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SEO Tactics for Better Customer Experience

Driving organic traffic to your website is half the battle. The other half — and probably the trickier to accomplish — is getting these prospects to stay and become your loyal customers. To leverage customer experience as the ultimate marketing tool, you need to understand why SEO matters not only for ranking high in Google search but also for improving the customer experience you provide.

In essence, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a neat marketing strategy that, if executed correctly, can bring more attention to your site. This is great — the more visitors you get, the higher are the chances of your efforts proving worthwhile.

But what if your site visitors click on your web page and aren’t able to find what they were looking for? Or, worse, find it hard to interact with the site’s interface and bounce off when it’s taking too much time to load?

Here’s where adapting your SEO tactics to the customer you serve can shift the gears. You have to find the sweet spot between tending to Google’s search algorithm and preventing your customers from switching to your competitor because of the less-than-favorable experience they’d gotten from your company.

Read on to find out how you can tweak your SEO strategy to attract more customers starting today.

1) Make sure the content you post is relevant to your audience

Sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how much irrelevant and poor content an a company’s website influences their rankings. Not to mention the potential leads who end up not converting because they didn’t find the information they were looking for in the first place.

To avoid this, make posting relevant content consistently a priority. Figure out what your customers would want to read about and pack as much value in blog posts as possible. Answering their queries in the form of long-form posts and guides that link to other important sources is how you appeal to your prospects and demonstrate your trustworthiness to Google.

2) Establish solid linking authority for searchability purposes

The backbone of great on-page SEO is the abundance of internal links. A well-structured website has plenty of links that refer the user from one page to another so that she doesn’t have to go somewhere else in search of answers. It’s also one of the reason why Google decides to prioritize these pages, along with the fact that they are more likely to get crawled.

A less obvious strategy to keep your churn rate low is to link to internal sources at the bottom of the articles under the premise of ‘you might find this helpful’. Along with external links that open up in a new tab, this is a sure way to keep your customers engaged while also building your authority with reliable backlinks.

3) Follow the simple NAP rule to rank well locally

Including your contact details on all the platforms you’re active on has more benefits than what meets the eye. One of them is acquiring more clients that find your business by searching ‘X near me’ in Google or typing ‘X service in Z city’ in Instagram’s or Facebook’s search bar.

Aside from letting your customers find you organically, featuring your company’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on relevant pages of your website also eliminates the need for them to turn to Google in hopes to find your contact information and come across your competitors.

4) Use Google’s Featured Snippets to your advantage

Speaking about catering to Google’s needs, it’s only right to adopt as many features as it offers to deliver the best customer experience. Featured Snippets is one of those instruments that can easily distinguish you from the crowd without having to try too hard.

Think of it as a short paragraph that pops up at the top of the Google search whenever someone is trying to find the most appropriate answer to their question. With nearly 30% of 1.4 million queries on Google showing Featured Snippets, you might want to do your own research for the most common questions relevant to your business and come up with a way to incorporate them into your website copy.

Example of featured snippets in search results

Image Source: SEMrush

5) Take it to social media platforms to boost your online presence

Omnichannel communication is taking over and, to stay relevant, you need to jump on this bandwagon. This means not only engaging with your customers on social media but also applying SEO tactics for a better customer experience.

In addition to using hashtags that are suitable for your business (still viewed as the easiest way to gain exposure), you should seriously consider optimizing your Instagram bio and adding appropriate contact details to your Facebook and Twitter profiles. Mention that you also have a website your followers can visit to learn more about the services you provide.

6) Improve the loading speed of your website

There isn’t a single person on Earth who doesn’t find a slowly loading website annoying and your customers aren’t exceptions. It gets worse — as many as 37% of website visitors will bounce off when they notice that it’s taking over 5 seconds to load.

Image illustrating how slow load times drive up bounce rate

Image Source: Pingdom

This might not seem like a big deal at first, but the longer your website takes to load, the higher is the likelihood of your leads losing patience and not even giving your company a chance to redeem itself. To not get on anyone’s nerves and rank well on Google, make sure your media files are compressed, your web hosting is of high quality, and your server isn’t burdened with too many plugins.

7) Optimize your website for mobile users

The 6.4 billion smartphone users worldwide are proof that people are spending more time on their mobile phones than ever before. A report from Search Engine Land provides an even deeper insight — 60% of searches come directly from mobile devices. If you aren’t taking this into consideration when optimizing your website, we’ve got bad news for you.

The benefits of a mobile-friendly website include quicker page loading time, minimal scrolling, and fewer flash elements. Combined with the relatively short global attention span customers have these days, it’s only natural for you to adapt to this new reality. Besides, Google takes mobile traffic into account when giving you the rank in Google Search, so consider this SEO tactic to be absolutely essential.

In a nutshell

No matter the industry, there isn’t a shortage of competitors trying to make a name for themselves. And while some appeal with their innovative solutions to the old problems, those that ultimately win are the ones that sell experiences rather than products or services. To accomplish this, they put forward their best digital marketing practices that make it easy for customers to choose them over others.

Learn the rules of the SEO game and you’ll join them sooner than anticipated. When you put customers first, success follows naturally.


Mikkel Andreassen

Customer Experience Manager at Dixa

Mikkel is passionate about customer experience in every color of the beautiful customer engagement spectrum. He loves building great connections with his customers, which often lead to meaningful friendships that last a lifetime and inspire his work. Driven by the genuine belief that CX is the pivotal force that drives a successful business, he is currently at the helm of Dixa’s customer experience strategy.

 

Social media:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikkel-andreassen-4603b74a/

Twitter handle: @MikkelVes

Link Building Strategies for DIY SEOs

Link-building plays a vital role in the success of a business. But it’s a time-consuming process that requires:

  • Knowledge
  • Skill
  • Patience

Here’s the thing:

By using the right strategies, it doesn’t have to be complicated:

Keep reading to find out more:

The Role Backlinks Play In SEO

Backlinks have been an important part of SEO since 1998. The best way to look at backlinks is to think of them as votes for the site.

The more votes a page has pointing to it, the more Google deems the content worthy of taking the number one spot.

When the backlink algorithm was first introduced, it used to be a case of the number of links a page had. But this resulted in people spamming links wherever they could. Luckily times have changed now, and it’s about the quality of the links instead of the quantity.

Diagram of Google's Backlink Trends

Link placements need to be well planned. Without relevance, the link could cause damage that outweighs the benefit.

3x High Converting Link Building Strategies

As mentioned earlier, link building strategies have stood the test of time; this means there’s plenty of actionable strategies to be used.

Three strategies stand out above the rest. These techniques are super easy to complete but also have a considerable win rate:

Replicate Your Competitors Backlinks

This has to be on the list for the top link building strategies for a few reasons.

To start with, the top-ranking competitors in the same niche will be spending thousands of dollars trying to create the perfect backlink profile. And this means it’s super hard for the small fish to compete against them without a lot of hard work and a ton of cash.

Unless the business replicates its competitor’s backlink profile.

In essence, it’s all about working smarter, not harder.

When comparing the win-rate with the overall time spent on it, it’s easy to see why this strategy is so effective.

Here’s how it works:

Identify The Competitors

The first step is to identify the top sites for the chosen keyword. Doing this is super easy and only requires a quick Google search.

Just enter the chosen keyword into Google and make a list of the competitors on the first page. Don’t worry about how big their site is, all that’s needed is their backlink profile.

Find Their Backlinks

Once the list of competitors has been identified, it’s time to find their backlinks, which can be done using tools such as Majestic, Moz, or Ahrefs. In this article, we’ll be using Ahrefs for our examples.

In Ahrefs, enter the first URL into the Ahrefs site explorer and hit the search button.

Once the page has loaded, go to the left-hand side menu and click on ‘Backlinks’. You’ll then see a full list of sites linking to that page. Export the list of backlinks on to an excel sheet and do the same for the other targets.

Analyze Their Backlinks

This part can take some time; the idea is to get rid of all the spammy looking links, so all that’s left is high quality and relevant linking opportunities.

Once that’s complete, it’s about finding out how they got the link and how it can be replicated.

Once a solid understanding of the link has been found, it’s time to reach out to the site owner to score the link.

Provide Testimonials

This has to be one of the easiest and least time-consuming link-building strategies. With just a few hours of work, it’s possible to score high-quality links pointing directly to the businesses homepage.

Gael Breton quote and example of link placement

This strategy aims to offer a positive testimonial for a product/service the business uses in return for a link.

Here’s a step by step guide for finding testimonial links:

Identify The Targets

This stage is about thinking of services/products that are relevant to the site, or that it’s used before.

The chosen products and services all need one thing in common for this strategy to work, and that’s an existing testimonials page or evidence that they publish testimonials on their homepage.

Create a list of possible opportunities in an excel sheet ready for the next step.

Pitch To The Right People

Finding the right people to pitch to can seem like a challenge at the best of times. Luckily there are a few tools that can be used to find their emails quickly:

  • Hunter.io
  • FindThatLead

These tools will provide a list of emails connected to the site. Making it really easy to find the right person to pitch to.

FindThatLead Screen capture

Once the emails have been found, it’s time to pitch to the sites and see if they’re interested.

Write Their Testimonial

Once they’ve got back to you and accepted the offer, it’s time to write the testimonials. Writing the perfect testimonial is super easy, especially if you’ve tried the product or service and can write from first-hand experience. Just make sure it includes things like:

  • Description of how the tool/product/service helped
  • The best part of the service
  • A personal recommendation
  • Results

If the testimonial contains these four things, it’s ready to go.

Guest Posting (It Really Does Work!)

Guest posting is the most popular way of building links to a page, and for a good reason, it’s super simple and very effective.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard SEOs debating whether a guest post is a white hat or black hat technique.

In the end, does it really matter?

Google only wants to see the right metrics for the site, and smart guest posting does just that.

The idea behind guest posting is to create a high-quality piece of content with a link pointing to the page that needs ranking.

Here’s how that works:

Find Target Sites

The first thing is to find sites that will accept a guest article. The ideal website would have a high domain authority and traffic.

For this, head to Google and try searching for terms like those listed here:

list of keywords to publish guest posts with

These will show thousands of potential targets to outreach too. Don’t focus too much on the authority or traffic just yet.

The purpose of this step is to find targets for a guest post.

Choosing The Right Blogs

Once a list of targets has been created, it’s time to see if they’re worth the time linking too. To do this, tools like Ahrefs come in very handy.

Enter the site in question into the Ahrefs site explorers search bar. It will then take you to a page which shows the Domain Rating (DR) of the sites.

If the DR is high for that niche keep it on the list, if low with little to no traffic, delete it, along with any spammy looking sites that are just obvious link farms.

Pitching The Sites

Once the site has been qualified, it’s time to pitch out to the site owner. Again finding the emails with the tools mentioned in the previous section, it takes seconds.

Make sure pitches are unique to the site, it’s the best way of getting a response. Don’t get disheartened if they don’t message back the first time.

Chances are they are super busy and receive A LOT of emails. Send a couple of follow-ups before moving to the next email.

Create Stunning Content

Once the site owner has accepted the terms, it’s time to start writing the content. The most important thing to include is the link back to the page.

But that’s not all, they should also include:

  • Links pointing to their site (internal links)
  • Quotes with backup links (other external links)
  • Images/videos

Make sure the content contains as much value as possible and more importantly keeps their audience in mind.

BONUS: Mention Monitoring

There were only supposed to be three link building strategies in this article, but this was too good to leave out.

This strategy works best for people that already have a respected brand in their niche.

If the brand is already well known, there’s a good chance someone has mentioned it in an article.

But here’s the thing:

Sometimes people forget to link to the site they’ve mentioned, which is something that can be fixed quickly. Just follow these simple steps:

Find Blogs That Mention Your Brand

Use Google’s search command to find sites that mention the brand. This can be done by searching variations of:

“horizonwebmarketing.com”-inurl:horizonwebmarketing.com/

This will return a list of URLs mentioning the domain of this site, but not the page from the blog.

example of inurl: search engine results

Here’s a pro tip:

Make sure to play around with the site name in your searches, it’s incredible how many people can misspell the site’s name.

The sites to look for are ones:

  • With broken links
  • Which lead to a 404
  • Or which mention the blog with no link

If any sites in the search engine results have any of these problems add them to an excel sheet.

Reach Out

Again this all about reaching out to the right people. Once the email address has been found, it’s time to pitch the idea to them.

For maximum effect, make sure the outreach is unique to the site, if it isn’t, chances are it will get ignored.

But most importantly, don’t forget to send follow up emails if they don’t reply.

Can You Trust Link Building Services?

Link building campaigns take a lot of time and cause a lot of stress. So it’s understandable why people are turning to link building services.

But can they be trusted?

In all honesty, this industry can be real shady at times. The amount of sites that get penalized due to shoddy link building services is scary.

The thing is:

Spammy and low DR links can kill a site… quickly.

And with so many link building services out there, it’s easy to get burnt.

On the other hand, they can be a godsend. Think about it.

The amount of time it takes to launch a full link building campaign is huge. But link building services make it easy.

They already have an extensive database of sites that accept links. And if they’re good the sites will be risk-free of penalization.

To find a link building service that’s trustworthy, a lot of research needs to be done thoroughly. One such service we’ve found that does the hard work is matthewwoodward.co.uk.

Rounding Up

It’s almost certain that link building will play a vital role in SEO for years to come, which is why it’s beneficial to jump on the train now.

There are tons of link building strategies out there that work. But the ones covered here far outperform them all.

And if time is lacking, it might be time to call in the experts. Link building services can provide quick, quality, natural links to a page.

Happy link building!

(Do you have a favorite link building technique we haven’t covered? Or…have you had an experience with a link builder that’s hurt your domain with shady links? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.)

 

Handling Google My Business Suspensions

Google Suspensions are a Hassle

It’s been a stressful year, to say the least. From an economy-crippling pandemic to a divided presidential election, it may feel like you’ve been walking through a war zone.

So, when you open your email or log in to your Google My Business account and see that your newly or previously verified listings have been suspended, you might want to throw your device across the room.

This is an issue that many business owners and SEOs have been forced to face more and more often this year. To add insult to injury, the cause of these suspended listings is often arbitrary.

Man Angry at Computer

“Your listing has been suspended”


You Aren’t Going Crazy

If you’ve been questioning your own sanity lately or reading through the guidelines until your eyes want to fall out trying to find out what you were in violation of, don’t fret. You aren’t losing your mind. Google has been on a capricious suspending spree in an attempt to cut down on spam listings.

Don’t think you have anything on your listing that could constitute spam? You might be wrong. Or, you could be completely correct. Here are just three of many common examples of violations liable to slap you with a Google My Business suspension:

 

  1. Keyword-Stuffed Business Name.

    Keyword stuffing means putting SEO keywords that are not officially part of your name. For example, if your business is “ABC Security Services,” and you describe yourself as “ABC Security Services, 24/7 Locksmith” to get the keyword “24/7 Locksmith into the business name, you’re keyword stuffing.

    Keep in mind, your listing’s business name needs to be your business name, word for word. If you are a practitioner, it should be exactly how you officially present yourself. Google considers all keyword stuffing spam.

    Sometimes Google will even suspend a listing with a legitimate business name because it contains a suspicious amount of keywords.
  2. Editing a listing too much in a short span of time can trigger red flags for Google and lead to a suspension.

    Sometimes this can mean waiting minutes between changes and sometimes hours. To be on the safe side, we recommend giving 24 hours in between your listing’s changes 

 

  1. The company is an online-only business and/or is using a PO Box/UPS store address. Google will only view your business listing as legitimate if the address has a physical location. This does not include virtual offices or coworking spaces.

 

These are just some of the reasons Google will suspend your listing.

Getting the Issue Resolved

Before reaching out to support about a Google My Business suspension, you should always read through the guidelines thoroughly and make sure you are not in violation of Google’s rules.

Once you have read through the guidelines, issue a reinstatement request, in which you can explain the issue in greater detail.

When they ask for your listing’s URL, they are referring to the URL of your listing in the Google My Business Dashboard, not the URL of the listing as it appears in search.

example of the Google My Business Dashboard URL

Make sure to copy the dashboard URL



If you have had multiple listings of a single business suspended, be sure to simply link the dashboard URL’s of these listings in your reinstatement request details, rather than submitting a request for each listing.

However, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes a suspension is a random fluke on Google’s part.  

You may not hear back from Google Support for a week or longer, and if they choose to escalate the issue (they will notify you if they do) it can take even longer, so it’s important to just hang tight and be as patient as possible.

No matter what you do, do not send multiple requests regarding the same listing unless a month or longer has passed with no response. 

This is Not Anyone’s Fault

(If you’re a professional SEO practitioner, you might have the added complication of your client freaking out because their listing is suspended. You probably know this drill: you are likely to get the blame. If it helps, give them a link to this article to illustrate to your client that many other SEO professionals — and their clients! — are in the same boat. Thanks again, Google.)






 

 

 

 



 

 

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Google Does SEO, and They Claim it’s Important to their Success

Every few months it seems I read a post somewhere that proclaims that SEO is dead, or a sham, or useless. So it was gratifying to see that one of the organizations that does NOT buy into that assessment of Search Engine Optimization is Google themselves.

Some of what Google had to say about its own SEO is very important for small business owners. Here are the key points you can learn from this revealing Google post…