Ask Yoast: Meta descriptions and excerpts

Andrew Raynor

 

 

When you’re running a large and busy website, it’s practical and time-saving if you can reuse some of your material. Both meta descriptions and excerpts use a brief passage to summarize the content of a web page. So, it could be handy to use the same text for both. But how do you do that? In this video, Joost explains the easiest way to reuse your text for both meta descriptions and excerpts, and whether Google approves of this reuse.

Renee Lodens sent us an email with the following question:

“Is there a way to bulk copy the Yoast SEO meta descriptions to the excerpt field? Also, is this considered duplicate content?”

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page! 

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO for WordPress pluginBuy now » Info

Meta descriptions and excerpts

So, what to do if you want to save time and use the same passages for meta descriptions and excerpts?

“Well, let’s start with the first thing. It’s probably easier to do it the other way around. If you put the description that you want in the excerpt field, and then in the back end, in the Yoast SEO Titles & Meta section, you can use the excerpt short code for meta descriptions. We will automatically put your excerpt in your meta description. That’s easier. You can do it the other way around too, but then you’d have to code a bit.

Is this considered duplicate content? No, it’s not. Because they are different things used for different purposes. Your meta description will only show up in the metadata, which will not be shown on the page. And Google considers these two separate things.

So this might actually work well for you if you write really good short excerpts that fit well into your meta description.

Good luck!”

Ask Yoast

In the series Ask Yoast we answer SEO questions from followers. Need some advice about SEO? Let us help you out! Send your question to ask@yoast.com.

Read more: ‘How to create the right meta descriptions’ »

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

Why you should use the Yoast SEO text link counter

Andrew Raynor

 

 

In the 5.0 release of Yoast SEO we’ve added the Yoast SEO text link counter. This new functionality counts the number of internal links in a post and the number of internal links to a post. It sound really simple, but it’s extremely useful and actionable. It’ll really make it so much easier to improve the structure of your site. Why is that? Why is site structure even an issue? And why is our new text link counter useful? Here, I’ll explain all about that. 

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO for WordPress pluginBuy now » Info

What does the text link counter do?

The text link counter counts the internal text links in your posts. It consists of two counters: The first counter counts the number of links in your post and the second counter counts number of links to your post.

You can find the Yoast SEO text link counter in your post overview. In this overview you’ll see two additional columns. The first column shows the first counter – internal links in your post – and the second one shows the second counter – internal links to your post:

yoast seo 5.0 text link counter

Site structure and SEO

The structure of a site is a very important aspect of SEO. After all, Google follows links. The result of Google following links is that the internal linking structure of your site determines how Google crawls your site. Posts and pages that are linked to more often, are crawled more frequently than post and pages with few (internal) links. Same goes for visitors: pages and posts that have many links referring to them, get more visitors. If you forget to link to a specific blog post, nobody (Google included) will find it.

An internal linking structure that makes sense is therefore crucial for SEO. That’s why, for the past year, we’ve added some really nice features to Yoast SEO Premium that’ll help you to keep your site’s structure up to date: the internal linking functionality and the cornerstone content checks. The text link counter, available for everyone in the free version of Yoast SEO, is another great feature that’ll help you to improve your site’s structure.

Why should I use Yoast’s text link counter?

Find articles with few links

The text link counter will allow you to assess the number of internal links each post receives and the number of links each post contains. This is important stuff. You’ll be able to instantly see which posts are hardly link to at all. If these are important posts in your opinion, you can take action and link to these from other (similar posts). This will help your most valuable posts and pages to rank higher.

Actionable! Improve your SEO

You should use the text link counter because it is a very actionable feature. It allows you to really get started with working on your SEO. The text link counter indicates which articles have fewest links. These are the articles that need your attention! This feature really points to weak points in your site’s SEO. It tells you where to start optimizing.

Conclusion: Indispensable new feature

The new text link counter is an indispensable feature for everyone who takes SEO seriously. It’ll give you feedback on those articles that need attention in internal linking. Use our text link counter in combination with the internal linking tool. That’ll make it so easy to take your internal linking structure to the next level!

Read more: ‘Internal linking for SEO: why and how’ »

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

Yoast SEO 5.0: Site-wide SEO with the text link counter

Andrew Raynor

 

 

Our mission statement is SEO for Everyone. On many fronts, we’re making good on that promise. In 2016, Yoast SEO added revolutionary checks to content and readability analysis features. Much of that year was spent improving and enhancing the content part of the plugin. In 2017, we’re fixing the site structure problem, by adding, among other things, an internal linking tool and cornerstone content checks. Now, we’re taking the next step: Yoast SEO 5.0 features a brand new, and awesome, text link counter.

Optimize your site for search & social media and keep it optimized with Yoast SEO Premium »

Yoast SEO for WordPress pluginBuy now » Info

Improving your structure one link at a time

SEOs can probably build solid site structures in their sleep, but for the rest of us, it’s hard work. We need every kind of help we can get. This process requires a lot of work. That’s why we’re starting to make Yoast SEO a tool that can not just help you with improving your content and different kinds of on-page optimizations but transcend that to a site-wide level.

Yoast SEO 5.0 kicks things off with the introduction of the text link counter. It’s the first tool that looks at your site from a site-wide SEO perspective. We all know how important – internal and external – links are. The web is based on links. We all form connections that lead us from one place to another. Links build a site structure. We, however, often encounter sites that hardly use links to form connections between different parts of the site. Without a well-thought-out linking structure, there will be no site structure. But how do I link correctly? Is there a way to check the links I have on my site and how do I know which articles link back? Well, now there is.

yoast seo 5.0 text link counter

New icons in Yoast SEO 5.0. The arrow pointing out is the number of internal links in an article. The arrow pointing in is the number of internal links to this article. The traffic light is the SEO score, while the feather represents the readability score.

 

text links counter

Hover over the icons to see more information.

Yoast SEO text link counter

The text link counter in Yoast SEO 5.0 analyzes every part of your site and presents all the internal links found on your WordPress site in two new columns. The first one – the icon with an arrow pointing out – shows the number of internal links an article has, while the second column – arrow pointing in – shows the number of internal links pointing to this post. By browsing the overview, you can easily see which posts and pages are linked. You can also discover which posts don’t have enough links or which links could be improved. You might even find pages that have just one or no links at all. This way, you can prioritize the posts and pages you need to fix to build up your site structure. Read Marieke’s post on why you should use the text link counter.

We’re making this tool available to every user of Yoast SEO because we think everyone can use a little help in building a solid site structure. The absence of a strong structure is one of the main reasons many sites fail to live up to expectations. Let us help you fix it. We want to improve your site from a holistic SEO perspective and lower the barriers to do so. Every part of your site has to be perfect to be the best possible result.

To keep track of your linking structure, we have to add a table to your database. If you are running into problems with this, you can get more information in this entry on our Knowledge Base.

Enhancement for Italian and French

New features are cool, but we’re also still focussing on expanding Yoast SEO’s language abilities. In the past releases, Yoast SEO received initial Italian support: transition word and sentence beginning assessments. In Yoast SEO 5.0, we can now calculate the Flesch Reading Ease score for Italian. This way, you can see exactly what the perceptive level of the text is. We’re continuously researching better ways of implementing language support. In this case, after much deliberation, we’ve upped the maximum sentence length from 20 to 25 based on in-depth research into the use of the Italian language.

The second supported language we’ve enhanced in this release is French. Thanks to Sylvain Perret and Vianney Andre we can now offer full insights and linking suggestion in French. Full support for French is expected soon.

Upwards and onwards

Yoast SEO 5.0 is another milestone release that makes SEO a bit easier for everyone. We’re offering you a new way to look at your site and the content within. We’ve made links visible and usable, so you have to spend less time figuring out how everything is connected. Now, hit that update button and go work on your site structure!

Read on: ‘Why every website needs Yoast SEO’ »

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

SEO basics: How to use headings on your site

Andrew Raynor

 

 

Text without headings is terrible to read. Headings and subheadings are the most important anchor points a reader has in the text. People tend to read those more carefully and use headings to determine what a text is about. This means headings are essential to help people figure out whether they want to read a text. So, how do you use headings properly on your site? And are they of any importance for SEO? I’ll tell you all about that here. 

Learn how to write awesome and SEO friendly articles in our SEO Copywriting training »

SEO copywriting training$ 199 – Buy now » Info

Headings and text structure

Headings are anchors that guide readers through a text. People tend to read those headings carefully. Headings should therefore indicate what a paragraph is about, otherwise people won’t know what to expect. Moreover, if they get lost in (poor) writing, looking back to the heading may help them to get back on track.

Reading from a screen is hard. People easily get distracted and loose track of the story you’re trying to tell in your blog posts. Headings will help people to stay on track, to grasp the message of your post.

For web copy, I’d strongly recommend to write headings that are informative to the reader. Some people like to tease their audience in the headings, trying to seduce them to read further. That can work beautifully. However, the main focus of headings should be on the content. And the main purpose of headings should be to make the text more readable.

Keep reading: ‘Why text structure is important for SEO’ »

Headings and SEO?

People like putting their focus keywords in headings and some believe it’ll directly result in higher rankings. I’m not sure about that. Still, your focus keyword should definitely be in a subheading. If you’re trying to rank for it, you’ll have to write about it. It only makes sense that you mention the main topic of a blog post in one or more headings. It shouldn’t feel unnatural or weird using your focus keyword though, then you’re probably trying too hard – or over optimizing.

Although not a major ranking factor, headings do affect SEO. That’s because headings are important to users. They help readers to figure out what a text is about. And if readers use headings to figure out what a text is about, Google will too.

Use of headings

Sometimes developers also talk about headings. They usually talk about <H1> and <H2>, <H3>, <H4>. Just to translate a little: H1 is the title of the page or the blog post, and you should only use it once. The other headings can be used multiple times, as long as it makes sense. It’s a hierarchical structure, so before you use H3, you should have used H2. But you can go back and use H2 after you’ve used H3. Here’s an example of a heading structure:

H1: Ballet shoes are awesome

H2: Why ballet shoes are awesome

H3: Ballet shoes are pink

H3: Ballet shoes are flexible

H3: Ballet shoes are cheap

H2: Where to buy your ballet shoes?

H3: Online stores

H3: In your hometown?

H2: Wrapping it up.

You can use H4, H5 and H6, if you want to, as long as you make sure to use H4 before H5 and H5 before H6, and so on. I usually stick to using H2 and H3 though.

Headings and accessibility

The heading structure is important for accessibility as well, especially for people who can’t read well from a screen. Because headings are in HTML, a screenreader can make an outline and read all the headings out loud.

By reading or listening to the headings online, visually impaired people can make their decision whether to start reading an article. In addition to that, screen readers offer shortcuts to jump from one heading to another, and this way, headings are used for navigation as well.

Don’t forget your headings!

Using headings well is helpful for your users, increases chances of people actually reading your article, improves accessibility and might even contribute to SEO. So add them in your copy, the right way!

Read on: ‘Headings and why you should use them’ »

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

How to Write and Launch Your Best Book: Part One

Andrew Raynor

Writing your first book is equal parts intimidating and exhilarating. You’re scared and excited at the same time. One fear that grips new authors is how to write a book in the first place. Turns out, you re-learn this skill with every new title.

How to Write and Launch Your Best Book: Part One

After writing four books, you might assume that it was easy for me to tackle a fifth without much help. But we both know that lasting creative success happens in the context of community. Real Artists Don’t Starve was no exception.

Once I stumbled on Dr. Hatfield’s discovery and learned the truth about Michelangelo, this nagging idea about the myth of the Starving Artist latched on and wouldn’t let me go. I knew there was a message worth sharing, and quickly accumulated a small research library thanks to Amazon.

However, I felt stuck when it came to transitioning to the writing of the book so I reached out to author, memoir consultant, and writing coach, Marion Roach Smith, for help.

During the course of a handful of conversations, Marion walked me through the process of researching, writing, and releasing Real Artists Don’t Starve.

In Part 1 of this mini-series on The Portfolio Life, Marion and I talk about why you don’t have to start writing Page 1, visiting Ernest Hemingway’s house in Cuba, and provoking your reader to be successful. Listen in as we discuss clarifying the argument of your book, creating a “closet” structure to write within, hitting your stubborn beliefs with a hammer.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Marion and I discuss:

  • Why doubt is an indicator of respect for your craft
  • How reading a book is like an adventure
  • What questions and doubts reveal about your book’s structure
  • The original title for Real Artists Don’t Starve
  • Attending a witch camp to research a book about redheads
  • The modular method of writing a book
  • Why you don’t have to be right to write non-fiction
  • A practical writing strategy for not wasting 40,000 words
  • Asking surgeons unorthodox questions about their experience in the world
  • How long to research before you start writing a book

Quotes and takeaways

  • You re-learn how to write a book every time you write a book.
  • “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” –Ernest Hemingway
  • If you have no questions or doubts, you’re not conscious of how textured the writing experience is.
  • “Books are a cumulative experience.” –Marion Roach Smith
  • “Once you understand the argument and can put it into a sentence, you can build the best book in the world.” –Marion Roach Smith
  • “How do you write a book? One word at a time.” –Marion Roach Smith
  • The best way to get someone to learn something is to put it to music or make it funny.
  • “You can never stop short of fulfilling that obligation to your reader to make it as good as it can be.” –Marion Roach Smith

Resources

What does your research process look like? Where in your book do you start writing first? Share in the comments

Andrew Raynor

Testimonials: increase your visitor’s trust

Andrew Raynor

 

 

At Yoast, we’ve seen a lot of websites of every caliber. Every website has its own issues, but all websites benefit from optimizing the conversion rate. It really doesn’t matter if your goal is more sales, more Facebook likes or more newsletter subscribers. One thing that helps almost every website, is the right use of testimonials. A lot of websites do have testimonials, but just having them simply isn’t enough. 

Want to outrank your competitor and get more sales? Read our Shop SEO eBook! »

Shop SEO$ 25 – Buy now » Info

Here, we’ll explain how to fully exploit your testimonials and what steps you should take to find out how they work best for you. We’ll start with explaining why testimonials work in the first place!

Note: In this post, we’ll use the word testimonials for both testimonials and (product) reviews. We chose to do so because the two are actually the same thing, in our opinion. There’s only one real difference: reviews can be negative.

Why testimonials work

Testimonials are mostly said to work on the basis of social proof. Social proof is a psychological process, which causes people to copy the behavior of others, in an attempt to reflect correct behavior. A well-known person, or at least someone people can identify with, may use a product or service and be blown away by it. When others hear about this, they will interpret that as correct behavior and follow suit. This is the reason influencer marketing is such an effective way to sell your product nowadays. When a celebrity on Instagram uses a product and writes positively about that, people will buy it. Because if an admired celebrity endorses a product, that must mean it is just the right thing for you as well! Social proof, regardless if it’s from celebrities or close friends, contributes significantly to the effectiveness of testimonials.

Testimonials: increase your visitor's trust

However, social proof is not the only reason why testimonials work. Or, at least it shouldn’t be. While a lot of the testimonials we encounter on eCommerce shops are fairly vague, even those vague ones shed some light on the workings of a product or service. After all, five stars is five stars, right? This is exactly what testimonials should do as well, as far as I’m concerned: give some insight into the experiences of some people, so others can make up their own opinion. Not only should a testimonial confirm the fact that your product is awesome, it should also discuss:

  • why it’s awesome,
  • how it works and
  • why it worked for the person writing the testimonial.

And then you’re still only halfway there. You should also have testimonials about:

  • the buying process on your site,
  • the delivery and
  • maybe even someone using your 30-day money back guarantee.

Let your visitors know that every aspect of your online shop has been successfully used by other people and that they were very satisfied with it!

Testimonials overlap with product reviews

We’ve arrived at a gray area here, where testimonials start overlapping reviews. And in my opinion, that’s exactly how it should be. As soon as they’re overlapping, you’ll get the best of both worlds. Not only will the social proof process kick in, but experience products – products of which it’s hard to predict if they work – can also change into search products – of which it’s easy to predict if they work. In other words: the benefits of your products will become a lot clearer, making it easier for potential customers to purchase them.

When testimonials work

Testimonials are powerful in creating trust, and not just for online shops. Research confirmed that positive reviews can significantly increase sales. In fact, testimonials were found to be a more important cue for judging the trustworthiness of an online store than the actual overall reputation of that store. That was the case some years ago, and that hasn’t changed. But obviously, you can’t just slap some glorifying texts on your site. Your testimonials have to earn the trust they evoke.

In case of product reviews, even negative reviews can be useful. But only if you can show visitors you’ve adequately responded to the customer who gave the negative review. It’s normal to receive a negative review once in a while. How you react to those negative reviews is important, especially for future customers. This is also precisely why you shouldn’t remove negative reviews or submit fake ones. Your reviews need to look genuine and trustworthy. And they’ll only look real when they are real.

Storytelling

Over the past couple of years, storytelling has become all the rage and for good reason. Stories have a positive influence on a customer’s perception of a brand, as well as the willingness to purchase. Stories can affect behavior, given that the story resonates with your visitor.

And that’s exactly where it becomes tough. It’s easy to state that “stories sell”. But how would you go about obtaining stories that your audience would feel captivated by? If you offer services or products that are problem-solving, to begin with, this is easy. Just ask a few of your customers to describe the issues they had and how your services or products helped them solve these problems.

It’s a totally different story (literally) if you’re selling clothes, for instance. You obviously can’t have customers state “I was naked my entire life until I found this piece of clothing!”. In these cases, you’ll have to get creative and maybe ask customers to write about the – hopefully superior – quality of your products and how they last longer, for instance. And if you offer a clothing brand that’s sold in other online stores as well, let your customers write about why they’re using your shop in particular. Is it your superior customer service? Your site’s excellent usability? The speediness of delivery? Have your customers write about this.

The use of photos with testimonials

Photos are almost considered a “sure thing” within internet marketing and CRO circles. In fact, research from just a few years ago showed that the use of pictures increased the perceived trustworthiness of a statement. According to the results, it doesn’t even matter whether the picture is relevant, or the information next to the picture accurate. While I think these are cool findings, I don’t believe it is always this simple and depends highly on your audience.

To make matters worse, there are studies that found photographs increase the perceived trustworthiness of poorly performing vendors only, and decreased that of vendors with a good reputation. Furthermore, there are differences in reactions to images between cultures, which means you might actually have to make use of different tactics for different continents, if you’re selling globally.

As you can see, science isn’t really definitive about the use of photos. And the downside of all these studies is: they’re not specifically about testimonials. At Yoast we always recommend using photos with testimonials, because it appears to add to the credibility of those testimonials. But the best way to go would be to test if adding photos lead to better results of your site.

Influential people

If you’ve already read about testimonials, you probably have read about the impact of “influential people”. I already mentioned influencer marketing. Let’s talk about that some more. There are some people that are so well-known in their field of work that their opinion really carries weight. Their opinion carries weight due to the Halo effect. Wikipedia has this to say about the Halo effect in marketing:

The halo effect is also present in the field of brand marketing. One common halo effect is when the perceived positive features of a particular item extend to a broader brand.

With testimonials from influential people, the product will be perceived as better or more trustworthy. As you’ve read, this can even transfer to your entire brand.

Obviously, there’s one major criterium for this: the person would have to be considered an influential person in the field you’re offering products or services. If we were to receive a great testimonial for our Yoast SEO Premium plugin by Miley Cyrus, it probably wouldn’t carry much weight with the people we’d like to influence (agencies, website owners). Nevertheless, I’m sure a lot of people would install the plugin, but perhaps not for the right reasons. You get my drift.

Placement of testimonials

Over the years, we’ve noticed that quite a few of the websites that do have testimonials, just don’t place them prominently. Testimonials are great. But if they’re only on the testimonial page and nowhere else, odds are not a lot of people will find them. So you need to put them on pages where people will find them. On your landing pages and near call-to-actions would probably be good spots.

Read more: things to consider for your online shop »

You and your testimonials

If you read this article up to here, you probably agree that all this makes perfect sense, right? So stop just having testimonials, and start using them!

Is there anything we missed? Or do you have something else to contribute? Let us know in the comments. Thanks!

Read more: ‘Grow your business with ratings and reviews’ »

 

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

Adding JSON-LD structured data with Google Tag Manager

Andrew Raynor

 

 

You’ve probably heard us talk a lot about structured data, Schema.org and JSON-LD. Schema structured data on your site can result in highlighted search results. In this article, we’ll show you how to implement structured data using the JSON-LD Schema.org markup on the pages of your site. Here, we’ll take a closer look at how to implement structured data with Google Tag Manager.

We’ve just launched a brand new training on structured data and SEO. This training has an introductory price of $119. On July 2, this will jump to the regular price of $149.

Want rich snippets for your site? Try our Structured data training »

Structured data training$ 119 – Buy now » Info

Structured data with Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager is a tool that can take your marketing to the next level without the need of a developer. It’s a tool that can easily add scripts or pieces of code to a page. There are several advantages to using Tag Manager to implement structured data.

For one, you can generate tags, triggers, and variables, which means that you can apply the same code again and again on different pages. For instance, if you have loads of recipes, you can create a tag with the variable “preparation time”, so the preparation time of every recipe will be taken from a recipe page. This means you won’t have to add the preparation time manually to the code of every single page. In the end, this will save you a lot of work.

In addition, Tag Manager features a preview mode, which allows you to check whether you successfully implemented your data immediately. Read the post Google Tag Manager: An Introduction to get started.

How Google Tag Manager works

First, you need to know about three important elements: Variables, Triggers and Tags. You can find these elements on the left-hand side of your workspace. A workspace is a place where you work on creating and adding pieces of code to your pages.

google tag manager structured data workspace

Tags

A tag is a piece of code that can be fired on a page of your website. You can put many things in a tag. For instance, you can add the Google Analytics tracking code in a tag. This tag will enable Google Analytics to track your website. Similarly, you can put your structured data code in a tag. In other words: a tag contains information as to what you want to add to a page.

Triggers

Tags only work when there’s a trigger attached. You need a way of telling Google Tag Manager under which condition a tag must be used, or fired, as we call it. If you have a structured data tag, the trigger tells Tag Manager on which pages to fire that tag. This is because it’s possible that not all your pages need a recipe structured data markup, for instance. Simply put, a trigger tells Tag Manager: “Please fire this tag on these pages, but not on these pages”.

Variables

Variables serve two functions. Firstly, triggers need variables to know whether or not to fire. Suppose Tag Manager runs on your page. If the value of the variable meets the conditions you set, the trigger will fire. This, in turn, allows the tag to work. Secondly, the variable provides Google Tag Manager with variable information. This means that the information can be different in different contexts. A Date Published, for example, will be different for every eBook you publish. If the trigger fires, Google Tag Manager will then fetch the specific value from the specific page it visits.

An example of a variable is the URL of a page, but you can use any element of a page as a variable. It could be an ‘Add to cart’ button, or the H1 of a page, for example. The most commonly used variables are predefined in Google Tag Manager. But things like buttons or the H1 are variables you have to define yourself. With variables, you can edit your code in such a way that it will take elements from the current page to use in a tag.

Adding JSON-LD to your site step by step

We’re going to guide you through implementing structured data on your pages. We’ll take the Schema.org type Course as an example. As stated, we’ll use JSON-LD markup. There are five steps to take:

  1. Make structured data
  2. Create tags and triggers
  3. Create variables
  4. Trigger your code
  5. Validate and publish

Step 1: Creating the structured data code

Produce structured data JSON-LD code, either by hand or by using Google’s Markup Helper. In this example, we’re using Course markup, which looks like this:

<script type="application/ld+json">
{
  "@context": "http://schema.org",
  "@type": "Course",
  "name": "Site structure training",
  "description": "Learn how to create site structure for your site that makes Google understand your site and makes visitors go where they need to be",
  "provider": {
    "@type": "Organization",
    "name": "Yoast",
    "sameAs": "https://yoast.com/"
  },
      "offers": {
        "@type": "Offer",
        "price": "99",
        "priceCurrency": "USD"
  }
}
</script>

After you’ve created your markup, you have to get it ready for Google Tag Manager with Yoast’s JSON-LD Script Helper tool. Paste your code and hit Submit. The tool will create a piece of code you can use in Google Tag Manager. Copy it. You’ll need it for your new tag.

Step 2: Creating tags in Tag Manager

You’re ready to make your tags and triggers. Follow the steps below:

  • Make a new tag and give it a name (Site structure training, for instance)
  • Click Tag Configuration and choose tag type: Custom HTML
  • Paste code from the script helper tool
  • Check Support document.write
  • Hit Save

google tag manager structured data tag configuration

Step 3: Creating triggers

You need to add a trigger, so it knows when to fire the tag. You can do this on the same screen you see in the screenshot above, or directly from the Triggers screen in the Workspace. Click on the Triggering space in your new tag and choose the correct Page View. Hit Save. Your snippet is now implemented as is (see below for working with variables).

If there are no triggers yet, you can add them on the same screen. If you want a trigger to a specific page, you can copy the relevant piece of the URL and add it to a new trigger. So if you only want to trigger a tag on this page: https://yoast.com/academy/course/site-structure-training/, you need to copy the part /academy/course/site-structure-training/.

Hit the New or + button to add a new trigger. Give it a name and click on Trigger Configuration. Choose Page View from the list of trigger types and click on Some Page Views. You can now choose when the tag should trigger and which conditions should be met before it’s possible. In our case, we want to trigger the tag on https://yoast.com/academy/course/site-structure-training/. That’s why we’ll choose Page Path and Equals from the dropdown, and paste the URL into the empty box.

google tag manager structured data trigger configuration

Step 4: Creating variables

Variables make it much easier to implement the same structured data on many different sites. The variables can be found on the left-hand side of the workspace as well. You’ll see all predefined variables. There’s also an option for user-defined variables. To create a variable, click on New. After that, take the following steps:

  • Name the variable
  • Click on Variable Configuration
  • Choose Variable type
  • In this example: DOM Element

The fourth step depends on the type of tag or trigger you want to create. In this example, we’ll use a DOM Element. A DOM Element is a piece of your page, like a DIV, HTML and BODY. In this example, the DOM Element is the H1, which is the most important heading of the page.

Once you’ve clicked on the DOM Element, you need to choose which method you want to use to select a page element with. In this case, we’ll use a CSS Selector. By simply entering h1 into the Element Selector, you’ve created a variable that takes the H1 of a page.

If you want to use the meta description of a page, enter meta[name=”description”] and that variable will add the meta description of your pages.

google tag manager structured data variable configuration

Once you’ve created these variables, you can use them in your tags.

google tag manager structured data meta description

As you can see, you can use the H1 variable for the “name” and Meta description variable for the “description”. Now, the Course Schema.org markup sends the right name and description to Google.

Variables make this method of implementing structured data flexible and scalable. This way, you produce code that can be used in many places, without having to add it manually or change it for every instance. You only have to set up the tags once.

Want rich snippets for your site? Try our Structured data training »

Structured data training$ 119 – Buy now » Info

Step 5: Test, saving and publishing

You’re ready to test your code. Tag Manager has a Preview mode that lets you test code before you publish it on a live site. Go to your Workspace to activate that mode.

In your browser, go to the page you’re implementing structured data on and refresh. You’ll see the Preview tab appear and this should show you the tags that fired. If you want to know more, you can go to the Window Loaded screen to see if your variables were executed properly. If all is well, your H1 variable should now show the same value that’s visible on the site (the title). Always test your code before publishing!

google tag manager structured data preview

If all the information displayed on this screen is correct, you can publish your tag. If there are still some flaws, go through the steps again.

To publish your tag, hit the Submit button you see at the top right. Give your version a descriptive name and press Publish. Once you’ve published your structured data tag, go to the Structured Data Testing Tool and enter the URL of the page that should now contain structured data. With this tool you can check if the structured data is implemented correctly:

google tag manager structured data end result

See no errors and warnings? Well done! If you do see errors, dive in more deeply and read what Google has to say about it.

Want to learn more about structured data? Try our brand new Structured data course!

Read more: ‘Structured data with Schema.org and JSON-LD: the ultimate guide’ »

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

New online SEO training: Structured data

Andrew Raynor

 

 

If you want your search results to stand out from your competition’s, you’ll need rich snippets. You’ll want to pimp your results with 5 star reviews, stock information or location, for example. To get a rich snippet, you have to learn to implement structured data. Our latest SEO course will teach you exactly how to do just that! If you buy the online structured data course now, you’ll receive a major discount. You’ll only pay $119 instead of $149.

Want rich snippets for your site? Try our Structured data training »

Structured data training$ 119 – Buy now » Info

Practical course

The structured data course is a very practical course. We’ll first teach you some theory about SEO and why structured data is important, but then we’ll quickly dive into the practical implementation. If you buy our course, you’ll receive lots of screencasts and step-by-step examples on how to implement structured data on your own site. We’ll teach you the fancy (but hard way) to do it, but also the less elegant, quick-and-easy way. Everyone – you don’t have to be a developer! – will be able to get going with structured data after they’ve completed this course.

Watch the first video of the structured data training if you really want to know what this course has to offer:

What does the structured data course contain?

The Structured data training consists of three modules. In the first module, we explain what structured data is and why it’s important. The second module is by far the largest and most important module. In this module, we explain exactly how to implement structured data on your site. The third module teaches you how to evaluate structured data and provides you with some useful tips.

The online course contains 6 training videos, lots of reading material and challenging questions after every lesson. The questions will test whether you really understood the material. We estimate that you’ll spend 8 hours (on average) on our course. You’ll really need to dive into the subject to fully understand this SEO topic. At the end of the course, you’ll receive a certificate and a badge to put on your site!

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

SEO basics: What are rich snippets?

Andrew Raynor

 

 

Maybe you’ve heard about the concept of rich snippets. SEO experts seem to think everyone knows exactly what rich snippets are. But, for SEO newbies, a rich snippet is a really vague term. What are rich snippets exactly? Time to explain what rich snippets are, why they’re important for SEO and how you can get them for your site.

What are rich snippets?

A snippet is a result Google shows to the user in the search results. An example: I was searching for a good recipe for homemade ice cream and googled it. Google showed me a results list with normal snippets and rich snippets. A normal snippet usually looks like this:

Google shows the title in blue, the URL in green and a description of what the page is about. This is what we call the snippet, the thing Yoast SEO helps you to optimize with our snippet preview.

A rich snippet shows extra information between the URL and the description. A rich snippet looks like this:

In this snippet, a picture of the ice cream is added, you can see the rating of the recipe, the time it takes to prepare this type of ice cream and the number of calories it contains. A rich snippet contains much more information than the normal snippet does. That’s why we call it a rich snippet.

Why are rich snippets important for SEO?

Rich snippets stand out from the other snippets. They look much nicer and you’ll instantly know more, just by looking at them. You’ll know whether other people liked the homemade ice cream and how long it’ll take you to make it. Rich snippets are snippets that have a higher click-through rate. People like to click on rich snippets.

If the click-through rate of a snippet increases, you’ll get more traffic from that search result. Not because your position in the search engine changed, but just because more people click on your result. In the long run, rich snippets will have an effect on your ranking as well. As more people click on your result, Google will notice that people prefer your page above other ones. That’ll definitely improve your rankings in the long run!

How do you get rich snippets?

Google can show rich snippets if you add structured data to your site. Structured data is a piece of code in a specific format, written in such a way that search engines understand it. Search engines read the code and use it to create rich snippets.

Read more: ‘What is structured data’ »

Adding structured data to your website can be quite daunting. But we’re here to help! As of tomorrow, Yoast offers an online training to teach you how to implement structured data so Google can show rich snippets. We’ll show you different strategies (from beginner to more advanced levels), so that everyone will be able to get started with structured data and get those rich snippets!

Keep reading: ‘Structured data with Schema.org: the ultimate guide’ »

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/

Ultimate guide to small business SEO

Andrew Raynor

 

 

SEO isn’t just for large companies. As a small business or local business, there is actually a lot you can do to achieve local goals yourself. Many of these things relate to focus. In this ultimate guide for local and small business SEO, we’ll tell you about finding your niche, optimizing pages and social media efforts.

Way back in 2014 we promised you in our post on local SEO that we’d be writing a bit more about local and small businesses. Considering that local SEO is basically the optimization process for the local results in search engines, we can say that local SEO is often closely related to small business SEO. This is why we decided to discuss both in this article.

In this article, you’ll find a variety of related topics:

Make sure your customers find your shop! Optimize your site with our Local SEO plugin and show you opening hours, locations, map and much more! »

Local SEO for WordPress pluginBuy now » Info

As long as Google’s local search result pages continue to grow and improve, we’re not done with this subject. But in the meantime, we’d like to present you our ultimate guide to local and small business SEO. Let’s start at the beginning of your SEO process.

Finding your shop’s niche

Especially for local or small businesses, determining your niche is very important. When you know your niche, you can emphasize what makes your products or brand unique, therefore improving your odds to rank well for them. If you have a clear niche, you can locally compete with large national brands in spite of their multi-million advertisement budgets.

Find out who your customers are and what words they use to describe your product, because people will use the same terms to find your website. Using these terms, often made into long-tail keywords, can really help you optimize your local business SEO. Make your keywords as specific as possible.  Once you’ve done all this, don’t forget to monitor your niche as it evolves with the growth of your company.

Find your shop’s niche

Low budget branding

We have mentioned this over and over: branding is very important for SEO. Branding deals with things like your logo and your tagline. How do they represent your company without further context? What do your logo and tagline reveal about your values and your field of expertise? It’s all about recognition.

Read more: ‘Low budget branding tips for small businesses’ »

A tip for branding: share your expertise! You can do that in blog posts and on social media. We’ll talk about this some more, further down this guide.

Start writing great content

Your small business SEO will get a significant boost from the right content. Many small business owners put products and contact details on their website and that’s basically it. But there is so much more to tell and share!

Focus on making an awesome first impression on your potential customer. Write about your business, your business goals, how great your products are and things like that. You can also discuss market developments or local events that relate to your business. These are just a few tips for your local SEO content strategy.

When writing your content, be realistic about the chances of that content to rank. If you are in a highly competitive market, content works very well as a marketing tool and/or as input for social media. But it will probably not get you that number one spot in Google, and that’s fine. Manage your expectations.

Picking the right keywords to optimize for is very important. Usually, it’s a good idea to pick mid-tail keywords, including the local area you are focusing on. It really doesn’t matter if you add this content to your site as a page or blog post. Just make sure that you write about things that people want to talk about or that make people talk about your business in a positive way.

Keep reading: ‘Improve your small business SEO today’ »

Share your content on social media

Did you know you can actually sell your products on social media itself? While that’s very cool, in most cases social media are used for brand awareness or to lead potential customers to a sale. Using social media as a small business is all about promoting your brand, your company, and your products to establish a certain image and to get the right traffic to your company website. Social media, used in the right way, can contribute to small business SEO.

I tend to compare social media to a marketplace where all the stand owners know each other and customers browse among the products. At some point, someone will tell other visitors where to go to for a product: “The cheese over there is delicious”, “you should really check the fruit over there”. This is what real life social media are like. So make sure people start talking about you. And start talking about yourself online, to make others start talking to you on social platforms. Lastly, actively engage in social media conversations, to let people know you are listening.

Use Social Media to increase your sales

Local ranking factors that help your small business SEO

There are many things that influence your local rankings, but there is one very obvious one: your address details (NAP). Make sure to add these in the right formatting (in code), using schema.org details. You can use our Local SEO plugin for that. Furthermore, ask your web developer to dig into AMP, like Joost mentions in this Ask Yoast about AMP for small businesses. Besides that, it may help to add your city, and perhaps your state, in the title of your pages for easier recognition as well.

Google My Business

Make sure you use the exact same NAP details on both your website and your Google My Business listing. This is the only way for Google to understand the relationship between them. Add these details for instance in your footer and of course, on your contact page. Google My Business really is your friend if you want to rank in your specific geographical area, so get your details right!

Improve local SEO with Google My Business

Adding ratings and reviews

Google My Business, like Facebook, allows others to leave a review of your company. If your company has a good rating, people will be more inclined to click to your website from any of these two websites. Be sure to monitor and maintain these reviews.

If you get a negative review for some reason, react by solving your customer’s problem. Ask them to change their review afterwards. In other words, turn that dissatisfied customer into a brand ambassador!

It’s not that hard to get involved in these reviews and ratings. Find more information on that in the article below.

Read on: ‘Get local reviews and ratings’ »

Links from related small businesses

Social ‘proof’, like the ratings and reviews mentioned above, should be backed by a sufficient amount of links from local directories like:

  1. Yelp
  2. SuperPages
  3. YP.com
  4. ReferLocal.com
  5. Yahoo
  6. Bestoftheweb
  7. etc.

You should be mentioned on these pages, for the obvious reason that this means your website is linked. If you manage to get some links from the related local websites in that directory, that will also help your site’s findability. Note that the last category of links has to be from websites that are in a related profession. It’s of no use to have your bakery website linked from an accountant’s website. 

Want to optimize your WooCommerce shop for local shopping? You need Local SEO for WooCommerce! »

Local SEO for WooCommerceBuy now » Info

If your small business is closely related to other businesses that are not located in the same area, you should definitively also ask these businesses for a link. Google spiders the web link by link. If your business is linked from a website that is in the same field of business, that link is extra valuable to you.

Near me searches

When speaking about local rankings, we also have to mention near me searches. These are searches and search suggestions that include words like “near me”, “closest”, “open” and “nearby”. Optimizing for these searches is similar to optimizing for local, but applies for global brands as well (“buy legos near me”). So you’ll have to think a bit outside of your usual box – there’s probably more to optimize for. Google really focuses on search terms like these, as you can read here:

Is that a Possum near me?

In conclusion

As we’ve seen, there are many things you can do as a small business to improve your site and rank better. You should start by focusing on your niche and emphasizing your uniqueness. Think about how you present your brand: logos and tag lines are important to give your customers an idea of who you are as a business.

You can increase your visibility by creating great content on your site, optimized for the right keywords. Also, it always helps if you present yourself actively on social media. There are several factors related to local SEO that help small businesses. Make sure Google My Business has the right details, keep track of your ratings and reviews, and try to get linked by related small businesses. Finally, try to optimize for ‘ near me’ searches.

Read more: ‘5 questions: Talking local SEO with David Mihm’ »

SEO New Hampshire

https://twitter.com/andrewraynornh

 

https://plus.google.com/101481704883230173242/

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqysZhClqGBvHY0biNlwfFw

 

https://www.pinterest.com/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Andrew-Raynor-1694677947484186

 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewraynornh

 

https://about.me/andrewraynor

 

https://myspace.com/andrewraynor

 

https://vimeo.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.crunchbase.com/person/andrew-raynor

 

https://www.reddit.com/user/andrewraynor/

 

https://medium.com/@AndrewRaynor

 

http://andrewraynor.blogspot.com/

 

https://andrewraynoroh.wordpress.com/

 

http://andrewraynor.tumblr.com/

 

https://app.bitly.com/bitlinks/?actions=accountMain

 

https://delicious.com/andrewraynor

 

https://www.diigo.com/profile/andrewraynor

 

https://digg.com/u/andrewraynor

 

http://www.folkd.com/user/andrewraynor

 

https://www.instapaper.com/p/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.linkagogo.com/go/Page

 

http://andrewraynor.livejournal.com/

 

https://sites.google.com/site/andrewraynornh/

 

https://www.plurk.com/andrewraynor

 

https://getpocket.com/@94aT9A0lg3650p0345d8b95djtpzg653794mvKrd3fT792f3733d9Yf3eHbmYib8

 

http://www.dailymotion.com/AndrewRaynor

 

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/andrewraynor

 

https://disqus.com/by/andrew_raynor/

 

https://www.readability.com/andrewraynor/