How to Know If You’re Reaching the Right Audience on Social Media

When it comes to marketing, one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is creating a target audience that is broader than they can effectively reach. Let me explain. A friend of mine has a small business. In requesting some marketing help I asked them, “Now, who is your target audience?” Their response, “everyone.” That answer is a marketer’s worst nightmare. I hate to break it to you, but “everyone” isn’t a target audience.” In fact, when you target everyone, you’re targeting no one.

In this blog I’m going to walk you through the different audiences you can expect to reach on some of the major social platforms.

Determine Your Target Audience

Once you have established your business you need to think about future clients. Who will want your product? How will you reach them? The fact of the matter is, in order to sell your product effectively, you need to clearly identify who you want to buy your product while considering why they need your product in their lives.

Each social channel is going to have a different audience, which is to your advantage. A different audience type, with some overlap to be considered, will be on each platform. Depending on your business, it’s important to know who and how to target the correct audience.

facebook logo audience

Having over 2 billion monthly active users, there’s a lot of data regarding who is on Facebook. There’s a good chance that the audience you’re looking for is going to be found here. According to 2018 statistics:

• 88% of people from ages 13-17 use Facebook
• 84% of people from ages 18-29 use Facebook
• 72% of people from ages 30-49 use Facebook
• 62% of people from ages 50-64 use Facebook
• 62% of people from ages 65+ use Facebook

There is a wide array of users, making Facebook one of the most ideal places to find and target your audience. Throughout the years, Facebook has added features, allowing people to optimize their profiles which gives businesses even more information to target.

instagram audience logo

I might go as far as to say that Instagram is the young man’s game. The audience on this app is generally younger, emphasizing photos and videos. Smartphones are common amongst the younger generation, making this social platform perfect for those with 24/7 access to the internet and high-quality phone photos. Statistics show that:

72% of people from ages 13-17 use Instagram
64% of people from ages 18-29 use Instagram
40% of people from ages 30-49 use Instagram
21% of people from ages 50-64 use Instagram
10% of people from ages 65+ use Instagram

Facebook has a gradual decrease as the age of the user increases whereas Instagram is a significant decrease once the age of users hits about 30. Part of the reasoning behind this is because Instagram isn’t designed for desktop – Facebook is. In order to drive more traffic towards their app, they’ve made their desktop version much less user-friendly.

If you want to find a young, visual audience, Instagram is a great platform to utilize.

twitter audience logo

Though a significantly fewer number of people use Twitter, it’s still a great social platform to use. Currently growing, I’d say that one of the best uses for Twitter as of now is to create brand awareness. Running ads on it and targeting an audience might not be useful though due to how few people use it regularly. It is one of the last social platforms to use a chronological feed (a tweet’s shelf-life is around 15-minutes or so). The largest audience on Twitter comes from 18-29 year olds, and stats say that 40% of the people in that age group use Twitter.

snapchat audience logo

With 69% of 13-17 year-olds and 68% of 18-29 year-olds on Snapchat, this social platform is another great way to reach a younger audience. The percentage of people aged 30+ on Snapchat is significantly less, making it less effective at targeting that specific age group. Snapchat is yet another platform based solely on photos and videos so pay attention to the content you’re sharing. It should be captivating and fast-paced.

linkedin audience logo

Another growing platform, LinkedIn, is specifically marketed towards professionals, which makes it unique. The platform’s purpose is different than others. LinkedIn is designed for professional networking. Those looking to grow their personal networks utilize this platform for professional purposes. Resumes, work experience, articles, etc. are all options for content to be posted. Though it may have few users right now, it’s a platform with some of the most potential for growth. It’s starved for content, making the shelf-life of posts longer than any other social platform.

As of 2018, here are the percentages of users that are on LinkedIn:

• 29% of people from ages 18-29 use LinkedIn
• 33% of people from ages 30-49 use LinkedIn
• 24% of people from ages 50-64 use LinkedIn
• 9% of people from ages 65+ use LinkedIn

The user percentages are low, but I see LinkedIn as an opportunity to create a presence before there is a presence. Building your network now and establishing your business or yourself is one of the things that will benefit you in the future when others hop on board the bandwagon.

Social media targeting isn’t a “one size fits all” strategy. It must be intelligently determined and then optimized. The goal is to create, optimize, gather information, optimize and repeat over and over until you get your desired results. By utilizing the different audiences on each social platform, you can reach your target market with ease. Our social experts at Epic Marketing can answer any question you have about finding your perfect audience.

SEO Glossary

Whether you’re new to SEO, or a seasoned manager, SEO terms can sometimes be hard to digest. The amount of terms that you deal with in any campaign is enough to hurt your brain.

We decided to create this handy guide for SEO newbs and SEO directors alike. And while this is a comprehensive list of the most common SEO terms, there are hundreds more that we aren’t hitting on. Hopefully, this can be a great starting point for you.

Feel free to click through the letters to get to the spot you’re most interested in learning about.

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

#

301 Redirect – a 301 redirect is used for a URL that has been moved permanently. These types of redirects pass roughly 90% of link equity. This is the most recommended redirect for SEO.

302 Redirect – a 302 redirect means that a URL was found and has been moved temporarily.

404 Redirect – a 404 error means page not found. This means that the page a browser was requesting isn’t found by the server.
410 – Redirect

A

Algorithm – complex data used by search engines to deliver results for a certain query. With a combination of algorithms, search engines are able to deliver ranked pages based on a number of signals and ranking factors.

Algorithm Updates – This is when search engines change certain signals and ranking factors for the current algorithm.

Alt Attribute – code that gives information to search engines and screen readers (accessibility for the visually impaired) to understand an image on your site.

Analytics -Analyzing and interpreting data to impact action in future strategies based on what has or hasn’t worked in the past. Learn more here.

Anchor text – Clickable word or phrases of a link, giving information to both people and search engines about what the website they’re clicking to is about.

Authority – Combo of signals search engines utilize to rank a website properly.

B

B2B – Business to Business. B2B SEO is the science of reaching professionals through search engines. It should answer 3 things: what are people looking for? How can we satisfy their needs? How do we convince Google that we can satisfy their needs?

Backlinks – Backlinks are inbound links that originate from someone elses’s website. If you link to Google, that’s a backlink for Google and vice versa. **Backlinks are one if the main signals in the algorithm right now to increase your rankings.

Black hat SEO – Going against Google Webmaster Guidelines. These are risky, spammy SEO tactics.

Bounce rate – The number of people who come to your website and leave without visiting another page. These depend widely on your industry, and although it’s not a direct ranking factor, it indicates website issues.

Broken link – a link (whether page or image) that leads to a 404 not found page. If you haven’t implemented a redirect (301), or if your website goes offline, this can create a 404.

C

Canonical – To reduce duplicate content, adding a canonical URL shows search engines which URL is the preferred page when multiple pages have similar (or the same) content.

CTR – Also known as click-through-rate, shows a percentage of users who click on an organic search result to visit your website. Calculated by dividing clicks by impression and multiplying by 100.

Citation – Also known as a local listing, citations are an online reference to your business name, address and phone number (NAP). Your NAP consistency plays a large role in your local relevance in search.

Competitor Analysis – When auditing a potential clients SEO efforts, look at competitors and what they’re doing that you aren’t doing and vice versa. There are SEO competitors (competing for the same keywords and search visibility) and direct competitors (companies that sell similar products and services to the same target audience).

Content – words, images, and videos that convey information to be consumed by your audience. Aside from link building, content is the most important ranking factor on Google. Search engines reward useful, informative and engaging content.

Conversion – this is an action completed by a user on your website like completing a purchase, downloading content, subscribing to a newsletter and filling out a contact form.

Conversion Rate – The rate that users complete a website action. Calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by traffic and multiplying by 100.

CRO – Optimizing opportunities for conversions on a website (homepage, landing pages, etc.).

Crawling – a program search engines to use crawl the web and more specifically, your website. Bots, spiders, and crawlers collect information and add it to a search engines index. The 3 types of crawling programs are:
• Google bots
• Crawler
• Spider

D

Directory – A list of websites in related categories that allows your website inclusion (free and paid). Slowly this type of link building isn’t as valuable as it used to be.

Disavow – If your website somehow gets hacked or includes a number of spammy and low-quality inbound links and can have negative harm on your rankings. You typically don’t have control over these links, but you can ask Google to ignore those links through their disavow tool.

Do-follow link – a link that passes link juice and doesn’t contain the nofollow attribute.

Domain Authority – Your strength and authority of your website, with a score between 0-100. It takes a lot of time to build up this “strength”, but it helps your rankings significantly.

Duplicate content – When more than one webpage contains similar if not the same content as one another (same website or completely different website).

E

Ecommerce – Buying and selling products online.

Editorial Link – Also known as a natural link, this is a link given by another website without you asking for it.

Engagement metrics – Ways to measure how users interact with your website. These include things like:

• CTR
• Conversion rate
• Bounce rate
• New vs. returning visitors

F

Featured Snippet – who/what/where/when/why/how query answers that Google shows in a block about the organic search results.

G

Google
• Analytics – Program to analyze and interpret data to impact action in future strategies based on what has or hasn’t worked in the past.
• Hummingbird – 2013 Google algorithm with a goal of understanding the context of queries instead of just keywords.
• Panda – 2011 Google algorithm update with a goal to reduce low-value content visibility.
• Penguin – 2012 Google algorithm update with a goal to reduce the visibility of overly-optimized sites, especially those with low-quality links and keyword stuffing.
• Pigeon – 2014 Google algorithm update with a goal to improve the relevance of local searches.
• Rankbrain – 2015 algorithm change that adds machine learning, the third most important ranking signal.
• Search Console – Program that helps you monitor your site for indexing errors and site speed.
• Trends – Google trends allows you to explore data for trends, stories, and topics.
• Posts – Google Posts is a feature that lets you include a post with your local listing to tell customers and potential customers about: Events, Products, Promotions/specials, Announcements.
• Tag Manager – A program that allows you to add tags and snippets of code to a website without the use of a programmer or web developer.

Guest Blogging – Link building tactic involving writing content for other websites in exchange for a backlink to your website.

H

Heading – Heading tags separate content into sections. H1 is the most important with H6 being the least important.

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language. Code elements used to improve SEO for websites.

HTTP/HTTPS – HTTP is how data is transferred from server to browser. HTTPS is the secure version of that. HTTPS is also a small ranking factor for Google.

I

Inbound links – Link pointing to one website from another website.

Index – A database that searches and retrieves information from a website to then use to match a user to the right query.

Internal link – Link from one page to another page within the same site.

IP address – IP stands for internet protocol. Every computer that’s connected to the internet has an individual, unique IP address.

J

Javascript – a programming language that can be embedded into HTML to add dynamic features to a webpage or site to make it more interactive.

K

Keyword
Cannibalization – In simple terms, it’s self-competition that happens when multiple pages on your site rank for the same query on the search engines. It can hurt your authority and lower your conversion rates.

Density – How many times a keyword/phrase appears in the content of a webpage. While there is no ideal percentage to help with rankings, it’s said to keep it between 2-3%.

Research – discovering relevant keywords to your focus SEO strategy. This can be done through research tools, analytics, competitor sites etc.

Stuffing – writing content that uses a keyword or phrase excessively.

Knowledge graph/panel – A box that appears at the top of the search results on relevant queries. Queries that have a quick, easy answer. These are things like song search, lyric search, recipe search, and celebrity searches.

KPI – Key performance indicators are ways to measure the results of your SEO strategies. These are things like the number of sessions, conversions, traffic, pages per session etc.

L

Local SEO – Local SEO targets potential customers within a specific geographic area. Optimizing content with localization, local listings etc.

Landing page – The first page a user lands on after clicking on a link from the search results.

Link building – Process of building high-quality backlinks that search engines use to evaluate the authority of your website.

Log file analysis – Assessing data kept in a log file to see trends, user movements through the site and understand how bots are crawling your site.

LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing is the keywords that are semantically related to the main keywords. You can see a list of LSI keywords for a keyword you use in a query at the bottom of the SERPs.

M

Metadata
• Description – the meta description is the sentence or two that shows up under the title of your website in the SERPs. Should be relevant, reinforce what the page is about and contain keywords or phrases.
• Title – the meta title, or title tag, needs to be unique to every page and describe what important ideas are covered in the content. Should keep between 8 and 10 words.
• Keywords – meta keywords is a tag that is used to highlight keywords or phrases that the page is targeting.

Metric – a way to measure the performance of campaign to see if it’s successful or not.

N

Negative SEO – an extremely harmful practice where webspam techniques are used to hurt a competitor.

Niche – Small group of people in a specific market or industry.

No follow/no index – a tag that tells search engines not to follow a specific external link or index a specific page in the index.

O

Off-page SEO – SEO strategies done outside of the website including: social media marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing etc.

On-page SEO – strategies put in place inside the website including optimizing images, metadata, content etc.

Organic search – the unpaid listings that appear in the SERPs, typically underneath the ads at the top. These results are analyzed and ranked by the algorithms and shown in the results based on a specific, related query.

Outbound link – a link that directs your website visitors to a different page on a different website.

P

Pagerank – PageRank measures the importance of a page based on backlinks to it. Each QUALITY link adds to your PageRank.

Page speed – The amount of time it takes for a website or page to load completely and is a big ranking factor.

Paid search – advertisements that appear above the organic search results.

Penalty – Search engines penalize websites for spammy tactics. This penalty prevents these spammed sites from ranking high in the results.

Pogo-sticking – When a user bounces back and forth between a SERP and the pages listed.

Q

Query – the phrase or keyword that users enter into a search engine.

Quality content – Content that helps you achieve your SEO goals of high rankings that generate leads or sales.

Quality link – A backlink that comes from an extremely authoritative, relevant website.

R

Robot.txt – a text file that tells search engines which areas of a website should be crawled and ignored.

Ranking – where, in the SERPs, your website appears in the organic search results for a certain query.

Reciprocal links – when two different websites have an agreement to exchange links with one another.

Redirect – a way to let search engines know that the location of a page moved. Users will then be directed to a new, but a relevant webpage.

Responsive website – a website that automatically adjusts to the size of someone’s smart device.

Rich snippet – structured data added to a website that provides additional context to a certain webpage to enhance a listing.

S

Schema – structured data or microdata that gives more context to search engines and helps show the positive tactics like positive reviews, events, products, location etc.

Search engine – a program that allows users to search queries and find answers and relevant information. Here’s a list of the most common search engines:
• Google
• Yahoo
• Baidu
• Yandex
• DuckDuckGo
• Bing

SEM – a term describing visibility in search engines that includes both paid and organic strategies.

SEO – making a business appeal to both users and search engines with a combination of technical and on-page marketing.

SERP – the page on search engines that displays after a user conducts a search query.

Sitemap – a way for crawlers and bots to navigate your website.

Status codes – response codes sent to a server after a link is clicked. Common codes are:
• 200
• 301
• 302
• 404
• 410
• 500
• 503

T

TLD (top-level domain) – end of a given web address. Like
• .com
• .org
• .net

Traffic – users and crawlers who visit your website.

U

URL – the web address entered into a browser to go to a webpage.

URL parameter – an added piece to a URL that tracks where traffic comes from like: facebook, twitter, google listing etc.

User Experience – the feeling users are left with after being on your website and interacting with your online presence.

V

Voice search – voice search requires you to use your voice to ask questions and conduct online search queries through smart devices.

W

Website navigation – How websites help users navigate through the site. There are a few different ways to implement navigation:
• Main
• Footer
• Breadcrumbs

White hat SEO – SEO tactics that specifically comply with Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Word count – The number of words that appear within your content. Low word count can signal search engines of a low-quality website.

WordPress – a popular website management/creation software platform.

X

XML Sitemap – a text format sitemap that search engines can read.

Y

Youtube – Second largest search engine that usually ends up with more search traffic than Yahoo and Bing combined.

Hopefully, this list helped you learn something or help you figure out an issue you were having with one of your campaigns. If we’re missing any super important terms that you use on a regular basis, let us know and we’ll get it added!

National vs. Local SEO

Search Marketing started in the 1990’s and has gradually gotten more intense. Back then, it was as simple as keyword tags and keyword stuffing for you to rank well. In 2004, link farms started and helped you rank even higher on the search engines. In 2011, social media marketing joined in and since then, search engines have gradually intensified their algorithms, making it harder to rank using the tactics above.

In 2018, none of the things listed above will fly in your SEO strategy. If anything, doing these things will hurt your efforts. Understanding the strategy and techniques behind an effective SEO campaign is imperative for you to survive in the ever-changing online world. Whether you’re a national company or a local brick and mortar store, SEO will help your business succeed. However, there are different strategies and techniques for both of these types of campaigns (hence the reason for this blog post). Let’s dive into differentiating your strategy based on national vs local SEO.

What is National SEO?

National SEO is useful for businesses that aren’t focused on servicing a specific geographic area but want to reach a national or global clientele. Your main focus here is your brand. You’re constantly competing against other national brands, so you need to make sure your brand is just as strong if not stronger.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is about bringing visitors to your business or area. So if your business wants to focus 100% on local clients, local SEO will provide long-lasting growth. Local SEO allows you to target potential customers within a specific geographic area. With this, you’re speaking directly to the people who are in proximity to your business and therefore more likely to buy your product.


Local and national SEO share the same goal – rank higher in the SERPs to increase conversions and traffic. The differences they have has to do with how they reach this goal. Since the purpose of both national and local SEO is to optimize for search engines, it’s clear that they would have some similarities.

National and Local SEO Similarities

SEO Strategies

Backlinks are effective for both local and national businesses; they continue to weigh heavy in the ranking factors. The means to which you get backlinks differs slightly for both of them though. It’s important to focus on keywords/key phrases when writing guest posts. Depending on whether your campaign is local or national will affect the types of keywords, phrases, localization you use. As with the guest post itself needing to be specific, it’s also important to choose the websites you post to carefully. For a national campaign, I wouldn’t recommend using local directories or local websites.

Both local and national SEO campaigns can benefit from backlinks from resource pages and also creating resource pages on their own websites – each campaign will just be targeting different sites for different reasons.

National and Local SEO Differences

Keywords

National SEO: these campaigns typically have a much larger budget than small businesses and a lot more manpower which is what helps them succeed when they try to rank for generic keywords.

Local SEO: these campaigns have less manpower and would be smart to focus on geo-specific keywords since that makes more sense in terms of who their potential client would be.

Citations

National SEO: the algorithm runs a little different for a national campaign and having local citations won’t help their campaign at all.

Local SEO: Maintaining NAP consistency throughout citations is important and any inconsistencies can decrease your local SEO value. These citations weigh heavily in regards to local search results and the algorithm behind it. There are an enormous amount of citation sites available to add more value to your campaign.

local listings

Social Media

National SEO: Often times, national campaigns have more resources available which in turn usually means that they have better management of their social media accounts.

Local SEO: Social media can be a hard thing to manage or gain any sort of engagement from on a local level. It’s important to at least have business pages set up.

**For both national and local campaigns, social media can assist with your link building efforts in terms of social sharing.

The future is uncertain. Algorithm changes happen hundreds of times a year and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. Having a solid foundation of SEO should be a priority for your business. SEO is not dead, as some people believe. Websites will continue to compete for attention and placement in the SERPs. If you have knowledge and experience to increase your rankings, traffic, and conversions, you’ll see reap the benefits. First things first– choose a national or local SEO strategy.

SEO and Voice Search

There are over 1 billion voice searches performed monthly, and that number is likely to continue to grow. Thirty-five times more voice searches were performed on Google in 2016 than in 2008. So if you’re wondering if you should implement a voice-first website, the answer is a resounding YES. Throughout this blog we’ll give you a few tips and tricks to optimize your current site to be SEO voice-search friendly. But first a little background.

The Rapid Growth of Voice Search

The number of voice searches continues to grow rapidly, as 41 percent of adults say they have only started using voice search during the last six months of 2017 and 19 percent reported that they started using it at some point in the first half of 2017. By comparison, only 11 percent of people say that they have been using it for more than three years.

How is Voice Search Different than Traditional Search?

There are many ways that voice search and traditional search are different, but five things naturally rise to the top. Voice search users:

• Use conversational speech

• Ask queries based on location

• Provide a better understanding of their intent

• Count on featured snippets

• Want personal assistance

How successful companies can implement voice search SEO

User Queries

Traditionally, companies have relied on between one- to three-word search phrases to connect with users. As users turn to more voice searches, longtail keywords will become more important. Concentrate on answering questions that might be asked by people if they picked up the phone and called your company. One study looked at over 1,000 voice search queries and found that what and how-to questions were the most popular followed by when, where, who and why questions.

Location-based Voice Search

Since about 69 percent of all voice searches are done from a mobile device, it naturally follows that people may be looking for locations close to them. Therefore, brick-and-mortar companies should start by making a landing page for each of their physical locations. That page should include local landmarks like popular attractions, local schools and other places of local interest. Make sure that you have claimed your Google My Business account for each location. Use Google Posts to keep these listings updated with sales or special events. Use schema to connect websites to local locations and name, address, phone number (NAP) consistency through citations (these are all aspects of SEO).

User Intent

With traditional searches, it’s very difficult to determine user intent. For example, a person might type “recliner” into the search box, but Google and other search engines have no way of knowing what the searcher really wants to know. They could want to know where to buy a recliner, how to make a recliner or how to make a recliner comfortable for sleeping. Since voice searches are typically longer, it is easier to determine the user’s exact intent. This allows companies to do search engine optimization for voice search based specifically on each query type allowing them to meet user intent better.

Featured Snippets

In January 2018, Google announced that 80 percent of Google Home answers came from featured snippets. While snippets may be paragraphs, lists or tables, most of the ones used for voice search are either paragraphs or lists. Since most featured snippets come from pages that rank in the top 10 places, it is important to use white-hat search engine optimization methods to make sure that you are one of the top-ranking websites. Again, using schema, claiming your Google My Business and having a content strategy all seem to improve the odds of ranking higher in your niche. Aim at answering questions succinctly, stick to the facts and present them in a well-organized manner. Creating a list of frequently asked questions is often a great place to start but keep your answers under 45 words when possible.

Provide Personal Assistance

Siri, Echo, Alexa and Google Home are all programmed to remember important facts about the user. Companies must find a way to tie their SEO for voice search into what customers are wanting to accomplish, with their phones or smart devices. Think about how you can create pages that will allow potential customers to order your product or service using only their voice. Make it easy for them to connect with a person who can further handle their questions. Show how your product will help keep them safer or more entertained. Prove that your product is based on the latest research.

While many companies are still trying to cope with making their sites mobile-friendly, the forward-thinking companies are already optimizing for voice search SEO. The trend is only going to get stronger over the next few years. Optimize for voice search now and stay ahead of the trend. Your ROI will be well worth the time and effort. Contact our SEO experts at Epic Marketing to learn more about what we can do to escalate your business!

3 Fundamental Pillars of SEO Techniques

Moz recently stated that Google changes their algorithm 500-600 times a year. If their algorithm changes this frequently, shouldn’t your SEO strategy be changing too?

SEO is fundamental to boosting your organic search rankings and building your presence online. When done right, SEO can improve your company’s bottom line (leads, sales, etc.).

So what is SEO and what makes up a good SEO strategy? These are the three fundamental pillars of SEO and our techniques for building on them:
Structure
Content
Authority

SEO Pillar #1: Structure

There’s a technical side of SEO that people don’t really talk about, but it’s crucial for your long-term SEO efforts. Whenever we approach a new website or client we do a website audit to find the technical issues that either prevent Google from indexing it or that go against Google’s best practices. Here, we look at things like:

• Broken links
• Broken images
• Site speed
• HTML tags
• Internal linking
• External linking
• Sitemap errors
• Robot.txt errors
• Schema implementation

Fixing these errors make it easier for Google to crawl your site, rank you in the correct location and industry niche, and increase your visibility online.

SEO Pillar #2: Content

Google likes to know that your business is an active, relevant member of the web. To be seen as active, you should be releasing new content regularly and that content should be up to date. Google favors new content over old content and they want to know that you’re relevant to the industry you’re trying to rank in. Your content needs to be informative and focused on concepts that relate to the users intent.

If you want to do this effectively, you need to start by doing keyword research. There are a lot of resources to use for keyword research, but a few that Epic’s digital team uses are Google’s AdWords Planner, Answer the Public, and Ahrefs’ keyword explorer tool. Focus your time on keywords and create content that will benefit your users. There are 5 main types of searches that businesses should be aware of as they try to target content toward specific customers:

search engine optimization utah

Search intent is a big part of content creation and through trial and error, you’ll find your sweet spot.

Content is also where you have the chance to really localize your business. Localizing your content and site (technical SEO techniques), helps Google know where you’re located, what services you offer in that location, and ultimately decides your place in the local pack for certain keywords.

digital marketing utah

Through unique, quality content, keyword research, and listening to customer demand, you can own your industry online.

We’re hoping your question “What is SEO?” is getting answered slowly..

SEO Pillar #3: Authority

The higher you rank for relevant keywords, the more potential clients and current customers will see you as an authority. Google ranked you well because of the authority they think you have and the industry knowledge portrayed on your website (along with all of the technical factors we talked about). To gain higher authority, you can do things like gain backlinks from high authority sites, social references from respected accounts, have a content marketing strategy, make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) listings are consistent through quality citations, and last but not least, do competitor analysis.

Doing a deep dive of your competitors’ site and rankings can help you find content gaps on your own site. We use a program called Screaming Frog to analyze their content. Pair that with Ahrefs’ content gap analysis and site explorer tool. This allows you to view your overlap areas with competitors, where you rank and they don’t, and what they rank for that you don’t. This is a great tool to help you create content that you know that your potential customers are interested in. The site explorer tool allows you to see their organic search, backlinks, referring domains, and paid search. Finding the gaps in their online marketing strategy can play to your benefit.

After you’ve put a strategy into place using the SEO techniques we’ve talked about above, measure your success. Did it work? Here are some KPI’s to look at on a monthly basis (if not more often):

• Traffic by channel
• Top entry pages
• Rankings
• Conversions from organic traffic
• Time on site
• Average page views
• Bounce rate

No one expects you to change your SEO techniques 500-600 per year, but adapting to the changes in search engine algorithms is essential to boosting your organic rankings, increasing your reputation online and to understand what is SEO. If you have any more questions, reach out to our SEO experts here at Epic Marketing.

Content Marketing Strategy Must-Haves for Your Website

Content marketing is its own kind of marketing beast. If it’s fed properly, it can be as majestic as a lion, king of the jungle and ready to engage. If it’s not given the proper digital diet and care, the content on your site lags like a sloth, unuseful and unseen at the bottom of Google’s SERPs (search engine result pages).

The good news is there are simple techniques that content marketers can use to help your website gain traction with search engines. These techniques provide the nutrition your site needs to continue to grow and thrive in the online jungle.

Here are five common components that you may want to incorporate into your content marketing strategy in order to help your site dominate search in your niche.

Too busy/lazy to read the whole thing? Here’s an infographic.

1. Call to Action

According to Optimizely.com, a call to action (or CTA) is a prompt of sorts that ask the viewer to act on a specific request. Some typical examples of CTAs include:

• Sign up now
• Buy now
• Learn more by clicking here
• Contact us today

The CTA is a common feature of the sales funnel and is one of the most important features. It increases sales and newsletter memberships. A simple call to action also allows you to extend the reach of your marketing efforts without having to do much.

The best CTAs are easy to read and stand out on the page according to HubSpot. Take, for example, DropBox’s bright blue sign-up button that stands out against its all-white background.

dropbox logo

Other effective calls to action include Panthera’s “Join the pride today,” which appeals to cat lovers; Quick Sprout’s “Are you doing your SEO wrong?”; and OkayCupid’s bright green “continue” button on the dark blue background.

2. Local Relevancy

When it comes to digital marketing, few techniques can help a local business owner out as much as having local SEO content on their website. As Yoast points out, most people who use local search terms aren’t looking to buy online. Instead, they need information that will direct them to a local brick-and-mortar store, where they can take the next step.

To attract these customers, you’re going to need to do a couple of things. First, you need to make sure that you’re using unique localized content for each page. Basically, this means that even if you have an office in two different cities for the same business, the content for each page won’t be carbon copies of each other.

You’ll also want to add your business’s contact information (name, address, phone number, email, etc.). Moz additionally recommends that you put a Google map on your site. All of this type of information helps search engines categorize your site correctly.

Additionally, you should be using keywords/ keyword phrases with a local flair. For example, if you’re a dentist in Fort Worth, Texas, make sure that your business’s website uses words like “Fort Worth dentists” or “dentists in Fort Worth” throughout.

3. Internal Links

The internal linking strategy that you use on your site is important. It shows search engines like Google the relevance of pages, the relationship between pages and the value of the pages.

There should be a lot of links to the most important topic-related pages, the ones that pass the most link value. From there, link to subpages about similar content. You want Google to see what pages have similar topics and information.

The anchor text used in linking is also important. Anchor text is the clickable text that your reader sees. It should contain keywords or relevant content to what it’s linked to. The content around your anchor text says more about relevancy to Google than the anchor itself, so be sure that you aren’t over-optimizing.

4. SEO Components

SEO elements like metadata, subheadings, alt text, and other components also help your website rank better by making it easier for search engines to categorize your content.

Metadata includes title tags and meta descriptions. Title tags indicate to search engines what your page is about. It’s currently recommended that title tags stay below 70 characters and include localization. Meta descriptions are written so the reader can understand what information your content is going to give them. These typically include a CTA and it’s recommended they stay below 140 characters.

Another important thing to have are headings. An H1 is the title of your page. It’s an HTML code that search engines crawl to understand what your page is about. It’s similar to a title tag, and oftentimes are the same. You should only have one H1 on each page so search engines don’t get confused about the topic of your page. Subheadings should be labeled as h2, h3 and so on.

For example, let’s say you’ve written a blog post about Alice in Wonderland. In this example, this is the H1 for your page. Some of the subheadings that might appear on your blog post would be “Alice Meets Hatter,” “Alice Cries a Pool of Tears,” “Alice Meets the Red Queen.” These subheadings give the reader a preview of what they’re going to read next. In this case, the content will be about the Mad Hatter, the pool of tears, and the Red Queen.

Finally, visual elements like photos and illustrations should have alt text that tells search engines what the photo is about. Going back to the Alice example, if you have a photo of Alice in her pool of tears, the alt text and file name should include that.

alice in her pool of tears

content marketing utah

5. Up-to-Date Content

Keeping the content on your website up-to-date is important because it signals to search engines that your website is current and you’re actively contributing to the web. Along with helping you build your reputation with search engines as an expert in your niche, it also helps keep your site at the top of the SERPs as long as the content is relevant and useful.

Typically, search engines favor new and relevant content over old and outdated content. And given the fact that millions of new pages of content are created daily, content updates are one of the simplest things you can do in your content marketing efforts to keep your site on top.

By incorporating calls to action, local relevancy, internal links, SEO components and up-to-date content you can make sure you have a majestic lion. It’s good to be king.

Content Marketing Strategy Infographic

 

Making Local SEO Work for Your Business

Every company needs to actively engage in local search engine optimization to be successful.

Google can make or break your business, and with most people not venturing past the second page in Google’s search, you’re missing out on potential customers by not having a content strategy and doing proper keyword research.

One of the biggest hurdles that companies face when crafting their search engine optimization strategy is competing with the biggest players in the market. If you’re a pizza restaurant, for example, you’ll go up against industry titans like Pizza Hut and Papa Johns if you’re trying to be found for a term like “pizza”. These companies have huge budgets and spend millions of dollars on marketing to stay at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Most businesses don’t have the bandwidth or budget to compete head to head. What you can do though is focus on local SEO services offered to you.

Local search engine optimization operates on the same principles as the marketing you’re already doing. The difference is that it targets potential customers within a specific geographic area. With this, you’re speaking directly to the people who are in proximity to your business and therefore more likely to buy your product. Plus, you have a much better shot of showing up higher in the SERPs, it’s a win-win!

What Is Local Search Engine Optimization?

Local SEO services involve strategically choosing your keywords and adding in a specific geographic location. So, if you’re the pizza restaurant from our earlier example, you would use a keyword like “Pizza in Portland, Oregon” or simply “Pizza in Portland”. You’ll reach people in that area who are looking for a good slice and able to give your restaurant a try! Using a keyword research tool like Google’s keyword planner allows you to research how often a term is searched and make any adjustments to your organic and paid strategy.

What Are The Benefits Of Localizing Your SEO Strategy?

Localization does two things for you: it makes you a larger fish in a smaller pond which allows you to rise up through the search engine rankings more quickly and it puts you in touch with people who are both interested in your product and physically able to obtain it. If you’re interested in expanding your business to a larger market, localization helps tremendously. Building local credibility prior to establishing a national or international presence is essential. If you want to cement yourself as an authority in your town or city, local SEO is the key. Utilizing techniques like NAP consistency (name, address, phone number), local citations and meta data, you can dominate.

How Do You Localize Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

The first step is integrating properly localized keywords into your content. Write your website content and any supplementary blog posts with this purpose in mind. This will help you tremendously in organic rankings. Consider running Google AdWords alongside your organic campaign. Many successful companies run SEO and a Google PPC campaigns in tandem for maximum success. Together they add exposure on the SERPs and can help combat negative PR with keyword research. If you run a local PPC campaign, you’ll pay a lot less than you would for a generic, non-localized term and reach the more of the customers you want.

You can also leverage your social media platforms to enhance your local search engine optimization. Facebook ads are highly targeted and localized. The landscape of social is constantly changing, especially with the emergence of different advertising opportunities. Facebook has customizable audience options to target those who would be most interested. The data you collect from social campaigns might uncover other details about what audiences you really should be targeting and help you refine your overall SEO strategy.

Be sure that your website is completely responsive (mobile friendly). Google’s most recent algorithm is mobile-focused and takes into account if your site enhances the customer experience. There is a strong trend towards searching on mobile devices that isn’t changing anytime soon. People won’t tolerate pinching and zooming in on their smartphones anymore. Make your website as attractive and as user-friendly as possible.

Why Localized SEO Is Smart SEO

Local SEO is all about strategy. Focusing on local customers is an excellent way to boost your business. You’ll compete with fewer big players, attract customers who are physically able to consume your products or services and establish yourself as a local authority. This type of marketing is so important that even some big players, like Coke and Pepsi, are focusing on local markets to appeal to consumers in their hometowns. The advantage you have? You are actually a local business in your town, not an outside player. You can speak to people in person and you’ll stand out as a small business who serves the community. Don’t underestimate the support that a small business can get from their loyal patrons.

By employing smart keyword focus and maximizing social media platforms to emphasize your appeal locally, you’re making a smart business move that will pay huge dividends in the future! When evaluating your content and marketing strategy, stop thinking global and start thinking local. Contact Epic Marketing in Draper, Utah to see how we can boost your marketing through Epic’s digital local SEO services.