metalinkd maryland seo
Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Marketing, Maryland SEO, Search engine optimization, SEO, Social Media

How Does Google Factor in SEO?

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization typically, referred to by its acronym SEO is a process of improving the ranking of a web page on search engine results pages (SERPs), thereby improving the quality and quantity of traffic to that particular web page organically. This statement has three aspects that you need to have in mind. If you are looking for more information on the basics of Search Engine Optimization, be sure to check out for more details on how digital marketing and SEO can be implemented into your marketing strategy. You can trust your faith into MetaLinkd SEO & Digital Marketing, the top Digital Marketing Agency in Rockville, MD and a up and coming Maryland SEO Company

The Underlying Goals Of SEO

The first underlying goal of SEO revolves around improving the quality of traffic, whereby you attract search engine users who are interested in your content, and, therefore, are interested in the products and services that you have on offer. To attract quality traffic, website owners need to write content that is highly specific for their niche, using the right set of keywords.
The second goal to SEO is attracting more people to your website. Researchers in the SEO industry have posited websites on the first page of Google attract a combined net traffic of around 95%. This is to say that the top 10 links that are displayed on SERPs will garner the vast majority of search engine users. Therefore, a goal of SEO is to rank among the top ten so as to increase the amount of traffic visiting the website in question.
The third goals, but by all means, the least important is optimizing a website for organic traffic. Typically, SERPs will display organic results along with ads to increase the number of people. The goal of SEO is to optimize a webpage to appear high among the organic results and no the paid ads links.

Implementing SEO

Optimizing your website to achieve the above goals involves tinkering with your website to meet Google’s search engine ranking factors. Ranking factors are the various aspects of a website, webpage, content, and hyperlink profile that allows Google to determine the rank of a webpage, with the ultimate goal of serving the best content to search engine users.
Although it hard to determine the precise number of, SEO researcher and experts postulate that there are over 200 ranking factors, with each factor having its own unique cluster weight. One of the most significant ranking factors that Google uses is the link profile (including domain-level links and page level links) a website has.
After all, Google’s PageRank algorithm is a hyperlink ranking algorithm, it makes for backlinks to play a big role in influencing one’s rank. Other ranking factors include keyword use and optimization, social metrics, quality of content (in terms of comprehensiveness, uniqueness, and readability), page load speed, security of the website (use of SSL Certificate), etc.
For SEO purposes, ranking factors are classified under on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is the variety of optimization activities that you can carry out on the website. This typically involves optimizing a website to make it accessible, useful, and relevant to users. It includes keyword research and optimization, ironing out technical issues in the website, improving user experience, and much more.
Off-page SEO, on the hand, is the variety of activities that you can do beyond outside the website to improve your website’s visibility, traffic, and reputation. This includes searching for high-quality backlinks and promoting your content.

Still looking for more information on Search Engine Optimization?

Check out this great beginner video on SEO by Ahrefs

Contact MetaLinkd SEO & Digital Marketing a Top Maryland SEO Company and schedule a free consultation to determine whether your website is helping or hurting you. Co-Founders Matt Ventura and Isaac Jeong will personally analyze your website and your SEO strategy. Fill out the discovery page to get the information you need to drive more traffic to your website.

If you would like to learn more useful SEO techniques check out our Google+ (Top Maryland SEO).

google my business optimization
Business, Marketing, maryland digital marketing agency, Maryland SEO, Search engine optimization, SEO

5 Points to Audit On Your Website for Successful SEO


Was SEO Done Correctly For Your Website?

Search Engine Optimization can go a long way for local businesses if done correctly. After all, about 70% of users on Google don’t go past the first three results. While the service can be valuable for many businesses, not all agencies deliver on the promise of ranking your business website on the top results.

In this post, I’m sharing 5 things that you could personally check to audit the agency’s work, especially if you have been with them for over 6 months without seeing any real result. A major caveat is that time required to rank terms is largely dependent on the competition of those keywords. If the agency is working to rank your business nationwide, it’s reasonable for it to take a year.

There is one tool that may be helpful called Ahrefs that many SEO agencies use that will let you see things under the hood. There is a free trial available. Although there is a limit on how much data you can get, it should be enough to get a gist of things.

We’ll start with the simple things and build into the more technical aspects as we go along.


  1. Keywords appear in the title and text of the home page

This is a very obvious point, but it is one of the powerful aspects that you can control. Google scans websites by reading the titles, text, and pictures and tries to generate an idea of what the website is about.

If you’re a dental clinic but don’t have the word dentist and your city anywhere on the home page, consider implementing this right away. Let’s say you’re a dentist in Bethesda. Your home page should include “dentist in Bethesda” in the title and at least once within the text.

One caveat is to not repeat the keywords multiple times on the home page. This was an archaic method of SEO in the earlier days, but it has no effect and could appear “spammy” to Google.


  1. Name, Address Phone numbers match on the website with the information available on Google

Another simple point, but it’s critical that these information match on Google. Let’s say it doesn’t match on Yelp. You can simply log in to Yelp and edit the information as necessary. Checking through every major business listings of your business can be tedious, but it is important that this is done correctly.

There are services available to take care of the edits for you. Bright Local is one that can do the job at an affordable price.


  1. Sitemap is available throughout the website.

Search for “sitemap” on your website by using the Ctrl+F function. Typically, this is found in the footer.

This is important for Google to see to understand how your website is structured. It helps Google read through the different pages of your website to create a better context.

If you don’t have this in place, instructions on how to do this vary depending on how your website was built. For WordPress users, you can follow this simple guide.


  1. Backlinks are relevant to your business and industry.

Now, we are getting into the technical aspects of SEO and our tool from Ahrefs will come in handy.

Backlinks, in short, can be described as the websites pointing to your business website. Google reads the context of each backlink, including the title, the text, images, and any other links associated to that source. This helps Google understand the context of your website and deliver to the appropriate search engine users.

Once you log in to Ahrefs, type in your website in the search bar.

On the left side, click “Backlinks” and it will show you all the ones that were detected by this tool.

Some questions you need to ask when auditing these backlinks include:

Are they relevant to my industry?

Are they relevant to my area or region of service?

Are they from reliable resources?

So if you’re a dental clinic, you should see several instances of “dentist” or “dental” throughout your list of backlink sources.

If you find that there are large numbers of websites that have no relevance to your business, that is a sign that proper SEO techniques are not being applied. Take a look at the dates to see if they happened during the time your agency started to service you.

While these may not necessarily be harmful and keep your site from ranking at the top, they definitely do not serve any good purpose.

Here is a great example of a dental clinic ranking well for their city, and we see that its backlinks are very much related to dentistry. This allows Google to understand that this is a dental related website located in Bethesda, MD.


  1. Anchor texts are relevant to your business and industry.

Using the same tool, click on Anchor Text on the left side of the website. Anchor texts are the words that are hyperlinked to point to your website. Similar to backlinks, they should be relevant to your business and the services you provide.

Here is a case of great anchor texts that are highly focused on a specific industry and location. Having a focused set of anchor texts allows Google to better understand the context of your website as well.

Another point to look out for is if there are any repeats that have no relation to your business. For example, “Nike Flynit Sale Sneaker” is seen repeatedly when your business serves auto repair services. These also don’t serve any good purpose for ranking your site to the top on Google.

One reason as to why this may have happened is that an archaic method of SEO is being implemented. The internet is growing every day, and Google changes its algorithm for the search engine to ensure it provides a quality experience for its users.


Final Notes

There are plenty of other aspects that need to be audited for a website to rank to the top, but these are the core pieces that I look for to help me built the best strategy going forward. Making your backlinks specific to your terms related to target keywords will do wonders in helping your site rank. If you are interested in receiving an SEO audit for your business website, sign up below![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_custom_heading text=”Free SEO Audit” google_fonts=”font_family:Hind%3A300%2Cregular%2C500%2C600%2C700|font_style:500%20bold%20regular%3A500%3Anormal”][gravityform id=”5″ title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”false”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Are Facebook Ads worth Digital Marketing
Facebook Ads, Marketing, maryland digital marketing agency, Social Media

Facebook Ad Pricing: Is it worth it?

Are Facebook Ads Worth It?

Local businesses depend on local advertising to get the word out about their business. This could include local radio shows, local newspaper, and billboards. These methods of advertising have been around for decades, and it had definitely been the prominent method of advertising before digital marketing became available.

While these methods could still work for your business, the main concern that I have as a digital marketer is there is no method of tracking the performance of these ads. Yes, the business will see if it worked by one metric: the final sale. Because there is a limitation on the metrics that are tracked, there is a huge limitation on understanding what works best for the local demographic and the brand of the business.

Before we get too deep into the discussion, we can briefly go over the pricing of different forms of ads.


Traditional Advertising Method Pricing

Rates for advertising can vary depending on the population of your local area and the advertising agencies that are offering them. We will take Gaithersburg, MD as an example, which has a population of about 67,000 people.

*These numbers could vary as rates may have changed since it was last reported*

According to, local newspaper ads in the Kensington Gazette can cost about $28 per column inch with an estimated audience of 7,000 readers. So, a 4-inch by 10-inch column ad may cost $1120. This isn’t considering the cost for the time period you want and the cost of potentially hiring a copywriter and designer.

As for billboard advertising, this can vary depending on the size and the exact location of the billboard. While there aren’t any pricing available to view online in this particular area, it can likely cost over $1000 for a 4-week period.

Radio advertising is estimated to cost $396 for a 30-second spot on the WASH-FM radio that covers the DMV area. Pricing could vary depending on the time slot and length of time it runs on the radio channel.


How Far Can Facebook Ads Go?

Pricing on Facebook ads can vary depending on the chosen settings for the ad campaigns. Running an ad campaign under the objective of “Reach” can be significantly cheaper than “Conversions” if you are simply looking to reach as many people as possible. If you don’t know what I’m referring to here, just know that different settings on Facebook Ads have different costs.

Within the DMV area, $10 could reach close to 5000 people, so with a $1000, you could potentially reach the entire population of Gaithersburg many times over. BUT, this wouldn’t necessarily mean that there were any significant conversions for your campaign goals.

The return in conversions you get from these Facebook Ads depends on various factors including the targeting, the copy of the ad, and the picture or video that was used.

The biggest advantage to Facebook Ad marketing compared to the traditional methods is that you have complete control over how that $1000 is spent throughout the way. You can stop ads that aren’t working at any time, and readjust as needed to improve the performance. You have direct control over the voice of the content that’s being pushed. You can even retarget the people that have shown some interest in your ad. Plus, you can interact with the people that engaged with your ads.

In the traditional methods mentioned above, you pay a single time upfront and the rest is a mystery. You have no way to adjust your ads, no metrics to tell you how it can be improved, and no qualitative and quantitative feedback to tell you if it worked at all in the end.


Will it work better than traditional methods?

The answer to this question largely depends on the quality of the content, the targeting, and various other factors that may be out of your control.

If you have tried Facebook Ads but failed to see any significant result, this should not be a sign to claim that it will not work for you. Part of the process is testing and iterating different aspects of your ad campaign to continuously refine the ads.

There are plenty of businesses that were entirely built through social media marketing, which shows the potential for many forms of businesses to leverage this opportunity.


Final Notes

The core of any form of marketing is understanding how people communicate in the modern age and where they spend most of their time. In the past when most eyes were glued to TV screens or ears to radio speakers, it made sense to place ads on those platforms because it attracted a lot of attention. A lot has shifted since then, so shifting our methods of communicating with the masses makes perfect sense.

The pricing on Facebook Ad marketing is not here to stay as it is. As more and more companies will begin to understand the value of this tool, the market will compete to have their ads in front of their target audience. If you are looking for a Digital Marketing Expert be sure to check out to learn more about how digital marketing can take your business to the next level. 


Contact MetaLinkd SEO & Digital Marketing a Top Maryland SEO Company and schedule a free consultation to determine whether your website is helping or hurting you. Co-Founders Matt Ventura and Isaac Jeong will personally analyze your website and your SEO strategy. Fill out the discovery page to get the information you need to drive more traffic to your website.

If you would like to learn more useful SEO techniques check out our Google+ (Top Maryland SEO).

brand importance
Business, Design & Photography, Lifestyle & Hobby, Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Web Design

Building Your Brand: A Guide for New Businesses

Why Building A Brand Is So Important For New Businesses

When you are looking to build a business, one of the most important things that you are going to want to focus on is building out your brand. Building a brand is essential for new businesses in order to effectively establish themselves in the marketplace. Without building a brand, you are essentially putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage among the competition. After all, it is very likely that your competition is actively working to build and establish their own brand. Because of this, you want to focus on brand building strategies and techniques that will allow you to dominate the marketplace. Below, we will discuss some of the reasons why you want to build a brand and some effective strategies that you can use to do so.

Why Building A Brand Is Essential:

1. Pricing.

One of the biggest reasons building a brand is essential for any business is because it can help you establish better pricing. A lot of businesses make the mistake of not effectively building out a brand which can have a negative impact on positioning within the marketplace which can alter the pricing that you are able to establish with your brand. Because of this, your business might be forced to compete based on price alone with your competition which is typically a race to the bottom. You never want to force your business to compete with pricing alone. The best way to do this is through proper branding techniques and strategies.

2. Awareness.

Another good reason you are going to want to be sure to focus on brand building efforts is that it can help generate awareness for your business, products, and services. Because of this, you will be able to reduce the amount of money that you are forced to spend on marketing and advertising. Once you generate a good amount of awareness, you will be able to drive traffic much easier to your website which can have a compounding effect on your business as a whole.

3. Loyalty.

One of the biggest reasons you should be building a brand is to establish brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is a very powerful tool that you can leverage. By building out a brand that people love, you will be able to generate sales through your loyal following. This alone can really propel your business to new heights.

As you can see, building out a brand is essential if you are just getting started in the marketplace. Now that we have gone over some of the reasons you are going to want to be sure to build out a strong brand, we will discuss some of the key brand building tips that you will want to implement.

Brand Building Tips:

1. Social Media.

Social media should be at the forefront of your branding strategy. Social media has changed the game for marketers. Because you are able to effectively communicate with your prospective customers and target market like never before, it is a great way to establish authority in a niche, make connections, offer value to your audience, and more. This alone is a great way to build a successful brand and a lot of businesses utilize this strategy alone.

2. Consistency.

Another thing that you are going to want to focus on when you are building out a brand is consistency. You want everything to be consistent. Not only your brand message, but you should be consistent with material quality, pricing, design, and more.

Overall, there are a lot of different things that you can do to build out a successful brand. By following the tips above, you should be able to do so effectively.


By: Matt Ventura

Brand Management can be tough.  Developing strategies to marke your brand and grow it in a positive manner can be difficult. In that case, you will probably need the service of an SEO expert.

Contact MetaLinkd SEO & Digital Marketing ( and schedule a free consultation to determine whether your website is helping or hurting you. Co-Founders Matt Ventura and Isaac Jeong will personally analyze your website and your SEO strategy. Fill out the discovery page to get the information you need to drive more traffic to your website.

If you would like to learn more useful SEO techniques check out our Google+ (Top Maryland SEO).

Business, Marketing, SEO, Voice Search

Tips for Ranking higher in “Near Me” Searches

“Near me” Searches?

“Near me” searches have increased by over 130% within the past couple of years. It’s almost a natural instinct for society to search things like, “Auto Repair Shop Near me” or “Coffee Shop Near Me” to find services that are most convenient to them, So as business owners it’s important to capitalize on society’s tendencies. Now you’re probably wondering how to rank higher on near me searches? Well by following these steps you’ll be able to be on the same playing field as big brand companies like Goodyear or Starbucks.

Tips for Ranking Higher in “Near Me” Searches

Update Your Google My Business(GMB) Listing!

Google My Business is an important tool for Local SEO. I see a lot of companies that don’t take advantage of this feature by Google. By filling this out accurately consumers will have accessible information to the companies address, phone number, hours of operation, popular times and even directions from their location. Not only that, but by filling this out fully it helps Google identify your listing which will help with the ranking process.

Make sure you take the time to upload unique information. Use this checklist to avoid mistakes:

  • Custom profile image used instead of stock photos
  • Display name matches listed name
  • URL does not get redirected
  • Characters are not all capitalized
  • Legal terms, like LLC and Inc. are omitted
  • P.O. box and mailbox identification numbers are not included
  • No 1-800 numbers are listed
  • Local number featured instead of toll-free number
  • Business is verified with Google
  • Business has minimum of five Google reviews

Have your Customer Feedback Visible with Reviews

Over 60% of people trust reviews on websites like Yelp for destinations they have never been to. It’s common sense that a successful business wants to have great reviews, but did you know having customer reviews is one of the most influential factors to impact near me searches? This means an emphasis on getting regulars to leave a review for your establishment will help in the ranking process for Google and “near me” searches. Google makes it easy for customers to review a business. They simply have to open Google Maps, find your business, select “write a review,” and score it out of five stars.

By having more positive reviews not only on a rating of five stars, but by leaving meaningful and quality reviews will have a positive effect on the local search. This is especially true on Google Reviews, because Google has a greater emphasis on Google Reviews rather than other websites such as Yelp. So it is possible to rank higher than other business on local search if they have a high amount of Yelp reviews, but lack in Google Reviews.


Make sure the Business Name, Address & Phone Number (NAP) are clearly visible

Speed and efficiency is a top quality for Google. In order to optimize your site for local search it’s important to display the Business Name, Address & Phone Number on every page of the website. Not only is this essential for Google, but consider this in a consumer approach… By having the NAP readily available and easy to find the consumer is more likely to remember the establishment. Use schema markup for this information as well. For example, the schema markup for a local business in LA, Los Angeles SEO Services, includes data, like its address, region, postal code, and country.


Optimize Photos For Location

With social media being such a powerful tool by optimizing photos to include the location will significantly effect the presence of the business in “Near Me” searches.


Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

With over 70% of searches being via mobile device, it’s important to have your website optimized for mobile devices. That includes such things as the website speed, having a search bar, NAP is easily identifiable and just making sure that the transition from the website views on a desktop device to mobile scales correctly.


Get Backlinks with Geographic Anchor Text

Another factor that influences near me search results is the number of backlinks to your site that include the city name in the anchor text of the link, according to a study from Local SEO Guide. Ex. Virginia Beach’s Top Eats would be a great anchor text for a restaurant trying to rank in Virginia Beach.

A site that links back to you and includes your business’ state and city in the anchor text can be very advantageous. Google analyzes these backlinks to check your business’ authority, similar to the algorithms they use for global search.

For SEO, this also means that acquiring good backlinks may be even more important than we previously thought.


By: Matt Ventura

“Near Me” Searches can be difficult to rank for. Ensuring the correct digital marketing strategies have been implemented for content marketing can be even more difficult. In that case, you will probably need the service of an SEO expert.

Contact MetaLinkd SEO & Digital Marketing ( and schedule a free consultation to determine whether your website is helping or hurting you. Co-Founders Matt Ventura and Isaac Jeong will personally analyze your website and your SEO strategy. Fill out the discovery page to get the information you need to drive more traffic to your website.

If you would like to learn more useful SEO techniques check out our Google+ (Top Rockville SEO Expert).