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Digesting The Meaning of EAT & YMYL

Digesting The Meaning of EAT & YMYL

If you’re a content creator or someone who tries to keep up with SEO, then you have most likely heard the term EAT & YMYL mentioned. You’ve also probably heard that Google is a fan of people who consider both of these principles when it comes to their websites and content.

First, let’s start with what EAT means, and then we can tackle YMYL. EAT stands for:

  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

But what does that mean for you and why is this so important? Let’s get to eatin ‘ (don’t hate me)!

Digesting The Meaning of EAT & YMYL

When Did EAT Begin?

EAT has always been a thing in the sense that all of these factors have always helped your site rank. What has changed is that Google presented EAT as an actual concept back in 2014 in that year’s edition of their Search Quality Guidelines. Meaning that this manner of ranking was no longer belief backed by agreed-upon ideas, but was formed into a concrete fact.

Who does EAT Affect?

Well, simply put, if you’re on the internet, then this affects YOU! Whether you’re a small nonprofit or one of Elon Musk’s newest ventures, you’ll be affected. In fact, if you are a small business or someone who is just beginning to build your own authority, then your site will be compared to the sites belonging to the leading authorities in your field. However, it’s important to note that the level of EAT you need to achieve in order to rank well varies by industry.

So say that I start to build a medical blog. My information will be compared to what the Mayo Clinic, CDC and WHO, and other leading experts that have to say on the subject, as medical information must go through rigorous checks from Google before they will allow you to rank. This makes sense, as misleading medical information can have disastrous consequences.

However, for a site that prides itself on having “the best knitting technique”, the requirements for EAT are much more lax, as the information contained in the article doesn’t directly impact people’s livelihoods. The higher the impact your content or industry has on people’s lives, the higher the bar is set for you to meet.

How Is EAT Determined?

The below graph breaks down how EAT is reviewed based on the size of your company; this example covers local business websites and blogs.

EAT Guidelines
Now let’s look at how medical sources are viewed when it comes to EAT.
EAT Graph explaining how sites our ranked
Medical Blogs Ranked by EAT
You can see that your authority plays a massive role in the content that you create. Now if you do create content with a medical aspect, then you will want to have either a certified medical professional writing and or signing off on your content, as this has an impact on your EAT rating:
A graph about how EAT effects Financial blogs.

Google is simply wanting to know why they and others should listen to you. Google’s highest priority is answering a user’s question, so they want to present the most accurate information to their users. Earlier we mentioned that certain industries have a higher standard to meet.

These industries, such as finances, law, health, and politics, are commonly grouped into a category known as YMYL.

What Is YMYL?

YMYL simply means “your money, your life”. To determine if you fall into YMYL, you need to ask yourself “can my content affect how someone handles their health, finances, and/or wellbeing?”. If yes, then you produce YMYL content. Some examples of YMYL industries are:

 

  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Finances
  • Shopping
  • Health & safety
  • News and current events
  • Law, civics, and government
  • Information about groups of people (religion, gender, ethnic origin, veterans)
A screen shot from Google about YMYL

Anything that is considered YMYL must have the highest quality of EAT since these forms of content can have an actual impact on someone’s life. Without any EAT, your content simply won’t rank.

So What Should I Do To Increase My EAT?

If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations! It’s time to get to work! So what can you do to focus on increasing your EAT? Let’s take a look!

Reply To Your Reviews

Google tells its search quality reviewers to check the reviews of a company to get a better understanding of how reputable the business is. It also says to check how the businesses reply to their reviews. So it’s safe to say that an easy step in building your EAT score is to simply reply to all of your reviews, positive and negative. This also helps potential leads decide if they want to go with your company or not.

Web Page Content

Make sure that your pages aren’t lacking content. One thing that can lead to a low EAT score is non-informational landing pages. Each page should have a purpose, a targeted keyword, and the purpose of that page should be clear to anyone who lands on it.

In addition to well optimized landing page, you also need to make sure that you have unique, relevant, and informative content. Don’t just repeat what your competitors are doing. You want to set yourself apart by the content you produce. 

You can do this by:

  • Staying up to date with industry updates.
  • Creating opinion pieces on industry news. 
  • Researching searcher intent & create content on what’s not being answered.
  • Don’t just create content around keywords, but create content for the reader.

EAT Works In Tandem With SEO

You can perform all the EAT improvements in the world but if you don’t have active and ongoing off-page SEO and on-page SEO then it’s all lost. It’s likely that when your website was created you had some initial SEO work done. However, with each core Google update, your website’s rankings are affected. If you’re not actively adjusting your SEO efforts to reflect the latest changes to the industry, your website’s rankings will suffer.

It’s In Your Hands Now

The fact that you made it this far proves that you care about your online image, your rank with Google, and that you want your business, nonprofit, or personal blog to succeed. It’s important to know that positive growth and change takes time.

So let’s look at what you can do:

 

  • Add an author or have your content reviewed by someone who is qualified to speak in your field & their credentials to appropriate pages and posts. 
  • Audit site content and remove any unnecessary content.
  • Locate and update any old content. 

You can make every positive change possible, but it will still take time to see the results flow in. Improving your rank and EAT ranking takes time, but by doing nothing, you’ll never see change. So don’t give up, stay positive and if you need help, feel free to contact us to see what can be done!

Understanding ADA Compliance: In Regards to Website Accessibility

Understanding ADA Compliance: In Regards to Website Accessibility

Understanding ADA Compliance: In Regards to Website Accessibility

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was first passed, the majority of Americans thought that the scope of the ADA would be limited to creating an inclusive environment in the physical world. Not too many people thought that the digital world would later be included in ADA compliance at the time of its creation.

The core purpose of ADA, however, is to guarantee that every American has the same access to brick and mortar companies, restaurants, parks, and information, and that includes digital information.

So the big question is: does your website provide access and information to all who want it?

Do all businesses have to be ADA compliant?

When it comes to exemption, an incredibly small number of businesses are actually exempt from following ADA compliance. Companies that have less than 14 or fewer employees and/or companies that only operate twenty weeks out of the year are exempt. On top of that, religious organizations are exempt as well.

Does my website have to be ADA compliant?

Yes, under federal law, all websites fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 2010, the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design went into effect. Under this act, the DOJ mandates all websites under the private and public sectors to be accessible to all Americans facing visible and invisible disorders.

What does ADA compliant mean for websites?

While the DOJ standards for online accessibility currently lack a clear outline, a few court cases such as Gil V. Winn-Dixie help paint a picture of what is required by the DOJ. Lawsuits over website accessibility have actually increased quite a bit in recent years. In 2018, 200 lawsuits were filed over the lack of accessibility in America; this marks a 177% increase from 2017. It’s safe to say that this number will only continue to increase as more Americans are working from home.

How Do I Make My Website ADA Compliant?

There’s a lot of approaches that you can take to achieve ADA compliance. Thankfully, a pretty comprehensive list, known as WCAG, has been created so that companies can achieve ADA compliance. Let’s look into some of the requirements below:

  • Provide ALT text to any and all audio and video content.
  • Add transcripts and/or captions for all audio and video content…
  • double check that your content is well defined with appropriate headings and well-structured paragraphs that flow easily.
  • Make sure that each page on your site has clear and informative titles.
  • Have an easy to navigate sitemap structure.
  • Have a consistent navigation menu present on every page.
  • Ensure your text and background can pass a contrast test.
  • Eliminate or reduce background sounds to under 20 decibels.
  • Get rid of any and all pop-ups.
  • Ensure the website content has a high readability score if possible.

While this list does not account for all of the possible accommodations, it does provide you with a good starting point. It’s important to implement these as soon as possible, either by doing this yourself or by reaching out to a third party that specializes in website accessibility.

Take Advantage of Free Tools

There are plenty of tools that exist that can be used to check the level of your website accessibility. You can click here for a comprehensive list of tools, but be aware that not all of these are free. Out of all of the free options, two of the widely preferred tools you can use to check your accessibility are:

Wave

Wave is able to identify and reveal any WCAG issues that can keep a user from accessing needed information. By directly highlighting these issues, you can easily see and correct any needed changes. It will also show you a report breaking down the information by category.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse is a great and easy to use Google Chrome plug-in that can quickly generate reports that show a variety of important information, including website accessibility. It’s important to note, however, that this plug-in only generates a report for whatever page you’re on, so you will need to generate a report for every page on your site to get a comprehensive picture of your website.

How much does it cost to make your website ADA compliant?

When it comes to website accessibility, the first step is obvious: ensuring your website is optimized and built in such a way that it’s easy to navigate. Whether you’re wanting someone to overhaul your site or simply wanting a new one, our team of web developers can help you achieve your goal and lay the groundwork for an ADA compliant website. Call RankMonsters at 405-605-8218 or contact us online for a ADA Compliant website quote!

The Impact Of Google My Business Posts In 2021

The Impact Of Google My Business Posts In 2021

The Impact Of Google My Business Posts In 2021

 

The world of marketing within Google is constantly evolving to provide the highest quality content for those looking for solutions to their problem and or trying to find a particular service. What worked last week may not have the same impact and what didn’t work so well last week may now be the go-to technique.

This is why it’s so important to get your message and content out in front of searchers at the right time and place. Google My Business is one of the ways Google gets that content out there. It’s an amazing tool, but are you using it to optimize your outreach?

 

What Is a Google My Business Post?

 

A Google My Business (GMB) post is a social post that will appear in local searches and on Google Maps. It should contain a photo, a few sentences explaining a service you provide, and end with a strong call to action. In the example above, you will see a “Learn More” button at the bottom of the post that will direct potential customers to a landing page on your website that will help answer their questions or provide an opportunity for a conversion. Other options include “Get Directions” or “Call Now” buttons.

These posts stay visible for seven days after posting, after which Google will view it as old content and not feature it. This is why it’s important to post a new listing every week and keep your GMB profile up to date at all times (not just your posts, but also your hours, address and contact info).

Doing all of this tells Google and your customers that your information is up to date and can be trusted. But not only does this show Google that you can be trusted; it also opens the door to local SEO.

Google My Business & Local SEO

When it comes to creating an image for your local business, you’re gonna need to invest in some local SEO. That’s the great thing about Google My Business: Google has created a simple and clean process for doing just that.

By doing everything mentioned above you create for yourself a local online image without having to pour time and money into marketing and branding.

 

If you look at the screenshot above you can use GMB postings to boost your online visbility. By simply taking care of your GMB profile, your company can pop up whenever someone is looking for a service you provide.

Competition

If you’re worried about competition on Google My Business, then I’ve got some great news: you may not have much.

 

As you can see, 40.4% of businesses are failing to utilize their GMB profile. 42.1% have made at least one post, and then we have 17.5% of companies that are keeping up with their profile on a regular basis. This data, courtesy of MOZ, shows it may be easier to outrank your competitors than you think.

Google’s Local 3-Pack

Another great perk to taking care of your GMB profile is that you can end up in Google’s Local 3-Pack. Not sure what that means? Well, when you end up searching for a particular item or service, Google will compile three businesses in your immediate area that provide just what you need, as shown below.

Google My Business

 

The great thing about this is that you don’t have to pour your money into paid advertising. The Local 3-Pack allows you to pop up above Google’s top ten ranking sites right beneath the paid ads.

In Summary

Every business owner wants to provide their services to as many people as they can, whether we are talking about the latest addition to your menu, the newest fashion trend, or providing medical or legal services to your local community. GMB posts are a great way to increase local visibility and boost your organic traffic.

When people respond positively to your post, it shows Google that you have relevant content that engages users. Over time, this technique, along with solid SEO practices, can allow your company to climb the Google rankings!

How RankMonsters Can Help

If you’re looking for help when it comes to local SEO or simply need help laying out an SEO strategy, RankMonsters can help with all of your SEO needs. Reach out today to learn more about our local citation services. Give us a call at 405.605.8218! We’d love to meet with you.

Google Makes the Switch To HTTPS Mandatory

Google Makes the Switch To HTTPS Mandatory

Take a quick look at your website’s URL. Do you see a little green lock and the word “Secure” next to it? If you do, congratulations – you’re on the right side of technology history. But if you don’t see that lock, you need to be aware of Google’s latest mandatory change. Starting in July 2018, Google will begin marking all sites that aren’t using HTTPS as “Not Secure.” Additionally, you could start to be penalized in organic rankings. So what do you need to do?

A Quick Primer on HTTP and HTTPS

For many years, HTTP – or HyperText Transfer Protocol – was the default way information was transmitted across the web. HTTP allows computers to talk to each other and share information in a standardized way. Any time you enter an address in your web browser, click on a link, or submit your password to a website, you’re actually making an HTTP request to another computer somewhere in the world. The content of your request, and the response you get from the other computer, determines what comes up on your screen.

The problem with this system is that it wasn’t built with the modern Internet in mind. Today, people do all kind of sensitive and personal things online. This includes transferring money, writing confidential emails, managing medical information and more. But HTTP doesn’t keep any of this information private. It’s possible to extract sensitive data like passwords, credit card details, and other personal info when you communicate with a website over HTTP.

This is the problem HTTPS solves. HTTPS – HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure – uses encryption to scramble information transmitted between computers over the Internet. When a website uses HTTPS, you can feel safe entering your password, financial details, or other personal information. Everything is protected at all points between your computer and the one you’re communicating with.

Google is pushing for more sites to use HTTPS to protect both standard users and websites. Additionally, HTTPS benefits you by allowing you to use new features on your website, like allowing users to take and send pictures directly or requesting a user’s location.

How Can I Get HTTPS on My Website?

To have your website marked as Secure, the first step is to purchase and install an SSL certificiate. SSL certificates are available from a wide range of vendors and authorities. However, finding a trustworthy one and installing it on your site can be complicated. You might not have much experience managing your website’s hosting and services. In this case we recommend reaching out to your webmaster or hosting provider for help.

After you have the certificate, you’ll also need to redirect your old, non-HTTPS website to your new secure site. You can use 301 Redirects on your site to automatically send visitors to secure pages. Setting up 301 redirects isn’t too complicated, but it can be time-consuming, especially on larger sites. Again, a good webmaster can help you handle this task and ensure your site is set up correctly.

How We Can Help

Alternatively, you can work with a dedicated partner like RankMonsters. At our agency, we provide website hosting, SSL certificate setup, and website optimization packages for all types of businesses and organizations. This includes setting up HTTPS, making sure all your pages are redirected, and keeping your site up-to-date and optimized. We can help your site manage the transition from HTTP to HTTPS smoothly and professionally. Plus, we’re always happy to answer questions and to help you get results.

If you want to learn more about helping your website perform better, contact RankMonsters today at (405) 605-8218. Or, you can fill out our form to request more information. We’re looking forward to helping you succeed online, so contact us today!

Understanding TechSoup for Nonprofits

Understanding TechSoup for Nonprofits

 TechSoup is an organization that partners with technology and service providers to grant opportunities to nonprofits online. They help nonprofits access special tools and services, such as technical assistance and discounts on computer programs and hardware. TechSoup has partnerships with companies like Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco and Symantec. Your TechSoup membership can be a valuable asset. Especially if you are trying to grow your nonprofit and save money on much-needed tools.

How To Apply

In order to apply for the special programs offered by Google, Microsoft and more; TechSoup provides NGO (non governmental organizations), validation services foundations, libraries, and other civil society organizations worldwide. These validation services allow TechSoup’s partners to know your organization is a legitimate nonprofit. In effect, TechSoup verifies your nonprofit status and makes it easier for you to access special nonprofit tools and offerings from their partners.

TechSoup and the Google for Nonprofits Program

One of the requirements for the Google for Nonprofits program is for your organization to have an active TechSoup membership. Google requires nonprofits to apply for TechSoup as a way of verifying your nonprofit status and identity. Once you are validated by TechSoup, you will be able to get a validation token that you will use on your Google for Nonprofits Membership application.

When you work with RankMonsters to apply for the Google for Nonprofits program, we will walk your organization through the enrollment process for TechSoup. This ensures your organization gets the required validation token that you need to apply for the Google for Nonprofits program and other online offerings.

TechSoup Benefits

Your TechSoup membership carries several benefits, including:

  • Discounts on useful software including Microsoft Windows, Adobe Creative Cloud, Intuit Quickbooks and more.
  • Refurbished desktop and laptop computers to help keep your organization connected and up-to-date.
  • Cloud services consultations to get your organization set up for future success online.
  • Dedicated IT assistance to help keep your nonprofit running smoothly.

TechSoup Eligibility

Most 501(c)(3) nonprofits are eligible for TechSoup. To check your organization’s eligibility you can visit the TechSoup website and take a short quiz about your nonprofit’s activities and budget. The eligibility for the programs and tools available to TechSoup members varies. You can check your eligibility for the various programs after your TechSoup enrollment is completed.

Want RankMonsters to Help?

RankMonsters can help your organization enroll in TechSoup, as well as other programs for nonprofits. Call (405) 605-8218 today to speak to one of our representatives today!

How Nonprofits Can Use Google’s New Text Message Ad Extension

How Nonprofits Can Use Google’s New Text Message Ad Extension

Recently Google announced a new extension for Adwords customers to use in text ads: click-to-message. Much like the popular click-to-call extension, the message extension is a mobile-only ad extension that allows people to directly contact you through your Adwords advertisements; without needing to visit your website.

The possibilities for the new messaging extension are huge. Especially for nonprofits hoping to connect with younger, mobile-savvy audiences. What makes this new extension so special? Keep reading to find out.

What Is the Message Extension?

The new click-to-message extension is one of many ad extensions that users can add to their text ads on Google’s Adwords advertising platform. There are several types of ad extensions. Including ones that add your business address to your ad or display multiple links to your site. However, they all have the same goal. Get more people to click on your ad.

The message extension works similarly to Google’s call extension. Underneath your ad will be an option to send a text message to get in touch with someone at your business. When a user clicks on this option, they will automatically be taken to their messaging app. Where they can send you a text as usual.

Organizations using the message extension also have the opportunity to write a “suggested” text for people who click on their ad. This text will automatically appear in the text entry field when the message app opens. Though users will be free to edit it as they wish. This suggested text can give you a good way to connect with potential clients before the conversation even begins by anticipating their needs, and focusing your message around them.

Why Is the Message Extension Good for Nonprofits?

Nonprofits stand in a position to make especially good use of the message extension. Some of the biggest ways the message extension benefits nonprofit organizations are:

Audience Reach

One of the biggest benefits of this extension is how it allows nonprofits to connect to a younger mobile-focused audience. For instance, a nonprofit pregnancy center focused on helping women in crisis pregnancies can use this extension to connect easily with teens and younger women, who are more likely to use a smartphone instead of a computer or laptop.

Convenience

Another benefit of this extension is convenience. With a call extension, you need to make sure someone is available to answer calls and talk to clients. In contrast, text messaging allows one person to handle several client conversations at once, and to respond to messages as they come in without worrying about putting people on hold.

Privacy

Text messages are also beneficial because many people are more comfortable with the relatively private and removed nature of text messages versus more intimate phone conversations. For clients requesting services or help from your organization, texting might be a more private and comfortable way for them to communicate.

Cost

Like all of Google’s ad extensions, the message extension doesn’t have any additional cost beyond a regular Adwords ad. That means if you’re already paying for Adwords – or if you make use of a Google Grant to get free advertising on the platform. You won’t see any additional costs from making use of this new feature.

Record Keeping

Finally, text messages have the benefit of creating an immediate record of all information in a conversation. With phone calls you have to be sure to have good record-keeping practices in place, but texts allow you to refer back to earlier messages easily. That means you can focus on the conversation itself rather than on taking notes.

How To Set Up the Message Extension

If you’re interested in setting up message extensions in your Adwords account, simply follow the steps outlined in Google’s Adwords Support Pages. If you need additional help or advice in setting up your message extension, or you don’t have an Adwords account yet, you can also contact us for help.

  • The phone number used for receiving text messages from clients must connect to your business or organization or to a representative of your organization. You can’t direct text messages to a third party or external service.
  • You must respond in a timely and appropriate manner – no excessive delays. Also, once someone texts you, that doesn’t give you license to send them promotional or unrelated text messages afterward.
  • Finally, you aren’t allowed to ask for any financial information or any government-issued identification data in text messages. If you want to take donations or get detailed data about your clients, you’ll need to talk over the phone or set up a secure system on your website.

Learn More About Nonprofit Advertising

If you want to use Adwords and other online advertising to help your organization succeed online, contact RankMonsters today. We specialize in working with 501(c)(3) organizations who want to reach more customers and clients online. Contact us today to learn about how your organization can make use of Adwords and qualify for a grant worth $10,000 per month in free advertising from Google.