“Which should I focus on: organic SEO or PPC?” Our team at DFW SEO gets this question all the time, but it’s only fair. After all, most companies naturally benefit more from one or the other. But what if we were to combine both these online elements strategies into one cohesive search marketing strategy? The results could be better than you’ve ever hoped!
Today, we’ll discuss how to effectively fuse your organic SEO work with a dynamic PPC strategy. This guide touches on many points of your online marketing, so don’t be surprised if we talk all over the place. Take your time, compare each step with your company’s current strategy, then make an action plan for powerful growth! Let’s dive in.
Why SEO & PPC Work Together
It’s common business practice to draw leads from multiple sources. When one source temporarily dries up, you can always depend on other channels for continued revenue. Naturally, this principle also applies to online marketing strategy, where the ever changing nature of Google forces contractors and store owners alike to frequently adapt.
Together, SEO and PPC combine to form search marketing.
Organic (non-paid) search engine optimization focuses on drawing in customers naturally through the strategic use of keywords, engaging content, and careful formatting. Your company website serves as its foundation, but local SEO also extends to many other aspects of marketing. Social media, for example, heavily impacts your search results.
PPC (pay-per-click) strategy may also incorporate a variety of resources from across the web. These days, some of the most popular PPC campaigns come out of Google Ads, Facebook Business, and Instagram Stories. There are endless opportunities for purchasing and displaying digital ads, though you’ll need a dedicated budget for success.
Traditionally, online companies primarily focus on one aspect (be it SEO or PPC), but only dabble in the other. That’s why most businesses never quite realize the potential of a well-planned, integrated search marketing strategy. Below, we’ll explore how your business can effectively fuse the two elements together for bigger dividends.
Step #1: Optimize Your Website
Why start with the company website? Because practically every marketing activity begins there and/or feeds back into it. If you don’t have a capable website ready to handle all the incoming traffic you’re hoping to earn, most (if not all) of your efforts will be wasted.
So what does your company need to produce a heavily-optimized website? Let’s start with some of the basics; you’ll probably recognize some of these website design tips from previous DFW SEO blogs!
Tips for Optimized Website Design
Stick with 2 to 4 major service categories for your menu.
Use a mixture of primary and secondary keywords for each site page.
Avoid claustrophobic spacing, and divide text into smaller blocks.
If you have the talent, custom code your website (vs using a template).
Add a company blog!
Optimize your image attributes with your keywords.
Focus on creating a convenient, simple user experience for your visitors. Ideally, users should be able to locate their desired services within 30 seconds. That’s one reason why consolidating your services beneath a few categories makes it easier to optimize your website. Content shouldn’t feel artificially packed with keywords. Instead, they should seem naturally tucked into the conversation.
Speaking of keywords, don’t make the mistake of only chasing after those high-volume, high-competition phrases. Everyone and their mother target these primary keywords. Instead, research related phrases and words that provide moderate traffic but feature much less competition! While the site slowly ranks higher for primary industry phrases, your vast collection of secondary keywords will provide a small but steady influx of business.
Step #2: Retarget Your Site Visitors
Once Google starts listing your business for all those keywords, it’s time to examine your conversion process. Only a modest percentage of people landing on your website will stay for more than a minute. Even smaller is the number of people that become actual leads, but there is a lucrative way to increase that percentage: retargeting ads.
Supposed an inquisitive individual spends a couple of minutes on your site, then moves on with the rest of their day. When they later log into their Facebook or Amazon account, a familiar brand unexpectedly appears. The person clicks on the ad and lands back on the service page they explored earlier.
This is one of the most powerful forms of paid search marketing. Unlike the general crowd of people who see your listing in local search, retargeted ad recipients have already shown verified interest in your services or products. They have a significantly higher likelihood of converting into customers too!
You can also create retargeting ads that pursue local individuals after they’ve left a competitor’s website. Earning qualified leads by poaching them from rival brands? That’s a win-win situation!
Step #3: Engage With Content
Earlier, we briefly mentioned a crucial element of optimizing your website: the company blog. Blogs offer a convenient way to produce new content, which Google interprets as a sign of business activity. It also creates opportunities to earn listings for new keywords, meaning even more traffic (and potential leads) for your company! While creating engaging content may require significant time and energy, it’s clear that optimized content almost always pays dividends in the long-run. So what sort of content should your company produce, and how often will you need to post it?
In content marketing, the number one rule is that your material must provide outstanding value for your target audience.
The easiest way to create value is to research what matters most to your customers. What sort of hot topics and questions are they talking about on the company Facebook page? You’ve probably also heard some of these questions as you chatted with clients in person.
For the research phase of your content marketing, try Answer the Public. Their topical research tool allows businesses to examine hot topics from all over the web. For those that prefer free tools, the “People also ask” features of Google Search offer popular questions among search users.
If you really want your content to shine, formatting plays a crucial role in your materials’ popularity. Too many articles use impenetrable walls of text and pictureless displays. Top search marketing performers arrange their material in easy to digest blocks, mixed in between vivid images and informative diagrams. Add in some thoughtful step-by-step lists, and you may even earn a featured listing in your local search results!
Content has a life of its own. Even when that favorite consumer guide of yours finally hits retirement age, you can rejuvenate it with a brand new 2019 (or 2020, 2021, etc.) spin! Of course, there’s another way to use your popular content marketing material…
Step #4: Turn Content Into Ads
You’ve spent hours of your life crafting gorgeous, well-written guides for the company’s content marketing. What if you could use all that hard work for your social media ad campaigns too? That’s the beauty of Facebook Ads and Instagram Stories.
Companies can take their most engaging content and transform them into lead-generating ads. Videos, infographics, and blogs all have a place. Just make sure it continues to offer value for your target audience, and you’ll naturally draw people back to your Facebook Business profile and company website.
Of course, there are many kinds of ads to try out in your social media advertising strategy. Remember those retargeting ads we talked about? Facebook utilizes a platform called Pixel to present ads to individuals coming away from your website (or your opponent’s). Since people are often more willing to consume video content as they browse through social media, this is the perfect opportunity to capture their attention!
Step #5: Prepare Landing Pages
Let’s say all your search marketing dreams come true, and high-quality traffic flies back to your website from the latest company PPC campaigns. Will your website be ready to seal the deal and convert them? Or will your would-be clients be greeted by an unformatted, unprepared wall of text?
That’s where landing pages leap into action!
One of the perks of online ads is that you choose where your visitors “land” on your site. That puts a lot of responsibility on the pages that you select to close the lead. Oversell your services, and your visitors might feel put off. Act overly passive, and would-be customers lose their buying impulse.
If you really want to optimize your pages for higher conversion, follow these rules…
#1: Remind readers of their problem.
#2: Confirm that your service / product is the solution.
#3: Remove reasons for them to say “No” or “Maybe later”.
#4:Don’t dilly dally. Just give your call to action!
It’s okay to take an authoritative voice in your call to action (CTA). At this point, many of your visitors are already close to making a purchase decision. They simply need the final facts and directions on how to start the transaction. Take a brief, brief moment to prove your credibility via a testimonial or trustworthy recommendation. Then tell them to call, email, text, or buy (whatever your CTA may be).
The Search Marketing Pros
That may be a lot of information to process. Just remember the general strategy:
#1: Website Optimization
#2: Retargeted Ads
#3: Content Marketing
#4: Social Media Ads
#5: Landing Pages
That’s a winning search marketing strategy. Of course, the team at DFW SEO is always happy to support you with these online marketing efforts. Get a free consultation with a seasoned SEO professional, simply by calling us at (800) 231-4871!
There are hundreds of factors that contribute to your DFW SEO success. Keyword strategy, for instance, allows your business to show up in local search. But few things impact your user experience more than website design, for better or for worse!
Today, we’ll explore three broad areas of website design and how your DFW company can succeed. Pay special attention if you’re looking to create a fresh business site in the near future. Let’s get started!
Area #1: Branding and Styling
One of your most important assets as a company is your logo. Just as it needs to be visible on your trucks and physical address, your roofing logo should be immediately visible in your website design. The average site user creates their very first impression in only 0.05 seconds (SWEOR). That’s barely enough time to blink, let alone read through your content.
So what elements influence this initial impression (for good or bad)?
Logo Placement & Visibility
Imagery – Professional vs Amateur
Spacing – Overcrowded or Relaxed
Color Scheme – Pleasant or Clashing
Contact Information and Address Visibility
The above website design shows careful consideration of both space and coloring. Despite having more service categories listed than normal, DFW Flooring Warehouse still manages to prevent the page from feeling too cramped. That’s quite the accomplishment, especially when most other business websites try to pack in as much information as possible above the page fold.
Adapting to Mobile Devices
Most online traffic goes through mobile devices these days. Think of all the screen time you put into your phone every week, and you’ll quickly understand why mobile optimization isn’t something businesses can afford to mess up. If your company website doesn’t fit into the mobile-friendly mold, odds are your would-be customers are leaving to look for more convenient options. The company brand and phone number should be clearly displayed at the very top of the page.
In the example on the right, DFW Flooring Warehouse carefully adapted their homepage for easy reading and scrolling. The call to action (CTA) is clearly visible, a crucial point we’ll discuss more later. The drop down menu also provides a simple connection to the user’s desired service(s).
Unfortunately, many businesses fail at mobile-friendly website design. Even when they utilize a template that boasts easy mobile conversion, roofing contractors overstuff their homepage. The end result is an awkward user interface that potential customers speedily run away from.
Area #2: On-Site Navigation
Nothing frustrates a would-be customer more than struggling to find their desired services. Failing to find a desired service/product definitely leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, whether shopping in a store or online. Careful planning however, will protect your website from driving customers away.
It all starts with the top level menu. Most businesses rely on a bar menu that converts into dropdown list of services. This makes navigation simpler, especially on mobile devices with limited screen space. Unfortunately, many companies overstuff their menu. Excess services and city pages only drive people away from your site. If you’re developing a brand new website, try to stick with a handful of your most popular service categories! Dropdown menus may help conserve space, but cramming them with slightly altered service titles covers up valuable space on your homepage and service pages.
Additional Navigation Elements
The dropdown menu isn’t the only essential tool for guiding your user journey. Timely link placement in your service pages also makes it easier for people to find more specialized solutions. Schema lists provide an outstanding way to group similar services together for fast browsing.
Perhaps the greatest navigation tools (beyond your dropdown menu) are pictured category tabs.
While a picture may be worth a thousand words, you can also customize these tabs with a short description of the service category. It’s a fantastic way for site visitors to rapidly process information about your company! Remember how quick people form first impressions regarding your site? These category tabs help ensure that first interaction with your website is refreshingly positive.
Area #3: Calls to Action (CTA’s)
Did you know that it’s 100 % okay to tell people what to do on your website? Roofing contractors put in hours and hours of work customizing their website design, only to turn gun-shy when the time comes to place the calls to action. That may be the single greatest mistake in SEO for roofers, which also makes it the most crucial opportunity for easy improvement.
Even if you don’t have experience with schema coding or graphic design, there’s simply no excuse not to put in a simple “Call Now.” button.
Don’t think calls to action are only meant for the page tops or homepages only. With careful planning, you can provide consistent calls to action both in the content and in the page borders. Try to figure out in advance what you desire most from potential customers.
Potential Calls to Action (CTAs)
Texts or Facebook Messaging
How to Style a Call to Action
Optimizing your CTAs is a huge part of SEO for roofing, and one of the single most influential factors in your conversion rate. Your goal should be to make the call to action clearly visible no matter where it’s located. In the example below, the lawn care company simultaneously maintains its color scheme and highlights the CTA by making it a closing header. That’s one easy way to command attention at the end of a page or blog post!
Even if you decide to make direct messaging your preferred form of communication, it pays to reinforce your CTAs with both your brand and your company number. This allows people to reach you quickly, instead of wandering around the site looking for a contact link.
Consult DFW SEO for Your Website Design!
Need a professional hand with your company website design in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX? Our team at DFW SEO would love to partner with you and create an attractive, search-optimized website! Our clients dominate local search results in their service areas, earning better traffic and higher quality leads as a result. See how your company can grow! Get your free consultation with a local SEO expert at (800) 231-4871.
Just a few years ago, the only way to earn top placement in your community’s local search was to dial down on keyword optimization. This lead to all kinds of website writing habits that we now steer away from, such as keyword stuffing. As Google continues to expand its repertoire of search engine results page (SERP) features, local Dallas Fort Worth contractors find new and exciting ways to claim premium front page real estate!
Today, we’ll explore some of the greatest opportunities for plumbers, HVAC contractors, and roofers to rise to the top in local search. If you’ve been struggling to make a dent in online search marketing, don’t fret. You’ll found some valuable tips in here for your business!
Local SEO Basics: SERP Features
Most listings in a Google search engine results page look just like those we’ve known for the better part of 20 years: simple headlines with descriptive text underneath. These organic results don’t require payment, but they do require extensive research and time investment. They don’t have the flashy pizazz of other SERP features we’ll talk about today, but they still claim a significant share of traffic from the front pages.
What other types of SERP listings can we find on the front page (and beyond)?
Types of SERP Results
Traditional Organic Results
Organic with Links
People Also Ask Entries
We’re especially interested in the last three entries here. Most listings come free of charge. However, it takes a lot of effort to maximize your results from these search engine marketing elements!
Ranking #1 on Google: 4 Paths
Let’s explore each type of these key SERP features, plus how your contracting business can work to earn those wonderful top ranks! Keep in mind, most of these require a Google My Business listing and an optimized website. More on that later!
Local Service Packs – Premium Organic
As one of the most traffic-driving SERP listings available to contractors, the local service pack also creates some of the most intense competition. These special listings feature map locations, reviews information (usually), contact details, and call to action buttons to each listed company’s website and location directions.
If you want your business to start appearing in local map packs, start by completing your free Google My Business listing! Make sure your address is exactly the same in every citation profile, BBB listing, Facebook Business page, etc. Google needs to establish your company as a trustworthy service provider, and part of that process is confirming your physical address. Inconsistent addresses (even minor differences) look bad to the search engine and make ranking #1 on Google much harder.
Traditional Organic SERP Listings
Of course, this wouldn’t be a helpful guide without touching on the good, old-fashioned organic search listing! These days, organic results come with a variety of potential enhancements based on the optimization of your website. For those avid collectors of reviews, you’ll find alluring rating features that set a business apart from those without them.
You’ll notice in the example above that contractors can also earn special listings with service page links available at the bottom. These make it even easier to direct people to their services, though they may not have the impact of a well-established customer rating. These enhanced listings have even greater impact for users on mobile devices, as each individual listing can occupy the majority of the screen.
Featured Snippets – Prestigious Insights
Featured snippets set your business apart as an authority on a particular subject. Snippets may be directly related to one of your services, or it may focus on a consumer topic within the industry. Either way, they provide some pretty exciting real estate at the top of local search results!
How can your company earn a featured listing like the one above? It does take some careful planning, fantastic writing, and shrewd formatting. Snippets get awarded to especially informative blog posts, videos, service pages, and guides that provide special insight for Google Search users. Content must be formatted correctly to be considered for featured snippets. If you haven’t already, check out our detailed guide on how to create performance-driving content.
Paid Search Campaigns – Bypassing Others
Perhaps the fastest way to claim a spot at the top of local search results is to create a winning Google Ads campaign. Not only do paid ads bypass a large percentage of local competitors in your service area, they also sit above the majority of search listings (even map packs)! For those plumbing, HVAC, and roofing contractors with optimized company websites, it’s easy to craft ads that link directly to their hottest services.
So how can your company earn a top spot in paid search results? First, you’ll need to reexamine your keyword strategy from your website’s content development. Try to focus on high-volume, low-competition keywords for the best results. There’s still competition for premium keywords, so expect to pay more if you’re going after phrases like “AC repair”, “emergency plumber”, or “roof storm damage”.
You should have plenty of opportunity to experiment with quality campaigns. Businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ads, and you can easily track the success of your campaigns over time. It may take a few tries, but you’ll discover what works best for your target market!
Need an Experienced Contractor SEO Team?
Ranking #1 on Google demands careful planning, deep knowledge of local SEO, and continued effort to maintain your marketing projects. At DFW SEO, we know what it takes to earn that premium placement in Google’s front pages! If your business doesn’t have the time or the resources to manage your digital marketing, consult with one of our experienced professionals! We’ll be happy to create a plan for your company that leads to long-term success.
Dallas SEO is really just a fancy way of saying search engine optimization for Dallas area businesses and their websites.
Why Do Small Businesses in Dallas Need SEO?
Dallas-based businesses need SEO in order to achieve online success. The realization of success can manifest in many forms. Growing your audience is certainly one of them as is improving brand recognition and building authority within the DFW Metroplex. But the real value of SEO comes in the form of improved search rankings which lead to more clicks and more sales. Whether your company provides local services or sells online goods, SEO can help.
Top 5 Ways SEO Helps a Business in Dallas, TX
There are three primary types of search queries (searches users type into Google). They are transactional queries, informational queries, and navigational queries. The third type; navigational queries relates to branding for small businesses. When a person who is aware of your business through other means (word of mouth, personal interaction, etc.) types it into Google they should see your Google My Business profile, Maps listing, and website on the corresponding SERP. This is made possible through SEO.
What makes SEO important for Dallas businesses in particular is that it can target a specific geographic location. Google Maps listings have become a major part of search rankings for local businesses. The group of Google Maps listings that appears for a query such as “dallas bmw repair” is known as The Local 3 Pack or simply; The Map Pack. Getting your listing to show up on these Packs is part of search engine optimization and specifically the variation that targets the Dallas, TX area.
Organic SEO works for businesses even when they themselves are not working. Because a search result is available to the public 24/7, leads can be generated at any time. Whether the user submits a contact form entry or leaves a voicemail on your office phone line, you can reap the rewards of SEO 24/7 through lead generation. The best part of this process is that it is highly cost-efficient. While PPC ads cost money to keep in position, organic results, Maps listings, and Featured Snippets are free.
For a local business to get more business they must have good reviews on Google and possibly even Facebook and Yelp as well. Generating reviews is something a business must take some ownership of themselves by asking customers to take the time to leave feedback but SEO can help streamline this process to make it more convenient for the customer. For example, the branding we spoke about earlier will make it easier for customers to find your review pages. Furthermore, embedding schema markup within your website displays an aggregate star rating within search results, making a click on the website even more likely.
SEO’s purpose is to improve search rankings for a business, its website, and its other web entities. There are more ways than one to “rank” on Google, from traditional results in the top 10 to Google Maps listings, to PPC ads, etc. Even more SERP features have come to fruition in the past few years including the introduction of the Featured Snippet which is a block that answers a common search query and appears above both organic results and Maps listings as a de facto #1 position.
The Premier Dallas SEO Service
Dallas Fort Worth SEO has been helping DFW based businesses thrive online for more than a decade. From local service companies like plumbers and arborists, to specialty businesses like cell phone booster installers and home security dealers. The results have turned out excellent for our clients. Not only are they able to establish their brand online through Google My Business and aggregate star ratings but they’ve enjoyed the benefits of sustained search visibility in the form of continual organic clicks over a period of years. Our methods have been proven to work on countless marketing campaigns for a wide range of businesses in the Metroplex. Here are some of the specific SEO services we offer to clients:
Local SEO: Google Maps, Google My Business, Aggregate Star Ratings, etc.
On-Page SEO: Title Tags, Meta Tags, Header Tags, Keyword Placement, etc.
Off-Site SEO: NAP Citations, Social Media, Link Monitoring, etc.
Technical SEO: Mobile Design, Schema Markup, Site Speed Optimization, etc.
HVAC contractors share a common goal to generate leads for their business. Often times they are competing against contemporaries within their service area for the same customers. Traditional marketing methods like billboards and print advertising are no longer effective in achieving sustainable business growth in 2019. A newer and more intuitive marketing method has emerged onto the landscape in the form of Search Engine Optimization, known often as SEO. The objective of SEO is to rank a heating & cooling company on Google search results.
What is HVAC SEO?
HVAC SEO refers to a process of improving search rankings for an HVAC contractor or company. Although the task is most commonly associated with websites, there are several additional web entities that can rank on Google SERPs (Business Listings, Maps Listings, Social Media Pages, etc.)
Why Should HVAC Businesses Invest in SEO?
Of all the promotional techniques available to contractors in 2019, none is more effective over a long period of time than SEO. It’s no coincidence that search optimization is also one of the least expensive forms of marketing for heating & cooling companies. Investing in SEO is conducive to long-term success in the form of brand development, local trust, and most importantly lead generation. 95% of HVAC companies are looking for ways to generate leads, and SEO is quite simply the most attainable and cost-efficient route towards achieving that goal.
Elements of SEO
SEO can be broken down into 4 major elements. They are:
Throughout this guide you’ll learn why each element is important for search rankings and what kinds of tasks are involved in implementing them into a web presence. HVAC companies that perform well online utilize some form of each component into their internet marketing strategy.
HVAC is a very local industry. Sure, there are a few national brands that provide services across the nation but even in those cases, a local hub is involved. To generate quality heating & cooling leads, one must target their local service area which is a defined radius within the general location of your business address. Google My Business and Google Maps, specifically, represent channels through which to capture coveted local leads. The two Google entities are connected to one another and have a major impact on SERPs. Aside from these two, there are also other measures that HVAC contractors can pursue to influence local search results online.
Google Maps determines the location of a HVAC business and modifies results based on relative geography. Searchers in Dallas, TX for example are more likely to see results for companies in Dallas, TX. This is true both in traditional organic results, but perhaps most importantly, in the Google Maps Pack. The Local 3 Pack is a SERP feature on many transactional search queries and serves as a convenient way to push a company to the top of search results and acquire more clicks. Google Maps uses markers to define precise location.
Google My Business
For a Google Maps listing to hold weight, it must be associated with a business, something that is achieved through Google My Business. By claiming a business on Google and verifying its address via postcard, HVAC companies can literally put themselves on the map digitally. By optimizing a GMB listing, you are giving your company a greater chance of ranking on the Local Maps Pack as well as increasing the conversions of visitors who come across your business online. Optimized listings also assist in legitimizing the trust and authority of your company.
Most local searchers check online reviews prior to making a purchase decision. Furthermore, Google Map Packs prioritize listings with a healthy number of reviews. So not only do reviews help increase visibility on SERPs but they also help convert customers who are in fact exposed to your listing. HVAC services become appealing to consumers when they can verify the company’s trustworthiness and conveniently contact them for a specific service. Reviews tie into Google My Business and Google Maps to consolidate all of those things in one presentation.
Local Reviews (Other)
Google is not the only platform on which reviews hold influence. While it is considered the most important review-type because of its connection to Google Maps and Google My Business, there are several others that should be monitored in addition. These include Facebook, HomeAdvisor, and Yelp to name a few. While you might look at Facebook as a social media network first and foremost, its popularity makes feedback more likely to be witnessed by prospective clients. Facebook supports business pages and has a verified review system.
Keywords are a touchy subject in SEO for local businesses. The search volume collected from sources like MOZ and SEMRush are on a national level but there are a few ways to specify local intent. For example, a search of dallas ac repair provides a greater indicator of interest within the Dallas area than if the query had simply been ac repair. By extending the keyword with a local identifier i.e dallas, HVAC companies can better understand local search intent and need. These keywords can then be implemented within content, title tags, URLs and other SEO elements.
There’s countless business directories that exist online and they expand far beyond Google and Facebook. A known local SEO factor is the consistency and uniformity of contact information across these range of platforms. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number which have long been a signal of local trust. Directories pull their information from data mining sources like Acxiom which collect information from public records. Editing NAP information at the source (the data miners) can ensure it is properly distributed. You can also go through each listing individually.
When you think about SEO, you often think about changes made to your own web properties, especially your HVAC company website. But the truth is that many ranking factors involve elements that exist away from your main website. The optimization of these elements is known collectively as Off-Site SEO. There is some crossover between local and Off-Site SEO because NAP citations for example are a perfect example of off-page optimization elements. Any time an external domain is sending an inbound link or signal to one or more of your web properties, it can have an impact. Luckily there are measures contractors can take to improve Off-Site SEO.
NAP citations are part of local SEO but also off-site SEO. Citations come from external domains and if properly optimized showcase a link to your company website. This link is observed by Google as inbound. Although it is a NoFollow link, which means it doesn’t hold a great deal of link equity, it is still important enough to have a general influence over your web presence. While a single citation won’t do much for your SEO, enough of them will begin to make a collective impact that can translate into improved search rankings and greater authority and trust online.
Contrary to what many say about links, they heavily influence search rankings. It can be a tricky terrain to navigate for HVAC companies because link building often blurs the lines between white-hat and black-hat SEO. For those that don’t know the difference, black-hat SEO refers to manipulative SEO tactics while white-hat refers to straightforward and Google-approved methods. There are white-hat ways to build links and that’s what will be discussed in this guide. Engaging in black-hat methods can be dangerous for HVAC company websites. Spam links from blog comment sections for example, can prompt Google to manually penalize your site.
There’s no shortage of legitimate link building opportunities for HVAC companies. Not all links carry the same equity however. NoFollow links are those that are established on business directories and social media networks. DoFollow links in contrast are secured on website pages within the body content, including on blog posts. DoFollow links carry more link equity, meaning they more heavily influence search ranking. NoFollow links can still hold value despite a lesser equity. NoFollow opportunities are plentiful since anyone can claim a business listing or share a blog post through social media. DoFollow chances are more difficult to find, but creating great content assets that are worthy of links is a great place to start.
Since anyone can publish their website on their own social media page, Google can’t put the same equity in these links when ranking pages. These links are established by the company themselves and therefore are not a true indicator of endorsement or trust from a separate entity. Still, they do reveal at least that you as an HVAC company are active on platforms including business directories and social media networks and therefore still hold value. MOZ lists several of these link types on their local ranking factors study. Best of all, they are easy to establish because you can embed them manually.
Links that require another person or company to cite your website or other web entity are known as DoFollow links. These types of links are the premium currency for online authority building. Since they cannot simply be added manually, they hold greater link equity. Someone going out of their way to link to your content, listing, or page, shows that it is providing value to their own visitors. These links are endorsements so to speak and therefore are naturally dependent on the quality of the domain that is linking to you. Ways to build DoFollow links include blogger outreach and content marketing.
There’s many social platforms through which to grow your HVAC brand off-page and it’s not just about link building. Many of your customers and potential future clients are using social media everyday. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, or YouTube, they are frequenting one or more of these networks everyday. Social media signals are considered a local search ranking factor but they also indirectly influence brand recognition, trust, and other qualities that help solidify HVAC companies within their local communities. They can even be a source of lead generation in best case scenarios.
The process of optimizing your HVAC company website is known as On-Page SEO. Because the actions take place on-page, you have a greater control of them than you do with off-site SEO. When people think about SEO they often think about on-page elements, specifically the usage of keywords within content, headers, and titles. To properly implement On-Page SEO, preparation is required. Website optimization should start with research (competition, keywords, etc.) and then follow with a strategy which can later be implemented through tags, urls, etc. The overall presentation of a website, including content quality, is also considered an On-Page SEO factor.
Google discourages keyword stuffing, making content quality an important on-page factor. Although keywords must be included within pages, they can’t be at the expense of quality. Every page of content (blog posts included) should provide value to the reader. As an HVAC company who offers gas furnace repair services, the corresponding page should inform the visitor and help them understand why you can perform the service for them. It should also include a call to action (CTA) and make it reaching your office phone line extremely convenient. All content should pass Copyscape to prevent duplication.
Headers have also been important for SEO because they organize content and provide Google with a clear indicator of what the content is about. Headers are categorized by number. H1s are the largest headers and also the ones that carry the most weight for SEO. H2s are also important not just for SEO but for content organization. H3s and above are more about formatting than they are SEO but since they can improve the user’s experience, can still have an indirect influence over search rankings. Headers should ideally include keywords but maintain relevance and readability.
Images are an often overlooked SEO element but carry significant weight in Google’s eyes. The optimal process in using images for web is renaming the file to match its relevance and using lowercase letters and dashes. For example an image showing your HVAC company truck would be hvac-company-truck.jpg. This file would then be uploaded to the server, embedded on the page, and tagged with Alt Text. For those unaware, Alt Text is a description of the image. In this case it would be as simple as renaming the file in title case lettering. So HVAC Company Truck would suffice. Make sure photos are not too large or they will slow down loading speeds.
Keywords can be researched using MOZ and SEMRush and then inserted within on-page elements. The best keywords have high volume and relatively low competition. But most importantly, they are relevant to your HVAC company and indicate a user intent that is appropriate for your website. The goal is to attract relevant consumers who are looking for heating & cooling services in your area. Keywords should be placed within content, images alt text, meta descriptions, and title tags. Remember to avoid keyword stuffing and implement LSI keywords for semantic search. Google tends to favor sites that have a wide span of relevant terms within the content.
A meta description is a brief summary of a page and should accurately describe to users what they are clicking on. Optimal descriptions are 120-158 characters or 920 pixels as of 2019. A meta description should include the primary target keyword but not more than once. Just like with page content, stuffing keywords into a meta description is discouraged by Google and can hurt your HVAC website’s overall SEO. As a local business, don’t be afraid to include a phone number within your meta description either. It gives the users the option to call you right away.
SEO titles are a user’s first look at your web page. They are the blue links you see on organic results from a Google search. Titles should focus on click through rate, keywords, and relevance. In some cases, branding your title tag is also appropriate. An optimal title tag is between 50-60 characters and can be checked with MOZ’s Title Tag Preview Tool. Keywords are most effective when they are the first part of an SEO title. The keyword can be followed with a sales pitch of sorts which can improve click through rate, or a branded term like your company’s name. Remember too that each page has its own title tag, and they should all be unique.
Some aspects of SEO are not plainly visible to the user. These elements either exist behind the scenes or somewhere that users don’t normally consider. Collectively, these technical components of search optimization are known as Technical SEO. They are often fundamental to the success of a website and have to do with its construction and operation. Everything from codebase to URL structure is considered part of Technical SEO. While some aspects are not difficult to adjust, most technical optimization requires knowledge of CSS, HTML, and website design. Technical elements often influence search rankings in more than one way.
A clean and SEO-friendly codebase goes a long way towards improving the ability to rank on Google. CSS and HTML are the most common forms of coding and are languages in of themselves. Not just anyone can write code because it requires extensive knowledge of programming. Template websites often use blocked code that bogs down a website and limits customization. In contrast, from-scratch or “custom” websites are written with unique code that can be altered in any way necessary to improve SEO and create the best possible presentation. Make sure your site is backed up before editing code.
Most visitors of your HVAC website in 2019 will be arriving on a mobile device. With this in mind, the site itself must be mobile-optimized. That means the display must meet the needs of mobile users and the navigation as well. Google’s recent Mobile-First Index rollout demonstrates their prioritization of websites that meet the needs of mobile users. This can include anything from display to speed and everything in between. A call to action for example can improve mobile-friendliness. A clickable phone number that links the mobile device to your phone line is a common and poignant example.
A microdata language developed by schema.org helps Google parcel websites more effectively and subsequently promote them to the right searchers. The action of applying schema code to a website element is known as “marking up” hence the name schema markup. Insertions of these microdata tags are highly appreciated by Google and makes their crawling process much simpler and much more effective. Just about any type of data can be marked up with schema. Everything from your HVAC company’s contact information to the service type is fair game.
As attention spans have grown shorter, the need for faster websites has increased. Websites that are fast generally rank higher because users stick around instead of exiting immediately. Sites that don’t load within 3 seconds can expect to lose at least half of their would-be visitors, a number that is frankly conservative in nature. The likelihood is that the vast majority of users in 2019 will exit slow-loading sites, especially on mobile devices. Google offers tools like PageSpeed Insights and Test Your Mobile Site Speed to help contractors gauge their site’s current speed.
When Google crawls a page they are looking for a logical and hierarchical URL structure. As an HVAC company, this means breaking down service pages into categories. If you provide both AC and Heating for example, each could be a top-level category (parent page) while specific services like AC Repair and Furnace Maintenance can be lower-level categories (child pages) to their respective parents. When URLs are properly structured, users can more conveniently navigate the site, and Google can more easily crawl it. That makes it a win-win for contractors.
Design matters for SEO both from an aesthetic and technical standpoint. How users perceive a website will influence their behavior which influences metrics that Google uses to determine search rankings. For example, a site with an appealing homepage and a clear call to action is more likely to keep users on the site longer than one without those qualities. That being said, the front-end of a website is really only half of its value. The back-end involves the codebase previously discussed and can impact SEO just as much as display, if not more so.
Part II: SEO Tools
SEO tools are necessary for every element. They assist with:
Below we will outline some of the most popular tools in each one of these categories. HVAC companies can take advantage of some of these tools for free while others will require a financial investment either in the tools themselves or a marketing firm who deploys them.
Applying SEO is much easier with a Content Management System (CMS) which makes the process much simpler. Many of the most popular CMS’s are intuitive and user-friendly. They also allow people without extensive knowledge of coding to insert certain SEO elements. Keep in mind however that a truly custom website, will still require unique coding, even with a powerful CMS on your side. Some of the most popular software on the market today includes Drupal, Joomla, and the most prominent of all of them; WordPress. The majority of websites on the internet today are using WordPress in some capacity. It is something to consider going forward.
Drupal is an open source CMS available free of charge. Although it is used on less than 3% of existing websites, many of them are among the most elite. For example, Drupal is used on many corporate and government-level websites and blogs. It is distributed under the General Public License (GNU). Drupal offers users the ability to manage content including meta descriptions, title tags, and more. It is considered one of the top available alternatives to WordPress in 2019. Drupal has a large community of open source developers for plugin development.
Like Drupal, Joomla is a free and open source content management system. It is specifically designed for publishing web content and has won several awards for its convenience and usability. The estimated usage of Joomla on existing websites is very similar to Drupal at around 3%. Business websites (including HVAC) seem to be the most common users of Joomla with it making up 9% of existing business sites. Joomla provides SEO out of the box, meaning its structure is conducive to favorable optimization, even without an in-depth knowledge of the requirements.
WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market by a large margin. Conflicting reports of its actual market share exist, but it’s likely that the web-based software is used on more than 50% of all existing websites. That is absurd when you consider the amount of websites published each day. WordPress is open source like Drupal and Joomla and is widely considered to most user-friendly CMS on the market. It makes everything from on-page to technical SEO tasks seem easy. Although WordPress was once most commonly associated with blogs, today it is considered the standard for any website.
Keywords are arguably the basis for everything SEO aims to accomplish. Without targeting specific users, an SEO strategy is largely irrelevant. Keyword research helps define that target by providing search volume, difficulty, and competition. There’s several paid options for detailed keyword research tools available on the market, as well as some free ones that offer similar value. Countless websites have found success on Google by identifying high opportunity keywords and there’s no reason why your HVAC company can’t be next in line for 2019. Having the tools is very helpful for keyword research, but knowing what to target is equally as crucial.
MOZ Keyword Explorer
MOZ is a powerhouse in the SEO industry and their keyword research tool; Keyword Explorer is one of the reasons why. Not only does this tool provide search volume but it also showcases difficulty and priority. You will notice strong variations in volume from one tool to the next but MOZ is generally considered one of the more accurate indicators of true search volume. Other tools use data collected from PPC campaigns to inform their final numbers, which can be misleading to contractors who are looking for organic SEO keywords. MOZ charges a monthly fee for their entire suite of tools, including the Keyword Explorer.
SEMRush Keyword Overview
SEMRush is a paid option which like MOZ provides more than just a keyword research tool. What it is most known for however is its keyword research tool known as Keyword Overview. In fact, SEMRush is the most commonly used tool to define keywords in terms of volume, competition, and opportunity. For example, their research of the term ac repair near me shows 12.1 K monthly searches with a keyword difficulty of over 60%. This indicates a high volume keyword that is also rather difficult to rank for. It is still attainable with the right strategy in place.
Don’t have the money to invest in a keyword tool? Use Neil Patel’s UberSuggest which is basically a free version of SEMRush. The number on this tool cannot be considered as accurate as its paid alternatives but it certainly provides a general idea of a keyword’s relative popularity. To show the contrast between SEMRush and UberSuggest, the latter shows 27.1 K volume while the former shows the aforementioned 12.1K. UberSuggest also lists SEO difficulty and projects the chances of ranking in the top 20 for the keyword which in this case is 69%.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to generate leads for HVAC contractors but it’s nice to know the data behind why you are or are not achieving your objectives. In 2019, there’s a myriad of ways to track website performance, social media performance, and more. There’s never been more tools at the disposal of companies with websites or the agencies that represent them. Many of these tools are available free of charge with Google Analytics being the most renowned example of this. Aside from measuring the data behind success or failure in digital marketing, performance trackers also identify both problems and more importantly, solutions to help campaigns find their footing and improve their process to get them on the right path to success.
Google Analytics is the most valuable performance tracking tool available because it comes straight from the source; Google themselves. Best of all it is free for anyone to use, so HVAC companies can install the tracking code on their website and begin to track all kinds of data, generate reports, and create measurable goals. Once installed, Analytics can reveal the number of organic clicks your website is receiving, the top pages visited, and all kinds of other useful data. The tool is also highly customizable so that data that’s most important to you can be highlighted.
MOZ Campaigns are part of the MOZ Pro SEO Suite which also includes the aforementioned Keyword Explorer. The campaign feature allows contractors to rack their website much like they can Google Analytics but also provides additional features that are useful to defining success. One such example of this is link tracking and domain authority. MOZ measures inbound links and their collective authority as it pertains to search ranking influence. Other campaign tracking focuses include historical keyword tracking which allows HVAC companies to notice spikes and drops in keyword rankings over the duration of their campaign, which can be years and decades. MOZ Campaigns can connect directly to your Google Analytics tracking as well for an even more informative tracking experience.
Open Web Analytics
Throughout this guide we’ve mentioned marketing agencies as a possible solution to many of the challenges HVAC contractors face in 2019. Dallas Fort Worth SEO is the top Dallas SEO agency and can assist companies across the DFW Metroplex. With a team of 20 employees, diversely skilled in the full range of marketing specialties, we can provide a value to HVAC companies that few can compete with. Our expertise includes on-page SEO, off-site SEO, website design, content marketing, and reputation management. For a one-stop solution to all of your digital marketing needs, there is no superior choice to Dallas Fort Worth SEO. We work with contractors in Arlington, Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Irving, Plano, and more.
Content Writing Services
Where do you go to find white-SEO content for your HVAC website? DFW SEO is the answer. We have a full staff of professional writers including an editor who reviews all pages prior to publication. Each page passes Copyscape before being published and follows a predefined SEO strategy. Our writers are trained in the latest SEO best practices to ensure that sites are in the best position to rank Google search results. Pages are written for each of your services so that you can rank for a wide variety of keywords rather than only the primary terms within the industry. Many of the niche terms that other sites don’t write about, can be quickly ranked for on Google.
Custom Web Design Services
In this guide HVAC companies learned about the importance of custom design for SEO. Dallas Fort Worth SEO offers custom websites for each client, designed by a true professional. We integrate your company logo, color scheme, and original pictures (you provide to us) to create an appealing and conversion-friendly lead generator. Our sites utilize responsive design to ensure their mobile-friendliness and display calls to action to increase conversion rates on each page. Our protocol requires that your website is checked every 15 minutes for server connectivity and is backed up weekly to avoid the repercussions of any unfortunate and unforeseen errors.
Our goal is to rank your website #1 for as many terms as possible. We don’t go only for primary keywords but instead for any terms that can get people onto your website and ready to call. For this reason, we focus on terms with buyer intent and implement them into your SEO strategy. Each of our clients is fully analyzed prior to developing the strategy so that our goals are aligned and we are on the same page. We then incorporate on-page, off-site, and local SEO to give contractors the best opportunity to rank on Google for high conversion keywords. Our typical clients begin to see results within a month of working with us. Part of how quickly you rank will of course depend on market competition and the age of your domain. Keep in mind though that even new websites can rank for less competitive keywords if properly optimized.
Our native reviews widget; Righteous Reviews makes managing online reputation easier than ever before. The power of this plugin cannot be understated. Not only does it populate real-time reviews from the most authoritative 3rd party platforms (Google, Facebook, etc.) but it provides convenience to customers who don’t have time for a complicated review process. The widget creates a Review Us link directly on your homepage and also sends text reminders with links to customers who agreed to leave feedback. The Righteous Review plugin from Dallas Fort Worth SEO is something that consumers have never before experienced, and is something every HVAC company should pursue immediately.
Call 800.231.4871 for HVAC Digital Marketing Services in Dallas – Fort Worth
Did you know the best way to rank on organic search results is not with your website but with a YouTube video? That’s right, when users perform a search for certain keywords, video results will appear in what is known as the carousel. The video carousel appears above traditional results. Aside from securing another spot on a search engine results page (SERP), videos also send social signals to search engines that your brand is active and producing content. When you embed a YouTube video onto your website, it can even help that page rank as a traditional search result. With shorter attention spans, and greater access to information, consumers are naturally attracted to rich content that appeals to their visual senses. Videos can improve SEO as both standalone content, as well as extensions of other content. The former example, which cites the carousel video result would be an example of standalone content, while the latter, the embedded video on a web page would be an example of a content extension. Both are helpful.
Start a Podcast
Video has been a popular form of media for quite a while. As we know, video was popular far before the internet became immersed in our culture. But one form of media that had not existed prior to the world wide web is podcasting. Yes, podcasts can be thought of as modern iterations of radio broadcasts, but they are not the conceptual equivalent. Regardless of your opinion on the origin and novelty of the medium, we can all agree that podcasting is one of the most consumed forms of media in the world. As a Dallas business, you too can take advantage of this phenomenon. Regardless of what industry you belong to, a podcast can be a brandable content distributor for your company. It is a way to increase online visibility, connect with others in your industry, and build awareness about your services. There’s many great tools available to new podcasters in today’s market. Services like Blubrry allow for hosting and distribution of episodes, and even provide a WordPress plugin known as PowerPress to publish the audio on your site.
Write a Long-Form Blog Post
A study performed on content length in relation to SEO, signals that the average first page result has 1,890 words. This finding is counter-intuitive to what we believe about decreasing attention spans throughout the world. That’s unless you dig deeper and understand the nuance of the discussion. Long form content does not mean almanac-esque write-ups of boring subjects, formatted like an 1800’s library book. Instead, long form SEO contentcan be a blog post, surrounded by videos and infographics, one of which we already touched on, another of which we’ll touch on shortly. Additionally, content should be formatted with header tags and bullet points so that readers don’t have to read every word to find the information they are looking for. The importance of length in content is not so users will consume the entire post in one sitting, it is so the page serves as a resource that people can keep coming back to, over and over again. If the post is missing any information about the subject, the user will navigate elsewhere to find it.
Create an Infographic
The emergence of Instagram as the fastest growing social media platform should indicate that visual media is the trend towards which we are moving as a society. When people want to consume content, they prefer it in visual formats. That’s why so many people scroll through IG posts on their phone, several, if not dozens of times per day (or more!). The same logic that allows us to understand the appeal of Instagram should be applied to web content of our own. Infographics are a better way to tell a story than text alone. We spoke about content length as a major factor for rankings, but it is only maximized when surrounded by videos and images. The most informative kinds of images are infographics. For those unfamiliar, infographics are instructional image files. They can be anything from diagrams to bar graphs, and many things in between. The object of an infographic is to inform the user of facts in a visually appealing manner. Attention spans may have grown shorter, but they can still be captured through visuals.
Network With Partners
Many Dallas business owners take on a me against the world mentality, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Partnering with other companies in other industries can help grow your brand, not only online, but offline. As a digital marketing company, it is our job to tell you how partnerships can improve your online profile. Let’s say you become acquainted with a local business in a related but non-identical industry. You decide to promote their services on your own site where appropriate, and they do the same for you. You’ve now merged your client bases together, which may very well overlap at times. Both of your services are needed by the consumer, but their respective trust of each of your businesses, will transfer over to your endorsement of the corresponding party. From a strictly SEO perspective, earning inbound links from other companies shows Google what the user is already seeing, and that’s an endorsement of trust. A vote of confidence from one website to another, very much parallels a similar gesture in a public forum.
Optimize for Voice Search
Alexa, find me a Dallas SEO company. Don’t think that phrase has never been uttered with the emergence of Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, and other voice technology software, often referred to as smart speakers. We can expect these devices to become the status quo over the next decade, and be a prevalent part of almost every household in the United States. The consequence of its emergence will impact SEO as much as anything else. Just as things changed when users started performing searches on mobile phones rather than desktop computers, so too will it when the majority transitions to voice commands. Asking their virtual assistant to find them anything from restaurants near them, to home service providers will change how content is optimized for search. Crafting language in a conversational tone is one immediately logical way to accommodate this new software. The entire trend will place an even greater premium on quality content than already existed. The same goes for format and structure.
Connect With Followers
There’s lots of social media platforms available to brands today, one of which we spoke on at length previously in this post; Instagram. IG is extraordinarily popular and can be leveraged by business owners in the same way everyday people use it for social interactions. Aside from Instagram, the major players in the social media world remain relevant. That’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Each of the four platforms have continued to garner world wide usage and heavy engagement under the right circumstances. Still, their evolutions have not come without controversy and challenges. Facebook for example no longer prioritizes organic brand content which makes advertising the far more profitable venture through which to market your services. Twitter is still heavily populated, but getting people’s attention as a non-celebrity is easier said than done. LinkedIn is thought of as a place for B2B networking, but it can be very useful for branding as well. YouTube is another channel we noted before, highlighting its value.
Integrate Customer Reviews
Much is made of the value of customer reviews for SEO, branding, and digital marketing. It’s true that statistics show that consumers trust reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. It’s also true that reviews are user-generated content, which is perhaps the most valuable form of content that exists on the internet today. But what’s less spoken about is how to properly garner reviews for your business. You certainly want to steer clear of shady practices like buying them from spam farms or incentivizing customers or friends with actual financial assets. Instead, you have to make the process as convenient as possible for satisfied clients, and as importantly, remind them to do it. This is best accomplished when you integrate your review system onto your main website. This way, when you ask a happy client to leave feedback, all they have to do is navigate to your website, which will then channel them to Google or Facebook. Integrations should also execute email and text reminders to consumers.
Host an Online Event
When the internet first emerged, people were so overwhelmed to have access to information, that it seemed like a magical journey at all times. The internet in its most basic form is far less interesting now, mostly because people have grown so accustomed to having it at their fingertips 24/7. Call it getting spoiled, or even lack of appreciation, but there’s another thing it can be called too; reality. Today, to engage the average internet user, you must bring something more to the table than a static page. What people crave today is interactivity and real-time events. Businesses in Dallas, TX can host online events through a number of channels. You can conduct live streams on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. You can even open up questions to your audience “on-the-air” so to speak, so that there queries can be answered in real-time. Hosting digital events is a great way to congregate interested parties into a single space of the web, and should ultimately lead to increased brand awareness & lead conversions.
Diversify Brand Channels
As a youngster, you were probably told not to put all of your eggs in one basket. The same can be said about digital marketing in 2019. Google is the best search engine in the world, and certainly the one that is most frequently visited by users throughout the planet. Still, there’s other channels through which to diversify your brand. Let’s say tomorrow that Google decides to disband, and end the internet as we know it. What would you do? If your entire business would fold immediately, you know you’ve made poor decisions from a practical standpoint. Try to invest some of your resources in other marketing channels like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Also, be on the lookout for new and exciting social media platforms that emerge each and every day. At its core the internet is a place for innovation. Google is sometimes thought of as the internet itself, but it is really just an integral extension of it. The world wide web would go on without its powerhouse search engine, and now you should ensure that your company would too.
It’s not who did it first, it’s who did it right … it’s a platitude that actually holds true. Business has always been a copycat world to some degree. Sure, we encourage and reward innovation, but we often incentivize emulation. Think about Facebook, for example. Was Mark Zuckerberg the first person to ever think of a social network? The backstory suggests he was not, but he was certainly the person who executed it the best. To do so, he had to study the pros and cons of his competitor platforms, and make sure his was the most elite. Dallas businesses have to do the same thing when thinking about website improvement, and digital marketing in general. Which of your competitors has a better website than you? If you can think of even one, your have room for improvement. If you are unsure what your competitors are doing or how they’re doing it, you can use analysis tools like MOZ, Majestic, and SEMRush to evaluate their organic and link profiles and make changes accordingly. It also helps to simply visit their website and take a look.
Rethink Title Tags
SEO’s have traditionally thought of title tags as a way to speak directly to the search engine. But in 2019, they should be thinking about speaking to the user. It still helps to have the keyword in your title tag — after all, that’s what the user is searching for based on volume, but you should also add an element of appeal that is not as traditional. For example, after placement of your main keyword, you should add a sentence about how your business will help them achieve their goal. Users are particularly drawn to numbers and statistics. If you can convince them of a tangible outcome within the 60 character title tag limit, there’s every chance you will capture their attention. This is especially useful for improving Click Through Rate (CTR). Google is believed to use CTR as one of their primary ranking factors. If users click on your result because of its engaging title tag, it signals to the search engine that the page has increasing value and deserves to usurp results listed ahead of it, but that garner less clicks or CTR.
As a small business in Dallas, TX, you’ve likely heard of “SEO” but do you know what it actually means? SEO stands for search engine optimization and refers to the refinement of digital content in order to improve or sustain rankings on Google search. Going down the SEO rabbit hole can have your head spinning like a top … so the great folks at Dallas Fort Worth SEO have decided to focus on 6 tips that best embody the basics of search engine optimization. We hope you use these tips to bolster your online presence in Dallas and Fort Worth, and earn more leads.
Tip #1 – Claim & Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
If you could choose only one digital marketing task to perform, it should be the claiming & optimization of your Google My Business profile. In 2019, a Google homepage is even more important than your actual website. A Google homepage is what customers see when they type your brand into Google. If you’ve properly optimized your profile, they will see your company logo and business hours on the top right of the page, which is known as the knowledge graph. In an ideal scenario, your profile contains customer reviews so that users can view your aggregate star rating. The more positive reviews you have, the more consumers trust your business. Claiming & optimization involves the following:
Reviews are very helpful in optimizing a GMB profile but generating them is not always easy. That’s why you should create business cards with links to your review profiles on Facebook and Google. You should also place these links in your email signature so that clients see them when corresponding with you our your employees. You should even go as far as asking loyal clients if they can provide feedback through Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Be careful not to incentivize reviews because Google well penalize you if you’re caught. Avoid asking for reviews from former clients who think poorly of you or your service.
Tip # 2 – Buy a Dot Com Domain Name
We’ve all seen sites like myfakedallasbusiness.biz. They look sketchy to both users and search engines alike. The z at the end of biz reeks of malware, and everybody knows it. That’s one example of a non dot com domain name that is bad for SEO. Another would be myfakedallasbusiness.weebly.com. While it is technically a dot com website, it is actually a subdomain. This means A) you didn’t buy it (Weebly owns it) and B) it looks incredibly unprofessional. This tip recommends you actually buy a dot com domain name from a real hosting provider like GoDaddy or Bluehost. When you choose a domain name, you want it to be topical, readable, and memorable. Keep it simple. Here’s why dot coms are necessary:
The aesthetics of a domain name are more important than you think. When a user looks up at the address bar and sees something that looks suspicious, they immediately exit out in many cases. This increases your site’s bounce rate which is strongly to believed to be a major Google ranking factor. When people leave your site quickly it signals to Google that they don’t trust it. That brings us to two of our other listed factors; reputation and trust. Dot coms exude both of these qualities to the users. As for convenience, dot coms are second nature to 99% of internet users. If they know your brand name, they are almost always going to think of it as a dot com.
On the other hand, dot nets are often confused with dot coms, and can cost a business valuable traffic.
Tip #3 – Publish Original Content
Scraped content is a big problem on the web and one of the main reasons sites fail to rank well online. Google explicitly states that they prefer content that is unique, valuable and engaging. Copying content from external domains and publishing as your own is not only plagiarism but it is the antithesis of SEO. Google can immediately distinguish copied or scraped content. So what’s the difference between copied and scraped? Copied text is identical. Scraped text might be altered in some way, but still holds the same general patterns and many similarities. Don’t think you can fool the search engine this way. Instead, write content that is
You may feel that you don’t have time to write content for your website. There are marketing firms that provide content marketing services for Dallas businesses. In fact, Dallas Fort Worth is one of those firms. We believe that content quality is a fundamental component of SEO success. For content to be considered high quality, it must not only be grammatically correct, but also highly relevant to the website’s general subject. If your business belongs to specific industry, the content must accurately depict its intricacies. Readers can tell the difference between good and bad content fairly easily. Google values the highest quality content.
Tip #4 – Hire a Web Designer
We’ve seen an emergence of do-it-yourself website builders in recent years. They’re thought of as solutions for small business owners both in Dallas and throughout the world. While we aren’t outright condemning their existence, we know first-hand that they lack the SEO potential of an original web design. That’s why we recommend hiring a Dallas web designer to handle your custom business website. Many things go into a website that happen behind the scenes. Aspects of this process are known as technical SEO, and without it, your ranking potential is severely hindered. Here are some reasons why you should hire a professional web designer:
Pre-made templates are cheaper right off the bat, but once you get 6 months to a year later, you’ve ended up losing far more money than you would’ve spent. Trying to nickel & dime your way to the #1 Google spot is not realistic. But it makes sense why some businesses would find the cheapest option appealing. They feel like they’re cutting costs. But in 2019, it seems that many owners are smartening up and understanding that proper marketing is actually critical to their bottom line, and digital marketing is at the forefront of all of that.
Tip #5 – Use Keyword Research Tools
Keywords are still fundamental to proper SEO but their dynamic has changed significantly in the last 5 years. It used to be that keywords were really the only way for Google to interpret the content of a web page. This is no longer the case. Google still needs to see keywords to properly rank the page, but it now wants to see supporting synonyms and a robustly written page of content that surrounds those high volume terms. Better pages are more readable and are therefore more valuable to the user. Since Google prioritizes the user first and foremost, they will support pages that satisfy user needs. Utilize the following tools for keyword research:
MOZ Keyword Explorer
Some of the tools above might look familiar, others might not. LSIGraph is a nontraditional keyword research tool that provides terms and phrases that are semantically related to primary keywords. We touched on the need for synonyms in high ranking page content, and LSIGraph is a tool to help you integrate those kinds of words. MOZ & SEMRush are more traditional tools that provide the volume and opportunity for keywords, along with suggestions. UberSuggest is a free tool that emulates SEMRush. It is not quite as accurate, but good for Dallas business owners who don’t have money to spend on a research tool.
Tip #6 – Create Inbound Links
There was a time during Google’s early onset were the only measure of a website’s authority was the quantity of inbound links pointing to its domain. Google has gotten much more sophisticated about judging links these days, but make no mistake, they still make a major difference. Today, it’s not as much about quantity (all though that still matters) as it is about quality. For instance, a link from a Dallas trade association to your local business is more valuable than a random blogger from Canada. Why? Because the former example signifies relevance and transfers authority. The latter is really nothing more than an inconsequential reference. Here are some platforms through which to build inbound links:
Guest Blog Posts
The best way to earn links in 2019 is to produce excellent long-form content. These content pieces have a great chance to go viral, especially when pushed through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. One way to increase the virality of content is to utilize video and audio integration. Try embedding videos from YouTube onto your blog posts for demonstration purposes. As for business directories, look to BBB, Yelp, and other highly renowned platforms to build a profile. In most cases, you can claim your free profile on directories like these. While they don’t have the same “link juice” as a guest post for example, they still transfer authority. Some links automatically have nofollow tags, which means they count less towards domain authority.
For Help With Dallas SEO, Call Dallas-Fort Worth SEO at 800.231.4871
As a small business owner in Dallas or Fort Worth, TX, you may have heard the phrase SEO writing uttered in reference to digital marketing. It’s safe to assume that most business owners in 2018-2019 have heard of “SEO” or search engine optimization, but how many of them understand it in the context of writing? Google has often promoted their ideals as content-driven, and while content can infer images, videos, and other forms of media, content will always remain synonymous with on page text. Although we’ve come a long way as an industry in regards to content development and marketing, there are still ways to write SEO-friendly content without resorting to old-school tactics like keyword stuffing.
Like with every component of SEO, evolution has taken place, and will continue to, over time. SEO writing in 2008 is far different than it is today. Truth be told, if someone were to follow and SEO writing manual from a decade prior, they would likely be slapped with a manual penalty from Google. At the very least, they would fail to rank for any of the keywords they aimed to secure, and would make their entire website seem unprofessional, antiquated, and worst of all; anti-user. Since Google’s affiliation is to their users first and foremost, user-friendliness is priority number one, and that remains true when writing SEO-friendly content in 2019, and beyond.
SEO Writing Principles
The principles of SEO writing have evolved over the years, but some elements have remained constant. For one, you want to get the keyword listed within the text. It should match your SEO title (title tag) and should also be listed in your meta description. Another aspect of SEO writing that has continued is image alt text. You should write the keyword as an alt tag on relevant images. For this reason, you want to use images that reference the topic of the page you are writing. This is true with both regular web pages as well as blog posts. Another important principle is formatting, sometimes referred to as structuring. You want your content to be easily readable and easily crawlable by Google search crawlers. The usage of header tags (which should also contain a keyword) and bullet points, helps make formatting superior for everyone involved. Review the unchanged principles of SEO writing:
Formatting / Structuring
Uniformity (Matches other SEO elements)
How Has SEO Writing Changed in 2019
The fundamentals listed above have been part of SEO since its inception, but as the methodology has evolved to better suit the needs of users, the standard of writing has increased significantly. You still need formatting, keywords, and uniformity, but it’s far more in depth than it used to be. Today, formatting is more commonly known is structured data, which can even incorporate with the technical side of SEO and be integrated with schema.or microdata. Keywords are still necessary, but over-using them is now a strongly discouraged. Instead of inserting the keyword over and over again within content, it should be used sparingly and supplemented with synonyms. The theory behind usage of synonyms is known as LSI or lemantic search indexing, also sometimes referred to simply as; semantic search. Another factor of greater importance is content quality. Google’s ultimate goal is to rank the material that is the best written, meaning the most engaging, relevant and unique. In summary, SEO writing has changed in 2019 in the following areas:
LSI: Keywords should now be surrounded by synonyms, to satisfy a concept known as semantic search indexing
Quality: The standard of writing is much higher, in terms of grammar, engagement, and uniqueness
Relevance: Google can now distinguish content that relates to the page topic from content filled with out-of-context keywords
Writing for SEO in 2019
With a better understanding of how it has evolved, writing for SEO should be easier to understand. Still, many are looking for SEO writing tips so that they can outrank competitors on search engine results pages (SERPs). Before getting into specifics, aligning your core strategy with Google’s ideology should be priority #1. Writing content for the user rather than the search engine should be the central theme of your process. As the algorithm continues to evolve (approximately 500 updates per year), following the outlined protocol is an ideal long-term strategy. Long form content is now being rewarded more than ever before, and shorter articles are You should abide by the following SEO tips for 2019:
Deep Dive Content: Write longer posts and pages that delve deeply into the subject matter
Focus On The User: Let the needs of the user drive the direction of your writing
Organize & Structure: Make your writing easy to consume through proper organization
Semantic Search Optimization: Use LSI keywords for a more robust piece of content
SEO Writing Examples
Below you can see the difference between an SEO-friendly paragraph, and one that is awful:
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SEO Writing Services
Whether you are looking for blog posts, articles, or web content of any kind, Dallas Fort Worth SEO is here to do the job. In fact, it is included in our SEO marketing services in Dallas. We strongly believe that SEO writing should be part of a larger digital marketing strategy that involves all aspects of SEO, including those beyond the written word. With an in-house staff of experts in the fields of web design, Google optimization, PPC management, and local maps, we have the full toolbox ready for small businesses throughout the Metroplex. Call 800.231.4871 to learn more.
As a Dallas – Fort Worth digital marketing agency, we’ve had our share of clients come to us with complaints about previous marketing ventures. In fact, most of our current clients have had at least one negative marketing experience prior to joining our team. Some of them want to give up on online marketing altogether and have to be convinced of its inherent upsides. Others want to continue marketing, but have grown tired of the negative ROI that was being produced by our predecessors. If you are a small business owner who can relate to these concerns, we offer SEO marketing in Dallas. As a token of our appreciation for you and the litany of clients who have endured inadequate SEO tactics for years, we present 47 SEO tactics that don’t work:
Blogging is good when done right, but far too often, it is done wrong. Many writers think that they can create a short blog post that targets a keyword, and that Google will consider it a good page of content. Not likely. But don’t be fooled into thinking long form posts will work either. They won’t unless the content is of the highest quality and is well structured and informative.
City Pages (Mass Produced)
There was once a time when mass-produced city pages were actually good for SEO. Those times are gone. Although Google’s crack down on these pages is relatively recent, it aligns appropriately with their philosophical mantra. How can a bunch of trashy city pages enhance user experience? Answer: They Can’t. It’s been a long time coming for Google to drop the hammer, and we’re glad they did. You should still use location pages, but they must be unique.
Forget city pages for a moment because right now we’d like to talk about city stuffing. This refers to a homepage that tries to optimize for two or more cities. Guess what, Google’s not buying it. They want separate location pages (good ones) with subfolders for each city. The homepage should go for one city only, and if you are in a densely populated city, you need a new strategy.
If we are going to pinpoint the death of competent SEO, we can probably trace it directly to the advent of content spinning software. These “spinners” take content that was written and flip the words around to prevent duplicate content (or try to). The problem is that the language produced is not English, Spanish, or French, it’s gibberish. Worse yet, the content is still looked at as duplicate because Google is simply not that dumb.
Some SEO’s create additional websites as a doorway to the main site. This ends up hurting everything instead of helping anything. Usually they use a cheap template site for the doorways, and try to go for keywords that the main site doesn’t currently rank for. Again, Google is not buying what you’re selling, and the result is not something you want to explore.
Sometimes marketers will buy expiring domains in hopes of retrieving the regular traffic and reappropriating it as a different service or concept. Google knows you’re doing this, and not only that, but the users expecting the old site will be disgusted by what they see. They will exit immediately, increasing your bounce rate, and further convincing Google that your website is worthless. But what about similar sites? Hey, that’s more of a grey area, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
Someone at your last service thought white text would hide keywords from the user, but still force the search engine to index them. Oh they index them alright, right into their manual penalty section. The attempted manipulation is so egregious, and the disrespect of the perpetrator is shamelessly arrogant. To think Google is that stupid is an abomination of search engine optimization.
It’s pretty simple, shoving keywords everywhere possible within your content will not only discourage Google from ranking the page, but possibly inspire them to slam you with a manual penalty. Good luck digging yourself out of that hole once it’s imposed. There’s no plea of ignorance that will suffice for something so blatant and contradictory to a positive user experience.
Are you a farmer? Thought so. Since you aren’t, you shouldn’t be farming links to your domain or from it. These spam links are pure trash and Google has already destroyed the livelihoods of those who utilized them back in 2012. Have they let up a little bit in recent years? Quite possibly. But don’t think you’re getting one over on Google. They might not penalize websites for links, but they will ignore them altogether, meaning there’s no benefit to trying.
Negative SEO Attacks
Some bright-mind at your last firm might’ve tried a negative SEO attack on one of your competitors. They sent spam links from sketchy sources to your competitors domain. They might’ve even used anchor text like “this website is garbage” or something similar. It’s funny that any marketer could think Google would be gullible enough to penalize an innocent website for links.
We all love Wix and Weebly, but don’t expect to rank well with their websites. Why? They are template based sites and they tend to only succeed when associated with big brands that have an official website. The code structure on these sites is identical to hundred of thousands of others across the web, and inspire zero uniqueness. Sure, it’s a major financial incentive to choose a free site maker, but the ROI just isn’t there.
Speaking of templates, Wix and Weebly are not the only platforms that utilize them. Even WordPress, which is the Content Management System we use to design custom sites, partakes in the usage of for-sale web templates. Since WordPress is open source, anyone can make a theme based on the infrastructure, and sell it privately under their own name. That’s why most of the websites we see from prospective clients are using $60 WordPress templates, and fail to rank for any good keywords.
There’s some review software out there that will redirect the reviewer to a survey if they leave a review of less than 3 stars (or whatever number the programmer decides). The idea of this is to prevent bad reviews from ever reaching Google or Facebook. Google cracked down on this tactic and will now penalize websites and Google My Business profiles utilizing it. So don’t be one of them.
Do you have a website about business supplies and some hot shot marketer thought they could get more traffic by redirecting users from casino sites? In cases like these, the marketer will create pages for gambling and redirect the users to your business supplies websites. It’s an archaic strategy that has not worked since the Bush administration, and didn’t work well then.
Dallas SEO Consultant For Business Owners
14 is only a small percentage of the SEO tactics that don’t work. We know of many more. If you don’t think you want a full time SEO agency handling your marketing campaign, maybe consulting would be a better avenue for you. As a top Dallas SEO consultant, we can guide you through the constantly evolving space that is Google search. It’s necessary to have someone looking out for the latest trends and algorithms imposed by the mothership that is Google. We will be working on your behalf, and always be looking out for your best interests. We can help navigate small businesses in the Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas area through murky SEO waters.
There’s several areas of expertise that we can focus on. Whether you’d like to know more about why you website is not optimally designed, or why your title tags don’t translate to page one rankings, we can offer advice. Furthermore, we can talk about more cutting edge aspects of SEO like company branding, digital assets analysis, and Facebook pixel tracking. We have clients throughout the DFW Metroplex, and are happy to have you come on board as well. Since we know the local area so well, we might have insights that cannot be replicated with a “national” marketing firm. We hope to hear from you. Just call 800.231.4871 right now!