Kauai SEO & Digital Marketing Guide 2019, Topic – Google

“Does your site show up on the first page of a Google search?”
“Is the site visible to your potential customers?”
“Are you curious about why your competitors’ sites rank within the top three while yours shows up on the third page?”

If you have asked those questions, you will find the answers to improve your situation in this blog. We are here to help you.

To support our local businesses to succeed in online marketing, we decided to post Kauai SEO & Digital Marketing Guide series on our monthly blog in 2019.

Since we started our business 10 months ago, we have improved our branding and marketing a lot. And, now our site is ranked high on Google using the following keywords: “Hawaii Web Design”, “Kauai Web Design”, “Kauai SEO”, or “Kauai Marketing”.

We will show you how we made it happen.

Also, another reason why we decided to write this series is that some marketers on Kauai still have outdated information. That knowledge might have worked during the era of AltaVista, Netscape or Yahoo. But, not anymore. Digital marketing is changing fast, and we will share the most up-to-date information here.

Now, this month’s topic is Google.
Let’s begin.

Contents of Kauai SEO & Digital Marketing Guide 1:

• Google never searches the internet in real time.
• Don’t expect your new post to be searched right away.
• How does Google rank?
• Don’t try to trick search engines. It’s getting smarter.
• Monthly Practice: index your website at Google and Bing

Google never searches the internet in real time.

Let’s talk about the most basic concept of search engines. It’s a Search index.

When you google, Google shows you the results as well as it shows how many results were found and how many seconds it took. Usually, Google finds more than a billion results in a half second. It sounds amazing. How can Google search the entire internet that fast?

The truth is that Google never searches the internet in real time. The secret is the Search index. Google uses web crawlers called Google bots to build the Search index. The bots crawl the entire internet (except Deep Web and Dark Web) and fetch the data and content from the all available websites.

You can imagine that endless lines of ants travel the network of caves as carrying bread crumbles. The difference between bots and ants is that bots travel the internet network without sleeping or eating.

After collecting current data, Google uses the ranking systems to sort through the web pages in the Search index.

Then, when users search on google, it just picks the best result from the Search index which is pre-sorted by the ranking system. That’s how Google does its magic.

(Resource: Google – How Search works)

Don’t expect your new post to be searched right away.

As you can guess, behind the magic, Google is implementing a huge task. Literally, Google is copying the summarized version of the entire internet on its server.

They say, “The Google Search index contains hundreds of billions of webpages and is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size. … When we index a web page, we add it to the entries for all of the words it contains.” (Resource: Google – How Search organizes information)

Can you imagine how much it will cost just to maintain the Search index? In our case, we pay $1 per day to run 30 gigabytes Virtual Private Server (VPS) in Bluehost. If we host 100,000,000 gigabytes in our server, we will pay $3.3 Million every day only for the hosting fee. Of course, this calculation will not be applied to Google, but it gives us an idea of how huge the index is.

When you consider the size of the index, it will not be hard for you to guess that it takes time to index new web pages. Don’t expect that just because you post an article, Google will find your new page right away. Your post is one of hundreds of billions of web pages in their index. Even Google bots work 24/7, in order to complete the indexing process, it takes time.

Some experts say it takes between 4 days and 4 weeks to be indexed. (Resource: Leverage Marketing)

Based on our experiences, we can say that it takes at least 24 hours if your site is registered on Google Search console.

How does Google rank?

Let us quote what Google says. Please pay attention to words in bold.

Ranking useful pages

For a typical query, there are thousands, even millions, of webpages with potentially relevant information. So to help rank the best pages first, we also write algorithms to evaluate how useful these webpages are.

These algorithms analyze hundreds of different factors to try to surface the best information the web can offer, from the freshness of the content, to the number of times your search terms appear and whether the page has a good user experience. In order to assess trustworthiness and authority on its subject matter, we look for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries.

(Resource: Google – How Search organizes information)

These two paragraphs explained the most important standard for how Google ranks.

The keywords are:

  • “relevance” = “the number of times your search terms appear”
  • “usefulness”
  • “freshness”
  • “trustworthiness and authority” = “that many users seem to value”
  • “a good user experience”

Based on these standards, Google builds the algorithm to rank web pages.

You may ask for more specific tips or techniques to improve search ranks. Unfortunately, Google never announces any specific tips that you’re expecting because they don’t want marketers to misuse the information to manipulate the ranks.

Yet, don’t be disappointed. When you follow Google’s guideline, you will end up writing good content – useful, relevant content which provides a good user experience -.

We will show you how to follow the guideline in our blog series: SEO and Digital Marketing guide.

Don’t try to trick search engines. It’s getting smarter.

One thing you should avoid is to trick search engines. Not only it does not work, but also it penalizes your site.

In the old days, some marketers figured out algorithm holes and tricked the search engines. For instance, because the search engines decided the relevance based on how many times the keyword appeared, they stuffed the webpage with the same keyword over and over. Sometimes, they even hid the text by setting the text color as the same color with the background and filled the whole wall with the keywords.

Sound crazy? But it worked in those days. The tricks fooled search engines and ranked the website at #1.

Good news is that Google keeps updating its algorithm. It screened out unnatural, unethical tricks and low-quality content. It has been focusing on selecting useful contents for the users since it’s founded in 1998. (Resource: Google’s mission).

When Google announced the major algorithm updates – Google Panda in 2011 & Google Penguin in 2012 -, there were huge shifts in Google ranks. All the websites which were ranked with the unethical tricks were sentenced as “untrustworthy” and penalized. They disappeared from Google search for a while until they recovered from the deadly penalty.

Google still updates the algorithm almost once a month. (Resource: Moz) Now it’s applying AI (Artificial Intelligence) to understand natural human languages better. AI also understands what the useful information is and picks the most beneficial information for users.

The more Google improves its algorithm, the more useful content users find.

Algorithm: noun.
Word used by programmers when they do not want to explain what they did 🙂

 

Monthly Practice: index your website at Google and Bing

Without indexing your site, you’re still in a minor league. Now let’s index the site and join the major league of the internet.

In order to index, you need a Gmail account and the admin access to your website.

Technically, Bing is a copy of Google. Once you index at Google, it will be easy to index at Bing.

Instruction Video for indexing WordPress sites

Google updated the layout of the search console in 2018. So, many how-to videos on YouTube shows the old console which will make you confused. (That’s the reason why Google likes the fresh content, not old ones.)

We found the freshest instruction video and introduce it to you.
It shows you how to register WordPress site to Google Search console by using Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast SEO is the best plugin for SEO. We’re also using Yoast Premium plugin.

Please watch the video and register your site on Google and Bing.

How to Add Website to Google Search (2018) | WordPress Yoast SEO + Google Search Console [NEW]

Conclusion

Today, you’ve learned the basic concept of the search engine – Search index -.
Please make sure to watch the instruction video and register your site at the index system.
We can’t emphasize enough how important this process is. Without indexing the website on major search engines, the site is running in the minor league of the digital marketing game.

See you in our next blog post.
We will show you what we did for the next step to improve our search ranking.

Does Blogging Really Help SEO (Search Ranking) for my Local Business Website?

“Does blogging REALLY help SEO for my local business website?”

Even the answer is obvious to digital marketers, many business owners keep asking the question because they want to hear the opposite answer. When we answer, they usually reply “Really?” or “Even for the local business?”

We totally understand why they respond like that. We are also small business owners.

Yet, blogging is more powerful than they assume. It’s now changing the marketing trend substantially. Give us 7 minutes. Then, we will show you how blogging will help your business thrive. And, ‘hopefully’ inspire you to start your blog today.

 

Contents

In this article, you will read:

 

 

Does blogging REALLY help SEO (Search Ranking) for my business website?

The answer is YES! DEFINITELY!!

Yet, making your writing public is not easy. Sometimes it’s even scary. Or it may feel like time-consuming without getting quick returns.

So, when we plan for their websites, many business owners try to avoid blogging. They regard blogging as a chore or boring homework. Do you agree, too?

Let us explain why it’s important and how the new trend is changing.  

 

 

Users want fresh content. So does Google.

The most important reason for blogging is to provide fresh contents and update the website.

Have you visited a website displaying the last blog updated in 2012 or even 2010? Do you trust the website? Users may doubt if the business is still running. Users want fresh content.

Google also reads the metadata (updated date, author, comments, and so on) of the site. If the site was last updated 6 years ago, Google doubts the trustworthiness of the contents. In contrary, when it found that the site has been regularly updated and maintained, Google would consider to put it at a higher rank.

Keeping your site fresh and updated is critical to improving your search ranking. Blogging is one of the best SEO practice.

(*Having an outdated blog is better than not having one at all. You can hide the date and write whenever you can. Yet, even you hide the date, you cannot trick Google. So, we recommend you to update the blog regularly to gain credibility from Google.) 

 

 

New Marketing Trend – Users will find your business through your blog.

Have you experienced finding a useful article and becoming a loyal customer to that brand? More consumers are experiencing it.

This case is not just applied to global brands but also applied to local businesses. Based on Google Internal Data (April 2016), nearly 1/3 of all mobile searches are related to location or local search. (resource: Google Consumer InsightsEdit Local search marketing)

As search engines evolve and improve the practicality, “googling” became a part of our everyday life. Search engines are contributing to our local businesses more and more.

Another trend is a long-tail keyword search. A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains descriptive words.

Examples of long-tail keywords

Head KeywordsLong-tail Keywords
whale watchingbest spots to watch whales in hawaii
restaurant kauaibest family restaurant for weekend kauai
SEO tipshow to improve SEO for a new website
kauai SEOkauai SEO for a local small business

 
We use long-tail keywords in order to find the exact information we want. Some marketers say that about 90 percent of search queries are in the form of long tail keywords now. (resource)

Long-tail searches give your blog more chances to be searched in your local area when you use local keywords.

 

Changes in Consumer’s Awareness

The marketing trends are changing as consumer’s awareness is changing. We don’t believe advertisement as much as we did before. We believe the real value in improving our life. Awareness movements are also accelerating changes in consumer’s pattern. (examples: Dave Ramsey – 10 Ways to Stop Overspending on Impulse BuysThe Minimalist – The 30/30 Rule)

Researches show the changes in marketing trend:

  • 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (resource)
  • 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (resource)
  • Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog. (resource)

The new trend gives a big advantage to the businesses maintaining a blog and providing rich content to customers. 

 

 

Becoming an authority

Contents are valuable assets.

If you share valuable information to help your customers solve problems and live a better life, they will trust your business. And, they will consider you as an authority in your industry or in your local area.

Joe Pulizzi introduced a success story of River Pools and Spa in his book, Content, Inc (2015, McGraw-Hill ).
*We edited the original story to make it shorter.


“River Pools and Spa, a local installer of fiberglass pools in Virginia faced a crisis during the Recession in 2009. Customers canceled contracts and requested their deposits back. To overcome the crisis, CEO started to write down every conceivable customer question and answered it on his blog. Two years later in 2011, while the average pool builder lost 50-75 percent in sales, River Pools increased sales to more than $5 million even if the company decreased the marketing spend from $250k to $40k. Later, CEO was being called upon by companies all over the world to install pools. Now, River Pools is manufacturing its own fiberglass pools and became an international company. By providing valuable contents, River Pools has become the leading company in the fiberglass pool industry.”

*You can read River Pools & Spa’s blog here.

 

Imagine that you have written 20 – 30 articles and helped people make their life easier. How much would they trust your business? You will be considered as an authority in that industry or at the local area.

Important

When we write a blog, only focus on our customers. How to solve their problem and how to make their life better. When we add true value to their life, people will trust us and talk about our business. Yet, as soon as we try to advertise our business without providing value, people will leave.  

 

 

For us, a blog is a monthly report.

We regard our blog as a monthly report of our business. If we ran our business properly, we would understand more about our customers’ pain. Then, we could find something to share in our blog every month.

We invest time to write a blog. We research and study to create valuable contents. Because we appreciate that visitors pay their precious time to read the blog, we give our best in each article. These monthly reports show how much we have grown since we started the business.   

 

 

Conclusion

Blogging is critical for SEO. In this article, we tried to avoid using the technical jargon such ‘reducing bouncing rate’, ‘increasing user engagement’, or ‘getting backlinks’. Even so, we could find many substantial reasons why we blog.

Do you feel motivated to start/resume your blog? We hope so.

Don’t try to be perfect from the beginning. The more you write, the better it gets.
Let us conclude this article with our favorite quotes:

“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
– Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and founder of LinkedIn –

“You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something.”
-Zig Ziglar, author, and motivational speaker-

 

 

How to find the link to Google My Business

One of our most frequently asked questions is “how can we request our customers to write a review on Google” or “how to find the link to Google My Business page?” Most business owners have a hard time to find the fixed URL (URL: the address of a World Wide Web page) for their Google Business page.

In this article, we will help you to understand how Google works and show you 3 methods to find the URL of your Google page.

Quick Link

Google is not a social media, it’s a global search engine
Method 1. Using Google Search Query
Method 2. Finding CID
Method 3. Installing a Chrome Extension

Google is not a social media, it’s a global search engine

It’s easy to find URL for your Facebook or Yelp page.
But URL for Google My Business page keeps changing depending on how we find it.

We need to understand that Google is not a social media platform. It’s a universal search engine (it dominates the global market overall 75%, mobile devices 90% based on 2017 market share). (Resource)

Then, what are the differences between social media and search engines? Let us give you one of the examples.

Nobody will open “your” business page on Facebook or Yelp. “Only you or your agency” will open your social media pages.
Yet, on Google, anybody in public can open your business page.
Google Maps is made with an open source and anybody can input the local information in order to improve the Maps.
Google calls those contributors “Google Local Guide”.
Due to the contributions from the public, Google can apply any changes in real time and quickly fix incorrect information.

Even if you never opened your business page on Google, you may be able to find your business page on Google Maps. It’s because somebody opened your page to improve their local information on Google Maps. Now, people can leave reviews on your business page and even they can change your information if it’s not correct.

“If you don’t own your page yet, we highly recommend you to claim your business as soon as possible before someone else claim it.”

On social media, you can control your information as you want.
But, the information on Google is the information for the public. You don’t own that information. That’s why you need to get the verification and approval process even when you change your information on Google.

Good news is that Google opens its source and encourages developers to create useful apps via API.

Here we introduce 3 ways how to find the link to Google My Business page through their open source.

1. Using Google Search Query

Have you typed your business name on Google?
Do you see your business page on the right side of the search results?
If you can see your business page like the following image, you can use this simple method.

Type the following URL on the internet browser, then you will see your business page.

www.google.com/search?q=your+business+name

“www.google.com/search?q=” is the default URL for Google Search Query.
Right after “q=”, you can input the keywords you want to search. In this case, input your business name. Instead of inputting a space key, input “+” between the keywords. (“+” means “AND”)

For example, our business name is Kauai eBiz. When you input the following URL, you will find Kauai eBiz business page.

www.google.com/search?q=kauai+ebiz

Link to Google My Business

To search Ali’i Air Tours, you can just input the following URL.

www.google.com/search?q=alii+air+tours

This link works on any browsers. (Not only Google Chrome but also Safari, FireFox or MS Edge)

Even though this method is simple, we don’t recommend it for the permanent purpose because it’s not reliable. When the search results change, it will lead to wrong places.

If you are looking for the permanent link, please check the next two methods.

2. Finding Your CID

CID will is the identification of your business page on Google Maps. Once you find your CID, URL will be

maps.google.com/?cid=20-digit-CID-numbers

Let us show you how to find your CID step by step.

First, search your business on Google and make sure only your page is searched.

If other business pages are searched together, you will also find their CIDs on the same page. Adjust your search words or add your address in order to pick only your business.

Then, move your mouse on the page and click the right button.

Link to Google My Business View Source

In the drop menu, choose View page source. Then you will see the page coding.

Hit “Ctrl” + “F” keys and search “ludocid=“.
The 20 digit-number between “ludocid=” and “&” is your CID.
In our case, CID is 16994382681390998721.

(If “Ctrl” + “F” keys are not allowed on your browser, just copy the whole page and paste it on your editor such as MS Word. Then you can find it.)

Google My Business Source Code

Sometimes it shows as 0x7c07a9712d695555:0xebd82d02355c64c1. It’s just the same value in a different form (hexadecimal).

The following URL is our permanent address for Google Business.

maps.google.com/?cid=16994382681390998721

Now it’s your turn to find your CID and permanent URL. Why don’t you try it yourself?

3. Installing a Chrome Extension

If you’re a Google Chrome user, installing the extension will be the best. The extension is called “GatherUp Google Review Link Generator” by GatherUp.com.

They will not only find your CID but also provide you with the direct link to write a review on your Google Business page.

Click here to get the extension.

Here is the instruction copied from the developer’s page:

1. Install the Google Review Link generator as a Chrome Extension
2. Head to Google search
3. Search for your company + address and retrieve a single Knowledge Panel result for the business
4. Select the GatherUp Extension and you will be directed to a new page that includes the “Write a Review link”

Conclusion

Hope this article helps you to understand more about Google and to get the link to your own Google Business page.

If you have any problems to find your link, leave a comment. We will find the link for you.

We do our best to support our local business owners. If you have any other questions regarding websites or IT, please feel free to leave a comment. Your question may be the topic of our next blog.

Mahalo.