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What to Make of the Recent Google Pigeon Update for Local

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, SEO

The 3 Effects of the Google Pigeon Update on Local Searches

Do you have a website for a local business? If you do, you should be concerned about the recent Google Pigeon Update as it is said to impact local search results. The update took effect July 24, 2014 and has an algorithm that is designed to improve local search results that are closely tied to customary net search ranking signals. Google intends to make distance and location ranking factors better with this update, but what do you know about it?

You can have be having a really bad business time recently without knowing that it has something to do with the newest Google Pigeon Update. Businesses relying on local searches are experiencing certain a difference as a result.

Strong directory Sites Got Stronger

Since the new update was rolled out, it seems that the ones with the stronger SEO signals, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, are benefitting from it. There are reports that these sites are seeing up to 10 percent increases in both rankings and traffic.

How does this affect your business? If you’re a directory, the Update will be your lucky charm, but if you’re a startup or a small company, you may have to quadruple your efforts and link with really influential networks to get to the top of the search page again.

The 7-pack Goes Pfft!

There used to a 7-pack before the update. This is a listing of the top seven local choices that interested customers can readily see once the search is made. After the Update, all these disappeared. Is it something that local businesses must be happy about, or does it foretell gloom and despair?

Even without fully understanding the full impact of losing page one rank, it is a discouraging effect for those who once made it there. Now, these sites have to work hard again against stronger brands to gain their old ranking.

The Mini Map

There is definitely a change in the size of the Maps with the Update; they have gone smaller. This logically reduces the quantity of businesses that can be shown in it. This invites a user to look for more directory results. With a smaller 3-pack and a reduced map radius, many local businesses are not showing up anymore. Experts have already reported a 16 percent drop in traffic for many sites since the Pigeon has flown.

Google Pigeon Update is thought to have been designed to improve local searches. There are certain factors that can influence local rankings such as backlinks, domain authority and other SEO-related ranking factors that are not completely understood by local businesses. Not knowing whether the Update is good or bad for business can make them helpless when dealing with dropping traffic.

Take the experts’ advice; find out about the top 20 local ranking factors, work on your local SEO, and make sure your business is on a G+ platform. 


Trouble Ranking Your Local Business – 4 Ranking Factors To Review

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, SEO

Four Ranking Factors to Review

Do you put up a website and expect customers to come knocking? Putting up a website for your business is just the start. It is actually the easiest part of generating a pool of potential consumers for your products and services. However, it doesn’t end there.

Putting up a website is like setting up your stand in a marketplace. You just don’t put it up and expect people to buy. You should make sure you get noticed. What do you do to get noticed? You put up signs, advertise on going sales on items or offer coupons. In the online market, you also have to spend some time in ensuring you get noticed – not by having blinking ads on your website, but by making sure your website appears when people search for the products and services you sell. Here’s how:

Content. You take time to look into the quality your website content is written. Is it arranged in a way that is comfortable for the eyes? Things like font style and size should be considered. You should also invest in good quality content – not just for your website visitors, but for the search engine robots as well. Is the content on your website engaging enough? If you’re aiming to get your website local seo, does it contain the geographical keywords you are targeting? Does it entice visitors to comment or click through the links within the content? Do you ensure fresh, unique content on your website blog? When you consistently update your website blog, search engine robots will most likely include your website pages in related searches. When you have engaging and good quality articles, your visitors would most likely read through the content and will not leave as quickly as they arrived on your website.

Website architecture. When you go to your website, what is the first thing you will notice? Would you be able to remember the URL if you wanted to go back to it? Does your site load quickly? Is your site mobile friendly? These are just a few of the questions you need to consider in checking your website architecture. Your URL should not be so long that search engines truncate it when it shows up in search engine results.

HTML. Does your website contain an appropriate title, description, keywords and header tags? These are all important in ensuring that your website pages get indexed for what they contain. If you are using duplicate titles or descriptions, it is high time that you change them. After your URL, the next thing bots read in a website are the meta tags. If they are not optimized or are unrelated to the website content, you end up confusing the search engine robots so they decide your website is not credible for the related keyword search and it will not turn up with any local ranking.

Social Signals. Does your site contain social signals that visitors can share or follow? Never underestimate the power of social media. When visitors find your page or article blog relevant to their search, interesting or helpful enough to share, they will automatically look for the social sharing buttons. If you don’t have them, you are missing a lot.

There are other factors that contribute to your search engine rankings. The bottom line is how much time and energy are you willing to invest in it to make it relevant to what your potential consumers are looking for?


Top Google Ranking Factors in 2014

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, SEO

Have Your SERP Rank Higher Organically with Top Google Ranking Factors

Increasing your rank on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is the best way to generate free traffic to a website. This means that if you want a high organic ranking in Google’s SERP you need to demystify its algorithm. With about 200 Google ranking factors and the volatility of Google’s algorithm, landing on the top of the list can be difficult. Here are 15 ranking factors to get your website rolling.

Domain Factors

1. Domain name with keyword. The keyword in the domain may not have the same impact as it did before, but it is still important. Using the keyword at the start of the URL is considered better than putting it in the middle or at the end of the domain name.

2. The age of the domain. A difference between six-months and a one-year old domain isn’t very significant. If the difference, however, is longer than 6 months, Google tends to rank older domains higher.

Page-level Factors

3. Title tag with the keyword at the start. Next to content, the title tag is the page’s most vital SEO signal. Get your site performing better by using the keyword as the first word in the title tag.

4. Use of keyword frequent enough without going overboard. The repeated use of keyword is another relevancy signal. Make sure that it will not be abused, though, as it can also hurt the page.

5. Longer, relevant content. Google doesn’t like short and insignificant content. Get Google’s approval with content of 1000 words or longer.

6. URL with the keyword. The use of keyword in URL, important in relevancy signal, also helps the page rank better especially with long tail phrases and when used at the start.

Site-level Factors

7. Valuable content with distinctive insights. If you want Google to improve your SERP, make sure the content is fresh, relevant and brings something new and important to the table.

8. Usable site. Well-designed and constructed sites can make it more appealing to Google. A usable site also loads faster and is easier to navigate.

9. Google loves video content. Google owns YouTube and therefore loves it when there are videos in the content.

Backlink Factors

10. Links to authority sites. Boost organic ranking through outgoing or outbound links to sites considered as leaders in the market.

11. Enough contextual links. These are the links found in the content, particularly in the inner pages. Make these links looking natural (not spammy) to get Google’s attention.

12. Links at the start of content. The location of links matter. Put them at the beginning for them to carry more impact.

Social Signals

13. Relevancy using social media. Getting the content shared, liked, re-tweeted, pinned, voted and weighed +1 in various social media are signals of the content’s social engagement and popularity.

Brand Signals

14. Simple but strong brand name. The anchor text for the brand will rank better if it is simple, but carries a strong brand signal.

On-site and Off-page Webspam Factors

15. Offensive Panda and Penguin penalties. Don’t let Panda and Penguin Updates annihilate your site. Avoid penalties by putting up high-quality content

It is virtually impossible to tackle all 200 Google ranking factors at one time. Start smart with these 15 factors to attain higher organic ranking and benefit from free traffic.


Avoiding the 7 Most Deadly SEO Mistakes

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, SEO

Every website,whether new or old has a few things that we need to look at in order to evaluate the site and it’s workings from an SEO standpoint. There are seven different things that should be reviewed when doing a website audit that you can check for yourself as you go over your website.

The big 7 deadly sins from an SEO standpoint are:

1. Lack of high quality, unique local content-if you’re not consistently updating and adding content to your website then you are going to fall behind people who are doing that. Add new content to your social media and your site at least weekly if not more frequently.

2. Keyword strategy is non-existent-know what keywords you are trying to rank for and  use them faithfully as well as LSI versions of them.

3. Little or no reviews-get reviews about your services and your work on Google plus, Google places and anywhere else that you can accomplish it. They make a very big difference.

4. Inconsistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) across all directories-Keep your name and your address and phone number consistent. Transparency is the key to getting a good name and a good branding for your company.

5. Not using infographics & videos-Graphics, info graphics and videos are interesting and they draw in people to review what else you might have to say. Get something that adds visual interest on your site and update those graphics regularly.

6. Social media should always be present on your site-Lacking links to your social media means that your customers are going to assume that you don’t have it. Any company out there worth their salt is interacting with their customers using social media.

7. Websites that are not mobile optimized-are leaving about half of their traffic on the table today. Get your site at least responsive so that people who are using tablets and smart phones are able to access your website. 

The first line of defense of any site owner or webmaster is to view these areas of the site and make sure that they fall in line with SEO best practices today. 

Contact iMarketing Leader today if you need help driving traffic.

7 Ways to Get to the Top with Your Local SEO

Written by Todd McPartlin on . Posted in Blog, Reach, SEO, Training

All website owners and content writers have to accept the fact that SEO, particularly local SEO, is still the key to a healthy readership and good page ranking. No matter how excellent your articles are or how high-quality your product is, unless you are able to master the science of using SEO advantageously, your website will languish in loneliness. Here are seven sensible tips to get to the top of the SEO game and get your audience to notice you.  
  1. Invest in finding the appropriate keyword for your local area. You can only find the right local SEO keyword by doing some serious research and exercising good judgement. Look for a keyword search tool you can work with, and analyze the results according to your particular location and circumstances. 
  2. Provide consistent identifying information. If you want consistent traffic to your websites or blog spots, you need to make it easy for people to find you. A primary rule for this is to make sure that no matter how many web and social platforms you use, the same identifying data (name, Email, phone numbers, address) are listed. 
  3. Get listed in local directories. Make sure your site is listed in local directories – beginning with Google + Local. Local lists are an indispensable tool for creating a direct connection between you and your clients. Being part of a local directory can help bring traffic straight to your site. It also allows your public to reach out to you and it enables you to respond to them. 
  4. Develop a good social media profile. You should update your social media profile regularly so that it shows a consistent image of you through all listings. Remember that social media profiles always rank highly in search engine results. Therefore, your profile is one of the best ways you can get good SEO ranking. 
  5. Get people to review your product. Reviews and inquiries provide you with an opportunity to improve your product. Most of all, they help attract a growing base of potential customers for you by providing social proof and links to your website. 
  6. Keep in touch with people on the go. Not everyone who ought to be finding you is sitting in front of a laptop; lot of your prospective traffic is out on the road accessing the web with their mobile devices. Make sure you can be found by people wherever they may be by having a mobile site that can be accessed on all platforms. 
  7. Fortify yourself against being hit by algorithms. As algorithms change and spiders make their daily crawl, you could find yourself dropped from what you thought was a secure page rank. Ensure visibility in the event that you fade away from Google by starting a blog, creating subscriber-based content, getting into local lists, being active in social media, and of course, creating only content of the highest quality.