Is your SEO in the gutter? Throw a strike with these tips from JumpSearch

Link Building SEO

After crushing a strike to win a national bowling championship, Pete Weber shouts; “who do you think you are?!  I Am!”  While we kind of know what Mr. Weber was trying to imply we do not fully understand.  This can relate to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When setting up an SEO blueprint businesses often confuse the Google search algorithm by not implementing the correct target keywords and phrases that clearly state what products/services they provide. 

Bowling and SEO – who would have thought! In this article we explore how to optimize your website to increase search visibility by providing Google with clear messaging of your business services and products through SEO. 

2012 Bowling’s 69th U.S. Open Stepladder Finals – Who Do You Think You Are? I am!

WHO ARE YOU? I AM

Mr. Weber was onto something, but let’s adjust it slightly so it makes sense.  Who are you? – I am…  

When building an SEO strategy you should ask yourself this simple question; Who are you? And populate the homepages, services, product pages, and structured data with the correct keywords and phrases that best describe the particular webpage.  This assists Google in identifying what your business sells when presenting it to a user who is searching for that particular product or service. 

Win at SEO and declare yourself above the law!

The title of this section is in reference to the 1996 film King Pin when Ernie Mckraken played by Bill Murray drops to his knees and declares himself finally “above the law” after winning a bowling tournament.  How do you win at SEO and declare yourself above the law?  By optimizing your website so that Google understands what products and services your business sells.  When doing keyword research, implementing webpage content, structured data or link building techniques you should always refer to the aforementioned question – who are you? 

The title of this section is in reference to the 1996 film King Pin when Ernie Mckraken played by Bill Murray drops to his knees and declares himself finally “above the law” after winning a bowling tournament. 

How do you win at SEO and declare yourself above the law?

By optimizing your website so that Google understands what products and services your business sells.  When doing keyword research, implementing webpage content, structured data or link building techniques you should always refer to the aforementioned question – who are you?

Keyword Research, SEO Meta Titles and Descriptions

Staying in the bowling lane, let’s look at the top search results in Google for the search term “bowling shoes” in the SEO software ahrefs.

The screen capture above displays the top search results for the Google search “buy bowling shoes”, we call this a “high-value” search term because it has user intent due to ”buy” being in the phrase.  Conversion rates are higher for this search term as opposed to a generic term “bowling shoes” as the user might just be browsing as opposed to looking to buy.

Let’s look at the #1 ranking website in the Google search results.

The top-ranking website is bowling.com.  Below are the keywords they used in their meta title and description.

URL: https://www.bowling.com/shopping/all/bowling-shoes

Title:

Bowling Shoes | Shop at Bowling.com

Description:

Visit bowling.com for the best prices on a pair of bowling shoes. We’ve got 649 styles for men, women and children from beginners to pros.

They did an excellent job in their keyword, meta title and description research to properly answer the question of who they are (what they are selling). In turn – they were rewarded by Google with the number one spot!

Seems simple right?  It can be!  But many businesses do not do the proper keyword research and target high user intent search phrases when building SEO meta titles and description and suffer as a result.  Furthermore, simply optimizing your meta titles will not win the top spot. There are over 200 ranking factors the Google algorithm factors when determining which website to rank in the top spot.  Let’s continue!

Website Content:

Website content is one of the top factors when trying to increase your business’ visibility. Let’s look at bowling.com’s landing page as en example.

The screen capture above is the landing page for bowling.com that ranks #1 in results.  As we can see they have populated the page with different bowling shoe brands, sizes for males and females. Two factors Google strongly evaluates when ranking a site are the bounce rate and dwell time. The bounce rate is how many users leave(bounce) a site after clicking the link, closely related is dwell time, which measures the time they spend on each page before leaving. By providing the user exactly what they are looking for when searching “buy bowling shoes” the bounce rate will decrease and dwell time will increase. 

We can relate this to the real world – If a bowler were to visit a brick and mortar shopping mall to purchase a pair of bowling shoes and the store makes it difficult to find the brand/style and size they will leave without purchasing. The same should be taken into consideration when building a webpage – ensure you provide the user with easy access to what they are looking for when they land on the page. 

Creating your webpage content with exact product matching the user’s search intent will increase your Google ranking and lead to more customers!

Easy right?  Now let’s get into the more technical stuff!

Structured Data:

What the heck is structured data?

Structured data is a standardized format to mark up the information about the web page. It allows search engines like Google, Bing and others to better understand what the web page is about. When a search engine understands the content of the web page, then it may serve it for appropriate search queries.” – Mangools

Basically, this is adding “snippets” of code into your webpage to ensure the Google bot understands your page better.  

Let’s have a look at the structured data snippet on the Bowling.com page.

Above is a snippet from Google structured data checker. The code snippet for the webpage basically tells Google this is a webpage and provides the Google bot additional information.  

The screen capture above is the breadcrumb list – this provides the Google bot more information about the page and allows bowling.com to insert the target keywords (bowling shoes) in the code to increase visibility for that particular keyword. Adding this data into the website code assists the Google bot in determining what services/products your webpage is providing and will increase the page visibility.

Seem complicated?  We told you it’s going to get harder!  You were warned!  All joking aside, setting up structured data is very important to increase your business’ online visibility!

If you are still with me.  Let’s move onto the hardest part of SEO – Link building!

Link Building:

Link building is the process of attaining a similar niche (same answer for the who am I question) websites to link to your page. Basically, this is seen as a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes. The website linking to yours tells Google that your page is trustworthy and should rank your website higher in the search results. The stronger authority of the referring source the more Google will reward.

Still looking at Bowling.com, let’s look at an example of a similar niche webpage linking to their website (backlink)

The screen capture above is a high authority webpage listing discount bowling shoes for men.  As we can see bowling.com is listed on the page which passes the authority to their page and provides Google with a vote of confidence. This indicates that bowling.com should be listed high in the search results for “men’s bowling shoes.”

How the heck do I get websites to link to my website?

Well – this is the labour intensive part of SEO.  Let’s look at two examples of attaining a link to your website.

Create Amazing Content!

Attaining a similar niche link to your website can be done by either naturally attaining a link by creating amazing content/products/images that will get noticed by similar niche blogs, and directories or from businesses that market similar products who add a link to your site.

Outreach!

Reaching out to similar websites/blogs/businesses by phone, email, and social channels and giving them a reason to add a link to your webpage.  There are many ways to achieve this – some are better than others. There are no shortcuts here, if you want high-quality links, you must put in the time. 

Does it matter what link I get?  Or can I just get any link to my website?

This is where it can get tricky.  If you attain a link with low domain authority (low votes of confidence) Google will deem this as a negative link and decrease the visibility of the webpage.  

How do I find what website are high domain authority? 

There are many SEO software out there that will provide you with information on the potential links web authority.  The higher the better!  What we suggest is looking at the backlink profile of your top competitors and determining where they are attaining links and create a target list for outreach.

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