I’m Rasheed Nabulsi, I’m 41 years old and I live in Beirut, Lebanon.
I’m a Google Expert, I specialize in Search Engine Optimization SEO, Search Engine Marketing SEM, Display Advertising GDN, YouTube Ads, Google Shopping Ads and Universal App Campaigns UAC. I am Certified in Digital Marketing from Duke University, Computer Science from the American University of Beirut AUB and Project Management PMP from PMI.
I started Loewe Digital in 2012 to give small businesses the chance to advertise professionally on today’s major digital platforms without having to worry about paying thousands of dollars in agency contracts and without having to compromise on quality.
I believe that for many small businesses, outsourcing Digital Marketing can bring better results than hiring an in-house Digital Marketer.
Small businesses often have a limited budget and can only afford to hire a Junior Digital Marketer which often leads to suboptimal results.
Outsourcing to an experienced Digital Marketer brings the best of 2 worlds: high quality work and affordable rates compared to an Agency.
The only element of doubt is can you trust an individual versus an Agency?
During my 9 years journey in Digital Marketing, I worked both as a Consultant and as part of an Agency, with clients in diverse industries that range from Electronics E-Commerce, to Real Estate, News/Media, Telecom, E-Learning, Business Consulting, Security, Cosmetics E-Commerce, Life Coaching and others. My clients are based in Lebanon, USA, Australia and The Gulf Region.
Loewe Digital offers the following Services:
Search Engine Optimization SEO
Search Engine Marketing SEM
Display Advertising GDN
Google Shopping Ads
Universal App Campaigns UAC
My Contact Info
Lebanon: Phone | Whatsapp: +961 70 580 617
US: +1 506 200 6505
The amateur’s first reaction when asked about how well they are doing in SEO is to google their company name and check if it comes in first position in Google Search.
The more knowledgeable would google their most important product or service to see if and where they rank on Google Search.
And simplistically, this is correct, but what is it exactly that determines how Google ranks your website and are you doing everything that must be done in order to maximize your ranking in the Search Results?
There are more than 200 ranking factors and a secret formula that Google uses to determine your ranking. The secret formula is called the Google Algorithm. It’s updated regularly, and all SEO professionals follow these updates closely as they tend to shuffle rankings around significantly in some updates.
Although the details of the Google Algorithm are secret, Google selectively reveals major ranking factors from time to time to encourage website builders to follow the trends that Google wants to set. Google itself follows the needs and satisfaction of the user as they evolve on Search.
I have grouped these top ranking factors into 3 groups that come in a certain hierarchy.
At the base of the pyramid is Technical SEO.
If Google was giving you a grade for SEO, a perfect Technical SEO on your website would give you … (guess what?) … 0/100. Wait, let me explain with another example, if your Technical SEO was less then perfect, your SEO score would be -x/100. Yes that’s right, a negative grade.
So no matter how good your website is in other aspects, your website would be disqualified. While a good Technical SEO score puts you on the right track to compete (you start from zero, not negative).
At the center of the pyramid are Content and User Experience (UX). You may have heard the saying “Content is king”. Well, it really is. Ultimately Google wants to serve relevant and useful Content to its users, this is what it’s all about. The million processes in the Ranking Algorithm are all working to achieve this. The other primary objective of Google is to give its users a good experience.
So at the end, it’s the quality of your site’s Content along with the User Experience that users experience on your website that matter the most.
At the top of the pyramid, let’s imagine 2 websites A and B having both equally good Content. How does Google decide which website to rank first?
Domain Authority is a complex metric that describes a domain’s authority, i.e. how reliable it is.
The answer to above question is that Google will choose the website with a higher Domain Authority and rank it first.
It makes sense to serve reliable information from trustworthy sources first.
Let’s start with how to check your Technical SEO.
Technical SEO is, well, very technical. But I will give a couple of tools that could give you a some good indication about the status of your website without the need for any technical knowledge.
What you should know is that Google has started Mobile-First Indexing. Google is now basically judging website based on their Mobile version.
The other thing you should know is that speed is the most important technical factor for Google.
The first tool we will use is GTmetrix:
Simply enter your website and click on Test your site.
Grades A and B are good grades.
If you a get a GTmetrix Grade of C, your website’s performance is at the limit and that many changes need to be made,
Grades below C are bad and suggest you have some serious work ahead.
Another important number is Performance (right of Grade).
To the right, Web Vitals: green means good, bad numbers will be red, so the more green numbers the better.
We won’t go into the details of each. The guide is just to show non-SEO professionals how their website is doing in SEO.
And now we will go for a deeper look into GTmetrix.
Click Performance Tab (right to Summary).
Again, the greener the numbers, the better.
Pay attention to:
Speed Index which should be 1.3s or less.
Time to Interactive which should 2.5s or less.
You can read what they mean in the picture above.
But now we only checked the desktop version of your site.
What about Mobile? Since we said that Google is favoring the Mobile version’s performance in SEO ranking.
For this we will use another important and free tool: Google PageSpeed Insights.
Simply enter your website and click Analyze:
As you can read, 90 above is a very good score, 50-89 needs improvement, below 50 is very weak.
These 2 quick and free tests on GTmetrix and PageSpeed Insights will give you a solid clue into where your website stands in terms of Technical SEO Performance.
To properly communicate with the developers of your website all the SEO requirements and to follow up with all the technical issues and make sure they are all resolved, consider hiring the services of a Technical SEO Expert.
Before we can start working on Content, a phase known as Keyword Research is necessary.
Keyword research is determining your most important and profitable keywords based on search volume, keyword difficulty and buyer funnel stage of the keyword as well as other factors.
Keyword research requires paid tools so I won’t go into that here.
But by using common sense, you can find your most obvious keywords at least, and make sure they are 1- used 2- properly used on your website.
Keyword research is the single most important activity you will have to perform for SEO.
To make sure this crucial part is done right for your website, consider hiring SEO Keyword Research Services.
So we’ve talked about Technical SEO, and we are working our way to reach Content. But before we discuss Content, right between Technical SEO and Content, there’s a subfield of SEO called On-Page SEO.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO is basically good 1- management and 2- placement of your keywords on your pages.
In the keyword management part, there should be a keyword mapping document that maps each page that matters to you to ONE primary keyword. 1 page = 1 keyword.
Let’s say you have an e-commerce website and that you sell laptops and TVs.
The page on your website containing the laptops category should have a primary keyword assigned to it, let’s say buy laptops online, while the page containing TVs should have a primary keyword such as buy TVs online.
What you can do for now is make sure this keyword mapping between your important pages and their respective primary keywords is done correctly.
It’s important NOT to have 2 or more of your pages competing for the same keyword on Google. This is referred to as keyword cannibalization.
So remember: 1 page <—> 1 keyword.
In the keyword placement part of On-Page SEO, the primary keyword of your page should be included in certain HTML elements on your page.
This keyword integration should be done for each and every page.
We’ll use example keyword “Laptops in Beirut” in below.
To simplify things, your keyword should appear in your page’s:
1- Page URL. This the web address of the page – www.example.com/laptops-in-beirut/
2- Page Title. This is what your read in your browser’s tab when you are viewing your page. Example: Laptops in Beirut.
3- Page H1 Heading. The biggest title on your page. example: Laptops in Beirut
4- Around 2-3 times in your body text. No hard rule for this, but avoid keyword overstuffing. example: If you are looking to buy Laptops in Beirut, etc..
5- In Page images Alt-Text. This is the description that appears when the image doesn’t load or the user isn’t able to see it. Example: Macbook Laptops in Beirut.
6- In Page Meta Description. This has no effect on SEO anymore because it was abused in the past. However having your keyword in your meta description helps users understand what your page is about and increase CTR (Click Through Rate). This is the description that appears on Google Search below the title of your website. Example: We supply and deliver Laptops in Beirut, choose from a wide range of models.
Notice how “Laptop in Beirut” my primary keyword is included in all above keywords and page elements.
So for each one of your important pages, check if your main keyword is appearing in all above elements of your page.
If not, consider hiring On-Page SEO Services. On-Page has a huge influence on ranking and is the easiest area to get results from if done correctly.
Next, we discuss Content.
Google wants Content that’s:
1- Relevant (to what the user is looking for)
Google AI algorithms can simulate how a real user (a human) would perceive Content in many aspects.
So if you want to impress Google, focus on and write for your users, in a natural language that users can easily understand.
Help users, be useful with what you write.
Page Content Length:
Google considers pages with less than 300 words as thin content pages.
I recommend a minimum of 350 words.
This is if you don’t have much to say in a particular page.
If you want to have a real chance at ranking high, you need 1,500 to 2,000 words of high quality Content.
So check your important pages:
- Are they unique on the internet
- Do they contain reliable information with references
- Are they useful to the user: do they solve their problems? Add to their knowledge?
- Do they have at least 350 words? Or better 1,500 to 2,000 words?
If not, consider hiring SEO Content Writing Services, because ultimately, all the science of SEO and of the Google Algorithm is just to evaluate and reward good content. If there’s no Content, there’s nothing to do SEO for.
UX USER EXPERIENCE
UX is a central SEO ranking factor. Google wants users to absolutely enjoy using the websites that they return in Search.
User Experience included ease of use, helpfulness and speed.
As a user, you want to be able to perform any action you like on the website easily, the site needs to show you useful features and it needs to be fast.
I think that the above describes a good user experience.
One thing to note is that Google has decided to give priority to the Mobile version of the website when assessing it for SEO, and this includes UX.
So take your mobile phone, open you website and imagine every single need that your customers could have when visiting your site.
Try to fulfill these on your mobile phone.
How easy was it?
I recommend you write a list of all imaginable problems your user would be looking to solve by visiting your website and this includes doing simple things such as navigating the different pages of the website or performing a filtered search. Finally check the check out process if you a have an e-commerce. Check the process from A to Z, complete a purchase and make sure everything went smoothly at every step.
To do this in a systematic way and make sure you don’t miss any valuable opportunities, consider hiring the services of a UX SEO Expert. The User and his Experience are the whole goal of Google, so pay special attention to UX.
We finally reach Domain Authority.
To make things simple and understandable, let’s come up with an example:
An event happens and 2 persons make opposite statements about it.
The first person is President Biden, and the second person is John, a bakery shop owner in NYC.
Who’s statement do you think CNN will cover?
President Biden and John might have equally good Content, but the media picks the President and diffuses his Content to the whole world.
Google is like CNN, it gives priority to trustable sources above all other.
Domain Authority measures this trust.
Google used to make this number public for anyone, it was called Page Rank, but then Google decided to hide it.
Many tools calculate Domain Authority their own way and some tools are more accurate than others. I won’t go into paid tools in this page.
The primary factors in Domain Authority are Links and Domain Age.
The older the domain, the more authoritative it becomes.
Links are like the votes that got Biden elected President.
How do websites vote?
If CNN features an article about SEO and Loewe Digital is mentioned in the article with a link to www.loewedigital.com, then this the exact same thing as CNN voting for Loewe Digital.
Acquiring Links or Backlinks is complicated science and art because Google doesn’t like it at all to happen in bad ways (Black Hat SEO).
Google wants it occur naturally and of course people try to manipulate this.
Google got very smart in the last few years, so if you are doing Link Building it has to be or at least exactly look like White Hat SEO. You can’t trick Google anymore by using cheap services that sell Backlinks in bulk for a low price.
Every link you acquire has to make sense, otherwise it will count against you as Google will penalize your website.
Managing this Link Building activity is very delicate because officially you should impress other websites with break-through and unique valuable Content so that they naturally mention you and link to your website.
This is like trying to come up with a scoop in a news channel.
If you’re SEO competitor has 1,000 Links, you have to come up with 1,000 or more scoops and follow up on each and every single scoop to make sure it gets published.
This intense and critical area of SEO is definitely better off left to an SEO Link Building Expert.
If you make any non-intelligent mistakes, you risk having your website complete de-indexed, i.e. removed from Google altogether.