WordPress SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Imagine you own a delicious bookstore cafe in Boston. If someone searches “bookstore cafe near [insert a neighborhood in Boston]” on Google, you want your WordPress website to pop up at the top of the search results, right? You can ensure your company does so by implementing the most effective WordPress SEO strategies. 

Having your website appear at the top of a search engine results page (SERP) is something you can achieve if you spend some time optimizing your site. By investing in WordPress SEO and implementing tried-and-true techniques, you can stand out from the competition and garner more traffic. 

What is SEO? 

Why is investing in WordPress SEO so important? 

A Guide to WordPress SEO: 13 WordPress SEO Best Practices

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of increasing your website’s free, organic traffic by improving your ranking and visibility on search engines such as Google. When you optimize your content, the likelihood it will appear near the top of the SERP for the keyword you’re targeting increases.

Now that you understand what SEO is, let’s dive into why it’s crucial for your business.

Why is investing in WordPress SEO so important? 

One important note to kick things off: The importance of search engine optimization isn’t specific to WordPress websites. Regardless of where — or how — you create your site, investing in SEO will prove worthwhile. Your WordPress website is no exception. 

Optimizing your WordPress website and content makes you more likely to reach the people actively searching for information about services and products related to yours. Because this happens organically, you’re not paying Google or another search engine to place your content at the top of the results page.

Creating organic content that ranks on Google is also beneficial because your website and information are more likely to seem reliable and trustworthy for visitors (versus a paid advertisement at the top of the SERP). Anyone who owns a business website should improve their SEO as it is a simple and effective way to increase traffic and notability, number of leads, conversions, and more.

A Guide to WordPress SEO: 13 WordPress SEO Best Practices 

Ready to dig into a dozen WordPress SEO best practices you can enact to improve your website, boost organic traffic, and increase your brand’s authority on search engines? Here’s what you need to know to get started. 

1. Check Your WordPress Visibility Settings

Rule #1 of figuring out how to add SEO to WordPress: Check all your boxes. By making sure your visibility settings in WordPress are set up accordingly, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. The software has a setting allowing you to hide your website from search engines. This can come in handy when building or rebuilding your site; you don’t want visitors to see your work in progress.

The feature is in your WordPress dashboard under “Settings.”

Double-check that you haven’t accidentally turned on this feature, or left it on after completing your website. If it’s on, it doesn’t matter how much you invest in your SEO – your website won’t rank well. 

2. Update Your Permalinks

A permalink is a permanent URL or link to a specific post, page, or blog on your website. Permalinks clearly state what your post, page, or blog actually is (in the URL itself) so visitors know what they’re clicking on. However, they do have a second purpose, which is for SEO. 

You should change your permalinks to not only improve user experience but also to improve your SEO. Because search engines read permalinks to determine whether or not your website has answers to specific search queries, having long or irrelevant permalinks could be tanking your optimization efforts. 

For example, in the case of your bookshop cafe, if you had a page dedicated to the top-selling books of 2023, your permalink might look something like this: www.mysite.com/top-selling-books-2023.

To change your permalinks to include an accurate content description, head to your WordPress dashboard, click “Settings,” and then “Permalinks.” 

3. Use Tags and Categories

Tags and categories allow you to separate your website’s pages and blog posts into specific and broad groups, respectively. This improves your SEO because it will enable search engines to understand your website’s structure and content. 

Added bonus: The good news is that many WordPress SEO fixes also help improve user experience. Tags and categories also your website’s improve user experience by allowing visitors to quickly find the content they’re searching for and make it easier for you to manage all of your website content.


Tags are like keywords that you can use to describe what a specific page or post is about. For example, if we think about your bookshop cafe’s website, the tags on one of your pages may include “books,” “beverages,” and “food.” 

To add a new tag or view your current tags, go to your WordPress dashboard and click “Posts” and “Tags.” 

You can view current tags or “Add New Tag” here. For more information on tags, check out this list of tips.


Categories are how you broadly group your posts and pages. Regarding the bookshop cafe, your categories may include “cafe,” and “bookshop.” 

To create a category, go to your WordPress “Settings” and click “Writing.” Here you’ll see your current categories as well as an “Add New Category” button.

For details on other ways to create categories, check out this page.

4. Choose an SEO Plugin

We love WordPress plugins for so many reasons. For starters, plugins enhance the functionality of your website by adding features that don’t come standard with the software. Plus, they’re easy for beginners just starting to learn how to add SEO to WordPress. Tens of thousands of plugins are available, many of which can help you improve your WordPress SEO. If you are still determining which plugin you want to implement on your site, you can search the WordPress plugin library for options that fit your needs.

SEO plugins offer features to help you build XML sitemaps, implement tags and categories, optimize your titles and content with the use of key phrases and keywords, control your site’s breadcrumbs, and take advantage of Google Analytics support. Some popular options include  Yoast SEO, All In One SEO Pack, and SmartCrawl Pro

You can then download and install your WordPress plugin of choice to begin improving your SEO immediately.

5. Use XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap is a file of code on your web server that includes each page of your website. XML sitemaps are used to help search engines find, evaluate, and rank the content on your site.

Unless you have extensive coding knowledge and want to create your XML sitemap manually, your best bet to do so is by adding a plugin to your site, such as Yoast SEO, or one dedicated to creating sitemaps, such as Google XML Sitemaps, that makes your sitemaps for you automatically.

For more details on why WordPress recommends using a sitemap, this page can help.

6. Internally Link Your Site

To improve your SEO, you must increase your website’s authority. One of the main ways search engines determine your site authority is by the amount you internally link to your pages, posts, blogs, and other content.

To link to other content, you can highlight the words on your page where you want to insert the link, click the link button in the WordPress toolbar, and copy and paste the URL you wish to link to. Once you do this, your linked words get underlined and contain the URL you want to redirect your visitors to.

For other ways to internally link your WordPress website, check out this page.

7. Optimize Your Images

You can optimize pretty much everything on your WordPress website, including your images. To optimize images, use Image-Alt-Text. Search engines read Image-Alt-Text, which are descriptions of your images, to rank your site and determine whether or not your photos have the information being searched for by users.

If you need help adding Image-Alt-Text to pictures, look no further than a helpful plugin like SEO Optimized Images. You can read through the list of your current plugins’ features to ensure they allow you to add Image-Alt-Text.

No matter which plugin you install, the area in which you enter your Image-Alt-Text will look something like this:

You should enter your description in the “Alt text” section. When you are adding Image-Alt-Text, and you have a description that is multiple words long, use dashes to separate the words. This tells the search engines that you’re writing multiple different words.

For example, if you’re describing a picture of HubSpot’s WordPress Contact Form Builder plugin, your Image-Alt-Text should look something like this: “WordPress-Contact-Form-Builder,” not “WordPressContactFormBuilder” or “WordPress_Contact_Form_Builder.” If you do this, WordPress will read your description as one word.

We have one more important note about image alt text. The most important reason is because alt text is crucial for website accessibility purposes. However, it can also benefit SEO.

When you write your image’s alt text, include the keyword the page is targeting if possible. Remember, because alt text is to benefit those with disabilities using your website, the copy must accurately describe what is pictured.  

8. Use SSL

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a standard security technology that manages an encrypted server and browser link. With SSL, you can rest assured that information shared between your website and visitors remains secure.

For example, suppose someone completes your order form and lists all of their credit card information. In that case, SSL is how businesses ensure that information is not intercepted by a hacker along the way. 

SSL improves SEO because search engines like Google look for “secure and encrypted” connections when determining a website’s ranking. So, if there were two identical sites, but one had SSL and one did not, Google would be more likely to rank the site with SSL.

If you have an account through WordPress.com, you don’t have to do anything additional, as it automatically adds SSL to your site. If you have a different type of account, such as a WordPress.org site, requiring you to take care of your website’s security individually, you can install an SSL plugin such as Real Simple SSL.

Check out this page for more details on WordPress SSL.

9. Use Nofollow External Links

When you internally link to the pages on your site, you are giving yourself authority. When you externally link to your sources or other pieces of content you believe your visitors should read or experience, you are also helping them gain authority or giving those websites “link juice.” External linking is a good thing for your SEO, but it also improves the SEO of those pages you mention on your website. 

Enter: Nofollow external links. 

These links serve multiple purposes. For starters, they prevent content spam on your WordPress website but also prevent search engines from being able to follow those URLs to the sites you are linking to on your website. As a result, you only improve your WordPress website’s ranking. 

You can manually add a Nofollow link to your WordPress site or simply add “nofollow” in the “Link Relationship” form field when you add a hyperlink to your keywords or phrases.

There are also a number of Nofollow plugins available for your WordPress site in the plugin library.

10. Manage Your Security

As mentioned in our discussion about SSL certificates, search engines love secure websites — so you can count on your website’s authority and ranking to improve the more secure your website is.

Depending on your WordPress plan, you may or may not have security taken care of for you. If you need assistance, you may consider adding a plugin, such as Wordfence Security or iThemes Security, to enhance your site’s protection.

11. Optimize Your Comments

Comments on posts are an excellent method to boost engagement on your website. Engagement typically means more traffic, link sharing, and interaction, and, therefore, improved SEO. However, spam in your comments could ruin your SEO and ranking. That’s why you need to ensure you only receive comments from real people.

WordPress plugins such as All In One WordPress Security & Firewall and Spam Protection, Anti Spam, Firewall by CleanTalk will block comments containing spam and stop other forms of spam such as faulty form submissions, subscriptions, orders, and more. Many of these plugins also have features that block entirely the known spammers, so they can’t return to your site again. 

12. Choose WWW or non-WWW

There are two main ways to access websites by URL — you can either search with the” www” (so your search would look like this: www.mysite.com) or without the “www” (so your search would look like this: mysite.com).

Search engines see these two different URLs, or official domain names, as completely different websites, so it’s crucial that you pick one and stick with it. There’s no good or bad option, and your decision will not impact your SEO — it’s just a preference.

Once you pick an option, you’ll want to stick with it to begin improving your site’s SEO. You can do this by linking to your official domain name internally and externally on social media and email. When you are consistent with your domain and link to it often, search engines are likely to give you more authority and therefore a higher chance at ranking. Not to mention this makes things more straightforward for your visitors, so it’s a win-win. 

To pick an option, head to your WordPress dashboard, click “Settings,” and under “General Settings,” you’ll see the form fields for your URL.

13. Use a Fast Theme 

To improve your WordPress SEO, look no further than page speed. We already know that your page load time can significantly impact your site’s user experience — look at the statistics that prove it. But did you know that search engines also consider speed when determining where your website will rank? It’s true. For the best results, use WordPress themes optimized for SEO or have a reputation for being speedy. 

You can use a page speed tester to figure out how fast your site is, such as Google PageSpeed Insights. From there, you will get suggestions into how you can fix your site to make it faster. If you’ve done everything you can and your site is still slow, we suggest making sure your theme isn’t the problem. 

If you need help picking a fast WordPress theme, here are some of our favorite suggestions. 

Improve your WordPress SEO today. 

Anyone can improve their WordPress SEO. By implementing some or all of the simple tips from this guide, you will increase your website’s authority and ranking on all search engines — and when you achieve this, you’ll experience an increase in website visitors, leads, and conversions.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.


The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a PR Agency in 2023

Vanessa Carlton said it best: Your company is making its way downtown, faces pass, and you’re “success” bound. See what I did there? Anywho, your company is on its way. But how do you communicate that with your stakeholders and the public?

Between blog writing, drafting ad copy, and setting up an email workflow, it’s hard to make time for brand awareness and media management. That’s where a public relations (PR) agency can help.

According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” In today’s world, PR and marketing overlap and intertwine, making it necessary to work together.

You might have questions about how your marketing team and a PR agency can work together like, “What will a PR firm do?” or “What services does a PR agency provide?”

Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about hiring a PR agency. And if you’re in a pinch, jump to the information you need:

What does a PR firm do?
Public Relations Services
Types of Public Relations Firms
Best PR Agencies

While the duties of public relations and marketing can overlap, the two serve different functions. Allie Decker, a writer on HubSpot’s pillar page team, wrote about public relations and marketing in this blog. She says, “The main goal of PR is to boost the reputation of your brand. On the other hand, the main goal of marketing is to drive sales.”

PR and marketing can work together by aligning their goals. For instance, people may become aware of your brand through PR tactics such as organic social media presence, and then convert into sales from your marketing tactics such as Facebook ads. With PR and marketing collaborating on strategic messaging, you’ll build your reputation and drive more sales.

1. Reputation management

Reputation management is one of the main services that public relations firms offer. Tactics might include email newsletters, messaging on website copy or blog content, social media management, responding to reviews, and engaging with followers.

For instance, Taco Bell uses social media to build its reputation. In the example below, Taco Bell responds to a customer on Twitter with an authentic, engaging tweet making the brand relatable and boosting its reputation.

Image Source

2. Crisis management

According to data from PwC, 69% leaders have experienced at least one corporate crisis in the last five years — with the average number of crises experienced being three. Your company will most likely face at least one crisis during your tenure. That’s why you might have a PR firm come up with a crisis communication plan so you’re prepared when the time comes.

For example, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a leading breast cancer charity, faced the consequences of lacking a crisis communication plan in 2012. They stopped funding Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screenings after seven years of funding. When Planned Parenthood made the announcement, the story went viral on social media with attacks coming from all sides. Komen waited a while to respond, put up a video failing to take responsibility, and then reversed the decision.

According to PRSA, there are many lessons to learn from Komen’s mistakes, including “Don’t position yourself as a victim. It won’t work.”

3. Media relations

One way to build your reputation and get your name out there is through the media. PR firms can handle the relationship between the media and your company. Tactics include writing pitches to journalists and influencers to attain mentions in industry news and get more media coverage.

For example, if you own a sustainable beauty company, a PR firm might pitch you to the Organic Bunny blog for an interview about sustainable beauty products.

4. Social media

Social media is a large factor in reputation management and one of the main ways to communicate with your audience, so maintaining your social media accounts can become a public relations tactic. Since you own your social media accounts they’re an easy way to build your brand. Plus, your social media strategy might involve engaging with influencers in your niche.

In the example below, Poo-Pourri uses its own social media account to boost its reputation and spread the word about an earned media opportunity. Also, note how the founder is active in the community, attains media coverage, and builds her company’s brand.

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5. Speech writing

Speech writing is a useful public relations tactic that you might use if your company holds press conferences and events or your employees speak at industry events. Any speeches given on behalf of your company should represent your brand as a whole. If anyone in your company has to give a speech, you might consider hiring a PR agency to handle the strategic messaging.

In the example below, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, and other members of his team, give several speeches about new products and updates during Apple’s annual innovation event. Apple may or may not have worked with a public relations firm, but this is a great example of an event where you might talk to a PR firm about the strategic and brand messaging.

6. Press releases

Your company might have to write a press release to announce new products, launches, campaigns, or movements. This tactic goes hand-in-hand with media relations. For example, if you work at a shoe company and want to start a movement on Twitter to #walkmore, a PR firm can write a press release to announce the campaign and hopefully attain media coverage.

7. Event planning

Event planning can be a marketing and public relations tactic to promote your brand, product, or service. If your company puts on an event for the purpose of boosting your brand reputation, you might consider working with a PR agency. A PR agency can help communicate with your stakeholders and publics, attain media coverage, and plan your event.

For example, INBOUND, an annual experience event for those in the marketing industry, is an event that is used to elevate the INBOUND brand. At this type of event, INBOUND provides value to the public, while also boosting its brand reputation. While this event is planned internally by INBOUND, it’s a good example of the type of event that a PR agency could help plan.

8. Outreach

Do you want to ensure your company is active in your niche’s community, including trade shows and events? A PR agency can help with that. Public relations firms use outreach as a tactic to boost brand reputation and increase brand awareness. For example, if you work at a fish store, your public relations firm might reach out to the Global Pet Expo to attain a booth at the event. Then, they might promote your involvement through social media, a press release, and media interviews.

9. Market research

The most important element to communicating and building relationships with your publics is to understand them. That’s why a PR firm would likely use market research as a tactic. They might use surveys, feedback forms, or focus groups to learn about your target audience. For example, if you own a protein company, a PR firm might send out surveys to see who buys your protein, what kind of flavors they want, and what they value in a protein company.

10. Media training

Many companies and brands in the public eye undergo media training. Media training is a tactic public relations firms use in order to produce consistent, strategic messaging for the brands they work with. If your company or brand will have several employees speaking in public, everyone should be on the same page in regards to messaging. If there is only one person who will be the face of your brand, it’s important to anticipate common reporter questions and have canned answers prepared.

In the example below, the Kardashians attend media training to practice answers to the most controversial questions reporters ask them. As a brand, the Kardashians have a lot of moving parts, and the family had never discussed or practiced the messaging they’d use when talking to the media.

11. Internal copywriting

Writing internal copy is a public relations tactic PR agencies use to communicate with employees. Your employees are a stakeholder and public of your company, so a PR firm could manage that relationship. You might need to communicate with your employees to discuss major changes, build morale, or celebrate successes.

Our tip from HubSpot is to have a main communication channel where communication is stored and disseminated. For example, HubSpot has an internal Wiki (see screenshot below), where our employees, who span seven countries, can communicate.

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The different types of PR firms vary depending on the services they offer and the publics they serve. There are general and specialized PR agencies.

1. General strategic communication

A general public relations firm will handle all aspects of your PR strategy. They will be responsible for building your reputation and brand awareness through many of the tactics described above, including social media, media relations, internal communication, and more. A general communication PR firm is a good fit for you if you need help with several public relations tactics.

2. Press communication

A PR agency that specializes in press communication will focus on media outreach, pitch writing, attaining media coverage, and getting interviews with journalists or influencers. If you only need to work with a PR agency in order to improve your media coverage, a specialized firm might be an option to consider.

3. Crisis management

A crisis management PR agency can strategize and implement a crisis communication plan. Typically these firms are used on a temporary basis, to either draft or implement a plan when your company experiences a crisis.

4. Internal communication

Internal communication PR firms specialize in disseminating information to your employees. Whether it be through a monthly newsletter or an internal hub, they will facilitate employee communication.

5. Community management

A community management PR firm focuses on managing customer relations. They will handle the communication between you and your community in places like Facebook Groups and social media.

6. Nonprofit public relations

A nonprofit PR firm specializes in working with specific organizations rather than focusing on certain tactics. Nonprofits will typically have different rules and regulations when it comes to communicating with its publics, which is why many firms specialize in nonprofit. A nonprofit PR firm will work with organizations in industries such as health, medical, or charity.

7. Public affairs public relations

Similar to a nonprofit firm, a public affairs PR firm specializes in working specifically with government officials as a communication tool. For example, if your company wants to endorse a political candidate or a government official wants to be a spokesperson for your company, a public affairs PR firm can manage that relationship.

1. Set your objectives

Now that you’ve decided to hire a PR agency, your next question might be something like, “How do I even start?”

To begin, start thinking about your goals. Answer questions like “What do I want to accomplish by working with a PR agency?” and “How can a PR agency help my company?” When you begin working with a PR firm, you’ll most likely draft SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Once you have an idea of your goals, our next tip is to think about what type of PR firm can help you meet those objectives (see types of PR firms above). For example, if your company has experienced a social media crisis like Komen (described above) you might want to work with a crisis management firm. On the other hand, if you work at a nonprofit charity foundation like the Red Cross, you might work with a nonprofit public relations agency.

2. Create a budget

Before you begin researching which PR agency you want to work with, create a budget. Consider how much you’re willing to spend on public relations efforts. You should be able to answer questions like “Will this come out of our marketing budget?” or “What percent of our budget can we contribute to PR?”

Megan Conley, a video editor/animator at HubSpot, writes about creating a budget in this blog. To create a budget, she says:

Align your goals with your budget
Consider hidden costs
Remember your priorities (think of those SMART goals)

To get better at prioritizing your PR line items, download the PR Budget Template (included in the 8 Budget Templates to Manage Your Marketing Spend).

You can also check out the average 2021 rates for a PR agency below.

3. Research PR firms

With your goals and budget in hand, begin researching the right kind of PR agency you’ve decided to work with. Gather information on their reputation, reviews, cost, social media presence, testimonials, clients, etc.

Aja Frost, a senior SEO strategist and former writer for the Sales blog at HubSpot, writes about creative prospect research strategies in this blog. These same strategies can be applied to researching a PR agency.

Frost suggests:

Look at their company’s job page: This will give you an idea of their current objectives and what tactics they’re focusing on. For example, are they developing a social media team or looking to hire an expert in crisis management?
Look for strategic announcements: By researching for announcements, you can learn about initiatives, successes, new strategies, and their own brand reputation. It’s important to consider how they handle their own PR.
Read the shareholder letter: This gives you an idea of their financial strength, unique value proposition, and accomplishments. You want to find a reputable PR agency to work with.
Go on Glassdoor: Glassdoor is a great place to learn about employee reviews, company culture, and goals. This will give a good idea of their reputation.

4. Write a list of questions to ask

After thoroughly researching different PR agencies, create a shortlist to contact. Before you contact an agency, write down a list of questions to ask.

You’ll want to learn about:

Previous clients
Prior successes

See examples of questions to ask a PR agency below.

5. Have meetings

Armed with your questions, your next step is to have meetings with different PR agencies. Go through your list of questions and gather the information you need to make a decision. For these meetings, our tip is to pay attention to who you have chemistry with. It’s always easier to work with people who are adaptable and can have an intelligent conversation about your strategies. After your meetings, compare the proposals you receive, from price to strategy.

6. Set expectations

Once you’ve decided which PR firm you want to work with, ensure you’ve made your objectives and goals clear. Set up a clear line of communication, while also defining your expectations. Talk with your PR agency about your SMART goals and identify how you’ll measure success.

7. Onboard your PR firm

The final step to hiring a PR agency is to go through the onboarding process with them. Figure out who your main point of contact is and discuss your communication goals. Ask questions like, “How often will we touch base?” or “How will we track the results of our work together?”

Questions to Ask a PR Firm, Agency, or Rep

1. “Do you specialize in a certain industry?

There are different types of PR firms (see examples above) that you might work with. Before you hire a PR agency, find out if they specialize in a certain industry or have only worked with certain kinds of businesses. This will give you an idea of how and if they can help your company.

2. “How will you get us media coverage?

It’s important to find out what tactics the agency uses to gain media coverage. In addition, see if they mention their media list when they answer this question. Most PR agencies have a media list and have built relationships with people in the industry. Also, see if they have any new strategies or tactics that you haven’t heard of before, such as influencer marketing or guerilla marketing.

3. “How do you measure success?

An important quality of any marketing or public relations agency is to be able to track ROI. Every agency should have a system in place for tracking results and analytics for their campaigns. Also, see what success looks like for them. Ask questions like “How have you tracked success for previous clients?”

4. “How do you plan to work with our marketing team?

When you hire a PR agency, you should consider how they will work with your marketing team. The two go hand-in-hand, especially because some tactics might overlap. Ask questions like “How do you account for our marketing team when you plan a campaign?” or “How do you communicate what your agency is responsible for versus our marketing team?

5. “What do the first few months look like?

Figure out how they plan to get started. Do they focus on market research in the first few months? How long would that take? It’s important to figure out how they get started with their clients and what their strategy would look like for your company.

6. “What’s your pricing structure?

Of course, budget is one of the main points you want to inquire about. Learn about their pricing structure. Ask questions like “Do you price per project, per hour, or a retainer fee?” and “How often do you charge?” Affording your PR agency is the main priority.

7. “Can I see work you’ve done for businesses in my industry?

Again, you want to see that they’ve had success with other businesses or brands in your industry. This tells you that they might have a media list they can contact right away. It also lets you know they can be successful for you, because they’ve done it before.

8. “Can I contact past clients?

Once you know that a PR agency has seen success with other brands, ask for references. Ask previous clients questions like “Was [PR agency] enjoyable to work with?” and “How did they measure success for you?”

9. “Do your employees have experience working in marketing and sales as well?

This is an important question to ask because your PR agency should understand how marketing, sales, and PR all work together to drive sales. If its employees have experience in marketing and sales, they will understand the context of how PR fits in your strategy.

10. “Who would I be working with?”

Ask about their systems. The PR agency you work with should have a communication plan in place. Figure out what their team structure is like. Will you have one point of contact, like an account manager? Or will you work with several people on the team depending on the project?

11. “How can your company grow with us?”

As your company grows, you want to have a PR agency that can understand your needs from startup to scale up. Ask if they’ve worked with brands of all sizes and see if they’ve worked with anyone from the startup to enterprise.

Now that you know the right questions to ask, here’s some of the best PR agencies your business can leverage.

1. Otter PR

Otter PR is a leading public relations agency with a reputation for excellence in the business, technology, and healthcare sectors. The agency has been recognized for its innovative, result-driven approach, and has helped numerous businesses establish their brand and reputation in competitive markets — especially with emerging technology companies.

The agency has worked with various companies, from fintech disruptors to biotech innovators, and has helps them successfully communicate their value propositions to investors and customers alike.

Some of Otter PR’s biggest clients include notable names such as Splunk, Upgrade, ShareThis, and Rescale. With a roster of high-growth companies, Otter PR has proven its ability to deliver effective PR strategies that help businesses capitalize on growth opportunities and meet their objectives.

Services Offered:

Media Relations
Reputation Management
Crisis Management
Media Training

2. Channel V Media

Channel V Media is a dynamic New York PR agency known for innovation and creativity. With a team of experienced PR professionals, the agency has helped clients achieve their marketing and communications objectives through a variety of services including media relations, event planning, and digital marketing.

One of the key strengths of Channel V Media is its experience in lifestyle and entertainment PR. This agency has expertise in working with celebrities, influencers, and entertainment properties makes them a great choice for businesses in the entertainment, fashion, beauty, and hospitality industries. They have helped clients secure valuable coverage in top-tier publications and media outlets, generating buzz and increasing their visibility in the market.

Some of the agency’s biggest clients include MTV, VH1, MySpace, and WWE. They have also worked with major brands such as Puma, Mini Cooper, and Target. With a focus on creativity and a track record of success in the lifestyle and entertainment sectors, Channel V Media is an excellent choice for businesses looking to stand out and capture attention in competitive markets.

Services Offered:

Public Relations
Retail Technology PR
Food and Beverage PR
Climate Tech PR
Fintech PR

3. BLASTmedia

BLASTmedia is a top-notch PR agency that has a proven track record of delivering exceptional results for B2B SaaS and technology companies. With over 15 years of experience, the agency has established a reputation for excellence.

One of the key strengths of BLASTmedia is their deep understanding of the B2B technology space. They have developed a wealth of experience working with emerging startups, as well as well-established brands, delivering effective PR strategies that help clients achieve their goals.

Some of the agency’s most notable clients include names like RingCentral and Trello. With a focus on B2B SaaS and technology clients, and a history of success with some of the biggest names in the industry, BLASTmedia is an outstanding choice for businesses looking to effectively communicate their value proposition, establish thought leadership, and achieve results in highly competitive markets.

Services Offered:

Media Relations
Thought Leadership
Content Creation

4. Propllr

Propllr specializes in startups and innovation-driven companies. With a team of experienced PR professionals, the agency has developed a unique approach to helping businesses build brand awareness, establish their thought leadership, and grow their customer base.

One of the key strengths of Propllr is its focus on startup and technology clients. They have worked with a variety of emerging companies across industries including fintech, healthcare, and enterprise software. They have helped startups raise venture capital, launch new products, and scale their businesses. It’s especially beneficial to companies looking for highly customized, tailored PR campaigns to help them stand out in crowded markets.

With a focus on startups and innovation-driven firms, and a proven history of success, Propllr is an excellent choice for businesses looking to establish themselves as market leaders and drive growth.

Services Offered:

B2B Teach and Startup PR
Content Marketing

5. Firecracker PR

Firecracker PR has built a reputation for delivering exceptional results for technology, consumer product, and lifestyle brands. The agency has focused on storytelling and creativity and helped numerous businesses build brand recognition and awareness.

This agency specializes in crafting compelling stories that resonate with target audiences, and are highly skilled at securing media coverage in top-tier publications.

Some of Firecracker PR’s most notable clients include names like Adobe, AT&T, and Google. They have also worked with emerging companies such as Zest AI, Trade Coffee, and Bump Boxes. With a focus on storytelling and creativity, and a proven track record of success, Firecracker PR is an excellent choice for businesses looking to establish their brand, and build their reputation in highly competitive markets.

Services Offered:

Public Relations
Content Marketing
Social Media
SEO Marketing

6. NinjaPromo

Ninjapromo.io is a full service digital marketing company that offers stellar PR services. Its focus on data-driven strategies and measurable results makes it a great choice for businesses looking to amplify brand awareness and strengthen company reputation.

One of the key strengths of Ninjapromo.io is their experience in e-commerce and consumer goods. They have helped numerous businesses develop and execute successful digital marketing campaigns, driving website traffic, increasing conversion rates, and growing their customer base. NinjaPromo has also aided businesses names like Philips, Clarks, and Johnson & Johnson.

Services Offered:

Video Production
App Development

7. The Silver Telegram

The Silver Telegram has a focus on high-level strategy and personalized service, the agency has helped numerous businesses build and maintain their reputations in highly competitive markets.

Some of the agency’s biggest clients include names like Deloitte, Nike, and MGM Resorts International. With a focus on strategic communications and reputation management, and a proven track record of success, The Silver Telegram is a great choice for businesses looking to protect and enhance their reputations, especially those in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, finance, and gaming.

Service Offered:

Competitive Analysis + Brand Audit
Custom Communication Strategy
Paid Media Relations
Brand Messaging

8. 5W Public Relations

5W Public Relations is a full-service PR agency that has a broad range of expertise in various industries. Its reputation is known to be particularly skilled in crisis management and reputation management, which makes it an excellent choice for businesses that operate in highly regulated industries or may face challenges regarding their reputations.

With a focus on strategy, industry expertise, and a portfolio of successful campaigns, 5W Public Relations is an excellent choice for businesses that want a comprehensive PR solution that delivers consistent results.

Services Offered:

Integrated Campaigns
Crisis PR
Media Relations
Strategic Messaging
Issue Advocacy
Traditional and Earned Media

9. Ogilvy Public Relations

Ogilvy is one of the world’s largest and most recognizable PR agencies, offering a broad range of services including brand strategy, PR, and social media marketing. Its global network of offices, deep industry expertise, and reputation for creative excellence make them a great choice for businesses that want a comprehensive, multinational PR solution.

This agency has worked with a range of clients across industries such as healthcare, finance, and tech, delivering successful campaigns, and enhancing the brand’s image and recognition.

Some of Ogilvy’s biggest clients include names like American Express, Coca-Cola, and IBM. With a global presence and a celebrated history of excellence, Ogilvy is a great choice for businesses looking for a reputable PR agency with a deep industry expertise that can help them fulfill their strategic marketing goals and enhancing brand reputation.

Services Offered:

Public Relations

10. Idea Grove

Idea Grove specializes in B2B technology clients. It acts as a strategic partner for tech companies and startups as they help them differentiate their brand and build their reputation.

rom cloud computing companies to cybersecurity, Idea Grove is particularly skilled at developing thought leadership strategies that can position businesses as leading voices in their industry. Additionally, its commitment to data-driven results and ROI makes the agency an attractive choice for businesses looking for quantifiable PR outcomes.

With a focus on B2B technology clients and a proven track record of success, Idea Grove is an excellent choice for businesses looking to enhance their brand profile and credibility in the technology market.

Services Offered:

B2B Tech PR

11. Walker Sands

Walker Sands is a reputable marketing and public relations agency that specializes in B2B technology and professional services companies. Its strategic “Earn, Own, Paid, Shared” approach to PR ensures that clients receive a customized mix of tactics that caters to their unique needs and goals.

Walker Sands has built a strong reputation for delivering results-driven PR campaigns over the course of 18 years. Its successfully worked with numerous clients, including well-known brands such as Siemens, HP, Bing, and CareerBuilder. Businesses that are looking for a PR agency that can understand their industry’s unique challenges and can provide tailored solutions to address them would benefit the most from Walker Sands’ expertise.

Services Offered:

Media Relations
Content Marketing
Thought Leadership Development
Demand Generation Strategies

12. 6 Degrees PR

6 Degrees PR is a full-service public relations agency that offers creative, strategic solutions to clients in healthcare, finance, technology, and consumer industries.

With over 12 years of experience and offices in Toronto and Vancouver, 6 Degrees PR has worked with a variety of clients from small startups to Fortune 500 companies like Ford, Samsung, and Walmart. Its team of seasoned PR professionals has earned a strong reputation for delivering outstanding results that help clients achieve their business objectives.

6 Degrees PR takes a creative and strategic approach to PR that focuses on ROI, and have a proven track record of delivering results that drive business growth and success.

Services Offered:

Media Relations
Event Planning
Influencer Marketing
Social Media Content Creation
Brand Awareness

13. BIGfish Communications

BIGfish Communications is a full-service PR agency based in Boston that specializes in working with technology-focused companies. With over 20 years of experience in the industry and a team of seasoned PR professionals, BIGfish Communications has built a solid reputation for delivering results-driven campaigns. BIGfish has worked with various clients, ranging from startups to large, well-established companies such as Logitech, ASUS, and Microsoft.

Businesses needing PR services in the technology industry would benefit the most from BIGfish Communications’ expertise. Its deep understanding of the latest trends and insights in the industry and strong media relationships to leverage for secure coverage in top-tier publications. Its strategic approach to PR sets it apart from other agencies, emphasizing transparency and building strong partnerships with its clients.

Services Offered:

Media Relations
Strategy & Planning
Messaging & Positioning
Media Training

14. PressFriendly

PressFriendly is a highly effective PR service for businesses specializing in media relations, messaging, and content creation. With a team of experienced PR professionals who help businesses to craft their messages and communicate them effectively to the media. One of PressFriendly’s strongest solutions is its targeted media outreach, which involves identifying the most relevant journalists and bloggers in a particular industry and pitching them with engaging stories and news.

PressFriendly has a proven history of success in delivering results for businesses. They have helped clients to secure coverage in top-tier media outlets such as The New York Times, CNN, and Forbes, and have helped businesses to raise their profile and build their reputation. The company has received numerous accolades for its work, and has been recognized by publications such as TechCrunch and Fast Company as one of the leading PR firms in the industry.

Services Offered:

Tech PR
Consumer PR

15. SmartBug Media

SmartBug Media is an award-winning PR agency that provides a wide range of services aimed at boosting businesses’ marketing and PR efforts.

SmartBug Media has a proven history of success in delivering top-notch PR services to their clients. They have helped businesses of all sizes and industries to build their brand, increase their web traffic, and generate leads. Their work has earned them numerous accolades including being named HubSpot’s 2020 Global Partner of the Year. Above all, SmartBug Media is an excellent choice for businesses looking to improve their PR efforts and achieve their marketing goals.

Services Offered:

Media Relations
Crisis Management
Content Creation

Find the Right PR Agency for You

Choosing the right PR agency for your business is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on your brand image and overall success. By understanding your business needs, researching potential agencies, and asking important questions, you can find the perfect PR partner to elevate your brand’s public image. Remember to choose a partner who understands your brand, shares your values, and has the experience and resources to help you achieve your goals.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Social Media Analytics: The Ultimate Guide

With over 4.5 billion social media users across the globe, it’s no wonder businesses need to be active on social media to connect with their audience.

However, simply existing on social media isn’t enough; marketers need to use social media analytics to ensure they post content with the highest ROI.  

Social media analytics and reporting give your business the best chance to produce engaging content that positively impacts your bottom line consistently.

Social media analytics provides insight into several essential factors directly tied to your marketing efforts and business success.

Here’s a list that explains the importance of social media analytics:

Develop a deeper understanding of who your target audience is and where they spend their time
Identify which social platforms receive the most significant amount of traffic
Determine what type of social content leads to the most conversions, engagements, etc.
Discover what type of social media post has the most significant reach and resonates best with your audience on specific platforms.
Learn about what is and isn’t working in terms of social media campaigns and ads among your audience during their life and after they wrap up.
Develop a more robust social media strategy for your business’s specific goals related to things like your marketing, sales, and service efforts.

Social Media Analytics Reports

Social media analytics reports provide an overview of specific metrics and data points — such as engagements and impressions — related to the content you share on various social media platforms.

Simply put, reports are how you’ll review your social media analytics.

Social media analytics tools (which we’ll review next) make the creation of reports simple — some of these resources provide reports from one social platform at a time. In contrast, others offer reports from multiple social media.

Either way, social media analytics reporting tools are typically customizable — meaning you can view and pull the data and reports that matter most to you and your business.

With the tools we will review below, reports can be automatically made and shared for you. But here are some of the unique aspects of social media analytics reports that you can typically customize:

Statistics and data points that matter to you will be displayed in the report
Time frame (weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, campaign start to end)
Progress growth (i.e., how you’ll share your progress growth over time through a report — typically, either in the form of a snapshot or a comparison of stats in a given period).

Learn how to create impactful monthly reports to show ROI on your social media efforts.

As stated, your reports will be unique based on the analytics software or tool you use. However, let’s look at some of the most common social media analytics reports you may come across or create at some point.

Types of Social Media Analytics Reports

Let’s look at HubSpot’s social media analytics reporting options to give you some different reports available in commonly-used tools.

1. Audience Analytics Report

The Audience report displays your current number of followers for each social account compared to the number you had in a previous period.

2. Published Posts Analytics Report

The Published Posts report shows the number of social posts published across your social accounts during a specific period.

3. Interactions Analytics Report

The Interactions report displays the number of likes, reactions, and comments on your posts across multiple platforms.

4. Clicks Analytics Report

The Clicks report displays how many clicks you get on your social posts published through HubSpot.

5. Shares Analytics Report

The Shares report displays the number of posts your audience members shared.

6. Impressions Analytics Report

The Impressions report shows the number of views that posts on your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram pages received.

7. Sessions Analytics Report

The Sessions report displays how many web sessions on your site took place within a given period driven by social media.

8. New Contacts Analytics Report

The New Contacts report displays how many new contacts have been created in HubSpot due to web sessions driven by social media within the selected period.

Now you may be wondering what tools are available to help you pull these reports and data — next, we’ll cover some of your options.

Best Social Media Analytics Tools

There are many social media analytics tools available today, which is why identifying the right one for your business can seem daunting. We’ve compiled the following list of seven of our favorites to help get you started.

Download ten free social media templates to help you manage and optimize your content for the best results.

1. HubSpot Social Media Software

HubSpot Social Media Software gives insight into the customer journey through integrated analytics tools.

These help you understand which marketing tactics work best among your audience, determine how your marketing efforts impact your bottom line, and learn about your search engine optimization (SEO)-related ROI.

Try HubSpot’s social media tools free for 30 days.

In addition, HubSpot’s Social Media Software has severala resources available for you to implement in your strategy.

These resources include social media analytics report templates, free social media analytics tools, and social media courses.

Note: HubSpot also integrates with other analytics software, like Oktopost. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are powerful platforms HubSpot can integrate with.

To learn more about HubSpot integration, visit our integrations marketplace.

2. TweetDeck

TweetDeck is an analytics tool used for Twitter. It works in real-time to help you view and analyze your Tweet engagement, organization, management, and tracking on the platform.

3. Buffer

Buffer provides an in-depth look at how you can strategize to grow your brand on social media.

The software does this by measuring your performance on various social platforms, creating detailed reports about the data points that matter to you, and recommending ways to improve your reach, engagement, and more.

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite allows you to create customized social media reports using over 200 metrics across your social channels and campaigns.

These reports are easily shareable with members of your team and your clients to keep everyone on the same page and prove ROI.

5. Sprout Social

Sprout Social provides a look into your customers’ needs through the conversations your customers and followers are having on social media.

The software also measures your specific content and campaign work across various platforms and channels to determine what’s working best among audience members and what should be improved upon.

(Note: Sprout Social is another social media software integrates with HubSpot.)

6. Mention

A mention is a tool that allows your company to monitor, listen, and analyze your posts and your interactions with and among audience members via different social channels and platforms.

The software also makes creating automated reports to share this data with fellow employees or clients easy.

Next, look at applying these tools and resources in your day-to-day work by reviewing the steps in tracking social media analytics (also known as your social media analytics strategy).

Work through the following steps to begin tracking your social media analytics and gaining a better understanding of which parts of your processes are working and which need to be modified. Again, you can think of this as your social media analytics strategy.

1. Set SMART social media analytics goals.

Create and set SMART goals to help you achieve your social media analytics goals.

By ensuring your goals are SMART, they’ll be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound and you’ll be able to focus your strategy to reach or even exceed your expectations efficiently.

First, ask yourself, “What do I want to learn from my social media analytics?” Then, dive into each part of the SMART goal. Here’s an example of a SMART plan related to your social media analytics strategy for reference.

Use a free template to help you create SMART goals and achieve them.

Specific: I want to use social media analytics to identify specific data points related to my marketing tactics to determine which posts and campaigns work best in reaching and engaging our audience members.
Measurable: I want to be able to identify some specific data points to accomplish this goal.
Attainable: I will identify three specific data points to help accomplish this goal.
Relevant: These data points will help my team, and I measure our success in reaching and engaging our audience members across social media channels and identify gaps or areas for improvement in our social media strategy.
Time-bound: I want to identify these specific data points over the next month. 

This way, in four weeks, we can use them to measure our success in reaching and engaging audience members across social channels and identify gaps and areas for improvement in our social media strategy.

2. Decide which metrics you’ll focus on and track.

Now it’s time to decide which social media metrics you will track. There are several commonly-tracked social media metrics for your consideration.

Metrics may vary by social platform and which analytics tool you choose. But here are some all-encompassing metrics applicable to virtually every social channel and analytics tool to get started.

Reach is the total number of people who have seen your content.
Engagements are all interactions, including shares, likes, and comments.
Impressions are the number of times content is displayed on someone’s feed.
Mentions are when audience members or other companies reference your business and brand on social media.
Social ROI provides insight into whether your investment in your social media marketing results in an increase or decrease in customers, sales, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.
Social listening is when you monitor conversations about your business and brand on social media to see what customers and audience members say about you.
Likes are when an audience member taps (or double taps) on your social content to show they’re a fan of your post.
Retweets/shares/reposts are when audience members post your business’s published content on their profiles.

3. Determine which social media analytics tools you’ll use.

Next, determine which social media analytics tools you’ll use — we covered some popular choices above, but you can always review other options through a simple Google search.

Before deciding on which tool or tools you’ll use, think about the following questions:

Do you want a tool or software to help you manage your social media analytics across multiple channels and platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) or just one (e.g., Twitter)?
Which metrics did you decide to track (as discussed above)?
What is your budget? Do you need a tool with flexible pricing options and features that you can add to or remove over time? (To find this information, review the pricing pages like this page on Sprout Social’s website.)
Which tools and software options are suited to help you achieve your SMART goals? (Check out feature pages for this type of information, like this page on Oktopost’s website.)
Do you want your tool to integrate with your team’s more powerful software to run your business (such as HubSpot’s CRM, for example)?

4. Measure the success of your social media analytics efforts.

Once you implement your social media analytics software, you’ll be able to measure the success of your efforts.

To do this, you’ll need to use the analytics tool you implemented. Depending on your software, you can create customized reports and dashboards or pull the specific details about data points you care most about.

In addition to applying your tools to help measure your success, you may also consider your answers to the following questions:

Did you achieve your SMART goals?
Did the metrics you chose to focus on tell a story helpful for your business?
Did the software or tool you implemented support your business needs?

5. Make necessary social media analytics adjustments.

Once you measure the success of your social media analytics efforts, you’ll be able to determine whether or not any part of your strategy needs to be changed or updated.

Maybe you realize one of your data points isn’t providing the level of insight into your marketing efforts across social platforms, so you need to identify a new one to measure.

Maybe your software doesn’t allow you to customize cross-channel reports how you want to, so you must implement a new tool.

Or, if you’re happy with how your social media analytics reporting and strategy is working, be sure to revisit your system in the future to ensure it continues to meet your expectations.

Begin Tracking and Applying Social Media Analytics

By tracking and applying social media analytics to your strategy, you’ll be able to reach your audience more effectively.

And when you do this, you’ll see improvements in factors directly tied to your ROI, like engagement, conversions, loyalty, and more.

Consider which tools and software are best for you and determine how you’ll track your social media analytics to create deeper relationships with your customers and followers.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.


The Complete Guide to Real Estate SEO

Think about the last time you were considering buying something. Your journey probably started in the same place as everyone else: a quick Google search.

Buying a house is no different. The National Association of REALTORS reported that 97% of buyers used the internet at least once during their search, with about half ending up buying a home they found online. Just having a website is part of the game for realtors these days.

If you’re in a competitive market, just having a website might not be enough. For realtors looking to maximize the results, you’ve got to invest more energy to attract buyers through search engine optimization (SEO).

Keep reading for a comprehensive overview of how SEO can level up your real estate website.

Table of Contents

What is real estate SEO?
Benefits of Real Estate SEO
Getting Started With Real Estate SEO
Best Practices for Real Estate SEO

What is real estate SEO?

Search engine optimization is a way of labeling, organizing, and presenting information on the pages of your website so that search engines can better understand what they’re about.

This way, Google becomes more likely to give your web page as a potential answer to the searcher’s question along four key principles known as E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authority, trust).

For real estate website SEO, the same principles apply but focus on the specific terms home buyers will be searching for. These are considered “keywords” that you would include in your web pages to appear higher, or “rank” better, in the search results.

Improving your SEO strategy involves focusing on more specific, local search queries to ensure more targeted results, updating the backend of your website so that the necessary information is there for search engines to see, and understanding what potential clients are looking for.

Benefits of a Real Estate SEO

SEO is not a quick fix or a one-time strategy but a consistent, ongoing effort.

It may require a bit more effort upfront and long-term commitment, but the rewards will be worth it in the end. The benefits from additional visibility can include the following.

Attracting More Buyers and Listings

Making your website easier to find makes buyers and sellers more likely to see it. That translates to more listings, more buyers, and a thriving real estate business.

Increased Brand Awareness

By focusing on the topics your buyers are searching for, you can boost credibility for your real estate business by showcasing your expertise.

That way, even if the searcher isn’t currently in the market, you will have a better chance to be the one they reach out to when they are.

Reducing Paid Channels

Another huge benefit of SEO is to reduce the amount of money you spend driving traffic through paid search ads or social media networks. In fact, according to one Forrester study, investment in SEO can have an ROI as high as 12X.

The more you put into SEO, the less you have to pay for paid channels, and the results will compound over time.

SEO Is “Always On”

Similarly, by investing in an SEO strategy, you can always drive traffic to your website regardless of whether you’re also investing in digital ads.

That way, your website can always attract your next buyer or seller.

Getting Started With Real Estate SEO

To reiterate, SEO is a long-term investment in your business. The most important step is getting started.

Here are the major things you should tackle immediately as you refine your SEO strategy.

1. Conduct keyword research.

Keyword research is the first, but often most important, step when improving your real estate SEO strategy. It starts with understanding how often buyers search for specific terms, how many other companies are competing for those terms, and other factors.

For instance, the keyword phrase “homes for sale” is likely extremely competitive, with everyone competing for it in the real estate search results.

As you add on more specific search terms or aim for long-tail keywords, such as “homes for sale in Chelmsford, MA,” you might be able to have your website rank higher if Google deems your website to be the best answer to the searcher’s query.

Pro tip: Consider using an SEO tool, like Semrush or Arel=”noopener” target=”_blank” hrefs, when conducting keyword research. These programs provide information on keyword difficulty and search volume. You can then better target keywords for your website.

2. Optimize your website.

While Google’s algorithm only continues to get smarter, it still needs help understanding exactly what a page is about.

As you update your website, pay close attention to how your pages are organized using header tags, meta descriptions, and other details.

Once you’ve incorporated more of the identified keywords from the first step, consider adding more content to your site. That might include starting a blog, adding video content, or having images and infographics related to home buying in your area.

All of these content types provide a clearer picture for the search engine to understand what your website is about.

Pro tip: Are you new to blog writing? HubSpot’s content assistant leverages the power of AI to make writing easy. You can have the program generate text, create an outline for you to follow, or rephrase your existing writing.

3. Focus on technical SEO.

SEO isn’t just about writing more content and incorporating as many keywords as possible. Technical SEO refers to all the behind-the-scenes elements that search engines crawl and index. This can include your site optimization, page speed, and mobile compatibility.

You’ll want to ensure your images are optimized and your pages are structured so search engines can understand their content.

Pro tip: If you’re new to technical SEO, this course from HubSpot Academy can help you build the right foundation.

4. Monitor progress.

According to clearscope.io, it can take anywhere from one to six months and upwards of 12 to rank within the top 10 Google results. Using your analytics platform, you’ll want to keep track of the changes you’ve made and monitor how your ranking changes over time.

As you refine your SEO strategy, you should align your website additions and updates with the goals you’re trying to reach, whether that’s increased brand awareness, more home buyers contacting you, or increasing the number of available listings in your arsenal.

Best Practices for Real Estate SEO

SEO is a wide-ranging, constantly changing discipline. It can also get very technical the more you dive into it.

Fortunately, you can get most of the benefits out of your real estate SEO strategy by adopting these best practices.

Start a blog.

Most pages online, even those in the top 10 search results, are dated. Nearly 60% of the pages ranking in the top 10 Google results are two years old, if not older.

Having a regularly updated blog can help improve page rankings on SERPs. All other things being equal, search engines will favor newer content over older posts.

Plus, according to Hubspot’s customer data, companies that produce a blog have 434% more search engine-indexed pages and get 55% more visitors than those that don’t.

Keep meta descriptions up to date.

43% of people click on a given result solely based on the meta description. At the same time, 25% of top-ranking websites have left the meta description field blank.

While this isn’t an immediate problem, as search engines will auto-generate one for you, you’re missing a chance to make the copy more enticing for users to click on your site.

Focus on the right keywords.

When using tools like Google Search Console to understand what users are searching for, don’t focus too much on those with the highest volume. Often, these will be the most competitive and hardest to rank for.

Instead, lower volume but less competitive keywords might be a better option, as you’ll likely have an increased chance of getting that coveted #1 ranking.

Get backlinks to your website.

As part of its calculations, search engines look at how many other websites are linking to yours, which is called backlinking. A backlink strategy is an important part of your real estate website SEO, as it helps drive more organic traffic from other websites to yours.

These backlinks boost your website’s authority, improving rankings over time. Backlinks are also a valuable source of referral traffic, helping to increase website visitors and ultimately leading to potential buyers or listings.

Start your SEO strategy today.

Investing in a real estate SEO strategy is a great way for realtors to increase website visibility and gain more customers, both on the buyer and listing sides.

Through keyword research and optimizing your website’s backend, you can ensure that your pages appear at the top of search engine results.

Investing in SEO can lead to increased sales and reduced costs on paid channels which means that the effort you put in will be well worth the work over time.

How to Use XLookup in Excel

Working with large data sets is always tricky. Excel is one of the most powerful tools you can use to manipulate, format, and analyze large sets of information.

Several well-known functions exist to help you look up specific matches within a dataset, like VLookup.

But functions like VLookup had certain limitations, so Microsoft recently introduced the XLookup function to Excel. It provides a more robust method for finding specific values in a data set.

Knowing how to use it effectively can drastically cut down the time you spend trying to analyze data in Excel.

What does XLookup do in Excel?

The Benefits of XLookup in Excel

XLookup Required Arguments

XLookup Optional Arguments

How to Use XLookup in Excel

Best Practices for XLookup in Excel

What does XLookup do in Excel?

The core functionality of the XLookup is the ability to search for specific values in a range or array of data. When you run the function, a corresponding value is returned from another range or array.

Ultimately, it’s a search tool for your Excel datasets.

Depending on your arguments, XLookup will show you the first or last value in instances with more than one matching result.

Other lookup functions like VLookup (vertical lookup) or HLookup (horizontal lookup) have limitations, such as only searching from right to left. Users need to either rearrange data or find complex workarounds to mitigate this.

XLookup is a far more flexible solution, allowing you to get partial matches, use more than one search criteria and use nested queries.

Check out this XLookup Excel tutorial to see it in action:

The Benefits of XLookup in Excel

The main benefit of XLookup in Excel is the time savings it provides. You can achieve the search result without manipulating data positioning, for example.

Like other Excel lookup formulas, it saves a huge amount of time that would otherwise have to be spent manually scrolling through rows and rows of data.

When it comes to comparisons with other lookup functions, XLookup’s flexibility is key. For example, you can use wildcard characters to search for partial matches.

This helps to reduce errors overall, as you can use it to find data that may be misspelled or entered incorrectly.

The arguments for XLookup are also simpler than VLookup, making it faster and easier to use. XLookup defaults to an exact match, for example, whereas you would have to specify this in your VLookup argument.

The overall functionality of XLookup is superior since it can return multiple results at once. One example of this use case would be searching for the top five values in a particular dataset.

XLookup Required Arguments

Your XLookup function requires three arguments:

Lookup_value: This is the value you’re searching for in an array.
Lookup_array: This is the range of cells where you want the return value to be displayed.
Return_array: This is the range of cells where you want the function to search for the value.

So a simple version of an XLookup would look like this:

=XLOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_array, return_array)

XLookup Optional Arguments

The XLookup function also has several optional arguments that you can use for more complex scenarios or to narrow down your search:

Match_mode: This determines the type of match to use, such as exact match or wildcard match to get partial matches.
Search_mode: This determines whether your function should search from left to right or vice versa.
If_not_found: This argument tells the function what value should be returned if there is no match at all.

With optional arguments included, the XLookup function looks like this:

=XLOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_array, return_array, [if_not_found], [match_mode], [search_mode])

How to Use XLookup in Excel

1. Open the Excel and the datasheet on which you want to use the XLookup function.

2. Select the cell where you want to place the XLookup Excel formula.

3. Type “=” into that cell and then type “XLookup.” Click on the “XLookup” option that comes up in the dropdown.

4. An opening parenthesis will automatically generate. After the opening bracket, enter the required arguments in the correct order: lookup_value, lookup_array, and return_array.

This means selecting the range of cells for each argument and placing a comma before moving on to the next argument.

5. If you’re using any optional arguments, enter them after the required arguments.

6. When your XLookup arguments are complete, add a closing parenthesis before hitting enter.

7. The results of your XLookup should be displayed in the cell where you entered the function.

In this Excel XLookup example, we used XLookup to find out the grade for a particular student. So, the lookup_value was the student’s name (“Ruben Pugh”).

The lookup_array was the list of student names under column A. Finally, the lookup_return was the list of student grades under column C. With that formula, the function returned the value of the student’s grade: C-.

But how do you use XLookup with the optional arguments?

Using the same data set as above, let’s say we want to find the attendance rate for a student with the surname “Smith.”

Here, we’re telling Excel to return the message “Not Found” if it cannot retrieve the value, indicating that the student “Smith” is not on this list:

Now, let’s say we want to determine whether any students had an attendance rate of 70%. But we also want to know the next closest attendance rate if 70% does not exist in the dataset.

We’ll use the value “1” under the match_mode argument to find the next largest item if 70 does not exist:

Since no student has a 70% attendance rate, the XLookup has returned “75,” the next largest value.

Best Practices for XLookup in Excel

Use Descriptive References

It’s preferable to use descriptive references for the cells you’re using rather than generic ranges like A1:A12.

When it comes time to adjust your formula (which you tend to do frequently with a function like XLookup), descriptive references make it easier to understand what you were originally using the formula to do.

This is also useful if you pass the spreadsheet off to a new user who needs to understand the formula references quickly.

Use Exact Match Where Possible

Using the exact match default within the formula (as opposed to wildcard characters) helps ensure you don’t get unintended values in the return.

Wildcard characters are more useful for identifying partial matches, but the exact match is the best way to ensure the formula works as intended.

Keep Argument Ranges the Same Size

When putting your arguments together, make sure that you use the same number of cells for the return_array and the look_up array. If not, you’ll get an error, and Excel will only return #VALUE in the cell.

Test Your Formula

It’s not difficult to fix problems with a simple XLookup. But if you’re using nested functions or XLookup in conjunction with other formulas, ensure you’re testing everything along the way.

If you don’t and receive an error, it can be challenging to work backward and identify where the function is going wrong.

Getting Started

As a new and improved way to use lookup functionality in Excel, the XLookup outperforms the classic VLookup in multiple ways.

While the basics of the function are easy to grasp, it can take some practice to use XLookup in more complex ways. But with some practice data and test scenarios to work on, you’ll master the XLookup in no time.