For many entrepreneurs, 2020 was not a great year. It will be remembered as the year a virus caused a pandemic that shut down the world and changed the way we lived and worked. 

Since 2014 there has been a steady shift toward Internet-based businesses that accommodated mobile technology. The events of 2020 accelerated the shift from 0 to 60. 

Entrepreneurs that recognized this, have invested in strategies that will capitalize on opportunities on the Internet. And one of the investments that’s expected to pay big-time dividends in 2021 is SEO.

What Is SEO And Why Is It Important In 2021?

How did you find this article?

According to a study by BrightEdge, there’s a 53.3% chance that you found our blog after running a Google search. You probably ran the following search queries on Google:

  • Invest SEO 2021
  • SEO investment 2021
  • Why invest SEO 2021
  • SEO business investment 2021
  • Why invest SEO business 2021

In comparison, paid ads and social media only accounted for 14% and 5% of all website traffic respectively.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of developing strategies that utilize various techniques and tactics with the goal of giving a website a boost up the organic search rankings. 

“Optimization” in SEO means increasing the visibility of your content to the search engines. One technique that SEO practitioners use to optimize content is by embedding it with high-ranking keywords. By optimizing your content, web crawlers can find and index your pages. 

When an Internet user launches a search query with the keywords you used to optimize your content, the search engine can pull your web page and include it in the search results page. 

Over time and with consistency in your optimization strategies, your website may find itself in the top 3 spots on the first page of the search results page. 

How important is it to rank in the top 3 of the SERP?

According to a landmark study by Digital Ad Agency Chitika, the top 3 URLs in the SERP accounts for 61.5% of all search traffic for that particular topic search. 

The number one spot accounts for 32.5%!

You can read up more about SEO in our article “The Basics of SEO”.  

Take note that the study of BrightEdge was done in 2019 – a full year away from the 2020 pandemic. 

We’re sure that if BrightEdge updated their study to reflect consumer online behavior in 2020, the numbers would be much different. 

A study by Skyword showed that organic search traffic dramatically increased last March 2020 when the world entered into lockdown. 

In particular, the following industries experienced a massive surge in online traffic:

  • Healthcare – 358%
  • Consumer Goods and Services – 83%
  • Consumer Media – 61%
  • Business Services and Consulting – 47%

Does this mean that businesses that aren’t in these industries shouldn’t expect to reap dividends from their investments in SEO?

No, because overall Internet usage has increased by 70% since the lockdown. More consumers are going online to find products and services that address their needs. 

The ballgame has changed. The playing field is now on the Internet. Are you ready to play digital ball? For sure your competition is. 

SEO Vs. Paid Ads – Which One Is Better For Your Business In 2021?

Have you met with digital advertising agencies? For those who have, some of you may have noticed that when discussing a digital marketing strategy, the agency will tend to push for paid ads over SEO. 

This is because paid ads generate quick results. If you want to drive traffic to your website immediately, PPC or Pay-Per-Click ads will do the job for you. Once someone clicks on your ad, he will find himself on your landing page. 

In contrast, SEO strategies take time because it focuses on organic or natural growth. 

Think of your content as a seed that’s planted on various locations on the Internet – website, social media, newsletters, and guest blogs. Optimization strategies will help the content take root while your content branches out to people who will recognize and appreciate the fruits it bears. 

Meanwhile, there are many reasons why a person might click on your PPC ad:

  • Need
  • Curiosity
  • Attracted by the Design
  • Accident

Compared to a blog, a video, or an infographic, the information that can be fitted on a PPC ad is very limited. He might visit your website but eventually be disinterested and just opt to log out. 

Therefore, while paid ads may generate quick results these results may not be sustainable or represent your desired outcome. 

With SEO, you’re building relationships with your audience. As you become more consistent in creating and distributing optimized content, in time, you will develop a strong reputation and encourage more consumers to trust your brand. 

While the results take time, the results are sustainable and reflect your desired outcome. 

Research firm, Conductor, performed a study on how various digital channels drove traffic to websites. The results showed that when it comes to driving inbound traffic, SEO is king.

  • Organic Search – 64%
  • Referral Visits – 15%
  • Direct Visits – 12%
  • Paid Ads – 6%
  • Social Visits – 2%

Now, let’s factor in cost. 

Cost Variables in Paid Advertising

What does a paid ad campaign look like in the age of digital?

A typical digital ad campaign will include the following strategies and processes:

  • PPC ads
  • Guest posts 
  • Blogs and vlogs by micro-influencers
  • Endorsement arrangements with macro-influencers

The cost of the PPC ad will depend on the keywords you are bidding on. Although you pay only when someone clicks on the ad,  in order to generate better results, and improve positioning, you’ll have to pay more and run the campaign longer. 

Micro-influencers are individuals with social media platforms that have followers in the upper hundreds of thousands or millions. Macro-influencers are celebrities who are willing to endorse products or services.

Arrangements with influencers can be very expensive but if you land a deal with a reputable influencer and carry out an effective campaign, then you could end up with a windfall. 

The reported ROI on influencer marketing is US$5.20 for every US$1 invested.

Conversely, land a bad arrangement, and your business could be in big trouble! 

Likewise, your consumers could be sensitive to your influencers. For the reason that the arrangement is paid, the endorsement might not be perceived as sincere. The question for you is to figure out if the cost – and risk –  is worth it. 

The Cost Variables of SEO/Organic Search Campaign

The cost of running an organic search campaign is generally lower and more manageable. To streamline costs, you can write your own blogs and utilize free online channels such as social media and search directories to distribute content. 

The objective of content marketing is to drive traffic to your website so you can capture leads, and potentially convert interest into future sales. 

The generated leads will be used for your email marketing campaign. Every month, you’ll send at least one newsletter to your subscribers. The content of these newsletters should have great value to the recipient. 

You have to factor in the cost of the email marketing service provider and of course, the cost of your giveaways to get the website visitor to surrender his email address. 

The ROI for email marketing is even higher than influencer marketing at a reported US$44 for every US$1 spent

That’s 4,400% ROI! 

For your organic search strategies to succeed and deliver the targeted results, you must consistently create high-quality, well-researched, and properly optimized content. 

To achieve this, you may have to hire the services of experienced content creators. Even if you have the experience and required training for optimized content writing, we advise you to outsource the task so you can allocate more time to managing the core functions of your business.

If you consider that organic search strategies are more affordable and generate better results than the more expensive and less sustainable paid ads, then investing in SEO is the smarter move in 2021. 

Conclusion

If you’re willing to grind it out, SEO will be one of your best investments – if not the best digital marketing investment in 2021. 

Many businesses want short-term results and allocate more resources to paid advertising. They want an immediate return and hear the cash registers ringing. That’s to be expected and understood. 

However, the results might not be sustainable, and in the long-run, you’ll end up spending more while experiencing diminishing returns. 

As a business, you want your short-term goals to support your long-term objective. SEO can do this for you by building strong relationships with your audience and customers. 

Be patient. Remain persistent. Keep pushing! 

The results will soon come!

If you’re serious about growing your business organically, give us a call. The prestigious B2B website, UpCity has recognized some of our blogs as the best in Digital Marketing and small business marketing.

Let us do the same for you!

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community.

Getting your SEO game on point is more than just optimizing content through keywords or coming up with a mobile responsive and user-friendly website. You want to make sure the search engines have a clear idea of what your website is about so it can index your content and put up your web page on the results page. One area of SEO that has been overlooked by digital marketers is the importance of HTML tags. 

What Are HTML Tags?

HTML tags are components of code that are used in the back-end development of a website. The purpose of HTML tags is to help search engines read and understand your website content. 

HTML tags became overlooked by SEO practitioners because they believed search engines had evolved or gotten smarter to a point that diminished the value of the tags. 

Because research had shown that 70% of traffic was generated by organic search, SEO practitioners focused their efforts – and the digital marketing budget – on offsite SEO techniques such as content creation, social media marketing, and email marketing. 

While this is definitely a step in the right direction, HTML tags are actually a good fit in that strategy.

If your content has high-ranking keywords and meets the criteria of Google – no keyword stuffing and a keyword density of 2% or lower – web crawlers will be able to find it. 

When a web crawler finds your content it will look for the HTML tags on your website to help it understand your website and how to categorize your content. 

Thus, with HTML tags, you have another tool that will help your website connect with the right audience – those who really need your products or services. 

7 HTML Tags Essential For SEO

Now that you’re well aware of what HTML tags are, let’s discuss the 7 best HTML tags and how they can optimize your website. 

1. Title Tags

As professional web developers, we recommend that the Title Tag should be number one on your list of essential HTML tags.

To move up the search rankings, the search engines should know what your content is about. The Title Tag does this job for you. It makes it easy for search engines to understand the content of a specific web page. 

Your web page is presented on the search results page as a Title Tag. Think of it as a headline that catches your eye and makes you want to click on the URL. 

But first, it must be found. Therefore, your Title Tag must be optimized by containing the keyword that you want to rank for. 

That’s why when we create blogs for our clients or for our website, the main keyword is always included in the title. In this article, we are trying to rank for the keywords “HTML Tags” and “SEO”. 

2. Meta Description Tags

The Title Tag and the Meta Description Tag should be 1 and 2 on your list of essential HTML tags for SEO. 

These 2 tags work hand-in-hand and are complementary to each other. Let’s assume you made a click-worthy Title Tag. You might entice an Internet user to click on your URL but chances are, he will pause before taking the desired action.

During that pause, he will come across your Meta Tag – a brief description of what your web page is about.  The Meta Tag description should answer this question in the mind of the Internet user:

“Is this what I was looking for?”

Likewise, the Meta Tag must be optimized by containing the same keywords as the Title Tag. 

To learn more about how to make effective Meta Tag descriptions, check out our recent blog “6 Mistakes To Avoid When Writing Your Meta Descriptions”.

3. Header Tags

Here’s a stat that will help you understand why Header Tags are important for SEO:

55% of web page visitors only spend 15 seconds reading your content.

With that little time, Internet users are not reading – but skimming your content. The statistic highlights the importance of creating content that’s easy to read. 

Headers make your content easier to read by breaking it down into sections. The Header tag informs the reader what the section is about. 

Header tags are differentiated as H1, H2, and H3. Where, when, and how do you use these tags?

  • H1 – Reserved for the title; presented as boldface and uses the largest font size. 
  • H2 – The section gives the reader a description of what the title is about. In this article, our H2 defines what HTML tags are about to help our readers get a better understanding of the concept before digging deeper into the content.
  • H3 – Discusses the topic. Thus, after defining what HTML tags are about, we go into the meat and potatoes of the article, the 7 HTML tags that are essential for SEO.
  • H4 – Supports the points discussed in H3. In this blog, the H4 is the Conclusion and sums up the main points discussed. 

As you work down the header tags the font size becomes smaller but still remains boldfaced. In some long-form blogs, the writer includes an H4 and H5. 

4. Image Alt Tags

Here’s a statistic that supports having Image Alt Tags:

Content that includes graphics or images generates 94% more views.

Image Alt Tags are important because search engines cannot interpret the messages of the images that you use for your content. 

An Image Alt Tag informs the search engine what your image is about.

For example, if you have an image of a person grilling steak, the image alt tag would give the following information to Google:

<image src=”grilling.jpg” alt=”grilling steak”>

In this case, the alt image tag is letting Google know that the image embedded on the blog is of someone grilling a steak.

Without an Image Alt Tag, the power of your image to bring in more views will be greatly diminished.

5. Anchor Text Tags

Linking to websites that you use as references is a great way to enhance the credibility of your blog. It validates the statistics, figures, and other key information presented that you’ve used to support your topic. 

Search engines are wary about the links used on a webpage. There are content creators who stuff a page with links that aren’t relevant to the topic. 

Anchor Text Tags will help avoid any confusion or misunderstanding on the links you used because this type of tag will inform the search engines on what the links are all about.

The use of Anchor Text Tags also creates reciprocity with the websites you link with and improves their search rankings as well. 

6. Meta Robots Tags

A Meta Robots Tag establishes the ground rules on how web crawlers index your web page. Not all of your rules should be obligatory. Some should “suggest” to the web crawlers how you prefer they perform their functions when crawling your content. 

Will the web crawlers comply? Some won’t but the good news is that search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will. 

Meta Robots Tags have 2 characteristics:

  • The Meta Robots Tag should specify the web crawler by its name. For example, Google’s web crawler is called Googlebot.
  • The provisions of the Meta Robots Tag should support your preferences and goals. For example, there might be pages that you don’t want the web crawlers to index. 

Conclusion

If you’re consistently publishing high-quality content that is optimized with the right keywords, then you’re on the right track to move up the search rankings. 

But don’t stop there. 

There’s more to optimization than just the smart use of high ranking keywords. Offsite SEO is just one part of a holistic optimization strategy. Use HTML tags to further enhance the visibility of your website. 

As the Internet grows in size and influence, you need every advantage to stay ahead of the competition. 

We hope you were enlightened by our discussion on HTML tags. Give us a call and we can set up the HTML tags for your website. 

If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends. 

When you hear the term “SEO” chances are the first word that comes to mind is “keywords”. And that’s perfectly alright because the smart use of keywords is an important part of the strategy of getting your website optimized for search engines. People regularly search for content and without high-ranking keywords, your content won’t be found – no matter how well-written it is.

But is the strategic use of keywords the only crucial component of optimizing a website for search? SEO is a process that involves a variety of techniques to make your website more visible on the Internet. These techniques are all related to optimizing content. 

A lesser-known component of optimization is the aspect that deals with non-content related issues. This component is called Technical SEO. By focusing on both SEO and Technical SEO components, you will have a holistic strategy that will cover all the bases of website optimization. 

7 Important Tips To Improve Your Website’s Technical SEO Strategy In 2020

Technical SEO addresses the technical issues of your website that run contrary to the ranking factors included in Google’s search algorithm. Generally, Technical SEO focuses on 3 main considerations of your website:

  • Security
  • Site Speed
  • Crawlability

At Mountaintop, we perform a Technical SEO audit on our clients’ websites to find out if these 3 areas of concern are on point. 

A Technical SEO report will identify the possible factors that could affect the expected outcomes of your content optimization strategy. 

Here are 7 important tips that you can implement to improve your Technical SEO strategy in 2020.

1. Improve Page Loading Time

From personal experience, how long do you wait for a web page to load before abandoning the search? 

According to a study by Kissmetrics, Internet users expect a web page to load in under 2 seconds when using a PC and faster than 3 seconds with a mobile device. 40% of Internet users surveyed reported that they would abandon the search if the web page takes too long to load.

A slow-loading web page can become a double-whammy for your web page. First, site speed is a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm. Second, if more people are abandoning the search, your website’s bounce rate will increase – which will get you flagged again by Google.

To know for sure if your webpage is loading fast enough for your visitors, go to a site speed test site such as WebPageTest.org and have it tested. 

2. Address Issues On Mixed Content

Hyperlinking data, figures, and other forms of information to their references is a great way to build credibility for your content and drive traffic to your site.  However, some of these references could be websites that aren’t secured by SSL certificates.

If your website has SSL certificates, having links to content from websites that aren’t secured with SSL certificates will cause search ranking problems due to having mixed content. 

A site visitor will see a mixed content warning appear on his browser. Here’s an example of a mixed content warning:

“Your connection to this site is not fully secure.”

Even if a visitor sees the padlock symbol preceding your URL, chances are he will click out of your website rather than risk exploring a page that isn’t safe and secure. 

A quick Technical SEO audit can reveal these pages with links to websites without SSL certificates. Removing these links will help fix the problem and have your website visitors feeling safe when they land on your page.

3. Remove Toxic Backlinks

From unsecured links to toxic backlinks!

Backlinking or having other websites link to your web page is a great SEO strategy for driving traffic to your website. 

But if the backlinking website is spammy, irrelevant to your content, or outright violates Google’s quality guidelines on linking practices, the site is considered toxic and you should immediately remove or disavow it from your website.

Getting rid of these spurious links is easier said than done. The usual approach is to simply reach out to these websites and ask them to remove the links to your website. 

For the most part, these websites will not comply with your request. The next recourse would be to report the situation to Google by submitting a reconsidering request via the Search Console. 

From here, prepare the list of backlinks that you want to remove and submit them to the Google Disavowal Tool. 

4. Secure Your Site With SSL Certificates

We mentioned SSL Certificates earlier and we’ve written extensively about the subject. 

Given the ever-present threat of cyber-theft, seeing the padlock symbol before your URL will be a welcome sign for your website visitors. Trust us when we say the first thing a visitor looks for when he lands on a website is THAT padlock symbol.

Without SSL Certificates, Google and the other search engines will mark your website as “Not Secure” and you will lose visitors.

Since 2014, Google has included SSL Certificates as a ranking factor in its search algorithm. Thus, SSL Certificates are not just a requirement for e-commerce websites.

5. Remove 404s, Broken Links, and Pages

Have you clicked on a link and this text comes out on the screen:

“404 Error”

This means the page no longer exists or is broken. If your web page has links to broken links, Google’s search bots won’t be able to crawl it and this will affect your search rankings.

The situation becomes worse if you linked to the broken page from another website or if other websites link to your page. The net effect of these linking arrangements would lower your domain authority score. 

A higher domain authority score means a higher probability of ranking higher in the search results. 

6. Remove Duplicate Content

If 2 or more pages on your website have duplicate or similar content, Google will have a hard time knowing which page to rank higher. A keyword tool such as SEMRush has features that can identify the web pages with duplicate content.

The solution is quite simple. Once these duplicate pages have been identified,  review them carefully, and perform the necessary edits or changes until each page is unique. 

7. Include an XML Sitemap

After we’ve done all the improvements to address the issues that were uncovered by our Technical SEO audit, the final step is to inform Google about these changes by creating an XML Sitemap.

The XML Sitemap informs Google of all the changes implemented on the website and where the search engine giant can find them.

Of course, nothing escapes the eye of Google and it would surely find the improvements on the website. However, giving Google a formal heads-up will make its job easier. 

Your show of courtesy may be rewarded with a boost up the search rankings. 

Conclusion

Google has always pushed for content creators to put more emphasis on the quality of their content. The search engine’s guidelines highlight the need for content to be unique, relevant, informative, useful, and engaging. 

How the content is presented – its format, structure, and readability – are also key considerations that content creators need to keep in mind. Integrating the right keywords into your content will make it more searchable to Internet users. 

Once your content has been optimized – how about your website? Is your website ready to receive visitors?

Combining content optimization strategies with Technical SEO techniques to improve your website will surely improve the site visitor’s overall user experience. And that will make Google very happy.

Technical SEO may sound like a complicated topic. To a degree, it is because Technical SEO involves the development of your website. However, it’s important to understand and learn its basics so that you’ll know there are other ways to improve your website’s search rankings in addition to basic SEO. 

We’ve also done our best to make the topic of Technical SEO easy to understand. The most important thing is to keep in mind is that your website needs it.

What Is Technical SEO? 

Put simply, Technical SEO refers to implementing on-page technical changes or improvements that will further optimize your website and give it a boost up the search rankings.

A good way to differentiate basic from Technical SEO is that the former refers to off-page strategies and processes designed to drive traffic to your website. Examples of these strategies include blogging, social media marketing, and email marketing. 

6 Qualities Of A Technically Optimized Website

For sure you have a list of go-to sites that you click on to get information about topics that interest you. Chances are, you enjoy these websites not only because the content is useful, relevant, engaging, and compelling. 

You love going to these sites because the overall experience is just amazing. Time going to these sites is time well-spent. They make it easy and convenient for you to get the information you need.

Now compare your experience with these sites to those that get you frustrated and angry because it requires too much time and effort to get things done. 

Sites where you get awesome user experience are technically optimized websites. Most likely, you’re not the only one who clicked off the website feeling satisfied. There are others who came away with the same wonderful experience. 

And collectively, these wonderful experiences are pushing these websites up Google’s search rankings.

The same can’t be said for the sites that are a nightmare to access.

What makes a website technically optimized compared to other websites? There are seven qualities that define a technically optimized website:

1. The Webpage is Fast and Easy to Download

In boxing, the popular saying is “Speed Kills” which means a faster boxer will always win versus his slower opponent. In the world of Technical SEO, a slow-loading website will kill your chances for moving up the search rankings.

Digital technology has spoiled Internet users. They have grown impatient and want information available as fast as possible. If a user clicks on your site and the web page does not load within three seconds, he will abandon the search.

Search engines are well aware that slow-loading pages affect user experience. If your page does not load to the satisfaction of the users, Google will penalize you in the search rankings.

Conversely, fast-loading pages will be rewarded with a boost up the search rankings. 

If you’re unhappy about your page loading speed, give us a call or email us at Mountaintop Web Design. We’ll get your web pages downloading in a flash!

2. Searchable by Web Crawlers

Practitioners of off-site SEO optimize content by integrating high search volume keywords that can be tracked and indexed by the search engines’ web crawlers. Keywords are the most frequently used search terms by Internet users to launch a query.

Embedding keywords in your content makes it easy for web crawlers to find and index your web page for future reference. 

Technical SEO functions as a control center on your website. You can block web crawlers from accessing specific web pages or create parameters such as identifying the specific pages that can be indexed. 

If the idea of restricting to certain pages appeals to you, connect with us. As experienced web developers, we can do this for you by using the following:

  • Robots.text.file
  • Meta robots tag

These are files containing code that guide the web crawlers on your site. The robots.text.file instructs the web crawlers on the pages they can access while the meta robots tag sets page restrictions. 

We recommend having a professional web designer or developer handle this because one mistake can be costly. You might unknowingly block access to the most important pages to your site. 

3. The Website is Secure

Would you continue the search if you see the “Not Secure” notice before the URL? 

At a time where hackers attack a site every 39 seconds, it pays to secure your website especially if you’re engaged in e-commerce. Online shoppers are wary of giving their confidential information to e-commerce sites that are not secure. 

There are many ways for us at Mountaintop to secure your website. But the most basic step that you have to take is to acquire SSL certificates. 

SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certificates encrypt data that is transmitted from your website. You can read more about SSL certificates in our article, “SSL Basics: Why You Need It To Protect Your Website From Hackers”.

SSL certificates are not expensive and are easy to install. Most importantly, SSL certificates assure the user that your site is safe to explore and transact with. 

Another good reason to have SSL certificates is that Google has included it as a search ranking factor. 

4. You Can Find a Sitemap

Do you remember your first time at Disneyland? Being in such a massive place for the first time in your life can be an overwhelming experience. 

“How do I get to Tomorrowland?” 

“Where can I buy an ‘Alien Turkey Leg’?” 

“Where are the restrooms?”

The site map that they give you at the entrance sure comes in handy!

An XML Sitemap does the same thing for search engine web crawlers. It’s organized in terms of images, text, posts, tags, and includes details on when the pages have been updated. 

With an XML Sitemap, the web crawlers won’t miss the important content on your website. 

Web designers will incorporate an internal linking structure on your website. The purpose of the internal linking structure is to connect all of your site’s content. However, having an XML Sitemap ensures the search engines that your website is well-organized and will make the web crawler’s job easier. 

5. No Duplicate Content

Let’s assume you have an e-commerce website in the U.S that sells disinfectants and sanitizers. Your analytics show that there is tremendous demand for your products in the Philippines. 

You decide to open a distribution network in the Philippines and set up an e-commerce website with the “.ph” suffix. To maintain consistency, the Philippine website has the same content – text and images – as your U.S website. 

It’s a good idea to standardize content. However, having duplicate content will confuse the search engines. Which URL will the search engine prioritize? In the end, you might be ranked lower for the same content.

The quick fix is to download a canonical link plug-in from Yoast. A canonical link plug-in tells the search engine which URL you prefer to rank for. By installing this plug-in, you eliminate the problem of duplicate content.

6. No Dead Links

Your website must remain dynamic. You should always look for ways to make it better by improving user experience. Sometimes, you might decide to remove certain pages that are no longer relevant. 

If this is the case, make sure you have the URL redirected to the new page. Otherwise, your user will end up in the dreaded “404 Error Page”.

You know what we’re talking about! It has probably happened to you several times. You probably felt frustrated as everyone else does. 

What we can be sure of is that your user experience is less than desired. You don’t want your site visitors to experience the same frustrations as you have. 

Conclusion: Why Is Technical SEO Important?

Why is Technical SEO important? Can you achieve the desired result with just off-page or basic SEO?

Yes, but adding Technical SEO to your optimization strategy will make it better.

Google’s search ranking algorithm goes through frequent adjustments because the Internet’s biggest search engine is continually looking for ways to improve user experience. 

Many of the search ranking factors that influence Google’s algorithm are based on user experience. A good example is site speed. If your website does not load within 3 seconds, the user will abandon the search. 

Search bots are constantly collecting information about your web pages to assess how it responds to its users. 

By improving the technical aspects of your webpage – page loading speed being one of them – search bots will have a favorable assessment of your site. To reward your efforts, Google may push it up the search rankings. 

Combining off-page or basic SEO with on-page or Technical SEO is a great way to improve the visibility of your website to the search engines, increase site traffic, and help it climb up the rankings. 

Let’s technically optimize your website! In this age of the new normal, more people will be using the Internet to get things done. If you’re not ahead of the competition, you may have a hard time catching up.

Give us a call and let’s come up with a Technical SEO gameplan!

And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your community.

If you ask 2 different writers about how to create content for SEO, you will get 2 different answers. Ask a few more content writers and you’ll likely get variations of how to create SEO content. 

Why are there so many different approaches to SEO? Copyblogger described SEO as quite possibly the most misunderstood concept of Digital Marketing. The reason for this is that SEO has exploded in popularity in the past few years. 

In the race for the top spot in the search rankings, SEO practitioners are continually looking for an edge over the competition. The techniques and principles of SEO evolve as the online behavior of consumers change. 

You have to find out the “how” and the “why” people are searching for content before you can create the “what”.

In this article, we will simplify the process of creating content for SEO. We will give actionable tips that you can immediately use to get your webpage climbing up the search rankings.

Writing For SEO – The Dilemma Facing Content Writers

SEO or Search Engine Optimization helps your content get found on the Internet by using a combination of techniques and processes to develop strategies with the purpose of increasing your visibility to the search engines. 

Search engines like Google track and index content with web crawlers. These web crawlers are guided by a search algorithm that evolves to reflect the online behavior of Internet users.

That’s the dilemma facing content writers – creating content that conforms to the search engine algorithm while at the same time writing content that appeals to the audience. 

“How do I write content that is optimized and yet, still appreciated by my readers?”

With the rules of the SEO changing frequently, it’s hard to keep up with the discipline’s best practices. 

For example, one of the fundamentals of content writing for SEO is to maintain a keyword density of 2% or lower. 

In other words, if your blog has a total word count of 1,000 words, the number of high-ranking keywords used should not exceed 20. Otherwise, Google could flag you for keyword stuffing and penalize your webpage in the search rankings.

On the other hand, you can create a 5,000-word Buyer’s Guide that’s stuffed with more than 200 keywords and still rank high in the SERP. 

Keywords are a crucial component of SEO because they reflect the search patterns of Internet users. Keywords give you an idea of how a consumer launches a search query. 

Integrating these high ranking keywords into your content will enable the web crawlers to find and index your content faster. 

However, the fundamentals of SEO state that the keywords must be used in the content exactly as how they are phrased by consumers when launching a search.

So how do you use “digital marketing Colorado” in a sentence? 

There are SEO practitioners who say adding “in” or using punctuation marks to make the keywords grammatically correct will render the keyword powerless. 

At this point, you can see what all the confusion is about. A content writer is taught to create impeccable content – one that is grammatically correct, free of spelling errors. 

With the growing influence of the Internet, now, he has to reorient his way of thinking and create content that “appeals” to the search engines. 

So how do you reconcile the dilemma?

Creating Content For SEO – Writing For People

The truth is, there is no dilemma. 

SEO best practices will change to reflect how people search for content. The algorithm is in a constant state of change – and it’s people – your audience that’s leading the search engines. 

Thus, to simplify the process of creating content for SEO, only focus on the golden rule:

Write for people – your audience- first.

Here are 5 actionable and useful tips on how to create content for SEO:

1. Establish a Writing Process

Content writing for SEO involves a different process because you are trying to laser-target your audience. You have to know what they want to read about; what topics interest them and how best to present the content to entice them to click on your URL over another.

Establishing a writing process gives you an organized manner of uncovering the interest of your audience because it reduces the guesswork. When writing for the Internet, research is not limited to the subject matter itself.

Here’s a writing process for you to consider:

  • Topic Research 

Review the numbers or metrics of your current content. Which ones generated the highest engagement rates? Which types of content got the most likes or shares? Which types of content have resulted in the longest time on your page?

As we discussed in our blog “10 Must-Have Tools For SEO Content Writers”, Google Keywords Planner is a wonderful tool for topic research. 

Another online platform you can use to get topic ideas is “Answer the Public”. This is a keyword tool that gives you ideas for topics based on what people are talking about in your industry.

Create a large database of topics, organize these on a spreadsheet, and categorize them according to the subject matter.

  • Keyword Research  

Google Keywords Planner is an effective tool for keyword research and it’s free. Another free SEO tool you can use is Ubersuggest which was developed by Digital marketing wizard Neil Patel,

If you don’t mind paying US$99 per month, subscribe to SEMRush which is an amazing SEO tool that streamlines the keyword research process. 

Similar to the topics list, organize the keywords in a spreadsheet, and arrange them in order of monthly search volume – from highest to lowest. 

  • Subject Matter Research 

By now, you should have an idea of what to write about. The next step is to read up on the subject matter. 

Even if you’re an expert on the topic, doing a bit of research will do some good. At the very least, you can update your knowledge or get a quick refresher.

Identify at least 3 reputable sources of information particularly if you plan to include statistics or numbers on your content. 

These websites will be used as hyperlinks to verify your information. Adding at least one reputable link to your content will improve SEO and enhance your brand as a reliable resource. 

  • Create an Outline

An outline helps you structure the content of your article. It gives you a perspective on the continuity or flow of information of your content. 

What’s important is that readers have an easy time following the “train of thought” of your content. Within the first few seconds of reading your blog, they should be convinced that they clicked on the right URL.

One of the best techniques is to use statements or ask questions that make the reader think to himself “Yes!” within the first 100 words. We applied this technique on this blog – which is probably why you made it to this section!

  • Set a Timeline for Drafts

You can go about this in 2 ways.

First, set a timeline based on a target number of words. For example, review a draft after every 1,000 words.

Second, set a timeline based on the time spent writing. Studies show that we can maintain 100% focus no more than 90 to 120 minutes at one time. After 90 minutes, it’s possible you can no longer maintain 100% focus.

It could be time to step back and review the draft thus far. 

Setting timelines for drafts keeps you on schedule and lowers the risk of making embarrassing mistakes on your content.

  • Implement QA Measures

Before you publish your content, run it through a QA or Quality Assurance process. Here’s an example of a QA process that we implement at Mountaintop Web Design:

Step 1 – Run content through Copyscape to check for originality.

Step 2 – Run content through Grammarly to check for spelling and grammar errors.

Step 3 – Perform a “manual review” or read the content one more time to check for continuity, tone, and look for errors in grammar and spelling. 

Once you publish content, it’s there for people to read. When it comes to brand building, first impressions last. Don’t take chances. Perform QA procedures until you’re 100% confident about the quality of your content.

2. Choose the Type of Content to Write About

77% of Internet users read blogs. 

Businesses that blog regularly get 97% more website traffic than businesses that don’t blog. 

These stats prove frequent blogging helps build businesses. 

But content isn’t just blogging. There are other types of content that you can create for your audience:

  • Articles – Think of content that’s good enough to get published in a newspaper.
  • Buyer or Product Guides – A type of long-form content that’s packed with information such as product reviews, recommendations, technical specifications, pros and cons, images, and shopping links.
  • Infographics – A type of content that delivers information via images or graphics. 
  • How-To’s – Informative, well-structured, and organized form of content that is very popular with the audience and gives your webpage a boost in Google’s SERP.
  • Listicles – Similar to How-To’s, listicles rank very well in Google’s SERP. If someone writes an article “10 Smart Home Based Business Ideas In 2020”, you can outrank him by coming up with a larger list such as “15 Top Home Based Business Ideas In 2020”.

The key takeaway is to give your audience a variety of content to read. You can create a Content Calendar and schedule the publication of each type of content. 

3. Summarize the Parameters of Your Content

The parameters of your content refer to its qualities. For example:

  • Length – How long is your blog? Generally, long-form blogs or those that exceed 2,000 words generate higher traffic and are more effective in building your business brand. 

However, the average time spent on a blog is only 37 seconds. How long is a blog that takes 37 seconds to read? The average person reads 265 words per minute. 

The bottom-line: If you consistently publish optimized content that is well-researched and impeccably written, your reader will spend more than 37 seconds on your blog. For better results, go for long-form content.

  • Images – Adorning your content with high-resolution images that are relevant to the topic will surely increase viewership. 

For the purposes of optimization, use original images. There are plenty of stock photos that you can download from the Internet but Google rewards webpages with images that are unique to its own.

Keep in mind that high-resolution images can slow down the webpage’s download speed.

  • Purpose – Are you using content to build your brand or to sell products and services? The purpose of your content will determine your choice of keywords.

For branding purposes, use keywords that have the highest search volume per month. However, if you’re selling products or services, you can opt for low search volume keywords but the competition is high. 

A situation where the search for keywords is low but competition is high indicates businesses in your industry are getting good results with these keywords in their PPC or Pay-Per-Click ad campaign.  

This low search/high competition SEO strategy can be used if you’re running a content marketing campaign alongside a PPC campaign. 

  • Tone – The golden rule when creating content for SEO is to write for people – your audience. You’re the acknowledged expert in the field – that’s why people click on your webpage. They want answers, not more questions.

Write in a manner that your audience will easily understand. Don’t try to impress them with technical jargon. They’re here to learn not to be confused. 

Your tone should be conversational; informative but never dismissive of your audience. 

4. Create a Posting/Distribution Schedule

Once you have completed your content and are confident of its quality, you may now shift your focus on creating a posting and distribution schedule.

Identify the channels or platforms where your content will be posted. In addition to your social media pages, you can reach out to other relevant websites and ask if you can post your content on their page.

You should also come up with a posting schedule. How often will you publish content? 

In social media, you can publish at least one piece of content per day. But choose the correct social media channel for your business. 

Image-driven products are best posted in highly-visual and generally “social” networks such as Facebook and Instagram. In these types of social media networks, it would be better to post 3 to 5 times a day.

5. Monitor the Performance of Your Content

Which types of content are performing very well and which ones aren’t? Website analytics and social media insights will give you valuable data on how your content is performing. 

Consistently monitoring the performance of your content will allow you to streamline your efforts and repurpose more resources toward creating content that delivers the desired results.

Conclusion

Writing for the Internet is much different than writing an article and sending it over to the editor of a glossy magazine for review. 

Before the Internet, all a glossy magazine needed was an eye-catching cover with compelling headlines to stand out from a hundred other glossies at a newspaper stand. 

When you’re publishing content on the Internet, the objective is to get found. How can your webpage stand out and be highly visible versus millions of other websites in your industry?

This is why you need SEO to create compelling content that ranks high with the search engines. 

Do you need help writing SEO content? Give us a call or drop an email. At Mountaintop, we have a track record of writing high-quality content that ranks very well in Google. 

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has continued to gain popularity over the years because it helps businesses maximize the returns on their digital marketing investment. SEO has become the difference-maker for content writers. 

Writing online content means writing for your customers. For your efforts to yield results, your content must be searchable on the Internet. 

As most entrepreneurs have learned, being an expert in your field is not enough to ensure your website’s ranking in the search results. For your valuable information to be found, it must be optimized.

To give your optimization strategies a boost, we’ve created this list of 10 must-have tools for SEO content writers.

1. SEMRush

SEMRush is a favorite SEO tool for content writers. It’s easy to use and effective. What SEMRush does is to extract the high-ranking keywords used by the websites that are ranking high in the search results page.

An interesting feature of SEMRush is the Writing Assistant.

Writing Assistant is a tool that gives immediate recommendations on the best keywords to use for your content. It does this by analyzing the keywords used by the highest-ranking web pages.

For example, you can download the Writing Assistant app and have it installed as an add-on for Google Docs. 

Turn on Writing Assistant before you start composing on Google Docs. As you type, Writing Assistant will run a check on your content for SEO quality. It will break down your content into 4 categories:

  • SEO friendliness
  • Readability
  • Tone
  • Freshness or originality

To get Writing Assistant, you must first have a SEMRush account. A free version of Writing Assistant is available but if you want more in-depth features, sign up for the Guru Plan which costs $199.95 per month.

2. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a definite must-have for digital marketers who want to run a laser-focused SEO campaign. 

Google Search Console gives you all the necessary information you need to assess how your website is performing. You will know which web pages are popular with the audience and the keywords they use to access your website.

You will also get data about the number of pages that have been indexed by the search engines. 

Its search analytics feature will give you the following insights about your website:

  • Total clicks
  • Total impressions
  • Average Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
  • Average position in the SERP

All of these data can be used by the content writer to fine-tune your optimization strategies. Your content writer will know with certainty the types of content he needs to create to increase the visibility of your blogs and other forms of online content. 

3. Yoast Real-Time Content Analysis

Yoast is one of the most popular plug-ins for WordPress especially for content writers looking to shore up their SEO strategies. Yoast’s Real-Time Content Analysis is a valuable resource for SEO advice in addition to providing features to help your website move up the search rankings.

Yoast’s Real-Time Content Analysis is a cloud-based tool that won’t cost you a cent. You can hop on the cloud at any time and use this valuable tool to sharpen up your content and make your web page more visible on the Internet. 

Create and then, edit your title. Optimize your meta description. Use its integrated analytical tools to guide your content writing process. To be more certain, Yoast’s Real-Time Content Analysis will give you sneak peek and see where your SEO efforts will place you in the search engine results page. 

4. Google Keyword Planner

Similar to SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner is another mainstay in the SEO toolbox of many content writers for 3 very good reasons.

First, Google Keyword Planner is free! All you need to access Google Keyword Planner is a Gmail account. 

Second, Google Keyword Planner is customizable and easy to use. Simply set your desired settings – target country, language, and list of keywords – and you’re good to go. 

Third, Google Keyword Planner is complementary to SEMRush. How? Use Google Keyword Planner to check the monthly search volume of a particular keyword. Not only will you see data on volume but Google Keyword Planner will give you Keyword Ideas. 

Choose a high volume keyword idea and type it into the Google search box and launch a query. Google will present a list of websites that are relevant to the search query.

Copy and paste the URL of the website in the first position of the SERP onto the search box of SEMRush then click enter. SEMRush will retrieve all of the keywords used on the web page. Repeat the procedure for websites from the 2nd to 5th positions in the SERP. 

You will have a spreadsheet of keywords that have been proven to help web pages rank high in the SERP.

5. Website Auditor’s Content Auditor

Website Auditor has come up with its own SEO tool called Content Editor. Think of Content Editor as Word with SEO features. This wonderful SEO tool will give you tips on how to optimize your content as you’re transposing ideas from your mind to the keyboard.

Title and meta descriptors are very important to optimize your page. As you’re preparing your respective descriptions, Content Editor will give you a preview of what your SERP will look like plus an idea of what your competitors’ SEO strategies are. 

A challenge for content writers, especially for those writing Buyer’s Guides or Product Reviews, is to keep track of the keywords used in the content. Sometimes a 6,000-word Buyer’s Guide will need more than 100 keywords integrated into the content at least once. 

Content Editor has a keyword counter that will help you keep track of the keywords you need to include on your content. 

6. nTopic

Writing online content is much different than writing for a glossy or submitting a research paper to your college professor. The ideal content for online publication goes beyond well-researched material and having no errors in grammar and spelling.

Content writers often write without knowing if the words they use are relevant to the topic or not. Some words may not be associated at all with the subject matter you are writing about. 

Google considers topic relevancy as an important ranking factor. If Google does not consider your content as relevant, your web page may find itself down in the search rankings. 

nTopic is an SEO tool that works to improve your content by letting you know if the keywords are relevant to the topic by giving you an nTopic score. If the score of your content is low, nTopic will give recommendations on how to make it better.

nTopic claims in its website that a web page sees a 4% increase in the search rankings after implementing the improvements the software recommended. 

7. KWFinder

KWFinder is almost like an all-in-one SEO tool for content writers. 

Similar to the other SEO tools discussed above, KWFinder will give you a good number of keyword suggestions. In addition, KWFinder will give you other useful data such as:

  • Search Volume per Month
  • Cost-Per-Click Figures
  • History of keywords – how popular these keywords have been over the years

You will also be given comprehensive information on the current position of the keyword you are using. 

KWFinder is not a free SEO tool. The Basic Plan will cost you US$49 per month and will help you find 100 keywords per day. 

The most expensive plan is the Agency which costs US$129 per month and will help you find up to 1,200 high-ranking keywords per day. 

8. Scoop.it

According to studies, to drive more traffic to your website and to increase search rankings, the ideal blogging frequency is 11 times per month.

Even the best content writers will have a hard time sustaining a pace of 11 optimized blogs per month. But you need content – high-quality content – to give your website a boost up the SERP. 

Your next best option would be to pack your website with high-quality and optimized curated content. 

Scoop.it will do just that for you!

Scoop.it is a content curating machine that scours the Internet in search of articles that are unique, useful, informative, and relevant to your website. Of course, these articles have been optimized for search engines.

By publishing high-quality curated content, you can enhance your brand, open up potential connections with influencers, and provide your followers with relevant information. 

9. SpyFu

SpyFu is an SEO tool that does exactly what you think it’s all about -spy on your competitor’s SEO strategy!

Simply type in the domain name of your competitor and SpyFu will retrieve a number of valuable pieces of information that you can use to fine-tune your own SEO strategy.

The treasure trove of SEO information includes the following:

  • Organic keywords your competitor is ranking for.
  • Adwords for PPC your competitor is using.
  • Keywords your competitors have used that yielded poor results.
  • Keep track of the keywords your competitors are actively bidding for.

Then, type in your website. 

SpyFu will recommend the best keywords you have not used or spent on for your PPC campaigns.

This is a wonderful SEO tool to have because you will know exactly how your SEO strategies are measuring up versus the competition. 

10. WooRank

WooRank is an online tool that does a comprehensive audit of your SEO strategy. In real-time, WooRank will give you valuable information on how your SEO is doing – the strengths that deliver results and the weak points holding it back.

But WooRank won’t stop there. 

Once the weak points of your SEO strategy have been identified, WooRank will propose an action plan that can help deliver the desired results. 

An interesting feature of WooRank is its Keyword Tool that helps you find the best keywords for your content, keeps you updated on your ranking versus your competitors for targeted keywords, and tracks the performance of your keywords over time. 

Conclusion

To compete for the top spot in the search rankings, SEO is an absolute must but your SEO game must always be on point. 

The rules of SEO are constantly changing because the online behaviors of consumers are likewise shifting from time-to-time. You have to stay on top of your audience and find out what motivates them to perform a search. 

The 10 SEO tools we discussed in this article will eliminate the guesswork and ensure you have solid data to design an effective content marketing strategy or improve upon your current one. 

If you need help in fine-tuning your SEO strategy, give us a call or drop an email. We will get in touch with you right away.

And if you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your community.

If you have made it to 2019 without ever doing a PPC campaign, and have been thriving as well, you can consider yourself very lucky.

PPC is considered one of the best ways to drive all sorts of things: traffic, sales, revenues, engagement, brand awareness, and so on.

The only catch (and there’s always a catch) is that you can’t always afford your own in-house PPC specialist, and need to outsource this task.

Here is what you need to know about the process in order to make it work to your advantage. 

What are your goals?

Before your campaign is launched, you need to define the goals you wish to achieve with it. This will determine the way your campaign will be crafted, the audience it targets, and ultimately the money you spend on it.

These goals can include:

  • Raising brand awareness: great for small or up-and-coming brands that have yet to establish a reputation with their audience
  • Generating more leads: great for established businesses looking for new clients
  • Driving conversions: great when you want to increase sales

Depending on these goals, your campaign will need to be set up, managed, tested, and optimized in a different way. When talking to your prospective PPC expert, make sure you communicate your goals so they can know where to start plotting.

While we are on the subject of goals, all of them need to come with a certain set of KPIs that will measure their success. According to Search Scientists, the four best ones you can choose to track are phone calls, impression share, conversion volume, and CPA. They will depend on your set of goals though.

What will this service cost?

The price of PPC campaign management will depend on a lot of different factors:

  • Length of campaign
  • Business niche
  • Competitors in your niche and what they are bidding 
  • Keywords you are targeting, etc. 

Ultimately, if you are running a small to mid-sized campaign, outsourcing this task will cost you less than hiring, training, and having an in-house PPC manager coming to work every day. Also, outsourced experts often have more experience and expertise than someone you could hire full-time.

You will not have any additional charges either: no tools, no study materials, etc. The expert will already have everything they need to succeed. 

How to choose an expert? 

If you want the best for your campaign, look for a Google Premier Partner, as only about 3-5% of PPC Google Partner companies achieve this status. However, you will most likely pay more for these Partner companies.

You are also advised to hire a specialist rather than a generalist. Just because someone has experience with SEO, email marketing, copywriting, design, and PPC, doesn’t mean they will actually have the expertise to make your campaign a successful one. 

Learn more about the website services we off

What is your bid budget?

Determining your bid budget can be tricky, especially if you don’t know who you are bidding against (and you won’t know this until the campaign is running). An outsourced expert who does nothing but PPC for a living can help you come to a figure you are comfortable with, which can also bring in the best ROI.

Then there are also the strategies you may not know how to use to your advantage, like Geo Targeting, Dynamic Search Ads, or Ad Scheduling, which can affect the cost of your bid, but can also bring in a lot more clicks and impressions. Leave this part of the strategy to your expert, rather than trying to force a decision on them. 

What sort of time constraints are you working with? 

This is another point that should be communicated clearly, and something you need to know the answer to before you outsource your PPC management to someone. 

Do you have a specific deadline by which you need to reach a certain goal? Are your ads time-sensitive, i.e. are you promoting a holiday sale? How fast do you need to get things off the ground?

All of these things will determine what sort of specialist you need – someone who can get things done asap, or someone who has a couple of hours a week to monitor your campaign. 

Bear in mind that when working with PPC campaigns that run on a tight schedule, you need to be available to your specialist, and answer any questions they may have about your company or products.

How to manage your own business while someone else is managing PPC 

While we’re on the subject of availability, another very important aspect of outsourcing PPC campaign management is what you do with your own time and business while the campaign is running.

If it goes according to plan, you will need to be ready to handle the increase in calls and sales. Is your customer support team ready for this? Does your sales team have everything they need to close deals? Is your storage ready to handle more orders over a short period of time?

Before you launch the campaign into the world wide web, make sure you, as a business, are ready for it. If you offer next day delivery, don’t go back on this promise due to the unexpected influx of orders. If you offer customization options, don’t allow your customers to wait for ages to get their products, just because you were not ready. 

Once all this is in place, try to stay focused on the work and the business side of things. While it is important to be aware of the analytics of your PPC campaign, don’t micromanage or try to assert yourself with your PPC manager. Give them the space they need to do their job well and be available for answering questions if need be. 

Be aware that there are plenty of PPC companies out there that are not exactly experts – so come prepared to your meetings, ask the right questions, and be ready to make a switch if you need to.

learn about web design - desktop, tablet & smart phone on desk - in yellow

There are many website platforms that you can use to build your website. At Mountaintop, we have studied and built websites with most of these popular platforms. Our knowledge and experience have led us to one conclusion.

When it comes to designing, building, and managing websites, WordPress is the best platform to use. We are not alone in this assessment. 30% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress.

Here is a shortlist of statistical evidence that shows why WordPress websites rule the Internet:

  • 48% of Top 100 Blogs under the Technorati advertising platform run using WordPress.
  • 22% of all newly-registered business website domains in the United States use WordPress.
  • More than 74 Million websites use WordPress.

For these reasons and more, we strongly recommend WordPress as the website platform for our clients.

9 Benefits Of Using WordPress For Your Website

Over the years, clients have come to us complaining about their current website platform. Among the common complaints were as follows:

  • The website was hacked; in some cases, the website was infiltrated by cyber-criminals multiple times.
  • The website frequently broke down or did not function properly.
  • The website was difficult to update and manage.

Our first recommendation is to transfer the website to the WordPress platform. As expected, despite the long list of problems with his website, the response from the client is always:

“Why should we transfer to WordPress?”

1. WordPress Is Free

Let us start with an easy one – WordPress is for free! You can download WordPress, install it, and customize it according to your needs without spending a dime.

However, you still have to pay for your domain name and web hosting which are needed to install WordPress.

The domain name is what Internet searchers will type on their browser’s address bar in order to visit your website.

An example of a domain name is www.mountaintopwebdesign.com.

The web host is the platform which houses the servers where all of the assets and files of your website are located.

2. Easily Customizable

Are you thinking of starting a blog site? How about a business website or an e-commerce website? WordPress has thousands of website themes or templates to choose from.

These templates are highly customizable. A standard WordPress template comes with its own panel which showcases different options that allow us to change the look of your website.

We can play around with the various color selections and match them with the ideal background. Likewise, we can design eye-catching website sliders for your homepage. A slider is also known as a slide show.

This is a great tool for highlighting the key selling points of your business. We can display your signature products or perhaps a few powerful testimonies from your regular customers.  

We can also adjust the “feel” of your website. WordPress comes will plugins which function like apps. Each plugin has a specific function that can introduce a new feature to your website.

3. Google LOVES WordPress

When he was still a software engineer for Google, Matt Cutts referred to WordPress as one of the best software for the search engine giant. WordPress will help your website move up the search rankings because it is designed to accommodate SEO principles.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of using various techniques and strategies in order to rank high in the organic or natural search results of the search engine.

By using WordPress for your website, you are already several steps ahead of the competition. This is because WordPress websites are constantly upgraded with plugins that help optimize content, functionality, and overall user experience.

What are the key ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm?

  • Website Speed
  • Navigability
  • Image Optimization
  • Text Optimization
  • Mobile- Responsiveness

These are all made possible with WordPress.

4. Easy to Manage

WordPress knows that not all of its users are tech-savvy. That is why they built-in a management system that functions to update the platform whenever a new version, plugin or program is available.

Of course, as small business owners, the majority of your waking hours should be dedicated to running the day-to-day activities of your business.

Even if WordPress can send you automatic notifications of software updates, because of your busy schedule, you might overlook it.

This is the reason we recommend that our clients avail of our Extreme WordPress Care Plans.

These are programs which we developed to help clients focus on the demands of their business by leaving their WordPress website to the care of our highly-experienced and capable, professional website designers.

Put simply, we will manage your WordPress website for you. From updating plugins to improve functionality, mobile-responsiveness, site speed, and security, you can sleep soundly every night knowing your business is in good hands.

Extreme WordPress care - what types of plans we offer

5. WordPress Is One of the Safest and Most Secure Website Platforms

A lot of responsibility comes with being the most popular website platform on the Internet. With more than 23% of websites running on WordPress, that means hackers are working overtime to break through your defenses.

Hackers will constantly try to find vulnerable areas on your website which they can use as entry points to steal your valuable data.

WordPress is not oblivious to this and regularly issues updates on security plugins and website system upgrades. Unused and outdated plugins can easily be overridden by hackers and before you know it, your data is all gone.

Even though WordPress makes it easy to update plugins, fortifying your website is a more sensitive and technical matter. This is another reason why you should seriously consider our Extreme WordPress Care Plans.

Sign up for one of our Extreme WordPress Care Plans and we will protect your website’s assets from the consistent, almost daily attacks from these malicious hackers.

6. WordPress Can Accommodate Various Types of Media

Gone are the days when a website was primarily used as an online marketing brochure. Today’s websites are more dynamic and interactive. It is no longer enough to pack your web pages with optimized text content. The Internet community is more demanding. They want high-quality images and videos.

WordPress has an answer for all of your multimedia concerns. It has a built-in media up-loader which can accommodate different types of media.

Do you want an interactive and compelling homepage that will help you generate leads and increase conversion rates?

We can embed your explainer YouTube video on the home page so you can get more views and opportunities for sales. We can do the same for your Instagram photos and SoundCloud audio files.

7. WordPress Is Mobile-Responsive

As we mentioned earlier, mobile-responsiveness is a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm.

What does it mean to be mobile-responsive?

It means that when someone clicks on your URL from a mobile device, your website should set up nicely on his screen. If a mobile user has to zoom-in to read your content, chances are he will leave and go to your competitor.

If your website is not responsive to mobile devices, not only will you lose potential business opportunities but Google will penalize you down the search rankings.

WordPress has designed templates that are fully mobile-responsive. These templates are not only beautiful to look at but also highly-functional. We can set and improve these designs so that they can set up faster and more efficiently on mobile devices.

8. Do You Want to Blog? WordPress Has a CMS

CMS stands for Content Management System. This means you can publish blogs on your WordPress website.

Why should you blog anyway?

People who go on the Internet are always searching for content. And the cornerstone of any content marketing strategy is blogging. Studies have reported the following benefits of regular blogging for businesses:

  • 23% of Internet time is spent reading blogs.
  • Companies that blog have 97% more indexed pages.
  • Websites that have a blog page have 434% more indexed pages.
  • 61% of consumers have made their buying decision after reading a blog.
  • 81% of consumers from the US trust advice from a blog.

For your blogging strategy to be effective, you should be publishing content at least 16 times a month.

If this schedule is too much for your busy schedule, outsource it to us. Many of our blogs have been cited by renowned websites such as UpCity as among the best in the U.S!  

9. Integrate Your Social Media Accounts with WordPress

Before social media, a restaurant that was opening for business had to spend thousands of dollars to prepare and publish marketing collaterals such as press releases, full-page ads, advertorials, product shots, radio air-time, and hire an expensive publicist to put everything together.

With social media, traditional marketing channels have become obsolete. That restaurant would only have to open a Facebook page to build followers, a Twitter account to mass market special promotions, and an Instagram page to highlight the main products.

At very little cost!

Add to that the ability of your WordPress website to integrate your social media accounts. It would be easier to distribute content from your website to your various social media accounts so you can have more visits.

Your website has become a central online hub for your business. Your digital marketing strategies can create inbound traffic that is necessary to drive more traffic to your website. It is an effective way to open up your sales funnel and potentially convert followers to paying customers.

Conclusion

The Internet is home to billions of consumers searching for content every single day. In order to capitalize on its available opportunities, your business should have a website.

And you should only settle for the best website platform on the Internet – and that is WordPress.

If you are thinking of setting up a WordPress website, give us a call and avail of our free 30-minute consultation. We will let you know how we plan to design and manage your website so it can deliver the best results for your business.

If you are not happy with your current website platform, transfer to WordPress! We will help you get started! We a ranked as a top WordPress Developer and top WordPress Web Design company.

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2018 was a big year for PPC or Pay-Per-Click Marketing. Google Adwords was re-branded as Google Ads. The change was not all cosmetic. Google Ads was improved with new features, tools, campaign types, and targeting options.

Since branching out to the world of advertising in 2000, Google has leveraged its Internet dominance to generate a staggering US$116.3 Billion in ad revenues in 2018.

The number accounted for 85% of Google’s total revenues in the same year.

Not surprising, other companies saw the success Google had in advertising and followed suit:

  • Bing Ads revamped its offering to include new targeting capabilities, the availability of more reports plus other interesting new features.
  • Bing Ads collaborated with social media platform LinkedIn to introduce LinkedIn Profile Targeting.
  • Amazon’s aggressive push into PPC Marketing as more consumers continue to use its platform to search for more products.

Despite the challenges posed by Bing, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other PPC Marketing platforms. Google Ads remains the gold standard in the industry.

What Is PPC Marketing?

PPC Marketing is a process where the advertiser – you – pays the agency every time someone clicks on your ad.

The great thing about PPC Marketing is that your ad is placed in the sponsored results section of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

For example, you are in the business of selling remote control drones. You decided to use PPC Marketing to post ads on your latest product – remote control drones with high-resolution cameras.

Whenever someone launches a Google search query “remote control drones with high-resolution cameras”, your PPC will appear in the SERP that has all the URLs on the topic.

Thus, with PPC Marketing, the probability is high that your ad will attract a buyer who is genuinely interested in your product.

With PPC Marketing, you can be assured that your ad will be published in full view of targeted customers – those who have a strong intent to purchase your products or services.

Consequently, PPC Marketing can give your website a search ranking boost!

You can read more about PPC Marketing in our article, “SEO vs PPC: Which One Is Better For Your Business?”

The question you must be asking is “Should I invest in PPC Marketing? Will the investment be worth it?”

If you ask the good people at Google, they will tell you, “Yes! By all means, you should invest in PPC Marketing!”

Google has every reason to take a strong stand in favor of PPC Marketing. According to the search engine giant’s 2016 report, advertisers earned an average of $8 for every $1 spent on PPC Marketing.

4 Reasons Why Your PPC Marketing Campaign Is Not Delivering Results

That number should be enough to get your eyes and mouth wide open and give us a call here at Mountaintop Web Design.

However, we would like to emphasize that Google’s reported ROI on PPC Marketing is just an average. There are advertisers who fell short of their goals.

Why is your PPC Marketing campaign falling short of its targets? There are 4 factors that can have a dampening effect on your PPC Marketing campaign.

1. Choice of Keywords Is Too Broad

Similar to online content, your PPC ads have to be optimized. Thus, it is very important to have tightly-focused and precise keyword research.

The keywords that you are using in your PPC ads must match the intent of the target consumer as closely as possible. If your choice of keywords is too broad, your ad will be displayed to a wider or diverse audience many of whom may not be interested in what you are selling.

For example, you are in the business of selling specialized diesel engine pumps. If you used the keywords “Diesel Engine Pump” or “Diesel Fuel Injector Pump” in your ad, it will be placed in SERPs where prospective customers could be looking for just ordinary diesel engine pumps.

However, if you chose “Distributor Fuel Injector Pump” or “Common Rail Fuel Injector Pump”, you would be streamlining the search to consumers who have a need for these specific types of fuel injector pumps.

Thus, the chances of a prospective customer clicking onto your PPC ad will be much higher than if you opted for more generalized keywords.

2. The Message of Your PPC Ad is Disjointed

When creating a PPC ad, your copy must be aligned with the headline and the intent of your target market. Otherwise, the message of your ad will be disjointed and will not resonate with your target market.

Conceptualizing an effective PPC ad is a two-step process. First, the headline you plan to use and the content of the ad copy itself should match or correspond to the keywords you are bidding on.

Second, the message your PPC ad is conveying should provide answers or a clear-cut solution to the needs of your intended market. When a consumer runs an Internet search, he is looking for solutions that can help address a particular problem.

In order to be clicked on, your PPC ad must present itself as a potential solution to the problem or issue that is presently confounding the consumer.

3. Google Gives Your PPC Ad a Low-Quality Score

Google will review your PPC ad and determine your Quality Score or QS. Your score will depend on 2 factors: overall quality and relevance of your ad. Google measures these factors by keeping track of how many people actually click on the ad after it has been displayed on the SERPs.

Essentially, a lower QS means fewer people are clicking on your ad. While Google will measure your QS, it will be up to you if want to implement changes and improve the ad so that more people will click on it.

4. Poorly Designed Website Landing Page

Getting an Internet searcher to click on your ad is one thing. Giving him the best User Experience when he gets to your website landing page is another.

What will the site visitor see when he lands on your page? Will he readily find solutions to his pain points? Will your landing page content provide the answers to his questions?

Your efforts to find a customer do not begin and end with the PPC ad. Likewise, your landing page must be optimized to help increase conversions.

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How Much Will It Cost To Run A PPC Marketing Campaign?

In our article, “How To Setup A Low Cost But Effective Digital Marketing Campaign”, we discussed the ways in which you can run a digital marketing campaign that can deliver results without breaking the bank.

PPC Marketing was not included among the best low cost strategies in the article. However, we mentioned PPC Marketing as an option that you can consider especially if you have a larger budget for marketing.

If you are thinking of including PPC Marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy, for the reasons stated at the beginning of this article, Google Ads would be the best platform to launch your ads.

Google Ads uses a bid system whereby you, the advertiser, will put in a maximum bid that you are willing to pay for every click or cost-per-click (CPC) your ad receives.

The rule is simple: the higher your bid the more advantageous the ad placement will be.

According to Google, the average CPC for advertisers in its platform is $1 to $2 on its Search network.

While this reported average CPC may seem attractive, the true cost of your PPC Marketing campaign will depend on 5 factors:

  • The competitiveness of your industry.
  • The competitiveness of the keywords.
  • Your Quality Score (QS).
  • The bid of your competitors for the keywords.
  • The quality of your competitors’ ads.

Google estimates that small and medium-scale businesses spend an average of $9,000 to $10,000 per month or $108,000 to $120,000 per year on PPC.

According to a study conducted by WebFX, the most expensive keywords come from the following industries:

  • Legal
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance
  • Retail

The financial services and insurance industry combined to spend an average of $1.2Billion in PPC ads every year. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, averages $50 Million for PPC ads per year.

The WebEx study identified the following keywords as the most expensive:

  • San Antonio Car Wreck Attorney – $670.44
  • Accident Attorney Riverside CA – $626.90
  • Personal Injury Attorney Colorado – $553.08
  • Structure Settlements – $539.82
  • Austin Drug Rehab – $463.05

78% of the most expensive keywords pertain to the legal industry. A far second is about Water Damage at 8% and coming in third at 6% is insurance. Business Services account for only 1% of the most expensive keywords.

However, putting in the highest bid is just one part of the PPC equation if you want to get the best placement. As previously mentioned, Google will consider your QS to determine the placement position of your ad.

Your QS is calculated based on 3 factors:

  • Relevance of your ad to the keywords.
  • Click-Through-Rate or CTR which is the number of clicks your ad generates as a proportion of the number of views it gets.
  • The quality of your landing page.

Using these 3 variables, Google has come up with is Ad Rank formula:

Ad Rank Formula = (Max CPC bid) x (Your Ad’s QS)

For example, if your maximum CPC bid for a keyword is $1.00 and Google gives your ad a QS of 10, your Ad Rank will be 10.

In an auction, the advertiser who ends up with the highest Ad Rank will be awarded the top advertising spot.

Google calculates the amount the advertiser pays per click with this simple formula:

(Ad rank of the ad below yours) / (Your QS) + $0.01

From the above formula, we can see that your QS will have a big impact on the cost of your PPC Marketing campaign. You can actually spend less and still acquire the top advertising position if Google gives you a high QS.

Conclusion

Google Ads is a good PPC Marketing platform to begin with. One of the biggest advantages of using Google Ads is that it gives you 4 ways to stretch your PPC Marketing budget.

First, Google Ads has a feature that allows you to create daily budgets whereby you can allocate more money to campaigns that are focused on promoting your top selling products.

Second, you can set the time and date that you want your PPC Ad to appear. Thus, you can increase your bids only for specific hours of the week.

Third, Google Ads has an interesting feature called geotargeting which lets you set aside more funding to reach target customers in a specific geographic area such as a neighbourhood or city.

Finally, if you believe most of your customers are living the mobile lifestyle, Google Ads has a device targeting feature which lets you use some of your funding to deliver your PPC ad directly to people using a particular type of mobile device.

Is PPC Marketing worth it? The answer is “Yes” provided the following conditions are met:

  • Keyword research is highly-focused and targeted on specific, not broad or generalized keywords.
  • The message of the PPC ad copy must be clear; it must resonate with the intent of the Internet searcher and provide solutions to his concerns.
  • Likewise, the landing page of your website must be optimized and aligned with the message of your PPC ad copy. It should provide the answers the Internet searcher is looking for.

Your focus should be to come up with a PPC ad that will elicit a high QS from Google. The better your QS, the higher the probability of landing the top advertising spot. You can lower the CTC even if your max bid is not the highest.

Are you ready to add PPC Marketing to your digital marketing toolbox? Give us a call and we can set you on the right track to PPC success! We are ranked as one of the top PPC Agencies according to Design Rush.

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Whether you are a start-up or a business that has been running for a while, people you meet will surely ask one question:

“Are you on social media?”

There is no denying the power and influence of social media. Of the 4 Billion people who are on the Internet every day, almost 3 Billion are on social media. That’s 75% of the daily Internet users and nearly 40% of the world’s total population.

If you want to build an online presence, you should be on social media.

Or do you?

Is social media the be-all and end-all of online marketing?

Is it possible to survive in a competitive industry without the benefit of social media?

Not only will you survive a competitive industry without the benefit of social media, but you may even thrive.

Is Social Media For Everyone?

If someone wants to lose weight, one of the first things he/she will probably do is take up running.

And why not? Running is a basic skill we learn growing up. It is an activity that you can do anywhere and many people have gotten great weight loss results from running.

However, running is not for everyone. If you have weak joints, running can lead to serious injuries. Likewise, using poor running technique can lead to chronic pain in your feet, knees, and lower back.

Moreover, it is not the only way to lose weight. You can swim, bike, walk, play ball, or work out in a gym.

Of course, exercise alone will not make you lose weight. You have to follow a strict, low calorie, healthy diet. A combination of exercise, diet, and good quality sleep will lead to long-term, sustainable weight loss.

The same can be said about social media. It is not for everyone and social media is not the only way to market and promote your business.

Social media has gained prominence as an online marketing strategy because every business website that writes articles about growing your business invariably has a section devoted to social media.

In fact, we have written about social media in our articles “How to Launch a $100 Digital Marketing Campaign” and “5 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need to Invest in a Digital Marketing Strategy”.

Social media has become such a force of nature that you can easily get swept away by its power and influence.

Big companies such as Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Nike, and Walmart are active on social media. So are major influencers such as Neil Patel, Tim Ferris, Sir Richard Branson, and Warren Buffett.

Social media marketing is also inexpensive. Once you have created an account, you can reach out to people you know and work your way through their contacts list so you can grow your own followers.

From there, it is just a matter of posting content frequently.

Easier said than done.

7 Ways To Grow Your Business Online Besides Social Media

If you haven’t seen quantifiable results from your social media efforts, you are not alone. It takes time to grow your followers organically.

You need to put thought and purpose behind your content. After some time, you will have to use social media analytics to help you pinpoint the types of content that generate the highest levels of engagement.

And it doesn’t end there. The best way to validate your social media efforts is to convert interest into sales. That is an entirely different ballgame.

Just because everybody – or more accurately 3 Billion people – are doing it doesn’t mean that you should also.

It may not be for you.

There are other ways to grow your business online besides social media.

1. Mobile-Responsive Website

If you have a website – good. If you have a mobile responsive website – great!

It would be difficult for your online marketing efforts to bear fruit if your audience cannot access your website from a mobile device. 57% of online traffic comes from mobile devices, especially smartphones.

Mobile-responsiveness is also a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm. If your website is not mobile-responsive, it will not lead to a pleasant experience for users. Google will penalize your website in the search rankings.

2. Optimize Web Content

Writing online is different from writing a college term paper. Yes, you have to check your work for spelling and grammatical errors and the content must be thoroughly researched.

However, when writing Internet-based content, you must always have optimization in mind. Optimizing content makes it easier to get found on the Internet. The fundamental component in content optimization is the use of keywords.

Keywords are the words and phrases used by people to launch a search query. When integrated into your content, keywords will make it easier for the search bots to find and index your page for the SERP.

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3. Content Marketing

A 2018 global survey conducted by Smart Insights showed 20% of marketers believed content marketing was the online process that would have the most significant impact on business.

It should be no surprise because people continually search for content on the Internet. No just any ordinary content. The material that you publish must have the following qualities:

  • Fresh, original
  • Relevant
  • Usable
  • Informative
  • Well-researched
  • Easy to read

By consistently posting quality content on your blog page, you will be able to build a solid base of followers organically. They will consider you a valuable resource in the industry and trust the quality of your content.

Include a blog page on your mobile-responsive website. Then pack it with optimized, keyword-rich, and high-quality content.

4. Integrate Chatbots

Customer service a key component of every business. Great customer service means having the needs, concerns, or issues of your followers and patrons addressed right away.

Chatbots are becoming the norm in how customers interact with websites. In one study, 15% of respondents reported that they have interacted with chatbots over the course of a year.

Chatbots are a convenient way of managing customer service. First, they give precise answers. Second, they are not affected by emotional outbursts or stressful situations. Third, chatbots do not get sick and can run 24/7.

However, if a chatbot gets stumped, make sure it can be programmed to transfer the inquiry to a human customer service agent.

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing may not be as hip or cool as social media but it may well be a more effective online marketing process than Facebook or Twitter.

Take a look at the statistics comparing email to Facebook and Twitter:

  • Number of users – Email: 2.6 Billion, Facebook: 2 Billion. Twitter: 313 Million
  • Percentage of users who check these processes first thing in the morning – Email: 58%, Facebook: 11%, Twitter: 3%
  • Percentage of people who use these processes at least twice daily – Email: 91%, Facebook: 57%, Twitter: 14%
  • Users who made a purchase because of these processes – Email: 66%, Facebook: 20%, Twitter: 6%
  • Customer Acquisition- Email: 7%, Facebook: <1%, Twitter: 0%

Lastly, email has a higher ROI at 21% versus Facebook and Twitter combined at 15%.

6. Search Engine Directories

In the old days, when someone wanted to search up a business, he/she would use the Yellow Pages telephone directory. Today, that person would use search engine directories.

And yes, the Yellow Pages can be found online. This time, YP has other search engine directories as competition. These search engine directories include Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo! Local Listing.

Having your business listed in an online directory is an effective way to get found. This is especially true for retail-type businesses.

According to Google, 80% of Americans use search engine directories to track down a business. 50% of the search has resulted in a visit to the store and 18% of those visits resulted in a sale.

You can read more about search engine directories in our article, “Why Should Retail Locations Be Listed in Search Engines”.

7. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a good strategy to use for building your brand, establishing yourself as an authority, creating natural inbound links and driving traffic to your website.

There are blog sites that allow guest writers to share content on their website. However, it is a good idea to check on the authenticity and reputation of the blog site before making your inquiry.

In the same manner that there are good guest blog networks, there are also bad guest blog networks. You will know who they are because their ground rules sound spurious.

For example, these bad guest blog networks will not allow you to edit content or remove spammy links. Also, a visit to their site will yield a “treasure trove” of poor quality content.

Conclusion

Social media is a great way to build your business online. However, it is not the only way. Also, it may not be the best way to grow your business. As you have read, there are other tools that you can use to give your business the online presence it needs.

The bottom line is, a digital marketing strategy should not be dependent on only one tool. It should utilize a good number of processes that can provide your business with different avenues to achieve its goals.

From there, you can use Analytics to determine which processes are generating good ROI and which ones aren’t. Analytics is an effective tool for fine-tuning your digital marketing campaign.

If Analytics show that your social media marketing strategy is not delivering the results, find out why. Identify the weaknesses and try to institute improvements.

If upon further analysis, the results are not to your satisfaction, do not hesitate to repurpose the resources to other processes that yield better ROI.

Hopefully, we were able to give you some level of objectivity toward social media. Yes, it is powerful and influential. However, it may not be for everyone.

The good thing is there are other tools at your disposal which can be more effective than social media.  

If you liked this article, please feel free to share it. And if you want to learn more about how digital marketing can grow your business, please do not hesitate to give us a call or an email.

Consult with us for 30 minutes free of charge!

We hope to hear from you soon.

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