It doesn’t matter whether you are a builder, accountant, florist or a plumber. With local SEO, your business can benefit a lot. There are a number of digital marketing agencies out there that offer local SEO services. But, what exactly is local SEO? Well, to define the term, local SEO is an extremely effective form of local online marketing. It enables you to promote your local business as well as services to your local customers at exactly the time when they are looking for your kind of business. Search engines such as Superpages, Yelp, TouchLocal are used by local SEO. In order to find the best local business in their area, millions of local customers use these services every day.
Guesswork is removed from local marketing by local SEO. If you drop leaflets through a letterbox, or put an ad in a local newspaper, you can’t be sure if your ad is seen by someone who is interested in your service or not. Here comes local SEO. It helps you to reach local customers who are looking to buy your services when they need it. Also, those new customers are ‘real customers’ and not just online customers. Local online marketing promotes not only your website, but also your business, services, address, name etc. Without even visiting your website, your new customers will call you and want to know more about your products and services, and give you more sales. Here, in this article, you will find why it is important for your business to opt for local SEO.
1. Local customers are using the internet to find local businesses
In order to find local business, online search engines and directories are used by 64 percent of local customers as the main way. On the contrary, there are only 28 percent of people who use old paper directories, in order to find local information.
2. Local search marketing is timely and highly targeted
Using local search engines as well as online directories, enables you to promote your business to local customers at exactly the time when they are actually looking for it. There is no better time to connect with your potential customers when they actually need you. And with local SEO, you can do exactly that.
3. Number of online searches for local business has increased
In the year 2008/09, the number of local searches increased by 58 percent. This growth is more than double the growth in general search volumes. This means that via search engines such as Google, more and more people are looking for local businesses as well as information.
4. Increased conversion levels of all local channels
Compared to other traditional advertising options, local directory marketing has higher conversion rates – up to 50 percent conversion on some directories. This means, you will be able to convert one in every two leads into an actual customer.
5. Great ROI or Return on Investment
Compared to other advertising such as leaflets and local papers, local SEO has less wastage exposure. This enables you to reach your potential customers when they actually need you. This is considered as a great advantage of local SEO. Also, this makes local SEO cost-effective as well as efficient.
6. Growth in mobile internet usage
Nowadays, in order to find the best local business while walking around, more and more customers are using mobile phones as well as mobile apps. Both PC and mobile internet access is covered by local SEO. This means, you will never miss out on a potential customer.
7. Not many businesses have claimed their Google Places local listings
There are only 10 percent of local businesses that are well acquainted with online marketing yet. This gives you the opportunity to get a head start before your competitors, become wise and give them a tough competition. Strike when you still have the opportunity.
8. Decrease in local newspaper readership
The number of people reading local newspaper is decreasing day by day. Recent study shows that in the last 20 years, some local newspapers have lost almost 80 percent of their readership. This is because; people are turning to their mobile phones or PC, in order to get local news as well as to find the best local deals and businesses.
So these are some of the reasons why you should consider local SEO for your business.
After years of hard work, we, SERP Consultancy, are now pleased to announce that we have now finally become a Google AdWords Premier Partner. This is the highest rank that one can achieve at a Google AdWords Partner Program. We were already an AdWords certified partner since 2012, and now Google approves that we qualify for their highest standards as well as quality criteria. Before we move forward, there are a number of things that needs to be cleared at the outset.
Well, millions of users use Google AdWords and it is updated regularly. This means, Google gets flooded with requests for helping them to run AdWords campaigns. Also, they receive a huge number of complaints about marketing agencies that are unqualified and that mismanage AdWords accounts.
To deal with such issues, Google started certifying certain marketing agencies as official AdWords partners. In order to become a certified partner, companies not only need to display a history of running large AdWords campaigns, but also employ qualified individuals who have passed online AdWords examinations. We have met all these strict criteria of Google and were thoroughly vetted by the search giant to achieve the prestigious Premier Partner Badge.
We have also earned specialisation in Mobile, Search as well as Shopping Advertising. This means we have certified team members who are experienced in these specific product areas and have substantial knowledge of helping clients and optimising ads for both mobile and desktop. As Google Partners, we have great knowledge of AdWords and are dedicated to paid Search Marketing for a variety of clients. Being a Google Partner, we offer a competitive advantage to clients, deliver quality customer service and have received training to help businesses grow online.
Here is a short comparison between Google Partner Badge and Google Premier Partner Badge –
|Criteria||Partner Badge||Premier Partner Badge|
|Certification||In order to show that you and your colleagues have advanced AdWords knowledge, you need to get 1 affiliated individual certified in AdWords.||In order to show that you and your colleagues have advanced AdWords knowledge, you need to get 2 affiliated individual certified in AdWords. And we have over 10 such people.|
|Spend||To show that your company has a good amount of activity, you need to meet a 90-day AdWords spend requirement of 10,000 US Dollars across your managed accounts.||To show that your company has a good amount of activity, you need to meet a 90-day AdWords spend requirement of more than 10,000 US Dollar across your managed accounts. And we spend more than 40,000 US Dollar on Google AdWords campaign per month.|
When it comes to performance, high performance keeps our customers happy and helps in improving our standing as a Google Partner. And we have excelled at that too! Look at the screenshot below for your reference. You can see that the level of our performance is much more than that is required by Google to be their Premier Partner.
Below are described some of the advantages that you will get if you work with a Google Premier Partner as ourselves –
1. Guaranteed results within your budget
We know our business well, we know what we do and with our proven expertise, we can guarantee you definite results within a certain time-frame. There is no guess-work or budget burning chances. We make sure that you acquire lower conversion cost as well as cost per click by improving the quality score, click through rate and we have something for every budget. In short- we give you what you want.
2. Work with certified analysts and account managers
If a company achieves Google Partner status, it will have employees who are Google AdWords certified, managing your accounts. Google makes sure that these certifications are current and that the agency or the company meets Google’s standards for account management.
3. Stay ahead of the competition with Beta Features
Companies that have achieved a Google Partner badge, for example, SERP Consultancy, can have access to Google’s Beta features. This means, if Google develops a new application or feature, its partners can use and test this feature for a year or more before it is available to the general public. Imagine the advantages that you will get by using Google’s marketing features before your competitors have access to it!
4. Have access to the masters of AdWords features
As Google Partners know all the features of AdWords very well, they know how to use them in a way that is greatly profitable to their clients. Our analysts master in things such as the use of negative keywords, ad extensions, split testing with AdWords, phrase match keywords, ad scheduling, broad match modified keywords, site links inside of ads and many more.
5. Keep up with the best practices in PPC
In order to maintain the Google Partner status, team members of a company must take certification exams in AdWords Fundamentals, Shopping, Display, Search, Mobile and Video Advertising. Partners can even attend free training sessions, so that they can keep up with the latest PPC practices. If you work with us, you can rest assured that we know all the latest PPC strategies and will do our best to bring profit to your business.
Our relationship with Google is great and we have a long track history with their representatives. We get to know about all the new and upcoming features. And as we are a Premier Partner of Google, we get access to a number of benefits. Some of them are –
- Invitations to all the exclusive Google events
- Showing the prestigious Google Premier Partner badge on our website, and other online and offline marketing materials, is a big credibility boost for us as a company
- Having access to advanced support and training
- Having a company profile as well as visibility on the Google Partner Search website
- The ability to achieve company specialisations
We know that without the support and appreciation of our satisfied clients, we would not be able to achieve Google’s highest distinction. That’s why we want to thank our each and every one of our clients heartily for placing their trust in us. We are looking forward to continuing this successful and blissful journey with you and work even harder to boost and grow your business even further.
What Exactly Is Google Penguin And How Does It Work?
For professionals whose work lies in the field of SEO, the name “Google Penguin” sparks no questioning look. But an introduction is necessary for the uninitiated. It is an algorithm that had been designed with the aim to deter the practice of link spamming. Penguin was introduced by Google way back in April 2012 with the aim to combat web spam. It imposed heavy penalties on those sites whose SERP-ranking tactics involved using SEO techniques classified by Google as “Black Hat”. Some of those tactics involve things like cloaking, content duplicity, keyword stuffing etc.
Things Which Have Changed in Penguin 4.0
Ever since the time it was introduced, Google Penguin has undergone several versions of updates, all of which were required to promote high-quality content and stops any users from practicing link building in an unethical manner. In that area, Penguin 4.0 has introduced certain major changes which are as follows:
• Now, Penguin is seen to be running in real-time.
• The site-wide negative ranking factor no longer exists or is relevant as far as Penguin is concerned.
Google used to run Penguin only intermittently (in other words, Google would run this algorithm just once every two or three months); usually, an erring person would be slapped a penalty; or, the penalty would be lifted each time the algorithm is refreshed. Therefore, even if a website that has been penalized removes the offending links the next day (after they received a penalty), they might have to wait for months before that penalty is finally lifted.
Also, before all these updates took place, the entire website with an erring page would fall under the ambit of the penalty imposed by Penguin. The domain of the website in question would be made to rocket down through the result pages even if most of your website was spam-free. Still worse, this penalty would be maintained until the refreshing of Penguin (which is a process which might take months) even if you had rectified the problem immediately after the penalty was received.
Penguin 4.0, however, has introduced a change to all this. The updated version of Penguin refreshes in real-time, which essentially means that site penalties are lifted or incurred when Google uses its crawlers to re-index a page. To explain in other terms, creation of spam links could severely affect your SERP rankings the next day after you do the deed, but you would no longer wait long for that penalty to be removed.
With the latest update, there is the presence of a more granular quality to Penguin. This essentially means that Google will now punish individual pages but not the website as a whole. If Penguin happens to detect web spam on your website, then it might bury the bad page in the SERPs. However but the rest of your domain still has the potential to rank well.
The Effects of Penguin 4.0 on Your Website:
If you have read this far, then you already are aware the effects of a Penguin update would be felt immediately in the SEO community: “Black Hat” SEO is heavily punished; while websites that have had their penalties lifted, see resurgence in the ranks. However, this latest update was not felt by most SEO specialists and webmasters until a few days after it was being rolled out by Google.
According to the industry experts, SEOs started to witness a SERP flux about almost three to five days after the update had been done. A poll was conducted to this effect; and it was found that almost 24-28% of them had been affected by the new introductions to Penguin updates. The effects were not evenly distributed; since some people felt the heat creep up on them at a much later date compared to the others. A majority of the websites that had been affected enjoyed a slight boost when it came to rankings, and only a very limited number of sites actually felt the penalties heaped upon them.
What we can gather from this is that the latest Penguin update is absolutely beneficial websites which don’t spam. Actually, as a result of this update, the rankings are more likely to improve the rank of websites that make genuine, honest-seeming links and focus on upping the quality of their content.
Case studies done by experts, testify to this. They list a lot of websites which have seemingly been suppressed and buried deep in the realm of internet marketing, often for years (a few of those websites are in SERP-dormancy ever since Penguin was first launched in 2012). Those websites are finally getting freed of the yoke that their penalties impose on them. To cite an example, an e-commerce store which had been previously subjected to penalization is now ranking 10th for a keyword for which they’d been ranked at 56 about five years ago.
In conclusion, we could end by hoping that the Penguin update would affect your website’s ranking only in a positive manner. This update promises to be advantageous in ways more than one.
One of the most effective ways to improve the rankings of your site, is to get backlinks, ie, links from other websites to your website. Of course, not all backlinks are the same. While some backlinks can do nothing to improve your website’s ranking, there are others that can even have a negative impact on your website. This is why you should focus more on getting high quality backlinks. There are several different factors that make a backlink high quality. Not all SEO consultants have the same opinion on the topic. In this post, we are going to discuss about the different factors that are responsible for good quality backlinks.
If you expect all your backlinks to be perfect, it would be unrealistic. And if one of your backlinks does not meet all of these criteria that does not mean that the quality of the backlink is low. Read on to know about the criteria for high quality backlinks:
1. Domain age
According to industry experts, there is not much difference between a domain that is one month old and the one that is one and a half years old. But if a site is older with consistent ownership, then it proves that the site is trustworthy, and this will give your links stronger weight.
2. From a relevant source
If you search something in the search engines, the results that it provides, are relevant. So when they evaluate backlinks, it is natural that they will consider the relevance factor. There are different levels at which a backlink can be relevant. Search engines consider the relevance of the content directly surrounding the link, the relevance of the specific page with the link on it and the overall relevance of the linking site.
3. Synonym/phrase/exact match anchor link text used
If the words used as anchor links are the same as or similar to the keywords that you want to improve your rankings for, then the quality of a backlink increases. If there are a lot of incoming links that are made up of exactly the same anchor link text, then it will look quite unnatural. So try to use plenty of variations.
4. Link location in content
Backlinks that are to be found in the content, are generally editorial links. Search engines value these types of links the most. In a content, if the link is included early, this means that the writer of that content considers it to be an important link. So backlinks that are within the main area of content on a page and at the beginning paragraph of that content area, are considered to be of greater quality, compared to backlinks that are in the last paragraph of a content area or in the footer or sidebar.
5. Authority of linking domains
If your business’s website is linked to a high authority site, then search engines get the impression that your site should be put in the same bracket as those high quality sites. This is especially true if the high quality site shares the same niche as your site. If the other links on that particular page is linked to low quality sites, then that does not mean that your site will be classed as low quality. In fact, search engines may choose not to count that link as a factor in their ranking calculations.
Getting high quality backlinks, as discussed above, may seem like a daunting task, but there are smart marketers, who know exactly how to implement those methods and get quality backlinks. Once you get high quality backlinks, your website’s ranking position will improve in the SERPs and you will start getting more and more traffic to your website.
We are about to bid good bye to the year 2016, and have already arranged a great welcome party to welcome the New Year 2017. In fact, it is the most wonderful time of the year, as we all are in a festive mood. And this year was one of the most important years for small businesses, as the SEO trend has been changed to a great extent in 2016. Now we will discuss about the possible SEO trends in 2017 here.
If you run a small business and want to increase your revenue, you will surely want to know what SEO trends you should follow this year, in order to generate more traffic and increase revenue. You don’t need to worry, have a cup of coffee and check out what will be the biggest trends in organic search in the year 2017 and beyond. There are a number of SEO experts who have discussed about the SEO trends in 2017.
According to the CEO of SERP Consultancy, from the emergent behaviour of RankBrain, the SEO community is going to know a much more interesting stuff in 2017. In short, the SEO trends in 2017 may fall into the below discussed categories.
1. Future Algorithms:
Over the last few years, the SEO industry has been trying to optimise the content in a more technical way. In other words, it can be said that they are giving more importance to the search engine crawler than the people viewing the content. In 2017, may be, Google will make its algorithms a reflection of the mind, soul, heart and needs of the customers.
So, in 2017, the big trend can be a shift in mentality where you have to focus on understanding your potential customers and their requirements, in order to make your entire digital strategy. In order to better understand the customer, you can collect data from search engines. If you do something that your customers want, something that can solve their issues, you will be able to win the algorithm of the future.
2. Content optimisation:
This year, the approach of the SEO industry to the content experience will evolve to a great extent. Remember, your keywords must be subordinate to content, which aligns with your customers. In 2017, the user journey will be much more personalised than ever, which is a good thing for marketers.
After the hummingbird update, optimising content rather than keyword has gained popularity in the year 2016, but implementing it in 2017, will have big benefits ( especially with the emergence of artificial intelligence). So, make your mind, not to optimise keywords, but optimise content.
3. Accelerated Mobile Pages:
In 2016, Google has launched Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP in order to prevent a large switch away from mobile web browsing to different native apps. AMP helps in keeping people engaged on mobile devices for Google search. This is obviously a smart step of Google. Let’s wait and see how much popularity it gains. Will it be a long shelf life or it will just end up like one of the Google doomed projects? We will get the answer in 2017.
4. User Experience Optimisation:
To a significant extent, User Experience Optimisation or UEO has been an important part of SEO. Google generally prefers the sites, which are well optimised for mobile devices; that means Google favours the sites that load quickly and the sites where users stay for a long time and enjoy their experience. But in the year 2017, the scenery may be something different – there may be an increased emphasis on user experience in terms of mobile devices.
5. Personal Branding:
It can be clearly assumed that 2017 will be a great year for the small businesses. They will be able to boost their personal brand more securely through different social media platforms like Facebook. It can be anticipated that organisations and companies will take the advantage of personal branding. But before taking part into the competition, make sure that you have a perfect and strong strategy.
What you think will be, in the year 2017? Will it be considered as a golden era for the small businesses? Will it be a great opportunity for any organisation to promote their business online? Time will decide the answers. Let’s hope for the best. Happy New Year!!
Local search optimisation is a subset of SEO or Search Engine Optimisation as we know it. As its name suggests, it is chiefly based on targeting localised searches for a particular product or service. In this day and age, where it is increasingly becoming more and more important to discover a niche for one’s business, one needs to up one’s game as much as possible. In this connection, a few points are mentioned below which should get your attention:
Google Has an Affinity for Promoting Local Businesses
As the years have progressed, it has been observed that Google has a proclivity of displaying slight favouritism toward companies, which are newly springing up on the horizon of the internet world. Though a huge part of its ranking algorithm is related to brand history and reputation, Google also attaches a lot of importance to localised search preferences. Thus, it serves up more nimble and newer brands for viewers to feast their senses on.
This also means empowering the owners of small businesses. Since a majority of small businesses have very restricted access to the resources, there is more potential in breaking new ground. Google has always been known for providing free tools for assisting companies in getting trade and a customer base online. Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Webmaster Tools etc. make for a few good examples. All these exist for the sole purpose of helping companies in increasing their visibility online.
Results are Getting More Individualised as the Days Go by
Google also places a lot of emphasis upon providing the people with individualised results, which cater to their needs. It’s true that it’s customised and highly prediction-based search features are completely limited at present. Presently, the search engine can generate specific and highly particular results which follow the search patterns and search preferences of a particular person, who uses Google to search very often. As long as the person is logged into their Google account, their search history and the geographic location both are huge factors which decide the search suggestions that they receive.
Over the years and days, Google is slowly growing to be much more sophisticated and refined; and as is natural, users would start to demand results which are even more custom-made or individualised. Local search optimisation, thus, will grow further in scope and importance.
Mobile and Wearable Devices are Coming More into Vogue
Over the years, the number of Google searches done through mobile devices (such as Smartphones and Tablets) has grown by leaps and bounds. And as all of us know, the majority of mobile searches are normally done while one is on the go. With the advent of various wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch to cite an example, users will increase the frequency of the go-to searches a lot more; and with needs that are highly specific and urgent.
Therefore, it is inevitable that proximity-based searches would be increasing in terms of popularity, and all the localised searches would be based on super-specific and exclusively marked-out locations, compared to regional or neighbourhood-specific bases. In effect, super-specific locations should be searched and targeted in terms of optimisation; hence, devices would have to shore up on a more geographically relevant network of information and get rid of all the remaining barriers that exist between the physical and digital worlds.
Competition is Ever-Increasing
Competition is ever-increasing in the field of digital commerce or e-commerce. Every single day, lots of new sites are born, and new businesses emerge to become competitive enterprises. Therefore, potential search visibility is on the decline in many places. Features such as the Knowledge Graph are slowly and steadily taking over search engine results pages (SERPs) and blue chip brands are emerging as dominant.
In such circumstances, business owners are forced to target niches so that they can achieve the much-needed visibility.
If you were looking for reasons to concentrate exclusively on local search optimisation, then all the aforementioned points should provide you with the answer and more. As days go, local SEO will further grow in importance, in the face of increasing competition and enhanced demands for quality and immediate gratification.
Search Engine Optimisation is something which is required in order to enhance a company’s chances of attracting greater traffic. In fact, in the modern world, nobody can do without it; especially if they happen to be an e-commerce concern. SEO mainly revolves around keyword research; i.e. searching for terms related to a business which are the most searched by any people who are looking for a company that provides those services/products which they’re searching for. Let’s get this a little simpler: If company A deals with electronic goods, then they will look up search volumes of terms such as “electronic geysers” or “sound systems” (products which they deal in). These are the terms which are the most likely to be searched for by people on the internet who are looking to buy electronic goods. Hence, the word or term which has the greatest search volume would be picked up and used overwhelmingly in the text of the website. Alongside, they are also used in the web URL and the video links. But often the best optimisation techniques come in for a failure. So, it is necessary to learn how to optimise the tried-and-tested techniques for search engine optimisation. This is even more appropriate when the holiday or break season is nearing. And you have to think about keeping your website up on the rank it presently maintains; in fact, get it to an even higher spot if possible. In order to make sure that your website continues garnering views and ranks for the holiday period, here are some vital tips. Read below:
1. It is of foremost importance to optimise titles and descriptions correctly. They have a more lasting impact on the marketing campaign than any other thing. In fact, even the texts of the websites do not matter as much as the ones in the URLs. The more attractive your page title is, the more is it likely to get a high number of clicks. Also, if a highly-ranked relevant keyword is somehow included in the title, then it automatically will find itself tied to a high rank. Thus, you should have a two-in-one approach: Aim for clicks while simultaneously fitting the Google criteria for ranking high.
2. In case you’re a business that has got a presence in the virtual world, then it is important to regularly visit, update and optimise the “My Business” page of Google. This has multiple benefits. Not only does it certify before Google that you have a business with an identifiable location, but it also provides for a Knowledge Graph that includes results from the “My Business” page of your company. This is of immense help to people who might be searching for your brand. Having a My Google Page account would help your potential customers to successfully bypass all the rival companies’ AdWords results from gaining prominence in the Google results page. As a result, viewers will invariably click on your page. All you need to do is get your company verified by the Google postcard that would be sent to your location on request. This is a huge game-changer when it comes to local SEO optimisation.
3. Reverse the keyword focus; this is one of the most essential last-minute preparations which are required in order to grab rankings at the last minute. Sometimes it so happens that there is too much competition for the top-ranked keyword and hence, you’re not able to get the most out of them; and as a result you’re constantly losing out on competition and rankings. In such circumstances, it would make sense to go for the lesser-ranked keywords and optimise your web content with those, so as to find yourself a niche market. Once you get acquainted with the users of the said niche market, you can be assured of a leading spot in them.
All these tips would be really helpful for you to get ready for your next SEO holiday. As the saying goes, “plan with care and you will not repent in leisure”.
Are you among those who have spent hours lamenting over their local ad campaigns? Have you struggled a lot to understand why your local PPC campaigns aren’t delivering you the ROI that you had hoped? Well, there are actually many reasons that can make your PPC campaign a mess. Sometimes, it can be a cumbersome endeavour to manage a PPC advertising campaign in Google AdWords.
A little study can take you a long way while you are trying to execute a profitable PPC campaign. Here are some easy-to-learn PPC optimisation tips which might help you to achieve success. By using these tips, you can quickly garner better results in your AdWords campaign.
1. Get Multi dimensional:
Before doing a PPC campaign in Google AdWords, you need to find your target audience. Depending on them, you can set a campaign by combining geo modifiers with demographic modifiers (includes income, age etc.). For instance, a lunch spot can get maximum order by increasing their mobile bids at the time when the clock ticks closer to noon, as this time is the peak time.
2. Fine-tune Geo-based bids per territory:
It is a better idea to fine-tune your geographical area in order to set up a PPC Campaign. Suppose a toy retailer wants to make a PPC campaign for his/her business, s/he will never get leads from a nightclub; rather, s/he will be able to get better leads from those who are spending a quiet and calm evening at home. On the other hand, the owner of a nightclub will definitely decrease his/her bids for a quiet, residential neighbourhood.
3. Location Extensions and Google places:
It is a real benefit to include location names and ZIP codes in AdWords Ad customizers. According to a research, 34% of people who search for local information on desktop or tablet, visit the store or place within 24 hours, and 50 % of the people who search on the mobile do the same. Hence, location extension is required to update the location on Google properly, so that the prospects can find the address easily. Make sure that your Google places listing is updated.
4. Don’t forget to include call tracking phone number:
As per Google, ads that include call extensions help in increasing click through rate by 4-5%, and also increase lead to conversions to a great extent. It has also been found by Google that about 70% of mobile searchers use this click to call button to call the business. So, make sure that you have a search specific number that can be used for call tracking in order to measure performance. In fact, it is a powerful tactic for your business to include your phone number into your ad units, so that target users can get proper way to reach to you.
5. Make your website mobile friendly:
In the year 2015, Google announced that desktop queries have been surpassed by mobile search queries. It has also been reported that 50% of mobile searchers visit the storefront. Hence, it is now more important to optimise your website for a mobile. In order to enhance your PPC campaign, your website should be well optimised for mobile browsing as well as mobile-friendly.
These are just a few tools that you can use to enhance your Google AdWords PPC campaign. Stay upgraded on every aspect of your PPC campaign as much possible as you can.
In the field of international digital marketing hreflang tags play a very significant role. Digital marketers trying to target the international audience must be well versed with hreflang tags. Now, what exactly is hreflang? To give a simple and straightforward definition, it is the most effective tool in the hand of SEO people to tell Google the language and country that they are trying to target for a particular page. Google introduced these tags in December 2011. These tags highlight the relationship between two pages in different languages and helps search engine to show the correct version of the page in the search result on the basis of the location of the searcher.
Suppose you have a German- version of your English- language product page, you would use the tag hreflang=”de” so that search engine will show the German version of the page instead of English version for a user from German –speaking country.
Hreflang tags are used to mark up pages which have similar meanings but target different languages and /or regions. These tags can be used for content with regional variations (English speakers in USA and English speakers in UK) or content in different languages or a combination of both.
For further information please visit:
However, it isn’t so easy to implement hreflang owing to it being a rather tricky subject. People, who can’t get it right, end up with loads of errors.
3 Common Hreflang Mistakes
Some of the most common mistakes while doing hreflang are as follows:
Confirmation link missing: It has been often found that linking structure of hreflang annotations are not done properly for e.g., page X is linked to page Y but page Y is not linked back to page X. This may lead to incorrect interpretation of the hreflang annotations. So if a page has a hreflang link to an alternate language then the linked page must be linked back to it.
Suppose you have a German website which sells bags to customers in France and Portugal your annotations for homepage:
<link rel=”alternate” href=”example.com”hreflang=”en-us” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”example.com/fr/” hreflang=”fr-fr” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”example.com/pt/” hreflang=”pt-pt” />
One should remember to use the same tags for French and Portuguese homepages.
Uses of Wrong Country Codes: While one is adding hreflang codes to the web pages, they need to be completely sure that the correct language and country codes are being used. In Google’s own language, the value of the hreflang attribute must be in ISO 639-1 format for the language, and in ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 format for the region. Specifying only the region is not supported. By way of example, let’s cite the case of using the “en-uk” tag to single out the speakers of English language in the United Kingdom. The actual tag is “en-gb”.
Absolute URLs not being used : When you are adding the URLs in the hreflang tags they should be absolute URLs beginning with “http://”or https:// ,else search engine may interpret them incorrectly.
Example of Absolute URLs:
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-us” href=”http://www.example.com/” />
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”de-de” href=”http://www.example.de/” />
You can successfully implement the hreflang tags if you can take care of the above errors.
Content marketing has evolved as a vital part of marketing strategies for all sizes of enterprises. It’s a well known fact that “content is the king”. Without a great and compelling content it’s very difficult to engage visitors to the website and convert them into leads.
Content marketing is a great way to improve a business’s online reach. One can expect amazing results with this type of marketing if it is done in a planned manner. For this you must have a proper marketing strategy.
Given below are five great ways to optimise your content marketing strategy so as to make it more effective:
1. Write down your strategy: This is the first step to get the best results from your content marketing strategy. A small document containing your content marketing goals and plans is better than having nothing at all. It has been found that marketers who don’t have a written strategy say content marketing is not an effective way.
2. Setting a specific goal for your content: One should have specific business goals for content. It should not be restricted to increasing the sales. Creating awareness of your brand, customer retention, etc. are some of the points which should be kept in mind while setting a goal.
3. Identification of key performance indicators (KPIs) to track performance: Tracking the performance of your content is a vital part of content marketing. It helps you to determine whether the planned strategies are able to meet your business goals. These indicators are different for different businesses. Some of the tracking indictors are given below:
- Tracking the website visitors: Tools like Google Analytics can be used to find the total number of website visitors via a particular piece of content.
- Bounce Rate: It indicates how long a visitor is spending on your website. If you find a high bounce rate, it means that your visitor is landing on your content and leaving your site instantly without browsing other pages of your website. This indicates that your content needs to be more compelling so as to engage a visitor for longer duration.
- Count of social shares: In order to find the best performing content, you need to find out which content has received the highest number of share on social media platforms. You can use that content as an example to understand your audience.
- Tracking inbound links earned: If you have high quality content, there is a high chance that your content would be shared and linked to other websites. This kind of natural link can be advantageous for your search engine optimisation without breaking Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
4. Content marketing is not just about blog: Apart from blog there are different forms of content marketing which includes infographics,eBooks,vlogs, webinars,podcats and many more. These forms of content marketing must be a part of your strategy. Video is a popular form of visual content and is very easy to share. End-users love to engage with videos and hence the popularity of video continues to rise.
5. Be aware about changes in Google: One must keep track of the latest changes made by Google. This is to ensure that the content you are planning to publish are meeting the standard as set by Google.