The ‘Technical SEO’ Chatter

'Technical SEO' And Your Business Website

There is growing chatter out there about “technical SEO”. Some would say that it is the big winner for a business when it comes to search engines.

Technical SEO can mean a lot of different things, but mostly it is centered on good website markup or codebase.

Now, any competitive SEO signal a search engine looks for can matter competitively, but in some cases “technical SEO‘ is used as a ‘scare tactic’. There are those digital marketing companies choosing “fear” as an advertising platform, for instance, maybe to try and sell new websites.

The web’s various standards are always evolving! Search Engines do evaluate website health in terms of the average person’s ability to access its pages, but keep in mind that content is still king!

Also, keep in mind that the level of competition varies for every type of business in every target area. If a ‘walking tour business’ in Biloxi MS has little to no competition then the search engines will have no other option but to default to index what pages they can find on Walking Tours in Biloxi MS… regardless of the investment in ‘technical SEO’.

What is Technical SEO

Technical SEO refers to a website’s markup or codebase. It can include things like lighter code for better page performance. It is pages better suited for mobile device support, more easily crawled XML sitemap, better page title & title tags, header responses, 301 redirects, metadata, website speed, page loads, and more.

There are lots of ‘audit websites’ out there set up to evaluate a website’s ‘technical SEO’ performance. A question one should always ask is, “who’s standard is this evaluation based upon?” The answer might expose those literally set up to support the very ‘scare tactics’ mentioned above; an audit result being tuned more to create fear than to evaluate the overall health of the business website versus its actual competition.

Also, know that most small to medium-sized business competition is neither investing in nor do they know anything about, ‘technical SEO’. What’s more, every potential consumer connects to the web with different local connections, device types, device settings, and various other potential interference. It is never an ‘apples to apples’ experience for the public. It is never as simple as ‘enter your website URL’ and know where you will rest versus the specific competition.

Still, any SEO signal a search engine looks at – matters. A business should want to know that its website is functioning well & competitively! Given the sheer volume of traffic that ‘Google Search’ sees, search engine optimization must be a priority for every business wanting to be found!

What Can Hurt Competitive SEO?

Ultimately, a business should operate with care or hire the necessary support. What a business should look for is a modern website theme with markup to address all of those items mentioned above. Before adding the newest & greatest plugin application, have someone evaluate it for any potential negatives. Free anything, logically, is probably not the best choice. Don’t add too many apps’, be conservative with home page video roll. Compress images and PDFs when adding them; name and tag all files appropriately. Consider what modern browsers want, etc., etc.

The idea is to make load times better; to make all visual or interactive website components work well with as many devices and connections as is possible. The idea is also to make search engine crawling and consumption easier.

Better Website Solutions For Business'Technical SEO' And WordPress

Not all website solutions are created equal! Not all website solutions evolve to meet new challenges, like for instance ‘technical SEO’. All considered it may be time for a website update?!

WordPress is considered one of the best content management systems for SEO, but install an SEO-friendly theme and plugins supporting the best results possible. WordPress not only evolves at the speed of the web but there are always themes and plugin applications that show up to meet the evolving challenge. And yes, there are new WordPress themes that not only support the lovely design of a unique brand but a great user experience! Responsive design, clean code, and quick load speeds!

Why Bother With A Business Listings Directory?

Getting your business’ Name, Address, Phone number (NAP), and any other details into business listings can not only improve visibility to random searching leads but improve local SEO for a website. NAP (including hours of operation) information is routinely cross-referenced by search engine algorithms against a website’s own NAP information. A search engine will look to see that a business has local on and off-website information consistency. And while there are as many as 200 ranking signals for a web presence and its target keywords, according to ‘Moz research’ listing directories and citations are ranking factors that can matter competitively for the local business.

 

Business Listings Local SEO


The Top Local Business Directories ( 18 ) 

 * list is part research, part our experience, and therefore part our opinion 
  1. Google My Business – Simply the most visible listing information, bar none and by far
  2. Bing Places – A lot of people use MSFT devices and they are being pushed towards Bing Search, Bing Images, and Bing listings
  3. Facebook – FB business pages are a lot of things, including important contact information and website back-links
  4. Apple Maps/ Siri, unless you register directly which can be a headache, draws on a few databases including its own Apple Maps, also Google for the lion’s share, and Bing for image-related search data
  5. Amazon/ Alexa – not so much a directory and really for when folks use an Alexa device, but Alexa draws upon its own and also Bing search results, but is believed to trail in terms of its’ local search results
  6. Yahoo – still relevant!
  7. Yelp – they developed a bad rap for using bad reviews as a sales tool “quid pro quo” if you will, but ‘bad rap’ and all and they still matter
  8. Yellow Pages
  9. Chamber Of Commerce
  10. HotFrog
  11. Superpages
  12. MerchantCircle
  13. Better Business Bureau
  14. Nextdoor
  15. eLocal
  16. DexKnows
  17. Alignable
  18. Local.com

Concerns With Business Directories

  1. Some directories will already have the business listing in their database, but whether or not – it will still require registration, then some form of verification process to get in control of it and that can take a lot of valuable time;
  2. There are so many local business directories, their value with ‘people that search’ is often irrelevant;
  3. There are so many directories that search engines may not value their content and/or its’ backlinks;
  4. Very few directories get meaningful traffic, so it is hard to know which directories truly matter or how much;
  5. The directory business model is typically to sell upgrades & advertising, potentially leaving a free registered listing in an obscure place or, worse, at the mercy of the directories advertising sales objectives;
  6. It is difficult to know which directory will value the listing content and which will abuse it as an opportunity to redirect visitors to their advertisers’ AND 
  7. In order for folks to give you a review, they will be forced to register personal accounts … discouraging many. 


Listing Services And Local SEO

With Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for Small Businesses, we’re talking about getting visible to qualified shopping consumers in a locally specific geographic area, including voice-driven search. Kinetic Knowledge is a small to medium-sized business digital marketing agency offering expert SEO, Copywriting & Blogging, Social Media Marketing, and Directory Listings Management. Ask us about getting your business listings under control and completely optimal today!

 

Is Your Business Prepared for Voice & “Near Me” Search?Prepare For Voice Search


Nowadays, speaking to do a search is commonplace. People are using home-based devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or their cell phones to do it. That’s right, our phones can be set up with an app’ for Voice Search. And so the question business owners should be asking is, “are we prepared for Voice Search?”

Admittedly, I am ‘old school’ about my cell phone. Even so, the Google app’ offers such convenience for searching by voice it is now front and center on my home screen. In doing so, I allow Google to identify my location so that it can answer questions with hyper-localized search results. NOTE: Regardless of how a person searches (keyboard or voice app), the results are still coming from the same search index database. Those results are coming from a search engine like Google or Bing=Microsoft, so beware of those who suggest there is some otherwordly solution for getting great search results. As a business owner who wants to be prepared, you are still going to have to do some local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!

What does a business need to know? We’ll cover what’s necessary as well as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google Home (or Google Voice Search) for you in what follows below!

Preparing For Voice & Near Me Search With Content!

If you haven’t optimized your business for voice-driven searches, including locally-driven “near me” searches, it is time to get into it. In looking at how you optimize for voice & “near me” searches, we need to look at the importance of website content and also at other elements (i.e. enhanced listings) of Fundamental Local SEO. Research shows “near me” search growth at over 1,000% in the last 5 years, including phrases like “contractor near me” or “chinese food near me”.

It starts with content: what is your target consumer’s intent and are you ready for them? We recently wrote on the subject here, “DOES YOUR CONTENT MEET YOUR TARGET CONSUMER INTENT ONLINE?” in order to get business owners thinking about their content. Using content to meet target market searches. To use a Google recommended strategy, it’s a matter of anticipating micro-moments and having published content that supports them. Google actually introduced the concept of micro-moments broken down into I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments in order to remind business marketers to think about addressing ‘intent’ with their content.

As locally driven business owners, we need to think more specifically: what do they want to learn about my products or services? Under what circumstances do they want to learn about them? What are they doing with our products or services (e.g. Home Inspection, Home Addition, Liability Insurance, MRI, Rehabilitation)? Would education and/or instruction, maybe even ‘how-to’ content support them or build trust as the right resource for them?

Consider, are the answers to their questions available on my web presence? Do you reinforce this information through your listings and/or your social media vis posts when/where possible?


Preparing For Voice & Near Me Search With Local SEO!

Let’s look at locally-driven priorities with our websites, our content, our listings, and our citations. Note: search engines cross-reference the most specific information on directory listings & citations (that they trust) with your website. They do it in order to determine consistent accuracy.

A) Does the website communicate a business location? Search engines look at the location in order to consider a business for hyper-local searches.
B) Does website content leverage opportunities to mention the areas where products or services are offered? This requires experience, tactics & finesse, depending on how broad that geographic target is. For example, have a look at GEO-TARGETING AND LOCAL BUSINESS AUTHORITY!
C) Have we created consistent accurate business listings at the leading directory sites, at least, including each one’s verification process? This can be managed aggressively and efficiently, for instance, by pursuing Local SEO Services.
D) Have you created a Google my business profile, including listing? Do you leverage it’s enhanced information opportunities? This is the no. 1 off-website and most important listing!
E) Have you created a Facebook business page?
F) Can you clean up inconsistencies in any existing listing or citation? This can be a headache, Local SEO and/ or Search & Directory Listing services can make managing this more efficient.
G) Prepare to manage these listings, one by one, as is necessary.
H) Find and build niche (e.g. your associations) and/or location-specific citations (e.g. town directories).


Preparing For Alexa, Siri, and Google Home or Google Voice Search

Then there’s the question, “How Does My Business Get Into Alexa, Siri and Google Home or Google Voice Search Search Results?” If you have ever thought Local SEO Services That Support Optimization For Voice Search about how then this should help you.

A) Google Home, Google Assistant, or Google Voice Search: the answer is all of the above. Google draws directly from its vast & current index of web pages, including those in its locally-specific organized indexes. This can be managed aggressively and efficiently, for instance, by pursuing Local SEO Services!

B) Apple’s Siri: how do we prepare for when people ask their Apple devices & iPhones for local services like contractors, legal and/or medical help? First off, Siri draws on a few databases including its own Apple Maps, also Google for the lion’s share of its responses and it uses Bing for image-related search data. Note: this may change in time. If you are not an Apple device user and do not want to get into their setup process, a Local SEO and/or Search & Directory Listing service like ours will cover Apple Maps. If you are up to their setup process, you must have an Apple ID# or you can also go to Apple Maps Connect here: https://mapsconnect.apple.com and begin their registration process. Optimization for Siri also requires that other local directory listings be consistent. Good reviews are going to matter and, being that they are competitive, it’s likely Siri will not draw upon Google listings for any there.

C) Amazon’s Alexa: how do we prepare for when people ask their Amazon Alexa devices for local services and search “near me”? As with the above, our Local SEO and/ or Search & Directory Listing services cover Amazon Alexa. The belief is that Alexa draws upon its own and also Bing search results. Good reviews are going to matter! And feeling competitive, it’s not likely Alexa will draw on Google listings. Ultimately, Alexa is believed to trail in terms of its’ local search results.

And so we’re hoping this post answers any questions you might have had about being prepared for Voice Search via Google Home/ Google Voice Search, Siri, and Alexa. If not, please do not hesitate to get in touch with questions. Our Local SEO and/ or Search & Directory Listing services can make managing it affordable and simple.

Does Your Business Have An Accurate Directory Listings Profile

Accurate Directory Listings & Citation Profile | Kinetic Knowledge Monmouth County NJ
Most business owners find that creating an accurate consistent directory listings profile is too overwhelming a project to thoroughly complete. No one enjoys going through a verification process one directory listing website after another only to then receive an advertising sales onslaught of calls & email. And while no one signal wins the local SEO battle, in what is a very competitive web environment, listings & citations do matter! 

It is important to understand that information inconsistency a) will often confuse consumers and b) be counted by search engines as a negative signal. Listings are an important local search ranking signal, but often they are left untouched due to the overwhelming task at hand. One must work through each, then be prepared for an ongoing (one by one) management process. So get your NAP/ business name, address, phone, website link, even hours of operation consistent between website and the relevant business listings. By doing so,  your online presence will present as reliable to search engine algorithms. That’s right, search engines cross-reference information on directory listings they trust with your website.

4 out of 5 consumers search locally (according to Google), so listings & citations matter when it comes to your business being found. NAP stands for name, address, and phone number, but at minimum assume it includes a website link and hours of operation. Listing sites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp.com and/or some others can matter! In fact, anywhere your NAP is mentioned – that is considered a citation. If your NAP is on a town or an association website – that is a citation. 

The Downside Of Directory Listings & Citations

 

Maintaining consistent and accurate listings is time-consuming. Going through each listing one by one and completing what follows can take more time than most business owners have or wish to commit. What’s more, it puts you in view of each listing site’s advertising sales effort. To accomplish a consistent listing/citation profile you’ll need to:

  1. Create business listings at leading directory sites, one by one and each via a verification process.
  2. Create a Google my business profile, including listing, which is the no. 1 most important listing!
  3. Create a Facebook business page.
  4. Create a Bing Places account, including listing. 
  5. Clean-up inconsistencies and in any existing citations you have setup.
  6. Prepare to manage these listings, one by one, as is necessary. 
  7. Find and build niche (e.g. your associations) and/or location-specific citations (e.g. town directories).
  8. OR, if budget allows, find a service that offers Search & Directory Listings Management.


Directory Listings & Citations Pay Off


While it can be a long and tedious project (or an outsourced cost), having a complete and accurate citation profile is good for business! It’s certainly not the whole picture, not even hyper-locally and so far as search engines go, but your business will see an improvement in local visibility & rankings once everything is in order.


The Importance Of Directory Listings Is Clear


So if it wasn’t clear before, accurate business listings are valuable signals in the local ranking of your business. The competition is always coming online, so it is necessary to consider getting an accurate listing/citation profile. If the time necessary is too much we can help with Listing Plans, Fundamental Local SEO, broader SEO & Social Media Plans.
If listings are all that is needed, have a look at our Kinetic Knowledge Search & Directory Listings Management Plan

  • To get the most important citations accurate & consistent (59-60)
  • To gather website back-links
  • To generate review alerts
  • To be able to update or change information immediately across all listings when things change
  • To add enhanced service & management profiles, including images and back-links AND
  • More… have a look and please do not hesitate to ask any questions at all.