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Search Engine Optimisation

10 Biggest SEO Challenges And How To Overcome Them

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SEO is all about ranking on the first page of search engines for keywords that drive customers to your business.

But where you rank on the first page could be the difference between making $10,000 to $100,000 a month.

According to a study conducted by Chitika a few years ago, it found that the #1 listing on Google’s organic search result got an average of 32% of the traffic.

Chitika Google position study

Imagine your target keyword receives 10,000 monthly searches, it means you could be getting 3,200 visits per month if you rank #1 for that keyword alone.

Don’t get super-excited yet. Ranking #1 for any worthwhile keyword comes with a lot of tough challenges. Overcoming these challenges is your job as an internet marketer.

In this article, you’ll discover the biggest SEO problems and the best ways to tackle them.

So what are the biggest SEO challenges today?

SEO Challenge #1: Getting A Natural, Editorial Backlink With Optimized Anchor Text

Moz did a study to find if backlinks remain the most important ranking factor on Google.

What they found was interesting:

They found that 99.2% of all top 50 results had at least one backlink pointing to the website, and 77.8% of top results had at least one external link pointing to the page.

Google relies on links

Google relies heavily on links when ranking websites.

You have a slim chance of ranking high on Google without backlinks.

Now that you know backlinks are important to ranking on Google, the challenge is that you can’t just go out there and start getting any backlink. You could easily get penalized by Google if you do that.

So what should you do?

Go for high-quality, hard-to-get backlinks. These are links you get from high authority sites in your niche.

Examples of high authority sites are Forbes, Huffington Post, Mashable, and the Wall Street Journal.

These sites have been providing quality information on the web for a very long time. Google automatically trust any website that gets links from them.

Google favors this type of link because it’s not so easy to get.

So how can you get editorial links from high authority websites?

You’ll have to be creative, funny, unique, timely, helpful, and sometimes, controversial to get this kind of link.

You should develop relationships with writers who regularly publish on these authority websites.

If you can get their attention and help them in some way, there’s a high chance that they will link to your site in one of their articles.

How can you help writers on authority sites?

It could be writing a complete interesting article and giving it to them for free.

It could be helping them find a source for their next story.

It could be commenting on their articles and providing valuable feedback.

Think of something that could help you get their attention and build a relationship with them. This is the easiest way to get links from authoritative websites in your niche.

SEO Challenge #2: Outranking A Competitor With A Stronger And Natural Link Profile

Let’s assume your target keyword is “forex broker” and you want to rank number one for that term on Google search results.

How can you do it?

Note that the keyword “forex broker” receives an average of 6,600 searches per month and advertisers are willing to pay as high as $14.30 per click for that keyword.

high competitive keyword

By typing this keyword into the Google search engine, you’ll see established sites like FXPro, Investopedia, and Alpari currently ranking on the first page.

These sites have strong backlink profiles, and it would be difficult to outrank them, but it is possible.

Google SERPs for the keyword

The first step is not to directly compete with these established sites for the keyword “forex broker.”

Instead, you should find lower competitive keywords that are related to Forex. Doing this would help you get some valuable traction in the Forex niche.

You could focus on competing on long tail keywords like “best forex broker for beginners” and “best trading platform for beginners.”

The second step is to check their page backlinks. Tools like Ahrefs and Majestic would help you with this.

If the numbers and quality of their backlinks are something you can match, then you can proceed to compete.

For example, if your competitors have an average of 100 backlinks from 50 referring domains. If you think you can do more than that within a period of time, then you should compete with them.

By gaining more backlinks over a period of time, you’ll be able to oust your competitor from the number 1 position on Google.

The third step is to check your competitors’ on-page SEO strategy.

Do they have the target keyword in their titles and meta descriptions?

Do they have the keyword in their H2 tags?

Do they have the keyword in their image ALT attributes?

Sometimes, your competitor may not be aggressive targeting a keyword. You can take advantage of that by making your on-page SEO better than your competitors.

The fourth step is to see how your competitors are building links and try to replicate those links to boost your web pages.

Are your competitors guest blogging?

Are they sponsoring events or conferences?

You have to start doing that better and more than your competitors.

The fifth step is to scan your competitors’ social accounts and monitor their mentions.

Search for their names on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to see how they are participating in discussions.

You can join those discussions for the purpose of driving traffic back to your site and getting more social shares.

SEO Challenge #3: Generating Unique Content For A Large Ecommerce Site

Let’s assume you have an e-commerce site like Zappos. With thousands of products, each product needs its own page. So, you’ll have to write a unique description for each product on your site. This is a big SEO challenge.

Zappos SEO challenge

Creating unique content for each product is a tough task. Some products are related and could use the same description, but don’t copy and paste the same description for similar products.

Why?

If you do that, the site would be at risk of Panda, a Google penalty which penalizes sites with duplicate and thin contents. Each page on your site must have its own unique content.

How do you deal with this challenge?

The best solution is to hire experts who are knowledgeable about the products.

Experts can quickly write unique descriptions for each product. They know the products inside out compared to an SEO who knows little of the product and how it works.

Hiring experts would enable you to concentrate your effort and time doing things you know how to do best.

Another simple solution is to combine similar products into a single page. This is even better as it saves you time and resources.

Here’s a perfect illustration of what I’m talking about on a Zappos product:

Zappos SEO

As you can see, Zappos lets you select different sizes of a clothing item on the same page. This is better than creating separate pages for different sizes of the same item.

SEO Challenge #4: Pushing Down Negative Results About Your Business

Back in 2014, Matthew Woodward wrote about his dissatisfaction with WP Engine, a managed WordPress hosting service.

The post garnered over 500 comments on his blog. It was well received, and many bloggers moved their sites away from WP Engine as a result of the post. It was a big blow to the reputation of WP Engine.

negative review

A negative review like this could prevent you from hosting with WP Engine.

Back then when Matthew published the negative review on his blog, it ranked high on Google. I can remember coming across the post a few times while searching for something related to web hosting.

But today, when you type the keyword “WP Engine review” you won’t find Matthew’s article on the first page. The SEOs at WP Engine did a good job pushing down the negative review in search results.

When you plug “WP Engine review” into the Google search box, this is what you’re likely to see:

positive review in serps

As an internet marketer, you must push up positive reviews about your business and push down negative reviews.

How can you do that?

There is 2-step process you have to follow:

  1. Create a lot of positive contents about your brand
  2. Get a lot of backlinks to your positive contents

By following this 2-step process, you’ll quickly push down negative results about your brand.

Another thing you can do is to contact writers who wrote the negative reviews and get them to remove their negative contents about your business. This could be giving them incentives or providing them with better service to get those bad reviews removed.

SEO Challenge #5: Creating Unique Contents That Easily Generate Links And Stand Out In SERPs

These days, it’s hard to talk about SEO without mentioning content marketing.

In fact, the days of aggressive link building is over.

These days you need contents to build valuable backlinks.

Here’s proof from Google Trends:

content marketing

Google Trends show that the phrase “link building” is slowly dying while “content marketing” is increasing.

To rank high on Google, you need to create unique, high-quality contents that make link building easy. Therefore, SEOs need to incorporate content marketing into their skill set.

SEOs need to know how to recognize a high-quality content when they see one. An SEO should also know how to create better high-quality contents.

A high-quality content should be original and different from everything else out there.

A high-quality content should have a strong headline and be actionable.

A high-quality content should also be engaging and thought-provoking.
If your content isn’t making readers leave comments on the page and share it with their friends, then it’s not a high-quality content.

So, as an SEO, you should regularly be creating contents influencers, readers and linkers would want to see in your niche.

For example, Brian Dean wrote a complete list of 200 Google ranking factors. Before this post was published, no one was able to write up to 200. Many tried and stopped below 110.

By making the list up to 200, Brian’s post received a lot of links and social shares. He was able to turn his blog into a business that makes 5-figures per month as a result.

SEO Challenge #6: Promoting Your Contents To Influencers And Linkers

Simply creating high-quality contents is not enough to crack the first page of search engines.

You need to promote your content to influencers and linkers. This is a major challenge for many SEOs.

The truth is if you’re not promoting your contents, there’s absolutely no way it will get those valuable links you want.

So how do you promote your content to get links and shares?

There are many ways to do this:

You could ask an influencer for a killer quote you can include in your content.

Another effective strategy for getting links and shares is to mention influencers in your post and let them know after the post is published. This would help you get the attention of influencers who may share it with their followers on Twitter and even link to it in their blog posts.

SEO Challenge #7: Building Brand Recognition In An Industry

Let’s assume you want to buy prescription eyeglasses, so you turn to Google and type “prescription eyeglasses” into the Google search box.

When Google returned results, you can see sites like Frames Direct and 39dollarglasses.com.

Then deep down on the same search result, you can see brands like Ray-Ban and Warby Parker.

Tell me, who would you patronize?

I haven’t heard of 39dollarglasses.com and Frames Direct, and it’s unlikely I will buy from them.

Ray-Ban has spent years building their brand. Warby Parker is right up there too. I think I can buy from these brands because I’ve heard of them many times before.

You can use SEO to build up your brand and get your name out there and build a winning brand.

How?

It’s by creating valuable contents that target your ideal customers.

You must also ensure that you’re doing this on a consistent basis.

Brand building with SEO

Pick a topic that relates to your business, and write dozens of contents around that topic.

For example, Neil Patel is regarded as one of the to internet marketing consultants. Neil has been creating valuable contents on a regular basis on the Quick Sprout blog for over eight years now.

In fact, he started another marketing blog at NeilPatel.com.

By regularly publishing high-quality contents, Neil was able to build his personal brand.

SEO Challenge #8: Using Social Media To Boost Your SEO Efforts

Today, link building alone may not deliver that first page rankings. And if link building alone lands you in the number one position for your target keyword, it only tells Google that something isn’t right with your backlink profile. That immediately puts you at risk of a Google penalty.

Normally, a page with a lot of backlinks should also have some real social shares on Twitter, Facebook and maybe Instagram.

Therefore, a solid presence on social media is very important for your SEO strategy.

This is a big challenge many marketers face:

They find it difficult to combine their SEO efforts with social media.

Social shares may not directly influence rankings, but it tells Google a lot about your backlink profile.

If you want to build a natural backlink profile, do yourself a favor by becoming active on various social channels where your target audience hangs out.

Make an effort to grow your follower base on Facebook, Twitter and others that are relevant to your business.

Sites that have social pages with high-quality followers rank better in search results.

SEO Challenge #9: Implementing The Right SEO Tactic

There are over a hundred SEO strategies on the web.

Brian Dean published “21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now” on the Backlinko blog.

SEO techniques

That blog post was interesting and educating. But what Brian didn’t say in that post is that you don’t need a lot of SEO tactics to succeed in SEO.

You only need to rely on a few SEO strategies to achieve success with SEO. Jumping from one SEO strategy to another is a sure recipe for failure.

Choose one or two SEO strategy and focus your efforts on making them work for you.

SEO Challenge #10: Working With A New Domain Name With Zero Links

The last biggest SEO challenge is building a website from the scratch with a brand new domain name.

New domains lack trust and authority that is required to rank on the first page of Google.

It doesn’t really matter if your website is well-optimized and has an amazing website design, search engines won’t automatically give you a stamp of approval.

What should you do?

You should gradually build high-quality links and create fantastic contents over and over again. Then you should be willing to wait for at least six months before your site starts seeing a lot of traffic from search engines.

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Michael Akinlaby is a Freelance Writer and SEO Consultant. He's the founder of RankRain, a marketing agency that specializes in Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

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Search Engine Optimisation

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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Search Engine Optimisation

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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