Updated: Jan 31, 2023
It's so easy to waste time and money on a blunt approach to SEO. The keywords you worked so hard to find even just a few months ago might now be missing the mark because you're not using linguistics. Gone are the days you could find the right keywords and then wait for them to pay off. Things have changed. Google is smarter at understanding how people search, but so is your competition.
Even the best keyword isn't working hard enough for you if it's not in the right context. For example, how many useless results will you get from the keyword "glasses" if you sell eyewear instead of restaurant supplies? How much you paid to find your keywords or how often you use them won't reduce the poor performance in organic search results or search engine rankings.
Are these the right words but in the wrong order? Maybe. Trying to understand what someone is saying when they're standing in front of you can be challenging enough, let alone when they're writing it in a search bar/box/field.
As beautiful as it is, English can be confounding. In fact, it's widely recognized as one of the most complicated languages to learn – and that's right here in the United States. Different cultures, regions, and age groups all use English, or shall we say American, in their own particular way.
Not only are the words important, but also the context of those words. Of course, we all expect others to understand what we mean -- often with embarrassing and humorous consequences.
A "fanny" pack in the UK is NOT at all the same as a "fanny pack" in the USA.
"Pant" is not necessarily the singular form of "pants"
"Bats" in your garage might or might not require pest control
That's "cold," is not always a comment about the temperature
Asking someone to "crack" the window doesn't usually result in a window "crack"
The phrase husband "misses" wife, doesn't always mean he was emotionally "close" to his spouse
It's embarrassing to admit, but I was in the habit of using the accuracy and precision of the words interchangeably until someone showed me these diagrams. Before this, I assumed they meant the same thing. I didn't realize that many people consider them to be quite different, and rightly so. Except, I'm not the only one who should have known better. And that's the point.
When it comes to search, there is no grammar class right or wrong. There is no final arbiter or dictionary definition to rely on. It's all about depending on the keywords the way your specific audience understands them and uses them in search queries.
Keywords you might consider as "natural" language with an obvious meaning are often not at all natural nor obvious to others. And this can contribute to a frustrating user experience. Long-tail keywords can help you define your audience and goals more effectively.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO can be complicated. Thankfully, the field of linguistics deals with the advanced study of language. It helps us uncover the many factors involved in how a specific word is understood and used by others. Unfortunately, these factors can become pitfalls if you're not aware of them or how to use them.
The wrong morphology, an awkward syntax, poor semantics, or an unfamiliar context can turn into ferocious lions and tigers and bears online. With linguistics, we can navigate the most effective path around the pitfalls to find the people we want to find us.
Simply put, Search Linguistics combines what we know about language with how search engines work. In everyday conversation, the occasional misinterpretation or misuse of a word or phrase can be considered a minor faux pas or even a charming quirk. Not so when it comes to all the time and money spent on keyword research.
Search Linguistics gives us the tools to understand better the many aspects of how even simple words are used. You can then apply this knowledge to your entire SEO strategy, whether it's for your on-page SEO or off-page SEO. Working on SEO without linguistics is like taking a shot in the dark at your target and that should never be considered when looking at the cost of SEO optimization. With Search Linguistics, SEO is like using laser-assisted target sighting to score a bullseye every time.
The easy way
The easy way is to ask whoever is managing your SEO to explain how linguistics is being used to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your plan. If they can't show you examples or they can't explain it to you in simple terms you can understand, it's time to look elsewhere for your SEO.
The hard way -- NERD ALERT
To be clear, in this context, NERD is one of the highest compliments you can pay to the elite few who understand the following terms. The rest of you should really go back to the easy way or click here.
Phonology (spoken word) and graphology (handwriting). This covers the unique way we make sounds when we speak and how we shape and connect the letters of our handwriting. This has the least amount of effect on SEO strategy, and is primarily for voice search.
Morphology is the study of morphemes. These are the shortest units in a language, and they can transform the grammatical designation of a word. For example, the word "ball" can be changed from a noun to a verb.
Syntax is the branch of linguistics that deals with the order of words or phrases that create clear, well-formed sentences.
Semantics is the study of meanings. Often the meaning of words changes over time. These are explored by way of historical linguistics.
Historical linguistics is also used to study the pre-history of languages and how they are related. If you'd like a quick and humorous demonstration, ask a teenager what cool means to them and compare it to what it meant to you at your age.
Computational linguistics describes text-to-speech TTS synthesizers, speech recognition, instant machine translation, interactive voice response systems, and it is used to help Chat Bots pass the Turing test.
These are just some aspects of what Search Linguistics involves, and its effects on search should be apparent. It has tremendous potential to impact almost every aspect of search. A perfunctory application of Search Linguistics to simply check the box might fool you into thinking your efforts are up to date, but it won't even begin to mine the benefits available. Instead, seek out a fundamental understanding of how linguistics can help you truly optimize search.
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Hail to the new king of business listings. Far from a Shakespearean tragedy, the free Google Business Profile is great news for your business. And, you can start taking advantage of the improvements immediately. As we move forward into 2022, Google will add more options for you to manage your business whether you operate a single or multi-location business.
Up to now, things have been less than perfect with Google MyBusiness. In the real world, trying to message with customers was a little confusing. Google Business Profile will change all of that. Google recommends small businesses manage their profile directly on Google search and maps. Multi-location businesses can use the Google Business Profile Dashboard. Either or, when people search for your business name you’ll be able to offer up the latest updated information quite easily. Store hours, phone number, address details, photos as well as other key facts will be up to date.
“Moving forward, we recommend small businesses manage their profiles directly on Search or Maps. To keep things simple, “Google My Business” is being renamed “Google Business Profile. And in 2022, we’ll retire the Google My Business app so more merchants can take advantage of the upgraded experience on Search and Maps,” was stated in the official announcement by Matt Madrigal, the Vice President and General Manager Merchant Shopping.
So, what does all this mean?
It’s easier to claim and verify your profile
With Google Business Profile you’ll easily be able to search your business by name. When you do, you will notice an option to both verify and claim the pertinent Business Profile. You really couldn’t do this before. After you have verified your business, you can easily change the key information for your business, ie. store hours, address any photos you might have, and other important information. This makes it easier for your customer to find you especially if any of this information has changed in the recent past.
Additionally, customer messaging will be coming directly to Search. Maps were previously the only option for this. You’ll also be able to respond to reviews.
Some of you may remember, late last year, you could use Google Maps mobile apps to reply to messages. This could be accomplished in the “Updates” tab. Soon you’ll be able to do this using desktop web when you tap on the “Customers” menu.
A call history option will be eventually added so you can see for yourself which inbound customer calls came from your Business Profile on Google. Total answered calls, missed call count, history and performance will be captured so that you have more visibility into what’s happening with your business.
Why Local SEO works better with Google Business Profiles
Ranking higher on Google is the goal with your Local SEO strategies and one of the best ways to do so is by claiming, verifying, and optimizing your business on Google Business Profile.
That’s only the first step. When you frequently check and update your Business Profile with new information makes everything work harder for you.
According to Ipsos Research, here’s how optimizing your Google Business Profile benefits your business:
2.7x more likely to be seen as reputable
Acquire 7x the number of clicks
70% more likely to convert to a purchase
If you’re a multi-location business –
The best way to manage your profiles is directly through the Business Profile Manager Dashboard.
Either you or the agency working for you can accomplish this.
If you’re a single location business –
The best way to manage your profile is directly from Search or the Google Maps App. Just go to the place you probably have open most of the day – your search engine. Search for your business name and the correct web page will come up.
As new developments are announced, RedBear will keep you in the know.
“Protect your passwords.” Although you’ve heard it a hundred times, maintaining secure passwords is still the Golden Rule to protect against a data breach. As simple as this is to follow, this Golden Rule is often ignored, bent, or broken and hackers and scammers know it. Countless attacks that cost American small businesses millions of dollars are a result of lax password security. Often, victims are completely embarrassed when successful attacks are investigated.
Strong passwords, unique passwords, and multi-factor authentication are only part of the story. Take the next few minutes to read over the security measures in this article to test your knowledge. You may be in for a surprise or two.
No matter how sophisticated your security systems are, hackers and scammers attack the weakest point. Sometimes, that’s your people. Companies who build a “security culture” make thorough, consistent, and engaging efforts to make their people aware of just how important they, themselves are to the security of the company and its data assets. They invest in support teams to educate, train and remind staff of what’s on the line and how it’s everyone’s job to keep the company safe from hackers and scammers.
By now, we’ve all heard multiple warnings about receiving a fraudulent email that requests your username and password. These warnings have been around quite a long time. Generally speaking, people are vigilant and know not to respond to suspicious-looking emails. This is Phishing and it’s still a common form of attack.
Vishing is less common and because of it, perhaps more dangerous. Vishing or voice phishing involves a fraudulent phone call from a completely innocent-sounding person who tricks you into giving up important personal and security information. It could be a phone call from someone who introduces himself or herself as a member of the security team hired to consult on the company’s hosting security protocols, or it might be someone who charmingly introduces themselves as an important client who just needs a little help.
Kevin Mitnick really exploited these sorts of techniques of vishing to effectively evade the FBI for years. These people are excellent at building rapport and making you think their intentions are harmless for the sole purpose of exploiting information they can use later. Mentioning manager’s names, posing as other departments, is the most common form of security breakdown in the workplace.
Ask yourself this question: How many people at your company would refuse to help someone who calls from the company that operates your offsite web server? How about someone posing as a senior manager from the cloud hosting team and who just wants to let your employee know they are doing something incorrectly when entering their password?
If you have the opportunity when building your organization, begin with security near the very top of your list. It will cost you a lot less in the long run. Ask yourself, “Which option is most secure?”, whether you’re deciding between site builders, hosting options, content management approaches, or even website design. It’s always better to start your foundation with solid security than it is trying to scramble after a data breach.
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif., July 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Having worked with clients such as Land Rover, Jaguar, Southwest Airlines, Best Buy, Shell, Invisalign, and now UCI Health. It's fitting that Redbear was awarded Emmys® for producers PJ Haarsma and Drew Lewis on their latest commercial "Journey" for UCI Health at the Pacific Southwest Chapter Awards show on June 4th, 2021.
"I have won a few awards in my 30+ years of working in film and production but an Emmy® award feels special," says Redbear Films Co-Owner and Executive Producer, PJ Haarsma. "I couldn't be more proud to bring the award home to my family and to the entire Redbear team."
Redbear has grown in recent years from a photography and commercial production company to a hybrid agency that has verticals not only in production but digital marketing, TV production (Con Man), publishing (The Softwire), and original content (Retro Replay).
"Imagine if JJ Abrams' Bad Robot had a baby with Gary Vanychuck's Vaynermedia...that's Redbear." Says Head of Content and Co-Owner of Redbear, Drew Lewis. "Every day we're doing something crazy and fun here at Redbear so winning an Emmy® feels like justification for all the long hours and sleepless nights."
Redbear is currently focused on its 4 verticals - marketing, original content, TV & film, and publishing. This summer Redbear marketing will be launching a rebrand for ONE® Condoms and producing a commercial for Fruit of the Loom.
Its TV division is currently in development for the TV series Ohana set in Hawaii. While the ever-popular show Retro Replay headlines their original content play. This will be Redbear's 5th Emmy® nomination and first win in 5 years.
Let's go back to when having a website was a luxury. Businesses would hire web designers and graphic designers to create beautiful websites only to serve as a validation tool. With little to no competition, businesses had to do the bare minimum to rank on search results.
But along the web design time travel, Google was born, content management systems launched, and internet speeds increased. Bloggers created WordPress sites to take advantage of the easy drag and drop editor. They didn't have to depend on the IT department to blog or share the content anymore.
Then we entered the mobile revolution and social media, and the focus went from web creation to web customization. In the following years, maintaining an online presence & digital marketing became only a part of a huge puzzle.
Businesses now have to outshine the competition and also capture the attention of easily distracted users. Businesses with online stores face unique challenges like making changes in real-time. Discussions about open source resources complicate things further and there's also a constant threat of cyber-attacks and so on.
With the new challenges companies face at the digital frontier, testing has become an important part of a successful website. Testing your website:
Here are five tools we recommend to test your site
Your site will go through many different changes throughout its life cycle. These changes will alter some technical, off-page, and on-page SEO aspects. Periodic website audits can help ensure your site is in good operational standing – and that's where tools like SEMrush come in handy.
The SEMrush site audit tool can scan your site for 130+ technical and SEO issues. It provides in-depth information that helps you make changes and improvements that can improve your site's performance. With SEMrush, you'll:
GTMetrix is a web performance analytics tool that analyzes site performance and page load times and provides a list of actionable recommendations to improve it. The tool can help you develop a faster, more efficient, and all-around improved site experience for your users. With GTMetrix, you can:
It does the same job as Google's Page Speed Insights (PSI). However, GTMetrix has seven regional test servers while PSI is geolocated. PSI uses emulated browsers that are complex and outdated. It also uses a real browser for browser testing, providing a better indication of your site's performance.
Search Console is designed to ensure your site's search engines are unharmed and that you do not have errors that hurt your rankings. With Google Search Console, you can easily track and resolve site load issues, server errors, and security issues like malware and hacking. You can also streamline any site adjustments and maintenance with regard to Google search results.
Google provides website reports that can help you ensure your site is not penalized for violating rules and that it's error-free, fast, and optimized for mobile devices. With Search Console, you can:
As mentioned earlier, Google PageSpeed Insights (PSI) does the same work as GTMetrix save for subtle differences. These are two very powerful tools that let you measure your web pages' performance and get suggestions on how to enhance the page's accessibility, performance, and SEO.
PSI helps you fix issues that slow down your web applications. It collects and returns data from an open-source tool called Lighthouse and real-world data from Chrome User Experience Report. The result is a score that summarizes the performance and a series of suggestions. Google PageSpeed lets you audit:
Sites with structured data get higher click-through rates and conversions. Tools like Google's Structured Data Testing Tool offer an effective way to test your structured data and whether or not your code is correctly implemented. You can use the tool to validate Microdata, RDFa, and JSON-LD formats and implement schema on your site. The tool will also detect any errors present in the code.
Although Google is shutting down this tool, you could still access it for an undefined period. Google recommends users to run their tests through the Rich Results Test tool. With this tool, you'll be able to:
The Rich Results Test tool offers even better features that:
Some of these tools may seem daunting, but any decent web admin should be using some if not all of these tools when examing the health of your website.
Google My Business (GMB) is a free, multi-featured business listing that businesses can use to manage their presence on Google Maps and Google Search. Thanks to its wealth of functions and features, GMB is now considered a core part of local search engine optimization. Statistics show that around 49% of businesses listed on GMB get over 1,000 views on search every month. 33% get 1,000+ views on Maps.
Visibility is one of the greatest benefits of GMB listing. Google gets about 3.5 billion searches every day. Of this number, 46% have a local intent. Even more interesting is the fact that 88% of searches for local businesses on phones either visit or call the business within 24 hours.
As a business owner, creating a GMB listing increases your chances of listing higher up on search results.
Customers use GMB for a host of reasons, including to:
To set up your Google My Business account, you’ll first need to open a Google Account:
Once you’ve officially verified your listings, it’s time to optimize your GMB. Here’s how.
Tap into the power of GMB reviews
Most consumers use reviews to make informed buying decisions. According to the latest online review statistics, 93% of customers read reviews before visiting a business, and 88% say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. With Google being the leading search engine, companies with Google My Business reviews will likely collect more clicks and conversions than those without.
The good thing about Google My Business is it allows users to review and leave feedback for others to view. Many prospects trust GMB reviews because they are testimonies of actual customers who are not affiliated with the business. Positive reviews and star ratings give your business credibility and help impact purchasing decisions. The negative ones give you valuable insights into the things you need to change. Most importantly, reviews give you a platform to impress your prospects. Each time you respond to reviews and answer questions, you show them you care.
GMB plays a big role in helping businesses appear at the top of search within Google's Local 3-Pack. The 3-Pack is a block of listing that appears below the map in search results. As the name suggests, it’s a pack of three businesses, each displaying vital business information like:
The Local 3-Pack appears when someone searches with local intent. For instance, if we search for senior homes in California, we’ll get something like this:
All these businesses show up in the result because they have a GMB listing. Google pulls the reviews and NAP details from the business’s Google My Business listing. The fact that a business appears at the top of the search makes GMB a critical tool.
Note: You do NOT want outdated or incorrect information about your business floating around the internet. Always keep your brand name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistent across all platforms to ensure uniformity.
Google Ads are an excellent way for business people to advertise a business and compete against well-established companies. However, they can be costly. On the other hand, organic ranking is great but takes time. A GMB listing provides fast and free advertising on Google. With it, businesses can target local users without paying a dime. It costs nothing to create, claim and verify your listing. Profile optimization is also fast.
GMB listing puts brands in front of a large audience and gives prospects easy access to the website, direction, contacts, and business hours, all at no cost. Google shows that brands are 70% more likely to attract location visits from search. An even more impressive is that users who find a brand through their GMB listing are 50% more likely to buy.
Google My Business has a messaging feature that lets you communicate directly with customers. Activate it to communicate one-on-one with your customers, fielding comments, answering questions, and increasing loyalty. By activating this feature, you unlock the option for clients to ask a question through SMS from your GMB listing.
Note: Google calculates and displays the response time on your listing. Respond quickly to questions and inquiries to show your clients that you’re active and readily available to offer help.
The message feature promotes a closer connection between you and your customers. It gives the impression that you’re transparent, which can increase credibility and sales. Besides, 90% of business leads prefer text messages to a phone call, so it’s a great opportunity to impress.
The Create Post feature lets you share insightful content about your company. At a minimum, each Google My Business post features a text, image, and a clear call-to-action. Leverage this feature to inform your clients about offers, events, what’s new, and products or services. And as of spring 2020, Google my business is also providing the COVID-19 update tab where you can update your modified service options (like free delivery, takeaway only, curbside pickup, etc.), operation hours, and other relevant social distancing measures.
Measure the impact of your GMB listing with GMB insights. This built-in tool can help you understand user behavior for better deliverability. It shows you:
Google also lets you compare your user-generated content, like free photos, against your competitors. You can track your gallery’s image views and benchmark them against peers in your industry. With such information at hand, you’re able to monitor your clients’ conversion path and gain a complete understanding of their actions before reaching your site.
The category feature on GMB allows you to provide information to help Google understand your business’s core. This way, it can surface your GMB listing for the most relevant search terms. You can also add more details of your business type and solutions, especially if some of your offerings are outside of the normal offerings of your primary category.
The description feature lets you share precise brand details so that anyone who searches for your business gets a glimpse of what you’re about quickly. Ensure the description is accurate, helpful, and honest so as not to mislead customers.
Businesses with more GMB images appear in more discovery and direct searches. Recent research by BrightLocal shows that businesses with over 100 images get 1,065% more website clicks, 2,717% more direct requests, and 520% more calls than the average business. They also get more views on search and views on maps. Take advantage of the photo feature to add as many high-res images of your business as you can. This will help tell the story of your brand and communicate your value. Users share images too, but you want to monitor what they upload and ensure they are relevant.
Google announced the latest iteration of its web analytics platform, Google Analytics 4. This iteration has machine learning at its core to automatically deliver relevant insights. It does everything from providing better predictions to tracking user journeys across platforms and devices. The ability to provide better reporting in the age of third-party cookie policies is a big reason Google Analytics 4 is a game-changer.
But there’s more.
Google Analytics 4 or GA4 is the latest tracking platform released by Google. According to Google, GA4 is a new kind of property with different reports than what you’re used to seeing in their Universal Analytics property. GA4 offers out-of-the-box event tracking, web and mobile analytics under one roof, and improved measurement of time-based actions.
Why is it called Google Analytics 4?
GA has gone through a range of versions since its inception. At the moment, it’s on its 4th iteration of the platform, which is called Google Analytics 4 (GA4). In addition to that, GA4 relies on four concepts of data collection, namely:
The need for Google Analytics 4 primarily comes from new privacy protection laws like CCPA and GDPR and the declined stability of traditional analytics. According to one post, Google announced a study that pinpoints the marketers’ problems. In the study, marketers had a hard time getting a 360-view of customers and capturing helpful insights from their data. The update addresses this issue by surfacing data that marketers need to make a better marketing strategy and improve ROI.
Here’s why the new Google Analytics is a game-changer for marketers.
One reason Google Analytics 4 is a game-changer is its ability to automatically notify you about any significant trends and changes in your data. This isn’t a surprise, considering Google has always been at the top of machine learning technology. Their 2016 update to their GA apps provided a sleek new machine learning-powered feature that detects trends and sends notifications. But with the latest AI-powered insights and prediction feature, you can now get specific insights about your audience.
In Google Analytics 4, machine learning helps you through two new features: Predictive-metrics and AI-powered insight.
The AI feature collects information from primary and secondary dimensions that have detected massive trend changes. So, you’ll get an alert of any unusual activities. With AI, you will never have to try to locate data anomalies again.
On the other hand, predictive metrics notify you of predicted churn and conversion. With this feature, you can create audiences to reach users who are about to convert or churn. With better remarketing options, you’ll capture the interest of your leads and get them to complete desired actions. This will, in turn, reduce churn rates and increase conversion rates.
The GA4 provides customer-focused measurements across all platforms and devices. It uses different identity spaces, like user ID and unique Google signals to give you a holistic view of how users interact with your business. With GA4, you can drill down to specific aspects of the customer journey. For instance, you can view the sources that are driving new leads in the user acquisition report. You can also learn about their actions and behaviors in the engagement and retention reports.
With this new Google Analytics feature, you can gain a complete understanding of your customer journey across devices. A deeper integration to Google Ads lets you create audiences that target website visitors with more helpful, relevant experiences wherever they choose to engage with your business across the web or app. This gives you a 360-degree view of your performance across all platforms.
This Google Analytics 4 feature monitors users across all devices and platforms. It automatically updates your list when users complete the desired action. This prevents you from having to retarget them with the same ads. What’s more, this feature can also alert you on actions taken in YouTube engaged views.
The intensifying data regulations mean that tracking through third-party cookies will soon be over. When this happens, there will be fewer data points collected. The new GA4 comes with a new data modeling that uses Artificial Intelligence to complete data gaps. According to Google, Google Analytics 4 is designed to adapt to a future without identifiers and cookies. It will achieve this by shifting from session-based data to event-driven interactions.
Sessions data involves all user interactions with your site over a certain period. It does not capture all the minute interactions and fails to collect records about specific user interactions on your site. On the other hand, events data targets users and collects data on their interaction with your platforms. So, rather than reporting about a particular session, Google Analytics 4 focuses more on specific events that users engage in on your site.
Google Analytics 4 allows you to alter results and update tracking without editing on-site code. With cross-domain tracking, you’ll have a clearer picture of user events on a broader scale for an even, more straightforward customer journey. This makes it easy to fine-tune your online marketing efforts for even better results.
Google includes three features to help GA4 users address privacy concerns. With these features, GA4 users can:
But since the data collected is lesser than before, the Google Analytics 4 improved data deletion will only delete necessary data upon user request and confirmation.
The new analytics is now the default experience for new properties. Google will no longer invest in the old version of Google Analytics. So, make sure you or your marketing company's data team creates a new GA4 property to stay on top of future improvements to GA. Click here for more industry insights or here for digital video production inquiries.