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Why Directories Still Matter (Especially for Small Business Local SEO)

Directories for SEOWith a lot of terms like local search optimization and Google+ Local optimization flying around, it can be very hard to understand and develop the best internet marketing strategy for your small business. In the coming years, local search optimization will get even more important and popular among companies offering location based services. Local SEO will be the focus of the subject, and only the small business that jump aboard now will thrive in the years to come.

In case people look for your company by location and service type, you need to be visible in local search results. With a lot of factors governing local search optimization, it can be quite difficult to understand exactly what steps need to be taken. In order to get you at the top of search results, local directories can play an important role. Directory listings lay the foundation for lead generation, citation building, and a natural off page SEO program.

Benefits of Local Directories for SEO

Local directories can offer numerous benefits, and act as a catalyst to your local SEO efforts. With directory listings, you are able to generate more leads, and make sure there is more traffic to the website. Here are the important reasons why local directories are important for your small business.

Targeted Leads

According to most SEO experts, vertical directories rank quite well for specific keywords related to your local market. Some larger local directories can generate a lot of traffic for your website because they rank so highly in Google (e.g. Yelp). However, it is important to understand that you may need to dive into analytics and focus on marketing effectiveness to determine the return on any paid directories.

Natural, Relevant Links

Any good local SEO strategy places a focuse on generating quality backlinks. When you list your small business in local directories, you can earn a nice supplement of natural links from trusted sources. This is key, as it mitigates optimized link building (creating links back to your website with keyword-specific anchor text) and helps to keep your site's overall backlink profile more natural looking.

Citations

Many local SEO experts believe that citations act as the new generation links for ranking a website. This is because a high volume of citations (all of which are accurate and consistent on each web directory) is important to rank well in Google's local listings (accompanied with the map and red push pins.) To learn more about citations, visit this article on the topic.

If you're budget allows, we strongly consider investing in a services like Yext.com. With Yext, you can create the profile for you business on overall 50 SEO-friendly directories (in less than an hour.) Yext makes it easy to ensure your business' directory profiles are sufficiently populated and all citations are aligned for maximum local SEO value.

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Basic SEO Tips for Chiropractors

SEOWhether it's budding entrepreneurs, local SMB's, or large corporations, every type of organization can benefit from SEO. This is particularly true for chiropractors, as local SEO can provide a valuable marketing avenue to generate quality leads and earn new patients.

Below we share several basic SEO tips for chiropractors, and how to lay the foundation for a higher ranking website.

Conduct Targeted Keyword Research

If you're already doing chiropractor SEO, you may already know what your primary keyword targets are. Usually the primary keyword target for chiropractors is "chiropractor," "chiropractors," or "chiropractic," along with a geo-modifier to specific the location you're targeting like "Berkeley chiropractor," "chiropractors in Berkeley," or "chiropractic Berkeley, CA,". Pinpoint a handful of primary keywords (2-4), and optimize your homepage for these core terms.

You can also pinpoint specific chiropractic services to optimize pages of your website. For instance, if you're a chiropractor who offers "laser therapy" or "spinal decompression," then create pages on these services and ensure the on-page SEO and content (more below) is aligned with these pages.

One chiropractor who is making a great example of doing target SEO for specialized chiropractic services is Dr. Tim Bly of Bly-Hillman Chiropractic in Bloomington, IL. Ranking well in Google for many strong keyword searches, Bly-Hillman Chiropractic has been successful at optimizing his website for various chiropractic technologies and services that are rare throughout the Bloomington, IL area. As a result, he has gotten several new patients who are interested in these specific chiropractic services.

Respect Social Signals

With the increasing popularity of social networking websites, social signals have become even more important. They can help you in two different ways. First, they can be used for personalizing Search Engine Results Pages. Second, they can be used as authority measures. Some authority measures include shares, like, comments, favorites and so on.

Social signals tell search engines that your content is high-quality and reputed. This can get a chiropractor higher ranks on search engines. Basically, social signals act as a measure of your reputation and content’s quality on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter etc.

Most search engines like Google use social signals to validate your content as genuine, original and high quality. Social signals indicate that you are appreciated by internet users. Thus, they can help you rank higher and drive more traffic.

Product Quality Content

Content is one of the most important aspects of SEO for chiropractors If you want more traffic, you need to create genuine, high quality and exclusive content. Your content should be grammatically correct, valuable to readers, and relevant to your practice and keyword targets.

Moreover, it should not be stuffed with keywords. You also need to make sure that your content is relevant to your website. You should use around 2-3% keywords in your site’s content. Many tools like Google Trends and Google AdWords help you search relevant keywords for your website. Quality content is the best way to rank higher in popular search engines.

Generating Backlinks

Backlinks are considered to be the best way to generate more search engine authority to a chiropractor’s website. High quality backlinks can easily help ignite a chiropractors SEO efforts and overall keyword rankings.

Finding good link generation opportunities is not always easy. One of the best places to start is major directories, like DMOZ, Google+, Yelp, Yahoo! Local, Yellowpages, and other credible online directories. You can also do guest blogging on other related websites and blogs to publish you content (and links) on other websites that will allow you to link back to yours. Backlink building takes credibility and resources. Get creative in how you approach this aspect of chiropractor SEO.

Performing On-page SEO

Chiropractor BerkeleyMost business organizations don’t realize the importance of on-page SEO. Every page on your website should be optimized individually. With on-page SEO, your website gets easily recognized by search engines. Some important factors affecting on-page SEO include page structure, domain name, page load, page aesthetics, page title and so on. On-page SEO ensures better visibility for your website.

SEO for chiropractors plays a very important role to achieve marketing success online. In the last few years, the scope of SEO has significantly increased. You need to integrate targeted SEO strategies with your overall marketing campaign. If you want to know how to rank your site on popular search engines, understanding SEO will be the answer you’re looking for.

These were some effective ways that can help a chiropractor’s website achieve better rankings. There are also some other ways to drive more traffic and increase sales. It is always better to hire professionals for optimizing your website and achieving a competitive edge in the market. With patience and constant efforts, your hard work will pay off good results.

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Precise Keyword Targeting No More for AdWords PPC Advertisers?

Google AdWordsGoogle has recently announced that starting late September 2014, PPC advertisers using AdWords will be left with no ability to de-select close variants for keyword targeting. Previously, PPC advertisers could opt-out from having their ads displayed with close variant searches, but it seems that all campaigns will now include them.

One of the advantages of exact and phrase match was the ability to track when a searcher used a specific phrase that triggered an ad. This will not be possible anymore in the new all-variant AdWords.

What Close Variants Means to PPC Advertisers

Close variants are a feature of Google AdWords that allow matching of keywords on close iterations or on misspellings. The tool is useful for those who want to save time, not miss important queries, and gather more coverage. Until now every advertising campaign with Google AdWords has this setting on by default, but it was possible to be turned off on the campaign settings page.

Some campaigns have currently this setting turned off in order to save some money on PPC advertising. They prefer to know on what keywords they are spending their ad budget on. If their budget is constrained, by turning off the setting for close variants advertisers have an opportunity for a lower cost click.

The problem with automatic close variants is that many matches may be only close in spelling, but very different in meaning. For advertisers who enjoy having full control over their campaigns the announcement of Google is not good news. It will not be possible anymore to know exactly where the ads are displayed by Google.

No More Precision Keyword Targeting

That option for precision will be unfortunately removed in late September. Removing the ability to opt out of close variants affects the ability of strict targeting. Advertisers will lose the possibility to instruct Google to spend on specific terms.

The consequence of this change in the way Google AdWords will work from September is that those users who preferred to not use close variants will likely have more work to do. They will have to cut analyze the keyword ?details’ reports in order to evaluate the spending on variants.

PPC advertisers will also have to add many more negative keywords and they will not be able to use anymore those old exact match ad campaigns. Those advertisers who will want to bid differently on singular versus plural will need to create multiple ad groups and negative out the opposite plurality.

However, the change will also have some benefits. Those who used to opt off from close variants will be forced now to stop chasing exact matches with lower efficiency and start focus on the big picture. They will migrate from tactics to strategy. And it is well known that it is the strategy that can drive the bigger profits.

For example, just from landing page optimization the gains can be three or even five times more. A top ad copy can bring six times more gains. The change in AdWords will force advertisers to focus on these strategic means of driving up profits instead of basing their advertising campaigns on exact matches and compiling excessive keyword lists. The recent Hummingbird Google update already pushed a shift towards a "keywordless" world and a more object based advertising campaigns.

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SEO for Chiropractors: 5 Ways to Increase Google Rankings

Chiropractor SEOAs you market your chiropractic practice online, start by understanding how your target audience thinks before they go online to look for a chiropractor. Next, you can better optimize your chiropractor website, as well as other aspects of your web presence, to attain better search engine rankings.

Understanding On-page & Off-page SEO for Chiropractors

On page optimization is the development of your website to precisely indicate to search engines like Google what your chiropractic office is all about. This allows patients to get direct results on searching your keywords. The likelihood of achieving this depends on your website’s metadata, website content, authority of your website, and off-page SEO variables.

On the other hand, off page optimization is the reception of votes from other websites, which come in the form of links and social signals. Listing your chiropractic practice in relevant online directories helps you to earn links (also called backlinks.)

A back link is essentially a connector from one site to another. It's a mechanism Google and other search engines used to determine the popularity and keyword relevancy of certain websites when organizing the rankings. To help your chiropractor website ranking highly in search, below are a few SEO tips geared specifically for chiropractors.

1.) Ensure Your Chiropractor Website is Keyword Relevant

The keywords that your prospective clients will type depend on the challenges they are going through. Therefore, examine your area of medical specialization and differentiate it from others by ranking the keywords appropriately. For example, if you are a chiropractor in Toronto, rank for word combinations like "chiropractor Berkeley," "chiropractors in Berkeley," "Berkeley chiropractic office," or "Berkeley chiropractor"

Similarly, ensure that the content you write is high quality and speaks to your audience. It would not make sense to have a keyword-rich website that's jammed with the phrase Berkeley CA Chiropractor, but whose information is shallow or vague to your audiences. Therefore, take advantage of your website to write and share compelling, informative yet interesting content that defines your chiropractic practice. Such content should focus on converting your readers from passive perspectives to active clients.

2.) Create & Verify a Google+ Local Page

Google’s local search is now tailored to local establishments and practices. This has enabled audiences to get results faster and more effectively than before. Being on the local page ensures that you are well placed in the modified local listing with respect to your chiropractor-keyword targets. It is like customizing the searching procedures in a way to land at your name and website while avoiding irrelevant ones.

Many chiropractors have realized dramatic results after creating and verifying a Google+ Local page. In fact, after Google Pigeon, the Bloomington, IL chiropractic office of Bly-Hillman Chiropractic saw a jump in its Google local search listings from letter "G" to "B". This jump was a great benefit to the company's local SEO efforts.

3.) Get Listed in Major Chiropractic Sites & Health Directories

There are several online chiropractic directories that enlist the service of establishments like yours. Ensure you join them and have a careful yet honest description. This way, clients will be redirected to your landing page and website from this index. Some Health directories are free, but even if you were charged, the benefit you get is far greater than being out there in the cold.

Just like on your chiropractor website, list the kind of chiropractic services you offer, from diagnosis, treatment to follow up checks. Give the specific meta data of your practice. Include your physical location, website and any other vital information that will lead droves of clients to you.

4.) Invest in a Chamber of Commerce Membership

An offline chamber of commerce is essentially designed to attract a collection of traders and private practices. It brings together competing forces to streamline specific industry practices and ensure a universal playing field. Similarly, an online chamber of commerce for chiropractic practice implements measures to protect the consumer against possible exploitation from quacks.

Become a member and get a fair share of intelligence from the prevailing market environment. In addition, it is a sure way of getting referrals to land on your website. In fact, the chamber’s website is one of the most solid back links to guide naturally inbound traffic to your website. Ensure you attain and maintain the legal and professional benchmarks in your online and offline practice to avoid being suspended or blacklisted.

5.) Start a Blog and Keep Your Site Fresh

If you do not have a blog that talks about your services or other related information in the chiropractic community, you are probably missing out on the greatest opportunity to gather online leads. As many chiropractic patients these days start looking for solutions to their problems online, you can tap into this massive following by maintain an up-to-date blog.

Create a mix of keywords, content, pictures and video to explain the phenomenon better. Finally, follow up on the activities of visitors on your social media pages to ensure they are linked to your website. Engage and invite them personally to your center to complete a fruitful chiropractor SEO campaign.

Ton's of chiropractors from around the globe are leveraging the incredible power behind local SEO. Are you?

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Can Going HTTPS Boost Your SEO?

HTTPS SEOGoogle recently stated that sites with HTTPS can benefit their search rankings compared to those with HTTP. In more technical terms, Google has announced that webmasters who integrate HTTPS (the secure sockets layer (2048-bit key) to protect site visitors) could see a boost in keyword rankings. But does it come with other implications, as well?

Certainly Yes, it will affect webmasters in one way or the other. But key things such as quality content must stay intact because adding HTTPS only gives a minor boost. Google is more concerned with quality and relevance in terms of search results that visitors across the web will find.

It appears the giant search engine has been working behind scenes to test the viability of HTTPS on sites. But now they have hinted of putting emphasis on the technology to encourage site owners to make the switch, thus keep visitors safe while browsing their sites. Of course this will have a significant impact on seo because certain things must change.

For years, the search engine has never had any major issues with HTTPS. But now, webmasters will have to make a few changes in order to keep their traffic intact. Individual webmasters may need to communicate with Google on time to let them know of their current status as far as making their sites secure is concerned.

A few guidelines have been published though. They include the following:
(a) Webmasters shall decide on which certificate they want.
(b) They may use relative web URLs for all resources stored on the same secured domain.
(c) They must not exclude their HTTPS site from being crawled by robots
(d) They should index all the pages of their sites where possible.

Already the search engine has updated its Google analytics platform to handle the upcoming events. So the more webmasters move with speed to address these seo needs, the better it is for them. Don't take chances where your traffic and income is concerned.

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How to Integrate Schema Markup for Better SEO

Schema SEOSchema markup is one of the newest and most effective approaches to on-site SEO. Schema better communicates what the content of webpage is all about so that's more definitively interpreted by Google, Yahoo and Bing. As a result, SEO can better thrive as search engines are able to understand the semantics of a webpage in a easier fashion.

The grand debate about Schema is how much influence does it have on SEO? It's a subjective topic, but one that many SEO companies and search marketing experts are experimenting with.

A Different Kind of Code

It's important to think about Schema beyond traditional Meta Tags and other SEO-friendly code. Think of Schema markup as "blueprint coding" that's embedded into content using div and span tags. Naked to the front-end user interface, these tags define specific elements of a page's content (e.g. H1's, descriptions, keywords, names of people and businesses, etc.)

Organization = Optimization

Schema is organization or construct of different layers of markup. First and foremost, freshen up over at Schema.org to learn about all the different "types" and "properties" that define certain types of content and their application (e.g. LocalBusiness, CreativeWork, etc.)

The website helps explain everything in a very simple and easy-to-understand manner. As long as you know a bit about HTML and the back-end framework of webpage content, then learning how to implement Schema markup for better SEO will be a breeze.

How Schema Markup Affects SEO

Currently, it's under debate about how much (and whether or not) Schema markup affects SEO and attaining higher page rankings. There is no concrete evidence that Schema markup does indeed boost a page's rankings, however many top SEO companies claim to see increases in ranking after implement the markup.

In short order, it's best to test it out yourself. Try integrating Schema markup on a few specific pages and see if it impacts the pages' keyword rankings or your overall SEO strategy. You may be surprised as to some of the results you see in Google search.

If you're working with WordPress, there are many convenient plugins available that make integrated Schema very streamlined. Essentially, these plugins allow SEO's to simply define markup without having to integrate tags manually.

To evolve your SEO practice to the next level, it's important to leverage new and cutting-edge things like Schema. It can give you an edge with your SEO efforts and help your clients attain better search engine rankings and traffic.

What are your thoughts on Schema markup? Have you experienced SEO-benefits as a result of Schema? Let us know in the comments below.

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