Video Marketing: A Definitive Guide for Fitness Businesses


There’s a good chance that you’ve seen competitor brands using video marketing and that you’ve heard it’s the next big thing. You may, however, not be sure if it really is a viable option for your fitness business.

If this sounds like you, keep reading.

I’ll share all you need to know about using video marketing for your brand. I’ll cover how you can develop a video marketing strategy, types of videos you can create, and bonus tips to help you elevate your video content.

But first, let’s look at why video really is the next big thing.

Video is booming

It may have been easy to overlook how fast video has become a staple in our lives. Take YouTube. Did you know that over 500 hours of video content is uploaded to the video-sharing platform every minute?

And while that’s a gargantuan number, research shows that people consume over 16 hours of video every week. It’s also no surprise. Since Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn evolved to make video a core component of social feeds and interactions, people have embraced the phenomenon. Facebook alone gets almost eight billion video views per day.

And that’s not all. Video has become a strong motivator for consumers. Studies show that 84% of people are more interested in a product after watching a product video.

But what’s really at the heart of this drive toward video is the medium itself. It’s far more engaging than text or images. The combination of imagery and audio is powerful. In fact, a study shows that more people would rather watch a video than read a blog post.

How to develop a video strategy

Getting started with video for your fitness brand isn’t as hard as you may think. It will require grasping a few new ideas, but like anything else, it’s learnable.

Before you invest in a camera and hit record, you’ll have to think about video marketing strategy. As with all marketing, you must know what your objectives are and how they support your business goals.

Do you want to attract more new customers? Do you want to sell a range of products you’ve just launched? Whatever your goals, be sure to write them down as a first step.

Next, pull back the layers on whom you’re targeting. The smartest marketers on the planet know that you cannot market a brand or product/service without knowing who your ideal customer is and why your solution is the perfect fit for them.

Where to start?

Identify Your Ideal Customer(s)

If you haven’t yet, create a persona document. Personas provide marketers with a clear understanding of their ideal customers. They include all the characteristics your ideal customer has and are based on research and conversations with people to whom you sell your products and services.

Personas include challenges, needs, wants, desires, and pain points your ideal customer has. They also share the values buyers hold about themselves and your product/services.

If you need to get started on your persona(s), download a copy of DigitalMarketer’s Customer Avatar sheet. It’s free and will guide you through the process of identifying your ideal customer(s) and what moves them.

Think Transformation

Creating effective marketing videos has to do with what your clients want out of the experience. In better words, people don’t buy products and services; they want to actualize transformations. When you think of each video you create as an opportunity to create a transformation, you’ll create content that your audience resonates with.

Understanding what your ideal customer wants may seem hard to determine. A simple and effective way is to use the Before and After Grid. It helps you establish the before and after states of your customer.

Knowing what your customer is thinking and feeling before they encounter your video and how your video should influence their after states helps you create content your audience will find hard to look away from.

Get your hands on a copy of the before and after grid here.

Different Types of Videos You Can Create

Wondering what to shoot? Here’s a collection of eight video ideas (with examples) that you can create for your fitness business.

Showcase Your Facilities and Team

Give prospects an idea of what your gym has to offer with a walk-through video. MGM Scotland is a boxing club. They produced an 11-minute video to share their facilities. In it, you see their facilities and get to meet staff and clients.

Tips from Your Team

Most people who join gyms don’t have enough education or a plan to help them generate results. Tips from staff can go a long way to helping new and prospective members gain from visiting your fitness business.

In one video, Stuart Woods, Head Coach at Reddam GC, shares how he puts a TeamGym routine together. If you’re an aspiring gymnast, seeing that video will likely make you want to learn more about Reddam GC.

Product Reviews and Diet Plans

Jeff Cavaliere launched his YouTube channel back in 2006. Since then, he’s generated over 1.3 billion views and has over 9.31 million followers. Jeff also owns a gym and he knows that producing content helps promote his brand and sell products. In this video, he talks about the importance of supplements and dieting.

Provide Reasons to Join Your Gym

Often, people looking to make a change need a little motivation. Creating a video with reasons to join your gym can help. In his video, Coach Joe Riggio shared a moving story about how his clients’ lives changed for the better after joining his gym.


Social proof is a powerful marketing tool. It helps buyers looking to make a purchase feel comfortable taking action. RX Gym shares how joining their gym has improved the lives of some of their members.

Classes and Training

Sticking to the same fitness routine isn’t always fun. Introducing something new can change that. Recording videos that showcase certain movements or give clients and prospects an idea of what to expect can lead to greater demand for your services.

Vigor Ground Functional Fitness Training Center created a video titled “14 Fun Fitness Partner Games For Group Workouts” to inspire members and their audience.

How to Use Equipment

Joining a gym can be daunting. It’s a new space filled with equipment and technology you may not know how to use. Creating a series of how-to videos for members and prospects can help alleviate their anxiety.

Planet Fitness put this short video together on how to use a treadmill. It’s generated over 56k views, proof that people needed to see it.

Personal Workout Videos

Personal workout videos make it easier to learn how to perform movements without fear or injury. Like many other fitness businesses, Jeff sells health and fitness programs online.

In his “7-Minute Abs” workout video, he shares exactly how to isolate muscles and explains why it works. Videos like these educate members, giving them the knowledge to get the most out of their memberships.

Pro Tip: If you want to take your video creation to the next level, you can create an entire online course for sale and distribute it via over-the-top or OTT apps. They give customers the chance to view your content on their smartphones, PCs, or devices like AppleTV, Roku, AndroidTV, and FireTV.

Bonus Tips

If you’re new to creating videos, you may find the process a little challenging. You may also want to find ways to produce even better and more successful content. Here are five tips that will help.

Share Your Videos in the Right Places

Creating a great video is one thing; getting eyes to it is another equally important part. After all, if nobody sees your video, nobody gets your message.

Share your videos in all the places you know your audience visits. These places can include:

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Websites and forums

Run ads

Paid media is effective. It allows you to reach more of your audience faster. Unlike organic content, where you rely on algorithms to position your content above others in search results, paid ads can place your videos in front of your persona instantly.

Try it. You can run ads on all social platforms and sites where your audience is present.

Stay Top-of-Mind by Producing Videos Consistently 

Video is one of the many content formats. If you want to use it to attract more customers, you’ll need to be consistent. Create a list of ideas, a calendar, and commit to producing and sharing videos regularly.

The more you share content regularly, the greater the chance that your brand will stay top-of-mind with your audience.

Speak to Customers for Ideas

While you can create a long list of video ideas, don’t neglect your audience. Ask them what they want more of. You can do so by running a poll or asking people to use the comments section to send ideas.

Learn From Your Results

Marketing is a science. You can learn what works best with your personas and what to produce more of. Pay attention to your metrics. For example, if you’re on YouTube, this means knowing what your watch time is, which types of video get the most likes, shares, and comments, and when the best time is to publish new content.

PJ Taei is founder and president of Uscreen.

via: Street Fight Magazine

Google search update aims to show more diverse results from different domain names

Another Google search update has rolled out this week, this one deals with domain diversity in the search results.

TeamVFM Local Seo Antelope Valley Google search update aims to show more diverse results from different domain names

Google announced on the Search Liaison Twitter account just now that it has updated its search results to show a more diverse set of search results. That means Google will aim to show no more than two results from the same domain for a particular query in the top results.

More diverse Google results. Searchers, along with SEOs, have complained over the years that sometimes Google shows too many listings for the top search results from the same domain name. So if you do a search for a particular query, you may see 4 or 5 of the top ten results from the same domain name. Google is looking to not show more than two results from the same domain with this search update.

Google said “A new change now launching in Google Search is designed to provide more site diversity in our results.” Google added, “This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results.”

But not always. Google said it does reserve the right to show more than two results from the same domain name when it thinks it is appropriate. “However, we may still show more than two in cases where our systems determine it’s especially relevant to do so for a particular search,” Google wrote. I suspect this is related to branded queries, so if you are searching for a brand, like Amazon, you likely will see more than just two results from listed in the search results.

Sub-domains. Google will generally treat sub-domains as part of the main domain. So if you have, it will be considered part of the main domain and count towards the two results. Google said “Site diversity will generally treat subdomains as part of a root domain. IE: listings from subdomains and the root domain will all be considered from the same single site.”

Of course, Google reserves the right to treat some subdomains differently, “However, subdomains are treated as separate sites for diversity purposes when deemed relevant to do so,” Google wrote.

Core results only. This only impacts the core results, not the additional search features such as top stories, video snippets, image carousels or other vertical search features listed among the other web results.

Danny Sullivan from Google added on Twitter, “It’s about the main listings, not various other displays on the search results.”

Yes. This is only about the main web search listings. It not including things like featured snippets, map listings, etc.

Unrelated to the core update. Google clarified that this search update is unrelated to the June 2019 core update that began rolling out Monday. “Finally, the site diversity launch is separate from the June 2019 Core Update that began this week. These are two different, unconnected releases,” Google said.

But it started rolling out two days ago and is fully live today Sullivan told us. “It started a little bit about two days ago but went fully live today,” he said.

So technically, your analytics and Search Console data can be impacted by both the June 2019 core update and this domain diversity update. How do you know which one impacted you?

However, Danny Sullivan thinks they are far enough apart that we should be able to distinguish between the two updates:

but yet you announced it so this change will be “noticeable” and thus impact analytics and search console data, right? it would be nice if you would have held off a week to let the June update roll out more before doing this, right? feedback for the team.

We launch things almost every day. Sometimes several in a single day. This is far enough out from the core update release that any stat changes can probably be distinguished.

Not an update. Google is saying this is not really an update and won’t have as much as of impact on your site. Danny Sullivan from Google added, “Personally, I wouldn’t think of it like an update, however. It’s not really about ranking. Things that ranked highly before still should. We just don’t show as many other pages.” Whatever you want to call it, it changed how some URLs are shown in the search results.

It’s not perfect. Yes, you will still find examples of Google showing more than two results from a single domain for a search result set. Google said “It’s not going to be perfect. As with any of our releases, we’ll keep working to improve it,” when they were given an example of a result set that showed too many results:

It’s not going to be perfect. As with any of our releases, we’ll keep working to improve it. You might also try it the way someone in Tustin would do it — “nail salons” or “nail salons near me” or “nail salons tustin.” If you’re in Tustin, you know you’re in CA 🙂

The announcement.

Have you ever done a search and gotten many listings all from the same site in the top results? We’ve heard your feedback about this and wanting more variety. A new change now launching in Google Search is designed to provide more site diversity in our results….

This site diversity change means that you usually won’t see more than two listings from the same site in our top results. However, we may still show more than two in cases where our systems determine it’s especially relevant to do so for a particular search….

Site diversity will generally treat subdomains as part of a root domain. IE: listings from subdomains and the root domain will all be considered from the same single site. However, subdomains are treated as separate sites for diversity purposes when deemed relevant to do so….

Finally, the site diversity launch is separate from the June 2019 Core Update that began this week. These are two different, unconnected releases.

History. Google has updated how the domain diversity works in Google search many times over the years. In 2010, it said it “launched a change to our ranking algorithm that will make it much easier for users to find a large number of results from a single site.” In 2012, the pendulum began to swing back to more domain diversity in search results. And again in 2013, Google said it would show fewer results from the same domain name. Google has probably made numerous changes to domain diversity in search many more times, we just didn’t have a confirmation from Google all of the time.

Why we should care. This can impact those who aim to try to get their domains to dominate for specific queries. This is more often seen in the reputation management industry but can also related to other areas of search. If you do have sites that have two or more pages that rank for the same query in Google, you will want to track and see how this Google update impacts those sites.


 on June 6, 2019

As a content marketer, I believe that the best way to improve domain authority—and therefore search engine ranking—is to earn a large number of links from high-authority publishers. To do this successfully, you have to produce top-quality, relevant and interesting content that journalists will want to write about.

TeamVFM Local Seo How to Leverage Natural Syndication Networks to Earn More Links

In my last post for SEMrush, I talked about how digital PR specialists can improve their outreach emails, citing an internal analysis of my team’s successful pitches as evidence of what works. I talked through a few major points: subject lines, pitch length, closing, and follow up best practices.

If you read that post, you already know how to write a successful email pitch. In this post, we are going to cover who to pitch. That is, which publishers deliver the most bang for your buck (or, the most ROI on your pitch) when it comes to content marketing outreach.

In 2018, our media relations team earned 41,545 press mentions for our client content marketing campaigns. These press mentions appeared on a variety of top-tier, national, international, and local websites across all verticals. Note: 1,135 of those press mentions were the result of direct outreach to a journalist by one of our media relations specialists.

So, where did the other ~40,000 stories come from? Two words: natural syndication.

What Are Publisher Syndication Networks?

My first encounter with a publisher syndication network occurred over three years ago when I earned my first placement on USA Today; a great placement for someone new to media relations. After the initial excitement of seeing the story I pitched come to life wore off, it was business as usual. I continued pitching the content to other publishers. As I was list-building, however, I came across the same USA Today story—by the same author—published on multiple websites with unique domains. How could this be?

USA Today is owned by Gannett Company, an entity that owns over 100 daily newspapers as well as close to 1,000 weekly newspapers. While the article didn’t syndicate to all of Gannet’s properties, it did get published on about 20 separate online newspapers.

So, a single email pitch earned placements on 20 unique domains with distinctive audiences? That is some high ROI if you ask me.

USA Today isn’t alone in this effect. Other publishers act as hubs, or influencers, publishing articles that are either automatically syndicated (like in USA Today’s case) or organically “picked up” by other journalists looking for reputable stories to feature within their beat.

So, which publishers act as the biggest influencers of content distribution?

After three years of pitching content to nearly every online publisher in the United States, I have developed a deep intuition of which domains have the most syndication potential for our clients’ content. But my team wanted to learn more.

Using SEMrush, Fractl co-founder, Kristin Tynski, took a look at the link networks of the top 400 most trafficked American publishers online. She then used Gephi, a powerful network visualization tool to make sense of this enormous web of links. Essentially, the visualization below shows the relationships each unique publisher has with each other.

Publisher Syndication NetworksClick the picture to interact with the visualization

Tools like SEMrush and Gephi allow us to more deeply understand how online news publications and influential niche blogs interact with one another. We were able to gain insight into how content is distributed and syndicated through link networks.

There are some immediate relationships we can recognize just from clicking around on the visualization:

  • Nodes clustered around each other are publishers that link to each other often. A good example is,, and They are all owned by the same proprietor. The closeness of these nodes is the result of heavy interlinking and story syndication.
  • Some news publishers grouped near other news publishers have similar political leanings. Liberal-leaning publishers Politico, Salon, The Atlantic, and Washington Post are all grouped together, while more conservative publishers Breitbart, The Daily Caller, and BizPac Review are grouped.

Why Understanding Syndication Networks Will Vastly Increase Campaign Success

If you had the choice of sending a pitch and earning a placement or sending a pitch and earning 20 placements, which would you choose?

When you start to understand which news outlets have the largest syndication networks, you are empowered to prioritize those high-syndication publications over publications with lower reach.

After all, not all placements are created equally.

It all comes down to list-building. While both a travel writer at PopSugar and a travel writer at Reuters might enjoy your data-driven travel content, the Reuters writer has a wider influence, plain and simple.

As a result, the content you are pitching will earn significantly more widespread link pickups.

By using the visualization above, you can clearly identify the top publishers for list-building. They are not surprising: CNN, The New York Times, BBC, & Reuters are immediately obvious. The New York Times enjoys earning the most Pulitzer prizes of all time—and that should give you an indication of why they are a trusted source for other journalists to find authoritative story ideas.

If your content gets picked up by any of these sites, it is almost guaranteed that you will earn dozens—if not hundreds—of press mentions from other websites without any additional outreach on your part.

How to Leverage Natural Syndication Networks to Expand Your Reach

Step 1: Create Newsworthy, Relevant, Unique, and Share-worthy Content

There is a reason that earning a placement on the New York Times is such a big deal—it is notoriously difficult to do. If you are trying to organically earn exposure on influential content hubs like the NYT, the Washington Post, or CNN, you can’t start with a drab piece of content.

So what makes newsworthy, relevant, unique, and share-worthy content? According to SEMrush, “quality content relies on precise analytics and trustworthy data. When content is not supported by data, one can never be sure that it will directly hit the audience’s pain points.

After years of experience, I confidently agree that “data-driven content marketing is what produces the most high-quality backlinks we receive for our clients. Here are some ideas for finding the data sources that can become the basis of your content strategy:

Once you have your data, learn what makes content worthy of high-authority placements by including these three characteristics of high-quality content.

Step 2: Identify High-Authority Publishers with Large Natural Syndication Networks

Build out a list of dream publishers for your content.

When evaluating whether to select a publisher or a journalist for outreach, there are four main qualifiers you should be thinking about.

1. Topical Relevance

Identify a few choice writers or editors that cover the specific beat that your content is relevant to.

It might seem obvious, but this key qualifier is often neglected by PR practitioners that care more about pitch volume than their reputation. Irrelevant pitches are very high on the journalist pet peeves list and will land your email in the trash folder 99% of the time.


2. Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is “a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.” — Moz

Domain Authority is a third-party metric developed by Moz to help marketers identify the strength of their website. While Google isn’t completely transparent about their ranking algorithm, DA is a scoring system that you could use to compare websites against each other. Domain Authority is a good qualifying metric to use when building an outreach list. Generally, the higher the DA of a website, the wider their audience, and the more likely that they have broad natural syndication networks. 

A good rule of thumb is to select publishers for your outreach list with a Domain Authority of 60 or higher, depending on the content you’re promoting. Moz created a free Google Chrome extension called the MozBar that you can use to check the DA of the news publishers on your list.

3. Social Engagement

The goal of any good outreach activity should be to get whatever you are pitching in front of as many eyes as possible, within your target audience. For example, if you are representing a fitness brand and promoting jogging-related content, who would be better to pitch than a health and fitness journalist at a lifestyle publication with an active social media presence and a broad reach? And, how might you find this journalist?

Buzzsumo is one tool that every marketer should have in their arsenal — I use every day to help find the most powerful influencers within any given niche. Here’s how a quick Buzzsumo search can help you identify who to pitch in a matter of minutes.


First, head over to and select the Influencers tab at the top. Then, type in your search query.

For this example, I wrote “fitness writer”. Buzzsumo allows you to filter results, and for this query, I selected Bloggers, Influencers, Companies, and Journalists (I deselected “Regular people”). I also selected “Active Influencers” to ensure that this person actively engages on social media and “Verified Influencers” to weed out unverified Twitter users. After you have typed in your query and selected your filters, click “Search”.

Here is one of the first results I see from my “fitness writer” query:


When you check out Amanda Loudin’s Twitter profile, it is plain to see that she would be an excellent outreach target for a running campaign. Not only is her featured image a picture of her running, but her Twitter bio clearly shows her authority as a fitness writer for the Washington Post, Outside Online, Runner’s World, and ESPN Woman. She also has 11,000 followers and has tweeted in the last 3 hours. Who better to pitch than her for your jogging campaign? It is that easy.


4. The Potential for a Broad-Reaching Syndication Network

Unfortunately, not every target on your list can have broad-sweeping syndication networks. But you can be sure to at least include a few targets that have the potential to naturally syndicate content across the Internet.

By using the one-of-a-kind interactive visualization our co-founder created using Gephi and SEMrush, you can easily identify top publishers with massive link networks to include on your outreach list.

To figure out which sites enjoy the most links from the widest variety of sites, look to the most central nodes on the visualization. You will immediately identify Reuters, CNN, and the NYTimes are located at the center, with large volumes of links incoming from all over; this basically means that these sites get linked to the most often from other sites, often as sources. If CNN covers something, other journalists might pick up the same story and write it for their own publication.

You also may realize that the tighter the cluster of nodes are together, the more interlinking happens between them. Publishers that appear closer together are often either owned by the same company (like Gannett) or have built-in automatic link syndication relationships. A good example is the Gizmodo Media Group. Gizmodo owns Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, and Lifehacker. The closeness of nodes in this group is the result of heavy interlinking and story syndication.

After you have identified which publishers with large linking networks you would like to target, you can search for individual journalists at those publications using Google search operators. For example, say I want to include CNN on my outreach list for the jogging content. I might enter “ exercise” and filter results from the last year.

On the first page of results, this article comes up: “Three benefits of (and three precautions about) outdoor winter exercise”. The author of the article, Dr. Melina Jampolis, writes a column for CNN and might be a good fit for your data-driven jogging content. A placement with CNN could be the first of many as a result of CNN’s broad natural syndication network.

Step 3: Send a Killer Pitch

If you have great content, and you have built a list of influential journalists and publishers in your topic vertical, the only thing standing between you and a massive, diverse backlink portfolio is your pitch.

Between the subject line, the introduction, the pitch body and the close, that is a lot of pressure on a single email! Learn how to optimize your media pitch in my previous SEMrush post.

Not All Placements Are Considered Equal

Taking advantage of natural publisher syndication networks can mean the difference between generating less than a handful of links or hundreds of press mentions for your content.

I encourage you to test this strategy out with your next content marketing campaign. If you do, let me know how it went in the comments below!

The link graphs of news syndication networks were built using backlink exports from SEMrush. The visualization we created is free for you to use to optimize your own content outreach practices.


10 Tried and Tested Ways to Improve Google Rankings

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley How to Improve Google Rankings

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley How to Improve Google Rankings

It’s common knowledge that rankings in Google search results are influenced by a number of factors. You’re probably aware of the importance of keywords and creating high-quality content to improve Google rankings. But besides these basics, there are several other factors and tactics you should consider if you want to learn how to boost your rankings.

Let’s take a look at some tried and tested ways to improve Google rankings and gain more visibility for your website.

#1: Optimize with Conversational Phrases

Voice search is becoming more popular among internet users worldwide. With the development of voice-enabled speakers and improvements in voice search engines, we should expect to see more growth in the coming months and years. According to GlobalWebIndex, 20% of online adults use mobile voice search at least once a month.

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley 1 in 5 Using Voice Search on Mobile

Image Source: GlobalWebIndex

So catering to these voice searchers will give you more visibility in voice search results and drive traffic to your site. In turn, this will help you improve Google rankings. Catering to voice searchers involves optimizing your content with keywords and phrases they are more likely to use.

The way people conduct voice searches isn’t the same as how they conduct regular searches. 41% of voice-activated device owners say that using their device feels like talking to another human being.

This suggests that people use conversational phrases when they conduct voice searches. So instead of “best cakes in Kansas,” they will say something like “Which bakeries have the best cakes in Kansas?”

So put yourself in the shoes of your audience and think about what terms they might use to conduct voice searches. You can use platforms like Answer the Public to discover popular conversational phrases relevant to your chosen keywords. Pick out the best, most natural phrases and use them to optimize your content and improve Google rankings.

#2: Re-Engineer Your Competitors’ Keywords

Getting ahead of the competition is a major goal for anyone who wants to improve Google rankings. After all, it wouldn’t really be an ideal improvement in your rankings if you’re still ranking below your competitors.

That’s why it’s crucial to keep a close eye on the competition and one up all of their strategies to improve Google rankings. This includes monitoring the keywords for which they’re ranking, and re-engineering them for your own content. So you’ll need to create better, more informative content than your competitors using the same keywords they’re using.

You can use SpyFu’s Competitor Analysis feature for this. You just need to enter your competitor’s URL in the search bar and the tool will pull up all of the details of their search engine performance. This includes the top organic and paid keywords for which they’re ranking and how many clicks they’re getting for those keywords.


TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley How to Improve Google Rankings

Image Source: SpyFu

Besides this, you’ll also be able to discover your competitor’s top competition in the same report. This is great for discovering more competition that you weren’t aware of. You can extend your research to these competitors as well and re-engineer their keywords list as well. So you’ll be able to effectively improve Google rankings and stay ahead of the competition.

#3: Add Social Sharing Buttons

Social signals may not directly improve Google rankings, but they amplify the factors that do improve your rankings. Social shares give visibility to your content, helping you reach a bigger audience. As more people see your content on social media, they will likely click on the link to view the content and increase your website traffic.

And we all know just how big of an impact traffic can have to improve Google rankings. Plus, more visibility for your content means there’s a better chance of people seeing it and linking back to it. Since your link profile is a crucial ranking factor, there’s a good chance this will also improve Google rankings.

Matthew Woodward, for instance, experienced a drastic increase in rankings for one blog post as a result of social shares. Once someone shared the post, people kept sharing it over and over again until it finally reached George Takei, who shared it on his Facebook page. The post received more than 31,000 Facebook shares and eventually climbed to the second position in search results.

After one and a half years, it even had the Schema markup and was prominently visible for the search term “unhealthiest foods.”

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley Unhealthiest Foodss

Image Source: Matthew Woodward

So in addition to creating high-quality content that people will want to share, you should also make it easier for people to share your content. This means adding social sharing buttons to your blog posts and other interesting pieces of content. You can use the WordPress Social Sharing plug-in for this.

The presence of outbound links to relevant sites with a high Domain Authority will send trust signals to Google. This can improve Google rankings because the search engine considers your website as credible and relevant.

A study by Reboot on 10 new test websites proved this hypothesis, with five of the sites with outbound links ranking higher than the other five without outbound links.

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley Study by Reboot

Image Source: Reboot

So whenever there’s an opportunity, make sure that you link out to high-authority websites that are relevant to your industry. But that doesn’t mean you should stuff your pages with outbound links. Too many dofollow links to other websites will leak your PageRank and have an adverse effect on your page rankings.

Only add links to pages that are relevant to the topic at hand. You could link to studies and examples supporting your points. Or you could link to blog posts that could elaborate on a certain topic that you briefly mentioned. And make sure every outbound link is nofollow. You can use WordPress plugins that will let you turn your outbound links into nofollow links.

#5: Improve Content Readability

Visitor engagement is another critical search engine ranking factor. According to Backlinko, Google pays close attention to dwell time on your page. It considers how much time searchers spend on your page to understand where you should rank.

When people spend more time on your site, Google takes it as a sign that people find your content interesting and relevant to their search. So it’ll place more importance on your page in other relevant search results and improve Google rankings.

But when visitors bounce almost immediately after landing on your site or they don’t visit any other page on your site, it will consider your page as either irrelevant or non-engaging. So high bounce rates will drastically hold you back in search engine rankings.

That’s why it’s crucial to make necessary preparations that will ensure people stay for a longer amount of time on your site if you want to improve Google rankings. This involves providing them with content that is easy to read and will immediately capture their attention.

Readability is an important factor that can affect reader engagement. If your content consists of huge blocks of text and complicated sentences that are difficult to understand, there’s a good chance people wouldn’t want to finish reading it. So even if they are interested in the topic, they’ll probably leave soon after landing on your page.

Improving your content readability will help you engage visitors better and improve Google rankings. Divide your content into smaller paragraphs and bullet points to avoid huge blocks of text. Make sure your sentences are short and concise, and that you use uncomplicated words. You can also add relevant images to break up blocks of text.

In addition, run a test using the Readability Test Tool from WebFX. Just enter the URL of the webpage you want to test, and the tool will analyze how easy it is to read the content. Make sure your score is mostly green. Red and orange scores signify that a piece of content is difficult to read.

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley WebFX Test Results

Image Source: WebFX

#6: Improve Site Usability

Another factor that affects dwell time is the usability and navigation of your website. Your website should be easy to navigate and help people to easily find what they’re looking for if you want to improve Google rankings. This way, they’ll be more inclined to check out various pages within your site to learn more about your products and services.

If they have a hard time finding even just one button, they may quickly get frustrated and eventually leave without finding the information they needed. In the case of SwingbySwing, making improvements to on-site user experience resulted in several improvements.

It decreased the bounce rate by 35% and increased time on site by 95%. The website also saw a 25X increase in the number of keywords for which it ranked on Google.

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley Usability and Navigation

Image Source: Ezoic

There are several ways to improve site usability and improve your rankings, starting with mobile responsiveness. Make sure your webpages are designed to adapt to the devices used by people to access them. You could also test out different layouts and formatting to find out which of them would be best to enhance user experience and improve Google rankings.

You could add drop-down menus so your content is neatly organized for visitors to discover. Even a prominent search bar could work wonders in improving site usability. To get an even better idea of what needs improving, you can use usability testing tools like Optimizely and Five Second Test.

#7: Identify and Fix Broken Links

Broken links are one of the most common reasons for a less than ideal user experience. No one likes to click on a link hoping for more information, only to reach a page that doesn’t exist. And since user experience is crucial to improve Google rankings, you’ll need to resolve all of your broken link issues.

It’s time-consuming to go through all of the links on your site to manually identify the broken ones. So simplify the process using the Link Checker from W3C. Just enter the URL you want to test and this tool will analyze all of the links on that page or site to identify the broken ones.

It will also give you the status of those broken links and specify whether it’s a 404, a 403, a 505, etc. so you’ll know exactly how to fix them.

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley W3C Broken Links

Image Source: W3C

You already know the importance of quality backlinks to improve Google rankings. You may even have an effective backlink strategy and are getting links from several high authority sites. To further amplify your efforts, you could look for opportunities to get more backlinks through site mentions.

There may be publications and websites that mention your brand or business without linking back to you. Reaching out to them and asking for a link back can significantly help you improve your backlink profile and improve Google rankings.

You could set up Google Alerts to get instantly notified about new mentions of your site, business, or brand. Once you get these notifications, examine each mention to identify which sites aren’t linking to you. Then analyze the quality of those mentions. Are they relevant and positive?

If they are, determine the Domain Authority of the site using the Domain Authority Checker from Small SEO Tools. If it has a high DA (at least 50), reach out to the editor or site owner to request that they link back to your site. If they do, it can help improve your rankings.

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley Web Page Results

Image Source: Small SEO Tools

Make sure you use a polite and friendly approach to improve your chances of getting a backlink. And don’t forget to thank them for the mention.

#9: Increase Your Content Length

Long-form content is essential to improve Google rankings. This is mainly because it’s more likely to be informative with in-depth insights backed by credible research. So in terms of Google trust signals, long-form content will have a much bigger impact.

Interestingly, longer content tends to get more shares on social media, according to a BuzzSumo analysis of the top 10% most shared articles. Articles between 3,000 and 10,000 words got the most shares, followed by 2,000-3,000-word articles, and so on.

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley Average Shares

Image Source: OkDork

As discussed earlier, more social shares will equate to higher content visibility. This will, in turn, drive more traffic to your site and improve your rankings. So you need to create more long-form content if you want to improve Google rankings.

In addition, look through your content archives to see if there are any shorter pieces that you could improve on. Increase the word count of your shorter articles and turn them into 1,000+ and 2,000+ words with in-depth insights and actionable ideas.

This will also help you maintain content freshness – another factor that Google considers when ranking your website. So improving your content by increasing its length is a great way to boost your rankings.

#10: Turn Your Old Posts into Infographics

You’re probably aware that people love visual content. While you may be doing your best to add images to your blog posts, you can go one step further by creating infographics. Instead of coming up with fresh ideas entirely, you could start repurposing some of your old blog posts into infographics.

This is a great way to strengthen your internal linking structure, as you’ll be able to link to the old blog post from the new infographic page. Plus, you’ll save a lot of time in the content brainstorming process because you will already have the outline in place.

Infographics are a highly visual way of promoting your content on social media and through other publications. They can help you instantly capture the audience’s attention, engage them, and possibly get them to visit your site.

The best part is that this tactic improves Google rankings as well because infographics can drive more social shares. The BuzzSumo analysis also found that infographics were the most shared type of content, surpassing list posts and videos.

And, as discussed earlier, social shares can indirectly boost your ranking by amplifying other ranking factors.

TeamVFM Local SEO Antelope Valley Average Share by Content Type

Image Source: OkDork

You can further optimize your efforts by reaching out to reputable publications and submitting your infographic. Some publications may be more enthusiastic about publishing infographics than guest posts since they too understand the value of visual content.

Not to mention how it’s a refreshing change from the onslaught of text-based guest post submissions the publisher might be getting. They too might be looking to add a bit of variety to their content. So it’s a great way to get more backlinks from authority sites and improve your rankings.

You don’t even need an in-house graphic designer to create infographics. You can use tools like Piktochart to easily develop high-quality infographics. There are plenty of pre-designed templates to choose from and customize. But you can also create your design from scratch using their easy drag-and-drop feature.

Final Thoughts

These are 10 of the best ways to improve Google rankings. As you can see, these aren’t very difficult tactics, especially since you can use relevant tools to simplify each process. But as easy as they are, they can have a significant impact on your search engine rankings – whether it’s directly or indirectly. So use these tips to get the most out of your SEO efforts and improve Google rankings.



Question-related searches are a significant part of the overall searches Google receives each day. Internet Live Stats suggests that there are around 3.5 billion searches per day in 2018, and in 2017 Jumpshot study published on Moz has predicted that approximately 8% of search queries are phrased as questions.

Based on the above stats, we can safely conclude that optimizing your website for question keywords can make a huge difference to your SEO strategy. You can generate a lot of organic traffic, earn links or convert traffic into sales simply by grabbing a share of the featured snippet.

In this article, I will explain how Google retrieves an answer for question-based phrases and how to get your site ranked under the featured snippet or as a rich result in the search. First things first, let’s get to the basics and understand the algorithms that power the search process that answers question keywords.

Relationship Between Question Keywords And Semantic Search

The ‘searches related to ‘ section or the keyword suggestions listed under ‘auto-suggest‘ are all powered by the semantic search technology. There is an important relation between semantic search and question keywords. Google can identify the entities present in the question keywords with the help of semantic search.

Let’s learn about semantic search and the Google Hummingbird update that is powered by semantic search.

What is Semantic Search?

Semantic search is ‘search with a meaning’.

‘Semantics’ is the study of the words and their logic and semantic search is essentially a data searching technique that understands the meaning of the words and determines the intent of the user before presenting the search results.

The semantic search takes into account the following factors:


So, Google is actually applying the semantic search technology while processing the search queries. Whenever you enter any search query, Google understands the natural language and picks the objects from the query. It then analyzes a set of documents and presents the user with the answer in a featured snippet. This is semantic search in action.

Google Hummingbird Update

Google Hummingbird update was launched in 2013, and it made Google a faster and a more accurate search engine.

Hummingbird was a new algorithm that was way superior when compared to the older algorithms that majorly focused on keywords. With the launch of the Hummingbird, Google moved from “strings” to “things”.

In the present day, Google can pick identities from the search string, find out the relationship between the identities and provide the best search result or directly return an accurate answer to the searcher.

I wrote this post in back in 2013 which discusses query processing by Google in the era of Hummingbird. You can read it to have more information about how Google actually breaks down the search term into identities and returns the best answer to the searcher. Also, I would recommend you to have a read to this first Google Semantic Search Patent invented in 1999.

Great going! You have brushed up your knowledge on Semantics and Hummingbird. Now, let’s move on to understand question keywords and featured snippets.

What Are Q&A Phrases?

Whenever someone searches on Google with a question phrase, Google tries to provide an answer to the question. The answer is often returned in an answer panel as shown in the image below:


Google always tries to get the most appropriate answer to the asked question. The answer returned by Google can be fetched from a Knowledge Graph or extracted from a website.

Featured Snippet – The Google Answer Box

Whenever a searcher asks a question, Google displays the answer in the form of a featured snippet that includes the summary of the answer extracted from a web page plus the title of the web page and its URL. Here is a how a featured snippet looks like:


Now, let’s understand the types of questions that are answered by Google; this will help you to identify the best keywords and plan your content to give a direct boost to your entire SEO strategy.

Types of Questions Answered By Google (The Question keywords)

With the introduction of semantic search technology, Google had taken a big leap from just being a search engine to evolving as an answer engine. Since then, there were several developments in the area of semantic search, artificial intelligence, voice search, schema data, processing of queries, etc. These developments have helped Google to become a smart search assistant that can provide direct answers to the user’s question instead of providing links to websites.

The concept is fairly simple; Google is focusing on voice search and trying to provide users with instant answers. Hence, websites that use correct structured data have every opportunity to rank under the featured snippets in the Google results.

There are several types of questions that are answered by Google. The most prominent ones are described below:

1- Direct Answer Questions (DAQ)

These question keywords start with ‘What’, ‘Which’, ‘Where’, ‘Who’, ‘When’, ‘Why’ etc.

When the searcher asks a question like “What is the name of our galaxy?” the intent is to get a direct answer, which in this case will be “Milky Way”.


Google accurately predicts the intent of the user leveraging the power of Hummingbird powered by the semantic search technology and returns an exact answer to the searcher as displayed in the below screenshot:

Similarly, Google returns a direct answer to several other types of questions as provided in the examples below:

For a question like “Which is the largest river in the world?”, Google returns a direct answer “Amazon” after accurately predicting the answer from Q&A sites like Quora.


For a question like “Where is the great sphinx?”, Google returns a direct answer “Giza Plateau” which is fetched directly from the Knowledge Graph.


For a question like “Who is the father of medicine?”, Google returns a direct answer “Hippocrates” fetched from a website.


For a question like “When is Halloween?”, Google returns a direct answer which in this case will be the date when Halloween is falling in the current year which is again fetched from a website.


2- Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

These questions start with ‘why’, ‘can’ etc.

When the searcher asks any question like “Why is the ocean blue?”, an answer snippet is returned that accurately provides an explanation to the question being asked as displayed in the below screenshot:


For a question like “Can, humans drink seawater?”, an answer snippet is returned that provides the best explanation to the question being asked, as displayed in the below screenshot:


3- Long Answer Questions (LAQ)

When the searcher puts up a question like “How to cook pasta?”, a step-by-step based answer is returned where the procedure is described. Here, the intent of the searcher is to learn the procedure in the best possible manner. Google accurately predicts the intent of the user and returns search results that explain the process in a number of steps as displayed in the below screenshot:


These were the top 3 types of question keywords that are answered by Google. Let us now learn the techniques of finding such question keywords and including them in our SEO strategy.

How to Find Question Keywords?

There are several methods and tools that can help you find the best question keywords for your SEO strategy. I am sure you know some of these, but I will suggest some of the best tools to research the most relevant keywords in the shortest possible time.

  • Use the Keyword Magic Tool from SEMrush to find question-based keywords that contain your seed keyword. All you need to do is to enter your main keyword in the Keyword Magic Tool after logging in to your SEMrush account, and the tool will automatically generate lots of relevant question keywords.


For a detailed explanation on how to find question keywords using the Keyword Magic Tool, read this comprehensive tutorial provided by SEMrush.

  • Use The SerpStat Search Questions function to find tons of relevant question keywords. You can find this tool under Keyword Research -> SEO Research. Simply enter your main keyword and click on Content Marketing -> Search Questions section. Here, you will find a list of questions sorted by countries and most popular words.


  • AnswerThePublic, SEMrush Topic Research, Ubersuggest, Seorch, Keyword Tool, and Instakeywords are other useful tools that can assist you in finding the best question keywords.

Here are some really useful resources that can assist you in finding the best question keywords for your Q&A strategy:

How To Rank Your Pages For Direct Answer Questions (DAQ)?

To rank your web pages for direct answer questions, you need to optimize the following factors:

  • Mention the question first and then answer the question so that it becomes easier for Google to tag your webpage as the best answer given. For example: For a question like “What is the full form of NASA?”, try answering it like “The full form of NASA is National Aeronautics and Space Administration”.
  • Improve the trust in your website. Offer solid information, answer questions, don’t steal content, avoid shady SEO practices.
  • Go above and beyond when creating educational pieces about a topic. Let Google see that you are a trusted resource for their users.

How To Rank Your Pages For Short Answer Questions (SAQ)?

To rank your web pages for short answer questions, you need to optimize the following factors:


How To Rank Your Pages For Long Answer Questions (LAQ)?

To rank your web pages for long answer questions, you need to optimize the following factors:

  • Answers that are too long are often better answered by videos, but if you go this route, you need to explore the topic in depth and keep it relevant and helpful. In the near future, odds are LAQ queries will return videos as answers. Videos are generally useful for searches where the searcher is looking for a procedure to create something. For example, for a query like “How to paint a room”, Google returns a YouTube video that offers the procedure to paint a room. It is also important to keep in mind that YouTube videos get a priority in the search results, so you can generate branding but will have less traffic to your site using videos.


  • You can also try to answer LAQ searches using a step-by-step, text-based tutorial that lets people learn the technique by following a number of steps. Such tutorials are highly useful in grabbing a lot of organic traffic share because searchers click on the website from the search results. For example, for a search like “How to create a YouTube channel?”, a tutorial from Google is presented in the answer box.


  • Some questions can be answered using a list format. This resource from Shopify is a great example of a list based article that presents a list of low investment business ideas that is both comprehensive and elaborative.
  • Make sure the language is easy to read (remember Dale-Chall score and Flesch-Kincaid score?),  adequately outline the essential points and keep the main topics under heading tags.
  • Use images when describing each and every step because without related screenshots/images your tutorial will look incomplete.
  • Remember to keep the main heading of the page similar to the question being asked by the searcher; this is one of the critical factors that can improve the relevancy score.

Add Relevant Structured Data To Both SAQ and LAQ Keywords (Most Important)

The most important step that you need to follow for both SAQ and LAQ keywords is the addition of relevant structured data. The following types of structured data are essential for question keywords. You can choose the one that fits the best while answering your question.


If you are adding videos to your content, then read all the instructions carefully listed under the video data type. Make sure to add information such as video upload date, thumbnail, video description, and the duration.


Once you have added the details, test it with the help of the structured data testing tool.


This markup comes handy when people are asking questions related to a specific product. Follow the instructions carefully listed under the product markup page.


Make sure to test the pages with the help of structured data testing tool before you start promoting them.

Also, it is vital that you maintain the accuracy and the freshness of the product item because this information can play a decisive role in making your site content getting featured in the answer box.


If you have a recipe website, then make sure to add the recipe schema markup on all your pages where you share a particular recipe. Here is a complete guide to adding recipe structured data to your page.


Again, test and validate your data using the structured data testing tool.

Speakable (Still in Beta)

In the coming months, the speakable data type is undoubtedly going to be a game changer for voice SEO.

If you are promoting a NEWS site, then make sure to start using the speakable schema that will adequately identify sections within an article and return the answer to the user in a voice format.


To get started, visit the speakable data type resource page from Google.

Q&A Pages

Web Pages that contain information in a Q&A format are referred to as Q&A pages. The pages contain just one question followed by zero, one or more than one answers to the question.

A good example of a Q&A page is this one. This webpage of Stack Exchange from Apple answers a single question having four answers. The best solution was voted on by two people.


In its constant effort to answer the question-based phrases as accurately as possible, Google has now introduced rich results for Q&A phrases which will extract the best answer from a group of replies posted in forums and support message boards and display it in the search results.

Rich result is a new result type specifically created for question answer phrases that will provide the best answer to the user’s question.

To rank your web page as rich results, you need to mark up your data with This Google tutorial provides all the details, guidelines and examples that will be helpful in enabling your content to get displayed in the search results.

Please Note: Similar to the QA Pages, Google has introduced new data markups for HowTo and FAQ Pages. You can learn more about these markups by visiting the below links:

HowTo Schema Markup

FAQ Schema Markup

Once you have created your pages by following all the guidelines suggested by Google, the final step is to test the pages using the rich results testing tool.

Which Question Keywords You Should Avoid Answering?

For some search queries, Google returns a direct answer that is obtained from the Knowledge Graph. No website link is shown below the answer; hence there is no point in focusing on SEO for such question keywords. This answer box is not a featured snippet because a featured snippet has a link to the website from where the answer is extracted; in most cases of answer extraction from Knowledge Graph, no featured snippet is returned.

For example, for the search query “What is the height of Mount Everest?”, a direct answer is returned by Google (see below). This answer is directly fetched from the Knowledge Graph, and hence Google won’t prefer listing your website in the featured snippet.


Using The Performance Report To Optimize Search Performance

Performance report shows all the important metrics related to the performance of your site in the Google search results. You can use this report to identify the web pages that get seen as rich results and find suggestions to improve their performance.


Final Thoughts

Question keyword optimization can surely transform your SEO strategy from good to excellent. You can have the upper hand among your competitors if you can grab the featured snippet share. Having content from your website displayed in the answer box means you will get more traffic and enough natural links. Question keyword optimization will be my preferred SEO strategy in 2019. How about yours?


Local Campaigns Coming Soon to SMB Advertisers

This week Google held its massive developer conference (Google I/O). Next week is Google’s annual event dedicated specifically to its ad products: Google Marketing Live. Google teased the event in a blog post, which focused on Local campaigns.

Teamvfm Local SEO Antelope Valley Google Local Campaigns Coming Soon

Local campaigns are a subset of Smart Campaigns, which are almost entirely automated. They’re intended mostly for SMBs and specifically to generate foot traffic to business locations. The ads appear on Google search (including the Local Pack), in Maps, the Google Display Network and YouTube. (Google has been testing them with multi-location brands, which I’m sure will use them in a big way.)

This is Universal App Campaigns for local, which is the model that all of Google’s ad products are increasingly following. Here’s what Google said about Local campaigns in the blog post:

In recent global studies with 10 advertisers across several verticals, we found that Local campaigns helped brands drive a median 5x incremental return-on-ad-spend from their business locations.

Dunkin’ is one example of a brand that used Local campaigns to promote its new “store of the future” experience and to highlight new beverage items like espresso. As a result, Dunkin’ increased its monthly visits from Google Ads by over 400% and is planning to run Local campaigns as an always-on strategy throughout 2019.

Soon, Local campaigns will expand to help even more advertisers–including small businesses—drive other types of local actions like calls or directions to your business, even if you don’t have store visits measurement enabled. We’re also enhancing ads in Local campaigns to help you showcase product-specific information and offers.

Taking a page from subsidiary Waze, Google added that users will see advertiser locations on Maps when they are “planning or navigating along their route, and in Maps search suggestions based on signals like the area of the map a person is viewing or what they’ve searched for in the past.”

This isn’t retargeting per se but a version of it based on past user-search behavior. It’s also form of awareness advertising for local business (and multi-location brands). Indeed, there’s an interesting mix of brand and direct response available to SMBs through Local campaigns.

Will Local campaigns and Smart campaigns fulfill the original promise of AdWords Express? That’s what we’re waiting to find out.

via: Greg Sterling (@gsterling) is the vice president of strategy and insights at the Local Search Association

Report: Websites and GMB Profiles Both Essential for Local Businesses

TeamVFM Local SEO Santa Clarita Valley Google My BusinessWhile information on Google is increasingly essential to connecting brick-and-mortar businesses with nearby customers, it has definitively not rendered local business websites obsolete. That’s according to a new report from local marketing firm BrightLocal.

A whopping 64% of respondents indicated relying on Google My Business (GMB) to find contact information for local business, suggesting it’s an indispensable platform. Yet consumers still trust local business websites most of all, and only 8% say they never consult a business’ website when making shopping decisions.

The information consumers most frequently seek out on Google includes, in the following order of frequency, opening hours, directions, reviews, a path to the business’ website, and photos. Out-of-date contact information ranked number one among errors that could turn a customer off completely from visiting a local store.

Finally, while messaging platforms are all the range among emerging vendors, the trusty phone call remains the most common way to contact local businesses. As in the GMB versus website debate, this does not mean newer tactics are not worth business’ time or financial investments. It just means combining the new with the old is the way to go when trying to be as present as possible in today’s customer journey.

TeamVFM has created a custom Google owned Property Social Media Service for SMBs and companies that have a formal Marketing Plan in place and realize the necessity of having Google My Business, YouTube, Blogger, and Picasa in their marketing plan’s marketing arsenal without having to have them setup individually.

What this means to you as an SBO or are in charge of your companies marketing on Social Media, is all of these SM Platforms will be setup and optimized completely and consistently, so that they fit your over-all marketing plan and work in conjunction, not only in and amongst the Google SM platforms themselves but also with your other Online Presence platforms, including your website. This will provide uniformity and significant cost savings in the long term, while providing a dominant ROI for your over-all marketing.



Ari Nahmani posted on Facebook (public URL) a message he got for one of his clients in Google Search Console that is unique. It is directly from John Mueller, the same John Mueller we cover here, about a critical and urgent issue with their web site.

The email first explains who John is, then says how the site has issues with search engines. It talks about how URLs are bing returned with a 400 error, preventing Google and other search engines from crawling it. It appears the site has something in place to block Google and other search engines from crawling and Google wanted to let this site owner know.

Here is a copy of the notification in Google Search Console provided by Ari (click to enlarge it):

click for full size

So here you have it, we always knew Google sent personal messages every now and then – but here is a screen shot of one.

Forum discussion at Facebook.

search engine

Yesterday Bing announced at SMX West that they have increased the ability to submit URLs to their search engine by 1,000X from 10 URLs per day to 10,000 URLs per day. They also said this is a fundamental shift in how search engines discover content and reduce crawling of web sites.

Bing wrote “We believe that enabling this change will trigger a fundamental shift in the way that search engines, such as Bing, retrieve and are notified of new and updated content across the web. Instead of Bing monitoring often RSS and similar feeds or frequently crawling websites to check for new pages, discover content changes and/or new outbound links, websites will notify the Bing directly about relevant URLs changing on their website. This means that eventually search engines can reduce crawling frequency of sites to detect changes and refresh the indexed content.”

What? Did you read that?

Bing removed the public URL submission tool last year and had issues with the private one so had to add rate limits there. Now, they expanded it from 10 URLs per day to 10,000 URLs per day. This is a big big change.

But not everyone gets 10,000 URLs per day, it is based on the age of the verified site. Bing wrote “The daily quota per site will be determined based on the site verified age in Bing Webmaster tool, site impressions and other signals that are available to Bing. Today the logic is as follows, and we will tweak this logic as needed based on usage and behavior we observe.”

click for full size

To submit URLs, go to Bing webmaster tools and submit them manually:

click for full size

Or you can use the API:

click for full size

I still find it weird that Bing thinks they can slowly do away with crawling? Maybe I am reading too much into this?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

5 Easy SEO Wins with Powerful Results

TeamVFM Local SEO Valencia, CA

TeamVFM Local SEO Valencia, CA













Search engine optimization, when done correctly, can take a lot of work. This is why so many people are so eager to take shortcuts.

Fortunately, there are some tasks that don’t require as much effort, compared to tasks like link building, yet still yield significant gains.

I’m a big fan of efficiency, so I love tactics that deliver a greater return on my investment of time and/or money.

In this article, I’m going to explain five of these tactics which are easy to execute successfully but can deliver powerful results.

These easy SEO wins will help you get more out of your efforts and sprint past your competitors. They will also help to leverage better results out of your other SEO efforts like link building and content development.

1. Prune Outdated /Low-Quality Content

You probably created all of the content on your website with the best of intentions, but still, it’s almost a certainty that some of it is garbage.

There are a variety of reasons for this, and it happens to the best of us. The solution in many cases is to prune this content. In fact, Danny Goodwin and Loren Baker recently hosted a webinar on exactly this topic.

Some people are hesitant to get rid of any content, no matter the reason. The thinking is generally that it can’t do any harm to leave it there. And Google has reinforced this thinking time and time again.

But the reality is that despite what Google’s representatives say, outdated and/or low-quality content can negatively impact your ranking and traffic.

It probably should impact your credit score too, but apparently, I don’t have the clout necessary to make that happen.

Identifying Content to Prune

Once you’ve worked up the courage to start pruning, the first step is to identify the content that should be deleted.

The easiest and most complete way to do this is to use software like Screaming Frog to crawl your website and generate a list of URLs. This helps to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Next, you’ll need to begin the tedious task of reviewing this list, URL by URL, to determine which content is outdated or low quality. This means you actually need to manually visit each page and review the content.

It may help to prioritize this list. Google Search Console gives you the ability to export a CSV file of the URLs Google has indexed for your website, which you can then sort by traffic.

From here, you’ll want to start evaluating the URLs with no traffic, working your way up.

sorted URLs

It’s important to point out that a lot of this content you’re deleting can and should be redirected to a stronger, high-quality page.

But don’t fall into the misguided approach of redirecting them to your homepage. If there is a legitimately relevant page on your website, redirect it there, otherwise, just let it 404.

But what about the content that’s not a complete dumpster fire, and is still relevant?

2. Improve Quality Content

If you’ve been doing things right, a lot, if not most of your content should survive the executioner’s blade.

This content should be improved based on your visitors’ needs.

The advantage here is that this content already exists, the URL has a history in Google, and it may even have some inbound links. Because of these factors, it makes a lot more sense to improve that content rather than starting over from scratch.

Depending on circumstances, this might include:

  • Editing your content to improve readability, increase engagement, and to make it more comprehensive.
  • Adding relevant and useful media, including images, video, and PDFs.
  • Including original data, research, statistics, and case studies.

We’ll want to prioritize the content to improve based on quick and easy wins. This means we won’t be targeting topics we don’t already rank for, but we also won’t be focused on improving positions we already rank highly for.

So let’s go back to our Google Search Console export and sort the data based on URLs that rank anywhere from Position 5 to 30 in the search results.

sort URLs by position

We’ll then further sort this data by relevance and potential search volume. From here, we will compare these URLs to our competitors who outrank us to identify opportunities to improve.

Some of the things we’re looking for could include:

Word Count

Despite what you may have been told, size does matter.

While not a worthwhile metric on its own, it can help to determine how comprehensive several URLs are in comparison to each other.


Generally speaking, the top ranking pages across all industries tend to be more comprehensive than those that they outrank. This doesn’t mean that longer content will always win, but it can be a powerful factor.

Does your content effectively and completely answer not only the original query, but also any related questions that may come up as a result?

You need to think about not only the immediate topic, but everything related to the customer journey. This might include:

  • Related definitions
  • Frequently asked questions
  • A summary of relevant laws and regulations
  • Explanation of a process
  • Technical specifications
  • Statistical data
  • Case studies


How well-written is your content?

This is not something you want to evaluate by gut feel – you need an objective measurement.

  • Yoast gives you a readability score while editing content right in WordPress.
  • SEMrush enables you to test readability both within their platform and with a Chrome add-on that integrates with Google Docs.
  • There are countless other tools as standalone websites, apps, and addons/plugins, available.

Your immediate goal is to make your content easier to read than the content that’s outranking you, but that’s just a starting point.

If your competitors content reads like someone spilled a bowl of alphabet soup, don’t set out to simply be a little better than them. Your goal should be to blow them away.


Are original and useful images included within your content? How about video and/or audio files?

Images can provide additional context that helps search engines understand what your content is about. So can video, provided that schema is properly used.

But both serve another more important role, and that is to improve the user experience.

Look for opportunities to use media to provide additional information that’s not included in the text.

Both images and video are great at making complex topics easier to understand, but video is particularly effective at keeping visitors on your website longer, which is always a good thing.

It’s always a wise idea to include a watermark on your images to prevent competitors from stealing them.

Sure, you could file a DMCA complaint after the fact, but it’s always easier to avoid the problem in the first place.

3. Update Internal Links

Internal links can be a powerful tactic in your SEO toolbox, but it’s important to review them from time.

Your internal links should point to any pages that you want to rank well, and they should be placed on any pages with content relevant to the link destination. Equally important, these links should be direct.


This is a pretty common problem in websites where content is frequently published, moved, or deleted. The solution is to use a tool like Screaming Frog or SEMrush to crawl your site and identify any redirect chains.

As for managing these internal links, I’m a big fan of automating this task, and this is easy for WordPress websites.

There are several plugins available that enable you to specify certain words/phrases to automatically link to specific URLs.

This allows you to instantly create, edit, and delete links across your entire website, whether you have a few pages or a few million pages.

4. Improve Page Load Speed

The longer a webpage takes to load, the fewer leads and sales you’ll generate. To compound this problem, slower websites also tend not to rank as well compared to faster websites.

This makes page speed monumentality important.

Most websites are painfully slow, but the good news is that it’s relatively easy to improve.

While improving page speed requires a moderate level of technical expertise, I still consider this to be an easy win because the improvements you make will have an immediate and sitewide effect.

I’ll briefly share a few tactics here, but I encourage you to check out another article I wrote, explaining how to improve page speed, in great detail.

Dump the Budget Web Hosting

The cheaper web hosts tend to oversell their services, so your website is crammed onto a server with hundreds or even thousands of other websites.

Because these servers often lack the horsepower necessary, the websites they host often suffer in terms of page speed.

Reduce HTTP Calls

Every part of your website – each HTML, CSS, JavaScript, image, video, and any other type of file — requires a separate HTTP request.

Fewer HTTP requests typically means a faster website.

So how do we get there?

The first step is to remove any unnecessary plugins. Then, you’ll merge multiple CSS and JavaScript files into a single CSS and JavaScript file.

You should also minimize the number of image files by using CSS to create the desired design effect and/or using sprites to merge multiple frequently used images.

Optimize Media Files

Images and videos on many websites tend to be larger than they need to be.

The first step is to to make sure your media files are in the ideal format. For example, JPG is best for photographic images, while GIF or PNG are better for images with large areas of solid color.

Then, you’ll need to ensure your media files are properly sized. Images and video should be no larger than they will be displayed.

For example, if a particular image on your website will be never displayed at more than 800px wide, the image file should be 800px wide.

Finally, you’ll need to compress your media files. There are a number of free tools available online for compressing various file types. There are also WordPress plugins that can compress all of the images already on your website.

These three steps are a good start, but as I mentioned earlier, I highly encourage you to check out my previous article on improving page speed for more tactics and greater detail.

5. Implement Schema Markup

There is no definitive evidence that schema markup has any direct impact on ranking, however, it’s still critical to SEO.

That’s because it has the potential to increase your website’s visibility in the search results, which results in higher click-through rates.

Since most websites today still don’t use schema, this creates a tremendous opportunity for those that do. Take a look at this example and tell me which result caught your eye first?

schema in SERPs

Fortunately, implementing schema is relatively simple. There are three types, and they are used in different scenarios.

  • Standard schema microdata, which is marked up directly in HTML.
  • JSON-LD, which is marked up in JavaScript and is the most recommended format.
  • RDFa, which is used in a variety of different document types including XML, HTML 4, SVG, and many others.

In some cases, you’ll use JSON and add it to your website just like you would any other script. In some cases, you’ll add markup to specific elements on your website, and in others, you might add RDFa to a different document type.

Roger Montti wrote a great, in-depth post on schema, so rather than reinventing the wheel here, I’ll just direct you to his article.

But schema goes a lot deeper than where it is today and I anticipate that it will play a much larger and more direct role in the search algorithm. Especially as voice search begins to gain traction.

Montti explains in another article how Google is currently using speakable markup, which I believe will become a more prominent factor in search in the coming years.

via: SearchEngine Journal: