an inordinate amount of keywords to try to gain higher search engine rankings. If your description (or your content) is flagged for this, you can be penalized and your website banished. It is better not to have any meta description listed, than to resort to keyword stuffing.

Writing SEO meta descriptions is just like writing any other content. Practice and hone your craft and your click-through rates will increase over time.

SEO: Beyond the Written Content

Digital InstinctWhen most people think of search engine optimization (SEO), they think about the writing aspect of it. It is true that quality writing that utilizes the proper keywords, while still sounding natural, is important, but another layer of SEO is equally as important. This technical aspect of SEO needs to meld perfectly with the creative aspect of SEO in order to create a site that really shines… and that ranks well in the search engines. Digital Instinct is doing a wonderful job when it comes to the behind the scenes aspect of SEO and making sure it conforms to all of the current standards and we’re proud to partner with them as their resource for the written content their clients require.

What About the Algorithm Updates?

Anyone who has been working with a website and blog online over the past few years knows that Google has been making some rather sweeping changes to their algorithms. These updates have caused some companies that utilize black hat SEO tactics as a means to get around the rules to lose their ranking. Digital Instinct keeps all of the SEO work they do on the level, meaning their clients do not have to worry about Google docking their rank and punishing them. They know what Google wants and they make sure their client’s sites are always on the search engine giant’s good side so to speak.

Your Company Is Unique

Your company is different from all of the other companies out there, even if you might be in the same field. Your site is different, and your needs are different. Naturally, this means your SEO requirements will be different, as well. Rather than choose a company that offers a cookie cutter approach to SEO, you need to work with a company that is capable of providing you with a unique strategy customized to your business. This approach is one of the things that help to set Digital Instinct apart when it comes to their SEO services. They consider your company and the things that make it unique, as well as what you really need. This helps you get the best return on your investment.

Is the Plan Successful?

How is your SEO plan doing? If you don’t have the right company helping you who can actually track the success of the plan, you’ll never know. You’ll never know if you are actually getting a good return on your investment, and you will never know if you need to make changes. Unfortunately, many supposed SEO experts work in this manner. They never really let you know just how well or poorly your site is doing. Digital Instinct makes sure to provide detailed reporting so their clients always know how their plan is performing, and this reporting is ongoing. Clients never have to guess.

Innovation and Adaptation Are Vital

Another aspect of SEO today is the ability to innovate and adapt. Keeping up with the changes necessary and being able to think outside of the box are important. This is true from the technical aspects to the writing.

Let’s face it, understanding the intricacies of SEO is not easy, even for those who have been running their own sites for years. The changes that keep coming through the web make keeping up difficult. It makes sense to start working with companies that can help you with the various aspects of your search engine optimization. Just make sure you make a good decision and choose those companies that offer the best value for your money. Let them do the hard work for you so you can get back to the business of running your company. You will be happier that you do not have to deal with the headache.

The New Age of Copyright Protection: Google Authorship

HiResPlagiarism has plagued mankind for as long as the written word has been in existence. Since the first author put quill to parchment, there have been those out there who seek nothing more from life than to take that information and re-bundle it under their own name, promoting it as their own original work. It’s theft, plain and simple, and it’s been a thorn in the side of authors, writers, poets, playwrights, and more for a long time. Today is no different. However, there is a new solution to deal with plagiarism and to protect your copyright – Google Authorship.

Copyright Protection in the Past

Once upon a time, there was no such thing as copyright, and intellectual rights to a work were not even a glimmer in the mind’s eye. Content was shared freely, and there were no owners, only originators. In fact, it was common practice during the middle ages for other authors to take one person’s work and embroider and expand on it, creating something different and then passing it along. It was great for those who didn’t write, but bad news for those who wanted to actually earn a living from their creation. Obviously, if you can’t own something, you can’t make money from it. Most writers never made a dime from their publications – they sought out patrons who would pay them to write specific items, but their general or personal work went unpaid.

Eventually, the concept of intellectual ownership arose, which was good news for creators (both of visual and written art). The first copyright law was created in 1710 in England, although it was very limited by today’s standards. From that point, the concept of copyright and the protections granted to creators evolved over time. Eventually, the modern concept of intellectual ownership arose, and a creator’s works were protected by copyright law automatically, as soon as the content was written.

That’s a wonderful concept, but it’s a difficult thing to enforce, particularly in our digital age. With the rise of the Internet, plagiarism has also seen a significant increase, so much so that Google has had to enact numerous algorithm changes to help block and demote sites that use duplicate (plagiarized) content. If standard pre-Internet copyright law isn’t enough to protect your content, what is a creator to do in this digital world? The answer is to use digital tools. Google Authorship is such a tool. However, it’s not a failsafe, and it won’t prevent people from nabbing your work and claiming it as their own. What good is it, then? Let’s take a closer look.

What Is Google Authorship?

In a sense, Google Authorship is a content registration and tracking solution. It doesn’t keep someone from copying your blog post and slapping their name on it for use on their own website, but it does give today’s authors a way to crack down on those engaged in such activities.

Google Authorship is tied up completely with your Google ID and membership with Google Plus (G+). In order to register as an author with the search engine giant, you’ll first need to create a profile on the network. Don’t worry; it’s simple and easy to do, and it costs you nothing. You don’t even have to interact on the network if you prefer not to do so. The important thing to understand is that setting up your account will allow you to link any content you create to that account, giving you the means to track it.

Creating Google Authorship

There are several steps you’ll need to follow to create Google Authorship and begin protecting your original content on the Internet. As mentioned, the first step is to create a G+ account. However, there’s more you’ll need to do:

  • Create a professional G+ profile, including a paragraph about you, and a professional profile picture. Google insists that you have an actual photo here, because in order for your account to be trusted by viewers, it needs to appear legitimate.
  • Make sure you’re using the same name on your G+ profile as you’re using to tag your content online. If you’re inconsistent with the names you use, Google will have no way to link content back to your profile.
  • Open your profile page and click on Edit Profile.
  • Add the URLs of all the websites and blogs to which you contribute beside the “Contributor to” heading on the edit profile page.

If you need additional help setting up your G+ profile or Google Authorship, you can get it from Google.

How Does Google Authorship Protect My Work?

Simply put, Google Authorship does not protect your work. It merely associates your work with your name, as long as your work is appropriately tagged with your matching byline (written by John H. Smith). If that content is copied and shows up elsewhere online, Google tracks it and lets you determine who is using it and where. From that point, you have several options available to you, including contacting the owner of the site where the work is now appearing and requesting they remove it.

Other Benefits of Google Authorship

Google Authorship offers a number of advantages, including the benefits of spreading your content to a much wider audience. Because Google implicitly trusts those with Google Authorship, any content you create and link to your account becomes preferred by the search engine in its searches. That gives you greater prominence in the search engine results, more readers and potentially greater success with your online endeavors.

Creating your account takes virtually no time at all. Aggregating your work from various locations online will take a bit longer, but it’s well worth the time invested to reap the rewards offered by this new program. As a note, make sure you’ve optimized your account correctly with keywords appropriate to both your content and your online persona. Doing so makes it easier for Google to rank you higher in search results.

If you’re looking for help with your blog and don’t know where to start, Words You Want can help. We offer blog management services that will ensure content is posted regularly, helping you to drive traffic and keep your customers informed.

3 Ways Words You Want Provides You Higher Quality Content

The acronym SEO shaped label on price tagThe past couple of months have been a whirlwind. In fact, the past few years have been a bit of a whirlwind if you look at all of the changes that Google has made. The thing about this industry is that all of our clients have the same goal: moving up in the search engine rankings. The problem is that Google keeps changing things and it feels like we’re changing directions and our services every other month.

The more things change, the more we have to adjust as a business. This is really true of any online business. For Words You Want, we are always looking for ways that we can make it easier for our clients. Our main goal is to make content creation easier for you simply by us writing it for you, but we also strive to stay on top of the changes in SEO so that the content we do write is Google friendly so to speak.

So, without further ado, here are three things that we do at Words You Want to ensure we’re providing you high quality content.

#1 Staying on Top of the SEO World

This sounds pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many writers out there are writing SEO content and haven’t got a clue about SEO. We regularly read the blogs and news of sites like Moz.com (we’re actually Pro members), Search Engine Land, Copyblogger and more.

#2 Guaranteed Unique!

Duplicate content has been a plague to the Internet and we’re committed to ensuring that our content is Copyscape clean. To ensure this, we created a program that utilizes Copyscape to scan every article that we place in our Dropbox folders. The plug-in scans the documents automatically to ensure that all content is unique before it is sent off to the client. Surprisingly, there are actually writers who don’t even have a Copyscape account! How do they know for sure they are providing unique content to their clients? We do this for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.

#3 We Provide Our Sources to You

Unless clients request otherwise, we provide and cite our sources in every article, blog and eBook that we write for our clients. This not only ensures that you can see we’ve done our research, but it also utilizes a new and important aspect of SEO – the co-citation.

Now that anchor text importance is virtually non-existent, co-citations may actually be a key to getting recognized and if you’re linking to a reputable site, there’s a chance that they will link back to you. Additionally, by linking to authoritative sites, you’re sending positive signals to Google and good websites link to other good websites.

If you’ve got a project you’re in need of, don’t hesitate to contact us.