How to grow backlinks to boost your SEO using HARO

Quality backlinks support any strong SEO strategy, but have you used HARO yet?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Simply put, it’s all about consistently showing search engines why your website should be shown above other websites when users search queries that are related to your content.

HARO is a website that stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s a service that connects journalists with a variety of sources but also gives you the opportunity to get useful media coverage for your business.

In other words, by using HARO, you can grow your quality backlinks. HARO distributes more than 50,000 journalist queries from highly respected media outlets each year seeking experts just like you, and you can pitch your expertise in hopes of being a source for any one of them (as it relates to your industry).

The following are five tips to use HARO and submit the best possible pitch as you aim to grow your backlinks.

Sign up on HARO to be a Source

To start using HARO, you must register. Fortunately, it’s an easy process. When on the HARO website, click “I’m A Source,” review the “Rules for Sources” and then click the “Sign Up” button. There are multiple subscription plans available for Sources:

  • Basic, which gets you daily pitch opportunity emails for free
  • Standard, which includes everything in Basic plus keyword alerts for one keyword, a profile that automatically inserts into your pitches, text alerts and the ability to search through possible pitch opportunities online for $19 per month
  • Advanced, which includes everything in Standard plus keyword alerts for up to three keywords, up to three profiles that can automatically be inserted into your pitches and an advanced alert about upcoming media opportunities as soon as they’re approved by the editorial team (but before they’re released publicly) so that you can get a head start for $49 per month.
  • Premium, which includes everything in Advanced plus keyword alerts for unlimited keywords, unlimited profiles and phone/email support from the HARO team for $149 per month

Choose your plan based on your goals and budget. Then, enter your company information, and get ready to begin receiving three emails per day, one at 5:35 a.m., 12:35 p.m. and 5:35 p.m. (Eastern time).

Seek opportunities in your daily HARO emails

The daily HARO emails you receive are only valuable opportunities if you open and review them.

Make sure you monitor available queries on a daily business to find the best ones that relate to your expertise and business. Spoiler: They’re not all going to make sense for you.

Open these emails as soon as you get them if you’re serious about finding a media coverage opportunity. Keep in mind that quality backlinks are your goal, so as you’re reviewing queries, do your research on the media outlets. Are they the type of backlink you’re looking for? Do they make sense to cover your business in any sort of way? It’s OK to be picky.

When you do find a query that works for you, you’re doing to want to act on it as soon as possible. Time is of the essence. If you wait, someone else will beat you to it with a pitch that gets selected by that journalist.

Optimize your HARO pitches

We’ve been mentioning “pitches.” They are key to you obtaining media coverage and quality backlinks on HARO. 

Keep in mind that journalists receive a large number of pitches, so you want to stand out. Aim to:

  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Offer quality
  • Cover all the requested details that are in the query you’re pitching for (and don’t veer off-topic)
  • Include an author bio that has your full name and a short introduction about your expertise and field
  • Follow the stated HARO rules for Sources because if you don’t, not only will your pitch get rejected, but you may also get entirely banned from the website
  • Take the opportunity to personalize your pitch to stand out (which can vary depending on the pitch)
  • End your pitch with a call-to-action that’s directed to the journalist to contact you or even connect with you on social media (so that you can help that journalist find additional sources)
  • Make life easy on the journalist by sharing downloadable versions of your headshot, company logo and bio that can be featured

Watch out for your placement

It’s entirely possible that if your pitch is selected, the journalist will contact you directly. But it’s also possible that he or she won’t. 

To make sure you’re aware of any placements you’re not directly notified about, set up a Google Alert for your brand name. That way, you’ll always be in the loop.

Be patient when using HARO

The success of generating quality backlinks through HARO is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. 

In other words, don’t get discouraged. Consider HARO a long-term strategy that will benefit your SEO over time.

Check out our 12 SEO tips for beginners. In fact, you can level up your SEO skills with any of these 10 free courses online.

As you’re starting your journey on HARO to grow quality backlinks, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to improve your website’s domain authority

Many factors come together to make or break your search engine optimization (SEO), including your domain authority.

In a nutshell, the higher your domain authority, then the more likely your website will rank higher in search engine results and generate more organic traffic. Domain authority represents your ranking strength.

Domain authority is scored on a scale of 1 to 100, where 1 is the worst and 100 is the best as derived through an algorithm that you are not in control of. Scoring between 40 and 50 is average. Between 50 and 60 is good, and scoring over 60 is excellent.

With about 68 percent of online experiences beginning with a search engine, SEO matters more than ever.

To be clear, domain authority reflects your entire domain (or website), while page authority is specific to a single webpage.

The following are seven tips to help you improve your website’s domain authority.

Pick a good domain name

Having the right domain name for your website is critical. You want it to be relevant but also easy to remember.

Of course, if you already have a great domain name, make sure that your license isn’t going to expire without your knowledge.

Check out our Domain Name 101 Guide for Beginners.

Optimize your on-page content, elements

This includes so much more than just the obvious content itself, including:

  • Title tags
  • Image alt tags
  • Headings

Of course, when it comes to your content, it needs to be relevant and use critical keywords. Think about the questions search engine users are asking that should lead them to your website. Give them the value that they’re looking for. To truly improve your domain authority, you must show that you are the expert of your niche. Seize that opportunity with every piece of content you create.

Consider backlinks

Backlinking is when other websites link to the content on your website. This obviously isn’t something you can snap your fingers and make happen. 

But it all starts with creating high-quality content that others would want to link to, of course. Beyond that, see our seven tips to grow quality backlinks to your website.

Increase your internal linking

Internal links, on the other hand, are entirely within your control. They help direct your website visitors to other related content on your website that they might be interested in.

Take the time to audit the content you’ve already published. Then, begin to edit in links to your other related content. Doing so creates an internal linking structure that supports a stronger domain authority ranking.

Audit your outbound linking

Outbound linking is great for your SEO. It shows search engines that you’re a team player, but you also are showing whom you consider to be trustworthy resources on the internet. 

That being said, you’ll want to ensure that any website you’re linking out to from your content is still live and a trustworthy site.

This can ebb and flow more than you might imagine. So, it’s worthwhile to take the time to make sure every outbound link you have is still viable. Otherwise, you risk your own domain authority by linking to bad sites.

Prioritize mobile optimization

The way of the internet these days is mobile first. If your website doesn’t work well on a mobile device (whether it’s the layout, loading speed or something else), you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

And that’s not just because of what website visitors might think. Search engines are seeking mobile-friendly websites as well.

Check out our 16 tips to optimize your website for mobile traffic.

Embrace social media

Social media can impact both your domain authority specifically and your SEO at large. At the heart of it, it comes down to links directing users to your website beyond your website. 

Share your best content on your social media accounts, but also make it easy for your website visitors to share your content by providing social media sharing buttons.

See these seven ways that social media can impact your SEO.

In conclusion

Of course, the last thing you want to do is obsess over your domain authority ranking. We recommend monitoring your website analytics so that you are familiar with where your website traffic is coming from and what is working (and what isn’t).

Embracing general SEO best practices should feed into a boost for your domain authority. Then, know that it will take time. Be patient.

Check out our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners.

Then, as you’re working on your SEO, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

12 SEO marketing tips for beginners

Search engine optimization, also referred to as SEO, is critical for every website, but it’s also achievable, even for beginners.

SEO is all about ensuring that your website content ranks high in relevant search engine results. Of course, the higher you land in search rankings, the more website traffic you’ll see. The more traffic you drive, the more potential sales and revenue you can generate.

On the first page of Googe search results, for example, the first five organic results account for about 68 percent of all the resulting clicks.

The effort is worthwhile. About 49 percent of marketers say that organic search has the best return on investment (ROI) of any marketing channel.

But successful SEO is so much more than just using relevant keywords.

The following are 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners that you can start using today.

Claim (or create) your Google My Business profile

Google My Business is a free public profile or listing that appears in related search results on Google.

Claiming (or creating) your listing provides Google (and internet users) with key information about your company. 

See our recommended 12 ways to optimize your Google My Business profile.

Create new, fresh content

Search engines love new content, which is seen as more relevant for users but also shows that your website is active.

Focus on topics that address the needs, wants and challenges of your target audience. What problems can you help them solve? To stay organized, see our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

However, producing new content consistently can be a challenge for any marketer.

See our 13 tips for repurposing content like a rockstar. But if you’re flat-out stuck, check out our seven tips for beating marketing writer’s block.

Write longer

Writing longer, at its core, is about giving visitors the quality, in-depth content they’re seeking.

On the practical side, longer content gives you more opportunities for including keywords and offering the most beneficial information.

Longer, engaging content also increases your time on side, otherwise known as “dwell time.” The longer a user spends on your page, the greater the signal to Google (and other search engines) that users are engaging with your content. You want as long of a dwell time as possible.

The ideal length based on recent data is between 2,100 and 2,400 words.

But the danger of this tip is lengthening your content without adding value or sacrificing quality. Don’t go long just to go long. Quality over quantity always.

Use relevant keywords

Keywords aren’t everything, but they are a big piece of a successful SEO strategy.

It’s important to use the keywords that are most relevant to your piece of content. If you cast too wide of a net on your keywords, you are overpromising and underdelivering for search engines. Remember, search engines aim to deliver the most relevant search results for every user’s query.

Think about what a consumer might type into a search engine to find your content, and do your research.

Keep long-tail keywords in mind as well, particularly with the considerations surrounding voice search. (Long-tail keywords contain at least four words that more clearly specify the user’s intent in his or her search query.)

In addition, think about LSI keywords, which stands for “latent semantic indexing.” These are keywords that are related to the topic your content is about.

Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools that you can consider using. 

Optimize on-page elements

You’ll want to always keep your title, meta, heading and sub-heading tags on your website top of mind. These comprise your on-page SEO elements.

  • Title tag: The headline that appears on top of a search result. Make sure it’s unique for each page of your website, contains relevant keywords and is no more than 60 characters long.
  • Meta tag or meta description: The summary paragraph that appears as a description of your search result. Make sure that you take the opportunity to persuade users to click on your result in no more than 160 characters.
  • Headings and sub-headings: Ideally, you’ll have one heading <h1> per webpage, but you can have as many sub-headings (<h2>, <h3> and so on) as makes sense for the organization of your content on the page. These don’t appear in search results, but they are indexed and checked by Google the same as title tags, so include keywords as much as it makes sense to do so.
  • Sitemap: Schematics that help search engines find and rank your webpages. Using a sitemap helps your pages get updated faster and that all your pages are getting found.
  • Robots.txt: Code that tells search engine web crawlers which pages to include in their index and which not to. This is ideal for test pages and pages not intended for the public.

Learn more about the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.

Keep your URLs as simple as possible

While most internet users won’t notice the specifics of your webpage’s URL, it still matters to your SEO.

As a best practice, keep your URLs as simple and readable as possible, with a logical structure. This means that you’ll want to use text in your URLs rather than random numbers. Just remember to keep your URLs as short as reasonably possible.

You also can use your URLs to include your most relevant keyword, but make sure you’re not overstuffing. 

There’s no need to overhaul all your past URLs unless you think they are having a negative impact on your SEO. (If you do, make sure to also do a proper 301 redirect.) Simply move forward with simple, structured URLs. 

Build up your backlinks

Backlinks are when another website links back to any of your webpages by linking to it. Ideally, you’ll want backlinks from high-quality websites that are related to your content.

Backlinks help increase your search ranking, but obviously you can’t just snap your fingers and increase your backlinks instantly. It takes work.

See our seven tips to grow quality backlinks to your website and boost your SEO.

On the flip side, you also want to link out to other quality websites, which helps you appear more trustworthy to search engines. It’s a give and take.

Increase your internal links

Internal links go from one webpage to another within your website. Not only do these links help visitors navigate your site, but they also communicate more structure to search engines. 

When you’re posting a piece of content, give your reader every opportunity to dive deeper into related topics throughout your post.

Consider your images

You might not realize it, but images play a role in boosting your SEO.

But it’s about more than simply breaking up paragraphs of text for your reader. To help search engines understand what your images are about, use the alt text feature, which is an HTML code that describes what your image shows. 

Make sure that every image on your website has an accurate, detailed description in the alt text. Again, avoid any keyword stuffing. 

These also help blind or visually impaired users who are using a special computer (or software) that reads text out loud.

Optimize your site speed

While site speed is a bit more of a technical characteristic to consider, it matters for your SEO. Obviously, slow-loading pages turn off internet visitors and therefore are downgraded in search rankings by Google and other search engines.

About 75 percent of users will not revisit websites that took longer than 4 seconds to load.

If you’re using Adobe Flash, you might want to think again. Flash is an app that enables multimedia streaming and user interaction within a webpage, but it can slow down your loading time. In addition, Flash doesn’t work on many mobile devices. For both of those reasons, search engines can downgrade your search ranking if you use a lot of Adobe Flash.

You can check your site’s speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights and get recommendations on how you can speed up your site if necessary.

Speed is especially important for mobile browsing. Dive deeper into what mobile SEO is, as well as six best practices.

Use social media to your benefit

Social media is a powerful and diverse tool for brand awareness and audience engagement.

Because it’s so diverse, you have a number of different platforms and strategies to explore and consider.

Here’s what every startup company should know about social media when they’re starting from scratch.

In the end, your use of social media does impact your SEO. See these seven ways how.

Monitor your SEO performance

One of the most important steps in all of digital marketing, SEO and otherwise, is to track your results.

You can easily see how your SEO is impacting your website by using Google Analytics, which is free. You can see where your traffic is coming from, as well as what’s working and what’s not. The tool offers historical, comparison and real-time data at your fingertips.

In conclusion

The most important thing to remember when you’re starting out with best SEO practices is simply to think about your target audience. Think about the user. Put them first.

Dive deeper into how to determine your target audience with our seven tips.

Keep in mind what those users are looking for, what they want and what they need. Your content should serve this above all else. That’s how search engines will continue to see value in your content and serve that in search queries.

For now, you can see how to check your Google search rank right now for free.

While you’re improving your SEO, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

What are SEO stop words and should you worry about them?

In your efforts to optimize your website for search engines, you may have come across the concept of SEO stop words. 

But what are SEO stop words? How do they impact your SEO? And should you worry about them in your SEO strategy?

What are SEO stop words?

Stop words are actually common words that search engines may ignore both in search queries and search results. Think articles, prepositions, conjunctions and pronouns. For example, words like “the,” “any,” “in” or “a.” 

See this comprehensive list of SEO stop words.

Stop words typically don’t change the meaning of a query but are definitely needed in your content to properly structure sentences.

Words that Google ignores in search

On the flip side, if you Google “churches in Tulsa” versus “churches Tulsa,” there’s no contextual difference in the meaning of the query. The stop word in this example is “in,” but it is not necessary to perform the intended search.

Of course, as search engines continue to evolve, they likely will use some stop words to better understand the intention of searches. However, Google has not officially confirmed either way their stance on stop words.

Find out how to check your Google search ranking for free.

Where to use (or not use) stop words

As far as your page URLs, a simple structure is best. Often, your CMS or webmaster will automatically pull your page title into your page URL. This can make your URL rather long.

Avoid using stop words in your page titles

Ideally, in this case, it’s a best practice to remove stop words from your page URL to shorten and simplify. Just make sure that what you’re removing doesn’t change the context of the keywords left behind. And Google favors simple and short URL structures.

Don’t optimize page headers

When it comes to page headings and the title tags on search engine results pages, it’s a best practice to not remove these words.

This is because they do show in search results. Removing them makes for an awkward reading experience for users who could potentially click through to your website. So, you definitely want to prioritize the user experience here.

In a similar sense, you should never remove these words from your body content. Yes, you want to improve your SEO every chance you get, but your body content is the meat that users are looking for. Stop words are needed for the best possible user experience.

All in all, you shouldn’t worry too much about these words in your SEO strategy. The primary focus should be user experience first followed by SEO best practices after.

Find out if you’re making any of these 13 common mistakes with your SEO, and check out our 13 tips to get your website indexed by Google faster.

While you’re evaluating your SEO, consider upgrading your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation and audience segmentation capabilities, among others. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 tips and tricks to boost your off-page SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to a website’s organic traffic.

But not all SEO is the same.

There are different types of SEO, with on-page and off-page being the two categories in terms of tactics.

Off-page SEO refers to all the things you can do outside your website to help improve your search engine ranking results, while on-page SEO refers to everything tied to your website directly.

Related: Find out more about the difference between on-page and off-page SEO or check out Chrome extensions for SEO.

The following are nine tips and tricks to help improve your off-page SEO and increase your relevancy in the eyes of search engines.

Reach out to influencers

Whether you’re creating content in the form of a website blog, a YouTube channel or another format, it’s important to seize the opportunity to reach out to relevant, well-known influencers in your industry and ask for their feedback, review or more.

Of course, reaching out before you publish gives you the opportunity to incorporate them or their thoughts in your content. Reaching out afterward can still be fruitful, though. If the content is relevant to them, they might share it with their networks or engage with it in another way.

We recommend you go beyond just tagging the influencer in the post. It’s fine to do, but consider that you’re likely not the only one doing it. Go that extra mile and directly message or contact them via email or even the phone. Start the conversation like you’re starting a new relationship. Hint: Because you are. Don’t just start off by asking for what you need and leave it at that. Consider what you can offer to them and how a relationship would benefit you both. More than anything, be a human when you reach out.  

Find out more about influencers and influencer marketing.

Embrace social media

At this point, the importance of social media likely is a reality versus an arguing point for most brands.

Choosing the social media platforms that make sense for your brand, the type of content you’ll be sharing and the audience you want to engage with is just the first step. You’ll also want to develop a full strategy where you decide frequency, timing and the specific content tied to each post.

Remember that social media includes more than just Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There’s also YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch and more to choose from.

Dig deeper into what social media platform is right for your company.

The more social media users who engage with and click through to your shared content, the better it is for your off-page SEO. 

Google pays more attention to social media platforms than some might assume.

Encourage brand mentions

In the simplest of terms, brand mentions refer to people across the internet talking about your brand. While this typically involves traditional social media platforms, it doesn’t have to. It could be mentions in forums, blog articles and so on.

These mentions signal to search engines that people are interested in you.

Obviously, you can’t force quality brand mentions. However, you can actively engage with social media audiences across platforms. Meaningful interactions grow your online trustworthiness and branding organically.

Invest time in social bookmarking platforms

Similar to traditional social media, there are several websites that would more accurately be categorized as “social bookmarking” in their purpose.

Think Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon, among others. It’s a place for communities to share links and discuss topics.

While success can be an instant boost to your website traffic (and a good off-page SEO signal), some effort is required.

For instance, Reddit is guarded against potential “link dumpers,” whom are considered to be spam-like in their effort to post links without engaging in any conversations. 

A good rule of thumb is to be a true user of these sites before you post your first link. Reply to comments with your thoughts. Ask questions. In other words, (again) be human. Then, when you do post your first link, it’s seen as coming from a community member, not an “outsider” trying to get clicks. Then, balance each time you post a link with at least 10 times that you’re just commenting and replying without any links. That balance will keep you in good favor of those communities.

Commenting on blogs

While commenting on another website’s blog will no longer give you more backlinks, that doesn’t mean that there is no value to commenting in general.

As long as you’re commenting in a relevant way and engaging the right audience, you’ll ultimately build a relationship with that website and other commenters.

Again, it’s about interaction with others in meaningful ways.

Dive deeper into content marketing.

Participate in forums

Forums are still a viable platform where you can find and engage with others who could be interested ultimately in your products and/or services.

Locating forums that are related to your expertise and then offering advice or helping to solve problems is a great signal to Google, which loves discussions. There also are question-and-answer-specific websites, such as Quora.

Depending on the forum, make sure that you complete your profile appropriately in addition to including an anchor in the signature. That means that whenever you comment, the signature displays with your anchor.

Also consider looking for forums that offer “do-follow” links, which are a signal to search engines.

Guest blog on other websites

If you’ve never done it before, guest authoring on other websites is easier to achieve than you might assume.

Try a few of these Google searches to find potential opportunities for you and your brand, where you include a relevant keyword and:

  • “Contribute”
  • “Guest blogging”
  • “Write for us”
  • “Become a contributor”

Then you can reach out and apply. Just remember to include a link in your author bio that goes back to your website. This is more a signal to search engines (in the sense of backlinking), but it can also throw some referral traffic your way as well.

Focus on backlinks

This method of off-page SEO is considered fairly critical to improving your search engine ranking. However, it’s definitely about quality over quantity.

Backlinks are when other websites link to pages on your website. The more this happens (especially from trusted, highly visited websites), the more trustworthy your website appears to Google.

From seeking out broken backlinks on other websites so that you can suggest your own as a replacement to guest blogging (like we suggested above), there are a number of ways you can help grow your backlinks. Check out our seven specific tips.

Send email newsletters

Having a weekly (or other timing frequency) email newsletter not only packages your best content and delivers it to an engaged audience of subscribers, but it also can help encourage those subscribers to click on links and visit your website regularly.

This, as we definitely know by now, is a good signal to search engines. 

Remember to keep your newsletters clean and direct in their design and content. Give the recipients a reason to click on your links. In other words, don’t give away the entirety of your content in the email newsletter. The reader should want to find out more.

See our eight tips to create an email onboarding sequence that converts.

While you’re improving your off-page SEO, consider what your digital marketing process could be doing for you. DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to optimize for voice search and get ahead of the curve

While voice search may have begun as a novel concept, it definitely has a place in your SEO strategy now.

Of course, voice search began with smartphone use but has grown to include both smart speakers and voice assistants. It involves what is commonly understood as asking questions of Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant and more.

About 56 percent of all voice searches are made on a smartphone, while 39.4 percent of all internet users use a voice assistant at least once per month.

Because of its ease and speed, voice search will only continue to grow in popularity, so it’s imperative that you consider optimizing your website for such a tool.

The following are seven tips to help you optimize your website and content for voice search so that you can get ahead of the curve.

Understand the difference between traditional and voice search

It is important to understand the difference between traditional search and voice search. 

For example, an internet user might want to search for a chocolate chip cookie recipe. In a traditional search, this person likely would type in “chocolate chip cookie recipe,” while in a voice search, the user might say, “Hey Alexa, how do I bake chocolate chip cookies?”

We simply don’t speak the same way that we type, particularly with search queries. Another example is typing in “weather New York” when you would most likely say, “What is the weather like in New York?”

The difference results in a difference of keywords and a more conversational search input.

Essentially, we’re talking about two different users: those who type a search query and those who ask questions in a voice search.

The user who types might be more okay with doing research, while the user who speaks his or her search likely wants quick, instant answers.

Think of conversational keywords

This boils down to considering the natural phrases that would be used in voice searches.

Long-tail keywords are longer than the typical search query. They’re typically what are on the ends of questions being asked in voice search.

They’re conversational in nature. By targeting and using these, you’ll rank potentially higher for in any given voice search.

Answer questions with your content

When optimizing for voice search, consider brevity, context and relevance.

Think about how you can answer your potential customers’ most common questions and solve their pain points. It’s about user intent.

Then, it comes down to structure:

  • Use headlines that ask a common question
  • After your headline, offer the answer or definition for the question
  • The rest of your content can then provide additional detail and context on the topic

This overall structure will appeal to search engines’ algorithms, while the concise information at the top of the webpage is optimized for voice search.

For example, visuals can have a lot of power on your website for visitors, but don’t hide any of your key information in a visual. It makes it more difficult for search engines to understand the relevance of your content.

Use schema markup

This structured data HTML add-on helps search engines understand the context of your content, which will not only help you rank higher in traditional searches but in specific voice search queries as well.

Schemas are a set of “types,” each associated with a set of properties. The types are arranged in a hierarchy.

Learn more about schemas.

Create or update your FAQs page

Voice search is typically conducted by asking a question. The “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why” and “how” of your business, products and/or services become that much more important.

Use these adverbs to include your most common questions on your FAQs page. Then, answer those questions in a conversational tone.

Remember that mobile equals local

More than ever before, mobile devices enable on-the-go local (and hyper-local) voice search queries. 

Here are some key considerations: 

  • Make sure any directions to your location(s) are available to both your website visitors and search engines. 
  • Include phrases people use to describe the neighborhood around your location(s).
  • Refer to any key landmarks near your location(s).

Check out these 11 tips to optimize your local SEO specifically.

In addition, it’s important that you’re taking the necessary steps to ensure your website is as mobile-friendly as possible.

Update your Google My Business listing (and all other listings)

Just like when you’re optimizing your local SEO, it’s critical to make sure that your company’s information is up-to-date across all listings, such as Yelp, Google My Business and so on.

Even differences like “Ave.” and “Avenue” can confuse search engines.

However, considering that voice search typically is seeking concise answers to questions (particularly local questions), that consistency and updated information is more important than ever.

In conclusion

Voice search will only continue to become more popular. The more you can do to optimize for voice search, the stronger your SEO will be, especially when compared to your competitors who haven’t even begun to think about voice search.

If you’re still seeking to cement your brand voice, see our eight tips. Plus, our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners can help you see the big picture and be a stronger marketer for your brand.

Need assistance with your digital marketing process? Consider DailyStory. Schedule your free demo today.

8 types of negative SEO you should know about

While the likelihood of negative SEO attacks on your website is rare, it’s important to understand what negative SEO is (and isn’t).

Essentially, negative search engine optimization (SEO) is a collective term for tactics intended to lower a competitor’s search engine rankings. It’s also referred to as “black hat SEO.”

While negative SEO isn’t the most likely cause of a sudden drop in rankings, let’s explore these eight types to be better prepared should any happen to your website.

The first five types are off-page negative SEO, which is the most common. Better understand on-page versus off-page SEO.

Link farms

Link farms are essentially groups of interconnected sites that help build a lot of backlinks. One or two spam-like backlinks probably won’t hurt your search engine ranking. However, link farming can lead to more than that (like hundreds or thousands).

They’ll commonly have the same anchor text. These anchors can be totally unrelated to your website or have a keyword that makes your website look like you’re trying to manipulate Google (which will have consequences).

You can prevent this from happening, but you can stay vigilant and catch it quickly if it does.

Scraping

A competitor can “scrape” your content by copying it and posting it across other sites. Google devalues duplicate content across multiple websites and often only chooses one version to show in search results.

Google is capable of determining the original piece, but it’s also possible for Google to discover the scraped version first and rank that website (not yours). This is why competitors who are scraping your website will start with new content and repost it immediately.

You can report scrapers with Google’s copyright infringement report.

Fake negative reviews

Posting fake negative reviews tied to a business or website is more of an indirect negative SEO tactic. The intent is to cause a drop in traffic to that website. When Google notices a sustained drop, it could lower your search ranking.

While you can’t prevent any sort of review, you can heighten your reputation management efforts so that you can catch and report any fake negative reviews.

Yelp, for example, has an entire policy regarding what’s appropriate and what’s not in reviews, as well as instructions for how to report a review.

Of course, you’ll still want to respond to all real reviews. Check out our 11 tips for addressing the negative ones.

Forced crawling

Competitors also can forcefully crawl your website to cause a heavy serve load. The point of this is to block Google from being able to crawl your website. 

If Google can’t access your website for at least a few consecutive attempts, it can lower your search ranking.

Keep an eye on the overall speed and performance of your website. If you notice a sudden slowdown, contact your webmaster to find out where the server load is coming from.

Fake removal requests

All that effort you’ve spent building up your backlinks could definitely be at risk if a competitor starts sending out fake removal requests to webmasters.

They could pretend to be you or an agency acting on your behalf as they contact webmasters to ask for the removal of links pointing to your website. This could also involve sending fake DMCA removal requests.

On-page negative SEO is more difficult to achieve and usually involves hacking into your website. Here are three types of on-page negative SEO.

Changing your content

Of course, a content change does sound like something you would easily spot. Not so fast.

Spam-like content can be added and hidden on your site by using the “display:none” command in HTML. This content often includes links, and you would have to look through your code to find it.

In addition, pages can be modified to redirect to the hacker’s website or other spam-like website. Doing so could de-rank your website if Google notices the redirects before you do, especially if those redirects point to what Google considers “malicious websites.”

Do you know how to do an seo audit? It’s important to regularly audit your website so that you can pick up on any such attempts.

It’s important to regularly audit your website so that you can pick up on any such attempts.

Site de-indexing

A key component of websites for SEO is your robots.txt file. Inserting a disallow rule into that file will tell Google to ignore your website altogether.

Be sure to conduct regular search-ranking checks so that you can quickly notice if your website gets de-indexed. If anything seems off, you can then check your robots.txt file.

Website hacking

While not an official negative SEO tactic, any sort of attack on your website can de-rank you in Google Search. Why? Google does not want to send internet users to unsafe websites. If they think your site has been hacked, you’ll either drop in ranking or see a “This site may be hacked” tag within your search result (or both).

The best thing you can do is double-check your website’s security. Is your site safe?

The key when it comes to negative SEO is that you are vigilant about your website’s SEO ranking. Regular monitoring as well as overall strong website security is the best way to protect yourself from any sustained attacks.

As you explore negative SEO and how it can impact your brand’s online presence, consider optimizing your digital marketing process. This includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.