How to Double Your Lead Capture with Chatbots

Bliss Drive has been awarded a 2019 Los Angeles City Excellence Award by UpCity. Out of 624 marketing service providers in Los Angeles, we were selected as one of the top 20 based on our UpCity Rating, which measures digital “recommendability” by reviews, search score, domain authority and more.

By having our services listed on UpCity and featured as one of the top 20 Marketing Service Providers in Los Angeles, we’re happy to be in front of thousands of businesses who need help effectively marketing their business. It’s an honor for us to be represented on the City Excellence Award List.

As a top digital marketing agency, Bliss Drive is able to cut through the noise, standout, and create trust with prospective buyers. We help clients determine return on investment (ROI) before starting their project, and continuously evaluate our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to increase your ROI from SEO campaigns.

Within just 90 days, Bliss Drive helps business drive more organic traffic, conversions, and revenue with our battle-proven digital marketing strategies and tactics. Our marketing experts have a minimum of five years of experience so that we can deliver custom-tailored plans to suit any type of business and its goals.

How to Calculate the ROI of Your SEO

Bliss Drive has been awarded a 2019 Los Angeles City Excellence Award by UpCity. Out of 624 marketing service providers in Los Angeles, we were selected as one of the top 20 based on our UpCity Rating, which measures digital “recommendability” by reviews, search score, domain authority and more.

By having our services listed on UpCity and featured as one of the top 20 Marketing Service Providers in Los Angeles, we’re happy to be in front of thousands of businesses who need help effectively marketing their business. It’s an honor for us to be represented on the City Excellence Award List.

As a top digital marketing agency, Bliss Drive is able to cut through the noise, standout, and create trust with prospective buyers. We help clients determine return on investment (ROI) before starting their project, and continuously evaluate our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to increase your ROI from SEO campaigns.

Within just 90 days, Bliss Drive helps business drive more organic traffic, conversions, and revenue with our battle-proven digital marketing strategies and tactics. Our marketing experts have a minimum of five years of experience so that we can deliver custom-tailored plans to suit any type of business and its goals.

8 Tips to Confront Coronavirus as a Small Business Owner

Bliss Drive has been awarded a 2019 Los Angeles City Excellence Award by UpCity. Out of 624 marketing service providers in Los Angeles, we were selected as one of the top 20 based on our UpCity Rating, which measures digital “recommendability” by reviews, search score, domain authority and more.

By having our services listed on UpCity and featured as one of the top 20 Marketing Service Providers in Los Angeles, we’re happy to be in front of thousands of businesses who need help effectively marketing their business. It’s an honor for us to be represented on the City Excellence Award List.

As a top digital marketing agency, Bliss Drive is able to cut through the noise, standout, and create trust with prospective buyers. We help clients determine return on investment (ROI) before starting their project, and continuously evaluate our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to increase your ROI from SEO campaigns.

Within just 90 days, Bliss Drive helps business drive more organic traffic, conversions, and revenue with our battle-proven digital marketing strategies and tactics. Our marketing experts have a minimum of five years of experience so that we can deliver custom-tailored plans to suit any type of business and its goals.

Industrial SEO: An Interview with Bliss Drive CEO Richard Fong

Bliss Drive has been awarded a 2019 Los Angeles City Excellence Award by UpCity. Out of 624 marketing service providers in Los Angeles, we were selected as one of the top 20 based on our UpCity Rating, which measures digital “recommendability” by reviews, search score, domain authority and more.

By having our services listed on UpCity and featured as one of the top 20 Marketing Service Providers in Los Angeles, we’re happy to be in front of thousands of businesses who need help effectively marketing their business. It’s an honor for us to be represented on the City Excellence Award List.

As a top digital marketing agency, Bliss Drive is able to cut through the noise, standout, and create trust with prospective buyers. We help clients determine return on investment (ROI) before starting their project, and continuously evaluate our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to increase your ROI from SEO campaigns.

Within just 90 days, Bliss Drive helps business drive more organic traffic, conversions, and revenue with our battle-proven digital marketing strategies and tactics. Our marketing experts have a minimum of five years of experience so that we can deliver custom-tailored plans to suit any type of business and its goals.

How Local Business Directories Affect Your SEO

Bliss Drive has been awarded a 2019 Los Angeles City Excellence Award by UpCity. Out of 624 marketing service providers in Los Angeles, we were selected as one of the top 20 based on our UpCity Rating, which measures digital “recommendability” by reviews, search score, domain authority and more.

By having our services listed on UpCity and featured as one of the top 20 Marketing Service Providers in Los Angeles, we’re happy to be in front of thousands of businesses who need help effectively marketing their business. It’s an honor for us to be represented on the City Excellence Award List.

As a top digital marketing agency, Bliss Drive is able to cut through the noise, standout, and create trust with prospective buyers. We help clients determine return on investment (ROI) before starting their project, and continuously evaluate our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to increase your ROI from SEO campaigns.

Within just 90 days, Bliss Drive helps business drive more organic traffic, conversions, and revenue with our battle-proven digital marketing strategies and tactics. Our marketing experts have a minimum of five years of experience so that we can deliver custom-tailored plans to suit any type of business and its goals.

eCommerce SEO Strategies to Beat Amazon & Walmart

Bliss Drive President Richard Fong recently appeared on Bright Ideas Podcast to discuss his success as a digital marketer. Sharing his methods and ideas with host Trent Dyrsmid, he shined a light on the tools, tactics, and strategies used by today’s leading entrepreneurs.

Bliss Drive President Appears On Bright Ideas Podcast

Key Takeaways:

Ranking at the top in search engines doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re starting at the beginning of your SEO journey, it can take up to two years or more to start ranking at the top of search engines. If done correctly, you can outrank big names like Amazon and Wal-Mart

Once you’re ranked highest, you don’t have to put as much money into your SEO strategy.

When you rank at the top, you’re getting much more organic conversions that your competitors are since people tend to buy based on organic searches because they trust Google.

Always do your keyword research. Take a look at all of the products you offer and narrow down a couple of categories that have good margins. Using tools like A-HREFS will show you a good range of keyword volume and difficulty and let you know what your competition is ranking for so that you can compare.

Make sure your keyword appears in these 5 things:

  1. Title, or title tag
  2. Meta descriptions
  3. H1 tag
  4. H2 tags
  5. Body copy: Use 1%-2% of the keyword density for the focused keyword in your content.

Off-Page SEO Is Just As Important As On-Page.

Off-page SEO helps build your reputation and authority in your industry, which will help boost your website’s overall ranking. The more backlinking you do, the better your chances of Google believing that you are an authoritative source who should rank higher.

Stay Active On Social

Active social media pages allow you to link back to your site for more traffic while allowing you to easily and personally engage your customers.

Read the full transcript:

Trent: Hey, what’s up everybody? Trent Dyrsmid here; welcome back to another episode of the Bright Ideas Podcast, thank you so much for joining me today. We’re here to help you discover what works in e-Commerce by shining a light on the tools, the tactics and the strategies that are in use by today’s leading entrepreneurs. Speaking of joining me on the show today is a fellow by the name of Richard Fong. Richard. You can see him on the screen to my left or right, one of the two.

He runs an SEO agency in Orange County California and he helps e-Commerce business owners beat out the big companies like Amazon, Wal-Mart and multi-billion dollar brands in the organic search rank. And he’s been featured on Forbes and entrepreneurs magazines Websites.

He’s married with a one year old son so we know that’s a full time job because I used to have one of those. She’s a little older now and he is an avid salsa dancer. So Richard, thank you so much for making some time to come and share your wisdom with my audience, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show.

Rich: Hey, thank you for having me; it’s great to be here.

Trent: So in reading your bio, did we miss anything? Is there any other important details you think the audience should know about you before we jump into talking about SEO and how e-Commerce business owners can use it to increase revenue?

Rich: I think the only thing people may not know is that I was actually born in China, Shanghai and then I came over to the United States. I was actually in Kansas; I grew up there you know since eight to college and then went to UCI University of California Irvine up from there. Yeah. So you know I’m I speak some Mandarin not fluent but you know and then I’ve lived in the Midwest.

Trent: All right well, let’s dive into it. So, let’s start off with because we’re going to talk extensively about your expertise in SEO particularly how it pertains to running an e-Commerce store. So hopefully you have some kind of incredible results, a story for a client perhaps that you did that we can talk about and how your expertise played a role in achieving that result, so what comes to mind for that?

Rich: Yeah I do. So couple years back and we’re still working with this client. We helped them— There were a whole seller, they wholesale to distributors mainly and they knew that consumers were buying this stuff directly right. So they wanted to develop a website where they could sell to consumers directly and kind of circumvent the distributors.

So what they did was they built out a website and then once they had the website, they had no SEO, no ranking, no one could find them. Now if we go and look for them, if we look for it like say Bill shareholders or sign holders, they’re ranking number one the company name is displays and holders and we’re out ranking Amazon, Staples, Office Depot, Wal-Mart all those brands for very big keywords that are getting thousands and thousands of search forums every month.

And so right now, when they first hired us they were getting about three sales a day, right now they’re getting if you go check on a website. He made a testimonial video too, they’re doing about 20-30 orders every day. So we essentially grew a profit center for them out of nothing and that’s all based on e-Commerce sales direct to consumer.

Trent: So what’s the average order value for them?

Rich: A couple hundred dollars, it’s small, it’s like a brochure holder or sign holds about a couple dollars a piece. So sometimes they order you know several and sometimes they have bigger volumes.

Trent: Okay, so this is a meaningful amount of revenue if you’re getting 20-30 of those orders a day. [Oh yeah] How long did it take you to get them from essentially nowhere to where they are now? Was that a year exercise or a couple of months ago?

Rich: To gain number one ranking, it didn’t happen overnight for sure right, essentially we got them on the first page within the first— It’s been a couple of years now but within the first 6-12 months around that time range certain keywords were popping up on the first page but from the first page, you could be on the middle of the first page where the bottom the first page going up to the top three of the pages is kind of– it’s like a Richter scale.

It’s exponential in terms of difficulty because everybody wants to be on the top and then they’ve been building a lot of authority for the guys on the top three. So you have to do extra amount of— it’s much harder from like from page 10 to first page, than from 10th position to the first position, it’s ten times harder actually.

So from there, it took another— I would say another year before they actually got to the top three. So all in all it took about 2 years. And then in between that time there were times where the algorithm updates where we fall off back to the middle of the page and then right now they’re back on just because we figured out what the algorithm does and you know it’s constant off and on but consistently they’ve been on the top three for a lot. And if you look there actually they have two positions on the top three, number one and number two.

Trent: Ballpark, how much money have they had to spend with you to build to accomplish this particular result?

Rich: Tens of thousands, I wish they were spending millions but they’re not you know.

Trent: But even if it was 30 grand, given the volume of orders that they’re receiving now they are away…

Rich: Oh yeah, the authorized definitely estimate. Yeah. After email, SEO is one highest are why there right. Because once you’re there, you don’t have to keep really paying and then you don’t have to keep competing with your competitors on cost per click, you’re just there and a conversion on organic is much higher because people trust it. If you if you’re doing pay per clip right, the best click the rate you get is about 2%-5%. If it’s on each play maybe 10%. That means what 90% are not even going on an ad; they’re going straight to the organic where they’re preferring what Google has to offer.

So if you’re on the top three that gets about 50%-80% click through rates; so you’re getting majority the traffic and then the conversion is higher because they trust that what Google is serving up for them. So people tend to buy more based on organic.

Trent: Yeah, makes perfect sense; okay so now that we’ve established a result let’s unpack it and let’s walk through the process that you use just and obviously in the time that we have, we can we’re going to go in as much detail as we can but we’re not going to be able to explain absolutely every last little thing. So let’s— at the beginning where did you start? You met with the client, they said, “Hey, these are the keywords we want to rank for” and you started to do some research?

Rich: Yeah, in the beginning they just knew that they wanted more sales online data and we really know you know what keywords were or anything. They were very SEO novices if you will; they’d never work with SEO company before.

So, what we did was we went ahead and took a look at all their products all their offerings did keyword research to see what volume there are fake products just so you know we’re not tackling something that’s not going to drive a lot of volume for them. And then from there we kind of narrowed down to a couple of categories that we knew had good margins for them and had good volumes for them.

And we knew that we could get some traction and from there we went ahead. So let me backtrack, that’s the research phase right. Essentially with SEO you want to determine two things you wanted to determine that on page and you wanted to determine the off page. Okay, so once we figured out what keywords were what categories they wanted to go to.

We then focus on the page itself to make sure (a) is categorized correctly, the URLs are you know you has the keywords in the URLs they have products, most e-Commerce stages have product listing with pictures, very light descriptions. So we added a thousand words to the product category that’s very important, a lot of e-Commerce miss that.

Trent: Let me interrupt you there because we’ll get there to —- and I want to back up to the keyword research, what tools what tool or tools did you guys to help you figure out which keywords you should even be going after?

Rich: Yeah, so we use a couple of tools at the time and this was a couple years ago, Google keyword tool, what it’s actually good.  They actually gave you days that’s not the case right. They give you a big range. So if I had do it right now, we would use ‘A-HREFS’. A-HREFS shows you not only what you’re doing but also what your competitors are doing.

So it’s a really good aggregator of your competition and it shows you a good range of keyword volume and the keyword difficulty of how difficult is it to actually rank for that keyword.

Trent: I actually love that tool, I had the CMO on the show I’m just looking out for the episode number and I’ve been using the tool since it is absolutely. So, I had him on, in case people want to listen, it’s episode number 264 on brightideas.co/264.

Okay, so you used A-HREFS and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes; so you used it to identify of all the keywords in the universe we should really be focused on. How many did you pick by the way to begin with?

Rich: We actually— so when we pick keywords, we don’t just pick like a couple of keywords, we pick categories or topics if you will. So for example, they’re ranked for brochure holders but they’re also ranked for like acrylic holders, all variations of brochure holders. That makes sense? So, we’re not trying to just go in and just rank for one key word because you will over optimize it, you wouldn’t make a lot sense. You want to allow the LSI semantic indexing. So you want to have a lot of variations that those keywords in that same topic category within that page, that’s what we did.

Trent: And in the show notes as well they have some really great videos that explain how to use their tool. I’ll make sure that I am. So for the audience I’ll embed some of those videos.

So now, you’ve you figured out these are the key words that we want to rank for, so the next step in your SEO process you’d mentioned earlier that there is on-page elements, there off-page elements, I’m guessing then you went and dealt with on page elements because that’s a relatively short amount of time to kind of get that right and then off-page takes a whole lot longer.

Rich: So once we figure out what the focus is, what the focus your URL is then we really evaluate the on-page yourself. So, on-page we actually have a 80 point checklist. There’s a lot of things we go through but I’m just going to give you the top maybe five things that we should let you know anyone should really look at to make sure they’re doing the right thing what they’re on-page.

Number one is the ‘Title’, so title is the title tag or whatever it’s showing up on your browser; if you don’t have the keywords in the title at least, you’re not going to rank Google doesn’t understand you if you don’t have that into it. And then but you don’t want to over stuff it, you don’t want to like over optimize it where you we in the same word but you at least want to have it one time into the title itself.

Number two as a ‘matter description and matter descriptions also very important because that’s what you see after the title, that’s the actual two sentence blurb that you would see. So you will want to have a variation or that keyword is actually for what you’re trying to rank as well and you want to write it in a way where it’s compelling for the user. Essentially a part of your ranking factor is the click the rate of that listing when they list you. If you write a very like robotic type of stuffing keyword, users may not click on it, Robots might read it but if they’re not clicking on it, the users you’re still not going to rank very high because Google will want to serve up what’s best for users. So title, matter description.

Number three is your H1 tag. So H1 tag is essentially your kind of your title when they visually see it. So the title and the map description the visitors don’t really see it, they just see the listing that’s for the Google search engine results. And then so the H1 is actually where you show the actual title itself. It doesn’t have to be huge it’s just a tag. So, when you are on the pages notice what that is. If you don’t have the keyword where variations of those keywords in there, you’re going to have a trouble, you’re going to have some problems listing it.

And I would go as far as H2 tags, I don’t stop there I go as far as H2, so those are kind of your subtitles and go ahead and get those within some key words of what you want. And then I would inject about a list a thousand fifteen hundred word of content. So, most e-Commerce, that’s where they like say oh wait wait, No I’m you know my store is all product based, I wanted to look simple and beautiful I can’t put a thousand words in my category, in my page.

So, what I recommend is typically visually have your product laid out the same way just put the content at the bottom. Okay, so if you don’t want a long piece of content, what you can do is you can use accordion style content. So you’ve seen those where you click the button and then the content adds up. So you could do like frequently asked questions, just have the subtitle and then as users are you know if they’re interested in the topic, they’ll click on it and then the content would open up. But for the search engine part, they read everything. So to them it’s their food to understand what your website’s about and then you have to have like if you don’t have it– most e-Commerce sites don’t have a lot of descriptions especially on their category pages. That’s why Google bots don’t understand what the contents about because it’s all scattered with different products et cetera.

Trent: But if you had like that to be clear you’re right you’re attempting to rank the category page on which there are multiple products you’re not doing right for every single product page.

Rich: So, let me back up for e-Commerce, you typically want to do it for a category page and here’s why. A visitor comes in, guess what’s going to happen, visitors is going to go and click through to the product and see what the product is about they have a lot of options they can go ahead and click through the products. What Google registered is, “Oh, they’ve found what they’re looking for”

They went ahead start engaging, if you start ranking for a product, user come, they see the product they see the players they don’t like it they’re back out.  Guess what Google wasn’t. They didn’t find what they like, so we’re not going to serve this very high, does that make sense?

So what you want to do is you want to serve up a kind of a category page where you can funnel them through to your channel, to your products or to other categories. So that to Google it’s highly engaging, you got like 5-10 clicks on the website so that oh at least we’re serving up something that people want and you’re engaging your users are creating a long time on your Website because you’re showing them something that they want. So that’s why you want to use category of pages.

But back to the content, you definitely want to have the keywords in the content. But a lot of times, amateurs or novices who would try to do SEO on their website, they think of the keyword they want and then they overstuffed it. That’s a newbie mistake because Google’s algorithm they’re onto that back in the 90s, you could do that, you know people just write the same thing over and over and then they get on the first page, you can’t do that anymore.

So then once there’s 1%-2% of the keyword density for the focused keyword that you’re going after. So say for a thousand words article, you only want about you know 10-20 of that keyword within the article. I wouldn’t have it the same exact verbatim phrase; I would mix it up right. It just mixed up the keyword as much as you can have a couple maybe five, that’s exactly the same what you want and that way it’s natural and organic for Google to see.

Trent: Does A-HREFS, once you’ve done your on-page SEO, do they score it at all? Does the tool give you feedback?

Rich: We don’t use H-REFS to score the on-page, I’m not sure if they do or not, I’ve never used it, if they do.

Trent: How did you come up–  You’ve got your 80 point checklist that you’re using for on-page, how did you come up with what is on that checklist?

Rich: So there’s a lot of– I mean there’s checklists out there that you can kind of look at. So, these are just very simple things for someone who hasn’t done any SEO to kind of get a handle on. There is also data structures, there’s schemas, there’s site maps, there’s internal links which are gets a little bit more advanced and complicated.

You can do schemas where you can essentially give your self-reviews, a risk snippet schemas of your products based on other people’s feedback and then Google will actually read it and give you the five stars using those and in product sometimes in Google rankings where you see five stars on listing. So that’s something you can totally control on-page wise as well.

So those are some of the things that we can add into the page itself on-page wise to make that appear. So it gets more technical and more complicated. But I just want to go over something that’s very simple for someone who has really looked into so much but that’s something that they could look into it once they figure out how much volume is in that key word they say, “Okay, let me go into my page and kind of just tweak these things after you tweet these things” you’re going to get results within like a week or two very quickly.

Trent: So when now that you’ve gone on-page complete now, the bigger and the more laborious and the more long task is the off page SEO link building.

Rich: That’s essentially yeah. That’s where SEO is at the end of the day right. So I tell my clients like you know on-pages, it may sound complicated but actually everything is very duplicate able.

So meaning that you can look at your competitors and see exactly what you’re doing on-page because Google is bots have to read it. So it’s actually visible to us as well. We can just do, “Oh do you see what is up?” so you can copy each out there, you can copy your competitor, your competitors can copy you at the end of the day, if everybody is copying each other, how is Google going to know how to rank one about the other?

The way they determine that is through the authority of the website, the domain itself and authority is established from back links other websites linking back to your website. This is how Google’s algorithm like start beating out all the other search engines because of this algorithm calculation, other links linking back to your website as a calculation for votes.

So with that, there’s a lot of strategies out there, there is a lot of ways to do back link building; the way we approach it, we approach it with the philosophy of how do we make our website look like a big brand? Because that’s what Google ultimately wants to rank high is they want a brand– you know even if you’re not Coca-Cola, there’s a lot of niches out there; they want to brand within that niche.

So, you have to think in terms of, “How do I look like a brand and not like a scummy affiliate type of deal?” So the difference between a big brand and affiliate was say okay, number one a brand a real business will probably have an address. If you don’t have an address you’re not verified on Google, Apple or bing, you’re probably not a real business in Google’s eyes. So the first thing we want to do is verify yourself on those three assets and then build the citations to those local addresses your name address and phone number even though if you’re not a local business, “Hey, I’m not a local business, I’m not trying to go for why I don’t need citations” but it does help because it allows Google to understand that you’re a business at a physical location. Okay, so that’s number one.

Second layer are social signals were media signals, so any brand would promote themselves. If you’re not promoting yourself it’s kind of like you’re not really active as a business. So that’s just a signal that what they looking at. So you want to have an active Facebook, Twitter, social media accounts, YouTube account. What we typically do is we have a blog and then we build RSS feed to the social media sites and then so whenever we post something on the blog, you actually post out to the social media sites itself and feeds back because it has a link to our specific focus pages.

Trent: You could do that but just by using buffer as well; someone’s got to do the RSS feed, you could just be the buffer zone or you’re just like Yeah

Rich: So you could do something like that and then what we also do is we do press releases but we also built other Web 2.0 assets that did you know that….

Sites.google.com so, it’s Google’s platform that allows you to kind of it’s there form a weekly where you know it’s something that they allow webmaster to kind of build a page, a site on their own site and you could do that with your own pages and add some content and link it back to your Website. So there’s a lot of these Web 2.0 assets that you can actually create content on, have a link to them back to your website, does that make sense?

Trent: It does.

Rich: Yeah, so there’s an over there, there’s literally hundreds of these assets you just got to evaluate how much domain authority each one has, if it’s worth it for us to build. But we definitely have our list of priorities of which type of assets to go after and build links in the…

Trent: How does A-HREFS come into play

Trent: So let’s get you to repeat what you said in the last one minute.

Rich: So the second layer of what we do is Web 2.0. So we have Web 2.0 sites that we can essentially go out and create an account and put some content in have a link back to our website.

Okay, so the first two layers that I take then along with the Web 2.0 press releases all these things they’re very controllable by us, we can go out and kind of get these links and build up our authority that way. You can’t control some of your anger texts on some of the Web 2.0s like press releases and social media. You’re not going to control too much of those anchor text coming back into text are essentially the word blue, you know underlined word, you can say … linking back to your website. Obviously you want to do a correct proportion. You don’t want overall optimize that either but that’s something that you want to kind of do it naturally, make it look natural.

Trent: So when you’re looking for places to get back links, does the A-HREFS tool help you to figure out where you should go?

Rich:   A-HREFS have a specific section that just says referring domains that you can click on and it shows all your competitors, all the links that they’ve gotten, how they’ve gotten it where it is, so a lot.  Oh we could go this link, I know they made a— they got the link back, it has this much value, let’s go do the same thing.

So you kind of build up a list of network that you can go back right away and get those links. So that’s one way and then the last tier, the third tier is actually the outreach where we actually go out to bloggers and webmasters and ask them to sponsor for a link. So essentially, we could write them an article that says, “Hey, can we have an article on your website and or sponsor it?”  Give us some money to have a link back to us. And that’s a very solid way of doing that as well back until you find that when you’re reaching out to buy links like that the acceptance rate is at high or is it low?

Rich: It’s not so high but you know we played the volume game on that; that way we can still get enough links.

Trent: Okay, so you’re using A-HREFS to figure out, “Hey, these are all the sites that we might like to have a link on” And then you probably have a process that a virtual assistant uses to do that outreach to each of the site owners with your proposal, was it more or less correct?

Rich: Yeah we have an in-house team that just does nothing but link building and you know we do submissions and outreach so to kind of put these back links.

Trent: So, I would imagine and obviously there’s a lot of details in the outreach in the off-page SEO but in a nutshell, it’s covering off your bases with your social presence your Web 2.0 properties and is best you can and then going out and looking for sponsored links kind of like an ongoing forever, forever basis, would that be a fair assessment?

Trent: Yeah, obviously we want to assess how far we are along with the campaign; sometimes what happens is we get him on the first page like that where on the top and we’ll just stop pressure on the sources on that link, on that focused URL and then move on to the next one and brought it up.

Trent: So being as we’re having such horrible connectivity today I think we’ll go a little shorter on the interview than longer let me sum up with this last question. In your role as an SEO professional, has there and you don’t have to name any companies or anything like that but have you ever made any really big mistakes that you ended up you or your client paying a penalty for and what kind of lessons did you learn from that?

Rich: Yeah, you know in my early days when I was doing SEO, I was just trying it doing whatever you can to kind of get Google traffic; so in my early days, I remember I used to bill like we used to be an ass sense. I used to be an ass sense, I don’t know if you remember that affiliate. So we used to build out like 100 pages, 100 websites every month based on niches and we just produce whatever content out there that’s available kind of rehash it and just posted out there and try to get traffic and then do kind of advertising as an arbitrage.

Obviously, it’s very short term and you know you made money at the time but then make money in a long term. So the way I look at it now it is that. That was very short term thinking in terms of how we do it and that’s not something I would do today. But that was definitely an interesting beginning for me to kind of see how that works. You know if I were to do it now, I would probably make it more into a platform, a publication, focused rather than a hundred sites just focus on one site or two sites and then build it out.

Trent: Yeah, I actually got my start almost 10 years ago in exactly the same way I was building little micro sites.  I was using the best spinner; it was hot and I was driving getting used to rank and I was sending the traffic to Amazon and getting affiliate commissions and it worked really well until Penguin and Panda came down and then it was over.

Rich: That’s right, that’s right. So we had the same beginning on we did. Yes. That’s awesome. Those are the days right. Like, “Wow! This actually works” Let me tell you if I can make $10 a site, let me make one hundred of those, right?

Trent: All right well thank you so much for coming on, if anyone has any questions or maybe they’re interested in working with you what is the single best way to get in touch?

Rich: Visit my website, that’s blissdrive.com  So my email is [email protected]

Trent: All right wonderful, Rich thank you so much for making some time and again apologies to the audience, we don’t control bandwidth and the Internet and today did not cooperate very much.

Bliss Drive is a 2019 Los Angeles City Excellence Award Winner!

The results are in!

Bliss Drive has been awarded a 2019 Los Angeles City Excellence Award by UpCity. Out of 624 marketing service providers in Los Angeles, we were selected as one of the top 20 based on our UpCity Rating, which measures digital “recommendability” by reviews, search score, domain authority and more.

By having our services listed on UpCity and featured as one of the top 20 Marketing Service Providers in Los Angeles, we’re happy to be in front of thousands of businesses who need help effectively marketing their business. It’s an honor for us to be represented on the City Excellence Award List.

As a top digital marketing agency, Bliss Drive is able to cut through the noise, standout, and create trust with prospective buyers. We help clients determine return on investment (ROI) before starting their project, and continuously evaluate our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to increase your ROI from SEO campaigns.

Within just 90 days, Bliss Drive helps business drive more organic traffic, conversions, and revenue with our battle-proven digital marketing strategies and tactics. Our marketing experts have a minimum of five years of experience so that we can deliver custom-tailored plans to suit any type of business and its goals.

Our Services include:

SEO

Bliss Drive optimizes the content and structural design of our client’s websites to enhance the website’s visibility on results pages. Our keyword research goes above and beyond as we take the time to get to know the business so that we can generate a higher ROI with a number of qualified visitors to our clients’ websites.

Web Design

Many businesses fail to take into account that the design of their website can actually promote sales. Bliss Drive creates websites that captivate our clients’ audience and creates buyer-motivated interactive communications. A strategically planned website will encourage visitors to take action and become your new loyal customers.

Conversion Rate Optimization

First, we’ll learn about your audience: where your website traffic is coming from and who your visitors are. We’ll also take a look at your current website to make sure it contains all of the proper content and calls to action so crucial for creating conversions. For continued and sustained growth, you should always be looking to improve your conversion rates.

We’re proud to say our UpCity ratings are 5/5 because we put our clients above all else. We serve all types of clients from small e-commerce businesses, medium and large e-commerce businesses, and national or international businesses.

The infographic below goes more into detail on what makes a great agency in Los Angeles and stats that highlight Los Angeles as a marketing hub in North America.

About UpCity

UpCity helps businesses find marketing providers they can trust. The UpCity Marketplace creates and empowers successful relationships between businesses and marketing service providers. We provide transparency and insights to dramatically improve the marketing partner selection and purchase experience. Over 225,000 businesses visit UpCity each month seeking marketing services from over 33,000 providers in over 600 cities in North America. UpCity helps partners in the marketplace grow their business and build their digital recommendability.

Mobile SEO: A DIY Guide to Optimize for Smartphones in 2020

Mobile SEO Guide - Optimize Websites for Smartphones in 2020
Mobile SEO Guide - Optimize Websites for Smartphones in 2020

There’s a reason everyone has a smartphone. Not only are smartphones the go-to tool for keeping in touch with family and friends, but they are quickly replacing the device that was once dominant in Internet browsing: the desktop computer — and by extension, the laptop computer.

According to Statista, mobile browsing now accounts for approximately half of all website traffic worldwide. This statistic has stayed at about 50% since 2017.

Mobile SEO A DIY Guide to Optimize for Smartphones in 2020

In the United States, that percentage is even higher. ZDNet reported in February 2020 that 3 out of 5 Americans use a mobile device first when surfing the web. They also revealed that 52% of online shoppers purchased through a mobile device.

This shouldn’t be that surprising. It’s much easier to sit back in your armchair and browse the web on your phone than it is to boot up your computer or laptop. Who wants to click with a mouse when you can just tap with your finger?

But this trend also has huge implications for your business, especially if you rely on your website to attract customers, generate leads, or make sales. If you haven’t done so already, it’s past time for you to adapt your website for Mobile SEO.

If you don’t know what mobile SEO is or if you’re unsure if your website is optimized, don’t sweat it. This guide will walk you through the basics of how to optimize website for mobile devices.

What is Mobile SEO and Why is It Important for Mobile Phone Users?

Mobile SEO is two things in one. It’s search engine optimization (SEO) combined with a form of website development that generates a flawless viewing experience on mobile devices. In other words, it applies the best practices of SEO concerning your website, but specifically to how people can find and view it on their smartphone.

Most other Internet companies have already adapted to the mobile trend. Google (which is basically synonymous with the Internet these days) is one company that pushed hard for mobile-first optimization. 

Google now uses what it calls “mobile-first indexing,” which means the search engine “predominantly uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking,” rather than the desktop version of the content of your website – this is mobile SEO.

That means that if your website doesn’t load properly or contains missing content when it’s viewed on mobile, Google won’t index it properly — it doesn’t matter how well it’s been structured for desktop.

Naturally, this can have huge implications for your site’s Google ranking. You’ve put a lot of time and money into your website. It would be a shame for all of that to go to waste just because it isn’t mobile optimized.

As a first step, just see how your website looks and feels on your mobile device. You can also use the following tools to test your webpage’s load speed and see how it looks on different types of mobile devices:

If content is missing, if images aren’t loading, if the text is so small it’s unreadable, and if it’s taking too long for content to load, your website will need some attention. 

Mobile SEO Services - Optimizing your mobile configuration for Mobile Phone Users

You can also check to see if specific webpages are generally mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test for Mobile SEO tool on Google Search Console. Just plug in the URL, and after a brief analysis period, you’ll get your results. 

Hopefully, they should look something like this:

Google Mobile Friendliness Test - Ensure your site is mobile friendly using Google's Tool for Mobile Optimization

If not, your first objective should be to adapt your site so that it works on mobile devices. There are a few ways to do this, but one method is now preferred over the others: using mobile-responsive design.

Implementing Mobile SEO – Responsive Web Design for a Mobile Phone

Most website building platforms and WordPress themes are now designed to be mobile-responsive. In fact, it’s rare to find one that isn’t. When your website is mobile-responsive, no matter what content you put on your site, it should rearrange itself to fit neatly and logically when being viewed from a smaller screen, such as that of a smartphone or tablet.

In the past, developers would build a “mobile version” of their website to be served dynamically to mobile users, or they would create a separate URL that their site would redirect to when being accessed by a mobile phone. While these two routes technically work, they aren’t good for your mobile SEO. 

According to the Search Engine Journal, there is no separate Google Index for mobile, so only the “desktop version” of your website would be indexed, and it wouldn’t be mobile-optimized. Furthermore, Google wouldn’t register that your website is mobile-friendly, which could hurt you in search rankings.

If you’ve created or updated your website recently, you may already be covered. But if you’re using an older website builder or if you hard-coded your website from scratch, you may not have a mobile-responsive design.

Mobile SEO: Making Your Website Mobile-Responsive

Altogether, there are three ways to make your website mobile responsive.

1 – Use a mobile-responsive WordPress theme. 

Again, very few WordPress themes aren’t mobile-responsive these days. But if you’ve got one of them, it’s probably time to move on.

This may require you to do some redesign work, but it’s the easiest way to avoid any hiccups when making the switch. The alternatives are to transfer your website to a new platform, or start a new website from scratch.

2 – Add code to make your website mobile responsive.

You can use HTML and cascading style sheets (CSS) to automatically resize, hide, shrink, and enlarge objects on your website. This code only works with a mobile-responsive design and may be necessary if your theme or website building platform doesn’t insert it automatically.

Just insert the following <meta> element to the head of the HTML on all your webpages:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

This instructs the website browser to scale the page’s dimensions based on the size of the user’s screen. If your website isn’t built to be mobile SEO responsive in the first place, this could make the user experience worse if you don’t address the sizing of every element on the page. 

For example, images that are displayed with a width wider than the user’s screen will force the user to zoom out or scroll horizontally just to see the entire webpage.

To make an image scale as well, you can set the CSS “width” property to 100%, like this example with “img_1.jpg”:

<img src="img_1.jpg" style="width:100%;">

This will make the image scale either larger or smaller than its original size to fit the screen. Naturally, you don’t want your image to appear giant on your user’s mobile screen. To avoid that possibility, just add the “max-width:100%” property, which allows the images to scale down but not up:

<img src="img_1.jpg" style="max-width:100%;height:auto;">

You can do the same thing with text by adding HTML as well. Here’s how you can scale an H1 tag to “viewport width” or “vw”:

<h1 style="font-size:10vw">Header Text Here</h1>

If you don’t have a mobile-responsive theme, you may have other elements on your website that require your attention, such as buttons and widgets. You may need to add code to each of these elements to make them size correctly on various screen sizes.

3 – Transfer your website or start from scratch.

If your website is still being hosted by a platform that looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2002, it might be time to find a new home on the Internet for your business. If your current website builder or hosting service doesn’t give you the tools you need to make your website mobile-responsive, they probably aren’t worth your time and money anyway. 

The good news is that you should be able to keep your domain.

Do your best to save all your content when making the transfer. You may be able to export your site or even transfer it to a new platform automatically.

Mobile SEO: How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Phones: Step by Step

Beyond mobile responsiveness, there are a few other elements of mobile SEO you may need to address on your website. Here’s what you can do, step by step.

1 – Make Your Webpages Load Fast

If you haven’t already, try running your homepage through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. If you end up with a low speed score, the tool will provide you with plenty of information about what’s slowing your page down.

You can repeat this step for all your webpages to get an idea of which elements are slowing down your website on mobile devices.

You’ll see a detailed examination of what’s making your website slow in the “Lab Data” section. It might look something like this:

Google PageSpeed Insights for Optimizing Mobile Site

The tool will also provide you with a list of “Opportunities” below this. These are all the things you can do to make your website load faster on a smartphone. Some of the changes you need to make may involve altering the way you deliver critical JavaScript and CSS. 

You may also need to reduce the impact of third-party code on your site or implement HTTP caching to speed up your load time when people visit your website repeatedly. If you need help, you may want to reach out to some experts to work on your website for you.

There are a few other tricks to reduce load times. One of the most basic is to reduce the “weight” of your webpages by literally minimizing the number of bytes that need to be loaded. 

You can do this by compressing images and optimizing other assets like videos. You can even combine your images into CSS sprites to make them load faster. You can do these things manually, or you can use tools that do them automatically (there are tons of compression plugins available for WordPress).

If possible, consider uploading images in newer formats like JPEG-XR or WebP rather than GIF, PNG, or JPEG. These formats are better optimized for mobile viewing. 

Meanwhile, instead of using a plug-in to play videos, consider using HTML5 by implementing the <video> and <source> elements where you want the video on the page. It should look like this:

<video controls>
<source src="movie.mp4" type="video/mp4">
<source src="movie.ogg" type="video/ogg">
</video>

The three video formats supported by HTML5 are MP4, WebM, and Ogg.

2 – Don’t Use “Intrusive” Pop-ups

We’re not going to wade into the pop-up debate too much, but if you use pop-ups on your website, you should be aware that they can impact your mobile SEO.

Originally, webmasters may have suggested you disable pop-ups complete for mobile viewers. More recently, Google has announced that some types of pop-ups won’t hurt your rankings, but others do.

Mainly, Google wants website owners to do away with what it deems “intrusive” pop-ups. These are usually pop-ups that take up the entire screen on a mobile device or otherwise make it difficult to access content on a smartphone.

According to the Google Webmaster Central Blog, techniques that make content less accessible include the following:

Showing a pop-up that covers the main content immediately after the user accesses the page or while they’re browsing.
Displaying a standalone pop-up that must be dismissed before the user accesses the main content.
Using a layout where the main content has been inclined beneath the fold and the above-the-fold content appears similar to the standalone pop-up.

Generally, if your pop-ups look like this on mobile, Google will penalize you for it:

Don't Use Intrusive Pop Ups

Google does ignore some pop-ups that fit these descriptions if they are necessary. For example, some websites are legally obligated to inform users that they use cookies or verify the user’s age before they can access the site. Small banners that are easy to dismiss are generally okay, too.

So, if you’re going to have non-essential pop-ups on your website experience, make sure they are small, non-intrusive, and easy to recognize and dismiss for a nice mobile SEO experience, like this banner on the top of the webpage below:

Sample of Good Mobile Web Design

3 – Don’t Block Resources

Developers used to block certain resources from mobile users — and, by extension, from Google’s crawlers. For example, they might block some written content to keep the page shorter or block some JavaScript from loading. This would make the website load faster and be easier to use on a smartphone.

This wasn’t a bad instinct because it did make the mobile experience better. Who wants to wait for JavaScript to load when all you want to do is read an article?

The problem with this approach these days is something we’ve already mentioned: Google’s mobile-first indexing technique. Whatever resources and content don’t appear on your mobile site won’t be crawled by Google. As far as the search engine is concerned, those assets probably don’t even exist for mobile SEO.

As we mentioned above, there are other ways to make your website load faster. Ensure you aren’t blocking any resources, such as JavaScript, CSS, images, and video for mobile users. Let Google crawl everything and let users see everything on your website. 

If you can’t build a strong mobile experience with what you have, it may be time to take a second look at your design. If you absolutely need to block content or resources on your site, make sure they aren’t critical to your users.

4 – Make Content Accessible

The term “accessibility” doesn’t just refer to how quickly your website loads or how easy it is to navigate. According to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), putting accessibility into practice “is essential for developers and organizations that want to create high-quality websites and web tools, and not exclude people from using their products and services.”

If the Internet is for everyone, that means it needs to be accessible to people with disabilities too. Accessibility isn’t just an important ethical decision, it’s also an important business practice. Google will penalize websites that aren’t accessible. 

Luckily, many of the aspects of mobile SEO overlap with accessibility. For example, all the following are elements of good mobile SEO, but they also exist to enhance your site’s accessibility:

  1. Large, readable fonts
  2. Color contrasting text
  3. Content structuring
  4. Title tags
  5. Header tags
  6. Image alt attributes
  7. Image captions
  8. Video transcriptions
  9. Link anchor texts
  10. Breadcrumbs
  11. On-page table of contents
  12. On-site sitemaps
  13. Easy navigation
  14. Semantic HTML

Image alt attributes work with screen-reading technology to describe images to users who are visually impaired. Video transcriptions make videos more accessible to people who are hard of hearing. On-site sitemaps and easy navigation tools make it easier for people who use voice commands to browse your website. 

Start by looking at the way your pages appear on mobile. Are you using negative space to make it easy to identify content? Is your typeface large enough to read on the screen?

You should also pay attention to your image alt attributes and captions. If someone with a screen reader hears the alt attribute attached to one of your images, will they understand what is being depicted, or will they hear something like “image underscore seven three two one dot jpeg?”

Keep in mind that you’ll need to optimize your website for all sorts of devices, whether they are a phone, a tablet, or an AI assistant device. 

There are also other areas of accessibility that you won’t be able to cover just by optimizing your website for mobile. To ensure your website is accessible, follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

5. Follow General SEO Techniques

Finally, you should follow general Mobile SEO guidelines to ensure your website is optimized for mobile. That means installing Google Search Console, generating and submitting a sitemap, using keywords, and adding structured data so it’s easy for Google to crawl your pages, among other strategies.

Check out some of our great mobile SEO and general SEO resources to learn more about on-page and off-page SEO:

Go On Your Way!

If you can follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a mobile-optimized website that will look fantastic on any smartphone. Plus, Google will love you that much more.

For more information about Mobile SEO and mobile site optimization, reach out to our Mobile SEO experts at Bliss Drive

Enjoyed this article? 👉 Read more: Breadcrumbs & SEO: What They Are & Why They Matter

Top 2019 SEM Trends From the Experts

It’s no real news that the best marketers are always on the lookout for the latest trends in search engine marketing (SEM). With Google constantly changing how it plays the game – and the rules of the game – it can be difficult and time consuming to stay on top of things. There’s also an abundance of new platforms popping up almost everyday  that offer many businesses alternative methods to reach new customers. However, if you can roll with the changes and keep up with what’s new you’ll have a much easier time staying ahead of your competitors.

We decided to round up some of the nation’s leading digital marketers and see what they’re saying about the biggest 2019 SEM trends.

Check out what they’re up to, and see what you might need to start implementing for your business today.

Automation

Robert Brady

@robert_brady

Google Adwords Certified PPC Management Consultant at righteousmarketing.com

“In 2019, small businesses utilizing SEM will see more and more automation in their advertising accounts. Google Ads is actively promoting dynamic ad units that take various lines of text and other creative assets and then creates ad units on the fly. As their machine learning algorithms get more data, the ad creative is optimized.

Automation is also a much bigger part of bidding. There are bidding features that target a specific cost/conversion (CPA) as well as target ROAS for shopping ads.

The small businesses that are able to understand and work together with automation will see better results. Those who don’t begin to leverage it will likely fall behind.”

Wesley Parker

@WesleyparkerPPC

Managing Director of clicteq.com

“Automation in the SMB space. 80% of PPC management tasks that are done by humans at the moment will be automated within the next few years and to stay ahead advertisers will need to embrace this to stay ahead. In the future there will be two main skill sets that PPC managers managing accounts will need.

Firstly they will need to have a good understanding of code so that they can develop Google Ads Scripts and applications on the Google Ads API, or at least have a basic understanding so they can work with a developer to do it. Secondly they need to be great at strategy that machines are not as good at.”

Kristina Cutura

@kcutura

Google Adwords Expert and Consultant at www.kristinacutura.com

“Google is making continued investments into automation in an effort to take the guesswork out of bidding and account management. Advertisers, even smaller businesses with less industry knowledge and fewer SEM resources, are increasingly using advanced bidding options, such as maximize conversions or Target CPA. Unfortunately, smart bidding options remain confusing and vary in terms of effectiveness campaign by campaign, so Google has more work to do in terms of providing more reliable predictions.

The Recommendations tab is becoming more robust with smarter suggestions, but they should not be blindly implemented. For example, many smart bidding options recommended by Google do not show performance improvements when implemented and compared to results prior to the change. Google’s recommendations, while helpful to guide account optimization strategies, still require the human decision making and further testing.

Another great example of Google’s continued automation efforts are the new responsive search ads, which allow advertisers to add in multiple headlines and descriptions, and Google will show and test multiple variations based on your assets. This is a great feature especially for advertisers who do not have the bandwidth and expertise to continually manually test variations in ad copy.”

Justin Freid

@Justin_Freid

Executive Vice President of www.cmimedia.com

“Automation and the use of data to make an informed decision on the next best action will continue to play a key role for small businesses. But it is paramount for small businesses to understand that while automation is available in their toolbox, sometimes, human touch can be just as effective. The promise of big data and machine learning can be intriguing, but unless you are sitting on mountains of data, it may not be as effective as promised. It is often best to use rule based alternatives to decide whether boost your bids or engage with an ad on GDN, if you are not ‘data rich’. For companies like Amazon, Ford and P&G, their data lakes contain enough information to determine the best way to engage each individual customer, but not all small businesses have that level of data at hand. So while automation will continue to grow and play a larger role in small business marketing, you should always keep a close eye on the decisions it is making. “

Mark Irvine

@MarkIrvine89

Director of Strategic Partnerships at Wordstream.com

“New ad solutions have made Google, Facebook, and other ad networks much more approachable for SMBs to successfully manage their ad campaigns. “Smart” campaigns, Automatic bidding, Dynamic Ad Creation – all of these innovations are replacing much of the manual work that SMBs would have toiled through or hired an agency for years ago.

Instead, now SMBs are finding success online on their own – without the 40 hour work week dedicated to the minutiae of their account work. Agencies and Marketing Directors still have a role to play, but their jobs are becoming more strategic and less tactical.

As more SMBs find early success online – 2020 either has the opportunity for them to learn more and scale with strategic partners or to be just comfortable enough to be dangerous.”

Click-Less SEO

Alex Genadinik

@genadinik

Bestselling Amazon Author, Speaker, and Business Coach at www.problemio.com

“Click-less SEO is approximately 50% of all searches today and increasing. This is where the user gets an answer to their query without having to go to any website in the search results.

Google tries to answer the query with an “answer box” and keep the user on Google instead of going to a destination site.

In a way, Google is stealing a site’s content to put it into the answer box without sending the traffic to that site.”

Site Speed & Performance

Kirk Williams

@PPCKirk

Ranked in the Top 25 Most Influential PPCers in the world by PPC Hero, Owner of ZATO, Paid Search & Social PPC Expert at zatomarketing.com

“My field of expertise lies in Paid Search marketing, so I considered how to answer this in terms of advertising. Is the core trend to be aware of still the mobile craze that has not yet finished but is finally slowing? Or as some claim, is it the onslaught of voice search, especially where smart devices are concerned? Is it shifting budget to social advertising, or Amazon advertising for ecommerce? While all of these are important to consider as we think about growing our individual businesses, there is one trend that needs to be acknowledge immediately by every business owner with a website, no matter what industry they are in or service they are selling. That is, we need to reverse the alarming trend of slow site speed on our websites. 

As website platforms become more complex, and our marketing efforts become more advanced, site speed is a crucial aspect to marketing that is often forgotten or overlooked. The crazy thing is, this is still an issue even with all the tests and articles that demonstrate the importance of site speed. Thanos may be a fictional character who likes to wipe out half of all people, but a site that takes longer than 3 seconds has been proven to have the same impact as that ugly space giant… 50% of your traffic will disappear as if dust. Why does a PPCer like me care so much about site speed? Because our ad success metrics depend on it. 

I can’t make you profitable with Google Shopping Ads if your site never loads, so your customers bounce and go to Amazon. Let’s all work together to make our sites blazing fast so we can focus on marketing your great product or service without losing half of your potential customers because your site won’t load!”

Mobile-Friendly Websites & Landing Pages

Jeanne Frazer 

LinkedIn

President of www.vitalinkweb.com

“While not new, one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is making sure their websites are mobile-friendly and landing pages have value to consumers. We are still seeing a lot of small businesses with websites that don’t work well with mobile. When you combine this with a landing page that is not particularly relevant to your ad, you can expect most consumers will leave your site without looking further. 

Technology has changed. Small business owners need to take a few minutes and look at their websites (and digital ads) with a critical eye; view them as a consumer, then decide whether it’s time for an update.”

Google My Business Tool

Kyle Shurtz

@KyleShurtz

Director of PPC at avalaunchmedia.com

“More a rumor but if Google My Business becomes a paid tool it will impact SMB’s. Also PPC taking more and more real estate on the SERP is hurting SMB’s with good SEO value.“

Authenticity

Russell Davies

@RussellDavies71

Owner/Director of lobsterdigitalmarketing.co.uk

“Authenticity is the theme for 2019 with a lot of businesses embracing content as a way to promote themselves but realising that they have to be authentic to their customers. When a brand isn’t authentic and honest they get found out very quickly and this is apparent with a lot of businesses backing off social media because they can’t keep up the workload. If they’re authentic and honest it becomes much easier to keep the content flowing.”

Voice-Friendly Content

Kenzi Wood

@kenziwrites

Freelance Marketer/Content Writer at kenziwrites.com

“Voice assistants are having a big impact on SEM. While it’s mostly large enterprises that are getting in on voice-friendly content, SMBs need to get in on the trend as well. Over 120 million people in the US have smart speakers and the number is set to rise. How will customers feel about your brand when they can’t interact with you on their device of choice? I recommend investing in Alexa Skills and striving for structured snippets to stay ahead.”

Google Local Map Pack Ads & Visibility

Joshua Geary

@bestonline

Founder of www.bestonlineresults.com

“There are a lot of factors impacting search marketing today. Almost daily, there are more and more requirements that need to be fulfilled to stay at the top of the charts! 

One of the top trends affecting small business currently is Google local map pack visibility. Even with all the ads stacked at the top of the search results, be it LSAs, Google Ads and Local Map Pack ads. If you can manage to elevate your business to show up organically at the top of the Google Local Pack, it is still one of the most desirable places to promote your business and get free, qualified traffic to your site. 

There are no shortcuts to success. You must do all that you can to claw your way into those top organic Google positions and do what you can to stay there for the long-term to be successful!”

Local Search, Branding, And Social Media

Julie Bacchini

@neptunemoon

President of neptunemoon.com

“The ever-changing SERP (search engine results page) presents more and more challenges to small businesses. Just this year, Google has increased the amount of the initial screen that is devoted to ads – including introducing new visual ad formats – further pushing organic results down the page. With mobile devices continuing to become a greater and greater percentage of site visits, this can become even more of a critical issue for small businesses. How can a small biz get exposure when the space is so limited? The answer is probably to make sure you’ve got your local search information locked down and invest in highly targeted paid search ads. Don’t sleep on branding initiatives either – social media advertising is great for this kind of campaign and as long as people are spending hours per day on social platforms, it makes sense for your brand to be there as well.”

Personalization

Alyona Cherny

@alyona_cherny

Customer Acquisition at wave.video

“In 2019, it’s easier than ever to get to know the people you’re advertising to.

I’m sure you already know how old they are, what websites they visit, what videos they watch, and how much money they spend online. What you also know is where they are in your marketing funnel.

Use this information!

Don’t try to sell leather shoes to vegans. Don’t serve the same ad to someone who just spent 5 minutes watching a video on your website and a first-time visitor who bounced. Make sure that your search ads are relevant to your customer’s interests and buying cycle.

Here are some of the practices I use:

  • Tailor your ad copy to highlight the benefits and features most valuable for each audience;
  • Promote the offers that are more likely to resonate with customers; 
  • Allocate more budget and set higher bids for warmer traffic;
  • Limit the ad frequency based on customer’s position in the conversion funnel

And don’t overdo it. When done right, personalization is a great way to connect with your audience, but you should always be careful not to cross the fine line between attracting and annoying your customers.”

Landing Pages And Better Blog Content

Adrien Lafond

@ouipunk

Chief Marketing Officer at Airboxlab (Foobot), Foobot.io

“When you run a small business, you can’t afford to throw out millions on ads each month: you need to get more bang for your hard-earned bucks.

As always, SMBs should not consider digital ads alone; a quality landing page works in pairs with the ads driving traffic to it. Albeit there are plenty of marketing tools to craft a decent landing page in minutes, it is still harder to build a solid landing page than it is to build a text ad in Google Ads. For this reason, I often have the feeling that landing pages still take the back seat, which is a huge mistake — or opportunity — to improve conversion rates.

Another way to get more impact with the same ad budget, is to make it work in conjunction with your content marketing. Writing blog posts show Google your site is fresh and alive and it helps you build traffic that pile up over time, unlike ads. Ads can be used to promote your recent articles or most read pieces of content. This way, your ad campaigns result in more email signups, which means your transformed traffic you don’t control, into traffic you control.”

Voice Search And Live Video

Richard Hale

@richardhale44

Professional Trainer/Coach at teachingonlinebusiness.com

“There’s several SEM trends for small business in 2019, one that I see being very important is Voice Search. At the moment, over 20 percent of mobile searches are voice search, some experts predict it can be as high as 40 percent by 2020. Small businesses need to make sure they’re using voice search techniques in their SEM strategies.

Another trend I want to point out is Live Video. Video content is vital to small businesses, video could be responsible for as much as 80 percent of all online traffic by 2021. Think about that. It’s time to get your video assets going! Most consumers prefer video, you need to make sure your small business is utilizing both live video and video content regularly.

The last trend you should keep an eye on is Ad Blocking Technology. I don’t think you should be scared, but it’s going to force advertisers to be more creative (that’s a good thing.) It’s going to force advertisers to think outside of the box, find other strategies to segment their audiences.”

Seeing The Bigger Picture

James Svoboda

@Realicity

Partner and CEO at www.webranking.com

“The biggest trend that we at WebRanking see affecting Small Businesses is the ability to manage all aspects of their Search Marketing effectively. As SEM has grown and become more complicated over time, it’s become harder to SMBs to know where to start their campaigns and how to track and analyze results to determine what’s working well, and what they should let go of.

We recommend starting with a few of their highest revenue generating products or services. Build and optimize those first to the point of effectiveness. Then branch out from there. Starting small is more manageable for small businesses. This is especially important for ones who are newer to SEM.”

Secure Websites And SSL

Adam Connell

@adamjayc

Founder of bloggingwizard.com and Marketing Director at UK Linkology

“There are a lot of SEM factors that are impacting small businesses. One in particular is the importance of SSL.

Just search any keyword in Google and you’ll likely see that the entire first page only has results from sites with SSL.

But, this is also important for consumers. Not only is the addition of SSL important from a security standpoint, recent updates to Google Chrome now highlight websites that aren’t secure.

Despite the negligible ranking benefits that some have reported, SSL is critical. Not just for small businesses – for any business.”

Changing Keyword Strategies & Audiences

Janice Wald

@MrsPaznanski

Blogging Coach and Freelance Writer at mostlyblogging.com

“The focus on keywords is changing. First, in the past, people wanted a 4-word keyword. Now, due to the increased use of voice search, marketers are using longer keywords starting with “how to” The reason is as follows. Consumers dictate their queries now, and their queries start with “how” or “how to.”

Also, in the past, marketers cared about a large volume of searches and going after those keywords that would get them that large piece of Google’s searches for the term. Now, so many marketers are doing keyword research, marketers are satisfied with a smaller search volume. The numbers add up, after all.”

(More information about these SEM trends and marketing trends for 2019 in general can be found at www.mostlyblogging.com/marketing-strategy-plan)

Social Media Marketing

Sean Dudayev

@SDudayev

Author at frootfulmarketing.com

“In 2019 the biggest trend that is affecting small business is Social Media Marketing. While the buzz word has been popular for quite some time, especially among big companies, the trend in small businesses engaging in it rising. Small businesses are starting to realize how much they’re leaving on the table, and also, how much potential it is for them to succeed in it. It is still at its early stages and small business owners are opening their eyes to the fact that it can be a strong source of revenue and branding, even when done through a single persona. In 2019, and going into 2020, small businesses will start competing heavier on social media, which will mean more content for the end-user. “

Shoppable Image Advertising

Jimmy Rodriguez

@jimmy3dcart

Chief Operating Officer and Cofounder of 3dcart (blog.3dcart.com)

“One of the SEM trends that are having a positive impact on small businesses sales, is Google’s shoppable image ads.

“This new ad format targets Google’s images results, which became commonplace for shoppers to search for inspiration and products. As a user is searching for home decoration ideas, automatically goes to the Images tab on the SERPs to get visual results, these sponsored ads will include the business’ products in the results, displaying the price showcasing the product for sale in the image.”

Retailers can start using lifestyle images on their sites, optimize them for image search results, and start tagging with the product data from their Google Shopping campaigns.”

Retargeting Strategy

Himanshu Gupta

@ihimanshu_gupta

Founder of blogrags.com

Content Is Still King

Ryan Biddulph

@RyanBiddulph

Blogger and Creator of bloggingfromparadise.com/

“Content drives SEM now and forever. Gone are the days where a small business could game Google with black hat tactics. Now you need to create valuable, practical content for your small business customers to increase visibility on the platform.

I keep my customers and clients in mind before creating any piece of content because people use search engines. Think that through. Google does not use search engines. Google is an inanimate object. Humans use Google to find solutions. If you do an awesome job providing valuable, thorough content as a small business owner you build your SEM campaign on a rock solid foundation because people search for valuable answers via search engines.

Content wins. Remember that before you obsess over meta tags, backlinks, offsite tactics and anything other than good, old-fashioned, helpful content.”

Spending Time Away From Google

Raelyn Tan

@raelyntan

Blogging and Digital Marketing Strategist at raelyntan.com

“The biggest trend would be exploring alternative ways to spend your PPC budget – not just on Google ads. I have found that Pinterest advertising works really well for me because it is still a relatively new advertising platform. Many people think that Pinterest is a social media platform, but it actually functions as a visual search engine. With the Pinterest IPO that happened just very recently, Pinterest is dedicating a lot more support to helping advertisers like us reach our goals.”

Responsive & Consistent Site Design

Srish Agrawal

LinkedIn

Marketing Strategist, Angel Investor, Speaker, Founder & CEO of A1 Future Technologies (www.a1future.com)

“Desktop and mobile/tablet usage. Making sure your brand has a completely responsive and active presence on all accessible platforms and devices is of the utmost importance in 2019 and beyond. As more third world countries start using mobile and tablet over desktops, you must be 100% compliant and user friendly across all platforms.”

Keeping An Eye On Competitors

Anil Agarwal

@bloggerspassion

Founder of Bloggers Passion bloggerspassion.com/

“Not paying enough attention to competitors. Whether you’re doing SEM or organic SEO, you need to keep a close eye on your competitors sites if you want to make your small business successful.

Make a list of 10 to 20 competitors in your industry, find out their top traffic and money generating pages and analyse them carefully as it gives you a ton of insights on how you can go about your small business in 2019 and beyond.

Also make sure to keep an eye on their PPC ads and social media ads (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on). Analyse their ad copies along with their titles, call to actions and so on as it can help you tweak your ad copies for higher conversions when you’re doing paid ads.

Treat your competition like a friendly army instead of treating them like enemies. That’s how you can succeed in any small business.”

2019 SEM Trends Wrap-Up

As you can see, everyone has their own ideas of what’s trending now and what will be big in the coming months.

Automation is one of the seemingly largest trends in SEM right now. Others agreed that Google is making it easier for SMBs to use their platform for PPC marketing, and costs have gone down. However, as another expert said, it’s important to remember not to throw all of your money into Google because other marketing initiatives are still important depending on your industry.

Pay attention to what the experts are recommending, see if it applies to your business, and create a mix of methods that work the best for reaching your target market. Be open to trying new strategies, and don’t be afraid to let go of things that don’t work for your specific business.

Have you noticed a SEM trend not on our list? Let us know!