Google Analytics is a great free statistics tool that provides comprehensive statistics on your site, and those statistics can be used to help you boost your traffic. It is pretty simple to install by simply inserting a snippet of code on your site. Try to use something like a header or some piece of code that is on every page, or in Blogger simply insert it into the html.
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Considering how expensive some stat programs are, or the fact that some of the free ones require an icon or image linking back to their site, this is extremely valuable. In particular, this is great for bloggers who might lack money to spend hundreds on a decent stats package.
Once it’s loaded, you can simply visit the Google Analytics page for detailed statistics. While the usefulness of this information might not be obvious, there are many ways you can mine this information to help you drive more traffic and better optimize your site for search engines.
Google Analytics Dashboard
This is the main page of the Google Analytics site. Even right here, you can gather some useful information. You can see the number of visits, percentage of new visitors, and average time on site over an extended period. A key statistic here is the bounce rate option in the top right pulldown menu. Look for trends here, and also find out if you have a lot of visitors who hit your site and immediately bounce out.
Then you can play with your site to see if you can improve those numbers. Add more internal links, for instance, in blog posts to encourage internal clicking. Change your color scheme or tinker with your design, and wait to watch your bounce rate to see if it’s impacted.
Google Referral Tracking
One of the best tools of the Google Analytics is the ability to analyze your Google (and other search engine) traffic. You can look at trends to see how many referrals you are getting from various search engines, pay-per-click ads or external links. From the dashboard, just click on “traffic sources.”
This is a gold mine of information. If you click on a particular source, like Google, you can see a graphic of referrals over a period of time. This will tell you, for instance, if Google referrals have dropped off, which should be a concern. It’s also nice when you get a bunch of traffic from a social bookmarking site. That will show a whole bunch of page-views, but can mask a drop-off in search engine referrals.
Better yet, examine the keywords. You can use this information to expand on phrases where you are ranking well, or to revise pages that currently drive traffic for totally irrelevant to your site. You can also click on keywords, and then click “bounce rate” at the top right. That will show you which keywords bring bad traffic that doesn’t stay on site.
Google Analytics Map
Another great feature is the Google Analytics map. If you’re running a general interest site, it could be easy to overlook this cool feature. But you can even use it just to see, for example, that you get a decent amount of traffic from a specific country. That can help you cater your content to that audience.
You can even narrow your statistics down to the city and state level, which could be useful if you find you have a large audience in a particular city.
Use the content statistics to determine which pages are the most popular, or which have high bounce rates and might need to be improved. You can view your top content by title or by URL. You can also see which content is keeping people on the page for the longest time, or serve often as exit pages.
Google Analytics Downsides
Anything free can’t be perfect, right? There are a few downsides to using it. For one thing, you are giving Google access to detailed statistics on your site. There is also a lag in reporting, so the statistics are not real-time. In the post, Three Reasons Google Analytics Fails for Seo, Eric Lander writes:
If you are serious about search engine optimization, Google Analytics is NOT for you. I know it’s tough to look past the (non-existent) price tag, ease of use and conversion tools — but trust me when I say that Google Analytics is a flawed program for your needs.
So it’s important to know there are downsides. For many sites and blogs, these aren’t crucial and probably aren’t reason enough to avoid using this great free program. It also shouldn’t be your only source of statistics, and you can use resources like Google Webmaster tools and your hosting provider’s log tracking.
In the end, though, it is a great tool (certainly for the money) and is especially important if you are not currently using detailed statistics. This post just covers some of the basics, but there are many uses for these statistics. If you currently use Google Analytics, what’s your favorite use?
5 Ways Blog Optimization Tips for Google Ranking Success in 2019
On-page SEO for your blog articles should be a top priority. You have most likely read plenty of articles on the subject. If you are a new blogger, you probably have a domain, WordPress hosting service, a long list of potential topics and categories to write about, but what about blog optimization? This is a common misstep for new bloggers.
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If you are still wondering what the true anatomy of an optimized blog is, we are here to help. Meta-tags, keywords, image Alt Text, and the list goes on. What is the real goal of on-page SEO? Better Google rankings! And better Google rankings means more eyes on your content, since you will be ranking high on Google SERPs.
Having exceptional on-page SEO is vital to the growth and success of your business. This means bending to the hand of the almighty Google. Why? Google handles two trillion searches per year.
Let’s take a deeper look at five ways to optimize your blog for Google ranking success in 2019!
- Start with Optimizing Keywords
Whether you write for your own blog, or have an editor, all your content should revolve around unique keywords. Normally, bloggers will be given a keyword to include in their highly authoritative, actionable content in various places. You can see a perfect example here, as the article is written in a way to not only focuses on the keywords and search phrases in the title, but the content within the article breaks down even further into each of these data points and subtitles as well.
Having that keyword allows you to begin formatting your title, subheadings and text. But keyword development doesn’t necessarily end there.
You should also identify two to three supporting keywords that will be used throughout the post, in subheadings, and even in your title. You can use tools like Infinite Suggest to maximize keyword research. You can also find other supporting keyword ideas using Moz, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush.
- Do Your Due Diligence During Keyword Research
There is a bit more that goes into choosing two or three supporting keywords. You don’t want to blindly pick one. The goal is to find keywords with a fair amount of search volume, low difficulty, and high opportunity.
From the keyword tool, make a list of supporting keywords, let’s say you choose “on page SEO tactics” as a supporting keyword, but the monthly search volume seems low. What to do? Check another platform like MOZ or SEMrush to get a second keyword opinion. Remember, you want to choose keywords that your audience is actually searching for.
- Make a List of LSI Keywords
You may be asking yourself, “What are LSI keywords?” LSI keywords, better known as “long-tail” keywords, are actually becoming more important for search engines like Google. They may also help you avoid Problematic Google penalties. How do you find LSI keywords? It’s actually simpler than you may think.
Open up Google and search for your main keyword, and then scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find a nice variety of LSI keywords waiting for you. After, check the long-tail keywords you want to use in a keyword tool. It is best practice to use two or three LSI Keywords in a blog article for max value.
- Always Put Keywords in Your Blog SEO Titles
Identifying and qualifying your keywords is quite often the most difficult part of on-page SEO for blog posts. However, once you have them, things begin to fall into place for SERP results you will be happy with. How do you use them though?
Placing keywords in your SEO title is also important. It essentially tells Google that you want to rank for this or that. If “Blogger Tips” is your keyword, you’ll want to include it in the title as close to the beginning of the title as possible.
It is important to note that you want your title to still sound natural, so don’t force it. Be natural, but always think Google page one. The closer your keyword is to the front, the more weight it carries with search engines.
- Put Your Keywords in Headings Correctly
This is a common mistake many bloggers make. Sure, crafting delightful content that is worthy of the New Yorker is dreamy. However, Google ranking algorithms don’t only look at content. You essentially want to tell search engines, and your audience, where the shifts in the story are, and what each section is about.
Using appropriate header tags can make this happen. Most content management systems will automatically place an h1 tag for your post’s SEO title. WordPress does this nicely! If you are writing for a client, you may only be formatting your blog article for on-page SEO via Google Docs or Word. In this is the case, you want to ensure each heading is tagged correctly, like:
- h1 tag for SEO titles
- h2 tag for subheadings
- h3 tags for supporting subheadings
In Conclusion . . .
There are certainly a ton of blog optimization tips out there for you to dig up and use for maximum rankings on Google. However, the above five tips are among the most important. From keywords to placing keywords strategically, grow your blog by getting the most out of each post. Do you have a blogging SEO tip? We want to hear from you.
How to Optimize Your Blog for Voice Search
The new year has come and we are just twelve months away from the year 2020. Why is that important? Because by 2020, nearly all searches are predicted to be voice, rather than text searches.
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In fact, Gartner found that 30% of those searches are going to be done entirely screen-less. Here are a few more numbers in case you are not convinced:
- 13% of households used voice search in 2017 and this number is expected to rise to around 55% by 2022. [Source]. Smart speakers have created an industry of their own and are easily integrated into American household. As the software becomes more streamlined and more applications are introduced, this could cause their adoption to grow even more.
- 72% of current voice search users claim to use it as part of their daily routine. (source: Google). Looks like searching voice easily becomes a habit! It’s definitely here to stay!
News organizations, radio stations, and websites have begun intensively marketing toward owners of smart speakers. Daily news, music, finances, your calendar and the like can now be read to you as you herd your kids to the car and off to school or before heading in to work.
In other words, voice search queries are going to be taking over the search world.
While voice-activated technology started making its way into our lives quite some time ago, the recent smart assistant technology boom caused the actual voice search revolution. Major brands are quickly investing in voice search optimization.
Is your website ready?
Adapting to the Algorithm
To see how important voice search is going to be we have to look at how Google in its current incarnation really works. When I first started in the SEO world, it was all about simple search keywords. But the exploitation of keyword stuffing pushed Google to further the benchmark and make things more complex.
Now when we look at keyword analysis and optimization, it is a completely different process than what it used to be. Not only have keywords become more varied, the way that Google sifts through the noise in order to provide answers for their users is amazing.
That is what has kept Google on top for so long; competitors like Bing just haven’t been able to develop a framework that is as effective and dominating.
Voice search is underlining this fact in ways that weren’t as clear before. When we type a search phrase we are more careful. We think through what we are going to say, we get phrase suggestions that might help us narrow down or change our language and we get a page of results that lets us refocus if needed.
Spoken words are more spontaneous and harder to predict. It’s not always possible to understand what the searcher really needs. Somehow, Google’s algorithm still works with this format, as long as the content providers are properly optimizing on their side of meet the demand.
So, how do we do it?
Think of Search Queries as Speech
A popular meme lately has been, “This is so sad. Alexa, play Despacito“. While tongue in cheek, it shows the way that speech is taking a handle in search and how we might use it properly.
Imagine you are sitting around talking to your friends. You decide to ask them a question, like, “What movies are showing this weekend?” It is a natural way to speak for you. But if you were to type in search terms, it would be something more like, “Showtimes Century 16”.
Searching by voice presents a new challenge to search engine optimization professionals: Optimizing for all possible ways a user can speak your query.
Optimizing for related terms, synonyms and neighboring concepts is more important than ever. TextOptimizer helps you do just that by running your query in Google and using semantic analysis to extract related topics and neighboring context to optimize your page for:
[TextOptimizer extracts related topics for your important keywords helping you optimize for a wide variety of queries]
The general concept here hasn’t changed, as you still want your page to appear on top of Google’s search result pages: It’s a fact that Google’s users seldom ever scroll past the first page.
Voice search is going to gravitate towards the simplest, top results for the user.
Once upon a time, that meant getting on the front page. Now it means making sure your content is set for featured snippets so you can go above the actual page results and gain priority in Google’s ranking.
Featured snippets are selected search results that appear on top of organic search results in Google and Bing. Featured snippets are what gets read to a user in response to a search query.
Articles, tables, images, videos, bullet lists… there are plenty of forms of content that appear in featured snippets.
To better target featured snippet opportunities, use Ahrefs: It allows you to filter search queries to those triggering featured snippets and lets you preview actual search results:
While Schema.org officially doesn’t help you get featured, a lot of SEOs have found that playing around with structured markup actually makes a difference. In any case, that won’t hurt, especially given it’s quite easy to implement using a variety of WordPress plugins.
/HowTo schema is predicted to be used by Google soon (since it’s already being implemented in some of the search experiments), so I’d start there. To show you the markup in action, try running this page through Google’s structured data testing tool:
Do you have a strategy to add? Let us know in the comments!
5 Effective Blogging and Marketing Strategies for Your Dental Practice
As bloggers and content creators, we are often creating content or managing social media and blogs for local practices and businesses in our area. If this is the case, you will definitely find a lot of value in this article — especially if you are working with a local dentist, or maybe even have a dental practice of your own?
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Local advertising and offline marketing is something everyone needs to consider when they have a brick and mortar location. However, one also needs to ask the question about online marketing and SEO if they are struggling to showcase how great their dental practice is.
For times like these, it’s important to know which marketing strategies would be most effective in bringing in new patients.
With so many types of marketing strategies out there, it can be hard to know what will work best for your business. With more people using mobile devices and Google than ever before, the common answer for this is to have a blog with niche-focused content that is already relevant for local search results.
Here are five effective content creation and marketing strategies that will help you grow your dental practice.
1. Focus on Local SEO
Chances are there are many different dental practices in your area, which means you need to stand out when potential customers conduct Google searches for a dentist near them.
Focusing on your SEO efforts, specifically, local keywords can help you attract new clients. This will help you rank higher in Google searches when people search for things like “dentist near me.” And what’s better is that it’ll boost your company when people use voice search to find local dental practices.
Make sure to do keyword research in advance. You should also focus on more specific keyword phrases like “wisdom tooth removal” to target searches. These tiny efforts can make a big impact on your discoverability.
Beyond SEO, you should also focus on the general optimization of your website. Make sure it’s clean, easy to use, and highlight your business’s value props. If you don’t know how to do that, check out Willow Creek Dental for website inspiration. Not only does the site design match the look and feel we are looking for, they also have great use of online video as well. Be sure to check out their site through the screenshot below.
2. Get Involved with Your Community
As a local business owner, you need to get involved with your community to attract new customers and keep existing ones. By showing community members you care about your community, you can win them over.
Not sure how you should get involved? Attend town events or sponsor a local sports team. You can even speak to elementary school classes about the importance of dental hygiene.
These dental marketing efforts may seem small, but they say a lot about you and your dental practice. And the more you show your business off in the community, the more likely potential customers are to remember you when they need dental assistance.
3. Invest in Your Social Media Presence
Social media is another great way to get involved in your community and strengthen relationships with your customer base–both potential and existing. Social media platforms like Facebook can help you quickly build an online community that you can keep in contact with.
Social media helps you start conversations with customers and share important updates with them. It also allows you to collect reviews and quickly answer their questions. All of these things prove your value as a business to them.
SproutSocial has a great resource guide that is full of dental marketing messages and methods that are currently being used on social media. The messages that perform best will be the ones that are most creative and compelling — like the one below.
4. Pay Attention to Content Marketing
Marketing isn’t only about showing people you’re there; it’s about proving you have something of value to offer them. That’s why you need to invest in your content creation efforts. Content like blog posts brings customers to your site and provides them with the information and reassurance they need to convert into patients.
It also helps you increase your overall SEO ranking, which will bring even more people to your site!
5. Embrace Physical Marketing Materials
While the Internet is a fantastic way to market your business, it’s not the only type of marketing you should be investing in. You should also be distributing physical marketing materials like postcards, mailed offers, and newsletters to convert local potential customers.
Send flyers with discounts to new residents to win them over. Distribute brochures highlighting your other cosmetic procedures to high-value customers. You can even send newsletters packed with content articles and FAQs!
Final Thoughts on Marketing Strategies for Your Dental Practices
When it comes to your dental practice, great service isn’t enough to make your business stand out. You need to invest in great marketing strategies to showcase your business and win over customers. By following the 5 tips in this article, you can make sure your dental practice is the one customers think of first.
Did you find the content in this article helpful? Need more tips and tricks on marketing strategies? Be sure to check out these expert SEO tips for 2019.
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