Google My Business, NAP and Citations

Hi,  Welcome to the weekly SEO tips for newbies video series.  I am Chris Darling.  I’m known as the “Googler” within my networking circles because I help businesses get to the first page of Google by dialing in their local SEO so that they can increase their visibility, make that phone ring and get more business from the Internet.

I want to talk a little more about Local SEO but first I have a couple of other definitions for you.

In Local SEO you will hear the terms Google My Business, NAP and citations tossed around frequently.

Google My Business is A Google product that lets you create and manage free business listings in Google Maps so that people can see your business when doing a local search.

NAP is simply an acronym that stands for your business Name, Address and Phone number. 

It’s important to maintain a consistent NAP on all of the different directories and citations sources where you list your business. 

What are citations?  A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP). Like links to your website, Google uses them when evaluating the online authority of your business.

When trying to boost the ranking of your Google My Business listing, you want to have your business listed on the leading citation sources with a consistent NAP.

There are multiple other strategies to boosting the ranking of your Google My Business listing but citations and NAP are a foundational starting point.

Be sure to subscribe to my channel or email list to get more weekly SEO tips for newbie.  See ya next week.

View last week’s SEO Tip for Newbies – Local SEO & Structured Data Markup

posted in SEO
Local SEO & Structured Data Markup


One of the things I focus on is Local SEO. This is when I help business owners to show up locally on the first page of Google and within the 3 pack of maps in their town for the services they offer. If your customer is searching on Google to find your services, this is the type of SEO you want to focus on; LOCAL.

One of the things I do in local SEO is use schema markup or structured data markup to identify your local business type and other details to the major search engines. I also use it to markup reviews or videos on your website.

Search engines like Google LOVE structured data markup. It helps them to better understand the information on your web pages. It’s still debatable to whether this type of markup helps in your keyword rankings or not.

But one cool thing is that when used, this type of markup creates Rich Snippets in search results you get better click through rates. In other words, people are more likely to click on the result in the form of a rich snippet.

My point… use structured data markup whenever possible because it will help to attract more traffic to your website from search results.

If you want some help in marking up your website with structured data, let me know. Contact me here.

Be sure to subscribe to my channel or email list to get more weekly SEO tips for newbie. See ya next week.

View last week’s tip on One Way to Generate Topics for Blogging.


posted in SEO
One Way to Generate Topics for Blogging

Last week I talked about why content marketing is so good for SEO.

But it can sometimes be hard to come up with useful topics for blogging especially if you are in a field that you might consider to be a little boring like say.. accounting.

Well let me give you an idea for content marketing that can work even for boring industries.

Answer questions.  What questions do your customers or clients often have?  List out those questions and write a blog post for each with a well thought out answer.

If you can’t come up with any questions on your own, try out a site called  That site is all about questions and answers.  Try a topic keyword search first.  This will bring up a long list of questions related to that topic.

I searched the topic accounting and right away I was presented with dozens of questions that a blog post could be written to answer.

In fact one question I saw was “Is accounting the most boring profession to go into?”

Anyway, answering questions with blogging is a great way to develop content for your website that is interesting, will attract traffic and will be read.

Be sure to subscribe to my channel or email list to get more weekly SEO tips for newbie.  See ya next week.

View last week’s tip on Why Content Marketing is Good for SEO.


posted in SEO
Why Content Marketing is Good for SEO

Welcome to the weekly SEO tips for newbies video series.  I am Chris Darling.  I’m known as the “Googler” within my networking circles because I help businesses get to the first page of Google by dialing in their local SEO so that they can increase their visibility, make that phone ring and get more business from the Internet.

Today I’m going to go over content marketing and why it’s good for SEO.

Content marketing includes a lot of things like blogging, guest blogging, press releases, infographics, videos and the list goes on.

Today I’m going to just focus on blogging and guest blogging.

When you blog, whether it is in writing or video blogging, that gives you the opportunity to go after what’s called long tail keyword phrases.  Long tail keyword phrases have at least 3 words in the phrase.  These phrases are more specific and tend to attract quality traffic  which can lead to more conversions from site visitor to avid fan, subscriber, customer or client.

When you guest blog you can do the same with targeting long tail keyword phrases but you get an added benefit of including a backlink from your guest blog post to your main website.  If you guest blog on a popular site, this can result in a lot of additional traffic to your website.

All of your content can be shared on social media sites as well.

Getting found for more specific keyword phrases and getting traffic from other popular sites increases your visibility online which is all good for SEO.

Be sure to subscribe to my channel or email list to get more weekly SEO tips for newbie. 

View last week’s tip on SEO Jargon: Anchor Text, Backlinks and Website Authority.


posted in SEO
SEO Jargon: Anchor Text, Backlinks and Website Authority

Hi,  Welcome to the weekly SEO tips for newbies video series.  I am Chris Darling.  I’m known as the “Googler” within my networking circles because I help businesses get to the first page of Google by dialing in their local SEO so that they can increase their visibility, make that phone ring and get more business from the Internet.

Today I’m going to go over a few more SEO terms;  anchor text, backlinks and website authority.

The anchor text is the actual text contained in a hyperlink.  For example, if while reading an article online you come across a couple of words that say “click here”, most likely that is a hyperlink and the words “click here” are the anchor text.  If you click on those words, that hyperlink will take you to another web page.

A backlink is known as an incoming link.  That is a hyperlink that exists on another page or another site that links to your site.  Backlinks can be good and backlinks can be bad.

Which brings me to website authority is also known as how trusted is your site in the eyes of Google.  Website authority or trust is calculated from how many related backlinks or incoming links a site has from other trusted websites.

So there you have it:  you now know the meaning of 3 more SEO terms:  anchor text, backlinks and website authority.  Be sure to subscribe to my channel or email list to get more weekly SEO tips for newbie.  See ya next week.

View last week’s SEO tip here.


posted in SEO
What is SEO, Organic Results and Adwords?

Hi,  Welcome to the weekly SEO tips for newbies video series.  I am Chris Darling.  I’m known as the “Googler” within my networking circles because I help businesses get to the first page of Google by dialing in their local SEO so that they can increase their visibility, make that phone ring and get more business from the Internet.

Today’s tip is about some SEO jargon.  First of all,  What is SEO?  For those of you that still don’t know exactly what it is but have heard you need it, it means Search Engine Optimization.   It encompasses a vast array of tasks and activities that all work together to help your website to show up on the first page of Google organic results for particular keyword phrases that a user searches for.

What are organic results?  Well, when you enter a search into Google, you are usually presented with a variety of results.  Some are advertisements.  The rest are organic or rather, what shows up naturally without the business having to spend money directly with Google Adwords.

Now wait, what are Adwords?  That’s a pay to play advertising platform run by Google where you can bid on certain keywords.  Theoretically, if you bid on a keyword phrase, your ad shows up when someone searches for that phrase.  When the user clicks on your ad, you are charged a fee by Google. 

Okay, there are 3 definitions for you so now, you know what SEO is, what organic results are and what Adwords is.

For more weekly video tips on SEO and the jargon involved, just subscribe to my email list.  I’ll see you next week!


posted in SEO
The BEST SEO Tools for Small Business

For many busy electrical, plumbing, HVAC and building contractors, keeping the books full is a balance between new jobs for repeat customers, repairs and upgrades to projects, and new work that comes in the door. Keeping the new jobs and repair work steady is a matter of great customer service and delivering on quality, but how do you bring the new work in, now that it’s all coming from the infinite and great Internet?  


The answer lies in three small letters: SEO. Search Engine Optimization is the key to making sure your pipeline of new customers is limited only by the time you have to service the work.  

Before SEO Tools Developed

In the 1980s, you bought an ad in the Yellow Pages, or named your company at the top of the alphabet to get noticed in the Big Book. In the 1990s, you built a website. In the 2000s, you optimized it. But is your SEO strategy up-to-date? And is your search marketing and local SEO provider using the latest tools and analytics to deliver real results?  Here we have the best SEO tools for small business to turn to today. 

SEMRush | Screaming Frog | Website Auditor | Clicky | Moz | Majestic 
Link Prospector | Keyword Planner | Google Analytics | Pro Rank Tracker

At Darling SEO, we’re a small business, too. And the reason you’re reading this right now is the reason we can help you: we know how to bring prospects into your web space and convert them into customers, using the latest SEO techniques.


By the way, we’re strictly White Hat providers. This means we use only above-board, honest, organic techniques to give customers the same great first impression of your company online that you deliver when you meet them in person. No spamming, no phishing, no keyword stuffing, no gimmicks, and no shortcuts; just the very latest in analysis and next-level thinking about your site. How do we do it? Read on below for the 10 Best SEO Tools we use to take a small business like yours to the top of the page.


Although you need some expertise to get the most out of these tools, you don’t have to be an SEO expert or search marketing consultant to look around and understand a little more about how it all works. It’s worth a look to see the possibilities and understand what your in-house webmaster, IT department, or digital marketing manager uses to get the best results for your online marketing dollar.

The “Go To” SEO Tools Today

SEMRush for Competitive SEO Research

  1. SEMrush is a comprehensive digital marketing tool that helps build an organic online marketing campaign. It’s the tool we use to get competitive data for a client’s website quickly. It’s a great place to start researching keywords because it tells you absolutely everything you need to know, in an easy-to-understand format. Here’s what SEMrush can tell you:

 competitive seo research tool

  • Related keywords, phrases and terms you can use to diversify your content language and link-building
  • Popular keywords in your industry
  • Listings that are getting a lot of unpaid hits
  • Competition for your keywords or others you are considering
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) amounts in Google Adwords for each keyword
  • Number of times the keyword or phrase is typed into Google


You can even export this information in Excel for later use and analysis, which is helpful if you plan to test several keywords or phrases to see which are most relevant for the campaign you’re building.


Pros: SEMrush a one-stop-shop for keyword research and competitive analysis that also helps you generate ideas for relevant content that will resonate with your target audience.


Cons: This amazing tool is free – but only for 14 days!

Tools for Website Audits

Screaming Frog for Website SEO Audits

2. Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a “crawler” tool that helps SEO professionals, website developers, and IT managers analyze the structure of a website. We use it to perform – and perform again! – technical audits of our clients’ websites so that we can continually improve their performance. Screaming Frog duplicates the way search engines crawl a site and grabs everything in sight, including links, redirects, 404s, heading tags, status codes, anchor text, page titles, internal backlink and external link data…pretty much everything that can be found to analyze, this tool will retrieve for you.

 website seo audit tool

Pros: Works for both PC and Mac users, and the level of detail you can get is second to none.


Cons: To truly understand the reports from this tool, you need professional level SEO and HTML expertise. The language they use are very much “inside baseball”!

Website Auditor for Website SEO Audits

3. Website Auditor software is a very useful auditing tool for website maintenance. We use it to monitor the structure of our clients’ sites – i.e. find broken links, see external links, and compare numbers of links to various pages. Then, we go in and fix the broken links, coding errors, 404 / server errors, mis-indexed pages, and correct or add titles and meta descriptions. We also eliminate duplicate content that has somehow ended up on the site.

 website audit tool

Pros: This tool makes it easy to go in and see what needs to be tweaked, while offering a lot of extras along the way: internal linking and architecture analysis; most-linked to and from web pages; link value information; search engine and social media performance for each page; etc. You can even print this data as a user-friendly report to share.


Cons: The reporting function isn’t customizable – it gives you the data based on only a few metrics, which may or may not be the ones you use.

Website Analytics

Clicky for Website Traffic Analytics

4. Clicky gives Google Analytics a run for its money when it comes to everyday page and keyword analysis. It’s a simple, user-friendly tool that tells us who is on our client’s site at that moment, where the traffic is coming from – and where it goes when it leaves, incoming links, bounce rate…the list goes on and on.

website traffic analytics tool

Pros: Easy to use, with real time data and it’s free for small businesses with fewer than 3k impressions per day.


Cons: Google Analytics does offer a similar service free of charge, no matter the size of your business.

Moz for Local SEO, Research & Analytics

5. Moz is popular with pros and do-it-yourself SEO types for a reason: its MozBar is easy to use, and a handy reference tool when generating reports for clients or searching for credible sites to link to when developing web content.  Moz has very robust tools to use for Local SEO as well.  Moz Local is invaluable for dealing with duplicate listings on the many directories we deal with for Local SEO.

 Local SEO, Research & Analytics Tool

Pros: Free and easy to use; useful for web writing.


Cons: If your job mainly involves technical analysis, you might not use it very often.

Link Building and Analysis

Majestic for Competitive Link Analysis

6. Majestic SEO is a competitive link analysis tool that we use to see what best practices we can glean from a client’s competitors. It can be used to:

  • See which posts competitors are successfully getting traffic from
  • See how competitors’ link building is generating traffic
  • Find quality websites to discuss linking to with the client’s in-house marketing team
  • See which sites link to the competitors’ sites
  • Analyze which links the top 3 sites use
  • See which competitors are putting out spam – not being punished for it

 Competitive Link Analysis Tool

Pros: Majestic is an amazing way to learn about a client’s competitors and how they are achieving the rankings they have. It’s the absolute best link building tool on the market today, and provides a road map that tells us how the client should be marketing their business via their website.


Cons: Data is great, but this is another tool that you really need to have a background in search marketing and SEO to take advantage of. Still, it’s good to be familiar with its capabilities and as you sit down with your digital marketing team to discuss strategy.

Link Prospector for Link Building

7. Link Prospector is the next step in link building once you’ve done your analysis on Majestic SEO. Once you’ve identified a general course of action based on what the client’s competitors have had success with, Link Prospector can help you dig deeper by helping locate the quality directories, pages, guest blogs, forums, and posts you can target.

 Link Building Tool

Pros: Laser focus and tons of ideas with a very high ROI. Simply put, this is where you get your links.


Cons: Lots of data to sift through and understand – but worth it!


**NOTE: Yes, Majestic SEO and Link Prospector together can help you re-create a competitor’s strategy and tactics, but copycat marketing is not what we are going for. What we look for is inspiration and ideas – to understand what is working and why, then deliver an original source marketing plan that meets our clients’ individual goals while taking advantage of the knowledge gained through competitive analysis.

Google Web Marketing Tools

Keyword Planner for Keyword Research

8. Google Keyword Planner is the public keyword tool with which everyone should be somewhat familiar. It’s always helpful to stay on top of what Google is doing, and how they “see” your keywords.

 Keyword Research Tool

Pros: Ubiquitous and free, and ever-improving, Keyword Planner is something to keep an eye on for pros and DIY types alike.


Cons: It’s not as comprehensive or intuitive / easy to use as other tools.

Google Analytics for Universal Website Traffic Analysis

9. Google Analytics is another site to bookmark for anyone who owns and operates an online business. Some of our clients use it as a daily check-in so they can monitor their website traffic, origin, and links – almost as obsessively as people who are always checking their stock portfolios. It’s useful insight for sure, but one tool among many we use to develop a comprehensive strategy for our clients.

 Universal Website Traffic Analysis Tool

Pros: If you’re just getting started with web analytics, this is the place to start on your path to understanding the mechanics of your site. It’s not overwhelming, and offers plenty of useful information such as a quick traffic analysis.


Cons: Other tools can provide a more comprehensive analysis that will provide more guidance with plan and strategy development, for pros who know how to read the results.

Keyword Rank Tracking

10. Pro Rank Tracker software is a cloud-based “rank checker” that we use to do a deep dive into a client’s web ranking as we develop a plan to improve it on their behalf. It’s easy to use, and delivers simple and accurate ranking information you can trust.

Keyword Rank Tracking Tool

Pros: You can track rankings from all search engines, including YouTube, in every location, and the data can be filtered, sorted, and downloaded into Google Analytics. It’s also very affordable.


Cons: You’ll need to constantly run the program to get ongoing tracking – and the software can really slow down your computer.


These are just some of the tools we use to develop a strategy and online source marketing and SEO plan for our clients in the construction and contracting industries. Our specialized understanding of our clients’ industry sector combined with a passion for what can be achieved through smart online strategies is the cornerstone of our business. We succeed by helping you succeed.


For more information on how we help our clients achieve the online results they want, contact us.


Read our customer testimonials here.





posted in SEO