Quick and Dirty SEO Primer for Bloggers

If you’re a blogger, you probably already know that SEO (search engine optimization) is an essential part of getting your blog posts “out there” and in front of your readers. But in my experience, bloggers don’t get the full picture when it comes to putting together the pieces for optimal search engine performance. Some bloggers rely too heavily on page views or ad clicks. Others employ keywords to a detrimental degree. Many don’t even bother to research keywords before starting a blog post. When it comes to getting your blog noticed, you need to make SEO work for you. And to do that, you need to coordinate your editorial efforts to unite around a singular goal: reaching your audience and converting them to loyal customers. I promised this would be quick and dirty, so let’s go. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] The Quick: SEO is based on complex algorithmic logic. You can’t “trick” your way into a favorable SEO ranking by using those easy, ridiculous tips you find on blogging sites that promise you can make six figures blogging in x number of days. This includes tactics like: Asking for page views from random people in Facebook groups Asking for ad clicks from the same people Keyword stuffing Filling out a form that promises distribution to some number of search engines Neglecting site design and mobile optimization Stop using these tactics. They won’t boost your SEO. But they will: Skyrocket your bounce rate Bloat ad click numbers and make you lose out on future campaigns with reputable companies Make you look like a horrible…

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Holy Cross Lutheran Church

"Our organization recently contracted with Rystedt Creative to update our website. They did a great job recommending upgrades and handled the work for us. Also, because we are a non-profit, they took into consideration our limited resources for their pricing structure. We really appreciate the quick turnaround time too!" - Pastor Tom Zucconi, Holy Cross Lutheran Church Holy Cross Lutheran Church is a congregation in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod located in Dallas Texas. The congregation is currently ministering to both English and Spanish speakers of all ages through their worship services and varied programs. Holy Cross has a WordPress powered website that their staff thought could use some improvements. We worked closely with Holy Cross' staff to help them determine what about their website could be improved and what impact they could expect each improvement to have upon their online reach. Holy Cross took advantage of a free consultation call, a free website evaluation, and our free website self-evaluation tool throughout their staff decision making process. (By the way, these free resources are available to you as well. Contact us to receive your free consultation call and website evaluation.) Ultimately, Holy Cross asked us to make numerous improvements to hcdallas.org. We assisted Holy Cross by... Replacing their slider plugin Holy Cross Lutheran Church has a full width slider just below the header of their home page. They use this slider to make various announcements. Their original slider was powered by their WordPress theme. The default slider caused the page to “jump” when slides had different heights. We switched hcdallas.org to Slider Revolution, recreated their current slides using Slider Revolution, and provided them with an introductory walk through of the…

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Renewed Strength Personal Training Studio

Renewed Strength Personal Training Studio is a local fitness and training studio that was concerned about a competitor's position in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). In certain searches this other fitness coach was also ranking on page one or even above Renewed Strength Personal Training. Yet their competitor's website is poorly designed compared to Renewed Strength and the services they offer are limited. So why were they still ranking well? SEO on Wix Renewed Strength contacted us to ask if we could evaluate their Wix powered website and determine what could be done to improve their search ranking. We evaluated both Renewed Strength's website and their competitor's site and then provided Renewed Strength Personal Training with a four step plan for improving their ranking. Structured Metadata One of those steps was implementing robust structured metadata on their webpages. Renewed Strength's website was using barely any structured metadata and thus not taking advantage of the local SEO benefits available when you provide your business data in this format. The studio decided that this step, in particular, was one they wanted us to take on. Navigating Wix's Limitations However, Wix limits what kind of metadata can be added through their admin panel (eg no Open Graph tags). Yet structured metadata works as long as it is inserted into the header of your web pages and Wix does allow you to insert custom code into the headers. So we got crafty! We evaluated what metadata Wix was already implementing (only two tags), coded unique metadata for every page of Renewed Strength's website, and added that code to their Wix pages using an alternative method in the Wix admin panel. With this and…

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Do Keywords Still Matter in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

What keywords are you ranking for?You want your website to rank for words and phrases that your ideal customers are using in their search queries.Some online marketers still advocate for a high percentage of the words on any page containing the key words or phrases you are attempting to rank for. Other online marketers are touting a new era of interconnected topical and contextual ranking methods that utilize keywords more deftly.This has led many businesses (and organizations) to question whether or not keywords still matter in their SEO strategies. Psst! Keywords still matter for SEO... but shouldn't be used quite like they were in the 2000s. https://www.youtube.com/embed/lNk7n_V3uqM What's a keyword anyway? A "keyword" or "key phrase" contains the idea or topic your content is about. If, for example, you run a cleaning business and you write a post about best window cleaning methods some of the natural keywords for that content may be "clean", "windows", "wash", "how to", and others. Hopefully, if your content is well written, many of these keywords would show up in close proximity to one another within the same sentence to make up a few "key phrases" or "long tail keywords". If your content is naturally using keywords that your target market is searching for you have a higher chance of driving organic search traffic over time. Effective keywords are, essentially, the topics and ideas on the minds (and screens) of both your business and your ideal customers. The obsession with keywords Search engines still primarily crawl text when determining what your webpage is about. (That's why lengthy well-written content still matters online). Consequently, at one time, the most important part of your SEO strategy was…

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What’s the Ideal Blog Post Length?

Blog posts are an essential part of your marketing strategy. But when you’re developing your editorial schedule, it can be a challenge to target the ideal blog posts that your readers want to see. As you balance post types, topics and authors, you need to also consider your blog post lengths. But does length really matter? In short, yes. Blog post length is important for driving new customers to your site and to boost your SEO rankings. Aim to vary your blog post lengths to keep content fresh and make your site look like it’s run by actual humans sharing useful information. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame]      Want to mix it up? Here are the top blog post lengths you should aim for: Short (300-600 Words) Short blog posts offer information quickly and concisely. Your readers can be in and out without dedicating any significant time to your post. While this might sound like a bad thing, in a day and age where readers have shorter attention spans than ever, it’s actually not. When writing short posts, aim to cross the 300 word threshold – anything shorter works against your SEO – but keep it below 600 to maintain brevity. A lot of marketers still think that the 500-800 word “essay” post is best, but when everyone’s doing it, no one stands out. Don’t blend in with the crowd. Long (1,000-2,000 Words) Long form blog posts are very popular right now, and for good reason. They give your readers more than a bit of information to whet the whistle and they are…

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How to Use Business Reviews to Boost Your Organic Search Results

Your business is awesome. You know it, we know it, but do your potential customers know how great you are? Having a wealth of happy customers may be the best word of mouth strategy but it does little to boost your organic search results online. When you transfer this word of mouth power to the Web great things happen! This is why many businesses are including online business reviews as part of their overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. You can use business reviews to boost your organic search results and drive additional traffic to your website. Online business reviews may be just the confidence boost your potential customers need before clicking on your link. [text_with_frame id="368c1dbfefba91dceb946d322e0e86bc" content="‹¨›p‹˜›‹¨›em‹˜›If you find this article helpful consider giving it a share‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›/em‹˜›?‹¨›/p‹˜›" line_color="rgba(0,0,0,.07)" text_font="body" heading_font="heading" animation="none" animation_speed="2" animation_delay="0" __fw_editor_shortcodes_id="e6852c2dacc162bc8c34ba646905e841" _fw_coder="aggressive"][/text_with_frame] Searchers Rely on Business Reviews Many of your ideal customers do not know who you are yet. They need to be introduced to you and your great product or service. Unfortunately, too many people think of online marketing as tricking the-great-Google-list-making-robot into including you near the top of its list. To the contrary, successful online marketing is about building relationships - not lists. Someone needs to introduce your ideal customer to you - their ideal solution. That someone is often Google. Yet Google listing you doesn't carry much emotional weight. Searchers tend to trust you more if you are on page one but there is still little emotional connection. Relational marketing happens often on social media. Yet it can happen on Google, Yelp, and industry specific websites as well! Business reviews are one of the most effective means of having your business introduced to…

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The Mobile Trend

Online browsing habits have changed greatly over the last decade. No longer are users relying on their PCs for opening your emails, searching for your services, or purchasing your products. The majority of hours spent, search queries made, and emails opened are now from mobile devices. The smartphone trend has changed and will continue to change the Web. A slew of new smartphones are expected in 2018 including new iPhones (likely a total of three new handsets), new Google Pixels, and the LG G7. Innovation in mobile has slowed but not stopped with manufacturers now releasing handsets with always listening voice assistants, multiple cameras to detect depth, facial recognition, and processors faster than most office PCs. Thankfully your website can look beautiful on these mobile devices. You may not even need to completely rebuild your website to accomplish this. There are multiple solutions to mobile optimize your website including separate mobile URLs, adaptive design, and responsive design. Regardless of which method you choose to optimize your site the statistics show that your website must be mobile optimized to continue to generate traffic and convert visitors. An outstanding website is mobile optimized. Sales In 2016 the CEO of Intel, Brian Krzanich, stated that the upgrade cycle for PCs was slowing from an average of four years to an average of five to six years. He stated that "Right now, it's easier to move your phone to a new phone than your PC to a new PC". This comparison is telling. Buyers are using their phones to replace some of what their PCs do and PC sales are suffering. At the close of 2016 smartphone buyers were upgrading their devices at an…

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