If you want to get business from the 4 billion people worldwide using the internet, then you should be paying attention to Google. Not only do you want your company listed on Google, but you should also have plenty of Google reviews to back it up. Reviews are crucial to earning business from new customers—in fact, 85% of consumers say they trust online reviews just as much as they do personal recommendations from friends.
Sure, link building used to be plagued by a morass of black-hat tactics like link farms, paid link schemes, hidden links and spammy content. But after Google introduced Penguin algorithm updates in 2012 to crack down on those tactics, the focus turned to white hat techniques and quality content.
Google My Business is launching a new feature which will help business owners showcase positive reviews.
GMB will automatically suggest positive reviews which can be shared as customer testimonials via Google Posts.
Suggestions will appear when signing in to Google My Business, and they may even be sent to business owners in an email notification.
Think SEO happens all in Google and on-site? Think again.
SEO is about three things:
- Appealing to users, which in turn…
- Appeals to Google, which allows you to…
- Control the traffic and conversions on your website in a predictable, scalable way.
There’s no doubt that in today’s techno-centric marketplace, it pays to be social, and linking your social media accounts can make it a lot easier to manage them. Since both Facebook and Instagram are under the same ownership, it makes sense to link these two powerhouse platforms. But how do you do it – and why?
You’ve probably heard that doing keyword research is an essential, first step in optimizing your website properly. But how about these keywords: can they only be single words or can they also be longer multi-word keyphrases? And what exactly is the difference between the two? In this SEO basics post, we’ll explain the difference between a keyword and a keyphrase.
Tweaking your keyword lists is like regular car maintenance: you have to do it, or else things stop running properly.
Evaluating and optimizing your lists on a regular basis keeps your content high up in search engine rankings.
However, keyword optimization is not always straightforward.
As part of my job at the company where I work, I basically “taught myself” how to do SEO.
It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight.
I don’t claim to be an absolute SEO expert, but I have learned a few tricks and shortcuts – I’m talking about ethical, effective, SEO strategies and tactics – not the sleazy and self-defeating kind that gets your site banned by Google.
Unfortunately, I gained this knowledge from hard-earned experience – by having a few run-ins with unqualified, unreliable SEO vendors.
The fact is, there are too many bad SEO firms out there who make unrealistic promises, use weird and shoddy methods, and cause more harm than good.
Especially a few years ago, the field of SEO services was kind of a Wild West, with too many fly-by-night firms claiming to be able to deliver results that were ultimately unsustainable as Google tweaked its algorithm.
The good news?
Good SEO matters and it makes a difference in your business results.
It is definitely possible – more than ever – to do SEO the right way to drive better search results and get more traffic to your site, without doing unethical tricks to game the system and without making your site sound like a robot wrote it.
I’ve learned lots of lessons along the way that may be valuable in helping your company do SEO the right way – or helping your SEO advisory firm to sell your services more effectively by building trust with your prospective clients.
Here are five things I wish I had known before I hired my first SEO vendor.
1. SEO Guarantees Are Often Unrealistic
If an SEO firm is promising you “top 10 search results on Google,” just run.
It isn’t realistic.
In fact, it’s impossible to guarantee a top spot on Google, especially for some of the more popular and competitive search keywords.
It takes a lot of time and work to get your site to climb the ladder on Google.
Don’t expect it to happen overnight, and don’t trust anyone who tells you they can do it.
2. SEO Takes Time
SEO is not something where you flip a switch and watch the results pour in – it’s an ongoing process.
You need to constantly tweak your site and adjust your SEO strategies, and then wait to see how Google views your results.
It’s like planting a garden – you have to plant the seeds, see which ones sprout and grow, and then you have to tend the garden over time to maintain the progress you’ve made.
The Google algorithm is constantly learning and adapting, so your SEO strategies need to keep up.
3. Don’t Worry About Keyword Density
My first SEO vendor tried to get me to rewrite the content for our site as if a robot could read it, and put way too much focus on including a certain percentage of keywords within the overall text.
After a certain point, keyword density just starts to sound ridiculous – it changes the whole voice and flow of your content, and makes it feel like you’re writing for a robot.
Maybe this worked back in 2009, but Google has gotten smarter since then.
Google tends to reward websites that have higher quality content, where the website actually is “about” what it claims to be about – you can’t just stuff your website full of “business” terms and expect Google to send customers to you.
By all means, include keywords and try to target the keywords that are important for your business, but don’t go crazy with calculating keyword densities.
Write with humanity, for a human audience.
4. Quality Links, Not Quantity Links
The SEO game used to be all about getting lots of links back to the site, even if you had to pay for links from shady link farms and other dark corners of the Internet.
The truth is: low-quality links are a loser’s game.
It isn’t about getting tons of links from lower-ranked sites; in fact, that’s bad.
Today, you want really good content that people want to read and share.
It’s better to work harder to get a few good links from well-respected sites (like Search Engine Journal) than to scrape the bottom of the barrel with an outdated link-building strategy.
Google judges you by the company you keep. If too many low-quality sites are linking to your site, your Google results will suffer.
5. Want Quick Results? Use Google Ads
If you need an immediate boost in your SEO, buy Google Ads for your most important search terms. This puts you at the top of the listings right away.
There’s a reason why Google gets most of its revenue from paid search ads: they work.
Check out the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool to get started.
Keep experimenting and learning.
Try new things and see what gets results.
You might be amazed at how much you can do with $500 of Google PPC ads, depending on your business and your target keywords.
SEO never ends, so you must commit to it as an ongoing process.
Spend some time every week or every day on doing some of the simple everyday things, such as:
- Creating new content.
- Updating your website.
- Posting links to your site on social media.
- And more.
All of this will help you build a sustainable, long-term SEO strategy.
Source: This article was originally posted at Search Engine Journal by Gregg Schwartz on January 23, 2019
Proper tracking is crucial to the success of any PPC campaign.
If you aren’t tracking conversions correctly, you won’t have the right data flowing into ad accounts to make informed decisions about keywords, ad copy, and audiences.
Unfortunately, implementation can be a barrier for accounts of all sizes. An overworked developer or a bureaucratic IT department can take weeks to add a simple Google Ads conversion code.
Thankfully, Google Tag Manager provides a solution to save time and back-and-forth communication when implementing tracking codes. Once a single code has been installed on the site, PPC marketers can then have full access to add as many ad platform tags as they need.
This article will walk you through how to set up Google Tag Manager (GTM) and deploy tags for major ad platforms.
Setting Up Google Tag Manager
If you haven’t yet created a GTM account, start here. The interface will walk you through setting up a new account.
Within your account, you’ll also need to create a container for your site. Generally, you’ll want to name this the domain name where the GTM container will be used.
Select Web and click Create to start your account.
Next, you’ll see a box appear containing the code to add to your site. You’ll need to add the first snippet of code toward the top portion of the site and the second snippet right after the opening tag.
Note that if you use WordPress, you can also install GTM using this plugin. Some other CMS platforms have built-in GTM integration; check with your provider’s support if you’re unsure where to go.
Checking Tag Installation
To double-check that GTM is installed properly, install the Google Tag Assistant extension in Chrome.
Now, navigate to the page you wish to check and click the extensions’ icon in your browser bar.
You should now see Google Tag Manager listed, along with any other active tags for Google products.
- A green “smiley face” indicates the code is functional.
- Blue indicates potential issues (such as placement in a non-standard section of the code).
- Red indicates an error in installation.
You can click on the tag to see more details about errors for troubleshooting.
1. Implementing Google Ads Tags
For Google Ads, you can deploy both conversion and remarketing tags through GTM.
First, we’ll implement a conversion tag.
Adding a Google Ads Conversion Tag
Navigate to your desired GTM account and container. On the overview screen, select Add a New Tag.
In the window that appears, click in the Tag Configuration to choose a tag type.
Select Google Ads Conversion Tracking.
Now, go to your Google Ads account in another tab or window to grab the Conversion ID and label. Click the Tools icon on the top menu and select Conversions.
Next, either create a new conversion or click an existing one to edit. Under the Tag Setup section, select the option to Use Google Tag Manager.
You’ll now see the Conversion ID and Conversion label. Copy these and paste into the respective fields in your GTM tag.
Next, add a trigger to determine where your conversion tag fires on the site. Of course, what you define as a conversion will vary from site to site, and the setup will be different for each.
In this instance, we’ll set up a conversion to fire on a “Thank You” page, assuming that a user sees this page after submitting a form.
Click within the Triggering section to begin setting up your trigger. Within the window that appears, click the Plus (+) button in the upper right to add a new trigger.
Name the trigger based on the specific conversion point you’re wanting to track. Click within Trigger Configuration to select the type of trigger. For this example, we’ll select Page View to track all hits to a certain URL.
Select Some page views so the trigger only fires on defined pages. Next, use the section below to define where the trigger will fire. We’ll set up a rule for a Page Path that contains /thank-you.
Save your trigger, and save your tag. For now, your edits will live in your workspace within GTM. Note that to push any GTM edit live on your site, you’ll need to click Submit and then Publish.
Next, we’ll add a remarketing tag.
Adding a Google Ads Remarketing Tag
Create a new tag in GTM and select a tag type of Google Ads Remarketing. Now, you’ll need to find your remarketing tag in your Google Ads account (or enable it if you haven’t done so).
Navigate to Tools > Audience Manager from the top menu.
Next. select Audience sources from the left menu. If your Google Ads tag is already active, click Details; otherwise, you’ll see an option to create your tag.
On the Details page, scroll to the bottom Tag setup section and click it to expand. Next, click Use Tag Manager at the bottom of that section.
You’ll see a box appear with your Conversion ID, which you can then copy and paste into the corresponding GTM box. Note that you don’t need a Conversion Label for a remarketing tag.
Next, click the “Triggering” section to choose where your remarketing tag should fire. If you simply want to include the tag across your entire site, choose All Pages. You can also set up triggers to fire the code only on select pages if necessary.
See Anyone’s Analytics Account, in Real Time.
You can literally see real-time sales and conversion data for any website, and which campaigns drove that traffic. Start your free trial today.
Finally, save your tag, and don’t forget to publish it live once ready!
2. Adding the Bing UET Tag
Now, we’ll cover setting up the Bing Ads tag in GTM. Create a new tag and select Bing Ads Universal Event Tracking as the tag type.
Next, go to your Bing Ads account to obtain the UET ID. Navigate to Conversion Tracking > UET tags from the left column.
If you haven’t yet created the tag, you’ll see a prompt to walk through setting it up. If the tag was previously set up, you can copy the Tag ID from the table.
Paste the ID into the proper field in GTM. For the default setup, you won’t need to adjust any of the advanced settings.
Next, choose a trigger for where you want the tag to appear. Since the Bing UET tag is a global tag, you’ll most likely want to fire this on all pages.
Once the global tag is in place, you can also add additional tags for event-based conversions. Use the same Tag ID, and select an Event Type of “custom.” Then, you can define parameters based on what you’ve set up in Bing for your custom conversion.
To check the setup of the UET tag, you can use Bing’s UET helper Chrome extension.
3. Adding the Facebook Pixel
While the previous two platforms we covered have built-in GTM templates, Facebook Ads does not.
Thankfully, GTM includes a Custom HTML tag as an alternative option, and Facebook offers a direct integration to make the setup process simple.
To access your pixel from your Facebook Ads account, mouse over the menu from the top bar and select Pixels. If you haven’t yet set up a pixel, you’ll be prompted to do so.
Otherwise, click Details on the proper pixel and Set up.
Now, you’ll see a box with options to select a setup method.
Click Use an Integration or Tag Manager and then select Google Tag Manager from the options that appear.
You’ll now see a series of steps walking you through logging into your account, selecting the proper GTM container, and finalizing setup.
To check the setup of the Facebook Pixel, you can use the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome Extension.
4. Adding the LinkedIn Insights Tag
To add LinkedIn’s tag in GTM, create a new tag and select LinkedIn Insight as the tag type. You’ll now need to grab the Partner ID from your LinkedIn Ads account.
From within your account, go to the Account Assets dropdown on the top bar and select Insight Tag.
You’ll now see the code for your tag, or be prompted to set the tag up if you haven’t done so yet.
Look for the second line of code, which should look like the following (the number will vary):
_linkedin_partner_id = “12345”;
The number within the quotes is your Partner ID, so add that to the field in GTM.
Now, add a trigger for all pages (or define any specific criteria necessary for where the tag appears or doesn’t appear on your site) and publish the tag live on your site.
5. Adding the Twitter Universal Website Tag
To add the Twitter Ads tag to your site, create a new tag and choose Twitter Universal Website Tag as the tag type. Next, you’ll need the pixel ID from your Twitter Ads account.
From the top menu in Twitter Ads, navigate to Tools > Conversion Tracking.
On the page that appears, click “View code and installation instructions.”
Now, you’ll see the code in a text box.
Find the line of code that looks like the following (the final string in quotes will vary):
You’ll want to copy the string of characters within the second pair of quotes. Insert that string into the “Twitter pixel ID” field in your GTM tag.
For the global pixel deployment, you shouldn’t need to customize any additional settings. Add a trigger for All Pages (or whatever pages you want the pixel to appear on) and publish it live.
Google Tag Manager can help to majorly simplify tracking tag deployment for organizations of all sizes. With the ability to add tags more efficiently, you can reduce unnecessary communication and save time for other priority tasks.
If you haven’t yet worked with Google Tag Manager, start an account for free and begin setting up some tags for your ad accounts.
If you’ve started with GTM but haven’t dug in very far, try out some new templates and set up some custom HTML tags.
You’ll likely find using a tag management platform an improvement on previous methods of tag implementation.
Source: This article was originally posted at Search Engine Journal by Tim Jensen on January 28, 2019.