Factors that Do Not Directly Affect Google Rankings

Factors that Do Not Directly Affect Google Rankings

When you start building your website and setting it up to get higher Google rankings, you may think that everything you do with the site will have a direct effect. Over time, it has been found that this is not entirely true. While Google has not come right out with a list of things that make a website rank higher on their search engine, through trial and error and some programming knowledge, others have created that list for you!

Non-ranking factors are things that do not have a direct affect on your Google rankings. Virtual Market Advantage will go over a few of them here. Just keep in mind that the parameters for Google rankings are subject to change at any time, as the company is constantly working to tweak and improve their system.

The Age of Your Website

Google does not care if you registered your website back in 2008 or as recently as 2017. The age of your website does not directly affect your Google rankings. What they do care about is how much your content actually helps people, and that you have inbound and outbound links and authority signals.

However, there is a correlation that comes into play between these factors. If a website is still going strong today after 10 years, the chances are good that it has built up lots of links and authority over that time. Since these are not things that can be built up instantly (building links and good authority takes time), there is an indirect effect of age on ranking.

If you do build up these strong links with a site that you registered just two years ago, Google could reward that site more than one that took over 10 years to develop to the same level. This is because you built up this authority over a small period of time versus a longer one, and indicates that the information is relevant to current online audiences.

Using Google Apps and Services

The idea that if you offer Google apps and services on your website it will immediately help your rankings is simply is not true. Your decision to use or not to use these on your site will not help or hurt your Google page rankings in any direct way.

Google apps and services are tools that are up to you to offer and use. Google doesn’t reward websites that offer them more than the websites that do not. If you’re leery of using these apps due to privacy issues, rest assured that Google does not use them to look in on your site in any way (though Google does keep metric data in plenty of other ways).

Likes, Shares, and Tweet Counts

You put a Facebook share counter on your website. That’s great if you want to share that information with your visitors or you want another way to keep track. That’s all it will be though. Google does not care that you are using visible social media counters when it comes to SEO.

If the people on that Facebook share counter end up doing other activities that lead to more browser activity on your site, links, or brand awareness, Google does care about that. So this can indirectly have an effect if it alters viewer behavior. But it does not directly affect Google rankings. You don’t need to purchase Facebook shares in hopes of a higher Google website ranking. Just those shares alone will not help your Google ranking.

Bounce Rate and Time On-Site

If you get on your Google Analytics and see that the average time a visitor is on your site is only for about a minute, do not freak out and worry that it will hurt your Google page rank.

There are several factors that can lead to a shorter visit. Maybe your page loads at a faster rate, allowing the visitor to find what they need quickly and be on their way. Or they may have reached your site from another location and are just doing a quick browse. In general, time spent on the site by visitors (or the bounce rate) does not directly affect your Google website ranking.

Re-Submitting a Site

Once a search engine knows about your site, they know about it. It’s indexed and will not be forgotten. It may be low in the search results, but it will always be there somewhere. So there is no point in continuing to re-submit the site repeatedly. Google or any other search engine will not rank your site higher simply because you keep filling out a form.

You only need to complete a submission form once, and then use the other tools on your site to help your Google ranking.

Having a Dedicated IP Address

A web address is a web address. Taking the time to give your website its very own IP address will not affect your Google ranking. It will not improve the search results to elevate a site that has a separate IP address. So don’t take the extra time to do this step, and put that time into an area that will actually help you rank higher in Google.

Using Shared Hosting or Inexpensive Hosting Options

Shared hosting and inexpensive hosting options will not directly affect your website unless it hurts the loading speed. If the hosting does not hurt this, then one hosting provider is just as good as any other. If it works well for you, then there is no reason to pay more to use solo hosting. There is no reason to worry about the SEO, as it will not directly affect Google rankings of your site.

While there are many myths out there about the algorithm of Google and what helps your rankings and what does not, the list above contains just some of the things that are known to not have a direct effect. Take the time to build a site that works for you and your business. Just remember that some things are a ranking factor and some things are not.

If you want more information on how to improve your SEO, check out these blogs from Virtual Market Advantage: SEO Tips for Small BusinessesHow to Improve Your Business’s Advertising and Marketing, and Long Tail Keywords.

 

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Picking Colors for Your Brand

Picking Colors for Your Brand 

The colors you choose for your brand have a larger impact on the performance of your product than you may think. These colors should also carry over to your website to make your entire brand come together, both online and off. Although you can hire a professional designer if you want to, the only cost you have to put into this choice is the time to really know your product and its customers.

While you choosing, it can be easy to go overboard with your colors by choosing too many or using colors that are just too intense or clash with each other. It’s best to be simple as you’re carefully picking colors that will be associated with your brand. Let’s go over a few things you can do to choose the best colors for your company and get the most out of them for your brand.

Minimize Your Colors for a Maximum Impact

There’s an old adage that less is more. This holds true as you are picking colors for your brand. The whole goal as you pick your brand colors is that you want prospects and customers to subconsciously remember your colors and associate them with your business in a positive way.

If you want these customers to remember you, it’s best to not give them too long a list of colors to remember. In order to accomplish this, you should bring down your color choices to two main colors.

How to Choose Your Two Main Brand Colors

Start by finding some color inspiration. Don’t just look at lists of colors. Pay attention to all of the colors around you in the world, whether it’s in nature or in man-made items, television, and advertising. It’s likely as you start looking that you’ll find certain colors that you gravitate towards. As you keep finding things that draw you to them, look for the similarities in the colors and find what they all have in common.

After you have created a color palette of the colors that you are drawn towards, start to narrow that down to just six colors. As you look at these colors, figure out which ones go best together and compliment each other. There may be a couple of colors that are too similar, so go ahead and pull one of those out of your color palette to make your decision easier.

You need to ultimately find two colors that are similar in tone: you would want each color in the pair to have a bright, dark, or neutral tone. Try and stay away from pairs that have a dark color paired with a pale color. Finding contrasting colors will come in later when you look for accent colors.

Also make sure that the colors fit your business. For example, you might personally be attracted to dark blues and purples, but if your business sells lighting, this is probably not the tone you really want. Or maybe you really love how your logo looks in pink, but most of your audience is masculine. Always keep your audience in mind when making any choices for your business!

Once you have found your two main colors and you feel that they not only work well together but also fit with your brand, it’s time to put them to use in all of your marketing materials. This is where you find out how well these colors will actually work together. During this step, you can tweak the colors a little here and there to make sure they work, but in the end, everything needs to have the same colors across the board.

Add Your Accent Colors

Picking colors for your accent takes your palette to a new level. Remember that color palette you made of six colors to pick your two main colors from? Take a look at the colors that are left over and see if one of those could fit in as your accent color. Sometimes this can work, but other times it looks too similar to your main choices.

Use your two main colors consistently throughout your branding and your marketing. These are the main colors that customers will associate with your brand and your brand identity. Now you need to find the color that will pop from the rest of your page. This accent color should stand out because it’s brighter, darker, or different in some other way from your main colors.

Once you see your main colors consistently on your brand and its marketing, your accent color should come fairly easily. Look for that bright color to jump out at you from among the other two main colors. If you are really stumped at this step, it can be very helpful to take a look at color combination guides and color wheels.

When picking colors, the important part is to remember to keep your color palette small with just your two main colors and one accent color. Using too many colors can make it look like the colors are competing with each other. You do not want the customer’s attention to focus more on the branding colors than your product.

Picking colors for your brand can be a long process to make sure you choose the right ones, but do not get discouraged. Once you find those perfect colors, you will know. Keep in mind through this process that these colors will become your brand identity, so take your time and make sure it’s exactly what you want and works for your brand!

If you want to further improve your business’s advertising and marketing after choosing your branding, check out Virtual Market Advantage’s blog here!

BeaverBuilder – Why We Use It!

BeaverBuilder – Why We Use It!

The first thing you may be asking yourself is, “What is BeaverBuilder, and why should I use it?” BeaverBuilder is simply a plugin that can be used to help build website page layouts. It gives you a great number of features to use when building your website without needing to know how to code. Let’s go over a few ‘need to know’ facts about BeaverBuilder and why we at VMA suggest using it for your website.

Does BeaverBuilder Work With WordPress Themes?

Yes, it sure does. You will use BeaverBuilder in the content area of the WordPress theme. BraverBuilder is used successfully in all WordPress themes, since the content area of the theme is the same for all of them.

There may be a few cases where you need to make minor adjustments for the full-width display of BeaverBuilder contents due to your current theme CSS over-riding the content layout width, but this won’t be a problem most of the time.

Is BeaverBuilder Free?

Yes, basic BeaverBuilder is a free plugin. You just need to install the BeaverBuilder Lite version of the plugin, available in the WordPress repository. This ‘Lite’ version will allow you to test drive BeaverBuilder’s core functionality for building page layouts. You will be able to do this in no time by using basic module and column layouts.

There is also a premium version of the plugin available. This contains some advanced modules and more features like shortcode support and quick template import/export. You probably only need to consider using this upgrade if you manage a large website or several websites.

What Types of Pages Can I Create With BeaverBuilder?

You can pretty much make any kind of page you want to with this plugin. There are a lot of developers who use BeaverBuilder to make full structure websites, and then there are a large percentage of people who are using it just for building high-conversion landing pages.

With BeaverBuilder able to work independently of the installed WordPress theme, you can quickly create landing pages that are unique in design, layout, font, and color.

Does the Page Builder work for Custom Post Types and Other Types?

It sure does. The plugin is only enabled for Pages with the install but can easily be enabled for Posts and even those Custom Post Types. Here is a quick guide on how to do that:

  • In WordPress Dashboard, go to Settings, then Page Builder Options.
  • Click the ‘Post Types’ option.
  • Click the ‘Enable the Posts’ option.

See? Easy stuff. And once the post type is set up, it will be listed on the settings page for easy access.

Can BeaverBuilder Pages be Migrated to Other Websites?

Yes, they can be and it’s very simple to do. The first thing you need to do to a page layout built with the plugin is to save the page as a template.

  • Open the page in the BeaverBuilder mode.
  • Click on ‘Tools’ at the top right, then click ‘Save Template’.
  • Enter any name, then click the ‘Save’ button.

After you save the pages as templates, you will then use the default WordPress import/export feature to migrate the templates. Once your import has been completed, you will need to update the images used in the template, and then you are good to go.

What Happens to my Content if the BeaverBuilder Plugin is Removed?

This is another part of what makes BeaverBuilder so user friendly. The moment you decide to deactivate the plugin, BeaverBuilder will put back your text and image content within the post editor automatically. The only thing you would lose would be the content layout formatting and the content contained within the more advanced modules.

Do Other Plugins Work With BeaverBuilder?

Yes they do! While not every single plugin within WordPress has been tested for its compatibility, most of the popular plugins get along just fine with the BeaverBuilder plugin.

Can BeaverBuilder Handle a Multisite Setup?

Of course! The top version of the BeaverBuilder plugin, the Agency Package, has an inbuilt multisite support. This allows you to configure the BeaverBuilder plugin from one place and even allows you to override settings from specific websites in the multisite setup.

What If I Forget About the Auto Renewal?

That is okay. BeaverBuilder allows you to use the plugin as long as you want. The renewal is required, however, if you want to receive plugin updates after one full calendar year and continue to have access to the BeaverBuilder support team.

What Makes BeaverBuilder Better Than Other Page Builders?

Well, we think BeaverBuilder is better because of how easy it is to use for those who want to build a website and have little to no knowledge of code. With it being easy to use with so many other plugins that do similar jobs but not put together, it comes as a one-stop tool without having to go all over and try to piece your website pages together.

Why Would We Recommend the BeaverBuilder Plugin?

  • It allows you to pre-create layouts for customers or yourself so that when the layouts are needed, they are there.
  • It really allows for the user to move things around on the page, so everything is placed just they way you want it.
  • It allows for you to change the text or photos on the page with ease.
  • It comes with a lot of features but keeps the code clean, which makes the performance of the plugin faster.
  • Using the BeaverBuilder plugin allows you to build flexibility into your website design work.

With the free version of the BeaverBuilder plugin, you will be able to start building a single-page website or a multi-page website within minutes, and it will look great! Go ahead and download the plugin and see for yourself what we are talking about. You will not be disappointed. Happy webpage building!

If you have more website design questions, check out Virtual Market Advantages other blogs, like this one that goes over the basics of how to design a website.

DigitalOcean – Why We Use It!

DigitalOcean – Why We Use It!

DigitalOcean – Why We Use It!

What is DigitalOcean and why does Virtual Market Advantage use it? Well, DigitalOcean is a fairly new hosting company that is set up to help you learn your way around a hosting provider as easily as possible. There is a large community of people who use DigitalOcean, and many are available to help you no matter how many questions you might have.

In 2013, this startup passed Amazon to become the fastest growing cloud provider. This is a great accomplishment, considering the startup was barely two years old at the time. A recent report from Netcraft reveals that DigitalOcean is currently the third-largest hosting company in the world. Lets take a closer look at what makes it so big and why so many people are going to this hosting provider.

The Value in the Product

When people stumble across DigitalOcean, one of the first things they notice about it is the price point. At a $5 VPS with SSD and instant deployment, this deal seems too good to be true, right? Many people think that when they see a low price point, they will ultimately get what they paid for, and it will not be worth the money. However, this is not the case with DigitalOcean. With this hosting provider, cheap does not equal a low-quality product.

DigitalOcean uses a simple pricing system that takes the guesswork out of usage and how much it will cost. You can choose to pay hourly for the service or monthly, and this makes it a more affordable choice for early startup companies. By setting up payment as hourly or a monthly charge, there will be no surprises when your credit card statement arrives, and you will always know just what you are paying.

Easy-to-Understand Documentation

DigitalOcean is home to a very complete and extensive collection of tutorials, walkthroughs, and how-to guides. No matter what questions you have, the answers are bound to be inside of DigitalOcean’s documentation section.

Not only is there extensive documentation, but also the tutorials are ones that are useful for any developer working on any cloud platform, not just DigitalOcean. If you want to find some great open source technology, then you for sure will want to check out DigitalOcean’s documentation.

The Stability

When you think about how many websites are out there on this digital cloud that is DigitalOcean, it may make you a bit queasy. There are thousands and thousands of websites hosted here. What happens if one of DigitalOcean’s servers goes down? Not to fear. This is another one of the reasons why so many people have come over to DigitalOcean. They are one of the only VPS hosts to offer SSD-based storage, and the RAM is much less expensive in comparison to other hosts. Your RAM can also be upgraded or downgraded at any time during the lifecycle of your VPS. You ultimately get a lot of storage space for the price.

These cloud servers are built on powerful Hex core machines with dedicated storage. They also offer private networking among the VMs for running any database clusters in certain regions. All in all, DigitalOcean has a fairly decent footprint with over 6 data centers in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The Use of Network Transfer

As you look at most of the other VPS providers, you may notice that they do not offer much in the way of bandwidth allowance. This might not seem like a big deal to some people, but if you are running media sites or have your own custom-built CDN, eventually your bandwidth space will start to become a problem.

DigitalOcean allows you to transfer bandwidth from one hosting provider to the other, so if you have been grandfathered in before any changes were made to the bandwidth service, you can truly get unlimited bandwidth using DigitalOcean.

Use of Minimalistic Approach

When you look at the inner workings of the other popular cloud providers, you see so many knobs and buttons that you can quickly become overwhelmed and confused. DigitalOcean has a user interface that is minimalistic and simple to use. There are just enough buttons and links to give you just the right amount of functionality. While it looks simple, it does have everything you would need to deploy and manage your web applications.

If it is automation and integration you are looking for, DigitalOcean does use 3rd party tools. Once you have an API token generated, developers can then go in and use standard HTTP tools. There are so many options and native choices that a developer can find and use in DigitalOcean.

While this is still a fairly new enterprise and rising business, DigitalOcean is showing its guns daily as more and more developers jump on board with this low cost hosting platform. If you want a platform that is easy to use and gives you more bang for your buck, it may be in your best interest to follow in VMA’s footsteps and check out DigitalOcean and see what it can do for you and your business.

If you want more information on services that VMA chooses to use, check out our blog on BeaverBuilder, a wonderful WordPress plugin that makes designing websites easy and fun!

How to Switch to HTTPS (and Why it is Important)

How to Switch to HTTPS (and Why it is Important)

You see http or https at the start of every website, but what does it actually mean? What’s the difference, and which one should your website be using and why? Virtual Market Advantage will answer these questions and more to help you understand what is best for your website, http vs https, and how it can be set up. By knowing how to switch to HTTPS, you can make your website more secure and improve your SEO!

The Difference Between HTTP vs HTTPS

HTTP stands for “Hyper Text Transfer Protocol.” It is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web that defines how messages are formatted and transmitted. It also outlines which actions web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. If you add the ‘s’ to the end of the http, you are basically making it a secure transfer of command. This means that the transfer is encrypted by transport layer security.

So which one is best for your website? The better option will almost always be https, as it keeps your website more secure.

How Important is HTTPS?

Often if someone is going to enter personal information onto your website, they will look to see if it’s secure before doing so. This encryption is important and helps eliminate eavesdroppers from looking in on your site and getting that information.

Chrome and Firefox both explicitly mark websites that provide forms on pages without HTTPS as insecure. Not being HTTPS-secure also has an affect on your website’s SEO rankings, and it has a serious impact on privacy in general.

Google recently announced that it will start marking forms on non-HTTPS pages as insecure as well. This is a great opportunity for you to take the plunge and get your website completely switched over to HTTPS. Better SEO rankings and more security for you and your customers? It’s a win-win!

How to Switch to HTTPS

Setting up this switch can be a little intimidating for an inexperienced user, as it takes several steps involving different parties and requires some knowledge of encryption and server configuration. This might sound complicated, but VMA will get you through it!

Doing the steps for HTTPS setup should be relatively easy, especially if your hosting provider supplies HTTPS certificates. If they do supply these, you will be able to perform everything you need to from your control panel quickly and easily.

Create a Private Key and a Certificate Signing Request (CSR):

cPanel

  1. First you need to log in to your host’s cPAnel.
  2. Scroll down to the ‘security’ section and click “SSL/TLS”.
  3. You are now in the SSL/TLS Manager home. Click ‘Private Keys (KEY)’ to create a new private key.
  4. This will redirect you to a page to generate, paste, or upload a new ‘Private Key’. Select your key size (this will depend on your server provider) in the key size dropdown and click generate.
  5. Now the new private key will be generated, and you will get a confirmation screen.
  6. If you go back to the ‘Private Keys’ home, you will see your new key now listed.
  7. You will now need to go back to the “SSL/TLS Manager” home and click ‘Certificate Signing Requests (CSR)’ to create a new certificate request.
  8. You will now get the ‘Generate Service Request’ form. Select the created private key and fill in the fields answering all the questions correctly, paying special attention to the “Domains” section. This should exactly match the domain name that you are requesting the HTTPS certificate for. When you are finished, click the ‘Generate’ button.
  9. The new CSR will be generated, and you will get another confirmation screen.
  10. Go back to the Certificate Signing Request home, and you will now see your new CSR listed.

Obtaining a HTTPS Certificate

In order to get your website certified, you need to first purchase a HTTPS certificate credit of a chosen type from an HTTPS certificate provider. Once you have completed this process, you will have to provide the previously-acquired CSR, which will spend the purchased credit for your chosen domain. You will be asked to provide the whole CSR text.

If you would then like to have an EV (Extended Validation) or OV (Organization Validated) certificate, you will need to provide the legal entity that you are requesting the certificate for. The certificate registrar will verify your request and issue the signed HTTPS certificate. EV certificates provide the most trust while also having the strictest validation standards.

Your hosting provider or HTTPS registrar might have a different product and procedure, but the general methods should be similar.

It’s also possible to sign a certificate yourself rather than have a signing authority do it. This is mainly good for testing purposes and not for your official validation online. You can always claim to be anything you would like, but as Google crawls your site, it will be more trusting if there is a third party signature on the security certificate.

Installing the HTTPS Certificate for Your Website

Don’t forget to perform these final touches in order to ensure that your entire website is secure!

  • Update your references in content. This can usually be done with a search and replace in the database.
  • Update all references to internal links to use HTTPS or relative paths.
  • Update references in templates and make sure references to scripts, images, links, and so on are either using HTTPS or relative paths.
  • Update any tags. Most of the CMS systems will take care of this for you when you make the switch, but it never hurts to go in and check.
  • Update any plugins/modules/add-ons/etc. Make sure nothing breaks and that nothing contains any insecure content.
  • Update old redirects currently in place and force HTTPS with redirects as well. This will help with migration issues on your site, making sure it stays secure.

While these steps may sound complicated, they are fairly easy to follow, and most server and hosting providers will make it easy on you and provide further help should you need it. With most browsers now cracking down on insecure forms, it’s best to make sure that your site is HTTPS secure as soon as possible. Not only for the security of the site and its visitors, but also for your own rankings in these browsers.

If you’re interested in getting more involved behind the scenes of your website, you’ll eventually want to learn a bit about coding. Here are the top 6 coding languages of 2017, and some reasons why you would want to choose to learn one over the other!

How to Create an Engaging Holiday Social Media Campaign

How to Create an Engaging Holiday Social Media Campaign

We all know that setting up the right social media campaign is great for your business. It’s also a known fact that social media plays a big part in holiday shopping, which can mean more views for your social media pages and website. Timing is crucial, and you will greatly benefit from running the right campaign at the right moment during the holiday season. Let’s go over a few ideas for you and your business to help set up and run the right social media campaign through some great holiday marketing!

Have a Good Strategy

No matter when you run your social media campaign, the success of it is built upon solid planning and research done by you. Your first step is to look back at the responses you’ve gotten from your previous campaigns. There’s no reason to reinvent something that is already working for you. Using an approach that has worked for you in the past is a great way to easily run a successful holiday marketing campaign. You know it will bring you customers, and you don’t have to start completely from scratch.

If this is your first social media campaign, you can still use information from your sites to help with planning. Use resources such as Google Analytics to track which kinds of content get the most response from your viewers, and also find out exactly who your audience is. Also keep in mind that different companies’ advertising, marketing, and online campaigns are always building off of each other. Don’t shy away from looking around at what other people are doing. Develop a strategy that incorporates other people’s good ideas while also using your own personal style!

Use the holidays to enhance your marketing. To make the most of it, you should use the power of social media to increase your sales and strengthen your brand. Build from what has worked before to gain those new customers that you will then have throughout the year.

Questions to Ask as you Plan Your Holiday Social Media Campaign

Ask yourself these key questions as you look at last year’s results and get ready to set up your current holiday social media campaign:

  • What were your goals?
  • What were the actual results?
  • What worked well?
  • What did poorly?
  • How can you improve the outcomes this year?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can use them to help build a foundation and go from there.

Choose Your Marketing Tactics and Stick With Them

Using your research from previous years, you can create new campaigns that show the strength of your brand and reaches out to your customers, both returning and new. This is also a great time to sprinkle in some holiday cheer to engage even more with your audience.

Use a holiday theme by using holiday hashtags, or create a contest to celebrate the holiday giving spirit. You can also use limited time offers to give a sense of urgency to sales, which can inspire your customers to visit your page at certain times of the day. Doing this can increase sales, as well as get more eyes on your page if you encourage them to visit at the right times.

Tips for Successful Facebook Marketing During the Holidays

Set up a pre-promo plan – Know what your promotions will be and how you are going to execute them.

Deploy multiple posts – Have posts written and ready to go, so that you can just log in and post them. Set up a time frame that you want each post to go out. Some social media sites let you schedule posts months in advance.

Spread the news with your blog – Write up a blog hyping up your upcoming holiday marketing campaign. This gets your faithful readers excited and looking forward to the campaign. Some of them will tell their friends and followers about it, and that can get you a lot more traffic.

Share on social media – Announce that the social media campaign is coming on all of your social media pages. Don’t forget to share your blog post as well.

Use Facebook Ads for targeting – If you have a spending budget for this campaign, you will want to do the research so you know just where to target your ads. Set these ads up to run at the right times during your campaign. Here’s a guide for writing Facebook Ads, if you want some more information on that topic.

Announce via Email marketing – Send out an email blast to all of your current and past customers to let them know about the upcoming social media campaign. This will generate a buzz, get your customers excited to see what you will be offering, and bring traffic back to your site.

Knowing your audience and you customer base is key to making any social media campaign work. During the holidays, it’s great to incorporate the cheer of the season into the marketing that you know already works for you. If done right, there is a large chance that you will get many new potential customers looking at your campaign and visiting your site during this season. Use the holidays to you and your business’s advantage by doing the research and making sure you are ready to engage your customer base.

If you want more information on creating content (which can help you out with your social media campaign), check out Virtual Market Advantage’s blog on SEO Copywriting here!

SEO Copywriting

SEO Copywriting

When you hear the phrase “SEO copywriting,” what comes to mind? You probably think of website content and blogs. These are part of the whole, but more broadly, SEO copywriting is the ability to write copy that ranks well in search engines. It can be easy to do and often is a great way to gain good, valuable traffic to your website that does not cost you hundreds of dollars like paid advertising would.

While gaining traffic using copy is great, it’s not solely about speaking to the search engines. Good search engine optimized content is just as much about engaging your readers, helping sell your product with trust, and helping you build authority on the Internet. You not only want the SEO to get the traffic to your site, you also want that content to have purpose once the traffic is there.

Here are some tips for you as you start out developing your SEO copywriting skills:

Build a Foundation First

Before you really dive in, you need to set up a structure for your content. You need to establish what you want from your future content. Your writing will become more effective and simpler if you have specific goals and a vision of the end product in mind.

Think about where in your content you will place your keywords and any links you use. Establish a framework for headings and paragraphs. Knowing where to place these things will make it easier to set up, and will also provide a better experience for your readers and can increase the shares of your content.

Make it Readable

If you have a good foundation set up before you begin, readability should come easier. The easier your content is to read, the more likely it becomes that a reader will share it with others.

Make sure your paragraphs have one thought instead of each one being packed with multiple topics. Add space between paragraphs to help the reader visually separate the ideas. This makes it easier for the reader to consume your content again, creating a higher chance of them sharing it.

Shorten Your Paragraphs

This goes along with readability. Most people that read or come across an interesting blog want it to be quick and to the point. They do not want a long and drawn-out article. Use bold type to draw attention to each topic of the blog. It also helps if you make your content read like a list of items, so numbering your points or making them bullet points draws the reader in more.

Proofread

Proper proofreading is crucial in any copywriting. You can have wonderful and engaging content, but if a reader comes across one mistake, it might negate the whole feel of the content. Simple grammar and spelling errors will make your credibility take a nosedive. Sure, spellcheck exists, but it is not guaranteed to catch everything. The safest policy is to have a second person read your content and see if they catch anything you missed.

Give Credit

If you have done your research for a piece of content, then you need to make sure that you give your research the credit where it’s due. The Internet is all about sharing, but you need to make sure you share it correctly or you could start receiving letters from lawyers and webmasters. Make sure you take the time to learn about correctly citing authors and blog writers. It will be worth it in the long run.

Add Pictures for More Visitors

The Internet has a seemingly short attention span, and most people want what they are looking for fast. Articles that include photos or graphics have a view rate of up to 94%. Not adding a visual to your content can be a costly mistake. If you take the time also to optimize your images correctly, they will also have a good rating with SEO.

To get better SEO on your images, make sure you have a descriptive caption under your photos or images. People visiting your post read those captions, as do the search engines. A great caption under your image improves the indexing of your content and can help you match keywords as well.

Write in Active Voice

If you write your content with a passive voice, it becomes more wordy while watering down your message. If you write in an active voice and sound like you are having a personal conversation with your reader, your message comes across as crisp and direct. This is more persuasive and engaging to the reader.

Know Your Audience

Before you even start the process of writing your content, it’s important to know just who you are writing for – your audience. You can do all the right things to get your content to rank well, but if you do not have content that appeals to the particular audience or consumer you’re trying to reach, it will never really work well, and you won’t find your customers. Do your homework before you start and it will pay off big in the end.

Tools like Google Analytics can help you keep track of who makes up your current audience.  There are many other resources out there to help you get the right keywords for your topic and to make sure you get it optimized right in a search. If you take the time beforehand to make sure you can connect with the correct audience, you will be amazed at how many visitors will come to your website and blog!

If you want more information on copywriting, check out Virtual Market Advantage’s blogs, such as this one that goes over some copywriting exercises, and this one that explains what makes good copywriting. You can also learn about evergreen content, or content that will remain relevant for years to come. Time to get writing!