Posts Tagged ‘seo’
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 Google Analytics
Even as a child, I loved measuring things: shoe sizes, my height, the volume of non-regular polyhedroid solids—you name it! That’s why I get so stoked about Web Analytics…or maybe it’s the third cup of Joe I’m currently downing. Either way, they’re critical to your business success, analytics I mean.
You need to have some sort of analytics package on your Website. If you don’t, you’re basically driving a car with no dashboard and blacked-out windows in the middle of rush-hour. Amidst the screams of innocent bystanders, you may think to yourself: “Wouldn’t it be great if I had a clearer idea of where I was actually going…”
So aside from appeasing your own burning curiosity, here are a few reasons why you should install Google Analytics today.
It’s Free, so Why Wait?
You may be thinking about starting a Website redesign, which is great! But don’t wait to install analytics. At the very least, you can add Google Analytics tracking code to your current site. It’s very simple to do, and depending on the complexity of your site, can take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. Oh and by the way, it’s free to use.
I don’t advise waiting because you need to start establishing benchmarks now. Was a redesign really effective in bringing in more traffic? Without any analytics whatsoever, you won’t know. And don’t worry, you can easily transfer your tracking code to the new site.
It’s Like Having a GPS for Digital Marketing
Google Analytics is a great tool and measures a trunk-load of things from Website traffic, to what browsers people are using, what search engines they used, what sites they came in from, how long they spent on your site, what pages they viewed, how many of them were on mobile devices, where your visitors are located *breath in* how many visitors are new versus returning, and the list goes on.
With this easily accessible information, you can start answering questions like:
- How are most of my customers finding me?
- How effective was our Facebook campaign?
- What keywords are people using to find me?
- Where are my customers from?
- What are the most popular pages on my site?
- What devices are people using to view my site?
Knowing the answers can help you decide things like whether or not to get a mobile site, what platforms to develop an app for, develop content that excites and engages your customers, optimize your SEO strategy, and much more. If you do Pay-Per-Click advertising, you can also tie Google Analytics into your AdWords account to track your customer’s entire lifecycle from click-through to purchase.
Darn It Jim! I’m a Business Owner, Not a Math Nerd
But even if you don’t have a hefty marketing budget, keep in mind that you can access your site’s data at any time. So even if you’re six months or so away from doing anything with your marketing plan, get analytics now so you or anyone you hire can have the data they need to identify where you need improvement. The benefit far exceeds to cost to implement. And once you bring on the experts, they can make the proper configurations to get the most out of it. But you should at least start establishing a baseline performance level to improve upon, and don’t worry, you won’t have to stare at a bunch of spreadsheets to get a sense of how well your site is doing: Google puts it all in simple graphs, and I do love graphs.
Tags: analytics, analytics consulting, analytics installation, Analytics packages, beacon technologies, google analytics, seo, website traffic
Posted in Google Analytics | 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, 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
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 »
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 Search Engines
A little over a year ago, Panda made its debut. The debut was not soon after it was revealed that AOL was prepping to add massive waves of content. A content farm to end all content farms. Panda put a stop to that.
There was speculation as to how Panda may handle that.
As a prelude, the first anchor text action was an end to anchor text boilerplate repetition. And now the second wave has hit. An end to exact keyword matching in anchor text.
There were predictions early on and later some indications that exact match anchor text was going to be a casualty.
With Panda 3.3, exact match anchor text no longer carries the weight it once used too.
There was always the knowledge that varying anchor text and using descriptive phrases in the anchor text was a good thing.
Google could detect indications when a growing link profile was unnatural.
In Google patent - Document Scoring Based on Link-Based Criteria :
“ This indication may be strengthened if the growth corresponds to anchor text that is unusually coherent or discordant. This information can be used to demote the impact of such links.
So ongoing, some techniques to follow with your link strategy:
- Try to build a natural link profile and avoid using exact match at least initially.
- Instead of exact match, utilize synonyms and phrases instead
- Incorporate your brand name along with the anchor text
Tags: Google Panda, seo
Posted in Search Engines | 2 Comments »
in Web Marketing
I checked out Insights for Search and was a little confounded about what I saw for some industry terms.
- “web marketing” search volume is trending down
- “internet marketing” search volume is trending down
- “search engine marketing” search volume is trending down
Take a look at “web marketing” in Insights:
And, according to analysts covering Google’s recent earning miss:
- In January 2011, one client example had almost 4,000 visits resulting from mobile devices.
- In January 2012, that same client example had almost 13,00 visits resulting from mobile devices
People are becoming more savvy about search marketing. Search behavior is changing and more specific terms are being used compared to a few years ago as searches are becoming more focused. Businesses have recognized the importance of ranking well for their brand name and for relevant search queries.
Check out the trend below for “seo marketing”:
3. Social Media Marketing
No need to explain this one.
In their recent earnings, Google has seen the shift to mobile make its impact. Companies have to adapt as visitor behavior changes. Developing a search strategy that fully realizes the search behavior of your potential customers is paramount in adapting to the fast moving online world.
“Web Marketing” is still stronger than ever but the name of the game has changed. Its become fractured into smaller and smaller sub-segments.
Tags: mobile, seo, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing
Posted in 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 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 »