Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ Category
in Search Engine Optimization
Google has published some great tutorials on YouTube. Surprisingly, many of the newest videos don’t have a relatively high number of views despite major press regarding the recent Penguin update and new factors regarding search quality.
The videos serve as nice reminders to experts and are very informative for novices. Most importantly, the videos are straight from the horse’s mouth.
I’ve added my two favorites below:
WEB SPAM CONTENT VIOLATIONS
CREATING GREAT CONTENT THAT PERFORMS WELL IN GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS
Posted in Search Engine Optimization | No Comments »
in Beacon Events, Beacon News, Beacon Team, Branding, Email Marketing, Google Analytics, Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing
We are excited to attend the upcoming IRCE Conference in Chicago. The 8th annual Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibitions is expected to bring in more than 7,500 e-retailing executives who are going to learn the latest practices and tools for connecting with the 21st Century consumer. There will be over 175 speakers and 100 separate sessions all talking about such topics as boosting conversions and profitability, e-marketing, social media, mobile commerce, web merchandising, improving back-end operations, and much more.
Beacon will be exhibiting in booth #313 at the conference and offering free 20 minute one-on-one consults with Brad Henry, Beacon’s Director of Digital Strategy. If you are experiencing declining or stalling results, are seeing your search engine rankings slip, want more conversions from your website, feel your PPC is getting to expensive to justify or not sure what to do with social media, we’d like to help answer your questions using our proven SMAART approach for digital marketing.
Please register here to reserve your spot today! Once we receive your request, we’ll be in touch with your confirmed time and location for your consultation. We will also include instructions on how you can prepare so you can get the most out of your meeting.
Brad Henry is a 10-year veteran of web marketing and drives Beacon Technologies’ unique SMAART Approach in providing ROI-based digital marketing strategies and consultation to corporations across the country. He directs a large team of marketing specialists to grow businesses via custom developed strategic plans and by leveraging Beacon’s other in-house IT strengths (development, hosting). Brad holds a B.S. in Business Administration (Marketing) from the University of North Carolina – Charlotte. He also speaks at conferences and is one of the most active contributors on the Google Analytics Partner Forum over the last 6 years.
Brad’s primary objective is to help you get more from your website and web marketing initiatives by giving you actionable takeaways. To make best use of this time, he will initially focus on your main areas of concern before providing insights and feedback relative to Analytics, SEO, PPC, Social Media and/or email – as time permits.
Tags: google analytics, Web Marketing
Posted in Beacon Events, Beacon News, Beacon Team, Branding, Email Marketing, Google Analytics, Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization
You’d be surprised that you have been looking at your search queries in Google Webmaster Tools and not been aware that many of the queries were for image search instead of the web.
In the past, I’ve gone to Webmaster Tools to check out the recent search queries. Often, I wondered where Google Webmaster Tools was getting its information because most search queries I saw listed were not the same ones I saw in the Google search rankings.
At first glance, it appears that the queries are generating a lot of impressions and hence traffic.
Not until Google integrated Webmaster Tools into Google Analytics did the smoke clear.
To get a better picture of the queries leading visitors to your site in Google Analytics, you will need to take an extra step in Queries under Search Engine Optimization.
Underneath the Secondary dimension, click on Visitors and then click on Google Property.
Look! In this example, most of the top queries are for Image search and not Web!
Unless you are checking out the secondary dimension Google Property underneath Visitors, your Search Engine Optimization Queries within Google Analytics may not be as clean as they should be.
Posted in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization
Most of the time, when you are optimizing a site for SEO you are think about title tags, descriptions, keyword content and internal/external linking. Your mind is focused on how to improve the site so it shows up higher in search rankings and can sometimes forget about also optimizing you images for search. Considering that Google indexes images and has a search dedicated to just images, I would say this is pretty important and can be a great source of traffic. So let’s not miss out on that!
Here are some ways to optimize images for search engines:
1. The image file name shouldn’t be the letters/numbers given to the picture when it’s downloaded. Instead make sure your image/photo/graphic etc. has a file name using your keywords. However, do not use any more than 4 words in your file name.
Let’s take this image for instance.
A good file name: InternetRetailerConference2012.jpg
Bad file name: DCS54789.jpg
2. Always, Always, Always include Alt Text with images. Make sure your alt text uses keywords and is different from your file name.
Example: Based on the image above. Alt txt=”eCommerce Exhibition in Chicago”
3. If possible add a caption for the image and bold the text. It’s not a proven fact that Google uses this for ranking factors but think of it from a Bounce Rate perspective. Your visitor is likely to see the image but will they stay after seeing the image or bounce off. They are more likely to stay a little longer if you include a caption under the image for them to read.
4. Smaller images take less time to load then larger images so try to keep all files small.
5. Page title, meta description, and the context of the page all play a factor in Images showing up in search and their position in the search so make sure the image you use is relevant to what is being talked about in the page.
6. Make sure images are crisp and not distorted. People like to see details in pictures and if the image isn’t clear people won’t want to look at it.
7. Include images in a separate folder that is accessible to Search engines.
8. Include an Image sitemap with your site.
Now that you’ve read these tips, make sure to check that you’re images have been optimized for search engines.
Do you have other things you do to optimize your images that I didn’t mention?
Tags: Image Optimization, seo
Posted in Search Engine Optimization | 1 Comment »
in Beacon News, Beacon Team, Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Tags: Google, google analytics, Partner Summit
Posted in Beacon News, Beacon Team, Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, Web Marketing
Finally, I’m starting to grasp the depth of SEO and how websites are ranked on Search Engines. Who knew there was so much to it? I knew I had a good grasp and understanding when I came to Beacon but I’ve learned a much deeper side to it that I wasn’t so sure of. There is a ton of information out there and its easy to learn once you dig into it and become familiar with it all.
My knowledge of SEO when I started was on an Intermediate level and now after much research and application with good results, I’m confident to say I’ve stepped up to a Competent/Proficient level. I know not everyone has a deep understanding of SEO and I thought I would take it upon myself to give you a short lesson on Ranking Factors for SEO. I’m going to try and make it as easy as possible to understand but if you have questions, please feel free to leave comments. I love knowing I’ve helped someone learn something new because learning is the key to success. So here we go!
Ranking Factors for SEO:
- Keywords that you use in title tags – This it thought of as the #1 ranking factor for websites. It needs to say in a few short words what the page is about. The most important keywords should be listed first. For Example: Take Staub Leadership, Here you can tell by looking at the homepage this is company that teaches leadership to people. The Title Tag is what is seen at the top of the tab in firefox.
- Anchor Text of inbound links – This is the text use to link to a site or in other words it’s the word that is hyperlinked. Example: Look at 1 and Staub Leadership is in blue and underlined. So Staub Leadership is the Anchor text.
- Global link Authority of a site – this represents the quality and quantity of a site’s links. This just means you want to have links on sites that are relevant and that have good page rank because that page rank is carried on to your site.
- Link Popularity within a site – This means that pages that have links on all the internal pages of a site show that the page being linked is very popular and important. Having the links on many internal pages of site shows search engines that this page is very important.
- Topic relevance of inbound links – All this means is that you want to put links on pages that are relevant to the pages you are linking to. For Example: Beacon is creating a link to post on another site for our SEO Management page. In order for the link to be beneficial it needs to be posted on a site that is about SEO management. You wouldn’t want to put the link on a site for Health care because there is no relevance between the two.
- Link Popularity in linking neighborhood – The more links you have coming to your site from websites that are similar to you show search engines that your site has authority and is reputable as long as they are links from other reputable sites. Links from spamming sites will hurt your website in ranking.
- Keywords in the Body – Search Engines look at keywords in the body of your website as well as the title tags. The title tag keyword should be repeated in the body as well as synonyms for the keywords used. This helps to show the page is relevant to the topic.
The 7 ways I listed are not the only ways to affect ranking but they are the most common and best practices to start with. So that’s my short lesson for you in SEO Ranking Basics. Hope that helps some and like I said feel free to comment!
Lots of <3,
Tags: Managing Web Content, seo, Web Marketing, website development
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, Web Marketing
Linking out sometimes gets the short shrift to conserve PageRank to internal links. But linking out can give your web page something that is important to the search engines. The appearance of a page’s quality, credibility and salience.
“In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites.” – Matt Cutts
“Writing descriptive anchor text, the clickable words in a link, is a useful signal to help search engines and users alike to better understand your content.” – Maile Ohye
So, in much the same way that the PageRank algorithm found it useful to score target pages from anchor text, the text in the anchor text quite frequently relates to the description of the page content and is used to gather information about that page. More specifically, the anchor text is used in improving page categorization or classification of a page.
Is linking out a ranking factor? Some seo’s suggest it does not influence rankings. Others say yes.
But it appears that Google is giving the anchor text more credence than just the regular text in the content and not just for the pages that they link to.
In my opinion, web-page classification has become more sophisticated and faster since Panda. Panda has improved the accuracy of classifiers that use both anchor text and content on the page.
This applies to both internal and external links and influences the co-training algorithm.
As a result, you may want to follow a few do’s and dont’s:
- Do create descriptive text links that are related to the page category
- Do link to pages of high authority on related topics with your keyphrases in the anchor text
- Do surround the text link with normal language
- Don’t link out using a large number of unrelated links
- Don’t repeat the exact same keywords in the text links (
use Google Sets instead)
- Don’t link out to a page that looks spammy
Tags: analytics, link building, web content, Web Marketing
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Search Engines, Web Marketing | 1 Comment »
in Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
We talk a lot about individual aspects of SEO and PPC, i.e. tactics. We focus on best practices and offer some tips that we have learned through our own experiences/expertise. However, to the best of my knowledge, this blog has never discussed the differences in overall strategy that should be taken in using PPC vs. SEO. That they would be different may make inherent sense, but you will find that many marketers apply the same strategy to these two formats viewing them simply as different channels under the internet umbrella.
While there are exceptions, I typically recommend campaigns for both PPC and SEO to all of my clients. There are benefits to be found exclusively in each to help the client reach almost any web-based goals. However, that does not mean that I take the same strategy with both methodologies. There are some fundamental differences that need to be observed with how each works and who is being targeted that affect how I go about tackling those systems.
For search engine optimization, the over-simplified strategy is to optimize the on-site content so that Google & Bing (and other engines to a lesser degree) will rank the site for terms that customers may be searching. This includes specific product, service, and category pages – as well as peripheral terms that may be related to that content. I am often willing to take a “shotgun” approach to SEO by tackling as many phrases that will rank as possible. Even if this brings in some irrelevant traffic with a lower conversion rate, the raw number of conversions should increase as some users are searching along these lines. There is no added cost per user beyond the time spent to create the ranking content. For example, if I want to bring in users who are searching for steel containment tanks, I would like to rank high for the phrase “steel tanks.” Now, this might also bring many users who are searching for army tanks, but so long as some of the users are searching for holding tanks, I would likely see a positive return on investment. The tactics taken to achieve good organic results are discussed extensively in a number of SEO related articles on this blog.
For PPC, the strategy needs to be much more targeted. Each visitor who arrives via PPC costs the provider just a little bit extra. If PPC ads bring in large quantities of irrelevant/low converting users, this will likely result in a poor return on investment. Using the previous example, I do not want to target the broad phrase “steel tanks” for PPC ads as they are expensive and a bit of a crapshoot as to how relevant the incoming traffic will be. Compared to the shotgun for SEO, I want to use more of a sniper rival for PPC. ROI on PPC can be terrific, but it will always be highest for the most relevant users. I will want to use phrase (e.g. “steel storage tanks”), exact (e.g. [steel containment tanks]), and negative match (e.g. steel tanks –army) terms to best filter where my ads are shown. That is not to say that you need to limit volume, only focus on that which is most likely to convert and work from there. The Beacon blog contains a number of posts to discuss best practices in creating ads and the types of phrases that are most worthy of focus.
While I hate the word “synergy” (it is often used in situations where it is completely unachievable – i.e. business mergers), there is something to be said for PPC and SEO feeding off of each other. They help create exposure and enhance the user experience to the point where they produce better results together than the sums of what either could achieve alone. Just take heed to ensure that you are using a strategy specifically tailored for that aspect of web marketing as opposed to just sectioning out the same strategy across different channels.
Tags: PPC, seo, strategy, synergy, Web Marketing
Posted in Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | 1 Comment »
in Branding, Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing
I want to use this first entry to give you a quick introduction of myself. I want you to feel like you’ve known me for a while when you read my postings. I also want to develop what I like to call a “web relationship” with you. What I mean by “web relationship” is that I want you to enjoy reading what I have to say and hopefully continue to come back! I also hope not only will you just read what I’m posting but share it with others too and especially comment and give me your thoughts!
Career Past: Before coming on board at Beacon, I worked for a Top 100 Internet Retailer as a web marketing specialist. While there I was responsible for social media, email content, banner ads, certain IT responsibilities related to the Oracle software we were using (i.e. SQL, Product Data, Server Management), Sales for Categories/Affiliate Stores, Managed a few Paid Advertising Accounts (i.e. Working with the client to get banners onto the homepage, posting hot deals, getting them into emails, etc.), and the list could go on but I will just sum it up by saying Marketing on the web portal of this company. Now I know you’re wondering what made me leave this big company. Well let’s just leave it at personal reasons and a determination to find a company that would foster growth and continual learning.
Career Present: Obviously, I am now a Web Marketing Analyst for Beacon and thoroughly look forward to all the great things I will learn and accomplish here. I’ve been here for a week now and solely focused on becoming well acclimated to GA as well as starting to get to know the clients I will be managing. While I had basic knowledge of GA and what you could learn from it, I had no idea how much information could be gained and the depth of it. There is an overabundance of information that can be gained if you just spend the time to look into the different reports. Not to mention, I love that you can set up “goals” and have them tracked to see if people are accomplishing what you want them to on your site. Coming in I had basic knowledge of SEO but now I’m seeing it’s a world within itself and can be a little overwhelming. I feel like this is an area I need to spend a little time on so I can have a better grasp of it. I know a lot goes into getting websites ranked higher but I had no idea there were so many ways to do it. With all that said, I am looking forward to this new chapter in my career and hoping it’s a long standing one with Beacon!
Personal Background: While I don’t want to give away too much information here I do want to share with you who Ashley is. I was born and raised in from Oldsmar, FL but moved to Greensboro, NC at the start of high school. I graduated from UNCG with a Business Degree and concentration in Marketing. I’ve spent most of my working years in the furniture industry but after graduating switched career paths and began doing Web Marketing. Apart from working, I am the mother to a wonderful 9 year old boy whom I spend most of my time with. We live in the country on a horse farm and spend a lot of time just doing farm chores. I have 3 of my own personal horses, I board a friend’s horse, and I also train horses when time allows. Along with horseback riding, I also love traveling, riding 4 wheelers, wakeboarding, spending time with family, and hanging out with friends.
So there is a little bit of information on myself. I’m very excited about beginning a career here at Beacon and look forward to everything it has in store for me! TTYS
Lots of <3,
Tags: Ashley Agee, beacon technologies, Web Marketing
Posted in Branding, Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization
Yesterday Google made a post about their new +1 project available here http://analytics.blogspot.com/2011/06/1-reporting-in-google-webmaster-tools.html and how sometimes these new features don’t really have much impact until you are able to view the data associated with those features. Well that is what Google wants to make available to website marketers, managers, and owners by providing report data in two separate locations. The first is in the Google Webmaster Tools account and the second is available in your Google Analytics account.
The first new report in Webmaster Tools is the Search Impact report. Google provided an example report which you can see below. The most interesting thing that catches my eye is their primary focus on CTR and how this new feature affects that. I’ve been saying for some time that Google is placing a lot more weight on the CTR as a factor in determining your search engine position for an organic search. You can find a relevant post here. http://blog.beacontechnologies.com/google-seo-factors-2011/
This new report will allow you to measure the change in CTR associated with this feature. The higher the number of +1s the higher the position, the higher the CTR, the higher quality. It looks like this new feature is going to play a significant role in Google’s Organic ranking algorithm over the next several years. For the longest time Google had to rely on other websites “casting their vote” for another website’s authority in the form of links. This is what the Google algorithm was based on and what made it so successful. It was also what spawned a new industry of link building and manipulation of the results.
Google appears to be shifting from a website’s vote of importance to more of a personal vote of authority by allowing users themselves to cast their vote in the form of their “+1″. Their is no doubt that spammers will begin strategies to manipulate this but for the time being it appears that the web is evolving and understands that what people say is important is better than what a set of codes or website says is important.
So how do you make sure you take advantage of this and get a leg up on the competition? Google provides the information you need in your Google Webmaster tools account. Once you are logged in, you will need to click on the new Social link in the left navigation and then click on the “add +1 button” at the top of the reports pages. It’s a simple set of codes that references the primary JS file and the other to actually display the button.
Once you have the +1 button installed and are using it to it’s full potential, you will want to see how the users who have given you their vote of confidence interact on your website differently. Do they bounce less, access more pages, convert higher, spend more money, or any of a number of questions you might have? Well Google Analytics will help you answer these questions by automatically including these statistics in your UI with three new reports. Their is a social engangement report that segments your social users similar to a custom segment, then there is a social sources and actions report which allows you to see who does what actions from which social network. And then their is the Page report that allows you to see social metrics associated with pages so you can get specific with your data and tie it to specific content.
And as usual, you can create all kinds of drill down reports by adjusting the dimensions and other report features to create a custom view into your website user’s social behavior. We don’t currently have a ton of data in these reports yet because they are so new so we are still playing around and seeing what we can discover. There is surely more to come about this and I will post some updates to new posts as am sure this is going to be a hot topic for some time now.
Tags: analytics, ctr, Google, reports, seo
Posted in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization | No Comments »