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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).

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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]

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Marketing, SEO

MetaLinkd Way: What are Redirects?

What are Redirects?

Every web page on the internet has a website address otherwise known as a URL. Content can be moved from one URL to another with a process called redirects. Redirects can go put content on one URL to any other URL they choose. Redirects come and various forms, for an example a 301 Redirect will redirect you from the website that you typed into your web browser to a different website’s homepage. For example, one of our clients owns two domain names for his practice. The .com and the .net version of his domain. So when you type into your browser, “” you will automatically get redirected to “”

Types of redirects

There are several ways of making a browser redirect the content on a URL. There are two types of redirects: server-side redirects and client-side redirects. Each of these can then be sub-divided into several types.

Server-side Redirects

These redirects are used on the server and will result in some content being sent to the browser.

301 Redirect

This is a permanent redirect used for when a page has moved to a different URL. Search engines follow redirects and will add the new URL to index. This is important for SEO purposes. Links that point to the old URL will then start to count towards the new URL, which is essential for search engine ranking.

302 Redirect

This is a temporary redirect for websites that need to be temporarily moved or for when the original URL should always be requested. This typically happens for redirects of websites that need to be altered in language or based off location. For SEO in this case the search engine will follow the redirect, but maintain the old URL in their index. It’s important to identify the difference between these two redirects especially for ranking purposes.

307 Redirect

Another variation of the 302 Redirect that will always be treated as a temporary URL by search engines. This means Browsers will never cache a 307 redirects. Search engines won’t follow 307 Redirects, because they are temporary. This will severely hurt your efforts to rank up a website if you have 307 redirect

308 Redirect

Least common redirect and it basically means, “follow this redirect and never go to the old URL again.” For SEO purposes it will rank for this new URL once redirected.

Client-Side Redirects

These redirects occur by a code being run in the browser of the user and then it redirects the browser to another URL. Since it is using a code this is a much slower process.

By: Matt Ventura

Understanding how to use redirects properly can be tough.  Tackling all other onsite SEO errors 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).


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).

Best SEO Rockville
Business, Design & Photography, Marketing, SEO, Social Media, Web Design

Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Just Jump Into Content Marketing

Facebook and Instagram are platforms with immensely under priced attention, a statement that is consistently made by the social media guru, Gary Vaynerchuk. What does he mean by this? Simply put, it’s a whole lot cheaper to run ads on these platforms vs print ads on magazines while still having equal, or sometimes more, reach to a targeted audience. So, it’s a given that all businesses should jump right in, right? I’ll be answering this throughout the post.

As a content creator myself, I stay pretty active on Instagram. I spend a considerable time observing the changes that are occurring on the platform, particularly on the type of content that’s being put out by business profiles.

More recently, I see a lot more ads from businesses on my story feed on Instagram. It’s great that businesses are starting to allocate their marketing budget to platforms that allow for more specified reach than something like cable/TV. However, the issue is that most of these ads are not targeted to the right audience and the content has been poorly put together.

In regards to content quality, I am not referring to the quality of the camera used for production. The cost of the camera is most definitely not part of the equation in effective content marketing on social media. For example, there are plenty of influencers that primarily use their iPhones that have far greater engagement with the audience than a car ad produced using the most expensive camera equipment with highly paid experts. Ouch.

One of the major components of effective content marketing is the brand story. People don’t buy MacBooks because of the features of the laptop. Technically speaking, MacBooks don’t have the best features compared to other high-performance laptops. It’s the story put together by Steve Jobs and his team that drives the fanatical behavior of Apple consumers.

While it’s understandable that small businesses are limited in their resources compared to Apple, it is still important to be conscious of their intent and strategy in content marketing before jumping into it. Otherwise, businesses will be throwing money down the drain with ads that have no ROI and putting a lot of time, effort, and resources to create content that doesn’t convert.

Here are 5 questions I typically ask my clients that are just starting their social media marketing efforts. (These are not in any specific order)

1. Is it necessary for my business to enter all social media platforms?

2. What is the primary purpose of entering the digital space through social media?

3. Will the content marketing efforts address a particular bottleneck within my business?

4. Who is my target audience and how do we produce the right form of content?

5. What story does my business want to tell through the content?

The primary reason as to why it’s important for businesses to answer these types of questions is that the lack of intent in the brand story creation results in the consumers creating the story for the brands. Although this may not entirely be a bad thing, things could definitely go the wrong way when you let the chains loose. For example, running hundreds of ads of images with charts and diagrams along with tons of text within the image (which are all bad practices for content focused on images) might trigger a sense of spamming from the consumer’s perspective.

Answering the questions presented above might also help you decide your business needs to start an Instagram page vs. a blog series on LinkedIn. There is no “one size fits all” bundle in building a proper strategy for brand building purposes, and not all businesses need to be on every social media platform.

Not all businesses will need an active Instagram page, and not all businesses should take the same approach to connect with their audience.

Hopefully, my points had you thinking about different aspects that need to be addressed before jumping on board unto all social media platforms.

By Isaac Jeong

Content marketing can be difficult. 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).