Thunder Rank https://thunderrank.com Wed, 20 Dec 2017 19:41:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.10 The Best Internet Marketing Tools for Any Business Owner https://thunderrank.com/the-best-internet-marketing-tools-for-any-business-owner/ https://thunderrank.com/the-best-internet-marketing-tools-for-any-business-owner/#respond Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:56:22 +0000 https://thunderrank.com/?p=4970 Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing, Paid Ads and Content Development are an ongoing process that goes far beyond the Keyword research, registering on yelp.com, yahoo.com google my business and adding local citations to a website.

Whether you own or work for a Brick/Mortar or an Ecommerce Store, there are several approaches to take to establish an online presence. Most likely, you are busy managing a team, running the day to day, finding new leads, reaching out to prospects, answering emails, answering questions.

Are you constantly thinking ‘How could I possibly scale at this pace?” “How are my competitors growing so quickly?” “How are they finding the time and capital to scale while I am left behind?”

Truthfully, you are going to need help to achieve tremendous results. Whether it’s a virtual assistant, or freelancer to help running a project for a couple of hours, the help will certainly make your business gain momentum and keep the chains moving.

I’m going to provide you with tools to start figuring out your road map, but most importantly, to execute. Determine the blueprint to YOUR success and find what it takes to ensure growth for your business on a weekly basis.

1.) Buzzsumo

Your Business needs to enhance its social media presence. First of all, not only does it open the opportunity to gain further reach from social media influencers, but it gives the ability to connect with the best profiles to grow.

Influencers have the power to spread knowledge about a certain product or service. With Buzzsumo, you will be able to find articles, infographics and guest post opportunities per the keyword or topic being searched. On the right hand side of the platform, the amount of social media shares are shown (Facebook Shares, Twitter Shares, Linkedin Shares) in order to best determine the most valuable results.

With Buzzsumo, you can also see statistics such as high average of retweets and if the influencers engage with the audience.

This fantastic tools lets users to see the backlinks that have been obtained per result. Therefore, dig in, search away and start compiling the best social influencers and backlinks that can take your brand, service, or product much farther on search engine results.

Price: 14 Day Free trial and then $99 per Month for the full version or stick to the free version for limited searches per day.

2.) Moz

Moz is a top Search Engine Optimization software that should be used by every single company. Moz resources allows to build in depth understanding of issues going on with a website, crawling errors, link status and on-page/off-page insights to boost performance. Fresh Web Explorer gives users the power to find Search Volume per keyword or phrase.

Tip: Select up to the last four weeks to better establish a deep search volume.

Tip #2: Research before developing content. Make sure what YOU write is always valuable and has the ability of actually being searched. Avoid the fluff.

Price:  30 Day Free Trial to get Started and then $99 Per Month

3.) Semrush

This is a fantastic tool to begin your “reverse engineering” process. See what the competitors are doing, and do it even better. With Semrush, you will be able to see the organic keywords the competition ranks for and your current standings as well. Therefore, strategize and create content per the results and missed opportunities.

Tip: Export the competitor’s results and your owns too. Filter by volume and examine which keywords need immediate attention. Build a content calendar and an action plan to add new topics to your website and blog.

Semrush also pulls the best paid ads per a competitor’s website to gather powerful insights of their adwords campaigns. Determine CPC, best performing ads and top keywords being used.

It makes it very simple to start bidding and showing up on the same search queries as the competition.

Price: Start with a 30-day trial and then it is just $70 dollars per month.

4.) Fiverr: Whether you are in need of a creative design, Digital Marketing, Video Animation, Programming, or other services to catapult your business, they can be found here. Price per work is pretty reasonable and truthfully it is a great resource to take time off your hands.

Do not be scared, invest a couple hundred the first month and measure the results.

Tip: Measure your investments vs. what you are able to accomplish by delegating the work to somebody else.

Tip: Big Hello Media is another fantastic resource. Branded as an affordable Online Design partner, they can help with e-store creation, email marketing campaign management, infographic creation and many other services to give you more time to focus to focus on your business.

5.) Upwork

This is a very powerful tool to help find freelancers and people that are willing to help out with any business effort. Think of it, as a way of building a dedicated team for your brand or service. People all over the world offer their skills in order to help you grow. Hire a local person in your country and start with another person across the globe to keep the business optimized while you sleep!

Tip: A friend of ours just launched a new project named Virtual Taskers. They also provide a great source of global freelancers.

6.) Trello and Asana

Trello and Asana are both productivity tools that will keep your to-dos in check, as well as your team members. Now that you are considering or have hired a team, utilize these web apps to make sure everybody is in sync. Assign daily/weekly tasks, save the best links and resources on the web, create new projects and manage your time efficiently to increase Your bottom line.

7.) Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager

Analytic tools will be your best friend. No questions asked. Make data-driven decisions and understand what is selling best, what is working, what is not working and how to improve per channel. Most importantly, find a way to use this data to create habits. Build transitions from a want mentality to a need mentality for your product.

Everything that is a “want” can essentially be consumed later, which overtime does not become essential to a lifestyle. However, everything that is a “need” does become a must-have for the consumer, therefore, increasing average time spent on site, decreasing bounce rate and allowing for more remarketing campaigns to run.

Start analyzing data based on what your customers feel.  Map cross-selling and upselling strategies to generate new opportunities for your customers. With these insights, your business should become much more desirable and relevant. See How we increased Conversion Rate by 167% in three weeks here.

8.) Infusion Soft

Infusionsoft is a powerful CRM that can goes beyond the basic customer email address and contact information. Bow down to one of the best tools in the market for any business. Marketing automation is the key to the game, and Infusionsoft is basically a cheat sheet that makes sure your business is always winning. Through this platform, you are able to boost Customer Lifetime Value and Customer retention by automating communication funnels.

Develop Email Marketing Campaigns, target behavioral based actions, create auto responders, sequences and triggers to effectively give them steady content on a strategic level. With InfusionSoft, your business will be able to identify each lead and how to best approach them per their decision making process on your website.

Price: Prices Start at $199 per month.

Conclusion

Growing and Establish an Online Presence for your brand/ e commerce store will take time and lots of dedication. Running it all by yourself can be a possibility, but getting help from freelancers or consultants will surely help get it to the next level.

Utilize these tools to get a boost, build a roadmap and level the playing field with the competition. Focus on what is working for your business, find the best ways to replicate it over and over and execute without fear. These Internet Marketing Tools will make a very big difference to your daily business approach and time management. Enjoy!

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What Can We Expect From SEO in 2016? https://thunderrank.com/what-can-we-expect-from-seo-in-2016/ Tue, 12 Jan 2016 23:48:28 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=2064 2016 has rolled out and it is that time of the year when marketers sit down and evaluate, take stock and make adjustments to their strategies. Among the many areas to look into, is the SEO strategy of your own business.

Google has over the last few years, consistently rolled out numerous updates to improve and elevate the quality of search results and it’s very important to keep track of these, so you can devise an SEO strategy that gives you the intended results.

With each year SEO is becoming a little more challenging and here are a few changes that you should take note of for SEO in the year 2016.

Role Of Mobile Optimized Sites

According to studies, mobile usage has officially surpassed desktop usage. Mobile phones are fast becoming the preferred device to browse the web. This means there is an increased emphasis on optimising your website for mobile devices.

In April 2015, Google had an update which targeted websites that weren’t adapted to the mobile platforms. This resulted in wider variations between the desktop and mobile search results.

Importance Of Video Marketing

If you are a B2C brand or company, then 2016, is the year to focus on video content. According to an article in Forbes, this is the year where video content will surpass text in preference.

This can be a potential game changer as several companies still lean towards written content. Videos make sure that the user stays longer in your website thereby giving the right signals to Google about the quality of your content.

So, this is the year where companies may have to start adapting their SEO strategies to make room for video content in their marketing strategies.

Relevance Of Knowledge Graph

Over the years and after several updates, you can find that google never stops in its quest to enhance the user experiences.

As a result of this, Google now helps you to get search information on the search result page itself. It is called the Google Knowledge Graph, where all the semantic search information gathered is collectively displayed in a box (at the top or to the side of the search results) to enhance the search experience of the user.

This makes searching for an information comes effortlessly for the end user, but it could also means less traffic to your site.

So, if you’d like your website’s information to appear on the knowledge graph, these are the few methods you may want to implement:

  • Increase your site’s trust by listing yourself in Wikipedia
  • Backlink to other related websites in your niche
  • Get a page in Google+ for your brand/company website.
  • Use more nouns in the content so the search engines can easily understand your content and its relevancy
  • Use schema markup and ensure it is properly implemented on the site.

Impact Of Website Speed

This is an often repeated point. This was a relevant point in 2015 and will continue to hold relevance in 2016 as well.

Page speed  is an important factor to up the rankings in Google and it will continue to become more important in 2016 as Google starts integrating AMP Pages in February.

This makes sense as Google continues to improve it’s user experience. If you’re site loads too slow, the end user will get frustrated and leave your page.  Secondly, if your page takes a while to load, it becomes more difficult for Google to crawl and index your page accordingly.

If you’re looking to check the score of your website’s speed, check out GTMetrix.

Authority and Trust As Key

Search engines are a lot more advanced today and Google easily differentiates between a trusted and a non-trusted website. It believes that the users are more comfortable visiting familiar, popular, big websites, as opposed to small, new and unfamiliar ones.

Google algorithm nowadays prefer websites that looks like a complete authority on a given subject. If you have a new website, you really want to be sure to hit the pavement running when it comes to building out relevant, authority content and links across your website. This increases the trust and authority of your website in Google’s eyes and eventually impacts your rankings in a positive manner.

Conclusion

This year, 2016, it’s becoming increasingly important for website owners to focus on quality over quantity. You need to prove to Google that your business/brand is a relevant and authoritative figure around the keywords you want to rank for.

If your website provides value, you in turn provide Google’s users with a better user experience.

So in short, prove to Google is that your website can provide faster and better answers for their users.

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What To Do If Your Website Gets Link Bombed https://thunderrank.com/what-to-do-if-your-website-gets-link-bombed/ Sat, 12 Dec 2015 23:21:58 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=1990 One of the dirtiest tactics in SEO is linking bombing, or negative SEO. This is generally done by competitors in an attempt to have your site lose it’s rankings. This can cause your site to get penalized and/or lose a lot of organic traffic from search engines. These types of links generally come from poor quality, spammy, untrusted sites.

Although Google is getting better and nulling the effects of link-bombing from your competitors, it still isn’t pleasant because it often times can have huge negative effects on your website. Moreover, it isn’t always easy to clean up.

Below, I’ll share with you a few steps you can take to help you just in case your site gets hit with negative SEO and the steps to take in the event that you do get hit.

1. Keep Track of Your Links

It’s very important that you keep track of every single link that you build to your site. A good record of the links you build to your website will remove 95% of the headache. This is because all you’ll have to do is just target the links you haven’t built to your website.

However, if  you haven’t kept track of the links you’ve built and you’re not too sure about the links pointing to your site, but you’ve noticed a steep decline in your organic ranking, you can such as Ahrefs, Moz, and Majestic to help you find many of the links pointing to your site. The free version of these tools can provide you with a brief summary of your link profile. However, a paid subscription will be required to get their full report on your link profile.

Lastly, you can also see some of the links point to your website through Google Webmaster tools. Surprisingly, and unfortunately, it’s not as good as Ahrefs, Moz or Majestic. However, it is free and it will give you some idea of what sites are pointing to yours.

2. Determine the Good and the Bad

This is the hard and technical part. You’ll need to be able to determine what types of links are bad vs what are good. Generally, you can easily identify bad links by the types of anchor texts used. Most negative SEO tactics will push a lot of links with spammy anchor text related to porn, gambling and pharmaceutical drugs. If you see any anchor texts related to this, you’ll want to highlight these on your link spreadsheets. Another negative SEO tactic is to hit your site with a number of money keywords in an attempt to over-optimize your site. For example, if you’re site is ranking for “Toronto Daycare,” you can get hit with thousands of links with the anchor “Toronto Daycare” from many low quality websites.

You can look at all the inbound links with this specific anchor text and start to manually go through and remove the legit links you’ve built, from the spammy links you haven’t build.

3. Request Removal

This is the most time-consuming part but once you’ve determined the bad sites that are linking to yours, you’ll want to start contacting the website owners to have those links removed manually. Often times, you can find the contact information for the website’s owner on the website itself. However, if this information isn’t available, you can try using Whoer.net to look up the ownership information for that domain.

After you’ve obtained the contact information, you’ll want to reach out to the website owner with an email. If you don’t get a response within a week, send the webmaster another email and wait for them to get back to you. If they don’t get back to you’re last resort is Google Disavow Tool.

4. Google’s Disavow Tool

If you have signed your website up for Google Webmaster Tools, you will have access to Google’s Disavow Tool. This is a tool, as the name states, allows you to have Google disavow those links, which will remove their negative effects on your rankings. However, this tool can harm your site and it’s very important that you use this tool only as a last result.

Going through you’re link profile to understand which links and bad from which are good is not an easy process and it really does require a lot of time and patience. Not to mention, some of the links that may appear to be negative may actually have positive effects on your website’s rankings. One last option you can also consider is hiring an expert.

5. Hire an Expert

Here at Thunder Rank, we’ve dealt with website’s that have had a negative link profile. You may have got links through ancient SEO techniques or you might have got link-bombed. Regardless, we have the skills and expertise to help your business remove those toxic links which might be hurting your website.

To clean more, contact us today to learn how we can help your website improve it’s rankings, regardless of it’s link profile.

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How Local Businesses Can Use Social Media to Boost Sales https://thunderrank.com/how-local-businesses-can-use-social-media-to-boost-sales/ Wed, 09 Dec 2015 05:44:49 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=1971 With Social Media Marketing, it is easy to get caught up in thinking about the global. After all, when you post on your Facebook business page, or send a tweet, it can attract viewers worldwide. However, if you are a local business and you have not yet tapped into social media as a marketing tool, you are missing a trick. Last year, Google confirmed that 80% of people use search engines to conduct local searches, mostly using mobile devices, and 50% of smartphone users visit a store within a day of carrying out a local search.

So if what you need is people searching for your business, why is social media important? A good social media campaign will have a positive effect on your search rankings, and so is vital for your local business.

Whether you are sharing written, visual or video content (or hopefully all three) there are a number of social media sites you can use to promote your local business.

Facebook and Twitter

These are the twin kings of the social media world. With these sites, the most important factors are content and engagement. Post content that will start conversations, such as questions, interesting articles and facts, and quality photos – it is especially important to showcase your products with large, eye-catching images. You can run contests and Facebook offers and you should also use the Facebook ‘Boost Post’ feature for key posts. Twitter Hours are a good way to boost local engagement and create networking opportunities too. Crucially, make sure your contact details are easy to find, in your About section and in posts.

Google+

Google+ has a big impact on search rankings, so it is important to engage fully with this platform. You should include all your basic information (contact details, opening hours, map and website) on your Google+ Local page, and share video, visual and written content. You can also use hangouts and chat to interact directly with your audience. For more information on using Google+ Local check out this blog post.

LinkedIn

Perfect for B2B companies, it is important to understand exactly how LinkedIn works to use it to its full advantage. LinkedIn Advertising is a great way to target local businesses. It is also important to work on your persona in LinkedIn – rather than going for the hard sell, ask questions, engage and create connections. You should also post content directly to your network and optimise your newsfeed.

Video sharing sites

For companies that have video content, websites like Youtube, Vine, Vimeo and Instagram Video can be used to make links with local customers. You can use videos explicitly for sales, for instance promoting or launching your product, or more subtly with interviews, testimonials, how-to guides, expert advice or even to show customers your staff and workplace. You can also use other social media platforms to cross-promote your video content, for instance by tweeting a Twitter Card or using LinkedIn featured videos.

Image sharing sites

You’ve probably heard the odd joke about people ‘Instagramming their meals’ or spending hours pinning interior décor ideas, but Instagram and Pinterest can be used for business too. In fact, industries such as food, lifestyle, fashion and travel fare very well with these highly visual sites. However, all businesses (including B2B) can use image sharing sites to make connections with customers. Try posting images which enhance your brand, using Pinterest to tell stories and encouraging followers to share what products they’re interested in. For B2B marketing, you could use these platforms to share relevant infographics.

FourSquare

FourSquare is a location based platform which allows users to find local businesses and ‘check-in’ to share where they are with friends. Ideal for entertainment, food and retail businesses, you can use this site to entice new local customers with giveaways, special offers and loyalty schemes.

The important thing to remember when using social media to promote your local business is that you must understand each platform and tailor your approach accordingly. And focus your efforts – if your target audience is other businesses and professionals, you will get further concentrating mainly on LinkedIn, while customer-facing businesses are more suited to sites like Facebook. And if it all seems like too much work, remember that here at Harrison Mann we can help you to create a strong social media campaign across multiple platforms.

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How To Scale Your Guest Post Outreach With Scrapebox https://thunderrank.com/how-to-scale-your-guest-post-outreach-with-scrapebox/ Tue, 08 Dec 2015 08:10:22 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=1931 Scrapebox has become one of my favorite tools in SEO. It has a lot of potential and one of the things I use it for is finding tons of guest post opportunities.

Guest posts are some of the best sources for links and sometimes you can even get a contextual link for the keywords your targeting. Another added benefit is that many guest post sites allow you to publish articles for free and once you’ve published your article, you can then save that site and add it to your arsenal of link prospects for your clients.

Below, I’ll show you how to come up with a huge list of potential link prospects through Scrapebox.

1. Setup a Scrape List

You’ll first need a list of keywords that you’ll use to Scrape.

"seo" "inurl:contributor"
"seo" "inurl:join"
"seo" "inurl:write for us"
"seo" "inurl:write for me"
"seo" "inurl:contribute"
"seo" "inurl:become writer"
"seo" "inurl:submit article"
"seo" "inurl:submit post"

Anyways, once you have the list, you can simply just click CTRL+H in notepad and substitute “seo” for the type of niche you’re trying to prospect links in.

2. Harvest URLs

Ideally, I do recommend that you setup proxies for a faster harvest. However, you can harvest the URLs using just server proxies.

With the last scrape, I was able to obtain over 4 thousand URLs. However, there’s no way I’m going to go through each of them one by one. So I use Scrapebox to help me filter out most of the irrelevant pages.
harvested-urls

3.Remove Duplicate URLS

Firstly, you’ll want to remove any duplicate URLs from the mix.

remove-duplicate-urls

 

4.Weed Results Longer than XXX Characters

The submission page for most websites will have a URL that’s less than 50 characters long. So, to weed out the results, I’ll generally go in and remove all URLs longer than 50 characters. By doing this, I was able to cut the list down to about 1250 URLs.

remove-urls-containing-more-than-xxx-characters

 

5. Filter Results Based On Domain Authority

Now you want to export this list into a text file and run it through NetPeak Checker which is another one of my favorite tools in my SEO tool box. You can use Netpeak Checker to check the domain and page authority for each of the websites. This shouldn’t take very long depending on how many threads you allow it to use and you’re computers processing speed.
filter-results-based-on-da

After you’re done with Netpeak Checker, you can export all your results into Excel. Use the filter in excel to organize the results in order of their domain authority. Depending on the niche, I’ll go for sites with domain authority as low as 20+. However, it all depends on your preference.

6. Further Filtering in Excel

You’ll notice that your results may have quite a few high DA websites in your list such as LinkedIn. Most of these will be at the top of the list so it should be quite easy to just delete them if you organize by DA. But depending on the results you get, you can also use Excel filters to filter for and removed those results.

further-filtering-in-excel

 

7. Outreach

At this point, you should have a pretty clean list but I know you might find it quite time consuming to go through and email the hundreds of websites. However, you can quite easily hire a VA from Freelancer.com for less than $4/hour to work these types of lists for you.

Conclusion

Guest blogging is a great way to get links today. It’s also a great way to build connections and relationships with other’s in your industry.

With this method, you’ll be able to find tons of prospects at once in any industry.

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5 Reasons To Encourage Customer Reviews https://thunderrank.com/5-reasons-to-encourage-customer-reviews/ Mon, 07 Dec 2015 03:59:17 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=1926 In the day to day activities of running a busy business, it can be quite easy to totally forget about the importance of reviews for your business. I see it everyday where businesses totally neglect their reviews online. It just goes to show how most of them don’t seem to find it important to get customer reviews and to manage customer reviews for their business online. Below, I’ll share with you a few reasons why reviews are very important for your business.

1. Reviews Provide SEO Benefits

Google really tries hard to provide search results that benefit the user so it’s no surprise that Google uses the customer reviews on your Google My Business page to help determine where your business should stand in the search results. In fact, earlier on this year, Moz published an article showing the top local ranking factors. If you’re business has a lot of negative reviews, that can harm your rankings but if you have many positive reviews, that will have a positive impact on your rankings.

2. Increased Conversion Rate

When people search for a local business on Google, Google generally returns 13 results on the first page (the local snack pack and the organic results). For the average user, there are generally three ingredients which will help them choose which business to go with:

  1. The rankings (The higher, the higher chance of grabbing the sale).
  2. The conversion optimization of the landing page.
  3. Location (which business is closer).
  4. Last but not least, the reviews for that business.

When they can’t decide, reviews are really what seals the deal with potential customers and clients for your business. In fact, Search Engine Land found published an article that stated 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

3. Increased Click Through Rate

Not only do you have a better chance to convert a customer with positive reviews, but you have a better chance of increasing your click through rate. By looking at the two comparison’s of Plumber reviews in two different cities, it’s obvious that more people will be inclined to click on local business listings that look similar to the listings on the right. They reviews are big time eye catchers.

local-business-comparison

4. Bad Reviews Aren’t That Bad

Bad reviews suck. No one wants a bad review for their business. However, the fear of bad reviews shouldn’t deter you from encouraging reviews from your customers. A study be Reevoo, a social commerce company, stated that bad reviews can improve conversions by as much as 67%. They found that 68% of people trusted the reviews more when they saw a mixture of both good and bad reviews. Also, 30% of potential customers would actually suspect fake reviews or some sort of censorship if they didn’t see any negative reviews at all.

5. Shows You Care

When you encourage your customers to leave reviews, it actually shows that you care about your business and your reputation. This will build trust in your existing customers and possibly increase the chances of them becoming a return customer. And if you think you’re being too pushy by requesting reviews, don’t be afraid to offer an incentive such as a discount on your products or services.

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Guide To Getting Setup As A Local Business on Google https://thunderrank.com/guide-to-getting-setup-as-a-local-business-on-google/ Fri, 04 Dec 2015 03:23:25 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=1919 In the realm of digital marketing, there are a wide range of strategies and techniques that are very effective for business and companies with a large budget. However, these same strategies which are implemented by companies with larger budgets might not necessarily work quite effectively for a local business. A small local business might not necessarily have the big budgets like the larger corporations and franchises.

So how exactly does a local business gain awareness online?

1. Claim a Google Local Listing

gmbThe first thing any local business needs to do is to setup a Google My Business page to setup or claim your business’s listing. This will allow you to manage how your business shows up when people look for it in the search results. You can add pictures, and manage related business reviews.

When setting up your Google My Business page, make sure that all your business’s information is filled out thoroughly and accurately. Any types of errors can cause a major headache and might plateau your rankings in the long run (more info below).

2. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

You need to optimize your listing so that you’re business has a better chance of ranking in the search results. Some of the things that will help with optimizing your listing are:

  1. Adding images to your business listing. Make sure that you name your images with keywords related to what you’re trying to rank for. If you’re a pizza shop that’s focused on targetting the keyword “Toronto Pizza Shop,” name your image toronto-pizza-shop.jpg. It’s also a good idea to take it a step further and modify the title and subject in the images properties to reflect the keywords you wish to target.
  2. Get Reviews for your business. Google is more likely to rank a business that has plenty of great reviews higher than a business with no reviews. If you look in the search results, you’ll even noticed that many of the highest ranked businesses have reviews. A good strategy is to provide your customers with incentives for reviewing your business.
  3. Be Social. Don’t be afraid to get active on your business listing. Post a picture, article, or update once every few weeks. An active business listing tends to get more love from Google than a dormant listing which hasn’t had any form of activity over a long period of time.

3. Submit Website To Local Directories

For Google to verify your business, it looks across the web for mentions of your business on other websites. It’s important that you submit your website to various top directories.

In Canada, the top directories you want your business to be listed in are the following.

When you submit your business to these directories, it is very important to make sure that the information is consistent and matches that of your Google My Business listing. This means that if your business address is 123 Front Street, you should choose whether or not your business address will be listed with Street, St, or Str across all listings. The least inconsistencies the better.

4. Obtain Links

Building links towards your website is very important to increase your website’s rankings in the search engines. However, don’t engage in shady bulk link packages. These will just do more harm than good to your website. It’s very important that you get links from clean websites.

There are tons of websites that would be glad to have a guest post written by you. You can easily find these types of websites by searching Google with one of the following search operators:

  • “Write For Us” + Niche
  • Contribute + Niche
  • “Become a Writer” + Niche

More more information about, I’d recommend reading another article I wrote on 5 Habits To Help You Improve Your Search Rankings.

With these tips, you’re well on your way as a local business to improving your rankings in the search results. SEO is not something that is instant and it requires patience and resilience. However, if you implement good SEO habits and stay consistent, you’ll be sure to improve your website’s rankings over a period of a few months.

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Reasons Why Your SEO Tactics Are Failing https://thunderrank.com/reasons-why-your-seo-tactics-are-failing/ Tue, 01 Dec 2015 06:59:19 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=1899 Quite a number of online businesses understand the need to have a properly optimized website in order to help their search engine rankings. Unfortunately, there are times when your SEO tactics may not work, or may even do more harm than good for your site’s rankings. SEO is a lot more than creating great content and placing choice keywords here and there. It has to do with both on-page SEO as well as off-page SEO.

Below, you’ll find some common reasons why an SEO campaign may fail.

Having no goals beforehand

With no goals set, there is no clear direction for the campaign to go. While setting goals, they need to be as realistic as possible. An example of an unrealistic goal is to think that your SEO campaign will yield instant results. Measurable outcomes that MAY be used to measure SEO campaign success include traffic, sales or leads.

Unattractive Website

Having an unprofessional website can greatly hurt your SEO campaign. Not many people will endure coming to a site that is less than professional looking. A site that is not engaging, and appealing will drive a lot of potential customers away.

Choosing the wrong keywords

There is nothing as irritating in SEO as optimizing for the wrong keywords and realizing so later. When you fail to optimize your website for the right keywords then you end up getting wrong traffic. If you experience a lot of bounce rate from organic traffic to your site then you need to question the keywords you are using.

It is important to find the most appropriate keywords to use and proceed to verify the same with real data so that you don’t end up with the wrong keywords. You can make use of a keywords research tool such as Google Keyword Planner to help you find the right keywords for your given business, niche or brand.

Broken Links

If visitors visit your website, just to find a wide range of broken links, this not only kills the user-experience, but limits the passing of link juice throughout your website. It is important to check that your links are working as they should and that you have few error messages whenever your link is clicked. It’s also good practice to ensure that your site is also linking only to sites that are relevant and related to your site.

Creating Random Content

Whenever you create content for visitors to your site, you need to ensure that it is as relevant and useful as possible. Take a look at your target audience and proceed to create a steady stream of valuable content that will keep them coming back for more!

Hiring The Wrong SEO Agency

Hiring the wrong agency can harm your website in the wrong run. There are agencies out there that practice unethical SEO practices which allow them to make a quick buck and many of them may provide you with a wide range of guarantees and promises.  However, many of the practice they use can in fact do more harm to your site in the long run.

At the end of the day, you need to set realistic goals, have a reasonable budget and give yourself a realistic time-frame in which to see the results of your SEO campaign. You also need to pay close attention to the content you provide and the websites that you link to so that you provide users with a great experience which will ultimately turn into multiple sales.

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Configuring Your Website’s .htaccess for SEO Purposes https://thunderrank.com/configuring-your-websites-htaccess-for-seo-purposes/ Thu, 08 Oct 2015 04:33:17 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=1742 For many websites, primarily those that aren’t based off a Content Management System (CMS), the .htaccess file is generally not present. However, a properly configured .htaccess file is part of good on-site SEO practice and can help to give you a bump in the search results. Below I’ll share with you some of the common .htaccess rules which are quite useful for SEO purposes.


Getting Started

Firstly, for your .htaccess file to work, you’re going to want to make sure to add the following to the top of your .htaccess file.

RewriteBase /
RewriteEngine On

Setting Up SEO Friendly URLs

This is primarily a technique to improve the attractiveness of URLs. If you have a URL such as:

  • https://www.some-website.com/random-page.html

You can make the URL look like the following instead.

  • https://www.some-website.com/random-page

The code to make this work is:

RewriteBase /
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}\.html -f
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ $1.html

If your website is built using .php or another format, just substitute .html for the respective format of your website.

However, for the above code to work, you need to rewrite all the links on your website. For example:

<a href=”randompage.html”>……</a>

Should become

<a href=”randompage”>……</a>

Setting Up Permanent Redirects

For older websites that have undergone major re-designs and restructuring, 301 redirects are very important to pass link juice to a new URL. To create a permanent 301 redirect to point one page to another, you can easily use the following code.

Redirect 301 /some-old/website-url https://www.example-website.com/new-url

Custom Error Pages

Setting up a .htaccess file is a great way to define custom error pages for your website. In the case of a 404 error page, this prevents bots from landing on a server based 404 error page like the one below.

404-server-error

With this type of error page, link juice can be lost since there are no links from this 404 error page to point back to the website.

To create custom error pages, use any one of the following lines of code for the respective error page you want setup.

ErrorDocument 400 400-error-page.html
ErrorDocument 401 401-error-page.html 
ErrorDocument 403 403-error-page.html 
ErrorDocument 404 404-error-page.html 
ErrorDocument 500 500-error-page.html

Defining your website to be www. vs non-www.

If you’re not using rel=”canonical” to define to Google which version of your website you’d like to have indexed, then there’s a chance that both the www. and non-www. version of your website are indexed in Google. To prevent duplicate indexing of your website, adding this to your .htaccess file will be very helpful.

Define Website to be www.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example-website\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.example-website.com/$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*/index
RewriteRule ^(.*)index$ https://www.example-website.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Define Website to be non-www.

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.example-website\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://example-website.com/$1 [R=301,L]
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*/index
RewriteRule ^(.*)index$ https://example-website.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Removing Trailing Slashes

Just like the example above, some servers may server both a non-slashed and a slashed version of a URL. As a result, you can end up  with two versions of the same web page being indexed. For example:

  • https://example-website.com/random-folder
  • https://example-website.com/random-folder/

This is issue is generally not very common. However, if you do have this issue, it can be easily solved by completely removing the trailing slash.

RewriteRule ^(.*)/$ http://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1
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5 Habits To Help You Improve Your SEO Rankings https://thunderrank.com/5-habits-to-help-you-improve-your-seo-rankings/ Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:11:57 +0000 http://thunderrank.com/?p=1561 Everyone has daily habits. We wake up, brush our teeth, shower, eat breakfast, then go on our day. It’s pretty much like clockwork. These are repetitive habits that we have to help us with our hygiene and overall health.

Search engines love sites that appear to be active in their niche. Sites that are updated frequently and have a strong presence in their industry will rank better than those that don’t. So how exactly do you do this? Below are some habits that will help Google and Bing see you’re active in your industry and help your site with its rankings.

1. Write an Blog Post

This is perhaps the hardest thing for any website owner to do. It’s not easy to sit down an write an article daily. However, content is king and frequently posting articles to your site will provide you with tremendous SEO benefits.

Create high quality and long articles. Quality content is more likely to get more shares and longer content is more likely to provide you with SEO benefits.

2. Update An Old Post

Content can get old and outdated. And in 2011, Google came out with a new algorithm which favors fresh content over old, out-dated content. The goal of this update is to provide users with up to date, fresh content.

You’ll also notice this quite often when your searching for a news story in Google. Below, I searched for the term “government” and the top article is the article which was most recently published on that topic.

government

 

3. Post a Link to an Article on Every Social Media Platform

For every new article that you publish to your website, share it on every social media platform you own. Share it on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Today, search engines are relying more on social activity as a ranking factor.

The more your content is promoted on social media, the better effect it’ll have on your rankings. In a case study by Search Metrics, we also see that social activity play a major effect as a ranking factor for SEO.

seo-ranking-factors-2014

4. Interact on a forum in your industry

Forums and discussion boards are a great way to add niche relevance to your website. It also contributes to how search engines equate you to being an industry authority.

You might have the answer to a question in a past blog post on your website. Share your link and provide answers.

To find a forum in your niche, just search “niche” + forum in Google.

5. Interact on a blog in your industry

Just like forum post, blog comments also helps to add niche relevance to your site. Go out there and share your ideas and view points. Often times, websites allow you to blog comment with your link and name as the anchor text which is alright.

But it’s even better to write a few lines, or paragraphs (the longer the better) then add your link within the body of the blog comment.

To find a blog in your niche, just search “niche” + blog in Google.

Conclusion

It might be hard to follow each of these steps. However, to do all of this will probably only take about 2 hours out of your day. If you do this for two hours each and every day, I can guarantee that you’ll see ranking improvements within a few weeks.

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