If you’re looking for new ways to boost your SEO, you’ll want to consider putting the power of schema to work for your business’ website.

What is schema?

Schema markup, via Schema.org, is code that you put on your website that helps search engines provide more informative results for users. If you’re familiar with rich snippets in search engine results pages (SERPs), then you’ll understand the idea and benefits of schema.

Schema can insert additional information about search results, including product reviews and ratings, hours of operation of a business or upcoming events and dates. The great thing about schema is that it’s beneficial for both the user and your SEO!

The website for schema markup, Schema.org, was created through a collaboration between Google, Bing and Yahoo and developed for users.

The goal of search engines is to provide the most helpful and accurate results for any search term. Schema helps reach this goal by telling both the search engine and the user what your website data means, not just what it says.

Instead of relying on just the meta title and meta description to provide a preview of the search result, schema markup adds other details that could help the user determine they’re on the right track. For instance, pricing and reviews can be added to the search result via schema markup, informing users before choosing to click through for more details.

Why is schema important?

Adding schema to your webpages can help build trust with users and even help them find the information they’re after more quickly, such as your service department’s phone number or hours of operation.

This markup is important for SEO because it helps your pages stand out in the SERPs!

While there is no conclusive evidence that schema markup improves search result rankings, there are some indications that search results with extensive rich snippets, such as schema, improve click-through rates.

If you’d like assistance with adding schema markup to your webpages or finding other ways to enhance your SEO efforts through rich snippets, feel free to contact the experts at fusionZONE!

The How & Why of Filtering Bot Traffic in Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an essential tool for many businesses to measure website performance and understand web visitors’ behavior. Since making any business or website decisions should be based on good data, it is critical that your Google Analytics reports are providing accurate information.

Bot traffic is one common source of misleading or meaningless data, so you’ll have to tackle this issue to help ensure your data is clean and represents real visitors to your site. Let’s look at how bot traffic may adversely affect your analytics reporting and what you can do about it.

What is Bot Traffic?

When you hear the term bot traffic, it includes not only bots but spiders and crawlers that interact with your website. These software applications run automated tasks across the internet, and while some can be helpful, they don’t represent human-generated traffic, so they should be excluded from your reporting data.

Some bots are good and some are bad: think search engine crawlers versus scrapers that seek to clone your unique content. No matter what type of bots are reaching your website, they’re giving you a false sense of reality — at least when it comes to your site’s legitimate user traffic.

Did you know that bot traffic now accounts for about half of all internet traffic? That’s a lot of false data! This surprising metric illustrates the importance of weeding out bot, spider and crawler traffic to your site, so let’s look at how to do so.

How to Remove Bot Traffic From Google Analytics

Bot filtering is available in Google Analytics, but it’s not the default setting. Therefore, site owners will need to turn on the bot filtering setting manually, but it’s an easy switch.

To remove bot traffic from your Google Analytics data, go into the Admin View settings and check the “Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders” option. This list of known bots and spiders is regularly updated as Google finds new traffic sources that fit the bill. By taking this simple step, you’ll be eliminating the majority of bot traffic from your analytics reporting.

Maybe you also want to know how much of your default traffic data comes from bots. One way to get an idea of how much bot traffic hits your site is to set up separate views in Google Analytics and compare the data with and without bot filtering.

It’s also possible to manually filter out some of the remaining unknown crawlers, spiders and bots, but doing so is an intensive task that’s best left to the experts. But remember, excluding all hits from known bots and spiders will go along way in ensuring that you can rely on your Google Analytics reporting!

If you’d like assistance with interpreting your website’s performance and visitor behavior through Google Analytics, the digital marketing specialists at fusionZONE Automotive are here to help! Reach out to our team for more details on filtering bot traffic and other ways to gain insights from your site’s analytics reports.

How often do you update your onsite content, and why? We’re not just talking about updating prices or specials, but also the key content on your website.

Your website and its content aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Even if you’ve reached your goal of a stylish, informative and intuitive website, there’s always more that can be done to attract new customers and keep your visitors coming back for more.

If your onsite content has been stagnant for quite some time, you may want to think about some updates. After all, there are many benefits to fresh content!

Here are a couple of reasons why it pays to keep continually improve your onsite content:

Creating Value for Your Visitors

If you want your website to become an authority within your market of products and services, then you need to create real value for visitors.

Your site can have the most well-written content and most detailed information, but if it’s old and outdated, it may not be doing your visitors or your SEO any good.

To attract visitors — and the right visitors — you need relevant and fresh content.

For example, outdated content isn’t going to fly for new car shoppers. They want details on the latest vehicles and why the new model is better than the old model. They may not be looking for just any brand-new crossover or SUV; maybe they’re only shopping for models with Apple CarPlay and adaptive cruise control. If your onsite content is outdated and generic, how are you going to attract these buyers?

Likewise, drivers searching for a service center in their area want to know why they should choose one over the other, not just that you do indeed have a service facility.

Creating value for your visitors should be the goal of any website. But how do you attract visitors and potential customers in the first place? That’s right, with SEO! Improved search engine optimization is another benefit of updating your onsite content.

Enhanced SEO

If you’re looking to grow your customer base and attract more attention online, then search engine optimization matters. Creating fresh, tailored content around your targeted keywords is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve SEO and website traffic.

When search engines regularly scan your website to index pages, they’ll take notice of any new content on your site, whether that be new webpages or updates to current pages.

If search engines already recognize your website as a valuable resource for certain topics or keywords, then creating new content can establish even more authority for your site.

Maybe you haven’t quite reached where you want to be in terms of attracting traffic around certain keywords. But by continually refining and even expanding your site content, you can get there.

Have you ever come across a website or blog with lots of fresh content or frequent posts, but it was clearly written for search engines? Yeah, it’s not pretty. That’s why writing merely for SEO purposes won’t cut it.

Updating your onsite content is a great way to enhance your website, both from an SEO and visitor’s perspective. Of course, updating your site with just any content to keep it “fresh” won’t cut it: you need high-quality, relevant content. After all, they say “content is king,” which couldn’t be more true today and going forward.

Is Your Site Content Ready for an Update?

If you’d like some assistance with updating your onsite content, we can help. Reach out to fusionZONE, where we have dedicated SEO and Content teams and are committed to SEO best practices!

Does your website have duplicate content? Even if the content on each of your webpages is unique, the answer may surprisingly be “yes”.

How can this be? Search engines like Google consider every unique URL a separate page.

Imagine your website has the following URLs:

  • https://www.example.com/inventory
  • https://www.example.com/inventory?type=new
  • https://www.example.com/inventory?type=new&make=Toyota
  • https://www.example.com/inventory?type=new&make=Toyota&year=2021

These may have near-identical content based on the inventory search parameters, yet search engines will consider them distinct pages. This is where canonical tags come into play.

What is a Canonical Tag?

If you’re looking to avoid duplicate content issues on your website, then maybe you’ve heard of canonical tags. Canonical tags were developed by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo more than a decade ago to help resolve duplicate content on websites.

A canonical tag is a snippet of HTML code (rel=”canonical”) that tells search engines that a specific URL is the main version or master copy of a page.

Suppose you have the same or similar content across your website’s inventory pages. In that case, canonical tags can designate the primary page. This helps search engine crawlers understand which page needs to be indexed and ranked.

Why Do Canonical Tags Matter for SEO?

It’s common knowledge that Google and other search engines do not like duplicate content. After all, duplicate content makes it harder for search engines to provide users with the most helpful links to their search queries.

Google can penalize websites with duplicate content by displaying them lower in the search results pages (SRPs), either intentionally or unintentionally. If Google can’t determine which version of a page to index and rank for certain queries, it will pick one. The danger here is it may or may not be the one you had in mind.

For these reasons, canonical tags are imperative for any websites to distinguish duplicate or similar URLs.

Implementing Canonical Tags

Now that you understand the importance of canonical tags for your website, it’s time to implement them. You can specify canonical URLs through canonicalization signals via an HTML tag (rel=”canonical”), HTTP header, sitemap, internal link or 301 redirect.

If you have a fusionZONE high-performance website, then you’re all set: our team is already utilizing canonical tags on your site to help avoid duplicate content issues!

Feel free to reach out to the fusionZONE team for assistance with canonical tags, website performance or SEO solutions.

As we discussed in Part 1 of our series, video plays an increasingly vital role in your SEO, or search engine optimization. With search engines like Google placing more weight on quality video content, you don’t want your website to be left behind in search rankings.

This week, we’re looking at effective ways to improve your videos. With the following tips, you can not only enhance the look and feel of your business’ website but also work to enhance your SEO.

Keep these ideas in mind as you build out your business’ portfolio of videos. Your video marketing efforts could pay dividends as you start ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages).

Produce Videos That Inform or Educate

Don’t make videos just to have some video content on your website. If the video is only still images or text content already on the webpage, it’s not adding any real value to the viewer.

Video has some advantages over text and still images, so use them to your advantage. If you’re looking to add a personal touch to your website (and your business), and informative video hosted by an owner, manager or employee is a great way to do so.

In the following example, the dealership uses video to inform and elaborate on its new temporary service center location during construction. The video utilizes drone footage to show visitors where the new service and parts departments are located in relation to the dealership’s other facilities. The video footage is both engaging and educational, and it certainly adds value to the webpage and for any visitors.

The above video is also surrounded by context, which we’ll cover next.

Surround Your Videos with Context

Placing a video or multiple videos on a webpage and calling it good doesn’t do the trick. You want to lead into the video with some context. Introduce the topic through text above the video, then elaborate further below the video.

By surrounding your video with relevant written and visual content, you’ll create a complete picture of the video and page’s topic or goal.

Host Videos on YouTube

While it makes sense to promote your videos on your website and social media channels, it’s a great idea to host the videos on YouTube. For one, Google is much more likely to rank videos hosted on YouTube. Since Google owns YouTube, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they would rather promote content hosted on its property than somewhere else.

YouTube is the largest video search engine, so ranking high can be a win-win for increasing views and driving organic traffic to your website. Google and YouTube rank videos a bit differently, but increasing your views on YouTube can help your video rank higher on Google.

Consider the Technical Aspects

Creating videos for enhanced SEO isn’t as simple as shooting and editing the video and posting it on YouTube and your website. Search engines like Google utilize backend information to categorize, label and prioritize videos. With this information, search engine crawlers and YouTube can better promote your video to the right audiences.

Google and YouTube use various data to rank your videos, including:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Category
  • Keywords
  • Tags
  • Links to the video
  • Comments
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Video length
  • Audience retention
  • Subscribers after watching

Final Thoughts On Enhancing Your Videos

We’ve covered a lot in this short series on video and SEO. Here’s a recap of what we’ve discussed here:

  • Create professional, entertaining videos that add value and people will want to watch.
  • Host your videos on YouTube.
  • Embed the video on your own site.
  • Promote the video across your social media channels for more views.
  • Remember to consider the meta data for each video.

If you’d like further assistance with your video marketing efforts, contact the fusionZONE team. We’re experts in digital marketing and SEO, and we can help your business rise above your competition online!

When you think of SEO, or search engine optimization, you may jump to the idea of optimizing your website copy or text to rank high in search results. Text content on your site certainly plays a large role in your organic search rankings, but did you know that adding quality videos can also improve your SEO efforts?

Everyone wants to drive more traffic to their website, and quality content — whether text or video — can help make that happen!

This week, we’re looking at how videos affect your SEO. But first, let’s review why search engine optimization still matters in 2020.

Why Does SEO Matter?

With more and more websites created every day, the online world is a crowded place. Running ads to attract traffic works but can be costly, so that can’t be your only way of bringing in visitors or customers.

When you’re competing for website visitors with your direct competition, it becomes even more clear why SEO matters. With quality SEO practices, you can tailor your website for both visitors and search engines.

With over 90% of online experiences starting with a search engine, you can afford to neglect your SEO!

Video Complements Your SEO Efforts

Google’s algorithms are always changing, but one thing that’s for sure is that Google search is increasingly prioritizing websites that feature quality video content.

Adding videos to your site can enhance your SEO and website in several key ways, including:

  • Reducing bounce rates: Did you know that visitors on average spend over twice as long on a webpage with video than one without?
  • Raising click-through rates: Video can entice people to move from the search engine results page (SERP) to your website if they know they’re about to watch a video on the topic they searched for.
  • Diversifying your content strategy: Placing videos between blocks of text can help break up the content on your website and elaborate on the page’s topic.
  • Improving your search ranking: As we’ve mentioned, Google and other search engines now weigh video more heavily than in the past. You don’t want to be caught flat-footed when video content matters in 2020 and beyond.

In the following example, we see how this dealership promotes its express service by not just telling you, but showing you. The video is attractive, professional, informative and adds a personal touch to the dealership’s service operations. This webpage also ranks at the top of the search results for this service in the local area.

Nissan Express Service

Want to Know More About How Video Can Boost Your SEO?

We’ve covered the basics of how adding rich video content to your website not only enhances your business’ online presence but improves your SEO efforts, too. If you’d like to dive deeper into a video strategy for SEO, feel free to reach out to the FZA Digital team. Search engine optimization is what we do, and we’d be more than happy to put our expertise to work for your business!

Next week, we’ll cover ways that you can improve your videos, so check back and stay tuned!

Getting Started With Google Search Console Part 3

 

Welcome back to our third and final installment of our Getting Started with Google Search Console series! This series is aimed at automotive dealers looking to learn how to use Google Search Console.

Today, we’re going to finish up by seeing how to use Google Search console filters to check on how your pages are ranking!

Let’s get started.

Using Filters to Check Rankings Using Google Search Console

One of the most common functions of Google Search console is the Performance Report, labeled Performance on your left-hand side. 

It can show a ton of data for you to slice and dice. You can check out your Clicks, Impressions, Average Click-Through-Rate (CTR), and your Average Position on Google’s SERP. 

 

Google Search Console Stats

 

To start finding actionable items, however,you’ll have to use the filters. Let’s walk through how to use those. 

In all of our examples, we’re using a San Diego based Toyota dealer to find out how they rank in their city. 

A popular query that dealers salivate over the possibility of ranking for is “{city} {OEM} {dealer}”, or in English, “san diego toyota dealer.”

But how would you find out how you’re ranking using Google Search Console?

First, Click on Query underneath the chart.

 

Google Search Console Steps

 

Then, click on the Filter icon (which looks like thison the right).

Now, type in your query. In this case, we type “san diego toyota dealer.”

Here is the result that we get. 

 

Google Search Console Steps

 

We have several options, so we’re going to start out and click the top one. 

 

Google Search Console Traffic

 

Voila! We now have our data. These metrics are able to be selected and shown at once. We wanted to know our average position, so let’s click on that one on the right.

 

Google Search Console Average Ranking Results

 

Now, what about if I wanted to know which pages actually rank for this keyword? 

 

Google Search Console Pages

 

Easy! Scroll down and click Pages.

There you have it. Now you try this on your own for all kinds of different rankings. 

If you want to change the date or compare it to another time period, click those filters at the top.

Wrapping Up

That concludes our series on the basics of Google Search Console! We hope that you found this useful in your journey to improving your sites’s SEO.

If you have any question or need some help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at fusionZONE.

Until next time!

Getting Started With Google Search Console Part 2

 

Welcome back to our starter guide for Google Search Console!

If you missed last weeks article, you can find it here.

This week, we’re covering off how to check your indexing status for your page. Let’s get started!

Check Your Page’s the Index Status

Google Search Console is the place to see if Google has picked up your pages for indexing.

Let’s say you created a page specifically to generate traffic for your new inventory. But when you go to search for the page on Google, it’s not showing up!

Start by seeing if Google has picked up the page in its indexing. You can do this by checking the index status of your page.

To check on your index status, copy and paste the URL into the Search Bar at the top.

 

Google Search Console Search Bar

 

Once you submit it, it’ll take Search Console a few seconds to pull your information. Once it does, you should see something like this:

 

Google Search Console Indexing Status

 

This is your page report. It has a few sections on here that are worth pointing out.

 

Google Search Console Indexing Coverage Tab

 

The first section tells you whether or not Google has indexed it. This is shown in the first box of the page. If it has been indexed, it’s able to be seen on Google.

As you can see in our example, this page is indexable on Google and is able to be searched and found. 

 

Google Search Console Request Indexing

 

If you open up the Coverage tab, you’ll see several more details, such as when it was last crawled or what page it’s canonicalized to.

Another nifty feature is the ability to request Manual Indexing.

If you recently changed your page and want Google to recrawl it, all you need to do is click Request Indexing.

When Do You Need to Manually Index?

Manual indexing can help if you are testing how your pages look on a search engine’s result page or if there’s a critical error that you need to fix right now. In those cases, it’s recommended that you request a manual crawl.

However, this feature doesn’t catapult you to the top of rankings or give you any competitive advantage other than getting a quick fix to your pages. Luckily, Google crawls your site quite often. It doesn’t need assistance to find your pages day-to-day.

That saves you a boatload of time making sure Google is checking your pages and ranking your site.

 


 

That’s all for week! Next week, we’ll dive into how to pull your rankings using Google Search Console as well as how to identify  which pages need to be beefed up. If you have any questions, leave a comment below. Or if you need to access support, email us  at support@fzautomotive.com.

Until next time!

 

 

Getting Started With Google Search Console Part 1

While there are a litany of SEO tools on the market, most businesses can get more mileage than they’d ever need out of Google’s free analytics service suite. The suite includes Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Data Studio, and Search Console.

Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools) is an incredibly useful, often underutilized tool. It is used primarily to see how people find and use your website. 

Some overlook it because it doesn’t have the bells and whistles that services like Ahrefs or SEMRush have, like content audits and expansive keyword research tools. 

But underneath Search Console’s simple exterior is a wealth of knowledge — more than most would ever need to use. 

If you’re a fusionZONE client and don’t have your own Search Console access, let us know! We’re happy to share ours with you. Email our support team or check in with your Performance Manager to get access today. 

Once you’re in and ready to roll, check out our 3 part series on getting started with Google Search Console. Today, we’re going to start off nice and easy and walk through submitting a sitemap to Google.

Let’s get started!

How to  Submit Your Sitemap

A sitemap is a file that tells crawlers exactly what they’re going to find on your site. It shows your site’s organization methods and can also include information about how often pages should be checked for changes, like your inventory. 

To submit your sitemap, first, click on Sitemap on the left-menu column.

You should see a place to submit your sitemap’s URL at the top of the page.

Google Search Console Sitemap Submit

Most sitemaps on automotive sites are found at:

url.com/sitemap.xml

An Example:

toyotaofelcajon.com/sitemap.xml

Simply add this slug (everything after the forward slash, or /) to the empty field and hit submit. 

If done right, you should see a “Success” status after a few minutes of being submitted. 

So why do this?

This is best to do to do on brand-new websites or after you change website providers. It gives Google an outline of your site to how your pages connect to one another.

Google is increasingly better at finding what it needs from your site. But it never hurts to ensure your sitemap is being read correctly. 

 


 

That’s all there is to it!

If you have any questions about how to better use Search Console and are on the fusionZONE platform, leave a comment down below. Stay tuned in two weeks where we’ll cover how to check a page’s indexing status.

Until next time!

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is simple to understand yet infinitely complex to apply. If you understand its core principles, you can do pretty well without dedicating all your time and effort to mastering it.

However, there is a ton of misinformation on the web about how it works. This is mostly due to Google’s lack of transparency about how their search engine works.

Some eager marketers looking to draw in traffic will sometimes make egregious claims on what you should worry about.

We’re here to set the record straight on 5 common myths in SEO.

1. Buying Google Ads Help Your Rank Better

Google Ads are the listings that show up above the organic search results. You have to pay a small amount of money each time someone clicks on those results, hence why it is referred to as pay-per-click (or PPC).

Meta Description

Examples of Meta Description

We’re not sure where this rumor began, but there are some that believe if you are running a Google Ads campaign, your organic results will improve.

This is not the case. You will get stronger results overall due to an increased web presence, but you cannot pay Google to improve your SEO.

2. Google Penalizes Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is when two or more sites have the same content. This can include words, images, or design.

Google is not a fan of duplicate content. They have made comment after comment on Twitter and other forums about how, if you can help it, you should avoid duplicate content.

However, there are parts to your website that you cannot help but duplicate . Are you a Toyota dealer? Well, guess what? You have the same Military Specials as every other Toyota dealer across the country.

Do you sell cars? Then you probably have a page on your website about those cars and it’s features.

But here’s the kicker: other companies sell cars too. Sometimes even the same cars as you!

Sarcasm aside, if you could get penalized for duplicate content, then almost all of the automotive industry would be penalized. Luckily for us, Google doesn’t do this.

Their official stance is if there are two pages with the same content, they will only show one of those pages. Just follow their advice on this page and you’ll do just fine.

3. Meta Descriptions Help You Rank Better

Meta descriptions are the text under the header (or meta title) on Google’s search engine results page (or SERP). Their primary role is to describe the page to help attract searchers to click on it.

Meta Description

Examples of Meta Description

Back in the wild west days of the web, search engine marketers would fill them with phrases to take advantage of search engines looking to rank pages on those phrases. This is called keyword stuffing.

The common misconception is this practice still works. We’d hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it does not. Meta descriptions (and meta keywords, for that matter) fell victim to abuse and have been deactivated as a major ranking factor.

Nowadays, Google has stated that it still wants marketers to use the meta description as a way to improve your click-through-rate (or CTR) rather than another area to write incredibly long-winded and robotic sounding keyword phrases.

4. Ranking is the Only Thing That Matters

SEOs refer to ranking as your placement on the SERP for relevant queries. If you type your store’s name into Google, you’d almost certainly be in the top spot. That means you rank first for that query.

When you hire an SEO company, they will almost certainly mention how they rank better than everyone else for keywords that you couldn’t dream on ranking. It’s a major selling point for a lot of companies.

But what if we told you that it wasn’t the end all be all? Or that most of the time, it doesn’t matter as much as other companies claim it to be?

Let’s pause for a moment and state that ranking is very important. You cannot just stop caring about ranking and hope to do well.

But ranking is not more important than generating leads. You need to be able to get back your ROI for your effort,  and as great as ranking is, you can’t sell a car purely by ranking high.

Ranking one spot higher for very specific, targeted keywords that produce sales is more important than ranking #1 on a keyword that has nothing to do with selling cars.

So be sure to check with your SEO team when they start lauding how well you’re ranking. There’s a chance it might not be for anything that is going to help you.

5. SEO is Set It and Forget It

One of the most common questions we receive about SEO regards its longevity. “Once you optimize our site”, some ask, “what else is there to do?”

Quite a lot, actually.

Fixing core website issues and optimizing are only the beginning of a well thought out SEO strategy. You still have to produce content to support your core pages, update content, work on generating backlinks for that content, and so much more.

Generally, a good SEO strategy will employ a “Fix It -> Enhance It -> Expand It” philosophy. The last step has no end; you will never have the “perfect” site. So if you’re serious about improving your SEO results, buckle up and be ready for the long haul.

 

We hope this article served you well! If you’d like to know more about SEO services, check out our sister company FZA Digital to find out how we can help your website today.