Does Social Media Affect Search Rankings?

In the last couple of years, the lines between search engines and social media have blurred a bitboth for users and marketers. On the one hand, lots of everyday users (and buyers) are using social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to find information, not to mention products and services.

Pair these changes with the longstanding debates within the SEO community about the role of social posts and activities within search algorithms and you get a lot of confusion about the relationship between the two. So, you might be wondering: does what you do on social media affect your search engine visibility?

The short answer is “probably not,” at least not directly. However, the story doesn’t end there. To help you understand the relationship between social media activity and your Google search rankings, here are a few things you should know…

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Should You Be Worried About Google Zero-Click Search Results?

Lately, web designers and search engine optimization (SEO) experts have been sounding the alarm on a growing trend: zero-click search results on Google.

If you haven’t heard this term and/or aren’t familiar with the concept behind it, we want to bring you up to speed. We are going to begin by telling you what zero-click search results are. Then, we’ll get into the bigger question of why you should or shouldn’t be concerned about them. 

Understanding Zero-Click Search Results

What you really need to know about zero-click results is that a large number of Google searchessome estimates say more than halfnever leave the company’s ecosystem. A person searches something, for example, and ends up at Google Maps, YouTube, or another Google-owned web portal to find the answer.

For users, a zero-click search result can be fast and convenient. However, for companies who rely on Google for lead generation, it can be disconcerting to know that fewer and fewer users are finding their way to third-party sites on the web.

Assuming that you get a lot of business from Google, or you prioritize SEO as part of your online marketing plan, you might be worried. However, there’s a decent chance these search queries aren’t that relevant to your business.

Why Your Business Might Not Be Affected

While it’s true that more and more Google searches are resulting in zero offsite clicks, it’s also true that users are interacting with search engines in ways that are relatively new. For example, people commonly ask Google to forecast the weather, get the starting time for the big game, or find driving directions.

There are specific web tools and portals losing traffic based on those sorts of search trends, but they may not fall within your company’s area of influence. Google isn’t recommending realtors, making appointments with architects, or giving inside advice on insurance products (as examples) within its family of web properties.

In other words, many of the zero-click search results are coming from new, information-based searches that don’t relate to industries like yours.

Looking for SEO and Online Marketing Alternatives

While we stand by the notion that most small and medium-sized companies aren’t being affected by zero-click search trends, that isn’t the same as saying they will never be affected. In fact, it’s almost inevitable that marketers reading this article will be at some point in the future.

Google changes like all companies do, and SEO is in a constant state of flux. The key is to understand that and adapt to conditions as they are right now and will be in the near future. For 2020, that means continuing to prioritize search engine optimization in its various forms. It also means keeping an eye on the horizon and experimenting with new ways to reach out to buyers over the web.

Contrary to what some business owners, executives, and web designers get locked into thinking, there are ways to find customers that don’t revolve around organic search results. The beginning of a new year is a great time to re-examine them and size up opportunities for the future.

Are Your SEO and Online Marketing Strategies Setup for Success in 2020?

Every month we talk with business owners and executives who are following old playbooks for online marketing success. What helped you find customers five years ago won’t work today, and in fact might hurt your search visibility or leave you playing catch up with your competitors.

Why It’s Time to Upgrade Your Web Hosting

Web hosting is an easy topic for business owners to ignore. After all, most don’t really understand how it works, never see the computers where their websites are stored. Also most are easily bored by details like server speeds.

So, rather than get into the technical minutia of different web hosting packages and configurations, today we simply want to remind our clients and readers that it’s time to review your hosting package. In fact, it’s likely that you could benefit from upgrading to a better plan.

Reluctant to spend money on something you don’t quite see the value in? Let’s look at a few things you get with dedicated web hosting…

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The Underrated Value of Local SEO

There are a lot of online marketing tactics worth trying. Few are as universally valuable and powerful as local search engine optimization. Unfortunately, we regularly meet with business owners who don’t yet understand the importance of being visible in local searches. In today’s post, we break down the things you need to know in order to make it work for you…

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Why is Your Search Traffic Drying Up?

Is your search traffic from Google starting to dwindle? Have you noticed that your search rankings for important keywords are dropping… and that sales are falling at the same rate?

We meet with at least a dozen business owners and executives every year who are facing the same kinds of problems. The first thing they want to know is why their websites aren’t generating sales opportunities like they used to, especially if they’ve been using search engine optimization for years.

Every situation is different, but below are some of the common reasons we see search traffic dwindle or even dry up completely.

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The Downside to a Successful SEO Campaign (and How to Fix It)

Most online marketers dream of having a top Google ranking for a high-traffic keyword. That’s because they know those websites with an SEO campaign attracts the most visits, and that those visits frequently turn into phone calls, online inquiries, and even walk-in customers.

However, it’s important to note that there are multiple potential downsides to executing a successful search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. Namely that you could suddenly find yourself with a flood of new interest, and that some of your new prospects might not be a great fit for your company.

Granted, getting too many phone calls, email submissions, and inquiries is usually a great problem to have. However, it can lead to difficulties nonetheless, particularly if all the extra activity stops you from paying enough attention to your best current and potential clients.

So, how do you deal with the extra time needed to handle the additional dozens or hundreds of sales inquiries that come your way when you have a high-ranking Google website? Here are a few proven pieces of advice you can follow…

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How To Break Customer Indecision Online

One of the most difficult things to deal with, as an online marketer, is seeing a trend of customers leaving your website at the last minute. They might abandon a shopping cart, close a window before filling out a lead form, or go back to Google when they should pick up the phone.

Why does this customer indecision cost you money? And more importantly, what can you do about it?

Although every buyer and visit is unique, potential customers generally leave you without taking action for one of three reasons: they didn’t intend to buy anything in the first place, don’t have enough information your product or service, or don’t feel sufficiently motivated on an emotional level to move forward. Almost any conversion problem you face is going to come down to one of those issues.

Luckily, none of them are impossible to solve. With that in mind, look let’s look at some fixes you can employ to get customers to place an order or fill out a form instead of clicking away from your website…

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Boosting SEO With Online Reviews

Most marketers tend to think of search engine optimization (SEO) as being all about content creation. That notion isn’t a bad one – you generally will have to write articles, pages, and reports if you want to rank highly on Google – but it isn’t the end of the story. In fact, you can attract visitors to your website using content you haven’t even created yourself.

Don’t worry, we aren’t about to advise you to scrape or copy ideas from your competitors. Instead, we want you to think about the different ways you could use online reviews to boost your SEO efforts. 

SEO and online reputation management (reviews) are often thought of as being completely separate things, but that isn’t the way Google and the other search engines see it. Reviews are valuable buyer-driven content that searchers like. They tend to show up in search previews, meaning they can be seen by potential customers before they ever visit your website or profile. And, reviews demonstrate engagement and authority, which gain more weight every time Google updates its algorithm.

You probably already knew online reviews were important for your business, of course, but if you’re like a lot of the new clients who come to us you might have imagined the quality and quantity of your online reviews were out of your control. That’s simply not the case. Here are some things you can do to boost your SEO campaigns, and your bottom line, using customer feedback…

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Why You Shouldn’t Do SEO Without Social (or Vice Versa)

When social media marketing started taking off, some business owners sought it as a way to replace search engine optimization (SEO). With a few tweets and posts, they imagined they might be able to break away from the competitive and sometimes-grueling cycle of generating and promoting content.

Lately, we have seen the opposite happening: that some small and medium-sized companies are ignoring their social profiles to get back to the more proven strategy of turning search visitors into customers. 

We think that’s a mistake. While SEO might be a more direct route to growing your bottom line, social media marketing still has its place. In fact, we don’t think you should invest time and money in search without also paying attention to your social accounts. Let’s look at why.

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Why you Probably Aren’t Ranking on Google

Amongst business owners and marketing executives, search engine optimization (or SEO) is like a professional sport. Although most decision-makers haven’t done much content writing or technical HTML work, they stay up-to-date on the latest trends and ranking on Google algorithm shifts. They become armchair quarterbacks of search marketing.

That’s generally a good thing. Anyone who has a vested interest in helping their business grow should know what SEO and ranking on Google are all about. However, there is a downside to the intense interest they have and search. Namely that new clients come to companies like ours looking for complicated answers to simple problems.

The details of the search engine optimization campaign are important. However, they only come into play once you cover the basics. To help illustrate what we mean, let’s look at a few Google ranking factors… 

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