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9 Ways to mess up SEO

Being in SEO can either be a very short-term working relationship or a long-term working relationship. It all depends on how you handle it.

Whether you are an in-house SEO extraordinaire, a freelancer, or an agency owner, there are many pitfalls that can expedite your termination. 

You Are Bad at Reporting
You could be really great at your job… or you could be really bad. Without good SEO reporting, the client won’t know which you are.

If you are getting great results, you had better be reporting that back to your client. And if they have no idea what a backlink is or what keyword ranking means, you need to sit down with them and make sure they understand.

Whether you are a freelancer, in-house SEO, or an agency, take the time to explain what SEO is, your tactics, and how it is positively impacting their business.

Google says Goodbye to Google Site Search

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that they are discontinuing support for the Google Site Search product. Google Site Search is a paid product that lets you power your internal website’s search engine based on the Google search technology. Google charges based on monthly query volume for the product.

Google said they are directing those consumers to either the ad-powered product named free custom search engine or the new cloud search product.

Google will stop fully supporting the Google Site Search product by the fourth quarter of 2017.

Courtesy of SearchEngineLand

SEO Can Improve Your Customer Experience

Your customers will often turn to search engines to figure out how to use your products and solve product problems. By creating content that addresses such concerns, you can turn SEO into a powerful customer service tactic.

Consider mapping out the customer journey and identifying potential issues and concerns in each stage. Next, create relevant content for each stage focused on answering customer queries.

Discovery stage: Highlight product features, benefits, and case studies.
Consideration stage: Focus on product comparisons, in-depth whitepapers, product guides, and testimonials.
Decision stage: Focus on pricing pages, reviews, buying guides and deals.
Service stage: Highlight FAQs, support pages, user guides, etc.
By creating and optimizing content for each stage in the journey, you’ll vastly improve customer experience.

Essentials to compete with Ecommerce Giants

1. Avoid the race to the bottom.
Competing on price also can have a secondary (and often unintentional) negative impact. When your marketing efforts are built solely on cost, people forget or stop caring about what makes your company awesome. You give them no reason to believe your products or services are worth a higher price.

2. Act more like a caregiver and less like a used-car salesperson.
Focus on demonstrating value beyond price. Give people what they really want versus what you want them to want.  

Offering customers something of high perceived value allows you to make your brand promise -- not price -- the primary selling point. How does this look in real life? Provide exceptional customer service, create personalized experiences, offer concierge services or give your best customers early access to new products, sales or services.

Google’s machine-learning algorithm

Google’s rollout of artificial intelligence has many in the search engine optimization (SEO) industry dumbfounded. Optimization tactics that have worked for years are quickly becoming obsolete or changing.

The SEO industry began with people deciphering algorithm updates and determining which web pages they affected (and how). Businesses rose and fell on the backs of decisions made due to such insights, and those that were able to course-correct fast enough were the winners. Those that couldn’t learned a hard lesson.

It has only been recently that Google has possessed the kind of computational power to begin to make “real-time” updates a reality. On June 18, 2010, Google revamped its indexing structure, dubbed “Caffeine,” which allowed Google to push updates to its search index quicker than ever before. Now, a website could publish new or updated content and see the updates almost immediately on Google.

5 Important trends for SEO in 2017

Nowadays, modern businesses don't go around without SEO as part of their digital marketing arsenal. According to research conducted by Ascend2, 82% of the surveyed marketers considered SEO as a more effective digital marketing strategy, with 42% stating that its effectiveness has increased significantly. Eighty-one percent of the survey's respondents revealed that their SEO efforts are at least above average.

SEO last year, as predicted by many industry experts, has been really more about innovations with Google, still the leading search engine.

In 2017, these are the top trends that you should watch out.

1. Everyone Goes Mobile
When 5 billion people are already on mobile, how could you pass up such gigantic opportunity?

More and more companies will adopt a "mobile first" strategy when it comes to SEO.

E commerce Sites and Live Chat

A positive customer experience is one of the hallmarks of a company’s long-term success. One of the keys to providing an exceptional customer experience is giving customers the ability to speak with your company directly when they have questions, comments, or concerns.

For e-commerce sites — which are typically known for being streamlined, it might not be feasible to have a customer service department answering calls 24/7. However, a live chat service can solve the customer service aspect, while providing a number of other benefits as well.

Off-Page Optimization Techniques You Could be Penalized For

#1 Link Building with “Rented” Paid Links
Nowadays, paid links are strictly forbidden by Google. However, once upon a time, link purchasing was the lifeblood of black- and grey-hat SEO. It was effective and cost-efficient.

Basically, “rented” or brokered paid links are links that you use for a limited period of time. When your “rent period” is over, you can either rent the links again or they’ll go back on the market for other SEO ninjas to purchase and use them for their sites.

Obviously, this can be seen as cheating. SEO pros could keep their clients on a tight leash, making sure that they would never get rankings high enough to stop investing in links. For the better, Google put a stop to that kind of cheating.

Mobile Apps and E commerce

With the rise of smartphones, online customers have been buying more goods with their mobile devices instead of computers.
Mobile apps are more popular than mobile websites and can provide businesses with more customer information compared to a website visit. Also, customers are more likely to remember and return to a mobile app which is more visible on a phone screen compared to an Internet browser’s bookmark.

What does the growing popularity of apps mean for e-commerce websites? Mobile apps are also affecting how shoppers behave, and an e-commerce business needs to understand these trends to get the most out of mobile apps.

10 Ingredients for Ecommerce Success

Know your target customer. What products or services do your target customers want and need? How do they search for products? 

Select the right products. Your products must be wanted by consumers. The products also must be differentiated from your competitors in some way. Variables include quality, price, availability, and presentation, as well as content about the products, such as user reviews and social commentary.

Make it easy for find your products. This can be challenging for a new ecommerce business. Earning search engine rankings takes time and perseverance. Search ads are expensive, but almost mandatory today. Social marketing is important, but it only gets you so far. Affiliate marketing is now essential for most ecommerce businesses. 

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