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How to set your geographic target in Webmaster Tools

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How to set your geographic target in Webmaster ToolsThe easiest way to ensure Google recognises your blog is targeted towards a specific region is to buy a localised TLD (Top Level Domain). For example, if I was launching a blog about restaurants in London I would register a .co.uk domain so that the blog would list high on Google UK search results.

However, there are times when you will not be using a localised TLD. This may be because the domain you want has already been registered though you may just prefer to register the .com version of the domain for branding purposes. Thankfully, Google lets you tell them what region your blog is targeted towards.

All you need to do is:

  1. Login to Webmaster Tools
  2. Click on your blogs profile (add your blog to Webmaster Tools if you haven’t already done so)
  3. On the left hand side of the page click on ‘Site configuration’ and then ‘Settings’.
  4. Click on ‘Geographic target’ and choose the Country your blogs region

Google doesn’t only look at the geographic target you set in Webmaster Tools. They also look at the language your blog is written in and the geographic location of incoming links.

Though please note, many webmasters have reported that the tool doesn’t always work. Although I have been aware of this tool for some time, I’ve only had to use it recently for a new mini site I created. Therefore I am not 100% sure if this tool always works as I haven’t tested it myself.

I will let you know how long it takes for my new mini site to get listed in Google UK. I’m particularly curious to see if Google will go with the location you set in Webmaster Tools if there are no incoming links.

Hope you found this post helpful 🙂

Kevin

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Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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4 Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Search Rank High for Local Searches

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Google is the leading search engine and dominates the market. In April 2018, it processed 11.28 billion searches. It’s closest rival, Microsoft, processed less than half of that at 4.27 billion. So, when it comes to search engine optimization, it could be better to optimize for Google before any others.

In the past, this would mean keyword stuffing and get as many links to your site as possible. Nowadays, though, things have become a lot more complicated. Google’s algorithm has been evolving with an eye on quality content.

It has become better at recognizing the signs of SEO tactics being used, and may even mark you down for these if it feels your site is spammy. The basic upshot is that getting that top position has become much more difficult, as search engines become harder to fool.

How To Get The Top Spot

First of all, it is time to re-evaluate what the top spot means to you. If, for example, you are selling informational, digital products, ranking at the top for all your keywords would be a worthy goal. This is because you can sell your products to anyone at any time.

But, what if you are a plumber working in Somerset in the South West of England? A top SERP for the keyword “plumber” would be difficult and expensive to maintain and not likely to do you as much good as you would like. Everyone from anywhere looking for a plumber would be able to find your site.

Which is great if they are in the South West of England, but not quite so useful if they are in New York. It would be better for you to rank high in a local search instead. Another reason you should focus on this is that, according to a study curated by SEO Tribunal, 46% of all searches are local, with the goal of finding a product or service physically close to the searcher.

Using Visuals to Increase Social Sharing and Engagement

When it comes to content creation, we all know that there is definitely more out there than we need. With over a billion active sites creating content on a daily or weekly basis, it’s overload to the max. With all of this in mind, more content creators and brands need to focus on the power of visual content.

A great resource for this can be seen in this Gifographics guide, which highlights how to best use visual content and images to increase visibility and engagement for your site or blog. Social media also tells us that text content is making its way out the window, and that visual is here to stay.

How To Rank High In A Local Search

Quality Content

Providing top quality content is the first step. That means ensuring that the content is flawlessly written. Search engines are becoming adept at interpreting natural language, so make sure that your content fits the bill for your area.

Write it with the end readers in mind. Make it interesting for them so that they will spend more time on your page. The longer they spend on the page, the more credible your site appears to a search engine.

Use the natural language that your readers are more likely to understand. Throw in some slang here and there that is specific to your area, and make references that locals will understand.

Drop The Click Bait

There was a cute little meme on Facebook which said, “See a blonde pole dancer.” You clicked through, and there was a picture of a golden retriever pup holding onto a pole. It was very cute and quite clever, but serves as a perfect example of clickbait.

People thinking that they were going to see a sexy, human pole dancer, might not have been amused and would probably have clicked away from the site quickly.

And, while this might increase the number of hits your website gets, it can do more harm than good, because Google and other search engines also factor in the bounce rate of your website when determining credibility.

The next time that someone uses the search phrase, your site may appear far lower in the results or not be included at all as a result.

Be honest to people about what they are getting if they click through by using a great meta-description. It might result in fewer clicks, but will enable you to have more engaged visitors which is what you want anyway.

Conclusion

Provide content that is high quality and that is useful to your target audience. Let them know what to expect from your site and watch your bounce rate decrease. Over time, attention-grabbing gimmicks could do more harm than good and you should avoid them.

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Top Reasons Why You Should Hire SEO Consultant for Your Blog

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There are countless bloggers wearing multiple caps trying to juggle various things like creating quality content, search engine optimization and social sharing etc. In this situation, they often failed to rank the blog higher in search engines when battling with different things to save money. In results, they lose the content quality and position of the blog in search engines when not hiring an SEO consultant or agency.

As search engine optimization is vital to make a blog rank well in search engines, a blogger should be doing it properly by hiring professionals instead of doing it personally when managing different things as well. There are so many reasons why you should hire SEO consultant for your blog and some of them are given below in this article.

Reasons why you should hire SEO Consultant for your blog

In-depth Knowledge of SEO

An individual who is expert in SEO has the in-depth knowledge and expertise to make use of the right search engine marketing practices to optimize the blog or website in order to make it noticeable in search engines. An SEO Consultant will perform a website analysis before taking any step for blog optimization. He/she will assess the strategies used by your competitors to plan something unique and dynamic as well to beat them in the race of appearing at the top in SERPs. That is the reason, hiring someone expert in the field can do great things for your blog to make it popular in search engines to help you secure a visible place in search engine result pages.

Keeping Up with latest trends

As Google is continuously updating its search algorithm, getting high ranks for a blog is becoming difficult in the age of huge competition. However, an expert can find the creative ways and latest SEO trends to make your blog easily searchable as they always know precisely when new updates are about to happen and what should be done to maintain the current search engine positions.

It can save a lot of time

Search engine optimization is a time-consuming practice that can eat a lot of your time that you might be spending on creating content for the blog. Saving the precious time is one of the top reasons to hire SEO consultant for a blog. By doing so, you can easily free up some time to discover creating the quality and engaging content for your readers.

Cost-effective operations

If you are not expert in the field of SEO, you are most likely to spend money on SEO tools and many other things that you are not aware of how to use wisely. On another hand, search engine optimization is something that needs to be consistent and continues in order to get better outcomes and if you are spending few days on it and then waiting for the results, you are just wasting your money and time nothing else. Hence, paying to a professional SEO consultant can provide you desired outcomes even without wasting a lot of money in terms of buying SEO tools and backlinks etc.

Keep you on the good list

Brands and companies that take shortcuts or use black hat SEO techniques, usually suffer in terms of dropped rankings or penalties. While an expert can provide you quality services to keep you on the good list by employing only favorable and legal things. If the ranking of your consultant business or company is dropped due to bad SEO, you will need to spend more time and money for retrieval of the lost position in search engines.

Proper and regular reporting

Keeping track of SEO efforts for a blog is vital in order to measure the success and return on investment and preparing such reports could be a hard job for a blogger. Hence, an SEO agency or consultant can prepare the proper and regular SEO reports for clients to provide them each and everything in easy to understand approach. A professional SEO expert always understands the importance of the statistics provided in the reports to make sure that everything is on the right track.

Boosted return on investment (ROI)

When an expert is doing proper work for you, success is always sure and you can enjoy the boosted return on investment for your blog by getting services of an SEO consultant.  They always provide you easy to digest SEO reports that clearly show the increased ROI for the money spent in terms of the fee of the expert or professional hired for the blog.

Now that you’ve had an opportunity to skim through some of the benefits and considered factors and reasons behind hiring an SEO consultant or agency for your blog, is it time you expanded your time, effort, and resources into this area as well?

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9 Ways to Optimize Your Business for 2018

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It’s 2018. Are you sure you are keeping up with the times?

In a fast-paced world of online business, it’s easy to fall behind, and to not even realize that it happened. Then, the next thing you know, your business is declining and your competition is way ahead of you. You don’t want that, do you?

Don’t worry. All you have to do is to spend a little bit of time every now and then to keep up with the current business trends. Here are 9 ways that will help you catch up with everyone and optimize your business for 2018…

#1 Use new marketing channels.

Everyone is using messaging apps now. So why aren’t you going where your customers are? A simple chatbot that can answer basic questions about your products and services can save you quite a bit of time on customer support. Plus, your customers will appreciate being able to get answers via messaging apps. And don’t worry, you don’t need to know any programming, Botsify can show you how to create a chatbot without any coding.

#2 Make sure your design is up to date

Does your website look like it’s a time-capsule from the late 90s? You have to understand that poor web design is extremely damaging to your business. Think about it. When you visit a website that looks bad, do you stay and look around, or do you leave immediately? Well, guess what, your customers do the same! So make sure your website is up to date and unique (you can easily add custom elements like fonts with design bundles).

#3 Get your invoices in order

Bookkeeping might be boring, and you might hate it, but you still have to do it, otherwise your business will turn into a complete mess! It’s best to use one tool to track time spent on client work and to issue the invoices so that everything would be in one place. I recommend Invoice Ninja, an open source platform that is used by small business owners all over the world.

#4 Qualify leads

You know how sometimes you get messages from people who want to work with you yet have a budget that’s barely enough for a meal at McDonald’s? These emails are a waste of both their time and yours. That can easily be avoided by qualifying leads in advance. Simply add a wordpress form to your website and make your potential customers answer a few questions about their project. That way, you will immediately know the situation once they reach out to you, which will save you a lot of time.

#5 Answer popular pre-sales questions on the homepage

You should also do your best to avoid answering the same questions repeatedly. For example, how many times has someone asked you about your rate, only to lose interest once you answered? Interactions like that should be avoided. You can do that by adding a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section to your website with this WordPress FAQ Plugin.

#6 Reduce the amount of steps required to buy from you

Want to make more sales? Then stop putting barriers between the customer and the purchase! Customers shouldn’t need to contact you and negotiate with you to buy your products and services. It makes much more sense to have a Simple Shopping Cart on your website that allows people to buy from you immediately.

#7 Improve your hiring process

Hiring people is one of the toughest things to do when running a business. Are you picky enough? For example, when you look at the resumes, do you pay attention whether your applicants have bothered to use resume templates or not? Little details like that can tell you a lot about a person. So make sure to pay attention not only to how well they look “on paper” but also to various cues that indicate what kind of people they are.

#8 Improve your homepage, blog, landing pages designs

Web design can make or break a business. Take a good look at your website. Do your homepage, blog, and landing pages look good? You can use Elementor WordPress Theme Builder to improve them if you think they need some polishing. Remember, content is king, but no one is going to read your content if your website looks horrible!

#9 Optimize length of your texts

Many people don’t pay attention to the length of their texts and end up with weird looking social media updates, Google snippets, and websites. This is bad. Do you think your clients will trust you to take care of their businesses if you can’t even take care of your own online presence? Make sure that your texts on social media and on Google fit the limits. You can use Lorem Ipsum plugin to easily generate lorem ipsum placeholder text to see how the text would look on your website or social media.

Conclusion

You can’t be complacent if you want to get ahead in business. Always make sure that you have your fingers on the pulse of your industry. What’s new? What are the latest trends? What are your competitors doing? Only then you’ll stand a chance of not only surviving, but thriving. Never allow yourself to fall behind!

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