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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How Can You Write Amazing Content for Your Website?

 

Creating great content for your website is fundamental in any successful SEO campaign.

Of course, when we say ‘content’, that incorporates images, videos, slides, audio and text. But in this post, we’re going to focus on writing quality copy with the power to help boost your website’s performance.

Producing engaging, valuable copy isn’t easy, but there are a few things you can do to get on the right track.

 

Read Up on Your Competitors

What are other businesses in your sector doing with their content?

Are they publishing blog posts on a daily basis? Do they distribute press releases at regular intervals, keeping the world up to date on their latest news? How about their landing pages?

Take time to explore their websites and identify what they’re doing well. But don’t forget to take note of any mistakes or oversights you spot. This is a great way to understand what you need to do to get an edge.

 

Focus on Value

Don’t just create content as a flimsy excuse to pack keywords onto your pages. Not only will readers recognize your shameless attempt to manipulate search engines, but said engines themselves will know exactly what you’re doing too.

Write content people actually want to read and share with others. Take advantage of your own or your employees’ knowledge to share insights into topics relevant to your business.

Long-form content has its place too, with first-page results on Google having an average content length of over 1,800 words.

 

Know Who You’re Writing For

Have a clear idea of your target reader in mind. Consider creating personas representing different segments of your audience, and determine what type of content they prefer to read.

Keep this in mind when writing content. Know who you’re targeting with each piece and gather feedback to determine how successful it is. This can give you valuable ideas for future content, making it more engaging and effective.

 

Leave it to Professionals

It should go without saying that the quality of your content has to be of a high standard.

Trying to write your own content can be risky, especially if you lack the skills to do it well. Trusting professionals to handle your content instead is the smartest option.

They’ll know how to write engaging copy, insert keywords organically and structure pieces to aid readability.

 

At Nett Solutions, our Orange County digital marketing team is committed to helping you achieve stronger rankings through an effective SEO campaign. We’ll make sure your content is high quality and suited to your target audience.

Want to know more about how we can help? Just get in touch!

 

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4 Top Mobile Optimization Tips

4 Top Mobile Optimization Tips

Searches performed on mobile devices have been overtaking those from desktops for a few years now, but some businesses still haven’t optimized their websites for smartphones.

Does your enterprise fall into this camp? If so, a site that just doesn’t work on mobiles could chase visitors away to competitors and cost you customers.

So, what can you to do optimize your site for mobile devices?

 

#1. Keep your Load Times Brief

Load times are a key part of your visitors’ browsing experience. Pages overloaded with images, videos and text will take longer to display on smartphones.

Compress images to keep them at a more manageable size, and reduce the number of videos or GIFs that display on your mobile site.

Bounce rates for pages loading in one to three seconds is 32 percent. This jumps by 90 percent for one to five seconds, so take load times seriously.

 

#2. Consider Button and Link Placement Carefully

Browsing on mobile devices allows for less precision than on a computer. You don’t have your mouse or a cursor: you have to tap with your finger.

That means your buttons and links have to be placed carefully. Keep them large and easy to spot. Don’t cluster them together either, as visitors could keep clicking on the wrong ones by accident. This is crucial when adding CTAs.

 

#3. Streamline Content

Mobile browsing is best when it’s fast and intuitive.

Keep the amount of content displayed on your mobile site to a minimum. Don’t bombard visitors with endless blocks of text. This reduces the amount of scrolling required and cultivates a more streamlined browsing experience..

Provide prospective and existing customers with all the information they need, but in a digestible way. Keep it punchy and direct.

The faster visitors can find the answers they’re looking for, the more satisfied they’re likely to be.

 

#4. Embrace White Space

Lots of white space is good for your mobile website. It ensures space around buttons and links, for extra accuracy when taking actions. Even better, it makes images and videos stand out when scrolling.

Keeping your mobile site streamlined and simple is vital, but preventing it looking barren can be a delicate balancing act. Reducing unnecessary content and clutter contributes to faster load times too, which has its own benefits (as we discussed earlier).

Nett Solutions’ Orange County digital marketing experts can optimize your mobile site to give customers a smoother, better browsing experience. How? Just get in touch to find out!

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SEO Trends for 2019 You Have to Know

SEO Trends for 2019 You Have to Know

Each new year brings fresh SEO trends every business should embrace to stay on top of their marketing game.

2019 is on the doorstep, and we’re excited to see what it has in store for the wonderful world of SEO — so we’ve decided to explore the biggest trends you have to know about!

Faster Load Times

No one likes staring at a half-loaded page, waiting for content to appear. It’s infuriating, especially when you need answers in a hurry.

Keeping load times as short as possible is important — and this will only become even truer in 2019, as more of us depend on mobile searches. There’s still some way to go, though: the average mobile page-load time is 15.3 seconds.

The more time your pages take to load, the more likely visitors are to click away. Speed is now a ranking signal for mobile searches, so businesses have to focus on this to keep Google on side.

Longer, Deeper Content

Long-form content will be in vogue during 2019. You’ll need to give visitors content offering value, with useful or eye-opening information to take away from it.

Long-form content helps to keep readers on your site for more time too, opening up additional opportunities to hook them. Use content to build relationships with potential and existing customers, and try to make your headlines as irresistible as possible.

Going Social

Social media will still be a vital channel between customers and brands in 2019. Chatting on Facebook and Twitter is much faster and more convenient than calling a helpline.

People can access direct support while they communicate with friends on their social networks, without having to use a different channel. It’s also easy for your business to target prospects sharing interests and activities with your existing customers through advertising.

It’s essential to stay active on social media too: show your followers you care enough to respond quickly and share content they’re likely to enjoy.

Voice Search Matters

Voice search has made finding the information you want faster and easier than ever. You don’t need to type anymore — you just speak and Google does the rest!

In 2019, this will keep becoming more popular, and you’ll have to keep that in mind when coming up with keywords. Long-tail terms are helpful, as is an overall conversational tone that reflects the way in which people speak.

Adding FAQs to your site is a big help when targeting voice searchers too, so try to match the exact phrases people are likely to use.

At Nett Solutions, our Orange County digital marketing experts are here to help you in 2019! We’ll create an effective SEO campaign tailored to your business and audience, so what are you waiting for? Just get in touch now!

 

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5-Essential-Image-Tips-to-Benefit-Your-SEO-Campaign

5 Essential Image Tips to Benefit Your SEO Campaign

Never underestimate the power of visual content.

Put yourself in potential customers’ shoes: if you landed on a website looking for a specific product or service, would you be impressed if there were no images? Would you feel this was a dynamic brand that cared about engaging buyers?

It’s unlikely one page after another consisting of blocks of text would win you over. Images are essential to convey information that complements your copy: you need to show off your products / services, introduce your team (even if just a few members) and, ultimately, make your website exciting to look at.

Images can make a big difference to your SEO campaign, and in this post, we look at 5 essential tips you need to know.

 

Be Original

Stock images definitely have their place. Quality stock pictures can fill a gap and still add a professional touch to your site, but use them sparingly.

Users will recognize stock images when they appear on countless sites, and if they see them on yours, they may feel it makes you a little less credible. Use original pictures as much as you can to be authentic, and ensure they’re of a high quality.

Slick, polished images help you stand out in search results and make your site unique.

 

Don’t Overload your Site

Too much visual content can affect your site’s performance, causing pages to load slower than they should.

JPEG images are typically best for maintaining decent load times, and cope well with compression, allowing images to load faster without too much of a drop in quality. PNG images are of a higher quality but too many can strain your load times.

Consider using PNG files for your most crucial images and JPEGs for the rest.

 

Keep your Captions Specific

Captions are a useful addition to your images. This is a brief line or two of text that explains the picture’s purpose, allowing readers to understand what they’re seeing straight away.

Captions can help search engines identify how relevant your images are to users.

 

Apply Descriptive Names to Images

Like captions, descriptive file names with quality keywords let search engines know the image’s content. It has to put the picture in context and boost your chances of being discovered by a user.

If a prospect runs an image search, a descriptive title can get your website put on clear display, hopefully driving more traffic your way.

 

Keep Background Images Minimal

Images in your page backgrounds and / or borders may add satisfying decoration to your site, but they only add extra data that has to be loaded.

If you find your site is taking longer to load, non-essential images like these could be to blame. You have to balance images that add obvious visual appeal with those that don’t.

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How-Do-Online-Reviews-Impact-Your-SEO-Campaign?

How Do Online Reviews Impact Your SEO Campaign?

Your reputation matters. If you keep letting your customers down, they’re pretty unlikely to keep buying from you — and they might even let other people know just how unreliable you are too.

And they have plenty of ways to do that, including online review sites and social media. But how do online reviews affect your SEO campaign?

Let’s take a closer look …

 

The Impact on Conversion Rates

Sharing your experience of a company’s service takes just a minute or two, but can influence other customers’ decisions for years to come. Businesses actually lose $75 billion a year to bad customer service, and negative reviews can pile up easily.

Still, not every customer will give you a bad review — unless you’re doing something seriously wrong! Good reviews help to build trust in consumers and increase the likelihood of netting conversions.

A recommendation on a reputable review site could give a prospect the information they need to go through with a purchase, especially when they’re close to that part of their journey.

 

Extra Fresh Content

Both good and bad reviews generate fresh content for your brand. Search engines will have more content to read and index related to your site, helping refine its understanding of your company.

If customers talk about your products or services explicitly, they’re actually helping to connect these to your brand name too. Reviewers can help your SEO campaign a little by doing this, without even realizing!

Adding customer reviews to your site means a regular influx of new content, while people leaving links in off-site reviews is another key benefit.

 

Taking the Time to Talk

Always respond to online reviews, even if only to say ‘thank you’. Engaging with customers’ feedback and addressing any concerns they raise shows you actually value their opinion.

People want to see that you discuss issues buyers bring up and don’t shy away from claiming responsibility for mistakes. Your response to a bad review can win favor with prospects, demonstrating your brand’s commitment to your customers.

They could still click through to your site and go ahead with a purchase based on your intelligent comments.

Make sure you encourage reviews too, across your website and social media. The more mentions of your business that are generated, the better your visibility will be.

 

Don’t Forget About Google My Business Reviews

Google My Business listings give customers contact details and a star-based rating for your brand, according to people’s reviews.

This will appear on Google Maps and result pages, helping your organic rankings along with reviews elsewhere.

Nett Solutions’ Orange County digital marketing experts are here to help boost your online presence with a bespoke SEO campaign — want to know more? Get in touch!

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Google Responsive Ads

What are Google’s New Responsive Search Ads?

Google has announced a new ad product based on machine learning, which adapts to users’ search queries for more accurate results.

In these new responsive search ads, businesses can provide up to 15 headlines and four lines of description. Once these are submitted, Google will perform tests to learn which ads offer the strongest performance for different queries.

Google claims that incorporating machine learning into testing multiple combinations has the power to increase an ad’s clicks by as much as 15 percent.

However, the new responsive search ads do more than this: they open the door for advertisers to take part in additional auctions and provide matches for more searches. As a result, companies using Google AdWords will be able to reach a wider audience.

 

More space for bigger descriptions

Advertisers will have a little more space to play with, as descriptions can contain as many as 90 characters rather than just 80. Each responsive search ad may display up to three different headlines instead of only two. Two descriptions can also appear.

This is a fantastic addition to the Google AdWords platform. Businesses of all sizes and across all industries will benefit from experimenting with Google’s new responsive search ads.

With additional space for your description fields and as many as 15 headlines, your PPC ad copy gives Google plenty of potential combinations to try.

After all, the aim of PPC is to help advertisers reach potential buyers through the most relevant, engaging ads. The new responsive search ads should help companies to match more queries, increasing your chances to boost conversions.

Google’s responsive search ads are in beta at present and being provided to a limited group of AdWords clients.

 

Intelligent testing for successful campaigns

Being able to essentially let Google’s machine learning to test multiple combinations and decide on the most effective takes some of the strain off. A/B testing is an essential part of cultivating a successful PPC campaign, but now Google will take the initiative.

Of course, you still have to put real effort and consideration into creating the various headlines and descriptions you submit. The stronger the ideas you provide to Google, the better the combinations are likely to be.

It is vital to spend time looking into the best keywords, headlines and tone to grab your target audience. Keep in mind that Google’s responsive search ads can only work with what you deliver.

This is another exciting step in Google’s ongoing advances in online advertising. We look forward to seeing where they go next.

Are you looking to launch your own PPC campaign, or get better results with your current one? Give our Orange County digital marketing agency a call to learn more!

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Nett Solutions Blog - Target

Top SEO Tips for Niche Companies

 Are you operating in a niche market?

If you are, then you’ll know marketing a smaller company can be incredibly difficult. However, an effective, well-structured SEO campaign can help you promote your company properly and grow your customer base significantly.

If you’re looking to expand your niche business’s reach in an organic way, read on for some top SEO tips.

 

Engage your customers to build brand loyalty

You need to make engaging your customers and prospects a priority from day one. Your digital marketing campaign should include social media marketing (SMM), incorporating both paid ads and regular posts.

Make a real effort to engage users, whether they’re current followers or not. Visual content is critical to grab attention on social media, so use images and videos throughout your posts.

The more eye-catching and clear to understand your marketing materials are, the more likely people are to share them. Brand posts with images have been shown to achieve more interactions than those without.

Never bombard users with a slew of promotional posts. Focus on captivating rather than selling, selling, selling.

Visual content is obviously just as important on your website. Keep your text brief and to the point, but make sure your blogs, product pages, and more are rich with visuals too. Short videos introducing your brand and your team can convey background information in a much more accessible way than expecting a visitor to read blocks of text.

 

Check out your competition

Even in niche businesses, you’ll face some competition. Unless you’ve created a product or service that nobody else on the planet has, you should be able to research what rival companies are doing to expand their reach.

What are they doing on social media? How are their blog posts distributed and what traction do they get?

Take the time to look at the competition ahead of you and behind you. See what to do and what not to do in your own SEO campaign.

 

Make friends in high places

One particularly effective SEO technique for niche businesses is to make connections with useful websites.

For example, if your business specializes in creating accessories for games consoles, consider trying to forge links with a high-profile blog focused on games. Can you get them to review some of your products, whether this is in blog posts or videos on YouTube? Are you able to make an impact with their audience?

However, only choose blogs or sites that aren’t in direct competition with you or already linked to other rivals of yours. Do your research first.

At Nett Solutions, our Orange County SEO team can help your niche business expand your reach and build a bigger reputation. Give us a call to discuss your options now!

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5 Pro SEO Tips for SMEs

While some larger brands can rely on the power of a good reputation and repeat custom for ongoing success, SMEs have to work hard to establish an audience.

A well-planned SEO campaign plays a critical role in increasing your visibility and building authority, but organic search can be daunting to newcomers. How do you know which techniques are most effective for growing your brand?

Below, you’ll find five pro SEO tips for SMEs to help you reach a bigger, wider audience online.

 

Quality Content is Still King

Content is one of Google’s key ranking factors, and it’s vital to make it the best you can.

Avoid temptation to stuff keywords into every paragraph on every page: Google will penalize any website trying to use such outdated, underhand tactics.

Long-form content tends to rank better than shorter pieces, but the value it offers readers is paramount. You need to provide visitors with helpful, relevant information every time.

It’s okay to go into detail on subjects, rather than feeling you need to rush everything to suit today’s busy lifestyles.

 

Embrace HTTPS

HTTPS is another ranking signal for Google, and has been for a few years now.

HTTPS is used by a staggering 81 of the top 100 websites, and businesses that avoid upgrading to HTTPS may see a negative result soon.

Why?Because all HTTP websites will be labeled as ‘not secure’ in Google Chrome as of July 2018.

Potential customers may view your HTTP site as being a security risk in the very near future. All SMEs should make an effort to upgrade as soon as possible.

 

Build Solid Links

Not so long ago, companies could buy dozens or hundreds of links to their website to boost traffic. It was a case of quantity over qualify.

This has all changed now. Google and other search engines want to see high-quality links rather than those with little relevancy.

Concentrate on building solid backlinks from quality content, and choose popular websites that have similar themes or topics to your own.

 

Cater to Mobile Users

Google’s mobile-first indexing means the search engine crawls the mobile version of your website primarily, rather than the desktop site.

This makes perfect sense, given that more and more of us are searching on our smartphones and tablets. Any SME that fails to establish a mobile-friendly website is putting itself at a big disadvantage.

 

Pay Attention to UX

UX (user experience) is essential in any good SEO campaign. You want to make sure your website gives users everything they need to maximize your chances of conversions.

Focusing on the best UX you can achieve ensures your website is more accessible to visitors and search engines. Great navigation, solid CTAs, fast page speeds, quality content, and good link structure all contribute to outstanding UX.

At Nett Solutions, we can create a bespoke SEO campaign for your SME. Want to learn more? Just give our Orange County SEO team a call now!

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