Showing posts with label SEO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SEO. Show all posts



Search engine optimisation is an incredible field. i am grateful that operating in "SEO" has given American state the chance to function a pacesetter, a coach, a teacher, a planner, Associate in Nursing social scientist Associate in Nursingd an investigator. once nearly fifteen years operating within the search selling trade, I still learn one thing new on a daily basis.

Now, for my guilty admission: I've ne'er printed a commentary on SEO. Not one one. that does not feel right, particularly considering what proportion I've learned from of us like Bill Slawski, Kelsey Libert, Richard Baxter, Mike King, Glenn Gabe, Dr. Pete Myers, Jen Slegg, Rand Fishkin and a lot of gifted folks that I will moderately name.

In the spirit of giving back to a community that freely shares most knowledge and data, here square measure fifteen mistakes, lessons and observations that I've knowledgeable about over fifteen years of search marketing:

1. connection will depend on one WORD

A web site that I managed graded within the initial position for the search "best phone camera" within the summer of 2013. That modified once Nokia declared the "Lumia 1020," a forty one megapixel smartphone. the web swooned and delineate the phone in superlative terms inside minutes of the announcement. All of the news articles (and user searches) that mentioned Lumia 1020 within the same breath as "best phone camera" trained Google into thinking that the Lumia 1020 was the most effective phone camera. My #1 ranking became a page four result.

When we updated our page to acknowledge the 1020's existence, we have a tendency to rocketed back to the primary position. This was no fluke. I've seen cases wherever the absence (or existence) of one word torched a page's rankings or created its fortunes.

2. THE 304 (NOT MODIFIED) standing is beneficial ON massive SITES

304 is one among the foremost obscure protocol standing codes. it is a thanks to tell a crawler that nothing has modified since it last visited a webpage. little sites needn't trouble with this standing code, however sites with legion pages will take pleasure in victimization it. In short, it is a tool for managing crawl budget. The trick is deciding what counts as a modification to the page. as an example, if the links within the right rail modification daily, is that the page modified? victimization the 304 standing code effectively is each art and science.

3. INVISIBLE CHARACTERS will create mayhem

I once created Associate in Nursing innocuous modification to a robots.txt file that prevented a complete domain from being crawled. this is not a horror story, thankfully. A member of my team discovered the difficulty inside minutes (always use the robots.txt Tester in Search Console!). Even so, it took America Associate in Nursing hour to find the basis of the problem: There was a phantom character within the robots.txt file.

The character was invisible during a browser and invisible in most text editors. we have a tendency to finally discovered the spectral character during a true plain-text editor. Beware: Associate in Nursing invisible character during a airt map or Apache configuration file is even as deadly.


Nothing puts a chill in my bones over server errors, specifically, 500, 502 and 504 response codes. (A 503 Service out of stock response may be a legit thanks to handle a page or a web site that's quickly down.)

I've learned the arduous manner that for each real person or computer program crawler that encounters a 50X error on your web site, you must expect to lose five to ten visits over time. that is as a result of search engines quickly deindex pages with server problems and users could become jaded by the error screen. (I bet the 50X error screens on your web site are not as pretty or as helpful as your 404 page.)

I once worked for a money media company that had the misfortune to botch a content delivery network migration the evening that Steve Jobs died. A flood of users hit a noticeable white screen that same nothing except "502." Organic search traffic fell by four-hundredth within the following weeks and it took months to recover to its previous trend. I've seen similar things (and aftermaths) play out enough times to stay American state up in the dark.

5. GOOGLE will build massive MISTAKES

Remember Google's authorship program (that displayed author photos within the search result pages)? I certain do. I had inspired the employees writers of alittle business web site to make Google and accounts in order that they might make the most of the program.


In December 2013, Google declared that they'd show fewer author photos. Shortly thenceforth, the tiny business website's traffic and rankings went haywire. I spent hours of panic-stricken investigation attempting to find why a number of the site's articles were fully born from Google's results. Then, I discovered the common thread: authorship.

Google could have supposed to prevent displaying Associate in Nursing author's icon, however a bug caused the complete article to disappear from Google's results. Google mounted the bug inside some days and also the site's traffic and rankings came back to traditional. Whew!

6. watch out HAVING MULTIPLE TIMESTAMPS ON an equivalent PAGE

I once saw traffic to Associate in Nursing evergreen article drop in ninety six albeit search demand was steady and also the article was recently updated. after I checked the search results page, Google was showing a timestamp from 3 years earlier. wherever did the previous date come back from? the primary investigate the page.

All of the dates on the article were wrapped in the correct schema tags (including the timestamps on comments) and Google shouldn't have been confused, but it was. One of our engineers solved the problem by changing the timestamp format on comments to appear in minutes/hours/days/weeks/years ago. It's OK to have more than one date on a page, but try to make sure that the timestamp of an article is the only date that appears in an International Standards Organization (ISO) format.


WebSub (formerly called PubHubSubBub) is a realtime way to let subscribers know that a feed has been updated. It's an old technology that never really caught on, but Google still supports it in 2018. Wordpress supports WebSub natively and that's how I learned how effective it can be.
I've seen Google index a news article within seconds of it being published, even though the site that published it isn't known for breaking news. The URL that Google indexed had an RSS feed tracking parameter on it (Google eventually scrubbed the URL down to its canonical root).

what is SEO?

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, and there is nothing really mystical about it. You might have heard a lot about SEO and how it works, but basically what it is is a measurable, repeatable process that is used to send signals to search engines that your pages are worth showing in Google’s index.
Basically Google uses a complex mathematical formula called an algorithm to give a score to every website and every search people to do in Google to figure out which website should rank best for what people are looking for. Think of the algorithm like a collection of empty buckets. One bucket gives you a score for the quality of your site, one bucket gives you a score for how many sites link to you, one bucket gives you a score for how people trust you. Your job is to fill up more buckets in the algorithm than any other website. You can affect your search engine ranking by having the highest score in terms of quality of your site, of having the highest score in terms of authority of your website, of having the highest score in terms of the most trusted store for that search that people are looking for. The good thing is that there are hundreds of buckets, and for every single one of these buckets these scores put together in the algorithm to figure out where you rank is an opportunity for you to fill it up and rank better. So optimizing your site for search results really means getting the highest score in as many of these points as you can.
Now, some buckets are worth more than others, and the three main buckets that you need to be aware of for search rankings are quality, trust and authority. So quality: what Google is trying to measure when they’re trying to figure out what sites should rank is offering something valuable or unique or interesting to googles searchers. For example: good content - if you are selling t-shirts and you are using the same description that every other t-shirt seller is using on their website then you are not offering anything unique to Google’s searchers. Even though your t-shirts might look pretty cool, the content is the same as everybody else’s, so Google has no way of telling that your t-shirts or your t-shirt site is better than anybody else’s. Instead, offer people interesting content. For example: offer them the ability to personalize their t-shirt. Give them information on how to wash it. What’s the thread count? Is it stain resistant? Is this something you should wear in the summer or is it more heavy for winter? Give people information, or even be more creative. Get people to share pictures of themselves wearing the t-shirt. Create a community of people who are interested in your product. Get a famous person to wear it and share that picture online. Do something different, do something unique. Show Google that you are different and better than the other search results.
Trust is another important bucket that you need to be aware of when you are trying to get your site to rank in Google. Google doesn’t want to show just any website to it’s searchers, it wants to show the best website to its searchers, and so it wants to show sites that are trustworthy. One thing Google has indicated it likes to do is penalize sites or stores or companies that consistently have poor reviews, so if you have many poor reviews, in time Google is going to figure out not to show your site in their rankings because Google doesn’t want to show those sites to their searchers. So prove to Google’s algorithm that you are trustworthy. Get other highly authoritative websites to link to you. Get newspaper articles, get industry links, get other trusted sites to link to you: partners, vendors, happy customers - get them to link to your website to show that you are highly credible and trustworthy.
And finally, the other really important bucket is authority. Google wants to show sites that are popular. If they can show the most popular t-shirt seller to people looking to buy t-shirts online, that’s the site they want to show. So you have to convince Google - send them signals that your site is the most popular site for the kind of t-shirts that you sell. Fill this bucket by building a fan base. Build a social network, get people to link to you, get people to share your t-shirt pages on their social network saying ‘I want this!’, get people to comment, leave testimonials, show pictures of themselves wearing the product or using the product, Create a fan-base and then rally them to link to you and talk about you. That’s how you prove to Google that you are trustworthy and authoritative.
So if you think about it, SEO is really just a process of proving to search engines that you are the best site, the most authoritative, the most trusted, the most unique and interesting site that they can offer to their customer - the searcher. Get people to talk about you, produce good quality content, get people to link to you, and Google will be more confident that you are the best result that they can offer to their searchers, and that’s when you will start ranking on the first page of Google.


Why do you need SEO?

Search engine optimization means positioning your company’s web properties higher in search results so more users can find you.
There are plenty of behind-the-scenes technical factors that play into SEO, but, at heart, it’s about assessing your current standing in search, identifying potential ranking opportunities and executing on content gaps.
Really, it’s a digital competition against every other web page on the internet.
You’re going to need tools and automation to help with this process. (That’s right here.)
And you can save time and resources by knowing the best keyword optimization techniques to use. (You guessed it. We’ve got that, too.)
More than anything, you need SEO because:
Compared to traditional marketing and advertising, SEO as a strategy is cheaper, more effective and better aligned with demographic, digital and purchasing trends.

How do SEO and content marketing fit together?

SEO and content marketing are inseparable; in fact, they’re practically synonymous.
Thorough, high-quality content feeds search engines, allowing your brand to own more SERP real estate and index a higher number of crawlable web pages.
Similarly, SEO ensures the content you produce is analytically sound, target audience-oriented and much likelier to serve searcher intent.
Every marketing plan must feature high-quality content and expert SEO insight.

High-quality content

Authoritative, trustworthy content is a must, not just for readers but search engines.
So much so that 72 percent of marketers say relevant content is their top SEO tactic.
Content that contains rich media, scannable action items and logical next steps for readers is inherently more valuable to readers than stale, surface-level writing, and Google’s algorithms prioritize this reality accordingly in SERPs.

On-page and off-page SEO

Content marketing strategies are handicapped without considering on- and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO refers to just that: anything directly to do with the metadata and the content that exists on a page. This means title tags, H1…H6 tags, URL strings, images, alt text, internal/external linking structures and more.
Off-page SEO refers to inbound link-building. Though not direct ranking indicators, social media engagement, influencer marketing and brand mentions provide adjunct off-page benefits as well.

What is an SEO marketing plan?

An SEO marketing plan is a documented system of every tactic, asset, execution and analysis of a site, its content and its reach.
This system must revolve around the talents of in-house or outsourced marketers, the value proposition of a brand and the nature of search engine algorithms.
Basic tenets of an SEO marketing plan include a(n):

1. Inventory of all site collateral and marketing materials

Assets should be shared with all appropriate stakeholders and be able to quickly be delivered to sales teams, executives and prospects at a moment’s notice.

2. SEO audit

SEO last year is different than it is this year. Knowing where your current strengths and weaknesses lie, which landing pages need refreshing and where Featured Snippet opportunities exist is paramount. An audit gives you a solid starting point.

3. Digital hierarchy of priorities that outlines benchmarks and next steps

Which metrics matter to the marketing team? What about the sales department? What about the CEO who doesn’t know a thing about mobile site traffic? How will you appease all of the above?

4. Regularly updated list of current keyword rankings and potential ranking opportunities

This is your SEO dashboard that spotlights the likelihood of ROI on given search terms. What’s working? What isn’t?

5. Editorial calendar and content schedule

A clear, well-documented content pipeline keeps all producers aware and engaged.

6. Content optimization goals for high-conversion pages

Updating existing content is now the industry norm, as opposed to churning out new content every day (if you can do both, that’s great). Landing pages that drive conversions are often square one in terms of choosing how to schedule out content optimizations.

7. Distribution, syndication and promotion channels and possibilities

As stated above, off-page SEO is important. Networking with relevant influencers, pitching industry publications and customizing social media posts pays off.

8. Automated metrics tracking and analytics reporting

To keep SEO marketing on track, you need daily performance metrics at your fingertips as well as monthly, quarterly and annual figures to show progress or justify changing course.
To achieve the SERP dominance you seek, you must not only be mindful of how search engines serve results but how they determine the quality of your work. That means your strategists, web managers and content creators must be singularly focused on the most prominent Google ranking factors, outlined below in this helpful graphic:
Top ranking factors

Is PPC a consideration?

Glad you asked, and the answer is yes.
While pay-per-click campaigns are by definition not under the same umbrella as “organic” or “SEO,” they can still be valuable complements to a content marketing strategy.
Also remember that paid ads appear at the TOP of SERPs, so there is definitely value in crowding out the organic results of competitors and owning the branded keywords that searchers are querying.

How to kick-start your SEO marketing plan

Knowing what goes into a successful SEO marketing plan is a victory unto itself. But how do you launch one?

Where to focus your investments

If you’re starting from scratch, you need a few things:
  • Site audit: What’s your Domain Authority? What’s your page speed? Are you using structured data?
  • Content audit: How much collateral do you have that can immediately be repurposed and republished? How much content will be needed to achieve your SEO goals? How diverse should your content be?
  • Competitor audit: Who are your primary, secondary and tertiary competitors? What do they rank for? What do their link profiles look like? Do they have a coherent social strategy?
Knowing where your strengths and weaknesses lie, as well as those of your competitors, allows you to home in on keyword targets and ranking potential.

Quick wins

Setting marketing aside for a moment, you also need to know who cuts your checks.
We see it every day: Stressed marketing manager is given three months to show ROI or his or her budget is nixed.
That means you need to come out swinging, with quick SEO wins to prove the value of content marketing.
Here are a handful to get you started:
  • Improve site speed. Optimal page speed is 1.5 seconds or less.
  • Optimize for mobile. Google now uses mobile-first indexing, so this is a must.
  • Fully update your Google My Business account.
  • Fix site errors.
Google’s August core search algorithm update is now fully rolled out

Google’s August core search algorithm update is now fully rolled out

Some SEOs are seeing more fluctuations with the Google rankings now, but Google has confirmed the August 1 update has been fully rolled out.

Google has just confirmed that the core search algorithm update that began rolling out a week ago has now finished fully rolling out. Google search liaison Danny Sullivan said on Twitter, “It’s done” when I asked him if the rollout was complete.
Danny did add that if we are seeing other changes, “We always have changes that happen, both broad and more specific.” This is because some of the tracking tools are seeing more fluctuations today, and if they are unrelated to this update, the question is what they can be attributed to.
Here is Danny’s tweet:

@dannysullivan is the rollout of the core update complete? Seeing fluctuations today.

Danny Sullivan
It's done. That said, we always have changes that happen, both broad and more specific.

Based on our research, the August 1 update was one of the more significant updates we have seen from Google on the organic search side in some time. It continued to roll out over the weekend and has now completed.
Google’s current advice on this update is that webmasters do not need to make any technical changes to their websites. In fact, the company said “no fix” is required and that it is aimed at promoting sites that were once undervalued. Google has said that you should continue to look at ways of making your overall website better and provide even better-quality content and experiences to your website visitors.
Now that the rollout is complete, you can check to see if your site was impacted. But as Danny Sullivan said above, there are always changes happening in search.
For more details, see our original story.

What Is Niche Marketing?

Niche Marketing is a very concentrated form of marketing. Unlike some other forms of marketing that target a broad range or large group of consumers, niche marketing involves targeting a very specific, well defined segment of the market.

Why is niche marketing important?

Niche marketing often focuses on market segments that are poorly targeted, or not targeted at all. Businesses that capitalize on the opportunities that lie in an untapped segment can open up the doors for an influx of success. Marketers identify the niches to target by identifying the desires and needs of consumers in specific segments. Efficiently tailoring a marketing campaign to a niche audience is crucial.
Marketers that create a well-defined niche have the ability to create a very personalized campaign with greater appeal (and if well-executed, greater ROI).
Providing goods and services to a market segment that has gone unserved reduces barriers to entry, such as competition. Niches usually go un-targeted because smaller companies are unaware that the niche exists, and larger companies don’t think that targeting a small niche is worth their time. Companies that target these niche audiences will be endowed with first-mover advantages that give the company better positioning against new competitors.

3 Benefits of Niche Marketing

What is Niche Marketing?
Niche marketing is a form of marketing that is geared forward a very specific population, or niche. Niche marketing is possible when a business specializes in a particular service, or serves a particular demographic within its target audience. If the business forms its marketing endeavors around this subgroup, this business would be in the practice of niche marketing.

Niche Marketing Strategy
With a niche strategy, you leverage your expertise in one area to stand out from your competition. You may provide other products or services, and you may serve a broader audience, but specializing in one area helps you to distinguish your business.

The size of a business’s niche relative to its target audience can vary. Some niches make up the entire target audience, while others make up a small percentage. Depending on the size of the niche, a niche strategy may consist of any of the following:

Marketing only to your niche
Marketing to both your niche and your larger target audience, refining your content slightly more for the niche
Marketing to your target audience from the standpoint of your niche
Related: 6 Sample Marketing Plans

A Niche Strategy Example
Let’s say a landscaper’s target audience is comprised of owners of residential property, as opposed to owners of athletic fields, office courtyards, or college campuses. Within this target audience are various types of homeowners, based on region, neighborhood type, income level, and lawn size.

An example of a niche here would be wealthy estate owners, or wealthy estate owners who have organic plants or prefer eco-conscious landscaping. The landscaper provides basic lawn care services for average income homeowners as well, but his niche is wealthy estate owners. If there are enough wealthy estate owners in his area, the landscaper might only market to this demographic. If not, he might use this niche to market to all homeowners, by showcasing a beautiful estate lawn in a Facebook ad image, or catering his content around being the only eco-conscious landscaper in his area.

Benefits of Niche Marketing
Niche marketing isn’t for every business, but if you have the opportunity to cater your business toward a niche, there are many benefits to be had.

1. Enhanced Customer Relationships
Niche marketing targets a very specific kind of customer, so depending on what you’re promoting, your niche market may be very small. For example, if you are a physical therapist, there are only so many expectant mothers who are looking for physical therapy for hip issues.

A small customer base has its benefits. When you are engaging with fewer people, you can focus on the quality of those engagements and on nurturing your relationships. Your emails can be more personalized, your follow ups more diligent, and your thank yous more frequent. You can also accommodate special requests, offer custom services, and get to know your customers on a more individual level. Each of these practices will enable you to better serve your customers, further enhancing your relationship with them and solidifying their loyalty to you.

However, if you have a small niche, be careful not to pigeonhole your marketing. If your niche is just a part of your target audience, make sure your efforts on your niche are boosting, and not detracting from your efforts on your target audience. This is one of many important considerations to make when forming a niche market strategy.

2. Reduced Competition
When you have a highly specific product or service, there will be less companies out there with the exact same offering. For example, there are millions of companies out there that sell knives. There are fewer companies that sell knives with handmade wooden handles, and yet fewer that offer customized knives with your initials on them. The more specific your product or service, the less companies there will be to compete with you for consumers, and the harder it is for them to duplicate your strategies.

While it’s important for companies to have competitors, reduced competition is not necessarily a bad thing.
The less competitors you have, the less you have to worry about monitoring prices and keeping tabs on what they’re up to.

At the same time, the more specific the product is, the less people there will be that are looking for it. Reduced competition is only a benefit of niche marketing when there is a significant audience to compete for. If your competitors aren’t targeting a niche because they can’t meet their needs, then that’s great news for you. If they aren’t targeting that market because it’s not lucrative, then you may not be at an advantage.

3. Increased Visibility
Increased visibility is a benefit of niche marketing that not only leads to more customers but can also improve your online presence.

Businesses that serve a niche marketing tend to be unique, such as a cleaning company that uses all natural cleaning products, a gluten-free bakery, or landscaper that creates interesting mowing patterns. Businesses with a unique product or service tend to stand out, and often get featured in media outlets such as talk shows, radio stations, or newspapers.

With niche marketing specially, getting in front of the right people is more important than getting in front of a lot of people. However, getting in front of a lot of people such as through these media outlets also has its benefits. The more people who know about your business, the more people there are to recommend your business to a friend who fits your niche market.