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Local SEO Keyword Insights That Make a Difference

local seo keyword research

Local SEO Keyword Insights That Make a Difference

Why do people choose a query for their search a certain way? For instance, what is the difference between Houston Engagement Rings vs Engagement Rings Houston? The answer is in the context. Let’s take a look. Part of the local SEO keyword research process is collecting data. Many tools such as SEMrush, Google Keyword tool and others provide SEO practitioners with valuable data such as search volume, cost per click (CPC), competition and historical trends; however, to have a successful SEO campaign that produces real ROI requires more insight than that which can only come from one’s creativity and cognitive process.

Local SEO Keyword Examples

Let’s use a product as our first example. People search for products locally differently than they search for a business or service. If we run a keyword analysis on the phrase “Engagement Rings Houston,” SEMrush comes back with 1,600 searches per month. That is a pretty high number for a local keyword, but what happens when we change the wording around a bit. Logically we might think that the term “Houston Engagement Rings” would garner similar results… not in the least. Instead we see a much lower search volume of 170 searches per month. So why is that?

The Logic Behind the Keyword Phrase Intent

Logically, when a person is looking for a product, they are looking to research and shop multiple local stores. So, to say “Houston Engagement Rings” would imply that the person is looking for multiple locations described as an “Engagement Ring.” That doesn’t make sense when the person searching is looking for brick and mortar locations. On the flip side, “Engagement Rings Houston” implies that the searcher is looking for a product in the Houston area. The phrase is linked better to the intent of the searcher/shopper.

Making Keywords More Profitable

Sometimes SEO Practitioners tend to think at the surface level rather than trying to truly understand the intent of the shopper. More traffic is always great, but if the effort spent on generating that traffic doesn’t produce a return, money is wasted and profitability is doubtful. Liked this article? Visit my complete guide to Keyword Intent. Need an SEO Expert? Shoot me a message.

How Search Engines Work

The most widely used website on the internet is call Google. For those of you who don’t know what Google is, I’d just give up right about now…

Millions of people conduct searches on the Internet using search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing on a daily basis. While you and everyone else in the world use search engines every day, it begs the question… do you really know how search engines work?

Core Functionality of a Search Engine

How Search Engines Work

Basically all search engines both large and small function and operate in the same manner. Their purpose hasn’t changed much over the past couple decades. Search engines capture information from websites using what is commonly called a spider, crawler, or bot.


The Role of Hyperlinks

The search engine spider crawls webpages all throughout the internet, using links to find new pages. Hyperlinks determine the architecture of a website.

Understanding Search Engine Indexing

Search engine indexing is the process of a search engine collecting, parses and stores data for use by the search engine. Once the information is captured, the spider submits it to the search engine’s index. This information is utilized to store data in a logical format, making information retrieval much faster and more efficient.

How Algorithms Affect Search Result Rankings

Algorithm - a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.

Every sophisticated computer program has some sort of algorithm that it uses to work through a sequence of events. This algorithm determines which decisions it will make. In Google’s scenario, the decision is going to be where to place each webpage in the index.

Just to give you an idea, Google incorporates more than 200 different ranking factors with its algorithm. Here is a nice infographic so you can more easily visualize it.

SEO Ranking Factors

How Search Engines Are Unique From One Another

It’s all in the secret sauce, baby! Well, an algorithm at least. While every search engine has an algorithm to provide search results, each calculation is somewhat different based on the particular search engine. Each search engine may have different criteria that is used in the algorithm or the criteria may be weighted differently. This results in different rankings for each search engine results.

Ranking Factors Other Than Keyword Relevancy

There are many moving parts with search engines, especially search engines like Google. While, the core functionality comes down to relevancy and keywords, how does Google determine which website hits first page for “Ford Trucks. “

Think about it. There are only 10 spots on the first page and you get over a million search results when you Google “Ford Trucks.”

While every search engine seems to work the same in function, each search engine company keeps their algorithms a secret. The reason is because they do not want people outside the company to understand or know the specifics behind the search engine’s design or operations, especially the algorithm.

How & Why Google Favors Brands

Google favors big brands. This is partly due to the fact that bigger brands spend more time developing their content. They spend a lot of money and they abide by very strict brand guidelines. That said, bigger brands pose less of a threat to Google’s users in terms of displaying spammy or low quality content.

Hopefully you don’t feel discouraged by that because with SEO, you can still beat them. You just have to be more efficient, develop better quality content and have a solid SEO plan in place.

Google rankings are all a Popularity Contest

The other reason why it seems that Google favors brands is because Google’s ranking algorithm is pretty much a popularity contest. For instance, take the keyword “Ford Trucks” again with over 1 mm results.

While theoretically, all one million pages could have the same exact keywords and number of words on each page, but that still doesn’t help us determine the quality, validity and value of the content to Google’s users. Google’s smarter than that…

Instead, Google uses links or backlinks to help separate the most helpful, relevant content from the low quality content which provides Google users little to no value.

In fact, this idea, PageRank, developed by former Google CEO, Larry Page, was what truly separated Google from other search engines like AOL, ASK Jeeves, Yahoo, etc..

Search Engine Friendly Basics

Learn Search Engine Friendly Basics

The basic principals on how to make your website search engine friendly

SEO is a marketing tool that enables an enterprise to improve the online rankings and visibility of its website. In order to maximize SEO, businesses need a fundamental understanding of the following search engine basics:

  • SEO drives traffic, increases rankings on search engines and enhances online visibility in an organic (non-paid) way, thereby reducing the need to rely on paid search engine marketing (SEM).
  • Effective SEO requires identification of keywords consumers frequently use to search the Internet for a specific company, organization, product, service or resource.
    • Correctly identifying, therefore, the words most commonly associated with an industry allows a business in that industry to include those words in the content it posts on its website. In doing so, it raises its rankings on search engines.

One of the search engine basics businesses often overlook is that successful online marketing requires more than simply maximizing results based on keyword usage. Additional factors to consider include:

  • A website must be simple to navigate. Site architecture that search engines have difficulty understanding will not rank highly and, therefore, not attract much traffic.
  • The website should load quickly.
  • The site should be formatted for access via mobile devices.
  • Search engines utilize proprietary algorithms that read online data to determine which results are most relevant to the search.
    • Businesses are not given access to these algorithms, thereby preventing them from developing workarounds designed to circumvent the purpose of SEO.

Regardless of product, service, or mission, few organizations can hope to succeed without a comprehensive marketing program. And for most businesses, online marketing has become a necessity. But, what is so great about online marketing?

User Experience

When a company has a website that is easy to find, easy to navigate, and engages visitors, this makes that website visible, credible, and a lead generating machine . Sounds simple enough. However, if it was, all online marketing campaigns would be successful. Clearly they are not.

The Key to Successful SEO Campaigns

The key to success is, of course, online traffic and the key to online traffic is effective use of search engines. Consumers won’t become customers of a business if they can’t find that business. This is one of the most fundamental of search engine basics and is why so much emphasis is placed on search engine optimization (SEO).


Google is moving to mobile first indexing in the near future. This is a big move, as no one has ever experienced this type of change before. Mobile first indexing requires a website to be mobile friendly, load quickly, and stay consistent.

Other Resources

What is SEO?

Technical SEO Checklist for 2017

5 Signs Your Business Needs a Rebrand – And How To Launch One on a Budget – Design School

Design at work doesn’t need to be hard.

Sourced through from:

If you think that you may need a rebrand, perhaps you do. Jacqueline Thomas provides you with several guidelines and tips on how to rebrand with simplicity in mind. 


As she tells the story of how you can approach your next rebrand, she provides beautiful visual logo examples and elements to solidify the message. 

By |May 16th, 2016|Categories: |0 Comments

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

What is SEO?

“Search engine optimization”. A mystery to most, but mastered by few individuals who possess the ability to make money fall from the sky. All you need is a computer, internet and a lot of time. If you have all of those things, you can master the art and science of Search Engine Optimization.

Briefly, here’s what you need to know about search engine optimization (SEO):
  • SEO is a marketing tactic companies or individuals can leverage to improve the rankings and visibility of its website (as well as online presence in general). This is done by improving the on-page and off-page factors search engines consider important.
  • Imagine the power of having your company’s website listed at the top of Google for every keyword that your customers search. That’s pretty powerful because your customers are already looking for a company like you, and now, you are the first website they see.
  • If you are not on 1st page or near the top of 1st page, chances of anyone finding you is slim to none. The fact is that 85% of search engine users do not click beyond the 1st page of Google. That said, the company’s website would be buried too far down the rankings to be of much benefit.

Perhaps more important than asking “what is search engine optimization” (especially for small and medium-sized businesses), is why is SEO so important?

Why is SEO Important?

In a nutshell, employing a well planned SEO strategy can drive serious traffic, increasing rankings which result in brand visibility and awareness, all through organic search results (natural search results. Not Ads).

A comprehensive online marketing strategy requires more than simply maximizing results based on keyword usage; however, designing site architecture that simplifies navigation is a key factor to improving search rankings.

  • Fix all technical errors. Google has a hard time reading your website when there are a lot of technical errors on your site. If you have a lot of technical issues, more than likely, you will have trouble ranking.
  • A strong Mobile User Experience is essential. This means creating a mobile website with lightening fast page load times and easy to navigate.
  • Search engines use algorithms that read data found on the Internet and determine which results are most relevant to the initial search.

Each algorithm is constructed using numerous factors, most of which are proprietary and, therefore, not available to businesses so that they can deconstruct them and develop workarounds.

When it comes to increasing search rankings, which then drive traffic to a website, the site’s content is the factor that most influences algorithms to rank some results higher than others.

So, what is search engine optimization? It’s the best, most cost-effective way for companies to market themselves and what they sell or do if they produce content that is unique, informative and related to topics for which Internet searches are conducted and the website it is easy to view and use.

5 Tips to Keep Your WordPress Site Safe From Hackers

If you’re experienced with WordPress, there is no doubt that you’ve encountered some form of malicious attack or bot spam. WordPress is known for having security vulnerabilities, but regardless, it is still the most widely used CMS on the web, and for good reason. So for those of you who have just been hacked or want to take preventative measures, here are 5 quick tips that will keep your WordPress site free of malware and safe from intruders.
  1. Ensure that there is not an admin account named “admin” in the system – it is the most popular username out there and should not be used
  2. Use https (ssl certificate) for the site to prevent data theft when logging in – requires ssl certificate that can be bought for about 200 per year
  3. After a hack, change all passwords for your users and make sure they are strong
  4. Keep wordpress up to date with latest version
  5. After hack, run a virus scan on site – can be accomplished with available plugins
Let’s chat!
By |April 27th, 2016|Categories: , |0 Comments

3 Easy Ways Secure Your Website’s CMS on NGINX

Many website CMS platforms, especially WordPress, are vulnerable to certain attacks performed by malicious hackers. In some cases, these hackers seek to gain SEO benefits, while others may have other intentions in mind. Either way, here are 3 easy NGINX web rules that will help you prevent these attackers from injecting malware or gaining control over your website:

If you use WordPress, you may be interested in 5 tips to keep your WordPress site safe from hackers.

By |April 27th, 2016|Categories: |0 Comments
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