Voice Search: What is it and Why is it Important to SEO Services?

“Hey Siri, where should I go to dinner tonight?”

“Hey Alexa, what kind of toothpaste should I buy?”

“Hey Google, what kind of workout should I do today?”


These are just a few questions that people all over the world are asking their voice assistants right now. This probably isn’t news to you. Since the rollout of Amazon’s Alexa tools in 2014, voice assistant devices have been as ubiquitous as smartphones and have infiltrated our daily lives in the same manner. However, what you might not know is how much this new technology is — or should be– influencing your digital strategy. Incorporating voice into your digital strategy is essential for staying competitive in today’s technological landscape. We’ve put together this guide to help you integrate voice assistants into your strategy for 2020. 


How Did The Voice Search Boom Begin?

Although voice technology has blossomed in recent years, the voice revolution stems all the way back to the 1960s. In 1961 IBM introduced IMB Shoebox, the first digital speech recognition tool. This tool only recognized 16 words and digits, a paltry number compared to Alexa’s current 30,000 skills. 

In 1997, Dragon released the first speech recognition product available for consumers called Dragon Dictate which ran for a whopping $6,000. Fourteen years later as technology improved and the price point decreased, Apple released Siri, a voice assistant that uses voice queries and a natural-language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Internet services. Since the introduction of Siri in 2011, voice technology has continued to improve and has transitioned into sophisticated in-home assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. 

More than 66% of Americans currently own a smart-speaker and research suggests that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be screenless. With no signs of slowing down, voice recognition technology will undoubtedly continue to be a major player in the digital marketing field for years to come.

Why You Need to Start Thinking About Voice Strategy 

It’s clear that voice recognition technology is not just a passing fad. Brands that fail to consider voice technology in their strategy will be left in the dust by competitors that are taking advantage of the limitless marketing possibilities of this new phenomenon. Voice recognition technology effects: 


Customer Experience 

Voice strategy is one of the most intriguing new tools being used to improve customer experience. 

You know when you’re talking about how bad you need a new shampoo and then hours later you see ads for shampoo in your timeline? That’s voice AI. It may be creepy and feel a little invasive, but it’s what’s happening and it what’s working. Because voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home are designed to identify its user’s voice, it allows them to present content that will be appealing to that specific user based on previous interactions. This is elevating customer experience because it allows people to cut through the clutter and receive targeted content that is tailored to them. 

Furthermore, voice technology reduces the need for written interaction which can be a huge time-saver for busy customers and lend itself to conversion rate optimization by making it easier for users to respond to calls to action. Voice commands make certain processes easier and more convenient which users are constantly looking for in their chaotic day to day lives. Incorporating voice recognition into your products can greatly improve customer experience which usually equates to loyal customers and more sales. 



Voice technology is rapidly changing the game for SEO guidelines. Because search inquiries made through voice are often phrased differently than those made through written inquiries, content producers are having to adapt to these changes. Voice inquiries are often longer and more linguistically natural so incorporating longer keyword phrases that are often used in conversation can help you rank higher in voice SEO. These voice inquiries are also usually phrased in a question such as “Alexa, what movies are playing today?” as opposed to just typing “movie times” into a search engine. Using questions as keyword phrases will also help optimize SEO on voice recognition platforms. 



If you don’t have a voice strategy and your competitors do, guess who your customer base will likely find more easily? 

Those that do not have a voice strategy will be left in the dust following the voice revolution. Adhering to new SEO guidelines and adapting your current strategy to use voice technology will reward you in the future. You’ll be more easily accessible to voice assistant users and your content will be optimized for these platforms. Because voice technology is still in it’s beginning stages many brands have not adopted a voice strategy so get a leg up on the competition and start considering how voice will factor into your strategy this year.


Moving Forward 

Voice recognition technology isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so the bottom line is that you need to get with the times or be left behind. Voice assistants offer such an exciting range of new possibilities for the marketing industry so creatively integrating voice into your digital strategy can revolutionize your brand. Many brands are already successfully strategizing for voice marketing so there’s no better time than the present to begin using this groundbreaking technology.  Let us here at Zen Den help you bring your strategy to life with our professional web design and SEO services. Request a quote to get started today! 



SEO Auditing: A Step-By-Step Guide to Boost Your Site Rankings

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is likely one of the first strategies you will use to establish a strong ranking for your website. After all, keeping your site visible and high-ranking is a solid benchmark for success in content marketing. However, you may be wondering how your competitors outrank you each month despite your efforts. One way to give yourself a boost is SEO auditing. By following the steps ahead, you can attract more revenue, leads, and visitors.

Still, you may be wondering…


What is SEO Auditing?

Essentially, an SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of a website that evaluates its ability to appear in search engine results pages. A successful audit should provide you with reasons why your website is not performing as well as it could be. You may be providing visitors with stellar content and a clean design. But if search engines cannot read your website, all of that goes to waste. This is why auditing your website on a regular basis is critical to make the most of your SEO services. With that being said, you can follow these steps to conduct an SEO audit to boost your site ranking:


1. Check Website Traffic

When it comes to SEO, traffic is the goal. It is important to check your website’s traffic at least twice a week. You want to stay on top of any sudden dips that may be caused by a number of possible technical glitches. Alternatively, you want to be able to see if your traffic and search visibility increases with a high volume keyword. This is tangible evidence of your hard work.


2. Check Google Search Console Coverage Report

Google Search Console is a must-have tool for SEO. The pages you want Google to index need to show up in search results, and this tool can tell you just that. Ultimately, it will give you a look into how Google sees your pages – allowing you to monitor those on your website that are indexed. It also provides a way to catch errors such as crawling errors before they cause any damage.


3. Perform a Site Crawl


A site crawl can help you identify specific issues. It will point out pages you may have accidentally set to “noindex.” In this case, search engines cannot crawl your page and you lose the opportunity to rank for that page. It will also point out 404 errors (due to deletion or changed URL) and 500 errors (due to internal issues).


4. Make Sure Pages are Mobile-Friendly

Statistics show that by 2021, 52.3 million Internet users will only browse via mobile. With that being said, you want to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. You can use programs such as Google’s Mobile-Friendly test to see where you currently stand. It also allows you to see how your website looks on different devices.


5. Use a Content SEO Strategy

Your website should not only run well but present visitors with great content. Many websites achieve this by publishing articles, blogs, and whitepapers. However, there is a specific strategy to optimize your content. If you’re using WordPress you should install the Yoast SEO. This plugin shows how your work is optimized for target keywords. Your content marketing strategy will directly impact your ranking and traffic.


6. Check Site Speed and Load Time

Page speed is a priority in today’s fast-paced world. In a 2015 survey, 46% of people reported the thing they most disliked about mobile web-browsing is waiting for pages to load. If visitors become frustrated by slow load times, they will likely leave your website. Over time, this can have a huge impact on your traffic. There are many factors that impact your speed, such as page size, script issues, caching, image file size, and a high code-to-text ratio. You can determine your website’s speed with Pingdom’s Website Speed Test today.


Refine Your SEO Strategy with ZenDen

With a wide variety of web content services, ZenDen can help you achieve first-page traffic. Their knowledgeable SEO team provides monthly reports to help you identify opportunities and potential threats from competitors. Your online presence will remain secure and thriving. Request a quote today to get started!

5 Writing Tips for 2019 SEO Content Marketing

Content marketing has changed dramatically in the last few decades. Search engines like Google are now the first place consumers turn for information about products and services they might purchase. For content marketers, this is a great opportunity! SEO Content Marketing allows marketers to reach consumers more directly by steering them to the content they need. Review the tips below to help ensure your success in SEO marketing: 


1. Prioritize High-Quality Writing

By far the most important component of SEO content marketing is strong writing. Many marketers will attempt to scatter keywords throughout an article and disregard all the material between; this is a mistake! The top priority is to keep your reader engaged; engaged readers, in turn, are more likely to become engaged consumers. Try to go beyond creating simple, straightforward blog posts on the keyword topics and get creative with the content. There is a lot of content out there, but a lot of it is low-quality, so keeping your writing at a high standard will set you—and the products you are promoting—apart. A further incentive is that Google now penalizes businesses that consistently produce low-quality writing. This is significant because it can impact your SEO ranking, which ultimately will make you less effective. 


2. Include Keywords in your Headlines

While you do need a strong foundation in content, keywords do matter—so make sure to practice thorough keyword mapping. Keywords especially matter in headlines. If you can predict what consumers are searching for, try to match that as closely as you can in the header. Remember that your job as SEO content manager is to answer consumers’ questions effectively; understanding the users’ keywords and using them in your headlines will allow you to do this most efficiently. This, in turn, will often improve your site’s reputation because users will look to your site as a worthwhile and valuable resource (this improves your rating). Make sure you don’t use too many keywords, either—use a few, targeted terms that are specific to your product or service, and repeat them throughout the article. 


3. Understand—and Write for—your Target Market

This tip is related to the keyword advice—before you can come up with compelling and targeted keywords, you need to make sure you have an in-depth understanding of your target market. Think psychologically about what kinds of questions or concerns your consumers might have. Then use this foundation to come up with content and keywords that are tailored to answering these questions. Don’t overthink it and keep it simple, though; some of the best SEO marketing content is written around simple questions that consumers consistently search for. 


4. Keep your Content Fresh

Information is always shifting and needs to be updated consistently. One of the fastest ways to lose an interested site visitor is to neglect to update the site—consumers will not want to turn to a resource that is outdated. Some blog subjects are more conducive to “timeless” posts, which could theoretically continue to bring in site traffic indefinitely, but this is rare in the fast-paced world we live in. Most sites need to be updated monthly, if not weekly. This also sends the message to consumers that you are up-to-date on all the latest information. 


5. Include Backlinks

Make sure you include links (also known as “backlinks”): in-text references to other content on your own or other websites. This technique has been shown as a highly effective mechanism for bringing in more traffic. These days, this is the primary method used by websites to increase traffic to their sites. Search engines do check for a number of factors when reviewing in-text references, including topic relevance, the popularity of the site providing the references, and a website’s “trustworthiness,” so make sure you are linking to more high-quality content. 


Everything You Need to Know About SEO Content Writing

SEO content writing is becoming one of the most coveted skills. Why? Today, buyers prefer search engines over other, more traditional outlets, to help them identify the products and services they want. Directing customers to sites, therefore, requires high-quality SEO content writing, which helps expand a company’s visibility and rankings in search engine results. This means more site visits, which means more potential buyers.

Simplified, SEO content marketing does two things, 1) it increases rankings or the process used by search engines to decide where to position any given web page in the search results, and 2) it increases visibility or how appreciable a domain is in a given set of search results. Each of these outcomes, in turn, helps to drive traffic to the site. This is why it is so important to develop strong SEO content marketing skills! Below, we will go through a few core components of strong SEO content.


1. Technical Setup

This is the foundation of all good SEO content writing. In order for your desired website to be ranked, a search engine must be able to find your page. It must scan the page for keywords and clear topics, and it adds them to what is called an index (a database of all content identified by the search engine on the web so far). This is the main method used by algorithms to determine what to display on search engine result pages. Ensuring that the appropriate technical measures are in place is the first step to successful SEO content writing.




2. Content

Of course, the most important tenet of SEO content writing is the content itself. This is not as straightforward as it sounds. There are many poorly-written articles that have the technical aspects perfected, but fail to secure routine users. Well-written and engaging content means more page views, more user time spent on the site, more repeat visitors, and other media-based marketing (retweets, shares, and re-shares). This quality content can be text, video, reviews, images, or captions. All content has the potential to drive traffic to a site, but well-written content will keep traffic there.

A pro-tip: The more publish well-written posts on a specific subject, the higher the likelihood that you will gain greater visibility. This occurs because it makes you look like an expert on that topic that users can come back to for more repeated advice in your niche.


3. Links

Simply put, links (also known as backlinks) are in-text references to other content on your own or other websites. You can plant backlinks in your own content, but other websites can use this technique to redirect their users to your site. This is the primary means by which websites increase traffic to their sites (and to others). Search engines are designed to check for a number of factors in these references–topic relevance, the popularity of the site providing the references (or backlinks), and a website’s “trustworthiness” (search engines are able to identify suspicious or low-quality sites).


SEO Content Writing in a Nutshell

It may seem like there is too much content out there to compete with, but the reality is that high-quality web content is rare. By employing the three basic tenets of high-quality SEO content writing above, Zen Den will help you drive traffic to your site, keep your readers/consumers engaged, and get the clicks and shares you need to maintain SEO rankings!

Implementing SERPs Features Into Your Keyword Mapping Process

Google dominates the search engine scope, capturing over 90% of the market share. To put that in perspective that means that at any given second, Google is processing over 60,000 search queries. With that kind of traffic, getting to the top of the SERP (search engine results page) is essential for any business.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a set of best practices that allow for a website to fully take advantage of SERP. These best practices range from onsite to offsite SEO, to research processes like keyword mapping.


SERP and Today’s Features

Going back ten years ago, Google’s search results page looked a lot simpler. You’d see the top responses for a given query. Over the last couple of years, however, the SERP has greatly evolved to make the results clearer and more comprehensive. For example, if you searched the word iPhone ten years ago, you’d get some links to Apple’s website and then a few other related retailers.

Now when you enter that search, you’ll be given searches based on your location as well as your search history behavior. A lot has changed, but it basically boils down to users being able to see from the SERP what information a link will provide them making the experience efficient.


SERP Features and Companies

So what does this mean for companies? Once you understand how Google is operating, you can take advantage of it to allow the search engine to better crawl your site and pull the right information for your target audience.

There are three main types of features for you to be aware of: Paragraph, table and table snippet. Snippets are the boxes of information Google provides. For some of these such as answers to “who was the twenty-third president?” you won’t be able to do much with that. But, on other queries that are many ways to take advantage of keyword mapping to boost your company’s visibility. It all comes down to the right keyword implementation.


keyword mapping


How to take advantage of these features

Begin with old-school keyword research. The first thing you want to do is create a list of all the related keywords to your business. Our brains are only able to handle so much so you may want to use one of the research tools from an SEO company like Moz or Serpstat. Then, you can start asking questions. For example, if you are selling hats you can ask “What kind of hats are worn in California?” From here, you can trace the results and then take advantage of the other top questions and check out the results they receive.

You can then check back on your analytics and see which keywords are working, where you are receiving traffic from and other key figures like the click-through rate and bounce rate. What you are doing overall is seeing where you might have new potentials for different keywords as well as which ones are not working. This will give you the best clues for how to optimize your platform.


Putting SERP features into Your Keyword Mapping Features

These days, there are more tools than ever at our disposal for figuring out how to reach our target audience. Beginning with an SEO audit and then utilizing refined keyword mapping that takes advantage of the latest SERP features, you’ll be able to get not only higher traffic rates, but also conversion and that’s how you truly make the most out of the latest tech trends. Be sure to check out our blog on search engine optimization and other amazing tips.

Why Relative Search Terms are Important for Your SEO

Ranking highly on popular search engines like Google can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a big budget to help things along. But, thanks to the way these search engine algorithms scan for content, there are some search terms you can use to get your page closer to the top. Even small businesses and independent bloggers can use these search terms to improve their ranking.

See, it’s not always about how much traffic your page gets, but how closely your content matches up with search terms that people input. Let’s take a closer look at relative search terms and how you can use them to improve your SEO ranking.


Search Engine Techniques

The first thing you want to do when optimizing your page for SEO is to think about what kind of search terms people will be entering when looking for your product or service. If you own a lawn care company, for instance, you may want to create keywords like “lawn care in ____” or “types of grass in ____”. With the blank spots being whatever location you happen to specialize in. Pairing specific city or state names with your product or service is a great way to create high ranking keywords.

You can use keyword research tools to find some suggestions for these specific “long-tail” keywords as well. Plugging these keywords into well-written and informative content is an excellent way to boost your ranking.



search terms Zenden Web Design


Keyword Placement for Effective Search Engine Optimization

It’s not just what keywords you have on your page, it’s where you place them. Google and other major search engines tend to scan titles and images first. They also check for keywords in these areas;

  • Meta tags
  • Website URL
  • Website title and meta description
  • Image description
  • File names
  • Page titles
  • Anchor text links

If you make sure to pack in some keywords into each of these places, you should be well on your way to an excellent page ranking. But, remember not to forcibly stuff them in the content in ways that are unnatural. If your content is packed with phrases and keywords that seem out of place, it’s a turn-off to the visitor and search engine algorithms can actually detect this as well.

Your content needs to be well written and easy-to-read. This is more important than having many keywords. Quality always rises to the top, and when you have the 2-punch combo of great content and smart keyword creation/placement, you’ll be crushing your competition in SEO rankings.


Other Tips and Tricks

It doesn’t hurt to optimize website viewing as well. You can do this by making sure your site runs quickly and correctly, that all the images or videos load properly, and by integrating some of the latest website trends and tools that people are gravitating towards. Your site should be easy to navigate and not frustrating for the user. If you combine this with great content and relative search terms, the success of your page is almost guaranteed.


Guest Blog, Guest Post Inquiries

Welcome! If you’re interested in writing high-quality and unique content for the Zen Den Web Design Blog you’ve come to the right place!

Please send us an email with the following information:

  1. Your contact information
  2. The topic(s) you’re interested in writing about
  3. Sample articles you have published
  4. Any additional information

If your pitch is accepted we’ll send additional information to help you work with us. We’re excited to work with you.

SEO basics 101: 3 types of backlinks you should be using

How to use backlinks for SEO

Whether you are new to marketing or speak SEO better than a second language, backlinks can be a tricky thing to understand. Backlinks are essentially references from one website to another. Generally, they come from larger, more established sites and prove to Google (and a broader audience) that the content on your website is valuable. To get the most of your platform and truly maximize your audience, be sure to start utilizing these three types of backlinks.

1) Guest-posting

This takes a little bit time and research but is one of the best ways for you to grow your site. Let’s say you are in the tech niche and sell a particular product. Big names like Techcrunch or CNET are places where many goods to find out information about new technology. Writing a guest post here, not only opens you up to organic traffic but also shows a connection between your website and one of these names make it look important to search engines as well.

A little bonus note. Just a link to your webpage doesn’t have a major impact on your SEO. One of the best ways to get the most out of your guest post is to create an infographic that links to your site and also optimizing the infographic for search engines.

2) Social Media

Social media is incredibly important in determining web traffic and it is becoming a very competitive game. Just one example is the social media influencer niche where spending has grown from 1 to 2.4 billion dollars in just a year.

Influencer marketing is becoming a growing trend. A social media influencer is someone who will soft-sell your product on their social media and everyone from celebrities to YouTube stars are getting in on the act. If you can create your popular channel and content, you can have the ability to tap into an increasingly growing audience of potential customers.

It doesn’t matter what your product or service is, create interesting content and more than anything encourage interaction. It doesn’t always have to be for sales, the most important thing is the engagement that ultimately leads to higher conversion.

3) Directory Links

When most people are searching for things, they are looking for a particular item in a particular place. As much as you want to the page ranked search item on Google, it doesn’t help you if you have a bunch of views from halfway around the world where you may not be able to deliver your item or service.

Instead, you can work with high-quality niche directories. Best of all, many of these do not require you to pay for a submission. For example, if you are a restaurant, you can get listed for free in Wikitravel which is one of the first things many people consult when they are on the road.

It Takes Some Time and Patience

Unless you are lucky enough for something to go viral, proper SEO takes time. If you put in a little time each day, you can watch audience grow. It’s all about following the right steps and making sure you create a platform that people will want to visit. There are many more backlinking strategies that work, but these are the most effective if implemented correctly. If you manage this, you are guaranteed success.

How to Optimize an Infographic for Search Engines

Did you know that infographics allow you to take, what could end up boring, mindless content, and convert it to something easy to read? We all love eye-catching visual screen work but tend to shy away from huge chunks of text that burden our brains and put our eyes in sleep mode.

The result for the viewer is potential gone forever, “I’m out of here”. This makes infographics an essential part of your SEO strategy. If you want to reach more viewers, you have to paint them a picture. That’s not all, you also have to optimize an infographic in terms of SEO rules if you want it to do its job. Hope we grabbed your interest and that you stay with us!

Make it Compliant Before Posting It

If you want to get maximum SEO benefits, you need to ensure that the infographics you use fit well in terms of optimization rules. Not just the infographics, the general content too. The sharing of infographics on social media is one of the main advantages you gain from painting pictures. Therefore, it makes sense to optimize posts with infographics to take advantage of the sharing your content receives, given the exposure.

Keyword / Phrase Optimization – Ours is “Optimize an Infographic”

Step one towards infographic optimization is to make quite sure your content contains a liberal sprinkling of the keyword or keyword phrase. In writing this content, we are optimizing the keyword phrase, “optimize an infographic”. To achieve our objective, we must weave the chosen keyword phrase several times in the post.

On-Page Tips to Optimize an InfographicURL String – For ranking purposes, be sure to include your keyword phrase in your post’s URL

Meta Description – Always include your keyword phrase in the meta description

Image Alt Text – Your keyword phrase also applies to the “alt text” for the images within your article, including infographics. Search engines cannot decipher image content, so we must tell the search engines what the images are by way of image alternative text

H1 Headings – Like we have done above, include your keyword phrase in the H1 heading

Page Length – According to popular web optimization plugin Yoast, search engines scan for well-optimized infographic posts with a word count of at least 300 words. This debunks the theory that article content should have a word count in excess of 1,000 words for optimization purposes.

Page Load Time – Ensure your page loads swiftly and correctly. If the page takes too long, Google will be less inclined to offer it in searches.

Social Sharing Buttons – These beauties are proving ever more important with SEO. Adding social buttons – and monitoring social sharing – is key for higher ranking.

Bounce Rate – Google’s first mission is to gather content valuable for users searching. A high bounce rate leads to a search engine assuming little of interest in the post content.

We hope this article has made you more comfortable about posting your blog pages. Making your posts count includes optimizing an infographic and it is not that difficult once you know the correct way forward. At the end of the day, it is about getting your infographic recognized by the big G in the sky!

How a 404 Page Can Hurt Your SEO

We have all experienced them when browsing or searching, but do 404 – “four-oh-four” in geek speak – affect SEO? It all depends on the 404 message returned, but most of these categories do not directly influence SEO. One thing all 404’s share in common however, is their ability to frustrate and permanently turn away what may have been genuine interest from your visitor. Moreover, they can hurt your link equity over time. One type of 404 page error will affect your search rankings and traffic.

Defining a 404 Page Error

What leads to a 404 message? This is simply the response code returned by the server when it cannot locate a matching Uniform Resource Informer (URI). It is the server’s way of informing a browser that it could not find the content. Assuming your website means something for your business, you should schedule time to do regular maintenance on it.

404 Variations

External 404s – These occur when a visitor attempts to link to a broken page on your site. Often, the content has been removed by the owner for good reason, but sometimes a third party may be linking improperly.

Outgoing 404s – These arise when a link from your site to another site breaks with a resultant 404 page error message. Often times old links seem to evaporate, so this occurrence is quite common.

Internal 404s – According to some of the experts, removing known internal 404 page errors has a positive effect on rankings. The converse is true if they remain undetected.

Phantom 404s – Some proxy servers are known to generate a 404 page error when the remote host is absent. In reality, a 500-range code should result when errors such as hostname resolution failures, or refused TCP connections prevent the proxy server from addressing the request.

Detection Issues

There are web tools around that crawl websites and throw up unwanted 404 status codes. These tools can prove useful in detecting links that exist on a particular web page. If you are serious about website maintenance, you might want to find 404s before search engines encounter them.

In that case, populating your site with a tool such as SEMrush or MOZ should provide useful insights. Designed to behave just like search engine spiders, these tools will help in the detection process.

Fixing 404 Page Errors

Identifying 404 page errors is one thing, but it is also a good idea to fix them if we want our search rankings to remain onside with Google and other search engines. Once you know what caused the error, the solution is waiting out there for you. Naturally, the easiest option is to contact your webmaster and have them find and fix the problems.

Creating redirects makes sense because those search engines will continue to hit affected URLs until the fixes are in place. Fixing 404s will ensure a top quality site for your visitors and will please hard-working search engines too.