5 tips to get Google to display the right date in search results

A big factor in whether an internet user will click on your search result in Google is the publication date that’s shown.

The more recent the content, the more appealing it is. Are you sure that your search results are showing the right dates?

Google determines dates for web pages based on several factors, including:

  • Any prominent date listed on the actual page
  • Dates provided by the page publisher through structured markup

Learn more about how Google determines the date on your page for search result display.

Of course, Google won’t always show a date in its search results. It will only show a date if that date is considered particularly relevant to the content itself.

But what happens if you update your content and need to refresh the date from the original publication date? The following are five tips to get Google to display the right publication date in search results.

Confirm the basics

As mentioned above, the best way to make sure that Google has the right publication date to begin with is to state it clearly on the web page (viewable to users) and include it in the structured markup for the page (using the ISO 8601 format for dates).

Keep in mind that Google News is a bit stricter, requiring the display of both the date and the time between the headline and the article text.

You want to make sure that everything is correct from the beginning.

Go beyond superficial updating

Google highly advises against “artificially freshened” content. That means that you only want to take the step of updating your date when you’ve truly updated the content.

Of course, updating content can vary on the type of content you’re working with, but a good rule of thumb is to:

  1. Read through all text and make any necessary changes or corrections.
  2. Add whatever new information likely inspired you to update your content to begin with.
  3. Update existing links and/or add new links.
  4. Change or add visuals.

Specifically, Google says: “Don’t artificially freshen a story without adding significant information or some other compelling reason for the freshening.”

Make the change to your date

Once you’ve officially (and significantly) updated your content, it’s time to update your publication date. 

Of course, this can be as simple as changing the date, but a best practice is to show both the original publication date and when it was updated. You can use “datePublished” and “dateModified” for both AMP and non-AMP web pages to help the algorithms best recognize the change in the date. Also, double-check that you’re in the right time zone if you are displaying a time as well.

Keep in mind that you’ll want to ensure that the date you use is the date for when the web page was published or updated, not a date that’s linked to the content. For example, if you’re writing about an upcoming event, you don’t want to use the date of the event itself. It’s all about the timing of the publication and revisions, not any future dates or other dates related to the content.

Be consistent in usage

Consistency rules. It’s important that you not only maintain the same formatting across all your web pages, but you especially want to confirm that you have the same date (and possibly time) that’s visible on your page as it is in your structured data.

Once you break your consistency in any way, you’ll loose standing as far as trustworthiness with Google and other search engines.

When in doubt, troubleshoot

If you’re doing everything correctly and still aren’t seeing the correct date on your search results, then it’s time to troubleshoot.

One way to start troubleshooting is by identifying if there are any other dates that might appear on your page for any reason. If so, determine whether you can remove or minimize those other dates. For example, you might have dates appearing in a list of related stories.

In conclusion

Remember that while you can set your web pages up for success, you can’t control what Google will ultimately do. If something is getting pulled incorrectly, though, you’ll definitely want to review your structured data and anything else that Google is pulling from.

As you’re reviewing your dates in search results, 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.

4 tips to boost your click-through rate in Google Search

A lot of efforts to boost your SEO may focus on your overall search ranking for particular keywords that matter to your business. But what are you doing to optimize your Google Search click-through rate?

Your search engine optimization should always keep your CTR in mind.

Granted, a high placement in search results can automatically boost your click-through rate. 

For example, ranking as No. 1 generates a typical CTR of 39.6 percent, which is more than double the CTR for the second position (18.4 percent) and nearly four times the CTR for the third position (10.1 percent).

But what can you do to maximize your own CTR when you appear in Google Search results? The following are four tips to boost your click-through rate in Google Search.

Manage your publication dates

Depending on the topic of the search, internet users are often looking for the most up-to-date information. If your result appears to be eight years old, while the result below yours is only a few months old, you could be sending organic search traffic away from your website.

Evergreen content (which is relevant anytime of year and for a long period of time) is great, but you might notice the search traffic referrals dwindle overtime.

The key is to not only show published and updated dates on your existing content, but to also regularly circle around on your evergreen to thoroughly review and update the actual content itself. (Google will penalize sites for changing an updated date without actually updating the content.)

Aim for intent-based meta titles and descriptions

We won’t call this the oldest tip in the book, but it’s close. Regardless, your meta title and meta description do matter. These are what search engines show to internet users who come across you in results. In other words, they act as your first impression to compel users to click on your link.

Of course, call-to-action meta titles and detailed meta descriptions (with relevant keywords) will help boost your Google Search click-through rate. However, you should always aim to consider (and include) users’ intent.

One way to better understand intent involves logging into Google Search Console. Click on “Performance” and then “Search Results.” You can use the “URLs Containing” filter to find the particular pages and posts that you are optimizing for a higher Google Search click-through rate. By applying that filter, you should then see the search queries that are driving traffic to that page.

You can then use this intent-based data to adjust your meta titles and meta descriptions.

Optimize your URLs

While the overall look of your URL is not going to majorly impact your Google Search click-through rate, it does play a part in the overall look of your search result listing, which definitely impacts your CTR.

When optimizing your URLs, remember to:

  • Be clear, concise and descriptive with your target keywords.
  • Occasionally audit your URLs. You can use a free tool, such as WebSite Auditor.

Use structured schema markup

In the simplest sense, schema markup is a form of microdata. Once added to a webpage, it creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results. The enhanced description helps your result stand out from other classic-looking search results.

Rich snippets not only boost your search ranking, they also improve your Google Search click-through rate.

The CTR for some high-volume keywords has been seen to increase by more than 114 percent when the results appeared as featured rich snippets.

Some types of schema include:

  • Organization
  • Local Business
  • Person
  • Video
  • Event
  • FAQ

In conclusion

Remember that your Google Search click-through rate is just one metric that you should be monitoring as part of your overall SEO strategy and larger digital marketing strategy. Test as much as you can and quickly pivot when something does not appear to be working.

Check out our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners.

As you’re optimizing for your Google Search click-through rate, 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.

10 tips to improve your brand’s online reputation

If you’re not keeping tabs on your brand’s online reputation, you could be shooting yourself (or at least your brand) in the foot.

An online reputation comprises various strategies to shape the world’s perception of your brand online. If handled correctly, you’re able to build brand trust and impact consumers’ purchasing decisions in a positive way. In other words, a good online reputation supports your bottom line.

Think of it as your brand’s first impression for potential customers. 

In fact, consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before trusting a business, while about 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

If you’re not on top of how your brand is perceived online, you could be losing out on customers and sales.

The following are 10 tips to improve your brand’s online reputation and put your best foot forward.

Start with an audit

Before anything else, you need to understand where your brand’s online reputation stands right now.

Thoroughly review all online reviews, and while this can feel overwhelming with so many potential places for customers to review you, keep it simple by beginning with the top four review platforms where consumers typically do their research on you:

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Facebook

If you’re in a specialized industry that has an industry-specific platform for reviews, include that as well. For example, home-improvement brands will want to keep an eye on HomeAdvisor.

Of course, we encourage you to also Google your brand to see where else it might be popping up, just to cover all your bases.

Once you’ve compiled all the review platforms and reviews, double-check that all business contact details, location information and operational hours are up to date. 

Then, look at what customers are saying. What is the ratio of positive-to-negative reviews? Are there far more positive than negative? If you have multiple locations, is one location standing out in a positive or negative way? Have you responded to all reviews? 

Really assess where your brand is at perception-wise. Knowledge is power, and this information will fuel your online reputation strategies moving forward.

Keep in mind that you can set up Google Alerts to inform you of brand mentions online and more.

Decide on a review strategy and start replying

Now that you know where your customers are reviewing you and what they’re saying, it’s time to implement a review strategy for all relevant review platforms.

Perhaps you set a weekly time to regularly check for any new reviews. This would be the minimum effort we would recommend. If possible, turn on notifications wherever you can so that you can reply to all new reviews as soon as possible.

In fact, about 53 percent of customers expect businesses to respond to their online review within seven days.

You should respond to every review regardless of whether it’s positive, negative or neutral. And timeliness is a factor to be aware of. You’ll want to thank customers for positive reviews, but you definitely don’t want to leave a negative review festering without some sort of response.

Not sure what to say when it’s negative? Always view it as an opportunity to deliver amazing customer service and turn that experience for that customer around. (It’s definitely not the time or place to argue with the customer.) See our 11 tips to best respond to negative reviews.

Encourage happy customers to review you

Unfortunately, a customer is about 21 percent more likely to leave a negative review after a negative experience than a positive review after a positive review.

You must consistently work against that tendency by asking your happy and satisfied customers to share their experiences online. There are numerous ways to do this. Here are just a handful of ideas:

  • Offer incentives, discounts or cash rewards for customers who write reviews.
  • Send email follow-ups to customers requesting a review with a link to make it easy.
  • Have your employees remind happy customers to review you and explain the benefit that positive reviews have for your business.

Monitor all relevant social media platforms

Of course, you can’t properly manage your online reputation without a thorough plan involving social media.

First, consider all the platforms where your brand has a presence (an account, in other words). Then, think about any platforms that might be used by your customers, where they can post about you regardless of whether you have an account or not.

For example, if you only have accounts on Facebook and Instagram, that doesn’t mean that your customers aren’t tweeting about you (for better or worse) on Twitter.

You’ll need to embrace social listening, which is not just about monitoring what is being said about a business, brand, person or topic on social media. It’s also about acting on it. This can involve engaging with commenters or even adjusting brand strategy.

Learn more about social listening and how it’s different from social media crowdsourcing.

Prioritize your SEO tactics

Search engines can be a huge source of organic traffic to your website, but they also serve as research vehicles for consumers to learn more about businesses, products, services and so on.

So, your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy must be on point.

Ideally, you not only want to rank for the keywords that would help drive consumers to potentially purchase from you. You also want to rank for branded keywords that reflect your online reputation for consumers. In other words, you want your brand’s positive mentions ranking above any potential negative mentions.

And remember that blogging regularly showcases your expertise that will only benefit your online reputation, especially in search engine results.

Dive deeper into what you can do with our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners. You also can level up your SEO skills with these 10 free online SEO courses.

Develop a public relations strategy

Earned media definitely can improve your online reputation, but it can take a little extra effort. 

The extra effort involves a public relations strategy, which is all about promoting your brand’s inclusion in related articles, TV segments and more in the press.

Earned media is not to be confused with paid advertising. But leveraging press releases and connecting with local media outlets and reporters could lead to your brand earning some new coverage over time.

Work with influencers who have great online reputations

In the simplest sense, an influencer is anyone with a digital following (or audience) on a social media platform (but not necessarily) whom you’d like to attract.

The purpose of influencer marketing involves increasing brand awareness, targeting new and niche audiences and increasing impressions and reach.

This makes it a great vehicle to improve your online reputation because you’re leveraging the trust consumers have for an influence to boost your brand.

Check out our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Monitor customer service complaints

Even though online reviews can take a lot of your focus, don’t forget about the complaints that are being given to your company directly.

How these complaints are handled can often impact resulting online reviews, though.

Depending on the size of your business, you may need a tool, such as Invoca, to help you stay on top of a high volume of call center or customer service department interactions.

Understanding what complaints are coming in can help you fix anything that isn’t working as expected as well (and prevent future complaints).

Keep track of your competitors

While it’s important to understand your own online reputation, you can take the next step by understanding that of your competitors.

Are they receiving mostly positive or mostly negative reviews? Are they responding to them? How are they responding? What are their customers saying about them?

Find out more about what a competitive analysis is and how you can start yours, as well as 16 tools to make your competitive analysis easier.

Commit to resolve recurring issues

At the core of successful online reputation management is the commitment to resolve any recurring issues to improve your brand’s buyer experience.

Consider the information (positive and negative) that you receive from customers as a critical piece to this commitment. If you keep your customers happy, you’ll prevent many negative online reviews from even happening.

It’s no easy task, but your responsiveness will serve your business beyond just your online reputation. Think about it: How many potential customers simply disappear because of a less-than-ideal experience and never return, whether they made a purchase or not? It’s important to get ahead of the issues and continually innovate what your brand can do better.

As you begin exploring your brand’s online reputation, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

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.

12 ways to optimize your Google My Business profile

If your business has a specific location (or locations), then ranking in local search results should be a priority, especially on Google. 

About 46 percent of all Google searches are looking for local information, while 88 percent of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.

The good news is that there is a lot you can do to boost your local SEO without spending a ton of money, including optimizing your Google My Business profile.

Google My Business is a powerful free listing that acts as a dynamic snapshot of your business that highlights key information and helps internet users learn more about (and engage with) you within Google search results.

Check out our 11 local SEO tips, then review the following 12 ways you can optimize your Google My Business profile, which is commonly underutilized by local businesses. Optimizing your profile will give you a leg up on your competition.

Create your Google My Business account

Of course, if you know you’ve already created your Google My Business account, feel free to skip this tip.

Although it is imperative to mention that your Google My Business account is different from your Google Business Profile. One is used to access and optimize the other. Therefore, confirm that you have a Google My Business account and then tell Google to connect it with your Google Business Profile. 

You’ll want to navigate to the Google.com Business page and log in with your regular Google/Gmail account that you use for your business. Do not log in with a personal account.

Fill out every section of your profile

Be sure to fill out all sections of your Google Business Profile, which will help your business both rank higher in local search results and increase the number of ways potential customers can engage with your profile.

The key fields include:

  • Business name
  • Location address
  • Phone number
  • Website URL
  • Hours of operation

There also are a few sections that you’ll want to put some thought into:

  • Products and services
  • Category and attributes
  • From the business, which is your business description that appears lower than the auto-generated description that Google provides for you
  • FAQs that you create and publish

In the “from the business” field, you can definitely repurpose a description from your “About Us” page or your mission statement. Just be sure to use all available 750 characters, with the most important details in the first 250 characters. (Avoid including any links.) While you do want to include relevant keywords, don’t repeat any information that’s already in the other sections of your Google Business Profile. Instead, focus on what sets your business apart and what customers like the most. 

Then, there are a few sections that are ongoing:

  • Posts
  • Reviews
  • Questions and answers that are generated by internet users

Take the necessary time to fill out all of these sections, and consider what will be the most useful information for someone to know who is coming across your business for the first time.

Be specific with your information

It’s very important that your business name is identical not only to the one you use on your store signage but also to your other listings across the internet.

This can come down to slight differences like “company” versus “co.” 

Pay attention to these details so that your credibility isn’t questioned by Google.

Also consider your regular hours of operation and your holiday hours of operation. These likely will be different and will help avoid any confusion (and potential negative review) from a customer who went to your business when you were actually closed. 

Choose the category of your business

About 84 percent of Google Business Profile views originate from search queries of a related product, service or categorical term, where that business’s profile appeared.

A big part of this is setting your business category on your profile. By doing so, you’ll also be able to access category-specific features that can make your profile more effective, such as restaurants including a “menu” button.

When choosing from available categories, be as specific as possible and choose any relevant secondary categories (since many businesses span multiple categories). Just make sure that you’re not confusing your categories with specific products or attributes you offer. There are separate sections for those.

Pick relevant attributes of your business

Once you choose a category through Google My Business, you get a list of attributes that allow you to further describe your business. 

Attributes are not unique to Google. You’ll find them on various listing websites. They are the features that might interest potential customers, such as “free WiFi,” “public restroom,” “pets welcome” and more.

Select everything that is relevant to your business.

Add photos that showcase your business

Because anyone can add photos to your Business Profile, you definitely want to upload your own photos to help your profile look its best to potential customers. 

Uploading photos to your profile also shows Google that you are actively on your profile, which can boost your local SEO as well. Customers are about 42 percent more likely to request driving directions to a business if its profile has photos and about 35 percent more likely to click through to its website.

And the more the better. Businesses with more than 100 photos get about 520 percent more calls, 2,717 percent more direction requests and 1,065 percent more website clicks than the average business.

But don’t take that as encouragement to spam your own profile with photos. When it comes to photos on your Google Business Profile:

  • Upload your logo for your thumbnail photo
  • Use an image that represents your brand as your cover photo
  • Only include photos that are authentic and reflect how your business is in real life, avoiding anything that could be viewed as a stock image or has special effects
  • Geo-tag your photos
  • Upload any relevant videos as well
  • Strive to upload at least one new photo every week

Get additional photo guidance from Google itself.

Seek out Google reviews

Reviews are a top influence on consumer purchases, so it’s important to seek out reviews for your Google Business Profile. Plus, local businesses with multiple positive reviews get a boost in their relevant search rankings.

To get more reviews on your profile:

  • Request reviews directly from your long-time and loyal customers
  • Create a review shortcut link to make it easy to submit a Google review for your business
  • Ask all customers to write a review because about 62 percent will do so when asked
  • Include a call-to-action on your website that links to your reviews
  • Respond to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative
  • Remind customers that reviews aren’t just for your benefit. They can serve other consumers who are seeking a solution to a need or problem they have

Just remember that you should not incentivize reviews with discounts, gifts or anything else.

Regularly post to your Google Business Profile

Consider your Google Business Profile just as you would your social media accounts. Regular posts about announcements, offers, events and more should be published consistently. 

These posts are created through the Google My Business dashboard and appear in the “Updates” section of your Google Business Profile.

Posting sends positive ranking signals to Google similar to how uploading photos would, and posts increase engagement opportunities with potential customers. 

Consumers also can follow your profile and get notified of any new posts you publish.

Embrace questions and answers

Similar to Amazon, Google Business Profile features a section for questions and answers. Because anyone can ask and answer questions about your business, it’s important to optimize this section to promote accurate information over any inaccurate information.

You can’t turn off this section, so make a commitment to make it work for you:

  • Set up alerts so that you’re notified when new questions are posted on your profile
  • Fill out your own question-and-answer section with the top FAQs about your business
  • Use relevant keywords wherever appropriate without overusing

You can definitely make the question-and-answer section work for your business by staying on top of it.

Add available products and services

When the products or services are not obvious in your business name, be sure to add them in this section of your Google Business Profile through your Google My Business account.

You should include the name, description and price of your products and/or services. The more information you can provide, the better.

Remember, filling out this section provides more content that could potentially be relevant to a local search query. 

Set up direct messaging

You can set up an available feature in your Google Business Profile where searchers can send a text message to your phone directly from your search profile.

Select the “Messaging” tab in your Google My Business dashboard. Then, you can install Google’s Allo app via Google Play or the Apple App Store, depending on your mobile device.

Remember to set up alerts for messages in your dashboard by navigating to settings and then checking “customer messages.”

Pulling it all together with a Google My Business strategy

Google My Business is not a “set it and forget it” platform. Staying on top of the features it offers is one of the best ways to improve your local SEO (and ultimately the overall success of your business).

Plan out how often you’ll publish new information, what type of information and when. You can create a separate content calendar if that will help you stay organized.

See our six best practices for mobile SEO as well.

While you’re optimizing your Google My Business, think about your digital marketing process. Consider DailyStory. Our application features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Mobile SEO: What it is and 6 best practices

The internet (and the world) is becoming increasingly mobile, so businesses must consider mobile search engine optimization (SEO) as part of their overall marketing strategy.

About 52 percent of all page views worldwide are mobile, while about 64 percent of all Google organic search traffic happens on mobile devices.

See our six reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business.

Mobile SEO simply refers to the practice of optimizing your website for mobile devices. Doing so helps increase your site’s visibility in mobile-device search results.

Characteristics of a mobile-friendly website:

  • Understandable for search engines
  • Quick loading
  • Loads correctly on mobile devices
  • Easy navigation for mobile users
  • Content does not require mobile users to zoom

Not only do users prefer to search on mobile, but Google also prioritizes websites that deliver a great mobile experience. In addition, smartphones are the dominant device used for voice search.

See our seven tips to optimize for voice search and get ahead of the curve.

The key to mobile SEO is offering your website visitors a flawless experience on both desktop and mobile devices. The following are six best practices to improve your mobile SEO.

Test your website’s mobile friendliness

Google offers a number of free tools, including a mobile-friendly test that you can run for any website. All you need to do is enter your site’s URL.

In addition, you can run the Google Search Console tool to check for any crawling errors that are preventing your website from being properly indexed. Indexing is part of the search engine process that makes your website visible in search engine results or not.

Check out our 16 tips to ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

Improve your website’s speed

Speed became more of a search-ranking factor for Google in 2018. Search intent can overrule a slower speed in some cases, but it’s clear that the faster your website can load, the better it can rank overall.

You can check your website’s speed with:

To increase the speed of your website, look into:

  • Removing unnecessary plugins to reduce the amount of resources that your site must load
  • Upgrading your web hosting when your site begins to generate more content and page views
  • Minimizing HTTP requests by restricting how many on-page components your page has to render
  • Compressing all images so that they don’t take up a lot of bandwidth
  • Minifying your CSS, HTML and JavaScript files, which means removing unnecessary white space, formatting and code
  • Enabling Gzip compression, which compresses website files into a zip file
  • Using asynchronous loading for JavaScript and CSS files, which allows for some files to load simultaneously
  • Enabling browser caching for static files

Strive for a mobile-responsive design

Responsive website designs allow for dynamic changes in layout (and even content), depending on the type of device loading your page. This means that your website will appear differently on different screens, whether it’s a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer. 

The goal is to optimize the website for the best user experience, no matter the device.

Key steps to take for a responsive website design include:

  • Including an easy-to-view navigation menu for mobile users
  • Scaling your images
  • Shortening your text
  • Avoiding full-screen pop-ups
  • Making your call-to-action easy to find

Optimize your content for mobile SEO

Optimized content accomplishes two goals with your mobile visitors: 

  1. They’ll spend more time on your website.
  2. They are more likely to return.

The main issue that you don’t want is mobile visitors having to squint to read your content or using their zoom to view images. To ensure you’re optimizing your content for mobile:

  • Make all content digestible and easy to navigate
  • Keep sentences and/or paragraphs short and concise
  • Try for attention-grabbing headlines
  • Break up all content into chunks
  • Integrate visual content
  • Make your meta description short
  • Include relevant keywords everywhere appropriate

Consider local searches

Use of the search phrase “near me” and similar phrases are only increasing in search engines and particularly for searches on mobile devices.

Whether the user is hoping to find nearby restaurants, shoes or gyms, it’s important for your business to appear in relevant local search queries.

Be sure to set up and optimize your business profile on Google My Business.

Check out these 11 local SEO tips to better rank in local searches.

Embrace social media sharing

Most social media activity is happening on mobile devices, so you want to consider all the factors that make your content easy (and desirable) to share on social media platforms.

The more people share your content, the more authority you’ll appear to have in Google’s perspective.

To achieve this, consider:

  • Making your social media “sharing” button easy to use on all your content
  • Asking your visitors to share or other call-to-actions
  • Using eye-catching headlines
  • Including high-quality visuals
  • Publishing new and relevant content consistently

In conclusion

When you’re incorporating these best practices into your overall SEO strategy, be sure to measure and track your performance across different metrics to gauge how much of a difference you’re making. 

See our 14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing while you’re at it.

Need to level up your digital marketing process? Consider DailyStory. Our application features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

10 free courses online to help you level up your SEO skills

Search engine optimization weighs heavily in most digital marketing strategies, so getting a leg up with your SEO skills won’t just benefit you but also your business.

On the first page of search engine results, the first five organic results account for about 68 percent of all generated clicks. The higher you can boost your search ranking, the more traffic your website will receive.

The following are 10 free courses that you can take online to level up your SEO skills. These courses cover a wide range of SEO-related topics. Think about what will benefit your marketing efforts most to help choose which courses you want to register for.

‘Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization’ from UC Davis

The free “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization” series of courses is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. It teaches participants to optimize website content for the best possible search engine ranking. 

You’ll learn:

  • The theory behind Google search and other search engine algorithms
  • On-page and off-page optimization
  • Optimizing for local and international audiences
  • Conducting search-focused website audits
  • Aligning SEO with overall business strategies

Each course within this series intends to build on the skills from the previous course. The Specialization culminates in a hands-on Capstone Project, in which you will apply your skills to a comprehensive SEO consulting task. 

When spending about six hours per week on it, this beginner-level series of courses takes about five months to complete.

‘SEO Fundamentals Course’ from Semrush

This free “SEO Fundamentals Course” is offered by Semrush. It focuses on search engine basics, technical SEO, link signals, on-page signals, SEO for mobile, other ranking signals, international SEO and local SEO.

The course is great for anyone who wants to learn the basics of SEO or just brush up on certain topics. Upon course completion (which takes about four hours), you’ll have a better understanding of how to do SEO and to drive more traffic and customers to your website.

‘SEO Training Course’ from Moz

The free “SEO Training Course” course is offered by Moz through Udemy. It’s all about learning and understanding the basics of SEO.

The course includes learning:

  • SEO strategy development
  • Site audits and structure
  • Keyword research basics
  • On-page SEO fundamentals
  • Link-building and off-page SEO
  • SERP features
  • Reporting on SEO

This beginner-level course takes about three and a half hours to complete.

‘SEO Certification Course’ from HubSpot Academy

This free “SEO Certification Course” is offered by HubSpot Academy and focuses on website optimization, link building, keyword research and more.

Specifically, you’ll be able to:

  • Evaluate and improve your website’s SEO
  • Build backlinks to your website at scale to increase your website’s visibility on the search engine results page
  • Use insights from keyword research and reporting to improve your search performance

This course takes about two and a half hours to complete.

‘SEO Certification Course’ from eMarketing Institute

The free “SEO Certification Course” is offered by eMarketing Institute. The 156-page ebook caters to SEO beginners.

You’ll learn what search engines are, how they index websites and how they rank them. In addition, other course topics include:

  • Search engine friendly design 
  • Understanding how keywords work and why keyword research is an important part of SEO
  • Link building
  • Different search engine protocols
  • How to track and measure success

The self-paced course (due to the nature of the ebook) has a free certification test in which participants only have 60 minutes to complete.

‘Optimizing a Website for Google Search’ from UC Davis

The free “Optimizing a Website for Google Search” course is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. You’ll learn the ins and outs of optimizing a website, which includes conducting an initial audit as well as presenting your findings and recommendations. 

Hands-on activities include: 

  • Learning how to select and apply appropriate keywords throughout a website
  • Incorporating keyword research in a content marketing strategy
  • Optimizing a site for local search

You also will learn strategies for setting goals and expectations, building effective analytics and reports, as well as communicating SEO improvements.

This intermediate-level course takes about 14 hours to complete.

‘SEO Link Building Basics’ from Udemy

The free “SEO Link Building Basics” is offered by Udemy and focuses on how to secure good links that make sense from relevant websites. It’s about the basics:

  • Why links matter
  • Link-building myths
  • Link-building mistakes
  • Keyword research
  • Anchor text diversity
  • How to analyze a link
  • How to analyze a website’s entire backlink profile

This beginner-level course will teach you how to find target sites for link prospecting, including analyzing a competitor’s backlinks, using advanced search in Google and how to analyze a website.

It’s a short course, taking less than an hour and a half to complete.

‘Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategies’ from UC Davis

This free “Advanced Search Engine Optimization Strategies” course is offered by UC Davis through Coursera. It focuses on technical, mobile and social strategies for increasing website traffic.

You’ll learn how to build SEO for international audiences through content localization and global team alignment. The techniques discussed include: 

  • Optimizing mobile-friendly websites
  • Making mobile apps discoverable
  • Leveraging social media to drive organic SEO traffic

You also will learn how to identify key SEO metrics and collect, interpret, validate, and report success to your clients and stakeholders.

This intermediate-level course takes about 25 hours to complete.

‘Website Performance Optimization’ from Google

The free “Website Performance Optimization” course is offered by Google through Udacity. It focuses on how to optimize any website for speed by diving into the details of how mobile and desktop browsers render pages.

You’ll learn about the Critical Rendering Path, or the set of steps browsers must take to convert HTML, CSS and JavaScript into live websites. From there, you’ll start exploring and experimenting with tools to measure performance. You’ll also learn strategies to deliver the first pixels to the screen as early as possible. 

The course includes recommendations from PageSpeed Insights and the Timeline view of Google Chrome’s Developer Tools to find the data you need to achieve immediate performance boosts.

This intermediate-level course takes about one week to complete.

‘Search Engine Optimization’ from Springboard

The free “Search Engine Optimization” is offered by Springboard and helps participants build a strong framework in search engine optimization, explore how to optimize a site for organic traffic and learn how to track and measure results.

Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • An introduction to SEO
  • The history of SEO
  • Keyword research and content planning
  • On-page optimization
  • Technical SEO
  • Link building
  • Results and reporting

The course spans half a dozen sections, with 53 resources, and takes about 44 hours to complete.

SEO isn’t the only topic you can level up on through free online courses. Be sure to check out our suggested courses on email marketing and social media as well.

See if you’re making any of these 13 common SEO mistakes.

While you’re considering what online SEO course is best for you, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 ways social media can influence your SEO

Unsure how your social media presence can improve your search engine rankings?

Content is king in the world of SEO (search engine optimization), and the content you share on your social media accounts can have an impact on your SEO. To be clear, the amount of impact has long been debated although most can agree that there is at least an indirect impact.

About 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, so it’s worth striving for social media best practices since they do impact the factors that directly affect your search rankings. 

(Find out how you can check your Google search ranking for free.)

The following are seven ways that social media can (indirectly) influence your SEO.

Social media profiles rank in search engines

To start, social media profiles are not contained to the platforms they exist on. They do appear in branded search results. And often, they are prominently visible (i.e. high up in the list and usually on the first page).

You’ll want to capitalize on this search engine visibility by creating (if you haven’t already) and optimizing your social media profiles in every way possible.

Not sure where to start? Check out our expert tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

The key is to put yourself in the user’s shoes. He or she is searching for you and then clicks on your social media profile result. Be sure that the information you provide and the content you’re sharing represents your brand and gives them an idea of what you’re about.

Social media posts can drive traffic

With website traffic considered a major search engine ranking factor, you’ll want to grow that traffic every way possible.

And one obvious method is through social media posts. When a lot of people share your content (directly from your website) or your posts (directly on the social media platform itself) to their own networks of friends and followers, they’re potentially boosting your rankings. The more who see your content, the more who might click and visit your website.

Of course, remember that any random content won’t suffice. Strive for value and make the content as visual and engaging as possible.

Social media is a great way to promote your content to audiences who may never have even heard of you before. Whether it’s an organic content strategy or paid social media campaigns, social media has an undeniable power. This is because while SEO is about reaching those who need you, social media is about reaching those who didn’t even realize they needed you. 

Great quality content can generate various engagement actions, including shares, which again can lead to greater website traffic that can boost your SEO.

Of course, you can expand your reach even further through influencers. Check out our seven tips before you dive into influencer marketing.

Social media platforms are search engines themselves

The search function on various social media platforms is far more robust than we sometimes realize. It serves as a valuable search engine itself, where people can discover your profile, page, content or even events (depending on the platform).

Make sure you are optimizing your social media profiles and content with your relevant keywords to boost your visibility in these searches. 

Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools to help if you’re unsure what keywords to use.

Social media affects local SEO

The name, address and phone number of your business already plays an important role in local search rankings.

Google will consider your business more credible if this key information is consistent across your social media profiles. That credibility naturally boosts your local search rankings.

Whenever you can geotag your posts and/or Stories, all the better. This also will help your local visibility.

In addition, social media reviews can help you attract local potential customers. About 86 percent of consumers read reviews about local businesses.

Check out our 11 local SEO tips to help you beat your competition.

The YouTube effect on SEO

Because YouTube videos get prominent rankings in search engine results, they get a special mention. The more popular and relevant your YouTube videos are to a search query on Google, the more likely they’ll rank high.

Part of this is due to Google owning YouTube. And YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google, of course).

That means that you must optimize your YouTube channel and videos for SEO.

Check out our 20 tips that can help you grow your followers (and presence) on YouTube.

Beyond YouTube, video, in general, holds a higher value in search engine rankings. If you need, here are five reasons why your business should create more videos.

What Google says now versus what can happen in the future

There has been a back and forth over the years of whether Google directly considers social signals for search rank. But just because the latest word from Google is that social media isn’t a direct influence on your SEO, that doesn’t mean that can’t change in the future.

The idea here is that your best practices should be happening always. You never know how search engine algorithms will evolve in the future. And in the meantime, your efforts are a rising tide that will benefit your business in both direct and indirect ways.

SEO does not just mean Google

While Google is saying social signals aren’t a factor in its search algorithm, other search engines (like Bing) actually do use social signals.

Just because Google carries a majority of searches, Bing still has a fair share.

Remember that great SEO impacts your ranking on various search engines, not just Google.

While you’re considering your social media’s impact on your SEO, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

22 Chrome extensions to boost your SEO

What’s more convenient than SEO tools within your Chrome browser?

SEO (search engine optimization) can help drive more organic traffic to your website by ranking your website higher during relevant queries in search engines (predominantly Google but others as well).

And SEO still very much matters. In fact, 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine.

While considering your own website’s SEO, consider the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.

Chrome extensions are tools built into your browser that help you work faster and smarter.

Put the two together, and you have the potential for a little SEO magic. 

Not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a list of 22 Chrome extension recommendations that can help boost the SEO of your website.

SEO rank-checking extensions

SEO Search Simulator by Nightwatch

The SEO Search Simulator by Nightwatch extension emulates Google searches to check if a particular URL ranks in the top 100 results. 

These Google searches can be done from any location so that you can see how the rankings vary in different parts of the world.

SERPTrends SEO Extension

The SERPTrends SEO Extension tracks your Google, Bing and Yahoo searches. Over time, as these queries are repeated, you’ll be shown trends and ranking movements directly in the search results.

Included in the data shown:

  • Whether the website moved up or down in the search results
  • When a website is ranking for the first time or hasn’t changed position
  • How many positions the website lost or raised compared to the search you performed previously

SEOquake

SEOquake will give you a detailed overview of your website, including your Alexa rank, indexing information for Google and Bing, as well as your SEMrush rank.

The extension enables you to then dive deeper with a keyword-density report or overall diagnosis report, which breaks down on-page SEO elements on any given web page.

Keyword-research extensions

SEOStack Keyword Tool

SEOStack Keyword Tool is a Chrome extension that can help you generate thousands of keyword ideas from a single seed keyword. It does this by scraping autocomplete suggestions from:

  • Google
  • YouTube
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Amazon
  • eBay

All the data generated can be exported to a CSV file.

Ubersuggest

The Ubersuggest Chrome extension shows you keywords’ monthly search volume, CPC and competition data. In addition, you can find related keywords and their information within search result pages on Google, YouTube and Amazon. You can then export data to a CSV file.

TextOptimizer

The TextOptimizer extension is a writing assistant that can help you write concise, high-quality and targeted content that is rich for your readers and optimized for search engines.

It does this by analyzing search results for relevant terms and extracts “intent tables” to recommend other words that you can use in your copy to better suit the expectations of search engines.

Keyword Surfer

The Keyword Surfer extension is a keyword research and search-engine-results-page (SERP) analysis tool. The data it offers includes (but is not limited to):

  • Domain-level traffic estimations in Google Search results
  • Keyword volumes (locally and globally)
  • Keyword suggestions
  • Domain-level backlink counts

You also can set up a content editor and start creating right away—researching, writing and optimizing—without ever leaving Google Search.

On-page SEO extensions

SEOInfo

SEOInfo runs an audit of your website pages, reporting on any SEO issues and allowing you to dig deeper. Specifically, the extension examines:

  • Meta tags
  • Canonicals
  • Indexability
  • Open Graph tags
  • Structured data
  • Page speed
  • More

Free Backlink Checker by LRT

The Free Backlink Checker by LRT extension actually analyzes the outgoing links on a page (rather than any incoming links from other websites).

It will highlight any broken links red and any live links green. For further analysis, you also can export all links on a page to either a CSV or XLSX file in addition to their:

  • Anchor text
  • HTTP status
  • The “rel” attribute

To prevent false positives caused by server protection, you can increase the time delay between link requests, slowing the page analysis.

Hreflang Tag Checker

The Hreflang Tag Checker automates the process of checking your website’s hreflang tag deployment. It takes a readout of the URL’s hreflang tags and then crawls them to assess if they back reference your current URL.

This extension supports a site’s language targeting and hreflang architecture, allowing you to get a fast and reliable impression of the status of your site’s optimisation for international organic search.

Technical-SEO extensions

Link Redirect Trace

Link Redirect Trace reveals all the URLs in a redirect chain, including 301s, 302s and JavaScript redirects. The extension is considered an all-in-one redirect path analyzer.

A typical backlink profile usually includes redirects from other websites, and this tool helps you check if your redirects are SEO-friendly or if they harm your website.

Google Lighthouse

Google Lighthouse audits your page and suggests improvements related to:

  • Performance
  • Accessibility
  • Developer best practices
  • SEO

The extension runs a barrage of tests against the page and then generates a report on how well the page did. You can then use any failing tests as indicators on what you can do to improve your page.

AMP Validator

The AMP Validator extension checks whether a page has an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) version. The page is then run through the validator, which reports if the page passes (green) or fails (red) via the extension icon.

OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer

The OpenLink Structured Data Sniffer discovers metadata embedded within HTML documents as Structured Data Islands and presents what’s discovered using a property sheet presentation style.

It simplifies the process of understanding what a given HTML document is about, via its metadata, for both end-users and developers.

View Rendered Source

See how the browser renders a page, not just what the server sends, with the View Rendered Source extension. This must-have tool for anyone working with JavaScript-powered websites compares the raw page code and its rendered version.

With this tool, you can see if JavaScript is overwriting meta tags, for example.

Link-building extensions

LinkClump

The LinkClump extension allows you to open, copy or bookmark multiple links at the same time. You can use it to drag a selection box around links using your mouse to quickly open as new tabs, open in a new window, save as bookmarks or copy to your clipboard.

This can be a great help during link prospecting.

Buzzsumo

The Buzzsumo extension can show you how many social media shares an article on another website has, as well as their backlinks. You also can see the most popular articles from that website (based on social media shares and backlink count). 

SimilarWeb

The SimilarWeb extension enables you to see website traffic and key metrics for any website, including engagement rate, traffic ranking, keyword ranking and traffic source.

This is especially helpful for evaluating link opportunities.

Hunter

With the Hunter for Chrome extension, you can find who to contact when you visit a website. 

Along with the email addresses, you can get the names, job titles, social networks and phone numbers. All the data has public sources detailed in the search results. This can help you contact the right people as you’re link building for your own website.

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

All-in-one SEO extensions

Ahrefs SEO Toolbar

The Ahrefs SEO Toolbar features an on-page SEO report, a redirect tracer, a broken link checker and a nofollowed link highlighter.

You’ll also get page, domain and keyword metrics for visited URLs and search results.

MozBar

The MozBar extension gives you instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP, including the ability to:

  • Create custom searches by engine, country, region or city
  • Quickly assess the page authority and domain authority of any site or page
  • Access and compare link metrics across pages while viewing any SERP
  • Find and highlight keywords on a page and differentiate links by type
  • Expose page elements, general attributes, markup and HTTP status
  • Export your SERP analysis details to a CSV file

SEO Minion

SEO Minion helps you in your daily SEO tasks, such as on-page SEO analysis, broken link checking, SERP preview and more.

In conclusion

While there is no perfect tool (or Google Chrome extension) to serve your SEO needs, it’s worth auditing what your prioritized needs are for your website’s SEO. Take the time to look through, identify your top candidates and experiment with the extensions that are most promising.

See more of the best, free SEO Chrome extensions.

In the midst of increasing your SEO efficiency, consider your overall digital marketing process. DailyStory can help. Find out more about our automation features and audience segmentation by scheduling a free demo 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.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): What they are and how to use them

More than 56 percent of the content on the web is accessed through mobile devices, and this number is only growing.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a new standard from Google to ensure your content renders as quickly and efficiently as possible on mobile devices.

Odds are you are reading this page on a mobile device. If you are, you are accessing an Accelerated Mobile Page. You may have seen this icon next to this page and other content when browsing Google on your mobile device:

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Want to see the AMP version of this page?

Why Accelerated Mobile Pages?

The goal of AMP is to make pages load as quickly as possible on mobile devices. Unfortunately, the web is still pretty slow for many people.

AMP limits what you can do in HTML – gone are the ads, JavaScript libraries and other elements. The page is stripped down to the basics in order to render the page as quickly as possible.

You can read more about the AMP project here.

OK, how do I use it?

If you’ve read this far, you’re likely wondering how you can add AMP to your website or blog.

If you’re running WordPress, Automattic has a handy AMP plugin. (That’s what we’re using for our blog).

WordPress AMP

Go to your WordPress Plugins panel, search for “Automattic AMP,” and add it to your site. After installation, add “?amp=1” after any post, and you’ll have an AMP-friendly version of that content. Easy to add and highly recommended!

If you aren’t running WordPress (or feel like doing a little PHP coding yourself on your WordPress site), AMP is fairly trivial to add. You are reducing what the page is doing and simplifying it.

Google AMP Cache

Once your AMP content is published, it is a candidate for Google AMP Cache.

Google will potentially further optimize your AMP content to remove anything that isn’t mobile-friendly and will store your content in its geocache to ensure that it can serve your content as quickly as possible. This cache allows your content to be geographically distributed and ensures that AMP requests don’t take have to go through multiple network “hops” to reach your server.

If you aren’t serving your content using AMP, you should remember that the majority of today’s web traffic is mobile. If your content isn’t mobile-friendly, you are missing an opportunity to connect with your audience.

See our 14 expert tips to optimize your mobile marketing.

More to explore

If you think Accelerated Mobile Pages for your website is interesting, wait until your read about AMP for email.

An extension of AMP, AMP for email aims to improve the functionality of emails. The goal is to create more engaging and interactive email experiences. For example, AMP email recipients can directly submit forms from within the inbox.

That’s just one example of how you can use AMP for email.

DailyStory has built-in support for AMP emails. We’re one of only a handful of email vendors supporting AMP. Other DailyStory features include automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. 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.