Category Archives: Uncategorized

Top-Real-Estate-Marketing-Company-SEO-Solutions-Clutch-Award

Clutch Names SEO Solutions Leader in the Advertising and Marketing Industry for Real Estate Firms

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When it comes to SEO services, SEO Solutions takes a one-size-fits-one approach. Our team is skilled in creating affordable website marketing and SEO strategies designed to boost qualified traffic to our client’s web pages. We pride ourselves in following the most ethical and sustainable web strategies.

After 12 years of hard work, we are proud to announce SEO Solutions has been highlighted in a new report recognizing leaders of the marketing industry. We have been recognized for our marketing and advertising work in the real estate field by Clutch, a trusted B2B market research firm.

Based in the heart of Washington, D.C., Clutch is a ratings and reviews platform dedicated to connecting prospective buyers with top B2B firms. Clutch ranks firms in a wide variety of industries and locations. By featuring ratings and verified customer reviews on each profile, Clutch serves as a comprehensive market research tool for B2B buyers. Below, we have featured a quote from our most recent 5-star client reviews.

“Since I focus on results, our SEO ranking is the number one factor in my assessment. The personal attention has been great. We’re pleased that things have been working smoothly for the past several years” – Daniel Naylor, President, Institute of Real Estate Education

In addition to our feature on Clutch, we have received recognition on The Manifest, a Clutch-owned business news platform that offers state of tech news, how-to guides, and industry rankings. Visual Objects, another Clutch sister site, allows buyers to read further search results on their prospective companies and view portfolios of past work.

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SEO Solutions is proud to be a Clutch leader.  We thank our clients for helping us earn this recognition by participating in the reviews process.

“SEO Solutions has been dedicated to the success of our customers through innovation and hard work. We are proud to accept this award!” – Weston Riesche, Marketing Manager, SEO Solutions

If your company is in need of sustainable SEO strategies, get in touch today.

BULK REVIEW MANAGEMENT – ANOTHER FEATURE INTRODUCED BY GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

Businesses with multiple locations often have a hard time managing their customer reviews. Responding to each and every review, from each and every location can be taxing. Google My Business’ recent local updates roll out revealed that now you can easily manage your reviews on the same page.

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This new inclusion will enable seeing and replying to reviews across multiple listings on a single page. This might seem like a tiny little addition but it will drastically reduce the time needed for review management for multi-location businesses.

Things to Note:

  • Organization accounts do not have this feature as of yet.
  • Replying to reviews from third-party sources isn’t allowed.
  • You can respond to reviews and see them organized into location groups only after your listing is verified.Final Takeaway

    Getting started is quick and easy. All you need to do is log into your Google account and visit https://business.google.com/reviews, then follow the instructions given.

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YOU CAN NOW CLAIM YOUR GOOGLE KNOWLEDGE PANEL

Do local citations matter anymore? Mike Blumenthal and other SEO experts share their opinions about how much attention we should be really giving to structured citations.

Entities with Google accounts can now claim their knowledge panels to gain complete access over the information that it contains. So if you are a brand that is large enough to trigger a knowledge panel, go ahead and create your own Google knowledge panel today.

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How to Claim?

  • Make sure you have a Google account.
  • Search for your entity in the Google search box.
  • Scroll to the very bottom and click on the ‘claim this knowledge panel’ button which will direct you to the entity verification page.
  • Verify your entity by signing in to your listed official site/profile.  YouTube

    Search Console
    Twitter
    Facebook

  • Review the displayed information, once the features are granted post verification. Remember: Use the most accurate and engaging information about your entity while you review it.

    Information that shows up on search (images, stats, facts, etc.) can be changed accordingly.

    Outcome: Since Google has depreciated the importance of structured data markup for knowledge panels, this is the easiest and latest way of getting your company details updated. So make sure you claim your panel right away!

SEO Solutions Named a Leading B2B Company in Illinois!

SEO Solutions is a Chicago based search engine optimization company. We deliver results by curating great content that people want to connect with, link to and share. We believe that every customer deserves a unique internet marketing solution that fits their needs and solves their problems. As SEO, PPC & SMO specialists, creating fresh and easy to navigate websites that deliver more consistent lead generation is also one of our main areas of focus. All of our content is high-quality, fresh, and unique. We work hard to earn links and we never link farm or build inappropriate links. Our client retention rate is over 80% and we have over 2,500 competitive keywords on the first page of Google for our existing clients. With over 300 providers of SEO services in Chicago, we know achieving this annual award was no easy feat. Specifically, we’ve been named one of the top B2B companies in Illinois.

 

To see the full list of award winners in Illinois, please visit the announcement published on Clutch’s website. All companies are organized according to state, one of 5 categories, and Clutch rank.

 

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As a B2B services ratings and reviews agency, Clutch uses typical reviews process with a personal touch. Their analysts often speak with a company’s clients directly, gathering feedback that is insightful and offers a true window into a partnership with that firm. Clutch uses this research to organize the thousands of companies on the site into a directory with multiple shortlists, guiding buyers in their decision-making process. Following this process, SEO Solutions received a perfect rating of 5/5 on Clutch’s platform.

 

We worked with The Institute of Real Estate Education and their President, Daniel Naylor, told Clutch “The results speak for themselves.” And they do, their company ranks # 1 in search results and 200 of their keywords rank on the first page of major search engines.

 

Due to our growing presence on Clutch, we have also been featured among other leading advertising agencies in Chicago on The Manifest and advertising companies on Visual Objects. Both are sister sites of Clutch, providing different information and opportunities for companies to efficiently select a partner that meets their budget and project goals. The Manifest gathers and verifies hard data, expert insights and actionable advice to help firms grow and Visual Objects helps creative and design agencies showcase their portfolios.

 

We are grateful and deeply honored by this recognition and are excited to accumulate more reviews as time goes on, showing the world that this Illinois-based SEO company is in it to win it. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to get an estimate about your next project. We are here to serve you!

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GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE STRUCTURED DATA REPORTS HAS RELEASED 3 NEW REPORTS

Coding errors can pop up anytime and Google is all set to make it easier for us to realize when we have one on our hands. In an effort to offer more transparency on how your structured data is actually performing, Google has added three new structured data reports to Google Search Console.

These new Google Search Console structured data reports are as follows:

  1. Logo Enhancement Report – If you are using Logo Markup, this report will provide you with details pertaining to the performance and/or errors around your Logo Markup.
  2. Sitelinks Seachbox Enhancement Report – This report has been put in place to provide you with insight into the performance and/or errors around your SearchAction Markup.
  3. Unparsable Structured Data Report – This error report has been designed to help you analyze and resolve issues around markup codes that fail to pass Google’s testing.

As long as your site has these specific markups, you will be able to find these reports listed under the Enhancements tab in Search Console.google-search-console-screenshot

 

Why do we need these Google Search Console structured data reports?

It is fairly common for an error to pop up even after you run a new code through Google’s Structured Testing Tool. These new reports give you a comprehensive breakdown of when Google first discovered the error, the pages with the error and even what the error looks like.

However, while you are trying to see whether you have been able to successfully troubleshoot the markup coding issues in your site, you need to bear in mind that the reports take time to update. It can take around a week or more for the updated page code to reflect on the reports even after you Validate a Fix.

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MAY 2019 PPC UPDATES

At SEO Solutions, we believe a well-rounded digital marketing and paid search campaign should touch customers in many different places throughout their decision to purchase. This means, using different platforms to engage prospects during their buying journey.

The PPC experts at SEO Solutions have compiled a list of May 2019 PPC updates that you should be aware of. These pay per click updates include information on updates across a variety of platforms including Facebook, Amazon, Bing & Google.

  • Bing Ads is Now Microsoft Advertising: It’s a move to demonstrate that Microsoft is aligning Microsoft Advertising with the broader aspects of search marketing.
  • Facebook has launched a new interface for Ads Manager. It will be effective from May 1. And there’s no way to switch back to the prevision version.
  • Google has postponed the Video campaigns and has launched Parallel Tracking for display campaigns.
  • It is possible that in the near future, product price and seasonality will be taken into consideration as new smart bidding signals in Google ads. Learn more.
  • Instagram is seeing steady growth in term of ad spends and so does the newer ad formats like responsive search ads. We highly recommend reading the Marin’s Benchmark Report Q1 2019 on Most Popular Ad Formats as it sheds light on the latest trends.
  • If you are running Google display ads, then be aware that there is an automated targeted setting that you need to turn it off right away. Although Google says that it targets customers who are likely to convert, but the fact that they have buried it deep in the settings says just the opposite.
  • Bing Ads which is now Microsoft Advertising has launched a new call to action extension. This particular extension help you highlight the CTA on your text ads and those who have participated in the beta have witnessed an average boost of 20% in their click-through-rate.
  • If you are not using responsive search ads, this article might give you some (seven to be precise) reasons to use them in 2019. And even if you decide not to, at least you will have knowledge about it and it will come handy in the future.
  • Here’s an excellent guide on how to graph the new Impression and click share metrics to find data insights in your Google Ads account
  • Amazon is attracting more and more advertisers as businesses are preferring to advertise directly on the E-Commerce platform rather than the search engine. Which means that they are avoiding the first step altogether and jumping straight to the second one & getting good results from it.

These May 2019 PPC updates should help to keep your paid search campaigns headed in the right direction.

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YOU CAN NOW CREATE A SHORT NAME & URL FOR YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING

Google recently launched a new feature that lets business owners create a short name to define their GMB listing URL. The intention behind rolling out this feature was to make it easier for business owners to share details with their customers as short names are easy to remember (duh).

This is obviously a very useful and smart feature because earlier businesses had to market the extremely long Google My Business URLs. Also, keep in mind that just like the Emails, the short names will run out very quickly, so make sure you hurry up and claim your short name before someone else does.

It can even harm you if you don’t act on time as your competitors may use those short names to their advantage. Here’s how it works according to Google:

If you’re a verified business, you can create a short name, or a custom name, for your Business Profile to make it easier for customers to find you.

When you share your short name, customers can enter the short name URL in the browser’s address bar, like “g.page/[yourcustomname]”, to go directly to your Business Profile.

Note: For bulk users, short names have to be claimed individually per listing.

Having a short name for your GMB listing will not only help you in sharing it but will also help you to get more reviews. Not to mention that it will be easy for your customers to remember those names so they are more likely to click on that link, instead of passing it away as just another promotional message/Email.

Head straight to the Google support page to know how to create, change and delete your short name. In case you spot someone else using your brand name or spot any offensive or spammy content, you can submit a report using this link.

We can not emphasize more on how imperative it is to use it and act as quickly as possible because there’s not a single reason to not use it. It will help you with a lot of your marketing efforts. So get started as quickly as you can.

The process is very simple, just follow these instructions.

  • Sign in to Google My Business.
  • Open the location you want to create a short name for.
  • From the menu, click Info and then Add profile short name.
  • Enter your short name. You can enter up to 32 characters.
  • If your name isn’t available, you’ll receive an error message and have to choose a different name. Try abbreviating your name or adding other descriptions, like your location. You can also pick another word that describes your business or brand.
  • Click Apply. Your short name will show as pending, and when it’s ready, it’ll show on your Business Profile.
voice-search-seo

Now Is The Best Time To Embrace Search

Voice Search is undeniably growing at a rapid pace, and for good reason — it’s fast, convenient, allows you to search on the go, and it’s becoming part of the devices that consumers are using. It has taken a good percentage of total searches across the world. This is thanks in part due to AI assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.

With mobile impacting desktop in terms of search queries, and home automation devices becoming mainstream, voice search will power many future local search queries. Optimizing for voice search conversational terms will be a key differentiator.

The good news is that we already have services in place according to Google’s priorities such as surveys and widgets to boost customer reviews in Google / Yelp / Facebook. We were one of the first agencies to adopt Voice Search optimization, wherein the content we create is more conversational and matches user’s natural language pattern.

Here’s a list of things were currently doing for Voice Search optimization:

  • Verified and Accurate Google My Business Listing – Most voice search queries will ask for directions to your business address. For this, we will make sure that your business is listed accurately on Google Maps. Without verification, it would be really difficult to rank for voice search queries.
  • NAP (Name, Address, Phone) Consistency across Local Sites – Accurate map listing, in terms of name, address and contact number, across multiple map databases will also help search engines to be more confident about your location, and it will form part of ranking algorithm. We will ensure that your business information (NAP details) is consistent across other top tier and second tier local search engines, directories and review websites.
  • Generating Positive Reviews – Customer Reviews are a critical part of ranking algorithm for voice search. We can help you get positive reviews on Google and Yelp for your business via our proprietary Plug and Play Review Widget and Survey Review Booster.
  • Mobile Friendly Website – Since most voice searches are done on mobile devices, you MUST have a mobile-friendly site. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, we can help you setup a mobile friendly version with the help of our experienced team.
  • Conversational Content – Mobile voice searches will use natural language, which means long-tail keyword phrases are more important than ever. A way to add natural language to your website is by using words and phrases that people actually speak (versus words they type into a search box). The content used will be more conversational in tone, and the keyword phrases will probably resonate more with a person performing a voice search. We have already started implementing this for website content which will help the site rank for voice based queries.
  • Microdata & Advanced Schema Markup – Google will start using schema markup both as a site quality and richness indicator (i.e. affecting rankings), and for creating carousel-like results for certain searches, with Knowledge Graph-like summary data on each result in the list. We will help you setup structured data on your site.
  • Rank Tracking – We have already started tracking rankings in mobile search results for voice based terms like “near me”, “close to me”, “around me”, etc. around physical location across all verticals and reporting these rankings on our dashboard.

For more SEO tips and the latest updates in digital marketing, contact us to learn more!

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Youtube is Actively Removing Spam Subscribers

You may have witnessed a sudden drop in the number of subscribers on YouTube. It is because YouTube is actively removing spam subscriptions from their platform.

Google said that they regularly check the authenticity of the accounts on YouTube and remove the accounts that looks suspicious. It means that they not only deactivate the spam accounts but also remove their subscription from every channel they are subscribed to.

The most recent cleansing drive was performed on December 13th. So if you noticed a drop in the number of subscribers, this might be the reason why.

Upon contacting, they said –

“Removing spam from the platform helps ensure that YouTube remains a fair playing field for everyone and should result in higher confidence that you’re organically building a community of authentic fans”.

However, Google is not keeping the channels in dark. They are showing a banner on YouTube studio & Classic Creator Studio which informs the affected channel about the removal of spam subscribers.

However, Google is not keeping the channels in dark. They are showing a banner on YouTube studio & Classic Creator Studio which informs the affected channel about the removal of spam subscribers.

You maybe wondering that how Google decides that which account is spam. Here’s their answer:

“We use a mix of industry leading techniques and proprietary technology to identify spam on the platform. Often, these types of actions are meant to make channels look more popular than they actually are”.

Google explained that it will not affect the watch time since they were spam and wouldn’t have watched the videos in the first place. So you will only loose numbers of subscribers and not the number of actual viewers.

Your biggest concern would be falling below the 1000 subscription threshold required to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program because that’s the only way most of the YouTubers get paid. Addressing this concern, Google stated that:

“Channels that had a high percentage of spam and fall below 1,000 subscribers will no longer meet the minimum requirement for YPP and will be removed from the program. They are encouraged to reapply once they’ve rebuilt their subscribers organically. You can learn about how to apply for YPP here.”

Takeaway
If your subscriber count fell below the YPP 1000 minimum, then there’s nothing you can do to gain those back. You should focus on getting new subscribers instead. And to avoid this type of sudden shock in future, make sure that they are not spam from your end. If you need more information, we recommend reading this article by Google.

For more SEO tips and the latest updates in digital marketing, contact us to learn more!

2018-seo-changes

Notable Changes in 2018 in The SEO World

We have witnessed some big changes in the SEO world in 2018. From big algorithm updates to mobile first indexing & changes in Google search console, there is a lot to catch up on.

Search ranking and algorithm updates

Speed update. Google pre-announced that they will be launching the Speed update anytime soon in January but launched it five months later in June. At first, many website owners and SEO professionals were flipping out, thinking that it will adversely affect their site ranking, but Google confirmed that this update will only affect the slowest sites. Google said it “only affect a small percentage of queries.”

Medic update. Clearly the biggest search ranking algorithm update in 2018. Google launched the Medic update around August 1 & confirmed it after the SEO community took notice and approached them to get more information. At first Google shrug it off saying that it just another “broad core algorithm update” that they do multiple times a year, but this update was different as it specifically impacted health and YMYL categories.

Other algorithm updates. Along with the Medic update, Google also launched March core Update and April core update.

Mobile-first indexing

Google started hinting that they will be going mobile first very soon….in 2016. Yeah, they were planning to go mobile first since 2016 and fully shifted to mobile first indexing in 2018. 1 NOTABLE CHANGES IN SEO WORLD IN 2018.

For those who are unaware of it, Google finally decided to index the internet from the view of a smartphone instead of desktop. They started sending notifications via Google Search Console to inform the site owners about this shift. Today, Google claims that almost 50% of the websites have been shifted to mobile first indexing. Here’s a Google guide on how you can prepare for mobile first indexing.

SEO changes

Structured data. Google is putting a lot of emphasis on structured data & schema. From speakable markup for voice search related queries, a brand new indexing API for job posting schema to image search changes, various updates to recipe markup, new job posting guidelines, Q&A schema, live stream support, datasets schema, how to, QA, FAQs schema and so much more.

Other changes. Google not only introduced new schemas & API but also dropped support for the old ones like news meta tag, the standout tag and editors pick in Google news. This move was seen as an attempt to appear unbiased because all of the internet giants are facing allegation of partial treatment from a lot of publishers & users.

Google’s effort around the dynamic rendering & lazy loading content and photos is an effort you’ve seen a lot around with JavaScript SEO in 2018 & will continue through 2019.

Personalization. As we mentioned earlier, the two internet giants Facebook and Google were accused of misusing personal data in 2018. However, Google said that they do not use personalization that much and it is limited to showing relevant local results. “BUT” the duck duck go founder says otherwise. He explained in a long Quora post that how Google misuses your personal data and how privacy becomes a myth when you use any of the Google products or services.

Google Search Console and other tools

Google launched a brand new search console in 2018. Just like most of their updates, they first launched the beta version of it and then removed the beta tag and fully launched it for everyone. They also provided a way to import your old search console reports and data to the new one.

Google also started showing Search Console snapshots directly in the search results for site owners. They also changed the limits and quotas on crawling and indexing within search console, removed the ability to use the public URL submission tool & provided convenience to the site owners by automatically verifying them with their Google Analytics account.

Google also tested new form of domain properties for cross site reporting, added a number of reports for event listing, AMP, links, mobile usability and more. They also launched several tools in 2018, and one of the best from the lot was URL inspection tool.

This wonderful tool gives a snap shot of how Google sees your page. Pretty awesome, isn’t it? They also heard the demand of the SEO community and finally allowed us to view 16 months of historical data. Not only that but they also expanded the API to provide us with 25,000 rows of data.

Google local

Google Posts. Google spent a lot of time polishing Google Posts. They tested many UI around Google Posts on both desktop and mobile searches and also updated the My Business Console to enable Google Posts on the web or through the mobile app.

However, all these efforts from Google didn’t yield the type of results they were expecting since many local SEO experts said that the Google posts traffic and engagement level is on the decline.

Google My Business. Google not only updated the GMB API several times in the past year but also updated the GMB mobile app to allow business owners to manage their listing on the go. They added more insights data, analytics, branded searches, more query data and also launched an agency dashboard as well.

Mobile search and voice assistants

The increasing popularity of voice assistants has made many SEOs take keen interest in voice SEO. Although Google Home is considered the smartest one out there, but the competition is neck & neck since all the tech giants like Apple, Microsoft & Amazon have their own home assistants. But we can give credit to Google home for being the first home assistant that comes equipped with a display.

Google UI changes

Google rolled out a new design for desktop searches, discover feed & more results button for mobile and did many changes to UI.

They also increased and then decreased their snippet length, expanded the autocomplete predictions and started showing cameos of famous people in search results.

AMP. Coming to AMP, Google released a developer preview of showing the publisher URLs in search and not the Google AMP cache URL. They also launched AMP stories in search & a bunch of other AMP features.

Other big Google news

In other news, Google is finally closing down Google Plus after 7 years due to many security incidents.

Continuing from the last year, our client’s rankings haven’t had any major impact after rollout of these algorithm updates and continue to rise as we shift to 2019.