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This is a sponsored post written by SE Ranking. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.
Our data shows that nearly one-third of all Google searches are related to location. Google stressed that every “‘near me’ intent is a ‘near you’ opportunity.”
Optimizing for local search is a massive opportunity that businesses can no longer ignore.
Customers expect to get relevant, accurate results instantly in every search query. When they do, will your business be able to deliver the answer that your customer is looking for?
If your answer is no, then it’s about time to evaluate your local SEO strategy.
Here are the things you need to focus on if you want to improve your chances of gaining visibility in local search.Evaluate Your Present Local Rankings
Before developing an SEO strategy, check where you are at the moment. This can be done by using a tool such as SE Ranking.
SE Ranking’s Ranking Checker provides information on mobile and desktop rankings, along with extra keyword data such as:
AdWords suggested bid.
Check out the Google AdWords Ranking Checker – a new feature that SE Ranking recently rolled out. It’s a nice tool that evaluates the local visibility of your website.
This feature tracks organic and paid rankings of the keywords you are using and lets you compare the results.
It’s also a good idea to check how you are ranking in a particular location using our Google Location Changer tool.
This can be especially useful if you are working with an SEO consultant from a different state or country. Regardless of the actual location, he or she can always check your rankings accurately – as though they are physically present in your local shop or office.Check What Your Competitors Are Doing
There is a saying that smart people learn from their mistakes and the wise ones from the mistakes of others.
Tracking the strategies of your local competitors is an effective way to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and consequently improve your own marketing plan.
You can gain competitive intelligence by using SE Ranking’s SEO/PPC Research tool that helps you identify the most important players in your local market and shows you how they drive organic and acquired traffic.Research Semantic Core Keywords for Local SEO
Keyword research is the foundation of any SEO campaign. Focusing on the right keywords can potentially bring lots of targeted and quality traffic to your site.
It is important to use keywords with geo-modifiers (locations, cities, place names, etc.) if you want to rank well in local search.
SE Ranking’s Keyword Suggestion tool picks a variety of combinations based on your primary example.
Let’s say you own a custom furniture shop in Chicago. A general keyword phrase can be “custom furniture maker” or “furniture shop.”
To make your keyword locally oriented, you can add Chicago to your keyphrase like “Chicago furniture makers” or “custom furniture shop in Chicago”.
Within the Keyword Suggestion tool, you can also use “Search Engine Suggestions” that will show you different combinations of exact search queries.
It’s a neat option that you should try out.
SE Ranking generates a list of keywords or phrases together with their monthly search volume, KEI, suggestion bid, and rankings.
It also analyzes the Top 10 results and groups thousands of keywords into several clusters.
You can also build a report and filter keywords based on parameters (such as competition, KEI, search volume, CPC, etc.) and analyze the data using clear and concise format.Analyze How Well a Certain Page Is Optimized for a Local Query
If you are running a business that focuses on serving a specific community, you might benefit greatly from optimizing a particular webpage for a certain search query.
For example, if you are a lawyer in Los Angeles and you want to push your business law specialization, you would want to optimize your “business law” page so it pops up in SERPs in top positions for your location.
In order to do so, you need to run an on-page SEO audit, which will uncover all the issues you need to address to achieve your goals.
Along with defining how well this page is optimized for the desired query, the SE Ranking will scan the content for uniqueness and reveal all technical errors.
The audit checks for all of the major SEO elements, including:
Titles and meta descriptions.
Outbound and internal links.
Page optimization for desktop and mobile devices.
It also provides a comprehensive report of what’s wrong and how to fix it.
The audit takes a few minutes to conduct and produces action items you can work on.Create Localized Campaigns and Strategies
Data from various research tasks and analyses can help you start building your own campaigns and strategies.
Be creative and precise especially if you are investing money into AdWords or other paid customer acquisition channels. These can be expensive and it would be hard to recover if you make optimization mistakes.
Make sure that you are using the variations that you’ve discovered using the keyword suggestion tool.
Create campaigns using keywords with local intent to acquire quality traffic and keep the positions you’ve already gained.
Execute your local SEO strategy with precision and you will achieve greater results.Optimize your website for local search using SE Ranking tools. Trial is completely free! Signing up is quick and easy – NO credit card required.
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One area many agencies lack overall, especially in local SEO, is reporting.
Unlike enterprise and international businesses with C-level executives and shareholders, many local businesses only care about getting more foot traffic in their doors.
So by simplifying our approach and focusing on reporting only highly relevant data, agencies can better serve local businesses and build stronger relationships.
Here are seven tips to improve your local SEO reporting and serve your local clients.1. Simplify Reports
Simplifying your SEO reports is not just a tip that local SEO agencies should follow – but one that generally any agency should, too.
Our first impulse as marketers and communicators is to provide as detailed a report as possible. That’s even more true when marketers need to bury bad campaign results under a mountain of information.
However, our reports should tell a clear and concise story about how well our marketing campaigns perform.
Complicated reports with unnecessary data distract from campaign success and will make some eyes gloss over reading them.
Follow these tips to keep local SEO reports simple and easily digestible for clients:
Set clear goals: Outline the campaigns’ goals at the top of reports and cite the most relevant metrics in communicating your progress toward those goals.
Eliminate unnecessary metrics: For the SEO neophyte, metrics like total keyword volume, impressions, and backlinks matter very little if they aren’t driving foot traffic to the store.
Use a single reporting period: Regardless of how many tools you use, you should stick to tracking one reporting period (e.g., the past 30 days or two weeks) based on when reports are distributed.
Visualize data: Tools like Semrush provide pie charts and line charts for important keyword metrics that can help clients visualize campaign progress. Google Analytics also provides visuals for metrics, such as new or returning users.
Segment reports into different sections: Don’t just skip from user metrics directly into social media metrics without clearly separating reports into sections. For example, I like to organize my reports into chapters, such as “Traffic Overview,” “Local Keyword Overview,” “Social Media Overview,” etc.
Tell a story: Don’t just inundate clients with metric after metric. Instead, explain metrics in brief paragraphs on top of or below charts. I sometimes include a brief one-page SEO primer at the beginning of reports and audits to help people understand what value we’re adding.2. Choose The Right Metrics
Part of telling a story with data is selecting the correct data that’s relevant to that story.
Most local businesses only really care about two vital metrics:
However, this doesn’t mean you should disregard every important metric, but that you should choose metrics that are relevant to your story.
Even metrics like overall traffic don’t show you how qualified that traffic is or what channels that traffic originates from.
That’s why I like to include the following vital metrics from Google Analytics:
Top Landing Pages.
Location by city (Users, New Users, Sessions, Bounce Rate, etc.).
Top Traffic Channels by Sessions.
New vs. Returning Customers.
These metrics tell our clients which campaigns yield the most significant traffic flow and from which cities and sources.
You’ll also need a tool to report keyword data, such as Semrush or Ahrefs. Semrush even provides a neat tool to construct reports easily and build templates for future clients.3. Segment Keywords By Location
Getting into some more of the local aspects of SEO, we’ll need to ensure that our reports are adequately optimized to only report on local keyword data.
I used Semrush to create a new project and implement position tracking on my most strategic keywords in this example.
As you can see below, I set up position tracking for searches specifically in the Houston metropolitan area. I then can upload keywords I am tracking from Semrush or even Google Analytics to report on.
To filter the keywords I am tracking, I can also add tags that separate them into specific categories.
You can get as granular as you wish with your list by separating your keywords by question phrases, “near me” searches, or including a city-based keyword from your list.
Once you have position tracking and tags set up, you can easily export or add those keywords to a CSV or Semrush’s reporting tool.4. Segment Traffic By Device
Equally crucial for tracking local SEO campaigns is filtering data by device.
That’s why I like to include sections in my reports outlining traffic by device and even going as granular as by location and device.5. Track Local SERP Results
Another massive difference in how Google approaches local searches is using tools like the Local Search Pack and Google Business Profile.
For several local businesses, Google Business Profile listings can be a significantly higher source of conversions and foot traffic to a business than their actual website.
You’ll need to sign up for a connector to track Google Business Profile data using any conventional reporting tool.
However, many keyword tools like Semrush offer detailed keyword information about local search results, such as local pack results and featured snippets.
This information is highly relevant to businesses looking to rank in “near me” searches that generate a lot of traffic to their business.
Export this data to a CSV or upload it directly into Semrush’s reporting tool.6. Go Beyond Standard SEO Tools And Metrics
Going beyond the local pack, we can add several additional KPIs (key performance indicators) to our local SEO reports that are highly relevant to businesses.
For example, consider including the following metrics in your next local SEO report:
Unlinked brand mentions.
Backlinks (if relevant to your campaign).
Social media engagement.
You might need to purchase a social listening tool or upgrade your Semrush account to track social media mentions and engagement.
However, you can also do manual research to monitor changes in review ratings, unlinked brand mentions, or social media engagement on trending posts to add to your reports.7. Provide Actionable Information
Finally, we want to wrap up our reports by adding a section at the end summarizing campaign results and future actions based on the data you present.
This section will help you complete your story using the data provided and help clients understand what you presented to them.
I also find adding a final section for recommendations important because many campaigns can be hampered by low budgets or reluctant clients who don’t want to take all the necessary steps to change their site.
So if your campaign is bogged down because a local business won’t update its site or implement recommended changes, be sure to remind them nicely at the end of your report and explain the benefits of your recommendations.
Featured Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock
Note from Ann: We a SEJ are all for knowledge exchange and therefore we encourage various SEO meetups and evens and always agree to cover them. Here’s one of the most recent SEO meetups covered by our guest author.
SEO is not always a glorious profession, it requires a great deal of motivation and interest and without it one can fail miserably. In order to stay on top and up-to-date with technologies, one should continuously participate in research, sharing experiences, attending webinars, meetups, conferences and others.
The culture of exchanging knowledge and experiences is very common in the regions like United States, UK and some other regions. I am really a fan of collective research and combined education – so I and few like-minded friends from the industry organized a small meetup where we invited other professionals from the search industry and discussed the latest trends and updates of the industry.
I was the Speaker at the First Karachi SEO Meetup and we covered the following points:
History of Search Engine:
With the undeniable fact that the terminology of SEO was first used by Bruce Clay and John Audette even before the Google came in to being, we discussed how search engines have been evolving over the time.
Search Engine Algorithms:
Although this is a complete chapter and it requires hours of conversations, we moved from the history to search engine algorithms and tried to discuss the basics of how search engine algorithms work and mentioned the few fundamental reasons why Google and other search engine change their algorithms from time to time.
This is a fact that Google tests 500 to 600 algorithm updates in a year (though not all of them are permanent) – there are a few very big and powerful updates that Google has introduced to make search results faster and more accurate.
We discussed a few powerful algorithms that Google has brought from 2009 till the latest Panda Update in 2011.
Canonical tag was first introduced by Google and the purpose of this tag was to reduce the duplicate content issue within the website. For example, if you have two different URLs that contain the same content, the canonical tag will tell Google that one of the pages is original.
We also talked about the duplicate content between two different website and then we discussed the cross-domain canonical to reduce the duplicate content issue between the websites.
No-Follow Link Attribute:
The topic has been previously discussed by me in detail. The attribute itself is not a rocket science to anybody today but the way we discussed it was a bit different from the casual one. We actually discussed the value of no-follow tag in terms of ranking and conversions to the website.
Sentiment Analysis to Links:
Updated in 2010 this is one of the important but less discussed Google Algorithms. The purpose of this algorithm was to identify if the link within the article or post is reward to the company or a bad fame. In order to identify this, Google updated the algorithm which they named Sentiment Analysis to links.
The Big Panda Update:
The Panda is not new to anyone out there, so instead of discussing what it actually is, we tried to talk about how to recover from panda and what are the very basic strategies to follow that take the Panda away from the website.
About the Meetup:
The meetup was arranged by 3wogle IT House in their open air auditorium. They have plans to arrange these kinds of meetups on regular basis (at least once a month). They have already announced the topic for their upcoming meetup that is ‘Social Media Marketing’
Anyone interested to join the upcoming meetups can join their facebook fan page for updates.
News search has gotten complicated, and it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices in news SEO.
Christine Liang, the Senior SEO Director at The New York Times, brought solutions to the 2023 News and Editorial SEO Summit (NESS) via her presentation, “Everything you need to know about editorial SEO.”
As Liang said, “The news space is complicated. There’s Top Stories, Google News, domestic and international algorithms, the list goes on and on. It can feel utterly overwhelming.”
But, she added, “I’m here to uncomplicate things.”
Liang shared a number of news SEO tips that The New York Times and other major publications like theirs use to optimize content for maximum visibility in search. Here are 10 you can put to work for your own site.
Related: 101 Quick & Actionable Tips to Improve Your SEO1. Keyword Research: Focus On Search Intent
For example, ask yourself:
How are searchers talking about the topic?
How are competitors addressing the topic?
What types of content are coming up for the topic?
She said, “Doing your research will help you narrow in on the keyword and search intent.”
Liang also recommended gauging interest in keywords with Google Trends. “Understand search demand for a topic by looking at different timeframes.”
And she urged attendees to scroll down to “find breakout terms … and figure out if a trending topic still has demand.”
Related: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: The Ultimate Guide2. Craft Compelling Headlines
Liang said, “The SEO headline (title tag) is one of the most important ranking factors. Keywords in the headline signal to users and Google what your content is about.”
Keep it under 65 characters, and even shorter for mobile.
Place the main keywords closer to the front.
Make it engaging! SEO headlines don’t have to be snoozy.
Liang also said it was a good idea to refresh headlines with new information and new keywords.
She said, “Updating headlines is a good way to ensure the reader is getting the most current news. It’s also a freshness signal – it tells Google to come back for a recrawl because there is new information.”3. Include Keywords in URLs
Liang also encouraged news publishers to include primary keywords in URLs.
She said, “Keyword use in a URL has some ranking weight, but it mainly signals to users what the page is about.”
She also suggested structuring URLs under the appropriate category.
She said, “URL paths get picked up as a breadcrumb in Google’s search results. This is a reflection of your site’s hierarchy.”
She added, “File your story to the most relevant section to help build categorical authority.”
Related: The Ultimate Guide for an SEO-Friendly URL Structure4. Incorporate Images and Videos
Liang also recommends incorporating visual content – especially during visually leaning moments.
She said, “Give people choices! Not everyone coming to your story is looking to digest it through text. Images and videos provide users with another means to consume the content.”
She added, “Once on-page, provide more context around the images.”
And Liang urged attendees to bolster ranking signals and engagement by incorporating videos.
She said, “During live events, Google prioritizes video in search results,” and added, “Include clips when relevant.”
Related: 41 Best Stock Photo Sites to Find High-Quality Free Images5. Add Relevant Internal Links
Liang emphasized adding relevant links.
She said, “Internal links are links that point from one page to another page on your site. They create site structure, pass page value, and help users navigate.
She added, “Link related pages to optimize for page authority and relevance.”
Liang also said adding internal links would improve discoverability and crawling of content.
She said, “Link to priority stories from relevant content. Use keyword targeted anchor text to signal to Google what the linked page is about.”
She added, “Homepage, section fronts, and topic pages are also valuable pages to link out from.”
Related: Internal Link Structure Best Practices to Boost Your SEO6. Prioritize Publishing Speed
She said, “Google rewards fresh, quality content, and surfaces the most relevant information in Top Stories. So, don’t give it all away at one go!”
She added, “Publish the most essential details first. Then republish with new chunks of content (around 50-100 words).”
Related: Core Web Vitals: A Complete Guide7. Keep The Timestamp Fresh
For example, she recommended keeping the timestamp fresh.
Liang said, “The timestamp on a story plays a large role in Top Stories. An up-to-date timestamp draws people in. It signals to users that the articles are more recent.”
She added, “You can trigger a timestamp update by sending Google different freshness signals.” And she suggested trying the following:
Re-writing the dek (or subhed).
Swapping out images.
Placing on homepage.
Promoting and sharing on social.8. Build Page Authority Over Time
Liang also encouraged NESS attendees to build authority on a topic over time.
She showed an example of how the NYTimes did this by creating a topic page on R. Kelly years ago, creating an evergreen file a month before the trial, and ranking as an authority on the day of the verdict.9. Prepare As Much In Advance As Possible
What evergreen pieces need to be updated?
What HFOs (Hold For Orders) can we set up?
What keywords should we target per file?
What are some headlines we can pre-write?10. Create Playbooks For The Next News Event
Finally, Liang recommended creating playbooks so you have a framework for the next new event.
For a scheduled event like the Winter Olympics, ask yourself:
When to go live?
What files do we need prior, during and after an event?
What were the best formats?
What worked and what didn’t work?
What did competitors do successfully?
In conclusion, Liang said, “SEO is more than keywords; it’s about quality, freshness, user experience, structure, tech, research, and process.”
That means that it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date on the latest search practices – especially because news search has gotten more complicated and continues to evolve.
Featured image courtesy of Christine Liang, October 2023.
Critical thinking is the means by which we objectively analyze the pros and cons of a situation in order to make informed decisions. It is a fundamental skill that is of such importance that many colleges and universities require their freshman students to complete an introductory course. The Common Core Standards also recognize the value of critical thinking, declaring it as one of the explicit skills children are to learn. This leaves teachers with the difficult task of teaching this complex skill to elementary school children.
How will children learn critical thinking? The answer is: “It depends.”
I am not trivializing the topic. I am however, suggesting that children must first understand the concept of “it depends” and how it relates to their daily lives, if they are to think critically.
As we all know, young children are most comfortable with clear rules and “black and white” thinking. The idea that a situation may have multiple answers that depend upon variables and context is a foreign and complex notion to children (and even many adults). Critical thinking begins with the recognition that there are multiple points of view. Each point of view is based on a specific context which, by its very nature, emphasizes one set of characteristics while de-emphasizing the remaining characteristics. Critical thinking is the evaluation and analysis of the differing points of view for the purpose of determining which one is “more valid.”The Basic Story
Fables are well suited for presenting a situation from at least one point of view. That is because fables are allegorical stories that teach lessons about life. As such, they present a typical problem that children readily understand and can relate to. One or more characters, often animals, resolve the problem, thereby presenting the evaluation and analysis from a singular point of view. In this way, fables provide the framework in which the concept of “it depends” can be introduced to young children. Introducing the concept is as simple as asking a question that causes the child to view the story from another perspective. It is imperative, however, that the child fully understands the message of the fable as presented from the original point of view.
Aesop’s fables are timeless treasures that have been taught to children for many centuries. They have stood the test of time and are packed with wisdom. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” is one of the most well known of Aesop’s fables. Children can easily relate to the shepherd boy who is bored and is looking for attention. They can also relate to the unintended consequences of their actions as happened with the shepherd boy who lost a lamb to the wolf because the villagers stopped believing his cries for help.
What if the shepherd boy actually saw the wolf each time he cried for help? What if the wolf was cunning and hid from the villagers? When we ask these questions, the meaning of the fable changes drastically. It is no longer a fable about the importance of honesty. Instead, it is a fable about the villagers unjustly accusing the shepherd boy of dishonesty. It is a fable about the dangers of jumping to conclusions without knowledge of all the facts.Other Points of View
“What if” questions force an analysis and evaluation from a completely different point of view. Those questions actually create a framework through which the child will begin to think critically. The different perspective is the catalyst for critical thinking, and it helps the child realize that “it depends.”
As you know, there are many adaptations of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Some simply state that the shepherd boy cried wolf and omit his motives, while other versions declare that the boy knowingly lied. The questions above are only appropriate for those versions of the story where it is not specifically stated that the boy did not see the wolf.
Be prepared for a great discussion as you reread those sections of the story that open the door to the “what if” questions. Provoking the children to think critically via “what if” questions can be applied to any of Aesop’s fables. Older children can even be asked to offer their own “what if” questions. The discussions will be fun and lively. Don’t forget to conclude with a discussion on “it depends.”
Seeing your ex’s profile on Tinder or any dating app is never fun and usually doesn’t have a happy ending. Not to mention, it gets even worse if a family relative or a nosy cousin spots your Tinder account. Keeping these concerns in mind, Tinder has recently announced a new feature that lets you block your contacts on Tinder. In this article, we will take a look at how you can use this feature to block someone from Tinder.Block Someone on Tinder: A Step-by-Step Guide (2023)
Tinder syncs your contacts list to let you choose to block a familiar face on the dating app. However, if you prefer not to share your contacts with Tinder, the company has also provided a way to block someone from seeing you on Tinder without importing contacts. We have added the instructions for both of these methods in this article. So read on till the end to know everything about blocking someone on Tinder in 2023.Steps to Block Someone on Tinder
1. Open the Tinder app and switch to the Profile section from the bottom navigation bar. From your Profile page, tap on the “Settings” icon.
3. You will now see the option to import your contacts list to Tinder. Tap on the “Import Contacts” button to sync all your contacts.
4. Then, use the search box or pick the phone numbers of people you’d prefer not to see on Tinder, and tap on the “Block [x] Contacts” button.
5. You will now see all your blocked contacts in a separate section. If you change your mind, you can tap on the Unblock button next to their name.Block All Contacts on Tinder
1. If you want to play it safe, you can choose to block all contacts on Tinder. Tap on the vertical three dots menu at the top-right corner and choose “Select All Contacts” from the pop-up.
Block Someone on Tinder without Sharing Contacts List
If you are not comfortable allowing Tinder access to your contacts list, there’s also an option to manually block people from seeing you on the dating app. Here’s how:
1. When you are on the screen that urges you to import contacts, press the ‘+’ button from the top-right corner.
Disconnect Contacts Sync on Tinder
Tinder says it will keep just the contact information of blocked contacts when you turn off contacts sync. Hence, you can turn contacts syncing off after you have picked all the contacts you’d like to block on the dating app. Here’s how to turn off contacts sync on Tinder:
1. After blocking contacts, tap on the vertical three dots menu at the top right corner and choose “Disconnect Contacts List” from the list of options.
Block Your Ex and Swipe Right in Peace on Tinder
So, that’s how you can block your exes, cousin, colleague, parents, or anyone in your contacts list on Tinder. While Tinder has taken its fair share of time to implement this much-needed feature, we are glad to see it in action at last. Here’s to swiping without worrying about relatives and exes! Also, we suggest you check out our guides on how to block someone on Facebook, take a break from someone on Facebook, and how to hide stories on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media networks.
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