7 Possible Reasons Why Your Search Rankings Have Dropped

Your site’s search rankings have plummeted?

You’re not pulling in the same traffic you once were?

Don’t panic!

 

There are plenty of possible reasons why your figures have changed. And here are seven of them to get you started.

Making big changes to your existing content

Removing blog posts, articles, or other types of traffic-fueling content may contribute to a dip in your rankings. This could be the result of trying to reduce the number of older posts on your site, particularly if they no longer align with your products, services, or values as they used to.

Check the performance of a piece of content before you remove it, and replace it with something likely to perform just as well (if not better).

Your pages are too slow

New or older pages on your site could be to blame for a drop in rankings. For example, if you’ve added multiple videos or lots of large images to a blog post or service page, this could noticeably reduce its speed.

Bounce rates are higher on slower pages: the probability of a bounce rises 90 percent when a page takes from up to five seconds to load. So the sooner you resolve the issue, the better.

Search engine algorithms have been updated

Algorithm changes can disrupt rankings in some cases (remember Mobilegeddon?). That’s why it’s so important to keep your digital marketing campaign spread across multiple channels, including Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Your competitors are reigning supreme

Your site’s search rankings could drop if your competitors start offering users a superior experience, utilize more effective marketing techniques, or enjoy a sudden spike in traffic through successful promotional events.

Keep track of your competitors’ marketing activities and performance to reduce your risk of becoming inferior without warning.

Your website needs updates, fast

Updating your content on a regular basis will help you maintain or improve your rankings. And if you leave too much time between updates, your visibility may start to fall before you realize.

Create a realistic content calendar and focus on publishing valuable pieces multiple times per week.

Sites linked to yours are no longer online

You might notice a change in your rankings when sites linking to yours, such as those on which you published guest posts, go down. This can be frustrating if you worked hard to secure a spot on an authority site and are no longer receiving the traffic you expected.

If the linked site is down temporarily, you may start to creep further up the results pages again when it returns. But if it’s permanent, you might need to look elsewhere for quality links.

You have server issues

Your server could be to blame for sinking rankings. For example, a sudden spike in traffic may push the server too hard and trigger a crash, whether related to your site or one on a shared server.

If this happens more than once within a short space of time, it may be time to reassess your hosting situation.

 

Our Orange County SEO experts are dedicated to helping businesses just like yours improve your rankings and gain greater online visibility. How can we make this happen for you?

Contact us today to find out!

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SEO Trends 2021

SEO Trends 2021: What can You Expect to See?

New SEO trends emerge each year, but what can you expect to see in 2021?

Our Orange County SEO specialists have picked five of the SEO trends you need to know about as we enter a new year.

Greater focus on analytics to understand customer behavior

A deeper dive into analytics is just one of the biggest SEO trends 2021 is set to bring.

Sure, it’s been crucial to study user/customer data for some time now, but intensive analytical research is likely to become increasingly prevalent. Businesses will delve deeper into:

  • what users/customers are doing
  • how they’re behaving
  • how products/services can improve their lives

This will help teams create more relevant, engaging content, and deliver a more tailored service overall.

Voice search optimization will help brands rank for hands-free queries

Smartphones, virtual assistants, and smart speakers have transformed search across the past couple of years. Users can get the number for their nearest Mexican restaurant, find local shoe stores, and browse media without having to physically interact with their devices.

And this is expected to grow even more popular in 2021, with around one in four American adults owning a smart speaker. That means businesses of all sizes will need to optimize content for voice search more effectively.

It’s not just voice search optimization that will matter more in the new year, either …

More detailed image search optimization to increase visibility

Many consumers may not even realize image search exists, let alone use it regularly. But images are returned for around 20 percent of Google searches. It’s also believed that brands redesigning websites to support visual search (along with voice search) could boost their revenue by 30 percent.

That’s why brands should be optimizing their images to help increase their visibility in 2021.

Featured snippets will become a more competitive SEO technique

Featured snippets are a common sight, and they’re an effective way to achieve first-page results. But only if you have the right information for the right query.

Brands should start to optimize content to answer questions and provide clear directions or advice when relevant. This increases the chance of displaying a featured snippet and, potentially, securing the user’s click.

Increasingly comprehensive mobile SEO for a better user experience

Mobile sites are the first port of call for countless users, with mobile accounting for around 50 percent of global internet traffic in 2020’s third quarter. This is likely to keep increasing as smartphones become more advanced and capable of delivering a better user experience.

Brands will need to focus more on creating the most user-friendly mobile site they can, rather than simply making it functional on smartphones. That means understanding what visitors want out of your site and how your web design can make that as easy as possible on any device.

Refining your SEO strategy to align with new trends or even starting from scratch can be a challenge for any business or organization. But our Orange County SEO experts are here to help you boost your rankings, visibility, and engagement through tailored campaigns.

Get in touch now to learn more!

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4 Simple SEO Tips to Optimize Your Site

A solid SEO strategy can increase your busines’s visibility and drive traffic to your site. But actually putting one together can be tough if you’re new to search engine optimization.

In this post, our Orange County SEO experts explore four simple SEO tips to help you optimize your site and reach a bigger audience.

Take Advantage of Video

Video is a key element of most successful marketing campaigns today, and you can utilize it to boost your SEO. It’s estimated that 80 percent of all online traffic will be video by 2021, and it’s an easy way to increase a page’s ability to engage visitors.

Try to create how-to videos, product demonstrations, roundtable discussions with industry experts — content that offers real value. Just make sure you keep the quality high.

Optimize your video content by creating keyword-rich meta titles and descriptions. And don’t just upload them to your site: share them on social media and create a YouTube channel too.

Keep your content well-organized and easy to read

One of the most important parts of any effective SEO campaign is getting your content’s structure right.

Keep your content easy to read and scan. Users don’t want to wade through blocks of dense text, and they’ll click away if they can’t find the information they’re looking for.

Use plenty of whitespace and make paragraphs short, usually just four of five sentences each. Headers (H1, H2, H3) create a clear hierarchy and enable search engines to understand your content better.

To return to our first point, include videos to elaborate on text content in a more dynamic way (e.g. showcasing a product you’ve described).

Optimize Your Content for Voice Search

Voice search is increasingly important as more and more people use their mobile devices to find products or services. It’s actually the second-most popular way to conduct searches on a mobile device.

These are often phrased as questions, such as “where is the nearest Mexican restaurant?”. So, implement questions and answers into your content to increase your visibility.

If you run a local business, include geo-targeted terms to target prospects who might be looking for the exact products or services you offer. They could be around the corner from your company with big money to spend!

Target Mobile Users

Google’s mobile-first indexing means websites optimized for smartphones and tablets are more likely to rank higher than those that aren’t.

That’s no surprise: think how often you use your own mobile device to shop, find information, etc. Make sure you use a responsive web design to provide visitors with a positive user experience on any device, and run regular speed tests to understand how long users need to wait before pages load.

Follow these four simple SEO tips to optimize your website and boost your visibility. Want to work with Orange County SEO experts and discover the benefits of a tailored search engine optimization campaign?

Contact our team today to learn more!

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How to Optimize Your Content for Voice Search

How often do you use voice search on your mobile device?

Chances are, you do it regularly. Half of all searches are expected to be voice-based by the end of 2020, and 30 percent of people browse the web without using a screen at all.

That means businesses and organizations need to make sure their content targets voice searches effectively, but how?

Structure keywords to fit phrases

The proliferation of voice search is driving an increase in content designed to answer questions and suit specific types of phrases.

For example, you might unlock your phone and ask Siri where the nearest vegan restaurant or movie theater is. You’re looking for a fast answer for an immediate issue, rather than a specific product or service. Content intended to suit voice search should be written with question-focused searches in mind.

Pay more attention to local SEO

If you operate a business that caters to the local community primarily, take advantage of local seo techniques to increase your reach. So, if a user asks “what time does Local Coffee Shop open on Saturday?”, your content should help them find your business hours within moments.

Make sure your company profile’s details are correct on Google and cover all the information customers might need to know.

Optimize your site for mobile devices

Your site should be optimized to be mobile-friendly across devices. Otherwise, people may click through but leave when they realize half the content is missing. Even if a page takes too long to load, prospects might lose interest and try a competitor — the probability of users bouncing rises 123 percent when a mobile page takes 10 seconds to load.

Mobile pages should load quickly, be easy to browse on small screens, and display all media properly. Your content must be easy to scan, allowing users to scroll down to find relevant details easily. Follow proper content hierarchy and position the most important information at the top of the page.

Incorporate FAQs into your content

As question-based searches are increasingly common, one simple but effective way to boost your content’s compatibility with voice queries is to add FAQs.

These should answer questions directly and concisely, so anyone who navigates to your site to read them finds the information they’re looking for. While there, they might be impressed by what they see and decide to stay longer. This could translate into conversions, whether that’s a purchase or registration for a newsletter.

Think about the sort of questions prospective and existing customers may have about your business, products, services, etc. For a little inspiration, check out your leading competitors’ websites to see what they’re addressing in their FAQ pages.

Follow these simple tips to optimize your content for voice search and increase your visibility.

Want some expert help to achieve better results? Find out how our Orange County SEO agency can help your business succeed today!

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4 Simple SEO Tips to Help Boost Your Ranking

For some of us, search engine optimization has been a part of everyday life for so long, we can’t remember a time without keywords, metadata, and all that jazz.

But for newcomers, SEO is a strange, complex concept. And it can be hard to know what steps to take first.

That’s why we’ve put our heads together and come up with these four simple SEO tips to help you get started.

 

Get Your Keywords Right

Keywords are a fundamental element of good SEO. These ensure search engines display your website for certain queries and help users find your business. For example, if you specialize in women’s hats, keywords might include “women’s designer hats Orange County” or “pink women’s wedding hats”.

You can use a number of research tools to discover the right keywords for your business, but this can be time-consuming and daunting if you’re new to SEO. Working with a professional digital marketing team takes the hard work out of the process.

 

Understand Intent Behind Searches

What are people looking for when they enter a specific combination of words into a search engine?

The three user intents are:

  • Informational: The user is looking for information on a topic, such as a how-to guide.
  • Navigational: The user is trying to reach a certain website, such as a local store or YouTube.
  • Transactional: The user wants to purchase a product or use a service.

The user intent determines the keywords you should use for each page. For example, informational intent might require keywords such as “how to bake a chocolate cake” or “how to change a car tire”.

 

Make Meta Descriptions Informative

Meta descriptions are the few lines of text which appear on search engine results pages. They tell you what you can expect if you click on the link, and should be optimized to maximize relevance.

This means thinking carefully about the user’s intent (see above) and the most important keywords. For example, if someone’s looking to learn how to bake a chocolate cake, the description should emphasize that the page features all the details they need to make the perfect cake. Use clear, simple language that engages users.

 

Create Content with Readers and Search Engines in Mind

Good content is informative, engaging, and written for humans before search engines. Yes, keywords are essential for boosting your ranking, but you can’t cram them into every paragraph. You might have gotten away with this a long time ago, but search engines will penalize you if your keyword density is too high.

Focus on answering users’ questions, helping them find the right products/services, and guiding them around your website. Understand who you’re writing for and keep the target reader in mind for every page of content written.

 

If you’re a beginner in SEO, these four tips can help you get your campaign off to a good start. But working with an Orange County SEO team will bring you real results much faster and leave you to focus on running your business.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with our Orange County SEO experts now!

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How to Generate Great New Blog Post Ideas for Your Business

 

Blogging is a key element of any successful SEO campaign, as businesses which publish blogs earn 97 percent more links to their website than those that don’t. But while there’s plenty of incentive to blog regularly, finding exciting new ideas can be tough when you’re writing multiple posts each week.

Fortunately, you can try a few tricks to generate blog post ideas that excite you and your audience. Here are a few of the best.

 

Speak to your readers

One simple but effective way to generate blog post ideas is to engage with the people you’re trying to attract — your readers.

Create a brief survey to learn what your audience wants to read more of, and offer an option for them to share their own ideas. You can send this as an automated email whenever people subscribe to your blog posts or newsletters, or distribute them on a regular basis (e.g. once per month).

Alternatively, interact with readers in comments sections and on social media. Ask which topics they prefer to read about, whether they would like to watch the same content in a video instead, and anything else that could be beneficial.

 

Study the latest trends

Take advantage of Google Trends to gauge the popularity of particular keywords and topics.

Google Trends provides a function to view trends across various areas, such as Sci/Tech and Business. Alternatively, you can browse trends based on keywords.

It’s a fantastic tool for staying up to date on trends related to your business and industry. And geographical information is included, to aid with targeting specific locations.

 

Monitor industry news for relevant stories

Pay attention to the latest news in your industry or industries relevant to your company, your products/services, and your audience. Even the smallest change in regulations or the hype surrounding an upcoming product launch can inspire an engaging blog post that appeals to your target readers.

On a similar note, any expos or conferences you attend can provide plenty of fuel for numerous posts. Capture photos and videos to enhance your text with original visual content, as posts featuring images tend to get 94 percent more views.

 

Take inspiration from content published on other websites

Read lots of articles, blog posts, and press releases? Watch insightful videos and listen to business podcasts regularly?

You might see or hear things that inspire, frustrate, or even outrage you. Take advantage of these reactions and consider how you can share your own views on the same topic.

This may take the form of a blog post written as a direct response to the original source material, linking back to it. It’s possible that the original writer/video host/podcaster will see your post and link back to it. That could drive more traffic to your site and help you gain authority.

It should go without saying that any quotes you use should be referenced properly and credit must be given where it’s due.

 

Take advantage of these techniques to generate blog post ideas that appeal to your audience, and you could see real results over time.

Want to work with our Orange County SEO agency to reach a wider audience? Get in touch to find out how we can help you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Make Thought Leadership Content Work for Your Business

Why is thought leadership content so valuable?

Because it can:

But creating thought leadership content that makes an impact isn’t easy, or every company would be considered an authority in its sector.

So, how can you make thought leadership content work for you?

Our Orange County SEO specialists have the answers …

 

Support Points with Original Research and Data

Conducting your own research is one of the most effective ways to help your thought leadership content stand out. This might be as simple as creating a poll on social media or as complicated as surveying industry experts around the world.

Regardless of its scale, original research provides readers with insights they can’t find anywhere else and ensures your content is unique. You offer more value than a competitor regurgitating others’ data, and establish your site or business as a useful resource.

 

Create Gated Thought Leadership Content to Generate Leads

Most of your thought leadership content might appear on your business’s blog or other websites e.g. industry news publications. But you can create longer pieces as gated content to capture leads.

For example, a free 40-page ebook packed with unique, actionable insights can inspire visitors to submit their email address more than the promise of a monthly newsletter.

Newcomers can check your existing content before deciding whether to sign up or not, and you can incentivize them further with a small discount or free trial.

 

Look at Competing Thought Leaders (and Do Better)

One simple step in creating thought leadership content is to explore your competitors’ output. What blog posts, articles, whitepapers, and even books are they publishing? How do they promote it? Do they use special offers to attract interest?

But remember: your content must be unique. So, be inspired by competitors but focus on establishing a distinctive presence.

 

Make Content Relevant to Industry Changes, Product Releases, and Events

Good content is relevant. Not just to your audience, but to industry changes and events.

That’s why it’s important to create a content calendar and schedule pieces to make the biggest impact. For example, if your business is attending an expo in two months, start gathering material for a deep post as soon as you can.

This might document the creation of a product you plan to reveal or explore said product’s expected market impact.

Whatever the topic, the content can generate interest in the product and vice versa. And both can bring curious new visitors to your site.

 

Thought leadership is a fantastic addition to a content marketing strategy and helps drive traffic. But what else can you do to attract more visitors, build authority, and boost engagement?

Our Orange County SEO experts are here to help. Just get in touch for your FREE Relevancy & Quality Score Report now!

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Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses – The Right Way to Reach Your Audience

A well-planned content marketing strategy is a crucial asset for any small business, though it’s not easy. You might find yourself sweating at the prospect of having to write blog posts three times a week or putting together a comprehensive whitepaper. but the truth is, all the hard work can really pay off.

Just ask those small businesses posting blogs on a regular basis and earning 126 percent more lead growth than those that don’t have a blog.

So, to help you get more out of your content marketing, we’ve put together the following tips.

 

Know Who You’re Writing For

One of the most important steps in building a good content marketing strategy is understanding your audience. If you try to write for everyone, the results could be vague and, most likely, interesting to no one.

But when you focus your aim and write for a specific segment, you can inject more truth and power into your content.

Think about your current customer base, your competition, and the pain points your business addresses. This helps clarify your ideal reader and the action you want them to take.

 

A Content Calendar is Key to Success

It might be tempting to create content as and when the mood takes you. Especially when your small business is operated by a skeleton crew with little spare time to flex their creative muscles.

But implementing a content calendar establishes a tighter focus and boosts relevance. For example, generating ideas for Christmas-themed content weeks in advance gives you the time to think carefully about the sort of answers your audience will be looking to solve in the run up to the season.

Planning themes and topics early reduces time wasted scrabbling for ideas on the day a blog post is due, too.

 

Use Long-form Content to Achieve Better Results

Research shows long-form content brings stronger results, with articles of more than 2000 words performing well for around 56 percent of creators.

That’s not to say you should never publish short posts, such as news updates, insights into forthcoming products, or simple articles offering a quick read.

Just make sure to publish long-form content that demonstrates thought leadership and gives readers something they can sink their teeth into regularly.

 

Experiment with Visual Content

Images help users process information and grasp the core topics or themes of a piece of content before they even start reading. Posts including images generate 650 percent higher engagement and earn three times as many links as text-only ones.

Try publishing infographics and videos on a regular basis, but spend time and money getting them to a professional standard first. When using images in your content, use original photos or graphics as often as you can. Only rely on stock visuals when you have no other option.

These content marketing tips can help small businesses build more effective campaigns and reach the right people. But it can be difficult to implement a strict plan when you have a company to run and a team to manage.

Want to work with a professional Orange County SEO agency committed to achieve real results instead? Just get in touch for a free marketing analysis now.

 

 

 

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How to use Featured Snippets

How can You Use Featured Snippets in Your SEO Campaign?

 

We’ve all seen featured snippets by now, even if you don’t know them by name.

They’ve quickly become a common fixture on SERPs (search engine results page), helping users to find fast answers from an authority source just by clicking on one of the snippets at the top of the page.

Each featured snippet includes a link to the site, unlike answer boxes, which makes them a valuable addition to your SEO campaign. But how can you make the most of them?

 

Focus on Answering Questions

Featured snippets commonly answer questions, such as ‘what is a backlink?’ or ‘how do you bake a cake step by step?’.

How to use Featured Snippets
How you can Use Featured Snippets

Dedicate a full page to a question, with images, videos, strong keywords, and an in-depth answer that offers real value to searchers. Focus on giving the reader all the information they need in a well-structured format, incorporating keyword-rich header tags (H2, H3).

 

Embrace Lists

Lists are another type of featured snippet. They may appear in response to searches for ‘where should I stay in San Francisco?’ or ‘the best CRM tools’ (see below).

Featured Snippets List
Embrace Lists in Featured Snippets

A glance at the list gives users a fast answer, but still leaves enough missing to encourage a click through to the site. Lists’ accessibility can help to boost user engagement and aid scannability.

You may not be able to work lists into every piece of content you create, but try to include them when constructing pages dedicated to answering questions.

 

Build Authority to Gain Google’s Recognition

Google draws on authority sites for featured snippets, to ensure maximum value and expertise. So, if you want to increase your site’s chances of being picked, you need to build authority.

How can you do this?

  • Pay attention to your title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt tags
  • Make sure all content is high-quality and formatted in an engaging way
  • Work on achieving backlinks from other authority sites, to build your own credibility
  • Optimize your website for mobile devices

Building authority takes time and patience, but it’ll pay off when Google starts to notice you.

 

Add High-quality Pictures and Videos to Boost Value

Pictures and videos can increase your content’s value. Visual media has the power to convey meaning and present examples to users, answering questions in a more engaging way than text alone. Humans are more likely to remember visuals than words, and content with visuals tends to earn 94 percent more views than text-only content.

These are especially valuable for how-to pieces or resolving complex issues. One good way to increase videos’ impact is to create a transcript, so Google gains a clearer insight into its content.

Take advantage of these ideas to help your site rank for featured snippets. If you manage this, you’ll gain valuable real estate on SERPs and secure more traffic.

Want to learn more about increasing your visibility and ranking? Get in touch with our Orange County SEO experts now, and we’ll give you a FREE pro-marketing analysis.

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Essential SEO Trends for 2020 Every Business Has to Know

Essential SEO Trends for 2020 Every Business Has to Know

SEO trends come. SEO trends go.

Staying on top of the latest ones can help you strategize, make well-informed decisions, and adjust your work processes to accommodate industry changes. But what are the most important SEO trends worth your attention in 2020?

 

The Ongoing Rise of Featured Snippets

Featured snippets have become a regular fixture on SERPs (search engine results pages), and that’s set to become par for the course.

Featured snippets are a summarized version of answers to users’ search queries, pulled from multiple pieces of content. They also typically appear at the top of a page, taking prime position ahead of the highest-ranking organic results.

Businesses can take advantage of featured snippets by structuring content to include questions and answers.

 

Voice Search Dictates Content and Keywords

Our smartphones keep us connected to a world of information at all times. But, even better, we can use voice search to find immediate answers to questions without typing a single word.

This convenience is driving the proliferation of voice search so much it accounts for 20 percent of searches performed within the Google App.

As with featured snippets, your business can increase the chances of ranking higher by structuring content in a way that answers clear questions. Long-tail keywords are a key part of optimizing for voice search, too.

 

Mobile Optimization Continues to Influence Rankings

Google has switched to mobile-first indexing, giving ranking priority to websites optimized for mobile rather than just desktop. There’s no excuse for any business to inflict its desktop site on mobile users, especially if it’s already designed poorly.

In 2020, more companies and organizations must embrace mobile optimization to compete. Aim to keep the user experience as smooth, fluid, and convenient as possible.

 

Videos are a Must for Engagement

One of the biggest SEO trends for 2020 is the inclusion of video. Obviously, YouTube is a marketing behemoth now, but video has become increasingly vital on social networks too. With videos, companies can convey messages and communicate with their target audience in less time than with text-based content.

Videos also lend themselves to social sharing and can utilize other elements (music, sound effects, language, facial expressions) to inspire an emotional response. It can be much harder to move people with words alone.

92 percent of marketers using video claim it’s a key element of their marketing strategy, an increase of 17 percent on 2018’s figure. Implementing video into your marketing campaign demands careful planning, investment in the proper equipment, and (potentially) a professional production crew.

However, there’s real potential to generate leads and achieve good ROI if you can get your video marketing right.

These SEO trends are set to make a big impact on the industry in 2020. That’s why it’s worth paying attention to each, and watching out for others emerging over the next 12 months.

Otherwise, you run the risk of falling behind — and losing customers to your more SEO-savvy competitors.

 

Want help from an Orange County SEO team of experts to help you grow your business in 2020? Just get in touch today for a FREE marketing analysis!

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