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SEO tools to boost SERP rankings

Marianna Muscat - Wednesday, June 2, 2021

One of the most important goals of digital marketing is to boost search engine rankings through creative SEO strategies. There are several ways to do this, and the various methods are being constantly improved upon. While it is important to improve SEO rankings organically to a certain extent, by developing strong, relevant content, you can also use a variety of tools to help push your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Let’s take a look at five of the best SEO tools currently available.

SEMRush SEO toolkit overview

SEMRush is a well-rounded toolkit for the overall management of digital marketing platforms. It contains tools that enable you to manage content, conduct competitive research, manage social media and carry out strategic and precise SEO strategies. The SEO component can be used to conduct market research and competitive analyses on your closest competition. You can get accurate reporting on what your competitors are doing with regard to rankings, keywords, and other factors, and develop your own SEO strategy accordingly. The toolkit includes several useful functionalities, including site auditing, position tracking, keyword research tools, backlink analytics, and more. 

Google search console overview

The Google search console overview provides the best way for you to track your SERP performance at a glance. It gives you a summary of all the most important metrics, including search performance, index coverage, and mobile usability metrics. Using this high-level overview, you can get an accurate picture of your performance and the areas in which you need to improve.

SEO Spider overview

SEO Spider was developed by a UK-based website search agency called Screaming Frog. It enables you to “crawl” through web pages and extract key information for SEO analysis. It is highly user-friendly and compiles and presents complex SEO information in a way that is easy to understand and interpret. Analyzing web pages with SEO Spider helps you to create and modify SEO strategies for best results.

Majestic SEO tools overview

Majestic SEO is a tool that specializes in link analysis. If your main aim is to analyze and understand backlinks with respect to your website, then Majestic SEO is the tool you need. In fact, Majestic claims to have the world’s best backlink checker. Unlike other tools on this list, Majestic SEO is not a comprehensive, all-in-one SEO tool; it is exclusively dedicated to link building. You can analyze your backlinks and devise a strategy to build more – and better – links. It measures backlinks with five different metrics: Trust Flow, which measures the quality of links to a particular website, Citation Flow, which measures the number of links connecting the website, Visibility Flow, which helps you find editorial-style links on sites with high Trust Flow rankings (as opposed to simple, directory-style links), and Topical Trust Flow, which measures the site against others with similar subject matter.

Moz Pro overview

Moz Pro is a comprehensive SEO toolkit with a range of functionalities for analyzing and improving SERP. Open Site Explorer and Keyword Explorer are two of the tools offered in the Moz Pro package, and they are particularly good for addressing the main issues of SEO. These tools enable you to gain valuable insights into your rankings and boost your SEO efforts in a strategic and targeted way. 

WSI New Media Marketing is a full-service digital marketing and search engine optimization company in Greensboro, North Carolina. Contact us for expert help with your SEO, social media, and other digital marketing tactics and strategies.

Digital marketing expectations for 2021

Marianna Muscat - Tuesday, April 13, 2021
digital marketing

Thanks to the unexpected changes in the global economy during 2020, commerce, particularly retail, is taking a direction we could not have foreseen a year ago. Digital marketing is adapting to keep up with these changes, which is why you can expect to see the following key trends in 2021.

Marketing trends predictions and expectations

With the rapid growth of online retail and virtual platforms during the lockdowns of 2020, what can you expect to see from digital marketing in the next few months? Here are just a handful of the trends we expect to dominate the coming year:

  • Short-form videos are set to dominate social media. People have developed a much lower tolerance to boredom over the past year. They want content they can consume quickly and without the effort of reading, which is why short videos are becoming the best way to reach your market.
  • New privacy laws will change the way you target your audiences: California’s new privacy laws, signed into state legislation in 2020, are set to act as a blueprint for similar regulations in other states and at the federal level. These laws, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), give consumers increased rights and protection when it comes to their online privacy. Online marketers will not be able to target them as easily as they did formerly and will have to adapt their tactics. It is recommended that you acquaint yourself with your state’s privacy laws and shift your tactics accordingly. You should also start creating messaging that explains the value of data collection to your customers.
  • Automation will grow in both implementation and efficiency. Automation is here already, but it will become more efficient and sophisticated and will be adopted by more and more marketers, quickly taking over the digital marketing mainstream. You will be empowered to convert leads, generate personalized content and track your results more accurately.

Why will short-form videos dominate this year?

The growth in popularity of platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat is proof that the global market, in general, has an appetite for bite-sized pieces of video content that communicate their points quickly and in an entertaining manner. Marketers looking to capture a large, younger audience will have to start creating content for these types of platforms. Doing so effectively will become an area of specialized marketing expertise in its own right.

User privacy protections – a new marketing challenge

The new legislation in California, and the laws like it that are likely to follow throughout the country andlimit marketers’ ability to collect data as they did before. Automatic background data collection will become a thing of the past, and all information gathering will have to be done with the audience member’s express consent. Naturally, this means that marketers will have to develop ways to solicit that consent while respecting customers’ privacy and keeping them informed of their rights.

Marketing automation and personalization practicalities and affordability

Marketing automation and personalization are becoming the only ways to do digital marketing and social media marketing in the coming year. You may wonder what it will take to make the necessary adaptations.

Marketing automation platforms are nothing new, but they are rapidly developing in sophistication, with new features and add-ons being developed all the time. These developments are likely to pick up speed in 2021. The customer journey is becoming more intricate, with numerous touchpoints and metrics. Marketing teams will have to automate their analytics and responses to keep up. Outcomes and return on investment cannot be predicted and tracked manually anymore.

Automation is closely linked to personalization because the more you seek to create personalized communications for individuals and market segments, the more you will have to lean on machine learning to help you understand and speak to specific customer needs. Personalization and automation are thus growing together. You will not be able to personalize without automation. Customers will not engage with your content unless they can see its personal relevance. You will not be able to convey those personal messages across large audiences without automated gathering and interpretation of data.  

WSI New Media Marketing is a full-service digital marketing and search engine optimization company in Greensboro, North Carolina. Contact us for expert help with your SEO, social media and other digital marketing tactics and strategies.

SEO trends and statistics predicted for 2021

Marianna Muscat - Monday, April 5, 2021
SEO trends

Like all aspects of digital marketing, SEO does not stay the same for very long. Each year brings in a new set of trends, and you need to keep on top of them if you want to ensure that you keep up and improve your search rankings. Let’s take a look at some of the SEO trends and statistics emerging for 2021.

Compelling marketing and SEO statistics for 2021

To get the best idea of how digital marketing and SEO are changing during 2021, consider the following stats:

  • Between 2019 and 2020, 95% of organic traffic on Google in the US came  from mobile devices. Thanks to this, Google and other search engines have gone mobile-first in their ranking criteria. You should do the same with your SEO.
  • Voice search is on the rise. In 2020, 16.8 million voice search devices were shipped by Apple, Google, Amazon and others. This means you need to create more content for voice search and make better use of long-tail keywords.
  • Video content can boost your search engine rankings by as much as 157%.
  • 30% of mobile searches are related to location, which means optimizing your content for local searches is essential.

A broad overview of SEO statistics

The above statistics are just a few of the indicators that show us where SEO is going in 2021. In terms of implementing strategies for increasing your rankings, these stats mean the following:

  • While SEO for searches on desktop and laptop devices is still as important as ever, optimizing content and design for mobile is a critical goal for all companies in 2021.
  • If you have ignored voice search and video up to this point or treated them only as occasional add-ons to your SEO strategies, you need to know that you can’t afford to do that anymore. These two aspects of SEO need to move increasingly into focus over the coming year.
  • The best SEO comes from specifics: location-based searches and long-tail keywords that will serve both text and voice search functions.

SEO trends to achieve favourable marketing results

What are the SEO experts doing in the coming year to take full advantage of the trends and stay ahead of the curve? Here are three crucial tactics you must implement this year:

  • Focus on E.A.T, not just pushing the numbers: This is not necessarily a new trend, but it is increasingly important. The days of just throwing in the right keywords to boost your rankings are long gone. Your rankings depend upon the quality of your content. You must focus on developing material that is effective, authoritative and trustworthy (E.A.T) if you want users and search engines to pay attention to you.
  • Organize your content for passage rankings: Google will continue to rank your pages in their entirety, but it will also scan specific passages on each page for relevance in relation to search terms. You will need to continue optimizing each page, but you can take advantage of this new, deeper search methodology by organizing your content into focused sections. 
  • Focus on optimizing for video search: You can do this by improving the mobile-friendliness of your content, to optimize for Google Lens searches, and optimizing file names and alt text images. 

WSI New Media Marketing is a full-service digital marketing and search engine optimization company in Greensboro, North Carolina. Contact us for expert help with your social media marketing and SEO marketing campaigns.

Ten Tips for Aligning SEO & PPC for Better Ecommerce Results

Marianna Muscat - Tuesday, October 6, 2020
SEO services

The change in lifestyle brought about by COVID-19 has highlighted the need for SEO services more than ever. Even demographics who would previously not have been big e-commerce shoppers have been persuaded to go online as the pandemic has kept them indoors. This makes logical sense, and the stats prove it:

  • Compared to the same period last year, U.S. e-commerce sales in July increased a whopping 55%.
  • As a total of retail sales in the U.S., e-commerce more than doubled from Q1 2020 to Q2. “That’s over a decade of growth in the space of just a few months.”
  • Year on year, Amazon sales rose by 40% for Q2 2020 to $88.9 billion.

SEO and PPC tips for e-commerce success

  1. Create a strategy for SEO and PPC synergy

Google Shopping has reintroduced free listings that are generated by the Google Merchant Center. Maximize your holiday shopping campaign by aligning your organic search (SEO) and paid search (PPC).

Use your PPC spend to target high-value queries on channels where paid listings lead the results.

Seek out opportunities to use SEO to rank for searches that attract a high click-through rate.

  1. Analyze Search Trends

Take note of the top search queries in your category. Utilize the results to keep SEO core to your strategy, influence your marketing messaging, and inspire your paid search.

  1. Plug Fresh Content

Use SEO analysis as a guideline to create current, pandemic-related content that develops trust with your readers by showing your understanding and support.

PPC can then be used to attract some immediate traffic and fill in any gaps. The best part? Informational queries are generally cheaper per click – extending your budget.

  1. Test with PPC

Paid search provides feedback on what type of message and imagery works best – almost immediately. Use PPC to test various new ideas and tweak your SEO accordingly.

  1. Lengthen Your Marketing Funnel

The more familiar people are becoming with using search engines, the more diverse their reasons for doing so.

Take time to nurture prospects during the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey using an appropriate blend of SEO and PPC efforts.

  1. Draw your audience a picture

As part of your search plan, make sure to include images and videos to keep up with the increasingly visual nature of Google. Keep your visual content consistent in SEO and PPC.

  1. Leverage Ad Extensions

Take advantage of callouts, structured snippets, and other ad extensions – such as Google’s beta “Curbside pickup” badge – to share extra information about your products and services.

  1. Add to Google

As Amazon and Walmart’s advertising improves, you may want to spread your e-commerce budget across all retailers and search engines – adjusting as their ROI becomes evident.

  1. Avoid Google

Consider how you can optimize your PPC spend and SEO efforts with alternatives to Google. Specialist search engines are slightly less competitive as they already have built-in customer intent. Video search engines are increasingly gaining popularity – an exciting way to showcase what you have to offer.

  1. Make the Most of Automation

Wouldn’t it be awesome to get real-time insights in the face of such an unsure time? Automated rules and AI smart bidding for PPC does just that with a flexible solution to boost your SEO and PPC strategy.

If you are looking for a holistic approach to increase online leads and sales, WSI New Media Marketing in Greensboro, North Carolina is the perfect fit. For more information on how to get your business in the spotlight with SEO services such as SEO optimization, link building services, and PPC, contact our digital marketing agency in Greensboro today.

Writing meta descriptions to boost SEO marketing

Marianna Muscat - Monday, July 13, 2020
SEO

There’s more to SEO marketing than choosing the right keywords. You should never underestimate the importance of meta descriptions. Those 150 characters are an essential part of optimizing your pages for Google. While the actual text in meta descriptions doesn’t factor into Google’s ranking algorithms, it’s still important because it helps to convince people to click on your search results. The more clicks you get in this way, the better your organic click-through-rate (CTR) will be – and this could lead to indirect improvements in your rankings.

So what is the secret to a good meta description? Here is a step-by-step guide. 

Be careful with the tone

The tone of the description must be straightforward and conversation while still being in line with your brand voice. This may seem like a delicate balancing act, but there’s no need to overthink it. The important thing is to encapsulate the essence of the page content in a simple and attractive way.

Include your primary keyword

This is a fun challenge for a copywriter: to include the primary keyword and a natural way that makes sense to the description. It’s vital to include the keyword in your description, as well as your meta title.

Include a call to action

Finish off your description with a tangible call to action for the reader. “Find out more…” or “Learn more here,” for example. A basic description of the content might be enough to attract a click but often, readers need that definite nudge.

Write in active voice

Passive voice has its place, but it should be a no-no in most marketing writing, especially in a meta-description, which is meant to be short, sharp and direct. So always stick to active voice.

Make sure the description matches the content

Don’t try to trick the reader into clicking with a description that doesn’t actually fit the content. Let your description be an accurate reflection of your page’s content. 

Remember that Google might cut you short

Although the maximum length for meta descriptions is 150 characters, only the first 120 characters usually get displayed in the search results. This means you need to be sure to get your main message across before that cut-off. 

Give each page a unique meta description

Don’t copy and paste one meta description across various pages. Each and every one of your pages must have its own meta description.

WSI New Media Marketing is a proud member of the global WSI digital marketing family. Contact us and see what we can do for your brand. As a leading digital marketing agency, we specialize in effective social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, mobile content marketing, and SEO marketing. Contact us for more information.

The Affect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on SEO Trends

Ken Bowden - Monday, May 18, 2020
seo

The global reach of the COVID-19 pandemic is making an impact on every aspect of the digital marketing world, and SEO trends are not exempt from the changes brought on by COVID-19. Digital marketers have seen a shift in SEO trends. These are some of the current SEO trends that could influence digital marketing until the COVID-19 pandemic dies down.

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Using SEO to sustain your presence during COVID-19

Ken Bowden - Tuesday, May 5, 2020
seo

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing the emergence of what digital marketing experts are calling the “infodemic”, but with proper SEO practices and a sincere desire to provide your audience with relevant, trustworthy information, your business can remain pertinent to consumers.

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SEO: Ranking during COVID-19

Ken Bowden - Thursday, April 16, 2020
seo

The world is currently facing a challenge like never before with the COVID-19 pandemic. Because this virus has permeated every part of our lives, SEO will definitely be influenced by the pandemic. If you’re trying to understand how you can switch gears to rank for the SEO keywords during the pandemic, here’s a list of our top tips.

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Why website load speed matters

Ken Bowden - Thursday, March 19, 2020

There is nothing more frustrating than navigating a website with a poor load speed or inadequate performance. Every aspect of our daily lives is fast paced, and a rapid, effortless user experience is essential to stay ahead in the business world of today.  

A website’s load speed is crucial to your online presence, conversion rates and even sales and it has a major impression on SEO rankings. All top website design companies will tell you that slow websites all have low conversion rates, high bounce back rates and unimpressive amounts of visits per page.

For your website to lead your digital presence, you need to avoid this at all costs:

  1. First impressions always count

Your website speed is the first impression you will make. It is vital that your customers (or readers) make a positive instant judgement about your business. In your customers’ minds, you are efficient, trustworthy and confident if your website proves to be professional and reliable.

  1. Your Users’ experience

One of the few ways you can set your website apart from others is through your users’ experience. With an efficient website load speed, this can be achieved by giving your visitors what they want and giving it to them quickly.

  1.  Website speed effects your Google ranking

Google takes website speed into account when ranking websites with a very small ‘signal’. This means that the average website won’t see much change but if your website lags, you will suffer. If your server is slower than two seconds, the chances that Google will pick up your content (or any other relevant changes) are slim and this could be harmful to your ranking.  

  1. Your site’s speed impact on paid searching

Google views a slow website’s speed as a poor user experience which in turn, brings down your quality score. When it comes to pay per click advertising (PPC), paying the most affordable rate for your keyword bidding is determined by your quality score. In paid media terms, your quality score is determined on how relevant Google finds your website’s landing page to a search term.

Your quality score determines what your cost per click is and your average position on the Search Engine Results Page. With a slow website speed or quality score, it will be hard for your website to show up in the top positions on the Search Engine Results Page. Your ranking also depends on how competitive the keywords are.

At WSI New Media, we will help you to benchmark your website and to improve it. We will analyze your website’s performance, eliminate all unnecessary elements ‘weighing’ it down and, optimize your website to ensure that you have the best and most efficient website speed to stay ahead of your game.

Contact us today for more information.

Your Small Business SEO Strategy Needs Long-Tail Keywords

Ken Bowden - Tuesday, March 10, 2020

We all know we need to select appropriate keywords to make our SEO strategies effective. There’s nothing new about that. However, you may not be using keywords to their fullest potential and, therefore, your website or blog may be lagging behind as a result. The problem with most keywords is that they tend to be generic and broad. Thousands of other websites will be using these short-tail keywords, and this means greater competition. If you rely only on short-tail keywords, you will be just one of many competitors, all fighting for attention from the same readers and possibly getting lost in the process.

The solution to reducing competition in this arena is to get more specific. This involves using long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords enable you to tailor search items specific to your business, as opposed to those that would be common across your industry.

For example, say you operate  a heating and air conditioning business in the Greensboro area, and you specialize in heat pump installations. If you use a keyword like “heating services,” you are unlikely to get the specific search engine hits you need. If you extend it to something like “heat pump installer,” you’re being more specific and, in so doing, narrowing your offering. The result is that your website is more likely to come up in search results. If you go even further and create a keyword like “heat pump installer Greensboro,” you have now created a long-tail keyword that is especially likely to bring your website up near the top of the search results.

What this means is that you’ve reduced your search competition by a pretty respectable order of magnitude. If people in your area want your services, they are not likely to type in a generic search phrase that brings up results from elsewhere in the state or possibly from around the country – depending on which of your colleagues in other towns are putting more into their SEO and PPC strategies. Somebody searching for a heating technician in Greensboro is likely to be specific in their search. So, you’ve given yourself a competitive edge.

What this really comes down to is focusing on your unique selling point (USP).  This is an old idea in marketing. The concept of the long-tail keyword takes the USP into the digital realm, enabling you to differentiate yourself from your hordes of competitors. It requires you to think deeper about your business and refine your offerings, an effort that is sure to be rewarded with higher search engine rankings .

Contact New Media Marketing to assist you in creating a winning SEO strategy.

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