6 Ways to Improve Your Small Business Website SEO

As an SEO agency, one of the most frequent questions we get from our clients is: “What can I do to improve my website’s search engine rankings?” There are many factors that determine how well a website ranks in search engines, but there are some SEO best practices that will undoubtedly help your ranking, no matter what industry or niche you are in. Here are six easy changes you can make to your website that will help improve your SEO rankings.

Section 1. What is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is a long and complex subject that requires a lot of research and continual adjustments for the long term. In order to better understand how to optimize your website for search engines, you must first know what SEO is and how search engines work. If you want to know more about how SEO works, there are several free resources available online. A quick Google search for “SEO Basics” will provide you with a plethora of information to help you learn how to make SEO work for you. As a way of improving your website visibility in the search result pages, search engine optimization is, analogically speaking, the creation and polishing of your business’ online identity in order to be favored by search engines such as Google and Bing.

While many an seo expert focuses on search engine ranking, the effective seo strategy must seek to increase the online visibility of the small business WHILE increasing the conversion rate of potential customers. SEO services can be further distinguished between national SEO a local seo. National SEO simply means search engine optimization for national brands that provide products on a larger s

Section 2. Research Your Competitors

When you have a website, it can be really difficult to monitor its traffic and performance for success. By comparison, it’s much easier to do this with competitors. Who are they ranking for, and how are they ranking? When you monitor their websites, you will be able to quickly spot issues and problems and correct them, and you can also see what’s working for them and what isn’t. Find a competitor that seems to be doing really well and compare its site to yours. Look at the site’s keywords, competitors, meta descriptions, backlinks, website location and other vital information. This will allow you to understand the keywords they are ranking for and see which ones are driving the most traffic to their site. It also gives you a peak at

Section 3. Understand How Search Engines Rank Websites

SEO best practices can be highly time-consuming, which is why many small businesses don’t bother to do it. However, ignoring best practices can have severe consequences for your site’s ranking in the search engines. Search engines work with many different factors in order to serve to the visitor the best information to answer their question or keyword used. While this is not a guide as to how search engines work, there are many resources online that delve into this topic further.  

Section 4. Create Valuable Content for Your Ideal Customer

Search engines are all about content. A search engine can’t deliver the best possible results if it doesn’t have access to the most relevant and useful content. All other SEO tactics, including headings, meta description, anchor text and so on, are all just extra items on the page. Only valuable content makes it through to your site’s SERP (search engine results page). This doesn’t mean that you have to create the same exact content on your homepage, or that you can’t change it to better fit your needs. As a rule of thumb- always attempt to create content which your ideal customer will find valuable. Content marketing is, like SEO, a subsection of digital marketing. Once you have posted new blog articles or pages to your site, it is important to market that content via social media and other methods. 

Section 5. Utilize a CDN and server caching to speed up your website

This is a major SEO best practice, and one that should be implemented in any website design. CDNs are a collection of servers that provide an efficient networked caching solution for the web. A content delivery network (CDN) is a specialized form of network that applies dynamic properties of an end-to-end domain name system (DNS). Using a CDN allows your web server to store in a central location all of your website’s assets (CSS, Javascript, images, etc.) and sends the resulting content, such as a webpage, over the internet. Without a CDN, your website would have to request every single page asset from your server in order to serve each request. CDNs are often used by large corporations to reduce server space costs by storing all assets on multiple servers around the world. CDNs are much more affordable than they were previously and many website hosting companies offer them at little to no additional cost. 

Section 6. Improve Your Backlink Profile

The first SEO best practice that should come to mind is building a solid backlink profile. Start with an audit of all the backlinks to your site, then verify that they are legitimate and of high quality. When I say legitimate and high quality, I am referring to links that were not paid for but instead EARNED. Buying links as an SEO technique is against most search engines’ terms of service and can result in penalization. Instead, marketing the valuable content on your website for other websites to trust and link to should be a staple of your local seo strategy. Local SEO Tip: sponsoring local events, sports teams, and volunteering are all effective ways of potentially earning high quality and relevant backlinks as a result of doing good in the community.

You should also carefully scrutinize your website for any broken links and external site pages that link to your site without attribution. While broken links can still influence your search ranking, the impact is far less significant than the alteration of a link that was not working properly. Backlink analysis can take a lot of time and patience, but the information you are able to gather from an audit can be invaluable for any website.

Section 7. Measure Results and Adapt

Before you jump into each of the SEO tips listed below, we recommend you create a report that details each query that your website has been able to rank for, and what the site’s average time to rank has been. This will allow you to see the quantitative and qualitative elements of your website’s SEO and determine what changes are necessary to improve your results. The first SEO best practice you should implement is to use unbiased search engine optimization (SEO) tools. By using SEO tools that are backed by unbiased results and genuine human-reviewed data, you will be able to start to automate the SEO process and get more value for your budget. These tools will also allow you to see what is working and what is not working. Once you are able to distinguish the behaviors that led to the results, it is important to then adapt your small business website to improve upon those results. This may mean that you should implement a specific SEO technique to help overcome specific hurdles. An example may be the usage and implementation of specific topics you previously uncovered during your keyword research.

Section 8. Conclusion

As a business owner, you should try to learn more about search engine optimization and how it works. Bettering your understanding of SEO will empower you to play a larger role in the success of your business. When you are busier as a result of the extra business, it may be time to hire a local seo consultant to take over and expand your search visibility. Prior to hiring a local seo expert, it is important that you have at least a fundamental understanding of search engine optimization and seo techniques normally utilized by ethical seo consultants. After all, how do you hire someone to do a job effectively if you do not understand the fundamentals of the work needing to be done.

The Best Things to Do In Mesa, Arizona on Weekend Vacations

Mesa Arizona has a long and interesting history. As one of the original Spanish colonies along the Mexican border, Mesa was established as a summer home of the Spanish soldiers. The American soldiers came and changed all that. They founded the first municipal school in the area and made it what we know today as Mesa.

Mesa is a town just south of Phoenix, Arizona, where there are lots of great tourist attractions. Mesa Grande Shopping Village is a large commercial area with lots of restaurants, movie theatres and gift shops. Mesa Art Museum is home to an actual, centuries old ceremonial landmark, and other artifacts of the Hohokam Indians.

The Arizona Museum of Natural History houses a huge, three-floor mammoth dinosaur collection, plus several other authentic exhibits. There are also several museums devoted to art and history, including Mesa’s Telluride Science Center, the Mesa Historical Society, and Mesa Recording Memories, which will give you a unique look into the lives of Southern Arizona residents in the past. Mesa recording memories allows visitors to listen to recordings from famous movies and television shows. You can go on a driving tour of the Grand Canyon, or visit Cesar Chavez Park. There are also two major year-round festivals in Mesa, both of which draw out thousands of visitors every year. Bike and car rentals are available, as are shuttle services to and from the airport.

A few weeks before your trip, you might also want to check out some Mesa history museums. The two most famous museums are the Mesa Natural History Museum and the Mesa Museum of Art. The former is devoted to everything from Darwin to Native American tribes; the latter features everything from Spanish architecture to Elvis to Native American pottery. You can spend a morning at either of these museums, then spend the afternoon exploring the historical sites and sounds within the area. These two museums make great weekend outings for families, too, since it lets you experience the region on a smaller scale.

Besides the Mesa Natural History Museum and Mesa Museum of Art, there are many other interesting cultural attractions in and around Mesa, Arizona. The parks that make up Mesa offer a variety of activities for people of all ages, from hikers to families to corporate executives. The following are the best things to do in Mesa during weekends:

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you some ideas for places to visit and things to do on your trip to Arizona. If you are planning a trip to Mesa, you will probably find that you have many things to do in and around this city, as well as plenty of great vacation spots to choose from. 

Photo shows twitch seo content multiplication

TWITCH SEO

Online streaming and Twitch, in particular, has taken over the hearts and minds of those needing seeking entertainment. In this article, we discuss Twitch SEO has it has evolved to be known as well as tips and tricks you can use to become a popular streaming personality. These tips will include the stereotypical SEO tips, including some influence-oriented tips that help strengthen your brand to stand out from other content creators on Twitch. Here, we go beyond Google search rankings and move into the realm of Twitch search results. This article is just the beginning of the process and takes a different route from the standard Google SEO you may be familiar with. 

What is Twitch SEO?

Twitch SEO is the process of creating a Twitch Channel filled with a variety of topics, gameplay, etc., that Twitch WANTS to serve up to searchers seeking the content you have created. While the title of Twitch SEO has been utilized in the past, we prefer to refer to it as content optimization and marketing as a subset of search engine optimization. While we are not explicitly looking to increase the search rankings of a search engine like Google or Bing, we are looking to improve the stream’s visibility on a service such as Twitch or Youtube. Due to the nature of Google’s search algorithms, your content will rank higher on the searches providing yet another benefit to our tactics covered below.

With that said, what can we do to optimize our streaming platform (brand and content) for better placement and visibility? As always, we look at the variables that we can control as well as the variables that we can merely influence. 

Factors of streaming platforms that we can control

Video Content and Keywords

The first factor of control we can utilize is the content produced on the Twitch Channel and the verbiage used to communicate what the channel focuses on and the types of content that one can expect from the channel. Here, we revert to using the best friend of SEOs everywhere- Keywords. You do not need an expensive keyword research tool to discover the keywords you should use for your stream. That is unless your flow is purely there to be monetized, then, by all means, research using your favorite tools. 

Instead of going the old SEO route and utilizing tools that tell you the search count for specific keywords and phrases, I recommend instead that you review your favorite streams and the streams of your likely competitors to see what keywords they are regularly utilizing, the types of content they are producing, and the titles they are using to promote said content. 

SEO parity is a very effective method of ranking higher in the search engines than your competitors are. After all, they are ranking their stream in a manner that is effective (otherwise it would not be there), we should do the same but in a more efficient way. Rather than reinventing the wheel, we are going to do what our competitors are doing and then some. So if our competitors are ranking their streams for keywords that we have yet to focus on, we will direct our focus to ranking content for those keywords. We do not stop there; we also look at the gaps in the content that our competitors have. For example, you stream mostly first-person shooters, and you focus your efforts on streaming COD: Warzone. Your competitor has numerous videos as a specific class of characters but does not flow as a different class. Here is where your chance to step in lies. You would produce content for the type of character that your competition plays in addition to the class that they are not generating content for. 

The Stereotypical Twitch SEO Advice

Channel Name and Channel Description

Remember the keywords that we first discovered when reviewing the competition? Time for them to shine. When creating the Twitch Channel description, utilize those keywords to describe the content. Be careful of keyword stuff the description, though. This isn’t SEO from the ’90s. No one wants to read that garbage. Instead, draft a description that appeals to those searching for your content using real sentences. 

Video Title & Video Description

For each piece of video content that you maintain on Twitch, you get to choose the video title and video description. Here again, utilize the selected keywords that your content represents when drafting the title and description. If you are streaming live, the Stream Title will help you differentiate this piece of content from the content produced by other content creators. 

***There, that’s all of the stereotypical Twitch SEO Advice. From here on out, we discuss the strategy needed to help you achieve a higher rank for your streaming content. ***

Moving the needle to gain higher rankings

To truly optimize your stream beyond the fundamental lessons of SEO, we must dive deeper into the data points that content creators care about. As Twitch measures them continuously and they play a role in your success as a Twitch Streamer, we look at the stats that it shares with other video and streaming platforms. 

Viewers

The number of views that a video or stream has is very telling. It indicates the level of discoverability that the video has. After all, if the views are low, the video is either not a favorite of those subscribed to the channel (more on that later) or is just not picking up steam.  

Time in State (Viewing time)

This is the amount of time indicating how much of your content was consumed. Depending on the report viewed, it may also show you the average amount of time per view. 

Subscriptions

The amount of subscribers is telling of 2 things: 

  • The quality of the content produced in terms of entertainment value for your target demographic and;
  • The loyalty of your viewership

The subscriber metric is one of importance to Twitch and other video content platforms such as YouTube. The entertainment value for the target demographic, coupled with loyalty to the streamer or content producer, provides a consistent customer base that can be monetized.  As such, Twitch is more inclined to promote content that is likely to cultivate subscriptions.

 Interactivity

As a streamer, you are empowered with the ability to foster an online community in the form of stream chats and other forms of communication. The most successful Twitch Channels have a robust and loyal base who often interact with the streamer.

Outside of Your SEO Comfort Zone

How can you beef up the metrics that matter?

This is where we take a detour from the standard search engine optimization techniques and journey into the twilight zone of Steaming and Brand optimization. Why? To influence the rankings of your stream, the growth of your streaming base, and the loyalty of your followers. There is no secret formula for higher rankings, and we cannot control the search algorithm, so instead, we influence the metrics that Twitch uses to serve up helpful search results. 

Your Streamer Brand

Growing and developing a streamer brand is crucial for your success not just in the Twitch Search Results but in a holistic sense as well. Your brand is what attracts viewers and content enthusiasts. Think to some of the most influential and successful streamers from Twitch or any video platform for that matter. Each of those streamers has a distinct brand identity, which they maintain thru their social media channels, interactions with viewers, etc. So what is the first step in developing a brand? Your Logo

Streamer Logo

When you think about branding, one of the first thoughts that come to mind it a Logo, all the top brands have memorable logos, and yours should be no exception. You have plenty of options when it comes to logo design, but one of the most cost-effective designing tools out today is PlaceIt. PlaceIt is a logo creator (among other things) that has a lot of gaming logo templates that you can use to get just the right look for your brand. Other places for logos included Fiverr.com, Upwork, and your local graphic designer. I love Placeit, though, because it can create so much more than just logos. Need intro/outro videos, twitch templates, etc.? Yep, Placeit can do it. 

Social Media for Streaming

Social Media is where you NEED to shine. It is the crux of content syndication in today’s technological climate. How can you maximize your social media presence and utilize it for the growth of your stream? The first step is the creation/claiming of your social media profiles. By creating your social media profiles, you not only create a method of syndicating quality content, but you are also protecting your brand from those who would wish to hijack it on social media. You’ve likely seen usernames that start with the terms “the real…” or “official..” The most likely cause for these types of usernames is because the brand username was taken by someone before the actual brand entity claiming it. Recommendation: Open as many social media profiles with your brand as possible. Keep the brand identity consistent throughout all of the social media profiles you create. Same username, same logo, same link back to your website, etc. We will dive into the nitty-gritty of how to use the social media profiles to your benefit in a little bit. Still, first, we must clear the air a bit regarding some controversy in the streaming community- to build or not to build (a website) that is the question.

Your Official Website

There are two camps of streamers when it comes to whether or not you should invest your time and money on a website for your stream. One field will say that ALL of your quality content should be on your streaming channel, and THAT should be your “home” on the internet. The other camp argues that you should have an official website. I whole-heartedly recommend a website but not for the reasons most people think. The site is a TOOL to gain more viewers. 

The website should maintain the same brand identity as your channel—same logo, same font, etc. if your streaming banner uses the font “Nunito,” then so too should your website.  In keeping with the brand identity, the site should also link to your social media pages and other resources about you and the content you produce. It will also serve as a host for a lot of the quality content you create. 

Why Twitch SEO is about Synergy

For so long, the notion of search engine optimization was constrained to just major search engines. In recent years, SEO has adapted to optimizing content in the forms of videos, Amazon, eBay, Etsy listings, and the list continues to evolve. If there is a search algorithm involved, SEO for it exists. Twitch is no different. The difference here is that rather than JUST optimizing words and image files, we are taking it a step further and also building the popularity of the stream and content outside of Twitch to increase search rankings on Twitch. We do that via synergy. 

Twitch is a content platform first and foremost, so we adapt digital marketing concepts, specifically content marketing. We utilize all branded channels of media to promote the quality content you produce and lead the potential viewers on a journey to the page or action of your choice. With social media platforms working in harmony with your content creation and marketing, it will be much easier to grow your following.

Content Multiplication

People love content. We are content carnivores in today’s internet, and quality content is what we crave. How can we provide consistent content that is accessible to everyone? Thru content multiplication. Content multiplication has two main concepts- 1) People digest content via various preferred mediums; therefore we provide them the content medium options they need, and 2) Good content that your followers like may be broken up into clips of information and then expounded upon to create more content and value.

Twitch SEO Application

Now that we understand the “WHY,” let’s discuss the “HOW” in gaining a following on Twitch and other video platforms like YouTube. Let’s develop an ACTION PLAN together to apply content marketing and search engine optimization principles to s a specific set of circumstances. Being able to proactively identify opportunities and apply them to ANY streaming content optimization situation means that you are empowering yourself with success.

EXAMPLE:  Your most significant competitor streams the same games that you stream, which were just released within the last month. They stream the game Mon-Wed-Fri each week and focuses on their three favorite multiplayer maps (there are five maps in total) each time they play. Each time they stream, they share to Twitter their “stream beginning” announcement. They do not have a Facebook Page for their brand or channel as they prefer using Twitter. They do not have an official website as they prefer to only focus on their twitch content. 

This is it…your time to shine. What is your action plan based upon the facts above?

Let’s get started…

  1.  Review the work and content of your competitors, as discussed above, to discover powerful keyword opportunities and gaps in their content. We know based upon the fact that your competitor streams this new game on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and during those days, they only play 3 out of the five maps available to the game. Let’s uncover the optimization opportunity.  Two opportunities exist immediately upon examination- Let’s fill in the gaps for their following that craves that type of content. There are many routes regarding scheduling we can take, but in this example, we will keep it simple. To begin, let’s schedule our content streaming to include the maps that our competitor plays with the addition of the remaining two maps. This satisfies the content gaps that currently exist.  Additionally, on the days in which your competitor is not streaming, you make it a point to stream ALL maps. 
  2. Since the competition utilizes Twitter alone to communicate when it will be streaming on Twitch.TV, you will strengthen your brand to be more robust than theirs. This will help differentiate the “eggs” in your brand basket, create more opportunities for backlinks to your website and content (more on that soon), provides you opportunities for more potent synergy, and offers more information for search engines like Google to display your content. As of this writing, Google displays the content of Facebook posts in the Search Engine Result Pages ( SERPS), so a Facebook page is a must-have social platform. Additionally, I recommend you build out other social platforms and post to them with your “going live” announcement. 

    So you build out a ton of social media and social platforms so that you may diversify your brand and audience, but do you need to post to all of them? In a way, NO. You can syndicate your posts and content with a little setup and some automation. Using a tool/service such as Zapier or IFTTT to copy your posts and syndicate them to the other social platforms you have built. For example, you can automate the process so that each time you post to your Twitter, it also posts to Facebook, Instagram, etc. We will use this synergy for content diversification and multiplication as well.
  3. Now that you have your social branding and syndication setup, it is time to multiply your content. After each stream, hop back into your favorite video editor and cut clips of your stream, which you can post to places like your Facebook page and Youtube. These should be clips that entice the viewer to want to watch more of your content. Some examples of clips that may help include great plays and significant reactions to what is happening in the game. 

    Remember, different mediums of content are preferred by different people, so it is best to diversify the types of content that your consumers have access to. “Just chatting” type streams are perfect for podcasts. Additionally, you can create podcasts around the types of content or subjects. A great example of this currently is the ManCave Broadcast. They utilize Twitch during the podcast to stream it live while recording the stream and later publishing it online for those who could not join while the stream was live. It also appeals to fans who prefer or have no choice but to listen to entertainment content (think truck drivers) rather than having the luxury to watch it.

    You can then transcribe the podcast (some programs do this) into a blog post and post the transcription to your blog with a link back to the streaming video as well as the audio version of the same episode of the podcast. Don’t forget to syndicate social media links to the different types of content created to generate awareness of these different types of mediums.

    To further multiply content, you must review your current content to possible areas of expansion. Maybe you touched on a crazy subject or skill in a new stream. Now you expand on the topic in a blog post, video clip, or podcast episode. We then multiply the content that you create.  Word of caution here- while there is software available that can turn your blog posts and text into audio via an AI voice-rendering, you following is less likely to approve of it because it is not YOUR VOICE on the podcast, so I recommend sticking with going the natural route and recording your voice if you are going to multiply original blog posts into a podcast. That is why I recommend you transcribe podcasts into blog posts rather than the other way around. 

There are so many things that you can do to influence the growth of your stream and its search rankings, which is why we are already working on Part II of this article to give you other ideas that you can use. Unclear about a topic covered? Please message us for a fast response. We are here to help. 

web development

Why Build a Website with WordPress for SEO?

affordable small business web design

WHAT IS WORDPRESS?

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to build a customized website full of great content efficiently. You have to provide the content, but with a great deal of flexibility WordPress has to offer on the design of said content, it makes sense that so much of the internet is built using it. WordPress is an open-source CMS that allows the usage of pre-designed templates to help you make your site look and feel the way you desire. It allows for the usage of plugins, which act as additional capabilities of your website. An example of plugins could be the installation of a contact form on your website to capture questions or concerns from current or prospective customers. The plugins are designed by others and available (some for a price) to install on your WordPress Site.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving certain scoring factors utilized by the search engine algorithms (formula) when ranking website content on the search engine result page. It is the goal of SEO to increase the ranking of the website content in question to increase contacts and customer conversion. While SEO has many different tasks involved, such as Technical SEO (site structure optimization) and On-Page SEO (content optimization), to name a few, having a site built with WordPress makes SEO easier for the small business owner. We will discuss some of the benefits in detail.

Easy Content Creation and Implementation

WordPress is known for its ease of use for those wanting a professional-looking website while wanting to handle it themselves. There is still a learning curve as there usually is with many things, but the learning curve is not as steep as it would be if you wanted to hard code your website yourself. Because you do not need to know how to code the site to use it, many of the most technologically challenged business owners have turned to it for their online success. You can easily click the link to create a new blog post and start typing without needing to use HTML coding. Just type and click publish, and your blog post will be live on the internet. You can easily upload an image into the blog post as well.

Plugins for SEO

There are many different plugins available to help you optimize your webpage for search engines. In this article, we will cover the ones we recommend and often use while building websites for new clients. Aside from the fact that they are an excellent tool for an SEO agency, we use them so that our clients can make changes to their site or create and post their content with proper visible guidelines and tools to optimize their page. Keep an eye out for more complete, individual articles on each of these plugins. For this article, however, we will touch on just the basics.

YOAST SEO

The Yoast SEO plugin has been around for a long time and is also the most popular plugin for helping with SEO. The basic plugin is free, but those serious about their SEO may want to upgrade to the pro plugin along with select additional Yoast SEO plugins (like their Local SEO plugin). While writing page or blog content, it provides a visual indicator of how well your content is optimized based upon the keyword (or keywords for the pro version) of your choice. This is the most popular function of the plugin and puts into plain English the on-page content optimization process of SEO. The plugin will indicate the ease of reading.

Additionally, the plugin will allow you to draft the meta-data for the post which search engines display to your searchers. There are many more functions available to the plugin, both free and paid, that will help with your SEO. We recommend this plugin for those clients who like to do most of the work themselves.

SEO PRESS

SEOPress is another excellent plugin for search engine optimization of a website built with WordPress. There are both free and paid versions, so we recommend that you do your research on the official website to determine which version is right for you. While we are still fans of Yoast SEO, we have had problems with it in the past, which is why we utilize SEOPress for the vast majority of websites we build. It offers all of the Yoast benefits that genuinely matter and then some. While there is a Yoast plugin for normal site SEO and yet a separate price plugin for Local SEO, SEO PRESS is an all-in-one package making it a bit more cost-effective.

No matter the SEO plugin you choose, it is essential to know that there are options out there. Explore the features of both plugins to determine which is going to be the best one for you and your small business. If you have questions, feel free to contact us, and we can discuss your goals and determine which plugin may be most beneficial to you.