Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ Category
in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Analytics are great and very important for helping get your site a better ranking and being recognized. It’s also great for seeing what people are most interested on your site. Understanding the gathered information can help guide what’s most important on your site to fit the customer or client needs and maximize your site to its fullest extent.
There are analytics for tracking pages to see what page gets the most hits. Other analytics include tracking files such as PDFs, images, documents and other files you want tracked. Many sites also use onclick tracking for site web forms and specific links. For instance if you have a contest going on, you may want to track how many people are using the form or clicking on certain links in the contest to see what works best.
Using different aspects of analytics can improve your site value, increase revenue and make it stand out in search sites, such as Google and Bing. Our SEO team is partnered with Google to bring the best and up-to-date analytics setup that is available. Click here for more Google Analytics information.
Tags: analytics, google analytics
Posted in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Over the past few days, Google has rolled out its latest search algorithm update…Penguin 2.0. Google has said on numerous occasions that search engine optimization can be positive and constructive by making pages more accessible and easier to find. However, many sites have been using ‘webspam’ techniques to have their pages rank higher without providing good or unique content to users. Penguin 2.0 serves to tackle these webspam entities.
Beacon’s Director of Digital Marketing, Brad Henry, helps explain this important update… “Google completed one of their larger algorithm updates yesterday. I think it’s important to note that what you see at one location won’t necessarily indicate how everyone sees your result. For the best understanding of how this change has impacted your site, I would look at several signals including webmaster tools query reports, keyword position reports, traffic volumes, and manual spot checks. If your SEO practices have been using tactics focused around quality content generation for the purpose of relevance and for the purpose of link distribution, you will most likely fair well with this update because this update is focused towards removing spam websites and devaluing spammy link tactics. If you’ve been hiring link building firms targeting article banks, comment spam, and buying links, you may have some issues.“
About 2.3% of English-U.S. search queries are affected to the degree that a regular Google user may notice. For more information on this update and how it may affect you, please reference the Penguin 2.0 statement from Google and Matt Cutt’s blog.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to Contact Beacon today.
Tags: google algorithm, google algorithm update, google penguin, link buying, low quality websites, penguin 2.0, search engine optimization, webspam
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in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Like it or not, Hollywood has a tremendous influence over the way we think. It affects the products we buy and the candidates we elect. Look at how many sites deal with the topic of celebrities. Whether you’re an actor or a blogger, if Hollywood has taught us anything its that there are three key indicators as to whether we’ve “arrived”.
Firstly, one must have a stalker. Since I’m a frequent target of Google re-marketing and they seem to know everywhere I’ve been, I can check that one off.
Secondly, one must be followed by annoying paparazzi. Did I say re-marketing earlier?
Finally, one must check oneself into a rehab program. Part of this final step is the acknowledgment that there is a problem, and this blogger is ready to do so.
I am a plug-in-aholic.
We all know the symptoms. It can be so easy to get caught up in the added functionality, knowing that mother’s little helper will get us through the night, enabling us to take care of all those seo tasks without having to actually write the code ourselves. Then load time slows and bounce rate starts to climb. Things begin to spiral out of control as our client threatens to leave us and take the kids. Only when we hit rock bottom do we realize that there is only one answer.
Fortunately, they make a plug-in for that! (I really am hooked, aren’t I?). Think of it as the nicotine gum of the plug-in world. This little beauty will identify the offending WordPress plug-in (or two, maybe three in my case) through an easy to understand pie chart visual, right there in your dashboard.
One simply clicks the “start scan” button and, within roughly a minute, the scanner will crawl your site and monitor its performance. The results will be served up like the visual above, identifying the plug-in that needs to be purged from your menu.
Looks like with The P3 Profiler available free from WordPress, I’ve finally “arrived”.
Tags: blogging, Plug-ins, seo, slow load times, wordpress plug-ins
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in eCommerce / ASPDNSF, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Most companies are in business to make money. They spend lots of time and funds to create a highly efficient eCommerce website, and then focus on the big picture to create revenue. However, while focusing on the big picture you should always remember that it’s the small stuff – the little details – that can make or break your transaction conversions.
Listed below are my top 5 tips how to improve your eCommerce website.
1) KISS- Keep It Silly Simple. Customers need to be able to find your products. That being said, make sure your navigation is set up logically, your product detail pages contain breadcrumbs to allow your users to back up easily, and that your site search is quick and serves up recommendations if nothing is matched (or an item is misspelled) with a query entered. Also, try to incorporate a site search feature that allows for auto-completion of words to help users that can’t remember the exact product name they are looking for.
2) While most will disagree on online dating sites, looks are so very, very important. Make sure your product image is flattering. Don’t have a lot of distractions, and having clothes on a body instead of laid out flat on white table tops allows users to have more confidence in the items they are reviewing.
3) Show me the money…I mean details. Including sections on the product detail tabs like online reviews, fabric components, and how items are shipped leave users with a better feeling. They will also not feel the need to bounce to another site (where they could be easily distracted) to try to find product reviews about your products and brand.
4) Don’t be shady. Provide any easy and accessible link to your privacy and shipping policies for customers to find. Exhibiting and practicing easy return policies will allow users to feel like they aren’t being backed into a corner. A friend of mine has an online store on Etsy (who I believe has one of the best site policy pages because they give the added bonus of showing the date the policies were last updated). Also make sure you have obvious ‘contact’ call outs for customers to get in touch with you as needed.
5) Don’t guess, let the data drive you. You should all be using some form of analytics to watch your traffic flow through the site to see where they are bouncing and dropping off. Knowing what sites they are coming from can prepare you to how to market to them. You can also learn the number of users on mobile devices to make sure your site is user friendly for them, too.
Tags: improving eCommerce website
Posted in eCommerce / ASPDNSF, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | 1 Comment »
in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, Web Development
Have you ever searched for something online, clicked a link to a promising website and then you land on a webpage that doesn’t answer your questions? Have you ever navigated to a site that you know had good information but can’t find it through the site’s navigation? Filtering through modern websites can be a hassle today. With so many sites having over 50 pages or more and similar content on multiple pages, finding exactly what you need can be tricky and search engines don’t always get you where you need to go. This means that having a powerful and intuitive site search feature in your web development is very important. Let’s break down the benefits of site search.
Site Search Benefits Your Consumers
The fact of the matter is that a site with site search installed helps visitors stay longer on site, find what they were looking for, make purchases, contact you and potentially come back again. We have all been disappointed before when we click on organic results and the site we are taken to doesn’t answer the question. Without site search, chances are most people will leave the site completely. Many consumers today will go straight to the site search before navigating for an answer. Site search is beneficial because:
- It satisfies the “I want it now” problem for today’s searchers
- Consumers expect site search on today’s websites
- Reduces bounce and exit rates and increases time on site
- Can help suggest related content the customer is interested in but didn’t know to look for
Great For E-Commerce
On e-commerce sites, up to 30 % of users will use the search box and show intent to buy by typing in searches for product names, product codes and product categories. Great e-commerce sites utilize site search with added features that maximize on online shopper’s intent to buy. E-Commerce sites can use filtering options to narrow down “Clothing” to “Men’s” and then even further to “Dress Pants.”
Site search boxes should be placed in a prominent position on the page and be visible across the entire site, ideally near the top navigation. By using text in the search box before the text area is clicked, you can help give search parameters and advice to help consumers better find what they are looking for. (Make sure the text disappears when users click. This can get annoying if they have to manually delete text) Lastly, aut0-complete or auto-suggest is a great feature for site search because it speeds up the search process, avoids incorrect spellings and ensures consumers will receive the search results they want. Below are the benefits of site search for e-commerce:
- Improved Sales- Effective searches means customers can easily find products they want and then make purchases.
- Increased Time on Site- Easier site search means customers will stay on site longer, perform more searches and eventually return to the site after a satisfied experience.
- Customer Retention & Loyalty- Satisfied customers can lead to return customers and positive reviews and/or word-of-mouth.
Allows Better Analytics
How can you prove that site search is worthwhile? How can it help the site owner? The answer….Analytics. Our preferred Analytics partner, Google Analytics, offers a site search analysis feature that can help you dig deeper into the minds of your consumers and improve your site with your findings. The first step is setting up site search in your profile
- Click the Admin tab at the top right of any screen in Analytics and click the account that contains the profile you want to set up Site Search for.
- Use the Profile menu to select the profile you want then click the Profile Settings sub-tab.
- Under Site Search Settings, select Do Track Site Search.
- In the Query Parameter field, enter the word or words that designate an internal query parameter, such as “term,search,query”. Sometimes the word is just a letter, such as “s” or “q”. Enter up to five parameters, separated by commas. For information about identifying query parameters, see Identifying Search and Query Parameters for Your Site.
- Select whether or not you want Google Analytics to strip the query parameter from your URL. Note that this strips only the parameters you provided, and not any other parameters in the same URL. This has the same functionality as excluding URL Query Parameters in your Main Profile: if you strip the query parameters from your Site Search Profile, you don’t have to exclude them again from your Main Profile.
- Select whether or not you use categories, such as drop-down menus to refine a site search.
- If you select No, you are finished. Click Save Changes.
- If you select Yes:
- In the Category Parameter field, enter the letters that designate an internal query category such as ‘cat, qc,’.
- Select whether or not you want Google Analytics to strip the category parameters from your URL. Note that this strips only the parameters you provided, and not any other parameters in the same URL. This has the same functionality as excluding URL Query Parameters in your Main Profile: if you strip the category parameters from your Site Search Profile, you don’t have to exclude them again from your Main Profile.
- Click Apply
The benefits of tracking your site search is pretty unbelievable. The Usage report can show you how many people use the site search feature versus those that do not and if you have e-commerce capabilities, it can even show you what percentage of site search users make a purchase so you can gather ROI data.
The Search Terms report shows you what keywords people are using, what items they may not be able to find within your site navigation structure, what products are missing traffic and which keywords need more focused attention. You can also see destination and start page reports which can highlight dead ends on your site, pages that don’t answer enough questions and ways to improve on-page optimization.
Site search is beneficial to e-commerce and content websites alike. A great site search software can help you retain customers, increase sales, track under-performing pages and keywords and even more. The easiest way to get started with site search for those that don’t use it currently, is to find the best option for you. Two great options are Google’s Custom Search which is an inexpensive option for small and medium-sized businesses and another partner of Beacon, Nextopia. Read a Q&A session that Beacon’s CEO, Mark Dirks had with Nextopia’s CEO & Founder, Sanjay Arora to find out even more about Nextopia’s site search options.
Tags: benefits of site search, ecommerce site search, Google Custom Search, Google Site Search, nextopia site search, site search, site search for ecommerce
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, Web Development | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization
Here is a checklist I put together for you to use when your setting up a brand new site. The checklist covers 9 things that will help with you with Search Engine Optimization aka SEO.
If you like this then do me a favor and share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter, pin it to Pinterest or add it to Reddit/Stumble.
Posted in Search Engine Optimization | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing
Everyone wants to leave their mark on the web, get noticed and stand out from the crowd. Most people are on social media, have a personal blog or work with an organization where they publish content they want others to read. Google offers a way for online writers and publishers to get noticed and literally show their face in Google’s crowded room. It comes in the form of Google Authorship.
Google is taking great strides in helping to eliminate spam and duplicate content, they are rewarding online authors who verify their profiles, even if it is a way to boost their own social network, Google Plus. The benefits of verifying through your Google Plus profile is added photo next to your search result and extra links (such as how many people are in your social circle, other articles written by you and a link to your profile). It is obvious for those that have seen a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) with this rich snippet, that these links receive higher click through rates and visibility. The use of rel=”author” and rel=”me” tags will become ever more influential with the addition of AuthorRank.
Author ranking isn’t officially discussed by Google, but author tags and author verification can influence rankings. Some factors that can influence your content’s ranking are: the page rank of the site’s you publish content on, how often an author posts, the engagement the author has on their Google Plus profile page and their activity on trusted social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Google’s Eric Schmidt has confirmed the impact of authorship…
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.” Eric Schmidt- Executive Chairman, Google
Steps in Getting Google Authorship
- If you don’t already have a Google Plus account, create one now.
- Visit plus.google.com/authorship. Enter your email and get it verified. You should see a check mark by your email address in the About section of your Google+ profile.
- Upload a nice, clear headshot for your Google Plus profile photo which will show in the search results. (Avoid dark photos or pictures taken at a distance)
- Click +1’s, select the Show this tab on your profile checkbox, and then click Save.
- Click About, Other profiles, click Add custom link, and then add labels and URLs for each of your other social media account profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Click Save when done.
- In the author section of your blog or website, add a link to the author’s Google+ profile using the anchor text “Google+” (omit the quotes). The following is an example of such tag source code (be sure to use your, Google+ profile ID number):
- <a href=”https://plus.google.com/010101011111111110000?rel=author”>Google+</a>
- In your Google+ profile, click Edit Profile, and then click Contributor to.
- Click Add custom link, and then add a label and the full URL for the publishing site’s home page.
- Click Save when done, and then click Done editing.
Some authors do not have access to the anchor tags on a website they publish to. In this case, you can use the email verification method to attain Google Authorship. In order to use this method, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have a byline on your blog or website that shows your name exactly as it appears on your Google Plus profile
- You must also have an email address on the same domain as the site on which you publish. (firstname.lastname@example.org would work in this method to publish on www.beacontechnolgies.com)
Testing Your Work For Google Authorship
In order to see if your author tags are pulling through correctly and your name and links will appear next to your content, you can use the Structured Data Testing Tool from Google Webmaster Tools. As you can see below, this handy tool allows you to see what information Google is pulling from your URL and whether or not it is verified or not. If it isn’t verified correctly, this tool gives you ways to properly tag content to receive authorship. This tool is also great because you can see examples of other rich snippets and how to pull reviews, hours, products and multiple authors through your content on a search engine results page.
Google Authorship can be extremely advantageous for authors, content creators and businesses who publish content they want seen and clicked through. Using these rel=”author” tags can help with search engine optimization and increase search relevancy. One thing to point out, is that even if you verify your links and your image shows up in the testing tool, it still may take some time to show up in search. On two of my blogs the authorship showed up in a week. Others can take even longer. Google instructions for setting up authorship on every CMS is not conclusive and their are great plugins through WordPress that can make it super simple. Google has announced that authors in search results will become more and more prevalent as their algorithms keep changing to include social search. Make sure that you are ready now.
Tags: authorship, becoming a google author, blog tools, googe plus, google authorship, google webmaster tools, rel="author", rel="me", rich snippets, search engine optimization, structured data testing tool
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Sitting in rush hour traffic gives one time to think – sometimes, too much time.
We’ve all heard the reasons why small business websites cannot compete with the big brands. We don’t have the huge marketing budgets nor the brand recognition. Big brands dominate the short-tail phrases that generate the bulk of the search volume. The list goes on.
Events over the past year or two have convinced me otherwise. Google has been moving toward local search, the most recent evidence being Webmaster Tool’s Data Highlighter and the rollout of Google+ Local. This new local emphasis presents an opportunity for small businesses everywhere to get a foothold on some SEO real estate that, by the very nature of it’s existence, the big boys cannot touch.
Brainstorm, do your keyword research and your onsite optimization. Then get the gang at the office together. You and your colleagues maintain personal blogs, network and share posts through Facebook, Twitter, and various other mediums. It’s a great place to start.
Here are 3 easy, non-intrusive things we can do to give your company website’s local SEO a lift:
Add a link from your personal blog’s About page.
I recently read that there are something in the area of 160 million blogs out there. My guess is that most have About pages but few mention their employer, never-mind link to them. Well, there’s no time like the present. Take 5 minutes out of your day to update your About page to include a link to your employer.
Don’t worry about using a keyword as Google seems to be giving more importance to co-citations and less to anchor text. A simple URL will do.
Embed a link in a Google+ post
Google+ also allows you to insert do-follow links directly into your posts. While the page rank is n/r for all Google+ pages, the links still carry authority, the thought being that these links are factors in Google’s local search algorithm. If you don’t have a Google+ account, get one. If you’ve got a G-mail account, your Google+ is tied to that.
Open your Google+ account and start blogging about any local event in which your employer may be involved. Don’t forget to include a link to your employer’s site. You can write about anything. Your hell-a-cious commute to work, for example.
Write a post for the company’s blog or website
Share your post with others on professional and personal networks and let them know what you’re up to. It’s a great way to accomplish something during your work day while keeping family, friends, and colleagues abreast of what’s new with you.
Now it’s off to my Google+ account. Time to post a complaint about the bumper to bumper traffic on my morning commute – with a link back to the company website embedded within, of course.
Tags: link building, seo
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | 2 Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
A good digital marketing consultant will leave the office, but will never really stop thinking about the page rank of websites they manage. Tools from SEOMoz or add-ons like SEO Book’s RankChecker are decent for in the office, but what about when you are on the go?
WebRank SEO is not just a cool Chrome plugin. It also now has a hot, new SEO Android app that is currently free to download. It is awesome because it not only serves up rankings from the platforms we currently identify as reputable and reliable, such as Google’s Pagerank, Compete’s Rank, and Alexa’s Rank, but it also pulls social metrics from Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ into the mix called their “Sociometer.” WebRank SEO also provides updated metrics for indexed pages, back link data from Google, Yahoo, and Bing’s search engines, and a quick Whois Lookup. Within the settings you can choose what level of detail you want to provide for the website you choose, and it servers up the results pretty fast. The only downfall of this initial free version is that it doesn’t keep your history, but not many browser add-ons keep historical data so it’s pretty much a wash.
Tags: mobile seo app, mobile seo tool, website ranking tool
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | 4 Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Take care of the big things and the little things will take care of themselves. I’ve always lived by the adage. That being the case, I occasionally have to remind myself of some of the seemingly small or routine seo related tasks that require attention. They’re easy to forget but collectively can pay dividends.
Optimize Your Images
You’re busy. I get it. I have to admit, I’ve taken some short cuts in the interest of time too, but the few seconds it takes to add a coding nuance or two to your images can pay dividends.
When you’re using an image on your website or blog post, here’s a few quick things you can do to make your images an SEO asset:
- Use a keyword when naming your image file. For example: key-phrase.jpg
- Add alt text in the same way. For example: alt=”key-phrase”
- Use captions containing your keyphrase.
Add Authorship Markup
Google introduced authorship markup a while ago, enabling bloggers to get their photos to accompany their Google search engine result listings. Many of us still haven’t set that up.
There are a number of handy WordPress plug-ins out there and they seem to work pretty well. Problem is, as time goes on I seem to accumulate plugins and forget what each is for. It can get unruly. And, certain plug-ins have presented a security risk in the past, so I like to keep my active plug-ins to a minimum.
Here’s a simple way to add authorship markup, avoiding the need for a plug-in. Just follow these quick and easy steps:
- Set up a Google + page and make sure you complete the profile, image and all.
- locate your Google user ID. You’ll find it at the top of your profile page.
- Sign into WordPress admin and go to the editor tab. Locate the header.php file and insert the following code into the head section:
<link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/XXXXXXXXXXXXX/posts”/>
Link Out To Quality Sites
We’re so obsessed with who is linking to us that we sometimes forget that linking out to high authority sites can help SEO as well. Find ways to link out to authoritative sites like The New York Times or Wall Street Journal online in a natural, organic way. It indicates to the search engines that there is an association of some kind between you and these high profile sites.
Tags: authorship markup, linkbuilding, seo
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | 1 Comment »