Keyword Research: Done the Right Way

Keyword Research: Done the Right Way

If you’ve been doing your search engine optimization homework, you’ve probably seen the phrase, “keyword research” everywhere. Keyword research is one of, if not the most, valuable aspects of SEO. Why? Because having the right keywords can actually make or break your websites success.

 

How Does Keyword Research Work?

It should come as no surprise that in the field of search engine optimization, things are constantly changing. There will always be new updates and algorithms from each search engine. However, one consistent optimization strategy has always been keyword research.

One of your biggest online goals is to have your page reach those who are searching for products or services similar to the ones you offer. You’ll want to be pinned somewhere at the top of a SERP (Search Engine Results page).

When someone searches for a certain keyword phrase, it’s good to show up in the top three results. Users will naturally click on your page, assuming you’re at the top, because your page is most relevant to their search. This is where you’ll receive a majority of your sales.

Bottom line, if you want your website to have a better chance of survival, implementing these keywords on your page will help you out. Find your keywords, and start plugging them in on your pages, allow users to find your web page, and wait for the traffic to start rolling in.

 

Types of Keywords

Keyword research helps you to find the best keywords to fit your niche. However, there are two types of keywords, each beneficial in their own way. The type of keywords you choose to use typically depend on the type of business you are running.

 

Short-Tail Keywords

Short-tail keywords will typically contain very general words. Someone looking to gain more knowledge in SEO may Google a generic keyword, such as “SEO classes”, or even “SEO classes near me”. Unfortunately, short-tail keyword phrases may not get you to rank quickly. In fact, most don’t find themselves at the top of SERP’s from the use of generic keywords.

Don’t get me wrong though, they could be beneficial. If you come up organically, in a top rank position, on a generic search, then you’ll find yourself with tons of traffic. Generic searches contain a ton of user volume. So essentially, the competition is high, but so is the volume.

Long-Tail Keywords

If you want to get noticed a little easier, you should definitely include long-tail keywords into your SEO strategy. Long-tail keywords are longer, very specific keywords. Users searching for SEO training classes would likely type something along the lines of “WordPress training classes in New York”.

With long-tail keywords, you aren’t going to get the volume you would get with short-tail keywords. For some companies, this could be a make or break. If you’re trying to cater to a specific audience, you’re going to find success in longer-tail keywords. If your audience is relatively broad, longer tail keywords may not work in your favor. Low volume, and low competition.

 

Finding Value in Keyword Research

Understanding which keyword phrases are best for you to use will eventually come second nature. You’ll start to learn what is working best for you and how to implement them. You want your business to be booming.

While there isn’t exactly a magic formula, there are ways to determine what keywords to use, which ones are being searched, and how to see if they’re working for your site.

 

Keyword Research Tools

Initially, you’ll want to check out some of the better keyword research tools on the market. There are plenty of them, and you’ll see they hold a lot of the same information. Some of the most popular ones are Moz Keyword Explorer, Google Trends, Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool, and even Wordtracker.

When you type in a particular phrase into one of these tools, you’ll get a list of similar phrases that have been searched. You’ll typically also get information on how they’re found organically, or through paid ads.

 

Do Some Testing

Testing, testing – 1, 2, 3. At the end of the day, a good way to see what is working for you, is just start trying out different keywords or keyword research techniques. Try some things out. If its not successful, move onto the next set of keywords. If you’re noticing more traffic and direct sales, keep up the good work.

 

Reach Out to the Professionals

Sometimes, we just need an extra hand to help us get started. If you’re not seeing the success that you are looking for, there are SEO professionals, like New York SEO Training Academy, who will go above and beyond to make sure your business is on the right foot.

For more information on keyword research, or to enlist a little help for your business, give us a call today at (888)736-7766.

 

Tools to Test Your Robot.txt File

Tools to Test Your Robot.txt File

Sometimes, for one reason or the other, there are site pages or files that you –as the website owner- do not wish to be crawled or visited. It could be because you have duplicate pages on your website and you may not want both to appear in the search engines, or you do not want search engines to index certain areas of your website, or to index certain files such as images or PDFs.  Whatever the reasons, robot.txt files have you covered. They are composed of disallowing and allow statements which issue instructions to robots on what URLs can be crawled on a website. Robot.txt files are also extremely helpful if you want to tell search engines where your sitemap is located. However, you might be surprised to hear that this file, if not used correctly, could be the downfall of your website as your site pages will not be listed at all by the search engines!

Robot.txt Tools to Test Functionality

It is important to know which tools you can use to test the functionality of the file. By now, I am sure you are curious to know if there are tools that test if your robot.txt file is working or not. Yes, there are, and I am glad to share them with you, and how they work!

Robots.txt Tester

If you are looking to block Google web crawlers from specific URLs on your site, this tool will instantly sort you out. This means that you won’t have to worry about your whole website being blocked from crawling. What is outstanding about this tool is that it verifies that your URL has been blocked properly. The only limitation to Robots.txt.Tester is that it ONLY tests files with Google User agents such as Googlebot.   

Here’s how to use the tool:

  • Open the Tester tool for your site; scroll through the robots.txt code to locate highlighted logic errors.
  • There is a text box at the bottom of the page of interest. Type in the URL of the page in the box.
  • Select the user agent you want to use from the dropdown list in which Googlebot is the default agent.
  • Click the TEST button in order test access.
  • Upon clicking the TEST button, it will read either Accepted or Blocked.
  • Retest as necessary until you have achieved what you want.

Testing with Ryte’s software

Inspired by Ryte, this tool, in addition to checking if crawling on your given URL is allowed or not, helps monitor your robots.txt to ensure a great website performance by enabling you to analyze and optimize up to 100 URLs. You only need to get an account with them, and it is absolutely free.

How to Use:

  • Simply enter the URL of interest.
  • Select the respective User Agent.
  • Click the Start Test and evaluate.

The Frog SEO Spider

If you have thousands of pages and are having difficulties identifying which ones are blocked, and those allowed to be crawled, then you definitely need this tool. Its uniqueness is in how it is able to detect if a URL has been blocked by mistake. We already know how blocking URLs by mistake can have a huge impact on site visibility in the search results.

How to Use:

  • Download the SEO Spider (It’s free in lite form and can crawl up to 500 URLs).
  • Open up the SEO Spider.
  • Type or copy in the site you wish to crawl in the “Enter URL to Spider” box.
  • Hit “Start”.

Robot.txt files are useful if you want search engines to ignore any duplicate pages on your website, if you do not want search engines to index certain areas of your website (or even a whole website), or if you do not want them to index certain files.  However, it is also possible to block this URL by mistake, especially if you do not understand how the files work. Consequently,this mistake can hugely have a huge impact on visibility of your website in the search results. These tools prevent you, as the website owner, from these unintentional mistakes.   Have you used these tools before?  Let us know in the comments below!

 Sources:

Screaming Frog SEO Spider

All You Want to Know About .htaccess

All You Want to Know About .htaccess

If you are getting into technical SEO strategy, you may have come across mention of a .htaccess file. If you’re researching with WordPress, you may have also wondered why your redirects are not working after migrating to WP Engine.

About .htaccess and Technical SEO Strategy

.htaccess is a configuration file for web servers, such as the Apache web server. As the file is loaded into the root directory through the Apache server, the server then executes the directives listed in the file. With this, you’re allowed to add functionality such as redirection for Multisite and IP blocking.

A .htaccess file provides a way to create configuration changes on a per-directory basis. It is a part of Apache, and it’s not a part of PHP. These are usually used when you have no access to the main configuration files including the shared host. When it is placed in a directory that turns to ‘loaded via the Apache Web Server,’ then the .htaccess is executed and detected by the Apache Web Server software.

These .htaccess files include features such as altering the configuration of the Apache Web Server software to disable and enable additional functionality that the Apache Web Server software can offer. These facilities contain basic redirect functionality. For example, if you have encountered 404 file ‘not found’ error, image hotlink prevention, etc. Any request sent to the server will pass through .htaccess file.

How does .htaccess work?

There is a difference on how .htacess works on the WP Engine platform than other hosts. As stated, Apache server executes the .htaccess file. In some configuration, a page request will open up and Nginx checks to see if it is in Varnish. If so, then Nginx will fulfill the request, bypassing Apache altogether.

What is Varnish? It is an HTTP accelerator that is set in front of a server configuration to cache pages. It is known to be incredibly fast and using it along with Nginx will be as fast as WP Engine.

For more, you’ll need to think twice in using .htaccess file as not every request to your site will go through the Apache server.

Usage of .htaccess Files in the Server

Some of the usages of .htaccess files in the server include cache control to reduce server load and perceived lag, rewriting URLs, customized error responses, and authorization or authentication to specify any security restrictions with the filename “access.” The .htaccess will be accompanied by the .htpasswd file that stores all of valid usernames and passwords.

Was this article helpful to you?  Do you feel like you learned a bit about .htaccess files?  Let us know in the comments below!

Sources:

What is .htaccess and what does it do?

About Facebook Ad Targeting

About Facebook Ad Targeting

Before 2013, when Facebook successfully proved their role in online marketing, advertisers were unsure how the goldmine of data on Facebook could ever be used strategically. Now, every smart marketer spends time understanding, crafting and implementing Facebook ad targeting.

Understanding Online Marketing Through Facebook Targeting

Despite its popularity and the praise it gets from many brands, there are still many who find this approach to online marketing incredibly confusing and difficult. To help demystify Facebook ad targeting here’s all you need to know about it.

Facebook helps you understand purchasing behavior.

Most companies do not have access to the type of data Facebook can provide. Facebook gathers over 1,500 things about each user every year. It allows advertisers to step out of their own CRM databases to find out more about the customer — from the medication they use and the topics that interest them to how they respond to loyalty programs and your ads. These are valuable, up-to-date insights that can help any brand enhance how they target their segment.

When you use Facebook ad targeting, you can choose from different purchasing behavior subcategories, depending on what you believe would best make an impact on your segment. Sub categories include  Food & Drink, Clothing, Health & Beauty and many more. You can further hone the targeting by limiting buyer profiles or widen the scope by adding more than one.

Facebook Allows You to Be Creative

Many assume that Facebook ad targeting is difficult and takes a lot of practice. While that may be partly true, it requires just as much creativity as it does logic and experience. For example, when your company, product or service caters to a particular event — such as funeral services, moving services or wedding planning, you need to focus on the major life events that happen to users.

Facebook has made targeting those life events easier. You only need to be creative with the people you target during certain milestones in their lives. If a family just bought a house, chances are they need a moving service and an interior decorator. A couple who just got engaged might need a wedding planner, locations for the wedding, a caterer and even a honeymoon spot. Companies with those services can aim their Facebook targeting towards that couple and other like users.

You Can Nurture loyal customers through Facebook Ad Targeting

You can also connect with your loyal customers through an advanced feature called “Facebook Custom Audiences” which allows you to reinforce your brand and increase a customer’s lifetime purchase frequency, value, and loyalty. It’s also a great way to increase the effectiveness of your campaign by excluding your current customer from the campaign for uncovered leads such as free trials.

With Facebook, the primary benefit is advanced targeting and insights that will allow you to get to know and reach your ideal audience.  What do you think your audience looks like?  Let us know in the comments below!

Sources:

https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/facebook-ads-basics

These Paid Ad Platforms Can Help Your Business

These Paid Ad Platforms Can Help Your Business

How effectively you manage your online efforts translate to how much traffic you can get for your site. For many companies — especially those which are exclusively online retailers or service providers, having the right paid ad strategy can make all the difference.

How the Right Paid Ad Strategy will Rocket Launch Your Business

Each business or brand has its own preferred advertising platform — mostly based on cost and profitability. To figure out which online platform best suits you, here are some of the best and most widely used ones.

Google Adwords

With almost 30 billion impressions per day, Google AdWords is one of the most effective ad platforms available — especially if you’re going for reach. Over time, this pay-per-click platform has become synonymous with “paid search”.

For Google Adwords, the focus is on text-centric ads and keywords. Once a Google user looks up a specific phrase that a brand bids on, their ad will appear. If the user clicks on the ad, the company is charged. Compared to other platforms, Adwords has more traffic, so the effects are more vast and scalable. If you have more traffic, you get more leads and thus chances to convert your leads.

Facebook Ads

At 5 million advertisers, it’s hard not to see how effective Facebook is as an ad platform. They have a huge active user base that is easier to engage than almost any other platform. In contrast to Google, advertising on Facebook is all about directing its users to advertised brands, products or services based on a user’s interests and searches. Their approach is more user-driven in that the users find the businesses, not the other way around.

Facebook is also connected with Instagram, and you have the option of having your Facebook ads also show up on Instagram’s platform. This is a great way to reach multiple audiences and increase your ad traffic.

Twitter Ads

Did you know that of all Twitter users, 80% have at least mentioned one brand in their tweet? The videos played and photos on a Twitter feed are also more likely to be recalled than videos and photos shown on other advertising platforms. Compared to the first two, Twitter is a bit more common among Millennials and is deemed as a great way to connect with them.

As an advertiser, you can choose to promote your tweets, trends relevant to you or accounts that you manage. The most effective ads, though, come when you use videos.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great fit for business to business marketing.  If you have a product or service that is beneficial to other business owners, this is the platform to use.  Because of its focus on career advancement, LinkedIn offers a more specific advertising opportunity for those advertising through social platforms.

Bing Ads

If you’re wondering if Bing is significant enough to mention here, it is.  Did you know that Bing users spend 23% more online than an average user? What those statistics should tell you is that there’s still a significant amount of traffic available on this platform, and they are willing to spend.  In fact, this might even be a better beginner platform for smaller businesses.

Like any tool, ad platforms only work when you know how to use them.  Consider contacting a professional SEM company if you want to get maximum results.

Which ads platform have you tried?  Let us know in the comments below!

Sources:

Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads: Which One Works Best?

Top Email Marketing Platforms

Top Email Marketing Platforms

Being a part of the tech generation — when people are always on their phones or laptops — means that businesses have to get creative in how they reach their audience. Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to do that.

Email marketing is something you can handle yourself, with the right systems in place.  All you need is to find the perfect platform to work with.  You’re looking for email marketing platforms that are affordable but offer beautiful templates, allow customization, and have plenty of upgrades so you can increase the quality of your strategy as you start to grow in your business.

These Email Marketing Platforms Offer Affordable Marketing

If this is a new area of marketing for you, it may be overwhelming. Luckily, there are some easy to use and affordable email platforms out there to get you started on email marketing!

MailChimp

If you’re running an email marketing campaign, you should know about MailChimp. It’s the quintessential email marketing tool small businesses use. The interface is user-friendly, making it easy for beginners, and it integrates multiple sites beautifully. Through this platform, you can segment your target audience, merge tags, create emails quickly, launch autoresponders and time your emails depending on the timezone of your users.  You can start out for free, or upgrade for more features.

ConstantContact

Constant Contact is currently one of the most popular and widely used platforms. If you’re just starting out but you want a tool that will help you with every aspect of your email marketing strategy, then this is the one to use. Through ConstantContact, you can manage your contacts, lists and even store a template. It also comes with tracking and reporting system and 1 GB storage for your files. All that for only $20 a month, and the first two months are free.

GetResponse

GetResponse is another great platform that simplifies email marketing for its users. It has a lot of automation features that allow you to make smart automated campaigns, thanks to its drag and drop builder. For only $15 a month, you can even integrate your lead generation software — such as SalesForce, ZenDesk and OptinMonster — directly to this platform.

AWeber

This is another popular option that small and medium enterprises love to use. Not only is it good value for the money at $19 a month, it also packs a lot of services in one platform, including list management, ready to use templates for emails, autoresponders and many more. AWeber also connects to varied platforms like WordPress.

What’s your favorite email marketing platform?  Let us know in the comments below!