What does an SEO consultant do?
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

You might think that online businesses are the future. It may be that way, but the steps to get the best results with online sales have a lot in common with old-fashioned farming. Like the farmer, an SEO consultant works to make your crops as large as possible. The future is very likely based on online shopping, but strictly speaking, us keyboard jockeys are not much more than glorified digital farmers. You may have heard that “SEO is a method to have the most visibility online”, but it’s actually not that simple. SEO is not a single method. It is a barn full of different tools that together make your website sprout and grow. SEO has become such a big subject today that no one becomes an expert in the entire field. Just as farming is divided into agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry, SEO agencies often divide the tasks into “on-page SEO”, “off-page SEO” and “technical SEO”. There are thus three categories, and each of these includes hundreds of ranking techniques. An SEO consultant uses these techniques when helping you implement good digital marketing strategies.

But what is SEO really?

SEO is an acronym for the phrase «Search Engine Optimization». In short, SEO is a set of techniques for ranking websites in search engines in relation to the keywords potential customers use in their searches. A good ranking increases traffic to the site. More traffic gives more chances to create sales and increase sales. What makes SEO challenging is that the guidelines for good search engine optimization are constantly changing. The reason for this is that search engines – like Google, Bing and Yahoo! – tries to find a perfect formula for their SERP (search engine results pages), or what we like to refer to as a search in a search engine. The goal is for users to find what they are looking for, and for the content they find to be the best available on the internet. SEO ensures that the growth conditions are best for your digital farm. Not all farmers are equally moral. Like farmers deforesting the Amazon rainforest to get more arable land, people have been using SEO for as long as the Internet has existed. Sneaky salespeople always try to cheat themselves into the top of Google search by manipulating search engine ranking algorithms. This is something an experienced SEO consultant knows how to steer his clients away from as dishonest tactics are cracked down on by search engines like Google. Utilizing SEO has resulted in Google and other players keeping their ranking rules secret while looking for the perfect algorithm to determine the value of websites. Until anyone invents a set of rules that can not be manipulated and gives users top quality every time they do a web search, good SEO will depend on always keeping up to date on the latest changes in search engine policies. This is a key part of an SEO consultant’s job.

Man with megaphone clipart

SEO’s three pillars

Like previously stated, search engine optimization has become a massive subject. It takes so much work to become an SEO expert that very few online businesses have the resources required. An SEO consultant, on the other hand, has made the SEO field their livelihood. They live to stay up to date on the latest developments in the market. This is how they can help websites sow their seeds for digital marketing and reap the greatest possible harvest in their industry. Initially it was mentioned that search engine optimization is divided into three categories to make the subject more manageable. Simply put, “on-page SEO” is about the part of the site that is visible to readers. “Off-page SEO” is about everything that happens outside your website, such as promotion on social media, guest blogging or working with backlinks. “Technical SEO” are invisible improvements to the website. This can be things like making the loading time faster, makeing the website more mobile-friendly or making sure that coding on the website is easy to understand for search engines. In other words, search engine optimization is too comprehensive to learn in addition to running an online business. A certain overview is of course desirable, but even SEO agencies divide their teams with specialists in each SEO category. A good SEO consultant will tell you what you should focus on and take care of the rest for you. For new web starters this will in many cases mean creating good routines for on-page SEO.

The basis of on-page SEO

Digital marketing is all about creating growth on the internet. In order for websites to grow and generate good sales, you need to nurture your content the way a farmer nurtures their crops. Growth is inhibited if they forget to fertilize the field. Your content is just as vulnerable, and risks fading away if you do not keep it maintained with regular fertilization.

Very few farmers engage in all forms of agriculture however. Those who know everything are either large farmers, advisers or teachers at the agricultural college. An SEO consultant is a teacher in search engine optimization. The first thing they look at when your online business knocks on their door is how good your chances of success are. That is, they carefully go through your website to look at opportunities for improvement and market potential. This is called an “SEO audit”.

Such an analysis of your company’s website facilitates the shaping of a good marketing strategy. Once the strategy begins to take shape, content must be adjusted and produced for search engine optimization. An SEO consultant can either produce the content for you, or train you in appropriate content production that takes into account search engine optimization. This phase is therefore about on-page SEO. The following four points are some of the most important in this category of search engine optimization:

Tools for farming clipart

1. Create quality!

What an SEO consultant knows for sure is that Google controls the internet market. Google says it more often with each passing year: “Quality is the most important factor for ranking.” Google is looking to promote the best texts, movies, images and podcasts available on the internet on all topics. It is your job to make sure that the quality of your content is the best available in your industry. Find out what’s useful to your readers, what’s valuable to your audience, and how to create content that holds a higher standard than your competitors! How to build a digital farm with values ​​that can prove to be profitable for many years to come.

Read Google’s own manual, Page Quality Rating Guidelines to find out what they define as quality!

2: Be user-friendly!

Building a website that is not very user-friendly is a pitfall for beginners, but also a very specific task to tackle for an SEO consultant. A user-friendly website is clear, easy to navigate, mobile-friendly and produces content that is easy to read and easy to read for information. The key is to eliminate every conceivable annoyance. The website must work on all kinds of platforms and devices; It must be understandable to everyone, and it should allow for easy and direct communication between the site and users.

If you fail at one or more of these points, your readers will spend less time on the page. Google interprets this as a sign that your web pages should rank lower.

In the same way, the fertile soil becomes poor and the grain quality is lower if the farmer never harrows the soil. Few people are more fond of bread than Norwegians, and we place great demands on quality. No baker takes shortcuts and buys cheap grain for their baking. On the internet, readers are just as skeptical. A site that is “hard to digest” will send packing faster than you realize.

3: Use keywords!

Google has long tried to downplay the importance of keywords, but any SEO consultant knows that this still has a lot to say for ranking. Keywords, or key phrases, are key words in texts that tell search engines what the content is about. This is important to be aware of because the keywords determine which competitors the texts should be ranked in relation to.

The theory is quite simple, but the method can present challenges. An experienced SEO consultant working with on-page SEO will start by identifying your target audience and your fiercest competitors. Then they will find key keywords for both of these groups and create a battle plan. This is how they write texts aimed at specific readers with specific needs. In addition, the texts are shaped so that they have the best chance to rank higher than competing content on the internet.

Look at the SEO consultant as your digital agronomist. They assess your prerequisites, the level of competition and the customer potential. This is how they identify your most promising investment areas and find out which key values ​​you should hone in order to win over other digital farmers in the same specialist field as yourself.

4: Remember the value of links!

An SEO consultant never completely stops thinking about links to internet pages they are trying to rank in the search engines. For the sake of simplicity, we should just mention that there is a difference between links that go around your own website, links that go out to other sites, and links that come from other sites to you. Of these three types, links coming in from other sites have the greatest value for your ranking.

A link to your site from another site is the same as a sign that someone likes your site. This is something an SEO consultant might work actively to provide. This is because websites that are respected in their own industry quickly catches the eye of Google.

This means that it has a lot to say who the link comes from. If you get a link from grandpa’s blog, Google will not be very impressed. If, on the other hand, you get a link from Wikipedia, Google will immediately take a closer look at your site. As a result, your company will most likely rise a few levels on the internet respect-scale, often called building authority.

Bonus: Authority

If we were to include a fifth item on this list, it would be appropriate to explain more about authority. However, this is a big topic that our colleagues in the SEO blog have written a good explanatory blog post about. We therefore refer to their posts, and also to their blog in general which is full of good SEO tips.

Conclusion

This has been a superficial and basic introduction to search engine optimization and the most important tasks of an on-page SEO consultant. You now have an overview of how SEO is used to strengthen online businesses, and a list of the most important requirements for websites when it comes to on-page SEO:

Five on-page SEO requirements that make your website competitive!

✔ Quality makes you valuable
✔ Good customer experience makes you stand out
✔ Keywords make you available
✔ Links give you a good reputation
✔ Authority gives you respect

Sources

Ahrefs: SEO Basics
Search Engine Land: What is SEO / Search Engine Optimization?
Moz: On-page SEO

Earn money on your website with Google AdSense
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

If you run your own blog or another kind of website which has some traffic you could earn money by displaying ads.

I’ve been testing Google Adsense Auto Ads and would like to give you some tips on how to set it up and describe what it does.

“AdSense Auto Ads” was recently released by Google in order to make the ad display work better by letting AI (machine learning) processes work on your website. This should result in better earnings and a good user experience.

An example on the different ways Google AdSense Auto Ads could display on your page before finding the best result

The benefits with this Auto Ads is the machine learning which optimizes and tries different ways to display ads. This could be by displaying them near articles, within text or just header or footer of your site.

After a while, the AI will decide which solution that works best and use that for your future visitors. With both your earnings and the user experience in mind, you should be able to get good results and happy visitors.

It’s easy to control how many ads you want to display and which types inside the control panel of the Auto ads.

As you can see on the image, there is alot of different ads. Google recommends to keep them all on but you look closely into them. The “Overlay ads” which will pop up infront of your webpage should be tested.

I would recommend you to see how the “Vignette ads” looks before deciding if it should be enabled.
It could make your websites first impression look bad.

There is several way to experiment, you could try all the functions in the image over here. There is possibilities to reduce or increase the ads on your page. I recommend to start with something like 60%. There is a function for this that can be changed inside the control panel of the ads.

How do I get started with Google AdSense Auto ads?

No matter which CMS or website you are running, you will need a Google-account to sign up into Google AdSense. Ff you allready got this, just click on the “Get Started” button which may be found after logging in:

When you got your AdSense account up and running, you can now log in again and click on “Ads”, Auto Ads will then appear in the menu. Click on “Get Started” and set up your domain in the panel. Follow the instructions provided by Google.

When you are done adding, you will get a script-code which you need to place in the header of the website.

If you use our website builder, you can add this at Settings -> SEO Settings -> Add script to header (paste it in there and publish).

For WordPress we recommend to code it in manually or use a plugin like Header and Footer Scripts.

For other CMS’s it might need to be added manually or by plugin/theme.

You might need to wait for Google to approve the site, when this has been done (usually in 1-7 week days).
When it’s approved, your site will start to display ads.
The cool thing is that if you are gonna make changes to the ads, just make the edits in Google AdSense and they will have effect at once.

Good luck!

Digital Marketing – how to use it and why
Written by: Isabelle

Digital marketing is all around us in our everyday life. Take a look around you. People are either looking down on their mobile phones or tablets. Be it on the streets, restaurants, cafes or in their homes, everyone is connected to the internet. Information is literally at everyone’s fingertips and with it, the birth of digital marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

Connecting with your customers in the right place and the right time is what marketing is all about. Simply put, digital marketing is a collective term for all online marketing done by a business. There are a lot of channels open for companies to connect with their target audience. These include social media, Google search, email and their own websites.

digital marketing

Tips and Tricks

There are many ways a company can enhance their branding online. These include the following methods that will help their brands reach their goals:

• Emails
• Blog articles
• Company websites
• Interactive tools
• Infographics
• Ebooks
• Lookbooks
• Whitepapers
• Online brochures
• Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
• Branding using fonts and logos, among others
• Online coverage such as reviews, social media or PR

Most companies employ the following tactics to improve sales conversion:

• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the method of optimizing content so that the website will rank higher in search engines.

• Social Media Marketing – a kind of marketing that utilizes social media to promote brand awareness, increase traffic to the site and generate sales leads.

• Affiliate Marketing – advertising based on performance where site owners promote products of other sites to get a commission.

• Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – one common example of this is Google Adwords where companies pay a publisher every time their ads are clicked.

• Marketing Automation – these are software were the goal is to automate everyday marketing actions such as emails and other social media functions.

• Native Advertising – these are advertisements that are content-led and mostly featured side-by-side non-paid content.

• Online PR – much like traditional PR but in the digital scene; companies employ online coverage with blogs, other digital publications and content-based websites.

• Email Marketing – companies use email marketing campaigns to communicate with their customers to promote events, contents and discounts among others

Whatever your company desires to use, make sure it fits the needs of your customers. It will save time, money and effort in the long run.

Important differences between B2B and B2C

While digital marketing works well for any kind of company, there are different ways it can be used and implemented. Depending if your company is B2B (buisness to buisness) or B2C (buisness to customer) different strategies are needed.

B2B is marketing products (or services) to other companys or organizations. For B2B the digital marketing strategy will need to focus on creating “leads” online via the companys website and other channels such as LinkedIn. The “leads” will again create conversions (sales).

The focus for a B2C company is to attract visitors and turn them into customers. This often requires a strong “call to action”and marketing through several channels are often a well used strategy.

 

digital marketing

Benefits of Digital Marketing

There are a lot of benefits for marketers, among them:

• Seeing your results in real time regardless of whether you are a big or small company.
• Using website content to connect with online visitors 24/7.
• Track consumer reaction the moment they visit your site and thus, optimize the page on an ongoing basis.
• Realize higher ROI compared with traditional marketing strategies.
• Stay competitive in today’s high tech business climate.
• With real time data on hand, a company can adapt and take action.
• Able to connect with mobile customers when they use their smartphones or other mobile devices.
• It generates higher conversion rates.
• Big and small companies save money in terms of lead generation.
• Enables real-time response to customers.

Content Creation

Depending on the needs of your audience, your content must answer the needs at different stages in the buyer’s journey. Knowing and creating different buyer personas are necessary for content creation. It will aptly identify your customer’s goals and preferences in relation to your business.

To create awareness, your company may use short videos, blog posts and infographics. All are powerful means to connect with your customers. Using testimonials and case studies are also ways to help clinch a sale. Companies often use photos of their customers with hashtags to get their brands across.

Seeing Results

Depending on how effective your website content in driving customers to your site, results vary. So, it is important to understand and create your buyer persona to answer their needs. It is also crucial to have quality online content for sales conversion.
Paid advertising results may be seen quicker, but it is more important to build your organic reach. This can be done using SEO, content and social media for the long haul. Usually, results can be seen within the first half of the year.

Budget

You don’t need a huge budget especially when you already have your own website. When you use SEO, content creation or social media, you won’t need much at all. Yet, if you decide to hire other SEO specialist later on, it will come with a reasonable fee.
Online advertising, while giving you the needed visibility will cost more. Using Google AdWords to implement PPC can be expensive. Rather, it’s a good idea to improve your organic reach and focus on creating top-notch content.

Mobile Marketing

Do you know that almost 60% of your market uses mobile content? Those who uses desktop make up the remaining 40%. Therefore, it is important that web pages, images, digital ads and other digital assets are optimized for mobile devices.

A responsive website design that will make browsing seamless must be your goal. It is important for mobile users to have the same pleasing experience as they would on desktop. This means that images and texts must not be cut-off. Remember that some smartphone’s screen may be tiny.

What Now?

There’s no time to lose – digital marketing is the lifeblood of today’s businesses. It is not a fad or a trend. In today’s highly technological world, staying on top of the competition is not the same as decades before.
You need an effective strategy to build your brand and get your customer’s loyalty. Whether you are a novice or a pro, digital marketing is your ally to take your business to the next level.

WooCommerce: Build a webshop easy as 1-2-3!
Written by: Simon A. Skaar

When you want to build a webshop, there are many options to choose from, such as OpenCart, CSCart, Magento and WooCommerce. All of these are eCommerce platforms where you can administrate everything from orders, products, storage, shipping and taxes. In this article we will take a closer look at WooCommerce, which is one of the largest plugins for WordPress.

What is WooCommerce?

Today WooCommerce is used on millions of webshops and about 39% of all webshops worldwide. In Norway 38% of webshops uses this platform. There are many good reasons why you should use WooCommerce. It is basically free, based on open sourcecode, with the option of buying and adding extensions for all purposes. WooCommerce gives you full control over all your products, customer data, orders and so on. You can also sell any type of products, both physical, virtual, subscription services and other types.

In the video below, you will see an introduction on how WooCommerce works.

 

How to install WooCommerce?

Since WooCommerce uses WordPress as a “base” you will need to already have WordPress installed. If you are a customer at PRO ISP WordPress can easily be installed with a few clicks (follow this guide for installation). When using WooCommerce and WordPress we recommend using LiteSpeed that is included in our Pro Medium/Premium web hosting.

In WordPress admin panel you can easily install and active WooCommerce like this:

Plugins – Add new – Search for WooCommerce – Install – Active

woocommerce

 

 

When WooCommerce is activated you will receive a step-by-step guide for the different functions on the website. After the installation you can add different types of extensions.

How to use WooCommerce

For a thorough guide on how to use WooCommerce we recommend WooCommerce step-by-step-guides with both pictures and videos. You will learn how to set up your webshop and how to administrate it. The video below is one of the training videos and will show you how to get started with WooCommerce.

 

Payment options within WooCommerce

We recommend you give your customers the option of paying directly in adddition to via invoice. Direct payment with VISA/Mastercard (creditcard) can be done via PayPal. The customer can either use their account with PayPal (where all the cardinformation is stored) or without an account.

Another option is STRIPE. This option works the same way most online card terminal does. The customer adds their card details and the amount is withdrawn and transferred to your account within the next few days. The difference between STRIPE and PayPal is with PayPal you need to transfer the money manually.

If you want to use invoice within WooCommerce, we would recommend taking a look at the extension from Klarna. With this extension the customer can choose between invoice and down payment. In Norway Klarna is a well recognized brand so this can boost sales. To be able to use Klarna, you will need to register with them. Only registered companies can create accounts for sales with most vendors such as Klarna. The downside using invoice instead of direct payment is that invoice usually recuires more work in terms of follow-up via bank or other costly services.

Secure your webshop with SSL certificate

You often need an SSL certficate for encryption. We highly recommend having every site on the website secured (not just the webshop). Show your customers you can be trusted because security is taken seriously.

SSL certificate can also increase conversions for your webshop and give your website higher ranking in search engines. PRO ISP have different types of certificates you can read about.

SEO plugin

SEO is one of the most important measures you can take to increase traffic to your website. SEO is short for “search engine optimization” and we recommend you read: “SEO – what do I need it for?”. There are also plugins to help with SEO for your website, such as YOAST SEO (free). WooCommerce also have their own SEO plugin (not free).

Sources:
Statistics for the usage of WooCommerce

SEO – what do I need it for?
Written by: Isabelle

One of the most important measures you do to increase traffic to your website is SEO (search engine optimization). Just because your website is online does not mean search engines such as Google can fin it just as easily as your competitor’s websites.

Do Google see you?

Google is the most used search engine worldwide and it is therefore imporant to make it easy for Google to find your website. It is recommended to follow this guide (from Google).

er den mest brukte søkemotoren på verdensbasis og det er derfor viktig å gjøre det enkelt for Google å finne frem til nettsiden din. Det anbefales av Google å følge denne guiden.

– Create unique and exact page tittles
The tittle will tell visitors and search engines what the content of the page is.

– Improve the structure for URLs
Descriptive categories and filenames for documents on a website will make it more organized and help search engines search the document better. Using simple and more SEO friendly URLs will make it easier to connect people who are searching for the content with the content. Long and cryptic URLs containing few recognizable words might scare of visitors.

– Offer content and services of high quality 
Interesting and useful content is what is most important for SEO according to Google. Visitors appreciate good content and through blog posts, social media, email, forums and such the content is shared. This will give the website a good reputation with visitors and Google.

Have your website checked

In addition to several guides on SEO there are also websites that can check your website to see status of SEO currently. One example is SEO SiteCheckup 

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SEO plugin for WordPress

If you are using WordPress there are several plugins that can help you with SEO for your website. One of the plugins is Yoast SEO which analyzes each page and is available in different languages.